Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Create Food

Who knew that creating food could be so empowering, liberating and inspirational?! I know, it was only pumpkin soup,and then a stew the next day...but I even surprised myself! And my family loved it - even better!  According to my sons, I am 'stepping up my game' in the cooking department!

So what did I do?

Pumpkin Soup: I don't measure...just eyeball, sorry
Cut up a pumpkin
Remove seeds
Lightly glaze with olive oil
Roast at 400 degrees for 60 minutes
Allow to cool
Remove outer skin
Put into large stock pot.
Add 1 container of chicken broth
Puree with hand processor
Bring to boil
Add small container of light cream

Tastes great with a splash of Frank's Red Hot

Sassy Stew - this was so easy! And even better the next day Get your crock pot out Add 3 tablespoons of flour to the stewing beef in your crackpot, mix until all pieces are well-coated


Chopped onion
Chopped sweet potato
Chopped potato
Chopped carrot
Chopped celery
1 can tomatoes
1cup sun dried tomato salad dressing
1/2 carton beef broth
Stir and put crackpot on high for 2 hours
Reduce to low for 4-5 hours
Serve with crusty bread, pita or roasted polenta slices

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Evening Wake Up

Know that feeling at the end of the day...just before the workday ends and knowing that the evening routine is about to begin?
Where you feel that lull? Like dread but not so bad...usually accompanied by a craving for chocolate?

That happens to me a lot.

So you know what? Now I have decided to give in. I have 2 pieces of dark chocolate and then jump into my evening routine.

Heck, I feel better, have an energy boost and am refreshed.

Give in....sometimes you just have to do it!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

MidDay Break

What do you do in the middle of the day to get the blood pumping and energy flowing?

I take a few minutes to review my afternoon agenda and the next day too.

I add in or delete whatever is necessary and then, take a few seconds to review what I have completed so far today.

I feel the sense of accomplishment...get psyched for what is next and jump right in.

If I don' t feel totally ready, I walk outside for some fresh air, grab a green tea and then get moving.

Always good to have plan B.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Energize Your Morning

Tough to get started some days isn't it? Well, here are a few tips:

1- before getting out of bed, take three deep breaths, in and out, trying to make your back sink into the mattress and feel the stretch throughout your body.

2- still in bed, point your toes down and up three times, feeling a beautiful movement in your legs

3- get out of bed and go to the nearest mirror and say 'good morning ME'....and mean it.

Now you are ready for a quick shower, leisurely cup of coffee with your breakfast, and whatever the day may bring. Have a good one!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Holidays Approaching...What's the Plan

Can you believe we have already started to book vacation time for next year? Our friends wonder where our time goes...fact is, we have our family plans in place for the next year before the new year starts.  We can stay on top of things and organize around, or flex if needed!  Sounds crazy, but it works - then we have good things to look forward to and time seems to roll by!

Here is how it goes....we (my husband and I) spend an hour or two with the calendar for the following year plotting in birthdays, recurring annual events ( golf tournaments, charity events, special engagements ) and then, because there are only so many vacation days available, we plan out how to utilize those days with our kids. That also includes a no-kids holiday and a fun weekend or two.

We have started to take the same approach to Christmas - events and gifts. With the help of electronic gadgets and online shopping we can keep track of certain items for special people throughout the year or even order in advance so that we get them on time.

Events are a different beast...invitations flow fast and furious. We make a conscious decision to attend the events where our kids will also be engaged, not left sitting bored with a bunch adults. We are building new traditions because of some life changes, and our boys have been involved in the plans for our 'new' Christmas traditions....a nice mix of what we used to do and some new tweaks. Just lovely!

I am looking forward to the holidays this year!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Stop Stressing

Not easy to do.  I know.
Especially at this time of year...
...when the days are shorter,
the nights are longer,
the Christmas sales are starting,
and the bank account may not look as healthy as you would want it to.

Stop Stressing.
Sit for a moment,
with a tea or glass of wine,
make a list of what you need to do to be ready for the Christmas season - gifts, parties, dinners, everything....
and then assign times to it.
You will feel better, I promise!
It may look daunting at first, but now you have a plan - that should greatly reduce the stress you feel.
Now, finish your tea or glass of wine...and move on!

To my readers, friends and followers who do not celebrate Christmas - apply the same technique to reduce stress to the events that really cause you concern.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Maze of Life

How do you get your kids out of the maze?

The maze that makes them think they have to do certain things.

The maze that makes them feel like they are failing or are wrong if they don't stay on the path they set out for themselves, or change their path completely?

I am talking about the biggest step in a young adult's life.  The decision about which university or college to attend.

That alone is a big one - am I less of a person if I attend a college rather than a university or polytechnical school?

Where to go to school?  To leave home or not to leave home?

And what, if like my son, his plan all along has been to go out of the country for one sport, and now, another sport and his excelling grades are calling him in a new direction?  Yet, he is still in the maze.

Our job as parents, mentors, teachers, leaders and coaches is to help out young people through the maze.  The decisions at this point in their life are truly theirs to make, but with our guidance and perspective.

Help them get through the maze by listening
- looking for the emotion they hold,
have them share their feelings,
understand what differences each decision could make in their future,
look them in the eye and tell them you support what they decide
and will always be there for them.

The maze is hard.

We all went through it once...maybe more than that
...maybe over and over again as we changed careers, started families, moved to new cities.

The maze gives us an exciting and challenging life. 

Help our young people relish the maze.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Life has it's challenges. Try the blended family. Getting to know adult children can be difficult and the emotions are always a little off kilter (?). Funny enough, here is a post I found - the quote is interesting.

"you change for two reasons; either you learn enough that you want to or you’ve been hurt enough that you have to~"

Hopefully the changes are always for the good. Sometimes enough time passes that we are only hurting ourselves by not accepting a change in our life. Especially a change that we have no control over. Sometimes the change is merely acceptance and removing anger. That can eliminate a lot of wasted energy.

I hope that everyone spends time learning instead of hurting.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tell Yourself You WILL

Go to the front room of your life.
See what it feels like today.