This Time Tomorrow

WOMAN | WIFE | MOM | JUSTIFIED BY FAITH

Coconut-Almond-Oat Protein Bars

Food, Health & FitnessStephanie GorskyComment

I was looking for something quick, wheat free and easy to make for my son one day and couldn't find a recipe that I liked, so half copied one and half made it up myself. They're delicious! We eat them as snacks or with vanilla ice cream as dessert.

Hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

2 1/2 c 'Only Oats' rolled oats 1 c all natural peanut butter 1/2 c organic honey 1/2 c coconut oil 1/4 c pure maple syrup 1/2 c coconut shreds 1/2 c slivered almonds 2 tsp cinnamon (optional) 1/4 c hemp hearts (optional)

 

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Grease glassware pan with butter (or coconut oil to make it dairy free).

Heat peanut butter, honey, maple syrup and coconut oil in a large pot on low heat until melted.

Add in oats, coconut, almonds and hemp hearts and stir until all combined.

Sprinkle cinnamon on top (if you're making it a dessert, you could drizzle melted carob chips or regular baking chips).

Put into pan, flatten, put in fridge for 5 hours and v-o-i-l-a!

 

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Xx

Green Monster Muffins

Food, Health & Fitness, KidsStephanie GorskyComment

I posted a muffin recipe to my Instagram today and got some requests for the recipe, so I figured it's been a while since I've blogged, why not do a post specifically for them! It's becoming more and more tricky to get my toddler to eat greens so these muffins are my current go-to. Next time I make them, I'm going to experiment with adding kale and carrots to it! I call them 'Green Monster' muffins because my son is currently obsessed with funny looking monsters and anything dinosauresque. I'll do to get him one step closer to loving greens!

Green Monster Muffins

Green Monster Muffins courtesy of The Green Forks.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour (a friend of mine has had success with a spelt flour blend)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup canola oil (I use avocado oil; my friend has had success with coconut oil) 
  • ¾ cup milk (I use coconut milk) 
  • 1 (6 ounce) bag fresh baby spinach
  • ½ cup mashed banana (from about 2 bananas)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners.
  2. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl: flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a blender (or I use a food processor), place oil, milk, and spinach. Blend on high for about 30 seconds or until completely puréed. Add banana and vanilla; blend on low just to mix.
  4. Pour puréed mixture into dry mixture and fold together with a rubber spatula until completely combined.
  5. Fill muffin cups about ⅔ full and bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Forgiveness On Tap

OpinionStephanie GorskyComment

Forgiveness is a choice. I don't know about you, but I've never woken up on any day thinking, "I finally feel like forgiving (insert whatever you're angry at) today." Never have those words come from my mouth. If I waited for the right time to forgive someone, I'd still be upset with a whole slew of people right now AND I'm positive I'd have no friends left if they were all waiting for the right time to feel like forgiving me. I posted this quote to my blog a few weeks ago and it's been creeping up on me as a gentle reminder throughout the past couple weeks:

We have a picture of the perfect partner, but we marry an imperfect person. Then we have two options: Tear up the picture and accept the person, or tear up the person and accept the picture. J. Grant Howard

 

I've been challenged recently to extend that quote beyond the confines of a marriage and apply it to my personal friendships, people in the church, myself when dealing with...myself, family, etc. We all have a picture in our minds of what we want, expectations of how things "should" be and what we want our lives, or circumstances in it to look like. To be honest, we "should" on a lot of things in our lives. So, naturally, when someone comes along and either a) challenges us, or b) rubs us wrong the wrong way,

( g a s p )

How dare they!? 

In my search to find a quote to add in, I stumbled on a link to a book called, "Life Would Be Easy If It Weren't for Other People" - I literally laughed out loud. Why yes, yes it would. Just think about it for a second! You could make every decision on your own, you could eat whatever you wanted every night for dinner, you could be your own boss easily, your house would stay clean for longer than a millisecond, you'd have no one to worry about but yourself. You could literally do whatever you wanted, when you wanted and how you wanted. Hmm,

that sounds like a pretty lonely life.

Life is about people. People leading, loving and living with people. People are beautiful. Yes, we are complex beings. We are hard-to-understand and at the best of times, challenging. But, at the end of the day, people and all that they embody are so very beautiful.

Our differences sometimes make it difficult to see the beauty in every single person. But, would you really want everyone to be exactly like you? One of the most beautiful things about people is all the differences (opinions, mannerisms, personalities, etc.) that we each bring to the table. However, those differences (and more) can make it difficult to forgive. But, forgiveness isn't a feeling, it's a choice. If you're anything like me, you may feel entitled to receiving apologies in some situations. That is wrong. This is something I struggle with. Waiting for someone to apologize to you is not God's way. The bible talks clearly and frankly about forgiveness. In Matthew 18:21-22 , one of Jesus' disciples asks Him how many times he should forgive someone, Jesus replied, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times."  Now, Jesus isn't saying to literally keep track of how many times you've forgiven someone until you reach 77 then write them off, but to have a constant outpouring of forgiveness that's available to anyone who wrongs you.

Forgiveness on tap. Non-stop. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Eek. It's one thing to read it, write it out and repeat it, but what about living it? Forgiveness is hard. There are so many different circumstances in which people need to allow forgiveness into their lives; whether it's you needing to forgive someone who has hurt you deeply or you needing to forgive yourself for something you're carrying guilt for or you needing to forgive God. It's tough. It's messy. It's not easy. But it's reality and it's a choice that is left entirely up to you to take the first step. Don't go at it alone. Like I said, life is about people. We live in community with and do life with people every day. Invite someone (or I recommend Jesus) into your life to help you process forgiveness (without sharing all the juicy details of course, I'm in no way endorsing gossip/slander against other people; that's a whole other blog post).

End point: You'll never feel like forgiving. But, you need to. God commands us to and trust me, the freedom you feel in forgiveness is so worth leaving the bondage that resentment imprisons you in. I've been there many times, in situations that required a lot of effort on my part to actively forgive and some that were easier. Forgiveness gets easier as you make it a habit and apart of your lifestyle. We are truly only hurting ourselves staying angry. And that's so not the way we should be living life.

Xx

(Easy) Butternut Squash Soup

Health & FitnessStephanie Gorsky1 Comment

I LOVE butternut squash soup, but haven't been able to make it because we never had a food processor. This Christmas we won one at a Christmas exchange and I use it easily once or twice a week for soups, dips, smoothies, etc. Such a useful kitchen appliance! Today I made the yummiest (and easiest) butternut squash soup. Here's the recipe!

First, slice the squash vertically from top to bottom and scoop out all the seeds and stringy pieces. (Note: watch your fingers! The squash can be tough to cut through so just mind your fingers while you work)

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Next, line the squash on a baking tray. Brush some avocado oil (you can use coconut, canola, evoo, etc.), sprinkle with salt and pepper then FLIP them over so that they bake squash insides down. Bake at 375* for 40-45 minutes OR until (really) soft.

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Once it's fully roasted, you'll be able to scoop out the squash easily. Put it into a food processor, add vegetable broth (or chicken, doesn't matter!) and puree. Leave it in there while you sauté diced onions, butter and a tsp of oil in a frying pan. When the onions are soft, add them to the food processor puree and pulse a bit more.

Transfer your puree to a slow cooker, cook on low. Add (more) pepper, cayenne pepper or cumin, and garlic to taste. Serve whenever! Mmm.

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Crazy For Chickpeas

Food, Health & Fitness, OpinionStephanie GorskyComment
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One of my favourite (and easiest) snacks to make is spicy oven-roasted chickpeas. They're in my oven now so I figured I'd let the world in on its goodness.

Super easy,  yummy, healthy and filling!

I also only use three ingredients: avocado oil (EVOO works good too), cayenne pepper (you can use any type of spice to add taste; chili powder is delicious!), and salt.

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Wash off the chickpeas, pat them dry. Put them in a bowl and add the spice of your choice and salt. Stir until evenly blended - put them on a pan (with parchment paper) in the oven at 375-400* (depending on your oven) for 30-40 mins (depending on your oven). Let cool and enjoy!

Kids love them too!

It's Potty Time

KidsStephanie GorskyComment

You know you're a Mom when you hand make a potty chart for your child just to see his face light up when he gets to put a star on it for going pee-pee in the potty!

Potty

I love being a Mom and to Parker especially. He's basically decided that he wants to potty train himself, so I'm going with the flow. I didn't have a "he-must-be-trained-before-the-next-baby-comes" mentality - I didn't really care! What's the difference between changing one diaper or two? But, as always, he has surprised me. So, here we go. I don't know what I'm doing; I'm following his lead on this one.

Xx.

 

Must-Have Monday

Food, Health & Fitness, OpinionStephanie Gorsky2 Comments
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A friend introduced me to coconut oil this past spring and now, I couldn't imagine life without it. From cooking (baking, cooking, smoothies, etc.),  to beauty (moisturizer, make-up remover, teeth whitener, etc.),  to in your coffee (gives you a natural kick of energy to go with your caffeine and cleans out your insides at the same time), to skin protection (I use it on myself as sunscreen in the summer, not on kids though), to baby wellness (a natural diaper rash cream, dreaded cradle-cap remover, etc.)  - I use coconut oil in almost everything! At first I was intimidated by it, not really knowing what to use it for, and now I can't stop creating ways to use it. We buy this big tub from Costco {$17} and we're still on our first tub since June. {that's almost 8 months ago!!!}

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Here's a great list to get you started of ways you can reap some added health benefits by using coconut oil.

Xx.

What's On Your Nightstand?

OpinionStephanie GorskyComment

I'm currently reading 'Undaunted' by Christine Caine and am in love. If you have even 20 minutes a day to spare in this book, which is all I have to spare, you won't regret buying it! photo-198

 

We are all broken in some way. We all have wounds. Some of us use that as an excuse to do nothing, to serve no one, but rather to sit and nurse our misery. That's not what God wants, and not the model we see over and over again in the Bible. The biblical model is that God deliberately chooses imperfect vessels - those who have been wounded, those with physical or emotional limitations. Then he prepares them to serve and sends them out with their weakness still in evidence, so that His strength can be made perfect in that weakness. In fact, more often than not, it's our weakness that makes us capable of serving, because those we serve identify with our pain. As always: God works in us so that he can work through us.

 

She is a beautiful writer and passionate woman who is speaking out and standing up against injustice; she's lighting a fire underneath my 2014 already!

Click here to check it out on amazon.ca.

Happy Weekend!

Xx.

 

Not Your Average Banana Muffin

Food, Health & FitnessStephanie GorskyComment
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This week I was at a play date where my girlfriend served most delicious, moist banana chocolate chip muffins I've ever tasted! I had to have the recipe. I'll admit that when I saw the second from last ingredient on the list (spoiler alert: it's mayonnaise), I was scared. But apparently not scared enough, because I made them that night. They are DE-LICIOUS! Both my son AND hubby like them. That's a big win!

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You can get the recipe here. Invite me over when they're ready!

Xx.

 

Keep Calm and Parent On

Kids, OpinionStephanie Gorsky1 Comment
Day-votions for Moms

I've been able to be a bit creative with my schedule and carve out some 'me' time every morning to sit and enjoy a good book, dive into my bible, write in my journal (or my current obsession, to blog) or just sit in silence as I sip my coffee, which I often refer to as liquid perspective. It's my time to sit and think, and I cherish every second of it. Days get busy and filled with noise, as I mentioned in my previous post, it can get a little crazy around here! Which is why finding 'me' time is important. During my 'me' time a couple mornings ago, I was reading a devotional book (which I recommend, and you can look at here) that is written especially for Mom's. It's a little bit of daily encouragement, from one Mom to the other and feels so personal.

On that days reading she was talking about parenting our children through firmness and gentleness instead of anger. At first I giggled to myself - she clearly doesn't know my child! Disclaimer: I consider myself to be a fairly calm and gentle parent in the way that I interact with my son and how I discipline him. I've been very aware of the words I speak to Parker and how I respond to him in times when he needs redirection, but let me tell you: he is a button presser, both literally and figuratively! He is a persistent finder of things that he shouldn't be touching for his own safety, and he is a runner. Honestly, I've had people tell me that I should enroll him in sprinting because he's so fast. He can be a handful. And of course, I'm human; so, naturally, my first response when my toddler comes around the corner with a bottle of bleach in his hands is not one of gentleness or even near the spectrum of being calm. It's an instant what-are-you-doing-freak-out-don't-move-heart-attack-and-give-me-that moment.

Ok, so I can be dramatic.

But parenting can be extremely stressful at times! Children have a way of testing your authority in ways that does heat the moment at times. And my first reaction when my child has almost hurt themselves isn't relief - it's anger! "Why would you do that?", "You should know better!" But, should he really know better? The author in the book wrote something that stopped me dead in my tracks - an "ah-ha" moment. She wrote,

"Our children are just children, not little adults." 

 

GULP. Have I been parenting my child as though he has all the knowledge in his head that I do? I know bleach is dangerous and can be really harmful to him, but how in the world should I expect him to know that when it's the first time he's ever seen it? {sigh} My face became red with embarrassment as though she had been sitting in my living room herself and said it straight to me. What a simple thought that I'd actually never thought about. She also challenged me on why my initial reaction is to be angry. Did it make me feel superior? Am I being a prideful parent? Am I power hungry? Am I acting entitled?  Every mom in the world falls into not-so-gentle moods sometimes; we are young, we are tired, we are adjusting to stretching and ever-changing seasons in life - but what was the root of my sometimes angry responses?

"But we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children." 1 Thessalonians 2:7

 That verse is one the author referenced in her book, she then goes on to write this - which I couldn't do justice even attempting to paraphrase; you'll see why:

"Why would Paul use a mother's interaction between herself and her children as an analogy and example of how he had treated his fellow believers? Because gentleness is power under control. Gentleness is not a stick of dynamite with a short or long fuse. It is an explosive, powerful training tool with no fuse at all. When we allow the Holy Spirit to be in control, he will replace the fuse and remove the need to prove anything. Anger begets anger. Others - especially children - usually respond to gentleness." 

 

She explained that our children are our little mirrors. I would never want Parker's first reaction toward anything in life to be anger, but we as his parents need to teach him the correct response.

"Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry." James 1:19

There are times when I nail the gentle response thing as described in the bible. And then there are times when it doesn't even register with me (like the bleach incident) - And that's where God's grace comes in. I'm in no way shaming myself for making mistakes sometimes, but encouraging myself (and hopefully you) that we all fall short of being a stellar parent at times - but that's where God can come in and can fill the gap. We are all a work in progress. On days where I fall short, (and I do) there are lots of apologetic hugs and kisses going around - and lots of me saying "I'm sorry" or, "Mommy shouldn't have responded that way" to him. Children understand when you're saying sorry; as hard as it is for me to sometimes push those two words out of my prideful mouth, I'm teaching him a lesson in being humble and that it's OK to be wrong.

Do you know what the root is of your impatient parenting spirit at times is?

Don't answer it here. Just some food for thought!

Xx.

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Kids, OpinionStephanie Gorsky1 Comment
grandstandbeautybarberma

Parker is a serious boy. He loves all things dirty, loud and rough. His hair has been part of his personality since he was born, really; and grew into a little surfer shag! Amidst some suggestions from certain people around me, I held strong to his doo and wasn't planning on changing it anytime soon. That was the plan at least, until we stepped into the barber shop on Saturday. We asked for "just a trim". This wasn't our regular hairdresser; it was a last minute decision. He couldn't see under his bangs and the template I usually follow had overgrown so there was no way I could attempt it myself.

Here is how he started - the surfer shag!

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And, here's how we left - a little man cut!

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My heart was in my throat for about 15 minutes after we left. I had remained composed throughout the duration of the haircut, after all, the barber had started with the razor so there was no turning back, and no point in saying anything. After I stopped shaking, feeling physically ill and Kory talked me off the ledge, I realized that the sweet little Italian man that chopped off cut my little boy's hair had actually done me a favour in the long run. We definitely were not expecting this to be his version of "just a trim" (even Kory was a little white-faced), there was no way this hair cut was in our future for probably another year. And, it may seem silly to mourn over lost hair but,

this is my baby.

And that last little bit of "baby" I was holding on to was left on the floor of the barber shop yesterday. He is growing up and hitting milestones what seems like weekly - this is just another one. A little sad, but a whole lot of happy.

 

Xx