Daisy Heart

Cultivate Positivity and Gratitude In Family Life And Motherhood

Hello, busy bees! ūüźĚ Looking for ways to bring positivity into your home? Here are daily tips that you can implement to increase optimism and gratitude in family life and motherhood.

Positive Affirmations

A positive affirmation is a statement to challenge negative thoughts. To affirm positivity, state as a fact that you are already possessing the positive trait you are wanting to possess. As you say positive statements, you convince your subconscious brain to make the statements true.

The morning is a great time to implement this practice. Encourage your family to do this positivity exercise!

Reframe Negative Phrases

Throughout the day, reframe negative phrases to become positive. When you or your child is frustrated and says “I can’t do this”, rephrase by saying “I can do this!” The words we say to ourselves become true as a self-fulfilling prophecy. ūüĒģ You are what you say you are!

If we tell our children that they are bad, they will go along with our dialogue of being bad and be naughty. Build your child up by telling them of the positive traits they possess.

The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice. 

‚Äē Peggy O’Mara

Express Gratitude

Express appreciation to family members! When teaching thankfulness to our children, model the behavior by expressing thanks to spouse and children for positive actions and words.

Bedtime Reflection

Before bed, ask family members what their favorite part of the day was and what they are grateful for that day. This gratitude practice helps family members focus on the good throughout that day and for things that they can be grateful for. Gratitude helps us be happy! ‚ėÄÔłŹ

Gratitude Journal

Whether you have a digital or physical gratitude journal, create a daily practice of writing the things that you are grateful for! ūüďí

Digital Blessing List

Boost your mood by looking at an easy-to-access blessing list on your phone. When life is weighing you down, reading the blessings that you have helps you see life through rose-colored glasses. When sinking into a negative mindset, reading through the list helps you to have a heart full of gratitude and positivity. The Trello app is a great resource for list creation.

I truly hope that you can cultivate a positive and grateful heart.

Your life is as good as your mindset.

Let’s be friends! Find me here:

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

Read additional family-related articles:

Marriage Prep Advice – Letter To A Friend

Fall Festivities And Autumn Activities

Happy Autumn! Are you ready for crisp air and cooler weather? I sure am! I love fall and the beautiful change of weather during this time of year.

The benefit of living in northern Utah is being able to experience the wonderful change of seasons. I am blessed to be local to many picturesque recreational spots as well as fun community events that feature highlighted activities of each season. So, as I sat down with my family and thought of the activities we wanted to take the children on these following weeks and months, these festivities are what made the cut:

Campout

In a tent or trailer, camp out for one night or several nights! Invite friends or family for a social time. All good things associated with camping are stargazing, campfire cooking, and hiking. Make sure you camp responsibly and leave no trace! On our overnight camp trip, we’ll additionally ride our horses and possibly target shoot.

Canning

To preserve the bounty from the season’s harvest, can bottles of produce! Whether you do it by yourself or surround yourself by family and friends, canning food is a wholesome activity that serves a wonderful purpose. Stock your food storage and ensure yourself with wholesome food to eat later!

Over the years, I have canned with my mom, pickles, tomatoes, grape juice, apricots, pears, peaches, apple pie filling, jalape√Īo jelly, and jams. Yum!

Caramel Apples

Whether you cut up apples and dip it in a delicious caramel sauce or make decorative caramel-coated apples, this activity leaves your mouth watering and eventually your belly happy. My personal favorite flavoring of the caramel apple is the apple pie caramel apple with layers of caramel, white chocolate, and a cinnamon-sugar sprinkle. So delicious!

Cider Wassail and Snickerdoodles

Enjoy a warm mug of cider and a hot snickerdoodle cookie on a crisp fall day.

Corn Maze & Pumpkin Fest

Corn mazes and pumpkin fests are fun family-friendly attractions. As a family or group of friends, navigate through a corn maze and pick out pumpkins to carve. Visit the tasty food concessions and hay slides and rides for an extra fun treat!

With my daughter’s preschool, we’ll attend a local Corn Maze and Harvest Festival. This year we plan to visit my family who lives in Utah county and attend Cornbelly’s at Thanksgiving Point with them. At Cornbelly’s, try the apple cider donuts and frosted apple cider. You’ll thank me later!

Fall Leaf Display

Take a drive, hike, bike ride, or walk to go and see the changing colors of nature this fall. Take in the beauty of God’s creations and enjoy the display of colors amongst the foliage. Take time during your nature walk to breathe in the crisp clean autumn air and listen to the crinkling leaves under your feet. If you want, bring a camera along for a fall photoshoot. A fun idea with children is to collect an assortment of colorful fallen leaves and craft an autumnal art piece.

Farmer’s Fall Market

Every Saturday morning, our city hosts a farmer’s market on its downtown historic street. Look through the farm-fresh fall produce and artisan foods and goods while listening to live acoustic music and participating in community activities. Grab a warm seasonal beverage as you stroll down the street and booths.

Football Game

Go to a football game or have a flag football game with your friends and family. Make this recreational activity a must this autumn season!

Halloween Party

Attend or host a costume Halloween party with your friends, family, neighbors, community members, or church congregation. Enjoy Halloween themed foods, trick or treating, games, and movies. Trunk or treats are also a fun option for younger kids!

Pumpkin Flavored Foods

Do you love all things pumpkin spice? I have a very select few favorite pumpkin-flavored foods, including my Pumpkin Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. Along with my longtime favorite pumpkin pie dessert made by my mother, I also love Great Harvest’s pumpkin chocolate chip bread.

Homegrown Cooking

Don’t comfort food and fall go together well? I think so! Here are some of my favorite seasonal recipes from my blog that are perfect for autumn.

Zucchini Egg Waffle Breakfast
Homemade Tomato Zucchini Soup

The Zucchini Egg Waffle is a perfect way to use up leftover or overgrown zucchini. Zucchini Tomato Soup is one of my favorite soups of all time. I just love homegrown tomatoes in homemade tomato soup. Whether you use fresh garden tomatoes or canned tomatoes, sipping a warm bowl of soup is a perfect way to warm your soul on a cool autumn day.

Hot Roasted Cinnamon-Glazed Almonds is a perfect way to enjoy the autumn season! They also are a great gift to others!

Homemade Scones and Donuts

With the recent purchase of a deep fryer, I want to make homemade deliciousness in the form of donuts and scones. Hello sugary glaze and honey butter!

Oktoberfest

Every year, we as a family attend Snowbird’s Oktoberfest. We enjoy walking through the vendor booths, eating brats and sauerkraut, and riding the scenic tramway.

Pie Night

I absolutely love pies and want to learn how to make them! The thought of buttery homemade crust and warm pie-filling just makes my mouth water. Around the time of Thanksgiving, we as an extended family will have a pie night to enjoy each other’s warm company and pies.

Pumpkin Picking and Carving

While attending your local fall festival, pick out pumpkins or go to the local grocery store or garden center. Extra points for growing them yourself! Decorate your front porch with whole ones and close to Halloween, your carved jack-o-lantern masterpieces. A fun post pumpkin carving food is roasted seasoned pumpkin seeds. Have you ever tried them? So good!

Wildlife Conservation

Go hunting and/or fishing and harvest your own meat!

Every October, my husband participates in the deer hunt. Even bigger than Christmas, it’s my husband’s favorite holiday. The hunting crew travels via horseback. I’ve enjoyed going on the horse-ride and helping my husband spot deer. More than anything, I just enjoy being in the company of my horses and husband. I appreciate the naturally-sourced meat and outdoor recreation hunting provides.

Starting November, my husband will also hunt elk. I’m excited to continue to learn how to better prepare and serve game meat meals.

For fall inspiration follow me on Pinterest and for frequent updates, follow me on Instagram!

Homemade Tomato Zucchini Soup

Autumn’s Harvest: Hearty Tomato Zucchini Soup

Hearty Tomato Zucchini Soup is a perfect meal for an autumn harvest. Made from the garden’s bounty, this recipe is made up of harvested tomatoes, onions, zucchini, garlic, basil, and thyme. The soup is fresh, flavorful, and a feast for the eyes to look at with its deep red and green ingredients.

Local Agriculture

The garlic cloves I used in this recipe were from Sunnyfield Farm, a local garlic and sheep farm in Eden, Utah. Support of local farmers and growers is good for community economics and local commerce. SunnyField Farm Garlic is of the highest quality and free from chemicals and pesticides. You can buy garlic from their Sunnyfield Farm Shop.

Hobby Farmer

On the more than a half-acre lot that my family lives on, you’ll find a big garden plot, horseback riding area, garage shop, barn, grassed yard, and cozy farm home. In addition to our land, we have a lease on several acres behind our property.

On our pasture, we raise horses. We personally own three equines, a bay horse, Palomino horse, and one pony. The pony is a mix between a Shetland pony mare and Morgan stud. I think horses are such beautiful animals. I enjoy their company at our home and enjoy the care and keeping of our equines. My husband is naturally gifted in horsemanship and I love learning from him!

We raised a Charolais cross beef steer for meat a couple of years ago. I loved having our own pasture-raised meat in our chest freezer. Cattle are beautiful animals and I appreciated the provision of meat the steer provided us.

Within the next couple of years, I would like to try my hand at raising chickens. However, my barn needs cleaning and de-cluttering first. I want a very clean, sanitary, and organized environment for my young children and livestock to be in. And no, my children do not live in my barn, just play in there! ha ha. Clean healthy chickens make clean healthful eggs. Clean healthful eggs will go into our clean healthful human bodies. The health of our food chain matters!

In our garden plot this 2018 year, we grew: zucchini, corn, tomatoes, spaghetti squash, and cantaloupe. The planting season was right in the middle of our move into our new home, so we planted our garden late. For watering, we used an overhead sprinkler. Therefore, our garden produced plants well, but so did the weeds. The large garden’s weeds got too much for me and I fell behind on the weeding. There were many mistakes on my behalf with the garden, however, gardening is a personal journey of trial and error and finding what works for your garden and lifestyle.

Now I know more about how I want to plant my garden next year. Next year, I will plant only one zucchini plant, half the amount of tomatoes, two cantaloupe plants, two spaghetti squash plants, and add in butternut and acorn squash into the mix.

With the large number of tomatoes and zucchini we grew, I wanted to create a recipe that I could use up the tomatoes and zucchini with. With that, the Hearty Tomato Zucchini Soup was created!

In addition to the tomato zucchini soup, my zucchini egg waffle recipe is another tasty recipe I enjoy this time of year!

Hearty Tomato Zucchini Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 quarts (128 ounces) stewed tomatoes OR four 28 ounce cans of stewed tomatoes plus one 14.5 ounces can
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion
  • 2 medium-sized zucchini
  • 2 garlic cloves – Sunnyfield Farm Organic Garlic
  • 2 tablespoon chicken bouillon
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil

Instructions

  1. Chop or shred zucchini and mince garlic. Sauté zucchini in olive oil in a frying pan. Once the zucchini is tender, add garlic and continue to sauté until garlic is aromatic. Once finished, remove from heat and do to next step in the recipe.
  2. In a blender, blend the onion and tomatoes. Pour pur√©e in a big soup pot. If you want a chunky tomato soup, leave one quart or can of tomatoes unblended.
  3. Add sautéed zucchini and garlic to the soup pot.
  4. Add spices and seasoning to the soup, including chicken bouillon, salt, pepper, thyme, and basil.
  5. Simmer soup for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and let each serving cool down in a bowl. Enjoy!

To spice up the meal, you can sprinkle cheese on the soup and/or add grilled chicken chunks. It is also great served with grilled cheese sandwiches!

Resources

Sunnyfield Farm Website

Utah State University Extension: Yard & Garden (favorite Utah resources for garden and food preservation)

Refreshing Raspberry Almond Smoothie

This Raspberry Almond Smoothie is a personal favorite of mine because I love the flavorful combination of revitalizing raspberries and delightful almonds. This raspberry almond smoothie is naturally sweet, savory, and super satisfying. You can enjoy this tasty treat any time of the day!

Ingredients For Adults

  • 1 cup milk of your choice (cow’s, almond, soy, rice, coconut, etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 drop of almond extract
  • 1/2 of a ripe banana
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Ingredients For Children

  • 1 cup vitamin D whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 drop of almond extract
  • 1/2 of a ripe banana
  • 1 scoop of kid-specific vanilla powder

Extra Smoothie Add-Ons:

  • Shredded zucchini
  • Chopped spinach
  • Old-fashioned oats
  • Chia seeds
  • Ground flaxseed
  • Hemp seed
  • Etc.

Instructions:

  • Combine all ingredients in your high-speed blender and blend until creamy!
  • Enjoy!

Sweet & Simple Cinnamon Glazed Almonds

Nothing screams summer rodeo and fair food like warm cinnamon glazed almonds! These sweet, nutty, and crunchy morsels are so fun to pop in your mouth as you enjoy summer festivities. Whether you enjoy them in your backyard as you host a summer barbecue or take them on-the-go when going summer adventuring, they are a perfect snack!

Thanks to my momma Elizabeth, who gave me both the nut roaster and recipe, I am able to share it here on my blog with all of you! On the subject of loved ones, this is a perfect treat to gift. We’ve taken the almonds to new neighbors and plan to give the roasted nuts as Christmas treats to family, neighbors, and friends. The options on who you can give them to are endless! Anyone for any occasion!

Cinnamon Glazed Almonds

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole raw almonds
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Supplies Needed

  • Nut Roaster
  • Heat-resistant spatula
  • Non-stick baking tray, parchment paper, or silicone baking mat.
  • Wooden spoon

Instructions

  1. Spread almonds evenly in the bottom of the pan.
  2. Pour water, sugar, ground cinnamon, and vanilla over the nuts.
  3. Turn crank handle to mix the nuts and ingredients together.
  4. Place pan on the burner and turn to medium heat.
  5. Stir continuously and slowly, allowing the glaze to keep coating the nuts. It is normal for the almonds to slide around at first. The nuts will begin to tumble as the glaze thickens.
  6. As the glaze begins to thicken, you will feel more resistance as you stir the almonds. When all the liquid evaporates from the cinnamon sugar glaze, it will quickly change to a crystalline coating. Remove the pan immediately from the heat.
  7. Using a heat-resistant spatula, immediately spread the glazed almonds on a non-stick baking tray, parchment paper, or silicone baking mat to cool.
  8. Separate the nuts with a wooden spoon as needed.
  9. Wait for nuts to cool so you don’t burn your tongue. Enjoy!
Cinnamon Glazed Almonds Ingredients
Cinnamon Candied Almonds
Cinnamon Glazed Almonds

Marriage Prep Advice – Letter To A Friend

A little while back I had another woman reach out to me and ask:

“What are some things you wish someone would have told you before getting married? I’ve headed that direction and just want to be as ready for marriage as possible.”

My Response Was:

First thing, is that life does not get easier once you are married. If you are trying to run away from problems by getting married, it doesn’t help. Life is amazing with a spouse, however, with marriage comes responsibility and a lot of sacrifices.

To start off, every couple’s relationship is so very different. What I will share is what has worked for my husband Karson and me. Something about me is that I am a slow-moving gal. Before I make decisions, I like to take my time and plan the heck out of it. When I move forward with decisions, I am very thoughtful and reflective so I know I am making a good one.

Girl, that fact that you are asking questions and looking for advice is awesome! I think it is so helpful to be prayerful about these things!

Time Spent Dating

Karson and I dated for about a year and were engaged for a couple of months. I liked dating Karson for that long because I was able to see him through all seasons of the year (deer season included!) and see that he was the same person I met on day 1 that he was on day 365.

Take the time that you feel is best for the two of you, which could be either shorter or longer. However, I feel that it is good to be with that person long enough for the infatuation phase to simmer down. The “in-love” feeling is wonderful, however, after it is gone, you can really see who your boyfriend is and if he will still lasso the moon for you.

Working Through A Disagreement

I also think it is good to work through a major disagreement with your boyfriend before you get married. Don’t make up a disagreement obviously, however, be forward with things that you have issues with. Marriage will not make issues disappear. There will be disagreements throughout your whole marriage and if you learn that the two of you can communicate and work through a problem and become closer because of it, that’s wonderful.

My first year of marriage was a breeze because Karson and I learned to communicate well while dating. We have been married for six years and we still get along so very well. I have not regretted marrying him once. I knew him very well and knew what kind of man I was marrying.

Same Goals

We view money, parenting, politics, and religion similarly. Obviously, marriage can work when you have disagreements on certain things. However, it has been nice that both Karson and I are very hard-working, frugal, and self-reliant people who work really hard and make sacrifices so we have financial freedom. We both have the same goal of raising respectful, kind, faithful and competent children. We view politics the same so that obviously makes life easier. To have a virtuous and loyal husband is such a blessing.

Marriage Prep Endnote

I also feel that it is good to keep personal matters just between you and your spouse. Obviously, if there are major marital issues, it is good to get help. Church bishops, counselors, therapists, and family members can then become involved if you can’t do it alone. However, if I were to confide in my mother about things that my husband did wrong, she might hold on to his problems because she doesn’t have the healing marriage bond with my husband like I do. That can cause unneeded tension in family relationships. Does that make sense?

My favorite marriage books are The 5 Love Languages and Covenant Hearts.

I hope this helps! I am happy that good things are coming your way!

Love,

Breanna

Here is another letter to a friend about Postpartum Health and Fitness.

Postpartum Health and Fitness – Letter To A Friend

I recently had another mom reach out to me and ask:

“How do you motivate yourself to workout, eat healthily, and keep moving as a postpartum mom?”

My Response Was:

Finding time to workout as a mother is hard! It is difficult to sacrifice time that you guiltily feel should be spent taking care of your baby, and instead take care of yourself. When we sign up to be mothers, we do give our lives away. However, raising children is worth the sacrifice. Nonetheless, it is important to take time for ourselves so we have the ability to give of ourselves to our children and husband. It is not selfish to take care of your own health.

Postpartum Fitness

Sometimes, I get into an all or nothing mentality with fitness. If I can’t do a 1+ hour full-body workout, my efforts aren’t good enough. However, shooting for 30 minutes of movement each day is a good starting point for me. Sometimes the movement might be mowing a lawn or weeding a garden. Typically, I do simple bodyweight workouts at home before my children wake up. High-intensity interval training is a great way to burn fat without spending hours upon hours working out in a day.

My husband’s health insurance has a gym reimbursement program, so, I recently signed up at my local gym. I plan to go at 5 o’ clock in the morning before my husband leaves to work. However, I am not nursing a baby anymore and have the extra energy to sacrifice some sleep. When I didn’t get enough sleep when nursing my babies, my milk supply would drop.

Stroller Walks

Stroller walks are a great way to get moving that also includes your baby. Finding other moms in your church group and neighborhood to run/walk with is a great way to workout. My friend and I, first thing in the morning would go for a walk around our neighborhood with our little babies. It was fun to talk to her while exercising and giving our babies an enjoyable stroller ride.

You can keep an eye on classified ads for a discounted jogging stroller if you want to start running again. Finding a sport or type of exercise you really love is the key to sustainability.

Accountability Partners

Including your spouse in your fitness journey is so helpful. He can be a great accountability partner. I have learned that sometimes you just need to ask your husband to watch your baby while you go exercise. He wants you to be happy as a mom and if going on a quick run will make you happier and more able to take care of your baby, he should gladly help. Finding accountability partners is crucial in staying motivated and driven.

Nutrition

Bulk cooking healthy foods and eating it throughout the week is the best way I have found to eating well. For a quick breakfast, I love oatmeal and smoothies. For quick nutritious lunches and dinners, steam some veggies, cook some rice, and eat it with a side of lean meat.

I too am still learning how to stay happy and healthy as a postpartum mom. It’s definitely been a journey. You can skim my website to read my articles for some tips and takeaways on healthy habits. You and your husband and you are doing an excellent job with your baby boy and hope we can catch up soon in the near future.

stroller walking

Benefits Of Walking With A Stroller

This morning around 10 a.m., I grabbed my jogging stroller, threw on some exercise pants, long sleeves, sunscreen, and a trucker hat and headed out the door. I got my children comfy in the stroller with books and toys and made sure they had protection from the sun too.

In my neighborhood, there is a paved parkway for runners and bikers that I take full advantage of during the warm months here in Utah. Stroller walks and runs on straight pathways make for a more enjoyable ride for the children.

As I was walking up to the trail, I saw this sprightly elderly woman mowing her lawn. I walked passed her and asked if she needed help and she explained to me that by mowing her lawn, she was getting her exercise in for the day. Her yard was pristine and I could tell that she takes pride in her home and health. She said thank you anyway and commented how cute my children were in the stroller. I left her yard smiling at the positive vibe she left me. Once my children and I got home from our walk, I put my son down for a nap and went outside with my three-year-old daughter to mow the lawn.

After seeing this beautifully aged woman, I was reminded how exercise and daily movement is essential in preventing osteoporosis and muscle wasting as our bodies age. Choosing simple ways to move our bodies, such as mowing a lawn or pushing a stroller, are easy ways to get in daily exercise.  Mowing the lawn and pushing a stroller are similar movements and I wanted to share why doing both can improve your health.

Benefits Of Walking With A Stroller… or Mower

Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Fitness

Walking is a form of aerobic exercise that improves circulation and helps the body better use oxygen. Walking strengthens the heart and cardiovascular system. When pushing a stroller or lawnmower, you are pushing extra weight, therefore, making your body work harder.

Core Engagement

It is important to engage your core when pushing a stroller or mowing the lawn. Both activities are great ways to engage and strengthen the core. When doing those activities, be cautious not to improperly twist the spine. As a postpartum mom, a strong core helps to keep up proper posture and body alignment.

Family Bonding

As a mom, your kids are kinda stuck with you. Ya, feel me? It is not recommended to leave young children alone while you go on a run by yourself or do yard work for an extended period. Therefore, bring your kid(s) along with you in a stroller. While you work in the yard, strap a kid on your back or let them play in the yard. Teaching children to take care of their bodies and the environment around them will do both them and this world some good.

Time Spent Outdoors

Spending time outdoors has documented health benefits. When we are exposed to sunlight and natural living things, it helps synchronize our circadian rhythms. Time spent outdoors helps us become mentally and physically grounded. Being outside improves your sense of well-being and helps your body produce vitamin D.

Tips for Parents

When taking children on a stroller walk or spending time outdoors for an extended period, have snacks, sun protection, toys, water, and children who have an empty bladder. These are easy and great ways to keep up an enjoyable experience outside.

Walking is a great way to introduce exercise into a sedentary lifestyle. In my article, Workout Motivation and Goal-Setting, I share how to set fitness goals and tips to meet them. A good goal to set is walking 10,000 steps a day. Read the article to start creating a goal, like getting in 10,000 steps a day, to help you have greater health and fitness. 

Basal Cell Carcinoma – Entry Two

Welcome to the second entry of my basal cell carcinoma series. I hope that the series is small, however, I would be na√Įve to think that I will never have skin cancer again. However, from here on out, my skin will be monitored closely by my dermatologist, and I will continue to carry out strict skin protection practices to prevent further skin damage.

You can read my first basal cell carcinoma entry here. On my first entry, I mentioned that I was to have my surgery on February 24th, however, I rescheduled the surgery for March 6th and had a pre-surgery consult on February 26th.

Health Insurance

On the 6th of February, I turned 26 and under current law before that age, a young adult is covered by their parent’s health insurance. Since I was no longer covered¬†by my parent’s health insurance policy, I needed to switch to my husband’s health insurance starting March 1st. I still had coverage 31 days after February 6th, so the end of coverage date would be March 9th. I had a several day period between March 1st and March 9th where I had dual health insurance coverage. My surgery was scheduled on March 6th which fell within the range of the dual coverage, meaning I could receive the benefits from both insurances.

Pre-Surgery

Before I had the procedure, I met with the surgeon and asked him questions about basal cell carcinoma and the Mohs surgery. I asked specific questions because I really wanted to see how much the surgeon thought he would have to take out of my face. We discussed repair plans and if I needed a plastic surgeon to close my incision.

Initially, I was a bit of a mess trying to figure out when I should have the surgery, what to do with insurances, what kind of coverage I had, and for what amount I would be financially responsible. However, I made a lot of calls to the insurance companies and dermatology office and was able to sort out the issues.

After I figured out as much as I could on my own, I went to the Ogden Utah LDS temple to think about my decision. I chose to go there for a number of reasons, but one of the main reason was that I wanted a place of solitude where I could thoughtfully decide if I was making the right decision about my surgery. After prayer and reflection, I felt like my decision about my surgery was good. Therefore, I planned to have my surgery on March 6th.

Basal Cell Carcinoma Mohs Surgery

On Tuesday, March 6th, my husband drove me to the dermatology clinic for my surgery. We dropped our children off at my parent‚Äôs home on the way there. We arrived at the clinic and went into the room where the procedure would be performed. The physician’s assistant came in and with a marker drew some marks on my nose and face for surgery prep. The medical assistant numbed my nose and gave me anti-anxiety medication. My Mohs surgery was not under general anesthetic so I opted for some medication that would help relax me.

The surgeon came in and excised the first portion of tissue. During a Mohs surgery, the surgeon takes the first portion out and then takes it to a lab for examination of the basal carcinoma cells. The first excision did not remove all the basal carcinoma cells, therefore, he came back a second time and removed more tissue. They were able to remove all the abnormal basal carcinoma cells with the second excision. They examined the second biopsy and the borders were clean.

The spot was small enough that there was no need for plastic surgery. The physician’s assistant came in and closed up the spot with stitches and covered it with a bandage.

Post Mohs Surgery

Recovery

Post-procedural care entailed me not exerting myself for the 48 hours after surgery. I was to not elevate my blood pressure, lift heavy items, or strain myself. I rested and took it easy for those two days and felt pretty good. My family helped me a lot, however, I still performed mom duties. I was instructed that I could remove my bandage 48 hours after surgery. I woke up at three in the morning that third morning and couldn’t stand having the bandage on my face any longer. It was itching and irritating my face.

Bandage Over Mohs Incision Site

The dermatology staff encouraged me to take off the bandage in the shower to aid in removal. That morning, I jumped in the shower and let the bandage soak for a couple of minutes. I pulled it off and started cleaning the incision with the recommended hydrogen peroxide. With a hydrogen peroxide soaked q-tip, I started to clean it. My nose was still swollen and my left nostril was pulled up by the stitches. So, my nose was asymmetrical and slightly disfigured. The inside of my nostril was so swollen that I couldn’t breathe out of my left nostril.

Emotional Shock

The visual of the slightly deformed nose and stitches caused me to have a minor emotional shock reaction. I became light-headed and had to sit down in the shower to get more blood back to my head. I called out to my sleeping husband to get me a glass of juice. After I drank some juice and gained my bearings, I stood up and finished showering. I got back in bed but couldn’t fall back asleep because I was fretting.

Therefore, I grabbed a tablet and watched some Netflix in our living room to get my mind off of my nose. I texted my mom a picture of my nose while I was watching a show, not thinking that she was awake. However, she texted back wanting to call me. I told her she couldn’t call me because if I were to talk to her, I would burst into tears. So through text, my mom who also is a registered nurse, reassured me that the swollenness would die down and that my nose would be more symmetrical once the stitches were out. I felt a bit better after being reassured by her. Nevertheless, I was still emotional that whole morning and before my husband left for work, he made sure I was well enough to take care of our children.

Rest

When my children got up, I made them breakfast and I let them play in their room while I sat near them resting. However, late morning I continued to feel unwell, so I put us all down for early naps. ¬†After I was able to rest, I felt better. As the hours went by that day, my nose was looking better. All in all, the incision actually looked really good. However, my physical and emotional equilibrium was out of whack and I wasn’t able to process my emotions very well.

Mohs Incision Recovery

Healed

A week after my surgery, the dermatology P.A. removed my stiches. I am very pleased with how my incision and nose look post-surgery. As of this moment, my incision is healing well.  I was instructed to keep it wet with petroleum jelly. As the incision heals and becomes less tender, I can massage it to promote healing and softening of scar tissue.

This whole experience has been a reminder of how lucky I am to be surrounded by such supportive family members and friends. I am grateful that I was able to have my skin cancer removed by skilled medical staff and that the surgery and repair were successful.

Resources

https://www.skincancer.org/

Honey Whole Wheat Banana Applesauce Muffins

Honey Whole Wheat Banana Applesauce Muffins are an easy breakfast or snack. You’ll feel good about putting this fluffy and moist morsel in your mouth because they are made with clean wholesome ingredients. It’s a simply delicious way to get some complex carbs and fiber!

Ingredient Breakdown

Whole Wheat Flour

Whole wheat flour is a wonderful source of fiber and is made from grain that has not been heavily processed or refined.

Sea Salt

High-quality¬†sea salt has trace minerals that are beneficial in our bodies. Although you don’t want it in excess, a normal amount of sodium helps regulate the electrolyte¬†balance in our bodies.

Ground Flaxseed

Ground flaxseed is rich in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. It also has phytochemicals called lignans, which reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Flaxseed that is ground is easier to digest and promotes a healthy digestion. Like other sources of dietary fiber, ground flaxseed should be taken with plenty of fluids.

Unsweetened Applesauce

Unsweetened applesauce is another great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Unsweetened applesauce possesses no added sugar, artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors.

Raw Honey

Raw honey is a pure unfiltered natural sweetener made by honeybees from the nectar of flowers. Raw honey has incredible nutritional value and has antibacterial properties. Raw honey can help with healthy weight management, natural allergy relief,  and reduction of free-radicals in the body.

Eggs

Eggs are an excellent source of protein, iron, essential vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids. If you have access to fresh farms eggs, they are an excellent choice because they contain more vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids and less cholesterol and fat.

Bananas

Bananas are a great source of dietary fiber, vitamin c, potassium, manganese and vitamin B6.

Nutritional Advice

Although these muffins are made with clean wholesome ingredients, they are high in sugar and carbohydrates. Therefore, eat the muffins in moderation. Enjoy your food and eat to nourish and fuel your body.

Ingredients

  • Whole Wheat Flour – 3 1/2 cups
  • Baking Soda – 2 teaspoons
  • Sea Salt – 1 teaspoon
  • Ground Flaxseed – 2 tablespoons
  • Unsweetened Applesauce – 2/3 cup
  • Raw Honey – 1 cup
  • Eggs – 4 count
  • Ripe Mashed Bananas – 2 cups (about 3 medium bananas)
  • Hot Water – 1/2 cup
  • Oats for garnish
  • Honey for garnish
  • Oil spray or paper baking cups

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 ‚ĄČ and gather all ingredients on the counter.
  2. Stir together dry ingredients in a bowl. Dry ingredients include whole-wheat flour, baking soda, and sea salt. 
  3. In a separate bowl, beat applesauce and honey together with a hand mixer.
  4. Add eggs to wet ingredients and beat well.
  5. Add mashed bananas to wet ingredients and then beat to combine.
  6. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.  Alternate adding dry ingredients with hot water to the wet mixture.  Mix well after each addition.
  7. Spoon batter into greased muffin tray three-fourths full. An alternate option of greasing the pan is to use paper baking cups in the tray.
  8.  If desired, drizzle the muffin batter with honey and oats
  9. Bake¬†at 325 ‚ĄČ for 17 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown and test done and clean with a toothpick.¬†
  10. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
  11. Enjoy!