things that make me happy

March 31, 2012

emma key's [amazing flat top grill in greensboro]
lunch with dad and little dude

a much needed organic hawaiian coffee date with my sweet friend courtney 
chalk, playground, giggles, so much fun.
[doing a separate post later with more pictures]

packed away art supplies in a box
found and used successfully
[magnetic art]

 egg pals- we figured they need a little longer to grow.
[hair chop in a few days]

california roll [us sushi] :: chicken sausage, bean medley with lemon and salad
bacon avocados [dusti] :: butternut squash
tuna and cucumber sandwich :: corn quesadilla with pasta salad [old drought house]
bbq sandwich with brussel sprout hash [the iron hen] :: spinach & onion pizza with fresh feta

my journey: why I blog

March 30, 2012

I've been trying to come up with a post for a while now that really tells all about why I blog. I found myself at no other time better after meeting and making new friends at the NC blog meet up- to formulate my thoughts and go through all of my scribbles. I have a book that contains a bunch of nonsense that would be completely foreign to anyone who attempted to read it, but it's a way for me to keep everything remembered. I hadn't up until a few months ago really given thought to the real reason I started my blog back up again early last year and I feel like it is an appropriate time to dedicate and organize just why I do what I do. I dedicate a lot of this thought to Jessica at Boho Baby Bump as well because she arose the question and recorded some of the girls at the NC meet up answering it. I for some reason or another, didn't get the chance to say why I blog but it's a valid reason to do it here!

I suppose you could say I started blogging again because I needed to find a voice in this big world. And somewhere in there is truth. I wanted to be able to have a place where I could share my thoughts and idea's whether I had people listening or not. I keep things so built up, even things that excite me- until I nearly burst at the seams and then I vent to whomever will listen. That's kind of what I made this blog for- as an outlet. I needed a place where I could be raw and honest and to complete strangers. It was soon there after that I wanted that sense of community within bloggers and in reading some of the blogs I started with really inspired me to grow- not just as a woman but as a mother and a blogger. 

I share a lot through pictures. I tend to write less and show more but just recently, it's winded down and I'm writing more. I suppose I'm becoming more opinionated in the blogging world and I no longer fear to share it. I do however, have a passion for photography and have really found a niche within my camera. It's nothing fancy. And I'm not a professional by any means. But when I'm behind the camera, I feel like I have this other more creative eye for the world, for my kids, for myself. It's the oddest thing- and I'm not sure if it's because I've been taught by such amazing professors at UNCG or if it is something I've grown into. I still love painting and crafting, they will always have my heart but this machine has me so tuned in. It's really inspired me to do a lot of the posts I have done because I have a picture to go off of- a narrative.

Most importantly, I blog for my kids. The pictures above were taken for a dance project I did last semester. It was a final project where we had to think of why we move, what is the purpose of our movement and breaking it down. My answer was that I move for my kids from the moment I wake up to the moment I lay my head down to sleep. It's the same concept here, my blog revolves around my kids, my family. I do want to talk more about the every day struggles I have as a mother combined with being a student because I more times than none write about what great things we are accomplishing and how much fun we do have on a good day- which aren't every day. I have been planning some posts for a while now and just need to find a successful way to put it all together and finally post. Those will come soon. Adriana has a lot of interaction with my blog- she sits with me from time to time and reads what I type. She gets excited about the pictures I post and sometimes helps me pick them out. It gives so much more meaning to know she loves it too. I love sharing our adventures, though I know they get so irritated with me when I want to take a lot of pictures- I know it's worth it.

It's also where I can catch a break, even when I can't find that break and I miss so much time in between posts. It's almost a sort of meditative state of mind for me, to sit at the computer with my fingers doing all of the talking and my mind at ease. Each post is like a new step. I try new things, recipes, crafts, products so that I can share those things with you all in hopes that you will enjoy them just as much as I have. It's also a way for me to organize the things I have done and in case I forget what to do or how long to cook something, I have it all- neatly here, like my personal filing cabinet. 

On a more personal level- I just a few weeks ago got my first negative feedback on my blog. It was evident that the intentions by whoever posted it was meant to hurt me. I had noted in the past where other bloggers had deleted their negative comments or changed their settings so that only certain people can comment- to avoid the hurt some people just absolutely have to share with others, but I didn't want to do that. I, for the first time had a real reason to feel proud of the job I have done with this blog and how much I love doing this. I won't let someone bring me down because it makes them feel better. It gave me more reason to do what I do no matter what other people think. If I'm not strong enough, even though it did hurt my feelings deep down, then why have this blog? If I can't take others opinions, even when negative, than why have this blog? Well it's simple. I know who I am and why I do what I do. I will continue because I believe in myself, regardless of the people who don't. I grew more than it hurt me. And I'm sure it will happen more and not everyone will like what I do but that's okay.

So more than anything, I also blog because it inspires me to do and try new things. I am constantly in awe of the ladies I follow and the new one's I find. I will forever be inspired by the fabulous ladies on the left side of my blog and also to those who don't have a button I can share, ahem Mrs. Cheerio - each and every one of them is amazing.

If it wasn't for the creation of two birds on a wire I wouldn't have met some of the friends I have made and learned so much from. I wouldn't have been able to share my crafts with others so that they may inspire others. I wouldn't have been able to make such an easy cookbook for my brother and his girlfriend, my best friend; with my recipe box feature. I also wouldn't have been able to be inspired by Adriana's lunches so much that others would notice and love them and bring great and amazing opportunities which I am so thankful for.

It's just like anything else I partake in- I'm dedicated and put my entire heart into it. I am so grateful to all of my readers who have made this journey worth while and I thank you, a million times, thank you. I hope to exceed my expectations for this blog and I do hope you'll stay with and join me for the journey.

recipe box: sixteen

March 26, 2012

herbed lentils and rice

what you need
2 2/3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3/4 cup dry lentils
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
1/4 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded swiss cheese, divided

what to do
preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a bowl, combine the first 11 ingredients; 
stir in 1/2 cup cheese. 
Transfer to a 1-1/2-qt. baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. 
Cover and bake for 1 to 2 hours or until lentils and rice are
 tender and liquid is absorbed, stirring twice.
Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese.
 Bake 2-3 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

not only is this dish easy and fast to make
but the flavor is so amazing and it's so healthy.
It's easily a vegetarian dish or you can add meat to it.
I liked it with chicken broth- no white wine.
and I may leave the cheese out next time.
it was great with the original recipe-
but I always like to change it up.

from behind the blog

I was so ecstatic when I saw Bekah, from my little loves, had moved to North Carolina and was planning on doing a blog meet up. I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of because the friendships I have made through my computer meant a lot to me and what better way than to meet some of those ladies. So, Dusti and I made our way with our five kids combined into her van and made our way to Charlotte. I could feel with each mile that passed how much more nervous I was getting. I'm very slow to meet people, especially in person- I tend to crawl into my shell. It's easier to talk here but I was determined to come from behind the blog and talk- no hiding allowed. All things considered, and when I say that I mean with Ryland not on his tip top behavior, I managed to talk, come out of my shell and make new friendships. On a side note: I was so embarrassed about Ryland throwing the toy dog over the deck but I knew I wasn't the only mama who had been in a situation where they felt that way too- needless to say he apologized and behaved the rest of the time.

The event was hosted at Jessica's gorgeous home, decorated beautifully. Each lovely lady brought a dish from home and it was a treat to get to try what everyone had spent their time on. You could truly tell how much love went into all of it. There was an amazing cupcake bar that Bekah had the opportunity to snag for us by Cupcrazed and sponsored by passion fruit ads! They were a m a z i n g. Thanks to everyone involved in that- I'm totally craving one now. And a HUGE thank you to Jess and Bekah for thinking up this whole idea and making it happen! You ladies rock.

 There were so many kids, every where and that for me made it really special. A lot of us are mother's who more times than none are blogging away about our kids and parenting. I took more pictures of the kids than anything because it was great to see that not only were the blogging mommies and ladies making new friendships but our kids were as well. It made my heart so so happy.

I'm so honored to be a part of such a wonderful community of women. I was bummed I didn't get to meet everyone there but those I did get to meet and talk to were absolutely fabulous and so genuine. I can't wait to do it again and I'm excited to get to know those I didn't get to meet and build on those friendships until the next blog meet, as well as building on the new friendships I made Saturday. I'm pretty sure I've gotten a chance to visit and follow all of your blogs- if you aren't listed below let me know so I can link you! I'm looking forward to keeping up with them all.

 blog list
Bekah: my little loves
Jessica: Boho Baby Bump
Kristina: our little lentil
 Brooke: From his feathers
Brittney: Brittney's Rabbit Hole
Rebecca: The Unsteady
Leslie: The Beehive Mutter
Dusti: Where Am I?
Paige: Pilgrims
Carlisle: La La Lu
Jennifer: The Fortunate Plight
Anna: The Colorful Living Project