Breaking Bad Habits

We’ve all been there. We’ve all had those bad habits; the one’s that creep in when you are at a low point, or stressed, or too busy to really pay attention. Maybe it’s food, maybe it’s stress, maybe it’s your thoughts, whatever it is, they are the habits that can be hardest to break (and keep broken).

I’ve definitely succumbed to some bad habits lately. My food has not been the best between vacationing and the busy day to day that our month has been. My thinking has definitely hit some low points that have been hard to dig out of. My sleeping and exercising, hell my phone use, it’s kind of all started to add up to a whole lot of…bad habits and mess. I’ve been feeling like I need to…get my s*it back together and the best place to start that is…by breaking all those bad habits I’ve let back into my life.

I know I can’t be alone in this whole “life is hard, bad habits abound, I want to pull myself back together” phase, so I figured I would share a few blog posts on how I get myself out of a vicious funk and back on to my track. I’m going to do a post dedicated on breaking bad habits, getting organized (to include my routines which are new with a new house J), incorporating some self-care for busy schedules, and a look see into my rest of the year plans/goals. A little re center in time for Autumn to strike, right? I figured with school starting up for many of us (students and parents alike), now’s as good a time as any to…get our s*it back together.

So, how do we do this? We start with breaking the bad habits. Depending on what these habits are will dictate what your steps are. Let’s start by talking about our bad habits…

For me, the biggest bad habit that has really come back is my eating. I’ll admit I’ve been frequenting the junk food (chips and popcorn especially) and over the past two months I’ve probably had more soda than I’ve had collectively in the past year. It’s been a mess. I’m not going to go on and on about food, but basically it plays such a vital role in both our physical and mental wellbeing. When we are not nourishing our body properly, we can’t be expected to be at our best.

The second biggest bad habit that I’ve let really back in is my thoughts. We’ve had a…month. It hasn’t been BAD, nothing has really gone truly wrong, it was just harder than we expected coming back from vacation and jumping straight back into life. I don’t really want to talk about it, or complain about it (because it could have been much worse), but I’ll simply say that it was a little tougher than expected. And to be honest, at some points I reveled in that negativity a little too much. I constantly waged a battle with how I was feeling, and what I was actually thinking and wanting to feel. Perspective can be a b*tch basically. I hate to admit how many days I let those negative thoughts win and became a do nothing for the day. I’ll talk more about all of this (and our month) later.

So, we’ve figured out what our bad habits are (hopefully you’ve acknowledged yours in the comments). This is the most important. Once we pinpoint what the bad habits are, we can pinpoint where they come from and how to break them.

The next step is to figure out what kind of habit breaker are you, cold turkey or slowly back away. These are both fairly straightforward, cold turkey being stopping completely and slowly backing away meaning slowly cutting back on whatever those habits are.

For me, and like many others, I bounce back and forth. If it’s a food habit, I have to cut cold turkey, but most other things I ease out of slowly. In fact, most of the times if I have a bad food habit and cut it out, everything else seems to right itself in time (see how much of a role food plays?).

So, starting yesterday, Sunday August 25, 2019 the only junk food that is in my house is pre popped popcorn and any home baked goods that I choose to make. For me, if I don’t see it, I don’t want it. If it’s in my house, chances are it’ll get eaten. Now, you may be thinking that that is a random date to start making changes on, and it is in a way. Because you don’t want to wait for the start of a new month, or the start of a new year, or any other start. JUST START.

That’s the third step. Once you know what to do, do it! Don’t wait for any timeline, because when that timeline comes around chance are, you won’t do it. If you are in the mindset now of breaking those bad habits (and chances are if you’re thinking about this or reading this, then you are), then now is the time to start. Starting is easy!

If it’s a food thing, get rid of whatever. If it’s a thought thing, start tracking what you are grateful for every day. If it’s a stress thing, implement stress relieving techniques (my favorite is yoga or any form of exercise). Start journaling, write down the process, your thoughts, your feelings.

The final step to breaking a bad habit is to stick with it. Let’s be honest, the first week is easy. You are riding on that “I’ve got this” high and you feel great. The second week is relatively easy, you’ve still got that feeling going. It’s the third week. The third week those habits start to try and creep back in. DON’T LET THEM. If you make it through the third week without those bad habits, it only takes through the end of the fourth week before they are broken. Stick with it! Don’t get to week three and cave in to whatever it is. Stay strong and remember that you are strong enough to get through anything. Breaking those bad habits won’t break you and you’ll feel better on the other side.

So, what bad habit are you ready to break?

A Cuppa Cosy Adventure: Raw Milk Pasteurization

Recently we got the chance to stop and get fresh milk. We live in the rural countryside of Germany and the farmlands are everywhere. There are a couple spots somewhat near to us that offer these milk vending machines where you can get fresh milk. Not only is seeing this happen up close, it’s such a fun experience to use the vending machine, and then look around at the other goodies offered. In our area a liter of fresh milk was 1 Euro, 10 fresh eggs (from that morning!) we’re 3.50 Euro, apple chips were 2.50 Euro, and a jar of honey was 5 Euro. You are able to either bring your own milk bottles or purchase from them (I think to purchase was about 2 Euro, plus the Euro to fill them up). We had a fun little time filling our jars (we recycled 3 from our store-bought milk), saying high to the cows, and just generally looking at the different offerings and set up.

Super cool, right?!

One catch, it is Raw Milk. And by saying Raw Milk, what I mean is Unpasteurized Milk.

There isn’t really anything inherently wrong with raw milk, you can certainly drink it if you would like to, and in some cases it may actually taste better than store bought milk. BUT it basically hasn’t been “purified” of any bacteria or diseases that the cow may have or may have consumed prior to being milked. Again, each person is able to make the decision as to what they wanted to do, but for us, with our children being the main milk consumers in our house, I definitely wanted to pasteurize it before it was consumed.

A chance for another adventure for us!

Luckily enough, pasteurizing milk is something that you can do at home and is easy enough to do. At its core, pasteurization is simply heating the milk to a certain temperature for a certain amount of time and stirring. A lot of stirring. Once I realized just how simple and straightforward this was, I became all for it.

Monday morning, I pulled out my pot, using one of the thicker bottomed ones that already has a pretty good nonstick bottom (and that holds heat very well), grabbed a thermometer, and got to work. I used the low temp pasteurization method, which involves heating the milk to 145 degrees Fahrenheit and keeping it at that heat for 30 continuous minutes. If it falls below the 145 then you will need to start the 30 minutes over again. I erred on the side of caution, both not trusting my thermometer entirely and wanting to be extra safe, and tended to let my milk drift a little on the upward end of 145-150.


LOVED involving both boys in this process. It takes quite a bit of time at the stove, so fun to pick them up and have them watch or take a turn stirring 🙂

You will need to continue stirring the milk throughout the entire process as it will stick, scorch, and lump up if you do not. This means that if you choose to do this, you will need to have at minimum an uninterrupted hour of time. To do my 3 liters of milk (done 1 liter and then 2 liters), it took me about 2 ½ hours total time. Once the 30 minutes were up, the milk is then transferred from pot to a clean (sanitized) container for chilling and consumption. I think for the next round I will get a few larger pitchers or glass jars that are specifically for milk. You will definitely want to use a funnel as well to get from pot to container.

-6120453172414164475_IMG_5483Once all three were full I put them in the fridge to cool down so the boys could drink it. I ended up filling about 2.75 liters of milk (some splashed and such) and labeled each bottle with the batch info and date for my own knowledge. It took about 6 hours or so until it was cooled to drinking temps in our fridge.


In terms of taste- neither myself nor my husband noticed any difference. We did a comparison between a store-bought jar and our home pasteurized and while they didn’t taste identical, there wasn’t a super noticeable difference either. Most store-bought milk goes through the high temp pasteurization which already gives it slightly cooked taste (not overly so and we’ve all adjusted to that taste/don’t even notice it) and ours tasted fine when compared to it.

So, would I do it again? Absolutely! It was one of those really fun adventures and things to do with the kids (they were involved ever so slightly), and you can’t get any better than fresh milk. I’m curious though, after reading about what all it entails…would YOU do it? Let me know down below!

What I Eat In A Day – October 2018

Good morning! In September I talked about how I was going to do Sugar Free September (you can find that whole series HERE, HERE, and HERE). I’ve also talked about my struggle and recovery from an Eating Disorder (you can read that HERE). Quite a few people found that interesting and I’ve been thinking about incorporating some more “foodie” bits on my blog. I thought this would be as good a starting place as any. Today I am going to show you all of the food I ate in a day. I’ve seen this done before and I’ve oddly found it interesting and as a good way to get new food inspiration!

So, I recorded and took pictures of all of the food I ate in a day this past Thursday and am sharing it with you today (because why not?!). I’ve included drinks in this as well, although those aren’t too terribly interesting, mostly just tea and water.

Without further rambling introductory words, here we go…

Every morning I start off with water. I go between a Swell Type Bottle and a cup, but I usually try to start with at least 10-15 oz of water before I even sit down for breakfast.

IMG_7277Breakfast: Nothing too terribly exciting, I tend to stick with the standard of eggs for breakfast. This particular morning I decided to go for Scrambled Eggs with ground black pepper on buttered toast. I normally like to have some berries or melon with it, but we didn’t actually have any in the house on this morning. I drank a breakfast tea blend (a personal signature raspberry blend with some Scottish Breakfast mixed in) as well as some more water.
Mid Morning I have a second cup of tea, another personal loose leaf blend. It’s another berry based one.

IMG_7288Lunch: My favorite thing to eat for lunch is salads. I’m a big salad fan and find it a perfect halfway through the day meal. It’s filling enough, and a healthy go to. This is just a standard, almost garden salad. It’s got lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, croutons, parmesan cheese, and a yogurt (or dairy free) based dressing. Again, to drink I have some water.

IMG_7298Mid Afternoon: I tend to have a little bit of a snack in the mid afternoon. I am not necesarily very hungry, but it is a good pick me up when I am hungry. I try to keep any snacks I have light and healthy (although I have been known to have a cookie every now and then instead of fruit) and stick to fruit. I am a big pear fan and will normally chop one up to snack on as I work. I also typically have an earl or lady gray cup of tea.

IMG_7307Dinner: Ah, dinner. This is the time that I “shine”. I love to cook and love to make homemade meals for my family 6 out of the 7 nights a week. I try to vary it as much as I can, although we are all big Italian food fans. This particular evening was our Anniversary so I made a family favorite, Lasagna Stuffed Shells. These are super easy to do, relatively quick (minus the oven part), and like a said, always a big hit.

Dessert: I don’t always have dessert, in fact most nights I don’t, but we had picked out something special for our special day. We had a cheesecake factory Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake with a glass of Prosecco. It was a nice touch at the end of the day. Some nights I’ll have an evening cup of decaf or herbal tea.

There you have it! Not very thrilling I’ll admit, but I hope that with doing this a little more, you can get an insight and maybe some ideas for your own meals!


30 Day Challenge – The Conclusion

We are now- shockingly- in October! This means that my 30 Day Sugar Free challenge for the month of September has come to an end. You can read my “Intro Post” HERE, the Half Way Check In HERE, and I am now going to wrap things up in this post.

First off, I just want to say that I am impressed with myself. I knew that I had a decent bit of will power and if I set my mind to it, I could go the whole month without “cheating”, but I didn’t think that I would actually do it. That may not make sense, but I figured that I may have slipped up once or twice with a little piece of wafer, or something somewhere along the way, but NOPE. I went the whole month without cracking! (The thought did cross my mind though a couple of times). The only “sugar” I ate during the month was natural and in my muffins: honey (replacing cane sugar) and limited chocolate chips.

I’m not a big junk sugar eater as it is, so it shouldn’t surprise me that I made it the whole month. I have always preferred salty to sweet, but I saw myself starting to eat a little too much candy and instead of sticking to a piece of fruit, or some nuts for a snack, I was reaching for those sour patch kids or an Oreo. I just wanted to get back to the way I was snacking (if I chose to snack). I think that I have successfully done this.

I didn’t notice like a huge shift in my body, especially not as much as someone would who eats a lot more sugar than I do, but I did notice a little change here and there. I will say- the biggest change I would see would be Sunday Mornings when I woke up, I didn’t feel as “slow going” as I normally did.

Saturday nights used to be my like “sugar nights” where I would have a soda, it’s our “easy meal” night, so something maybe not the healthiest, and then we would do a movie so a snack to go with that. It was the one night that I would just not care as much. Sunday morning then was how could I do that to my body? For the past month I didn’t really have that question.

That isn’t to say that having a night every once in a while where you don’t care, or don’t worry about it, is a bad thing. I am a full believer in needing those times, BUT it was nice to not wake up at any point in time in this past month wondering why I ate so much junk.

So, after the 30 days, what do I plan on doing moving forward? Ah, not too many changes to make, realistically. I think the biggest thing will be cutting out my once a week soda and only have a soft drink once or twice a month. Like I said earlier, sugar isn’t typically a huge part of my day to day as it is, so soda was like my thing  on a weekend. Otherwise, I think I am in pretty good shape moving forward! Cutting junk sugar for good isn’t a total goal, I will definitely be indulging in some chocolate wafers every once in a while, but I think cutting way back is definitely the way to go! I feel like I am back in my good, healthy, clean way of eating.


30 Day Challenge – Half Point Check In!

It’s been about 2 weeks when I took a *mostly* Sugar Free 30 Day Challenge. You can read that post HERE. I’m about halfway through the month and I figured I would give a little update as to how it is going!

So my end goal was to do a complete re set of my body when it comes to sugar. I found myself eating a lot of candy and junk and I wanted to quite with that. Now, sugar is in a lot of items, and our body sugars are controlled by a lot of different food groups (carbs is a big one), so I decided to narrow down the idea of Sugar Free.

I’ve only cut out what I would call “junk” sugar, so candy, soda, cookies, etc. The only “treat” that falls into that category I’ve allowed myself is Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins. This was a great alternative as the sugar in the muffiins is from the chocolate chips (only ½ cup for the whole batch), honey (instead of straight sugar), and the banana itself. This is a great alternative and I’ve found that it satisfies the whole sugar craving.

I don’t normally have much of a sweet tooth, so for the most part cutting out candy and soda hasn’t been too bad. I’ve also preferred salty over sweet, but I’ve noticed that once I start eating candy, I don’t stop. Hence the 30 day challenge (again, check that blog post out, it goes into more detail).

I’ve only had one issue and that is a self made one. There are a brand of wafers out there that I absolutely love (and eat way too many of), but as of now I’ve only found them at World Market and on Amazon. I figured that would be my treat for getting through the month Sugar Free. I would head over to World Market, pick up a bag and enjoy them over the first few weeks in October (being diligent about portion control). Well…my mom was in town and we went to World Market her last morning. Those wafers are now sitting in my fridge taunting me…I can do it though! I am stronger than the wafers 😉

Otherwise, I have noticed a shift in myself. I’m not as groggy and sluggish and not as low energy as I was before. I’m not saying this is only because of the Sugar Free, but I do think that what we eat plays a large role in how we feel, mentally and physically, and when we cut out those junk items it makes a big difference. If you think about it, when you cut junk foods out of your diet and you start to physically and mentally feel better, you start to exercise, get out of the house, be active more because you have the energy to do that.

Basically, challenge is going really well! I’m sticking to what I wanted to accomplish and I’m super proud of that!

A Little 30 Day Challenge for September

If you’ve been around for a little while you’ll know two things about when it comes to food: 1. I have been in recovery for Anorexia for   years and 2. I believe that how we fuel and treat our body directly relates to how we feel, act, and do. I’m a big believer in what we put in our body translates to what comes out of our body (and not just in an input = output in the bathroom). Making choices to eat healthier, eat a more balanced diet, and being mindful of how we “treat ourselves” when it comes to food is such a big part of life. I’ve personal noticed a change in my attitude, my productivity, my day to day when I eat better versus when I eat junk foods. Which is why I’ve decided to challenge myself for the whole of September. 

A little backstory for August to get us started…

Vacation and travel has always been one of those “throw aways” when it comes to eating. We all are guilty of indulging when we are on vacation and when you are traveling to and from vacation, it is hard to find those perfect snacks that meat all the travel criteria. It often just becomes a time for us to just throw caution to the wind and eat all the bad things we wouldn’t normally eat. There is NOTHING wrong with this. 

Where it becomes wrong is when we get back from vacation. When the time comes to get back to healthy eating, making good food choices, and getting back into routines. It is so easy to just let those bad habits continue on as “treat” moments and then next thing you’ve gone down the full rabbit hole into eating bad all the time. 

I’m totally guilty of this and have no shame in admitting that I’ve been eating a little too much junk food since we came back from vacation. So, to get out of the junk food hole I’m going to do a little September challenge. I’ve found Sugar to be my main problem, so…drumroll please…I’m going to go mostly sugar free for all of September. 

When I say sugar free I mean no candy, no soda, no artificial sugars of any kind. I am going to try and stick to the following “sugar” sources: fruit, honey (for baking), and a chocolate chip here and there for when I bake. 

I don’t think this will be too bad as I’ve been taking a couple small steps over the past week or so to cut back on the sugary treats that I’ve been consuming. The only bits that are left to cut out are Soda and Sour Patch Kids. I really think that kicking this out for a month will give me a chance to re set myself, so that I won’t chug it all down when/if I do decide to eat candy or drink a Soda again. 

At this point, I don’t plan on making this a permanent change, but rather one to get myself back to a good place with my “junk” food consumption. I want to be back to a soda once a week (if that) as well as having some sort of candy in a small small portion once a week (rather than a whole bunch everyday). If at the end of September I feel like I don’t want any of it anymore, then that’s fine too. 

I’ll be posting my progress on Social Media, as well as doing a mid month check in post and an end of month wrap up.

I would love for you to join me in this challenge! Are you up for it? 

Chatting about Even More Excitement!

Hi everyone! So much has happened this past week and I have so much that I want to talk about, that I am not quite sure what or where to even start! I think I am just going to kind of free write and see what happens. These type of posts often become my favorites to write and read because I find that you get a true sense of a person when you just let them chat and chat with them.

So, let’s see…where to begin…

I started to get heavily into my spring/summer day cooking and baking. That meant that we had a full Potato Salad ready to go for the week for lunches and dinner sides, rolls, smoothies and all sorts of yummy treats in the house! That is all good and dandy, but I’ve also made this past week the start of my return to healthier options. I find that summer time can either be a healthy time of year with fruit salads and salads, or it can be the completely opposite with soda’s and chips to complete barbecues. I’ve already been making healthier meals for my family during the week, but I have a big problem with snacking. This past week I’ve been trying to make a conscious decision to pick up fruit or veggies over grabbing a handful of chips or the chocolate bar that I like in the afternoon. I indulge once a week and I am hoping to keep that up!

This past week also meant the return of my husband from the school that he was attending! He had been gone for around 3.5 weeks and while we have said “See you soon” and “Hello!” numerous times before, the sadness of see you later and the excitement of a hello never fades. It is even more special each time now that we have children. Not only do I have my excitement and happiness, but to watch our son’s face light up when Daddy comes home makes everything even more exciting. He ran over to greet daddy and gave him a huge hug! It’s been great to have him home and to feel “complete” in our family once again.

April is very rapidly coming to an end and it is going out with a lot of rain! I am hoping that I can really let you know if the phrase “April Showers bring May Flowers” really rings true. It has so far with a lot of the month having days of rain. I am loving it as I am a huge rain fan and it is really helping out all of our flowers! Everything is really starting to come into bloom and I am hoping for a sunny, floral, May!

With April coming to an end, I am starting to look at what posts I want to be doing in May and all of the brainstorming and ideas I’ve got for upcoming blog posts. I think I am going to be incorporating some more posts about how I stay organized, how I manage to handle everything I do, how I stay positive, some self help type stuff, and of course, the transition from one child to two and anything to do with our family!

How have you been? How has April shaped up for you?

Healthier Living

Hello my lovely readers! I wanted to take a minute and chat with you about a transition that we had at our home earlier this year. It took a little time, a lot of dedication, and something that has really changed our household. I wanted to share a little bit of the journey that we went through and how everything came about.

I’ve always loved cooking (and baking). I always loved creating meals from scratch and experimenting with foods. When my husband and I first started dating, we somewhat shared the cooking duties, but my husband kind of did it a little bit more than I did due to our schedules. At the very very beginning, we had kind opposite schedules, so he would cook and then I would eat when I got home. Then once our schedules balanced out and matched we split the kitchen duties. We cooked from scratch some, and used frozen dinners or box dinners for quite a bit as well.

Then we moved to South Carolina and my husband became a Drill Seargent. Honestly, nothing could have prepared us for what that was going to be like. The long hours and the constant “tiredness” for my husband changed a lot. We started to rely on the box or frozen meals as they were quick to prepare, kept relatively well on the cooktop, and they allowed for quick eating late at night. Honestly, I kind of despised what I was making for dinner and felt very stuck in a rut of unhealthy but quick meals. This was a little over two years and that habit (even though I didn’t like it) became very easy to fall into. I made a promise to myself that once we moved and left that lifestyle I would make more of an effort to make full meals from scratch, no more boxes.

Fast forward to a few months after our little human was born, I finally felt like I was in a place where I could make good on that promise I made myself. Typically in our household it takes about 2-3 weeks to make a habit “stick” and one weekend I just decided that we were not having anymore box dinners. That’s exactly what happened. I looked up a couple of recipes to try out and made a meal plan that had Rigatoni, Casseroles, etc that I knew would be a good entry into this new lifestyle of dinners.

Honestly the only thing I kept thinking to myself was “Stick to it. 2 weeks, just get through 2 weeks”. I knew deep down that at the end of those 2 weeks I would be so hooked and it would feel like the new routine. And those first 2 weeks weren’t easy. They weren’t hard, per se, but they weren’t a breeze. Our little human was just starting to become more of a handful and it was difficult to set aside the time, but I made myself. I knew that it would be better for our family once I got into the routine and got away from the unhealthy things that we were eating.

I got through those 2 weeks and sure enough, the habit stuck and I started loving being back in the kitchen. I started venturing into new recipes and started making more complex recipes again. Along with this change, I tried to implement a couple of other changes, I cut most of my soft drink intake (only one a week, except on vacation) and started trying to eat better lunch and breakfast meals. I am also trying to start adding more salads and vegetables into our dinners.

Here is the biggest part of our transformation. Although this wasn’t a sudden change, when I decided to do it was and so therefore, we still had one Hamburger Helper meal left in our cabinet. My husband didn’t want to simply waste the box and I wanted to test and see how much we had really left the box dinners behind. About 2 months after making the homemade meals every night, we made the Hamburger Helper. It just so happened that it was one of my husbands favorite ones. After finishing, he found that he didn’t want a second helping (unheard of) and that he didn’t really like the meal! I knew at that moment that we weren’t going back and that we were back on track.

We’ve been eating homemade meals for ~4 months now and are happier and much healthier with the rest of our choices in food as well! My biggest takeaway was to just stick with the change, even if I had a night that I didn’t really want to cook I knew that I had to and that it would be worthwhile. It was and still is! Now, I’m off to eat my Chicken, Rice and Salad dinner. Until next time…

Curl Up with

A Cuppa Books