Thursday, April 05, 2012

Going Live...

The content has been switched.  Widgets added.  Coding finalized.  From here on out, I'll be posting at VeryCarey.  So update your Reader, links, or however you come to read my nonsense.  Thanks for sticking with me on this journey and I hope to hear from you more in the future!

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Sweet & Spinachy

All this week I have really struggled having any motivation at all.  Haven't brushed my teeth?  Not a problem.  Moldy ring in the toilet?  Who cares.  Dog needs a walk?  Not gonna happen.  This lack of energy seeps into my meals, too.  Err, lack thereof.  Such as, I had M&Ms for dinner last night.  But I'm trying to redeem my time a little today.  First step, eat something healthy.  So I gather some ingredients on my counter, shove it into the blender, and this little beauty is born.  Try it.  It might energize the rest of your week.
1 frozen banana
1 huge handful of spinach leaves
1 T raw honey
1/4 c. coconut water
1 cup cold almond milk

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Friday, March 30, 2012

Currently Snacking On...

Not really a snack, but we can't get enough 'round here lately.  Even Vera asks for it.  I've always liked coconut water (see picture below taken in 2008 during our trip to Singapore), but just introduced it to my girls and they love it.  We don't give our kids juice here (The options are usually just milk and water.  I know, we're a family of hard knocks.), but occasionally I will buy something different to try.  There was a huge end cap full of Zico Coconut Water at the market I frequent and it was on sale, so I thought I'd try some.  I may be adding this as a weekly staple to the shopping list.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I Have Post-Birth Baby Jiggle and Why I Don't Care

I realize about myself that I don't have the typical runner's body.  I've only been at it for 2 years now and if eating less homemade baked goods is the reason, then so be it.  There is usually a moment when I am about to pass an oncoming pedestrian and for a second, I wonder, "What do I look like to them?  Probably pretty ridiculous.  Probably they think I need to lose a few.  Probably I should cut back on the yummy goodness I've been making lately."  But then I shake it off as lies, realize how good I feel in my skin, and party on pass them.  I hate that I still let that kind of foolishness in my head at times, but I have a feeling that I'm not alone in it.

Here's the anatomy of my running self and a 'lil sales pitch.
 OMG, what did I do before this stuff?  I rubbed myself raw, I tell ya.  A dear friend heard my cry for help when I told her what awful chafing issues I was having on my 5+ mile runs. (The longer I'd sweat, the worse it got.)  I forgot about our conversation and she later surprised me with this stuff and it's amazing!  It fixes everything I had hoped it would.  My problem areas were the bra line and my thighs (Hey, I'm being real here.), and I can say that I have no problems now.  If you ever have chafing issues while exercising, try this stuff!

* Can I still call it 'post-birth baby jiggle' if my youngest is approaching 1 year?  :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

More Goals for 2012

Limit myself to dessert only once per week.  I know this sounds funny, but I have such a sweet tooth and it's borderline embarrassing.  Since I'm strength-training and triathlon training and nursing, I find myself famished during the day.  I just need to stock up on healthier snacks.

Re-paint the laundry room, cuz lookie what got finished...
I have been wanting to repaint it for awhile, but told myself I'd do so after the cabinet doors were on.  (Props to my awesome hubs!  He built these cabinets from scratch, y'all!)

Finish our 2011 Reflection Journal entry.  We write in a journal together each year and it's almost APRIL and we still have not had the time to get away together to write about the happenings of last year.

Simplify our toys.  We will never be the 'cool house' with tons of toys.  It's just not a priority to us.  Our kids might always want what other kids' have, but we will tell them to go have a hay day with rocks and sticks in the backyard.  :)  Though we don't have a ton, I still feel like we have too much!  I want to go through it and donate what we're not using.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

DIY: Cell Phone Charging Holster

This was a fun little project that I whipped out in about 30 minutes.  I was feeling crafty last night and my hands wanted to be busy while we watched some Office reruns.  I followed this tutorial and since I already had everything on hand, it was a quick project.  My verdict--Cute to look at:  yes.  Practical:  no.  I already have a handy spot in our bedroom where we're used to plugging in and charging our phones.  This would be perfect for someone though that plugs theirs in the kitchen or in an office.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Behavorial Incentives For A 2 Year Old

Vera, my 2 year old, responds well to positive feedback.  One of the best tricks I've learned if wanting to modify a behavior is to praise one of her friends for doing something well (sharing, obeying, etc.) when she is within earshot.  She, too, wants praise, so it motivates her to do the right thing the next time.  Though I am more concerned with the condition of her heart than behavior modification, there are times and situations when incentives help her learn.
I stole this glass jar incentive idea from someone else.  After about a month of doing it, it's working great!  I had everything on hand already, so putting it together for use was quick.  I gathered some glass votive candle holders, rocks, jingle bells and sparkly balls from my craft stuff.  We decided that there were six specific areas that we wanted to help her work on, so I found pictures and printed labels to help her take ownership.  When she gets in her car seat without a fight, I praise her for it and tell her that she gets to go put something in her jar.  When she stays in bed (and doesn't moan underneath her door) during nap time, she gets to put something in her jar.  This has become exciting to her and she often asks about the status of her jar.
For rewards, I chose three things I know she likes; ice cream, bike rides, and watching a TV show.  It is really special if she gets to go on a bike ride with one of us.  Watching TV and dessert are not everyday occurrences here, so these are special to her, too.  As she takes initiative to obey on her own, we in that moment try to tell her how much it pleases God and reward her for her good behavior.  I'm not sure how long this will do the trick, but for now it's working!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Currently Snacking On...

There's something about raw squash that has been hitting the spot lately.  I cut up a ton and have been munching on it all week.  Yesterday I made a batch of hummus and added some Greek yogurt, dill, parsley, salt, and pepper.  The perfect dip for a creamy, salty craving.  For a purchased brand, Sabra is easy to find and I like the classic hummus.

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Really Expensive Kind That is Found at High-End Boutique Hair Salons

About 4x a year I get my hair cut.  I save up the fifty bucks and splurge for the kind where you get a head massage and glass of wine offered to you.  Makes me feel fancy for the hour I'm away from my kids.  I went a couple days ago and had this conversation with my favorite hair gal.

Lily:  Wow, your hair is so shiny and soft.  What kind of product do you use?
Me:  Product?  I guess I use a hair dryer on occasion to speed things up, you know, if I need to have dry hair or something.
Lily:  No, like do you use a certain brand of hair products?
Me:  Oh.  Yeah, I use a really expensive kind called Suave.
Lily:  Haha.  Suave, eh?
Me:  Oh, so you've heard of it?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Revisiting 2012 Resolutions

I posted some resolutions for this year and wanted to look back and see how I'm doing a month later.

Brush my kids' teeth more consistently.  I'll be honest that it's still not every night (We're only shooting for once a day here, right?), but we're at it about 4x a week now.  Why do I forget so easily to do this?

Add flax seed more often.  Check.  I add it once a day now to something we're eating.

Log my runs.  Check!  I've been using MapMyRun and I love keeping track of the stats!  I run about 3 times a week at an average of 10 min./mile pace with a total of 70 miles so far this year.

Cook through my recipe box.  Not gonna happen.  I should have actually looked through it thoroughly first.  50% of the recipes are desserts, and Lord knows I don't need any more reasons to buy more butter.

Get the doors on the laundry cabinets.  This one is not in my hands.  ;)
I'm feeling pretty productive so far this year.  Maybe I should make some additional goals...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Oh, For the Sake of Poop!

I'm not sure if we are a normal household or not, but I'd like to assume that other families in the toddler-bottom-wiping phase of life are poop-centric, too.  Real life examples.  (Don't say I didn't warn you.)
* My 2 year old kind of requires an audience when she's working one out on the potty.  The more, the merrier.  She wants you to sit and give your undivided attention while she marinates you in her poo smell.
* From across the room if we spot our baby grunting and red in the face, our typical response out loud is "Push.  Work it out, girlfriend."
* I met up with a friend to feel adult-like grab drinks.  The bar tender asked for my ID and along with my wallet I presented her with a pretty foul poopy diaper that had been in my purse for who knows how long.
* I looked out the window a couple days ago to check on my kid playing outside and noticed her pants down and squatting.  My observations concluded that she was replicating how our dog "goes" in the yard.
* In the midst of giving my diaper-rash-prone baby girl some 'air-out time,' it's not uncommon to find a little surprise in a corner somewhere in the house.  I try to keep a good eye out so Marlow doesn't swallow whole the steaming hot fresh poo.  It's his favorite delicacy these days if he can get his paws on it before us.
*  Though they look similar to what could be a parasite, kiwi seeds in a baby's poop should not cause alarm.  This was only discovered after some intense inspection from the momma.

Bonus fact of the day!  For the record, it is possible (and not all that uncomfortable, actually) to take a dump using the Ergo while baby is on the back.  Who knew?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What We're Eating This Week

You'll see some repetition below.  It's a simple week.  I didn't have energy to create an ambitious menu, so we're using a lot of the same veggies throughout while varying the meals.

Camembert, Bacon, and Potato Tart
Mixed Greens, Strawberries, Almonds, Raspberry Vinaigrette

Potage au Pistou (French version of Italy's Minestrone)
Crusty Bread

Chicken Sausage with Green Chilis
Fresh Corn Sauté with Red Onion, Bell Peppers and Basil
Mixed Greens with Tomatoes and Vinaigrette

Spaghetti Squash, Onions, Bell Peppers, Zucchini, Tomatoes
Crusty Bread

out with friends


Monday, February 20, 2012

Being Hungry for God's Glory {Fasting & Prayer}

The role of our prayers on earth are able to invoke the power of God from heaven. -Norm Rasmussen
My first memory of fasting was joining in with the rest of my youth group in middle school to do the 30-Hour Famine, though sadly, I was less concerned about worldwide hunger and praying on its behalf and more focused on counting down until I could indulge in whatever my mind was craving.  I didn't get the point.  And I certainly didn't believe in the power of prayer combined with fasting.

Fasting is simply human weakness deferring to God's strength.  It does not come naturally to me to deny myself food (or much, for that matter) and put God and His interests ahead of my own.

I've often felt that I pray half-heartedly or without belief.  I forget who I am appealing to!  It's easy to let life distract me and forget that I am calling on Almighty God.  I don't want my limp prayers to bounce back at me.  I want God's power to be released and accomplish much.

For me, fasting seems to draw me nearer to the heart of God and it intensifies my time in prayer.  When I get stuck spiritually, it debunks my unbelief.  It breaks through when prayer doesn't seem to be working on its own.  It signifies that I can't do it on my own and that I need God's intervention in my life.

For the prayers of a righteous man are both powerful and effective.  James 5:16

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thursday Happenings

 Lydia really is the sweetest little thing.  She's all smiles.
 It was laundry day 'round these parts.
 Vera tried to convince me to let Lydie sleep with her during nap time.
 This is one of my favorite cookbooks by one of the most inspiring food pioneers in America.
 My boy.
 Dinner prep
 She boycotted napping today but was clearly tired.  (Can someone answer me why both my girls suck the same fingers on the same hand?  It baffles me.)
I call Vera my sweet pea.
 She tried to "help" with laundry in the afternoon.
 Baking and cooking with Vera is one of my all-time favorite things to do.  She is so focused and loves having a project.
 We take full advantage of our backyard.
 We go on a lot of walks.  Vera insisted on being "warm" and wearing a coat and hat despite the fact it was almost 70 degrees today.  Texas girl.
 The afternoon was dragging so we loaded up and went to a store so I could return something.
 Finishing off dinner was quick tonight.
After the kids were down...Chocolate Tart with Whipped Cream.  We cut, slather, and eat standing at the counter.  No need for plates or forks here.

Having A Social Life As a Parent. Is This Possible?

Date Nights?  I say yes.  But the must-have is a local family.  I don't have blood-relatives around, but I do have a network of folks who care for and love me just as well.  One of the things we do for each other is swap babysitting and watch each others' kids on a whim.  This works excellently for date nights because who doesn't want alone time with their spouse?  They do and I do, so we both win.

Sometimes it's on the calendar ahead of time.  Other times it's a phone call a few hours before checking to make sure the other couple didn't have plans to be out.  If they don't, then since they also have littles, they are home bound for the evening doing the routine of dinner, bath, books, bed.

We are extremely fortunate to have our "family" live within a 2-mile radius; 3 other couples.  Each family has 2 kids, and I've found that adding 2 more on occasion is less burdensome than I used to think.  They entertain each other.  We stick 'em all in the bathtub together and do pjs and books.  It's much like organized chaos an assembly line.  We've got our system down here and it's fun.

* It works well to have date nights planned out a month ahead.  We do a little calendar sesh and write it all out.  Organization is key.

Girl Time/Alone Time?  Again, yes.  Chris has conference calls for work once a week.  He works from home and is on the computer.  I enjoy using that time to take Marlow to a dog park or going to a store by myself.  It's also especially fun to meet a friend for Happy Hour or a run (one after the other is not recommended!) or a thrift store run.

In our marriage, we are happier people if we each get ourselves some quality alone time (this usually means coffee shop with a book or something of the like), friend time, and kid-free dates.  Because I am mostly home during the week, I am usually ready to get out at night or on the weekends.  (Who knew that people are still awake and out doing things past 7pm?  How exciting!)  Chris is the opposite.  He is a homebody and enjoys lounging it up and being productive around the house.  We both get our fix and it works for us.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

This Happens Daily

Fact.  My tea usually steeps for 12 hours at room temperature before I drink it.  I intend to consume it while it's hot, but the mornings are driven usually by a rather energetic 2 year old and a baby who puts a hook so tight around your arm that you don't put her down.  I usually find my cold mug in the microwave around lunch time, reheat it at that point with great ambitions once again, but almost always do I get caught up in something else and forget about it.  Thus after the kids are down I drink my day-long brewed tea.  Should that gross me out?  It's one of the exciting times of my day, actually.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Ain't That The Truth

This blog makes me cry-laugh on an almost daily basis.  My oh my, how I can resonate with the parenting sketches.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

But God--The Two Words At the Heart of the Gospel

I have really been soaking in Scripture lately, especially the multitude of verses that begin with "but God."  They remind me that throughout the past and now during the present, while humanity lives in darkness, He steps in, extending grace and compassion.  It is God who reaches out to us.

When I come across a verse in the Bible that has "but God" in it, I always circle it because it is fantastically good news to me.  You see, my life could never measure up.  I am naturally inclined to live a life of evil.

Once I was dead in my sin.  But God made me alive!
Once I was captive to Satan.  But God made me free!

Eph. 2:4-7
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Rom. 5:8
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this--while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

But God...the two words at the heart of the Gospel.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I Am A Whore. {But God}

How many times do I run away from the Lover of my soul back to things that satisfy my sinful nature?  Over and over and over and over I reject God, yet He welcomes me back.

Adultery is one of the most destructive things a human can ever take part in.  It produces in us a greater despair than what we know.  That's basically what I'm taking part in when I choose other 'lovers,' or things over my God.

There's a story in the Bible about a highly respected, holy man (a prophet) named Hosea.  God told him to marry a prostitute.  That's ridiculous, right?  This woman was a whore.  She rejected her husband's love and went to other lovers over and over again.  But Hosea stood  firm and did not relent in pursuing his wife.

This story is about me, ya'll!  It tells me that I am rotten to the core.  But God has extended to me His unfailing love.  It is bountiful and beautiful and life-giving.  And regardless of how many times I screw up, my Father does not relent in pursuing me.

Why do I try to fill my heart with things not of God?  Only He can fill it.
(Ecc. 3:10) He has put eternity into the heart of man.

I desire to chase after only the affection of Christ.  No other thing.

Knowing God and being in relationship with Him is the only thing that will meet and satisfy the deepest longing of my heart, the deepest need of my soul

Monday, January 30, 2012

Feeling Blessed

Lydia is 9 months old and has discovered the joy in clapping.  She now says "dada" and points to objects.  She is quite the snuggler and loves her momma.  She prefers French-kissing and is happiest when included in whatever big sister is doing.  She waves to strangers and laughs easily.
Vera is 2 years old + 3 months and her favorite phrase is "No, no, Lydia.  Vera do it."  She loves the classic Little Golden Books and especially the ones about being a mommy or big sister or caretaker of some kind.  She is Miss Independent and wants to do everything herself right now; changing clothes multiple times a day, making her bed, brushing her teeth, feeding Lydia and Marlow, getting the mail, and more.  Her favorite snack as of lately has been a smoothie.

Monday, January 16, 2012

2012 Resolutions

Brush my kids' teeth more consistently.

Add flax seed more often.

Log my runs.

Cook through my recipe box.

Get the doors on the laundry cabinets.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

DIY Fail

Dang, friends.  I was trying to be all thrifty and not spend money but it back fired on me.  I should have done some research first before jumping right in.

With the little updating kick I've been on lately around my house, I decided that I wanted white lamp shades for the one in our living room and the two in our bedroom. They were a boring cream color that kind of blended in with the walls.

So I painted them white.  (If you already knew what I wish I would have, a melodramatic "wah wah" noise now would be appropriate.)

Painted lamp shades are in fact the antithesis of what I was going for--brighter lit rooms.  Now I know.

They actually make the room much darker because the light doesn't shine as easily through the shade.

Learn from me.  Don't paint your lamp shades.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Cooking Goal in 2012

When I got married 6 1/2 years ago, I was given quite the collection of recipes from family and friends. I store them in a little box and rarely look through them.  But I want to change that!  So I figured I would challenge myself this year to cook through the whole box. Maybe I'll conquer my fear of casseroles through this experience.  Kidding.  I don't have a fear of casseroles, for Heaven's sake.  I'm an equal opportunity eater, folks.  You know me.

I digress.

I reserve the right to tweak the recipes though, such as making my own crust instead of buying pre made. I'm sure I will share with you some thoughts along the way.
Do you have a similar collection of recipes? Do you use them or do they collect dust, like mine? I'm hoping to find some stellar dishes that I didn't know about.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Why I Hate Religion

Thursday, January 12, 2012

We Gained A Drawer In The Kitchen

Simple, but a nice change.
Found it here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

What I Did Today During Naptime {The Great Switcheroo}

I've been doing lots of switcheroo-ing 'round these parts lately.  The goal being to spend very little money if any at all, but to get my 'freshing up' fix.

I took our master bathroom mirror, painted it white, put hooks on it and hung it in the laundry room.
I took the mirror caddy that was on the laundry room wall previously and positioned it in our front entryway.  I removed a dark console table that was there, too, to open it up.  When friends come over, there's always this awkward moment of Where do I go?  We both don't fit? and a little shuffling around happens.  But now I like both the laundry room space and entryway better.
If you're still tracking with me, imagine if you will, the now laundry room mirror in the master bathroom (below).  It was the mirror that came with the "kit" and matched everything else.  I'm discovering about myself that I'm not a fan of matchy-matchy stuff.

The current mirror in the master bathroom (painted turquoise awhile back) was in the entryway of the house (confused yet?).  Now that it's in the master bathroom, I find the pop of color refreshing.

I Kind of Have a Thing for Lobal Decor

Hi, my name is Carey and I have an earring addiction.

When I was a little girl, pre-pierced ears, I would yearn for the pretty things that hung from cooler, older girls' earlobes.  I specifically remember an afternoon I was shopping at my all-time favorite preteen jewelry store and decided I was a 'dangly earrings' kinda girl.  I like studs and all, but I really liked the look of big, dangling, colorful, bright, unique earrings.  After much anticipation, my mom finally let me get my ears pierced at age 12.  I kept in the default cubic zirconia studs in my ears for the recommended 6 weeks, turned them every day and cleaned them gently with hydrogen peroxide.  Then at last the day arrived that I could remove those boring studs and don my sparkly girly dangly earrings.  I was a happy girl.  The end.

Annie said that you're never fully dressed without a smile, but I say, you're never fully dressed without earrings.  How about that?  Ha.

In a continued effort to reorganize, I took my jewelry box and found a way to display my earrings.  I'm thinking I'll be wearing them more often now.
I copied this idea from her.  I went to both Lowe's and Home Depot today and neither store had the decorative radiator plates that she mentioned, so I used this instead.  Now our bathroom wall is girl-ified.  :)

Monday, January 09, 2012

If I Used Groupon

Do you subscribe to daily deal sites?  I get alerts through my email and phone about the local deals going on in my area.  I occasionally look through them to see if anything peaks my interest, but I've only about about 2 Groupons before.

If I actually used the site and had endless discretionary funds to spend, here are a few things I'd do:

* a beginner's improv, sketch, and comedy-writing class
* admission to a trampoline park
* fitness boot camp
* teeth whitening services
* segway tour of Austin
* voice lessons

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Reorg: Pantry Shelf

I declare 2012 as the year of organization in my home.  I'm energized to spruce things up and change things around.  I'd like to get rid of stuff and simplify.  First project was a cluttered shelf in our pantry.  I bought a tiered expanding shelf today and reorganized a bit.

Have you got any organization goals this year?