A long time ago, I travelled. I've seen a large portion of the world. Since marriage and family, that travel has somewhat diminished. But does that make me a former traveller, or is it more true to say "once a traveller, always a traveler"? Does travel ignite a spark of wanderlust in everyone, or are some personalities more likely to engage in travel than others?
I don't know the answer to those questions, but I'm going to call myself a traveller. I still travel in my mind, and in my dreams. I plan vacations and trips online, and talk about the places yet to see with my family and friends. I remember places I've been, and know where I would return to in a heartbeat, and where I wouldn't bother.
This morning I stumbled across a photo of a Turkish breakfast. I was instantly and vividly reminded of a breakfast enjoyed at an Israeli kibbutz, which in fact had been my favourite breakfast for a long time after, until life got busy with small babies to care for- but now that I've remembered, it's going to be a favourite again. Eggs, tomatoes, cucumber, yogurt, whole wheat roll, and a spread. Back then, we had juice- but I'm going to have coffee with mine. OK, and maybe a glass of cranberry juice too.
Here is my recreated memory of an Israel breakfast. Granted, that's not a roll, and I don't remember what state the eggs were in when I was there. The tomatoes and cucumbers could have been diced up together in a bowl. But the basic ingredients are here, and it was the most enjoyable breakfast that entire summer. The next place we stayed at served corn flakes in slightly warm milk. Ewww.
When you've travelled- no matter where you've gone- have you come home with an appreciation for other foods from different places? Or have you been reminded of familiar, favourite foods that you used to eat but for one reason or another, forgot about?
Over the past couple of weeks I've been promoting a Tuesday recipe series. I post a picture of a new recipe on Tuesday night, then on Wednesday mornings offer a giveaway post- I pose a question and request a like, comment, and share on that post to receive a beautiful, printable document with the recipe directly to your inbox.
The last couple of weeks it's been soup. However, we're heading into summer- and the recipes will adjust according to what we're cooking to accommodate the weather. Look for sandwiches and salads in the near future!
If you haven't done so already, "like" my Facebook page to receive updates and notifications! And it's not too late to get the recipe for this turkey meatball soup, or the vegetable soup, either. Just look for the "Giveaway" posts, and like/comment/share.
All the best to you this weekend!
Everyone knows we don't eat enough fruit and vegetables, but we don't always take steps to improve our consumption. Eating a rainbow of colours ensures that we hit many different nutritional markers, but sometimes we tend to eat our favourites and ignore the rest. Following are a few suggestions on how to improve your diet, one meal or grocery trip at a time.
Try to be mindful of hunger when you plan a day of errands. If you plan ahead a little, you might be able to skip out on the fast food stops. If you must stop, though, ask for vegetable or fruit sides. For example, at a place like Montana's, eat a salad instead of fries. If you're at a fast food place like Wendy's or McDonalds, ask for apple slices or carrot sticks (depending on where you live!) or a side salad instead of fries.
Above all, be patient with yourself and your family. Expecting immediate acquiescence to drastic change isn't realistic. Small changes are easier to accept and lead to better long-term follow through.
For example, start with adding extra vegetables and fruit to daily snacks.
I would love to hear some of your ideas! Feel free to share your comments with me here, or hop on over to my Facebook page! I've got a weekly giveaway every Wednesday, and I'd love you to join the discussion! Today's giveaway is a delicious recipe for a vegetable soup. We were going to eat turkey sandwiches with this soup, but found the soup so filling we didn't need anything else. It was a great one-pot meal!
Enjoy your day, friends!
To follow an extremely busy decluttering, cleaning, and organizing week over spring break, this has been another extremely busy week getting our house ready for company this weekend.
Our winter was hard in every way except for the weather this year. We had illness after illness sweep through the house- from ear infection, scarlet fever/strep throat (twice), and the common cold (repeatedly), and with my dad's passing, the house got left alone for months. We had clean clothes to wear and food to eat, but everything else just got left. We even just took down our Christmas tree around the first day of spring (<Gasp> I know).
This list was my absolutely MUST do list from yesterday. It might be the first time ever that everything on any list of mine is crossed off. Granted, my larger, more expansive list for the week still has uncrossed items, but I'm still counting this as a win going into the last day before the weekend.
How about you? How do your lists usually look at the end of the day? What other life organizing things do you do to get things done? I love being organized in theory, but in practice I don't usually keep it together for long. One big unexpected event and it all goes away. Oh well...at least I always know what's for dinner!
I would love to hear how you tackle your housework and cleaning schedule. For myself, I always feel better in every possible way when my house is clear, organized, and uncluttered. Please give me your ideas!
All the best to you this weekend, friends.
For as often as I complain that my husband's middle name is procrastination, if I'm honest with myself it's one of my middle names too. Really, to procrastinate is to be human. Everyone puts something off at one time or another. My list of projects runs the whole gamut, from weaning my boys to sleep training and potty training. Or cleaning bedrooms, baking muffins, raking the lawn, and putting folded laundry away.
Last week was spring break for our family. While lots of people vacation in sunny destinations like Mexico or California, I prefer to limit their spring break expectations and stay close to home to tackle something that needs to be done. This year, it was the bedroom the boys share. Being the frugal person that I am, I have saved almost every toy, article of clothing, and book that my first son ever used.
My boys have 6 years between them, so that is a significant amount of stuff that has piled up. Of course, I got rid of the obvious baby toys, like the ball popper, walker, and other big items. The clothes are sorted routinely too, as my second son outgrows his current clothes. But their bedroom was a minefield of toys, and it was such a big job I really just postponed doing it for many years. I'd do the odd purge or toss, but never, ever completely finished the job. The final straw was my second son's complaint that he was bored and had nothing to do.
Between my first son and myself, we moved out all the furniture we could- dressers and bookshelf- and pushed the bunk bed as far away as possible. Then both my boys got to experience the joy of decluttering. Everything went out of the bedroom, and everything got sorted into keep, toss, or give away. By the end of the first morning, the furniture got moved back into the bedroom, albeit into new places. The bed was ready for sleeping in the same night. But it took the entire week of spring break to go through everything in their room, and I am reasonably certain that what is left will still be used by my second son. He did hear me say a few times that this will be done again in a year- and if he doesn't play with something in that time, another child gets to enjoy it instead of him- so there won't be any surprises next spring break.
Most of this tower of stuff is from their room, although I've been decluttering our bedroom and kitchen as well. And my good friend Pam is coming by this morning to pick it all up and take it in to goodwill for me.
This is where I want to talk about perseverance, and when it comes into play. It was such a big job. I wanted to give up more than once. But if procrastination is one of my middle names, so is perseverance. I suspect all of us have this character trait inside of us, but it's harder to reach for than procrastination, and takes more effort to develop.
All of us have our own hills to climb, and our own challenges to face. Many of us procrastinate making positive changes in our lives, because change is hard. But with practice, and conscious choice, we all have the capacity inside of us.
Can you think of any changes you're not making that would impact your health in a beneficial way? A small change I made last year was to eat unflavoured, unsweetened yogurt- as a way to start ingesting less added sugar. It was hard at first, but is second nature to me now. Getting outside into the sunshine and fresh air every day is my new challenge for myself, this year.
It doesn't have to be a massive and monumental change- any change for the good will be a positive one. Only you can tell yourself what changes you're willing to make. Don't be swayed by "get rich quick" or "drop 60 lbs in a month" schemes. Realistic changes are easier to realize.
Like the little engine that could, keep chugging away, keep working at reaching the top of that hill you're climbing, and keep pushing forward. Like procrastination, perseverance gets easier to access the more you choose it. "There are many things that we could do, if only we would try, if only we would say 'I think I can'".