Wednesday, March 29, 2017

100 days of meditation that didn't happen

I took the photo below on January 1, the day I started what I hoped would be a 
100 day journey with meditation.  It ended around Day 5.  
I have very bad anxiety, and I was hoping that meditation would be something I could use 
as a tool to stay calm and/or bring myself back to calmness when needed.  
When I was on maternity leave I bought that book, plus a whack of other spiritual 
books in hopes that I would find something to help me.  So far I haven't finished 
any of them.  But with meditation it's the same as it's always been - my mind can't 
focus on being calm and quiet, my inner voice won't be silent and continues its 
never ending negative monologue.  I've put the book to the side, and I hope 
that one day soon I can try again.

What I have accomplished though, since January 1, is practicing yoga every day.
I'm taking 1-3 classes a week, and practicing at home the other days. Some days at 
work I do a quick session if I'm feeling overwhelmed, but that will probably stop 
because I just moved desks and now I have someone sitting to my side and I'm 
not sure I want someone staring at me while I do poses.
Anyhoo, I'm so proud that I've been able to commit to daily yoga every day so far this year.  
My initial plan, like the meditation, was to aim for 100 days, but now I'm planning 
for each day, every day, for all the days.

"Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured."
B. K. S. Iyengar

Friday, March 24, 2017

Sunday Dinner - Sausage Pie and Armenian Orange Cake

Both of these recipes came from Best of Bridge cookbooks from the 80's.  The pie 
especially had a retro feel, I thought.  It was fairly easy, and very tasty -
 the dough, unlike the Nigella Lawson savory pie I made a few months ago, uses
 the Pilsbury tubes of dough for the crust.  Simple.
It was a big hit, and I would make it again.

Dessert was an Armenian Orange Cake - something I've never heard of before.  
The method was what drew me to the cake - you make a crumb mixture out 
of the usual cake suspects - butter, flour, sugar etc with some orange zest thrown in, 
put half in your pan, and then to the rest you add sour cream and eggs, pour it over top,
 and bake.  It was good, but so rich.  So, so rich.  The kids were sort of meh 
on it, and The Mister couldn't even finish his one piece, but The Grandfather 
loved it so much he took all the leftovers home.  
I don't know if I would make it again, but that's just our tastes, nothing against the cake.  

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Bites 12

I love pretty much everything that Zoot writes, but this one really struck me when I read it - Morality and Poverty.   So many people seem to think it is their job to judge others and tell them how to live lately.  Why is that?

Another one that got me in the feels is Angry Bees from Hillary. I can 100% relate with this - I went through a stage where I didn't want anyone to hold The Girl but me - I was convinced anyone else holding her would fall and hurt her.  Anxiety sucks.

I laughed until I cried - Bad Lip Reading - Inauguration Day.

I am very into calming music and nature sounds to help keep my anxiety levels down.  I really like the recordings Moby  released - ambient music that he's put on the internet for free.  So awesome.

I forgot to buy baking soda last shopping trip, so this homemade baking soda body scrub will have to wait until next weekend.

“Go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here. 
Make. Good. Art.” ~Neil Gaiman

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Chili Cheese Dog Bake and other recipes we've tried lately

Have I mentioned lately what a joy it is to cook for my children. No? Guess why.

(pulls out own hair and screams internally)

Kids, man.  WTF.  Work all day, come home, dash into the kitchen to make them a healthy-ish, usually delicious dinner, and they complain, turn up their noses,  whine, and the little one tosses hers on the floor.  The big one probably would, if he thought he could get away with it.

Can't give up, can't stop of course.  The Beasts need to eat.
Wasn't someone working on a pill or drink that would replace the need to eat food?  
How is that coming?

Chili Cheese Dog Bake - from Buzzfeed.  The Boy said - "I don't want to make you cry, so - " and then he did a "sideways" thumb.  I didn't cook this quite long enough, some of the dough was a bit underdone.  It was ok.

Sheet pan chicken fajitas also from Buzzfeed.  These were good.  Even the kids ate some.

I truly wasn't sure how the vegan cauliflower wings would be received, so I only made a quarter batch, which was a big mistake.  THESE WERE DELICIOUS.

The moment I read the recipe for these flourless sweet potato brownies I was in the kitchen cooking sweet potatos to make them. No one in the family would eat them but me.  They were pretty tasty; you aren't going to fool anyone into confusing them with real brownies, but they weren't bad.  My tasters at work were silent.

Slow cooker salsbury steak is a bit on the processed side, with onion soup mix in the patties, and the sauce made of jus mix and cream of mushroom soup, but it was easy and pretty tasty.  A winner with 3 our of 4 of us.

Hawaiian grilled chicken was a hit with everyone, and super easy.  Just dump a bunch of stuff over some chicken, marinate overnight, and cook the next day.

I had really high hopes for these sausage and mushroom pizza bowls but it was not meant to be.  The Boy convinced himself that they would be awful, even though he loves pizza, and I served it with bread for dipping and/or spreading.  The Girl flat out refused it.  I was too annoyed by their reactions to enjoy it, but The Mister had 2 helpings, bless him.

This week we are trying a new pasta recipe with chicken, a vegan curry, orange baked chicken, and nachos.  What's happening in your kitchen?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Book Club - Shrill by Lindy West

"There is not a thin woman inside me, awaiting excavation.  I am one piece.  I am not a uterus riding around in a meat incubator.  There is no substantive difference between the repulsive campaign to separate women's bodies from their reproductive systems - perpetuating the lie that abortion and birth control are not healthcare - and the repulsive campaign to convince women that they and their body size are separate, alienated entities.  Both say, "Your body is not yours."  Both demand, "Beg for your humanity."  Both insist, "Your autonomy is conditional."  That's why fat is a feminist issue."

"As a woman, my body is scrutinized, policed, and treated as a public commodity.  As a fat woman, my body is also lampooned, openly reviled, and associated with moral and intellectual failure."

Brilliant book.  💛

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Sunday dinner - beef stew and fougasse

I made a darn good stew in my fake Le Creuset pot in the oven, via America's Test Kitchen.
The bread is onion fougasse, from the onion and bacon fougasse recipe from Paul Hollywood's 100 Great Breads book, which I have mentioned here numerous times.  Buy this book!

I initially didn't love the fougasse, as it didn't puff much.  It was flat and crisp and not what I'd imagined.  But it was tasty and it went well well with the stew, so that was good.

I'm done with that book for now, but I'm itching to get back into the kitchen and make some more bread......

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Tiny Happy Tuesday

The Boss buying us drinks from Cafe Motivo. I got my fave hot 
chocolate with salted caramel syrup.

Saturday morning yoga while everyone is asleep. 

Watching Moana with the kids.  Everyone loved it.  We laughed, we danced, I cried (and cried).  I can't wait to watch it again soon.

Thanks Hillary for wanting us all to share our Happy.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Mighty Life List - Let's Get Crafty - Photo holder

This is a super fun, pretty easy craft that I can take nearly no credit for at all.

In the Fall The Mister and I were in the big name craft store, and I saw this photo frame 
that had clips for photos, which I thought was a really neat idea.  It was an ideal gift for 
The Grandparents, I thought, so easy to switch out photos!  
But the price tag nearly knocked me over.  I showed it to 
The Mister, and said - do you think we could make something like this?  
So we did.

We wanted to make one for us and one for The Grandparents, so The Mister 
went to the building store and bought a length of 2x4.  We figured out how long 
we wanted the frame, so we could hang 3 photos either portrait or landscape.  
He cut them into the lengths we wanted and 
sanded them smooth and slightly rounded the edges.  

He wanted to try a paint technique where you put a color of paint on, 
then once it's dry you paint over it with white, then when THAT'S dry, 
you sand it so the undercolor shows through in areas.  So he did that and the kids
 helped  and there was only a medium sized mess to clean up afterwards.

Next we tracked down some Crocodile clips to hang the photos.  
The Mister attached 3 to each frame, again spacing out as best we could so that 
you could hang photos either way, portrait or landscape.

The Mister attached a photo hanger to the back of each, and voila!  
A very pretty, beachy photo holder that can be changed up easily.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Book Club - The Mare by Mary Gaitskill

And I knew: I am doing it for this.  If somebody asked me what this was,
I wouldn't be able to tell them.  But I knew, I knew.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

Taking Stock - March

Last months list was a bit on the negative side, so I'm choosing to be more positive this month-

Making : an effort to be more crafty and arty.  But boy, I am not very good at it.

Cooking : is still a chore.  Kids are so picky.  I told The Boy that when he is grown up I am going to go to his house for dinner and complain about everything he makes.  He told me that would be mean. I pointed out that this is what he does to me.  He failed to see the similarities.

Drinking : more water is my goal this month.  And to also eat better and start losing a few pounds.

Reading: daily is back to being part of my routine, most days.  I just finished a book that I'd bought due to the rave reviews I read, but I didn't think much of it.  I just started a Deepak Chopra book I bought a number of years ago but haven't yet read.

Trawling: mostly for yoga inspiration these days.

Wanting: to compile a list from all the emails I've sent myself about books I want to read.  I have one more gift card to spend, so I will have to choose wisely.

Looking: forward to Spring!  So badly. I love the longer days already  - a little less darkness is a good thing.

Deciding: on menu planning for the next few days, right after I work on this.  Yippee.

Wishing: some days that I could fit more in a day.  And some days, less.

Enjoying: how much less TV I am watching these days.  Our PVR is rapidly filling up, so I will have to make some drastic choices on shows that are definitely out.

Waiting: is almost over.  I bit the bullet and complained to our cel phone provider about my shitty SHITTY iphone that is only 2 years old, and I've got a new phone sitting at the post office for pick up.  I'm more freaked out that I should be about not having an iphone anymore, but hopefully once I get used to it, it will be a better phone that actually works.

Liking: a drink that a co-worker introduced me to at Cafe Motivo downtown - hot chocolate with a shot of salted caramel syrup.  So delicious.

Wondering: if it's time to get my hiney out of this chair and move on to other chores......

Loving: my family.  I am lucky.

Pondering: on cleaning out the pantry and freezer soon. They are so messy, it seems like it would be easier to keep ignoring them than to clean them out.

Listening: to The Tragically Hip.  I scooped our "best of" cd's from The Mister and have been listening to them on my drives to and from work.

Considering: getting ready to do a big Spring clean of the house.  It needs it.

Buying: Bought both kids shoes and pants.  The Boy has no waist or hips and the skinniest legs.  It was pretty funny, but I was also a bit jealous.

Watching: movie night with the kids is pretty fun, as long as you don't want to actually hear the movie.  Saw Finding Dory, which was cute.  The Octopus stole the show, and the touch pool scene in the aquarium made me laugh out loud.

Hoping: to get to all of my yoga classes this week.  I've had to work extra lately and missed some.

Marvelling: at The Boy's progress at school the past few months.  He's settled in a bit more, his teacher loves him, and he loves reading now.  Very exciting for me.

Cringing: at my reactions sometimes.  I need to Practice the Pause.

Needing: to get some stuff done today.  Like laundry, cleaning, dinner, dinner prep for the next few days, and bill paying.

Questioning: how to deal with difficult people.  I seem to be surrounded by them.

Smelling: the peppermint soap I've packed up to take to work.  I'm moving desks and will be cleaning out my new area with peppermint to clear away negative energy.

Wearing: a dress that I don't like enough to wear outside the house.  It's a cheap Old Navy dress that is not very flattering.

Following: advice is a lot harder than dishing it out.

Noticing: how kick ass I feel this week after learning 2 new yoga poses.  So cool.

Knowing: I am heading towards the right path.

Thinking: about how I keep saying today is the day I make more changes to my eating habits.  And then it doesn't happen.

Admiring: the strength I see in people.

Getting: so into another book right now - Shrill by Lindy West.

Bookmarking: food, yoga, and how to make homemade body scrubs with baking soda.  I am nearly out of Lush products from the gift from my MIL at Christmas 2015, so I will have to get inventive.

Disliking: how cold the weather turned after our beautiful warm spell.

Opening: the fridge this morning to find leftover pizza for breakfast.  Yaaaaasssssssssssss.

Giggling: didn't happen much yesterday. Let's make it a priority for today.

Feeling: excited that we get to go out for dinner this weekend! 

Helping: others sometimes is a thankless job.  So thank yourself.

Hearing: the tinkle of the water filter in the aquarium.  If I close my eyes can I pretend I'm at the ocean?

Celebrating: my parent's anniversary soon.  I'm excited about the gift we're getting them.

Pretending: I am a yoga teacher sometimes when I practice at home. Silly but fun.

Embracing: the niceness and positivity around me.

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Something I Like - Flat Colander

I bought this flat colander on inpulse for $5 at Superstore a few weeks ago (Just as they'd hoped of course, I fell right into their web.....) and I love it.  
It's handy for washing fruits and veggies, which for some reason seem.... difficult?  to sometimes wash in a "regular" colander.  I can't explain it.  It just works.
It's one of those things that you don't really need, but it's handy to have.  Unfortunately it lives out on my counter right now, and the last thing I need is less counter space, but whatevs.  Handy.