How Bright is Your Light?

Have you ever noticed, you are happiest when you are helping others, or making a difference in your own unique way?

Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. – Matthew 5:16

The last month, I have been struggling.  Struggling with changes in my MS.  Struggling in my business.  Struggling with life.  I have been pondering why this month, what makes this one different.  I feel like my light has been dimming.  Sounds weird, right? I don’t mean it is a morbid way, just not feeling like I am making a difference anymore in the lives of others. No, I’m not on a pity pot.  I’m simply trying to adjust to the changes MS is making in my life.  A reality which is sometimes tough to grasp.  Talking with my sponsor the other day, she said “your brain my think things are jumbled but the words actually come out clearly and concisely.”  Yup, I needed to hear those words because it is the exact reason I have been taking a backseat in things.  Ok, I squirreled so, let’s get back to how you can let your light shit….

No matter what your purpose in life is, there is an underlying mission.  It is all about living your life in a way people say to themselves, “There’s something different about her and I want to know how to have some of the peace, joy, and love in my own life.”

Here are five ways you can let your light shine:

1. Look for ways to be a blessing.

Letting your light shine means letting everything good within you come forth. There is so much negativity around us on a daily basis when good enters our environment, it brings light into the darkness. It is a refreshing burst of clean air. Be sensitive to the needs of others. Find ways to be a blessing—even simple ways such as being a courteous driver, thoughtful friend, and kind coworker.  Small random acts of kindness do make a difference.

2. Refuse to be judgmental.

One of the fastest ways to turn people off – in business or in your life is to judge them. A person can done wrong without condemning them for it.  Honestly, I have made mistakes during my addiction BUT I was glad people did not judge me.  They gave me chance.  Honestly, we have all done things we need to be forgiven for, so be merciful to others. Embrace and support those you want to judge when they are trying to do better.

3. Speak up for what is just.

Speak up for what is just—not right. Do you confuse the two of these?  I know I do!  Focus more on being just so those who cross your path are better off for having done so. At work, in your business or in a personal situation, when others are being cheated, disrespected, or done a disservice, let your light shine and speak up. You can do it in a direct, calm, straightforward, and nonjudgmental way.  Of course, the “old social worker/advocate” in me is sometimes far from calm.  LOL!

4. Let go of the desire to fit in.

Maybe this is part of why my light has dimmed this month….. I’m a proverbial people-pleaser.  As the MS effects more of my life, I struggle to find a place to fit in.  I never thought about how difficult it is for my light to shine when I feel like I need to fit in everywhere I go. Sometimes, people think I am odd just because I  am smiling and talking to everyone.  I need to focus more on being a symbol of truth and love on a daily basis instead of trying to fit in.  What about you?

5. Don’t hide your spiritual life.

This may be a hard one for some.  For me, I have learned my Higher Power is central to everything in my life.  When I pretend that is not the case, my light dims.  It is by his grace, I have survived the craziness of my life.  I am not saying you need a Bible on your desk or a preacher’s robe to share your faith with others. When the chance comes to tell people where your strength comes from in difficult times, or to acknowledge how your Higher Power has protected or blessed you, be honest. Your faith is a part of who you are. When you free yourself to be who you are, you also free others to be who they truly are.

My Challenge to you is to identify one way you will share your light this week. Then set out to be a symbol of love and light in the world…  Share with us…..

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Chicken Cabbage Stir-Fry

20953301_1451132834934122_1833240564025144783_n.jpgI wish I could remember where I saw or got this recipe from so I could give them credit!  It is so YUMMY!  I’m wondering how it would work in the crock pot, so I might just give it a try.  We have an insta pot too but I have never used it.  Is this a recipe you could do in it?  What do you think?

Ingredients:

3 chicken breast halves
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
3 cups green cabbage, shredded
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1⁄2 teaspoon ground ginger
1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄2 cup water
1 tablespoon Soy sauce, low sodium (I use gluten free)

Directions:

1. Cut chicken breasts into strips.
2. Heat oil in a frying pan.
3. Add chicken strips and stir fry over medium-high heat, turning constantly until done.
4. Add cabbage and sauté 2 minutes until cabbage is crisp-tender.
5. Mix cornstarch and seasonings; add water and soy sauce, and mix until smooth.
6. Stir sauce into chicken/cabbage mixture.
7. Cook until sauce has thickened and chicken is coated, about 1 minute.
8. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

Notes:
• Add bell peppers or carrots for color.
• Try with broccoli.

Got leftovers?  We always do since I can’t seem to get the hang of cooking for just two people.  You would think I was from a BIG family.  LOL.

Grab a Lunch Break Thermal from Thirty One before they are gone!  Yes, this AWESOME thermals are being retired at the end of the month.  The Lunch Break Thermal is the stylish way to take your lunch to work or wherever you and your family go. Great for school, the pool, sporting events, day trips, flights and dozens of other places. Extended handles allow you to tote this cooler bag over your shoulder so you can stay hands-free. An interior thermal lining keeps your food cool or warm, while an exterior pocket gives you a useful place to put your cell phone, keys or wallet. Makes a great gift for teachers, neighbors, friends and anyone else who loves to lunch!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Tasty Tuesday: Taco Pasta

 

 

Today’s recipe is from BuzzFeed.  It is the combination of TWO awesome things – tacos and pasta.  A quick and easy meal, the kids will love.

The recipe will serve 10 – 12 people.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15 oz.) can whole kernel corn
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (I used gluten free)
  • Pepper
  • Salt

DIRECTIONS

1. Brown beef in a large quart pot over medium/high heat. Drain fat and return beef to pot.

2. Add taco seasoning, water, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and corn. Bring to a boil.

3. Add uncooked macaroni and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10-15

minutes (until pasta is cooked through). Stir occasionally.

4. Remove from heat. Sprinkle cheese on top and cover.

5. Serve once cheese is melted!

Headed to a covered dish party? Place your pan in Thirty One’s Perfect Party Set and head out the door.  It expands to hold two 9” x 13” casserole pans inside 2 interior water-resistant thermal compartments. Handle grips make it easy to carry, while the exterior zipper pocket can keep additional items like utensils, baking instructions and additional ingredients secure during transport. It’s the most convenient way to take your favorite casseroles, desserts, appetizers and more to your next family picnic, neighborhood cookout, celebration or camping trip!

OR if you just want to take some leftovers for lunch….Check out the Lunchbreak Thermal.  It is one of my favorites and it is on the retirement list so it will be gone at the end of February.  Great for school, the pool, sporting events, day trips, flights and dozens of other places. Extended handles allow you to tote this cooler bag over your shoulder so you can stay hands-free. An interior thermal lining keeps your food cool or warm, while an exterior pocket gives you a useful place to put your cell phone, keys or wallet. Makes a great gift for teachers, neighbors, friends and anyone else who loves to lunch!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

How Many Ways Can You Use a Large Utility Tote?

Have you ever thought about it?  Do you think totes are just for the grocery store?  Or maybe you think beach bag? Or purse (okay maybe not a large utility tote)?  The truth is totes come in every shape and size, right?  If we stop to the grocery store, how many times have you forgotten the bags at home or maybe they are still in the trunk of the car…. admit it, I’m not alone, right? Yes, this “Bag Lady” does occasionally forget to take her totes with her….. SHHH!!!  It will be our little secret.

Let’s talk about Thirty One’s Large Utility Tote for a minute…. Did you know it has been the TOP SELLER (usually the #1 spot) since it was first introduced?  You may ask why?  It is just a tote… but not just any tote.  No, it doesn’t have magical powers…..

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The top use is for grocery shopping….I have a simple system to ensure the totes are in the care when I head to the store. Once I unpack the totes, I set them by the door so they are in plain sight when I go out to the car the next time.  They are always put in the truck of the CRV.  So, how do I remember to take them with me?  On the days I am grocery shopping, I put my purse in the trunk.  Yup, I can’t go shopping without my purse, so when I open the trunk to get my purse, I pick up my totes.    Sometimes I will place them on the seat next to me.  I don’t know about you but I need to have things written on a list OR right in front of me in order to remember them.
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Add a Double Chill Thermal to your large utility tote and you have the perfect way to keep your frozen foods solid during the hot summer months.  Okay, so most of us are battling the frigid cold right now but summer is just around the corner. This set of two water-resistant Leak Lock® thermal inserts lets you pack ice without worry, and side handles make these soft-sided cooler bags easy to carry.  Great for grocery shopping, a day at the beach or a picnic.
Everyone is into decluttering these days…. why not use a large utility tote it to keep your closet in order.  Can you imagine how many blankets you could fit in one if you used the Tidying Up method of folding???  It even collapses for easy storage!  AND it can be personalized!  Shoes all over the floor?  Why not try dividing a tote with bottle dividers from the liquor store?
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Have kids in sports?  Admit it, their equipment is ALL over the trunk of the car.  There is always something that goes missing – a glove, a sock, a shirt – why not make it easy by putting a tote in the trunk JUST for sporting equipment or after school activities.  How about tailgating at all of the games/ practices this spring?   Picture-201.png    Know someone getting married?  The large utility tote is a great wedding gift…

Did I mention the BEST part of the large utility tote in February????  It is on SALE!!!  Who doesn’t love a sale right?

Why not grab TWO and split the cost with your bestie!

So many uses for just one bag… which one is calling you?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Tasty Tuesday: Microwave Cake

This is one of my all time FAVORITE Weight Watcher’s Recipes.  Yes, it is 105 calories and *5 WW SmartPoints BUT it is so much better than eating a box of cookies or a bag a chips.  My hubby even said it wasn’t bad when I topped it with some chocolate frosting!

This skinny 3-2-1 mug cake is a simple way to satisfy a craving for cake in minutes with just two ingredients, a mug and a microwave.  Add a little bit of whipped topping and a few pieces of chopped fruit for a yummy treat.

It is low in calories and naturally portion controlled for those of us in Weight Watchers who are tempted by an entire cake sitting on the counter.  Admit it, you shave just a little bit off each time you walk by, right?  I know I am not the only one.

STEP 1 – MAKE THE BASE

You’ll need a box of angel food cake mix (make sure it is the one step kind) and a box of another cake mix of your choice.  I love chocolate so I picked Devil’s food (gluten free). But you can use whatever flavor you like best.  Whisk together the cake mixes in a large clear bowl with a balloon whisk. Whisk the two dry mixes together until they are free of lumps and well combined. Now you have enough “321 cake mix” for about 31 little microwave mug cakes.  Store your 3-2-1 microwave cake mix in an airtight container (like a gallon zipper lock plastic bag). Be sure to label it with what it is and the instructions so you are ready the next time a cake craving strikes.

STEP 2 – MAKING A MUG CAKE

Gather your tools:  a 10 ounce mug, measuring spoons, nonstick cooking spray and your mix. Coat the mug with nonstick spray. Then add 3 level tablespoons of dry cake mix and 2 level tablespoons of water.  Stir together cake mix and water with a fork.  Stirring with a fork (acts like a little whisk) until the mixture is well combined. It is okay if it bubbles up.  Microwave your mug cake for approximately one (1) minute and voila – you have cake!

NOTE:  The actual time may vary depending on the wattage of your microwave. My microwave is 900 watts and takes 60 seconds. If your microwave has higher wattage set your time for a little less.

I will admit, it is not the prettiest thing but it tastes yummy, especially when it is still warm. You can eat it right from the mug.

Or turn it out onto a plate and pretty it up with a dusting of powdered sugar and dollop of canned whipped topping.  You can even add a little bit of chocolate frosting while it is still warm and it will melt down the sides.

It is a great recipe for playing with different cake mix flavors, additions and/or accompaniments. If you are a Weight Watcher concerned about calories and/or tracking your points be sure to adjust accordingly.

You can use any flavor of cake mix you prefer: chocolate, white, yellow, lemon, spice, funfetti, spice, carrot, strawberry, etc.

Try adding 2 to 3 teaspoons of any of the following to the cake batter before cooking: miniature chocolate chips, finely chopped dried fruit, finely chopped nuts, sprinkles.  Top with a dollop of light whipped topping.

Make a Molten Cake by placing a small piece of chocolate in the middle of the cake before microwaving.

Unknown.jpegMake a Caramel Apple Cake by adding a little bit of chopped dried apple to the cake before microwaving and then after it’s baked top with a drizzle of caramel sauce.

Make a Cranberry Orange Nut Cake into yellow or white 3-2-1 cake mix by stirring in chopped nuts, dried cranberries and orange zest before microwaving.

Top your favorite cake with fruit and whipped cream for a light and tasty “shortcake.”

Drizzle finished cake with chocolate or caramel sauce.

Let us know what you think…. Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!