Thursday, December 26, 2013

2013 Christmas

Did everyone have a great Christmas?

Ours was a world wind of traveling. In two days we did a lot of driving and visiting.

After work on Monday we drove to my in-laws 3 hours away. Opened presents at 11 pm at night. Woke up the next morning and drove to Omak, another hour and half. Devoured a delicious prime rib diner made by Jay my step-dad. The next morning we opened presents at my mom’s house with my step siblings and then rushed over to my Grandma’s for our traditional Thompson family Christmas. After opening some more presents, we hit the road for a three hour drive back to Spokane. Boy were we tired! But it was great seeing everyone and spending the holiday with our loved ones.

Here are are few pictures….

Christmas at the Kocol’s







Making sugar cookies!


Christmas at the VanderWeide’s

Unfortunately, I had left my camera in the car overnight, so it was all foggy and only after we opened our presents could I actually get it to take pictures)


My step-sister Vanessa made Liam this toboggan in wood shop.


Jay, Mom and my step siblings, Justin, Vanessa and Jason.


Christmas with the Thompson’s. Liam go a strider bike and helmet from Grandpa Frank!


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

We want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

Hope you all are enjoying the day with family and friends!!

P.S. Liam is holding an orange from his stocking…he wouldn’t give it up!

Monday, November 25, 2013

5 day Mini Cleanse!

180 Kick Start Detox Intro

While I can’t participate in this detox right now due to the little baby growing in my belly, Stan is a very good candidate. We both started out the year doing the Shaklee 180 Turnaround program and were very successful.

Here is Stan’s before and after. He lost close to 30lbs and 16 inches!!

Stan 180 Before and After

During the summer we cut back to just one smoothee a day and were able to maintain our weight loss. Now that I am pregnant, I rely on my morning smoothee to get me through the day! Stan also has one for breakfast, but is planning on starting the full 180 Turnaround kit again in December. This detox is the perfect kick start to his next weight loss phase!

Not to mention, who doesn’t need a detox after Thanksgiving?? We will be enjoying THREE meals and I know there will be a lot of pumpkin pie and turkey over-indulgence. Instead of packing on a few pounds and then packing on a few more come Christmas, wouldn’t it feel great to LOSE weight during the holidays?

Who’s in?? Get all the details below and let me know if you are doing it to so I can add you our private Facebook group for support and inspiration!

180 Kick Start Detox2

The Shaklee 180 Kick Start is a 5 day detox designed to reboot your body.

It rejuvenates, energizes and removes the toxic junk from your body. It gives you a kick start to clean eating and/or losing fat.

Reset your cravings, feel energized and maybe even lose a few pounds without going hungry, workouts or cooking.

It is natural, safe and it works.

If this sounds great to you so far, watch my friend, Claire’s free webinar to learn the details and products used.

This is what your day on the detox will look like.

180 Kick Start Detox

*nursing mamas add in 500 calories and no liver dtx

To join us, you will need the following products:


Liver Dtx*


180 Smoothee*

180 Snack Bar*

Herb Lax*

Raw veggies

Organic lemons for your water

* Indicates a Shaklee product. This detox is specific for Shaklee products.

Once you order all your products, please email me at (subject line DETOX) and I will add you to our private online group and give you all the details you will need to support you on your 5 day detox!

Our first DETOX GROUP will start Monday Dec. 9th-13th so hurry and order today! :)

Happy detoxing!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Crockpot Applesauce

crockpot applesauce

I grew up always eating homemade applesauce. Grandma’s pantry is always full of jars of fruit she has canned and she loves to share. While visiting her earlier this fall, she opened a jar to serve during lunch. I gave some to Liam and he was in LOVE. The whole jar was gone by the end of the weekend. Lucky for Liam, she sent a few jars home with us. But…they were soon gone too.

I decided I would have to make some myself, couldn't be that difficult, right? I picked up a BIG bag of Organic Fuji apples at Greenbluff while we were getting pumpkins in October. But then they sat on the counter, untouched, for a few weeks. I realized, I didn’t really know HOW to make applesauce. I never asked Grandma. After a quick phone call, I realized this was probably a lot easier than I had realized.

30 min in the morning before work and less than an hour that evening, and I had 4 jars of homemade applesauce. I know it will not last long…maybe Grandma will have more to share at Thanksgiving.

Next fall I better get a few boxes of apples and make a dozen jars!

First thing you need to do is wash your apples. Mine were actually pretty dirty since they had come straight from the farm…and not the store.


I soaked them in my produce wash (few drops of Basic H and a sink full of water) and then rinsed them off with clean water. Pealed, cored and then coarsely chopped.


Threw them into my largest crockpot. Sprinkled with cinnamon. Turned the crockpot onto LOW.




When I retuned home that evening (at least 10 hours later), the house smelled amazing. The apples were soft and just needed less than a minute with the potato smasher.



I got my canner ready. Washed some jars. Let them sit in the boiling water for 5 min to sanitize (if you have a dishwasher you could just run a quick cycle). Filled them with the hot applesauce. Secured the lid and ring and them processed them in the canner for 20 min.


Easy peasy!

Now I have 4 pints of organic, sugar free, applesauce. When Liam asks for more…I know he is not loading up on processed sugar and crap.


Do you ever make applesauce? What is your favorite recipe?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A busy fall...and some exciting news!

I have been so MIA these last few months. I was so set on blogging more and really making this a place with ideas, recipes and inspiration…and well I fell flat on my face and haven’t done a single thing in weeks.

But I have good reasons…or maybe they are just excuses.
Liam is a rambunctious toddler who loves to explore EVERYTHING.  I love that he is inquisitive, but if he is not sleeping or strapped into a high chair, I basically have to constantly keep an eye on him. Or do a much better job of baby proofing the house so he doesn’t hurt himself or break something.

Work has been very busy and I find myself staying late almost every night and even going back into work for a few hours after Liam has gone to bed.
We had a family member in a near fatal car accident and have been at the hospital constantly for the last month. Luckily, she is making great progress in her recovery, but it will probably be a full year before she is back to her normal lifestyle.

And…the biggest excuse of all!! I am 12 weeks pregnant!!

Ya!!!! We will be adding another little munchkin to the Kocol clan in the spring. More details tomorrow…I promise.

These awesome pictures were taken by the very talented Natalie.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Carrot Ginger Soup

Carrot Ginger Soup

I love eating soup. I love making soup. I especially love making easy soups, with not a lot of ingredients or preparation. This carrot ginger soup is one of those soups.



  • one yellow onion
  • 2 lbs organic carrots
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 cups chicken broth (homemade or organic)
  • fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Carrot Ginger Soup cooking

Like I said, this was very easy.

  1. Sauté the onions and garlic in the butter.
  2. Add chopped carrots. Cook until tender, 10-15 minutes.
  3. Add chicken broth and spices. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer mixture to blender (Vitamix is AMAZING). Blend until smooth.


Now look how creamy this soup is! I didn’t add any milk or cream, yet it tastes so rich and creamy!!


Liam really enjoyed it too!

Maybe a little too much…I had a difficult time stopping him from covering his whole body in orange soup.



What is your favorite soup?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Quick and Easy Kale Chips

Kale Chips

A couple years ago I was introduced to kale. Many of the healthy eating blogs I was reading discussed the health benefits of this green leafy vegetable.

  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Low Calorie
  • Antioxidants
  • Low Carb
  • Vitamin K, C and A
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Lutein

I decided I had to try it, but how? For some reason I wasn’t into the idea of eating it raw, so I had to find a recipe for cooked kale.

Enter Kale Chips. It was love at first bite.

They are incredibly easy and quick to make…and oh so delicious even Stan and Liam will eat them!

I picked up this bunch of kale at the Farmer’s market.


Remove the stems (they are bitter).


Wash and dry. I used a salad spinner and some paper towels. They need to be very dry!


Tear the kale into chip sized pieces.


Message 1 tablespoon of olive oil into kale pieces.



Spread out on a large baking sheet. Add spices. I used sea salt and cayenne pepper. Garlic power with salt and pepper is also very yummy!


Bake at 350 degrees for 15 min. They will shrink up quite a bit, so don’t be alarmed that they look so small!


Transfer to a bowl and enjoy!! They don’t last long in our house, but you could try to save them in a zip locked baggie or paper lunch sack if you would like to make a big batch to last a few days.


What is your favorite way to cook kale? I would love to find some new recipes to try!

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