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A Boy and His Mom is Now Cathy Unfiltered

So its official, A Boy and His Mom is now Cathy Unfiltered.

A Boy and His Mom will always be near and dear to my heart but I felt it was time for a change.  As the years have passed, not only have the boy and I evolved, what I want for this blog has evolved as well.

When I started the blog, the boy was young and just a couple of years into school and was often eager to participate with my blog.  Now, he’ll be a teenager in just a few months and we all know what teenagers can be like.  This is not to say, I won’t be talking about him or including him, the focus won’t be on “the boy”.

My focus will be more on my challenges and joys of dealing with a teenager.  I will also be focusing on my physical and mental health and wellness.  And included in all of that, any Mom hacks I have and recipes to make meal times easier.

If you followed me up to this point, these topics will probably not seem too far off from what I was blogging about before.  But truth be told, a lot of times I felt I needed to write more of what I thought people wanted to hear and less of what I actually wanted to say.

I worried about what people would think or say.  Not that I can’t take criticism or negative feedback, but I didn’t want it to reflect negatively on me as a Mom or a parent.   At the beginning of 2020, I had been struggling with depression and anxiety and that played a huge part on this negative thinking.  Luckily right before COVID changed the world, I took steps to change this.

And Cathy Unfiltered is changing now as well.  It will be a more honest and open conversation.  What I really think about things and what is really going on behind the screen….unfiltered, authentic.

Sometimes when people hear the word unfiltered, they think rude, crude, and obnoxious.  That is not what Cathy Unfiltered is going to be.  It is going to just be me….real, honest and vulnerable.

I am so glad you have been a part of my journey thus far and hope you continue to follow and watch me grow.

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5 Things I Have Learned About Blogging

It’s hard to believe that I have been blogging now for 5 years.  Some days I feel like I know what’s going on but a lot of the days I still feel like such a newbie. But here are 5 things that I definitely learned along the way.

1. Blogging Is A LOT of Work.

 Blogging is definitely a lot more work than it seems.  I don’t know how many times I heard people saying they want to get into blogging so they can get all the free stuff.  If only it were that easy.   There is a lot of planning, writing, editing, emailing, negotiating and pitching that goes into any sponsored post.  And then for the non-sponsored posts, it’s still a lot of planning, writing and editing. And after all that is done, it’s all about engagement.  You need to respond to comments left on your posts but also, like, comment and engage with others. 

I’ve often heard people say they can’t understand how people make it their full time job. There is no doubt in my mind it could be a full time job.  Even with my little blog, I sometimes struggle trying to juggle it and my full time job.

2. You’ll Make Some Great Friends.

This is my favorite thing about blogging, the friendships I have made.  The best part is some are local so we were able to meet in person and form even stronger friendships. I know this will sound cliche but I feel like I have a community of friends now that understand the ups and downs of the industry. They can relate to things that I am going through and bounce things off each other.  

3. Social Media vs Reality

Don’t get me wrong, I love engaging with others and getting to know people on social media.   But you’ve seen those posts about Social Media vs Reality? Well …. not everyone is who they appear to be on those tiny little squares.  They aren’t always the ray of sunshine or the #babesupportingbabes that they preach on their feed.  Let’s be honest, in the blogging world, it can be a bit of a numbers game and some will do whatever it takes to get said numbers. I’ve seen friendships fall apart and social media wars raged because of this.

4. Blogging Can Play Tricks On Your Mind

When you are working your butt off to increase your following and not seeing the results you want, it can play with your confidence.  You see others that started out the same time as you did now having a following of 2,3 or 4 times more than you, can make you wonder if you’re good enough for this job.  Self doubt can really play a number on you.  But if you remember that regardless of your numbers, there are people that really enjoy your content, it reminds of why you started it in the first place.  

5. Change Is Ok

Sometimes when you first start blogging, you think you know exactly what you want to do and how you want it to look.  But over the years, you blog/social media will evolve and you may want to push it in an entirely new direction, change your logo, change your name to make it more cohesive to the person you are now.  There is nothing wrong with that.  Your followers are probably evolving in their own lives and a lot of them will probably be going through similar changes too.  So go for it!  If you stick with something that you can no longer relate to or have lost a passion for, it’s going to be really hard to convince others you still do.

So after these 5 years, I have grown a lot as a blogger but am looking forward to the next 5 years to see how things will grow and change.  I hope you will follow along too.

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Smashed Brussels Sprouts with Lime Yogurt Sauce

Who would have thought I would ever be excited about Brussels sprouts?  Who knew that they were actually called “Brussels” and not just “Brussel”?  I was today years old when I learned that.

I love trying new recipes, especially one serving recipes.  I have a much more adventurous palate than the boy, so I like trying new recipes when he is at his Dads.  However, I find most recipes feed 4 or more, and I either end up eating leftovers for days, or wasting a lot if I don’t end up enjoying it.

I happened across this recipe on a TikTok by Halle Burns and decided to give it a try.   Brussels sprouts are one my favorite veggies, so her recipe looked so good.  One thing I liked about it,  it was enough for one meal or two side dishes.

After a few tries and tweaks, I had a recipe that loved and will be making quite often. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

 

Smashed Brussels Sprouts with Lime Yogurt Sauce

  • 3 cups Brussels Sprouts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp sriracha sauce or hot sauce of choice
  • 2 tbsp plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  1. Preheat oven to 450°
  2. Steam or boil Brussel sprouts until tender
  3. In a medium size mixing bowl, combine oil, maple syrup, soy sauce and garlic
  4. Once Brussels Sprouts have cooked, strain them and pat dry with paper towel.
  5. Toss sprouts in sauce mixture until well covered
  6. Place sprouts on baking sheet and then “smash” them with the bottom of a glass.
  7. Pour any remaining sauce over the smashed sprouts.
  8. Cook at 450° for 25 minutes or until crispy
  9. While the Brussels Sprouts are cooking, mix together the yogurt and lime juice together in a small bowl.
  10. Once the sprouts are cooked and plated, pour yogurt sauce over the sprouts.
  11. Enjoy!