Author Archives: Carrie

Grace – the Amazing Gift

 

For those who know grace, means you have received grace. To know it also requires that you give it. It is a beautiful gift to be shared because of the boomerang effect it has.  This may sound self-serving but hopefully, most of us don’t give to get.  Grace has to be given from a healthy mindset which can be the challenging part.  Like practicing automatic forgiveness or hugging someone you want to sucker punch.

It did not come naturally for me until I received it. Given to me with love and kindness, it opened my heart to realize what a gift it really is.  Maybe some are born with it or grace is their given name. Possibly you are described as being graceful. Ballerinas floating through the air on their tippy-toes with their arms extended wide comes to mind. That was not me.

The only thing I had in common with grace is that four of the five letters are found in my first name. Is that even saying much? Running into posts, tripping over things,  and being a clutz describe me best.

Since I have come to know grace I trip up less and haven’t run into anything lately! I’m not sure if this is my subconscious mind telling me I am no longer that person. I am no longer the person that thinks of my own feelings. I think of how undeserving I was to be shown grace and how freeing it is to know it.

A few examples of grace:
-For someone to forgive you when you don’t apologize.
-For someone to assume the best of your intentions.
-When someone does not rub your face in the dirt when an “I told you so!” is in order.
-Shown unconditional love.
-When you do not judge a loved one even when they hurt your feelings.

Giving grace generously is not always easy. You will be challenged to react in ways you haven’t before, yet you will be rewarded in ways you haven’t experienced before.  It may just be the secret ingredient to living a peaceful life.

 

Four Ingredient Lo-carb Lunch Taco

Lo-carb Lunch Taco
Ingredients:
3 Whole Romaine leaves
1/2 of an avocado
3 slices of roast beef (no nitrates)
1/4 c. salsa (without sugar)
Clean leaves, pat dry, then layer each leaf with a slice of roast beef, place 1/3 of diced avocado in your romaine leaf, top with salsa for a satisfying and quick lunch.  If you’re like me add sliced jalapeno too.

The Pending Etiquette Class

manners

For months now, maybe even for a couple of years I have jokingly, threatened to enroll my kids in Etiquette Class.  They completely detest the idea but it doesn’t seem to bother them enough to remind them of their manners. Being raised in a conservative household, I think it’s a ridiculous way to spend money. Secretly, I love the idea of them sitting around a stuffy table with a buttoned-up, older woman saying, “Raise your elbows! Unfold your linen and place it on your lap.”  Yes! That idea makes me laugh, like an evil, Cruella Deville laugh, Wahhahaaha!

Because I’ve jokingly made this threat they don’t take me serious, which is to be expected. The other day a brilliant plan came to mind, though.  Before I tell you about it let me explain a few of my struggles. I have one child who will place heaps of food on his fork and shovel as much in as possible. His mouth can barely remain closed as he chews because of the ginormous bite. He thinks this is normal. It’s a bit embarrassing to think that other parents have had to experience this when they’ve had him over for dinner. I know there are worse things to be concerned about.

Another issue we struggle with also occurs around the dinner table. No wonder family therapists recommend eating dinner together so many times a week. It forces families to deal with their issues. We deal with constantly interrupting each other, making it nearly impossible to finish a conversation without being side tracked with another topic. Dinner time = game time with me blowing the metaphorical whistle playing referee,  and directing these little people on how to be respectful to one another in conversation. “We TAKE Turns!” I know was shouted at least a gazillion times when they were toddlers. I guess they need to be reminded of this as they mature.  Sometimes I allow the convo. to go to complete insanity mode (where everyone is talking at once, the volume steadily increasing), just because I’m curious to see if they’ll notice. The struggle of who has the most important thing to say is real. I figure it will work itself out, eventually.  Usually, my middle-child will share something truly funny on accident, which makes it even funnier. My unspoken rule is that whoever is being funny gets the floor. Because who doesn’t appreciate funny?

Here’s my idea: an “Etiquette Jar” to collect fines from the kids. They will use their own money to cover etiquette class (insert clapping). If I have to remind them of their manners or to be polite, they’ll deposit anywhere from a quarter to $2. While I think for some there is a need for etiquette class, I am not going to be the parent paying for it. The jar concept is not original by any means (Read about Maria Shriver and what her Dad would do), having the kids pay for something they Do Not Want to do is priceless to me. 🙂 Life lessons can be oh, sooo sweet!

Etiquette jar

After all, only free people

“After all, only free people can truly free people. Yes…

  • Hurt people hurt people, but helped people help people. 
  • Broken people break people, but rebuilt people build people.
  • Shattered people shatter people, but whole people restore people.
  • Damaged people damage people, but loved people love people.
  • Wounded people wound people, but healed people bind up wounds.
  • Bound people bind people, but freed people lead others to freedom. “

This passage is from Christine Caine’s book Unashamed, Chapter 7, God Moves In so We can Move On.  That first line “After all, Only FREE people can truly FREE people” hit me like a ton of bricks! All of us will experience feeling broken or hurt, or any one of these mentioned above, in our lifetime. How are you overcoming? Avoiding the emotion or tucking it in a deep corner of your soul creates a toxin in you. It becomes like a venom that slowly creeps in other areas of your life, poisoning relationships, life goals, your aspirations. Unashamed gives a refreshing perspective and suggestions to live the abundant life God created for you. He wants us to live fully in his abundance and has anointed Christine Caine to share his message with us.  Unashamed

She blesses the lives of so many through her ministry and her writing. She believes when she allowed God to change her, it freed her to lead others to freedom. This is why she leads a global ministry today.

Check out  A21
A21 EXISTS TO ABOLISH INJUSTICE IN THE 21ST CENTURY. 

As well as, Propel Women.

The Importance of Gratitude

We hear so much lately about the importance of gratitude and having an “attitude of gratitude” is such a healthy mentality. Who knew it was the Father of fitness, Jack LaLanne who adopted this mentality long ago? “A healthy person always starts by counting their blessings.”, are the wise words he shares with Bill Phillips in Bill’s book Transformation. These words are still relevant today. The chapter goes on to discuss the science behind it and how those who kept gratitude journals exercised more often, felt better physically, & had a more positive mindset. Each day be grateful for something and start your journal.

Thank you for coming here to my blog.

The Cheap & Easy Treat!

This is the easiest treat to prep with the longest wait time. This is why it should be made in advance with extras stored in your freezer.

Ingredients:
Banana (s)
Almond Butter (1 TBSP, depending on the amount of bananas)
Coconut Flakes (unsweetened, 1 TBSP depending on the amount of bananas)
Sea Salt

Instructions:
1. Toast 1 tablespoon of coconut flakes (approximately 4-5 minutes)
2. Peel bananas
3. Spread 1 tablespoon of almond butter or peanut butter (no sugar added) on the banana, 4. Add a dash of sea salt, then freeze for one hour

You are all done with the prep work. So easy, right?
Now you wait, read or exercise. Go be productive.
TOD (Tip of the day):  When you indulge in a treat, avoid eating it on the run. First, it will be gone before you even remember putting it in your mouth. (Haha, I know you know what I am talking about. You scan the kitchen counter tops, hoping to find the treat you want to eat, not realizing, “Oh, crap! Did I already eat it?”) You will most likely grab another portion because you can’t remember eating the first. Not a good habit to form. 
 
Enjoy your treat while journaling or reflecting on your day. Allow it to be enjoyable for a few moments.  If you do not have time to enjoy it, maybe you do not need it.
 
*Compared to fro-yo this is a cost effective & healthier option. *
 
**Option – slice bite size banana pieces to store in the freezer. This way you have this little burst of energy ready for the days you need a quick pick me up.

Chocolate Delights are more than delightful!

They are so easy to make! They are creamy and crunchy bites of deliciousness!
All you need is to set aside 8 minutes and to gather your 4 (+ sea salt) ingredients to get started.

-1 cup (heaping) Enjoy Life chocolate chip morsels (sweetened with cane sugar)
-1/4 cup almond butter or peanut butter (use organic, without any added sugar)
-1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

-1 tsp. coconut oil

Easy-peasy Directions:
Melt your chocolate chips (I microwave them for 1 min.), stir in the coconut oil, till well blended, carefully pour a small amount of chocolate in the bottom of each opening of an ice cube tray, just enough to coat the bottom, use a small spatula to control the pour then set aside,
toast your coconut flakes for 4-5 mins., while the flakes are toasting in a glass bowl warm your nut butter for 20 seconds, this way it’s easier to work with, drop less than 1/2 tsp of the nut butter in each cube over the chocolate (use a small spatula and a teaspoon for ease in doing this step), then pour the remaining chocolate over each cube, add a dash of sea salt over the chocolate cubes, then sprinkle your toasted coconut flakes over each cube, freeze for 30 mins., pop out of the tray and into your mouth👅! YuM!
Store in your refrigerator until you’re ready for another one. For a firmer cube keep them in the freezer.
** alternatives: use a dash of cayenne & leave the coconut flakes off or use an orange twist & also leave the coconut flakes off.
***2 min. Recipe alternative: Mix it all together place in a shallow 8×8 dish & place in the freezer, cut into squares & enjoy.
#chocolates #chocolatedelights #desserts #easydessert #quickbites #enjoylife #coconut #fouringredientdessert #thenewicecubechallenge 😂

Are you a person of your word?

Being “trustworthy” comes to mind when you hear this question, right? Have you ever told someone you would do something and then not follow through? Me, me, me, a thousand times over, I was guilty of it. Last year, I set out to not make that mistake again. There were days when I’m sure I forgot to do something, and most likely let someone down. The effort is on-going and I make very consciuous decisions to not over commit myself.  I want my trust bank to be full, for my family and friends to count on me.

Are you reliable? It’s in that same “trust” category.  Are you the person who tells a friend, “let’s do lunch” then you never call?  Brenè suggests, experience those awkward moments of just saying, “It was nice to see you”, nothing else. Then move on, don’t commit to a lunch you never intend to schedule.

Take some time  to have your mind blown by Brenè and watch this video. You won’t regret it!

Brené  Brown: The Anatomy of Trust

Cupcake 💞 anyone❓

These are as fantastic as they look! This recipe was inspired by a Paleomg.com granola recipe I’ve used for years but have made it my own.  You can do the same by substituting with your favorite nuts and seeds. It would be difficult to mess this recipe up unless you forget about it and burn the granola mixture, which sadly I have done.

Nutty Cups

Ingredients: 

1 cup walnuts
1 cup slivered, unsalted almonds
1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup honey
2 TBSP maple syrup
2 TBSP coconut oil
1 tsp pure vanilla
1 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder
1 TBSP cinnamon
1 dash of tumeric
1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt
1/2 cup Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate

Surprise! No “cake” is involved in this recipe but I think you knew that already! Read on, you won’t miss the cake.

Directions:

Preheat oven to bake at 325 degrees. Place all the nuts and seeds in a large bowl, pour in honey, syrup, oil, vanilla & mix well, sprinkle on the protein powder, tumeric & sea salt, continue to mix with a large spoon, place mixture on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, spread evenly with your spatula for even baking, allow to bake for 10 mins. remove from oven, gently mix the granola by flipping, spreading it out again and baking for an additional 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to rest for 5 mins. Using  an ice cream scooper, fill in the scooper by pressing in the granola, then release a scoop in each decorative cupcake liner. (makes 12 cups)
Melt the Dark Chocolate chips on low, in a small saucepan on your stovetop or in a microwave dish, stirring every 30 seconds, should not take longer than 1 minute – 1.5 minutes.  Drizzle the chocolate over each cup. Now it’s time to serve them or gift them.

Also, I use as many local & organic ingredients as possible with the honey, maple syrup, nuts & seeds.

Please share your modifications below.

**On my second batch of Nutty Cups, I topped each with unsweetened, dried cherries (tart) that I dredged through the melted chocolate. Yes, a dark chocolate cherry, topped each cup and it was amazing!