Thirty Three

January 19, 2016


I turned 33 on the 15th and while that still seems pretty young to me I can’t help but reflect on how different my life is now from just a couple of years ago. So much has changed in this sliver of time and I feel like I’ve been working really hard to get here and am just starting to recognize that and am proud of the things I have accomplished. There’s still a lot more work to do of course, there always will be but I am content feeling my life is headed in a healthy and happy direction. My birthday is so close to the New Year that I always use it as the time to set intentions for what I would like to change or work on. Some of these things are leftovers from previous years and others are new and exciting. I just thought I’d write them out to have a little accountability so maybe I will actually remember to drink enough water.

Be The Change I Want – I put this one first because it is definitely the hardest for me and the most important. I have loads of supportive and awesome people in my life who I am so thankful for but I can’t expect them to make all the changes and do all the work for me, or ultimately to make me happy. That is my job to do for myself.

Make My Health a Priority – After having Greta I definitely let my health slip away from me and suffered the consequences. Before getting pregnant I was eating a pretty clean diet and exercising regularly. I let that all fall by the wayside early into the pregnancy when I could not even look at a vegetable, let alone eat one. The hatred of all things green didn’t last that long but I got in the habit of eating things I know don’t make me feel great, like alllllll the gluten and sugar. I’ve finally cut out gluten for good and am working on reducing my sugar – that seems to be the hardest because I love baking treats!

Ask For Help – This is something I have a really hard time with, being the stubborn Capricorn that I am. I went way too long without regular childcare which definitely drove me crazy. It took a long time to give myself permission to do it and not feel like a bad mom because I need time by myself. Luckily I have an amazing neighbor who runs an in-home daycare that is affordable and so convenient for us. Greta gets to go there to play with other kids two days a week for a few hours and I get to do super exciting things like laundry or organizing the basement. Really though, just having time alone is so important for me so it doesn’t matter what I am doing. Sometimes it’s just sitting in silence for a half hour and that is ok.

Drink More Water – I guess this could go into the health category but I think it is deserving of a solo spot because I am constantly putting it on my lists and never following through. This time I am for real, and to help with it I went out and purchased a water bottle for every activity and situation. I have one with a straw to keep in my car so I don’t have to unscrew a lid (which I had hilariously been trying to do for the past year). I also received a cute new tea mug and have replaced a lot of my coffee with herbal tea which is another great way to stay hydrated in the winter.

Feed My Creativity – One of the hardest parts about becoming a mom has been the loss of free time and therefor my creative projects. I have only recently realized how important it is for me to make something with my hands, something I always did but never really realized how big of an impact it had on me until I stopped doing it. I took a break from my creative self for a good year and became pretty depressed. Luckily I have since found ways to get back into it, the main mediums being knitting and sewing. I LOVE IT. I took a knitting class the fall after Greta was born and finally learned how to go beyond a scarf. I am working on my second sweater for her right now and am so proud that I can make something beautiful out of a ball of sheep fur and some sticks while watching Netflix.

Declutter – Oh man. Ok so I really don’t like to admit this but I think I might have hoarding tendencies so this one is really tough for me. I know I have way too much stuff and feel happier and calmer in a more minimalist environment. This has meant that I have pretty much had to stop going to thrift stores all together which really pains me but I just can’t say no to all the treasures! They are like sad little cast off friends begging for a home and I want to take them all in. Aside from trying to reduce the amount of stuff I am bringing into the house I have been really working to let go of a lot of the things I already have. It mostly feels good which is encouraging but I am so sentimental I know I could never even be in the same room as Marie Kondo. Oh well, working on it!

Go Somewhere – I really need a vacation! Like a fun one where I go on a plane by myself and it is actually relaxing. I fantasize about being in a hotel room all alone with a big white bed and room service. Maybe I will go by myself or maybe with a friend, it will probably only be for a weekend but it will be AMAZING.

Stop Feeling Guilty – This is another thing I have struggled with my whole life and am working so hard to overcome. I was born a worrier and most of the worry comes from feelings of guilt. I said the wrong thing, wasn’t present enough for my daughter, bought the wrong kind of soap. The range is from reasonable to completely ridiculous but I have to learn to let it go.

Garden More – Feeding off of my last post, I have found such pleasure in gardening and really hope to keep it up this year. Last year I went a little crazy with adding and planting new and this year I will do a little of that but also work on fine tuning the spots that are already happy and reviving some sad neglected things that came with our house. You can never have enough David Austin roses though and I will definitely find some space for a few more.

Do It All Over Again – This one is both exciting and terrifying but I have always pictured two kids so we are going to try for another baby soon. Watching Greta around other babies is basically the sweetest thing ever so luckily that is encouraging. Just trying to focus on getting myself in the best shape possible both mentally and physically and hoping for the best. Ahhhhhhhh!


Pumpkin Spice Squares With Cinnamon Frosting

October 8, 2015

October is a wonderful month. The morning air is crisp enough to pull out your favorite sweater to go on an early walk through the brilliant leaves and lingering fog. The drop in temperature also means time for baking, something I have dearly missed since starting my treatment. I was overjoyed to discover these grain free treats with the rich spices we all crave when the sun starts to get heavier in the sky. Oh and there is frosting! Actual frosting. I am crying.

These pumpkin spice squares are tasty enough to fool those who do not happen to be on a super restrictive diet. They were a complete revelation for me, before these sweet little squares came into my life I was moping about, convinced I would never find a treat that would satisfy my sweet tooth. These are all that and more, I think I might even prefer them to a normal flour and sugar filled cake! Bake a pan of these up and bring them to your next pumpkin carving party, no one will be the wiser and they will quickly disappear!

pumpkin spice squares


Makes approximately 16 small squares.

For the cake:

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

1/2 cup almond butter

1/4 cup honey

2 eggs

1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

pinch of kosher salt

For the frosting:

1/4 cup coconut butter

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup raw honey

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the cake ingredients in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer for one minute. Pour into a greased 8×8 glass oven safe pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and it is set in the middle. Let cool completely.

While cake is cooling, whip the frosting ingredients with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy. Once the cake has cooled cut into small squares and top with a dollop of the cinnamon frosting.

Adapted from this recipe.

Cruel Summer

September 15, 2015

Cruel Summer

I always intended for this to be a very honest space for me so I will admit that this summer has not been an easy one. For starters, it was unbearably hot most of the time and not something us fair ladies do well with. More than that though, I have been dealing with some health stuff I have been ignoring for the past five years or so. Things finally became so dismal that I decided I really needed to make a change even if it meant making some sacrifices in order to get my life back.

After many tests and rounds of blood work I was finally diagnosed with SIBO, something that is not very well known and notoriously hard to get rid of. It stands for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and basically means the good bacteria that lives in your stomach migrates to your small intestine for whatever reason and is not supposed to be there, causing a long list of unpleasant maladies. I won’t go into too many details but I have had a long history of GI symptoms and had recently been having some new ones such as nausea and bloating no matter what I ate. The most difficult though has been fatigue, unexplained joint pain and a depression I just couldn’t shake. I know that some fatigue is bound to come with rearing a toddler but this was much more than simply being tired. I just felt like my body simply couldn’t do the most simple tasks and every day just felt so overwhelming. Apparently SIBO is linked to leaky gut which causes an autoimmune response and your body begins to attack itself, which would explain why I was feeling so sick and exhausted all the time.

Under the guidance of my doctor I am now on a treatment plan which includes a long list of supplements and herbal antibiotics. I cut out all grains and sugar at the beginning of the month and will transition to a diet designed to treat SIBO at the end of the week in hopes of healing my poor insides. I am already feeling so much better, it’s pretty amazing.

Looking forward to feeling happy and healthy again, whatever it takes.


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