Berry Breakfast

To go along with the our featured articles breakfast theme, here’s another recipe for you to try.

granoa-yogurt-cottage-cheese-strawberries

If you don’t have time to cook in the morning and it’s a mad dash out of the house (and let’s face it, we all have those days), try this quick, easy, HEALTHY breakfast.

1/2 C fat free cottage cheese
1/2 C mixed berries, thawed if frozen
1/2 C whole grain cereal such as Kashi Go Lean or Grape-Nuts.

If you want to increase the amount I suggest going up to 1 cup. Mix together and enjoy.

The Art of Patient Parenting

My daughter turned three this summer and anyone who has experienced the joys of spending 24/7 with a three year old is probably cringing… then smiling… because as much terror as they can cause, with the right outlook and enough patience, they can be a lot of fun.

However, patience doesn’t come easily. Everyday is a test. Here are ten things that have made it possible for me to grasp the concept of patient parenting.

1. Make time for Yourself

Me-Time.-Bliss.This is important! It helps keep you sane… believe me. I spend an hour a day on myself not thinking about my daughter, or housework, or other errands that need doing. I do things like yoga classes that allow drop ins, and a gym membership at the community center (our center only charges $32 monthly). Do what you enjoy. It doesn’t need to be a commitment because kids make those types of things stressful. Just an hour a day that is yours will do the trick. Those moments alone are special and do a lot towards building patience.

2. Surround yourself with Friends

Motherhood can be isolating at times and I know when I lock myself in a house with a three year old for too long it is damaging to my sanity. Having another mother who parents in a complimentary way is helpful and stress relieving. A good friend and I spend a lot of time together and we co-parent as a result. It’s refreshing having someone to talk to, especially someone who can relate to the hardships and joys of motherhood.

3. Get Outside

Beach-HillHomeWhen my daughter was first born I would take walks with her in her carrier daily. It helped calm me after a frustrating diaper change or a painful breastfeeding session. I still look forward to those walks now that she is three. On walks I am free from all the household distractions and I can have conversations with her and make her feel important. Whether its around the neighborhood or at a state-park, a walk with your child is a healthy way to stay patient and relaxed.

4. Acknowledge mistakes

It’s okay to be wrong. Your kids will respect you more for admitting it than they will for you ignoring it. Like when you misplaced something and blamed your little one for it (despite their protests of innocence), and then found it ten minutes later. You owe it to yourself and your child to acknowledge this mistake. Lead by example.

5. Look for the upside

Some days I wake up to a screaming child who, in the course of an hour, hits me, throws yogurt in my face and pees her pants. Those days it is hard to think positively let alone look for the upside. The only way I keep myself from turning on Netflix, throwing a bag of Kit Kats in the bedroom and running away (that may or may not have happened) is by laughing. Chasing the baby and turning her power play into a fun game of tag saves both our days. Try not to be so serious all the time.

6. Despite their small size kids feelings are just as big as yours

NOOOOOO MMMOOOOMMMMYYYY!!!!! That whine is enough to make me see red and erase the rational thought process from my mind. I revert back to a three year old’s problem solving capacity. Spank. Yell. Cry. Not exactly shinning moments in the quest to teach my daughter how to communicate without whining. I remember her feelings are just as big as mine and just as important, regardless of her ability to communicate them effectively. A child that feels understood is more patient, more confident and has more trust.

7. Its not all about teaching, its about learning too

wonder-wall-1We have a Wonderwall. It’s an idea I found on Pinterest. The concept is simple – a large piece of butcher paper, stack of sticky notes and a pen. My daughter will ask a question like “what are stars made of?” and though I want to tell her they are made of kitten dust and mommy kisses, I stop myself. Instead I write it down on a sticky note and put it on the Wonderwall. Every night we answer a question together. Life is one big learning experience for both of us. Everyday brings something new, and everyday she changes. The only way I can keep up with her is by letting her teach me who she is through the things that interests her and piques her curiosity. I have learned so much being a mother.

8. Your way isn’t the only way

Listening to your child will go a long way towards making your day run smoothly. You want to take Johnny to the park and he wants to go, but so does his superhero collection. Two choices, find a bag or box and safely seat belt them in next to Johnny, OR say “no we are leaving now,” drag a screaming Johnny to the car, and admonish him for not being more appreciative of park time. Fun turns into not so fun. Sometimes kids know what is best for them and remembering to listen can make life a little easier.

9. The only thing you should compare is prices not children

My daughter is a beautiful, smart and sweet natured girl and I hear a lot from friends and family how “perfect she is.” However, that did not stop me from comparing her to other kids at first. I passed judgment on those that fell short of her achievements and felt insecure when she fell behind others. Kids are unique. You do yourself and your child a disservice when you compare them. Love them instead, for who they are, and praise them for the many wonderful things they can do.

10. Put away the camera and enjoy the moment

I know it is hard to resist capturing every second of your husband and daughter playing at the park, but all that posing for Facebook is tiring for your tot and your husband. Have some fun and play pirates instead and give yourself and your family the gift of a flash free trip to the park.

Fabulous Food for the Family

Let’s talk about food. I’ve given  my topic a lot of thought this week… in fact I think I’ve over thought it.  There is just so much to say about food.  So I’ve decided to begin on a personal note.

I love food.  I love to make a recipe and tweak it so it’s better.  A little richer, tastier or healthier.

Honestly though, I don’t have any time to “play” with my food. (I love that I’m allowed to “play” with my food as an adult). Who has the time to cook and really enjoy it with the business of family activities?  In fact during the week it’s more of a “chore” to cook. I realized that something had to change in order for me to enjoy cooking and to continue making food for my family they would enjoy. The other side of the coin would be eating out all the time and that is just not going to happen.

Through the weeks I’m going to share ideas for healthy, easy food to eat and how to make it work so you don’t have to cook for hours each day. On that note, let’s start with breakfast.  I typically am not a morning person.  I have a hard time even thinking about what I’m going to cook if I haven’t had my six shot latte. I began asking friends for ideas on what I could cook, which lead me to my favorite breakfast – a spinach, portobello mushroom omelette. This is such an easy recipe. You can even make the bulk of it in advance to last you for several days. There’s minimal cooking in the morning if you are on a tight schedule and it’s healthy.

Spinach Mushroom Omelette

Ingredients:
1 medium onion (I prefer sweet onions)
8 – 12 oz fresh spinach
2 – 3 portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 egg
1/2 C egg whites
salt & pepper to taste
feta cheese (or low fat swiss if you don’t like feta)
avocado, sliced for garnish

I usually make the filling of the omelette in advance for the week. To do that chop your onion and portobello mushroom. Saute your onion till it is caramelized, then add the mushrooms. Saute them till the juices are released, then add the spinach and cook until it is wilted.  Add salt and pepper to your taste.  Refrigerate until you are ready to use or use it right away.

Now it’s time for the omelette.
Mix your egg whites and egg.  Typically one egg equals a quarter of a cup of egg white. I usually add half cup of egg whites and one egg. Whisk your eggs together and add salt and pepper to taste. Add oil to your pan and bring the pan up to temp. When the pan is up to temp add your eggs.  Let your eggs set up on the bottom of the pan then gently start swirling the uncooked eggs to the side of the pan. Then gently lift the edges of the egg and let the rest of the uncooked egg slide to the bottom of the pan.  Once the egg has set gently slide your spatula underneath the egg and flip it over. Warm your mushroom, spinach and onion mixture for a few seconds in the microwave. Now you can start adding the mushroom, spinach, and onion mixture to one side of your cooked egg.  Sprinkle with the feta cheese and fold the other half over. You can garnish your omelette with sliced avocado or fat-free sour cream. Breakfast is served.  

Now that I’ve had a healthy breakfast and have energy to cook let’s get started cooking for the rest of the day.

Check in next week for more ideas and let me know if you tried the omelette and what you think!

The Great Northwest

The Pacific Northwest is a true gem. This beautiful place has so much to offer in the way of outdoor activities. Hiking, biking, skiing, rafting, sailing, fishing, from snow covered mountain tops, to rich coastlines, it is an emerald waiting to be discovered.

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However, like anything in life all the good things are hard to find. Everything that is made valuable in the world is covered and hard to get to. Where do you find diamonds? Deep underground, covered and protected. Where do you find gold? Under layers and layers of rock. You have to work hard to get to these gems. The same can be said about some of the most scenic spots you’ll find in Oregon and Washington. You’ll have to drive long hours, or hike steep inclines, or battle mother nature as she pelts you with rain or snow. Whatever the obstacle, the great outdoor adventure leads you to the most breathtaking places. It is exhilarating, a natural high for me, as I turn that final corner and see nature’s beauty laid out before me.

Whatever the obstacle, the great outdoor adventure leads you to the most breathtaking places.

I appreciate living in Oregon now, however growing up here was difficult for me. I didn’t enjoy the rainy days mostly because I was an active child forced to be indoors. When late Fall, Winter, and Spring came around I didn’t get to run and play outdoor games with my older brothers. That is a considerable amount of the year wasted indoors. The Northwest doesn’t have the amazing 365 weather that the sun belt states get to enjoy, but it doesn’t have the extreme winter’s like the east coast either! It does have all four seasons. I’ve watched the leaves fade and fall before the snow comes, then life reawaken, and blossom when the sun returns and warms the earth. It does have green trees, flowers, rivers full of life… rolling hills, dense forests, high deserts, dormant volcanoes, lakes, rivers, beaches… How could I not come to appreciate this lush, diverse region I get to call home.

Join me every week as I post about locations I’ve discovered and far off destinations that I plan to discover. I’d also love to hear about the places you’ve adventured to, places you think I need to see, or even how you feel about living here in the The Great Northwest. I can’t wait to share my love of the outdoors and travel with you. Let’s get out and adventure together!

About Last Night……

about-last-nightI am a big Kevin Hart fan so I knew I had to watch the movie. Finally did, with my husband, and I have to say that I would have been better off watching it with “my girls”.  The movie showed the funny side of what men and women go through while dating, how relationships begin and end and begin again! (We’ve all been there).

Warning: The movie has a lot of adult content so please don’t take the kids. And of course every time the sex scenes came on, my husband would nudge me and give me the eye! Men…

hr_About_Last_Night_8It was mostly belly laughing fun but towards the end it started getting uncomfortably “too close to home”, you know, the real life things that happen in the course of most relationships (including my own). After the movie I felt the need to talk to my BFF to do some comparing, complaining and maybe a little “yeah, why do men do that?” kinda chatting that of course I can’t do with my hubby! I highly recommend watching this with your friends and not your significant other so that afterwards you can grab a drink and talk about how  totally confusing the other sex is!

Rating: It’s a must see! Get your girls together and have a night out of fun and drinks!

Blue Man Group

March 7-9, 2014
KELLER AUDITORIUM
222 SW Clay
Portland, OR 9720
Buy Tickets Here |

Experience the Phenomenon. Blue Man Group is best known for their wildly popular theatrical shows and concerts which combine comedy, music, and technology to produce a totally unique form of entertainment. The New York Times heralds the show as “One of the most delightful performance pieces ever staged.” E! Entertainment News exclaims, “Blue Man Group is what every live performance aspires to be.” The Baltimore Sun raves, “Blue Man Group packs a wallop. It’s a big, loud, funny, silly, visually arresting production!”

Blue Man GroupAlthough it is impossible to describe, people of all ages agree that Blue Man Group is an intensely exciting and wildly outrageous show that leaves the entire audience in a blissful, euphoric state. With no spoken language, Blue Man Group is perfect for people of all ages, languages, and cultures. Blue Man Group is now on the road for its first U.S. theatrical tour. This unique experience is a form of entertainment like nothing else; guaranteed to be an outing you will never forget.

Buy Tickets Here |

Spring Trends 2014 – pt.1

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Now I know it doesn’t feel anything like Spring here in the ever rainy Northwest, but whether we like it or not, the official start of Spring is March 20th. That gives us a few weeks to shift through our closets, organize, plan and shop for those missing pieces that will take us from drab to glam come Springtime.

Instead of creating a slideshow with outfit ideas for all the trends this spring I’ll just do a few at a time. This week, my favorites: full skirts, pretty sheer things and lots of floral!

According to most style magazines and blogs these are the trends to plan for come Spring 2014: Metallics, crop tops, sheer panels & overlays, sporty influences, full skirts, floral patterns (of course), pleats, artsy prints, words, ruffles, and slouchy silhouettes. Come back next week for the next three trends and outfit ideas.

Beauty Bag

Everyone has a handful of favorites or staples that never leave their bag and these are mine.

Left to Right: Shiseido Eyeshadow, Bare Essentials Buxom Mascara, Lorac Liquid Eyeliner, Elf Angled Brush, Bare Essentials Foundation, Bare Essentials Kabuki Brush, Smashbox Powder Foundation, ELF Coverall Stick, Smashbox Primer, Sephora Red Tango Lipstick, Maybelline Perfect Plum Lipstick
Left to Right: Shiseido Eyeshadow, Bare Essentials Buxom Mascara, Lorac Liquid Eyeliner, Elf Angled Brush, Bare Essentials Foundation, Bare Essentials Kabuki Brush, Smashbox Powder Foundation, ELF Coverall Stick, Smashbox Primer, Sephora Red Tango Lipstick, Maybelline Perfect Plum Lipstick

Not sure if you’re a contouring kind of gal, but I don’t leave my house without a good “foundation.” Even if I wear nothing else for the day I make sure I even out my skin tone and give my face a little shape with these base cosmetics:

  1. Smashbox Primer – All over face primer
  2. ELF Coverall Stick – Conceal and highlight
  3. Bare Essentials Fairly Light Foundation – Fix skin tone
  4. Smashbox Medium Foundation – Contour with the darker color
Maybelline's Plum Perfect, Sephora's Red Tango
Maybelline’s Plum Perfect, Sephora’s Red Tango

Then there’s my lipsticks. A bold lip is my signature beauty look, and I’m a sucker for an amazing red lip. I have two that never leave my bag – Sephora’s Red Tango for a perfect red and Maybelline’s Plum Perfect when I want something darker.

They have been well loved

Because my lips are always a bold color I rarely do more than line my eyes with a dark brown liner pencil and add a little mascara, but when I’m in a sassy mood I reach for my Shiseido pink eyeshadow palette. It brightens my dull brown eyes and keeps me looking fresh and awake even after half the day has passed. I add Lorac’s liquid eyeliner in black for a sleek cat eye and top it off with Bare Essentials Buxom Mascara in Black for thick long lashes. I don’t fill in my eyebrows like I know most girls do, but I do keep them clean and tamed. You could have an amazing eye look, but if you’ve got scraggly eyebrows you just don’t look pulled together.

And there you have it. My beauty bag staples. What’s in your bag?

Let’s Build!

Spring season is fast approaching, though it doesn’t feel like it here in the cold, rainy Northwest, and I am reanalyzing my closet. Though I have a decent amount of clothes tucked away in there, there is no structure to it — clothes don’t mix well, there’s more special occasion items than I know what to do with, and really there’s only a handful of pieces I actually wear everyday. What a mess!

no structure, what a mess
no structure, what a mess

So, with the changing of the season I am building myself a capsule collection. (Into Mind has a great breakdown of what a capsule collection is.) I’m taking stock of what I have, categorizing, and making a list of items that will fill in any wardrobe gaps. I already have an idea of what to get, one being an amazing pair of nude heels, and will storm the mall in hopes of getting most of my list in one go. If not, online shopping is another great option.

Here’s some of the things I’m on the hunt for:

cute flats, nude heels, comfy statement pumps, tan booties, denim & leather, an awesome sun hat, and light weight button up shirts.