Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Jumbled Thoughts

Yesterday, I saw another mommy blogger post on Facebook, "What do you spend on average per child for Christmas?"...and I was shocked by the answers.  Most people commented that they spend an average of $200 - $500 PER CHILD.  I was floored! Who has that much money to spend per child for a holiday???  I didn't comment because you know how much we budget per child??.......$25-$30.  That's our budget per child.  And our kids are perfectly happy and content.  We have the set budget, and whatever can fit in that amount is what they get.  So it could be one gift, like LEGOs, or it could be 3 smaller gifts.  It would cost us $3000 if we spent $500 per kid for gifts!!  Now, I honestly don't care what you spend on your kids...I just didn't realized it was that common to spend that much. 

I'm fairly confident this baby girl will arrive within the next week.  Midwife visit yesterday showed effacement and dilation.  Today I'm feeling extremely moody, cranky, stuffy, crampy, and Teylie has been quiet.  I have a stuffy nose with a sore throat from post nasal drip...which I get before labor.  I also get these moods where I just want to be left alone.  I am SO cranky, it's ridiculous!!  I am trying to not be...but it is very hard.  My back and lower belly ache so much!!!! Mary said Teylie is also in a -1 station so she is definitely getting ready to come. 

I cannot wait for Black Friday....because my husband lets me play Christmas music and put up my Christmas decorations!!!!!!!!!  

Thursday, November 16, 2017

I'm Back!

So, I finally got a new laptop!! I budgeted one in this week, and found a nice one for a great price!  I bought and returned 2 devices in 2 days...before finally finding the right one!! (the Walmart electronics guy had no idea what he was talking about, and I ended up buying another tablet...which is considered a mobile device.  The Chromebook I got at Target isn't compatible with most coupon printing software...so I couldn't use it for the very reason I bought it in the first place!!!)  I ended up getting an HP with Windows 10, and I am loving it so far!

This means that I can now post blog posts with pictures and all kinds of other nice things again!! So stay tuned! Thanksgiving is coming up, and our baby's birth looks like it will be in the near future.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Our newest Baby Sortwell

I posted about our 20 week ultrasound that showed we are expecting a girl.  We have finally figured out her name!!!  Now, it took us a while because we had a first name, but the middle name we had chosen just wasn't working with it.  Our brother's first wife's name was Kaeli Ann...and we discovered she kept his last name (Sortwell).  She isn't a very nice person, so we didn't want our daughter's name to be SO close to hers.  But we were pretty set on the first name.  In order to make it work we decided to go with my mother-in-law's  name, Robin.  So, our daughter's name is...

Teylie Robin Sortwell

Hey There!

So, I still don'the have a desktop or laptop computer, but my tablet rebooted itself and works much faster so I can post from there.  I can' figure out how to upload pictures, though.  Just wanted to let you all know I'm still here.  I post from my phone onto my Facebook page, so click the Facebook icon to the right and follow me there!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Our Newest Baby

This week I am officially at the halfway point in this pregnancy!!  And yesterday was my mid-term anatomy ultrasound.  I was able to drop my oldest 5 kids at a friend's house, and my mother-in-law, mom, and youngest went to the doctor's office. 

What I love about the place I'm going to is that the neonatologist I am under (while being seen by midwives) does my ultrasounds.  He is the formost 4D ultrasound doctor in the area, so he does things quickly and efficiently.  What used to take me an hour with the tech at the other place took 20 minutes with him!  He also asked if we were finding out the gender, to which I said "YES"!! 

I had this feeling I am carrying a girl, although at my last check up the heartbeat was 140-150s which is what my boys were, so I waivered a little.  But the past week I felt a strong girl 'vibe'. 

He checked my cervix to see if there was a change indicating preterm labor.  Everything looks great and sealed tightly shut!  So then, he went straight to the reason I was so excited.  He asked me first, "What do you think you're having."  and I said, "I think it's a girl."  He took a look and said,

"Looks like the girls have it!  It's a girl!"

Fionna is just over the moon excited to be getting another sister.  Kayson was super disappointed at first, but today he is feeling much better about it. 

Now, Bram and I need to find the perfect name for our little girl! All we know right now is her middle name will be "Ann" after his Nana Brow.  (his Nana Jones' middle name is "Anna" which is pretty cool!) 

She was shy.

Monday, July 10, 2017

I Love having a Garden!!

Seriously...is there anything more amazing than seeing plants you've planted and watered, and weeded yield their fruits???  AGH!!!  It is SO very exciting to me!  I checked my plants today, and I have tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash, blueberries, strawberries, spaghetti squash, jalapenos, cabbage, broccoli, and potatoes all growing at a great rate!  I even picked some bell peppers that were ready.  Here are some then and now pictures...

Monday, June 19, 2017

THM Recipe: BBQ Bacon Chicken {THM - S}

I came up with this recipe on a whim.  I was craving BBQ flavor and bacon.  There are a few on plan BBQ sauces you can buy in a store.  I'm sure you can find some on Pinterest as well.

BBQ Bacon Chicken
(Print This Recipe!)
Serves 6-8


1c. Any on plan BBQ sauce.  Mrs. Criddle has a great one here
6-8 chicken breasts
6-8 slices bacon (I used thick cut)


Preheat oven to 400.  Trim fat off of chicken.  Cut each breast in half width-wise.  Coat chicken in BBQ sauce.  Wrap once bacon slice around each piece of chicken.  Spread more BBQ sauce on each piece of chicken.  Place on a greased baking sheet or roaster pan. Put into the oven and bake 30-45 minutes.  When internal temperature is 160, flip chicken over and broil for a minute or 2, to crisp up the bottom of the bacon. 

Or, You can heat up a grill and grill them! 


Monday, June 12, 2017

THM Recipe: Chicken Jalapeno Popper Casserole {THM - S}

I am currently in love with all things jalapeƱo!  So, I took a recipe I found from Pinterest and turned it into a THM-friendly meal!

Jalapeno Popper Chicken Casserole (S)
(Print this Recipe!)
Serves 6-8


2 jalapenos, diced small (seeds out)
4-5 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
2 cups Monterrey jack cheese, shredded
1 box Dreamfields rotini pasta, cooked.
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups water
1 pkg. 1/3 fat cream cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook chicken and pasta.  Dice chicken. Dice peppers.  Put chicken, diced jalapenos, & pasta in a casserole dish (I used an 11x15 pan).  Shred both cheeses.  Bring cream, cream cheese, & water to a boil in a medium sauce pan.  Slowly add in shredded cheeses, stirring until cheese is melted.  Pour over chicken, jalapenos, & pasta.  Mix together, put into the oven for 20 minutes covered.  Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.  ENJOY!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017


Well, we made it past 10 weeks!!  Darcy was miscarried at exactly 10 weeks, so I was nervous as we approached week 10 with Sparky Nugget (as my kids call the new baby.)!  I had a midwife appointment this past Wednesday, and Libby used the Doppler to try to find a heartbeat.  It took about 5-7 minutes, but we finally heard the "thwump-thwump" of a heartbeat!  I unexpectedly teared up.  It was such a beautiful sound!  Libby understood, and said, "At least they are happy tears!" 

I have the mid pregnancy anatomy scan with the neonatalogist in August when we are at 19 weeks.  I am SO excited to find out if we will be having a girl or a boy!  We do have some names picked out, but are undecided between 2 boy names and 2 girl names.  We do know that if Sparky is a girl, her middle name will be "Ann,"  after my husband's Nana Brow.  Since this is the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, I thought it'd be cool/fitting to use the middle name "Luther" if it's a boy...after the man who started the Reformation by nailing his 95 Theses to the doors of the church in 1517. 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

I love Summer!

I'm so excited....because my husband and I are busy creating our vegetable garden, front flower garden, and our front porch haven!! 

Our front flower garden has been slowy deteriorating since we moved in 9 years ago.  My mother-in-law had some mini roses and tuilps in the front garden.  It was a cute little garden!  When we lost our little Darcy last year at 10 weeks gestation;  we buried him/her in a corner of the little garden.  My husband bought a beautiful headstone and we put it in the garden.  We want to make it look pretty, so we have planned a cute flower garden to spruce the space up.  

(not my garden)

I love growing vegetables!!  I love transplanting the plants and watering them. I love watching the veggies grow from tiny to big because I took care of them!  We have a slightly raised bed garden in our backyard.  This year we are planting tomatoes, broccoli, potatoes, basil, cilantro, cucumbers, zucchini, spaghetti squash, jalapenos, cabbage, cauliflower, blueberries, and lettuce.  Our strawberries have come back even though I planted them 2 years ago!! I am excited to see how these veggies will grow!

My dream has always been to have an inviting, relaxing front porch for people to relax on.  I love white wicker!  I have to figure out what colors I want, but I know it will include red accents.  I cannot wait to have this space all set up! 

(just an idea picture)

Friday, May 19, 2017

Nearing the End

It's that time of year again!!  The time of year where kids can play outside all day, and Mommy doesn't have to constantly say, "Do your work!"

It's almost the end of the school year!! 

We started over with our curriculum about 6 weeks after school started, so we are behind in a few subjects...but for the most part...we should be done by the end of June! 

Don't get me wrong:  I love homeschooling!!  But I do enjoy my summer break.  I will do a few things with the kids, like make them read a small chapter book at least 3x a week to keep their reading skills up. 

Even though Liam will be 5 by September, I may wait a year to start him in school.  Right now, he doesn't seem at all interested or ready to start.  I'll be able to determine more closer to fall. 

Are you almost done?  Hooray! 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

I Love Food!

Ok, so...I have to confess...I LOVE FOOD!!!  Pretty much all of the bad things like donuts, pizza, burgers, fries, cheese, cupcakes, cheesecake, etc.  are what I love.  Food tastes amazing, and when I'm stressed, it makes me feel better. (mentally...physically, if I eat too much, I do NOT feel good.)  And with a love of food comes the yo-yo weight gain/loss.  I hate that!!  I'd rather see the scale moving down...not up and down. 

So far, this pregnancy, I haven't gained anything.  I lost 2lbs., actually.  But I have been eating horribly...as in, burgers, chips, mac 'n cheese, and what not.  It's bad...

So, I've decided to do my best to cut out sugar and bad fats...basically THM but with a ton more grace and understanding. (plus, this pregnant mama wants her Sweet BBQ Bacon burger from McDonalds every once in a while!!) 

Tonight, I'm making THM Lemon Bars which I will review in the coming days/week.  I also plan on making more THM dinners, which the kids and the hubs like.  I also bought some Halo Top ice cream in Salted Caramel and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.  Hopefully I will maintain a  healthy diet throughout the pregnancy!!


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Our Newest Baby!

Yesterday, I woke up and I was bleeding.  I panicked immediately, and scheduled an ultrasound with my midwife's office.  Turns out I have my usual subchorionic bleed...that normally resolves itself around 7-8 weeks.  I am SO relieved!!  I did get 2 pictures of our new baby!  There isn't much to see, as I am only 6 weeks, and baby is the size of a sweet pea.

Baby Sortwell #8!

Monday, April 24, 2017

THM Recipe: Cheesy Bacon Dip (S)

This recipe came from my aunt.  She always brings this dip to family gatherings, and it is just SO delicious!!

Cheesy Bacon Dip (S)
(Print this Recipe!)


6 slices cooked bacon, chopped
6 green onions, chopped (just the green parts)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup Mayonnaise

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  Keep refrigerated.  Serve with on plan tortilla chips, any one of the crispy recipes in the THM cookbook, or chicharrones.


Friday, April 21, 2017

Determined to Stay Active

I am resolved.  No excuses.  I WILL maintain an active pregnancy.

I always say I'm going to keep up with exercises and workouts during my pregnancies...and then promptly use the fatigue, the aches, the pains to excuse my laziness.  Well, not this time!  I'm currently at my lowest starting pregnancy weight since Fionna (I was 130lbs. when I got pregnant with her...)  at 167.  I want to keep that, and maybe lower it.  At the most, I don't want to gain a ton more.  I only gained 7lbs. with Winry so I know it can be done!!

So, what's my plan??

1.  I will stick to a healthy diet.

I will mostly stick to a Trim Healthy Mama diet with graces given for times I just slip or knowingly go off plan.  I'll be watching calories and counting macros to some degree.  I will make sure I'm getting the right amount of protein.  I'll be making better choices.

2.  I will actually workout.

I've found several pregnancy weightlifting programs that I want to follow.  Of course, no super heavy weights, but since I was already doing that prior to getting pregnant, I can still do it during.  I also will still be doing my Zumba, PiYo, and RIPPED classes when I can.  I thoroughly enjoy jogging in the summer, and cannot wait to start back up soon!

3.  I will listen to my body.

With all exercising, you must listen to your body.  If it feels uncomfortable, check your form.  If it causes issues afterwards, lighten your weights/shorten your reps.  Knowing what your body can handle is great for preventing injury.  Listening also means, if you're craving something, eat it.  It's ok if it's not the healthiest...just have it once.  If you crave it all of the time, maybe try finding a healthier alternative.  I'm currently craving jalapenos...which are pretty healthy...so that's a plus!

I am determined to remain active and healthy throughout this pregnancy.  I enjoy working out, and being active, and that can make a pregnancy pretty enjoyable, too.   

Monday, April 17, 2017

A Rainbow of Hope...and Fear

After the Great Flood in Genesis, God put a rainbow up in the sky, to show His promise to the earth.  Today, whenever we see a rainbow, it reminds us of God's promises, and that He never breaks them.  It gives us hope, knowing we are loved by a God who keeps his covenants with His people.

A miscarriage is one of the biggest storms a family can go through.  It has dark, dark days.  The sun never seems to shine.  All is despairing and gloomy.  And sometimes God sends a rainbow.  A Rainbow Baby is a baby conceived after a loss...whether that loss is a miscarriage, still birth, or newborn death.  It is the beauty after the storm.

Last week, during our flu escapade that lasted 5 days, we found out we are expecting again.  Seeing those 2 pink lines gave me such mixed emotions!  I was elated, excited, and surprised.  And with that came the fear. 
"What if I lose this one, too?"

God is in control over all things.  And He loves and cares for me and my children both living and in heaven.  If He chooses to take this child to be with Him in heaven, then that is His will.  I have comfort and joy knowing that I will see my children again in heaven someday.  And if He mercifully allows this child to remain on this earth, we will love and cherish him and raise him up to love the Lord. 

Everyday brings joy knowing there's a little life inside of me.  Some days I have mini panic attacks that wash over me like a wave.  I have to calm myself down.  Pray.  Beg God to give me His peace.  I know it's normal to be hyper-aware of every twinge, every cramp, every strange feeling after a miscarriage.  I am trying my best to trust in the Lord and give my cares, my baby, into His loving arms.

So, here we go again!

 Baby Sortwell #8 is on it's way!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Partially Doing THM

Well, this is a post that I have been thinking about for a while.  So...here goes!

I've decided to do THM 50% of the time;  or less.

There, it's out! 


Because it is just too difficult to keep doing it 100% with our lifestyle/work schedule/church schedules.  We are in the nearby city for church-related things 3-4 times per week.  That is 1 hour of driving time, and roughly 1 1/2-4 hours there.  That doesn't leave a lot of time to be worrying about how many hours have passed, what fuel I'm needing/eating next, if something I'm getting from the fast food place is on plan...etc.  We live a busy, hectic life, and our eating schedules need to be flexible;  and THM is very difficult to do flexibly. (is that a word??)

We love the dinners, and will still be making/eating them!  I will try my best to separate fuel types, and eat healthy foods.  I like to make the crockpot meals on nights I'm exercising.  My husband needs potatoes in his life...I'm serious!!  He is the epitome of a "steak and potatoes" guy! 

We will be watching our portions, and still eating clean and healthy foods.  Some of it may not be on plan. 

So, what does this mean for my blog??

Well, nothing, really.  I'll still post recipe round ups, single recipes, awesome websites, and other such THM-related posts.  I love what I've learned about and through THM.  Some things I disagree with, but most of it I do agree with.  But, I may, occasionally, post about foods or recipes that are NOT on plan.  I will make sure to specify that in the post, and will NOT share them in the THM groups.

Also, PLEASE, PLEASE, I BEG YOU...do NOT flood my post with hate comments about how I'm obviously not doing things right, or that I am a bad person to not be 100%...I ask that because it won't do anything.  I have thought this through for a while, and have full support from my husband.  Yes, THM does wonders for hundreds of women, but it is difficult and hard for me.  I've been doing it for about 3 years now, and have only lost 35lbs. with 1.5 pregnancies in between.  I've seen so many women posting about how they lost 30lbs. in 2 months without exercising...so that in itself is super frustrating.  (props to them, though!  that's awesome!) 

So, that was just something I had to get off my chest. 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Major News Ahead!!

Well, I have a post I'm working on right now that is HUGE!! 

It's about THM.

Most of you will probably be surprised.

I'm kind of nervous to post it, but I have to.

So, stay tuned...and NO, this is NOT an April Fool's Day prank!!!! 

Monday, March 13, 2017

5 Quick and Easy THM-approved Lunches

I've been thinking and planning out some quick, easy THM lunches that I can make for myself lately.  I usually make my kids sandwiches, mac n cheese, or pizza rolls for their lunches.  Those are not on plan.  I don't want to have to use a ton of dishes and take 30 minutes to make my lunch on top of theirs, so here are 5 Quick and Easy THM Lunch ideas I came up with.

1.  Turkey Roll-ups ~ (S)

Take an on-plan tortilla (Mission Carb Smart,  1/2 Joseph's Lavish), spread mayonnaise all over it.  Cover with pepperoni.  Cover with cheese.  Cover with lettuce/spinach.  Add sliced deli turkey (or meat of your choice).  Roll up, and slice into 1in. thick rolls. 
It is seriously SO easy, and delicious!!  I split one tortilla into 2 lunches with 2 hard boiled eggs.

2. Honey Mustard Chicken Salad (S)

Rip up a head of lettuce (you can stretch this into 2 lunches by using only a half.).  Chop up an already baked chicken (or turkey) breast, and put it over lettuce.  Add chopped tomatoes (or whatever other veggies you'd like.). You could add hard boiled egg slices, too.  Drizzle Honey Mustard Dressing (from the cookbook) on top.  ENJOY!

3.  Turkey Spinach Sandwich ~ (E)

Take 2 slices on plan sprouted bread.  Spread mayonnaise and mustard on one slice.  Add turkey.  Add spinach.  (I add jalapenos, too.) Add tomato slice if you want. Put together and EAT!!

4. Cinnamon & "Sugar" Toast ~ (XO)

Toast 2 slices on-plan, sprouted bread.  Spread butter while still hot. Sprinkle cinnamon and sweetener on top (I use Truvia).  ENJOY!

5.  Chips & Salsa (E)

If you can find on-plan corn chips, YAY!!  You can eat them with on-plan salsa for a yummy, quick lunch.  I love spicy food, so this is one of my favorites.

Do you have any quick, easy lunch ideas? Please share in the comments below!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Friendship of Moms

This past year (2016) we made the tough decision to leave the church we had been members of for 7 years.  Our children were born and baptized in that church.  We still visit occasionally, and remain friends with most of the members today. 

We began attending the church our brother and sister attend, and we are close to becoming members.  Even though we are not members yet, we feel that we are already part of it.  My kids have been going to their Pioneer Club for 3 years now.  We went to 2 years of VBS.  Last summer, we did the weekly Moms in the Park.  Our kids have lots of friends, and I have friendships with many of the moms. 

That friendship the moms of this church actively cultivate is beyond amazing! During the summer, we meet weekly at a local park for a playdate/talk time.  In the fall/winter/spring months we meet once a month and have a book discussion.  I know that the friendships I had with the moms helped me get through the depressing days after my miscarriage.  Several of them have had miscarriages of their own, and offered love, prayer, and support.  If there is anything we need prayer for, everyone feels free to post in our Facebook group, and all of the moms pray and ask for updates.  It's so encouraging!! 

As you readers know, I posted that I was going through some health issues lately.  I had pregnancy symptoms, and a faint positive in February.  After the faint positive, I took several more tests, but they were super faint, to negative.  I was still having symptoms, though.  I got an hcg blood test done (2, actually), and it was negative.  I waited another week, and then started bleeding (like a period...just 2 weeks late).  My midwife thinks I was pregnant, but that it "failed" shortly after implantation.  I had the faint positive while the hcg was still in my system.  But she is not 100% positive of it, as there are other explanations.  So, we are just not dwelling on that, but leaving it in God's hands.  We will know for sure when we get to heaven. I am feeling pretty much normal now, so I am thanking God for that! 

I was able to ask the moms for prayers as we went through this confusing "am I pregnant, or not" situation.  It was amazing to have love and support!  Having other moms to go to when I need help is really wonderful! 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


Hey, Everyone!  I know I said I was working on new posts, and I am.  I am just going through some health issues right now.  I don't know when I'll be able to post my new stuff.  I'll post in my Facebook page so if you want to stay updated, like it!! Thank you for understanding.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

I'm Still Here!!

Hey all!

Sorry I haven't posted in a while.  Life is crazy right now, but all good things!  I'm working on more THM posts, life posts, and just random things.  I'll have new posts up soon, I promise!! 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Honest Thoughts on Miscarriage...

Going through a miscarriage is awful.  It's been 5 months since our baby went to heaven, and it feels like it was yesterday.  Here are some of the things I've been feeling...

1.  How many kids do I tell people I have?

I have 7 children.  But normally, people don't talk about the dead.  My dilemma is that to not include Darcy in my child count feels like I'm saying he/she wasn't a child.  So, most of the time, I say I have 6 kids and 1 in heaven. 

2.  Why do people ask if we are done having kids?

It's like, "oh your baby died, so you're done now, right?"  Or maybe it's because we have 6 living children and people think that's 4 too many.  I'm not sure what makes people ask us that.  I am not sure how I feel about it, either.  I'm used to it as people asked us this before we lost our baby.  *shrug*

3.  Do I want to get pregnant again?

I've been struggling with this one alot lately.  Some days I feel like my depression would lessen if I got pregnant soon.  And then I think that if I did get pregnant, I'd worry and freak at every little thing. I guess we'll get to that if God gives us another one.

4.  It hurts when friends have babies/announce pregnancies

I'm not going to lie...it hurts alot when friends have their babies or announce their pregnancies.  Not because I'm jealous, or because I'm not happy for them...but because it is just something that I'm supposed to be experiencing right now, and I'm not.  My sister is overdue with my niece at this very moment, and I am so super excited for her arrival!  

5.  Church is hard.

Sundays are mixed emotion days for me.  I love to sit in my Dad's class about the Covenants!  Service is different, because I'm surrounded by moms and newborns and it occasionally overwhelms me.  

6.  It has brought my faith into focus.

I have never needed the Lord as much as I do now.  (well, I have always needed the Lord, but you know what I mean.)  Honestly, I would probably be unable to function if I wasn't a child of God.  I have my bad days, but I know that He is and will always be there for me.  He has used music as a way of healing for me.  (I've always been a music person.)  A few songs that help me on the bad days are:   Thy Will by Hillary Scott, Trust in You by Lauren Daigle, and Eye of the Storm by Ryan StevensonThy Will was written by Hillary Scott after she had a miscarriage, so that one is especially dear to me.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Trim Healthy Mama in a Large Family #2

I posted about doing THM in a large family here: THM in a Lrg. Fam. #1

So, this is another post related to having a large family while doing THM.  We have 8 people in our family.

The THM Cookbook is perfectly made for our family.  Most recipes are made for 6-8 people, and we almost always have leftovers for my hubby's lunch the next day.

My husband does THM only because I make THM suppers.  And once in a great while, I'll do a non-THM supper.

I sometimes add a non-THM element to my suppers for my hubby and kids.  Like, when we do enchiladas.  I make it an S or a E.  I take as much as I need for 4, on plan enchiladas.  I use my on plan tortillas.  Then, I add in other ingredients like beans, (I add those to mine if I'm making an E.) and other things.  I use regular tortillas for theirs.  Bake them together, and ta-da!  We all get to enjoy a delicious meal, and I stay on plan!

Pizza night is a weekly occurrence in this house.  I would normally just make the pizzas as usual, using regular flour for the crust.  But I discovered something from a mama in the main THM group on Facebook!!!  Use the Butterfly Wings Cake recipe in the cookbook, omitting the sweetener.  It fluffs up, and crisps just like real dough!!  It is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!   It's a revelation!  I can now enjoy thick crust pizza with the rest of the family while sticking to the plan!

Another recipe I split is Slim Sloppy Joes.  I use sprouted buns for myself, and off plan buns for the rest of the family.  Here is a list of some meals I split:
Chicken Florentine
Salsa Chicken
Balsamic Chicken
Coconut Thai Chicken
Rich N Tender Stew
 I split these by making them as they are in the cookbook, then adding some off plan carbs for my growing kids, and off plan hubs.  Carbs such as noodles, white rice, sometimes brown rice to make it a crossover for them.  I have no qualms about eating a crossover occasionally if I'm really hungry and wanting some carbs. 

Ok, so that was just a small post on doing THM in a Large Family.  Do you have any tips/tricks?  Please share them in the comments below! 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

THM Super Bowl Party ~ No Special Ingredients Edition

The Super Bowl is upon us once again!  My Seahawks didn't make it, but the Patriots did so I have a team to cheer for!  If you're planning on having a Super Bowl party, here are some great, no-special-ingredients ideas.


Cheese stuffed bacon wrapped jalapenos
Cheese tray
Smoked sausage
Cheesy Bacon Zucchini Skins (using Rohnda's Ranch Dressing)
Bacon-wrapped Meatballs (There's a meatball recipe in the cookbook)

Main Dishes

Hamburgers (plain, or on plan-approved bread/buns)
Taco Salad (cookbook)
Enchiladas (Mrs. Criddle has a great recipe!)
Ribs (with on-plan BBQ sauce. Mrs. Criddle has a great one!)


Broccoli Salad
Veggie tray (with Rohnda's Ranch Dressing from the cookbook!)
Fruit tray
Deviled Eggs (cookbook)
Ham & Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms


Coney Island Party Dip
7 Layer Pizza Dip (for veggies, plan-approved chips, any of the crunchy recipes in the cookbook)
Honey Mustard Dressing (cookbook)
Rohnda's Ranch Dressing (cookbook)


Cottage Berry Whip (cookbook)
Magic Bars (there are a few on plan ones floating around Pinterest)
Strawberries and Whipped Cream
Cheesecake (cookbook)

These are just a few of the many delicious, on-plan Superbowl party ideas you can find on Pinterest or on the many THM blogs.  Have fun watching the game, and staying on plan, Mamas!


*Recipes taken from these bloggers:  Mrs. Criddle's Kitchen & Joy Filled Eats.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Something's Up!!

I honestly don't know what has gotten into me lately...but I've been bitten by the cleaning/organizing bug!  I have always struggled with laziness.  I HATE work...ESPECIALLY cleaning!  I mean, it's so mundane, and it constantly has to be done.

In the past few weeks, I've noticed that messes bother me.  Like, I pulled all of the couches away from the walls and swept everything out from underneath because it bothered me that it was there.  Today I finally tackled the corner of our playroom that I used as storage...that's been there for literally months and months.

I suddenly want everything to have a place, and be in it's place.  I want the floors vacuumed.  I want the bathrooms wiped down every night.  (Ok, Mom...you can get up off of the floor now.)  I want the kids' rooms cleaned up every day.  I make sure the kitchen is clean and dinner is cleaned up immediately after dinner. (yes, I mostly let dishes sit for a day....or two...)

My favorite thing to do is connect my phone to our speaker and blast upbeat, Christian music while the kids and I clean.  It turns into a dance party at times, but I make it fun...and we LOVE IT! (Just try listening to Unspoken's Open the Clouds without dancing...I dare you! )

I'm not sure what's happening...but my husband is certainly NOT complaining, HAHA!

Trim Healthy Mama Discovery

After researching about PCOS, I came to the conclusion that THM was the best diet to adopt 100% (or at least TRY to do 100%).  And when I determined to do that, I discovered something.

It really isn't THAT hard to stay on plan!  

Even when I'm running errands!  I don't have to deprive myself of fast food in order to stay on plan.  I can order a Breve Latte at Starbucks, coffee with cream at McDonalds, and there are so many other choices.

I find it WAY easier to stay on plan when I purposefully keep on plan foods in my cupboards.  I also find that having a strong motivation to stay on plan helps.

My motivation is to slim down for my friend's wedding in May.  She asked me to be her bridesmaid, and the dress she picked is gorgeous!  I was surprised I was in a size smaller than I thought, but I still would like to not look like a stuffed sausage.

If I can stay mostly on plan, please know that...


Thursday, January 26, 2017

THM Recipe Review: Rich and Tender Stew (S)

Rich and Tender Stew (S)

Pros:  Easy, Slow cooker meal

Cons:  Isn't filling (for me anyway)

Cost:  Good, if you can find a cheap roast

Times Made:  5

Rating: ****

This recipe only got 4 stars because it doesn't really fill me up.  That may just be me, but I'm being totally honest in these reviews.  It tastes AMAZING!!  The Radishes in place of potatoes is a breakthrough.  My kids enjoy this meal.  It feeds my family of 8 with leftovers for hubby's lunch the next day!  We bought half of a half of a cow, so I have plenty of roasts to use for this. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Trying New Things

Lately, I've been getting out of my comfort zone and trying new things!

I've posted quite a few pictures of my crochet work in a few crochet groups I'm in on Facebook.  I've had several ladies ask me to do video tutorials and post them on YouTube!  I did 2 videos before, but they were mostly for a few Facebook friends that crochet.  So, I'm working on one now.

I discovered silicone wedding bands.  I.  Love.  Them!  So comfortable, they don't pinch when you're using dumbells or kettlebells, and they don't get wear and tear like metal rings.  I recently had my engagement ring resized, and in the process, the band part got flattened and thinnned, although I don't understand why...because I got it a size smaller.  Anyway, they are great!  I tried a Qalo, but it was too big, and really expensive.  I found another brand called RAAZOS on Amazon.  You can get 4 bands for $12!

It's a new year, and I can't wait to see what God does for us in 2017! 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Thoughts on Husbands

Everyone talks about how women need compliments about their appearance so their confidence, self esteem, whatever, is boosted.  I personally love it when my husband says something nice about me.  But do you ever, as a wife, say nice things about your husband's body to him?  I'm not talking sexual things...I'm talking compliments. 

The other day, my husband and I were getting ready for bed, and he was trying to see his back muscles in the mirror.  He said, "Back muscles are kind of annoying.  You can't look at them and enjoy what they look like."  I replied, "Well I certainly enjoy them.  You look great."  The look on his face was just so eye opening for me.  He looked so pleased and happy that I would say that.  He was like, "Really?  Ok, well that's good, I suppose,"  and smiled wide.

We as wives need to be encouraging our husbands by telling them things like this.  We aren't the only ones who appreciate a compliment on our bodies.  They need to know that we love and admire their bodies, just like they do to ours.  It encourages them, and makes them feel good. 

Especially if your husband is into working out and fitness.  He needs to hear that he is making progress, or that you appreciate what he's doing.  Even if you already thing he looks amazing, he may be insecure. 

Now for a little husband bragging on my part...

I never noticed my husband had gotten quite large after our wedding.  He decided he wanted to try a Tough Mudder obstacle course in 2014.  I thought he was crazy, but he was determined.  He started working out to prepare, and he lost about 33lbs.  Looking at old pictures one day, I was astounded that he was so big at one time!  I had never noticed, and I thought he was always my Hot Guy.  In all, he has lost 55lbs. and even so, he steps on the scale and sighs because he isn't losing the weight he wants to.  I always tell him to stop obsessing...he looks great, and it will come off with all of the hard work he puts into his fitness. I love my man, and appreciate all he does! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

THM Recipe Round Up: Lemon Recipes

I am a lover of lemon, so I thought I'd do a round up of some delicious, THM-approved Lemon Recipes!  Any recipe from the THM Cookbook will have page numbers!  All recipes listed are linked to the actual recipe on the website of it's creator!  Just click on it.  I posted a yummy lemon cake recipe by Joanie Hummel here ---> Joanie's Lemonlicious Cake

Savory Recipes:

Slow Cooker Lemon Chicken with Brown Rice (E)
Lemon Butter Chicken Instant Pot (S) or (XO)
Lemon Pepper Pork (S)
Baked Lemon Butter Tilapia (S)
Lemon Chicken Spaghetti Squash (S)
Lamb Spanakopita Burgers with Tzatziki (S)
Lemony Chicken and Quinoa Soup (E)
Grilled Chicken Tabbouleh Salads (E)
Lemon Herb Drummies (Pg.51) {S}
Roasted Pork with Lemon Garlic Green Beans (S) 
Low Carb Lemon Sesame Chicken (S)

Sweet Recipes:

Pavlova with Lemon Curd Berries (S)
Lemon Cream Pavlova (S) or (FP)
Lemon Berry Buckle (S)
Creamy Oatmeal Lemon Bars (S)
Sugar-free, Copycat Starbucks Lemon Loaf (S)
Lemon Poppyseed Protein Ball (S)
BBLD Crepes (S)
Lemon Poppyseed Muffins (S)
Lemon Squares (S)
Luscious Lemon Yogurt (FP)
Creamy Lemon Ice Cream (S)
Lemon Poppyseed Muffins (Pg. 278) {S}
Lucious Lemon Cake (Pg. 289) {S}
Lemon Curd Layer Cake (Pg. 299) {S}
Lemon Creamsicles (Pg. 368) {S}
Lemon Slushy (Pg. 372) {FP}
Superfood Lemon Coconut Chews (Pg. 383) {S} or {FP}
Meadow's Lemon Coconut Truffles (Pg. 386) {S}
Lemon Pucker Gummies (Pg. 387) {FP}
Gluten Free Lemon Cake (S)
Lemon Blueberry Muffins (S)
Lemon Cheesecake with Sour Cream Topping (S)
Strawberry Lemon Thumbprint Cookies (S)
Blueberry Lemon MiM (S)
Blueberry Lemon Creamsicle Shake (FP)
Strawberry Lemonade Squares (S)

Drink Recipes:

Sugar-free Lemonade Frosty (FP)
Singing Canary (Pg. 398-399)  {FP}
Creamy Coconut and Lemon Turmeric Shake (S)
Frosted Lemonade (FP)
Frosted Strawberry Lemonade (FP)
Lemon Fat-stripping Frappa (Pg. 419) {FP}
Lemon-Lime Trim Pop (Pg. 443) {FP}

Sauce Recipes:

Creamy Lemon Dessert Sauce (S)
Lemon Aioli (S)

Recipes taken from these wonderful blogs:  Mama Shire, Nana's Little Kitchen, Joy Filled Eats,The Coers Family, My Fling with Food, The Northern Nester, Wonderfully Made and Dearly Loved, Rohnda SueBriana Thomas, Gwen's Nest, Oh Sweet Mercy, Chrissy Benoit in Love, My Table of Three, and from the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook by Pearl Barret and Serene Allison.

Monday, January 16, 2017

THM Recipe Review: Chicken Florentine (S)

Chicken Florentine (Pg. 46)

Pros:  delicious, slow cooker meal

Cons:  None

Cost:  Inexpensive

Times Made: 8

Rating:  *****

This is a recipe my whole family loves.  Yes, my kids LOVE a recipe with spinach in it!  I made it for our church's monthly fellowship meal, and so many women said it was amazing.  It is SO easy to just throw everything into the crock pot and go on with my day.  All I do at dinner time is shred the chicken and make some Dreamfields pasta.  (you can also use zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash)  My daughter gushes about this meal...telling me over and over again how good and yummy it is.  I highly recommend it!  The recipe as written in the cookbook feeds my family of 8 with leftovers.  

Thursday, January 12, 2017

THM Recipe: Joanies Lemonlicious Cake (S)

A mama in the Trim Healthy Mama Facebook group has given me permission to publish her recipe for lemon cake!  I am obsessed with lemon everything!  It's one of my favorite flavors.  So, here it is...

Joanie's Lemonlicious Cake (S)
 (created by Joanie Hummel)

Makes 12 cupcakes, or 1 sheet cake
(Print This Recipe!)

For the cake:

Dry Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup THM baking blend (or your own blend)
2 TBS collagen
1 TBS baking powder
1 tsp mineral salt
3/4 cup gentle sweet (or other sweetener, converted.)
1/4 tsp guccie (glucomannan)

Wet Ingredients:

2 eggs
1/2 cup almond milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp lemon extract
4 oz. (1 stick) butter, melted

For the Frosting:

6 oz. 1/3 fat cream cheese
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup gentle sweet (or sweetener of your choice, converted.)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix up dry ingredients.
Mix up wet ingredients.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients, mix well.
Pour into a greased 9x13 pan, or 12 muffin pan.
Bake for 30 minutes for 9x13, or 20 minutes for cupcakes.

For frosting,
Mix all ingredients and whip to thicken.

Frost after cake/cupcakes have cooled.


Monday, January 9, 2017

A Health Commitment

I started a  Health Bet challenge group today!  It's a 28 day commitment to work out at least 3x a week, and have a Shakeology shake 5x a week.  At the end, you get a money payout for participating!  So, why did I sign up to do it?

1.  I never really follow through on fitness commitments.

I don't know how many times I've committed to a certain number of workouts a week, and never done it.  Even when I got my Fitbit, I rarely do more than 3 workouts per week.  I've been wanting to up my workouts as I seem to have hit a plateau in my journey to lose weight and get fit.  With this challenge group, you can do workouts at home, or at a gym, or at the Y. So, even if I can't make it to the Y during the week, I can still workout at home and it counts!

2.  I usually have coffee for breakfast.

Ever since I had Winry, I just don't like to eat breakfast.  I have coffee with creamer, and I'm good.  That's really not a healthy breakfast, so I decided to try Shakeology.  It is packed with nutrient-dense super foods, and is super easy to make in the morning...just a scoop, milk, and ice. 

3.  You get paid!

The Beachbody Health Bet is a $2 million prize split among finishers who complete the bet for the 28 days.  Who doesn't want to make money while doing something good?  All you have to do is log in 3 workouts per week, and drink Shakeology 5 days of the week and log that in with a picture.  Shakeology comes in a variety of flavors, so you can pick one or get a few packs of all of the flavors. The cash prize can be anywhere from $5-$500!!  Ladies I know who have done it before have gotten $20-$150! 

*I did talk and explain this challenge with my husband, who said I could do it.  He is very encouraging.  I'm already doing at least 2 if not more workouts a week lately, and I already had some Shakeology from my last pregnancy.  My Zumba/PiYo instructor gave me a half bag so I could get some nutrition despite not being able to keep things down.