The Struggle is Real :)

Moving Forward…The Struggle is Real!

FYI: Meal planning for healthy, whole foods meals can be intimidating. Wheat free? Whole foods? No sugar? Almond flour? Vegetarian? Vegan? Paleo? And some things that I have no idea what they even are. So many choices! And so much conflicting information about what is BEST for us. The only thing that I KNOW for sure is that real, whole foods beat out processed foods every time. Oh, and organic, gluten-free, whatever…junk food is still junk food. All that so say that I’m still slogging through my cookbooks and working on meal plans.

I do hope to start work on my entry hall today. I was going to start with painting the front porch, but the weather isn’t cooperating. So inside we go. I’m planning to paint the hall a lighter color and finally put to use some of the things I’ve been collecting at yard sales and thrift stores. I might also print and frame some of my own nature photos to hang on the walls.

Here are a few pics of my entry hall right now. I like the wall with the ladder. This vignette may or may not stay in that spot. Those were all yard sale finds. I have a shelf with hooks that I picked up for $2 at a yard sale that I plan to put in place of the mirror over the chest or where the ladder is. I’m planning to put a cushion and feet on the chest and repaint it. It belonged to my in-laws. Choosing the paint color is first, though. This is where the real struggle begins. Do you have any idea how many varying shades of white and/or cream there are?? And the names…that’s a job I’d like to have. Naming paint colors.

Hopefully, this project will only take a couple of days. Maybe one once the paint color is chosen. Someone pick it for me! Please.

I’m off to look at paint colors. My eyes are already blurring!

Lynne

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New Recipe! Hope everyone enjoys!

Baked Chicken Chimichangas

Recipe By: Lynn Cole
Yield: 8

Ingredients:

– 8  ounces cream cheese
– 8 ounces pepper jack cheese
– 1 1/2 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
– 1 pound cooked chicken
– 8 flour tortillas
– cooking spray
– shredded Cheddar cheese
– green onions, for garnish
– sour cream
– salsa

Directions:

1. Stir together cream cheese, Pepperjack cheese and taco seasoning.

2. Fold in chicken.

3. Divide among flour tortillas.

4. Tuck in sides, and roll up each tortilla.

5. Lay seam side down in a sprayed 9×13″ baking dish.

6. Spray tops of tortillas with cooking spray.

7. Spray tops of tortillas with cooking spray.

8. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

9. Turn chimi’s over, and bake an additional 15 minutes.

10. Serve with cheddar cheese, green onions, sour cream, and salsa.

Happy Friday, y’all!

Hey, everyone!

Hope you all have had a great week! Back to school can be good or bad, depending on how you look at it. It’s all about perspective, right? On one hand, you have to get the kiddos up and out early in the morning which is NOT usually a fun process. On the other hand, you might actually find yourself with quiet time on your hands.

This has been my second week as a working mom and I’m still adjusting. While my kids are both in college, I still have a household to run and I’ve been a little off kilter the last two weeks. I think I’m getting my bearings back and adjusting life to my new schedule. I think. I’m working on it, anyway. Throw in training for a 5K three nights a week, and it’s been hectic. At least my version of hectic. (And who in their right mind trains for a 5K in August? Who? Please do not answer this question. It is strictly rhetorical.)

So, with school and work and all that those things entail, what adjustments have you had to make this week? As I said, both my children are in college. However, I still have to drive and my daughter two mornings a week (I still don’t love 8:00 a.m. classes after all this time!) and pick her up at noon. Only two more months and she can drive again if her doctor okays it. Two. More. Months. While it’s fewer than six months, it still seems like a long time. It is just enough to cut into your day and mess it all up. (Don’t tell her I said that. I’m glad I can do it.) So part of my adjustment this week has been getting up even a little bit earlier so that I can have my quiet time before she gets up. I’ve stuck to the laundry schedule pretty well. Cleaning is a little behind and I’m working on figuring that new schedule out. I think I’ve got it, but I’m not 100% positive.

I must confess that I have not been a good dinner maker for several weeks now. That is due to the 5K training. I can’t eat before I go run or I’ll get sick. (I did try it one night. Running while nauseous is not the most pleasant thing to do.) Then I get home and I’m too hot and sweaty to eat. By the time I’ve showered and cooled down, it’s too late to eat. So I’ve made my family suffer right along with me by not cooking dinner every night.  If I suffer, why shouldn’t they? 🙂 But I’m working to get that back on track next week as well.

Obviously, next week will be my “trial run” of my new scheduling ideas. I’m sure more adjustments will be needed and I’ll make them as I go along seeing what works and what doesn’t. By the way, I am loving my new job! Who knew? 🙂 I’m also making a list of indoor projects that I want to do – a little something for each room to mix it up a little and freshen things up without spending a lot of money. Pictures will come as projects progress.

Have a GREAT weekend! I hope it isn’t spent doing chores!

Blessings,

Lynne

 

 

It’s Friday! Woo-hoo!

Happy Friday!

Can you believe we’re only two weekends away from Labor Day? I mean, really? Summer is gone. Of course, with our weather – which changes on a daily basis, it seems – it has felt like fall for the last couple of days. I saw several  Facebook statuses about fall weather being here. I sincerely doubt that it’s here to stay. We’ll get used to the cooler weather. We’ll be all happy.  And then – BOOM! It will be 95 degrees again with 100% humidity. That’s just how it works. 🙂

I made it through my first week as a working woman again. It was only three days, but as I said earlier in the week, I can already see adjustments that I’m going to need to make at home to keep things rolling like they should. Next week we add in driving my daughter to and from school on Mondays and Wednesdays; naturally, she has 8:00 a.m. classes. I’ll be glad when she can drive again (late October if she doesn’t have another seizure). I’m sure she’s more excited about that than I am. Way more excited.

Since my hubby works all weekend, I’ll be spending some time doing some schedule revamping and menu planning, etc. We’ll see what I come up with. And I’ll share any brilliant ideas I come up with. 🙂

Y’all have a great weekend! Rest and relax. If you’re in or near Aiken, there may not be much else you can do. The forecast calls for rain, rain, rain. Oh, joy! 🙂

Lynne

Spring is Here!

Hey, everyone!

It’s official! Spring is here! Yesterday we had mostly sunny skies and a high of 72 degrees. It was glorious! Today – on the first official day of spring – it’s cloudy and only 55 degrees and a good chance that temps will get down to freezing tonight. What?? Heavy sigh. I expected it as we always seem to have a cold spell just before Easter, but still.

I love spring. Love, love, love. In spite of my allergies. I love the newness of the green leaves on the trees. Of the azaleas and dogwoods blooming. Spring to me signifies new life. I’m ready for gardening. I’m ready to be able to sit on my porch or deck in the morning and have my morning coffee and devotional while enjoying the sounds of nature. (I pretend like I don’t live in a neighborhood.) Spring makes me happy. If we had spring-like weather year round, you’d get no complaints from me.

All that being said, I still feel the need for spring cleaning. And that’s way less exciting than flowers blooming and birds building their nests. So I am making spring cleaning lists and checking them twice (or more) so that I can share them with you. Are there certain household chores that you only do once a year during spring cleaning. I know I have some. Darn those windows that need washing! (I’m thinking now if I can “persuade” someone else to do them for me.)

I’m going to take a nap now. I’m awfully sleepy. (Possibly because the Benadryl I had to take earlier. Possibly because I just want one.) Y’all have a great day!

Please comment about those household chores that you “save” for spring cleaning time. I’ll add them to my list. I may not do them, but I’ll write them down. 🙂

Blessings,

Lynne

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It’s Just One of Those Days

Happy Thursday morning, everyone!

At least it’s still morning here…I’ve got less than an hour before I’d have to greet you with a “Good afternoon.” But that’s just how it’s going today. The past week or so have been “off” for me. Nothing wrong, really. Schedule’s a little off. I am a pretty scheduled person. Not regimented or inflexible. I just have things I do on certain days. We have had rain, rain, and more rain. (Yet we still have a drought, I understand.) It’s been cold. I haven’t been able to get my walking in. So I feel sluggish. So just a lot of little things came together to get me a little off track. So today is just one of those days where things don’t go exactly like I want them to. No bad stuff…just not the usual. (I’m working on my attitude, by the way. :p)

How do you feel when your schedule gets out of whack? Or your plans get changed? Or appointments get cancelled? Aggravated? Stressed? I get stressed. I’m sitting here right now rolling my shoulders and neck to relieve some of my stress. My Thursdays are for walking and Weight Watchers. I’ve walked four miles and been to Weight Watchers. We had a home appraisal. I am babysitting my nephew this afternoon. My daughter and I have to go get my allergy shots (not our usual day). She has to have blood drawn today to test for an allergy. (She may faint. This has happened before. Twice. I’m interested to see how it goes.) I (or someone in this house) has to go to the grocery store. Have I mentioned that I hate grocery shopping? With a passion? So my day is not going the way I planned it, or at least the way my Thursdays usually.

However, as Teresa pointed out to me, family comes first. Before the blog. Before the Facebook page. Before my schedule. I am happy to keep my nephew. He’s such a sweetie. And, of course, I’ll go with my daughter to get our shots and then to watch her faint. I mean, I’ll go with her to have blood drawn. I may have to adjust my dinner menu. I may not get the living room dusted and mopped. But it’s okay.

Schedules are guidelines. They are not so strict that you get punished if you don’t stick with them exactly. And certainly don’t punish yourself! In fact, being willing to be flexible often leads to unexpected blessings. I mean, today I get to snuggle with a cutie-pie and get some baby love. It doesn’t get much better than that!

So…I just wanted you to know that while I have been on you to get on and stick to schedules, just know that there will be days when it just doesn’t happen. It’s okay. The world will not come to a screeching halt. Your house will not fall into chaos. (I hope!) It’s just a day. one day. I’ll get back on track tomorrow. When you have those days, just try get back on track the next day. It’s all good. Don’t stress! Don’t panic! Just go with the flow.

Have a blessed one!

Lynne

 

 

Good morning! (Or afternoon, as the case may be when I get to finish this post)

Hope your week is going well! Did you choose a challenge this week? Are you spending your 15 minutes a day on it? Are you starting to get into the swing of a new routine or schedule?

My pantry was my chosen challenge for this week. However, my husband has his long break this week so he’s been home since Friday so I haven’t done much other than take a “before” picture and start an inventory of sorts. I don’t like working on projects and ignoring my beloved on his days off. So instead, he and I got started on our garden. We got five raised beds put together and in place, and shored up the ones from last year. While I am volunteering at church today, he is pricing the soil and amendments we’ll need to fill those beds. I am so excited! I love growing my own veggies!

I am going to have to keep this post short and sweet. My small group has girls’ night tonight, so I was up early making two big dishes of manicotti (one for home, one for the girls). I got my devotional done, loaded the dishwasher and came to church. I don’t want to spend a lot of time here working on this, so I’ll have to run for now.

We are wanting some more people to do guest posts for Friday. I have one for this week, but would like to have one of you write our Friday posts. They can be short and sweet, just like this one. We just want a glimpse of what you’re doing to simplify your lives…it’s so encouraging to hear from you. If you are willing to write a post, email us directly at lynneandteresa@yahoo.com. Thanks!!!

Have a blessed day!

Lynne

10 Ideas for “Me” Time

Good morning!

Hope you all are having a good week. We are halfway through already. And halfway through February. Wow! Time is flying!

We have been encouraging you to take a little time every day for yourself. To do something you enjoy and that allows you time to relax. Here are our top ten ways to get your “me” time, and most don’t even cost a thing!

HEY! We’d love to hear from you about what your favorite “me” time activity is. So leave your comments!

1. Sit somewhere quiet with a good book. (You can’t be surprised by that one! You know we’re are book crazy people.)

2. Take a bubble bath. (Ahh….)

3. Take a walk in the woods. (Or the park or down a country lane…just somewhere peaceful)

4. Watch an episode of your favorite TV show. (DVRs are the bomb!)

5. Visit your BFF (or have her visit you) and enjoy a cup of coffee with her and just chat. (Okay, you could drink something else, but why would you?)

6. Garden. Plants some herbs and/or flowers in pots (if you don’t want to do the big garden thing) and then tend to them. If they are in pots, tending is pretty simple. (Sometimes you have to “tend” to your garden by sitting quietly in it and watching things grow. If anyone asks what you’re doing, you tell them that you’re gardening.)

7. Have lunch with a good friend. (Eat out. Eat at home. Have breakfast. Have dinner. It’s the time for you that counts.)

8. Watch your favorite movie. (In your favorite pajamas and with your favorite snack, preferably.)

9. Sit on the porch or deck and enjoy the nature in your own yard. (Birds and squirrels can be very entertaining.)

10. Take a nap. (Set an alarm so you don’t sleep the whole day away, unless you can. Then feel free.)

Have a blessed day!

Lynne & Teresa

Celebrate!

Focus on your accomplishments, not your failures. Count your blessings. Celebrate the life you’ve been given. John Maxwell

Today I want you to focus on your accomplishments. We need to every so often stop and reflect on your accomplishments. Look around your house. What are you not tripping over? Laundry maybe? How does it feel to not be stressed every evening racking your brain about what you will fix your family for dinner. Does it feel good to wake up and dishes are done? Celebrate those accomplishments! If you have a Lynne personality; you will go sit on the porch and celebrate with a cup of coffee. If you are a Teresa personality; you will grab a hand full of chocolate and celebrate sitting on the front porch. Well, that is if it is warm enough. Here in South Carolina, one day it is eighty degrees, the next day it is fifty – eight degrees! So it is a possibility! The point is find somewhere today that you can get alone and focus on what you have accomplished so far! You deserve it!
Here is what I do not want you to do! You are not to look at what you haven’t done yet. The recipe you tried that did not work out so good. Let it go! Think only on the things that are working well! This is the day to forget what you haven’t done yet. What hasn’t worked out. Only look at your accomplishments!
Take a minute to write out at least ten blessings in your life right now. Here are mine.
1. I have a God who loves me unconditionally.
2. I have friends who are willing to tell me when I need to work on something in my life and who are also there to walk me through the hard times in my life.
3. I have friends who laugh with me and cry with me.
4. I have a group of old and new friends on Simplify 2013 who encourage me every day to keep my life in balance.
5. I have a husband who loves me unconditionally. Who supports me!
6. I have three children who are now grown and we have unbelievable relationships.
7. I have a great job!
8. The sun is shining today! (Little bit more about me, I don’t like the cold!)
9. I have an awesome church!
10. I have a new book on my Kindle. (I love to read!)
I want you to celebrate the life you are given today! I hope you will take a minute to let us celebrate with you and put a few of your blessings on the Simplify 2013 facebook page or tweet them with #Simplify2013. Off to celebrate my day! ~ Teresa