Friday, January 19, 2018

Moments From Our Week ~ 2

I am trying Project Life this year... and I finally got my album, core kit and plastic protectors in the mail.

This year I am using this album: 

And this core kit

I also picked up this Cottage Living core kit because it was on clearance at Michael's and it seemed to work nicely with my other core kit.

Here is the opening page of our album:

I am not overthinking it this time. I am simply filling the pockets.

I also added a copy of Chloe's letter from school for making Dean's List and a program for Lindsey's basketball game. I only used a few stickers and journaling cards and had this done in less than 20 minutes. I think I'll be able to do this as long as I don't start trying to do to much. It's just about documenting our lives...doesn't have to be perfect!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Try It~ Week 3 ~ Vegan Chocolate Chip Pancakes

My daughter has been vegan for about 7 months and I'm not going to lie, it's been a challenging adjustment for me to make with my cooking. While she was home from college, I tried to make her an alternative to our meals. It was interesting. Last week before she left to go back to school, she asked me for pancakes. We looked through our pins on Pinterest and decided to try this recipe because it was the closest to my own homemade buttermilk pancakes.

 The recipe is from The Edgy Veg and you can find it here.

You'll need 



  •  1 cup unbleached flour
  •  1 tbs. sugar{we used In the Raw cane sugar}
  •  2 tsp. baking powder
  •  1/8 tsp. salt
  •  1 cup soy or almond milk{we used vanilla almond milk}
  •  1 tbs. vinegar
  •   2 tbs. coconut oil



1. Turn your griddle to medium heat.
2. Combine your flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. 
3.  In a large glass bowl add your almond milk with 1 tbsp. of vinegar and whisk well. Allow this to sit for 5-10 minutes. This will be your 'buttermilk'.
4. Add the buttermilk and coconut oil to your dry ingredients and mix well until smooth without clumps. 
5. Add in chocolate chips now if you'd like. We used Enjoy Life semi-sweet mini chocolate chips. 
6. When the griddle is hot, grease with a tbsp of coconut oil and spoon batter onto the surface. Flip your pancakes carefully when you see that the bubbles have stopped opening and closing. 
7. Serve with warm maple syrup

These are seriously really good pancakes. They turned out nice and fluffy and no one in our home could tell that they were vegan. 
Great pin to try if you're on Pinterest. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Weekly Meal Plan ~ Week of January 15th

I like to sit down Saturday morning with my planner and a cup of coffee and plan out what we will be eating for the upcoming week. Sometimes it's important for me to remember to plan what our bodies are actually needing{more greens, less pasta} and not just what we want to eat. I don't like the stress I face at dinner time if I haven't planned out my meals. I've learned through the years what works for me as far as planning goes.

My tips for meal planning:

1. Always sit down with your calendar or planner so you can plan your meals around your busy schedule. For instance, my daughter has a basketball game on Tuesday so I will be planning a crockpot meal that evening. 

2.  Make Monday's meal an easy one to throw together. I like to put together a casserole on Sunday evening so that it's all ready to go in the oven when I get home from work on Monday. I just throw together a salad...No thinking involved. 

3.  Write down your menu somewhere you can see it. We have a menu board near our pantry. I write out my meal plan & check it before I go to bed each night so I can take meat out of the freezer, if necessary.

4.  Go with a theme night if that works for you. I usually follow a weekly plan like this one {unless of course a game interferes with it}:
  • Monday- Casserole 
  • Tuesday- Tacos/ fajitas/ Taco bowls, etc.
  • Wednesday- Try a new recipe or cook something that might take a little bit of time
  • Thursday- Crockpot meal
  • Friday- Finger Food Buffet 
  • Saturday- Soup & Sandwich or salad
  • Sunday- A family sit down meal
5. Make your list and take it with you when you go grocery shopping. I write down my meal plan & grocery list in my planner and then snap a picture of it to take with me while I shop. 

6. Clean and prep food as soon as you get home from the grocery store. I keep my produce right on the counter next to the sink. I wash the produce, cut it up if needed and place items into baggies or glass bowls. Everything's ready for the week!

Here's what we are eating this week:

Pork loin with sauerkraut
Mashed potatoes
Green beans

Roasted chicken with vegetables

Flatbread Pizzas
Fruit & veggie platter

Taco Soup  

Crockpot Rotisserie Chicken
Mashed sweet potatoes

  • For breakfast we will have a Peanut Butter & Jelly Be Well Smoothie~ I add a handful of spinach & one ounce of Young Living's  Ningxia Red juice for added health benefits and amazing taste! 
  • Lunch will be a Fab Four lunch bowl with a mix of Protein, fat, fiber and greens, along with fruit and water.

I hope you join me in getting your week off to a great start and try out meal planning. 
I am linking up at in order to stay motivated! 
Here's to a productive week!

Weekly Intention ~ 2

Happy Monday! Setting weekly intentions is a simple, effective way to find your focus and keep you in that driven, motivated mindset. I find that writing intentions down makes it easier to get things done and to really live an intentional life. Whatever is on your to do list, I believe it’s the little choices you make each day that will get you that step closer to developing the true YOU!
My Weekly Intention:  This week I am using the Intention Flashcards from the Soul Shaker kit in order to build my weekly intention. I am placing the cards face down in 3 piles. I will choose 1 from each pile. Here are the cards I chose:

I see myself finding my way to a better life!

I intend to focus on experiencing & waking up to my life. 

Ways to Thrive This Week:

Exercise & Nutrition.  This week I want to fill my body with healthy, nourishing food. I will prep my meals so that I can make good choices. I will drink more water. I am feeling very dehydrated & dry.

My home & environment:  I will work on getting back into my daily cleaning habits. I will also be going through my closet in order to declutter & organize my closet and drawers. I will be letting go of at least 15 items from my wardrobe this week.

Personal Development:  I intend to make mindfulness a more important part of my lifestyle so, I will continue to work on my daily pages but will also incorporate 10 minutes of meditation into my morning routine.

Creativity:  I will paint 3 paintings using a palette knife...this week I will focus on painting birds because for me they symbolize freedom.

Relationships & Connection: This week I want to remain calm when Lindsey is in one of her 'moods'. Nothing ever gets resolved when I get drawn into the moment and begin to stress out. I will remember to pause before I respond. 

Take Action~ Try Something New: Still haven't tried the new POUND class at the gym but I am definitely going this week!

Have Fun!: This week I want to head to the YMCA a few times with Lindsey & John. We can play some basketball shooting games, work out together and then go to the sauna & hot tub. 

Work: I need to complete my mindful moment activities{sticks} and set up my peace corner in my classroom.

Something to Think About This Week:
"And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, "This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this! 
And each day, it's up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, "No. This is what is important."
                                                             - Iain Thomas

Saturday, January 13, 2018


With starting the Soul Shaker class, I feel this need to get my home decluttered and organized.

I'll let you in on a little secret... I used to be a little bit of a neat freak. I was over the top with organizing and trying to keep my house looking perfect. I had a place for everything and a binder with labels and dividers that outlined my entire cleaning routine. I would be up late tidying and primping my house and making sure that everything was checked off of my to-do list before I'd let myself rest. Somehow, I felt that if my house was messy or cluttered, then I was a failure as a mom and wife.

This need for perfection began to interfere with my relationship with my children and my husband. I would spend hours cleaning and they would mess it up {like kids do} and I would lose my mind. I found myself unhappy and making everyone else unhappy, too. I tried a cleaning lady but that caused me even more stress...I would run around my house the morning she was coming and would clean things up for the cleaning lady. If I'm being honest, I would describe myself as a raving lunatic. I was out of control.

Through extensive soul work, I discovered some of the hidden causes of this need for perfection and I worked to let go of the destructive behaviors. I spent hours in my art journal, attending retreats, and participating in online classes. I've learned to let a lot of things go. My house is not perfect and I'm ok with that but right now it's really looking cluttered and I feel the need to get things under control. 

Here are a few ways to declutter your home{which I'll be doing this weekend}:

1. Have a place for all of your paper work. Be sure to immediately recycle or shred any papers that you don't need. For mail, I immediately go through mail as I walk in the door. Each member of our family has a file folder in our command center where I can place any papers that we need to save. There is also a folder for receipts and bills. Catalogs and junk mail get recycled right away.

2. Remove clothing that you no longer wear or feel good in.  I like to keep a box right in our closets so when we outgrow or no longer want an article of clothing it gets placed in the box and when the box is full I donate it. 

3. To prevent clutter, think about your purchases and what you bring into your home. I like to keep a list in my planner for each family member of what is needed. I try to resist impulse buying so that  I limit the 'things' that are in my home. 

4. Utilize zone cleaning. to keep up with the clutter. While you are in a zone {area of your home} doing detailed cleaning, think about things that no longer bring you joy, that you could possibly pass along to bless others. 

I know that there a lot more but these are just a few things that work for me. 

Friday, January 12, 2018

Brave Living Soul Shaker Class

Image result for soul shaker brave living class

Melody Ross, co-founder of Brave Living{formerly Brave Girls Club} just launched a new class on her Brave Girl University site.
"A 90-day connection experience to reboot, recalibrate, and reinvent your life using everything you've already built, bought, created and gathered...implementing a better way to be alive."
 In the class we are committing to 90 days of experiencing our lives in simple and intentional ways. This seems to fit in very nicely with my OLW ...thrive.

It's 90 days of limiting and simplifying our choices of clothing, food, beauty supplies & routines, and 'stuff'. We will be decluttering our physical and emotional space by getting rid of one item, stressor or obligation in order to make space for our soul, our dreams and our senses.

It's 90 days of using what we have and not adding to it. We will choose one area of our lives and institute a spending freeze in order to encourage seeing what is already around. This should free up some time that we spend shopping, browsing, and acquiring things.
 I have given myself a $10 budget/week to use for treats and outings.

It's also 90 days of getting outside every. single. day! 

There are podcasts, videos, suggested adventures and outings and then connection with others in a Facebook group.

I ordered the Soul Shaker course kit here.  There is a workbook, lesson & photo prompt cards, intention word flashcards and drawstring bags to hold the materials. Everything that Brave Living puts out there into the world is just beautiful, in my opinion.

I'll be documenting my progress in the class throughout the next 90 days. I'm excited to shake up my life in order to implement a better way to be alive and to thrive...

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Wellness ~ Week 2 ~It Starts with A Sentence

Morning pages...I've only been doing them for four days now but I notice that this writing ritual has a calming effect on me.  Morning pages are the brainchild of writer Julia Cameron. She has been doing morning pages for over 20 years and writes about them in her book, The Artist's Way. You can find out more about morning pages by watching a short video here.

All you have to do is grab a pen, some paper, and begin writing whatever pops into your mind. What I love is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. Just write without censoring yourself and without correcting your mistakes. Keep writing until you have filled 3 pages.
What I've found is that when I think I've run out of ideas, thoughts and feelings start popping up spontaneously.

Cameron says, "Writing is like staring into space, so write about things you would like to see more clearly. Pretend you are consulting your inner compass; set it for the direction you want to go, and read the position. I feel, I think, I remember. And then, 'Aha!"

The writing can also offer insight into what is blocking you or bothering you. Amazingly, each day this week I started with, "I am so tired and my body aches. I feel so old and crabby."

Looks to me like I need to get to bed earlier and start incorporating some yoga or stretches into my daily life.

I've also read recently that you can practice mindful writing by writing about what is going on at that very moment. You start with the sentence, 'Right now, I am aware of ...' and write down everything that occurs to you. Don't worry about the past or the future just jot down what is going on at that very moment.

Want to learn more? Me, too! I think this week I'll be reading The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life.