J&J — October 24, 2019

J&J

Thursday morning. Watching/listening to Julie & Julia as a click away at my work. This movie reminds me of this blog that I started several years ago during the onset of my fertility journey. It helps me to release the day-to-day nuttiness of this world. It allows me to connect with all of you. To relate and be relatable.

This movie also reminds me of my love of cookbooks. I collect them. I decorate with them. I also work my way through them as Julie does in this movie. I don’t do every recipe, but I do start at the beginning. I cook the ones that appeal to me and my family. I save the ones that are successful. The criteria for successful is whether or not I would want to eat and make it again. I have a pinterest board of my confirmed delish recipes here. These are my craves and favs.

I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your week. Remember to take the time to find inspiration and connect with those that you love.

Worth & Work — October 18, 2019

Worth & Work

I’ve been wanting to tackle this subject for a while because I have put so much of my worth in my work. Recent events finally gave me the motivation to pull the trigger on this topic.

Yesterday, a lot of people I know were laid off. I’m so sad for them and for the company. They lost so many valuable people, but unfortunately, this is the corporate way.

Which brings me to the point of this post. I recently read a devotion about finding our worth in our work. I have struggled with this in the past and although I’m not healed, I am working on it. The author spoke of moving to a new town and leaving behind her career/job that had given her “a tremendous sense of importance and influence.” Her established history, reputation and authority had become a comfortable companion. Can you relate to this? I definitely can.

She goes on to say that although there’s nothing wrong with the above, it’s the pride that can become the “stumbling block” or an “idol” to us. When we look for our significance in a job, we can become complacent and struggle to move forward. To move forward in being pruned and molded by Our Creator. He has the best plan for us. Our plans will ALWAYS pale in comparison to His bigger purpose for our life and our life is not defined by our work on this earth.

When I lost my 9-5 job in April, I felt like a complete failure. I knew it wasn’t true, but my emotional and prideful sides took over and convinced me that I had failed. I didn’t have worth now that I was out of work. What am I going to do now? God surprised me. He’s still surprising me…

 

freedom@40 — October 9, 2019

freedom@40

I turn 40 years old today. I started the day with a lapse in memory which made me feel old and resulted in tears. Can you tell I’m struggling with this birthday?

I’ve been slacking on blogging lately. I’ve been super busy on the work front, which is a total blessing. But—I want to be sure I don’t lose what has helped heal me. God has a lot in store for me and I am grateful for this time I’ve had with my family. It’s been hard financially, but we’ve had amazing support from family and friends.

The number 40 is teaching me is that I’m free to be who I am. Free of the fake and phony. Free of all the falsehood that’s in this world. I plan on cherishing this year for what it is.

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Anniversary — October 3, 2019

Anniversary

I took about a week and a half off from writing. I’ve missed it. It’s been a busy time. Lots of work (thanking God for that!) and life happening.

Today is my 8th wedding anniversary. Eight years with my best friend. He’s the best and today I had the best day with him. His mom (nana) came to watch the tater tot while we went out to lunch and a movie. It was awesome. We had the restaurant to ourselves and an amazing waiter. The food was unreal to the point that I wanted to unbutton in the booth so I could keep eating. Then we saw Ad Astra. Very good. I really wasn’t sure what to expect but I really liked it. An astrological drama. Highly recommend.

This time last year, I was in deep grief. So much so, my husband was taking me to a psychiatrist on our anniversary. I was grieving our move. Moving away from my family, friends, home, job. It was a tough time. It’s incredible how much can change in a year.

Thank you God for your daily renewal and letting us see Your light through the dark times.

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hubs hand-drawn anniversary card to me ❤
Fall in Love — September 23, 2019

Fall in Love

How do you celebrate the beginning of autumn? We hung our fall garden flag and updated our welcome mat. I’m also looking forward to more pumpkin everything.

Today we kept our slider open with the fans blasting and it was comfortable in the house! Definite change in climate. Usually it’s unbearably hot here. The evenings are breezy and slightly on the cool side. Perfect walking weather.

Time to let go. Let all the bad fall away and leave the good. Happy Fall my friends!

Berry Choco Muffins — September 18, 2019

Berry Choco Muffins

Today was a good day. My girlfriend and I went to look at a house built in 1900! It was a mess, but a beautiful one. So much potential and overall MAGICAL. It’s in the uptown area of our historic city. Plus my friend is a creative genius so it would be transformed and given all the love it needs.

Afterward, we went to a little market and had lemonade and quiche. She has 2 kiddos and is well versed in needing non-mommy time. I accidentally invited my hubs and son to join us at the market and she reminded me that it was “Girl Time”. I was grateful that she helped me protect that time. I’m not so good at that.

Let’s keep the good going…

Berry Choco Muffins

Stuff

  • 1½ cups flour
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  • Sparkling Sugar

Steps

  • Preheat oven to 375º F. Line muffin pan with paper liners.
  • In a large bowl, combine flour (1.5 c), white sugar (1/2 c), coconut sugar (1/4 c), baking powder (2 tsp), cinnamon (1/2 tsp) and salt (1/2 tsp).
  • In a separate bowl, add almond milk (1/2 c), vegetable oil (1/3 c), vanilla (1/2 tsp) and 1 egg. Pour into flour mixture.
  • Add in strawberries (1 c) & chocolate chips (3/4 c) and mix until just combined.
  • Fill each muffin cup ¾ full. Sprinkle sparkling sugar (as much as you like!) on top of muffins.
  • Bake for 22 minutes, or until done.

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Inspired by: https://sugarspiceandfamilylife.com/2017/03/strawberry-muffins-recipe.html/amp
BIRTH Day — September 17, 2019

BIRTH Day

Today was a celebration of many birthdays:

  • My Nana. She would have been 93 today! I miss her so much.
  • My Godson. He’s 7 years old!
  • My Aunt. She’s struggling health wise and I miss her.
  • Max – he was born today via C-section to a mom who’s lost 2 sons. Monday miracle!

Hope you enjoyed your day and remember that there is always someone to celebrate.

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Fruitful Friday — September 14, 2019

Fruitful Friday

Today consisted of work, haircut for D, takeout, coffee, surfing, leftovers, time with neighbors and ice cream! At the end of the day, all was great. God is definitely at work in this life that’s unfolding before me.

With all the great stuff, I still struggle with the what if thoughts. However their power is weaker. I feel my triggers, but God is transforming the worry into reliance on Him.

I think as women, we beat ourselves up for feeling a certain way when things are going well. We like to justify our anxieties, but the truth is, sometimes it just creeps up on you. The guilt of that can spawn shame and more worry about “the why”. But what if we’re not meant to know the why and just need to give it over to God. What if we are feeling this way because it’s an exercise of trust.

I hope you can find and feel His grace. Here’s to a fruitful Friday and weekend!

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Working Wednesday — September 12, 2019

Working Wednesday

Today was a busy day. Work was consistent, but I still found myself wandering down What If Road. Ever been there? It’s like you’re grateful, but wonder what if this or that happened. What if I never get paid for this work? What if I’m just not good enough? What if that tragic thing that happened to them happens to me? What if…

It’s interesting being in a place where you are so reliant on God that you can’t do anything else but pray and trust. I was in my small/bible study group tonight and the perfect analogy for this was brought up. My friend said, it’s like you’re a kid, holding your parent’s hand, waiting to cross the street. That child trusts that parent to take them across. There’s not a doubt in their mind that they will get across that street with their parent’s help. Pure trust.

God is asking me/us to hold His hand and trust that He will get us to the other side. The other side of sickness, fear, doubt, unemployment, anxiety, depression…{insert your mountain here}.

And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:2-4 ESV)

Mixed Monday — September 10, 2019

Mixed Monday

Panzanella (aka – bread salad)

Panzanella

stuff:

  • olive oil (1/4 cup)
  • salt (teaspoon)
  • pepper (1/2 teaspoon)
  • pesto (1/4 cup)
  • motz pearls (3/4 cup)
  • grape/cherry tomatoes (1 cup)
  • bread (3 cups cubed)
  • kalamata olives (1/4 cup)
  • capers (1 tablespoon)
  • vinegar (drizzle)
  • diced red onion (2 tablespoons)

steps:

  • Please note that all measurements above are approximate and can be adjusted to your liking. I totally winged this recipe based on my neighbors recommendation on what to do with our cookout leftovers. So with that in mind, use what you have and the measurements you like. There’s no wrong way to make this.
  • Preheat oven to 375º.
  • While the oven is preheating, cube your bread. I used day old hamburger and hotdog buns. The rule of thumb: fill a sheet pan in an even layer. This would feed about 3 people.
  • Once bread is cubed, drizzle olive oil on top of it, sprinkle some salt, pepper and whatever other seasoning you’re craving. Toss and spread out bread again in an even layer.
  • Pop the bread in the oven for about 10 minutes. Keep your eyes and nose on it. You’ll know it’s done when it looks and smells toasty.
  • While the bread is getting toasty, throw the rest of the stuff in the bowl. Whatever you’re feeling, if you love motz, use more of it! I used more tomatoes than motz. I actually used leftover caprese bites from the night before. I also used the leftover pesto as my dressing.
  • Once the bread is done, let it cool a bit while you finish prepping the salad. Add the bread when it’s cooled, and toss it all together. Doctor it up with more oil or vinegar (I used pomegranate oil, but balsamic would be great). Taste it and adjust seasonings and ingredients as needed.
  • Enjoy!

On a side note, I called this posted “Mixed Monday” because I was in a mixed up state of mind today. Physically, I’m fighting either a cold (my 4th one this year!) or an allergy attack. No fun. Also, I’m in a bit of a professional funk. I got 4 rejection emails today for jobs I applied for. Ugh. So my question to you is, how do you find hope in the unknown and lows of life? I guess I tried to soothe my soreness with bread salad tonight 😉

 

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