Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Joy of Cooking

I was going to write this long post about self care, and admitting when you need it, and then my brain decided that writing about cooking would be a much better topic. Since I'm trying to just let whatever wants to come out when I write just come on out, I decided to go with it. It kind of borders what I was going to talk about anyway, just with more pretty food pictures. And who doesn't love food?

Cooking is one of the things that I lost during my battle with anxiety and depression. Now that I'm far enough away from it, I can admit that's what it was. If you asked me during that time what was wrong with me, I would have just told you that I was fine. Just tired. Just stressed at work. Just just just. All of that may have been true, but the real fact was that it was all mashed up together, roiling under my skin and making me feel awful. I couldn't face it, which means I couldn't deal with it, which means I couldn't get better. I stopped doing a lot of the things I loved. Cooking, nail painting, puzzles. I spent a lot of time sleeping and watching tv. Which, for those of you who know me, know that isn't me. I have nothing against people who watch tv, mind you. It just isn't me.

Anyway, I'm proud to say that I have my cooking mojo back! That, above all else, has proven to me that I'm feeling better. I have the want to cook. My mind dances with possible recipes, I find myself lovingly picking out ingredients at the store, and standing at the counter doesn't even phase me as I chop away. I love watching all the things that are in front of me slowly turn into something cohesive and enjoyable. It makes my heart happy, and I so missed that feeling.

This week I made a Korean Beef Bowl recipe, some Swedish Meatballs and this all veggie stir fry. I'm trying to incorporate a lot more vegetables into our diets, especially now that we're not going out to eat constantly instead of cooking at home. It's been a lot of fun to try out new recipes, and B has been a trooper through it all. I know sometimes he gets slightly miffed at the large amounts of mushrooms I put in things (I love mushrooms way too much), but he always is willing to try the new crazy recipes I find, and I'm happy to report that he's found them pretty tasty so far. I missed feeding someone else. Watching someone eat what you make, and enjoy it, is a feeling that is hard to explain. 

Today I ventured out to a Japanese market to go and get some ingredients for shumai. I haven't made that in so long, and it's kind of ridiculous how excited I am to sit for an hour and stuff those little wrappers. I also found out today that Lakewood is starting its own little farmer's market right down the street from us on Saturdays, which I'm thrilled about. Nothing is better than wandering the rows of fruits and veggies. Soaking up the sun. I feel good. I feel productive. I feel like cooking. There's a joy in cooking, for me. So, don't be surprised if I bombard you with pictures of food in the coming weeks. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

New Mornings

This morning, that picture of glorious coffee is calling my name. For those of you out there in blogging land, or those of you who just like gorgeous photographs, I'll point you to Pexels. It's a website where talented people share their photos, free for personal use. I love going there to just glance through snapshots of other lives, and also to get inspiration to write posts like this. There's something to be said for a good picture. It has the power to set the atmosphere. This photo right here? It calls to me with its aura of contentment and, since I feel that way right now, we're right in sync.

These last two days have been a new kind of mornings for me. It's both still weird, and still amazing, to wake up in a quiet house. Our bedroom furniture came yesterday, and I'm starting to see our house slowly pulling itself together. I'm loving every minute of it. I have to stop myself from worrying about every little thing we still need, everything still to be done, and remember to enjoy the fact that we're getting settled somewhere that belongs to just us. To myself and B. We have a home.

It's nice to wake up and, even though I'm still tired because commuting via train isn't always easy, feel like life is good. It makes mornings more bearable, and that's improved my mood greatly. My heart is happy.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

30 Things That Make Me Smile

So, today is the BIG DAY! We get the keys to our house today, and I know that the next few weeks are going to be dedicated to painting, sanding, cleaning and moving. After the last two months, and stressing out endlessly over escrow, I'm deeply in need of something to set me back to zero. 

I haven't been myself lately. All that passion I normally have for things, all the energy that I usually put forth, it was hiding somewhere inside me. I'm finally starting to feel normal again. To feel like my bubbly, silly, and sometimes totally nerdy self. It's a good feeling! So it's time to journal. Time to reflect on all the good things. I think once we get settled in at the house, I'm going to start a journaling jar, to pull a prompt out of on Sundays. Maybe it'll get the creative juices flowing!

Anyway, here's the prompt I was given by Tumblr today.

Make a list of 30 things that make you smile.
Challenge accepted.

1. Planting things. Flowers, vegetables, anything.
2. Cooking a big meal, hopefully successfully!
3. Eating ice cream (especially chocolate!)
4. Finding something in a book that is just SO ME.
5. Sitting and just listening to the right music.
6. Doing puzzles.
7. A warm breeze that smells like summer.
8. The sound of birds in the trees.
9. Having someone in my life who just gets me.
10. Looking at old pictures.
11. Spending time with friends I haven't seen in a while.
12. Watching people enjoy things I've cooked/baked.
13. "Window Shopping" for things I'll never actually buy on the Internet.
14. Snuggling on the couch.
15. Finding someone who is just as excited about something as I am.
16. Lying in the warm sun.
17. When that perfect song comes on, to complement what I'm reading at the time.
18. Everyday items shaped liked whimsical things.
19. Miyazaki movies.
20. The sound of wind chimes on a breezy day.
21. The smell of the ocean breeze.
22. That first sip of a new bottle of wine.
23. Getting unexpected snail mail.
24. Lazy mornings with the hubby.
25. Wearing crazy patterned socks under an otherwise professional outfit.
26. Buying the above mentioned crazy socks!
27. Talking to my mom on the phone, about everything and nothing.
28. Going for a walk on a beautiful day.
29. Shopping at Farmer's Markets, and talking to people who are passionate about their wares.
30. Honestly? Writing this list.