Wednesday, December 18, 2013


It's time for another edition of Landon-ese. In other words, amusing stuff my kid says.


Landon: I'm Landon
Daddy: How old are you?
Landon: Um, I'm six.
Daddy: Six? Okay.
Landon: (very matter of fact) Yes, I'm VERY old.


{Pretending to make a call with his toy phone}

Landon: Hello. Yes. Okay. Are you there? Can I call you back?
Mommy: Who was that, Buddy?
Landon: It was Nana. DADDY! It was your MOM on the phone!


Landon: Can I have banana freeze? 
Mommy: No honey, you can't have bananas.
Landon: What about gluten free banana freeze?!
Mommy: No honey, your tummy doesn't like bananas.
Landon: NO! I'm talking about gluten free bananas!!!

I lamely tried to explain bananas are naturally gluten free, however, he cannot eat them due to his food intolerance...blah, blah, blah. Judging by the look on his face as I droned on, I'm pretty sure I miserably failed.


{Upon waking and snuggling in the morning}

Mommy: I have to get up and get in the shower, Sweetie.
Landon: The problem is, I need at least ten more minutes of morning snuggles. (as he snuggles in tighter)
Mommy: You win. 


Landon: (taking off his glasses) These things are SO dirty!
Mommy: Okay. What would you like to do?
Landon: (holds his glasses up, inspects them, then proceeds to clean them with his shirt) There. MUCH better!


{After I cleaned the bathroom}

Landon: Mommy makes it all nice in there, Daddy, then you just come along and stink it up!


Aaaannnnd.... my very favorite!

Landon: Some day I will be as big as you, Mommy! And some day I will be as big as Daddy. Some day I will be big like Papa. Some day I will be big like Nana. Some day, I will also be short like Grandma.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Raphael Says Hi

I'm going to be honest. Most nights, Raphael doesn't do much. He simply finds a new place to sit. We got a little more creative this evening. I think Landon will love it! That's what really matters. 

Update: Landon DID love this, then he was instantly pissed because we wouldn't let him eat those chocolate chips for breakfast. Such bad parents, we are. He eventually got over it.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Two Years.

Two years ago today, we were sitting in the hospital with Landon, terrified. He was rapidly losing blood in his bowel movements and was too little to communicate anything he may have been experiencing physically or mentally. 

He has had quite the journey, that brave Boy Wonder. He continually surprises his doctors, impresses us and has a determination to be well. He has changed the way his doctors treat IBD. He continues forge on, smiling and ready to conquer any challenge placed before him. 

At this exact moment, I'm sitting in my recliner snuggled up with Landon. He's been up most of the night and has a fever. 

I'm fifty kinds of emotional. 

I always hope each year will get easier. I even try not to think about the date. After all, it's just another day. It doesn't work. December 5th is burned in to my memory. I'm flooded with emotion. The first few times I hear Christmas music each year, I cannot stop the tears from streaming down my cheeks. We listened to Christmas music daily during his first hospital stay. We tried to remain festive. I don't feel very festive today. 

I know I should feel grateful for all the healing that's taken place within Landon's amazingly strong little body. I AM thankful. I am also incredibly sad today. That's the truth. 

I'm feeling guilty as hell because in about an hour, I have to leave Landon to go to work. I don't want to leave him. I want to stay with him all day. I want to help him feel better. I want to be here to monitor his body temperature. I want to hold him. I want to cuddle him and comfort him. Nobody prepares you for the guilt that comes along with Motherhood. It's intense. 

I'm irritated because he's sick again. Not irritated at all by him, just by the illness itself. We recently went through this for 5 full days the first week of November. It's frustrating! 

So, I guess what I'm saying is, I need some extra prayers, love and positive mojo today. Please and Thank You. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Raphael the Elf is Back!

Here's the thing about the whole Elf on a Shelf game; people either love it or are totally weirded out by it. 

We love it.

Our Elf arrived last year and Landon named him Raphael. He's a good little Elf and doesn't get in to too much mischief. He really helps Landon remember to be kind. I'm totally okay with this, by the way. 

When we woke up this morning, Raphael was sitting in a mason jar. He had written a letter to Landon and brought a new pair of jammies back from the North Pole! 

Landon was intrigued...

The letter reads:

Dear Landon,

I am having fun watching you as you play. You are such a kind, nice boy! Santa and I want you to have these special jammies to wear. Keep up the great behavior!

Your Friend,


Do you get in to the Elf on the Shelf? Does it weird you out or do you really enjoy it?

P.S. I wrote that whole letter left handed, which is why it was pretty short and to the point! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie

Ok, I'm not gonna lie, I enlisted the help of a pre-made pie crust and a can of Pumpkin Pie Mix. I planned to make the pie filling part from scratch, then my super awesome sister gave me a few cans of Pumpkin Pie Mix. Easy! Have I mentioned recently how much I like easy? This pie is gluten free AND dairy free! Score!

Here's what you will need:

Place the pie mix, 3/4 cup canned coconut milk and 2 slightly beaten eggs in a bowl and stir until combined. Pour in to a prebaked gluten free pie shell. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 35-40 minutes. 

Here's what your final product should look like!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes

I like easy recipes. You know, the kind which require minimal ingredients yet always have an amazing flavor.

I also like almost anything when it's roasted. There's something magical that happens when you coat foods in raw butter or oil and roast them in the oven. Magical, I tell ya!  

I used to LOVE sweet potatoes with plenty of butter and brown sugar. I still enjoy those, however, I've come to adore plain ol' roasted sweet potatoes even more.

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes

6 Carrots
6 Parsnips
4 Sweet Potatoes
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/8 cup melted raw butter (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Peel everything, cut in to bite sized pieces and place in a bowl. Pour the melted coconut oil and butter over the veggies, add salt and pepper then mix until everything is evenly coated. Pour on to a metal baking pan and roast in a 425 degree preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until the veggies are fork tender. Enjoy! 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Chicken AND Mashed Potatoes

Do you remember when I told you all I would post a recipe a day leading up to Thanksgiving? Yeah, me too. Epic blogger fail! I'm making up for it today by giving you TWO recipes! 

I'm not a huge fan of turkey. As a matter of fact, I could go a whole holiday season just eating all the side items. I do, however, like chicken. We've been eating more of it lately since I discovered it can be made whole in a Crock Pot. It's super easy and totally delicious!

Whole Roasted Crock Pot Chicken

1 Free Range Pasture Raised Chicken (local if possible) 
1 onion thickly sliced
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground cayenne

Combine all the dry spices in a small dish. Place the sliced onions in the bottom of the Crock Pot. Coat the chicken with your spice mixture all over the outside and on the inside. Place the chicken on top of the onions and cook on high for 4 hours. Do not add any liquid, it isn't necessary. Don't forget to save those bones to make home made, gut healthy stock!  

Red Mashed Potatoes

5 pounds of red potatoes
1 cup salted butter
1/2-3/4 cups of heavy cream or half and half
salt and pepper to taste

Cut potatoes in quarters and steam them until a fork will easily go through, usually about 25 minutes. Place butter in a large bowl and add hot potatoes. Add cream, salt and pepper and mash. That's it! Easy peasy! 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Feel Good Friday

We had a bit of a restless night over in these parts. Landon is congested and woke up crying saying "I'm just so 'snuffy' Mommy!" We had a 30 minute ordeal trying to get him to blow his nose, using saline and the snot sucker bulb thing because he didn't want to blow. This started around 10 p.m. We got him all fixed up and back to bed. At precisely 1:00 a.m., we hear a loud thud followed by crying. Yep, it's what you're thinking, he had fallen out of his bed. I picked him up and took him to the recliner to rock for a few minutes, then tucked him back in to bed with extra kisses. 

He was good to go this morning so I took him to school. We were a little bit late, which creates stress for both of us, but we got there! Needless to say, I was a tired after all the chaos and not sleeping well. So, what does a tired Mama do? Hits Starbucks, of course!

There I am, in a line of cars wrapping around the parking lot. A vehicle approaches from the other direction. We get to that moment of "OK, who will go first" and we both wave each other on. She smiles. I smile. We wave each other on again. We both smile wider and I wave her on to go in front of me. She smiled, put both hands to her mouth and blew me kisses. How totally awesome is that? 

Day = Made. I felt her gratitude.  

That isn't where this story ends. I got up to the speaker and ordered my drink then proceeded forward, finding my cash. I was thinking about all the things I needed to accomplish today, how crazy cold it is, how good my coffee is going to taste, how sweet that lady in front of me was to blow me those kisses and show me love. I approached the window and the friendly barista tells me, "The woman in front of you really appreciated you letting her go in front of you and she paid for your drink". Wow. 

I was deeply moved. Deeply. I smiled and thanked the barista. As I drove away I sent thanks and love to the woman in front of me. Then I felt tears begin to sting my eyes. I was crying over coffee! No, no I wasn't. I was brought to tears because of a simple act of kindness from another human being.

In those few moments my heart opened further as I was reminded of the good in this world. I believe people are inherently kind. Sure, there are some who aren't, however, as a whole, the people I find myself surrounded by are lovely. This morning, I was in a fine mood, I thought. Now, I'm in reflection. I am inspired. I want to go out and pay it forward. I want to make someone else feel the same love and appreciation I was blessed with this morning. It truly is that simple. You see, I was affected after that kind woman at Starbucks blew me kisses. It was the extra mile she went which was the icing on the cake.

Go the extra mile. Change a life. Be kind. Make a difference.

I challenge every one reading this to go out and do one nice thing for someone else in the coming days. 

Goodness, I'm full of love right now. I hope you're feeling it because I'm sending a whole bunch of that out to YOU! Yes, you. 

Happy Feel Good Friday, my Friends!  

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Deviled Eggs

We cannot have a holiday with out Deviled Eggs. Seriously. If I don't make these, my 6'8" brother-by-love will go berzerk. You do not want to see him go nuts over some eggs. It isn't pretty. Okay, that may be a slight eggzageration. Ha! You see what I did there?! Anywhoo, here's my tried and true recipe!

Mama's (I'm referring to myself there) Deviled Eggs 

~  1 dozen boiled eggs
~  1/2 C real mayonnaise
~ 1 Tbsp yellow mustard
~ 1-2 tsp vinegar
~ 1/8 tsp ground cayenne
~ Salt and pepper to taste
~ Paprika or cayenne for garnish

Cut your peeled eggs in half lengthwise and place the yolks in a mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients and mix with a hand mixer until well blended. Transfer the yolk mixture to a Ziploc bag. Snip the corner and fill your eggs. Top them with a sprinkling of paprika or cayenne, if you like it spicy! Refrigerate until ready to serve.  

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Thanksgiving Food.

Next week is Thanksgiving, Y'all! Can you even believe it?

This photo of Landon from 2010 always makes me giggle. He's all like, "gimme that turkey leg!". :-)

I've been working incessantly on coming up with a gluten free menu to share with all of you. I've seriously been thinking about this and developing new recipes for weeks. It's been a ton of fun!

We stay away from dairy as much as possible on a daily basis, with the exception of raw butter, which I use a lot. The foods we will be eating on Thanksgiving are mostly dairy free but not totally.  

Take a peek at what will be on our table next week.


~ Deviled Eggs ~ GF
~ Relish Tray ~ GF, DF

The Feast

~ Turkey AND Chicken ~ GF, DF
~ Ham ~ GF, DF
~ Mashed Red Potatoes ~ GF
~ Creamed Corn ~ GF
~ Cornbread Stuffing ~ GF, DF
~ Cranberries ~ GF, DF
~ Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Carrots and Parsnips ~ GF, DF
~ Green Beans Amandine with Bacon ~ GF
~ Dinner rolls ~ GF, DF


~ Pumpkin Pie ~ GF, DF
~ Cheesecake ~ GF
~ Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins ~ GF

*GF = Gluten Free
*DF - Dairy Free

Every single one of these items are completely gluten free yet still flavorful and satisfying! 

I will post recipes very soon. As a matter of fact, I will be posting at least one recipe a day from now until Thanksgiving. 

Stay tuned! 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Bone Broth, Chicken and Overcoming Intimidation.

This is actually considered a stock, due to the addition of veggies and spices. You could leave those out to make a traditional bone broth, however, I don't because I love the added flavor.

I've been doing some (by some, I mean tons of) reading and researching about bone broth. Turns out, it has some pretty spectacular health benefits and is amazing for gut healing. It's no wonder chicken soup is seen as a cure all for illness. When made properly, it actually does wonders for our bodies!

I'm weird about bones in my food. I don't like them and have a hard time eating anything off of a bone. I know, it's not normal. Whatevs. I also get grossed out when I have to handle raw meat. I'm working through it! Kind of.  

I decided to suck it up and get over it. I made a whole chicken in the crock pot, had Scott pull all the meat from it when it was done, then threw the bones back in the pot to make broth. 

Here's the basic process I used. 

First of all, I purchased one free range pasture raised chicken. This is very important in my opinion, especially when you will be making broth from the bones. I spiced it up with paprika, crushed rosemary, salt, pepper, garlic powder and bit of cayenne. I rubbed that all over the outside and inside of the chicken. I also thickly sliced one onion and put everything in the crock pot on high for 4 hours. It was amazing!

For the broth, I left all the drippings and onions in the pot then I tossed the bones back in, added 3 whole carrots, 4 whole pieces of celery including the leafy parts, 2 bay leaves, a bit more salt, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (this helps break down the bones and pull all of the good nutrition out) and filled it to the top with filtered water. I then let it go on low for approximately 48 hours, adding water as needed. I poured it through a strainer in to jars which I will freeze until I'm ready to use. 

I'm pretty sure I just saved myself at least $20 or more AND made something way more nutritious. This cannot be purchased in a grocery store! I can't believe I was intimidated by the process for so long. It's SUPER easy and totally fool proof!

Have you ever made your own bone broth or stock? Does the idea of doing so seem like too much work? I want to hear from you!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Trunk or Treat FUN!

We went to Trunk or Treat at our church this weekend. Wow, what fun! There were 40+ vehicles decorated, games galore, tons of lovely people, a gazillion darling kids all costumed up! Totally awesome! Everyone who helped put this on did a fabulous job. We had a blast, as you will see from the photos below.

World's Prettiest Pirate........

He looks WAY too grown up! My little old soul.......

Those pirates look angry! Don't worry, it's all an illusion.

PERFECT game for our little IBD dude!! :)

Waiting at Nana's trunk to give candy to the other children. He LOVED this part!

Landon cannot eat a single piece of the candy he collected this evening. He doesn't even care, honestly. He told me he would put all of that candy in a stack and give it to Daddy. :-) I put several special treats in his pumpkin and he was happy. They were also giving out a lot of stuff that wasn't candy, such as toys, stickers, temporary tatoos, whistles, etc. Way cool, that church of ours. I'm thankful he gets to have the experience and is so incredibly awesome about not being able to eat the candy he collected. 

SO, I'm curious. Do you Trunk or Treat? Do you go door to door in your neighborhood? Or both? Also, how do you handle ALL THE CANDY?!?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Grain/Gluten Free Waffles

Grain/Gluten Free Waffles

~ 3 eggs {we prefer free range, cage free}
~ 2 tsp apple cider vinegar {we prefer Braggs}
~ 2 TBSP honey OR 2 TBSP sugar
~ 1 C milk of your choice (we use coconut or almond milk)
~ 1 TBSP butter (melted) {we prefer raw butter from grass fed cows}
~ 1 TBSP coconut oil (melted)
~ 3 C finely ground almond flour {we prefer Honeyville}
~ 2 tsp ground cinnamon
~ 1 tsp baking soda
~ 1 tsp baking powder
~ (optional) 1/4 cup tapioca starch {this will make the waffles a bit crispy}

Place your eggs, vinegar and honey in a blender and blend on high for about 3 minutes. Add milk, butter and coconut oil and blend for another 2 minutes. Add all other ingredients and blend for 3 minutes. You want this to have a bit thicker consistency than wheat flour based waffle batter. Add more flour or milk to reach your desired consistency. Add batter to your heated waffle iron. This recipe makes approximately 8 large waffles. I freeze what we don't eat and pop them in the toaster on the mornings we're in a rush.

Landon likes these plain or drizzled with a bit of honey. They are delicious either way. You can top them with whatever you like.  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Preschool Picture Day!

Today was picture day at school. I didn't want to focus on my baby boy actually having school picture day so I instead focused on having a happy morning with him. 

Landon was crazy excited to get to wear a tie! 

He is my tiny little man. 

My fancy 3 year old. 

When we arrived at school, his teacher asked if he would be taking her out to lunch, because, after all, he looked like a grown up. Duh.

P.S. His tie came from the clearance rack at Von Maur and it is totally amazing! It's a real life tie that has a zipper built in to adjust it from bigger to smaller. Genius!

One must have waffles (recipe to come!) if one is expected to smile for photos.

Getting ready!


Quick pic with Mommy before going in to school.

I adore this sweet face.

"I will smile like this for my pictures today!"

Monday, October 14, 2013

Roasted Spaghetti Squash

Would you like a stupid easy dinner idea?

I thought so. 

Here's what you will need:

1 Spaghetti Squash
Olive Oil
Topping of choice (marinara, alfredo, etc)
Baking Dish
Wine to drink while you wait for the squash to roast

Ok, those last few are a given, but I'm feeling silly this evening. 

Here's what you will do:

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Microwave your spaghetti squash for a few minutes to soften the skin. Slice it in half length wise and place it cut side up in your baking dish. Drizzle it with olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pop it on the oven and let it roast for about 45 minutes or until it begins to brown. Take it out, scoop out the seeds and shred the insides then eat up! You can top this with marinara sauce, alfredo sauce or enjoy it plain. 

Landon and I chose to eat it all by itself and it was amazing!

We hope you all enjoy this as much as we do. 


After coming out of the oven.

Seeds and such. 

Ready to eat.

He said, "I will show you my spaghetti squash and you can take a picture." Okay, Little Dude. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Monday, October 7, 2013

Interview with Boy Wonder - #1

I did an adorable interview with Landon this evening. You can check it out HERE

This was spontaneous and not at all planned. I love his answers for his favorite color and who his best friend is! Next time, I am going to have a list of more specific questions. I plan to have a few I will ask every time. It will be fun to see how his responses change, or stay the same, throughout the years. 

If you've never interviewed your children, give it a whirl. It's a neat, simple way to make them feel special and significant. A child with a healthy self esteem is truly a wonderful thing. I can imagine these will get more fun and interesting as the years go on.

Stay tuned... 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Grain/Gluten Free Chocolate Delight Brownies

My dear friend Laura posted on Facebook last week about some amazing brownies she made using almond flour and coconut oil. I asked for her recipe and she happily shared it with me. Thank YOU, Laura! I tweaked things a little bit and am now sharing it with you! 

Landon and I have made these twice this week! He loves to help me in the kitchen and I adore having him at my side as I create new recipes. We sing songs about love as we mix every thing together because we believe that's the best way to infuse love in to our goodies. I guarantee they taste better when we do this! He also gives me an abundance of hugs and kisses in between adding ingredients. It's darling and precious. Memories I'm certain he and I will treasure forever. Get your kids in the kitchen with you. It's a wonderful way to be in teaching moments without them even realizing it!

We hope you enjoy these brownies as much as we do!   

Grain Free Chocolate Delight Brownies

~ 2 eggs (I always use cage free, free range)
~ 1/4 C coconut oil (I like organic)
~ 1/4 C butter (I use raw, grass fed)
~ 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (I prefer Bragg's)
~ 2 tsp pure vanilla extract 
~ 3/4 C sugar (I used beet sugar because it's what I had on hand. You can also use coconut sugar or cane sugar. Add more or less depending how sweet you want your brownies.)
~ 1/3 C cocoa powder
~ 1/4 C + 1 Tbsp coconut flour (Bob's Red Mill)
~ 1/4 C almond flour (I like Honeyville)
~ 1/4 tsp baking soda
~ 1/2 tsp baking powder
~ 1/4 tsp salt
~ 1/4 C chocolate chips

Melt the butter and coconut oil. In a blender, combine the eggs, apple cider vinegar, butter and coconut oil. Blend for about 2 minutes. Then add the sugar and vanilla to the egg mixture. Blend for about a minute. Add all other dry ingredients and blend for about 3 minutes or until thoroughly combined. You may need to stop halfway through to scrape the sides of the blender. Stir in the chocolate chips, pour in to a greased 8 x 8 glass pan and bake for approximately 25 minutes. Store in the refrigerator in an air tight container. 

Side Notes: If you have a nut allergy, use 1/2 C coconut flour total and eliminate the almond flour. If you like your brownies cake-like, use 3 eggs. You DO NOT have to use a blender, however, using one makes a smoother finished product. If you don't have a blender, simply mix the wet ingredients followed by all dry ingredients. These will still taste awesome!

Enjoy with a big glass of Coconut Milk!

Chocolately goodness!

See how happy these brownies made Landon!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Landon's First Pre-School Field Trip - Pumpkin Patch

Landon had his first Pre-school field trip yesterday at Applejack Pumpkin Patch. It was soooo fun!

Landon was so excited to go down this giant slide! It was super humid yesterday, which made the slide not so slippery. He got stuck about halfway down and was not amused, as you can see by the photos.

Such a big boy! 

All of the kids hopped on for a hay ride out to the pumpkin patch, or pumpkin garden, as Landon calls it. It was a tad bit muddy out there but they didn't seem to mind. It was tough to get a photo of Landon with his pumpkin because he kept saying the stem was "stickery". 

I was super excited to get out to the corn maze because I just knew it would make for some pretty neat photos. Landon enjoyed it too because he got to run free!