Healthy Tipping Point https://www.healthytippingpoint.com When Everyday Decisions Add Up to Something Amazing Mon, 09 Nov 2015 16:29:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=335 The End https://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2015/11/the-end.html https://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2015/11/the-end.html#comments Mon, 09 Nov 2015 11:51:15 +0000 http://www.healthytippingpoint.com/?p=61253 1464672_10101822379074663_280421713_nWhen I was 24 years old, I wrote my very first post.  I said hello, uploaded a picture of my dog, and said I wanted to share things that I was passionate about.   And for 7.5 years, I did – and it was so good for me.  This blog challenged me to figure out who […]]]> 1464672_10101822379074663_280421713_n

When I was 24 years old, I wrote my very first post.  I said hello, uploaded a picture of my dog, and said I wanted to share things that I was passionate about.   And for 7.5 years, I did – and it was so good for me.  This blog challenged me to figure out who I was.  It shaped me.  In this space, I shared everything that excited me…

 

Wedding planning. Marrying an incredible man.  Figuring out how to have a healthy life. Enjoying the small moments in life.  Running.  Wrangling a house of cute pets.  Eating delicious food. Feminism.  Vegetarianism.  Writing a book.  Writing another book.  Writing ANOTHER book.  Writing half a book and quitting on it.  Having a baby.  And ANOTHER baby.  Discovering triathlons.  Somehow pulling off a Half Ironman.  Vowing to never do that insanity again!  Reading.  Sooo much reading.  Photography.  And cooking – a lot of cooking.

 

And I will NEVER, EVER forget how supportive you all have been through those experiences.  I know there are people out there who have been reading since the beginning.  So many you of took time out of your lives to offer me advice or support or just a nice comment.  I was always SO grateful for you.  That’s what I tell a lot of people about when they ask me about blogging as a profession – I tell them about my readers.  You guys have been great to me – so sweet and so supportive – and I will never forgot the human connections I made by typing on a screen.

 

Because you guys were lovely enough to read what I wrote, I was able to do something I was passionate about… for a living!  Seriously, I cannot write this post without stating how grateful I am to my readers.  I got to travel, explore, learn, cook, photograph, and write for a living.  But most importantly, without you, Operation Beautiful would not exist.  I am so incredibly awestruck with what Operation Beautiful did for so many people, and if it wasn’t for my readers supporting the idea, it would not have happened.  So – thank you for helping.  (I will continue my efforts with Operation Beautiful – you can follow the movement on our various social media platforms.)

 

Blogging was not always easy. To share 7.5 years of my life on the Internet – there is bound to be some low points. But I wouldn’t change that.  The bad taught me a lot about the world.  It also taught me who I am, and I’m pretty happy with me.  Plus, with the bad came so much good. An overwhelming amount of good.  On a day-to-day basis, I loved my work in this space. I loved creating and conversing and brainstorming. I loved seeing posts come to life.  Heck, I wrote over 5,000 posts!  Goodness only knows how many pictures I took.

 

But even as I lovingly worked on this blog nearly every day for the past 7.5 years, I always said that I wouldn’t do this forever.  I knew it would have a natural conclusion from the very start.  And now that my kids are older, that moment is here.

 

I loved sharing my early motherhood experience with you, and I love sharing photos/stories of my kids, but as they get older, I crave more privacy for them.  I struggle to write about my life without writing about them.  And I want more privacy for me, too.  If you can believe it, after so long, I’ve finally run out of things to say!  I like to think, “Maybe one day I’ll be back,” but I probably won’t.  And it’s a hard feeling to explain – that I’m done – but it’s been creeping up on me for a while.  It’s like when you’re reading a great book, and the pinch of pages in your right hand is getting smaller and smaller and smaller until you can feel your fingertips through the paper.  You can tell that the end is coming.  And here it is!  The End.

 

It’s hard for me to explain what being a blogger was like, but I can sum it up in one word.  Adventure.  This was a grand adventure, from start to finish.  Thank you for reading along, and I wish you nothing but the best.

 

Love,

Caitlin (and the whole family, too)

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My Favorite Pregnancy, Baby, + Toddler Posts https://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2015/11/my-favorite-pregnancy-baby-toddler-posts.html https://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2015/11/my-favorite-pregnancy-baby-toddler-posts.html#comments Fri, 06 Nov 2015 19:55:16 +0000 http://www.healthytippingpoint.com/?p=61216 2014-09-17_1207_001_thumbHow I Stop Temper Tantrums (this trick still works very, very often!) Post-Birth Review of Bradley Method Natural Birth Classes The Case for Waiting (to find out the baby’s sex) Henry’s Birth Story, Part I and Part II Claire’s Birth Story Why I’m Stopping Breastfeeding Henry, Stopping Exclusively Pumping, Part I, and Stopping EP, Part II Breastfeeding Claire […]]]> How I Stop Temper Tantrums (this trick still works very, very often!)

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Post-Birth Review of Bradley Method Natural Birth Classes

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The Case for Waiting (to find out the baby’s sex)

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Henry’s Birth Story, Part I and Part II

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Claire’s Birth Story

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Why I’m Stopping Breastfeeding HenryStopping Exclusively Pumping, Part I, and Stopping EP, Part II

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Breastfeeding Claire – How It Was Different

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Side note:  As we approach her one year birthday, we are still breastfeeding champs.  I have no plans to stop anytime soon.  I had a pretty rough experience with breastfeeding, pumping, and eventually switching to formula with Henry. Looking back, the transition to motherhood was hard for me (although I couldn’t really pinpoint that at the time).  I felt an immense amount of pressure to be the “perfect” mom in all sorts of ways.  That mentality sabotaged my breastfeeding efforts with Henry.  With Claire, I tried hard to accept the steep learning curve of breastfeeding, minimized stress, and took a metaphorical chill pill when it came to the rest of my life.  I gave myself permission to stop breastfeeding at any point and (ironically) that helped me continue.  This was a huge factor in having a successful breastfeeding relationship with Claire.  For anyone who wants to breastfeed subsequent children but struggled with it initially, please know that it can be completely different from child to child.  It has been different for me, and it is such a blessing – I am very thankful for our breastfeeding relationship.

 

Parenting Books I Love

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7 Concepts that Guide My Parenting

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New Mom Survival Stations

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Things I Learned About Having a Newborn

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Panic-Free Pregnancy: Round Two

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What’s your #1 pregnancy, baby, or toddler tip?

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I https://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2015/11/i.html https://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2015/11/i.html#comments Thu, 05 Nov 2015 16:17:30 +0000 http://www.healthytippingpoint.com/?p=61231 IMG_0129I have gotten SO into frozen veggies.  They are so quick and easy (no chopping, no mess) and way cheaper than buying the organic fresh produce. Plus – they help make awesome omelets… or messy eggs when I forget to mix the eggs before pouring them into the pan.  Ha!  When I have two kids […]]]> I have gotten SO into frozen veggies.  They are so quick and easy (no chopping, no mess) and way cheaper than buying the organic fresh produce.

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Plus – they help make awesome omelets… or messy eggs when I forget to mix the eggs before pouring them into the pan.  Ha!  When I have two kids clawing at my legs, a fast breakfast is pretty much a necessity.

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Side: cinnamon on bananas (and apples) is my current jam.

 

I saw this floating around on my Facebook page and felt really inspired by it.  I’ve been kind of grumpy lately, and the idea of taking a diet from negativity sounds really nice.  I’m going to print it out and put it on my bathroom mirror – next to the existing sign that says “UNCONDITIONAL LOVE” (which helps remind me to be nice to the kids when they are clawing up my legs at breakfast, haha).

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And last, but not least, do you like my mani?

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I’ve gotten really into the Jamberry nail wraps – they are so fun and last forever.  I love looking at my hands and seeing pretty designs.  It’s the little things in life, right?

 

Have an awesome weekend!

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10 More Things I Want to Do in 2015 https://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2015/11/10-more-things-i-want-to-do-in-2015.html https://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2015/11/10-more-things-i-want-to-do-in-2015.html#comments Wed, 04 Nov 2015 11:08:45 +0000 http://www.healthytippingpoint.com/?p=61214 IMG_3533Can you believe it’s November 4?  I can’t.  Where is the year going?!  Here are 10 things I want to do before 2015 is just a memory.   Finish all the books on my side table.  I started off very strong with Book a Week but am definitely not going to finish 52 books this […]]]> Can you believe it’s November 4?  I can’t.  Where is the year going?!  Here are 10 things I want to do before 2015 is just a memory.

 

Finish all the books on my side table.  I started off very strong with Book a Week but am definitely not going to finish 52 books this year.  I have five or six books next to my bed and hope to finish them all before the year is over. 

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Do a 5K.  I may sign up for a Turkey Trot!  I’ve finally gotten back into a running rhythm (I even went on a run in the DARK and RAIN on Monday night!) and would like to commit to a race.

 

Organize my laundry room. I can’t even show a picture of my laundry room because it’s too embarrassing! So disorganized and overstuffed.  It stresses me out just to open the door.  We have open shelving, and I would really like to get cabinets installed so I can at least shut the mess behind a door.

 

Buy a new bathing suit.  We are going on vacation soon, and I need a new suit!  I usually buy one pieces from Albion Fit (best swimsuits ever) but have been lusting after this two-piece and this rash guard, both of which are from Athleta.  Cute, huh?

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Find a volunteer project to do with Henry.  I would really like to do some volunteering with him around the holidays but am having trouble thinking of age-appropriate activities.  Any thoughts?

 

Organized a Friends-giving dinner.  We’d love to have over a bunch of friends and their children over for a put luck meal around Thanksgiving.  I just need to pick a date and organize a menu!  I know that I want to make this as the vegetarian entrée.

 

Go to a Miami game.  We are only going to one Miami game this year, and it’s just around the corner. You should see my gust room – it’s covered in tailgating supplies.  I’m really looking forward to the experience!  Tailgating is one of my favorite things.

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Go see Santa.  Of course!  I’m hoping we have a Sweet Santa year, but you know that Scary Santa is just as likely…

 

Make a decision on whether or not we will go the “Real or Fake” way when it comes to Christmas trees (here’s the debate).  I waffle on this every single year – I’m so undecided.  But then I think about all those damn pine needles and lean a little closer to the Fake side.

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Work on Claire’s baby book.  I kept up her baby book for the past year, but I need to print out pictures and finish filling in some specifics.  I can’t believe she’s almost one (here’s her birth story).  Time flies!

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(This is actually Henry’s book – it makes me smile that his first word was dog and she can say cat).

 

What do you want to accomplish before the end of the year?

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Should I get a Treadmill? https://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2015/11/operation-beautiful-social-media.html https://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2015/11/operation-beautiful-social-media.html#comments Sun, 01 Nov 2015 23:52:49 +0000 http://www.healthytippingpoint.com/?p=61200 IMG_0026Did you have a great Halloween?  We sure did! Halloween is shaping up to be one of my favorite kiddo holidays.  I absolutely love going trick or treating with everyone!  Claire enjoyed sitting in the stroller and waving “hi!” to everyone.  And Henry LOVED going door to door with his friends.  A bunch of our […]]]> Did you have a great Halloween?  We sure did!

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Halloween is shaping up to be one of my favorite kiddo holidays.  I absolutely love going trick or treating with everyone!  Claire enjoyed sitting in the stroller and waving “hi!” to everyone.  And Henry LOVED going door to door with his friends.  A bunch of our neighbors get really into it with spooky décor, and Hen ate it up.

 

Other than the Halloween festivities, we had a pretty low-key weekend.  I scooted out of the house for a bit on Saturday to go on a peaceful solo trail run.  It was blissful.   And very challenging – my quads are super sore from this. 

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This run also made me realize that I need new running shoes – my old New Balances 880s are shot.

 

And actually, BFF Nicole and I did a little shoe shopping on Sunday.  She needs new shoes, too, but neither of us could pull the trigger – so we got pedicures instead!  Ahhh.  Now, THAT is really blissful.

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Dark red for the holidays!

 

So – as the title of this blog post suggests, I am thinking about getting a treadmill.  The Husband and I have been rolling this idea around for a few weeks, and we even went to look at a Craigslist treadmill on Sunday.  We probably would’ve bought it, but then I realized that we needed a moving truck to get it home…  That seemed too much to manage with two kids in tow.

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But the idea isn’t entirely dead.  Here’s my YES and NO list for bringing home a treadmill…

 

YES

It’s hard to find time for the adults to exercise with two littles in the house.  Just the timing of C and H’s wakeups/naps/bedtime and the Husband’s work schedule means that I can’t go when I used to go.

And it’s challenging to exercise at the gym because Henry no longer wants to go into childcare.  I don’t want to force him to go.

We feel like we’re throwing away $100 a month at the gym because we rarely go right now.

You can get a $2000 treadmill for about $350 – $450 used.

We have the space for it (spare bedroom).

 

NO

It’s really big, and even though we have the space for it, it’s not like it’s a pretty design element for my guest bedroom.

It’s going to be a bitch to get home.

If I buy a used one, I won’t have a warranty.

It may just become a really expensive place to hang clothes…

 

Thoughts?  Do you have a treadmill? Do you use it?

 

Oh, and one more thing!

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The Operation Beautiful team would like to extend a warm welcome to our new helper, Natalie!  She is helping us revitalize our social media channels. If you love the movement, please follow us!

 

#operationbeautiful

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Pinterest

Snapchat: op.beautiful

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Peanut Butter Cup Mousse https://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2015/10/peanut-butter-cup-mousse.html https://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2015/10/peanut-butter-cup-mousse.html#comments Thu, 29 Oct 2015 15:35:38 +0000 http://www.healthytippingpoint.com/?p=61185 IMG_5676This recipe is a HUGE hit in my house. I kept meaning to share but forgot over and over – probably because I’m too busy licking a spoon. It turns out that, if you mix peanut butter and Greek yogurt, this wonderfully fluffy “mousse” is created! Add in a little cocoa powder, a splash of […]]]> IMG_5676

This recipe is a HUGE hit in my house. I kept meaning to share but forgot over and over – probably because I’m too busy licking a spoon.

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It turns out that, if you mix peanut butter and Greek yogurt, this wonderfully fluffy “mousse” is created! Add in a little cocoa powder, a splash of cinnamon, and (optional) some honey and… TADA!  It’s totally delicious and an excellent source of protein and healthy fats.  This is one food that I can always count of the kids to eat… Unless I eat it all first.  Seriously.  This stuff goes QUICKLY in my house!

 

Peanut Butter Cup Mousse

 

Ingredients (for a serving):

 

  • 1/3 cup full fat plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 heaping tablespoons salted peanut butter
  • 1.5 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Dollop of honey (optional)

 

Directions:

 

  • Mix and serve!

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Fun Stuff {Minus a Cold} https://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2015/10/fun-stuff-minus-a-cold.html https://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2015/10/fun-stuff-minus-a-cold.html#comments Wed, 28 Oct 2015 14:42:39 +0000 http://www.healthytippingpoint.com/?p=61182 FullSizeRender (45)Good morning!  It was an early one in the Boyle household (but, then again, it usually is!). It’s so weird to see Claire standing all the time now… Or zombie-style walking towards me (know what I mean? That early baby walk always reminds me of a zombie). Speaking of Claire, do you like our pumpkin?  […]]]> Good morning!  It was an early one in the Boyle household (but, then again, it usually is!).

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It’s so weird to see Claire standing all the time now… Or zombie-style walking towards me (know what I mean? That early baby walk always reminds me of a zombie).

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Speaking of Claire, do you like our pumpkin?  We carved it to look like her – two top teeth, two bottom.  LOL.

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In other news, I’ve been sick for 4 days.  I’m over it.  I’m just super congested and have a constant headache.  So I haven’t been doing much, just trying to get through the basics each day so I can collapse on the couch.  I have, however, been sticking to Vegetarian Whole 30 (I’m on Day 11 of my second round) and feeling great.  The second round is definitely not as hard as the first.  And I really love eating this way!

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Other fun things…

 

I love this poster.

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I want to get a big print of it to hang in my house!

 

Here’s an interesting article about how pain tolerance impacts athletic performance.  I think this is SO true.  I don’t think I’m the strongest athlete but I have a really high pain tolerance.  So my finishing times are usually better than my training would’ve predicted.  Actually, one of my favorite things about racing is pushing through when it really hurts.  Is that weird?!

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And check out this interesting article on what it was like to do the first Ironman ever.  Transition included a shower and a shoulder massage… sounds pretty good to me.

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Also, that outfit is amazing.

 

Last, but not least, I really want to read the new Brene Brown book but I have a stack of 6 unread books on my side table and can’t continue to add to the pile.  Has anyone read Rising Strong and really loved it?

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My goal today is to rearrange our toy rotation boxes – sounds pretty lame but seriously, just getting off the couch is a major accomplishment with this dang head cold.  Hope it goes away by tomorrow!

 

Question of the Day: Would you say you have a high pain tolerance?   I guess I do, except when it comes to the sniffles…

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3 Things About This Weekend https://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2015/10/3-things-about-this-weekend.html https://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2015/10/3-things-about-this-weekend.html#comments Mon, 26 Oct 2015 15:35:00 +0000 http://www.healthytippingpoint.com/?p=61153 81HvaDPJAmLThree fun things about this weekend:   #1 – I got through half of this week’s Book a Week.  I am reading about The Five Love Languages for Children. If you’re never heard of the love languages, check out their website. The love languages (how you express and receive love) are: physical touch, quality time, […]]]> Three fun things about this weekend:

 

#1 – I got through half of this week’s Book a Week.  I am reading about The Five Love Languages for Children.

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If you’re never heard of the love languages, check out their website. The love languages (how you express and receive love) are: physical touch, quality time, acts of service, gifts, and words of affirmation. Love languages were originally for adult relationships, but they can apply to parent-child relationships, too.  You can’t tell your child’s love language until age 5, and love languages change over time, but I think this is really interesting. The most insightful thing I read so far that love expressed in your child’s love language is most well-received, and parental disappointment/anger expressed in their love language is the worst thing of all.  So if your kid’s love language is quality  time, and you punish them by withdrawing that, it wounds them very deeply.  Made me think a lot about discipline in our household.  That is a really powerful concept, huh?

 

#2 – We dressed up for Halloween!  The Husband and I went out to a costume party and had so much fun.

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My Catwoman costume was pretty simple and inexpensive.  All I had to buy were ears and a mask!

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#3 – I tried a new-to-Charlotte service called Shipt.   Shipt is a grocery delivery service that works with Publix.  It’s available in a few select metro areas, like Phoenix, Dallas, Nashville, Birmingham, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, Sarasota, and throughout South Florida.  If you sign up with my affiliate link, you get $10 towards your order!

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I saw an ad for Shipt on Facebook and knew that I immediately wanted to give it a go!  For $14 a month (or $99 a year), you can get UNLIMITED grocery deliveries right to your door.  There is a mark-up on groceries (about $5 extra for every $35), but you can seriously order anything you want from your phone.  The clincher for me was when I saw that there was an entire section for organic produce.

 

You can also make special requests – like I asked for a box of fun kid Band-Aids to be added to our order.  I’ve found that may things are in the drop-down menus, but you have to also add in special requests for many things.  Each time, I got groceries at my door in just 2 hours!  It was totally cool.

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3 Questions for You!

 

What’s your love language?   

What’s your Halloween costume?

If you could have any service automated, what about it be? 

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Grain-Free Apple Crisp https://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2015/10/grain-free-apple-crisp.html https://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2015/10/grain-free-apple-crisp.html#comments Fri, 23 Oct 2015 11:44:01 +0000 http://www.healthytippingpoint.com/?p=61143 IMG_5650Remember when we went apple picking with our friends? Well, we ended up with a ton of apples – of course!  And after eating a few whole, I knew that I needed to get creative in the kitchen before they all went off.  I wanted a yummy snack with only a few ingredients – something […]]]> IMG_5650

Remember when we went apple picking with our friends?

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Well, we ended up with a ton of apples – of course!  And after eating a few whole, I knew that I needed to get creative in the kitchen before they all went off.  I wanted a yummy snack with only a few ingredients – something fun to eat but healthy, too.  And so I whipped up this grain-free apple crisp.

 

Unlike other apple crisps, which are of course packed with added sugar, this one only has one source of sweetness – the apples themselves!  Apples have such a delicious flavor when baked.  I added a scoop of plain Greek yogurt to the side and the whole thing was very reminiscence of apple pie à la Mode!

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 apples (I used two Gala and one Granny Smith)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • Optional: Plain Greek Yogurt on the side

 

Directions:

    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a glass pie dish or a cast iron skillet.
    • Cut the apples into slices and arrange in the dish.
    • Melt the coconut oil. Mix in cinnamon and nuts, coating the nuts thoroughly.
    • Pour mixture over the top of the apples.
    • Cover with foil and make for 40 minutes.
    • Serve and enjoy!

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Hope you guys have a fabulous weekend!

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How to Make a Collage Wall (Gallery Direct Giveaway) https://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2015/10/how-to-make-a-collage-wall-gallery-direct-giveaway.html https://www.healthytippingpoint.com/2015/10/how-to-make-a-collage-wall-gallery-direct-giveaway.html#comments Wed, 21 Oct 2015 10:38:59 +0000 http://www.healthytippingpoint.com/?p=61125 IMG_5638This post is sponsored by Gallery Direct. So a few months ago, I saw a post on Kath Eats about Gallery Direct, which makes beautiful canvas prints right from your photos.  I immediately hopped on over to the site to order a ‘test’ print of Claire. You see, I had been desperately wanting to transform […]]]> This post is sponsored by Gallery Direct.

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So a few months ago, I saw a post on Kath Eats about Gallery Direct, which makes beautiful canvas prints right from your photos.  I immediately hopped on over to the site to order a ‘test’ print of Claire. You see, I had been desperately wanting to transform my staircase photo.  After we moved in, I attempted a cute collage wall with lots of little pictures.  But I was never satisfied with the layout, didn’t like the small size of the images, and kept knocking pictures off the wall.   After two years, this is what I was left with.

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Meh.

 

Anyway, I ordered a test print from Gallery Direct because we have a canvas print that I got from another website, and I was never satisfied with it.  It cost a decent amount of money, but the canvas was flimsy and thin.  So I wanted to wait to pull the trigger on a large order until I got one canvas back from Gallery Direct.

 

I loved my first Gallery Direct canvas SO MUCH that I promptly ordered 7 more and e-mailed the company to see if they would be interested in doing a giveaway!  Seriously, these canvases are that nice.  The frames are sturdy and thick, and the canvas has such a nice texture to it.

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It comes with a wonderful hire hanger on the back!  My other canvas frame didn’t and was such a headache to hang.  Also – LOVE the Made in the USA sticker on the back of each picture.

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Before I hung everything up on the wall, I sent a “HELP ME!” e-mail to Gallery Direct for some advice.  I feel like collage walls are hard enough as it is – but stairway collages are even harder.  Here’s what the experts said:

 

In reality, the more varied the art is that you’re hanging up, the more visually interesting it will be. Multiple sizes and orientations give a gallery wall a dynamic flow to it versus the more traditional symmetry of a size balanced wall. In terms of capturing the best flow that you can my advice would be to definitely use the paper layout as described in our first tutorial, found here.  In addition we’ve seen a lot of success with using paper cut outs as well. The basic method would be as follows:

 

1. Gather all the pieces that you’re interested in including in the gallery wall

2. Lay them out on a piece of butcher paper and cut out the outlines of each piece so that you have a piece of paper in the exact size/shape of each piece

3. Arrange these visually on a wall – this allows you to arrange and rearrange as you see fit without having to put a bunch of holes in your wall

 

Best practices of where to start when arranging a variety of sizes/pieces is to stick the bigger pieces in the middle and then let the smaller ones fill in the gaps on the outside of the arrangement. Likely the larger pieces will be your visual focal point anyway, so keeping them in the center makes the most sense to the eye, while including the smaller ones towards the outside lets the viewer really appreciate the details they otherwise might have missed. 

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Since hanging my first wall was such a disaster (so many holes!), I took their advice and tried the butcher block paper method.

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I cut out outlines of each picture and also made a mark on the paper indicating where the nail should go when I accounted for the wire hanger’s give.  I also wrote on each paper which picture it belonged to and the picture’s orientation so I didn’t get too confused.

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FYI butcher block paper is also an excellent race track.

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I laid out the pictures on the floor first, and then I taped the paper up on the wall.  I moved things around a few times because some of my prints weren’t the exact same size so I couldn’t be perfectly symmetrical (which definitely threw me off).  I decided to just do what Gallery Direct advises and go with what looked visually pleasing instead of perfectly aligned.

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Final product:

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I am so pleased with how it came out!  And I LOVE the larger prints because it’s so much easier to actually SEE them – before you had to get super close to appreciate the pictures.  I left some room to grow on the bottom landing of the staircase.  I can’t wait to add a few more pictures in (I know we need a tailgating picture in there somewhere!).

 

If you want to just go ahead and purchase some Gallery Direct prints (they would be an awesome holiday present), Gallery Direct is running a promotion through mid-November for 40% off sitewide and 65% off on canvas gallery wrap photo uploads!  You don’t need a coupon or anything, just head on over to the site.

 

Want to win $200 to Gallery Direct to create your own wall? Simply leave a comment on this post telling me about your all-time favorite picture.  My all-time fav is the picture of the Husband and me looking at Henry the moment he was born (you can see it here).  I’ll pick a winner on Monday.

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