Category Archives: nourish

Eat Your Heart Out, Storebought Fruit Snacks!

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I posted a photo on Instagram and Facebook earlier today of my fruit snack making in progress and got lots of interest for the recipe. I am using an awesome recipe from Thank Your Body but just had a couple things to add so I thought I’d make a quick post. (really, just another excuse to post pictures of my adorable children :blush:)

Healthy Homemade Fruit Snacks Recipe:

  • 2/3 cup of lemon or orange juice (I did both)
  • 2/3 cup of fruit (I used a bag of frozen organic mixed berries but am excited to use my local produce from Urban Acres once berries come in to season)
  • 2 tbsp raw, local honey (we love Round Rock Honey)
  • 5 tbsp of grass-fed gelatin
  • Optional: 1 drop of food grade lemon oil (don’t have any? whaddya know, I happen to sell fabulous oils here)
  • Also Optional: 1 tsp homemade whey (liquid protein made from separated raw milk. The live cultures in whey eat some of the sugars and produce lactic acid which makes it more tart and serves as a natural preservative.)

First, Jack helped me juice the lemons and oranges until we had about 2/3 of a cup.

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Next, put your freshly squeezed juice in a pot with the fruit on low-medium heat. Stir occasionally for a few minutes until the fruit softens.

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Add in the honey and food grade lemon oil (if you want that extra tanginess (which Jon was wanting) “Wait,” you say, “weren’t these for the kids?” Yeah, I know. Daddy’s like fruit snacks too apparently. ;-))

Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender or pour into a blender.

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Once cooled to room temperature, pour your mixture through a strainer so that there are no seeds staying in there to turn your snacks into crunchy snacks (learned that the hard way).

ImageAdd in your tsp of whey (ours is from raw milk) to help naturally preserve the fruit snacks for longer. Without it, the snacks would only last 2-3 days out on the counter or for about a week or two in the fridge. I haven’t tried freezing but I’m sure they’d freeze well. Anyway, start stirring in your gelatin one tbsp at a time while you whisk so as to avoid lumps. Gelatin gets a bad rap sometimes but traditionally made gelatin is a mineral-rich food that is easy to digest and helps strengthen hair and nails! Pour your mixture into a glass pyrex and shake a little so that it all settles. Set it into your fridge for about 30min-an hour. Once it has firmed up, pull it out and cut into pieces or use cookie cutters for some fun, delicious (and healthy) fruit snacks!

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Enjoy!

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Baby Moon version 2.0

This pregnancy has definitely flown by faster than the first…prob due to the energy-bunny known as Jack. :) With all the busyness of raising our rambunctious, sweet boy and Jon’s work, we were really hoping we’d get a chance to do another baby moon or at least a one night getaway before Liv joins us…but just weren’t sure it’d happen. My mom very sweetly (and eagerly) agreed to take Jack for us. Now, could I actually let him go? Well, it was very, VERY, VERY hard but I did it…we did it. I only cried 3 times total (that’s not bad, right? esp with being pregnant ;-)) and Jon may or may not have got a little verclempt too. But we survived and reunion was sweet. :) Thank you again to my mom for taking Jack but I know she enjoyed every bit of it.

Here’s some pictures from our time. We stayed at the lovely Wildwood Inn in Denton as we didn’t want to go too far from home with me being 36 weeks. It was the perfect distance and place to stay to feel like we got away without having to do a ton of travel.

After checking in to our beautiful room (and ogling over the jacuzzi tub), we headed out to Sanger so Jon could experience The Tomato – my favorite pizza place in college. Sadly, they burned down in 2007 but have now reopened so after the many trips to Round Table (Jon’s CA fave), I was excited for Jon to see my pizza place. He really enjoyed it and we met and talked with some nice locals as well. Afterwards, I took Jon on the Bre’s-life-in-college tour and we drove by the Fry house and then got ice cream at Beth Marie’s on the square. With the twinkle lights up in the trees and a beautiful cool breeze in the air, it was the perfect way to start to unwind for our 2-night stay.

By around 10, though, I realized it’s the time we normally go in and check on Jack and as a result, burst into tears crying, “It’s time to go see buddy and we can’t!!!!! Who’s idea was this anyway?!?!?! Wahhhhhhh!” But after Jon gently reminded me that it was (oh yeah) my idea…I finally calmed down and we got a good night’s sleep.

In the morning, we tried out a local spot for breakfast (the B&B had a continental breakfast but not filling enough for this preggo) and then went to the Shops at Highland Village to walk around until our movie started. We ended up sitting in the Barnes & Noble for an hour and a half reading magazines (him woodworking, me sewing) which sounds so lame but was heavenly. (It’s the little things) It was so nice outside that we decided to skip the movie and just keep walking around the shops. We found and bought a new puzzle for Jack and kept seeing what seems like a million little boys every where we went. Our code saying was ‘uh oh, don’t look’ which of course made the other look and see whichever cute little boy was in our midst to remind us of our sweet little one. Plus, my mom would send us picture updates and had, at that moment, told us he had found a picture of us on one of her shelves and was carrying it around with him. Cue crying session #3,402. haha But I pulled it together and we grabbed some lunch and visited with old friends at The Village Church offices.

Our view at breakfast

Walking by a store called Jack's Outfitters...he was everywhere!

One of the picture updates we got from Gemma...sweet boy

We then headed back to our B&B to enjoy the beautiful pool and spa. There was hardly anyone else staying there so no one was around. The pool water was too cold though and the hot tub wasn’t on but they got it going so we were able to get in for a little bit before it got too hot which was nice for me and my preggo belly.

36 week Liv and daddy

After drying off and resting a bit, we headed out for dinner at Giuseppe’s then coffee and dessert at another local stop. Overall, a wonderful and relaxing day but we were eager to see our Bud in the morning! :) We woke up rested but still enjoyed a leisurely morning with Jon watching tv while I took my last of practically 15 baths in the tub (really only 3). We grabbed lunch at The Greenhouse then met mom to get Jack. He was banging on the glass of the Starbucks wall (lovely I know) staring out and it took him a second to realize it was us walking up but when he did he had the biggest grin. :) Now, we’re back home and resting and ready to kick it all back into gear tomorrow. Liv will be here before we know it but we are so thankful for this time to hit pause and just rest. Hope everyone had a great weekend.

Love,

J + B + j

Well-Watered Garden

I’m 33 weeks now and, for whatever reason, feeling much more uncomfortable this pregnancy than the last. Jon kindly ventured a guess that it’s because I haven’t exercised as much this time (mainly due to the insane heat we’ve been having and that I have a toddler) but one of my guesses is my inability to take baths this pregnancy. Who’s right? Probably Jon but let’s not dwell on that. ;-)

We love, love, LOVE our rental house in every way except that there’s no tub. I know, first world problem, uh? But if you know me at all then you know I love a good bath….like, nightly. Well, my good friend, Christine, is a total doll and has let me come over a couple of times now to soak. But, not only did she let me just borrow her tub…she practically turned her bathroom into a spa. Now, that’s a friend! Had to share a few (appropriate, I promise) pictures of Spa de Bailey. :)

Fill 'er up, please.

Beautiful lit candles

A folded towel waiting for me

Don't be fooled...It may say size small but I feel as big as a whale right now

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

And my favorite part was the framed Scripture on the counter which, although I’m sure meant for much deeper spiritual things than my desire to take a bath, really applied to me at that moment. It’s definitely been sun-scorched in this here north Texas land and my frame sure is in need of strengthening. But most of all, thank you Jesus, that we are like a spring whose waters never fail. I have so needed this encouragement as I mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepare for Liv’s birth…and as this pregnancy gets more and more uncomfortable. He will satisfy all my needs and will never fail me. Such a timely and refreshing reminder for my soul when I was only wanting a refresh for my body.

Beautiful.

P.S. – Thank you, Christine, for not only opening your home but your tub. :)

Finally, some food!

Well, we hit the one year mark a couple weeks ago and just as I’d hoped he’s finally interested in food. Jack, not Jon. Jon has no problem being interested in food as we all know from his fabulous cooking. But, yes, Jack is finally really interested in what we’re eating and how he can get a piece of it. He’s still not really swallowing all of the food he’s given…I’d say probably half of what goes in gets spit back out BUT it’s progress!!! We’re trying to create more of a rhythm to the day – more on that in a bit – and so he sits with us at breakfast and dinner and we’re going to start ‘snack time’ after nap time. Here’s some cutie patootie snap shots of the cutie patootie.

And then it’s clean-up time of course:
How’s Liv, you ask? She’s doing good. Measuring right on track and kicking up a storm. Staying head down though just like we like. :) Someone (who has obviously never been pregnant) asked me the other day, “Wow, how is she going to grow any bigger in there…there’s just no more room!” You have no idea, lady…no idea. This ain’t even big yet. :sigh: ;-)
Much love!
J + B + j + bl (baby liv)

Healthy and Happy

Not that I have many followers on this blog, but it’s been so busy, I’ve had to simply ignore it for the last while.  Bre and I are within a week or two of having our first baby (Jack Hastin Taylor), and all time and efforts have been toward moving, and preparing for him, and working hard doing the Mac IT thing.

But in the midst of all of this, we’ve continued our best efforts to eat more traditionally. And each time we visit the Birth Center, the midwives and nurses say that Bre is the picture of a perfectly healthy pregnancy.

Now this is mostly God’s grace, but I like to think He’s using our wonderful, nutritious raw milk that we drink daily (almost every meal and snacks).  We’ve also be pounding the “Blue Ice” brand fermented cod live/high vitamin butter oil supplement since before we conceived.  Both of these have massive amounts of Vitamin K, along with D and A.  Add to that some wild salmon, and you’ve got a winning formula to grow a super healthy baby.  Jack is of good size and very active. He’s head down, and about ready to start his journey south.  And Bre is about the healthiest she has ever been. Certainly, her body is ready for the multitude of feedings that are about to start.

All in all, we feel blessed  that we have a great local milk farmer, and an amazing connection with our Co-op Urban Acres to get our hands on the healthiest food around.  Learning to prepare it is a whole other story, but that’s why that call it learning.

GNOWFGLINS is a great resource for proper food preparation. They have some thorough e-courses and an excellent membership-based way to do it all.

I think Jack is going to be one healthy and happy baby.  I hope he learns how to eat traditional foods so that he loves them his whole life.  That would make me a happy father.