Travel Often

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” — Rosalia de Castro

Love Deeply, but Laugh Along the Way

"Happiness is only real when shared." - Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

View Marriage as an Adventure

"Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage." ~Finnish Proverb

Fuel your body with GOOD (It's the only one you get)

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything. - Arabian Proverb

Open your Soul to Motherhood

A Grand Adventure is About to Begin - Winnie the Pooh

A New Kind of Love is Born

Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Healthy Breakfast Quinoa

Coconut flavored Breakfast Quinoa (kid tested)

Serves 4
Hands-on time: 10 minute
Total time: 22 Min
Recipe found in Cooking Light (June 2013)
Breakfast Quinoa...beyond good.

I've been terrible with posting recipes. Sorry. Yes, I'm still cooking and have found some AMAZING QUICK, HEALTHY dishes out there. I have a HUGE bin full to prove it. All the recipes sit in there. My goal this weekend is to clean it out and keep the ones I know we all loved, that were under 20 minutes and put them in a binder - 7 recipes per week. Then I plan to create a grocery list and plan out about 2-3 months of recipes and then recycle through. I won't have to plan as much. I won't have to write lists as much. It'll all be THERE and done. And I know we'll be eating healthy, which is very important to me. It's just finding the time to do it. I know I will though.

Anyway, I made this breakfast last Friday morning. For one, our kitchen smelled ridiculously good. For two, this tasted SO SO SO good. For three, Karl AND Jackson absolutely LOVED. LOVED.

I doubled the recipe (BTW). The recipe typed below just didn't seem like enough. Glad I doubled it.

1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
3/4 cup light coconut milk
2 tablespoons water 
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup sliced banana


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Place quinoa in a fine sieve, and place the sieve in a large bowl. Cover quinoa with water. Using your hands, rub the grains together for 30 seconds; rinse and drain quinoa. Repeat the procedure twice. Drain well. Combine quinoa, coconut milk, 2 tablespoons water, brown sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. Stir mixture constantly during the last 2 minutes of cooking.
  3. While quinoa cooks, spread flaked coconut in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 400° for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly.
  4. Place about 1/2 cup quinoa mixture in each of 4 bowls. Top each serving with 1/4 cup strawberry slices, 1/4 cup banana slices, and 1 tablespoon toasted coconut. Serve warm.
Karl's reaction: "Babe, you can make this again and again whenever you want."

Jackson's reaction: "ohhhh!"  *mows down*

One of the Reasons I Live in Minnesota

Hello Beautiful Minnesota Spring

Winters are brutal here in Minnesota - VERY dark, VERY cold. But then spring comes... The birds begin singing around 4 a.m. The morning sunshine breaks free through our curtains around 5 a.m. and it still remains pretty light until 10 p.m. The lakes look like glass. The healthy green leaves bursting from trees greet the skies and everything looks like a postcard would. The air smells so clean and fresh. I can't help and be anything but happy. Hello, sunshine warming my face. Ahhh.

A morning spring walk in Minnesota

The most perfect morning for me goes like this: I'm up around 5:30 while everyone else sleeps. Coffee is brewing and I have a healthy breakfast cooking. Windows are cracked. I'm able to shower and get a few things done around the house. Jackson wakes and we snuggle. I feed him, then we head out to explore. I bring my coffee and sip it along our cool, crisp walk, slowing to soak in the things I otherwise let pass me by during the week. We watch the ducks bathe in a few of the ponds down from us, we point at cars, we watch the birdies soar in the sky and then let our energy out by playing at a nearby park. Around and around we go. Up and down. Through tunnels and over bars and under metal frames. Down the slides. Up the slides. And we laugh.

It's perfect. It's what keeps me going. Not every morning is like this working full-time or with all the rain we've been getting, but when these days come, everything feels just about right.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Balance, Meet Harmony

I read something on my Facebook page in one of the Mommy groups I follow. A very new mom was trying to figure out how to do it all, find balance, stay happy AND sane and was asking for help. I chuckled. Silly mom, there is not an answer to this. But of course there were 38+ responses and I was dying to read what others were saying.

Harmony at the park

Perhaps there was actually an answer to this madness!?
I’m always looking for suggestions to find better balance because for the past year I’ve been rushing around trying to find it. In my eyes it seems like all these other moms have it together and I’m missing something. But what I’ve learned over the past year is a lot of them DO NOT have it together. They either don’t like sharing this information with me or they are awesome at pretending. Or they simply have learned and accepted that this is their new life and take each day as it comes.
I envy that peace. I want it. I need it.  
One comment from a mom of three in the mommy group grabbed my attention. She wrote: “It’s not about finding balance, it’s about creating harmony. If you try to create balance, you set yourself up for failure and you’ll eventually burn yourself out and shoot yourself down over and over again. Instead, try to make the best of what you’re given. Every person’s situation is different. You're not walking in their shoes, nor will they ever walk in yours. Do not compare. What you do know now is nothing ever goes as planned and you need to recognize that and create harmony from what you’re handed every day.”
Hello. Why haven’t I thought of this?
I loved this. Harmony. Ahh. Such a positive word.
My last typical day had me almost pulling out my hair and beating myself up. Why couldn’t I go about my normal insane schedule AND get two gifts ready for a 1st birthday party AND get all 70+ thank you cards done, stamped, addressed and in the mail from Jacksons’ birthday party?
Well, perhaps because Jackson stole my pen, wrote on his face, grabbed a bunch of the cards, stepped all over them, chewed on them, shoved them in the dirt of one of our potted plants and then kicked the envelopes under his Pack N Play. But in my mind it was ME who was the problem. I wasn’t fast enough. I couldn’t focus well enough. I lost my ability to multi-task. Why can’t you fill out these pesky cards that have been sitting on your to-do list for the past three weeks? You’d be able to do these in no time before. Insert name here would have had these out weeks ago. It’s not like you have any plans or company or….
Deep breath.  I looked at the situation through Jackson’s eyes. He was telling me…”MOM, I’m here. You are here. Pay attention to me! Screw these stupid thank you cards!!”
I mean, clearly my husband didn’t care about them. He left to place some bets at Canterbury for the Kentucky Derby.
Instead I took (another) deep breath and thought HARMONY. Let’s make this situation fun. OK, so reading a magazine or sitting outside with my shirt rolled up and drink in hand wasn't a reality at that very moment but I could still have fun. Harmonize.
I don’t know about you but I think music when I hear the word harmony. So the first thing I did was turn on music. Loud. Right away, Jackson started dancing. And I laughed. He was too cute. Then my moment came. A slow song filled the speakers. I picked up Jackson and we spun. We danced. I held him close and escaped all the stressors. I kind of felt like we were in a tunnel. Just me and him. “You know, one day you and I are going to slow dance at your wedding just like this and I’m not going to want to let you go. I love you too much.”
I thought of that day more seriously. I pictured Jackson as a man. I saw it all. I saw someone in white clinging to him for dear life…thinking she (or he, I suppose) loved him more than me. And he thinking he is the luckiest man alive. I panicked, but at the same time I felt incredibly blessed that he was still a little boy and I still had TIME. Every day I'm blessed with time to spend with him - some moments shorter than others but there is TIME. Time to enjoy him and soak up these harmonious moments. Moments I keep pushing aside because I think I have to find perfection.
I must have worn Jackson out because he ended up taking a 2.5 hour nap and low and behold I made it through all 70 cards. No, I didn’t have time to add the pictures, or addresses or lick them shut. That little voice started to attack me again… You used to be able to do this… remember?
Then Jackson woke up. I jumped and ran to him. He giggled when he saw me. 
Enjoy the moment. The today. The here and now. The cards can wait. I have some dancing to do.