Friday, August 29, 2014

Thinking out loud...oh my, it's a long one!

Good Morning!
It is Friday once again and can you believe it is almost September?
Such a crazy busy summer with all our travels; definitely unforgettable.
Up before the sun this morning with a whole lot of clutter on my mind.
I haven't felt too hot for a couple of days now but hoping things get a bit better today.
I suppose life gets a bit overwhelming at times.
When that happens, I tend to not feel well.
We all have ways of managing our stress, don't we?
It is one of those things that doesn't really have a 'right' solution; it is up to you to figure out what solution is best for you.
Sometimes our stresses are big old monster things and other times they are just bits and pieces that can add up and start to weigh you down a bit.
For me, I am at the end of week 7 of my 10 week term at school which means there is some burn out setting in.
I am job hunting, I have my kiddo that is starting his sophomore year, I still can't run the amount or distance that I would like to.
General stuff, every day stuff...
I suppose it may seem insignificant but when it creates a little pile in the center of your mind, well then you have to deal with it a bit.
I joke quite often about being a control freak and to be honest, I am not controlling but I do like to have a handle on things; I like things to go a certain way and no, that doesn't always mean that I need them to go my way, it just means that I like to have a plan because I am not a fan of surprises.
The last few days have been about trying to sort things through in my mind; trying to do what is best for me and for my life. My friends, those things won't ever come easy no matter how big or small they are.
If you have followed my blog for a while then you know that I am not serious very often and it is no secret that I make jokes when I feel awkward or uncomfortable.
One a face-to-face basis, I am often misunderstood because I pretty much suck at explaining myself when my feelings are involved. The more I try to explain, the more cloudy it seems to get and that can be pretty frustrating.
I am probably one of the most soft heart people around and the last thing I want to do is to hurt anyone's feelings or upset anyone.
I have had people take things wrong that I have said in the blog and in social media and I have certainly come across more than a few misunderstandings in my every day life.
Those things are never easy to manage.
I have mentioned before, a few times even, that I am a 'fixer'; I need things to have a fix.
It honestly doesn't matter what it is because I think there is a solution to everything.
I have chosen mental health counseling as a profession because I truly care about people and want to help them by empowering them and helping them to see what has caused the road blocks in their lives.
I realize that journey will not be easy for everyone and when I come across a person or situation that there appears to be no 'fix' then I am going to have to be able to manage that and move on.
I am a firm believer in Forward Motion.
As a matter of fact, it is a hashtag I use often and it is something I encourage others to do.
There is a quote that says:

“…everything has a past. Everything – a person, an object, a word, everything. 
If you don’t know the past, you can’t understand the present and plan properly for the future.”

 In the world of mental health counseling there are many schools of thought; several theories and there is no 'wrong' theory. Some theorists believe that our past is what holds us back, there are others that believe society is the root cause of one's problems, while still others focus on the present with little regard to the past.
Again...there is no wrong theory. Each theorist worked hard on what they have come to see as the cause of road blocks and stalled progress in a person's life.
For me, I feel that we are a product of many different things; genetics, environment, the past, society, our culture...
I feel that we are touched by many different things and we can not help but be changed by the experiences we have had. Those experiences are the past.
On a personal level, I can talk about the past when it is something I have moved on from.
I don't live there anymore.
Those elements of my past I can recall in the same fashion and with the same emotion as recalling a scene from a movie.
I have known people that are stuck in the past, I mean truly stuck in the past.
As I move forward in my studies, I am learning about what it takes to help people come to the present and cope with their past and I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I have chosen the right profession for myself.

Where am I going with all this?
It's been a pretty strange week and I have been looking to 'fix' a few things and as trite as it may sound, I guess there has been and still is a great deal of soul searching going on.
Soul searching is tough business.
 My Yogi tea tried to help me out last night.
I took myself a little mental health break last night.
I unplugged from social media and I tuned in to myself.
Well, I even had some popcorn with yacon syrup and cinnamon.

Friends, soul searching is ok...It's a good thing.
Oh no, it won't always be an easy thing but it is often necessary and may take some time.
Be kind to yourself, be understanding of others.
Realize that not everyone is like you, not everyone thinks like you.
And you know what?
That's really ok, too!

Sometimes I blog about running and sometimes I just think out loud...
Thinking out loud felt very necessary today.

It is going to be a beautiful day and I hope you're ready!
Have a great day!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Finding Balance...

Oh Boy...
I'm going to try to make this short & sweet, we'll see how that goes for me.
I will just cut to the chase...
I feel like I have been treading water.
Treading water; trying to stay afloat.
For someone that talks about their life, I don't really go in to much detail of my personal life.
That is definitely by choice.
I do tend to keep my personal things personal, even to those that are closest to me.
I find it makes things much easier.
Well, it might not, but that is how I choose to do things.
It is almost September.
And I have decided that it is time to swim or get out of the pool.
No more treading water.
Ian goes back to school Tuesday.
And I know I've mentioned it to you, but I am in grad school.
I have been working on my Master's in Mental Health Counseling since October '13.
I am tired, I am frustrated, I am about every other thing I can be.
I am working through some things over here to help me find some balance.
I am off in so many different directions that I am not really accomplishing anything.
So, you may see some changes over the next few weeks and months.
I promise, they will be good changes!
Enough of that talk.

 Let's just talk muffins. Shall we?
(Horrible segway, I know!
When I am feeling a little stressed, I clean and I bake...
Needless to say, I did a lot of both yesterday.
This is a simple recipe that I am working on and it is not quite perfected but it is bananas, coconut flour, protein powder, egg and coconut milk...That's it!
They actually baked really well but too much coconut flour so I will definitely share the recipe when it is ready. I needed an excuse to try out these silicone baking cups. Cute, right?

I was asked to review these baking cups from The New York Baking Company.
I have used silicone for baking for a few years now, not exclusively but occasionally. I love the ease of silicone and the fact that you do not need any type of pan spray or grease. The only thing I have to say as that the company states that you do not need a baking pan when using these but due to the thin nature of the silicone, they don't hold their shape much better than a foil lined cupcake paper so I do suggest using a muffin tin if you would like uniform shaped baked goods. Honestly, that is not much of a problem since you have to place them on a cookie sheet to bake them properly anyway! They are definitely a nice little alternative for baking!

I am always working on some recipes and I am trying to get all of them posted to the blog.
Have you seen my recipe page?
I have tons more to share, just need about 10 or 15 more hours in my day.
I know you know the feeling!

I have a whole bunch of homework staring at me and I am starting to feel a bit guilty so I guess I will call it a blogging day!
Have a great day!


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday! {WIAW}

 I am not one to jump on board with blogger themed days, for the most part.
But, I thought I would do my own version of WIAW.
My version is a little different (of course)!

I want to share my recent shopping trip with you, since it is all about what I {will} be eating!
We have one of the best stores here in Michigan. It is actually a decent sized chain here locally.

It is the same size as my local Whole Foods and the prices are better. 
On top of having better prices, they also offer % off coupons for the month.
I get coupons from them via text.☺

So, it went a little like this...
Major food haul!
Organic produce!
A kabocha (or two) as big as my head!
Good stuff!
Raw, sprouted snacks!
Assorted goodies.
Unsweetened, chocolates with honey 'filling'!
Only 3 Ingredients!
It deserved a close-up.
Beautiful golden beets!
Yum, just yum!

I hope you enjoyed my edition of What I Ate Wednesday!
Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Kale Chips: A 'How-to'

You have probably seen these in the store and found out that they are WAY over priced!
They are so simple to do. I decided to put together a little how to!

This is Kale:
You can buy it in bunches with the other random greens at the grocery store. You can also buy it pre-cut & bagged, which is nice and easy, but more expensive. It is easy to cut and remove the thick stem and rinse it off. (Honestly, I buy the pre-cut stuff, call me lazy!)

Preheat oven to 275°. Gather your ingredients:
There are lots of 'recipes' floating around the internet. Some use olive oil, some call for a hotter oven. I DO NOT like the hot oven way because the little extra dark bits gross me out! Low & slow is how I do mine! I also opt for pan spray, but you can use a bit of olive oil...Your call. This week, I just made them with a bit of garlic and sea salt (not pictured).

This is a 12x18 cake pan. Spray it a bit first, toss in the kale, spray it all and toss with your seasoning of choice. The combinations are endless, it is all in what you like. I loved the salt & vinegar chips I made!

This is how the once overflowing pan will come out. It takes 30-45 minutes for the kale to cook down and get a crisp to it. You will need to stir and/or shake the pan every 10-15 minutes for even baking. As sad as they look...they are SO good!

Don't you want to trade in your bowl of greasy potato chips for this?
Have a great day!