Find Your Balance


It’s been a while since I’ve written a post that was not food related. Yes, I do other things besides cook and eat. The coffee that I drank 3 hours ago is finally kicking in (does anyone else experience delayed caffiene reactions?), and Elle is sitting quietly ‘reading’ her library books, so I figured I would write this while I have the chance.

There is nothing that I love more than being a mom. It really is the most rewarding experience and I feel so special to have a little girl who loves me so much. Elle really is my everything. I love when I hear call, “Mamaaa!”, just because she can.

However, there is a whole range of emotions that come with the territory of being a mom. As if there weren’t enough emotions already involved in simply being a female. Last night took a toll on me, especially. I am truly blessed that Shaun and I have a schedule worked out where I can go to all my classes in the morning while he watches Elle, and then when I come home, he goes to work and Elle is mine for the rest of the day. I am open to the idea of day care, but I just was not emotionally ready to send my little girl off on her own everyday.

That means I have a little shadow with me 24/7. People reading this who haven’t had children yet: CHERISH EVERY NAP YOU GET! I mean it. Once you have kids, you will never take sleep for granted! Thinking of reading a book? I hope you like reading Peek-a-boo Farm. Need a bathroom break? Better be prepared to bring a buddy (who might enjoy unrolling all the toilet paper).

Last night, after playing outside all day with Elle, trying to get a 15 page paper on unethical usage of GMOs wrapped up, cooking dinner, doing laundry, and cleaning cat pee out of my boots, I was ready for Elle to go to sleep so I could, too. I thought she would be worn out from all the fresh air she got from being outside and sleep like a log. Boy, was I wrong. She was up all. night. long. I’d hear the dreaded cry come from the baby monitor, go downstairs, rock her back to sleep, and then as soon as I placed her in bed, she’d pop up and say “Maaaaaaaaama!” and was wide awake again. This cycle went on all night and by the time 5am rolled around, I found myself with silent tears rolling down my face.

I was feeling a multitude of emotions, and I didn’t know which one was making me cry. I was tired. I was angry that I was tired because I knew I’d have to be up and ready for school in a few hours. I was frustrated that Elle would not sleep. I felt stressed out from school and trying to meet deadlines. I felt inbalanced because I wanted to be a good mom, and still be able to spend time studying, writing, and just having a moment where I didn’t have to think about about being responisble for any of that. That’s when I looked down at sweet sleeping angel in my arms and I cried even more. I was so angry at myself for feeling this way. I took a few deep breaths and had a moment of clarity. Being a mom is the most important. It will always come first. As the Beatles would say, let it be (I’m sure they weren’t talking about toddlers who don’t sleep at night, but that’s how I’m interpreting it.). I realized I just needed to focus on being the best mom that I can and everything will just fall into place. Time is precious, and I would much rather spend more of it having fun with my daughter than stressing about getting trivial things done. These moments are moments I’ll never have again. So I slowed down. And you know what? Things fell into place.

I decided to spend today completely focused on Elle. We went on a long walk. Went out for lunch. Ordered some Timbits. Did a bit of grocery shopping. Went to the library (found some books about the potty!). And after all that fun, Elle fell asleep while we were at the library and I was able to finish my research paper, while she napped! Everything fell into place. It is extremely rewarding to here my little girl giggle and laugh and have a smile on her face all day. I couldn’t have asked for a happier day. I hope that this is a reminder to everyone how important it is to find balance in your life. It really is vital to your sanity!

Well, Elle is calling me again, so I’d better go.

Keep calm, and carry on,



Crock-Pot Honey Garlic Chicken

I love spending time in the kitchen; chopping, stirring, dancing, and sampling with my little taste tester. However, there are some days where there is just not enough time to spend hours preparing dinner. Between writing midterms, and going to Parent & Tot gymnastics (which is really more of a workout for parents, lifting the little ones as they do pull-ups on the bars and balance on the beams) where is the time to make dinner? I’ll just let the cook take care of that. Her name? Mrs. Crock-pot.

All you have to do to make a delicious meal is literally dump the ingredients into the slow cooker and let it do its thing. Seriously. It’s pretty hard to mess that up.

This week, I decided to test out my own version of Honey Garlic Chicken. Only 6 ingredients. Chop, mix, pour, cook. Seems simple enough.

Here are the ingredients you will need to make this scrumptious din-din:

  • 1 package frozen chicken legs (I used a package of 4. You can also use chicken breasts. If you are using chicken that has already been thawed, just adjust your cooking time by about 2 hours less.)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon red chili pepper flakes (You can omit, or add more depending on how much heat you can handle!)

The most work you’ll be doing with this recipe is simply mincing the garlic. I LOVE garlic, but hate the smell it leaves on my hands after I chopped some up! (Thank goodness I did not have to shake anyone’s hand that day.)

After your garlic is ready, mix all your ingredients in a bowl. It should look something like this:

Place your frozen chicken in the pot and pour your sauce over it. Set the crock-pot to high for about 4-6 hours (depending on how hot your crock pot gets). If you are cooking with thawed chicken, I’d try 3-4 hours. My chicken was fully cooked and falling right off the bone at about 4 ½ hours. That’s it. Go about your day, walk your dog, have your coffee date, go to your presentation on how to use less plastic, and come home to the delicious scent of honey garlic wafting through the house as you get home. I whipped up some steamed broccoli and a quick ancient grain mix as sides, and voila! Dinner is served. Hope you all enjoy this!

I like to do an overall nutritional information summary with all my recipes to get a general idea of how much each serving is worth.

(I calculated these according to the brands that I used, so this may vary depending on your ingredients.)

I used one chicken leg as one serving. I probably also over calculated the amounts because there was plenty of sauce left over that was not absorbed by the chicken. These numbers are just a general figure.

Nutritional Information:

Per one serving (one chicken leg)

354 Calories

8g Fat

28.35g Protein

45g Carbohydrates

If you have any questions or tips on how you might tweak this recipe, let me know either in the comments or by emailing me at I’d love to hear from you!