Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Fresh starts & Quinoa Salad - Changes I am making for a healthier and happier 2015...


Quinoa Salad with Feta and Mint






Happy New Year! I hope 2015 has been kind to you so far.

I've been on a bit of a hiatus but I'm back with lots of fresh ideas for where I want to take this blog and my life this year. 

It seems the trend for resolutions nowadays is to pick a word that best describes what you want to achieve? I'm jumping on that bandwagon with a word that has been on my mind a lot lately. 

- - - F E A R L E S S - - -

I'm not sure why, but in 2014 I kind of lost my mojo. Did I just write that? (cringe) but it's true. Something was holding me back from achieving my goals...

A lot of bloggers have been talking about the pressure to produce content that is perfect, and how it can be overwhelming and sometimes a stumbling block to creativity. We are bombarded by images of perfect houses, perfect food, and perfect looking people wherever we look in our online world. That's a lot of perfect. 

It hit home recently, when at a holiday party, I complimented the host on her lovely and generous table of food. As someone who loves to cook and bake, I genuinely appreciate the work that is put into preparing food for friends and family. Her table looked wonderful. She thanked me and then said (something like) that it wasn't as styled as what I would do. Inside I cringed. I think I then restated that her table was lovely, because it really was. I felt so uncomfortable at the idea that a friend was comparing her hospitality to what she might see on my blog or at a party I hosted. I know she was giving me a sincere compliment. She is a beautiful and generous friend. But I don't want to be perceived as that kind of person...or that kind of blog.  

Which leads me to why I think I've lost my mojo this year. Good ole' fear.

My blog:

I realized that while I write a lot about the decor and design I love, I haven't really shared many photos of my own home since we renovated. Why? My excuse was because I wasn't done decorating. It wasn't perfect. Cringe. I have a feeling you don't really care about perfection but like to see the process, just like I do. Right? 

My styling work:

Fear of putting myself out there. I want to work more as a prop stylist. I'm proud of what I've done so far. So soon you will be able to view my portfolio online. I'm in the process of designing a new website where you will find my portfolio and the new home of my blog. Stay tuned! 

PS. By the way, I love collaborating and contributing to online as well as, print publications/blogs so please approach me if you have an idea! I will probably be approaching you too ;)

My shop:

I'm still on Etsy , which I love. But I will branching out to include some different products that I love, including more of my personal art. You may see a different side of Paper Parade Co. this year as I try new things.

Me:

I've been so busy taking care of my family and our busy lives that I've neglected me. I'm trying to get back on track with that. Eating healthier. Going outside for a good walk a couple of times per day (the advantage of working from home). 
Small changes that have big impact.

One of the things I'm doing to make that easier is preparing lunches and snacks early in the week that are easy for me to grab. This week I made a big batch of quinoa salad. It's delicious and healthy. A better option than making a quick peanut butter sandwich most days. You can find the recipe for the quinoa salad at the end of this very long post.

So, as I read this post, I'm wondering, is it really being fearless?  Maybe a little bit. Asking for what I want. Putting myself out there. Taking risks. I used to be (sort of) fearless - although you won't see me jumping out of any airplanes, killing centipedes or singing in front of a crowd. All valid and healthy fears :)

But in 2015, I might just be contacting that Editor who wanted to scout my house for her magazine; sending my portfolio to photographers and magazines I would love to work with; and asking for what I want. Because no one is going to come banging down your door unless they know you want them to knock.

PS. There is nothing like shouting out what you want on your blog for the world to hear. Hopefully someones listening...

Cheers!

Debra


Quinoa Salad with Mint & Feta ---> the Recipe:

Quinoa ( one package of whole grain quinoa, cooked and cooled)

Chop approximately 1 cup of each of the following; cucumber, grape tomatoes, red or orange pepper, spring onion, fresh mint and parsley. Mix together with the quinoa.

Dressing: I use a simple lemon and olive oil mixture for this salad. The juice of one good size lemon and a good glug of olive oil. Season with a little bit of salt and lots of pepper. Sometimes I add a little oregano. Just mix these together and mix into the quinoa salad. 

I add the feta cheese to the salad separately. That way the salad is versatile and I can add whatever I feel like. Some yummy add- ons are feta cheese, goat cheese, or nuts.

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