Mexico 2015.

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The plain old truth is that I haven’t quite known what to say.  I’ve toyed with shutting my little blog down because I hardly think what I have to share is of any consequence in light of my recent discoveries in all things spiritual.  Then again maybe the little things of life are that much more important because ‘heaven is all around us’ as it were.

We went to Mexico again this year and it was amazing.

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It was a slower pace than normal for me and I realize that part of my emotional/spiritual journey will be learning how to truly slow down.  It is only when I slow down that I can enjoy motherhood.  As a mother I am constantly pulled to move quickly to avoid a child’s meltdown, to keep up with the laundry; to keep up with the dishes, the diapers, the nursing, the teaching and answering questions, the endless amount of chores to be done while also being a good mom.  That is not even to mention the never-ending dust bunnies that I see and I know I just vacuumed yesterday (or was that last week already?).  I will never keep up with all of it.  I will never do enough.  And if I try I might just end up not being as good of a mom as I want to be.

So I need to slow down.

There is a parallel here that I am discovering ever so slowly.  Just as I will never be able to do all that I need to do to reach perfection in my daily life as wife and mother, I will also never be able to be good enough, pure enough, strong enough, brave enough, loving enough, kind enough, etc., etc.  Not without Jesus.  What He did for me is only now beginning to take shape in my heart and mind.  It is just beginning and it is OVERWHELMING.

So you see why I’m having a hard time coming up with something snippy and useful to post?  My normal attitudinal diatribe is sort of paling in comparison to the greatness that is HE who is everything, and HE who has saved us, and guess what?  You have been saved too.  Yup, I said it.  JESUS loves you.  Haha, I don’t even care that I sound like a WWJD bracelet wearing-card carrying thumper.  If you don’t know this I’m gonna tell you, because you don’t know until He has introduced himself to you, but once He does, hold on to your behind.  Not joking.

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So, in light of the revelation that has totally taken over my life (because, you will remember, I thought I was a Christian.  I thought I loved Jesus, but YOU GUYS…I had no idea.  I had never MET Him), you can see why I’m considering my blog to be somewhat ‘meh’ these days.

But this morning a dear friend sent me a text and in it she said something about me being an inspiration.  ME??  I thought about that for a minute, and it was surprising and it felt so good, especially coming from her.  She is the one who is inspiring.  But anyway, it got me thinking about my blog.  If my, ‘testimony’ were to reach ONE person, that is enough.

There was this guy who went to preach in Africa.  He was straight-up American with no foreign languages on the docket.  When he opened his mouth to speak to a large crowd of people his words came out in German.  He was speaking fluent German and he doesn’t speak German.  He later found out there was one person in the audience who only spoke German for whom his testimony had obviously been intended.  This is what I’m talking about.  This is my God.  He cares to go after that one lost sheep so badly that He will go to insane lengths with unfathomable patience to get you.  To get you.

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Yeah that’s right, Mr. H. is staring you down.  Be slightly nervous.  I fell for him because he smoked, drank, had tattoos and dropped the F bomb regularly whilst having a sprinkling of reverence for God which I thought was attractive in that sexy-humble kind of way.  That was us pre-children I’ll have you know.  But God is sneaky because it was marrying Mr. H. that really got me.  Slowly but surely his love for the Lord and prayer for my soul caught me in that net and as I look around at all the other fish here with me I realize that my God is MOVING right now in a way I never knew possible.

He is after you.  Don’t doubt it for a minute, and His brilliance in going after those of us who have lived in DEEP sin and rebellion is that once we find that absolute TRUTH, we are unafraid of what others think of us since we have lived a life on the outside our entire lives.  A girlfriend I never would have imagined would give her heart to Jesus texted me in January that she has met the Lord and now all we do is talk about Him.  You should have seen us 12 years ago (you should have seen me two months ago).

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Oh yeah, Mexico.  This is basically how I lived down there.  Dolly chunk-a-munk lived on me and we walked everywhere like this.  It’s our jam at home now and I love it.

I am sorry I haven’t been posting much.  I am sorry I’m not posting fun food stuff.  I have a ton to share there.  I’ve been baking 100% rye sourdough and it’s good but it’s kind of super rye-ee.  Now I’m trying a mix of rye and spelt.  I just want to steer clear of wheat, but you guys.  I can’t seem to pull off beautiful bread, artisan style crumb, with 100% whole grains.  Anyway, I’m going to get to a place where I’m thrilled with something in that department before I post.  I have a couple of tricks I’ve learned from a sweet little rye cookbook I bought HERE that I will share soon.

I’m making water kefir again, but it is taking about 15 batches for it to be lively enough to be super bubbly and delicious.  I’ll post on that once it’s a total success.

Truthfully I haven’t been inspired in the kitchen.  Just doing the few things I do because I know how, but not venturing out much.  I don’t know if all moms with two kids under two have a hard time finding TIME, but I sure do.  Very often I have to choose between washing my hair or changing new poo diapers; catching up on emails or sleep.  The fact that I’m writing this post right now basically means my living room is covered in legos, there is flour all over the kitchen counter, and I need to vacuum before the Mr. gets home.  Will it get done?  No really, I’m actually asking ’cause I don’t know.

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That is either a crocodile or an alligator, but either way, not cool.  You know how they kill you right?  Spinning down down, creepy evil buggars if you ask me.

Back to Jesus.

There is something I have to say here.  You truly just cannot and will not know until you know.  You are an atheist.  Fine.  I have many friends who are.  I’m woo-woo and you can write me off and that is fine because you know what?  He will have His way.  If the hound of heaven is after you, you almost have no hope of escaping.  I sure didn’t, and thank goodness because now that I KNOW, I am just plain overwhelmed that I may have never known Him.  And I’m only talking about in THIS LIFE.  There is eternity to consider here.  You know the whole ‘you don’t have a soul you are a soul’ thing right?  That’s a deal.  And also, C.S. Lewis said God has placed eternity in our hearts.  It’s true.  I knew it.  That longing, that unfillable by any other means thing.  And believe me, I have tried those other means.  All. Of. Them.  You don’t have a longing?  You are stoned then, and that doesn’t count.  You can’t really measure anything if you don’t take the test properly.

And one more thing.  I was in the camp for a while that subscribes to the whole “well, might as well be safe and believe Jesus died for my sins, because if it isn’t true then no harm, and if it is, ‘yay, no hell for me’.”  I say take that one step further and really put it to the test.  Put Christianity to the gosh-darn test and take your coffee loving, book reading, science-y-snobby-hipster-bottom to your favorite coffee shop, pull out your mac, sip your black americano (or true italian macchiato; none of this ‘starbucks macchiato made-like-a-late’ bull honkey) and follow this foolish little formula:

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal Himself to you (he doesn’t exist right?  So you can do this safely just to prove it).

Read the bible.  I mean, like the whole thing (no, not in one sitting you have to sleep).  Every time you open it though you have to ask to meet the Lord, and you have to actually want the Truth.  If you don’t really want to know the Truth, whether that be that God doesn’t or does exist, then you are just an angry atheist and those are just funny (Richard Dawkins) because they are so angry at God that they spend their entire lives trying to get others to stumble…oh how grateful I am that my sins are forgiven because I have made so many stumble…but I digress.  Anyway, if you want the Truth regardless of what it is, then you will find it.  I promise you.

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This guy here is a dragon.  This guy dares you to do it.

-Bee

Do You Love Ron Swanson So Much You Have His Portrait On Your Dining Room Wall?

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We do.  If you don’t watch Parks and Rec. you should start.  It is probably the most amazing show ever.  Not that we have time to watch anything ever anymore, but still…I have memories.  Also, I was recently reminded of a favorite quote of his:

“Never half-ass two things, whole ass one thing.”

Which is exactly what I have done this week.  I am whole-assing failure like it’s going out of style, and loving it.  Apparently one should never have the thought “I’m going to NOT EAT BREAD” because it leads to exactly the opposite.  Sure, I haven’t tried very hard, except to not buy bread.  It’s hilarious that I would think that would stop me because instead of thinking “Hm…I didn’t buy bread so I need to make food with some other substance” every morning I think “Oh!  We’re out of bread I need to make bread alternatives like sourdough english muffins and quick breads like coconut flour-flax-muffins for breakfast!”

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Never made english muffins before.  Guess what?  They are super easy and of course they taste amazing.  I used my starter so the dough proofed overnight but it took very little time.  I flattened the dough out the next morning with my hands because I don’t have a rolling-pin and it was as simple as using a drinking glass to cut them out and then grill them on the griddle.

Oh and yet another reason you should be cooking with cast iron.  Nothing sticks when you use and season them properly and they are perfect for cooking tortillas and english muffins!

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I’m going to perfect this recipe and post it soon.  I added the honey in the morning after the initial proof and I think maybe I will heat it before mixing it in so it spreads more evenly next time.  They tasted perfect, but I could actually see the honey inside the muffins so I know I need to tweak something.

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So this morning when I realized once again “We are out of bread!” I thought well we should make healthy bread today.  These muffins are actually quite genius.  Not joking.  Since we are going to Mexico soon I need to start clearing the fridge of items that may go bad so these muffins have:

Coconut flour, flaxseed meal, honey yogurt, sour cream, homemade applesauce, butter and lots of eggs.  (Of course they also have baking soda and powder, coconut sugar, and salt and other items that won’t go bad.)  They are kind of totally amazing.  I know very little about baking with coconut flour but I do know that it is very dry so I added three times the eggs I normally would, and some sour cream!

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I took some time to paint my toes and get ma hairs did yesterday which felt amazing.

Almost as amazing as eating these muffins.

I don’t do New Years Resolutions, but maybe I’ll try a post-Mexico resolution regarding bread this year.

Or not.

-Bee

Roar.

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I took this photo in hopes of illustrating how I feel about some things currently happening in my life.

When I looked at it I decided I looked angry, or sad, or anything but jubilant and on fire…which is how I feel.

Dub saw it and said “That’s Mama!”  I said “Yup.  What’s she doing?”

I was genuinely curious as to his interpretation.

Know what he said?

“SHE’S ROARING!”  ROAR MAMA!”

Well Dub, you know me so well.  Roaring is exactly what I was doing, I just didn’t know it.

If you read this blog you probably know enough about me to know that I get really excited about Truth when I discover it.  That and I’m kind of a freak show.

I love food, specifically real food.  I have an unnatural obsession with textiles, particularly textiles made from natural fibers like (in order of importance) LINEN, WOOL, COTTON, SILK.  I have too many neutral-toned natural-fiber throw blankets because I am obsessed with them.  I love a good deal, but not at the expense of quality so the hunt for a steal is something I sort of live for.  I get bored very easily.  I spent my entire young life bored, which explains why I did so many totally insane things.  I mean, you have no idea.  I had no fear of the ramifications of my self-destructive tendencies, and yet until now, I have been one of the most frightened people I have ever met.

I know.  I put up a good front, but I have been terrified for most of my life.  Of what?  Whatever horrific thing is on the news or that was on a show or movie, or whatever I can imagine, etc.  My imagination is rude.

Something happened to me recently that has changed my life forever.  I have had an experience with The Holy Spirit.  I didn’t know that I didn’t know, but apparently I have never known Him.  Until now my life has looked like this:

Non-believer age 12-25?

Believer in a God age 25-29

Believer that the Jesus part is significant age 29-31

Believer that Jesus Died for my sins age 31-34

MEETER and now seeker OF JESUS age 34-THE REST OF MY LIFE

I didn’t have any idea that I was so on the fence in my Faith.  The Holy Spirit has introduced himself to me by giving me a glimpse of what it means to have Him communicate with me through my days, and move me into a light of a happiness so complete that human words just cannot explain.  They can’t explain what is waiting for us in Heaven.  They can’t explain the peace of His Presence.  They can’t explain anything of The Spirit to the spirit so The Spirit has to do it.  He is subtle, working gently and strategically on hearts that He has primed and readied.

I am still that young girl willing to jump off of the highest cliff before anyone else, but the fear that ailed me in the silence of my thoughts and ruled most of my life is gone.  I have been relieved of the spirit of fear because I’ve been filled with Faith.  Real Faith.

I was on a literal high for days when this happened.  Then, I crashed.  I didn’t want to crash, I wanted to bask in the feeling I had received forever but I live here on this earth and I guess I have to stay here for a while.  The fear is still gone, which is amazing, but I’m learning that the feeling of His presence that I was given a glimpse of, is what I am going to be seeking for the rest of my life.  It was given to me so I could know why to get down on my knees every single day and seek The Lord (which to be honest, I had never done, until now).

If you don’t know this feeling I’m talking about and you want it (even if you don’t want it, somewhere in your heart you do because it is gosh-darn what you were created for) I can tell you how to get it.

1. Pray to experience the presence of The Lord

2. Read God’s Word every day

3. Seek The Lord in everything you do

I don’t think much before I write, as I’m sure you have noticed.  I hope I am not giving advice that isn’t correct but I have a feeling I’m suppose to write this.

So what is one to do when they are a thrill seeker (whole new meaning to that phrase now) and the thrill is over (even temporarily)?  Delve deeper into the seeking.  Become the freak show He made me to be and focus my life on the advancement of His Kingdom.

If you don’t get it I get it.  I didn’t even know how much I didn’t get until basically just now when I got it.

What an honor it would be to have people remember me as the girl who “loved Jesus so much she was willing to be a complete fool for Him.”

REGARDING FOOD:

This will come as a surprise to many of you but apparently I am a mere mortal.  I totally failed my juice cleanse and I will fill you in on exactly why that is in a different post soon.  Still juicing daily, just also eating a handful of peanut butter filled pretzels here and there in addition.

Gahhhh….

Life With Two Two Years Apart. And Warm Toddler Pajamas Not Made With Fire Retardants.

I don’t have any photos for you.  Know why?  Because I am a mom of an almost 3 month old and a toddler.  I recently received a link from a girlfriend explaining the plight of a mother in a similar situation and it sums it up perfectly.

CLICK HERE to read it.

However, never one to be silent on such matters let me illuminate you as to the accuracy of that post with my own example.

Coincidentally, that very same friend came over for a visit the other day.  She was to arrive at 11am.  Let me tell you how my morning went as I prepared for her arrival.

I woke at 6 something with Dub (who is now two years old) and tended to our morning activities.  Thomas The Train for him and breakfast making for me.  I had three very lofty goals to achieve (for myself) by 11am.  Teeth brushed, clothes changed (since I had been wearing and sleeping in the same ones for two days out of necessity), and house somewhat acceptable.

By 8 sharp Doll baby was up too and nursing.  That takes a good 20 minutes.  Then diaper/clothes change for her and beginning the emotional preparation necessary to ready Dub for a diaper change.  He blatantly refused, and as I am reading a new book called “Don’t make me count to three” which addresses how to reach your child’s heart in order to remedy behaviors, I didn’t count to three.  (I have yet to reach the part in the book where they provide an alternative, so I spend a lot of time just not acting…or speaking when I get a negative response.  I should probably finish the book.)

I cannot have him smelling like poop when my friend gets here.  I can look like hell and my house can look like hell but my children should not smell like poop.

Carrying Dolly around and picking up what I can reach I continue to coerce Dub into a diaper change.  NOT having it.  He smells like a bomb exploded in his pants.  Eventually, I get Dolly down for a nap and attempt to lovingly encourage Dub to lay down willingly for THE EVENT.  He is arching his back and crying again by the time I get his pants down and I see that, in fact, a bomb HAS exploded in his diaper.  Since it is clear there will be poop everywhere if I attempt this without his full cooperation, I pull his pants back up, inform him that he will be staying in his room until he is ready for a diaper change, and close the door.  The screams that filled this home during that tantrum were mind-boggling to say the least.

By now it is about 9:30.  I sip my now cold cup of coffee and listen to Dolly waking up from Dub’s screams.  I get her up and nurse her again.  Dub is not letting up.  I put her in her crib and go tend to Dub.  Know what I find when I open his door?  You got it.  A naked two-year old in an almost all white room, which is now painted…brown.  I calmly but firmly wrangle him in order to clean him off which takes a good 15 minutes.  I sit on the ground and invite him to come give me hugs and we talk about what seems fun to do next.  (Now is not the time for lessons.)  He agrees that apples and carrots in the living room sound great!  (The tantrum is over.)  Get him dressed.  Quickly and insanely efficiently I clean poop off the rug and whatever else.  Go grab Dolly and put my laid-out clothes away since me changing seems impossible; change her diaper, sit down to nurse.  I notice something brown on her shirt.  How is it possible?  I washed my hands WELL.  I look down and there is a huge brown goopy thing on my finger.  Obviously I missed some poop and it must be ON me somewhere.  I am stuck however, until Dolly finishes nursing, so I hold my finger out and wait.  It is 10:30.  I don’t know why, but I smelled my finger.  Guess what?  It’s chocolate!  WHERE is that coming from?  Oh, right.  I put two chocolate chips in my bra to hide them from Dub on my way to his advent calendar so he could find the treats in the pocket of the calendar.  Obviously I forgot about them with all the chaos that was happening.  Well that is a relief, but still, there is chocolate all over my boobs and on Dolly’s clothes and I need to clean both of us up before 11.

Right then Dub sits down in front of me and loudly fills. his. diaper. AGAIN.

Dolly finishes nursing.  I run to the back to change her, clean me off and put on a new bra and shirt.  I walk out into the living room to attempt another poopy toddler diaper change.

My girlfriend is standing at the front door.

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In other news…why do there seem to be NO chemical free/warm toddler pajamas???

If you are looking, I scoured the internet to find a natural, breathable material that is free of fire-retardant chemicals.

Here ya go.

http://snugorganics.com/product/organic-cotton-sherpa-sleeper/

If you are curious why you shouldn’t put your babes in fire-retardant laden clothing look it up.

I cannot afford to have entire wardrobes free of such things, and until now have had Dub wearing fleece footed pajamas.  He will continue to as they were given to us and purchased second-hand and have been washed a lot so…I try to feel better about it.  But when you think about it, we spend a lot of time in our pajamas, so for our kids, it is probably best to put some thought into what they sleep in.

Since I am looking to actually buy something new because he needs some extra warm ones, I am putting thought into what it is made of and what it is made with.

Dolly wears only cotton and wool since newborns really shouldn’t wear man-made materials.  Why?  They don’t breathe.  Babies overheat and need to wear breathable materials.  Not microfiber, not minky, not not not…

For Dub, I have discovered that it gets wicked cold in his room at night and he needs something mightily warm, but breathable, and of course, I don’t want him breathing in chemicals all night.

There.  That is WHY.  Truthfully, I have relaxed a whole bunch since the fire, and we aren’t eating entirely organic or anything anymore (gasp!) so I only really focus on the things that matter tons and I think healthy sleep environments are one of those things.

Happy day to you.  I’m going to go try to wash my hair now.

Meh.

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This morning Mr. H. asked me “Are you going to post on your blog again?”

I’ve been asking myself this question for some time now.  I am not making a conscious decision to not blog, it’s just that I have had this feeling of apathy wash over me the last couple of months that I can’t seem to shake.  I reckon it has something to do with pregnancy.  Everything does.  You guys.  I’m SO pregnant.  As I write this my french press is seeming to kick in* a little and I’m feeling like I could actually do it again for One More Baby…but most of the time I don’t feel that way.  See, it all comes back to the fact that I am a true rebel.

(*For those who have not heard my justification for drinking a small amount of caffeine this pregnancy, I will explain: I allow myself 1-2 cups of coffee or green tea a day this pregnancy, something I never would have fathomed last pregnancy.  I didn’t have a toddler last pregnancy, A, and B, my midwife says it’s all good.  Doctors don’t say that?  Well, doctors aren’t my care providers, A, and B, doctors condone all sorts of things I would never fathom during pregnancy, and encourage it during childbirth so boom, there you go.  Give and take.)

Regarding my rebelliousness, I guess I just really wanted to break the standard “2 kids” thing that we as Americans tend to do.  Not all of us, certainly, but a lot.  I wanted to have a brood of babies before I discovered how amazing Dub is, and NOW I want to meet all the little buggers that Mr. H. and I can make!  What is the problem you ask?  I’m kind of not digging being pregnant.  Don’t get me wrong, I love feeling my baby move, and I am no longer sick (which is more than I can say for a lot of mamas who spend most of their pregnancies miserable), it’s just…I’m fat.  I’m not fat according to everyone  else, but to me I am.  Beyond that I’m EXHAUSTED.  The mornings are spent trying to catch my breath (apparently I have a practically nonexistent blood pressure), and the evenings are mostly me feeling an out of control heart palpitation and getting used to the fact that my new baby will have no rhythm because of it.  Or maybe, it’s a really complicated jazz beat and I don’t understand it.  Okay, my baby will be a genius jazz musician, most likely.

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It’s almost summer and I have 3 million things to be blogging about, grateful for, taking pictures of, etc. but for some reason I just don’t get the camera and document any of it.  Is it that I’m a little disheartened by the fact that I may not have any more babies?  Maybe.  I feel like a little bit of a failure.  I am kind of made to do this, for starters, and I’m not being a true rebel if I don’t break the patterns I set out to break.  I don’t know.  It’s a stupid thing to be disappointed in myself for, I know that.  Besides, if we only have two kids we can travel sooner and let me tell you, I miss travel like the dickens.  I want to get the heck out of this country at least once a year!  We already do that, thanks to Mexico family trips in February.  Without that I might die.

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Why is Dub bathing in the sink?  We have had some issues allowing items down the tub drain lately, and for a while there we couldn’t use our shower!  That was interesting, but Dub being who he is made the best of it.  He is such a joy I die.  He makes me laugh constantly.  He is talking up a storm, and just watching him grow fills me to the brim with pride and satisfaction like I never could have imagined.  I am so blessed.

As far as food goes I have been making sprouted bread, random desserts, and overall kind of being boring in the kitchen.  I sprouted a bunch of grains and then dehydrated them for storage so I can make quick meals and loaves of bread.  That has worked out nicely, so despite my lack of inspiration we are still eating quite well.

I’m obsessed with watermelon.  Obsession doesn’t describe it.  I could cry thinking about it.

I’m so excited to meet this little baby inside me.  We aren’t finding out the gender-EXCITING!  I’m not too nervous for labor, oddly, because I know it hurts.  You would think I would be scared but I’m just kind of distracted.  Having a toddler during pregnancy sure makes pregnancy different in every way.  I don’t have time to obsess over everything that is about to happen.

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Oh, you know how I’m crazy strange into bed stuff?  Well, I’ve gotten even stranger and replaced some of my linens with other linens and ordered the most amazing european linen hand-made robe ever to grace this planet with its presence and it is en-route to me NOW.  I also bought a sleep mask, am in the market for a vintage-ish fan, and put a down comforter UNDER my linen sheets.  I’m considering lining my mattress with sheepskin too.  I’m a maniac.  No one will ever pass me on the road to perfection in sleep comfort.  NO ONE.

This is a boring post but like I said I am a little apathetic lately and just overall “meh”.  What are you gonna do?

Belly shot coming up next.  Be excited.

-Bee

 

You Don’t Have To Know How To Cook To Eat Well.

Inspired by a vlog that Mama Natural posted recently (which I cannot seem to locate at the moment) I decided to take some totally unplanned pictures of a super fast meal I cooked to show you that eating healthily is not only easy, it’s pretty speedy too.  You have to know a few things, of course, but other than what I will share with you here, you really don’t need to know much about cooking to make a delicious and nutritious meal for your family.

Here we go.

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6:01pm is not exactly planning ahead when your man gets home at 6:30pm.  Not to fear!  I have thawed meat and random veggies that I can make into something.  After a cursory look, I am saddened to find no potatoes, as they are always acceptable as a side with steak (at least for my cowboy of a husband), but I did find some polenta in the pantry, (which leads me to my next point which is that I have some tricks for stocking a pretty useful pantry that I will post in the near future) and that is totally cool because toddlers love them some crispy polenta.

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If you are wondering why this sirloin says not for sale it is because we save money on our grass-fed meat by buying 1/4 to a full cow at a time and keeping it in our huge freezer.  It’s actually pretty bad-ass in terms of convenience to do it that way.  (Btw if you have never read my previous posts on cussing, ASS is not cuss-they say it on the radio.)

I like to bring a steak to room temp before grilling.  I take it out, pat it dry, season generously with salt and pepper and let sit for at least 30 minutes.

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Next I prep my vegetables.  I learned from Mr. H. the order in which to cook foods.  I literally knew NOTHING when we first met, and honestly don’t know how I survived so long in this world.  But anyway, there is an order to things as far as the density of vegetables goes and I shall enlighten you here.

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If you are using potatoes or polenta, heat a pan with oil and butter and get those going first.  They need to cook the whole time you do other stuff.

As you can see I’m working with the end of week supplies so what I make is entirely contingent upon what I have leftover.

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Chop chop chop.

Heat a cast iron skillet (more and more I am exclusively using cast iron.  They are beautifully seasoned and nothing ever sticks.  I LOVE them), because the non-stick kind is bad-bad.

A few tablespoons of sunflower oil (not canola folks; if you don’t know why it’s because canola is literally Canada Oil and due to an agreement with the FDA some years ago they have successfully worked a rancid oil not fit for human consumption into almost every recipe book and food blog in this country under the guise of “flavorless” and “healthy” when it is anything BUT…all because it is a super cheap and a genetically altered crop), and of course a couple of tablespoons of grass-fed butter until melted, on medium.

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Onions and carrots first until soft and translucent.  Then I make a little well and add the garlic.  Spread it around and wait until you just smell it’s loveliness.  Wait maybe 20 more seconds to “sweat” it and then add your other ingredients.

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For me this was kale, which gets added before the spinach as it is thicker and needs a bit more time.  Sally Fallon says that thicker greens such as kale need to be cooked so as to help the digestive system break them down.  I get that.  I used to eat kale raw a lot-and although I still do at times, I now make sure to massage salt and oil into it first.  Helps the gut.

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Add the spinach.

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A peak over at the polenta.  I mostly keep a splash guard over this pan.

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Once the veggies are finished add more oil if needed and throw on that steak.  Nice and hot is the name of the game with steak so don’t fear the smoke.  Also, I find that the lovely crust comes from the drying/peppering/and oiling of the nice and hot pan.  As far as steakhouse steaks go, this oiling and heating idea comes from there.  Very often they will finish the steak in the oven, but I just cook the whole thing on the stove, as we like ours med-rare.

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The polenta draining on some paper towels.

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Dinner on the table. (The steak is cut because Dub and I just eat the end off of Mr. H’s steak; I find that is plenty for us.)

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The husband arriving home at…

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A little late, and good thing when you consider that I took about a 10-15 minute break to change a diaper and take some pics of this babe:

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I didn’t consider dinner until way too late, I used what I had on hand, and this is what I got in return:

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I am way too blessed for the way I’ve lived my life, but I’ll take it.

Now go make some real food.

Love,

Bee

p.s.

We wanted dessert so I made molasses spice cookies while dada gave dub a bath and bam: happiness.

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You can find the recipe HERE.  The only changes I made were that I used sprouted flour, and fresh ginger instead of dried.

Happy eating y’all.

 

Hi Baby. And a Toddler Room Tour.

“Hi baby.”  Dub has now spoken a sentence and it was “hi baby.”  Apparently we say that a lot around here.

I will try to make this next portion brief.

Sometimes I don’t remember I’m pregnant until I witness myself responding (reacting) in a-how do I say-rather intense way.  I feel sometimes like people really suck.  Most of the time I know that, and I go about my business unaffected by any of it.  Sometimes though it touches me and I can’t shake it off.  Yesterday I was at Costco (which, if you are like me is a serious experience since I pretty much shop at co-ops, farmers markets and Trader Joes) and I stopped in the entrance to put Dub in the cart, very much in the way of people trying to pass by.  It was dumb, I get that, but I was overwhelmed by the sheer mass of the place and the people (and the carts!  Whisky-Tango-Foxtrot).   Anyway, this woman (my age, maybe a little older) walked past with her child already in the cart and said “You’re blocking the entire entrance so people can’t get by” which was simply untrue due to the fact that she had just passed me while vomiting all over me, but regardless it was the way she said it and the look she delivered AFTER.  Granted, I was already having a day, and it was followed by way worse, but it got me thinking…

How often is our first reaction something like the Costco she-devil and not one of offering assistance or even just quiet judgement.  Joking, but not really.  I mean, I think what got my goat the most about the whole thing is that she wasn’t old and crotchety, she was young and with a young child herself!  How did she not identify in any way with my human-ness?

I’ve been seeing a couple of things on instagram and pinterest lately that I feel I can apply to both she-devil and to myself in this situation.

For her:

BE A NICE HUMAN.

For me:

LOVE PEOPLE ANYWAY.

Which leads me to my next point.  In thinking about all of this it occurred to me (suddenly and out of the blue at a stoplight) that today is Good Friday.  Today is the day Jesus died for us.  Today is THE DAY that a faultless man took all of the sin in the world to ever have existed-that will ever exist-upon himself to save us.  I guess the least I can do is not take she-devil’s puke so hard.  I suppose I can love her anyway; dust myself off and take time to consider just how incredible it is that a man like Jesus would love us anyway.

Okay, now for some pictures.  I can’t say I have styled Weston’s room, but I have tidied and pared it down a bit and I’m feeling great about the overall arrangement of things.  I will work on it more through the summer and since we are turning the hubby’s office into a nursery I will have more space to keep baby things there too.

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First, Dub is now in a toddler bed.  I put a pool noodle (the $1 one from target) under his sheet so he doesn’t roll out and it has worked like a dream.

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I have found that the more organized I keep his shelves the more he plays with his toys.  The cleaner I keep his room the more likely he is to be in there using his imagination.  I found old metal baskets in the garden that I use to keep shoes organized.  He loves to get his little animals down and he really loves to read books to himself.  The jute rug is new from Target and I love it for so many reasons, but mostly because the cats don’t care to scratch it.  I swear, I vacuumed twice a day with the last rug and it never stayed looking clean for more than an hour.  I felt like I sucked at housewife.  Also, the fan.  I don’t know if your toddler has the fan obsession, but mine sure does and it doesn’t seem to be going away.  It’s the first thing we say hi to and the last thing we put to bed each night.

As far as food goes, I am still digging Mexican but more than that, it’s just easy.

If you happen to have a little extra time (I mean maybe 30 minutes longer than your allotted dinner prep time) then you should make this.  The chicken itself cooks for an hour, but hands-on is about 30.

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Yes, that is the husband’s plate.  I don’t really like the chicken neck.

This recipe involves roasting a chicken, stewing the meat in Mexican seasonings, frying up tortillas and assembling tacos.  Sounds arduous but is totally fun.  I  mean it.  Throw on some embarrassing 90’s hits and go. to. town.

You can use my recipe for roasted chicken from here:

Perfect Roasted Chicken

I just used Mexican spices with the butter and shoved that under the skin since I knew exactly what I was making this chicken for.  (Basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, cumin, salt, garlic.)

While your chicken is roasting combine stewing ingredients:

On medium heat: sunflower oil and butter melted, then add 1/2 onion and cook until translucent.  Add a clove or two of minced garlic and cook 30 seconds or until you smell it.  Add oregano, basil, cumin, red pepper flakes, chilli powder, salt and pepper.  cook another minute or so and then add 2 cups of chicken stock.  Bring to a boil and cover, simmering on medium/low heat until your chicken is done.

Once your chicken is roasted let it cool 5 minutes and then pull its legs and wings off and slice all the meat from them.  Slice the meat into strips and add to the stock mixture.

–you can slice the breasts off and put them in the fridge for a few days of sandwiches, as I did—

–put the chicken carcass in a plastic bag and stick it in the freezer so you can save up a few carcasses and make chicken stock!—

Cover stew mixture once more and let simmer while you prep your tacos.  Overall I like mine to stew about 45 minutes to an hour.

What you like in your tacos is totally up to you but we like:

refried beans

grass-fed cheddar

romaine

cilantro

green salsa

fresh tomatoes

avocado

sour cream

chicken (of course)

and corn tortillas freshly fried in sunflower oil

We had leftover chicken and it was perfect for making taco salad the next night!  I just added blue corn chips to the rest of the ingredients, lots of romaine, replaced the refried beans with canned black beans, and voila!  The chicken juices and sour cream make a perfect dressing.  I don’t like a drenched salad, but if you do, a little sunflower oil and lime would be great as well.

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I do this so much better than the local Mexican restaurants.  Sometimes it sucks to live so far north.

Happy day and happy cooking, and don’t forget to be a nice human!

-Bee

 

 

 

Buckwheat Pillow Review.

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Source

As some of you may know I am on the prowl for the perfect pillow.  Buckwheat seemed the most drastic choice, so of course I started there.  It has now been over a week and I feel I have given it sufficient time to write my personal feelings thus far.

I am by far the lightest sleeper in the world, so it comes as a bit of a surprise that I don’t mind the sound of the buckwheat hulls as they settle.  I’m thrilled with the quality of the pillow and the size and the careful selection of the hulls, as well as the unbeatable price and the fact that they mixed in the lavender and balsam for me.  My pillows smell truly incredible.  I suppose what is troubling me is how hard this pillow is.  I can push in an indentation for my head and ears so there isn’t pressure sensitivity, but although it is supportive, there also really isn’t much give in the places that are…propped up so to speak.  I will give it more time, but because I ordered a queen sized pillow it is pretty darn heavy, and in the middle of the night as I switch positions inevitably I must also re-adjust my pillow, and that can be laborious and a bit of a rude awakening.  I’m sounding all negative.  I like the pillow, I am just not done with my search for the perfect pillow.  The husband will now inherit this as I am moving on to a latex pillow.  Not sure if I will get a contoured or standard shape.  I understand that this information is just thrilling to most people.  It is truly the unique and isolated individual that I am writing for.  One who focuses way too intently on one thing and will not be satisfied with anything less than perfection.  To all the freaks out there, this (and all subsequent pillow review posts) is for you.

The buckwheat hull pillow I purchased is hands down the best quality for the price so if you are interested, I purchased it

HERE

-Bee

The Three Month Belly Shot. And The Lotion That Saves You From Stretch Marks.

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Well there it is.  The belly.  And check this out, I was lying on my back waking up slowly the other morning when I felt something in my belly that was different from a gas bubble.  It actually caused me to put my hand on my lower abdomen to see what it was.  Oh man.  It was the rounded spine of my little tiny baby!  Later on in pregnancy a rounded spine is very apparent and so since I’ve experienced it before I knew it when I felt it!  My little egg sized baby was moving around in there and I could actually feel it in my belly and with my fingers!  So cool.  I can honestly say that until that moment the pregnancy (even with all the sickness and fatigue) wasn’t real to me yet.

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And let me introduce to you the lotion that may actually save you from stretch marks.  Weleda Skin Food (I buy it at Super Supplements).  It is AH-MAZING.  I began using it a couple of times a day starting around 5 or 6 months into my pregnancy with Weston and let me tell you, this stuff is oily.  It doesn’t go away.  It soaks in but there is still so much oil you know it is doing its job.  It ain’t cheap, but it’s natural and it’s pure and it works.  Of course diet plays a very important role in the moisture content of your skin so don’t just avoid that aspect of pregnancy health and try to band-aid a problem.  Drink tons of water and make sure you are eating real food, sans pesticides.  And just as a little tip, if you want a skin-super-food get some pasture-fed gelatin and eat it every single day.  I put it in my shakes, but yesterday I made real juice jello with it and now I will never need to get botox.  It’s collagen.  It’s straight-up collagen.  Here is where to get it from a company that humanely raises their pastured cows: Great Lakes Gelatin.  If you do not yet know why it is important to eat beef and dairy products from grass-fed cows please read THIS.

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For a while there when Weston was younger he had some pretty bad eczema.  Nothing I did seemed to relieve it.  I was nervous to try the Weleda because I thought it may be too much for his little baby skin.  I took him to his pediatrician and he said to use Eucerin and several other name brand lotions.  I tried.  Nothing.  Days of applying what the doctor ordered and things just seemed to get worse.  I know enough to know that Lubriderm and lotions like that are not good and that they hardly moisturize because-how could they with all the added scents and chemicals? but I thought maybe the doc knew something I didn’t.  Then I just decided to try the Weleda.  It took two days of applying twice a day and what had been about 5 months of dry and flaky and beginning to crack skin was restored to perfect baby skin condition.

I am a believer.  Regarding stretch marks however, sometimes they just happen and the most important thing to do if you get them is to tone your abs.  I saw a picture of this super sexy abdomen with stretch marks and it said something about a tiger earning her stripes.  I thought that was rad.  How true is that?  Anyway, as my mama always said “Moisturize moisturize moisturize!”

Is Your Bed Bad For You? Part 3

If you are new to this little series be sure to check out Is Your Bed Bad For You? Part 1. and Is Your Bed Bad For You? Part 2.

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We have now arrived at part 3 and I have to say I am a little sorry.  I have found that I start to breathe differently when I speak to people about this issue.  I have passed the point of passion and become a little too invested.  I want to bring the world up to speed on the heaven of bed comfort and non-toxicity, to the point where I believe I may be taking it a little too far.  I care too much.  I have fantasies about being a bed/bedding consultant (my title needs a more clever name) and basically being the guru of interpreting people’s various sleep needs.  I’m a strange girl though, we all knew that.  Anyway, part three here will tie up any loose ends and reveal to you the most heavenly of beds…MINE.

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First I promised to tell you about the linen comforter cover I ordered custom from an Etsy seller out of Australia.  Her customer service was really amazing and I was annoyingly in touch with questions and indecision.  I aspired to have sheets like the Smooth Linen sheet found at Rough Linen and a duvet like the Orkney linen from Rough Linen.  Every penny counted though in my quest so I took some gambles and after a lot of research I chose two different Etsy sellers to provide me with the sheets and duvet cover.  The sheets came from The Shed Limited as I’ve said before, and I couldn’t be happier with the quality.  The duvet came from House of Baltic Linen.  I’m thrilled with everything about the duvet cover.  I asked her to move the buttons down and hide them, and to make my duvet cover smaller than my down comforter so it will always look billowy and lofty and like a cloud.  As you may have read in a previous post, our down comforter has faced some hardship and is being replaced because it has shrunk considerably.  It still looks lofty and lovely in these photos, but being who I am, I expect there to be no empty spaces even in the corners and that issue will be addressed with the new comforter.  Still the same one from L.L.Bean.

The mattress itself is from Mattresses.net and I cannot recommend their customer service highly enough.  It comes in three boxes and you assemble it yourself.  It takes 10 minutes.  (Why do this when you can order a latex bed locally?  Because you will pay a minimum of 3,000 for it and that is without the foundation.  Our King sized mattress cost us $1,399.  Factory direct baby.)  We also ordered the KD wood foundation which has slats specially spaced for talalay latex to ensure it doesn’t sink over time.  It comes with a matching bamboo cover that you can staple to the frame, but why?  The frame alone is so rustic and asian and simple and clean.

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The mattress comes with a bamboo cover that has wool batting inside.  Wool acts as a natural fire retardant and is non-toxic and some of you probably don’t know this but wool is one of the most absorbent materials in the known universe.  Natural known universe that is.  (There is of course “Zorb” and I’m embarrassed that I know about it because it is a testament to my other ventures into information overload-this one was into the world of cloth diapers.)  I know of wool because it was what I chose for Weston’s crib mattress protector and puddle pad.  It is non-toxic so it was a perfect choice for baby.  Then I purchased wool diaper covers and discovered how amazingly absorbent they are!  Wool simultaneously absorbs and repels moisture.  I still didn’t understand the power of wool until recently when the comforter and mattress were peed on by an animal.  Not our animals, but a dog and let me tell you, not one drop of that pee made it through the cover to the latex!  Truly unbelievable.  The mattress was peed on directly-and dogs can really pee-and still the small amount of wool batting in this mattress cover absorbed it ALL.  Plus, it was cleaned with Borax and retained NO smell whatsoever.  Wool is also anti-bacterial and anti-microbial and if left to air out, will essentially clean itself.  That guy up there in the clouds is pretty smart if you ask me.

Moving right along.

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The king mattress comes with two 6 inch core halves and one two (or three) inch topper.  You can customize the density of each side to your preference.  Talalay is a process that injects a lot of air into the latex, as you can see by all the holes.  It is the newest, and purest way to pour the forms.  There is no settling so the density stays even all over.

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Put them all together, zip on your (totally amazingly protective) cover and bam, you are ready to add your bedding.  Of course you know what I would recommend.  100% linen.  Why?  Because in addition to the temperature regulating qualities of latex (i.e. it keeps you cool naturally), linen is also incredibly absorbent and temperature regulating.  It will keep you cool in summer and warm in winter, and I assure you, it is not at all ROUGH.  It is the most pleasing and delicious material the hubs and I have ever slept on.

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I chose the heavier fabric (ordered custom from the mill that House of Baltic Linen uses in Lithuania) for the duvet cover because in the summer our down comforter will be too warm and we can just take it out and simulate the Summer Cover (from Rough Linen) and use the cover alone.

*I should note here that I aspire to order linens from Rough Linen and I can’t wait for the day that I have a closet full of linens, but for now I simply had to cut some corners.  I used her as my measure for everything I ordered because I so admire her work and her craftsmanship.  The thing is, not only did I save a little money, I received truly beautiful and amazing pieces of bedding from House of Baltic Linen and Shed Limited.

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I happen to love the look of a bed that is just slept in and inviting.  Not messy, just beckoning me.

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As recommended by Tricia of Rough Linen, we are sleeping with a flat sheet with tucked hospital corners, a duvet, and a duvet cover.  I was skeptical of losing the top sheet at first, and even before the cover arrived I was not convinced, but since adding the linen cover I get it.  The linen drapes over your body in this lovely cradling way that makes a top sheet just…redundant.

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So, there you have it.  I feel like I’m missing something but I am more than available to answer questions should they arise.  Also, this is not a styled bedroom reveal, simply the bed reveal.  I will at some point do a toddler boy room tour and a tour of our bedroom, which is close to finished, but not quite there yet.  It’s basically white, as that is my favorite of ALL the colors.

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Also, important to note that I am probably a little bit developmentally disabled.  Why?  Because I am the queen of healthy comfortable sleep and yet it completely escaped me until two days ago that the tension headaches I’ve been living with for weeks (read; since I decided to sleep on a 16×16 ikea insert until I could afford to buy all the amazing pillows I want) could be caused by my pillow.  I was blaming pregnancy, food, dehydration, lack of sleep.  Oh no.  It was my pillow.  I am so so slow.  I have been reading and writing about proper spine and neck alignment and still I didn’t consider how screwed up it is to sleep on an insert from ikea.  I switched to (gasp!) a tempurpedic pillow that I already had (shoved hatefully into the back of a closet) lying around until my new buckwheat pillows from HERE arrive.  It has been three nights and guess what?  No headache.  I will, of course, do a full review of said pillows once I give them a go.

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Source (and also, read THIS about dust mites and buckwheat hull pillows)

(As an aside-or review: The healthiest pillows are non-toxic and aid in proper alignment of neck and spine.  The best options are non-fumigated and organic buckwheat hull pillows (the number one choice in Japan), wool (which is, as we have discussed, cooling and able to be molded into shape), latex (either contoured or shredded to mimic down), and organic kapok which is from the silk plant and extremely pressure sensitive, relieving pain from sleeping on the ear.  All are naturally dust mite resistant.  Pillow density and material is so personal even I with all my opinions couldn’t possibly tell you which one is best for you.  Oh, and cotton is not dust mite resistant.  Remember that when you think ordering new cotton sheets will save you some $ and be as good as linen.)

Next up the three month belly shot, and a review of the lotion that has kept all stretch marks at bay.  Hopefully it keeps its good reputation through this pregnancy.

-Bee