Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

For the past three weeks I’ve been trying to eat a Gluten-Free/Paleo diet. It’s been nice as I’ve been able to notice a difference in aches and pains. I’ve also been working hard to kick processed foods out of my digestive system.

One thing I’ve missed in my journey to Gluten-Free eating is baked goods. I’m a huge fan of bread, cookies, cake, and basically anything you can make with flour. Bread is difficult, but I’ve been able to abstain. My biggest issue (especially as we approach the holiday season) is desserts. I have been trying to minimize my sugar intake and even when I do eat sweets I’ve tried to make sure that the source of sugar is natural and not artificial.

This weekend I completed my first baking project with almond flour and it was a success! Being gluten-free/Paleo doesn’t mean that you have to forego delicious food. It just takes a little more effort and intentionality, but you can still enjoy your food.

Thanks to Elana Amsterdam at Elana’s Pantry I was able to remake a favorite. I followed the recipe below from her website and poured a glass of almond milk to drink along with my cookie. My whole family enjoyed the cookies.

**One note on the recipe, I would recommend using the EXACT ingredients that Elana uses to create the recipe. You can click on the links below for more information on those ingredients. I was unable to find her exact almond flour and so mine had a slightly different texture. It didn’t change the taste, but I would still recommend for you to use the EXACT ingredients.



  1. In a food processor, combine almond flour, salt, and baking soda
  2. Pulse in butter, vanilla, and maple syrup until dough forms
  3. Remove blade from processor and stir in chocolate chips by hand
  4. Scoop dough one level tablespoon at a time onto a parchment lined baking sheet
  5. Press balls of dough down gently
  6. Bake at 350° for 7-10 minutes
  7. Cool for 15 minutes (do not handle prior or cookies will break)
  8. Serve


The Ameri Brit Mom


The Moral Point of View and Broccoli

This week has been a rewarding one in my writing career. I’ve recently joined an online critique group and have been overwhelmed with the positive and constructive feedback from authors and others aspiring to that title. I’ve met a few writing coaches who have helped me with my letters to agents and I’ve also developed friendships with other writers whose work I admire. Each morning this week I’ve awoken to feedback from people within the group from all over the world. This is something I have needed for a long time. I’ve been longing for a writing community and am so happy to have found a place that feels like home already.

As I open Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott I am happy to say that the wisdom I took from this week’s reading was received right on time. I had been struggling with a story I’m working on and trying to defeat writer’s block. I needed the reminders from both chapters today which encouraged me to look within myself for the moral point of view of my story as well as to my intuition in order to hear the voice of the character I’m currently wrestling with in my mind. I hope you will find my summaries of these chapters insightful!


The Moral Point of View

“There is no point gathering an audience and demanding its attention unless you have something to say that is important and constructive.” (Lamott 108)

Within each person lies a moral compass. An internal directive which distinguishes between good, bad, and evil. Within each reader is the desire to interact with characters and conflicts that test that moral compass and strengthen its tendency toward True North.

Writing is an expression of our moral points of view as authors. We write about problems of our world and mask those things behind fictitious characters and settings. Our stories are born of human experience and blanched in lessons of life.

Although setting out to teach a lesson is seldom our goal as writers we become teachers in our craft as we highlight what is important to us in our novels. I love the quote above by Anne Lamott which speaks to the fact that our stories should all in some way reflect this life and apply to the grander scheme of humanity. There should be something to learn or glean from your work. So what are you trying to tell the world with your story?


One of the most important resources in a writer’s arsenal is their intuition. Many of us had our intuition suppressed long ago as children. Things that we were certain of despite their insanity were scoffed at by adults or peers in our lives. As a writer, you really have to reclaim that intuition. To write from a rational mind only is to create dull stories full of true conflicts and characters based on all of your friends (or enemies.)

When you are able to think outside of the rational, your characters begin to take on a life of their own. Your intuition surrenders to their lives and the world in which they live instead of controlling those aspects of the story.

Anne Lamott uses broccoli as a metaphor for her intuition because of an old skit with Mel Gibson when he is told to, “Listen to your broccoli, it will tell you how to eat it.” It’s the same principal with writing. If you try to dictate your characters and plot then you will end up with a drab reflection of reality. Listen to the characters in your mind. Let them have the freedom to write their own stories. Be the vessel that communicates on their behalf. Do not stifle the irrational mind.

The Ameri Brit Mom

Five Minute Friday: Enjoy

This week the topic for the Five Minute Friday link-up post is Enjoy. What is a link-up? Essentially a link-up is when you join other bloggers and write on a similar topic. You share your blog posts with one another and begin conversations via a host site. You can head over to Kate Motaung’s page to check out other entries from inspired bloggers. Here’s my five minutes of uninterrupted, unedited writing on this week’s topic:


A few weeks ago an email was delivered to my inbox that at first brought me excitement, but moments later pangs of guilt. My daughter’s pre-school was going to be hosting a Thanksgiving Extravaganza. I find so much purpose and fulfillment in what I do for a living, however, my love for my job pails in comparison for my desire to spend time and to make memories with my daughter. I struggled for days and did not respond to the RSVP. During that time my mind was bogged down with thoughts like, Do I miss a day of work for a luncheon? What would my boss think of taking off for this? 

In the end I decided to go for it.

I emailed my principal and explained the situation and was approved for the absence within minutes. One of the hardest parts of being a working mother is the thought of missing out on field trips, class parties, concerts, or award ceremonies and I’m so grateful that my school administrators value family to the extent that I don’t have to feel guilty about taking some time off to celebrate these things with my daughter.

Today was the day of the party and I was able to enjoy the day guilt-free.

We spent our morning preparing ourselves. My daughter wanted to dress up and do her hair so we took our time primping. Her class was in charge of bringing rolls so we had to stop to pick some up at the grocery store before the party. (I thought about making some gluten-free rolls, but wasn’t sure how many people would appreciate that.) When arrived, my daughter was so thrilled to introduce me to all of her classmates and their families. The children shared smiles, hugs, and comments about their festive attire before we all sat down to share in the meal.

I’m so glad that I didn’t have to skip this event. I was truly able to enjoy this day in her life and it’s times like these that I know I will cherish and remember forever. From listening to her recite a prayer with the rest of the children, to hearing all of the comments from her teachers about how well she is doing settling into the class, I needed this day.

May the Holiday Festivities begin!


The Ameri Brit Mom

Sick and Aching in the Ameri Brit House


One thing I can never seem to defend my family against is the gamut of germs that accompany the month of November. Every year at about this time, viruses take up residence in my home and as much as I try to prevent illnesses from running rampant, it still happens. For two weeks I’ve felt on the verge of infection. I’m lethargic and achy.

I’ve tried to combat these unwanted microscopic guests with essential oils, vitamins, exercise, and a natural diet. Yet, here I am at 6:00pm on a weekday, sipping on soup and ready to send off to bed.

Living in the Midwest has its downfalls. The sun escapes the sky shortly after work hours. My daylight is spent in a classroom, and I attribute most of my zapped energy to lack of natural vitamin D. Winter is upon us, and the need for a healthy diet and routine are imperative.

I’m really hoping my new Gluten-free/Paleo diet will help this year. I’ve read that the natural ingredients in a caveman diet (Paleo) will aide in the increase of energy and help fight contagious illnesses. Here’s to hoping and praying that God will use this new diet plan to help myself and my family during this critical time of the year.

Is anyone else feeling down with the winter blues already? How do you combat this weather and keep your family healthy?

The Ameri Brit Mom


Dressing and Educating: Days 57-61


Day 57: November 7, 2016

My week was off to a busy, but great start. I had missed the last day of the previous week so I entered my classroom to find stacks of ungraded work and several emails that needed to be addressed. As a teacher, it is easier to come to school than to deal with writing substitute plans and to catch up upon returning after absence. I try not to miss except for emergencies for that reason.

I wore a navy tunic from my Stitch Fix, leggings from LulaRoe, and boots.


Day 58: November 8, 2016

Happy Election Day!

I woke up early with hopes of casting my ballot prior to school. However, when I pulled into my precinct polling station the long line and lack of parking spots kept me from my usual election day routine. I decided to go to school and used my lengthy lunch period to get away and perform my civic duty.

Most my classroom discussions centered around the historic election which would take place in the evening. We voted in each class and watched clips from the weekend’s 60 Minutes segment on the dark mood for this election.

I wore khaki leggings, an Old Navy tank, and an olive button-up from Kohls.



Day 59: November 9, 2016

After a wild night of watching the election results into the wee hours of the morning I was happy to come to class and discuss the inner workings of the electoral college with my students. We discussed how the electoral college process influenced the results of the election and we also watched Trump’s Acceptance Speech and Clinton’s Concession Speech and discussed observations from both. It was a high energy kind of day, and so it was a little hard running on what little sleep I had stored up the night before.

I wore black skinny pants from The Limited, a warm sweater from Stitch Fix and boots.



Day 60: November 10, 2016

Back to the regular curriculum today after focusing on the election for two days.

I felt recovered from my lack of sleep on Tuesday night as I jumped back into teaching MLA format in English and about the attempted escape and capture of King Louis XVI during the French Revolution.

My top was from Charming Charlie, my pants from Kohls, and I also wore warm moccasins on this chilly Ohio day.


Day 61: November 11, 2016

Happy Veteran’s Day!

My classes were cut short today as my school held their annual assembly to honor local veterans. The assembly went smoothly and our students were respectful of those in attendance. This Veteran’s Day means a little more to me than those of the past. On Tuesday, my baby cousin left for basic training. I’m so proud of him for his decision to serve our country, but as I listened to the speaker discuss his tales of combat I felt a few butterflies in my stomach as I picture Quinton will have a similar story throughout his future in the service. I’m so thankful for the men and women of this country who sacrifice so much so that I have the rights and freedoms that I have as a US citizen. No matter what you think about the elections that took place earlier in the week, we need to all remember that America is still such a blessed country.

To show my support on Veterans Day I wore red, white, and blue. My flannel shirt was from Charlotte Russe, my navy puffer vest is from J.Crew, and I wore jeans from Charlotte Russe and ankle booties.

Which style was your favorite this week?


The Ameri Brit Mom

Gluten-Free/Paleo Resources

Many of you have been following my journey to eat healthier in order to feel better. I’ve been battling digestive and health issues for a while and after some research and conversations with people who have already taken the plunge, I’ve decided to go gluten-free/paleo.

What is a gluten-free diet? It is a diet free of gluten, which is a protein mixture most often found in wheat and soy products. Many people who follow a gluten-free diet do so because of an allergy to products containing gluten (celiacs disease). I am not allergic to gluten, but I have been tracking my reactions to removing it from my diet and only a month in I’m noticing major differences for the better. I feel less bloated, less side pain, and my skin is clearing.

What is a paleo diet? The paleo diet gets its name from the paleolithic era of history. This is the period where cavemen walked the earth and without modern preservatives and food processing. They were confined to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle and diet. The paleo diet mimics the diet of those early cavemen. The focus is to eat things that come naturally from the Earth such as meat, vegetables, fruit, and nuts. (It is important to note that eating gluten-free is also part of the paleo diet as grains and gluten didn’t enter the human diet until after the birth of agriculture, thousands of years after the paleolithic era.)

At first glance, it may seem like a highly restrictive diet, however, I have been successfully tracking what I eat and I’ve still been able to keep up a lifestyle where I go out to eat once a week or so with my family. I’ve also been cooking meals compliant with the diets that my four year old daughter is eating up as well. It’s not been impossible, the biggest difference is the aisles of the grocery store that I now avoid.

Being new to this process, I’ve been depending a lot on the wisdom and recipes of others. I’ve been gathering some of my go-to resources and I wanted to share those with you. Whether you are gluten-free, paleo, or just on the road to finding healthier recipes, I hope you will check out these resources!

1. Pinterest

Follow my new Pinterest board Gluten-free, Paleo, and Whole30. I’ve been pinning and trying recipes I’ve found on here like crazy. Most recently, I have made the Sausage Pizza Egg Muffins. They were absolutely delicious and my hubby and daughter have helped me eat them. I baked them on a Sunday and froze them for the week ahead. Each morning I grab one and reheat it for 1 minute. They are delicious!


2. Elana’s Pantry

Elana’s Pantry is a blog written by a woman who is using her diet to manage celiacs disease and MS. Elana shows how you can still enjoy confectionery delights with the use of products like almond flour despite a gluten-free diet. She is a New York Times bestseller with several published cookbooks as well.


3. Whole30

The Whole30 diet is a more extreme version of the paleo diet. The Whole30 is a program written by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig which is centered on the principles of cutting irritants out of your diet through a 30 day cleanse. During the 30 days you are to cut out things like dairy, fats, grains, and nuts. After the 30 days you reintroduce foods slowly and track your reaction. I read their book It All Starts with Food and now know that this diet is very scientific. I’m not sure that I will ever do an official Whole30 because it seems a bit extreme and hard to implement with a family, but I like the concept of the program, I learned a lot from their research, and I’ve used several recipes from their book.


4. Gluten Free Girl

The website, Gluten Free Girl, is written by Shauna James Ahern and her husband, Daniel. Shauna is a diagnosed celiacs sufferer and her husband is a chef. Over the years they have worked together to create recipes healthy for Shauna and others who experience the extreme allergy to gluten. I have loved their tips for those new to gluten-free. They also offer an extensive list of gluten-free recipes that range from entrees to baked desserts. You can even purchase their own brand of gluten-free all purpose flour.


5. Gluten Free Blogger

The Gluten Free Blogger is another go-to for me as the author, Sarah, is a British blogger from North Devon, UK. On her site she not only gives recipes (in UK measurements it’s important to note), but she also provides resources on places to eat out, product reviews from British supermarkets, and discusses her healthy appetite for exercise. Although I don’t live in England, I spend a considerable amount of time in England every year visiting my husband’s family and friends. This site not only helps me while in the US, but gives me hope that while I’m overseas I will still be able to eat according to my health plan.


If you have your own resources for maintaining a healthy diet plan I would love for you to share them. I’m a big blog reader and I appreciate cookbooks. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms I had prior to changing my diet I hope you will consider returning to the foods that are proven to curb those ailments. I’ve been enjoying this education process and the results of cutting gluten from my diet entirely. Please feel free to respond with questions or tips for a newbie to the world of gluten-free/paleo!

The Ameri Brit Mom

*all links on this page are non-affiliate and based only on my positive experiences with these resources. 


How Do You Know When You’re Done//Looking Around

Oh, Saturday mornings! The bliss of my week. A couple of hours for me, writing, and coffee. Being a full time teacher makes it hard to carry out my passion for writing on a daily basis, but heaven help you if you come between me and my Saturday mornings. I’ve been storing up a lot of ideas and writing for today and I’m planning to make some major progress in personal projects over the next few hours. So here’s to another Saturday morning starting with a bit of wisdom from Anne Lamott in Bird by Bird.


How Do You Know When You’re Done?

Here’s the thing about writing: the process is different from person to person and also from book to book. There really is no “aha!” moment in which all is resolved and the book is perfect. In fact, it never will be perfect. So it isn’t really a matter of when the book is done, but rather when you choose to be done with the book yourself. Usually when your intellect tells you that it is time to move on to another project then it is time to put to rest your current one. You are done.

I’m currently on the verge of wrapping up my first book. I know there are still things that could be better, but I’ve started planning out my next book so it’s about time to be done with my first novel.

Looking Around

This is the first chapter of the second section: The Writing Frame of Mind.

As a writer, your job is to pay attention to people and surroundings and to transfer feelings of sympathy and compassion onto those things to create stories. To just tell of a woman in ugly clothes is a boring story. Writers put themselves in the shoes of the people they observe, and oftentimes that’s where stories begin.

Most characters are based on real people. They start in your mind as you pass a stranger at the mall or in an airport. From there the idea for a character snowballs. Sometimes, this is not something we are even conscious of, but many times when you sit down to write a story you pull a character from your subconscious based on an experience or a real person. In order to give life to such characters we should keep an open mind. Watch with compassion and take in the essence of the person to give real life to your characters. Look around and be aware, because in a crowd you may just find your new protagonist.

The Ameri Brit Mom