Thursday, November 24, 2011

Organic Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte

I LOVE chai tea! No... let me rephrase that... I'm addicted to chai tea :) So, I thought what better way to begin my Thanksgiving than with a Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte! It is warm, soothing, and delicious along side of a biscotti or two and voilĂ  a perfect start to a perfect day :)

Mix a can of organic pumpkin puree, 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, 1/4 cup of raw agave, and 2 cups of chai tea in a medium sauce pan:

Steam organic vanilla soy milk until warm and foamy (it isn't necessary that you have a latte machine...)

I mixed one part pumpkin chai to one part steamed milk. You can add more agave if you like it sweeter (I like it sweet:) and there you have it! Enjoy!

My wish to you is a very happy and safe Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Realize Your Dreams

Do you like to dream about the future? I sure do :) Often, however, there are road blocks that seem impenetrable to realizing my dreams. Do you find that to be true with you as well? Here are some of the obstacles I need to overcome to be able to move forward:
  • Lack of Confidence: Do I really believe I can do it? Do I really deserve to be both happy and successful?
  • Fear of Failure: My husband and I have hit the bottom a couple of times and when this happens, it's very difficult to dust ourselves off and try again. I know if I want to do something out of the ordinary I'm going to have to overcome this fear.
  • Feeling of Being Overwhelmed: The prospects of realizing my dreams can not only be exciting, but overwhelming as well, so it's easy to cower and settle back into the mundane of life.
  • Programming: As a result of living this life, I have been programmed to handle my fears, pains, and adversity. Can I make the adjustments necessary to be able to handle success?
If I'm ever going to combat these obstacles and tear down the walls preventing me from being creative and living an extraordinary life, I am going to have to use some, if not all, of the following strategies to take me from clustering with the chickens to soaring with the eagles:
  • Create Goals: Setting goals and benchmarks for various projects that will move me closer to attaining my dreams is essential to maintaining focus and keeping on track.
  • Start Small: Whatever dream I am working to fulfill, it's important to not set unrealistic expectations of myself. This threatens to squelch any dream of becoming a reality.
  • Being Confident: Giving myself permission to be both prosperous and happy is one of the biggest steps I can take toward fulfillment.
  • Make Dream a Priority: If I constantly push my dreams back under the surface I'm likely not going to take steps each day toward accomplishing my goals. It's important for me to recommit to my dream often to keep proper perspective and to keep it a priority.
I read a wonderful blog post by Stephen Cox on The Change Blog about the steps we can take to realize our dreams. He inspires us to imagine our lives as a ship, navigating the seas of life:

"I would like you to imagine your life as a ship, a great ocean liner navigating the stormy seas of life. Within this ship, which is your life, are three compartments. The first compartment at the rear is your past. It contains all your yesterdays, regrets, and could-have-been’s. The middle compartment is today. It is the endless right now of the present moment. The final compartment at the front of your life-ship is your future. It contains all your hopes, dreams, worries and paralyzing anxieties.

You will notice, as you picture your life-ship, that between each of these three compartments are enormously strong bulkheads. Right now those impenetrable steel doors between each compartment are open and cracks in your past compartment and your future compartment are causing your today compartment to flood. Because the bulkheads are open you are frantically working the pumps to keep your life-ship from sinking, to keep your head above the waters of the stormy seas of life.

Picture now, those impenetrable steel bulkheads closing and locking tight. Sealing off the torrent of worry and anxiety that was roaring into your today from the past and the future. You don’t have to worry about either of them any more. You’re safe and secure in the compartment of today. You no longer have to man the pumps. Instead, you can get down to the very pressing business of today. You can set to the things that you can do today that will bring you that one step closer to your dreams."

I don't want to go through life "drowning in a sea of anxiety and worry," do you? Let's let go of the worries of our past and the anxieties of our futures and live in the tight compartment of the here and now so we can successfully implement the strategies I've listed above and knock down the barriers that often hinder us from realizing our dreams.

Blessings today for a bright future ahead!

Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate

The Farm Girl posted a recipe for Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate that looks mighty tasty! Perhaps we will have to top off our pumpkin pie with this little, cozy, delectable mug! (I'm going to text my brother with this recipe since he's our Thanksgiving barista this year:)

Wishing you all a joyous Holiday!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

God Wins!

Dropping by to hang out with all of my "bloggies" and to just run something by all of you...

I teach special education and one of the things I remind myself of every morning is to always downplay my students' weaknesses and focus on their strengths. The result is a school day of appropriate expectations and incredible success in my book.

A friend and I went out last night. I especially enjoy this friendship because she prompts me to dig an little deeper into life. We tend to leave our outings emotionally fed... I love that!

Last night as my friend and I were chatting she took out a notebook and began to jot down the things we were talking about. I was thinking oh my gosh... I never do that! She shared with me that on Thanksgiving she is going to be with a cousin with whom she rarely sees eye to eye. In fact, there's often real contention. She told me he even defriended her on Facebook.

As she was writing and we were sharing I couldn't help but think that we all have a stinky story to tell. Life is hard at best. Unfortunately, no one is exempt from the difficulties this world has to offer. I was once again reminded of my students who didn't ask for the life they are living. It wasn't as a result of choices they made...  They nonetheless have to muddle through life just like the rest of us. This is why focusing on their strengths and magnify the things at which they are good enables them to find purpose and productivity and loving them as they are with all their quirky little ways affords them the confidence to be all they can be.

In the end, I encouraged my friend and I to do the same... to downplay the cow pies of life and accentuate God's blessings we often miss because we're wading through the devil's sh*t.

My students end their school day strutting out to the bus ready to conquer life head on... perhaps we have much to learn from them! Perhaps we should hold our heads a little higher and approach life with a little more confidence knowing we are children of the living God!
If we truly want to spit in the face of satan and send him back to hell where he belongs, let's use God's ultimate weapon against him...LOVE! Let's do our best to love people even in the face of adversity and we can reap the rewards of watching satan slithering his nasty, snaky backside away.

No matter what we do we're never going to please everyone. We can't control how others respond to us, but we can control our response. If we hold on to bitterness, if we aren't willing to forgive, if we holler and scream and fight it out... satan laughs and loves it (in fact, he thrives on it). There's nothing our enemy hates worse than when we respond out of a loving spirit. He hates it! He weakens and cowers in the face of it.

Who are we going to let win people?? God or satan??

God wins!!

This Holiday season let's give the gift of love to the people around us no matter our circumstances and I believe we will witness monumental blessings as a result :)

Sending out my love to all of you!