Little Blake got his first hair cut… he did so good!
Starting our easter egg hunt… dropping jelly beans everywhere… the boys were in heaven!
Hanging out on our tramp… we had a great day
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.
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.)
I was so inspired by this post from joyful on purpose … I just had to share it. Let us see and love our own beauty we posses. We are loved and we are beautiful.
Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful. ~Jim Carrey
I’ve been thinking about beauty lately… how obsessed we are with beauty and the current standard. For me, beauty is so easily seen in nature: the glorious colors of flowers, the texture of moss or tree bark, even the cycle of birth and death as the seasons change. I find it much more burdensome to see beauty in people, especially myself. Like many people, I can point out every single flaw in myself, all the imperfections that don’t quite meet the definition of beauty. (Who gets to define it, anyway? Who are “they” and can we fire them?) Trying to reach the acceptable standard has taken a toll on me over the years, and it is still difficult to change my mindset even as I become more and more aware of what true beauty is. It is a daily chore, a conscious effort, for me to wake up and have a healthy view of myself and others.
I wish we were all more like flowers. The quote above rings true in my heart and my mind. Flowers don’t worry at all about how they will open up, how they will be seen as the petals unfold and reveal what is inside. Flowers also turn toward the light without thought, craving its warmth and knowing that it provides life as well as illumination.
As human beings living in a gorgeous world, surrounded by beautiful objects, we should take better care of ourselves and of each other by being less obsessed with unrealistic standards. A geranium never tries to be a rose. A thistle doesn’t strive to be like a lily. Each one is simply beautiful in its own way, its own very perfect way. They all turn toward the light, open up, and radiate beauty. I wish, for myself and for you, to follow the way of the flowers. I want to turn my face toward the light, all that is positive and wonderful. I want to smile and open up my heart and my life, letting the beauty within reveal itself. Perfect in its own way, just as it is.
-written by joyful on purpose
“Day out with Thomas” came to town!
This was one of those days that I’ll remember for a long time. My sons were in heaven. It doesn’t get much better than meeting Thomas the Train in real life! My three year old, Makay, was a little concerned about the “no-talking” Thomas though. My son kept waving and talking to the Thomas train, and then he’d turn to me and ask,
“Mommy, why won’t he talk to me? I think his face is dead!”
I had to tell him that Thomas was just being shy and didn’t want to talk that day. Thomas did blow a whistle to say hi though. He seamed a little less concerned after that.
Looking for Thomas…
Thomas is in the background… my son can hardly wait!
We met Sir Topham Hat! (I’ll be honest, my son was kinda scared of him… I don’t blame him!)
We all got train tattoos!
My son had a map to get around to all the stations. He felt very in charge.
Handing his ticket to the conductor. All aboard the Thomas train!
And we’re off!
Exploring the trains…
Free balloon animals… one of his favorite parts of the whole day!
All in all, a wonderful family day. A must for all three-year olds!
What fun activities have you been up to this summer?
Update on the 30 day challenge: It’s day 9 and I am feeling so ALIVE! I had no idea I would feel so great so fast. I remember the morning of day three waking up and I sat there thinking, “wow, I feel rested, I feel pretty good.” And I’ll have you know that night I had only gotten 7 hours of interrupted sleep, with my 8 month old baby waking up three times that night (we still haven’t figured out the whole sleeping through the night thing.) And I felt great! I know, amazing, right. Before starting this sugar cleanse, I would wake up being more tired than when I went to bed, and my eyes would hurt and I’d feel like a zombie. It was awful! I had no idea eliminating sugar would boost my energy so much. I’ve woken up feeling great every morning since as well. I don’t know if I ever can go back to sugar… I just don’t know if it’s worth it.
Okay, so about these delectable morsels you see before me… these are my “sweets” I made this week. Can I just say, “where have you been all my life?” These are down right amazing. They are sweetened with 100% real maple syrup. They are raw, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free and quite frankly, delightful.
This recipe consists of six simple ingredients. Perfections comes in simple packages. Enjoy. Oh so yummy!
Raw Coconut Macaroons
(recipe inspired from rawmazing)
Directions: Mix all ingredients together. Form into round balls. Place on glass Pyrex or cookie sheet. Cover and refrigerate or place in freezer until hard. Keep refrigerated for best form and taste.
So you all know that I threw out my antiperspirants last week after reading this, and ever since, I’ve been
desperately somewhat in need of a deodorant. Who knew, right? I feel like I’ve tried 5 different kinds of natural deodorants, and none of them work so well.
Thankfully one of my friends came to the rescue this time and saved me with this homemade natural deodorant. I made this a few days ago and love it.
First of all, so easy to make, and secondly and most importantly, it actually works! So, a great big thank-you to my friend for passing along this recipe…it works wonders! I finally smell like a lady again. Give it a try!
Here’s what you’ll need:
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 cup baking soda
10 drops essential oil (whatever you prefer, I used tangerine, but lavender would be nice as well.)
Mix all together and put in a container with a lid. Use a pea size drop on each underarm when needed.
DIY Natural Homemade Deodorant
Original recipe by Joanna Albrecht
And for anyone looking for a DIY homemade lip gloss… I have three amazing recipes…check out this post here.
This may seem surprising since I love turmeric so much, but this was my first attack at making curry. I don’t know why it has taken me so long to attempt a dish like this, maybe it was because I was afraid it wouldn’t meet my expectaions.Yet, good news, it not only met my expectations, it was delish! Just as good as the little hole-in-the-wall Thai restaurant down the street. Actually, maybe better.
This recipe is adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. I just substituted chicken instead of shrimp because my hubby doesn’t like shrimp. I know, sad
Coconut Curry Chicken
For the chicken marinade:
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
1-2 organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced
For the sauce:
1 tablespoon organic canola oil
1 organic medium red or yellow onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon minced fresh organic ginger, from about a 1-inch peeled piece of ginger
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 organic garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
2 teaspoons ground organic coriander
1/2 teaspoon organic turmeric
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 (14.5-ounce) can organic diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can coconut milk, light or regular
1 cup chopped fresh organic cilantro
Hot cooked organic rice for serving, if desired
For the simple chicken marinade, toss the chicken with the salt, pepper, cayenne and lemon juice in a resealable large bag or in a bowl. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium-sized pot, heat the canola oil over medium heat until rippling and hot. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the pepper, ginger, salt, garlic, coriander, turmeric and curry powder. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring often, until the mixture is very fragrant and the onion is soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the undrained tomatoes to the pot and cook, stirring and scraping up the browned bits from the bottom, for about 1 minute. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring often. Add the coconut milk, stirring to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the chicken and any accumulated juices from the marinade. Boil until chicken is cooked through. Stir in the cilantro. Serve over hot, cooked rice, if desired.
And as always, for some great health benefits of turmeric, check out this post here.