Something To Love bio picture
  • Who’s That Girl?

    Why are "about me" paragraphs so hard to write? I always think in terms of one word answers when I see anything "about me" related. So my one word answers are:
    Adopted by God the Father. Wife. Mother. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Homeschool teacher.
    Wanna be chef. or cheif or chief however it is spelled, I like to cook. Terrible Speller.
    San Francisco Giants LOVER!!
    Limited makeup wearer. Never wear a bikini-er. Pepsi sneaker. Exercise hater!
    Tea drinker, cream and sugar please. Preferably PG Tips Black Tea.
    Photographer. Cry baby. Sunday School Teacher. Poor decorator. Not so good at thank you card writer. Dream Bigger.
    So those weren't really one word answers but you get the idea. I am seemingly ever changing and evolving without ever doing either. Know what I mean? I love to learn new things, crave it really. But then seem to always become myself again. Branch out, then retract. I am not critical of that fact, only aware of it. I will try a new tea, but will eventually return to my everyday favorite PG Tips. I will get a new book, read it, but always return to Pretense by Lori Wick when I need a good read. So that me, Cierra.

Wheat a Minute! How I went Gluten Free

I told you in my last post that my word for 2013 is MODERATION. Well it looks like I moderated myself write out of blogging! All things in moderation, but still do some things!

Our lives have been a little crazy these days. So many things out of my control ( are they ever in my control???), I found myself feeling completely overwhelmed. And I was sick. All. The. Time.

After 9 years of either nursing a baby or being pregnant with a baby, I finally was free of both those things in November when I weaned The Baby. Then my body freaked out. I hadn’t needed a metabolism in like 9 years. So I immediate gained the 10 lbs. I had worked hard to lose! And then I was getting sick every night. Like EVERY night. I was nauseous so much, that after weeks of pain and sickness Lovey Hubby even noticed. Lets just say it was taking a toll, me being sick every night.

I began to wonder about wheat and grains when I had allergic reactions to quinoa 2 times. I know what you are thinking, quinoa? Who is allergic to quinoa? I wasn’t. I ate it once a week or so for 2 years. Then BAM! After eating one night I was sicker than I ever remember being! Laying on the cold bathroom tile wishing I could throw up or get rid if whatever poisoned me ( I thought it was uncooked pork). But nothing happened! Just horrid pain and nausea. That didn’t go away till 3 am. I was convinced it was pork. So the next week we had quinoa again… This time I was still at the dinner table when I began to feel sick again. Same story as last week. But this time as I lay there miserable, I figured I couldn’t have food poisoning again. The quinoa was the only common ingredient. So the next morning I googled quinoa allergy. I began reading my story all over other blogs. Women who had eaten quinoa for years, suddenly very ill after eating it. Terrible pain till 3 am. I was so sad. I love quinoa.

After that I paid more attention and found I was sickest after eating any grains of any kind. I’d had enough! On December 1st, I went grain and sugar free. Yes, during the holidays. And no, it wasn’t hard. I was so tired of being sick, that I just didn’t care. I didn’t miss it one bit. And thanks to Pinterest, I had wonderful recipes at my fingertips. I am no stranger gluten free foods or lifestyles. A number of my friends are gluten free and have allergies. I am not ready to say I have a gluten allergy or anything, but I am 100% better since loosing the grains and sugar.

So technically I am eating a Paleo diet. And I am feeling so great. No headaches. No exhaustion. No tummy aches. And life is just as stressful. Lots of turmoil in the extended family. My tummy is better but my heart is broken. For awhile there we thought I might have an ulcer.

But like I said, Pinterest has been such a great tool for me to use. My board is called ‘Wheat A Minute The Cure’. I have made so many of the things I’ve pinned and I am loving it! I had a party last Friday night and made everything gluten-free and sugar-free. Everyone raved about the food! Mommy night out and no guilt! I will be positing all about the food I made in the next few days. For now, go check out m board and tell me what you think. Are you gluten-free? Why? Has it been hard?

Well, I am off to make a yummy dinner for me and the kiddos- Cauliflower Pizza! Recipe can be found on my board!

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Audre - January 20, 2013 - 9:31 pm

we are also Gluten free and sugar free…. well… (processed sugars that is. we still use honey and agave and pure maple syrup and such)in some ways it is hard ( like getting family members to be considerate) but in other ways it’s not so hard after you adjust to the learning curve of new recipes and how to alter current recipes! the hardest part was after I had adjusted to baking gluten free goodies I kinda went food happy (over board)I made divine goodies and baked like crazy and ate a TON of GF- Sugar free GOODIES (cause well, they were “allergen Free” but not calorie free)and ended up gaining a bunch of weight and showing new food sensitivities…. so that’s partly where my Moderation in all things is playing it’s role in my life! managing my food urges! lol I look forward to your recipe posts!

Word Of The Year 2013 Moderation

The Lettered Cottage
My word of the year? Don’t laugh:
“All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.”
I Corinthians 10:23
This is my verse for the year and my word of the year is moderation.
You have heard it said that all things in moderation…. what? What does that really mean?
I was contemplating that statement and this verse came to my heart.
Moderation means to me this year:
Even though Pinterest is lawful, it doesn’t always edify. Example: I am never going to be as creative as some of you out there. And it makes me feel bad when my insides don’t measure up to your outsides. The fix? Moderation.
Another example of moderation and edifying: Just because they have a need in the church for “this event” or that “event” doesn’t mean I have to do it. Especially if it will have a negative effect on my family. Because they are my first priority. My children see me work and minister in my church on a regular basis. What they don’t need is a martyr for a mother.
I fee like the laundry martyr these days. I hate that feeling. Truth time:
I purposely didn’t wash Lovey Hubby’s underwear and socks this week. Shameful, I know. I was mad. Mad that the laundry monster was breeding and there is no way to neuter it. I also may or may not have thrown out all the single socks and just bought new socks for everyone just to keep me from going crazy.
You want to hear something funny? I came home from Costco yesterday and Hubs had found all his dirty stuff and was washing them. No complaining to me. He didn’t get mad that I hadn’t done it. He didn’t mention it once.
Talk about humbling. How often do I nag when he hasn’t done something I asked?
He taught me a lesson for sure. A couple actually. What about you? Are you the mother who does all the work, but expects something in return?
Are you a laundry martyr like me? We all have something in our hearts to confess I am sure.
Join me in confessing it and asking God to help us change.
Join me in moderating our lives and make sure they are full of things that are uplifting and edifying to not only ourselves, but also to our family and to our God.

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Audre - January 7, 2013 - 8:07 pm

YES YES! I am also the everything mother and wife and teacher! but laundry isn’t my personal nightmare! lol It was doing the dishes! washing dishes by hand is the BANE of my existence! But Luckily for me, we now have a Dishwasher! HALLELUJAH!!! I used to spend and hour or more everyday washing dishes by hand, now, i spend like 5 minutes to load the dishwasher!!! I Will NEVER live without one again! lol

Lately I too have been reminding myself “Moderation in all things” and also asking myself, Is this something “good” for me to do with my time or is it, a “better” use of my energy or is it the “best” for me and my family! there are plenty of good things to be doing, but there are also better things i could be doing and what is the BEST thing i could be doing right now? Good, Better, Best? always a hard question. :)

Black Moon Cookies and Cheesecake Dreams

Have I ever told you about Black Moon Cookies? I can’t recall if I have.

Well, they are a cookie. A very special cookie.

Not everyone likes them, but if you are part of my Mother’s side of the family:


I mean fall-off-the-chair-tackle-the-person-with-the-plateful-love them.

One time, a long-lost cousin was found. He had been adopted and raised by wonderful people. To welcome to our family, we made him Black Moons. End of story.

When they are brought in, it is literally a fight to see who will get them. Because there are rarely enough to go around. The loser is never, ever happy. And we usually make them at Christmas.

There are Black Moons:

I know what you are thinking: “Those look like Whoopi Pies.”


These are NOT Whoopi Pies. They may look like them but sister they are soooooo much better.

I have searched high and low for the recipe to match these and I have yet to find one. None of the magazine or web sites I have seen use the super top-secret ingredients that make up these wonderful Black Moons.

It is so top-secret, I have only every given it to ONE friend who truly loves them too. My fav way to enjoy them is frozen with a cup o tea. Yummmmy.

The story goes: My Me’me’, (mom’s mom)  worked in a candy factory in Massachusetts. She met a German woman who gave her this recipe for a really yummy cookie. And they were the only cookie she ever made. Seriously. I remember being 13 or 14 and coming home from school. I found her in the kitchen with one of those gift jars full of cookie ingredients. She was trying to follow the recipe and make chocolate chip cookies. I asked her why she was having a hard time and she replied that she had never made chocolate chip cookies before…. Seriously.

Only. Cookie. Ever.

Moving on…

I am a fan of Susan Branch. Do you know her? You should. You can find her at

She lives half her time in Martha’s Vineyard (yes, that Martha’s Vineyard) and half the time on the California coast, not all that far from me. And her and her hubs travel either by car or by train. Yes, by train. I would love to do that with the kids someday! So much to see.

An-e-ways… She paints, writes, crafts, walks, drinks tea, gardens and all sorts of cutesy things. I have been getting her calendars for years. I save them too. They are too sweet to throw out. Besides, it’s fun to look back over the years and see things written down with such confidence.

Baby Due!

Mom Coming to visit!

Gracie turning 5

5 year anniversary

I love looking back through those calendars to see my life surrounded by Susan’s soft drawings and simple quotes. I am not much of a journalist, so my calendars will have to tell my story!

Enough down memory lane, on to my point here:

Susan’s calendars are full of recipes too! This one had caught my eye so I attempted it last week.

I had never down a cheesecake before, so it was interesting. But the star was the crust! Ground up Ginger Snaps!

So very very good! I think I might make all my regular pumpkin pies with that crust recipe.

Like a smart blogger I got a picture of the final product… well anyways maybe I didn’t because I was super rushed.

Don’t judge, busy life!:)

But, not as busy as before because……. drum roll please……….


Thank you Lord! He will hopefully soon be Captain Lovey Hubby for the Sacramento Fire Department. Sounds nice huh?

We have worked so hard for this and we are all glad it is over. Before he left, we all stood holing hands to pray. Super Mav said this:

“Dear God, thank you for this day. Thank you for our food, er… uhhh giggle… ummm Thank you that Daddy’s test is almost done and that he can come to the park with us again.”

Well said my son, well said.

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T’was the Night before Thanksgiving…

It’s no secret over here,

I heart Thanksgiving.

A lot.

One year at my parent’s house we had 26 people. That was before 2 of my children were born!

Last year, my mother’s side of the family went on a cruise to celebrate my Grandmother’s 80th birthday. There was 53 of us! And 5 stayed home!

I have perfected my turkey recipe over the years. Wolfgang Puck. He is amazing at turkey and I watched a special he did years ago, around 2003 and have never done it differently.

So I decided to post my first video on my blog: a vlog

All about turkey. I also did a little demonstration how to spatchcock a turkey.

Hopefully this works.

And it’s not to boring. I promise to make them better.

Happy Thanksgiving!

turkey 101

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Need to get back into this….

I need to get back into this blog thing.

4 kids is a lot.

One husband studying for the Captain’s test plus 4 kids is much much more.

Plus homeschooling.

Plus Plus Plus Plus!

You know how it goes. Blog, don’t blog. I published 84 posts in the first 4 months of the year. Then nothing….



then total silence.

Well, I’d like to amend that now. I felt a little more grounded when I was blogging. I had something just for me. I didn’t mind having mostly my mom reading (Hi Mum!)

So the question is: Do I spend 4 posts detailing what we’ve been up to? I think not. How boring would that be!!??

BUT everyone has grown and changed much.

All photos curtsey of the Rustic Barn Photography

Lovey Hubby:

He has spent HOURS and I mean HOURS studying for his fire captain’s test. We are almost done. Just a couple of weeks left. Nail biting I tell you. And lonely. Most everyday he is in the trailer studying and then after dinner he goes back in… till well after I go to bed. Let’s just say I became friends with my TV again. I hate it, the TV that is.

I am very proud of all that he has accomplished. He has a photographic memory and we think he will come out somewhere in the top 5 or 10. In the mean time, things at home began to go a little  cray cray.

I was/am functioning mostly on my own and it is tough. I don’t know how single moms or moms with hubs in the military do it.

But ‘nough complaining. Back to updating.

Number 1 is now 9. Yes, a 9-year-old lives in my house. And yes, she changed on her birthday. I can see puberty like a fright train barreling towards us. It is scary, let me tell you. Whole post about that one coming up.

Miss. Sassy Pants is still 6. But maturity is coming in waves with this one. She grew inches this summer. She started home school with me, as a first grader. And she has finished her math book already. Yep. She is that kid. More on our homeschooling adventures later.

Super Mav you ask? He is where most of the crazy comes from in our house. One minute he is loud and pretending he is the Hulk. The next he is snuggly and talking sweetly to the Baby. He is also still sucking his thumb, something I am hoping will go away by his 4th birthday in January. It’s not the end of the world to have 3-year-old sucking his thumb, it could be worse, he could still poop in his pants. Seriously.

And that leaves the Baby. Oh my is he adorable. I actually have physical pain when I think he is the last one and growing up to fast. He is a little angry with me now because I weaned him completely these last couple of weeks. I swear this kid would never have given up had I not forced it. (go ahead, judge me for forcing him to wean at 19 months, I dare you :)) As of 2 weeks ago I ended my baby nursing career of around 9 years. ENOUGH!

I have decided to continue to refer  to him as The Baby, even though he is growing up. Because he will forever be my little Baby. He is universally adored in this house by all. It amazes me how much his siblings love him. When I bring him out in the morning, they all start to coo at him and squeal in delight that he is awake. Everyday for 19 months. WIll it ever get old? I hope not. I pray they always are happy to see each other. Stop laughing. I know, I know, it is a joke. It will never happen. But seriously, I want them all to be friends.

Yes, I jumped that high in heels :)

So what’s up with me you ask? Where to start, where to start…. I am tired. Mentally I am not ready for Christmas. I want to do all these great things, (thanks a lot Pinterest) but I don’t seem to have enough energy or time. Not to mention patients. Who wants to use glitter with a 3-year-old?? Not me. Who wants to make salt dough with a baby running around sticking their hands into the toilet? Not me. I most creative I’ve been is pinning things on my Pinterest board, and lets me honest, I haven’t had much brain power to do that either. We did however manage to get family portraits done!  As a former photographer I was so very excited to have this done. I am never in front of the camera, only behind it. I heard all the voices in my head about being over my ideal weight and being 30 now, I do have some crinkles…. But I ignored them mostly. I still got in front of that camera and smiled. I wanted my children to see me in photos some day. No excuses. If this is as good as it’s going to get, I better document it!!

Super Mav wore his fireman boots, just like he has done everyday for every occasion the last year. That is who he is. I love that part of these pictures. Yes, I wore skinny jeans, get over it. I had to.

What else…. I don’t know. Like I said, getting back into this blogging thing is going to be tough. But I am going to try. I have much to say, and I have to say it to someone! Lovey Hubby need his brain power for the big test on the 6th. So get ready for really long drawn out rambley posts. I may even do a video thing if I can figure it out. I like to hear other bloggers ‘voice’ so maybe someone wants to hear what I sound like. But seeing as my mom is the one who reads this the most and she has already hear my voice… we shall see.


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mom - November 18, 2012 - 7:30 pm

I missed you the minute we drove out of your driveway. I never saw the first picture of you and Steve at the top. frame it it is beautiful. Stephen too. keep it.

Heidi - November 20, 2012 - 2:40 pm

I want to hear your voice…and read your thoughts. love.

Audre - January 7, 2013 - 8:21 pm

all i can say is I LOVE this! :)

Audre - January 9, 2013 - 10:03 pm

what math program are u using with miss sassy pants? my first grader will be finishing her first grade Saxon math by the end of the month and we will be starting second grade Saxon. But I can’t decide if i wanna stick with Saxon or try other curriculum… I have a battle in my head over this particular debate…

Cierra Pera - January 21, 2013 - 10:33 am

For 1st and 2nd grade I have used the California state curriculum through Visions. I really like it. It doesn’t jump all over the board, but rather focuses on one subject per chapter, with an overall review before the chapter test. For my 4th grader, we have been doing Horizons for the last 2 years, but I generally don’t love it. It covers all things learned in each lesson, and has LOTS and LOTS of repetitive work. It gets old. I am currently not sure where we will be going with Sassy after this. Our CT has recommend Saxon, since she is so mathematically minded but honestly, it makes me nervous! Plus she loves color, and those books are so black and white! We are on the look out for something great and I will let you know what I find!