Witchy Movie Recommendations for Spooky Season

It’s no shock to anyone that I enjoy dark and twisty things. My clothes are usually black, I usually have a black cat, and I don’t hide the fact that I practice Witchcraft. I am definitely a bad witch(I’ll explain in a different post) and really embrace magic in the fall and winter seasons.

Since here in Colorado it’s the first day that it’s cooler than 80degrees outside I am cuddled up with a warm cup of tea watching some of my favorite witch movies!

1. Practical Magic One of my very favorite witchy movies. They do a great job towing the line between real magic and cinematic magic. A tale of 2 sisters whose family is cursed, any man that loves one of the witchy women in the family dies at too young an age. The sisters fight to break the curse with some mishaps along the way.

I love a strong female lead, but the love between these two sisters brings to tears every time!

2. The Craft Anyone that hasn’t seen this early 90’s classic probably wouldn’t be reading this list. New girl in town Sarah is inducted into a coven of witches but magic gives her more than she bargained for.

This one is a little darker than the first, while it still has some touches of what magic in real life is like, it takes a lot of fictitious royalties with the craft.

3. The House with a Clock in its Walls This is a newer movie staring Jack Black! It is a little more child friendly while still being pg-13. A young boy whose parents die ends up going to love with his mysterious uncle and helps him save the world.

This one is very fun and puts a lot of emphasis on the most important thing in magic, that it comes from within you and you must believe to make it so.

4. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Ok so this one isn’t a movie… but still so high on my list for favorites to watch in the fall. This remake of Sabrina the teenage witch is MUCH darker than its 90’s children show counterpart. Even though the story is similar. Showcasing satanic witches, however if you can tolerate the brat that Sabrina is long enough you’ll get to see some pagan witches in action.

I really wanted to round this out with a 5th recommendation, but the rest are great tv and movie recommendations that don’t need an occasion!!

The Charmed Reboot(or the original, both super cool)

Hocus Pocus

American Horror Story Coven and Apocalypse

Lucifer

Hope you enjoy!!

Surviving 21st Century Quarantine

January 2020 started like any normal January. Drinks with friends and a champagne toast at midnight with a kiss form that special someone to ring in the new year.  Little did we know that the day before Wuhan China  had declared a cluster of cases of phenomena that would rapidly change how we live our lives in America.

All events in this post are accurate to date according to the WHO Timeline of COVID-19 that can be found here https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/08-04-2020-who-timeline—covid-19 

This is my story, what I have gone through, what my fellow students have been doing, and my friends, who went from fun loving social butterflies to being cooped up at home and trying to stay connected with each other over zoom and Facetime.

The first week in January went by like any other week, going to work, hanging out with friends. My son and I even took a ski trip to Breckenridge Colorado where we snowboarded at Copper Mountain resort every day. Stayed in a beautiful lodge and hung out in the pool every evening. Before things got severe I even took a second trip to Steamboat Springs, no idea of the trouble that was brewing in China.

About half way through January we got reports of the phenomena like sickness that was happening in China. I remember seeing a news run about the Department of Public Health setting up temperature checking points at major international airports. Checking the temperature of people coming in from China. A representative form the Colorado emergency planning committee let us know that there was no need to panic, that we hadn’t found any cases stateside.

It was about this time that COVID-19 was identified as the virus causing this respiratory illness. As well as the first case found outside of china was identified. My boyfriend and his mother were expressing a lot of concern, stocking up on food and supplies because they were anticipating something a lot worse than what experts were waring us about. Trips to Costco buying pounds and pounds of non perishables, just in case it came to a point where we couldn’t get to the store for any length of time. Every evening we talked amongst ourselves, knowing that it wasn’t the virus we feared it was the people. The panic that a pandemic would cause and the buying in the stores when people felt like their daily lives were threatened.

Things went from bad to worse very quickly. The spread of the virus was so much faster than anyone anticipated. It was discovered the virus had been floating around in the United States for weeks before it had been identified. On March 11th the WHO officially declared COVID-19 as a pandemic.

What I remember from my Epidemiology class in Fall 2019:

Cluster- a few individuals in an area presenting with the same symptoms/diagnosis

Outbreak- when the number of cases grows beyond that of a cluster

Epidemic- Any outbreak of a sickness that exceeds endemic levels

Endemic- The baseline number that a population experiences of a sickness

Pandemic- when an epidemic reaches other countries

(here is a nice little publication specifically about the difference between an outbreak, epidemic and pandemic and how it relates to covid-19 there is no author listed but there are additional resources at the bottom if you are more interested in epidemiology. The terms I use are what i can remember, while i did fact check i wanted to keep them in a language that is easy to understand.) https://apic.org/monthly_alerts/outbreaks-epidemics-and-pandemics-what-you-need-to-know/

It was incredible, watching other states be placed on “stay at home” orders very careful not to call it “quarantine” or “lockdown”, waiting for the orders to come through in Denver while we waited for our first cases to be identified.

I had recently started a new job working at a local restaurant where we kept the news on waiting for our orders. When Gov. Polis announced all restaurants and bars would be closed we cleaned the last bit that needed to be cleaned and all received a text message that our shifts were on hold until further notice. A few days prior my college, as well as my sons preschool switched to an all online format.

Suddenly I was out a job, had to immediately switch to online learning, homeschooling a 5 year old and moving into my boyfriends house all at the same time. Those first two weeks after the stay-at-home order seemed to go by at a snails pace. We had no idea what to do, our teachers were scrambling to get things together for us online, my sons school had no idea what to do for an at home curriculum because preschool isn’t required. Some friends set up zoom accounts and we all immediately began trying to figure out how to make this our new normal. Festivals and concerts we’d had tickets to for months were suddenly canceled. It’s hard to even go for a walk without being judged for leaving our yard.

It was easy to find things for my young one to do, many online learning companies opened up their platforms for free due to the changing circumstances. Such as ABCmouse.com. My boyfriend, his mother and I really put all of our energy and focus into helping my young one maintain his education. It didn’t take long to figure out that we needed to find productive things to do without ourselves as an entire household of achievers. I dove head first into making more youtube vlogs, participating more regularly with my blog and taking extra classes about marketing. My boyfriend did the same, he was also at a restaurant that closed and decided to start his own youtube channel. His mother being the most humanitarian out of all of us switched her Therapy practice to tele-health and in her free time she sews face masks to donate to hospitals in the area.

I decided to reach out to my classmates to learn a little more about what they are doing in quarantine.

Dark Blue and Orange Simple Research Poster

My fellow students seem to be handling the stay at home orders very well, Lots of them are still working, and taking the extra time they have to do things for themselves to feel better and even improve their situations. Some have taken up new hobbies, or have found themselves with enough free time to explore themselves and the things they couldn’t before. Some are still fortunate enough to be working, but i have a hard time deciding if it would be better to work or not.

We have now been under “Stay at home” orders for over a month, and Colorado is switching to a “safer at home” to be phase 1 in returning to what we used to call “normal”. And it doesn’t feel right. The united states has over 1 million cases and even though the rapid pace has held steady it doesn’t feel like we are anywhere near ready to return to public. Based on evidence from the Spanish flu when people returned to  being social and the second wave of the virus being much more deadly I fear what might be coming in the fall. And am in no rush to rejoin society. I reached out to a couple friends that live in Washington state about how the quarantine has impacted them and what they have been doing, also their feelings about being in the state that found the first US cases.

Permissions for this video interview can be found here

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1k6UgZw-qYIMUS2Vg4WqyOSXtpumxWft-/view?usp=sharing

and here

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gcYIgprrdtQAmsIYPaWrx4he1N12oVGX/view?usp=sharing

Even an act as simple as associating with friends over Facetime or zoom, give a sense of familiarity. Alyssa, the friend from the video and i have lived apart for over 10 years now. Weekly Facetime has been a staple in our relationship. This outing to see her friend Viv was the first she had taken since quarantine started other than visiting the store. And the only reason she went to see this friend is as she stated, that she lives alone and has been socially isolated herself. There was an article in The Guardian about social pods, it was an op-ed that i had found interesting, as I am also experimenting with social distancing near friends. The world has changed, and even as things try to go back to the pre COVID-19 world, this seems like it really could just be the New Normal.

References and Sources:

Hinsliff, Gabby. Social distancing isn’t going to end soon. So how do we live with it? The Guardian  

Thu 23 Apr 2020 12.01 EDTLast modified on Fri 24 Apr 2020 07.24 EDT

No Author listed. Outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics—what you need to know. Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. https://apic.org/monthly_alerts/outbreaks-epidemics-and-pandemics-what-you-need-to-know/

No author listed. WHO Timeline – COVID-19 This statement is updated on an ongoing basis, in response to evolving events and common media queries. 27 April 2020 Statement World Health Organization https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/08-04-2020-who-timeline—covid-19

Cinnamon Pork chops what?!?

This was a random experiment I decided to try because a friend turned me on to applesauce with pork chops? It sounds obscure I know but its actually one of my favorite combinations. I wanted to share this delicious combination with my family, but due to being on stay at home orders I couldn’t exactly run out to purchase applesauce. So i decided to work with what i had. And what i had was cinnamon.

Now under normal circumstances I don’t think I would have attempted this combination. But in my head looking into the spice cabinet I was like “yeah… there is cinnamon in applesauce… why not?” It also helps that I have a family that trusts my culinary skills, so when I said i was going to season our pork chops with cinnamon they were on board to give it a try!! So below you will find my quarantine recipe for delicious pork chops!

 

Time needed: 45 minutes

30 minutes prep, 15 minutes to cook

You will meed:

  • Pork chops(however many you need to feed your family)
  • 1tbs oil(whatever you have on hand is fine, just pay attention to the smoking point, butter can be substituted if you don’t have sufficient oil)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon per pork chop
  • 1/2 tsp salt per pork chop
  • Optional-any other seasoning that you think may compliment(I like bbq seasonings this makes for a sweet/tangy pork chop)

 

  1. You want to pull THAWED pork chops out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you plan to cook them, you want them to be at room temperature so that they cook evenly. I like to take this time to season my pork, that way as they come up to temp they are soaking in all those lovely flavors. Mix the salt and cinnamon mixture and make sure the pork is covered, this can be done in a bag to conserve mess or on a plate.
  2. Use a medium sized skillet bring the oil to medium to medium-high heat, depending on how hot your burners get (if you are using butter let the pan heat and add the butter just before you put in the meat, otherwise you risl burning your butter which is not pleasant). Toss in the pork chops, no more than 3 at a time. On medium to medium-high heat cook each side of the pork chop for 5 minutes, make sure there are NO PINK JUICES coming out of the chops. Try to only flip the chops once, since this will keep it tender and juicy.
  3. Let the pork rest for 5 minutes after cooking and serve with the rest if your dinner!

 

this is a super simple way to elevate something boring like a pork chop! Hope you enjoyed!

Weight loss Wraps at home

Hey guys!! Remember a couple years ago when a certain company that claimed effectiveness was all the rage?! I had so many friends sign up to sell those awesome weight loss wraps! I would never claim that something a company put out did not work, but perhaps just not exactly they way they claim. The principal has been around in sports training for years. Many wrestlers will literally wrap themselves in garbage bags and tape in order to drop a weight class.

I think the problem with the expensive boutique wraps was they made it seem like weight magically melted off the body with no need for diet or exercise. This is simply not true, your body needs proper conditions in order to “melt” fat. Here is a little trick I use for 3 days before I do a photo shoot that requires an exposed mid drift.

Supplies:

Vitamin E cream

Seran Wrap(plastic cling wrap of any kind)

Coffee grounds(used from this morning are fine!!

Before a good session of cardio thoroughly lather your stomach, thighs, arms, whatever the problem area(I would suggest focusing on one problem area per 3 day interval, stomach is a good thermally active center so start there). Then use the cling wrap to cover the area with two layers of cling. At this point you can also add a sweater, sweat pants, a beanie, things that will help you sweat.

Commence with your cardio/workout session. You can leave the wrap in up to 4 hours total. Do at least 3 days but I wouldn’t exceed 5 unless you are switching areas of the body.

This gets a little icky.. just as a warning. The cling wrap traps all that sweat that you are causing during your cardio routine! So taking it off can be a little messy… i suggest taking care of it in the shower… seriously. I wouldn’t claim that this “melts fat” but it certainly can give the appearance of a flat tummy when accompanied with healthy diets, i like to do it leading up to a fasting day, my tummy is very sensitive and has a habit of getting bloated so before a bikini photo shoot i try to make sure i have a 16 hour empty stomach so i don’t have to be digitally edited. Please do your research before throwing yourself into a fasting regimen. And know that these wraps don’t permanently eliminate fat, but are a great addition to a weight loss routine when your have a short term goal in mind!

Bomb Shrimp Scampi Recipe!!!

Shrimp is great to keep in the freezer. While it would normally seem like a special occasion meal its so great to have on hand for when you’ve forgotten to pull a protein out of the freezer for dinner. Frozen solid shrimp can be thrown in a bowl of cold water and will defrost in about 10 minutes. Shrimp is not my favorite protein but of prepared properly it can be thrown together and look like you intended to have a really fancy meal.

I am a huge advocate for the very simple meals that look really elegant and its a great way to convince your family and friends that you know what you are doing in the kitchen. This recipe is strictly a guideline!! add things, subtract things, substitute things.. The most important parts of this recipe are the shrimp and the sauce! Everything else is completely interchangeable!

This will feed 2-4 adults depending on the size of their appetites

This recipe takes about 30 minutes

10 minutes prep, 20 to cook

For this recipe you will need:

  • 1 lbs RAW frozen shrimp- you can do peel on or off, i always peel my shrimp
  • 2-3cups of a green veggie- I prefer asparagus it looks fancy, but broccoli works
  • 1 package of pasta- about 2 cups of uncooked pasta any style
  • 4 tbs butter- vegan butter, margarine, any butter
  • 2 tbs olivve oil
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic- depending on how much you like garlic
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine-or broth, whatever you have on hand(not beef tho)
  • 2 tbs lemon juice(or juice of 1 lemon)
  • seasoning of your choice
  1. I always start by prepping the water, throw about a half tablespoon of salt into a pot and fill it 2/3 with water… I think its needless to say but make sure your pot is large enough to fit all your pasta and cover it with about 1.5 inches of water. Turn that puppy on high and move on to the next step.
  2. In a LARGE skillet you will want to put it on medium heat and add 2tbs of olive oil and 2tbs of butter to the pan. While the butter is melting you will want to cut your green veggies into bite sized pieces (you really want to make sure they are all as close to equal size as possible to insure even cooking). Once the pan is heated, and before the butter is burned toss your green veggies into the pan. Cook them until nearly soft, about 7-8 minutes.
  3. While you are waiting for your greens to cook, and water to boil this is the perfect time to peel your shrimp, if you are planning to peel your shrimp.
  4. Your water should be boiling about now, add in your pasta and cook till al dente…(thats a fancy term for still a tiny bit crunchy)
  5. Once the greens are nearly soft you will add in your garlic, wait 1-2 minutes then add shrimp. You want to cook them 1 minute on each side, DON’T LET THEM GET PINK!(shrimp are really easy to overcook which causes them to get rubbery, you don’t want that).
  6. Now add your 1/4 cup wine or broth, the rest of your butter, half of your lemon juice and let it all simmer for about 3 minutes or until the shrimp is cooked through, the wine should also have reduced a bit (normal recipes will say by half, but because we mixed the greens right in there the reduction will be minimal) Remove from heat IMMEDIATELY.
  7. Once it is off the stove you can add your seasoning, Italian seasoning goes well, red pepper flakes, i like to garnish with some fresh basil. Now is the time to check how salty it is, if your butter already had salt you probably don’t need to add more but if your butter was unsalted it might need some. This is also where you drizzle on the last bit of your lemon juice for a bit of freshness.
  8. Serve  over pasta and watch your families faces at your culinary creation!!

 

One of the simplest recipes to look like you are a culinary master!! Keep in mind that shrimp is SO easy to overcook, if your pan is too hot and the shrimp cooks too quickly it will result in rubbery shrimp. I think you could probably also substitute in chicken for the shrimp for a chicken scampi? In that case I would cook the chicken seperately and add it in after making the sauce just because cross contamination with chicken is really easy… Hope you enjoyed the new recipe!! Post your pictures on instagram and tag me @lyfeoflaci so I can see how you did!

 

Girl, know your worth!

This story is a little embarrassing. I am a lit, woke 30 year old millennial female who knows she’s a boss bitch. These are things I have always known, but when you are 20 it’s hard hard to shout it from the rooftops and own it. Unfortunately, some of us have to be dragged through the mud a few times to really understand how wonderful we are. In this love and logic series I’m going to expose a lot of sad mistreatment, as well as some of the less admirable things I’ve done. This story is a mud bog for sure. I’ll let you know that about a year after all this happened, he did contact me and apologize for being such an awful person to me.

So, as I have mentioned my friends and I were avid participants in the party culture. After a show I went with one of my girls to get friends house for us to keep the party going. This was how I met “Skunk boy”-legit this is what my friends called him because he had black hair with a white stripe- We hit it off, he was very attractive. Due to the setting we decided to hang out the following weekend during the daylight hours. He was a tattoo apprentice, so he was not very flush with cash, so we decided to take in a movie. I don’t think we made it through the movie… neither of us wanted anything that serious, so our relationship was mostly about… well… not wearing clothes. Which was fantastic!

It started out innocently enough, I met his brother, and some of his friends. But as time went on we saw each other less and less during the day. He wouldn’t come to meet my friends, he wouldn’t bring me around his friends. Till the last month 2-3 nights a week he would text me after 10pm to hang out. Before we start the skunk bashing, he did warn me that he was a sad boy. And in my early years I had a strong attraction to sad boys. Some part of me always wanted to heal them with my love… which trust me ladies, happiness comes from within. No amount of love or sex can fix a sad boy that doesn’t want to be fixed.

Some girls, you know who you are, your hearts are like a beacon to the sad boys and they seem to flock to you. But you have to change your frame of mind, because sad boys will often leave you unfulfilled.

So realizing that Skunk boy had reduced my attention to a late night booty call I started to question some things. Even though my plan wasn’t to fall in love and marry this boy, I still deserved some common courtesy. I still wanted to have a friend, and after he acknowledged my point, I left and he stopped responding to me completely. No calls, no texts, nothing. That was it. I moved on, I wasn’t sad, things went on in my life, met new guys. And as if said about a year later he found me online to apologize for not being a good friend to me and essentially used me for a couple months.

If you get a feeling that a relationship is greatly one sided and it’s not something you are ok with, then it’s something you need to talk about. Know your value! If you want something more than what he has to offer it’s ok to not be ok with it. But it’s important that you communicate the problems you are having with him. Only do things that make you feel good about yourself.

I really hope you can learn something from my past!! I’d love to hear from you!! See the contact page for ways to get ahold of me!

 

Good Things Come to Those who wait…

So I have decided to break my norms(not like this blog has any real theme or direction but that’s beside the point!) and do a series of short posts about love… and sex… Think about a popular 90’s TV show that I won’t name just in case of copywrite stuff… but let’s just say it’s kinda like Sax in a City… if you don’t know hit me up in the comments it’s one of my favorites and I highly recommend for ladies in their 20-30’s! Anyway! I am going to share some tips and little tidbits about my life and… I don’t want to say vast… but I have some experience to share with my lady readers.

Good things come to those who wait… but are they always good things? I personally wouldn’t change anything about my life, mistakes I’ve made, people I’ve met, or the experiences I’ve had. Even though some of those things were pretty awful. This story is an interesting one because it exhibits some of the power we have as humans and especially as women.

I met this guy at a party. It was a crazy weekend filled with so much alcohol. He and I were glued to each other for the full three day party. Exchanging stories, sharing cute moments, I mean seriously GLUED. If you have ever experienced the feeling where you are just sure that a person was meant to be part of your life, chances are… they will teach you something you will need in the future. Thankfully him putting his “claim” on me for that weekend kept me from engaging in activities I might not have been proud of in my future. Nothing happened between us that weekend, now that I’m thinking about it I’m not even really sure that he kissed me. At the end before dropping me off at home he did ask for my phone number and asked me on a legitimate date the following weekend. That weekend came and went with no word from the party boy. It was impossible for me to shake the feeling that he and I were supposed to be together. We had mutual friends but everyone insisted he was no good for me and wouldn’t put me In touch. His phone had been shut off… LADIES THIS IS A HUGE RED FLAG!! Don’t deal with a little boy who can’t even manage to get a phone bill paid… or who changes his number every three months because generally that means he makes money doing dishonest things*cough *

So 6 months go by, and my old phone started going off when I had plugged it into my charger… what?! It was a notification letting me know it was Party Boys birthday. So I contacted a mutual friend to wish him a happy birthday and received a phone call. Oooo this was my chance! I had thought about him for six months and this was my chance to be the cool confident girl we are always told boys want. Dinner plans! The goal was to be hot, sexy and completely noncommittal. I could take him or leave him, because one thing Is for certain… humans want what we can’t have. So even though I wanted him more than I wanted to eat an entire sheet cake, I needed to act like I didn’t.

Now on first dates I have a strategy (I can go into more depth on another post if you’d like) that’s a delicate balance between talking about my goals, while also encouraging them to talk about themselves… another fact, humans love to talk about themselves. Duh Laci everyone here is listening to you talk about yourself… hmm… so I charmed the pants right off of him… Another important point to make when you are trying to seem not that interested in a guy, is to let them know you aren’t really looking for something serious, you just want to have fun. This can also be tricky, because you have to be prepared for things to go wrong, when a guy is particularly amazing it can be hard to not just fall head over heels and you lose that edge of cool noncommittal…

If all this sounds like a game? Well you would be right. The dating game. And when you are young I believe this game is absolutely necessary. Until you get to a place where you feel comfortable telling them your real feelings, the first few weeks to the first few months are crucial to NOT OVERWHELM YOUR PARTNER. It’s helpful if you can learn how to match energy, or at the very least pick out their vibe. Now, for the ladies in the back that REALLY don’t want the commitment, brutal honesty will be your best friend. But that’s a whole other story.

Phew, I’m getting a little wordy here. But he and I dated for about 6 months before we called it quits and vowed to stay friends. Avoided each other like the plague because at every party we ran into each other we would wind up having sex. This went on for a few years, until I ended up in a relationship with the actual devil… also another story… 10 years later and he and I talk on occasion, but I wouldn’t exactly call us friends. Now they say if you can be friends with an ex you either still love them, or you never really loved them to begin with. I know I cared for him, still do I care for people in my life, even ones I don’t like it’s a thing, but I don’t think we were ever really in love… all these stories will work up to when I truly fell in love 😍

Welp I hope you enjoyed, leave me a comment below! Even if it’s a “who fucking cares about you’re love life” I’ll take it! This is mostly like me journaling, maybe I’ll find material in here for a book? Till then, to all the single girls hoping for love? Keep your chin up!! You got this, and you are beautiful!!

You can catch me on Instagram @lyfeoflaci

Tiktok @lyfeoflaci

Twitter(even though I’m largely inactive)@lyfeoflaci

And my YouTube channel here! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkZMdWGuI-O8qCKPxypR7Pg

Buddha Bowls for 2

So it has come to my attention that I eat a lot of Brussels Sprouts. Which is fine because they are so good for you!! Everyone needs a little fiber in their diets.

I made late night Buddha bowls for my boyfriend and I last night and they came out soooo delicious that I needed to share.

I promise the next dinner idea I post won’t have Brussels, but at least they are cooked different than last time!

Ingredients:

2 cups halved or quartered Brussels

1 large tomato(I prefer heirloom)

1 avocado

1 cup jasmine rice

2tbs nutritional yeast

1/2 lemon

2tbs vegan butter

Salt as desired

Seasoned rice vinegar optional

Directions:

1. In a sauce pan add 1 cup of RINSED jasmine rice, 1 and 3/4 cups water, and 1tbs rice vinegar (optional). Uncovered, Turn stove on high and let the water come to a rolling boil. Quickly cover with appropriate lid and turn off heat. Let rice rest while preparing the rest of the dish. Rice is ready after approximately 20 minutes.

2. Half or quarter your Brussels, I do this depending on the size, if the Brussels are larger than a marble I will quarter them, small ones get halved to insure even cooking time. Set stove to Medium-low(4 if your knobs have numbers) and melt 2 tbs vegan butter. When the butter begins to sizzle toss in the quartered Brussels. Make sure they all get a coating of butter.

Pro tip: make sure that there is enough room in the pan for a single layer of Brussels. If any of them are not touching the pan they will be steamed and not achieve the beautiful caramelization.

Stir Brussels occasionally, cook until the sides begin to turn gold/get crispy. This can take 10-15 minutes. You want to make sure they are fully cooked because undercooked Brussels have a terrible flavor.

3. While the Brussels are sizzling, cut the tomato, avocado, and lemon into slices.

4. Once everything is done it’s time to take the lid off the rice. [Do a quick check that there is no water left at the bottom of the pan. If there is quickly return the lid and hit it with high heat for 1 minute with lid on, then let sit for another minute. Do this incrementally until the water is gone. ] Fluff rice with a fork before adding it to the bottom of the bowl. Around the edge of the bowl place your tomato, avocado, lemon and Brussels. Top with 1tbs of nutritional yeast, and salt to taste.

This simple bowl is so delicious and is extremely filling!!! Hope you enjoy!

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts and quinoa—-Vegan Meals for 1!

I found myself the other night with no child and no boyfriend at my house!

I try to cook every night, and try to make my meals healthy for my family.

We try to eat vegan at least 3 nights a week, mostly for environmental reasons. There are reasons for hunting and meat eating I don’t find veganism as cut and dry as others make it. But that’s another story for another day.

This day I wanted to make myself a delicious vegan meal.

Usually I keep staples like rice, quinoa, pasta. And flavors on hand like vinegars and sauces. This makes grocery shopping much easier it’s important to keep a variety of flavors as well.

I rarely ever cook for just myself, it’s actually easier to cook for more people! But here is my recipe for a simple and quick vegan dinner for when you are home alone!

Ingredients

1 cup Brussels sprouts

1/4 cup quinoa

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1tbs balsamic vinegar

2tbs olive oil

1tps salt

1tps sugar

Juice of 1/4 lime

The steps:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Start by chopping up the Brussels, I quarter my Brussels because I like the way they cook better. Place on 1/2 of a cookie sheet.

Add the chopped pecans, olive oil, sugar, salt and vinegar to the cookie sheet. Use your hands to toss it all so that everything is evenly coated.

Pop the cookie sheet into the oven.

For the quinoa place the 1/4 cup of quinoa into a small sauce pot. Add 1/2 cup of water to the quinoa and bring to a ROLLING BOIL. Cover with lid and reduce heat to low! Allow to simmer 10 minutes and turn off the heat. Once the Brussels are done the quinoa will be as well!

The Brussels will only take 15-20 minutes depending on their size. Keep an eye on them. In another bowl mix a splash of olive oil with salt and lime juice to top the quinoa when finished.

I like to throw it all in one bowl so the flavors mix together!

My 4 steps of Self Motivation

I know sometimes it gets hard to even get out of bed. It feels easier to give up and lose yourself rather than fight.

But putting in effort doesn’t have to be the most difficult thing in the world.

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “fake it till you make it” and it sounds like such a hoax. I am here to tell you that it is not.

1. Practice makes better

This statement is why the fake it till you make it saying is so true. Here’s how it works, for myself personally I wanted to be a happy person, so every time someone asks me how I am I say “I am always fantastic “. Why? Because saying that you are fantastic and handing out a big smile is difficult the first few times you do it. Maybe even the first 100 times you do it, because you don’t really believe it. Let me tell you if you have access to something like a blog to try and learn how to better conduct your life, it’s probably better than you give it credit for. (I am absolutely not saying that if you have a mental condition this is how you fix it as opposed to seeking a medical professional)

2. Be Thankful

Something else that is good to be in practice is being thankful for the good things in your life. Pat yourself on the back for creating the wonderful things in your life, you wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for YOU. Everything you experience in your life is a product of something you created! Even the bad.

Be careful of your thoughts for they become words, be careful of your words for they become actions, be careful of actions for they become behaviors, and watch those behaviors because they become your character.

I try to remind myself of this, it’s up on the wall at my sons school so it’s pretty hard to forget. It’s important, when all you do is worry and dread things that are to come it creates not only a bad mindset, but you’ll twist the outcome. Rather than dwelling on what could be make sure you stop and recognize how wonderful you are, and how much you achieve.

Which brings me to my next point

3.Accept the bad with the good

I already explained why it’s important to be thankful for the good in your life. But as you are being mindfully grateful for the good things, it’s also important to accept the bad things. You don’t have to be happy about them, just accept them. Accept that it happened, rather than hate it or put any sort of energy into that negativity acknowledge that it happened then tell yourself it’s ok. Remind yourself again how strong you are for making it through the bad things. Bad things only remain bad by the energy you put into them.

Look at it and say, “it is a thing that happened, but I will not let it define me”

Choose to be happy in spite of the past. Remember #1

Giving power to negative things in the past only makes you feel worse. Acceptance is key to moving on with a happier life.

4. Conscious creation

This past tidbit is more of an action you can do every day. It’s the first thing I do every morning when I wake up. I get up an hour early, make my coffee, sit on the couch, close my eyes and I imagine how I would like my day to go. My teachers call this creating your day. Without emotions just imagine the course of your day how it would go in your perfect world. If you want to imagine a generous stranger handing you a million dollars then imagine that!!! I mean the chances are kind of slim, in my experience at least it’s hard to mess with free will. I often just imagine financial clarity and I always seem to have money for the things I need.

Just the practice of creating your day will make you better at it. I believe I create my reality every day. I am in charge of my own life and the things that happen in it. The good and occasional bad. And I take it all, because it’s my creation.

Bonus:

Thought I’d add one more bonus topic in here and it’s this Do Not Judge.

Doesn’t matter how good you think you are. You are not in a position to judge other people. It’s not your job to evaluate another persons creation of themselves. You are not without flaw, you are not perfect. So don’t judge, being judgy ultimately only brings the actions that you judged back at yourself. Remember, everyone is only doing their best, while you may feel their best does not measure up to yours, you are different people, with different life circumstances. Don’t pity, don’t judge, just let them be, wish them luck, be mindful of your thoughts. Your words are power!