Category Archives: cooking

June 2015 Review

I’m so glad life settled down in June! There was still plenty going on and I got overwhelmed a few times but overall things were manageable. I’m looking forward to the routine of school, but I do enjoy not having to get kids up and out the door on time. I just wish I could spend more time being lazy or playing with them!Raejean Glasses

1 – Bicycle wheel on my wall, the first step of our family mission statement display

2 – New lenses again – I had to have them remade since I’m poly-carbonite sensitive

2.2 – Pounds gained. Darn it!

3 – Treats made: Hot Chocolate Cookies, French Toast Cupcakes and (a brand new to us recipe) Salted Caramel Brownies

4 – Days at a writing retreat; I may have overestimated the snack to hiking ratio and gained most of my weight that weekend

7 – Social events, there were parties, retreat and dinners with friends

9 – Projects completed in June, and only a few of them were writing related

June 2015 Instagram32 – Instagram pix posted in June

37 – Countries that visited Just Wanna Be Me in June, Brazil was #2 after the USA

459 – Page views, my Summer Goals for Kids was the most popular

1626 – Russian twists, I lost a half inch in my waist, but gained it on my hips

3886 – Words added to my book, yay retreat!

With 2015 half over, I looked back over my New Year’s Goals. I’ve completed or am on track for six of my ten goals; I completed my Associate in Claims, went to a writing conference and I start training for my promotion tomorrow. Thanks to the writing retreat, I exceeded my writing goal of 5000 words to my book and I still have six months left! I have been very diligent about tracking my food and exercise and have blogged at least once a month (barely, but I’m still hanging in there). The rest of my goals seem pretty far out of reach but they help me track my growth and fine tune what is truly important in my life.

How’s your progress with your resolutions or goals at the half way point of 2015?

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March Review

March Field tripApril is more than half over and has been kicking my tushy! Before the month gets away from me or takes me out completely, I’d like to share my March review.

1 – Day celebration for Spring Break. We explored Arizona Falls and had lunch at the Golden Corral, I think grown up should automatically get two weeks off too!

1 – That one pound I lost last month, I found it again. Boo!

3 – Events; writing group, Tempe Festival of the Arts, and a Blog Meetup

4 – Projects complete

5 – Hours of interviews for my son to work at a camp this summer, yes I am a good mom and I got lots of studying done

6 – Tickets to the Improv to celebrate a family birthday

14 – Pieces of clothing from the thrift store, I like to call them treasures

March treat21 – French Toast cupcakes (too bad the link isn’t active or I would share)

27 – Instagram pix

739- Blog page views, Utah loves me

1090 – Words added to my new book, that’s more than a fifth of my 2015 goal in one month

Overall March was good and productive, I’m hoping I can say the same about April in the next couple of weeks. I would love to hear about how your month is going and the goals you are achieving!

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Making Mistakes

I made a mistake a couple of weekends ago. Actually I made several mistakes, but this one involved someone who has been rather toxic in my life. The demeaning response and consequent attempt to take advantage of the situation lifted the floodgate of emotions related to a situation I’ve been working to overcome.

Mistakes are a funny thing. No one wants to make them, but they are often the gateway to experience, learning and growth. How many times have we been told about the number of failures Edison had before he invented the light bulb? Or how many shots Michael Jordan missed? The learning is in the journey and the journey is filled with bumps, pit stops and distractions.

I remember a discussion in Sunday School a couple of years ago about mistakes, where the instructor said mistakes aren’t bad. I don’t think I can describe the shock that reverberated through my body as I thought of the consequences I faced for past mistakes. That was the first time I realized that maybe my perception of mistakes were off kilter. Actually, that was at the beginning of my discovery that maybe many of my perceptions were off kilter, but that’s another blog post.

I let the reactions to my alleged mistakes by someone close to me feed my insecurity in my decision making ability. I was often paralyzed and unable to decide anything for fear of making a mistake. I walked on eggshells, fearing I would unwittingly make a mistake in this person’s eyes – which happened frequently. I don’t want to focus on my relationship, but a little about how others react to our mistakes. For me, I developed a fear of not only failure but also a fear of making decisions.Candy Corn Cookies

Mistakes show we are trying. If we’re not making mistakes, are we really living? When I struggle with a decision, I remind myself that if I choose the wrong option then I’ll pick myself up and move on. Often, a choice is just a choice with no right or wrong answer. Like the time I made cookies with candy corn instead of chocolate chips. They tasted fine, but they were messy and ugly. Lesson learned.

Other times mistakes can lead to pain, and that’s OK too. Life is meant to have good days and bad days. It’s very hard to appreciate the good, without the not so good. For me a painful day is still better than those days I was numb, blocking out how unhappy I had become with my stagnate life.

It’s so good to feel again, regardless of the emotion; although I do prefer the positive emotions. This year I’m focusing on rediscovering what makes me happy. I’m bound to stumble on some unsuccessful attempts. And I’m sad to say I’ll make a few more mistakes and some of them might sting a bit. Hopefully by the end of the year, I’ll be more in tune to what makes me tick with no visible scars from the mistake or two (or 90) I make along the way.

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Caramel Apples

One of my f2014-10-18 21.02.13avorite fall activities when I lived in California was a trip to Apple Hill to enjoy a caramel apple. Actually I enjoyed more than just caramel apples. I also enjoyed apple pies, apple fritters, apple cider and an occasional applesauce doughnut.

Since it’s a rather long drive to Apple Hill from Arizona, I had decided to make my own caramel apples this year. I had heard a few different tips, so I decided to search Pinterest for the perfect caramel apple. Alas I couldn’t find the perfect recipe, but I found several different recipes with a lot of good suggestions.

I couldn’t decide which one of the recipes would be best, instead I took parts from several of the recipes and came up with my own version of the best caramel apples.

Caramel Apples

Ingredients

  • 5 medium apples
  • Popsicle sticks (optional)
  • 1 bag of caramels
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • Extras: mini chocolate chips, mini M&M’s, chopped nuts

Directions

  1. Boil water with 1 teaspoon of vinegar
  2. Insert Popsicle sticks into apples, I used a fork instead to make it easier to cut my caramel apple into wedges
  3. Dip apples into boiling water and swirl to remove waxy residue from apples
  4. Towel dry
  5. Set apples on cookie sheet in the fridge to chill
  6. Melt caramels with milk
  7. Let melted caramels stand for one minute
  8. Dip apple and let excess caramel drip off
  9. Immediately roll apple in extras, if desired
  10. Place on wax paper covered cookie sheet and let cool.

Not only did I think they were super yummy, my kiddos agreed. We may live too far away to continue our Apple Hill tradition, but I think we came up with a good caramel apple substitute.

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