Baby Shower Ideas

The great thing about baby showers is their versatility. Some moms want a big, over the top party, while others are happy with some snacks and a few decorations. Showers can have a theme, or they can just have a color scheme. Over the summer we hosted two different baby showers. One of them was themed as an enchanted woodland party. The other was only the baby’s name and the mom’s desired color scheme. The enchanted woodland shower was one where the baby’s sex was unknown, so it needed to be more engender neutral. Some of the things we did that I enjoyed the most were: baby predictions, freezer foods, embroidered sibling writing, and decorations for both. At one of the showers (we meant to do it at both, but forgot) we did a baby prediction. It included date of birth, time of birth, hair color, weight, and length, along with their address. I saved them and the person with the closest and most correct answers was sent a gift card in the mail.

Another idea I enjoyed carrying out was asking family members of the momma to bring a meal or two for her freezer. I purchased an XL cooler bag and put them all inside. We gave them to her at the end of the shower. This helped provide her and her family with meals for the first week and a half after baby was born. The other mom didn’t want freezer foods, so I gave her a gift card instead (and also brought a freshly made meal after baby was born).

One of my favorite touches was the embroidered sibling writing. I had the two sisters write their new baby brother’s name on paper. Then my amazingly talented daughter embroidered them on pajamas, swaddling blankets, and towels. I don’t know if the mom used any of these or not, but I know they would be a keepsake for me. I love the idea of saving that sweet little kid writing. We also used it as a decoration. We spray painted a canvas navy blue and then wrote with a gold pen the name of the baby in one of his sisters’ handwriting on the canvas. I thought it was a sweet touch.

The decorations were completely different at the two showers, but one thing was the same- balloon arches. I bought the balloons on Amazon. For the woodland theme, I got some woodland creatures at Michael’s. I purchased stick on baby creatures from Amazon for the wall. Many years ago we had several trees cut down, and I asked the man doing it if he would save me a few slices. He informed me that they had to be kept in water for a week or they would split (news to me). After that week they’ve been out to good use since. I often pull them out as decoration. We used mason jars with fairy lights as well.

Napkins were from Etsy
Neutral color scheme
Plaque from Hobby Lobby
Woodland creatures and balloons from Amazon
Sibling writing on canvas. Balloons from Amazon
“Oh Baby” from Walmart

We made individual meals for the first shower of the season due to a rise in Covid numbers in our area. The second shower we did a food table. The woodland shower features all picnic type foods. We had chicken salad, potato salad, pasta salad, fruit salad, and “mushroom” cake pops. The individually wrapped party featured chicken salad on a croissant, cucumber salad, chips, and a cookie. I also served cake pops at this shower as well. The shower gifts were bath bombs at one and a sugar scrub at the other. We purchased some games and printable off of Etsy. I was very displeased with one, but will link the other.

Food labeled with cedar tree slices and a Sharpie
Homemade (by LF) “mushroom” cake pops
Homemade and individually wrapped cake pops
Organic bath bombs from Amazon
Jars from Amazon with homemade body scrub
Printable from Etsy

Overall, I think these showers went well. I hope the mothers enjoyed themselves, and got all the things they needed and more.

Calcium and Bones

Calcium and bone density seem like things only “old” people need to worry about, but now I’m thinking that’s just not true.

When I was a small child I broke several bones. I wasn’t a huge milk drinker, but I did enjoy cheese and ice cream. We chalked up my broken bones to being Little Miss Clumsy, and went on with our lives. I lived through my teen and young adult years without breaking anything but a toe here and there. While I was on a keto diet for years and years, I never once thought about how much calcium that diet naturally provides. Once I realized my body no longer was responding well to cow’s milk I eliminated it from my diet entirely. I never thought about how the lack of dairy could affect my bones.

Back in January it was really icy and cold. Our driveway is steep and curvy and our car was sliding backwards into the road. I came down to give my husband a helping hand. I slipped on some ice that I never even saw. When I fell I extended my arms and saw and felt my left wrist completely break.

My arm in the ER

I shattered part of my ulna and broke my radius in more than three pieces. It was one of the most physically painful things I’ve experienced. It required surgery (ORIF), and it was an incredibly long recovery.

After all of it was done there was a lightbulb moment of “maybe my bones have lost strength and density due to the missing calcium in my body”. Since then, I’ve been taking supplements, and also trying to get more calcium from non-dairy sources. According to healthline good non-dairy sources of calcium include: seeds, tofu, amaranth, fortified foods and drinks, spinach, salmon, almonds, sardines, kale, figs, and white beans. There are others, but here’s a good start for anyone curious about what foods have a good amount of calcium.

If you’ve experienced low bone density or broken bones, let me know about your experiences and if increasing your calcium intake helped.


One year ago this month we celebrated our sweet Olivia’s birthday. The very next night we were startled by a frantic banging on our bedroom door. I heard fearful yells from upstairs. I sprinted upstairs to see my second daughter, Lillian, putting Olivia in the recovery position as she was in the middle of a tonic clonic seizure. David had woken up to the feeling of her kicking him on the trundle bed he sleeps on right under her bed. He has a pretty broad knowledge of health related facts for a kid. He recognized she was having a seizure and needed help.
She had a couple more little seizures between the first big one and us getting her to the hospital. They started her on anti-seizure medication and sent us home.

When she was a little kid she had a different kind of seizure called Panayiotopoulos syndrome (occipital seizures), but was not on medication. She also had ”spells” during her period which we now believe were catamenial seizures.

Fortunately, she has done very well on the medication and being mindful of her lifestyle.
We are also very blessed with a close friend who runs a nonprofit for women and girls with epilepsy called My Epilepsy Story.
She is full of knowledge and a great help when looking for resources.

Epilepsy has changed our lives in some ways, but overall things are mostly the same. We are fortunate to have a great neurologist and support system. Not everyone is as fortunate. If you or anyone you know is affected by epilepsy I’d love to hear from you on what has been a blessing on your journey. Please check out my friend’s site for more information on women and girls with epilepsy.

“The Choice” {good read}

The Choice: Embrace the Possible by Dr. Edith Eva Eger is a phenomenal book. The story of Auschwitz survivor, Edith Eva Eger, is a moving, compelling, and important story. As we move further in years from the Holocaust, I believe it is more important than ever to remember and study the stories of that time. Yes, there are parts that are deeply painful to hear. I believe we honor those who lived and died by memorializing their stories. For those who have lived through trauma this story offers hope and power.

Though I could have remained a permanent victim –scarred  by what was beyond my control– I made the choice to heal. Early on, I realized that true freedom can only be found by forgiving, letting go, and moving on. So I turned my life around and vigorously pursued a career in psychology. Combining my formal education and my own life challenges, I have helped countless others lead full lives by moving beyond their problems –no matter how insurmountable they believed them to be.  This is my life’s mission and I will forever strive to help people make the choice to heal and thrive. That’s a promise!” ~Dr. Edith Eva Eger~

Perhaps one of the greatest lessons she teaches is :

It’s been a minute ;)

I can hardly believe it’s been so long since I’ve posted. Since the last post, one daughter graduated college, and one graduated high school and started college. We’ve all been home (for the most part) since March 2020.

Just like most people, some things have really changed since the shutdown. Right after my daughter got back from Oregon, I started getting terrible hives and rashes that seemed to come out of nowhere. I felt awful 99% of the time. I had gained a ton of weight and nothing I did seemed to make a difference. I went to my endocrinologist in January 2020. My TSH was 13, but he told me to lose weight and he’d see me again in 3 months. I told him about the rashes. He insisted it was my detergent. Well, that was so ridiculous that I did a telehealth appointment in March 2020. She agreed to up my dose of levothyroxine. I did a food intolerance test in December 2020, and found that I had an intolerance to eggs and milk. Once I eliminated those from my diet, I never had the rash or hives again. My digestive system also felt so much better. I still felt pretty unmotivated. I went to my regular doctor and told her everything that had gone on. She tested my levels. She called back within a day and said my TSH level was 197. She had never seen levels this high and upped my dosage drastically.
It has taken a lot of time and work, but I’m finally feeling better. I’ve completely changed my diet. Keto is really hard to stick to without eggs or milk. I’ve given up eggs, milk, wheat, and sugar. I started getting food from Daily Harvest. It has been a game changer for me! I’ve lost over 20 pounds in two months, and I’ve eaten more food than ever before. I have a code to get $35 off of Daily Harvest if you’re interested. I’ll tell you, I’m not a huge smoothie lover in general. The harvest and forager bowls are among my favorites. Here’s the code to save $35:

Part of my Daily Harvest order

The Oregon Extension

Have any of you ever wished for an opportunity to just put away your phone, unplug the computer, and live a different kind of life just for a little while? My oldest daughter, VG, is doing exactly that this semester and I couldn’t be prouder! She’s always been a deep thinker, but she’s also highly sensitive. She realized a couple of years ago that social media wasn’t something that was good for her mentally, so she got rid of it. During her spring semester, she came across this program that her university is a part. The opportunity came at the most perfect time. The Oregon Extension  

“Every autumn since 1975, several dozen college students from across the country have taken a step “out of the current” for an unusual semester of vigorous intellectual exploration.  Students earn 17 credits, but focus on one topic of study at a time.  Daily reading, small group discussion, and one-on-one conversations with faculty members comprise the heart of the OE program.” (

Although, I can only talk to my daughter on the weekends (because their phones are put away Monday through Friday) I know that she is doing some amazing things. She’s camped out at the Lava Beds National Monument. She climbed Mt. McLoughlin the first week she was there. She’s made goat cheese. She’s milked goats. She has cooked more meals so far than she’s ever cooked before. She was part of de-feathering a turkey that was supposed to be a Thanksgiving Turkey, but was badly injured, so it was necessary to end its suffering. I’m sure there are many more things she has done, and I’m sure there are lots more amazing adventures on the horizon for the next three months. My prayer is that she’ll gain an amazing amount of confidence in herself and an awareness and appreciation for this wonderful world we’ve been blessed to be a small part. She shared a screenshot of a poem one of the professors read. It is perfection.



She also started a blog of her own. She’s  actually had several blogs throughout her life, but this one is about the new phase of her life. I am proud that she is so brave to step away from the things she knows and feels comfortable with, and jump into a life that is so very different and extremely challenging, even if it’s only for a few months.

Cleaning Up

I’ve written a few times about cleaning products and about trying to live greener. Today, I want to share some things I’m using and doing. I know I still have work to do, but I’m doing more and more everyday. 3865DB83-F9FE-4FB4-B7F3-92F90E3EF0FD.jpeg

While reading, “The Art of Southern Charm” by Patricia Altschul,  I was introduced to the brand called The Laundress. I purchased several things from the company and have been impressed with them. According to the company it contains: “All of the good, none of the bad. Nontoxic, biodegradable, and allergen-free. Free of petroleum, phosphate, phthalates, artificial color, and animal by-products.” Considering that I do at least two loads of laundry a day I need a good product that goes a long way and does a good job.  The Laundress fits the bill! I also love the All-Purpose Cleaner from The Laundress. It does an amazing job cleaning everything! I especially love mopping the floors with it.


I pack lots of snacks with so many children to feed. Ziploc bags were always in my pantry, but I swapped them for silicone ones after seeing more than a dozen plastic bags littering the beach. I got the Pepe Nero ones from Amazon and I also got some gallon ones with a zipper from a company called Planet Wise. Their website is


On a weekend trip to The Home Depot I came across Mighty Bamboo paper towel rolls. They can be washed. They are re-usable and anti-microbial. I will admit that I’m not totally giving up my Viva paper towels just yet (I use those for dog messes and things that just really gross me out), but I am definitely using far less of them now.


I’m also using biodegradable bags for food scraps and most bathroom trash. The brand I like is Unni.


I’ve mentioned Puracy products before. I’m a big fan of the made in the USA company. Their products are non-toxic and safe for the environment. I try to buy the big refills to help cut down on our plastic waste.


I’ve always used Mason jars for leftovers. This is such a simple and easy way to store food.

These are a few ways I’m trying to become a greener person. I want my children and their children to have the healthiest planet possible.

Keto Fast Foods From McDonald’s

There are times when you just have no choice but to get fast food (although my teenagers would eat fast food for every meal if I let them).

Now that McDonald’s serves all day breakfast, it makes it so much easier to eat a Keto meal on the road. If I have to eat fast food, I will order a sausage egg cheese McMuffin without the muffin.  My husband also loves these. He eats beef so his options are vaster, but since I don’t these are perfect for me.

As long as you order things without the bun and sugary sauces, you can eat several things and stay Keto.  When eating fast food, stay away from anything breaded. Also, keep in mind that most sauces, other than mustard and mayo, are usually loaded with sugar.  Keto on a road trip or just on busy nights isn’t so hard after all.



From McDonald’

April Fools Day Dinner

8DB3AF89-3BA1-4157-A96A-F3661FF578D8.pngA23FEA70-C43D-4AE8-B647-99A5C6EE6F58.jpegTomorrow is one of my children’s favorite days of the year. April Fools Day provides so many funny moments and fun activities if you just look for it. Every year, I make a special dinner or dessert. My kids look forward to it, so I can’t let them down. I’m including last year’s menu and the year before if you want to start a tradition like this. The way this works is that they are given a card for each of the three courses. They must pick 3 or 4 items at the beginning of the dinner for each course with no duplicates. They could end up with a fork, a cake pop, and a glass for one course. You just have to make your best guess. I try to save plates and napkins from other holidays and use them on this day.  There are so many silly things you can do! I hope you have a fun day tomorrow no matter how you choose to celebrate it!



Keto Cheesy Biscuits {recipe}

It seems like there are more and more Keto snacks out there now than ever before. The problem is that most are sweet, but sometimes I just want something savory. I was wanting to try out a new recipe that wasn’t a dessert, and this is what I created.

I love that this recipe is fast and easy to throw together. It also requires ingredients that I almost always have on hand.

Keto Cheesy Biscuits

2 cups of almond flour

2 cups of shredded cheese (I used spicy, but any kind should work)

2 eggs

1/3 cup melted ghee

2 tsp. Baking soda

1.5 tsp. Salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until a stiff dough forms. Put tablespoon-size balls of biscuit dough on the cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Enjoy!!

These would probably be excellent Keto cheddar bay biscuit copycats if you added a butter garlic wash to the tops.