Page 75: Checking in for March

March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, they say. But so far, not so lion-y. Which I’m fine with. The wind is outrageous but so far no storms. They’re on their way, though, and there’s nothing that I love the way that I love a Kansas storm. So that’s something to look forward to, for sure.

Thank you for your patience as I’ve been a little bit spotty during the month of February. But we’ve moved! And I’m hoping to get back into a much more regular writing schedule. I didn’t write too much during February but there was so much activity due to the #XOXOSELFIECHALLENGE.
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Page 73: Fake it ‘Till You Make It

The topic for today’s #xoxoselfie challenge is Fake It Till You Make It. And at first I couldn’t think of anything to post. I had whatever the Instagram version of writer’s block is. My main thought was, “I can’t afford to fake anything right now.”

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Truth is that I’m feeling a little bit low. A few weeks ago, I was talking to a friend about how when we go through something exciting, once we’re on the other end of it we can tend to get kind of inexplicably sad feeling despite how happy we really are in the long run. I don’t think that happens to everyone but it definitely happens to me. There’s been a ton of prep and now that it’s over—woosh… feelings come in. It happened after our wedding. For a few weeks after we came back to real life, I felt very low. Very sad. And that’s when I think I really learned that feelings aren’t very trustworthy. They’re valid—don’t get me wrong. But they wax and wane. And they roll in and out like the tide. So I want to tell you why I can’t afford to fake it till I make it, today. Not today.

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Page 71: Valentine’s Weekend 2016

I first wrote of my love of Valentine’s Day earlier in the month. I believe in love. I believe that it is a powerful and healing force. I also don’t believe that love is only for people who have squishy, lovey dovey feelings at each other. I think that love begets love—in action and in feelings.

So on Saturday, I had some of my best lady friends and their best lady friends over for a Galentine’s Day brunch. We ate a lot of carbs, listened to this playlist, gave one another gifts, read to each other, talked about the hard stuff and the cheap stuff and it was wonderful and lovely. I got barely any photographs because I was having too much fun.

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And a lot of people asked me for the recipe for the frittata that I made. Which is sometimes hard for me to do as I barely follow a recipe. I mostly just follow my instincts. But I remember everything exactly this time. So if you’re interested in a recipe with no photographs to back up the lovelieness of this dish and you’re willing to just trust me, here you go!

Galentines Day Brunch Frittata
(Served the 11 people at my house with about 25% leftover)

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into a small dice
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 large red peppers, diced
2 or three large handfuls of fresh spinach
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
light sprinkle of red pepper flakes
1 cup shredded itallian cheese blend
10 medium-sized eggs
¼ cup half-and-half
1 ½ tablespoon seasoning of your choice. I used McCormic’s Belgian Style White Ale spice blend (which I love because of the combination of citrus flavors and bold pepper).
½ cup crumbled feta cheese

I used my 12” cast iron skillet—it’s important to use an oven-proof skillet, however. If your oven-proof skillet is smaller than this, I recommend scaling back on the eggs because that will create a more veggie-dense dish.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Over medium high heat, warm olive oil and add sweet potatoes. Cook for several minutes until they just begin to soften and brown. Add in onions and red peppers and stir to coat with oil.
Once onions begin to sweat and soften, stir in spinach. It will feel like way too much spinach but once it begins to cook down, it will shrink up considerably. Stir in nutmeg, salt, and red pepper flakes and turn off heat.
Stir the mixture around so that everything appears evenly distributed throughout the pan. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, and whatever seasoning you would like.
Slowly, pour the egg mixture over the veggie mixture in the pan. Do not stir! Sprinkle the feta over the top and quickly move the pan into the oven.
Bake at 350*–checking at 30 minutes for doneness. The frittata is done when it begins to brown around the edges and when you shake the pan and the center barely jiggles. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes before serving to ensure that the eggs are all set up.

After that, my husband and I cleaned up only the most important food items, packed our bags, and drove to Wichita where he’d booked a room and I’d made dinner reservations.

I don’t foresee the rest of our Valentine’s Day celebrations going so extravagantly but between me recently moving to a work-from-home position and our house being in a not-that-relaxing, there-is-so-much-to-be-done state of affairs, Ryan thought it might be best for us to just get out of the house for a night. Which was the right move, if you ask me.

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I was/ am obsessed with this grey chair. I want one just like it at my house.

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Funny story, though! As soon as we walked into the hotel lobby we found that not only were we staying here but also hundreds of young teenagers! Someone thought that Valentine’s Day Weekend would be the perfect time to book a bunch of teenagers into a fancy hotel for a youth conference!

I had to be very active in recognizing that my expectations are my own business. Maybe I expected to not have screaming kids outside of my door all weekend long—I didn’t run that by anyone else. It’s not their fault I had that idea. They had other ideas. Ryan and I put ourselves into their positions. Being a kid at a youth conference was one of my greatest joys in my childhood and we were going to let them enjoy it. I didn’t stick my head out of my door and scream “shut the hell up already!” even one time! With that perspective shift, I was able to laugh with them instead of scream at them. I’m proud of that.

Also, since we are usually stay-at-home on Valentines Day people, we didn’t realize that my favorite restaurant was going to transform into a seriously expensive, extra fancy place for the weekend! It is no exaggeration to say that we ended up spending more than either of us had ever spent on a meal, before.

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I was really proud of the way that we rolled with the punches, though. Rather than getting upset and anxious, which is my natural way, we found a way to just go with it, enjoy ourselves, and not stress at all. And in the end, you know what? We had an excellent time! And our entire dinner was decadent and inspiring (I ate a grilled salad, you guys!!). There wasn’t a single part of it that I didn’t love. The place was packed, too. God bless those servers.

Then, because we weren’t quite ready to go back to the room just yet, we stopped at the hotel bar.

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The next morning we slept in so late and watched tv and took long showers. We went to brunch and then to stall going home, we went out for more coffee, and stopped at a bookstore where I found this beautiful copy of Flannery O’Connor stories. I’d given away my original copy so I was really excited to find this magnificent replacement.IMG_7411IMG_7419IMG_7420IMG_7443

 

And now it’s back to every day real life. It was such an exciting weekend! It was a constant exercise in c’est la vie.

So after that lux, relaxing weekend, this announcement! We are moving to a new house this weekend!! With that being said, things might be really quiet around here for the next few weeks while I get my house and my office set up but I promise that when I come back, it will be so good. Thank you for sticking with me though this transitional phase.

What do you think about Valentine’s Day? Did you do anything to celebrate? Tell us about it!

XOXO, Lib

Page 69: February Check In

What is your current favorite Instagram hashtag? Obviously, right now it’s the #xoxoselfiechallenge. We are having so much fun over there!! Go check it out. We’re making new friends and being awesome and encouraging. It’s such a fun group. And we’re only 8 days in, so far, there’s plenty of time for you to join. Here’s a link to instructions and what it all means.
Also, though, I’m obsessed with watching hand lettering videos on Instagram right now. It makes me really want to learn how to do it, myself. I get sucked into #handlettering really easily. Every day.

What was the last restaurant where you ate? …hold on. I’m thinking about it. We went to Applebee’s for Kat’s birthday but has it really been that long since I’ve been to a restaurant? Sometimes I get my brunch from Craft Coffee because their granola is bomb. IMG_6723

What was the last thing you binge watched? I wish I could say it wasn’t Keeping Up With The Kardashians but it’s still true. I’ve backed off a lot, though, because I find that after I watch that show, I put on lots of eyeliner and go online window shopping at ASOS. So I’ve been significantly limiting my TV time.

What’s your drink of choice? Last week I mixed tequilla and Naked Juice and it was completely delightful! It might be a while before I give that up. Not the cheapest cocktail but I don’t drink often, so we all win.

What are you reading?  Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert. I don’t have all that much time to read lately so it’s taking me a while to get through it but that’s good. It’s important to really digest inspiration. And if you don’t have all that much time for reading but still want to learn about the creativity that lives inside of you, check out Liz Gilbert’s podcast which will really get you excited.
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What was something that inspired you, today? Can I say “me” and not sound utterly conceited? But, dude, hustle begets hustle.
Also, Beyonce because always Beyonce.
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What word are you overusing? “Legit”. It’s legit driving me crazy.

 

What is your resolution for tomorrow? Start packing décor for the move. I am a little worried that it will make our apartment look sparse and sad but at the same time, I’m feeling a little suffocated by all of the stuff. Also maybe getting the place to look a little bit more bare will help to motivate us to keep packing.

 

What are you looking forward to? Saturday is Galentines Day! We’re having brunch! Send me an email or a FB message if you want to come and I’ll get you the details!

 

How are you doing, today? It’s Monday and I’m feeling good! I have discovered that you have to strike when the iron is hot and it feels hot, today, so I’m going to get as much work done as humanly possible.

What are you doing this week?
XOXO, Lib

 

Page 58: Checking in for January

I really love these little surveys. I also like the idea of checking in monthly. So that’s what we’re gonna do. If you love this stuff as much as I do, you should fill it out on your own blog or on Facebook (Tag me so that I see it!) or in the comments if you’d like! We’ll all check in with one another on a regular basis.

What is your current favorite hashtag? On instagram, I’m in love with #thingsorganizedneatly. It’s so calming.

What was the last restaurant where you ate? On Friday, we were trying to go to a local place but when we walked in there were no available tables and no hope of getting one–so we got a booth at the bar at Montana Mikes.

What was the last thing you binge watched? Currently watching my 4th episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, today. I really expected to hate this show but the only thing that drives me crazy is how everyone’s glasses are crooked.

What’s your drink of choice? I’m into almost only coffee lately. Cafe au lait with skim milk and no flavoring. It’s not that exciting but it’s my regular.

When’s the last time you laughed until you cried? I was driving through Wichita with Kellory and Lisa and I know that it’s the worst possible time to start laughing until you can’t open your eyes but it happened and we survived. Have you noticed how the things that make you laugh that much are not funny at all when you try to explain it?

What was something that inspired you, today? I watched the Golden Globes last night and while I’m not crazy about everything that Amy Schumer does–her hustle is inspiring to me.

What word are you overusing? “Literally”. I’ve really tried to stop using that word. Even when you’re using it with the correct definition, it’s still annoying.

What is your resolution for tomorrow? I am going to get more blog work accomplished than I did, today. Today I emphasized house work and got laid out by a headache for a little while.

What are you looking forward to? I have a few different meet-ups with friends this week. Which is super nice and a little unusual. Also next weekend we are going to see my five-year-old nephew play in a basketball game! I’m very, very pumped about that!

How are you doing, today? I’m feeling kind of blues-y lately because it’s winter time and it’s cold and leaving the house isn’t much fun. But that being said–I also feel so good lately. I’ve been sleeping better. Eating better. Feeling better in my spirit. It’s a good time of life, right now.

 

How about you?
XOXO, Lib

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Still eating on this cake. All day, every day.