everyday

thankful

thanksgiving often gets glazed over by Christmas decor and music, black Fridays and cyber Mondays, the focus on what we don't have yet rather than what we are currently blessed with.

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occasionally I will read a few photo editing articles in vsco's journal for an inspiring perspective on the world through a lens. today i read a piece about three food photographers from serbia, france, and taiwan sharing their experiences of this american ritual we call thanksgiving.

It was interesting to read how they all seemed to revel in the idea of breaking bread together to celebrate the goodness of the year. One photographer described it as a ceremony that began with the passage of a year and a welcoming of a new one to come.

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as I sit here in the airport on the eve of thanksgiving, disgruntled at the fact that our flight has been delayed by two hours, I look at my son who is mesmerized by the sights and sounds and I realize that this isn't a dream and he is here with us and already headed on a grand adventure. 

this past year was frought with sadness and uncertainty, but I feel blessed to be welcoming a new year filled with family I can call my own. 

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Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Recently, I had a meal train created for Keith and I to help us get through the first month of parenting, and one of the main pieces of advice I kept hearing from the mums bringing over meals was lactation cookies.

I wasn't having issues with my milk coming in (mine came in on day 2), but since deciding to exclusively pump, I thought it could be helpful. The only brand I was able to find was one sold at Target (really shocked Whole Foods didn't have anything) and each little bag was 2.50. I tried them. They were okay. The texture was the equivalent of Cookie Crisp cereal in my opinion. So I decided to see if I could make my own.

cookie batter
cookie dough

Technically, I could just eat a bowl of oatmeal with some flaxseed and call it a day, but where is the fun in that? Plus, I needed an excuse to use my KitchenAid mixer. Also, the secret ingredient to better milk supply is supposed to be the brewer's yeast, but if you don't have it or can't find it, oatmeal and flaxseed should still do it. you just won't have super powers like me.

oatmeal cocolate chip

I got the original recipe from here but made some modifications, which I have listed below. This isn't vegan, but you could easily replace the egg. Anyway, I refuse to keep you waiting.

Ingredients

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (or 2 cups rolled oats and 1 cup of steel cut oats for a little crunch)
1 1/2 cups oat flour (if you can't find this at your store, just throw 2 cups of rolled oats in a blender till fine)
5 tablespoons brewers yeast
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons organic unsalted butter
4 tablespoons unrefined organic virgin coconut oil
1 1/2 cups organic coconut sugar
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips/chunks

Directions

Preheat the oven the 350 degrees F.

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, yeast, flaxseed, baking powder, soda, cinnamon and salt.
  2. Beat the butter and coconut oil on medium speed until creamy.
  3. Add in the sugar and beat on medium to high speed until fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needed.
  4. Add in the egg and egg yolk, beating until combined, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Add in the vanilla extract and beat until combined again.
  6. Gradually add in the dry ingredients, beating on low speed until just combined and mixed.
  7. Stir in the chocolate chips with a spatula until they are evenly dispersed.
  8. Scoop the dough into 1-inch rounds and place on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart and slightly flatten with a fork.
  9. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until the bottoms are just golden. Let cool completely before storing in a sealed container.

That's it. Less then ten steps! Do not over bake these! When you take them out, they should still be soft (they will get firmer once cooled so make sure the bottoms are light to medium golden). I have made two batches and made the mistake of leaving the second batch in for an extra minute and they wound up extra crunchy when they cooled.

Also a note on brewer's yeast. Make sure you get one with reduced bitterness or no bitterness. I did not  know there was a choice but thankfully  I did not make this mistake! Anyways, let me know what you think! 

 

Celebrating Two Years

One week out from our anniversary escapade, Keith as usual, had a change of heart about visiting St. Augustine for the weekend and wanted US to think about it a little more. That would have been nice to know YESTERDAY. By US he meant me because planning dates and such caused him anxiety. I knew this to be true, especially when we were just dating. However, I gave it little thought because I had too much on my mind for the week.

When Thursday rolled around, I realized I had seen very little of Keith. Our weekend before had been spent doing our own separate projects in preparation of the summer and our baby. The weekend ahead was doomed to repeat itself, yet there was so much to be done. I decided to kill two birds with one stone. I asked Keith if he would be down for helping me with some nursery projects over the weekend. It was a way for us to connect and accomplish some goals.

ikea kallax shelf
ikea kallax bench hack

I know. How romantic. Actually, I find this to be part of the dance in marriage. I wish I could say we went to Italy or some nonsense like that, but we didn’t and that’s ok. The most important thing to me in our marriage has been just spending time seeing each other. Spending our activities together. I used to fight for my own space within our marriage, but being at home by myself on moderate bed rest has made me come to appreciate the time we have together. If I cannot enjoy my husband in the everyday mundane, then what sort of future is there together?

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Saturday morning we both slept in and snuggled (No euphemism here. Snuggling is the only thing I am allowed to do until the cerclage is removed); Keith made me breakfast (he does this quite often on the weekends, but this girl is not complaining over consistency), and we read our Lent devotional together. We ran errands together and after some lunch, went and started working on the nursery while jamming to some Laura Mvula.

interracial marriage

Sunday, we finished hacking our Kallax shelf into a bench for the nursery, and then went to Ceviche for dinner to celebrate our anniversary since we wouldn’t be able to do it today. Ceviche was where Keith took me four years ago before he asked me if I would be his girlfriend. We celebrated with the paella we were denied four years ago, and topped off the evening with Jeremiah’s.