Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Paleo AIP Meatballs

I made meatballs for a friend. She is loosely following the AIP paleo diet, so I just made up a recipe for some yummy meatballs for her and her two kids. This is what I did!

You Will Need: (Makes about 60 1tbsp-sized meatballs)
  1. One Large Zucchini, grated (also called a Courgette) 
  2. One carrot, first layer pealed off and grated 
  3. 1 pound of beef and 1 pound of your favorite sausage. I use 80/20 beef.
  4. a handful of chopped green onions (I used about 8 individual stalks chopped)
  5. 1/4th cup coconut aminos
  6. 1 teaspoon fresh grated / minced ginger
  7. 1/4th teaspoon ginger
  8. 1.5 teaspoon arrowroot starch (or flour)  
  9. A dash of salt and pepper to taste (I usually put in a pinch of each)
If you are just paleo and not aip, feel free to add 1 egg to this.I've made it with and without the egg lots of times. It's fine without the egg but I like it with, as well.


Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Combine all the of the above and mix well. Using a tablespoon, make round balls and place on a baking tray sprayed with coconut oil or covered in parchment paper. I space mine about 1/2 inch apart. I bake them in the over for 30 minutes, and always use a thermometer to check  that the meatball gets above 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Makes about 60 meatballs, depending on how small/large you make them. I used a tablespoon to scoop it out to make sure they were even.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Managing Motherhood

One of the things I've been learning about motherhood is that not a path. You'd think it would be linear, right? Infant to baby to toddler to kid to teen to adult. And I suppose the overarching milestones of motherhood are a bit linear--but the day to day stuff? It's a mud puddle. A meandering cesspool. A indiscernible mess.

Have you ever tried to manage a mud puddle? Or clean it? It's impossible, you just make more mud. That's how I feel about myself sometimes when I try to manage or control my toddler. It's counter productive--I just make a bigger mess, a larger pit, more chaotic problem.

But yet there is something human, something primal in me that makes me want to control everything as a mother. I'm not talking about instilling values and morals in my kid. I'm talking about making sure he doesn't touch things that he shouldn't, or make to big of a mess, or throw things, or step out of my preconceived boundaries that I've placed on him. And on myself.

I mean, the guilt I feel is directly proportional to the satisfaction of getting the dishes done on time--or not getting them done. Hence the guilt factor. Or, I'll get the dishes done but not the floor cleaned, and still have guilt. Sometimes I rush from task to task in some kind of mommy frenzy, all my energy and thoughts bent on getting things done.

I guess what I am trying to say is that sometimes I turn motherhood into having all my ducks in a row. And motherhood is nothing about lining up the ducks. Sure, it looks nice and feels good to have all the things checked off my list, but is it sustainable? Emotionally and physically? And why, I ask myself, do I feel so much angst when I didn't get the last thing done? Shouldn't it be enough to have gotten almost all the way there?

Mommyhood isn't a freight train. I don't have to go 500 miles an hour. I don't even have to go 25 miles an hour. It's okay to go 1 mile an hour sometimes. Or even zero.

I'm learning to slow down. To stop and look around at the mess and appreciate the things that made it messy. My kid, or my husband, or myself cooking---this creates disorder in my usually orderly environment. And then I order it up again, a revolving queue for the next day's activates. Every day I make plans for the next, and the next, and the next...

Managing motherhood is hard. It's a balance. Maybe even an art. Right now I'm in the mess of it, and it doesn't look very artistic to me at all. I'm looking for that sweet spot--the spot where the dishes are done and my kid is loved and my soul is filled with time alone and time with my husband, and time with God.

It's like searching for the holy grail in a sea of misanthropy.  

Thursday, April 20, 2017

February 2017 Budget: What I Spent

February was a difficult month. For one, we got halfway through and hit our budget of $1800. Oops. So then we scrambled around trying not to spend money for the last two weeks. Learning process.

Bills ($525)

Our bills for this month are:
  1. YMCA ($75) 
  2. Audible ($25) 
  3. Cell phones, mine and husbands ($25) 
  4. Electric bill ($200)
  5. Internet ($60)
  6. License plate renewal ($150)
We pay our water bill every two months, so we don't have to pay it in February. We renewed one of our vehicles plates for a few years. Yay, adulting!

Eating Out ($258)

We ate out too much. On the first weekend we ate out three times! We are only supposed to eat out once a week. Oops! This month we ate out eight times...double the amount we budget for.

Grocery ($733)

We signed up for a CSA at our local farmers market this month. We did the same last year and I loved it! Our CSA is from Great Day Gardens! I'm so excited. The CSA is $375 but we broke it up into four payments over the next four months, so this month was only $100. The CSA does not start until May, but I can't wait to get some fresh veggies! Great Day Garden veggies are amazing.

Reuben ($105)

I took Reuben and myself out on a date to Zoe's Kitchen. We also went to Amazement Square, a children's museum that is in downtown Lynchburg. He had a ton of fun! The above picture is from Amazement Square, he's on a boat going down a river! All the going and running and seeing wore me out, through, and we only stayed two hours. Next time I'll stay longer-- for $9 a day, it's an expensive museum. 

The biggest purchase I made for Reuben this month was some Usborne books for his ever-growing home library. I hope he likes them!   

Personal Money ($457)

Carolynn ($294)
I bought two skins of yarn for a tutorial I am working on for my Youtube channel. I also tried out some new makeup from SeneGence. I liked the lipsense I bought, but I did not like the face wash. It had fragrance in it and broke me out! I switched to a different facewash routine now--and I love it! I was using arbonne, then I tried this SeneGence, but now I am using a bar soap, witch hazel, and rosehip oil--and it is working wonderfully. I also bought a toddler wrap for Reuben. I've been baby wearing a lot as we are going out quite frequently! I can't wait to receive it. It's rainbowed, of course! I spent only $80 on babysitting this month.

Brian ($163)
I didn't pack daddy's lunch that much this month, so he ate out a lot. He also went on a wonderful birthday dinner with some coworkers to his favorite place, Buffalo Wild Wings. He bought snacks, and a gaming mouse for his computer. He also bought some things for working on the house that I included into his budget.

Tithe ($200)

We tithed.

That brings our total spent in January to $2281, more than $400 over our budget of 1800. However, my husband received $100 gift from his mom, and I received $121 payment from YouTube, as well as $40 from two other relatives, making our total $2020 for the month of February. Since this is $20 over budget, it comes out of our saved money. We'd saved $82 last month, and now have saved $62. This saving money thing is hard! Hope to do better next month...

The 2017 budget series:

January : February : March : April : May : June : July
August : September : October : November : December
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