Love Always Wins

I feel a ridiculous amount of joy when I’m able to connect with somebody in the elevator on my way into the office in the morning. When the woman in line at Target and I bond over our love for the same simple chapstick that we each buy in bulk.When the sweet and incredibly shy man who has repeatedly made me the perfect sandwich for 2 years at my favorite lunch spot finally looks me in the eye and grins at my attempt to start conversation, when I swear to god I’ve tried to get a smile out of him forever. And when I order a coffee and the barista grins and proudly says “Well look at that!

Beautiful moments shared with complete strangers rock my world. This little love note made my day. And it reminded me that no matter what shape or form it comes in or who delivers it love always wins. 
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Recipe: Chocolate Pomegranate Bark

When I met Ryanne, a close friend of mine, one of the first things we bonded over was food, especially one of the key things in both our diets: chocolate. Seriously. We’ve been through a lot since then. But one of our favorite things to do is cook, especially if the 49ers are playing or the Bachelor/Bachelorette is on.

Ryanne and I work together but she recently had her babygirl and is working from home. But we still chat via Skype everyday so it’s almost as good as sitting across from her at the office. As usual we picked a recipe during the week and got together over the weekend to catch up and cook. We decided to make Chocolate Pomegranate Ginger Bark to give as gifts to friends for the holidays. Because chocolate makes us happy, and we obviously want to share that happiness.

We found the recipe on Pinterest, but you can head over to the blog B&D (Baking & Design) for the recipe. It’s delicious and I had to practice a lot of self-control while gift wrapping it because I wanted it all for myself.

Enjoy!

Pomegranate Bark

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Reality Check & Staying Humble

I watched the bill on the register add up “$5…$10…$13…$18.59..” I politely stopped the woman at the cashier who I’ve known for years. I was at Reams, our neighborhood grocery store I went to with my mom growing up.

Can you please remove the most expensive items in order to drop the price to $17.00?” A year ago this would have made my heart stop & my eyes possibly well up with tears from embarrassment. There were at least 4 people in line behind me. Instead, I gave them a warm smile & apologized for the delay.

I’m two days from pay day & this is normal. I’ve planned for groceries & gas until then. I watch my budget carefully each month & I only purchase the things that I need. Let’s just say there aren’t any random shopping splurges or moments that lack gratitude in my life. At first this was an adjustment for me. But now I remember that living on my own is a luxury, and that this is my reality.

When I was younger I imagined that I would feel some sort of shame and embarrassment in this situation. Thankfully my life has dramatically changed and I have been exposed to the real world and the strict rules my independence casts. And I’m more than okay with it, because my struggles are blessings in others eyes.

As I grabbed my bags of groceries and walked out of the store I did not feel anything negative. In fact I felt proud that I had remembered my limit, made a plan, and stuck to it. The man directly behind me smiled and gave a little chuckle with a nod. It gave me comfort knowing that he understood. It was an overall humbling experience, and it certainly won’t be the last.

I live a very fortunate life. I have a job I love, a roof over my head, warm clothes, a meal on the table, clean water… a family that helps me when they can. I could go on. I swear my prayers turn into rambles because of this exact reason.. I am so thankful.

So many people live paycheck to paycheck (or on food stamps) with children, illnesses, and unstable living situations. And they accept that with grace. I look up to those who make it work, find creative ways to make do, and walk out of the store with their head held high knowing that it doesn’t reflect on them. It’s just life.

When I wake up in the morning and my eyeballs are swollen shut from sleeping so hard I just lay there and think “Wow, this is mine.” And that is what motivates me to work hard everyday and accept these reality checks when they happen (and they happen often) These are the things that keep me grounded.

I found a fantastic new food blog called Budget Bytes. I was so excited when I found it because each recipe is not only delicious but there is a price on all the items it calls for. Tonight I made Garlic Parmesan Kale angel hair pasta. It was guilt-free love, and is now a new favorite recipe of mine. Quick, easy, healthy, and inexpensive ($4, as a matter of fact)

Whether you’re on a tight budget or not I recommend visiting Budget Bytes. And don’t forget to welcome moments like this with love and strength, because we all need a reminder to stay humble :)

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Too much at….. too early

No, I am not your alarm clock, I’m better… well, not really, but I’m trying be. Okay look, I know Mondays are like the last donut in the box that nobody wants to touch because everyone has touched it at least once aaand… its gross. But suck it up, put your big girl/boy panties on (all styles accepted), twirl/shake it through a mist of your favorite perfume/cologne, slip into your favorite ‘I feel goood… shoot, I look good too!‘ outfit and play your favorite album on your way to work & sing at the top of your lungs. Yup. Even if you take: Trax/the bus/your bike/rollerblades/wings/disco-make-you-fly-sneaks. Just sing baby! And have a fantastic day to ring in the new week!

I’m trying to offer a blog that everyone can benefit from. I know that has not always been the case (my apologies) Here are a few things to browse while you enjoy your breakfast of champions AKA the last donut. Don’t worry……. I won’t tell anyone, as long as you wipe that scowl off your face & smile before your boss gets in.

All my annoying-ly happy-thoughts-at….too-early, Bee

Somethin’ out of nothin’

It’s too warm to drink hot tea right now, so when I fell in love with this sun-tea jar I ran straight home & put it to work. Sure is hard work… Sitting there, making something sweet out of nothin’. I’d like to be like that someday.

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Green tea + peach tea + sunshine = Gold

I don’t add sugar to mine unless I am craving something sweet — then I remember I don’t like super sweet tea, so I  usually go eat ten otter pops instead. Sorry I’m not sorry about it.

Enjoy, xoxo 

Desperate Measures

My beloved french press broke this morning during a caffeine withdrawal. I’m so sad about it. All ya’all coffee-fiends know exactly what kind of shit show was going on in my kitchen when this all went down.

My hair was curly & sticking out in every direction from bedhead and my robe was tied in some kind of boyscout knot just in case. One sock is long & the other um… isn’t. Basically, I’m a wreck up from the neck up & some. Logan lets me down when it comes to a good cup of joe, so desperate times call for desperate measures….

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I boiled water & put my coffee grounds in my measuring cup. Then I let it steep for 4 minutes, stirred it & began my lovely filtering process. I used my wee tea strainer (made for individual cups) until I had a full cup of coffee. Clearly not messing around here…

Then I took my proud & crafty self out on my porch & pretended to enjoy my coffee outside. That was quite the treat until I remembered how much I hate the wind (damnitttt). It’s just as nice on my couch with all of the windows open, so I am one happy girl. The best part is I’m not eating my hair while trying to sip my ground-free-coffee.

That’s a lie. The best part is that today is my day off & I get to spend it getting educated & loving/being loved by my sweet Andy.

Sometimes when you want something you have to figure out how to get it for yourself. And I was not about to go to class without at least one cup of coffee. I hope you’re having a fabulous day & that you don’t run into anything that interferes with you & your daily dose. All my love, Bee

A potion for Spring

I have really wanted to share this concoction that can make it feel a little more like Spring in your home with a few simple ingredients. Unfortunately, I was not able to find all of the ingredients at my local grocery store, so I will share in high hopes that you will be able to find what you’ll need.

(Thank you to “One more moore” where I found this lovely potion)

You need a small stockpot filled about 2/3 full with water. 1 lemon, sliced, and a few sprigs of rosemary. Then add 1-2 tsp of vanilla. Add water throughout the day as needed. You can keep the same mixture for around 2 days but after that you will need to throw it out.

Ooh the things I’d do for my own herb garden (or my mothers) — Let me know if any of you try it out. Cheers to Spring & the birth of new & beautiful things!