Get Healthy, Recipes

Aurora’s Four |Pumpkin Raspberry Pancakes

My baby is four, how sad and exciting at the same time. Literally, where has the time gone? She’s only been four for over two weeks and she’s grown so much in such a short time. It’s insane, I still have trouble wrapping my head around it all. My little 8lb 9oz, 21 inches baby girl is now 40 lbs and 42 inches. She has such a wonderful imagination and love for life. Give her a good meal (cheeseburger) and some hot coco on a crisp morning and she’s eternally grateful.

Aurora enjoys the simple things. Movies, friends, doll houses, Littlest Pet Shop, shopping and food. Aside from the netflix show and dollhouses, she is a pint size version of me. She’s my shopping partner and helps me pick out all of my amazing sweaters and dresses. If I need a hiking buddy or coffee date, she’s game. And you can bet, I will be the one taking her and her girlfriends to Vegas for her 21st. That’s right, Aurora is my pint sized bestie. Forget your friendship|parent standards crap. I am her parent when I need to be, but I want her to know that I can also be her confidant. Aurora will know she can trust me with her secrets and share her funny and embarrassing moments with me. We will definitely cry together and get incredibly angry with one another. If she’s my mini-me then you can guarantee she is stubborn and sassy, just like me.

We had a birthday party for her over the weekend, her first real birthday party. Her first birthday we took her Traintown with our friends and family and for her 2nd and 3rd birthday we were in Disneyland. So, it was time she had a party. Her dad and I decided to have it at the park downtown, which was the perfect setting. I brought a bunch of sand toys and they all ran around and played. Of course it was Peter Pan themed. So, I found this really cute idea to paint little treasure chests on pinterest. It was awesome, we had a huge spread of paint, glitter, and little trinkets they could glue on, they loved it. Instead of a cake I made cupcakes and arranged them in the shape of Tick-Tock Crock, which was pretty impressive. That was another pinterest find of course. It was really cute seeing her in action with all of her little friends.

Another thing that’s great about Aurora is that she’s good about trying new food. She doesn’t love everything we put in front of her, but she at least tries. I have been trying to slowly cut out dairy and gluten from my diet. My stomach has been really bad lately and I know it’s from those two things. I have a great recipe for Gluten free pancakes. I’ve been craving pumpkin pancakes so I decided to tweak the recipe and also change some of the ingredients. It had regular sugar and not a lot of flavor to it. Took a few tries and trying different things and I think these delicious, I added raspberries and it was a game changer.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Raspberry Pancakes

  • 1 ½ cups gluten free flour
  • ½ cup Raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 ¼ cups Almond Milk (Vanilla or Plain)
  • ½ cup Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 tbls Coconut Oil (melted)
  • 2 tsp Raw Honey
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ tsp Nutmeg
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda

I honestly wrote out instructions and then stopped. Pancakes are super easy to make. You literally mix all the ingredients together and cook on a large pan. I like using coconut oil spray for the pan so that the pancakes don’t stick. They will bubble a little during cooking, but check the bottom to make sure it doesn’t burn. Flip over and cook for another couple of minutes. Enjoy with some more raspberries on top and maple syrup and you are good to go!

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Get Healthy

Finding strength

One of the hardest things for any human being is to open up about his or her feelings. We as people shy away from being vulnerable, if you are it automatically means you’re weak. No one wants honesty anymore, some would rather live in a lie then be face to face with their problems. I think it’s the opposite when it comes to talking about your feelings. If you are able to stand up and talk about your feelings and what’s going on in your heart and mind when no one else has the courage to, that’s strength. We are taught that honesty is the best policy in school, so why is it when it’s time to be honest people choose to lie? My strength comes from a new version of myself I discovered long ago in a magical land called Hawai’i. This young woman, she chose life, she decided that her depression wasn’t going to get the best of her. That girl decided that she no longer was going to look down upon herself and feel like nothing.

It’s no secret that I am that young woman. The woman who used to lie through her teeth that “everything was okay”. Sometimes it was okay, other days weren’t. I let myself get into a pattern of just hiding it, and that’s what I’ve always done, hide it. Moving to Hawai’i was a blessing and I will always cherish my time there. I was no longer in the Sonoma bubble, I was away from home…a whole ocean away. I spent a lot of time by myself there, and that’s what I had needed. I constantly surrounded myself with friends and family, I never had time to myself. I didn’t want to either, I loved being around my friends, that’s when I felt my best. They got me through everything. First “love”, three months-worth…gotta love high school. First heartbreak, first time losing a friend and classmate(s). Being on the islands let me look at myself differently. I was introducing myself to new people for the first time, in a really long time. It was a fresh start. I had the chance to decide if who I was introducing myself as, was the person that I wanted people to remember. With a new mindset I moved back to Sonoma. Shortly I met Kenny and truly experienced my first love and first real heartbreak.

It took me two years to realize I was again battling depression and to make the decision to step away from our young marriage. It was never an easy decision to make and that’s what I don’t think most people understand. Every important decision I make is carefully thought out. The pros and cons are weighed, and ultimately and for the first time in a long time, my happiness needed to come first. I will never, ever talk badly about my relationship with Kenny. We had an amazing five years together and brought into this world my saving grace. Aurora has been the light at the end of my very dark tunnel. She brought me out of it, and is the reason I fight so hard today. I never want her to see me in any other way then as her mother, who never gave up. I want to be the strong female role model in her life. I don’t want her to have deal with depression and if she does, I want her to know it’s not something she has to run from.

Not being at the winery was incredibly tough the first three weeks. I walked around telling people I was okay with it and I was doing fine. Obviously, that was only half true. I was more than okay not being there anymore. I had been putting off going to school and a lot of it was because of my job and schedule. Now, I am on track to start school next year and I am really excited about it. I’m just having such a hard time not having the schedule I once did. I have so much free time, I almost don’t know what to do with myself. I miss a lot of my coworkers, not seeing the same people every day is tough especially when you didn’t get a chance for a proper goodbye. With all this free time I spent way too much time on the couch having a grand old’ pity party. On the days I have Aurora I kept busy and never let her see me down. But, the rest of week it was not pretty, luckily I had my two other jobs so I have been working part time. I definitely stopped going to the gym for three weeks though, horrible idea. This past week was the first time I went consistently 5-6 times. I somehow only gained two pounds, so I’m not concerned about it, because also some of my clothes are little bit looser as well. I was avoiding life and human contact pretty much. I didn’t want everyone to know what happened, though I was always excited to tell people the positive. Which, I am super excited about. I went and did my placement tests and online orientation. So, yay me.

Being more open about my depression to a few of my friends has been a huge weight lifted off my shoulder as well. Things I was once uncomfortable talking about now, I’m more than happy to share. Overcoming the depression will always be tough, but it’s something that I can’t let control my life like it has so much in the past. Facing it head on and recognizing the triggers is very important and has had me so much more aware of all the lings that I do like and love about myself. It’s okay to talk about your feelings and if there are people in your life that don’t want to hear it then they don’t need to be in your life. I have been blessed with amazing friends and family who have always supported me. They have also welcomed me with open arms when discussing my depression.

Speaking of my amazing friends, we had an equally AMAZING Halloween. Little was Princess Tiana and her dad dressed up as her frog prince, so cute. My friends, well we love our 90’s throwbacks. Last year we were a group of Teenage fighting turtles. Yes, we were the Ninja Turtles, be jealous. This year a few of us went as the Mighty Ducks. Photos for your enjoyment are below.

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