Sweet Potato Sugar Cookies

First & foremost… UMMM YUMMMM….

Sugar cookies (sweet potato cookie redemption) with a twist, here you go:

2 c GF flour
3/4 c stevia (0r other sugar substitute – 1 1/2 c regular sugar if you prefer)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup olive oil ( I used a mix of coconut oil & olive oil)
3 tsp vanilla soy milk ( or 3 tsp of vanilla extract – soy milk makes a more dense cookie)
1/4 c sweet potato puree (seasoned to your liking – IE: cinnamon, all spice, or pumpkin pie spice)

Preheat oven to 375.  Mix dry ingredients, and make well in the middle for wet ingredients.  Wisk wet ingredients in middle of dry ingredients well, once well mixed, marry dry mix with wet until a firm batter is formed.  Spoon small dough balls onto parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Bake 18-22 minutes.  I had to do my batch up to 25 minutes to loose the doughiness in the center, so tex yours with a toothpick at 18 minutes to determine what extended cooking time  you may need.

***Note, if you use regular flour, start you  bake time at 15 minutes and test with toothpick from there.

My batch made 18 cookies, there are only 6 left at the end of super bowl evening.  And now they are gone…Sorry no pics!

Thinking Out Loud

Wow, so I’ve clearly stumbled on my 101 days of blogging.  Every day life just sometimes takes up the majority of my day and honestly, at the end of most evenings, when the kids are in bed and hopefully the dishes are done, my brain is more tired than my body.  Recently, I can’t even tell you how – I think I searched something about healthy rice krispy treats, I found a very cool blog.  Not only could I relate to the authors personal struggles with food, but she is just flat out an amazing writer and funny as hell!  After browsing her blog, I found this page.  It got me thinking about that many times I would like to post something more to my site than just a recipe, but chaos ensues in my head and I just can’t get anything out!  GRRRRR!  What a nuisance the brain can be, yet what a wonderful gift it truly is.  So while I sit here and try to decide what to write…well you know what?  Who cares??  Who will really read this?  So why not Think Out Loud (click the link for a detailed explanation of Think Out Loud) and get a little silly?!

So here goes.  I’m kind of starting this blog over.  Although I won’t delete my previous posts, I think Certifiable Happy Home is taking a new path.  For now though, I’m just going to end my Thursday evening on a fun light note…  The difference between my childhood and my children’s:

  • I can not relate to young people!  And by young I mean like 8 to 11 year olds!  Yeah, I’m going to date myself here, but ummmmm….really what the hell do these kids think that make this world go around?  Electronics!!!!
  • When I was between the ages of 8-11, I still played with my toys, drank out of the garden hose, played outside, rode my bike until dark.  (My 9 year old would rather do go ADD over his Kindle, Ipod Touch and Nintendo 3DS – by ADD I mean he’ll play each consecutively while watching Netflix – ICK!)
  • When mom put dinner on the table, there was no complaining or alternatives, you ate your dinner.
  • Saturday morning when I was a kid – chores, no questions…just DO IT!  My son will try to talk around it for as long as I’m willing to before I tell him to JUST DO YOUR CHORES!
  • My 15 month old knows how to swipe to get mine and my husband’s phone open… hmmmm.

I’ll end it there.  I have many more rants about kids today, but it is what it is, right?!  Check back for healthy recipes, stories, music and whatever chaos crosses my path in 2014!

Head Congestion

ImageIt’s been a long time since I’ve blogged…multiple reasons have kept me from sharing thoughts, recipes and the like – none of which I’ll bore you with.  In this world of online media and social sites, so much information exists at our fingertips.  What a change from 20 years ago!  

20 years ago, I was 15.  Obsessed with boys, body image and finding out who I was to become.  I grew up in New Mexico.  It’s funny to me now, because the smaller towns we lived in, I loved.  The moment we moved to a city, I was devastated.  By the time I was 15, I had met all kinds of creeps I never encountered as a kid in the smaller towns.  It weighed me down and I always missed those close bonds I had with the kids I grew up with on my block.  I fit in with most groups, but never chose to immerse myself in any of those friendships, rather I was quite nomadic with my activities and people I hung around.

Fast forward 20 years and I’ve not changed much.  My boy obsession is over, unless you count my sexy husband and sweet “baby” boy (he’s nine).  Body image issues? Yes, they’re there.  And I’m still trying to find out who I am going to become.  It keeps me up at night knowing I’ve only done accomplished a handful of goals that my 15 year old self had.  

There is no pity party here though.  It’s November, the month of gratitude, which also happens to be my birth month.  I say the month of November is gratitude month, as my news feed is like Noah’s Ark with everyone’s grateful thoughts of the day filling the Earth my mind like the 40 days of rain.  It’s overflowing and I love it!  I wish every day was like this.  To read such thoughts of positive wonderfulness!   It’s quite shiny and clean.  None of the normal negative Nancy bullshit I usually see.  Yes there’s a scrooge or two in there.  One guy posted:  “I’m not impressed by your kid’s pumpkin carving.”  Well fuck you asshole!  Don’t look at it then.  I found it rather annoying, since this person is the father of two…nasty divorce, does not have custody of his kids.  But then Noah’s Ark came crashing through my head, swaying back and forth in the flood of wonderfulness, I thought to myself…I shouldn’t be so quick to judge.  Perhaps this person’s shitty comment was out of hurt.  I mean, if I couldn’t carve pumpkins with my kids, I might be a little bitter too.  

You may be wondering what the title of my post has to do with all this jibber jabber I’m feeding you.  Head Congestion.  No, I don’t have a head cold and hopped up on dayquil (I much prefer the fall beer brew I’ve been sipping).  Rather, my head is congested with thoughts, wonderment, chaos, concern, love – you name it…it’s probably in my head.  All this head congestion has really taken it’s toll on my ability to write.  I start questioning my validity as a writer, a wife, a mom, a fitness enthusiast, a chef, a professional, my ability to have more children, get back to school… Yeah there’s some wacky stuff up in my brain.  Perhaps I need to rename this post right now, Insane in the Membrane.  

Well whatever it is I’m experiencing right now, I am most confident that there are a ton of others out there feeling the way I do.  I’m lost, how about you?  I will find my way.  Until I do, I’m going to keep doing what I do best, being me…A mother, a wife, a soulful bright person.  

Happy November folks!  

#20 Aim For 85%

Aim For eighty-five percent – You don’t have to make 100% healthy choices all the time. It’s what you do most of the time — day in, day out — that counts. The healthier you get, the easier and more automatic healthy choices will become.

AND

Write in a journal every morning. And record gratitude every night.

We all have habits.  Good habits, bad habits, mediocre habits…they are all part of our day-to-day routine.  I am definitely guilty of making unhealthy choices and then beating myself up about them, and so the yucky cycle continues.  It wasn’t until I read this at 101 Revolutionary Ways to be Healthy, that I kind of breathed a sigh of relief!  Ever since our sweet Miss K was born, I’ve experienced some really grandiose ups and some depressing lows.

I think people (and when I say people – I mean women really, as that is who I can relate to), have these crazy high expectations of themselves to do it all and do it all so very well.  I’ve never been a clean freak, but in the past 6 months I’ve morphed into a mini clean freak.  I find myself on a mission to declutter and dehair the house a few times a week, only to find more clutter and hair the next day!  It’s a never-ending task and it bothers me that I can’t keep it all neat and tidy for more than a 24 hour period.  Hubby works outside of the house, I am lucky to work from home…but my work days at home feels like a hard-core mosh pit, pushing and shoving until I am just mentally beat.  On most week days, I don’t get to shower until well after noon, and once hubby gets home – it’s a mad dash to the office to finish my work day.  I look back at my day and feel utterly unproductive.  But I don’t have too much time to let that thought linger, soon I’m on to planning the evening meal; which I’m lucky if it makes it to the table before 8pm!  Dinner time is the time that I make sure homework is done and we quiz wee man on his spelling words and times tables (I have multi-tasking down for sure)!  Then it’s dishes, kisses good night and oh – wait for it….ahhhhhhh, fall into the couch.  On nights when I have something to say and have the energy to put together cohesive thoughts – I blog.

Don’t take the paragraph above as a complaint, it is far from it.  I love my life, for the most part I have great days.  What I don’t care for is feeling as if I could have done more, or could have done something better or spent time on something more productive than watching the entire series of The United States of Tara ( I love Netflix and Hulu, but holy heck, I can get my zone out on with the plethora of shows at my fingertips).  But then I read that I should aim for 85 percent.  Well that I CAN do.  Day in and day out, I am getting better at managing my time in an attempt to get back to ‘normal’ (whatever that is anyway).

The one area I am falling short of my 85 percent goal is 30 minutes for me to get out and run at least 5 times a week.  I always have an excuse, mine or my hubby’s work schedule, the weather (nasty spring winds – no one wants to get pound in the face by 2 tons of desert sand), I woke up late, my knee hurts…blah blah blah!  I think at the root of it, I’m scared to begin running again.  It takes dedication, stamina and conditioning – all of which I had in the past, now I must start from square one.  I know that I am fully capable of getting back to where I was, but it will take some hard work to get there.  I hate starting over.  Maybe I should instead welcome the clean running slate.  I’m not sure how I’m going to work my 30 minutes in, but I am definitely going to start making an honest attempt!  Perhaps I can get some tips from @run5kaday!

Next time…Keep Your Body Clean, Inside and Out – Toxins, poisons and other gunk have no place in the temple. Avoid artificial flavors, preservatives, colors, fragrances, petrochemicals and other toxic ingredients whenever possible.

From Robin Sharma – Do work that scares you (if you’re not uncomfortable often, you’re not growing very much).  <———- Running?

Gratitude list for today:

Thankful for my wonderful accepting hubby & flexibility to work from home 99 percent of the time.

Good night!

FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT!

“My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living” – .Anais Nin

TODAY:

101 Revolutionary Ways to be Healthy #19 – FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT: Don’t yet see yourself as a super-healthy person?  Experiment with doing a little of what you’d do if you were already supremely healthy and fit.  As often as you can, act as if your commitment were unwavering.  From Robin Sharma’s 62 Ways to get Unstuck –  Release the energy vampires from your life. They are destroying your performance.  I want to address –  FUN SUCKERS.

Originally for this post I was going to discuss my goal to not let people’s comments and judgement’s about my life bother me.  My attempt at letting things roll off my back, dust off my shoulders and soldier on. BUT – two things have happened in the last 72 hours…  One – a person I never met passed away.  Even though I never met Chi Cheng, he touched my life.  I LOVE MUSIC.  I ❤ the Deftones and I freaking love to learn about interesting intellectual people.  Chi Cheng was nothing short of this…  Then today, working away, I opened up a new window on my PC to Google something and I read about the explosions in Boston.  WOW…  Who knows what happened, who set this destruction in motion – who cares, WTF?????  I’m a runner (I’ve been on a long break, but I’m a runner dammit)!  I am so curious to know what coward shmuck plotted such a disgusting attack.

My husband showed me an awesome post from Patton Oswalt…  Well said sir.  Aside from my family, I love music and running events.  Both take talent and guts.  I have gotten through a run sans music, but I’m an endurance runner and when there is nothing left, I have my songs to push me to finish my running endeavors.

I’m usually quite a wordy person, and at this point, my words aren’t very nice (enter the GOLDEN RULE)!  I’m having the hardest time wrapping my brain around how someone and/or people could commit such a horrible crime and to involve innocent people… it’s such a shame.  Should we as a community just anticipate that any given moment our lives will be changed forever for no good reason?

I understand, and believe that life is a gift, but why do such absurd and unbelievable events have to impact humanity?  Really, at the end of the day – no matter your beliefs, your religion, your political affiliation – what matters to any of us the most?  I can only answer this question for me…my family matters.  Me being with them, raising my children, the ability to share a laugh and a meal with my husband…an unexpected visit from my brother and understanding my parents just a little more…those are the moments that matter to me.  To imagine having those experiences ripped away because of someone else hatred-fill vengeance makes me sick.  Shit like this keeps me up at night.  Why in the world did I bring innocent kids into such a hate-filled world???

When I can calm down about Boston, the loss of a great musician and seeker of knowledge… I (just like you) can put it all into perspective.  “Release the energy vampires from your life.  They are destroying your performance.”  

This is my life, you have yours.  It is ours to do what we will.  I guess it all boils down to the fact that we only have today and we will do what we can within our means to make it meaningful.  So whether that means we are teachers, seekers or revolutionaries – we all have a purpose and we need to wake each day remembering that fact.  I don’t know what I will do with tomorrow, but I guess I can say for today I will enjoy and be thankful for what I have.  I have a roof over my head, food to make a fantastic meal, but most of all – I have my family, I live for them.  My faith in humanity is wavering, but I will FAKE IT TILL I MAKE IT… I will address the FUN SUCKERS next time, for now – I am going to go sooth my crying baby.  Good night!

 

#18 FOCUS on the FUNdamentals!

Sometimes-burning-bridges-isnt-a-bad-thing

#18 from 101 Revolutionary Ways to be HealthyFocus on the Fundamentals – Drink water, eat good food, move, rest, relax, connect. Don’t sweat the more complex stuff until you’ve got a grip on the basics

AND

from 62 Ways to get Unstuck in 2013 from Robin Sharma –  Spend an hour a day without stimulation (no phone+no FaceBook+no noise).

I’m lucky to work from home.  I get to spend my day pulling my hair out over stupid insurance jargon, but quickly grasp my sanity again with a sweet look from my precious baby.  The struggles of the day dissipates when I pick up my son from school…he’s the tender age of nine and it never fails – he wraps his arms around me and tells me he loves me.  The grit of the day-to-day grind evaporates the second my husband walks through the door and greets me with a smile, joke and kiss.  Yep, I never thought I’d prefer working from home – but I SO DO!

Another perk of working from home – I can check my personal email whenever I want, grab a custom cup of coffee from my kitchen and pin to my heart’s content.  I can do all this because I am a multitasking master!  I’m also on hold quite a bit with my corporate office.

On the days I do make my way to the office, my schedule is packed and quite hectic.  Making sure hubby has what he needs for our baby, working my schedule so that I can pick up groceries and my son and make it home with enough to make a decent meal for the family.  Oh I forgot to mention, it usually takes me about freakin’ four hours to get out of the house.  I probably will need gas since I don’t drive much any more… My point is, those days that I actually get out of the house are crazy.  Once the day is done,dinner made and dishes are done – kids in bed; and I am sitting on my little space of the couch with my feet up and beer in hand, music in my ears – I realize that I never checked my personal email, never got on FB or Twitter, I probably didn’t even send a text message (other than to work to say I’m running late).  I pull my phone out, but I’m so not motivated to get on any of those sites…I’d rather just play Words With Friends for a bit, or actually watch Friends!  So I don’t plug in and I feel quite nice actually!!!

On day two of my 101 Days of Blogging – BUCK TRENDS – I addressed the beauty of being unplugged and experiencing real connections again.  If you’re a tad older like me, born before 1980 – do you remember not having a cell phone?  No computer in the house…WTH is the world wide web.  Remember writing reports based upon hours of reading and research an actual book???  Atari, cassette tapes and VHS  – those things were quite a treat, not the norm in my house!

Back to working from home…Yes it affords me the freedom to stay ‘plugged-in’.  However, I choose not too.  Working from home has reminded me of the fundamentals…the FUN-damentals.  I make my coffee every morning, I get to hang out with my darling baby.  When it’s nap-time, it’s time to work.  Once the little boy is home from school, it’s homework, reading and family time.  There are many days where I realize I never checked my personal email account, never looked at FB or Tweeted, and what a refreshing feeling that is.  My life was just fine before social media.  Do I enjoy social media – HELL YEAH I DO!  But do I allow it to be a compass in my life?  HELL NO I DON’T!  I’d rather spend the extra time indulging MY FUNDAMENTALS –  in a hobby, keeping my crazy house clean and happy, cooking, learning, loving…LIVING, not looking.

Next time, I’m EXCITED for the next two topics –101 Revolutionary Ways to be Healthy #19FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT: Don’t yet see yourself as a super-healthy person?  Experiment with doing a little of what you’d do if you were already supremely healthy and fit.  As often as you can, act as if your commitment were unwavering.  From Robin Sharma’s 62 Ways to get Unstuck –  Release the energy vampires from your life. They are destroying your performance.  I’ll address FUN SUCKERS! 😉

In the mean-time, tell me – do you unplug from social media??  If so, how often and what affect does it have on your day?

 

 

 

 

#17 – REAP the REWARDS!

“The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.”

Gustave Flaubert

Number 17 of my 101 days of blogging (inspiration from 101 Revolutionary Ways to be Healthy) –  REAP THE REWARDS – Look and feel better, sure. But also think better, smell better, give better, love better, live better, be better.  I’m also following Robin Sharma’s 62 Tips to Get Unstuck in 2013 –  Remember that your diet affects your moods so eat like an athlete (this doesn’t mean you need to eat a ton of carbs – just look to consume unprocessed foods, please take a look at the GUTSY GIRL APPROACH – in fact, here is the GUTSY GIRL’S BIBLE).
recipeAs I said in my last post – please send me your unhealthy recipes for a healthy make-over.  I absolutely love to dissect recipes and then put them back together again, just a tad bit healthier, perhaps even a bit more yummy.  I love a good challenge – so PLEASE!  Send me your candidate for a recipe makeover.

On to #17…What do you do to live healthier and how does it affect you in a positive way?  Do you eat well, work out, pray or reflect on your blessings?  Do your healthy choices for you body and mind make you stronger?  Just a little bit stronger… did you just hear that Sara Evans song in your head, too?!

A friend told me a few years back that he was making a true attempt to ‘walk in the light‘.  I thought it was odd that he even made that the real light
comment, as this friend I always looked up to as someone with high morals and high self standards.  He never did quite explain to me how he may not be following the most righteous path, but when I reflect on that conversation with my friend, it has made me realize that EVERYONE encounters struggles of the body, heart and mind.

As we age, hopefully we take our experiences – good, bad and indifferent and build upon them.  Hopefully we learn from our mistakes and press forward on a stronger foundation with which to conquer our goals, fears – the fucked up society that we exist in.  I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, even if it’s negative…there is a purpose.  Even when it’s difficult, I try to identify the positive thing about a negative experience…I’ll tell you what, I’ve had some really dark experiences.  Experiences that I’ve dwelled on, that blocked me from moving forward.  It wasn’t until I met my most wonderful husband, that I was able to actually see a situation for what it is and embrace it.  Even when it was ugly.

As strange as it seems, I’m happy to have experienced all the negative things.  I may have not been able to see it at the time, but eventually I learned something invaluable, and ultimately I REAP THE REWARDS of the lessons learned.

Next time from 101 Revolutionary Ways to be Healthy 101ways_018 – Drink water, eat good food, move, rest, relax, connect. Don’t sweat the more complex stuff until you’ve got a grip on the basics. From 62 Ways to Get Unstuck in 2013 from Robin Sharma –  Spend an hour a day without stimulation (no phone+no FaceBook+no noise). <——– I have plenty to say on this!

I hope you all have a rewarding day!