Friday, January 10, 2014

The Bean Dos: One Year Old

This was written to my baby boy shortly before he turned one almost 6 months ago. I didn't get to finish it and I don't remember where I was going, so I'm saying it's done. Time! Slow down, please. 

Dear Baby Boy,

This year flew by. It was gone in the blink of an eye. I have no idea where the time went. If I thought it went quickly before you born, then this is lightning speed. I remember so clearly holding and nursing you for the very first time. It was so different this time around. It's like we were pros. Now, I'm rocking and nursing you to to sleep as I type this on my phone and your legs are spread across an armrest that you didn't even touch in the beginning. You always rest a little hand across my chest and your eyes open and close with drowsiness. You are currently humming and wiggling a bit before you fall asleep.

I love you so much little one. If I ever questioned whether I'd have enough love left over from adoring your sister, know that my heart has grown indefinitely and has bountiful love for you. I look at your face and I just melt. Those big brown eyes, little cute nose, long lashes, adorable lips, and fluffy light brown hair are just so hard to resist. I want to snuggle you close and nuzzle the chunkiness in your neck as I kiss you and take in the slowly diminishing sent of your babyhood. If I could keep you at this age for as long as I wanted, I would because as soon as you actually start walking completely unassisted all the time, I will probably not get as many chances to enjoy you this way.

You're so sweet, Sebastian! A charmer of the ladies. That smile, gah, it's so hard to resist!

You've been more of a challenge than Amélie was in certain ways, but I wouldn't change you one bit. You have been able to play independently for a while now and it's been wonderful to experience. It's surprising to see you take things out of bins, containers, anything really, and then put them back in so carefully. It's amazing to see you put the wooden shapes in the right slots of your box. Those little hands never seem to have enough things to grasp. :) You are content pushing a car in one hand while scooting across the floors. We jokingly call you spider baby because of your ability to walk with your hands quickly guiding you on walls as you cross rooms is surprisingly fast.

You are a mommy's boy completely. You will only walk to me when we want you to practice and when you're upset my arms are the only ones that can soothe you. I predict that I may be nursing you longer than the 15 months I did with Amélie. Even in your constant baby babbling, mama is a favorite. Although, you did say "agua" today.

We love you so much and our hearts melt over and over and over again because of you. We're now complete.

I love you so much little one,


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Sweet, Sweet...Sweet Potato Casserole.

If any of you follow me on FB or Instagram (that's where you'll find me most of the time these days instead of blogging), you probably know that I'm a fan of my super cute kiddos, my awesome husband, being all healthy and stuff, crafting, and delicious food. Yup, that pretty much sums me up. Throw in a challenge of some sort and I'm probably game. Make a really snuggly, cute, hubby look-alike, with only random felt pieces and a needle while cooking with one hand?? Challenge accepted!

When the opportunity to join a group of health conscious individuals on a challenge of the clean eating variety came about, I jumped(somewhat reluctantly) at the chance. I'd heard and had read about the Whole30 a while back and it sounded like something right up my alley, but all the restrictions seemed a bit daunting. Having been a clean eater for a while now; although more so in the last 3 years; it felt like the right time and right type of support system to really take it on wholeheartedly.

I am so very happy I made that decision. The group is wonderful. The support is wonderful. The strength and will-power I have found in myself has been wonderful. The new knowledge is wonderful. Mind blown by wonderfully delicious clean food is constant. I can go on about the positives and I'm only a third of the way through!

With that being said, I've been getting creative in the kitchen because of the Whole30 and I'm having way too much fun. I love cooking. It fuels one of my many creative streaks. When the chance to share a Whole30-ified sweet, not savory, sweet potato casserole came upon me, I thought I'd share a slightly edited one I have made in the past. But, seeing as there would still be a few more modifications to really make it compliant, I took it as a challenge and ta-da! A delicious sweet, sweet, sweet potato casserole that any fellow Whole30-er can enjoy. Yippee! Hurray! Let's eat!



  • 2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 dates (I used medjool) reconstituted in 1/4 cup of hot water and then puréed in processor.
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1 cup whole-fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest (although I think I really used a little less, about half-orange worth)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 8-ounce can of crushed pineapple, undrained or 1 1/2 cups of cubed fresh pineapple (this is what I used)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted 


  1. Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Or, for a sweeter natural sweet potato flavor, you can roast it in the oven. Drain well and transfer to a food processor. Add pineapple and dates and then process until smooth.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  3. Whisk whole eggs, cinnamon, coconut oil, coconut milk, orange zest, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl until smooth. Add the sweet potato; whisk until smooth. Spread the mixture in an 8-inch square baking dish. Sprinkle with pecans.
  4. Bake the casserole until heated through and the edges are bubbling, 35 to 45 minutes. 
  5. Enjoy!

If you feel like going a little crazy, add a little whipped coconut milk on top of a bowl full of sweet, sweet goodness. If you're going Whole30-ish on this whipped coconut, you can use a real vanilla bean to make it oh-so-special. Shake a little cinnamon on top and you're golden. 

I personally think this is perfect at any meal. Breakfast with some fresh fruit layered in-between and a hard-boiled egg on the side. At lunch as a side to your protein. As your snack after a hard workout. Why not?!