January Simplicity

New-Year-Eve-1I find this time of year so refreshing. The non-stop activity of the holidays is winding down and everything shifts back to routines, simplicity, and quiet. Well, as quiet as it can be with a nearly 4-year-old who thinks she’s a werewolf puppy.

We’ve taken down our decorations and have shifted our focus to the new year. While I don’t necessarily create resolutions, I do love setting goals. So here are a few I’m pouring most of my energy into this coming year-

  • Focus on nutrient density. I’m seriously the worst with this. I never get enough protein or veggies. (I KNOW.) The last few weeks have been eye-opening, to say the least. I’ve been tracking my food by nutrient and I’m horrified. Not only do I want to be as healthy as I can be for me, I want to set a stellar example for Emme. This naturally ties into my next goal.
  • Focus on physical activity. I’ve already started this goal and am seeing some pretty amazing results. I’ve been working with a coach and doing the Master’s Hammer and Chisel Program. Warning- this is a TOUGH workout. One month in and I’m still sore most days. I didn’t think I’d like it, but I’m so glad I made the decision to try. I’m loving the variety and strength work. I’ve also learned something valuable emotionally- just do it. Yeah, I know. Seems simple. Just press play. Even if you’re going slow and half assing the moves, you’re still putting in the effort and reinforcing your commitment to yourself.
  • Organize My Businesses. I’ve really let these slide since Emme’s birth. We’re finally at the age we can be independent. I need/want more to my life than just being a mom and she needs more than just me all day, every day.
  • Less Technology, More Play. I struggle with this daily. I’m addicted to my phone and all it can do for me. This year I’m doing my best to treat it like it’s only a phone and not a tiny computer keeping me up to date on every move everyone else makes. If I want to check email, I need to sit my ass down at my computer.

I hope reflecting on this past year has been beneficial and the new year brings you love, joy, and happiness!

Intentions

lotus12014 was a very crazy, chaotic year for us.  We made some relatively quick decisions at the end of 2013 that had us relocate quickly.  We downsized in a big, sudden way that left me feeling disoriented and out of control for the majority of the year.  I just couldn’t seem to find solid ground and I also couldn’t seem to say no to any need or demand of me.  Somewhere near the end of the summer I snapped out of it and came back to reality.  Just in time for the holiday crazy, right? I managed to make it through holding tightly to my resolve to get my shit together.  My Christmas gift to myself was time to get organized.  I’ve spent the last two days neck deep in paperwork, bills, broken toys, and basement junk that makes me shudder.

The first thing I did was find my desk.  I threw out every non essential item, whether it was a pen, paper clip or bill.  Why did I have bills from 2011 in my file folder? I don’t know.  Everything now has a home and makes sense TO ME.  As it should. Since it’s MY DESK. Good bye broken Minnie Mouse. Adios hubband’s tools. Once that was done, I made a giant list of everything that either needs to be done or that I want to do.  I broke that list down further into weekly priorities like dropping off party supplies next week for Emme’s birthday. I printed out 2015 monthly calendar pages for my bullet journal and noted major events/tasks for each month.  They are all neatly stashed in my journal and easily accessible.

Once my office returned to a happy place I want to work, I turned my focus on the basement. Six months into moving both dryers blew up.  I know. First world problems.  We broke two dryers.  Wah wah. I decided I didn’t want to spend the money to repair or replace them. Especially since I’m trying to simplify and find my zen. Instead, I bought two buckets, some bags of cement, and brought both umbrella clothes lines in from the yard. Problem solved.  I can now line dry my clothes regardless of the weather and I save money not running a dryer. The final step is clearing space for a workout area.  I’m throwing out pretty much everything we haven’t touched in the past year.  It’s obviously not that important to us or we would use or display it.

My head is clear as are my intentions for 2015. I will be organized. I will continue to simplify. I will strive for contentment with where I am and the choices I deliberately make. What are your intentions for 2015?

December Goals & Chickpea Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

theveganfarmer.com chickpea cookiesHello, December!  My favorite time of the year is here! I’m so excited for Christmas not only because it’s my favorite, but because Emme has a full grasp this year on what it means. There is lots to do and see, but first, let’s review November and set some December goals.

I’m happy to report I completed every goal last month.  This month I’m keeping the big to do’s short.  Actually, there’s only one.  I’m making everyone give up added sugar until Christmas Eve.  I know.  I’m completely insane. BUT, the sugar has been out of control.  I feel we need to reset out palate’s and learn to appreciate real food again.  I’ll be making lots of tasty no sugar added treats to get us through.  Up first, no sugar added chickpea chocolate peanut butter cookies.  Here’s what you’ll need-

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

3/4 C natural chunky peanut butter, plus some for topping

2.5 TBSP cocoa

1/4 C date caramel- 4 dates, soaked and pitted. puree with 2 tbsp soaking water, 1 tbsp unsweetened almond milk

splash vanilla extract

2 TBSP unsweetened almond milk

1 TSP baking powder

pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Grease cookie sheets and set aside.  Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Use a small scoop to drop dough balls onto the cookie sheets.  Press them fairly flat and top with a bit of peanut butter.  Bake until crispy, about 20-25 minutes.  Enjoy!

November Goals

nov1It’s the beginning of another month and time to set new goals.  First, let’s see how we did with last month’s list.

1. Read more- I managed to read two books- Getting Things Done by David Allen and  Goodnight, Beautiful by Dorothy Koomson.  Both good reads.

2. Finish living room- this is still a work in progress.  I added a few pieces to the walls.  I have a vision of what I want.  I’m having a hard time applying the vision. When this happens, I tend to jump to another project.  Like my very tiny, VERY ugly bathroom.

3. Letters for pantry donations- These went out and we’ve scheduled a few pick ups this month.

4. Gym schedule-  Our schedules work better with spontaneous workouts like hikes.  And dance parties.  I consider this a win even though we’ve not been in the gym.  The goal was really to move more and we are doing that.

5. Potty training- We were spot on until we all came down with what seemed like a super bug.  No one’s got time for potty training when they can barely breathe.  I’m making this priority #1 for this month.

Here are November’s goals-

1. Potty train the nearly three year old.  THREE!  This is happening too fast.

2. Finish decorating the living room AND very tiny, still rather ugly bathroom.  I’ve ripped out the seriously dated, gold shower doors and hung a shower curtain.  I’d post pictures of this project, but I’m afraid I’d blind you with the hideousness.  Seriously.  Think press on floors, weirdly textured walls, and gold and wood fixtures.  There are plans to tile the floor and find a pretty new light fixture.

3. Finalize holiday gift lists.

4. Create a drying station in the basement.  It’s tropical island hot down there during the winter.  I may as well use that heat to dry my clothes instead of spending money on running my dryer.  I’ll let you know how it turns out.

5. Finalize a vegan menu for Thanksgiving.

Overall, I did very well balancing Emme’s social calendar and tackling my goals for October.  Hopefully I can keep this up with the upcoming holidays.  What are your goals for November?