Moms Everywhere: I'm sorry I judged you…

BubbaI'm sorry I ever judged you for being late, canceling, or asking me to be ridiculously "available" so we could meet for lunch because I didn't realize how delicately a good day and a bad day rested on an extra 15 minutes of nap time... Blasted nap time. I'm sorry I ever spoke the words, "if they don't create flexibility in their babies life they will never learn!!" I'm clearly an idiot who needs to be flogged. Flexibility!? HA! You are lucky if you can find some semblance of a routine with a baby, you are entirely flexible, but it's about knowing how your baby will thrive and that trumps just about everything… Including a much needed meal of food with friends. Sorry boos.

I'm sorry I ever scoffed at a 5pm dinner request. Heck, is 4:30 too early!?!?

I'm sorry I judged that you didn't have all wooden and bpa-free shit for your kid to play with. Who was I kidding!?! What do you want!? What will make you happy!? Plastic? Toys with sharp edges!? TV!? Hell, I'll give you all of that!

I apologize for ever uttering the words "non-toxic" or "organic" in your presence. Self explanatory. See above.

I'm sorry I ever assumed that after you had a baby you were right as rain when even those with the healthiest mental fortitude are filled with so much emotion that can be downright exhausting all on it's own, no mind you also have a tiny person to keep alive.

I'm sorry I ever judged you for being absolutely exacerbated and annoyed by this creature that you "supposedly love and cherish." Dude, there are days where you are so absolutely NOT enthralled with being a doting mommy. It's exhausting and sometimes infuriating. And on top of never quite knowing what your spawn needs, you are so exhausted you don't even know what YOU need. Have I bathed today? Brushed my hair? My teeth!? Have I lost all ability to use proper personal hygiene!?!

I'm sorry I ever said, "I'm tired" in front of you because I had probably gotten at least 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep the night before and I'd probably get it again that night. So basically I was a dick head.

I'm sorry I ever shot you a judgmental sideways glance as you donned yoga pants and a top knot, AH-gain because I assumed you care what others think. That's not to say you don't care about your appearance, but there are days were your outfit and coiffed do take a major back seat to a catastrophic blown out diaper or a disaster of a nap time. And guess what, that's okay!?!?

I'm sorry I didn't write this sooner! I know I've written similar posts, but this one has been on my mind for a few months, but it's just now finding it's way out of my head over the past week. After talking to my mommy friends there seems to be an overwhelming feeling of inadequacy amongst Mothers, that needs to end now. I know it's hard. I daily find myself wanting to do something better or have to more patience or to be more present in the moment… I am trying to remind myself that each day is a new day and when something doesn't work today, I can start over fresh tomorrow. But what none of us needs is pressure to live up to anyone's unrealistic standards, sometimes even our own.

Love them. Cherish them. And for the love of geez-o-petes give yourself a break!

Meal in a Minute… Well, 4…

IMG_9334I barely have enough time to shower or take a poo by myself, so making a healthy lunch or dinner with fresh veggies sounds utterly exhausting… Like, I didn't know it was possible to operate on so little sleep and I have a nugget, who for all intents and purposes, sleeps really well for an almost 5 month old. Like seriously. Whoa. WHOA. So my darling love, Chelsea [she is so gonna be famous one day] introduced me to these amazing Lotus Foods ramen packets! Completely clean, fat free, oil free, gluten free, and vegan! For a buck seventy-nine these suckers are a pantry staple in my new normal. To jazz these puppies up I like to add various roasted veggies, baked tofu, a handful of greens, or all of the above! IMG_9336IMG_9337IMG_9335IMG_9338 [Step 1] Follow package instructions. Basically boil 2 cups of water. Add spice packet and noodles. Cook for 4 minutes. Boom. Done.

[Step 2: Optional] Add a splash of tamari which adds a great depth of flavor. Easy peasy.

[Step 3: Optional] Add your desired flare.

[I love baked tofu. You can make your own or buy it pre-baked. To make your own, cut super firm tofu and press to remove all water. Mix tamari, honey, lemon juice. Coat Tofu and bake at 375 until firm about 25 minutes.]

 

[A handful of spinach or kale on the days that's all you've got in you. Just toss it in the water for the last minute of cooking.]

 

[I like to make a huge batch of roasted veggies at the beginning of the week and use them for ramen or tacos, etc. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, roast bell peppers, red onions, zucchini, mushrooms.]

 

[Toss in snow peas, broccoli, or zucchini the boiling water to give them a quick cook.]

 

[Top with jalapeños, scallions, sambal oelek, sesame seeds, chopped cashews, I could go on and on]

 

[Stuff your face.]

Mocha Brownie Smoothie

IMG_9825So now that The Captain is back on the mainland, we are both trying to get our health and digestive tracks back in order... Me from growing a child, him from living like a college student. Definitely the same... Hmmm. Any who, in our attempt to "cleanse" we have given up wheat, processed sugar, processed foods, alcohol, soy[mostly], and dairy[obviously not a struggle for me]. It's quite the list. Not nearly as crazy as some, but still I want to ravage a piece of bread right now. Yes, vegans LOVE bread. We did decide to keep caffeine in the mix as we both only have 1 cup of black coffee a day and we have a 4 month old. No sodas up in this crib. Well, I was craving a brownie something fierce with my morning coffee when this smoothie popped in my head... It was perfect!! Yummy, fudgy goodness!!! 1 giant serving or 3 double old fashioned servings

3 dates [soaked for 10 min in hot water]

1 1/4 cup almond milk

1/2 cup coffee

1 tablespoon flax seeds [ground if not using a high powered blender such as a Vitamix]

1 tablespoon chia seeds

2 tablespoons of a clean diary/whey free protein [I used the vanilla juice plus powder. SO GOOD.]

1-2 tablespoons cocoa powder depending on how chocolatey you like it [unsweetened, raw if possible]

1/2 cup frozen spinach

1 frozen banana

Throw it all in a blender and presto!!!! Deliciousness!

Presto Pesto Magic

Blissful  Happenings  Pesto Shoot - 38 Blissful  Happenings  Pesto Shoot - 42 Blissful  Happenings  Pesto Shoot - 45 Blissful  Happenings  Pesto Shoot - 46 Blissful  Happenings  Pesto Shoot - 49photos by Kelsey Erin Photography

I am a real deal Italian and I love being Italian. LOVE. IT. I was insistent upon keeping my very Italian last name when I got married because it was so important to me! My people are the creators of some pretty epic food, I mean pasta is magic! Literal, magic. This pesto is super easy and will have even the pickiest of eaters swooning! It's great with pasta [recipe to follow], veggies, breadsticks, or even a replacement for mayo! The possibilities are endless!!! This oil-free version is seriously guilt-free! So enjoy, and enjoy often!

Makes enough to coat 2 pounds 'o' pasta!

3 cups loosely packed basil

2 cups loosely packed spinach

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 huge garlic cloves

1/4 cup pine nuts

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of veggie stocks

a few solid pinches of salt to taste

Blend in a blender until smooth. Yep, that's it. AWESOMENESS. I know, right!?

Pinterest Recipe Love

photoI've made this curry approximately 3,384 times since I found it on Pinterest. It is so easy and delicious that it will have you coming back for more and more and then some more. Seriously, it's that good!! It's from Julia's Album and damnnnn does this chick know her garbanzos! The only thing that I change is omitting the brown sugar and adding a TON of cayenne pepper, like 2-3 teaspoons depending on my mood. It is a meal that is sure to please even the most meaty of meat eaters. Swearsies.

Tofu Scramble This!

photo 2Vegan breakfast food is quite a hard egg to crack… hahaha. Eggs. Vegan's don't eat eggs. In all seriousness, eating breakfast out, one life's greatest pleasures, is a ridiculous challenge when you are vegan. Living in Cali has its perks, but I still have yet to find a tofu scramble as good as my own… Yep, giving myself a big ole pat on the back! I've found heavenly vegan pancakes, the most delicious vegan biscuits and gravy, and the most amazing papas loco on the planet, but I love my tofu scramble. photo 1Serves 2-3

1 container of extra firm organic tofu, drained and pressed then smush with a fork, until it's crumbly

half of an onion, chopped finely

half a red bell pepper, chopped finely

2-3 handfuls of baby spinach, roughly chopped

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of turmeric

nice big pinch of salt

squeeze of lemon

[Optional veggies: finely diced zucchini, mushrooms, jalapeños, carrots, etc. The possibilities are endless]

photo 3Heat a tablespoon of water or veggie stock in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add red pepper and spinach, cook until spinach is wilted. Add tofu to the pan, add garlic powder, turmeric, and salt then mix well. Once mixture is heated through, turn off the heat and squeeze a quarter wedge of lemon. It just brightens up all the flavors!! I serve mine with warmed corn tortillas, avocado, and salsa or hot sauce. You. Are. Welcome.

Picture This…

Blissful Happenings - Shoot 3 - 024Sooooooooo first let me apologize for being an incredibly unreliable blogger over the past few weeks. Sigh. I know, I know. All 13 of you have been super stressed not getting your BH fix. I'm so verrrrryyyy sorry, but damn, sometimes life is busy and crazy and busy. Over the span of 2 weeks we had 10 house guests. 7 people and 3 dogs, in case you were wondering. It was wonderful getting to spend time with family, but boy-oh-boy I was wrecked!!! I hate that the blog had to suffer, but I'm back and we are ready to roll… like rollin' with my homies. Ya dig? Moving on. I love pictures. I fill my house with them. Nothing makes me sadder than when you walk in someone's house and only a lonely wedding photo and their college diplomas grace the walls. Yuck. I want life! I want pizazz. I want to know you just by looking at the pics on your wall!! This is your home where you live!!!! Make it uniquely you, filled with photos and pieces that matter!

Blissful Happenings - Shoot 3 - 022pics by Kelsey Erin Photography

This is our formal living area. I love this wall. Simple, yet a little funky. As you will notice, I sorta hate symmetry but I also love balance. I think one thing people are afraid to do is print massive pictures! 8x10's are so small!!! Give me a 16x20 any day!! They are perfect for anchoring a photo wall and really make an impact. Also, never underestimate the power of a pair of antlers, they never get old. Blissful Happenings - Shoot 3 - 023Probably my favorite wall in my house! Full of my boys, my favorite kid, The Captain, and weird "art" work. I have a mix of pro-photography, home pics, and magazine clippings. I have been obsessed with my Kate Spade t-rex ad and my Alexander McQueen top hung in the meat packing distract since college, both are torn from magazines. So a super fun magazine ad paired with a killer cool off center mat looks baller… in my own wacky opinion. I 'm not so much a fan of matching frames… clearly, but if you are that can work too!! It's all about what most suites you and the photos you want to hang!!

Blissful Happenings - Shoot 3 - 025So this wall is in my super girlie guest room. Loooove that room. I like how organized and clean this one is. The shelves are good ole Ikea and they do the trick nicely. I love how the Made By Girl print balances the shorter shelf. I tried to keep these frames simple, doing only black, silver, and white. I love using photo shelves and think it's super fun to stack and arrange the photos like you have amassed this huge collection over the years that has organically grown.

I think that's the trick with any kind of decorating… You never want to look like you bought the mannequin… Ya know, you don't need  everything to match! You want your home to look like you've spent years collecting pieces that give your space character! Have fun and don't put pressure on yourself to have that house you saw on Pinterest, instead create your own pin worthy home!!! How's that for inspirational!?!? Boom. Drop microphone. But then pick it up because it's probably expensive…

Gold Spray Paint Makes the World Go 'Round

DIY-Coasters-prettyI have this friend, Emily, who thinks you can fix any unsightly home good with gold spray paint. And you know what? I can't argue with that. Gold is the tits. I wanted a new coaster set because the picture coasters [you know you have at least one set hiding in your house] from my wedding weren't quite meshing with my 2013 design sensibilities. Cue Em, "Spray paint that shit gold?" Okay, she didn't say that at all, but it's funnier that way. So she took my coaster holder thingy and sprayed it a matte gold. In my mind she keeps a secret locker full of gold spray paint so she's always prepared just in case something needs a quick spraying. DIY-Paper-Coaster-GoldI removed the beer bottle labels that The Captain had lovingly removed from the picture inserts and added super cute scraps of paper I had in my paper box. Yes, yes. I have a paper box. I have a weakness for expensive and pretty paper. Such a weird obsession because honestly what do you do with a stack of pretty paper? Well I put it in my picture coasters. BOOM. 10 points to Gryffindor for using shit you already have in your house! I'm a virtual budget diy pioneer. Okay, I'm getting carried away. I shouldn't have had that 2nd chai latte. Well here's the finished product! Super easy, super cheap, and  looks tres chic.