Today, we are wishing a very Happy Birthday to our incredible friend, my ex-husband, and the father of my first two children – Derek.
Our family wouldn’t be the same without you, and I hope you know how grateful we are to have you in our lives. Truly, life wouldn’t be near as much fun for Cashy and Ruby without their “Uncle Dekle”.
Thanks for helping to keep our family grounded, even amongst all of the crazy curveballs that we throw at you most of the time ☺. And thanks for being a great friend to me and Chris.
You’ve been quite the example to me (and to many others) during these years post-divorce. It’s been eye-opening to see how much you care about not only the kids’ happiness, but about mine and Chris’ too. People reading this would be amazed to know that when times get tough for me and Chris, YOU are usually the one that reminds me of what is most important, and encourages me to (drop my ego and) “fix it”. I don’t know one other ex-husband like that ☺. I really don’t.
If there were more parents out there that could follow your lead, this world would be a better place. Thank you for loving our kids and loving our family, and supporting us in all that we do, even when it’s not easy. We appreciate you more than you might know.
Happy 36th birthday to the most amazing man alive…my one and only, and my best friend
Chris, for your birthday this year, we thought there would be nothing better than to let you know just a few of the many reasons we are so grateful for you in our lives.
Our kiddos took this task pretty seriously…Matix and Marley were so cute and wanted to write down what they were going to say to make sure they didn’t forget anything important . Ruby had PLENTY to say about you, and Cash? Well, he’s two and a half, and said whatever came to his hilarious little head.
Without further ado… out of the mouths of your babes…
Now, from me? Too much to possibly write here, so I’ll keep this short and tell you the rest in person…
I love you so, so much, Babe. We may have the occasional spat (let’s be honest, they’re almost all my fault!), but no matter how many we have, these statements will always hold true:
YOU are my best friend,
YOU are the one I laugh with about the silliest things,
YOU make me a better person, just by being around you,
YOU are my mentor,
YOU are my partner in crime,
YOU are my rock,
YOU are my everything.
Working, living, and raising a family together 24/7 can carry some challenges…but I’ll tell ya…I wouldn’t have it any other way. The benefits of having you to experience every aspect of this life with me far outweigh those challenges. This life is so much better with you in it (not just for me, but for those reading this too). Thank you for being the love of my life. Thanks for standing by my side as we accomplish our dreams and help others accomplish theirs. I am a better person because of you.
As many of you know, our job takes us on many adventures around the U.S., and most recently, around the world. Four of the Powell Six Pack went on these adventures while Matix and Marley stayed home because they are in school. (Boy do we wish we could’ve taken them!!) We ended up being gone for two weeks straight, the longest we have ever been away from Matix and Marley. While seeing some of the most beautiful places in the world was AMAZING, we couldn’t wait to be home and together again as a family.
Our nanny, who stayed with Matix and Marley, thought it might be fun for them to create an awesome surprise for us to come home to. Because Valentine’s Day is coming up, they decided to give us one serious heart attack.
We walked into our bedroom, bathroom and closet to find this:
With some of the sweetest messages:
From our sweet, amazing, superstar kids:
As if coming home to these two wasn’t awesome enough, their surprise made it even better. It is so true what they say, “There’s no place like home.”
“Are you here on holiday?” Everybody here asks…with their dreamy New Zealand accent, I must add.
This isn’t the first country (or state for that matter) that we’ve visited where this question seems to be asked repetitively. If not by the locals, then by friends, family, and our loyal Facebook, Instagram and Twitter friends. Nope. As a matter of fact, so much of our lives is spent on the road in beautiful, breathtaking places that Chris and I had only dreamed of visiting just a few short years ago.
While it might seem like the answer to that burning question should be an easy “yes” or a “no”, it’s slightly more complicated than that.
Yes, Chris and I get to travel the world. And we get to do it with our family in tow. But I must admit, not one single, itty bitty (or huge) trip we’ve taken since we have met has been for the sole purpose of vacation or pleasure. I kid you not!
All of them, every single one, to date has been for the purpose of work. Most of these trips are to visit our peeps or shoot the show, but occasionally our trips are to take business meetings, or visit some of our favorite morning or talk shows. “That’s a LOT of work trips,” you say! Yes, yes it is.
BUT…and this is a huge “but”, this doesn’t mean that we don’t make every trip a holiday ☺. Because we do!! We have learned that since time is precious…and it’s hard for us to take time for ourselves, or ever really travel just for fun, we can make fun wherever we go.
I never in a million years would have thought that I would have the opportunity to see the world like I have been able to. I also never imagined my 4th child would see 6 states and 3 countries just after her 2 month birthday. And that’s just little Ruby’s experiences! If Cash, Matix, and Marley ever write a book…I’ll tell ya, they would have some adventures to share!
How do we do this? We work hard (REALLY hard), nearly all day everyday with a huge smile on our faces. Why smile when we work? Two reasons:
One: We hardly consider this work. We get to inspire and BE inspired by people everywhere, and we get to make best friends with those people transforming their lives. The saying is true…
“Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Two: Because we know in the midst of these extremely long days we put in (on the phone coaching from afar, on the computer writing or tweaking programs, shooting the show, developing tools to help millions…not just those on the show), that when our work day wraps, a new adventure in a foreign location awaits the Powell Pack ☺.
The perfect example – Today we were lucky enough to get to spend half of our work day on one of the most beautiful, black sand beaches of New Zealand. Knowing this was the location of the shoot, we brought the family along to play between shoots. Cash had the time of his life (going on a scavenger hunt today) while Ruby smiled at everyone and everything ☺. And for us? What’s better than being able to sneak kisses and hugs from some of our bundles of joy during our work day? Dream come true.
So, whenever you wonder if “we are here on holiday,” you now have your answer.
With Winter Break coming to an end, I can’t help but sit back and appreciate the days these kids have had off from school. With our family’s abnormally busy life, it often proves tough to find “together time”, and this holiday break was the perfect opportunity for some much needed family bonding and even new, updated family pictures!
I love the days I get to spend with my kids without worrying about spelling words, projects, math sheets, and all the other homework-related things we get to do every day. Just lots of play time
I’m especially grateful for the holidays this year. We’ve been able to finally slow down (thank you, kidney stones, for the forced slow down!) and enjoy spending time together.
Just days until our crazy adventures begin again . I’ll miss this break…
The holidays are finally here! While I love this season more than any other, I have to admit that the multiple gatherings and parties can make it tough for even ME to stay on track. No one wants to go into the New Year with extra baggage, right?
Not to fear, help is here!
Behold, my top 10 tips for holiday survival
Plan your meals ahead of time so when the holiday craziness sets in you’ll be prepared to make better choices.
Eat before you go to parties and gatherings, and take healthy foods. Not only will you have a non-diet busting option, but those with similar goals will thank you!
Eat breakfast. You’ll start your day out right and will be less tempted to overindulge on all those holiday goodies.
Pack your shopping cart with lots of fruits and veggies, and make sure you eat at least five servings every day. Make them easily accessible: keep fruit in a bowl on the counter, keep cut up veggies in the fridge, and take them with you wherever you go for a quick and healthy snack.
Move, move, move. Make time for exercise—at least five minutes—every day. Rev up your metabolism by exercising before and after holiday dinners so fewer of those holiday calories will find a final resting place! And remember, exercising is a great opportunity to spend quality, non-screen-involved time with family and friends, so involve them too!
Give neighbors and family non-food treats—they will probably thank you for this! Some ideas: a coupon for an act of service, an ornament, or other inexpensive items that will last longer than the holidays. Or if you must give treats, give something that can be enjoyed post-holidays like frozen cookie dough, mixes, and so on.
Stay hydrated to fight hunger and holiday fatigue by drinking half your body weight in ounces of water every day (150 pounds = 75 ounces of water).
Do enjoy your holiday favorites—in moderation. Often a few bites will satisfy that craving for those foods you’re so fond of, and honestly, a few bites won’t blow your weight loss goals!
And last, but certainly not least, stay focused on your goals throughout the holidays. While you might not have total control over what foods you’re served, you always have control over what you choose to eat and do (exercise!). Be sure to keep your promises to yourself, and you’ll have a healthy and rewarding holiday season and an awesome start to the New Year!
Day 21: Today (and Everyday) I am Thankful for This Little Sleeping Beauty
POSTED ON November 27, 2013
Day 21. Today (and everyday) I am thankful for this little sleeping beauty. I swear, her sweet little spirit was meant to be a part of our family at this time. The Man upstairs must have known that life was going to be crazy for the Powell Pack when she made it into this world. He must’ve taught her to be patient, sweet, mellow, mild-mannered, and cuddly (which Mom needs ). She is all of these things and so, so much more. I love our Ruby Lane .
Thanksgiving is less than a week away, and I am getting so many questions on how to enjoy this Day of Gratitude without breaking your calorie budget! Not to fear, help is here . Today, I’m sharing with you our Powell Thanksgiving family favorites that will save you unnecessary calories, while pleasing even the pickiest eaters.
Before I share though, I have to remind you that it IS okay to indulge every now and then, and Thanksgiving Day is one of my favorite times. Remember – every single one of our carb cycles include a Reward Day. Chris and I highly suggest swapping around your Reward Days, making T-day your Reward Day this next week .
Now for the good stuff. Here are some of our secrets…
For the turkey…
Instead of roasting an entire turkey, and basting (and even filling) it with butter and sauces, try Chris’ and my favorite: Slow-Cooked Turkey Breast. By sticking with boneless, skinless breast and cooking in a slow-cooker, you can get all of the juiciness without the extra calories. And it’s all white meat…my favorite! Season and cook on low all day for an evening meal, or bump it up to high heat and have it ready around noon.
For the stuffing…
What’s Thanksgiving without stuffing? Since half of our family is gluten-sensitive, I cook a delicious gluten-free version of stuffing that we all love. Try our favorite Cranberry Quinoa Stuffing to cut the gluten, the fat, and the calories on this Thanksgiving classic. The best part about this recipe? Gluten-lovers will never know the difference. Chris loves this so much that I make it year round for him!
For the mashed potatoes…
While I won’t be leaving mashed potatoes out entirely this year for those that insist upon their dreamy and creamy potatoes, I love to keep Mashed Cauliflower on the table for those trying to watch their carbs. You won’t believe your buds aren’t tasting spuds when you swap vegetables for carbs. My kids love it and I have a feeling yours will too. Go ahead, pat yourself on the back for getting the kids to devour their vegetables.
For the sweet potatoes…
By far and away, our family’s favorite side dish is my Maple Pecan Sweet Potatoes. This is a delicious twist on a Thanksgiving Dinner tradition. Trust me, these are SO tasty, you’ll be making them year round, like us . Honestly, I consider this dish my dessert…yes, they are THAT good!!!
For the green beans…
While Green Bean Casserole is not my absolute favorite thing in the whole world, I do have a recipe that my entire family loves – sans the fat and cals that come with the traditional recipe. Try this healthy twist on the traditional Green bean Casserole.
For the small sides…
Along with the must have sweet potatoes, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and all other sorts of yumminess, you can add some smaller dishes too! Beets, raw veggie trays, black olives, and cranberries, are a few ideas to spruce up your table and keep smart food choices in front of you .
For the rolls…
Thanksgiving dinner just isn’t complete without the rolls. With 4 kids and a full-plate (no pun intended), this is where I lean on trusted gluten-free brands. Udi’s Frozen Rolls are amazing, and are always a hit with the Powell clan. Simply heat your oven and bake the frozen dough balls. They will perfectly complete your Thanksgiving dinner.
For the desserts…
I’m all about indulging in moderation, occasionally, and Thanksgiving is one of my occasions. I have to admit though, when it comes to Thanksgiving dessert, I crave this tasty treat over pie! Chris and I make a Sweet Potato Pudding that tastes just like pumpkin or sweet potato pie, but with a fraction of the calories! Enjoy this incredible dessert for just around 150 calories of real, whole, natural food.
From our home to yours, Happy Thanksgiving! And enjoy