Sunday, March 22, 2015

Things I love: Spring Edition


In the last week, the temperatures were finally above freezing and we saw substantial snow melt! After a few days of trading in my heavy coat for a fleece, I'm practically ready for sandals :)

These glimpses of spring give me hope that I won't be wearing wool socks and bulky boots for more than a month. I'm so ready to wear cute flats and lighter layers. Lately, I've had my on these finds and I'm calling them my spring wish list.



1- Altar'd State Urban Stripes Dress // 2- Nickel + Suede Suba Blue Leather Earrings // 3- Seamly Co Vallynne Tank // 4- The Jones Market Adjustable Necklace in Gold + Champaign Sparkle // 5- Root Collective Ballet Flats // 6- Country Club Jamberry nail wraps // 7- Fashion Able Anchinalu Solid Infinity Scarf

For 10% off from Fashion ABLE use this link.

What's on your spring wish list?


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Retreating as a Mom


Last weekend I went on a retreat with four women from my church. It was a mother's retreat. 

Reading the blurb in our church announcements a few weeks ago made me cringe. It sounded so not me. I found out from a friend involved in the planning, it was meant to be a chance to get away and focus on your own personal relationship with God. 

I breathed a sigh of relief and signed up after discussing it with my husband a bit. I was not interested in a retreat about how to mother. I was interested in some time away and getting to know some other women better (who also happen to be mothers). 

I talked to a few women about going and signed up but I still felt a bit anxious. Thankfully, that didn't stop me from showing up.

Sometimes, I think mothering has a lot to do with simply showing up; we don't necessarily have it all mapped out, but we keep at it every.single.day.

The retreat itself was a breath of fresh air. I spent some time outside and had encouraging conversations with the women I went with. The speaker reminded us that God delights in us, allows us to lament (He can take it) and grants us peace which frees up our minds to meet the needs of others. 


There was also a cooking demonstration from a local chef who taught us to make two dishes. On Saturday afternoon I had every intention of taking a nap, but ended up going for a walk. It was a great chance to slow down and take in my surroundings. 

On the car ride home we agreed it was a good opportunity to get away and take some time for ourselves, which usually feels selfish.

Upon my return on Sunday afternoon, I was greeted by a squeal and shout of "Mommy!" from my daughter. 

There will be days I'm not greeted with such enthusiasm and I'll even go without being acknowledged. But for now, I treasure those greetings of squeals and keep plugging away at this mothering gig. I don't have it all figured out and a weekend away wasn't going to shed much light on the mysterious things my daughter does. 

I want to treasure the reminder of the freedom we get from seeking God's peace. Too often I don't seek His peace and feed off the frenzy of what's going wrong. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

On Slowing the Negative Self-Talk


Do you ever feel like an impostor? Like you're going through the motions and wondering when someone will notice you aren't doing the thing they think you are.

I feel like an impostor when grace is extended to me from the last place I expected.

Earlier today, I expected to be perceived as a disapointment. Instead I was met with an unexplainable dose of grace. Words of affirmation were spoken.


I'm hard on myself and I don't think I'm alone in that.

When I leave the house a few minutes behind schedule on a workday, I can let it get the best of me. And by best of me, I mean I talk myself into a bad mood in the fifteen minute drive from daycare to work. It was five minutes, Beth, relax. That kind of self talk is dangerous.

It got me thinking: what positive things do I tell myself? 

Tomorrow, I am going to write them down throughout my day. I'm going to consciously take note of those things that go well in an effort to NOT beat myself up. Because, honestly I need to give myself a break.

I need to put the brakes on the negative self-talk. Because when I'm thinking negatively about myself, I start to think negatively about those around me. I get critical and that often leads me down a treacherous path.

I may not start the day like this, but on second thought, why not?

What has your self-talk tape been playing?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Stuff Swap with Good Cheese


Transition is hard. Each time I go through one, I am somehow still surprised by the challenges that come with a new place. I find this baffling because I often tell people about my upbringing as an Air Force brat with a sense of pride.

I am proud to have moved around as a kid and often point to those experiences as growing pains that allowed me to succeed in college or even make it on my own as a single girl in a new city fresh out of grad school.

But I have to admit, I still struggle with change.

The past year and a half brought change in both my professional and personal life. The biggest change being motherhood. I've struggled with friendships and making "mom friends."


Around New Years I was feeling sorry for myself and complaining to my husband once again. He lovingly challenged me and asked "what have you done to get to know them?" referring to a group of women I would classify as acquaintances.

Although his question was what I needed to hear, I did not receive it so graciously.

I wish it would have stopped me in my tracks, but instead I thought about it for about a week. It wasn't pretty, but I realized I was expecting people to come to me and ask me all the questions I had assumed they had. I made it all about me. Yuck.

I had not considered what ways I needed to put myself out there and open myself up to let them know I was looking to forage new friendships.

I decided I should host this group of people in our home. As uncomfortable as it might be, I needed to open the door to my unfinished, not-even-mid-renovation house and feed these women I hoped to build a friendship with some wine and cheese.

To make it more interesting than "come hang out with me," I decided we needed something to do. I had heard of clothing swap parties before and loved the idea of an accessory swap (it is more inclusive of all shapes and sizes), so I went for it.

I created the event/invite on Facebook and was encouraged by people responding that they were coming, asking me what they could bring when they saw me in person and commenting/asking questions via Facebook.

People were talking about it!

As the night of the event drew closer,  I decided to keep the food simple with a cheese spread from Trader Joe's, wine, crackers, and other nibble-type things. After all, I had finished the Whole30 earlier that week and all I wanted was bread and cheese!



For the swap part, I tried to keep it simple and had everyone lay out their items in our dining room. We used the dining table and mantle to display the scarves, hats, purses, necklaces, bracelets and more. Once everything was laid out, we drew numbers and took turns selecting one item at a time. Everyone walked away with 5-6 new to them items and the remaining items are being donated to a local family shelter.

By the end of the night, we decided a kitchen gadget swap was next!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Two Weeks Post-Whole30 and Our New Kitchen Staples


I can't believe it's already been two weeks since we ended the Whole30 diet. I promised I'd be back with some of our staple foods while we were doing Whole30. And two weeks later, our habits have stayed the same in terms of the types of things we keep in the pantry and refrigerator.


Our kitchen "staples" look a little different and our grocery shopping list contains more fresh ingredients and a lot less dairy and processed products.

We still eat raw nuts and use them in recipes. Eggs and veggies are almost always on our breakfast plates. We've replaced pasta with cooked veggies like broccoli and zucchini. I am still drinking my coffee black, but I was glad to re-introduce red wine into the routine.

We may not be sticking to Whole30 anymore, but we are generally eating "clean" from one day to the next. I've found some great flour-less recipes for sweet treats.


Some of our favorites from Trader Joe's include: 1- plantain chips (great for guacamole or on their own) 2- Ruby Red Chai Tea 3- 21 Seasoning Salute 4- broccoli slaw (we boiled this a few times and used it as pasta with meatballs and marinara) 5- kalamata olives (great on salads and on their own) 6- macadamia nuts 7- raw cashews

TJ's isn't exactly around the corner (it's a 30 minute drive), so some of our staples aren't pictured. Other kitchen staples include: coconut flour, almond flour/meal, ghee, medjool dates and dill pickles.

So, what are we really eating two weeks after finishing our Whole30? Our weekly menu consists of mostly paleo meals and I've been pinning them on this board.

Of course we have had our "cheat" moments, but they are usually planned and with good reason. We ate donuts this past weekend, but I made this flour less cake for our at-home Valentine's Day treat and we ate these pumpkin pancakes.


Honestly, I don't feel like we're missing out, but I do love a good donut...on occasion of course!