Roasted Pumpkin Seeds and Silly Mummy.

Happy Halloween! Our family Loves Halloween and I thought I would share a little insight, and a fun recipe to celebrate!

Believe it or not, I have actually learned a lot about myself and my family over the years about Halloween.

First of all, it is by far our favorite holiday. We decorate the house from top to bottom, and my boys basically wear their costumes every single day the entire month of October.

We are lucky enough to live in a very family friendly neighborhood that gets a TON of action on Halloween. In the past, every year we would have a Halloween party where we would invite all of the kiddos’ friends over to eat and play, then head out to trick or treat.

The past couple of years though, I have dreaded Halloween.

I had gotten so caught up in the idea of the perfect Halloween experience for my kids, that it wasn’t fun anymore.

We would literally try to hit up every single Halloween related event within 10 miles of our house. Ok, maybe that was an exaggeration but you know what I mean.

My oldest son has a lot going on in his little brain, and he tends to melt down when he gets overstimulated. In the past, we would try to hit every carnival or Halloween activity under the sun only to have epic meltdowns and sleepless night afterward.

So this year we decided to just chill. We went to a carnival for the school in our neighborhood on Friday night and just chilled as a family on Saturday and Sunday crafting and pumpkin carving. We kept the expectations low, and honestly, it was so much fun.

Turns out that quality is better than quantity. Who knew? So while the scope of the celebrating has devolved, the enjoyment has definitely increased

Now for the FOOD. Here is a super simple but delicious recipe for some savory roasted pumpkin seeds, let me know what you think!

Savory Pumpkin Seeds and a Silly Mummy

This is ME!

Hey guys! How are ya? How was your weekend? I don’t know about you but my little mind has been buzzing lately and I have been doing a lot of writing!

I thought before I started sharing some new posts, this would be a good time to pop in and reintroduce myself to you.

For those of you who have been around the past few years, thank you! I love you!

working on some exciting new content for ya!

For the rest of ya, I am Betsy, a thirty-something neurotic Jewish boy mom living in sunny San Diego. My hobbies consist of….. oh wait, I have children I don’t have hobbies.

I do love all things food and exercise related. We are huge Disney dorks and try to go as much as possible.

As for this bloggie, I started back in 2016. I was feeling very burned out at work and creatively stifled. I needed an outlet, and almost as a joke came up with “Flabbutfab” and the blog that followed.  I was an elementary educator for 12 years, spending the last 4 working in special education. At the end of the school year in June of 2016, I took the plunge and left the school district I had been working at since 2004. I was 35 and wondering what was next.

I would definitely say it was the scariest thing I have ever done. I thought I had to immediately be doing something, so I tried quite a few avenues. I did some educational consulting and training and took a stab at direct sales, but I really suck at convincing people to buy things from me. I spent a little time in the private sector working with a company that provided ABA Therapy, but still, it wasn’t right. The hours I was working kept me from being around for my kiddos and my oldest son was having a lot of problems in school.

At the end of last year, my oldest son (the one in the back!) was diagnosed with Dyslexia and ADHD. I knew I need to refocus and use my skills from the classroom at home. I am working really hard to support him in school and emotionally, so I really needed to be around for him after school.

What I’ve realized is that right now, I am needed most as a mom and a wife. My husband has a very demanding job and works a LOT. I need to make sure I can support him and the boys as he provides for our little family.

But I had always worked in some form or another and was feeling very lost at first. I felt like I needed something tangible to show that I was a productive human. Funny how keeping two children alive doesn’t do that, right?

After I stopped working outside of the home I spent a solid few months doing absolutely nothing. There were some days I took the kiddos to school and then came home and got right back in bed with Netflix and a bowl of popcorn. It was actually much harder than you would think. I know, world’s tiniest violin. But for a person who has gone non stop their entire lives, slowing down is hard. You feel lazy and guilty, and you eat way too many of the kids’ snacks.

But I needed it.

I needed it so badly. Having that time to rest and recharge after so many years of living in fight or flight mode (I won’t even get into some of the personal stuff we went through over the past few years) it gave me the opportunity to reflect on my life, my passions and what would make me happy. So what’s the point of this rambling?

Because I feel like a lot of mamas out there can relate.

One thing I do know I love doing is sharing my thoughts with you on this blog. So while I may be all over the place from my emotional meltdowns to party and travel tips, I from now on will be unapologetically me sharing with you. I am sure professional bloggers would be horrified how inconsistent I am or confused about what my niche is.

To them I say GFY.

It’s Betsy- a chick who is multi-talented and all over the plays and an overall wild and crazy gal

Cue This Is Me from The Greatest Showman

Talk to you very soon,
Bets

Flablife Update

Hey, friends! Happy Hump Day! Can you believe it has been just over 2 years since I started this silly blog?!

I decided to put together this post after I shared a pic on Insta that seemed to resonate with some of you, and I wanted to expand on it a little, no pun intended!

To say that I’ve been a yo-yo dieter is an understatement. While I dieted and exercised all throughout my post-high school years, it was always 10lbs here and there, nothing too crazy. I was also an avid runner and enjoyed a pretty balanced lifestyle, and by balanced I mean lots of beer and burritos followed by Lean Cuisines. But hey, I was in my 20’s and it was WAY easier to drop 5-10lbs in a few weeks.

It wasn’t really until I got pregnant for the second time did I have a much harder time losing the weight, leading me to utilize some less than healthy weight loss methods. To give you a little understanding, I created this nifty timeline to document my ups and downs with the scale.

July 2009- +50lbs, pregnancy #1

2009-2011 -35lbs, healthy diet and exercise

2012 50+ lbs, pregnancy #2

2012-2013 -30lbs, Kaiser Diet (7: 80 calorie shakes/day)

2013 +10lbs gain

2014-2015 -30lbs popping diet pills and eating nothing, along with zero exercise (SO bad, I know!)

2016 +20lbs, due to depression and Postmates.

2017 Another year, another 20lb loss, then gain.

2018 So far, down about 5lbs, working out consistently, happy and not trying to focus so much on the scale.

In case you were more visual, I put together a gallery of sorts to document the fun:

 

I have really been working hard on myself these past few months and trying to identify a lot of my triggers that cause me to overeat and self-sabotage.

Not to say that it’s easy and I’m some crazy enlightened soul, but there definitely has been a shift in my mindset.

That said, losing weight is SO hard. Especially with children, and family, and friends, and parties, and spouses, and, well, LIFE!

But if I can finally start to get my shit together, then anyone can!

I am not yet where I want to be, but I know where I’m going and I am definitely looking at this as a lifestyle, not a diet. (Jesus, how cheesy am I?)

Are you a Yo-Yo dieter? When/ why did things finally click for you? Or are you still on the journey? Tell me!

Talk to you soon!

Betsy

10 Helpful Thanksgiving Tips

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is less than a week away?!?! This year has flown by!

Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. I have had the honor of taking over hosting from my grandmother who did it for over 50 years. And I wanted to share a few of things I’ve learned.

  1. Keep it simple! This is not the place to get super high brow on your family. Stick to the faves and if you want to add 1 new dish or 1 new dessert to your repertoire that’s cool, but this probably isn’t the time to test out any new techniques you saw on Iron Chef.
  2. Break up your grocery shopping. A few weeks before buy all of your pantry items like the potatoes, onions, frozen veggies, canned goods, etc. Then the Sunday or Monday before, grab all of your perishables and any last minute items. I promise this will make your life much less stressful. While you might think it’s a hassle to make two trips to the store, trying to get everything on your list in one stop is daunting. I guarantee that you will forget something and inevitably have to make another trip to the store anyways.
  3. On Thanksgiving day, all you should be preparing is the turkey and gravy. I know so many people who wake up at 4 am to start prepping for this gigantic meal. But here’s the thing, potatoes, stuffing and green beans are very sturdy sides and can easily hold up for a day or two in the fridge. I make all of my sides and desserts on Tuesday and Wednesday. Then on Thanksgiving Day, I am freed up to hang more with the family and I feel less overwhelmed.
  4. When cooking for a large group, use two birds that are a bit smaller than one giant turkey. It will take less time to cook assuming you have a double oven, and since the bird is smaller it is much juicier.
  5. Dust the turkey with sweet paprika right before you toss it into the oven. This gives it a nice brown crust.
  6. Always pat the bird dry and let stand at room temp 30 mins before putting it in the oven for 15 mins/ lb.  (375 is my preferred temperature)
  7. If you make your own whipped cream, which really is a must: sweeten with confectioners sugar: I️t contains cornstarch which will act as a stabilizer.
  8. Do not reinvent the wheel. Coco’s or Marie Calendars can bake way better than me! So do the semi-homemade hack; buy the pie and make the whipped cream.
  9. I found that the little ones are not big fans of pie, so I always have an alternate dessert like ice cream or chocolates for the kiddos.
  10. Remember, at the end of the day this holiday is about and enjoy spending time with your loved ones above all else. Hiccups will happen, but that’s life!

    (A few pics of past Thanksgiving dinners.)

Are there any tried and true tips you have? I would love to hear them!

Have a wonderful holiday friends! xo Betsy

Did You Miss Me?

Hey there! It’s been a minute since I’ve been on my little bloggie. We’ve had a LOT going on around here the past 2 1/2 months. Lots of changes, and thankfully all positive!

The boys are fantastic! The school year flew by, and we are looking forward to lounging by the pool, and of course a little adventure to our happy place!

But the two biggest changes are:

1) I am back to work full time.

I left the classroom exactly a year ago. After 12 years of teaching elementary school, I made the decision to resign. This was not an easy choice but I was no longer being fulfilled with what I was doing. I knew if I didn’t take that leap and walk away, I would continue going through the motions and end up miserable. I am still working with kiddos but in a much different realm.

After I left my job I struggled to find my groove. It was a very uncomfortable time for me. I have always been a person who measures her self-worth by the number of items crossed off my to-do list each day. Without the routine of a regular work schedule, I really began to flounder, and stress eat!

There’s a saying: “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.”

That. Is. Me.

Not that having 2 children didn’t keep me busy, but I needed something that was my own, and I crave routine. It was a very hard transition, and while terribly uncomfortable, it was much needed.

About a month into my new job, I had a sort of a-ha moment.

I immediately called my mom (of course) and shouted into the phone: “I’m back!!!” After a very long hiatus, I finally feel like the old me.

2) The scale is FINALLY moving in the right direction!

I definitely feel that when I started focusing more on what I needed to feel fulfilled, things started falling into place, that including my wellness journey. I am not yet all the way to where I want to be but I am a helluva lot closer than I was six weeks ago. Booyah!

So yea, that’s what I’ve been up to. Any big changes in your life?

Talk to you soon!
Betsy

4 Quarters or 100 Pennies?

Have you seen this quote making the rounds on Facebook recently?

Over the past weekend, it made me think…

My baby Wyatt turned five on Friday. He was so excited and we had a jam-packed weekend of celebrating him. We ate dinner at Corvette Diner, and spent the weekend at Legoland with family.

A few days before his birthday I ran into a momma from our previous nursery school. During the conversation, the topic of Wyatt’s birthday came up. She asked me if I was having one of my “famous” blow out birthday parties.

You see, I have garnered quite the reputation for having over the top parties for my kiddos.

When I told her I just wasn’t up to it this year, she gave me a look of disappointment.

This made me think about whom I was throwing the party for and why I had absolutely zero desire to plan one this year?

Which brings me back to the subject of 4 quarters versus 100 pennies.

This goes to the fact that I have spent way too much time and energy in the past trying to impress others. I was killing myself trying to make everything “perfect.” Details and particulars that my son, the birthday boy, the person who it should all be for, could care less about.

I’m over it.

This was the first year that I focused my energy completely on my son and enjoying him and our little family. Honestly, it was one of the most delightful birthdays we have celebrated together.

This isn’t to say that I will never throw another party, but the focus will not be on whether I have fantastic goody bags and Pinterest-worthy decorations.

This is not an issue of mommy wars or mean girls, this is just ME coming to the realization that I am done doing things for the wrong reasons.

This goes beyond birthday parties. It’s about cutting the fat and not giving into the social expectations put on us.

What I’m saying is, from now on I will do me, and you do you, ok? Cool.

So happy birthday kid, may we all be a little bit wiser this year.

Do ya feel me? Have you had any a-ha moments like this recently?

Talk to you soon!

Betsy

Why We Ditched Gluten

My youngest son Wyatt had quite a health scare when he was 2.

We just assumed that his fussiness with certain foods was age appropriate. He seemed to only want typical kiddo junk food like mac and cheese. He loved milk, yogurt, apple sauce. Basically anything soft and easy to eat.

But one night just two weeks after his second birthday Wyatt was super fussy and refused to eat any dinner. I was frustrated but figured he would eventually get hungry enough to eat.

Continue reading Why We Ditched Gluten

Ready. Set. Clip.

My husband Jeremy likes to keep his hair, lets just say, short. Like, “honey you didn’t tell me you were planning on enlisting” short.

In the past I would give him his haircuts myself with his old set of clippers, but they were always so hard for me to handle and I would inevitably goof up. So every 3 weeks he heads to Supercuts, and let me tell you those $20 buzz cuts add up!

But recently Andis sent me one of their DIY hair kits to try.

Continue reading Ready. Set. Clip.