Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Romania // being thankful

Every year right around Thanksgiving I find myself thinking of my trip to Romania.  It is a trip that allowed me to become more thankful than I ever thought I could be.  And so I share this experience with you in hopes that during the hustle and bustle of the holidays we all slow down and be thankful with full hearts.  
Three years ago I headed off to visit my mom in Romania.  Being the amazing woman she is, she took a sabbatical from work for about six months and headed to Romania to work with the Romanian Studies Program at Veritas.  Veritas, in Latin means truth and truth it is most definitely.  This organization feeds people, takes care of the elderly and the abused, has a place for children to learn, and most of all provides the Roma people with a sense of community.

I had traveled many times before this trip; backpacked through Europe, surfed through Central America, and how could I forget the long flights across country.  But this was different.  And with a full heart I went to give all I had.  After a plane flight or two and a long train ride I found myself in Sighisoara.

For the next ten days I was immersed in a culture I never dreamed I would find so interesting.  Working with the Roma children during their after school program and letting them sit on my lap, read and tell me stories even though I didn't speak the same language made me realize that they were doing more for me than I ever imagined.  God has a sense of humor.   I was communicating better with these Roma children than I did most of America...language barrier and all.  These children just wanted to be heard by someone, they wanted to touch my face, they wanted to make me laugh, and they wanted to learn all about Jonah and the whale {one of my all time favorite bible stories}.  And yet these days spent with these children I felt my scope of life widen.  I began to see more and more how much there is to being alive than the things that tend to fill me up day to day.

I was able to go on home visits with the woman who ran the after school program at Veritas.  She would check in on the kids that were having family trouble, trouble in school, or who hadn't been to the program in a while.  Most of the houses were steps away from the building where the program took place but it almost seemed like a different world.  We were always greeted warmly and invited in.  Sometimes holding babies or small children while the mothers prepared dinner or cleaned.  Most of these homes were only one room that housed the whole family.   Some had heat, furniture, and running water but so many did not.  I always left those home visits in awe because I was completely humbled.  I was more than thankful. 
I saw a vibrant beautiful people who truly have little.  And my perspective grew and changed as I realized what a beautiful life I had been blessed with.  I remember my trip to Romania and the full heart I thought I brought there with me. 
But the truth is my heart was much fuller when I returned.  

Always remember to give thanks.

Monday, November 19, 2012

two ingredient pancakes

 The husband and I have been making an effort to get our 6 am workouts on lately.  But that leaves me hungrier than usual.  Dan cooks up 6 eggs and a whole bunch of bacon for his breakfast but I can stomach that much food in the early morning.  The two ingredient pancake is what I usually make for myself.  There is plenty of protein from the eggs and potassium from the banana helps out my worked out muscles for the rest of the day.

What you need:
 - two eggs {farm fresh if you can find them}
- one really ripe banana
- anything you want to add on top

Mix both of the eggs and the banana in a bowl until smooth.  Pour mixture onto pan, this should make 4-5 smaller pancakes.  These take a while to cook and if you try and flip them to early they will break apart.  So give them some time to cook.  Once they are done add your topping and enjoy!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

what to do with all those instagram photos...

I stumbled on something pretty fabulous this week and I am sure you will love it too.  As I have mentioned before I love me some instagram but what to do with all those photos?  Well my friends printstagram can print all those grand instagram photos for you.

 Printstagram can make your instagram photos into calendars, mini books, stickers, and just plain old prints.  Any of these would make perfect gifts for the holidays {think stocking stuffers} or make it easier for you to display and share all those photos you take on your phone. 

Happy weekend everyone!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

tis the season for pomegranates

Pomegranates are in season right now and every winter I find myself not being able to get enough of this beautiful fruit.  Pomegranate seeds are full of vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants.  Plus they are fabulous for your skin.  I have been using pomegranate seed oil for years in my homemade skin care.  These seeds are packed with all kinds of crazy good nutrients and easy to include into just about everything.

Most places you can buy the seeds already out of the fruit but I usually buy the fruit and get the seeds out myself.  Best way to do that you ask?  First start by cutting the fruit into fourths.  Place the fruit into a bowl of water and pull apart the sections.  Once you have four sections start loosening the seeds from the pulp of the fruit.  The wonderful thing about this little technique is that the seeds will sink and the pulp of the fruit will float, so it is easy to gather the seeds.

So what can you do with these delicious, colorful, nutrient packed seeds?  A lot. 

~ add them to plain or vanilla Greek yogurt with a bit of honey
~ dress up your glass of champagne {my favorite and perfect for the holidays}
~ add them to your favorite salad
~ juice them {if you have a juicer}
~ top your ice cream or other favorite treat with them
~ they are a perfect addition to any fruit salad or smoothie
~ add to your morning cereal or oatmeal
~  yummy in any rice dish
~ the juice from the seeds is perfect for salad dressings, marinades, and cocktails
~ I eat these babies by the spoonful as a snack during the day....delicious

Hope you enjoy dear friends!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

New England snow fall

On Wednesday we had our first New England snow fall.  The first time it snows is always so peaceful and beautiful.  Its stunning really.  The deeper we get into winter the charm of snow wears off and the reality of shoveling and six months of cold weather sets in.  For now I am trying to appreciate this brand new blanket of snow.

When I moved back to New England it took me a while to get in the swing of what to wear around these parts.  I now have a pretty great outerwear wardrobe that keeps me warm.  So if you are getting ready for the cold winter {or maybe it has already begun} check out some of my favorites to keep me toasty.

 {coat // northface, socks // target, mittens // jcrew, scarf // gap, boots // REI}

I hope everyone has a warm and happy weekend!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

the first weekend in November

I love the beginning of any month.  It is a new start, a clean slate but other than paying rent nothing to exciting happens.  This month was a little different, we celebrated and honored a life.  

On Saturday night we attended SSG. Robert Ryan Pirelli 5th Annual Comedy and Entertainment Night {all the proceeds go to a scholarship fund in Rob's name}.  It is a night to honor a dear friend of Dan's who never made it home from Iraq.  I never had the privilege of meeting Rob but on Saturday my husband spoke so fondly of him and told me stories of when they first met and the time they spent together.  If you know Dan you know that he is a man of few words and he is not a storyteller {that's my job}, so when he does recount his past or start to tell me a story I take it all in.  We have been able to spend time with the Pirelli family and I realized that they have become such a part of our own family over these past few years; they always welcome us with open arms.  

It is hard for me to see the big picture of things sometimes.  Loss is such a difficult thing to wrap my mind around, almost impossible to understand.  And what I experienced on Saturday night was a family that supports and loves each other through and through.  They have lost something so dear to them and still they come together to remember him in laughter.  It is something to hold on to and learn from. 
We will all experience loss in our lives and there are million ways to deal with it but those who deal with it in love truly have the right idea.

On that note....
If you are looking for a way to get rid of your left over Halloween candy or just want to send some things to the men and women that are overseas here is a great link.
Operation Gratitude