January Mantra – Take Care

untitled-designThis week for me is just the start of getting back into the groove of things you know work, life etc.. The holidays were nice but, I needed a short break from the holidays before jumping back into it all. There are a lot of changes happening for me which is exciting because I love change especially when its positive! A newer job, a promising medical treatment, fresh vision and motivation. This year I’ve also decided to go completely gluten-free which started this week. Wish me luck and look for gluten-free recipes on the blog in the future. Another thing I’m trying to focus on is simply drinking more water! I’ve never truly been a fan. I know it’s horrible. Did you know a person is supposed to drink at least six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water or other fluid a day? I’m also challenging myself to physically move more in whatever way I can. I went from a very physical job that kept me on my feet all day to a sedentary desk job. Knowing that cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of deaths globally motivates me to move all that much more especially since its something that is highly preventable. I’m encouraging myself and you to strive for a lifestyle centered around a healthy diet, moderate physical activity and to make decisions that ultimately lead to wellness. After realizing that my focus for this month was mostly on self-care I’d decided to adopt the mantra “take care.” I think its fitting to strive for wellness right at the start of a new year in hopes that a good habits will be formed and play out the rest of the year. Taking care of myself will make it that much easier for me to achieve my goals for this year and I hope you’ll join me by making it a priority to take care of yourself.

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Looking Forward to 2017

2017

I always get excited about the start of a new year. The air is full of new opportunities just waiting to be taken. This year I’m going to continue to pursue new hobbies, go new places, experience new cultures/things while taking better care of myself and document it here. I welcome you to join me on a journey of positive progression. I’m a major planner so I always get a stylish big planner before the end of the year to keep me on track with my new plans for the upcoming year. I also like to make a list of my goals. For me visually seeing and writing down my goals helps remind me of what they are so my focus on how to accomplish them is that much greater. In addition, to planning out things and making lists I like to surround myself with things that inspire me whether that be music, books, podcasts, art etc.. I always encourage people to listen to or read biographies on people that they are inspired by. I also suggest seeing an art exhibition or listening to music that moves you. I know achieving my goals becomes easier for me when I’m passionate about them so I challenge you to find what you’re passionate about. Come the end of next year I might not accomplish everything I’ve set out to do and that’s fine but, as long as I’ve grown in a positive way that’s a win for me.

planner

Christmas Delights

Winter is officially in swing here in the great Pacific Northwest and the countdown to Christmas is on. Personally during this season I feel like I’m either running a full on sprint or on vacation for days at a time either way, I’m loving it! Yes, it can be chaotic at times but quality time with family & friends is definitely worth it! In between working, decorating, shopping, drinking copious amounts of cocoa and enjoying family & friends I’ve been crafting away. I wanted to share a quick yummy treat that I make during this time of year as well as, a delicious alcoholic beverage.tonofpeppret

Chocolate Covered Pretzels!!!

The combination of the salty with the sweet is perfection!!!These are definitely for the non-baker or anyone who simply just doesn’t have time to bake. These are so simple and kids love being recruited to help make them.

All you need is

parchment paper

Ghirardelli melting chocolate (I prefer white chocolate)

Snyder’s Pretzels (your choice of style I use either the rods or pretzel minis)

Suggested toppings

Colored sprinkles (red, green etc..)

crushed candy canes

peppretzel

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Prepare your work space by having lots of counter space available. Line a couple of cookie sheets with parchment paper. Put your pretzels in a bowl and have all your toppings open and on hand. Use a microwavable dish to melt your chocolate in the microwave paying particular attention to the package melting directions. After the chocolate is properly melted start dipping away. I like to dip only half of the pretzel no matter what type of pretzels I’m using. Cover the whole half of the pretzel in chocolate lightly shaking off any excess then transfer pretzel flat onto your parchment lined sheet. Continue to dip pretzels and after every five or so sprinkle with whatever festive topping/s you choose. The chocolate sets pretty fast so you can make a bunch in a short amount of time. This year I did white chocolate with red sprinkles and white chocolate with crushed candy cane. Both tasted AMAZING!!!! I also like to line whatever container/tin I’m packing the pretzels in with parchment paper. I scored on these festive Christmas tins from the Dollar Tree this year.

tins

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Moscow Mules 

My mom turned me onto Moscow Mules recently not only are they super simple but delicious!moscowmule

You’ll need

Vodka 2oz.

Ginger beer 4oz.

Lime

Ice

I suggest using copper mugs not only do they keep this beverage super cold they are beautiful. Fill your copper mug with ice add vodka, ginger beer then squeeze a hefty lime wedge into the drink then stir. Add a fresh lime wedge for garnish and enjoy!!!

happy

One of my favorite things to do is give gifts. It’s a wonderful feeling finding the perfect gift for a great price. Most of us are drawn to certain retailers because of their prices. This holiday season I challenge you to not be driven by price alone but, to look at the companies you’re endorsing by giving them your business. I urge you to choose companies that are going beyond to give back to their communities and better the world. Here are some companies I personally recommend that do just that!

keys

The Giving Keys

https://www.thegivingkeys.com/

This L.A. based company makes beautiful jewelry out of keys they engrave with inspirational words. They give back in a big way by employing low-income and homeless individuals. Furthermore, they partner with local organizations and centers to help provide resources to those individuals so that they can achieve a life of self-sustainment.

moorea

Moorea Seal

https://www.mooreaseal.com/

Is a Seattle-based store that carries everything a trendy modern woman would want and then some. Moorea Seal gives back by donating 7% of all its profits to multiple charities and non-profits. The current non-profits they’re contributing to are Brazil Without Barriers, Rain City Rock Camp for Girls, Washington Trails Association, Best Friends Animal Society & the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

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The Little Market

https://www.thelittlemarket.com/

The Little Market is an non-profit organization established by the one and only Lauren Conrad and Hannah Skvarla. It is an online fair trade shop that sells handmade products from around the world. The Little Market helps artisans by providing a platform that helps their products reach a wider demographic of consumers therefore, enabling them to sell more and make a meaningful income. There are endless items on this site but there is definitely something for everyone.

 

 

Thanksgiving

thanksgiving

It’s almost time for Thanksgiving!!!I don’t think it could have come soon enough for our country this year. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays not only does it take place at my favorite time of year but, it literally involves everything that I love family, friends, food and football! I know it can be stressful especially for those of us that are hosting so here are a couple of décor and recipe ideas to make your Thanksgiving planning easier.

Pumpkin Succulent Arrangements

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Anybody who really knows me knows I really love succulents so when I came across an easy DIY pumpkin succulent decoration I had to do it.

Supplies

Pumpkin(s) (the ones used in the pictures were sparkler pumpkins)
Spray adhesive
Glue gun & glue sticks
Moss
Succulent cuttings (assorted colors & types)
Scissors or pruners
Disposable gloves
Disposable paper surface – newspaper etc..
Pencil (acting as a holder)

Note: Succulents can often be purchase at hardware stores, Fred Meyer and depending on the season and location Wal-mart & nurseries.

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The day before assembling the pumpkin succulent arrangements cut your succulents so the ends have time to dry out.I suggest wearing disposable gloves and spraying the pumpkins with adhesive outside. First, spray a pumpkin top with adhesive than top with moss pressing down securely to create a good flat moss bed for your succulents (more will be added later). When assembling succulent arrangements I think its best to approach them like a floral arrangement preplacing and experimenting are how to create the perfect arrangement.Some vital things to consider when arranging is the style, color, height and size of each succulent for each placement and how it complements the overall look. I had some pumpkins that had long stems and others with no stems at all. For the pumpkins with no stems I chose the largest succulents and glued them to the centered of the pumpkin and then continue to work my way out from the center. It’s a little trickier to start an arrangement for pumpkins with long stems but start by placing bigger feature succulents around the stem you can even tilt them against the stem of the pumpkin working again from the center outward. I used the flat side of a pencil to hold whatever I’m gluing in place for a good amount of time. Use your good judgment to glue additional moss where needed making sure that no ends of the succulents are exposed and ensuring your succulents with have a good moss bed to take root in. These pumpkin succulent arrangements can last for a long time (months) if properly taken care of start by using a spray bottle to spray them every other day, a day after they’ve initially been assembled. When you get sick of looking at the arrangement or the pumpkin starts to go south just slice the top of the pumpkin off (with the succulents) and plant in your garden or in an adequately sized pot.Note: If you live in a colder climate where it freezes and it’s currently fall/winter you want to plant the pumpkin top with the succulents in a pot inside and then transfer outside when it becomes warmer.On the other hand, if you live in a climate that is warm most of the year and is currently warm go ahead and plant it outside.

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I took so many beautiful pictures of various angles. I just love these!!!Please bare with me just a few more.

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Make Ahead Breakfast Dish Recipe

My family loves this recipe and its great for the morning of Thanksgiving or the morning after Thanksgiving when you just don’t want to cook anymore. This simple overnight breakfast dish will save you time and energy and still be a big hit. I suggest doubling this recipe and making it in a 9×13 pan.

blueberry-croissant

Blueberry Croissant Puff

(Serves 10)(Vegetarian)

Ingredients

1 cup Blueberries, fresh or frozen
2 Eggs
2/3 cup Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 tbsp. of cinnamon
3 Croissants, cut up (about 5 to 5 1/2 cups), large (I use the Costco ones!)
1 package Cream cheese
1 cup Milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place croissant pieces in a 9 inch square pan. Sprinkle with blueberries.
Beat cream cheese, sugar, cinnamon, eggs and vanilla in medium bowl with electric mixer until well blended. Gradually add milk, beating well after each addition. Pour evenly over croissant pieces. Let stand 20 minutes or soak overnight.
Bake at 350°F for 35 to 40 minutes or until set in center and golden brown. You may want to cover it with foil for the last 10 minutes if the tops are getting too browned.
Serve warm sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Source:

The Girl Who Ate Everything

http://www.the–who-ate-everything.com/2013/02/blueberry-croissant-puff.html

feelin-it

Here is a list of some things I’m feelin’ at the moment. Check them out I’m sure you’ll love them too!

Let’s start off with websites. I’m currently obsessed with the Moorea Seal website!

https://www.mooreaseal.com/

Moorea Seal is known for her best-selling journal the 52 Lists Project. This website showcases her impeccable taste the items range from apparel to home wares.Most recently, Moorea has launched a celestial inspired jewelry line that is fabulous along with her new journal the 52 Lists for Happiness.

The Magnolia Market

https://shop.magnoliamarket.com/

The Magnolia Market is the website of Chip and Joanna Gaines of the very popular HGTV series Fixer Upper. This site features everything Gaines from Joanna’s signature design style to their multiple businesses. Most recently, they have released The Magnolia Story their joint autobiography which is currently on The New York Times best sellers list.

Video

https://www.instagram.com/annettelabedzki/

Recently, I stumbled across these really cool videos of different color paint dabs being mixed together to form a whole new color. These mesmerizing and beautiful paint videos are the work of Canadian artist Annette Labedzki. Watch her work and you’ll see what I mean.

Recipes

Pumpkin Scones (Starbucks Copycat)

http://www.cookingclassy.com/pumpkin-scones-starbucks-copycat/

These delicious pumpkin scones are a big hit in my house and they are super easy to make. A great Pinterest find from Cooking Classy.

 

Combating the Hustle & Bustle

Sometimes as adults we simply lose sight of things. The demands of life fueled by work, finances, family and ambition take over leaving little if any room for rest, relaxation or rejuvenation. This cycle of burning the candle at both ends has to stop or it inevitably for most people will lead to unhappiness, health problems, addictions and burn out. How do we combat this hustle and bustle lifestyle? I truly believe you can remedy this by taking time for yourself in order to feed your inner self/spirit. This can be done in multiple ways and you ultimately have to find out what works best for you.

Here are some of my go to ways to relax and recharge. I like just being alone and listening to music. If I’m in a more energetic mood a spontaneous dance party always nourishes my spirit. Also, reading something that’s positive, inspirational and gives me a different perspective always helps. Incidentally enough, if you’re having a hard time relaxing I find that resorting to childlike activities might actually help. Sometimes I grab a coloring book or engage in a game with kids where my imagination can go wild. I also, make it a priority to make time for hobbies (baking, gardening etc.) that I enjoy.

The whole point of taking time to carrying out these activities is to feed your spirit by embracing rest and relaxation in order to reset your mind, body and spirit towards a healthy perspective. Furthermore, keep in mind that you can’t do everything and pay specific attention to your motivations behind why you do certain things. I suggest honestly taking a look at your lifestyle and maybe altogether eliminating some things and just reprioritizing. In the end, I know if you apply these tips to your life you’ll be on the road to a happier and healthier version of yourself.

I highly recommend this weekly journal by Moorea Seal or coloring books by Leisure Arts!