I made some rainbow hash browns for dinner tonight. It was delicious and super easy. Check out this vine video for a 6 second how to.
And I just realized that you can’t pause the video here like you can in the app so here’s the recipe:
Rainbow Hash Browns
1/2 Pound Bacon, chopped
2 Carrots, diced
1/4 Red onion, diced
1/2 Bell Pepper, diced
3 Potatoes, julienned
Optional: Salt, Pepper, and Olive Oil
1. Cook bacon.
2. Removed cooked bacon to a bowl, leaving grease in the pan.
3. Cook carrots, onions, and peppers in bacon grease until soft.
4. Add potatoes and cook until crispy. If needed/desired add salt, pepper and extra oil when adding potatoes.
5. Add potato and veggie mixture to bacon.
6. Scramble eggs.
7. Add eggs to potato, veggie and bacon mixture.
8. Mix everything together and enjoy!
Do you happen to read Hyperbole and a Half? It’s a pretty good read with awesome cartoons. Recently the author, Allie, came back from an unintentional hiatus to talk about what is going on in her life as far as how depression is impacting her. Why am I mentioning this? Well it seems that I have also been taking an unintentional hiatus. I’m sure you could see this coming. My post have dropped considerably in the past few months. And I’ve been posting more “Sorry, life sucks” type post. My depression isn’t impacting me in nearly the same ways as Allie’s is. I can manage to get out of bed everyday. I have to. I have two little humans to care for. Two humans who give me just enough strength to do what needs to be done and make sure their needs and wants are met. Some days more wants are met then others. But they are happy and cared for and loved. And just as important, they know it.
So when I say I’m not quite drowning, this is what I mean. I am highly functioning. But I’m still struggling to reach the shore. I don’t know who I am or what I want to be. I have moments of happiness but mostly moments of nothing. I wouldn’t say I am particularly sad. I am frustrated at times. Annoyed at myself and the world around me. But mostly, nothing. There’s so much I want to be doing right this instance but I can’t seem to get my body to do these things. They are all very exciting things and would typically make me pretty happy but the motivation just isn’t there. Which is strange because there are some things I am completely motivated to do. Like clean, pack, sell, move out my entire neighbors house. But my house has piles that are growing. The task too overwhelming to start. I know what I need to do to start them. I just can’t bring myself to do it. I’m sure some of you will understand this feeling. And then there will be others of you that don’t. Oh normal. How I’d like to know what it’d be like to feel you just once.
So what does this all mean? Well when it comes down to it I enjoy blogging. I always have enjoyed writing and sharing. From passing around journals in the 8th grade with my friends, to live journal and blogger, to creative writing classes, and published poems and readings, I’ve done them all. But now I can’t seem to keep up. I am too often playing catch up and then hoping something comes to me. Or struggling to decide what my voice is and if I should do recipes or outfits or family post or what. I realize that I can post all of these things but it comes off as a mess of random things when you feel like you don’t know who you are and what you enjoy doing. So instead of fighting this blog to try and figure it out and contributing more mindless dribble that annoys me, I’m going to step away. I may post snips it here and there but I will no longer be living my life for “Oh what should I blog next? Wait, don’t eat that thing before I take a picture of it for the blog. Oh man, I missed that picture can you do that again, I want to post it to instagram/twitter/facebook.”etc. I need to figure out me first. I need to get to a spot where I can be happy more often then I can be numb. Besides, who wants to read from someone who talks about how blah everything is. No one. And faking the happy for the sake of posting something not blah has just been too exhausting.
Sometimes I may post here. More often I will post on twitter and instagram and family stuff I will post on my facebook. So that’s where you’ll find me for now. I hope to one day reach the shore and be able to stand up on my own two feet and share the journey with you. I hope to reveal a happy, brighter place. Until then, make sure you’re doing what you can to make the world brighter for those around you because you never know what struggles they are facing.
The other week organic zucchini was on sale so I decided to pick up a bunch. The only problem with this plan was that no one in my family likes zucchini. I don’t, Steve doesn’t and I can pretty much guarantee Sophie doesn’t like them for the sole reason that they are green. And yet here I was with 8 zucchini. My problem with them is that they are soggy veggies so it’s not so much the taste of zucchini that bothers me but rather the texture. Zucchini is a cheap, easy to grow veggie in the summer and I felt compelled to find a way to make them appealing. This is definitely one of those recipes. In fact I’d say this is pretty much cheating. You can hardly tell there are zucchini in it plus it’s nice and sweet and chocolatey. At the very least there is veggies and fruits in it so it’s better than a straight up chocolate muffin but still. Though to be honest, any way to sneak healthy food into Sophie’s body is a win in my book. Maybe next time I’ll try my hand at something a little more savory. What are some of your favorite zucchini recipes that mask the typical zucchini texture?
Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
influenced by Trans-planted.
1 1/4 cups unbleached white whole wheat all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 whole ripe banana
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/3 chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 325° and lightly grease your muffin pan.
2. Mix six first ingredients in a bowl.
3. In a separate large bowl mash your banana. Once mashed, cream in sugar and applesauce.
4. Stir in milk, vanilla, zucchini and chocolate chips to your wet bowl.
5. Add your dry ingredients to the wet ones a little at a time until all ingredients are combined.
6. Once all your ingredients are mixed well, pour batter into your muffin pan.
7. Bake for 18-25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
8. Let cool and enjoy!
Maybe you’re wondering, maybe you’re not but I figured I’d go ahead and fill in the gaps for the last two weeks. Tomorrow I’ll be posting some recipes. Just wanted to get this out-of-the-way first. Here’s what I’ve been up to since April 10th.
Mourning the passing of my grandmother ? Stressing about information that could impact our future ? Celebrating Sophie’s 3rd Birthday ? Spending time with my MIL ? Bonding with my brothers and sisters ? Chatting with my Dad ? Spending time with Steve ? Playing catch up on reading others blogs ? Trying to contain Joel so at the very least he isn’t getting into trouble ? Cooking ? Painting with Sophie ? Trying to keep the house clean enough ? Fixing my computer ? Adjusting to life without the help of my MIL ? Dealing with snow ?
As you can see I’ve had a decent amount of things on my plate and the emotional roller coaster these things cause has made my motivation for posting here less than ideal. I also realize that I haven’t contributed much in terms of things that would be helpful to others so more DIY/Recipe type stuff is in the works. I want you to get just as much out of this blog as I get. Plus now that my computer is cleaned up we’ll be updating it soon and that should make editing pictures and all sorts of stuff like that easier.
All I ask is that you bare with me. I’ll get on top of things eventually.
Thanks for your patience!
The other day my friend posted an article telling Women not to marry young. And to be honest, the article really pissed me off. I got married to Steve at the age of 24, which by today’s standards is considered to be young. It is below the average ages quoted in the article of 27-29. The article makes the claim that according to today’s studies woman are more likely to be all around success if we marry later in life. So pretty much I’m going to fail at everything, my marriage, my career goals, knowing who I am, all because I CHOOSE to marry young.
Okay so besides the fact that this “research” lacks a lot of information and that being young or old is not what makes a relationship/life work. And besides the fact that I’m so tired of people telling woman what we should and shouldn’t be doing and what is and what isn’t considered a “successful” life. My biggest quip with this article is that I feel like woman believe that they need something other than themselves to prove their choices.
I choose to marry at the age of 24. No one forced me to. No one said, “it had to be done.” I fell in love and looked at myself and made the decision to marry. It works for me. I am happy being a stay-at-home-mom for the most part and feel very successful. I am still in love with the man who I started dating 6 years ago and don’t regret getting married. And that should be enough justification. So why did I feel like after my friend posted the article that I needed to run out and find my own article that justifies my decisions?
It’s a similar case to when Sophia was a baby and someone commented on a picture I had posted that using a binky was bad and would stunt her ability to speak. Immediately my first thought was to run out and find a study about how using a pacifier reduces SIDS in infants and that it doesn’t really start to stunt speech until they start to get to the 2-3 year old stage. I was upset with her for questioning my judgement especially because she didn’t have kids. Just like I was upset with the article for questioning my judgement in getting married young.
I guess what it comes down to is that maybe we wouldn’t feel the need to justify our decisions if people started respecting our decisions. Stop asking when someone is going to settle down and get married. Stop asking when we’re going to have babies. Stop asking when we’re going to grow up or finish school or whatever invasive question you’re going to ask.
Because, in the end, it doesn’t matter when someone is going to get married or even get married for that matter. It doesn’t matter when someone or if someone is going to have babies or grow up or finish college or whatever. What matters is that we are happy. That is the first question we should be asking. And if the reply is yes, then marriage, babies, college, etc. can wait or not wait if that is what makes someone happy. Let us be free to make the decisions we choose without feeling like they are wrong or bad. Let us stop judging each other and just be happy for each other.
In the end, we will get to where we want to be. We will be who we want to be. And no study or opinion column or blog post is going to change that and all we should be doing is supporting each others journey there, no matter what path one decides to take.
Did you know that I’m an Army wife? It’s not something I talk about too much because it’s such a small fraction of who I am. Not to mention it’s not very different from being the wife of someone who works 8-12 hours a day and goes on business trips for weeks at a time with little to no communications. Okay. So maybe it’s a bit out of the ordinary. My husband does wear camouflage more often than not and carries a gun along with 45 pounds of other stuff on a fairly regular basis. Not to mention the whole deployment thing. Did I mention the camouflage? An entire closet full of it. And that’s probably only 3/4 of his gear.
Life as an Army wife has its ups and it’s downs, that is for sure. Which brings me to why I’ve been less than active the past few days. The hubs has been “in the field” which roughly translate to “training and shit in the outdoors, over night with little to no communication”. [Trust me you don't want to know what that smells like.] This has been the first time that he’s been away for an “extended amount of time” since we’ve been the parents of two. I’ve had my hands full to say the least.
I did take the opportunity to unplug a little from the blogging world and really deep clean my house. I find it relaxing for the most part. Just so long as my [almost!] three-year old isn’t around to ask me what I’m doing every five seconds and the baby isn’t wanting to be nursed every other five seconds. It’s relaxing. I’ve never been much of a cleaner but when all the littles are tucked into bed and the house is quiet, it’s really nice to just clean. Sounds so weird and foreign coming from my mouth. Besides the house needing a good spring cleaning, my brain needed a break too.
It’s hard to get my brain to stop. It’s why I spend more time then I’d like getting emotionally attached to TV characters. There is no thinking involved. Not to mention TV shows are made for us to develop emotional connections to them. It’s a time where I don’t have to feel guarded or worried that they are going to betray me because TV characters don’t hurt you. Where as a person could say or post something and it could leave me riddled with anxiety and stress for hours. Long after the person has forgotten our conversation I will still be there replaying it in my head. It gets very tiring trying to keep my emotions in check with reality. So I watch TV. And now, I’ve also found cleaning. Which I’m sure my parents are talking to their screens right now saying, “Well it would have been nice if you found cleaning back when you were 13 and your room was a mess.”
Four days later and now Steve is back home. I find his presence in the house to be calming. That and the touches of spring flowers around the house and everything being de-cluttered and clean has made me relaxed and at peace. I really should do this spring cleaning thing more often. It’s amazing how much better I feel. The fog has lifted. And no matter how temporary it might be, it’s nice to get a break.
Welcome to spring!
April Fool’s day has always been big in Steve and I’s relationship. It’s the day we started dating 6 years ago. It’s the day we got engaged 3 years ago [which everyone reserved their congratulations till the day after to make sure we were still engaged]. And ever since it’s been the day that we’ve tried to play practical jokes on each other. Ranging from flowers from a “secret admirer” to an iPad that was literally a pad with an eye on it to some more lame jokes that ended up being a flop. There’s only so many tricks you can do that don’t cause a huge mess [cause seriously, I don't want to pick up after a prank. I have enough cleaning to do without adding to it!]
Last night Steve and I confessed that we didn’t have any pranks to pull on each other this year. So of course we decided to join forces this year and prank someone else. What can I say? Guess our form of relationship bonding is a little unorthodox…Steve’s first idea was to call his mom at midnight and tell her he got arrested for drinking while driving. I didn’t really like the idea of calling someone else at 2am their time though so that was thrown out. So this morning Steve brought up the idea again when Joel and I woke up from our morning nap. Again, I thought it wasn’t too believable. Him, drinking and driving at noon? Unlikely. And that’s when the wheel’s started turning.
I start to call Steve’s Mom. She doesn’t answer so I call back. Eventually she starts to call me thinking there was something wrong. Soon I get her on the phone.
“Oh My God. You won’t believe what happened. Steve punched the neighbor and the cops arrested him. What am I suppose to do? Do I go bail him out or something.”
“What happened? Is he okay? Did the neighbor punch back.”
“I don’t know. I heard them arguing outside and then I went to take a look and I saw them fighting and then the cops pulled up and arrested him.”
“Did they arrest both of them?”
“Yes. They took them both.”
“I’m so sorry. I don’t know what to say. Steve has literally never punched anyone before.”
“Hold on a second. Someone else is calling.”
I hand the phone to Steve at which point he says, “APRIL FOOLS!”
Seriously, I deserve an Oscar. There was crying. There was laughter masked as crying. There were even tears. And at the end there was laughter all around. Luckily my Mother-in-Law is a really good sport. This could have gone not so well, so please when you choose to prank someone, make sure you choose wisely.
In other news, I’m pregnant again.
Happy Easter! Last night the Easter bunny visited and left lots of treats for the littles. And all of it was candy free! Thank you Easter bunny for that. After opening baskets, hunting for eggs, eating pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes and dying eggs it’s time to watch Rise of the Guardians and relax. Tonight I’m making quite the feast. I’ll be sharing those recipes with you later this week. I hope you are enjoying this holiday weekend. It’s been really nice having Steve home for four days! Do you have any holiday traditions for Easter? And if you don’t celebrate, how are you spending this weekend? We’ve had beautiful weather and of course tomorrow it’s suppose to snow!
[image via yeswalker]
These bow shoes are so adorable and perfect for spring. I realized this past St. Patrick’s Day that I don’t own anything green but I still think these are amazing. Maybe I should add a little green to my wardrobe?
[image via Paper Pastries]
I love these stamps and as soon as we buy a house I’ll be getting one. I do wonder how they’d go about doing smaller states. Or even D.C. Either way I think it’s pretty awesome.
[image via this noise is music]
“Hi, there. I’m wearing a shirt that reads “Kill Me”. If you saw me at a party or on the street would you promptly murder me? What about if I had a few drinks? What if I was walking alone at night? I’m guessing that you wouldn’t if you’re a sane individual.
The cops wouldn’t overlook your crime because of what I’m wearing because that’s silly. I wasn’t literally asking for you to kill me based on my choice of clothing. Who would take that defense seriously? My friends wouldn’t blame me for being murdered and my killer would be behind bars almost instantly. So, why is it okay to rape someone because they’re wearing promiscuous clothes? Why does THEIR choice of clothing excuse THEIR attacker? It doesn’t. You’re silly if you think otherwise. The less guilt on the attacker. The more guilt on victim. Stop. Victim. Blaming.“
[image via A Beautiful Mess]
A fun DIY brought to you by the folks over at A Beautiful Mess. Wax Resistant Scarf DIY. I think I need to try this. Maybe some leggings?
Here’s some more awesome links!
- 7 Signs you can’t party as much as you use to. – this. this is totally me. I don’t know how people do it. Sometimes I get caught up in everyone drinking and I have more than 2-3 drinks and then when I wake up I go, “whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.” I always regret it.
- How My Sister Cured My Writers Block. – It’s a beautiful piece. I can’t even really describe it to you without giving it away so just go read.
- Defending Honey Boo Boo – I know next to nothing about this show except that it seems like a bit of a train wreck. But after this reading this post I felt really guilty for judging the family. They seem like really amazing people. I hope you will give them a second chance too.
- Why Oz The Great And Powerful is a Major Step Back For Witches and Woman – Maybe one day Hollywood would get it right.
Here’s a video from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Feat. Mary Lambert. I pretty much have a crush on them. First Thrift Shop and then this. I think this is the perfect soundtrack for today. I hope you too are standing for Marriage Equality, today and everyday.
Sophie’s 3rd birthday is fast approaching. I can’t believe all the changes she has gone through in just the past year alone. It’s amazing watching her grow and become a little person with a personality and interest.
One problem with her being the first of our children, the first grandchild, the first great-grandchild and the first great-great-grandchild is that she is incredibly spoiled. The number of things she’s acquired over these past three years is a little much. We’ve donated a ton of stuff but there is a good part of it we’ve kept to pass it on to Joel and whoever else may come afterwards. Because of this we’re trying to be better at picking out things for her that are lasting. Whether that means we’ll be able to pass it on to other kids or whether that means there will be a lasting memory created or it’s something we know has replay value.
Here are a few things we’ve picked out for her. I’m working on making her a rag doll. It won’t look like the one I’ve included in this round-up but I think she’d enjoy it. At the very least when she’s older it’ll be something she treasures [I hope]. Other than that we haven’t decided which ones we’ll give her just yet but I hope this might give you an idea of what I’m talking about. She has enough toys and clothes that she could care less about. I hoping making memories will mean more to her. We’ll see.
Sometimes I have this overwhelming feeling of love. Not for anything in particular. Just a wave of love. It makes me want to hug everyone and everything. I feel at peace and happy with the world. It doesn’t happen often but when it does I wonder why I can’t feel this way all the time. I try not to over think it though because I’m afraid if I do it’ll slip through my fingers. I just want to enjoy the quiet for once.
It’s the time in my life where my brain isn’t constantly running. Where I don’t get caught up in all the bad things. Things that usually would send me spiraling down a tunnel of depression will just glide through my head. These stresses and anxiety causers have little to no effect when I’m at peace. It’s such a relief.
Now that the weather is starting to get better and better. And the sun is shining more and more. And spring fever is making more and more people pleasant. I know that life will be also shine more and be better and more pleasant. Does this mean I’ll have bad days? Yes, of course. But it’s also such a relief that I’ll have a break from the really heavy feelings until the fall. The weight I usually carry around will take a summer holiday.
Because of this happier state of mind I have decided to make some goals for the upcoming seasons. I often have trouble thinking of things that make me happy when I’m at my lowest so in order to combat that it makes sense to write the list when I’m on the up and up. So here it is. My list of things that make me smile and their accompanying goals.
Fresh Flowers – Once a week [or when the previous bunch starts to wilt] buy flowers. It’s so simple and is so nice to have around plus at $5 a bunch how can I go wrong?
Walks – Start taking the kids on more walks. It snowed this weekend and is still fairly cold but as the weather gets better I’m hoping I will start to get out more. I think it’d make us all feel good.
Silly Conversations – Start recording the conversations I have with Sophie so I can play them back when I’m stressed or under the weather. She always puts a smile on my face.
Crafts – Do a weekly craft. I have so many ideas but for some reason I don’t follow through. I need to get better at motivation. I just need to start making sure I go to the craft store on the weekend and pick up supplies more often. I’d be less likely to make excuses that way. Also, I really want to get back into painting and drawling. I’m so out of practice that it’s kind of defeating but I need to be realistic and realize if I just do it more I’ll be as good if not better than I use to be.
Pedicures – Treat yo’ self! It’s nothing big but there’s no reason I shouldn’t go out once a month and get pampered. Everyone needs a break sometime.
My Babies – This one is obvious but I don’t take as many pictures with my fancy camera as I like. Just capturing more of the simple everyday moments. I’m going to miss the stage they both are in. Not to mention Taking Pictures is also on my list so it’s a win win.
Cooking – Create something new once a week. I cook fairly often but usually its the same old same old. But recently I created two recipes and I felt so good and proud of them afterwards. That feeling of accomplishment should be replicated more often.
Wearing Dresses/Skirts – I so often fall into the stereotypical SAHM wardrobe. You know, sweats, PJs, over-sized sweaters, etc. How can anyone feel good about themselves when they don’t try? This is the sick man’s wardrobe! I need to push myself to dress up more. I love dresses and skirts and feel pretty in both [pants on the other hand. blah] why am I not exploiting this?! Throw in some red lipstick and bam. At the very least I don’t have to be embarrassed when the mailman rings the doorbell next time.
Taking Pictures – I mentioned it early and with all these new things I have plenty of things to take pictures of and improve my photography skills.
Thrifting – It’s so rewarding! Plus it gives me a little more me time. I’ve decided that I’m just going to take $20 every two weeks and go. Maybe pick up some new dresses and skirts?
Water – This is part of the making me healthier part of the list. I feel so much better when I drink more water. I don’t even know how I get caught up in the trap of drinking soda. If only water was just as addicting.
Reading – One book per month. This shouldn’t be hard. I have time to do this. It just means that I need to give up other “hobbies” to make time for something I really enjoy. I don’t get anything out of facebooking and yet I waste so much time where as reading. Reading is magical.
Tidy House – Having a tidy house definitely makes me less stressed. Cleaning isn’t something I enjoy but the after math feels so good. If I start going about it and doing a little every day I think I’d feel so much better about the state of things.
Writing – Uh duh. Blog more! Now that I have all of the above ideas that give me that good old fuzzy feelings, I have something to write about!
Besides this general list of things I want to start doing more often I’ve also made a goals list of things to do in the area. It feels good to have a list of things so the next time I’m feeling blah I’ll have these two list to look at. Sure I might have to push myself to do some of them but at least they are a reminder that these things make me feel good and are totally worth that push. So what are some things that make you feel good? Do you have any goals you want to accomplish this spring/summer? I’d love to hear about them!
Saturday was a good day. Besides the obvious stuff like getting cupcakes, having a picnic with the family, feeding the ducks, it being warm and sunny enough to get sunburn in the winter. Okay maybe that last one is only half good. No matter. The things I am celebrating are not these. The victories I had had to do with the ways I handled myself.
Steve was having a stressful morning and was visually upset by something that he couldn’t control. Rather then allowing him to get me upset and angry, which is what I would typically do, I read the situation and suggested he take a walk to Starbucks. I knew that he’d feel better afterwards and the level of tension all around would decrease. So pat on the backs all around. I’m glad I was able to make a smart decision and allow him some time to himself. It can be super important to take breaks during stressful situations. So often I let other people’s emotions dictate how I feel and their feelings of stress, which would have nothing to do with me, would set me off.
This may seem small to the average person but for me my emotions are hard for me to keep in check especially when other people’s emotions are heightened. I don’t always respond in the most appropriate ways. This is part of my Borderline Personality Disorder. For example, while living with my In-Laws I got extremely emotional and upset when they decided to adopt a puppy. It had nothing to do with me and I have no idea why it upset me as much as it did. But it did. It felt like them getting this new dog was the end of the world. Was it the end of the world? No. Cricket is adorably cute and I adore her. But for some reason it was a huge trigger for me. I think understanding BPD has allowed me to handle things in a more appropriate fashion even if it requires me to step back from a situation and separate what the facts are and what the truths are. It’s a learning process.
The other victory for me was when I was purchasing some cupcakes from a cupcake truck. It’s like a food truck for cupcakes. It’s a city thing. Anyway, I noticed the music they were playing sounded like Matt and Kim so I asked about it. My anxiety would typically prevent me from doing anything like this. Seriously sometimes I can barely walk through the grocery store without having mini panic attacks.
I’m not sure when the anxiety developed. It wasn’t always a problem. But now it can be almost crippling. So for me to say something that could develop into a conversation is huge. Of course, it didn’t because there was a line behind me and this is a business, but it’s a start. Hopefully I continue heading in this direction because it would be nice to have friends who live, oh I don’t know, in the same state as me?
What victories have you had recently?
Today it’s almost 60 degrees and sunny. Don’t be jealous quite yet. Two days ago it snowed and its suppose to snow again on Saturday. That being said, Sophie and I took advantage of the warm weather while Joel napped. Sophie rode her bike and made me an awesome hamburger.