Life Lately Pt. 3

Posted on | February 21, 2014 | No Comments

Part one is here.

Part 2 is here.

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This is part 3…

I had my follow up appointment to be sure I was healing from the pneumonia. All looked well according to the doctors. Yay! Hubba hadn’t been believing me when I’d told him I was healing & feeling better. He decided I would be allowed to do  laundry again. Goofy guy. Just like an overprotective Mom!! After a couple weeks, I was feeling SO much better & decided I was going to make a small task/goal/to do list for the following week. I do mean small. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to learn to say no, slow down when I’m sick, etc.

We’d just had a SMALL family birthday party for Sebastion. My Mum was up visiting again (LOL) & we’d had my in-laws visit just for a Saturday. Monday morning, luck would have it I awoke with a “cold.” Tris had come down with one over the weekend, & my body just wasn’t ready to deal with something as small as a cold just yet! By Tuesday, I was yet again in the urgent care. This time I had BRONCHITIS!! 4 weeks to the day from walking into the urgent care with pneumonia! This “cold” season was NOT treating me well. Another round of antibiotics, a couple more weeks & I was on my way to breathing properly again!

Now… after all this, we headed into the busiest time of the year. Thanksgiving was spent at my parent’s house. Christmas was at our house, but we decided to KISS. Lasagna (one GF & one regular), salad & garlic bread. I had each of the sets of parents bring a beverage to share & a dessert to share. It turned out lovely.

Once the holidays were over, I was anxiously awaiting the new year. I just knew that once the new year rang in, things would calm down. I was really just kinda wrong about that. What I didn’t realize is that the house was ATROCIOUS from Momma being out of commission for 6 weeks. I mean, this gal held the couch down for SIX weeks straight. Fo’realz, no lyin’, literally.

Once I was able to get off the couch, it was gogogo. It was even more gogogo, because I was gogogoing SLOWLY. LOL! There was a fridge to scrub, floors to peel dirt & other unidentified guck off of & dust bunnies the size of Alaska to unearth & wrastle up the tube of the vacuum. There was schoolin’ to grade, schoolin’ to catch up on & schoolin’ to school. There were lists to be made- groceries to replace, toiletries we’d gotten low on, stockpiles to replenish (this is why sometimes I don’t skip my Amazon Subscribe & Save shipments even if I don’t need them now. An extra tube of toothpaste comes in handy when Momma’s sick).

January also held the wee-est bub’s birthday, so there was no slowing down in January. At the end of January/beginning of January, we were also invited to Robert’s grandmother’s 95th birthday celebration. So we went to Georgia to visit & stayed with my Mum. We left, but we left the 2 youngest dudes there to visit. A week later, I was picking them up & staying the weekend.

Now that that’s all done with, I’ve been able to concentrate on our home. I’ve also been able to better concentrate on my Crazy Wrap Business! I LOVE selling the wraps, & I’ll be back soon with my own testimony. Of course, if you have any questions before I get back, be sure to leave a comment! I love talking wraps (wait, no. I just love talking. Period, HAHA!!).

So, I’m HOPING to get back to blogging regularly again & posting to our **NEW** Facebook page regularly again!

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Life Lately Pt. 2

Posted on | February 19, 2014 | No Comments

It’s been 4+ months since I updated everyone on our life. Four. Months. I’m sorry. My name is Mud & all that other stuff. Let me explain… This is a VERY in depth story of my hospitalization, so be warned.

The last paragraph in that post states that I was hospitalized. I came down with pneumonia. It took 4 days to escalate from a  “cold” to full blown pneumonia. An EMT friend of mine said this last season was BADBADBAD for upper respiratory illnesses & that the pneumonia she’d dealt with was no joking matter (not that it ever is, but it was all out of whack & BADBADBAD).

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I woke up Saturday with a “cold.” Monday evening, I had to wrestle with the puppy, as he was shedding dirt (literally). I got so winded that I couldn’t breathe. Chalk it up to over exertion while in the throes of a super nasty cold, right?? Wrong. Less  than 24 hours later, we were pulling into the urgent care. I was seen pretty quickly, as usual. They took my oxygen saturation (you know the thing they clip on your finger, & it has a digital read out? That).

The lady walked out of the room & returned very quickly with a doctor. HE took my oxy-sat reading, & I was told “We can’t help you. You need to go to the emergency room. Do we need to call you an ambulance?” I declined & they took my oxy-sat one more time. It went from 85 to 82 just while I was sitting there. Anything less than 90 is bad. 95 or more is where the docs like you to be. If you’ve read my blog or Facebook page, you know I’m not fond of docs, but I DO believe they have a place in society. If they are utilized as needed & not worshiped as society does, they can be a life saver. Literally.

Anyhoo, the kinda funny part (looking back now) was that Hubba was AT HOME looking for our insurance card. Urgent care was closing soon, so we had to get me in, but since I’d never been seen there, they needed my card. We couldn’t find it before we left. So, he dropped me off & went home to look for it. Something about the new ones not getting switched out or something. I don’t remember now. The fact that I can remember any of this is pretty amazing. I was so foggy for WEEEEEKKKKSSS at this time.

Anyway, I call him & tell him not to worry about the card; they can’t see me; we have to go the ER; been there for UTI’s; etc; so on; so forth. He zooms back to pick me up. The urgent care is not charging me for the visit since they can’t help (I thought that was super of them!), & they wrote a note on prescription paper to the ER that I am to show them as soon as I get there. That piece of paper was like the golden ticket. I was rushed to triage, zero waiting in the waiting room. Yeehaw!!!

No. Wait. Nevermind.

I was triaged, put in an ER room, hooked to an IV & monitors & ordered for x-rays, injectable steroids & a CT scan + whatever else they ordered. Apparently, though, I’m allergic to steroids. After they injected the steroids, I was sitting up, talking (I was in fairly good spirits, surprisingly, maybe a little upset that I was down- I loathe being sick!!!), laughing a little, crying over being sick, then BOOM! I started feeling like I needed to throw up. I was dizzy & started feeling less & less control over my body. I told Robert frantically “I don’t feel well! I REALLY don’t feel well!!!”

He rushed out of the room to tell the nurse’s station & by the time he & a nurse returned I was in the process of flopping back on the gurney, semi-passing out & petite mal seizing!! Hubba said the next thing HE knew, the room was FILLED with medical staff & they were throwing furniture out of the room. What’s really strange (to me, anyway) is that I can REMEMBER having my eyes closed while this is all going on & HEARING every word they were saying. I was trying to speak & tell them to leave me alone, to get their hands off of me & that I was fine (I most certainly was not!) & pushing them away with my hands.

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The poor little girl in the ER room was SO upset. She kept apologizing & said at my age & being relatively healthy, they were all SHOCKED that I went down like that.

Anyway, this was all on a Tuesday night. I was released from the hospital Friday afternoon. During my stay I was on breathing treatments, 2 types of intravenous antibiotics & complete bed rest (Hubba helped me to the bathroom when no one was looking, hehe!! I used that bedside portable toilet thing twice while I was there- yuck!). I also ended up having to demand they wrap my IV ports (yes, plural) & allow me to shower.

During my stay, the fruit salads that the hospital offered got a little old (I couldn’t stand the food, & by the 3rd fruit salad, I didn’t want that either). All I could handle in the mornings were the not-very-good-bacon, orange juice, coffee & whole milk. Hubba was staying each night. He’d head home in the morning, shower change & pick up anything we needed. He brought me clothes, snacks & my favourite things- RAW MILK & COOKED BACON!!! Love that man! He also brought some other goodies, but when you have raw milk & cooked bacon, WHO CARES, RIGHT!?!?!

So, finally, Friday my oxy sats were consistently above 92 & I was made to walk the floor, so they could check my saturation levels after “exertion.” I asked if I could get out of my room & walk. I was told that last day to walk about as much as possible. YAY! We popped down to the cafeteria & the gift shop. Boy, did I walk slow, but I was so happy!

We went home after stopping by the pharmacy to pick up a round of antibiotics & an inhaler. Hubba swore me off mommy & wife duties for awhile. Thankfully, my Mum was there during this whole ordeal. She had shown up Friday to help with apples- 3 bushels for canning- that I’d purchased. Little did we know why she was REALLY coming!). She left Monday morning, after I swore I’d be ok. My boys are old enough to be semi-self-sufficient, so that too was a blessing!

There is STILL more to this story, but I realize this has gotten long. I’ll pause for now, & take a deep breath (you take these things for granted, by the way!). Stay tuned, as I am currently writing Pt. 3 & hopefully the ending to this saga of respiratory woe.

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Cheeseburger Soup

Posted on | October 21, 2013 | No Comments

In an attempt to heal from a recent hospital stay, Graze All Day Sunday is currently back in rotation. Hubba had asked for cheeseburger soup recently, & I was happy to oblige. It turned out quite tasty, & everyone agreed. Not only is this soup wonderful for GAD Sunday, because we cook once, eat all day, it’s double duty- cook once, eat all day AND eat another day (or 3, depending on your family size). This soup is definitely a winner for freezer cooking. With the holidays coming up, we all need some easy to whip up meals in the freezer 🙂

We served this delicious soup with dill & bacon, but you can add a dollop of sour cream or plain yoghurt. On the side, we had bread, fermented pickles & fresh tomatoes from the farmers market.

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Life Lately

Posted on | October 13, 2013 | 1 Comment


It’s been a couple months since I posted regularly. If you follow me on Facebook, you know I more or less disappeared for the month of August. Starting this last spring, we went through a ton of life changes & had a lot of “interesting” news.

We found out that my sister-in-law was diagnosed with breast cancer. Hubba was extremely distraught over this. There was a lot more to it, but we’ll leave it at that. Shortly after, we found out my father-in-law diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer. Along with that, Hubba’s bonus mom went through 2 surgeries.

Many of you also knew that we were planning, praying & hoping to head back West. When we found out father-in-law had prostate cancer, we decided to postpone our plans. We began looking in the Knoxville area for a rental home. This was proving fruitless, & after a couple months of looking, we were growing weary, stressed & worried.

See, the landlords we have are WONDERFUL! The house has some issues, though. It’s a mid-century home, so things that once worked have begun to show their age. We’ve had water heater issues, toilet leaking issues, other leaks, etc., etc. The landlords have been GREAT at fixing these things in a timely fashion. However, each time something leaked, our utility bills became outrageous. We paid off our van at the beginning of the year, & I truly believe that was our saving grace. We had a month of great bills after the van payoff, then all hell broke loose. We were living more week to week than I think ever before. We just could not keep up with the bills. Each time one issue was fixed, another would arise.

Anyhoo, with all the issues, the landlords told us when we moved out, they were going to sell. They have never asked us to leave, never made us feel that we should or anything like that. We decided it would be in everyone’s best interest if we did indeed move, so they could “get out from under it.”

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As the end of our lease approached (Aug 31), our search for a home was becoming more & more exhausting. We’re not overly picky by any means, & we don’t expect a mansion. However, we don’t want to pay $800 for a $500 or $1k for an $800 house at best that would need a LOT of TLC, that quite frankly, we didn’t feel the landlords would be willing to pay for (we’re talking unfinished paint jobs, complete with roller lines where they stopped, dangerously rippled carpets, water stains on the ceiling complete with holes & cracks, and on & on).

We looked at several very small homes as well, & we realized that even though we don’t need a gigantic home, anything smaller than 1500 square feet was pushing it. We homeschool & we try to be as self sufficient as we can, so we do have a bit of stuff for our lifestyle. They are not frivolous things. We were still looking at homes a little smaller, because if the layout was right, we could make one work. We did find one that we absolutely loved & applied. We rec’d an email thanking us for our time, but they’d found a renter they felt suited their needs. We were devastated, but we felt no hard feelings & continued our search.

By the time Aug rolled around, I was ready for a nervous breakdown. We then rec’d an email from our landlords. They had decided since the rental market was horrific (something we’d figured out), they’d decided to keep the house as a rental. They said if we decided to stay, that would be great, but they wished us luck if we decided to move. But I wasn’t relieved yet. I still had to talk to Hubba about this turn of events. This proved to be a great thing, & after just a couple days of praying, we decided we were staying.


Here’s the kicker. We’d sold half our furniture & belongings & packed over half of what was left anticipating a move cross country, then a local move. So the work began “moving” back in. It still took some time before the nervous breakdown feeling would go away. Here we are 2 months after we decided to stay & we still have things in boxes & piles of stuff everywhere. We’re slowly working on it though, but the house being in disarray grates our nerves, too. The first thing we did was spend some of our moving savings to buy new (or new to us) furniture. Homeschooling nerd families have a LOT of books 😀

Recently, I also confirmed an allergy to eggs. I’ve been doing the GAPS diet now for a couple of weeks, & so far, I’m not noticing much of a change. Hubba has been working a LOT, & he recently went out of town for a week. My allergies are acting like a crazy fool. I’ve never suffered too terribly from fall allergies, but this year is different.

We’ve also got some amazing things to share. On top of not having to move (even though we basically moved, we just didn’t have to lift the beds & couch, LOL), my Mum has been to visit a few times, & we’ve been to visit her & other family. My Hubba has begun mending a relationship with someone he deeply cares about.

The 2 youngest boys & I got to go to the World’s Longest Yard Sale. We took my Mum, & we had SUCH a blast!! I found an old butter mold, old glass Pyrex juicer & some other things I was on the hunt for. But really, the fun of it was the most amazing part! We also got a new puppy, & we’re working hard on training him. We love him to pieces.

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Last but not least, and I’m sure I’m leaving some stuff out (but when you’re a little brain dead from stress & happenings, you tend to forget things), I started a new venture. With the help of KeryAnn of Intentionally Domestic (I like to say she coerced me, LOL), I became an independent distributor for It Works! Global.

Along with the daily mundane life- laundry, cleaning, working, etc, life got crazy, hectic & stressful. I can’t apologize for my absence, just like I won’t apologize to those out West for not being able to move back. Life happens. Roll with the punches, cry & scream a little, & hopefully you’ll come out on the other side with a smile. I’m thankful, though, for the support system I’ve had. While I mention not apologizing to those out West, don’t take that as they’re complaining. They aren’t. They’ve all been very understanding, even though they were as excited as we were for us to go back 🙂

Along with the above, we’ve had one other earth shattering (even if only our own) event, that I won’t be discussing on the blog here at this time. While this change is ultimately for the better, it has NOT been (and still isn’t) an easy road.

Note: I had this written up & just before I was about to post it, I got extremely sick & landed in the hospital, but I’ll save that post for another day! I know this one has gotten a little bit long 🙂


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Udi’s On The Go review!

Posted on | August 30, 2013 | No Comments

Mmmm!! Time for another Udi’s review! I was blessed with yet another box full of wonderful goodies, many of which I never knew Udi’s made! With on-the-go in mind, Udi’s has created some amazing packable snacks. If you’re planning a trip, keep Udi’s gluten free snacks in mind. With school starting up, these snacks will pack a lunchbox nicely as well. Keenan was really excited when he learned we’d been offered another round, solely in exchange for an honest review!

We got another box of Double Vanilla Muffins. Since we all loved them so much the first time around, those were the first things we indulged in. We couldn’t help ourselves.

Next up, we tried the Harvest Crunch Muffins. Keenan wasn’t too fond of them, but the rest of us enjoyed them. The Ancient Grain Crisps were amazing. We had those along side some raw cheddar cheese. Wow, what a snack!

I’m also eating a bowl of granola as I type. They sent a flavour, like the muffins, called Double Vanilla. While the granola tastes nothing like the muffins, it was a yummy breakfast before we rushed out to go grocery shopping.

Speaking of grocery shopping, we used some of the packable snacks for some outings. When we go grocery shopping, we head into Knoxville to several of our fave shoppes. Some days these grocery trips can take a good chunk of the day. With 3 boys, I often hear “Mom, I’m HUNGRY!” This go round, I was prepared with some Udi’s snacks that satisfied their hunger AND were easy to toss in the back of the van. The granola bars were a hit, & we headed home home to eat a proper lunch shortly thereafter.

On a trip to Georgia to pick up the boys, I threw a box of Maple Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies, some crisps & granola bars in the bag & we were able to snack on those on the way home. I did, of course, share while I was there. My Mum is not gluten free, but she thought the cookies were really good, too. I believe it speaks volumes when a person that eats gluten can ask for 2nds of a gluten free treat!! It’s too bad I ate all the Salted Caramel Cashew Cookies before I left for Georgia, or I’d have shared them. I couldn’t help it. 1 bite, & I was hooked.

As usual, Udi’s comes through with awesome flavour & a texture that can’t be beat for store bought gluten free treats. I highly recommend these items as a treat for school lunches, packed lunched for outings & snacks for trips, as well as the occasional snack at home! What are you waiting for? Does your local store carry Udi’s products?

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Quick & Easy Insalata Caprese With a Tang

Posted on | July 16, 2013 | 1 Comment

If you are Italian & get easily upset by traditional Italian recipes being tweaked… QUICK- LOOK AWAY! :D*

For the rest of us that don’t have or want to take the time to make it look all pretty, with perfect little slices & layering- QUICK- LOOK NOW 😀

I love Insalata Caprese. The flavours are rich, when you use high(er) quality ingredients. I’ve tried it the traditional way, & I love that, too. When I was at the farmers market this past weekend, I was getting tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes from a local farm. She had basil, too!! And I decided I wanted to make Insalata Caprese. I hopped down to the store later that day. OK, I didn’t hop. My knees can’t handle that, but… whatever. I picked up a tub of mozzarella balls. You know, the stuff in the cloudy, milky-white liquid? Yeah. The GOOD stuff.

By the time dinner rolled around, I was feeling tired & too lazy to slice everything into perfect little slices. So I decided to dice everything. And for an extra boost of tang AND nutrition, I threw in some apple cider vinegar. YUM! So, in all fairness, I’m sharing my lazy lady’s version with you.

*For the record, I mean NO harm. I have some Italian friends that like to pick on me for tweaking their recipes. This is for them. Kinda tongue in cheek fun 🙂

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19 Grilling Favourites for Summer!

Posted on | July 1, 2013 | No Comments

Summer’s here, & the grills are firing up! I’m always on the hunt for new grilling recipes & wanted to gather them, so I have a quick go-to list. Then, I decided I might as well share the list with you. I’ve included my own in here as well.


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Carne Asada
Chili Burgers
Easy Homemade Burger Patties
Smoky Garlic Burgers
Stuffed Cheddar Beef Burgers


Brick Chicken
Hot n Sassy Wings
Smoky Chicken Burgers
“Tequila” Lime Grilled Chicken


Grilled Cod
Grilled Tomato Basil Fish
Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna Steaks


Honey Mustard Grilled Pork Chops
Kansas City Style Spare Ribs
Simply Seasoned Paillards of Pork

Veggies, Fruits & Sides

Grilled Mushrooms Stuffed with Herbed Goat Cheese
Grilled Peaches with Balsamic Sauce, Pecans & Blue Cheese Crumbles
Spicy Roasted Corn on the Cob

Sauces & Marinades

Kansas City Barbecue Sauce

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Hot n Sassy Wings

Posted on | June 26, 2013 | 2 Comments

Hubba loves wings. He prefers wings a little on the drier side. “Bar wings” are usually a little drier, & those are the ones he likes. However, I prefer something healthy & home cooked over chemical/steroid/antibiotic laden vittles, so I set out to find the perfect ratio of wing to sauce. Thankfully, Hubba is catching on to that train of thought quickly.

I think I found the perfect simple homemade wing.

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Udi’s Review- And a Recipe For Chili Burgers!

Posted on | June 20, 2013 | 1 Comment

Recently I was sent a box full of Udi’s gluten free goodies to try & review. Imagine my surprise when we received not only breads & buns, but tortillas, pizza crusts, muffins & cookies! Now imagine my 9 year old’s excitement. Since we don’t buy a lot of processed foods, this is truly a treat for him. While he tried to confiscate it all for himself, Mom stepped in & we’re sharing with the rest of the family, LOL!

Now, don’t get me wrong, we try to follow a mostly whole foods diet, but we don’t sweat the small stuff. We aim for 80% or more. I was so relieved when I found an article on a popular traditional foods site stating that you would be ok eating 80% good stuff & not worrying about the other 20%!!

First, we tried the Double Vanilla Muffins. Oh my! The 9 year old & I thought they tasted like Angel Food Cake. 1 kiddo said pound cake & another said sugar cookies. Such a variety, but needless to say, we all enjoyed them! Keenan’s first bite of the gluten free bun with his hot dog & he exclaimed “THESE BUNS ARE GOOD!” O_o He’s never said that about another store bought GF bun before. We typically find them very dry & tasteless. He knows exactly where to find the Udi’s stuff in the store, & he knows the Udi’s ones have always been the best tasting.

Over the next few days we also tried the Chocolate Brownie Bites, Chia Millet Bread, Blueberry Muffins & the hamburger buns. All items were met with sounds of “Yum!” Everything was moister than most brands of gluten free items. We’ve also already tried Udi’s multi-grain bread, pizza crusts & a few other items in the past. Keenan & I love having a pizza option when we make Friday night pizza. The rest of the guys have tried the pizzas as well, & they’ve enjoyed them as well.

Udi’s makes it easy to enjoy many of the items you may have before going gluten free. I love that they’re priced comparably & some items slightly less than their competitor’s, but the Udi’s brand items don’t taste like cardboard. Many times, we’ve tried things & had to wash it down with long slugs of something, anything, liquid. Then we’ve promptly thrown those things away. We simply couldn’t get them down. We’d become accustomed to using either Udi’s sandwich breads or simply eating the meats on their own, no bread involved, on the days I’m not able to get something baked ahead of time.

Since we were enjoying these new yummies, I wanted to do something really special with the buns we received. I decided I wanted to make a “chili burger.” So, I won’t have you wait any longer. Run to the store, get your ingredients, & while you’re at it, grab a pack of Udi’s buns from the freezer or natural section of the store. Of course, Udi’s is made with no preservatives, so if you’re not planning on using them right away, or if you have leftovers, store them in the freezer.


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Don’t Stress Whole Foods, Link Roundup

Posted on | June 19, 2013 | No Comments

I know most of my readers are female, so I don’t mean to leave out any males in this post. As a mom, I write this from a mom’s point of view, to a mom’s point of view. It comes easy to me. However, this is for everyone that feels less than stellar in their choices.  🙂


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Perfection is an ideological illusion that it seems as mothers we set out to achieve. Many of us don’t do this intentionally. We’re bombarded with magazines flaunting the “perfect” body, the “perfect” home & the “perfectly” photographed recipes. Blogs tell us to do this, do that, aim for the best, never anything less. At the grocery store labels scream low calorie, low fat, healthy, nutritious, natural, but what those labels are really saying means “Buy me, I’m the perfect food for you.” It becomes daily life that these images are ingrained into our minds.

I imagine I have some less than what some consider “ideal eaters” visiting my blog. I don’t want to push folks to change everything 100% overnight. I don’t want to push people to get every single thing from a farm. I don’t want you to think that because every single thing in your kitchen isn’t organic, homegrown or local, that you’re not doing it right. It’s the perfectionist attitude that drives people away. I want you to learn. I want you to come back. I want you to feel welcome & understand that change takes time.

I want you to understand that perfectionism is not required.

This week, I posted my 2nd part in a series on eating on $3/person/day. I rec’d comments such as “Potato overload!!” (I can hear the wail of the air raid sirens) & “Hard to call something in a can ‘real food'” (so sorry, I haven’t attained that perfect status yet, but I’m trying. Oh no. Wait, no I’m not 😉 ). Everyone is entitled to their opinions & feelings. That said, it applies to me as well. I hope that we can do it with GRACE, though. It isn’t a competition. We’re supposed to be here to help one another, to heal & to teach & learn.

So, once again, I’m here with yet another post on how stress & the desire/goal of being perfect is actually harmful to you & your family. This time, I decided to call upon the blogosphere & get their input, via posts on similar subjects. Whatever you find online, use only as a guideline. You don’t have to do what every magazine, blog or store ad says. Use what you can & take the rest with a grain of salt!

Enjoy these wonderful blog posts & don’t forget to check out the rest of their blogs. You know, now that you know they’re not perfect 😉

Overwhelmed? Disgusted? Not Sure What To Believe? (You’ll find part 2 to this post at the bottom as well)

How We “Do” Real Food: 85/15

Finding Balance with Diet, Nutrition, and Happiness

Eleven Tips for Balance, Eating Well, and Minimizing Stress

This is an entire series on Good, Better, Best

No Condemnation

Clang! Clang! Clang!

Real Food on a Budget: Is Perfection Realistic?

What If I Can’t Afford to do the GAPS Diet?

Real Food Convenience Foods and Compromises

Just Keep Plugging Away

Doing a good thing some of the time is still good

Do what you can, and don’t worry about what you can’t do!

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