Friday, March 6, 2015

Reflections and Resolutions

So I intended to write this post waaay back in January. I intended to get back into blogging at that same time. I intended to be in the kitchen whipping up lots of yummy things to share (I have a list 3 miles long for sure). Unfortunately intentions are not the same as actions. So instead I'm writing this post two months later than I wanted, but I figure I'm just gonna go for it.

I want to reflect on the year I had in 2014.

I didn't post a darn thing during 2014. Well, with the exception of saying that I was taking a break from blogging until I got a new computer. That new computer never came. It never seemed to be in the budget. Always something more pressing. And in 2014 I learned to live without a personal computer. I have one that I use for work, but I don't usually use it for personal things.

By April 2014 I had come to accept that I wasn't going to get (and didn't need) a new computer. And I was convinced that I could do this blog without a computer. I was willing to give it a try. But first I wanted to get through a whirlwind road trip to central and southern California. The main function of the trip was to go to a wedding and we figured we were more than halfway to southern Cali, that we might as well head there after the wedding and visit the rest of the family. It was a long weekend for us, comprised of 36 hours worth of driving, not nearly enough sleep, and limited time spent with family.

Since the middle of 2013, my father had been in declining health and by April had been unable to make the trip to the wedding with the rest of our family. So, when we got back into town, we checked in on him (my mom wouldn't be returning for a few days after we did). His health had grown worse, even over the weekend. I re-evaluated what was happening in my life and determined that it didn't seem like a good time to start blogging again after all. My father passed away three weeks later.

At that point all I wanted to do was focus on my family and spend time with Moira. We planned her THIRD birthday, which she wanted to be a "camping" party. We pitched a tent in the backyard, had a fire pit where guests could roast hot dogs and marshmallows, and let the kids play with outdoor toys while adults sat around in conversation.

After that Moira and I spent a good amount of time outside in the garden. I grew way way way too many squash plants, so we had an overload of zucchini, patty pan squash, and an unidentified squash whose seed came in the package with the patty pan squashes.

We also took a couple different camping trips for my little adventure girl, had fun a various brewfests and other festivals, and spent some time at the community pool.

In the fall, I accepted a new position with the local non-profit community children's choir that I work for (and am an alumni of). There were two parents who had children who graduated out of the organization and I took over both of their jobs, plus tacked on additional duties that I wasn't previously performing. I now am the Media and Marketing Manager for the choir and I do everything from their website (both the public and internal sites), the annual program and ad sales fundraiser, window posters, concert posters, newspaper and other print advertising, and more. The choir year coincides with the start of school, so from September to November, I didn't have time to breathe.

Then came the holidays, which is typically a crazy chaotic time anyways. But they were good.

January swung around the corner and the holidays had left me tired. I spent a lot of time in the kitchen during the holidays and suddenly I didn't want anything to do with the kitchen. And then first trimester queasiness set in. Yup, we found out that we were expecting baby #2, but didn't tell anyone until the end of February after we were out of the first trimester. But let me tell you. January and February were horrible in terms of food. I couldn't look at food or smell food without feeling sick. And honestly, I'm still struggling, although it's getting better bit by bit. So, my intention to get into the kitchen and whip up all sorts of yummy things to share?? Thwarted by baby #2.

Hopefully, I can get back into the kitchen and start making things to share (slowly). So, my main resolution is to focus more on me. Doing the things I like to do, in between work and family time. Finding that balance is hard. But I haven't treated myself to a haircut since just before Moira was born (almost 4 years ago!). Like I said I need to focus more on me. Starting with a haircut. And blogging. And maybe buy a new pair of shoes :)

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Small Hiccup

Hi all,

I know I said that I was back. Raring to go. Lots of new recipes hanging out in the wings, ready for their pictures to be taken and shared with you. And then my computer crashed. Hard. Like can not resuscitate. Unfortunately a new computer isn't in my budget right now, so, it looks like I'll be taking some forced time off from the blogging thing. I'm hoping only for a couple of months. Enough time for me to save my pennies together and get a computer. Because no computer=no photo editing, interneting, just computing all together. So, please, hang in there with me while I get my ducks all in a row. Hopefully this will give me some time to work on my photography skills and try more new recipes! Plus I have some exciting changes that I want to happen to the blog, so I might be able to squeeze some of that in there. We shall see! Thank you all for your understanding and patience.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

2013 Year End Wrap Up

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season! Sorry I've been MIA for the past month or so, but truthfully I've been crafting my life away. This year I made 50% of the gifts we gave, plus our Christmas cards and all the bows that adorned our presents. Yup. I'm cuckoo for cocoa puffs folks. Plus there's all the food we ate- Both every day meals and the special holiday snacks. Any who, I seriously need to figure out how to manage my time better, but now I'm back in full force.

And since 2013 is almost over (how the heck did that happen??), I figured I'd recap the top FIVE recipes from 2013. And throw in a couple of my faves too :)

1. Avocado Egg Salad- Super easy and super delicious! Eaten with crackers, in between bread, rolled in a tortilla, or in lettuce cups. Seriously good anytime of the year.
2. Roasted Garlic Alfredo Sauce- Also super easy and super delicious! And is a great substitute in any recipe that calls for a jar of alfredo sauce. Just remember to roast your garlic a couple days ahead of time.

3. Eggs Benedict Casserole with Hollandaise Sauce- Great for feeding a crowd or make up a batch and keep it in the fridge all week for quick weekday breakfasts. Note: When reheating the hollandaise sauce, whisk in a couple tablespoons of warm milk!

4. Easy Lemon Garlic Broiled Salmon- Like the title implies: EASY. And is incredibly versatile! After cooking, crumble into pastas, on top of salads, or serve with some of your favorite sides!

5. Eggs Over Easy- So basic, but so good! For those who like their egg yolks runny, but not their whites!

MY FAVORITES (in no particular order because I couldn't decide!):

1. Oven Fried Breakfast Potatoes- Because I love all things potato!

2.  Cola Braised Shredded Beef- My go-to Mexican meat for everything! Salad, tacos, tamales, enchiladas and more.

3.Tomato Avocado Salad with Lemon Dijon Vinaigrette- If I could eat this every day for lunch I would.

4. Summertime Macaroni Salad- So good! Plus I think I may dreaming of warmer weather right now!

5. Coffee Cake Muffins- Reminds me of my mom's coffee cake (which I could eat for breakfast every day).

Monday, November 18, 2013

Thanksgiving Menu

First off I have to apologize for being non-existent lately. Once again I've been carried off by the tide that is life. Amping up my work hours for both my jobs and still doing the normal housework, added to the Halloween holiday and the recent passing of a family member, time just hasn't been on my side. Let's just say I've been really good with devoting time to others, but not myself. And although I'd like to make a change, with the upcoming holidays, I'm not sure I can. But I have to try.

Which brings me to posting here. Because it's something I do for me (and anyone else who want to read). Today I want to share with you my plans for our Thanksgiving. This year it's gonna be small. Just FIVE people. It's a huge change from the usual 11-14 people. So I am paring down my menu and this is what is looks like:

Lemon Garlic Sage Roasted Turkey Breast
Roasted Garlic & White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes
Turkey Gravy
Roasted Root Vegetables with Lemon Vinaigrette
Roasted Green Beans & Mushrooms with Balsamic Vinegar & Blue Cheese
Mixed Berry Cranberry Sauce
Jellied Cranberry Sauce (from a can per the request of my mother-in-law)
Dressing (made by my mother-in-law)
Swiss Roll with a Biscoff filling

What are your plans for Thanksgiving? What are you most excited for?