Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Just One of My Favorite Things

Almost every morning I get to wake up to snuggles with my Bug. It's my favorite part of the morning.  He makes my life infinitly better. Today we got to buy a Teansformers Dino Bot because he is now officially potty trained.  It's one large step towards being grown up and independent.  I'm excited, happy, and proud of him.  I'm also kind of sad that he's growing up. This is a big milestone for him. One day I won't be getting morning cuddles anymore and that will be super sad.  For now I'll be grateful and relish the moments in between wake and sleep when I can hold my baby boy tightly. It's the best part of waking up.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Makers Gonna Make

Tonight was again another awesome craft night.  Same place, same women, same fun to be shared by all crafters. I brought my sisters with me tonight so it was even better: Sisters Craft Night Out!

I have to say how much I love this place.  I have been looking forward to this night and coming back since last week. The Spiffing Jewelry Studio and Warehouse has such a great vibe and is gorgeous.  It's he most perfect office I could ever imagine and I seriously want to work there.   There are so many positive and pretty things I just can't even begin.  Here is just a taste from the bathroom.

stole my inspiration from this post from a custome silver cuff at Spiffing Jewelry.  I love what is says and what it means.  "Makers Gonna Make".  It is true. It carries over to my life in other ways and boils down to "I'm Gonna Be Me".  Runners gonna run.  Momma's gonna mother. Pollyannas gonna  be positive.  It's a fun little motto to think on.  I really like the cuff. 

Anyways, tonight the crafters crafter.  The makers made custom eye shadows and brown sugar body scrubs.  I smell fantastic and I cannot wait to play with my shadows!

made a chocolate spice fudge body polish that smells so deep and delectable. It really smells like a dark fudge. The recipe was simple and Pinterest worthy. It was not a fail at all.  The recipe for the body scrub is simple.  It's 2 parts brown sugar to 1 part olive oil.  The sugar should be moist and a little crumbly. Mine was a smudge to oily but I like it that way because I have super dry skin.   After the sugar and oil are mixed you add in essential oils or fragrances. I put in 2/3 tablespoon Ghiradeli chocolate powder, I believe it was Dutch processed, and about 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, maybe a bit more.  I thought I would be done but the scent was still a little flat.  I'll be honest and admit that I meant to grab the vanilla extract but had the great misfortune of dashing pumpkin spice fragrance in my scrub.  I didn't even realize until it was too late.  I'm glad though because it really rounded out the scent and deepened it.  The scrub smells really chocolately and dark with warm notes of spice and a hint of sweet cream.  I got lots of compliments on it. 

We also made custom eyeshadows. The pictures here don't do it justice at all! I made a lovely coppery creamy gold that I've been looking all over to find to no avail. I think I'll call it "Penny, Penny, Penny!" It's got a bright shine to it and photographs well.  The other two are beautiful in person but don't photograph as well; they are kind of subtle. The aqua I am going to call "Aquaholics Annonymous".  I love this color and have it in clothes, shoes, jewelry, accessories, etc.  I really am addicted. I'm not big on colors so this should be fun and the gold undertones and microfine glitter should be gorgeous.  Lastly, the dusky purple is really pretty and intense but hard to film the bright fuchsia microfine mica that really set this off. I'll try to get a better picture of this one. It reminds me of a grown up version of Harold and the Purple Crayon. I think I'll call it "Harry's Purple Pen".   They are all really pretty. So pretty  and were a lot of fun to make.

I'm again thankful for creative outlets, sister time, and the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends.  It's soul enriching and those opportunities can be hard to come by.  If you are lucky to find them you just have to give in and go with it. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

I'm tired but I'm Still Thankful

Just a quick post on a delicious dinner I made tonight for my family. It's a Monday but essentially a Friday in its feel since tomorrow it Vereran's day so I don't have to work!!!  Yeah! So a midweek Friday means I get to sleep in tomorrow so I can relax and make a delicious all out dinner tonight. So I did. I'm trying the CookingLight Diet and it's awesome. Their food is always so delicious and filling.  I've never had anything that was less than delicious from their recipes. Tonight was no exception

Josh has been craving my Mom's Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas but those are so time consuming and I wanted to treat her today so I found this. It was super easy and everyone kept going back for more. It's a make again meal for sure. Oh, by the way, they are completely correct in saying the tequila makes the slaw pop. It was fantastic.  

Enchiladas 1440 large

Chicken Verde Enchiladas

How do you shred chicken superfast? Insert two forks into the meat while it's still warm. Then pull apart to shred.

(400 calories)

Makes 4 servings (serving size: 2 enchiladas)
  • 3/4 cup prechopped onion
  • 3/4 cup unsalted chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup salsa verde
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro stems
  • 2 tablespoons sliced pickled jalapeño pepper
  • 5 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces shredded skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken breast (about 2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup chopped tomato
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 ripe peeled avocado, coarsely mashed
  • 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, shaved
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
  • 1. Place oven rack in lower third of oven, and preheat broiler to high.
  • 2. Combine first 8 ingredients in a medium saucepan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 4 minutes. Stir in chicken; cook 1 minute or until heated. Remove from heat. Stir in tomato, sour cream, and avocado.
  • 3. Stack tortillas; wrap stack in damp paper towels, and microwave at HIGH for 45 seconds. Spoon 1 cup chicken mixture into an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Spoon 1/3 cup chicken mixture in center of each tortilla; roll up. Arrange tortillas, seam sides down, in baking dish. Top with cheese. Broil 3 minutes or until cheese melts. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves.
  • CALORIES 400
  • SERVING SIZE 4 servings (serving size: 2 enchiladas)
  • CHOLESTEROL 75.0mg
  • FIBER7.0g
  • PROTEIN 29.0g
  • SODIUM620.0mg
  • FAT 18.0g
  • CALCIUM 267.0mg
  • IRON 1.0mg

Tequila Slaw with Lime and Cilantro

Grab a bag of packaged coleslaw mix, and you've saved yourself the time of slicing cabbage and shredding carrots. A splash of tequila adds spirit and complexity (we urge you not to leave it out), while lime juice's zing perks up earthy cabbage. 

(64 calories)

Makes 6 servings (serving size: about 2/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup canola mayonnaise (such as Hellmann's)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon silver tequila
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 (14-ounce) package coleslaw
  • 1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients; toss.
  • SERVING SIZE 6 servings (serving size: about 2/3 cup)
  • FIBER1.8g
  • PROTEIN 0.8g
  • SODIUM 162.0mg
  • FAT3.0g
  • CALCIUM37.0mg
  • IRON 0.1mg

Saturday, November 8, 2014

There are Messages Everywhere

Today I am thankful for messages and the ability to experience them. Messages are everywhere as long as you are open to them.  They may be a thought, a feeling, a smell, a taste, a look, any sense that sparks can be a message.

Today, the trainer in my workout caught me off guard by saying, "Stop comparing yourself. Comparison is the their of joy!"  I had never heard this wonderful quote by Theodore Roosevelt but it struck me hard in the chest and I haven't been able to shake it. This past week I devoted an entire session in therapy to comparisons and their damage. I can say that I am sure it hurts both parties equally in different ways.  This could be a great example of cognitive bias but in any case I am glad I heard this message and have taken it in.  It's a new motto for me and a guiding thought to live by. 

I also got to go to a book signing today with my sisters and hopeful future brother in law. We stood in line to meet Theresa Caputo, The Long Island Medium.  She is so cute and sweet in person. I'll start right off saying we did not get a reading but it was healing and special in our own way.  My youngest sister, Demi, loves Theresa.  We had so much fun waiting in line, even though it felt like 100 degrees outside.  November is way drunk here in San Diego and needs to pull itself together. It's Fall and I was by the ocean.  I should not have been in a sundress with sweat running down my body and burning like it's August!  I guess it was nice weather though to sit outside the new Sausage and Meat and enjoy good food and well made drinks afterwards.  I sweated enough to deserve to eat Churro Chicharones. I will say that yes, that sounds scary odd but they were delicious.

Demi was so excited to be there and was giddily shaking with happiness.  It was cute to see.  When it was our turn, Demi was overcome with emotions.  Theresa asked her, and only her, what her name was.  They hugged and Demi began to cry.  It was a happy thing. Theresa looked at me and it felt like she wanted to say something but couldn't because of the time. It felt like an understanding, as odd as that may be.  Maybe it's all schtick but it seemed genuine.  Outside, in line to meet Larry, Theresa's husband, Demi told us that she knew our Grandparents were there and Theresa wanted to talk to us but couldn't.  She also told us that she felt our Grandma in that hug they shared. It was beautiful for what it was and all that it meant.  I'm grateful for the experience. I'm blessed to have my sisters and Joe too for these fun little outings. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

On Forcing Oneself to Move

This morning I did something unprecedented...I ran.  It was not far or fast but it was enough to make me feel proud.  I alternated between running and walking for roughly 3/4 a mile.  I hate physical exertion.  Thanks exercise induced asthma!  The rush of air in and out of my lungs burns and I don't like feeling like I'm breathing molten glass.  The coughing fits after are no fun either.   I also don't sweat. Really, I don't. I overheat and feel like I'm burning up with the rays of 10,000 suns.  My red blotchy skin shows the heat all too well like a lobster in it's final boiling bath. 

Basically, exercises makes me feel like I am the girl on fire.  Today, I was ok with it. I can't guarantee that I will do it often but I did it today and that's what counts.  Baby steps but today I'm thankful to be moving at all. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Things that Make my Heart Soar

I feel so energized and if my heart was no longer caged in my chest it would be flyings out of my body tonight.  I have had a wonderful evening renewing my spirit and making new friends. I am drunk on the art of crafting.

A training I went to a few weeks ago said that your work is not supposed to fulfill you and bring you wholeness, accolades or renew your spirit.  You are supposed to get that from outside your job.  It's been hard for me to think of where I would find that away from work since I am at work so much and it has become a large part of me.  I think I found it tonight. I feel like I found my peace.

I met a wonderful woman named Amberly on my neighborhood Facebook page about a year ago. we are both young moms and our besides being in the same hood, our sons played toddle soccer together.  She is wonderfully upbeat and positive. Amberly strives to find joy and optimism in everything. It's refreshing.  We have never really hung out npbut I secretly hoped we would.  A few weeks ago she posted on Facebook about an Advent Calendar craft meet up and asked if any one would like to go.  I replied I would be interested but keep me posted as the date came close.  On Monday she messages me to see if  I was still interested and tossed out that she had reserved two spots for us.  I was excited and nervous. It was out of my comfort zone yet right up my ally.  I was in.  

Tonight was the day. I had no expectations but I was full of hope for a fun evening.  I walked into a warehouse that was full of wonderful crafting supplies. I was overwhelmed and excited all at once. There was a board with 25 tiny craft boxes and a million different things I could do to them.  It was wonderful; like a candy shop for crafters, a wonderland of trinkets and ribbons.

We set out to design and create our Advent Calendars. I have entered into a gold and silver phase lately and that was my theme.  Amberyly set out to craft a calendar that matched her Christmas decorations.  Each person there tonight had their own themes and reasons, they all came out beautifully.

Something about the freedom to create really set my soul on fire. I feel free and so happy, as if is as in a drug or drunk but I'm not.  I am just happy and feel the most like me I have in awhile. It was a beautiful evening and I am so thankful to Amberly for treating me. It really made me feel so happy.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Boys will be Boys

Bug longs for friends. He relishes any time he can get with his friends. It kinda makes me sad he doesn't have siblings.  

Tonight we were lucky to steal his friend Jack while his Momma, my good friend, got her hair did. We ate cheese pizza with pepperoni, like ninja turtle, and played with laser guns.  I learned I don't die well. I tried to tell them I'm immortal and immune to the lasers but it didn't work.  Josh was crowned the chief though and was overlord of all the toys and the wild boys. It made my heart happy to see them play so well together. I'm thankful for friends for Adam. It is the best thing to see your child so happy. It made my day.

Freeze! Obviously Jack has the face down. Adam doesn't realize how serious laser guns are yet. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Last Ride

I'm pretty tired today so this is a short one. I'm grateful for lazy evenings in watching Sons of Anarchy. It's the "Last Ride" aka final season.  I've watched this forever but had to put it on hold for awhile. It's not the most family friendly show ever.  

Luckily, tonight after we got done voting, Adam fell asleep really easily and super early.  It left a lot of time to make tostadas and lounge in my pajamas and watch SOA. I miss these lazy evenings.  It's nice to just rot the brain on adult shows instead of Rescue Bots and TMNT. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Adventures with the Dude

It goes without saying that I am grateful for my son.  He's the best parts of me and his dad all rolled into one fantastic human being. Bug, Noodle, Adam is a seriously cool dude. I will forever say he is the best thing I have ever made and the coolest person I have ever known. 

Lately Bug has been on a Daddy kick. He only wants his Da. They are two peas in a pod.  I swear I cloned my husband to make Bug.  He was sad when I told him today was a Momma/Bug day.  He went with me to a quick Doctor appointment to fix my back.  After, I soothed the toddler beast with a Smoozie aka Jamba Juice.  It had to be a red one so I chose a "Strawberries Wild" and asked for two small cups.  He loved it.  You would have sworn he was a grown up the way he sat at the bar.  He thought it was funny that the drink had "tiny balls" aka strawberry seeds.

The Smoozie, as he calls it, was just to tide him over until we met up with his Da for lunch.  I had planned for something awesome and healthy but it's Bug's day and he wanted French Fries and Ranch.  He saw a Carls Jr. and decided he needed to eat at the star so we went.  It was ok and he ate pretty well so I won't complain too much. I just needed him to be in a good mood for the rest of our day. 

had taken today off several weeks ago so Bug could partake in an infant and childhood development study at the UCSD Autism Center of Excellence. The studies he partook in dealt with eye tracking, cognitive and communication exercises, and a blood sample to look at DNA, RNA and enzymes for possible markers to early diagnose autism.  It was a fascinating and long afternoon for him and he did such a good job.  I am thankful that through the diagnostics it was confirmed that Bug is not on the spectrum and is an incredibly bright, good natured little guy.  I had no doubts about any of this but it's always nice to have it confirmed by science. I am also thankful we had the opportunity to give back to the world by being a part of such groundbreaking research. I hope that his afternoon leads to great things like early intervention and treatment for children who are at risk of being diagnosed with autism. 

Before we went to the study we took an impromptu trip to the beach. We could see where the ocean met the sky on our way to the study and since we were early I decided it would be a treat to run to the beach and play in the sand.  Bug was more than happy to see the waves and feel the crisp air on his face as he ran in circles to see how our footprints dented the sand.  He climbed up sand embankments and stood tall overlooking the ocean and threw sand at momma, watching how the breeze picked up the grains and let them fall. He got to hold a kelp the size of his head. He got to adventure with his momma.  

I like to hold on to these moments wih the hope that he will look lovingly on our alone time together; relish the times we spent adventuring and being impulsive. Life happens too quickly and the day to day things are just mundane and sometimes I feel detached. I am thankful for the opportunity to do something small and special like break out of our routine and spend the day with my boy.  He's growing so quickly that I need to be more present and take these little opportunities more often. I'm thankful for it all. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

It Happens Every Year

mentioned last year that I love taking family photos and again, this year, is no different.  I am thankful that we have such talented photographers available to us and that my boys are willing models.  It's important to me to see how we change. We try to take pictures all year long but at least once a year, usually in November we take family portraits.  Time goes by so quickly that sometimes I blink and my newborn is running around telling me jokes or singing.  I don't know where the time has gone.  It makes my heart swell to look back at the pictures we have though.  So many beautiful memories that capture us and our family as we were. As I hope we will always be; close and loving each other, happy and at peace.

I am thankful for our photographers.  The artists who have blessed us with their gifts. Their craft makes it so I can look back and remember the soft pudgy baby with his little faux hawk who turned it a shaggy haired toddler who then grew into a smirky little boy with such expressive eyes who is so full of jokes and funny faces.  It makes it so I can hold my family close even after they've grown up and left. 

Julie Paisley Photography

I Do Much Better with a Plan in Place

Much better but not completely perfect. 

I love November. The cool crisp air with the scent of wet dirt and rain hanging heavy in the air. The feeling of gratitude and warmth laying heavy in my chest. The countdown to family and the holidays. Fall is just me. 

I have taken too long off from writing in my blog and it makes me sad. I enjoy the release of emotions, thoughts and just the act of being creative. I don't always have time or the drive to blog though. I need to work on that.  November is perfect for getting back in the swing of things. It gives me the opportunity to write about my blessings and life for 30 days. It's a plan I can start with. As it's November 2nd, you can see clearly that the plan is in place, it is good, but it's not perfect because I'm starting a day late like last year. 

Last year I started strong and then life took over and it was a complicated Fall. I am hoping for better this year. So my first post for 30 Days of Thanks this year is about being thankful to start over and be better. To have plans in place that I can use as a guideline. Mostly it's about washing away the year and getting clean for the new one that lies ahead.  

I think if a year in an abstract way of waking up in the morning, going about your day and work, then play and a bit of rest, then getting clean and preparing for bed again only wake up and start all over.  In January, you wake up and are revitalized to start your year, the work begins and goes on, hopefully in Summer you get some play and life relaxes a bit in September and October. The true Fall begins in November for me.  The holidays approach with plans and events in place. For me, I start to think about what the year has meant and what I've done. I start to prepare for the rest of the year ahead of me.  It's like showering and shaving, getting dolled up for December. Ah, December comes along with its cold weather and warm hearts and homes. It's restful and peaceful even in the commercial chaos. It's comfy.  So you rest.  Only to awake again in January to hustle, bustle, resolutions and more. 

I'm excited to use this time and this place to prepare.  I am ready to start.

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