Thursday, December 5, 2013

A slow return

Hello dear souls.   This space has been very quiet for well over a month now.  As scared as I was to leave this space, it was a much needed break that my soul needed.  I was mostly afraid of the dear souls I have connected with in this space, would never return.  This space was started as a small spot for me to write down my feelings, and happenings, but I have formed some wonderful friendships along the way and I did not want to lose that.  I hope to see you all back here in time.  Thank you for everyones kind words on my last post way back in October, your words always bring me such comfort and Joy.  
The last month and a half have been so busy, but also quiet at just the right times.  I stepped back from a lot of social media, except for my dear Instagram (how I love you so!)

Mercury in retrograde along with familial happenings, left me feeling the need for quiet and space for myself and for my family.  During this time we welcomed a new family member with the birth of my sweet nephew Kaleb.  He is perfect, and squishy and just a ball full of love.  We are all head over heels in love with him. 

As much as I don't want to admit this, his birth is what sent me into a little bit of an emotional tailspin.   Whenever a new baby joins our clan of family and friends, it rips a small hole in my heart.  Not that they are not loved and welcomed beyond measure, because they are.  It just reminds me of the thing my husband and I long for most.    

During this same stretch of time, my beloved grams took a big downturn health-wise.  She has been on a steady decline for the last couple years, but this time I thought for sure we were going to lose her.  My mom moved in with her a couple years ago to help take care of her, but even with her being there and a steady stream of home health workers being there it just wasn't enough to provide her the kind of round the clock care she truly needs.  So with heavy hearts, the family decided to move her into a residential care facility.  It truly is a beautiful place with only four residents, and I love knowing that whenever she wants or needs something, someone is right there to take care of her.  Even though not having her home is heartbreaking.   

This was us a few years back.  She is the best person, with an insane sense of humor and the best laugh.  She taught me to read under a tree, she has seen me through heartbreak and the most wonderful times.  She has shaped me into a strong, independent, kind woman.  Without her I would be a much different person.  If you could take a moment to hold her in your thoughts, it would mean the world to me.  

Whew, that seems like an onslaught of sadness.  But just like everything the tides turn, and the shadows lift, and I start to feel like myself again.  I am here, the world is beautiful, and I am loved everyday.  And just like I know that dark feeling will come back, I know it will pass just as quickly.  I will make it through, just like we all do. 

There has been so much beauty these past few weeks as well, so much:

 Cozy, quiet nights spent at home with my beloved.

Cup after hot cup of tea.  Lindsay of Danmala has opened my eyes to so many new and exciting teas.  Not only different kinds, but new ways to enjoy and celebrate them.

Loads of family time.  I love them all so much.  This picture of my husband and nephew is going to be treasured forever.  

New stones and pendants discovered at a new to me local apothecary shop.  With the most insane, low prices.  This beauty was only $10!!

Lots of breakfasts at our favorite local french bakery, where the tea lattes are the size of my head.

Nights around the fire, one of my most favorite things about Autumn and Winter.

Cozy baby cuddles with baby K.  


Nieces and nephews who both turned three, and pinatas!!

An awesomely fun Halloween, and our annual haunted trail.

Connecting deeply with mama earth, and feeling her beauty and wonderment each day.

Sitting under my favorite tree, and finding sanctuary in our backyard.

Park time with our beautiful nieces.

Sunsets and sunrises of the holy variety.  These California skies have been filled with magic lately.  It is awe inspiring. 

This song on repeat from my favorite artist Laura Veirs:

I hope the last few weeks have been kind to you all.  I cannot wait to catch up with all of you in the blog world. xoxo

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Journey

The Journey

 One day you finally knew 
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.   
~Mary Oliver

These last couple weeks have been filled with so much joy and heartbreak.  Some deep feelings have come up lately that I long thought I buried.  Working through some deep shit here, and asking for all your love and good thoughts as I wade through it.  Feeling a little lost, and as always when that happens I find myself burying my nose in Mary Oliver poems.  Deep, dark truth she spills.  Her words healing and ripping me open all at once.  I know the light is there at the end of the tunnel, and I know I will find it.  But for right now, all I have are tears and a constant lump in my throat.   Broken, wide open.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Fall you are my favorite

We have fully embraced the season around these parts.  Everything about Fall makes my heart happy.  The coziness, the shift in the light, the pumpkin everything that graces store shelves.  All of it, I LOVE it.  The first day of Fall was the most beautiful day here in San Diego.   It was in the low 70's with a slight cool breeze.  The quintessential SoCal weather.   The husband and I decided to head up to one of our local mountain towns to pick apples, and buy some local cider they brew up there. 

It helps to have a husband who is 6'5" to pick the good ones at the top.  The apples were perfectly ripe, organic, and so sweet.  You could smell them in the air.  

I love this guy so much, like it is ridiculous.  

Our haul for the day.  Fourteen pounds of apples, my favorite cider, and some ornamental corn for decorating.  We also picked up some honey from our favorite honey shack.  It was the perfect day.  I wish every Sunday could be like this.  Not only was it a beautiful day, but the boy and I had some really deep conversations that left me feeling even more connected to him. He has such a beautiful heart, it is truly an honor to walk through this life with him by my side.  It was a recharge day on all levels.  

This is on our drive to the apple orchard.  Right at the bottom of this hill is my favorite rock/crystal shop too.  I love going there, and I picked up some new beauties.

Fluorite, black tourmaline, and I am always a sucker for a beautiful piece of citrine.  I have big plans for that citrine piece.  I hope what I have pictured in my mind turns out how I imagine.  We shall see...

I also did some decorating around the house.  I usually put up a ton of Halloween decorations, but for some reason it just didn't feel right this year.  I really just feel like being surrounded by Autumn fully, and really want to soak it in this year.  I have been feeling especially so close to the earth lately, and really just want a lot of earthy, warm elements to surround us. I want to marinate in it.

Fourteen pounds of apples, means homemade applesauce.   I made a TON of it, and have been loving every bite.  So good warm and cold.  I may have had it on top of ice cream and on top of pumpkin bread.  So good.  

My favorite recipe is so easy.  I use a crockpot to even make it easier.

~12-14 apples cored, semi-peeled, and diced
~1 cup water
~juice of 1 lemon
~2 vanilla beans scraped
~2 tbls. of sweetener of your choice (I use coconut sugar)
~2 tbls. pumpkin pie spice

Mix all ingredients, cook on low for 5 hours.  Mash to your liking.  Can or keep in fridge for up to two weeks. 

Leaves everywhere, because why the hell not?  

I won this Shanna Murray decal about a year ago from a blog giveaway.  I had completely forgot about it, until we were cleaning some closets out.  The husband hung it up, and I love it so much.  Really all her decals are pretty damn awesome.  

Trader Joe's has the damn pumpkin jackpot again this year.  I mean they really have pumpkin everything, everywhere.  Lucky for me my choices are pretty limited being GF, otherwise I probably would have bought everything in sight.  These pumpkin macaroons are so good.  Just the right amount of sweetness, and that perfect macaroon texture.  I love that you keep them in the freezer and just defrost the amount you want to snack on.   TJ's is killing it with their Fall flowers this year too.  I love that all their bunches are only $3-5 too.  The ones above were only 4 bucks, and I love them.  It is a little luxurious treat that I buy myself every week.  Because we could all definitely use some more self care. 

Speaking of pumpkin, I made this pumpkin spice syrup from Ally of Aquarian Soul Designs blog.  So, so good and I have been making tea lattes with it every morning.  

I also ordered some Autumn tea from the magical Lindsay of Danmala Teas.  I ordered The Great Pumpkin Pie and Sleepy Hollow and they are both so delicious.  Perfect for these cooler months.  As always her beautiful packaging and little touches make it even more special.  How beautiful is that tea gem?  Also, the cutest little sugar skull too.  

Also this beauty arrived this week, on the perfect day.  I was having an uber hard, super shitty day.  I may have even locked myself in the bathroom to cry a couple times.  Ugh.  Amulet magazine is gorgeous, and filled with earth based, seasonal living tips, stories, rituals, and the most beautiful layout. It is truly a work of art, and I love reading through each issue.  I usually only order the digital copy, but I splurged on the Autumn issue and ordered it in print.  Worth every penny.

I hope you all are easing into the beauty of this season, and having a wonderful start to Autumn. xo

Friday, September 20, 2013

Welcome Autumn....

Song for Autumn

In the deep fall
    don't you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
    the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
    freshets of wind? And don't you think
the trees themselves, especially those with mossy,
    warm caves, begin to think

of the birds that will come — six, a dozen — to sleep
    inside their bodies? And don't you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
    the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pond
    vanishes, and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
    its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its
bellows. And at evening especially,
    the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.

~Mary Oliver 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A little bit of this and a little bit of that

Howdy strangers!  This ole' blog sure has been quiet lately.  I have been feeling the need to just sit with myself lately and have some silence.  A lot of internal feelings going on over here.  I always seem to get this way when the seasons change, a bit of a hiatus from the hustle and bustle.  Especially this time of year.  Fall is my favorite time, it holds such a special magic.  I want to embrace every aspect of it, and truly marinate in its goodness.  I think I tend to get quieter this time of year too, because I know that craziness of the holidays are right around the corner.  The past few weeks have been busy, but I have been trying to carve out some quiet time whenever I can.    There have been lots of movies being watched.  Among the ones I have really loved: AdoreYour Sister's SisterAnna Karenina.  The not so great ones: Spring BreakersNow You See Me.  We also have started watching Parks and Recreation on Netflix from the beginning, and I love it.  I may be slightly in love with Ron Swanson.  It is such a funny show, and I am glad we didn't watch any of it until now.   So damn funny!  If you haven't watched it, you have to check it out.

The foggy, cool mornings have started to return around here.  It is such a welcome sight after the opressive heat we had here over the last few weeks.  Seriously, it was ridiculous.  It would still stay near 90 degrees overnight, there was little sleep had around these parts.  The weather is improving everyday, and  you can start to feel the seasons change.  

There have been a lot of beach days this Summer.  I feel guilty sometimes that the ocean is only 15-20 minutes away, and I definitely tend to take that for granted.  I especially love it this time of year, because the crowds have died down, and most of the tourists have headed home.  September in San Diego is awesome.  

This right here is why I will have a hard time ever leaving Southern California.  I mean really, would you?

There have also been lots of pool days too.  Our family has an awesome pad out in a little town called Fallbrook.  We had a going away party there for one of my little cousins, who is off to Switzerland for a couple of semesters to study.  It was a beautiful day filled with swimming, yummy food, and our crazy family.

My crazy "little" brother.  Who still tortures me in the pool just like he did when we were kids.  The love for your siblings is such a crazy love.  I want to murder him almost as much as I love him.  Just kidding, Ian!

This girl right here is my awesome sister in law.  We were friends long before her and my brother got married.  It is pretty cool when your bro marries one of your best girls.  Brings the meaning of friends who are family to a whole new level.  They are getting close to bringing our second nephew into the world.  Only a couple of more weeks, until baby Kaleb joins our clan.

We threw her a little baby shower a couple of weeks ago.  It was small and sweet and a nice day.  I got to be in charge of flowers, which gets no arguments from me. 


Cousin love.  I guess it is safe to say we are all related.  Geez do you ever notice in pictures how much you look like the people in your family, when you really don't notice it regularly?  So crazy.  

There has also been A LOT of GF cooking experiments around here.  We have definitely found our groove when it comes to eating GF.  It truly feels like second nature now, and I really don't even think about it twice anymore. It just is.  My eczema is still doing awesome, not one flare up since I started my GF diet.  I have also lost 12 pounds, which I wasn't expecting.  It is definitely a nice side effect, except that I think I have lost almost all that weight just in my boob area.  It really sucks when none of your bras fit anymore.  

Finally nailed a GF pizza dough that is awesome.  We bought the mix from Pamela's.  It is definitely the best one yet that we have tried.  It takes a little time and effort, but the end result is worth it. 

Pumpkin spice bread.  This came out awesome, and not to toot my own horn, but toot-toot!  Not the healthiest thing, but it hit the spot, and definitely worked for my pumpkin cravings.  So good. 

We have also started making our own "Larabars"  I love the regular bars, but they are really expensive, and was cutting into a big chunk of our grocery budget.  I used this page for a bunch of different recipes.  All the ones I have used have turned out awesome.   I basically just double the recipe and it fills a 9x13 baking dish.  It costs so much less too.  A win-win in my book. 

We have also been enjoying that last of our summer garden.  I am hoping to get in the fall seeds this weekend, and get the next seasons bounty started.  We didn't have much room left this year for flowers, but we did manage to plant some baby sunflowers and have been putting them all over the house.  I will miss these guys when they are all gone. 

I hope you all have been enjoying the last of summer, and soaking up the sun! xo

Friday, September 6, 2013

This moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. A tradition started by Soulemama.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Oregon, you have a piece of my heart.

Oh, Oregon.  Every time we visit there I try to convince myself that we can move there.  The green, the laid back vibe, no sales tax!  So many good things.  But then I think about leaving our family behind, and I am back to reality.  I don't think I could move that far away from my family, it would just be to hard.  

We had such a good visit though, so relaxing.  We got to spend so much time with some of the people we love the most in the world.  Even though when we leave, it makes me miss them that much more.  It is hard when one of your best friends lives in another state.  

I love road trips, like a lot.   I am sure my husband was over me telling him to pull over every few exits to take pics of something.  There is just so much magic everywhere!

All the corn fields along the way were the most beautiful golden color.  They had all been harvested already, but the contrast of the blue against the golden corn, gets me every time. 

We drove from here in San Diego, and made it the 10ish hours to Sacramento, and stayed the night.  In the morning we found their local Whole Foods Market, and stocked up on healthy road treats, and stuff for a picnic lunch along the way.  It is kind of our tradition to stop in Lake Shasta and eat, and stretch.  The lake was so low, I couldn't get any pics of the water, but it is so beautiful there.  Pine was in the air, even though it was HOT!

We made it to Oregon!  Be still my heart, I am so enamored with it there.  We always pull over at the same spot and take a pic here.  

When we made it to our friends house, we were instantly loving and playing with their kids.  As much as we miss our friends, we miss their kids terribly too.  It is really hard to not be close to all of them.  Even looking at these pics makes me teary.  They are such great kiddos, hilarious, smart, and sweet.  

This is baby Cooper, their newest addition.  This was our first time meeting him in person, and we are in love.  Sweet little man.

Vacation means lots of eating, which I am totally ok with.  I love how many places in OR are open and nice about working with dietary restrictions.  This mexican food place was so awesome, and everything on my plate was 100% GF.  So yummy too.  

Henry and Maggie approve too!

Oh, Dutch Bros. Coffee. Let me tell you, I don't regularly drink coffee, but theirs is so good.  I think we went five times in the four days we were there.  I really wish they would come to Southern California.  Actually maybe I don't, I really don't think I would be that good at practicing restraint.  If you ever have a chance, give their coco mocha a try, so much rip roaring caffeine goodness!

This is Lithia Park in Ashland.  This place is pure magic.  Also has a pretty cool history, check it out here.   Every time we come to visit, we have to go to Ashland.  It is the coolest little town with such a laid back hippie vibe.  This park is so beautiful.  So much open space, with a beautiful creek and reservoir you can swim in, and awesome playgrounds for the kids.  I would have to say this place is definitely one of my happy places. 

Minnow catching success!  She named him speedy, and then we sent him back to the streams.  

There are berries growing everywhere in Oregon.  These were growing creekside, so I was munching while swimming.

Graced by these beautiful babies.  They were so calm and sweet.

I left one of the stones in a beautiful spot in the park from Megan's awesome Project Then When.  I am hoping the right soul found it. 

Oh, Oregon sunsets.  Magic.

We headed out to Applegate Lake for our last full day, this place is beautiful, and the water was delicious! We pretty much had the whole lake to ourselves too. 

Giving all my GF cider options a shot.  This one is delicious.  

Cutest buns on the planet.  

Floating and relaxing with my favorite five year old.  The stories she was telling me were awesome.  Maggie is one special kiddo. 

Our last morning in OR, we woke up to thunderstorms.  So of course we had to head outside to do a little rain dance before we headed out of town.  

On the drive home, we stopped at Crow's Landing for magic hour.  Rolling hills, and the California aqueduct in the background.  The golden light was pure bliss. 

A little dumpster Kerouac. You never know where you are going to find magic.  It was an awesome trip, and much needed break for the hubby and I.  Until next summer, Oregon....