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Hi folks!

Long time since we last visited!

Lots going on here.  Smith and I have decided to move back home to south Louisiana!  I don’t know a better way to put this other than, mama’s wiped out and I need to surround myself and my little family with people who genuinely love and support us.  I need help from my close family and friends…something we haven’t had here in Houston.  I am desperately craving the familiar aspects of home and my Cajun culture. We struggled so much to put roots down in Houston.  And although the move to Houston brought so many positive life changes, it just always felt like something was missing. It just wasn’t right for us long-term.

 

louisiana move

Without going into a ton of details {I’ll share more of the specifics in later posts}, we are looking to move in the next month or so.  We plan to live near family and build a new home in the next year.  I’ve already begun organizing the move and plan to share some tips here in the next couple of weeks on moving preparation.

Because I’ll have more help when we’re back home, I’ll have more time to blog.  I miss it so much!  The blog was a project I worked so hard to build.  The coincidence that it ran right into a very {unpredictably} busy time for our family, really made it a place of frustration for me.  For a type A go-getter personality, not being able continue the blog’s success was a really hard reality to face.  Lots of guilt and feelings of failure were {and still are} constantly on my heart.

My focus has been solely on little M…

As she’s grown over the last year, we’ve been able to really see the effects the meningo-encephalitis had on her brain {more about this HERE}. Particularly how it’s affected her physical ability. She’s 20 months old now and she has spastic triplegia cerebral palsy {affecting her right arm and both legs}.  Though she is still struggling to move from laying to sitting, she’s not crawling, she’s not walking, and is standing supported for short periods of time, she is making progress every day!  She’s also kicking butt cognitively. We are working so hard to help her. We can see the difference we’re making and it’s amazing!!! Plus, she’s such a happy kid :-)

Here she is the day she received her stander earlier this spring.  

This will help her to build muscle in her legs through weight-bearing.  

 stander

This is a pic of little M balancing on the edge of a slide.  

Something that seems so simple is really quite an accomplishment for her!  

slide

As we continue toward this move, I ask for your prayers {if you’re the praying kind}.  We will be changing some of our doctors and all of our therapists. That in itself is incredibly scary.  We’ll be moving 3 dogs, 2 cats, and a 20 month old.  It all makes me a little nervous.  Prayers for a smooth transition would be greatly appreciated!  Also, any prayer for little M would be awesome, too!

Thanks y’all!  I’ll be in touch again, soon!

Live fabulously, folks!

Leah :-)

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Savory Mashed Cauliflower - Simply Fabulous Living

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This is a one pot meal that allows you to clean as you cook.  :-)

This recipe is AIP, PALEO, GRAIN FREE, GLUTEN FREE,

DAIRY FREE, NIGHTSHADE FREE, EGG FREE, NUT FREE, COCONUT FREE

 This is a really tasty way to prepare cauliflower and is sure to please. Little M LOVES this stuff and so does Smith.  I’m thrilled to share this easy recipe with you guys!

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Gather: 

2 Tbsp    fat  —  You can use one of the following, depending on your own dietary restrictions:  olive oil, coconut oil, or Kerrygold Unsalted Real Butter {i personally use the Kerrygold butter}

1 + 1/2 cup    diced yellow onion

1/8 cup    minced garlic

1/4 cup    finely chopped green onion

10 cups    chopped cauliflower {1 large head }

1 to 2 tsp    chervil {or dried parsley — the flavor will be less with the dried parsley, but it’s a close substitute} **I put 1-2 tsp of chervil because you can add a little more if 1 tsp doesn’t flavor it to your liking

1/2 tsp    fine sea salt

4   slices of cooked bacon, minced

2 cups    Organic Chicken Bone Broth from Pacific Foods {or 2 cups homemade bone broth to make strict AIP compliant}

***Pacific Organic Chicken Bone Broth ingredients can be viewed HERE.  

Equipment:

  • immersion stick blender or potato masher
  • 4 quart saucepan with lid
  • measuring spoons + measuring cups
  • large spoon for stirring
  • cutting board + knife

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Prepare:

  1. Start by preparing your bacon.  You can do this ahead of time.  For instance, you could make bacon for breakfast and cook 4 extra strips and refrigerate to use for this recipe. To prepare the bacon, get a baking sheet or use a nonstick ceramic baker.  If using the baking sheet, I would suggest making an aluminum foil square with folded up sides to prevent the grease from getting away. This way is also super easy clean up.  Preheat your oven at 400 degrees and bake for about 20 minutes. Side note about bacon. We only use the Applegate brand of bacon.  And, I am very allergic to pork so I used turkey bacon in this recipe.  It’s all tasty, so make it with turkey bacon if you need to.
  2. In your saucepan, saute the cup and a half of diced yellow onion + 1/8 cup of minced garlic +  2 Tbsp fat until it begins to brown on the bottom of your saucepan.
  3. Add 2 cups of either the Pacific Foods Organic Chicken Bone Broth or homemade bone broth. Stir mixture and bring to a rolling simmer.
  4. Add the cauliflower and cover to cook for 25 minutes.  You will notice there is not enough liquid to cover the cauliflower, that’s ok :-)  It will steam some and boil some of the cauliflower.  At about the halfway point of cooking, I stir the cauliflower to get the top ones in the simmering liquid. The goal is to get the cauliflower cooked enough to blend with the immersion blender.
  5. Once the cauliflower is cooked, CAREFULLY {because the mixture is extremely hot and can spray out as you blend} blend the mix with an immersion blender.  I like to leave it kind of lumpy, like I would potatoes in a mashed potato mixture :-)
  6. Next, sprinkle in a teaspoon or 2 of chervil + minced bacon + 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions + 1/2 tsp of fine sea salt.  Stir. Voila!

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I hope you enjoy it!

Live fabulously, folks!

Leah :-)

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Annual Cleaning and Home Maintenance - Simply Fabulous Living .

Hi folks!

This is a short post, jam-packed with awesome resources and inspiration!!!

Today I wanted to share the schedules I’ve created for tackling home maintenance and cleaning for each month of the year.  I want to first mention that this is more of a guide.  Not everyone will have a need for, nor the time, to accomplish everything I have listed in these documents.  It’s a jumping off point.  Using these lists as a guide will help you to stay on track and tackle those tasks that seem to consistently slip through the cracks each year.  Preparing a home maintenance and cleaning schedule for your family will help you to plan for these tasks in advance…further ensuring that you’ll accomplish the tasks from your list :-)

Below are PDF documents that include interactive links to resources on my blog.  You can also easily print each list to hang on your fridge.  To access each document, simply click on the following links:

  1. Annual Cleaning and Home Maintenance
  2. Semi-annual Cleaning and Home Maintenance
  3. Monthly – Weekly Cleaning and Home Maintenance

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back side of house

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Also, if you are interested in how I clean and maintain our home on a daily + weekly basis, just click on the following posts:

I hope you found this post helpful!

Live fabulously, folks!

Leah :-)

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Prepping for the new year Final

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Since little M’s arrival, I’ve found myself struggling to prioritize important appointments, schedule things like professional family photos, remember birthdays {and get gifts + cards}, and keep up with the annual cleaning + maintenance type stuff around the house.  It’s all stuff that seems to just sneak up on ya. I’m determined to be better “put-together” when it comes to this aspect of my life.

I know many of you are home for the holidays.  This is the perfect time to do a little organizing in preparation for the new year.  It’s a chance to create a few {behind the scenes} organizational systems to keep you on track for addressing those important dates and schedules that often slip through the cracks as we progress through the year.

Today I’ll talk about how I’m setting up our medical appointments, events, and other important dates for this year.  More posts from this series, “Prepping for the New Year,” will follow in the coming days.

THE STRATEGY:

1.  Brainstorming and Collecting Information.

  • Gather a pen + pencil and 12 sheets of paper.  On each page, label the top with one month. Starting with January, divide the page into three parts and label each section MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS — EVENTS — OTHER IMPORTANT DATES  Do the same for the next 11 months.
  • For each month, you’ll write down the happenings for that specific month.  This is a general, rough draft list that will become more specific as you make appointments and decide on event dates.
  • For medical appointments:  Decide on specific months for specific appointments.  For instance, we take the cats to the vet in January and the dogs go in March.  I see my cardiologist for my annual appointment in June and ophthalmology in July, every year. Doing this will help you to keep up with your appointments and it will always help you to remember when you went last.
  • Don’t forget about things like professional family photos!  Decide on the best times for your family to schedule these.
  • For events: Jot down events you’re planning think about when invites should be sent out and venues need to be booked, etc.
  • Jot down all of the birthdays + anniversaries you can think of and use apps like Facebook to help with the rest {or call someone}.
  • Next, begin mapping-out the general plan for each month.  Below is an example of the start of my January lister.

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Lister

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2.  Setting Up  and Recording Specific Dates + Times for Appointments and Events

  • For medical appointments:  Make a quick list of places {with the phone number} you need to call for appointments and the month in which you’re wanting to schedule the appointment
  • For events:  decide on dates so you can begin calling for venues and preparing invitations
  • For birthdays + anniversaries: Think not only about the birth date or the anniversary date, but also think about the dates in which you need to have a gift or card purchased to be shipped or to be delivered. See my post on further organizing your occasional cards HERE. It’s proven to be a helpful resource for many of my readers.
  • Call to set up specific dates and times for your appointments + events for each month, using your phone calendar and/or a desk planner to record dates + times.
  • Particularly for medical appointments, you may not be able to set up appointments farther than 6 months out.  If something like this happens, set up a reminder in your phone for when you can call to schedule the appointment.

3.  Setting Up Helpful Reminders

  • Reminders are like insurance. They can really help us to maintain and make the systems we’ve set up, successful!
  • Set one reminder 2 days before the important date, allowing you enough time to cancel the appointment, as most offices ask that you cancel appointments within 24 hours to avoid being charged a fee.
  • Set up a second reminder for a few hours before the actual event/appointment so you have enough time to get ready and get to the appointment {if you’ve completely forgotten about it}.

Also, I know the start of the new year can be a time when many people begin creating new year’s resolutions and goals.  I wrote a post last year about organizing your goals for success in the new year.  It was frequently pinned on Pinterest and shared on a few other blogs.  If  you’d like to read that post, click HERE.

I hope you guys found the post helpful today!

Live fabulously, folks!

Leah :-)

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Dec. 18, 2014

Hey!!!

I thought it was busy in the spring… The summer brought a flurry of new activity in our home.  I’ll be sharing more about these things in coming posts.  Here’s a little rundown.

  • Little M was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.  This came as a result of her meningo-encephilitis I talked about HERE.  We have been overwhelmed with therapy sessions and doctors appointments with little M…and we are soon adding speech therapy to the schedule.  Some days, I’m literally in survival mode.  I’ve created an entirely new daily routine that I think may help other stay at home parents. More deets on that later.
  • We started eating paleo in July…and not just paleo, but autoimmune paleo {AIP}.  So, lots of cooking and homemade foods. Why autoimmune paleo?  I discovered that I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which didn’t come as a surprise, just a validation with some direction to help me heal my body. All things I’ve never really shared with you guys, but plan to soon. I’ll also share my AIP recipes, You can find these by going to the CATEGORIES  drop down menu on the right side bar and click on Autoimmune Paleo Recipes.
  • We created a toddler room for little M and a super snazzy playroom + therapy room where her nursery used to be. Looking forward to sharing that with you guys soon. Lots of organizing went into that transition :-)
  • Smith has taken an interest in photography {and using vintage cameras to photograph}.  So awesome!  It’s made him even hotter, if that’s possible.  Can’t wait to share some of his photos here, too.

 

INSTAGRAM

Additionally, some of you may have noticed that I no longer have a Facebook page for Simply Fabulous Living.  I’m so over Facebook!  As something of a replacement, I’ve gotten an Instagram account in addition to my Pinterest page HERE.  If you’re an Instagrammer, you can find me  @SimplyFabulousLeah  I’d love to have you guys follow! 

HOWEVER, DO NOT FOLLOW ME IF YOU’RE PLANNING TO ADVERTISE YOUR BUSINESS THROUGH MY INSTAGRAM PAGE.  That’s so annoying!!!! Fa realz.

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TODAYS POST

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We’ll be in touch soon!

Live fabulously, folks!

Leah

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