Friday, March 30, 2012

Jane Austen and Chocolate Mousse

Some days I need chocolate. While L. is napping there is nothing that goes together better than chocolate, a cup of hot tea, and a little Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice specifically. It's my favorite and it has been for a long time. I'm not going to justify or explain. I know there are haters out there.  I am a fan and I'm okay with that.

{this moment}

A Friday ritual. A single photo, without words capturing a moment from the week. 

A simple, special, wonderful moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. -via soulemama

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Best Gluten-Free Breakfast Ever

In case I haven't mentioned it before, I can't eat gluten anymore. I've had issues with it in the past and, once again, it seems to be the source of my problems. I have yet to find a gluten-free bread recipe I love so I'm currently not able to enjoy eggs and toast for breakfast. Since I've been missing my eggs and toast, I had to come up with something else. 
I don't even know what to call this dish. It's currently my favorite breakfast option: two eggs on a crunchy corn tortilla topped with fresh pico de gallo and a little cotija cheese.

And it turns out it's much, much better.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Embracing My Inner Radical Homemaker

Every now and then I run across a book that has a profound impact on my life. Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture, by Shannon Hayes is one of those books.
I hadn't even finished the introduction when I stopped reading and found a highlighter. I haven't highlighted a book in a long time. But I highlighted this one.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Roasted Zucchini & Tomato Pasta

I got this recipe from a close friend and it's perfect for a summer day. I am super excited to share it today. It's simple, fresh, and easy to make. And it's a wonderful way to use all the tomatoes and zucchini you'll have from your garden this summer! You're planting a garden right?
I admit we didn't actually plant zucchini this time around. We're debating whether or not we can make a space for one. If we can't find the perfect spot, I'm sure we'll be able to find zucchini at the farmer's market. 

Okay, here we go.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Perfect Cape (Yes, I'm Sewing Again!)

Way back in January I bought some fabric. I wanted to make L. a cape for her dress-up box. I had big plans. But I didn't do it. The fabric has been sitting on the shelf for almost three months. 
I was scared. I was totally afraid I couldn't do it.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Homemade Cream Cheese with Herbs

Technically it's probably more accurate to call this "yogurt-cheese" but we call it cream cheese around here. It's yogurt-cheese because I make it out of yogurt but it's cream cheese because it's the texture of cream cheese. And tastes like cream cheese too...it's just a little more tangy.

{this moment}

A Friday ritual. A single photo (obviously cheating this week because I'm posting multiple photos of L. taking the photos I posted here), without words capturing a moment from the week. 

A simple, special, wonderful moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wordful Wednesday: Feet

I didn't plan on writing about my feet today. I totally intended to write about something else. But then I saw all the lovely pictures over at the Lone Home Ranger, including a pictures of their "Spring feet" and a shout out to this post by yours truly, and I decided it would be more fun to write about my feet.
Why?

Because, um, apparently I take a lot of pictures of my feet. And my daughter's feet. And periodically my husband's feet.

Is that weird?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Slowing Down (The View Through a Child's Camera)

Last week, after confessing to the world my frustrations with house cleaning and my struggle to define myself as an individual and a mother, I decided I needed to just slow down a bit. Slowing down is a constant goal of mine. I want to slow down. I don't want to constantly running from task to task. Every now and then I succeed at slowing down, I savor the little things, and have a lovely time. Then everything on my must-get-done-at-all-costs list sneaks back in and I find myself rushing around again.

So, last Wednesday, I put everything else aside (again) and focused on why I really love staying home with my daughter (and tried to distract myself from the sneaking anxiety that typically accompanies publishing a post that leaves me feeling vulnerable).

Our afternoon found us outside on the back patio drawing with sidewalk chalk. L. asked me to lay down so she could trace me (she likes tracing--or being traced--so she can color in the person left behind). While laying on my back looking at the blue sky and watching the new leaves on the Mesquite tree waving gently in the breeze, I couldn't help but want my camera. I wanted to hang on to that moment forever.
When L. was finished tracing I dashed inside to get my camera.

L. immediately wanted her camera too. She has a hand-me-down toy Kodak camera. She loves it.

"Mama, you want to lay down and take pictures of the sky with me?"

Monday, March 19, 2012

I Love the Padre Island National Seashore

I've mentioned before that I'm pretty sure a trip to the beach can solve anything. We are fortunate to be near several wonderful beaches but by far my favorite in the Padre Island National Seashore (PINS). Located on the northern end of the Padre Island on the south Texas coast, PINS consists of 70 miles of protected, undeveloped beach. It's actually a lot more than just a beach but that's where we spend most our time. It is a sanctuary for countless birds and animals and myself.

Aside from helping me maintain my sanity, PINS helps me stay in touch with the seasons. Whereas everything else seems a little off (the trees loosing leaves in February instead of September, tomatoes in January, blossoming lemon trees in February), the beach is more consistent. The water is warm in the summer. The waves are generally calmer. There isn't such an intense undertow. There are little clams and crabs and birds and sea turtles. As the days get shorter in the fall the water gets colder. The currents change. In the winter the water is cold and rough. In the spring there is growth and change.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

And Then There Was No Internet...

Sorry I kind of disappeared there for a while.

Our Internet went down Wednesday afternoon and was fixed just last night. So, instead of stressing myself out trying to find a computer with internet so I could publish all the posts I intended to post this week, I took a little vacation. I focused on trying to be present with my family, enjoying the little things, and resting (and trying to get rid of the allergies that are currently kicking my behind).
 
I'll be back with our regularly scheduled programing later today...or maybe tomorrow. We'll see.

I've been enjoying the break.

Hope you're all having a lovely Sunday.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

It All Falls Apart (Or, Defining Myself as a Stay-At-Home-Mom)

This picture pretty much sums up how I've been feeling lately. No matter how hard I try, it all falls apart anyway.
Let me try to explain.

I tend to define myself by what I'm doing. It's a bad habit. I'm fully aware of that. Nonetheless, it's the truth. What I'm doing gives me purpose and I tend to commit myself entirely to whatever I do.

When I was in school or working outside the home I could say, "I'm a student studying international law and human rights" or "I work in crisis intervention" and people would say, "oooh, that sounds interesting." It was an easy way to distinguish myself without revealing much personal information. People would think what they thought about me after hearing those statements and I didn't worry about it. I figured it was sufficiently impressive. I've always had a need to prove myself.  

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Breastfeeding: What She's Really Thinking While She Nurses

I wanted to title this post, "Breastfeeding: What She's Really Thinking While She Sucks My Boobs" but I was worried I might accidentally attract people looking for porn. So, I tried to tone it down a bit.
But just so you know, we call them boobs at our house. We tried other code names (and just calling them breasts) but boobs (or, boobies) is what stuck. 

When my daughter was a baby, just days old, she would make this little giggling, cooing noise when she got close to me and wanted to nurse. I always wondered what was going through her mind.

Now I know.

Friday, March 9, 2012

{this moment}

A Friday ritual. A single photo, without words capturing a moment from the week. 

A simple, special, wonderful moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
 If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. -via soulemama.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hooray! They're Pickled Green Tomatoes!

Remember a few weeks ago when I wrote a guest post for the awesome Lone Home Ranger
You should remember but just in case you don't, I'll refresh for memory...In that guest post I gave you all a lovely recipe for pickled green tomatoes. I was kind of nervous about sharing the recipe because I hadn't tried the final product. I shouldn't have worried. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

Creating A Quiet Nook: Simplify Your Child's World

Hello Readers!

I'm Justine from The Lone Home Ranger, and I'm pleased to be writing a guest post on Emily's wonderful blog. Her post on my blog has inspired me to think about planting my first spring garden with the kids as assistants, and I hope I can return the favor with a bit of my own inspiration for achieving an attractive, quiet space in your home for your kids to unwind.

I'll begin with a confession. Sometimes I don't want to talk to anyone. I don't want to answer my phone. I don't want to check email. I just want to sit in my own shell, with little to no outside stimulation, and be alone with my thoughts or a good book. To me, there is nothing more perfect than a nook for this activity. I love nooks. I even love the word: nook. It connotes peace. Quiet. A hide-out. A haven. A place for the butter to go in my English muffin. In a word, perfection.

The only flaw with this love affair of mine? There are no nooks in my home. It's a Cape Cod style brick box with small square rooms and no nooks of any kind. This predicament brings us to my tale for today: my quest to build a nook in my home.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

How to Grow a Happy Child

How do you teach the children in your life happiness?

I think about this question on a daily basis. As someone who has periodically struggled with anxiety and depression, I worry about my daughter growing up and facing the same challenges. I worry that she'll grow up thinking depressed is happy. I don't want her to settle for simply surviving each day.
I want her to love life, to love living. I want her to truly know and understand what happiness is.

(Disclaimer: I do not know everything. I don't have all the answers).

This is how to grow a happy child. This is how we teach our daughter about happiness. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Walking on Paint

Last Thursday I mentioned that my daughter has a proclivity for painting her entire body. It's true. And we do a lot of painting. We love painting. Some days it's a little much for me to handle. Whether she's finger painting or brush painting or any other kind of painting it usually ends with a bath.
We decided to do something about that.

Friday, March 2, 2012

{this moment}

A Friday ritual. A single photo, without words capturing a moment from the week. 

A simple, special, wonderful moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I'm Thankful for Oversharing Dolphins

I'm a day late on my midweek confession. I figured better late than never.
 
That's just how I roll sometimes.

And why not combine my confession with a gratitude list? Consider this post a twofer.

The dolphin picture will make sense later in the post. I promise.

Here goes...

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