29 October 2014

Happiness is ______ {2014-W43} #happinessis

I am so glad to be back in the groove of things.  I'm feeling so much better and have been soaking up any little bit of happiness I can find.

Happiness is celebrating feeling better with a flower that I have not smelled since I left home 14 years ago. Oh how I long for blue water and soft sandy beaches.


Happiness is this crazy bunch of people who have become family.  Family is always there for each other.


Happiness is a nice cloudy day that makes for a cool walk home from school.   And helping my neighbors out.  Sometimes I have all kinds of kids walking home with me.  I love it!


Happiness is my dogs.  You knew this was coming right?  I am so happy I have them.  Even if the little one is old and grumpy.


Happiness is knowing that even though he will most likely be euthanized, he let me sit with him and love him. This guy had wounds all over his body from what I'm guessing was a dog fight.  I scratched his ears and he rested his head in my lap for a good while.  I hope felt my love and even if it was just for a few minutes.


Happiness is finding this little note in my recipe binder.  This was the last package and recipe that Dad ever sent me.  I have the box of spices still wrapped in my pantry.  I know I should have used them but I can't bring myself to.  Who knows how long it will sit there on the shelf.  But when I'm moving stuff around and see his handwriting on the box it always makes me smile.


What has brought you happiness and smiles with week?  I would love to know.  What is something you can always count on to make you happy?  Stop by Crazy Adventures in Parenting for more Happiness!

27 October 2014

Menu Plan Monday: October 27th


How is it Monday already?  That was fast.  At least we only had one soccer game this weekend.  And as short as it was, we enjoyed it.  Even managed to get a few things we have been putting off done.  More on that later. Lets talk food.  My appetite has gone missing again and nothing sounds good.  I need some more ideas y'all!  Here is what we settled on for this weeks menu.

Tuna Subs.

Enchiladas, Rice and Beans.

Leftovers before soccer practice.

Mushroom Chicken.

All this and cheese wrapped in a tortilla. Friday can't get here soon enough!

Southwest Steak Wraps.


Fish Scampi and Linguine.

Quick Question.  Are we the only ones who eat leftovers so often?  I see so many people who say they don't like leftovers or just plain refuse to eat them and throw them out.  What a waste of money.  And time.  I love to cook but some days there just isn't enough time or energy to. And when I do cook I want to enjoy it. It doesn't have to be the same exact dish.  When money is tight, I will buy a a whole chicken or the family packs.  You can make so many things out of leftover chicken.  Soup, tacos, taquitos, enchiladas, salad, sandwiches and so much more. Leftover roasts and hams make great sandwiches. Even if its just for lunch.  What is your favorite way to use up your leftovers?

21 October 2014

Forget Red. I am seeing Orange!

I grew up in a loud house. I mean LOUD. I'm sure our neighbors could tell you stories. There were 6 of us kids and that was crazy enough. Throw in alcoholism, anger and my parents splitting up when I was 11, at times it was unbearable. I promised myself that my children would have better. I was going to be different. I had two goals, I wasn't going to be a lush and I wasn't going to yell. The drinking was easy to stop. A failing liver and being put on the Liver transplant list brought all that to a stop. And for the record my love of Jack and Coke had nothing to do with my liver disease. But when you are pregnant with a child you already thought you couldnt have and you have just been told that you have a liver disease with no cure other than a full liver transplant, it can be a little challenging to get a grip on your emotions. And over time things didn't get any easier.

I can tell you the exact day it started. I cant remember why I yelled but I yelled and I even threw in a slammed cupboard door for added drama. My sister was living with me at the time and I remember her saying "Ok Dad!" I had snapped. I had scolded my boys before then. Yelled even but that was the first time I did it with anger! I've said it a hundred times by now. Being a mom is not for the weak. Being a mom and living with a chronic illness, well that's just impossible some days. That's when I started really yelling. And I'm not saying my condition is the reason I yell but it plays a very big part if it.  

This last summer was hard on me. August was brutal. And one day when I popped on Facebook, to vent about my horrible day, I saw a post about bloggers needed for the Yell Less Love More Blog Tour. I was randomly and by the grace of God chosen to review it. And it couldn't have come at a better time. I had no idea things could get any worse,but they did. September and October have gotten the best of me. But I can honestly say that without this book it would have been worse.

I had a plan. I was going to follow the plan religiously. Then on day 4, life happened. I yelled. More than once and I started all over. A few more days in I'd yell again. And it wasn't because the book wasn't working. It was just because I am not perfect. I didn't expect to be able to go a whole 30 days with out yelling right off the bat. One of the greatest things I have come away with from this book is that I don't have to be perfect and I'm not alone!  

And now after spending the last few weeks curled up in pain and dealing with mind blowing fatigue I am starting all over. I started taking notes right away. Hell, I've rewritten this post a handful of times. But my brain fog is clearing and I've decided to take this as a chance start the challenge all over and share it here with all of you. I'm would like to post once a week on my progress. I know how unpredictable my life can be so know its going to be brutal. And of course I'm sure there will be more setbacks, but even the smallest changes are steps in the right direction. Baby steps. Little orange rhino footprints leading the way.

Its nice to know I'm not the only one struggling with this. I don't know if its just me being hard on myself but I feel an overwhelming pressure to be better. What I like to call " Pinterest Perfect" That if I don't cook these picture perfect meals and throw these elaborately themed parties and always get along with my boys, then I am somehow not good enough. I tell my boys all the time " You don't have to be perfect! You just have to try!" Its about time I take my own advice.

In the book Sheila talks about triggers and suggested writing them down to keep track of them. How can that help? For me, it was quite sobering. Everything sets me off. I mean really, is an empty toilet paper roll worth hurt feelings? Lets just say I had a lot to work on. Once I wrote them down it was easy to look at a few and tell myself to get over it. Now most days I am able to look at the scattered toys and sigh instead instantly yelling that everything be picked up or its going in the trash. And the other day when there was no toilet paper in my bathroom, thanks David, and I had to run to the boys bathroom only to find an empty roll there too. I laughed and thought to myself, sh!t happens.

In the book you will find some great tips to help you not yell. One of them is to picture yourself on a beach. This is something that I did already. Its easy to do when you grew up on a beach like this. 


There are some other fun ones like repeating "I love you". I do this too, except I usually sing it. Sometimes through my teeth when things are really about to hit the fan. My not so pitch perfect song gets the boys attention quick! In the book, it's all laid out for you in easy to follow along chapters. I bought a new journal to have a separate place to keep track of the daily challenges, triggers and what I did right or wrong. I have to hold myself accountable. I've also spilled the beans to the family. I don't know why I thought I could do this the first time around without them.

I've already made plans to buy the book for a few friends and family members who I know could use it. Starting next week I will be sharing my journey through the challenge. If you haven't don't it yet check out The Orange Rhino and take the challenge today! Because if there is one thing I can promise you its that life is short and if you can yell less and love more it will be so much more worth it all in the end.

Pre order your copy of Yell Less, Love More HERE and join the club. I'm pretty sure yelling in excitement is allowed :) I know I did when I was chosen to receive a free advanced copy to review. Thank You Sheila for this opportunity!

20 October 2014

Menu Plan Monday: 10/20


I actually have a menu planned this week.  I even went grocery shopping.  I just ran out of time to share it all earlier.  The Mr stayed home from work today even though my appointment was cancelled.  So we did what most people would do right?  Went out for Breakfast then came home and watched movies we have been wanting to watch but were not quite kid friendly.  After that we went shopping and picked up the boys  from school.  Before I knew it, it was time for soccer practice.  Everyone is bathed and in bed but I just had to share since I'm actually trying some new things this week!  Finally!  I'm so excited.

Monday:  Complete fail.  I was going to make a nice dinner since I was home all day.  We ended up buying pizza on the way home.  It happens.  No judging.

Tuesday:  Ginger and Scallion Beef with fried rice and stir fry veggies.

Wednesday:  Soccer Practice night so we will be cleaning out the fridge and eating up whatever is left in there.

Thursday:  Turkey Chili and Crackers.  I have been using this recipe for years. The flavor is strong enough that you can't even tell its turkey.  And since I can't eat to much red meat, this works perfectly.

Friday:  Panko Crusted Honey Mustard Salmon with salad and roasted broccoli.

Saturday:  Leftovers again.  I'm so tired of throwing away food!!

Sunday:  One Pot Chicken and Potatoes. I was looking for something easy and this looks like a winner.  

So that is 3 new recipes in one week.  Lets hope I don't overwhelm myself.  My mind has been really playing with me this past month and even reading a recipe can be a little challenging at times.  But with some early prepping, I should be good to go.  Ill be sure to share later on how everything turns out!  Happy Monday y'all!


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