French Macarons

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

...little Miss LaBelle, enjoying the cookie of her ancestors on a Sunday morning.

Papa Billy

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

...has stories for dayzzzz, my friends. He should write a book. I tell him this all the time.

He did the 70s & 80s just about as badass as the movies depict a muscle car drag racing/Harley Davidson biker who always manages to narrowly avoid death or prison by good fortune of unknown origins. We are talking spectacular crashes which skidded to a stop on the car's roof, wheels pointing to Jesus...being clocked at 120mph on the curvy Bucksville Rd ON A MOTORCYCLE...fist fights that included tire tools...diving in alligator infested lakes in scenes straight out of a Lynryd Skynyrd song, specifically any that include guns...and so much more.

I hear these stories and I think about how I started to wild out around age 16, myself...but, I certainly pulled back the reigns once Dylan came along. I thank my lucky stars for that boy. Lately, though, I feel like some of dad's genes are reactivating in my DNA. Not necessarily going totally off my rocker...just that I need to enjoy my life more. I have always felt a big responsibility in keeping others in line or safe, and I am realizing more & more what personal cost that came with. My dad's philosophy is that bad things happen no matter what and you might as well enjoy your life. I will never forget talking with him about his two brothers who have passed away. He didn't make any excuses or place any blame...he just said, "They enjoyed the ride. It was their life and they lived it how they wanted to. Nobody could have changed that." and I know he is right. They all have a saint/guardian angel in their oldest/only sister...and no matter how many times she got those boy's asses out of a sling...they went right back to Troubletown.

I think I was sincerely triggered when these girls came along. Brooklyn was a heartache unlike anything I'd ever known. I was terrified that something could take them from us and bring that heartache back. So, I took what I already knew from the health store, studied some more, and wound up with a working knowledge that pretty much everything is going to kill us. We ate organic, tried to stay as natural as possible in dealing with sickness, and Naiya got cancer anyway. No matter how vigilant I have tried to is going to happen. And, it is going to be beautiful, and bizarre, and joyful and painful. People are going to make their own choices and face their own consequences. I have to enjoy my life again and let go of feeling personally responsible to save them. This isn't some veiled attack on any one person in my life...I feel personally responsible for pretty much everyone. Have I met you? Yes? Then, I am worrying about you, too.

Listen, I'm not advocating drugs or alcohol (with a nod to the good Dr Gonzo) but I haven't really had either in a very, very long time. And, a few weeks ago, when I had a couple of those yummy summery Loconut rum drinks, I relaxed just enough to realize exactly how tightly I was wound. I took the first deep, cleansing breath in years. I've decided to just be me. Let the chips fall where they may. I want to have SOME FUN. I want to adventure again and have faith that it's all gonna work out in the end. I'm gonna love the ones I'm with and not give two squirts about what anyone else thinks about it.

Anyway, this is my Tuesday declaration...I'm (at least) half-hellraiser and I'm ditchin' the smokescreen, y'all.

Summer Bucket List #17 Rootbeer Floats

Sunday, June 24, 2018
...not a fan of root beer floats.

Summer Bucket List #5 Grow Flowers

Saturday, June 23, 2018
...the girls grew these sunflowers from seed!

Summer Bucket List #14 Fly a Kite

Friday, June 22, 2018

...even the big kids had to come fly the kite with the Littles.

Summer Solstice

Thursday, June 21, 2018 today and celebrates the longest day of the year. Although, it is probably met with less fanfare in America since every single day of 2018 so far has seemed like the longest day of the year. These times we are living through are not for the faint of heart.

Today is overcast with periods of downpours. The ferns are outside to enjoy the false narrative that they have been returned to their native jungle. Speaking of habitats, I texted Berg earlier this week that I could thrive in the desert. I AM THE LIZARD QUEEN. I love the heat. I am in the only car in traffic with the windows down and I am not uncomfortable. I am mindful of my traveling partners, I am not anti-air conditioning...but I can bake in the sun and not break a sweat. The only hangups are that Berg had a heatstroke as a young man so he can't handle the heat and I cannot grow a succulent. I over-hydrate and they die. I care too much.

Kaypacha says we are collectively in the cosmic soup right now. All the feels, hitting us all... Aspects, eclipses, and Mars in retrograde, oh my! Break on through to the other side, my friends. The sun is in Cancer now (as is Mercury) opening us up to really "see" our past and future. Cancer is about the inner self, the inner child. He tells us to set aside time to really get in touch with ourselves, our family, our ancestors. We want to transcend our boundaries, our mistakes from the past and dream a new way of life for ourselves. Get into your heartspace, people. It ain't easy, considering the trauma we see daily, but it is necessary to co-create a kinder, more inclusive Earth. Of course, this doesn't apply to Nazi's...if you see a Nazi, punch a Nazi. In the words of the great Doc Holliday, "You're a daisy if you do."

Any big solstice plans? Just gonna set some intentions, make some goals, and hang with my family. Happy solstice to you!!

Coconut Blueberry Muffins

Monday, June 18, 2018

Muffins are the best... You can bake them the night before and be super lazy about breakfast the next day. I saw this recipe on the back of a new coconut flour we got in at work. I'm always trying to find a way to add iron to Kindred's diet, as she runs slightly low and we have to supplement. Between the coconut flour and chia seeds this one calls for, it has the iron base covered.

You can really smell the coconut in the flour...which is great for me because I love coconut! The amount of batter it yields is way more than the 3/4 cup per muffin cup the recipe calls for. It pretty much filled them completely up, which made me nervous, but luckily they don't really swell out too much.

They started to get really brown on top during the last 5 minutes or so. I just cut the heat off and kept a close watch. They taste great and are plenty moist...but that comes from all the extra coconut oil. These are pretty oily muffins. Next time, I will definitely try to cut some of the oil down. The kiddos love them so I'm calling these a win!!

*We also substituted hemp seeds for the chia, as those were the ones I had on hand...

Purty Red Dress

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Last week, the kiddos and I popped into the mall to get a quick haircut for Dylan. Thank goodness for Mastercuts when you are in a rush but the man-curls are outta control. In our mall, Mastercuts happens to be right across from Boot Barn. When Kindred saw these two mannequins in the window, she excitedly shared that me and her daddy would look FANTASTIC in those outfits. Now, I wasn't sold on Berg wearing flannel cut-off sleeves, or a cowboy hat, but I did agree that the red dress would probably look super fantastic on me. I loved the high-low style! Believe it or not, this was actually my first purchase from a Boot Barn even though I grew up an hour from Nashville!

My style is really just all over the place. I don't know what you'd call it...boho moto, maybe...haha! I love a white v-neck tee with ripped jeans. I also love gray and black in an assortment of styles. To be honest, anytime I buy something overly colorful or flowy...all hippie earth barely gets worn until it winds up stored in the attic or given away. My 'Style Inspo' Pinterest board shows more cohesion than my closet I the only one?

But, back to the red dress...

I also bought a pair of tan cowboy boots with turquoise/aqua accents to match the colors in the dress. I went all in, guys. Dylan said it looked like "Country threw you up." He's so sweet to me. Ash was in favor of the pairing of the two, but Kat was not. She said I should lose the boots. I was also advised to leave my hair curly next time I wear the ensemble. Never before has an outfit elicited so much advice. Since there was no place to go square-dancing, we just went to Ruby Tuesday's and then had ice cream at Bruster's afterward to check out all the classic cars in town.

All in all, it was a fun time! I make a halfway decent country barbie. If you're interested in buying the dress, click here. I bought the large, though the medium fit just fine. The large hangs down about an inch or two lower, and there was a little more room in the shoulders for an off the shoulder look if I decide to do that.

UPDATE 1/06/19: So, I wore it once. Same for the boots. Been in the closet ever since.

Summer Bucket List

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

  1. Go out for ice cream.✔
  2. See classic cars.✔
  3. Make S'mores.✔
  4. See a movie at the Drive-In.✔
  5. Plant flowers.✔
  6. Play with sparklers at dusk.✔
  7. Attend an outdoor concert.✔
  8. Go to the Farmer's Market.✔
  9. Paint our nails a bright color.✔
  10. Visit the library for storytime.✔
  11. Bake pink cupcakes for Brooklyn's birthday.✔
  12. Ride the carousel.✔
  13. Watch fireworks.✔
  14. Fly a kite.✔
  15. Water balloons.✔
  16. Blow bubbles outside.✔
  17. Drink a rootbeer float.✔
  18. Cousin sleepover.✔
  19. Eat a watermelon.✔
  20. Go to the county fair.✔
  21. Catch a baseball game.✔
  22. Picnic in the park.
  23. Buy something from a garage sale.✔
  24. Find dinosaurs.✔
  25. Take a picture in front of a mural.✔
  26. Family kickball at Grandma's.✔
  27. Play freeze tag.
  28. Get local-made candy from Mary Jane's.✔
  29. Sip lemonade.✔
  30. Eat a peach.✔


Friday, June 08, 2018
Something freaked me out/ticked me off yesterday...and now I want to pass it on to you.

Listen, we should all know by now that "the man" is watching us. It isn't paranoia, it's pretty well documented. Whether that "man" is the CIA, FBI, or Mark Zuckerberg is up for debate. Personally, I suscribe to the belief system that it is all 3 plus many others...just to be on the safe side. I don't know who or why and this is how I sleep at night. 

I also understand how cookies on the internet work, or so I thought because of what happened yesterday. 

I was out shopping and came across these cute chairs which would look great at my outdoor bistro table. So, I snapped a quick pic on my phone. I didn't have any apps pulled up and I didn't message the pic to anyone. To me, that is the most important detail. Private pic, not posted or sent. 

But, when I logged onto my Facebook app a couple of hours later, this was the first ad I came across...

So, I felt like this was a huge invasion of my privacy. I know that if I search a product online, it will be inevitably be an ad I see on Google, FB, or Instagram soon after. That was my working definition of how cookies are stored on our devices. I guess I just didn't understand that they are also scanning our private, unpublished photos. And that gets a big ole NOPE from me. To start with, I uninstalled the FB app from my phone. I would love to deactivate my account altogether but I feel it is important to keep it in case I need to communicate about Naiya. 

In the meantime, I will be more mindful of my unpublished, private photos. I will assume I am not the only one who can see them. 

What a weird time to be alive...

In The Summertime...

Thursday, June 07, 2018

We are just in heaven around here...

I cannot get enough of being outdoors, in the sunshine, listening to the birdbath fountain and the sounds of the girls having fun.

Working up a summertime bucket list as we speak! What's on yours?