Wednesday, March 9, 2011

funks & the anatomy of a {darwish} family picture.

i feel like i can't write about anything unless i first unload what has been weighing on my mind first. so a short and sweet version is...i've been in a funk. a major funkidy funk. i hate funks but inevitably i feel grateful for the once in awhile state of blue because it forces you to make changes, reflect, learn, and grow.

i will clarify and say that i haven't been very sad or consistently 'funky,' but in a weird state of 'what the hell do i do now?' today? tomorrow? i described it to a friend the other day like this...

i feel like i am standing in the middle of a gigantic white box. i can see all four corners and four different doors, yet i can not bring myself to enter any of the four doors. i can't choose which way to go, which means i have been standing in the middle of a white box and pondering what to do for a week.

feeling unmotivated and completing tasks just to get them done without much enjoyment while doing it. it's not like me.

we all do this from time to time as the mundane is not always fun. obviously.

i'm not sure where this funk came from, but realizing that i needed to do something to center myself, i started thinking that i needed to change things up a bit. do something different. take the road less traveled. call an old friend. take a day jaunt to somewhere i have never been. take my girl some where and do something that makes us laugh till it hurts. start a yoga class or start running again. make some new recipes.

in the midst of my 'growth spurt' i thought that maybe i should rid the house of the television for thirty days or change the drapes, paint the walls, go vegan temporarily, buy new lipstick, go to church,...

so, now that i have taken a week to unearth the fact that i am in a huge transition stage of heidi-mommy of young babies to, heidi- mommy of two school age children and that that simple reality is causing some major premature empty nest syndrome symptoms.

so, for the next couple of weeks i'm going to do a few things that i have never done before and here they are...

1. after dropping peyton off at school, beckham and i are going to go running on the beach. i have NEVER done that and it's rediculous. it's so flippin' beautiful on the beach and we only live 15 minutes away. why the hell not?

2. i am going to make healthier strawberry jam. i've been saying it for a while now and i will find a way!

3. BE uber present for my kids and try to say yes more and less maybe later.

and 4. finally, challenge myself creatively AND physically.

i know i am airing my dirty laundry on my little ole blog here, but shamefully/maybe not, i think i will find myself more accountable this way and besides, i can be a tad to honest here, but it's already made me feel lighter!

i'll keep ya posted!

okay, my camera has been in the camera spa (aka it was broken and sent off to be loved on) so i have been without my third baby. bad news...i've missed it terribly. good news...i got it back yesterday just in time for a photo shoot tonight! it felt so good to be back to work/fun with a beautiful and pregnant family. sneak peeks will be up in a few days!

so...i had my new iphone camera and the perfect time to play with it a bit. i downloaded a couple of camera apps...

i didn't actually learn all the features or the best way to use them all, but i had fun pushing buttons and snapping away. i am sure there are some AMAZING iphone photogs out there, but this is what i captured with the only camera i had this last week...

trying to play outside of my box, i golfed for the first time in about 12 years. i despise golf. i don't see the point in getting a small ball in a small hole from very far away. i. don't. get. it. but my hubby has a deep passion and skill for the game, so entered a tournament with some friends of ours was a blast.
things i loved about it:
1. i got to wear my mother-in-laws retro golf shoes. they were dusty but redeemed themselves by having tassels!
2. we hung with cool people. one of which claimed to suck at golf as much as me but delightfully we found out...she's a liar! she rocked it out and i loved watching her kill the ball!
3. it rained on us. hard. i loved it!
4. jeff loved that we were golfing together.
5. it was so peaceful on the course. beautifully green and i heard the birds singing longer and louder than in cinderella.
6. my ball went into the water three times and each time i couldn't stop laughing. even funnier, jeff asked me to fish my balls out of the water myself. (still laughing at that one) he decided the only way to get his balls back was to do it himself cause i was not risking life or limb in case an alligator lived nearby!

my BALL!!!!!

had a 'ball' on the course, but the main events were the rain and the super spicy bloody mary on the back nine.
bottom line: i suck at it & i still hate golf!

we visited the diversity fair in naples this weeked:

it was hot but a lot of fun! the kids and jeff climbed a huge rock and peyton made it to the top and even rang the bell. so proud of that little one.

we made crafts, ate really good pulled pork sandwiches, and danced! it was an awesome way to spend saturday together as a family!

cotton candy maker gave us the honor of giving us thee biggest one he's ever made. my kids thanked him and ran before i could ration it out.

and some pictures i never posted from our trip to michigan in the fall...
the anatomy of family picture. my mom has the camera she doesn't know how to use meaning she doesn't know where the shutter button is or if it actually took the picture and we have two kids and two parents and only about ten frames were taken. obviously not enough to get the job done, but these made me laugh anyway.

daddy's looking good, but the rest of don't seem to care that the camera is on us!
yay, mommy finally looks up, but peyton looks confused and daddy and becks are having a convo on the side, probably about basketball!
daddy and baby brother...great job. mommy got tired and thought now would be a great time to take a little snooze. peyton is not interested in anything having to do with taking a photo!
almost there, but beckham wants a tractor ride.
okay. maybe next time!
i love these people so much!

taking a family picture can be near impossible. my suggestion...
bribery! there is a one in five chance it will work!

we did get these beauties though...
my girl.

my lovely mom.



few tried and true recipes:
this is what i call chicken caponata which isn't really a caponata at all. caponata is defined as an appetizer of eggplant, olives, and herbs. however, this is what my mom calls it and has called it this since i was just a wee lad, so this is my version of

Chicken Caponata

pound of chicken breast cutlets
one red and yellow pepper, sliced into thin strips
one large sweet onion
one tablespoon fresh rosemary or sage
(i used rosemary because i had it on hand)
6 slices of prosciutto
4 tablespoons olive oil
one large can of whole plum tomatoes (do not drain)
1/4 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper


heat two tablespoons oil in pan. soften sliced peppers and onions over low-med heat, about 5 minutes. remove from pan.

season cutlets with pepper and little salt (prosciutto is salty on it's own, so be careful). over medium-high heat, heat remaining olive oil and place breasts in pan. place slices of prosciutto over each pc of chicken. sprinkle with herbs. cook each side for a couple of minutes. remove from pan.

add broth to same pan you browned the chicken in. scrape bits off of bottom. add tomatoes (break the toms up with hands), chicken, peppers, onions, half teaspoon salt, half teaspoon pepper. cover and let simmer about 20 minutes.

depending on the thickness of your don't rubbery chicken, so if you're not sure. check often.

add some finely chopped rosemary at the end.

serve with pasta or mashed pots.

enjoy. this dish reminds me of home. it's easy and delicious.


not long ago, i had girlfriends over for noshes and a movie. the most fun is planning the food. i promised the menu and recipes so here they are!

the menu included new recipes from ina garten:
Photobucketguacamole & buffalo chicken dip

a green salad with my lemony-garlic dressing
to make dressing: in a bowl whisk together 1/2 cup olive oil, two teaspoons freshly crushed garlic, 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, and juice from half a lemon (or more to taste), kosher salt, pepper. whisk like a crazy person and put in a pretty jar. serve with arugula and mixed green salad.

heidi's sunset ritas:
a pitcher of ruby red grapefruit juice, two cups freshly squeezed orange juice, juice from 3 limes, one and a half cups your fave tequila,ice, sugar and not salt rimmed rita glasses.
combine all ingredients in a pitcher, rub each rita glass with a lime and dip the rim of glass in sugar. fill glass, enjoy! refreshing, refreshing, refreshing. perfect for summer!

browned butter brownies
adapted from bon appetit

Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter and Walnuts

photo: bon appetit

  • nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder (spooned into cup to measure, then leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, chilled
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup walnut pieces

  • Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 325°F. Line 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan with foil, pressing foil firmly against pan sides and leaving 2-inch overhang. Coat foil with nonstick spray. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Continue cooking until butter stops foaming and browned bits form at bottom of pan, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; immediately add sugar, cocoa, 2 teaspoons water, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt. Stir to blend. Let cool 5 minutes (mixture will still be hot). Add eggs to hot mixture 1 at a time, beating vigorously to blend after each addition. When mixture looks thick and shiny, add flour and stir until blended. Beat vigorously 60 strokes. Stir in nuts. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
  • Bake brownies until toothpick inserted into center comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs attached), about 25 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan. Cut into 4 strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 4 brownies. Can be made 2 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.

    i am not the best baker, but i LOVE finding new recipes and trying them out. from there, i will usually tinker with a recipe until i get what i am looking for. it's harder to do that with baking because ingredients seems to fit into each other like a puzzle. these brownies are amazing and i didn't change a thing except for using 1/4 cup less sugar.

    these were crispy perfect on the outside and gooey on the inside. if your not a nut lover, get rid of them. i made them both ways and i preferred them without nuts in this recipe.
sometimes we are so happy where we are, that we forget to appreciate change and see the beauty in that. i'm kicking this funk to the curb making me some strawberry jam and then i'm gonna shake my a-- on the beach.

here's to your jam making-booty shaking endeavors!

what do you do/want to do to change things up a bit?



Anonymous said...

So glad your back..missed you there for a bit!

Funks are sadly, sometimes a part of a mommy's life. My girlie recently turned 1 and I couldn't believe the funk I was in! Like a whole year of her life-- just like that! It was crazy, and I had to snap myself out of it, cause seriously, it was dumb!

Cute pics, glad you got your 3rd baby back! I LOVE your green striped top in the fam pics. TRES MIGNON!


Rachel said...

I've been in a funk lately and I really can't figure out why!? Except maybe, I have a lot of big choices in front of me and I simply can not make up my mind. I'm commenting tonight b/c I really liked your statement: say yes more and maybe later less. I needed to hear that.. Big time. I'm excited for tomorrow with my kids. Thank you! :)

Anonymous said...

I've had a few of those funks and have blogged about them. You're right, "airing the dirty laundry" here to keep yourself accountable is a great idea...Worked for me. It's normal, growing pains, I call them.
You're amazin' Heidi. Don't ever forget that...

Belinda said...

Loved the blog, I love reading about your family!! The golf adventure sounded fun, as did the fair!! I will have to look into those apps for my iPhone4!!

Anonymous said...

Man oh man am I in a funk too at the moment. We had recent devestating news about my brother so the last month and a bit has been MAJOR FUNK for me :(. But like you, I really want to and need to kick it to the kerb and get moving again. I have a million ideas going around in my head regarding my photography, crafting, time with the kids, camping trips, cooking gourmet meals, exercise and a whole lote more. But I guess the FUNK Monster is bigger than I thought right now! I can't wait for it to pack it's bags and move on ..... it's exhausting while it's here!

Heidi....I love your cooking, your photos and your posts. Hoping your Funk (yes it gets a capital letter) passes soon and you are back to posting regularly again. (Ha! thats rich from me considering I am months behind on my blogging drafts) Cassie x

Tisha said...

loving your funk free plans and your anatomy of a family photo session. so true!

oh and tassels are pretty much the only redeemable quality about golf shoes. :)

Greta said...

Don't worry Heidi...we all get in a funk here and there.
Also, I think the iPhone pics are very refreshing, forcing us to be a bit more creative and it works! They are wonderful :)
Can't wait to try the brownies....

Sarah said...

For Lent, I'm going to try to do yoga 10 minutes a day and still my mind.

I get in funks too....sleep and running help me a lot, but that doesn't always happen (and that is why I take Lexapro...see I shared on your blog too). I really appreciate your openness and honesty here and enjoy your prefaces.

Molly's 1st birthday was last week and after the party on Saturday I do feel a little funky let down but getting Baby Center's email about my toddler stung that I don't have a baby.

Running on the beach sounds FABULOUS!!! I love running in nature because it reminds me of the big ol world and its beauty and that while I'm a part of it all, I'm not that big of deal and it gives me perspective. My extra 15 pounds truly isn't a big deal in light of the whole world. I also enjoy running in nature because I think there is no room for my ego. when I run in neighborhoods, I notice cars, gardens, front porches, lawns, etc...things I could be doing better. When I'm at the gym there are mirrors everywhere. But when you are looking at the ocean (or streams, fields or forests for those of us that don't live near a beach), all you see is the beauty of our world and we get a blessed break from our ego.

Summit of Glory said...

Heidi - I'm a new follower and really enjoy your words and pictures. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing. xo

Daniele said...

Know what you mean about the funk feeling...they do hit us all at times. While I haven't really been feeling funk-y, lol, I have been thinking a lot about what I want to really focus on in these next 6-12 months. So many things I want to do and need to figure out what is most important and the most satisfying at this time of my life. I'm also trying to come to terms with my oldest baby turning 4 over the summer and her starting preschool in the fall. Yep, already trying to come to terms with it and it's six months away haha ;)
Hope you're out of your funk very soon, I'm sure you will be and probably already are just because you vented about it, it always helps! :)

Patti said...

So when are you going to come out with a cookbook?! With your photography and recipes, it would be a NYT best seller instantly!!! Please get on this, stat. And send the first autographed copy to me! :)

Kris said...

Hey you! I've missed your posts.
Sooo your analogy of your funkidy funk was interesting, but i have to say a bit skeery. Standing in the middle of a gigantic white box? You're freaking me out. Gah. Well, I'm glad you are finding ways to get out of it. I just need some vitamin D. Bring on the sun. I miss it so much here! Could some of it have to do with missing your camera? I know it's such a passion of yours. I always feel great when I get out and shoot.
Golfing! I love it for the reasons you said made it fun ....the beauty of the course etc...but yeah...I can't play for beans!
The family pictures are so funny. But you guys look great even in the "outtakes". Gorgeous family!

Brandy said...

Funks suck! Right now it's raining and snowing here and I just want to see some green in my garden! I just want to bring the babe outside without 5 layers of clothing!
Also making that chicken...mmmm.

Anna Ruth said...

We all have funks. It's how we get out of them that defines who we are. I love the family pictures from the fall.

April said...

This post is so you, chockful of love & beauty! But it's late, so I am gonna come back. I've skimmied through, though, and gotta say ...
I get you on the funk and funks suck, but ultimately pushes us to be better. You mentioned healthier strawberry jam. You know there is a recipe to use little or no sugar or even Splenda, right? If you need more info, let me know!! And just totally love the family pic of you guys, second to last, really just beautiful! I met my big sis at Starbucks tonight. We got to talking about the blog world and we were gushing about you and how cute you are!

Okay, really, gotta get to bed!

Talk soon ... xoxo ...

April said...

Skimmied, did I really write that? Cracking up right now!!

J said...

Glad to see you're back! And thanks for stopping by my blog a while back - you made my day :)

I've also recently done some de-funkifying...I think it is just the time of year.

I knew I liked you and then I read about your hatred for golf - that sealed it for me! You rocked out those white pleather tassels, though!

Sarah said...

Do you love ina?? The recipes you share and the way you talk about food and entertaining seem to be like her.

And, your mom is beautiful. I came back to look at the pictures:)

Jen Bacarella said...

You golfed! OMG I bet you Jeff was in seventh heaven...would love to spend some time doing that with you as we would have a blast and take pics of golf a little :-)