I would generally consider myself someone who really likes to have clear expectations set, be in control, know the plan and stick to it. I would not consider myself to be very spontaneous, but I suppose moderately flexible. Since I am an Upholder, I sometimes find myself hesitant or reluctant to take on new things because I don’t want them to crowd out the things I have already started on because of course, we all have limited resources (time, attention, money, etc.) and I am not one to commit to something unless I know that I can see it through to the very end. When I take on a new resolution, new project, or even new friend, I want to make sure that I can dedicate the necessary effort. But I also believe that everything happens for a reason and I try to remind myself to “choose the bigger life.” Which is how we ended up with a second puppy in our home for a little over a month now. Finding Kiely was something unexpected, but turned out to be a good thing.
Last month I decided I needed a craft table which could be easily stored or brought out when needed for #projects. Jon and I found one online and decided to take a long walk across town with our miniature Yorkshire Terrier, Coco, as a “family adventure” of sorts on a Saturday afternoon. Little did we know. As we crossed over a bridge walking away from downtown Cork, we spotted a tiny Jack Russell Terrier wandering around by herself – scared, alone, and dangerously close to traffic. In her characteristically friendly manner, Coco ran over to her to introduce herself and the little puppy growled a bit, shaking and obviously nervous. We stood there for awhile, looking around to see who might be looking for her, but alas she was truly on her own. Jon scooped her up and we agreed to take her down to the police station just down the street. No one was there, so he continued carrying her as we walked towards a vet’s office near to our final destination. The receptionist there kindly scanned her for a nonexistent microchip and then checked the Munster county lost and found website to no avail. She said she would list her, explained that sadly abandoned dogs are quite common around here after Christmas especially, and admonished us to “enjoy our new dog” as we left.
Now I absolutely love Coco, but I am not necessarily a big fan of dogs in general. I have only had two ever – both toy, purse dogs who were teeny tiny, minimal effort, playful, but in general – very calm and quiet. We had discussed a few times, in a very abstract manner that Coco might like to have another dog around to play with, but we really never considered it very seriously. As we took the little foundling home that night and continued to check the website for updated listings over the next few days, I felt a bit overwhelmed by the thought of keeping her. But she was incredibly sweet and utterly desperate to be loved. That week we took her to Coco’s vet to be checked out, vaccinated and microchipped. In order to complete the necessary paperwork, she needed to have a name, but I was still on the fence about taking her in as a permanent commitment. We decided to postpone a few more days and talk over, in the end deciding that if her and Coco could get along alright, we would keep her. Thankfully, that has been the case. Adding another dog to the Vasquez fam was not something which I was ready to sign up for, but now she has already really become a part of our home. Kiely was something unexpected, but turned out to be a good thing for us. Another point for Team “Choose the Bigger Life.”
Another pleasant surprise was how easily and deliciously these simple muffins came together. Almond butter is my kryptonite and makes frequent appearances in my meals, both savory and sweet, and snacks (often by the spoonful). But these Paleo Almond Butter Blender Muffins were a pleasant surprise – only six ingredients tossed into a blender to combine and then baked to perfection in less than 10 minutes! It was a wildly successful (and tasty) experiment, which served as yet another reminder that something unexpected can very often turn out to be (deliciously) rewarding.
- Banana 2 each
- Eggs 2 each
- Smooth, Unsweetened Almond Butter 1 cup (250 g)
- Baking Soda 1 TSP
- Honey 6 TBSP
- 80% or higher Dark Chocolate chips/chunks .25 cup (45 g) - I just chop up dark chocolate bars into small bits or make my own chocolate to ensure clean ingredients with minimal sugar.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F / 190 C and lightly grease a muffin tray with a small bit of melted coconut oil
- Place all ingredients (besides the dark chocolate) into a blender and blend until well combined and smooth.
- Mix in the chocolate chips/chunks and pour the batter into the prepared muffin tray
- Bake for about 8 - 10 minutes or until cooked through
- Allow to cool before removing from tray and ENJOY!