The Blogwritings, musings and lighthearted banter

May

13

Good diary (001)

I’ve recently found myself very fascinated with the trend of “food diaries”, little collages of what people ate in a day. We are what we eat, right? Right! Everything you eat – how you eat, when you eat, the portions you eat… These forces dictate the shape of your body, and even your mood, morale, and wellness. I love being able to peep into a day of someone’s life and connect the dots with their diet and their physical appearance (and even their level of health/fitness)… to learn.

…Being so passionate nutrition, you’d think I’d have it all figured out for myself by now. I’m still learning what is right and wrong for my body, how much to eat, when to eat, which foods my body is sensitive to. It’s never an easy process because there is a lot of sorting through what the mind wants, what the body needs, and what the heart CRAVES…

fooddiary

BREAKFAST:  2 scrambled eggs with bacon bits, baby bella mushrooms, and unpasteurized butter. Goat milk/Almond milk cappuccino. Ezekiel toast with organic peanut butter, 1 banana.

SNACK:  About 1/4 cup of mixed raw nuts and blueberries

LUNCH:  Spinach salad topped with left-over chicken, apple chunks, hemp seeds, nuts, olive oil and lemon juice. 1 smoothie with zucchini, mixed greens, 1/2 banana, a few strawberries, hemp protein

SNACK: My Homemade instant oatmeal, blueberries and walnuts, half a apple. Goat milk cortado.

DINNER:  Homemade hamburger patty with bacon over a spinach salad, with avocado, mixed greens, baby bella mushrooms, and tomatoes. I also ate some kimchi I forgot to photograph! Good bugs people, don’t forget your good bugs.

SNACK:  More nuts with chocolate and coconut shavings. Also a cup of tea had joined in on the fun!

This is a rather typical day of meals for me… There are times I eat so very little and times I out-eat my husband and son put together, but more and more I aim for better consistency and portion control. (I have a tendency to want to gorge then fast). The goal should to be to never feel hungry but to also never be stuffed. Feeling “satiated” is a confusing balance to find. When one feels the need to overeat, is this the body telling you it’s time to replenish, restock, and refuel? Is that the body speaking? Could be. Or it could also be something like spikes in insulin levels and blood sugar. Especially if you’ve had a lot of sugar or carbs in your suddenly, and ESPECIALLY if you have inflammation from, say…, antibiotics anybody? You may suffer uncontrollable cravings and dreams of food because something’s out of whack. Well, all that should be a post all in itself…

Moving on, I think it’s good to rest from food(s). Although this is a typical day for me, the following day, I may (within reason) rest from bread/grains, or protein, or healthy fats, but I rarely skip a meal all together. Some days I’ll snack more often, and other days I’ll choose the more standard 3 meals in a day to allow rest upon my digestion between meals. I feel consistency within phases is beneficial, which is going back to the idea of rest periods as well. If you’re curious about trying this type of cycling, just pick a day to eat less protein than usual and more veggies/carbs. Or a day with less carbs and more protein. You don’t want to cause yourself to feel hungry, but resting organs from working in certain ways is beneficial for their endurance. Think of it as a muscle… you WANT to work it to strengthen it, but then you rest it so that the muscle rebuilds and replenish itself after the damage which causes it to strengthen!

I try to eat very calorie dense. Meaning, I aim to pack-in a lot of calories into small portions of food. This is because I’m incredibly active and burn a lot of energy/fuel and require a high amount of daily calories to maintain weight (about 2,200-3000 calories daily), but eating a lot of food at one time gives me digestive stress. “Clean” whole food calories also do not equal the calories in less healthy foods, meaning, you have to eat more when you eat clean to maintain weight. Think, adding butter, oil, nuts, whole milk, avocados, homemade dressings, and toppings to everything. These types of high calorie items are not only a great way to dress up a meal, it’s WHERE THE CALORIES ARE. So, opposite is true if you are trying to lose weight – eat less toppings and fixings when trying to shed pounds.

I like to get in the bulk of my calories early in the day. Breakfast is the most important meal, they say, and I love eating with that in mind! I treat myself to an extra big breakfast every morning. After the night’s fast, it’s a good thing. Ok now, don’t go telling me you aren’t a breakfast or morning person – because I never was either. We can condition our bodies into different habits and routines, and I did just that. I used to always skip breakfast and just eat lunch and dinner, and lunch was typically a cinnamon roll and a coffee drowned in caramel syrup. Yeahhhh. My breakfasts are now my “me” time before the kids get up, and I take the time to eat slowly (which is UBER important!) and get in all my most important nutrients and bulk of my calories. Plus I read, enjoy the quiet and simply set the pace for the rest of the day.

…Enjoyed this post? Let me know in the comments so I know to make more of them or not! ;)

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May

13

60s Micro Mini

This dress! She’s so sweet and most importantly, now available in my easy shop! Elegant high-necked collar, billowy sleeves, little ruffles and lace details, this dress just melts me!

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Mar

19

Myofascial Release for your Core

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Hey buddies! To The Core is a new segment I am trying out! I’m still working out the details, but I think you guys will like what’s in store….

 

Since finding out I had Diastasis Recti, I underwent a lot of experimentation with different techniques and methods to self-heal my condition. So much failures, but in the end… Success. And sucess makes failures tiny victories. In the early stages of my health+fitness journey, I noticed my waist and obliques actually getting wider, and that the gap between my abdominals was getting worse. Is this due to exercise? In a sense, yes. When researching DR, you here so much of “which exercises are safe for me to do?”, “planks are no good”, or “can I do things like hang, golf, or do yoga ever again?”. The answer is both simple and complex. If you do these things, YES, it can make your condition worse. But the underlying issue, ladies, is a lack of mobility! “bulky”, tight, stiff muscles….

….Don’t you know that if an athlete jumps right into their sport without first preparing and conditioning PRIOR AND FOLLOWING their intense movements AND ACTIVITY, the result is almost always injury. My stiff obliques were actually pulling my abdominals apart FURTHER, to compensate for the lack of mobility. 

The fix? Loosening those muscles and creating softness and mobility throughout them – so that your abdominals are ABLE to tone and tighten, closing the gap, and returning to the position they are meant to be in – nice and tight against your sides!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . 


Don’t have a foam roller? Use a toy ball, which is just as effective! (I’m using a thick, scrap cardboard tube… Get creative!)


// Oblique Stretches:

1. With a ball or foam roller, position the object into the notch of your waist. Simply lay there, or rock   gently side to side or up and down just slightly. For 1-3 minutes. 

**YES, it is supposed to hurt! These tight muscles have not been stretched or massaged in probably…. EVER. The pain disipates in one – three sessions and everything begins to feel very relaxing and therapeutic.

***try it while watching TV with the family! 

2. After stretching one side, lay on your back and pull your leg across to the other side, while facing away in a gentle “side-lying twist” stretch. 

**This should not hurt or pull… It’s just a nice stretch to top everything off.

3. Repeat Step 1 and 2 on the other side.  . . . . . . . . . . . .

// Ab Stretches:

1. Lay on your stomach and slowly sink into an almost “upward dog” position, then flat on to your stomach – with the roller or ball beneath you and below your sternum, pushed against your upper ab muscles. Lay there for a minute or two, or until sore muscle pain eases.

2. Finish with a good but gentle upward dog stretch. Never do a full upward dog, which is actually quite intense.. Something you have to work up to doing over time.

**Again – Do NOT overstretch the muscles by being too gunho! Breath out with every movement through your mouth, so your diaphragm properly contracts your abs and keeps the core steady against the stretching. And slow and steady wins the race!

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Mar

04

Hello Shoppy

WOWIE! Just got the shop out of storage! I’m going through things currently and checking things over for any possible moving damages. Yeah, it’s pretty overwhelming…. To say the least. I’ve had two break downs since getting it all out and one argument with Thomas – whoops! But you can expect some lovely things about to unfold from my misery. JOKING, joking. But seriously.

…Along with trying to get back in the swing of things, you can expect a ton of other new exciting things around here.. And since the basis of my new goals will focus on using my iPhone as my sole device, I’m feeling inspired to have an easier time being active in social media and the shop (because let’s face it, being a mom means either no sleep or no work… And I truly have a hard time finding the balance).

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Feb

18

Aya’s Au Naturel Oatmeal

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It seems like one of the first picks for a healthy yet satisfying breakfast is oatmeal, especially when you’re trying to get away from processed foods and refined flours and sugars. For the most part I think it’s good to keep grains on the down-low, everything in moderation as they say, and a bowl of oats is a great way to get in your grains without including the nasty ingredients you’ll find in store-bought breads and cereals… and you still get your sweet fix.

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{ Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal with raisins }

What I LOVE about oatmeal is its versatility. It can be made with water or any kind of milk, limitless toppings and ingredients, easy and fast to make, cheap, convenient, and D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S. What I love about MY oatmeal, is that cooking it with milk instead water, and not adding more moisture at the end, makes it more like a bread or cake (VS that porridge consistency). YUM!!! If you don’t like oatmeal, I urge you to try liking it! Again and again! My kids fight me on oatmeal too, and the best way I’ve found that they’ll eat it is to prepare it in granola form. I’ll save that recipe for another day, but that was an example of how you can get yourself to like it. Try different toppings, using milk to cook it with or experimenting with the oatmeal texture itself.
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{ Blue berry oatmeal, Strawberry and walnut oatmeal, banana-nut bread oatmeal }

Bananas, apples, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, granola, muffin crumbs – even carrots (with cinnamon and raisins for a faux carrot cake!) can dress up a boring bowl of oatmeal, throw in some nuts, seeds, dried berries and you get a sensation of flavors that keep oatmeal new and exciting every time…

…My husband and I even developed an embarrassing taste for bacon in our oatmeal. Not mixed really, just sticking up out of the top or on the side. Taking a bite of that salty goodness along with the sweet oatmeal is to die for.

I like to imagine oatmeal as my base, and build it up with fixings to satisfy my cravings for… cinnamon-rolls, apple fritters, carrot cake, pancakes… you know, all those “healthy” breakfasts.

 

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The bestest BEST thing about this recipe is that it’s robust sweetness is pure natural goodness. I like to use 100% real and organic maple syrup and raw honey. Just a little bit goes a long way, and you don’t get the negative side effects of refined sugar.

What you’ll need… (1 serving)

  • 1/2 Old Fashioned Oats (steel cut are great too!)
  • 1 cup whole milk (or what you prefer)
  • 1/2 tbsp real butter (optional)
  • 1/2 tbsp Real Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 tbsp Raw Honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt (I like pink himalayan)
  • Your fav fixings

 

  1. Prepare oatmeal as directed with box instructions (Bring milk to a boil, then turn onto medium-low and add oats).
  2. Add in the syrup, honey, cinnamon, vanilla, butter. Allow to simmer until oats are soft but not mushy, and the milk has nearly fully absorbed into the oats.
  3. Give it a taste. Add more sweets if you need it, you bad bad child you!
  4. Put the oatmeal into an appetizing bowl. I know I can’t eat unless my bowl is pretty.
  5. Add your fav fixings! This is the fun part!

This oatmeal costs about 500 calories. I know that seems like a lot, but I try to get in the majority of my calories with my breakfast and never hold back on my fixings. Breakfasts should be the largest meal of the day, with meals getting progressively smaller in the evening. And if you’ve just started cleaning up your diet, you’ll soon learn that unhealthy calories are NOT equal to healthy calories, and you can get away with eating more – NO – you NEED to consume more calories just to maintain weight.

Enjoy!

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Aug

24

Lavender Blue

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{ I’m wearing a vintage 1950s dress from Lantana Vintage // Ayla… her sassy self }

Saturdays are almost always my favorite day of the week! I guess that’s pretty common, but so long as we aren’t photographing a wedding or portrait session, it’s the one day of the week that we are free to do whatever we want as a family. Of course farmers market is one of our absolute favorite things to go and do, even if it’s just to walk around and absorb some vitamin D… lavender_2 lavender_3

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49 Comments

Aug

14

Wendy and Taylor

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We love our jobs… truly. When a wedding like Wendy and Taylor’s steals our breath away and we bond with the bride and groom in a new-found friendship, we are left with enchanted hearts and fond memories. Capturing the love, the moments, the joy and excitement… it’s just… indescribable. I will definitely be sharing more from this breathtaking session soon, but for now… more editing photos while sitting on the couch with Ayla… watching oh-so-fun episodes of Dora and Curious George ;)

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…Want to inquire about our photography? See our online portfolio here or contact us here!

9 Comments

Aug

07

Phases…

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Life seems to be “dishing” out so many new beginning and ending of phases in what seemed like our very-settled lives together. We’ve simply never encountered so many curve-balls, dealt with such insecurities, or witnessed drastic changes as a family since, probably, the birth of our SON... I guess it was just time for things to change. Time to mature a bit more. Depression has been a struggle, I must admit…

…But.. I know it’s all for the best too, because we’ve also been blessed in ways that reminded us how beautiful life truly is, the potential it has to offer, and gifts of new-found JOY in place of melancholy hearts. Temporal things seem more trivial than they did before, and I feel constantly wooed by my family on a daily basis. These hard times have humbled me, and us, in ways I didn’t know were necessary… but they are. To grow.

After our move, one of the things that has hurt me the most is putting Lucien in public school. It was difficult not to fixate on the negatives… have a bad habit of doing, but I get this feeling there are going to be bountiful blessings in store, and I shouldn’t feel so much woe. So… I can’t wait to sit back and let them unfold.

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Psalm 74:21
Do not let the oppressed retreat in
disgrace; may the poor and needy
praise your name.
12 Comments

Mar

13

Wild Thing

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{ Click to learn more about Strawberry Koi Photography }

There are times I want SO badly want to share with all of you the true, natural, and genuine SPUNK this little wild thing has. Because it’s unreal, seriously. But.. honestly, she moves so much that it’s simply too difficult to capture. With that said, we had to try after she was quiet for too long and we found her like THIS. As much as I was a bit horrified, I was also pretty impressed…

…I knew it the day I found out I was pregnant with Ayla, that she was a girl.. That she was a girl, and that she’d be extra feminine (it’s all about her nails, dresses and hair… and guys, up until I was 22 I NEVER wore dresses or makeup!). I knew she’d also have extra spunk, extra ornery-ness, and extra rottenness. My son has always been pretty reserved and laid-back, so their differences can be a little surprising at times. But I’m telling you… she can kick and punch, debate, and roll her eyes like nobody’s business. This girl… is truly a wild thing (OH, but ask HER, and she’ll politely command that you call her “Princess Ayla”!)

 
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44 Comments

Feb

26

Sweet Sundays // Waffle French Toast

wafflefrenchtoast_1 Ok, it’s a little early for a Sweet Sundays, but everyday should be a sweet day, I say. And lets face it, I’m a rule-breaker. This is probably my new favorite thing to make… maybe because it’s just SO easy, or because it’s a blast to make. But mostly because it’s absolutely, amazingly, and utterly DELICIOUS. Seriously… try it. It will blow yoh mind.

\\ What you’ll need //

  • About 6 oz of your favorite milk.
    (I use whole or heavy whipping cream, or a combo of the two. It makes the batter sweeter and creamier)
  • 3-4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • A splash of vanilla
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons of cinnamon
  • 6-8 slices of your fav bread (I like to use whole grain/whole wheat)

* Makes about 7 pieces

{ Photos by me, iphone and VSCOcam }

Yes, these are “eyeball-it” ingredients. Adjust accordingly to your needs. Just aim to make the batter creamy, but still runny. All the other things are to your taste! It doesn’t need to be perfect though, so don’t sweat the consistency too much because you can always add more of ingredients as you go.  Have left-over batter? Have no fear, simply fry it up at the end and serve the best scrambled eggs of your life as a breakfast side!

  1. Preheat your oven at the lowest temp. Use the oven to keep your finished pieces of toast warm while you prepare the rest of the batch.
  2. Preheat your waffle iron as well. (If you haven’t a waffle iron, prepare like traditional French Toast. Use a skillet over medium heat on the stove-top, useing unsalted butter to grease the skillet as you go. Flip the toast over after a minute or two)
  3. Mix the milk, eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon in a small baking dish or pan. Whisk together.
  4. Lay one-two pieces of bread in the baking dish for a few seconds to absorb the batter, turn it over and match the other side.
  5. Place the bread into the waffle iron (multiple slices is OK if you have a very large iron)
  6. Lower the top and allow the iron to do its thang!

When the waffle iron’s finished cooking, that’s it! Top with powered sugar, fruit, honey, maple syrup or even eat as a sandwich with those delectable left-over batter scrambled eggs in between.

5 Comments