Meatless

I’m back!!! Again! As they say, just do it! So here I am…doing it…trying to share/write again.

So I just had to share about one of the biggest changes I’ve made in a long time.
I haven’t had any meat since the beginning of the year. Crazy to think about but I’ve managed to do it so far.
My husband and I started this meatless, dairy-free journey with just an interest in kick-starting our wanting to getting healthier in 2014. We thought we’d just go ahead and go for it…at least up through mid-February. I’m really loving the results of my changes so far so I’m seriously looking beyond mid-February and thinking I’d like to see if I could eat like this for as long as possible. I guess I’ve just got to take it one day at a time, as i’ve been trying to do, and just see how it goes!

Right now, the blender is one of my best friends. I love smoothies! It’s so easy to make and they can be packed with so much good stuff.
Here’s one of my staple recipes for a yummy smoothie…

1 cup almond milk
1 whole banana (I sometimes use 1/2 a banana when I want to cut the sugar content down a bit)
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen blueberries
4 oz of spinach and/or kale
2 tbsp ground flaxseed

Sometimes, I also add 1/2 cup of carrots to this recipe. I told you my smoothies are nutrient-rich! =)
If you want to make it sweeter you can. It’s up to you. For me, as long as the fruits are ripe, it’s usually sweet enough for me.
But in case you need additional sweetness, you can always add chopped dates, honey, raw agave, or maple syrup.

Anyway, this meatless life has not been an easy task. I can’t live on smoothies alone so I’ve also been scouring the internet in search of recipes to help me get creative with my fruits and vegetables. I’m looking for the yummy stuff. So if you’ve got any suggestions, please send it my way!

Well, I’m looking forward to sharing more with you about my life and loves this 2014!

For now, I leave you with this interesting, fun, and smart video that’s been circulating the net. You may have already seen this but I thought I would share here since it somewhat relates (or at least I think it does). Also, since I’m a homeschooler, I love seeing children share what they’ve learned.

Until next time…

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Back on the blog…

This blog has been neglected way too long. Time to get back to sharing things. My blog is really like my life in a way. There’s times I’m just on top of it and then when things get neglected…boy, do they get neglected. And I have a hard time just mustering up the energy to face things on and finally deal with things. That’s me. An “avoider” of sorts.

Well, I’ve decided it’s time to just jump in and do whatever I can with what energy/thoughts I have.

So here I am…back on the blog…and hopefully, back into parts of my life that I’ve been wanting to take care of. 

Though I don’t have a personal picture to share with you yet, I though I’d leave you with this beautiful and inspiring video of life & love in Paraguay!

 

Until next time…

15 Kids’ Valentine’s Photo Cards & Treats

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I can’t believe Valentine’s is just around the corner! Didn’t we just celebrate the new year! I’ve tried to hold off on thinking about it as long as I can but now my kids have Valentine’s parties next week and we’re going to have to work on these Valentines this weekend.  It’s time to finally decide on what my kids will be sharing with friends (and even family).

Personally, I love personalized cards though I don’t always have time to help make them. Before I share these Valentine ideas with you, I want to preface all of this to say that there’s is totally nothing wrong with using store bought cards and/or treats.  As someone who has definitely bought them and used them just a couple of years ago, I definitely understand when someone just doesn’t have the time to make something themselves. Having said that, I do love finding ideas that my children and I can work on together.  Since it is something that means a lot to them, I do want to spend some time thinking and helping them make whatever it is (when I can make the time). And since I love taking photos, I do love cards that  combine a photo with a treat (and  the treat doesn’t have to be sweet).

So here are 15 Valentine’s photo cards and treats that I’ve found and wanted to share with you.

This first photo is of a Valentine card I helped my son make that he gave to friends in school last year. This card was inspired by the Butterfly Valentine here. That butterfly was created using the template that was provided in the link and the rest of the card was made using photoshop.

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I also created the photocard/tag below that my daughter attached to ring pops for her class. It’s a variation of the idea here

For the girls she had “You’re the Real Gem!”…

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and for the boys we wrote “A Ring for a King!”lifelovevday9560

With the rest of these ideas, you can click directly on the photo and you’ll be directed to the related blog post.

Source: Craft Monkey

Source: Smashed Peas and Carrots

This is to Grandma and Grandpa but you can easily just replace it with a friend’s name. And how about punching a hole on the corner and tying a ribbon around it and attaching it to a bottle of bubbles! =) Or for a sweet treat you can just tie the ribbon around a baggie of Hershey “kisses”. =)

Source: Life is Sweet

Source: I am momma hear me ROAR {blog}

Source: Landee See, Landee Do {blog}

Source: Rage Against the Minivan {blog}

Source: marthastewart.com

Source: Keepin’ It Real 24-7-365 {blog}

 

Source: dididaniphoto.blogspot.com via Angelica on Pinterest

Source: Stitch/Craft {blog}

Source: Simply Radiant {blog}

Source: Craft-O-Maniac {blog}

Source: KM Portraits Life Captured {blog}

And here’s another Yummy Valentine

and check out this Valentine’s Crush!

Of course, depending on the age(s) of your child(ren), they may not want their photos on the cards. Fortunately, my kids are still at the age where they love this stuff! =)

For other Valentine’s Day card ideas where you don’t have to use a photo or for more ideas on desserts, treats and crafts, check out my Valentine Pinterest board here

Until next time…

From your feet to your heart…

Sorry for  my long absence. I am keeping up with taking a photo (or two) a day but I haven’t gotten a chance to share anything on the blog yet since the first time I mentioned that I was starting the 365 project this year.  I did start another blog “LIFE&LOVE365” to share those everyday photos with you but that’s lagging behind on updates too. You can find the link in the menu above or just click here.

I’m going to figure this out eventually.  Any advice out there on how you manage your time with blogging and everyday life? Well, hopefully I’ll figure this out!

In the meantime, thought I’d share this shot I captured this week during a senior shoot with a talented and beautiful homeschooler.

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“Your feet will take you to where your heart is.”
Irish Proverb

Thought the quote was a perfect fit.

Until next time…and hopefully that’s sooner than later! 🙂

Happy New Year!!!

I’m late! I was hoping to wish you a Happy New Year on the 1st but I’m writing this post about half-past midnight. Oh well…holding on to the words “It’s never too late”…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! I hope your first day was an awesome one! I don’t know about you but I don’t feel at all prepared for the new year. These past couple of months have just felt like I’ve been playing catch up. Though I can’t say I’ve been able to think much about New Year’s Resolutions,  I have to say that there has been things occupying my mind these past few weeks and changes I’ve actually been making even before the new year had come around. Here’s what I’ve done so far…

  • I’m studying out worshiping God and so I hope to grow in my worship of HIM this year.
  • I’ve been trying to exercise everyday. So far, I’ve exercised 3 out of the past 5 days. That’s BIG since I haven’t exercised for over a year ( at least).
  • Of course, I’m hoping to get organized at home and with my life in general (as with every past year). So first things first, put up our Christmas decorations and begin to go through each room in the house and purge the things we don’t really need anymore.
  • And finally but not least (and possibly not the last changes/projects to come)…I’m starting a 365 photography project. Basically, just hoping to capture and share at least one photo everyday. By the end of the year, I’ll hopefully have a great  snippet of our life in 2013!

So with that…On the 1st of January, we were out basically all day and I didn’t get a chance to snap a shot until I got home. The only opportunity I had was when the kids were basically going to bed. So here’s a few of my shots from the evening of the 1st…
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And this last shot below was captured by my 6.5 year old buddy. He saw me setting my camera to take pictures with my timer and after a few shots he asked me if he could take a picture for me. I just set the camera settings up for him and told him about where he needed to stand.  It’s not often that I take photos of myself but I’ve been trying to be more conscientious of being in front of my lens instead of always behind it. I’ve been trying to do this for the past couple of years now but I’m still having to work on it.  It’s easy for me to NOT want to take photos for a number of different reasons…including but not limited to the fact that I’m not too happy with how I “look” in them. But I’ve had to get over myself and just remember that my children don’t care that mom thinks she needs to lose a few pounds or she’s not looking her best. If you haven’t had a chance to read a recent post called “The Mom Stays in the Picture” you definitely should! And there’s also a blog post I read years ago from Emily of the Anderson Crew that first inspired me to “Embrace the Camera”.  I truly believe (and yes…maybe it’s  optimistically hoping) that my kids will  cherish being able to see what that moment of “ordinary things/days” looked like. And what used to be”ordinary days” (to me, my kids or us as a family) may be one of those most cherished memories they’ll  have years from now.

Bedtime for JellyBean (day 1/365)

So that’s day 1.  I’ll be sharing more photos with you soon!

If you’d like to join me in a photography 365 project…Check out this Flickr group…

Project 2013: Peas & Carrots friends by Let’s Lasso the Moon & Peas & Carrots Studio

and leave me a comment!

Wishing you life & love this 2013!

Until next time…

Brown, Grey & Yellow {What to Wear}

With the holiday season fast approaching and people looking for inspiration on what to wear to their next family photosession, I’m beginning a series of post where I’ll be featuring a photo or two from various photographers that capture some great family fashion followed by my own take on what you can possibly do for your next photo session as well. Hopefully this will give you some idea as to how I look around for some inspiration and then break it down for my own personal taste!

These family sessions are from a wonderful photographer, Angie Monson of Simplicity Photography.  I just loved these two families’ choice of color in their photo session! Check out the rest of the photos from this session as well as some beautiful photography by clicking on the photos below!

Photo 1

 
 

Photo 2

 
 
With those photos in mind, here’s my take on what to wear to your next family session…

Brown, Grey & Yellow (Fall 2012)
Hope you find these helpful!

Until next time…

Eyes NOT required {Authentic Life & Love}

All the powers in the universe are already ours. It is we who have put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark.
Swami Vivekananda

It’s our human nature to look at our shortcomings. To believe that we can’t do whatever it is because we believe we lack what’s needed or required to accomplish our dreams. So often, we don’t even step out and make effort.  We stop before we’ve even tried.

The New York Time’s article begins “Sometimes when she’s taking pictures, Sonia Soberats forgets she cannot see.” Yes…you read that right! Sonia cannot see! Yet…she’s taking pictures!

I love that! Basically, who cares what you don’t have (or do have for that matter)…just do it!

Read more about Sonia and see more of her amazing photos by clicking on the photo below.

Sonia Soberats/Seeing With Photography Collective
“Movements of Light.”

This is part of the series of Authentic Life & Love…Discoveries in search of being real and true to who I am!

Until next time…