Tag Archives: family

I Have A Happy Heart

Heart

Mom and Dad,
Nicola, Makenna, and Cam.
Has there ever been a time,
When we haven’t been an awesome fam?

Vegas was epic,
Just like all our holidays.
We manage to break the rules,
And have fun in our weirdo ways.

Seven years
Is WAY too many days.
Navigating life without you around,
Is like finding my way out of the toughest maze.

So on this day,
When I can’t see all your gorgeous faces,
I’ll think of the next time,
We can eat, drink, and laugh in crazy places.

ps.
This ode should include,
Some love for my Gran and Chuck,
Without your unwavering support,
I’d be s**t out of luck.

Gran’s weekly phone calls,
Chuck’s endless flattery,
Pulls down my walls,
And keeps me going like an Energizer battery.

I love ALL of you. My readers, my family, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles, my new family (the Farrar’s!), my coworkers, and my closest friends.

Whether you’re single or taken, just make sure you give at least one person a hug today 🙂

 

Thankful Tuesday: Back to Real Life

WineforDinner

I had an incredible weekend. It was full of family and friends that I haven’t seen in a long time. But also lots of rugby, gambling, no exercise, and eating and drinking whatever my heart desires. Mike and I went to Las Vegas for 3 days to meet my family and watch the Rugby Sevens tournament. I went last year too and plan on continuing the tradition for as long as possible.

When I go on vacation, I go all out (yep, wine for dinner was a reality this weekend). It gets all the bad habits out of my system and lets me return to real life thoroughly exhausted and ready to be 100% healthy again.

So obviously I don’t have a new recipe for today since every meal I ate for the last 4 days was from a restaurant but I would like to bring back Thankful Tuesdays.

So on this lovely day in February, I am thankful for:

  1. A job that earns me enough money to travel to places like Vegas for the weekend but also gives me the flexible schedule to do it.

Vegas22. The family that makes a priority out of traveling to meet each other and party.

Vegas3

3. The boyfriend that comes with me and makes it all even more fun.

Instead of having holiday blues, maybe I’ll try to remember how amazing it is that I have these experiences in the first place. You think?

What are you thankful for today?

Tasty Tuesday: Sushi Night!

With the holidays and all the other things I have to say, I haven’t posted a recipe in a few weeks. I’m going to bring back the routine with a very easy and very fun recipe you can do with two people or 7 people. Make Your Own Sushi! For Christmas, my siblings and I decided to give my parents something they don’t get very often: all of us together. So we wracked our brains to think of how we could do a cheap, healthy meal and instead of going to a crappy restaurant, we cooked for ourselves!

There is a little hardware involved in this one ($2 bamboo mats you get at the grocery store) but people can share so you don’t need many. The prep is SUPER easy and the dinner making part is really fun. Just try it why don’t you!

photo 3 copy photo 4 copy^ Prep everything in slivers.photo 1 copy< Lay it all out.photo 5 photo 1photo 2^ Roll your sushi!photo 3photo 4^ My brother had the great idea of taking a roll to work the next day 🙂photo 2 copy^ Isn’t my family beautiful. Gosh I miss them so much, this photo makes me want to cry. Blehhhhh.

Supplies:

  • plastic wrap
  • bamboo mats, 1 per 2 people – $2 at your grocery store

Ingredients (can really be anything you want but this is what we used):

  • short grain rice (brown if you can find it)
  • rice vinegar (or red wine vinegar if you don’t have it)
  • Nori seaweed paper
  • carrots
  • avocado
  • cucumber
  • crab (sushi grade)
  • salmon (sushi grade)
  • mango

Instructions:

1. Prep the rice – sushi rice is prepared in a very particular way.

  • Pour the rice into a bowl and cover with clean water. Slosh the rice around with your hand for 15 seconds then drain it. Repeat several times until the water coming out is pretty much clear.
  • Add rice and more clean water to a pot at slightly more than a 1:1 ratio.
  • Cooking on high heat, stirring every couple of minutes, until the water boils. Lower heat and cover for 6-8 minutes, stop when the water is absorbed. No need to stir.
  • Remove the rice with a wooden spoon so as not to damage it. Also, don’t scrape it off the bottom of the pot, just use what comes out easily.
  • For every 3 cups of rice, add 1/2 cup rice vinegar. Stir it together and you’re done!

2. Cut the fillings into long, thin slivers.

3. Lay it all out on the table and let everyone go to work!

  • Our photos are clearly the work of amateurs. Just check out this link for the best instructions I found on the internet. Sushi rolling takes some serious technique so it’s really funny trying to do it. But everything tastes delicious no matter what it looks like and, eventually, you get the hang of it…on the last roll. Haha.

And that’s all! And when I say “that’s all,” I mean this meal is an adventure. It’s so much more fun than going out to eat though, and so much cheaper!

Has anyone else ever done this? How did it go? Much love everyone. I hope you all have happy Tuesdays 🙂

Happy New Year! Now Lose the Guilt…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

photo 5
Hahaha. Sometimes I extra love my new hair.

So first let me say, I HATE NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS. I think people make them too quickly, without much thought, and then break them just as fast. The idea that everyone needs to make one and then spend tons of money and time accomplishing it is commercial and annoying.

However, if there is something you’ve been trying to improve in your life, the first of the year is a great time to take the first of many baby steps. I know the weight loss thing is pretty popular but I think that goal is too broad. Focus on something small, work it in slowly, and do whatever it takes to make it a regular part of your life. Reading this blog is a good start!

My New Years Baby Step (that’s what I’ll be calling from now on) is: LOSE THE GUILT. People in my family happen to be great at guilt trips. That’s means that not only do I get them frequently, but I give them to myself, AND other people. Guilt is a huge part of what used to make me tick but it also made me constantly anxious. So I’m done with it. If someone wants something from me, they can ask. If I need a favor from someone else, I will ask them instead of being passive aggressive and guilt tripping.

I feel guilty when I eat to much of the wrong food, when I don’t exercise five days a week, when I forget to wish my friend a Happy Birthday, whenever! It’s invading my brain and I’m done with it.

This is going to be a tough one. Changing the way I think is probably the hardest thing I could baby step to but what’s life without a challenge? And this one will be worth it I think.

What will you step towards this month?

ps. Sorry about the lack of posts last week. I decided that my vacation was going to be as little effort as possible. And, for the most part, it was! So thanks for understanding. From now on, when I go on vacation, so does this blog.

Monday Advice: Enjoy Your Holiday Meals!

Alright ya’ll, listen up! For the next 24 hours, do everything you try not to do on a regular basis.

For example:
– Don’t exercise just sleep in instead!
– Keep on your pajamas for as long as possible.
– Eat that cheese and chips and stuffing and dessert!
– Just enjoy the holidays.

The catches (you knew there’d be a few):
– Note how your body feel before the crappy food and after. Remember that feeling.
– Try to throw in some veggies (raw if possible) even if it means sneaking a salad in the middle of the day. Remember how good you feel after you eat those.
– Go on walks! Walks any time of day any weather during the holidays are wonderful. Do it with a loved one. Just take a quiet break from all the shenanigans and get your blood pumping.

That’s pretty much it. I’m getting my routine check up at the doctor right now. After this, let the relaxation begin!

One more thing, make sure to thank all those people that have to work today and tomorrow. There’s a lot of people that have given up their holiday to make sure the world keeps turning. Thank you guys!! Hopefully you get some time to rest too.

Much love and Merry Christmas Eve!

Friday Design: Christmas Cards and Snow!

I haven’t mentioned Christmas much in this here blog. That’s because everyone celebrates different holidays in different ways and I want to continue to deliver information for health no matter what the season. However, today I am just TOO excited! In fact, it’s 6 am. I’ve been awake for an hour. After 5 hours of sleep, I woke up and can’t force myself back to bed. Thank goodness for blogs! A few reasons I can’t sleep:

  1. The world didn’t end, so that’s cool.
  2. Mike and I leave for San Diego today.
  3. I get to see my family for the first time in 6 months!
  4. This will be Mike’s first time meeting my very rambunctious siblings and my wonderful Gran and Grandpa. Should be interesting.
  5. I haven’t packed yet and still have a full work day ahead of me.
  6. We had a blizzard in Peoria yesterday and the city is so beautifully coated with snow (see below). I am SO thankful, though, for the dedicated people that wake 5 hours before me to plow and shovel it all out of our way.

FirstSnow^ check out our back porch.

Ok so! This year I decided that I wanted to do some Christmas cards. Somehow I have managed to live my life in a such a way that a lot of my very closest friends and family are scattered all over the world. China, Britain, and every corner of the US. How do I tell them I love them without spending a fortune? Handmade Christmas cards!

ChristmasCard

These babies took me about an hour each. I made 13 of them. [I’m not sure these have reached everyone yet so if I love you and you haven’t gotten one yet, hold tight] Aside from the card, I also wanted to give them a gift. Something that everyone could use, something healthy, and something easy. Mulling spices! I made my own mulling spices, packaged them up, and put a satchel in every card.

I love these cards. I put a lot of heart and effort into making them. But JEEZ they took a long time. Also, they ended up being rather expensive to mail because they count as a “package” rather than a “letter.” Obviously my loved ones are worth it but they may be getting something a little less bulky next year.

Anyway, that’s my story for today. I’m completely exhausted but totally giddy. I get to see my family today!! I hope you all have wonderful weekends planned. Keep on smiling, they’re even more contagious this time of year 🙂

Fabulous Friday: Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough

It’s the day after Thanksgiving. Why and when do we stop being thankful? No doubt we will arrive at this day next year feeling like we  take all the goodness in our lives for granted. How do you prevent that from happening? You learn to appreciate all the people in you lives! The cool thing is, if you say enough nice things, you’ll eventually start hearing nice things back! It’s like an endless circle of happy.

I know I sound like one of those annoyingly joyous people who walks around smiling strangers and complimenting their sweaters. Well I admit that I sort of am. But I wasn’t always like this and I can testify that it feels a little odd at first. But it turns out that when you live like this, and you’re having a rough day, someone will return a compliment and make your hour! The return on investment is awesome!

On that note, I’m going to publish the comments I’ve been getting from readers to their loved ones. Thanks to everyone that commented. It’s been wonderful to hear all the positivity. And don’t forget to pass them the link to this blog OR just tell them in real life.  I will definitely be doing this again sometime soon so, if you didn’t you should participate next time?

Format:

Who it’s dedicated to – The compliment. – The sender

Jordan C. – I love your intellectual curiosity! The way you like to take puzzles apart, piece by piece, until they make sense has made our house a more fun place to be! – Ben

Nikki M. – She is smart, funny, beautiful and my best friend in the world. – Katy H.

Ryan D. – You are understanding and (mostly ;) patient when I can be a handful. Your smile brightens the room and make others feel welcome. I love how you are so goofy & not care what others think when trying to make me smile. – Alana T.

Ashley H. (that’s me!) – You are a brave young woman who inspires me with every blog. -Sue G.

Susan S. –  A mom, a mentor, and a perpetual chaser of her dreams. To see the determination to try new things and always follow your dreams until you attain them, no matter how long it takes, is a life lesson one can only learn from witnessing. So, thanks for keepin’ on Mom. – Maggie S.

You Every time you take the time out of your day to read A Happy Lass, you increase my confidence and love for blogging. Thank you! – Ashley H.