I want to be Real

β€œHe didn’t mind how he looked to other people, because the nursery magic had made him Real, and when you are Real shabbiness doesn’t matter.”
― Margery Williams Bianco, The Velveteen Rabbit

I’ve been a consumer of social media for years and even more so in recent years with my deployment and pregnancy and now as a new mom up at all hours of the day and night and I’ve really noticed the lack of authenticity in so many posts. Or often people post about things being real but the picture is heavily edited and filtered, kind of the opposite of being “real.”

I’ve done it too. I’ll take a bunch of pictures and only post the best one and tweak it so that things look brighter and better than they are. Why are we so afraid of ourselves?

I’m never going to be able to achieve or sustain that. Let me tell you the kind of mother-athlete I am: I sleep in the clothes I wore that day, plus my favorite Oiselle Lux sweatpants because I get up and down all night and it’s easier than changing. In the mornings, if I workout, I throw something, anything on. Clothes don’t match anymore.

I workout, maybe I shower. I eat granola bars all day. My house is usually pretty well vacuumed because Mini-Me likes the sound of the vacuum, but it’s untidy as hell everywhere. My kitchen table has a breast pump on it, books, a hat, this computer, flowers in a vase, multivitamins and my incomplete cross-stitch. My coffee table is no less crowded.

I take gym pics to keep myself accountable for my workouts, not because they look nice because they sure don’t. I gained over 60 pounds during my pregnancy and I still have a lot left to lose. I have a belly pooch and my hips and thighs are thick now. It’s a rare day that I put makeup on.

But I’m willing to bet that I’m closer to the norm than further from it, despite what social media would have you think. I scroll Instagram at night looking for others who want to be Real, like I do. Women who aren’t scared of their flaws and who don’t pretend they have it all together. You’d think that the ones who have it all would be rare, but it’s the Real ones who are rarest of all. Let’s be real and raw and ourselves.

 

Instant Love

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One of my absolute favorite stores to browse, Williams-Sonoma, recently announced they were closing their Augusta location. As heartbroken as I was, I recognized a good sale and quickly snapped up all the things we’d thought about buying but hadn’t. Mainly replacing all our old cooking utensils I’d had since I first stocked my kitchen, but also a new gadget that I’d been hemming and hawing over for months – an Instant Pot. I’d heard that they’re life-changing. I’d also heard they do everything equally well but nothing great, so I’d put it off because we already had a slow cooker and a pressure cooker and pots and pans.

Well, I LOVE my Instant Pot! Really, really LOVE. It’s not prep to eating in 15 minutes, and there’s still some significant prep work in some recipes, but overall I think it was a good buy and appreciate cleaning less dishes. Plus, I can cook food that’s frozen and an entire roast in 15 minutes instead of several hours.

My favorite place to dig up recipes is from the Instant Pot website, but these have been some of my favorites so far:

  1. Turkey and White Bean Chili – this was a little soupy to me, so I added some chopped corn tortillas left in the fridge and it was so good.
  2. Risotto with Pancetta, Peas, and Mushrooms – this was crazy good and you could easily leave out the pancetta.
  3. Korean Beef from Damn Delicious – so good!
  4. Korean Chile-Braised Brisket – I made the kimchi coleslaw but think it was better with just the plain kimchi. The brisket was great and I’d actually recommend not sizing this one down because it’s so good we cleaned up the whole recipe.