How to Catch a Cold

Colds are SO in this season. If you’re feeling left out, here’s a quick way join the goopy masses.

  1. Have child, or be near one
  2. Send child to school
  3. Wait for child to get inevitable cold
  4. Comfort child through the night
  5. Lose a few hours of sleep (minimum)
  6. Accidentally allow child to cough in your open mouth
  7. Inadvertently allow child to deliver a kiss to you while child’s mouth is covered in boogers
  8. Wait approximately 24 hours
  9. Enjoy your new cold

If you’d rather stay healthy, avoid all steps above.

Whole30 Hacks – Healthy Treats

Almost all of my life, I’ve treated food (and then later, alcohol) as reward. “I’ve lost weight; I deserve this treat. I’m stressed out; I need this treat. I accomplished this; I’ve earned this drink.” Etc. This Whole30 round, I’ve been working hard to find treats and rewards that will actually boost my happiness and aid in my self-care. The last few weekends, my daughter and I have picked out these sweet yellow carnations at Costco, and they brighten my mood every day. Take care of yourselves, friends!

Book Report – Emma Dodd’s Love You Books

A few months ago, I discovered the children’s author Emma Dodd at a local boutique and kids’ playspace. I was drawn to the fuschia and gold book cover, featuring an adorable parent and baby monkey.
I love the artistry of the book “More and More” (hello, gold foil as a design element!), but also its message – that, as parents, we love our children no matter their mood or antics.

So, for Christmas, I requested another of her books, “Together.”

First, a few years back, my mom made otters our thing, and since then, whenever she gives me something otter-related, I feel deeply loved by and connected to her. She recently gave my daughter a miniature otter statue that lives on her bookshelf, and I figured we’d continue to extend the tradition with this book.

As with “More and More,” “Together” is so sweet and beautifully designed (silver foil, this time!). I love its message that a day spent together, simply enjoying one another’s company, is a great day indeed. While my toddler knows exactly how to push my buttons, I love our time together, and she is truly my little buddy, and so I really enjoy reading this book to her to communicate this bond.

I absolutely want to collect all of these books; Ms. Dodd conveys the relationship between parent and child in a beautiful way – both in illustration and words, and I can’t wait to read what’s next with my kiddo.

Whole30 Hacks – Products I Love, V. 1 – Coconuts

I love the Whole30. I love what it does for my mind, body, skin, sleep, etc. This if my fourth round in two years, and I’ve picked up a few tricks along the way.

To start, here are a few products I really love that you might not find front-and-center in a typical Whole30 conversation. And today is all about the coconut!

Good, healthy fats are really important for satiety and overall health. I’m avoiding nuts and seeds this round, which means my go-to almond butter is out at the moment, as are my favorite Kirkland brand macadamia nuts. Instead, the delicious coconut is carrying me through.

Coconut Butter

Someone told me the other day that they liked the flavor coconut butter adds to their breakfast dish. I retorted that I really like the flavor coconut butter adds to my spoon.

This stuff is delicious and satisfying. Also, it’s pretty hard in its solid state, so it’s difficult to binge on, and it triggers your satiety pretty quickly as well. It’s the perfect way to bump up your fat intake, whether you’re having trouble balancing your macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbs), or if you’re needing to increase your healthy fats due to pregnancy or nursing (eat up, mamas!!).

I’m sure there are many ways to incorporate coconut butter into recipes, but as I mentioned above, all I really need is a spoon.

Coconut Milk

I’ve been using Nutpods in my coffee for a few months, but as previously mentioned, I’m avoiding nuts this round, so it’s just straight coconut milk for me at the moment.

For iced coffee, SO Delicious’s Lite Culinary Coconut Milk is perfect. It doesn’t clump, and it adds a nice creamy flavor to your coffee. (Look for it in the Asian cooking section of your grocery store. Again, emphasis on LITE, not original.)

For hot coffee, I scoop the cream from a can of coconut milk into my coffee, and use a coffee frother (one my mom accidentally left at my house, and I’ve since very happily added it to my daily ritual) to whip it into a delicious, frothy concoction.


As a bonus, I add a dash of Primal Palate’s Pumpkin Pie Spice for days when I’m feeling particularly sassy.

Coconut Chips

Add these to a snack of fruit and nuts, or simply to the palm of your hand, and enjoy!

That’s it for today. I’ll be back with future editions with information about my favorite cookbooks, spices, etc.

You Need a New Paper Towel Holder

Unless you have this one, of course.

You know that awkward moment when you’re binge-watching your latest television obsession, and it’s too late to start another hour-long episode, but it’s too early for bed? Well, my husband and I found ourselves there the other night as we were finishing up the second season of The Man in the High Castle. So, instead of forging ahead, we watched a recent episode of America’s Test Kitchen.

My husband loves this show, and he always gets great recipe ideas, cooking techniques, and product recommendations, but I wouldn’t say it’s my go-to for weekend evening entertainment. However, on this fateful night, my life was forever transformed by their reviews of paper towel holders.

Paper. Towel. Holders.

This is… silly. Nonetheless, I watched them with slack-jawed amazement as they reviewed their top pick, and I was gripped with a compulsive need to own this paper towel holder NOW. Why-oh-why have I suffered my old paper towel holder for so long? But, it’s never too late to start living your life right. And today, I’m a reformed woman. I can remove a paper towel from its brethren without the holder losing its purchase on my counter top. AND I CAN DO IT WITH ONE HAND.

Did you know that it can feel good to remove a paper towel from the roll?

You should find out for yourself.

Must Visit – Milwaukee, WI

My husband’s work recently took us to Milwaukee, and we absolutely loved it. This was our first time to ever even go to the state of Wisconsin, so I was trolling Facebook and my WI-based customers for what in the heck we should do there. I knew it would be cold, and that’s about where my expectations started and ended.

It was cold, but Milwaukee was a fantastically delightful city. If we need to go again, I will very eagerly return. Except unless it’s in January or February; that’s way too cold for me. One of our Uber drivers said it was “absolutely hellish” in the winter, and that it was only warm June to September. One word: yikes. Guess we’ll stay put in Texas!

Stay

img_1442The Pfister Hotel

Wow. Gorgeous hotel! It was comfortable and affordable, and oh-so-lovely. We highly recommend staying here. Also, the Orlando Magic stayed there when they played the Milwaukee Bucks. We were enjoying a pre-dinner cocktail in the beautiful lobby bar, and all of a sudden, these really (REALLY) tall guys start streaming into the hotel in single file like giant ants heading for a picnic. We did some covert spying of luggage and figured out who they were. So… you know… if it’s good enough for the NBA…

Eat

Lake Park Bistro

Cozy and delicious. I only wish we could have seen out the window, but it was too dark.

Harbor House

Great food with awesome views of the lake and the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Cafe Benelux

Good food and beer.

The Public Market

img_1463

Drink

The Pfister lobby bar, and their bar at the top of the hotel, Blu, with excellent views of the city and the lake.

Lakefront Brewery

Surprisingly fantastic gluten free beer (and regular beer). Apparently they’re the number one gluten free beer in Canada. Who knew, eh?

Colectivo Coffee (Lakefront)

Really cool coffee bar in an old flushing station.

Do

The Public Market

Cute shops and good eats.

Milwaukee Art Museum

We didn’t have enough time to go, but I definitely want to visit next time.

Gift Idea – For the Budding Engineer

I first started mentally drafting this post as a gift idea for a little girl, but then I remembered this sage advice from the Huffington Post:

Gift Guide

So, boys can play with dolls and anything pink. Girls can play with trucks, trains, dinos, etc.

Now I can step off my soapbox and share a cool gift idea with you.

My toddler has an inquisitiveness I’m eager to foster. She just loves to look at things to see how they work: toys, watches, remotes (seriously, kid, WHERE IS THE APPLE TV REMOTE???). She can be whatever she wants when she grows up, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she ended up in a field like engineering.

To that end, one of her favorite books is Rosie Revere, Engineer. She loves to point to Rosie and Great-Great-Aunt-Rose, their airplanes and helicopters (“hekkicoppers”). It’s a great book for boys and girls alike, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to appreciating its girl power message. In all, though, it’s about never giving up, and believing in your gifts. What’s not to love about that?

Anyway, I think this book, plus these awesome Boon Pipes, would make for a really fun gift for any little one in your life. Ever since I installed the brightly-colored pipes in her bath, bathtime has her undivided attention. I scrub her hair while she quietly investigates how the water moves through each pipe (“my pipes!”). It’s pretty soothing for us both.

Then, we get her in her jammies, curl up, and read about Rosie, and talk about following our dreams.

Enjoy!