Life is weird. Think about it. People always describe life as being unexpected, “a highway”, “a rollercoaster”, “A box of chocolates”, like riding a wild horse – which for point-in-fact is not at all easy! People never describe life as smooth, peaceful, and relaxing. And honestly – My life is no different. I rarely share what’s going on with my family online. I do this because it’s easily misinterpreted and can become a source of pain in those relationships.
I’ve decided that today – I’m doing ok. Some days are bad. If you haven’t figured it out – I struggle with Major Depression and crippling Anxiety. They are my best friends and have walked hand in hand with me for over 10 years. Sometimes the biggest thing I do for the day is take a shower and eat. Othertimes – I’m totally functional and can have the best day of my life. I used to hate what I was. Now I’m ok. Yeah there are days I still struggle hating myself, but those days I avoid the mirrors.
This year has been harder than most. In a small snyopsis, we discovered that my father had been lying to my entire family for years, probably longer than we know. He had multiple women on the side and when I say multiple – I mean a minimum of 14. He is a narcissist and has decided that our family doesn’t matter and his behavior is our fault. My mother has bought his lies.
The only thing I can say is that all this is a lie. It’s a lie from him. It’s a lie from her. It’s one smelly sack of shit. For anyone reading this – It feels like a death. Like God stooped down and plucked them from earth without us saying good-bye. Because that’s how fast this happened. We are talking about finding all this out in a matter of months. It hurts.
But I’m doing unexpectedly Ok. Life is weird. Time heals wounds. I don’t forget, but I forgive. Why am I writing this? Because maybe some other poor girl out there is hurting from what her family did. Maybe she is hurting from the lies that her father told her for years. The judgment he used to pass around that turned out to be hypocritical. Maybe she just needs someone else out there who seems like they have it worse so she doesn’t feel soo damn crazy.
I got you girl. I get it. Life is weird. It’s an unforgiving, hurtful bitch. I totally get that. This is what I have to tell you. Life will continue. It hurts now but it won’t always. It will come in waves like you can’t imagine, when it does – let yourself feel it, don’t argue with it, just maybe don’t comfort eat with it. You did not ask for this, but it happened anyways. You did not create this, the person who choose to lie did. You will never forget but you can forgive. You are strong and You will be unexpectedly ok.
It seems like stress is always surrounding us. I’m not sure about my readers but I always go through a phase where every so many weeks – I feel more stressed than I should. Yesterday was that day. What happens is that I feel overwhelmed, over burdened, and generically insane. I get cranky and end up biting off my husbands head. In short – I become the “Queen Of Hearts”. Inevitably in this cycle of crazy – the next phase to follow is me de-stressing. I’ve found a five ways to do that and that’s what I’m going to share with you today.
If you are familiar at all with this term than you will know it is made for relaxation. I come from a state which tends to be cold 6 months out of the year. For me – this practice is more nostalgic than anything. There is something very relaxing about curling up in a fluffy blanket with a cup of something hot in hand. I also recommend a book – something that you don’t need to think about.
For me baking is an outlet. I find that I need to be able to create something that I can control in order to feel relaxed. It’s like finding a hobby. Everyone should have at least 1 and for me – it’s baking. I enjoy food, and I enjoy creating it. (PS – Check out my baking business at http://www.sweetstoriesbakery.wordpress.com )
While I don’t particularly love exercise, I do find that I enjoy the endorphin release it gives me. I have found that with exercising it allows my body to expell all the negative energy it has and it allows me to focus on what’s at hand. It also helps me to remove all the thoughts in my head and become more at peace. The days that I haven’t been super stressed out – I will do yoga. The days where it’s been harder I tend to do more spinning, running, or kick boxing. I find that this allows me to keep the peaceful feeling flowing when I’m having a good day and to expell all the anger and resentment I may be harboring on the other days.
Candles and a Hot Bath –
Hot baths can do wonders for the body and soul. I highly recommend this one especially before bed. I have found that a hot bath with a soothing candle can create an atmosphere of peace where one can feel completely rested. This allows the mind to relax and the body to let go of any stress. If you are like me – you come out ready for a nap.
Avoiding Social Media –
To be honest – I’m rarely on twitter, instagram, or facebook. I find that they harbor so much negativity that my life is far less complicated or stressful when I’m not on them. I have also found, mainly because I manage a restaurant, that if I’m at home – I need to put my phone down. I also set it on silent so I can ignore any work messages until a certain time frame has passed. I will tell you that being on your phone 24/7 is unhealthy and creates a need for more drama than you can fill. It will cause your mind to never be able to shut down and really – not everyone’s issue needs to be ours. This is the one thing that my husband has to remind me of constantly and it’s the continual source of my frustration. I’m working on trying to put down my phone more often and I recommend you do the same.
It’s hard trying to de-stress. It’s hard trying to avoid certain habits that we have created and it’s hard starting new ones. I’m not much for exercising but I have found I need the outlet. I’m always attached to my phone – and I have found I need to put it down. If you have tips and tricks that you find help you de-stress I would love to hear about them. Everyone is different and so each item is going to suit people differently. Please feel free to share your thoughts below.
I blame my father. He is the one who coined this recipe. He is also the one who would make it for my little sister and I while we watched Sleeping Beauty, now I can’t watch Sleeping Beauty or eat an eggy sandwich without the other. That being said you should know it’s addicting, it’s easy and it is budget friendly!
- Bread – 2 slices of any type you like
- Mayonnaise – I like the kind with olive oil but whatever you got is great
- Eggs – at least 1 per sandwich; though I like using 2
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Cheese – Kraft american cheese slices melt best but whatever you want will taste amazing.
- Butter/oil for skillet
- Heat up skillet with butter or oil in it (medium heat is best).
- Toast bread; when it is finished toasting spread mayonnaise on one slice.
- Fry Egg in pan – this can be done over-easy or hard fry – whatever you like (personally I don’t like runny yolks; even though that’s how dad makes it, so I hard fry) .
- Salt and Pepper to taste.
- Place cheese on top of egg for 30 seconds AFTER the egg is done cooking and the pan is turned off.
- Place Egg and cheese on bread – Create your sandwich
Ok so here are some tips – adding bacon or sausage is super yummy and so is lettuce and tomato. It kind of makes it like a BLT with egg. If you don’t want to use mayo – use guacamole or avocado, something to add creaminess. This is one of those sandwiches that’s been tried out on all my friends – they love it. It’s a staple in my life. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Everyone knows what the term “burn-out” is. If you have worked in the medical field you are especially familiar with it. Why? Because it happens most within medical professionals. Think about it – doctors, nurses, caregivers – they give 110% (at least the good ones do) to their patients – every moment of everyday they have them in their care. This is why you see shows picture parents who can’t take care of their children, who have disabilities, anymore. They get burned out.
It is not limited to the medical professionals though. Anyone can become burned out. Students, teachers, engineers. Burn-out isn’t picky. This past semester I experienced probably the strongest sense of Burn-out I have ever had in a long time. And after going through it – here are the ways I learned to cope.
- Work Out – This hits the top of my list because I stopped doing it and when I started again I immediately noticed a large difference in my own mindset. To quote Elle from Legally Blonde “Exercise gives you endorphins; endorphins make you happy and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands!”. Now I don’t go running, my workouts are boxing or yoga (yep I pendulum swing). When I’m angry I find hitting a bag helps a lot and when I need to relax – Yoga is the key. I recommend continuing your exercise or starting to exercise as one of the best ways to cope with burn-out.
- Hygge – If nothing else from this blog you all will remember this word for life! Hygge – meaning take time to do you. Relax with a book and decompress. Get a cup of tea or hot chocolate and simple take time for you. This is so important because you can feel pressure to just always be on the go! Don’t fall into the trap – take time to rest. Even God rested 1 time a week.
- Pace Yourself – If you feel like burn-out is at your doorstep then maybe it’s time to give up something. You don’t have to be superwoman/superman all the time. Think of it this way – It would be better for you to do 1 or 2 things and do them well then to do many things – half-assed. It’s ok to prioritize and triage your own life. Sometimes it’s necessary.
I wish I would have thought about these items sooner. Maybe I wouldn’t be repeating a class for school next semester then, but life has a way of teaching lessons whether we want them or not. I’m hoping you (my readers) will learn from my mistake on this one and maybe avoid your own burn-out or somehow learn to walk the tightrope until you are better.
This is a little off the beaten path for me. I don’t normally do book reviews but since I’ve been on break for school I decided to do a book review for several of my favorite Christian Fiction books. Top 3:
- Mark of the Lion by Francine Rivers – This is a 3 book series starting with A Voice In the Wind. It is probably number one on my list for several reasons. It follows a young christian woman, of jewish heritage, named Hadassah through her life journey. Really it’s from her young adult life through adulthood (first two books) and then follows a gladiator in the 3rd book. You guessed it – it’s set in Ancient Rome, several years after Christ’s resurrection and ascension into heaven. I can safely say that while this book will draw you in with its action, imagery, and the trials faced by the protagonist, it will also inspire hope. I’m never exactly sure why but I always feel an over-whelming amount of hope when I read this book. Maybe it’s because Hadassah faces so many trials and never loses hope that it reminds me that no matter how bleak things may look – God always has a plan and he is always in control. This book is a great reminder of God’s enduring love and how all things come together for his glory.
- Left Behind series by Tim Lahaye and Jerry B. Jenkins – This one is a 16 book series. I have not read all of them, but about 1/2 of them I have read. They are great books if you are looking for a great read, long series, or to have an idea of what will be coming in the future for the world (and yes I really do believe it). While there is room for interpretation in what The Bible says about the future I do believe that it comes very close. I will also say it is very refreshing to find a book series that is both politically, religiously, and emotionally interesting without any indecency. That being said – the premise is that the books follow several characters throughout the years of the following the rapture. If anyone has seen the movie made by Nicolas Cage – the movie pales in comparison. I would highly recommed these books as they are both enlightening and informative, while being interesting reads.
- Texas Roads (A Miller’s Creek Novel) by Cathy Bryant- The series is a 7 book series. I have to disclaim that I have not read all of them. The first one I just finished this morning and I can safely say that it was one of the best books I have read in a long time. It was full of trials and hope. Similar to the Mark of the Lion series it was encouraging to read. I also really liked it because it was set in a timeframe that could be easily identified as the current year. Most of the books that are faith-based seem to be written in a past time period. I would recommend this book highly. It follows Dani, a young woman from Dallas, TX on her journey to find her “home”. One of the perks to these books is that they are free on kindles! Kudos to Cathy!!!
I have more books that I have read but these are simply my top 3 books as it stands for Christian Fiction. I would love to have some suggestions about more. The reason I love these books so much is that they fill me with hope and remind me of Gods power. yes, I do realize that they are fiction but sometimes we need a little reminder of what he is capable of.
I like eggs. My husband loves eggs. Every weekend guess what is made for breakfast at our house – EGGS!! So here’s the thing – I only really like scrambled eggs and I really hate that it’s a ton of work standing at the stove making it. It takes a ton of work. That being said – I have created a recipe based off of reading several different Pinterest/Blog ideas on how to make mini egg quiches. This recipe is great for a morning when you don’t want to stand at the stove or for when you have a ton of guests for breakfast!
- Eggs – About 1-2 per person
- Basil – dried about 2 teaspoons
- Onion – Half a big onion minced
- Garlic Powder – about 2 teaspoons
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Milk – about 1/4 cup per 6 eggs
- Cheese – 1/4 Cup per 6 eggs give or take(I like cheddar but any kind would work; also I have not used a vegan cheese substitute so I’m not sure how it would work)
- Oregano – about 2 teaspoons
- Bacon – I used pre-made bacon bits and loved it – about 1/4 cup per 6 eggs
- Oven – Preheated to 350 degrees (F)
- Muffin Tin
- Non stick spray/butter
- Mixing Bowl
- 1/2 cup measuring cup
If you find that you need to add more eggs – do so. I didn’t measure so this is all via guess-work.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and spray muffin tin with non stick spray
- In a large mixing bowl – Mix eggs, milk, and seasonings with whisk
- Add Cheese, bacon, and onions
- scoop egg mixture into muffin tin using 1/2 cup measuring scoop
- Place in oven and back for 10 min.
- Test the tops after 10 min – muffins will pop out of cups when they are fully cooked – tops should be just set. rotate pan at 10 min mark if they are not cooked.
- let rest for 2 min after pulling from oven.
These egg “muffins” go great with sausage and fried potatoes. They are perfect for each person to have one or two without having to put in a bowl and get that wetness at the bottom (you know when you have eggs sitting in a bowl and somehow you get water in the bottom from condensation and then the eggs sit in a ‘soup’). I tested this recipe out when we had 2 other people staying with us and it was a huge hit. You could do any variation of items you wanted. Best part is that they keep and reheat beautifully (no more than 2 days) so you can make them the night before then heat and go the next morning.
Sunday morning. Whether you are a church goer or not, every family loves sunday mornings. It’s still commonly thought of as a day of rest. My family growing up always had one really good meal on sunday – for my parents it was lunch. For me – it’s been breakfast. Think about it – everyone does a “Sunday Roast” or “Sunday Brunch”.
That being said I have come up with a French Toast recipe that is both healthy, fresh and sweet, and perfect for Sunday mornings.
- Hawaiian Sweet Bread – Cut to whatever size you deem appropriate (I wouldn’t recommend anything more then 2 inches in width; You could substitute Cinnamon-Raisin bread but you need to be able to cut it yourself; I would not recommend substituting with anything other then that.)
- Milk (dairy or non-dairy; either is fine)
- Eggs or an Egg substitute (you will need 1 more egg then people you are serving)
- Cinnamon or (If you don’t mind a different flavor) Nutmeg
- Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon (give or take)
- Whipped cream or cool whip (if you know how to make your own – go for it)
- Fresh berries – sliced (I recommend using bananas, blueberries, and strawberries – but I’m sure any berries would do; I have not used melons so I can’t tell you what that would taste like but I can’t imagine it would be great.)
- Butter or Oil for pan
- spatula (for flipping)
- Pie plate or shallow dish
- In the pie plate, add eggs first then add milk (the milk should just cover the eggs) add vanilla extract and mix carefully, top off with cinnamon/nutmeg sprinkled to cover the top of mix
- turn skillet – med heat- with a bit of butter or oil in the pan
- cut bread
- when the pan has heated through dip one slice of bread into mixure – quickly flipping it over so both sides are covered – and place in pan
- wait about 2-5 min for first side to cook; flip bread over, once cooked -remove from heat and put on a plate
- repeat previous steps until mixture is all used or bread runs out.
- place 3 slices of toast on plate
- top with berries, whipped cream and drizzle honey to taste
- Eat and Enjoy
**Disclaimer** I know that using syrup is the “american” way of eating french toast but this recipe is meant to be lightly sweet and refreshing. I have found that adding honey or even a mixture of honey/syrup together is about perfect. Straight syrup is cloyingly sweet. Enjoy your sunday morning toast!
Mornings. Even if you are a morning person – the mornings before work can be rough. They can feel rushed or full of the desire to go back to bed. There are several ways to make mornings prior to work feel less stressful, this way you can arrive at work in a decent mood and feel ready to take on the day. **Disclaimer – I don’t have children (If you do – results may vary!)** Each idea is based on one or two points of setting a happy mindset that I have personally been experiencing and trying to incorporate into my life: 1) Organization and 2) Hygge. Organizing makes one feel better about life. The human brain enjoys organization and “hygge” means to put your brain into it’s happy space of comfort and enjoyment.
- Set up the hot beverage station the night before – What I have noticed is that my mornings always start out alot smoother when I wake up and have set up my coffee pot the night before. Now that being said – Not everyone is a coffee drinker. In this case, set up your mug and tea choice the night before or set up a mug with all the makings right beside it for Cocoa. This is both an organized way to start the morning and a great way to prepare to “Hygge” in the morning.
- Do NOT read Social Media or the News for 15 Minutes – This sounds super easy but when you have reached the habit of constantly getting on social media first thing when you wake up, it’s the hardest one to do. When I wake up in the morning my brain needs time to come to life before it processes what it’s seeing or hearing. When my husband asks me something it forces me to start faster and feel rushed – worst thing ever. Social Media and the New do the same. Here’s what I recommend – if you can’t stay off of Social media – Pinterest or Instagram. Instagram is just photos – your brain will have time to process without having to think about what is or isn’t true. Simply give your brain 15 min of leisure time in the morning.
- Wake up earlier – I know everyone says it and you don’t understand why you should do it. but it’s similar to not looking at social media. It gives you time to sit, drink some hot beverage, and simply wake up. I’m not a person that bounces out of bed ready to go. I take time and when I know what time I have to leave the house – I make sure to be up atleast 1.5 hours before hand. I know that it sounds extreme but think of it this way: As a woman it takes me a minimum of 30 minutes to get ready, 30 minutes to drink coffee, ponder life, and generically “Hygge” before I have to get ready. I like to wake up and while drinking my coffee blog or read a book. It puts me in a good mood.
- Set out your clothes the night before – If you can’t or don’t want to wake up more then 20 min earlier than normal – set out your clothes the night before. It is one less thing to worry about in the morning and makes it that much smoother when you have to leave.
- Do something you love – wake up early enough to do something you love. Read a book. Have breakfast. Whatever that item is that makes you tick. It will make you happy and start your morning out on the right foot.
Ultimately it’s your morning. But I can tell you that if you do this for just a week to test it – you will find that your mindset has improved. My grandfather always had a saying “Proper Prior Planning Prevents a Piss Poor Preformance” – 7 P’s of life. Organization and Hygge in the morning makes it that much smoother and ultimately will make you that much more happy in the mornings.
The best things in life tend to be the simplest. Think about it – people love either waking up with a hot cup of coffee, cuddly blanket, and good book; or they enjoy staying up with a decent glass of wine, good movie, and maybe some popcorn. This sums up the idea of “Hygge’. To take comfort in the simple things in life. To be leisurely.
Now as a nanny, wife, and woman raised in the midwest of USA – I can safely state that taking time to enjoy something simple is necessary. I can also say that the simplest form of comfort comes in anything chocolate. Which is why you need to learn to make this Hot Cocoa recipe.
- Favorite brand of hot cocoa (dark chocolate is preferred but it should be unflavored)
- If you don’t have Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix then I recommend finding some cocoa powder.
- Any flavor of extract (I prefer Almond or Vanilla)
- Coffee Creamer (I like Coffee Mate because it doesn’t have any Milk – which is great if you are lactose intolerant/vegan like me)
- Hot Water or Hot Milk (Again I prefer Almond Milk)
- Cinnamon or Nutmeg (Depends on what you want it to taste like – you could also use pumpkin spice if you want)
- Whisk or Fork for stirring (important that it be something with tongs because it mixes better and doesn’t leave clumps in the Hot Cocoa)
- Start heating water or milk to desired heat (Approximately 1.5 cups)
- In desired mug, mix 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon/Nutmeg/PumpkinSpice, 1/5 – 1Teaspoon extract, and as much coffee creamer as desired.
- Add 1 Tablespoon (approximately) Cocoa Powder, Mix well with Whisk or Fork
- Add 1/5 Milk or Water to mug and continue to mix well
- Add Hot Chocolate Mix to mug and mix well
- Finish Adding Milk/Water and Mix well
You may add whipped cream or marshmallows if you want, but I find it’s about perfect and doesn’t really need the added sugar. Sit down with a good movie or book, Fuzzy Blanket, and enjoy.