the art of comparison and the weight of worry

I am going to try my hardest to be nice to my self this week.

I am going to try my hardest to let go this week.

I am going to try my hardest not to carry the weight of worry this week.

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Mason loves to blow raspberries on my stomach. He spits, drools and thinks he is hilarious. Every so often he will rest his head on my stomach and will listen to my heart beating. He kisses me and then blows a raspberry again. Sometimes I cannot help but focus on how my stomach isn’t what I would like it to be. Its not tight, there are stretch marks for days and well its just plane ol’ unattractive. In my opinion. Today, I thought, unattractive to who. Mason doesn’t care.  Why do I…

I am sure you are just like me. We all have insecurities. Hell, it’s blown up in our faces everyday. Who I should be? What should I look like? Diet, face, hair? Lights, camera, acton!   Then there is this:

ali

(Whaaaaaaattttttttt!!!!)

I’m not knocking Ali here , she looks fan-f’in-tastick. Now, how can I be happy for her, and realize we are not the same. This is what I am going to work on this week. The art of comparison and the weight of worry. My body is my own because God made it that way. So is yours. The curves, the bumps, the rumps. This week I will be gifting me something that celebrates me. Something that goes against my natural inclination to “not” or to abstain from a “want” because I feel as if this will make the difference in loving my self. I am going to try not to worry about how I look or how someone may think I look.

The art of comparison isn’t just with body image. It also comes with something I do daily. Cook. I love to cook. If you follow me on any social media you know that. I constantly get feedback from women who put themselves down, “OH, I can’t even make PBJ.” or ” I am horrible because we get take out most nights.” Trust me, I do this too insert : https://www.instagram.com/sucrosestl/  This is an amazing bakery in St. Charles, with lots of yummy things. Even with ALL the things I do, I still think. “Gosh, why am I not making yummy things like this?” “I should be baking more.” Where in the world would I find the time! GEE WIZ! It’s exhausting isn’t it? Lets try and take this week to be nice to ourselves. Cut yourself a break and celebrate being you.

Remember to be kind to yourself. Live healthy. Get out and walk around a bit. Just breath.

Let me know what you do to celebrate you #celebrateme

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: I stole all the photos from the internet. http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-moms/news/ali-fedotowsky-how-i-got-my-best-body-ever-after-baby-w467965

http://ezine.juggle.org/2013/08/05/10-female-juggling-stars-of-the-past/

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Until the coffee brews…..

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I am not one to blog a lot. I would like to more but I really haven’t the time. So, you have me for as long as it takes to brew my afternoon pot of coffee. Coffee is life for me. I even wrote a love story blog about coffee. It’s a bit obsessive but… oh wait sorry, here I am talking about coffee and you really only have a few min of my time left. Back on track. Its nap time on a Tuesday. Tuesday is my favorite day of the week because it’s Mom and Mason day. We play, explore, eat and dance our  way through life. His silly-ness makes me laugh and his constant hugging makes my heart grow. He is such a sweet boy.

Usually, durning nap time, I spend my time doing my bible study, catching up on work/emails/bookings, cleaning (rare, sorry Doug!), watching a show, napping or creating. Today I will try to be creative in making Mason a mini-grill. I researched last night from the hours of 12-2am, on what others have done and I think I have a game plan. Most have tutorials and great advise. I will end up finding my own way because I am stubborn and I really do not like following directions. Wish me luck. My coffee is done. Peace.

 

 

 

Hot Pepper Chicken

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Okay let me try to make a recipe for you. This is all, well, sorta the correct amount?

5-6 Chicken Breast. Full of hormones or straight off your farm. It really doesn’t matter.

8 Cloves of Garlic. Minced. Just do it and brush your teeth later.

1/4 Onion. Chop, chop, chop.

1 cup of Multi Peppers. Today I used red, yellow and orange bells. 1 Jalapeño ( ribs and seeds removed so we will not have to have Tums for dessert.)

1tbsp smokey paprika.

2tbsp Cumin.

1 dash of Clove.

2 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar.

1 cup of Olive oil. ( more if you have to thick of a mixture, you want it to spread out evenly and be able coat your chicken.)

1 tsp Maple Syrup. ( because sometimes I’m Buddy the elf)

MIX IT ALL TOGETHER.

Salt and Pepper (generously) your chicken in a container and pour mixture on top. Marinate for 30min- 1 hr. Preheat oven to 400º.  Line your baking dish or sheet with foil, ain’t nobody got time for dishes. Pour your chicken out like little homies on your dish/sheet cover with a blanket of foil to keep them nice and tight, steamed up right. I went about 20 min, looked at it put it in for about 20 more. The last 10 I uncovered so it could brown up. Check your chicken! I am not responsible for overcooked chicken.

Serve it on top of what ever you like. I choose hash browns. You could do spinach, rice, beans, whatever! Let me know what you serve it with!

OHHH wait!!! I squeezed fresh lime juice and lime zest.  That was the game changer. Whew.. your meal would have been so bad if I didn’t tell you that. Your welcome.

 

 

 

 

 

a coffee love story

It’s no secret that I love coffee. It is three in the afternoon and I am heating up another delicious dark rich lover of a cup-o-coffee. I was probably about nine when I experienced my first taste of the legal stimulate. My mother and my sister would drink it together at the kitchen table and for some reason I HAD to be included (youngest child, don’t you dare do anything with out me). I remember my sister offering me a taste. If you can imagine with me for a second, someone sneezing while getting slapped in the face with vinegar. That was my reaction. Of course I said I loved it and then choked it down for a few years with a pound of the other legal stimulate. SUGAR. Through out my younger years this was my go to and believe me when I say,  if some one asked if I drank coffee I said yes. I was then ridden with guilt for the fact that I actually drank milk flavored with sugar and a dash of coffee.
One bright sunny day, in the good ol Loop in the city of St. Louis. I came across Brandts. A cute little bistro with a wine shop attached. This was my favorite restaurant in my twenties. They had a smoked salmon quesadilla with a dill sauce that was to die for! Anyway, back to coffee. I was reading a book (bah! more like the classifieds for a job, because job collecting was my thing back then) My server asked me if I would like a coffee. Yes, cream and sugar please. He looked offended and asked if I had ever had a french press before? No. Out to my table came this sweet little french press. Single. Serving. Pure. Goodness. This is when I fell in love. In love with the rich, smokey, ground goodness. No cream, No sugar. Just that deep dark pour with a light brown foam top, cup of coffee.

Now once in a while, I do still enjoy some cream and a dash of sugar. But I found a great “coffee creamer” that doesn’t take away my coffee taste, just adds a whole lot of goodness, minus the acidic aftertaste. I followed this girls recipe as much as I follow any. Meaning a dash of this and a eye of that. I add about 1tsp to my cup.  Placed it in a cute mason jar and keep it on my counter next to my lets make a pot of coffee for one person.

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head on over to:  http://modernhippiehousewife.com/2015/11/08/coconut-oil-coffee-creamer/

 

So basically its a love story of girl meets guy(coffee), guy(coffee) makes girl jealous, girl shapes guy (coffee) into what she wants (milk, SUGAR, dash coffee), guy(coffee) shows girl what he is really made of. Girl falls in love. Guy (coffee) keeps girl.
Im serious you guys, I go to sleep thinking about the next time I can drink coffee. Is there a group for this CAA ( coffee addiction anonymous) ???

Coffee kicked in! One, two, three, four….

Hello, is it me you’re looking for?

It’s been a while since I wrote to you and I’m really not that sorry. You see the beauty of this blog is, its not the boss of me. I’m the boss of me. Well sorta. But in case you are reading this and you would like to know, Hello. It is February. Where the H did January go? I have a flash back to last year at this time. I was about four/five months pregnant and getting the best advise from everyone I know and did not know. By best, I mostly felt as if people really didn’t like to be parents. I was told over and over again all the things I would never do after my baby came. ”OH, you’ll never cook dinner like that again.””Your never going go on those weekend trips like that.” “Oh, you think your busy now!” “Oh you better read now, because once your baby comes, you lose the ability to read.” (Okay, maybe I stretched that last one a little bit, but seriously people be hatin’.)

I remember thinking to myself how sad it was that people really felt like this. It was like they felt as if they couldn’t continue to do the things they wanted and in some way blamed the result of their own decision to pro-create. I believe it’s about priority and what you hold important. If you want to cook dinner every night, find a way. Maybe now that looks more like crockpot and freezer meals, then a trip to the grocery every night. If you want to have a weekend out with your loved one, find a sitter. If you can’t find one, call me. If you want to read a book, make the time. I won’t list all the responsibilities and things/work I did before I had Mason, but “Busy” was my norm. Everyone handles ”busy” in their own way. I thrive off pressure. Now with Mase here, its the same kind of busy with about twenty four more inches and nineteen pounds. I’m not saying things didn’t change for me. There are sacrifices. I can’t go anywhere alone with out my breast pump, I keep forgetting to put on my deodorant, and for the life of me I cannot remember what I was just going to say. BUT… I make dinner with my husband and son almost every night. Then I allow grace in myself and my expectations when we order pizza. We get out pretty much every weekend with and without Mason. This kid is the life of the party!  I am reading two books, The Zookeepers Wife: A War Story by Diane Ackerman and Walking from East to West: God in the shadows by Ravi Zacharias.

So, I am still pumping the life out of me every time I am away from Mason, I stink, and I can’t remember what that one thing was. But I am happy. I am so over the moon happy. If you’re not, do something about it. Change your attitude, change your perspective, or go and cook this:

 

This slow cooker enchilada quinoa bake is the shiz. My girl Neesha sent me this pin. I followed everything except the sauté step in the beginning. I just couldn’t wait and threw it all in! She told me to take it one step further and wrap it up in tortillas making enchilada’s. I plan to try that soon! Let me know what you think…

http://www.cookingclassy.com/2014/12/slow-cooker-enchilada-quinoa-bake/

 

 

Bad Banana

 

Last week we weren’t monkey’n around, I went to the grocery twice to pick up bananas. This week I bought double and can you guess what happen..

 

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Perfect time to blend a couple up in Mason’s oatmeal and make some muffins!

dahmuffins

I wanted to make a recipe that didn’t include oil or white sugar. Replacing the oil with yogurt and banana and the the sugar with honey makes these muffins are pretty dense. If you like you can add chocolate chips or nuts to break up the texture. This can be made into muffins or into a bread.

Banana Bread

Ingredients:

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour ( I use oat flour)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3 medium very ripe bananas, peeled

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup plain greek yogurt

2 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup chocolate chips or nuts ( optional )

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch metal loaf pan or your muffin pan.

In a bowl, using a wooden spoon, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In a large bowl, smash the bananas with a fork. Add the honey, yogurt, eggs and vanilla and beat with a spoon until well blended. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and stir just until blended. ( Add chips or nuts now if you choose)

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly with a spoon. If making muffins, I used a ice cream scoop to scoop the same amount for each muffin. Put the pan in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean but crummy, about 45 minutes ( 20-25 min for muffins). Set it on a wire cooling rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Enjoy!

Mason hated the banana oatmeal, do you like banana oatmeal?

Pump up the Jam

Tomorrow starts my work week and I am kinda dreading it. Its not the act of working, it’s the three times a day I will be pumping in my car. These last two weeks have been a struggle with pumping at work.  Not only is it physically exhausting, emotionally draining and time consuming. I’m starting to loose the battle between Mase and I, pumping verse consumption. He’s winning. There is so much chatter about what I should/should not be doing. Strong opinions from the masses about what’s right and what’s wrong.  I need to remind myself, I am a woman who is feeding my child and he is perfect. (Well, right now he is chewing on a diaper cream bottle, eh). This week I am going to try and focus on relaxing. I am going to pack chocolate chip cookies and a sparkling water for my pump times. I have a new Real Simple Magazine and a shiny new notebook to write in. In other news,  look at these cute stockings I made with some leftover fabric…. I apologize for the crappy photo. Its late and past my bedtime.

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I wonder why it took a little longer to sew than usual, but every moment worth it!

Shout out to my love for making the chocolate chip cookie batter. Baking fresh each morning makes it that much better!

What is your struggle this week?

December

 

I have a love/hate relationship with December. I love the season, the snow and Jesus. I hate how busy our lives and jobs get. We don’t get to see each other very often. We are lucky to have most of the year together, sitting on the same cushion of the couch. We are also lucky we love each other so madly. I need to keep reminding myself that December is only one month. I read somewhere that sea otters hold hands while they sleep to keep from drifting apart. Tonight I am going to hold my love’s hand and not let go until its January. This house, our family. I am in love.

Im often reminded of the good in people. The happiness they give off when the smallest thing is given to them.  When the gift of time is given to someone who thinks they’re too late. The small gesture of giving someone a hand when theirs are full. Every moment there is a opportunity to push yourself aside and put someone else at the head of the table. Then, when they are at the head of the table, feed them.

 

Beef Stroganoff by Martha but twisted by Manda’s Mom

Martha Stewart has a great recipe for a Classic Beef Stroganoff. My mother  does it a little different. We use a crock pot, wine and beef broth. First we browned the meat and onion in a hot pan. Then added it to the crock with about a cup of red wine and enough beef broth to cover the meat and onions. Cook on low for 8 hours. Then add your mushrooms to the hot broth. While your mushrooms are steeping, continue with step two on Martha’s directions.  There will be no picture of this because Beef Stroganoff looks like vomit when photographed.

Martha’s Beef Stroganoff

Left over, leftovers.

It is usually not that big of a deal when it’s Wednesday and you realize you left your cooler in the car over the weekend. It is a big deal when that cooler had three bottles of hardworking breastmilk in it! It’s a two cookie night for me.

While my sink is having breastmilk for dinner, we are having last nights chorizo mixture. I found some naan bread at Aldis and made us a flatbread for this evening.  Adding fresh ingredients like cherry tomatoes and spring mix lettuce makes this feel like a brand new meal. I topped the naan with garlic and olive oil. Then I put my chorizo mixture, feta and cherry tomatoes on top. I baked it in the oven for 10min at 400°. Then added the spring mix on top, dressed with olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Yum!

flatbread
How many cookies does it take until I forget about my dumb mistake?

Monday, Tuesday.

 

Christmas is around the corner and it usually makes me want to craft the crap out of my house. Now what we have a new home it makes it all the more worth it. Hobby Lobby, Dollar store and Michaels OH MY! This house has room for the perfect tree or maybe two.

Monday night I got together with some friends to catch up. There is something about good friends, wine and unbaked cookie dough that fills my heart. I cherish the times I get to hang with these gals and I am thankful for friends who are real. The ones who are interested in the “meat” of a relationship. Hearing stories of their children makes me excited about Mason growing up. Oh how I’ll miss him as a baby, but seeing him grow is the most wonderful gift I’ve been given. Being a new mom is like throwing all of your laundry in the same load. You’re hoping your colors won’t bleed and that name brand detergent protects your whites, but no matter what, your whites are going to come out pink. Having friends who have done a load or two before me helps me realize there is no right or wrong. I’m doing a good job, and you know what? I always find a twenty at the bottom of the wash, because I never clean out my jean pockets. Boom.

 

Acorn Squash with Chorizo and Apples

IMG_09271 glass of Red Wine

1 Acorn Squash

2-2.5 lbs  Chorizo Sausage, ground

1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar

1/3 cup  Onion, chopped

2 tsp Garlic

1 Apple, chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

While drinking your glass of red wine, pre-heat oven to 400º. Cut acorn squash in half, scrape out the seeds and place on a baking pan, cut side down,  with enough water to cover the bottom of pan. Bake at 400º for 30-45 min until tender. Cook chorizo in a pan until its browned and no longer pink. I like to break it up into smaller chunks but not fully ground up. Move the chorizo to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up some of that fat (save those calories for that second glass of wine). Add your balsamic vinegar to chorizo pan on medium heat to de-glaze the pan. Once heated add onions, garlic and apples. Cook al-dente. Toss in the chorizo. Top your salted and peppered squash half with the chorizo mixture. Save your leftovers for what I have in store for tomorrow.

What kind of red wine did you drink? I am drinking, Mad Housewife- Cabernet Sauvignon while listing to Swedish House Mafia