Monday, October 14, 2013

Thought of the Day: Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?

So, I am a huge fan of inspirational thoughts and quotes
and heard a great thought the other day that inspired me to
change my attitude toward adversity (an annoyingly inevitable part of life!).

This inspirational thought is a story about carrots, eggs, and coffee beans.
(Sounds exciting, right? Just wait, it gets really good).



Source: www.actioncoach.com

















Here's the original story (it's long, but wonderful!):

"A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.
It seemed that, as one problem was solved, a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.


She let them sit and boil, without saying a word. In about twenty minutes, she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me, what do you see?"


"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," the young woman replied. The mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"


Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity - boiling water - but each reacted differently. 


The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened!


The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" the mother asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"  


Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong but, with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat?  Did I have a fluid spirit but, after a death, a breakup, or a financial hardship, does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavour.
 

If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?"
(Story Source: http://mbstories.quora.com/The-carrot-the-egg-and-the-coffee-bean)

I am trying to be the coffee bean. I'm trying to become a better person when adversity comes by developing patience, understanding, humility, love, and selflessness rather than by exclaiming, "Woe is me!" and wallowing in self-pity. Doing that will not change my situation and will only make me feel worse. If, instead, I try to learn from the experience and gain an elevated perspective, I will be able to see my purpose in life more clearly.

Anyways...just a little something to think about at the start of a new week! Don't let past (or future) failures or hardships be a plague. Be a coffee bean (figuratively, of course!) that "changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain."

Any thoughts about the story? What did you like? Did it inspire you like it inspired me?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Part of Being a Mom

Part of being a mom is realizing that the time your little girl is
"little" goes by way way way too quickly.

Part of being a mom is realizing that not too long ago
your little girl was totally dependent on mommy and daddy.

She only drank the milk I provided for her,
Only got around by being carried, and
Couldn't clearly communicate her wants and needs.

Now, my little girl is running around, collecting rocks,
exploring trash cans, eating everything, calling Joshua "dada,"
"reading" books, kissing dolls, attempting somersaults, folding her arms
for family prayer, chasing dogs, chasing ducks, making friends, obsessing about
babies, pointing at birds ("bees" according to Kaiya), saying new words,
and just being too darn cute!

Why can't time slow down for a couple of months before
she officially becomes a toddler?

Why do they have to grow so fast?!

I guess part of being a mom is learning to love
and embrace the change, even if it goes by entirely
too quickly.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Life Lately: McGlothin Family Updates

Life can be a little crazy sometimes.

I'm sure you know exactly what I mean.

Between a 20-hour work week, 15 school credits, and family responsibilities,
I sometimes barely rememeber what I did 20 minutes ago, let alone one day ago.

When people ask me how my weekend was, I usually say something like,
"That's a really good question..." or "What did I do?!"

I guess what I am saying is that I am exhausted!
But it is SO worth it because I graduate in April. Yay!

Recently, Joshua and I have been pretty busy with school and work.
Most of the time we get to spend together is in the evenings
after Joshua gets home from school.

Dishes pile up in the sink for a couple days because we are so busy
and Kaiya's toys end up everywhere...
the shower, trashcan, bookshelf, drawers, dryer, and other random places
throughout the house.

Joshua and I celebrated my birthday at the beginning of the month with some dinner
at a Thai restaurant in Provo that was delicious! We love Thai food and have
set a goal to visit every Thai restaurant in Provo before we leave next year!
(We'll see how that goes...) :)
We also got some ice cream from Coldstone!
Seriously, every time I go there, I tell myself I will try a new Creation flavor...
but I always end up getting the Founder's Favorite ice cream.
It's filled with addicting sweet cream ice cream, brownie chunks,
pecans, chocolate syrup and caramel syrup.
Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is...

























 Now is your mouth watering?!

For date night last Friday, Joshua and I went to the Provo temple
and just enjoyed sitting outside of it, reading together,
and enjoying the peaceful evening.
We even got to cuddle a bit because it was chilly. ;)

























Anyways, Kaiya is showing interest in helping me "clean,"
meaning she will hold on to the broom as I try to sweep the floor
and pushes the vacuum with me. She's such a great little helper!

Not too long ago, Kaiya reached into the refrigerator and pulled down a bowl
of beans that spilled all over the floor.
She immediately looked over at me to see what I would do.
I just smiled at her and said, "Whoops! Let's clean it up!"
She smiled and picked up each bean, individually, and placed it
on the bottom shelf of the fridge. 

That didn't last long...because then she started grabbing handfuls of the
beans she had already put away and threw them back on the ground!
Close Kaiya...but not quite. :)

And for those not keeping track, Kaiya is now 14 months old!
Unbelievable, right?

Kaiya 14-month update:
  • Favorite foods: everything...except cranberry sauce (can't blame her, right?)
  • Favorite words: baby (most things are "baby"), bye-bye, duck, dad
  • Favorite activities: looking at things upside down (with her head between her legs), playing tag, making friends, playing in dirt and rocks, playing with daddy, going to the duck pond
  • Favorite person/people: Mommy and Daddy of course! ;) And anyone else who plays with her...
  • Favorite book: Back in My Arms

Playing with rocks...one of her favorite things!
























Well, I hope you have a wonderful day! :)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Two Words

It is not going to take very many words for anyone
to know exactly what this post is going to be about.
In fact, it will only take two:

Miley Cyrus.

That's it.

In two words, all the gossip on Facebook, Twitter, etc.
about Miley's recent "adventures" race through your mind.

Her recent VMA adventure is burned into my brain from
all the pictures on Facebook I have seen of her.
I won't go into details on the photos, but,
 in short, they are vulgar, disturbing, and disappointing.
(And you have probably already seen them.)

I just wonder, why?
Why does she feel she has to do such raunchy things to get attention?
If it's attention she wants, she's definitely getting it,
but is it the kind of attention she really wants?

I don't know the answer. I'm just thinking out loud.

And I can't help but think about the kind of celebrities Kaiya will
see as she grows up in a media-saturated world.

I hope her role models are not the women she sees in
movies, magazines, television shows, etc.
who try to sell the message that to be happy you must
dress, behave, and look a certain way.

I hope her role models are women who show respect for themselves
and for others by treating their bodies as gifts from God, and not
objects of "pleasure".

Is there really any true happiness from treating bodies as objects?
I can't imagine there is.

Because people are so much more than their bodies.

Miley is more than her body.
I just hope she realizes that soon.

Mostly for her sake,
but also for the sake of those who miss the "Hannah Montana" Miley.








Let me know what your thoughts are. 
Why do you think she has made such a drastic change?
Is it Miley's (or any celebrity for that matter) responsibility to be a good role model?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Blog Under Construction

Okay, so my blog is going to be under construction for the
next couple of days!

I'm trying to customize it to make it look exactly how I want it to look.
So, if things look a little strange around here, that's why.

Hopefully, when I am done it will look much better! :)

Wish me luck!

~Mikaila

Banana Nut Muffin Pancakes + Streusel

Breakfast is definitely my favorite meal of the day,
and sometimes my favorite part of the day as well
(because I get a little time to myself).

One of my favorite breakfasts is pancakes!
I love, love, LOVE pancakes.
They are so versatile.

Really, you can create so many combinations of
fruits, nuts, sweeteners, spices, etc.
and make a delicious batch of pancakes.

They are quick, easy, delicious.
My kind of breakfast.

Plus, you can make the batter the night before 
and then cook them up real quick in the morning.

Anyways, the recipe I am going to share with you is
one I found recently from Minimalist Baker.

I love her recipes because they are delicious and healthy,
which is definitely my thing. 
Seriously, I went through ALL of her recipes (and pinned them) because
they all looked so good and they were all healthy.

This recipe was no exception to that delicious and healthy
thing she has going. 

Plus, it uses bananas!

It seems that lately I have been incorporating bananas
into a lot of the pancakes I make, and I love
using bananas because they add a natural sweetness so I
only have to add a little extra sweetener
(or I don't need any extra, processed sweetener at all!) 
AND it makes them nice and moist!
(One more "and"...)
AND I love the flavor.

Okay, I'm done now.

Here is my spin on her recipe for Banana Nut Muffin Pancakes.
(Really, it tastes as good as it sounds! Trust me.)
























Banana Nut Muffin Pancakes
Time: 25 minutes         Servings: 2

You'll Need:

Pancakes
  • 1 medium, very ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 flax egg (1 Tbsp. flax meal + 2 Tbsp. water) - you can also use a regular egg
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted - you could also use applesauce 
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used 1%) 
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I like King Arthur's)
  • agave nectar or maple syrup for topping
  • walnuts for topping (optional)
Streusel
  • 2 Tbsp. almond flour (just raw almonds ground up in a food processor until a fine powder) - you could use any kind of regular flour, but I love using almond flour because it adds a wonderful crunch to the streusel)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 scant Tbsp. coconut oil

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare the streusel by combining the almond flour, brown sugar and coconut oil. I like to use my hands to combine everything. Pour the streusel mixture onto a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 5-6 minutes, until the streusel has turned a golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  2. Preheat an electric griddle or stovetop skillet to a medium heat (about 350 degrees F). You don't want it to be too hot or the outside of the pancakes will cook too quickly, leaving the middle of the pancakes mushy.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the mashed banana, baking powder, baking soda, salt, flax meal and water (or regular egg). Let set for a couple minutes.
  4. Stir in the the melted coconut oil (or applesauce) and the milk.
  5. Add the flour and stir until just combined. Add more flour if the mixture is too runny or more milk if it is too thick.
  6. Let the batter set for about 5 minutes.
  7. Pour scant 1/4 cup of batter onto lightly greased griddle or skillet and sprinkle a bit of streusel on the top. Let it cook until bubbles appear in middle of pancakes and the edges are dry.
  8. Flip pancakes and let cook on other side for a couple minutes.
  9. Serve with extra streusel and walnuts sprinkled on top and a drizzle of agave or syrup. You could also top with some banana slices.
You have got to try these pancakes! 
Seriously, they are SO good, SO healthy and SO filling. 

So...
Make them tomorrow! 
You won't be sorry. ;)

What are some of your favorite pancake recipes?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A Day with the Ducks

The other day, Kaiya was SUPER grouchy.
Not just a little bit.
She was the kind of grouchy where if I wasn't holding her 
every second
of every minute
of every hour,
she was screaming!

I don't know if this is just a phase where she is super clingy,
but it was very clear that I needed to spend some quality time with her.
Just Kaiya and mommy time.

No homework,
no cleaning,
no bathroom breaks (haha, seriously).

Just some one-on-one time where Kaiya was the center of attention.
So, we went on a little walk.


As soon as we were outside, Kaiya was as happy as can be!
Thank goodness...
It's amazing what some fresh air and sunshine will do for the nerves.


Haha, caught a sneeze!
She has the cutest sneezes.
(I wonder if my face would look that adorable during a sneeze
if it was captured in a photo...probably not.)


Feed the ducks mommy!


The ducks were surrounding us!
And I couldn't tell if they were more interested in 
the Cheerios we were feeding them, or Kaiya's little piggy toes.
I was about ready to chase them off if they nipped at her toes!
But they didn't. 

This is what happens when I let Kaiya out of the stroller...


video                                     


She runs after the ducks saying, "Duh...duh!" (Translation: Duck...duck!)


The duck pond.
Sigh. I love this place.
So relaxing.


And I love this little ducky the most.
(Can you tell I'm exhausted?!)

At least Kaiya is happy. That's really all that matters. :)

A Smiley Baby and some Tasty Spaghetti

So, everyone likes to brag about their baby(ies), right?
It's true!
And that is exactly what I am going to do right now,
because I can't help but brag about Kaiya's sweet smile!




And the fact that she seems to know that I'm taking pictures of her!


Really! As soon as she sees me pointing a camera at her, 
she stops whatever she's doing and smiles at the camera. 
Where did she learn how to do that?! :D


I don't know where she learned to smile at cameras, but I'm sure glad she does it!
Here's little Miss Kaiya enjoying some of the spaghetti I am about to share the recipe for!


I love pasta.
It is so versatile that you can add all sorts of different
sauces, veggies, and toppings!
Plus, it only takes a few minutes to cook, which is a lifesaver on days when I 
am too busy to cook an elaborate meal (which is like every day).

So, this recipe for Whole Wheat Pasta with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes was perfect!
I found the original recipe on Two Peas and their Pod and I
decided to try it!
I only made a few very minor modifications.
Here's the recipe:




Whole Wheat Pasta with Spinach & Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Time: 20 minutes       Servings: 4

You'll Need:
  • 1/2 13.25oz. pkg. whole wheat spaghetti noodles
  • 1 Tbsp. oil (from sun-dried tomato jar)
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (the kind packed in oil), chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • feta or parmesan cheese, for topping (optional, but not really)
Directions:
  1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot and cook the spaghetti noodles according to package instructions.
  2. While the spaghetti is cooking, heat the sun-dried tomato oil in large saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add the spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar. Cook until spinach is slightly wilted, about 2 minutes. 
  4. Add garlic and mix throughout spinach-tomato mixture. Remove from heat.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Spoon spinach-tomato mixture over spaghetti and sprinkle feta or parmesan cheese over the top.
  7. Serve warm and enjoy! 
**Note: The flavors in this dish are strong (but delicious) so if you prefer a less strong flavor, use fewer sun-dried tomatoes and/or less balsamic vinegar.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Kaiya's 1st Birthday: According to My Camera

 So, I just realized that I took some pictures of Kaiya's 1st Birthday festivities!
And I wanted to share them with you.
Because who can resist looking at tons of pictures of an adorable baby, right?

And I realize that I'm kind of putting these pictures up one day before Kaiya turns 13 months old.
You know, just a little past her birthday but...oh well.

The festivities surrounding Kaiya's birthday included (but was not limited to)...

1. A walk with Aunt Haley!



2. Lots of "selfies"...okay, okay, I took those (but it kind of looks like she did!)





3. Opening presents.



4. Wearing the cute birthday outfit from Oma and Opa.




5. Opening another adorable outfit from Mimi and Papa.

Oh my gosh! I love tutus! And look at that adorable headband!

6. Hanging out with Mimi (so mommy and daddy could go on a group date!)



Well, this has nothing to do with Kaiya's birthday, but these pictures are from our group date!



We went to the nickel arcade with with Joshua's family,


And pooled our tickets together to get


...mustaches! 
I think we look rather dashing. Don't you?
I think I'll stay clean-shaven though. ;)


Anyways...back to Kaiya's big day!

She looked WAY TOO CUTE!



Unfortunately, it was nap time, so she was a little out of it.
Poor baby.



She loved opening all these presents from everyone! 


We enjoyed some delicious "brownie cookies" and homemade cupcakes.
(Thanks to my sweet friends who were willing to make them!)



Can anyone spot the can of peas? Haha.

Kaiya's Healthy Birthday Cake! It was delicious.
Tasted kind of like banana bread.



Kaiya loved chomping into this cake!
She was hesitant at first, but was quite content with eating the cake with a fork.




Luckily she did eventually smash up her cake with her hands!
(Did I mention the cake got everywhere?! In the diaper and everything.
How it got there will remain a mystery...)



Love this girl!


See more adorable pictures from Kaiya's birthday here.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

July 4th Festivities!

This post has been almost a month in the making...

Not really, though. I've just been super busy with school, work, and family life
to get to writing this post.

Even though it is coming a bit late, I had to write this post because it involves
Kaiya and she is too darn cute to not write about! :)
















Please note the adorable 4th of july bow in her hair.
I was SO excited that she finally had enough hair to put a clip in! :D
And even less than a month later her hair has gotten even longer and thicker.
Yay hair!


















So, a neat thing about the bow is that I wore it when I was little!
My mom found it and gave it to me so my little girls could wear it. :)
How sweet is that?










"Don't mind me. I'm just hanging out."



























I love these two!



































Mesmerized by the fireworks.
(And stayed up until 10:30 PM to watch them! Crazy girl.)



























Happy (late) 4th of July! :)

~Do you have any special 4th of July traditions? Feel free to share!
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