A Family Beach Day, A Day in Photos

A family beach day is so cleansing to the soul. Sometimes, words aren’t necessary when the photos tell their own story. This is one of those occasions, and I’ll enjoy this photo journal for years to come! Random thoughts from a mom after a day at the beach.

family beach day

Sometimes, just letting them enjoy each other’s space is enough.

family beach day

And most of the time, just letting them be them…well, it’s enjoyable for both of you. I dig his style!

family beach dat

Bubbles! What’s a beach day without bubbles? What’s any good day without bubbles, actually?

beach family day

A day without bubbles is like a day without a beach ninja. I mean, it’s not even really a day, is it?

family beach day

The only sad part of the day is when you look through the lens and realize they might be growing up too fast. It all goes by too fast. Until…

family beach day

You realize that one of them is looking back at you, from inside of a sand hole, enjoying life like only a small child can, and you realize that there are still many years of joy, and frustration, to come. Be still my heart!

b burying kylee edit

And then there’s this. THIS is the beginning of a memory in the making, with a man that you adore making memories with.

beach family

It ended way worse than this, of course, but I was too busy unburying my baby (face and all) to get a photo. Sometimes, like this time, it’s not OK to just sit back and be the spectator…because…buried alive?!?!

beach family

And just when you realize you’re absent from your own online album, all of your family photos, you see that you were there all along. In their reflection. Capturing every moment. While they looked adoringly at you, and you realize you’re doing exactly what you were meant to do all along. Take care of them, love them, enjoy the moment, and capture the memories in their reflection while they reflect on the love that you give them.

In the end, that’s all that matters. The memories, their love, capturing their beauty. When you realize you’re doing what you love…while you’re watching the ones you love the most…enjoy themselves? That’s when you know you’ve made it. That’s when you know your life, your world is complete. That’s the moment you realize you’re living the life you intended, the life you’ve always wanted to live. That’s when you know love.

I know all of these things, and I’m glad my camera reminds me daily. I’ve made it. I’m happy to be in their reflections. I’m just happy. Not everyone achieves that level of success in life. I’m content that I’ve found my success from within my own little world.

Are you?

The Best Low Sodium Cheese Steak Sandwiches

Just so you know, I received some amazing soapstone cookware from UncommonGoods that allowed me to make the best Low Sodium Cheese Steak Sandwiches in under 30 minutes and share the recipe here with you today!

Heart Healthy Cheese Steak Sandwiches

With the perfect mix of fresh and frozen foods, and the help of some magical soapstone cookware, these Low Sodium Cheese Steak Sandwiches are a satisfying and healthy weeknight meal that can be on your table in less than 30 minutes. Sautéed fresh onions, mushrooms, and peppers, along with glorious melted cheese, sit atop steak patties on  a toasted bun covered in spicy mustard. Stop drooling. I know. This might just be the perfect meal, right? Something you’d find at your favorite deli? One of those greasy tabu indulgences that you only get to enjoy once a year? Yea, those.

But today’s your lucky day. You know why? Because this amazing sandwich is NOT greasy, it’s incredibly economical, it houses all of the required food groups (you’re welcome, moms), it’s low in sodium (your heart can thank me now), AND it all comes together in less than 30 minutes…in one pan. Seriously, if you’re a ninja in the kitchen, this meal will be on the table in 20 minutes, but I have to give you that fluff factor so you don’t hold me to that 20-minute thing.

The Best Low Sodium Cheese Steak Sandwiches
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 6 Steak-umm® Sliced Steaks
  • ½ Red Onion, sliced
  • 1 Bell Pepper, sliced thin
  • 1 cup Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Mrs. Dash Italian Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 4 slices Pepper Jack Cheese
  • 4 Cheese Steak (or sub) Buns
  • 1 tbsp Spicy Brown Mustard, optional
Instructions
  1. In a soapstone sauté pan, heat avocado oil on low heat.
  2. Slice vegetables and place in pan with spices, heat for 5 minutes until tender, and remove from pan and set aside.
  3. Place 2 steak slices in pan and cook on one side for 1 minute, flip, cook another 15 seconds, then cut into slices.
  4. Add ¼ of the vegetable mixture back into pan with the steak slices and top with one slice of cheese; heat until melted.
  5. Place cheese steak mixture on a toasted bun with mustard (optional) and enjoy the awesome.
  6. Repeat for each sandwich.
Notes
The average Cheese Steak Sandwich has approximately 1200 mg sodium, 600 calories, 60 grams carb, 90 mg cholesterol.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 sandwich Calories: 517 Fat: 30 g Carbohydrates: 37 g Sodium: 492 mg Cholesterol: 70 mg

Oh, so you say YOU can cook the perfect Cheese Steak Sandwich and you can make yours lower in sodium than traditional recipes too? Good for you and I’d love to try your recipe (please share your recipe with me), but I’m going to be pretty bold and pompous here when I tell you that I’m pretty certain that yours can’t cook as evenly and perfectly as mine. Don’t get mad. It’s not you, it’s me and my new magical cookware that cooks perfectly and evenly every time, even without my help.

Cheese Steak in Soapstone Cookware

Perfectly sautéed steak patties, red onions, bell peppers, and fresh mushrooms, all covered in melted cheese in one beautiful soapstone pan from UncommonGoods that’s easy to clean up and cooks effortlessly and evenly every single time. You see, these pans give family meals an Old World upgrade with their handcrafted beauty (as in, they’re so pretty, I leave them on my countertop as decorations when I’m not using them). Highlighted with hammered copper handles, this soapstone design serves as a timeless oven (or stove top) to table essential. Soapstone emits no odor and is able to withstand temperatures of up to 1832ºF (you never cook that high, no need to look that up), making it a versatile addition to your cooking arsenal. I’m in love and I don’t care who knows (Elf reference intended…it’s always Christmas here)!

Now, before I leave you with your drooling, I know you can Google soapstone cookware (YOU NEED THIS STUFF) and find it a little bit cheaper than my set (yes, I have a set…don’t hate), but there are reasons why I associate myself with certain brands and I do my homework so you don’t have to. Don’t buy from those other guys (PLEASE?!?!) because UncommonGoods is committed to offering you a creative and exciting merchandise assortment (they have SO much stuff) and are working with their suppliers – from artists to small manufacturers – to make their products in a more socially and environmentally responsible manner. AND they have a Better to Give Program that they started in 2001, which allows you to select a non-profit organization to receive a $1 donation from them at checkout. You’re welcome.

If you think you have the “perfect” Cheese Steak Sandwich recipe, please share it with me here. If you think your cookware for your perfect sandwich is better than mine, I challenge you to a cook-off. Now, what other low sodium recipes can we cook in our new cookware? I’d love to try your recipes, so be sure to share!

Happy Calm Focused: A WAHM’s Best Friend

When life gets hectic, a mom has to turn to something for help. If you find yourself struggling with sleep, emotional control, or just an overall nervous feeling, I highly recommend trying Happy Calm Focused. The supply of Happy Calm Focused that I received to facilitate this post has been helping this WAHM stay more on task, stay in control of my emotions, and get a good night’s sleep.

Stay Calm with Happy, Calm, Focused

We all know life can get hectic and we all think, at least at times, that our lives are more overwhelming than others. I’m a full-time work from home mom of 6 kids from the ages of 25 down to 6, I’m married, and I manage my household. I cook daily, I drop the kids off at school, pick them up, deal with the chaos while taking calls from my grown children about whatever might be happening, good or bad, in their lives that day. I handle all of our finances and my husband works ridiculous hours and teaches school at night. All of this to say, I get overwhelmed, as we all do.

The Life of a SAHM: The Night I Lost My Shit #momlife

About a month ago, I realized that I wasn’t handling the stress as well as I used to. Basically, I lost my junk and it wasn’t pretty. I was losing my focus for work, home, just about everything, and tasks weren’t getting completed. I was losing my temper more than I care to admit, I wasn’t sleeping, and I was a nervous wreck more times than not. Diet and exercise just weren’t doing the trick anymore. That’s when I heard about Happy Calm Focused and decided to give it a try. I mean, it couldn’t hurt, right?

I was hoping for instant gratification, a miracle “cure” for what ailed me. That was a lofty and ridiculous hope and I knew it, so I wasn’t disappointed when I didn’t feel any changes immediately. After about 2 weeks, although I hadn’t noticed any real changes, I realized that I was feeling particularly rested, we were getting to school on time every day without drama, my to do list wasn’t nearly as unchecked at the end of the day as it had been, and I wasn’t flipping out over trivial things. I realized that I had been actually sleeping through most of the night for the first time in a long time, and although I was still feeling overwhelmed, I seemed to be handling things more calmly and rationally.

From that point on, I noticed subtle changes and I felt my old self coming back slowly. After a full month of taking HCF, I’m a calmer, more level headed, more productive person again. I find myself laughing more than crying or yelling, and I just feel BETTER. I still flip out from time to time, but that’s my nature since I’ve always been high strung and a true perfectionist. I will say that I haven’t changed anything else about my lifestyle. I still eat my vegetarian diet and exercise daily, and all of my tasks are still the same as they were before, so the only thing I can attribute to this change in my mood, my overall well being, is HCF.

If you find yourself struggling with sleep, emotional control, or just an overall nervous feeling, I highly recommend trying HCF. To find out more about this natural miracle “drug”, like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. Here’s to a calmer, happier, more focused life for both you and I!