Journal

You can’t succeed if you don’t try…

Well I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while, but I’m not going to lie, my personal fears have held me back. Will I be good enough, will people want to read what I write, what will I talk about, and the list goes on and on. But today I decided to say “screw it”. How will I know if I never try. If I fail, I fail, but at least it won’t be because I didn’t even try.

First a little about myself. I’m in my early forties and happily married to my highschool sweatheart.  I work full time, struggle with the normal day to day stresses in life, but overall we have a pretty good life. We don’t have any children, but we do have 2 furbabies. A mixed breed dog named Rosco and a Dogue de Bordeaux named Brogan.

I love to cook, struggle with cleaning (it’s not my favourite thing to do), love photography, paddle boarding (or really anything involving water), animals (especially my dogs), reading, and most recently learning about essential oils and incorporating them into our day to day life.

My goal is to share some of my interests and ideas with all of you. Maybe some of my ideas, recipes or hints and tips will help someone else out. Or if nothing else give you a little escape from your reality.

recipes

Buffalo chicken salad with blue cheese

This is a recipe I found online a long time ago and have made numerous times throughout the years. It satisfies my cravings for spicy chicken wings without having spicy chicken wings, perhaps saving me a few calories.

Ingredients:

Salad

2 chicken breasts, cut into chunks

¼ cup flour

Salt and pepper

¼ cup oil

1 batch Spicy Chicken Sauce (recipe from this episode)

1 head of romaine lettuce, washed and sliced

2 ribs celery, washed and cut into sticks

Juice of 1 lemon

8 oz blue cheese, crumbled

Spicy Chicken Sauce

½ cup butter, softened

½ cup Franks hot sauce

¼ cup ketchup

Directions:

Salad

1. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Toss chicken with flour, salt and pepper until well coated.

3. Pour oil into pan and add the chicken.

4. Cook on one side until it’s golden brown and then flip and cook the other side until the chicken is cooked through.

5. Remove with tongs and place in a bowl.

6. Pour Spicy Chicken Sauce over hot chicken, toss well to coat.

7. Put lettuce, celery and chicken into a salad bowl. Drizzle any excess chicken sauce over the salad and add the lemon juice.

8. Toss well and garnish with crumbled blue cheese.

Spicy Chicken Sauce

1. Whisk together the butter, hot sauce and ketchup.

Read more at:

http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipe/buffalo-chicken-wing-salad-with-blue-cheese/7981/

main dishes · recipes

Chocolate Chili

I found this recipe yesterday and tried it out tonight. I made 1/2 because I didn’t want to waste 2lbs of ground beef in case it wasn’t good. But I can honestly say this is the best chili recipe I have ever tried. I’m generally just “okay” with chili. It’s something my husband loves, so I make it more often that I would like to keep him happy. I eat it once and then he gets all the leftovers. However with this recipe I will be happy to eat it the next day.

Ingredients:

2 pounds ground beef
2 onions, chopped
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cloves garlic,minced
2 jalapeno peppers chopped up
Two 15-ounce cans brown beans in tomatoe sauce, undrained
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Two 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (I used chili style ones, they have some extra spice in them)
4 cups tomato sauce (I used the red hot chili one)
2 cups beef broth
Optional garnishes: Sour cream, shredded cheese, minced chives

In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the ground beef and cook for 2 minutes. Next, add the onions, chili powder and cumin, and stir together. Add the cocoa, garlic and jalapenos, mix together and cook for 2 minutes. Next, add in the brown beans, cayenne pepper and oregano, and cook for another minute. Add the black beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and broth, cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Garnish with sour cream, shredded cheese and chives if desired.

I found this recipe here: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/chocolate-chili-recipe-1972465

and just tweaked it a bit.

main dishes · recipes

Chocolate Chili

I found this recipe yesterday and tried it out tonight. I made 1/2 because I didn’t want to waste 2lbs of ground beef in case it wasn’t good. But I can honestly say this is the best chili recipe I have ever tried. I’m generally just “okay” with chili. It’s something my husband loves, so I make it more often that I would like to keep him happy. I eat it once and then he gets all the leftovers. However with this recipe I will be happy to eat it the next day.

Ingredients:

2 pounds ground beef
2 onions, chopped
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cloves garlic,minced
2 jalapeno peppers chopped up
Two 15-ounce cans brown beans in tomatoe sauce, undrained
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Two 15-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
One 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (I used chili style ones, they have some extra spice in them)
4 cups tomato sauce (I used the red hot chili one)
2 cups beef broth
Optional garnishes: Sour cream, shredded cheese, minced chives

In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the ground beef and cook for 2 minutes. Next, add the onions, chili powder and cumin, and stir together. Add the cocoa, garlic and jalapenos, mix together and cook for 2 minutes. Next, add in the brown beans, cayenne pepper and oregano, and cook for another minute. Add the black beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and broth, cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Garnish with sour cream, shredded cheese and chives if desired.

I found this recipe here: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/chocolate-chili-recipe-1972465

and just tweaked it a bit.

dogs · Journal

Brogan’s heart mystery continues

Brogan loves playing in mud and water

Last time I wrote about Brogan I wasn’t sure what he would want and what we should do with him…should we let him off leash, should we let him have dog friends, or should we play it safe and keep him on leash and healthy for as long as we can. Well today confirmed my decision to keep him on leash. We went for an on leash walk this morning. It had rained so it was muggy, but not crazy hot. He loves playing in mud puddles and really any water, so I let him splash around in the ditches while we were walking. He ended up in one spot that was deep and he sorta had to take 3 swimming strokes to get across. He came out of that hole and was so happy, but was starting to look a little tired so I figured we would come straight back to the cabin and into the air conditioning. We weren’t far from the cabin when he slowed right down, I looked to see what he was doing, I could tell that he was dizzy and he sat down when I was getting close to him. I put my arms around him and held him and talked to him and while I was doing that he slumped down onto his chest. I kept talking to him and we sat like that for a bit, he didn’t lose consciousness, but definitely was having some issue. When he was okay we got up and walked the rest of the way to the cabin.

He basically confirmed with that episode that I can’t let him run around off leash. His heart, or whatever is causing issues, is just not good enough for it. He is happy with our on leash walks, always wants to go, plays like a goof with Rosco (his dog brother) and basically seems very content and happy to be doing what we are doing. So we will enjoy every minute of every day we have together, we just won’t be running around in any off leash areas. I’m okay with that. And I guess he will have to be as well.

dogs · Journal

Brogan’s heart

We have been a long roller coaster ride with Brogan and his heart. As many of you might remember we were basically told that we had 4 or 5 months with him when he was initially diagnosed…and we have definitely surpassed that…and I’m hoping we continue to do so for many more years. That being said the big guy still has the odd collapse/faint, even though we have followed everything that we are supposed to with him. And I’m the kind of person that wants all the answers. Last time I wrote about him we were at the point of thinking it was 2 separate conditions, but we were waiting for the cardiologist to get back to us to see what she thought about that theory. I finally got to speak with her. She said it’s really hard to confirm that, because there are a few other heart related issues that could be causing his collapses. She said she would like to do 2 more tests on him and is supposed to get back to me with the cost associated with them. I’m at the point now that I have to decide if I need to keep testing to try to get an answer, or if I just continue enjoying him and doing what we are doing and just let him live his life. Really the only reason I would like to have a definite answer is so that he could have dog friends again and be allowed to be off leash again. But at this point I’m not 100% sure that is worth it. He is doing well, he doesn’t seem to miss his dog friends as much (he does have a dog brother that fulfills the dog “friend” part) and he doesn’t seem to mind on leash walks, although I’m sure he would love some off leash time. It would be so much easier if he could talk. For so may reasons, but mostly so he could tell us what symptoms he feels and is having before he collapses. And also what he would like us to do. What would he choose if it were up to him. That is the really hard part with animals, we have to guess at what they are feeling…in every way.

Journal · young living

Find your inner joy

Life is too short to not live it how we want. We need to find the things that make us the happiest and do more of them. This weekend I was lucky enough to attend a ladies night. We laughed so much that the next day my cheeks hurt and it felt like I had done the best abs workout ever. It is amazing how a night out with people you love is so good for the soul. It reminded me that I need to find more time to do the things that truly make me happy. It’s part of my plan for the year to focus on what makes me happy in life. It’s been way harder than I thought it would be. Why is that? Why do we allow ourselves to get wrapped up in the day to day stress? And why do we allow the negative people in our lives to drag us down with them? Or is that just me that allows that to happen?

I have found an oil blend that helps uplift me and makes me smile more. I use it in my diffuser regularly. It is:

A wonderful smelling blend that makes me smile

So here’s to all of us living the life we want to live, and enjoying things more!

Journal

Appreciate your time with loved ones

It’s been a while since I have sat down to write anything. Initially I was sick and didn’t feel up to it, I felt like I had the never ending cold that sucked all the life out of me for over 2 months, and then the unthinkable happened and I didn’t know what I should say about it, if anything. Many of you heard about the awful tragedy that struck the Humboldt Broncos. And if you haven’t I’m not sure where you have been hiding, but a simple google search will catch you up on what happened, written by people much more qualified than I am to write about it. It was something that affected everyone. You couldn’t find a person who didn’t know someone, or knew someone who knew someone, or at a bare minimum was a hockey fan who understands how integral hockey is to small town Saskatchewan…really most communities in Canada understand how small the hockey community is. Now I can’t say I’m currently involved in anything to do with hockey personally (other than having a lot of friends and family with kids playing hockey), but that wasn’t always the case. When my husband and I were first dating that was how we spent most of our weekends, we were like most small town teenagers, we were at the hockey rink cheering on our home team. We travelled all over to watch them play. And many of our friends and family played higher level hockey. So the tragedy really hit home, as it did for everyone. It was a devastating event, but it also brought the world together. It was amazing to hear how much money was raised from so many countries for the Humboldt Broncos. The outpouring of support made me feel so proud to be part of our country. I can’t honestly say that most of the time, when we are bombarded by negativity. This was a horrible accident that brought the best out of everyone. It was great to see that we can all put our differences aside and pull together to support each other when we need to. It is something that no one will ever forget 💔 #Humboldtstrong

It also made me reflect on myself and my life. It’s so easy to focus on the negative and what is “wrong” with things around you. I am trying very hard to appreciate everything and focus on what makes me happy. I’m not saying the negative in my life has magically disappeared, but I’m trying not to let it consume my day. There are so many things in life that we take for granted. I’m trying not to do that anymore, I want to know that the last thing I said to someone was kind, and that if something happens to someone I love I will know that they knew I loved them and appreciated them in my life. I hope everyone takes the good out of this tragedy and makes the world a kinder happier place to be in.