Where you can purchase Wishes Are Like ... , Wren Bay or Baking Book
New Posts Below
P O Box 288
Wren Bay reviews
Where you can purchase Wishes Are Like ... , Wren Bay or Baking Book
New Posts Below
P O Box 288
Wren Bay reviews
If you are new to me and my blog, four years ago I found out I was pre-diabetic. I immediately went on a super low-carb/paleo/keto diet and started exercising. I lost 54 pounds and have kept it off (well mostly). I have also made my pre-diabetes go away without medication. This is my yearly check in to share how my path is going.
Year 4. Well I will confess this last year has been challenging. Pretty much after my 3yr anniversary my peri-menopause really kicked up it heals. In a short time I gained 10 pounds, even though I was exercising and eating as I always do. I have to say it's really hard to have you body just go up in weight while still eating right and exercising. I felt depressed, I had a pity party and then a talk with myself. I have been able to loose 8 of the 10 pounds and am gaining a lot of muscles ;-)
Also I traveled this last summer (which I rarely do), it was a great challenge for me because I was with a group of people and could not just eat wherever I wanted. You see if I eat too many carbs now (like let's say more than 10 taco chips) I get really sick. Living in the bathroom :-O So this was my first time trying to juggle my body's needs and being with others who do not eat the same as me. I was frustrated I could not just set my diet aside and just have a fun trip.
As you can see this past year has not been as easy for me. But you know what, I just kept on doing what I do. So what if I gain 10 pounds? Do I stop doing what I do? NO! I have worked too hard to give up now. I have made some changes in my diet to support my body. I use to work out once a week for 1 ½ hours. Now I work out 3 times a week for 50 minutes. Half strengths training/half walking (as fast as I can). I am seeing the results. I also think it took time for my hormones to get in balance again. Therefore my body is now working more efficiently.
So what have I learned this past year?
First, our bodies change and that can affect how you lose or gain weight.
Second, gaining weight is not a failure. It is just a pause, you readjust and keep going.
Lastly, numbers do not count. All I can do is the best I can. I cannot let the scale dictate my thoughts or actions. Weight will go up and down throughout your life but you do not give up. This life-style change is about being healthy, not skinny. So even though I have had moments this past year where I felt like a failure, I have kept pushing through. Let's see where next year, my 5 year mark, puts me. Thank you for letting me share.
I have been making bottles of this for all my friends (because that's how much I love this stuff), so I thought I should share it with you. This all started because last summer was looking for a good moisturizer for my body and thought I would try aloe vera. And found I LOVED it for my skin. It did not leave a sticky reside, like lotion can. Easy to spread on my body and I liked how it makes my skin feel. Since hitting 50 I am have more and more issue with dry skin. Plus I have always had very sensitive skin, even in my youth and moisturizers do not always work for me. I found aloe heals as well as adding moisture and that is a win/win combo for me.
Then I decided to try to make a face spray and came up with this combo. I just spray it on my face liberally a couple of times a day. Only at night before bed do I use a heavier moisturizer. But this spray has become so much more, I will list all the ways I use it.
1. I spray it on before putting my make-up.
2. I spray it on after I put on my make-up as a setting spray. It sort of melts all the layers together and gives me a more natural looks without melting my make-up off. I love having looking dewy skin.
3. I use it as a detangler for my hair.
4. I use it on my dry ends of my long hair. I only wash my hair ever 4 days, so I spray the ends with this to help keep them from drying out.
5. I also spray my ends to help plump up my curls and give them more bounce.
6. I also use this spray as a hand sanitizer when I travel. The lavender works great for this.
If you research each of the ingredient you will see there is many properties for your skin and hair. So you can see why I love this face spray. Please give it a try and tweak it to your liking!!
A note about the aloe. Initially I went to use the aloe I had bought at the drug store and realized it had fragrance, thickeners and more. I wanted as clean a product as I could find with as much aloe in it. I purchased cold-pressed aloe which is 99% aloe/1% thickener and really love it. It is watery but I find that's better to rub in my skin and not have any leftover slipperiness on me. I encourage you to try and get the best an aloe for the healthiest results.
Aloe, Lavender-Rose Face Spray
Makes about ⅓ cup
1 small spray bottle
2 TBL rose water or 2 drops of rose oil
2 TBL Aloe Vera Gel
1 small drop glycerin
2 drops lavender oil
1 tsp raw apple cider vinegar
Green tea, about 6 TBL
Add the first 5 ingredients to a small spray bottle, then green tea to fill. Leave a small gap at top. Shake well every time you use. Store in refrigerator.
Well this is embarrassing :-O I have not posted Christmas my theme yet (and Christmas is long gone). Life has been a bit crazy for me. Plus this theme has to be done more last minute, so I did not have the time to do photos ahead. But I will share now and hope it inspires you for next year. This years theme, a Nature Christmas. I use traditional colors with lots of plants, greens and foliage. I made a video on FB giving you a tour, check it out!
We could not decide between a coca bar or whiskey, so we did both ;-)
LOL, it was not until after Christmas the my mother pointed out my little bouquet garni message might be for the wrong season. Akk, life with a dyslexic. Never even dawned on me :-O
I loved this years them but it was hard because something I could not do until last minute. Plus I killed 3 plants, haha. I never realized what a black thumb I have. Thank you for letting me share and sorry I am so behind the times xox
Hello everyone. I have been busy decorating and cooking. I am not quite ready to share this years theme but soon. I am busy making treats; cookies, candy, etc. It is hard at this time of year to go sugar free but over the years I have discovered I can make healthy version of what I love. I have compiled a list of thing I love to make. I thought it might be helpful for you too. Just to let you know I primarily use xylitol, stevia and coconut sugar. These are low on the glycemic level and my body/blood sugar does well on them but use what works for you.
My number one favorite treat is this No-Sugar Fudge. You can make it without peppermint. I have had it plain or with coffee or nuts added. It is yummy and so simple. You can also make it vegan with coconut milk and oil.
My second favorite is a recipe of mine, Grain-Free Snowball cookies. We have loved this for a long time.
Another favorite cookies is Rosemary Shortbread!
Orange and chocolate are a wonderful combo in this Orange Chocolate Cookie-dough Bark
Cafe Cookies are great because you can keep a log of dough in the freezer and bake off a few slices at a time.
Keto Caramel Sauce, do I need to say more!
And lastly, I just love chocolate disks with toppings of nuts and dried fruit. Just melt a bit of chocolate, paint small circles on parchment and top with toppings. Pop in freezer and they can be enjoyed 15 minutes later.
Do you have a healthy Christmas treat you enjoy? I would love to hear about it!
So one of the ways I have kept my 50# off for these three and half years is by eating a good amount of healthy fat. Yes, you heard me, eating fat has kept my weight down. Crazy I know but true. Of course I am talking healthy fats and I still eat way more low-carb veggies, than anything else but health fat has a real place in my diet. One reason is, fat helps my body deal with carbs. If I eat something like bread, I make sure it has a good amount of butter to help my insulin sensitive body, because that is what a pre-diabetic is. Although I have healthy insulin levels now because of my diet. I am not pre-diabetic anymore, yeah! But trust me, if I went back to all my old, my bad behaviors, I would become pre-diabetic and eventfully diabetic. So I always need to be mindful of what I eat and how much sugar I put in my system. So fats help my body regulate and digest sugars.
And that brings me to bulletproof coffee. I am not going to get in a discussion if coffee is healthy or not and that is not why I drink this. I drink bulletproof coffee as a fat bomb. It sustains me on days where I am running around, it is a great substitute on mornings when I cannot eat another egg :-O and it is a great on days where I eat lots of carbs. Plus it taste AMAZING!
There is a lot of versions and information on the net about bulletproof coffee but I was asked to share how I do it. So were it is, but I want to say always listen to YOUR body. Keep trying to find what works for you, what makes you feel good, what helps support you system and what gives you joy. Bulletproof coffee does all that for me.
Makes 1 mug
1 cup hot coffee
1 TBL grass-fed butter
1 TBL MCT oil or coconut oil
¼ of cup or more of fresh coconut cream or raw cream
As your making your coffee, put butter, oil and cream to a tall mug or tall container. Heat cream/butter/oil in microwave for 33 seconds. Just enough to take the chill off so you don't cool down your coffee. Pour hot coffee over cream and with a hand blender or frother blend a few seconds to make it frothy. Then enjoy.
Add in and extras
I like a few drops of chocolate stevia to this. You are suppose to drink bulletproof with no sweetener but I am not there yet. I have to add a tiny bit 0f sweetener for me. Eventually I will get use to it and will be able to drink it unsweetened. You have to start somewhere.
You can also grate some really dark chocolate in it.
I add maca powder to it. It gives it a smoky flavor, yumm. Also helps me with blood pressure and hormone issues.
Here is a list of more add-inns to inspire you.
I you don't like coffee, you can make a coco or a tea version of this. I LOVE my earl grey tea this way. Like a super creamy tea!
I like to take my time and make the best cup of coffee I can. So I use Javapress to hand grind my beans and Aeropress to make my cup coffee. I only make a cup at a time. I LOVE both these products and really recommend them.
I drink decafe and for you local friends I am loving whole beans from Viking Brew in downtown Poulsbo.
Don't use canned coconut cream, unless it is all you can get your hands on. Fresh coconut cream is so much better. If you're lucky enough to live somewhere where you can get raw milk/cream like me count your blessings!
Make sure not to skip the frothing part. The first time I made bulletproof, I did not and thought the coffee was so-so. I told my friend, who proceeded to shake her head (like I was an idiot because I was) and told me to make it again and froth it. SOOOO much better. I love my blender stick for this but you can throw it all into a blender too or use a frother.
PS. I am not paid for any of my recommendations. This is just what I use in my life and love.
Javapresse I have been getting into bulletproof coffee lately (I will write more about this later) so I got a Javapresse hand-grinder for my coffee, and wow, great product. First off they have the best customer service I have EVER had, sent me a new one (no questions asked) when I had problems with the one I bought. Great website full of helpful info and they have quickly answered any questions I may have. Well done Javapresse!
Oil Cleansing. Now that I am in my 50's I am starting to deal with dry, dull looking skin. I don't want to look 20, but just maintain what I already have (thank you mom for my lovely skin ;-) Oil cleaning has really become my friend. I put it on when I get in my bath and just enjoy. I add some essential oils too, so it feels like a real spa treatment. I have been using this castor oil (I use on my hair too) and love it. Great product, great company. By the way I make small batches of the oil using half avocado oil, half MCT oil and a dash of castor oil. I just eyeball it.
2-Minute Low Carb English Muffin I miss tea and toast. It was a fav of mine on cold, rainy days before I started doing low-carb. Well, this recipe has brought back my love of tea and toast. It is simple (which I love), easy and quick to make. I like that I can just whip up toast and tea when the mood strikes. Make sure have have to good butter on-hand to have with your toast, it makes all the difference. Check out the recipe and video.
DIY Canvas Clutch I am keeping my eye out for old paintings, so I can whip myself up a clutch or tote. How charming are these?
The Grommet, Looking for a gift for the grill'er in your life? Check out the grommet. I bought this for hubby and he LOVES it. "This innovative, bristle-free brush is a smarter way to clean your grill. The double helix design has two continuous springs to get the grease and food particles off the grill grates. No rough edges to cut you, and no need to worry about metal bristles falling out and getting in your food." Made in the USA, well built and works fantastic!
Their Finest I really loved this movie (and cried my eyes out). A beautiful look at a part of WW11 I did not know much about. I will tell you there is a small, quick scene you would not want your children to watch. So check out the movie on your own first.
Lastly I will leave you with these wise words ;-)
PS. I was not paid for any of these recommendations. It is just things I have used and loved!!
I eat a LOT of salads, at lest one a day. So I am always looking for ways to bling it up. I made David this Whipped Feta Salad for Father's day and it was a big hit. Now I am making whipped feta all the time. It is easy to make, keeps a good week in a air tight container and great with veggies. Check it out!
Whipped Feta Salad
Greens tossed in a vinaigrette
cherry tomatoes, avocado and pistachio nuts to garnish
Simply spread some whipped feta on your plate, dress your greens and add garnishes. Very simple to make.
1 cup (8oz) feta cheese at room temperature
1/3 cup (3oz) whipped cream cheese, at room temperature, see notes
In a food processor crumble feta into tiny piece. Add cream cheese. Run processor until smooth and fluffy. Takes about 3-4 minutes. Store in a covered container and refrigerate until ready to serve. Keeps about a week refrigerated.
1/2 cup oil, I like a good olive oil
3 TBL Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 TBL honey (optional)
1 garlic clove, finely minced
salt and pepper to taste
Put all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Taste and adjust to your liking
Ha! Well after living here what ... 15 years, we finally finished a room. Our library is done and I am loving it!
My in-laws were selling their fake fireplace and I have been coveting it for years, so we snapped it up. I will be honest, the pretties on the mantle will go. A biggg flat-screen TV will be on the mantel instead, but I had to make it pretty for the photos ;-)
We purchased two leather chairs (my first barko-leather furniture. my husband is over the moon). I know everything looks really orange in these photos, but it doesn't in real life. Much more like earl grey tea with milk in it. Well, except my desk which is a dark tangerine color.
It is small but I was able to come up with a whiskey/port bar. Every library needs one of those right?
There is even room for elkzilla, as I like to call him. My husbands pride and joy. The things you do to make your man happy. There is a LOT crammed in this room, but I tried to create some space too and it all seems to work. Very cozy on a winter day.
My favorite thing in the room, is my little desk. It is on old table left by the last owners, shoved in the corner of basement, deemed junk. I adore this table, peeling paint and all. The acrylic chair works great without add more weight to the room. I have a beautiful view of my roses as I write this. So books for me, flat screen for him. This room is prefect for both of us. Thank you for letting me share. One room down, six more to go!
We purchased a Breville Smart Oven Air and told my FB'ers I would write a review. Thought I would post it here. First let me say, I was looking for a second oven but putting in a wall oven meant a good $1000 and taking out half my cabinet. So $400, seemed a good deal compared to the price of a second wall oven. I was interested in this oven because it is the biggest counter oven I could get. I have plenty of counter space, so I want to get the most out of it as possible.
This oven has 13 preset functions: Toast, Bagel, Bake, Roast, Broil, Pizza, Cookies, Proof, Air-Fry, Dehydrate, Reheat, Warm and Slow Cook. It comes with 2 oven racks, 13" nonstick pizza pan, 2 heavy-duty oven racks, broil rack, enamel baking pan and air-fry/dehydrate basket. I was a bit nervous this would be a wasted purchase, but I had two ovens before and know how nice it is to have two. I have to say I am beyond thrilled with this oven. Actually I have only used my other oven once since I bought the Breville a month ago. This oven is veryyy accurate and efficient. For example if I roast tomatoes in my oven it would take 1 hour, in the Breville set on super convection, it takes 25 minutes. The airfry setting really works well for roasting veggies. The slow cooker works beautifully. Really I do not have one complaint. As you can see in the photo below. I am cooking potatoes, garlic and tomatoes all at once. I do not know if this would work for a large family, but really for the 4 of us it has been fine for most things.
So I think it is a value, I paid $400 and am thrilled with my purchase. This is my review of the Breville Smart Oven Air. By the way I was not paid for this review, just to let you know ;-) Also do you love the little shelf David made to hold my spice jars. Painting the walls with chalk paint and adding the shelf, really finishes the space off don't you think!
This recipe all came about because I miss mac and cheese. I wanted a low carb version and tried several recipes, but honestly they were too much work, relied on a roux (I do not eat flour) and I was not happy with the results. In mac and cheese your cooking a pasta that absorbs the sauce, cauliflower does not absorb, so you need a different type of sauce. I learned a long time ago just thickened cream makes a simple sauce. Add some cheese, bake until thick and bubble and it is quite good, and easy :-)
I have made at least 5 different versions of this with cook /frozen/riced/not and this is the version my family liked best. The second recipe is the one I like the best, because it is easier. I did not have to prepare and par-cook the cauliflower. They are both good though. The only kind of cauliflower I would not use is frozen florets. We all agreed it was too mushy. I do not know why the frozen riced cauliflower is not mushy, but it is not. Par-cooking the cauliflower florets gave a perfect textured with the finished dish. I like to serve this with a steak and salad on our weekends. If you hate cauliflower, make the second version, you will never know there is cauliflower in there, if you use strong flavored cheddar.
No-Mac, Cheese and Cauliflower
makes a 5x10" pan
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
3 cups cauliflower, small flowerts, par-cooked *see my notes below
1 tsp. dried granulated garlic
½ tsp ground pepper
½ sea salt
Pre-heat oven 350°F
In a sauce pan mix all ingredients, except the cauliflower. On low heat stir cream/cheese until cheese is melted. You do NOT want to boil this, just melt the cheese. Pull sauce off heat and stir in cauliflower. Grease a 5x10" pan and pour cauliflower in prepared pan. Cover pan with heavy lid or foil. Bake 50 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and crispy brown around the edges.4
Quicker version No-Mac, Cheese and Cauliflower
makes a 5x10" pan
I cup heavy cream
1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
3 cups frozen, riced cauliflower
1 tsp. dried granulated garlic
½ tsp ground pepper
½ sea salt
Pre-heat oven 350°F
In a sauce pan mix all ingredients, except the cauliflower. On low heat stir cream/cheese until cheese is melted. You do NOT want to boil this, just melt the cheese. Pull sauce off heat and stir in cauliflower. Because the cauliflower is frozen the sauce with glop together, but do not worry it will bake fine. Grease a 5x20" pan and spread cauliflower in prepared pan. Cover pan with heavy lid or foil. Bake 50 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and crispy brown around the edges.
1. Par-cooking cauliflower. Cut your fresh cauliflower into small florets, about the size of your thumb nail. In a small pan on your stove or in a microwave set on high, boil cauliflower about 3-4 minutes. Until it starts to become transparent in color but still firm. Run cauliflower under cold water and set aside. This can be done earlier in the day too. Just refrigerate until you make you no-mac, cheese and cauliflower.
2. If you want to keep it really fast and quick, make the second version but cook the sauce and riced cauliflower on the stove for about 5 minutes, until the frozen cauliflower is cooked. Then enjoy. I make this for my dinner on nights, when I am cooking something for my family I cannot eat. With a salad it is lovely. Not as lovely as the baked, crunchy version but still good.
3. Lastly, this dish is only as good as the cheese you use. Use a strong cheddar with lots of flavor!
I get asked a lot what tricks I use to keep my weight off. A big one is stopping and really thinking about what I want to eat. How to have treats without going whole hog. I tend to have my treats on the weekend, so I so that cuts of a lot of the week. I will also try to plan it out. If I know I am going to have a really carby meal on Saturday let's say, I try to make sure I eat really good the day before and after to make-up for it. But I also look at what is being served, what I would really like and try to make it as healthy as I can, while still enjoying what I want. I will give you two examples.
Example 1, last weekend we had hot dogs topped with bacon, guacamole and monterey jack cheese (which is a fab combo by the way). I served nacho chips in the side because my family loves them. I looked at that meal and thought what was the problems with it? First there is the hot dog buns, second the chips and third no veggies (I don't consider avocado's veggies ;-). The buns were cheap ones and I did not want them, but the chips were calling to me. So this is what I did. I used a romaine lettuce leaf for a bun (do it all the time, I am fine with it) and took a FEW (& I mean like 4 chips each hot dog) and crushed them on the top. Added some raw veggies on the side and the dish ended up not being too bad. Also I did not feel cheated.
Example 2, hubby's birthday last month. He loves biscuits and sausage gravy for breakfast. I have discovered how to make the gravy without flour and it is delish. Now I could have made mine with a gain-free biscuits but I did not have any on-hand. I decided I did not want a plain biscuit to be my treat, because I wanted the rosemary bread I was baking later to me my treat. So I just had gravy over eggs and thoroughly enjoyed my homemade bread later.
So see? Stop, think about what you love? What can you give up? Try to pick just one indulgence and not go hog crazy with it. This has served me well and I hope it makes sense to you!!
Celebrating my three year anniversary of not being pre-diabetic anymore and major lifestyle change. 3 years, wow!! I know some of you are having the same issues as me, so I thought I would share. In the past three years I have lost at least 54 pounds. The even better news is I am keeping it off! My number one goal has always been to maintain what I have lost. And to be able to maintain that weight loss, well ... that feels like the biggest success to me.
My second goal was to drop under 200 and stay there. I can say I have been able to maintain that goal for 7 months now. I am not sure what my next goal is, but honestly I am just happy with what I have obtained so far. I still eat a very low-carb version of Paleo. I still struggle with eating enough veggies. My goal is to make 70% of my daily diet low-carb veggies. I do it, but still have lazy days. I exercise once a week for 1 ½ hours (hard) and "try" to work out another day for 40 minutes, but I do not beat myself up if it does not happen.
Really I have only made 2 changes this past year.
1. I use to walk 3 miles. Now I work on strength training and build muscle, plus walking. When you lose so much weight you end up with lotsss of sagging skin. It's kind of scary :-O Plus I am not sure I had any muscles in my body to begin with ;-) I could barely workout with 2 ½ # weights for 3 minutes, 2 years ago. So building muscles and working on my core strength has been my focus and boy can I see a difference. I have slimmed my arms and stomach, been focusing on my gluts lately and am in a size 12 jeans (I was an 20 before). I still have a longggg ways to go. But it is amazing to be able to focus on a part of your body and know with hard work you can make changes.
2. I drink vinegar water and kombucha every day. I drink water all day and always add a TBL of raw apple cider vinegar to my water. I started off with less but got use to the taste and now can add more. Also now I drink glass of kombucha everyday too. Both really help regulate my blood sugar, help with my digestion and gut health. Gut health is everything. If you have not read Brain Maker I highly recommend it. Everyone should read it. Last Christmas I gained weight, this Christmas I did not gain any weight. I think the kombucha is helping my body to heal and therefore I am staying in my zone better, even though I did not work out and ate treats.
So adding weight training and drinking kombucha is really the only changes I have made this year. If you are interested in reading about what I have been doing, read my Bloom series. Really I am just doing what I have been doing the past three years and it works for me. I have had people argue with me that eat fat is unhealthy and low-carb is a fad. All I can say after three years, my body would disagree with you. I listen to my body, it very clearly tells me what it needs and what is does not. So I would encourage you to do the same. Listen to your body, do what works for you and be positive. This is a lifestyle change, that means you will be spending the rest of your life taking care of yourself. That is a journey and journeys never end!
PS. The top photo I took at Bittersweet Apothecary in Liberty Missouri. A charming shop full off goodies!!
Happy New Year! I hope it was a great ending. I know it was for me. Last year was a hard one, personally. I was stretched and challenged a LOT! In the end, it is all is good. A lot of change but change is good, right? ;-) This is the first time I am really feeling that empty nest stuff. I did not think it would get to me so much, but I am finding my ways, slowly. A new chapter of my life.
I did want to share one last project from my Copper Christmas. As you know every Thanksgiving and Christmas, I make a small gift for each of my guests. Since I drink large amounts of Clear Mind Brew Dr Kombucha I decided to save the bottles. So all year I have been collecting bottles and corks from the sherry I cook with. Just add some copper paint and a simple word. Joy! We all need joy. I am happy with how these turned out and hopefully everyone can use an extra bottle for storage.
The other thing I did was use copper pennies. After I choose copper for my theme, I looked around at what I had that was copper. Pennies! And I have lots of them. I simply cleaned them in a vinegar/salt mixture. I could have done a ton of stuff with them, but I simply lined a tray. I usually use rock salt (such a cheap and pretty item), but the pennies worked great!
A few more glimpes of my home. I am interested in seeing what 2017 will hold. I am not sure what will be coming, but I feel good about it all. I hope this is a year filled with joy for you xox
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from my family to yours
I love this photos because I hardly see my girls anymore (they work so much). I love that we can still be silly and giggle. I will be back after the New Year and share a bit more of my Copper theme. I hope this is a blessed week for you xox
Well the one coppery thing I did do was a wreath. This was fun and pretty easy to do. Hubby welded the elbows on each corner. I cleaned up the copper with a mixture of 1 cup plain white vinegar and 1 TBL salt. Worked well.
My bow is ribbon I have had for a good 30 years. The beautiful buckle in the center is from one of my favorites stores in Poulsbo, Red Plantation. It is perfect addition. This wreath is simple and open, but I like that. Air in decorating in needed, if that makes sense?