Happy Father's Day everyone!
I know this day can be very triggering and very emotional, so I hope you've given yourself the time you've needed to either celebrate, reminisce, remember, cry, scream, laugh, etc.
I have...and I'm wanting more time to dig deeper.
Because I've had a lot of shit rolling through my head.....a lot of emotions rolling through my heart....and I need to figure some things out.
I've become so overwhelmed in getting things right....in having the perfect job; in having the perfect relationships; in having the perfect finances; in just being perfect in general....it's getting me into so much trouble.
And by trouble, I mean I can't find me----my authentic self......my truth....my light.
That is not cool at all.
How have I lost my truth? I got caught up in doing everything.....well, actually in comparing myself to everyone else through no other than social media.
Ugh....the dreaded comparison trap. One second, I'm happily interacting with others and sending them love & light......then the next, I'm going down the rabbit hole comparing lives/milestones/pictures....it's not a pretty sight.
Oh yeah, I went there.
Don't act like you've never done that before....I mean I'm not the only one, right?
How do I get out of this mess?
Well, I've got to get back to basics. And by basics, I mean writing....connecting within....getting to know myself again.
I've committed before to writing...and that commitment only lasted two days.
This week, I'm giving myself a portion of each day to write. It can be 5 minutes or 50....either way, I choose to make time to feel. I choose to not be distracted.
When I get distracted...hear too many voices....get lost in other people's stories, I forget to live my own.
And my life is going in a pretty great direction.
Think about it--what we focus on, we manifest. And I want to manifest greatness.
I'm betting you do too.
So, what do you do to get back to basics & remind yourself of who you are??
So I've truly not known what to write in my blog post this week.
I'm at a loss for words....
Shocking I know ;)
But, I've got so many things floating in my head I don't even know where to start.
Where to begin?
Ginger.....she's had quite a rough couple of months. She's got the starts of dementia. Did you know that was even a thing? I sure didn't.
But, her panting....her pacing....her inability to get settled....it does make sense.
She's on some new meds which have truly helped her calm down a bit. That's helped her (and me!) get some much needed rest. She's my first geriatric doggie, so this is very tough for me to see her get older and more frail. But, she's my baby girl....and I'll do anything to help her life a good life during the time she has left.
So, I'm kinda not really good at deciding things....big, life altering decisions.
I postulate and postulate....ask everyone's opinions.....go back and forth....it's more than maddening.
It's so frustrating.
I've got a decision I'm wrestling with right now. I'm going back and forth. One side of the coin is safe. The other is a bit more of a risk....but a fun & exciting risk. One where I can be flexible, do my thang, and grow higher into the person I want to be.
Gee, as I'm writing this...guess it seems like the decision is obvious. To me at least.
Maybe I these waffles were created to celebrate my decisiveness.
Lastly, I'm a Barre3 instructor in training! I know I announced it on Instagram last week, but I'm so excited to achieve this milestone in my life. Two years ago, heck, even one year ago, I was so burned out, fatigued, and sick. Movement is a huge piece of my life....and to think I'd be living without it....well, it made me even sicker.
So I set a goal to get some strength back once I got really stable physically (so like just a few months ago)..... I began small....starting with 5 minutes every other day. Last week, I made it through a 45 minute barre3 class. And I'll be teaching 60 minute classes, once I'm certified. And now, I can't see my life without movement.
What a precious gift we're given to be in this body. To have this life. To be able to do what we love. To love the people in our lives. To make decisions based on where we are now....and not live in our past.
Isn't that worth celebrating?
I completely agree.
Let's have a plate of waffles shall we?
Now that the weather finally feels like summer--woohoo!!--you know what I feel like??
Chocolate and Waffles.
Bet you thought I was gonna say ice cream right?
Well, no...not always. :)
I mean, a gal can't always have ice cream for breakfast right?
So, I made it a cake like creation--one of my favorite cakes in fact--Black Forest Waffles.
Have you ever wondered why the cake itself is called Black Forest?
Well, from what I can surmise, it was created as an ode to brandy made from cherries in the Black Forest region of Germany. The original cake recipe itself has layers of chocolate, cherries, and whipped cream.
While mine could have some whipped cream on top...I used maple syrup instead. But as I'm writing this, I'm thinking maple whipped cream could have been a very nice touch. Alas, I'll have to recreate these again.
Good thing I love waffles.
My version used my Birch Benders mix, cacao powder, almond extract, vanilla extract, almond milk, and frozen chopped cherries.
If you've got some fresh cherries, they'd be even better. Next time I get my hands on some...it will just up the flavor quotient even more.
And if you wanted to, you could use a splash of brandy instead of the vanilla extract.....you know, only for the fully authentic flavor of the Black Forest.
I just decided to keep this a G rated event for the blog and well, I happened to be fresh out of brandy...
So, I present to you my own delicious, creative, chocolately, and cherrified version.
Hope you enjoy. Until Thursday......B
Have you ever wanted something so bad you could taste it?
Yeah, that's the story with these waffles.
Mashed Potato Waffles.
I've been trying for months to get a yummy, crunchy, potato. And all I kept getting was sogginess. Until I added some flour and thickened up my mixture.
The game has been changed people. The game has been changed.
How do you make your mashed taters? Non dairy milk? Butter? Ghee?
I used coconut oil. Salt. Pepper. And dill.
I mashed them up and ate those for dinner in all of their creamy goodness.
Then, the next day, I added eggs; gluten free all purpose flour; mixed it up, and let the waffle maker do her magic.
And oh she did really good. Don't you think?
I topped mine with some leftover veggies I had from the night before. But, there are so many ways to top these--non dairy Cream Cheese (kite hill anyone??); avocados; or, heck even ketchup! Decorate them in anyway you'd like.....I bet they'll be delicious.
What are your favorite ways to top a potato??
So, I have this shampoo from The Seaweed Co. It's citrus vanilla scented and I'm seriously obsessed with the smell.
It's incredibly reminiscent of the Sundays I spent in my youth pouring over the paper (ummmm...Sports page and the ads let's be honest) and devouring these Pilsbury cinnamon rolls with this orange-y vanilla flavored icing.
Since this smell has triggered my memory, I knew I'd have to create a version I can eat.
So, let the brainstorming--and recipe testing--begin.
My local EarthFare had a special BOGO sale this weekend & I picked up a new (to me) paleo pancake mix from Birch Benders. I've seen a lot of other recipe developers talk about how amazing this mix is; so, I was happy to pick up this bargain.
A lightbulb went off---why not make my orange-y waffles with this mix & add some poppy seeds into the mix for a fun twist on the classic lemon poppyseed flavor.
I mean, why should lemons get all the fun?
My next thought was to get totally crazy and add some collagen powder to the mix for extra protein. And my orange vanilla poppyseed waffles were born.
Collagen?? Are you back to eating meat? Well, technically no. But, I've begun to supplement with bovine collagen because I'm lacking in amino acids and protein. And well, the vegan protein powders and amino acid supplements I've been taking were not working. The levels of amino acids and protein have been steadily declining and my digestion has been kaput for the past couple of months.
My naturopath suggested I give collagen a try for one month to see if I improve. So, this is an experiment in gut healing. I'll be tracking and sharing my progress through these next 30 days to see how it goes. And I'll be using Further Food's bovine collagen peptides. It's only been 4 days, but so far, so good.
Back to my waffles....yummy, protein rich waffles with a fresh citrus flavor....a much healthier take on my once Sunday favorite.
Pretty sweet....pretty easy....and very fast.
Sounds like a perfect combo for a lazy, paper reading, coffee drinking Sunday.
Have a good one y'all.
Hallelujah! We made it to June 1st. To me, this is the unofficial start of summer. I definitely didn't think summer would EVER come during the long, dark days of winter.
But, here we are embracing another season. A season of warmth (usually of extreme warmth and humidity too). A season of slowing down and savoring time during the longer days. A season where everything just feels more relaxed. And for most kids, its 3 months of absolute downtime.
Even adults get into that summer vibe. I know I totally roll the windows down and blast my radio Summer just feels good and is reminiscent of when days consisted of carefree pool time; endless books; and, bike rides before all the "adult" stuff kicked in.
Oh wait...I'm reliving my youth. But, do you remember those days? Yeah, those were fun weren't they?
Seems like before we get to that downtime though, there's always a huge rush to get everything done. There are final projects to finish; final exams to take; meetings; playoff games; year end celebrations; teacher thank you's....the list seems (and for most of us, feel) endless.
It's almost as if there's never enough time to get it all done. Even for the things we enjoy--like breakfast.
Notice there I said almost.
I mixed these waffles in less than 10 minutes and they were ready in just 10 minutes more. So, in less than 20 minutes, I had a yummy breakfast ready for me to tackle my day. Is it just me or do waffles just "stick to your ribs" more than other breakfast foods? They last me for way longer than a bowl of oats or a smoothie. I mean, what's not to love....full of whole grain goodness; healthy fats; and some spicy cinnamon.
Add some nut butter; chocolate chips; flax; and, fruit (all optional toppings of course....go crazy with your selection!) for some extra brain fuel.
I'd say you are ready to rock those end of grade exams!
Let me know what you think about this quick and easy waffle. Tag #whiskingoutsidethebox to share your creation.
Happy Waffle Creatin'.......B
I've been seriously thinking about savory waffles since I posted those sundried tomato waffles.
I mean, why don't they get more credit?
Sure, they may not get drizzled in maple syrup (or do they???), but they get things like chili, eggs, beans, avocado, salsa, BBQ sauce, and even fried chicken (if you're into eating meat that is).
I'm definitely thinking these need to become more of a regular thing.
When today came around, I just didn't want any ol' regular sweet waffle. No...all I wanted was a vessel to transport avocado and salsa into my mouth.
Enter these Savory Herb Waffles.
What I love about these is the ability for the waffles to be customized to YOUR liking....you don't have Herbs de Provence? Cool...use Italian seasoning. Want to use garlic and onion instead of cumin and paprika? Go for it.
Note: I didn't even think to use those until actually writing this post. I only had avocado on my brain apparently.
I mean, and why wouldn't I have? These were ripe and ready to go.
The next day? I topped these babies with sunflower seed butter. Just as good as the night before. Subtle spicy sweetness. So freaking good.
Don't just take my word for it though. Make these yourself and share the goodness. Tag me, comment, and share your creations at #whiskingoutsidethebox
One thing I've really been intrigued with lately is tiny home living. When I visited Ikea a few weekends ago with Madeline, I spent so much time walking through the little spaces they had set up in various spots around the store. Did you know they had those?
I sure didn't--and I loved every single one of them--a busy family tiny home; a couple's place; and a single gal's urban paradise (uh hi Ikea, I'd like that particular set up please!)
In my spare time, I do watch HGTV & DIY networks for their tiny home living shows. Also, my sweet friend Amie lives in a tiny hut in Maui, so its been neat to see her stories and videos from her square footage set up. I've got tiny home living on the brain.
But, why do I like tiny homes so much?
Okay, okay, not gonna lie about this one: they are super cute! Its not just the cuteness over the size though. Its the idea of actually living with less "stuff".
Because your gal Brooke, yeah, she's got alot of stuff. And to be free from it all, well, for lack of a better term, would be incredibly freeing.
When I even floated the idea of living in less square footage, my mom's response was sheer laughter. Seriously, she just laughed. And as she was laughing, the response was, "Brooke, that will NEVER be you. You totally spill over into every room of any house where you live."
Well, upon hearing those words, my inner teenager was quite pissed. To hear my mom tell me "Never"--yeah, that word NEVER sits well with me. In fact, it does cause me to regress into my full blown teenager mode including eye rolling; foot stomping, and mega MEGA attitude.
I mean, does anyone else when they're triggered by something their parents tell them? It can't just be me....can it?
Now, I'm not proud of that reaction mind you. Its something I've committed to working on--by stomping a bit less and toning down the attitude a bit more. But, the eye rolling stays. Its my signature move after all. Sorry Mom. ;)
Despite my teenage reaction, the adult in me began questioning what Mom actually said. Do I really spill out into every area of a house that isn't mine?? Looking back on all of the homes I've lived in, what began as one room full of my stuff, turned into bringing furniture from my storage room into the den, shelving into the dining room, and outdoor chairs on the front porch. I took over bathrooms, entryways, and let's not even talk about a kitchen. I always came in complete with glasses, mugs, utensils, pots, pantry items, cleaning supplies, etc.
Most of it was just normal spread, a simple part of settling into a new place. But, for some things, it was a bit excessive. I just wanted my things surrounding me.
I know there's nothing wrong with that necessarily; but, the amount of stuff I had is horrifying. At one point, I had three storage rooms in addition to the room(s) I was living in. Yeah, for one person and her little 11 pound dog....that's just a lot.
Even now, I have both of our attics, a spare bedroom, the bonus room, living room, and the office full of my stuff in addition to my own bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen.
Now thats a lot of stuff. And a clear indication I have to pare down. Stat.
One thing I won't compromise on in my tiny house (or apartment) is a kitchen. I mean, a gal's gotta make herself some waffles. And, be able to do dishes. No efficiency sized appliances for me--bring me the full size ones please! I'll compromise by having a smaller bedroom, bathroom, and living area for a bigger kitchen & windows full of natural light.
See, I can downsize. Smaller bedroom and bath means less stuff in those rooms. Yeah...progress!
Speaking of progress, can we talk about these waffles for a moment? I can and I will revisit my minimalist journey....but, lets get to the real reason you're here....the food!
Carrot Cake Waffles. They've been on my "to make" list for a while. (Yes, I have a "to make" list. And if you have one you'd like me to make, please let me know!) But, its taken some time to get my desired texture. And my desired timing.
Seems with these waffles in particular, I seem to get quite excited and try to actually remove the waffles before they were really ready to be removed--which lead to many undercooked middles; falling apart waffles; and, burnt carrots.
Definitely not a pretty sight.
Good thing when I made this round, I was listening to a podcast on Patience. Thanks ladies for helping to remind me to allow cooler heads to prevail and to allow the waffle iron to do its thing. And, its got a very important job....don't you think?
The flavor here is quite subtle, so if you'd like a stronger carrot cake flavor, add more spices to your liking. I didn't really grow up eating carrot cake, so the flavor suited me fine; but, my recipe testers told me they used more cinnamon and nutmeg to intensify the cake flavor.
I know...I know....you're asking how in the world did I not grow up eating carrot cake? Well, see, there are these things inside of the cake called carrots. Carrots are veggies; and, I had quite an aversion to all veggies growing up. Even in sugary, cream cheesy treats.
So, flavor away if you need. And also go nuts...seriously, if you want to add nuts, please do so.
What I love about recipes, even baking waffles, is the ability to customize your waffles exactly how you want them once you get the "meat" of the recipe down--in this case, the flour and the liquid ratios.
Create away! Tag your carrot cake creations using #whiskingoutsidethebox so we can share in our love for all things carrot. So glad I grew out of that carrot aversion. I can mature.
Enjoy the rest of your week. Until Sunday.......B
adapted from The Crunchy Chronicles
Today has been a day of rest, something which usually doesn't happen on a Sunday. In fact, I'm typically working all day at my place of employment. So, this is a beautiful gift.
With this rest, it's given me so much time to really think...listen....and process.
And with all this thinking, I get super duper hungry. And tired. Which makes me want to just sleep and eat while thinking. Quite the conundrum huh?
I present the fuel I needed to get me through this day of thoughts.
Well, what am I thinking about you may ask?
Hahaha...a lot. I'm always thinking of stuff. It's kinda part of my DNA. I can hear an ol' country song being written---"I come from a long line of.....overthinkers....?!?!?"
Well, maybe not.
I'll have to come up with another award winning songwriting idea. Add that to my "things to think about" list.
But, the reason for my thinking today has a lot to do with the current inner work I'm doing.
I'm deep in the midst of transformation. I'm sifting through a lot of my inner stories, thoughts, and patterns to see if they still ring true. Here's the quick response--they don't. But, as I've been peeling these gunky layers back, I've come up against so much resistance to letting go of these stories. I've seen myself still wanting to stay small, even though my heart's desires are expanding. I've seen myself sabotage my efforts to step outside of my normal routines. I've been dealing with a lot of fear...so much so I've had to sit down and invite fear to eat breakfast with me.
Luckily, this day wasn't really fear I invited to breakfast, it centered around my truth.
Real talk time. I've held onto---no, I've straight clung---to this narrative of unworthiness and incapability in my life. I'm pretty sure I really began to form this narrative in my youth, when I was made to feel incapable of making any decision for myself AND unworthy of having exactly what I desired.
I felt incapacitated to do anything but succeed in school. If I tried sports, I'd tell myself I sucked. I'd end up getting hurt, or getting my glasses broken; then, I'd quit. If I was in dance class, I told myself I wasn't as good as everyone else; so, I practically begged to be in the back for every number. These activities were constantly changing, so I had to work extra hard to prove my incapacity....aka by overthinking and self sabotage.
School was where I knew exactly what would go down--homework, quizzes, tests. There were no real curve balls to have to try & predict. I'd just go in and get shit done.
Except for geometry. That class was so hard.
I have spent so much of my life trying to control every outcome under this narrative of unworthiness & incapability. It's been exhausting. I can see how this narrative has weaved its way into my adult life too with broken relationships; extreme financial distress; career switching; and, severe health problems.
And, dismantling what took 37 years to build up isn't going to happen overnight. In fact, this process of uncovering my truth has been over 5 plus years. For the past two years though, it feels like the revelations are coming much faster. The stakes are getting higher. I'm on the verge of a major breakthrough. I can feel it. And these feelings are making me want to expand and contract at the same time. Kinda like being hungry & sleepy during all this processing work.....it can be overwhelming!
Funny how things come full circle so quick. And how I eat a lot of waffles to get me through these times. I need grounding. I need comfort. I need time to sit & think....and eat. Scarfing waffles down doesn't really feel good; nor do I suggest it. I'm glad I have something to linger over. It helps me comfort myself as I'm moving into these huge releases.
Like this letter:
"Dear unworthiness, thank you for keeping me safe all this time. You've let me navigate through life with a sense of not claiming all of my special & unique gifts. You let me just move through pieces & parts of my life instead of letting me dive deep into my soul. Because you didn't want me to know my own soul. You wanted me to trust you and no one else.
Your best friend, incapability, has led me through some dark ass times; and all the while, you were there whispering to me how all of this struggle was my fate. You gave me a place to land when things fell apart--because you knew they would. Now, you want to keep me stuck here in this limbo place. You want me in this "should I or should I not" place because you are powerful here. This is where you shine. This is where you keep me hidden. This is where I admit I'm scared and you run to comfort me with your "I told you so's & you'll never achieve any more."
I'll admit, I've found solace in this. Each puzzle piece which has happened in my life all points to these themes--I am unworthy of success and I am incapable of success.
But, buddy, these stories have got to get the fuck out.
I've observed you for years playing games with me. I've watched from afar and felt a lot of these feelings--fear, anger, frustration, hatred, confusion, heartbreak, sadness, depression, and anxiety. These are feelings you love because I don't grow in that place.
But, I've started to see another life. I'm envisioning the future. I'm meeting my future self--over Waffles of course-- and we are excited about possibilities. I am grateful for this present place of release AND I'm grateful for where I've been, and for where I'm going. Yes, I'm struggling with a decision. I'm standing on the edge of a mountain not knowing what's there when I jump. I'm choosing between your constant state of stagnation AND my expansive future. I am terrified, shaking like a leaf, and wanting to curl up in a ball. Which I've done today--a lot of in fact.
You're probably gonna try woo me back into your arms more than a time or two. You don't just walk away. But, I'm slowly starting to chart my own path while leaving you astray."
Sometimes, you gotta have days to think and to process. You've got to put your heart in your hands. You need to see what no longer resonates, and craft you up a newer plan.
And a new plan of mine is to begin to bring coffee back into my life. I've gone without it for over a year now, as I've been struggling with my health, my hormones, and my digestive system. But, as I've gotten stronger, I've noticed a desire to have coffee again. I've slowly begun to try again with caffeine. And what better way to bring it in with a waffle? Seriously...the combo of almond and coffee and chocolate gets me every time. It makes me feel like super woman---perfect for processing and releasing the old; and, welcoming and expanding the new.
What do you do when you're in a processing state?
Also, if you make these waffles, tag me with #whiskingoutsidethebox
I'd love to see what you create!
I have woken up every morning this week with bone crushing fear. On Tuesday, it was so bad I could barely breathe. It's why I decided to "lay my heart bare", the #Truthbomb I posted from Danielle LaPorte.
Energetically, I've had this particular week pegged as amazing for a lot of reasons.
First, I got the chance to reconnect with my best friend in the whole wide world, Madeline. Even though it can be months (or in one case a little over a year), each time we reconnect, it's like like no time as passed. My life feels much more complete when we hang out because we share everything and leave space for one another to sort it out. I have a renewed sense of purpose and connection to myself after we talk. Kinda like everything will be okay.
Second, I met the amazing Heather Crosby from Yumuniverse and Gluten Free Baking Academy in Asheville to celebrate the release of her second cookbook, Pantry to Plate. I've been excited about this for months! Heather and I have chatted on IG, FB, and through email....so it was so nice to put a face to a name (and snag a picture of us too)! I'll have an interview with her and giveaway very soon...so stay tuned.
Lastly, I made the decision to begin sharing more of myself--in pictures, especially. For a while, you didn't see my face. You only read my words. I didn't want to be seen. I just wanted to pour my heart all over the page. And I did...and that's been super cool...but somehow it just felt awkward and impersonal. So, here I am, sharing myself and my heart.
But, with all of this energetic awesomeness, comes the bad---well, maybe I should say interesting. So today, when I woke up and felt fear creep in...I did something different. I invited fear to breakfast.
Uh, what Brooke? Inviting fear to breakfast?
Yeah, I can see your faces from across the screen--part shock, part questioning, heck maybe even you're rolling your eyes and mouthing crazy.
I get it. It was foreign to me too. Until I heard a meditation on Tuesday and it suggested to invite fear inside. It even said instead of merely shutting down with fear (which I admit I do quicker than anything), ask fear questions. See what the chat will reveal. Hence my breakfast idea.
I love getting fancy with my waffles, but you know, sometimes only simple will do. Especially when you're gripped in fear and can barely move. This recipe used simple flavors to create delicious results. Banana. Maple syrup. Ground ginger. The "trio of comfort" as I'd like to dub it today gave me comfort while tackling a rather uncomfy situation.
Now, I know you're all wondering how fear showed up for breakfast. I mean, I made her a plate and all. It's what a good host does. But, she came in rather abruptly, as fear tends to do, but sat rather still during our chat.
Turns out, there were things we needed to discuss. The first thing she brought up was to be recognized and acknowledged. She wanted me to merely see her and not run away. She was here to give me a message, not send me to shut down mode.
The other thing she gave me advice for was to breathe. Not sure where I heard this, but fear is excitement without breath. She said I hadn't been breathing deep at all, and I needed to calm down and give these exciting things some breath. It would free up some space in my chest and give me some space to decipher my own thoughts.
Lastly, she gave me permission. Yeah, fear gave me permission. Permission to feel all these feelings. I'm doing things in my life which are totally different from my usual responses. I'm moving outside of my comfort zone. I'm looking at things in a new way. I'm listening to how I feel instead of just gut reacting to things. And it's uncomfortable. I'm stepping out and owning my power. And it is different. So it's normal for me to be scared and fearful. I'm training new empowerment muscles. And it feels good and scary at the same time. But that means my new way of doing things is working.
Somehow I bet I'm not the only person dealing with fear right now. A lot of y'all are doing some majorly brave shit. And I'm in awe of you. But, if you are fearful and don't know exactly why, try inviting fear to breakfast. Or coffee. Or heck, just to come to meet you at your journal. Be kind with yourself. Ask good questions. And if all else fails, make her some waffles. I bet that'll win fear over....you think?