All progress starts with making a brave decision. Deciding is the difference between held back and fully free, congested and clear, shuffling along and flying. Stop people pleasing. Stop doubting yourself. Stop negative thinking. Stop worrying about failing. Stop criticizing yourself. Decide. Make the decision and decide to do things different.Read More
Depression is one the the most common emotional aliments. We have to learn to take our minds off the present situation and give hope that it will improve. Focus on God's ability to help you rather than on your inability to help yourself. Here are 5 ways that you can combat feeling down...Read More
9:30 at night and I am lying in bed stuffing my face with a sugar loaded blueberry muffin. That's right, emotionally eating.
I have already devoured a bag of lime seasoned chips and salsa for dinner while watching the latest episode of Madam Secretary. To add insult to injury...Read More
Vacations are so much fun. I just came back from a 5-day visit to NY to see my family. As much as I enjoyed the precious time, there is something about the comfort of my own bed, my own space, and my own food, that makes coming home feel so relaxing.Read More
Morning mayhem seems to be a given in my house. Is it the same for you? You've overslept, you can't find your other shoe, the car keys have mysteriously disappeared, and the kids are not cooperating.
Nothing like running late to work. So what is the first thing that you skip? Breakfast, right? I mean, if you're rushing around trying to get out the door, breakfast is NOT an option. You are not alone. 31 MILLION Americans continue to skip out on breakfast despite the negative affects that it has on our health.
Skipping breakfast has been linked to health risks – high blood pressure, overweight, slower metabolism to name a few.Read More
It never fails, this time of year I find myself grumbling under my breath, miserable at the site of happy couples sipping hot chocolate and families enjoying the holiday shopping frenzy. All those little cute faces and goo goo eyes make me want to scream like the Grinch. Here I am skipping along in my little life thinking that I'm content being a single mom and BAM!...Read More
With the weather changing and the air getting colder, it is easy for us to go into hibernation mode and slack on exercising. I would much rather stay wrapped up on the couch with a cup of coffee and a book then to scrape the frost off my windshield so that I can get to the gym...Read More
If you are in a hurry, you can do this on the stove in about 35 minutes. There is something about it cooking in the crockpot on a rainy afternoon that I love, it is really up to you. I would love to hear what you think.
It never fails, every time I am stressed I end up sick. I hate being sick and going to the doctors is the last thing this stubborn girl wants to do. I'm like a little 3 year old that gets frustrated at the help of mom tying my shoes, "DON'T touch! I can do it MYSELF!"
Well, after scouring the internet for cures, 5 days of drinking every juice known to man, cutting out coffee, and adding baking soda to my water (to balance my PH) my body has conceded defeat and I am now on antibiotics.Read More
Lately, my evenings have been spent running errands and checking off my ever expanding to-do list. It is so easy just to run through the drive-thru or order pizza. Blek! This salad is quick and easy and I always make enough chicken that I can just grab and go when I'm having a crazy day. It beats take-out ANY DAY!Read More
This past weekend I ran my first 10k. For most, that's probably a walk in the park but for me it has been a challenge. Not because I couldn't physically do it, but it was a mental block for me. Something about it that I couldn't quite get past so all last year I stuck with 5k's. They were safe for me. At least that was the case until my best friend Amy spun this one on me. I thought "what the heck, sure!" First mile was nothing. Felt good actually. It was the perfect morning for a run. Cool breeze, 75 degrees. Couldn't be better. Until my hip made this interesting popping noise right after mile marker one and the pain began to affect how much pressure I was putting on my left leg. By mile three, Amy suggested that we stop. "HECK NOOOO!!! I am not stopping. I don't care if you have to carry me on a stretcher, I am finishing this race." Now, Amy is a rock and a huge encourager to me. That girl had surgery and was in the hospital for three weeks only to get out and run a race with me last year. And I still barely kept up with her. I wasn't about to give up. By mile five both legs were hurting. "I CAN'T DO THIS! I can't keep going." That is when Amy looked at me and said something that I had heard for years but this time it resonated with me. She looked at me struggling and without missing a beat, she said "Yes you can. It's all in your head" and kept running.
I finished the race. It wasn't my best time, but I finished. I did it! I accomplished that goal and I finished. What she said to me that day settled in a very shut down part of my heart. I realized that there are so many things in my life that I have just thrown the towel in on before ever taking a chance or a risk. I have been so afraid to fail that I never try at all. I haven't been living my life to the fullest because I have allowed doubt and fear to control me. 2 Timothy 1:7 reads "For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." God has placed people in my life that believe in me and love me enough to push me when I need to be pushed. That see who I am as a person even when I can't see it myself. It's time for me to run with endurance the race that God has for me. No more holding back!
Now, your turn. Are there obstacles in your life that are holding you back because of fear?
Home is a good cup of coffee
The quiet moments early in the morning
Knowing I can be myself without fear of judgement
Home is the comfort of a good friend
The sound of laughter from my girls
Home is a warm fire when it's raining
Or the breeze on a cool crisp day
That spot on the couch where I can settle in with a good book
It's the joy in my spirit after devouring a pint of peanut butter gelato
Home is more than walls and windows
It's not about the tangible things that life brings our way
Home is a resting place
Savoring the details of our busy lives
Home is where God meets us in our moments and let's His light shine
What is home for you?
I was engaged in an interesting conversation while attending a conference last week that is near to my heart. Here is a beautiful and insightful story that was written by Loren Eiseley at how we CAN make a difference.
Once upon a time, there was a wise man, much like Eiseley himself, who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw a human figure moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself to think of someone who would dance to the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn't dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean.
As he got closer, he called out, "Good morning! What are you doing?" The young man paused, looked up and replied "Throwing starfish into the ocean."
"I guess I should have asked, Why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?"
"The sun is up and the tide is going out. And if I don't throw them in they'll die."
"But young man, don't you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it. You can't possibly make a difference!"
The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves. "It made a difference for that one!"
His response surprised the man. He was upset. He didn't know how to reply. So instead, he turned away and walked back to the cottage to begin his writings.
All day long as he wrote, the image of the young man haunted him. He tried to ignore it, but the vision persisted. Finally, late in the afternoon he realized that he the scientist, he the poet, had missed out on the essential nature of the young man's actions. Because he realized that what the young man was doing was choosing not to be an observer in the universe and make a difference. He was embarrased.
That night he went to bed troubled. When the morning came he awoke knowing that he had to do something. So he got up, put on his clothes, went to the beach and found the young man. And with him he spent the rest of the morning throwing starfish into the ocean.
You see, God has created each of us unique. He has gifted us with the ability to make a difference and we can either be an opressor in this world or we can be a fighter and to the extent that we don't we in turn become the problem.
My challenge to you is what are you going to do? In what way has God gifted you and how can you make a difference, even if it's just one? I think if we all ask ourselves that question and act on it this world would be a much better place.
Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” (James 2:18)
My daughter recently came home from school with this note in her backpack. WHAT?!?!? Are you kidding me?!? This is what we are feeding our kids for "brain food" to get them through a week of testing? Let's just fill them with sugar and watch them crash, have outburts and behavioral issues. And you wonder why we are so quick to scream ADD. Look at what you are feeding them! That's like giving me a pot of coffee and telling me to go meditate for an hour. It ain't gonna happen. Well OK, I had a lot more to say then that but that was the appropriate version of what I was thinking. What happened to fresh fruit, or cheese sticks? I'm OK with the pretzels but why do we have to fill their little bodies with sugar to function? I sat down with my 11 year old and we talked about healthy choices.
What would your reaction be to the letter above?
Friday I will be headed to Tucson for 9 days and in an attempt to continue to eat clean I will be packing my food. So how do you eat clean while traveling? Good question. My plan is to pack enough for breakfast and 3 snacks a day. I will grab a salad for lunch and lean meats and steamed veggies at the restaurants for dinner. Here's what I packed:
- protein powder
- hardboiled eggs
- dried fruit
- carrot/celery sticks
- peanut butter
All of this can be packed in your carry on with the exception of the hummus and peanut butter. They will have to be in your checked luggage. My meal plan looks something like this:
Do you have any tips on eating clean while traveling? I would love to hear your thoughts!
I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and the topic of clean eating came up, it always does. She said something that I hear more than not. "It's too expensive for my family. I don't have time to do it." No, it's not and why wouldn't you take the time to take care of your body?!?!? How come we can take the time and money to change the oil in our car when the little light comes on but we can't do the same when our bodies are screaming on the inside? It can be done even on a shoestring budget. Here are a few tips to help you get there. Grow Your Own - How hard is it to plant a few tomato plants? Even if you have a small space you can still grow your own herbs.
Buy Local - Check out your local Farmer's Market, you find home grown produce while giving back to your community. Double benefit!!!
Buy In Season - try Sam's Club or Costco, you can buy in bulk and save.
If time is a factor for you, here are a few of my tricks:
Prep - Spend an hour prepping your food for the week. I usually do this on a Sunday afternoon. Cut all your vegetables for your snacks, salads, dinners and have them all ready so all you have to do is grab and go.
Prepare - Cook a few meals ahead of time. It never fails in my house that something last minute comes up or I'm pressed for time. Have a few meals on hand in your freezer or better yet find a few recipes that are quick and easy to do and make them your "go-to" dinners when you are swamped.
Last but not least, ask yourself this question. Would I rather pay a little more in groceries to have a healthier lifestyle or am I OK with paying that money out in prescriptions and doctor's bills?
I'd love to hear your thoughts!
I would say that Easter dinner was a success. It was the first time cooking lamb and I was a little nervous that it wouldn't turn out quite right. Saturday morning started with a trip to the Franklin Farmer's Market. I was able to get a rack of lamb from River Cottage Farm.
The table was a replica of a photo that I found while surfing the web for ideas. The hunt for dishes and decor sent me through several antique stores, consignment shops and yard sales. I think my favorite find was the tinted mason jars and ivory bird I found at the Spring Hill Antique Mall. This place was more like Willy Wonka's chocolate factory for me! I felt like a little girl in the candy store (OOOH I want THIS, and THIS and AHHH!!!). Every booth was like a mini store of perfectly placed treasures. Thank goodness we got there when we did because I know I would have spent way more than I did. I added an old worn window to the center of the table and added moss that I picked up from Joanne Fabrics. Each place setting was marked with a stamped brown envelope filled with speckled eggs. I couldn't find the bird's nest charger that was in the picture and I didn't want to pay for a grapevine wreath at $6 a pop so I found wicker chargers at Goodwill that just needed a little TLC for a fraction of the cost. An old islet tablecloth and matching napkins completed the pottery barn meets country girl look. And the food was clean and amazing! Here are a few pics
I would love to know what was on your table for Easter. Click on the comment button below and share.
What to cook for Easter? Thanksgiving and Christmas managed to bring along a few extra pounds and I am determined that this holiday will be different. So I have set out to find the cleanest recipes that I can and still get the girls to the dinner table to eat! It's never an easy undertaking to get them to realize that eating clean doesn't mean eating without flavor. After scouring online for recipes, I think I have settled on the following menu:
Of course the rhubarb pie will need to be adjusted. These simple changes were taken from www.thegraciouspantry.com, one of my favorite clean eating sites.
■White flour gets changed to whole wheat pastry flour.
■Sugar gets changed to honey, maple syrup, agave or brown rice syrup. You can find a simple sugar conversion chart here.
■Butter gets changed to either oil, apple sauce, or a combination of the two.
■Eggs get changed to egg whites if there are a lot of them. Typically 2 whites per 1 egg called for in the original recipe.
This will be the first of many clean eat holidays to come. I'm excited and can't wait to cook. Now, off to recreate that amazing table above!
What's on your menu for Easter?
Wow! I can't believe this year has come and gone. It has been a year of personal growth and yes, I felt ALL the growing pains that went along with it. Change has not my favorite word but I think I've finally learned to embrace it instead of fight it. 2011 brought some memorable moments.
Memories, Moments and Milestones
A new friendship. One that I am so grateful for. She has been my running buddy, my fellow foodie, the first person I call when I'm having a meltdown. I am so grateful for Amy's friendship. March marked my first 5K which sparked my love for running. It would be the first of four that I would run this year along with the discovery of clean eating. I have taken a much needed road trip to the Carolina's, and learned just how essential my family was to my growth this year. I went b ack in the studio to record a song that I wrote years ago for the girls. It was a tender moment for me to hear it and later share it at Lauren's graduation. I wrote a couple new songs this year and several dozen bad ones, all worth the calloused fingers and random lyrics that were jotted on napkins, bubble gum wrappers and post-it notes. I learned that I couldn't sit through a movie like Seven Days In Utopia without taking 3 pages of random notes and that We Bought A Zoo required AT LEAST a dozen tissues.
Car Accidents, Rodents, And Drama = My Girls!
Lauren went to prom, was in two car accidents and one car fire. No she wasn't in the fire, her car was in the parking garage where the fire was. The car made it out and in the words of Lauren "smelt like marshmellows"! She graduated from High School with academic honors and is going into her second semester at Indiana University/Purdue University in Fort Wayne.
Kelsey graduated from Middle School and is enrolled in the honors program at school. Her dream is to become a Pediatrician. She has dissected a heart and has learned how to read an EKG. She was in the cast of Jitterbug Juliet and had a solo in Keep Holding On, the Glee Medley. She received first place in disc and shot put and is gearing up for another year in track.
Keely graduated from Elementary school, started gymnastics, and added two rodents, one rabbit, one butterfly, five snails, one frog, and two fish to our house! She ran her first 5K in October and has begun to play the violin. She has learned that seeds will grow out of the sink if you try to flush them down the drain and has started her own YouTube channel where she posts "How To" videos for her friends.
I took my first mission trip to Haiti in March. Life changing does not even come close to the growth that I experienced. You can read more in detail about my trip in my journal. I was able to volunteer at a local charity and I walked away feeling so blessed and grateful. It will definitely be a new tradition in my house going forward.
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Words That Came Out Of My Mouth This Year
-Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional
-It's totally acceptable to eat a box of girl scout cookies in one sitting
-When we began to define what God can and can't do, we stop allowing Him to shape us
-Courage is not the absence of fear, but the absence of self
-It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not
-Thank you, Lord, for the ability to remember. Because in remembering I'm learning that I can forget
-Our life should be a place that when people encounter us they exhale
-Clothes don't make ya pretty, they make ya broke!!! Lol!!! I love Madea
-Life begins at the end of your comfort zone
-It's not about how others look at you, it's about how YOU look at yourself!
The Books That I Read
- The Dance Of Anger
- Flying Solo
- The Mockingbird Parables
- Strengthfinders 2.0
- Heaven Is For Real
- On The Threshold Of Hope
- Follow Me
- No Easy Road
Even though I don't always feel like it and life tries to get me to quit, I believe that God has a great plan for my life. I learned to trust Him this year and I am ready for Him to help me live the dream that He's given to me!
Happy New Year!
Well, I have had my fair share of turkey and dressing, managed to somehow push enough buttons on my car remote to trigger the anti-theft and couldn't quite figure out for the life of me how I was going to get to Thanksgiving dinner.
I have poked fun at Mom's mashed potato spoon and managed to raid her closet for the Tacky Holiday Sweater Competition at the local theatre, I love ya Mom but your sweaters are pretty dang tacky! lol :-)
I really am blessed at all the wonderful things in my life. Here are a few of the things that my family is grateful for:
- I am so grateful for the friends that God has placed in my life. This year has been a new journey for me and He has surrounded me with friends that have been there for me every step of the way.
- I am grateful that I have found myself again. - Daniele
- I am grateful that I have been cancer free for 6 years. - Donna D.
- I am grateful for my family. For being able to watch my grandchildren grow. - Jan
- I am grateful that I am almost 61 and I have never been sick or hospitalized. I am so thankful for my health. - Roger
- I am thankful for my family and friends who have supported me through the years. - Donna R.
- I am thankful for my job. - Shane
- I am thankful for my animals. - Keely Shaye (Of course she is...lol!)
- I am grateful for fellowship with family and friends. - Colin
We are all so blessed today!