Halloween and other things

So, I’ve been absent. Again.

I don’t even know how it happened. It was like I blinked, and whoa, it was November. Life really needs to stop doing that. Am I right?

We’ve been up to normal life stuff, most of which you’ve probably seen if you follow me on Instagram.

I was going to do a recap post of the past few months, but it got a little daunting, so I’ll just stick with some shots from Halloween instead!

I had grand plans for getting some sweet pictures of Wyatt in his costume, but he was wearing his sassy pants that day, so I got a lot of shots like this:

Twerk or Treat

 

Toddler dinosaur costume

 

Toddler dinosaur costume

 

Toddler dinosaur costume

There was also a lot of running that day. Specifically whenever I said “Okay, stand right there and smile at mommy!” Zoom. He was off. All those pictures of him running through the yard though…I couldn’t resist putting my very minimal photoshop skills to use one one of them.

Toddler chased by zombie

And here are a few from our first official door-to-door trick or treating night. He had so much fun and said trick-or-treat at EVERY house. Hard to believe he was barely saying anything at all last year! He was also quite impressed with my “meemow” costume. I worked so hard on it.

Wyatt trick or treating 2015 Tricia Halloween 2015 Mommy and Wyatt Halloween 2015
Now, onto those other things I mentioned. Mainly, the future of this here blog. After getting tossed into the single mom arena, I thought I might try to use the blog as a source of income. It sounded like a great idea, and I put some effort into making it happen, but I quickly realized that’s not the route I wanted to go. It look the joy of writing here away, and I don’t want that. So, what DO I want to write about then? Well, I want to get back to more of my blogging roots. I want to write about life and all the random tidbits that come screaming through my brain everyday. But, there’s something else I want to focus on too. Over the past couple of months I’ve had a transformation of sorts in my life, and it has to do with body image. It was like one day I just got the biggest wake-up call and realized I could no longer continue beating myself up because of my looks. Because this body doesn’t define me. Because beauty comes in all shapes and sizes, and I decided to own mine. I know it sounds dramatic (or maybe a little obvious for people who don’t struggle with body image), but these revelations set me free and opened my eyes. And I can’t not share about that. Because my life feels transformed, and I want anyone else who has struggled with the same issues to know there are people out there who get it and who have overcome it.

I hope you’ll continue to stick with me! I’m excited to start sharing here again and catch up with what everyone else out in blogland is up to these days.

P.S. I officially started a photography business to bring in some extra income (Diet Cokes from McDonald’s don’t pay for themselves, after all) and would love for you to like the Facebook page!

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Want to keep up with all my cake-fueled ramblings? You can subscribe to my newsletter or find me at one of these places:


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Overnight Chocolate Chip Oat Muffins

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, it doesn’t cost you any extra, but I might make a few pennies. When I have enough pennies I will blow them all on wine and cake. Thank you for contributing to my sanity fund.

So, I am not proud of myself. I made these muffins and then I ate one, you know for taste-testing purposes. And then when I realized they were totally delicious, kind of like a pancake in muffin form, I had another one. You know, just to make sure my taste buds weren’t lying the first time. And then Wyatt went down for his nap and I was all “I deserve a treat for keeping my kid alive until after lunch” so I ate another muffin. Then after dinner I totally needed something a little sweet. You know, obviously. So I had another one.

One day. Four muffins. My belly.

Anyway, all I’m saying is that these things are yummy. And I have no self-control.

Overnight Chocolate Chip Oat Muffins

Overnight Chocolate Chip Oat Muffins

Adapted from this recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup buttermilk (I used 1 cup of water mixed with 4 tablespoons of buttermilk powder)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips (or other mix-in of your choosing)

Directions:

  1. Mix the oats and buttermilk in a bowl, cover, and leave in your fridge overnight
  2. In the morning, remove the oat and buttermilk mixture from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature (mine wasn’t quite room temperature and it turned out great anyway)
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a muffin tin with paper cups, or grease with nonstick spray
  4. Once the oats are room temperature-ish, mix in the remaining ingredients just until everything is moistened. You don’t want to over mix!
  5. Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full with the batter and bake for 13-15 minutes. This recipe yields about 12 muffins.

They’re so easy and so delicious. I think I’m going to get crazy and try it with dried cranberries next!

Trish Signature

Want to keep up with all my cake-fueled ramblings? You can subscribe to my newsletter or find me at one of these places:


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This post is being linked up at New NostalgiaHomeworkThe Quinntessential MommyWhipperBerryRae Gun RamblingsSew Many Ways,  Claire Justine, & Titi Crafty

My soul will always know yours

I’d heard my mom describe being in the room as someone passes away as a “privilege” and I will admit, it struck me as odd. A privilege? Don’t you mean depressing? That must be what you meant to say. Or scary as hell? Yeah, that’s probably what she meant. But a few weeks ago, after sitting at the foot of my grandma’s bed as she took a few last peaceful breaths, I finally understood what my mom meant. It is a privilege to be there in those moments, because not everyone gets that. And as hard as it is to watch someone you love leave this world, it’s also an honor to be there to help them along. To make them comfortable. To hold their hand or stroke their face or wet their lips or just to whisper “I love you” in their ear. I wouldn’t trade those moments for anything and I am so thankful I made it there in time.

A few days later, while we were at the funeral saying our final goodbyes, I was having a serious internal struggle about whether or not I was going to speak. I had something prepared. A few paragraphs typed out and stuffed into my purse. One minute I was ready to tell the minister that I was for sure going to speak, and the next I was ready to go outside and set that piece of paper on fire and find the nearest bar. Funerals are dumb. Dying is stupid. There was no way I was getting up there to stutter like an idiot in front of all my grandma’s friends and family. She deserved better than that.

I sat and listened to the minister speak so kindly about my grandma. How humble she was about her crocheting talent. She made blankets for everyone. Beautiful, elaborate blankets. She made blankets for the hospital, so they’d have something special to wrap stillborn babies in. She crocheted clothes for my barbies when I was a kid. They are amazing. And for her, it was no big deal. It was just something she did. And I cried because I wish I’d told her how special all those things were too me. Maybe she knew. I hope she knows now.

When it was my mom’s turn to speak, she talked about my grandma’s strength and how she loved her family and cared for them the best she knew how. But one thing really stood out to me, and it’s when my mom said she couldn’t ever remember a time when she saw my grandma afraid. She was strong and she did what had to be done. It was true. And there I was with sweaty palm over whether or not I was going to get up and talk to a room full of people for 2 minutes. She’s have had no problem talking to all them. And so, I decided I wouldn’t either.

This is the story I shared with them:

A couple of months ago I was visiting my grandma in the hospital. Her heath was declining pretty rapidly, and mentally it seemed like she was barely there. But somehow, through all the illness and confusion, she was determined to have her personality shine through. She joked with the nurses and every offer of help was met with an “I can do it myself!” That was definitely grandma.

Eventually it was just the two of us in the room. I turned on White Christmas, a movie I watched for the first time with her so many years ago. After a while I realized my grandma had stopped watching the movie, and was smiling and staring at me instead. I smiled back and said “I love you Grandma.” She replied “Probably not as much as I love you. You know, you seem just like one of my grandkids.”

She didn’t remember who I was.

My heart sank a little. She didn’t know me. Except, she still knew she loved me. And in that moment I realized what an amazing gift she’d just given me. She showed me that while this life may take our bodies and our minds, those aren’t required for love. Our souls take care of that for us. There I was, sitting with a woman who’d forgotten me, but our souls were still as connected as ever. And I knew they always would be.

Thank you Grandma for being so determined to stay who you were through everything, and for the comfort I feel now knowing that even though you’re gone from this earth, your love remains.

Happy Haven Project

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Want to keep up with all my cake-fueled ramblings? You can subscribe to my newsletter or find me at one of these places:


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Afternoon with a gnome

I’m still going pretty strong with my Happy Haven Project, which makes me happy. This is usually about the time I start to lose steam on these types of things, so I’m feeling pretty good!

Last week I had planned to go search around some thrift shops for some supplies for a project, but the weather was really uncooperative so I decided to switch gears and work my way through a photography composition tutorial while Wyatt had a nap. I got to keep my stretchy pants on and I didn’t have to worry about getting frostbite. It was a wise decision.

I got one of my tiny gnomes out and went to work.

First up was a photo that adhered to the rule of thirds. Math is hard, so this is probably more like the rule of fourths or something.

Rule of thirds

Then balancing elements, where you use the presence of a less important element to fill a void in the photograph. I’m not sure I really achieved what I was going for, but I’ll take it.

Afternoon with a gnome

Then I had to find some leading lines. Which I found more difficult than it probably should have been. I was probably distracted by the realization my gnome’s watering can spout vaguely resembles a penis. *sigh*

Leading lines

Next you were supposed to take a vantage point other than eye level. I spent a considerable amount of time trying to conceal the penis-spout, but ultimately decided I was just going to let it all hang out.

Vantage Point

And then it was all about removing background noise so your subject stands out. Easily my favorite picture of a gnome holding a phallic water can.

Afternoon with a gnome

Now onto creating a sense of depth. I had no idea what I was doing, basically.

Afternoon with a gnome

Then I framed my gnome with a jug and some plates. Framing is supposed to help isolate your subject so it stands out more.

Framing

And last, cropping in tight around your subject.

Cropping

Which one do you like best?

Trish Signature

Want to keep up with all my cake-fueled ramblings? You can subscribe to my newsletter or find me at one of these places:


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This post is being linked up with The Quintessential MommyLive Laugh Rowe.

Happy Haven Project Recap and Linkup {week 2}

I’m pretty sure this house has become ground zero for every virus floating around right now. One or more of us have been sick all week. I’m probably going to start walking around with a can of Lysol in a holster so I can just periodically spray a defensive cloud around myself.

Wyatt was totally unimpressed with his 102 degree fever.

Sick toddler

And despite the unfortunate illnesses, I’ve still been trucking on with my Happy Haven Project this week. Maybe I really am becoming a more motivated person. Maybe.

January 5 – I was going to make these Peanut Butter Candy Cookie Bar things, but the weather and all these sick people around me and my lack of motivation to clean snow off the car to go to the store forced me to get creative in the kitchen. Everything seemed to be falling into place with my experimental dessert…but after nearly 50 minutes in the oven, the brownie portion still had not cooked. Thankfully I have a family that loves to eat my mistakes.

Brownie dessert disaster

January 6 – I made up a simple breakfast and lunch meal plan. I really needed this. I can handle dinner on the fly (or my mom makes it and I don’t have to worry about it at all!) but I needed some more structure for breakfast and lunch. I’m really excited about what I came up with. It’s simple, healthy, and easy to adapt based on food already in the house. Now all I need is the willpower to stick with it.

January 7 – I made and ordered some postcards that I’m planning to send out this year. Right before Christmas I read an article from someone explaining why she wouldn’t be sending out Christmas cards, and it irked me real bad. She was so busy already and everyone sees what they’re up to on Facebook anyway so what was the point? A few days later I received a comment from my first college roommate (someone I haven’t seen in at least 10 years) thanking me for the card we sent and for always remembering her. And I was like, THAT is why I send cards. Because they mean something to me and the people I send them to. They’re tangible. They require you to do more than just sit at a computer and hit a like button. Don’t get me wrong, I like Facebook. But it’s not a substitute for really reaching out to people. So, back to my postcards! My plan is to send at least one a week for the rest of the year, and if you’re reading this and would like one, I’d love to stick one in the mail to you! I made a form you can fill out with your information here.

January 8 – Had some special reading time with Wyatt. This kid brings us books to read to him all day, but I wanted to sit down with him and just read as many as he wanted, for as long as he wanted. It was a really good reminder that slowing down is hardly ever a bad idea.

January 9 – I spent  a chunk of Wyatt’s nap time going through a photography tutorial on photo composition. A lot of it I already knew, but I learned a lot of new stuff and ended up with some sweet photos of my tiny gnome.

Rule of thirds

January 10 – I decided that I needed to really sit down and have a look at my finances now that it’s just my small income that I’m working with. Normally this sort of thing is fun for me. I love a good budget! But it was actually a little sobering, looking at exactly the financial situation I’m in right now (it’s not great!). In all honesty, I wanted to get in bed, pull the covers over my face, bawl my eyes out, then get my phone and call up a couple of choice individuals and tell them the hell they’ve helped turn my life into. But I didn’t. I figured out how much money I need to bring in every month, and resolved to find a way to do that while still being able to be Wyatt’s full-time caretaker. My next step was soliciting some advice from women in a Facebook group I’m in about becoming a virtual assistant. I received so much good information, and amazingly, ended up with my very first JOB. I’m so glad I didn’t just hide under the covers.

January 11 – Watched a movie. I totally squandered all of nap time on a movie. It was amazing. I laid in bed with no distractions and just watched. No one threw toys at my face. No one begged me for wahyee (water) or caycay (candy). No one pooped their pants. No one threw a fit because a toy t-rex doesn’t fit in the play kitchen microwave. If you don’t have kids, never take for granted your ability to watch a movie all the way through without interruption. *and all the moms said AMEN*

I hope you all had a great week full of happy things. If you have a post from this past week you’d like to share (it’s pretty much anything goes, as long as it’s family-friendly) please linkup below!

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Not a blogger or don’t have a post to share? I’d love for you to leave a comment with something that made you happy this week.

And don’t forget to use #happyhavenproject on social media so we can keep up with what everyone is up to.

Trish Signature

Want to keep up with all my cake-fueled ramblings? You can subscribe to my newsletter or find me at one of these places:


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