Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Three Things that Help Me when it's hard (or has turned to complete crap ;)

Oh how I loved this!

Hey blog friends!  I haven't been around here in quite some time.  Decided to bust this baby out to tell you all what all has been happening since we left Austin and moved to Seaside, FL.

Just in case you may have thought that we are living the high life (which, lets be honest, living at the beach is always going to be a plus!), I wanted to bring some real-ness and give you some perspective.  Also, I wanted to share some things that I'm learning.  I truly am having a life-changing amazing time, and all of this plays its part in that, yet this *feels* like one of the hardest times of my life.  If you've experienced something similar, or if you feel abandoned to chance or circumstance, I want to be here for you- sharing what has helped me along the way!
these three....
We love the pace of life here, always have.  So when David's job ended in Austin, TX, we went on vacation...naturally- that's what people do right when they are trying to figure out what to do?  Just us?  I know we don't "work" the way most people do, but I do highly recommend feeding your soul when you are not sure what to do next.  When you are waiting on your intuition and faith to catch up to the next chapter, taking a break, resting, and doing what you love is a good idea in my book.

So fast forward (for more on the story of how we got to Seaside in the first place, check out this episode from my podcast with Heather, The Practical Minimalists) a couple weeks after we got here...

We had housing set up for 5 months, renting monthly from two different homes in Naturewalk Subdivision.  Not a do-able feat down here, but we were pumped and felt like we were led here with our new jobs and housing wins.  Yet, a week after we got here, had already sold all our stuff to move here and were getting settled into our first home, our second home- the one from May-Sept- became totally unavailable to rent.

We then set out on a three-week long home-hunt right before peak season which led us to comments like this, "Well, maybe we can rent a home for $3200 a month that smells bad and is tiny?" or "Maybe we can make that one work with the pretty view, even though we had to walk over the dog poop in the master and they had 13 other pets??"  Seriously.  These were our conversations...

At some point during our home-hunt, we decided to take a different approach.  We decided to have blind faith that something amazing was out there for us, and we could only surrender control in each given moment to that possibility- not searching/striving/settling/controlling, but just practicing surrender.

Let me just tell you that surrendering is hard as crap.  Like super, super hard.

Surrendering to the fact that there is Someone out there that has Our Good in mind.  Surrendering to the fact that I could not magically create a home for us in our budget out of thin air (although, I tried this many times ;).

We ended up renting a weekly rental, deciding we didn't want to spend that kind of money again, and then almost giving up, surrendering living here all together because we had no housing options at all.  (Meanwhile, we do just have a couple car loads of stuff we are carting around, but by the thought of a third house, we were wanting to be more settled and not moving stuff from house to house to house).

Enter my community.  They found us a house.  Two houses actually.  My amazing bosses at The Art of Simple have some wonderful community connections and they found us this beautiful, wonderful Magnolia-esque dream home in our price range.  We saw it, and even though it came unfurnished, we decided to sign a year lease.  It was wonderful.  I walked throughout it, posted about it, was so proud of it, and dreamed up all the ways I would decorate and furnish it a little at a time over the coming months.  We even purchased new beds for everyone and some household necessities.
#minimal
This bliss lasted exactly 3 1/2 days.  We began to notice that the floors were wavy- yes, "wavy".  Turns out a dishwasher was installed wrong and leaking through the entire home.  The problem kept making other problems.  People came out and tore up the floors (those beautiful floors!!!).  We lived with 7 very loud dehumidifiers for 7 days (a rather difficult thing for our sensory challenged kiddos).  Finally, our landlord gave up- He knew that this would take several months to fix and he gave us all our money back and cancelled our lease.

Remember that second home our community found us?  Well, we live there now.  We had one housing option and it was affordable.  It's not exactly where we would choose to live (it's someone's home with all their stuff in it), but it is a current roof, a spacious roof with a pool...even if the decor is the opposite of my taste ;).
all this lasted 3 1/2 days...
I first wanted to title this post "just kidding"  This, however, is not a negative nelly post.  I'm actually really thankful for this whole experience and some truly neat things have come from it, including free rent!  I wanted to share what has been helping me...maybe it will help you to if things are feeling crappy today...

1.  I've learned to practice an unshaking faith that Everything Is and Will Work Out in our Favor.  I used to think faith was just Choice, but now I think it might be more a combo of Choice and a Muscle.  So when we had lived in this beautifulness for only three days and they started tearing up the floor and putting in a crazy loud dehumidifiers, I kept saying to myself and our family, "This is going to lead to something better, I know that it will...." Did I always feel it?  No.  But somehow my faith muscles are getting stronger and it actually did lead us to at least a better financial situation!
  
2.  This has been hard, really, really hard, and I'm learning to talk about it.  But wait, I thought you were learning that everything was going to be Ok...Why talk about how hard it is?  Yes, I am, and I'm also learning that processing and metabolizing the Hard and my strengthening my Faith muscles growing are NOT mutually exclusive!  A sweet friend came into the store I was working at the other day and asked how I was doing....and I actually told her the truth!  I'm not really about ignoring feelings and this is been really hard on all five of us, but many times I will take on the role of "make it ok for everyone...It's your job, Eryn, to make it ok!!!"  So I've let myself cry, moan, feel the loss, and complain.  I also believe so much in Abundance and Freedom for my Family, but that does not come by ignoring the Hard; it comes by going THROUGH the hard!  Both of these things are helping me.

3.  Oils, Back Rubs, and Naps...Basically Self-Care.  I know this sounds cliche but sometimes it just takes giving yourself a "Yes" to change your whole state of mind!  I've also shared some of that here. These past two months have been challenging in the sensory department, the emotional department, and the family department.  So David will raindrop some emotional oils on me at night.  I take naps when I can.  I ask for a back rub...or let the kids rub lotion on my arms and I'm a whole different kind of happy person!

What helps you when things get really, really hard?  Feel free to share in the comments <3 Eryn

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Vegan Strawberry Cream Cheez Rolls



Something pink for Valentines day for my vegan and gluten-free friends!!!
This reipe adapted from @rawcells cinnamon rolls on Instagram.  Follow Natasha for some great ideas for gf/vegan desserts!


vegan strawberry cream cheez rolls

gluten free, vegan, nut-free, yields 12 large rolls

Ingredients:

for the dough:

  • 1 3/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 3/4 cup favorite GF AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup organic sugar of choice (I used organic, non-gmo cane sugar)
  • 2 tbsp flax meal
  • 1/2 cup cold vegan butter or coconut oil (I use 1/2 earth balance and 1/2 coconut oil)
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk of choice (I use Good Karma flax milk)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar 

for the filling:

  • 4 oz vegan cream cheese or @coyo_is_coconuts plain yogurt (1 tub of coyo, 1/2 tub vegan cream cheese)
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 pint strawberries, washed and chopped small
  • 1 Tbsp organic cane sugar or sugar of choice

for the frosting:

  • 2 containers of plain Coyo yogurt
  • 3 drop Lemon Vitality essential oil (can sub 1 tsp lemon juice)
  • 4 Tbsp of this homemade red food dye (also below)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp vegan butter or coconut oil, melted

can use the pink cream cheez frosting for other things like gf bagels too, packed with probiotics and goodness ;)

    Method:

    for the dough:
    • Whisk all dry ingredients together.
    • Using a pastry blender or a fork, cut in the cold butter or coconut oil until small pea-sized pieces form.
    • Add milk and ACV and knead until a dough forms.  Add flour if needed.
    • Turn dough onto a large rectangular piece of parchment paper.  Place another piece of parchment over the dough and roll into a large rectangle, about 12" x 18", should be at least 1/4" thick all around.  Peel off top layer parchment and shape as needed.

    for the filling:

    • Blend the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and lemon juice together with hand mixer or fork.
    • Chop the strawberries and mix with the tbsp of sugar.
    • Spread the cream cheese filling over the dough rectangle, leaving an inch along the bottom of the length of the 18" side, and then sprinkle the strawberries on evenly.
    • Roll the 18" side towards you, using the parchment paper to help.  It might be too loose at this point to cut, if so, don't cut yet. 
    • Refrigerate or freeze for 20-30 minutes while you make the frosting and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F during this time.
    for the frosting:
    • Beat all ingredients together with hand mixer.
    • Refrigerate until ready to frost.
    • Meanwhile, after the rolls are ready to cut, cut about 1 1/2" slices and place in a 9 x 13 greased glass baking dish.
    • Bake for 30-35 minutes at 350 F.
    • Let cool for 20 min and frost and enjoy!
    • Can store these in the refrigerator for a few days as well.


    they're even yum un-iced too!

    easy natural red-food dye 

    allergy-friendly for those who cannot have traditional red food dyes and colorings

    Ingredients:


    • 1/2 cup water
    • 2-3 Tbsp chopped beet, for stronger color you can use more beets
    • 3 Tbsp organic sugar

    Method:


    • Heat all ingredients in a sauce pan to a boil.  Boil for 3 minutes.
    • Reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes.
    • Let cool, strain, and store in refrigerator until needed.

    Monday, January 23, 2017

    Chickpea Casserole


    This meal has been a staple for 10 years in our fam.  My sister-in-law introduced us to the magic of chickpea casserole.  Do you ever have those low-energy nights where you just want to dump some stuff in a bowl and cook it?  This is that recipe.  We have it probably once a week in the rotation, and it is my gift to you tired and weary mamas!  An Easy Recipe where you probably have everything in your pantry already, friends!
    basil vitality eo makes this extra flavor-full!

    Chickpea casserole

    serves 6-8 and best served with rice or noodles and a side salad
    gluten-free, vegan, all the frees, actually ;)

    Ingredients

    • 2 cans chickpeas
    • 1 can diced organic tomatoes
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 1 garlic clove, diced
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 1-2 drops basil vitality essential oil (added after cooking)
    • (can substitute 1 tsp dried basil or several fresh basil leaves for the above)
    • 2 packages gluten-free noodles or 1-2 cups rice prepared according to package directions

    Method

    • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
    • Add all ingredients except the essential oil (if using dried or fresh herb, DO add at this phase) to a glass 9 x 13 baking pan and cover with aluminum foil.
    • Bake for 35-45 min, or until onions are soft.
    • Let cool for 10 minutes and add the basil vitality essential oil (1-2 drops, no more) for added flavor.  
    • Serve over rice or noodles and enjoy! 






    Monday, January 16, 2017

    Gluten & Dairy Replacements

    Hey friends!  I've been meaning to do this post for a while now.  We've eaten gluten and dairy free for several years now and I know when you first start out this can be overwhelming!!  Many of you might be wanting to give up gluten or dairy for the New Year.  Eating plant-based can be a great way to cleanse and start fresh!

    Here's a resource for you if you are trying to give up one or the other (also all these products are also egg-free if you have sensitivities to that too!).  These are our favorite products that many people who aren't GF/DF love too when they come over ;)

    Austin is a great place where we have access to many health goods and gf/df/vegan grocery items.  If you don't live in Austin, then I've included Amazon links to all that I recommend for ease of buying!

    Breakfast and baking Staples

    GF/DF (and most are vegan and non-GMO!)
    • Love Grown Foods, we particularly like the Strawberry Power O's and the three kid's cereal, these are gluten-free and vegan and bean based so low-glycemic and t.a.s.t.y
    • Little Northern Bake-house, can be found at your local Sprouts and we love the Millet Chia Bread
    • Young Living Pancake & Waffle Mix, we use that around here as an AP flour and it's my favorite flavor- not too strong gf, but uses healthy gf, non-gmo grains
    • Katz Donuts- these do contain eggs, but are a tasty occasional treat around here for those of us who tolerate egg OK on occasion.
    • King Arthur GF AP flour, this 3-pound size on Amazon is the best deal by far- only $3 more than the 1 pound-er!
    • Neat Egg for egg replacement- I prefer using this to flax eggs in recipes 
    • Enjoy Life for all allergen-free chocolate recipes.  They have dark chocolate morsels that I love for baking
    • Domata seasoned flour for frying 
    • Wholly Wholesome frozen GF pie crusts

    Dairy Replacements

    Dressings and Sauces

    • Follow Your Heart Vegan Dressings like Cesar and Ranch
    • Tessamae's line of Dressings
    • Fabanase line of vegan mayo flavors- we love chipotle
    • Just Mayo, great vegan mayo that can be found anywhere!
    • Salsa, Guacamole, and Hummus are also all great choices everyday ;)

    Snacks

    • Do you miss sour cream and onion chips?  For these type items we love Earth Balance Brand.  (the cheese squares are not gluten-free thought- fyi!)
    • Go Raw for snacking- seeds and dried goods are great for road trips!
    • Snap Pea Crisps - these are affordable and a great on-the-go snack
    • Glutino Pretzels, hard to find gf/df pretzels!
    • For more snack ideas check out this post on my blog from last year.  These are all great for lunches too! 

    Quick Meal Ideas

    • Lundberg boxed rice meals
    • Tamales (these are generally found locally, but almost always gf and can be found df and vegan too!)
    • Ian's (not vegan, but the kids love chicken nuggets or fish sticks occasionally!) brand frozen- can be found at target even.  Bub's loves the turkey corn dog nuggets ;)
    • GF noodles + DF tomato sauce (check your tomato sauce can for Milk, many store bought- even organic ones, contain milk as an ingredient!)
    • Smart Flour pizza crusts + tomato sauce + df cheese (see above)

    Wednesday, January 11, 2017

    Tyranny of The Shoulds


    It's a little pretty here, but an oh-so-ugly word!  I first heard this term in Grad School.  It's a term coined by Karen Horney, a psychiatrists from the early 20th century, and later developed by a dude named Albert Ellis, who used "should-ing" and other strong language around the topic.

    The Tyranny of the Shoulds.  

    These Shoulds can be fierce dictators, tyrannical voices ruling our thoughts and decisions, how we see and feel about ourselves.

    As soon as I heard this, almost 5 years ago now, I decided I'm done with Should-ing....I will not use that word with myself or any other human.

    And I actually stuck to it for a bit and didn't.  I also just replaced it with a bunch of need to/ must/ have to/ if I only/ if I just....It goes on and on from there.

    Shoulds are sneaky that way.

    Should is a powerful word.  It can be incredibly shaming and incredibly manipulative.  We use it when we want others to do what we want or what we think is best; we use it when we feel like we need to be better/ more worthy; we use it when we shame ourselves even!

    In fact, I would argue that the Inner Should-ing is where it's at.  We love to tell ourselves all the things we should do to get happier, more healthy, be a better parent.

    For me this means lying in bed at night and going over all the things I should do tomorrow to achieve all my dreams.  Or lying in bed going over the previous day and replaying how I could have handled several things better and what I should have done.

    How many times a day do you say "I should have_____" or "If only I could____" or "I just need to_____" or "I've GOT to get better at_____"??

    Sound familiar?  You say these things to yourself a lot.  I say them to Me a lot.  To give you an idea of a typical day inside my head, here is just a random example that would probably never happen ;)
    • (Wake up, getting out of bed) I should be a better mom, more available to the kids.
    • (1 hour into the day) I just need to learn how to listen better- this will help my kids know I love them.  I should sit and listen to each of them and their hopes and dreams.
    • (5 minutes later) I've got to get better at time management, then I will have time to sit and listen to my kids.
    • (later, after succeeding at 0 of my Shoulds) If I could just take a nap and check out for a while...then I will be better and then can be a better mom.
    • (5 minutes post-nap) Ok, now I can be available to the kids, I'm gonna rock this...
    • (5 minutes later) I should have been better at that mom thing; I freaking even had a nap!

    I am should-ing/ must-ing/ if-only-ing all over myself.  And guess what?
    The Should-ing prevents the desired outcome of the Should.

    I'm so confident in this statement that I think it could be proven scientifically or through quantum mechanics or something!  It's so very true.  The more I live out of and give voice to my "Shoulds", the less and less I get done, the more cranky of a mother I become, the less energy I have to work, and the cycle continues and continues.

    So here is my proposal:

    Let's Call a Spade a Spade, or in this case, A Should a Should.  Let's speak these out loud to each other, lets catch our should-ing in the process!
    My motto for me when I catch myself saying "I need to/have to/got to/ should_____" is this:  I do not have to do anything.  I am enough.  (I know you are thinking here, well you have to eat, breathe, feed the kids, blah blah, and yes, these things usually require doing.  However, I'm choosing to say I get to do these things that seem mandatory, like breathing, eating, and mothering.  And I get to do them from a place of fullness and enough-ness.  This perspective helps me.)

    And here is what I want to say to you, dear friend:  You do not have to do anything.  You are OK exactly as you are.  You may not feel it or think it's true.  It is.  You are enough.  I recognize your enough-ness; I see it in you!!!

    Are there things that will need doing?  Sure.  Do you have to do them from a place of Should-ing?  Absolutely not!  Why?  Because those shoulds do not come from you, dear friend.  Those shoulds come from a place that does not belong in our heads.  They are put there by some other person who is not us, or some other force that is not for us.

    What would it look like to go through your day feeling no pressure or hidden shoulds, manipulations, or expectations (from yourself or others).  Can we even imagine a world like that?  I can, and I think it might be pretty spectacular!



    If you are an oil-lover, guess what?  There is an oil for that(this!) too ;)  This resource has been a big help in my road to emotional wellness, and it suggests lemongrass right at the back of the head where I carry my stress.  I use this affirmation with it too: I am guided by (God/Flow/The Spirit).  For more info message me or visit here.

    Wednesday, January 4, 2017

    A Clean Home

    If you have been following along, for a while, you know that I'm familiar with Sensory Issues...the kids and myself have them fo sho!  Here are the bottom line reasons why we have been working towards a Greener Home:
    • According to the EPA, toxins are now higher inside the home than outside the home. (1)
    • Kids (and grownups) with a trauma history tend to have a harder time lessening their toxic load (2); therefore, in a path towards more freedom, I want to lighten as much of that load as possible!
    • Kids who struggle with sensory issues can get easily triggered by heavy solvents in many traditional cleaning products.  Therefore, I want to have my home have simple cleaning ing. throughout!
    • As a sort-of Minimalist a greener home is a simpler home and it's another way we have freedom with less around here.
    I've included this video that shows you how I searched the products that were in my home and now I have fewer products that I keep around (love having one bottle for all basic cleaning jobs!) and fewer things that trigger my family/ add to in-home toxicity!

    We use Young Living in our home.  If you haven't gotten started with Young Living yet, we have a beautiful community, The Golden Drop Society, which is an online oily place for recipes, ideas, and support!  this is my page on how and why we use YL and love it- a great place to start!

    Clean Home with Young Living from Eryn Jones on Vimeo.

    Monday, January 2, 2017

    Gluten Free Vegan Lasagna

    Ahhh lasagna.  The freezer-to-oven version of this dish was a staple my first five years of marriage.  I was one of those with a freezer full of Stouffer's.  Loved popping those in the oven after we both worked all day.  However, not a dish that is very Gf/Df friendly!

    Enter the age now where there are gluten-free noodle alternatives everywhere and lovely wonderful alternatives to cheese, even ricotta!  This gf/df/vegan friendly lasagna is super easy to whip up and takes 10 min prep time max!  So not freezer to oven quick, but almost just as fast....and it bakes faster too ;)

    This dish is now a weekly staple that we love, love.  If you are a meat lover, you can also make this an omnivore meal very easily by adding 1 lb. high quality, browned, grass-fed beef to the tomato sauce and veggies before layering.

    Gluten-Free Vegan Lasagna

    gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, vegan-friendly
    makes a 9 x 13 deep dish lasagna, serves 6-8 people easily 

    Ingredients

    • 2 packages gluten-free lasagna noodles, no boil kind
    • 2 medium jars favorite organic tomato sauce (I use 1 1/2 25 oz. jars or two 16 oz. cans would also work)
    • 1 cup chopped onion
    • 1 cup chopped red pepper
    • 1 6 oz. package Tree Line Scallion Cashew Cheese
    • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk or almond milk  
    • 1 package/ bag shredded vegan mozzarella 

    Method

    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
    • Stir the chopped onion and red pepper with the tomato sauce (feel free to add other veggies....if not for my kids I would add zucchini but they are not squash fans ;).
    • Blend together the scallion cheese with the milk and half the vegan mozzarella shreds.
    • In a 9 X 13 casserole dish, start the first layer, about a 1 cup of tomato mixture.
    • Then layer the no-boil gf lasagna noodles on top of tomato layer.
    • Next, spoon the cheese/milk mixture until just covering the noodles.
    • Repeat this 3-4 times with the last layers being noodles, cheese mixture, sauce respectively.
    • Then top the whole dish with all the remaining shreds of vegan mozz.
    • Cover with aluminum foil (important to not over-crisp the noodles!) and bake for 35 minutes.
    • Uncover and bake an additional 10 min.
    • Remove from oven, cut, and eat!
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