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Just Tomato Soup


“What’s for supper”

A text message from my daughter interrupts my work just I’m about to finish up for the day. Annoyed, I ignore it, though I am dying to reply “idk, what are YOU making?” but I let the moment pass since it doesn’t serve either of us. I do ponder yet again why I don’t have the kids make more meals…and why I have kids in the first place.

I’m tired today. Some days, I just want to go home and curl up with a good book and fall asleep at 8. Some days I crave it so badly it brings a tear to my eye when I realize I just can’t today. I let that moment pass too.

I walk home and trip over everyone’s shoes at the front door. Then I grab my other mitts and shovel for the next half hour, listening to my music. I feel the cold air on my exposed face. It feels good to feel my heart pounding and I hear nothing else but my music and the scrape of the shovel. I could get them off their butts to help me. Yes, they should have had it done before I got home. I let them have their space and I greedily take mine. Outside, no one in my head or my ear. Just me and the winter. And the day melts away.

Back inside, I am asked again “What’s for supper?”

“Tomato soup and grilled cheese” I reply.

Yep, just tomato soup. No Facebook-worthy vegetarian gourmet meal. No old family recipe that I’ve been making for ages. Nothing that will find it’s way to a Pinterest board. Just tomato soup.

No Facebook-worthy vegetarian gourmet meal, just tomato soup.



I pull out the relatively expensive box of amazing organic tomato soup that I didn’t make myself but discovered that everyone loves. I start to warm it on the stove. I cut up the delicious Gouda cheese, and a little bit of the jalapeno Havarti. I slather butter on one side of some yummy, soft rye bread I bought yesterday. I grab a few slices of the ham I bought for lunches. I assemble and cook them into toasted, melty goodness and pour the soup into bowls. Cucumber slices circle the plates and I deliver them to children who stop what they are doing to exclaim “Thanks Momma!”

I love it when they are like little kids again. Gleeful, calling me “Momma”, full of excitement and gratefulness for one of their favorite comfort foods. It fills my heart more than the winter air did. We sit together and visit about any little thing that comes to their heads. I crumble exactly 5 perfect plain crackers into my soup. I’ve always done it that way. Exactly 5, gathered together and lovingly crushed and sprinkled into my tomato soup. And I am 13 again too. With my own Momma and brother and sisters, talking about nothing and everything all at once.

I love it when they are like little kids again.

Melty cheese is stuck to her chin and we laugh. I quickly make another for him. Suddenly I realize that he is taller than me and finally I understand why he’s always scrounging for something else to eat! My heart aches a little as I think about how quickly their older brother grew and now makes his own tomato soup in a different house, thankfully, not too far away. But away, just the same. My tomato soup silly evenings are disappearing fast.

I am savoring every moment with them, every simple slurp of their teen lives and the melty bites in between where they allow me to be their “Momma” even for a minute. Hugging me with my head on their shoulders now that they are so much bigger than me. I relish every complaint about the beautiful meals I make them that they like less because someday, I will be eating without them.

I am savoring every moment with them

It doesn’t matter what we eat. It matters HOW we eat. Take in every morsel with exuberance and with attention to who you are with. Put down your damn phone and be with the food. Be with them. Be with yourself for a few minutes. Indulge yourself with the expensive favorite dessert, the steak dinner that he made for you, the bowl of cereal you manage to squeeze into your morning, the apple at your desk.

Feel every single piece of life that it has to offer. No criticism, no guilt, no remorse that it could have been healthier, cheaper, easier, more gourmet. Just eat.

Tomato soup simple. Just tomato soup. Just for today.




We all struggle with the whole meal planning thing. We’ve worked out some help for you, our free Meal Planning Hat Trick has tons of ideas and free recipes. Sign up below.

What are your biggest struggles with food? We want to help. Let us know in the comments or email us. We are here for you.

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Why I Love Book Club

old-books-436498_640This week, Divine Goddess Book Club was just me and J. And I didn’t care. I loved it. And we didn’t even talk about the book. Mostly she told a story and I just listened.

I’m getting better at just listening.

Not the kind of listening where you’re hearing what they’re saying but you’re already thinking about what you’re going to say.

Not the kind of listening where you are smiling and nodding but are secretly checking your phone or checking things off on your mental to do list.

Not the kind of listening where you’re constantly interjecting with a contradiction or an example “one-upmanship”.


I’m getting better at the kind of listening where I don’t notice my phone going off.

The kind of listening where I am hearing the story; seeing how the story-telling is making the other person feel. I notice the things she doesn’t say. I see the gears turning as she considers the next thing she is going to say.

The kind of listening where it’s no longer about me. Where it’s about the connection, this moment, right here where someone is sharing a part of their world.

The kind of listening where I no longer judge what she says. Where I just see her for who she is at this moment in time. And we each are better for it.


That’s the kind of listening I want more of. Not me speaking. I do enough of that here in my writing and with people all around me. I want more of that real connection. I want that person in front of me, no matter how scared or hurt she is to be able to turn to me and be able to open up. To be able to share even just a little bit of her story and be assured that she will not be judged. So that she can begin to heal. That she is safe here.

This is my Core Desired Feeling: Connection. And this is why I love Divine Goddess Book Club, in whatever way it manifests itself: 1 or 10 people or even some day 100 or 1000’s.

It’s so much more than talking about a book. In fact, many times we find ourselves not even really talking about it; it’s just a conversation starter. It has become a curling up around a fire, quiet corner of light in an ocean of darkness where I can just listen. That is why I love it.

DGC Book Club Meets:
at Pandora’s Boox and Tea in Olds
Thursday Nights 5:00 – 6:00
It’s never too late to join in the conversation and Goddess Gathering
(you don’t even have to read the books. Our conversations are open to anyone and are always meaningful.)
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Flip Those Disorganized Moments


Disorganized Moment

I didn’t get my legs shaved in the shower this morning

Flip to an Organized Moment:

I’m wearing pants today anyway and this will give me an excuse for a relaxing bath later!


I forgot to get envelopes for the mail I need to mail today.


They have some at the post office and I only want two anyway instead of a whole box.


I missed getting Lucas new shoes for school


He doesn’t really care and we’ll shop local which is better anyway.


I didn’t get any social media posts done up last night.


I did get a lot of other work done that I wanted to do and then took a much needed break which made me much more ready and able to face a new week (and I got a shower idea anyway because my mind was clear!)


I didn’t leave enough time to go and buy a coffee.


I have coffee at home and a very handsome hubby who made one for me anyway! Plus I saved money!

These are just a few examples of those frustrating moments where you can choose to have a little freak out and over-reaction (which, yes, I have done) or you can choose to flip it around and see the “silver lining” as the saying goes. We are all disorganized and imperfect. It’s about time we chill out, don’t you think? I choose freedom and peace instead.


What are some of your disorganized moments that you turned around and changed your attitude about? Fess up in the comments!

Want to turn over one of those frustrating “to-do list” things to someone else, like meal planning? We’ve got it covered for you in Badass in the Kitchen Meal Planning. We do it for you. Read more here: Badass in the Kitchen

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Another Ordinary Day

walk-2021_1920I see you, on the ordinary street. You are wearing ordinary clothes and your hair is ordinary. Your face is ordinary. You walk in an ordinary way going to your ordinary job. If I knew your name, it would be ordinary too.
But you are far from ordinary. And I see that too.
You are more than the alarm clock beside your bed. Grateful to find yourself in a new day, you rise with a smile. You think about the quiet space that awaits you in your little corner of the room. The soft light welcomes you to your comfy chair. Silence surrounds you. With a loving heart, you pause, reflecting on the people you love and the life you are leading. Gentle music lifts your spirits and you listen to your angels as they whisper to you in your space.
In the shower, you let the hot water stream down your shoulders, caressing and warming your skin. You hear applause in the noise of the jet stream and you imagine yourself five years from now in another place, doing other things. Again, you pause in gratitude for where you came from, and where you are but you know that this is not where the story ends. You smile as you hear the applause again.
You let your hands rub the oils on your skin, taking pleasure in the simple joy of allowing yourself this little indulgence made just for you. The clothes you select make you feel good and comfortable, it does not matter to you what name is emblazoned on the tag. It all makes no difference as long as it makes you feel like you are you.
You are more than the ordinary breakfast you have this morning. You choose that orange carefully. You smell the tangy citrus as you peel it. You notice the tiny spray of orange drops as you pull the peel from the flesh. You taste the bold sweetness as it drips down your chin.
The street is far from ordinary to you. You notice the songs of the birds on your walk. You wonder how soon they will heading south. You catch a glimpse of the growing garden in your neighbor’s yard and you remind yourself how good fresh picked peas taste at this time of year. You notice that there are a few leaves that have changed color and you remember how fleeting summer days are. Your mind recalls all of the adventures you have had so far and you smile at the ones to come today.
Your job is not who you are, but you bring yourself to your job. Each day, you do whatever you can to help someone, even if it’s just one person. Your smile brightens the world of someone who is struggling today in their cubicle. You don’t know this, but you smile anyway. There are days when you struggle too, but you have also witnessed the days when things go right. You choose to accept those tough days as lessons and move on to the next.
You leave your job, there at the office. You know that carrying that burden further into your day serves no one, least of all you. You have done your best with the resources you had control over. You breath and you move on.
You hear their voices long before you see them. Again, you marvel at how much they have grown. She towers over you and on this day, she ventures to hug her ordinary momma. Tomorrow may be different, so you gratefully return the embrace. He barely acknowledges you right now, and that’s ok, you know he hears your love in your questions about the day. It is all he needs for now. Later, he will sit beside you on the couch, feeling safe in the knowledge that he doesn’t have to say a word and you are there for him.
Together, you enjoy an ordinary meal that nourishes more than your body. It nourishes your soul as you share the food with those you love. You reflect on how much you have changed what you choose to eat over the years. You don’t criticize, you just understand that you are learning and growing and becoming more.
Dishes done, the house settling, your ordinary day draws to a close. You welcome the peace and tranquility of your room. You share this room with your true love and you adore this part of the day. The warm, soft blankets, the amber light, the protective arms and kisses that make you feel like so much more than ordinary. Quiet surrounds you as you curl up next to him with your latest book. Both of you make sure that at least a foot or a hand is touching the other as you fall asleep.
And there you breathe; your ordinary breath, at the end of a far from ordinary day.
This post inspired by the Writing Prompts over at Mama’s Losin’ It and My 500 Words writing challenge from Jeff Goins.
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self-care thursday

Bringing Happiness Closer

self-care thursdayI read this very timely post from Joshua today: 7 Questions to Bring Happiness Closer. It’s what we were discussing at Divine Goddess Book Club last night as well (we are talking about the book, Happier at Home right now). It seems that so many of us keep striving to find happiness outside of ourselves. Gretchen Rubin discusses “Interior Design” in her book which focuses on what can I do INTERNALLY to create my own happiness.

I was compelled to answer Joshua’s 7 questions from his post for myself and thought I’d share my answers here with you.

1. What can I be thankful for?

Oh my, I am so thankful for so many things. Practicing Gratitude regularly has completely changed how I perceive my day. Right now, for example, I am grateful for this summer of being home. I’ve been spending really amazing time with my kids, my extended family and with my friends. I’ve been spending time with myself as well and this has changed me. I am happier because I am grateful for what I have right now instead of all the things I wish I had.


2. Who do I know that loves me?

The list is long, but this is something that I have struggled with (still do). This one has affected my happiness the most – still does some days. Too often, I base my happiness on the HOW others love me. I have been striving for acknowledgement and recognition of their love. I have held lofty expectations of the HOW they should love me – they should love me the way I love them! And then when they don’t, I’ve been disappointed and unhappy. I am learning though that they love me in their own way – and they love me very much and for who I am! I am learning to just be happy in the recognition that I am indeed loved so very much.

3. What progress have I made?

Wow, if you could have seen me even just 5 years ago…some of you have, I know. When I look back and see pictures of the woman I used to be, I recall the huge sadness and hurt that followed me. It was a choice I made each day. Now, I choose differently and most days, I have the guts to see just how truly blessed and happy I am. You’ve come a long way, baby! 🙂

4. What contribution do I bring? 

Though sometimes I struggle with my need for acknowledgement, most days, I know that I am helping people with my words that I write and ideas that I share. I help people by being the listener who I love to be. My children and husband are happier and content because I am contributing to it and inspiring them to be happy in themselves. I believe that I am someone who is making the world a better place as I let my light shine (and it gives others permission to do so as well).

5. What pursuits bring me the most joy?

Finally, I am no longer afraid and rarely feel guilty for pursuing my own desires. I allow myself the comfort and support that I know I need. I follow my heart daily by focusing on creating a life that brings me joy. I do not expect the world to make me happy – that’s my job. I pursue that pretty much every day!


6. Who can I help? 

I long…no, I crave…helping thousands of women. Especially working women. I have known so many in the past who long for a peaceful life and a life free of guilt. Women who put everyone else’s needs in front of their own and struggle to find even the smallest sliver of light in themselves. So many who long to be free of the unrealistic expectations of today’s society. Who just want to be great at everything that they do but feel like they fail at everything instead. I know these women well. I have been her. She is so much more that what she sees of herself right now. That’s who I want to help. I pray that I will reach her in some small way with my words of encouragement.

7. What choices do I have? 

My biggest one is that I get to choose how I want to live my day. I choose to be happy. Right now. in this very moment.

What are your answers to these questions? We’d love to hear them here in the comments (or shoot us an email if you’re shy 🙂  )

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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



A Simple Love Story

Image courtesy of Poulsen Photo /
Image courtesy of Poulsen Photo /

Those blue eyes looked up at her while she paused, dish towel in her hands.

“What was it like to get married to Daddy? Was he silly like the boys at school?” she asked again. When did her eight year old turn sixteen and wonder about love?

“We were different then, sweetheart,” she skirted the question.

“But look at your face? You look so happy Mommy!” she held the new-found photo up to her weary eyes.

Yes, she was happy then. And she was different. She quickly corrected herself – it’s not that I’m unhappy now! I love my children. I love my husband. It’s just so…different, yes…Why was she suddenly so very tired? That little face still waited for an answer; so curious. Where did she find that old picture anyway!?

The kitchen suddenly became smaller as she was drawn back to the day he proposed to her in that restaurant. What was it called again? She gently set down the dish towel, pulling her little one onto her lap, holding the picture between them as they sat down and she began to tell the tale…”Your daddy took me to my favorite restaurant back then – it was Italian, but I don’t think it’s there anymore…” and time whisked them away…

Their two heads huddled over that picture together at the kitchen table. She hoped her daughter hadn’t noticed her voice crack as she spoke of walking down the aisle toward the man of her dreams. She could still see him there. Her face flushed as she remembered their honeymoon. Her teary eyes danced with laughter as she remembered that they never used that scuba gear they bought, not even once. Her daughter just listened; fascinated with the story of their love.

So involved with the photo and the story, she hadn’t noticed him come in until she felt his hand on her shoulder.

“Daddy! Mommy is telling me about when you asked her to marry you!” She hastily tried to hide her face before he saw the tear on her cheek.

“She is, is she?” he half-whispered as he gently brushed the tear away with his thumb. “You know, she’s even more beautiful today”.

“Oh, don’t be silly! I badly need a haircut and I’m wearing your old t-shirt!” she moved to continue with dinner; embarrassed.

“In fact, she’s so beautiful…” he held her so she couldn’t escape, “I think we should go out on a date this Friday! What do you think, kiddo? Should I take your mom out and leave you guys with Gramma?” He scooped up his little girl.

“Honey, we can’t possibly ask Mom to do that! Besides, we’re on a budget!”

“Oh Mommy! You should go with Daddy! Isn’t he handsome!? We’ll be good, I promise!” her daughter pleaded with her.

“I’ll call your mom and ask her to keep the kids overnight. She’s always offering. It’s time we took her up on it. We can just rent a movie and have a quiet dinner here – that fits the budget, right? When was the last time you and I just hung out together?”

Her mind swam with all the reasons she shouldn’t. The kids were still so small. Friday was only two days away! Wasn’t it being selfish to not have an “important” reason to leave the kids with her mother? She usually had movie night with the kids on Friday, wouldn’t they be disappointed? Saturdays were hockey games and house-cleaning, they couldn’t stay up late…

Oh, but her heart remembered the feeling of being just the two of them. How his arms felt around her. How the world just disappeared. God, when was the last time she felt that way? Her mind saw him there in the story, standing there, waiting for her. He was looking at her that way now. Her heart skipped a beat. Could it be that he still felt that way about her? They hadn’t talked, really talked for so long. She had no idea what he thought about these days. They used to talk about everything.

“Yes, I still need you” his eyes told her. Had he read her mind? She used to think he could.

Minutes passed. Why was this such a difficult decision? Again, her mind drifted back to the story she’d just told. It seemed like such a far away place and time. Yes, she was different now. But she was still a woman. A mother, yes; but a woman who needed to be with her best friend. To laugh and talk about things besides parent teacher meetings and hockey schedules. She still felt a little bit of that passion she used to feel whenever she looked at him. The flame hadn’t gone out yet.

“I’ve missed you too” she said aloud. “Yes! Let’s do it!”

Her daughter squealed in delight and ran off to tell her brothers; yelling, “Mommy and Daddy are going on a date!”

She didn’t hear their replies as he pulled her towards him; dishtowel, old t-shirt and all.

Does this story resonate with you? How do you “rekindle the flame” and date your husband? (or do you? Why not?). We’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

We’ve been there…In our busy lives it’s so very hard to find the time for each other. However, we’ve also learned just how important it is to make that special time to reconnect with your spouse. Right now. Don’t wait until “it’s convenient”. Take action!


Don’t wait another day to make a change in your relationship – It’s never too late to rekindle and reconnect.

Our Simply Sexy Date Night Package will show you how!

Make every day Valentine’s Day!



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gmail top of screen

Computer Tip – Change Your Gmail Background

I’m a sucker for pretty backgrounds. I don’t like to stare at the white space around my screen. I change my desktop background often – usually to some sort of nature picture or inspirational message. It is just part of creating my creative space.

My email is the same. The plain white background of my Google gmail is just too “quiet” for me. Currently, I have a mountain theme (because I love the mountains) as the background. I have helped many people with their computers, and I’ve noticed the plain white and I’ve wanted to show people how to change it. Here are step by step instructions to change your gmail background if you want:

  • Open your gmail
  • Click the little “gear” icon (top right corner)

  • Click Themes
  • Select any theme listed by clicking on it – your background will immediately change.


  • Play with the colors and themes until you find one that suits you.

What about you? Do you like to have a clear background or do you like to “jazz” it up a little? Let us know in the comments!

I love to help people be more productive (and have more fun!) with their computers/technology. If you have computer organizing and how to questions, please Contact me!

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Floating down the river July 2012

Getting Outside

I love being outside. I especially love to be barefoot in the grass. I think that’s why I love summer so much. I can feel the grass and the earth beneath my toes.

Being in nature heals. It allows me to breathe. It allows me to be bigger than me. I am a part of something.

I spent a good part of this past weekend outside. I harvested nanking cherries that I picked while barefoot. I gathered raspberries in short sleeves and allowed the trees and bushes to embrace me. I floated down the river where I grew up and let it wash away all my cares. I reveled in the quiet as the sky and trees drifted past me. I feel uplifted and grounded at the same time.

Outside is where the action is. It’s where peace can be found. Outside you can breathe. It’s where you can feel part of something bigger than all the crap we all worry about all the time. Outside is where real life happens. The rest? Well, it can all wait. Just get outside.


Are the kids (and you!) running out of things to do outside? Can’t think of anything? Krystal and I wrote our ideas down in this comprehensive Simplify: Summer ebook. Find out more here: Simplify Summer