Yep, sure enough, that is my Christmas tree shining brightly on this dreary morning.
Yep, I'm aware of the fact that today is January 16th.
Normally my tree would have been tucked away by now, but there's a good reason for it to still be up this year. More on that later.
This post has to do with ch-ch-cha-Chia. Chia seeds, to be exact.
I've been reading about the numerous health benefits contained in this little seed and have finally decided to give them a try.
Inspired by a blog post I had just read on this very topic, I decided to try her recipe for Chia Oats. If you're interested you can find it here.
Before bed last night I mashed up one banana and added oats, milk, chia seeds and a dash of vanilla. After covering the bowl I set it in the fridge until morning.
In the morning I added a spoonful of peanut butter and a drizzle of honey. I let mine sit on the counter for a while to take the chill off. When I took the first bite it seemed to be very sweet and that was before I added the honey. Next time I think I'll use a half of a banana. Other than that, I found this to be a very tasty and filling recipe. Plus I like the idea of waking up to a breakfast that is ready and waiting to be eaten.
If you eat chia seeds I'd be interested in hearing about the ways you use them. If you haven't tried them and think you'd like to, I encourage you to visit the link listed above where she shares the many health benefits of this tiny seed and many more recipes. Yes, they are good for many things besides growing "Chia pets" :).
Now, as for the reason the tree is still up ...
I received this adorable frame from my son's girlfriend, but in the busyness of the day there were no family pictures taken :/. Because the frame is dated I want a picture of us as we look now. The problem is two family members have been out of town for two weeks. They are due back tonight (hooray) so I'm hoping to get that picture this weekend and then send the tree to the attic.
In truth, I am going to miss it. We have had an unusual number of dreary days and the beautiful lights have been a bright and cheery way to combat the gloom.
Before I sign off I'd like to say thanks for sharing your stories of how your blogs were named. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of them. The story of how I named my own blog isn't all that riveting, but since I promised to share, here goes...
For as long as I can remember I have loved all things home.
As a child my favorite thing to play was "house", closely followed by "school" or "army nurse" (if I was playing with my brother and his friends).
To me home was a place of comfort and love.
A cookie jar on the counter filled with cookies freshly baked by mom, the smell of fresh bread greeting me as I walked in the door from school on a Friday afternoon. Climbing into bed inhaling the scent of sheets dried in the fresh spring air, the anticipation of family arriving to share the holidays, a little garden to gather a bouquet for the table from, the sounds of children playing , neighbors helping neighbors.
When I wasn't playing "house" I could often be found watching tv shows centered around the idea of a warm and happy home.
Secretly, I wanted to be June Cleaver when I grew up. ;-)
Fast forward to being a "grown up" and it seemed as though women everywhere were burning their bras (ha) and rebelling against the role of the lowly "housewife". So, I began hiding my aspirations for becoming the next June Cleaver. But, deep inside I knew this was my calling.
While I consider myself lucky to be able to be home with my kids as they grew up, I always had this feeling that unless I was fulfilling a career I would be perceived as a total bore. That familiar question "what do you do for a living?" always bugged me when meeting someone for the first time.
Fast forward to a point in my life when life was feeling a bit off kilter. My mom was in the later stages of Alzheimer's disease and a lot of tough decisions were being made. Nothing felt right in my world at that time. But, one night as I was searching for inspiration on cozying my house up for the fall season, I stumbled across a blog sharing pictures and thoughts on her love of creating a cozy home. At the time I didn't even know what a blog was, but I was instantly smitten. As I visited more and more blogs from her sidebar, I nearly sang the Hallelujah chorus. Finally a place to share my love of homemaking!!
When I decided to start my own blog the name Happy@Home popped into my head. I think in many ways discovering this blog community was like coming home. It felt comfortable and happy.
My mom often said that everything happens for a reason.
It wasn't long after I stepped into the blog world until the illnesses and losses among my family members started happening at an alarming rate. In my real life I'm not comfortable with talking about my grief very much. I try not to talk about it a whole lot here either, but at times it has spilled over. In ways too numerous to count I have received support from you. I have learned so very much from you too and I know, without a doubt, that discovering the blog world when I did was no accident. There was indeed a reason.