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Pumpkin Gingerbread Muffins

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Ok, so, Halloween has come and gone for another year.  

All the costume prep, all that candy, pumpkins everywhere, now what.  Why not use that jack-o-lantern.  For years I have cooked up our pumpkins.  It is really easy.  The tough part is just the time if you, like us, have multiple pumpkins.  

It truly is as simple as cutting it up, put it into a big pot with a little water and let it steam.  While still warm, take the skin off and put into the blender or food processor.  I usually measure it out when it has cooled down and freeze it in little bags.  But, if you don’t have the energy, time, or desire to do all that, then just buy a can of pumpkin.  It's cheap.  The point is to make healthy muffins.  After all that candy, a healthy muffin will taste pretty darn good.

Enjoy!

http://ohsheglows.com/2015/10/28/pumpkin-gingerbread-muffins-vegan/

5 Hacks for Living with Less Stress

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You are doing everything right.  You eat right.  You get enough rest.  

You get your fair share of exercise in during your week.  You are on time for work.  You love your kids. You are a very nice person.  You even give to charity.  You are doing all you can to do ‘it all’ right.  BUT…

But you are not your ideal weight, you are always tired, you are still jiggly in places, you are not making enough money, your kids are cranky, you feel guilty when you see that guy on the sidewalk, you are not satisfied!

Seems like you are doing all you can and yet you are not where you should be.  WHY?

Well, I am the first one to admit that I don't have all the answers and neither do you and neither does anybody else.  It’s funny how in this day of Google and Siri we feel that we are entitled to know all the answers.  Guess what, we are not!

Our role on this earth is not to figure how to have a stress-free life.  Nor is it to live a life where we have all the answers.  If we had all the answers then we could fix the world and we would live in a world of rainbows without rain, flowers without frost, puppies without poop, babies without crying and we would all be happy all the time.  Yeah, right.

All we have is our best.  That is truly the answer.  If we really try our best to do our best then we will come as close as we can to this ‘perfect world’ that we want to exist.  Some of the problems simply will never be solved.  I think we need to find the issues that truly affect us, filter out the ones that don’t and let them go.  Because we are exposed to so much media all the time we are exposed to issues that have existed for a long time but never affected us before and now we are stressed about them.  We hear about tragedies all over the world just because the media want us to know about them.  It’s not like we can fix them.  We can always send money like some agencies want us to.  But if we did send money to every problem we saw, nobody would have any money left.  Even events close to home are sometimes too much to handle.  We really don’t need to know everything that happens to everyone else.  Especially when it comes through other people, like the media.  It becomes gossip and we all know that gossip is harmful and hurtful.

So what is the solution to all this overwhelming stuff?  

  1. You need to become your own filter.  Filter out the info that really has no effect on you, that way you can focus your energy on yourself and your own family.    I think if you can do some of that, you can become more positively focused on making your own world a better place.
  2. If you have less stress from outside sources, then you will be able to focus on solutions at home, like a little more time planning out your meals.  Just a few extra minutes at the beginning of each week will really help meals for the rest of the week.  If you are really organized, some people actually prep meals for a few days at a time.  Me, I at least like to plan some of my meals, but actual prep is out of my range of organization.  But I’m ok with that.  Letting that stress go.
  3. Making a conscious effort to get a little more fitness in helps with the de-stressing too.  Less worry and your body will tend to let a few extra pounds go.  Truly!  Stress causes us to carry a few extra pounds.
  4. Spending some time with family and friends instead of NetFlix is also a large destresser.  As long as it’s the right people, ok, I can’t solve that one.  But, maybe a little less time with the stressing people is that solution.
  5. Spend a little more time in bed.  Sleeping and well, you know. Wink wink nudge nudge. All good things there.  Just relaxing with a good book, listening to music, actually sleeping are all good for you.

If you look back on this list, each item has to do with how you spend your time.  We all have the same amount of hours in the day and it is up to you how you use them.  Work at being a little more organized with your time and soon it won’t be work and you will find that you get more done in the same time and you should start to feel less overwhelmed and more in charge of the things that are important.  When that happens you will feel better.  

Adopting the right attitude can convert a negative stress into a positive one. – Hans Selye

Shopping with Your Body Type will Never be Easy

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  • You will never be sexy unless you love 10 more lbs!
  • He would never have cheated if you were skinnier!
  • You will be more successful if you lose another 15 lbs!
  • Why don’t you look like her?
  • Everyone is skinnier and prettier than you!

We have all said things like this to ourselves, but could you ever say them to someone else?

I hope you never would and I hope that you will stop saying them to yourself too.  We all say things that are way too mean to say to other people, why is that ok?  Well, it’s not.  Stop it.

This video is powerful and should hit home to everyone who ever was too overly critical of themselves.  Be kind to each other and to yourself.

https://www.facebook.com/TheSceneVideo/videos/1170821039651914/

Do You Have ‘Souvenir’ Clothes?

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So, we just came home from a few days away.  I just love time away.  

It’s always good to go to new and different places.  Even if it’s just a different place to lay my head at night and the town is not new to me.  It gives me a chance to recharge and to rethink things.  Sometimes it’s just about removing myself from the day to day stress.  Sometimes it’s about catching some rays.  Sometimes it’s about the people that are going to be where I’m going.  Conferences, true down time, reflection weekends, time to explore, any reason to change my scenery is a good one.

When I’m home I always look at what I have brought home with me.  I am not a huge souvenir person.  I really don’t need a t-shirt that tells me where I just was.  I don’t need a tacky ‘chachki’ to collect dust that I saw in every shop I went into.  But I love to bring home something from each time away.  If it’s a new city, we like to find a Starbucks and grab a mug.  I will try to bring home something that will make me think about that particular trip but it doesn’t have to be labeled from any particular city.  If I pick up a pair of shoes, dress, watch, purse, whatever, I will remember the trip.

So, coming home from our last little getaway, I picked up a cute pen.  Nothing fancy, but on the drive home I spent some time studying it and thinking about our time away.  I started thinking about other things that I have kept as souvenirs and maybe for the wrong reasons.

We have moved a couple times in the last few years.  We have purged each time but each time there has been a couple of boxes of clothes that I have moved.  I won’t ever wear them again, in fact, I likely won’t ever take them out of their box except to look at them, refold them, then put them right back.  So, why have I kept them?

The reason is simple, they are in some form or another, a souvenir.  

They bring back memories.  

  • They make me happy, like my kids’, baby clothes.  
  • They make me feel loved, like my wedding dress.
  • They make feel nostalgic like my old softball jacket.  
  • They make me feel like I have hope, like my skinny pants.  
  • They make me feel sad, like my old fat pants.

I am all for keeping things that bring good emotions to the surface, but why am I keeping my fat pants?  Most days, the reason is that I never want to be that big again.  Its motivation to keep to the progress and not to let myself slide back into them.  That is all good, except for the days that I feel fat.  I still have days where I am just going to eat these feelings away and slide back into those comfortable fat pants.  The pants don’t judge, they won’t be too tight, and I can just stop judging myself.  Or will I?  If keeping the fat pants works for good motivation, great, but if not, then please, get rid of them.  The idea of keeping them for the before and after pic is fine, but take that pic and move on.  Don’t let those “old thoughts” creep back into the “new” you.  

Why am I keeping the skinny pants?  I know why I bought them, I was going to be so good to myself and use these as motivation, but that time has come and gone.  If you have skinny pants or what I call “ 5 lbs clothes”,  I will fit into them when I lose ONLY 5 lbs, and they are collecting dust or you can’t remember when you got them, it’s time to let them go.  Think about how these pants make you feel.  Do they still make you feel hopeful? Or do they make you kick yourself in your own butt because you are still fighting with that last 5 lbs. Or you are still so far from those last 5 lbs that they will be out of style before you wear them?

So when you go shopping, keep in mind your reasons for buying that piece of clothing.  If you don’t love it in the change room, you won’t wear it at home.  If you haven’t worn something in your closet this season, then it’s time to pass it on to somebody else who will wear it.

Keep your souvenirs to things that give you nothing but good feelings unconditionally.

I'm like every other woman: a closet full of clothes, but nothing to wear: So I wear jeans. – Cameron Diaz