Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Of Christmas Trees and Chia Seeds

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 boreThat 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.  



  1. Kim, your tree looks so gorgeous! I see nothing wrong in leaving a tree up til January 16th. Is there a Robert's Rules of Order involving seasonal decorations? I know there are bloggers that decorate Nov. 1st and take it down Dec. 26th, but that's their problem, I am not judging! Just observing!! I am going to try this breakfast with the chia seeds. Going to check out the article, too. I love your house that says Daisy Cottage! I miss that blog, it was the very first blog I ever read and followed. I know she has a photo blog but it is just not the same. I think there is a story there........just gut instinct. Oh well. Time to get moving here. xo

  2. What a beautiful touching post, Kim, your title fits you to a tee, I know when I visit Happy @ Home, that I am going to find inspiration whether it be decorating, cooking, gardening, or inspirational thoughts.Thanks for sharing.

    I have book marked the link, and will visit, especially since I have recently found out about chia seeds and their benefits. The recipe you shared i must try I eat oatmeal quite a bit, and am always looking for new recipes.
    Your tree is beautiful, I took my time taking ours down this year, it seems we enjoyed it more than ever, isn't this weather here in N.C. so unusual ? we are going to hit 68 today and then the bottom is suppose to fall out.
    Thanks for sharing, it is always a joy to visit with you.

  3. I agree with everyone else...there are no rules about trees. My large tree isn't up, but the small one is and so are the lights on the china cabinet. Tough to anyone who doesn't like that. They do add a lot of cheer on gray, rainy or snowy days as this one is.

    That is a wonderful story about visiting Daisy Cottage and finding a whole new world. My first blog visit was to The Inspired Room. It is all rather magical (Narnia magic) and your mother was right!

    Did you notice the size of Mrs. Cleaver's cookies? Unbelievable!

  4. I am certain your family photo will be lovely...and the Christmas Tree is gorgeous so why not keep it up! It has been so nice to get to know you through your blog...and i look forward to hearing more and more!

  5. What a beautiful post you have written. It's always a please to visit you here.
    Sounds like your childhood was a happy one.
    I've always been a stay at home mom and have loved being at home too.
    When people asked me what I did all day, my answer was, All the things you wish you had time for. : )

  6. I think last year we left our tree up alot longer....for no reason in particular! No rules is correct! I have not tried the chia seeds myself. My oldest daughter has, but hasn't really said much to me. She one that tries to eat healthier. Will be interesting to hear what you have to say. I also like your story about how you named your blog! I bet your comments from other bloggers was fun reading!

  7. The blogging world has been a blessing to me, too. I know I can visit a girlfriend any time I want and I'm usually greeted by a comment on my blog from a friend when I finally have a few minutes to sit down at my computer. I love keeping house. I love making it comfortable and pretty. And it's nice to have lots of girlfriends that feel the same way. You always inspire me. I hope you get a good photo of your sweet family! Hugs!

  8. Your tree is gorgeous, and you have a very very good reason for keeping it up extra long this year. Family!
    I love the reason for your blog name. It totally suits you. You'll have to let us know how the chia thing goes. I wonder what they taste like without all the sweet stuff added in? I am the kind of person who eats my oatmeal plain, with just a little bit of milk. So banana and honey and vanilla would probably make me feel like I had overdosed on sugar.

  9. This is a beautiful post, Kim, full of love of home and family. I feel much the same way as you do. My home is where I feel freest.

  10. Dear Kim, This is such a special way to start my day today, on this dreary, cold, overcast day. What a heartwarming, honest, real, and touching story. I know without a doubt, that my life has been blessed by you and your blog. I too, continue to learn so much and come away inspired so often, by the blogging world. Your story has some similarity to mine, and the wealth of kindness and care you share via your blog, is comforting and inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing it all. My home is my favorite place to be too.

    As for the chia seeds, I want to read more about them. I too heard that they provide health benefits.

    And, I very reluctantly put away our Christmas tree this year. I miss it and how it lit up the dark corner of my living room.

  11. Haven't tried chia seeds yet.
    I am so glad to see you still have your tree up! One year I started taking ours down, took 2 or 3 decorations off, and then decided against it! I sure did enjoy those extra weeks with the tree.

  12. Oh my goodness Kim..... this blog post and pictures really touched my heart and brought back sweet memories to me about 'happy home' blessed we are to have and to make memories of a happy home.
    Your home always looks so warm and inviting...
    I've never heard of chia seeds! I've copied the recipes and I plan on making the breakfast as soon as I can find chia seeds... I hope they're sold at our supermarket.
    Thanks so much for sharing your heart ....


Your comments are welcome and appreciated.
I will do my best to answer any questions here in the comments section.