The Foods of Fall!

Fall Food Favs

Chili:
1 pound Laura’s Lean ground beef (I use the 4% fat)
1 can organic dark red kidney beans
1 can muir glen organic tomato sauce
1 can muir glen organic diced tomatoes
(I use Muir Glen because they use a BPA Free can liner, which is extremely important, especially when dealing with the tomato acidity)
¾ package of McCormick low sodium chili seasoning
½ tablespoon sugar or 2 NuNaturals stevia packet
1 tsp pink Himalayan salt (any salt will work, I personally prefer the Himalayan)
Preparation:
–Brown beef (throw in some diced red onion and bell peppers for added flavor and veggies!) and drain. Put in a medium sized pot on low-medium heat with all the other ingredients.
–Cook on low-medium heat for about 20 minutes, switch to low heat for about 30 minutes and serve!

chilifall

Pumpkin Dip:
1 can of Libby’s pure pumpkin
1 tub of light cool whip (if you can find organic, buy that!)
1 small package vanilla instant pudding (use organic if possible)
Pumpkin pie spice to taste
Preparation:
–1 bowl….mix all ingredients together.
–Top with pumpkin pie spice and nutmeg to look pretty
–Serve with GF organic animal crackers or organic apples

pumpkin pie fall

Maple Walnut Apple Crisp: (I’m hoping to make this bad boy over the weekend!)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup regular oats
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chilled butter or stick margarine, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
7 cups sliced peeled Rome apple (about 3 pounds)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preparation:
Preheat oven to 375°.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, oats, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture is crumbly. Stir in walnuts.
Combine apple and remaining ingredients in a large bowl; toss well. Spoon apple mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish or 1 1/2-quart casserole. Sprinkle with crumb mixture. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

apple-crisp-ck-223084-xfall

What are some of your favorite fall recipes? Of course, if they are low call and natural, they are a win in my book!

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Favorite Fall Scents–the Natural Way!

It’s finally fall. Mixed feelings, as you know (refer HERE and HERE). Living in Indiana, you get to experience all four seasons. I’m more of a three season type of girl myself. Maybe one day I will live in a state that only experiences three seasons.  Even though I DREAD what comes after fall, I do think fall is gorgeous here and there are so many great things about the season that I like!

My absolute favorite three things about fall are:
The food
The fashion
The smells

I know everyone is thinking “OK, smells, Mary?” But, hear me out!  A lot of memories can be brought on from a scent.  When you smell fresh air and cut grass, you think of summer.  When I smell warm spicy smells and citrus together, I think of fall.

I used to be the girl running to Bath and Body Works when the fall candles came out. I would also stock up on their fall scented wall plug-ins.

Last year, after getting started with essential oils, I decided I was no longer going to be the candle/wall plug-in girl. There are so many carcinogens in those manufactured products, and I’m assuming the better the plug-in smells, the more junk it contains. I didn’t want our kids to be breathing the chemicals all the time, not to mention the plug-ins are major fire hazard! I guess I could learn how to make my own scented candles, but that sounds like it would take a lot more time than I have right now.

Now I use our home diffuser from Young Living (part of the premium starter kit) and a variety of 100% pure essential oils from Young Living. I can mix-and-match to make the perfect fall scents and the best thing is that I can breathe easy (pun intended) knowing it is not hurting my family’s lungs, or putting our house in danger while we are gone for long periods of time.

Here are some of my favorite oily combos to diffuse for fall:

–Thieves (8 drops)
–Thieves with Orange (6 drops Thieves, 4 drops Orange)
–Christmas Spirit (6-8 drops)
–Clove with Orange (5 drops Clove, 3 drops Orange)
–Cinnamon Bark (6-8 drops)
–Cinnamon Bark with Orange (6 drops CB and 4 drops Orange)
–Thieves with Lemon (6 drops Thieves, 6 drops Lemon)

{Thieves, Lemon and the home diffuser are all included in the Premium Starter Kit with Young Living.  Until October 31, 2015, I will be giving a bottle of Orange or Christmas Spirit to anyone who purchases a Premium Starter Kit}

With just one home diffuser, we can safely enjoy fall scents throughout the entire first floor of our home!  We have a really open entry way that opens up to a huge loft when you walk up the stairs, so if I have the diffuser going in the kitchen, I can even smell whatever is diffusing upstairs in the loft area as well.

An added bonus, when you are diffusing oils, you will also receive the therapeutic benefit as well.  2 birds. 1 stone.

I can’t control a lot of things in life, but this is something I actually can control.  To me, it’s the best of several worlds…it’s completely natural, it is therapeutic and if our 2 year old gets into it and spills it, it’s a cool mist (similar to a humidifier) and won’t hurt him like candle wax would.

diffuser vs wax

If you have a cool mist diffuser and Young Living oils at home, give some of these blends a try to make fall come alive in your home:

fall scent guideRE

Let me know if you try any of these combos, and what you thought.

Happy Fall All!

Blog Funks and Other Equally Random Things

I’ve been in a blogging funk lately.  I haven’t made the time to sit down and plan something interesting out.  Horrible, isn’t it?  I’m trying hard to prioritize the best I know how, but there just are not enough hours in the day for this working mom!

Anyways, moving along!

As much as I hate to admit it, fall is around the corner.  I don’t want it to be, because I know the ugly step child that follows it.  Winter pretty much ruins fall for me.  I really want to like fall, with its apple orchard fun, flannel and pumpkin spice everything, but the cold weather and gray skies for 4 months in the winter—ugh, what a Debbie Downer, that winter.  Since I don’t see us moving this year before winter gets here, I’m just going to sit back, try to enjoy fall and knock back a few pumpkin spice lattes (now with REAL pumpkin haha)

And now to a super fun topic!  Snapchat (follow me at bbmary11) and New York Fashion Week, or as I like to call it #NYFW.  I’ve been obsessing over snapchat lately, mostly because I feel like I’m finally figuring out how to use it.  Coverage of New York Fashion Week has been crazy good on snapchat the past 7 days!  So many fellow bloggers, so many celebrities, so many models, so many gorgeous designs!  I’m A-D-D-I-C-T-E-D!  Seeing all kinds of coverage of so many designers, many of which I had never heard of, just makes me realize how small my little “fashion (if you want to call jeans and a shirt fashion) world” is.  Basically it made me want to step up my game.  I have all these questions now, such as “am I too short for knee height boots?” “how much can I layer without looking fat or pregnant?”  And, then….I did the unthinkable.  I logged onto Pinterest and typed in “fall fashion trends”. Game over.  I had never done this before because honestly Pinterest makes me feel like less of a mom because I just can’t do all the fun mom stuff everyone likes to showcase.  I am what you call, not creative.  However, I can go out and buy stuff like a boss, so these fall fashion tips…boom!  Show me the store!  I’ll get my wardrobe in line one of these days!

Now for the 3rd and final random topic:  I decided to jump on the 21 day fix wagon.  I’m not going to explain to everyone what the 21 day fix is, because you would have to be living under a rock not to know.  I thought “oh, this will make me think differently about food and cure all my portion control problems!”  The kit came, I meal prepped…which does take at least 3 hours by the way, and I put off using the containers and started the workouts.  I really like the workouts!  The first day I made a mistake by going balls out and doing lower fix.  My legs were shaking so bad that I was literally having problems walking in a straight line for 3 days!  Anyways, now that I’ve gotten the hang of the workouts, I’m doing much better!  I try to get in at least 3 a week, maybe 4.  Brock and I don’t have the schedule that most have of a morning, and we are gone so much in the evenings so I just try to fit it in when I can.  Which, I’ve found that as soon as I have the house to myself, or Mason is the only one with me, I’ll hurry and fix him lunch so I can start a workout.  It never fails, I’ll be 5 minutes into the workout and Brock and Brayden will come home and I have to hear whining about how my workout isn’t Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or Ninja Turtles.  I’m glad they do know that Autumn Calabrese is not in fact a Ninja Turtle or talking Mouse.  😉

I’m just going to lay it out honestly for you….I haven’t followed the diet plan, because the containers are more intimidating than I thought.  I’m good with the meal prep, I’m more than good with eating clean food, but I think I’ve counted calories for so long that any other method of dieting or watching what I eat sends my brain into hyper drive.  I want to say I’ll get better at using the containers, because obviously that is what the whole program is based off of, BUT I know myself, and if there is a way to sabotage anything I do to lose weight, I’ll find it.  I don’t want to be that way, but it’s like my brain is telling me to be that way.  Story of my life.

So basically, I’ll give you guys an update on the progress next month right before I head to the BEACH!!!  If I end up not using the containers, hopefully I will at least have picked up recipe ideas from the others in my challenge group and find more ways to eat clean and healthy and lose a few pounds from following those recipes.

Now, for your viewing pleasure….here are a few pictures from last weekend!

b football

My newest initial necklace from Bip and Bop!  I love it!

My newest initial necklace from Bip and Bop! I love it!

This is a shameless selfie.  I was having a good hair day.  Those must be documented!

This is a shameless selfie. I was having a good hair day. Those must be documented!

linds and mary

My wonderful friend who is having twins! Doesn’t she look fab!

And finally…….

pumpkin spice pic

Happy weekend all!!!

Hanging onto Summer

IMG_2778.JPG

Ok all of you fall lovers. Yes, I mean YOU–with your Bath and Body Works candles burning and your brain thinking of greens, browns, mustard yellow and gray.

Fall does not officially start until September 23rd, ok. Let’s all try to savor summer just a little bit longer–after all, I didn’t talk to one person last winter who was not complaining about the 3 months of polar vortex we had. And you all realize what season comes after fall?? Just checking.

Every year, during this “limbo” time–after August 1st to September 20th, all I ever hear is “I can’t wait to get my boots out, ohhhh and sweaters, ohhhh and the pumpkin spice latte is coming back early!” Just wait, Starbucks will bring it back earlier every year. And, I’m pretty sure it will be on the menu year round before long and lose the lustre that comes with it. Remember the cinnamon dolce latte? It was only a winter special for a few years before it became a permanent member of the year long menu. Now I don’t want one because I can get one anytime I want. You see? Only in America would someone have that type of thinking.

We all do it though, seriously!

I love fall in Indiana just as much as anyone, but I realize it’s the beginning of the end of the year, when things will soon be cold, dark and dreary. Schools rush summer and start the first week of August now, but even so, I’m hanging on.

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like summer takes forever to get here, and when it finally does show up, it’s gone again in a month. I feel like I try to pack so much into our summers and we don’t even get to accomplish half of it. For example, I still haven’t been able to take the boys to our neighborhood pool and we didn’t make it to the county fair this year either.

We did get to take an amazing beach vacation though, and had two wonderful birthday parties for our little guys, we started T-ball and now we have started soccer, Brayden rode his first ferris wheel and I had my first “fair style” corn-dog from a festival we were at (and it was heaven – big ups to deep-fried batter). Brock built the beginnings of our deck and I have tried to get to the park to walk or take evening neighborhood strolls (accompanied by Mason of course) as much as I can. I’ve hit up the local farmers market for dinners and also my parents garden as well. I’ve enjoyed my fair share of ice cream this summer and seen several summer movies. I’ve driven with the windows down jamming to Miranda Lambert on countless back roads and enjoyed coffee on my parents deck in the sunshine. Summer is my favorite and I’m not letting it go until that 4th week of September.

Step off fall, it’s not your turn yet!

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