The Secret to Being A Perfectly Imperfect Momma

The last couple of weeks have been a blur. Every night I am busy with softball for my kids and I’m not complaining here, I am just merely stating a fact. My life is crazy busy with 4 kids and a hubby who works away half the month. I get asked all the time how I keep everything together. You want the truth? Some days I am a total rockstar and I have all my ducks in a row before I even step out of bed in the morning. Some days. Definitely not every day. But some days. On other days I am lucky if I get my breakfast dishes done and in the dishwasher by the time that my older kids stroll in from school at 3:20. And guess what? Some days I count the day as a huge success if my kids get dressed. Some of you Moms may cringe at the thought of that. But after 4 kids and one set of twins, I have lowered my standards of what I think a successful day is. In fact, as I am writing this, it’s 3:10 pm and my twins are lying on the living room floor, sleeping under a blanket, with the TV still on after falling asleep while watching it, and one of them is still in their pyjamas. Ask me if I feel guilty? Nope. Ask me if I feel like less of a Mom? Not a chance. Ask me if I care what other people think of me? Not anymore.

Look, I am by far the perfect Mom. In fact, I like to think of myself as a highly imperfectly perfect Momma bear. What? The thing is, I gave up on trying to be the “perfect” Mom long ago. And really by who’s standards? That Mom down the street who I don’t know? Or maybe it was the Mom at school drop off in the morning – you know the one – always wearing nice clothes, heels and seeming to have everything in just the right order. Or maybe it was the Mom I saw in those photos on social media – you also know the one – perfectly smiling with her kids all lined up at all actually looking at the camera, not a hair out of place. Isn’t it silly how we constantly compare and judge? It’s all around us and it’s constantly in our faces.

Listen, stop comparing yourself to any of those other Moms. Stop putting yourself down because you feel like you could never do what so and so does. Stop assuming that those other moms have their ducks in a row just because you’ve seen a perfect picture on social media saying that they do. The truth of the matter is that it doesn’t matter if you’re like any of those other Moms. What matters at the end of the day is that you did the best you could with what you had. What matters is that your kids think you’re pretty darn perfect. And, the only people’s opinions you should worry about are the opinions of your kids and your significant other. In case you forgot, those are the people that matter.

So from one perfectly imperfect Momma to the next — chin up Momma you’re doing fine. You’ve  got this Mom thing nailed down. Just put one foot in front of the other. Think of all the really great things you did with and for your kiddos today.

Focus on all the things you DID do instead of all the things you DIDN’T.

Lots of love from this Momma Bear!

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3 Tips to SURVIVING a Sick Toddler

Can you believe that we’re nearing the end of another month? Remember that old saying — ‘time flies’? Yeah, it’s true isn’t it?

The last couple of weeks or so have been a blur…

Our house has been contaminated with a nasty Strep bug … that sounds awful … doesn’t it? Well, it hasn’t been that bad but it has made 5 out of 6 of us sick enough to require antibiotics. Yeah … it was that bad. If you know me, you know that I don’t run to the doctor with every little cough, sneeze and bit of snot! If that were the case, we would be there ALL the time. Yeah, who wouldn’t right? If you have kids then you know how hard it can be to avoid sicknesses. I mean, I’ve got two toddlers, and keeping their hands out of their nose and mouths is a full time job. I hate to admit this .. but one of my twins is also a world renowned nose picker. Ugh. It’s so disgusting, but I can’t keep those fingers out of his nose. I’ve never had a nose picker before … so if any of you other Mommas out there have a suggestion on how to kick that bad habit to the curb, please enlighten me – its becoming a problem. But, I digress here … back to my story about our illness invasion. It was so awful that one day I had to get my 9 year old to cook dinner for the rest of the kids. He did well and I am happy to say that he was able to cook breakfast sausages, waffles and eggs like a boss. I would even venture to say that the other kids thought it was probably the best meal that was ever put in front of them. Yeah, thanks kids! I might just add that to my weekly meal plan! 😉

I’ve come up with my top 3 tips to survive illness with toddlers and in no particular order … here they are!

1. Accept the fact that you will be covered in whatever it is that your toddler is contaminated with. Honestly, I think I had more snot on my shoulder than anywhere else. And you know what’s ironic about it … you never actually realize that you’re covered in it until you’re standing in the grocery store line and the person in front of you is giving you that funny look – yeah, that’s always when I realize that I have dried toddler boogers on my shoulder.

2. Sleep is a mystery. Don’t even try and get any because the moment you try to get to bed ‘early’ to catch up – they will wake up! Trust me, my twins do this to me every time. It’s like they have a sensor in my bed. You know the one – as soon as your head touches the pillow, they wake up. You know what I’m talking about right? So don’t even bother.

3. Call in reinforcements when necessary. Accept the fact that you can’t do it all. I have a hard time with this one. Asking for help always seems like a big, fat failure. Even after having 4 kids. Even after being married to someone who’s only around 1/2 the time (it’s his job – he’s not a jerk people!) I still have a hard time with this. But after being a Mom for almost 10 years I can say that I’ve come a long way in this one. ASK FOR HELP.

Am I already at number 3? I could list another 3 but you get my drift, right? There isn’t a Mom out there who has all of her ducks in a row all of the time so don’t bother comparing yourself to another Momma-Bear. Just do your best and as the old saying goes … this to shall pass.

Lots of Love,

Jenny

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So it’s been a while …

I promise you this won’t happen again.  It’s been far too long since I’ve been around here. I’ve spent a good portion of my time trying to navigate this whole … being a Mom to 4 kids thing!

My twins are now 2 and a half years old are completely bonkers most days. They keep me on my toes for sure. My other two kiddos have really pitched in to help with “life” and thank goodness for them. They keep me afloat most days. I don’t know what I would do without them! Have I ever mentioned that I’m married to someone who spends 1/2 the month away working? Yeah, factor that into 4 kid craziness and you’ve got the perfect recipe for disaster somedays.

I’ve been working on myself in recent months, trying to find a good balance of the craziness that my life has come to be. I’ve been working out everyday, working on my health and I’m happy to tell you that I’ve actually found a way to keep my mind, body and spirit healthy. (Don’t worry, I’ll tell you more about this later).

You’ll see some changes to things around here if you’ve been here before and I hope you like them! If you’re new to my page then I hope you’ll keep coming back! What I hope you’ll find here is inspiration to lead a HAPPY and HEALTHY life.  So, until next time my friend.

Sending you lots of love,

Jenny

 

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Finding Balance

I’m sorry…it’s been far too long and it seems as though every post I write starts with an apology. I’m sorry about that. Oops, there I go again;)

My life is mostly crazy and for those of you who know me personally know that it’s actually always crazy. Having four kids and a hubby away half the month will do that I guess. Not to mention, having twin boys who are now toddlers. Toddlers that like to try everything, throw everything, spit on everything (am I alone on this one?!?), stand on everything, hit each other, bite each other and well, basically, you get the picture right?  Also, two older children who are involved in sports and school and are just as busy as the younger two but in a much more organized and civilized way. Am I painting a delightful picture for you? Most people think that being married to a pilot is a glamorous lifestyle … if you still think that … read above just one more time. And, to think that half the month I am the lone soldier on the field. I’m the one putting out all the fires … ALONE. Now, don’t get me wrong, my hubby is my best supporter. He is my rock and is always cheering me on. But really, it’d be better if he could also join me out on the field more often so I wouldn’t feel outnumbered most of the time. Needless to say, I was lacking balance in my life.

Balance … what does that even mean? In amongst all the chaos I always felt like my life was spiralling out of control. Do you know the feeling of celebrating just making it through the day? I was falling into bed at night utterly exhausted and emotionally worn out. For so long, I’ve said, if just this was different, life would be easier for me. I looked at other people’s lives and thought … she couldn’t do what I do everyday. I tried to pump up my own tires, hoping that I’d wake up the next day feeling differently. Don’t get me wrong; I love my children and my life, but I just wanted one day where I felt like instead of just surviving I was actually doing something more. It had been such a long time since I felt that I wasn’t sure I’d remember what it would be like. I’ve taken the last couple of months to work on that feeling. To find my balance. I realize that this crazy life isn’t going to change – and truth be told – I don’t want it to. I want to change how I react to it every day.

Finding balance is something that I’ve needed for such a long time and only now am I realizing it. Instead of focusing on just surviving I try to focus on thriving. And, I say try, because it’s something I work on each day. Instead of focusing on the negative, I try to find the positive in each day. What I know for sure is that the old cliche that life is short is so true. Life is also what you make of it. Through this process I have learned so much about myself that I didn’t know or didn’t believe before. I am capable of much more that I ever thought I was. I get up in the morning and look at my kiddos and think wow, I am blessed! They are healthy enough to spit on my floor, climb on my kitchen table, and run around the house like little hooligans. Truly, I am blessed! I wake up every day and work out and fuel my body with foods that I know will help me instead of hold me back. I’ve taken time out for me. What I’ve realized is that ‘time-outs’ aren’t just for kids – they are what every Mommy needs. Take the time out of your busy life to realize that you are worth it. You have only one life … why not give it your best?

I’m finally at a place where I feel like all the changes happening in my mind and body over the last couple of months have been so worth it. I have focus and energy. I’ve lost extra weight I’ve been carrying around. Most importantly, however, I’ve filled my mind with positive words like, I can and I will. So, just as I have changed my mindset, you will see changes to my blog. And well, if it’s not your cup of tea, then I respect that. I will continue to grow and change … because you know what they say … change is good.

Loads of Gluten Free Love,

Jenny

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Best Ever Gluten and Dairy Free Carrot Cake

I know right … that’s a big promise to live up to … I mean the THE best ever? Are you kidding me? No. No, I’m not. This is by far THE BEST EVER dairy free and gluten free carrot cake that you will ever taste. It’s an incredible combination of moist, crumbly, melt in your mouth cake with that BAM of sweetness in the dairy free cream cheese icing. That’s right … I said DAIRY FREE! This cake is by far my favourite cake of all time. And let me tell you, I’ve tasted A LOT of gluten free cakes. Cake is my thing. I will take this delicious carrot cake over pretty much every other cake on the planet. Take note Honey, this is my favourite! (My birthday is coming up … hehehe) This is also a favourite of Ollie and Charlotte’s as well. They would even choose this cake over chocolate fudge cake … if that doesn’t say it all then I don’t know what would! You can also switch it up and alternate baking times to make yummy gluten free, dairy free cupcakes! But, don’t take my word on all this deliciousness … make it today and let me know how much you love it!

Best Ever Gluten & Dairy Free Carrot Cake

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Line two 9″ cake pans (or one 9 x 13″) with parchment paper.

In the bowl of your mixer cream the following and set aside:
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup canola oil
3 eggs

In a separate bowl mix and set aside:
2 cups Jenny’s All Purpose Flour* + 1 tsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp all spice
1 tbsp cinnamon

Shred 3 cups carrots. I like to use my food processor for this. It’s simple and quick to use.

Next, using your mixer add the flour mixture to your wet ingredients. Alternate with 1/2 cup coconut milk (+ 1/2 tbsp vinegar). (or your favourite dairy free milk).

Add in 1 tbsp vanilla extract. Be careful to not over mix.

Fold in 1 cup raisins and shredded carrots.

Pour batter into pans and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes. Then reduce your oven heat to 325 F and bake another 5 minutes. Remove cakes from oven and cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans.

While your cake is baking you can make your frosting.
Cream together 3 tbsp Earth Balance Soy Free Spread

Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Sticks, 16 Ounce — 18 per case. by Earth Balance (Misc.)


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 and 1 package Daiya Cream Cheese Style Spread using your hand mixer.

Add in 2 cups confectioners sugar slowly,  1/2 tsp vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp Wilton butter extract.
Once your cakes are completely cooled you can frost them. Sprinkle 1 cup chopped walnuts over your cake.

Note: You can also make these into delicious cupcakes. This recipe will make approximately 20 large cupcakes. Alter your baking to 18 minutes at 350 F.

Now sit down and enjoy, but try not to eat the whole cake!

Sending you loads of gluten free love,

Jenny

 

* Jenny’s All Purpose Gluten Free Flour

1 cup tapioca starch

1 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup sorghum flour

Best Ever Gluten and Dairy Free Carrot Cake
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

Delicious Gluten and Dairy Free carrot cake. Impeccably moist with a perfect amount of sweetness.
Jenny Beaulieu:
Recipe type: Dessert

Ingredients
  • Cake:
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups Jenny’s All Purpose Flour + 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp all spice
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup coconut milk (or your favourite dairy free milk) + ½ tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 cup raisins
  • Frosting:
  • 1 package Daiya Cream Cheese Style Spread
  • 3 tbsp Earth Balance Soy Free Spread
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp wilton butter extract
  • 1 cup walnuts chopped

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Line two 9 inch cake pans or one 9 x 13 cake pan with parchment paper.
  3. In the bowl of your mixer cream the sugar, oil, eggs. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl mix Jenny’s All Purpose Flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and all spice. Set aside.
  5. Shred your carrots. (I like to use my food processor for this – it’s easy and quick!)
  6. Using your mixer, slowly mix in your flour mixture with your wet ingredients. Alternating with the coconut milk. Mix until fully combined but be sure to not over mix.
  7. Fold in your raisins and shredded carrots.
  8. Pour batter into your pans and bake at 350 F for 20 minutes. Reduced temperature to 325 F and bake another 5 minutes. Remove cakes from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans.
  9. While your cake is baking you can make your frosting.
  10. Cream together your Earth Balance Soy Free Spread and Daiya Cream Cheese Style Spread using your hand mixer. Add in the confectioners sugar slowly and vanilla extract.
  11. Once your cakes are completely cooled you can frost them. Sprinkle chopped walnuts over your cake.
  12. Note: You can also make these into delicious cupcakes. This recipe will make approximately 20 large cupcakes. Alter your baking to 18 minutes at 350 F.

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