Wednesday, July 10, 2019

My Favorite Spotify Playlist; Sunny Summer Days

It's hard for me to think of a happy time that didn't have music associated with it. One of my favorite things is to create playlists for the moments in my life, from happy Saturdays to rainy days and music to pick me up when I'm feeling down. Even when Waverly was born, we created a Spotify playlist. While I listen to all of the playlists at one time or another, this Sunny Summer Days playlist is the one I listen to the most. It's filled with music that just makes me happy. I listen to this playlist almost every day and when I'm traveling, it instantly makes wherever I am feel comfortable.

There are songs that I associate with summer as a kid wearing my rainbow bathing suit every day under my shorts and tee (because you never knew where you would end up when you left for the day on your bike), songs that remind me of my favorite people and special moments and songs that  just make me feel sunny inside.

I hope that when you listen to this playlist, you feel happy and sunny too.

What's songs are on your favorite playlist?

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Your own kind of happy

One of my girlfriends texted me and asked "I should want to get married, right?"

Me: "I don't know. Do you WANT to get married?" I called her. This was phone call worthy, not text worthy.

Friend: "God, no. I mean he's terrific but not in a forever-I-will-make-you-meatloaf-every-week kind of way."

Me: "Then you may want to put a pause on the whole marriage thing. Why are you asking me this? Is he about to propose?"

Friend: "I hope not but it seems like everyone is engaged and having kids and I'm just really happy being by myself and dating. My mother thinks I should get a cat or something to start. I don't get it."

That's the thing. Our parents, friends and every sometimes ourselves, we think we should do something or like something or want this thing that supposedly everyone wants. I don't agree with this. I think it's perfectly OK to not want to get married or have kids or pursue a career because someone else thinks this is what your life's path is.

If you want to get married or have kids or move to a tiny beach town in another country or adopt a pair of elderly dogs or pursue your own career that maybe is't what your parents dreamed of for you but will make you feel happy, do it. Do it for YOU, though, not because you think you should or you were programmed since childhood to do something.

You are the only one who can determine what brings you happiness. What is it that would make you jump out of bed every morning, looking forward to the day? Close your eyes and imagine your life one year from now. Do you feel happy or are you anxious? What are you doing? Who are you with? Now open your eyes. Wherever you are in your life, you have the power to make yourself happy. It's there for you.

So, accept the ring or don't accept the ring. Go back to school. Design jewelry. Reconnect with God. Move into a smaller space that better your suits who you are. Look for a different job that you're happy to go to every day.  Volunteer to walk dogs at the no-kill shelter. Paint. Skate. Start a family. Whatever it is, start moving towards your happy today.

Sometimes starting can be the hardest part but sometimes it can be the very best.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Essentials: Trader Joe's Buttermilk Protein Pancake Mix (Review)

I love Sunday mornings. Especially summer mornings. A short stack of buttermilk pancakes with fresh June strawberries and I'm a happy girl. When I was at Trader Joe's Saturday night picking up ingredients for Caprese sandwiches, I was excited to see that they were carrying a new protein pancakes mix. I picked up a box of Trader Joe's Buttermilk Protein Pancakes Mix (just add water!) along with a container of organic strawberries for breakfast on Sunday mornings.

I was setting the bar low on these. I've tried protein pancakes in the past, and typically the chalky taste and texture make it hard for me to get past the first bite. As I whipped up a batch of these pancakes yesterday morning, I actually had a back-up plan of scrambled eggs ready to roll if these were inedible.

The instructions called to mix the pancakes with just water. Instead, I added half water/half fresh squeezed orange juice and orange zest. With ingredients that included whole wheat flour and whole grain oat flour, the wet mixture was brown and had the look of high fiber bread. I sliced the strawberries and put them aside.

In a nonstick pan on low-medium heat, I added a little butter for taste and then the mixture in small puddles. As they bubbled, I added strawberries to the little mounds. (If you don't want your pancakes to turn blue when adding blueberries or pink when adding other berries,  add the berries to the top of each bubbling pancake while the first side cooks.)  I flipped them over and they were surprisingly golden and fluffy. Just a couple of minutes more and the pancakes were ready.  I had Trader Joe's maple syrup on the table but we didn't even need it.  The strawberries added the perfect sweetness.One bite and we were hooked. There was no chalky/protein aftertaste. They were the best pancakes I've ever made. They even passed the husband and toddler test.

Our house pancakes mix used to be Snoqualmie Falls Lodge Pancake & Waffle Mix but it's now this one from Trader Joe's. Not only are these pancakes restaurant quality but each serving has 1 gram of fat, 0 cholesterol, 3 grams of fiber, less than 1 gram of sugar and 10 grams of protein.

I'm looking forward to trying these with lemon zest + fresh blueberries and in the fall, substituting the water with spiced apple cider.

Trader Joe's Buttermilk Protein Pancake Mix is $3.49 a box.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Sunrise Yoga at Walt Disney World

Today is International Yoga Day and at Walt Disney World, 2000 lucky cast members got their meditation on at Be Well Sunrise Yoga in the Magic Kingdom (in total, 21 Disney locations in all participated!) If you've wondered what it would be like to do heaven and earth pose in front of Cinderella Castle, get your yoga mat and pose along. (I just did it along with them and the combination of yoga + sunrise in the Magic Kingdom is pretty magical.)

In the future, if you want to skip the introductions, and join in, yoga poses begin at 22:00.

Have a happy weekend and namaste!

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