8-25-14

Well- it has been a long while since I last posted. Life has been busy in many amazing ways. First- our eBay business has been taking off, which is funny because it was only meant to be a temporary deal and we are really over it, so we are not actively collecting any more goods to sell and are hoping to have everything listed and sold in the next 6 months. But it has allowed DH and I to work from home for the last few months and to start on our new project… a Tiny House!!! We have been planning on refurbishing an older school bus, but decided that we would rather start from scratch. So we sold one of our cars and bought a specially made made trailer from Ronco Trailers in Vista, Ca.
Here is a picture:

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I figured out our floor plan and the style we want. We planned out the floor and are organizing our build site right now. In three days, we will buy most of the supplies we need and get started. Yay!!!

We are lucky 1) that we have a large level private driveway to work on 2) that grandma lives with us and will help with the kids for a while each day 3) that we have a whole month where we only have to work part time at eBay and my studies so we can devote a lot of time to the house 4) that we have a lot of the tools necessary for the project (in fact, I think the only large tool we need is a chop saw 5) DH is quite handy and crafty and we are both ardent DIYers and 6) Home Depot gave us a large line of credit and just sent us a no interest for 2 years deal. All awesome!

So beside spending amazing time with my beautiful kids and studying for my national acupuncture license, I will be building my own house on wheels—
Here is a link to the style we are planning:

http://tinyhousetalk.com/fortune-cookie-tiny-house-balcony/

And the floor plan:

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We even started a new blog (ourblissfullifeblog.wordpress.com) which will detail the technical process of the build as well as our adventures after…for we are planning on finishing up by next spring and heading on up to the pacific NorthWest. We have lived up there before and loved it and are soooo excited to be moving back up. We are planning on either renting/ leasing our own piece if land or sharing with some good people. This will allow us to save money for our own property in that area! Maybe even in the next year or two. Needless to say, it will be a lot of work, but we are ready. Teenage daughter- not so much. But it will build all of our characters and allow us to do the things which help us be in our bliss- and that is the most important thing.

My Day 5-15-14

Wow. I was worried I would not sleep well last night, but the excitement of yesterday wore me out. Today was low-key. A little puttering in the garden, swimming with the boys, some Game of Thrones and Supernatural with DD, more wreath-making. Lots of Facebook. I need to catch up with the world. Put myself out there as a strong confident woman. Or maybe just look at funny pictures of cats…
I also started to work again on eBay, but DH was out working all day, so I focused on being a mom. Without too much cleaning. I spent that time relaxing with the wee ones and connecting electronically. I’ll try harder tomorrow- I promise.
I am feeling a bit off energetically. There is so much that my brain wants to do and accomplish yet my soul just wants to bathe in the glory if my children and husband and friends and family. What a crazy balance.
I want to live in abundance but to get there I need to relax and enjoy the ride. Every time it start to stress, I lose the magic and I feel off and that affects my reality. So my new mantra is “roll with it”.

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Pretty little head wreaths

 

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This fell on my foot today.  Was it irony or a firm reminder from the universe?

Fuel 5-15-14

What a wierd eating day for me. Lots of comforting carbs and fat and salt.
Breakfast: rice noodles with butter and Parmesan, pear kombucha, mango
Lunch: DS’s leftover noodles with some Niman Ranch pork chops in herb sauce (recipe soon)
Dinner: grandma made chinese. Yum.
Snacks: small organic coffee with coconut sugar and coconut cream

My Day 5-13-14

Garden: Birds chirping. Cool air. Moisture. Flowers and leaves and fruits. Greens and pinks and purples.
I spend as much time here in my little oasis as possible. I have barely been working because I just can’t get enough 1)garden time 2)bliss time with my kids. Oh well- this is the stuff I’ll remember when I am 90. Besides the garden, I had a lovely errand time with my DD. Even though I have been researching and ordering samples for alternative fabrics like hemp and organic cotton, I broke down and went to the local fabric store to get supplies for our costumes for an upcoming festival. I am envisioning light gauzy wide leg pants with a draped top, a fluttery pixie skirt, a boxy lacy floral top , feather earrings, and lots of floral head wreaths. I think we might even have enough wreaths to sell. The only bummer part of the day was when I realized that the package of Niman Ranch pork ribs that I was going to make for dinner was really really not good. Boo. Otherwise it was “business” as usual- swimming, Adventure Time, and crazy kids.

Done With School and Vacay. Yay!

I made it!!! I am finally (almost entirely) done with school.  I still have to do an online study class and study on my own for my license exams.  That program was one of the hardest things I have ever done.  Not just the actual learning, but the time it took away from my kids and the stress it put on my relationship.  I almost didn’t make it.  But I did, and I am here now.  And now I have time for all of the projects that I have been dreaming about do for the last 5 years.

The first thing we did was take a vacation.  I needed to get out of town and up to Northern California.  It worked out perfectly for us to go up as a family for a few days and then for my Mom to take the kids for a few days.  We drove up to Sacramento to visit an old friend and his fun little boy.  We stayed in one of the worst Motel 6’s.  But then we got to Arcata and checked into the Days Inn, which was very nice.  I barely cooked for four days.  We went to visit the redwoods and the Farmers Market and showed the kids the houses they were born in and the beaches we used to go to.  We visited with old friends and ate at old and new restaurants.  I was particularly impressed with Abruzzi Italian Restaurant.  I bad an amazing Filet Mignon with gnocchi in blue cheese cream sauce.  So good.  The gnocchi were light and fluffy like pillows.

And water came out of the sky!!! Sometimes, living in sunny Sam Diego, I forget that happens. We didn’t do everything I was hoping for, but our last day with the kids, everyone was tired and grumpy, so we rested before Grandma came to get the kids.

and then…DH and I got to go to Harbin Hot Springs alone.  From the moment we got there till the moment we picked up the kids, we did as little as possible.  We slept in, we dawdled as we walked, we lounged in the warm pool hugging for hours, we layer on the deck in the sun and did yoga occasionally.  And when we were hungry, we cooked food that we wanted.  I made simple vegetarian food, as it is a communal vegetarian kitchen, but it tasted sooo good combined with relaxation and all of the walking we did.  We so love Harbin that we have actively been looking at residency there, but that is a future possibility.

the drive home was awful, with LA traffic, but we made it in one go and have slowly been recovering.  And starting all of those projects I have dreamt of for years.

Thanks for reading.  Here are some visual highlights:

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Redwood Forest, Arcata, CA

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Moonstone Beach, Trinidad, CA

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Chapman’s Gem and Mineral Museum/Shop

 

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Coming home to Harbin Hot Springs…

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And we made it!                                                     have you ever wondered what can fit inside a tiny dome?

 

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Hiking at Harbin                                                   Deer everywhere- this is right outside of our dome

 

Homemade (Paleo) Blender Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise is simple, but has do be done right or it will not set up properly.  The basic ingredients are an egg, a cup of oil, and seasonings.  I have chosen to use a pastured, soy-free egg, 3/4 cup of lard (melted), 1/4 cup of olive oil, a pinch of coconut sugar, a pinch of sea salt, 2 teaspoons of dijon mustard, and 2 teaspoons of rice vinegar.  But I recommend adjusting seasonings to taste.

I put the egg and all of the seasonings in the blender jar and whip for 15 seconds then slowly started to add a stream of oil/lard.  It is just like making a salad dressing.  After all of the oil/lard is added, it may look a bit thin, but it will set up quickly, especially if you use a saturated fat, which will be more solid after it sets.  Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week, but eat liberally as there is a lot of healthy and tasty fat.

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Yes- that is a Talenti Gelato container.  It used to be one of my favorite splurges.  But I have recently been making the B.E.S.T. coconut ice cream- I have made Strawberry, Mint chocolate chip, Rocky Road, Chocolate Chip, and Chocolate.  I’ll post a recipe soon, and I might be marketing them soon as well!  More to come…

 

My Nutritional Odyssey

I have been doing a lot of experimenting with my nutrition lately.  I seem to have come full circle, as I am wont to do.  I have been leaning toward the Paleo side of things for a couple of years and decided last winter to cut out all grains to see how I reacted.  I felt better for a while- lost a few pounds, skin cleared up, less aches and pains.  But after a couple of months, my energy tanked.  I decided to try adding in a lot of healthy fats – coconut oil/milk, high fat dairy, more nuts, and that helped for a bit, but still was not enough.  Then I read Matt Stone’s books and the website Eat More 2 Lose Weight and decided to add in a lot more calories.  It turns out that, being a busy mom, breastfeeding, homeschooling, full time student, part time business owner, was taking it’s toll on me and I was not nourishing my body enough for it to function properly.  So I added grains back in (mostly gluten free, but some wheat when that was all that was available) and tried to add in more cheese for a while to keep my calories up.  But my skin started freaking out again and I gained 15 pounds.  Both of which I expected, as per my reading as talking with others that have used this approach.  But then I came to a point where the aches and pains were back, my skin was at an all-time freak out high, and I was constantly bloated and sluggish feeling.  But I had energy.  Argh!!!  I decided to go back to my old style of eating- mostly gluten-free, low dairy, high veggie, with room for splurges.  And now my energy is good, aches and pains are slowly subsiding, my skin is clearing up, and I am slowly losing weight again.  At this point, I am eating eggs, coconut milk/cream/oil/flour/sugar, lots of low-fiber veggies, some well-cooked high fiber veggies, small amounts of fruit (mostly berries, occasional banana in a smoothie, mangoes, watermelon), some nuts/seeds, white rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, nuts and seeds, arrowroot and tapioca starches, lard/tallow, olive oil, chocolate, Kombucha, Water Kefir, pickles, saurkraut, all kinds of meat, and small amounts of gluten and dairy.  I am trying to get in enough calories that I have energy to fuel my non-stop days, making those calories as nutrient dense as possible and as tasty as possible.  And keeping each meal’s serving of carbs low enough to not spike my blood sugar/insulin and overall carbs low enough to slowly lose these extra pounds that are keeping me from feeling optimal.