Wednesday, July 30, 2014

AH SOCIAL MEDIA

I don't know how many posts I've started and not finished in the past week.  Have you ever felt overwhelmed when writing?  You can't finish a thought?  Or at least finish a thought in a way you're satisfied with?

I noticed every time I sat down to write, I would check Facebook - scroll through the latest happenings, read a couple articles.  The usual.  I noticed it was like my mind was put on cruise control, and before I knew it I was clicking through pictures taken in Hawaii by someone I haven't talked to in nearly 10 years.

This became especially apparent and bothersome to me around the time when the 50 Shades of Grey trailer came out.  The trailers, the hype, the response.  It was just too much. During the following days after the release of that trailer, I felt particularly weighed down by my newsfeed. There was too much going on, too much in front of me that (quite frankly) I didn't care about.

Only then did I seriously consider deleting my Facebook page.

But then I stepped back from what was an emotionally fueled reaction and thought about the issue at hand.  I talked to my husband about it, and he suggested that I do some major purging.  So I did.  My friends list, my "likes", my groups, my about me section.  All of it.

I started with my friends section.  I unfriended all the people I haven't talked to in years.  There is a negative connotation around the word "unfriend."  I get why, but if I haven't talked to you in 10 years and we weren't all that close when we did talk, you didn't make the cut.  Why does that need an explanation?

My liked pages.  Woah that section was a mess.  I had liked nearly 400 pages most of which I chose to ignore when they popped up on my feed.  I went and "unliked" nearly every page except for the ones I actually liked - a couple bloggers I follow, photography pages, etc.

As for my groups, I left all of them and I deleted some information from my "about me" section.

Everybody is on Facebook.  Truly.  Everybody.  And because of this, it's loud, messy, and at times, annoying.  Companies big and small have gotten in on the action in hopes to reach us.  They give us incentives - "Like" us on Facebook and you'll get $1 dollar off your purchase, a free cup of coffee; and I, of course, "liked" many of these businesses in hopes of getting a deal.  It's become too much.  I don't want to hear about your company on my Facebook page.  I don't want to see your ads and commercials.  I'm stopping by to see what's going on in Alaska and Michigan and maybe post a picture of Ella for family and friends.

This is what I've chosen my Facebook page to become after I considered the context of the platform. I'm going to start using Facebook for its original purpose - to stay connected with friends and family.

I'm not ditching all of social media.  I'm "following" companies, publications, and thought leaders on Twitter; I'm following stylists and fashion bloggers on Pinterest and Instagram.  But Facebook?  I'm reserving that platform for friends and family.

There's great value in cleaning up your social media presence.  It's freeing.  Especially lately, I think it's safe to say we've all been annoyed with Facebook in one way or another.  Don't let it be something that bothers you.  If you're finding yourself irritated, it's time to do some spring cleaning.  It's your profile, take control.  Don't let your newsfeed control you.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Another week

I had plans for this week.  Big plans.  I was going to write, keep up on laundry, and make some banana bread.

Today I'm staring at 3 hampers worth of laundry jammed into 1, 6 posts sitting in the drafts folder, and 2 rotting bananas.

There are certain weeks where life happens a little bit more than other weeks.

This was one of those weeks.

Stay tuned for highlights from this week (they exist!), a word on hair cuts, and my favorite place to shop.

For now, I'm off to do 25 loads of laundry.

A little preview of this week's highlights. :)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Some good ole pasta salad

Food cost a lot of money.  And if you want to eat healthy, it takes a lot of time and money.  Sometimes I just don't feel like taking the time to make a good lunch.  Knowing this, I was trying to find a solution.

This pasta salad was my solution.  I made a huge batch Sunday night and it was lunch for both my husband an me for 3 days. 

What you'll need:

1 box of pasta (TJs corn pasta)
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
Some cherry tomatoes
Olives
Salami
Goat cheese

Dressing:
Olive oil
Apple cider vinegar
Pepper


Enjoy!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Be kind to yourself

My inspiration for writing today came from my morning coffee date with my husband.

I tend to be hard on myself.  (Don't worry, this isn't going to get awkward).  As humans, we all are at points, right?  For me, often times this mentality gets in the way of practicing self-love. (Okay, maybe it's just a tad awkward.)  I was reminded of this this morning during a conversation with my husband about finances.

This conversation reminded me that lately, I've been getting lost in life.  Diving head first into making our apartment feel like home, reworking finances, challenging myself with an intense 30 day workout. And these things have been getting in the way of taking some time for myself.  They've been getting in the way of recognizing little successes and accomplishments.  And I've found myself being a little harder on myself than usual.

This isn't a post about relationships or finances or some weird, overly personal post about my flaws.  It's simply a reminder to be kind to yourself.  It's a reminder to take yourself out of whatever problem you're facing or whatever situation you're dealing with and breathe.  Recognize you're good, you work hard, you do your best.

And then treat yourself.

What does this mean for me this weekend?  Shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

Good timing, Nordstrom, I could use a good splurge.

Have a happy Friday and




Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A lesson in interior design

We just moved into a new place, and I'm finally making it a bit homey.  We didn't put the time or money into decorating our old place.  We knew we wouldn't be renewing our lease and our priority was building a savings.

But now we're getting settled, and we've learned our fate of being in San Diego for another year or 2. And, so far, we'd like to stay in this apartment until we move out of state.  And now that I'm staying at home with Ella, I want to make the place feel like home!

But interior design is so not my thing.  I walk into a blank canvas of an apartment and freak out at the idea of having to decorate it.  I also don't have patience.  I want to walk into 1 store, buy everything at once, and be done.  But furnishing an apartment, decorating an apartment is a process - a process I'm beginning to learn and appreciate.

Over the weekend, Tim and I went to Kohl's, because EVERYTHING was on sale (more than usual). We must have spent an hour in the home section.  This time consisted of me picking up a painting, putting it down, walking over to the candle section, and going back over to the painting I previously set down.

There was a lot of "Tim, do you like this?" and "Where could we put this?"

I walked out with a picture and a picture frame.  I of course questioned its place when we got home and hung it up, but I'm learning this is how a home becomes a home.  You buy, you place, you question. But eventually every painting, every frame will find its place.  And your space will become home.

White frames and pink flowers make kitchens brighter.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

You've done it again, Bob

I've been a loyal customer of Bob's Red Mill products for a few years now.  His flour mixes just seem to be the best on the market (that I've tried).  When we we're preppin' for our 4th of July festivities, I was looking for a dessert that both GF-folk and non-GF folk could joy.

Bob, you've never let me down.

I went for the chocolate cake mix and made some simple cupcakes with white frosting.

Sprinkles, too of course.



Either the non-GF folks we're being polite or they really enjoyed them.

I'm goin' with the latter.

The recipe can be found on the back of the Bob's Red Mill Chocolate Cake Mix.

Another successful #NewRecipeSaturday!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Faves



I love little journals.  What girl doesn't?  I got this one as a part of a Mother's Day gift from good friends.  I love this little thing.  It's always with me.  It has list upon list.  It's the perfect little size.  And it's super purrty.



I give you the WubbaNub.  Yes.  WubbaNub.  This little lamb is my daughter's best friend.  It's the only pacifier she'll take.  I'd highly recommend this pacifier for a couple reasons.  1) It's cute and you can't go wrong with cute.  2) It helps to teach your little one how to grab onto things.  The pacifier has fallen out of Ella's mouth, and she's managed to put it back in her mouth.




A few months back, my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and I stopped into this little boutique in Del Mar. One of those cutesy types where you could easily drop 75 bucks on Voluspa candles alone.  I had been looking for a cute "E" or "L" charm for a while and when I spotted this one I was sold.  I didn't pick it up during that trip, but when my husband took me to Del Mar for our anniversary I had to grab it.  I added the charm to a little necklace I had from Forever21.  Definitely my current favorite accessory.  


Saturday, July 5, 2014

A taco twist

I meal plan.  Or I should say, I try to meal plan as much as I can.  It can be a pain at times, but it's the most cost effective way of buying groceries for the week.

I also plan simple meals.  As a new mom, I haven't figured out the whole spending time in the kitchen thing.  Simple + healthy = my go to.

But that can be boring, so I decided every Saturday I'll get out of my cooking comfort zone and make something new.  Last week, I made these fish tacos with cabbage slaw and lime crema (found on Pinterest, of course).  The only part of the original recipe I changed was the fish.  My husband was feeling beer-battered fish, and since Sprouts had a GF option, we went with beer-battered cod.

Delish.  Although, I would like to try the original fish recipe.  The spicy flavor would go great with the lime and cabbage slaw.

Light, easy, and perfect for summer.

More recipes to come!


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Bye bye GF section

I'm a little over the GF industry.  Since there's an intense demand for going GF, the new "trend" of course has turned into a multi-billion dollar industry.

What does this mean for us?

$8  for a pack of 5 (chalky) chocolate chip cookies.

If you know me at all, I'm a bit of a cookie connoisseur.  If you were to ask me what I'd take with me if I was stranded on a desert island Oreos would be right under chapstick.  And as someone who likes to get her sweet fix after meals, it's pretty easy to drop an absurd amount of money during the weekly pick-up from the store.

So.  I said peace out to the GF section and said hello to my cupboard.  I wanted to make a simple chocolate chip cookie - no fancy alternatives like greek yogurt or apple sauce - just your good, ole butter, sugar, egg recipe.  I ran to the store to pick up a bag of Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chips and made the cookie recipe found on the back of the package.  I substituted flour for a little Bob's Red Mill All Purpose and Trader Joe's coconut flour.

I used up my Bob's Red Mill (which turned out to be 2 cups).  I used 1/4 cup coconut flour.  The consistency was perfect.

(*Note: The balance of flours was really key in getting the right consistency.  I later learned coconut flour alone led to the dry, chalky sort of cookie.)

I'd like to clarify, I'm not boycotting all GF products.  As a new mom who's still figuring it all out, I don't have time to bake every little thing from scratch.  Udi's will still get my business when it comes to tortillas and frozen pizzas.  But when it comes to the dessert?  I think I'll stick to my cupboard.


Refer to the back of Nestle Tollhouse Chocolate Chunks for the recipe!


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Anniversary

I thought we were going to lay low on our anniversary this year.  We're just getting settled into our new apartment, Tim's starting his new teaching job this week.  A lot's happening!  But Tim came home last week, flowers in hand, and told me to clear my schedule for Sunday night.

Our good friends came over and watched Ella while Tim took me to Rendezvous in Del Mar - a restaurant I've been wanting to try.

(Hello, this place was delicious.  If you're in Southern California area, go here.)

We ate, toasted to our first year, indulged in a fine chocolate wine.  It was perfect.

To the next 100 years!

Post anniversary date selfie.