December 2010 archive

forget resolutions…instead focus on ONE LITTLE WORD

I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. All too often we make a resolution of kicking our caffeine habit…losing weight…eating less junk food…or whatever. We do alright at first. Maybe even last a few months but by March we fall back into our old habits again. I like the idea instead of picking one little word for the year and allowing that to be my focus.

Resolutions are too vague. I’ve read that one-third of us who make a “resolution” for the new year dump it within 2 weeks and 50% of the rest say “forget about it” within 2 months. Besides, you can start a diet any day of the week, or any time of the year. For 3 years now I have chosen “one word” rather than make a resolution.

The idea behind the one little word concept is to give yourself something to focus on throughout the year…”A single word can be a powerful thing. It can be the ripple in the pond that changes everything. It can sharp and biting or rich and soft and slow.”

This concept is totally from Ali Edwards. I have found this works much better for me than resolutions.

In 2009 my one word was “be”, as in “just be in the moment.” I struggled with being in the moment at first. It had to be a conscious decision and I still remind myself of it today. It’s not a trait that comes naturally to me.

In 2010 my one word was “faith”. I think I did pretty well with that this year. I renewed my faith and continued reading the Bible. I still have many more Books to read but “it’s the journey, not the destination” or “it’s a long road, but the reward is great.” However you want to look at it, I will still be working on faith throughout my life.

For 2011 my one word is “nourish”. I originally chose “health” as my one word. I had a bit of a health scare this past month and that word is definitely on my mind right now as I go for more follow-up exams at the doctor office. Low Thyroid and  “Disordered Prolifertive Endometrium” (or I like to say: a dysfunctional uterus). Both are something that must be dealt with but are manageable.

“Health” became too vague of a word. For me, it’s more than that, it’s being more mindful of what we, as a family, are putting into our bodies, minds and souls. Yes, I am dragging my family into this too. Some of them are kicking and screaming. So, I thought a lot about it and came up with “nourish” as my word. It encompasses my whole feeling of what I want this upcoming year to be. For my mind. For my body. For my soul.

I have been reading more about “whole eating” or natural eating. A blog I really like is 100 Days of Real Food. The challenge is to eat only “real” food. No prepackaged meals. No junk food. No soft drinks. No fast food or take out, unless you know what is in it, which let’s be honest…how can you really know? Fast food restaurants bill their food as “healthy” when it has more fat and calories than their cheeseburger meal. Tough. Anyway, I am not interested in being extreme about eating, I just want to be more mindful. I don’t want to be a dictator about food, especially with my girls. I want to make smarter choices for each meal. And I want my children (and hubby) to grow up to be more mindful of food. Eat to live, ya know. Another part of the goal is to start practicing yoga again. It’s good for the body, as well as the mind. And of course, continue to feed our spiritual souls.

So, what’s your “one little word” for 2011? What do you want to accomplish or focus on in the coming year? I challenge you to create something, anything that will help you focus on your word in the coming year. Maybe I should post my word on the fridge…

Flourishes on the above “nourish” sign from

live joyfully.

So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun. Ecclesiastes 8:14-16

Thoughts on living joyfully:

  • Honor your heart. Honor your mind. Honor your body. Honor your soul.
  • Live what you believe and you will never make a wrong decision.
  • Love will last forever. Give it freely without fear of being hurt.
  • Give. Be generous. Share what you can with others. Help others in need.
  • Laugh like you did when you were a kid. Do it often.
  • Practice gratitude. Often.
  • Humility doesn’t hurt.
  • Say “no” to things you really don’t want to do.
  • Say “yes” to the things that really matter.
  • Unload what you don’t need. Give it away. It will set you free.
  • Give yourself a break. Perfection is boring.
  • Play. Create. Get messy.
  • Clean up the clutter. Lighten your load.
  • Celebrate the little things.
  • Be kind. Be respectful. Be sympathetic.
  • Whatever you do, do it well. No job is too small.
  • Make time everyday for the Lord. Talk. Pray. Embrace.
  • Let go of the hurt. Let go of the sadness. Let it all go. Give it all to Him.
  • Have faith. Everyday.


December Daily Layouts:

december daily - 25 days of advent - day 23

december daily - 25 days of advent - day 8 and 15

Inside the God Box – Just read it…and have some Kleenex ready!

december daily | day 24

“If you don’t stop fighting, I am going to cancel Christmas and give all your gifts away!”

Ah, the sounds of Christmas Eve in our house. The girls are bouncing off the wall with anticipation. Canceling Christmas was an empty threat, of course…

So we busy ourselves with trying to get a good photograph of our beagle, Bailey, who is deathly afraid of the camera. Don’t ask because I have no clue why this is. She just freaks out every time I get the camera out. She’s not the brightest dog in the world but we love her anyway.

Last night was baking night. The girls love to bake. This can set me on edge because I am a “clean” baker. I am keeping everything clean as I bake. The girls are messy. They are still getting the hang of it. Alex is becoming a good baker. She understands the basics of baking that a lot of adults don’t understand. Like, you use a different kind of measuring cup for liquid and dry ingredients. She knows how to level off the flour that is always added to baking since we live in high altitude and her favorite is cracking the eggs. She’s very good at that too. Santa will be getting cupcakes this year…because he may be sick of cookies.

alex: top baker

parker: quality controller

december daily | day twenty-three

my little ice skater

Today I took my little ice skater to the rink. She met up with her friend and they had fun sliding on the ice. Check out her new skate pants. She “had” to have them…all the ice skaters are wearing them. All this girl wants for Christmas is a Zuca bag (a.k.a. one expensive bag to carry her skates in). Thanks to Craigslist she will get one, albeit used, not new. I haven’t skated in maybe 6-8 weeks. I was a little rusty (I “tripped” over the blue line…haha). Two days ’til Christmas…as ready as I will ever be. I still have to wrap all the presents.

christmas tree at westminster city hall

Last night we mailed letters to Santa. Westminster City Hall normally puts up this great display of Santa’s village complete with elves working in their workshops but because of budget constraints the city couldn’t afford to put it up this year. The girls were very disappointed. They said it wouldn’t even be worth the effort to go over there. We did go anyway…and they did have fun. I did bribe them with hot chocolate from the convenience store though.

letters to santa

great faith quote

I read this quote in Whole Living Magazine.
I almost bought the magazine just because of it…


When I was a teenager I dreamed of going to Paris. (Yes, I know the picture is of Montreal…in Canada, not France.) I even had a poster of the Eiffel Tower hung on my wall next to my Duran Duran poster. Even though I failed, yes failed, French in High School I am still fascinated by things French. I figure I have a better chance of making it to Canada than I do France. Alex and I are taking about going to Paris when she turns 16…girls can dream.

december daily | day sixteen

december daily | day 16 | 25 days of advent

I have officially “shopped til I dropped”! I hadn’t started Christmas shopping until Thursday. Oh yeah, I am a tad bit stressed. I had a few medical test earlier this week that just piled on the stress. (It’s okay Mom…nothing that is unmanageable.) But still. I spent the last two days making Christmas gifts (above). On the left is pie in a jar. This is totally from Our Best Bites. I came up with a Cranberry-Cherry pie recipe for the filling though, which will be at the end of this post. The right is, again totally Our Best Bites, homemade hot fudge. It is so good! Butter, sweetened condensed milk and chocolate…Serious goodness! I am including in the gift bags these single-serving Haagen-Daas ice cream cups. And the custom made round labels on the top of the mini pies are from My Own Labels. They have really cute label designs for all your homemade gifts and they also offer tags and unique packaging.  Think wine labels, canning labels, wedding favors, party favors…so much more. The website is user-friendly to design and customize the labels to your needs.

Cran-cherry pie filling: Pay attention ’cause it’s hard (snort). 1 large can of cherry pie filling, 1 can of whole cranberries, 2 teaspoons of ginger. That’s it. Mix together and fill in mini pie jars. You can also use this recipe for a large pie too. Go to Our Best Bites to get all the details of how to make the mini pies. Your gift recipient will be soooo happy you did!

*****Need more creative ideas? Check out: Today’s Creative Blog.

i am thinking…

Things I love: My family, my friends, my dog
Things I wish I had: Inner-peace, a bigger kitchen, more time, more patience
My favorite place(s) on earth: Home, the ice rink, any bookstore
Things that gross me out: Sitting across from someone who is eating with their mouth open. It’s not see-food, people!
Things I am really good at: Design, scrapbooking. I used to really good at baking too…can you lose your baking mojo?
Books that have stayed with me but I don’t fully understand: Possessing the Secrets of Joy by Alice Walker
Things that anger me: People who think the rules don’t apply to them. Glenn has seen this first-hand the last few weeks. He is picking Alex up after school and seeing exactly what I rant about every week…parents not following the rules in the school parking lot. Yes, the rules are for you too. The rules are there to keep our kids safe.
The best food on earth: Guacamole at Hacienda Colorado. Chips and guac…that’s all I need. Okay, maybe a pomegranate margarita too.
Three things I hope for: 1) my daughters stop fighting and love each other as best friends. 2) my husband stops and listens to me…really listens. 3) that next year is a better one financially.
Things I am thinking about right now: My word for 2011. Instead of a resolution, it’s a word to focus on for the new year. I am thinking “health”. (More details about that later.)



december daily | day nine

I remember as a child always having homemade chicken noodles at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, but I didn’t realize it was a “family tradition” until Dad had mentioned it on Christmas a few years ago. I guess, as a kid, you sort of just take things for granted and don’t really think much about them. They are things that are always there.  He said it was “his family tradition”…but I think my mom’s family would have something to say about that! I remember my Aunt Marilyn making noodles from scratch. If I close my eyes I can still see the dough rolled out on her kitchen table, where she would cut them into long strips. And, traditionally, they were thick as paste and stuck with you all day long! Just how I love them, too. So, when I asked Dad for “his family recipe” I thought I would be getting the labor intensive version of noodles from scratch. Instead I got the Semi-Homemade version, which he said is a lot easier and nobody knows the difference anyway. Maybe that is his family tradition…semi-homemade. Either way, I agree, it is good!

Semi-Homemade Chicken Noodles (minus the chicken)

  • 18-24 oz. bag of frozen noodles (I like Reames Egg Noodles)
  • 2 cans of cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 2 cans of chicken broth
  • 4-5 cubes of chicken boillion
  • approx. 1/4 cup of flour (to thicken)

In a large cooking pot mix all ingredients together (except flour & noodles) and bring to a boil. Add noodles and simmer for 30 minutes to 2 hour. The longer it’s left on the stove, the thicker it will get. Just before serving, mix up a rue and add to pot. (To make a rue, take about 1/2 cup of stock from pot, whisk in 1-2 tablespoons of flour. Mix until smooth, then whisk into cooking pot.) Start with less flour and gradually add more to the thickness you like. This is a good, hearty soup.

december daily | day eight

25 days of advent - day eight

I just realized there are only 2 weeks left until Christmas! Yikes. Where have I been since Thanksgiving? Hoping if I ignore it, it would go away. Sigh. I have been making my list of items I need to make. Baking mostly. And some scrapbooking gifts. I can’t say too much because some of you, dear family, will be receiving these items and I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

I just got the training schedule for Alex’s Synchronized Skate Team today. They are gearing up for the competition season which starts in February. I have a feeling I will need to put on a helmet and bucket my seat beats ’cause it’s going to be a crash course into the figure skating world. Yikes, again.

I am just feeling lots of anxiety over Christmas. Money is tight (or non-existent, however you want to look at it) and I am so far behind. I have only bought a few small items. And I still have to ship packages. Luckily, we have a UPS pickup everyday at work so I don’t have to deal with the dreaded long lines at the post office.  But still, I hate paying for shipping.

Anyhoo, above is my sad attempt to keep up with the December Daily over at Ali Edwards. Parker (4 years old) is standing in front of our tree singing Christmas carols…and getting many of the words wrong. Adorable.

Get my freebie here.

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