5 Reasons Why You Should Unfriend Worry Today

5 Reasons Why You Should Unfriend Worry TodayI once had a friend who made me sick. We were very close all through my 20’s. Hardly a day passed where we didn’t hang out and many times we spent the entire day in each other’s company. I thought our unhealthy friendship was unavoidable. I thought it was normal even. I became so accustomed to her company, I couldn’t see life any other way. And in my confusion, I believed everybody else had a friend named Worry too.

I based my value on the opinions of others

During those years, I constantly fretted about how I felt other people viewed me. My day rose or fell on the opinions of others. My perception of their opinions. It was so bad, I would base my value on my interactions with other people. I would replay conversations in my head on a loop, long after they had gone down.And then share that loop with my husband, poor guy. I now know that this is called ruminating and it isn’t healthy. It is no way to live. And yet, sadly, this was my reality for many years. Continue reading

4 of our South Boston Favorites

Our Favorite Southie Cup of Joe

American Provisions

American ProvisionsAmerican Provisions is the best place to go for a cup of joe in Southie. Brance is a bit of a coffee snob and this is his favorite place in the neighborhood. Only they don’t have much seating. If you prefer chatting over a cup of coffee with a friend, then you would be better off meeting up at Cafe Arpeggio on West Broadway or the Starbucks beside Broadway Station. But for coffee on the go or while browsing this specialty store, American Provisions is likely not to disappoint.  Many people enjoy the cheeses, meats, breads, and assorted pantry items they carry as well. Although I don’t shop there very often. I have also heard that they make a mean sandwich. Continue reading

Happy Weekend!

LoveI just love overhearing conversations between my girls. They say the funniest things to each other. When we got back from our trip to VA, we couldn’t find their toothbrushes in any of our bags. Rather than take a hike to the grocery store to pick up kid toothbrushes, I opened a bulk pack of brushes I had bought for Brance and I (for when we feel too lazy to use our electric ones). They were so excited to use these larger brushes! The other morning I heard Abigail tell Haddie that she must have “big teeth” (what she calls permanent teeth), because she is using a big brush. I love little people logic! Continue reading

Contentment, the Secret to Living Joyfully

BirdsI so wish I could sit and have a good heart-to-heart with my 20-something self! There are many things I could say. But one of the BIG things I would tell  “me” is – change doesn’t necessarily bring happiness, more often than not it WON’T. If you can’t learn to be content in your current circumstances…you will NEVER know contentment, REGARDLESS of change, no matter how awesome it is. This is why some of the richest, most famous people are the most miserable. Being happy is not a matter of what we have or what we do. It’s about the condition of our heart.

The way our life is right now, at this very moment, is NOT what is keeping us from happiness! Please don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying that we be fatalistic about life, never trying to grow or improve in our circumstances. And certainly, I am not talking about addiction or any form of abuse. BUT, if we aren’t grateful in this life, in our current circumstance, difficult ones even, we will NEVER be happy! A different home, a better body, finding a spouse, having kids, a different job, or more money will not and can not fulfill us.

I spent my early 20’s thinking if and when certain things happened, THEN my life would be complete and I would be really happy. Many of those things happened for me. Continue reading

Renovating Our Civil War-Era Home: Part 2

Kitchen

So, here is what “we” (Brance) have been up to on the new house. It took us months and months to  decide on a floor plan that we were both excited about, during that first year we owned it.  I really think the hard work is paying off, as we are still excited about the layout. BUT, the real test will be once we’ve actually lived in our house.

In the beginning I kind of got a tad-bit obsessive about the layout and design, as in not keeping up with the house and forgetting to shower obsessive… to spend my time pouring through a million online-pictures and sketching up all my ideas. BUT, thankfully, during that phase, I read something by a homeowner who was on the other side of a big home renovation project. I think it was a blog post, if I remember correctly (I wish I could direct you to it!). Basically, the poor girl bemoaned all the hours she wasted looking for the perfect light fixture, paint color, cabinet style, toilet etc. In the end, she said those things weren’t that important and she would have approached the project completely differently now. It was a good reminder for me to get some perspective and balance, which I did right away, AND to give my poor husband a break :). Really, the process has been much more pleasant and healthy since! Brance and I randomly read somewhere that a higher percentage of people than norm end up divorced during home renovation projects. Crazy, right!?
Continue reading

Nightmare Turned Fairytale: Part 2

My fairytale princessesMost of us have in mind some ideal future where our life unfolds in a particular way – our own personal fairytale of sorts. I know I certainly did! Of course, they can look very different depending on our gender, age, and personality. One common theme that weaves its way into all our ideal futures is the absence of trials. Who would dream up challenge and devastation as part of their story!? And yet, as our personal narratives unfold, invariably there it is, unable to be diverted.

How Real-life Fairytales are Made

As I mention in the first part of my story, I believe with all my heart, it is these difficulties in life that can produce the real-life fairytales for us. When we face difficult challenges with grace, willing to learn, we are able to grow as people in ways that we never would have otherwise! I am certainly not suggesting that we seek out the terrible things in life, but when those terrible things come knocking at our door, we can grow bitter and angry and discontent OR we can grow into a healthier person.  Continue reading

Gluten and Dairy-Free Dessert

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Eating a special diet to help manage Ulcerative Colitis means, more often than not, that dessert is “off the table”. I really don’t mind turning dessert down most of the time. Although, occasionally, I get a hankering for something sweeter than a piece of fruit. Last night was one of those times.

Here is my twist on the classic berry “crisp” in gluten and dairy-free dessert form! I am always a little nervous when we experiment in the kitchen, but this one actually turned out yummy, if I do say so myself :). The only thing that may have improved it would have been a  scoop of the vanilla  dairy-free ice cream recipe I linked to last Friday! I need to invest in that ice cream maker!

Here are the 5 ingredients I used for this simple gluten and dairy-free dessert.

•Berries (I used a frozen mixture of blueberry, blackberry, and raspberry. But fresh, or your preferred mixture, would be fine as well.)

•Honey (We prefer raw, wildflower honey.)

•Coconut Oil (Our favorite is an unrefined coconut oil, which still has a bit of a coconut flavor and tastes great in desserts.)

•Salt (We used Himalayan pink salt, but any old salt will do.)

•Rice Flour (I make my own by running rice through our coffee grinder on the finest setting 2 or 3 times. Brance taught me that little trick! It’s expensive to buy, yet so inexpensive and easy to make. Especially when you buy rice in bulk like we do.)

This dessert is great because it’s size can be easily adjusted depending on the number of servings needed. Continue reading

Flight Delay: 7 Hours in the Airport!

imageSo, our day yesterday wasn’t as uneventful as we had hoped. We had a “bit” of a flight delay and the girls and I were stuck in the airport 7 hours before our plane took off! Can you believe that? It’s funny to think about now, because I was excited to have been fortunate enough to get a direct flight back home. Layovers with small kids can be a little hairy. I can’t remember a time I have ever been in an airport this long before, layover or delay, ha!imageI should have known we were in for “trouble” when we arrived at the airport to find our flight was already delayed an hour due to mechanical issues. Slowly, bit by bit, our departure time inched later and later. Continue reading

Flying with Young Kids

girls watching plane

The girls and I fly back home today! Our visit with my parents was definitely meant to be, especially with my dad’s bad health report and we enjoyed every minute, but we are so looking forward to seeing Brance. Although, I’m not really looking forward to the flight.

Flying with young kids is always interesting, and not always in a good way. When they are really small you worry that they might cry too much and annoy all the people sitting around you. I am not sure why we worry so much, considering chances are we will never see these people again. But we do. To the point I preferred a 15 hour drive to visit my family to the 2 hour flight, Abigail’s first Thanksgiving!

The mobile baby and toddler are almost impossible to contain. We walk off the plane feeling as if we were in a day-long wrestling match, completely wiped. Continue reading