february goals.

well, here we are, another month gone. another month to plan for. february is my favorite month of the year because it’s my birthday month. although i’m not a big birthday celebration person, it just makes me feel all cozy and happy, so the month doesn’t feel so dreary.

my goals, as usual, are not too lofty, they’re pretty simple. but since this month will be a little different than our lives usually are, i’m just hoping to accomplish a few little things. honestly, if i can get through it without going nuts, i’ll count it a victory. i’m going to have to cut down on my blogging for the next couple months to make sure that i keep all of our lives on a reasonably regular path, but if you want to keep up with me, i’ll be participating far more regularly on the social media channels below AND snapchat (hooleywithaz). my snapchat gets good when i get a little loopy, and it’s bound to be hilarious this month.

first things first: january goals update

  • finish the updates for the first year of amelia’s baby book. oh my gosh. oh my gosh. oh my gosh. it’s a miracle you guys. I FINISHED IT! printed photos and glue and all. i even got a head start on some pieces for year number two. i feel like mother effing martha stewart!
  • continue to workout regularly. i’m so proud of myself for this one you guys. i’ve upped my workouts from two times a week to three times a week and am working on getting them up to four. i also even started to go back to the gym. now, with Mister Man’s travel binge coming up, that may have to go by the wayside a bit, but i’m planning on getting there when i can, and keeping on with the at home workouts.
  • pay it forward. i did manage to do a bit of paying it forward this month. i just realized as i’m typing this out that i feel really kind of uncomfortable saying exactly what i did, because it gives me a “holier than thou” feeling. and i’m not into that. so maybe i’ll save that for another post. i do feel like my post on loss, which made me feel so supported and loved by all of you, did pay it forward in a way. if even one person was able to find some comfort in my words, then it was worth it.
  • do some research into bullet journaling. does saving a post to read later count? no, i did read a few posts on this, but there is one really juicy one that i need to read before i pull the trigger on the bullet journaling. i think i’m most excited to use the journal that i got as a gift from a dear blogging friend, so i’m feeling very pulled in the direction of starting in some form or another.

country white bread with a light crust on a white ceramic plate

  • bake some bread. awwww yea, did i bake some bread! why has no one ever told me about bread makers and how amazing they are? you LITERALLY throw ingredients in the bowl, turn it on, and you have a giant, sandwich bread sized loaf three hours laters. i’m in love. i do still want to try the artisan loaves, it’s just that because i tend to get distracted, i feel like the in-between time for resting and rising is going to throw me off. we shall see.

february goals text with flower detail

 

  • survive. this is pretty much my main, overarching goal for the month. starting on monday, Mister Man is gone for the rest of the month, with the exception of one short weekend. i am so proud of him, and i feel equally sad that he has to be away by himself, so i’m trying to keep the pity party at a minimum. but yea, surviving is going to be key in february.
  • continue to work out regularly. i think this will be key to goal number one. it will be a little more difficult to make the time, but if i give up a tv show i can do it, and it will be worth the sanity.
  • start a bullet journal. i’ll have more time on my own, so in between keeping the house going (pray for no more snow storms for me to shovel), and trying to work out, i’m going to try to be more mindful of spending my time on pursuits that don’t involve any real housewives.
  • cantor in church for the first time. i can’t remember if i’ve said anything about it here, but i started singing in the choir at church this past fall. i’ve sung my whole life, but had let way too much time go by with none of it in my life. i am one of three girls in our twenties, the rest are my parents age or older (mostly older). and i love it. everyone is so sweet, and it’s wonderful to have singing back in my life. i even decided to start cantoring (which is leading the singing during Masses) and will be doing my first Mass this month. wish me luck!
  • cook some new soups! it’s been a hot minute since i’ve cooked anything new, and i’m itching to get back in the kitchen. here’s hoping for some long naps out of miss amelia, because that’s the only time i’ll be able to really focus on this. thank the good lord for my wonderful husband, who is cooking freezer meals for me as we speak.

what are some of your goals this month? do any of them match mine? any tried-and-true tips for accomplishing goals, please share!

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coffee date.

hello friends! today is monday, and while we usually have our coffee dates together over the weekend, when we can take the time to linger over a hot beverage, sometimes you just need a coffee date to ease your entry into the real world of weekdays. so here we are.

coffee-date-in-january2

[amazing coffee mug by brittany garner design. my other favorite is this one.]

today i’m having a big old latte with an extra shot of espresso, but no sugar. i’m trying to curb my taste for the sweetness, and i’ve found that by just skipping the sugar in my latte, i’m developing a taste for the more classic coffee flavors. does this make me a goofball? i assume yes.

on our coffee date today, you’d get to hear me tell you all about how Mister Man took a new job that he’ll be starting next week (hence all my crazy waiting anxiety the past few weeks). it was a hard decision, because he (and i) love the people he worked with. they have always been so wonderful to us, and after five years there, leaving was a decision that took a long time to come to. in the end, this new venture is best for our family in the long run, and i am so proud of my husband for taking care of us so well.

you would also get to hear about how i’m only a little terrified anxious about the next couple of months. because while this new job means that he’ll be traveling less in the long run, it also means he will be away in training for the better part of the next two months. which means that i’ll be here perfecting the art of bedtime by myself. he will be back every few weeks, and we figured out a weekend schedule that will hopefully only have us apart on the weekends a few times. i’m fairly exhausted just thinking about all this, but i thankfully have a lot of support here should i need a mental health day. which i most definitely will. (it really makes me feel for all those parents who do this all the time…single parents, parents with deployed spouses, etc., my heart goes out to you in a big way, you are heroic in ways most people will never know.)

coffee-date-in-january3

[oh hello tiny baby hairs that will never grow out. ever.]

i want to tell you that i’ve been loving the internet lately. posts like this one on community by ashten, this one on trying by amber, and this one on self-doubt by audrey are just filling my soul up lately. there are even more too, but i just forgot to write them down. it’s like all these people are writing words that i have in my head, and it’s great to continue to connect with all these wonderful friends that i’ve never even met. speaking of which, i get to go see laura this weekend, and i get to see ashten down south in april, and I AM SO EXCITED HOLY CRAP.

now that we’re finishing our coffee date, you’re going to have to help me up from my chair, because i’m sore. i decided to take up rowing at the gym after, oh i don’t know, TEN YEARS(!) of not having rowed. i told you guys the other day that i used to be the coxswain on the rowing team, and would lead workouts on the erg machine. i haven’t been on a machine since, but recently decided that it would be a good change of pace and a great workout instead of my mortal enemy the treadmill. and it was. and i was so slap happy after i got done rowing a 2K that i decided it would be a good idea to lift heavy legs. and now i can’t move real quick on account of everything in my body hurts.

happy monday, happy february, happy coffee date to you! what do all you lovely people have going on? tell me everything.

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and then all of a sudden, i wasn’t anymore.

in early december, i found out i was pregnant. and then all of a sudden, 24 hours later, i wasn’t anymore.

i had an idea that i was pregnant, so i asked the doctor to do a test when we were in for amelia’s appointment. it came up positive and, just like that, my reality changed. i was going to have another baby. we knew what the due date would be and started to get excited about the idea of another little one coming into the world. we had just started trying again, and were beyond happy that our family would be growing to four so soon.

but then just a day after feeling all that and knowing all that, i wasn’t pregnant anymore. and i was sad and upset and angry, because i had gotten excited for something that was never going to happen. it felt a little like waking up from a dream when you weren’t ready to wake up at all. except maybe ten times worse.

terra-cotta-planter-bare-plant-with-snow

i had a miscarriage at 5 weeks. and yet, i have hesitated to use those exact words when telling people what happened. instead i say, “i was pregnant, but then i wasn’t.” “i was pregnant and then i lost it.” i say anything except, “i was pregnant and then i miscarried.”

why do i hesitate to say it? i did have a miscarriage. that’s what happened. and i felt so much sadness about it, but instead of letting myself mourn, i spent time telling myself that my feelings weren’t valid because it was “too early” to feel sad, or it wasn’t “as bad” as it could have been.

i know i’m not alone in this. i’ve heard so many women say that they feel guilty for feeling sad over an early miscarriage. that they “shouldn’t” be sad about something that had barely begun. most don’t even tell anyone it’s happened to them, because they’ve been made to think a loss like this is not as valid as another. it’s as if we think our emotional responses should somehow correlate to the amount of time we carried that baby in our bodies. as if somehow, the short amount of time makes us immune to the feelings that come with losing a piece of our future. with losing our baby.

that’s not fair to any woman, and it wasn’t fair to myself. over the past few weeks, as i’ve had time to reflect on my experience, i’ve realized that the honest to goodness truth is this: it’s okay to feel sad about an early miscarriage, because while it is an early loss, it is still a loss. you don’t need to feel guilty about caring, and you don’t need to minimize your experience. you’ve experienced a loss and you are allowed to (and should) mourn in whatever way you need to mourn. i am allowed to mourn my miscarriage, no matter how far along it was.

i will not let this define me, but neither will i let the world define how i feel about it. i want you to know that if you’ve ever experienced a loss like this, you are validated in your sadness and your mourning. and i’m sending you all the hugs that i have.

thank you for all your support. a post like this is scary to write, but knowing that my community is so wonderful makes it a lot easier to share something so personal to me. 

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currently.

so i basically spent my weekend wishing that i was stuck in the snow like it seems EVERYONE else was! i mean, i live in the tundra, aren’t we supposed to be the ones who get all the crazy snowstorms? i’m seriously craving some snowdrifts so we can build a snow fort for amelia. that’s crazy, right? i know it’s crazy.

and i’m feeling kind of blog nostalgic today. i really feel like just going back to the roots and keeping it classic. so today, you get a “currently” post. i love reading these types of posts from other people, it’s like getting a little snapshot into their brain. like the written form of snapchat (username: hooleywithaz for anyone who likes long snap videos about getting stuck in parking ramps after work).

currently…

…time – 3:50pm. this is pushing my luck. amelia went to sleep at 1:15pm, and a three hour nap is hard to come by around these parts. but let’s take a gamble, shall we?

…doing – besides the obvious writing of this post, i’m getting a crap ton (yes that’s a real measurement) done. we’re talking up at 6am, worked out, did laundry, took amelia to music class, had a coffee date with a fellow music class mom, grocery shopped, made lunch, put the kid down for a nap, worked, did more laundry, finished thank you cards kind of day. now after seeing that i’m exhausted.

…eating – pretzels and poor man’s buffalo chicken dip (light sour cream, frank’s hot sauce, rotisserie chicken mixed together). don’t judge me, did you see how much i’ve accomplished today?

…drinking – the last of my latte from my coffee date this morning. does anyone else do that? nurse their fancy coffee over the course of a whole morning and afternoon, or is that just me? i do it partly because i get too distracted to finish it all at once, and partly because i don’t want it to end.

close up of starbucks red cup sitting on dark wood table

…watching – gilmore girls on netflix. well, rewatching. i’m at the end of season three, and you guys, this is the gilmore girls sweet spot. this is where it gets really good. everyone’s found their groove and the witty banter is just the tops. highly recommend if you have somehow managed to live your whole life without the beauty of gilmore girls in it.

…loving – my new apple toys. okay, you guys, i am notorious for using technology products until they are way past their prime. case in point: i’ve had my iPhone 5 since before Mister Man and i were married. and it’s a lovely phone. i’ve had the same case for that whole time too and they have survived a marriage, two moves, and a new child with no damage. i love it. but it was past its shelf life. like, three iPhone updates past. i just hate buying expensive phones, so i never did. but an opportunity has recently presented itself where it just made sense for MM and i to buy new phones at the same time. so we did. and now i’m like, what took me so long? also, if you missed my instagram post about my other toy, you should really go check that out and see why i hyperventilated on friday.

…hating – not having an office. hate is probably a strong word, but it follows “loving” nicely. i love our little house, but man, one more room (hell, even a big closet) to use as my office wouldn’t be the worst thing. it’s tough to have to just set up wherever there’s room at the kitchen table or coffee table, and not feel like i have my own space to be creative. someday though. someday.

…reading – a real book! an honest to goodness book! i can’t tell you how long it’s been since i’ve read one. wait, yes i can, the last time i read a book was over memorial day weekend. so if you do the math, that was about five months ago, over a holiday weekend. yikes. i’m thinking i might need to be more intentional about how i spend my down time. anywho, i’m reading a real book, it’s called the boys in the boat, about the 1936 u.s. olympic rowers who won gold in berlin, and i’m already obsessed. a fun fact about me: in college, i was a coxswain for my school’s rowing team, aka the yeller in the boat, so crew has a sweet spot in my heart.

…thinking – about the next few months and how they’re going to shake out. a lot of changes are happening around here, all good, but all a bit disruptive. i’m trying to prepare myself for all of it (and trying not to lose my mind) by writing a lot of lists and keeping my calendar permanently attached to my hand. i think it’s working? i don’t know.

…feeling – pretty dang happy. as of now, it’s 4:12pm and i’m sipping on a different cup of coffee, waiting for amelia to wake up to play. i’m also feeling pretty lucky for this life that Mister Man and i are living. a roof over our heads, a heater that works, and a daughter who is healthy (albeit allergic to a lot of stuff apparently, a story for another day) and awesome. edit: she woke up as i was finishing this, which is why it did not post until 11pm. best intentions. woops!

happy monday, what’s everyone else up to?

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buffalo chicken dip pizza.

this shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. all opinions are mine alone. #HomeBowlParty #CollectiveBias

buffalo chicken dip pizza perfect for a #HomeBowlParty #ad | everythingwithloveblog.com

i have a confession to make: i mostly watch football games for the snacks. yea, the sport itself is fun and all, but when it comes right down to it, it’s easier to sit through if there are some good eats and drinks. i normally don’t get too fancy with said eats and drinks. we’re very much a chips & salsa, crackers & hummus, cookies & milk family over here. it’s pretty easy to get in a rut of laying out whatever’s in the pantry, and that’s fine for any old football game.

but the big game warrants a little something extra. a little planning, a little recipe testing, and (dare i say it?) a little solo trip to Target for some treats. oh, solo trips to Target. you are my favorite. i’ve been known to take two hours to just wander around the store, even though all i end up buying is some laundry detergent and snacks for amelia. blissful does not begin to describe it. but i digress. this post is about football game food, not my deep love for shopping by myself.

buffalo chicken dip pizza perfect for a #HomeBowlParty #ad | everythingwithloveblog.com

for any of you Target lovers, you can save 15% at Target on Coca-Cola brand 6-pack 500ml bottles using the Cartwheel app (until 2/13)! and REESE’S cups footballs are also 15% off at Target using the Cartwheel app (from 1/24-2/13)!

one of the most fun things for me is to find ways to combine foods i love into one great recipe. i love buffalo chicken dip. i love pizza. so of course I’m going to love buffalo chicken dip pizza, right? RIGHT! i’m pretty proud of this pizza you guys. when i had the idea, i had a feeling it would taste good, but then i made it, and had severely underestimated the deliciousness factor. it’s two wonderful football foods that have been married into one even more wonderful football food. be still my heart. when Mister Man tasted it, he couldn’t stop raving about how good it was (and then he had two more slices).

buffalo chicken dip pizza perfect for a #HomeBowlParty #ad | everythingwithloveblog.com

buffalo chicken dip pizza perfect for a #HomeBowlParty #ad | everythingwithloveblog.com

buffalo chicken dip pizza perfect for a #HomeBowlParty #ad | everythingwithloveblog.com

this pizza is basically a deconstructed buffalo chicken dip in pizza form. so while most buffalo chicken dip recipes have you throwing everything together in one pot to heat up and melt together, we change things up a bit to make this. the sour cream, cream cheese, ranch dressing and buffalo sauce are mixed together to act as the sauce for the pizza. the chicken and mozzarella cheese are added as the toppings. i also threw on a cilantro garnish at the end for some color and fresh flavor. i think that the secret ingredient here is in the puff pastry crust though. it’s fluffier than most pizza crusts and really adds a nice twist!

i opted to use better-for-you ingredients in this recipe, because there are usually a lot of snacks hanging around on game days and i figured a more balanced list of ingredients would be a good idea. feel free to mix and match ingredients to make this recipe work for whatever you have on hand though. it’ll still taste great!

buffalo chicken dip pizza perfect for a #HomeBowlParty #ad | everythingwithloveblog.com

buffalo chicken dip pizza perfect for a #HomeBowlParty #ad | everythingwithloveblog.com

buffalo chicken dip pizza perfect for a #HomeBowlParty #ad | everythingwithloveblog.com

buffalo chicken dip pizza perfect for a #HomeBowlParty #ad | everythingwithloveblog.com

full disclosure, this pizza is DELICIOUS, but it’s also SPICY and SALTY. i highly suggest serving it with something refreshing to cool your mouth off, as well as something sweet to balance out the flavors. Coca-Cola and REESE’S cups footballs are solid choices, and pretty classic from a football food perspective. pizza and Coca-Cola? so classic. REESE’S cups shaped like footballs? so perfectly thematic. take my advice and serve this combo during the big game (whether it’s for a party or just for you, i won’t tell).

buffalo chicken dip pizza perfect for a #HomeBowlParty #ad | everythingwithloveblog.com

buffalo chicken dip pizza perfect for a #HomeBowlParty #ad | everythingwithloveblog.com

buffalo chicken dip pizza recipe (serves 8)

prep time: 10 minutes (does not include thawing time for the puff pastry dough)

total time: 35 minutes (includes cook time and cool down time)

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry crust, thawed and rolled out a bit
  • 1/2 C. buffalo sauce
  • 1/4 C. light sour cream
  • 1/4 C. light ranch dressing
  • 6 oz. light cream cheese, cubed
  • 1-2 C. cooked, shredded chicken (can use rotisserie chicken if desired)
  • 1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • cilantro, for garnish

make sure to thaw your puff pastry crust fully before beginning, whether overnight or for at least 45 minutes. preheat oven to 415 degrees F. in a small saucepan, mix buffalo sauce, light sour cream, light ranch dressing, and light cream cheese. heat over medium heat, stirring often, until all ingredients are fully melted and mixed together into a smooth consistency. while the sauce is heating, lay your puff pastry dough on a baking sheet, and with either your hands or a rolling pin, flatten out slightly. once your sauce is ready, spread it onto your puff pastry dough, reserving a little for dipping. top the sauce and dough with your shredded chicken and mozzarella cheese. bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the ends of the crust are puffy and the cheese is starting to turn golden brown. let the pizza cool, and top with chopped cilantro for garnish. slice into 8 pieces and serve as a snack during the big football game.

buffalo chicken dip pizza perfect for a #HomeBowlParty #ad | everythingwithloveblog.com

what are your favorite eats and drinks for the big game? are you more of a sweet or savory snack person? i’d love if you shared some ideas!

(don’t forget to take advantage of the Coca-Cola and REESE’S cups footballs Cartwheel deals, both ending 2/13!)

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