Stop With ‘Just’ and ‘Only’

When I started to tell my friends and family that I was going back to school, I kept using the phrase “it’s JUST my AA.”

Finally a good friend stopped me in the middle of our conversation to say “Mo…it’s not JUST an AA.  It’s a goal that you are setting for yourself. No one can take that away from you, so you shouldn’t undermine what you’re doing”

I was shocked…then beyond thankful that my friend spoke up.

How sad was it that I had been underplaying my decision to continue my education?

Of course that made me think how this is not the first time I didn’t give myself the credit I deserve.

When I finally lost 25 pounds and kept it off for over a year, it was ‘just’ 25 pounds and it had ‘only’ been a year.

But keeping that 25 pounds off has been an accomplishment.  I could have easily went back to my old ways and let that weight crawl back up.

I know some of you out there totally understand this feeling of ‘just’ and ‘only.’

It may just be me, but I feel that within the past 10 years we as a society have been made to feel that if we’re not perfect, we’re not worth anything.

I’m done with putting that pressure on myself. I will NEVER be perfect, but ‘just’ and ‘only’ will no longer be words I use negatively.

Instead I will applaud my accomplishments and be proud of the roads I choose to take to better myself.

Let’s Chat

What’s one thing you are proud of?

Do you fall in the ‘just’ and ‘only’ trap?

Kale Salad with Feta Cheese, Sunflower Seeds & Blueberries

Remember when I shared with you how to thoroughly wash & store kale?

This is the perfect recipe to use all that clean, bug-free kale you have on hand!

Of course I am years late to the kale salad party.  Oh, I was invited, but I politely declined.

Then, this past summer on our Central Coast vacation, we ate at Wee Shack in Morro Bay. Gary wanted a burger, but I was in the mood for a big salad, and when I saw they had a kale salad with blue cheese and sunflower seeds, I was intrigued.

BEST DECISION EVER

Kale Salad via Organically Mo

Now I am ALL about kale salads.

The flavor. The texture. The simplicity.

This recipe is the invitation I am extending to YOU. Join the kale salad party. Please don’t decline.

Kale Salad with Feta Cheese, Sunflower Seeds & Blueberries

by Maureen McCann

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Keywords: salad entree side vegetarian soy-free gluten-free kale

Ingredients (1-2 servings)

  • 3-4 Cups washed & torn kale leaves
  • 1-2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tsp. Liquid Aminos
  • Salt, Pepper & Dill to taste
  • 1/2 Cup Blueberries
  • 1/4 Cup Feta Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Raw Sunflower Seeds

Instructions

Place kale leaves in a big bowl

Add EVOO, lemon juice, liquid aminos and spices

Using your hands, mix dressing into kale leaves, massaging as you go

Let sit for 5-10 minutes to soak up dressing

Separate salad into 2 salad {OR keep in large bowl if eating on your own – NO SHAME!}

Add feta cheese, sunflower seeds and blueberries.

Mix, serve & ENJOY!

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Let’s Chat

Were you in time to the kale salad party?

Favorite salad add ins?

Simple Baked Sweet Potatoes

With me going back to school, I no longer have time to create elaborate meal plans that leave me with hours of food prep & cooking.

Nope…I just can’t do it!

But that doesn’t mean I want to start eating Top Ramen and canned green beans every night.

Simple Baked Sweet Potatoes via Organically Mo

That’s where these simple baked sweet potatoes come into play. Sure you could just nuke them in the microwave, but eating a sweet potato baked in the oven is life changing.  The taste cannot be beat!

To save time, bake up a bunch one night to enjoy for dinner that evening and use throughout the week for more quick meals

Simple Baked Sweet Potatoes

by Maureen McCann

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30-60 minutes

Keywords: bake side entree

Ingredients (4 servings)

  • 4 Sweet Potatoes {all about the same size}
  • Olive Oil or Ghee
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

Heat oven to 400° F.

Poke each sweet potato several times with a fork

Place the sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil

Using your hands rub olive oil or ghee on each sweet potato

Season the outside with a small amount of salt & pepper

Bake until tender {30-60 minutes depending on the size of your potatoes}

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Let’s Chat

Who else is with me on the fact that baked sweet potatoes taste MUCH better than nuked potatoes?

Favorite baked potato filling?

Happy {Tuesday Thoughts}

Today, let’s choose to be happy.

Life is hard. Life is stressful. Life can SUCK!

But today let’s be thankful for those that bring us happiness.

Today…let’s make a conscious effort to be happy in THIS moment!

Here’s to being happy today….tomorrow….this week….this month….ALWAYS!!

Let’s Chat

Name one…no TWO…things you are happy about!

Part of the Club

Talk about a fun, but busy, weekend!

On Friday night Gary & I kicked off the weekend with a Huey Lewis & the News concert at the Gallo Center in Modesto.  The last time we saw them in concert was over 5 years ago, and I still think they have it going on!

This concert was sold out & every seat was full!  You would think that meant there was no way a shorty like me could see the stage, but the BEST thing about the Gallo Center is that there is literally no bad seat in the house.  We sat in the nosebleed balcony seats and THIS was my view….incredible!

Oh, I also saw this horrible person who obviously forgot they were in a performing arts theater and not some cheap movie theater.

 THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS!!

From start to finish, Huey and the guys had the place rocking!

The only thing that bummed me out was the fact that, including their encore, the whole concert was only 90 minutes long.  But like Gary pointed out to me – they didn’t have an opening act, so 90 minutes was actually pretty solid.

Instead of heading home at 10pm, we decided to hit up one of our favorite Turlock restaurants, 10 East Kitchen & Tap House, for drinks and a bite to eat.

It was PACKED with 20-somethings getting their drink on, which cracked us up & reminded us of our more youthful days.

We both ordered burgers {the BEST in Turlock}, and I had a cocktail while Gary enjoyed a beer.

By 11:30 reality set in that I had been up for almost 20 hours, so we headed home & crawled into bed.

Saturday morning was full of coffee & studying.

By Saturday afternoon, we were both ready to go get our wine on!

We had a wine club pickup party at Lucas that night, so we decided to help the local economy by wine tasting at a few new to us wineries that afternoon.

Two that we really enjoyed were Kidder Family Winery & Stama Winery.

Our first wine club party was a success!  Plenty of cheese & crackers to enjoy while sipping some fabulous wine.

Afterwards we decided to go grab a late dinner since I had more wine than food in my stomach. We chose Pietro’s where, fun fact, we had our rehearsal dinner almost 10 years ago! The food was delicious and helped balance the food/wine levels in my body.

Sunday was low key, as both Gary & I had plenty of studying to do for school. I swear this History class I am taking will give me the gray hair I have been so lucky to avoid in my 34 years of life.

Let’s Chat

Do anything fun this weekend?

Do you belong to any wine clubs?