Learning to Operate One’s Soul Requires Babies and Pho

Oh, my heavens. I just can’t seem to keep up with this little space. But, here I am, blogging on a Friday. Stop the presses! :-)

The above quote is something that really struck me earlier this week. There is just something about the big events {like say a move, a wedding or the birth of a child} in life that make learning to operate one’s soul seem like its happening at warp speed. It seems like we figure ourselves out a lot faster and then have to deal with the aftershock and processing through it all belatedly because there is. no. time. Or, we do the figuring and the processing and the dealing with the aftershock all at the same damn time, which is what I seem to be doing. Heaven help my beau and my boy.

Holding babies and eating pho {clearly NOT at the same time} help me with all the “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Everything feels like it’s out of control!” moments. See below.

Chance meetings with dear, dear, sweet, amazing friends at the park are the best. THE BEST. I finally got to meet this sweet girl and see her lovely parents, especially her awesome mom, when the boy and I went to the park on a Saturday and they were there too. See, they were here on vacation and we’d talked earlier about getting together for lunch and then we both just kind of forgot about it. I am so very glad ecstatically happy that we got to see each other, even though it was unplanned and completely out of the blue. It was perfect. That sweet little family is a balm to my soul. I could not stop smiling for the rest of the day.

Pho. Need I say more? There is just something about pho that is so comforting. The hot broth, the perfectly done vegetables, the udon noodles. Having a giant bowl of steaming hot soup placed in front of me makes me really happy. And for $5.50 a bowl, it’s a steal because I can usually get two meals out of it! Added bonus: the boy loves pho! And he’s cute. And he’s turning into that gangly pre-teen type who has four hollow legs.

Well, next week is Thanksgiving. How did that happen? Shouldn’t it still be March? Um…no. I plan to spend next week doing a lot of reading, spending time with loved ones, going on lots of walks and just enjoying time away. I’m sure there will be turkey and all the fixin’s, but I’m not too concerned with that right now. I’m more excited about spending time with loved ones. I might even do some baking.

I’m going to leave you with this little nugget: Talking to a trusted someone about thoughts, feelings and emotions is so very important. Don’t bottle crap up inside. It doesn’t serve you well. Trust me. Self-care is important. Do something nice for yourself EVERY.SINGLE. DAY. It could be getting a coffee, going for a walk, buying yourself flowers, sitting outside in the sun, getting your nails done, going to a yoga class, or whatever you want. You don’t have to break the bank, but make sure it’s something you want. It’s up to you to make yourself feel good and you can’t rely on other people for that {I’m holding a mirror up in front of my face and saying all of this to myself, honestly, I am.}.

Question of the Day
How do you take care of yourself? Do you try?
What’s your favorite comfort food?

Breath-Catching

Oh, my gosh. Ugh. This week. Yikes. I won’t even try to describe it to you. I haven’t had time to blog, clean, cook or anything. Actually, I should say that I haven’t had the energy to blog, clean, cook or anything. It’s been a week and I’m exhausted.

But, there were some pretty things about this last week.

I was gifted some berries and I’ve been enjoying them this week. The boy got the strawberries, since those are his favorite, but I got two pints each of blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. Berries are one of those things I just don’t buy for myself, though I really do like them. I find that they’re too pricey, so I don’t fork over the money and I buy a big bag of apples instead, which will last us a week. Practicality rules. It was so nice to have some berries and it was the perfect gift.

I saw this sunset on my way to pick up the boy last weekend and it made me think about how the sun may set on something in your life. It will rise again on something else that will be equally as good, or it may be even better if you’ve learned something between when the sun sets and when it rises again. And sometimes, you’re just lucky and you get something awesome without having to learn much at all. That something could be a relationship {a friend or a romance or a family member} or it could be a job or a home or a lifestyle or a car. It could be nearly anything. Though whatever it was is over, there’s more to come. There’s something better. Maybe that’s the eternal optimist in me speaking :-)

As I write this, I want nothing more than to go home, curl up with a good book and read until I fall asleep. I don’t want to eat because everything I eat gives me heartburn {thank you, stress}, which is new, because that usually doesn’t happen. Food? Meh.

And that, folks, has pretty much been my week. How’s yours?

Fun Friday Five!

Well, I missed last week’s edition since I was out trick-or-treating in the rain. So, this week I have some art for you. Enjoy!

1. My friend sent me the link to Heather Theurer‘s site and from the first view, I was in love. What an amazing gift she has! I saw the first one and I gasped! Folks, I’m not a connoisseur of art. I can’t tell the difference between a Renoir and a van Gogh, but I know their names and I know van Gogh was the one who cut his ear off. That’s about all I know. Anyway, back to these amazing pieces. It’s like you can feel them and see them moving. They’re so beautiful. *swoon*

2. Ray LaMontagne‘s show posters. Seriously, each one is better than the last. I love them all!

Ugh…I want them all! I want to make a poster montage on my wall with them. They’re just so stunning!

3. Susan Mrosek’s Pondering Pool Collection. These are my all-time favorite greeting cards. They’re guaranteed to bring a smile to my face when I get one in the mail. I have every one that I’ve ever received from my parents and they always being a smile to my face when I see them. I have a collection on my wall at work and I have one at home too. Here are some of my favorites.

There are some gems in there! She has such wonderful pieces.

4. Alphonse Mucha. I have a hard time picking a favorite – I love them all. Check this out – you can even color your own!

5. I’m drawing a blank here, so I want you to tell me who your favorite artist is! Pick one and leave me a comment with your favorite!

Enjoy your weekend, lovelies!

Easy and Delicious One Pot Chicken Burrito Bowl

Note to self: You are not a very good food photographer when you’re hungry.

Note to reader: Yes, there is a section missing because the boy was STARVING. So, I gave him food. That’s how it works in my house.


I stumbled upon this recipe while looking for one pot meals on Pinterest the other day. This one is a keeper, as it got rave reviews from both my beau and the boy. It takes about 30 minutes to put together. It’s warm, flavorful and filling. I served it without any sides, but it could easily be served with a salad, if you feel like you need your veggies. I actually bought a chopped salad to go with it, but I decided we didn’t need it.

I particularly love that this recipe is cooked in one pan and you don’t have to remove any of the ingredients to a plate or anything like that. You can get this done with one pan, a knife, a cutting board, a spoon for stirring, and your ingredients. Voilà!

One Pot Chicken Burrito Bowl

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
3 T of olive oil
1/4 c of diced yellow onion
1 c of uncooked extra-long grain rice
1 14.5 oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained slightly
1 15oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 t of garlic powder
1/2 t of chili powder
1 t of cumin
2 1/2 c of water + 2 t low sodium Better than Bouillon Chicken Base
1 c of shredded Cheddar Jack
kosher salt and pepper
freshly diced tomatoes
diced green onions
sour cream
guacamole or diced avocado

In a stock pot or sauté pan {you’ll need a lid}, sauté onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until they start to soften. Season diced chicken with 1 t of kosher salt and 1/2 t of black pepper. Add chicken to pan and cook over medium high heat until chicken has started to brown. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and the rice. Stir together with the chicken and sauté uncooked rice for about 2 minutes or just until some grains start to turn golden brown. Stir in black beans, canned tomatoes, chicken broth, garlic powder, chili powder and cumin. Bring to a simmer, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook about 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed. Sprinkle with cheese, recover and let set for 2-3 off heat to melt cheese. Garnish with fresh tomatoes, green onions, sour cream and guacamole.

If it thickens, you can add more water to it so the rice doesn’t stick. If you do make it in a sauté pan, you can add more cheese if you’d like, since you’ll have a larger surface area to cover. I made mine in a stock pot so I cut the cheese called for in the original recipe in half. It didn’t need the extra cheese, honestly.

This one’s a keeper! If you make it, let me know how you like it!

 

Happy November!

Good morning, everyone! How was your weekend? Mine was filled with relaxing things. I did PiYo, read, tried to nap, wandered around the wharf, and took pictures. And that was really just about it. And it was perfect.

Folks, this exercise program. Oh, my, it hurts so good. I haven’t come across anything else that stretches and strengthens the way this does. My legs are still sore from Saturday’s workout. It hurts sooooo gooooood.

I’ve been reading A Game of Thrones, after watching the series on HBO. I’m caught up through season 3 and I can’t wait for season 4. So, I’ve been reading the books in the meantime. Oh, my stars. It’s all so good. Oh, and do you like my new mug? I picked this up last week at Cost Plus. They have such cute stuff for such reasonable prices.

I spent some time in my worn out pajamas. The boy and I played cards for awhile on Sunday morning because it just felt so early and we didn’t want to get up and get going yet. So, we didn’t. The time change really messes with me. Does it mess with you? It makes me grouchy. So, pajamas and hot tea was the order of the morning! In all seriousness though, I need to update my pajama selection. They’re frumpy, but oh, so very comfortable.

Yesterday, we went for a walk down by the wharf and we also toured this little maritime museum. There’s a lighthouse lantern in there and it’s so beautiful to watch. I tried to take my photo so everything was symmetrical and I was moderately successful. It’s a little off, but I really like the way this turned out.

And last, but certainly not least, we made a little friend. He was very curious about what we might have in our food tray. It was just a sourdough roll and some clam chowder, but he really wanted us to drop some of it. He waited patiently for us to drop something and he wasn’t aggressive at all. Truthfully, I found him rather pretty.

In other news, it rained! We needed it horribly and it made everything smell so amazing. I hope we get more rain. I would really love to have some green grass in the spring. I’m sure the cows would too, and the farmers.

And now, it’s back to the grindstone for me! Enjoy your Monday, lovelies!

Halloween!

October 2014 Blogging Challenge

I’m participating in October’s Blogging Challenge from Girl Meets Life. Thanks to Meg over at A Dash of Meg for turning me on to this challenge. She did September’s challenge and I decided to give October a try. Check back here daily in October for a new post! If you’d like to join in, click here!


Today is the very last day of October’s Blogging Challenge! This was such fun! Today, I’m sharing with you the boy’s Halloween costume, since I don’t often dress up for Halloween. As I mentioned before, it’s not my favorite holiday. So, here’s the boy’s costume!

He’s an Air Force pilot, and he LOVES his costume!

We’re going to go trick-or-treating tonight, unless it’s pouring rain. If that happens, then we’ll go to the movies or something fun.

Happy Halloween! Enjoy your weekend!

Thankful Thursday

October 2014 Blogging Challenge

I’m participating in October’s Blogging Challenge from Girl Meets Life. Thanks to Meg over at A Dash of Meg for turning me on to this challenge. She did September’s challenge and I decided to give October a try. Check back here daily in October for a new post! If you’d like to join in, click here!


For today’s challenge, I’m sharing another Thankful Thursday with you. I can’t believe there’s only one more day left of this challenge! This has been such a fun experience!

I’m thankful I can download songs to my iTunes for this kid to listen to. He’s really been enjoying Pharrell Williams and Michael Jackson lately. I’m quite alright with this.

I’m grateful for morning cups of coffee and cup ring stains. And then cups of green tea afterwards.

I’m thankful for warm sweaters and rain in the forecast. I’m thankful that my orchid is still blooming. I’m grateful for delicious, really amazing whole kalamata olives. I’m thankful for afternoon naps and my Desire Map day planner. I’m thankful for evenings spent catching up on The Walking Dead. Ugh…that show. I love it.

And that, among many many MANY other things, is what I’m thankful for as of this very moment.

Question of the Day
Do you watch The Walking Dead? Love it or hate it? Why?

Not a day in the life, but a virtual shopping spree on Fanatics.com!

October 2014 Blogging Challenge

I’m participating in October’s Blogging Challenge from Girl Meets Life. Thanks to Meg over at A Dash of Meg for turning me on to this challenge. She did September’s challenge and I decided to give October a try. Check back here daily in October for a new post! If you’d like to join in, click here!


See the previous days here and here. I really don’t want to bore you with another day in the life thing, which is exactly like the second day in the life. Nothing has really changed, so I’m going to go off the grid and do something else. I know…I’m such a rebel. So, I have a treat for you today! Using a baseball hat from Fanatics as a starting point, I created a virtual outfit. I thought this project was really fun! Here’s what I created!

Image from here

I chose this hat because I liked the colors and style. I’m not much of a hat person because I have a difficult time finding hats that my head wears well. I can usually pull off military style caps though, so this one was perfect! And, that bird is cute. He looks kind of mischievous. I like him.

Next, I thought I’d pair the hat with a ladies’ top from Fanatics as well. Since the hat was mostly black, I wanted to brighten my outfit up a little by wearing some orange. I usually think of game day outfits as being more on the comfortable side, so I chose this orange top.

Image from here

To keep with the black and orange theme, I would pair the top with a pair of black jeans, which I already own.

Image from here

Now, for shoes. I would pair it with these booties, which I also already own. They’re so very comfortable, truly.

Image from here

Let’s see, now…jewelry! I’d wear a pair of silver dangly earrings, like those shone below {which I also already own}.

Image from here

I think that would complete my ensemble! To complete the look, I would wear my hair in a side braid and keep my makeup to a minimum {mascara and lip gloss would definitely suffice}. Consider me ready for game day!

After looking around at what Fanatics has to offer, I can tell they have something for everyone. Even babies! If you’re looking for something to wear on game day or a gift for your favorite sports fanatic, this is the place to shop!

My Favorite Beauty Products

October 2014 Blogging Challenge

I’m participating in October’s Blogging Challenge from Girl Meets Life. Thanks to Meg over at A Dash of Meg for turning me on to this challenge. She did September’s challenge and I decided to give October a try. Check back here daily in October for a new post! If you’d like to join in, click here!


For today’s challenge, I’m sharing my favorite beauty products with you. If I had to choose five beauty products, these are the ones I would choose.

Vintage Tradition Body Balm and Deodorant Balm – both of these products are stellar. The body balm keeps my face supple and well-hydrated. The deodorant balm is the BEST deodorant I’ve come across.

This Benefit mascara, which I’ve written about before. This stuff is the absolute BEST mascara ever. It lengthens and thickens without clumping and it stays put all day. I know it’s $23 a tube, but it’s the best.

bareMinerals mineral veil compact. I could use this in lieu of foundation and be just fine. It evens out my skin tone just a smidge and it has an SPF 15 in it. This and the mascara I mentioned above, and I’m all set. The fact that it comes in a sturdy, portable compact is wonderful. I have it in my purse at all times.

A matte dark brown eye shadow and a slanted brow brush. It doesn’t really matter, as long as the shadow isn’t sparkly. Here’s an example of a kit you can purchase. Having my brows filled in a little definitely helps balance out my face a little more.

Red lipstick, especially this one. I don’t always wear red lipstick, but when I do, I feel completely put together.

Question of the Day
What are your favorite makeup items? Share in the comments!

 

Top Tips for a Beginning Blogger

October 2014 Blogging Challenge

I’m participating in October’s Blogging Challenge from Girl Meets Life. Thanks to Meg over at A Dash of Meg for turning me on to this challenge. She did September’s challenge and I decided to give October a try. Check back here daily in October for a new post! If you’d like to join in, click here!


For today’s challenge, I’m sharing tips for new bloggers.

The only thing I can really say is this:

  1. Write what you know. Be honest.
  2. Proofread.
  3. Include pictures.
  4. Comment on other blogs.

Blogging has taken such a different leap. At first, it was an online journal, but now, it’s a job opportunity for some. More power to those who get paid to blog! It sounds so wonderful, but there have to be some cons that weigh against the pros.

Since those are really the only tips I have, I’ve compiled a list of posts from other amazing bloggers who know what they’re doing. Enjoy!

There are many, many, many more sites dedicated to blogging tips and how to start a blog. Just use your favorite search engine and start looking.

For me, I blog because it’s a creative outlet for me. I enjoy writing, though I don’t think I’m all that good at it. I do proofread and I do include pictures. I do comment on other blogs, but only if it’s poignant. I don’t want to blog for a living, or maybe I do. But right now, I’m happy with just blogging and enjoying the process.

One of my favorite beach photos.

Question of the Day
Do you have any blogging tips? Share in the comments!