Weight Loss #4 Week 1

was 225

now 221


So, I've had a pretty good week until now. Hubby JUST brought some Christmas chocolates home from work, and my self discipline is 0. Yup zero. Anyway, moving on....

I've meal prepped and eaten 5 x day. I've been satisfied, not left hungry at all. You can look at what I've been planning to eat HERE

 ((Freezer meals))

To the right, I have several freezer bags filled with taco mince (lean meat) ready to go. However even though the package read 'lean beef', I still strained the fried meat and this is how much fat dripped out. It's a LOT! The bowl was nearly half full...

I should maybe come up with some other foods, but I do love yams with taco mince! I can't get past it. Yeah, looks boring, and maybe unappetizing... but the taco spice makes the food go down, he he!!!

Darn those chocolates! Eating popcorn as I type,-ha ha!-  ready for a movie with hubby.

Grace and Peace


You should Quit Your Job!

Have you ever happened to have a rough day at work? Or even a whole week or even a whole season of hard times at work?? If your answer is 'YES'... then,


Yeah well, if I told you that I get that advice at times, would you believe me? No really, I do.

I am a mother of 4. I homeschool 2 of them, grades K and 3. That means that I have a toddler and baby to take care of too. I also need to cook, clean and take care of my mental and physical health on top of the other million things that need doing. To top it off, my pregnancies can be quite testing to say the least, and I have been in situations at times where I've had to rely on other people's help. Yes, I've humbly asked or accepted a hand, to tackle my busy life.

I get a lot of advice and I hear a lot of opinions on how people think I should do things i.e. live life. When I've had a testing time in my life, as short as a hour or as long as a month (pregnancies for example), people tell me to give it up. They tell me we'd be better off putting our kids into school, stop having kids and to go get my life back (whatever that means???) To that I feel like saying,

-When the next tough time at work or in whatever you love to do happens, just give it up and quit! Life is supposed to be easy peasy all of the time, don't you know?? There are no trials, no testing, no growth, no negativity, no mistakes, and everything should be just great! If you don't have it good all of the time, you're obviously doing something wrong or don't know what you are doing, putting yourself into these situations... hello!

and that is what I feel like saying... but since I think before I speak type...

Okay, what I mean to say is that, life will always be hard at times in someway or another. We all have our trials, our bad days and we grow from them, we mature and we become more wise. We know the good days outnumber the bad by a zillion and we all make different choices in life, even though they may happen to have a hard journey to the destination and we may even have to ask and/or accept help to get there. Sometimes the journeys feel like they last forever! Hard work pays off. In my case, my pregnancies are hard, but they pay off, oh so well...

Children are a blessing, NOT a burden. My body might ache, my mind might be tired at times, well a lot perhaps, but my soul and heart leap for joy! Our children do not hinder our marriage but bring us closer together as a team, as husband and wife. 

This is my job. I am a mom. I homeschool them. I'm beat at the end of the day and cannot wait to put my feet up. There are days when I don't want to go to work, but I have to. There are days, I'm so tired, I moan about it and have a sour attitude about it, but it passes. There are times, I am so overwhelmed that I need to plug into the Word and prayer so that I can survive another hour... and I'd do anything for someone to just give me a hand. There are times I just want to scream... And it passes.

But guess what, I love my job. I love my calling. It's a holy calling. I love my family. Everyday I am taken aback by how blessed I am with all I have. I love teaching and spending time with my kids. I love watching them discover and grow. I love to menu plan and cook for them. I love taking them to activities and field trips. 

I love my job.

With or without kids, life can be testing.

"What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise" -Oscar Wilde


Weight Loss #4 Day 1

I know, I know, baby is only a month old and I've already embarked on weight loss #4. To some of you who do not know my history, I gain a lot of weight during each pregnancy and I have quite a challenge to lose my pregnancy weight afterwards, yet somehow I manage to do it,  even if it's a slow process. More on my previous weight losses, HERE.
So here I am once again. Over weight with a newborn. 
I am nursing, so I have to be extremely careful that I don't hinder milk production or stop it. My baby is my priority. I won't let myself go hungry. I won't limit my vegetable intake either. I'll make sure my calorie intake is sufficient.

During my final weeks of pregnancy, I refused to be weighed at my check ups so I don't actually know exactly how much I weighed before birth, but I'm guessing 250lb ,or even more. Currently I weigh 225lb and that is 2lb less than two days ago. So here I am at 225. What is my goal? Well it's of course my pre pregnancy weight, which is 145lb. Some say I am too hard on myself and should aim for a smaller goal..  Buuut I don't want to.  Call me stubborn. 

My weight day 1 = 225lb

My plan is to prep and precook my lunch and dinners for the next two weeks. If I have the $, I will consider doing it for the next four weeks. This will save me time and protect me from temptations.  

My menu for the next 4 weeks is


100-150G MEAT, 100G CARBS, 200G++ VEGG MEAL PLAN


7.30 BREAKFAST OMELET, WW TORTILLA, SPINACH, CHEESE AND SALSA Or oats with cottage cheese and berries




*post workout shake




·         1,2KG GREEN BEANS
·         1KG ASPARAGUS

·         7 X 0%GREEK YOGHURT
·         2X TRAY EGGS
·         WW TORTILLAS

I will weigh myself weekly on Fridays starting December 19th. I will also post photos of  start and present. I won't be working out until I go to my 6 week check up,  and I will begin with only cardio, kegels and Stott pilates to strengthen my body before I hit the weights. 

So, any suggestions or advice you want to give me?

Until my next weigh in,  
Grace and Peace


Slowing Down

One of my biggest sought after desires in life is to slow down. As a human being, in this time and age, never mind being a homeschooling mother of four, I find it very very very hard to do. All I want is to live "here and now" with my family, to truly see and to truly hear my children. To be child mind like again, to learn how to make a day last forever. Time flies, my mind keeps on racing like a speed train and my desire to slow down is like me lassoing this speeding train, trying to stop it with mere human strength. Impossible.

My heart aches. I think about it, I dream about it while life happens around me, while I homeschool, while I cook, clean and try to keep on top of things, while I read about the topic on other blogs and articles, while I drive to and from, from appointments. And then, the day ends and I'm rushing my kids off to bed, because I've had a long long day (which flew by so quick) and I'm running on empty. I end my day with massive guilt. I yelled at my kids today. I wasn't fully giving my children undivided attention -I didn't have the patience to listen to their story, because they or I weren't done with a chore that needed checking off our daily cleaning list. I didn't hear my daughters imaginative dream, because it wasn't good timing, as I herd my kids into the car. I pretend to listen, and I even smile at them saying "how cool!"... But truly, I'm stuck in this speeding train and I can't exit.

I know I need to reprogram my brain, but I don't even know where to begin. I know I can begin now, I just don't know how to. I know what I need to do, but I just don't. I'm desperate. 

I don't know what I am doing, but I'm going to start with these 5.

  1. start my day reading the Word and pray
  2. check my email and facebook after the kids go to sleep
  3. use the crock pot and make sandwiches for dinner often
  4. purposefully read more books out loud to my kids
  5. say "no" more to other things, so I can say "yes" to spending more time with the kids
Let's see where these take me.


The Birth Story

Read Faye Elisabeth Ruth's birth story HERE

I Am Back!

Hello! Long time no see, glad to be back!

Baby #4 is a week and a half old, and I'm feeling good. The last weeks of my pregnancy are posted in RawFoodsPregnancy BLOG , have a read and enjoy! The Birth Story will be posted very soon, once I get the final details from my hubby! I am posting pictures too, thanks to my friend who took great photos that night!

A week before baby arrived, I felt so "done". SIGH


36 Weeks Pregnant

Hence the silence. I am blogging at www.rawfoodspregnancy.blogspot.com at this moment since there isn't much else going on. Right now I am nesting.

I mean, I am pretty much homeschooling, organizing, stocking up, planning and praying. Please visit my pregnancy blog and you'll hear all about where my mind and heart are at the moment...




Cutting Corners

I'm going to cut corners this pregnancy and beyond. A few days ago, I "discovered" home delivery from a grocery shop we shop at. This is new to this shop chain, and maybe to this part of the country. However, my husband and I've used grocery home delivery service in the UK quite a bit. This is exciting!

uring the final weeks of each pregnancy, I stress about prepping enough meals into the freezer for when the baby arrives. I don't usually get many made, and we end up cooking like we normally would be. This time around, I'm not interested in standing on my swollen feet and piling meals into the freezer. My feet swell in the heat and I find the idea overwhelming at the moment.  Maybe when the weather cools down a bit, I'll have more of a desire to do so.

What can we do to make the last few weeks of the pregnancy and the first few weeks with the baby, easier?

This is what we're going to do,
  •  find affordable and healthy take out options
  •  use home delivery
I asked my husband, what he thought about budgeting our food in a way that would allow us to eat take out more, and instead of doing major food shops (with the kids!) on paydays, we would use the home delivery service? He said, YES!

Home delivery has a cost to it, of course. But I think not only will it save us time, stress, and gas... it will save me from putting stuff into our trolley that we didn't menu plan for.  So to me, the delivery cost is so worth it! I mean someone goes around and shops for you and brings it to you!!!

What do you think of getting your shopping delivered to you?

Colour Collage - Homeschool Crafts Idea

 Teach your kids the primary colours and the different mixes of primary colours.

 Doesn't have to be anything fancy, you know... :)

Get different colours of paint samplers from your local paint shop,

and before cutting and gluing, go through the different hues/shades/tones of 6 colours; red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.

 This takes a while... so do your own studies/crafts while they cut and glue...

 Let them add stickers, glitter or sequence to it... they can choose where they belong according to colour.

K and J's work.

I love them!


There's Always a Reason to Eat

There's always a reason to celebrate eat. You're thinking at 8-10 p.m, as you're biting into the chocolate bar "ah, I/we shouldn't be eating at this time"... and you or your spouse lists one of these reasons below,

  • It's Friday night, end of a long week!
  • It's our anniversary
  • Diet starts tomorrow
  • It's Saturday, start of the weekend
  • It's our cat's christening.... or another make up celebration
  • It's Sunday, back to work tomorrow
  • Ah, one bar won't kill us
  • It's been a rough day, I/we totally deserve this
I wonder why we're always making up excuses to glutton? And you know, I am not just talking about a chocolate bar. I'm talking about that Starbucks run, left overs, late night munchies, popcorn, etc. It can be healthy stuff too, like nuts and seeds /butter on home made crackers, fruit, and cheese, etc. 

This week we spent 3 days away from home. We ate out everyday. It's quite hard to eat out healthily, unless you have access to a fridge. I tried choosing better restaurants but it dawned on me, even the best and healthiest restaurants, basically serve things like, -sugar, salt, fat and wheat, and all in the bad form. It wasn't til our last day that we found a Mexican fast food joint, which served clean food. Gluten free, freshly milled wheat, organic meats/fish, and produce. Yummy! Next time, we'll know. Those "pearls" are so few and far between, but they're becoming more popular and with a little extra investigation, they're available! Forget, ABC's, IHOP's, Denny's, WhiteSpot and any other common restaurant with "home cooking" -it's all frozen!

So during our trip, while feeling mentally and physically totally robbed nutrition wise, I started menu planning, again. I decided that we would be eating more fish from now on. I love the 'meatless Monday' idea, and I'm still keen on not spending too much time cooking, so instead just throw stuff together, and voila! Dinner is serrrrrved. Also, the only thing that I thought worked out with my crockpot, is Chilli, so I won't be using that too much either. My oven is pretty high tech, so will be utilizing the options on it more. Baked fish, here we come!

Here is what I've been brainstorming to do:

  • Monday- vegetarian
  • Tuesday-Beef
  • Wednesday- Seafood
  • Thursday- Vegetarian
  • Friday-  Salmon
  • Saturday- Chicken
  • Sunday- Seafood 
I'm pretty excited about Chinese and Mexican influenced recipes, I like it how everything is fast and simple, and the greens are usually added at the very end of the recipes. 

I went to Costco today and bought, salmon and quinoa. I love quinoa! My kids are getting there, I'm not taking no for an answer. The salmon I get will be enough for two family servings. Some of you already know that we don't eat a lot of meat/fish when we do have them, meaning, we don't have a chicken breast each. I chop up 1-2 chicken breasts into a curry sauce/stir fry/meal and that feed us, a family of 5. That is enough protein for now. Here is a trick, if you thaw a chicken breast just a little before cutting it, it's easier to slice up a lot of thin slices.

What do our kids normally have for breakfast?

  • cereal
  • omelets
  • oats, hemp hearts and yoghurt
  • porridge
  • toast with cheese and cold cuts
  • breakfast burritos
  • Chinese pancakes (spring onion) 
+ a smoothie

 Baked Salmon. The kids devoured it, didn't manage to take an after oven pic :)

 Fried Tofu Sticks
(junk food)

  • shaoshang wine
  • dark soy
  • light soy
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • chili flakes (optional)
 Gone in seconds, glad I managed to take a picture.
When we lived in Finland, we never had bread or butter in our home. These days, we have both. Even to this day, I feel uncomfortable about it, but I've just let it go. I am not a big fan of yeast, I don't think eating "yeasty" foods daily is a good thing to the body. It's like up keeping an inflammation in the body, to me. However, I make my kids sandwiches for dinner 1-2 a week. I would like to cut back, but we are not allergic to gluten, or sensitive to gluten. The only thing I would like to cut back on is the yeast, therefor the bread, and swap it to whole wheat, stone milled, rich grain and seed tortillas. I don't want to take away the bread, because bread is yummy and nothing beats a fresh baked bread with butter on top, -and my kids know it!

Moving on...

There you have it, a little sneak peak to some of our family foods and also an honest, not so direct, confession on being a snacker and finding excuses for it. I'm still motivated and moving towards healthy eating while at the same time dodging all the food and diet trends... a.k.a paleo etc. Nothing lasts, nothing. Like I've said before, and I will say it again -the Bible has a lot of answers to what we should be eating and how. Really! Start from Genesis 1:29 and 2:9 and go from there... 

(These verses, totally prove that seedless cucumber from Walmart is from the devil! he he!)

Please share with me, what you feed your kids! Leave a comment!


I Cannot Compete - This is Me

I think I've taken an unnecessary detour in my blog writing. I think I've let the blogging "peer pressure" affect what I write about. Mostly, I think, I've stuck to my true nature -being open and honest about real life, real feelings, real revelations, and real marriage, but I can see that I've also blogged about my "Martha life". Which I really don't do that great in!

I am no Martha Stewart. I am no DIY champ, I'm no super baker and no photographer. I don't sew well, I organize like a "comet", and I have so much more to talk about than chevron fabric and Thanksgiving crafts. I cannot compete with the best homemakers, organizers, bakers, photographers, housewives, and so on, so I quit. I quit writing this blog the way it is, and continue on like I know best.

I am a wife, who just like you, has to work hard in marriage. I am a mother, who just like you, loves my kids to death when they sleep so peacefully and, I swear to keep my temper "tomorrow' -and I fail...again. I am a woman, just like you, who day dreams about a better way, adventures, the future and hope to develop into a better person in all areas. I am a child of God, that has no good in me, yet I'm covered by grace. 

I think I'll just spend my time with my favorite people -my family, and blog about the daily life, motherhood, wifehood, homeschooling, pregnancy, things that make our life just that little more easy, the ups, the downs, and well, the journey we're on.

Hope you enjoy the difference!


Pelvic Floor Update

Here is another cross post, a blog post written by me on my other pregnancy blog. I felt this is important to share with other mothers, especially if you've had multiple births, so please read!

Physio Update

A few weeks ago I wrote this 
..."I've been to see a physio, who specializes in women's pelvic floor (pre- and postnatal). I have homework I need to do daily to strengthen/maintain my pelvic floor during the rapid growth of the baby, help in birth and fast healing post birth. But mostly, I am doing them so I stop peeing myself every time a sneeze or have a coughing fit! I know, too much info, but I know -you know what I mean!

Daily Kegels workout:
30 x 5+sec squeezes with 10sec break in between. This takes about 8 minutes to do. 
30 x quick squeezes with 10sec break in between.

I've been trying to remember to do this everyday for two weeks, and so far I have already seen felt an improvement. I have got two more weeks to do these exercises until my next appointment.."...
Today I saw my physio for a quick follow up appointment, to see how things have progressed with my 'dilemma'.
Two weeks ago, I couldn't cough, sneeze or laugh (and at times with no reason) without "leakage". I was wearing a thin liner and had to change it 2-3 x a day. I know I was 22 weeks pregnant, but this was alarming and I needed to seek professional help. 
There was no way that I, age 31 (or ever) had to be in such a weak state, where there was no connection with my mind and body, in such a way. All I can say that I am happy that I went and paid that money to see the specialist physio.
Here is where I was
  • leakage, pad change 2-3 x a day
  • pregnancy week 22
  • waking up at night to visit the wc
  • couldn't laugh, sneeze, or cough without leakage
  • couldn't hold a kegel for more than 4 seconds
2 weeks later with these exercises
Here I am today
  • No leakage, haven't worn a pad for 1 1/2 weeks
  • pregnancy week 24
  • no night time bathroom visits
  • laughing, sneezing and coughing without leakage
  • I can hold a kegel for more than 10 seconds
I cannot believe how fast this change took place and that it's not rocket science, as my physio puts it! Simple, simple exercises that don't make you sweat, don't take up too much time, can be done anytime and anywhere -has done so much in such little time frame.
My exercises have moved on to new ones, which I will be doing throughout my pregnancy and also after birth. I have a follow up appointment 2 months after birth to see what needs doing regarding my pelvis alignment etc.
Ladies, I urge you! Get sorted before it's super hard or too late!
Mini testimonials welcome, leave a comment!


Placenta Encapsulation -Cross Post

Placenta Encapsulation

For a few months now, I've been actively thinking about 'Placenta Encapsulation'. When our 3rd child  was born, I happened to meet a woman who specializes in placenta encapsulation. By then, the most I'd ever heard or read about the subject, was that it was the "tree hugger" trend, and even some celebrities ate their placenta, which was cooked by a hired chef. My thoughts were exactly what yours are "ew". I wasn't into that... I'm still not into that
Anyway, the lady gave me her business card and I kept it in a safe place, since I was intrigued and wanted to follow up on the subject. Now, nearly two years later, I visited her site HERE and like the method she uses, so that the clients can consume the "product" without a steak knife. Ha ha!
What is Placenta Encapsulation?
Placenta Encapsulations is to make this natural, nutrient-rich organ into a simple pill to support your postpartum recovery. Placenta is high in iron, protein, vitamins, minerals and of course, your own natural hormones.
Ingesting the placenta is not a new practice. Chinese have been using their placenta for over 5000 years.
Testimonials, HERE
The method she uses:
By dehydrating, powdering and placing it into capsules, it is perfectly "made for you, by you".
These are the benefits:
  • Increases energy
  • Decreases risk of baby blues and postpartum depression
  • Decreases bleeding
  • Enhances milk supply
  • Replenishes vitamins & minerals (specifically iron)
  • Brings hormones back into balance
  • Helps uterus return to pre-pregnancy size
  • Continued assistance for later use (when fatigued, stressed, depressed, menopause)
  • Choices to add ingredients (e.g. Chinese herbs) for extra nourishment
I think I will be testing this out once the baby arrives, I know -weird and exciting at the same time!
What are your thoughts on Placenta Encapsulation, and why?


Collages -Homeschool Project

("God's People" by K)

This week the kids worked on collages of their own. We used the stack of National Geographic mags I've stored for too long. Now, I know how we will be using them. I fondly remember my own art lessons, especially making collages and the ideas are limitless!

Here are some ideas on Collages:
  • Seasons, weather
  • Celestial
  • Nature
  • Animals, polar, ocean, grassland, jungle etc
  • Healthy and unhealthy foods
  • Physical activity, sports
  • Feelings, moods, faces
  • Space, planets
  • Technology
  • Bible
  • Culture
  • Art
  • Words
  • Countries
  • Colour Map

 ("God's Creation" by J)

I already have a few collage themes planned out for this school year. Some of them will cover more than the subject 'art'.

Any more ideas on a theme? Let me know!

More on Homeschooling HERE!

More on Fun With Kids HERE


Study a Language

I had the privilege of being born into a bilingual family. English and Finnish. Finnish being one of the hardest languages in the world (to me it's still a challenge, though I was born and raised in Finland)!

I have always been fascinated with languages, not those taught at school, but the ones that were far from me, such as Urdu, Swahili, Mandarin Chinese, and Korean. When I was in my pre-teens, I used to listen to Hong Kongese pop music, not kidding! I would memorize the songs but had no idea what they were singing. In my teens, the same with Urdu and one Hindi song. Then I moved onto Swahili, which I again picked up after my first child was born. I got far with my studies, even got to visit Tanzania, but after moving to Canada I have forgotten most of it:(! I just don't have enough east African buddies here like I did back in Finland to practice with. You know who you are, I miss you guys so much!!!!!

So, where we live at the moment is pretty much smack down in Korea and China town. What a great opportunity to study and practice these languages. I decided to go with Mandarin, because it's the most spoken language in the world, it is a mystery to me, it has characters that are thousands of years old, it has only 4 tones (compared to Cantonese!!), and I have always been a big fan of Chinese movies, food and culture.

I did a few library courses, read a few Chinese For Dummies Books and got a bit stuck. I didn't want to stop there, and since I had embarked on such a challenge, I was blessed enough to find a private tutor! I am very very blessed! Living on a single income, with a growing family, there isn't much disposable income whatsoever. This lovely lady was wonderful enough to meet where I could afford her lessons, though she is worth much much more! God is good!

I want to encourage you to pick up a language. I believe that by learning one language, it makes it easier to learn more languages in the future and opens up perspective. Time flies anyway, so in one year, even though you only took 30 minutes a week to learn a language slowly, you would have at least been studying for 26 hours in that year, which is 26h better at a language you would have not known anything about. Invest in learning a language.

More ideas on Managing Time HERE

What languages do you know fluent or semi fluent? Which languages would you like to learn and why?