Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!


{from a fighter pilot, a little princess and baby buffalo}

Y'all have fun Trick or Treating tonight!!!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Paleo Granola Bars


I kind of found the treasure chest for Paleo treats: a new cook book called Paleo Indulgences. The Primal Parent gave a great review, here, and Robb Wolf wrote the forward. Needless to say, I was excited to get this in the mail! 


With the help of Snooze, we tried our first recipe yesterday and it was a huge success: "Granola" Bars. {They are already all gone - GREAT substitute for Larabars!}

Wet Ingredients:
1/4c coconut oil
1/4c pure maple syrup
1/4c unsweetened almond butter {I only had Justin's Maple on hand so we used that}

Dry Ingredients:
1/3c raw pumpkin seeds
1/2c roasted, salted sunflower seeds*
1/3c roasted, salted almond slivers*
1/4c mini chocolate chips {Enjoy Life brand - her suggestion - though I just chopped up 100% unsweetened chocolate. I only used 1/8c}
1/3c raisins
*I never used roasted nuts, only raw. Roasting nuts at temps over 240 degrees F causes acrylamides to form, a chemical that is a known carcinogen. Keeping the temp below 140 degrees F is safest, however food in its raw form is always most nutritious. 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees, and line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper and grease with coconut oil. Then...


Oops - forgot to let the wet mixture cool for 15 minutes, so it melted the chocolate...


Tammy, the author, says to place a sheet of waxed paper on top and press down firmly to flatten, though I did not.
Bake 25-30 minutes, or until bubbly and golden. {Mine only needed 20 minutes}


Ready! 
Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Cut into bars. 
{This did not work for me and they started to fall apart, so I placed in fridge to cool for an hour and then cut them. I was still not able to take them out completely - still crumbly - so I cooled for another 4 hours and then they were hard enough to fully cut into bars}


The recipe is a cinch and they were SO DELICIOUS! These might be a daily creation in my kitchen from here on out. 




Monday, October 29, 2012

How I Wore It :: Black Tie and NOT Pregnant!


If you look back at my black tie How I Wore It posts {here and here}, I am pregnant in both of them {and do I change my hair color a lot or what?!} In fact, I have been pregnant for EVERY black tie event we have been to since we have been married.  This year for Steeplechase, one of my favorite parties of the year here in Fort Worth, I was....get ready for it....NOT pregnant for the first time in 3 years!! This was a monumental night for me. I found a dress to wear on a fluke while up in NYC for Coterie last month and was so excited to wear it. Unfortunately, four different styles of Spanx I tried did not work and one line or another ended up showing, but I sucked in like a champ and had a great time ;) 

Dress :: Juicy Couture / Clutch :: Anya Hindmarch / Shoes :: Gucci

{the clutch, last year's anniversary present from Biz, was my favorite part}

Here are some snapshots from the actual event ---


Happy Monday everyone...thinking of and praying for those on the East coast...


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Paleo Pumpkin Spice Muffins


I recently posted a picture of some pumpkin muffins on my Instagram, and instantly received several "What's the recipe??!" comments. My friend and our amazing chef, Callie Salls of Linguini and Dirty Martinis, never fails when it comes to creating amazing Paleo recipes for my family. Her most recent creation is Paleo Pumpkin Spice Muffins! They are amazing as they look, and are quickly becoming a French household favorite. 

Yields 8-12 muffins

1 ½ cups almond flour
¾ cup organic canned pumpkin
3 eggs
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t ground cinnamon
2 t pumpkin pie spice
¼ t kosher salt
¼ cup raw honey
3 t creamy almond butter
Pepitas, to sprinkle atop muffins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper or silicone liners. {FYI, I just found some silicone liners at Williams-Sonoma this week and they are life-changing. The muffins literally fall out of them - no messy sticking or peeling paper cups off, AND no dirty muffin tin! Win win. Invest.}


Combine dry ingredients in one bowl, whisking together to remove clumps. In another bowl, whisk together wet ingredients then combine with dry until well combined.



Using a smaller ice cream scoop, scoop an even amount of batter into each muffin liner to about 2/3 full. Top with pepitas. Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes on the middle rack until golden and muffins have just become firm.

Perfect for these chilly Autumn days we are having now, right? Enjoy, and thanks Callie for letting me share the recipe! View Callie's Facebook page here for other great meal ideas. 




Tuesday, October 23, 2012

BLOG BLOWOUT SUPER SALE! $99 OR LESS!

Isabel in Olive


Now that NYC is behind us and boutique orders of the 2013 collection are coming to a close, I can finally focus on something I really enjoy doing - giving my blog readers and only my blog readers a special chance to score the very last items of my inventory this year at super silly prices. I TRULY LOVE DOING THIS!!!

ALL DRESSES $99
ALL TUNICS $99
SLEEVELESS TUNICS $79
ALL SHORTS $49

For those of you that did not follow my blog last year when I did this sale, most items will go within 24 hours, so if you want a piece, do not hesitate or it will be gone!

Here is how it works:

EMAIL HELLO@SHERIDANFRENCH.COM with the following information:

- the piece(s) you are interested in, noting the SIZE AND COLOR(S)
- your payment information
- your shipping/billing address

- sales tax will be charged to orders shipped within Texas
- a flat rate of $7 shipping will be applied to each order
- we will email you if too many requests for the item were received before your email,
confirming whether or not you have been charged

PLEASE NOTE: For the Georgina and Andrika dresses, and Mia sleeveless tunic: A cups order an XS, B cups order a S, C cups order a M or L.

ORDERS WILL BE FULFILLED ON A FIRST COME FIRST SERVE BASIS, GOING BY THE TIME WE RECEIVE YOUR EMAIL. If your email does not contain all of the above information, we will not accept your order and will go on to the next request for the item.

ALL SALES ARE FINAL - NO RETURNS, CREDITS OR EXCHANGES, NO EXCEPTIONS. HAPPY SHOPPING! 

{Click on the item category below for a link to the items and photos on my website}
I will try to remove inventory below as it has sold!

DRESSES! $99!                                   
      Claire in Shocking Pink - 3 Small   1 Medium
Kara in Turquoise - 1 XS

SOLD OUT   

SOLD OUT

Anik in Orange and Pink  1 Small  6 Medium  
Anik in Orange and Cream   1 Medium

Here are some great photos submitted by my amazing customers! xoxo!!
Andrika in Orange

Kara in Turquoise

Jackie O in Pale Mint - gorgeous!!

Mia in Orange
{I mean seriously, how cute}

Kara in Olive

Andrika in Purple


Anik Shorts in Orange and Pink

Isabel Tunic in Blush

Claire in Shocking Pink

Claire in Shocking Pink
{can we just talk about how amazing those shoes are with it?!}

Isabel in Orange - literally just took this because I am actually wearing it right now! 
{let's just not mention the no makeup thing mkay thanks}

Isabel in Orange is PERFECT for Halloween, and Isabel in Olive is great for everything Fall!!! Click on my Facebook page to view more photos submitted by customers of them wearing their cute SF items - adorable! Ready, set, SHOP!




Thursday, October 18, 2012

Why the Battle for Joy is Really Worth it



A friend sent this post below to me - we often share our parenting struggles with one another, struggles that revolve around our frustration with our children, but also our frustration with ourselves as mothers for our shortcomings - and I was in tears by the end of it. From the blog A Holy Experience, I know it will touch you as deeply as it did me. This is for every single parent out there - ladies, this is one to send to your husbands.

Why the Battle for Joy is Really Worth it
October 17, 2012

Back then I said I'd never  be like him. 

I slammed doors to punctuate the point and to make sure my dad knew it.

You can be tall and 15 and think you know a lot of things.

And you don't think about growing old and looking squishy around the middle and telling teenagers to just turn out the lights.

You don't think about how you can open your mouth and let the sharp side of your tongue tear the innards out of a soul --- and there's no way you can stuff the whole bloody mess back.

I don't know how it happened exactly.

Or maybe the truth rightly stated is --- I really don't want to remember.

How we were late, 35 minutes late, and when I got in the van they were all waiting, all 7 of them, waiting and squashed close in a mini-van that's far too mini for lanky Dutch teenagers and late summer heat and one late mother who can flare into this wide-eyed, wild agoraphobia when facing hours of finger food and paper plates and BBQ small talk with absolute strangers.

It got ugly.

A kid hadn't ironed his shirt.

Over the course of a whole hour and ten minutes of hunting down socks and doing up hair and scouring for one battered croc --- and telling my jangled it's-time-to-go-nerves a dozen times that all fear is fraud and nowhere on earth is beyond the reach of God --- I had told the boy at least 5 times, that he really did have to iron that shirt.

And then, 35 minutes late, he's in the van looking like he's rolled with a bunch of wombats to Timbuktu and back.

Maybe I should have shrugged the shoulders?

Maybe I should have said it didn't matter, let's just go? But I had asked him - five times. More like 5.8975 times and in this insistent, your-mama-she-means-business-voice.

So, to a van full of the waiting and the hot and the frustrated, I say no ma'am. No ma'am, we are not going like that. Back into the house and you have. to. iron. that. shirt. 

And the kid starts wailing. At mock pitch levels. Like I'd just announced an imminent amputation of a necessary limb or the banning of birthdays.

And every nerve ending in this highly sensitive body is already feeling unraveled and gory and I don't even want to go to this thing and I feel the iron weight of time and kids and expectations all pressing down on the lung and his howl is jet thunder in the frayed veins.

And I turn hard toward the bawling kid.

"Out." I'm not proud that I can hiss.

Here's where it'd be convenient to claim I wasn't thinking straight, that some tightening screw had somewhere loosened and the side of the thing had fractured and fissured in the loud sound.

But it's been said and I've laid up nights, thinking about it, and it's true and I say it like this:

No matter the jarring, a jar of fresh water can't spill filthy water.

When you're upset, you upset what's really in you.

 I grab the boy's arm and lean in close to his face. His wracking sobs are hot and hard in my face.

And I'm gnawing. Gnawing on the side of my lip, pulling on my mouth like I'm trying to hold something back, like I'm trying to chew through to something better than this - better than him.

How can you have held the child that came from you as an ember of very heaven and then glare blind angry and stomp him right out? Who can look into a child and forget miracle?

Me --- the amnesiac mother who forgets holy all the time.

I lean in and over, gnaw like a wild thing, and the kid pulls back and wracks it out like this haunt --- like this high and holy haunt.

"When...you...do...that..." His shoulders heave, chocking back all this heart water right undammed. "When...you...chew...your lip like that?" He wipes his face with the back of his arm. "You...look...just...like...Grandpa Morton."

And there's no air in my lungs.

I've caved, in a moment everything's caved.

Like him?

It's like a flashing supernova, the look in a child's eyes and there's a flaring mirror and you see  you are everything you said you'd never become.

You can become everything that once undid you. I'm right tipped, upset and know who I really am and what really spills, and here is why I'll never stop being a grace beggar, a wild Cross-clinger.

"Please...Don't...Do...That..." He can't stop the heaving of his shoulders, his heart.

I'm undone now --- undammed.

And feeling so damned.

How can grace get a hold of you when the past won't let go of you? How do you leave a legacy different from the one you've been left? That's what I've got to gnaw through to. How do you mangle the ones you love most?

"Sor...ry...Mama...didn't....mean...to make you...cry." And he's the one who can't stop.

And I kneel down and let go of his arm. And I hold his face. That's what I should have done, done right at the beginning. What would happen in a world where anger was your flag to reach out and cup a face?

He looks so scared and wrung and thin --- every child's a thin place. I see God.

And that's what comes:

If you don't fight for joy, it's your children who lose.

What do I want my children to remember --- my joy in clean floors, made beds and ironed shirts --- or my joy of the Lord?

You will be most remembered --- by what brought you most joy.

The joy of the Lord is your strength and the person of Christ is your unassailable joy - and the battle for you is nothing less than fighting the good fight of faith.

His cheeks in my palms, they're so white, so wet.

It's his eyes ---  if you've put the fear of yourself into a child, how is there room for the joy of the Lord? Joy isn't an option feature to the Christian life --- it's the vital feature of the Christian life.

Battle for joy or lose your life. Or other's lose theirs.

And I whisper sorry. I tell the boy I know nothing yet, nothing.

Every ungracious moment means someone doesn't understand grace.

And the boy crumbles into me and I hold onto him and a forgiveness I'll never deserve and there's a grace that can hold us, that can mold us, the way joy can bend you soft at all the joints.

And I murmur it into the thick of his hair, that even now He can still make us like Him.

The boy touches my cheek like a flag waving yes. 



When I feel myself getting frustrated or too stern or God forbid, full on Mean Mommy, I ask myself in my head: WILL THIS MATTER A YEAR FROM NOW? It forces me to breathe, take a step back and look with a clear head. It brings me back down to what matters. It lets me focus on God and find strength in Him to deal with whatever I think is a big deal right then in that moment, and I remember Isaiah 41:10. And you know what? If Squish doesn't say thank you for dinner, or has his feet on the table, or Munch is throwing her food on the floor, and instead of getting cranky or stern I realize this silly battle of control to listen to Mommy doesn't really matter in this instant, and I can see. I can see that the greatest joy of my life is to BE HERE. Just be here AT dinner with the three most precious beings in the entire universe to me, and that is what matters.

What parts of her post touched you or resonated with you the most? For me...
- "You can become everything that once undid you." So powerful.
- "You don't think about how you can open your mouth and let the sharp side of your tongue tear the innards out of a soul." (See Proverbs 18:21 for Scripture on this)
- Also, the most touching for me, "you will be most remembered by what brought you most joy."


What would happen in a world where anger was your flag to reach out and cup a face?
If you don't fight for joy, it's your children who lose.


What do I want my children to remember --- my joy in clean floors, made beds and ironed shirts --- or my joy of the Lord?



Battle for joy. 


                                                

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How I Wore It :: The Dark Side



My first thought was to chop off all of my hair, but I knew that would result in instant tears. Going dark seemed like the more attractive option - definitely no tears! I love it!

Shirt :: Ralph Lauren, Jeans :: Joe Fresh, Booties :: House of Harlow 1969
Orange Cuff :: Joe Fresh, Watch :: Michele


Is everyone officially ready for fall? I began training for the Cowtown Ultra 50K this February and did this...


That's what I get for exercising. Won't make that mistake again. At least enormous black boots with velcro are all the rage for fall, right?


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Abe's Market


I have been meaning to post about the fabulous online shop Abe's Market for a loooooong time now. I don't use the term fabulous lightly. Abe's Market is essentially a one-stop shop for all things natural and organic, from baby products {food, clothes, gear, you name it} to beauty items, to bath and body, clothes, pet items AND food...just to name a small selection! 

I had heard of the company last year, but recently they reached out to me asking Squish and Munch to test out some of their great products, and I was, of course, delighted to oblige. We LOVED the Clementine Art paint and modeling clay they sent, and still play with it on practically a daily basis. Since it is all-natural, I don't have to stress as much when the kids decide the playdoh cookies look like real ones and give them a test run. Icing on the cake for me? They threw in several Paleo snacks for mama! The Brownie Bombs in particular were amazing. I tell you what - any online site that includes paleo grub, not just gluten free {most gf products are rice based} immediately skyrockets to the top of my list. Here is the link to all Clementine Art products.

The primary reason I love Abe's Market is for their enormously gargantuan selection of products, especially in the children's realm. Several families, ours included, make great efforts to feed their children chemical-free foods as much as possible, but often slip in the realm of toys, arts and crafts, etc. I honestly just don't think of how many toxins are in that Crayola paint they're smearing all over themselves {read: eating}, you know? Then I go to the Skin Deep database {click} - more on this below - and can see product by product what has neurotoxins in it and how much, like the Sally Hansen nail polish I'll paint Munch's nails with daily, that is an 8 out of 10, containing chemicals that are known carcinogens, can cause developmental and reproductive toxicity, as well as cause allergies and immunotoxicity. No thank you!! And we wonder why things like infertility, ADD/ADHD, Alzheimer's, cancers and every other problem and disease is skyrocketing - just look at what we are putting into our bodies and it's a no brainer. The great news? WE are in control of what goes into us and on us! Little Princess is a great alternative polish I found on Abe's - and hello, it has glitter and glows in the dark. 

I am working on being very mindful and aware of everything we surround ourselves with, not just what we put into our bodies, and I love that Abe's Market takes the stress out of doing this for me. They truly achieve their goal of being a one-stop shop that presents the most incredible natural products out there today. Thank you for helping me keep my babies, and myself, healthy! Mega. Heartsies.

A little on Skin Deep - you are able to go here and type in pretty much any brand or product {they have over 75,000 to search from} to see the levels of carcinogens and toxicity associated with it based on the chemicals in the product. Here is an example of Coppertone Kids Sunscreen...



YIKES. We have used green-tea based sunscreen or plain coconut oil for years, and both work great. In case you were wondering, Abe's has 72 natural sunscreens to select from, found here :) and here is a link to 300+ cleaning products. There is no reason why we can't put our health first with marketplaces like this! Munch literally just walked up to me asking me to open the Clementine Art modeling dough for her to play with. Bless. 

                                                 

Monday, October 1, 2012

How I Wore It :: Cotton Candy



I am completely obsessed with my Joe Fresh findings while up in NYC, namely this cotton candy colored pink shirt and perfect shade of blue wide-leg jeans. Throw in the amazingly budget-friendly prices, and I think I have found my new go-to shop for some great closet basics!


The only snag is that they don't currently sell online. Please adjust that part of your business model, stat! I am already having buyer's remorse for not buying MORE than I did. {like this striped turtle neck}


Top it off with some fun gold accessories and we're done! Happy Monday everyone :)





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