My child turned 8 this month. EIGHT YEARS OLD. This was my birth announcement on my blog. I had been blogging for almost 2 years when he was born. Crazy, right?
He and Casey went on an epic birthday trip to Boston at the beginning of the month. I had 4 days to myself. I organized. I relaxed. I worked. I felt really sad that I couldn’t go but also really happy that they had that experience together. All of the dishes that were in the sink were only mine. You should have seen how cute my dishwasher was. It was just all of my favorite bowls, coffee cups and a lot of spoons. It was a weird feeling to pick up after ONLY MYSELF in our house for a few days. Kinda nice. Kinda eerie.
I completed Whole30. You can see more of that here.
In October our health insurance rates went up A LOT. I went into PANIC MODE instead of going problem solving mode.
My back gave out. My back always gives out when my brain is overloaded with stress over money.
I didn’t use food to cope. I just laid low (literally) and rested. That’s what my body told me to do.
I found a new chiropractor through the process. I really like her. She is the first person I’ve gone to in a LONG time that has true healing vibes. She wants to get to the root of problems instead of just put a band-aid on one part of my pain. It felt like the universe was giving me a hug to have solid care and now I’m all paranoid that I am going to lose access to her with new health insurance. Oy.
I’m trying something new with this format.
Minimal Bedrooms. I would like to have one, but I also want a bedroom that is filled with books. Casey isn’t a book lover so therein lies my problem. I daydream about decorating our bedroom (we haven’t really done anything to it since we moved in 5 years ago) but other things in our life require our attention right now.
It’s life. It’s all good. It will happen in time but man….LIFE.
I always come back to this quote on the left when I see all the stuff online that makes me
WANT WANT WANT:
It makes me really question what it is I WANT WANT WANT. I have to remember that the internet is not always real life and maybe I can use this as an opportunity to be creative with what we have.
Also inspiring me….
Bullet Journals. I’ve hit my three month mark of keeping it up. I usually last about 4-6 months and then I start a new system. Crossing my fingers it lasts. I think it will. Don’t worry, I will show you soon. Just still kinda working through the process right now.
How Restriction Breeds Creativity. I learned all about this over the past month with the Whole30. I am a solution oriented person, so having some of the food restrictions forced me to be creative about some of my food combinations. Today I made a potato salad that was pretty dang good. I’ll share it soon. But… I would have never come to that combination if it wasn’t for the limitations. I am really enjoying how limits can allow me to be more creative.
We watched Mascots. If you’re a fan of Best in Show or Waiting for Guffman….. you gotta see it. There were so many kooky moments that filled my heart. I love Christopher Guest’s brain and it’s so good to see the cast together again.
We started watching Back Off Haters (from YouTube sensation Miranda Sings) last week and it’s HILARIOUS. It reminds me a little bit of Napoleon Dynamite. With all the stuff that I see on TV for youth, there’s a little glimmer of hope in there. I like that. Also, it’s so bizarre and I LOVE BIZARRE. The mom is one of my favorite characters and of course my life feels complete when I can see a little bit of Steve Little (I loved him in Eastbound & Down)
Started watching Easy. I think it might replace that hole in my heart that was left when Parenthood and Togetherness ended. I’m still new to it, so who knows. BUT I LIKE IT. I appreciate real life comedies. I’ve only watched two episodes and whoa. #real
Finished watching Grace & Frankie. Frankie is my spirit animal. When I was little, 9-5 was one of my favorite movies. To see Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin still hustling and being relevant fills me with JOY. Love their honesty about getting older. I appreciate it so much.
Also… I really want to re-watch Boardwalk Empire. Dunno why. Just feeling it.
I wish I could say that I was devouring books right now. I’m not. I’m more in research things online mode. I’ve been trying to figure out if I want to make a fall capsule wardrobe. I think I am really just combining my Winter and a few pieces from my Summer Capsule and calling it a day. I just want to wear tunics, leggings and boots right now.
But there are two things on my kindle that I’ve been going back to every few nights when I need a little reading before bed to get my head in another place. I’ve been going back and forth between Taking the Leap & This is a Story About a Happy Marriage. Good things to busy my mind before sleep.
Habits & coping mechanisms. Understanding that if I am able to work on this myself, I am better equipped to help Cooper through his own challenges. It’s amazing to see much knowledge and perspective you gain when you can see some of your own behaviors in your children.
A lot of Bon Iver & Fiona Apple. I’ve spent years building up my profile on Pandora (which I prefer sometimes over Spotify). Right now my stations are pretty dialed in. Casey has been testing out an Amazon Dot in our house right now. I was reluctant to bring ANOTHER gadget into our lives because I am always worried about how technology will impact the way we think for ourselves….but I have to say that saying:
Alexa turn on Fiona Apple on Pandora
and have Fiona singing through a tiny speaker within seconds is pretty cool.
Yet again….I have questions to ask like.
How is this useful?
How will this make us lazy?
Can she order pizza?
Is my kid going to be able to order anything he wants on Amazon without my permission?
Been dreaming a lot lately. I don’t remember many details, but I know that most of my dreams for the past few months have taken place at camp or a hotel. The vibe kinda reminds me of when Don Draper fled and went off on his driving journey across the country. A lot of it has to do with logistics and the inter workings of camp/hotel life. My dreamscape has a Wet Hot American Summer vibe mixed with the BBC version of The Office. I know. It makes no sense. Maybe someday it will.
Like I’m still on the Whole30. I dunno. It’s just working for me.
Almond Milk Lattes. Super into them. I have converted into a person who doesn’t need sugar in their coffee now. It’s weird.
So, what’s going on with you?
I love it when we check in with each other.
Type your stream of consciousness in the comments!
Instead of reaching into the carby snack drawer at 3pm or 10am, I reworked my routine and learn how to make better choices.
Here’s a list for you- Whole 30 Snack Ideas! I came up with THIRTY OF THEM!
These are some of the things I ate instead of CHIPS, CRACKERS, CHEESE.
1. Apples + Lime
One of my favorite snacks of all time. Lime juice makes apple slices taste AMAZING and it also protects the apples from browning.
2. Plantain Chips + Salsa
I read a post that said plantain chips from Trader Joe’s are whole30 compliant. I immediately went out and bought some. They’re strangely good. The trick is to not eat too many of them.
3. Plantain Chips + Guacamole
Especially difficult when guacamole is involved! This is a great option if you have to bring yourself a snack for a party.
4. Mixed Nuts + Salami
A winning combination. Really good for the afternoon slump when you need a bit of protein to power through. You have to make sure you find compliant salami.
5. Frozen Peaches
I have become obsessed with frozen peaches. I will eat a whole bowl of them at night for dessert or in the afternoon when I need a pick me up. It’s impossible to eat them very fast and I like that the coldness slows me down.
6. Banana Apple Almond Butter Bowl
This is one of my favorite combinations right now. It’s now become one of my go-to breakfasts. I cut up bananas and apples and drizzle almond butter on top. I finish with a sprinkle of toasted coconut flakes. The textures are really good together. I love it.
7. Apples + Cinnamon
Another winning combo if your sweet tooth is ACTIVATED.
The cinnamon brings the sweetness out in the apple.
8. Avocado Sushi Bites
Seaweed with avocado, carrots and sesame seeds with hot sauce. Sriracha has sugar in it So you could use wasabi for some kick.
Really good if you’re craving sushi. Add some fish or cucumber!
9. Ants on a Log
You can have any nut butter that’s not peanut butter on Whole30. Here I made the classic ants on a log with celery, almond butter & raisins. Hello, childhood snack.
10. Salt & Vinegar Potato Salad
It’s awesome that you can have potatoes on whole30.
If you ever have any leftover vegetables, eat them as a salad. Here I tossed broccolini with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper. If you let it sit overnight the vegetables will soak up the vinegar. It’s sooooo good. I also do this with green beans and regular broccoli.
12. Sweet Potato Banana Bowl
This is another great breakfast option. Take a baked potato and fill it with sliced bananas, almond butter and finish with cinnamon. I’d throw in some coconut if I was you.
I haven’t decided what I am going to eat/drink first because for some reason the pressure feels too great. I also feel like it might be counterintuitive to celebrate with food. So many feelings yet to process. But yeah! 30 days, man. Wow.
What did you eat/drink first when you went through the Whole30 journey?
How did you feel when you did it??
We haven’t talked about the weight part yet, because it’s kind of a big deal.
I lost 10 lbs. in 30 days.
10 lbs. of padding I had to protect me from my feelings.
Ten pounds gone because I was a better advocate for myself.
I said no to certain things because
I have willpower.
I said no because I am putting myself first.
I am going slow
because I am worth the effort.
Ten pounds lost by being mindful.
30 days of saying YES to myself and NO to bad habits.
Ten pounds lost by making the right choices because
I am not rushing into things.
I am allowing myself to feel feelings and when they’re too much,
I learn how to make a quiet space for myself
so I can RESET. I must breathe. I can’t hold my breath.
I am finally learning that I MUST slow down.
Slowing down is hard for someone with my intensity.
When I don’t slow down, my body retaliates.
I have learned that to go slow, I must sacrifice certain things.
The more I know
the easier it is to make those sacrifices because
I AM WORTH THE EFFORT.
I can evaluate my choices and be better at controlling my
Knowing myself, means understanding my impulses because
they’re mostly rooted in feelings.
Numbing my feelings just adds more stress to my life.
I am in the process rewriting the story.
Creating better habits is KEY.
Habits with impact. Habits that will help me reset when I need to
More soon. Still feeling all the feelings!
There’s a doughnut downstairs on the counter I have to contend with.
Imagine you’re on your way home from work. You’re frantic. You need to make dinner and you want all of the people you have to feed to be happy. You’ve worked all day and the LAST THING you want to hear is complaining. That’s when you make a “Choose Your Own Adventure” meal! How do you do that? Well you provide a bunch of options so everyone can customize dinner to their own taste. The best quick weeknight meals are the ones where everyone gets what they want. That’s why Taco Night & Burger Night are both so popular at my house.
Let me show you how you can turn Soup Night into something much more!
OK. Are you ready to see 8 different combinations? Let’s go!
This version has pomegranate seeds for sweetness, green onions for a sharp bite, bacon for a smoky/salty vibe and a swirl of sour cream to make even CREAMIER!
This version is similar to the one above but we add cranberry sauce and caramelized onions!
It tastes like Thanksgiving!
We go for a Thai inspired soup with this one. Stir in some curry powder, drizzle some sriracha on top and finish with toasted coconut and fresh cilantro! I bet a little coconut cream would be divine in there.
When I think of Autumn, I think of butternut squash and SAGE! Browned butter makes everything better, doesn’t it? I fried some sage in the browned butter and it made its way into the butternut squash soup!
Autumn dreams are made of this combination.
Let’s turn it into a Mexican inspired soup! Here we have salsa, cilantro, cheese, sour cream, chili powder and hot sauce. Don’t forget the tortilla chips!
Bread + cheese + soup = YAAAAAAS
Here I topped crostini with blue cheese & caramelized onions. Now that I’m looking at this I am sure a balsamic reduction drizzle would be a good addition!
We combine candied walnuts with the fried sage, a drizzle of browned butter, candied walnuts and creme fraiche. We add a little pomegranate seeds for extra fun.
This one is one of my favorites because the blue cheese and spinach wilts into the soup. Candied walnuts for an extra crunchy surprise!
Other toppings that would be awesome:
grilled cheese sandwich cut up into little pieces
There you have it. Butternut Squash Soup 8 Ways.
Hope this inspires you to have a soup party with toppings in your near future!
This post was produced in partnership with Imagine®. As always, all opinions are my own.