oceanatend

I just finished reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. I think it is officially one of my favorite books ever.  I read a few reviews on Goodreads about it after I finished it and it seemed like each person found something totally different in it. I am not even really sure I can put into words what my take on it was, I just know it spoke to me and I already want to go back and read it again.

“You don’t pass or fail at being a person, dear”

“I make art, sometimes I make true art, sometimes it fills the empty places in my heart. Some of them. Not all.”

From The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Just after my father passed away I found the site The Daily Love through Oprah’s show Super Soul Sunday. It actually is a daily love e-mail, and I have loved receiving it. I often sign up for things like this and then after awhile its overkill, and I opt out or delete it daily. This has not been the case for this site. Each day I find a little nugget of information that helps me in some way. It’s like it is reading my mind!

Lately, I have been particularly fond of the daily affirmations at the bottom of each email. I have always wanted a mantra, or saying that I knew I could always say to get centered and calm, but that has actually not been that easy to find. I think it was because I was looking for a one size fits all saying and sometimes I need several sizes to fit the way I am feeling. Each time I find one I like I write it down in my notebook that I have around me almost all the time. Here are a couple of my favorites recently from the daily love.

I feel the love of those that are not physically around me.

All that I need will come to me at the right time and place.

I trust my inner light and intuition to guide me.

and a little one that I use when I am feeling off or down that I heard from Danielle LaPorte

Stop! This is not the way I want to feel.

 

Redefine Success

What’s the old saying “It takes 7 days to create a habit”? I may be off on that a little, but you get the picture. I suppose with the new year there are an influx of goal setting and life changing articles out there so I have seen a lot floating around about habits of successful people.

Now, to me “successful people” can be defined in many different ways. The term success in itself is simply to accomplish your goals. Success can be measured by the big picture: relationships, career, financial freedom, travel, etc. but it’s the small successes that I think sometimes get undervalued. It seems to me that success sometimes triggers a bit of anxiety in some, because its usually thought of in terms of the big picture as in “I am just not where I thought I would be in my life right now.”

What people don’t think about are the smaller day to day successes. For some it could be finalizing a huge project at work, or getting your child dressed without a huge tantrum, for other’s who could be going through hard times it could be just getting out of the bed that day and getting some fresh air. WE are our own biggest critic, and it’s very hard to hush that voice in our head when sometimes it is so damn loud. Be proud of your every day triumphs and soon those big successes will fall into place.

So, back to those articles about tips of successful people. The one thing I keep seeing over and over is this… they wake up early! Talk about a tough habit to put into place. Not only does it say this in almost all articles about this topic, but they also have a daily morning routine to kick start their day. I have to say I am still in the process of working on this habit, I am at least up before 7:00, but getting any routine done other than catching up on Real Housewives and drinking coffee hasn’t really happened yet. I do feel more productive on the (rare) days I get up early, make a plan and even exercise, so there is obviously something to it, but for now I am a work in progress. Maybe I will try the 7 day thing…

Cranberry Orange & Almond Cookies

cranberryalmond

My little one loves, loves, loves to bake and at first it was very difficult for me. I like to bake, however baking with a three year old takes A LOT of patience, but the more I work with her the better she gets and shockingly it’s become a very fun activity for us. I try to make our baking as healthy as possible but sometimes you just gotta make the real thing. I have a delicious and amazingly simple chocolate chip cookie recipe from pinterest, that we make ALL THE TIME. This weekend we went for something a little healthier.

I found the original recipe here and adapted to what we had on hand. A little tip if you use the original, it mentions baking soda in the directions, but I looked over and over and couldn’t find it in the ingredients list so I just put the same amount as it called for baking powder. I am learning as I go with this baking thing but it seemed like that made sense and the cookies were good so I guess it worked out okay.

Cranberry Orange & Almond Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon each of baking soda & baking powder
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup butter melted
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons orange juice
  •  Optional:Sprinkle of flax seed…I usually put this in all baked goods because it doesn’t change the taste and is good for you.
  1. Whisk in a large bowl the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, flax seed, almonds, and cranberries.
  2. Whisk in a medium size bowl applesauce, melted butter, orange juice.
  3. Add medium bowl to the large bowl and mix gently. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  5. Use an ice cream scoop or whatever you have on hand to make cookies. I use an ice cream scoop for just about everything so that’s my go to for a good sized cookie.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  7. Let cool and enjoy 🙂

Maybe it isn’t turning thirty that bothers me. Maybe it’s losing myself in motherhood. Maybe it’s the fear that I’m already gone, replaced by this ghost who’s voice will soothe my children’s memories, long after I’ve died.  — Lea Grover

So worth the read.