Peanut Butter Bombs: A Keto Friendly Dessert

Mike and I have a love-hate relationship with the keto-diet. We were on it once for a couple of months, we lost a good bit of weight but in the end, we decided that the diet was too rigid for us.  We have however kept a few of the recipes from that period of time in our repertoire. Things like the cabbage spaghetti we have at least once a month and my new found love for oven-baked chicken wings. Mikes favorite recipe though is one that can be used as a snack or dessert and is what they call a fat bomb. Basically, it's a small bite of healthy fats that help curb your sweet tooth and cut that snacky feeling. Most use things like coconut oil, avocado, cream cheese or other healthy fat. 

Mike's favorite version is a peanut butter fat bomb. He says one or two of these will help satisfy his snacky moods and his need for something sweet and I make sure to keep some in the freezer at all times. They are super easy to make, take very little time and last for ages once made if you keep them frozen.


Crunchy Peanut Butter Fat Bombs


Ingredients:

1/2 cup of coconut oil, melted
1 cup crunchy peanut butter (can use smooth if you like)
1-2tsp of  Stevia or similar sugar substitute

also needed:

ice cube tray
dishcloth to use as a drop cloth




Directions:

Melt the coconut oil in a microwave-safe dish (takes about 30 seconds tops) and stir in the peanut butter till well combined.  Then add in the sweetener and stir well. 



Once well-stirred pour into your ice cube tray. I always place my tray on top of a dishcloth to make clean up easy in case there are drips.  This recipe makes just enough to fill one tray but can easily be doubled or tripled. You can also add in mini chocolate chips or even coat the bottom of the tray cubes with melted chocolate to give it a peanut butter cup fill. 


Place in the freezer until frozen solid, pop out and store in a freezer bag. Keeps well for at least six months, though they never last that long in our household.

Because of the coconut oil even when frozen they aren't rock hard and quickly thaw when at room temperature.
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The Roller Coaster ride of August: From Oh crap to Hell Yeah to My Heart Breaking

It's been a couple of weeks since I've sat down to write and have actually been able to make the words come. I've tried a few times to write a post but never got past the blinking cursor. It wasn't so much a writer's block as it was me still emotionally processing all that's gone on.

Let me start at the beginning with the Oh Crap... 



Kyla started her junior year of high school on August 14 by the next day she was having severe anxiety attacks. They were bad enough I got two different calls from the school.  At first, we hoped it was a side effect of the Accutane medication she was on but after having her stop it and giving it time to leave her system she was still having issues. During this process, she started talking about wanting to move back in with Jim and Julie (her bio-dad and step-mom). We discussed things, the pros and cons, what all it would entail, and so on. After a few days of discussing she decided she'd wait till next year to move.

With that hurdle passed I started focusing on ways to help her deal with the anxiety attacks she was having. We took her to the doctor, got her started on some medication to help control it, and I taught her some ways to help calm herself during these attacks. We decided, after many talks, that a lot of the issue was the sheer size of the student body. There are over 3,000 students in the high school alone, the campus looks like a small community college and it's crazy going from class to class.

Now let's move to the Hell Yeah...

So there we were, two and half weeks into school finally coming out the other side of the emotional rollercoaster ride that had us all on edge and we received some amazing news.


A little background first...

Mike works for Walmart ISD, he's a software developer. A few years ago the company was gracious enough to allow Mike to work remotely so we could move from Bentonville, AR back to Northeast Louisiana to be near Kyla and the rest of our family. This was done knowing it would severely impact his career as there was a cap on how far he could be promoted. 

Flash forward 6 1/2 years...

After years of giving a 110 %, many great evaluations, and sheer luck that the company has changed its policies regarding remote worker positions Mike was promoted to a manager position. This is something he always wanted but we honestly never thought would happen unless we moved back to Bentonville.

I am so very proud of my husband. He gave up a lot for me to move us back closer to my daughter for those pivotal years of her life and he did it with very little grumping.

Things were going so great then My Heart Broke...

The day after Mike's big promotion I was knocked over by more news. Up to this point, Kyla had been doing better, the medicine was making a noticeable difference and she seemed happy. Which is why it bowled me over when minutes from picking her up from school she told me she wanted to move in with her dad and swap schools now.



I really thought we'd made it past this hurdle and that I had a year to prep for my daughter leaving.

Y'all I'm not exaggerating when I say my heart broke. I knew there was no way I could stop her, she'll be 17 in just a few short days, which means she old enough to make this choice for herself. I might not agree with it but there was no logical reason for saying no. The school she wanted to swap too is a good one, her dad and step-mom are good people and while our parenting styles are different I have zero issues with her being there. But it was my baby, the little girl I'd left with her dad for the first eleven years of her life because it was the right thing to do, the big girl I moved my family for and welcomed with open arms and a weeping heart when she wanted to move in with us, the young lady I cried with as she struggled with being diagnosed with RP.

She told me this on a Friday by the next Wednesday she was gone. It moved so fast that I really didn't have time to process all of the emotions that came with it. It wasn't where or why she was moving but the fact that she was. I started this year thinking I had two years before my girl left the nest and within three weeks all that was changed. The next week was hard. I kept waiting to hear her moving around the house. Mike did the best he could to support me through it but he was facing his own issues as he transitioned into his new position and the loads of stress that added.

Things have finally started to slow down, I'm being able to breathe, my hearts mending and I'm learning to embrace having one less person in the house full time.

Now to just keep Hayley here until she's like 30...

That's reasonable right?

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Happy Homemaker Monday ~ Week of September 9

Wow...it's been a minute since I've posted. Things have really been chaotic here. Lots of staggering life changes, sickness, and just business. I'm gonna write up a post for tomorrow going into it, it's just too much to do here on a Happy Homemaker Monday post.

I spent most of last week sick with a head cold and managed to get over it just in time for Mike to leave for a week-long business trip yesterday. Which leaves just me and Hayley here for the next few days. Lots of girl time!

Now onto this week's Happy Homemaker post hosted by Sanda at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom.



The Weather ~

Still hot. Like really hot. We've been reaching triple digits pretty consistently the last few weeks, though this week it looks like we will just be reaching upper 90s (before the heat index which will make it feel like 100+)


On My Reading List ~

I haven't gotten any reading done the last few weeks, need to fix that so I don't fall behind in my goal for the year. This month's books are:


On my TV ~

I've been rewatching a lot of older movies we have on our media server or that I'm finding via our cable providers On Demand service.  Things like the X-Men movies, the Resident Evil series and such.

Meal Ideas this Week ~

  • meatloaf, potatoes, veggies
  • shrimp alfredo
  • ham/cheese po-boys
  • bbq chicken drumsticks
To-Do This Week
  • bring more donations to Goodwill
  • bring stuff to the recycling center
  • 4-H meeting
  • Hayley's allergy shots
  • get back to schooling regularly 
What I'm Crocheting ~

I've been really busy in the crochet department in the last few weeks. I finished my penguin and a floppy cat. I've also picked up the Christmas ripple blanket again, I'm about 55 rows from being done. 




Outside of the blanket project, I'm also working a set of fruits and veggies for my little niece. I'll post pictures of those when they are all done. 

Looking Around the House ~

It's in need of a quick pick up. My crocheting stuff is all over the living room, my kitchen desk is a massive dumping spot, and the kitchen needs lunch put away and dishes done. 

From the Camera ~

Hayley took full advantage of being homeschooled last week and had her hair died a gorgeous magenta. I'm a touch jealous, to be honest. 


Hope you all have a wonderful Monday!
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Raising a Child With Retinitis Pigmentosa: Coming to Terms

*Over the next few weeks I'm going to tell our family's journey of raising a child who has a degenerative eye disease to raise awareness of RP and to let those who are going through their own trials and tribulations know they aren't alone. You can find part 1 here, The Diagnosis.*

Kyla was just a few months into her freshman year of high school when we started the process of confirming what we already knew, that she had retinitis pigmentosa (RP).


We'd noticed a significant decrease in her night vision a few months prior to the first optometrist we saw (the one who started the ball on getting her diagnosed) but as much as I love my child (and I do dearly) she can be a bit of a drama queen. After all, this is the girl who told her third-grade teacher I was dead from a car crash just so she could get extra hugs every day (at that time she lived with her bio-dad and stepmom during the school year in Louisiana while Mike and I lived in Arkansas near his work). So needless to say with her rememberable past we were a little skeptical when she started increasing her claims to how much she couldn't see at night.

You can't imagine how crappy I feel for not believing my child when she told her this. Even though we had a legitimate reason for our beliefs and the knowledge that catching the RP any sooner wouldn't have changed the outcome of her disease it still stings that I didn't listen and believe her when she needed me to.  We've used this as a teachable moment, for not only us as parents but for the kids as well. It taught them that we as parents can really screw up without meaning to, that we aren't perfect but that we can learn from our mistakes.



By the time we realized what was going on, Kyla was months into being a Rebelette (our schools version of a pep squad) and trying to navigate her first year of freshman. Her teammates at first were very confused and that also thought she was exaggerating. But these young ladies soon realized how serious the condition was and y'all they amazed me. They banded around her, even the ones who weren't overly friendly with her were helping her find her place on the field, making sure she wasn't running into things and such.

Still, despite the new support from her friends, teammates, teachers, and family Kyla had a really difficult time accepting what was happening to her. Here she was in the prime of her young life, starting the growing process of who she will become as an adult and she's faced with a disease that will hang over her for the rest of her life. Can you imagine being 16, just starting to face what growing up means and getting excited about what it has to offer to be told you have a disease that won't kill you but that will affect your everyday life from now until the day you die?


She's had to learn how to date differently, she can't do things like going roller skating or dancing because the way the lights flash on and off causes her sight to go out and she's terrified of running over people. The biggest blow for her has been her ability to drive. For now, she still has enough of her peripheral vision that she is safe to drive, however, because of the swelling that doctors are unable to get completely down her center vision is so blurry she can't pass the DMV's eye test.
For her to be just on the cusp of being old enough to do it, to be excited over the fact that her birthday was just mere months away and then to have it yanked away from her was the cruelest thing. It broke my heart to see her dreams of teenage freedom being crushed.

It's taken time to come terms with what having RP will mean for her.  Even if she is able to get her license she will have driving restrictions, she won't be able to drive in low light conditions (storms, early mornings, evenings, and such) and she won't be able to drive at night. We tested her eyesight in the evenings a few months ago, I let her drive to a local grocery store just down the road.  Between the 5 minute drive there and the 5 minutes in the store, the light had decreased enough that she couldn't see well enough to drive. A fact made very clear by the near plowing into a parking lot lamp. It scared her more than me and devastated her all over again. At that moment she realized just how much RP was taking from her.



She has good days and bad days. Some days she barely acknowledges what her future will be like. Other days she's overwhelmed by the sadness that creeps up on her. She's watched Jim (her bio-dad) her whole life go through this. She's watched him lose more and more of his peripheral vision as time progresses. In some ways, he's the only one who truly understands what she is going through.  He's a bit lost when it comes to being so young with it, he didn't start losing his sight till he was in his early 20s. But watching him over the years has given her an idea of what to expect and helps calm her a little.

Still, it's taking time for her, for us, to wrap our heads around the fact that she will not have the typical growing up experience.  And it's taking time for us as her parents to come to terms with the fact that no matter what we can't fix this. There isn't enough money in the world to make this better for her, there is no amount of medicine that will heal her. That's hard for a parent to accept.

I'm not sure what the future holds but I do know that no matter what we will learn to accept it and to deal with it.


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Happy Homemaker Monday ~ Week of August 19

Afternoon and happy Monday.

I meant to get this up this morning while Kyla was getting ready for the bus to pick her up but I didn't sleep well last night due to some allergy congestion and I was so tired. I ended up crawling back into bed for a bit. Then it was up and to a homeschool resource fair at a local library.

Our first week of homeschool (and Kyla in public) went rather well. Kyla's facing some anxiety but we think it may be related to some medicine she's taking for her acne. We should know better by the end of the week. Our weekend was rather slow, this weather makes it to where we don't want to get out and do much of anything. We did manage to get to Home Depot and pick up the supplies to get the hope chest's done. Now if the weather will just cooperate with me.

Okay, moving on to this week's Happy Homemaker Monday link-up with Sandra.



The Weather ~

It's still hot.
That's all I can really say. I'm sick of it. I'm sick of being sick of it.


On The Breakfast Plate This Morning~

I had cinnamon sugar toast for breakfast. A simple pleasure from my childhood that I love to share with my girls.

Right Now I Am ~

Ignoring all the housework I need to get done to write up this post really quickly.

On My Coffee Table ~

It's loaded down with pictures, cookbooks, Hayley's current library book, and some drink coasters.


On My Reading Pile ~

The Mark of Cain by Tom Knox
Outsider by Stephen King

Movies or Show's I Watched This Weekend ~

Finally finished up Jessica Jones. I think it ended rather well, sad it's over because I enjoyed the characters but I do think it had reached a point of closing.

I also watched an old Robin William's movie called Awakening. It was so very good and I highly recommend it. It's based on a true story during the summer of 1969 when a neurologist experiments with a new Parkinsons medicine to 'wake up' catatonic patients.

On The TV This Week ~ 

Mindhunter season 2
Preacher

And whatever I find On Demand that strikes my fancy.

Meal Options For The Week ~
  • roast beef
  • steak, sweet potatoes, asparagus
  • chicken 
  • pulled pork sandwiches
On the To-Do List ~

  • Housework (dusting, mopping, laundry, maybe wash the curtains)
  • Bath the dogs by Wednesday
  • School
  • Order homeschool shirts ASAP
  • Order one more photo album and try to get the rest of the photos sorted
  • Continue work on going through cookbooks
  • Get busy crocheting, two weeks to meet my goals for the month
  • Maybe go catch a movie this weekend with the family
Crocheting This Week ~

I am going to finish the penguin this week even if it kills me. I also want to get to work on the floppy cat that needs finishing. 

Looking Forward To ~ 

Cooler mornings and nights. Even though our days are still so very hot, the early mornings and late nights are more bearable. Which means there is an end in sight for this oppressing heat. 

Looking Around The House ~

It's a bit of a wreck right now. Mostly cluttered because of the photos everywhere but it's also things like the kitchen counters being dirty, kitchen desk being cluttered, recycling piling up and etc. The girls and I need to do a quick clean up this afternoon. 

From the Camera ~ 

Hayley and her first day 'back to school'. She loves she can listen to her music while doing school work. 


From The Blog ~

It was another very slow week of blogging. But I did get last week's Grocery Budget and Meals Ate post up. 

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