Adios 2016

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So yeah,  this is totally me right now.  Not just in life but in the blogging world. Is it #NamasteTuesday? Is it #FarmlifeFriday? When’s the last time I actually did yoga?

My husband has been working half days and everyday after work we’ve been building a chicken coop. When we weren’t building we were shopping for supplies.  When we weren’t doing those things we were eating.  And if we weren’t  eating we were out spending gift cards from Christmas. My point is,  we’ve been thoroughly enjoying winter break!  So much so that I dunno what day it is and I  haven’t sat down to blog. So….

Here’s my lasy blog of 2016! I hope everyone has a marvelous last few days and a Very Happy New Year.  I’ll be back in 2017!

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Merry Chicken Christmas #FarmlifeFriday

Merry Christmas, everyone!! It’s already been a really fantastic holiday season at our house.  We bought our first REAL tree this year and I’ve kept it alive! We bought ourselves a new couch! And Miss Hagrid laid her first egg yesterday!

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Isn’t that beautiful?! I didn’t know that her eggs would be speckled! And it’s a nice size for her first. We’re so proud! Below is a Daisy egg comparison.

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We’re still waiting for our lady duck to lay an egg. It could be soon because we saw a male duck mounting her a couple days ago.  At this point we just have 4 pet ducks, which is okay, but they stink and are gross and don’t interact with us at all. So they’re kinda lame. Cute but lame.

We’re headed out to buy some wood today to revamp the coop a bit. Stay tuned for that excitement.  Until then,  please enjoy Santa Hagrid! And have a wonderful holiday!

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Cheese with Cheese and a Side of Cheese

The other day my husband posted a video (click it) to my Facebook page. There is a restaurant in NY that serves tacos in shells made of cheese. We are a family who loves cheese so this seemed right up our alley. I commented, “Why the f*** have we not done this before?” We decided to try this last weekend. I bought the ingredients (cheese) and went to work.

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Cheese in pan.

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Annnnndd it’s melting. And it’s getting greasy!

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Flipped it!

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And it became a shell. Time to fill it and eat it!

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Annnddd here’s my review…

I DON’T recommend this. I looooooovvveee cheese but this was too much.

In the video you see a lady pull the shell apart and it’s still stringy and melty. My first mistake was cooking the cheese too long. I think my second mistake was having too much time lapse between making the shell and filling and eating it. The shell hardened way too much as it sat there. And my third mistake was thinking that a cheese shell would taste like cheese and not a hard greasy weird shell. Fourth mistake was thinking this much cheese would be a good idea. My daughter took one bite and gave up. I took two bites and gave up. My husband muscled through it and finished his; good job, sweetie.

In conclusion, if I ever go to this restaurant where they have perfected this recipe, I will most definitely try it and probably love it. But I will not be trying to make these at home again. Good luck to anyone who does. I’d love to hear a good review of a homemade cheese shell.

Naked Yoga (No Actual Nudity) #NamasteTuesday

I have wanted to write about this for a while but wasn’t exactly sure if I could express my feelings, but I’m going to try anyway. Backstory…

I follow the a lot of yoga people on Instagram and a lot of them post naked yoga photos. They are unique and they really show a different side of yoga. One poster is Tattooedyogimama. Everything she posts is unique! And every single photo she posts, naked or not, has a positive message about body image and/or soul image. I look forward to her daily posts. That said, I don’t really understand some of the other nude or scantily clad yoga posters. Some are definitely beautiful and tasteful, but there are soooooo many other people who post wearing tiny shorts or underwear and I get the feeling that they just want to show their butt on IG and look sexy. Not all, but some. For me personally, not wearing a shirt or posting a photo in my bathing suit is a bit risqué. Maybe it’s the mom in me, maybe I’m just not comfortable, maybe I like to keep things to myself. Maybe it’s that I don’t see yoga as sexy. So the thought of ME doing yoga while naked never really occurred to me.

Flash forward to a couple weeks ago when I had an arm balance breakthrough!!

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That’s me doing EPK2 or Eka Pada Koundinyasana II. After I sent the photo to Isis I sent it to my husband who was away for work. Because he’s my husband he replied with, “You should do that naked.” So I got naked and did it again. I really did not expect what happened next.

You know how when you post photos online or even send one to your significant other, you always pick the best one. You edit it to make yourself look better. You highlight it to hide imperfections. And you ALWAYS add a filter. My husband has seen me naked a gazillion times, but I still make sure that I hide the zit on my chin and take a photo of the other side of my face when I want to share a smile with him or show him my new shirt or something. He has seen my imperfections and still loves me but I continue to edit photos and send him the best angle because that’s just what I do. Maybe I have some deep seeded model aspirations because I have always been too short to be a model. LOL! Point is, I/we are always striving to look our best in photos. Here’s where the naked yoga photo comes in. I sent it to my husband without a single edit. I didn’t lighten anything, I didn’t retake the photo, I just attached it and sent it on it’s way. And I didn’t even think of editing it. The thought never crossed my mind.

Of course afterwards I started to closely examine the photo and look for imperfections, but guess what? I didn’t find any. I saw nothing but beauty. I saw a strong woman. I saw muscles. I saw a mom. I saw myself doing something I love. I didn’t see someone sexy. Even though the initial thought was me being sexy for my husband, it ended up not being that at all. So a few days later I did it again.

This time I did a little naked flow first. Not wearing clothes during yoga feels so much less binding. You don’t have clothing getting in your way. That alone makes the whole flow better. You aren’t worried about your shirt moving up or your pants riding down. You can focus better and concentrate.

I took a photo of myself doing full dancer this time. I looked at it and my first thought was, “I look just like my painting!”

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The artist in me got giddy and excited. A few months ago I painted this figure doing full dancer. The figure isn’t necessarily naked, but it’s a depiction of the raw pose; no clothes, just the pose. This is what I saw of myself. Raw, free, unbound, exposed, gah!! I can’t really even describe it. I am sitting here trying to think of more words to describe the feels I was getting but I just can’t. It’s like I was saying in my Thankful for Yoga post… “it isn’t about using your body to learn a pose, it’s about using a pose to learn about your body.” Maybe that can help with understanding the feelings.

I sent this photo to my husband and I said, “isn’t it fantastic?” I then told him thank you for asking me for a naked yoga photo. It did more for me than I ever thought it would. It opened up a new door in my yoga world. Again, it wasn’t about being sexy. It became more about, look at my body! Look what I can do with this body! Look at what the mother of your child can do. I made a human with this body. I was an unhealthy girl and have become a strong, healthy woman.

Of course now I am trying to get Isis to try this so that see can experience the same feelings I have. She has a friend that only does naked yoga when she’s alone and has even gone to a naked yoga retreat. The thought of doing this in a group did in fact cross my mind. Not sure if I’d ever actually do it, but I know it would be life changing. I know that everyone there would be feeling the exact same way as me and it’s something we would spiritually share. Maybe that’s another way to try to describe this…spiritual. Maybe I should stop trying to explain it. Maybe I should just tell you that I recommend it. Don’t do it for the IG followers. Don’t do it because you want to be sexy. Don’t do it just because I tell you to. Do it for you. After all, one of my favorite things to tell people is “yoga is for you.”

Namaste.

 

 

 

 

DIY Christmas

It’s pretty safe to say that every Christmas I am going to make you a present. From painting to sewing to jewelry making, your present is most likely going to be homemade and from the heart. This year was no different, but I also made a ton of other holiday items.

I made my LDYBFF a whole jewelry set this year. I found some awesome charms at the store and just went to town. I made us matching mismatch earrings, an Om ring (something I made years ago for a customer and decided to revamp), a drop necklace, and a  “thing” to hang somewhere. The “thing” isn’t necessarily a keychain but you’ll get it when you see it.

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I made some other presents but those haven’t been gifted yet so I am going to wait to share those. I am still in the process of making my daughter’s quilt. It’s coming along just great and it’s going to be extremely unique. I don’t ever really measure when I sew, I have also NOT had any training, so none of my rows line up and I have to piece together the back, but you know what? It’s going to look awesome, feel awesome, be super warm, and I know my daughter is going to love it. Stay tuned.

Next on the DIY list is stuff for my daughter for her last week of school. They had a spirit week and I just went to town! We went to the dollar store to get items for the “Tacky Sweater” day and then I used those to make all kinds of other things.

So, day 1, tacky sweater. You can buy those at almost every store nowadays, but it’s so much better to make your own. And my daughter won the contest for most creative. You’re welcome!

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Kind of a blurry photo, but she has a Christmas tree on one side, a gingerbread man on the other, and bows! Lots of bows!!

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Then on the back, more bows and bells!!! Hot glue, dollar store, a few craft supplies, and an old sweater. Tacky awesomeness!

Then I used the left over bows and presents to make earrings. Oh, and the big green bow headband. One day was “red and green” day and my daughter wanted to buy a new red dress to wear. But then she just had to have something green. So we’re walking around Target arguing and another mom walked up and said, “what about a bow or a headband or something?” Bingo!! Thanks, random mom!! I already had the headband, so we bought a huge bow, glued it to the headband, and then glued a bell in the middle so she was jingly. She was very happy with that. #winning!!

A few Saturday’s ago we attended a ranch style Christmas party and I was in charge of helping the kids make snow globes. This was really awesome and all the kids loved it. Here’s what you need. A mason jar, sand paper, figurines, super glue, water, and glitter. Pretty easy!! All you do is sand the top of the lid, glue your figurine on the lid (let it dry at least 15 minutes), fill the jar with glitter and water, put the lid on tight, and shake!

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The last item on my DIY list was a Starbucks ornament. I am sure Starbucks would be mad to know I made this for FREE but I give them so much of my money that I deserve something free.

I already have 2 Starbucks ornaments, the little espresso mug and the red cup, but I don’t drink those things. I don’t drink coffee period. So I wanted one that really represented me. I only drink cold drinks but they don’t sell an ornament that’s a plastic cup, so I had to improvise. I was standing and waiting for my drink and I noticed that this particular store decorated their counter with lights and the lights were inside mini plastic cups. I asked about them and they are tester cups. I asked, “Can I have one of those please?” Grabbed a small green straw, went home, cut the straw to size, and glued it to the bottom. Added some ribbon, personalized it with my name and my favorite drink order (I should have spelled my name wrong to make it more authentic, LOL!!), and hung it on the tree.

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Check back next week to see the quilt!!! Merry Christmas, everyone!!!

The Christmas Spirit

I don’t really know exactly what it is, but this year I am really feeling the Christmas spirit. I am not stressing about the holiday. I am not a scrooge (not sure I’ve ever really been that against the holiday). I am just really enjoying this time of year and I can’t really remember ever feeling this happy about it.

I’m not trying to say that I have always been unhappy around Christmas because I love Christmas and I love the holidays, but I can’t recall ever having the feeling I have this year.  I am going to try to explain why I think this year is different. And just so you don’t get all pissy with me, I’m not saying everyone should do, or not do, all these things, I’m just explaining how I think they’ve worked for ME.

First, Santa is no longer real. I cannot tell you how happy I am that we finally got that out of the picture. My daughter knows that at some point in time there was a guy like Santa and that’s where the story comes from, but she now knows for sure that WE are in fact the ones that put presents under the tree. I am so glad to be over that. And I think this has really changed how we go about the holiday. We aren’t spending time writing Santa letters and seeing him at the mall. There is no lying!!! I don’t have to coax her into telling me what she told Santa she wants for Christmas to make sure I find that specific gift and wrap it in different paper. And she isn’t worried about being good all the time. You know, when you take that pressure away, it’s easier to just be good. Which brings me to the next thing we don’t do.

The Elf on the Shelf. We never got into that and I am soooo glad we didn’t. It’s cute, I really do enjoy seeing my friends creativity with their elves, but you know what? That shit’s creepy. An elf watching your every move so he can go narc to Santa. Awesome! And what is this doing to parents? It is making them 100 times more stressed than they need to be. Not only do parents have to remember to move the elf, they have to create super awesome things for the elf to be doing. And then, you forgot to move it! What do you do? Lie to your kids again. And what if the kids touches it? Tears and tantrums because you broke the magic! Heartache is what that elf is. I am glad it’s working out for some families, but again, take that stress off the kids to be good and they might just surprise you. And take the stress away from the parents.

One thing I tried to do a couple years ago that I’ve tried to stick to is buying gifts early or at least spreading out the buying. Not having to spend a crap ton of money all in one month helps soooo much! No stress!! We also sort of stuck to that gift buying guide you have probably seen online…something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read. It really does work out well and takes away the idea that Christmas is just all about toys. It makes the toys more special. I also did a ton of Christmas shopping at the Book Fair. Rather than send our family members lists and having them buy books, maybe buy duplicates, and then have to spend money on shipping, I had them all Paypal me money and I shopped for them. I knew the books my daughter wanted, so I bought them, wrapped them all in different paper and labeled them from each family member. And this was in October! Done and Done!! That takes the stress off me annnnddd my family.

Enjoying the holidays also makes the “giving” aspect much more enjoyable. Rather than feeling like I HAD to give gifts, I WANTED to give gifts. I was already a pretty giving person, but this year still felt more giving.

I really think there is one pretty significant thing that has made me really feel the spirit of the holiday this year. People. The people that we have surrounded ourselves with here in Virginia, and the friends we have kept during all our moving adventures, are really some of the most genuine people we have ever met. There is no drama. No one has any hidden agendas. These people are 100% good people. And that makes all us happier and makes my daughter happier and we just get to be happy and enjoy life.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!!

 

LDYBFF #NamasteTuesday

LDYBFF= Long Distance Yoga BFF. That’s what Isis and I call each other. Once I moved away and we couldn’t play anymore, we had to come up with some way to continue our yoga friendship. Most of our time is still spent talking about yoga. We share each other’s successes and failures and constantly send each other pictures and videos of what we’re doing and trying. But how do we show the world our love for each other and yoga? By doing fun yoga mirror pictures to share all over social media, duh.

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I am not sure which one of us came up with the idea first. I think she sent me a photo of some girls making the heart and we just thought it would fun to do it. Now that I think about it, I know exactly how it started.  (forgive the poor quality photos. I am copying from the interwebs and reposting and it takes away a bunch of quality each time you save)

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Before I moved, we went on a mini trip to San Diego together and tried the above photo. I just had to make a meme out of the awesome fail. I’m going to go on record and say that, that is when this started. We also did this one…

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The above ones aren’t yoga related but we finally got around to that. Here’s our first yoga one.

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Before I was doing inversions and arm balances, we started with something a bit simpler. Isis was at the beach when we talked about this one and we loved the idea of her being a mermaid at the beach, plus we love the idea that we live in totally different places now (desert vs forest) and we like to show that in the comparison photos.

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In this one we were clinking wine glasses of water. We kept looking for friend photos like these and we saw one of ladies clinking wine glasses. We are both mimosa drinkers and were going to do that but at the time of photo taking, Isis was at a yoga studio without champagne access so we went with cleansing, refreshing, rejuvenating water.

Before the next set of long distance photos, we got to see each other!!! So we did lots of stuff together!!!

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Talk about fun!!!!! But then I left again. Now we’re doing them sort of seasonally.

This was our first arm balance photo!! Eight Angle pose for summer!

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Next was our end of summer pose. Scorpion!

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For our fall pose, we made another heart, but this time while doing a backbend (my fave).

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And now that it’s Christmas time, we had to do something with a Christmas theme!

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It’s so awesome to be able to continue to do yoga “together” even though we live 3000 miles away from each other. We still learn from each other, well, I learn from Isis, and we grow together. And look at the progress in these photos. We went from standing up and  leaning to the side to inversions! I can’t wait to see what the new year brings for our LDYBFF posts. And maybe the military will bring us closer together again and we can do more together, like for real together. You just never know.

 

3 Years Stong

3 effing years, guys! One hundred and fifty-six weeks! One thousand and ninety-five days! That’s how long it’s been since I gave up soda! I am happy to report that I have been soda-sober for 3 years today! And man, it feels soooooo good!!!!!

Starting in my teenage years I pretty much drank nothing but soda. I remember giving it up in 11th grade and drinking water and lemonade and that was it. It was a good change. But I went right back. I’ve gone back and forth a gazillion times but never stuck to the goal.

When my husband and I first did a low carb diet we stuck to diet soda. I drank a LOT of Diet Mtn Dew and Coke Zero. Like, a LOOOOOOTTTTTT!!! If you knew me back when, you knew that my morning pick-me-up was a soda. I could go most of the day without eating if I was drinking soda.

When we decided to get healthy and were doing all kinds of research on food and stuff, we decided to limit our soda intake and we quit Diet soda. If we were going to indulge we were going to just go for the real sugar stuff, no fake sweeteners, and have a real Coke or Pepsi. But we were most definitely lowering our intake. We didn’t buy soda anymore and only had it in mixed drinks or when we ate out. But then a family gathering happened.

Thanksgiving 2013 was our first time having a family holiday (we finally lived close to family). I figured that since people were going to be staying at our house and eating and drinking we should probably provide some soda. It had been a while since I had a soda and in a couple days I think I drank 5 Dr. Peppers (like Forrest Gump). My body revolted against me.

I felt like shit!!! I thought I was getting a flu. My body hurt, my head hurt, my arms and legs felt weird. I did not feel right. It was the soda. It was the only thing that was different in my routine. So I quit. Cold turkey. I am not kidding when I say that it took a good week for me to feel better. I don’t wish that feeling on anyone. It was draining physically and mentally. Physically, my body was screaming at me for drinking poison! Mentally, I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that I had spent so much of my life drinking poison and it finally caught up to me. I haven’t looked back since.

I don’t drink ANYTHING soda related. I even stay away from carbonated water. I don’t order a mixed drink if it contains soda. I have not had a single, itty bitty sip in 3 years. And I don’t miss it. Physically, I will never put my body through that shit again. Not drinking soda has mentally messed with me a bit, too, but only in my subconscious. I don’t dream of soda like I miss it, but I do have dreams that I accidentally drink it and I am so mad at myself. I had one dream recently where I took a drink of my daughter’s drink not knowing it was soda and I started yelling, “That doesn’t count! I didn’t do it on purpose!!!”

Maybe that’s part of why I stuck to this as well. It wasn’t a goal of mine to quit soda. I didn’t say, “Man, I feel bad. I should try to cut out soda.” Instead I said, “Eff this! I’m never drinking that shit again!” Sometimes just doing something is better than trying to make a goal. You can’t fail at something that you just DO.

 

Farm to Table #FarmlifeFriday

I’ve never grown lettuce. I even had to reach out of some of my Instagram friends asking them to harvest it. In case you don’t know, you clip what you want and leave the rest of the plant to continue growing. Last night I grabbed the scissors and clipped away. I made two huge salads for the hub and I. And so yummy! Fresh, crisp lettuce (or lettuce variety) is pretty darn delicious.

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While I was making a lettuce bouquet, I decided to check on the status of our carrots. This is another crop I am not sure about harvesting. The one I ate was peeking out from the top of the soil so I assumed it was ready. But it was kind of short so I bet I can wait a bit longer. I washed this guy off with the hose and chomped away. Again, pretty darn tasty!!

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Egg production has increased the last couple weeks. Daisy is a laying machine and one or both of the French girls are laying now. The French girls are Faverolles and they only lay about 260 eggs per year. Yesterday we had two eggs and have been getting one almost every day. So we are thinking both are laying. We went from one egg a day to sometimes three!! Woo!!!

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And the yolks from the girls are so big! Daisy has laid two double yolkers so far. And the Frenchies’ eggs are smaller in size, but the yolks are pretty big. This last weekend I was cooking eggs for everyone and I had to use a couple store-bought. I took a photo of all of them together to show the difference. What I’ve found is that the size you buy at the store does not necessarily mean the egg content is that size. A large egg on the outside may be more white and less yolk. Frenchies “small” eggs are closer to a large store-bought egg.

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The bottom two eggs are store-bought. They are the Simple Truth brand from Kroger; organic, humane farm, large, brown eggs. They are lighter in color (which I think means less rich) and smaller than the farm fresh. Top right is Daisy, large, brown egg. Top left is one of the French girls, smaller, beige egg. Look at the yolk difference.

Now if only the damn girl duck would get with the program, we could stop buying store-bought all together.

Oh yeah, I totally forgot to share these!! My new socks from the husband!! #crazychickenlady

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