10 Things to Smile About

me and bruce-small frame

Don’t ya just love my big smile!? (He’s kinda cute too!) 🙂

10 Things to Smile About:

  1. Working with my best friend, my husband at a place like Health Street where I get to help people every day!
  2. Working with my best friend, my BFF at a awesome, fun biz like Simple Life Celebrations
  3. Having my kids on a little vacation away from me – makes them smile too! And we love each other that much more when they come home
  4. Feeling the grass between my toes
  5. Eating a handful of raspberries
  6. Listening to good music, running or riding, in the country on a warm, sunny day
  7. Hearing any kid laughing. Doesn’t matter if I know them or not, it makes my heart sing
  8. Finding a comment or a share or a note from a SLC fan saying that we helped in even just one way. That totally makes my day!
  9. Getting goofy texts from the gaggle of girlfriends that usually escalates into a vast array of emoticons and smiley faces!
  10. Curling up with a great book, a cup of coffee and a quiet morning with my loved ones near. Really, that is the best, don’t you think? 🙂

Now it’s YOUR TURN! Today, I think this is a fun idea for all of us to try and it’ll help you practice gratitude.

Thanks Mama Kat from http://www.mamakatslosinit.com/ for this great idea!

Write down at least ONE thing to smile about 🙂 in the comments below! Come on, you want to make my day don’t you? (see #8 above!)

Comparison and Vulnerability

After my run yesterday, during my cool down walk, I decided to record my thoughts. It’s out of breath, raw and vulnerable.

The Thinker

Thank you all for being here, being part of this community. Who do you compare yourself to? Why? Do you struggle to remember how far you’ve come? I’d love to “hear” your answers in the comments below or on our FB page: www.facebook.com/simplelifecelebrations

Transcript:

“My biggest issue right now is comparing myself to others. Why can’t I be as fast as my husband or my girlfriends. Go as far as they are. I mean, it’s silly. We all have our own goals, our own demons to run from but I keep comparing myself to them and I forget how awesome things are. I mean, I never thought I’d ever be a runner in the first place for crying out loud and here I am running 12 kilometers today in the hot sun. I may be out of breath but I frickin’ did it.

It’s pretty amazing really, if you look back at those things. My husband thinks I’m the love of his life. My kids think I’m mom of the year, most days. Some days they hate me, but so does everybody’s kids. My mom is still, mom and dad are still my biggest fans. They don’t understand a lot of the things I do, but, whatever I do, they support it.

So, I need to let go of this comparison thing. You know, judging myself. It’s bad enough I judge others, but I judge myself the most harshly. I need to back off on that. You know, how can I be successful if I keep forgetting how far I’ve come. I need to be grateful for all that I’ve done, where I’ve been, who I’m friends with, who I love. That’s the most important thing.

Anyway, those are my random after-run thoughts. Bye”

Please feel free to send this along to anyone you think needs to hear it. We are not alone with our “comparing” thoughts. We all do it. It’s nice to know that we can be grateful for all that we have.

We love our fans! Join us on our Facebook page for ideas for simplifying and enjoying life.

Do It Anyway

I heard him rummaging about in the kitchen (though he was trying to be quiet). He was making a quinoa meal for our lunch today. He was going for another run this morning.

Oh, those sheets were comfy. They were still warm where he’d been. I rolled over onto my belly. My body trying to convince me to just stay there.

I padded out to the kitchen and was wrapped in his warm arms.

“Good morning. How did you sleep”

“Good” – came my answer, muffled in his chest.

I slipped back to the bedroom. Collapsed on the bed and checked my phone for a couple minutes as my body woke up.

One more hug and then I pulled on my gear and kicked my butt into my workout.

He came down before he left for his run and asked me how it was going. I gasped out, “I suck!” and he just said, “Keep going”, and I did. Those last shoulder presses – I pushed through them. Reverse crunch? …grunt…O-N-E more!

Oh, I deserved that slow, methodical stretch at the end. Mmmmmmm, feels so good to stretch warm muscles.


I’ve been thinking about how I haven’t felt very motivated these past couple months. I’ve been kind of disheartened and afraid to push myself. What if I am successful? What will that mean? Where do I see myself in the next few years. Can I do all that I want to do? Do I have it in me? Am I ready for the work that will require?

sink

It’s waaaaay easier to just stay still, isn’t it?

It’s waaaaay easier to just stay in that warm bed, isn’t it?

It’s waaaaay easier to leave the dishes in the sink and watch TV, isn’t it?

It’s waaaaay easier to just eat the same food that I know isn’t good for me, isn’t it?

It’s waaaaay easier to just do it myself, rather than let the kids do it, isn’t it?

It’s waaaaay easier to do the same things every day, with the same people, isn’t it?

It’s waaaaay easier to stay in that job where I’m miserable, isn’t it?

It may be easier, but is it better? That’s the question I’m asking of me today. How about you?

Fast Leftover Steak Fajitas

It was CRAZY hot here on Tuesday night. The usual 20+ weather became a muggy 35+! It was waaay too hot to cook, but Bruce and I figured out a great way to quickly use up some leftovers! This is another simple, budget-savvy and very fast weeknight meal. No need to turn on the oven or even the BBQ again! Just a quick warm up on the stove! Grab your team and get this done FAST!

fajita

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive or camelina oil
  • juice of one whole lime
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp chipotle powder
  • sea salt & pepper
  • leftover steak – about two – sliced in strips, about 1 1/2 inches long
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion – we used white
  • 1 sliced and diced bell pepper – we used the last bit of orange & yellow & that we had in the fridge!
  • 4 tortillas
  • grated cheese

How To:

  • Mix the oil, lime juice & spices together in a bowl.
  • Heat this mixture on medium temp in a pan
  • Add steak and peppers and stir until heated through and peppers/onion are cooked to your tastes – we did about 5-7 minutes
  • Serve warm on tortillas with salsa, cheese and/or fresh guacamole (I basically mash an avocado, add some lime juice & salsa & voila, that’s the quickest fresh and good for you!)

Serves 4

This is really easy and doesn’t use those salty, chemically-laden spice “mixes” from the store. Use whatever “Mexican” spices you have to jazz up the sauce. I would have added fresh cilantro if I had any. It’s also a great way to use that leftover steak. You do not want to waste those expensive cuts that you always BBQ too much of!

Meal Planning and using up leftovers is what we do! Get our meal plans delivered straight to your email and eliminate the “What’s for supper?” question! Click on the badasses below to find out more!

badass header2

Quick Crock Pot Pork Chops

Here’s another really quick and simple meal for those busy summer time nights. This takes only a few minutes to prepare in the morning. It’s then ready to eat when you get home!

crock pot pork chops

 

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 lean, boneless pork loin chops
  • 4-5 organic carrots (chopped bite size)
  • 2-3 parsnips (or other root veggie like potato or sweet potato, chopped bite size)
  • 1/4 chopped white onion
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, minced or whole (we like whole)
  • 1/2 cup regular BBQ sauce (we use a sugar free one)
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions:

  • Place thawed pork chops in bottom of crock pot
  • Add veggies & garlic
  • Pour BBQ sauce & water over all
  • Cook on low for 7-9 hours.

Serve with a green salad. I sometimes do individual salads so that each person gets the veggies & dressing they like. This keeps the peace on a busy night and the kids are more likely to just eat. The kids can even build these themselves while you’re dishing up the hot stuff. Have lots of varieties of veggies to choose from. Mine is simple baby mixed greens, some tomato, feta, cuke and some tamari dressing that I had on hand.

Gluten, Dairy and Sugar Free Pancakes!

pancakes

 

My first experiment with this pancake recipe was just sugar and white flour free. It has now evolved to include dairy free (yep, even the chocolate chips are dairy free!!) and gluten free. These are a hit in our house; topped with real AMAZING maple syrup straight from a farm in Quebec (we have it at Health Street!). These are so simple & easy that you CAN whip them up on a weekday morning! Really! I’m a Simple Life Celebrations Gal – it has to be simple and few dishes!

Ingredients:

  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk – the kids can’t tell, believe me. Unsweetened vanilla almond milk would be fun to try
  • 2 tbsp liquid coconut oil (we don’t use canola oil at our house anymore)
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup
  • 1 tbsp gluten free baking powder
  • sprinkle Himalayan or sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups buckwheat flour (yes, buckwheat flour is not wheat and is gluten free)
  • Enjoy Life Mini-Chips – dairy, nut & soy free
  • solid coconut oil for the pan

Instructions:

  • Beat eggs in a bowl big enough for all the pancake mix
  • Add milk & coconut oil & agave and whisk together
  • Add the baking powder & salt and whisk to blend well
  • Add the flour and whisk. You can add more almond milk at this point if the batter is too thick. It depends on the size of your eggs
  • Melt a little of the solid coconut in the pan
  • Pour by the spoonful into pan to make individual pancakes
  • Sprinkle a few chocolate chips into the wet side of the pancake
  • Use the solid coconut oil between batches to keep the pancakes from sticking. I only use about 1 tsp per batch.

I use just one bowl to mix everything in. I know that the “rule” is to mix the dry ingredients together first, THEN add them to the wet. It’s just quicker to do it this way and mixes well; so there is no need for two bowls in my opinion. I prefer coconut oil in the pan simply because it is WAAAYY better for you (yes, it’s a fat – it’s a good fat and actually helps reduce cholesterol among other health benefits). This adds to the “staying power” of the pancake as well. These are filling and actually good for you and the kids! As I mentioned, these are simple enough to make on a weekday morning – feed the kids as you pull off each batch. The Enjoy Life Mini Chips are sweetened with a little bit of brown sugar and only have 3 ingredients. It is still “sugar” – but less refined and being “Mini Chips” the kids only have a few of them to get that “chocolate chip” treat! Skip them if you want completely sugar-free.

Tired of meal planning? We’ll send you a full plan every week, including recipes & grocery lists! Click below to get yours!

Whimsy

Today, I am feeling whimsical. Remembering special moments and how much fun I’ve had in my life. Remembering to have fun every day.

I had a plan for today’s posts. I was feeling so organized. Then, I couldn’t find the stuff I needed. I was ticked off. I was disappointed. I was bummed. So I did yoga, had some tea and went to bed. Sometimes, you just gotta throw the plan out the window. Which is easy to do when it’s written on a paper napkin.

paper napkin

 

Just for today:

  • Read Calvin & Hobbes and remember your imaginary friend (I know you had one)
  • Revisit the inscriptions on your favorite books – my Nancy Drew hard covers given to me by my great grandmother at this time of year “for passing”; the year marked in the front
  • Smile and remember your favorite movie. Swiss Family Robinson. We sure loved to pretend we were them out in the treehouse
  • Drink a Margarita on a Wednesday afternoon. It’s 5:00 somewhere.
  • Sleep naked ’cause pj’s aren’t as much fun 🙂
  • Star Wars. That just never gets old. I still have my storm trooper figure I got for Christmas in 1977
  • Dance around like a wild woman while you’re doing dishes. Belt out a few lyrics. Makes dishes less boring and the kids embarrassed. Who doesn’t love embarrassing their children?
  • Get up in the morning and walk barefoot on the grass. Dig your toes in the dirt. Smile at the neighbors. Suddenly remember you slept naked…
  • Chew bubble gum. Remember that time it got stuck in your hair?
  • Sweet Tarts. Enough said.
  • Eat a DQ dipped cone – the biggest you can get and as fast as you can before it melts. Don’t share with anyone.
  • Wear a revealing outfit, kiss him like a hussy and “sassy-walk” away. See if he follows.
  • Sip coffee on the deck, even if it’s raining again. That’s why they made umbrellas.
  • Blast your favorite songs on the stereo. Leave the TV off and just rock out.

I’d love to see your whimsical list!

 

Shawna’s Simple Hamburger Helper

As you know, we love, LOVE to simplify! We are all busy, and it’s very easy to resort to eating out or eating something that doesn’t make us feel good. We’ve all done it. It’s time we get over our mistakes; understand that we’re not alone and then try again another day. I decided that I was going to make something good for us and quick and easy for a busy Thursday night last night.

Tinkyada PenneI didn’t want to resort to the highly processed “Hamburger Helper” like I used to! Instead, I came up with my own that was just as easily prepared and was gluten-free! It took less than 1/2 hour to get it on the table. We ate it so fast that I forgot to take a photo!

Here’s my simple recipe:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup Tinkyada Penne (or other gluten-free pasta)
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 green onion (optional), chopped

Brown beef. Add water, penne, salsa & corn. Simmer for 15-18 minutes (rice pasta takes a little longer than regular pasta noodles). Remove from heat and stir in mozzarella cheese until melted through. Serve immediately with green onion sprinkled on top.

We like to add more “spice” to ours, so we added Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (or you could use a spicier salsa.) You could also top with a dab of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream. Serves 4 (You could also add some black beans to make it “go further” and serve 5 or so). Make it even faster by browning the beef ahead of time (when you buy a big package of beef at the grocery store, brown it up and freeze it individually, ready to use for these kinds of recipes! That’s planning ahead! Plus, only one mess to clean up!)

Let us know how it worked for you and any variations you made. We love your feedback!

Did you know: We have created a meal plan just for YOU! It was created to help you find that balance between healthy (mostly!) and simple recipes with ingredients that you can actually find at the grocery store. It is called Bad Ass Meal Planning.

badass header2

We teach Meal Planning Classes? Yep! Get your group of gals together and let’s learn how to eat healthier AND save money!! Contact us to set up your custom class!

Simple Joy

joy

I’m talking a lot about joy these days. I’ve been working on a few ebooks & workbooks and basically everything reminds me of the same thing: Practice Joy every day. It really is that simple. When we look for joy and do things that bring us joy, everything else just falls into place.

There was a time when I yelled and screamed…a lot…and at the wrong people. I looked in the mirror and despised the woman who looked back at me. If I could even look her in the eye. There was a time when headaches radiated from my neck all the way around to my forehead. I thought this was the way it was supposed to be.

I thought, if he just loved me more or if they would just listen! If I kept a better house, if I wore nicer clothes, if I put make-up on my face…then…yes, THEN…everything would be perfect. I went to work every day, dragging myself because that is what people do. I got “busy”; I drove kids this way and that, yelling at them to hurry up to go to a practice or even a game that they didn’t even want to go to any more.

But when I dared to look her in the eye, I did not see happiness. I did not see joy. I saw a lot of worry and I even saw pain. I remembered the girl who loved to draw. Who talked to her cows or her dog. Who loved to feel the grass between her toes and touch the sticky branches of the “climbing tree”. Who read books and wrote stories and poems by flash light when she was supposed to be asleep. Where did she go?

Slowly, but, indeed…surely…she is being reborn. That young woman is excited to go to work every day and help people feel better. She goes roller-skating or tobogganing or does something crazy whenever she can. She doesn’t yell as much, she “lets it go”. She reads books, she plays on the computer. She goes for a walk, barefoot on the lawn sometimes. She digs in the dirt and plays Lego long after the kids are done.

She is finding her joy. She notices the little things like the robins singing or the first ladybug there in the grass. She’ll put down the phone and listen to what you have to say. She makes time for friends and makes love like she’s twenty-something. She laughs more and cries lots too because it is OK to feel every emotion. To feel is to be alive and I certainly am…and for that…I am joyful.

 

Minimalist Packing

minimalist packing

 

We’ve gotten pretty good at packing light. This is important now that some airlines have begun to charge for ALL bags! There was the spur of the moment trip to Great Falls Montana where the Cevrainis left their house with nothing but a change of clothes, some P.J.’s and a few snacks! It was one of the best weekend’s ever! (The whole story is back on my personal blog: http://cevraini.wordpress.com/2010/05/24/lewis-and-clark-adventure/ ) I went to Edmonton for the week for work in the spring, and only took a back pack and my laptop bag (pictured above)! I had enough clothes for the week, including some workout stuff. Krystal and I went to North Carolina for the weekend for a retreat and we had a duffel bag each! Our families went to Florida this spring for 10 days and the Worths (5 people) had 3 suitcases and the Cevrainis had 4 (one for each person). We saw families with A LOT more than that and they struggled through the airport. Never again will we be like that.

The benefit is, it usually only takes me about 15 minutes to pack and then I don’t have a ton of stuff to try to carry around! I love it! The only thing we were missing for Montana was swim suits, but we did that on purpose because we all needed new ones and they were cheaper there! LOL!

Here’s my list of things that I normally pack in my suitcase (to be checked):

  1. PJ’s
  2. Toothbrush & paste
  3. Shampoo & soap
  4. Small bottle body lotion
  5. Norwex facecloth – this is the only thing I use on my face
  6. Norwex towel – this is light weight and dries quickly
  7. Contacts, solution & glasses
  8. Minimal “first aid” – tylenol, homeopathics etc.
  9. Feminine hygiene
  10. 4 pairs undies & socks
  11. 1 sport bra
  12. Capris or my other comfy pants
  13. 2 short-sleeve tops
  14. 2 long sleeve running tops – these are nice and are cool or warm for every day, great for layers
  15. 1 yoga pant
  16. 1 yoga top
  17. Swim suit
  18. Sandals
  19. Journal & Pens
  20. Books (1 or 2)

Here’s my list of things that I normally pack in my carry on:

  1. Passport and documentation
  2. My small wallet
  3. Book and notes that I’m working on
  4. iPhone and/or GPS for travel car (and charger)
  5. Laptop
  6. Few granola bars and snacks
  7. Kleenex
  8. Gum & mints
  9. Lip balm
  10. Water

Try packing less the next time you travel. What’s the worst that can happen? You may need something, but chances are it’s pretty minor. You won’t regret it – and you’ll love the ease of moving through the airport compared to the others that need a cart!

 

Posts navigation

1 2 3 4 5 6 7