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wasting time

What is a Clean House?

I could be cleaning

My house isn’t clean by some standards. In fact, it’s pretty dirty by some standards.

  1. My windows are especially dirty because heights freak me out. But mostly because cleaning windows, especially really dirty ones, takes a really long time…longer than I feel like doing right now.
  2. My carpets are rarely vacuumed, let alone washed. Right now, I can see the faint 1 1/2 meter long line where B recently spilled his entire glass of RED wine in the living room. We ‘cleaned’ it with club soda right away, but it’s still kinda there. It blends in with all the other splots of wine and food because yep, I let everyone eat in the living room…often…so you can picture what my carpet looks like. And we have a dog…
  3. My kitchen table is constantly covered in things like Magic the Gathering cards, spilled salt, someone’s empty water bottle, nectarines in a paper bag, a cool sculpture my son made that reminds me of one of those little dippy bird thingys that people keep on their desks and coupons that I keep forgetting to take with me to the store.
  4. Books are piled in various places throughout the house, in different phases of being read. Some from the library, some purchased by B, some by me, some by her. There’s also singing bowls and tarot cards and candles and incense lying around without a ‘home’ because they are constantly moved from one place to another.

dippy bird

I know how to clean a house. In fact, I’m actually really good at it. My mother taught me well. I even recently cleaned her house – thoroughly – for her while she was away. I can do it. I used to do it all the time.

I have videos of the kids on a Saturday morning that has occasional glimpses of a woman in frumpy, over-sized clothes, without a shower, frantically cleaning everything in one day. She often ended up yelling at someone that day or she was full of resentment and the feeling of being alone in the struggle of perfection. And she never seemed to be able to get it perfect.

Worst of all, in those videos are moments she missed:

  1. The little boy playing a board game with his “evil” twin because no one had time to play. That grown man is too busy for a board game, even when she asks him to play and tries to bribe him to come over for his favorite food.
  2. The baby girl dancing in the living room to music only she can hear. She doesn’t even like her mama to see her practice at dance class, let alone find her dancing at home.
  3. The quiet little boy creating worlds only he knows the story of. She wishes she could write those stories down, but they’re gone now.
  4. The chance to curl up with him and the 3 of them in bed, reading it “just one more time” because they used to love the sound of her voice and their favorite book

Yes, there are moments that she didn’t miss, but not as many as she’d like.

She doesn’t live here anymore. She has been replaced by a “sometimes-cleaning” lady. This lady is happier. She doesn’t miss as many moments that are so quickly disappearing. There is less stuff, more time but she the sometimes-cleaning lady doesn’t use that time for cleaning very much. I use the time for non-cleaning things.

  1. I don’t need to look out the dirty windows because I’m “out there” a lot more than I used to be. My skin is no longer pale and hidden from the sun. I am in my garden, snacking on a lettuce leaf or a strawberry. Or on a walk with whoever will go with me, enjoying being outside. My feet are dirty from walking barefoot in the grass, reconnecting with Earth. tomatoes
  2. The dirty carpets show that we live here. The time spent not washing them is time reading a book or watching a movie. Popcorn and wine and spots of food ignored. It’s time spent showing our kids that you’re never too old to learn or try something new. You can see the carpet now that we have fewer things covering them up, stains and all.
  3. My kitchen table is quick to clear when I need to. For now, I will enjoy the bird and find the coupons when I need them. I’ll grab a juicy nectarine just because it’s summer. The sea salt makes my real food taste even better and the Magic the Gathering cards will be needed again when we all go play again this Friday. And I’ll need my water bottle for yoga later.
  4. The books are being read; the cards are too. The incense and candles fill our home with peace and tranquility as we are learning to be more connected with ourselves instead of all those things that we used to try to fill our home with. We are together more in these quieter moments without a vacuum cleaner filling the house with noise.

I do not have a perfectly clean house. I’ll have plenty of time for that some other time.

office hours

Right now, this moment, I will let the dust sit on the shelf and the crumbs on the floor while I write a little. I will leave the dishes in the sink while I visit a friend I have missed. I will wash the floor another day because tomorrow, I’m going for a pedicure with my mom, sister and my daughter. This is what I choose to clean up – my life; my time with the people I care about and my love of myself. This is what a “clean house” is. The temple of me.

wasting time

To you: I challenge you to allow yourself to ‘waste time’. As the Dixie Chicks say in this song, “Tomorrow, there’ll be so much to do. So tonight, I’ll drift in a dream with you”. Forever is never enough time with them. Clean the right house.

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Youre-beautiful-gems

Hey There Pretty Lady

This is dedicated to all of YOU women.

Youre-beautiful-gems

Hey there pretty lady

Hey there pretty lady with your imperfect body;
I love you not because your abs are a six pack.
No… you are wonderfully squishy with womanly curves.
Your body has been through miraculous events.
You have had babies, surgery or are going through treatment,
That makes your body a force to be reckoned with.
I love you not because your lips are full.
It is those words of encouragement
and those stories that you tell that captivate me.
I love your amazing smile that lights up your eyes
and captures a room full of people.
I love you not for your loud presence that demands
attention of everyone around.
I am mesmerized by your quiet way that makes me
want to approach you and share a cup of tea or go for a walk.
Hey gorgeous, you may be squishy around the edges but
please do not be ashamed of who you are right now
as those curious eyes are looking at you and
watching you in wonder because you are their hero.
Love. You have to know that those freckles, that scar,
That mark, those thighs that touch and those parts that
Will never be quite that perky are what make you, you.
It is not after you have completed a rigorous exercise program,
Tanned a little bit more, lost those ‘last’ five pounds, cut your hair,
or changed a single damn thing yourself that you should be happy.
It is right here. Right now. As time keeps passing and moving forward.
There will never be a perfect moment as there is today.
Love you for you with all of your imperfections.
You are imperfectly perfect as you are.
~Krystal Worth
June 24th, 2014

As I Begin to Love Myself

Judge a Little Less; Support a Little More

 

“If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”
― Paulo CoelhoThe Alchemist

 

Super Mom can Suck It. That’s right.  I said it. The idea that the modern working and or stay at home mom can do it all perfectly is a figment of our imaginations. It is fake and I am calling Bullshit.

bullshit

Why oh WHY must we try and pretend that we have got it all together. You know what I am talking about. And just for the record ladies just because someone posts a picture of a decadent, gourmet, perfectly healthy, balanced diet, raw food meal that her AMAZING husband made doesn’t mean that she wasn’t scarfing down a fast food meal yesterday because she really wanted a night off of cooking and her family has been running ALL damn week. Remember all that you generally see on social media are the highlights. Though I do find it refreshing when peeps/bloggers post real life incidents that we can all relate to and gather support from.

You see in fact it was just yesterday while I was at work I found myself saying that, “Today I am the disorganized organizer. “ I won’t give you the sob story but my day was tight. I mean really hectic and I sort of forgot that it was my co-worker’s birthday party and I was responsible for it. Fun right?! Well yes it really is because we get to celebrate each other, hang out and have a little shin dig party. But holy shit if I didn’t forget until I was driving from one of my clients and that fleeting remembrance struck me and almost made me drive off of the road. I mean I didn’t have a card or anything. Thank goodness I had the cake all pre-planned! So here I am between client visits, running for a card, flowers, the cake and beverages. Sigh. Talk about a mega fail. But guess what?! It went well despite me having a full work day – it all came together. Unbelievable. I am supposed to have my shit together right?

I am just like everybody else. I have a life that involves more than just myself and these things happen. And correct me if I am wrong but I am not the ONLY one who messes up am I? Am I the only Mom in history that forgot to put pajama day in her calendar? Even if my son says that he was the ONLY one that wasn’t in his pj’s in the class picture?

It was just last night. I was solo parenting and I was tired from the day (refer to above birthday story). I actually bribed my children to bath the dog. He (the pup) smelled like he slept in the garbage can all day and I could not muster up the energy to bath him. So I did an awful parenting thing and told the kiddos that if they bathed the dog then they could stay up an hour late. Yup. I did. No one said that I was nominated for parent of the year. I think sometimes we just have to do what we have to do. It was Darwin that advocated survival of the fittest right???

Just to top it off yesterday. My daughter gave me an invitation to a birthday party that was the next day. Right. After. School. Say what?! So there I was “that customer” in Walmart a half hour before it closes frantically looking for a present for her friend. That I know nothing about. Don’t even get me started about the other birthday that we have tomorrow, Father’s Day and the OTHER birthday that I pretty much forgot about. There goes the budget.

For the love of ____ can we just stop judging each other?

Some things that annoy the hell out of me…

How about those peeps that judge those on Facebook? I like Facebook so please don’t sit back and say that it is rendering my ability to communicate or love my family.  I am not a Pinterest gal – does that mean I am not able to make nice things and be creative?

moms

I like healthy foods and sometimes non healthy foods BUT for the love of gluten free, paleo, raw food, and quinoa sometimes I just want a damn bag of chips!

I don’t pick my children up for school in the latest fashions with perfectly manicured nails and magnificent hair, sometimes yoga pants and a ponytail are about all that I can/want to muster up. That doesn’t make me less of a person.

Ever feel like this?

Mom3

When people bad mouth their boss when it isn’t justified. I mean really if you think that you are qualified for the job then why didn’t you apply?

Don’t judge me if my house is messy and don’t judge it if it is clean. Who cares?

Don’t judge me for what I  have and don’t judge me for what I don’t have. Those are just things.

Is it so awful to be happy for each other? Is it?!?!?!

There is nothing wrong with admitting that things are not awesome.awesome

All I am saying that it doesn’t matter if we aren’t perfect (whatever the hell that means!) as long as we strive to be a better version of ourselves every day. If one day you eat poorly then the next day try and eat a nutritious diet. If one day you find yourself yelling and freaking out then the next day try and find ways to stay calm and peaceful.

Whether you are a single Mom, a Step mom, a Foster Mom, a Mom of one or six, a stay at home Mom, or a career Mom. Kudos to each and every one of you. You are freaking awesome.

So though sometimes it is difficult let’s judge a little less and support each other a little more.

mom

Hugs

Krystal

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Noah Vacume

Chores for Children of Different Ages

I always say to my children that you have chores because you are part of this family. As a family everyone should share in the workload. I truly believe that it is imperative to give children regular chores. This gives them responsibility and teaches them the life skills that they will one day need to live responsibly and run a household, wherever that may be. 

Why Do Children Need to Have Chores?

Children need to have chores delegated to them so that they can learn to contribute to your family and so that they can learn skills to take care of themselves. Contributing in this way will teach your children self-discipline, give them pride in what they have accomplished, and build their confidence and self-esteem. It is easy for us to use chores as a form of discipline however the more that we do this the more they will view chores as punishment and look upon them negatively.

Should I Wait Until My Child is Older?

Children can begin doing simple chores at an early age. Most little ones love to help out in one way or another. Don’t discourage this. It is easier to have a little one set the table than wait until your child is a teen and ask them to start doing such tasks.

What Kind of Tasks Should I Give Them?

Your child(ren) should have daily chores or tasks that are expected everyday of them. That may be things like making their bed, putting together their lunch, tidying their room.  Then there are the extra things that they may be able to help out with; larger tasks that help the family household out in one way or another.  Make sure that when you begin assigning chores that they are things that help them to become more independent. Once they are independent with their own needs then they can assist in helping others.

Noah Vacume

 

Here are some ideas for age appropriate tasks. (Keeping in mind that you know what your child is capable of best!)

PreschoolersGet dressedWash face and hands

Brush hair and teeth (may need assistance)

Make bed

Pick up toys

Put clothes in clothes hamper

Help clean up messes

Set table (may need assistance with sharp objects and heavy plates)

Help dust (with duster not spray)

Grade Two – Three (in addition)Take out garbage

Wipe surfaces

Sort recycling

Help put away groceries

Start washing dishes

Exercise pets

Brush pets

 

Kindergarten – Grade One (in addition)Hang up coats and put shoes away

Put away their things

Dust

Feed pets

Begin to make lunches with assistance

Help unload groceries out of bags

Grade Three – Five (in addition)Vacuum rugs/carpets

Help with meals (gathering ingredients, stirring, adding, planning)

Help with grocery list making

 

Grade One – Grade 2 (7ish) (in addition)Dry dishes

Help clean up after pets

Make own school lunch

Sweep

Begin to put away own laundry

Grade Five – Six (in addition)Learn how to do laundry

Wash mirrors, windows

Help clean the bathroom

Prepare simple meals and assist with more complex meals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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20140413_161245

Life is Short

Life is Short

I was so inspired by May’s notes in my Desire Map Journal from Danielle Laporte. I had to make a recording so that I can listen to it whenever I need to. Life is short. Let’s do it today!

My Reminders to Me:

  • notice how long her legs are compared to mine as my teen snuggles beside me on the couch
  • enjoy his silliness and funny sounds he makes when he’s being a goof – not many get to see that side of him
  • be grateful for his pocket dial because it’s another chance to say “I love you” today
  • put on perfume in secret spots for him to find later
  • grab a latte on the way to work just because I love them so much
  • have zucchini spaghetti again tonight because it’s sooooo good!
  • do yoga with my sweetheart, candles and incense quieting our minds from the day
  • leave my phone in the kitchen while I snuggle on my bed to read tonight
  • sleep without a worry or care, grateful for another day

 

20140413_161245

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trust

Trust

 

trust

 

I was going to write about Spring Cleaning today but the word trust kept popping into my head. I know -big difference in subject matter!! This is how I write now. I write about what moves me and the thoughts that I feel HAVE to be put down on my computer.

I used to be the BIGGEST worrier. I would fret about work; who would I be working with? Was it going to be a good day? Would I be able to handle my workload? Could I be a good nurse for my patients? Would it be so crazy on the unit that I would forget something?

I would worry about my kids. Are they doing ok at school? Did they get their assignments done? Did they hand in the paper that was due today? Are they in the right extra-curricular activity? Is he able to handle going to parties? Will they make good decisions?

I would also worry about whether I had paid all the bills before their deadlines. What I would make for supper that the family would enjoy. I would worry if I hadn’t heard from my friends for a while. I would feel so awful for what others were going through that my day would not be good.

I think you get the point. I would actually feel ill quite often with my stomach doing flip flops because I could not escape the thoughts. I took the weight of the world on my shoulders and I did not know how to cope with the thoughts that bombarded me on a day to day basis. I did not understand that all of these things were out of my control. My worrying did not make a bit of difference on the outcome of these situations and quite frankly looking back it was simply exhausting to have these negative feelings all of the time. It was like I was anticipating a negative outcome before it had even happened.

So moving on to trust. What is trust? Well the online dictionary defines trust as such:

trust

[truhst]

noun

reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.

confident expectation of something; hope.

confidence in the certainty of future payment for property or goods received; credit: to sellmerchandise on trust.

a person on whom or thing on which one relies: God is my trust.

the condition of one to whom something has been entrusted.

 

The definition that I am talking about is the first. “Reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.”

You see I have had to be able to trust more than I ever have before. In doing so I am able to live much more freely.

 

When we are babies and even small children we don’t know anything but trust. It is only after a child has been let down, lied to, or treated adversely that they begin to not trust people at times.

As adults I find that it is more difficult to put your trust in something or someone. Through experience we know that trust can easily be shattered and is very difficult to recover. We know that trust has to be earned.

 

However…

 

If we are able to  open ourselves up to trust in people and situations then we are able to live in the moment without defining what ‘could’ happen and not robbing our life at the present time of all that it is.

 

Yesterday was a prime example of ways that I trusted everything would work out. I went through my usual work day trusting that I could get away on time in order to pick up my daughter and get her to dance competition on time. I trusted that my parents would pick my kiddos up from school and my Mom would get my daughter’s hair all curled and styled for me so that we wouldn’t be late. I trusted that my husband would remember to pick up my youngest son and get everything done so that we would be ready for school the next day. Lo and behold I got a flat tire on the way to dance competition. I now had to trust that I could get the tire changed and get into the theatre on time to watch my daughter dance. Luckily my bff changed it and we got finished up just in time. After the competition I had to trust that I could get back to my town on the little spare tire on the busy highway.

It all amazingly worked out.

 

Another thing during my daughter’s dance routine there is a part where some of the girls have to lift my girl up in the air while she is in the splits. Their job is important to keep her safe from falling. She has to trust them 100% and they trust that she can hold the move. The old me would have worried so much about the outcomes of all of these things.

 

My son recently turned 18. I keep thinking and wondering if we have given him the tools to be able to get by in the world. As parents we have to be able to trust that he can make good decisions at this point and trust that he will come to us for advice and help when he wants it not just when we think that he should have it. We have to put trust in our children and let them make decisions for themselves.

 

Another thing in my life that I used to worry about extensively was money. When my husband I were first starting out we barely made above minimum wage. I panicked about whether we had enough for this or that. I managed it all for years. One day I realized that I just had too much on my plate and my husband and I decided that I would hand over the financial stuff to him. We still discuss finances but now he is responsible for paying the bills and managing the accounts. This was tough for me to let go of and trust that he could manage this but he really stepped up and does a great job.

 

I also used to stress about being able to do it ALL. I think this is common for women. We don’t have to participate or volunteer with everything ALL of the time. Of course we have feelings of guilt around all of this. (That is a whole other topic.) As May is often the busiest month in my house I trust that if I take things day by day then my days should play out as they are supposed to.

 

I am not saying that you have to trust every person that you come across. I am saying that things happen for a reason and you should always trust in the outcome. We are not meant to see the big picture.

 

trust3

 

Here are more few examples about how I am able to trust.

 

  • Friendships – I trust that my friends will be open and honest with me, not play games, and have my back if I need them
  • Children- I trust that they will be safe every day, do their best, and learn from their mistakes
  • Husband – I trust this man with all my heart. I know that I can count on him for love and support.
  • Job – I trust that I have the knowledge to assist people to the best of my abilities.

 

I hope that you are able to let go of the need to try and control every situation that comes your way. Sometimes you just need to listen to that gut feeling, go with the flow and live in the present with every cell of your body!

trust1

Blessings,

Krystal

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accomplished

UN-Motivated

You know what I’ve noticed this school break? I haven’t got very many of my “projects” done that I planned. At first, I was annoyed with myself, thinking that it’s because I’ve been feeling UN-motivated…and that I’ve been “lazy”.

However, what I’ve realized today is that I’ve really enjoyed this time WITHOUT getting those things done. Instead, I’ve spent a lot of time with my kids and with friends. I’ve been doing little things around the house that I thought were project ‘avoidance’ tasks but now I’ve realized were little things that were bugging me (eg. the recycling yesterday). I’ve slept more too.

Most of all, I’ve been spending time just in my head. Not really thinking about anything, just in the quiet space, turned off and tuned in. Not really consciously meditating, but turned off from all the projects and books and ideas and to-do’s and songs that are normally flying around in my head. They just haven’t been there. It was worrying me. What if I was missing out? What if those things don’t get done? It’s hard to just let them sit there without the accompanying guilt filling me up. I am letting it go, how could I face myself knowing that I wasn’t getting stuff done?

Maybe it’s my hubby’s zen vibes he’s sending me from Costa Rica. We’ve been emailing back and forth and I can already feel how changed he is. Maybe it’s the spring trying to peek out from the long cold winter. Maybe it’s just me, feeling a little burned out; but it doesn’t feel like my usual burn out I’ve felt before.

Maybe this UN-motivation isn’t anything sinister. Maybe it’s just me making space for the changes that are coming. Changes that I don’t even know about. Maybe it’s just time to embrace whatever happens WHENEVER it happens. Life is just too bloody short to fret about what I’m supposed to do next; even if those are things I love to do. Maybe it’s a little reminder to just be here in this moment whether the moment is filled with something or not. It’s just a moment. And it’s mine to do with whatever I will or even won’t do. I choose right now, today, this way. And that’s totally OK, no matter what it looks like.

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be positive

What Really Matters?

photo 1 (2)

It has been a taxing few weeks. My daughter has had a cyst/abscess (we won’t know for sure until the results of the biopsy come back) on her forehead for the past few months. We are pretty certain that it is nothing major. It wasn’t too concerning until this little lump became large, red and painful. We have seen more than our fair share of Doctors. I think that I have calculated that between my husband and my daughter we have been to 12 appointments in the last couple of months. So it has consumed a large piece of our lives.

be positive

As a nurse I wasn’t really panicking about this lump until the signs of infection and inflammation became evident. It was the Mom part of me (the gnawing, heart string tugging, gut feeling) that made me become a bit pushier instead of waiting around for our next referral to come through. After all I am her advocate. In the meantime, she was becoming more and more uncomfortable, kids were making comments about her lump and I was concerned that this would cause some cosmetic issues as it grew larger and larger.

 

family

 

After a visit to a fantastic hospital ER Dept. (on the advice from a Nurse co-worker) within two days we were meeting with a plastic surgeon. The Surgeon and three interns asked questions, poked, prodded. Then the Dr. suggested that they could possibly fit my daughter in for surgery that same day but we would just need to wait around and see once the Doctors got through the scheduled surgeries and nothing emergent came through the doors then we would be good to go. My gal had not eaten anything since the night before and she burst into tears because of the uncertainty of what would take place. Her Dad, little brother, myself had the day to hang out at the hospital and wait for word of when this would take place. It wasn’t a case of just freezing this area and taking/cleaning it out. She would have anesthetic, a drain, IV, and stitches. Something that she has never gone through. Heck I have never had to have surgery (touch wood). It was a little scary.

 

stronger

 

They admitted her to the Day Surgery Unit and we settled in to the room. They gave us a pager in case we wanted to roam the hospital and let me tell you we know a couple of the floors quite well! We were not allowed to leave in case we could be fit in at any time. There was a chance that we would wait all day and not get in at all. To kill time we and keep her mind off of what ‘might happen’ we checked out the gift shop, played cards, read, watched movies etc. etc. Hubby and I took turns at taking the kids for walks as 10 hours to wait was a really long time. We watched many children come and go from surgery after surgery. We went through many emotions at this time. Worry. Hope. Anxiety. Thankfulness. Love…lots of love.

Then in a flash the OR nurse came to our day surgery room and said, “We are ready”. Not knowing all day if this was going to happen or not suddenly reality hit. It was time. My poor girl burst into tears scared about what was going to happen, about going to sleep, about them ‘cutting her head’, about having the intravenous in her hand. We were relieved that it was finally happening, we were hurting for our daughter, and we just wanted to make everything better like all parents would.  I got to hold her hand until the anesthetic put my little girl to sleep. The surgery took about an hour and a half. The lump was gone. We just had to get through the ill effects of the anesthetic. There was a fine line where we were not sure if we were staying over a night or going home. At quarter to one a.m. she was able to keep some fluids down, the IV came out, the dressing got changed and we were discharged.

 

photo 2 (3)

 

Big. BIG sigh of relief. All of us were exhausted and my youngest was having meltdowns for the last hour. Everything went well and my gal is healing with flying colors! We are very happy!

 photo 3

 

Here are some things that I learned/noticed from that day:

~what matters most is health and relationships

~though my son and daughter argue they love each other very much

~sometimes you just have to trust your gut

~my husband is my rock

~we have some amazing people in our lives

~patience really is a virtue

 

support

 

Another thing; don’t doubt that those little actions won’t make a world of difference in someones day. A message, a call, an email to let someone know that you are thinking of them could be uplifting, bring hope and show support. I pray that if you are going through anything with a friend or family member that you have the strength that you need, the support to help you through and the courage and optimism to make it ok.

Blessings,

Krystal

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chick pea

Chick Peas and Vegetables with Coconut Peanut Sauce

This is a really quick, yummy recipe that is very easy to make. My hubby & I really liked it, but to be honest my kids didn’t. My teenagers don’t like too each much of anything I make unless it’s pizza. It’s been a difficult year dealing with their sudden teenager independence. They can eat a sandwich at this point or scrounge for whatever. I’m not making two meals, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. If they refuse to eat it, that’s their problem.

On to the recipe!

Chick Peas & Veggies with Coconut Peanut Sauce

This makes a lot. I don’t know if it would freeze well, Likely, but I haven’t tried it. I just had this for lunch for a few days.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1 whole bell pepper (I used two kinds, so 1/2 of each – it’s prettier!)
  • 3-5 cloves garlic (I like lots)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder (I used a mild one and it wasn’t enough zing – use a spicier one if you like spice)
  • 2 tbsp natural peanut butter (not the sugary Krap – I mean Kraft – kind)
  • 1 can (398mL or so) coconut milk (found in the International section of the grocery store in case you’re wondering 😛 )
  • 2 cans (398mL or so) chick peas (make sure you drain and RINSE these or you’ll be farting up a gas cloud)
  • 1 can (398mL or so) diced tomatoes (I save $ and buy the big can & use 1/2 for this and 1/2 for a chili later in the week)
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach (I used super greens – use whatever you have in the fridge. You have greens in the fridge, right?)
  • salt & pepper
  • peanuts to sprinkle on top

How To:

  1. Get your rice cooking while you make this – I don’t want you to forget in case you’re one of those people who don’t read through a recipe BEFORE you start cooking. (Shut up! It was just that one time 😛 )
  2. Cook the onion & bell peppers in the coconut oil in a large sauce pan (like the one in my pic above) for 8-10 minutes (until soft)
  3. Add the garlic & curry powder, stirring to mix
  4. Add the peanut butter
  5. Gradually stir in the coconut milk until everything is smooth
  6. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, and spinach & mix for about 5 minutes
  7. Add salt & pepper to taste & simmer everything for about 7 minutes – long enough for you to tidy up the prep mess!
  8. Serve over rice with peanuts sprinkled on top.

Less than 1/2 hour and your done. Very easy cleanup – the hardest part is chopping up the onion, cry baby! This isn’t a really strong flavor (that’s why I’d use more curry). However, your kids might like it better with less spice (mine wouldn’t eat it anyways because god forbid it has color in it; but yours are likely better behaved). It’s really quite a simple meal and very filling. There’s lots of protein to keep anyone going for a while.

This literally takes about 20 minutes to make and less than 10 to cleanup. Your claim that it takes too long to make something healthier for dinner is moot when making something this simple. Yes, it could be even healthier if you avoid the canned options here and go for adding your own cooked chick peas & tomatoes and coconut cream from raw powder instead. I’m going for a compromise (and I use organic whenever I can afford/fit it in).

As I mentioned, there is a lot of food here, so not only do you have a supper ready; put the leftovers together in a container and you’re done for lunch the next day. Don’t be a goof and push it to the back of the fridge. Put it right in front of your coffee cream so that you have to move it in the morning to get to it and then you’ll remember what’s for lunch.

How about you? Do your teenagers eat what you make or do they bitch and moan like mine do? Tell us your story in the comments!

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Get Pocket!

I love to read blog posts. It’s a big chunk of my day. They inspire me, teach me and/or make me laugh. Sometimes I share them with you. Most of them come to me in my email which is cool. However, I also don’t like to have a crazy full inbox – I’m a professional organizer! LOL! I’ve been a mostly-zero inbox person for a very long time. Discovering this tool has made this even easier!

pocket website

The tool is called Pocket (it used to be called Read it Later or something like that). Basically, it allows me to skim through my email for the posts that I simply MUST read. I click to open the post. If I have time to read it then, I will. Most of the time, I don’t have time to read then(FOCUS!), but I want to be sure to really read it later. I go to the post and then click the little “Pocket” icon to stash the post for reading when I have time.

pocket icon

 

The reason this works is that it allows me to stay out of my email until the few times a day when I go through and do my focused email maintenance time (batching, peeps, STOP going into your email every 10 minutes! and definitely don’t have it running while you’re trying to WORK! Focus people!)

 

During this focused time, I’m creating a focused READING time because all of the MUST reads are together (and are visually appealing!) I don’t have these cluttering up my inbox. Then when I’m waiting for kids or just sitting down to read for a few minutes, I flip over to my Pocket app and do some quiet reading! Again, focused on only reading, not being disturbed by emails coming in because I’m not in my email!

Let’s face it: we really can’t do multiple things at once. It’s EXTREMELY inefficient to be constantly jumping around between things. I know. I’ve tried it. It simply doesn’t work. You have to STOP pretending it does.

This doesn’t mean that I now have another app full of junk that I’ll just get overwhelmed with. I’m keeping it to around 5-10 things each day that I read (or use the link in a post or something; whatever I was going to do with the post) and then purge from Pocket (yep, DELETE). I’m RUTHLESS and fricking honest with what I’m actually going to read. If it doesn’t light me up at first glance (like, OMG I HAVE to read this!) then it doesn’t get “pocketed”.  If I’m glancing through email and kinda go, “well, this would be cool, don’t know when I’ll get to it” then it gets deleted. I just don’t have time for wishy washy shit. It has to light me up or make me go, “Wow”!
 
I’ve got about 10 “other” things sitting in there that are project based that I’ll be moving elsewhere in the next week or two. There will always be some that need a bit more “work” to deal with before they are purged too. This number will not get higher than 10, because again, I need to keep a realistic expectation on what I’m actually going to do.
 
pocket snapshot
 

Keeping up on the reading in this is easy to do because there’s an app on my phone (and I’m putting it on my Kobo – just haven’t done it yet) and it will even work offline. It’s visually easy to read (no distractions from other website stuff that you normally see when you’re in the post reading on the site) and feeling like I’m reading a magazine.

Get Pocket and move one step closer to getting more reading done (that you want to do!) and less distracted! Get Pocket

I’m a techie and have worked in IT (and been a full time working mom) for over 20 years, so I’ve got lots of tricks on how to make your email work for you. This tool is just one of them! (I’ll share more tools with you in the coming weeks. I’m creating an in depth course that will include deeper insight and how to use these kinds of things. Sign up to be the first to know about it: Goals Goddess Registration)

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