Today is a hard day.

Today, a category 4 hurricane is barreling down on my home.

Today, I submitted my resignation from my job.

Today, is September 11th. 

Today, is a hard day. 

 

 

Today, a category 4 hurricane is barreling down on my home.

Hurricane Florence is days away from slamming into North Carolina. The last time a hurricane like this hit was hurricane Hazel in 1954, and it left catastrophic wind and storm surge damage – and this one could be worse.

I’ve grown up on the North Carolina coast, my home a small town at the tip of the Albemarle sound, about 90 miles inland from the Outer Banks. Then, I found myself in Wilmington, NC for college at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, 5 miles from Wrightsville Beach. With a year spent inland after college for a job, I moved back to what I consider home – back to Wilmington, and currently Jacksonville, NC, about 20 miles from Onslow beach. Hurricanes are not new to me, and while they bring concern, they don’t normally bring panic. But this one? It’s scary ya’ll.

I’ve never once left to get out of a hurricane’s way and felt the need to bring things with me incase they’re not here when I come back. I’ve never once talked to a friend about fearing that his house may not be standing when he comes back. I’ve never once talked to a friend who’s going to stay and felt fear for their life. There’s a first time for everything, but these are firsts I’d rather not have.

I keep reminding myself that what’s left here are just possessions. We take our families (fur family included!) and we find a safe place to go, and we’ll be ok. Perhaps the storm won’t be as bad as we expect! If it is, what may get damaged can be replaced, but it’s still scary.

 

 

Today, I submitted my resignation from my job.

I resigned from my job. Don’t get me wrong- this one is very exciting! Exciting things are still hard.

I’ve had my job at the Wounded Warrior Battalion on Camp Lejeune for just over five years now. As a college junior, my now boss and alumnus of my degree program, spoke to our class about what she did, and it became my dream job. A year after graduation, I got the job! Her exact job, in fact, as the Battalion grew and she got a management position.

Two and a half years into this job, I started dating Boyfriend. Three years into this job, in typical military fashion, Boyfriend received orders to move across the country to California. And now, the time has come for me to move to him and start our lives together. At the end of October, he and I will drive west and do just that.

Even knowing that this day was coming, even knowing what happiness and excitement it brings, turning in that letter was hard. In five years that place has become home. It’s become comfortable. I’ve done so much growing, both personally and professionally, and I’ve made some of my closest, dearest friends.

But what really makes leaving this job hard, is leaving the Marines and Sailors it serves. Almost every single service men or women I talk to joined the Marine Corps because of September 11th, 2001. They wouldn’t want me to go on and on about the sacrifices that they made, so I won’t. I’ll just say this – knowing that there’s a possibility that I may have positively impacted their lives, is the honor of my life.

 

 

Today, is September 11th. 

Each year this anniversary hits me hard. Each year, looking at the pictures and the videos from that day is like getting punched in the gut. And I swear each year gets harder. Perhaps that’s because I expect it to get easier? Perhaps it’s because each year as I get older I realize just how fragile life is.

Just a few minutes ago I was watching videos on Facebook, clips of the planes flying into the towers, clips of voicemails from people on the planes calling their loved ones, clips of the people in the flight towers as they realized what was happening. And then the clip of the first tower collapsing. My eyes filled with tears, I gasped for air, and I clicked off the video before I would watch any more. That sounds dramatic, I know. In past years I’ve made myself watch these sorts of clips, almost as a way to honor those we lost that day. This year, I can’t stomach it.

Like everyone else, I have my story from that day. Exact memories of how the day played out. As an eleven year old I had no comprehension of what it meant, and certainly not why it had happened. As years have passed I’ve come to learn what happened and why it happened – but I still dare to say I comprehend it.

 

 

Today is a hard day.

Hard can be scary. Hard can be exciting. Hard can be sad.

But as scariness, excitement, or sadness always reminds us –

If we take the time to look around, we’re all in it together. 

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Sunday Challenge

Finally breaking radio silence!

 

Hello all!! After a much too long hiatus, I’m back!

In my last post I mentioned I’d be working through the weekend for a couple of weeks and might be too busy for writing. Well that couple of weeks quickly turned into a couple of months and suddenly I had so much new, fun stuff to write about that I didn’t know where to start. Without knowing where to start — I just didn’t.

The whole purpose of me starting this thing, as you read in my very first post, was to start chasing stars. Instead, in between bouts of busy, I stopped chasing those stars. In the name of relaxation, I mostly just sat back and… LOOKED at the stars, without actually getting up to chase them.

And I’ll be the first one to say –

If you’re also in that spot… THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH IT. 

Just don’t get stuck there for too long. 

 

Which! Brings me to my Sunday Challenge.

You know that one thing that’s on your To-Do list that you just haven’t gotten around to? That ONE thing that just sits at the bottom of your list. It’s ok if you don’t get to it right away. It’s ok if it gets pushed further down when more important tasks come up. It’s ok if you never even really get around to taking care of it. But! You want to take care of it. It’s just going to take effort. You know THAT thing?? (Be honest! We all have one.)

My challenge to you:

Do SOMETHING that makes forward progress to getting it done, to accomplishing it.

A big step or a small one. Knock it off your To-Do list, or maybe just move it up on your to do list. Maybe get someone else involved that will hold you accountable, or even better- help you. Set a timeline. Set a reward for yourself.

Just…. (is it cliche to say?) …do it.

 

Getting this blog out, breaking through that barrier of “I’ll get to it next weekend” (which, sweet Boyfriend has heard me say for a couple months now….), is my step in the name of forward progress.

I do have so much fun stuff to write about. I’ll fill everyone in on what I’ve been up to the past couple of months- exciting work adventures, traveling across the country a couple of times. So much fun material to sift through, reflect on, and share with all the wonderful friends and strangers that take time to read what I have to say.

To all my family, my coworkers and friends that have asked if I’m still blogging, when my next post is going to be, what it’s going to be about, and hearing how much you enjoy reading what I write- thank you. Each comment and question has meant more than you realize.

 

So now, with Monday looming over us all, I’ll leave you with this.

The craziest storm rolled through my town this evening. Lightning every few seconds, crashing thunder- a wild storm even for us southeastern folks that are accustom to summer storms. In between sets of storms I noticed how discolored the sky was. You know that eerie yellow/green color when there are bad storms around? I walked onto my porch to look at the sky and ended up witnessing the most spectacular rainbow.

I think it’s important to note that THREE TIMES I went running back inside because there was still such sharp lightning coming from the storm! BUT! I got the picture! (#DoItForTheGram….??)

Fitting, I thought, to witness as I was planning on what to say in this post.

rainbow.jpg

 

WOW Wednesday, part 2!

IT’S WEDNESDAY! 

You know what that means!

Your Workout Of the Week is here!

lets go

Following last week’s workout with so many different pieces of equipment, I wanted to make this week’s workout equipment free.

And let me tell you, this workout came at the perfect time! My workouts on Monday and Tuesday were killers. Monday we worked on push presses, and Tuesday we worked on squats. Each workout started with 3 rounds of 5 sets of corresponding muscle activation exercises, followed by:

5 x 1 One Rep Max

and

10 x 10 at 50% of the 1RM

By one rep max (1RM), I mean at what heaviest weight I could move the bar one time. Due to a crowded gym, I didn’t have the comfort of a squat rack for the push press – my highest weight was 85 pounds. For the squats I attempted 175, but didn’t make it up. I hit 165 though, and that’s more than my body weight! I’m quite happy with that.

Even at 50% of those numbers (40 pounds and 80 pounds, respectively) 10 x 10 is no joke.

With my upper and lower body fatigued today, a body weight workout sounded just right. Which leads me to your workout this week!

10x each:

Squat

Curtsy Lunge (each side)

Side Lunge (each side)

*hip hinge, below

15x each:

Right Side Plank Dips

Plank PushUps

Left Side Plank Dips

*plank, below

20x each:

Burpees

Jumping Jacks

Skaters

*burpees, below

As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP) for 20 minutes

 

I underestimated this workout when I wrote it. Originally I was going to repeat the whole thing five times, but that sounded a bit ambitious simply because I was already tired. So I settled on the 20 minute AMRAP instead, and it was a great idea. Plus, twenty minutes is accessible to almost everyone. It might take some self-convincing, but carving twenty minutes out of your day is totally doable. (Well… thirty. Don’t forget a warmup and cool down!)

This workout is deceptively difficult. 

But….

You’ll feel so proud of yourself when it’s done.

small progress

Have I mentioned how much I hate burpees? To me, a set of 20 is just plain miserable! That part was definitely my most time consuming portion.  After I finished the second round, I thought I would run out of time before I got to them again – and it made me work harder, knowing my least favorite part was done with! But low and behold, I got to the group of 20s with plenty of time to spare. So back to burpees I went.

My 20 minute alarm went off right as I finished burpee number 18 of round three. Since I was so close to finishing, and I like things to be nice and even, I finished my last two burpees, and the 20 jumping jacks and skaters.

I feel like I do squats best with just a little bit of weight – it helps me stand nice and upright, and makes me keep my core nice and tight. So on the group of 10s I used a 20 pound barbell. But that’s what’s so nice about this workout – the modifications are almost endless. Keep scrolling for a list of ways to modify.

By the time I finished the third round I was exhausted! My heart rate was much higher than I was anticipating. Between the plank pushups and the burpees there are more arms involved than it appears.

I warmed up with a slow 10 minute walk on the treadmill, and a slow five minute cool down on the elliptical – plus some time stretching afterwards.

 

Notes about this workout:

1. Let’s talk about the hip hinge for just a minute. Proper hip hinge is the most important part of being able to perform many of these exercises correctly. As this article states, toddlers can perform this movement correctly – we unlearn how to do it as we grow and get lazy with our movement patterns. Learning to do it properly isn’t necessarily easy, but it is simple. And once you get the hang of it, you’ll be amazed at how often you’ll perform it in daily life. (The functional part of functional fitness – think, how you pick something up from the floor, or how you sit down into a chair.) So how to do it?

” …walk over to a wall. While you stand about three inches away from the wall, facing away, try to tap the wall with your butt. To do this, you have to stick your butt out and hinge at the hips. Once you’ve done this from three inches, step away from the wall another inch and repeat the same movement. Finally, step another inch forward and execute a full hip hinge.

You’ll feel a nice stretch in your hamstrings and your knees should only have a soft bend in them. Voila! Hip hinge complete. “

The cue that worked best for me while I was learning, was to have someone put a band around my hips. She stood behind me, pulling the band against my hips and towards herself. As I initiated my hip movement, she gently tugged on the band, allowing my hips to be pulled backwards. The hip hinge is key to successful squats and lunges (and lots of other movements!).

hip hinge

2. Now about those planks. The link provided above mentions common mistakes in planking. The key to a correct plank is a straight spine. Your neck, back, hips, and legs should maintain one straight line. Lifting your head, lifting your hips, or dropping your hips breaks this line and creates a faulty plank. If the time you spend in this position is too long to maintain proper form, take a short rest!! Poor form for the sake of time defeats the purpose of the exercise. 

plank

3. Burpees are one of the best total body exercises, and there are SO many ways to modify them. Modifications to burpees can include: A. Stepping burpees – You can begin by simply stepping your feet back one by one, and either holding a plank or completing a pushup, and stepping your feet back to the starting point, one by one. B. Plank, or half, burpees – Jumping your both feet back and holding a plank position before jumping both feet back to the start. C. Strict burpees – Jump both feet back, do a strict pushup, and return to the start position. D.CrossFit style” burpees – Jump both feet back, let your thighs and chest touch the floor, push yourself back up and into the start position.

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Ways to modify:

You can switch around the amount of repetitions for each group. Someone who hasn’t done 100+ squats the day before may want to do the squats and lunges for their round of 20s instead of 10s.

If you have weights available, feel free to grab them! The squats and lunges can be done with either a barbell on your back OR by holding a kettlebell.

You can complete any variation of a squat that you like. Box squats are great for beginners or for anyone with poor balance or bad joints. Sumo squats are another great alternative.

Any kind of lunges can be completed – front, back, diagonal, side, and curtsy are all good options.

Plank side dips and plank pushups are both a bit more of an advanced movement. If these are comfortable for you – great! If they’re a little too difficult, no problem. Set a certain amount of time to hold a typical or side plank. I’d estimate that 15 seconds on each side, and 30 seconds in a regular plank would be about equal.

As the linked video shows, skaters are done by jumping from one side to the next. However they could be modified to step from one side to the other, taking the jumping component out.

 

Don’t let this list of modifications overwhelm you with options. I only want it to show that in this, or any other, workout – there are countless ways to make it work for YOU. Today, I made this workout work for me. You get that same freedom and opportunity.

If you have any questions or need any specific instructions for movements, exercises, or modifications for exercises, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know!

Sunday Challenge

Monday is heading straight for us, ya’ll. 

By the time I get in bed on Sunday night, I tend to have a fairly calm feeling of “oh boy… here we go again”. Probably a much too negative attitude about the upcoming week, but I’m willing to bet I’m not the only one.

I usually run through the list of my weekend To-Do’s, feeling proud of what I accomplished and planning when I will finish what I didn’t get around to. (My vacuum is waiting just outside my bedroom door quite patiently, and my dryer just buzzed at me – quite impatiently.)

Half of my apartment got vacuumed; half my laundry got washed and folded. But, my meals are prepped. I made it to the gym today, though I really didn’t feel like going. The kitchen got cleaned. I had dinner with a sweet friend last night, although declined dinner with two other sweet friends tonight in the name of “adulting” (a term I hate, by the way).

The To-Do list lives on to face the work week – but I’m ok with that. I feel rested, and accomplished for what I did do. Not a bad way to start a fresh week in my opinion.

Tonight as I climbed into bed (yes, with my tea for my friends reading this), listened to the rain, and scrolled through Pinterest, I saw this:

bad day

Even after scrolling past it, I kept thinking about it. Specifically, how hard it is to do. Specifically, how important it is to do.

One of the conversations I had with that sweet friend at dinner last night was about how hard it is – but how important it is – to be able to humble yourself for a bigger purpose. Fights with your significant other, disagreements with boss, fussing children. It takes a whole bunch of self control to step back and stay calm, instead of lashing out when you’ve already had a bad day. Or even worse, when you know you’re right. Being able to do so, she and I agreed, makes that situation better 100% of the time.

This week at work we’ll start one of our biggest events of the year. It’s some of the most challenging and rewarding times – some of the highest highs, and almost always some very low lows.

With Monday heading straight for us, with that conversation still ringing in my head, with this inspirational quote staring at me from my computer screen, I decided to make it my challenge for the week.

I challenge myself to treat the world better than it will treat me. 

There are sure to be some challenging days ahead. BUT there are sure to be some amazing days ahead, as well.

By challenging myself to this, I’m agreeing to be bigger than whatever is making my day really bad.

I’m also agreeing to create an environment better than whatever is making my day amazing.

Honestly, I don’t know what is going to be more challenging! …Honestly, I actually find that pretty exciting.

Whenever it is that you’re reading this – I want to challenge you to create a challenge for yourself. It can be as big or as small as you want it to be.

Maybe it’s completing the WOW from last Wednesday. Or finally getting around to doing meal prep. Perhaps it’s taking the dog for a little bit of a longer walk than normal.

Challenge yourself to actually finish your to-do list.

Maybe your challenge is taking something OFF that list.

Complete that school assignment ahead of schedule.

Don’t have dessert with dinner. OR! Let yourself have dessert with dinner!

Maybe it’s the same as me – treat the world better.

 

Just find something. Something that is going to test you, that’s going to push you. Be intentional about it. But for the next seven days, focus on it.

Allow yourself room to fall short, but allow yourself the grace to keep going. 

 

Let me know what your challenge is for this week! And let me know how it’s going! Whatever it is, you have at least one person in your corner cheering you on.

 

Here’s to Strong Women

Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.

Happy International Women’s Day 

There are countless mothers and sisters and daughters and wives and girlfriends and authors and poets that can teach us what it means to be women.

Let’s share wisdom.

Let’s inspire.

Let’s encourage.

She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future.
                                                                                                              -Proverbs 31:25

atticus women 2

looking for a sword.

rupi 2

everything she needs within herself.

atticus women

a girl in love with every breath.

rupi 3

the legacy we’ll leave.

atticus women 3

so effortlessly herself.

rupi 1

so the women after me can see further.

Rupi Kaur

Instagram

Atticus

Instagram

WOW Wednesdays!

Workout

Of the

Week

Wednesdays

Wednesdays are now officially your WOW Wednesdays! (Thanks to Boyfriend for that idea! And thanks to Boyfriend for the original workout that I adapted into this one!)

Each Wednesday I’ll post a new workout that I’ve done that week, and challenge you to try it! There will be descriptions for each exercise, and videos if I can find them.

I’ve done this workout twice so far- once last week, and again yesterday. Last week I used a 20 pound kettlebell and a 40 pound bar. I also had the Upright Rows at the set of 8 – but that was too much for me at 40 pounds. I modified it as I went last week, and stuck to that modification when I did it again this week. That workout is listed below, with the weights I used in parenthesis. You can click on each exercise for a demonstration of how to perform them.

14 Calorie Row (level 6)

12 Single Arm Kettlebell Swings (25#)

10 Medicine Ball Slams (20#)

Barbell Sumo Squats (40#)

Barbell Overhead Press (40#)

Barbell Upright Row (40#)

Complete two rounds, maximum effort, only resting during transition from one exercise to the next. Rest for two to five minutes, and repeat. Complete for time.

Don’t skip your warm up or cool down! At least five minutes. I typically do an incline walk on the treadmill, a slow row, or jump rope.  

 

Last week I completed the first two rounds in 8:15, and the second in 7:46.

I aimed to beat my time this week, but wasn’t sure if I would or not. Yesterday I was feeling pretty sluggish and didn’t have much energy. BUT – I knew it would be a fast workout, and the harder I pushed, the quicker I would be done!

My first two rounds I finished in 7:43. Faster, but just barely! (Just barely is good enough in my book.) I took two minutes to rest, and at that point thought best case scenario would have me maintaining the same pace. But again – I knew the harder I pushed the better I would feel.

The second two rounds I finished in….

7:23.

What?!

It’s not the most intense workout I’ve done. But seeing that time drop so substantially made me feel so great.

Hard work does pay off! Don’t let your mind trick your body otherwise.

 

Notes:

This workout does require a good bit of equipment. Some movements are adaptable for little to no equipment with a bit of ingenuity. If you need suggestions for modifications, leave me a comment! 

Medicine Ball Slams do not have to be performed by bringing the ball behind your head like the link shows. Doing so would be a great way to incorporate a bit more triceps, though. When I do them I lift the ball straight up, and slam it straight down. I aim for the ball to land between my toes – at the top of my feet, but not too far out in front. I catch the ball on the bounce, and immediately lift it back up and begin again.

For the barbell sequence, you can perform each exercise without putting the bar down. For the sumo squats, keep the bar across your back. Transitioning to the overhead press, lift the bar overhead and begin the press from about collar bone level. I did as many strict presses as I could – relying on just my arms and shoulders to lift. As I got a little more tired I allowed myself a small jump-up as I lifted.

The barbell upright rows were the hardest for me. I used the same 40 pound bar for all of these, and lifting that much here was a challenge (…which is why I only did four of them).

 

 

Today two of my coworkers and I completed CrossFit Open’s 18.2 workout. We did 18.1 last week – it was a killer, but it was so much fun!

18.2?

Ya’ll.

My legs are still a little shaky. (We skipped 18.2A, in case anyone is keeping track – we all agreed that it was a little too challenging for us.) I had a lofty goal of finishing around six minutes. When the first coworker finished just under eight minutes this morning, I knew six would be out of my reach when I did it this afternoon. And it was – I finished last out of us three, at 11:05.

But I know I pushed myself as hard as I could, and that’s what I care about. 

I’m not a CrossFit-er by any means. I’ve never gone to a CrossFit gym and I’m about 50/50 on what I like and dislike about it.

But I can say that the family CrossFit builds is pretty cool.

Having an opportunity for my coworkers and I to come together to do such hard workouts and cheer each other on is awesome team building. Plus, being asked what we’re doing gets to start conversations with other coworkers that we might otherwise miss out on.

It’s also a common interest with Boyfriend. Being able to talk to each other about our workouts, and challenge, encourage, and inspire each other to try something new and difficult helps our long distance seem a little less distant.

The videos of people all shapes and sizes, disabilities, ages, etc… pushing themselves to compete and complete these workouts is incredible. If you are needing some motivation to go workout, check out this video.

 

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These workouts are challenging, that’s certain. But it’s not impossible.

 

Challenge yourself! Make modifications if you need to. Just get it done!

Carving out a few minutes of your day to take care of yourself makes all the other stressful parts of life just a little bit more manageable – for me at least. And hopefully, for you too.

HAPPY EXERCISING! 

Of course, always talk to your doctor before starting a new workout regimen. If you know your body shouldn’t do something, listen to it. Push yourself, but only as far as you know is safe.

 

 

Lazy Saturdays

Yesterday was one of those days  – those lazy Saturdays where you’re not quite tired enough to nap, not quite energized enough to go do something.

With the past two weekends spent out of town, and the next two or three weekends working, I have no problem admitting that I spent my Saturday in sweats and watching Netflix!

What I did accomplish, however, includes:

Making plans for dinner tonight with a friend and her awesome kids. But only after declining dinner last night, with the honest excuse of wanting to be lazy (I’m only a little ashamed of myself…).

Cheering on Boyfriend while he ran a half marathon! He registered for the Habitat for Humanity Diamond Valley Lake Marathon three days ago as a way to fill his Saturday. No half marathon training, just his regular workouts – and he sets a personal record! Finishing with a sub two hour time of 1:54.05; I’m so proud, and so impressed.

Watched THE basketball game. The Carolina vs Duke game. “The rivalry that other rivalries set their DVR for” as the commentators said. Carolina took the first game, at home in the Dean Dome. Duke, unfortunately and painfully, took this second game at Cameron Indoor.

AND I MADE PASTA.

Like.. from scratch.

And it was pretty dang good, if I do say so myself.

I was watching a documentary on Netflix called Chef’s Table (which I highly recommend) and feeling inspired. Before I knew it, I was on Pinterest looking up homemade pasta recipes. It’s something I’ve wanted to try my hand at for a while but haven’t ever gotten around to.

But we’re chasing stars here, right?

Remembering my latest cookbook purchase was for Italian food, I grabbed it and found the pasta section. [Full recipe at the bottom of this post.]

This cookbook is amazing. Fun Fact about Sarah: I read cookbooks. Whenever I get a new one, I read it cover to cover before I ever use it. If you’re in the market for an Italian cookbook, I recommend this one. It reads like poetry; the love of food exudes from it’s pages.

IMG_5468

(See what I mean? If that doesn’t make you want to dive head first into a bowl of pasta I don’t know what would.)

I knew making pasta would be simple – I was unsure if it would be easy. But it was! If you’re intimidated to try it, don’t be. Or just invite me over! We can do it together.

There’s something to say about getting your hands in your food and dirtying up your counters. 

You could mix this in a bowl but that just doesn’t sound like nearly as much fun. Onto my (freshly and thoroughly cleaned) counter goes the flour. I sifted mine, since I wasn’t using the super-fine flour as suggested. Make a well, and plop in the eggs.

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Beat the eggs, and start incorporating flour from the edges of the well.

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(Why yes, I did beat with one hand, and take a picture with the other. Multitasking!)

As the recipe states, once the eggs are no longer runny you can use your hands to incorporate the flour to form a dough. Begin kneading, and incorporate as much flour as you need. (Knead, need!) After kneading for about ten minutes, per instructions, I had a nice ball of dough that I wrapped up and let sit for about half an hour.

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I spent the time vacuuming, instead of standing around impatiently.

Once my carpet was cleaned and the dough had time to rest, I rolled it out – as thin as I could get it. (In hindsight, I could have gone even thinner; nothing wrong with what I had, but it was thicker pasta than you would normally buy.) I folded it over four times, and cut it into thin strips.

They say to salt your boiling water prior to putting in your pasta – “it should taste like the sea”. I usually skip this step in the name of healthy blood pressure. But since this was my inaugural pasta making experience, I decided to keep it authentic. (Sorry, Dad!)

In goes the salt.

In goes the pasta.

In the three minutes it took for the pasta to cook, I defrosted the homemade pesto that I keep in the freezer. Pesto made fresh this past summer with basil from the garden at home, planted and tended to by Dad. Weekend excursions home during the summer to make pesto have become a tradition over the past few years. If you’ve never made or had fresh, homemade pesto – you don’t know what you’re missing.

The pesto goes into the bowl, followed by the cooked pasta. Toss gently, watching the pasta turn that gorgeous pesto green.

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And there it is!

(Yes, I DID wipe the edges of the bowl for no reason other than to make it look pretty!)

Homemade pasta, with homemade pesto.

Happiness.

I meant to throw some chicken in too, but I got so excited to eat it that I totally forgot. I didn’t even miss it. The pasta came out perfectly al dente, the way it should be. And I have to admit, there is a pleasant difference to having salted the water!

I absolutely went back for seconds. And still have leftovers for later today!

I was unsure if the recipe was going to make as much as it said – three servings for a main course. Depending on who you’re serving, it would indeed make three medium sized servings. For a hungry crowd, probably just two. I did have a lot of flour left on the counter that didn’t get incorporated, though.

This is 100% a repeat experience. A bit time consuming, but worth the effort. This would be a great kid-friendly recipe to make, too, for the mommas out there. Tiny hands would be perfect for mixing egg and flour. Messy! But fun for sure.

If anyone tries this recipe themselves, or has made homemade pasta before, let me know how it goes/went!

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Chase Your Stars

How many of you have ever felt stuck?

I don’t mean you ARE stuck – I mean you FEEL stuck. The world is at your fingertips, but for some reason you decide you just can’t go anywhere. Not yet. Not now. Not with life the way it is.

Guess what.

YOU AREN’T STUCK

You get to chase your stars!

I live a charmed life. I have an incredible family. I have an amazing boyfriend. I have a job most people dream of. And, I have the coolest dog in the world.

But lately I’ve felt so stuck. I either have dreams I want to chase, but it doesn’t feel like the right time. Or – I can’t figure out what the next dreams are. Nothing is holding me back; I just feel like there’s nowhere to move.

I’m not a writer. I took the required classes, and did well enough; I just recently graduated from My Dad’s School of Writing and Public Speaking! But throughout life’s tumultuous ups and downs, journaling has been my best release. Writing the thoughts running through my mind onto a piece of paper can quiet my mind and make me feel at ease.

So, instead of letting myself feel stuck –  I’m making a move I’m chasing a star. Maybe it won’t take me anywhere; maybe it will. It’s a step out of my comfort zone, that much is certain. A blog. A public journal, if you will – for all the world to read. And maybe, just maybe it can help someone else feel a little less stuck.

So come on, fools. Let’s chase some stars.

atticus 5

(Thanks, Atticus.)

I love to cook, but it’s not a food blog. I love to workout, but it’s not an exercise blog. I love to craft, but it’s not a DIY blog. I love God, but it’s not a religion blog. I love my family, but it’s not a family blog.

It’s a little bit about a lot! It’s…

For The Love Of Life