Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Self Care - Update

I mentioned in this post that I had been wanting to get moving more and make good choices about what I am eating.  I have been out walking at least twice a week and have been doing more on other days like getting in to the garden.  In a grocery shop a while back I bought some chia seeds and intended to use the excess of spinach that we had growing in the garden for some green smoothies.  I have pinned a number of recipes and ideas.  Another never got around to it idea.  But now I have.  I bought some more spinach and did what is suggested, make up packs to have in the freezer ready to go.  I kept it pretty simple - banana, spinach and berries.  I just add yoghurt, chia seeds and a little milk and I am good to go.  Amazing how just one little thing can get you on to something good.

Taking time to organise saves you time.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Baking packs

With four boys it takes some doing keeping them feed.  Baking only lasts a little while. So there must be an easier way than resorting to buying ready made processed bikkies.  Oh to have a packet mix like the store boxed ones.  Add water and you are done.  Well when we go camping we have made our own mixes for pancakes so why not do the same at home.  I was reminded of this as I scanned through Pinterest and came across this post and this one.  And while I was on to the baking thing I might as well make some bread mixes as well. 

So it takes a bit of time, but oh the time that you save when you come to make them.  Getting all the ingredients out at once and making up bags instead of doing it one at a time when you go to cook soon adds up.  I wrote on each bag what was in it and what needed to be added.  For recipes that require separate steps like creaming the butter and sugar I put this in a separate smaller bag inside.

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I have been doing this for about six months now.   I keep them in a lidded container in the pantry.  I certainly notice when I haven't set them up.  It has also made me try out some new recipes.  Next job to post the recipes I use.

Recipes, recipes, recipes

The thing about being foodies is that you tend to acquire a large number of recipes.  At one time I organised all my recipes into a folder and had favourites in a recipe box that sat in the kitchen.  For some time I have been thinking that the system needs an overall.  I plan my weekday meals for two weeks and while I have a good list it just isn't working and I tend to fall back on what is easy.  With so many yummy things to make it was time for a change.

Sometimes you just have to get messy in order to tidy things up.  So here is me spread out on the floor sorting all my pages.
 Once I had the recipes in different categories I pulled out folders that had another purpose at one time but were going to be repurposed for a much better reason. Sure it would be great to have a fancy system and have everything looking the same but I would rather be cooking.  {To be honest I would rather be scrapbooking.  This is really why I get organised - to sort the things I have to do in order to do the things I was made to}
 So now I have several folders sitting on the recipe book shelf and they have already been put to good use.  Last time the meal planning and shopping were much more enjoyable to plan. And more to the point we tried out several recipes that haven't seen the light for quite some time.  The boys were most impressed.
They are still a work in progress as I add recipes that we use and don't have hard copies of.  And of course the big goal is to put together my collection here on the blog.  To share now, and for the future when my boys are flatting and need that recipe of Mum's that she used to make.

How about you?  Are you tired of the same old, same old?  How have you sorted your recipes.  Maybe it is time for a change?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Getting moving

Over a year ago I took this photo.  It was my starting point of getting moving.  To be more active. And that is as far as it got.  It was for a post here on my blog and an attempt to get motivated.   But, exercise is far down my list in terms of things I enjoy most so it doesn't get high priority.  And those shoes just got worn out and the story didn't get told.

Switch to now.   It continues to play on my mind.  And the reminder is there when I look in the mirror.  I would like to lose some of the kilos that have hung about since having children.  But more than that it is about feeling fitter.  My energy levels have been low and it's not just to do with low iron.  So what to do?  Well last week my day began like any other.  I dropped the kids at school and mentally went through my list of what I wanted to get done.  Exercise is always there but usually hits the bottom.  As I walked out the gate I bumped into a friend who was in her exercise gear and off for a run.  She will probably never know but it sparked something in me.  I wanted to do it to.  So as I started my to do's in town I found drawn to the exercise gear and picked out something for me.  And so it begins.  Instead of driving home I headed to the walkway and went for a walk.  And it was great.  I enjoyed it.  It starts when you find what works for you.  You won't catch me running but I like to walk and bike.  That's where I am starting.  You might like to know that since then I haven't got out again.  My kids have been sick and I haven't been out.  I was starting to worry when I read this post from Cathy Zielske.  She shares life about moving more and eating less and what that looks like for her.  It's real.  It wasn't so much what she said but also reading the comments from other readers. Sometimes instead of making big goals we have to set little ones.  

It has motivated me.  Setting a habit takes time.  It won't happen overnight but it will happen.  While I am waiting I won't stress about it.  Just keep living.

One Little Word - Brave

My 'one little word' for this year is BRAVE.    Last year my word was ENOUGH.  It worked so well.  I have been choosing words for a few years now. You can read more about OLW here.   I should say they have chosen me.  This year was no exception.  Last year I took part in Ali Edwards class for OLW.  It gave me great focus for the goals that I set and where I was headed with my word.  I had plans to do the same this year.  I got as far as choosing a focus for each month and putting it together in my new diary and there they have sat.  There is no point in going back and writing about what I was going to do.  I can't change that. Time to move forward.  To see where BRAVE takes me into the end of the year.    I love what Elise at enJOY it wrote in her thoughts on her word.  While she doesn't feel as active with her word.  She says 'I know what I want it to mean. I want it to mean "balanced, full and all-in." Some days I feel all of those things. Other days I feel like it's a load of crap'.  I know what she means.

Brave is a word that has been thrown about a lot.  I started with my word when I read this blog post at Mercy Ink  where she writes  'My passion is for you to be encouraged in the everyday, ordinary life stuff, while also being empowered to participate in God’s call to love the least of these, the orphans and widows, the hurt, lonely, broken,  and forgotten.'  Being brave is not just about me.  And with my love of music I love the anthem that she has chosen by Nichole Nordeman 'Brave'.  And every time Sara Bereilles 'Brave' comes on the radio I can't help but sing out loud.  There are books that I want to read on it, like this one and this one.

But it all starts here.  

This month my focus is brave organising.

I choose to
Start moving more
Sort my recipes for meal planning
Re-organise my scrapbooking supplies ready for the move into the studio
Refine my systems for planning and goal setting into what works for me

And I have been.  I have been making my way through the piles.  The things that have been thrown in to boxes and maybe even at one time were sorted.  In order to make way for new things we sometimes have to let go of what has come before.  Looking forward to sharing how it goes.

Around here

It has been time to blow off the cobwebs on my little blog here.  I have written many posts in my head they just haven't made it here.  Time for a change.

For quite some time I have been meaning to get more active.  Time for a change.

When everything else is done I get time to create.  Time for a change.

We have been in the middle of our biggest project yet - building a studio addition.  It has had some major complications but we are starting to see the other side.  I have learnt a lot from the process.  The best of which is when you fall down you get back up again.  But, this time you are stronger.

I have joined into a subscription  that Ali Edwards has put together called Story Stamp.  This month the theme is prompts.  I am all about telling my story.  This place is a great way to record it.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Apples with caramel cream cheese dip

I made these yummy goodies for the kindy teacher for Christmas gifts.  They loved them so much they wanted the recipe.  I have pinned a number of different ideas for gifts. I got the original idea from this post.  I changed out some of the ingredients for a caramel sauce recipe that I had and chocolate bars we get in New Zealand.  

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Apple with caramel cream cheese dip

1 cup sour cream
1 cup brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 kit kat chocolate bars
8 apples
8 (1/2 cup each) mason jars

Mix together the sour cream, brown sugar and vanilla in a microwave safe bowl.
Heat on high approx 1 minute until smooth. Leave to cool.

Mix cream cheese with 1/3 of the caramel sauce. Mix until smooth.
Divide evenly amongst 8 jars. Wipe rim.
Spoon the remaining caramel sauce into each jar.
Crush up both chocolate bars.
Sprinkle crumbs evenly amongst the 8 jars.
Place lid on jars.
Top each jar with an apple.

Wrap in cellophane and tie with ribbon. Keep refrigerated until ready to give away. 

I remade it again for my birthday party afternoon tea and served with sweet biscuits and wafer sticks along with the apple.  The caramel sauce is also great served with icecream or sticky date pudding.  Next time I will try it as a cheese ball.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Hello forty

Celebrating a milestone.  40 - It really is just a number but a great reason to celebrate.  Some say life begins at 40, others it is all down hill from here.  I have been doing a lot of reflecting  and reading lately.  There are some great ideas out there.  Thought I would share some of my life lessons as I look back to look forward. Bucket lists are a great idea but don't forget to look back at what you have already done and celebrate.

I came across this idea at Susannah Conway - 40 lessons from 40 years.  She has also written a piece about getting older.  An interesting read.  I discovered it through Ali Edwards site where she also talks about getting older.  I also found this gem by Nichole Heady at Papertrey Ink - thank you cards to people who have inspired me.  Definitely something that I want to do.  And also at A Holy Experience - be the gift.  Pay it forward.  

In no particular order - 40 lessons from 40 years
1 Slow down. Don't be in such hurry to move on to the next thing. Celebrate your successes and learn from  your mistakes.
2 Be you

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3 Find what you love to do and do it often. That thing that you always wanted to do. Go do it
4 Make memories
5 Respect people who make time for you in their busy schedule, but love people who never look at their schedule when you need them
6 Be that kind of friend
7 Finish what you started even if that means calling it quits
8 Shine, not so that others can see you but so that through you others can see Him
9 Step out of your comfort zone. You will be surprised at just how much is waiting for you there.
10 Don't do things just because everyone else is doing them. Do it because it is right for you
11 Discover what clothing suits you and have fun getting dressed
12 Live with less. Many people already do
13 Give thanks. Someone is praying right now for the things that you take for granted
14 Find your voice and speak out
15 Just breathe
16 Be brave
17 We are all messy and in need of grace. God is not an option, He is a necessity. Don't believe that He will not give you more than you can handle. He will. It brings you to Him. It doesn't make you weak – with Him you are stronger
18 Learn to forgive.
19 Find the music that makes your soul sing. Play it loud.
20 Share your story. Chances are someone is going through the exact same thing and they needed to hear they are not alone
21 Give people the benefit of doubt. You don't know their full story. Remember you can't change someone else but you do have a choice about how you react.
22 Don't compare your backstage mess to someone elses on stage performance
23 You are already amazing
24 Do things when (or as soon as) you can. When you leave little things they turn into big things.
25 Be happy – now.
26 Leave room in the margin. 'In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps' Prov 16:9. You don't have to be in control of everything
27 Be generous. When you go from this life you can only take what you have given away.
28 Don't wait for the perfect moment. Take a moment and make it perfect
29 If you look for the extraordinary in the ordinary, you can train yourself to see it.
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30 Wherever you are be there
31 Marriage isn't for me. The best thing you can do for your marriage is to turn the M around. Me into We. Do things for your spouse that they love just because. Love is a verb, it doesn't consist of gazing inwards, rather it is looking outwards together in the same direction
32 There is no need to be perfect to inspire others, let people be inspired by how you deal with your imperfections. It is not who you are that holds you back, it's what you think you are not
33 Enjoy your food. Eat healthy, try new recipes, add flavour
34 Dream big. Keep a journal
35 Having kids doesn't get any easier as they get older, it just changes. Find out what they like and who they are and grow with them.
36 Keep it simple. Use what you have. Where possible work out how to make things for yourself. It costs less and usually there is less waste.
37 Keep finding good books that you can't put down
38 Learn how to enjoy your own company. If you can't pick yourself, who else will?
39 Say no to things so that your yes is absolute
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40 Do not fear the years to come – Life gets more fabulous if you let it.
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