Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Copycat (Not) Shamrock Shake Recipe Review - Plus, Join Our New Real Food Community Group!

I used to be a Shamrock Shake fanatic. I'm a mint fan and an ice cream fan. Then when I got into real food and stuff and realized there are seriously like 80 ingredients in those things....I just couldn't bring myself to eat one again. 

Though I managed to ride out Shamrock Shake season this year without being tempted, I still would love to have one again. So when I saw this recipe I knew I had to at least give it a try.

Confession though: I hate avocados. I know they are full of good fats and crap but I just haven't found a way to eat them that isn't gross. This recipe promised me a delicious and creamy minty shake though....

Anyways, it turned out alright! I can't say I'm craving it again anytime soon, but I was able to drink it and semi-enjoy it.

Yay! It wasn't terrible!

So that's my review of one of the new recipes I tried this week. If you like avocados even a tiny bit more than I do, I'm sure you will love this shake. :-)

Now on to part two of this post:

Are you interested in cleaning up your diet but don't know where to start? Are you bored with your current recipes and looking for more? Would you like to be part of a community to discuss all things concerning real food?

If so, please come and join my new facebook group, Real Foodies. It's for everyone, from beginners to pros on eating a real food diet. Ask questions and share your wisdom. It's going to be awesome, but only if we get enough members to keep up the discussion. 

So Join! I'm excited to get to know my fellow food lovers even better.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

What Strangers Say: "Yes, Henry is a boy" Edition

While I usually am sort of a homebody, every once in a while I get a day like today where I'm out and about with Henry. It never fails that Henry attracts people over to us, and they say the strangest things sometimes...

While talking to a man in his 50s at the coffee shop this morning: "So is he your son? he your little brother?" 

Flattering(?), but no. Nooo.

The biscuits at the coffee shop are the BOMB.

An employee at the Verizon store was watching Henry crawl around.
"Oh what a cutie! Is....she?...(pause while waiting for confirmation)
"Oh, *he*. He's a boy."
"Well I was almost sure he was a boy until he looked up and I saw his face. He's got such a beautiful face!"

Boys can be beautiful too, lady. 

Older lady at Verizon store is watching Henry while waiting to be helped. She comes over to me right when she's leaving.
"You have such a sweet boy!"
"Well thank you very mu--"
"Now you make sure you raise him right. Take that boy to church."
"Oh, um, we bring him every week?"
She smiled and left.

Apparently Henry looks like he could use some Jesus lovin in his life.....

Days like this leave the kid exhausted.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Happy First Birthday Henry!

from top down: newborn, 6 months, 1 year

Dear Henry,

Ohhhh my gosh, I can't believe you are one year old! It went so fast, and yet it feels like you've been part of our family for so much longer. 

Your first year was busy and packed with adventure. You have been on countless plane rides and long road trips to visit family. We welcomed you into the church through baptism. We took vacations to see family at the beach, fish at the aquarium, and more. You attended your first gaming tournament with Dada and I where we introduced you to the gaming world and our favorite hobby. You slept through your first Easter at 8 days old, and tried to understand the meaning of Christmas at 9 months. 

We learned so much about you too. Your love of being outside has never wavered, even as you grew. I rocked you gently in the breeze as a newborn to calm your crying, and now you stand at our door to let me know you want to play in the sun. I've learned your favorite foods are blueberries and chicken, and that you will sort through your plate if necessary to eat those foods first. You went from hating the car, to learning to sleep in the car, and back to hating it...but Mama understands. You crawl now, and are taking your first steps. Why would you want to be in a seat when you could run and play instead?

You don't say too many understandable words, but you sure love to talk. I love the serious way you stare into my eyes when you talk, like you are making sure I am totally paying attention and listening to your every word. You go back and forth between being attached to me and running to play on your own. You know how to tell me you want to nurse, and I love that nursing gives us some time to be still and snuggle in your busy day. 

You're a big boy, and yet you are my baby. 

I love you so much and pray for you daily, Booboo. I pray we grow in faith together as a family as you grow up even more, and that these next years are just as wonderful as this first one was.

All my love,

Friday, February 15, 2013

7 Quick Takes: Volume 45 (Meal Planning and Lent Edition)

Thanks Jen for hosting!


On the facebook page this week I talked about our venture into meal planning. We just completed our first week of meals fully planned at home, and it went surprisingly well! In case any of you were curious, here's what we had:

Breakfasts each morning: some combination of fried eggs, homemade granola, a banana, coffee
Lunch: mostly leftovers

Monday: Chili
Tuesday: we ate at Moe's Southwest Grill because Fat Tuesday
Wednesday: Stir-fry veggies and noodles, salmon
Thursday: Tacos using the leftover chicken from Sunday
Friday: not positive now because plans have changed. I had a Caesar salad for lunch with leftover salmon. We'll probably just have pasta and marinara sauce for dinner.

For snacks, I make smoothies (pb&j, or berry) and freeze them in these.

I have breakfast lasagna and broccoli cheddar soup on the menu for tomorrow, with whatever else comes to mind between now and then. I plan on making these sweet potato chai muffins for snacks for next week. We're pretty casual on Saturdays.

Note: I make a lot of substitutions in the recipes I linked there. Feel free to ask away in the comments if you have a question about how I made any of this.


I'm honestly now lost what to do for the rest of these quick takes. I need more coffee.


Now that we're 3 days into Lent, I can officially say I've kept my Lenten sacrifices up longer than last year. I think last year was just bad because I was 8.5-9 months pregnant for all of it, haha. All sacrifices involving food were really not good choices then.


Oh, I know! I wrote a piece on Proverbs 31:22 for Jen this week. I'm not sure if it's my best work...but I did enjoy writing it. :-)


I'm going to make my clothing sale a permanently running thing on the blog. I'll be updating it with new stuff from time to time. It definitely feels good to not have a crowded closet anymore, so I want to keep this up.


As part of Lent, I gave up (aka uninstalled) all of my "time waster" games on my tablet. I love games, and I see a lot of benefits in gaming, but I don't like to waste time on mindless ones. That was a habit I needed to break. My husband, who is more experienced with gaming than I am, is going to be giving me better games to play through - ones with good story, character development, problem-solving, good battle mechanics....all the good stuff. My first 'assignment' was Golden Sun for the gameboy advance. I'm a few hours in, and it's pretty good so far! Stephen refuses to help me get through the puzzles though so I've been trying to do better with figuring out the hard parts for myself, lol. I'm so used to running to him and asking him every time there is a tricky part and he says I need to get better at problem solving. He's like my gaming teacher :-P


Ok, who doesn't need a sweet little boy's smile today to make everything ok? 

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

St. Gianna And Praying For Our Children

"Love your children. In them you can see Baby Jesus. Pray for them a lot and every day put them under Holy Mary's protection."  - St. Gianna Beretta Molla 

This Sunday I'm just reflecting on the importance of praying for our children. It hit me lately how I have put a great amount of effort into providing for his physical and emotional needs (which are important, and definitely not easy to manage all the time), but that I regularly neglect his spiritual needs without even thinking. 

St. Gianna humbled me last night when I read this quote. As a Catholic mama, I'm called to go a step beyond my son's physical, mental, and emotional needs. Praying for him every single day is not just a nice little thing to do, it's the foundation of what God asks of me as my son's teacher here on earth. Henry is counting on me to teach him the faith, and more importantly, to show him our faith in action. It's a little intimidating and crazy that God has entrusted me with this task, but with His help and the intercession of my Mother Mary, I know I can handle it...and it starts with a little prayer for my son each day.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

He's 10 Months Old (Updates and Reflection)

My little pensive, grown-up boy.
The end of January means that Henry Jarvan is 10 months old today! 

My big boy crawls lightening fast, climbs on everything, and says "Mam mam" whenever he feels like it. When he hears the word "Yay!" he claps his hands. His favorite activities include watching the washer and dryer, swinging doors back and forth, and of course still banging objects together. He can find a keyboard 3 miles away and loves smashing them, much to this nerd's (aka Mama's) delight and dismay. When he hears the refrigerator door open, he comes running and cries if I close it before he gets there. He hasn't met a food he doesn't like yet, and he loooves being part of the dinner table. He even likes spicy foods, which is amazing since his own Mama can't tolerate even a hint of spice. 

He just settled into a bedtime in the last few weeks, although success varies. Totally expected for his age though, and this Mama still enjoys the snuggles, nursing sessions, and other adventures with sleep. We go through patterns of easy nights and rougher nights, though we minimize the crazy by staying near each other at night. I was just thinking though today that it's been 10 months since *I've* slept through the night, and somehow I'm still living. :-)

I think one of the most fun parts of his recent growth is that I can really tell that sometimes he understands what I'm saying. He knows what I mean when I ask him if he wants to nurse. I think he's starting to understand words like "Daddy," "toys", and even "lunch" (that's when he usually eats at the table). Sometimes I even think he understands me when I say we're going to nap! I know that just in the next months to come, his comprehension is only going to get better, and I can't wait to see what words he learns to say in the near future!

I'm thankful everyday that we are blessed with the gift of our child. God entrusted him to us to raise: kindly, gently, patiently, and with faith. I have a feeling it only gets more challenging along the way, but that's why having faith is so important and vital. As a Catholic, I have the Holy Family to look to for guidance, and the Blessed Mother as my spiritual mother and guidance. Even on the crazy days I have to remember that Henry is a gift, that he is growing and learning, and that we as parents are who he trusts for love and all of his other needs. It's a crazy responsibility, but one that we are blessed to take on. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Kendra's Mid-Winter Clothing Sale

So I'm linking up with my own other blog today to sell some of my well loved but still-in-good-shape clothing that I no longer have room for in my closet!

Yeah. Go there and see the other sales too.
So here are the rules for my clothing/accessory sale:

If you have questions about any item, comment, tweet me, or email me. I'll try to respond very quickly. I'm open to some haggling on price, or swapping items if you are selling something I want. 

All pricing includes shipping within the continental US. I'm willing to ship to other places if you're willing to pay the extra cost.

All clothes are very gently used, clean, and free from stains or tears. The dresses are freshly dry cleaned.

If you see something you want to buy, email me (kendra.baumgartner AT gmail) with the subject line "Want to buy [insert item(s) here]". I'll sell things on a first come first serve basis. I'll reply to your email with an invoice. I'll mark the item here with [Held]. If payment is not received within 24 hours of the invoice, I'll put the item(s) back up for sale (or go to the next person who requested them). Once the item is bought, I'll cross it out.

I will send the items within a week of you buying them. I will ship as efficiently as possible through the USPS. If you want tracking/confirmation or specific packaging, ask, and I'll add that to your price. Otherwise, if it gets lost in the mail, I'm truly sorry, but there is nothing I can do. :-/

So without further ado, here's what I've got to sell. Be sure to keep checking back this week, because I actually have more items to add later! Just for fun, I'll add in why I'm selling each item.

Candies (Kohls) dress from about 5ish years ago. Size Small. Just add a camisole to fix the modesty problem of the neckline. I think this dress is more geared to the teenage range, and thus I just grew out of it. I paid $50 at the time, I believe. Price: $7. 

Lauren Conrad (Kohls) dark wash jean shorts from 2012. Size 10. Selling because they don't fit.  Price: $5

ELLE (Kohls) crop pants from 2010. Size 8 (though they seem a tad large for an 8). Selling because they don't fit. Price: $5.

Daisy Fuentes (Kohls) magenta shorts, size 10, from summer 2012. Selling because they don't fit. Price: $5.

[SOLD!] Maurice's striped tunic/dress from 2007, size small.  You'll need to wear this with skinny pants or leggings unless you're pretty short. I loved it! It was well taken  care of despite its age! Selling because I can't nurse in it. Price $5, although I'll give it to you for $1 if you buy it with something else.

Oh Baby by Motherhood maternity maxi dress, size M, winter 2011/2012. I only wore this once!  It is really really nice, just ended up not feeling like my style. Also, I can't nurse in it. Price: $15.

Motherhood maternity dress, size medium, winter 2011/2012. I think I only wore this one once too. It didn't feel like my style, and now it's not nursing-friendly. Would be great for formal occasions or Mass for all of you pregnant ladies! Price: $15.

New York &Co Magenta sleeveless top, size M, summer 2011. Selling to make room for newer stuff. Price: $3.

Nine West sandals, 2011 (?),  Size 8 1/2.  Selling because I can't make wedges work for me unless they have a really fat heel, haha. Price: $8.

New York &Co rose colored shirt, size M, summer 2011. Well loved by me, but selling to make room for newer items. $3.

Indie designer dresses from, summer 2011, both size L (but they fit more like a regular women's Medium. Let me know if you want measurements). They hit above the knee, but with leggings they are really cute! For the green one: note that the shoulders have fun cutouts, and the belt is removable. For the brown/pink one: note that the back has a skinny triangle cutout (you could hide it with a high neck tank underneath), and the "belt" is part of the dress. Selling because as much as I am IN LOVE with these dresses, I simply can't nurse in them. I paid around $35 for each of these. Price: $12 each, $20 for both. 

Mossimo (Target) tunic, 2012, size M. This one is turquoise with pink/purple flower print, and I have this exact same tunic in solid black. Selling....just because. Price: $5 each. 

The Limited orange ruffle-y shirt, fall 2011, size L (although fits a little small). I keep wanting to like this shirt, but as a redhead, there truly is no easy way to wear orange. Price: $5.
Thanks for shopping! I'll be adding 5-10 more items this week as I get time, so keep checking back :-). I plan on keeping this sale "open" until all items are sold.