Little helpers, self care, and our hunt for the perfect tree

Phew, it’s already Tuesday!   My youngest is in a sleep regression so this post has been written over a period of three days (and I may or may not be letting him fall asleep on my shoulder as I type – seriously…spread out over multiple naps…sigh)!

Anyway,  My kids got their sparkly festive holiday getups this weekend, had a visit with their paternal grandmother and a chance to sit on Santa’s lap (well, one was scared of Santa and stayed by me).  There was a fun birthday party, and I had a little mommy/eldest son date Sunday, which included a little holiday shopping.  

I love to bake on cold days and later on Sunday, being rainy and chilly, I thought the kids would enjoy baking with me.   Baking is so hands-on, and we did it again yesterday afternoon, since there were opportunities for my four and six year olds to measure, scoop, and help prepare these with me.  Another benefit to this first recipe is that the sweetener is from a natural source, a good thing after so many opportunities for party food earlier in the weekend.

This recipe is based off of a vegan brownie cookie recipe I found on an awesome blog.

The two base ingredients I used are dates and almond butter.

Look at these babies ready for the processor! So sweet, yum!

Self care, for me looks like a lot of different things. I generally practiced self care prior to having children, but as a mother, self-care becomes a necessity.  I know, I know, there are times when motherhood seems overwhelming and that there’s no room left for a mama to take care of her own needs, but in my experience, those are the times when I need to double down on self-care the most.  

Self care, isn’t selfish.  You may have seen this phrase everywhere from fitspo memes on Facebook and Instagram, to self-care books.  It’s the truth, though.  If I’m not for myself, who will be?  And If I don’t take care of myself, I can’t take care of my kids the way they need me to (as in a happy, healthy mum).   What self-care looks like for one mom might be different for another.  Maybe, instead of playing music, you like to paint, or knit…whatever that hobby that is just fun for you, doing that often is such good self care.

So even when my hands are full I still, workout, rest, drink water, play music, read, talk to my loved ones.  These things I need to do for me, help me as a mother to manage  and meet the demands of motherhood in good health.

When I’m strapped for time, but need to have a snack, I try to keep healthy staples that can travel with me in our fridge/pantry.  I love a simple yogurt for snack, I found this brand is certified gluten free and not saturated with refined sugars.  It’s also delicious!  I tried a new flavor yesterday, just for the season!

 So, onto the next baking project…. Yesterday, before we went to pick out our tree at a local farm, my kids and I baked gluten free gingerbread men.  It was really a test run for the dough and getting it the right shape!  I used a recipe from the tried and true gluten-free baking authors, Kelly and Pete bronski.  I modified it a little by using the coconut brown sugar below instead of regular brown sugar to lower the glycemic index.

  They have made living with Celiac disease easier for me with their cookbooks, especially when it’s holiday baking time!  

So after we tested some, and decided they will be perfect for decorating, it was time to go find our tree!

It’s always fun to go pick out a tree from a local farm.  We usually go right after Thanksgiving, but we had to change plans this year.  I feel better about getting a tree from a  knowing they plant trees and that is not as “bad” in fact as some might think because it ” supports local economy [and] keeps plastic out of landfills.”

Do you get  a cut tree?  Do you reuse a faux tree?