Thursday, January 23, 2014

friday senses

a peek at our week

wishing: for snow!! I have finally fallen completely in love with winter, and it hasn't snowed in weeks. We've been up skiing on the weekends and loving every second......but we really do need a good storm so we can keep this up......
ski day // the little red houseIMG_912ski day // the little red house0ski day // the little red houseski day // the little red house 
feeling: happy! it's my birthday tomorrow......the big 3-1. You guys, thirties are so much better than twenties, I can't wait for this new year.
schooling: I didn't realize how much I missed school until these last few weeks! Learning, reading, highlighting, quizzing.......I love it. We'll see how I feel in a few weeks though.....I have two tests and a paper due next week......gulp.
just-a-little-bit-dreading: writing my English paper this weekend. It's been years and years and years since I had to write a paper about a topic I didn't choose.......and it's....hard. Wish me luck.
flipping through: my sis-in-law gave me this Williams Sonoma Slow Cooker Cookbook . It is not your typical "open a can and dump it in" slow cooker recipe book--the recipes are fresh and full of flavors. I'm anxious to try these recipes out--I'll let you know what I find.
wondering: I'm working on another organic post (remember THIS ONE a few years ago?) I want to cover a few more areas--do you have any questions about eating organic? Ask them here (or leave your advice-the more the merrier) and I will see if I can include it in my post.
flashing back: My homemade yogurt recipe is making the rounds on the Internet right now, and I think I need to make another batch with our milk from down the road. homemade yogurt
Step by step on how to make yogurt (in your crockpot!) HERE

watching: I saw this quick video on the food industry the other day and found it very informative--you should take a look. We hear about these topics so often, but this breaks it down and makes it very easy to understand. 3 Lies about Food You're Used to Hearing and Might Even Believe:
Check it out HERE
asking: do you meal plan? I have always been terrible at it....what are your secrets? I need to be better organized in the kitchen with my busy schedule right now. Help me out!
snacking: What are your favorite portable (and healthy) snacks--either homemade or purchased? I'm looking for some ideas to add to my usuals to keep me alert and awake the days I'm at the school all day. Can I tell you one of my favorites? Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Larabars.  I've made a few different "bars" before (Mexican Chocolate, Peanut Butter), but if I don't have time to make anything, these Larabars are my favorite.

Kale and Carrot Juice // The Little Red House
juicing: the juicer is still working full time. Lately for me, the stronger the juice, the better. This concoction is KALE-Y. Probably not for beginning juicers, unless you just love kale. Kale has a pretty strong flavor, and it also adds a texture to juice--a little bit thicker than most.
*saute your kale pulp and eat it with a fried egg!
*want this juice a bit sweeter? add an apple
*not sure about kale yet? start out with 1-2 pieces and build up
Kale and Carrot Juice
5 pieces of kale
5 carrots
1 lemon, peeled
1" piece of ginger

What are you juicing this week?
(see my giant juice post HERE)

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

real life photographs

I love to take pictures. (go figure)
This isn't anything new--it's something that has been programmed inside of my brain since I was young. I remember my very first darkroom class--I was in the (6th? 7th?) grade, and I would go out in the field behind my house and take pictures of the shadows coming off the fence post, so I could take them to school and watch them develop.
As soon as I could drive, I remember times I'd hop in my little Jeep pickup and drive up the hill to take pictures of the plains rolling into mountains.
Photos purely for the love of taking photos.

But in today's technology driven world, there are now two kinds of photographs we take.
1. Photos for others.
2. Photos for ourselves.

Photos for others are fun! 
We think to ourselves, what would my friends like to see? What bits of my life do I want to share with the world? Who will "like" this? I love taking photographs to show to my friends, and all of you out there in Internetland. It's such an easy way to share little pieces of instant artwork. I love taking pictures of favorite things to eat, and sharing the recipes here with you.....but those photographs aren't for myself. 
Why would I need a picture of a glass of juice? I don't, I promise.
We make sure photos for others are visually pleasing, and set up "just right".

Photos for ourselves are taken for several reasons, but most of all because we want to remember a specific moment in time--a real moment.
Some may be artistic--we like the way the sun is falling on the trees and we want to remember it. Some may be to document milestones and important events. But I've found, the photos I take for myself, are mostly "just because"--there was something special in that exact sliver of time that I want to preserve.
Real moments, real photographs.
 ....and usually far from the "perfect" picture.

[side note. I can't tell you how thankful I am for my little camera on my little phone. before I had a decent camera phone, I'd lug my big camera everywhere. It was a huge hassle, but I also missed so many little moments hiding behind my giant camera. I love that I can take out my phone and snap important moments that I don't want to miss.]

after a lonnnnnnng day downtown, around Christmas time 
Sometimes these two categories  (photos for others, photos for ourselves) overlap--we want to share some of our favorite moments with those around us, and that's exactly what all these wonderful gadgets and gizmos and applications are for.

We HAVE to make sure we are not taking less and less photos for ourselves, because we are too concerned about taking more and more photos just to share with others

up late one night crocheting! bracelets for the whole family.
If we take too much time to make sure our photo is perfectly perfect and "share ready", we might miss the moment all together.

my lu was sick. Luna proved herself to be the best cat ever--she stayed by her side all day, even following her in and out of the bathroom. I had to remember this.
Almost four years ago, Robby and I went and stayed with his grandparents right before they moved from their home of 50+ years. I photographed their house inside and out, and took a few candid snaps of them. I didn't have instagram then--the photos were purely for Robby's family--we put together a book of Nana and Papa's house so everyone could remember that little yellow home after they moved.

Nana passed away peacefully on Monday morning--she lived a long and full 89 years. I went back and looked through the photos I'd taken, and was so happy we had them--a few real life moments that Robby and his family can have forever.

Nana, The Rummy Tile Queen

Moral of the Story:
Take pictures. 
(from time to time) take beautiful perfect photos to share with the world.
(but) make sure you are taking quick snaps here and there of those little moments where life just happens.
and then put the camera away, and enjoy it.

to see nana and papa's house look HERE and HERE

Thursday, January 16, 2014

college, thus far

2001. I never ever ever ever ran. Ever. 
After a 10:00pm burger, fries, and shake, we ran a Midnight was not awesome.
 I'm doing it! I am officially a student.
The last two weeks have flown by in a matter of minutes......yet somehow it also seems like years have passed since my first class. I'm still adjusting to our new schedule and trying to figure out how to make things happen, and here are some thoughts so far....
first day of school
I just can't get over how much life has changed since last time I was in school
(10 years ago).
Like, I am old. I have been pleasantly surprised at the number of non-traditional (read: older) students that I have in some of my classes, but I do have one class where I am by far the oldest and it's just humorous to me. These kids are babies!

How else is it different this time around?
I have a car!
My freshman year of college I either walked, rode my bike, or if I was lucky--tagged along in my roommate's sporty Dodge Neon. I soon met Robby and he was a fancy college kid with a job AND a car, so I married him of course......but I only got to drive every now and then--his job was 20 miles away so HE got first dibs on the shiny gold honda. Which left me with my bike or my longboard for transportation.
So I feel pretty spoiled with my very own car [booster seats in the back, mind you.]

I have a cell phone!
Does this improve the college experience? Not at all, but it's just weird to think there was once a time in my life when I didn't have one--didn't need one! How nice.

I have a computer!
Robby and I got a computer with some of our wedding money, but my freshman year I spent way too much time waiting in line at my apartment's computer lab. I'd stand there wishing girls would quit blabbing to their long distance boyfriends via hotmail, so I could write my papers.

I have kids!
Oh yeah, that. Luckily 3/4 of my classes take place while they are in school themselves--perfect! They are my #1 inspiration to make sure I manage my time efficiently. 
In with the good, out with the time wasters.

I care!
The first time around I drug myself to class because that's just what you go to school. I got up in the morning and it was just a normal [boring] part of my day, like unloading the dishwasher--go to class, do homework, repeat. I had no interest, I was just going through the motions.
Now I KNOW what I want to do (taking some pre-nursing classes right now), and I'm READY to be in school. I am loving so much of the material we are reading about (biology! psychology!) and it makes the homework interesting instead of just a check on my to-do list.
I know it's going to get hard, and I am pretty sure I won't always love it, but I am excited for the end goal this time.

I will not gain my freshman 15. was just the freshman 12......but still. We talked about this before (remember HERE). 
Alllllll thosssssse nachos.
I've been in and out of the classroom, and you guys, these kids eat crap.
Hundreds and hundreds of ounces of Mountain Dew for lunch, while I am scarfing something weird and nerdy like hemp and chia loaded "cookies". Weirdo.
I even made it out after class today for a quick run.
So different this time around.
School is still new and awkward and exciting--I'm anxious to see what these next few months years bring!

and's been too long since I've posted a recipe.....
My old college self wouldn't have even touched this stuff--I would have laughed at the very idea of it as I shoved my generic brand Cap'n Crunch in my mouth.
GINGER TEA // The Little Red House
This is hardly a recipe.....more of a "recipe" is the easiest drink ever to make, and you can add a little more of this, or less of that to customize it just for you (I've heard ginger tea is good with cinnamon!)
It's the perfect way to soothe sore throats, and it can be made as strong or as mild as you like it.
And it just tastes so good on a chilly morning.

Lemon boosts your immune system with vitamin C.
Ginger has anti-microbial properties to help you with your winter cold. 
Raw honey will help soothe a sore throat.
It's the perfect combination!

Homemade Ginger Tea
play around with amounts to see what combination you like best. 
I like it strong with lots of zing, so I use extra lemon.
-1 1/2 cup water
-1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
-juice of 1/2 lemon
-spoonful of honey

Place ginger slices in a saucepan with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer ginger for 15-20 minutes. Pour water into mug, (discard ginger) and add lemon and honey to taste. 
GINGER TEA // The Little Red House
and happy weekend!

I'm guessing this blog will be an odd place for a while--just a warning. 
I will stop by when I have some free time, and right now I have no idea how often that will be. 
I want to keep in touch though as much as we can!
For little life bits come say hi on Instagram (@_sheenarae). I take quick snaps of my food every few days, in case you're missing out on recipes around here.

Also: I had such a good response to my Essentials Page (check it out HERE) that I want to continue sharing some of my favorite products with you. I will update the page here and there (I'll let you know when I do), but in the meantime, I will post links to our most loved products from time to time on my Facebook Page--so come follow over HERE.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

How to Be Happy: A Bucket List for 2014

 photo taken in Canada last year. 
the rest of the (random!) photos in this post were taken when we were in Montana for the new year. 
 It's January--you know--that month where we all decide to eat better, exercise every day, and clean our houses more...... etc etc. 
And we all know, those resolutions slowly fade away, don't they?

As I've thought about this next year and what it will bring us, what I want most for myself and my family is HAPPINESS. 
Pure and simple (and so annoyingly cliche isn't it?) 
I've been thinking about what makes me happy, and sifted through it all over and over again so I could compile this list for YOU. 
No resolutions that are near-impossible to keep, just an easy list of accomplishments to work on throughout the year.
I 100% believe that if you work on these things (by yourself or with your favorite people), that you will have a very happy and very healthy 2014. 

Let's dive in together, shall we?

Do something that scares you.
 I am 99% terrified (1% ridiculously excited) to be back in school (I've survived 4 days so far! more to come on that later). I’ve had a stomach ache for weeks, and for the past few days I’ve been having all of the “I didn’t do my homework” and “I’m late for class” and “whoops it’s the end of the semester and I never went to that class” dreams. Every single night. I feel too old and extremely out of my element going back after a decade long break. But when I think back to scary things I've done in the past, I also think of how GOOD it felt once I was doing it, (I'm doing it!), and even better when I'm done.
So do something that scares YOU. 
Something you've been thinking about for a while and can't seem to push out of your brain--it's in there for a reason. 
If it seems a little bit scary, then it's probably worth doing.

Climb a mountain. 
A literal mountain--any mountain will do, big or small. Rocky or smooth. Steep or gentle.
Maybe it's a 14er or a hill behind your house. It's a great feeling of accomplishment when you work hard—muscles hot, lungs burning--and you find yourself at the top of a mountain. 
There are few things I love more than sitting quietly atop a peak, looking at the world below—it offers new perspective and helps bring focus to what is most important. 
Even if you don’t think you enjoy hiking—I promise--you will love basking in the sun on top of a mountain. 
Find a mountain, and climb it.RUNNING MONTANA // the little red house
Take [at least] one trip this year (24 hours long minimum) where you are completely out of reach of cell phone service (or simply leave your phone behind if you don't have a non-service place to go).  I love heading to the mountains knowing no one can reach me for a few days, and knowing I won't have any distractions. I can focus 100% of my time and energy on those I'm with and the surroundings around me. Just like being at the top of a mountain, 
disconnecting from technology offers new perspective and clarity on life's most important things.....none of which can be found on a cell phone.
Say things in person.
It’s so easy to text or email, right? But let's all try harder to make phone calls to those friends and family who live too far away--a great phone conversation beats even the longest email. Let's get together more with our favorite people we live near, and put our gadgets away so we can dive into real conversations. Let's connect and reconnect with those around us using nothing more than our voices.
Be uncomfortable.
If we are comfortable, we aren’t growing. 
If I ran the same 5 mile loop every single day of my life, I would never be uncomfortable. It would be easy!.....but I wouldn’t ever become a better runner. If  it’s something physical, like running, biking, or yoga, I will never grow and get stronger if I don’t push myself little by little and make myself uncomfortable. 
If I made spaghetti and meatballs every single night for dinner, I would never become a better cook (and I think my family might leave me). I like to try new recipes, play around with different spices and flavors, make things that I’ve never tried before—THIS is what will make me better--but I have to be just a little bit uncomfortable in the process. 
You may be different than me--but my favorite way to be uncomfortable is when I'm running on a trail. If I'm climbing a mountain and everything hurts--I KNOW I'm getting better. 
I love pushing my body and seeing what it can do for me. 
What to push yourself physically?....
Bucketlist BONUS: Sign up for a race. 5k fun run/ultramarathon/I don't care. Sign up for ANY race and you will be sure to make yourself uncomfortable as you train, all the way up through race day. 
See what your body can do for you.
RUNNING MONTANA // the little red house
Write things down. 
I got my kids a question-a-day journal for Christmas so they could get in to the habit of daily writing. I also picked up a little line-a-day journal for myself. One line a day. I can do that (I think...)
And if I forget a few days, it's ok--a line here and there is better than no lines at all. 
Also, let’s all write more letters. Or A letter, my case, because I am terrible at it. My friend Melissa is the best letter writer, and let me tell you--it’s so fun to get something in the mail that isn’t a bill. 
Say "NO" more often. Cut Back.
There are too many options in life. Each day we can chose to participate in so many good and wonderful activities. But let's not participate in ALL of them. Even when they are all GOOD things.....there is still such a thing as too much. 
Don't be afraid to say no to people/events/invitations. 
 First decide what is most important to YOU, and whittle away things that aren't on that list. RUNNING MONTANA // the little red house
Take an interest in your own health.
There are so many ways to live a healthy lifestyle, but find what works best for YOU.
I'm physically active, I keep away from processed junk, I eat weird things like hemp seems as though I should be satisfied with my health. Unfortunately, 4 years of Lyme (my next Lyme post is in the works!) really wreaked havoc on my body. I'm still trying to find different ways to heal, and really hone in on what is best for ME--and that may be different than what works best for YOU. When I offer up healthy advice and ideas on this blog, check them out--maybe they are for you, maybe not. I have a few favorite healthy and inspiring lifestyle resources I like to check in on, but there is no way I could keep up with all the advice they give. 
Find what YOU need to be healthy, and work it in to your life.

Find what you love, and do it more. 
What is it that you love? For me it’s trails, mountains, deserts, and fresh air. I hope to spend as much time possible doing what I love this year—both on my own and with my family and friends.  
Doing something you love makes you happy—it feeds your soul and makes you feel whole. 
Don’t know what you love? Explore. Try out different hobbies and activities until you find something that clicks--you will know it when it does.
Who cares what those around you might be into—find what connects with YOU, and do it often.
RUNNING MONTANA // the little red house
The running photos are snaps from my phone taken when Robby and I ran up Crown Butte. 
See us exploring Crown Butte last year HERE

Will you work on this bucket list with me? 
I promise you can do every single item on this list--the only thing holding you back is yourself.
Who's up for the challenge?
(raise your hand! sign your name in the comments if you want to commit)

also read:

Monday, January 6, 2014

12 Days of Juicing

12 Days of Juicing //
Juice Juice Juice! 
It's everywhere right now, isn't it.
I've been juicing for a year now, and we have loved coming up with new concoctions by experimenting with different fruits and vegetables. 
I don't follow alot of "recipes" any more--I usually just look in my fridge and see what I can throw in. Some turn out awesome, some just ok, and some turn out muddy brown but taste so good.

I often get questions like this:
"How do you know what amounts of fruits/veggies to use?"
My answer:
It all depends on what YOU like. Play around with different amounts--always start with less, and you can build up from there. 

Beets, Kale, and Grapefruit can be strong and overpowering (I like strong and overpowering, but if you don't, start small)
Carrots, pears, and apples add sweetness. 
Cucumbers have high water content so they will mellow out your juice.
Ginger adds a nice zing but it only takes a little piece. 
I always take the pulp from my greens and saute them in some olive oil and garlic--so tasty. 
Carrot pulp is great to throw into soup. 
I've also just recently started stirring extras into my juice after I make it--like almond milk or chia seeds.

The best way to figure out what you like is to juice everything in sight.....really. 
Here are 12 different recipes to get you going--add in a little of this and a little of that and come back and share your favorites!
click on juice name to visit full post

What's your favorite juice to make?

What juicer do I use? The Breville Compact Juice Fountain

check out THIS post on Roasted Root for 50 (FIFTY!) Juice + Smoothie recipes 
Lots of ideas HERE on how to use your leftover pulp

Saturday, January 4, 2014

2013: Favorite Places

2014! Welcome! 
 I'm so excited for this new year and all it will bring. I love looking back over the past year and reminiscing about all we accomplished/enjoyed/endured/overcome/explored/ate/on and on and on.  

We were able to explore all over the west this past year--many places that were new to us. 
There is nothing I love more than loading up the car and heading out on the road for adventure. 
We spent hours and hours in our tent this year--mountains, beach, desert, 
I explored Yosemite National Park for the first time--from the bottom of the valley to the tops of granite mountains. Our kids got to experience Yellowstone for the first time--Old Faithful in all her glory. Robby and I backpacked the coast with friends (my favorite trip of the year!) 
And so much more.....
(links to posts at bottom)