For 40 Days and 40 Nights

Wednesday began the tradition of Lent.

Since I can remember, I always made an effort to give up something for the tradition and not eat meat on Friday’s. While I have not been to church in quite some time, I remain spiritual.

Religion is not what this post is about, though!

This is about what I am choosing to do for Lent.

Rather than give up something, I have decided to make better what God has given me. That means, taking care of myself and giving myself a better image.

Eating better, not slumming around in pajamas all day, being more active, sparking creativity, challenging myself, and making that climb to a happier and healthier Kellie.

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Here are my steps to getting back on track!

1. Clean eating – This is not as difficult as it sounds. After doing some quick reading, I realized that most of the time, we are already doing this as a family. Now it’s just a matter of being more portion-conscious.

2. Breakfast – I’m really terrible at this. I was making smoothies almost every day and when I was, I was feeling better. This is something I want to get back into doing. They were delicious, filling, and gave me that boost that breakfast gives to you.

3. Drink More Water – I’m pretty good at this, but I could be doing better.

4. A Power Hour – I’m usually getting up with my little brother in the morning, and for a while, I was getting up at 7:00 AM to have coffee and me time before the hustle and bustle of getting off to school started. I need to get back into doing this.

5. Dress With a Smile – It’s important to fill every day with positivity. Smile when you wake up. Tell yourself that you’re beautiful and worth it. Remind yourself that you matter and that people love you.

Keep at it and don’t get discouraged. Everything takes work and if you’re willing to put in the time, the results will be amazing!

Things That Make You Go…and Smile!

I’m still diligently working on my Winter Survival List and I wanted to share things that make me smile!

Dreamcatchers

I have always found them to be both fun to make (and easy!) and beautiful to look at. This one I found via Pinterest and have linked the makers Etsy shop via the photo. Sadly, this particular one has been sold, but the maker has some lovely ones in their store. I would love to start making them along with my other crafting projects this winter!

Irises

I love these flowers so much. They’re a lovely color, appropriate for any season, add brightness, and have a very fresh aroma. I also appreciate the varying colors that you can find them in, though the royal purple is my favorite.

Daffodils

Or Narcissus if we’re being scientifically correct. Again, I love this particular flower. It’s bright, it has such a unique shape, and comes in a variety of colors. Put them with a few irises and greens? You have an arrangement that should bring a smile to your face whenever you see it.

Glitter

Things that sparkle, shimmer, and shine always make me smile. The end.

Sea Turtles

I just love these little guys! Even if they’re not so little.

Fashion Police

Kathy Griffin could never fully replace the magnificent Joan Rivers, but she is fabulous along with Brad Goreski, Kelly Osbourne, and Giuliana Rancic. Even if it’s raw and biting, they always find a way to point out the good assets that the faces of Hollywood bring to the world.

Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives

Out of all the food shows that I watch (and I definitely watch a lot of them!) this one has to be one of my favorites. I love to listen to Guy talk about food and to see how proud the people are to show off their creations.

This clearly does not include everything that makes me smile or laugh, but it’s a start! It’s good to remind yourself of the little and simple things that are out there that can bring that moment of brightness to your day.

Food For Thought

Maybe one day I’ll be posting my own creations, but for now, I’m thanking Betty Crocker for this recipe.

Sometimes I’m at a loss at what to make my family for dinner. Usually my Mom guides me along since my step-siblings can be rather picky on their choices. To be honest, though, it’s not as difficult as I make it sound. I can make spaghetti, chicken, potatoes, chicken nuggets, and other simple foods and everyone is happy. When it comes to vegetables, it can be a bit more difficult. Especially for me, who absolutely loves anything and everything vegetables.

So what do I do when my the little bro comes along and asks for scalloped potatoes with dinner?

Tell him no problem and then tear through the internet to find something to make with said side dish and chicken.

Usually, for me, scalloped potatoes go with pork chops and peas. It’s been a staple my entire life, and one that I really love. However, we run into the problem of people not liking pork chops. Okay. I can still make it work!

What do I find on the back of the scalloped potatoes box? A recipe for Creamy Chicken Stove Top Casserole.

While I modified it to my family’s liking, it was a quite the hit!

Rather than chicken thighs, I used skinless chicken tenders and my veggie combination included peas, carrots, snow pea pods, and baby corn. I think, aside from the butter since I use skim milk, it was a pretty healthy meal. We even omitted the cheese and bacon and everyone ate their veggies! That is always a plus in my book and I think my Mom would be proud.

My list of things I want to try making has grown quite a bit over the past few months. I desperately want to learn how to make my own donuts and bagels. I would love to try making a frittata. I want to get better at roasting vegetables after the recipes I keep seeing.

I can’t go gourmet, but I’m hoping that I can slowly introduce some new spices, flavors, and food groups to my family!

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Two pairs of socks, a foot warmer, two blankets, and at least two layers of clothing, and I’m still cold.

I saw this on another blogger’s website – Modern Mrs Darcy which I highly recommend – about things that get you through the winter.

Growing up in Maryland, cold weather shouldn’t be new to me. Snow, slush, and ice were expected. Granted, our level of snow was nothing compared to the massive amounts that other areas get. This I know. More often than not were were calling in the National Guard to assist with snow removal and keeping a general sense of order.

Even with the 20+ years of living in that area, the cold bothers me. Where are you, Elsa? Could I borrow a bit of your magic just for a few minutes?

Maybe it was from living in Florida. Even living in the warmer climates for a short period of time has thinned my blood to where I’m cold when it’s a comfortable 10C (50F in case you were wondering!) outside. Either way, -24C (-11F) is very cold.

So how am I getting through the winter? It hasn’t been easy, but I have been relying on these warming necessities:

1. Coffee & Tea

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Coffee in the morning for the initial caffeine boost and tea to maintain the much needed warmth. It definitely makes the day better to sit with my Panda mug that I picked up at the Toronto Zoo and watch morning talk shows. I’m currently loving the Donut Shop Favorites variety pack with International Delight’s Hazelnut creamer. My teas contain a mixture of Tetley Earl Grey Vanilla or Twinings Blackcurrant Black Tea. I’m not a coffee or tea connoisseur, but I use a little sugar in either and I’m as content as can be!

2. Blankets

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You can never have enough blankets. Even if you think you have too many, you don’t. I wrap up in, at least, two and sleep with five. Keep in mind that these are not overly heavy blankets made of pure sheep’s wool. They are your average weight blankets, but the layers are such a comfort.

3. Socks

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The first thing I go for in the morning. Sometimes it’s even two pairs. Either way, they are essential and something that helps keep me warm. The heavy, the better!

4. Music

Depending on the mood of the morning, I go between Spotify.ca’s Have A Great Day! list or the Acoustic Morning list. Either way, good music that makes me smile, is soothing, makes me sing, and has me dancing is a great way to get rid of those wintry blues.

I plan in building more to this list and will be sharing new additions are they come.

What are some of your favorite things that help you get through the cold months?

Take a Deep Breath

I started this blog to bring a smile to others. The world is filled with so much hate and negativity that I needed something shiny.

These past few posts have not had the sparkle that was intended, but they are not bad. I have desperately needed an outlet and it did not matter whether people read it or acknowledged it. It has helped me in dealing with these muddy emotions. However, I would like to maintain the proper theme and mood. I want to have my sunshine with my rain.

That said, my dear followers, I invite you to follow Adagio for Pathos which is my rain.

Face It…

Why do I bother writing?

Why do I bother doing anything?

Is it all really worth it?

Why bother at all?

It’s never going to be perfect.

I’m never going to be perfect.

Am I really worth it?

Why am I so messed up?

Why can’t I do better?

Why can’t I be better?

I’m disappointed in myself.

I’m a disappointment.

Why am I crying?

I don’t know why I do anything.

I can’t explain so please stop asking.

I just want to sleep.

I don’t want to do anything.

Leave me alone.

Why am I so stupid?

Good Morning!

I’m doing fine.

I’m feeling really good.

I’ll be happy to help you!

I feel like I’m doing better.

I’ve got a handle on it this time.

I thought I was doing better.

Why is this happening?

I’m getting help.

I can do better.

I feel like everyone is laughing at me.

I feel like an idiot.

Do I really have any friends?

Who cares?

I care.

You’re worth it.

People love you.

You can do it.

It will be okay.

It all matters.

Everything matters.

Everyone matters.

Take a deep breath.

Cry if you need to.

Everything will be alright.