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Showing posts from February, 2019

The Saving Grace in Honesty

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“Being honest with yourself is one of the hardest things you can do, sometimes is easier to pretend you don’t see things rather than accept the truth. But if you want a better relationship with yourself and others you need to start being honest.” –don Miguel Ruiz

I was watching a show about a bride-to-be entering counseling because she needed to get advice from the therapist on how to “fix” her fiancé. The conversation didn’t go her way off the start. The therapist asked a few questions about her relationship with her fiancé, and she replied with a confrontational, “why do you want to know those things? They’re not relevant. Are you trying to stir up trouble and break us up?” The therapist remained calm and asked another question, but the bride-to-be didn’t seem to want to work on the real problems, she wanted validation that she was right, and he was wrong. She cussed at the therapist and left. The bride-to-be was in her late thirties, and I was hopeful that she’d come around once the…

Skillet Chicken Parmesan with Artichokes

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Recipe Courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Level: Easy
Total: 40 min
Prep: 15 min
Inactive: 5 min
Cook: 20 min
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 10-ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 28-ounce can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cups chopped rotisserie chicken (skin removed)
1/4 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped, plus more for topping
4 slices rosemary focaccia (about 4 ounces)
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Directions
Preheat the broiler. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the artichokes and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is soft, about 30 seconds.

Add the tomatoes, 1 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper to the skillet. Bring to a boil…

Life is Full of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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The Range of People You Become...

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When I hear the word “conformity,” I think of the camouflage characteristic in a chameleon, but in human form, someone who blends in with the changing environments to conform with social norms instead of their values. As feisty and strong-willed as I am, conformity certainly doesn’t apply to me in any way! At least that’s what I thought after seeing author Martha Beck’s video. Martha said, "When we’ve conformed to something, it bends our minds so that we see through that lens, and then, of course, we can’t see the lens itself, but with a mirror, we can see! And the mirror, in this case, is the other people around us. And the mind will say, [that person is making uncomfortable] and that will enable you to start digging into why. [What’s the thing that person makes me do,] and by unlocking that inside ourselves--that person might still want us to conform, but the internalization of the conformity will be undone, and we’ll be free.”

With Martha’s video still fresh in my mind, I start…

St. Patrick's Day Mint Shakes

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Recipe Courtesy of Food Network Kitchen
Milk shakes, like other simple concoctions, are only as good as their ingredients, so use high-quality ice cream and vanilla extract. Combining peppermint extract and vanilla ice cream gives the drink an extra-refreshing, minty flavor you wouldn't get from using regular mint chip ice cream.

Level: Easy
Total: 5 min
Prep: 5 min
Yield: 1 or 2 servings

Ingredients
1 pint vanilla ice cream (2 cups)
1/4 cup whole milk
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 or 4 drops green liquid food coloring
Whipped cream and green sanding sugar, for garnish

Directions
Blend the ice cream, milk, peppermint extract, vanilla and food coloring in a blender until smooth. Pour into one or two serving glasses and garnish with whipped cream and sanding sugar.

For more recipes visit foodnetwork.com

Life is Full of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Life After...

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My wonderful friend Dyanne wrote about life after cancer, and how its challenges and heartbreaks are hard to cope with, something she says is the last thing people want to hear. They assume the battle ended once she beat cancer, which is why she enters conversations gauging how much truth people can handle before honestly answering how she's doing. People believe she should be grateful to be alive, and she is, but she’s not the same whole person she used to be. She went on to say that most people would rather have light conversations or get juicy gossip instead of hearing about endless battles with many medications or side-effects that leave her unable to lead a normal life. It was sad to hear that my friend's struggles include people's distaste for vulnerability. The same day of Dyanne’s post, author Brené Brownposted this: “The root of the word courage is cor – the Latin word for heart. In one of its earliest forms, the word courage had a very different definition than i…

Happy Valentine's Day!

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Valentine's Day! Download (right-click or control-click and save linked file) this BestieGram for all of your LuckyBesties.

Happy 6th Birthday To Us!

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Life is Full of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Simple, Perfect Chili

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Recipe Courtesy of Ree Drummond
Level: Easy
Total: 1 hr 40 min
Active: 30 min
Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients
2 pounds ground beef
2 cloves garlic, chopped
One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup masa harina
One 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
One 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
Shredded Cheddar, for serving
Chopped onions, for serving
Tortilla chips, for serving
Lime wedges, for serving

Directions
Place the ground beef in a large pot and throw in the garlic. Cook over medium heat until browned. Drain off the excess fat, and then pour in the tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and cayenne. Stir together well, cover, and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If the mixture becomes overly dry, add 1/2 cup water at a time as needed.

After an hour, place the masa harina in a small bowl. Add 1/2 cup water and stir togethe…

Life is Full of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Music To The Rescue!

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Life has been so busy lately that I created a “chill out” playlist to help me cope with the stress of all that’s going on. I created the playlist on a Saturday night after hearing a song I love and was inspired to add that song to a playlist. I then started to look for more of my favorite feel-good songs to create a bigger playlist. I ended up with 125 songs that make me want to dance and sing with joy. I’m in disbelief at how much pleasure this playlist has brought to my life. I continue to add songs as I go along and look forward to the moments that I get to play a song or two throughout the day. This is a self-care tip I learned from author Martha Beck when I heard her talk about treating our senses to things that bring us joy.

When I was in middle school (the late 80s), I would spend hours recording songs onto a cassette tape as I compiled a mixtape to listen to while I rode my bike on the weekends. I’d hit record on the tape deck as my song came on the radio, sometimes I would hi…