26 February 2012

Stomach Pains

That's all I know anymore; because of her. It's like a never-ending circle of giggles. She makes me roar with laughter, then she starts laughing at how silly I look laughing, then I laugh even harder at how she's on her back, wiggling and giggling like a little cockroach. 

I can't even. 

Who Do You Love?

Excuse me while my heart explodes into a million bajillion tiny little pieces. This girl. This child. So full of love. I will never love a single person as much as I love her. I couldn't possibly.

22 February 2012

Another Year Older.

I turned twenty-three on today. Twenty-three. I can't believe how quickly twenty-two flew by. One moment I was blowing candles in Tampa Bay, mostly unhappy and confused. And the next, I'm plowing my way through life, on a different coast, as a new and stronger woman. 

I'm so very happy with the changes I made this past year. I did things and went to lengths I never thought were possible. I beat my own score and surprised myself with a gift only I could have given me. Courage. I  left  jumped out of my comfort zone, alone, blindly, fingers crossed and hoping for the best. I didn't think I could do it. And when I did do it, I cried. Daily. Hourly. Wanted to every second of the day. I had no one. Nothing. We had lived in our home for two and a half years. After buying the hybrid and paying for Bop's academy training (out of pocket) we didn't have a dime in savings. I was homeless. I was a single mother. No money, no job, no stability. It was numbing. I think that's the moment where I decided to put my comfortability aside and take the step. And look at me now. Twenty-two brought me independence, strength and faith in myself. 

I look forward to seeing the gifts twenty-three has in store for me. Where will I go from here? Who will I meet? What will I see? How will I change? 

Life couldn't possibly get any better, but -oh- new year, prove me wrong. Please, try and prove me wrong. If you dare. To another year...

19 February 2012

Recipe - "Spicy Ricey"

Hey guys! After one of the most busiest weeks of the year in the hospitality industry (Which will be the case next week too - thank you, Daytona!), I'm finally back on track and ready to blog my little heart out!

I'll update y'all - and probably make an Instagram compilation post a little later, but for now, I wanna introduce you guys to one of the meals that's become quite the staple in our happily meatless home over the last few weeks. It's nothing extravagant, but it sure does taste good! I'm hoping that one day soon, I can have the time available to make a homemade version of this dish; with real tomatoes, jalapeƱos and brown rice instead of rice. But for now - and the convenience - here's what I got.

2 packets of Success Boil-In-Bag Rice
2 cans Rotel tomatoes
2 cups fresh broccoli - steamed

All I do is put the two packets of rice into a huge microwave safe bowl, let it boil ten minutes (I usually end up having to leave it in a few minutes longer, if I cook with brown rice!), meanwhile steaming the fresh broccoli florets. Then I combine them (and a little tiny bit of water, like a tablespoon or less!) in a wok or thick frying pan on the stove and add the Rotel tomatoes; covering it for five minutes so that the juices from the tomatoes can seep into the rice, for ultimate flavor.


When we cook it, it usually feeds our tiny family of 3 pretty well, so saying it serves 4 is probably a bit of an understatement. Nevertheless, it's delicious! Enjoy!

10 February 2012

Rainy Day Blues

Papa's working late tonight, so it's just me and my little sweet. It's down pouring and super dark out also, so there's not much we can do besides snuggle up under some blankets and watch 'Tangled'. On repeat.

Eh, but I don't mind. Just knowing I'm able to be here with her is enough for me. I still think I'm the luckiest. Actually, scratch that, I know I am.

In other news, I'm pretty excited about our dinner tonight. After raising Kiri on a meat-inclusive diet for the past three years, I was sort of apprehensive about letting her try veggie burgers. I didn't want her to become a picky eater or turn them away altogether. I finally got the courage after our -amazing- Whole Foods trip....(Kiri was quite impressed that they let her try oranges -they had a blood orange display up with some samples available!) and after she fell in love with the avocado smoothie and almond milk I had her try. BUT! Much to my surprise, she loved her Boca Chick'n patty! I don't even think she noticed a difference. Heck, even I couldn't! She even liked them so much, she asked for seconds! Day maker right there. My little healthy girl. Makes me smile, honestly. 

Photobooth Fun

Pre-work Photobooth-ing with my favorite little person. Man, we have so much fun together.

09 February 2012

Sawyer Family Favorite {v.1}: The Avocado Smoothie

My sweet friend Megan Joy posted this recipe on her blog some months back and I fell in love with it the second I tried it. Though I never really made it because avocados are probably the last thing you would have found in the Sawyer home, I was really craving one yesterday. Since my palate has changed drastically since becoming vegetarian, I decided to hop in the car, drive the 25 miles to Whole Foods and whip this bad boy up for lunch this afternoon. And oh-my-gosh, my taste buds are going crazy right now. The taste of it is just phenomenal. The creamy texture, the smoothness. Mmm! So good. 

Besides that, it's simple! Only enough ingredients you can count on one hand, along with a blender and a cup, mason jar, whatever (I use a mug!) and you're all set!

1 ripe avocado
1 banana
1 kiwi (peeled)
2 teaspoons of raw honey
1 cup of almond milk

Begin by cutting into the avocado and scooping out the flesh. In the pitcher of a blender, place the avocado, banana, kiwi (peeled), 2 teaspoons of honey or agave and about 1 cup of almond milk, to start. Blend it up, adding a little more almond milk until your desired consistency is reached (I like mine super thick). Divide between two glasses, and serve.

That's it! 

This, (besides Clif Kids bars and organic clementines!), is probably Kiri's favorite snack now. She calls it her "'Cado Shake". And hey now, if she considers this healthy concoction a TREAT, then Mama's in business to spread some serious health around this fort. Blender, I thank you so kindly.

*If you like this recipe, or you'd like to hear (read) more, hop on over to Whole Family Fare or thank Megan Joy for the yummy idea! Trust me, you won't be disappointed. 

03 February 2012

Happy Friday!

Hope everyone is having a fabulous Friday, no matter what side of the globe you're on! We're currently enjoying a hundred episodes of 'Madeline', cinnamon raisin bagels, coffee/juice and snuggles in bed. Mama has to work a little bit later in the afternoon, so we're taking full advantage of our time together this morning. 

Cheers to the weekend. 

'Super Bowl' Sunday And A Super Bowl To Match

Being that this is our first year as non-meat eaters, my family's typical Super Bowl Sunday feast won't be anything close to what we're used to. The normal turkey burgers with all the fix-ins, heaping piles of mayonnaise-ridden potato salad and Bush's baked beans are just not gonna cut it this year. And for my beer and junk food loving husband, this could pose a challenge.

In preparation, I've been doing a lot of research. I'm trying to keep our diet as close to vegan as possible, so that when we feel we're ready to fully commit to it, it won't be such a shock to our system. So when I moseyed my way over to The Kind Life for my daily read, I was elated to see a post Alicia made about the very situation I find myself in today. Which gave me hope that you can appease your husband's burger-beer-football needs on Super Bowl Sunday. Touchdown!

So, this Sunday afternoon, when we're cheering on our home team (the New England Patriots, woo!), we'll be divulging in Boca Burgers, vegan potato salad and homemade baked beans! My stomach is already growling! 

Here's to a win in the kitchen AND a win on the field!

01 February 2012

Our Choice

Though a lot of our friends and family have been supportive, I have come across some people who believe that my family's choice to become vegetarian isn't what's best for us. And to some, it seems ludicrous. Though they know nothing about the chaos and health issues we have encountered over the past few years.  Having no idea how passionate I am about it. And frankly, not caring either. So, for all you critics that look down on the choices we've made for our little family, here's what I wrote the day we cut meat out of our diet:

"Growing up, I didn't really have to work hard at being thin.  My mother was a big advocate for eating healthy; and our usual snacks consisted of things like fresh broccoli and cauliflower or rice cake and peanut butter "sandwiches". It wasn't unusual for us to veg out with whole carrots or sit in front of the television with a head of lettuce. (No, but really. Ask anyone who knows me. This was normal, haha!) I guess that is what bothers me the most about my health and weight today. After being specially programmed to enjoy these foods and habits, why is it that I'm so disturbingly sick all the time? And more importantly, why am I overweight? I still remember the feeling I got when I stepped on the scale, three months after I had Kiri. I weighed 198 pounds. AFTER GIVING BIRTH. I was mortified. How had I let my tiny little 110 pound frame become so big? And why hadn't I noticed? And how hadn't I noticed the side symptoms? Fatigue, constipation, bloating, irritability, headaches, etc. It got to the point where is was unbearable. Then I took a look at what was going on around me. Bop and I were sharing a pound (sometimes more!) of pasta at dinner, we were sharing a cake for dessert and drinking cans upon cans of soda a day. LIGHTBULB. [Gasp!] What had I become? Fast forward three years, a dozen diet attempts and minus forty pounds later and here we are. Still overweight, still sick, still frustrated. What the hell can I do to change this?!  That is, until yesterday when I watched 'Forks Over Knives" for the first time. It wasn't more than five minutes into the movie before I was in tears. Embarrassed, that I was part of the statistics they mentioned. I believe my exact words to Bop were "We've got to make a fucking change." (And let me tell you, I don't normally swear like that! I was just in shock. Pure shock!) Needless to say, we finished the movie. And it continued to kill the part of me that didn't believe I could be healthier. I was slowly gaining motivation. And for once, it felt good. So, this morning we watched Food Inc. OH. MY. GOD. That one just did it for us. Like a big ol' slap upside the head. Bop (who is in the process of bodybuilding himself!) was like, "Nope. No more meat. I'm done. " We both agreed that anyone who can watch that documentary and still eat meat had a VERY big stomach. And from that point we made a vow to try and stop eating meat. And to start, we'd go the whole month of January without it.  Then slowly progress from there. And after those two heinous movies we just watched, I don't think it'll be very hard. BUT! Bop is, after all, a carnivorous man. And we Sawyers do like our turkey. Fingers crossed! "

And just so you know, that's the last time I'm going to defend myself. This is not a fad diet, I don't care what's "in". I don't toy around with my family's diet or health just because someone else thinks it's cool. And love it or hate it, I won't change my mind. However, I'd prefer for you all to support us.