As a tough season comes to an end, we shall rest.

posted on: Friday, August 29, 2014

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[ It's All Good // Body Book // Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? ]

The weekend has begun. Officially. As of right now, as of right this very minute. Can you feel it? The excitement and relief of a Friday evening? It’s the best.

Today was spent rushing and running around like a madwoman, really. I don’t know why I felt the need to stuff as many errands in as I possibly could get done, but maybe it’s because I am just ready to  r e l a x  already and wanted nothing interrupting that. Adam agrees. Well, he didn’t actually agree with me, but he’s currently napping to my left, so I think that says it all. I just asked him if I could go shopping this weekend and he didn’t say no. So that means yes, right?

I am actually planning on reading all weekend long. You see, I have this habit of putting about ten books on hold at once, because they are all on an incredibly long waiting list. The problem is, I end up getting most of my hold list all at once and what’s a girl to do with herself? READ, dangit! So there’s just some of my reading material up there.

Our real plans for the weekend? Nothing. No, but that’s our plan. Our plan is to do NOTHING! That’s what we have scheduled for ourselves. I can’t remember the last time we had three days to do whatever the heck we wanted to do. We shall enjoy it, we shall rest, we shall celebrate God’s goodness and our families health. This past month, these past few months, really, have felt like hard labor, so it’s pretty darn perfect that we can relax knowing everything is going to be okay. God is good and we are good and our family members are healing. And so, on that note, a very happy labor day weekend to you!

Taking Stock

posted on: Thursday, August 28, 2014

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[ This one is a #tbt back to January, during our trip to NYC. ]

Making: changes.
Cooking: left overs of this for lunch. So delicious!
Drinking: water.
Reading: Cooking for Mr.Latte by Amanda Hesser.
Wanting: a relaxing three-day weekend.
Looking: forward to getting a chance to finally rest for a few days with my Adam.
Playing: with some ideas. Always dreaming.
Wasting: no more time. Life is short.
Sewing: nothing. I wish I was sewing something! Someone teach me to sew? Please?
Wishing: that I could be in my favorite city with my love. See that photo up there? That’s a tried and true “I’m in my happy place” look.
Enjoying: the feeling of the weight being lifted off my shoulders, brick by brick.
Waiting: for the long weekend to arrive, to finally relax for the first time in months. Waiting for Fall and the instant joy it brings as the air cools down and crisps up, the flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg find their way into my favorite treats and the need for layers to return to my wardrobe.
Liking: that despite how hard these last few months have been, I’ve been able to find the good in it all as well. Feeling so much stronger and appreciative. Sweating the small stuff a bit less.
Wondering: what life will look in a year. Goodness, so much can happen in a year, right? It’s a magical, wonderful thing.
Loving: the quietness of two pups taking a nap and the apple & cinnamon candle flickering to my right.
Hoping: for good things for the rest of the year.
Marveling: at the goodness of God. My grandma made it through surgery! Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. It was more extensive than they had originally planned (the cancer had spread more), but it looks like they got everything and she recognizes my uncle and grandpa, which is a good sign. She will still need chemo/radiation, but I believe it’s good news for now.
Needing: continued good health for my loved ones.
Smelling: the aforementioned apple & cinnamon candle. It smells like happiness.
Wearing: stripes and my favorite jeans.
Following: a bunch of nutrition and food blogs again. Cooking more and cooking healthier.
Noticing: that our trees have apparently given up already. Their leaves are already gracing the ground, even though it’s currently 90 degrees outside. I believe they are ready for Fall as well.
Knowing: everything is going to be okay.
Thinking: about the wine business and the work to do. It makes me happy, though. Creating a life you love takes hard, hard work and focus that seems hard to grasp onto some days, but it’s so worth it.
Feeling: content.
Bookmarking: some delicious recipes, cozy-looking outfits and spaces filled with natural light. 
Opening: my hands and letting God take control. Closed fists only lead to dead ends.
Feeling: happy. Hooray!

 

“Taking Stock” originally found on Pip’s blog via Sydney.

 

 

Finding Peace

posted on: Wednesday, August 27, 2014

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[via Living Well Spending Less]

Hello, friends. I’m just going to get right down to it, okay? Life has been a bit rough lately and today feels like the culmination of it. My Grandma Joan is in surgery right now and has been for the last 3 1/2 hours. I’d say she was in the middle of surgery but truthfully, she’s just about 1/3 of the way through. A twelve-hour surgery focused on a small, but vital artery housing a very scary tumor. I’d only heard about twelve-hour surgeries on Grey’s Anatomy. Shows how much I know about medicine, I suppose. It’s major, suffice it to say, and it’s all my brain can focus on today, all anyone in my family can focus on today.

To be honest, I am calmer than I thought I would be. God has provided me a peace that I didn’t expect to have. Imagining her surgery for the last couple of months, I expected to just be completely afraid until we knew she was 100% okay. Thankfully, I’ve been able to focus on Him and lay my anxiety at his feet as best as I can. There’s still anxiety there, of course, but there’s certainly more calm than I expected as well. That is only by the grace of God. Focusing on Him, trusting that ultimately He is in control and as I do that, my faith is growing and strengthening. Our blessings don’t depend on good or bad circumstances and ultimately He can see the whole picture, beyond what I can see. I know He is in control and for that, I am so very thankful.

If you are the praying type, would you say a prayer for my grandma and my grandpa Tony as well as my family? I appreciate it so much, more than you know. Thank you!

Clean

posted on: Monday, August 25, 2014

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As I mentioned in my last post, my father-in-law had an emergency double bypass last week. Thankfully, he is doing VERY well, better than expected and is heading home as I type this. The riskiest part is over, but the hard part is just starting. The recovery. It will be especially tough this next month as he and my mother-in-law get used to a whole new normal. Adam spent time clearing out their cupboards and fridge to make way for their new and improved lifestyle. They were given strict instructions on how he MUST eat or he’ll be right back in the hospital in a year.

This was the motivation I needed to make some much-needed changes in our kitchen as well. We’ve always been fairly healthy, but definitely had a lot of room to improve. We’ve been eating healthier lately since getting our NutriBullet and this was the kick in the pants to make the lifestyle change and get rid of any foods in our own pantry or fridge that weren’t fueling us well (except for Adam’s white pasta and tortillas, I can’t touch those). They were both fairly bare, so I didn’t have to get rid of much, thankfully. Once I realized I needed to go shopping, I spent a good day studying clean-eating shopping lists*, taking notes, questioning if I would really use that kind of flour or that ingredient much and then dove in and headed off to, oh, five grocery stores in the course of a weekend? One was Target, so that hardly counts. Four, four grocery stores.

To save money, I was careful not to go crazy. I have done this before and bought tons of items that ended never getting used. I had a budget in my mind and managed to stay under it (haaaalelujah). I wanted to buy SO many things at Whole Foods, but managed to keep it under $50, which is a miracle in and of itself. I decided to only buy certain things as I needed them for recipes instead of feeling like I needed to get everything at once. I told Adam he could buy me raw almond butter over flowers any day. Or both, both would be nice.

I digress.

I have honeslty been having the best time cooking new, healthy meals and discovering new recipes. I spent Friday night cooking up a few things, like a fresh quinoa salad with a cilantro-lime vinaigrette and these no-bake lemon coconut macaroons. With a glass of red wine by my side, I really had fun trying a few new things. (P.S. Those macaroons taste like dessert and are good for you, recipe here.)

It takes some adjusting, planning and work and I see how I’ve been easing into this over the last month or two, which has made it so much easier. Also, please note, I’m not saying I will always eat clean 100% of the time, I am not going to be perfect (it’s just not possible), and it’s a continual learning process, but I’m shooting for mostly clean.

Really, the biggest motivating factor is being able to share recipes with my mother-in-law and finding foods that my father-in-law would like to eat as well. The more I learn, the more I can pass on to my loved ones, the easier getting acquainted with this whole new lifestyle becomes.

Considering I talked Adam’s ear off for about three hours on how excited I was about this healthy change, I’m planning on incorporating some posts about our journey to clean eating here and on Instagram. I figure that the more I write about it here, the less Adam has to listen to me and my extreme enthusiasm for Whole Foods.

 

*I used this site to fill our pantry and fridge from some of our favorite stores. It is a WEALTH of knowledge and I highly recommend checking it out for lists based on specific stores. I used it for Target, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.