Month: September 2014

My Cookbook: Autumn recipes

I wanted to share two great recipes I’ve discovered lately that have helped us make the transition into Fall. (it is Fall, right?  Because it certainly doesn’t feel like it here!)

MG is still on her restricted diet (dairy, gluten, spicy and acidic foods are out) and I am 100% off of gluten so cooking doesn’t always come easy these days…but…this recipe was definitely a breakthrough moment.

I should start by giving two caveats: 1) I shamelessly love Indian & Thai curry and yellow curry is my favorite 2) though I am NO Ree Drummond, my cooking style is very pioneer woman in it’s measurements and directions. I never make something the same way twice, nor follow recipes word for word, so bear with me on  my ingredient allowances

Dairy Free (and gluten free) Yellow Curry

-raw chicken breasts
-variety of frozen veggies
-oil (I like sesame oil for Asian dishes but any kind will work)
-dairy free milk (I had almond but coconut is even better for curry)
-salt, red pepper flakes (to taste)
-curry powder
-sugar (or some kind of sweetener…maybe a quarter cup?)
-coconut butter (optional but really gives it that rich taste, ESP if you don’t use coconut milk)
-corn starch (optional) thickener
-basil (optional)
-peanuts (optional)

Directions: sauté chicken and veggies in oil. When chicken is cooked through and veggies are soft, sprinkle on spices and sugar and then add about a cup and a half of the milk. Turn up the heat to just before a boil and let simmer, cooking off some of the water in the milk. Taste occasionally and adjust spices. I continued to add curry powder but held back on the pepper flakes to save MG’s stomach. After the liquid cooked down just a bit, I added some cornstarch to thicken it up even more. I like a nice, sticky, gravy curry if you know what I mean 🙂 I ran out of cornstarch too soon and I’m not sure if I should be embarrassed about this, but you know what I used in its place? Some rice baby cereal we had left over from Bea’s purée days (!)…and it worked like a charm! I tasted it again and that’s when I decided it needed a finisher like coconut butter. That have it a true, rich curry taste! Had I used coconut milk, I might not have needed it, but the curry is definitely enhanced by that tropical flavor! Finally, I garnished with basil.
The result?


Almost a perfect dupe for my favorite Thai place. All that and no allergens? I’m in love!

And almost no meal is complete without a little sweet treat (at least in or house). Check out this delicious pumpkin spice latte dupe from my friend Tricia.  She always has the best recipes!


Happy fall eatin’, y’all,


School House dreams, take 3

When I think about my favorite things in this house, this is one of the first to come to mind:

is my view from our bedroom. Seeing as these windows weren’t in this wall until May, we had some idea of what we would see out of them, but we didn’t know for sure until they were in.

This view cheers me on a sad day, calms me on a stressful one, and reminds me to stay grounded on days of discontent. If we ever move from this house I think I will need a painting of this view to always remind me of it.

The words that pop in my head are ones from a country song, “I’m gonna live where the green grass grows, watchin’ my corn pop up in rows, every night be tucked in close to you. Raise our kids where the Good Lord’s blessed, point our rocking chairs to the west. Plant our dreams where the peaceful river flows. Where the green grass grows.”


Interview with Inspo

I’m so excited to be featured on Inspo today!

Inspo is a curated blog-world within a blog that was begun by a college friend, Kacey.  I’ve been reading Kacey’s personal blog for a long time; following her journey from one to three children, living life in the suburbs and passionately inspiring others– whether it be to run, to view yourself honestly, or to be authentic.  More recently I was completely in awe and inspired as she picked up her “little” family and moved them across the pond for her husband’s job.  Now I completely drool over her London flat and her weekend getaways to Venice.

I picked up a spark of a very talented writer from the early days of her blog and I’m so excited to see her launch into something with an even bigger platform.  Here, in her words, is how she describes Inspo: “A place on the internet that channels all of the positive things that women are saying and doing all over the world- bloggers, photographers, speakers, businesswomen, psychologists, stylists, friends, every beautiful type of female. YOU.”  Won’t you follow along?

In the interview she did with me, she essentially asks To Etsy or Not to Etsy?  I just love that because I wrestled with that very question for so long before finally pulling the trigger.  You’ll see in some of my answers how I worked through that question for myself.  Also, she wrote the kindest intro EVER and I am totally blushing reading it.  Check it out for yourselves here.

And while we are on the topic of Etsy, here are some of the latest things I’ve made for the shop:

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And here’s a little sneak peak of what’s coming very soon…can you guess what it is?  I’ll give you a hint: one of my (and the girls’) favorite baby items

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Sixteen Months

If anyone has any ideas on how to get a sixteen month old to sit still and look happy?  bemused? pleasant? for a picture, I’m all ears.



At sixteen months, Bea is down to one solid nap…and as much as I held on to her morning nap, this change has been wonderful.  She’s adjusted her mornings to sleep in till about 8 and then will take a 3-4 hour afternoon snooze.  I remember there was a golden window of napping with MG similar to this so I am soaking it in while it lasts.

Drooling, rashing, and chewing are at an all time high.  I think I’ve been able to spot molars and eyeteeth, but she doesn’t let me get too close.  Biting (sister) has also become a small problem.


Bea is adding a few words and actions to her communication skills.  She definitely knows how to get her ideas across to us and can be quite LOUD when she wants something.  But of course we all melt when she gives us our requested kisses.


Climbing is my new worst enemy.  The dining room table, the top of the playground, the window ledge; there is nary a place she is afraid to go.  Thankfully MG keeps vigil over her if I have to leave the room for a minute and lets me know if she is someplace she shouldn’t be.  I don’t think the girl is afraid of anything save for swings and being “tossed” in the air.


Separation anxiety started up this month and just getting close to the nursery doors sets her off.  Thankfully I’ve been able to leave her with sitters and grandmas as long as she doesn’t physically see me leave.  This is one area that has been a lot easier with the second.  Having MG around even when we’re gone helps normalize things for her.

A few nights ago I watched some old videos of MG around this age and just a little bit older.  I can’t believe the shift that happens between ages 1 and 2.  We are starting to see glimpses of that now and even so it is hard to imagine her talking clearly to us! We are mere months away from that.

Finally, here is a short video of some of her cute antics and the girls’ new favorite game:





It’s Monday.


Am I right?

It is a drizzly, pre-winter (yes that is all you are to me, Autumn) day.  We are coming down from the high that was last week.  Let me give you a little preview:

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Granny came…MG was in a dreamy, princessy Heaven the entire time.  Chick-fil-a and the Children’s Museum were made so much more magical by hearing the two of them giggle and play together. One afternoon G took MG out on a special outing to visit daddy, snack on french fries, and pick out a toy (a PRINCESS toy of course).  My grandmother used to always take M and I shopping when we would visit her so of course this brought back sweet memories.

On Wednesday, I left the house for SEVEN HOURS by myself.  I shopped, I met up with a friend, we ate without feeding anyone, we pre-saled the baby consignment, and I walked away with most of the girls’ fall wardrobes.

I lost my favorite pair of jeans and found them again (how’s a girl to face Fall without her favorite pair of denim).

MG poured all of her extra Granny affection into her sister; combing her hair after bath, and Bea even began responding to MG’s requests for kisses.

Granny watched the girls while N and I went on a date (crepes & froyo of course, 2nd time in a week #notsorry).  We finally figured out our fireplace + Internet plans (our two major bugaboos right now) and even had time just to talk about nothing. So needed.

MG drew her first family portrait!  She enjoys art but is not one to pick up a brush or pen unprompted.  I wonder if this will change.

On the morning of September 11, I was surprised by a beautiful display on TU’s campus.

Our Internet has been fixed (after 10 days of completely spotty service).  And this week we had cable installed for the first time in 8 years!!  When we got married, someone challenged us to go the first year without it.  We did and never looked back (especially since we discovered Hulu, Amazon Prime, & Netflix soon after).  But I’ve mentioned our Internet woes here and we have spent countless hours trying to figure out a solution.  In what I’m hoping is our last compromise, we successfully haggled with the company for a rate we can live with (plus cable) to be what we were paying prior to last week.  Since watching a few shows here and there (like <5 hours of tv a week) was hogging all of our bandwidth, this will be hopefully a solution we can live with.

So for the next few hours, I’ll be drowning my sorrows on a few episodes of House Hunters and trying to pretend it’s not Monday.



The Quandary of sleep as a mom

You stay up too late now.

The house is so quiet after all. There is a peaceful stillness about it as if it is in a state if rest too. Besides, you feel so much more productive with nary a chance of being interrupted. The ten-to-eleven hour is your most golden. It is then your hands brim with creativity, your machine gallops the fastest over printed cloth, your newest and freshest thoughts come the most rapidly. There is something about giving your brain a quiet resting period that allows shiny thoughts to pop to the surface like an effervescent glass of champagne.

You find yourself alone and it is glorious. You pluck, you preen, you scrub, you clean, you bake, you watch that show you can’t stop thinking about. This is your best hour. This is you, uninterrupted.

You wind down slowly too. You take your time, savoring the luxury of a schedule on your demands. You draw a hot bath. You read two extra chapters in that new novel. You put pen to paper and just write.

Sometimes you stay up so late you find you need another bite of food to guarantee a restful night free of pangs. Just a small wedge of cheese with some crackers, you promise yourself. But you always slip in some dark chocolate chips because it feels good to eat in silence and without the constant inquiries about the contents of your mouth.

As the hour wanes, you check on your sleeping chicks one last time like a fussy mother hen. Tucking in blanket corners, adjusting fan speeds, kissing sweaty foreheads. You imagine there is nothing more peaceful than a slumbering child. “What do they fear?” , you wonder. “What ails them as they drift off?”

Finally, having exerted your last rites of creativity, savored the fruits of relaxation, and gathered your chicks beneath you, you, too, slip beneath the sheets.

It is there you soon discover your body is at rest but your mind isn’t. Your thoughts drift immediately to your phone. You linger over Instagram. You chase rabbit trail after rabbit trail. It doesn’t matter where you end up, you just enjoy the process of getting lost.

At last your eyelids have become heavy. The lights are out and you allow them at last to close. You have purposely drawn these last minutes out in the hopes that sleep will abide you quickly, but rarely does it. There are grocery lists to think through, imaginary meals to pack, clothes to pick out, and arbitrary fears to work through. Half of a mother’s work is done on her pillow at night.

As these lists are checked, you find your breathing at last to temper and you know sleep will be upon you soon.

But what’s that? You startle to a noise in the next room. Just a cough. Your eyes close again.

And then suddenly you start from the bed. It feels as if you were moving even before the sound pricked your ears. You are the only one who has heard it but no doubt there is a little voice crying for you. You rush before the little voice becomes large.

There, there. Little voice is soon quiet and you return to your bed to start the process over again.

But now your heart is racing and your breath is uneven. Your body is wired to do this. The thought of 3am used to make your stomach turn. Now it willingly, obediently rises at the midnight, 2, and 6am calls. It is in those desperate hours you feel the adrenaline coursing through you, propelling you forward because surely you don’t have any energy left in reserve.

This potent serum was a necessity at one time, but now, a year later, it is a curse. It will be another hour before you are fully asleep. That is, if you are not needed again. You are a mother now and this is your bedtime.



As a general rule, I try to keep my frustrations off of the permanent world of the internet. However, for posterity’s sake, allow me a few (more) minutes to complain.

Frustration #1: our Internet has been VERY spotty this week. We are at the mercy of a small, country provider. With one of us trying to run a hobby business and the other trying to do online classes, this has been the pits.

Frustration #2: MG got sick again yesterday (more on that later) which just so happened to be the first day of mops of which I am partially in charge of. Bea has been having tummy troubles this week too and passed it on to the rest of us.

Frustration #3: our dryer is broken. Until we pull the trigger on a new one (we’re just not good at impulsive medium-sized expenses), we are at the mercy of the clothesline and weather.

Add to this three very late nights for Daddy, sticky hot weather, and the stress of normal life with 2 little ones and let’s just say, “praise the LORD Granny comes next week!”

Here’s to hoping for a great weekend!


(One more small note, I’m adding a very limited amount of these custom state string arts to my etsy shop today. Check it out if interested :))


Happy September

Much like February yielding to March, there’s always a sense of relief when realizing it September.

August is a month of transition. After the lazy days of July, and no matter how much we mentally and/or physically prepare, it still seems to catch us off guard. In fact, just a few days in, I find myself mentally cheering myself on, thinking, “we’ve just got to make it through this month.”

September is our reward after a long August. It comes with a confidence in the new routines brought by it’s predecessor; invitations to bonfires, festivals, and birthday parties are lurking. Even on the doggiest of days, the promise of cool weather soon to be.

Today also marks my half-birthday, a chance to reflect on the blessings and trials of the year so far and to think about what is left to accomplish in the half remaining.

Funny, I wrote these words this morning and found many other similar sentiments scattered across various forms of social media. September’s lure seems to be universal. Plus any month that begins with a holiday is fine by me.