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Bethany Oran

Lets cook!

Ok, who likes food? Who likes recipes? Do you like easy recipes? Great, Lets get started!

Lucas is the cook in this house and I am oh so grateful for that.  He’s is not only creative but he is the type that can taste food and tell you exactly what is in it and recreate it pretty much to perfection. If the first time isn’t perfection he isn’t going to stop until it is. (Its never taken more than two tries really.)

So here we are, two days after Thanksgiving and we had a whole fried turkey left over. Who’s gonna let that bad boy go to waste? Not us!  If you haven’t had fried turkey, go ahead and plan to be here next year, we will save you a seat.

Now without further ado, here are the directions to easy, no fuss, fairly healthy, turkey noodle soup. Yes, this is our chicken noodle soup recipe but we’ve just replaced the meat to fit whats in our fridge.

INGREDIENTS

 

  • 1 whole white onion, diced
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 large shredded carrots
  • 2.5 quarts of low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 pounds of turkey meat, we used dark and light
  • table spoon each of dried thyme, rosemary, sage and summer savory.
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • one pack of pappardelle pasta
  • 3 tblspoons butter
  • one beer- to drink, NOT to put in soup  haha

Look friends, we shop at Trader Joes where we get most of these ingredients. We bought and dried our own herbs but you can definitely use already dried ones.  And if you don’t feel like chopping all your veggies they have a great soup starter mix (mirepoix) that has your celery, onion and carrots diced small. I just like a little extra carrot in mine. 😉

 

STEP BY STEP

  • Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in your pot
  • Add all chopped veggies and herbs, sautéed until soft (5-7 min)
  • Pour in chicken stock
  • Add turkey
  • Generously add your salt and pepper
  • Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer
  • Simmer and stir occasionally for 30 minutes
  • Add noodles and cook until tender
  • Salt and pepper again to taste

If your feeling extra fancy, whip up some cornbread fritters or add your favorite table crackers.

ENJOY!

Prep time 10 minutes.  Cook time one hour.

 

 

pasta

 

lucas turkey

All Natural Living

For a while now, Lucas and I have wanted to live a healthier and more eco friendly lifestyle.  It seems simple just thinking about it, but once you consider how much waste and plastic is in your life, it is a little harder than you imagine. Once we moved to the farm we decided it was now or never.

So where do you start? Well, we are still trying to figure it out but I will share with you the few changes we have made and the ones we want to make soon.

    1. Composting. But you don’t have a big yard or area to do it in you say? Ours is currently in a storage container we had left over from moving. I feel much better about the amount of “trash” we have once we have composted everything we can. We have much less food waste and whatever is left over I know is going to help our gardening ventures later on.  What do we compost? Brown paper (trader joes bags), coffee grounds and tea bags, grass and yard clippings and cut flowers from the house, egg shells, left over fruit and veggies. DO NOT compost any meat or dairy.  You will need to add a little soil and spritz with water occasionally and stir it around so it mixes and breaks down well.
    2. Eco friendly products. Again, you have to start small. We purchased some bamboo toothbrushes from Amazon. Check them out HERE  For less than $15 you get 4 brushes which are so soft but work amazing. I love how simple and cute they are too. And the cardboard case they come in, well it went straight into my compost as will the toothbrushes once we are done. How cool is that?
    3. Another sustainable product that was an easy switch was plastic wrap. There are several different types of reusable or washable container covers and I have even found some handmade at our local farmers market using any cute fabric you can imagine. But if you just want to buy some, check THESE out.  Then for sandwiches and snacks, some reusable and washable bags are perfect to use for work or kids lunches. I also grabbed mine from a farmers market but THESE are so cute!

compost

Here is our starter compost. Once it fills up a little more, it will move into the yard and out of the container but for now, this works and is great if you have a small space.

tooth

How adorable is the packaging for these toothbrushes?

And there you have it.  A few very easy baby steps into a more eco friendly lifestyle. Stay tuned for more

 

Truth

Do you want the truth about my infertility and how I’m doing with it? Do you wonder whats going on with ‘us’? Do you think about how I feel about all the pregnancies around me? If you answered yes, keep reading. I promise to try to keep it light. (ps. I’m on day two of Clomid. I refer to this week as the Clomid Crazies because emotions can not be controlled.

 

  1. I am not mad at you, I am sad for me. I can’t tell you how many people around me are pregnant right now. And no, it’s not because I’m overly aware. It is in the water but I’m drinking from a different faucet. Am I envious? You bet your damn pants off I am! Do I want to hear about your pregnancy and how you are decorating your nursery..YES! If I love you, I’m going to love the baby you are carrying. Will I occasionally skip a baby shower,  also yes, but I will still buy you something nice. I would also suggest telling your infertile friend you are pregnant outside of social media. She will appreciate hearing the news from you. She most likely won’t cry in front of you but she will probably cry alone. And that is ok.

2. Please don’t say “when you are a mom/pregnant you will understand ‘blank’.         Thanks for the reminder that I am not part of this super exclusive club. Also for me its an extra insult as I was a mom for two years. I didn’t birth a baby and change diapers but we did fully care for two children through foster care so I understand a little bit about parenting. Remember I am hopped up on fertility meds that make me a little more sensitive than I used to be.

3.  I have an actual medical problem. We are “doing it right”.  Getting drunk and having a wild night isn’t going to fix the problem. I can’t “just relax”. Actually I’m more relaxed than I was before I knew I had a problem because my expectations are lower.  While I appreciate your advice, your sisters friends cousins fertility issues aren’t the same as mine. There can be soooo many issues and almost no two people are the same. I am seeing a great doctor who I trust and is helping us make the best decisions for us.

4. Enjoy your pregnancy. Enjoy being a mom. Is it uncomfortable and hard sometimes, yes, I’m sure it is. But remember who you are talking to would give everything to be uncomfortable, have stretch marks and heartburn or a sleepless night from a colicky baby. Can you vent to me sometimes still? Again, yes. Talk to me, just don’t complain the whole time 😉

5. I think, pray, and dream about being a mommy…EVERY SINGLE DAY. Many times a day. Everything I do comes after the thought of if and when.  I don’t know where this road will take us and what avenue will make us parents, but please don’t judge whatever path that may be. IUI, IVF, adoption, surrogacy and foster care are all acceptable ways to become a parent.

6. You can ask me where we stand in our journey and treatments. I will always be open and honest. Please DO NOT ask me every two weeks if I’m pregnant yet.  When I am I will be shouting it from the rooftops! PROMISE!

Here I am before our first IUI trying to stay positive..

iui 1

Light fixtures

Since moving into the new house we have had so many comments on the great light fixtures. I can’t take any credit for those since we did not build this house but I did some research so I could give you all info on where to find similar items, especially if your “ballin on a budget”. Nothing gets me going like a good deal on a great item.

Light fixtures are important for a few reasons. One is obviously light (duh) and the others all have to do with the aesthetic it gives your home. My home is very open so the lights are focal points of each room and help tie the whole theme together.

I’ll start with the living room.

living room

light

I love these little galvanized metal fixtures. The metal stands off so nicely against the shiplap and they were one of the first things I noticed about this room. I found many similar but Lowes had the best deal as 1 fixture is just under $30!! Find it here

light two

In the powder room they attached two of the same fixture to a piece of reclaimed wood and TA-DA, it adds a whole new look. Four lights for under $150!

The dining room has a beautiful wine barrel light which is so popular right now.

dining room

 

Amazon had the best deal I could find for something super similar. $200 for a big light isn’t bad at all. Other sites had them listed for $400+ Find it on Amazon here!

Last but certainly not least is the kitchen. The two big pendant style lights over the island are not only pretty, but provide excellent light over the stove top when you’re cooking.

kitchen

The closest thing I could find  were these.  I didn’t do any measuring but these are a little smaller than mine at 12in in diameter.  I would guess mine are about 18in. but depending on the size of your room either could work, or you could add a third. I like how the brushed nickel coordinates with the living room without being too matchy matchy.

So there you have it friends! Great lighting for the main part of your home for well under $1000!

 

[In]Fertility

If you are like me, you grew up playing with babydolls and thinking of the day when you would have children. Notice I said when, not ‘if’.  Some of us dream of being mothers for as long as we can remember and others do not but decide later on and both are ok. I was the one who KNEW she would be a mommy someday. It was not an ‘if’, it was a ‘when’.

Fast forward closer to adulthood. I start hearing about and following stories of people who were having fertility challenges. I became somewhat obsessed with these stories and all the different issues people all around me were having. I felt sad for these people, some of who I knew personally and prayed for them… and at some point even early in my twenties, I felt connected to these women. Call it a womans intuition or maybe some horrifying self fulfilled prophecy but my worst nightmare came true.

Lucas and I always knew we wanted kids, and we had a brief stint of being (foster) parents for about two years. We will save that story for another time though. About six months after the girls were gone we decided to officially start trying. I immediately made an appointment at my ob/gyn to make sure everything looked good since I had the feeling something probably was wrong. They found a few little cysts they wanted to watch and I had a total of 4 ultrasounds. It wasn’t until the 4th one that they noticed something else was up.

After the forth ultrasound the nurse came in and said they found something they had not seen in my previous appointments.  She very quickly tells me, “your Fallopian tubes are blocked and that can only be corrected with surgery and if that doesn’t work you can only get pregnant via in vitro fertilization, any questions?’ I immediately tear up and know that I have questions but I’m not sure what they are at this point. I ask what the odds are for successful surgery and she can’t give me any stats. It did not help that the whole thing came across very cold and matter of a fact with what seemed to be very little regard to how I was feeling. Knowing I had several appointments before and it wasn’t caught also made me mad.

By the end of that day I already had an appointment set up at a local fertility specialist. Meeting with that doctor a few weeks later was a much better experience and I can say I honestly feel very comfortable and happy with Dr. Doody’s care and felt good about the plans to move forward.  He agreed that both tubes are blocked and surgery is the best option so we schedule that for the following month. I go into the surgery knowing that if my tubes are damaged past repair that he can totally remove them and I won’t know what happens until I wake up. I remember waking up from the anesthesia and immediately asking whoever was near me “do I still have tubes” and they told me yes. I cried. There was a small glimpse of hope.

Three months of healing and one month of “trying” before I return back to have an HSG dye test to see how the tubes are doing. The right one is blocked so we schedule surgery to remove it. Hope gone. He says that while in surgery he will look at the left and determine if its healthy.  So once again I go into surgery not sure what I am going to wake up to. Just like before, I wake up and immediately ask if the left tube it still there and it is! It wasn’t as great as he would have hoped so he worked on it some more. The tiny hope comes back.

Since then we have being doing IUI (intrauterine insemination). We have had two full rounds in the past 5 months. You see, since I only have one tube, my good follicles need to be on the left side that still has the tube. What is annoying about the whole thing (besides everything) is I have to take the meds and pay for ultrasounds just to determine if going forward with the IUI is a viable plan. Once that part is all said and done we are out about $800 without even doing the actual IUI, which is an additional $600. Insurance doesn’t pay for anything at this point, and don’t even get me started on how I really feel about that.

We will probably give this a few more months and tries but if that doesn’t work it will be time to decide what to do next. Then theres the decision of IVF or adoption, both of which I’m ok with. I’ve always had a calling to adopt so I definitely see that in our future but I still also imagine being pregnant as well. Until then, I have to let go and let God do his work. All things in His time, not mine. That has been a really hard lesson for me but I know it will make the end result much sweeter.

I’ll keep y’all posted on any changes or updates!

 

Us

Where do I even begin? Starting a blog is something that has been on my mind for a few years now but I was never quite sure where to start or what to write about, or worse, would anyone care? But here we are. Life has thrown Lucas and I some curveballs and if my stories can help one single person then I will feel accomplished.

Here’s a little more about me/us for those of you who I haven’t met. Lucas and I have been married for two years and together for six. We met by chance through mutual friends and a few months later, “we knew”.  We live in a small town in East Tennessee where I’m a hairstylist and manage a boutique and Lucas is a millwright and I’m still not quite sure what that means 😂. We love hiking, camping, antiquing and going on unplanned adventures.

We just sold our home “in the city” for a quaint little farm house on two acres. For a while we were dreaming and talking about what life would be like when we found some land and could grow our own veggies and have farm fresh eggs. That dream is now a reality as of this week!  We have already reserved a Great Pyrenees puppy and been to a goat farm to plan for the spring. My hope is to learn basic homesteading and share with you all the things we do, right or wrong, haha.

We are also on a journey to grow our family and have been trying to conceive for close to two years. That’s a long story for another time but talking about our struggles is weirdly healing for me. And the more people we have praying for us, the better, right?

 

Thanks for joining us!