29 October, 2013

October wrap-up

I know I've been lacking a lot as far as updating this, but I did want to talk a bit about what I did for Halloween this year. It's my favorite holiday but for the past few years I haven't really been able to celebrate it as lavishly as I would like. So this year I (tried) to really get into the spirit! I actually have some things I'm still working on, but that just means next year will be even better! So I started outside, I painted some wax paper and taped it to our office window for a nice, murdery effect, and invested in numerous dollar store decor:

I also made great use of a creepy doll I'd found at a thrift store, and some pieces of chain that I had lying around:

For our Halloween party, I went all out on food. I baked  three cakes (two chocolate, one red velvet), and crumbled them all together, then formed them into heart (real heart) shaped cake-balls. I made cherry icing (powdered sugar, milk, cherries that had been cooked down a bit with some butter and sugar, and some red and brown food coloring) which added a nice, bloody touch. I think they came out awesome if I do say so myself.

closer view:

Of course no Halloween party is complete without jello shots in giant syringes:

And very happy birthday dogs who get presents from very awesome friends. :)

I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to build a life-size Michael Myers but I ran out of newspaper to stuff him and I can't find a good mask anywhere! So he's standing in a corner (which is rather creepy because even though he's not stuffed all the way, he's got his jumpsuit on and zipped up, and if you just glance over there's a headless creeper standing there) waiting until I can finish him up...

I'm also working on some more creepy doll stuff, but I doubt that I'll finish before Halloween. Oh well, like I said, there's always next year.

So have you done anything particularly awesome this Halloween?

16 September, 2013

Random thoughts pt 7

It has been so long. Life continues to happen, but I can't seem to find the motivation to write. I've been sick for the past few days, though, and spending some down time catching up on my blog reading, so I figured I'd at least get a few thoughts down on paper, so to speak.

In August we traveled to Puerto Rico for a few days. Beautiful, warm, all the islandy perfection that I imagined, but it ended quite too soon. It reignited my flame for travel. Another trip is already booked, although we'll be flying red-eye out of DFW so...that's gonna be special. (A four hour drive, as opposed to one to Little Rock.)

Since I've been stuck at home for the past week, and trying to rest since I sound like a tuberculosis patient, I've pulled most of my fall/winter stuff out, and have begun the first wave of putting up spring/summer clothes. I also took a GIANT carload of stuff to Re-store last week before I got sick, and started the search for pieces to use for Halloween. Our costumes this year are going to be awesome!

Josh's birthday is on Saturday, so of course we'll be at the club to party. Hoping to have a decent crowd, but we'll make sure he has fun either way. :)

I've developed a passion for buying fancy panties. I can't explain it.

On the other hand, I've also managed to get my shopping under control. I just had to realize that I don't have to hoard clothes anymore - I'm financially stable enough to buy what I want and need, and to donate or trash stuff that I don't. It was incredibly refreshing to go through my closets and donate stuff that was nice, and then cut up stuff that was torn or stained and use that as rags when I clean. (I'm still thrifty, no reason to buy paper towels and create more trash when I don't have to!)

I seem to be allergic to something I come in contact with on a regular basis, but I have no idea what it would be. I keep getting hives in random patches on my body.

I really wish my hair would hurry up and grow out. I don't think I've mentioned it, but I shaved half my head again back in...May? I wanna say...anyway, I did it because I got tired of the funky, in-between, growing out stage that it was in, but if I had just sucked it up then it would have been done by now. Instead, I'm starting all over again. UGH. Oh well. Not going to do that again. I'm ready for long hair.

In May I inherited another tarantula, and named him Bilbo. Last month, I cleaned out my aquarium, put a piece of plywood in the middle, and made a spider-condo. Yesterday Willow somehow managed to squeeze her fat little butt over the top of the divider, and attacked Bilbo. He lost two legs and is all kind of panicky now, but he's alive. I feel terrible for him though. :( Personality wise, he's curious, goofy, and when I first got him he used to hoard food - I'd put 5 or 6 crickets in and he'd kill them all immediately, and then bury them. I hope he molts soon and regenerates his new legs.

03 July, 2013

Life, lately.

It's been quite a while since I've written anything here, and while I do sit down occasionally, and think about posting, I typically find that I don't know what I want to say.

For the past four (almost five now) months I've been taking medication for my anxiety. It has helped, a lot actually, but I've also found that my personality on medication is quite different than off. Not in a bad way, nor in a multiple personality way, I'm still very much me, so to speak, I just find that my attention span is a great deal shorter, and that my interest in certain things has waned, while interest in other things has peaked.

One thing I have sort of rediscovered is my passion for photography. I've always loved it, but I like to take pictures outside, of nature, trees, abandoned buildings, and when I'm depressed I tend to stay inside and/or sleep all day so I don't get to do that as much. Lately, though, I've gotten back into the habit of taking my camera everywhere.

I've also found that while I still love crafting and sewing, I just can't sit through cutting out/sewing entire projects anymore. (Or at least not all at once - I have completed a couple of things, but they were stretched out over a few days.) I spend less time reading blogs, and I can't even remember the last time I looked at Pinterest. (That's a good thing, though!)

I feel better, mentally, and physically too - I recently joined a belly dancing class taught by a friends mom and it is so fun! Meeting new people, having something that is mine, a reason to get out of the house alone that doesn't involve shopping, I think, is really a huge part of rediscovering my identity, reconnecting with aspects of my self and personality that may have gotten lost throughout this long journey of depression and anxiety.

Anyway, I know that's not much of an update, but I do plan to write more, soon, I just wanted to explain a bit why I've been MIA for so long.

03 May, 2013

Random thoughts pt 6

Wow, I can't believe it's been a whole month since I posted something. I kept meaning to, but life got in the way, and I have spent a lot of time thinking, trying to collect my thoughts into a valid post on one topic, and I can't seem to get there. I have a lot of random things going on in my life, a lot of ideas and opinions, and I feel...conflicted. I don't like feeling like this because, in the past, it has been one of the major factors that contributes to major anxiety and moving. (Like boxing up the house and starting over in a new city moving, not an increase in physical activity.)

First of all, let me reiterate that I hate conflict and drama. I am happiest when things are running smoothly, I only have to interact with people I like, and everyone else around me is on good terms with one another. Conflict makes me uncomfortable. It bothers me even more if anything I've said or done is considered to be a source of conflict. I try to be very accommodating of others, but I also have a rule about not being fake - honesty is always best, even if it's not what someone wants to hear.

I decided to stop drinking, for a while at least. Ever since I started my medication it's had a weird sort of effect on me - my tolerance is all over the place, and as such it's not fun because I don't know whether I'm going to have four drinks and be fine or two and be blacked out and falling down. Besides, watching other people get drunk is always fun.  (Not to mention the added bonus of saving money...)

I pierced my nose! Hooray! Pictures soon, I have a couple on my phone but nothing spectacular...plus I don't feel like trying to get them off of it right now.

Josh traveled during April, and I had to drive him to the airport (an hour away) and pick him up. I also went out and shopped alone, and went to the bar and ate, and then came home alone after dark. All of these things are ridiculously huge victories for me, and they all happened within a four day time span. I can't even begin to express how proud I am of myself. I did not have a single anxiety attack while he was gone.

On the flip side, though, that week threw off my cooking/eating schedule, and it's been a mess ever since. (Well, okay, for the past two weeks.) I hope to take this weekend (and by that I mean Sunday, we have plans for this evening and tomorrow) to re-instate my menu planning, get some groceries, and get back into the groove.

Because my body is a lightening rod for the strange and ridiculous (seriously, how many other people do you know whose bruises scar, or who've broken their ankle in the deep end of a swimming pool?) I seem to have gotten a slight case of poison ivy the other day when I was outside cleaning Willows cage. The strangest part, though, is that it's only on my stomach, and I was totally wearing clothes the whole time.

I've been busy doing other stuff and haven't gotten around to sewing or doing anything crafty in a while, but it's not really bothering me. I mean, I want to, still, obviously, but it's not something I'm avoiding because I'm depressed (in fact, my medication seems to be working quite well!) so I'm not sad about it. Does that make sense? I'm just busy with life...and that's ok.

I do want to get outside and work on my table and chairs, though. I tried one day, and managed to clean the chairs off pretty good, but by the next day they were completely yellow again! Plus, until last week I'd been kind of stubborn and not wanting to admit that allergies were getting the best of me, but now that I'm taking something for them, I can breathe, and see, and think again!

Josh has switched from DJing on Thursdays to Saturdays, so that's fun. Saturdays are busier, and he's so happy when people are out dancing and enjoying what he's playing.

02 April, 2013

Photo diary and weekend recap

Hey, remember that time less than a month ago when I tried to make a photo diary of my day, and then it turned out to be the most Boring Day Ever? Well, I made another one, and this time it was a much more interesting day. Of course it was last week, and then I got all busy and forgot to post it, but it's still relevant and awesome. You should be warned, though, that the last couple of pictures are kind of hazy in my memory. Still a great day!

Thursday, 28 March, 2013

11:30 am. Wake up, find my shadow taking a bath. She sleeps in the guest room but comes and gets in bed with me when Josh gets up. (Feel free to ignore the stack of shoe boxes + random bras in the background.)

12:30 pm. Cook breakfast (potatoes & eggs, bacon) and sit down and eat it.

1:30 pm. Just got done with my eye doctor appointment. Got contacts, finally.

2:30 pm. Bored, so I took a picture of what I was wearing. (Note the shadow...) 

3:30 pm. Heating up jambalaya and unloading the dishwasher...

with the help of my shadow.

4 pm. Our Tonx finally arrived, so of course we immediately made some mid-afternoon coffee.

6 pm - another delivery! New dress = wardrobe change, duh.

8 pm. Showered, getting ready to head out, and making faces...because it's what I do.

The rest of these happened between 10 pm and 2 am, but there's no rhyme or reason. Just a great night out. :)

Josh on the decks.

I started out innocently enough...with water.

But for some reason was craving something salty. Had a dirty martini...which didn't cure it.

So I tried a flaming flamingo...which also didn't cure it, but also made me drunk enough to not care anymore.

I was given a bracelet.

Juzeh showed up and hung out for a good while.

and then things got...weird.

Fun fun.

Anyway. Friday I had my MRI in the afternoon, and we went and saw Juzeh's band play at a different bar...even though I was sober that night I managed to fall and almost die in the street (ok, that's a slight exaggeration). We still ended up at Grindhouse later though, and Josh got fed some crazy shots but didn't get too drunk. We had a lot of fun...again.

Saturday and Sunday we stayed in, relaxed, watched TV, and I started on my Spring cleaning...which means that that is exactly what I am avoiding doing right now....I always take about two weeks to finish it because I take so many breaks...ugh. But we have company coming next Thursday so it needs to be done by then! Yay, motivation! Anyway, I should probably get back to that, just wanted to share these pictures of what a slightly more typical day in my life is like.

27 March, 2013

Spring but not Spring

This weather is weird, man. I don't know what to make of it. On the one hand, I love the cold, and I really am enjoying every last drop of it that we're having...but on the other hand, I pulled my spring/summer wardrobe out like a month and a half ago, and...I haven't been able to wear any of it without throwing a sweater on top! Today was the last straw, though. I got new flip-flops (finally!).

Let me tell you a story about flip-flops: I don't like them. Never have. Not the flimsy, $2, Old Navy kind that everyone wears, anyway. I agree that they're easy to slip on as you run out the door, and they're cheap and easy to replace, but come on. They're ugly, and cheap, and I refuse to wear them. (Well, the cheap rubber kind at least.)

I do have a pair of Diane von Furstenberg flip-flops (that, for the record, are almost two years old and still functioning), and last year I bought a pair of black Polo ones. Unfortunately I made the mistake of throwing them in the washing machine once, and they did not survive that too well, so I've been on the lookout for a replacement pair for a while now...and today I found some! Josh and I were at TJ Maxx when I spotted these adorable black (Coach) flip-flops with a sweet little bow on them.

And I bought them. Duh. They're plastic, which makes for easy cleaning, and way durable, and, they actually have grip on the bottom! Bonus. These are easily going to become my go-to slip on everyday shoe.

Yesterday my newest bracelet arrived, a Marc by Marc Jacobs black/white leather piece, very cute:

I love it! (bottom one is also Marc by Marc Jacobs, but I already had it...just hadn't taken a picture yet!)

Anyway, I have one more thing coming, a dress that should be here Thursday, and then it's back to a self-imposed shopping ban for April.

Today (Tuesday) was the only day this week I didn't have a doctors appointment. Yesterday I saw the orthopedic specialist, tomorrow I see the psychiatrist, Thursday the eye doctor, and Friday I have an MRI on my knee. It sucks. I absolutely hate going to the doctor, any doctor, but it is a necessary evil. I'm just ready for it to be over with! At least yesterday's was the only early appointment, the rest of them are in the afternoon, so I don't have to get up early.

In other news, I kind of got off-track with my goals this month. Like I said before, it ended up being a really strange month, but I know that's no excuse. Obviously I'm still restricted from working out (doctors orders), but I'm trying to get back to eating right. I did ok while my parents were here, but since I was sick last week, I wasn't eating much at all, and now I'm trying to get back in the habit of cooking daily. (Which is only hard because doing that produces a lot of dishes, and loading/unloading the dishwasher is painful due to a lot of knee-bending.) I have only lost one pound so far this month - I'm not really pleased with that, but I'll take it. It's better than a gain.

Since I've got a lot going on the rest of the week I might not have time to post until the weekend, but I hope everyone is having a good week! Maybe it'll warm up and I can wear my new shoes out sometime this weekend! :)

24 March, 2013


Finally. I feel like I've been living in a fog this week. Sick from Sunday to Saturday, I finally felt normal again today. I still don't have my full sense of smell, and I only ate one meal, but for the most part I feel better. I washed everything, clothes, sheets, all the random blankets we have in the living room...if I touched it while I was sick, it got thrown in the washing machine today. I hate being sick, and don't want to relapse just because I stuck my face in a dirty pillow, you know?

Anyway, despite going to Dallas and having my beloved Whataburger (twice!) this week sort of sucked. There were still a few adventures thrown in there, like Herb not knowing how to tell us to exit (Herb is what we named our GPS voice-man), and finding out that DFW airport is so massive it basically has it's own highway system, and coming home in a different car than we left in, but I slept more than I was awake and I really can't tell you what days any of those things happened, or any other details that might be interesting.

Things have been so weird this whole month. Josh traveling, my knee being messed up, then getting sick, and then both of us traveling...I'm kind of ready to just be back to normal this week. I have my appointment with the orthopedic specialist early tomorrow morning, so hopefully I'll get some kind of resolution out of that, and not just another 'stay off of it and see what happens' kind of visit, because I'm tired of staying off of it. I also meet with the actual psychiatrist on Wednesday, and then the eye doctor on Thursday. It's another busy week, but Josh will be here, and all my appointments are close to the house, so it should be more normal than the past two weeks have been.

I don't have a menu planned for this week since I haven't been up to cooking or even thinking about what to cook just yet. I may plan something and go out tomorrow evening, depending on how I feel after my doctors appointment in the morning. I know that I need to get back on plan (I'm pretty sure that stopping my evening smoothies is what weakened my immune system in the first place!) but I also doing want to do too much to quick and relapse. I've done that before, and that's why I went ahead and stayed in from the time we got back on Wednesday until now...I do not want to be sick anymore. I hate it!

Ok, sorry for rambling on about being sick so much, but that's pretty much all that my life consisted of this past week. Sick at home, sick in a hotel room in Dallas, sick on the road, and more sick at home. Boring. This next week will definitely bring more blog-worthy happenings, as well as some deliveries! Ahh, retail therapy. Does the body good! ;)

17 March, 2013

Lazy Sunday

Today wasn't supposed to be such a lazy day, we had plans to go downtown for the St. Patrick's Day festivities, but I'm just so wiped out. I'm not used to going out and doing something every single day of the week (even if it was just shopping), and then when Josh got back we went out to the club where he DJs three nights in a row! So I decided to take today to relax, wash clothes, and get ready for this next week....

Josh has to go on another trip, but since it's only to Dallas, he decided to drive and take me with him. Which means that I am currently trying to do all the laundry, and decided what I want to take, and really hoping that this sore throat and cough I woke up with today doesn't turn into a full-blown cold. I also have a doctors appointment tomorrow afternoon, so we'll probably get up, go pick up our rental, wait for Aaron to get here (Joshs brother, he's house/dog/cat sitting for us), go to my doctors appointment, then pack up and leave since Josh has to get there and immediately get to work. I also have to call and reschedule my eye doctors appointment that I had on Wednesday, since we won't be back until late Wednesday night. And then, of course, we're right back to Thursday which is Joshs night to play.

I'm not complaining. Not in the least, I'm actually glad that we've got some fun stuff (finally!) happening in this town, and I'm definitely appreciative of the fact that Josh has such a great job that allows for us to do all the things we want, and that I can go on this trip with him, it just seems like it all happened at the same time. And I'm trying to hold it together, but...it's hard. I had to deal with a lot of anxiety triggers this week, but in all honesty, I didn't have time to have another anxiety attack.

I really would like to just lay down and go to sleep right now but I still have a lot of stuff that needs to get done before we leave tomorrow, and Josh is pretty useless in that sense. I'm also worried that if I go to sleep I'm just going to wake up even sicker, and want to do less than I do now. Anyway, I hope everyone has a great week, I probably won't get back on here until next weekend.

15 March, 2013

Friday fashion talk

Well so much for my 'no-buy' goal. My mom and I (famous for our shopping sprees) managed to keep it light, but we did shop every single day that Josh was gone.

We started it off Monday, with a trip to TJ Maxx not long after they arrived. (We certainly didn't waste any time.) My mom picked up some Coach tennis shoes, a shirt or two (I tried convincing her to buy a black version of the Michael Kors shirt I got, but she wasn't having it), and some houseware stuff. I got some face stuff off the clearance rack (Elizabeth Arden face mask, some crazy organic moisturizer, I forget the brand, and some nail polish), a hot pink Michael Kors shirt (see below) and a Max Studio maxi.

 (sorry about the blurry one, but it's the closest to showing the true color)

Tuesday we went to ReStore; she had brought like a huge box + 3 or 4 large bags of stuff, and I had 3 large bags. It filled up the entire back of her Escape, so it was a hefty load. Then we went in and shopped. She found a nice scarf with the tags still on it, and I got two shirts. I don't really intend to wear either as-is, but the black/gold one is so pretty, and detailed (and brand new, it had tags on it), that I am going to hold off on cutting into it until I have a solid plan.

Wednesday we headed to the mall, my mom wanted to get her hair cut, but we still managed to squeeze some store time in before and after. I picked up a pair of striped leggings (how on-trend am I, y'all?!), and an absolutely gorgeous navy blue ruffly Cremieux skirt I found on a clearance rack at Dillards. My mom got a few shirts and a hi/low (mermaid hem?) dress in oxblood (also off the clearance rack, they were packed with awesome stuff!) 

Thursday we stuck to the bookstore, my mom got a bunch of books but I didn't. I picked one out but decided to buy it on my Kindle instead. :)

Today, after my parents left, Josh and I went back and I found another Michael Kors shirt (nautical! perfection!) so that just sort of happened, but I really think it was worth it. It's beautiful, and dressier than a lot of things I own, so it will be a little more versatile.

Also included, for your consideration, two things I had mentioned but hadn't shared pictures of: the grey maxi skirt from last time we were at TJ Maxx (it's Max Studio) and my newest addition to my Marc by Marc Jacobs sunglasses collection. (Stars!)

Ok, well we're off for a night of fun and adventure, I'll catch up with you cats later and write more about the week, and our very exciting (not so much) travel plans for either next week, or the week after. Intrigue! (Or just poor planning, who knows.)

11 March, 2013

Emotional exhaustion

Anxiety attacks are so depleting. They take so much raw energy, so much emotion, but afterwards, even if there has been no resolution to the problem(s) you were stressed out about, you're so exhausted from the anxiety attack itself that it's typically easier to rest then.

Or at least that's been my experience with them.

I am supposed to be gone right now. Driving Josh to the airport, sending him off on the first business trip he's had to take in two years, but instead I'm sitting home, trying to keep my knee from swelling up even more, and wishing that anxiety was a curable disease...and that I was cured.

What actually set me off is not the fact that he was leaving, though, I'm okay with that; what I'm not okay with is the idea of having to drive to and from Little Rock (I've only been once, Josh drove and we just went to Whole Foods and back) alone. I'm good with directions, and have driven all over the place, from South Texas to Pittsburgh, and everywhere in between, but usually not alone. Plus, my knee is really messed up, worse than I initially thought it was, and being in a car that long would have been terribly uncomfortable.

I feel bad about it, but in a few ways it is more convenient this way. Less gas, less wear on the car, and I don't have to be worried about picking him up, and flight delays, and what not. He'll just drive himself home when he gets in.

I won't be stuck without a car, though, my parents are coming up later today, and they'll stay until Thursday...so I'll be alone (with the animals) until this afternoon, then again on Thursday for a few more hours. No big deal. Even if they weren't coming, I don't think I would have minded being car-less for a few days, not like I'm the type to run around and do stuff alone.

My appointment with the orthopedic specialist isn't until the 25th of this month, but if things get too much worse I may end up back at the regular doctors office before then. It's not really that it's painful, in fact the only time it really hurts is when I twist it to the side, it's just uncomfortable. It feels tight, almost like it needs to pop, but it's popped multiple times and that never seems to relieve any of the pressure. The only way I can describe it is like a rubber band that's stretched too far. It also kind of feels like my thigh muscle is pushing on my knee. It's gross, and weird, and I'm tired of it.

But despite all of that I am really looking forward to spending some time with my parents this week! Hopefully I'll be able to do something other than just sit around all week, my mom and I have a wonderful tradition of shopping that I can't imagine us not participating in any time we're together. ;)

We also have to go to ReStore, I have a few bags to donate, and my mom said she was bringing a few bags of clothes that someone gave her so that I could look through and see if anything struck my fancy, and if not we'd just donate all that too. I haven't done anything else since I hemmed up those shorts last week, there's nowhere for me to elevate my leg when I'm sitting at my craft table.

Josh got to DJ again on Thursday night. He could have on Friday too, but he wasn't scheduled too, so he was drinking...and he didn't want to embarrass himself. He ended up doing that anyway, mostly just because he gets ridiculous when he's drunk, but that's not nearly as bad as messing up a music set in front of a crowd of drunk people trying to dance. Then, he passed out in the car, and only woke up to tell me what a great pace I had going, and how well I was passing everyone without bumping them. (We were the only people on the road the whole way home.) I think he's been watching too much Nascar!

I'm making pancakes for my parents this week, I think I'm going to try the apple ones, so hopefully I remember to document the recipe and post it. I'm going to go finish trying to make almond butter now, and then hopefully get some rest before my parents get here!

P.S. If you're into dance music, Josh finally made a fan page on facebook...he posted a video I took the other night, and he's going to be adding some mixes soon so check it out!

07 March, 2013

Judgments, assumptions, and hatred, oh my

I've been thinking a lot lately about how we, as humans, have gotten more brazen with our judgements. I spoke about it some on facebook yesterday, but I feel like it's still weighing heavily on my mind, so I need to get it out.

Think back to ten years ago. If you saw someone in the grocery store wearing something you found inappropriate, you would judge them. Duh. So would I. But here's the difference; then, we would have shared a quiet snicker with the person with us, and forgotten about it by the time we got home. Now, the second we see it, we're stalking them, trying to sneak a picture. If we can't, we describe them in great detail, include our assumption of the situation, and post it to facebook. Don't deny it, I've done it too. It's so easy, and there's this feeling of safety, because it's the internet. If someone doesn't like it, we're hidden, safe in our own home. We can't see their reaction, how they raise their eyebrows as they scroll past it. If they choose to say something not in agreement with us, then we get defensive. Don't read my page, then! Delete me! You don't have to comment.

I feel like it's making us less compassionate. I'm not trying to say that we should just remove ourselves from society, or hand out $100 bills to strangers, or even ignore something that is blatantly dumb/ironic/amusing. But there is a delicate balance between the fleeting judgmental thought that crosses our mind initially, and taking the time to write/talk about someone whose life and situation is completely unknown to us.

I know it's not always easy. Everyone has bad days, days where everything frustrates them, and the smallest mistake on the part of another person can seem like a catastrophe. I know that sometimes you just need to vent, let off some steam, and sometimes the easiest way to do that is to tear other people down.

But tearing other people down just because you don't know them isn't a solution, it's a deeper problem.

It hurts my soul when I see people I know and love spewing judgment and hatred, tearing complete strangers down so unnecessarily.

The frazzled mom with four kids who's $20 short on her grocery bill, and looks like she's about to burst into tears? Her husband of 17 years transferred their life saving to an offshore account in his girlfriends name, and quit paying the mortgage. She's about to be homeless but can't get help since she's still technically married.

The 'thug' in a hoodie in the middle of summer, lurking in the grocery store parking lot? He's covering up burn scars on his arms, given to him by his own abusive mother. That's also who he's avoiding.

The pretty girl in the checkout line, paying with food stamps but sporting a nice outfit and freshly cut hair? She saved change for a month so that she could afford to buy something nice from a discount store, and look appropriate for an important job interview.

The short guy in the giant truck, the one you're rolling your eyes at and mentally accusing of having a 'complex'? He was in a car accident last week. He can't afford a rental, but a friend loaned him the truck so he could run some errands.

That girl you called a 'meth head' over there, missing her front teeth? She was beat into a coma trying to fight off her mothers drunk boyfriend. She spends more time volunteering at a domestic violence shelter than she does working, so she can't afford the dental work she needs.

The cashier who didn't smile at you? He got a phone call on his lunch break that his dad's cancer came back, and he has less than a year to live.

The jerk that cut you off, and is speeding like a maniac? He just got a hang-up call from his girlfriend, who's currently being stalked by her violent ex.

The pregnant teenager you called a slut? She was on her way to becoming a doctor until she was drugged and raped at a party; her ultra religious parents blamed her, and refused to let her get an abortion. She's being forced to quit school and get a job.

The old lady at the mall that asked you for help with something, and then proceeded to take 30 minutes talking about her life? She could be your future husbands grandmother. She could have an envelope full of cash in her purse, and just be looking for a kindred spirit to share it with.

I'm not saying I'm perfect, or that I don't judge anyone. I do. It's human nature, and in a lot of cases, the thoughts cross our minds before we even realize they're forming. But what we are in control of is how we react - whether or not we treat that person based on our initial (and probably wrong) assumptions, or whether we are able to step back, and treat them with dignity and respect, without bias.

I have been on both sides of the situation, I've had assumptions I made about people get proved wrong, and I've had people judge me. It's not a nice feeling, to be cast to the fringes, to know that people are talking about you, scrutinizing your every moment, waiting for you to fail. It sucks. It adds unnecessary stress, and in some cases, it can make an already broken down soul think that there is nothing to look forward to.

I don't want to alienate anyone by speaking my mind about this. I just want to make people realize that judging other people only hurts yourself. People know when they're being judged, but in most cases, you are the least of their worries.

Next time you find yourself mentally assaulting a stranger, take a step back. First, think about your day. Did something happen that made you upset? Are you taking your frustrations out on a stranger? Second, look down. What are you wearing? Carrying? Who's with you? Because in all honestly, someone else is probably judging you too.

And third, think about this: people like to throw around the phrase 'Everything happens for a reason" when something bad happens, but if you truly believe that, they take a quick second to dissect it. Everything. EVERYTHING happens for a reason. The girl who held you up at Target, made you 10 minutes late to dinner, and who was dressed so atrociously you had to memorize every detail of her outfit so that you could post about it later...was in a car accident after she left. A car accident that you could have been in, had she not slowed you down. But you were so busy rushing home and making fun of her on facebook, you didn't even hear about it.

05 March, 2013

Gluten free pancakes, a recipe.

So I made a recipe. Kind of. I did what I usually do, found something edible, and tweaked it until I had something (that at least Josh and I found) spectacular. I also know that pancakes aren't exactly rocket science, but you should also know that before I perfected this recipe, I didn't even care for pancakes all that much. I ate them growing up, when my mom made them, but I didn't make any myself until sometime last year. Even then, I only made them twice, because it was a lot of work for something that was just barely satisfactory. I don't like making things if I can't make them with a 'WOW' factor, so I stopped.

Once I went gluten-free I didn't miss them, really. But then I discovered that you can use pre-mixed gluten free pancake and waffle mixes for a lot of things. There's a few different brands (1.2.3 Gluten free, Pamela's, Bobs Red Mill, Hodgson Mill, Bisquik) but I like Hodgson mill the best. Anyway, if you're new to the gluten-free life, experiment a bit, or if you're down for it, buy all the different flours (plus xanthan gum) and mix up a pancake mix yourself. I can't justify doing it, since I've cut my baking down to almost nothing, but I have found that it's handy to keep a box or two of mix around to use when I need small amounts of flour, or get that rare craving for a pancake.

Which is what happened the other night. After seeing at least three different 'cinnamon bun pancake' recipes floating around last week, none of which were gluten free, I thought to myself, "SELF. Those people are doing it wrong. You could do this simpler, healthier, tastier, and gluten free. GET ON IT." So I did. I whipped up a batter, threw together a simple icing, and ate them. And they were delicious. So delicious, in fact, that I managed to convert myself not only to being a pancake fan, but a pancake aficionado. I suddenly desired to make delicious, gluten free, gourmet style pancakes. I have plans for chocolate ones, carrot cake ones, and apple pie ones (with a special twist), but for the moment, let me present my version of the cinnamon bun pancake. I'm calling them:

The pancakes are delicious by themselves, but I took them to the next level with a simple cream cheese glaze in between them, and some strawberries on top.

Ready to whip some up?

Here's what you'll need to know first:
This recipes makes two servings (four medium pancakes) and the nutrition facts at the end are for one serving, half the batter.

If you plan on making the glaze, pull your cream cheese out of the fridge and let it soften. Get your eggs out too, and let them get to room temperature. I would do this at least 30 minutes before you start making the pancakes. Same goes for the strawberries - mine were actually frozen, so I put them in the fridge last night so they could thaw.

15 minutes before you start, get your chia seeds soaking in a small container.


1 cup gluten free pancake & waffle mix (or, if you're fancy, your own gf flour/xanthan gum combo)
2 tbsp sugar (I used powdered, but any kind works.)
*2 tbsp chia seeds pre-soaked for 15 minutes in 3 tbsp water
2 eggs
2 tbsp sour cream
¾ cup milk
1 tbsp high-grade maple syrup
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt

1 tbsp cream cheese
1 heaping tbsp powdered sugar (reserve some for sprinkling)
1 tbsp milk

Strawberries, thawed from frozen or fresh, your choice. (that's easy enough, right?)


Start mixing your batter. Combine all the dry ingredients in one large bowl (pancake mix, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and baking powder), and your wet ones in a smaller bowl (soaked chia seeds, eggs, milk, maple syrup, and sour cream.) Whisk the wet ingredients together until everything is well combined. Then pour them into the dry ingredients, and mix that together really well. If it doesn't look runny enough to you, add some milk one tablespoon at a time. (This can happen if you wait too long to start cooking it, the chia seeds will keep soaking up liquid.)

Pour one fourth of the batter (or less if you want to make smaller pancakes) into a nonstick pan heated to medium heat. Flip when bubbles start popping up on the uncooked side.

While that's happening combine the icing ingredients together in a small bowl, and whisk them together until they're well combined and the consistency of a thick icing. Spread on top of one cooked pancake that's already been plated. Cover with another cooked pancake. It'll melt and start oozing out the edges. That's a good thing, don't worry.

Pour your thawed strawberries (or fresh ones) on top of the pancakes, juice and all, and then sprinkle the last bit of your powdered sugar on top. (If you have to reach in the bag and get just a little more on your spoon, it's okay. I won't tell.) Serve immediately, and devour.


So, obviously these would not fly as low calorie, but they're definitely worth the splurge, maybe as a treat on the weekend. (I fit them in today by keeping dinner light, and napping through lunch, though not intentionally.)

They are pretty high in fiber, thanks to the chia seeds, and if you use the oil the box recipe calls for instead of syrup (boring!) you could cut a lot of sugar (and probably a few calories). You could also drop the sour cream (it just helps to keep them fluffy) or substitute butter milk or whipping cream in it's place.

Again, I'm no expert, so if you don't like them, tweak the recipe, I won't be offended. Just know that Josh, who doesn't have to eat gluten free, said these are the best pancakes he's ever had, gluten free or not. ;)


*You don't have to use chia seeds in your batter, obviously, but I like them, and they really help to balance out the nutritional value without changing the taste very much.

**I forgot to mention that this is for one serving of icing. Josh ate his pancakes with just syrup.



five days five ways | feature friday free for all

04 March, 2013

Photo diary for the most boring day ever.

For some reason, early this morning (I'm talking early, like 3 am-ish) I decided that I was going to do one of those 'day in the life of' kind of posts, and document my day with a bunch of pictures, and I had wonderful ideas of how grand it would be...but then I realized my camera battery was dead, and besides, at the time I thought of it I had a cat on my lap and I wouldn't have been able to get up anyway, so I made do with my phone. And then I realized how boring today was, and how lazy I'm going to look...but I'm going to post it all anyway.

Get ready to be blown away by how epically boring my life is.

This is when I came up with the idea, sometime been 3 and 6 am. Watching NCIS I think.

Just after sunrise. Obviously still watching TV, but we had moved on to Pretty Little Liars. (and broken our pact: we watched three episodes.)

Orion is always happy and ready to play when he wakes up for the day, so we turned off the TV and got up.

My knee started bothering me, so I popped a pain killer, but not without first getting it approved by my shadow. (Don't worry, she didn't do anything but sniff it.)

It didn't take long for it to kick in, and  I ended up sitting on the floor with Orion.

By the time this happened I figured I should probably just go ahead and lay down in bed, even though that felt like defeat, for some odd reason.

I rubbed icy hot on my knee, then wrapped it up to try and keep from getting icy hot rubbed all over the sheets. That just made it really hot, but I managed to fall asleep anyway.

Of course my shadow showed up at some point. I got up at 4.

We came and checked the twitters and what not...

Belle cranked out a few tunes...

And guarded the door while I used the bathroom.

I made bacon.

Orion tried to offer his toy some food.

Josh did the weekly grocery shopping, and I put everything away.

...and that's just about it. I did make some really awesome pancakes too, but I forgot to take pictures of them because they were so good that I just ate them. Immediately.

I didn't work out today because the pain killers make me really woozy, and while swinging a kettle bell around isn't exactly operating heavy machinery, I don't need to knock myself in the back of the head or drop it on my toe or something. Also, because I slept so much, all I ate all day was the bacon and pancakes, so...not exactly the nutritious meal I need to fuel a work out either. I'll definitely try to get something done tomorrow. At some point.

I'm debating whether or not I should go sleep some more. Josh went to bed a while ago, and I'm tired, but I also know I already took a huge nap today. What a problem to have...

I think I probably should have done this on a different day. I swear I'm not always this lazy. I usually cook at least twice, and I usually do laundry or something, but I got it all done yesterday, and Josh volunteered to do the dishes today since I have been in pain. Poor planning. I'll do it again, maybe on Thursday, I think Josh is going to end up having a residency at the club he's been playing at, so that will make for a more interesting read.