Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Day 9

My Favorite Fall Foods

Pumpkin Seeds

For the past couple of years, my husband and I have carved pumpkins together. And when we clean them out, we save the seeds and roast them in the oven.

  • Put seeds in a pot of water and bring water to boil. Let water simmer for about 10 mins. Then, drain water. 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Then, coat a baking pan with olive oil.  
  • Season seeds with whatever you desire. Some of my favorite varieties are seasoning with Cavender's All-Purpose Seasoning, garlic salt, or brown sugar. Really, you can use whatever seasoning or flavor you like. Get creative!
  • Then, spread the seeds out on the pan and roast for about 10 minutes, or until done.

Grilled Squash and Zucchini

Frankly, I'm not a huge squash or zucchini lover, but somehow grilled they taste so good! Just slice, coat with olive oil, season with Cavender's or lemon-pepper seasoning and grill! Either grill in foil or a grill basket. You can also add onions, if desired.

Pumpkin Muffins

Use Trader Joe's Pumpkin Bread and Muffin Mix. Simply follow the directions. They are so easy, even I can do it. And, whether you decide on the muffins or the bread, they taste great. If you want to get a little fancy with the muffins...Add chopped nuts to the mix and top with chopped nuts and brown sugar, or simply top with regular sugar. Yum!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Day 7

What One Leaves Behind

One of the scariest thoughts when you leave a place is that you'll be forgotten. Tomorrow, I will be training someone to take my place at work. It's uncomfortable to think of someone replacing you.

When you start to settle in somewhere, you can begin to think you're the only one who can do what you do; which most of the time isn't true.

I guess the best we can really hope for, is that we leave something good behind. Just maybe, something we did to help a colleague, a word of encouragement, or a smile on a bad day, left someone's soul slightly better than before.

A photo I took of some leaves on the ground.
I just love all the colors! Photo by Alyssa
There is the chance that we'll soon be forgotten, or worse, spoken ill of. But, hopefully, something we did will be passed on. To use my fall metaphor (which I hope isn't getting too old by now!), we shed our leaves in hopes that they will be used to enrich the lives around us. 

Fall Lawn Tip:

Now, in light of this is a practical tip I found about how to use fall leaves to compost your lawn. It's a free and eco-friendly way to use those pesky lawn-leaves! I don't have a lawn yet, but whenever I do, I will probably do this:

Tree Leaves as an Organic Fertilizing Agent

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Day 6

Moving in Slow Motion

I'm sorry to anyone who may have checked in yesterday, I was unable to post yesterday. It was alumni weekend at my Alma Mater and there were people to see and things to do! But, I do apologize and am going to try not to skip any more days. So, we are going to skip to Day 6.

My thought for today deals with moving and patience. I'm gearing up to make my move, but right now there's only so much I can do to get ready. Most of it will have to wait till moving day. A good deal of our stuff has already been put in storage. So, it's mostly a matter of getting it all loaded up. But what do I do in the mean time?

I also feel a bit stalled in the way of a career path and many aspects of my life. I've been trying to put myself out there more, both professionally and personally. But, so far, it doesn't seem as though I'm getting much response. And I've had to deal with some rejection.

As it is so often the case, I think things are probably going to all happen at once. But what do you do in during the waiting period?

I am going to trust that God has a plan, even though I don't always see the whole picture.

But, if any of you have any advice on how to gear up for a move, or do while you're waiting for something to happen, your comments are always appreciated!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Day 4

Changing Expectations

One theme that's been on my mind lately is the idea of being true to yourself, no matter what others think. I'm the kind of person that likes everyone to be happy and like me. I've been pleased with the response I've gotten from many people I work with as they've discovered I'll be leaving them. People for the most part have been very sweet and tell me they'll miss me.

It's a great thing to hear. But truth be told, I don't care as much about these opinions and acclamations as I used to. Because the older I get, the more one truth hits home:

There will always be someone out there that won't like you.

It doesn't matter if you're the sweetest person in the world--someone will think you're too sweet, or being fake. It doesn't matter what you do, because you can't please everybody.

And in the attempt to please everyone, sometimes you can become a watered-down version of yourself.

In addition to the 31 Days' writing challenge, the new challenge I'm giving myself is to be authentic, even if it makes someone upset and even if it might change their view of me. Because, I often shy away from fully expressing myself and my opinions out of fear.

I challenge you to do the same--to be authentic.

Say what you think.

Allow yourself to be weird or be quirky.

If people are going to judge you, when your being true to yourself, are they really the kind of people you want to be around anyway?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Day 3

Saying Goodbye to Summer

I find I always get a little sad when summer ends. I think it goes back to those carefree days as a kid, when you could play all day and didn't have a care in the world. And then it was time to go back to school--back to full days of classes and homework.

I still cling to the happiness and warmth of summer, wearing flip-flops, even when it's too cold and putting on those summer clothes I ought to put away.

But fall has it's perks, too. It brings pleasant days without the blistering heat. It brings the smell of bonfires, carved pumpkins and warm apple cider. The surrounding landscapes transform into lovely shades of gold, orange and scarlet.

As with summer, I find myself in the midst of this move clinging to the familiar. Like a child who is afraid to part with their blanky, I find myself holding on to what's comfortable and familiar.

Although I've been wanting this move for a long time, when the news came, I found myself feeling a little hesitant. I was sharing my anxiety with my husband, who said to me, "But, you wanted this. We've been working on this for a long time."

As a kid, instead of a blanky, I had a t-shirt from soccer camp. It was old and worn out. I'd had it for about seven years. I knew I should get rid of it, but it was so hard to let it go! I don't really know why. It didn't make any sense--I guess it was because of the good memories.

It's funny how we can do this. We can cling to the familiar, the comfortable, because it's safe. And even though we know it's time to let go, in the face of change, we start to glorify our past experiences. We forget about the sweltering days of summer, the time we got knocked down playing soccer, or maybe the reasons we called it quits in a relationship that didn't work out. We think only of the good times.

But change is something we have to accept, because it will happen whether we like it or not. I do believe their is value in reflecting on your past experiences, but not to get stuck there. Because, although the season ahead will be different, it will have new things to offer.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Day 2

3 Ways to Change-Up Your Everyday Routine
Routines can be a good thing. They give a feeling of comfort and consistency and help you manage your life. But routines can become monotonous and stale.
For me with an 8:00-5:00 work week, sometimes it can feel a little like the film Groundhog Day, where you wake up and do the same thing over and over again.
If this is the case, it’s time to shake things up. Here are some ways I like to spice up my week.
1. Try a New Place
Whether it’s a restaurant you’ve heard about but haven’t been to or a bakery you pass by every day, make a point of stopping in. As simple as this may sound it can be a scary experience. You always know what to order and what to expect from your go-to places, but what if you don’t like what you get at this new one? You may not like what you get, but then again, you might love it! Sometimes it’s worth taking the risk.
2. Search for Inspiration
There are many times when inspiration just hits you, like a beautiful song or a majestic sunset. But then, there are other times when inspiration seems hard to come by. In those times of inspiration famine, you have to hunt for it.
When I’m feeling particularly starved for creativity, I like to flip through a book of poetry. I also like to search for good songs or quotes by my favorite writers online. Of course you can always peruse on Pintrest too!
3. Dress-Up Your Dinner
Pour a glass of wine, put on some Sinatra, sing along and cook some Italian. If that's not your style, put on whatever you enjoy and helps you unwind. This may not be the kind of cooking style you can do every night, but why not create your own fancy dinner and have some fun doing it.  And, why save it for the weekend? Why not do it in the middle of the week?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Day 1


31 Days of Changing Seasons:

I have taken the 31 Day Challenge from the Nesting Place. Every year the blog’s writer does an event, where other bloggers link-up on the site and write about a topic of their choice for 31 days.
Starting a blog, where I can share my thoughts, is something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. So, I’m taking this opportunity to kick-start my blog in hopes that the 31 Day Challenge will give me the accountability I need to write every day.
It is only fitting to start this blog during the fall, when the seasons are changing and I’m experiencing many changes in my own life. Just yesterday, my husband and I gave our two weeks’ notice and we’ll be moving to a new state!
In light of this, my 31 day theme will be Changing Seasons. I will be exploring topics from seasonal staples like pumpkins and cider to the many changes that lie ahead for me. Besides keeping up with the move, I will also be challenging myself to change in other aspects.
I hope you will join me in this journey of change and exploration. And it is my hope that any changes I make will inspire you to make some of your own!