Why does blogging still feel so weird?

blogging

I started this here blog over a year ago. I wanted to be able to document my second child’s milestones in her first year of life. And I honestly needed an outlet for my newly SAHM status. Slowly a few of my friends and family members stumbled on the blog. I would casually mention it here and there, but I didn’t take it seriously…until recently.

Just last week I finally (finally!!) posted a blog post on my personal Facebook account and immediately began to sweat. I felt so silly and so exposed. I almost felt ashamed. And then I felt ashamed for feeling ashamed. Always as a blogger I have felt that I needed to make apologies for exposing my life on the great big internet. I have felt scrutiny (whether it existed or not) for my choice to blog. It made sense in my early days of blogging, almost 10 years ago. Bloggers were just making a name for themselves and it was hardly seen as a full time job, let alone a respectable career. But in today’s world where bloggers are working hard, creating valuable content, and making an income doing it, I was amazed to find how weary I was at announcing my little blog to my friends and family.

In person I have never directly received criticism for blogging. As I humbly talk about the blog people always respond favorably. I actually think my family and friends enjoy the blog to get a day-to-day look at our lives. Being away from family is difficult and I know I would savor every word and photo if one of my siblings decided to blog. So why did I get all jumbled up announcing to my Facebook world that I do indeed blog?

So I’m curious…do others feel this way about blogging? Like it is a dirty little secret? Like somehow being a blogger is still weird? That saying it is your hobby or career is criticized?

For me, I blog because I really, truly enjoy it. I love writing. I love to recap our lives and look back. I love having a landing place for all the photos we snap every day. And I also like the prospect that maybe I too could make a buck or two doing what I love. I struggle with the idea of going “public.” I talk about not wanting to add to the “noise” (whatever that means) and I want this place to be fun and enjoyable for others, just as I view the blogs I read. Somedays I really want to keep this space all to myself but most days I love the idea of others being able to read and share in my experiences.

Life Lately

I usually write in the evenings when the girls are in bed but I just didn’t have it in me last night. And so now I punch out these words while I allow the girls to make an absolute mess of my living room. Ah such is life.

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I love how well the girls play together. What an amazing gift to have a friend for life. Sisters truly are the best. They don’t always see eye-to-eye but it is just fun to watch them interact and grow together.

A lot of disappointing things happened over the weekend but none that threaten our┬álife or joy, so as the old adage goes: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. And that was my plan for our usual weekend catch up post. I wasn’t planning to write one at all. But while surfing through the photos on my phone I wanted to add a few tidbits from the weekend.

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It was disappointing circumstances that brought us to Charlotte Saturday morning, but while we were there we decided to make the best of it and treat it as a date.

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Bagels and juice.

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Saturday night was also fun. I made this great pizza recipe from Daily Garnish and then we headed out for the food trucks in downtown Mooresville to snack. We learned the hard way not to plan our whole dinner around food trucks. We usually end up hangry standing in long lines. So now we just go for snacks. We shared a plate of hand cut potato fries and deep fried Oreos.

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Sunday night we capped off the weekend with a glass of red wine and this amazing dessert. You must run out immediately and make a skillet cookie! I topped ours with coconut milk whip cream.

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Instagram-worthy shot versus how we really ate the thing:

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That’s all folks. Hope you had a great weekend and the stress of back-to-school isn’t getting to you. We were treated with nicer temps yesterday and I can smell Fall in the near future. I know this is a stressful time for many but I’m just excited for the change of seasons and the promise of things to come!

Meal Plan Monday: finding my groove

This week’s meal plan included some incredibly delicious meals! I focused on easy meals that would create lots of leftovers and they turned out amazing.

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Sunday: Zucchini Lasagna

Monday: Chicken Foil Packets

Tuesday: Potato Salad and Hard Boiled Eggs

Wednesday: Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

Thursday: Chicken Sausage with Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

Friday: Cauliflower Sweet Potato Burgers with roasted broccoli Leftovers

Sunday– this was one of the few meals that took a bit of preparation. Alex was home and helped me slice the zucchini and brown the meat so I could make the tofu ricotta. Once all the components were prepped I assembled this lasagna by layering sliced zucchini, pasta sauce, ground beef and tofu ricotta in layers. This recipe would work, only I used store bought sauce and tofu ricotta instead of cashew ricotta.

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Monday– This was probably one of the easiest meals I have made in a long time. I threw the chicken in the foil packet with artichokes and Italian dressing and prepared brown rice on the side. Let it all cook and voila! Foil Packets for the win.

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Tuesday– I felt like a cheater not making a “main dish” to accompany the potato salad but then I decided I didn’t care and served everyone some of our Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs with the salad. We all loved the pickles in this recipe!

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WednesdayThis recipe took a little work to make the dressing but it was totally worth it. Homemade Caesar dressing > store bought! At the last minute I decided not to toss in the Romaine lettuce and added roasted broccoli instead. Because roasted broccoli is > Romaine! We had tons of leftovers of this meal which is awesome for lunches. And both the girls totally chowed down. Given they haven’t had pasta in months I am not surprised!

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Thursday– Our go to week night meal. I worked an extra shift Thursday night so Alex was on his own to make dinner and feed the girls. Chicken sausage with sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts is one of our favorite 30 minute or less meals and the girls love it! We use Aidell’s Chicken Sausage in this meal. The apple flavor is especially good with sweet potatoes.

Friday– I really didn’t want to cook at all but resisted the urge to go out to eat. This is why having a meal plan is so key. Having everything I need in the fridge ready to go helps motivate me to stick to the plan. I pulled myself off the couch and tossed in all the veggies to roast in preparation for these veggie burgers and then my oven malfunctioned. I still have no idea what happened although the landlord claims it is fixed. In 10 minutes in the oven my vegetables looked like this. Not burned so much as smoked with toxic gas and fumes. Dinner fail. So instead we ate all the leftovers and carrots and guac and some pickles on the side. I was upset we wasted food, but even more upset that I wasted the energy to wash, peel and chop all the veggies!

Here is my weekly grocery list for the week including everything I needed to make these meals plus all the extras we use for breakfasts, lunches and snacks.

  • 1 lb Organic grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 packages Aidell’s Smoked Apple Chicken Sausage
  • 4 lbs Organic chicken breast (split between two meals)
  • bacon
  • 2 18 pack eggs
  • 2 lbs baby red potatoes
  • 6 lbs sweet potatoes
  • 2 ears of corn
  • basil
  • Brussels sprouts
  • ~4 lbs broccoli
  • 6 lbs bananas (we eat a ton of bananas!)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • extra light tasting olive oil (for mayo/Caesar dressing)
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • Romaine
  • baby carrots (2 lbs)
  • tomatoes
  • celery
  • red bell pepper
  • cucumber
  • lemons
  • 3 avocado
  • 1 lime
  • bread and butter pickles
  • dill pickle spears
  • anchovies
  • artichoke hearts quartered
  • walnuts
  • Italian dressing
  • gluten free pasta
  • frozen sweet peas
  • frozen fruit (for smoothies)
  • cashew milk
  • dishwasher soap

Our shopping total this week through Walmart online was $144. I am proud to say that we only ventured into Publix once this week and that was for a box of cereal, more milk, and a bottle of wine. I think staying out of the grocery store is going to be my number one way to stick to the budget in the coming weeks! Especially with fall approaching and all the pumpkin flavored everything!