New Beginnings:  Day 78 – 80

Been keeping especially busy this week.  

Took care of some pre-employment formalities as I prepare to start my new job. Also been busy shopping for chairs for my dining room.  What an experience.  After a lot of running around, looking at both new and antique, I scored a nice deal at Jack’s Barn Antique Shop located in oxford NJ.  Great spot that hosts private venues too. Purchased eight sturdy chairs that if could talk would surely have some great stories to share!

   
 

Been feeling run down these past couple of days and think allergies may have something to do with it.  No energy and not feeling very motivated.

Made some salads today (feature pic) so that we can BBQ following my daughters softball game tomorrow and celebrate Ava.  It was 8 years ago tonight that she decided to get ready to make her sudden debut!  I was having very mild contractions around this time that I decided to ignore.  I slept on it and was woken up around 3AM….it was Ava ready to say hello to the world.  We barely made it to the hospital, could not sit down in the car as we were crowning! She was born May 2nd @ 5:10 AM and has been the sunshine of my life ever since. 💜

Will soon need to reinvent this blog space, recognizing that when I return to work, I may not find the time for a daily entry…weekly maybe!

Am grateful for my sweet daughter Ava, love of family, friends and Mother Nature. 🌺

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New Beginnings:  Day 77

Had a great day.  Went to my son’s school this AM to watch him play the historical role of John Abbott in the Son’s of Liberty play.  The kids did such a great job remembering their lines and portraying the events leading up to the Boston Massacre and Valley Forge:

  
 I also met with my PBWF group tonight for a delicious and wholesome buffet!  Wish I had taken a picture of the colorful spread.  So delicious.  Left with a very full stomach but feeling good about what was inside.  I made a cold salad (feature picture) loaded with green power:  quinoa, lentils, black beans, soy beans, corn, peas, tomatoes (grape and sun dried), peppers (red, chili and green), mango, lemon grass, onion (white & green), avocado, cucumber, almonds, dates, raisins, lime juice, hemp seeds, chia seeds, cilantro, parsley, ginger and dill.  

That is a total of 22 wholesome and healthy ingredients. Of the 22 ingredients, 6 were puréed into a silky smooth & creamy dressing that I mixed into the salad (avacoda, dill, sun dried tomatoes, cucumber, dates, almonds). I purchased some mangos that did not seem ripe enough plus a back up batch of fresh mango salsa just in case.  I ended up using the back up batch of fresh made mango salsa:

  
I let the lentils soak and then put them in with the quinoa in my rice steamer.  While the quinoa/lentils were steaming, I diced up my veggies and herbs + made a creamy cucumber, avocado, sun dried tomatoe, dill, date and almond dressing in my fancy new blender.

   
   I mixed all of this together along with my mango salsa, canned beans, peas, corn, raisins, seeds and lime juice.  Can be served at room temp or chilled.

Tonight, after enjoying our great feast, we received our program report card.  I am happy to report that I did well.  My blood work was elevated when I started this journey over 10 weeks ago. And today, my blood work reflects low risk in all categories!  After tonight’s weigh in I am down 18 pounds.   I have tons of energy, feel great and  have received compliments about my skin being “more clear” and “creamy” & “glowing”.  Wow!!!  Never received such compliments👍  My family have been making better choices too and all on their own.  I could not be happier.

Am grateful for this eye opening experience, good health and the power of choice.

New Beginnings:  Day 76

Took my Mom to the movies today.  We saw the chic flick Age of Adeline.  It was quite a story.  After the movie, I showed off my new blender by whipping up a batch of smoothies.

Tried Dr. Fuhrman’s Moraccan Chick Pea soup (feature picture). I like it and the kids both gave it two thumbs up.  A definite good pick for the pantry as an on-the-go meal. Thank you to my friend Denise 👍😊

Very chilly out there!  Just returned from my daughter’s softball game and can still feel the chill in my bones.  The girls are doing so well and are so cute to watch!

  
Am grateful for faith, family & friends

  

New Beginnings:  Day 75

Had a very nice ladies day out.  Went to support a friend who was amongst a very special panel of woman courageous enough to tell their stories.  What is very clear to me is that we women all have a story.  

As the day went on, I was reminded that we can at times be our own worst enemies.  Why is it so hard to be kind to ourselves & be confident enough to not attack the integrity of other women for the sake of mere differences. Woman need to stand strong together, support each other, and recognize differences with respect.  But why is that so hard to do? 

 When I looked around the room today, I was surrounded by strong and beautiful women.  I am today and have always been very different.  Newsflash….. I know I am!  But, I embrace that.   It took me much longer than it should have in life to feel comfortable with who I am and tune out the noise.

  Today was a good reminder that most of the hens that I know and truly respect are also different.  It is our differences that I believe bring us together and remind us that we are human, we are not perfect & there is so much we can learn from each other.  It is important to remind ourselves this before we are quick to judge others including ourselves.  Be kind and recognize the good qualities in others.  Don’t allow insecurities to rule and influence behaviors.  Be genuine and accepting and you will be surprised what you might learn about others including yourself.  And, if you can’t dare to get beyond yourself, your own insecurities that lead you to judge and belittle others, I will still be here.  Willing to help you accept yourself and understand that just like me, you are human, struggling to just try to be a good person in this over complicated world we live.  

Live every day to try to be the best you, and the rest will fall into place.

Am thankful for new experiences, variety of life & people, family & friends.

Feature photo taken from:  http://hanamele.com/archives/418


New Beginnings:  Day 74

Brisk day today.  I under estimated the morning chill and found myself mid-morning wearing gloves on my feet while at the ball fields.  Yeah…weird!!!!

Love, love, love my new blender.  My breakfast smoothly was smoother than Barry White!!!

Went out for dinner and enjoyed a veggie goat cheese pizza.  It was very delicious and I was happy to see a kale veggie burger on the menu of this local spot.  Will need to visit again to try that!

Am grateful for the fun times with my family this evening, friends and the power of choice!  You gotta learn how to make it work.

Feature photo is a picture that my daughter Ava drew of me braiding her hair 💜

New Beginnings:  Day 73

Had a FANTASTIC 👍👍 Day!  You know…the kind of day where the stars align right before your very eyes!  I felt like Rainbow Bright galloping on a unicorn through the sky as my rainbow road unfolded in front of me.  Ever have one of those?  They are the best!!

Visited with my friend and hair stylist Leigh Ann and scored a great new hairdo and while there ran into my friend Cathy 😄.  While at the salon, I received a call…you know how I have been waiting for that new and exciting job offer?  Well… I got it!!!    Was a crazy day for me as I had a duel offer and this is after 3 months of a very intense job hunt.  I start my new job with Met Life as a Business Excellance Consultant on May 18th and am so excited!  It is an industry shift for me and I look forward to taking on this new opportunity.  

Also on the decision making front was my quest for a new blender.  I am happy to announce that after much research, Blendtech vs. Vitamix ….I am a proud new owner of a Vitamix blender!!! More to come as I put this puppy to work for me in future posts.

How’s that for New Beginnings!?  New hairdo, job and blender! Not too shabby!  

Am grateful for my new job, faith, family, friends & good health.

New Beginnings:  Day 72

Had a snow shower this morning so I decided to run outside and take a picture of our beautiful Magnolia tree in bloom before it was too late (feature pic).  Absolutely love the bloom of the Magnolia, instantly lifts my spirits.

Decided to have some fun with a head of cauliflower today and lost my blender in the process.  A blender that I have had for over 15 years.  It was given to us as a wedding present!  I probably used it the most in the last two months than I have in all past years combined.  RIP KitchenAid:

   
I started off baking a head of cauliflower and then making a purée with cashews for lunch:

   

From there I decided to add garlic and tofu,and soy milk to the cauliflower purée  to get the consistency of an Alfredo style sauce for dinner.  Served over spinach linguine:

 
Good day spent in the kitchen today.  I really enjoy focusing on a star ingredient, like today with the cauliflower, and seeing what I can do with it as one idea merges into another.  I also saved some of the sauce to make eggplant rolintini.   I’ll say it time after time; “I love it when a plan comes together” Mr. T 

Am grateful for Spring, new opportunities, family & friends.