Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Princess Unaware Week Nine

Slaying Dragons

So you think being a Christian is easy? PUH!!  No one ever said it would be easy and in fact, I'm pretty sure it says in the Bible that it won't be.  We will face opposition from even the most unlikeliest of sources, so beware, and be ready to slay some dragons!

Friends and family: yep, and this one hurts the most.  The ones we love will sometimes be our biggest dragons....some of you know exactly what I'm saying.  As we work harder to live like the Princess God made us to be, our friends and family may be "left behind" and will sometimes do whatever they can to hold us back with them.  And they're pretty good at it.  They know how to push our buttons to get certain reactions and then will point and smile while saying, "you see, I knew you hadn't really changed".  You would think that these would be the most supportive people in your life, and sometimes they are, but you have to remember that they like you the way you were.  They don't want you to change because it makes them look at themselves.  Sometimes we are lucky and they will join us on the journey, but sometimes we will need to leave them behind.

Then there is one of the biggest dragons of all, the one you see in the mirror every morning.  That's right, you!  We make ourselves stumble through things like being a perfectionist, procrastinating, being lazy, going along with the way things are because it's easier, and of course making excuses.  Guilty of all of those things?  Yeah, me too!  You can find verse in the Bible to help you combat each of these.  I could give them to you, but how 'bout you look them up for yourself....THAT'S how you'll slay the dragon!

And last but not least, satan himself.  I've said it before, discouragement is the biggest tool in the devil's workshop.  Once he gets us discouraged, a myriad of other feelings follow to tear us down.  Be assured of this; God NEVER uses discouragement so you can be positive this is from satan and deal with it appropriately.  All those negative thoughts about not being good enough, etc. are from satan the big liar.  Throw those thoughts out of your head and fill them with thoughts from God.  Remember, we are never separated from God nor out of His thoughts.  Let's not keep Him out of ours!

Grab your sword and let's go!

Until Next Time.....

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Broccoli Pasta Salad

This is an extremely simple recipe that you can easily add cheese, cubed cooked ham or chicken, nuts, grape halves, etc. to make it your own, or to turn it into a cool summer meal.  The more ingredients you add, simply add more mayo, and if you double the original amount, another envelope of soup mix.

2 C uncooked rotini pasta (I used 1/2 of a 12oz box)
2 C fresh broccoli (or 12oz bag frozen peas to make salad last longer)
1 C Miracle Whip or mayo
1 envelope Lipton savory herb and garlic soup mix

Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente
rinse VERY well under cold water
place in frig to cool
mix mayo and soup mix together in a small bowl, for milder soup flavor add more mayo
cut broccoli into small florets, discard thick stems
mix all ingredients together and chill until serving

if using broccoli, eat salad within 2 days, using peas, it will last longer (broccoli starts to taste and smell funny)

Until Next Time.....

Monday, August 27, 2012

1 Year to an Organized Life August Week Four

This week you can:

  • have a detailed plan ready for moving day
  • be mindful of "last on, first off"
  • have your family and pet essential boxes ready
  • prep the new home before you arrive
  • set up work conditions that help rather than hinder you
First of all, one person needs to be in charge.  There is a head chef, there is only one wedding director, there should be one person in charge, or a go to person.  Hopefully you have planned and purged well, and everything is well labeled and you know will fit into all the space you have available. If you took notes along the way, as you should, this day will go very smoothly.

First on, last off and vice versa.  Put the things you will need first in the new home onto the truck LAST, so when you get there, these are the first things off the truck and into the spaces where needed.  For the kitchen, this might be cereal bowls, coffee maker, a skillet for bacon, and maybe the crock pot for the first meal and whatever utensils you will need.

When moving into a new place I like to have it immaculately spotless before one thing goes in it.  I used to go clean the new place within an inch of it's life, including washing walls...I mean every nook and cranny from ceiling to floor!!  Yes, a ton of people will be walking in and out on moving day, but I can vacuum after that.  As things are moved in they will be stuck into corners and placed against walls.  I want them to be as clean as possible to begin with.  There are companies that you can pay to do this if you do not have the time or access to the new place, or just physically can't do it yourself.  Trust me, this step is MORE than worth it!!

And now that it is all clean, and everything is labeled clearly, things will be placed properly, and all you need to do is unpack and enjoy!  Trust me, putting in all the little detail work up front will pay you back tons in the end, making for a low stress day and a great start in your new home!

Until Next Time.....

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Princess Unaware Week Eight

Principles for your journey to Fabulous!

I love these principles that Brenda came up with and how perfectly it goes with getting our priorities straight!  No one said this was easy!  Being a Princess is going to take a lot of hard work....but work that is eventually more rewarding than anything you will EVER do!!

"If you give your best only part of the time, your life will be like a puzzle with half of the pieces missing.  The picture looks promising and interesting, but without all the pieces it is incomplete and not worth much" (p.194)  I used Brenda's exact words here because they explain it so well.  Have you ever felt like that, or know that you had done that?  It is so true.  I know that I have had days at work where I did not put my best effort in.  I always regret it and usually end up working twice as hard the next day because I redo the job I did part way to do it the right way.  What a waste of time and effort, even though it was only half effort.  If we do our best at all times, we will feel better about ourselves on a daily basis knowing we gave it our all, but also, when people want to point fingers or accuse you of not doing everything you should, you know it's a lie, and better yet, God knows it's a lie, so we don't need to beat ourselves up over others' words.

The principle of neglect
This is kinda like saying that it is ok to say no or not right now, sometimes.  Put first things first (see the post about priorities!) and neglect the things that don't need to be done right now....or maybe not done at all.  Putting first things first on a daily basis might look different for each one of us.  Some of us work outside the home and some do not.  I don't right now, so my first things are my quiet time directly after breakfast, then each day is a little different as to whether or not chores are done first or errands or if I have appointments.  But each day my tasks are prioritized, and some days, things get neglected!  It took me awhile to be ok with that, but as long as I have accomplished the most important things each day, I am content.....and I NEVER thought I would be able to say that!  Then there are the times where we need to completely ignore something, neglect it, altogether.  For example in the priorities post I described the girl who couldn't get her homework done for all her activities and friends.  Maybe on certain nights of the week, she doesn't talk to her friends on the phone...she will see them the next day in school.  Perhaps she doesn't need to be involved in every sport offered...choose the one or two you really like and let go of the others.  The stress of keeping up with all of these activities is sometimes more than the enjoyment you can get from them....that's a little crazy if you ask me.

The principle of blinders
Yes, blinders, just like you see horses wear in a horse race to keep them from being distracted by anything other than what is directly in front of them.  And, my word, we live in a world full of distractions!!  When I was a kid, our first TV was black and white and we got 3 channels.  Now I have about 100.  On the internet I can find anything, and I do mean ANYTHING!  Even I have a cellphone that is smarter then me, and a computer, and an ipad (it was free!), and a Wii, and all kinds of DVDs and books, etc.  I could fill up every second of my life with what I have right now and still not even touch all the things there are in this world to distract me!!  I have got to put some blinders on.  If over half of those things I listed weren't given to me I wouldn't have them, and I have gotten rid of a lot of things while doing the 1 Year to an Organized Life.  People do not understand me and in fact have gotten mad at me when I have said no to them about things this past year.  I do not work outside the home, therefore I do nothing....sound familiar?  Certain people feel that I should come running whenever they want or need something.  And I do want to help people.  In fact this summer has been very hectic for me in that regard, but I have also managed to still keep up with at least the Bible study and organizational study here on the blog, as well as my quiet time.  Those things I will not give up as I feel that it is my calling and task at this point in my life.  I have to put my blinders on to other things so I don't let these things go.  Jesus said, "follow me!" He didn't say look to your left and right as you trail along behind Me somewhere, we are to follow Him, and sometimes, just like a workhorse needs to stay focused, we need to make the decision to put our blinders on and follow Him.

Until Next Time.....

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Treasure Tuesday - Tonic Workout DVDs

As you know, I have arthritis and FM.  Those of you who have that or similar diseases know that it is important that we exercise, but finding that fine line between enough and too much is sometimes very difficult.  It has taken me a couple years, but I have learned that, at least for me, I cannot do more than 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day.  There are some days that I can't get through 30 minutes at full steam, but at least I have learned to not try to go over that.  These DVDs fit into my plan perfectly!!

There are 3 in the series so far....I hope they make more!  Step Tonic is for use with a step, obviously.  The really cool thing about all of these is the many ways you can modify them to work for your body.  For example, if you don't have a step, or haven't built up that much stamina, you can do it without the step just do kind of a march movement when they step.  There is also a person who does a lower intensity version, and someone who does a higher intensity.  These DVDs are perfect for all types of exercisers!

At first, I didn't think I was going to be able to do this as there are a few lunges and squats and I've got a bad knee.  It's a very simple fix...don't go as low as they do!  Some days I can go down a few inches and come days it looks like I'm barley moving, but the point is I am moving!

Dance Tonic teaches dance moves then puts them all together at the end.  All the videos follow the same format.  Warm up, then 4 blocks where you learn step moves broken down very simply and then also "power" moves or a little bit of strength training, and then a finale where you put it all together. On each DVD there are 2 sets of these for a total of 60 minutes.  If you are having a bad day, maybe you only do the warm up and one of the blocks.  And then if you are having a great day, you could do both sets of videos for an hour long workout.  Most days I'm exhausted by the finale....but not so bad that I can't do anything else the rest of the day like used to happen when I've tried to do too much.

Sculpt Tonic follows the same kind of format, only you use small hand weights.  I wish everyone I know would try one of these.  Working out can be so boring, but this makes it fun, and they way it is taught, by breaking down each move, anyone can pick it up.  You may not get it the first time, or even the fourth, but you will get it!

I bought mine from Amazon, but here is the link to the Tonic Fit website to get a better description.

Until Next Time.....

Monday, August 20, 2012

1 Year to an Organized Life August Week Three

This week you can:

  • learn how to find a quality mover
  • keep your movers happy
  • welcome the pod people or pack the pod
  • place furniture in advance
  • create movers alerts

Regina recommends finding a family owned business or one that has a set staff of movers.  Companies that hire people per move, or temps, run the risk of getting workers that obviously aren't invested in doing a good job all the time.  Don't forget to ask about insurance! Do they carry it?  Does your homeowners cover it?

The way to a man's heart is through his stomach...this includes your movers.  Feed them, water them and they will be happy, which in turn will make you happy.  Don't forget, they are moving all of your possessions.  We want these people happy!  And, yes, just like any other service, A tip is greatly appreciated.

This may seem like a big duh, but label everything within an inch of its life.  Have you ever moved before?  How many times that day did you hear, "where does this go?"  Also, if you are having the movers help pack up your home make signs in each room stating what you want written on each box specifically.  Again, this may be a duh as well, I mean they're packing the kitchen for goodness sake, but you'd be surprised!!  Also, think about this...I say living room, my mom says family room, and my husband says den.  Where do you want these boxes to end up?  Label, Label, Label.  And at the new house, label the rooms: this is the kitchen, this is the living room, etc.  The movers will know exactly where to place your boxes!

Think through the new home and the rooms you will have versus the rooms you have now.  Do you have more? Fewer?  What will you call them?  How will you distribute the current furniture.  Think it through, and once again, label it well.

Grab your Sharpies!!!!

Until Next Time.....

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Mozzarella Chicken

1 lb chicken cutlets (I used chicken tenders and pounded them flat myself)
*1 piece of large sandwich style pepperoni per piece of chicken
     or you can chop up pepperoni into the sauce
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1 C mozzarella cheese shredded
13 oz jar Prego traditional spaghetti sauce (or your fav)
2 Tblsp olive oil
large oven proof skillet

turn broiler onto high
cook garlic in skillet, then stir into your sauce
season chicken with salt and pepper
Cook chicken cutlets in olive oil in skillet
remove from heat, and pour sauce over top
place one piece of pepperoni slices on top of each piece of chicken
sprinkle cheese over all the chicken
place skillet in oven or broiler for 2 minutes or until cheese melts

*be aware that skillet handle is extremely hot when going to serve ;)*

Until Next Time.....

Friday, August 17, 2012

Broccoli Bacon Casserole

2 - 24oz bags Green Giant frozen Broccoli & cheese sauce
1/2 lb of bacon cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 small onion chopped very small (I left this out)
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 C cracker crumbs (I used Ritz)

preheat oven to 350
spray 2 qt casserole dish with non-stick spray
cook both bags of broccoli in microwave for 15-25 min, stirring ever 5 min until tender
meanwhile, cook bacon in skillet
drain bacon on paper towel
drain bacon grease and cook onion if using
stir bacon, onion and mustard into broccoli
spread into casserole dish
sprinkle cracker crumbs on top
bake uncovered 25-30 minutes or until hot and topping turns golden brown

Until Next Time.....

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Princess Unaware Week Seven

What royal Success looks like - the princess defines her priorities

When you begin to define your priorities, remember this: the world does not define success the same way that God does!  It is time to set some things in their proper place!

Start by listing all of the things you do/are involved in/wish you could do.  Now decide what is really important in light of the fact that you are a child of God and not of the world.  Does your child REALLY need to be in a different activity every single day of the week?  I heard from an 8th grade student once about why her grades were failing.  She said it was the homework.  She had sports activities 7 days a week, then she wanted to talk on the phone with her friends sometimes, I mean you have to have somewhat of a social life.  Her problem was the homework.  By the time she was done with sports and her friends there wasn't any time to do her homework.

Then there is someone in my husband's family.  Education is supposedly extremely important and his son gets in trouble if his grades aren't up to par.  But as school began this fall, he did not like his son's schedule so he went to the school to get it changed.  You see during baseball and band seasons, his son was scheduled to take the "harder"classes.  He wanted his son to have his "easy" classes during these times.  First of all, when in life do you get to decide to have part of it easy so you can deal better with the harder part?  Second of all, if you had a top athlete with a learning disability, maybe.  This boy only played one inning in one game last year!

Except for outhouses and such, I wish I were alive in the 40's and 50's.  Social networking was actually hanging out with one another in your backyard or on the porch.  There weren't a million activities to be involved in.  Church was a little bigger priority for Christians, and being together for a meal was law.  I have friends that used to be in a Bible study with me.  One after another they slowly dropped out because of other commitments.  Church volleyball league, media ministry, or using that time to prepare for a sunday school lesson.  All good things to be sure, but are you over booked?  Are you keeping busy in the eyes of the church to look good, but really not spending any time with God for growth or prayer?  Yes, you can even do too much at church.  And this was my personal favorite for 2 ladies quitting.  They had so many things going on that the day we were doing study was the only time that they could rest and God wanted them to rest; it's in the Bible.  This is true!  But their other evenings were filled with a combo of church activity and movie or game nights.  Where's God's time, people?!

There is a lot more to this chapter, but I'm stuck on priorities.  That's not to say that mine are perfectly aligned, but I sure am trying!  Are you??

Until Next Time.....

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Princess Unaware Week Six

Living your royal dream! - The princess discovers her Father's plan for her

Have you ever said to God, "you know if you would just show me the road map I would gladly follow it"?  Well, He does, just maybe not in the specific detail that we would like to see!  God put a dream in you, He created desires for you.  We just have to learn to listen to them.

Have you ever felt the urge to do something, but then talked yourself out of it, but it just wouldn't go away?  That may very well be the desire God has put in your heart.  The seed He planted of your plan sprouting and bursting to get to the sunshine.  Start thinking about it.  If you could do anything at all for the Kingdom what would you want to do?  That's your passion.  Dwell on that thought.  Is the urge overwhelming? This is probably God's plan for you!  And yes, some dreams may be in the public school system where you can change the life of a child.  You know what is right and wrong, you know what is greed and what is not.  Pray and read the will be made clear to you!

Discover your gifts by doing a spiritual gift inventory.  You might THINK you would be a teacher, but once you do the inventory you might find that your gift is really more hospitality or administration.  Most inventories will then lead you to possible jobs or missions within your gifted area.  And don't confuse this gift with a talent.  Your talent may go hand in hand with your gift, but it is not the same thing.  I have a talent for organization, which goes great with my gift of administration.  Do you see what I mean?

Once you put together your passion, your gift and your talent, you will be an unstoppable force for the Kingdom!!  But don't be discouraged if it doesn't happen this week!  I have been in seasons of growth where I did very little with my gift, but once that season was over, I had learned so much, that my gift was better than ever.  You might need to learn something first, or you might need to go through some training.  No one can tell you exactly when you will come into that perfect place of being in the plan fully, except for God, and trust me, if you are listening, He will clearly tell you when you are ready!

Until Next Time.....

1 Year to an Organized Life August Week Two

This week you can:

  • meet with professional movers, even if you plan to do your own move, to gather tips and tricks
  • continue to eliminate whatever you can and get it out of the house ASAP
  • start packing if your move is soon
Box and mailing stores have tip sheets they will give you as well as telling you what size boxes are right for which items.  If you have someone like my husband in your life, they might think get a bunch of large boxes and just throw everything in....uh, NO, that doesn't work.  Professional movers will also sometimes give you some hints if you meet with them about a prospective move.  And of course there is the internet...limitless amounts of advice on the subject!!

Regina has a lot of tips in the grey box on page 205.  I've also heard some good ones from friends.  such as:
  • use foam paper plates between your own plates instead of wrapping in newspaper
  • use socks for lots of stuff! Place glasses in them, stuff them inside glasses, use them between things as a buffer and space filler, etc.
  • my favorite is this: if you are moving across town or within a decent driving distance, leave things on hangers and lay them in your back seat.  When you get there, hang them up.  Also, have a couple boxes or heavy bins to fill with your dishes, toiletries, clothes in drawers, etc. and again pack your car, take them to your new house and put them away immediately.  The one friend that did this moved a little everyday after work, and her move was completely stress free.  On the weekend all she had to have help with was furniture!
Good luck!  And don't forget to keep purging!!

Until Next Time.....

Monday, August 6, 2012

1 Year to an Organized Life August Week One

This week you can:

  • answer the 4 key questions to planning a successful move
  • examine your emotions concerning this move
  • make preparations for the new location
I'm not moving this month....or this year, but I have a feeling we will be moving one of our mothers soon.  And I bet if you aren't preparing for a move, you know someone who is.  I'm still going to go through this part of the book not only to blog about, but to take notes to help others move.  Instead of doing the actual activities myself though, I will be working on my scrapbooks.

Here are the 4 key questions:
  1. How much time before the move?
  2. What's the budget?
  3. Is the place bigger or smaller than your current one?
  4. Are you moving ALL of your possessions?
Regina suggests keeping a notebook about the move and basically dividing it into these 4 questions.  Specific details are found on pages 200-202.  There are also optional journal questions to work through all the thoughts and feeling you might be having about the move.  

You might not think that you need a notebook to answer 4 questions, but think about this: for the first question about time, you need to know how much time you need to turn off all services and utilities and turn them back on at your new place.  There is also transferring the mail, notifying school and banks, and finding a new place to worship and maybe community center or gym. If you are moving out of state, you'll need new auto insurance and things like this.

For the budget you need to consider movers, storage, paint or touch-ups, cleaning, etc.

If your places are a different size you will need to consider what you need to take, sell, leave behind, give away, or maybe purchase.  BTW, this is also a great time for a garage sale!!  This kind of morphs into the last question about are you taking all of your possessions.

If you are moving, do not worry about anything that you haven't finished in previous months of this year long project.  Pack up album supplies and any other projects, and work on them when you get into your new place!

Until Next Time.....

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Princess Unaware Week Five

Royal Relationships 101

We are to love each other as Christ loves us.  This kind of love isn't deserved, it is bestowed.  This kind of love isn't the warm fuzzy you feel for your family, friends or dog.  This kind of love is called Agape.  Agape love cares about other people and shows kindness to them (p. 110)  This kind of love covers all kinds of relationships; the good and the bad.  We don't criticize, compare, or talk down to, we see the person for who they are and care for them anyway.  This kind of love doesn't wish the person would get ignored or shunned; it acknowledges and builds up.  God loves us and wants what is best for us; we are to do the same for others.  Note "what is best for us".  This does not mean we have to do everything that everyone wants at all times.  Especially if it is enabling that person's sin, we are to then say no.  Love listens, love prays for, love lifts up, love helps in time of need, love visits the sick and imprisoned.  Love DOES NOT agree with wrong, tear others down, assist in wrong doing, or help someone get out of prison or rehab when they need to be there.  I remember thinking that I was a horrible person for not feeling love for very many people.  I didn't have the understanding of Agape love.  I'm not going to want to hug and "love on" every person in the world.  I am called to help and be kind.  This does not mean that person has to be my best friend.

Jesus loved all people with Agape love, but he was only friends with a very few people.  He was friends with people who were there to help Him fulfill His mission.  He was friends with people that built Him up, genuinely cared about Him as a person and wanted to know Him on a deeper level.  Do not let others use you, be careful about who you let into your life on that deeper level.  We are to love and pray for our enemies and give them what they need when they need it, but we don't have to invite them to our birthday party!  Get to know others very well before you call them friend.  I read a book about friendship that suggested the same time as dating someone before getting married as to call them your friend rather than acquaintance.  In one year you will have seen the good and bad in this person, probably seen how they act in sickness, how they treat others during stressful holiday seasons etc.  It also takes time to really get to know someone and have meaningful conversations.  I know someone that I have been around for about 9 years.  She and I did not become "close" until the last maybe 3-4 years and then have actually grown apart in the last year or so.  I don't feel that we ever got on a deep and meaningful level.  Some people will not let others on that level.  It is closed up behind a brick wall.  You cannot force your way over it, but don't give up too quickly either.  This person and I may never be BFF's, but I will always love her.

Now here's a fun subject: forgiveness!  This one is often confused, and I am guilty of this, with going back to the ways things were (reconcile) and then trusting that person again.  This is not always the case.  There is a whole lot of work to being reconciled and then trust is more work after that.  Some things are so bad that two people will never be reconciled or trust each other ever again, but they can still forgive.  In forgiveness we are to "let go" of whatever the bad thing is.  That DOES NOT mean saying it is OK, and it does not necessarily mean forgetting about it.  Let go means to not hold a grudge or let the incident stew in our minds where we become angry every time we think about it.  We are to let it go out of our constant thoughts, and trust that God as the ultimate Judge will take care of the consequences.  By holding onto the memory of the offense and getting angry about it, we are only hurting ourselves.  The person that offended us doesn't even know we are thinking about doesn't hurt them a bit!  This is not easy by any means.  God tells us that we have to pray to forgive others just as we are forgiven ourselves, then we have to have our hearts in the right place to really mean it, and God will do the healing.  Once we have forgiven the person we can still love them with Agape love.

Romans 12:18 says "so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men".  It takes two to be reconciled, but as far as it depends on you be at peace with all men.  If the other person does not want to work it out in a healthy and Biblical way, we cannot force them to and we are not responsible for their response.  If you have truthfully done all you can, from here on out all you can do is pray for that person.

Trust is another level.  If the offense was based on sin or a character flaw, give the person time to repent and or change before trusting them 100%.  Trust is not usually instantaneously restored, it takes time and work.

There are unfortunately some relationships that will not survive.  One person may never repent or change and may never again be trusted.  One person may not wish to be reconciled unless you do everything she wants and to accept 100% fault.  This isn't true reconciliation and your "friendship" needs to be reconsidered.  BUT, you can still "love" them.

Until Next Time.....