why i left facebook…

i could likely talk about this for days. because the longer i consider it, the more reasons there are to have left. i “deleted” my account today…which you have to go to a special site that you have to google to find. they will keep your page forever hidden away in their secret stash, but your photos, notes, etc. gets removed from their servers. tricky, tricky, tricky….now, let’s dive in.

my final profile picture
my final profile picture

Number One — Privacy Mush.
facebook is getting scary, ya’ll. all this stuff about social experiments and facebook messenger app is scary and weird. i think because my generation grew into the social media right as we became independently thinking young adults, we take for granted that all is safe. the internet is something that most of us still do not truly understand. and to know that there are sites that are storing all my PERSONAL information is weird. online banking is scary enough! i know we could talk about all the things on the internet that are “scary” and how this statement could possibly be construed as hypocritical if i’m going to keep instagram and whatnot, but i guess you have to start somewhere, right? and today, it’s facebook. i am not educated enough about all these types of things, and really, they aren’t the most important reason i am leaving, so that’s all i will say about that.

Number Two — Attitude? Check.
this is the big one. i heart facebook, to be quite honest. i love to look at all my friends pretty pictures, and be exposed to funny buzzfeeds and music. i love seeing my niece sing and my sister’s photography. i live in a bit of a bubble as it is, and facebook usually keeps me somewhat aware of what is going on in the world.

but there are some major pitfalls to this sort of exposure. while i am inspired, i also, in a most honest and transparent way, have to admit that i spend a lot of time subconciously comparing my life to other people’s. and i know this is a typical struggle, but i think that if i step back, i tend to experience more feelings of lack or regret than of joy and satisfaction.

on another note….it has become a total compulsion for me. if i get up in the morning with time to spare, i tend to spend time on facebook, checking in on everyone’s feed rather than making breakfast or going for a run. that is what i got up early for, but i end up getting “distracted” and letting my plans fall away. same with work. if i’m here and it is slow, then i will spend hours just scrolling. not necessarily posting, but just being a voyer. and that leads back to the feelings i mentioned above…feeling like i’m not doing enough with my life, that i’m not experiencing enough….

WHICH, brings me to my next thought. when i DO experience something amazing, beautiful, emotional, truly life changing, i can’t help myself from posting it. in fact, it’s almost like it wasn’t AS awesome unless i share it with the facebook world. but whatever happened to just sharing these things with the people closest to us? and i mean REALLY closest to us. the other night, my husband and i were having dinner, and he did something so silly and so funny…i laughed one of those deep belly laughs. you wanna know what my VERY FIRST THOUGHT was? “i should post this on facebook”. that’s a problem. an official problem.

Number Three — Are You There God? It’s me, Amanda.
this one is tricky to convey. this may not be the problem for many of you, but my relationship with God has been heavily directed by facebook. it has become my church. inspirational quotes, messages, songs that draw me to the Lord….aaaaaaaaaaaaaand that’s it….i let my own personal relationship sortof fall off, and i haven’t been to church regularly in ages. i have no community here near my home of fellow believers that i meet with on sundays in the flesh. because facebook has “sustained” me by providing some Godly encounters. but that can’t be all there is. in the morning, i could be studying my bible. at night, i could be praying. but i don’t. i get so drawn away. it’s just like any distraction, but this one sortof snuck up on me. i didn’t even realize how much TIME i was spending on social media. and how much time i could be spending on other things.

—————————————————————————————————

this is all personal preference. it’s all personal struggle and personal testimony. i am not trying to get everyone to leave facebook, and i’m not trying to tear down anyone who stays. in its humble beginnings, it was meant to be good. and it was for me. but now, now i have forgotten who i am living for. when i see something awesome, i forget that i used to be introspective and let it find root in me. now i just blurt it out on my wall and kindof forget about it. and there is something sacred about the relationship between husband and wife….we get to see sides of each other that we are honored to know, and maybe, just maybe it isn’t everyone else’s business. at least not the 200+ people i couldn’t bring myself to defriend on there. as we grow together and experience life together, and maybe one day get pregnant and have a family and grow old and experience disease and sadness, maybe we should keep those things close to the heart. and while some people can, i found that i had lost my ability to maintain some privacy in my life, my thoughts, my emotions, my experiences. i think it is time to get back to my roots a little bit.

my hope is that this blog might encourage someone who might be dealing with similar struggles. maybe i could help put into words something that you struggled to see clearly in your own thoughts.

Advertisements

slow down…

this week i was browsing through pinterest, and i stumbled upon this photo:

photo courtesy of www.gingerunzueta.com/down-time-3/
photo courtesy of http://www.gingerunzueta.com/down-time-3/

i was enjoying all the photos from The Joy Project on Ginger Unzueta’s blog, but this one…i dont’ know. it stopped me in my tracks. it almost made me cry.

i remember that life. i remember days where all i had to think about was which blanket i would use and if my mom was going to make pizza for lunch or ham sandwiches. (side note: my mom always made meals such an event. it wasn’t just sandwiches, it was sandwiches cut in half placed nicely on a plate with a side of chips and a pickle and a glass of koolaid or tang over ice and a pretty napkin…looking back, i really loved those little touches. 😉 thanks mom!) i remember summers of being at the pool all day, then coming home to play outside with my sister, nap on the trampoline while reading a book, or sit and draw in my room. those days were spent in a different mindset.

now…yes…i know….things change when you grow up. of COURSE they change. but the opportunity is still there to just be ourselves in our space. i work a full time and a part time job. i understand what “busy” can mean. but i will take this moment to honestly acknowledge that i have time to spend on enjoying life that i am not taking hold of. we all do. and with that time, i want to remember the little things that make me happy. i want to sit on my porch and read a book, take a walk around my neighborhood, or ride my bike, bake some cookies, and sit in the office and draw. i spend way way WAY too much of my free time scrolling through facebook, watching terrible television programs (although i find television relaxing, i likely watch it too much), and here’s the big one…i spend a LOT of time WISHING i had the time to do other things….and that is where i am wasting. all the time i spend thinking i can’t, i COULD, i SHOULD, and from here on out, i’m making a goal that i WILL.

i like to be on social media. i am very inspired by the beautiful photos i see on instagram, and rejoice in reading about awesome things going on in the lives of my friends, but what about MY life? i just think it is time that i sat on the couch, worked with my hands, and listened to music again. and i know one day, i HOPE one day, i have little babies to tend to, and that will make this harder, so i want to take hold of it now! really, of every “now”, because

“Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone – as though we had never been here”—Psalm 103:15-16

i feel like in different areas of the bible, God wants us to take hold of the idea that life here is short, and He has given us so much to love and enjoy. i think it is time i enjoyed the gifts from God a bit more, and stopped letting myself sit in distraction and complaint.

the quest for health…

happy 2014! it’s a new year, and a new opportunity to improve. i know there are several schools of thought on New Year’s Resolutions. some people think they are necessary, some people think they are a setup for failure. some people think you should have them, just not call them resolutions, rather goals. but really, aren’t they the same thing? resolutions ARE goals, just ones wearing a happy new year cape.

so….this year, i have made some goals. and i am a person who feels like chances are fresh at “the beginning” of something. the beginning of the day, the beginning of the week, the beginning of the year. every beginning is to be noted in my world. and this, being the beginning MONTH of 2014 (not the day…i got hung up on the whole “i’m starting this on January 1” thing in the past, and when January 12 came along i felt as though i had failed and would give up) i have some newly set goals for my life that i’d like to give a try.

1) BE HEALTHIER.
not lose weight, because i’ve been trying to keep that resolution for 10 years now, and it seems to not be working. and there is all sorts of psychology to that. so this year, the goal is not to make a subtraction, but to make an addition. so, i will be ADDING healthier food choices to my diet. with that said, i would like to unveil to you an amazing tea i found at Teavana. White Chocolate Peppermint Rooibos Tea. it has zero calories, and reminds me of a chocolate drink. just smelling it is potentially enough to curb my sugar cravings for a bit. now, rooibos tea is a little weird. something about it is medicine-y for the first several sips. but it grows on you. and it helps me not go downstairs to starbucks and order a double tall white mocha…yes with whip cream please.

white chocolate peppermint tea

2) BE MORE ACTIVE.
ANOTHER addition! so, here’s the deal. i’m always saying i want to work out more. and honestly, i do. it isn’t hard to work out once i get myself to the gym or run once i’m outside in the cold with all my bundles on and my awesome new running pants,(thanks husbuddy) but it IS hard to get myself there…to reach the starting point. why? i don’t know. and i’m not sure i will ever figure it out. i like the way i feel AFTER i work out, and sometimes, ….sometimes…the way i feel WHILE i am working out. they always say to choose an activity that doesn’t make you miserable. ladies and gents, after several years of searching, i finally found something that isn’t horrible to me. yes, i will become a yogi, not only for the physical benefits, but for the spiritual. i like the connection, and i like that i’m in a room full of people that want to be more peaceful in life. game on. i also finally figured out how to run and not hate it. …even like it. the key? slow slow slow slow building up. the first time i went out to run, they told me to run till i felt like stopping. that was a whopping 4 minutes and 28 seconds. but now i am running COMFORTABLY for about 30 minutes. time. slow. listen to my body. and now i can be one of those people that goes out and runs a mile and enjoys myself. WIN!

3) BE MORE LOVING. MORE JESUS.
i love the “fruits of the spirit”, and i want more of that in my life. i NEED more of that in my life. like….now…..and last month….and in 6 years. i just need it. so, this year, i will ADD these values to my life, to my world.
Galatians 5:22-23
these are the fruits of the spirit…..
love: a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person
joy: to be glad; rejoice
peace: a state of mutual harmony between people; to end hostilities and abstain from further fighting
patience: an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance; quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care
kindness: the state or quality of being of a good or benevolent nature
goodness: excellence of quality; the best part of anything
faithfulness: true to one’s word; reliable, trusted, or believed
gentleness: gradual; mild; moderate; not severe
self-control: control or restraint of oneself, actions, and feelings

***the biggest “fruit of the spirit” for me is gentleness. and i have been desperate to grasp that. all in all, i need to have more of the Holy Spirit in my life. it makes me a better, more loving, effective person in my life. it makes my relationships better, it keeps my heart open. this is a major addition to my life.

4) A BABY.
Now, this one is a bit out of my hands, so to speak, but all my other goals will support this one. the addition of healthier choices to my diet and lifestyle can only prepare me better for this journey. and the addition of more peace, more spirit, more gentleness, more love, more goodness, more kindness, more patience (and so on) can only prepare me better to be a mother, as i know how difficult that can be.

so, here’s to “resolutions”, as i hope my goals will always be dressed to impress me with their dedication to success. wear your 2014 cape with pride.

summer food.

happy tuesday! i hope everyone had an amazing long weekend. it is so good to have an extra day off. i have been watching those calories…except for yesterday (oops!). so, today is a new day. AND today will be my second delivery for our CSA! last year i wanted to do a CSA, but adam and i could not find anyone to pair up with us. we were afraid that the full share would be too much for us, but we were afraid the half wouldn’t quite cut it! this year, we paired up with a couple of my friends and co-workers to split a full share. this means we get a full box every week loaded up with fresh veggies and fruit.

our CSA

last week was so exciting, and we enjoyed tons of delicious new recipes. i have actually never had swiss chard…well, that i know of. it was in our box, and i sauteed it with onions and butter, then cooked (per my mom’s suggestion) some spring onions with butter, salt, and pepper wrapped in foil on the grill. delicious! and the craziest thing about it is i used to HATE onions. and i mean hate. i wouldn’t go near them, now i love them. still have some particulars, like they have to be cooked, but i feel this is a huge step.

dinner CSA

if you are interested in learning more about CSA’s, check out this wikipedia article. and if you live in the nashville area, get out to some farmer’s markets! let’s support our local farmers and our own health by eating local, organic, non-GMO food! lasts longer in your fridge and tastes amazing. we use Delvin Farms, in case you were wondering.

i’ve been busy reading…

it has been forever since i last posted. every monday comes and then every friday goes, and i think, ugh…what am i so busy doing that i cannot take the time? well, i have been busy reading….

…”reading what?”…you may ask. well, i have just been enjoying the blogging world. looking at photos, reading about homemade laundry detergent, discovering AMAZING new recipes through pinterest, and just living it all out.

in the past month or so, i have made some very delicious recipes for my hubbs. my most recent favorite is a balsamic glazed pork tenderloin with bacon and walnut brussels sprouts! seriously amazing…seriously delicious.

photo courtesy of C & C Marriage Factory blog!
photo courtesy of C&C Marriage Factory blog!

i have also spent a lot of time browsing a new blog i keep up with called “The Mommypotamus“. i may not have children (yet), but this blog is full of holistic, natural recipes, homemade cleaners, and advice. i can’t get enough of it. this week, the allergy/cold/sinus bug is trying its best to get me down, but i am going to try some of her remedies to see if it helps…which brings me to what i want to share, specifically, today. her post about natural cold remedies. is spring trying to pull you down too? well, check this out!

http://www.mommypotamus.com/kiss-your-kleenex-goodbye-forever/
p.s….i plan to get back in the swing of posting soon. thank you to everyone who follows me. it is flattering beyond words!

happy tuesday!

puddle cookies…

i subscribe to a blog called “stone soup“. i love it. i have created a stack of recipes i want to try from this blog that sound so good, and she has great gift ideas, and so much more! seriously, it’s a gold mine.

now, normally i try to make friday a “quote” day, but i have been semi-absent on posting this week with coming back from holidays, joining the swim team, and decorating for christmas business going on, PLUS i found these today and i just really REALLY want to try them soon. especially coming off of my clean week, i think a cookie that is ‘middle-ground’ unhealthy is a good choice (although my sister and i were laughing today at the idea of a “healthy” cookie…because really, that is just what we say to make ourselves feel better).

jules originally credits another blog, 101 cookbooks, for this recipe.
They’re light and crispy on the outside and gooey chocolatey goodness on the inside with nuts for crunch, and they are bound with just egg whites.

“With only 5 ingredients and a straight forward method that requires nothing more than a bowl and a spoon for stirring – we’re talking simple as well….plus they’re gluten and dairy free!”–stone soup.

puddle cookies

[5 ingredients | simple baking]
puddle cookies
makes about 9 giant cookies

Inspired by Heidi from 101 cookbooks.

you can make these cookies whatever size you like; bite sized or giant sized!

Stone Soup recommends something i can certainly get on board with…IF you happen to prefer your cookies sans nuts (or are making them for someone with a nut allergy?) you could sub in some chocolate chips to make a cookie i might fall over dead for….double chocolate chip puddle cookies! oh chocolate, i enjoy our love affair.

155g (5oz or 1 1/2C) roasted & chopped nuts – hazelnuts or walnuts are a good cookie nut, in my opinion.
225g (9oz or 2C) icing (powdered or confectioners) sugar
30g (1oz or 1/3C) cocoa powder
1t vanilla extract
2 egg whites

Preheat oven to 160C (320F).

Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl until well combined.

Spoon into 2 tablespoon piles on 2 baking trays lined with baking paper. Leave heaps of space between – they’re really going to spread.

Bake for 12 – 15 minutes or until they have puffed up and cracked on top. Cool on the tray.

i think i shall try these sooner than later, maybe i will make them for my husband as a congratulations-you-ate-so-well-this-week-now-eat-a-cookie cookie.

well, i will go on ahead and leave you with this thought, to keep with tradition…

quote3

happy weekend! go live it however life presents it to you! find joy in the smallest things.

______________________________________________________________

clean week.

courtesy of sayyestohoboken.com

this week is a real challenge for me. my husband and i came home from thanksgiving feeling unbelievably bloated and heavy. we really didn’t eat that much, but i think all the extra carbs and ice cream that we normally enjoy on occasion were a bit too much for our systems. now, adam eats healthy 85% of the time at home. i, however, am not so disciplined. but i have really been feeling blah, so when he told me he was doing 8 days of strict clean eating, i signed on.

within a day i was almost in tears for a hot chocolate, or a mt. dew….or something bread-y. but i have stuck with it. now well into day 3, i’m feeling strong. on top of that, i joined a master’s swimteam this week (woo!) and got back in my running routine. i am pretty excited about the swimteam. i will have to continue to push myself to get out of bed this week, since i am not used to going yet, but i fully believe that i will feel very rewarded!

during this week, we will not eat any sugar (except fruit), no carbs (only the ones in green veggies), no alcohol (which is easy for him), and no starch. it is actually difficult to get in all the calories you need this way, which is impressive to me, since i can inhale over 2000 calories with ease when i am eating those other things.

this is not a weight loss routine, it is a small cleansing routine. i just need to be off sugar for a little bit. i eat so much of it.

for dinner, we had brussels sprouts and salmon! adam cooks a meeeean salmon. whenever i am ready to venture back into a touch of sweet, i plan on spicing my brussels sprouts up, like the picture above. i found the recipe on “Say Yes to Hoboken” and i cannot wait to try it out. i love brussels sprouts. then, when we are taking our “cheat” meal, i will be making THIS for breakfast!….

(these pancakes are still pretty good for you, so they won’t be too bad of a cheat. i found the recipe at “Biggest Loser Recipes“. my father-in-law made some very similar to these over the holidays, and he added greek yogurt instead of cottage cheese. they were amazing! truly!)

until then, i think these 2 breakfast items will be awesome….

egg whites and veggies, bake in muffin tin @350 for 20-25 min

–i haven’t tried this, so if it explodes, don’t blame me!

i also want to make this. the potatoes and the cheese will have to be omitted while i’m eating clean, but i can add them back in.

courtesy of savvy delicious

you can find the recipe for this dish here!

well, happy eating, and happy healthy-ing.
it’s never too early to start your “new years resolution”.