In between overdoing it

Archive for June, 2015

Summery Grilled Peaches

peaches

For the past several weeks I have been craving grilled peaches. I finally bought a bag full at the perfect ripeness and decided to give into to my craving this past weekend.4th 002

It was, as usual for me, a low maintenance, few ingredient recipe. If you have a grill, prep it as you would normally would. I don’t have a grill and used my indoor grill pan sprayed with cooking spray. Halving and pitting the peaches was the hardest part of this recipe, which is to say if they are ripe it’s not hard at all. Putting the half’s skin side up, let them go, getting nice and grilled at high heat. I cooked them about 5-7 minutes.4th 004

Once I removed them from the pan, I sprinkled them with cinnamon and sugar. Drizzled with 1 tsp of honey and they are done. The longer they sit the better since they macerate in their juices. You can top them with ice cream or whipped topping for a great addition to this yummy summer treat.

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Getting Crafty for the Fourth of July

Craft me and my kid made last Independence day

Craft me and my kid made last Independence day

This weekend is the Fourth of July. A day where we celebrate the independence of America. This makes me think back to last year. I had terrible experience trying to leave a park after an overcrowded municipal fireworks display.  We had to wait two hours just to get on a bus to get to our car. I had 4 fold-up chairs strapped to my back, two kids and my mom (with her own back issues) in tow and then it was so late the parking lot lights shut off and I couldn’t find our car. Luckily, some super nice people saved the day and drove me around to find my vehicle. (I still thank god for them.) Needless to say it was not a great experience.

This year I’m not going to sit in the heat of an overcrowded park, then shuffle through the throngs of traffic to spend more time trying to get out of the parking lot just to see fireworks. No way! I’m staying home. I will respect the freedom of choice I have been given and spend a wonderful evening full of crafts, party food and great neighbors. And be grateful for all the blessing I have been given.

Here is my 4th of July Pinterest board full of crafts and recipes I have been collecting for this occasion. Maybe you will find you inspiration to forgo the crowds and fireworks and enjoy your celebration of our freedom from the comfort of your home. Have a safe and happy holiday.

Why you should eat a Criticism Sandwich

Image from Rightattitudes.com

Image from Rightattitudes.com

This is not a technique they teach at Subway. It requires no meats, cheeses or special sauce, only consideration for someones feelings. Look, no one likes bad news, no one likes to hear what they have done wrong. So the manner in which the critique is given means a lot towards getting the desired results. (I have the remember I said this next time my husband forgets to clean up after himself.)

The Sandwich Technique is a way to approach having to give someone negative feedback. The criticism is like the meat and cheese of the sandwich, which is then sandwiched between two positive comments. (Sesame seeds are optional) Feedback in this manner softens the negative, sometimes harsh criticism, making it more palatable between two pillows of doughy praise.

Critics of this technique say it is not stern enough the get the desired effect and change behavior. But really, who eats just meat on a sandwich? It is usually to salty, tough and unappetizing by itself. It generally doesn’t go down well. Such is the same with negative criticism.

To me this technique is a gem for dealing with difficult people in an honest respectful way. However, in my experience it is used infrequently in the workplace. Employees and middle managers are met with a barrage of things they have done wrong. This creates a hopeless, demoralizing environment and a less motivated productive person. Self criticism or by ones family and friends can work similarly.report

This Sandwich Method comes home when used with family and friends to deliver bad new or when putting up necessary boundaries. It still respects their feelings and presents the information in the most positive way possible. Mostly, I have been on the receiving end of this technique. As someone who wears their heart on their sleeve it really helped me to put the criticize in perspective, take it in stride and not over-analyse.

Maybe some would say this is a Pollyanna approach to giving feedback. Personally, I have more respect, appreciation and value in feedback given to me in this manner. It helps me to curb my own self doubt and causes a much more thoughtful reaction. Which might in turn illicit an effectual behavior change. It helps to focus on the actual issue and not take it personal or blow it out of proportion.

Hey, no one is perfect. We are all a work in progress. Even if it is not what we want to hear, honest thoughtful criticism given in this way is essential to become out best self.

Balancing my Diet: 21 Day Fix

2weghtsSince putting my bucket list out there for all to see I am increasingly motivated to start putting a check mark next to the items on my list. The first topic I have begun to tackle was something I have been avoiding for quite sometime. It is losing the ahem…uhh “Baby Weight.” Ok…Ok I know I can no longer say baby weight when the baby is turning five. Also, I’m looking down the barrel of forty and figured I can no longer make excuses.

the focus of this blog is to explore and teach myself moderation and balance. I have totally failed in this respect when I comes to my eating habits. I have tried every diet in the book with moderate success, but after my second child, the stress of an overly busy life that lacked balance left me turning to food for comfort. Some overeat to fill a void, Some overeat to combat being bored. I ever eat to calm my frantic nerves and reward myself for making it thru a hectic day. There is no balance in this. I only feel a lose of control. Sometimes I feel like I can’t stop myself from eating like this. I will start a diet and follow it but after it’s done I have changed nothing and in a few months end up back where I started.

Well, not this time. To help me gain back control and learn moderation I have purchased the 21 day fix.Many people I know have had great success with this program in that it teaches the control and self discipline that I am lacking. I have used BeachBody workouts before successfully and am familiar with there products. Don’t get me wrong. This program was not cheap.For me this was definitely a splurge. But I’m hoping the cost will be motivation I need to stay consistent and change my habits.fork

Like other blogs I will use this posting space to keep myself accountable in a hope you will hold my feet to the fire. I want to be healthy and free of this burdensome emotional eating. I don’t want to be tired all the time. I want to look in the mirror and not feel ashamed. I want to be in control of myself again. I know I must confront what drives my emotional eating and I’m hoping my BeachBody Coach can be the game changer there. I know enough about myself to know I can workout hard but if I don’t change my feelings, my emotions that bring me to the kitchen I will not succeed. Well here’s to another journey for moderation. Hopefully, this is the first step to more balance emotionally and physically.

***Since the writing of this post I have become a BeachBody Coach. No really, I was that inspired by these products. See for yourself. Here is my link

Budget Tracker Summary Review

Image from pinterest.com

Image from pinterest.com

This week I will give my overall review of Budget Tracker.com. I will be honest here. As much as I wanted to find something that would inspire me to track my spending on a regular basis, this was not it.  Other then the first time I logged on and explored the program. I really did not consistently log in and track my finances like I hoped I would. This is of course partially my own inconsistency, but a lot of it had to do with the program itself. I did not find it user friendly. Although, the look of it was very nice, entering your bills was not intuitive.

Likewise, entering bills, then expenses got kind of confusing. But what really threw a wrench in the works was the limited ability to enter expenses and bills. I found I was not accounting for certain spending in order to save space. This really was such a hindrance and made the whole program pretty much useless to me.

Now you could pay for the upgrade and I’m sure that would have worked out fine. But that was not my aim here. I wanted a tracking program that was free. I did not feel that the extra line items I would receive would with an upgrade would have provided enough value to justify that purchase.

On the pro side, some of the apps and customization options we’re fun to pay around with. I really enjoyed the different options for making various lists to track upcoming purchases and set long term goals. I also liked how the information, once entered was neatly summarized for you in the form of charts and graphs. I also liked how it tabulated the deficit or surplus you might have based on reoccurring bills you had enter.

However, entering the bills was much more arduous then it should have been. Entering expenses was better one I figured out how to enter multiple entries at one time. However I still felt that this type of entry system was uncomfortable to use and the directions were not really clear.wpid-wp-1435369928417.jpeg

In summery, the budget tracker.com program had some interesting bells and whistles but the meat of the budgeting was not something that appealed to me. It was not user friendly and did not serve the quick and easy budget function I was looking for. It might be good for someone who would pay for an upgrade and who have more use for some of its more unique features, like mileage tracking or check statuses. For me it did not make budgeting easy enough to inspire a consistent effort on my part. When I was unable to properly enter all my expenses due to the entry limit, I was kind of doomed from the start.

Hope this review was helpful to you. Next week I will begin my review of the next program I want to test drive, BudgetSimple.com.

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My Muse from God

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Muse.”

They are constantly inspiring me. They help me see things from a different perspective. They help me imagine things I could not even dream of. They are gods greatest gifts to me. They are my children and they are my muse.fall 307fall 140

Disney’s Spaceship Earth in my Neighborhood

You never know what influences have shaped the physical world around you. This thought occurred to me as I listened to a podcast (Yes, I listen to a lot of podcasts.) The podcast host brought up the concept of a geodesic sphere. Having never heard of this idea before I was intrigued and sought out the “all knowing, all seeing” Goggle for an answer.

There I found some amazing pictures of homes and green houses in this half sphere shape that seemed to be made up of linking triangles. It was an architectural style I had seem before. This is the futuristic design concept that Walt Disney used in Spaceship Earth.

R. Buckminster Fuller came up with the idea of  the geodesic dome as a building design, and his house in Illinois, was one of the first dome residences to be constructed. These homes were considered eco-friendly, energy efficient and required less materials to build. So how did this concept go from Fuller to Disney? Apparently, Disney designers saw the dome at a 1967 Expo in Montreal and thought it fit in with the futuristic concept they envisioned for Epcot.

They enlisted the help of Fuller, who came up with the name Spaceship Earth. He helped designed the spherical structure of the “Golfball,” as it is popularly known.  Along with science fiction writer, Ray Bradbury to create the story concept. Spaceship Earth opened in October of 1982.

Ok… back to the part about interesting influences. Once I found the pictures of the geodesics sphere, I realized I have
had one of these home concepts down the block from me the whole time. Me and my kids called it the round house.

Part of the geodesic dome house. Could not get a great picture because of a large tree

Part of the geodesic dome house. Could not get a great picture because of a large tree

I never knew what it was really called or why it was designed like that. Little did I know I had my own little Spaceship Earth right down the street.

For more information on R Buckminster Fuller click here

For more about the history of Spaceship Earth check out this post

Also used Wikipedia as a resource for this information

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