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See the original post at A Life Enchanted

Breakfast truly can be considered the most important meal of the day. It sets the tone. It helps stabilize blood sugar, provides fuel to function properly and helps prevent cravings and over eating later in the day. When our bodies begin to use up it’s energy supplies cravings are triggered. This leads to over eating and poor food choices. Having  a healthy breakfast within 2 hours of waking is essential for proper body function.

We all know my love of quinoa. It’s a complete protein. It offers a multitude of nutrients. It’s holds up and it’s diverse. You can mix in any combination of vegetables, herbs and spices and have something delicious that will stay in the fridge for days and still be enjoyable.

But get this…. you can even mix in fruit and enjoy it for breakfast!
Check it out.

I had pear and walnuts with extra honey

Quinoa Breakfast

2c water
1c quinoa
1/2 rice, soy or almond milk
1/4 – 1/2c fresh fruit
1/8 – 1/4c nuts or seeds
cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla beans for seasoning – 1 or a combination of your favorites
honey, agave or maple syrup for sweetening

Bring the water to a boil. Add quinoa, reduce to low and simmer for 10-12 minutes until cooked through. Top each serving with fruit, seeds and nuts, sweeten and add milk.

Simple.

This makes a batch large enough to last for days in the fridge. Keep the cooked quinoa separate and add fruit, nuts and milk to each serving.

Eat your breakfast!

Live Well!
~S

This morning I posted Giving Back where I spoke of grace and gratefulness.

I had no idea I would stumble upon the Surviving Your Serengeti quiz this afternoon. Nor did I have any idea of the outcome.

I read this book about 2 years ago. Then I was in the midst of a real estate career that didn’t make me happy. Moving from one place to another, kind of fighting a shift from one era to the next. My life has been full of eras, cycles. I seem grow in stages that tend to shift very rapidly. I don’t always see them coming. I don’t always move through them gracefully.

This one was no different. Although I can look back now and see all the signs, at the time I fought it some. But grace has been a very large focus in this particular era I am in currently. Call it surrender, call it wisdom, call it what you like.

Imagine my surprise when the result of this quiz left me with The Giraffe.

THE GRACEFUL GIRAFFE

The giraffe symbolizes the broad meaning of the word “grace”. While some see grace in human terms as one’s elegance or charm, for others it’s divine in origin and represents that indispensable gift for the development, improvement and expansion of one’s character and the ability to rise above the negative events of time.


I wanted to share this experience with you because it raises this question I toy with often. This belief that seems to prove true over and over. Even when my “logical”, naysayer side denies it.

I have these moments often… Do you get them? When you are driving down the road and a thought pops into your head, and then a car passes you with a bumper sticker or word on the license plate that matches your thought? Or I’m thinking of a time gone by and a song will come on the radio that relates.

Since I was a girl I have been drawn to, followed by hawks. I can be traveling, think of a hawk and look to the trees and see one within minutes. When I have friends who say they never see them at all.

Is it simply association? Coincidence? Or does the Universe truly send us these little signals?

When I took that quiz 2 years ago I was a Crocodile. Perhaps because I wanted to be a Crocodile. Or because I thought I must be to succeed in the place I was in.

I don’t know if the Universe just sent me a little signal ensuring me that this path I’m on is the right one, but I’m going with it. Because one of my first thoughts this morning, shortly before writing that post on grace and happiness, where I mentioned wondering if this was all worth it, was this… I just want to know that this thing I’m doing means something.

I have a lot of people in my life who don’t believe in such things, and I have to admit that sometimes that rubs off on me. I’m guessing I’m not alone. Whether it be our spiritual beliefs, our ethical beliefs or our goals and methods of losing weight and becoming healthier, there will always be someone or something there to fight it. There will always be reasons to doubt ourselves. There will always be roadblocks trying to stop us.

Sometimes you just have to trust.

Live Well!
~S

I have endured many struggles in my life. Although I like to paint pretty pictures I can assure that there have been plenty of train wrecks. Mishaps and down right catastrophes.

But it’s not these events that define us. What defines us is how we react and how we proceed.

There have also been many, many blessings in my life. And for those I am beyond grateful. Walking through life with grace, full of gratefulness, is the difference between success and failure. Success is not how big your house is or how fancy your car. It has nothing to do with money or even fame.

Success is being happy in who you are. Loving yourself for the person on the inside. Enjoying your life because of what you have created.

Success is being grateful. Being HAPPY. Accepting the world around you and knowing there are beautiful gifts on  your doorstep each and every day.

It’s because of this gratefulness, these beautiful gifts, that today I am choosing to give something back.

I’m striving to build this community. I’m striving to grow this blog and multiple adventures at the same time. It has often been a slow and somewhat frustrating road. There are days I wonder where all the followers are. Why there aren’t any comments. Is there anyone even listening? And some that I wonder if it will ever happen. If it’s even worth it.

But I know in my heart that if one pretty package makes someone happy, one lotion offers comfort, one post helps someone grow or through their day, then I have succeeded. No matter my struggle.

I don’t always have a tremendous amount to give, but what I do have, I like to give freely when I can. So today I am offering to one random person their choice of gift! It can be a free ad space for their blog, service or product. One item of their choosing from Enchanted Gardens. One service from Enchanted Wellness. Or perhaps a post written for them.

So YOU decide! All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me what appeals to you most. I will choose the winner by using the Random Number Generator at Random.org. The winner will be chosen in one week.

Giving things away with no thought of receiving anything in return feels wonderful. Making someone happy, brightening their day for no reason other than their joy is a beautiful feeling. Try it. It’s mustn’t be big or extravagant. Hold the door for someone. Compliment them. Ask someone what you can do for them.

Now, tell me what I can do for you! Don’t be shy!! 

Live Well!
~S 

***YOU MUST COMMENT AT A LIFE ENCHANTED TO ENTER!!***

If you haven’t been to the new site you might be missing out!

Many post will not be posting at both places.
This site will be closing soon, therefore, get to the new one and follow along.
There is great stuff ahead. If you like what you see here, you will love it over there.

Come join us!

Or follow along at bloglovin’

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Hope to see you there!

Live Well!
~S

Lovely Coconut Oil. I love it. And you should too!

It’s thick and creamy. It offers substantial health benefits. It works wonders on detoxifying the body. And even helps curb appetite.

For your health –
  • Is antibacterial therefore, helps fight infection
  • Take a spoonful 20 minutes before eating to curb appetite
  • Assists with weight control
  • Use to strengthen immunity
  • Helps treat arthritis
  • Improves thyroid function
  • Increases energy
  • Improves digestion
  • Treats and prevents acid reflux, heart burn and indigestion
  • Treats sore throats and ear infections
  • Even been known to help ADHD and Autism

Coconut Oil is for more than cooking with!

Coconut oil is also great for your hair and skin! For real.

For the hair –

  • It is great for all hair types
  • It works especially well on dandruff
  • It offers incredible shine and softness
  • Great for color treated hair
  • Used to treat lice
  • Removes gum from hair

For the skin –

  • Heals burns fabulously
  • Is antibacterial so works wonderfully for cuts and scrapes 
  • Is nourishing and moisturizing
  • Offers sun protection
  • Is a fantastic eye make up remover
  • Treats rashes, fungal and yeast infections like ringworm and athletes foot
  • Soothes stings and bites
  • Softens cracked rough feet
  • Strengthens nails
  • Treats eczema and psoriasis
You love coconut oil now, too, don’t you? I told you you would!

Over the next few weeks I will offer a tremendous amount of tips on using coconut oil throughout your life. Stay tuned! 

Live Well!
~S 

View the original post at A Life Enchanted

Many of you already know how to make your own vanilla extract, but those of you who don’t, you will be pleasantly surprised at just how simple it is.

I say that quite a bit don’t I? “It’s so easy.” It’s really simple.”

But so much in life has been done by big machines and bigger business that many have never had the chance to realize just how easy or how much healthier, and even cheaper, they are to do yourself.

And Vanilla Extract is no different.

You need:

Vanilla beans
Hard alcohol (vodka, rum, brandy, whiskey, ect.)

I used 2 vanilla beans,  8 ounces of vodka and a recycled bottle.

Cut the vanilla beans in about 1 inch pieces. Place them in the bottle.

Fill the jar with alcohol. Cover and wait.

It takes about 3 months to get a good vanilla extract, but it’s usable within days. It really depends on the beans.

But get this…
You can keep topping off the bottle with more alcohol and continue to have plenty of vanilla extract! This will work for at least 3-4 more full bottles. As the beans soften they continue to release vanilla-ey goodness.

What you brewing in your kitchen?

Live Well!
~S 

View the original post at A Life Enchanted

My family gave me the sweetest Mother’s Day gift.

A week “off”!

A full 7 days of no cleaning, no cooking, no grocery shopping, no taking care of them. They want to do everything for me. Hmmh. Well, let’s talk about this, shall we….

First, I can’t believe how unbelievably generous these darlings are. The Mister gets up at 4:30 every morning to go to work and works hard all day. So watching he and our daughter cook dinner, clean the kitchen and do laundry at the same time was actually a bit painful. Plus, I like taking care of them! I don’t have dinner on the table at the same time every night because I have to, but because I like to. In this house I clean the floors daily,  dust every other day, shop every other day. And I like being busy, so sitting knowing the floors need cleaning, the lawn REALLY needs mowing and my plans for this week were to clean out the pantry and all the kitchen cabinets has thus far, been near torture. (it’s not as spotless here as that may make it sound, really.) But I made a promise. And I just love that they would even want to do this. So here I sit.

Okay, not really. I must confess.
I went shopping on my way home. I scouted for dirty dishes (and embarrassingly found them) in the bedrooms. I weeded the gardens some. But that’s not really house work, is it? I swept the floors yesterday and am having a very hard time refraining today. And I did wash some dishes. BUT, only because I had dirtied them!

So, to keep my promise I found a whole bunch of other things to keep me busy after returning home from training. I had to get out or surely would have started dusting. So I went foraging.

I found a slew of dandelions for us to talk about later this week. Here are just a few.

And the mustard spinach growing in the lawn needed to be picked before the mower got a hold of it.

Then I decided to venture in the woods across from the house. I didn’t find much more than a bunch of mosquitoes. And a ton of fairly old bottles and cans. Who ever logged these woods many years ago (or the teenagers who once lived here) sure liked Budweiser.

How old do you think this Pepsi bottle is? It’s plastic, but still been here awhile.

And this iced tea can.

I did find some really great spots deep in the woods. At one point, there I was carrying my basket with the hood of my sweatshirt up to help fight off the mosquitoes. I found myself singing…

“Hey there Little Red Ridinghood. You sure are looking good. You’re everything that a big bad wolf could want.”

Do you remember that song? Well, about the third time through I realized I was in the exact location where the pack of coyote who live in these woods were yelling at me just two nights ago. I love to run in and wander the woods alone. The song was strangely fun and creepy.

The beasts will accompany my future foraging expeditions, per the Mister. I’m married to a Marine, grew up in the woods and have no trouble taking care of myself. Nor do I have a poor sense of direction, but I was stalked by a big cat in these woods once too. I mean a BIG cat. Mountain Lion. They “say” we don’t have them in the Shire, but that’s nonsense. I watched it run past me chasing a dear. A short time later I heard something following me. I turned just in time to see it behind me. I knew it was there all the way home. I’m frequently reminded we have 300 pounds of dog for a reason. But it’s much nicer alone.

I wandered for about an hour and then ventured back home. Started some vanilla extract…

And sourdough starter.

Made two new batches of sauerkraut.

Look at this line up!

Now I have a ton of writing to do and you have a sneak peak at a few of the things to come. But I fear I may have to break my promise before the week is over. I can only keep this up for so long. Or perhaps I should add a couple more morning clients?

I hope your week has started as sweetly as mine! 

Live Well!
~S 

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