Happy Monday, Y’all!

Hey, everyone!

Hope you all are having a great summer so far! It’s H-O-T here…geez! My morning walk/run keeps getting earlier and earlier trying to beat the heat. So far, that has not been accomplished. The run/walk gets done but the heat is there. Boy, oh boy. When we finish, I’m just a hot, sweaty mess. (But I’m out there!)

Last week was my birthday so to celebrate, my buddy Kathryn and I zip lined over the river at the zoo. Through the woods and over the river instead of over the river and through the woods. By the way, it was hot. In case you were wondering. It was so much fun! And I did catch a slightly cool breeze while zooming over the river. Slightly. But since you’re traveling about 30 mph, it was short-lived. I was afraid that I’d be afraid, but I wasn’t. It was just exciting.

Getting "suited up"

Getting “suited up” (not the most flattering outfit)

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Being goofy in the tree tops

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Just over the river

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Mission accomplished!

 

So I have a challenge for you this week – and it’s one I need myself. It seems we come back to this one pretty regularly. Those pesky drawers (no, not talking about your undies). I’m talking kitchen drawers, desk drawers, dresser drawers. Somehow (when we’re not looking) someone messes up those drawers that it seems like we just straightened out and decluttered. My challenge is this: spend 15 minutes every day this week clearing out and decluttering a drawer. I’m wondering if we shouldn’t just do this every day until – well, forever – and work our way through the drawers in the house over and over. By the time we get to the last one, we can go back to the first one and start again. 🙂 I’m going to start with the dreaded “junk” drawer in the kitchen. As always. I don’t know where the junk comes from, but it works its way in there every time. I throw stuff out and new stuff makes its way in. (Insert heavy sigh here. Or a huff. Or a groan.)

I’m going to get to the drawer right now. Y’all have a great night!

Lynne

P.S. I hope you’re keeping up with your daily happy pics. I’ve been posting mine on the Facebook page, but I’m keeping them saved on my computer so I can make a collage or scrapbook page or two when the month is over. And I think I’ll just keep on with the project. It’s been a good thing to take a moment every day to find something that makes me happy and makes me smile. I’d love to see your pics if you’ve been doing the Happiness Project.

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I’m still here!

Yikes!

I just realized that I haven’t posted since last Wednesday’s recipe share. I have posted on the Facebook page but not here. Sorry! It’s my birthday week and I’ve been busy celebrating. 🙂 Finishing off the week tomorrow with a zip lining adventure with my buddy Kathryn. Woo-hoo!

Hubby works all weekend so I’m going to try and get a head start on posts for next week. I’ve got to get it together. 🙂

I have been taking “happy pics” every day. I hope you’re keeping up with that. I’ll share mine after I have one from tomorrow.

Have a great evening!

Lynne

Recipe Share Wednesday: Zucchini Bake

It’s summer time and the fresh veggies are coming in. Among those veggies: zucchini. This is a yummy side dish for this time of year. (You can use yellow squash instead, or a combination of the two.)

Zucchini Bake

8 zucchini
1/4 cup butter, plus another tablespoon to dot with
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
1/4 cup finely diced/minced onion
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup – 1 cup Parmesan cheese, depending on taste

Do not peel zucchini; just wash and cut ends off. Cut into quarters; put in large pot and bring to boil. Boil 8-10 minutes, or until almost tender; drain well. Transfer drained zucchini to 9×13 baking dish. Melt butter in medium sized, microwave-safe bowl. Stir in cheese, sour cream, salt and onion. Pour over zucchini. Dot with remaining butter. Shake/pour breadcrumbs over entire mixture; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Cheese should be lightly browned.

Happiness Pics Continue

Hi, all!

I’ve still been taking a picture every day of something that made me smile that day. I’ve been posting them on the Facebook page but I seem to have forgotten to post them here. Oops! 🙂

Lynne 🙂

veggies

 

Veggies picked today: lettuce, Swiss chard, kale, red potatoes, rutabagas, and cauliflower 🙂

 

cloudy

 

I ❤ clouds!

Recipe Share Wednesday: Slow Cooker Greek Chicken Pitas AND Jasmine Rice & Quinoa Pilaf

Here’s a new recipe I tried on Sunday…yum! Changes I made are in parentheses.

As we are trying to eat whole foods, I was excited when I found a pita bread with only four ingredients at the Fresh Market. I used full fat, all-natural sour cream. The pilaf was also very good – even hubby liked it and I was concerned since I’m pretty sure I’ve never fed him quinoa. My daughter wanted the leftovers saved for her. It only serves two so you may need to double (or triple) the recipe  like I did. I’d prefer it with brown rice but that would require changing the cooking sequence so I’m working on that.

~ Lynne

Slow Cooker Greek Chicken Pitas

  • 1/2 cup sliced onion
  • 1 pound boneless, chicken thighs (I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning (couldn’t find mine – it was 6:30 a.m.! – so I used  1 1/2 teaspoons Greek seasoning and the juice of 1/2 lemon)
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pita Bread
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • Chopped tomato (I used lettuce as no one here eats tomatoes raw)

Lay chicken in the bottom of a greased crock.

Place onions on top and sprinkle garlic over everything.

Mix spices together and sprinkle over top.

Place lid on and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.

When chicken is done, remove it from the crock and shred it with two forks.

While chicken is out of the crock, stir in sour cream. Add chicken back to crock and stir well.

Ladle chicken onto warm pita bread, using it as a taco. Sprinkle with tomato. Fold over and serve. *This was VERY juicy. You might want to ladle with a slotted spoon…just saying.

 

Jasmine Rice & Quinoa Pilaf

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped carrot
  • 1/2 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1/4 cup uncooked jasmine rice
  • 1/4 cup quinoa rinsed
  • 1 cup chicken broth (I used vegetable broth instead.)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh broccoli (I used frozen broccoli because that’s what I had on hand.)

In a small saucepan, saute onion and carrot in oil until tender. Add rice and quinoa; stir to coat. Stir in broth and pepper.

Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed, adding the broccoli during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Yield: 2 servings.

 

pita and pilaf

(Finally!) The June “Happiness” Challenge

Okay, folks!

Here I am FINALLY getting around to doing this blog for the June challenge. Since it’s supposed to be a month-long challenge, let’s start tomorrow, June 3 and go through July 4th. Okay?

So here’s the challenge: Take time every day to recognize something that makes you happy or brings you joy, something or someone that puts a smile on your face AND (this is important!) take a picture AND (this is VERY important) share it with the rest of us!

How do you get the picture to me? Well…you have a few options.

Send it to me via email: lynneandteresa@yahoo.com

OR

Post it on Twitter and tag us: @Simplify_2013

OR

Post it on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Simplify2013

So, why is this a challenge? Because so often (too, too often), we go through our days moving from activity to activity, moment to moment, living in a frenzy. We don’t stop and look around us at our blessings. We take them for granted and give them no attention. And so, at the end of the day, we have missed out on happy, joyful moments that God sent our way. And we’re just tired. And grumpy.

It’s important for each of us to appreciate the joy and happiness of everyday life. So thus, the challenge. And even though we’re starting tomorrow, here’s a picture from yesterday that brought me joy: seeing little ones worshiping at church.


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How sweet and heartwarming is that?

So grab your phone, your camera, your tablet…whatever. And start paying attention. Bring those pictures on! Let’s be some joyful, happy people! 🙂

Lynne