Guess what?! I’m finally getting around to my first post of 2020. Also, it’s currently dumping snow outside, so life has come to full-blown halt. I’m pretty sure one has to do with the other.


I’ve kicked off this year completely out of my element. I thrive on familiarity, predictability and basically life unchanged. I setup house in ruts and that’s where I like to live. Living my best life always coexists with living at a slow, comfortable pace.


Exhibit A: We love traveling to Disneyland and hate money, so we almost always carry annual passes. We always stay at the same hotel so we can swim in the same pool, eat breakfast at the same restaurants and know our exact same route into the parks. For us it’s never boring, it’s just predictable. It’s easier. We don’t have to spend time getting lost or refiguring things out.


Enter 2020: The year of hard, unpredictable, unknown, brand new and, for the love, refiguring everything out!


My idea of “going out on a ledge” was finally pursuing my broker’s license, after a year of carefully researching + considering it. I enrolled in online courses and God responded with, “..hold my beer.” The next morning I wokeup to a positive pregnancy test. SO exciting, but what?!! I’m still unsuccessfully doing the math on that one..


If you’ve ever seen our two-car garage that’s been reduced to a now one-car garage, it probably comes as no surprise to you that we’ve outgrown our house. As a family of four, we’ve been busting at the seams since about 2017, but with no intention of moving. Homes in our area don’t come cheap and we’re lucky to live where we do.


Wellll, as I sit and cry tears of joy and pure stress into God’s beer, I begin to house hunt for a space that will double our mortgage, but hold a family of five. 


And I found it. I found the one. It was out-of-budget and beautiful. And the builder offered us enough seller credit back to make it attainable. Ok, God, I see you. Side note: real estate is one of the only things worth going into debt for, because it’s one of the only things that will appreciate and grow your $.


But is it morally wrong to overspend on a home? Well, with no other inventory and a baby that won’t wait on our timeline to watch for some, we went into contract. Guys, we bought a house!! Three times, actually!!


We fell out of contract twice over the holidays because nobody does work at that time, but a good set of eyes got us back on track and.. third time’s a charm! I think it just may actually be ours. Interiors are picked, I actually get to decorate a nursery and we should be in in April! Cue applause.


But let’s not forget about growing a human. Purchasing a brand new home pails in comparison to forming a brand new human. Especially when you’re living in my hyper-sensitive body. Picking out interiors and signing/discussing contracts have been accompanied by many puke sessions in the sprawling lawn outside the model home. #humility #watchyourstep


Guys, I’m here to tell you 2020 has been, and will continue to be, hard. But it holds a new daughter and a new space to make ours together. So, here you will find me: lost in the snow wearing a t-shirt and trying to wrap my uncomfortable brain around my really big life. This beanie may be the only thing holding my mind together right now. 🥂 Cheers to stress and discomfort. That’s where the growth happens. 

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Get your fast fingers ready, because you’re going to want to bookmark this one.

It’s a new year, but this is my tried + true spaghetti sauce recipe and you need it as part of your 2019! And 2020. And 2021.. you get it.

I prefer to omit the cheese and use gluten-free noodles, but feel free to adjust and make it all your own.

Load up on tomato sauce and let’s get started.


RECIPE

makes 10-12 servings

1/4 Cup Oil (I use olive or avocado)

1 1/2 Lbs Ground Beef

1/2 Cup Celery

1/4 Cup Green Pepper

1/4 Cup Onions

1/4 Cup Parsley

2 Cloves Garlic

1 Tsp Oregano

1/4 Tsp Rosemary

1 Tsp Basil

2 Tsp Salt

1/2 Tsp Black Pepper

2 Bay Leaves

2 Medium Cans Whole Tomatoes

10 Eight Oz Cans Tomato Sauce

3 Six Oz Jars/Cans Tomato Paste

1 Cup Chicken Broth

Dash Brown Sugar

2 Lbs Spaghetti

Optional: 2 Tsp Parmesan Cheese

  1. Heat oil, add meat + brown.
  2. Chop all veggies. Add to browned meat with spices.
  3. Mash whole tomatoes and add to meat mixture. Simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add tomato sauce, paste, chicken broth, sugar, cheese + bay leaves. Let simmer for 2 hours or hours longer if possible. The longer it cooks, the better it tastes!

Tip: You may optionally make on the stove top, then transfer to a crockpot to simmer all day.

 

That’s it. Enjoy!

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👋🏼

Happy New Year!

Another one down and it’s crazy how different they start to look with time, isn’t it?

In my 20’s, my New Year’s used to start off with a bang. A carefully curated outfit, slated goals, planned/established steps to reach them + a fun spot to hang were all on the agenda.

Enter my 31st birthday.

My birthday + Christmas both fall at the end of December and the only gift I wanted by this year of life was sleep or quality time with Netflix.

By my now 34th birthday, I continue along the same trajectory of stretchy pants, couch time + goals that don’t come as part of a pre-packaged plan. I’m comfortable + wingin’ it in 2019.  

We spent midnight playing games in the living room with family, to the background music created by the joyful chatters of our kids + cousins playing together in the basement.

My practice started late last year for making this the year of not stressing over things that don’t matter. Guys, I used to stay up late carefully curating those NYE outfits. Now you’ll find me peacefully asleep before 11pm in mismatched pajamas and 100% happy about it. 

On trend with stressing less about trivial stuff, the kids are also mostly dressing themselves. I know, I’m a little horrified too, but it’s fine. Mom helps pick out clothes for holidays, special occasions and cold days, but the rest is prettymuch free-reign. Dinners are even simple and repetitive around here these days and heyyyy, I’m one foot back into blogging again!

I spend a lot of time writing + formulating my posts across all platforms and I’m flattered when your eyeballs show up to read them.

So, where have I been?

It’s amazing how I decided to take a short break and a few months flew by! I have such a love + hate with social media.. 

If you read the post with my Thoughts on Social Media, you know I have strong convictions around the overuse + negative impacts of this growing beast. It’s a selfie nation out there and stress + anxiety are at an all-time high.. and I’ve been no exception. 

Have you ever tried to grow a social media following? It can be all consuming – especially when it’s not escalating as you feel it should. Enter daily stress, buzzing anxiety, the comparison game and the feeling of undervalue that can follow when there just aren’t enough people hitting ‘like’ or ‘follow.’ That’s a lot of mounting burden to feel over an artificial online space!

With all that said, it’s easy to forget why you started. I stopped enjoying it, so I stepped back from it.

In these months, I’ve done everything I always do, but with a little more joy and a lot less “stress” running in the background: keeping pace with kids at hip hop, karate, guitar, soccer or basketball + being room mom, regular mom, wife, cook, baker, decorator, part-time stylist, cleaner, grocery shopper, shiplapper (that’s a term I just made up for doing shiplap), etc.

Sometimes my head starts to feel a little like an unopened, but shaken up, can of pop. #adulting

If you’ve ever gone on an alcohol binge and then found yourself sick + wanting distance from the sight/smell of alcohol, or if you enjoy cooking when it’s optional, but not when you have a hangry family waiting on the meal.. social media can be kinda like that. More fun in moderation. More fun when it’s not mandatory.

I’m back + I’m doing it in moderation, and it’s for my own selfish creative reasons again. 😉

✔️New Year.

✔️Goals in progress.

✔️Let’s do it.

Thank you to Joe Katchka of Katch Moments Photography for the top image. Joe’s talents far surpass any other talent in Cali. Check him out!

 

Cheers to health, happiness + buckets of fun in 2019!

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sequin jacket | girls jacket | my tank | my leggings | similar booties | $8 leggings

Happy Holidays!!

I took a hiatus from blogging, I blinked, and now here we are already!

I always try to be proactive, but it rarely works out.

Like when I proudly buy new holiday décor at end of season prices in early Jan and then end up getting new full-priced décor in Nov because I’m excited and forgetful as the holidays approach again.. Yeah, like that.

But this year it all worked out! Well, at least more than usual. 😉

I’ve been trying out new products + watching trends all in preparation for the big one.. the Super Bowl of the female race.. what we know as holiday shopping!

I’m pretty sure a bell just went off. Did you hear it?

In the spirit of proactivity, have you noticed most retailers are starting early this year too?? Like, right NOW!

Here are my fave retailers with Black Friday deals right now:

Nordstrom | up to 60% off + free notes when you spend $300!

 

AE | 40% off everything + free shipping!

 

Quay | buy one get one with code: BOGO. this is amazing because these rarely go on sale!

Express | 50% off everything + free shipping!

Old Navy | 40% off everything!

Gap | 50% off everything with code: blkfriday.

Forever 21 | 30%-50% off select items.

Vici | 30% off with code: blackfriday30.

I’m also obsessing over anything cranberry colored this season. Breckin may or may not be sporting a cranberry bow tie with suspenders this year. Cue the heart eyes. Here are some looks in cranberry:

 

Up next are all the goods I’ve stumbled on over the last few months.
If you’re overly proactive and done with your holiday shopping, pat yourself on the back and then scoop up some of these finds for yourself! Here are some of my fave/most wanted items. You could say, these are a few of my favorite things:

Jessie James Decker Lip Kit | THE perfect nude! these were just restocked and they are already low in inventory! hustle!

 

BeautyCounter | the countermatch line has done wonders for my skin! the intense moisture serum, radiance serum, recovery sleeping cream and no.1 facial oil have made a huge diff in my skin’s appearance over the last few months. their citrus mimosa body wash is pure and great also. i can’t wait to try their makeup and suntan lotion! chances are you already know someone who sells this or buy straight from this link. 15% off your first purchase + free shipping over $50!

 

Juice Beauty | love their how pure their products are! i wear flawless serum foundation and i mix the colors sand + medium tan. this one give a dewy look, so pair with a blot powder if your prefer matte. this primer + brush + foundation kit is a great deal! 15% off your first purchase when you enter your email + free shipping over $30!

 

doTerra | so many favorite oils, but I actually can’t live without their lip balm trio and spa hand & body lotion (i cocktail my own oils in based on my mood/needs). must haves for colder weather. free 15 ml lavender when you buy a 15 ml turmeric!

 

Butter London Nails | this kit is on my to-try list! these peel off so they wont ruin your nails! this brand is high-end and one of the best. if you need my vote for a color this season, grab black!

 

Happy shopping and, as always, thanks for the support!

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I’m interrupting your regularly scheduled fashion to bring you the only banana bread recipe you will ever need.

If you knew me a year ago, you know that grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup + dill pickle/vinegar chips ruled my life. My gut needed a little breather and so I’m giving it one.

This bread makes me forget I’ve modified my diet.

If you love amazing things, smother a freshly cooked piece of bread with coconut oil and then message me about how amazing it is. 😉

This one is easily converted into a gluten-free option, just swap your regular flour for a g-free variety.



RECIPE

makes 1 loaf (I usually double it to make 2)

3 Ripe Bananas, well mashed

2 Eggs, well beaten

2 Cups Flour

1/2 Cup Sugar (I use 1/4c sugar + 1/4c honey)

1 Tsp Salt

1 Tsp Baking Soda

Optional: 1/2 Cup Chopped Walnuts

  1. Preheat oven to 350 deg.
  2. Grease a loaf pan.
  3. In large bowl, mix bananas + eggs. Stir in flour, sugar, salt + baking soda.
  4. Optionally add walnuts and blend.
  5. Pour batter into greased pan + bake for 45-60mins. Bread is done when a knife is inserted into the middle and comes out clean.
  6. Serve warm or cooled. That’s it!
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