What’s Up Wednesday: September 2020

I totally meant to have this finished and scheduled to post before we left for Tennessee…but then life 😉 I had so much to do to get ready for our trip so I didnt get to finish up this post. So here we are! Already in October but going to take a quick look back at September and what’s going on this week…

WHAT WE’RE EATING THIS WEEK:

I made this chart and laminated it so my boys would know exactly what they are having for breakfast and snacks throughout the week. It has really helped to stop the arguments about what is for snack (as my youngest always wants bars!). I use a dry erase maker and write everything out for the week and then can just wipe clean at the end of the week!

I am making Mixed Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna from Thug Kitchen, Pumpkin Chili from Thug Kitchen and Butternut Squash Enchiladas (again!) from ____. In addition, I am making homemade marina gar, nut cheese, pumpkin bread and pumpkin muffins from Danielle Walker’s cookbooks.

Usually Saturday morning are for pancakes! I shared these delicious pancake recipe a couple weeks ago and this is what I make on the weekends. If you missed it, here they are again:

Purple Power Pancakes

A dear friend of mine created a version of this nutritious recipe for her family after needing to use a bunch of fresh berries that she and her family picked at a local farm. These pancakes are delicious and full of wonderful, healthy ingredients that your family is sure to LOVE! I have adapted this … Read More

WHAT I’M REMINISCING ABOUT:

I wish we could’ve really celebrated my grandmothers birthday in September, but we did a little porch celebration instead and brought her a homemade carrot cake. We had another lake day with friends which was so much fun! I will definitely miss our lake days and looking forward to next summer!

Locally every year, the Heard Museum has a special animatronic dinosaur trail and we love going! We spent a couple hours one afternoon in September walking the trails and enjoyed the day outside in nature! We also took the boys to a local skate park and they tried their bikes on the BMX trail there, too. My oldest said he likes the “concrete” better than the BMX trail..but this momma likes the soft dirt more than the concrete! Haha!

WHAT I’M LOVING:

I haven’t worn perfume in YEARS (hello stay-at-home-mom!) and so after I dashed into Sephora for more foundation, I asked the gentlemen to help me find a perfume…and he did not disappoint!! I am LOVING my new perfume: Juliette Has a Gun. I got the travel size to start and see if I really do like it! The scent is kind of woodsy and not overwhelming. Its different in a good way and I love it!!

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:

Unpacking and washing clothes! Haha! The joys of coming home from vacation! 😉

Other than that, I am editing articles for the November issue of Frisco STYLE Magazine and setting up photography appointments, working on all the miscellaneous writings for the issue and homeschooling the boys. Getting back into the groove of things pre-vacation!

WHAT I’M WORKING ON:

November issue of FSM! October is out and it is gorgeous and I am so proud of all of our hard work! Now we enter the holiday season and it is going to be so much fun!! We have holiday gift guides, a highlight of Frisco Purple Heart recipients, amazing recipes and so much more!! I can’t wait to share it all with you!

WHAT I’M EXCITED ABOUT:

October is my favorite month for a lot of reasons: 1) It starts cooling down and leaves start changing and ALL the pumpkins! 2) Its our wedding anniversary month! 3) Its my birthday month!!

So much fun in one month and I always love October 🙂

WHAT I’M WATCHING/READING:

We are a bit late jumping on the Alone bandwagon but I am hooked!! We have watched 5 episodes in two nights and we are here for it!! It is so interesting and I would NEVER survive in the wilderness! Haha!

Anyone have any favorites?? We haven’t watched any past seasons but this current season Donny has been a favorite, Ray, and Brady.

And my absolute favorite is BACk!!

Anyone else LOVE this show?!? It is so perfect to have on while doing other things, but I am also so glued to the TV to see what they are creating! LOVE my Brits!

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO:

While we were road tripping’ to Tennessee, I listed to the podcast Mom Struggling Well and absolutely LOVED these two podcasts and highly recommend you go take a listen:

WHAT I’M WEARING:

Every fall I look forward to busting out this adorable booties (but I desperately need a pedicure!!). I missed getting dressed up on vacation so my first day back into the office, I took the opportunity to put on my lashes and actually get ready!

I am loving this easy tee from Old Navy and this cute belt. And my Vince Camuto open toe booties I snagged on Nordstrom Rack a few years back.

My lipgloss/lipstick is a mix of colors – the LimeLife Enduring Lip Color in S’Mores and gloss is Too Faced Show Me Your Coconuts. And my lashes are KISS: Charm.

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND:

It is our wedding anniversary so we are going to celebrate!! Not sure what the plans are yet, but we will do something to celebrate! It is also going to be quite warm so we are going to take the boat out one day this weekend. Who knows…it may be our last time out so we are taking advantage of every warm weekend we have left 🙂

WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:

I am looking forward to Thanksgiving with the family , more football games (come on ‘Boys! Don’t disappoint me this season!) and taking the boys to different “fall” activities, like the Arboretum and pumpkin patch.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW:

Not much else! My hubby is looking to take our oldest on a camping weekend soon so trying to find a place that has availability (everything is booked!) and today going to get some pumpkins and mums to decorate our home. We are going to move a few things around in thehouse and convert rooms to better suit us, but all in due time. Just working on house projects here and there.

That’s it for September!! Check back in Friday for another Tennessee recap (no Friday Favorites, sorry!) and I hope you all have a blessed Wednesday!


Smoky Mountain Tennessee: Part 2 (Days 3 & 4)

Day 3: Grotto Falls; Place of a Thousand Drips; Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster

Monday, September 28, 2020

Another gorgeous morning in the mountains! Seriously the BEST VRBO we have stayed in!

We decided to hike Grotto Falls and it was a much easier hike than the previous day (to see Part 1 of my recap, click here).

The Grotto Falls hike was a bit more crowded than the Spruce Flat Falls hike and we passed quite a few people on the trail. AllTrails states:

Grotto Falls Trail is a 2.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Gatlinburg, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips and is best used from April until November.

After Spruce Flat Falls, I would say this trail is easy! 😉 All of the comments on AllTrails is that the trail is more of a walk than a hike and is crowded, which I agree. Either way, it was still a beautiful hike and can’t beat getting out in the woods and ending with a waterfall!

The longest part of our walk was from the car to the trail! Haha, not really but we had to park so far away!

We made it to the trail! Now 1.4 miles to the falls and then 1.4 back! Plus 10 to the car! Haha! 😉

Clark was giddy walking under the waterfall! He was jumping up and down and was so excited!

We walked under the falls and found a little spot to sit and had some snacks before turning around and going back to the car.

Clark was being very dramatic! 😉 Anytime we would pick him up he would act like he is asleep! And so many people that we passed commented on how he was asleep and how cute…sneaky kiddo!

We made it out! Now to hike to the car!

The next stop was the Place of a Thousand Drips and you don’t even have to hike to see it! We drove right by and there was a little parking spot off to the side, so we parked and walked over to this gorgeous spot! And perk: no hiking involved! 😉

By now we were all hungry for a late lunch! As we drove back to our cabin, we stopped in Gatlinburg and ate at Tom & Earl’s Back Alley Grill. The boys loved watching the cars go by from the patio!

After lunch, the boys got to pick their own ice cream at Kilwin’s Chocolates and I was so envious! Their ice cream and sweet treats looked incredible!! Clark picked the mint chocolate chip and Troy picked the Superman. Looked soooooo yummy!!

After filling up on lunch and ice cream, we drove back towards our cabin but stopped at the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster. Y’all! It was so much fun!! Clark rode with Stephen and Troy rode with me and it was the most expensive 7 minute ride! Haha! BUT it was so much fun and I would highly recommend riding the coaster with your kids! They still talk about it and asked to go on it again and again. We didn’t get any pictures because we didn’t want to loose our phones, but here are a few pictures from their Facebook page:

We walked right up and got on immediately…no wait! We went at around 4pm and there was only a few other groups that arrived as we finished.

After the ride we headed back to our cabin on the mountain and Stephen grilled burgers and we watched another gorgeous, smoky sunset!

Day 4: Loudon & Vonore Drive

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

It was a rainy day in the Pigeon Forge area so we decided to drive out to Loudon and Vonore to see the rivers and eat lunch out on a golf course. We debated renting a boat for the day in Vonore but it was just too chilly so we just enjoyed the drive instead.

Well, that is it for days 3 and 4!

Check back in Friday for Part 3! Until then, have a blessed Wednesday!!


Smoky Mountain Tennessee: Part 1 (Days 1 & 2)

I should forward this with a note that this was a trip…not a vacation…because let’s be real…if the kids are going, it’s a trip! 😉 Haha! We were told that from a friend a few years ago and it always stuck with us because it is so true!! You can’t fully relax with kids in tow but it is ok! I absolutely love taking them on trips and experiencing new things through their eyes! The memories made are so worth every moment and I will cherish this trip forever! I will take trips with them anyway! 🙂 And we all absolutely LOVED visiting Tennessee and the Smoky Mountains stole our hearts!

Day 1: Travel Day

Saturday, September 26, 2020

We left our home in Texas bright and early at 4:45am! Obviously the boys were ready!

I packed breakfast, lunch and snacks for all of us, along with all the movies, games, coloring books and a little bit of homeschool work to work on during the drive. We managed really well and only stopped a couple of times.

One of our stops was in Nashville to visit the Parthenon. It was crowded and we didn’t go in, but it was a nice stopping point to stretch our legs and walk around outside. The grounds at the Parthenon are beautiful and the boys liked viewing the building.

We got back on the road and drove all the way to our cabin in the mountains, but picked up pizza for the boys for dinner at Geppettos Italian Restaurant on our way.

Our cabin did not disappoint!! The drive is something to remember and our little minivan made the step vertical trek quite well!

We arrived just before sunset and enjoyed the view before eating and taking showers…then we all climbed into bed and got some rest after the long day of driving!

Day 2: Spruce Flat Falls & Cades Cove

Sunday, September 28, 2020

The next morning we woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to tackle our first day in Tennessee!

I placed a Kroger pickup order and after breakfast (I packed pancake mix since I knew we wouldn’t have groceries yet), the hubs trekked down the mountain to grab our groceries for the week. Once he returned, we loaded up and hit our first trail: Spruce Flat Falls.

AllTrails states:

Spruce Flats Falls Trail is a 1.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Townsend, Tennessee that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Although short, this route includes some steep rocky sections that may require a bit of climbing.

A lot of comment on AllTrails states that Spruce Flat Falls is “a very hard trail and should be considered hard not moderate,” as well as “shorter trail and was more challenging but the end of the trail is totally worth it…the waterfall at the end is beautiful!”

I have to agree…this trail was definitely the hardest one we did as it was more of an incline, lots of slippery rocks and roots and very narrow trail in some spots.

We did purchase good hiking boots for all of us…kids included! I got the boys these cute boots from Carter’s and these for myself and so glad we did! We could not imagine hiking in regular sneakers as the arches of our feet were sore (even in tough hiking boots!) on some trails because of all of the rocks. We kept our hiking shoes in the car and swapped out our sneakers and boots whenever we needed.

Spruce Flat Falls was a gorgeous hike and we loved it! The boys even got in the freezing water and swam for a bit!

I packed lunches for us and so glad we did! We hiked to the waterfall, boys swam then dried them off and got them warm again and ate lunch on a rock overlooking the mountain.

After lunch, we hiked the remainder of the way back to the car and then drove to Cades Cove and drove the loop, stopping a couple of times to get out and check out the old, historic homes. Here is some info about Cades Cove:

The valley has a rich history. For hundreds of years Cherokee Indians hunted in Cades Cove but archeologists have found no evidence of major settlements. The first Europeans settled in the cove sometime between 1818 and 1821. By 1830 the population of the area had already swelled to 271. Cades Cove offers the widest variety of historic buildings of any area in the national park. Scattered along the loop road are three churches, a working grist mill, barns, log houses, and many other faithfully restored eighteenth and nineteenth century structures. Pick up the self-guiding tour booklet available at the entrance to the loop road for information about the buildings you’ll see in the cove and the people who lived here.

https://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/cadescove.htm

On our way home, Stephen picked up some moonshine cherries from Tennessee Shine Co. in Sevierville. One night he mixed it with sprite and he said that was delicious! I have to take his word for it! 😉

The sunsets at our cabin are incredible! We have so many pictures from the same exact spot…but we couldn’t help it!

Well, that is it for Day 1 and 2 of our Smoky Mountain Tennessee Trip! Check back Wednesday for days 4-6 recap, including our hike to Grotto Falls and a very unique one-of-a-kind experience…

See you all back here then! Have a wonderful Monday, friends!


Purple Power Pancakes

A dear friend of mine created a version of this nutritious recipe for her family after needing to use a bunch of fresh berries that she and her family picked at a local farm. These pancakes are delicious and full of wonderful, healthy ingredients that your family is sure to LOVE!

I have adapted this recipe from hers and I am sure you are going to love it!

Purple Power Pancakes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: about 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 pasture-raised eggs
  • 1 banana
  • 2 TB organic maple syrup
  • 1 cup gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 cup organic whole almonds
  • 1/2 cup organic shelled whole walnuts
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup frozen organic blueberries
  • 1/4 cup Sacha Inchi protein powder
  • 2 TB organic coconut flour
Just poured on the hot griddle. These will puff up when they are ready to flip, about 5 minutes.

Directions:

  1. Preheat your large pan/skillet/griddle over medium to medium low heat.
  2. Place all ingredients in a high power blender and blend on low for 30 seconds, then high for about a minute until well combined.
  3. Butter/grease your pre-heated griddle and pour about 1/4 cup of pancake mix on the griddle.
  4. Let cook on medium to medium-low heat for about 5 minutes and flip (the pancakes should have puffed up and the bottom side should be slight brown).
  5. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes on the flipped side and check for doneness.
  6. Plate and eat! My boys love to stack them and top with butter and let the syrup run down the sides! This recipe makes a lot of pancakes so we always have extra for the boys to munch on throughout the morning (they just grab one a go!).

Did you make this recipe?

Tag #lifestylewithlauren on Instagram!

You might also like…

Sugar-Free Pumpkin Cream Coffee

I was a DIEHARD Starbucks fan and when they released their pumpkin cream cold-brew…I was smitten! Now, I am a hot-coffee fan so the only thing that bugged me was that it was cold…BUT living in Texas, it’s nothing that would deter me from ordering. I LOVED it so much but I haven’t had Starbucks … Read More

What I Eat in a Typical Day

Happy Wednesday friends!! We made it half way through the week! Today I am sharing what my typical day looks like. Since finding Truvani’s plant-based protein powder, my breakfasts have changed to a daily delicious morning smoothie. I LOVE it and it’s so easy first thing in the morning! But I am also including my … Read More

Not Your Traditional Vanilla Latte

I am loving starting my day with a smoothie and having so much fun playing with different smoothie add-ins and options! The other day I was missing coffee…which I haven’t had since November! My husband grinds the beans fresh every morning and the smell of fresh brewed coffee enveloped and consumed me! I decided to … Read More

Sugar-Free Lemon Mug Cake!

If you know me, you know I LOVE lemon anything!! Lemon pies, lemon cupcakes, lemon bars, lemon anything! However, some of my favorite lemon recipes are loaded with cane sugar and dairy…which I cannot have because of my health issues (you can read about my health journey with Systemic Candida here). This microwavable lemon mug … Read More


ARE THE FOODS YOU’RE EATING SLOWLY KILLING YOU? PART 3: Ingredients

Welcome to Part 3…finally! 😉 I know it has been a minute, but if you need a refresher, you can read Part 1 and Part 2 and then come back to read all about ingredients!

So let’s jump right on in! As previously mentioned in my other posts, I don’t read the nutrition label…ever. I ONLY read the ingredients. The ingredient list tells me what my food mostly contains, if it is safe or full of cancer-causing ingredients, if it is clean or full of additives, etc. So what are some ingredients that you want to avoid? Let me start by saying that the ingredients label will now become your best friend. Ingredients are listed from greatest to least, so if an ingredient is first on the list that means it is most prevalent. The ingredients section is so much more important and informative than calorie content or fat content.

There are so many ingredients that can be added to our food and what I am sharing with you today is just some of the big no-nos. This is your basic list and a good starting point. I’ve used research from Vani Hari and the Dirty Dozen List of Food Additives to Avoid to compile this list (please feel free to visit their websites to learn more about any of the ingredients mentioned).

Carrageenan

Carrageenan is a carcinogenic (cancer-causing) ingredient found in most milk substitute products, infant formulas, toothpaste, deli meats, cottage cheeses, some flavored coconut waters, supplements, juice…the list goes on. Even if food is organic, carrageenan can still be in it!! It has been known to cause digestive problems and intestinal inflammation as well. For a detailed shopping list of specific brands to avoid that contain carrageenan and what products to purchase instead, see Cornicopia.org.

Artificial Flavors

Artificial flavors are just that – artificial. They are synthetic flavors made from chemicals. They are used to make fake food taste good. And we are not just talking a single ingredient either. Each “flavor” can contain hundreds of ingredients, including synthetic chemicals, preservatives, and solvents, parabens and more. 

Artificial Sugars & Aspartame

Again, just like artificial flavors, artificial sugars are just that – ARTIFICIAL. Just stay away from anything that says artificial. Artificial sugars stimulate the brain to actually want more sugar! Aspartame is the same way. It has been linked to an increased risk of brain tumors, lymphomas, leukemia, and heart disease. The University of Texas conducted a study that showed replacing sugar with aspartame actually increased hunger and the subjects compensated by eating even more calories…thus not so “diet” anymore, is it? 

BHT & BHA

BHT is a synthetic preservative (you will see a lot of synthetic preservatives in this list). BHT is an endocrine disruptor. BHT in particular has been shown to affect the signaling from the gut to the brain that tells us to stop eating. It has also been linked to cancer in some animal studies. The EWG has listed BHT on their Dirty Dozen List of Foods Additives to avoid, thus stay away! 

BHA, much like BHT, is a synthetic preservative that is also an endocrine disruptor and also linked to cancer. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies BHA as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”. SO WHY IS IT IN OUR FOOD? If agencies and food organizations can show that an additive is cancer-causing, how on earth is it still allowed in our foods? More reason to just avoid heavily processed foods whenever possible. 

Canola Oil

Step away from the canola oil! Throw away this highly refined GMO-laden oil! If you are going to make one change in your cooking, make this your thing! Swap canola oil for organic avocado oil or organic grapeseed oil…but please, no more canola! Why you ask? Canola oil goes through a huge amount of processing with chemical solvents before you purchase it. The FDA does not require food manufacturers to test for hexane residue and canola oil is basically bathed in it. Switching to a healthier oil, like avocado oil, is super easy and no one will notice the difference.

Nitrates and Nitrites

Nitrates and nitrites are synthetic preservatives and are commonly found in deli meats. They have been linked to an increased risk of cancer. When purchasing deli meats, make sure it clearly reads ‘No Nitrates’ or ‘Nitrate Free’. Don’t assume “natural” means that it doesn’t have nitrates. Make sure to read the label!

Natural Flavors

Oh those good ol’ “natural” flavors! What are natural flavors? Well, it could literally be anything! Castoreum (or beaver butt excretions) is just one of the ingredients that could be called a “natural flavor.” We’ll never know what natural flavors are because the food companies won’t tell us as they consider this information proprietary.

According to the FDA, natural flavors can include:

“…the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional” (21CFR101.22).

Soy Protein Isolate

I know! You think you’re doing good buying that protein powder because ‘Soy Protein Isolate’ sounds so much better than others. Let’s first discuss soy. Soy can possibly cause hormonal disruptions because it has estrogen-mimicking properties and in women it can cause an increase in estrogen, thus increasing your risk for PCOS, breast cancer, cervical cancer and other hormonal-imbalance disorders. Soy is also almost always made from GMO soybeans (unless it is certified organic or Non-GMO Project verified). Most soy products are terrible for your health (this includes soy protein and soy milk) because of the phytoestrogens and being genetically modified, however, not all soy is bad. Organic (meaning no chemicals, fertilizers, or pesticides) fermented soy is actually good for you because of the increase of probiotics that occurs when fermented. Organic fermented soy is loaded with Vitamin K2, and probiotics. I personally like tempeh, a fermented soybean cake with a firm texture and nutty, mushroom-like flavor. When marinated, it takes on the flavor of the marinade and tastes delicious!

Stevia Extract 

I know many of you are confused…so let me state there is a difference between WHOLE LEAF stevia and stevia EXTRACT. I am passionate about avoiding stevia extract! If you don’t know if the product you are buying is using the whole leaf or extract, just avoid it. When I was shopping for protein powders, a lot of them list ‘stevia’ as an ingredient and I personally reached out to the representatives of a very large company to see what was being used (the extract or the whole leaf). They couldnt say! They said their information was “proprietary” so telling me if it was the extract or whole leaf I guess means I can basically copy their recipe, right?!

Back to the extract…

The extract is highly processed! We’re talking a 40-step method using chemicals to process the extract from the leaf, chemicals like acetone, methanol, ethanol, and others! And the chemicals they are using are known carcinogens! So again, when purchasing, make sure it says “Whole Leaf Stevia.”


I know this may seem overwhelming and for quite a few of you, shocking. But honestly, if you are eating organic, healthy, fresh food, you don’t have to worry about all those cancer-causing ingredients and additives. And, sadly, the list above is only about ¼ of the ingredients you want to avoid. Those are just some of my top ingredients to avoid, but certainly not all. If you are interested in a more in depth list, check out Food Babe’s list and also the EWG’s Dirty Dozen: Food Additives.


If you are needing a CLEAN plant-based protein powder that doesn’t contain any of those nasty ingredients mentioned above, then check out my girl Vani Hari’s company, Truvani.

I have shared a few recipes on my blog using her protein powder and I seriously LOVE it! It is clean, organic, healthy and tastes delicious! I drink a shake everyday and honestly start panicking when I am nearing the bottom of the bag!

If you want to snag your own Truvani protein powder, click here and save BIG when you sign up for a subscription. While you wait for your order to be delivered, check out my smoothie recipes here:

Vanilla Almond Smoothie

Y’all. This is my new favorite smoothie!! It is so so easy to make and tastes like an almond butter vanilla dessert. I can’t even describe it well because it tastes so dang good! You could easily swap the almond butter for peanut butter or other nut butter of your liking. I used only seven … Read More

My Favorite Chocolate Smoothie Recipe

Since battling Candida and other health issues (which I will address all of this Wednesday), I had to avoid most all fruit (until recently). Which meant I could not have my normal fruit-loaded smoothies. I also struggled to find a protein powder that tasted delicious and was safe for my Candida. That is until Truvani! … Read More

Not Your Traditional Vanilla Latte

I am loving starting my day with a smoothie and having so much fun playing with different smoothie add-ins and options! The other day I was missing coffee…which I haven’t had since November! My husband grinds the beans fresh every morning and the smell of fresh brewed coffee enveloped and consumed me! I decided to … Read More


Sugar-Free Pumpkin Cream Coffee

I was a DIEHARD Starbucks fan and when they released their pumpkin cream cold-brew…I was smitten! Now, I am a hot-coffee fan so the only thing that bugged me was that it was cold…BUT living in Texas, it’s nothing that would deter me from ordering. I LOVED it so much but I haven’t had Starbucks since last November when I found out about a bunch of health issues that my body was fighting. So that meant saying goodbye to my Pink Drink and Pumpkin Cream Cold-Brew. It was a sad day. BUT, my body feels SO much better and I will never go back! So that means that I have to adapt recipes and find stuff that will work for me. Thus, my latest fall coffee recipe was born! This is a hot coffee, with a subtle hint of pumpkin and you can kick it up a notch and make it a bulletproof version!

Without further ado…here is my Pumpkin Cream Coffee!

Ingredients:

Coffee Base

Make your coffee how you like! I prefer using my AeroPress with 1 scoop Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee with Lion’s Mane. I fill up my large coffee cup with water and microwave it for 3 minutes. While it is heating up, I add 1 scoop of coffee to my AeroPress and when the water is ready, I pour the water over the coffee grounds. I let sit about 2 minutes, then press it over my coffee cup.

Pumpkin Cream

  • 1/2 cup organic coconut cream or coconut milk (can)
  • 1 tsp organic pumpkin puree
  • 1/8 heaping tsp pumpkin spice
  • OPTIONAL: organic whole-leaf stevia

Using a handheld frother or small blender, froth/mix all ingredients for 1-2 minutes to build air and make the cream super frothy. If you like it sweet, add a drop or two of organic liquid whole-leaf stevia to taste before frothing.

Keto Coffee Additions

  • 1/2 TB organic grass-fed butter
  • 1/2 TB organic coconut oil or MCT oil

If adding the Keto coffee additions, use your frother or blender and mix these ingredients in with your coffee base before pouring over the cream.

Directions:

Once you have all ingredients ready, pour the pumpkin cream over your coffee and enjoy! I like to stir mine all together, but it’s pretty to look at when the cream is separated from the coffee. You could also make this a cold-brew but halving the water used to make your coffee and replacing it with ice. Let it cool a bit. Fill a cup with ice, pour over cooled coffee and top with pumpkin cream.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag #lifestylewithlauren on Instagram!


Truvani is giving away their new ceramic canisters with bamboo lids, FREE with any purchase of any powdered products (plant-based protein or marine collagen), now through September 15th!

Just click this link and get your free ceramic canister to hold your delicious Truvani powders!


Friday Favorites: Children’s Books

In a poll on IG stories I asked what you would rather see…some of my personal favorite chapter books or children’s books and 60% of you wanted to see my top picks for children’s books!

I have included an age-range, up to 6-8 years old, so here are some of my favorite children’s books (and note, these books are great for more than one age group):

Baby to 2 Years:

Ages 2 to 5 Years:

Ages 5 to 8 Years:


There are SO many books that I absolutely love and could seriously write many of blog posts about books. These are just SOME of the many that I love and again, these books are great for all ages and can span age groups.

What are your kiddos favorites? Comment below! Have a wonderful and safe Labor Day weekend!


What’s Up Wednesday – August 2020

It’s my FOURTH What’s Up Wednesday!

I am a week behind! I usually post my What’s Up Wednesday post on the last Wednesday of the month, but gracious! August just snuck past me and we are already in September!! Gracious!

Just to recap, I link up with Mix and Match Mama and share all the things! It’s a little food, a little family, a little what we’re doing, a little what we’re watching and a little bit of everything else, all in one post.

So let’s look at August 2020!

WHAT WE’RE EATING THIS WEEK:

Well, it is Wednesday and we’ve already had the Beach Bum Chili from Earthy Andy‘s exclusive recipe booklet from pre-ordering her new cookbook and it was delicious! It was completely plant-based and full of flavor! I loved it and will definitly make it again!

Monday we had crock-pot chicken and made tacos with them and had leftovers last night. Tonight I am making vegan cauliflower curry soup, which I made before and it is also so full of flavor and ridiculously delicious! Then Thursday we will have black bean burgers with sweet potato fries and leftovers on Friday…then meal planning all over again on Saturday!

I have also been on a little coconut yogurt kick for breakfast. I am loving starting my morning with a hot cup of mushroom coffee, then a few hours later I eat a very small bowl of plain coconut yogurt, topped with hemp seeds, coconut flakes, a few organic raspberries and walnuts. Then I make my smoothie for lunch or a raw salad, have a snack and then dinner is whatever I plan for the week.

WHAT I’M REMINISCING ABOUT:

I am already missing summer! How is that possible?! I feel like even though we went on the boat a TON this summer, it just wasn’t enough! And all of a sudden, we go from 105 degrees, to fall. In a week.

Seriously…Monday it was 105 and next week well be in the 70s and 80s. Goodbye, summer! We will miss you!

WHAT I’M LOVING:

I got a new planner and folio and LOVING it! I need seriously organization and my Plum Paper organizer helps SO much!

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:

A lot actually! We started week NINE of homeschool and I posted an update Monday, I’m a busy working momma now and I absolutely LOVE it! I love being an editor at Frisco STYLE Magazine! Everyone is super nice and like family already! My first issue as editor just came out and it is so rewarding to see it and read it and hold it in my hands! I am so thankful that God has given me this opportunity and I do not take it for granted for one minute!

WHAT I’M DREADING:

Hmmm….this one stumps me almost every month. I honestly don’t know what I am dreading. I am just thankful and feel grateful for every day that the Lord has given me.

WHAT I’M WORKING ON:

LOTS! Haha!

We are all hard at work crafting the October’s FSM issue, getting things set up with the photographer, getting articles in and editing, as well as writing one myself. I have started a new Bible study and hoping to get the book SOON so I can start working on it, I planted our fall veggies in our garden earlier this week, and just busy doing the regular day-to-day mom stuff + homeschooling!

WHAT I’M EXCITED ABOUT:

October is going to be a great issue and I cant wait to see it all come together!

We have booked a VRBO for Tennessee and I CANNOT WAIT to hike with my boys and be outside in nature, sitting on this patio, watching the sunrise and sunsets. I am so exited!!

WHAT I’M WATCHING/READING:

We have started watching The Umbrella Academy and y’all…it’s different! It’s weird but interesting and I just cant stop watching. If you like SciFi, mystery, Marvel-type superpowers, then you’ll love it!

I am also all caught up on the Housewives, so there’s that! 😉

I am sooo behind on my reading, but working on My Dearest Hamilton as well as listening to No Easy Day on Audible. I will finish one day, but right now I am finding my groove with everything going on and leisure reading really isn’t at the top of my to-do list at the moment.

WHAT I’M LISTENING TO:

During my morning walks, I am listening to the Bible App – the one year plan and enjoying listening to the NLT version. I am still rocking out to the Hamilton soundtrack while I cook and I ask Alexa to play Hillsong a lot.

WHAT I’M WEARING:

I have fallen in love with the magnetic eyelashes and I just cannot get enough! These KISS brand ones are so amazing, so easy to wear and apply and just so fast! I used to spend way too long applying mascara over and over, trying to get length and thickness…no more! Just a swipe of magnetic eyeliner and voila! IN LOVE!

WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND:

It’s Labor Day weekend…so that mean another weekend on the boat! We are actually going Friday afternoon instead of Sat/Sun/Mon because it gets pretty crazy out there on the holidays, so we will enjoy it the day before.

WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:

Like I shared above, we will be going to Tennessee for the first time and I am so exited and looking forward to all the tree-hugging adventures! Please comment below your MUST-SEE places in Tennessee around Pigeon Forge area.

WHAT ELSE IS NEW:

Not much else! We have a few house reno stuff we are chatting about but otherwise just getting into the groove of being a FT working homeschooling momma!


August is in the books! How was your August? Share below!

Have a blessed rest of your week/month and make sure to come back on Friday to read my latest Friday Favorites!


Homeschool Update: 8-Week Check-in

We’ve been homeschooling for eight weeks now and thought I would post an update on how things are going.

A little preschool work for our youngest and our oldest working on math from Math-U-See

I am absolutely LOVING homeschooling and very pleased with our decision to homeschool this year. I think I might have picked a curriculum level too low for our son so I might adjust that next year, but we’ll see as we continue these next few weeks.

Blindfolded taste-testing game!

To be honest, this past week was full of events that we somewhat neglected our homeschool work and played “catch-up” on Friday. However, usually we only do school Monday-Thrusday. I aim to start our day around 9:30am and we get through all the subjects by lunchtime, with two breaks in between (after history and language arts).

I literally go straight through the curriculum exactly how it is listed…Bible first, followed by history then read-alouds. We are finishing up the previous book from last week, Homer Price, and will start Catching Their Talk in a Box next week, so we are behind with the read-aloud chapter book but will catch-up eventually. I will say, Homer Price is NOT my favorite book and I wish I would’ve pre-read it…I would have skipped it all together. To me it’s just a fluff chapter book with no life lessons to be learned or any depth. So not my favorite.

At the back of the curriculum, there are two sections with additional materials for the year, with one of the sections containing questions for each read aloud as well as questions for the I Can Read It! books (mentioned below). I pull those pages that I need from the back section and stick them in with that weeks work, just so I don’t have to flip back and forth as much.

After a quick break, we move into Language Arts, with spelling, phonics, handwriting, reading, and creative writing/copy-work. I bought a spiral notebook for word work and that is where my son writes all of his spelling words and his spelling test on Day 4 (for us it is usually Thursday). I would absolutely get the option Explode the Code workbooks! Don’t skip that as that is where a lot of the application, phonics, and spelling practice comes in.

We watched caterpillars turn into butterflies and it just so happened that our poetry book had poems that went right along with what we were doing, on the day the butterflies emerged!

Again, we do a quick break to get some wiggles out and so I can gather the next subjects materials, which is science and math. I play ‘Eye of the Tiger’ on our Echo Dot to get my kiddo back to the table to start our next subject and it really helps him to know its time to start back again and I don’t have to yell at him to come back. It is a nice transition and allows him time to wrap up what he is doing…he has until the end of the song to be back at the table and it works like a charm for us!

This week, with everything I had going on, we didn’t get to do the science experiment (on Day 4) but we will do it Monday to make up for the missed day. I also bought another spiral notebook for science experiments and we use that to write down observations and data.

I LOVE the science books and activities and so does my son! The Usborne books are so wonderful and the questions that my son completes are so good! Right now we are looking at Africa and he had to color in the continent on the map and make color in a separate map of Africa and table the different parts (like desert) and identify which animals live in that region. So far he has completed South America, North America, and now we are on Africa.

After science we complete the ‘Math-U-See’ math work and then we are done! I really don’t have a ton of feelings about ‘Math-U-See.’ It is fine for us and my son hasn’t been that challenged yet by it, but I don’t NOT like it, I just don’t really care either way. I have heard really great things about The Good and the Beautiful math curriculum so that might be something I look into for next year but I’ll try a free sample first before deciding.

My youngest LOVES working with his big brother and he really loves tracing these letter cards. I found them here and shrinked the printing size down to get four on one page, laminated them, cut them out, and voila! My kiddo uses a dry erase marker to trace and loves it!

Well that is a little reacap of homeschooling! What questions do you have regarding homeschooling, the curriculum, how we go through our day, etc? Post them below or on my Instagram. I will have a question sticker on my Instagram stories TODAY so you can leave your questions there, too!

SONLIGHT REFERRAL CODE

Use my code (click banner above or enter LG20457376 at checkout) and receive $5 off your first order!