Author: Kirsten

Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Goat Cheese Recipe

Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Goat Cheese Recipe

Roasted brussel sprouts have become a favorite snack and side item in our house. Originally I use to just toss them in olive oil with salt and pepper. Lately I have been experimenting with flavors, ya know, trying to get out of my comfort zone.…

Time to share some skin care

Time to share some skin care

Blame it on age, blame it on motherhood, it is time for me to have a skin care routine. My eyes look like death himself swapped my coffee out for decaf. And those tiny little forehead creases that continue to show up, so cute. I…

Comfort Crystals: 5 crystals to keep close

Comfort Crystals: 5 crystals to keep close

In honor of last weeks full moon and it landing on Friday the 13th, I have dedicated this post to five crystals I keep close for comfort. Yes, crystals. Call it placebo or call it the universe, I believe my attitude and “life happenings” are contributed from the energy around me. Energy that the crystals in my back pocket give off. 

But it is just a rock?

Yes I may sound crazy. Yes from 2017 to present there was a strong crystal fad. My interest in crystals began in 2013 when my life was at a serious low. I met a boy and his roommate had four shelves   of crystals on full display as you walk in the door. I found these “rocks” to be beautiful but I didn’t get it.

It wasn’t till I went to our mineral shop  for the first time that I began to believe something so simple could hold power. As we walked into the shop there was an instant calmness, it may have been the meditation chants on repeat, but the ambiance just felt “lite”. We spent the first fifteen minutes walking around to the ones we found prettiest and looking in awe at all of our surroundings.

I remember feeling nervous to even touch a crystal let alone pick it up and take a closer look. Slowly I began picking up the stones I found not only beautiful but also appreciated the meaning behind them.

No its not just a rock

Not after long I found myself picking up a shimmering light blue stone. As I grasped the stone in the palm of my hand it felt as if my hand started to pulse around it, with my skin trying to form as close as possible around the stone. In that moment I gained an understanding behind the power of crystals.

(The stone I picked up was aquamarine. Aquamarine has several meanings but one in particular proved this was the stone for me at that time.  It is said that aquamarines energy surfaces any issues one has buried and helps find the reason why one has held on to these issues. In short it helps one clear their conscience and make peace from within.

Like I mentioned before I was at a serious low in life. I just got out of a long term relationship. Left lost at the bottom confused with where to start my climb back to the top. After my encounter with aquamarine I began making monthly trips to the crystal shop and whether or not they are the lingering reason behind my success or not, they definitely played a role.

Through time I found a solid five crystals I like to keep near or on me at all times. I usually keep them by my bedside, in my pocket (bra on pocketless days) or in my purse/bag/wallet whatever I am using that day.

5 Comfort Crystals to keep Close

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Amethyst

(Personally, I believe amethyst to be the almighty and powerful.  My go to for any worries and one I keep around me constantly.) Amethyst is known to sooth upset minds, calm down irritability and find balance ones thoughts and creates a clearer mindset.

Calcite

(Preferably orange calcite) Helps one bloom with creativity and confidence! It is also a great stone for removing and negativity that is near and provides a sense of pleasure instead.

Hematite

Hematite helps with grounding oneself. Finding the inner peace, and is also known to strongly absorb any negative vibes that could be surrounding you. Fun fact, some say Hematite will help one attract the attention of others!

Opal

Opal has always been a favorite. This stone is based on strengthening relationships. It helps in communication on a more deeper level. So if you feel its time to share something personal this would be the stone to have close when doing so.

(Rose) Quartz

Rose quartz is all about love. It is said to help relieve any past tensions regarding the heart. It helps one find, feel and give love with open arms. But it does more than help one feel love for others, it helps find inner self love too!

Sometimes a Visit Home is the Only Vacation Needed

Sometimes a Visit Home is the Only Vacation Needed

Recently I was lucky enough to visit my home state of Massachusetts. I normally tell anyone who asks that I am from North Carolina just from being here the longest, but I was really born in Beverley, Mass. In 2001 I moved to the south.…

Sweet & Spicy Thai Cauliflower Wing Recipe

Sweet & Spicy Thai Cauliflower Wing Recipe

All hail the cauliflower wing This cauliflower wing recipe was approved by my meat-eating finance and I figured it would be nice to share. We eat it for a snack, game day app or even dinner some nights! About six months ago my baby was…

Making Mornings Have A Purpose: For a Not So Morning Person

Making Mornings Have A Purpose: For a Not So Morning Person

First off, never would I have thought that I could be a morning person, let alone have a morning routine. After having Ray, I was forced to be a morning person which was almost miserable until I started giving my mornings a purpose.

Are you having trouble feeling the excitement in life? Feeling like every day is the same? We are all just here to let life run us over and for what to wake up the next day and let it happen again? Hate mornings because it means less sleep, more work and more responsibilities? I can relate, I’ve been there.

We are blessed to wake up each day with the opportunity to do absolutely anything we set our minds too. I always enjoy sleep and I use to sleep half my morning away and be completely OK with it. Now I feel like the whole day is gone if I am not up and about before 8 am.

good morning ray

Ray, bless her, gets up around 6 am every morning. This was a hard struggle for me to adapt to. Once we started our routine I made my own routine to incorporate into it. After a few weeks of sticking to my (and our) routine I am proud to say I have transitioned into one of the crazy smiling morning people we all love to hate.

It wasn’t just being up and about with more hours of the day that made me enjoy mornings so much. It was the new cycle of time to take on. I do my best to live in the present. But when you have a kid sometimes you need to plan and think ahead. So rather than looking days and weeks ahead I look to the next few hours but I do not neglect what is happening NOW.

Morning Rituals for a Happy life

Stretch

From the second I wake up I roll out of bed on to my carpet and stretch. I lay flat on my back and stretch as tall as I can. I sit up and touch my toes. Then I cross my arms over to one side and stretch my back. Switch sides and repeat. Do a little downward dog, cat and cow breathing and then bring it up to standing tall. Reach to the sky one good time with a deep breath in and deep breath out and you are good. This seriously takes me a total of three minutes. Add a quick shower and brush your teeth and your body is ready for the day!

Make Your Bed

My Grampa taught me this after he watched Admiral McRaven make his commencement speech. If you have the time I recommend watching his speech. But in short; it is important to make your bed because you can then feel like you have accomplished one thing for the day. So no matter if you have the worst day in the world where nothing is finished or goes right. By the end of the day you will see your bed and know that you did ONE thing and can feel accomplished. 

Drink Water

This was a tough one for me. When it is “that” early I immediately want caffeine, in any form. There were days I started with a cup of tea or coffee and didn’t need up having sip of water till late afternoon. It is SO important for us to stay hydrated. If you think about it you went hours through out the night without any form of hydration. So, pour yourself a nice 80z of pure H20 and sip it while the coffee is brewing. I don’t let myself have anything else until that cup of water is finished!

Mindfulness Check

With it being morning we can automatically go into panic mode about every little task that needs to be completed that day. Slow down. Take a mindfulness check. Let yourself take in the present moment. What does the air feel like around you? Can you hear anything? How does your water taste as you slowly sip it? Look at your surroundings and absorb what you see. Just take the five minutes and be.

Mind your Thank Yous

While you are finishing your water or if you have moved on to a light breakfast or warm cup of tea. Sit and visualize three things you are grateful for. I keep a journal and write them down. Give a verbal thank you, just to hear it out loud. You are telling yourself that there is meaning. Once I have my three thank yous. I like to write down one personal goal for my day. It can be small. Sometimes it is something as simple as taking a shower, or reading a page from my book. This goal is for YOU.

Love Your Body

Not all of us have the time, or the money, for a gym membership. However, physical health is important. We need healthy bodies to carry us through life. So each morning pick two body parts and do something to strengthen them. It does not have to be an intense workout by any means. When I first started out I kept reps small. Say I wanted to focus on arms and booty. I would do two sets of five push ups and 15 tricep dips. Then I would knock out 15 squats. The next day I switch it up to abs and legs with a 30 sec plank and 10 lunges for each leg. Nothing crazy just a little activity to let our bodies know we care. Over time reps can increase and you will feel yourself getting stronger which is a win in its own!

This seems like a lengthy list and a little bit silly. But in reality all of these can take less than twenty minutes to complete and trust me it makes a difference. It may mean waking up twenty minutes earlier than what you are used to in order to squeeze everything in. This is nothing in comparison to what you get out of it. It is important we take care of OUR mental and physical health. So take the time to give yourself some time and make everyday more purposeful. YOU deserve it!!

“You Have Leukemia”: Symptoms I should have noticed

“You Have Leukemia”: Symptoms I should have noticed

Leukemia symptoms are not far off from any other common day illness. At 23-years-old my family physician told me I had leukemia. If that wasn’t enough shock the doctor then told me I had it for months prior. By the time I actually went to the…

Houseplants: Low Maintenance beauties

Houseplants: Low Maintenance beauties

We all love a little green on the inside. For aesthetic and for health benefits. Houseplants do it all. But why are they impossible to keep alive? After years of trial and error I found some beautiful low maintenance plants that add just that amount…

9 Months in with Ray: Our day to day routine

9 Months in with Ray: Our day to day routine

Summer is almost over? Not to mention I have a 9-month-old baby?! The saying that everybody and their mother says is true: Time flies with a baby. I sound so cliche but its no lie. Where has the time gone?

I joke that the reason time flies by so fast is because parenting is a blur of elated emotions and sleep deprivation. I can honestly say I love being a mom. Even when I don’t want to mom I do and it is so rewarding. Sometimes I have to remind myself that others are not so fortunate to be in my position. Especially those who have also gone through chemotherapy. So when the 3 am cry calls for mom I get up and snuggle hard. 

Each month brings so many new things and so far month number 9 has been pretty exciting.

Milestones

Ray is officially crawling. Everywhere and fast. She picked up crawling just before the 8 month mark. It was so cute to watch her failed attempts of rocking back and fourth. She is pulling up and falling down often but I know those first steps are coming. SOON.

We are eating solids. She can say Dada, Deedee and does a lot of growling( that’s my girl). She holds on tight whenever she hears a loud noise, yes smoothie time is cuddle time, the best of both worlds. Ray seems to have a thing for the gentlemen. Besides being obsessed with Mom she will readily go into the arms of any man, especially if they have a beard! But she is picky with women? Don’t know.

She is the best lunch date in the world. Now that we are sitting up straight she can go in the high chair and she LOVES it. Pretty sure she just like to feel included but don’t we all?

Day to Day Routine

 We “start” each morning with a diaper change and a 6 oz bottle of formula (this is usually after a twenty minute nursing session at 5:30/6ish am).

Then it is off for our morning run! Getting some fresh air and letting dad sleep in a little extra. 

Eat

After our run we have “breakfast” which is typically a jar of baby food. We are starting to incorporate more solids into her diet. And we did our first go with peanut butter. We are safe!

We then clean up all over our mess we left through the night, change our diaper and play (crawl around and climb) till 9:30. A little bottle and it’s time for our nap. On our good days she is usually down for an hour to an hour and a half. On our fussy days it can last not even thirty minutes.

Sleep

When she gets up it is normally getting close to lunch so we do a diaper change and get in the high chair. If it is still a little early I will give her some water, a few puffs and some sensory toys to play with.

Eat

Lunch is usually a 6 oz bottle and a little snack of fruits or veggies. After lunch we play again and try to squeeze a story in before our next nap around 2 pm. 

Sleep

This “nap” is more of a rest period and never lasts  more than a half of an hour. If I need to go somewhere I usually go around this time and drive her around for a bit. She is similar to me when it comes to attitude and lack of sleep. 

Eat

Whenever that grace period is over we play and eat. Ray is eating about every 2 and a half to three hours. 

Sleep

She goes down for her last nap around 4:30 pm and that lasts an hour sometimes more. We try to be strict with naps but if we have company over or are at someones house it is not likely is a nap is going to happen. Talk about FOMO.

Eat

Once we are up for our last nap it is our wind down time. I usually try to make dinner for Matthew and I and she “helps” with all the cooking.

Bath

Bath time is 7:15 and it is every night. No, I do not use soap every night. We just have made it a routine to take a bath and use up that last bit of energy. If she is really wilding out or just fussy I will drop one drop of lavender oil in her bath.

Eat + Sleep 

One last story before bed and we finish off with nice warm 6 oz bottle! She is usually in bed asleep by 8 pm!

Lately she has been on a 3:30 am bottle call and I think it is because of teething.

All in all we get through the day and learn something new doing it. 

Baby Stuff I Use When I Need to Get Sh*t Done: Busy Mom Busy Baby

Baby Stuff I Use When I Need to Get Sh*t Done: Busy Mom Busy Baby

Ever since we hit the 6 month milestone everything has been go Go GO. Running around all day trying to make sure the baby is safe, fed and happy, the house is clean where it needs to be, and the money situation is being handled.…