Walls

I’ve got this thing with walls. 
I use them to lean on.

I use them for support. 

I use them for protection. 

I use them to keep some people out. 

I use them for some fitness. 

I use them to build some strength. 

I use them to showcase beauty. 

I use them to hang art… lots and lots of art. 

We all have walls. 

We all use them differently. 

We all need them. Sometimes we need bigger walls. Sometimes we need to break them down. 

But what I don’t think we can do….. is judge, hate, and criticize someone else for having different walls than we do. 

So…, I’ll be raising my walls to all of the hate…. and spreading love like I never have before. 

I’ll lean on the wall when I need to, and I’ll stand upside down on it when I need to…. But I won’t judge you for believing differently that I do, for reacting differently than I do, and for loving differently than I do.

Venison Beer Chili

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Last night we had Venison Beer Chili for dinner with corn bread and it was so good, but the problem is every time my husband makes chili its never the same because he never writes down what he put in it or what he did to make it taste so good.

I can tell you most of what is in it and how he prepared most of it, but I honesty was not helping much or paying any attention to what he did.

Also we cook this in a dutch oven on the stove top, so it takes a few hours from start to finish.

Ingredients (that I know of):

  •  Ground Venison 2-3 pounds, we process our own deer so this is just venison, no beef or pork fat added.
  • 1 – 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans of dark kidney beans
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 small yellow summer squash
  • 1 – 2 oz container of dried Guajillo Chili peppers
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Ground Cumin
  • Fennel Seed
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Corn Meal
  • Olive Oil
  • Beer, we used Sam Adams IPA
  • All measurements are to taste

 

Preparation:

You have to reconstitute the dried Guajillo Chili peppers, you do this by steeping them in water on the stove top. We did not use the stems or seeds, just the flesh went into the chili.

In a food processor, or blender, add half of your onion, all of the red bell pepper, squash, reconstituted Guajillo Chili peppers, and diced tomatoes and blend until almost smooth. Add some of the water you reconstituted the dried Guajillo Chili peppers to thin out the blended veggies. Set aside. You can skip this if you’d like your chili more chunky.

In your dutch oven on medium heat, add some olive oil and let the oil warm up before adding the rest of your onion. Add salt and pepper to your onions and let them cook until they are translucent, add a few table spoons of corn meal to make a rue, then add your ground meat and let your meat brown, add more olive oil if needed to keep the meat from sticking.

After your meat has browned to your liking add the spices and mix in well before adding the ingredients you blended together in the food processor. Bring it to a boil then turn down to a simmer. Let this cook for about an hour or so, stirring it so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. Taste it throughout to make sure there is enough salt and pepper and heat to your liking. Cumin will make your chili taste like chili. If it is too hot you can add more diced tomatoes.

This is already a think chili so you may want to put the lid partially on. this will also keep your stove top from getting splatter all over.

20-30 minutes before your chili is done add your beans. When your beans are warm and cooked your chili is ready to serve. 

We eat our chili with grated cheddar cheese on top. 

For the corn bread we used boxed this time but we have used the recipe on the bag of corn meal also. Or you can buy it already, made your choice. 

Let your chili cool in the bowl before eating. Dutch ovens keep food hot for a long time after the heat has been turned off. 

Enjoy! 
 

​It’s that time of year again.

Fall is here, my favorite season in Upstate New York. The weather is changing, it’s starting to get cooler at night and the leaves are starting to change. And deer season is pretty much here. My husband gets really serious about his hunting. He has started training the dogs and has started shooting his bow. 
Butt I’m not complaining because he really loves hunting and I don’t mind it either, but since training season opened back up in July, its been so hot durning the day and not cooling off much at night that my husband has had no desire to train the dogs and get them ready for the late summer and fall hunts. This seems selfish of him but really it’s better for the dog to not be ran so much in the heat, especially since Jack is about 8 years young. Jack does not act like he is old, he still acts like a young dog. 
Whatt my husband concentrates more on in the second half of September, after the big Nor Easter hunt is over, is getting ready for archery season; shooting his bow, making sure it is sighted in and shooting properly. 
Hee shoots his bow for 45 minutes to an hour every day after work at all different distances off our back deck. And my daughter loves being outside so we will go watch for a little bit, but she also gets upset when my husband goes outside without her. It’s kinda cute. 
Whatt do I do while he is shooting his bow? Most nights I will stand outside with him holding the baby and we talk in-between him taking shots and retrieving his arrows. This is nice because most of the time we plan dinner and or our plans for the week or weekend. Or we just talk about what is ever on our minds. Then I usually go inside with the baby and get things ready to make dinner and play with our daughter and do laundry while he finishes shooting his bow.
Byy the way our daughter is 12 months old she really isn’t a baby any more but she still is to me. 
Mee going outside while he is shooting his bow is one way I show him I support him hunting even though he will be home even less until deer season is over, or until our freezer is full. I could archery hunt also, because I did take my archery safety course too when I was younger but I don’t, for two main reasons:

  1. I don’t have a bow. I haven’t shown enough interest in hunting the last few years or so to justify buying a bow for myself.
  2.  He loves archery season. And he is good at it. He fills our freezer mostly during archery season, so why would I take that away from him when I’m just not that into it and probably not as good at it. 

We depend on him filling his tags and putting deer in the freezer so we have meat for the year. We eat about 3-4 deer a year just the two of us and we do not buy any beef and we only occasionally buy pork and chicken.

Deer season is very important to us and it’s a good thing my husband is a very avid hunter because it saves us a lot of money not having to buy meat. 

Pumping at Work

If you are currently pregnant and plan on breastfeeding and pumping while at work you should probably read this. Its never too early to get organized.

Pumping at work isn’t easy for everyone and it is a lot easier when you have support from your coworkers, your supervisor, manager and director. The two hospitals that I have worked at while breastfeeding, support breastfeeding 100% and I pump 3 times a day while at work. That is a lot and I am lucky enough to be able to do that. But I also need to pump 3 times a day while at work to keep my supply up.

Lets go back to while I was still pregnant. If you plan on breastfeeding you should check to see, before you have your little bundle of joy, if your health insurance will cover in full an electric breast pump. Most insurances today do, however they usually only cover a single not a double. You can usually pay extra for a double or you can find out what durable medical equipment  (DME) suppliers your health insurance participates with and you can call around to find out if any only offer a double pump for the cost of a single or find one that offers a double at a reasonable price. I was lucky enough to find a DME supplier that only offered a double without paying extra. Some health insurances will allow you to get your breast pump from Target Pharmacy, mine did not.

Create a Target Baby Registry

Before I went back to work I went crazy on Pinterest pinning and reading so many posts about what I should bring and what I absolutely need to pump at work. I was nervous going back to work and I didn’t want to, I wanted to stay home with my new little bundle, but what mother actually wants to go to work after just having a baby?

After spending countless hours on Pinterest and asking my working mom friends that breastfed,  I finally came up with a list of things I thought should be in my pumping bag.

  • Breast pump (obviously)
  • Breast pump parts (another obvious need)
  • Breast milk storage bags or bottles
  • Pen
  • Something to cover up with
  • Towel to clean up
  • Wipes
  • Hands free pumping bra
  • Breast pads
  • Cell phone
  • Microwave sterilizing bags
  • Hand pump
  • Cooler with ice packs
  • Some type of cream to releive sore nipples
  • Bag to carry everything in

After packing a lot of stuff in my pumping bag and pumping 3 times a day while at work for about a month I realized there was some things that I had in my bag that I didn’t use so I came up with a list of things that I need and use.

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Obviously my pump and parts came with me every day. I have a Medela Pump In Style Advance (pictured above) and similar to this one. The style I have has a cooler built into the bag and the storage area really isn’t that big. So I carry a second bag.

This is what is in my actual pump bag:

  • Extra Membranes because they can break easy if your not paying attention while cleaning your pump parts
  • 9 Volt Spare Battery Pack with Padded Case for when I have to pump in the car or where I don’t have easy access to an outlet
  • Medela 24ct Quick Clean Breastpump & Accessory Wipes these are great for when you don’t have access to a sink to wash your pump parts
  • Extra Nursing Pads
  • Hand towel for cleaning up any milk that may drip on me, because yes it does happen
  • Small tube of nipple cream that the hospital gave me. I really didn’t use it much because you have to wipe it off before you breastfeed or pump. A friend told me that the best thing to put on sore nipples is your own milk and let it air dry.
  • The hand pump attachment that came with my pump.
  • 2 caps for the bottles I pump into just in case I run out of milk bags kept in a zip lock bag to keep them clean

I carry two bags because my pump has a strap and isn’t exactly very small so in my other bag I have:

  • Milk bags — I like both of these Up & Up Milk Storage Bags and Lansinoh Milk Storage Bags
  • Sharpie or a pen. I found using a Sharpie works better than a pen on the plastic bags.
  • Another hand towel
  • Shoe box size storage container to wash my pump parts in and store them in so they can air dry
  • More nursing pads
  • Small bottle of Dawn Dish Soap, I like the original blue kind, but any dish soap will do so you can hand wash your pump parts.
  • It all goes in a Vera Bradley Market Tote. The plastic storage container fits perfectly in there and there is room for extra.
  • Then of course my cell phone so I can look at pictures of my baby or look at Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. I pump for 10-15 minutes at a time which is why I always have my phone with me because it helps pass the time faster.

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I also bring a drink with me when I pump, (usually water sometimes herbal or decaffeinated tea) because I get very thirsty from pumping, don’t worry its normal. It seems like a lot to carry with you every time you pump but its 100% worth it to feed your child the best thing you can give them.

If you have questions feel free to ask in the comments.

 

How I Started Using Essental Oils

Fall of 2014 I decided that I wanted to live simply and more healthier and in part of that I wanted to start making some of my own skin care products, so of course I turned to Pinterest. That’s when my cousin’s wife noticed me pinning a lot of DIY Beauty ideas that use essential oils, so she invited me to an “Essential Oils 101” class and that is where my mother and I were introduced to Young Living Essential Oils.

I love using essential oils but I have to be honest I really just started using them within the past year or so and that’s because when I first started I was experimenting with making lip balms and hand salves and doing research on what oils would be best for my skin… And then I got pregnant…

I didn’t have an oily pregnancy for 2 main reasons, 1) I didn’t know what was safe to use besides Lavender and 2) I couldn’t stand the smell of Lavender. Since I have given birth to my beautiful daughter, I now like the smell of Lavender again.

It’s funny how your body reacts to things while growing a little human inside it.

But anyway I have resumed using oils including on my daughter, which I started using them on her when she was about 2 months old, they were very diluted. I now have an oily baby and an oily breastfeeding experience. And essential oils have been a life saver for me  while breastfeeding. The reason they have been a life saver is because I have seasonal allergies and you are limited on what OTC medication you can use that wont cross into breast milk or affect your milk supply. I also don’t want to take anything while breastfeeding if I don’t have to. I also used them to support my immune system so during flu and cold season I could decrease my chances of getting the flu or a cold. For the most part it worked. I also got a flu shot.

What I used to support my immune system and help keep my allergies under control is Thieves, Lavender and Lemon essential oils.

Thieves diluted (can’t remember how many drops) in V-6 oil in a 5 mL roller bottle, used on the  bottom of my feet twice a day. Thieves Oil Blend and V-6 Oil are Young Living’s own blends.

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Lemon and Lavender diluted (can’t remember how many drops) in fractionated coconut oil in a 5 mL roller bottle used 2-3 times a day on the bottom of my feet. I also diffused Lemon and Lavender (2-3 drops each) at night for 30 minutes to an hour.

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If you are interested in trying Young Living Essential Oils you can buy them by going to my Join My Team page where you can choose to be a retail customer or become a distributor by entering 2229216 in the enroller/sponsor area at check out.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and the information on this page has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnoses, treat, prevent or cure any disease or aliment.

First Blog Post

Hi, I’m Brittany. I live in upstate New York with my husband and beautiful Baby Girl, and a few dogs. I work full time as a medical coder and when my husband isn’t working his full time job he is most likely hunting, fishing or training coonhounds.

Why did I decide to start a blog? Well honestly it’s something different for me and I love to share my experiences. And… It’s stepping out of my comfort zone!

I’m not a writer and I never have been, I hated English class in school. But I really truly enjoy sharing my love for horses, dogs, my husband’s cooking, being a working mom and breastfeeding.

I have one horse, Buddy, and I am fortunate enough to be able to keep him at my parent’s house; he is green broke and my goal is to have him finished by the end of 2017.

But besides my love for horses and dogs I also care a lot about what I put in and on my body, which is why I use essential oils, but there are some products that I refuse to stop using. But my biggest reason for caring so much about what I put in and on my body is because of my daughter. It started when I was pregnant because I did not want to gain a lot of weight but also because whatever I put in or on my body is also going into my daughter’s body. And since I am still breastfeeding I still care about what could be going into my daughter’s body. It has become a lifestyle for me.

So this is my life of being married to an avid hunter, being a working mom and chasing a toddler all while trying to keep a wellness lifestyle and take care of a few dogs and a horse.

Thank you for visiting my blog!!

Brittany