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Juice with me…

Organizing tip number 1… Do not pick up your crochet hook and begin another granny square… Bad, bad idea as you really don’t get a lot of organizing actually done, but your granny square pile grows nearer to becoming an actual blanket!
Organizing tip number 2… Stick to your list… Your plan of action is your key to all things organized!
And finally, organizing tip number 3…actually start your week with a positive attitude and the thought in your mind that your Mum will be arriving one week from tomorrow… Ahhhhhhh!

Guess what I am going to be doing this week?

Several weeks ago I bought a set of new plates and bowls, it’s time to get rid of all those chipped, mismatching plates that I have hanging around, so with that thought in mind, I decided it was time to do exactly the same with all our odd, well dishwashed glasses, so I bought a sparkling set of 10 tall and 10 short matching glasses from Costco last week! Finally my cupboards will have sets of nice new china and glassware sitting on the shelves!

Spring arrived here over this past weekend, things are changing today again, but I think it’s definitely time to give my closet a spring makeover… Time to put away all my grey winter clothes and bring forward the bright colors of summer!

As far as food goes, we have already been in the salad mode for a while, my fridge remains ultra organized, clean and healthy, my pantry is exactly the same… So no organizing required there! But my actual kitchen is in need of a spring clean and re-organizing, so I’m onto that this week, I am definitely the type of person that does not cope well in a messy kitchen, I also have a brand new juicer to fit into a cupboard somewhere so that I can free up my kitchen side where it is currently residing!

Super Healthy Smoothie Recipe
Serves 2

Freshly juiced fruit and veggies (I used a handful of spinach, 3 strawberries, a few slices of pineapple, 3 satsumas, an apple and 1 orange)
2 Activia yogurt
2 teaspoons of chia seeds

Freshly juice your fruit and veggies, then add two yogurts, flavor of your choice to the blender, add your freshly pressed juice and blend together… Serve in a tall glass then stir in your chia seeds! (Super tip of the week, chia seeds are the best value in Costco $14.99 for a huge bag… So for someone like me who uses them all the time, it’s a bargain!)

I have bought some preserving jars to store my juice in, and also to make up smoothies for Paul to take to work with him… A quick shake and his smoothie will be ready to drink!

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My daughter…

I have realized recently that mother and daughter relationships are beyond complicated at times, what seems to be straight forward is not always exactly the way it appears to be… Mabel is definitely blossoming into a beautiful and vivacious girl, she is developing her relationships with friends and seems to navigate the minefield of today’s social networking easily… She is just like her mother with her strong mind towards what she likes and doesn’t like, yet, at times she lacks confidence in her own strengths! I love spending time with this gorgeous talkative girl, and boy can she talk, I feel in the last couple of years that our closeness has changed, although she would say I have no style and not listen to me in the past, now she seeks my opinions constantly and although she wouldn’t admit it she actually does listen to me, silently I smile inward at the thought that through my patience we have developed a strong bond, she may not realize this but we understand each other on so many levels that all I can do sometimes is laugh and hope that this will continue…

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Warm flat bread sandwiches

My new favorite healthy things this week are chia seeds, ultra healthy, gluten free, lots of fibre and so easy to add into everyday cooking and eating… Love them, $4.99 for a 150g bag from my favorite store Trader Joes! Probiotic yogurts… Loving them, and so are all of my children, $2.99 for 4 yogurts in stop and shop, but the real bargain is to be found in Costco, $8.99 for 24 yogurts, that’s double the amount of yogurts you would get in stop and shop for your money… It’s so great that I bought so many as I have discovered everyone eating my yogurts! I have also found that they are very tasty in smoothies too!

My last rave about all things healthy this week is almond milk, I bought it weeks ago and it has sat in my fridge waiting to be opened, now I’ve used it I love it, it’s so healthy, delicious and of course gluten free, for all those people trying to lessen the gluten we have in our lives, it’s definitely worth a try!

Now I have discussed before my interest in juicing, well I decided to go ahead with my new plan, so armed with my research I headed to Costco on Saturday and bought a Ninja blender, it said it was a complete juicer, so I thought I would give it a try, I stocked up on lots of fruit and veggies, not a lot of organics though, Costco really need to start stocking more organic produce, and came home ready to start juicing my way to a healthier lifestyle! Some might say a blender is a good way to juice but I was not so impressed, yes, you do drink all of the produce compared to juicing but the juice has the texture of apple sauce, which I did not like and I was also bloated from drinking/eating so many fruit and vegetables… Thankfully Costco has an excellent policy for returns, but for anyone that cannot afford a Vitamix blender, the Ninja is an excellent choice, it was a very powerful easy to clean alternative that has me wondering whether I should keep it… Anyway back to juicing, I love Costco’s return policy so I was disappointed they did not have any actual juicers in stock, so I headed straight to their website and yay, they had a choice of juicers, I read all the reviews and chose the one that got the best ones… So my produce is patiently waiting to be juiced in my refrigerator, hopefully I will be juicing away by the end of this week!

Recipe of the week

1 packet of tandoori naan bread (I used one from Costco)
1 jar of pesto
Thin slices of salami
Any salad items you would like (I used red onion finely sliced and diced, thin slices of tomato, pea shoots, pickled jalapeƱos and mixed olives… But your choice is endless)
On my flatbread I put crumbled feta cheese, but everyone else had pepper jack shredded

Place naan bread on your board, spread approximately 1 tablespoon of pesto onto the bread evenly. Then top with sliced salami and salad items, for mine I went for the Greek style, red onion, olives, tomato pea shoots and feta cheese, but you can just have anything you want! Heat in a 400f oven for 6 minutes… Top with spring mix leaves and serve!

I forgot to mention I added chia seeds for added nutrition, lightly sprinkled with the cheese… Yummy and so healthy!

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Changes…

Wow… It’s only taken me 45 years to realize how important our diet really is to our well being, after being an anorexic teenager and suffering from IBS on and off for many years, I am finally understanding binge eating chocolate and chips, then starving yourself is so bad for you… Duh! With recent events in our household the stress levels meant I did not eat for over a week, this has triggered the horrible symptoms of IBS to rear its ugly head again… So it’s time to squash this thing once and for all… I am very good at preaching a healthy diet to others, but to actually practice it for myself is another thing… Every morning I make an ultra healthy salad for Paul’s lunch, but then when it comes to lunch time I binge snack on all the bad things I can find because I cannot be bothered to throw a simple healthy lunch together for myself… Well it’s time to change the bad habits of a lifetime!

One of my thoughts in rehabilitating myself is to buy a juicer, it’s a thought at the moment, but maybe I will find it easier to drink lots of fruit instead of just looking at it in the bottom of my fridge … Thoughts from everyone would be appreciated here… Good, bad or just a complete waste of money? When I’m hungry and in need of a snack, I automatically reach for something unhealthy, whatever is easiest really, I don’t think oh that apple looks yummy, I will eat that!

One of the things recommended to Jordan recently by his Gastro doctor for good digestive health was Activia, probiotic yogurts, I often look at them in stop and shop, but this week I actually bought them, I am trying to have one for breakfast every day, this is my second day and I do have to say yesterday I did feel less bloated, but that may have just been my imagination because I want them to help… I will continue to have them for breakfast and see if it does help and make me feel better!

My grocery shopping has changed over recent years, we went to Trader Joes last weekend and I noted that almost half of my bill was actually organic fruit and vegetables, also my dry goods were mainly brown organic rice products or fully gluten free, our snacks were more healthy granola bars… In years past the refined processed products would have filled my cart… Much to my older children’s frustration our pantry and refrigerator is now 80% healthy organic produce and grains… Now I need to really start eating this stuff myself, not just giving it to my family, then binge eating all day on the cheese that sits in the fridge door!

I am also trying hard to reduce my stress levels… Difficult in our house, believe me… My Mum’s brother has always said ‘don’t worry about things that may never happen’, well this is my new motto in life, I have spent my whole life worrying about anything and everything, so now I am trying to live one day at a time, deal with that day and then move on… Easier said than done, but I am trying!

Have a great day… Look for the positives and not the negatives around you… And just be happy!

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When life gets tough get your crochet hook out…

Well life has certainly been crazy for the last few weeks, crazy in a weird, not so good way really, but we are working our way though the craziness… I think when life throws you a curve ball it makes you realize we cannot take this life for granted, it makes us stop and take stock of the things that are important to us and then move forward… Well that’s what has happened to me!

Back to life as we know it… Well life as I know it anyway… the sun has been shining and spring has finally arrived here in our little corner of New Jersey, yesterday saw the temperature rising to 79f, I don’t care what anyone says, the feeling of spring and the thoughts of long summer days makes everything feel so much better, no matter what is going on in your life!

Healthy eating is back on the agenda in our house, after a few weeks of eating, well all I will say on this subject is JUNK food, and sitting around like fat cat couch potatoes… It’s time to break out the salad leaves and chop some tomatoes… My grocery shopping this week was so healthy, fruit, grains, vegetables and beans, it has freaked out my older children and now stop and shop is their hang out place for their addiction to all things unhealthy!

Weekly Menu plan

1). Broccoli rice bowl

2). Chicken … white bean ragout on toast

3). Chicken …Pasta salad with grilled vegetables and mozzarella – whole foods app

4). Grilled steak with Thai summer salad – whole foods app

5). Sausage. .. Red potato and asparagus salad – whole foods app

6). Kale, carrot and avacado salad – whole foods app

7). Lentil and cous cous salad with arugula – whole foods app

I have also picked up my crochet hook again, I love to crochet, it is very therapeutic… I love to knit also but there is just something about that hook compared to a pair of needles, it really helps to organize my thoughts and just chill out… I am making a blanket from last months Mollie Makes Magazine… Oh how I love that magazine… The blanket is super easy and my little granny squares are fun in different colors!

I am also in super organizing mode, my whole house has been a disaster zone, with all the craziness I have been very uninspired really, but the sun has inspired me to go crazy and get my house sorted out… For anyone that knows me really well, I am a huge shabby chic fan, I love distressed mismatched style and after living in this house for 4 years I really want to make it my own, pale colors, shabby chic, shaker style, stripes, checks (plaids) and faded florals, are all in the future of this old, newish house! Flea Markets are on the horizon for weekend outings this summer, also pots of beautiful geraniums out on my deck… Time for this one time decorating freak to get her long lost mojo back!

With thoughts of spring gardening, and pots of pale paint ready to adorn my walls… I will wish you all warm sunny thoughts and get on with my day!

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