Friday’s Fave Five – December 1, 2017

It has been several weeks since I have participated in Friday’s Fave Five. I’ve been on a vacation and then settled back in. Now I am settling back into the routine of writing my Fave List. To join us go to Susanne’s blog, Living to Tell the Story.

One example of something beautiful. I hope to do a post soon of fave sights.

ONE. Vacation. I don’t normally take an extended vacation in November. But I had the pleasurable opportunity to spend time in Madrid, Barcelona, and on a cruise in the Mediterranean.                         Highlights of the trip included Scotti’s skill in finding us unbelievable deals for airfare and the cruise … architectural and historical delights in each place we visited … making friends on the cruise … eating delicious food withOUT gaining any weight … spending time with Scotti and Cheryl (a new friend) … and time away to grieve the loss of a long time friend. I am grateful for these new experiences, time with friends (old and new) and time alone.

Mary and I were thrilled to be a part of this ministry and opportunity to strut our stuff.

TWO. Thanksgiving. In the morning, my walking buddy and I walked a 10K in Run to Feed the Hungry with 29, 117 others. Then we went home to our families.                                                                  Like many others, we had delicious food (some old time faves and a new recipe: Apple Pumpkin Dump Cake (gluten free) and time with loving family. Everyone was able to be at my sister’s home this year and that is always meaningful. I am grateful when we all visit to play, catch up with life and get to know each other better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THREE. Grandma time. I was able to spend a full day at my son’s home. We did an art project, visited a nearby carousel that was decorated for the holidays, and then decorated their home for Christmas. I am grateful when I get to participate in their life.

We had this treat at San Gines. It is open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.

FOUR. Auntie time. While in Spain we had hot chocolate and churros (twice). I brought back chocolate for my sister’s three girls. On Sunday we made up a batch of the hot chocolate. My daughter and I brought over Taco Bell churros and french fries for their family and us to try with the hot drink.   The taste experience was a fail: the chocolate was not THICK like we had in Spain and the churros were not great. This was the 1st time I’d had an American churro. In Spain they are salty and doughy.             But the time together was FUN. And I am grateful when I get to try new things with them.

FIVE. Decluttering. I am continuing on that goal. When we put out the Christmas decorations, my daughter helped me to rearrange my priorities (declutter) regarding the boxes and boxes of decorations. I am mostly done with that task. I read that more decluttering happens at the Holidays than any other time. I am grateful my daughter is able to help with the decluttering process and that she likes to decorate for Christmas as much as I do.

BONUS: Instead of shopping on Black Friday, my daughter, a friend (Rachel) and I went for a hike. We celebrated #OptOutside and #GreenFriday. I am grateful that I tried something new and that it was an active something new.

Your Turn … Please share what made your list this week.

What I Wrote Last Week … Apple Pumpkin Dump Cake (gluten free) … 40 Days Until 2018 – What Will You Do?

What I Finished Reading …  War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy and Year of No Clutter: a memoir by Eve O. Schaub

Related Post … Decorations Can be Emotional Bombs

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Apple Pumpkin Dump Cake (gluten free)

After you’ve tried all the pumpkin recipes, try this gratitude pumpkin next.

This year I brought a new dish to the Thanksgiving dessert table: Apple Pumpkin Dump Cake. I made it for the first time in October for a Senior luncheon. I made a few changes since then and now there is a fave holiday dessert at my home.

Ingredients for the Apple Layer

  • Spray cooking oil
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter) to cook the apples
  • 5 medium sized Granny Smith Apples or McIntosh apples – peeled, cored, and sliced (5 cups) – I used a combination of both
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar – You can add more sugar as I don’t like my apples overly sweet
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon

NOTE:  — Or use 2 (21-ounce) cans of apple pie filling and delete all the above ingredients except for the spray cooking oil.

Ingredients for the Pumpkin Layer

  • 1-15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup whole milk – can use heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs or 4 medium eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

Ingredients for Topping

  • 1 box gluten-free yellow cake mix – you can obviously use a regular cake mix
  • 1 FULL cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter

DIRECTIONS . . .

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spray a 9”x13” pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Melt 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter) in a frying pan over medium-low heat. Add apples, sugar, and cinnamon and stir to combine. Cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples are semi-translucent. Spread into the bottom of the prepared 9”x13” pan.
  3. Whisk pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, whole milk, eggs, and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl. Pour on top of the apple layer.
  4. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over the top of the pumpkin and apples.
  5. Top with pecans.
  6. Melt 1 cup butter and pour evenly over the top of the entire pan.
  7. Bake for 45-65 minutes until the center is set and it is golden brown around the edges.
  8. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

Your Turn . . . Did you try a new dessert this Thanksgiving? Or do you only have the tried and loved recipes? . . . Have you had dump cake before? What is your fave flavour combination?

Related Posts . . . 

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40 Days Until 2018 – What Will You Do?

Can you believe that 2017 is almost over? Have you accomplished all that you’ve wanted to this year?

No matter your answer, you still have time to do ONE more thing. Here are some things I’d like to do.  . . .

  • Create a list of what to do instead of social media
  • Declutter my patio closet
  • Declutter my trunk
  • Declutter the rest of my Christmas decorations
  • Do a session of once-a-month cooking
  • Do something creative 5 times (once a week)
  • Drink half my weight in water
  • Finish a series on my blog that is incomplete
  • Finish War & Peace
  • Go to bed by 10 pm each night
  • Go to the (apartment) gym 3 times a week
  • Make a week’s worth of jar salads and have one a day
  • No complaining
  • Organize my Spain photos
  • Perfect my morning routine
  • Plant a bulb a day
  • Practice Spanish
  • Read and write 2 book reports
  • Read the New Testament
  • Read the Old Testament
  • Rememorize I Corinthians 13
  • Say “Yes” to more adventures
  • Spend 5 minutes a day on my breathing
  • Tell 40 people why they are special
  • Walk 2 times a day
  • Watch my Christmas videos
  • Write in a gratitude journal
  • Write in a laughter journal

Yikes! I have a lot on my list. Do you? I will narrow it down to three things for my personal life and for my work life. Criteria?

  • What will most impact 2018?
  • What will bring me the most satisfaction?
  • What has been on the list the longest and is TIME to accomplish?

It just dawned on me that by crafting this list, I have already done item #1 – Create a list of what to do instead of social media.

While I would LOVE to accomplish all of the above, I will do the following personal things . . . Finish War & Peace . . . Practice Spanish – Complete an advanced course through Udemy . . . Declutter.

And I will do the following for work . . .  Read and write 2 book reports . . . Read the Old Testament . . . Rememorize 1 Corinthians 13.

 Your Turn . . .  Create your to-do item(s) for the next 40 days. Share what you’ll do. 

Related Posts . . . 

 

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Friday’s Fave Five October 27, 2017

I am going on vacation on Sunday. With packing, finishing up things at work, decluttering, writing my decluttering and #wWrite31Days posts and dealing with asthma/allergies, I thought I didn’t have time to write my weekly 5 Blessings post. I am glad I rethought that idea and put this together. To join us for Susanne’s Friday’s Fave Five, go here.

ONE. I finished my series of 43 gratitude prompts. Go here to see why I was grateful for this writing endeavor. I am going on vacation and won’t be back until mid-November. So I decided to do my gratitude project early.

These are the boxes I collected for this year. As you can tell, I LOVE this ministry.

TWO. Operation Christmas Child Boxes. Since I am going on vacation on Sunday and coming back after our church collects the boxes, my OCC sewing group met to finish up odds-and-ends for the boxes. We also made sure the boxes were FULL and put the rubber bands and labels in the correct spot. Our OCC group made enough items and our church collected enough items to fill 47 boxes. This is even before individual church members fill up their own boxes.

THREE. Last movie of the year. Every 5th Tuesday (which happens 4 times a year), the senior group from church watches one of Pastor Mike’s favourite movies. This past Tuesday 20 of us watched Breaking Away. While the language is naughty, there are some worthwhile themes to ponder. We also laughed, chatted and ate some tasty snacks together. We had our movie on the 4th Tuesday because of scheduling conflicts.

FOUR. Decluttering. I have stayed true to my 31 minutes a day of decluttering. I am actually seeing progress. Now I am getting down to the hardest layer to declutter: Christmas items, books and art/crafts supplies. Since I am going on vacation, I will finish up my decluttering series for #Write31Days in mid-November. I can’t write them ahead, because I need to declutter for each post, too.

FIVE. Unexpected time with family. I have been advertising on my Facebook page what our OCC group is collecting and making for this year’s boxes. Two folks not associated with my church contacted me and donated items. One lady is my precious niece, Jennifer. We haven’t seen each other in a year. So we met up at Chick-Fil-A, made the handoff and the five of us had linner together. She is a patient, happy mommy and has a caring, generous heart.

Your Turn . . . Share what tops your gratitude chart for this week.

WHAT I WROTE LAST WEEK . . . 

#Write31Days Series

43 Days of Gratitude JOURNAL Prompts

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MORE vs less: There is No Perfect Moment to Begin

Day 25 – There is no perfect moment to begin. Sometimes you have to “trick” yourself into starting.

Sometimes I feel motivated to declutter and lots of times I don’t. And when I don’t, I seem to be waiting for SOMETHING to push me into the right set of circumstances that will get me to WANT to get to work.

But I am learning that there is no perfect moment to begin.

I just could not get into the decluttering mood tonight. I came home and had a little nap. And woke up feeling I was just going to forget tonight’s 31 minutes. Oh, yes, I was.

Then I thought, “Just see what’s on the closet floor. Maybe you can put a few more things in the recycling pile.”

Well more than an hour later I had sorted everything on my side of the closet. I would still like to declutter more, but I am very HAPPY with tonight’s session.

There was no perfect moment to begin.

  • The clutter fairy didn’t sprinkle motivation dust on my head.
  • After my nap, I still didn’t feel like working.
  • Every time I checked the closet, it was still messy.
  • No one was going to do this for me.
  • My circumstances didn’t change.

But I did change my thoughts. I prodded myself with the sentence, “Just see what’s on the floor.”

Once I put all the stuff on my bed*, I KNEW I could do some decluttering. In fact, it was kind of fun seeing what was there. And it was fun seeing what I could get OUT of the closet.

*I put the stuff on my bed because bending over a lot hurts my back. And getting up and down from the floor is hard on my body, too.

Day 25 –  31 Minutes of Decluttering = I worked in my closet about 90 minutes. I am not done in there but it sure looks pretty good. I am encouraged by the work I did. I stopped because I want to do my laundry and see if I can donate any more clothes.

Your Turn . . . How is your closet? . . . How do you get yourself into a decluttering mode when you are not in one?

Go here for the landing page with all the posts for MORE vs less: 31 Days of Decluttering. #write31days  . . . I am joining 100’s of bloggers who are determined to write every day in October on one topic. To read more about #Write31Days, go here.

Join me in this experiment of MORE vs less. If you’d like, you can join our private Facebook group that is encouraging one another in this task.

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Grateful 43 – Things From This Series

Day 43 – Things From This Series

Today is my last day of responding to gratitude prompts. This has been a meaningful practice. If you joined along, I hope you found it meaningful as well. Please be sure to tell us about your experience with these prompts.

I am grateful for these three things from this series.

ONE. It is easy to complain. It is hard to be grateful. This gratitude practice MADE me think about WHY I was grateful for things. It was easy to come up with 2 reasons why. I had to really think HARD for many items to find my 3rd why. This practice helped me to focus (more) on my surroundings. And it helped me to pinpoint why these surroundings should be appreciated. It helped kill my negativity buzz.

TWO. I am more grateful now than when I started. I turned this into a game, frequently looking around me and answering the question, “What are 3 reasons I am grateful “this” item”? This game and the hard thinking about why, helped me appreciate things, people, and events more. I stopped taking things for granted. This post explains why We Cannot Be Grateful Without Being Thoughtful.

THREE. I did it! For 43 days I shared why I was grateful 4 3-things about a person, event, or thing. I stuck out this challenge. I am glad that I will be going into the Holiday season with my gratitude tank overflowing. With my gratitude attitude in place, I will be able to better focus on people and their needs and on the Reason for the Season.

Your Turn . . . How is your gratitude tank? If it is low, what can you do to increase your appreciation for people, events, and things around you?

I am writing a gratitude series titled Grateful 43. I will do this for 43 days. And I will write three things for which I am grateful 4 each topic. Do you see the play on the words 43 and FOR THREE?  Go here for the 43 Days of Gratitude JOURNAL.

Related Posts . . . 

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Grateful 43 – Things That Will Happen Soon

Day 42 – Things That Will Happen Soon

Looking forward to things is a HUGE activity I like to do. So it is with great pleasure that I share the answer to this gratitude prompt: I am grateful about 3 things that will happen soon.

ONE. Vacation. I am going on a unique vacation: a cruise. This is the first cruise I’ll have been on  I’ll leave in four days and come back mid November. I look forward to telling y’all why I am grateful for this vacation.

TWO. Another grandchild. Children are a blessing. And I think that grandchildren are a double blessing. In late March there will be a brand new baby in our family.

THREE. Sundays. I look forward to every Sunday; yes, every Sunday. A small reason is because I usually get a nap. The BIG reason, though, is because I get to worship GOD with my church FAMILY.

Your Turn . . . What are you looking forward to?

I am writing a gratitude series titled Grateful 43. I will do this for 43 days. And I will write three things for which I am grateful 4 each topic. Do you see the play on the words 43 and FOR THREE?  Go here for the 43 Days of Gratitude JOURNAL Prompts

Related Posts . . . 

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