Easy and Elegant Blueberry Brie

This is a riff on an appetizer one of my good friends used to serve using brie and raspberry jam.  It’s super simple and very delicious.  It’s also pretty and a bit elegant.  Give it a try:blueberries

Blueberry Brie 

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

4-5 oz. brie

assorted crackers

Step one:  place the brie on a pretty but heat-proof dish and bake at 350 for 15 minutes

Step two:  during the last few minutes of baking, sprinkle the blueberries on top, and then bake until they begin to get juicy and the brie melts a bit

Step three:  pull the brie out of the oven and serve warm with crackers

I’ve also done this by placing the brie in individual phyllo cups, topping with a few blueberries and baking – easy to eat and no crackers needed.

This is a nice change from using blueberries in desserts or baking – something a little different and definitely tasty!

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Shared on WFMW, Real Food Wednesday and The Mommy Club

Weekly Goals July 21 – 27

Last Week’s GoalsWeekly goals

Business

  • Complete my most dreaded task first every day – four out of five days, not bad
  • Plan out August blog posts - done
  • Schedule social media for rest of month  - done

Personal

Family

  • Complete 2 items on our bucket list - done, Farmer’s Market and Party with friends
  • Help my daughter finish her 4-H projectsdone
  • Have fun as a family at the fairdone, we’ve actually been there a few times and had lots of fun!
veggies for fair

Had to turn in GREEN tomatoes – they hadn’t turned red yet!

4h projects

 

Household

  • Daily afternoon task - 5 to 10 minutes – three days
  • Photo book (at least one) – downloaded pictures, that’s as far as things went this week
  • Get the school papers organized from last yeardone, I need a better long term solution, but at least 2013-2014 are in order
  • Purchase all needed school supplies – almost done, figured I’d hold off on a few things to see what’s on sale next week

This Week’s Goals

Business

  • Complete my most dreaded task first every day
  • Write August & September newsletters
  • Work on next project for at least an hour

Personal

  • Up by 6:30 Monday – Friday
  • Read 2 books
  • Go to bed by 10:30  Sunday – Thursday
  • exercise 5x

Family

  • Complete 2 items on our bucket list
  • Cheer on my daughter as she swims in the state meet!
  • Create collage for 4-H book

Household

  • Daily afternoon task - 5 to 10 minutes
  • Photo book summer Florida trip
  • Two items on my master “to-do” list

What are your goals for the week?  Does your schedule change dramatically in the summer?  Mine sure does!

If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, click HERE for your FREE 3 day e-course “Discover the Perfect Start to Your Day”

Tired of lemon water? Give lime water a try!

I love my lemon water.  In fact, I try to consume a BIG bottle of it daily, but once in a while I’m ready for something different.

Welcome to this month’s oil:  LIME essential oil

Just like lemon, lime essential oil is super affordable, a delicious addition to water and an all around great oil to have on hand.

For drinking, just add a few drops (and by a few, I mean no more than 2 – it is STRONG stuff) to a glass bottle or drinking glass and fill the glass with water.  Then enjoy!

What are some of the other uses?  I was really surprised to see all the benefits*:

  • supports digestion as a digestive aid (historically lime has been used like this – who knew?)
  • antioxidant support
  • perhaps as a  weight loss aid – anecdotal finding only
  • insect deterrent – I may have to add this to my homemade bug lotion!

Young Living’s Lime essential oil contains 100% lime oil – so nothing has been added or cut into it.  I am comfortable ingesting the Young Living brand, but do your research if you are considering a different brand.

Ready to get your own bottle to enjoy this month?  It’s only $14.47 + $7.99 shipping and about 7% sales tax – and this bottle will last you a long time when you’re just using a drop or two at a time:



 Once you purchase you’ll automatically be a part of the Oil of the Month Club – check out this page for the details!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Weekly Goals July 14 – 20

Finally done with all our summer travels – it’s been a lot of fun as we’ve hit the beach, Orlando, Las Vegas (minus kiddos) and Michigan.  Every trip was fun and exciting in a different way, but I think we’re all ready to chill a bit the last few weeks of summer.

My last batch of weekly goals was pretty pathetic – it was right before Vegas, 4th of July and Michigan, and since then I’ve been pretty much flying by the seat of my pants!  This week, back to normal!

Last Set of Goals (June 23 – 29)Weekly goals

Business

  • Complete my most dreaded task first every daydone
  • Write 3 extra blog posts to cover upcoming vacationsdone
  • Schedule social media to cover vacationsdone

Personal

  • Up by 6:30 Monday – Friday – major fail, I think I was up on time one morning. and that was because we had a plane to catch!
  • Read 2 booksread a TON of books (flying and laying by the pool made this possible – check out this post to see most of them)
  • Go to bed by 10:30 Monday – Friday (except for vacation!!!) – failed – which I’m sure contributed to my failure in waking up!

Family

  • Complete 2 items on our bucket list - done, we had a great time running around and also had a terrific few vacations
  • Date nightlots of these, since it was our annual “grown up trip to Vegas”

Household

  • Daily afternoon task - 5 to 10 minutes – can’t even remember, but I doubt it
  • Prepare for next summer tripdone!

This Week’s Goals

Business

  • Complete my most dreaded task first every day
  • Plan out August blog posts
  • Schedule social media for rest of month

Personal

  • Up by 6:30 Monday – Friday
  • Read 2 books
  • Go to bed by 10:30 Monday – Friday (except for vacation!!!)
  • exercise 5x

Family

  • Complete 2 items on our bucket list
  • Help my daughter finish her 4-H projects
  • Have fun as a family at the fair

Household

  • Daily afternoon task - 5 to 10 minutes
  • Photo book (at least one)
  • Get the school papers organized from last year
  • Purchase all needed school supplies

What are your goals for the week?  Does your schedule change dramatically in the summer?  Mine sure does!

If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, click HERE for your FREE 3 day e-course “Discover the Perfect Start to Your Day”

Blueberries – Superfood and Super Yummy!

Did you know that July is National Blueberry Month?blueberries

I didn’t either, but once I started doing a little extra research on this tasty fruit, I discovered that not only is that the case, but that July is also peak harvest for most blueberries grown in the US.  AND, the blueberry is one of just a few fruits native to North America.  In fact, we still are responsible for 90% of the world’s supply of blueberries.

I just know they are one of my favorite fruits!

Blueberries are very good for you.  Many studies have shown that thanks to the antioxidants, fiber and vitamins, they may help prevent heart disease and even cancer (thanks to the resveratrol) as well as promote healthy aging by reversing age-related short-term memory loss.

In fact, according to the USDA, blueberries have the highest antioxidant activity of over 40 vegetables and fruits.

Plus they are yummy!

In just 1/2 a cup of blueberries, you’ll get 15% of your daily vitamin C requirements, 2g. fiber, as much antioxidants as FIVE servings of some other fruits and veggies and it’s just 40 calories.

In my household, we enjoy blueberries fresh when they are in season, and frozen the rest of the year.  They are tasty right out of the freezer - a perfect healthy snack.  This post shares how I go about freezing blueberries.

I’ll share a few new blueberry recipes this month, but for now I’m going to leave you with a tasty favorite: The Blueberry Margarita!

Interested in creating a healthy, happy life you love?  Contact me today for a free thirty minute breakthrough session – we’ll discuss where you are and where you want to be and you’ll come out with a few areas to begin working on!

 

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More Summer Reading – and one of my latest FAVORITE books!

I read some terrific and some “just okay” books this month.  HERE is the link to all the books I’ve read so far this year (affiliate link), and read on to discover my favorites from June: June 2014 books

Non-fiction

Wow did I love this book!  I borrowed it from a neighbor and as soon as I finished it, purchased my own copy so I could read it again and share it with my friends.  There are so many funny, entertaining and yet insightful stories (I shared lots of them with my family who just ate them up) in this book.  Bob Goff does a marvelous job of highlighting (with wisdom he’s gleaned throughout his very interesting life) what is important in life and how to go about living an amazing life by simply saying yes and focusing on others.  I recommend this book now to everyone I know.  As a bonus, there is a version for kids (suggested age 10 – 14) coming out in August – I have it on pre-order for my daughter as I know she’ll love it!  My rating:  5 out of 5.

Fiction

My favorite fiction books for the month were actually books my daughter gave me to read.  She had just finished Hatchet and Brian’s Winter in class and couldn’t put either one down.  I had heard of the books before and when she encouraged me to read them, I figured why not?  At the minimum it would give us a good conversation topic.  Turns out I really enjoyed both books.  The first one is the story of a young boy whose plane crashes in Canada nowhere near civilization, and how he survives the summer before being rescued.  The second book tells the story of what would have happened had he not been rescued at the end of the summer.  The books reminded me a bit of Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer but with a much happier ending (and much more age appropriate for kids).  My rating: 4 out of 5.

What were your favorite books for June?  Anything stand out as a favorite so far this year?  I just loaded up my hold list at the library so I’m hopeful for some great reading next month!

Interested in giving yourself more time each day to read?  Start your mornings off right and give yourself the gift of extra reading time if that’s what is important to you.  Get your FREE copy of my 3 day e-course Discover the Perfect Start to Your Day right HERE

*This post contains affiliate links, but as always please feel free to check out these books at your local library or purchase from your local bookstore if you aren’t comfortable using an affiliate link!

Shared on Modern Mrs. Darcy

Review of SinuOrega and OregaSpray

So I was lucky enough to receive a sample of two new natural products:  SinuOrega and OregaSpray. spring flowers

SinuOrega is a “natural nasal wash powered by potent spice extracts.”  It’s supposed to be a more natural nasal spray.  Well, I can attest that it IS potent.  It has a nice, spicy smell, but when used as directed, does burn a little.  However, it did a nice job of clearing out my sinuses, so if I was suffering from sinus pressure or pain, I would definitely prefer it over a more “medicated” type nasal spray.

Ingredients: springwater, wild oil of oregano, sea salt, clove bud oil, oil of sage and oil of bay leaf

OregaSpray is another nice blend of spice oils with all kinds of uses.  Some of the ones listed on the bottle include:

  • vegetable wash
  • air cleaner
  • hand cleaner
  • toothbrush cleaner
  • body or foot deodorant
  • and many others!

I thought this spray had a “spicier” smell – much more like oregano.  I decided to test it on my kid’s smelly soccer cleats.  While still damp, I spritzed a few times into each shoe.  The strong spice smell did a nice job of masking the icky foot smell – and seemed to last – it didn’t just cover up the smell for a few hours.  I will definitely be keeping this bottle in the laundry room to manage this job for me!

Ingredients: filtered water, emulsified oil of wild oregano P73, oil of wild bay leaf, oil of wild lavender and oil of clove.

As I mentioned, I was allowed to sample these products, so I’m just sharing my honest opinion based upon my experience.  If you have tried them yourself, I’d love to hear your thoughts (and what you decided to use the OregaSpray for).

A little bite of heaven – Strawberry Whipped Cream

My last strawberry recipe . . .strawberry whipped cream

Simple, tasty and delicious!

Strawberry Whipped Cream

1/2 cup fresh strawberries, sliced

1 t. whole cane sugar

3/4 cup whipping cream

Step one:  Place strawberries in small bowl, and pour sugar on top.  Place in fridge for  a day or two.

strawberries and sugar

 

Step two:  Pour whipping cream in a mixing bowl (metal is best here) and add in strawberry mixture.  If you have a stand mixer, turn it on high and go do something else for five minutes or so.  If you are using a hand mixer, just mix on high until you get a whipped cream type consistency.  If it’s not sweet enough for your taste, add a little more sugar or even some maple syrup.

whipped cream

Isn’t this a pretty pink?

This delicious cream can be stored in the fridge for a few days and is delicious on berries, added to shortcake, with ice cream or even on baked oatmeal for a decadent breakfast treat!

So what was your favorite strawberry recipe?  This one?  Strawberry pancakes?  Strawberry Mint Lemonade? Mine has to be the pancakes – I do love pancakes!

How do you like to start your day?  Is it going the way you want?  Or do you need to make some changes so you aren’t stressed and behind schedule before the day even begins?  Get your FREE copy of “Discover the Perfect Start to Your Day” 

Shared on WFMW, Real Food Wednesday and The Mommy Club

Weekly Goals June 23 – 29

We are back from some time at the beach, and although there are a few more trips planned in the near future, I still want to accomplish what I can while we are at home – due to all our traveling, my goals are pared down quite a bit this week:

Two Week’s Ago Goalsweekly goals

Business

  • Complete my most dreaded task first every daydone
  • Spend an hour on my next BIG online group program (coming soon!)done
  • Write 3 extra blog posts to cover upcoming vacationsdone, and SO thankful I did this!

Personal

Family

  • Celebrate end of school and start of summerdone!
  • Create summer bucket list with familydone:  check it out on this post
  • Finish end of the year teacher giftsdone, maybe not as creative as previous years, but at least I completed them!

Household

  • Daily afternoon task - 5 to 10 minutesdone (at least when I was at home)
  • Clean up area behind desk (maybe sharing the picture will hold me more accountable!)looks much better now, that picture really gave me incentive:

messy office

cleaner office

 

  • Start prepping for first summer tripdone, and had a wonderful vacation:

This Week’s Goals

Business

  • Complete my most dreaded task first every day
  • Write 3 extra blog posts to cover upcoming vacations
  • Schedule social media to cover vacations

Personal

  • Up by 6:30 Monday – Friday
  • Read 2 books
  • Go to bed by 10:30 Monday – Friday (except for vacation!!!)

Family

Household

What are your goals for the week?  Does your schedule change dramatically in the summer?  Mine sure does!

If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, click HERE for your FREE 3 day e-course “Discover the Perfect Start to Your Day”

How will YOU spend YOUR summer?

It’s almost officially summer – June 21st is the official start in 2014.  However, since my kids have been out of school for a few weeks now we are fully into vacation mode. bucket list

Based upon experience from summers past, even though we are much more laid back in the summertime, it’s still important to take some time and think about what is important and how we want to spend the time.  Otherwise, before you know it, school is about to start and you didn’t get to anything you really wanted to do!  (not that we’ve ever been there . . .)

Take some time to plan now and spend your summer the way YOU want to!

Here is how we go about it:

First, I try hard to make it fun – this shouldn’t be a stressful or boring activity, it should be something the family looks forward to each year!

Next, I include everyone.  Every family member gets a say – what we do is allow each family member to pick the top two things they want to do this summer.  That gives us eight activities (or about one a week for our short 8 week summer vacation).  It’s a reasonable amount, everyone gets to enjoy what they most want to do, and we are ensured to have eight fun memories.

Finally, we write them down – this is KEY – if we don’t write it down, most of the time, it doesn’t happen.  Once I have the list of “must-do’s” I take the calendar out and tentatively plan out some dates – they aren’t set in stone, but it helps to spread things out and also not end up trying to cram it all into the week before school starts.

This year I used a simple peel and stick white board and stuck it up in our laundry room – great place to remind me of the list, and we can all look at it when we need ideas for something fun to do:

What’s on our list?  Here is the plan for my family:

  • Picnic & hike at a State Park
  • Trip to the Farmer’s Market
  • Bike ride to the ice cream shop
  • Play a game of mini-golf
  • Campfire with s’mores
  • Party with friends
  • Vacation!
  • Day of running around together

Simple, fun and something we can accomplish!  What’s on YOUR list?  Please share in the comments to give us all more ideas!

Ready to create a life you love?  Contact me today and let’s talk – I’ll help you make those small changes to improve your health and happiness!