Spicy Orange Greens and more!

Sorry I’m a day behind… But here is the recipe for the Spicy Orange Greens that I made the other night. It is from the cookbook Everyday Happy Herbivore by Lindsay Shay Nixon. Before I typed it out, I googled it to see if it was already publicized anywhere online and I hit the jackpot! Turns out that the makers of Forks Over Knives (an awesome documentary that you should go check out right this minute!) had compiled 5 of Lindsay’s Happy Herbivore recipes in one place! I have personally made all of these except the sweet potato dal, which is dog-eared in my cookbook as one I’ve been wanting to try. They’ve all been delicious. In fact I haven’t been disappointed with one single recipe I’ve ever made from the Happy Herbivore cookbooks or web site.

The Spicy Orange Greens recipe is included in this, and the cool part is that even though I used broccoli and quinoa for it, it can be modified many ways. Todd doesn’t care for the texture of quinoa, so I put his over brown rice. You can even change the greens to use collards or kale or whatever. The spicy orange sauce is delicious and you can adjust it to your own tastes very easily. Follow this link for all 5 of these recipes from Happy Herbivore!



Advice from a 2nd grader

Every year my students write an advice letter to next year’s crop of 2nd graders. They mention some things they liked about our class and some things the new students need to make sure they pay attention to. I always crack up reading these. I love that they always seem to talk about serious business! I’m spoiled by these amazing kids.




I Haven’t Washed My Face in a Month

Okay, well that’s not an entirely true statement. Let me rephrase:

I haven’t washed my face with soap in a month. Or face wash, or cleanser, or exfoliant scrub, or facial cream or any other sort of generally acceptable stuff people use to clean the funk off a face.

Now before you go unfriending me from Facebook and deleting the link to this blog because you think I’m a completely unclean weirdo… Let me explain.

A while back, when I was reading through yet another blog-I-found-through-a-blog-through-some-other-blog, I stumbled upon Simple Mom. Something about natural this or simplify that caught my eye there, and I was hooked on this lady’s pretty little pages. Then one day I stumbled across this post about cleaning your face naturally, which gives an incredibly comprehensive teaching on how to clean your face with oil.

Um, excuse me…what?? OIL. Olive oil, that is. Same stuff as in your kitchen. Usually mixed with Castor Oil, too. Yeah, people…that’s what it said. My eyes could hardly believe that business as I read the words of this seemingly-otherwise-normal lady describing how she puts straight olive oil in the palm of her hands, rubs it all into her skin, then steams her face and wipes it off. Ummm, yeah…sign me right up for that. I envisioned a cheesy commercial with a lady in a gauzy white dress skipping through a flowery meadow with the breeze blowing her hair as I read claims of how great her skin felt after voluntarily participating in this insane ritual of face-greasing. That is just all kinds of crazy.

Fast forward a while and I’m checking out some other chick’s blog… The site is called Sorta Crunchy, and much like before, I was enamored by the cute little header on the main page and fun posts all over the place. Then, what do I find?? A colorful section of the sidebar that states “I wash my face with oil.”

Oh no, another straight-up weirdo!!! How do I find these people!?

After that I did what I always do when I hear about weird and/or interesting thing: I googled the heck out of it. I started reading about this OCM (oil cleansing method) stuff like it was my job.

And what happened….? Well, let’s just say I think I need to eat some crow…

So, my apologies, Simple Mom and Sorta Crunchy gal, for thinking you were off-your-rocker weirdos who grease up your face because you just like breaking the laws of well-accepted skincare routines. I confess that I’ve tried the OCM for a month now based on your helpful recommendations and I wholeheartedly love it. LOVE IT. My skin looks great and feels so soft I can’t believe it. And I’m not even using face lotion, which I used to pay a fortune for because I needed it to fix my dry, tight skin.

And the biggest, craziest part: In the last month or so, several different people have commented on how nice (even glowing) they thought my complexion looked! Thank you, EVOO and castor oil!

So, are you thinking about jumping on this crazy train? It only takes about 5 extra minutes a day to properly massage, steam, and rinse your face. You aren’t putting yucky chemical weirdness on your face and you’re saving a bunch of money. What’s not to like?? And before you go saying how you could never do that because you have overly difficult fill-in-the-blank type of skin, just read some of these super helpful links about the OCM before you dismiss the whole shebang. There are oil combination recommendations for every type of skin. Your pores might just thank you for it. 🙂

Sorta Crunchy: I Wash My Face With Oil

Simple Mom: How to Clean Your Face Naturally

The Oil Cleansing Method (Yes, there’s a whole site devoted to this)

For My Sista-Wives…

Every 4th Thursday, a group of my girl friends and I get together for dinner. It might be out at a local restaurant or just bringing a dish to share with each other at one of our homes. No kids, no dudes, just us girls.

There are about 8 of us (for now) and we don’t all necessarily make it every time, since we’re all juggling the normal home/work/husband/kids/and/or bazillion other various responsibilities on our to-do list at any given time. But about once a month, these gals and I (known within our group as simply The Divas) carve out a little bit of girl time. And even though it’s difficult to fit the date in sometimes, I know that I am so much better for it. I love these girls.

No, wait… you’re not hearing me… I said I LOVE them.

Like seriously love them to pieces.

Like I-can’t-believe-I’m-even-lucky-enough-to-have-even-one-of-these-amazing-women-in-my-life-let-alone-all-of-them kind of love.

I been thinking that since I’ve pretty much gone off the blogging grid for the past few months, (sorry people!) I should probably write my “comeback post” about something incredible. Something super awesome that will captivate every reader. Something flippity-darn superb.

So that’s what I’m doing. I’m going to tell you a bit about these everyday, magnificent superwomen and pray they don’t ask me for that big of a cut of the royalties when this little description of their awesomeness inspires a Lifetime movie. (Seriously girls… Would I even allow Lifetime to exploit your awesomeness like that!?)

Anywhooo…I want to take a moment to share just a few reasons why these women are so important to me. The things you’ll read below are just a few drops in the bucket. Without them I’d be less of a person than I am today. Learn from these beauties. Fo’ real.

These ladies are givers. They pray for me (and for each other) anytime we need it, and especially when one of us thinks we don’t. They cook meals for people who aren’t well, or for other women who just had babies. They willingly give out even more of their already stretched-thin time to help someone else who is in need. They are each connected in unique ways to amazing causes that better the lives of children, empower women and families, fight cancer, bring clean water to people who don’t have it, etc.. etc.. And I am sure my tired, foggy brain is leaving something very cool off that list. Seeing these women, who are in many ways more busy than I am, give of themselves in all of their various ways and never ask for anything in return…I’m so inspired. I’m a more generous person because of these women.

These women are devoted wives. They regularly praise their husbands. Vehemently. Loudly. Publicly. Often. They constantly pray for their men, who they know fight everyday battles both on the outside and the inside. When everything around them says: don’t even bother relying on a man; fight for what you deserve; you better get busy with controlling everything because Laaawwwd knows there ain’t no man who can do anything right these days… Even with all that nonsense floating around them, they are the first to speak up to encourage their husbands and let them know they are loved, appreciated, and respected. With their words and with their actions, they encourage the rest of us to do the same. I’m a better wife because of these women.

These girls are some amazing mommas. They have all kinds of wild adventures raising their wildly different children! They parent with very healthy boundaries and loving temperaments, but never, ever by taking themselves too seriously. They respect their kids as individuals, wanting what is best for them and knowing that it naturally lines up with what God says is best, not whatever is on TV that night. They understand that the upbringing of their children has earthly impact and eternal value. These women have blessed me by recognizing that motherhood comes in all shapes and sizes and colors. They’ve allowed me to share my heart as a mother, no matter how unconventional. I am a better mother (and teacher-momma!) because of these women.

These women are just the right mix of freakin’ hilarious and reflective. There are few people on earth that can get me to nearly squirt soda out of my nose or almost pee my pants because of the crazy stuff they say…Unless you count these ladies! They all know how to laugh at the right time and cry at the right time and tell you to get a grip at the right time. We laugh together on a regular basis. We’ve wept together when we’ve needed to. We’ve questioned and doubted and been confused together at times. We’ve thought about the what if’s and the why’s and the how’s of all the things we see in front of us that we just know God’s got, hands-down, even when they don’t make sense to us. Then 5 seconds later we’re cracking up about the legendary antics of a certain infamous clerk (who works at a certain store whose name I shall not disclose here. I will only say that its name rhymes with “Tall-Fart.”) That’s what life is really like…different from every moment to the next. I am a more real person because of these women.

So, my Divas…if you’re reading this, I want you to know how thankful I am to have each of you in my life. I have no idea how I have become so utterly blessed. I need you to know that I wouldn’t be the same without the influence you have on my life. I am so inspired by the way you love Jesus and how He shows up through you all the time, even when you think you’re not so hot. I have come to realize that you are all part of the repayment that God promised me years ago, and you were worth the wait.

Thank you so much for being my friends and sisters (aka sista-wives! HA!!) I love you. Now get outta here and get back to being awesome.