Silent Saturday (A Weekend Twist On Wordless Wednesday)

Every year we visit Moncton, New Brunswick for Thanksgiving weekend.

Every year – at some point during the weekend – we make a point of going for our Thanksgiving Nature Walk.

This year was no exception and we had a great little trek. We were not in a hurry, the leaves were really beautiful in their new autumn colours, and there were all kinds of little creatures to appreciate.

We stopped to take a few pictures and I noticed there were a few Dragonflies on a nearby picnic table.

I was intrigued by them and hoped to get a decent photo after we snapped a few silly selfies of our little thankful family.

The wings of this Dragonfly remind me of a Frank Lloyd Wright design.

Can’t you just picture a window with a little rectangle of red stained glass?

Dragonfly on picnic table

Dancing With The Bloggers

dance-colour

Do you remember the scene from “In and Out” where Kevin Kline’s character, Howard Brackett, is trying to not dance?

When you watched it were you all, pfft “Challenge accepted. No problem. Look. Here I am not dancing.” or, like me, were you physically pained by the thought of not movin’ and groovin’ to Gloria Gainer belting out “I Will Survive” to the point where you had to clench your muscles in the theatre seat so as to not jump up and dance for him?

Furthermore were you practically praying that Howard would just dance already?

Be who you are man – it’s okay we all have a thing. Move! Dance! Embrace yourself in all your glory and for heaven’s sake DANCE!

*If you haven’t seen “In & Out”, I think you should.

**This short and silly post has been sitting in my drafts since April and I am setting it free!

***I hope it made you smile.

****I also hope it made you dance.

Source.

Sometimes You Should Just Do It Anyway

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I decided against posting a blog every single day for the month of June.

The timing just isn’t right.

Besides, I already did it in November and that seems a better time for such insanity. (It was no easy task, I assure you.)

There’s no reason to put that pressure on myself. Silly! I actually stopped for a second and thought about what I would do. I contemplated all the last minute stress it can cause when I already have a busy schedule. Then, like a grown up, (Who am I?!?) I told myself no.

It’s very freeing to say no – even to yourself. Try it.

I did it again last night, actually. I was peckish after dinner and  – even though dinner was delicious – I went in search of a little something sweet. You know how it is.

Anyway, I got halfway there (I’ll just wait here while you finish belting out the lyric and I told myself to do the right thing.

Me: Do the right thing.

Me: But we need something sweet.

Me: Listen, no one needs something sweet.

Me: Shadap!!!

Me: * stern look *

Me: But

Me: * raised eyebrow and head tilt of righteousness *

Me: * glance towards the cupboard of sin *

Me: You bought some yummy good-for-you Greek yogurt today. 100 calories. Good protein. Not too sweet.

Me: FINE! * mumbles “I hate it when I’m right.” under breath *

Sometimes I adult very well.

Speaking of doing things that are good for me (and you) I will be going for a short walk in a few minutes and as luck would have it one of my favourite radio stations played one of my favourite songs, “The Walker” by Fitz and The Tantrums. I think it’s a great walking song, actually. It’s an excellent tempo and it’s also (if you take it literally) about walking so it’s a fun fit for getting fit!

I had never seen the video and I have been wanting to post a song* so I went to YouTube to find it. I like it!

So, here it is!

Do you use music for motivation?

What song gets you up and running?

If you were to make a playlist for a 20 minute daily walk, what songs would absolutely make the cut?

*In fact, I was just talking about song posts yesterday with a friend. I hope she sees this! It made me think of her and her work in the online world and the lyric “can’t keep up with my rhythm, though they keep trying” brought her to mind because she is faster than the speed of light!

Source

Best Laid Plans

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Hello!

I planned the bajoopees out of last week and you know what? For the most part it really helped me. It also helped my family, though they might not realize it, because you know fairies and elves do most of the things around here. Just like at your place, right? (Ooooohhh! Maaaaagiiiiic.)

It was a crazy-busy week and some events I hadn’t even accounted for popped up then happened and I would absolutely have been flailing had I not put a basic plan in place last Sunday.

I intended to pop in and blog a few times throughout the week, but I simply couldn’t squeeze in any time for myself.

Now, don’t go getting all “but you said” on me. I eeked out some time for myself, of course, because that is essential to health, happiness and – let’s just tell it like it is – sanity. Plus, I put it right into the plan. Which is brilliant, if I do say so myself. (And I do!)

I said I would walk more and I did.

I said I would drink my required amount of water (Every. Single. Day.) and I did.

I said I would go to a new fitness class and I did AND it was awesome!

Here’s proof.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js  Here’s more.

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Dinners were planned out and written on my snazzy chalkboard menu*, but were late every single night (except for Monday and Thursday) and some were even swapped out for better (or more convenient) choices on the crazy-busiest nights. The beautiful thing about a meal plan is that what you think might work on a Tuesday might just work better on Wednesday and since you planned and shopped, etc. you can easily adjust to suit your needs in the heat of the moment. Whew!

Frankly, I’m impressed. There was nothing different about last week except for the fact that I really made an effort to plan, to tell you about my plan, and then actually followed my plan.

It works!

So much so, that I did it again.

I have a few things that will carry over week after week and a few new things that need to be done, but the basic plan is in place and I can fill in gaps as the need arises.

I even have my menu for the week. That’s a huge help, plus it saves a lot of money when you shop once with a plan in mind. I highly recommend it.

Now, this week will be different for me in a lot of ways because, as I said, last week was cah-ray-zee-busy and this week has fewer Spring Fairs and Coffee Houses for instance, but it also has a lot more car maintenance. Blech. I mean, really. It’s life, though, right? There’s always going to be something pressing to get done. All the more reason to plan**.

I will make time for the important things (and Things!) like I always do and I have a bit of a new adventure I am embarking on, plus I really want to try and blog every day in June. Is that insane? It might be a little bit insane. I am giving myself until noon tomorrow to decide. I’ll let you know***.

I hope you have all had a great week. Have you?

I also hope the week ahead is a good one for all of us.

Ready?

Let’s go!

*So cheap! We should really talk about this someday soon.

**See how that just keeps coming up?

***Or, you know, you could come back and see for yourself, I suppose.

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Set It Up Sunday

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Good morning*!

It is Sunday morning and the coffee pot just beeped and as happy as hearing it makes me, I can’t help feeling that yucky sense of dread. Sunday stresses can only be a matter of minutes away.

They don’t always come when expected, mind you. Sometimes they can be held at bay for a really long time. A whole day. A week or two. Rarely longer.

Sometimes on a long weekend they magically disappear. In summer they are practically nonexistent. I love summer.

Or contrariwise they morph into Monday Stresses and no one needs that on a Monday because let’s face it some of us already have major issues with Mondays.

Poor Monday. It gets a bad wrap. It’s just another day. Logically, we all know this, but if the traffic is bad or you forget your morning coffee or there is a pop quiz or the grocery store is out of that awesome bagged salad you so desire and desperately need, chances are it’s going to happen on a Monday.

At the very least, that is how you’ll remember it.

Tuesday is terrific. It’s got it made in the shade with it’s, ‘Yay! I’m Taco Tuesday! Everyone loves tacos. Go ahead and add some guacamole!’ swagger. Everyone loves Tuesday.

Wednesdays are weird. They are either completely wonderful or the worst. It’s all a matter of perspective, I suppose, but some Wednesdays are all Peak Performance, eat all the right things, go for a great walk at lunchtime, skip the chocolate, take the stairs, do one more lap, days. While others are more, what’s for dinner, why didn’t I thaw that, oh shoot I have an appointment, I have to sign how many forms immediately, the bus is late, I might as well just eat that now anyway because I am already doomed, days.

Thankfully, over the years, I seem to have gotten a handle on Wednesdays. I will them to be wonderful, more often than not. Typically, Brinner*** has its moment to shine during Wednedsay’s dinner hour. So easy and satisfying. Wednesdays, also tend to give me a WHAM! mindworm. If you are a WHAM! fan, I bet you know what I am talking about.

Thursdays. Well, Thursdays have always usually been good. Once upon a time it was “Must See TV” day and who could possibly deny the awesomeness of that? Habits. They really can work in your favour, you know? Plus Thursday is Friday Eve and everyone is excited to welcome Friday back into their lives at the end of a long work week, right?

Friday. You beautiful, happy-making, party all the time, sight for sore eyes, you. Are we ever glad to see you! You make the work week worth it and the school week tolerable. You make the secular among us religious – that’s power – if only for the time it takes to utter the letters T, G, I, and F.

I love Fridays. We always take the time to make Fridays fun. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but there are more Fridays than not, that are Friday Family Fun Nights at Chez Peady. We do enjoy our traditions. Sometimes it’s a movie night or a make-your-own-pizza night or a family game night. Sometimes we just relax and do our own thing, but Friday night is sacred. We try very hard to respect it and not make plans away from our Peady peeps!

Saturdays are best, though. Hands down. Zumba, time to get stuff done around our space, relax. Even laundry feels like less of a burden on Saturdays. Now that’s saying something, because we all know how I feel about laundry. Saturday is the freest day. There’s enough time left in the weekend that even if you have a lazy start to the day you can ramp it up in the afternoon and evening – especially as the warmer weather starts to grace us with it’s presence. The peepers are singing. The air is warm. You can take a late night stroll. Go have some froyo (yo!). Pick out a movie to watch even though bedtime is approaching. On Saturday all bets are off.

Oh dear.

Here comes Sunday again. It happens every week. Sigh.

So what can I do to make Sunday less of a bitter pill?

I can take a few minutes and set up my week so that Sunday is just another day, falling in line with the others, with a plan in place most stresses can be minimized. For me, for my Things, for all of us.

I have not been very good at this lately, but the time has come.

Today is Set It Up Sunday.

Today I will make a plan for my week and I will reap the benefits of that basic plan all week long – including next Sunday when I do it all over again.

I have taken a few minutes throughout the day today to set the week – and myself – up for success.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Filling in any and all grown up events for the week on the Mom CPU
  • Asking Things for any notes from school
  • Adding any and all remaining school events to the Mom CPU
  • Thinking about, researching, and then creating a menu for the week
  • Taking stock of the contents of the freezer
  • Making a grocery list
  • Planning to exercise/walk more
  • Committing to attending a fitness class on Monday with my NS BFF
  • Planning an earlier bedtime for myself
  • Recommitting to drink 4 litres of water each day
  • Finding and buying new sandals and sneakers
  • Avoiding sugar like the plague
  • Writing more
  • Learning how to set up a proper editorial calendar
  • Going outside to play. Every. Single. Day.

So that’s it. That’s my pl****. It’s not quite a full plan, but it is certainly better than nothing and way better than my flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants approach of late.

Set it up Sunday!

What do you think?

Are you a “Fail to plan, plan to fail” kind of person?

What happens when you make a plan?

Do you follow through?

100%? Kinda sorta?

Tell me about your approach or what you find works best for you and yours.

Have a fabulous week!

*Or afternoon or evening or night depending on where you happen to be.**

**Now that I brought it up, where are you? No really. I’m asking. Feel free to let me know in a comment.

***Breakfast for dinner! Brinner FTW! Try it! Here, here, or here!


 

Monday Motivation Needs More Motivation 

Good morning!

Today I need a bit of an extra boost.

These days are a challenge for everyone, so I’m sharing!

Mini Eggs have 210 calories and 28g of  carbohydrates (not to mention 10g of fat, 6g of which are saturated!) for 42 grams, or about 17 eggs .


Hmm? Whassat? Oh, no. No reason. Just a random fact*.

WHAT?

I like to educate.

I do.

kicks invisible pebbles

sighs loudly in exasperation

Okay! Okay!

Maaaayyyybe I found the hidden Mini Eggs. Maybe.

Who’s to say? It’s a mystery, really.

Anyway, before I do any more damage to my plans, and to circumvent any damage you might be about to do to yours, I thought I’d come and share these facts with you.

The truth hurts.

The truth shall set me free.

Contradiction. It’s a fact of life.

A life I’d like to keep living for a really long time.

Now excuse me while I take those seventeen Mini Eggs and disperse them between the Things’ Easter baskets. They won’t divide evenly and though that could drive me mad, I will not eat another stOOpid egg! One Thing will just have to get an extra egg. It all evens out in the wash, as they say.

Oh, and I have also sealed the bag and tossed it way up into the cupboard of sin that I can’t reach.

Done!

So, how is your Monday going?

Any hurdles to share?

What is motivating you today?

Whatever it is, I hope you have it in abundance.

*Here’s another fact: I ate another Mini Egg when I went to get the bag to check my facts. Somebody stop me!

Oh, I’m Stressed!

stressed

This has been a ridiculous 24 hours or so.

I am a ball of stress.

Some of the stress is external due to circumstances beyond my control.

Some is from a pure lack of self control these past couple of months.

I think I am starting to really see my role in it.

Seeing it is never enough, though, is it?

I haven’t been posting because I always assume no one wants to hear me.

Maybe I shouldn’t care.

Can I not care, share, and still be kind?

Can I share the minutia of my life and maybe vent a little to help me on my own journey?

Is it selfish to share the burden or does misery truly love company?

(That saying, by the way, I love it. I always think of it as meaning when a miserable person has company they can be less miserable… and the miserable people can lighten the load of misery and everyone will be better off in the end together, making each other less miserable (Less Miserable is the less popular musical. Oh sure! Yup. It was off off off off off off off off Broadway. It never really found an audience, but I digress …), but I know it really means all the miserable people can be miserable together forever in their misery. How depressing! My way is much better! Plus, if you play your cards right there’s a shot at off off off off off off off off Broadway. So …)

Anyway, I guess I am having a bit of an epiphany (three months late, but whatever).

Maybe this space is really, actually, mine, and I should use it as I see fit regardless of what anyone thinks?

Hobby or not. It’s mine.

I should use it.

Maybe I will.

Maybe I’ll start tomorrow.

It’s only a day away.*

*Thing 2 had a Birthday last week. All she wanted was “Annie”. We watched it last night and I loved it.

**Source

Define Decadent

Here is a picture of yesterday’s lunch.

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1/4 cup frozen blueberries

3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon shelled hemp seeds

1/2 tablespoon maple syrup

All in one happy making, old fashioned, ice cream shoppe, parfait dish.

I’m here to tell you it was decadent.

That is all.

What’s decadent to you?

What’s your favourite lunch?

 

Something Good

This* is the best thing I have done for myself in more than a week.

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Winter is hard.

I am trying to kick myself in the bum, but my feet don’t go that way, so I might need an intervention by way of a virtual butt kicking.

How are you faring off?

Are you remembering to take care of yourself?

What do you do to keep motivated when the weather outside is screaming at you to take a nap?

You know? Like this.

*This is a smoothie made with water, 1/4 c frozen blueberries, 1 scoop protein powder. I used my Hamilton Beach single serve blender to, well, blend it.

Meatless Monday (More or Less)

Gluten Free Spaghetti in Tomato Sauce with Chickpeas and Parmesan

In 12 minutes Meatless Monday will turn into Taco Tuesday and before that happens I need to share an official Meatless Monday meal with you.

In the interest of joining in on a movement that takes some very nice steps towards sustainability for our planet, I have decided that we at Chez Peady will be taking part in Meatless Monday on a regular basis.

I have been thinking about it for a while and with a storm brewing in the Atlantic Ocean and creeping up the coastline, today seemed like the perfect day to start. I had absolutely no desire to fight the crowds of storm chips shoppers at the grocery store and since Thing 2 was home from school today (still fighting the most recent bug – such a hanger on, this one!) it made sense to just stay put and shop my own pantry.

Still, when I did that I was not quite feeling inspired, so in typical Peady fashion I took to twitter to ask my tweeps (the coolest tweeps, fyi) for Meatless Monday ideas.

As usual, the Twitterverse did not disappoint.

I went off to hang out with Thing 2 and when I returned there were no fewer than  7 suggestions for delicious, nutritious, make-it-right-now, ideas for Meatless Monday.

How cool is that?

I knew for tonight, I wanted an extremely easy dish, but one that was also big on flavours and appealing to Thing 1 and Thing 2. Pasta seemed a logical choice. I went to the kitchen to gather the goods, so that when suppertime rolled around I could simply work my Peady Powers and whip up supper in no time flat.

Decision. Action.

What did I come up with? Well, I made Gluten Free Spaghetti in Tomato Sauce with Chickpeas and Parmesan. I also made some oh-my-goodness-it-smells-so-good Cheesy Garlic Bread to go along with it.

If there’s one thing I know about my family, it’s that garlic and cheese bring these people joy. Throw that cheesy, garlicky goodness onto a carb and well, stick a fork in them, they’re done!

It was a hit!

Go, me!

It could not have been easier.

Here’s what I did. (I promise, soon there will be a pretty recipe plug-in here to make things more organized. Thank you for your patience.)

Boil water for Pasta (add a bit of salt)

While the pasta water is coming to a boil, make a simple tomato sauce by sautéing some diced onion and some garlic in olive oil, add sweet bell peppers (diced, whatever colour or combo of colours you like), add a can of diced tomatoes, S & P to taste, and let the sauce reduce while you cook your pasta. (or open a jar of your favourite sauce!) (remember KISS!)

Cook pasta.

Open a can of Chickpeas. Call them Garbanzo Beans. Laugh. FOCUS!

Strain the Chickpeas and rinse under cool running water*.

Drain cooked pasta.

Add sauce to the empty stock pot (this is where I cooked the pasta).

Add the Chickpeas.

Add the pasta.

Toss to coat everything well.

Add a bit of Parmesan cheese and stir it in. (fresh shredded oh-my-goodness-why-is-it-so-expensive, isn’t necessary in this particular case)

Add a pinch of dried oregano (or a nice handful of fresh if you have it -yum!)

Serve immediately or cover it and make some yummy garlic cheesy bread.

Like this.

Turn oven to 375 degrees.

Slice carb of choice (bread, rolls, what have you) and place on a baking sheet.

Spread a bit of butter on the bread and sprinkle liberally with garlic powder.

Cover the garlicky, buttery, carb with shredded cheddar cheese**. (A combination of marble cheddar and mozzarella is also popular here.)

Bake until the carb is toasty and cheese has melted.

Serve immediately***.

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It was really good and totally meatless! I do believe that is what the people like to call a win-win.

I would make this again. In fact, I will.

Next Meatless Monday, I will make a new recipe thanks to all the helpful tweeps who were so sweet and generous with ideas this morning.

I will post our Meatless Monday experiences for the next little while as we try something new and see if we can’t make Meatless Monday a regular thing at Chez Peady.

 

 

*Rinsing canned beans in this way can reduce the sodium content by about 40%. Always rince canned beans. You could also cook your own from dried. Another post for another day.

**SHREDDAR

***If not sooner. Otherwise you run the risk of eating all the garlicky, cheesy, gluten-y goodness!