Sunday, July 1, 2012

Elimination Diet and beyond....

About a month ago I was inspired to try an elimination diet. An elimination diet is diet with the goal of seeing if you have any allergies to foods and to see how they affect you. So no gluten, dairy, chocolate, tomatoes, peanuts, corn, soy, sugar or caffeine. Why would I do this? I had been feeling pretty run down. Sitting at work at 11:00 in the morning craving another coffee is not the way that I want to live. Being wiped by 5:00 at night was not living. A friend of mine was doing it and I was like well if they can do it I can too. It wasn't that bad. The hardest part about it was when I was eating somewhere other than home. No one likes to be the one who can't eat things at another's house when they've invited you over and have taken the time to feed you. This diet lasts for 3 weeks and then you slowly add food back in. I felt pretty darn good after all this and learned I don't have any allergies but I did learn a few things. Sugar and caffeine really give me a headache and I get easily addicted to them. I had a crazy week at work not that long after I was done with this and was drinking coffee again. I stopped after that week and headaches for 2 days coming off of it. This last week I've been really bad about sugar and I find myself craving it more and more. Needless to say I feel the need to get my act together again. When I eat closer to this diet (mainly no sugar and caffeine, with limted dairy and gluten) I feel much better. These are some of my favorite recipes.

Homemade buckwheat pancakes with almond butter and maple berry sauce.

 Three favorite toppings: berry vinaigrette, roasted red pepper sauce, roasted garlic in olive oil.

Salad with strawberries and berry vinaigrette with maple glazed salmon.

 Pina colada ice cream.

The thing about this diet is that I feel like God used it to give me a kick in the butt on a lot of fronts. With more energy I got more done and was able to handle a bunch of stuff including covering a lot at work and tons of house stuff. I realize he used this seemingly small thing to get me ready for what was to come and give me much needed inspiration in my cooking. This "cleaner" eating has bleed over into my looking into greener house cleaning solutions, cosmetics, examining my closet and objectively looking at my clothes and being more creative, and lots of other things. We can be so mindless about things we eat or use on our bodies and it feels good to look into things and find things that are healthier and save you money. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

You know you have mobile home plumbing when...

....Your husband can be found like this, with a 15 foot plumbing snake, and it's still clogged.

....Your dishwashing station looks like this, because as you learned the hard way, this dishwasher will overflow because the sink and the dishwasher use the same line to drain, and your bathroom sinks are just too small to wash somethings in.

Monday can't come soon enough.

Sunday, May 27, 2012


I'm just getting so good at not posting lately. It's not that I don't want to, it just takes a lot of extra effort with out internet situation that I just don't want to make when I'm busy. And my my we have been busy lately. It's "summer time" on the farm, I'm getting more hours at work, and our house plans are really getting some serious traction.

 As far as the house goes. It's still just a pile of dirt, but almost a perfectly prepared pile of dirt. We've signed contracts and now things are going through all the legal stages and hopefully we'll be pouring concrete within a month.

 I got to hang out with all of my nephews at once a week or two ago and lets face it, they're pretty much they cutest nephews on the planet so here's some pictures.

Blue broke her paw two days ago, further proving my belief that we got some bad voodoo going on with dogs.

  She's also picked up this annoying habit of chewing the hose and stringing it out all over the yard.

My garden is planted and growing!

That's all!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Let the fun begin!

Well I haven't been too good about posting on here have I? In my defense with my limited access to internet on my computer and my phone not liking the next blogger format it's been a little difficult. ANYWAY we've been quite busy. As many may now Ben and I have been moving forward with our project of building a house. There's been a lot of leg work for the last few months, admittedly mostly by Ben, but we're finally getting to the point where there will be physical work done. The last two weekeneds have already been filled with speding time out on our lot hooking things up, cleaning up trash, and now moving dirt to prepare the pad for our house. We are still a little ways out from starting construction but it is coming quickly. Hopefully everything goes according to plan but you never know what's going to happen! Here's just a couple pictures of one of the biggest progjects we'll ever take on!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Life Lately

I promise I haven't fallen off the face of the planet, just busy. Here's some highlihts of what I've been up to.

We purchased more chickens. These are strictly meat birds, meaning we plan to eat them. We got 4 that mature really quick and will be ready to eat in about 6 more weeks and 2 that will be ready in 14 weeks. They are quickly running out of room so Ben is going to have to come up with a solution since the big chickens will kill them if they fraternize together.

We had a baby shower for my dear friend Erin. I was in charge of decor so that's why there are a lot of pictures of decorations. This first picture is of my dearest Ruthie and her baby boy Luke.

Instead of playing baby shower games we made little girly headbands for baby Brynn.

We made the headbands with clips so they could be clipped on headbands and then later into hair!

Brynn's mama Erin.

A giant smiths maple bar from my work crew for my birthday. It was AWESOME.

We had a rather nasty wind storm here yesterday. Elsewhere it was probably raining, we got dust.

Just a cute one of Henry I forgot I had taken. My picture spaces are quickly being taken over by pictures of my nephews. Oh how I adore them all!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sunday afternoon...

If you were in the central valley this weekend you might have noticed the weather was awesome! We decided to take advantage of it on Sunday afternoon.

After church we barbecued some pork chops. My Ben makes a mean pork chop.

We took a walk with these girls. They got nice and muddy. (This photo is pre-muddy)

Then Ben had a double header softball game. He hit a triple right after this picture. Woot woot!

It was a relaxing, refreshing, fun afternoon!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Dominican Republic

Well we're back! We've been back for a week but wow it takes a while to get back up to speed sometimes. The Dominican was beautiful! The weather was a balmy 80 degrees with humidity and the occasional rain shower, perfect tropical weather. Our room was huge with it's own jacuzzi tub! The resort we stayed at had 7 different restaurants to eat at and great food. All of the staff were really nice and helpful. We went zip-lining one day which was quite an adventure. It took us an one hour truck ride to get there and then they had a 12 line course through the canopy. It was a great course and it was cool to see the country side and more rural areas. Another day we went snorkling with sting rays, sharks, and all over the reef with tropical fish. All in all it was a great trip. It was quite far away though. 7-8 hours of flying time depending on everything. Coming back through customs is never fun but Miami is sooooooo busy!

This is what humidty does to my hair. The white girl afro.
This is me unsuccessfully paddleboarding.
This is me successfully paddleboarding. It's much easier to maneuver while on your knees but I wanted to be cool so I tried to stand up for a while. I eventaully had enough of dunking myself and stuck to kneeling.
Beautiful view from where we snorkeled and paddelboarded.

Beach bums! Lots of reading and sunbathing.

Our view everyday.

Walking down the beach

Ben reading....the only time he really reads books is on vacation. He'd rather read things on how to do his gunsmithing or read a catalog to see how much things cost. I like stories, he likes to read for information.

I kind of felt like a queen in this bed.Sitting in LAX, we arrived at long term parking at 6:00 a.m., got to the airport, got our tickets and checked in luggage, through security to our gate, in 25 minutes! That has to be some kind of record, thus we were reallllyyyy early and had time to kill.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Riding around with "That farmer Ben"

It's not too often Ben and I get to spend time together on Saturday afternoon. He usually works, which is fine because he's happy as a clam when he's working. The man can't sit still for much longer than an hour, he's always keeping busy. Today I got to ride around with him a little which is always fun. The reason I say with" that farmer Ben" is because of my nephew Henry. One night Ben was late for dinner at mom and dad Fast's and Henry turns to me and asks" where's that farmer Ben." Oh he makes me smile.

Goodbye mustang

We sold my mustang this week. It was a bittersweet thing. Bitter because that was my first car, sweet because of the little extra money and no more insurance bill. I loved that car while I had it but it was time for something with more hauling power.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Hamburger and fries

One of my favorite comfort meals is a hamburger and fries. So when I came across a recipe in my "mad hungry: feeding men and boys" cookbook (thanks mom Fast!) For fries I was sold. I took some ground beef and made my own patties with herbs and fetta cheese mixed in. Oh and you can't forget the grilled onions. Then I made fries, oh so wonderful fries. You slice up some peeled russet potatoes, throw them on a cooking sheet, sprinkle liberally with italian herbs,salt, and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and pile on some Romano or parmesean cheese, add a little butter and bake at 400 for about 50 minutes. Yes I know, they aren't exactly heart healthy but I have to just go all the way if I'm doing fries. In the word of Rachel Ray YUMO! Ben was a fan and I have to say this cookbook is great. Loved everything i've made so far!

Sunday, January 29, 2012


I'd be willing to bet that I'm not the only one that has places in our around their home that is either a place that easily collects clutter or gets dirty easily, and you quite frequently turn the blind eye. I consider myself to be a clean organization loving person but I to fall prey to ignoring certain messes. For me I have two places. The extra bedroom that is not utilized by Ben or I (we are very lucky to have 4 bedrooms for all our junk). The other place is our shed, which I love but the thing is also a thorn in my side.

The shed obviously gets dirty quite easily but also we have the tendency to put things away hastily. Thus we end up with a very dusty and fluttery shed that I deal with about once a year. Partially because its a bear to clean out and partially because if you clean it during summer you risk heat stroke. Well yesterday I did my Rocky dance and gave myself a pat on the back because that sucker is clean. There's so much more room in there! I even installed hooks and hung our bikes up which had previously been in the extra bedroom. Hopefully I can keep it somewhat organized now because, letsbe honest, dirt is just a fact of life out here.

9h the extra bedroom. I've been wanting to clean it out since......well since we moved in. And yes that will be three years ago this june. It became the room that we chuck anything that doesn't have a place/needs to go to goodwill. I've been seriously lacking in motivation and I got the kick in the pants I needed. Mom and Dad Fast were getting rid of a mattress and offered it to us. Free mattress, quite new, ummmm yes! This meant cleaning that room so we could put it in there. So my new car came in quite handy with the hauling power to take most of my goodwill bound stuff out and I removed the bikes to the shed. Viola! No the bed doesn't have sheets or really anything but that just details sheesh. The desk you se will also be going to goodwill. Its Bens Walmart special from college. The chair is going as well because it was my parents then mine and its in serious need of some reinforcing and reupholstering that I deemed not worth it to me. If anyone wants it they can have it! So I'm feeling quite good right now because to major problem areas are under control, if only momentarily.