The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Through extensive research, I've found two of the best chocolate chip cookie recipes ever. One all full of butter and eggs, the other vegan. You can't go wrong making either of these as they are both amazing.  

I have no notes to add about the vegan ones as they are perfect when made as written. But for the Buzzfeed recipe I highly recommend chilling the dough for at least an hour. The cookies come out much better this way. I also advise weighing the ingredients and weighing out 2oz portions of the dough when ready to bake. I never realized how much of a difference having a kitchen scale and weighing ingredients can make. I got a cheapo one from Wal-Mart and it works great.

Preschool Lunches

I have been having way too much fun packing Waves' lunches for school! It's been a lot of fun for me and she says she can't wait to open her lunchbox and see what's in it each day which is super sweet. :]

Before she started school, I stressed a bit about which lunchbox to get her and I ended up going with this Yumbox (affiliate link) and I couldn't be happier with it! I was worried it would be too small to fit enough food for her, but it's really a perfect size and I love how each section is labeled "protein", "dairy", "vegetables", etc. as it helps me brainstorm when planning her lunches so I don't just put a bunch of fruit in there 😜

The only issue I had with the Yumbox is that I put some rather thin Greek yogurt in the dairy compartment once and it did leak a bit, but now I just put yogurt in a separate container in her lunch bag if she wants some for lunch. Small issue, but I wanted to mention it. One thing I worried about was if it'd keep her food cold since her classroom doesn't have a fridge and the container just hangs out in a cubby until lunch time. I make her lunch the night before and keep it in the fridge overnight and  her teachers say her food is still cold at lunchtime - I don't even use an icepack anymore.

Her class learns a different letter each week, so I bought these mini abc cookie cutters at Wal-Mart so that her lunch would have a little snack in the shape of the letter of the week. I wouldn't recommend these cookie cutters since they're made for cookie dough and will only cut really soft foods like cucumber or cheese. They work well to stamp the letter shape into sandwiches though which works too. These metal cookie cutters (affiliate link) look like they'd be much better. 

I do recommend these sandwich cutters (affiliate link) though as they are super cute and work really well! Wal-Mart had some really cute heart, star, and flower cutters for under $1 back in the party supplies section.

Here are some of her favorite things I pack:
- cheese sandwich (she hates peanut butter and is not thrilled with sunflower butter, sooo..)
- frozen peas
- pickles
- cucumber slices
- three cheese mini pizzas from Whole Foods fit perfectly in the main compartment and she really likes them. They are in the freezer section with all the other pizzas.
- edamame
- a chocolate square and graham crackers
- frozen blueberries
- broccoli
- clementines
- plain, cold tofu (she loves this for some reason)
- bell peppers

There are some excellent posts on Pinterest if you search "Yumbox lunches". Waves is in a bit of a picky stage at the moment, but really loves fruit and veggies so I just say whatever and don't worry about mixing it up too much or getting too fancy with lunches. I'd love to hear what you guys pack in your kid's lunches as I love getting new ideas!

Hypothyroidism: What I've Learned Along the Way

gotta have my coffee 😜

A couple of months after I had my daughter, I noticed that waking up was tough and getting through the day was even tougher. There were times during the day that I was so tired I couldn't keep my eyes open. It was impossible to stay awake no matter how much coffee I drank or how well she had slept the night before.

Of course I chalked this all up to having a new baby so I didn't seek help for it. But let me tell you, if you've just had a baby and are feeling the same way.. it doesn't hurt to get your thyroid checked. I so wish that I had known this and gone to the doctor and received help sooner.

I did seek help a year later, and thanks to switching doctors, I was advised to have some labs drawn to test my thyroid. If I remember correctly, my labs revealed that my TH level was around a 9 or 10. I was started on 25mcg of levothyroxine and then had a plan of having labs drawn every six months after to see how I was reacting to the dosage. I ended up with 112mcg of levothyroxine before I finally felt better.

The main reason I'm writing this is to help anyone who was in my same situation and didn't realize that maybe their thyroid is to blame. I had no idea that so many women developed hypothyroidism after pregnancy and giving birth.

Another reason I wanted to share this is I realized something that really helped me and it all had to do with coffee. I hated taking my medicine in the morning because that meant I had to wait thirty minutes to eat or drink anything and I really love drinking a cup of coffee right when I wake up, while the house it still quiet, and I wasn't able to do that because of the medicine.

So, I started leaving my medicine and a big glass of water by my bed and setting my alarm for 3am. When my alarm goes off I just take the pill, drink the water, and go back to sleep. Now, if you have trouble going back to sleep if you wake up in the middle of the night this won't work unfortunately.

I did this so I could have my coffee in the morning, plus I'm able to take my multivitamin and supplements first thing in the morning instead of having to wait 4+ hours. The biggest change I've noticed since I've started doing this is that I no longer get that urge to nap around 2 or 3 in the afternoon. It was getting so bad for awhile there that I actually went to my doctor and told her that I thought I needed to change my dosage because I was just getting so tired in the afternoon. My labs shown that all was good so I was a little confused and guessed that I wasn't sleeping well at night or something.

But ever since I started taking the levo in the middle of the night I have not had this problem at all. It's crazy and I actually didn't even realize I wasn't getting super tired anymore until about a week or so. I've just had so much energy and I haven't changed anything other than the time I take my medicine so I really wanted to share if maybe you're also hypothyroid and have been feeling tired but your levels are good.

I know it's tough and a struggle some days when you're hypo. I've been following a few Instagrammers that are also hypo and it has been really great and motivating to see how they deal with it and still leading an active life - fitwithvicki /// autoimmunepaleo /// oohsostacey 

*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or health professional. I'm just sharing my experience dealing with hypothyroidism. Consult your doctor with any questions or concerns.

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