Making A Mint

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If you are following me on Instagram, you probably already know every summer I have a love affair with Peppermint.  I know that I can have Peppermint year round, but over the summer I can grow it myself and there is something so satisfying about that.  This year is no different and I already have a pretty good plant to pull from.  This year in addition to steeping my own peppermint tea, I am also looking for ways to enjoy it while staying on plan.  And, like most over the summer months, the recipes that tend to float to the top are those that are both skinny and refreshing.

As far as I am concerned,  the only thing better that a Cocktail is a Skinny Cocktail that still packs that same power and taste.  Trust me this is not an easy find.  But, here are two of my summer minty faves.

Vodka Mojito

Vodka Mojito (Low Carb and Sugar Free)

As with most drinks you can find many different variations of this recipe all over the internet.  But, my favorite version of this drink is found here on Ketogasm.  One of the most amazing things about this recipe is that you can pretty much get any bartender to make this for you, providing you bring your own Splenda, which most diabetics and low “carbers” travel with just on GP.

Low Carb and Sugar Free Moscow Mule

Low Carb and Sugar Free Moscow Mule Photo Source: I Breathe I’m Hungry

Now this one is a bit more complicated.  Meaning you probably won’t get your friendly bartender to make it. But, it is easy enough that you can easily pull it together at home.  For this recipe and other tasty delights head over to I Breathe I’m Hungry.

Of course, Peppermint can be used in much more than a refreshing cocktail, it can also be used in Summer Salads and of course Soothing Peppermint Tea.

Mint Watermelon Salad

Mint Watermelon Salad

Not feeling like getting in front of the hot stove during the summer months.  This salad option might be exactly what you need.  Details on this recipe found here.

And last, but certainly not least, having grown up in a West Indian household, there is absolutely nothing like a strongly steeped cup of Peppermint Tea to cure all that ales you.  Want to end your day with a cup? Get the directions over at The Tea Talk.

What is something that you and your family tend to eat or drink a lot of during the summer months?  I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below.

Friday Favorites – Week 375 – DIY Patriotic Wreath

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Mommy Hears and Understands

Mommy Hears and Understands

May is Better Hearing and Speech Month. Each May, BHSM, provides an opportunity to raise awareness about communication disorders and the role of the American Speech – Language – Hearing Association in providing life-altering treatments. The theme for this year is “Communication, The Key to Connection.”   I am sure like most people, this month probably has little significance to you.  And up until my eldest daughter was born, it had little significance to me either.  However, in October of 2004, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, with all her fingers and all her toes.  She was perfect in my eyes.  She was more than even my wildest dreams could have conjured up.  She was all sugar and spice rolled into one.  As she grew older, like any parents we anxiously anticipated her first words.  Every mother longs for the day when they hear the words Momma cross their little ones lips.   But, those sweet words would be delayed.  Obviously concerned with the delay, we spoke to her pediatrician and she agreed that our daughter needed to be evaluated by a Speech Language Pathologist.  The tests that were needed were difficult at best for a small child, who was terrified of strangers.  It was a trying time.

After some time, she was diagnosed with Auditory Processing Disorder.  Honestly, they might as well have told me that she had Astronaut’s Disease, because I had no idea what it meant, and or what it entailed.  I consider myself to be pretty bright, but even after they explained it to me, I was still grasping at straws.  If I were to give you a layman’s description of what it is, it would go a little something like this, how she hears and processes sound is different than you and I.  Even with the diagnosis,  I had no idea what lay ahead of us.  At the age of 2, she was assigned her very first Speech Language Pathologist. We could not have known what a significant role her SLP would play in her developmental progress.  She was able to relate to her as her therapist and on an interpersonal level.  Pulling her out of her shell, and getting her to be open up and  try new things was key. She started to attend Speech Therapy twice a week for an hour, and slowly her vocabulary began to grow.  We finally were able to hear and understand her.  But, it was no easy feat.    Learning to pronounce and enunciate her words was difficult for her.  After a while we could understand her, and those that were around her frequently could understand her but it was still hard for a stranger to pick up on what she was saying.

As the years went by, she continued to make progress.  When it was time for her to begin Kindergarten, we let the school know immediately about her speech delay, and provided them with her diagnosis and all the necessary documentation.  Soon into her first year it was evident that she was struggling.  As you know, Speech, Communication and Comprehension are huge components of the educational process.  It literally was hindering every part of her experience and it was heartbreaking.  With the help of an exceptional team, by the first grade she had a functioning IEP (Individualized Education Program).  For the second time, a new SLP was introduced into our lives.  And again, what she brought to the table made ALL the difference in the progress that my daughter would make. The SLP would sit with the teachers to see what they were teaching and how she could help.  She would incorporate the lessons being taught into their daily sessions.  To say she went above and beyond, is a drastic understatement.  She was able to pick up on her moods, her strengths and her weaknesses and she nurtured her in a way that I can not explain.    God knew exactly what we needed to make it through the journey.  And, when it was time for her to retire I was devastated.  I was truly sad to see her go and I was not sure how the change would affect the progress that we had already made.  But, she made the transition seemless and we went from one blessing to another.

The greatest blessing in this test for us, as a family and for our daughter has been receiving Speech Therapy.   We have been extremely blessed to have been paired with SLPs who have become more than what there jobs required, but true friends.  I always say that the way to any parent’s heart is through their children.  It is not often that you run across educators who have a genuine love and concern for your child.    Now, I am coming at this from the Speech side of things, simply because that is where our diagnosis took us.  But, Auditory and Speech issues affect children all across the board.  As is the case with most disabilities, early detection is very important.  There are many programs available to you, if you feel that you child could be struggling in this area.  If you think your child may be struggling with Speech and or Hearing Issues, check out this website, which is full of useful information and resources.

If our journey, that we are still on, has taught me anything it is this, it truly takes a village.  And, we could not be more thankful for ours.  Every Journey will be different, as no individual is the same.  Want to know more about Auditory Processing Disorders?  Here is the first book I read about it at the start of our journey.

“INDIVIDUAL COMMITMENT TO A GROUP EFFORT – THAT IS WHAT MAKES A TEAM WORK, A COMPANY WORK, A SOCIETY WORK, A CIVILIZATION WORK.” – VINCE LOMBARDI

Friday Favorites – Week 374 – Ginger Lime Chicken

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Friday Favorites Week 373 – Mini Moist Banana Muffins

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5 Ways Being A Mom Has Changed Me

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Being a Mom has changed me, in fact it honestly continues to change me every day.  Before I had kids, I was very confident in the fact that I knew almost everything, but, boy was I wrong.  I am not sure that anything can adequately prepare you for motherhood.

Perspective:  Being a Mom has forever changed my perspective on life.  I no longer believe that things are just black and white.  In fact, the gray areas far surpass any other.  Through the eyes of my children, I have seen things in ways that I don’t think I ever would have otherwise.  Because they are still so young, and tend to see the world without cynicism and fear.  And, because of them I try my hardest to be less judgmental and dogmatic.

Patience:  I am not sure you can successfully parent without some kind of patience.  Yet, I fear this will be a lesson I will continue to learn for my whole life.  There is no way that you can hear your name called over and over again, in various octaves and within 3 minutes, without having to exercise patience.

Understanding:  I think the older we get, the less sympathetic we become. We start to become easily annoyed with things that we feel require simple common sense and effort.  But, after becoming the parent of little people, I find myself being a little more compassionate towards other people’s plights.

Forgiveness:  Crayons on Walls, Vaseline all over faces… General messes… and the older they  get hurt feelings… Motherhood is a daily exercise in forgiveness.  I know I am not alone in feeling this way.  You clean up a room, only to have it destroyed moments later, by the cutest little thing you have ever seen.  Or you drive your teenager all over town, only to have him throw a hissy fit, because you won’t get back in the car to take him somewhere else.

Love:  I know it sounds cliche, but children do teach you the true meaning of unconditional love.  You love your spouse, or your significant other, but… you have very real and very definable expectations where they are concerned. Not that you do not have expectations of your children, but when they fall short you are the one who has to be there to pick them up, dust them off, and give them that needed push to get back on the horse.

I would be remiss if I did not say that being a Mom, is one of the hardest jobs that I have ever had.  It is challenging, it is rewarding, and sometimes it is a thankless job.  There are days when I feel unappreciated and burnt out.  But, the ups far outweigh the downs, and for that I am forever grateful.  God entrusted me with these little souls to love, to cherish and to mold, and even when it’s not easy, I intend to do just that.

How has being a Mom changed you?

Friday Favorites – Week 372 – DIY Decorative Planter Box

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Friday Favorites – Week 371 – DIY Rustic Farmhouse Tray

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It’s Teacher Appreciation Week!!

Teacher Appreciation Week - Free Printable Teacher Gift Tags

It’s National Teacher Appreciation Week!!  A week to celebrate one of the most noble professions out there.  I have always been in awe of teachers.  It truly takes a special kind of person to invest in the lives of  children, who are not their own over and over again.  That is exactly why I always try to make a big deal out of this week.  For their time dedication and devotion to my babies, I am extremely grateful.  There are so many great ideas all over Pinterest for Teacher Appreciation Gift Ideas.   If you are looking for some ideas, be sure to check out our Pinterest Board.  No matter what you choose as your gift,  these Super Cute Gift Tags are a sweet addition.  Grab yours today!!

My oldest child is 20 years old, so , I have see my share of teachers over the years, enough to know that having a good teacher in your child’s life is a blessing.  My middle child has some auditory processing challenges and having an amazing team has made all the difference in her progress through out the years.  My baby girl is just in the 1st grade but we’ve been  pretty lucky there, as well.  I tend to hold my little ones a little tight.  So it makes me breathe a little easier just knowing that these kind of teachers still exist.

Teacher Appreciation Week Tag Supplies Free Printable

To Download your Own Copy of the Printable Teacher Gift Tags Click Here.

“IT IS THE SUPREME ART OF THE TEACHER TO AWAKEN JOY IN CREATIVE EXPRESSION AND KNOWLEDGE.” -ALBERT EINSTEIN

Friday Favorites – Week 370 – Mango Salsa

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