How to cut oneself some slack

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After a day like today, having completed stuff at work I’ve been pushing away for a looong time, then getting all the house cleaned in the evening… Just deserves a “high five” to myself! I mean, I’ve been all week doing housework till late in the evening (for my standards), got the freezer filled, got sone good projects finalized at work, even planted some salads and greens (and watered them every evening!!! Apparently that helps to avoid them dying under your eyes) and got all laundry done, bathrooms and floors cleaned!
And that’s the moment where you have to celebrate thr moment, right?
My advice: be good to yourself, you deserve it!!
Happy weekend to all!

P.S. Yes, these are strawberries fresh from the garden in a glass of ice cold crémant. The kids forgot they had picked them (the strawberries) so, good for me! 😀

Yup, that’s right.

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It’s Thursday. Lunch run day. And I’m looking soooo much forward to it!
That’s the good part of it, when you actually are working quickly the morning off to get out, put on your sneakers and get on a run.

Ok, I admit. It’s mostly because of the audiobook I’m still listening to, the 50 shades of grey. I’m hooked. There’s no other words for it.

Just hooked. I had the luxury of an afternoon without the kids, working in my garden and doing housework (ok, that part is not the luxury), but on my own, so I was listening the story for about 5 hours continuously. Jeez, that’s just one of the best things in life, doing something without too much interruption. It was almost like holidays!

And yes, it almost makes me wanna go for an 8 km run instead the usual 6 km…. now that’s what I call motivation!! 🙂

Zucchini bread

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I finally got to working on the last 2 zucchinis from last week’s harvest.

They didn’t look like much, but once I’d shredded them, it was quite a lot more than the 4 cups I needed for the recipe I wanted to try, the zucchini bread from aMusingfoodie.

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So I gave it a try with half the shredded zucchini. It still made a huge batch, and I added a lot more that the recipe says, yet worked out great.

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Then, as I still had a huge bowl left of zucchini, I tried another batch, with less sugar, and adding more spices such as cardamom and nutmeg. It was a bit too wet, compared to the first recipe, but I guess by adding more flour it would be ok.

Unfortunately there’s no picture here of the result, but I promise you, it was great… I am convinced I made pictures and that my phone swallowed them up. Maybe it was the late night baking session that made me imagine things, I don’t know!

Now…. see…. there’s more of them coming… help!!

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Weekend Edition – The Genius of Curiosity Plus Good Reads and Writing Tips

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If you’re like me, juggling between the job you “have” to do, to earn money, and the growing love to writing, then you should absolutely read this post.
Two things particularly caught my mind. First of all, the passion versus curiosity part. This is EXACTLY what I have always been wondering about. How do people manage to be so passionate about anything? I’m more the kind of “Oh yes, this is going to be THE new hobby!” I’ll dive into something, absolutely frenetic about it, then a couple of weeks later, I’ll think “ah well, that was nice, but… let’s go over to something new.” In the meantime, I’ll have stocked up heaps of projects for that passion. Be it sewing, knitting, crocheting, gardening, cooking, or themes like detox, ab training sessions… you see, it is veeeery varied. And I’ll make plans for it. Schemes, excel tables as to how to do to manage to finish the projects by some given deadline.
The problem with this is that I’m driving myself crazy. I’ll then be feeling guilty for not doing what I am supposed to be doing to be good on my working timeline. And this for absolutely unimportant things, basically. But it makes me feel like I’m failing all the time. Failing my self-imposed targets and failing to be perfect in every domain I chose to be.
So the concept of “there is no perfect time” or, which mostly works for me “say yes, and think about how to achieve it later”, is the best concept to live by. I love making strategies, but honestly, they never bring me anywhere.
The only thing that has always lead to unexpected success for me was just going for the impossible, follow some deep inner gut feeling, and steer towards it. No thinking. No planning.
I started my blog a year ago, almost exactly to the date. I wrote for a couple of weeks, probably made some excel chart for the writing timeline as well, and then, well, life happened. And it was a heavy year that followed with difficult periods in the life of a family. I did though manage to get on a little bit with writing my novel, but I caught myself so very often thinking about what the hell I thought I would accomplish. I’ll never send in any novel. I’ll never get published. I’ll always have to do my job till the rest of my life. And that means for still many many years.
But then, one day last month, I was overcome by a longing to share my thoughts. Not with friends or family, but with some people out there, I don’t know, and probably never will know. And I started to write again. No matter how stupid it may seem to write again after a year of silence. I just had to follow this longing to share my ideas, my thoughts, my motivations.
And honestly, it has done me great good! It has made me feel so much lighter these last two weeks, you just can’t imagine. And although I was tempted to start an excel sheet, to plan towards something, I didn’t. I just write. Sometimes a couple of times a day. Some days I don’t. I just follow my instinct and go on with it.
And it feels great!

Found on 4.bp.blogspot.com

Found on 4.bp.blogspot.com

Live to Write - Write to Live

The Genius of Curiosity

pin curious whitmanLast week I started a conversation about whether you should Do what you love. Or, not. Live to Write – Write to Live community members shared some insightful thoughts and keen observations in the comments. This week, I came across a video clip of author Elizabeth Gilbert speaking out against “passion.”She begins her short speech by admitting that the advice she’s about to give is “really weird.” But, after listening to her, I kind of wanted to stand up and cheer.

Have you ever seen the movie Contact? Jodie Foster plays Dr. Ellie Arroway, a young and passionate woman searching for life on other planets. The film came out in 1997. I was ten years out of high school and working for a global promotions company, helping to manage a thirty-person creative team as they cranked out designs for t-shirts, bag, and tchotchkes…

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Zucchini chicken chili – thumbs up!

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Earlier this week I posted about my zucchini management problem and the recipes I wanted to try out at home.

Zucchini harvest

Well, hooray, the first test has been quite good! I tried out the Chicken Chili and it turned out great! The best part being that I could actually use a lot of other vegetables from the garden that I hadn’t had any plans for.

Such as this chili. I think it’s supposed to turn red at one moment.

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But honestly, I don’t have a clue, as there’s one red and one green one hanging on the plant… As I had no idea anymore what I had planted and how hot it would be, I had to test it beforehand to avoid any comments like “this is tooo spicy. Help! It burns!!” at the table.

And then there were my green sweet peppers. I mean, this is the problem with my vegetable garden planning. Even while being in my second year at doing this, I still plant things that I don’t know exactly what to do with…

See how the peppers blend in nicely in the pot?

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Ah yes, and the onions.

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Did you know that this is the way onions grow? Nope, I didn’t either, I just put some onions I had at home and that were starting to sprout into the mud and waited. I had probably seen it by googling or on pinterest. Jeez, the things you learn everyday….

And, tadaaa : this was the result! Yummy right?

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It even passed my husband’s test, which consists of spooning into the boiling pot and delivering his verdict, usually with the kids around so the “Uh, not really my thing” gets a dynamic on its own and in the end everyone refuses to eat the dinner I’ve been cooking. But, this time, he actually loved it. Ok, so I had tricked him by putting really lots of chicken in it, because he is more the meat-loving kind of person. But he really loved it!

And I managed to prepare at least 5 meals for myself for lunch at work and a couple for the whole family, which is a good deal at the end of the day!

I also did the cornbread muffins, well in just a slightly different shape because I like the “mini-cake” size. And as Lydia mentioned in her post, I find them quite a lot too sweet for my taste as well.

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But they are really really quick and easy (I did them in between putting one then the other kid to bed), and I’m definitely going to keep the recipe and adjust it by lowering the sugar amount. And the texture is really nice, it doesn’t fall apart and isn’t too moist either. So, to be adjusted and put into the recipe book!

 

The moment when reality kicks in…

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… like yesterday evening, when I was trying on several skirts I had bought quickly at H&M this week. I had picked them in size small or 36 European size as usual, and hadn’t time to try them on.

Yesterday evening, big moment of frustration : the skirts were WAY too small. When did that happen? All my life I’ve been that size, except during pregnancy, and somehow, since the last pregnancy, I’ve become suddenly much older as well, and no matter what I do, the extra kilos just won’t come off, and the muffin top and all the other stuff is just stuck!

It’s just not fair! I thought last night. I mean, we’re the ones going through all the pregnancy-body transformation things, we grow huge, we lose some of it, then we work like hell to get rid of it… Honestly, I’m a strong defender of the fact that all this should be rewarded by a really nice and athletic body after giving birth. I mean, that would be the least nature could have given us to give us a little “thank you” note, no?

Well, at least it got me motivated to go on my run this noon anyway. Friday is the “long run” day, where I try to do my 8 km. But as for the eating part… (which is probably where my “not-losing-weight” problem has its origins)… I’m longing for a lazy chips and popcorn evening on the couch… guess those skirts are gonna wait a couple of months more to get worn…

Grumpy running?

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You know these mornings when you just get up grumpy? And there’s nothing and noone that can change anything about it?

Yup, that’s me today. I had a tiring evening last night, with quarreling and whining kids, lots of “discussions” (aka nonsense arguments – when did the notion of “Mom’s the boss” get lost throughout the shift of generations???) and thus a very unsatisfying and unharmornious day. Which almost always leads to me to getting up just in the same mood I went to bed. Grumpy.

A glorious grumpy me. Whining about every task at work. Not getting anything done although I’m already sitting here for 2 hours at work. And in the mood for canceling my running date at lunch, and replace it with some junk food session.

BUT, I’ll try and breathe deeply, focus on my work, get things done, and go run at noon. And eat that salad that is waiting in the fridge. Maybe buy a chocolate bar to reward me if I actually go on the run. And I know that, of course, I will feel much better afterwards. Less likely to bark at anyone.

 

Grumpy run