Saturday, August 13, 2011

Chores, Chores, and MORE CHORES!!

It was all about the chores today. I was painting while the kids did yard work and the husband cleaned up one of the 2 catch-all rooms our house! Wow...what a day. I took a nap and am STILL tired! Luckily, we are all gathering in the TV room to enjoy watching the movie, "Soul Surfer". YAY!! What a nice relaxing way to end such a busy day!

*sigh* Tomorrow I get to tackle the other catch all room in the house as well as MORE painting.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Old Bananas mean Smoothies and Banana Nut Muffins!!

I was woken up today with a lovely smoothie!! It was banana/milo mix...YUMMY!! We loved them so much we had another round of them this afternoon! I am not strictly Paleo, yet. So, you'll notice that some of the food we consume is still in transition mode:) After the second round of banana/milo smoothies, the other 3 bananas were sitting there. Staring at me with their shriveled old banana-selves. Waiting for me to use them in a delicious recipe. So, I DID!!

Here's the site of the recipe I used...


- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 6 eggs
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 3 bananas
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (or olive oil)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup walnut pieces


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a small bowl, combine coconut flour, salt and baking soda.
3. In a blender, puree the 3 bananas
4. In a large bowl mix the eggs, honey, bananas, coconut oil and vanilla until well blended. Mix dry ingredients into the wet, blending with a hand mixer or by hand. Gently fold in walnut pieces.
5. Place batter in non-stick muffin tins OR oil small individual glass bowls and pour batter in about 1/2 – 3/4 full.
6. Bake in preheated oven for 12-14 minutes. I used the smaller muffins trays, so if you are using the standard muffin size you will definitely need to bake them for a longer period of time.

Thanks to Liz for the recipe.

Here are the Dry Ingredients I used...
And here are the Wet Ingredients I used...

Here's what they looked like before I baked them...
The Final RESULT!!
THESE were DELICIOUS!! They were definitely a hit with the kids and husband!! I added chocolate chips, I know, not so Paleo. My kids and husband insist that I use them. I have to say I liked the regular Banana Nut Muffin, but I LOVED the ones with the chocolate chips! My kid said that it didn't taste any different than the wheat ones I used to make before. YAY!! This recipe delivered a WONDERFUL result!! It's a definite keeper!

I was SOOO happy that everyone loved it! Especially, after last nights disappointment. Now, my old bananas can be used once again in an old family treat!! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe, Liz from Crossfit!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Craving PIZZA!! So we are trying this Paleo Pizza crust!


I have been craving pizza on and off for a week now. Today is the day I eat my pizza!! I am going to try this recipe that I got from this site .

I'll let you know how it turns out. I am super excited to try it tonight with the kids.
Off to the store I go, to get some organic coconut milk, mozzarella, parchment paper and pepperoni.

Oh MY GOODNESS!! I have FRESH SWEET BASIL picked fresh today from my Sisters garden to add to my version of Papa Murphy's "Me
diterranean" !! YAY!! I am EVEN MORE excited for dinner now!!


The house smelled divine!! Everyone was excited and anticipating home-made PIZZA. Who cares if it was Paleo we were excited to eat it! I gave us fresh carrots as a quick side dish. Well, we each took a bite of our pizza and "YUCK!" The kids opted to have more carrots instead of the pizza! It was Paleo alright. The pizza looks delicious enough, but the coconut crust was still a little on the sweet side, and was crumbly and cake like. I am going to use this dough recipe again, but for cobbler, or pies, or something else dessert like. I really like the recipe!! Just NOT for pizza. The person who put this recipe us also suggested a "nut cracker" recipe for people who like the crunchier pizza. I will definitely be trying this nut cracker recipe

next time I crave and attempt a PALEO pizza.

Do not worry, we did not waste the delicious toppings. We picked them off and ate them:)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Love to LAUGH!

After my post last night I still had chores to do...Laundry. :( To my surprise, I had a lovely night watching "Just Go With It" all by myself while everyone slept. I switched and sorted the loads of laundry and laughed out loud all by myself. It was just what the attitude Dr. ordered! One might think, "Oh. How sad. She was all by herself." To be honest, I LOVED having some alone downtime! I love my family, but sometimes, it's nice to just be alone for while. It was hard for me to get to sleep after that because 1) I really wanted to go to Hawaii and had to check out flights and 2) The movie made me laugh so much more than I had anticipated that my body thought it was time to hang out or play games. I LOVE to LAUGH!! It's one of my MOST favorite things to do! Sometimes as a grown-up/parent I find that I haven't laughed as much as I need to in the day. I hear my children laughing all of the time and that makes me smile. But filling my responsibility driven heart with laughter/lightness to help it function better is something that has been lacking, for a bit, until I watched that movie.

This morning I was able to take my girls to the pools. WOW...what a difference it made in my day! To be able to relax in the sun was wonderful!! And the added bonus of feeling so light and free in the water made me feel even better. As an adult I don't really notice when my grinchy little heart is shrinking. It isn't until I let go and have the sunlight fill my heart that I realize how my daily responsibilities have been affecting my heart and its ability to grow. (I hope that makes sense.) The sunlight literally helped my little heart feel lighter, bigger (like more expandable), and more relaxed, than it had felt in a very long time. With that being said, I noticed a huge increase in my energy levels yesterday. As well as a big spike in my chill/positivity levels.

Laughter, sunLight, and reLaxing are key for making a happier me!:)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wanting more energy...

Ok...I think/hope getting at least 15 minutes in the sun will help my energy levels?? I am dragging SO MUCH lately. It's craziness!! Either I lack a TON of energy or I am just expecting too much of myself, lately. It's probably a little of both. oh yeah...I also need to get "physical...physical!" with work-outs that is. Eating healthy isn't the only thing necessary for amazing energy levels, unfortunately for me. Boo! More sun time, and More exercise. OK.

So, I was moving slowly around today as I did my chores. Cleaning 2 bathrooms, the incredibly STINKY trash can, the kitchen, cooking at least 2 meals, bathing the dog, and cleaning my room. Luckily, my husband came home and made dinner. I was still brushing the dog out when he came home. No lovely aromas when he came through the door. No meat thawing. There was absolutely NO indication of me even thinking of making dinner tonight. Thanks, Man-I-call-husband! Dinner was delish!

Time to get the kids to bed. I always battle with myself with bedtimes this time of year. Do I try to get them into a schedule weeks before school starts and put them to bed early? Or...Do I let them live the rest of the summer days up, by staying up as late as they want until a couple days before school starts?

Well...I gotta get my tired bones to bed as well. Night!

Monday, August 8, 2011


Thought I would get to bed early tonight, but my heartburn has other plans for me! I haven't had heartburn since I don't know when?? Taco Time nachos are NOT very primal at all. Even if you take out the beans. UGhhhh...won't be making that mistake again!


I read on Whitney's website about how her dentist agreed with the Primal/Paleo lifestyle being a wonderful way of eating for the health of the mouth and teeth! So, I was excited to take my kids to our dentist today to see how their teeth were doing. I haven't been uber strict on the Primal eating, but we have eating Predominantly Primal, since Spring. This month I laid down the law with "ABSOLUTELY NO GLUTEN" rule. Anyway...back to the dental appointments!

Me and my kids went to the dentist for a semi-annual cleaning, today. Finally. I was supposed to schedule our appointments in May or June. Oops! Life happens. It's summer. We have been enjoying summer by traveling, pool time, and just chilling out!! 2 months overdue not so bad. Right?

All of our appointments went wonderfully!! Not a single cavity for any of us. The dentist was really surprised by the lack of plaque and other fuzzy stuff that is usually found on clients' teeth. I was soooo excited to hear that! I wanted to let him and his staff know of the NEW way I was choosing to eat for me and my family, and how I read Whitney's blog about her babies dentist appointment, and all of the wonderful side effects living Primal has, etc, etc. But, alas, my mouth was preoccupied with being cleaned, so I will have to tell them next visit.

I must let you all know that my Dad has really strong and healthy teeth and I, luckily, inherited that gene for strong teeth. After today's visit I know that my prayers for my kids inheriting my strong teeth gene were not in vain!! That mixed with a Primal lifestyle, I won't feel obligated to go back to the dentist for another year! Forget the 6 months routine. Then, again, I really do like the feel and look of freshly polished teeth:) So...we'll see!?

Real quick before I sign off for the day...I really enjoyed taking photos with my sister because I noticed that I liked the way I looked! I felt good about myself feeling healthy, being a bit slimmer (I have only lost inches not so much weight being Primal), and definitely having a bit of color on my skin was a definite added bonus. My mind was the thing that surprised me the most. Usually, even if I am looking great, my mind will pick apart each and every photo in disgust of how I don't look. I know it was a terrible thing, but for some reason I had this unreal idea of what I was supposed to look like for so long stored somewhere deep inside myself, that I was never able to live up to that crazy idea and expectation. Since, I turned 30 I have been really trying hard to be more patient with myself, more genuine, and definitely more real about what I want from myself and life. The 4 Agreements and The Mastery of Love really helped me with a lot of my mind games and issues with myself worth/appearance. I love being me and being free of silly, unnecessary, and unreal expectations from myself or anyone else. Good Night!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Look what my Sister did for US!!

She took this photo of us!! She is EXTREMELY talented. She's a Jane-of-All-Trades kinda lady!! Very crafty, great Mom, photographer, singer, a great cook, etc. I LOVE IT!! Here's her blog if you are interested in any of her projects...

I will be posting more photos in time. Just have a bunch of other projects that need my attention!

On the Primal Eating subject...Today, I learned about the "Carb Flu". It's what happens to some people whilst the body is going through wheat detox. It's very interesting. Some people have it happen to them and some people don't. I'll have to keep a close eye on my family to see what happens with them. (I really need to order that Primal Blueprint and the Paleo cookbook. Luckily, my sister referred me to a blog that helps me with ideas or the family dinners and treats!:)

I hope to do better with the family meals this week! I need to keep the fridge and cupboards stocked with things that I can make for my family to keep them happy and excited about being on this new eating regimen. I hope I can get my stuff together, and soon.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Winger's is Whack! (At least the Lehi one is!)

Tried to eat there and have a nice Primal meal. No buns and the server was just shocked that I'd ask for a bed of Romaine lettuce to be used instead of a bun. The Manager Julie wasn't very good at her job at all. I am glad we had terrible service, though. Now, I won't be tempted to eat out at any other Winger's anytime soon! Another eatery bites the dust.

Had 2 interviews! I'll know how they went on Tues. YAY!!

Exhausted and so ready for sweet sleep!

Friday, August 5, 2011

WHEAT is difficult to NOT eat!

At least for my family! :( I really appreciate how they are supporting me in this decision. I am trying to show them by staying away from it how much BETTER their bodies will feel without it. The only difficult part about that is that feeling good isn't as noticeable (because it happens gradually) than feeling gross and achy. I can feel the affects of wheat within an hour or so of eating it! It's the craziest feeling. I start to get a pins and needles kind of sensation but in the left part of my head. Sugar highs are no fun either! Ok...well kind of fun when eating frozen yogurt:) *sigh* This is going to be a huge change for our family!

On a totally different note...I have 2 job interviews tomorrow!! I am excited!! As I was getting ready to run errands today, I thought to myself about the many things I learned while in Hair School. It was then it dawned on me, if you don't use lose it! I was starting to lose knowledge of different hair techniques and such!! This freaked me out, so I decided to just print out 4 copies of my resume and drop them by 4 Salons in the areas that I'd want to work. To my surprise 2 of the 4 places I left my resume scheduled an interview with me for tomorrow!! WHAT LUCK!!


1) Contact References on Resume to let them know I might be giving out their number at above interviews.
1a. Reference 1 verified via Phone Call - CHECK.
1b. Reference 2 verified via Cell Phone Texting - CHECK.
1c. Reference 3 verified via Facebook - CHECK.


2) Put together Portfolio!! CRAP!!

At hair school they told us to put together our resume and portfolio for job interviews...well guess who slacked on that one. YEP! ME!! I have a BUNCH of photos!! I just have NOT printed them out and organized them, yet. Yeah, I know, I should have but I didn't. I had resolved to let my potential employers know that I don't have my portfolio prepared when I remembered the whole reason my husband gave me my iPAD in the first place.

It was my graduation/birthday gift from him to hold my photos for my PORTFOLIO. I remembered how EXCITED he was to give it to me!! He was SUPER EXCITED about how new age and tech savvy I would look using the iPad at my interviews and even with my clients. Well, I didn't see myself that way. I was still shell shocked from the whole schooling experience so I didn't appreciate his foresight. To be honest, I was a bit of brat when he gave me iPad. I told him that he shouldn't have spent so much money. All I wanted was an iPod Touch. He should have waited for the iPad 2...etc. I was still as sweet as I could be in receiving this gift, but I am not that great of an actress. iPad lay in its case for almost 2 months before I took it out to start using it and understanding it. I am not the best with technology and I know that I don't use my devices nearly to their capacity. My iPad was just another device that I felt overwhelmed by.

Anyway, here I am, at present day SUPER EXCITED that I can put my portfolio together in an hour and take it with me on my iPad!! I am SOOO HAPPY that I don't have to wait for a store to open to print out my photos. I am ELATED that I don't have to worry about being artsy and making my portfolio "COOL" looking. (If I had the time, I would like that challenge, but I don't have the time. So yeah.) I am RELIEVED that I can show at least SOME of my past work!!

With that, I need to go and get my portfolio done!

I am grateful to my HUSBAND for knowing me enough to know that the iPad was the ONLY way I was going to be able to present my work! I LOVE HIM SOOO MUCH!! I am a very lucky girl!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

My Primal Journey

Today is the day I told my girls to say good-bye to bread because we are NO LONGER buying gluten products! As well as GRAIN products. I am in the process of ordering the Primal Blueprint to have all of the facts that are documented in it to increase my knowledge of the effects of eating the "Primal" way.

I started eating primal after my sister, Eileen, told me about her dedication to eating Paleo. This occurred in the Spring. She started inquiring and reading about this new way of eating after seeing and hearing first-hand the Primal story of her dear friend, Cherie.

Thank you Cherie for coming up here and sharing with us your amazing health results! Thank you Eileen for being such a great example of how to take charge and changing your lifestyle for the betterment of your lovely little family. Thanks to the Author Mark Sisson for the revolutionary information on properly taking care of our most prized possessions...OUR BODIES!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Beautiful Day!!

I have blogged everyday this I am going to try to keep it up! Since this is my not-so-seccret-journal, I find it very nice to have a place to put my thoughts on different subjects in my life. It really helps out those I chat with daily, because they do not have to hear the same thoughts/stories, over and over again, because I have gotten them out of my system through blogging. Yes, I am one of those people who repeats themselves when they have something weighing on their mind! :)

Today was SUCH a GORGEOUS day!! Me and my girls slept in until 11:30am. I made breakfast for lunch. We putted around and did our chores. Brushing the dog was a group effort chore! Since we woke up so late our day was really short. The weather was just wonderfully cool...I felt so much love from the heavens for such a perfect weather day! To top the day off my sister, Eileen, and her family stopped by for a visit, which ended the lovely day perfectly!!

I am so excited for the upcoming months! I realized while I was putting my Cosmetology resume together that the photos I had to put in my Portfolio were just not up to snuff. I needed new and more professional photos that I would feel proud of showing to a potential client, or employer. Knowing that I need to do photoshoots with a photographer that I don't really know, was causing a bit of a stress for me. Well, my Sister totally MADE MY DAY! She came over to show me her awesome camera. Imagine my excitement and relief!! She has a wonderful talent for taking photos as well as editing them! I now have an amazing photographer and photo editor to work with! I AM ECSTATIC!!!! MY PORTFOLIO IS GOING TO BE UNREAL!! ;) But, very real at the same time.

My goal is to be known in the industry for enhancing the natural beauty of the hair and faces we each individually gifted. To give clients amazing haircuts so they only have to use as little to no product possible for lovely everyday looks that work with their hairs natural texture and wave pattern. The industry of beauty is slowly starting to celebrate the different kinds of beauty out there (the Dove Soap Campaign), and I want to help boost mentality even more! Make-up is fun, but it's not what makes us beautiful.

I love this quote from Angelina Jolie (IMDb), "[on the superficiality of the industry] We are setting an example of what we think is beautiful and you really want to put that much make up on me?"

Maybe because it's summer and I have a bit more color, but I have been LOVING wearing little to NO make-up on a daily basis. I have come to appreciate the different features I have been given that make up the one of kind face that I have. Besides real beauty, as I have learned, is never displayed from one's outside appearance, it emanates from the eyes of those who know and understand what the true meaning of beauty is.


[byoo-tee] Show IPA
–noun, plural -ties.
the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest). **

"Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart." ~Kahlil Gibran

On that note, I am going to go and get some Beauty Sleep!;)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

To have baby or not to have baby (yet)? THAT is the Question.

*BIG SIGH* Not sure how to handle this one. There are sooo many things that I am doing in life, and I feel that now is not the time to have another baby. ALTHOUGH, it was on my goals' list to get pregnant at the end of this summer, my life has changed a bit and I am thinking that I just might postpone that idea until next year. I know my reasons are somewhat selfish, and...I am OK with that. Well, here's what I've been up to, lately...

I am SUPER excited about way of eating! I have always loved my salads, fruits, and meats. So, eating the "Primal" way is not that hard for me. It's getting my sweet-tooth, bread-loving, popcorn-eating husband on board that is making it the most difficult for me. My girls will eat what is in the house. So when Daddy buys a lot of stuff I am trying to get rid of back in the house, it proves to be a little bit more of a challenge. So, I am starting them off small, buy asking that we go gluten-free this month. And then, next month, little no grains. We'll see how they do after those months. Other than, that, is been really great having so much energy and feeling pretty even keel with my emotions. I never realized the negative effect gluten had on me until I stopped consuming it. The added bonus of inches lost is awesome! I like eating Primal because I am listening to what my body (NOT mind or taste buds) wants to nourish itself with. No strict diet. No stress about eating when I am not hungry. Just a consistent effort in giving my body quality food that fuels it correctly!

Since eating this way I have A LOT more ENERGY than I have had in YEARS!! I find that if I don't get it out daily it builds up until I have no choice but to let it out with random karate kicks and keep-away-games with my children while walking through IKEA. (YES! I really did this in the IKEA in Tempe, AZ. My Mom, Daughters, and 2 Sisters are my witnesses of said behavior.) *RANDOMNESS: But I totally saw and made eye contact with Frankie Munez (Malcolm in the Middle star) twice while at that Ikea! Crazy, HUH?? :END OF RANDOMNESS*

Moving slowly but often is totally doable exercise for me. With the occasional heavy lifting, I am always trying to organize and clean things in my house so lifting heavy things is a definite occurrence in my life. Since, I like to push the envelope of being places on time, I find myself sprinting every now and again to make up for the lost time lolly-gagging around.

THE MASTERY OF LOVE by Don Miguel Ruiz
Along with the living the Primal way of life I have been reading/listening to the Mastery of LOVE. My life doesn't seem so difficult or overwhelming like it did before. I am constantly trying to live my life making decisions that are NOT based in fear. I have spent about 80% of my adult life making decisions out of fear. I was afraid to ask too many questions. I was afraid that I wasn't doing enough by others standards. I was afraid of being talked about. I was afraid of being rejected. I was a ball full of fear of name it I was fearful of it! REALLY! And the sad part was that I wasn't even AWARE that I was living with SO MUCH FEAR! Living a life FULL of fear started to make me more and more uncomfortable with myself and others. After listening to The 4 Agreements and The Mastery of LOVE (My Favorite) I decided it was high time to change my thought and decision making process! I am dedicating my 30's to be genuine with all things in my life. So, naturally, letting go of the FEAR has helped allow a more genuine, Gairyn, come out and play. I LOVE how I feel about myself and about life! It is definitely a daily task to remember to NOT make fear-based decisions, because so much of my life has been dedicated that way of thinking. So, it is a process. There is such and lightness in life and a freedom that I feel, and a joy that has come with this simple step. I notice that when I find myself unhappy lately, I can usually trace back my steps of decisions I made and what state I was in when I made them. It's very interesting to see how those negative, fearful decisions directly correlate with my unhappiness. I used to frequently double book myself because I was afraid to let anyone down by telling them, "No." In letting go of that one fear, I have freed myself of not only the guilt that plagued me into saying, "yes", but also the mess of the schedule juggling, and my time! It has allowed me to be more sincere with those I associate with, well most of the time;)

I am almost done with my chiropractic constant care!! I started getting adjusted regularly in Feb. of this year. One of the BEST things that I have done for myself, EVER!! I used to have really great posture when I was young. Then, puberty hit, not a big deal...still good posture. When I moved to NZ a girl that didn't like me made fun of me and rudely said, "Eh...Are trying to get all the boys to stare at you by sticking your chest out so far?!" Of course, I was the "American girl". (Not a good term in some circles. Some thought me arrogant because I was American, until they got to know me.). Being the new girl once again in another school, I was totally out of my comfort zone, very insecure, and very vulnerable to ridicule. I took that unkind remark as a hint to "hide" my womanly chest as much as I could. Cue in BAD posture!

After hair school, my upperback was SOO tight and lowerback started to have a consistent pain. I did not want to have to end my hair career before it even began due to back problems. So to the Chiropractor I went. Location is EVERYTHING to me! I do not like traveling far if I don't have to. (Especially in the snow!) Joseph found this great Dr. down the road on 800 N. Out of all of the chiropractors I have been to he understood and explained the body and the importance of good posture and spinal/bone/body alignment better than them all!! It was hard for me to drag myself into the office 3 times a week in the beginning. And YES, I would go in asking myself, "Is this REALLY necessary. It's so annoying." Being annoyed by having to come in to the office wasn't uncommon. But...EVERY TIME I left his office I felt like my bones inside body had been given a big hug. I almost ALWAYS leave feeling so much better. And the rare occasions that I would leave still feeling a little disjointed, he'd tell me to come back in to work on readjusting it again. I would mention, that I did something to my shoulder, badda-bing, badda-boom, he adjusts it back into place. I mention my knees, he adjusted those. I mention my feet hurting more than usual, he's down at my feet adjusting them!! He adjusts my jaw, thumb, and even my elbow, once. He's AWESOME!!

I really want to work in the hair industry and get a feel for it for at least a year before I have another baby! All bets are off on how dependable I can be when I am pregnant, and while baby is young. So would be nice to understand more of how I want to integrate my cosmo license in my life by working at a salon full time for a while.

With all of these great and positive things happening in my life, I am feeling sooo much better than I have felt in a very, very long time. My body is healthy and feels great! My emotions and mind are even keel and clear. I am excited to go back into the workforce! AND This year I am going to start taking ballroom dancing lessons. Hopefully with my husband, but if he doesn't come, I am still there!! So...these are my reasons for not really wanting to jump into having another baby just quite yet! Yes, it may seem selfish, but like I said before. I am OK with that!

Monday, August 1, 2011

I am actually enjoying COOKING!!

So, back as a young newlywed, I thought that I would be a good wife and start cooking for my husband. The first night he tried my cooking and only had 1 helping and then made himself some toast. I thought that was interesting but didn't really think much of it. Then, the second time I made a meal, he said that he wasn't very hungry and that he just wanted something light, like toast. I was a bit annoyed, because I didn't like to cook, but I did what I thought was expected of me, right? Little home-makery kind of cleaning and cooking and being pleasant. Well, cleaning I enjoy as a sort of therapy for me to release negative energy, and think. By the time I have worked the issues of anger I was able to enjoy great outcome...cleanliness. The being "pleasant" kind of thing was hit and miss depending upon how I felt about my life that day;) And finally, the COOKING. UGH...the cooking:/ I LOVE to EAT, so naturally I should at least LIKE to cook...right?? WRONG!! As my mother used to say, "Everything tastes better when someone else has made it!...I don't know why, but I just don't enjoy eating meals I make." She didn't say this all of the time, but she did say it enough that I remembered those things and subconsciously they stuck with me. Later in life, I discovered that I had adopted those negative thoughts as my own kinds of truths.

So, anyways, young for the husband. IMAGINE my FRUSTRATION, and FURY, when I pushed myself to do something that I didn't really like to do, like COOK, trying to make a meal from what was in our cupboards, with a toddler vying for my attention during the whole process, not getting the timing right for the food to be done at the same time, etc. etc. to have my husband come home another time to tell me that he just wanted "toast" again for dinner. No, I didn't shove his plate of food in his face, like I wanted, I kept my composure and asked him, "What's really going on here? I know that you are hungrier for more than just toast." (BTW...the man has a freakishly large stomach that is hidden inside his slender frame, so I knew something was up.) He then, told me how my cooking was different than what he was used to. Meals from a box were not appetizing to him. That I didn't use any or enough herbs and spices when I cooked, namely garlic and onions. OK....I WAS LIVID!! How dare you say that a meal in a box isn't tasty?? The little glove guy is totally a legit chef that knows his ground beef!! And who needs extra herbs and spices when they all come packaged for you in the BOX!! SO, I said, "Fine. You don't like the way I cook, then YOU cook!" And cook he did! I didn't realize that my husband could make such delicious meals and it was a stress reliever for him to boot!! I felt like I had won the jackpot with this one!:) I had always wanted a personal chef and here I had unwittingly married one!!! YAY for ME!!

Anyways, my chef started getting more and more slack over the years. Something about busy with his day job, kind of crap. I pitched in every now and again with my signature chicken casserole that my roommate taught me in college and other easy ones, like taco salad, and cheese toast/tomato soup. But I didn't have enough patience in me to try and cook consistently every night. So, there I was hungry in the kitchen and it's almost dinner time, and I don't want to do another cereal night for the 3rd night in a row with my kids. I made the decision to cook a decent meal. I think all they got out of me that night was tomatoes and avocado on toast:/ My kids are great and they can sense my frustration with cooking. They would always tell me how much they appreciate the meals that I made for them, and ALWAYS let me know how good it tastes even if I am barely choking it down myself. Already not liking this chore, and being marred from past events in my life, learning to enjoy cooking has been an uphill battle for me. I decided that I need to tackle this obstacle in my life, and charge this cooking issue of mine, head on. I wanted to expand my knowledge and usage of herbs and spices, so I watched the cooking show on PBS and liked the eggplant parmesean that they showcased. I tried out the recipe and LOVED it! SUCCESS!! YAY!! I made it so much, just like my other dishes that I got sick of it. This was 6 years ago.

I have been going back and forth with this cooking thing for years now. It has only been until this summer recently that I have embraced my inner chef and ACTUALLY liked...and even LOVED my own cooking!! The first thing, I knew I had to do was change my kitchen into a room that I wanted to be in. A magical kitchen that would help me feel free to create delicious dishes for my family and enjoy the art of it all! So, the color of my kitchen walls changed from a vibrant yellow to a soft cafe cream and I changed my curtains to white ones. With that new color scheme, my kitchen is looking and feeling more like my ideal kitchen!

My first honest to goodness success, was when my Dad was visiting and I made Salmon for him, my sister (who doesn't like Salmon except for mine because I drench it in other flavors it doesn't have the strong salmonly taste) and the other adults! I had made the dish many, many times before, BUT this was my BEST salmon, by far!!! It was close to perfection. Followed up with the BEST No-Bake cookies my Dad and Sister EVER had! I thanked for being so kind but I let them know that they were over complimenting my cooking. I had liked the good feedback but I was still holding on to old doubt of my cooking ablities. When they told me that they weren't saying it to make me feel good but because it was, seriously, the best they've had, I actually started to believe what they were saying as truth. Surprised by the sincerity, I reassessed my cooking myself. I was hitting home-runs left and right. I shocked myself and actually enjoyed my cooking. It was THAT night that I realized that I had deemed myself a sub-par cook because of my young married cooking experience. And that I had held on to old negative thoughts, unknowingly passed down to me from my Mom about my own cooking. So, I stuffed those negative thoughts and labels into the trash, where they belong, and have been happy ever since not carrying around that garbage anymore.

I mentioned to my Mom about how I felt like I wasn't a good cook and my Mom shot me a "what-are-you-talking-about" kind of look and said, " Honey. You have ALWAYS been a GREAT cook!" That simple comment meant the world to me!! It was tremendous to hear such a wonderful compliment from my Mom about something I have so insecure about for so many years. And with that compliment, any lingering doubt about my cooking was squashed!

I know that my girls look to me as an example of how to be a woman, and I take that responsibility in all its entirety. I want them to know how to cook wonderful things before they leave my home. I want them to have memories of fun times in the kitchen with me learning how to cook delicious meals. I want them to know how to keep their bodies well nourished now, so that when they are grown they know how to take care of themselves. I want them to know how to shop for good food. I want them to know what spices and herbs to keep as staples in their cupboard. I want cooking to be a fun and creative experience for them, always! Is that too much to ask??

My sister, Eileen, pointed out to me, that I might enjoy cooking more for my family, because I am cooking a lot healthier meals more consistently. We are eating more Primal. (I am going to start reading the Primal Blueprint book. I hear great things about it!) The main difference is having a gluten-free, and little-to-no-grain diet. I LOVE IT! And I think my Sister is right in her observation. Knowing that I am helping my family's bodies become healthier every meal I serve really makes me feel like I am doing a good job as a Mom!!

And this is why I am actually enjoying cooking, folks! Thanks for reading!