10 Things We Learned The First Week of Whole30

Whole30week1 for a family of 5

I had read about Whole30 a while ago from Once a Month Cooking.  Last month I stumbled upon on it again, did some research on it and sorta told my husband about it, and then announced at dinner we as a family were going to do Whole30 for 30 days starting August 2.  (August 1st was my birthday.) We as a family had one week to get ready . So here are 10 things we have learned about our family just the first week of Whole30.

1.  I had to cooked 3 meals a day for 7 days.  The kids LOVE this.  Most days breakfast was just cereal or Nutella on toast.  And lunch was a frozen meal or a can meal.  Yes I went all out.  But on Whole30, I have to actually cook.  And plan, which worked mostly ok.

2. With all that cooking came a LOAD of dirty dishes!  I felt overwhelmed with the dishes this week.  Just when I think we are finally getting caught up -I cook again!!

3.  We got new white dishes.  I bought white square dishes at Target.  Mainly cause they were a little bit deeper,and held salads well.  But we soon realized our food looks great on white!

4. We have shopped ALOT this week!  We needed to get our meat.  We did that mostly at Costco.  We are not a 100% organic or grass feed-but close enough.  This is a huge transition and it is not easy.  I have been to the store 4 other times for other items-mostly veggies and fruits.

5. Our kids are on board for the most part. The biggest thing for them at first was no sugar and wheat.  The second day there was cake at church and   two of my three kids did well with no cake.  Isaiah was sad and mad he could not have no cake.  But he didn’t eat one.  They drink water and eat what we give them.  Isaiah has cheated….but we kinda expected that!

6.  Eggs are our friend! You eat a lot of eggs.  Good thing my kids LOVED eggs already!  Boiled eggs are a great on the go food.  It seems we have been through 9 dozen eggs the first week!!!

7. Fruit Salad-Yummy Yummy! Robby grew up with the Wiggles and we have been eating a LOT of fruit!  Well not too much-but more than normal and I bought a far share of fruit.  But now the kids like to make fruit salad-cause they like being involved in the cooking process!  Which is a little hard for me cause I like to sometimes be alone in the kitchen.

8.  We are eating at the dinning room table! – For a long time we ate at the kitchen table. Then only kids and the adults in the living room.  Then I don’t know what happened when Whole30 started.   We starting this week eating at the dinning room table.  And the one day we were not, the kids were disappointed-so we did.

9.  We are not eating out and no Starbucks! This is big for our family.  Cause remember #1, one of the reasons why I didn’t cook all the time was cause we also ate out a lot!  And I drank Starbucks a LOT.  I am good with coffee black!

10.  I am feeling better. First week was a rocky road.  It was hard.  Some days I felt like crap.  I felt much better by day 7. I am seeing a difference in the kids and my husband! So we will pushed through the next three weeks and decided where we are going from there!

We can do this!!

Here are some of the dishes I cooked for my family!

Whole30 for family of 5

First Shopping Trip of Many for Whole30

whole30 for family of 5

Roasted sweet potato, bacon, sweet onion and spinach -For breakfast


Simple Breakfast


Kid’s Favorite Lunch-Taco Salad


Our Anniversary Dinner -Coconut crusted fish, mango and pineapple and grilled squash


Cherry’s while they were on sale!!!





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10 Things to do with Boiled Easter Eggs

So we made 5 dozen Easter eggs this year.  Why?  Cause my kids eat eggs like they are going out of style.  But it is a lot of eggs.  So I wondered what else can you do with boiled eggs.  Beside peel and eat!

  1. Egg Salad
  2. Deviled Eggs
  3. Picked Eggs
  4. Put them in a Cobb Salad
  5. Put them in Potato Salad
  6. Add an egg to a bowl Ramen
  7. Strawberry Shortcake (put yoke in dough)
  8. Seriously-by now I have looked through 20 web pages and these recipes look not like ones my family would eat.
  9. So play Egg Roll game
  10. And Play Egg Spoon Relay

Really, my kids like to just peel and eat them. Oh and they still hide and hunt them!

What some interesting ideas for the Egg Shells?  The Prairie Homestead has over 30 plus ideas!


What do you do with boiled eggs?


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Lunch time is really cooking lessons in our house

And then comes lunch time.  I hate lunch time.  I dream of all these healthy homemade cooked lunches for my children-but more than normal I end up buying process foods.

It seems that when I mention I educate my children at home, I get a “oh that’s great, but I could never do that” or this look with “that’s nice.”  And it’s then that I find myself justifying our family’s education choices. Something I should not have to do but do.

Today is a half sick day.  My two little ones are under the weather, and didn’t sleep well last night.  Robby is fine and has been doing his assigned school work.  Our morning has been off and on with tired cranky children-with a tired more than normal sleep deprived mother.

And then comes lunch time.  I hate lunch time.  I dream of all these healthy homemade cooked lunches for my children-but more than normal I end up buying process foods.  Last week I for the first time followed the whole week of E-meals- breakfast, lunch and dinner.  It was great to have some ideas on hand.  This week I plan to follow it again-but have not been shopping yet for the week (something I avoid like the plagues with the children.)  But I had a breakfast still left over from last week of eggs.

So-I think -Robby needs to expand his egg cooking abilities.  He has the basic eggs down.  Today, here is what we did.

  • I got out of the fridge
    • three cloves of garlic
    • a head of broccoli
    • some green onion
    • tomatoes
    • fresh parsley
    • a pack of honey baked ham that I can eat (no sodium nitrates)
    • shredded cheese
    • eggs
  • I had Robby chop up all but the cheese and eggs
  • While he was scrambling the eggs I showed him how to start sautéing the veggies.
  • After they were done he heated up the ham.
  • Then cooked the eggs
  • After the eggs where almost done, he added in the veggies (minus tomatoes) and ham.
  • Those that wanted cheese and tomatoes could put them on after.

He was so proud of himself.  He said this was the biggest dish he has cooked so far. (I think he has cooked bigger but maybe because of the cutting it seemed bigger.)  Isaiah was his sous chief.  Helped with cleaning up.

I think now once a week we will have “cooking lessons” for lunch time.  And also plan to follow some Emeals for other lunch ideas along with Cooking for a Month.  And for a great monthly schedule from Confession of a Homeschooler– she has it all laid out for the month!  I have done that before, it does make life easier!

p.s we cooked with the green frying pan.  Love this pan.  Just saying.

And then comes lunch time.  I hate lunch time.  I dream of all these healthy homemade cooked lunches for my children-but more than normal I end up buying process foods.

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Kitchen Redo: The Pantry Part 2

pantry 2

Well I have been working at it.  OVERWHELMED at how much stuff was in our pantry.  How much duplicate stuff I had.  Knowing I had to change-we had to change.  I have kids in my pantry ALL DAY LONG.  So I worked on zoning it.  I threw away old food (wow there was a lot!  That was like throwing away money!!) And here is were I am now.  I am not done. I still have work to do.  It will never be picture perfect, but there has to be a better way to have a health ongoing functioning pantry.

So here is my first YouTube Video that I have done-on me showing you something!  Figured it was better than pictures!  But I will throw in some pictures at the end too!







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Kitchen Redo: The Pantry Part 1

I got an awesome Christmas gift from my husband. To remodel our kitchen. How and what we are going to do I don’t know yet. But in looking at 100’s of pictures I saw many pantries I like and so last weekend my amazing hubby redid my pantry for me. Now I have done my pantry before. Back when I was stranded in a blizzard in Alabama.

Now I learned some things from this weekend project. It was only a weekend project for my husband. You know the clown car that the clowns keep coming out?  That was my pantry. Which lead me to some more things I learned.  I had too much.  And I didn’t know what I had.  And I had a lot of old stuff. It hit me that all this was effecting so much more.  Like our food budget and menu planning.  It is time to change.

So the first thing that I had to do to get ready was empty out the pantry. And let me tell you it was bad.  Everything was falling/thrown on the floor.  It was sooo frustrating!

part 1I took everything and put it in our dinning room.

Mail Attachment-2And then my hubby went to work.  He tore out the old selves.  And painted it grey.  So the selves will POP.   The he put in the track selves so the selves are adjustable. And with those I gained 4 more selves! And just like that his weekend job was over. (Sorry I have did not get a good picture )

Mail Attachment-3So now I am zoning it and slowly put everything back in.  The finished Pantry will come next week (hopefully I will be done!) in Part 2!




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Summer Pinterest Challenge

My Pinterest Challenge-A  few flips and flops.

Hands holding icons

When I was invited to join Pinterest over a year and a half ago little did I know how many ideas I would inquire.  It was like looking at magazines, cutting out the articles that I loved and pinning them to a bulletin board.

It became an addiction.  An obsession.  If only I could do this, or that.  And so I would see something and try to recreate it.  Sometimes I failed.  Sometimes it was a success.  Sometimes my mind and my “if I can ‘just’ do that” got me into projects that well, I didn’t know how to end.

So for a summer challenge I chose a few things I have pinned over the years and tried them.  Some I did before vacation, some while on vacation.

Pins tried:

Inside Out Strawberry Cheese Cake

Dipped Inside s’mores

Cowboy Casserole

Sticky Buns

Making Amish White Bread

Friendship Bracelets

Braided Headbands

Summer Pillowcase Nightgowns


First my  Fails at Flip and Flops.  I think with time I could do them-maybe. My two big fails where the Friendship Bracelets and Summer Pillowcase Nightgowns.

Friendship Bracelets: Don’t you remember making these in school.  I do and when I saw them I thought this would be a great things to try while on vacation with my sisters and their kids.  But, after and hour of reading and trying to remember how to do it, and wondering why making knots was becoming so frustrating for everyone, I quit.  I will pick it up another day. (Update my dear teen nieces last night figured this out.  So while I failed….I got 4 colors in-it twisted….they made 5 different ones.  And I do not have one picture.  But they had fun, so that was a success!

Summer Pillowcase Nightgowns: I thought these looked adorable and easy to make.  BUT I am a straight seam sewer.  And even though they looked easy, ummmm……… I have a friend that I may show this to and have her help me. (Note: I thought I had pictures…but I guess they didn’t go with me on vacation!)

My Successes at Flip and Flops. Some I adapted  some-went off of pictures but all were good and worked.  All got the thumbs up from kids as something to do again.

Inside Out Strawberry Cheese Cake: I had this pinned a long time ago.  But when I went to check this pin out, there was no recipe.  So I made it up.  My family are asking for these again.



Dipped Inside S’mores: This was so easy, the kids all were involved.  Didn’t look as neat as the picture, but what S’more have you eaten that are neat?


Cowboy Casserole: This was so easy and worked great!  We doubled the recipe to feed the large group of kids and adults!DSCN3671

Sticky Buns: I made this this morning, it was easy and AMAZING!



Making Amish Bread: I want to make bread more often.  I was looking for a recipe to use with my kitchen aid.  I found a recipe off of Pinterest, but now, I cannot find it again.  So it worked well, the recipe was good and I got two great loaves of bread.



Making Headbands:  This was only from a picture and since I used only items I found while on vacation they turned not like the picture, but turned out cute.  Not like the picture and the kids were using them more as crowns, loving their new style.


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Our Families Top 10 Favorite Foods


1. Beef-mostly in the form of steak. Yes my family is spoiled a wee bit. But steak is used for special occasions and mostly ground beef dishes can be found for dinner here. We love all different cuts of meat and once settled with our move plan to buy half a cow!

2. Chicken-We have been buying whole chickens and cutting them- ok my husband cuts them. It does save money. I also make chicken stock from the left over bones.

3. Watermelon-it is in season right now and we all love it! How can you go wrong with watermelon!

4. Cantaloupe– goes fast in our house. I learned last night that cantaloupe with their seed is very healthy for you-but we scoop them out like most America’s. Light night we had a demonstration with a chief and a Vita Mixer-I had never thought to mix the seeds too!! May one day we will get to experience a Vita Mixer-till then we cut Cantaloupe and it disappears!

5. Broccoli -When Robby was little he choose broccoli over fries when ever we went out to eat. It still is a family favorite, sometimes I treat them with a little cheese over it too!!

6. Salad-we have weird children. Yep we all love salads. Given the choice and a salad is picked!

7. Eggs-devil eggs, scrambled, sunny side up, egg salad sandwiches! Always a winner in our house.

8. Candy– yep, we have healthy- but candy is a favorite weakness. No for some it’s an obsession, a lets hunt to find where mommy is hiding the candy! We balance it, hide it, barely buy it! But sweets are a family favorite!!

9. Tacos– this is one of the most favorite meals. All the trimmings. Yumm

10. Mash potatoes– I was once told my mash potatoes where better than Outback’s! My kids could eat mash potatoes every day if I let them! But it’s a lot of work- so maybe twice a month!




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10 Unique Things in My Fridge

I have two fridges. Main one up stairs and our over flow one down stair. It hold extra milks drinks and stuff. I picked 10 Unique things-plus cleaned my fridge out a bit. I even tried to make a cute movie but let’s face it…. I still need learning.

Here they are:
1. Water-we have reuse able water bottles, but I saw these at the store on sale and thought they looked cool!! (My kids wondered what I bought!)


2. Sweet Tea-how can one wrong? Personally I am a half and half girl.


3. Bacon I can eat!


4. Veggies


5. New things to try


6. Ummmm science project (come on we all have “those containers!”)


7. Fruit-lots of it!


8. Great fruit juice! I love this juice!


9. Left overs!!


10. These containers rock! I have plans to organize more or our fridges and freezer. Easy to pull out and see what is there.





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How to get your Family to Help with Dishes


I hate doing dishes.

But I do them.

In a family of 8 they get stacked up pretty quickly.

When we put the house on the market I had asked that everyone be responsible and put their dirty dishes in the dishwasher. It wasn’t that hard. But some how my family just didn’t get it and I did not do well enforcing. I just felt I should not have to nag them to be responsible in that.

So months went by and unless I asked-no one did dishes. Well every now and then the little kids did -and my husband does when he sees a need.

So as a gentle reminder that we (regardless if we are male or female) are all responsible for keeping the kitchen clean I am going to leave notes. Here is my first one.


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To Drink Starbucks or Not-WELL??

Last night I read an article.

It sat wrong with me.

And I did a little bit more research.

And really became frustrated .

Did I get caught up with the media sweep of  who said what?  Sure. Who doesn’t?

I wrote an article when the whole Chick-Fil-A  event happened.  I never published it.  But I wrote how  everyone was getting bent out of shape because someone express what their values and morals was. Not the company speaking.

And I think that is what frustrated me last night.  Was I had read that the company did not want people who supported their company.  Not the values or morals of one man.

I felt like the company did  not want people who do not agree with their way of thinking.  And like CEO said “it is a free country.”  I think that it was a bad interaction-between a stock holder and a CEO.   I wasn’t there.  I only heard what someone wanted me to hear.

And it worked.  And it didn’t.

See I don’t want to argue the gay marriage issue.   There are enough people already doing that.  I know my morals and values.  No one is convincing me.

And there are enough things already challenging our  morals and values that are put in front of us everyday! Like TV, internet, and media.

So when I read that one of the thing that I enjoy and use as my stress relief and relaxation was now becoming a symbol of something more than a cup of coffee-I was frustrated!

And I needed to question do I need to drink that next cup of coffee or not.  So I wrote To Drink Starbucks or Not.  But I didn’t stop researching after I wrote that article. No. Because I needed to know was I going to drink Starbucks or not.  Was I going to support a business that said that traditional marriage wasn’t valued?  Again, if it was just the man speaking that was different.  But I saw it as the company was speaking it’s beliefs.

Said-yes I know they didn’t say that.  Maybe implied.

Maybe someone wanted us to think that.

Maybe there are people on each side that knew people would love their coffee that much to get upset.

Maybe there where people who knew people had strong views on marriage and would jump up to voice their concern.

Maybe, or maybe not.

What I do know is Starbucks does have an agenda beyond coffee.  Most company’s do.  Starbucks’ knows they how a lot of power in marketing.   That can be good, and that can be bad.  I mean it is just coffee right.  Or is it more?  Is it just the way business is run in today’s world.   I don’t agree with many of their agenda’s.  Nor do I of other companies.

But it is a free country.  So I can buy Starbucks or Dunken Donuts. Or I cannot buy any and save my money.

Chances are on that really stressful day, you will still see me walking around with Starbucks in my hand at Target.  But I am not drinking Starbucks to say I support gay marriages, nor do I eat at Chick-Fil-A  cause I am Christian.

It is because of the service and the relationships of the people behind the counter.  

And those relationships are more valuable than any of the arguments going on in today’s world.


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