Friday, January 23, 2015

Ta-Ta For Now

It's not as if I've actually been blogging here these days, but read this post below from my other blog, On A Butterfly's Wings, to learn about my blogging plans:

Recently an inspirational mama, and talented etsy shop owner (check out her beautiful hand stamped pieces here!), posted a giveaway on Instagram asking which word or Bible verse you would choose to represent 2015 for yourself. The word "balance" immediately came to mind. I have always been someone who struggles with saying no and takes on way more than I should. Having a newborn baby really brought this into perspective. I've realized that I need to cut some things out and find balance in my life. I can't and don't need to do it all, and I want to make sure that what I am doing I am doing well--first and foremost being a wife and mommy.

Before I started this sacred space for Emma I had another blog, A T-Shirt and Pearls. The more time I put into On A Butterfly's Wings the less I put into A T-Shirt and Pearls. Along with everything else I've committed myself to, managing two blogs was too much. The time factor aside, I didn't have the energy or desire to blog about "trivial" things when I had so much raw aching emotion I needed to work through here. Keeping the word "balance" in mind, I have decided to stop pretending that I plan to write again on A T-Shirt and Pearls, and I will be consolidating everything here onto On A Butterfly's Wings.

The grief over Emma's death is still real and present, but it is no longer my only identity. My story is changing and growing, and On A Butterfly's Wings will represent that. There will still be posts dealing with grief and sharing about my sweet Emma, but there will be other posts too. Recipes, DIY projects, baby stuff. On A Butterfly's Wings is where I found myself again and I will continue to share myself here. This blog will change as I have changed.

I hope that you will continue to visit with me here. I hope we can connect whether we're aching, hoping, living, loving, or just having a little fun. Thank you for sharing in my journey. xoxo

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Overnight Oatmeal

Breakfast is a hard meal for me to plan. I want something quick and easy, especially with school getting ready to start again, but I also want something clean, healthy, and filling.

The other night I was browsing on Pinterest (where all of the best ideas come from, of course) and I came across a link to this post over at The Yummy Life about no-cook overnight refrigerator oatmeal. I loved that the oatmeal is prepped overnight, which will be a major time saver for me in the mornings. With ingredients like oatmeal, chia seeds, and fat free greek yogurt I knew it would also be healthy and clean, not to mention filling!

The flavor suggestions in the post all sounded delicious, but I decided to use what I had on hand to create my own overnight oatmeal flavor. I'm finishing up a bowl right now, and I must say it's pretty delicious! 

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Overnight Oatmeal
Adapted from The Yummy Life 

1/4 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup milk (I used low-fat milk--I think almond or coconut should work and would be yummy)
1/4 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt 
1 1/2 teaspoons chia seeds
1-2 teaspoons maple syrup (100% pure, not pancake syrup. You could also sub honey or another sweeter of your choice.)
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1-2 tablespoons raisins
Splash of vanilla extract

In a half-pint mason jar (or Tupperware container), add oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds, and maple syrup. Close the lid and shake well to combine all ingredients. Open your container and add in the cinnamon, raisins, and vanilla extract. Stir to incorporate. Refrigerate overnight and in the morning enjoy a ready-to-go, yummy, healthy breakfast! 

FYI--this is supposed to be eaten cold. It's a little strange at first, but if you get the idea of hot oatmeal out of your head it works. I think of this recipe as more of a play on chia seed pudding.

Make sure to stop by The Yummy Life and check out all of her overnight oatmeal recipes. She has lots of delicious ones from which to choose! 

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Best BBQ Turkey Burger

This burger is dee-licious, and mostly healthy too! We had some raw veggies on the side and it was the perfect summer meal. 

A note on the raw veggies: We've recently started using the NutriBullet to make green smoothies, and part of their transformation plan is incorporating more raw veggies into your meals. We've found it to be a yummy change in our diet, and I won't lie, it's so much easier to prepare dinner now! 

The Best BBQ Turkey Burger 

1 package lean all natural ground turkey
Ground mustard
Garlic powder
Worcestershire sauce
BBQ sauce
Panko bread crumbs

Sweet onion, sliced into rings
Colby Jack cheese

Mix turkey, spices, worcestershire sauce, BBQ sauce, and bread crumbs in a bowl. Add the spices to taste. I tend to be a little more heavy handed when cooking with turkey because I think it needs a little help in the flavor department. I did a few shakes of worcestershire and about a tablespoon of BBQ sauce. You don't need much panko, maybe a few tablespoons. It helps to hold the patties together on the grill. 

Grill the burgers and the sweet onion rings (I added a little oil and salt and pepper to the onions first). Once the burgers and onions are done you will assemble the burgers while they are still on the grill. Put some grilled onion rings on top of each burger. Squeeze a small amount of BBQ sauce on the center of each burger (it fits perfectly in the hole in the center of the onion rings!). Layer the colby jack cheese on top and close the grill lid until the cheese is melted. 

That's it! We served them bun-less with some fresh sliced avocado and a mix of raw sugar snap peas and baby carrots. 


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

RVA and Why You Need to Know About It

Richmond, Virginia, or RVA, as it is affectionally nicknamed by those who call it home, is an amazing city with which you really should be familiar. It has created an eclectic, unique identity for itself over the last 10 years and now offers something for every scene: art, food (my favorite!), culture, outdoors, healthy living, business, etc. In my opinion, what ever you want Richmond has to offer, and its given with a dose of Southern charm. I don't sound like someone who didn't grow up here, do I?

A month or so ago I was contacted by Zillow about participating in an article about RVA for their blog. I was excited for this opportunity, and honored that this little 'ol blog got to share something on their big old blog. I jokingly wondered if they had some kind of computer program that revealed I spend way too much time on Zillow. They probably thought, hey this is our kind of girl! Seriously though, I love love my house, but those who know me know I dream of finding our second home. It will be out of the suburbs of Richmond and a little bit into the country. Now, not too far. I still want to go to Target and Kroger! I do want a few acres with a view. A back deck that I can sit on and not be able to see another house. Ah, someday. But anyway, whenever I start daydreaming about this future house I always get on Zillow to see what I can find. It was a pretty awesome coincidence when an email from Zillow popped up in my inbox. 

The RVA article went live on the Zillow blog today, including a few contributions from yours truly. Check it out HERE to learn all about our awesome city and get to know the other contributors.

View from the pipeline trail along the James River, RVA

I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own

Monday, July 7, 2014

Honey Lime Grilled Shrimp Salad

One of my favorite things about spring and summer is cooking on the grill. Not only do things cooked on the grill taste amazing, but it makes for easy cleanup. Anything that has me doing less dishes is a win in my book.

If you've been here before you know my recipes (unless I'm baking) don't really include measurements. I like to consider it part of my cooking philosophy: relax, have fun, and throw in a little of this and a little of that…or maybe I'm just a little lazy. Seriously, I should probably re-name this blog, "Sorry Ya'll I don't Measure When I Cook". Regardless, I hope that you can make my recipes work for you. Cooking shouldn't be about following a bunch of rules, so take my idea, make it your own, and enjoy!

Honey Lime Grilled Shrimp Salad

Olive oil
Juice of 1 fresh lime
Garlic Powder
Fresh cilantro

Chopped romaine
1-2 ears of corn, husks removed, grilled, and cut off the cob
Avocado, sliced
Grape tomatoes, halved
Sliced red onion
Grilled marinated shrimp

Make the same as the marinade only omit the garlic powder.

How to make it
Mix marinade ingredients in a bowl. You want slightly more olive oil than lime juice, about a 2:1 ratio. Use a smaller portion of the honey. It will emulsify your marinade (basically make your oil and acid combine.) Take your raw, cleaned, and deveined shrimp and toss them in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Brush your ears of corn with some olive oil and grill until corn is tender and slightly charred, once cool cut the corn off of the cob. (TIP: Stand the ear of corn in a bowl to cut the kernels off. The kernels will fall into the bowl rather than flying all over your kitchen). Grill the shrimp until cooked through.

Toss all salad ingredients together and top with dressing. Enjoy!

This salad is light, fresh, and perfect for a hot summer night. I especially love making homemade dressings to go along with my salads. Store bought dressings are full of extra salt and ingredients I can't even pronounce. My basic formula for homemade dressing is an oil (usually olive), an acid (vinegar or fresh citrus juice work well), an emulsifier (mustard or honey are my go-tos), and some seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic, fresh herbs, etc.)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Spring Allergies and a Natural Fix!

I love the spring. I love the warm sun, the bright green leaves, the flowers blooming, the longer days, sitting on the deck, and the promise of summer. I don't love allergies.

I was recently contacted by AllergEase to see if I was interested in trying their all-natural allergy lozenges. I'm big into all-natural products, and I suffer from seasonal allergies, so I was excited for this opportunity. 

AllergEase is an all-natural lozenge which works to help fight seasonal allergies. I was pleasantly surprised with the flavor of the drops. In my mind I had compared the drops to Cold-Eeze, which do not taste so great (they give my mouth a weird numb feeling and bad flavor). AllergEase however tasted kind of like drinking a cup of minty honey lemon tea. Pretty tasty for an all-natural herbal supplement. 

I have not used enough of the drops yet to make a statement about their effectiveness, but the reviews and research out there are promising. 

I have decided to share this product with you all by giving away one box of AllergEase all-natural allergy lozenges. The box contains 21 lozenges, so it will get you well on your way to allergy relief!

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below with your favorite spring time activity you enjoy when allergies aren't getting you down! The giveaway will close in one week, on Monday, April 11, 2014 at 8:00 pm EST. U.S. entries only please. 


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Dreaming of Spring

We have had an unusually snowy winter here in Richmond this year. As a teacher, I have loved getting some snow days, but now I am ready for sunshine, warm breezes, leaves and flowers sprouting, and spending some much needed time outside.

I hung my spring/summer wreath on the front door yesterday, a simple DIY you can find here, and I am not embarrassed to say I have had my spring mantle up since I took down my Christmas decorations. The time between Christmas and spring is a weird time for decorating anyway. By the time Christmas is over I am done with winter and am ready for spring, so I figure why not bring spring inside. 

Here is my spring mantle look. I created it with items found around my house, which is the best kind of decorating because its free! 

I love the pops of greenery for a fresh bright look. The yellow birdie was a Hobby Lobby find a few years ago (although I feel like they often have things like that), and the fresh tulips are from Trader Joe's. I was lucky and happened to be in Trader Joe's when the tulips were on special for $1.99 a bunch. Prices like that make splurging on fresh flowers an easy decision!

Even though there is leftover snow outside of my window right now, a weather forecast of temperatures in the 60s this week, and coming home to this cheery front door, give me hope that spring is closer than I think.