6 Things My Mom Taught Me

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They say there’s nothing like mothers and daughters.  There are so many things that I know only my mom would understand.  Despite the fact that so many people say I “am my father’s daughter” and daddy’s girl…there is so much about mom and I that are alike and so many things she has taught me and given me throughout the years that truly make me who I am.   Here are just a few.

  • To love animals.  We always had pets…and lots of them.  These cats and dogs were always truly a part of our family and have been treated as such.  She taught me that an animal can be your best friend, your child and pet all at the same time.  Since the days we volunteered for the Truckee Humane Society…I’ve always loved animals and I’m sure throughout my life I will have numerous ‘fur children’ thanks to her.
  • To keep the house clean. This is maybe to a fault…but I know that from all the days she was asking us to clean the bathrooms, dad to clean the kitchens and always fretted over having a clean house for company has truly rubbed off on me.  To a fault.  I can get OCD about it, which makes friends laugh and drives Chris crazy.  But I do take pride in having a clean house…and when the house is clean, I am much calmer.  Thanks mom.  Oh, and that cleaning is best done with Earth Wind & Fire music blaring in the background.
  • To love Christmas and the meaning of Christmas.  As you can see from this post – Christmas is my thing.  I look forward to it all year.  While most people are getting excited for summer, bathing suits and sun, I am always counting down the days until fall and my favorite time of the year that is the holidays.  I credit that to mom.  Christmas was always about love and giving for us and it’s that spirit that will draw me to the season every year.  Christmas means happiness and family.Mom
  • Which draws me to the next one – that family is most important. Dad obviously had a hand in this too…but I’ve always been instilled with the fact that it doesn’t matter what you have, what you do, where you live, or how much money you make that’s important.  Family (and relationships in general) are what are really truly important. This is definitely something that I’ve really been reminded of lately.246566_10101339627273033_1757622206_n
  • Music. Now both my parents completely instilled the value of music in both my brother and I.  They taught us to love it…which led us to play it…and to covet when we were able to see it live.   But mom also taught me that music can be healing and can help you through the tough times and also celebrate the good ones.   The lyrics to songs can connect you in a way other things can’t.  She also taught me to give songs as gifts because sometimes someone else’s words are the best way to show what you are feeling.
  • That it will be okay.  Dealing with chronic health issues most of my life and especially as of lately…despite the fact that I don’t always believe her…or anyone really, sometimes I still just need to hear that it’s going to be okay.  It doesn’t feel like it now…but someday it will.

I love you mommy, I wish I could see you today. Happy Mother’s Day.

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What I’m…right now.

Welcome to the what I’m….post.  Things are a bit rough for me right now, and I really needed to write something and share it so here’s what you get. 

 What I’m listening to:  Counting Crows’ “A Long December,” Train’s “Bruises” and Michael Buble’s new album…especially “I’ve Got it Easy” and “A Beautiful Day.”  Also Trombone Shorty’s “Do to Me” and Gavin Degraw’s “I Don’t Wanna Be.”   …and the Harry Potter 5 audiobook.

What I’m reading: Way too many things at one time.  My complete lack of focus in reading lately is a post for another time.  And there are a few other books I’ve started but not been actively reading. But what I’m reading with the most focus right now are:

  • Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life: Achieving Optimal Health and Wellness through Ayruveda, Chinese Medicine and Western Science By Claudia Welch –> Highly recommended to any woman.  Though I promise it will make you hate things that your doctors didn’t tell you.
  • Stories I Only Tell My Friends By Rob Lowe  –> So far this is really good.  I like his style, it’s very conversational and such interesting stories about his life growing up. I’m sure more to come as I read more.  It’s nice to read a book from an actor who can also write.

I have a whole huge list of “To Read” books, but I’m particularly looking forward to Lauren Graham’s Someday, Someday Maybe, the third book in Sylvia Day’s trilogy and the new Khaled Hosseini book.

What I’m watching: A lot of Gilmore Girls as well as The West Wing series for the first time.  Plus the usual suspects.  New Girl was especially funny this week.

What made me think this week:  This story from West Wing that Leo tells Josh:

“A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, ‘Hey you. Can you help me out?’ The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on.

“Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, ‘Father, I’m down in this hole can you help me out?’ The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on

“Then a friend walks by, ‘Hey, Joe, it’s me can you help me out?’ And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, ‘Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.’ The friend says, ‘Yeah, but I’ve been down here before and I know the way out.'”

What I’m thankful for:

Chris’s ability to know me better than I know myself.  And this face:

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Kellie’s Sort of Healthy Banana Dark Chocolate Bread

So – I really like baking.  I’m that annoying coworker who brings you treats you can’t resist when you are on a diet.   That’s because, while I like baking, I don’t like the extra calories involved with EATING all my baking.

Another thing…we eat a lot of bananas…but a lot of bananas also tend to go bad.  So in turn, I make a lot of banana bread!

For this recipe, I adapted from this food network recipe and added/changed a few things to make it a little bit healthier/better.

Those things being applesauce, ground oatmeal, nutmeg, brown sugar, vanilla and dark chocolate chips. 🙂

Now forgive my crude and somewhat blurry iphone pictures, but as I was baking, I started thinking…this might come out pretty good – why not take pictures to blog about!

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Now the recipe is at the bottom of the page, but the two big substitutions were halving the flour with ground oatmeal and halving the butter with applesauce.  A little extra fiber and less fat never hurt anyone!  For the oatmeal, I through some quick oat in our blender for a few pulses to make them more flour-like.

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But of course…the secret weapon was really adding dark chocolate chips.  I recently read an article about how dark chocolate helps with anxiety…and bananas are well known to calm your nerves.  (Famous musicians would eat tons of bananas before they performed)  So aka – this is the best dish ever.

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And Ta – Da! You have yummy and a lil bit healthier banana bread.  (The thing in the middle is a muffin.  I had the wrong sized pan so some of mine turned into muffins!)

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Kellie’s Sort of Healthy Dark Chocolate Banana Bread

Ingredients:

½ cup white sugar

½ cup brown sugar

4 TBS unsalted butter

¼ cup plain applesauce

2 large eggs

3 ripe bananas

1 TBS milk

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup all purpose flour

1 cup ground oats

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

½ cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.

Cream the sugars, butter, apple sauce and vanilla in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Mix in the milk and cinnamon and nutmeg. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Pulse 1 cup of quick oats in a blender until smooth and add to the dry mix.

Add the banana mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until combined. Add dry ingredients, mixing just until flour disappears.

Finally stir in ½ (or more!) cup of dark chocolate chips

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan, invert onto rack and cool completely before slicing.

Spread slices with honey or Irish butter

Enjoy!