And onward.

I’m fully aware that my blog has been missing during the last number of months. A while ago I may have mentioned that we  (as a family) were attempting to move from Michigan to North Carolina. 

The long and short of it is the Michigan house was put up for sale last July, took 4 crazy months to sell (after being taken off the market) and then we were ferociously packing in the dead of winter so that we could drive south to meet the moving truck 4 days later.

It’s been a bit of an adventure. A great adventure but one nonetheless.

When I posted on fb about the move I was surprised at how many people thought I was courageous. Over and over people praised my courage for moving my family to another state. I was actually surprised. Like for real. Courage never crossed my mind. Escaping winter yes, courage no.  But the more I look at people and dynamics and then reflect on some of the “good bye” conversations I had I realize how many people would never think to pick up and move even if they really wanted to. 

I’ve watched people move over and over and never quite thought they were the most daring people I knew. I just thought they were doing what they wanted and needed to do for their goals and happiness. And while I know fear or the feeling of being stuck holds people back from things all the time I’ve never quite attached it to physically moving until now. 

People move on from things all the time. Bad habits, relationships, jobs, business or products that no longer serve them in a satisfactory way. People move. I moved. It was time to feed my soul a better diet. Give my mind and heart the peace it deserved.

I do miss my Michigan people. I love you guys and always will. Some will stay in touch with me and we will continue no different then my other friends around the world. Some won’t be able to continue based on proximity. I still love you and I understand. If I show up in your dreams or a pleasant thought know I am thinking of you too.

This article I read today prompted me to write these thoughts.

Sending you all wishes of success. Always keep moving forward.

❤️&☮️

View story at Medium.com

Oh to be young again 

I’ve had this conversation several times. Reflecting on my childhood freedom and wondering how we managed to actually grow up/make it to this age alive.

I’m always trying to figure out how to safely help my kids stand on their own two feet and learn to be autonomous independent thinkers all the while trying to navigate through our social media society. Teaching them care and compassion in a video critical word. Parenting has never been easy and it hasn’t gotten any easier. My childhood is nonexistent compared to what is going on today but I will still strive to show my kids some of the simple wonderful regular experiences I had growing up.

This article sums it up pretty well too.

http://www.amessagewithabottle.com/parenting-like-our-parents/

Really?

If I look through my Facebook to catch up on friends and family more than ever since the election my feed is filled with swastikas and the rise and or return of the nazi party. WTF America??

History has taught you nothing?

I. Cannot. Believe. This!

Disgusting.

Calling all my online shoppers

Do you like to click click pay….oooh look it’s on my doorstep? Yah, me too!

I do. I cannot begin to tell you how I love online shopping and the ease in which I can be in 12 places at once while trying to buy holiday gifts, plan for birthday parties, send someone flowers and the like.

Do you always pause for that extra few minutes before checking out to search for a promo code? free shipping code? Anything that will give you a discount to bring your purchase price down just a hair more making it even more worth it than the saved gas to the store? I always do. When I find that great code its like hitting the flipping lottery. It is, don’t lie. Free shipping that saves you 10 or 15 bucks is huge. A 20% discount helps off set tax just a little.

So If you haven’t seen this or heard of it it’s called Coupon Cabin. I thinks its been around a while and I finally tried it a couple months ago. Now its not a huge deal but every little bit counts. The cool thing is that a ton, I mean a ton, of stores are participating in it. So I ordered from Ulta (saved a trip) and Petco (why carry a dog crate if they’ll deliver) and while I could still use regular promo codes I got a percentage of my purchase back deposited in cash into my paypal account. Cool right?

They will advertise promos that get you higher %’s back like any other site trying to encourage spending. The trick is that you have to start at Coupon Cabin and click through their site to get to where you want to go. But I figured out a lot of sites save your shopping carts contents if you sign into your account then once you click through Coupon Cabin it’s still there. Easy peasey.

Anyway – here’s a link if you want to try it. I like it and that’s the only reason I’m sharing it. They haven’t asked me to…I’m pretty sure they have no idea who I am really. But I’m totally about save as many pennies as you can to make those hard earned bucks go just that much farther. Enjoy!

http://refer.couponcabin.com/v2/share/6279320068558701417

 

Not quite retirement material.

Imagine if you will an ordinary arborvitae tree. You know the kind they sell at Home Depot. They run about $40bucks or so. Now put that tree into a nice pot so it looks pretty. After that gather about 220 scratch off lottery tickets and pin them on the tree. You know making it look like a crazy money tree dripping with cash.

It’s shiny now. It has pizzazz. 

So here’s the story of the money tree. My mom went to a fundraiser. One of many she attends since she herself is a professional fundraiser. This one happened to have had a silent auction portion. Generally baskets of items, gift cards, event tickets are donated by businesses and charitable people to be auctioned off. Event goers buy tickets, put them in the matching bucket and hope to win that “prize”. At this event my mom decided since she was given her entry ticket gratis she would give back by buying a few auction tickets and making a donation to the cause. She threw her tickets in a couple different buckets and low and behold she won the money tree.

I can only imagine what the tree looked like in its entirety. We inherited the arborvitae and the nice pot and of course got to help scratch off the tickets to see if she was a big winner. When she arrived the tickets were all in a box and the tree looked like , well…a tree.

In the beginning of this scratching chore it was a bit overwhelming. 200+ tickets all screaming of potential jackpots. Win up to 12x, $500 a week for life, $2500 a week for life, $10k, $30k, $100k, $500k and literally everything in between. So what to scratch first? The little quick $1 match 3 like amounts?  What about the ones with lucky in the name? Horseshoes, clovers, 7’s, pots of gold. They all had different rules, OMG, when did a scratch off become such a time consuming event? There were $10 tickets that were bingo and crossword themed that took honestly almost 20 or more minutes to complete that were dud losers. Not even a dollar.

Through this whole thing I kept thinking I cannot believe people pay $5 or $10 for a scratch ticket to win nothing. I mean the odds absolutely suck people! 173 of the 221 tickets were losers. 

So here are some numbers for you. 221 tickets were purchased for somewhere around $550+.  It took 3 days to scratch and go through them and the take home? $217!  Not even half of the initial investment- ragardless that they were probably donated in various forms in the first place.

Now it was a win for my mom since she paid $10 or so for the auction raffle tickets. Clearly a worthwhile prize. And all the while scratching don’t think we weren’t hoping for a big win. How flipping cool that would have been right?

You hear about people hitting a big jackpot on a scratch ticket and honestly I hope it was random luck. I can see paying a buck or two for a chance but these tickets can get pricy and for mostly zero in return.

You have all been warned 😉 

Now I have to go rest my arm from all the scratching.

The aftermath 

When doves cry…

  
No words can convey the loss the music world and fans are feeling.

Creativity is something we all look forward to. We look to our actors, musicians, writers and artists for the next piece of “genius” that will transform our emotions, stir our own creativity and push us into new directions of thinking.

If you are longing for a song or want to reminisce and you can’t find your cassette tapes, you find your turn table needs a new needle or your boom box is out of batteries… Love isn’t far away. Many radio stations including iheart radio are paying tribute to the great purple one.

Peace. 💜💔

GF Pizza from Jet’s

Along with my modified diet a couple of things my doctor recommended in order to feel better and continue to lose weight were 

1) stay away from sugar

And

2) stay away from gluten

I have a mild sensitivity for gluten anyway but have chosen to suffer through my carb addiction like a trooper…. Until the last 6 weeks or so.

The 21 day reset has made it easier to give it up once and for all. But there are those times that I get a hankering for something bread or cracker like.

Tonight I decided since the kids wanted pizza and we were being lazy that I would give the new gluten free pizza crust that jet’s had to offer a try.

  
I am still vegetarian so I got it with cheese only (I prepared some tomato slices and steamed spinach for a quick topping) 

The result was just “ok”. The flavor was good but the crust was a bit doughy in the middle. Outer edges were better but they need to figure out how to precook or toast it up a bit like a thin and crispy crust. I’d rather have an excellent crispy crust than a doughy wanna be thin crust.

It was fine for dinner as an after thought but I’ll have to start to practice for a good gf crust in the future.  I can’t see choosing this on purpose again.

I hear cauliflower crust is all the rage. Maybe I’ll check that out too.

Sunday afternoon treat

Since I have been eating pretty much a vegan diet I had to think about some of the yummies I’ve enjoyed in the past that were tasty yet on the healthy side.

Way on the other side of town is a market that I love. It’s the kind of place with an apothecary and loads of natural food goodies. It’s the kind of place I could happily move in and make myself at home. It’s also a little on the pricy side even if they carry items I can’t find anywhere else. One of the treats I splurge on when I’m there is organic date rolls covered in almonds. You can get the coconut variety at any Whole Foods but I have yet to see the almond ones in another store. 

A little container that holds about 10 date rolls will set you back about $8.50… Give or take depending on the weight.

Now fast forward to my latest trip to Costco where I found these beauties 

  
Tick tick tick says my brain. I can do this. So I snatched up the bag from Costco for about $8 and I made a plan to try to make date rolls myself.

I looked around the web a bit and ended up doing pretty much what I always end up doing …. I cross mixed a couple of recipes together. The results were great. My son and husband loved them and I’m thrilled that it takes almost no time to whip up one of my favorite sweet treats.

Here is how simple the recipe is:

20 dates and a teaspoon of water mixed in the food processor until it forms a ball.

  
In one batch I mixed crushed walnuts and coconut in the mix. Another I added crushed almonds in the mix.

You can then roll them in coconut or, my favorite, almonds. Or whatever you fancy.

The result:

   
 
They say you should chill them for an hour or so but I’ve always kept mine in the air tight container they came in and then stashed that in the bread box. I’ll have to see what’s the meaning behind the chill.

In the end I made about 25 rolls with a quarter bag of dates to spare. I consider this a huge win and saved a tank of gas from not going across town in the process. 😉