Different Perspectives

01.28.2017 | Saturday

A few years ago my world shook and I was forced to take a really good look at every facet of my life. Over the past 2 years I’ve been on a journey of self-discovery as marked by several different periods – depression, more depression, bargaining/trying to fix, intense anger, numbing, de-cluttering my environment, food and fitness, diving into my beliefs and feeling empty when I realize there wasn’t much left to stand on, realizing I don’t know what my values are, realizing I have no idea who I am independent of what I’ve been told to be my whole life, and slowly, very very slowly, starting from the very bottom and building up a foundation that I can once again stand on. And at every step, I doubt. I question. I think I’m wrong. I want to believe. I’m desperate to believe.

So that is the back story. And as grim as it might sound (and believe me, it gets really hard sometimes), it has been one of the greatest adventures of my life. I’m very much wading through the messy middle of all of this, but the perspective that I bring with me through this phase of my life is that of discovery, of knowing we all believe different things, and knowing that is ok, and just trying to find a little more common ground and compassion among all the craziness. One day this will be my superpower, but right now it feels like anything but. Starting over isn’t easy; I feel like I’m ten steps behind all the other people who have somehow figured it all out so much faster than I have. But that is the honest truth of where I am, and I’m content with that.

Recently I’ve had a lot of questions surrounding the concepts of what and when to believe, how/when/who to trust, and being wrong. I find myself in the middle of all these opposing ideas and conflicts, and in those moments, my thoughts float to these types of questions. I know it might all sound naive, and in many ways, I am very naive at the moment, but that is the feeling of not being able to trust yourself or anyone around you. It sucks, but I know in the end, I believe it is what is going to lead to my breakthrough.

I am constantly seeking new information, stories and perspectives to help me sort through all these topics. I love gaining a new perspective, hearing an opposing idea that moves me away from a fixed view, or gaining more knowledge around a given subject. The very best part of this whole process is finding different ideas, learning about people, trying on different views, and seeing the world through as many sides as possible.

The Power Of Doubt:

“And we hardly realize the human price we pay when we fail to question one brick, because we fear it might shake our whole foundation.” Everything about this quote resonates with me and made me want to watch immediately. I keep coming back to this one again and again.

On Being Wrong:

“Trusting too much in the feeling of being on the correct side of anything can be very dangerous.”

Every day I asked myself “What if I’m wrong? What if there is something I’m missing? What if I’m not seeing the whole picture? What if, what if, what if.”. I see the importance of constantly checking yourself. I see the value in asking the tough questions, and allowing yourself to at least sit with it as an option. Questioning biases and digging deep enough to examine your truths can be extremely challenging, but also extremely powerful.

I haven’t been able to write in a long time, and I miss it very much. So this is my less-than-perfect attempt at starting this back up. I’ve lost my voice and I’m ready to find it again, even if it isn’t perfect. I’m not ready to share the details of my whole story publicly, but I need to find a way to move through it, and writing has always been that path for me. My hope is that one day this will all make sense (and that one day maybe I’ll make sense of it all for myself).

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Favorite Weeknight Paleo Dinner Recipes

12.8.2016 | Thursday

These are a few of my favorite Paleo dinner recipes, all of which are quick and easy for weeknight meal planning, and they save well for lunch leftovers (which is just about my favorite thing ever). All of these have a fair amount of veggies in them, but a little side salad never hurt anyone.

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Chicken Fried Cauliflower Rice - One of my current favorites. Incredibly easy recipe that can be saved and eaten for days to come! I pretty much follow this recipe with the exception of omitting cornstarch (using tapioca flour if you want a replacement, but I don’t think anything is needed) and use Coconut Aminos instead of the Soy Sauce. I add Peas (up to you if that is part of your Paleo diet) but up to you! You can get frozen cauliflower fried rice at Trader Joes/Whole Foods in the frozen veggies section (SO much easier than trying to grind your own!)

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Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti - One of my favorite recipes. It takes over an hour due to having to roast the spaghetti squash, but it is a great one to make in large batches and even freeze. I roast half of a spaghetti squash and wrap/freeze the other half for another time. It actually makes the squash a bit more moist.

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Shrimp + Sausage Paleo Skillet - Oh man, THIS. (Apparently I have a lot of favorites…) I use Spicy Italian Pork or Chicken Sausage from the Whole Foods meat counter (it is delish and compliant) but any sausage will do (just check those ingredients, a ton of sausage has sugar and a bunch of other random stuff in it). If you save this for leftovers later, just make sure you eat all the shrimp, it doesn’t save as well.

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Chicken Piccata - Easy weekday recipe with so few ingredients. This is one of those that I can often make quickly because I already have everything the house. I use the chicken in my salad the following day for lunch. It might be even better cold.

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Salmon – We have salmon a couple times a month. I use a dill + salt  + ghee (or butter….) and put it in the oven for about 20 minutes. I roast some brussel sprouts or asparagus (you could add cauliflower fried rice or potatoes if you want more). We don’t eat too much fish, but it is great to have in the rotation due to the health benefits and how simple it is!

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Our Kitchen Inspiration

09.1.2016 | Thursday
This the current design direction for the kitchen. Nothing is 100%, but more of an idea on where I’m headed. I’ve already gone through a variety of design concepts and my husband nixed a bunch of them, all of which has helped us land here.  His feedback is “he doesn’t want to live in a Pinterest photo, doesn’t want too much of a statement, and wants it to be feel homey and comfortable”. He tends to love more masculine colors and textures, loves clean lines and minimalism, and lots of plants.  
My goals with the space are: 1. I need some sort of element of surprise or some sort of statement in the space (this is going to be a weird/fun challenge given the above about him not wanting a statement) 2. I don’t want a white kitchen that looks like every other white kitchens. 3. I don’t want it to be overly trendy. I want our decisions to last through selling the house, or at least transcend current style. 
Below is our current kitchen for reference.
before-kitchen

Below is our design inspiration. 
1---inspiration

CABINETS: I’m going to leave all the cabinets the way they are (except two little shelf ones) and just paint them white.  I will also be adding in two wood shelves on either side of the range.

2---cabinets-+-shelves

COUNTERS: Currently my concept for the counters is a white stone or quartz with a small amount of grey. My two favorites at the moment are “Caesarstone Fresh Concrete” and “Caesarstone Frosty Carrina”. I LOVE the idea of a wood accent like the top left photo below. If that doesn’t cost too much, I would love to do something like that.
4---counter-tps

BACKSPLASH: My plan for the backsplash is to do a white tile with a white grout. Currently my favorites are Calcite or White Gloss by Clayfire Tile. The biggest decision is going to be which pattern to choose. My husband likes the herringbone the best, and I’m partial to the hexagons. Part me wants to do something different that hasn’t been so done in the past like the triangles or something.

3---tile-options

ISLAND: At first I wanted to do an interesting tile pattern with a black grout for the island cabinets, but that got vetoed pretty quick. I switched gears a bit and decided on painting the island a light gray with a light wood butcher block for the countertop. I don’t love the combination of dark colors with the wood counters, so thinking of doing something along the lines of the top left image.

5---island

LIGHTING: I love the idea of this style of lighting but haven’t done too much research into other options. My favorite are the black options but my husband likes the gold with clear glass option best. I’m not married to this concept, so there is room to go in a completely different direction.

lighting

STOOLS: I love the white stools best, and think those would pair well with the gray paint on the island, but I’m definitely open to other ideas.

stools

There you go! Next I get to visit all the tile places, pick the paint colors and get everything lined up to ACTUALLY get this done. Should be a fun next couple of months.

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