Almond milk smoothie: Mom and Kid approved!

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Summer is upon us. The hot days keep us busy at the park, library, and museums. We have been enjoying the heat so much. I love sweet, satisfying, and healthy summer treats. Smoothies with almond milk milk are a staple in our home to give us a creamy, yummy, ice-cream like taste with health benefits too! 
Lately I have been amazed at how much Lillian is capable of eating. This little toddler can seriously throw down food. 
I stopped at Safeway on my way home from a toddler storytime at our local library to pick up the ingredients for our smoothies. Lillian was being a stinker in the store. It is no fun shopping with a hungry toddler. 
Brian and I are constantly searching for good, healthy snacks and meals for her. If it were up to her she would eat the Elf diet every day: candy, candy canes, candy corns, and syrup. She loves cupcakes, brownies, ice cream, and all things sweet and unhealthy. Of course! Just like Mom. 
Our kiddo loves peanut butter, bananas, and chocolate. I decided to make a smoothie just for her. Or a milkshake. I suppose it could work as either. 
Do you see her little smile in the background? I was asking her to please wait for Mom to get one photo without her little grimy hands all over that cup. She did good. 

We also had one of our little neighborhood girls over at the time I was making these smoothies. She kept asking me why I was taking pics of the smoothies. It was pretty funny. All they wanted to do was get their hands on the chocolaty goodness.

This is probably my favorite photo, because at this point Lillian was literally licking her chops! 
This smoothie is very easy to make and is also full of vitamins and ingredients. It also makes a great pre-workout or post-workout shake with fiber, protein, potassium, good fats, and natural electrolytes to fuel a good run or weight lifting session. I was very excited to use the Silk Almond milk protein + fiber because Lillian is not great at eating protein and fiber, and she is not a good “milk” drinker. I am trying to find creative ways to sneak more calcium into her diet. This little smoothie multi-tasked getting her vital nutrients. Plus, she loved it and drank her whole serving faster than I expected! I tried the Almond Coconut Blend in my smoothie and it was delicious (I love coconut milk). I love clean eating recipes, and this smoothie is staying a staple in our home.
We love making our smoothies with almond milk and have been doing this for a while. I feel less bloated when I use almond milk than dairy milk, and also love the added health benefits and good fats from almonds. 
Banana Peanut Butter Smoothie
serves 4
2 bananas
2 cups almond milk (I use Protein + Fiber or Coconut Almond Blend)
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
2 cups ice
Add to a blender and blend until smooth! Add more milk if needed or desired. 
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All couples have bad days

I am always anxious and excited to get our weekends started. This weekend I was ready to see Brian and do some long awaited family fun. 
Instead, Brian and I started off our weekend with a couple major miscommunication’s. Blocked goals and unmet expectations caused us to both start out on a bad note. 
Isn’t that funny how that happens? Brian had a nice surprise for me. He had been planning it all day. Needless to say, his plans got messed up. He got crabby, and I ended up crabby too. A nice gesture turned into an argument! 
Sing it sister

Friday morning I got to rise bright and early to have my teeth scraped for my bi-yearly teeth cleaning. Joy. (Although I do love how my teeth feel after and I am SO grateful to have dental insurance). I lost my insurance card, encountered traffic, and came home to a whiny toddler. 

Two days of blocked goals. At one point I literally just sat in my room for five minutes, staring at the wall and then finally said a prayer. 
I had to remind myself that this is normal. I did not marry a perfect man, and I am no perfect woman. My daughter is still a toddler. We have a house that gets messy, much to my dismay, because we are using and living in it. I often want things to go the way I have them pictured in my head, and if they don’t go that way I get upset. The truth is, relationships need tension. I need to have arguments with my husband over stupid things like why I like to add BBQ sauce to his “perfectly cooked bratwurst” (true story), or why I continually leave old coffee cups in his truck. He hates that I get so unnerved when he leaves his pants on the floor or loses his sunglasses for the umpteenth time. We get on each other’s nerves constantly
As I sat in prayer, I recognized how good it is for me to get real mad. It causes me to really need to dig deep and trust in God. It gives me an honest moment before my husband to show him that even though I am furious, I can extend mercy through the grace of God. My raw emotions give me opportunities to test my faith, show people Jesus, and be genuine before my loved ones. I had to apologize to my husband. I love him all the more for forgiving me. I love God for giving me grace to forgive him too, because he can surely tick me off like no other. 
But this is all normal. We should be in close enough quarters and intimate enough with our loved ones that they annoy us, get under our skin, and find us calling out to God for some grace for others.
Yup. Lillian peed in our bed, pulled out a chunk of my hair, and put stickers all over our wood floor. Yup, Brian and I got in an argument over a bratwurst, a lost insurance card, and a ruined surprise. But you know what? We all got over it. Pretty fast, too. And after, it was all kinda funny. I think I love Brian and Lillian more today, if that is possible. 
Do you ever find yourself frustrate with blocked goals or get in arguments with your loved ones over silly, petty things? How do you move past them? Do you find them funny after? Does prayer help you move through anger? 

8 steps to gorgeous skin (giveaway)

 The lovely Heather from Notes from the Nelsens is offering an amazing giveaway today to help pregant women (or soon to be pregant gals) with a 3 step skincare line valued at $119! She is also giving some great tips about how to take care of your skin and keep it looking great, whether you are baby bound or not. Read on for a fun guest post and some amazing tips, and be sure to check out her awesome blog! 

Even Matt know what “the pregnancy mask” is now because I’ve mentioned it a time or two (understatement) over the past 9 months.

I hate to come across as being overly concerned about appearance, but having brown splotches spread across your face for no good reason other than “hormones” and then not being able to do anything about it besides avoiding the sun (and computer screens, and heat- i.e. exercising-, and any type of light in general) out of risk of potentially harming the growing baby inside my belly is, I’m convinced, worse than teenage acne.
At least with that dreaded teenage acne you could visit the dermatologist and get a prescription for all sorts of medicines and creams that would burn (literally) those babies right off your face.
Melasma during pregnancy, however? No chemicals or burning allowed. Drats.
I’ve never wanted a chemical peel so badly in my life. Call me superficial, I’m just ready to have my face back.
SO, during these past 9 months, I’ve made it a personal goal to figure out a way to minimize the damage, if you will, and treat this brown splotchiness as carefully and diligently as possible.
So take notes preggo and nursing friends. Unless of course you’re one of the lucky ones who have that beautiful pregnancy glow… in which case just count your blessings and move on to other, less superficial matters in your day.

Pretty Mommies is an all-natural skincare line that makes safe and effective products for pregnant and nursing moms. You can read all about the research and ingredients in their products here and see before & after pictures here.
The three-part system feels light and clean on my face and is definitely affordable compared to other all-natural lines.
And for one lucky reader, it’s going to be REALLY affordable because this week Pretty Mommies is giving away one complete set for FREE! You’ll receive the Let’s Be Clear facial cleanser, Truth Be Told skin brightener, and Protect & Reflect SPF 30 moisturizer.
I’ve used this set for the past 4-5 months and just ordered a new set to use for the remainder of pregnancy and nursing. I love the way it feels and love knowing that it is completely safe to use.
2. Sunscreen
I always wore sunscreen on my face, but now I make sure to reapply it throughout the day if I know I”m going to be in the sun for extended periods of time. Pretty much everything I put on my face from moisturizing to foundation to mineral peptide powder (see below) contains sunscreen, but I also love this Coppertone Sport Stick with SPF 55 for reapplication throughout the day.
3. CC Cream
I love Mary Kay’s CC (or complexion correction) cream. It is light-weight and gives my skin a nice glow while evening out skin tone. It also has an SPF 15 which is a nice bonus. Plus it’s only $20 and lasts for a long time. If you’d like to try it, email me– I can get you 10% off and free shipping!
4. Mineral Peptides Powder
After applying the CC cream, I go over my face with Rodan + Field’s Mineral Peptides Powder. Again, it is light-weight, contains an SPF 20, and gives my face a bright and even look. If you would like to try this powder or any of R+F’s products, contact my friend Mel– she is super sweet and helpful and will get you just what you need!
5. Concealer
Typically in the summer I love to use a bronzer, but adding brown to brown just makes more brown. So once I’ve applied my CC cream and Mineral Peptides Powder, I go over stubborn spots with Mary Kay’s beige 2 concealer. I also love using this under my eyes, above my lip (one of the most common places for melasma to appear), and on either side of my nose as a highlighter. I love, love, love this concealer. And it’s only $10!
6. Cream Blush
I like using a cream blush over a powder because it gives a natural glow and seems to blend better while still hiding brown spots (the powder seems to accent the brown). I use this cream blush in shade Sheet Bliss by Mary Kay. It’s a perfect summer color!
And again, email me if you want to try any of the MK products so I can get you the 10% off discount and free shipping!
7. Hats

Hats have been my go-to accessory this summer. Thank goodness or Target and Gap for selling cute and affordable hats! The one I wear the most is this one from Target. Especially on the beach or at the pool, a good hat helps a ton with blocked the sun and preventing more brown spots from forming. And they’re just fun to wear to spice up a plain tee and shorts… which I have been living in lately. 😉
8. Self Tanning Face Pads

I know, based on what I just said about adding brown to brown, this probably sounds contradictory, but all I can say is that it has worked for me. Since I wear so much sunscreen and try to minimize sun exposure to my face, it ends up being a whole lot lighter than the rest of my body. I’ve found that using a tanner on my face gives the appearance of even skin tone and helps match my face with the rest of my body. The one I like the most for my face right now is Kate Somerville’s 360 Face Pads. You can find them at Sephora, Nordstrom, or on Amazon. I like the way it goes on and the subtle color it adds to give my face an even, tanned look.
And now for the GIVEAWAY!!!
Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a complete set of Pretty Mommies Three Step Skin Care line valued at $119! The giveaway will run through June 30th, and the winner will be announced on July 1st. And by the way, you don’t have to be pregnant or nursing to use these products– they are great for anyone looking for natural products to help even out skin tone and clear complexion. Good luck!