Own it!

So…. I turned 50 years old this past spring and well, it kind of threw me for a few weeks…. couldn’t say the word “Fifty” when anyone asked my age!    I got my AARP card in the mail and well, that made me feel old.

This fall, I took my youngest to college and became an empty nester and that was a big change too…. When you devote 18-20 years of your life to raising and taking care of your kids and then it just stops for the day to day routine, you have to find your purpose again and reconnect with your spouse and your friends!  Don’t get me wrong, the kids still need you but more as a mentor as they grow to be fully functioning adults. 🙂

Luckily I still love my husband and WE celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this fall…. I hope for at least 25 more!    I’m proud of the marriage we created…. before the kids were born and during the process.   If there’s one thing I would advise younger couples to do is to nurture their marriage…. don’t use the kids as an excuse for not taking care of yourself… or your marriage because when the kids are gone, you’re alone again and you want it to be fun!

So I guess I say all this to say I’ve decided to OWN it… when it comes to my age and stage in life…. I have had a journey…. of raising kids, working, building a business, building a life, losing a job, a parent or two and having to move a few times…. In life you can always expect change and it’s truly how you deal with that change that defines you…. YOU can own it… and deal with it or you can mourn it and wish for the past.   The past won’t get you anywhere though….. Embrace change…. embrace your age and stage in life and Own it…. Enjoy it and come to peace with it!   Enjoy life to the fullest and meet new people along the way!  Life is a journey and I’m glad I’m on it!

 

Hot Hot Hot!

Cooking skinny so you can get in that bathing suit this summer?    Here’s a no fat, no carb, no sugar and no dairy,  PACKED with flavor Mexican chicken recipe with Spanish Riced Cauliflower that is YUMMY!!

You’ll need:  Chicken, Chipotle Seasoning, Cilantro,  Rotel Tomatoes, Jalepeno slices, and Juice of 1 lime to make the chicken!  It takes about 5 min of prep and 20-30 min of bake time depending on the thickness of your chicken.

Just shake chipotle seasoning on both sides of your chicken in a large baking dish.  Sprinkle chicken with chopped cilantro and then dump on can of Rotel Tomatoes on top,  sprinkle some jalapeño slices on top of that and then squeeze lime juice over entire dish of chicken.  BAKE!

As a perfect SIDE dish with no carbs… .Try Spanish Riced Cauliflower instead of Spanish Rice

Here’s what you’ll need in addition to your riced cauliflower you can find in your local grocery store!

Just saute your riced cauliflower in chicken broth… Just enough to cover the bottom of the pan.   Add and mix in a can of Rotel Tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, Garlic salt and Oregano to taste…. cook until cauliflower is tender and most of the liquid has evaporated.

All you’ll need is a side salad to compliment this meal!

Enjoy the flavor and none of the guilt!

 

 

Maybe Tomorrow…..

No pun intended… but Maybe Tomorrow I’ll get something done!  Today I’m reflecting on my past….. Enjoying the nostalgia and thinking about touring the country with the National Broadway Tour of Annie when I was 13 and 14!

At the time, I didn’t really realize the magnitude… the iconic show that truly was a phenomenon. I was simply doing something fun!  I begged my mom to let me try out and because I was an only child, she helped me fulfill my dream!   I was truly blessed!

Today, at the age of  50, I look back to what seems like a lifetime ago.  I feel blessed to have been a part of this musical!    We recently had a 40th Anniversary reunion of all the Annie’s thanks to Inside Edition and we all had a special bond whether we worked on stage together or not!   For me, it was a family of sorts.  I never had sisters or brothers so touring with 6-7 girls gave me that sisterhood…. some of the adults in the show were like aunts or uncles to us! It was magical!  We marvel at the thought that this was “back in the day” when there were no child labor laws and we performed 8 shows a week…  we didn’t have child wranglers to keep us contained back stage and we didn’t have body microphones so we had to sing LOUD! :).  It was a different time.   We marveled at how this show became so iconic… possibly because it was one of the first Broadway Musicals that was family friendly…. and it had a positive message with kids and a dog!   Who knows why it became such a success and will continue to be performed for years and years.

I’m just thrilled to have been a part of it and I will look forward to our 50th reunion and all the little ones in between!

 

Martha Stewart – Here I come!

I am a trained Interior Designer but have not practiced in a while!   Recently…. My daughter told me she never liked the lime green that I had painted her walls when she was 5!  LOL!   I tried so hard not to decorate a room in traditional pinks and purple “girl” colors when she was little…. I chose a great palate with lime green and raspberry  that was fun and youthful, not too little girly that would transition into teens and I do feel like I did that effectively.

Now she’s 17 and about to go off to college and we are re-doing her room for Christmas into a more “mature” palate.   Why, you ask, would I re-decorate her room before she leaves us in 6 months?  Well, first of all, I’m ready for a change but secondly, I want her to enjoy it for a while and own it …. I want it to feel like “hers” before she leaves so she can enjoy it as “hers” when she comes back!

I’ll post some before and after shots but the “before” will depend on when she doesn’t have clothes strewn all over the room and on the floor (remember, she is still a teenager)

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The “green/blue” lattice and solid will be in the adjacent bath and her room will be a soft gray paint from Benjamin Moore #harbourgray with a geometric print on the window and different scale prints for pillows and accent trim.

With today’s more gray palates being more “in style” it’s hard to transition the “golds” into the gray palates but with some fabrics, I think we can effectively do just that!

Stay tuned for some before and after shots!  It may take a month but I’ll get there!

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What room in your house do you want to re-do?   Some people don’t place a lot of emphasis on this sort of thing but I think our interior has so much to do with our mood and our energy!  We need to get energy out of a space…  whether we want calm or energizing,  bright and bold or muted and serene.    What’s your ideal space look like?  Clean and simple, colorful, neutral, or do you have a favorite color that really makes you feel good?

Wednesday Wisdom

Admittedly, I’m almost 50 years old….. (How did that happen?)   But I love where I am in life because I have figured out a lot!   Of course, my elders would say, “You don’t know what you don’t know.”, and that is true.   I say that about my kids.   They are very responsible and make good decisions so far in life but they don’t know what they don’t know… and that can ONLY be learned through experience.    Life is a series of experiences…… and experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want most of the time!

I’ve learned a lot in my short life so far…. even had to deal with the death of two parents and that, my friends, will give you experience.  I have thought a lot about my blog and where I want it to go….  My passions are family, faith, food and entertaining, creative ideas like decorating and fashion/accessorizing along with my passion for gadgets and products I love…. I also LOVE organization and love to travel.  I love to cook healthy food and FINALLY figured out how to keep my “mid-life weight” under control by choosing healthy food….. REAL food and not products I have to purchase.  THAT makes me excited!

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It gets me excited to share this wisdom with people who have not figured it out yet….. Being a woman today is an interesting journey…. Many of us work, either part time or full time and want to maintain a balance of work/life and family…. while trying to be organized enough to cook healthy meals, take care of ourselves and do all the things that make us happy while not losing our sanity as we try to take care of the ones around us that we love.

I really feel like I have some great tips and great ideas to help women keep that balance, feel productive and feel sane doing it because of “experience”.      We won’t all be perfect… but we will find some peace and sanity doing it.

Follow me on this journey of blog posts….. if nothing else, my daughter can read this one day and get advice from her mother 🙂

 

Keep it Organized!

I am a self proclaimed product junkie and have a love for organizing!   I love finding the BEST gadget, product, anything that makes my life easier or simpler!  I love feeling decluttered and organized because it makes my brain less cluttered and helps me sleep better and enjoy life fully!  Here’s just what’s on my mind today!   What are YOUR favorite organizing products?  Here are a few of mine!

 

  1.  Travel Cubes.  I admit it.. These things are fantastic for packing and unpacking and keeping your suitcase tidy!  I like being able to pack the way it makes sense to me…. pajamas or work out clothes together…. or all my pants together and all my tops together….Pack a cube of shoes!   However you choose to pack, I think you’ll like it!   AND… on the way home, your dirty clothes can go in a cube as to not “mix” with your clean ones!

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2.  Pursen Jewelry Organizer – I like to accessorize and I do travel with lots of jewelry because it can really change up my look when I need to take an outfit from day to play!  This little gem (no pun intended) is TRULY the best one I have tried and trust me… I have tried a lot of different ones!   They come small to large for all your needs!

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3.  Neat Desk Organizer – It’s a scanner and it’s AMAZING!!!   I hate paper all over the place and sometimes you need to access something from the road like a business card or a frequent flyer number or hotel rewards number.    You can download the NEAT app on your phone and have instant access to everything you scan and all you have to do is search a word or a name.    Anything that is PRINTED like a business card or form get’s pre-read so you don’t have to type in anything… so when you search for them, you can in an instant…. You can even scan recipes and receipts….. and they can be reprinted…. and shared electronically.   This thing is a MUST have in my opinion!   People think I should sell these!  I love it THAT much!

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4. Go Strap!  This is a silly little gadget that sticks on the back of your phone case and allows you to hold your phone securely and safely!   I no longer worry about dropping my phone!    Women don’t always have pockets to put their phones in….. but they sometimes need them accessible because we are keeping up with kids or work for example…. THIS little gadget is stellar in allowing you to have your hands full yet still have your phone ON you.  You can carry your coffee and your phone in one hand without worrying about dropping your phone!  Outstanding!

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I can’t wait to hear what YOUR favorite gadgets are!

Best Gluten Free Brownie Ever!

I’ve recently tried to eliminate Gluten from my diet.  Not because I’m intolerant, but because I needed to lose weight!   One of my friends asked for Gluten Free Recipes today and so I got inspired to post a great and VERY easy recipe here on my blog!    I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!  Would love your feedback!

img_5965  fullsizeoutput_3d8a Ingredients

1 cup paleo-friendly almond butter
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 egg
2 tbsp ghee
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Instructions
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond butter, syrup, egg, ghee, and vanilla. Stir in the cocoa powder and baking soda.
Pour the batter into a 9-inch baking pan. Bake for 20-23 minutes, until the brownie is done, but still soft in the middle.

 

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Happy New Year

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Does anyone else feel like they are just coming out of their summer “fog”?   I am.  It seems to take a while to get back in the groove after having no schedule in the summer.  Don’t get me wrong… summer was productive.  It wasn’t just sitting by the pool and sipping drinks….. we got a lot of projects done around the house but it has seriously taken me until MID- October to feel like things are settling into a groove!  Crazy!

So… The reason I said “Happy New Year” is because I think August or September (depending on when your school starts)  should be the NEW YEAR!    It’s a time when we start over…. refresh…. get into a routine again after a summer of being less structured.   Kids go back to school, Mom’s start to get things in order around the house.. and maybe start to take care of themselves again.   Work schedules out of the house seem more relaxed during the summer because everyone is on vacation here and there and Fall, well, everyone is back to business!   Even the calendars you buy at the store either begin in January or  academic calendars begin in EITHER July or August? How confusing!

I seem to place less emphasis on the “new year” in January and seem to feel a lot more inclined to start over and start fresh in September?  How about you?

I begin to eat healthy again after a summer of indulgences…. I begin to exercise again because there is a routine and I begin to organize after a summer of having everyone in the house.   September seems to be MY new year!

So… I am taking it on… Got new glasses to start off the “new me” and I’m back to cooking healthy and eating better!   I’m reflecting on the past with perspective… and dreaming of my future.

Are you ready to see some posts because I took most of the summer off?  What do you want to hear more of?  Here are my passions:  Decorating, entertaining, fashion & accessorizing, product junkie, food and cooking, parenting, travel,  some DIY projects, and Organization and business!   I feel like my years of experience can serve me well as I’m venturing into the “mature adult” phase of my life!  Tell me what you want to hear more of!  I’d love to share!

Spiralized!

This winter… I decided to cut out the crap and eat nothing but REAL food… Yep… basically protein, veggies and fruit.  That is it.   No Gluten… no Sugar… no dairy.    I had to get creative with my eating….. so I wouldn’t get bored!   SOOOO I bought a Spiralizer!    How fun is this?    This made eating veggies so much more interesting!    Here you see my spiralized Zucchini  that I could saute in onions and garlic OR…. use as a zucchini noodle for my tomato sauce!  Yum!

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I discovered how fun it was to spiral things… like onions (thinly sliced,)  potatoes, cucumbers, and squash!

Think about it… thinly sliced red onion for salads, burgers or sandwiches…. thinly sliced yellow onion for french onion soup, spiraled cucumber for an interesting cucumber salad with rice vinegar and toasted sesame seeds or apple cider vinegar, dill and pepper…. OR Zucchini “pasta” to satiate even the worst pasta craving!    It worked!   Potatoes also work great in the spiralizer…. for great home fries!   Oh my goodness!   So yummy!

So if you are looking for a fun kitchen tool this summer that inspires healthy eating…. Enjoy getting your Spiralizer!    I’m not even sure if that is a word… but… I’m sticking with it!

Cheers!

Calorie Free Yumminess 

Do you love a little treat in the evening? But the glass of wine or bowl of ice cream in the evening is doing a number on your weight?   Try my calorie free Mojito!  This is my new favorite concoction!    Seltzer, Lime, Mint and a little liquid Stevia!  Stevia takes the place of simple syrup.. and gives you that sweet taste!   Since good Mint is hard to find… I buy a lot of it, wash, remove the leaves from the stems and freeze!

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When I want a little mint in my drink, I simply remove from the freezer… crush a few leaves and enjoy!    Now… if you want to turn this into a cocktail for the weekend… add a little Titos Vodka or Organic cucumber Vodka for a little something low carb!

I’ve been enjoying my mocktails every evening…. and if you don’t have mint… just do lime, seltzer and stevia…. Let me know what you think!

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