a little [MadeByGirl] blog love.

It is no secret that I love blogs.  The creativity of the women behind the blogs I read daily astounds me!  I can't help but feel inspired. [And simply want to live better!]  Jen Ramos is the woman behind MadeByGirl.  Not only does she pen MadeByGirl she also has an online shop.  Her paper goods and typographical posters are to die for.   

Her original paintings are gorgeous!

And now, just in time for Valentine's Day, she has put together Cartas de Amor.  A sort of online magazine that she created. It features love letters contributed by 18 bloggers, plus gifts, recipes, and
ideas for the love(s) in your life.  It is stunning actually.  Take a peek..... Cartas de Amor.
 {via MadeByGirl}

You really do need to check out Jen Ramos and all of her creativity.  It is inspiring!  


in my ear[buds]

World Spins Madly On :: The Weepies
[perfect for lazy days in dreary February]


banana oatmeal chocolate chunk muffins

If you are trying to make every calorie count, but need a little sweet in your life...I have just the muffin for you!  Wholesome goodness and easy to make.
{oats, banana & flax make this muffin hearty}

{quality chocolate chunks add just enough sweet}

{perfect for the on-the-go breakfast or mid-afternoon treat}

2 cups almond meal/flour (Bob's Red Mill is the easiest to find.)
1 cup oats
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup almond milk
 2 eggs
1 TBSP. baking powder
1 tsp. pure vanilla
1 TBSP ground flax seed
2 TBSP light agave nectar
1/2 cup {or maybe a bit more} semisweet baking chunks.  (I used Scharffen Berger.)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix all ingredients together.  [Yes, it is that easy!].  Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray.  Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full.  Bake 20-25 minutes, until muffins begin to brown around the edges.  Let cool and remove from tin.  

Recipe adapted from:

**I used gluten free oats, so my muffins were gluten and dairy free. 


when your kids do wrong

[more innocent times. sweet little hands.]

When my kids do wrong it is heartbreaking.  I love these two little beings more than life itself and yet it isn't enough to keep them from making mistakes.  Yes, falling down is part of growing up, but as a parent it is saddening and even embarrassing.  I quickly begin to question my skills as a mother and expose all my shortcomings. It must be my fault somehow, right?

I am raising two boys.  The adventure that lies ahead is often staggering to think about.  Over the past year or so, I have formulated a few guidelines for myself.  Really, its just my way of finding a way to survive this crazy ride!

1.  Be firm, follow through, but remind them just how much I love them.  
Yes.  There is a consequence for a bad decision.  However, I remind myself to tell them clearly, "What you did is not ok, but I still love you and I know you will do better."

2.  Keep talking to a minimum.  
They tune me out after the first 30 seconds.  I have to choose words that will have impact.  The point needs to be made quickly if it is to penetrate the mind of a young boy. 

3.  Don't apologize for them.
Every fiber of my being fights this!  When my kids have messed up, the first thing I want to do is apologize.  I want the injured party to know just how serious this is to me.  In the past few months, I have stopped myself from doing this. While it is true I am sorry it happened, I can't own it for them.   As I speak [or type an email] to an adult, teacher, principal, or coach I convey how very disappointed I am in the actions of my son.  However, if an apology is to come - it must come from my child.  He must own it.  Not me.

Please know that my process may also include crying [privately or in public], some yelling, a whole bunch of crazy unleashed on my husband, and seeking solace with my girlfriends and a glass(es) of wine.   

No one is perfect {including kids} and we're all in this together.  At least we should be.
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