Thursday, June 27, 2013

His Father's Day

After years of suffering, thousands of dollars spent on tests and several doctor's opinions, our family doctor of the last decade may have finally discovered the silent cause behind all of my husband Paul's ailments.

To list a few....

  • Inflammation of skin & joints
  • Irritation of skin / Unexplained rashes
  • Instant heartburn after eating 
  • Bloating
  • Fatigue (which he didn't notice he had until after treatment started, when fatigue subsided)

There are more things he suffers from (nerve damage, chronic back pain, etc) but those are due to a condition called Tethered-Spinal Cord Syndrome, something that is usually discovered in the early, toddler years of life, and not at the age of 35, which was Paul's case. 

Her discovery comes after she has realized food allergens that she, her husband and children suffer from, and since noticing positive changes after they all began special diets and taking supplements, she has been leaning toward more natural approaches in her practice with her patients. 

We're loving this transition. 

She told us about something called the Leaky Gut. { it sounds horrid, I know }

But it is rather fascinating once you start reading about it, and it has become clear to me that many probably suffer from this and haven't a clue! 

Millions could find relief by changing just a few diet habits, taking some supplements and avoiding too much yeast, perservatives, bleached flours and foods high in sugars, or refined sugars. 

We'll talk more on this later { look for a series of posts to document our new journey in defeating Leaky Gut } .... but this leads me right into this post and will give more understanding into exactly why Paul is on a new diet. 

She ran an in depth test on him and discovered his body is allergic to certain things, most likely causing the various agitations he suffers from.  

So she wants him to do a 6 week trial of eliminating those things. After which, once we can get his body balanced and free from all of these things his body deems as toxins, he can surely enjoy these things in moderation.

But for now this means.... 

No Wheat
No Rice
No Yeast {no beer}  :'(
No Refined Sugar
No High Levels of Sugar {no fruit}
No Crab 
No Cranberries
No Sesame Seeds (or oil
No Sunflower Seeds

Paul is the Cook of the household, and basically ALL that is mentioned above was pretty much the jest of our diet up until a few weeks ago.

~Which brings us to his Father's Day~

We tend to only get each other gifts that are more thoughtful and less materialistic when it comes to any occasion, so this Father's Day it only seemed natural to make a trip to the local nutritional shop and purchase items that can help alleviate the changes in his diet, which can effect a person & their quality of life in their day-to-day {especially one who cooks!} more than you'd think. 

For him to be able to go to the pantry and grab a bag of pasta noodles to make his delicious chicken Alfredo without having to cringe at the thought of knowing that, while the rest of the family will be enjoying the full meal with noodles, he will only be able to enjoy the chicken and the sauce.... His spirit is bound to avoid feeling a little broken.

To add to this thoughtful gift, the only thing that could make it better is if his lovely wife {muah} conquered the rare feat of making a meal for HIM rather than he making one for me. :)

So, here we go.... 

Consensus:  Noodles made with both
CORN & QUINOA are a bit more "crumbly" in texture.
Noodles made with only CORN better imitate
the standard pasta noodle.

The store had a variety of noodles, in fact... an entire isle. 

After 30 minutes of reading labels, I came home with noodles made from solely CORN and noodles made with both CORN & QUINOA. (pronounced KEEN-WAH)

For this meal I chose the noodles made from both ingredients and set out to make a cold pasta salad for lunch.

Ingredients Used:



Olive Oil

I boiled the noodles, rinsed them with cold water to cool them and set

 aside, all the while the chicken was cooking.

Next, it was time for the dressing. 

About a 1/4 cup of Olive Oil, juice from half a lemon, about an inch of Ginger diced fine, lots of Cilantro {we LOVE cilantro!} & Salt and Pepper.... 

And WAH-LAH! Mmm... 

Toss it all together and BAM! 
A visually appealing and tastefully satisfying light & healthy lunch was achieved. 
As was a well fed and happy husband with a calmed soul, a warmed heart and a smiling face. 


This is only the beginning of this new adventure for us! 

Life is always ever changing, sure to give us new perspectives at every turn. 

It keeps things interesting and keeps us learning, that's for sure!

Stay tuned for more on Paul's new foodie-journey as we defeat all of his ailments in an effort to secure a more enjoyable quality of life for him. 

I love you, honey.
We WILL get through this.

The Perfect Gift For Her
Free cloth diapers on order over $49 ,free shipping

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Long Term Benefits of Breastfeeding.... Guest Post by

There are been numerous clinical studies done over the past several decades that show what the long-term benefits of breastfeeding are. 

Most women who are still in the phase of trying to decide whether they want to breastfeed usually think of the bonding between mother and child first. While bonding is very important, there are many other benefits that can last throughout the child’s lifetime.

The “Metabolic Programming Effect” is one of the newest discoveries. It is the idea that the nutrition a baby receives in the early stages of life programs a person’s metabolism (how the body uses energy) and their over-all health in the future. 

By breastfeeding, you are reducing your baby’s risk for developing diabetes, hypertension, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, asthma, high cholesterol and obesity in adulthood.

According to La Leche League International (LLLI), breastfeeding is protective against a lot of common childhood illnesses, including  ear infections, respiratory infections, allergies, colds, viruses, strep throat, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, food poisoning, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

This does not mean your baby (child) will not become sick. However, the illness is usually less severe and does not last as long than if the baby had been fed formula. 

For both short and long-term health, breastfeeding your baby at least until their first birthday may be your best chance for lowering their risk for diseases and giving them a better chance at a healthy childhood and adulthood.

Besides the health benefit effects of a baby being breastfed, it also improves the intellectual development. Breastfed babies score higher on IQ tests than formula-fed babies. 

Long-term nursing protects against ulcerative colitis, diabetes, asthma, Crohn’s disease, obesity, and high cholesterol in adulthood. Babies who are breastfed for a year or more are less likely to need braces later in life. 

Breastfed babies are more likely to have fewer cardiovascular risk factors in adulthood. They also tend to have Lower Body Mass Index (BMI) and higher HDL levels ("good" cholesterol) in adulthood. Breastfeeding can also lower the risk of immune system diseases, and autoimmune disorders.

Babies who were breastfed long term (a year or more) tend to be more secure and independent than babies who are weaned early, because the babies had their needs met during the helpless period of infancy.
Long-term nursing also provides several benefits for moms. 

Many of the benefits of breastfeeding are related to how long you breastfeed. Meaning that the longer you breastfeed over the course of your lifetime, (taking into account the number of children you have) the lower your risk of breast cancer and osteoporosis. 

Breastfeeding is linked to a lower risk of these health problems in women:

     Breast cancer
     Postpartum depression
     Type 2 diabetes
     Ovarian cancer

There are definitely several benefits for both the baby and mom when it comes to long-term breastfeeding. However, if you are only able to breastfeed for a short period of time you and your baby will still reap most of the benefits.

Tammy Mahan has 20 years of healthcare experience; she is also a freelance medical/health writer. Writing for is an enjoyable experience that allows her to share information on numerous topics.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

7 Natural Hair Masks Revealed.... Guest Post by Angela @ My Personal Accent

Hair masks not only give you healthy, shiny, and strong hair, they make you feel confident and beautiful. 

Photo Credit:  avacadomask blackgirllonghaircom.jpg

We pay a lot of money for deep conditioning treatments. You can spend upwards of $50 or more in some cases. I have used some of these hair masks over the years and some I have had friends who have used them. They make your hair look and feel good. 

These are some great natural recipes to save you money and revive your hair. 

Photo Credit: almostexactlyblogwordpresscom.jpg

Olive Oil Mask (Promotes Hair Growth)
5 Tbls. Olive Oil
2 Eggs
Mix and apply dry hair. Wrap in cap or towel and set 15 minutes before wash and rinse.

Egg and Yogurt Mask
1 Egg
¼ C. Plain Yogurt
¼ C. Mayonnaise
Beat egg well until foaming then add yogurt and mayonnaise to egg mixture. Massage scalp until hair becomes wet. Cover with plastic wrap and leave for 1 hour then rinse with cold one hour.

Egg Mask
Egg whites strengthen hair and prevent damage.  The yolks contain protein and fatty acids that assist in shiny hair.
Mix 2 egg yolks with 3 tsps. olive oil. Massage into hair and set for 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.

Avocado Hair Mask
1 Ripe Avocado
1 Tbls. honey
2 Tbls. olive oil
Varies depending on how thick and long your hair. Leave in hair for 30 minutes and rinse and repeat. Avocados repair split ends extremely well.

Photo Credit:
gingerhoney feminyacom.jpg

Coconut Oil Mask -Amazing Hydrator for Frizz Free Hair
Apply directly onto your scalp. Massage your hair from root to ends.  Leave on a minimum of 30 minutes, or as long as you can. Shampoo and rinse.  You can use this mask up to three times a week.   For deeper penetration, use as directed before bedtime.  Cover with cap and sleep with mask in your hair.  Shampoo and rinse in the morning. 

Mayonnaise Mask
Apply a generous amount of mayonnaise to your hair and leave in for 30 minutes.  Note: Mayonnaise is a bit harder to get out of your hair so you may have to rinse and repeat several times to get the leftover residue but the end result is fantastic. At least that has been my experience.
photo credit: www.hangthebankerscom.jpg

Oatmeal Hair Mask
1 tablespoon of Oats
1 Tablespoon Fresh Milk
1 Tablespoon Almond Oil
Mix well into a thick paste, however, be sure to make sure hair is dry and all combed out.  Apply paste and leave in hair for 20 minutes. Rinse and use gentle shampoo.

Angela @ My Personal Accent

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Love At First Sight - An Ode to us, to our Love

Seven years ago today, I married the man who captured my heart after only first locking eyes with him. 

Love at first sight. 

What does it feel like? How do you know when it's happening?

For me... the only way I can describe it is....

He instantly felt "right" to me. 

Being in his presence, talking with him, laughing with him, his eyes & body language... 

It all just felt... Right. 
As if I'd already known him in some other lifetime, and was just meeting him again in this lifetime. 

This may or may not make any sense whatsoever to you, but that is exactly how it felt. 

We met in the tattoo shop he owned at the time in Georgia, with our first meeting consisting of him mending the wrongly done belly piercing someone else did, and ended with me wanting a new belly ring from his display case but I was several dollars short, so I tried to negotiate the price down... well.. I didn't just TRY.. 

You could see the instant connection within his eyes.. the compassion behind all of the facial piercings and "tough guy" image he'd spent years building up as he smiled like a school boy saying he'd take what I had and make up the difference himself, as I clumsily counted pennies, dimes and nickles on his counter. 

I've always been a body-language observer... The way people move, respond, turn, laugh and the expression & depth within their eyes... 

Paul has such an attractive smile. It radiates in his entire face. His eyes light up.. OH.. 

AND he has dimples. Oh yes. LOL Handsome times 100 points for dimples!!!! I always wanted a man AND kids with dimples! I got them. :)

A person's body language, especially their eyes, shows us the true person underneath. The person at the heart, and not the body they walk around in. 

Watching him converse with people, I believe the conscious thought (or at  least something similar) appeared in my brain...

"I know him. I'm going to know him. He's familiar... and I think I already love him." 

He asked for my number and after spending all night (for several nights) on the phone, the strong, pure, unmistakable chemistry we instantly felt upon only first meeting naturally grew.... 

And the rest is history. :)

Before we knew it (2 years later) we were driving across country starting our new life together and leaving all we had ever known behind us as we were running off to get married, which ended up being aboard the Portland Spirit River Cruise in Portland, OR.  #magical <--that deserved a hastag 

And here I am, 7 years later writing about a time that honestly seems like it was just a year or two ago. 

I would be lying through my teeth if I told you it has been easy. 

Just because you find your other-half and seemingly missing link on too many levels to mention... does not by any means indicate that the road to a long a happy life together will be peaches & cream. (peaches & cream... mm.. That's my Southern roots showing!)

In these 7 years together, we have learned (both as individuals & as a couple) so much about ourselves, about life, about other people.

We see the world differently now, and through it all, we have grown so much internally that it's as if the people we were when we first met seem like babies (spiritually speaking) compared to who we are today. 

It's amazing to me how you can look back at just the last few years of your life and know that you've come so far since then. I just love this life. :)

Something I learned and will always carry with me, is not only realizing the extraordinary love & devotion my husband has for me and our relationship... 

But I also learned what LOVE means. What MARRIAGE means. What "FOR BETTER or WORSE" means. 

Not by definition, but by living through it, working through it and by being on the other end of it here today, completely in love, happy and closer than ever. 

The way Paul loves me, the way I have seen him fight for our love, for our family and what we have... 

The incredible integrity this man has by being careful to not just criticize me when our relationship hit a brick wall, but by also looking within himself to evaluate what he could be doing differently... 

The bravery and courage he has shown countless times over the years... 

The way he tirelessly works to better all of our lives, doing all he can to make each of us happy, being sure we all live a quality life as individuals, as a mother, as his children, as his friend, as his family... 

The way he will go through great lengths just to see us smile... 

That's my man!

Over these past 7 years I have learned the meaning of 'being a Man'. My husband is the true, walking, real definition of a man. An honorable, wonderful man.

It is without a doubt in my mind that I am more in love with him now than ever before.

Today, on our seventh (marriage) anniversary, I want to say Thank You

Thank you, my love, for all that you do, for all that you are,and for all that you will be in this adventure of Life that we vowed to accompany each other on. 

After my Papa passed away recently, at least once a week I talk with my dear Granny on the phone who he left behind and we just sit and sob together. She feels like a lost puppy without the man she was married to for more than 50 years. 

She looks at his empty recliner next to hers. 
She lays her hand on his side of the bed and clutches his pillow, crying herself to sleep every night. 
She reads his beautiful words he wrote her over the years, as that is all she has left of him... which is now the only way she can feel the love of her life touch her. 

How empty she feels... how fast all that time flew by... How painful it is for her.

And so now, once a week at minimum, I am reminded to stop, appreciate, love and cherish my husband, my other half. 

For one day, he will leave my side in this bodily world, and one day it will be ME who is the lost puppy, grasping on to the remnants of all that he was in this world. 

All that I am as a mommy, a wife, as Amanda up to this point in our lives, has everything to do with the beautiful partnership that we share. 

Our love is seamless ~ Our minds, hearts & souls are connected ~ We flow like a steady river current

We are ONE. 

"All because two people fell in love", as it says on the 50th Anniversary Invitations for Granny & Papa.

Here's to us and many, many, many more years together. Here's to our Little Nippers too. ;) 

You are my rock. You are my best friend. You are so amazing. 

I loves you, honey... more than I could ever express. 

You are truly the most admirable man I have ever known and will ever love.

Thank you for loving me the way you do.

Happy Anniversary my love.

Love, baby xxxooo