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Hobby Your Way To Happiness

Hobby Your Way to Happiness

Hobbies are a great way to lose oneself in something that they enjoy while relaxing their stresses and mind.

Starting in high school, people and jobs would ask me if I had any hobbies but I had no idea if I had any hobbies or really what a hobby was. My idea of a hobby was collecting things like baseball cards (which as a kid I had binders full of baseball cards) or making model cars. As a kid, hobbies seemed like something boys did not girls.

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Little did I know, I had a hobby since I could read…. reading books. As soon as I could walk to the library, I spent so many hours reading books at the library and then taking books home and reading until the wee hours of the morning. My mom loves to tell the story that I loved to read so much that while walking down the street, I was reading and walked into a pole….

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Yes I found my hobby but I didn’t know it. In my 20s, my hobby evolved to crocheting which has turned into my handmade business. In the past few years, my hobby is gardening because I love to see what I can grow and my family can eat. I still love to read but I don’t have the time to always read so I listen to a lot of audio books. My stress release that I found in crocheting was lost for a while because the business aspect replaced the fun aspect. Now that I have Evie to crochet fun things for, crocheting has become fun again.

Without my hobbies, I wouldn’t have been able to make it through some of the most stressful situations in my life. My hobbies are what brought me happiness and released the stress that my mind and body were feeling at the time.

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Reasons to have a hobby: 

  1. Helps to relieve the stress your mind and body feels on a daily basis
  2. Helps to encourage you to challenge your mind with different tasks
  3. Helps you take a break from your daily tasks
  4. Helps you to explore new hobbies and evolve as a person
  5. Helps with anxiety and depression

Helps to relieve the stress your mind and body feels on a daily basis: 

The body and mind need time to destress everyday. Without this destressing time, the body fills with negative feelings and thoughts which is not healthy. A hobby naturally boosts your positivity about yourself and life which releases the stress brought on by the negative.

Helps to encourage you to challenge your mind with different tasks:

A hobby challenges a person to find new ways to accomplish their hobby. For example, a knitter will finish one project and will search for a new, more difficult pattern to accomplish next. The brain wants to be challenged and learn new things which a hobby aids in accomplishing.

Helps you take a break from your daily tasks:

Everyone needs a break from their daily routine or life becomes mundane and dull. When life becomes dull, a person becomes bored and can become depressed. Even a 5 minute break enjoying your hobby can aid in changing things up and keep your day fresh.

Helps you to explore new hobbies and evolve as a person:

Over the years, your hobbies can stay the same or they can evolve into a new hobby. Someone that loves to paint, may learn a new painting technique or a new type of art. Learning new hobbies or techniques helps a person evolve mentally and physically (depending on the type of hobby).

Helps with anxiety and depression:

As someone who has suffered from both anxiety and depression since I was a teen, having a hobby that I enjoyed has helped relieve both of these. Keeping yourself busy with a hobby helps to calm your nerves and anxiety by having your mind distracted with the current task you are enjoying. When you are involved mentally and physically, there leaves little room for your depression to creep in at that moment. Over time, your mind will learn to release the anxiety and depression while you are involved with your hobby.

There are so many different hobbies that people can have that have so many healthy and happiness benefits. You can practice yoga or meditation. You can work out at a gym or walk around your neighborhood. You can read books or draw/paint pictures. You can build model cars or rebuild classic cars. You can crochet, knit or sew special things for people in your life. The possibilities are endless and here is a list of 40 hobbies you can try today! Here is a PDF printable of the list: 50 Hobbies To Try

50 Hobbies To Try

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Mother’s Day DIY Q-Tip Canvas Gift

15 Dinner Ideas for You and Your Dad

Moms love receiving gifts, especially handmade gifts that were made with love by their children or grandchildren. Whether you are an adult looking for a special, budget friendly gift to make you mom or a parent looking to have your children make a gift for mom or grandma, this DIY Q-tip canvas gift is one that is easy and adorable.

The great thing about this gift is that you can make is as simple as saying mom or make it more complex with mom’s favorite quote or song lyrics!

Supplies Needed:

Canvas (size of your choice, my example is

Paint (I prefer a dark and light color to contrast)

Qtips

Double Sided Tape

Print out of the word(s) you want to create on the canvas

Directions:

  1. Cut out the letters to the words you want on your canvas.
  2. Place the tape on the backside of the letters and position them on the canvas.
  3. Take one color (darker color works better) and q-tip the paint all over the canvas. Let it dry.
  4. Apply the second color once the first color is dry.
  5. Once both colors are dry and set, removed the letter.
  6. You can either frame the canvas or attach something to hang the canvas.
  7. Wrap it up and give it to the special woman in your life!

 

must-see sights in europe

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Plant Seeds to Save Earth and Money

25 Poppasome Tokens of Appreciation

Its Earth Day and what better way to celebrate than by starting a garden! An added bonus to starting a garden is the money you save by growing your own herbs, vegetables and fruits.

For most of my life, I have loved flowers and gardens but was plagued with a black thumb. Any living plant I tried to grow, failed and died pretty quickly. Either, I forgot to water or I over watered and killed the plants.Even with the consistent failing at growing plants, I kept on trying over and over again.

Through much perseverance, I have turned my black thumb into a green thumb. Last year, I planted cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, Bok choy, beans and squash. Also, I planted so many beautiful flowers. The cucumbers, some of the peppers, bok choy and squash were bought and planted as seedling plants. The tomatoes, rest of the peppers, lettuce and beans were started as seeds.

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Starting the plants as seeds was a first time thing for me and I didn’t realize how fast and how many of seedlings grow from these tiny seeds. I ended up with SOOOOOO many tomato and pepper plants that we couldn’t keep up with all of them. Danyella was in her glory to be able to go pick and eat her tomatoes whenever she wanted all summer long.

I did have some failures like my bok choy and squash. I didn’t know that squash needed some help with their fruition in order to grow. Plus, I didn’t know that bok choy would bolt so quickly and I couldn’t keep up with it.

This year, thanks to Target, Walmart and the Dollar store, I have expanded my list of plants which I am starting all from seeds. At Walmart and Target, I found herbs in little tins that come with the seeds and starter pellets. The great thing about these kits is that the herbs can continue to grow indoors in these tins, all year-long. Now, I can cook with fresh herbs like Thyme, Basil, Cilantro, Oregano and Sage!

I bought seeds like tomato, snap peas, and beans plus the seed starting trays at the dollar store. These are great because you only need them for a short period of time. I bought the seed starter pellets for $4 at Walmart and have lots of seedlings already started. I have leftover seeds from last year and need to buy a few more types of seeds for this year.

Instead of buying tons of trays, I am recycling egg cartons, milk containers and things to start my seeds or make into pots. This not only saves me money but saves the Earth from more trash to be collected in a trash dump.

My challenge this year is going to be to make my garden grow all in pots. I am fearful of planting a garden in the yard because we share it with the unruly neighbors whose kids don’t have any respect for other people’s property. Living on the second floor, I have lots of outdoor steps leading up to our door to utilize with pots. I plan on using every space possible to grow my garden and save money this summer with our fresh veggies and trying a strawberry plant for the first time this year!

Total for seeds, pellets and eventually soil for my pots will still cost less than going to the store and buying these fruits and veggies at the store.

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Are you ready to start a garden today?

 

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Super Easy Lactation No Bake Bites

Photo Apr 20, 5 27 06 PM

I am an exclusively pumping mama so I know that keeping my breastmilk supply is super important. A few weeks ago, my supply took a huge dive and I have no idea why. I haven’t had any diet changes or anything that I would think that would change my supply so I did research on what helps with increasing a mother’s supply. There are a list of different foods and supplements that can help so I decided to put them together into one of my energy bites.

After 2 days of eating one of these bites every time I pumped resulted in my supply getting back to normal and after a week of doing this my supply increased about 1-2 ounces per session! This was amazing to me!

Notes about the recipe: I used dip mixes for fruit dips that I found in the baking and spices aisle of the grocery store to roll the bites in to make them tastier but they are still delish without the garnish. Also, for an extra crunch, I use crunchy peanut butter.

You can keep the bites in the fridge for up to a week or put into the freezer and defrost them for the day if you want to make a large batch!

*Please note that I am not a medical professional or lactation consultant, just a breastfeeding mother who found a recipe that works for me and wanted to share with all of you!

Photo Apr 20, 4 49 44 PM

Lactation No Bake Bites

  • Servings: 24
  • Difficulty: super easy
  • Print

A super easy, no bake snack that aids in increasing breastmilk supply for breastfeeding moms.


Credit: kaella.net

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of peanut, almond or a butter of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons of warm water
  • 1/2 cup of oats
  • 1/3 cup honey, preferred raw for lactation increase
  • 1/3 cup of ground flaxseed
  • 2 teaspoons of ground brewer’s yeast
  • garnish for rolling the bites in ie: fruit dip mix, mini chocolate chips, coconut flakes, raisins, etc

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the butter of your choice and the water until the butter is softened.
  2. Add the honey and mix well.
  3. Add the dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Put an oil like olive or coconut on your hands for the next part for an easier time: Take a tablespoon of the mixture, roll it into a ball (this is where is gets sticky and messy), then roll the ball into your garnish.
  5. Place the garnished bite onto a baking sheet with parchment paper lining.
  6. Put the bites on the baking sheet into the fridge to firm up. In about an hour they are ready to eat!

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Write It Out: Put Your Feelings on Paper

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Have you ever gotten to a point in your life that you have kept so much bottled up inside that you feel like a volcano ready to explode? Maybe the person you need to talk to is not around to express your feelings? Do you feel like you have no one to talk to about what is going on in your life? There are more than one reason a person holds in their feelings instead of expressing them but writing them out is a way of getting those feelings out.

Lately, I have had a lot going on in my personal life that only a few people know about. This situation has been playing over and over in my mind until I get to the point of wanting to scream my head off. Thankfully, I have had a few close friends and family to listen to me talk about this situation… over and over. I have tried to talk to the person that is involved with the situation but that is like talking to a brick wall.

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My solution to getting my feelings out without annoying the hell out of my friends and family or getting frustrated for talking to a wall… write it out! I have been journal writing since high school because a counselor suggested it as a way to express my feelings without having to talk about them. I won’t lie, I can go long periods without writing in my journal because things are either going so well that I don’t feel the need to write OR things are so bad that I am to numb to write.

When I write my out my feelings, I feel a sense of relief afterwards. Sometimes this relief is short-lived… a few hours or it can last a few days or weeks. No matter how long this relief lasts for the fact that I am able to express my feelings is the healthy aspect of living a positive life. Yes, we all have negativity in our lives whether we want it our not but it is how we handle this negativity that makes the difference in living a positive life. Journal writing helps turn those negative feelings we are dealing with into a positive way of expression.

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Journal writing can aid in keeping you connected with your mind and body aka mindfulness. It can keep your mind focused on goals that need or want to be accomplished. Taking the time to write in a journal teaches self-discipline to do a task when you feel a trigger coming that needs to be expressed. Journal writing has healing benefits for people with depression, anxiety and sleep disorders because it helps to calm the mind. This is just some of the benefits of journal writing!

 

I used to and still do love writing with a pen and paper. Just the feeling of releasing my feelings while the ink glides across the paper. Seeing those words come to life is just a magical feeling. Unfortunately, my hands do not want to cooperate with writing with a pen and paper. After a few minutes of writing, my hands end up in a lot of pain so I have started making my journal writing digital. I use google drive to make my documents because it is free and I can use it among all my devices. Like last night, I needed to write my feelings out so I was able to grab my phone, open the app and type away until I felt better.

So, whether you need a pen and paper or a computer/tablet/phone to write your feelings, it doesn’t matter as long as you write your feelings out. Good feelings, bad feelings… all feelings matter and feel great when you write them down. I encourage you to start writing today!

Writing your feelings out in a journal keeps your POSITIVE life on track. Take a few minutes to write down the good, the bad or the ugly and release it to the universe.

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Baby Prints DIY Mason Jar Vase

With Mother’s Day less than a month away, I wanted to find a cute way to make a gift for the grandmothers that incorporated the baby. Everyone loves baby hands and feet, so why not use them as a print. With a simple mason jar, some paint I had in the house and the baby’s hands and feet…. a Mother’s Day gift was born!

All you need is a jar (I love the way mason jars look so that is what I picked), paint, a paint brush and a baby!

First, Paint a base coat onto the mason jar. I did 3 coats of white first, letting each coat dry for a few hours between.

Next, I attempted to get Evie’s handprints on to the jar with the yellow. She was less than cooperative because she just wanted to chew on her teething toy not play in paint. I let this sit for a few hours to dry.

Next, I printed Evie’s feet over the hand print to make a layered look. This does look cute on the ones where Evie let me roll her feet with the paint.

Last, I put daffodils in the jar to make a vase, but you can add some dirt and make this a planter or add their favorite candy for a candy jar. The possibilities are endless and they will love having a grandchild or child keepsake to decorate their house.

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A Letter To My Friends From an Infant’s Mom

Letter to My Friends

To All of My Friends,

Thank you for the support you have given me before I had this precious little baby that makes my whole world go round. Some of you are moms and some of you are not which means some of you understand what I am going through right now. My day, everyday, consists of taking care of this little person that relies solely on me to take care of their needs. This means lots of feedings, diaper changes and snuggles throughout the day and very little sleep.

I am sorry for not returning your calls or texts. I do see them and intend of getting back to you but I am usually in the throes of a baby related activity that I forget. When I remember again, it’s usually when I am awake for the 4am feeding which is not ideal to text someone to have a conversation. Then days go by and I remember again but feel guilty that I forgot so I don’t text or call you back because I have become a bad friend. I know many of you have given up on waiting for that text back and I am sorry. I am sorry that I have become a bad friend.

I see your fun times on Instagram and Facebook and wish I could be out having fun with you. My fun times are seeing my baby smile and giggle, to see their first roll over, being there for their first steps and when they speak their first word. My bottles are now filled with special booby juice instead of special grape juice. So when you have a drink, please have an extra one for me!

I don’t know when I can return to being a good friend again but I hope that when I am ready, you are willing to be my friend again. I look forward to have fun friend times again but right now my friend times are taken over with baby times. For those of you that are not mom’s yet, I will be there to support you when you are in the throes of Mommyhood. For my friends that are already mommies, I can’t wait to have playdates in the future.

I know that I am not a good friend right now but I am being the best Mommy that I can be. I am raising a precious child that will shape this world into a good world for all people. One day we will go out and have that glass of wine that I am dying for girly filled talking but until then enjoy your life and fun times.

Love,

Your Friend that is the Mommy to an Infant

To My Friends, I am sorry I am a bad friend but one day the baby will let me come out and play again.

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Baked Lemon Chicken Printable Recipe

This Baked Lemon Chicken has become a must have for Danyella who is my super-duper picky eater! This is a simple recipe which is great for a quick prep dinner. Danyella loves this chicken paired with baked or mashed potatoes and a veggie side (always my vegetarian!).

I used chicken quarters because it was on sale but using other chicken, such as boneless,  will adjust the cooking time to a shorter time frame. Please just watch and check your chicken temperature while cooking this recipe. Check the chart below to get an idea on cooking times for different chicken cuts.

chicken

A fast prep chicken dish with delicious flavor.


Credit: kaella.net

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds chicken (cut of your choice)
  • 3 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 garlic cloves (pressed, chopped or sliced)
  • seasoning salt (to taste)
  • 1 lemon, sliced

Directions

  1. Set oven to 400 degrees. In a pan, melt butter and brown each side of the chicken piece (3-4 minutes per side).
  2. In a bowl, add the broth, honey, garlic and salt together. Whisk to get the ingredients to mix well.
  3. Add the chicken to a rimmed pan, pour the broth mixture over the chicken and set the lemon slices on top of the chicken.
  4. Bake the chicken for the recommended temperature: Breast, Bone In: 30 minutes, Boneless: 20 minutes, Quarter: 45 minutes, thigh 30 minutes, wings 30 minutes. Please use your good judgement in checking your chicken to be sure it is done and ready to serve.
  5. Serve and enjoy your Baked Lemon Chicken with your delicious sides!

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Thankful For Starting My Day with Baby Smiles

Thankful for starting my day with baby smiles

Wow that title is a mouthful!! When I a thinking about what to write about today, all I could focus on was the smiles that Evie was giving me as she was waiting for me to finish pumping. That is the perfect topic for Thankful Thursday!

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Did you know that the first facial expression a baby has is a smile. Usually they start in the womb and have no meaning. Once a baby smiles because they are happy that is the best feeling in the world.

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The best way to start my day is seeing my baby girl look at me and smile. Evie and I start our day with singing a special good morning song that I made up for her. As soon as I start singing it, the smile on her face is just amazing. That smile is as big as her face and just beautiful. Who knew that someone would smile at the sound of my crappy singing voice?!

Smiles are contagious. Actually, smiles are more contagious than the flu! When someone, young or old, smiles you can’t help but to smile back at them. It takes more effort to not smile back.

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Looking for a promotion at work? Smile more! Studies show that smiling more at work makes an employer more likely to promote you over someone who rarely smiles. This shows that you love what you do and that you have passion for the company you work for. Smiling makes you look more successful at work and in life.

Try to force yourself to smile when you are upset and watch your mood elevate. When you smile it can feel like all your problems melt away for that moment. Use up to 53 muscles to smile so you can bring your mood up, exercise your face and reduce your blood pressure all at the same time!

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No matter where in the world you go, a smile is intercultural. You can look at someone and say hello with a smile, no language interpreter needed! This is because a smile means happiness…. everywhere in the world!

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Smiling Fun Facts:

  1. The average woman smiles 62 times a day
  2. The average man smiles 8 times a day
  3. 63% of women say they look best in photos where their teeth are showing
  4. 99.7% of people say that an attractive smile is an important personal asset
  5. 74% of people believe a bad smile can hurt their chances for a successful career
  6. A dog smiles by wagging their tail
  7. There are 19 different types of smiles!

Take the time to smile today!

 

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Worth It Wednesday

Worth It Wednesday

In my life right now, I am focused on my self-care and working towards a positive life which means eliminating the negativity in my life. Part of that negativity are my Wednesday rant posts. As nice as it is to vent my feeling but when I started to let the venting and negativity take over my life, it was time to work taking the bad out and bring the good in. So, instead of focusing on venting on Wednesdays I am going to focus on ways to bring good things into my life and your life with Worth It Wednesday!

What does Worth It Wednesday mean?

Worth It Wednesday is all about living the life you are worth living. Finding positivity in every aspect of your life. Being grateful for what you have and what you will receive in the future. Holding yourself accountable for what how your thinking, feeling and living your life. Making the necessary changes to make your life the one you want.

My goal for my new Wednesday series is to post ways that help you live your best life. This will include different activities that could help in your journey. As well, I will feature products that will aid in your positive life journey. I am a quote lover, so there will be posts that feature quotes that will enhance your life. I am sure as my journey continues, I will have different themes and posts that I haven’t thought of yet.

I am excited to share my journey with all of you and I hope that these future posts will encourage you to live the life you are worth living because it is worth it to live your best life. Life is too short to belived counting the years.Enjoy the ride and makeamazing memories.Have a great birthday!

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Kind Kids Start At Home

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If you sit back to watch and listen to a group of kids and/or teens, you will be able to pick out the rude, mean kids and kind kids. Week after week, a few parents at the dance studio sit back to watch these kids and how they act to be able to pick out these different kids. The sad thing is that the mean kids outweigh the kind kids. Not only are these kids mean to the other kids but to adults and most of all their parents! This plays right into the big internet controversy this week….

The big internet controversy this week is the episode from the Roseanne reboot where she sticks her granddaughter’s head under the kitchen sink and sprays her with water. (The clip is below if you missed it) Roseanne did this in reaction to the fact her granddaughter, Harris, is acting rude, disrespectful and entitled to everyone around her. This behavior has become common place among kids, tweens and teens which these kids feed off of each other.

 

These kids, no matter their age, will throw a temper tantrum of sorts until the parents allow them to get what they want. This behavior from the parents teaches the mean kids that their bad attitude and behavior is acceptable not only at home but in public and among other people and kids. Since when do parents step tip toe around their kids and show them fear of their temper tantrums?

Now, I will admit that Danyella has her moments. Yes, she is 11 and has learned from other kids that she should be entitled to whatever she wants and shouldn’t have to do anything for it. Boy is she wrong! Currently, we are working on undoing the bad habits her dance classmates have tried to teach her by giving her a chore chart and reward system (check that post out here: Tween Rules and Reward System). She knows that her bad behavior will not be tolerated and taking points away from her earning her New York City trip means it will be even longer before we can go. Plus, for Christmas she received an iPod which is the cause of most her throwing a fit because she doesn’t want to put it down. She will get mean, say nasty things and throw a fit when its time to give up her iPod for either a time limit or bad behavior. With the promise of points being taken away for this behavior, these tantrums have dwindled slowly.

On the other hand, kind kids are started at home with being given boundaries that help shape them into responsible, respectful kids. These parents don’t allow the kids to get away with bad behavior because there are consequences to that type of behavior. Now, I am not talking about the types of discipline in this post but I am saying these kids know that if they behave badly there will be a downfall/consequence to it.

These kind kids are the ones that will welcome a new kid into their friendship circle, open a door for a stranger, share their lunch with a kid that forgot theirs, pick up something someone else dropped and smile when someone looks at them. It is these kids that grow into responsible adults that want to help others. They are the adults that help with charities, listen to their friends talk, help when anyone needs help and smiles with someone looks at them.

Danyella has been writing her affirmations of kind words and her writing prompts are about being kind to herself and others. Plus, I have been teaching her to stand back and watch how these mean kids act when she is around them and think about how they look to others. Then, she was taught to think about whether she wants others to see her act like that and does it benefit her to act like that. Last, I have been teaching her to say something nice to someone everyday because sometimes someone needs to hear kinds words. You never know when someone else is having a bad day and those kind words just helped them feel better.

These are the kind of kids we should be raising today! The kids that learn at home to be kind to others, to be responsible for their obligations and actions and to respect other people, no matter their age or relation to them. Let’s all strive to be the parents that teach our kids to be a Kind Kid and change the world one kind kid at a time!

Teach Kids to be Kind Everyday and watch the world grow in Goodness

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Bacon, Egg and Cheese Muffin Tin Cups with Printable Recipe

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Muffins

Lately, I have been on carb OVERLOAD… the more breads, pasta and sweets fed/fueled my emotions the better I thought I would feel. Well we all know that is far, far from the truth! The carb hangover has been horrible and just fed with more carbs. Let’s just say the weight I have lost from breastfeeding the baby has come back with every delicious carb I eat.

If I am going to change my mindset and emotions, then I need to change my eating habits as well. I need more proteins to keep my energy level up with being on the go, raising an infant and running a business. In the mornings, I just don’t have time to make breakfast so my go to is/was toast with peanut butter or an english muffin but that’s more carbs and I need to stop my carb addiction!

This egg muffin recipe is one that I loved in the past because I would freeze them, heat them in the morning and run out the door. The great thing about this recipe is that you can add anything you want… sausage, bacon, ham, spinach, peppers, onions, really the possibilities are endless and easy!

 

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Muffin Cups

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

An easy breakfast recipe you can make ahead for your busy week.


Credit: kaella.net

Ingredients

  • 12 eggs
  • 6-7 slices of bacon, cooled and chopped
  • 1 cup shredded cheese of your choice
  • salt and pepper, to liking

Directions

  1. Set over to 350 degrees. Generously spray the muffin tin with spray oil so that the cups come out of the tin easily.
  2. Place one egg in each cup and whisk with a fork, if easier you can do this in a separate bowl and divide among the cups evenly.
  3. Sprinkle the bacon in a cup.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes on bottom rack.
  6. Top each cup with cheese, return to the oven. Bake for another 8-10 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool before taking them out of the tin.
  8. Serve for breakfast, place in the fridge for easy on the go breakfast for the week (heat for 45 seconds in the microwave) or place in a freezer bag, place in the freezer and eat in the future (heat for 1-2 minutes in the microwave.