Sometimes you have to be thankful for the little things…

You really do. If you didn’t, you heart may fail, and your mind might be blown! You might even give up. I have spent 8 of the last 17 days in the hospital, trying to help my hubby as the doctors try to figure out how to fix him. It’s all guess and check… this doctor stuff. Still no real answers, but while I waited, I kept my hands busy. We may not have any real answers, but I have a really cute hat. :)


11 people and counting…


So our house is full to the brim. We can’t even all fit in the kitchen to enjoy a meal together. Eleven people, two high chairs… and don’t forget the 120 pound dog. He’s still there too. That is some serious food. Eating paleo with 11 people can be challenging. It’s some serious prepping and cooking. We go through 42 eggs a day. Forty-two! I need to get some chickens! Seriously. How many chickens would I need to get so that they lay 42 eggs a day?

Not to mention that all the adults work. How do we make meals easier? I mean, we are all pretty pooped at the end of the day. I was back in the classroom all last week getting things ready, attending inservices. This week will be the same. So I thought about freezer meals. Freezer meals for eleven people. Hmmm… Easier or harder to prep all the meals in one day? I’m not sure, but I will keep you posted. Next Friday is shopping day. Saturday is prepping day. It’s gonna be interesting to say the least.

So how am I doing this? I stumbled upon Once A Month Meals. I am excited to say that they have it all figured and planned out. I think the scariest part is going to be the shopping trip. I am talking about hours of shopping. It’s gonna be real. Real. Scary. How many shopping carts am I gonna need? Seriously.

All hard work aside, it has been a blessing to have my grandkids here with me. And my daughter-in-law has just jumped in with both feet. Learning this paleo thing. We may not have enough room, but it’s all gonna work out great in the end. :)

Enjoy the Dance! ;D


Exciting News!!

10364442_10154451979350381_1062680186_o-2Hi friends in the blogging world!

I just got some exciting news!! Cupcake is coming up here to have her surgery done. It’s kind of a big deal!! (Insert squeal.) This will make it financially easier on her mom and dad as they try to figure out how to reshape their life around Cupcake’s needs. And I get to help out!

So… for the next five days (have to put my shop on vacation for a week after that) to try and help raise funds to help make Cupcake comfortable here, every last penny from my Etsy shop, 2ofUM will go toward that cause.

Click this link and stop by to see if there is something that tickles your fancy. :)

Don’t see something you like? Ask me to make something special just for you by convo-ing me. :)

Thanks so much for the help and support, the loving words, the healing thoughts and prayers. Every little bit helps.

With love, and as always…

Enjoying the Dance! ;D


Mmmm… Monday: Paleo BLT Salad

I think any time you attend a function that has food, and your diet isn’t the norm, you are going to have difficulties. If you can learn to just accept that ahead of time, things won’t seem as tricky.

One of the hardest things at my family reunion was that all the food being served was food that I really loved and could eat before going paleo. My sister-in-law even made sure it was all gluten free! She is the best!! The hardest night was the night I was assigned to help with dinner. My mom and I were fixing a dish called beans and bacon. Cooked pinto beans topped with mayonnaise lettuce, bacon crumbles, drizzled bacon grease, mustard, and onions… It is a traditional Dutch meal (Sorry, I don’t know the Dutch name for it.) that my dad loved. I loved that meal! And I felt kind of connected to it… emotionally. But I stayed strong, and I even walked away with a meal I can cook that is paleo and yummy. Paleo BLT Salad.

Basically, take out the beans, add some tomatoes, avocado, and voila! You have a yummy simple, easy, quick, paleo meal. :)DSC_0094


Start by cooking the bacon. I like to cook mine on a foil lined sheet in the oven at 425 or so for about 10-15 minutes or until done. My oven is spastic, so times and temps always vary. I think I mentioned I need a new one… You can even cook the bacon in the morning while doing breakfast and then save some for dinner. I would cook at least two pieces for each person. I mean, who doesn’t love bacon? We don’t want any fights over this dinner. :)

Next, you are going to want to make your own mayo. My favorite recipe can be found at Simple and easy. It’s even hard for me to mess up.

Slice your lettuce, slice or dice your tomatoes, and avocados. I place mine in bowls so people can choose what to have on their salad.

Right before serving, mix in enough mayonnaise to cover your lettuce like salad dressing.


You’re ready to eat. Grab a bowl and fill it up. :) The first bowl contains bacon grease incase you were wondering. I know it seems gross, but don’t knock it until you try it. And if you are worried about saturated fat… don’t. Read up on studies about that, and learn that high cholesterol has nothing to do with animal fat, but that’s a whole other post in itself.

Enjoy the Dance ;D





Macaroni and Cheese and Miracles

It started at girls camp. I started wondering about life, and about why terrible things happen to good, innocent people. (Not that I haven’t wondered it before. As I am sure you have too.) Good, innocent children. Why do horrible, painful, tragic things have to happen to good little children? Why my grandchild? What could she possibly learn from the tragic event of last year? What could a child possibly learn who is barely over a year old? What?

Then for some reason (the spiritual environment I am sure), I started thinking about all the good that has happened around this Macaroni and Cheese eating toddler. The support that has been given by family, friends and complete strangers… and I realize. Maybe this isn’t about what Cupcake can learn. Maybe it is about what all of us can learn. Adults who have survived serious burns are in a position to give back. To give comfort. We all are in positions to stretch ourselves. To give of our time. Our money. Our kindness. Our skills. We gain strength and value. No doubt this little spirit has come to earth to help strengthen us.

This hugging, loving, calm, determined, charitable spirit has come to teach us things that we need to learn about life.

So thank you Cupcake. Thank you for being willing to teach us things that we don’t already know about love, compassion, and tenderness. You are a miracle. I love you. And I am not alone in that.

Enjoy the Dance! ;D


Mmmm… Monday: 3 ingredient pancakes!

10296355_666067056795910_4686972766810618826_oI know I didn’t tell you this, but Cupcake is going in for another surgery. It’s a happy, sad sort of thing. Happy because she is moving closer to being a whole, healthy, happy little girl, but sad because she has to endure it all. She is an amazing spirit I tell ya! When we left from visiting this summer, I was amazed at all she could do, at her calm, gentle manner, but most importantly at her curiosity and willingness to explore. This girl is amazing!

So, because mom and dad will be busy with her, we brought Monkey and Raggy home with us. :) That is a plus side for sure! We get to play, eat, and explore with them. What could be better?

The first thing Monkey asked for when we got here was pancakes. I am the pancake queen. I am known for my pancakes and my cinnamon rolls. So what happens when you switch your diet out of necessity and you can no longer make those things? What’s a grandma to do? Thankfully I was able to find a recipe on Pinterest for pancakes with three simple ingredients. 1 banana, two eggs, and some cinnamon. This recipe was so easy, that Monkey could make his own. He sure was happy about that because he LOVES to cook.

So how to make this easy pancakes:

Step 1: Blend up a banana. The bananas taste best when they are a little on the overripe side. Yes. Another way to use those overripe bananas! We used an immersion blender because it’s quick and easy.


Then, crack two eggs into the same cup and blend them up with the banana. After that, add some cinnamon… you’ll have to experiment with this part because I didn’t measure. I would guess somewhere around a tablespoon, but you could use more or less for taste. :)

Step 2: Pour the pancake batter into a hot oiled pan or onto a hot oiled griddle. I chose to make one big pancake because every kid loves a pancake that is bigger than their head. They would probably be easier to flip if you made them smaller.


Step 3: Cook the pancake on a lower heat than a normal pancake, giving it time to set up. I don’t know what to tell you, because on my stove I have to turn it to simmer, but my stove burner is terrible! It has two settings. Simmer and burn. I can’t wait to get a new stove!

Flip the pancake and cook on the other side for a few minutes and then transfer to a plate. These pancakes are certainly kid approved!


You can even experiment with adding other ingredients. Here is my blueberry pancake. :)


Yum! We didn’t add anything to the top of our pancakes, but you could drizzle on real maple syrup or something. I enjoyed mine just the way it was.

So go impress your kids or grandkids with these simple, healthy pancakes.

Enjoy the Dance! ;D


And P.S. Pray for Cupcake!

Top 10 Paleo Discoveries…

IMG_0001I have been pondering all the new things that I have discovered. It has been about a month and a half now, and my life has taken such a drastic change for the better that I thought I would share a few things that I have discovered in Dave Letterman fashion. (Does anyone else watch him just for the top ten list? I know I do.) :)

10. Coconut oil. Now, I know that I have used this before. My kids got interested in all the “beauty products” they could make using coconut oil. Lipgloss, lipstick… my kitchen will be forever stained with red and pink crayons. ;) But now that I actually use this as a food product, my cast iron pans have never been shinier!

9. Homemade mayo. I had never, until Paleo, even attempted to make Mayo. I mean, it seemed so complicated and sciency. I made all other things “from scratch” my whole life, but I never thought I could make something that seemed so complicated. I mean, look at all the ingredients on that bottle! Who knew that you could actually make it with a hand whisk. And that it took very few ingredients. Need a recipe? Click here.

We made some delicious tuna salad one night, and Little Miss Smarty Pants (whose pants have been getting even littler BTW) was so ecstatic. It would be her first taste of mayo ever. Because of her soy and dairy allergies, she was never able to eat it before I made it homemade. A few bites in, she exclaimed her love of mayo, and then quickly after, her dismay that she would never be able to eat potato salad because we don’t eat potatoes anymore. I promised her that I would make her potato salad for her birthday. She perked up at the mention of that. :)

8. Red Boat fish sauce. Nom Nom Paleo, I am spreading the word. I am joining the Red Boat Fish Sauce discipleship. Want something to liven up your sautéed mushrooms? Want something to add a little bite to your spicy hot wings? This is it. Gotta love it!!

7. Never being hungry. No midnight cravings! I mean sure, if I went all day without eating I would be hungry. I’m talking about that I-could-eat-an-entire-cow feeling that I used to have all day long. And then those horrible I-need-something-sweet-to-eat cravings that would start around 8 at night and plague me all night long! Good by hunger and cravings. Don’t let the door hit you in the…

6. Strength and energy. Yep. Both of which I was lacking for so long I had forgotten what it felt like to be able to get through an entire day without feeling totally exhausted and foggy brained by 3:00 pm. Heck, sometimes I couldn’t even make it until lunch. Sometimes I would get up, take a shower, get ready for work, and then feel like I could just go crawl back under the covers and go to sleep. NO LONGER!

5. Effortless weight-loss  In the past, I have eaten reduced calorie diets, exercised like a work horse, and still not lost a single pound. Not a single ounce! Sometimes I have actually gained weight. UGH! I am sure many of you know how this feels. Not any longer. In a month and a half… exactly today… I have lost 18 pounds without any effort besides changing my diet. Sometimes, I would be so afraid to get on the scale thinking… I just ate three eggs and two pieces of bacon for breakfast. I am going to have gained a ton. I would be shocked to step on the scale and see that number moving down. I can’t wait to see what adding exercise will do!

4. No counting calories. This is a big deal. By cutting out foods that mess up my metabolism and hormone balance, I can eat until I am full. I don’t have to worry about micromanaging an app on my phone and having it scream at me that I have eaten too few or too many calories for the day. I don’t have to micromanage how many grams of protein, carbohydrates and fats I have eaten. My life is simpler. I have time to enjoy cooking and enjoy eating. I mean, isn’t that what life is about… enjoyment?

3. Improved health. Not only has my health improved, but the health of those that I take care of. It’s a win-win. Some things that have disappeared are joint pain, stomach aches, bleeding ulcers, sleepless nights, acid reflux, depression, feminine cycles (sorry if that grosses anyone out but it’s worth sharing), allergies, and overall general health.

2. Everyone in the family can eat the same meal. This is a big deal. For so long, Little Miss Smarty Pants has felt gypped. No cheese. No mayo. No pizza. No ice cream. No, you can’t eat this bread because it has soybean oil in it. No, you can’t eat this cracker because it contains milk. No more! We can all sit down to the table together. Me and Miss Independent and Tater with our gluten allergies can eat the same meal with Little Miss and her soy and dairy allergies. We are all eating healthy, and we are all eating the same food. What a blessing!

1. Hope. I have hope. Hope that I can return to a weight that is healthy for me. Hope that my body will function well, so that I can run and hike with my grandkids. Hope that my children will grow up and be healthier adults because I have made this change now. Hope that my older children who have already left the roost will see this transformation and want it for themselves. Hope that I can teach others that healthy doesn’t always mean doing or eating what everyone else does. We all need to do what is best for us, and I am so thankful that I have found what works for me. I feel great, and that gives me hope.

Enjoy the Dance! ;D


So what is Paleo?

DSC_0172So after writing my last post, I had one of my most faithful readers (who is also my colleague and my friend), say, “Well, you told us that Paleo wasn’t what you heard people talking about, but you never actually told us what it was.”

I was thinking about that a lot today, and wondering, how to I explain what Paleo is…

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that so many other people have explained it so much better than I ever could, so today’s blog post is going to be a few links. If you really want to know about Paleo and why it works, these are the places that got me started. They were both quick, easy, non-threatening reads, and they got me off to a great start.

Nom Nom Paleo is a great place to read about all things Paleo… not to mention she has the best… I repeat BEST recipes ever! There are so many that are free on her blog, and she has a book and an amazing iPad app that shows you step by step through pictures how to make things. It’s like Snapguide on steroids!

The second place that helped me tons was the first thing that popped up in the search engine when I searched Paleo. Isn’t it nice when that happens? Nerd Fitness, thank you for your simple, well laid out explanation, but especially for those humorous pictures that made eating Paleo seem a whole lot less threatening. (I am not sure why it worked that way for me, but it did.)

So that’s it for today. Unless you want to really get into it. If you do, then you should start reading “It Starts with Food” by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. It’s an amazing book that really explains in English the sciency stuff that makes Paleo work. And if you are like me and want to know why, then this is the book for you. It has enlightened me as to what has been going wrong my entire life. It’s amazing! A great read, and informational all at the same time.

Enjoy the Dance! ;D


P.S. Go out and buy a living basil plant. Even I can keep one alive, and I kill EVERYTHING!

Going Caveman


Going Caveman

Thirty-nine days ago exactly I saw my naturopath again. Thyroid and adrenal glands have been on the mend, but still no dice in the losing weight department. So she suggested paleo. I told her I would try anything.

Paleo is not… I repeat NOT… at all what I had heard people talking about. Paleo is amazing! All I have to do is follow a few simple rules and BAM!! I have lost 16 pounds. 16 POUNDS! In 39 days! That is a big deal.


Me. Who never, EVER lost weight. (I was lucky to keep myself from gaining it.)

16 pounds. And I can eat what I want. As much as I want. Heck, I could eat a whole chicken and still lose a pound the next day. (I don’t think I could eat a whole chicken, but I could try.) I’m never hungry. I feel like a whole new woman!

Did I mention that I haven’t even started exercising yet? I mean, other than my usual activity?

God bless my naturopath. And God bless Paleo!

Enjoy the Dance! ;D