Join me for a cup of coffee?

 

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I made this too when I was playing in picmonkey the other day.

Well hello there! Thank you so much for joining me for a cup of coffee this morning. What’s in your cup? I have the old stand by, but I’m going to have lunch with Momma and Aunt Patty so I’m looking forward to my juice/tea this afternoon! (Either Carrot Orange juice or Prickly Pear Hibiscus  with some iced tea)

 

How has your week been? I’ve been thinking in hex codes and pixels working on N’s invites and what not for her birthday.

By the way, that 0038a8 colored scarf is one of my favorites and looks lovely on you!

If you’re wondering, the colors for N’s party are f36 f24 and 579ac0. There’s been the whole process of trying to figure out who the parents were for some of the people, addresses and for everyone etc. There’s been frustration in the technology, programs and printers and I came thisclose to just sending out a digital version. I didn’t because N seems very excited for these! (She’s also pretty impressed with my work which makes me super happy because well it does!)

It’s been fun though too. Sometimes I forget how much I like the design stuff and I’m super pleased with how these came out.

Do you have anything planned this weekend? I think we’re going to Nik’s parents for a bit and then getting a new lizard because regrettably Buddy Sid Roger B didn’t make it. He got a parasite. Poor buddy.

Maybe I’ll take my new camera out for a spin this weekend if the kiddos cooperate! Speaking of them, I’m really proud of them, but that’s a post for a different day.

I have to run, but I hope you have a great weekend!

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Thirsty Thursday: Bloody Mary

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A brunch joint in Wilmington’s
Make Your Own Bloody Mary Bar.
We indulged.

It’s a fairly well known fact that I hate tomatoes. Slimy squishy water and blech. Generally speaking, tomatoes are a no no. I like sauce, salsa, and otherwise cooked, but man. They’re gross. I tried a Bloody Mary early in college and it was gross so I figured I’d never try it again.

Maybe I should have tried it at a better establishment or not off the specials’ menu?

One lovely day few years later I had a change of heart. I had stopped off at my friend’s house because we’d made tentative plans to make our mothers happy and go to mass. He was on the porch having a Bloody Mary and asked if I’d like one.

Um, no thanks.

But he got a look in his eye, told me to trust him and try it. I have (admittedly sometimes, possibly, misplaced) implicit trust in this friend, and he’s never let me down on food or drinks…so I went with it and took the glass from him. Fast forward to today? He’s one of about 4 people I’ll take a Bloody Mary from.

If you’re wondering, we didn’t make it to Mass, but if I recall, we did hear angels singing and saw and spoke to Jesus.

When I emailed him, he was kind enough to share how he makes them so you too can miss Mass but still talk to Jesus if you’d like:

The first thing you need to do is find your favorite pint glass (or party cup) and fill it with ice. Then you need to add the following:

  • 3 fingers (about a 6 count) of vodka
  • A pinch of pepper
  • Pinch of celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fresh horseradish
  • 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • A dash of hot sauce
  • A squeeze of a wedge of a lemon and a lime (then both thrown in)

Top with tomato juice, shake or pour from glass to glass until well mixed, and add a celery stalk for garnish.

You can use Clamato or tomato based V8 of your choice if you prefer and add olives or even Slim Jims for garnish. Once I saw a small piece of pizza, but that’s ridiculous!

What do you put in your Bloody Marys? What’s the strangest thing you’ve see in one?

I don’t know how she did it, but Nanny said hello

27867893_10103280195199482_3734146572381371701_nSometimes my life is a little weird. Mostly it’s wonderfully weird.

Maybe it’s the universe’s way of rewarding me for the good I try to put out, or for paying attention to the world around me, or maybe it’s just happenstance but there are weird things that go down.

About 18 months ago or so, I purchased my car from my Pop because I needed a newer one and he didn’t think his was big enough. (He couldn’t put a 1/4 sheet of plywood in it so he was done with it. Priorities, that man has them.) While other cars of his had been, this car was never in my Nanny’s name. (This is important.)

Fast forward to late last spring. It was a heck of a morning with trying out 4 outfits, spilling my coffee on another, finding out Giorgio (which had been gifted by my cousins three days before) didn’t make it through the night, and the rain.

Like I said, a day and it was only 7:30am.

So I changed my clothes, found a spot to bury Giorgio in the yard, said a prayer for him and asked Nanny to look out for him.

I was dreading telling my cousins and the girls their lizard had passed away so it was an anxious drive to the car place.

When I got to my car appointment, they told me they didn’t have an appointment in my name. They looked and looked rather confused. I reminded them they confirmed with me the Thursday prior so they tried under my phone number.

They found it. But it wasn’t under my name. It was under my Nanny’s first name and my last name. I just gasped, but smiled. Somehow she heard my prayer and was telling me it was going to be okay.

Maybe Nanny just wanted to say hello? Maybe it was a reminder that even frazzled, I can do it. Maybe it was just a weird coincidence? (I don’t think so.)

I hear you Nanny. And I love you for still showing up when I need to know I can do it.

Recipe Art(s) – Brownies, Blueberry Pie Bars, and Muffins

If you’ve been a reader for awhile and followed me Here from my last blog, you’ve probably seen these before. That’s okay.

If your new here, a little back story. I never really know what to bring people for house warming get togethers, so I started baking for them and making a recipe card to go with it. Sometimes, I’d include a gift card to their local grocery store too.

(Side note: A friend of mine saw these and asked if they gave me all of their grandmother’s recipes, could I do a set for them to share with their cousins? Sure, why not? Since they were part of a paid project, I won’t share them here, but it was a fun project. Sometimes I had to make them to try them out because much like my grandparents, the notes were as brief as possible.)

recart brownie Anyway, before Mehmere stopped baking as much, I made her tell me her brownie recipe so I could write it down. I’m sure it’s similar to a lot of them out there but this is hers as she told me that day. (Other days it might have been different!)

Mehmere believed in sharing what you love with who you love so I did this brownie one up as a graphic to share. It’s super easy, very forgiving, adaptable, and really delicious.

Without fail, this is a crowd pleaser. I think the favorite mix ins (other than regular old chocolate chips) is heath bar and cashews. My favorite mix in is raspberry extract and white chocolate chips though.

Yeah it seems like a lot of sugar and butter, but you know what? Totally worth it.

Feel free to save to your device or print it out and put it in the cupboard so you can make brownies any gosh darn time you want.

rec card blue barNext we have Blueberry Pie Bars. I can not tell you how much I love blueberry pie and how I never get it. I had to go to a brunch and thought these sounded good. I was right.

This one isn’t an old family secret, but maybe it should be. I don’t know where i got it from now but it was on Pinterest somewhere.

I’ve also made these with raspberries and strawberries when I didn’t have enough blueberries, but it messed with the baking time a little. Just keep an eye on it.

recipie art muffin 4x6 Oh muffins, I love you.I really love you with pear and ginger, but apple and cinnamon or blueberry with almond is good too.

These are mom’s favorite and quite popular among the old brunch crowd, in the office and in my house.

It’s easy, flexible and really good. Once I even made them with just a tiny bit of pumpkin spice and a bit of glaze on top!

The raw sugar is optional and I almost never use it anymore. It adds a crunch that a lot of people don’t like much.

I need to redo this card but it still prints pretty well.

I have some others to share, but I think that’s enough for today. I really want muffins or blueberry pie bars now to go with my tea. Which would you like the most right now? What would you put in it?

Join me for a cup of coffee?

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Forgive the office selfie, I really wanted to show you my outfit because I feel super cute in it and well the mirror at home is gross and needs to be washed.

Ah Friday, I thought you would never arrive! I swear “short” weeks often take the longest to get through. Why is that?

C’mon in and sit down! How are you? How has your week been? How about your summer? Anything exciting planned for the weekend?

What’s in  your cup today? I have coffee flavored coffee because that’s what we drink now. Between the two of us we go through at least 12 cups a day. If I want something more later, I’ll grab it at the office where I have to be an adult.

But I really don’t feel like being an adult today. I want to go home and play. I have a skirts to figure out (both girls want a giraffe skirt, but I only have fabric for one and a half of them), pickling to do (apparently the peppers were a big hit with my step-dad), and a book to read.  I could also use a nap. Do you ever just not want to be an adult?

By the way, did you see this post Adri shared with me? They swapped out Trumplestilskin for penguins It’s sort of genius, and definitely delightful.

So what’s on the calendar for your weekend? Our plans are sort of flexible but they include grocery shopping, maybe getting a big girl bed for E, going to roller-derby with some friends, and maybe a yoga class for me. I’m hoping Sunday is relaxing and has crafting. My hands are getting itchy to make something!

Well I need to run and fill up my water cup since the coffee is gone. I’m trying to get half my body weight in ounces of water a day, but really that’s a LOT of water so I aim for 90 oz or so which is attainable most days.

How much water do you drink a day?

Thursday Three – Things I try to remember

Fotor_153625531593187Over the last year or so, I’ve gotten more into the concept of “self care” and have been trying to take better care of myself physically, mentally, and emotionally.

I have varying degrees of success with this. It feels like there’s often something else to take care of and I’m not good at making myself a priority.

But part of my self care is taking care of what I like to think of as my brain heart. You know, the heart that lives in your head, not the one in your chest. It’s where your feelings are, not your blood.

(Personally, my brain likes to be mean to it’s heart, but we’re working on it.)

Often, I find myself repeating little bits or mantras to myself when I’m feeling off track or I’m something is hurting my feelings. It probably doesn’t help that I’m a worrier by nature, but I’m working on being less so. (The antidepressant I started for my birthday has been helpful in breaking thought cycles which caused a lot of worry for me.)

Lately, here’s the three I find myself using most:

  1. Don’t borrow tomorrow’s worries. There’s probably enough to worry about or figure out today.
  2. If you’re being kind, how people treat you is about them, not you. (Also, jerks are jerks no matter who they’re talking to – don’t take it personally. Sometimes I actually say a prayer for jerks because I do hope they find happiness or at least peace and stop being jackholes to others.)
  3. Wow, they’re being terrible but they aren’t terrible people! Is this about [insert situation] or is there something bigger going on and I need to show them kindness? I know with many of the people I come across (including myself) bad attitudes, mean spiritedness, and general jerkdom is about something much deeper than my interaction. Stopping to figure out what’s really going on works wonders.

Since they’ve helped me, maybe they can help you too.

Do they fix the ills of the world? Nope, but I find these and a few others help soften the harsh moments of a day. The reminders that I can’t fix everything all of the time, that people being unkind isn’t about how they feel about me (usually), and the old adage of everyone is fighting a battle we may know nothing about make my day a little easier.

All of this isn’t to say I excuse unkind behaviors, trust me. But since I don’t have to tolerate people being unkind to me, I’ve been careful to cull out people who have been hurtful, harmful, or who are just are jerks from my life. Turns out as a grownup I get to choose who is in my life! (Psst. You do too.)

I also forgive people for things they’ve done. But that’s a topic for a different post.

What do you tell yourself to soften the harsh edges of the day? Have any bits to share?

 

 

Dance in the rain, little one.

2018-07-05_11-40-51Written previously, posted now…

Fourth of July brought a hot hot hot and grossly humid day. If I’d had my druthers, I’d have hidden in a movie theater or air conditioned library for the day, but that wasn’t in my cards.

Plans didn’t go as planned, but I tried to make the best of it and rally the troops. Nik was recovering from a long day working in the hot hot hot sun the day before. N was a little burned and tired from her adventures in tubing earlier in the day. E was in a pretty good mood, though so there was that.

We ended up with some time to kill before meeting up with the others so I made the executive decision to go to the beach and swim for a bit. The kids LOVE the beach and swimming and I needed to cool off a bit myself.

What is it about water that’s so soothing?

It was crowded, but we managed to find a changing room, sunblock up, and drop the bags on a tiny open bit of sand. The kids and I ran for the water. E stopped me and asked if she needed her life jacket. I told her no, I would help her and I knew she could touch way far out.

I love this particular beach because you can go quite far out before the water gets any sort of deep. E loved the freedom. N loved having someone to play tag with other than me.

We played and then worked on building a sand village. We hadn’t planned on going to the beach so we didn’t have toys with us, but we dug in and started shaping a village with our hands. When N’s reservoir didn’t pan out because it kept “leaking” I showed her how to use the seaweed (lakeweed) to line it and hold the water better.

She beamed and said, “Court’s got skills.” (It’s something we say when I show her something cool or fix something.)

Later, we met up with the others to hang out and eat some food before fireworks. The kids were coloring on the blanket when we head a rumble off in the distance, the sky opened up, and it started pouring. We quickly moved everything under the tarp and checked out the radar to see if it would be over soon. Truthfully, we were debating going home to get the day over with since so much hadn’t gone right that day. But, E didn’t want to sit at the table. She was laughing in the rain, dancing around and tipping her head back to collect droplets.

That’s right little one, dance in the rain. Show us how you make the best of it.

The rain didn’t last that long, the fireworks were pretty great, and because we were going home (not back to town) someone showed us a short cut back to the road. It ended up being a pretty great time.

Written today…

I’ve been reflecting lately on the changes I’ve seen in the kiddos in the last year. How much they’ve grown as little people, how much we’ve become attached to each other, and how we’re a little family unit. There are challenges, but we’ve been working with the kids on sorting them out rather than flipping out and most days we’ve come far. Instead of walking away or throwing in the towel, we’re dancing in the rain when stuff isn’t going to plan and making the best of it.

Mission Move More – Meh

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I have to remind myself. Do you too?

I have a rough schedule I try to keep for my blog because I find it keeps me on task better. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. The first Monday of the month I’ve been trying to check in about my Mission Move More stuff but there hasn’t been a whole lot of structured workouts, runs, classes, etc.

I’ve done yoga a couple of times this past month. I’ve chased the kids around the yard and playground. I’ve done work in the garden which is a hella lot of squats! We have dance parties often. I’m what most would consider active (after you get past the desk job). I thought about running, but truth be told I haven’t done it.

I can admit that I haven’t been awesome about what I’m eating. I haven’t been tracking my foods at all. But I did up my water intake and after the family wedding, I stopped drinking (I’m not against it, I just don’t feel like it.)

I’m also trying to love my body for what it is today. I’m trying to be more kind to it – and to myself even though I’ve gained a few pounds this summer. It can be hard though. There have been some people who have been unkind behind my back, but within ear shot. I shouldn’t give a single fraction of a crap about what others think about my body – especially these people – but it’s ingrained in many of us to care. While I’m working to let that go, I’m not 100% on it.

And truthfully, I’ve been working more on my brain lately – accepting who I am, working out what I’d like to change or where I where to go with some things, and applying kindness to myself to worry too much about moving more.

Maybe that’s an excuse though? Frankly, moving more is part of the fixing the brain…For September, I’m going to try to do the following: keep up with more water, lower amount of sugar, stay with the no drinking, track my foods, do a structured workout/ class once a week, and at least 2 other days move/yoga for 20 min a day. (And write it all down to be accountable to myself.)

Just try, Court. See how it goes.

I’ll let you know the first week of October.

The Good Stuff: May-August

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Killin’ time with our girls at the playground

There’s a lot of crap out there. Crappy news, crappy people. Really crappy moments. I think it’s important to pay attention to the good things. Remember them and carry those with you or the bad things keep weighing you down.

Besides, when you look for the good things, you find more good things and maybe life isn’t quite so bad.

If it’s not your style (yet, because you can totally retrain your brain), I challenge you to find one good thing about today – even if it’s something tiny. (Also a former CIA analyst shared some coping strategies for the bad stuff.)

I’ve totally let this go too long and am trying to do 4 months in one shot. Some of it was a blur, but I’ll do my best to pick out some standout smiles, joy, and wonderful moments. I don’t want to jinx it, but life is pretty good these days. Even the crappy days are often better than my best days before.

It’s been quite the summer, possibly the best ever since I was 18 or 19. (Those were pretty great!)

Moments to make me smile:

  • Trading in my goggles for my glove and helping to coach N’s softball (who went on to clean sweep the All Star Tournament)
  • Road Trip with Daddy-O to see OG
  • Every time we sat down to share a meal with family or friends.
  • Camping for Nik’s b’day
  • New acquaintances who will hopefully turn into friends. If nothing else, they’re friendly faces to chat with while we wait for kid stuff to be done.
  • Hours in the garden – even the hot, sticky, gross ones!
  • B & Z Kid’s weekend
  • Bonfires
  • Adventures
  • New yoga
  • Nik having my back
  • New babies in the family
  • Getting back into reading
  • Giggling with N & E
  • Seeing everyone at a family wedding.
  • Restorative Justice training at work.
  • Great chats, emails, snail mails and texts with my best girls
  • My hair self highlighting and lightening to a color I love.
  • The quiet moments the girls reach for hugs or snuggles.
  • Sharing joys with friends (Seriously a lot of them make my heart swell in love, pride, hopefulness, and excitement.)
  • Broski being stateside.

Good reads:

Favorite pics:
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You can see more pictures on my Instagram.

Podcasts you might like:

I’ve really branched out what I listen to in the car these days! A few of my favorites:

  • Gone, Conspiracy Theories, Unexplained Mysteries (these are all done by the same people)
  • S-Town (although I have mixed feelings about this one conceptually)
  • Smart Mouth
  • Wait Wait Don’t Tell me
  • Smash Boom Best
  • Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
  • Story Time – Children’s bedtime stories
  • Pride and Prejudice

I still listen to Last Podcast on the Left and My Favorite Murders, but I’m trying to expand my horizons. I also listened to a whole series on Prohibition which was super interesting, but I can’t find it now.

Music to feed my soul:

There hasn’t been anything that sticks out video wise. Mostly we just have Google play a station these days. Do you have anything new to share?

How about you? What good things do you have for February and March to share?

Five Things

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This is me some days.
Other days you might get a better version.
Or not.

I was looking for something earlier this week and found the first Five Things post I did. I forgot how much I like that format better than a list. Lists are great, don’t get me wrong. But I want something that feels more like me.

So! I’m sharing five current “things” with you: Recent challenges, triumphs, funnies,  OMG, and a question.

I invite you to share either in the comments or to CourtisHereNow[at]gmail{dot}come to share yours.

My current challenge is figuring out what my purpose is for this life and what my “more” might be. I’ve been thinking about it since I went to see the Made for More movie with some girlfriends. What if community building, working hard, being kind, spreading light and love is what I’m meant to do? Does life have be done Bigger? Is who I am today good enough for this season in life or do I have to do it better? Also drinking enough water is hard. I increased my intake and now I’m thirsty all the time.

A recent triumph is the connection I’ve been building with the girls over the last few months. N reaches for a hug, asks me for help with things, and we’re reading a book together. E will just look at me and say, “Am I your E?” and I say yes to which she replies, “I love you Courtahney.” She loves cooking with me, when I read her books, playing in the tub, and crafting.

There have been a lot of laughs in our home lately. One that particularly stands out was when N asked Nik, “Daddy, you got me a dog, how come you won’t get Court one?” I pinky swear I didn’t put her up to that one!)

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Weeding pumpkin day. It was so gross.
I was so gross.

Now, the biggest OMG moment I can talk about lately has to be how damn hot it was for awhile. I know July and August in Upstate NY can be hot, humid, and hazy, but it feels like it was even more brutal than usual. I’m sweating just thinking about it.

And for today’s question, do you think you need to have a Big life or are you happy with where you are now? Do you HAVE to do more? Or is being the best you that you are today good?

How about you? Care to share a challenge, triumph, funny moment, an OMG, or answer the question above?