My Yoga Studio

Ok, studio may be kind of a stretch. It’s not much, just a mat and a block in my living room, but it’s mine. My own space to stretch and relax, once a day, every day.

That’s right, I’ve been doing yoga every day now for the past six weeks. I’m not very good. I probably won’t be good for quite a while. Of course, that’s not why I do yoga. By now, everyone is aware of the health benefits that yoga offers – the flexibility, life longevity, disease prevention. Sure, I partly do it for all those things.

But, mostly, I do it because it makes me feel accomplished. It’s one thing I can check off my list every day. Whether it’s for 5 minutes or 30 minutes, I’ve done something productive and good for me, and I enjoy that feeling.

Everyone comes to the mat for different reasons. I say, whatever your reason may be, I’m glad you’ve found it and I hope you find as much enjoyment there as I do.

Not A Real Post

Sorry. Today’s post isn’t a real post. I started a new job just over a month ago and it has run me ragged. I’m still getting used to having to get up at 5am! Hopefully, my body adjusts and I’m able to be more on top of things. In the meantime, here’s a picture of our Doberman, Bailey, hiding behind some pillows.

Comfort Food

I love Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. It’s one of my all-time favorite shows. It makes me hungry every time I watch it. Even if I’ve just eaten. Heck, even if I’m actively eating at that moment. I was watching an episode recently called Seafood and Savory. On it, there was a dish by Chef Alisah called Bosnian-Style Gulash. It sounded amazing! It also happens to have ingredients that are easy to get. So, I decided to give it a try. First things first, I had to adjust the recipe since the original yields 10 servings. Once I did that, I gathered the ingredients and it was time to cook.

Ingredients I used:

1 lb. chuck eye steak

2 sections of the frozen onions

1½ tsp olive oil

½ tsp dried minced garlic

½ cup tomato sauce

1½ tomato paste

8 oz. beef broth

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

1 tsp dried parsley

½ tsp season salt

2 tsp flour

Cooking directions

I preheated my oven to 300 degrees and cut the beef into small cubes. I then put the onions, olive oil, garlic, tomato sauce, and tomato paste into a pan and cooked on medium heat for about 5 mins.

Next, I added the beef to the pan and cooked that for about 15 mins.

After it had cooked down, I added the beef broth, salt, pepper, parsley, and season salt to the pan and mixed everything together well. I then transferred the mix to a baking dish and put it in the oven for about an hour.

When it was done in the oven, I whisked in the flour and mixed well to combine.

I served it over some basmati rice. It turned out wonderfully.

results

The dish was delicious! It even had a little bit of spice to it, even though the spiciest thing I added was paprika. The long cooking time really concentrated the flavors and made the dish sing with taste.

I had some the next day and it was just as good after being reheated in the microwave. This is definitely a dish I will be making again.

I love trying new recipes. They don’t always turn out as good as this one, but it’s still fun trying something I never have before.

September Declutter Challenge

I’ve been needing to declutter my house for a while now. Finding the motivation to do that has been difficult. So, the first of last month, I decided to join a month long declutter challenge on Instagram hosted by @m3honestly. Here’s a breakdown of several of the days.

The 1st day was fairly easy. I got rid of an old puzzle I had bought because it was cheap, but had never gotten around to putting it together.

The 6th day, I found that I had six old phone books laying around. I didn’t even know I had them since I use my phone to look up numbers anymore.

The 10th day, I was going through my kitchen and got rid of several pieces of bakeware I just didn’t use any longer.

The 17th day, I was decluttering my books – an extremely difficult category for me. In the end, I was proud of myself for being able to get rid of 85 books total.

The 20th day, I cleaned out my pantry.

The 24th day, I cleaned out my closet.

The 30th day, I finished cleaning out my bathroom cabinets. Plus, I got rid of some empty boxes and an old yoga mat I forgot I had.

This process taught me that getting rid of things doesn’t have to be a chore. As Mary Poppins said, “In every job that must be done/There is an element of fun/You find the fun and snap!/The job’s a game.” She was right. Find the fun in the chore and it’s no longer a chore.

 

If you want to see pictures of the entire month, you can find them on my Instagram @kelliekovar.

Cathartic Release

This is going to be a short post.

I recently found myself waking up with tears running down my face. In my dream, I remember sobbing about … something. Whatever it was, it seems that my mind decided I needed to release some strong, pent up emotions.

Sometimes this catharsis is gained by purposely watching a sad movie or listening to a sad song. In my case, my unconscious deemed it necessary for me to release these emotions on a schedule I was unaware about. It doesn’t happen often, but from time to time, I find that I cry in my sleep.

Perhaps I’m an oddball, or perhaps, I’m not the only one. All I know for sure is that releasing emotions that I’m holding onto, whether consciously or unconsciously, certainly helps me feel better. And that is always a good thing.

Baking Weather

It’s been raining for the past few days.

This weather makes me want to be warm and cozy inside, maybe snuggled up with some tea and a good book. It also makes me want to bake. I find myself in the baking mood more during fall and winter than spring or summer. It must be the weather, since the cooler it is, the more time we want to spend inside with the things that bring us comfort. I find myself returning to certain recipes year after year. Those recipes include: sausage rolls, chocolate chip candy cane cookies, and cobbler.

With the change in the weather I decided to break out a baking dish and do just that – make cobbler. Now, usually I would make peach or maybe blackberry cobbler, but all I had on hand was a can of strawberry pie filling. So, I made a strawberry cobbler. It turned out pretty good.

I didn’t follow a recipe, I just put the pie filling in the bottom of the baking dish and mixed up some Bisquick biscuit dough (with sugar to make it a bit sweeter) and poured that right over the top. I baked it at about 375 degrees for 35-45 mins, until the crust had cooked through. It was just a small cobbler. Perfect for the two of us.

Since then, I’ve bought a few more cans of fruit filling and plan to get my bake on. There’s just something so inviting about the smells of baking. It makes me happy.

A Change of Seasons

Fall is a time for beautiful foliage, cozy sweaters, and everyone getting sick. It’s back to school and more time spent indoors. Both of which leads to more opportunity for germs to flourish and spread.

I should know – I just got sick about two weeks ago. Apparently, I’m a bit of a go-getter and got a jump on being sick this year.

While it’s no fun dealing with sniffles, coughs, aches, and tiredness, I still love this time of year. After all, my favorite holiday is during fall – Halloween.

Heck, even the dog gets into it…

So, for all the ups and downs that come with the changing of the seasons, I always try to remember to go with the ebb and flow that is this wonderful thing we call life.

 

A Writer’s Life

Five months ago, I published my first book – a book of poetry titled Juxtaposition that speaks to the highs and lows of life. Just before that, I started this blog. Since that time, many distractions have arisen to knock me off my chosen path of writing.

Things have started settling back down recently and so, I have decided it’s time to start writing again. I intend to post to this blog twice aweek – on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I also intend to learn more about blogging since I’m a novice and would like to improve.

I realize this post is rather short. I will work on making them longer and more detailed in the future. But for now, I’m just happy to be able to get something down.

For all those undertaking this journey with me, welcome and thanks for keeping me company.

I’m Still Here

At some point in the not too distant future, I plan to divulge more information about my particular medical issues and what I’ve been through to get to where I am.

 

In the meantime, I will say that life is difficult for all of us and we should remember to have compassion for others. We can’t always see what the problem is, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not there. Invisible illness is a real thing and it’s hard to deal with sometimes, especially when the people around you are telling you “it’s all in your head” or that “you’re making stuff up just to get attention.”

 

Believe me, I’ve been there. I know how depressing and draining it can be. Some days all you can do is simply exist.

 

And that’s enough.

 

Because when those days have passed, you’ll still be there and I’ll still be here – rooting for all of us.

A Mad Adventure

Today is L. Frank Baum’s birthday. He wrote the Wizard of Oz books that deal with a young girl going on a mad adventure and coming out a different person. But this post isn’t about Dorothy, it’s about another girl who went on a wild ride and came out changed. I’m talking about Alice.

You see, my youngest sister and her friend have always loved Alice and Dorothy, respectively. And, they have both been through experiences that were crazy and that changed who they were on a soul level. In my eyes, my sister, Mary, is the epitome of Alice – she went through terrible ordeals and emerged stronger and more resilient on the other side. In fact, she so embodies the Alice spirit, that when she gets married, it will be on May 4th, the real Alice’s birthday.

So, to all the Dorothy’s and Alice’s of the world, I raise my glass in your honor – you are stronger than you will ever know. Not in spite of what you have been through, but because of it.

I love you Mary and hope you know just how very proud of you I am.