5 Things that Got Me Through My First Week of Whole 30

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I’m doing Whole 30 this month, along with everyone else in the world it seems! Whole 30 is blowing up my Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. I’m amazed at how many people can stick with such a super restrictive diet.

But here I am, 11 days in, actually sticking to it myself.

Crazy.

I do miss pasta.

And coffee creamer.

And anything and everything sweet.

But I feel like since I’m already 11 days deep, I might as well push through and finish this thing!

I wanted to share a few things that have been lifesavers for the past week and a half. If it weren’t for these 5 things, I’d probably have given up already. So if you’re thinking about trying Whole 30 yourself, check out my list of 5 things that got me through my first week of Whole 30.

1. The Whole 30 Day by Day Book

This book is in journal form and it’s been such a great addition to my Whole 30 plan. I’ve been pretty consistent about reading it and filling it out each day. I love checking the box at the end of each section that says I completed a day. So satisfying!

2. NutPods

I was devastated to hear that I couldn’t have any type of coffee creamer while doing Whole 30. Even the almond milk and coconut milk based ones I’ve used in the past are a big no-no! The first few days of Whole 30 I used canned coconut milk, but it wasn’t the same. A few friends told me about the NutPods brand and I ordered a few on Amazon. They’re pretty tasty and a much better coffee creamer alternative to the canned coconut milk, in my opinion.

3. Sprouts Brand Almond Butter

I’ve had quite a few different brands of almond butter over the years, but the Sprouts brand is my favorite so far! It’s super creamy and doesn’t separate as much as other brands. And it doesn’t require refrigeration. It’s so good on a banana or on a baked sweet potato.

4. Sweet Potatoes

I’ve always liked sweet potatoes. And after a few days on Whole 30, they actually started to taste really SWEET to me. They’re super filling too, which is great when you’ve cut out all processed grains and carbs.

5. Tea

I’m such a huge night-time snacker. There’s nothing I love more than (finally) getting the kids in bed and plopping down on the couch for some serious binge-watching and snacking. Especially when we have something sweet and yummy in the house, like brownies or ice cream. Of course, having hot decaf tea in the evening doesn’t compare to the other yummy desserts and snacks I’m used to, but it can help me make it through those evening hours until bedtime.

Have you done Whole 30 before? What are your must-have items to get you through?

5 Things that Got Me Through My First Week of Whole 30 | sunshineandholly.com

5 Things that Got Me Through My First Week of Whole 30 | sunshineandholly.com 5 Things that Got Me Through My First Week of Whole 30 | sunshineandholly.com

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Easy Kid’s Valentine’s Day Thumbprint Craft

Easy Kid's Valentine's Day Thumbprint Craft | sunshineandholly.com | paint | crafting | heart | love

You know me – this #lazymom is always looking for quick and simple crafts to do with the kiddos. And this easy kid’s Valentine’s Day thumbprint craft was perfect to kill some time one cold and rainy afternoon. The kids loved it, it was easy to make (and clean up), and the finished product is cute enough to use as decor around the house! The most difficult part of the whole craft was getting Maddie to pose for a picture with the finished product. Girlfriend hates having her picture taken these days…

Easy Kid's Valentine's Day Thumbprint Craft | sunshineandholly.com
Such a cheese-ball smile!

All you’ll need is a white canvas or some cardstock, scissors, tape (double-sided would probably work better), paint, and some extra paper to use for the hearts.

Start out by cutting some hearts of various sizes out of the extra paper. Arrange them on your canvas or cardstock. Tape them down using the double-sided tape.

Easy Kid's Valentine's Day Thumbprint Craft | sunshineandholly.com

Pick out a few different colors to use and have your kids go to town making thumbprints all over the canvas, being careful not to get paint up under the paper hearts. I also had my kids outline each heart with a bunch of fingerprints, so the hearts would really stand out. Once they’re finished, carefully remove the paper hearts and let dry.

Super simple and cute! This would make a great gift for grandparents or teachers, too.

Easy Kid's Valentine's Day Thumbprint Craft | sunshineandholly.com

Do you have any special Valentine’s Day traditions for your family? We’ve never focused too much on the holiday, but now that the kids are older, I’m thinking it would be fun to start some! Maybe special dinner dates or a special Valentine’s Day breakfast with heart shaped pancakes.

Easy Kid's Valentine's Day Thumbprint Craft | sunshineandholly.com

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

Easy Kid's Valentine's Day Thumbprint Craft | sunshineandholly.com | paint | crafting | heart | love

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When Maddie Cut her Foot and Why We Should Always Offer to Help

I’ve had this post in my drafts for months. I’ve never hit publish on it because it’s super negative. And while Maddie and her foot are fine, this story doesn’t have a happy ending. I still get riled up when I think about that day. It still hurts my heart that I had to go through all of this without one single person offering to help…

But I’m going to publish it now and hope that by sharing this story, it’ll make us all think twice when we see another mom in public, struggling. We need to help each other. Because moms get it – we can tell when another mom has had it. When she’s in over her head. When she needs help. What stops us from offering a hand? What stops us from offering to help? The worst that can happen is that she’ll say no…


We were at the pool one day this summer, trying to beat the heat and pass some time since those long summer days seem to go on forever. It wasn’t too crowded that day, just about 4-5 other moms or grandmothers that I didn’t know with their kids or grandchildren.

When Maddie Cut her Foot | sunshineandholly.com

We had been there for a while and I was hanging out on the edge of the baby pool while my  kids played. Right around the time when I was starting to think about getting up and getting the kids home so I could cook dinner, my then 2-year-old decided to jump into the baby-pool (like she does all the time) and landed directly on the plastic drain. She started crying and thinking it was just a small scrape, I didn’t get up. I asked her to come over to me so I could see, but she said she couldn’t. When I got up to go see what was wrong, I saw there was blood dripping off her foot.

I tried not to freak out, scooped her up, sat her down on a picnic table, and checked her out. She had cut her heel open, pretty badly, and my heart started racing. I grabbed some paper towels from the nearby bathroom, applied pressure on her foot, and walked over to tell the lifeguard what happened. Our lifeguards are all teenagers, and the only thing this particular lifeguard did was offer me a band-aid. Gee, thanks man. I tried not to roll my eyes at the unhelpful lifeguard, and walked all the way back to where Graham was still playing in the baby pool. I could feel the tears coming on the backs of my eyes, and I knew we needed to get out of there so I could look at her foot again and decide if I needed to take her to the hospital for stitches.

I yelled to Graham that we had to leave, and sat Maddie down again on the picnic table so I could start shoving our stuff into our bags. Then I picked her up again, grabbed our bags, my purse, the swim-wings, all the while trying to calm Maddie (and myself) down. And still trying to get Graham to get out of the baby pool and walk to the car. My hands were full,  Maddie was crying, I was crying, blood was dripping onto the cement, and Graham was taking his sweet time walking to the car.

Long story short, we ended up at urgent care where they had to clean out the wound and glue it together with surgical glue. I’m glad it wasn’t worse than it was, and I’m glad we didn’t need to make a trip to the ER.

When Maddie Cut her Foot | sunshineandholly.com

Looking back on the entire situation, I keep thinking about what I must have looked like – carrying all that stuff, along with a crying child, with blood dripping out of her foot, and all the while Graham was running around, oblivious to everything.

And I can’t get over that no one, not even ONE of the other moms at the pool offered to help me. Not one. No one asked to help me carry my bags to the car, no one offered to help me get Graham to the car. T

It was all a blur, so I’m not sure if any of the other moms knew what was going on. But Maddie was crying pretty loud, so I’m fairly certain that SOMEONE must have heard. Someone must have seen that I was struggling. I was wet from the pool, with two wet children, one that was dripping blood and crying, carrying a couple of pool bags, my purse, two sets of swim wings…

But no one offered to help.

The few times I’ve shared this story with my other mom-friends, they’re livid. They can’t believe no one helped that day and I know that if they had been there, it would have been a totally different story. They would’ve helped. They would’ve done anything they could.

 

 

So here’s a challenge for all of us:

Next time we’re out and about, and we see another mom struggling, let’s offer to help. Even if she looks annoyed. Even if you’re not sure what exactly you could do to help. Let’s offer anyway. And if she says no, at least she’ll know someone cared enough to offer a hand.

 

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Our Trip to the Emergency Room

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One morning a few weeks ago  I was busy packing lunches in the kitchen and the kids we’re playing together in our playroom. Just as I finish zipping up the lunch boxes, Graham comes running in the kitchen and tells me that Maddie has a ring stuck on her finger.

When she walks in, I see that it’s not a ring, but a grommet (like a washer for a bolt) that’s stuck tight on her pinkie finger.

I roll my eyes, and tell her not to put things like that on her finger. I sit down, and try to pull it off. No-go. She screams like a feral cat when I pull. So I grab some Vaseline and try again. Nope. More screaming – like I’m cutting off her finger. And the grommet doesn’t budge. It’s stuck.

I try to keep my cool, but I can feel the anxiety building in my chest. It was the last day of a long week. I had a manicure planned for the morning, and a lunch with friends scheduled for 11am. But I knew none of that was going to happen that morning.

I called Josh, and asked him what I should do. He said to try to wrap some floss around the finger, as close to the grommet as possible so I could make the finger smaller and be able to pull the grommet off. It worked once on YouTube! I tried that, but it was a huge, peppermint scented mess. It didn’t work at all, and Maddie was screaming and crying even more.

I called the pediatrician, and the conversation went like this:

Continue reading “Our Trip to the Emergency Room”

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My Favorite Things from 2017

2017 was a pretty good year for us. The kids are getting older and easier, we were able to take some fun trips, and we spent lots of time with family and friends. Overall it was a great year!

However, we did have some low moments. We lost two family members this year and the sorrow is still fresh for those who were closest to them. I know Christmas was especially hard for them, and I’ve been praying for peace for heavy hearts.

Maddie the daredevil had a couple of injuries this year as well. Each one gave me a few (hundred) new gray hairs!

I’ve also been missing some friends this year that have either moved away or moved on. Which is tough, since I’m finally at a point in motherhood where I’d be able to devote more time to those relationships.

But with the new year right around the corner, I’d love to focus on the good things from 2017. Here are my favorite things from 2017:

1. Our Disney World Trip

Our trip to Disney World back in February was probably my favorite trip this year. It was Maddie’s first visit, and Graham was finally old enough to really enjoy it. It certainly was magical seeing everything through their eyes and experiencing everything with them. I love Disney so much!

My Favorite Things from 2017 | sunshineandholly.com
Maddie’s first trip to Disney!

Continue reading “My Favorite Things from 2017”

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