June 28, 2016

Blogger Men Tell All - June

What is your favorite summer treat?
Hubs: I dunno. Probably smoothies.
Me: Why smoothies
Hubs: they are healthy and they are good. Lets you get your fruit servings in.
Me:You can also sneak in some veggies too.
Hubs: yep.

If you could go anywhere on vacation, where would you go and why?
Hubs: France.
Me: Why.
Hubs: I've always wanted to go to France, not sure why. I've heard good things about it and that they have good food.
Me: mm hmm
Hubs: Plus there's stuff like the Eiffel Tower.

Do you have a favorite song that says “summer” to you? What is it?
Hubs: What?..... no. Not that I recall.
We: So there's no song that you know that feels like a summer type song.
Hubs: Well you could throw the Hokey Pokey in there. Shake it all about. And whatever the rest of the words are.
Me: *after stiffling my laughter* Seriously, though. The Hokey Pokey?
Hubs: It's the only song I could think of right off.

What summer project are you hoping to accomplish before fall?
Hubs: Are you laughing cause you think I'm going to say the bathroom?
Me: hahahaha, yes!
Hubs: Well, yeah. That would be nice.
Me: We're about half-way there.

Me: Anything else you'd like add?
Hubs: Cleveland sucks!
Me: Huh
Hubs: The NBA finals. I think they're rigged.
Me: How so?
Hubs: It's just weird how all 6 games were blowouts. And game seven just happened to be close and they made about $13 million in revenue off that game. Just seems fishy to me.
Me: Oh.

He never disappoints with these. Ever.

Linking up with Becca Dorr for Blogger Men Tell All

June 24, 2016

Homemade (sorta Paleo) Chocolate Covered Fruit and Nut Clusters

Chocolate Covered Fruit and Nut Clusters

When I tried (and failed) to follow the paleo diet, I came across the wonderful chocolate alternative that is almond bark. Nuts were a common snack that I liked, but I craved something sweet. Per the usual, I started experimenting in the kitchen. And BOOM, these tasty clusters were born!

What You Need:

Chocolate flavored Almond Bark
Nuts of choice
Dried fruits of choice
Sea Salt (or a salt grinder)

I'm not giving measurements for this, because it really just depends on how much you want to make. This recipe requires some eyeballing of portions and preferences of tastes.


Large microwave safe bowl
Aluminum foil


On a flat surface lay out a length aluminum foil or you can cover a cookie sheet with foil. If you don't use a cookie sheet, you want to make sure that you won't need the space for anything else for at least an hour.


Put several blocks of the almond bark in the bowl and microwave for 2 minutes. Stir and microwave for an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute if needed. You want the bark to be all melted. Once it is, you can pour in your nuts and dried fruits, then mix until they are well covered. 

Spoon small clusters onto the prepared foil space or cookie sheet and sprinkle sea salt on top. Leave them to harden for at least an hour.

You do need to store them in sealed container, but they don't need to be refrigerated.

And there you have it! Chocolate Covered (sorta paleo) Fruit and Nut Clusters!

These are perfect when you just need a little something to pacify your sweet tooth, and not totally undo all the hard work you've done eating healthy. And because they don't need refrigeration, you can slip a baggie of them in your purse for a snack on the go!

Have you ever cooked with almond bark before? How'd it go?

June 21, 2016

A Blessing in Disguise

I never thought I would say this, but right this moment, my body's uncooperative attitude about baby making is a bit of a blessing in disguise. You read that right. A blessing in disguise. 

No, we're not giving up. We still want a baby of our own very much. However, summer is usually a slower period at the company where Hubs works, and normally it's not too bad for him, so he could still get in the hours he needed. This summer it's bad. For everyone. We won't be standing in line at the Food Pantry, but there won't be any excess for eating out, movies, or various other things. Just the essentials and stuff to complete the bathroom reno.  

God knew hard times were headed our way, so he pushed the pause button on our baby journey. While I was certainly not happy about it at the time, I understand now. He did lead us to our wonderful doctor a couple of months ago, and after a lot of thought and prayer, we have decided to begin medicated cycles to help my body remember what it was built for. Luckily the medications are super affordable for us, even during this slow period. So, here's hoping He pushes play, and we finally get our two pink lines.

If I had fallen pregnant earlier in the year, I'm almost certain we wouldn't be as comfortable as we are going into the summer season. After all, a lot goes into housing a tiny human in your body for 40 weeks and then getting a house ready for baby to join the outside world. We are prepared for doing all of that, when the time comes though. 

And it will come, in His time.

Have you ever experienced something like this?

June 17, 2016

Currently June

Since I was a total space cadet last week and forgot to show up here at all, I figured a "currently" post was called for. It was a busy week and weekend for us though, and one of the things I was consumed with was Mar's new design for To & Fro.

Loving: Pop Tarts, Pringles, Amazon Prime, yoga pants, tank tops, and the everlasting patiences of my husband.

Reading: The Fifty Shades books. I recently watched the movie again and decided that I wanted to read them. Hubs is hoping it will inspire more "action" for our baby journey.

Feeling: Accomplished. Tired. Anxious. Hopeful. Nervous.

Watching: Downton Abbey. Again. I know, but I just can't get enough. It's literally my favorite thing right now. I've also been watching some of the DVDs we own at night before bed. Mostly Disney (cause I'm a 7 year old at heart) and old movies like My Fair Lady.

Writing: New pages content for a blog design I've been working on. I'm excited about this one, and if you know me you'll understand why when I finally reveal it.

Listening: "From the Ground Up" by Dan + Shay. On repeat. It's such a sweet song and I tear up during the beginning.

Wanting: For summer to be over already. I know I'm going to get some side eye for that statement, but I don't do well in the heat and humidity. Neither does Bear. I feel so bad for him during the hot months.

Needing: Better sleep. Hubs has been sick and Bear has been needy, which means crappy sleep for me.

Hoping: That Hubs will be able to push through this slow period at work. This year it's pretty bad.

Avoiding: Going outside. Like I said. I can't even with the summer heat. And what the crap is with the temps already up in the 90s!!

Wishing: That we won't have to wait much longer to see two pink lines. I've got a little update on this topic, but I'll save it for another post.

Trying: To fill my design calendar for the summer. I've still got spots available if you or someone you know is looking for a new blog design.

Hating: That nothing ever sounds good for dinner. I might just have to shop for a few days at a time with the way things are going right now haha!

Missing: My mom and Llama. Not having classes this summer leaves me home by myself most all of the time these days. I think I trip to GA this summer is just what's needed.

Praying: For Orlando.

Thinking: About all the things we still have to do in the bathroom. I'm hoping things will pick up in the next couple of weeks.

Considering: Some small changes to my own blog design. Doing them for others really gets the creative juices flowing.

So, that's what's up with me. What's up with you?

June 14, 2016

Design Reveal - to & fro

I totally dropped the ball here in this space last week, but I think my excuse it pretty good. I was boobs deeps in another blog design, and it turned out so lovely. I hope you'll forgive me.

Not long after I started work on the design for Cattails, Rabbit Trails, & Thistlefish, I received another inquiry. I was elated. My books are filling up and it's great. Keep them coming! Anyway, Mar from To & Fro was in need of something fresh and new, as well as a little rescue from broken links and disappearing images. I'm still so honored when a blogger chooses me from the vast pool of talented designers.

Earthy tones of greens and blues paired with soft water color strokes. I've been dying to do a watercolor design and was super excited when that's exactly what Mar was looking for. At first I was a little worried the colors were too bright, but then I thought that nature gives us bright colors as well a muted ones, and everything in between. I also love that she chose a font that from the same font designer of the font that I choose for my own blog.

I always learn something new with each design I complete. We should all strive to learn something new every day, and with a little research, trial and error, hair pulling, and eurekas I was able to not only meet the expectations of my client, but to meet my own as well. I'm much harder to please than most people; I am my own worst critic.

You can see the live design HERE. You can keep up with Mar on Instagram and Twitter, and never miss a blog post by following To & Fro on Bloglovin'. To find out how you can get your own custom design, or to see some pre-made templates visit Knock on Wood Designs.

I think the new look suits her well. What do you think?

June 3, 2016

Does Race Really Exist?

In my sociology class we watched a video called The House We Live In, and it claims that contrary to popular belief, race does not exist. While it may not exist in the biologically scientific sense of the term, it does exist in a sociocultural sense. Why? Because the people of our world have made it real, and therefore, race cannot be cast out as a fictional concept. The same argument could also be applied to the question of the existence of the Gods of religious faiths. If the Christian/Jewish God, the Islamic Allah, or the Hindu Devas/Devis are not biologically real, then do they really exist? Science cannot disprove the existence of a higher power, nor can it disprove the existence of the social and political concept of race, so we are at an impasse of sorts.

An interesting theory in quantum mechanics, describes this predicament perfectly: quantum indeterminacy or more commonly known as Schrödinger’s Cat (if you watch Big Bang Theory, you know all about this). Suppose a cat is inclosed in a box with a vial of radioactive poison. This vial is programed in such a way that it will randomly be broken, releasing the poison which will kill the cat. Because there is no way for us to know, without opening the box, when or if the poison will be released and thus killing the cat, the cat can be thought of as both dead and alive at the same time. If we apply this same concept to race, we can assume that race is both real and not real at the same time.

So where did race come from then? And why do we think the way we do about the different races? I used quantum mechanics to explain the existence of race, now I’m going use behavioral Psychology to explain why people still think the way they do about race. Take, for instance, Pavlov’s Dog. Show a dog a full food bowl (the unconditioned stimulus), and it will salivate in anticipation of eating the food (the unconditioned reaction). To reward the dog for salivating, we then give him the food. Next, we add the ding of a bell (the conditioned stimulus) along with the sight of the food, until the dog associates the sound with the food (conditioned response). Now the dog only has to hear the ding of the bell to salivate whether he gets any food or not. We are the dog in this scenario. The government and the media are the “scientists”, and they used the unconditioned stimulus of poverty, violence, un-intelligence, and ignorance paired with the race they wanted to repress to condition our responses and reactions to people of that race. 

This is where things get sticky. Starting from the beginning of our written history up to our modern day leaders, human governments have taken it upon themselves to define race. Changing their minds as new threats allegedly arose that would negatively impact the control and the power and the wealth they coveted. Meticulously ranking each racial group in order of their own chauvinistic importance and perceived intelligence of others to secure their foot holds on thrones, in the pulpit, atop the judicial bench, or in oval offices. Our very own governments have given us the tools that encourage and facilitate racism with laws and policies determining who gets what, how much they get, and when they get it. And because of these laws, we think that it is OK for this to happen.

Who are we to judge what makes some people better than others based on the color of their skin? Who are we to say what religions and cultures are considered “good” religions and cultures? Who are we to justify the actions of previous leaders because they punished people for being different using these supposed classifications of race? Things are the way they are today because someone somewhere at some point decided that’s they way things were going to be, and no one challenged him (I am going to say “him” because let’s face it, white men started this whole thing) because he had wealth and power. And ever since then we have been conditioned by our leaders and the media to see race in a negative light, and to use stereotypes to make judgements about people without knowing them personally.

I think the bigger question the video is addressing is not surrounding scientific aspect of the existence of race, but the moral and ethical aspects of race. Not “does race exist?”, but “should race exist?” In my opinion, yes. The collection of racial demographics is important information for tracking purposes especially when it is pertaining to medical reasons, population censuses, and sometimes for cultural or historical documentation. This leads me to believe that mere existence of race is not the real issue, because it is only when race is used as a discriminatory factor against some and/or in favor of others that it becomes a problem, in other words, racism is the issue. Racism, and not just the existence of race, is the problem we, as a people, need to tackle.

What do you think? Should race exist?