Clean House, Fit Body

Can we really have it all?  A clean home, a happy family and a healthy body?

The other day, I was scrolling through Facebook and I came upon a particularly funny yet very familiar meme.  It was a woman looking utterly exhausted.  The caption read, “Cleaning your house while the children are growing is like straightening papers on a desk while the fan is blowing.”  Yep I relate.

I grew up in a clean home. It just seemed to clean itself magically – I didn’t even see the process. This was, of course, because my mother knew better.  Like me, my mother worked full-time outside of the home and had to clean during her “spare” time.  Trying to clean while we were still awake was an uphill battle. It was preferable to stay awake until passed 11:00 pm to get that housework done.  I simply assumed that it just stayed that way on its own.

During my teens, I had such a vision about what my life would be like.  I wanted a wonderful husband and at least 2 children, a dog, a career in teaching, plenty time for the gym and, of course, an immaculate home just like the one I grew up in but in the country. I just didn’t plan out how it would all fit together.

What visions did I realize? Let’s see…

  • Wonderful husband (check)
  • 2 children (check)
  • Dog (check)
  • Career in teaching (check)
  • Plenty of time for the gym (um…nope)
  • Home in country (check)
  • Clean immaculate home (ha ha ha ha ha)

Being a parent is hard whether you work in or out of the home. With so much on your plate, something has to give.  I’ve come to accept this fact yet I seem to see-saw over what my priorities are.  Sometimes all I can see is mess and I become solidly focused on cleaning the home and scrub every nook and cranny. All the cleaning is done but gym time and healthy living goes by the way-side.  Around the dawn of swimsuit season, I panic over the time squandered away cleaning and I become a powerhorse when it came to working out and planning healthy meals/snacks. But then the housework suffered. I was completely frustrated that I could not have it all. I felt stretched and scattered – the complete opposite of mindful. As a result, I was getting nowhere in either field.

Recently, I’ve decided to do away with complicated exercise and diet plans. I wasn’t letting go of my goal to remain fit and healthy, I just wasn’t going to sacrifice my time and sanity for this. I needed some structure so I joined MyFitnessPal – a free online diet and fitness tracker. It’s simple.  You enter your weight, how much you wish to lose/gain per week or if you wish to maintain and then it spits out the total calories you are alloted per day.  Even though I’m technically overweight, I’ve decided to take a break from weight loss and just focus on doing my best to stay healthy everyday. The only problem was I found myself starving most of the time.  I wasn’t tracking my exercise and, as a result, I was eating too few calories for my activity level. The calories you are initally alloted are based on the calories you need to just sit and breathe. But if your a busy working mom, the last thing you tend to do is just sit and breathe. Two weeks ago, I started looking through their menu of cardio exercises and was surprised to see “cooking/food preparation” and “light to moderate cleaning” counting as cardio. I spend a lot of my free time doing these very activities!

A lightbulb went on: I needed to redefined what I thought of as exercise.  I work up a sweat cleaning up dirt and grime just as much as I do on the treadmill. My housework and exercise could be combined into one sweaty dirt-busting workout cleaning session! I could divide up my cleaning sessions to 1 hour, 6 days a week just like I used to do with my exercise sessions at the gym. No more long, ruined weekends cleaning house!  No more regretting not having the chance to workout. I can have it all!

My goal is to spend one hour cleaning and one hour of meal preparation. I set my timer for one hour and don’t stop cleaning until it dings.  Because I’m counting cleaning as exercise, I’m actually looking for opportunities to tidy up to help rack up my activity calories. On both Saturday and Sunday, I logged two hours of cleaning and one hour of cooking per day. My house has seriously never been cleaner!  I don’t know if I’ve experienced weight loss since I’m no longer using my scale but I feel terrific.  I’m not sure if that’s from all the exercise or the clean surroundings, but who cares?!   I’m enjoying my housecleaning for a change because I’ve changed my perspective of what it is. As a result, I’m more mindful and doing a much better and more thorough job.

What I love most about this routine is I no longer feel torn over what I need to give up to keep a sane routine.  I can have the family, the career and the clean house.  I just needed to redefine what I see as exercise.  

Speaking of routines, I’ve devised a housework schedule to make sure I have all my bases covered:

  • Monday – bathroom day
  • Tuesday – day off (I have choir)
  • Wednesday – sweep and wash all linoleum floors (entry way, kitchen, bathrooms) plus wipe down kitchen applicances
  • Thursday – Grocery shopping day (power cardio and weight-lifting in one)
  • Friday – Hardwood floor day – vacuum and wash living room, dining room, hallways and rec room, dusting in main living areas (including rec room)
  • Saturday – Bedroom day – vacuum, wash floors, wash sheets, dust
  • Sunday – day off but now that spring is coming, I’ll use this as my outdoor work/gardening day

Today was linoleum floor day. Welcome to my gym where we get clean and lean!

  

Kim ūüôā

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School Lunches

 

I’m big on packing lunches for myself, my husband and my children. Making lunches is far from my favourite chore but I feel better knowing I’m doing everything I can to ensure they have the best possible nutrition.

Another reason I do this is to ensure my children stay out of harm’s way. ¬†They both have a variety of food allergies from peanuts to coconuts to sunflower seeds. ¬†I comb through the snack food aisle like a crime scene investigator looking for any possible allergens in their products. ¬†Even the peanut-free products are off-limits because they contain other allergens my children must avoid. ¬†Eventually, I gave up the hunt for the ultimate allergen-free processed snack food and resorted to making my own. ¬†My family thinks I’m the ultimate control fanatic but when my children’s lives are at stake, I really don’t care what it takes.

A third reason: ¬†eating out is terribly expensive. ¬†Once I forgot my lunch at home and resorted to purchasing a meal in our school’s cafeteria. ¬†I had a humble soup & sandwich combo with a bottled water. ¬†It cost me nearly $10!! ¬†Do that everyday for the four of us and that’s $40 a day or $200 a week. ¬†Our weekly grocery budget limit is $220! ¬†I’m not about to blow it on one meal. Eating out is a real treat and something we reserve for when we have no other options. ¬†I even pack lunches when we have out-of-town hockey games and tournaments. ¬†That has saved us loads of money.

So between myself, my husband and my two children – that’s a lot of time making lunches every week. ¬†Like I said – not my favourite chore despite its obvious benefits. I would to spend as little time each night doing it. ¬†I’ve tried different routines to make this chore less daunting but this is the only one that keeps me sane.

I make a meal plan every week and prep and cook on Sundays. ¬†It takes at least two to three hours but it save loads of time overall. ¬†Case-in-point: ¬†to prep veggies, I have to haul out the cutting board, peeler and knife. ¬†If I do all the chopping and prepping on Sunday, I only have to clean the dishes once. ¬†Same for making hot meals. ¬†By the time I’m done cooking on Sundays, my kitchen looks like a war-zone but it takes maybe half an hour to return to a clean haven. ¬†Again, I can do this once or five times a week. ¬†Hmm..the choice seems mighty clear.

Here are some of the things I do to prepare lunches and snacks for the week:

  • I buy a bag of large carrots, peel them and chop the whole bag up into carrot sticks. ¬†I have a large container that I fill with the carrot sticks and cold water. ¬†They stay nice and crunchy from Monday to Friday (and maybe beyond). ¬†I used to buy baby carrots but I found that a large bag of carrots makes more carrots overall and is usually half the price. ¬†I also heard that baby carrots are soaked in chlorine before packaging – yuck! ¬†I do the same for celery. ¬†The only veggie I prep the morning of is cucumber as those dry out quickly. ¬†Every week, I also buy a huge container of baby spinach to throw into salads (or smoothies or even my scrambled eggs). ¬†Last week, I kind of forgot about the spinach and it was due today. ¬†To avoid waste, I divided the spinach into individual serves in plastic baggies and stuck them in the freezer. ¬†They won’t be salad worthy but are still fine for my eggs and/or smoothies.

 

 

  • Fruits come in their own packaging (thinking apples, oranges and bananas) and do not require much prep ahead of time. If I buy grapes, I wash them right away and stick them back in the fridge in a bowl lined with paper towel. ¬†The morning of, I grab a bunch for each person and place them in a container.
  • I often double up on family-sized meals and divy them up into individual containers. ¬†Everyone in our house likes a hot lunch and this is one way to make them all happy. ¬†My daughter’s school doesn’t have a microwave for students to use so I pack her hot meals in a thermos. ¬†To ensure the meal stays hot, pour boiling water into the thermos for 5 minutes, pour out, then fill with hot food. ¬†It’ll keep piping hot until lunchtime. ¬†My kids love all sorts of pasta dishes that I will be sure to post about in the future. ¬†Myself, I like meat, veggies and sweet potato. ¬†My husband likes chili and my homemade roasted chicken noodle soup,
  • I make 1-2 family sized desserts like zucchini bread, chocolate cake, cinnamon buns, chocolate chip cookies or brownies. ¬†I cut them into individual servings and wrap each serving. ¬†Each day, each family member gets to choose their own treat. Not only is making our own treats more cost-effective, we are avoiding the chemical storm that is in different processed pre-packaged dessert products. ¬†I read recently that if you can’t pronounce ingredients and/or your grandmother wouldn’t recognize it as food, then don’t eat it. ¬†I have full quality control over the ingredients that go in our treats.¬†Today, I made this fabulous cherry quickbread with a cherry-flavoured glaze. ¬†My son gave it two thumbs up! ¬†

 

  • Our main lunch beverage is water. I don’t buy juice boxes. ¬†They are high in sugar and cost a lot of money. We are fortunate to live in an area with very clean water (right by the Arctic Watershed – as pure as it can get!). ¬†We have a well, a water softener and reverse osmosis. ¬†This water is so pure and is delicious. ¬†I can no longer drink town water. All I can taste is chlorine – yuck! ¬†Each family member has their own water bottle. ¬†After school, my children immediately wash their lunch dishes/water bottles and set them on the drying rack. ¬†By the time supper is over, they’re dry. ¬†I cap them and line them up beside our fridge so they’re readily available to fill the following morning.
  • We make our own coffee and tea at home. ¬†My husband likes coffee-to-go. ¬†I prefer herbal tea sweetened with stevia. ¬†I recently bought a Contigo travel mug at Costco. ¬†They keep my herbal teas piping hot all morning long. ¬†My sister had one that she used for her creamy coffee but it eventually developed a sour milk smell no matter how long she soaked the lid. ¬†So beware: ¬†they are not recommended for milk and cream! ¬†Black and/or sweetened beverages are best for these travel mugs. ¬†But they are well worth the buy!

The only thing I don’t make ahead of time are sandwiches. ¬†But those alone take 5 minutes to assemble and wrap which I tend to do when supper’s in the oven. ¬†The only thing I dirty when I make sandwiches is one butter knife and my counter. ¬†Throw the knife in the dishwasher and give the counter a quick swipe and it’s like nothing happened!

Today I spent late morning and early afternoon cooking. ¬†Sure it takes a chunk out off my weekend but I can relax the rest of the week knowing lunches are a non-issue. ¬†My children love their lunches and can rest assured that they won’t have a reaction. On many occasions, their friends have requested taste-tests. My poor son was hounded the week I made him saucy slow-cooked ribs with sweet potato fries!

I finished early enough to be able to go to our local pool hall and play five rounds with my kids. ¬†We had a blast, even me since I wasn’t the teensiest bit stressed.

 

Have a great week everyone!

Kim ūüôā

Grandma Gertie’s Air Buns

Here is my Grandma Gertie, born Alice Gertrude Shannon on September 14th, 1920.  She was an amazing cook.  She and my Grandfather, Stanley Clayton Misener, build a small beautiful home on a small lake in the wilds of Northern Ontario, Canada. It began as a three room house with no indoor bath (toilets were outhouses, baths were done in the cellar with my Grandmother heating water on the stove top). Eventually, my Grandfather built onto the house adding a living room and an actual functioning washroom with hot water.

My kitchen (which I often complain isn’t big enough) was massive compared to her tiny one with almost zero counter-and-cupboard space. ¬†In addition to a simple fridge, sink, few cupboards and a stove, my Grandmother also had to deal with a woodstove and kitchen table in that small space. ¬†She did not own a Cuisine Art mixer. Despite this cramped and ill-equipped setting, my Grandmother was an amazing cook. ¬†She could whip up a large family dinner without a bat of an eyelash. Something else she did was teach a young, spirited, wildly messy little girl (myself) to cook in that tiny kitchen.

One of Gramma Gertie’s most infamous creations were her air buns, a recipe she inherited from her mother ¬†These light, savoury, buttery buns were something we all looked forward to for holidays dinners. ¬†She taught me the ins-and-outs of dealing with bread dough and how to roll them into perfect little buns. ¬†She was the most patient of teachers and gradually released the responsibility onto me. ¬†As a result, I have become a pretty confident bread baker.

Well today is Easter Sunday and my mother is hosting dinner. My Grandma Gertie passed away eight years ago and, since her passing, the air-bun torch has been passed onto me. ¬†My Mom jokes that my Grandmother’s cooking talent skipped a generation but my mother is a fantastic cook! ¬†But I continue to make them for her and for our family. ¬†It’s how we keep Gramma with us – through tradition. Everytime I make these buns, I sense my Grandmother’s presence. ¬†The love and guidance I feel is as real to me as our time together in that tiny lake-side kitchen. I believe that our loved ones watch over us and guide us throughout our lives. ¬†I know my Grandma is with me while I do something that gave her great pride and joy. ¬†I even rest the above photo on my recipe box to acknowledge and honour her presence. This little technique has never failed me and the buns always turn out perfectly.

I will share our time-honoured recipe with you today.  I hope you enjoy these as much as we always have!

Grandma Gertie’s Air Buns:

Ingredients:

1 tbsp yeast

2 tbsp sugar

1 cup lukewarm water (if you can stick your wrist and not feel hot or cold – that’s lukewarm)

2 eggs

1/2 a cup plus 1 tbsp vegetable oil

1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar

2 tsp salt

1 cup lukewarm water

Approximately 5 cups of flour (*I can’t say the exact amount of flour as it changes based on the air humidity and season. ¬†I’ll tell you what to look for so you’ll get it right.)

Melted butter (for brushing the tops of buns before baking)

 

Instructions:

In a large stand-up mixer bowl, add the yeast, 2 tbsp of sugar and first cup of lukewarm water.  Let it sit for approximately 10 minutes until it gets all foamy.  This is what you should be looking for:

While you are waiting for the yeast to foam, in a small bowl, mix the eggs, salt, oil, 1/4 c + 2 tbsp sugar and the other cup of lukewarm water.  Mix this with a fork.

Add this mixture to the yeast and immediately add 3 cups of flour on top. ¬†Place the paddle mixer on the stand and mix at a low speed (I use speed 2) so the flour doesn’t fly everywhere. ¬†Once the flour has been incorporated, add the fourth cup of flour and switch from the paddle to the hook fixture.

Have a fifth cup of flour on the side. ¬†Once the fourth cup of flour (pictured above) has been incorporated, begin adding the fifth cup, one tablespoon at a time. ¬†You’ll know you’ve added enough flour when the majority of the dough clings to the hook rather than the bowl. ¬†It will remain a bit sticky and wet but you don’t want to add too much flour or your buns will be bricks!

It should look like this:

 

Once your dough has reached this stage, it’s ready for kneading. ¬†To knead with a mixer, speed it up a bit (I put it on speed 3) and continue to knead for 4 minutes. ¬†If too much flour begins clinging to the bottom of the bowl, continue to add a bit of flour but no more than 1 tablespoon at a time (just to prevent it from glomming onto the bowl again).

Once it’s kneaded, it should look like this (a bit stuck to the bottom, most clinging to the hook, still a bit sticky and wet).

 

Have a large, oven-proof bowl on hand and pour a bit of vegetable oil into the bottom (about 1 1/2 tbsp). ¬†Boil a kettle of water and have a metal pan on hand. Set your oven to the lowest heat possible (mine won’t start unless I heat it to 170 degrees F)

Round out the large ball of dough as best you can and pinch the bottom to form what I can best describe as balloon-shaped. Place the dough in the oven-proof bowl and turn until the ball of dough is covered in oil.  Ensure the pinched end is on the bottom Рthe result will be a round risen piece of dough.  Cover the dough with a clean tea towl.

Pour the boiled water into the metal pan. ¬†Place on the bottom rack of your oven. ¬†Place the dough bowl on top (the middle rack), close the door and turn off the oven. ¬†The heat from the water will help keep your oven warm, help the dough rise and prevent it from becoming too dry. ¬†This is what bakers call “proofing the dough”. (Pardon my oven – it’s a mess. ¬†I’m still that wildly messy little girl cook).

Now set your timer for an hour and let the dough do its thing. This is the time when I do what dishes I can and grease two 12-muffin tins.

On greasing: ¬†please oh please do not use vegetable oil spray. ¬†Like ever. ¬†It is bad for the environment, full of chemicals and has an adverse effect on the taste of these delicate buns. ¬†I use what my Gramma Gertie did – good old fashioned Crisco – to grease anything. ¬†I place a small dab in each muffin tin and then spread with a small piece of wax paper so my fingers don’t get too greasy.

This is what you should have after an hour of rising:

 

Punch down the dough (so fun!) and split it in half. ¬†Divide each half into 24 small balls as equal in size as possible. ¬†Then begin to roll each small piece. ¬†You need to roll it on the counter with a cupped hand. ¬†Do not apply much pressure or it will cause your dough (and subsequent buns) to become dense. ¬†Rotate your hand in small circles as quickly as possible and you should get these cute, round little balls of dough. ¬†Once you’ve mastered this technique, you can attempt rolling two at once ūüôā

Place two balls of dough side by side in each muffin tin:

 

 

Once you have rolled out all the dough, cover each muffin tin with a clean tea towel and let it rise another hour to an hour and a half.  The dough should almost double in size:

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Melt around a 1/4 cup of butter (salted or unsalted – your choice) and gently brush the top of each bun.

 

Place the tins on separate shelves and bake for 10 minutes.  Then rotate and switch shelves and continue to bake for another 5-6 minutes.  The rotating and switching ensures even browning.

When done, the tops and bottoms of the buns will be a light golden brown. ¬†Your kitchen will smell heavenly. ¬†Allow the buns to cool in the tins for no more than 5 minutes. ¬†You want to remove them soon after that to a cooling rack as they will tend to sweat and get mushy on the bottoms if you don’t.

As soon as they are cool enough to handle, you must test one. ¬†This step is to ensure your guests will be eating a top quality product. ¬†At least that’s what I tell myself. ¬†Check out all those nooks and crannies into which the melted butter will ooze. ¬†This was my lunch along with a bowl of tomato soup. ¬†Such a simple meal that was good for my body and soul.

I think cooking as well as eating are great ways to practice mindfulness. ¬†Cooking is more than just following a recipe. I’ve attempted many a recipe that I followed to a “t” and had it fail because I was not using my senses. ¬†Cooking an art that involves all the senses. ¬†These buns would be a disaster if I was multi-tasking this activity along with bill paying, marking student work or playing Candy Crush. ¬†I had to be fully present to be aware of when enough flour was added (how the dough looked and felt), when the dough had risen enough, when the tops were brown enough (I also judge this one by smell). ¬†I think mindfulness is one of the most important traits of a great cook. ¬†It’s also a great way to connect with our loved ones and pass along traditions.

 

Kim ūüôā

Ready for a Little Green!

I do not have a green thumb.  In fact, my husband would attest to the fact that I kill any living thing…any living thing green, that is.  Our kids may have survived and I once had a goldfish live 13 years in a bowl.  But my plant friends are pretty much doomed once they enter my door and/or my yard.

 The foliage in my home consists of two (very hardy) plants that my mother lovingly took care of and then gave to me.  Somehow, someway, they survived neglect and a drought unwittingly and absentmindedly imposed by me.  Any other plant though has gone to the other side.  

I tried to grow a vegetable garden in my backyard.  I have lots of land and lots of imagination but that’s where it ends.  The corn was coming along but was eaten by crows.  The zucchini I let get as large as baseball bats (and as woody as them too).  By the time my tomatoes ripened, they were full of black rotten holes.  I threw my hands up in the air.  Last year, I limited myself to a deck garden.  Large potted plants with peppers, herbs and (once again) tomatoes.  Throwing those rotten tomatoes off the deck and into the bush made for some great pitching practice!  The peppers were too scared to come out.

So, here I am again, at the start of spring.  I’m debating if I should invest the time, energy and money in growing another failed garden.  One of my coping mechanisms when I am not good at something is to avoid it entirely. And I’ve been tempted to do just that.

I think my problem is I approach gardening the way I do many things in life:  I want to master it right away and have the lush, bountiful garden.  Then I jump in with my vision but without a plan and hope for the best.  But the best ain’t happening.  The truth is, I don’t know what I’m doing.  I assume that you have the plant and the dirt, all you have to do is add a little water.  Um nope.  I’ve been doing some research and, as it turns out, plants have different needs just like people.  Some like it shady while others thrive in full sun.  Some require frequent feeding while others are picky eaters.  Soil density and moisture are more factors that you need to consider.  So much information to absorb in one months’ time.  Why oh why did I not start researching in the fall??

So here’s my plan:  I’m not doing a varied vegetable garden.  I’m going to research the simpliest vegetable there is on the face of the planet to grow.  Even if that’s potatoes.  I don’t care.  I just want to see something I plant and nuture thrive and be bountiful.  I will concentrate on how to care for this plant in the best manner possible and do just that. Be mindful and present for that one thing rather than overwhelmed and killing every plant in sight.

In the meantime, I’ve adopted two little plants (an Ivy and some sort of tropical foliage).  I did my research and followed directions.  Both are still alive sitting in their new pots in soil that added fertilizer to (but not too much as – wouldn’t you know it – too much nitrogen burns and kills the things they are supposed to help sustain).  It’s all about moderation – even for plants.  I was thinking about African Violets but I have a gas stove.  Did you know that the gas kills African Violets? They are essentially singing canaries for kitchens.  So no African Violets. See – I’m doing some research instead of jumping in!

As I was strolling through the Dollarama for plant pots and soil (hey I’m frugal, remember!?), I came across these little grow your own basil kits, complete with compacted/dried fertilized soil and seeds.  All you had to do was soak the dried soil disk in 2 1/2 cups of water until it swelled and turned into usable dirt. Then you throw on the seeds and water as needed. It was pretty much guaranteed to be foolproof.  So I thought, “Heck, why not?”  So there we are – three new greens in my care.  God help us all!

   

 

The lesson here:  You don’t have to be great at the start, you just have to start to be great!  Fingers are crossed ūüôā

Kim

What is mindfulness?

So my blog is going to be about mindfulness.¬† Mindfulness is defined as “the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something” or more specifically as “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations”.

Why write about mindfulness?¬† Well, after vaguely longing for something I just simply couldn’t put a name to, I finally found that name.¬† For me, mindfulness is simply being in and finding the joy in the moment.¬† Yes, sure, not all moments are going to be full of joy.¬† But in those darker times, there is always gratitude.

I don’t have a road map of where this is headed.¬† For now, I plan on writing about things that bring me joy and things I would like to incorporate into my life that bring me joy.¬† Like anybody else, my life has been full of ups and downs. After careful reflection, I realize my life has been full of excess food, excess stuff, excess work and I wholeheartedly believe that I was just filling the void which I could not name until now.

Right now, I am carrying a bit of excess weight to the tune of around 30-40 pounds.¬† I don’t know exactly.¬† I stopped weighing myself as I reacted too emotionally to a random number that only defined my relationship to gravity.¬†I’m not in denial.¬† I still go by how my clothes feel.¬† When I think about how to rid myself of¬†this monkey-on-my-back, after all my failed attempts to do so, all I want to do is stick my head in the sand.¬† I’ve been dieting for 33 years and have tried everything from Weight Watchers to Isagenix.¬† These worked in the short-term but I was miserable.¬† I focused only on what I could not have – what I was denying myself.¬† That never works for more than 3 days.

Recently, I began purging my home of excess stuff. I cannot believe the hoards of stuff I have but do not need. Shopping brings joy (albeit temporary) but dealing with the overwhelming amount of consumption afterwards does not feel good.  I hate clutter.  I hate having to organize and re-organize every time I bring in something new, like a new appliance or outfit.  I had so much stuff, I felt closed in.  I want air.  I want space.  I want clarity.  The purging is helping me gain this but my heart is heavy over all the money wasted.

To afford all that stuff, we incurred debt.¬† Right now, we are sitting at approximately $69,000.00 of consumer debt (includes vehicles but not¬†our mortgage).¬†¬†The vehicles I can account for but that’s about half our debt.¬† The rest is just¬†wasted bucks, pure and simple.¬† What would you do with an¬†extra $35000?¬† Unfortunately, I cannot turn back time and give my head a swat.¬† So I’ll just have to deal with the debt now by living within our means and¬†paying it off as aggressively as possible to avoid paying interest.

So excess weight, stuff and debt?¬† I could so totally freak out right now but I’m taking a deep breath and purging my soul of these burdens and releasing it into cyberspace.¬† Blogging is the new journal writing!

One strategy I have not explored is the art of mindfulness.¬† Being in the moment.¬† Not worrying about what happened before today.¬† Not overly focused and worried about what will be tomorrow.¬† Just focusing on today.¬† One day at a time.¬† One moment at a time.¬† And enjoying every minute of it.¬† I have officially reached the half-way point in life and I want the second half to be joyous and full of purpose.¬† What my purpose is, I do not know just like most of you.¬† But how will I ever discover it when I’m focused on denial and misery?

So what to expect in my blog?

  • Well, I do enjoy cooking so maybe some¬†recipes (although this is not a weight loss blog).¬† I have attempted blogs about cooking before but I quickly tired of the focus on food.¬†Anyways, I’ll post about my food but don’t expect any “miracle” cabbage soup concoctions! But stuff I really enjoy.
  • I’m recently into frugal living so maybe some posts of cost-cutting (but not joy-killing) measures.
  • Things I do to relax: reading, sipping tea, walks, thinking, reflecting, yoga, nurturing my houseplants, anything Zen-like.
  • Home-improvements and decorating.

There will be no rhyme or reason to my blogs.¬† Just posting what’s on my mind that day.¬† Because, in mindfulness, I’m taking it one day at a time.

Kim