Blake at 1 year and 10 months
Daddy and Blake
Makay’s nice little sunburn from our fun day at the pool. Thank goodness for Aloe Vera!
Hi all! I am here and have been re-inspired to keep up with this blog… but I’m making some changes. I’ve decided to rededicate this blog now on to my friends and family. Since most are far away and don’t get to see us in our day to day, I want to bring our days to them. Enjoy! Here’s what we’ve been up to so far this year.
(please forgive the no make up- morning sickness look I’m rocking here.)
As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been a bit of, well, not here. But with good reason. Here’s my story…
It all started when my computer broke. Three months ago to be exact. And since then I’ve done a lot of thinking. From the first day I started this blog I have loved it. It was my creative outlet, my new-found hobby. It was all very exciting and fun. I met some incredible people, started following and being followed, increased my views, was featured on a blog, got nice comments, not so nice comments, found friends, got inspired and hopefully inspired some others. A day came just before my computer broke that made me step back and look at my life, and I saw that it wasn’t very balanced. I read somewhere that time is limited and if you fill it with blogging, something else will have to be given up. I knew that and for the first while it seemed like blogging was a worthwhile thing to put into my life. It was okay that I was giving up other things.
Until one day.
I felt like all I thought about was MY BLOG… it was becoming this all-consuming identity. Everything I did was “for my blog.” What I was going to cook, what activities I was going to document, what pictures, how I looked and what my kids were doing, what articles I read, new health advice I discovered… all through the eyes of my camera and then on to my blog. I was either writing a post, thinking about what to write, taking pictures of my next post, or again, writing and working on a blog post. That’s how it worked. I can’t tell you how many nights dinner was somewhat cold because I spent 30 minutes getting the “perfect” picture of the meal, for my blog, yet again. My hubby was so supportive through it all, patiently waiting, never complaining. My kids handled it somewhat okay. A lot of times they would sit and cry at me until I was done or they’d spend more time watching tv so I could finish my post. I would try to only work on my blog while my two boys were napping or sleeping, but it was never enough time, so I would work on it while they were up, usually needing my attention, but having to wait until “mommy was done.” Things like “just give me one more minute, go play with your brother, almost done” were the words coming out of my mouth. Instead of, “let’s go play, what did you find?, Oh, look!”
Either my hubby, my kids, or I were being neglected in some way. Not big ways by any means, dinner was always there, the kids were always dressed and fed and played with, I managed to keep the house somewhat together… but it felt like second rate to me… I did those things after focusing on my blog. This blog. So then it happened… just like the universe always takes care of things for you…
my computer broke.
And just like that I couldn’t blog. The funny thing was, I wasn’t disappointed. I was weirdly relieved. It was like all the sudden a burden was lifted and I saw my life not through my blog, but through my own eyes. Real, present, eyes. During this time I also got back into the things that I really love to do… things like reading, crafting, designing, preschool, and playing with my boys a whole lot more. I started to be more present in the moment. Started to not worry about the next blog post or what my stat views were for the day.
It was real life again.
At the same time period I decided to discontinue Facebook (I know, crazy, right) and Pinterest… (or in other words, the never-ending black hole.) I stopped checking and getting on Facebook and Pinterest because, honestly, it just took up too much TIME. It was this love-hate relationship I had. I would get on for one minute to look at one or two things, and then hours later I would finally close out of it feeling more overwhelmed and depressed than when I started. I would leave feeling less amazing, and more stressed that I wasn’t this or didn’t have that. After a while you just have to say, enough is enough.
To sum it up, both were intense distractions from what was real and what was present.
I wanted to take in my surroundings and my life, instead of filling my day with other people’s lives.
For the last three months I was really able to “get out of the loop” in a way. I didn’t know what was being pinned or who was traveling, crafting, status posting, instagram taking. And you know what? It was actually kinda nice. I started to see my day and goals more clearly and my own creativeness came through. My hubby and I spent weeks redecorating three of our rooms and not once did I go to Pinterest for ideas. They came straight from our combined brains, figuring it out together. And it ended up being completely us and completely amazing.
We just got a new computer this week. And here I am on my blog once again. Yet, it’s not really to say I’m back… because in a way I’m really not. I’ve decided this was a great journey and experience. I learned a lot. I had fun. But it’s just not worth it to me. Not for the things I have to give up. But that is just me. I might post here and there if something really inspires me to share. But for the time being, my house, my yoga, my other hobbies, and especially, my boys (hubby included), need my main focus. So that’s what it is. I hope this post helps someone else out there trying to find the balance in their own life. It’s been fun. Thank-you everyone for the ride. Now, if you’ll excuse me, my boys and I are off to the park!
I recently found this remarkable blog that I am all for! It is all about eating real, healthy, whole foods and eliminating sugar and processed food. Here’s the link for the 100 day pledge.
They also have mini pledges you can go on for a not-so-daunting of a change. Here’s the link for the mini pledges.
Go check it out. It will change your life.
This is one of my family’s favorite chicken dishes. The seasoning is perfect and savory and it pairs beautifully with any side. Our favorites to serve this with are rice pilaf, couscous, roasted tomatoes, beets, and sauted spinach. This recipe is great when cooking a whole chicken as well. You will not be disappointed.
2-3 boneless chicken breasts
1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
2 garlic gloves, minced
pepper to taste
salt to taste
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl or ziplock bag. Place chicken breasts in bowl or bag and marinate for 45 min- 2 hours. Grill chicken or cook in a skillet on the stove top until done. Serve with sides of choice.
When I met my husband 5 years ago he took me to one of his favorite Vietnamese restaurants and we ordered these… They are called crystal rolls, (also known as Vietnamese spring rolls.) They are somewhat like an egg roll, without the fried outer layer and filled with fresh rice noodles, shrimp, and veggies. We moved away from the restaurant a few years ago and one night we were craving these like we do all the time… so we took a gamble and decided to make them at home. We were so pleasantly happy with our homemade crystal rolls we haven’t since ordered them out.
We make these all the time now. My hubby and I have this little system we use… I cook the shrimp and noodles and cut up all the veggies and he assembles and rolls them all up! He has a definite skill to the wrapping of the rolls… so that belongs to him. Mine never look so pretty.
It really is quite fun to make… and super yummy to eat. And by the way… homemade crystal rolls are far better than the ones at that restaurant we used to frequent. You’ll love these! Enjoy.
Vietnamese Crystal Rolls
1 lb. fresh shrimp
1 cucumber, cut into thin, long strips
3 carrots sliced thin, into long strips
1 red pepper, cut into thin long strips
1 head of green lettuce, any kind
1 bunch cilantro
2 green onions, sliced
1 package of Rice vermicelli noodles
Bring a saucepan to a boil on medium heat. Add shrimp and poach for 3-4 minutes until bright pink. Allow to cool to room temperature. Remove skins, de-vein. Set aside.
Bring a medium saucepan filled halfway with water to a boil. Once a rapid boil is reached, add rice vermicelli noodles, cover and immediately remove from heat. Set timer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, drain noodles in a colander and rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Set aside.
To assemble rolls, dip single sheets of rice paper into hot water until soft and flexible. (about 1 minute). Allow excess water to drain and quickly place on a plate.
Add a little bit of shrimp, softened noodles, cucumbers, red peppers, cilantro, carrots, onions and lettuce.
Carefully roll closed. Serve with peanut dipping sauce. (We just buy our peanut sauce from our favorite Thai restaurant, but I know there are lots of recipes out there for homemade peanut sauce… do what works for you.)