Does it even matter???

So I haven't blogged-- hell- I haven't written anything in quite some time. Been busy on a little something called living my damn life… Can I get an amen!? I don't know how mommy bloggers with tiny ones do it. Stay connected to their kids, spouse, friends, work, and find time to care about writing a blog. More power to ya sistas.
After many a long talk with The Captain it's become pretty obvious that my issue isn't really time or content, it's wondering if it really matters… Like who really cares?! I have a small and loyal following so it's not to dog on you, but seriously, does sharing my thoughts on food, fashion, and mommyhood even matter... What I've come up with is... No. In the grand scheme of important world shit, it's tiny. But at the end of the day writing makes me happy. I enjoy it. I don't really get the time I once had to write daily or even 3 times a week! Dude, I now write blog posts in the privacy of my bathroom on my cellphone. Life is just different. And it's good. Heck, it's great.
So this isn't happening in a week or even a month. We bought our first home via FaceTime 2000 miles away. So the next few months are gonna be filled with packing, adventuring, and soaking up all our amazing city has to offer before we hit the road. But I'm excited to get back to posting quick healthy meals for the whole fam, showing you our new home and how decorating can be fun and chic even with a toddler and minimal budget, and oh-so much more.
2016 is gonna be a blast.

Say Cheese!!

Blissful Happenings - Shoot 3 - 066 Blissful  Happenings  Pesto Shoot - 71 IMG_4775So, you are probably really familiar with the name Kelsey Erin if you frequent the our lil' blog!! She's our photographer extraordinaire here at Blissful Happenings, the pics above are a few of my faves!! We adore her and her desire to take beautiful, natural photos!! She has an awesome new website and facebook page, so you should definitely all check it out!! And if you are in the San Diego area, you probably need to get it on it and hire her! She shoots family, newborn, boudoir, maternity sessions beautifully with a keen eye for capturing special moments!! We love our little hippie photog and so will you!!!!!

My Besties

Blissful Happenings  2 - 08 Blissful Happenings  2 - 09 Blissful Happenings  2 - 10I'm a dog person, like way more than a people person and I, mostly, like people. My boys, Hammond and Franklin, are sort of the best dudes on the planet. They bark at everything, leave their toys everywhere, Ham is a food thief, and Frank is a seat stealer. Alas, I love them more than life itself. The Captain and I are concerned that if we ever decide to procreate that we won't love the kid as much as the dogs. I hope that doesn't make you judge us… Any who, this outfit has become my uniform as of late, easy and stylish. I never thought I'd fall prey to the baseball cap trend, but damn if it's not so freaking cute and a great way to hide dirty hair. Speaking of hair, mine is growing!! Hooray. Okay, back to dogs. How cute are they!?!? Yes, I love them! Happy Wednesday!!!!!

Blissful Happenings  2 - 11Blissful Happenings  2 - 14 Blissful Happenings  2 - 13photos via Kelsey Erin Photography | [cap] Madewell it's on sale!!! [jacket] old H&M, but I have my eye on this one [shirt] aka MY FAVORITE!!! Loft [denim] aka MY FAVORITE!!! Mother [booties] Possibly my most comfy booties Sam Edelman

Women Who Rock

e photo1Today I am just over the moon because I LOVE December's woman who rocks!!!! Estela from Weekly Bite is a genius dietician, successful blogger, fabulous mommy, and I'm so delighted to call her my friend. She effortlessly (or so it seems) balances kiddos, work, and life while always keeping a balanced diet with an emphasis on healthy whole foods and moderation! She is the real deal when it comes to expert nutrition advice, plus she's a total babe! Hope you enjoy her interview! Hey superwoman, how do you balance work, kids, husband, exercise and stay sane? Balance is something I work at every day (some days are way easier then others). What keeps me sane is exercise. I make it a priority to schedule exercise somewhere in my day, whether it be running, yoga, or an exercise DVD. If I can't find "me" time to exercise, I load the kids up in the jogging stroller (which is often) and pound my stress away on the pavement.

As for work, since I work from home I feel like I am working all day. Having two kids makes it a little challenging, but now that they are in school I am able to focus more on work before their pick-up time. When it comes to making time for my husband, I make it a personal rule to shut off the computer at 8pm. Since the kid's are in bed by that time, it gives us a chance to catch up on our day and keep that line of communication open which is super important for couples. We also try to schedule date nights every couple of weeks :)

What’s your personal food philosophy? Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are satisfied! Try to make healthy choices most of the time, but never deprive yourself of foods you love. One of the hardest things to do is tune into our bodies and listen when it tell us it needs food. Try to avoid the emotional eating rut. When we start eating consistently for reasons other than hunger (like boredom, loneliness, or stress), that's when the excess weight arrives.

Is there a common mistake you notice when people are trying to loose weight or eat healthier? Losing weight & becoming healthier is a lifestyle change, not a quick fix. In order to keep weight off permanently, focusing on a healthy lifestyle change, rather than a diet is key. Take a mini assessment of your life and find little things you can change one at a time. Slow and steady should be the motto when it comes to weight loss. We can still enjoy the foods we love, but in moderation.

Is there a secret to getting kids to love healthy food? I get this question all the time from parents. There really is no secret. As parents, we serve as role models for our kids. We need to be the eater we want our kids be. As parents, it's our job to decide when and what our kids eat. It is up to the kids to decide how much they will eat. The key is to never give up. It can take up to five introductions of a food before the child actually tastes it. I never force my kids to eat everything on their plate. I do encourage them to taste it, and I always make sure to have at least one food on their plate I know they like. We also do a lot of "tummy talk" when we are eating. It's a way of getting kids to learn about listen to their hunger (tummy) cues.

Spill it, what’s your fave junk food?  This is embarrassing, but I'm going to have to say 'Flaming Hot Cheetos'. I know they are super unhealthy (some might even say they're gross), but I think they are yummy! I don't eat them often, but if they are around I enjoy them in moderation :)

Vegan Afritada. BOOM.

afritata-filipino-vegan-veggieI've mentioned it before, but I am indeed an honorary Filipino. I love Filipino food, unfortunately it does not love me. Trying to get my Filipino family to understand the concept of being a vegan or plant based diet is like trying to explain nuclear fusion to a kindergarten class. Not only do they not understand, they don't retain the information. To my mother-in-law vegetarian means there is a vegetable somewhere in the meal. I've been to a few Filipino restaurants and their veggie menu reads, eggplant with minced pork, string beans with minced shrimp, so on and so forth. So if I want it, I cook it. I make veggie lumpia, tofu adobo, and my favorite, afritada. The Captain's late Grandpa Lolo made the best afritada I've ever had in my life. Full of pork, oil, msg, and magic. It tasted like heaven! A few years before he passed, I was able to sit with him and watch him lovingly make his recipe. There were no measurements, just a gut feeling of what was needed. It's one of my favorite memories ever. I've changed very little of his basic recipe while cutting out the stuff we don't eat. The Captain always has a shot of Lolo's beloved Crown before we feast, it's a tradition. I love watching his face when he takes a bite, it's like tasting a memory and that fills my heart with joy. afritata-filipino-vegan-veggieFeeds 3-4 super hungry people [doubles/triples/quadruples well]

2 red bell peppers, chopped into large chunks

4 large russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into large chunks

2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter

1 15 oz can organic garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups veggie stock

1 15 oz can tomato sauce

1/4 cup ketchup [yes, ketchup... and none of that fancy organic shit with no sugar, the real deal]

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons sea salt

A pinch of cayenne

This is so simple. Start the coconut oil and the garlic over medium heat. Once the garlic is fragrant, add carrots, peppers, and potatoes. Stir about until they are lightly coated in the oil. Add garbanzo beans, veggie stock, tomato sauce, ketchup, and peanut butter. Stir well. Finally add all the spices and mix together. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down. Cover and cook on low for an hour or so, until the veggies are soft. The only way to eat this is with steamed jasmine rice. Brown rice is acceptable, but trust me you should try it first with white.

Enjoy!! Trust me, this is comfort in a bowl and it will warm your body and your soul... yep, it's that good!