Life has its seasons...and with each of those seasons comes a beginning and an end. The week has been particularly difficult as we came to the end of our canine season...our little Payton crossed the rainbow bridge on Wednesday, September 25th just shy of his 14th birthday. He is our 5th fur baby in the last 5 or so years because they all aged together. And I know many of you know the heartache that goes right along with this...but while it is ok to be sad, I am trying to find the glad in all of it instead. He gave us 13 years of grumpy old man attitude, 13 years of Frito smells, 13 years of crooked teeth smiles, 13 years of snuggles, 13 years of happy fits, and 13 years of imperial shih tzu shade. And for all of those things, I am grateful.
Of course I wish that his life was longer and that he was still here, but that's just not life. And with this end of season will come a beautiful new beginning. I may not know what that is yet and what out there is waiting for us, but I am sure that it is good. And yes I realize its ok for me to be all up in my feelings and the storm that is currently raging; but you know what? I would rather look for the rainbow. Because it was a beautiful rainbow that brought us that sweet fur baby in the first place, and I'll bet my bottom dollar that there is another rainbow waiting for us. We just have to believe that a new season is on its way, a rainbow is waiting, and when we are ready for it, we will be able to see it. Because while life has its seasons, its ups and downs, happy times and sad moments, it always has a rainbow...and Payton wouldn't want me to shut my eyes so tightly that I miss those beautiful colors and the promises that come with that.
Hoping all of you open your eyes and find that rainbow too...it's out there, we just have to look for it.
Stay...In The Moment
My middle kiddo eats well, and I mean WELL. There is nothing he won’t try and he often grabs fruits and veggies first. But for my other kids, I have taken the not-so-high road for years and just hidden extra healthy stuff. And no, I am not ashamed…you gotta do what you gotta do. And with my kiddos eating more and more and more by the minute, getting smart with snacks helps us to be able to be more relaxed with food on the weekends, at sporting events, and when we are rushed for time. What I am about to share with you packs an extra protein and fiber filled punch, because both are needed for our boys who seem to need five square meals a day.
Behold…Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia Balls. See what I did there? Please tell me you are now singing old Chia-Pet commercials! These little energy goodies can be customized according to your families likes and made ahead of time for the week. The only drawback? They need refrigeration, not necessarily to keep them fresh, but to keep their shape…see the underlying less-messy-when-chilled warning.
So let’s make some!
1 Cup Peanut Butter
¼ Cup Melted Coconut Oil
¼ Teaspoon Himalayan Salt
½ Cup Cocoa Powder
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
½ Cup Raw Honey
¾ Cup Hemp Seeds
¾ Cup Chia Seeds
1 ¼ Cup Quick Cook Oats
Extra Cocoa Powder or Powdered Sugar (Save to roll in)
Dump in a bowl and mix until combined...very scientific, I know. Chill at least 2 hours until set. Scoop and roll into bite-sized balls. Roll into Cocoa Powder or Powdered Sugar…Keep in mind that the Cocoa Powder is a much healthier option, but can be bitter.
You can also add your favorite mix-ins such as raisins, craisins, sunflower seeds, M & Ms, peanuts, butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, etc. If your kiddos aren’t thrilled with chia seeds or hemp seeds, you can swap them for flax seeds or adjust the amount of each you put into the mix.
So here’s to keeping our kiddos fed…whether they know they are eating the good stuff or not. And cheers to you mamas and papas who are also eating these with coffee…because that’s what you’ll find me doing! And if you are not a mama or a papa and kids aren't even on your radar that's ok too...because adulting is hard and chocolate just plain makes things better.
Stay...In The Moment
Wishing summer to last longer doesn’t make fall arrive any later than it has planned. This was evident by a temperature of 52 degrees this morning. Now, don’t get me wrong…I enjoy all the seasons. I just really like the lax schedule of summer, the later nights, and the lack of homework. And because all of that changes when the kids go back to school, this mama of three just needs to reign in the simple to be able to experience the little joys in life in the middle of all the chaos.
My fall décor is no different…you’ll notice I keep things extra simple, use mostly what I already have on hand, and swap things out to make it look new again. Some may call it cheating…I call it using my resources wisely (and keeping my sanity).
Today, I shared my fall table on Instagram (@inthemomentrestorations) . As with all things, I chose all the pieces carefully. If you’ve been following me on social media for any length of time, you’ll notice the same ironstone plates I have used in a dozen settings, the same wood centerpiece I used in the summer, the same napkins that I have used for over a year…you get the point.
All I added were some cute crocks, sunflowers, mini pumpkins, and wood bowls…and if you made it this far through this blog post, it will probably be a safe bet that you’ll see some of these things again, some of them in the shop (because when I purchase for the shop, sometimes I purchase extra for myself), and some of them in other places of our home. My motto has always been for both us personally and what I bring in the shop for inventory…’If we can’t use it six ways ‘til Tuesday, it doesn’t come home with us.’ And while I have no idea where I came up with that, you probably can venture that it basically means we don’t bring anything home that we can’t use in multiple ways over and over again.
It’s just better for us financially, mentally, and doesn’t give us an emotional attachment to things; rather it just gives those things a utilitarian purpose. So, whether it’s a Monday or a Saturday that you decide to bring new goods in your home, I hope that you can style up a beautiful fall table, use it in many different ways, or repurpose it on a regular basis. Because by all accounts it really helps keep things a little more simple; allowing you to find the joy in each and every season…even if they come too early and are also followed by winter.
Stay...In The Moment
As we head into the full swing of fall, it’s a bit bittersweet remembering how the beginning of summer felt. And while we cannot take the pool days, beach visits, and bike rides until dusk with us through the rest of the year, I can share with you one thing that worked with our kiddos this summer and that we still use…and I must warn you, it’s totally parent related, not fun at all, and feels a little like bribery. But with a 10, 8 and 6-year old, sometimes you just cling onto anything that makes your life easier like a life raft of sanity.
So here goes…I made and implemented a system for electronic time using tickets. Now, I realize I am not genius, I surely am not the first parent that has done such a thing, and no one will be comparing me to Einstein any time soon. I am ok with that; I am still over here reveling in the glory that it actually worked and continues to work. And that is what I am sharing today; a system that works for my kids, that I am thrilled sets its own boundaries, and sometimes gets them to give me an extra hand with all the extra things around the house (you know, those things they think a magical fairy does, like clean the toilet).
If you too struggle with setting boundaries with electronics, having your kids hound you begging to use it, and a general lack of compliance with chores then hang in there…this may work for you too. I’ll lay out what we do below and you can tweak it to what works for you, because no two families are alike and certainly that goes for kiddos too.
I get that this system isn’t for everyone, I also get that it may appear that we are control freaks and super old-school. I am completely fine with all those opinions. The fact of the matter is that one of our kiddos has issues with electronic usage and allowing the random use of electronics can create a lot of chaos…think rainbows and sunshine to hell in a hand basket in 3 seconds flat. But, the beauty about this system is that you can use it for whatever fits…extra allowance, monetary rewards, prizes, a special outing, whatever incentives your kiddos respond to best.
And the beauty of it? It teaches good work ethic, a better mentality about where and when to spend…I mean, I have to show up and actually work to get paid…and then I have to choose carefully about where I spend that money. These are all things we want our kiddos to do to grow up and be an employee someone would be willing to hire. I’ll consider that last one a bonus because I genuinely look forward to the day when I can see them adulting and doing it the way that makes any mama or papa proud. So we’ll start here because baby steps always count.
Stay...In The Moment
Jennifer Kalista is the face behind In The Moment Restorations offering everything from the likes of design services and paint color recommendations, to custom furniture restoration and handpicked home decor, lifestyle goods, apparel and more.