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Easy Salad Recipe by Jennifer France-Talvitie

You want something quick and easy? You want something good for you? You want something that tastes delicious? Well I have the salad for you!

I know there are many types of salads out there that can be made quick and easy, for not many calories. This salad is my own variation of just that. I will sometimes eat it with a faux chicken patty, sometimes with bread or just on it’s own.

The best part about this recipe, you don’t measure anything (unless you’re counting the calories – which I’ve done – there aren’t many – mostly in the almonds).

Here it is:

Lettuce in a bowl – how ever much you and anyone else can eat -Baby Spring mix is yummy

Chopped Apples and Pears – these are the best part and really good for you, so be liberal – one of each is good

A spinkling of Sliced, Raw Almonds

A touch of Cheese – Mozzarella/Cheddar combo is good, so is Parmesan

A splash of Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing – as my husband says, “A little goes a long way.”, so don’t over do it (easy to add, hard to take away)

Sometimes I change it up and add Dried Cheeries, Tomatoes, Pine Nuts, Honey Roasted Almonds or Avacados.

Mix and enjoy!!

Watching My Aunt Lose Her Son by Jennifer France-Talvitie

Two weeks ago my 25 year old cousin died suddenly. It has been a horrible, incredibly sad time for my family and I.

I went home to be with my family and plan and attend his funeral. I watched as my aunt, uncle and their two remaining kids struggled to come to terms with his sudden passing. As we all rallied around them, we were constantly trying to make sense of this horrible situation.

What struck me and continues to strike me was watching my aunt lose her son. As a new mom, I feel a strong connection and understanding of motherhood now. A feeling you just can’t understand until you become a mom. I talked with my aunt about her boy, her “baby”. She shared so many memories with all of us. I made it my job to put together the posters for his funeral that were full of pictures of his life. There were so many amazing pictures. The ones with his parents really hit me hard. The ones with his mom filled me with intense sadness and dread.

The world of vulnerability we enter into as parents is powerful and strong. If we were to spend our day thinking about all the disastrous situations our children could get into every second of the day we’d wrap then in bubble wrap and never let them out of our site. But we can’t live that way. However, watching my aunt suffer so much makes me want to do just that.

As a mom, I can feel my aunt’s anguish. It’s palpable. All I can do is send her all my love, speak with her about Ryan and be there for her when she needs me.

When I look at my little boy, I feel so blessed. I hold him tight and take in each moment I have with him.

The Power of Now in Practice by Jennifer France-Talvitie

Sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes I’ll be moving through my day and feel like everywhere I turn there’s another task, another project, another list that needs to be made, another dust bunny that needs to be swept, more baby book information that needs to be added, updated pics to be emailed to my family of my son, etc…. This is all on top of the normal mom stuff and housewife stuff and working at home stuff. This feeling can make anyone’s head spin. I’m sure you all have had these days. Some days I just chose a couple things, I do them and feel satisfied. Other days, I want to tackle them all (which can not be done!).

I purchased a book a while back that I have yet to finish. I’ve started it twice, made it halfway through both times then something wonderful and distracting came along and I don’t finish it. The first time was when I found out I was pregnant. I instantly had other books I wanted to read! The second time was before I had my baby. I’d start the book then realize there was some other nesting instinct that would pull my focus to it, therefore leaving the book in the dust.

Many of you have probably heard of this book if not read it yourself. It’s The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. Like I said, I haven’t finished it yet, but the concept is pretty clear to me. I never quit reading it because I didn’t like it. I really loved what I had read so far. The concept, which is so ‘powerful’, is something I believe everyone can benefit from. When I’m having a moment that has me torn between what I didn’t finish yet and what I still need to complete, I tell myself (sometimes out loud), focus on the now. None of the menial tasks of life are as important as the moment I have right now. Which is to say the health, happiness and wellbeing of my son, husband and family. To take the time and shut my thought processes, to quiet that voice in my head that makes me feel I need to do, do, do in order to be complete, can save my entire day. It requires a deep breath and a reminder to oneself that now is the only important moment of life.

I declare now that I will finish this book before the year is out. That gives me seven months to complete this task. I will do it.

My Breakfast In Bed by Jennifer France-Talvitie

I’m finally getting to my Mother’s Day blog. It’s been a busy week since that day.

I was served breakfast in bed!! It was my first Mother’s Day. What an awesome, amazing day it was. I got up with my son and husband to help prepare the meal. I like making breakfast and wanted to make the process easy on my husband. As I walked into my bedroom to grab something, I came out in the kitchen and my little boy was holding a card for me. It was the best card I ever received. My husband had placed markers in my sons hands for him to scribble on the envelope and inside the card…his own artwork! It was great.

After the food was prepared, my husband hustled me into bed. He then brought me my full meal with coffee, juice and water to wash it all down. We actually had two courses. The first was the usual, eggs, veggie sausage, toast and strawberries. The second course was a cinnamon roll. YUMMY!!

So, I had written last week about getting my breakfast in bed. The rite of passage I was hoping to experience. And indeed I did. I’ll have to look at the pictures my husband took. I have burned in my memory the great picture of my mom one Mother’s Day, in bed with her breakfast, surround by us four kids. I now have a picture of my own!!

I am so grateful!!!!

My First Mother's Day by Jennifer France-Talvitie

I am so excited to celebrate my first Mother’s Day. As I sit here writing next to my napping baby, I am taken back by how grateful I am to be his mommy. What an honor and privilege it is.

I was pregnant with Zander last Mother’s Day. I received emails and cards from family saying congrats on being an upcoming mom on Mother’s Day. I thought that was so sweet. I did feel a very strong connection to the day. But having him here, born and a full-on person makes it a truly special and awesome day.

I wonder what we’ll do on Sunday. We always made mom breakfast in bed on her special day. I’m sure her meal wasn’t that great for many years but she was always so happy and honored. I can’t wait for Zander to some day make me soggy toast, watery coffee and runny eggs. It’ll taste great just knowing he made it. So daddy will have to help him for the first few years, I imagine. That’s if they’re planning on bringing me breakfast in bed. THEY BETTER!!!! I don’t ask for much. I’m certainly not one of those woman in the commercials who needs expensive jewelry/fancy diamonds. But breakfast in bed is a rite of passage, I feel. I’ll let you know.

I hope every mom reading this has a great day, whether it’s your first or your twentieth. And may your breakfast be in bed!

His First Cold by Jennifer France-Talvitie

Zander has his first cold. He’s made it this far, almost into his seventh month, and just now getting a cold. I think that’s a darn good track record!

What a trouper he is. After sneezing and having snot drip down his face he gives me a smile. Even after having his nose wiped the millionth time, he looks at me with love and happiness. That’s way better than I ever do when I’m sick!

It’s very nice, in times like these, to work from home. I can monitor him and have a first hand account of his wellbeing. Even though I’m still working, I can take the time to give him extra love and care when he’s not feeling so good. It’s nice. If I were away working somewhere I’d be rather useless. I’d be thinking of him and how he’s feeling the entire time. Now I don’t have to guess or call to check up on him. I’m so grateful.

Working as a virtual assistant is so nice for many reasons. But being here for him, watching him, taking care of him makes me feel able to care for him just the way I think he should be.

Hopefully he’ll be feeling much better soon. Poor guy, his bottom teeth are busting through, as well. I’m going go give him a big hug and kiss. I love that I can shut the laptop and go be with him. I’m a lucky mommy!

Late Night Mommy by Jennifer

It’s 12:30am and I’m up. It’s amazing. I’m not usually up at this hour. I just finished some work that needed to be done by the morning and I felt inspired to write.

It’s so quiet in the house. My husband is snoozing away. My 6 month old son is sleeping like, well, a baby. Even the cat has found her place and tucked herself in.

I almost feel like a kid in a candy store. It’s not that I don’t have time during the day when my son is napping to do things. I do. It’s just that during the day, even when it’s quiet, there seems to be the feeling of needing to do many different things. I guess I feel my attention is pulled in so many directions in the daylight.

Right now, I feel focused (but admittedly exhausted). Ready to snuggle in with my family yet enjoying the solitude for a moment.

I wouldn’t want to live like this all the time. I like the hustle and bustle of my life. I love to hear the giggling sounds of my boy when he’s discovered something new ( I love all his sounds!). I love having conversations with my husband and looking at his handsome face. I love to hear the meow of my cat when she’s wants another scoop of dry. But right now, I love the quiet.

Ok, I’m really tired now. Time to follow suite with the rest of the family and head to bed.

This has been nice.