Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Currently (vol 2)

Thinking about// Some really hard stuff that can very quickly overtake this sweet, bubbly post and turn it into a dark, uncomfortable one. So rather than getting into it, I'll leave it as this and ask you to send up a little prayer for this heart of mine.

{Not} watching// Season 2 of Orange is the New Black - BUT I SHOULD BE!!!! We got hooked on season 1 a couple months ago, and it became an evening ritual to watch an episode before bed. But lately life has been really busy and tiring so early bedtime (even for grown ups) is the new black for us but I'm dying to get back into watching it!

Photographing// Baby, our resident broody hen, as she is on day 7 of 21 of sitting on her eggs. In about 2 weeks, we're hoping to have a few baby peepers to show off!

Feeling// helpless, but working to reinvigorate and distract myself while God puts his plans into place and shines a bright light into that bit of darkness that's on my heart.

Thankful for// Ruby sitting up. Yes, Ruby sits up! Why am I thankful? Because now she is able to play independently for a little bit, hold her own with Penny and guess what? I even caught a glimpse of Penny showing Ruby how to play with a toy! Be still my heart, these girls are the best.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Lemon-Pepper Tuna BLT (a rendition of a Starbucks copycat!)

Any time I'm going for a longish drive, I battle with myself...should I stop at Starbucks and get a caramel frappicino and one of those amazing chicken salad BLTs? And more often than not, unless I am in the serious mood for a treat, I convince myself that nigh on $10 for a coffee and a sandwich is just not worth it. Instead, I silently vow that I will make this at home and pack one for myself the next time I go out.

Friends, this day has finally come. Except I've adapted this recipe to use Bumble Bee® Premium Light Tuna (you can use a pouch or can), because tuna contains high levels of omega -3's which are important for brain function along with a myriad of other benefits. I chose light tuna over albacore because I'm a nursing mom and albacore has been shown to contain higher levels of mercury than chunk tuna. I also prefer the flavor of chunk tuna to albacore. 

You'll need:
  • Bumble Bee® Premium Light Tuna in a water pouch or can
  • 3 T Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 T Lemon Pepper Seasoning (adjust to your taste, some seasoning already includes salt in the mixture)
  • Oven roasted tomatoes
  • 4 strips cooked bacon
  • lettuce
  • thinly chopped scallions
  • salt and pepper
  • a squirt of lemon juice (I've fallen in love with the flavor from lemon essential oil, so I added 1 drop instead)
  • sliced creamy havarti
  • your favorite sandwich bread
This makes 2 sandwiches. 

You'll do:
1. Prepare your oven roasted tomatoes and bacon ahead of time.
2. Mix together the tuna, mayonnaise, lemon pepper seasoning, tomatoes, scallions, lemon juice or essential oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Assemble your sandwich with the bread, a couple slices of bacon, havarti and a leaf of lettuce. Add a good dill pickle too.
Oooooh lawdy. I think I may have gone to heaven.

This is a delicious sandwich to pack for anyone's lunch - it's a twist on the the good old standby tuna sandwich that we all grew up with. It's also one of my go-to dinners on hot or busy nights because everything can be pre-made ahead of time. Pack this in your, your husband's or kid's lunch and they'll be asking for more, I promise!

Find more delicious tuna recipes from Bumble Bee Tuna!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Currently (vol 1)

Thinking about// My parents will be moving to Europe in less than a week and will be gone for 2 years. On one hand I am really happy for them and am totally hoping for a family trip there in the future, but on the other hand I am thinking about how their absence will affect my daughters. Penny is very close with my mom and I know she will miss her terribly. What is almost worse is that Ruby really won't know what she's missing out on, and I wonder how this two year assignment will affect her relationship with them when they return.

Reading// Dark Hope: Book One of the Archangel Prophecies. This is the first book that I've read since finishing the Hunger Games series last summer and I have been really hungry (wow, no pun intended) for a good book. The first 100 pages were slow, but in the span of 2 pages I knew that I'd be hooked for the rest of the series!

Thankful for// my backyard. On super hot days, I'll cook dinner and we take it outside. We don't have a picnic table yet, so most evenings dinner is served on a blanket in the grass. A cool breeze, the scent of my peach tree wafting over, the curious clucks of the chickens and laying while eating dinner (a la Ancient Roman style).

Photographing// who else? These cuties!

Loving// experimenting with my lavender and lemon oil essential oils. I recently started using essential oils for wellness, and have really started to love the intense flavors that these two oils bring to my cooking and baking. I've used lemon oil in several recipes that normally call for lemon juice (try Blueberry Yogurt Popsicles) and I also tried lavender lemonade!

Monday, August 18, 2014

One last Lake House Dinner + Lavender Lemonaid Recipe (with Essential Oils)

“I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for the Beef Checkoff. I received products to facilitate this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.”

7 days.

That's all the time that my parents have until they take off for a fabulous two year assignment to Germany.

Between the mixed emotions of their departure, we knew one thing was for sure - we had to take one last family trip to Mount Rainier and we had to have a one last hurrah dinner on the deck of their lake house. The house that hosted our wedding, the house where we lived for the first nine months of my daughter's life. There's a ton of memories tied up here, and farewell dinner was a little bit of closure for this life changing event for them.

What did we serve?
Filet mignon wrapped in bacon, seasoned with Williams & Sonoma Butcher's Rub
Baked Potatoes
Sourdough bread
grill roasted corn on the cob
and my new favorite.. Lavender Lemonaid.

You'll need:
1 large, juicy lemon
1/2 cup raw honey
1/2 cup water + 6 cups water
6 drops of doTERRA Lemon Essential Oil
3 drops of doTERRA Lavender Essential Oil

You'll do:
1. Juice the lemon into your pitcher
2. Gently heat the 1/2 cup of raw honey with 1/2 cup of water in a small sauce pan. Heat just until the water and honey combine well, you don't want to boil it. Remove from heat.
3. Add your drops of lemon essential oil and lavender essential oil to the honey mixture.
4. Pour the honey mixture into the pitcher with the lemon juice. Mix well.
5. Add the 6 cups of cold water.
6. Fill your pitcher with ice.
Now let that cool down and garnish with a sprig of lavender from your garden and you've got an absolutely delicious spa-like drink!
This was an excellent, hearty meal after our day trip to Mount Rainier. After an unexpected 4 mile hike from Narada Falls down to Longmire, it's an understatement to say that we were tired and hungry!

The Beef Checkoff was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. It's a national marketing and research program funded by America's cattle farmers and ranchers. Cattle farmers, ranchers and importers direct the national checkoff program, which uses funds toward research and promotion efforts designed to increase domestic and/or international demand for beef. The Cattlemen's Beef Board and USDA oversee the collection and spending of these beef checkoff funds. You might be familiar with "Beef. It's What's For Dinner."

Friday, August 15, 2014

Babywearing Through Mount Rainier

Caution: This post contains a ton of babywearing!

This past weekend we decided to take a family trip up to Paradise at Mount Rainier National Park as a last hurrah for my parents taking off for Europe for the next 2 years. I had been wanting to see the gorgeous wildflower fields that are infamous in August and it was the perfect family bonding time that we needed.

We drove up early on a Sunday morning and made it to Paradise, which is the starting point for summiting Mount Rainier and offers the most glorious views of the volcano (that you can drive to). Even though it's at 5,400 ft elevation, it was a HOT afternoon. You never know about the weather when you're that high up, it can change so quickly, but we were blessed with a gorgeous blue sky, albeit hot temperatures and the beautiful variation of wildflowers.

Pretty much everyone took a turn wearing the babes :)

We hiked around Paradise and then headed out for an impromptu hike that took us from Narada Falls down to Long Mire. It was a 4 mile all descent hike - which was easy but let me tell ya, my knees and toes were hurting for the next 2 days!

None of this would have been possible without babywearing! There was no way a stroller would have worked for 5 month old Ruby and a 4 mile hike for 2 year old Penny would have been too long. So naps and nursing happened on the go and we all were happy hikers :)


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