Saturday, January 31, 2015

My Month Delving into Health

Holy Cow! You know that saying what you put your attention to grows. It totally happened that way this month. The more I studied health the more information would come my way. I really learned lot about food and how there is so much more to eating than our hunger for food.  Health has so many parts that are integrated that to be truly healthy you have to consider your mind, spirit and environment not just the physical. It's so important to become aware if your hunger is for food or are you eating to compensate for your hunger in other areas of your life. I also learned about how sugar, gluten and your mind can affect your gut. How your gut and it's health affect not only your body and diseases but also your mind/brain. That your gut has just as many nerve ending as your brain. So when you say "I just feel it in my gut". There is a reason for that. LOL I know I just scratched the surface. I have a lot more to learn. Gratefully I don't feel overwhelmed and what has opened up for me is the phrase "Well isn't that interesting" 

To wrap up for the month 
 I didn't get to do the detox I read about in the book Clean this month but I have in on my schedule for late February. I read 2 books and started a third this month. This third book Revive was not on my original list. It was mentioned in the book Clean for those who thought they might be suffering form adrenal fatigue. Really loving this book, he has some awesome yoga poses that I am in love with.

I have started to reduce my sugar load and gluten. This will really help when I do the detox at the end of February. I am feeling better for it. I also have form the habit of going to sleep at a reasonable hour every night. I've been making my water intake most days. I have to share how this is happening. I started by drinking at least 16 oz before I left for work every morning. This started the ball rolling for the day and the rest of the day I just seemed to reach for water more often. Maybe this tip will help you out if you are trying to increase your water as well.

Exercise is becoming a habit and I'm looking forward to it. About mid month I had to fight the urge to exercise harder to see results faster. I had to keep reminding myself the idea was to form a habit not to work harder. This was a victory for me. I know in my heart had I given in to this urge I would have hit it hard and been super achy. My exercise habit would have been down the tubes.

I've kept up with my journaling I love this habit. I have been trying to incorporate this habit in my life for some time now. Some days my entries are long and most days short. knowing all I have to do is write a few sentences has taken the pressure off having set amount of time to write .

Some side benefits of doing all this... I'm reading.... 2 and 1/2 books in one month, my last book took me 3 months to read. I am so loving this. Another side benefit is that I'm blogging again. Creative writing is a tank filler for me. Makes me smile.

Next month is all about Connection... wonder what will open up for me on that word of the month

Hope your first month of the year was wonderful

Thanks for stopping by

XOXO

Esther

Saturday, January 24, 2015

My Art Piece

It took a while to create the art piece for this month’s word. I had a hard time thinking of an image that when I looked at it would give me the feelings of health and the journey I'm on.. My first thought was to do a collage of healthy things like fruit, veggies, water and/or people exercising. But for that I could look at my vision board. Then I watched a video from Donna Downey showing how she used stencils and modeling paste to put a word on a canvas. Loved it!



Using her idea, I wrote out the word health. Added color and then I was like okay... now what. At this point the piece looked nice but there really wasn't much of the inspiration I was hoping for.




 Then I remember that my meaning for health was Vitality and Radiance. I thought of a bird flying.  I played with many different options with the birds, I ended up with just a solo bird. I also placed a rhinestone on the piece for radiance. In the picture it looks like a black dot. LOL



I really love how the piece came out. Every time I see the piece it reminds me what I really want on my journey toward being healthy.

Love to hear what you have surrounded yourself with to keep your inspiration going as you move toward your goals for 2015.

Thanks' for stopping by

XOXO


Esther

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Health

So the word for January is Health. My focus has been to define what health means to me so that I'm not chasing an ideal of health that is something I won't be able to keep up with for the rest of my life or won't make me happy in the long run.

To start I've thought it best to read and educate myself a bit to see how I would achieve health once I defined it.



So far I've read the Sugar Impact diet by JJ Virgin. Interesting idea presented. It was nice to see most of the items she says you should give up, I don't even eat. Yeah ahead of the game!! She is promoting more veggies, organic of course and to be aware of how much sugar you have every day. It seems doable. I'm currently reading Clean by Dr. Alejandro Junger. He is scaring me with the amount of toxins I'm being bombarded with everyday. Makes me want to live in a bubble. I haven't finished the book. I'm looking forward to his detox regime. I've been wanting to detox but everything I've seen on the market just looked too harsh. He keeps saying his method is easier to incorporate in one's life. We shall see.

The other thing I've done is started exercising. I know right ...no brainer ...want health ...exercise. I can't even tell you how many times I started but never kept up with it.  I decided to come at it from an entirely different angle. Incorporated the habit first then work on cardio and muscle building. I'm doing 15 minutes every morning of stretches. So no pain just feeling yummy every morning. Once the habit it in place I will incorporate other exercises. Woohoo I've stayed with it for 2 straight weeks, Missed a couple of days here and there because of scheduling. But I went back to it and  I'm actually looking forward to the stretches as well. Who would have thought.

As I mentioned in my last post, I want to keep the action steps simple and to pick 3. For the last action step I picked drinking water. As of this post I haven't hit my goal of 8/8oz cups yet but overall I have increased my water intake.

Next post I hope to have the art piece complete to show you.

What action steps are you doing for your goals?

Thanks for stopping by

XOXO

Esther

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Picking a word for the Year.

Pick a word for the year has become a popular concept. Where you a pick word something you want to work on all year long. Say like Gratitude or Rest. Then you take the word and incorporate into your daily life, reflect on it and grow from it. I really like the idea myself. I started doing it 2 years ago myself. Last year my word was Fun. I was starting my 50 year and I wanted to celebrate all year long after all this is the BIG ONE. I figured it would be a great word to work with, do and incorporate fun into my life all year ending with my big celebration in December. I started out really well with a " Starting my 50th year birthday party", creating artwork I could look at and remind myself about my word.  But by April and May I all but forgot about my word. And the word from the year before? Well that word didn't even last to the end of January, I can't even remember what the word was.

Then I was reading a blogger Stephanie Ackerman. She was picking a word for each month and giving herself exercises to bring the word into her life for the month. Such as reflecting, doing artwork and journaling about the word. I really liked that idea. Small bite size pieces to incorporate each month.

hmmm now I have to come up with not one word but 12.... yikes... and I want them to be meaningful to me... double yikes... words to grow into... triple yikes...

Enter my vision board,

 something I created to reflect my goals for 2015. Phew!!! The light bulb went off in my head. I pick my 12 words from there. Six words popped out at me right away. Health, Connection, Reflection, Repair, Art, Spirituality. The next six took a bit. I ended up using words that complemented the words I already had. So here is my list:

January -- Health
February -- Connection
March -- Spirituality
April -- Repair
May -- Contemplation
June -- Self care
July -- Art
August -- Restore
September -- Reflection
October -- Association
November -- Style
December -- Truth

I'm keeping it simple for the exercises to incorporate these words into my life. Do an art piece that reflects the word to me, take an action step and journal about what that concept/word means to me.

Did you pick a word for the year..two.. maybe twelve?

Well I'm off to go buy a journal to use for this year just dedicated to 2015 words.

Thanks for stopping by

XOXO


Esther

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New year

Happy New Year!


I said to myself, "Phew I made it through another Holiday season." This is something I have said to myself for a number of years now but this year it made me stop as these words flew out of my mouth. Made it through... what a obstacle course.. a battle.. bad times. Yikes I don't want to make it through anything... okay maybe hard times.... but not life, not time with family. Making it through sounds like I had to walk through the mire, muck, bullets flying through the air. Okay that might be a little dramatic but you know what I mean.  I want to enjoy every day, enjoy what the season means, what it means to me. I want to be inspired, to be filled with love and wonderment.
The season for me begins with Halloween and last until 3 Kings day (January 6th). I know that is kind of long but 3 months never seems to be long enough. I barely get out any decorations, running last minute to the stores for either candy or presents. Never mind the cooking and cleaning. And the traffic ick! Now that is a battle LOL. But really I get so busy doing that I don't stop to actually enjoy what each Holiday means to me.

Let's take Halloween.. It's all about trickery, fun, pranks and getting a little scared. How I love going to haunted houses. I haven't been to one in years. Now for those who know me, know I don't like horror movies but for the month of October I make an exception. I'll admit, I rather see the scary Halloween movies like Hocus Pocus or Halloween High to the Walking dead movies. But you gotta admit they are kinda of fun to watch sometimes, but only in October. For me I just love decorating for this season. Creating the grave yard in my front yard. The haunted mansion look inside. That part is the best for me. There has been a number of props I have been wanting to make, the man caught in the spider web, a table made form leg bones and more tombstones. That is also what makes Halloween fun, the creation of these props.

Thanksgiving is all about the leaves, crispness in the morning air, hot apple cider. For years I've been wanting to  drive further north to see the wonderful changing of the leaves.  That is still on my list of to do's. One of the best things I love is driving through a leaf covered road and looking at my rear mirror and watching the leaves swirling in the air. Baking yeah that is also fun to do during the month of November. Apple pies, Pumpkin pies. My very first pumpkin pie I ever made at least that I can remember was with my father. We made the whole thing from scratch. From cooking the pumpkin to making the crust. It was the best damn pumpkin pie I ever had. And dad if you are reading this and if my memory is wrong don't correct me. I love this memory as is. A matter of fact if I'm wrong just tell me I'm right cause I really love this memory LOL.
Christmas, Christmas, Christmas. The smell of pine, fireplaces, twinkling lights, the first Christmas song and the first snow flake. hmmm this is making me feel like a repeat please. I love the first night, after decorating the tree, to sit in the dark with only the tree lights on. It is so magical. Listening to carolers singing. I had the experience of having Caroler come to the door once. It was at the house of a dog I was taking care of. The dog went nuts and then I heard the music coming from the outside. When I opened the door to see all these people burst into song made my heart skip a beat. Wish I had cookies to give them. Decorating for this holiday is also fun. I think is all that pine smell that I love best like being outdoors without freezing. The thing on my list for Christmas is cutting down my own tree. I'll have to look into this.

Looking over this, these things look doable. The one thing that comes to mind is pause. Pausing to smell, pausing to look, pausing to enjoy, pausing to breathe it all in. The other thing that comes to mind is setting aside time...hmm other way to say pausing... but this time to make as in props, baking, and to have quite time and setting time aside to reflect. To do this next year I will have to plan not planning as in doing but planning as is what will make it memorable for me. So I pulled out my agenda and on the month of September I wrote down. Holidays are coming What can I do each month to make it tremendous, fun and joyous.



So tell me did you make it through the holidays this year or were they tremendous, fun and joyous?

Lots of love and thanks for stopping by

XOXOXO


Esther

PS I always wanted to draw in my agenda. Pretty cool

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Cowboy boots

I bought these boots for a steal at DSW. If I'm remembering correctly I couldn't have paid more than $30.00 for them. I knew at the time they were not leather but I thought they were fun. I made the mistake this past Christmas of scooting over while on my knees over a rug. As you can see the tops got worn away.


I was going to get rid of them but I thought maybe I'd paint over the tips.


These are a few ideas I got off the Internet. I decided to go with a simple design on my first try at painting shoes. 


I tried using fabric paint with my first layer. The paint was too transparent, I didn't think multiple coats would help either. I moved on to acrylic paint.  I got the coverage I wanted. Now I can wear the boots again. I don't know if the paint will last. If it doesn't I can always pull out the paint brush and do go to town again. 

Thanks for stopping by
XOXO
Esther

Monday, January 20, 2014

Baked French Toast

I was looking for a recipe on line for a brunch get together I was hosting. I ran across this recipe from the Pioneer Woman. I have seen her show on the Food Network. Her recipes are not by any means low fat. She cooks for her family that work on a ranch ...yeah I don't think low fat low calorie foods would keep them going long. I had a feeling this recipe was going to be super yummy.
I read the ingredients and I could just taste the yummies.
Now you see I wrote "I read the ingredients" which is exactly what I meant I read only the ingredients went shopping got what I needed and the day of brunch I read the recipe.

To my surprise the bread was suppose to soak for several hours to overnight. My family was coming in two hours. I almost changed my mind and not make it. But I figured I would soak the bread in the egg mixture as long as possible before I popped it in the oven.

The recipe says you can either cut up the bread in cubes or tear it into pieces. I went for the tearing.
I thought it would give the final look a bit more texture. But I don't think it would make a difference either way. If you are preparing the dish the night before like I was suppose to I guess the tearing of the bread can be rather Zen like.

After the bread soaks for a while in the egg and cream mixture, you add the crumble top.

The whole this gets baked for 45 mins to an hour. The crumble top gets a little crunchy. Just spoon it out and top with powered sugar and a side of fruit.
You don't even need syrup with it. The recipe says you can add fruit just before the crumbles. I might just have to do this recipe again with peaches or apples. YUM

Here is a link to the recipe http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/cinnamon-baked-french-toast-recipe/index.html

Thanks for stopping by
XOXO
Esther