I Love Lists

When it comes to creating lists, I’m a pro. I can whip up a list for cleaning, shopping, even budgeting in no time flat. My problem comes with the follow through. Specifically, when it comes to sticking to a rigid cleaning schedule.

I have tried the clean-everything-at-once method and the clean-a-little-bit-everyday method, in various forms. Neither has worked particularly well for me. Of course, each time, I was using someone else’s pre-made list. Working on their timeline and with their priorities.

This time, I have done a lot of reading and web searching and come up with my own version. I made the master list, then broke it up into manageable chunks with like items bundled together. Finally, I created the timeline based on my own priorities and abilities.

It’s still new and I haven’t gotten into the full swing of things yet, but I’m quite hopeful. I’ve managed to do most of the items on my list without feeling overwhelmed or guilty for not doing it all perfectly. I see that as progress. And any progress is good.

In the spirit of accomplishment, I hope everyone has a successful weekend!

Beverage Update

Back in January, I wrote about changing my drinking habits. I was attempting to switch from mostly sugary beverages to mostly water-type beverages with little to no sugar.

I am happy to announce that it has been a huge success. I haven’t had an actual soda in well over a month. Instead, I drink mostly naturally flavored carbonated water, along with some coffee, tea, and, of course, plain water.

It has been immensely liberating to not rely so heavily on overly processed drinks. In fact, I have even started drinking plain seltzer water, in the form of Perrier, and it is delicious. I never liked the taste of plain carbonated water before; I thought it was disgusting.

How my taste buds have changed! And in such a short time too. I am very happy with my progress and am researching dietary changes, which will be my next healthy project.

May you all enjoy your health and happiness to its fullest extent!

Shakshuka

Also known as Eggs in Purgatory, this dish is a wonderful melding of tomatoes, spices, and eggs. I’ve been wanting to make this for quite some time, but never managed to get around to it.

I am so glad I finally made it! Talk about delicious.

I used a recipe I found online and adapted it to fit my tastes. I sautéed some celery and sweet peppers in avocado oil, then added some spices – paprika, cumin, and chili powder. After it was all cooked down I added a can of crushed tomatoes. Once it was fully incorporated, I made wells for my four eggs, put on the lid, and simmered it all for about seven minutes. The final product looked pretty darn good, especially after I sprinkled some parsley on top for some added color and flavor.

You can use bread to help sop up the sauce, but I never got around to that. I ate it just as it was, and relished every bite.

I plan on making this again, soon. It is generally considered a breakfast food, which is how I ate it, but it can be enjoyed any time of day. I intend to eat what’s left over some rice for dinner. I expect it will be just as satisfying as the first time.

I hope everyone has a delightful week!

See you next Saturday.

Shifting Beverages

The biggest problem with trying to make changes is doing too much all at once. This is especially true at the new year. I’ve fallen into this trap many times myself. So, I decided to do things a bit different this year.

I’m making changes slowly and one at a time. I know, super radical, but it seems to be working.

I started tracking my caloric intake and realized that a lot of my calories were coming from what I drank. Needless to say, I figured that would be a good place to start adjusting my habits. My drinks went from a lot of sugary, calorie laden soda, juice, and sweet tea to mostly water in various forms.

I never used to like sparkling water that didn’t have a lot of added sugar. Of course, I never really gave it a chance either. That changed recently and I have a new appreciation for unsweetened drinks. In fact, I find them quite refreshing.

I’m hoping I can snowball this one change into more in the near future. I look forward to sharing my wellness journey with you each week.

Stay happy!

First Post of 2019

The year has gotten off to a great start. I’m feeling hopeful and renewed. I already made a big change.

My hair went from blonde

to a dark auburn brown.

I’m quite happy with the results.

I also started writing poetry again. I haven’t felt inspired in a while, but that has changed. It all makes me feel alive and reborn. I hope that everyone else feels as revitalized as I do right now.

All the best for this wonderful new year!

My New Obsession

I just started watching the History Channel show Vikings and I am hooked!! I can’t believe I waited so long to start watching it. This show alone makes having Amazon Prime Video totally worth the annual investment.

I would continue to wax poetic about the show for pages and pages, but I want to know what happens next.

Gotta go.

NaNoWriMo Update

So, life being what it is, I’m about 10,000 words behind and there is only a week left of November. I don’t think I’m going to make it, but I’m pretty happy about how far I got in my first attempt.

Maybe next year I’ll get a little farther.

Maybe I’ll even make it all the way to the end.

Who knows – stranger things have happened.

Happy Thanksgiving

It’s almost Turkey Day!! The food holiday that many people look forward to all year long. It’s the one day when eating way too much is not only socially acceptable, but absolutely expected. The day for stretchy pants and food coma’s.

It’s a day for being thankful for what we have and spending time with family while eating fabulous food. I’m not hosting Thanksgiving this year, but we were invited to a cousin’s house for dinner. She has everything covered, but I wanted to bring her a little something anyway. So, I had a bit of a baking day today.

I made Shortbread Cookies using a recipe from GeniusKitchen.com

I made a Pumpkin Roll using a recipe from GimmeSomeOven.com

I made Raspberry Pastry Roll-Ups using a recipe from GeniusKitchen.com

And, I made Cheesecake Stuffed Banana Bread using a recipe from CookiesandCups.com

It was a fun and tasty day.

I’m super thankful for all the people in my life who are there when I need them. I’m also thankful for my husband, dogs, and birds. Our little family unit makes me happy every day and I will always be grateful that we are together.

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday!

NaNoWriMo

November is known as National Novel Writing Month. Participants agree to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days. By agree, I mean they make an agreement with themselves that they won’t make excuses for why they can’t write, and will just write. This year, I decided to sign up and this is my first week’s progress.

I have found this experience to be revealing. I have always been an inspiration based writer – as in, I only wrote when I was inspired to do so. Having such a large goal to reach in such a short time has made it necessary for me to write every single day, whether I am inspired to or not.

I am now on a 7-day writing streak. I am super proud of myself for not making excuses for why I can’t write and just getting to it already. Yesterday, I didn’t make my daily goal, but every other day I have. To keep myself on track, I wrote enough today to make up for my lack yesterday and to reach todays daily goal.

My writing may never be seen by anyone else, but the act of simply putting my thoughts on paper is a freeing experience. I’m glad I chose to participate.

Comfort Food

I love Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. It’s one of my all-time favorite shows. It makes me hungry every time I watch it. Even if I’ve just eaten. Heck, even if I’m actively eating at that moment. I was watching an episode recently called Seafood and Savory. On it, there was a dish by Chef Alisah called Bosnian-Style Gulash. It sounded amazing! It also happens to have ingredients that are easy to get. So, I decided to give it a try. First things first, I had to adjust the recipe since the original yields 10 servings. Once I did that, I gathered the ingredients and it was time to cook.

Ingredients I used:

1 lb. chuck eye steak

2 sections of the frozen onions

1½ tsp olive oil

½ tsp dried minced garlic

½ cup tomato sauce

1½ tomato paste

8 oz. beef broth

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

1 tsp dried parsley

½ tsp season salt

2 tsp flour

Cooking directions

I preheated my oven to 300 degrees and cut the beef into small cubes. I then put the onions, olive oil, garlic, tomato sauce, and tomato paste into a pan and cooked on medium heat for about 5 mins.

Next, I added the beef to the pan and cooked that for about 15 mins.

After it had cooked down, I added the beef broth, salt, pepper, parsley, and season salt to the pan and mixed everything together well. I then transferred the mix to a baking dish and put it in the oven for about an hour.

When it was done in the oven, I whisked in the flour and mixed well to combine.

I served it over some basmati rice. It turned out wonderfully.

results

The dish was delicious! It even had a little bit of spice to it, even though the spiciest thing I added was paprika. The long cooking time really concentrated the flavors and made the dish sing with taste.

I had some the next day and it was just as good after being reheated in the microwave. This is definitely a dish I will be making again.

I love trying new recipes. They don’t always turn out as good as this one, but it’s still fun trying something I never have before.