Unicorns, frozen yogurt, friends and the magic of childhood.

By far the most popular of all the mythical creatures would be the unicorn. This creature is the utmost symbol of magic, miracles, and enchantment. All the qualities that are embodied within the innocence of childhood. My eldest daughter turned 6 and we celebrated her birthday at our local Menchies frozen yogurt shop this weekend. We had a unicorn theme, as most girls her age, she’s smitten with unicorns. It was by far the most magical and enchanting birthday any 6 year old could ask for. With fun decorations, yummy treats and the very best of all….magical friendships.

As we clean up the last balloon, piñata, and sparkle from this special extravaganza I am clearly enraptured by how fast it all goes. We hear the cliche all the time, of how it all goes by so incredibly fast. How you simply blink your eyes and all of a sudden your chubby cheek cooing babe is transformed into a “big kid” vastly developing her own mind and identity as her own hilarious, tender hearted, romantic, loving, smart and nurturing self. As much as it pulls at my heart strings though, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am so grateful to not only know this magical, mythical and enchanting unicorn that is my daughter….. I am the luckiest person in the world to be her mother.

Strawberry Shortcake Girls

Time is fleeting that is for sure. Lately I have been thinking quite a bit by how quickly my girls are growing. Nothing spectacular really…. in fact its a right of passage I suppose, something every parent goes through on a regular basis. Perhaps its because the strawberry fields near our house that we used to go to this time of year, when the girls were smaller recently closed.

I found myself glaring and reminanising over these photos of my girls at the same age strawberry picking. I remember both times were ridiculously stressful, hot & chaotic. Yet when I went over these pictures I found myself in astonishment at how perfect these moments were. These fleeting moments of my little angels babyhood perfectly captured in time.

Then I was struck by the relization that that is life in general. That is the point….. No matter where you are in life…. make sure to breath it in, absorb it…. absolutely relish in it. For it is a fast and fleeting moment like the light to a firefly, but it’s perfect and you will treasure that memory no matter how chaotic it may seem at the time. For it is a beautiful poetic chapter in the story that is your life. One you will read and reread often in your mind.

Below is the recipe of the fresh strawberry cake the girls and I would make each year with all our yummy freshly picked strawberries.

Fresh strawberry cake

  • Difficulty: average
  • Print


Cake ingredients;

  • White cake mix
  • strawberry jello pack
  • 1/4 C Avocado oil
  • 4 Large eggs
  • 1/2 C half & half
  • 1 C of chopped strawberries (frozen or fresh)

Butter cream ingredients;

  • 1/3 C soften butter
  • 3 C powdered sugar
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 2 T half & half
  • 1 C of fresh strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. I start by adding my half & half + strawberries (whole) into either a blender or food processor & blend it up just enough to chop up the strawberries. Next I mix up the strawberries & cream mixture, cake mix, jello pack, & oil. I used 6 inch pans for my cake, but you could easily modify your recipe for a full size cake or sheet cake for easy transport if needed. To prep my pans I typically grease and lightly flour the the pan and cut a circle of parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan. Pour your batter half way up the pan.

Since I used 6 in round pans, I baked each layer of my cake for about 20 min each. Test to see if cake is done by inserting knife in the middle of the cake. If the knife is clean when you remove it, it is done. Remove cake from pan and cool on a cooling rack while you prepare your icing & get your second layer in the oven to as well bake for about 20 min.

While your first cake layer is cooling and your second layer is baking, you prep your strawberry buttercream icing. Mix up your butter and slowly add your powder sugar little at a time. Then add vanilla and half & half. Finally I add the roughly chopped strawberries. While I have the icing stiffening up in the refrigerator I then get the second layer out & cooling. When you are ready to ice the cake you put 1st layer down butt up as I like to call it. Place a dollop of icing and smooth out on top. Place your second layer on top of the icing and again place a dollop of icing on top and smooth on top. I then add a couple more dollops and start to smooth the icing to the sides and then smooth it out to the cakes sides and continue doing so until the sides are all covering with the icing in a rouch icing layer. Then I place the whole cake in the fridge to let the icing harden a bit for about 10 min. Afterwards I repeat the whole layering process again and add a fresh sliced strawberry on top.

http://www.thewing101.com

What’s in your pool bag??

Pool days are back with a vengeance. Summer is in full swing & my hyper little fishies are begging to be back to that water life. Sprinklers, splash pads, beaches, boat days, and of course the pool. It’s the stuff that summer childhood memories are made of. Just like tackling the beach, this momma is coming prepared.

This is an overview of some of our summer essentials I always have in my pool bag when my little mermaids emerge for the summer season.

Sunscreen- I always look for a sport variety because of water/sweating & the sun protection needed. Plus the spray bottles are my go too because it’s so much easier to get my squirmy kids covered quickly.

Reusable water bottle- I try to stay away from the plastic bottles whenever possible.

Wipes-which are essential for literally everything

Goggles & ear plugs

Fun sunglasses

Eye & hand cream-nourishing the most delicate skin as soon as I get in the car

Tinted lip balm-keeping those puckers moisturized & cute.

Neosporin & band aids- scraped knees are a reality with little kids, best come prepared

Ouchless plastic hair bands to keep the girls hair back.

Organic bug repellent- I love this Burt’s bees one with essential oils

Fun beverages- I’m a fan of my ever so functional Yeti beverage cups.

Also not posted here but I always make sure to pack plenty of pool snacks & fluffy towels.

our traditional mermaid uniform consists of fun summer sandals, rash guards…..That Keegan has affectionately renamed kid kinnis. Arm band floaties for Nora bear & I typically always have the girls hair back to prevent crazy hair tangled.

These products are also apart of my sun arsenal. Afterwards we shower down with dr bronners soap ( our favorites are the lavender, rose, and peppermint) the oils soothe the sun kissed skin & I also use a good alcohol free toner like this one to balance & sooth my face after a day out in the sun.

Hope this posts inspires you all with a few good ideas of your own when packing your little merpeoples up for the sunny dog days of summer.

Mothers Day

Some time its necessary….. Its absolutely essential. Do you make the time for you? Do you even remember who the you is? As a parent espcailly a mother…. We become lost…consumed in the everyday and the sacrifices as mothers we feel duty bound to make. Im not suggesting ton abandon your duties ladies or forget those beautiful souls who depend and love on us. Yet sometimes its important to remember the woman you are. Yesterday, for the first time in like 5 years I took time to finish a second cup of coffee out on my porch, then take a long bubble bath and after that take the time to do my yoga. I pushed myself to forget the guilt. The guilt of being the mom to hand the babies over to the dads. To think and actually enjoy myself first. After all are these not the qualities we wish to instill in our children? I want my girls to remember that being a mother doesn’t mean sacrificing the amazing woman you are & that they matter. They are valid. We must remember to be true to are essence & always set the proper example.

All that I am or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.

Abraham Lincon

A Personal Parkinsons Story

Parkinsons disease affects the nerve cells in your brain that produce dopamine. To the outside world when you hear about Parkinson you think of nothing more than tremors.

When in reality those who suffer from the disease, suffer from so much more under the surface than simply tremors alone. Symptoms range anywhere from anxiety, bladder issues, cognitive issues, insomnia, slowed movements, speech clusters and even depression. Its like a wave of underlying symptoms that just cripples one not only physically but their spirit as well. Its a disease that not only grips the affected with fear and guilt but difficult doesn’t even begin to describe how it feels for the family and friends caring for their loved ones affected.

One of my earliest and fondest memories is of bedtime cuddles with my granny. She was a champion cuddler. I would even say it was her ‘thing’ She would cuddle me so tight & we would have heartfelt late night talks about life and such way into the wee hours of the night. I will never forget her cuddling me one night and telling me “how one day I was going to grow up & fall in love & have a family of my own & then cuddle them.” She was a romantic one that granny of mine. I equally have fond memories of my Grandaddy who was the tough hardworking guy from Nashville TN. I remember him being the only one interested to talk to me about stories like the Bell Witch from Adams Tennessee and how he used to play on the Bell farm and the cave on the property where much activity was noted. I always thought of him as such a beautiful man who was the tall tough southern guy who could also be sensitive, loving, and a caring family man. 

Unfortunately, both of my beautiful grandparents suffered from Parkinsons. My grandfather passed away May of 2017 and my Granny recently passed away this past October.

Just like with cancer there are many different types of the Parkinsons disease you or your loved one could be suffering from. Just like with cancer, finding the specific type of this disease is key to finding more effective treatment options and could eventually prove effective in how to find a cure all together.

Below I included my favorite sites for further information on not only the horrible disease but the latest news in treatment options and in how close we are getting to finding a cure overall.

https://parkinson.org

https://www.cureparkinsons.org.uk

Namaste!

The Perfection in the Imperfect Christmas.

The year flew by in a flash, as it usually does. Here we are about a week out from Christmas. Many feel rushed, stressed, and overwhelmed. I just wanted to write a post to send a friendly reminder to you all in the universe. That it’s all ok… It’s ok if you don’t have a specially designed coordinating wrapping paper scheme with all red here or all craft paper there. It doesn’t make you superior in any way, and most certainly doesn’t set you apart from the crowd. If you do have it, and it not something you stress over- in fact its something you enjoy than that’s truly awesome. However for those of you beating yourself up for not having accomplished the perfect instagramable Christmas…. please know your holidays are not ruined. The cookies will sometimes burn, the trees will eivitably get knocked down at some point, and thats ok. That is the nature of life, the imperfections are what make you REAL & to be frank, it’s beautiful. It means you care a great deal to work so hard to make magical memories & that you are fortunate enough to have your health & funds, that your biggest concern is getting everything just right. So take a step back to enjoy this season for yourself as well. You are blessed and you are prefect due to your imperfections. Remember to hug your family, laugh, just sit in the beautiful silence and absorb the energy of goodwill & love all around you. For that love is the most impressive part of the season. Namaste!

Gumbo

Gumbo

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 C flour
  • 3/4 Bacon drippings
  • 1 Package of fresh okra- chopped
  • 1 T of minced garlic
  • 1 package of good kelbsia sasuge
  • 1 carton of reduced sodium chicken broth 
  • 1 T sugar
  • Tony Chachere’s cajun seasoning
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato sauce
  • 1 T white vinager
  • 1 T worchester sauce
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 package of shelled and deveined shrimp
  • White rice to serve on

Instructions

In your pot cook the bacon drippings and the flour, whisk until well blended and then cook the roux for about 20 minutes, stirring constantly. Mix the garlic in the roux and cook for another hour. Whisk in the broth, sugar, cajun seasoning, diced tomatoes, sauce, simmer on medium-low heat for about 5 min. Add whole chicken breast, cover pot and cook for another 25 minutes. After chicken is cooked, remove on a plate- shread chicken and add back to the pot, then add chopped kielbasa, okra and shrimp. Serve over white rice.Enjoy!

http://www.thewing101.com