Cherry Vanilla Coconut Meltaways

Cherry Vanilla Coconut Meltaways

I used to hate hearts.

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Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Sun Butter Cups and other Paleo Christmas Treats!

Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Sun Butter Cups and other Paleo Christmas Treats!

When I was little, I wanted to give gifts to family members at Christmas time.  We didn’t have a ton of money growing up so instead fo my parents handing me money to buy gifts my mom taught me the joy of gifting baked goods!

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We would spend days before Christmas baking then package them all into boxes, tins or on plates and gift them.  Since then I can’t remember a year that I haven’t been in the kitchen the days leading up to Christmas pouring, mixing, measuring and baking!  I love it!

Since I’ve changed my eating habits over the past few years, my baking has changed as well.  I still enjoy sharing yummy goodies with others I just try to keep them Paleo friendly so I can taste them too 🙂  Plus, it’s a bit healthier to share grain-free, sugar-free and often times dairy-free treats!

In case you’re looking for some healthier treat options for others or just for yourself, I’ve put together a list of recipes I’m planning to make.

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Readers Requests – A Recipe and a Workout!

Readers Requests – A Recipe and a Workout!

A few weeks back when I celebrated my 2 year blogging anniversary I asked you all what you’d like to see more of on My Healthy Happy Home.  I enjoyed reading all your responses and was happy to see it was pretty balanced between recipes, workouts, and family posts.  I love posting about all those things so I’m excited to keep doing so to make you all happy 🙂  It’s a little difficult for me to post many recipes at this time.  Hotel living doesn’t really work all that good for creating and photographing food.  Also, my computer plug/USB drive stopped working so I’m unable to transfer my DSLR photos to my computer.  I so need a new laptop!  I did however get a chance the other day to whip up a yummy recipe that was easy to prepare in the hotel and the perfect treat to satisfy the sweet tooth monster.  I’ve been indulging in way too many treats lately so needed something that I could snack on after meals without feeling guilty.

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Bee Primal Giveaway

Bee Primal Giveaway

One food I miss from my pre-Paleo days is granola.  Particularly this recipe…

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Granola 

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WIAW – Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

WIAW – Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

By now you’re probably getting a little tired of all the pumpkin.  Pumpkin lattes, pumpkin breads, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin, pumpkin everywhere!  I think the fact that during my Whole30 I didn’t eat much pumpkin has led to my over consumption of the orange winter squash recently. When I say over consumption I mean we’ve gone through a few cans in the span of a week.  Nothing wrong with that right!?!  I mean, it is really healthy for you.  Not to mention, it’s great added to most anything in my opinion.  However one of my favorite pumpkin treats by far is a pumpkin cookie.

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Pumpkin, Pumpkin Everywhere!

Pumpkin season is in full effect around here right now.  Pumpkin flavored everything!  While I do enjoy a good one pump Pumpkin Spice Latte every once in a while, or a pumpkin Greek yogurt,  I’d much rather make something at home using good old Organic Pumpkin Puree.  It’s actually really easy to make too!   Here’s a video tutorial to show you how.  I like to make it and freeze it to have all year-long.  When I’m not feeling as ambitious I just stock up at Costco 🙂

Not only does pumpkin taste good, but there are a ton of great health benefits as well.

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Toddler Tuesday – How we plan to tackle Halloween.

Halloween is one of my least favorite Holidays.  Sure, I loved it when I was a kid but now it’s just not my thing.  I hate being scared so I don’t go to haunted houses, I majorly dislike blood, guts, or any gross death related things, and you’ve probably guessed that I’m not huge on the massive amounts of candy that is devoured on October 31st.  When I say massive I mean MASSIVE!

Did you know that Americans purchase over 600 million pounds of candy?  That’s 158 TRILLION candy corns!  Talk about sugar overload!  Out of that 600 million, 90 million pounds of it is chocolate topping the only 48 million that is purchased before Valentines Day.   Even though Americas may be trying to cut back and budget more these days, we still spend $44 a year on Halloween Candy alone.  I personally think that is a lot and am happy I’m not contributing much to that statistic this year!

(Source)

Other than the fact that candy is overloaded with sugar, harmful dyes and high fructose corn syrup, there are some gross ingredients that make me avoid it as well.

  • Lanolin – basically sheep sweat and is used as  a “gum base” in some candy products.
  • Carmine – a red dye made from dried, boiled and crushed beetles.  YUM!!
  • Tertiary Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) – A form of butane used in lighter fluid as well as a preservative in foods such as Butterfingers.  One of The Hubby’s favorites!!!
  • Castoreum – An extract from beaver perineal in other words, beaver urine.  Mmmm… sounds good right!?!  This one hides under the label “Natural Flavoring.”
  • Shellac – A sticky substance from bug secretion used to give Jelly beans their shiny coating.  Also known as confectioners glaze.  (Source – Huffington Post)

Eeek!  Makes you think twice about unwrapping that candy bar right!?!   It’s easy for us as adults to say no to the candy temptations on Halloween but what about the kids.  You can’t take away the fun and excitement associated with Trick-or-Treating, right?  Also, is it fair to not allow them to enjoy any of the treats that they excitedly collect and that their friends are probably going to be eating?  These are a few questions I’ve been thinking about as “the big day” arrives.  How will I tackle this night that as a kid I loved but as an adult I loathe?  Well, after much consideration and discussion with my husband, here’s some things we’re going to try out this year,

1. Discuss with The Love Nugget about why candy isn’t healthy for him.

    • This is something we’ve already begun doing and surprisingly he’s sort of getting it.  At the few Harvest Festivals we’ve gone to there has been candy passed out and he’s been very good at giving it to us and waiting for a small piece or a healthier treat later.  Yesterday we were talking about candy because he saw a wrapper at the park and said,  “I like candy but I like healthy treats more!”  Made me feel so good!  Don’t worry, we won’t be doing away with treats completely or replacing them with some of the mentioned ones in this commercial…

2. Dress The Love Nugget up in his Pirate Costume and take him Trick-or-Treating in a family oriented neighborhood.

      • It’s no secret we’ve been trying to move out of our neighborhood.  Unfortunately over the past few years we’ve lost most the families that lived nearby and it’s not as kid friendly as it once was.  We live on a court that has a few empty houses as does the rest of the neighborhood so we just figure we’ll have a more pleasant experience going to a friends neighborhood with some more kids to see dressed in their costumes.

2. Purchase some healthier candy that I feel better about giving him and trade for his Trick-or-Treat candy.

      • At Easter he got tons of candy filled eggs which I took, filled with a better version and allowed him to have some with his friends.  This worked since he didn’t feel left out and I didn’t feel as bad about him eating it.  Some of my favorites are,

                       UnReal Candy Bars – Even The Hubby loves these 🙂

                       Yummy Earth Organic Lollipops – Although these make him sugar crazy!

                        Surf Sweets – They even have spider treats

                        Funky Monkey Snacks – Freeze Dried Fruit with no sugar added that are pretty good!

                        Justin’s – One of The Hubby’s favorites!

3. Make Halloween more about the fun activities than just about the candy.

      • So far this month we’ve enjoyed some really fun Harvest Festival events, carved pumpkins, painted pumpkins, and done several pumpkin/Halloween crafts.  Teaching kids that Halloween is more about the fun than just the candy will help them to be less interested in just eating candy.  While this was easier in the activities that we did before actual Halloween day, I expect it will be more difficult during and after Trick-or-Treating.  So what I plan to do is purchase a few Halloween themed books, coloring pages, and other fun non-candy related things for The Love Nugget to do after Trick-or-Treating.  This will hopefully re-direct his attention from wanting to eat all his candy.

4. Not spend too much time Trick-or-Treating.

      • There’s no rule that you have to get to a certain amount of houses before you head in for the night.  For us it’s easy since The Love Nugget is still young and won’t care too much when we say it’s time to go.  With older kids I’m sure this is easier said than done.  I mean, I remember wanting to hit every house in the neighborhood before we could be finished.  However, you could easily establish a time limit before leaving the house.  You could also draw out a map of the neighborhood beforehand and allow kids to mark the 7-10  (parent chosen number)  houses they want to visit.   This could also help certain kids who might be frightened by scary decorations – like The Love Nugget – as they may choose to avoid specific streets and houses altogether.

5.  Host or meet at a friend’s house to enjoy each other’s company, let the kids play and spend less time focusing on the candy.

      • I’ve heard of lots of people who host progressive parties on Halloween where they meet at one persons house for an appetizer and cocktail then go to few houses to Trick-or-Treat before making a stop at the next house for another appetizer and cocktail.  I wish we lived in a neighborhood where we could do this but hopefully we’ll be spending the majority of our evening hanging out with friends instead of collecting candy 🙂

6. Donate unwanted candy to others who do want it.

      • Teaching moment!  Donating is a great way to teach your kids about generosity, caring and sharing.  A quick search on Google led me to a few different options.  The local Children’s Museum is hosting a Sweet Exchange where kids can bring in their candy Nov 1st, 2nd, and 3rd in exchange for a goodie bag to take home.  The candy is donated overseas for troops to enjoy.  On November 1st  Personalized Dental Care will buy back Halloween candy for $1 a pound which will again be donated to troops overseas.  If you can’t find anything local, Operation Shoebox is an online organization that supports troops overseas.  They accept and appreciate candy donations throughout the year.

Those are just a few things we hope to do this year.  Regardless, we plan to have fun and enjoy seeing him experience his first Trick-or-Treat experience 🙂

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QUESTIONS – 

  • What are your plans for Halloween?  
  • Any other suggestions? 
  • If you have kids, do you have any non-candy activities planned?  

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If they ate it, why can’t I?

If they ate it, why can’t I?

I think comparison is something that is almost ingrained in women.  At some point or another I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of comparing our clothes, house, life, etc. to someone else.  We may all try not to but it happens and actually, I’m sure men do it to just not as often.

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Just a few marvelous things…

Just a few marvelous things…

Happy Monday!

I’m starting the week off in a great mood as I’m feeling much better!  After several days of rest I’m ready to get back into my routine of fitness and fun with The Love Nugget!

Speaking of The Love Nugget, he’s been really pushing his limits with us lately especially this past weekend while at Gigi’s house for dinner.  He was a monster!  I’m sure it didn’t help that I wasn’t feeling 100% and my patience was slim to none but all the same he’s definitely trying to see more of what he can get away with lately.  Hoping this week since I’m feeling back to normal I’ll be able to give him some more attention and we can actually get out of the house to play.

Like I said though I’m starting today off in a much better, and more optimistic mood which is perfect for Marvelous in My Monday!

MiMM MIMM #64 with Girls Night and More!

Of coarse thank you as always to the lovely Katie for hosting!

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Just a few Marvelous things including a Perky Jerky review!

Just a few Marvelous things including a Perky Jerky review!

Good morning peeps!

I’m off enjoying some much needed husband/wife time for a belated anniversary celebration in Guerneville.  I did want to pop in and share a few marvelous things I’ve been loving lately for Marvelous in My Monday!

Thank you as always to the wonderful Katie at Healthy Diva Life for hosting!  If you haven’t heard, she had her beautiful baby boy and is looking amazing just two weeks later!

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