Camping with kids (Also filed under "Parenting on Display")

No but seriously, camping with kids is the best thing since sliced bread.

I had to push aside my fears of "inconveniencing others" and parenting on display for the world to scrutinize and judge. But hey, I'm willing to be fodder for your sinful conversation if it means I get to do this all weekend!! (I know I look like I'm in pain. I'm not. The flash BLINDED me!!)

Jason and I have wanted to camp since before we got married. We had all the awesome stuff for camping on our wedding registry, but I guess when people saw that we didn't even have cutlery, a pot, or a vacuum, the camping stuff was less urgent. Looking back, it is better that we were gifted this stuff or we would still be washing and reusing plastic forks because we are both money hoarders so frugal.

Anyway, we were gifted a tent by a large family looking to upgrade. And FINALLY were able to plan ahead for camping. Jason's Christmas stash looked like an outdoors store threw up under our tree. And he was itching to get a chance to use it all. Backyard camping is fun, but you don't really need your propane stove and mini axe.

But you know where a mini axe comes in handy? In the wild!! NATURE!!!!

I think it was right about this time that an older couple pulled into the campsite next door to us. While they were scoping out the perfect location to put their tent, I jokingly said, "You should put it as far away from us as possible!"

HAHA. Right?

Our ever-so-tactful neighbor replied with, "Yeah, when we pulled in, I said to my husband, 'Oh no, a baby.'"

She was met with an icy cold stare and awkward silence. Because what do you even say to that? Once I recovered, I told her she didn't need to worry about the baby. It was the loud 3 year old that might drive them insane. Cue awkward laughter...

And I told Bridget to go wake them up bright and early each morning.

Aside from the stress of parenting my children in front of 200 strangers (it was packed!), our first camping weekend as a family was amazing. I'm antsy to go back. Without the rain ending our trip early next time! I sat outside reading, sipping coffee, watching my kids play, and talking to my husband. And when I got cold at night, I grabbed a couple kids and sandwiched myself in between them. What is better than that???

Okay so let's talk real quick about the awesome camping gear we had and what we wished we had!

We brought my beloved cast iron skillets for cooking over the fire, but there wasn't enough room over the fire for the entire meal, and it just got too smoky and hot. This outdoor kitchen is awesome for the extras! We put our Propane Stove on top and were able to make pancakes, sauteed veggies, and campfire coffee (which is all you really need, amiright?!).

Okay there were only a couple other things we had that were ESSENTIAL!

A basic kitchen utensil kit. This little kit has all the cooking essentials. Except garlic. Never leave the garlic behind!

God bless this portable fan.

We won't need it for fall or spring camping, but it was 95 all weekend and we would have been too uncomfortable to sleep without this fan!!

We actually don't need a ton of stuff when we go camping. Our kids were so well occupied all weekend with activities and meeting other campground friends that any other stuff we brought was ignored. Most of our activities centered around cooking.

Fact: Bacon cooked over a fire tastes better.

The kids spent a ton of time in the stream catching crawfish, reading books, canoeing, learning from the Park Rangers, hiking, and catching (and naming) crickets.  It makes me wish we had gone camping SO much sooner!! 

And the only thing that would have made this camping trip more perfect (aside from a large tarp so we didn't get rained out...newbie mistake):

A camping hammock! Or 3. We are going to try to buy at least one of these before we head out camping again in October. They were all OVER the campsite! I assumed they were too expensive for us, but they are actually affordable!

I have 1 month of prep time before we go camping again. What am I missing? What are your camping must-haves?

{this post contains Amazon affiliate links}

The 90s never looked so good

I am a woman of minimal fashion skills or sense. I wore overalls for about 10 years. Everywhere. I wore them to the bar, the park, 7-11, Walmart. I didn't wear them to church. That would just be indecent.

But I loved them so much I bought a pair of maternity overalls when I was pregnant with Leo. Is there anything more unattractive than a large pregnant woman in overalls?  (Don't ever google the phrase most unattractive. Consider yourself warned.)

Okay so let's just say that at 34, overalls are out for good. Unless I lose so much weight that they look good on me again. Then I'm bringing them back. Oh you know what?!  I'm going to make a sweet pair of overalls my weight loss present! You know, the present you splurge on when you finally reach your goal weight?? Here will be my inspiration board:

You know you want those overalls!!
Well, since the 90s obviously never went out of style (proof: they are still selling overalls), I am also rockin' some awesome Birkenstocks courtesy of the husband who knows me so well:

Just kidding!!!! 
(I know a few of you cringed thinking I had gone back to my old ways...)

Here are my new sweet kicks:

I have to share them with you for a couple reasons. 

First, they are adorable. (Look at all my mini hippies in their brown sandals!! May the 90s live on forever!!)

Second, I had no idea Birkenstocks went and created such comfortable shoes that were so cute!

I am in a group on Facebook where someone asked what everyone's favorite shoes for summer were. I have been living in various shades of $10 flip flops for the last 8 years so these women were a treasure trove of information with their recommendations.  I told Jason that I wanted adult sandals (not flip flops) that were super girly and comfortable. And so Jason ordered these for my birthday.

I am just so excited that Birkenstocks are hip again. (Or did they just never really go out of style, hmmm?) I remember being talked into going on a date with a guy I did not connect well with. In order to dissuade him from asking me on a second date, when he arrived to pick me up I was making shrinky dinks and wearing baggy jeans, a man's wool sweater, and birkenstock's with huge woolly socks...he ended up asking me to marry him. (Not Jason) So maybe we don't give these shoes enough credit for the power they have held over the last couple decades??  
Birkenstock Yara Thongs
I know they are summer shoes, but I'm already buying woolly socks so I can squeeze into these year-round. Bringing back the 90s one small step at a time!!  I will always be #TeamBirkenstock.

I think I've proven my point.

{this post has afffiliate links!}

Getting Started with Trim Healthy Mama

So you may have heard a little about Trim Healthy Mama, maybe you even googled it a little bit to learn about what it is an how to do it. But you never took the first step to give it try because it looked complicated or you just weren't in a place to start focusing on your own health. If you are anything like me you were confused by the "rules" and could probably research yourself into your grave before you ever get started on the plan. So let me try to help you out with a few tips!


When I was researching the best way to kick-start my weight loss, I just couldn't do another diet. I've done them ALL! Weight Watchers, NutriSystem, calorie counting, gluten-free, etc.  I firmly believe that you should not have to cut out major food groups or healthy foods when you are trying to lose weight. I stand by my "Eat Butter, Lose Weight" post. Healthy fats have a firm place in my diet and I won't drop them. But I also wasn't able to drop pounds just by eating healthily after I had Bridget (I'm getting OLD!!!).

So, I finally decided to jump on the Trim Healthy Mama plan and I have had SUCH amazing success with it so far that I must encourage you to give it a try!!!!  You can follow my weight loss on the left with the My Fitness Pal icon and see my progress since July 15th. I started working out and counting calories until I got very frustrated that the scale wasn't moving at all. On August 10th, I finally decided to give Trim Healthy Mama a chance on recommendation from a friend. Now this particular friend is extremely petite and had to quit a few weeks in because she can't get "too skinny"...

Yeah, I don't understand or relate to that issue at all.  But, I do know that she lost the last few pounds easily. Then, Wardee of Gnowfglins (a personal foodie hero of mine) posted her success with THM and I decided it was time to give it a try. After all, I had lost and regained the same 8 pounds repeatedly this past year and was done with all that mess!  I am currently down 8 pounds and the scale continues to move. I am eating healthy foods, tons of veggies and produce, tons of butter, eggs, avocados, and even my personal favorite: homemade sourdough bread! (I used to sell it at the farmers market!)  If you are looking for a plan to actually lose weight using science you can understand and food you love, this is definitely the one to get behind.

Here is your Trim Healthy Mama Crash course: 

  • Eat tons of protein. 
  • Enjoy fats and carbs, just not together. 
  • Eat meals with protein and fats. 
  • Eat meals with protein and carbs.
  • Wait three hours before switching between a high carb and high fat meal. 
  • Eat tasty food.
  • Eat everything in moderation but never go hungry. 
  • Don't count calories.
  • Each meal is another chance to start over.

So, if you want to give it a try, here are the top 5 items you need to get started with Trim Healthy Mama!

1. The Trim Healthy Mama Plan Book 

The book explains everything so well and highlights lots of different food combos and ideas along with a ton of go-to recipes that you will use daily! The sisters just came out with two new books:

2. A high quality pure protein powder

Trim Healthy Mama Protein Powder

This is a daily staple. You will use this powder in a daily smoothie or other food. Especially after you try some of the awesome and filling recipes! My favorite is this Fat Stripping Frappa and I make one every day! It's like a huge milkshake but packed with protein powder! (I always put my probiotic in as well.)

I use the Trim Healthy Mama protein powder for two reasons
  1. It is affordable! You don't end up with a 1 gallon container that cost you a fortune.
  2. It only has one ingredient: Whey (Milk) Protein Isolate Powder

3. Glucomannan Pure Powder

Glucomannan is Konjac Root Powder used to thicken various liquids!

I use a little Gluccomannan Powder in my daily "Fat Stripping Frappa" smoothie and also in my chocolate pudding (recipe found in the book). This can also be used to thicken soups or stews and sauces if you are on an "E" meal and can't use gobs of fat. I also make a strawberry vanilla topping thickened with a little glucomannan to put on pancakes, muffins, etc. So tasty!

4. Gentle Sweet

Gentle Sweet is amazing! It is a blend of xylitol, erythritol and stevia and perfectly sweetens all of my favorite dishes!
THM Gentle Sweet
Now let me clarify that I am not a fan of artificial sweeteners like splenda or anything with aspartame. And I would prefer that the only sweeteners in my home are pure maple syrup and raw honey, but the reality is that I cannot lose weight by regularly consuming these items. I look forward to going back to "normal" once I have reached my happy zone. Until then, I am SO excited to have found Gentle Sweet!!  It is delicious and flavors all of my specialty foods like strawberry sauce, smoothies and skinny chocolate. Just make sure you don't eat a lot of it and use THM to dampen your sweet tooth. You will find that as you avoid sugar, you don't crave it anymore and the natural sugars in food begin to get stronger and more appealing. And you want to make sure your sweetener doesn't have any other ingredients than just the pure stevia/xylitol/ethyritol.

Skinny Chocolate for a little "pick-me-up"!

5. Cocoa Powder

I have never gone through so much cocoa powder in my life as I do with Trim Healthy Mama! But everything that I make with it is healthy and nourishing. It is important to get a high quality cocoa powder and a pound is a good starting point! This cocoa powder is from Frontier, one of our foodclub sources, and it is certified fair trade. And delicious!!

Frontier Fair Trade Cocoa Powder

And there you have it! These are 5 of the main items needed to begin Trim Healthy Mama.

If you are ready to jump in with both feet, here are a few other items that are key to add to your shopping list in addition to fresh produce and meats so you are fully prepared for Week 1! You should be able to find these in many stores like Aldi and Kroger. If not, you can get anything from Amazon!
Now you are officially ready to begin. For inspiration, be sure to join us in the Trim Healthy Mama Facebook group.  You can see tons of recipes, before/after photos and hear testimonials for how THM is working for women and men in every age group and every circumstance!!  I will be posting my personal before and after photos as soon as the change is more noticeable. So far, I have lost 8 lbs and 8.5 inches and while this is a good start, but I have about 20 more to go!!  I will be some information on what I typically eat soon so stay tuned.

{this post has affiliate links}

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...