Author Archives: staff

TWSM Smoked Salmon Flatbread Pizza Review

Smoked Salmon Flatbread Pizza

One of the things I’m discovering about working from home is how nice it is to take a break and pop into my own kitchen to make my lunch. All the ingredients I may want are there. I don’t have to prep something at 6:30am. If I decide on something different or have a craving for something, it’s easy to change my mind. I can also take my lunch on the deck on nice days and enjoy fresh air while recharging for the afternoon tasks.

As a result I’ve been on the search for cool, easy to prepare, and tasty meals that may not have been considered for a lunchbox meal when I was working in an office away from home. Smoked Salmon Flatbread Pizzas by Three Many Cooks absolutely fit the bill. Even though this recipe is pricier than I would normally invest in, it was well worth the extra money. And because I prepared the flatbread only for myself (Dylan generally doesn’t care for seafood), I’ve been able to make the ingredients work for other meals as well. Smokey, salty, lemony, creamy… The smoked salmon flatbread with a lovely blend of flavors in the cream cheese, hit all the notes for me.

The recipe calls for using naan as the base for these flatbreads, which I think would be perfect. I’m in love with a gluten free pizza crust from a local bakery, so I used it instead. Otherwise, I followed the recipe exactly. Be sure to enjoy this with a cold glass of sparkling water and a squeeze of lemon to help cut the fattiness and richness of the cream cheese and smoked salmon. Or if serving this with a brunch, prosecco would be lovely. And we all know how much I love a good brunch. Leftover cream cheese spread is good on crackers for an afternoon snack. Extra smoked salmon would be nice on a personal charcuterie board for lunch another day.

Time For A Change

Time for A Change.

If you did not catch my FB Live this past Sunday morning (7-5-20) then I suggest that you go and watch it or listen to the podcast recording of it.  It will give more power and meaning to this blog post—judging by the response the video is getting over the last several hours I would say that my topic choice hit home for a lot of you.

Let us start by defining “toxic”…

Toxic is defined as – very bad, unpleasant, or harmful.

There comes a time in our lives when we need to start looking around and acknowledging what is stealing our aliveness— most of us are so busy and so bogged down that we don’t even look around to see why we have less energy, why we are eating too much, why we aren’t taking care of ourselves—we just think “oh that’s just my life” or “that’s how it has to be”— I am calling BULLSHIT on all of those excuses.  The truth is if you are anything like me you have said yes far too many times when you really wanted to say NO or you have done something when you didn’t want to because you did not want to deal with what came from not doing it.

We go along to get along A LOT of the time and we think that we are doing ourselves a favor by causing less headaches in the moment—however at close to 52 and after running many businesses and raising a kid for 19 years all on my own, I can honestly tell you that I am not sure we are doing ourselves a favor by not standing up and speaking our own truth even if people don’t like it or want to hear it.

Every time that we shrink ourselves to suit someone else, we DULL our own edges and then before you know it we turn around and we have become some shadowy version of who we were.  When we do that, we don’t like ourselves much because a part of us knows that we are saying yes to avoid conflict or going along just to keep the peace etc.

Yes, there are times we when we will have to do things we don’t want to do and times that we will have to suck it up—I get that.  What I am mostly speaking about here and on the live this morning is how doing this can become a daily habit instead of just a “sometimes” occurrence.  The pain that we think we are saving ourselves from in the moment actually is nothing compared to the suffering that we cause ourselves by not speaking our truth and drawing lines in the sand when things are not acceptable to us.

I don’t believe in regrets—however I do believe that there are things that I could have done better so far in my almost 52 years and one of the biggies is that I could have made clear boundaries instead of trying to keep everybody happy at the expense of my own self-worth.  I am much better with it now; however, it is an active project for me—making sure that I am saying what really works for me and what doesn’t.

The biggest place that this one catches us is with toxic family situations or toxic relationships—often in these situations it can cause so much temporary drama to speak our truth and stand up for ourselves…

The cost though for not doing it is your energy, your joy, your ‘aliveness’—I am asking you this week to start looking into your life to see what is unacceptable, what isn’t ok with you, what you have been putting up with to keep the peace.  The first step is to bring it to consciousness and then start thinking about what needs to be done to shift it.  It will not happen overnight, and it will be a process—however you cannot wait one more minute to start saying what is really so for you.

It is time that you mattered to you—it’s time to see what is not working and it is time to do something about that—go watch the FB live.  See you Sunday for Coffee Chat.

 

XO, N.

It Took A Pandemic To Co-Parent

It took a pandemic to get us to co-parent…Co-parenting during COVID… I have wrote before about how co-parenting is not for everyone.  My ex and I have not co-parented very well over the last 5 years. In the past, we have had minimal communication.  I have spent years developing boundaries and sticking to them.  I have limited the form of communication to mostly email and not engaging in additional texts on parenting.  As long as I kept it to those guidelines, things would stay civil with us.   

Then COVID started and everything had to change.  There is no way we would have survived parenting, teaching our kids, and working from home with how we had co-parented in the past.  We had to start communicating more effectively and become more flexible with our schedules.   

My ex had a very strict schedule with the kids at his house.  I had always been the more flexible parent and had adapted to my kids lifestyles.  My ex had a completely different parenting style than myself.  However, he learned that he would have to loosen the reigns a little to be able to survive having 3 kids at home everyday.  In addition, trying to work from home and following up on their school work.  He had to learn to give my kids some independence and trust them.  And in return over the last few months, my kids have enjoyed being there a lot more.  

We now had to communicate daily about the kid’s schoolwork.  We also had to schedule google meets between houses and teachers.  In addition, we had to be more flexible with our time with the kids.  We basically had to work together so that we were both able to work from home and divide up our kid time.  We had to learn to help each other out, which is something we had not done in years.  We had to be flexible on drop off and pick up times, along with additional time with the kids.  If one of us had more work commitments on a certain day, the other would take the kids longer.  

We also had to trust each other because neither one of us knew what would happen in the next few months.  We had to trust that what each other said or did would be followed through.  We had to trust that schoolwork and similar routines were followed at each house.   This was hard because I had not really trusted him in years and it made me nervous that it would backfire. 

I think one of the things that turned it around was that my son had to celebrate his 1st communion virtually this year due to COVID.  We all got together and my house and watched the 1st communion service virtually on the TV.    Watching it virtually was hard to get used too, but then we all had to sit together in my living room for over an hour.  I had no idea what we would even talk about.  This is the 1st time in 4 years that my ex has came past the front door and now he sat with all of us and we celebrated my son’s 1st communion.  A couple days after that, my daughter said, “ you and dad actually seem like you are friends”.  That was crazy to hear from my daughter, because over the last 5 years we had such limited communication. 

This was completely different from the past.  It was hard to get used to our new relationship.  I had always wanted this type of co-parenting, but it had never happened.   There had always been so much anger and conflict from him over the last five years.  It was hard to trust that he was beginning to be flexible and even supportive of my parenting.  

There was no more questioning on my decisions.  In addition, he was letting the kids make some of their own decisions at his house.  Having the kids notice the difference in our relationship was probably the greatest outcome from COVID.    

I can only hope that six months or a year from our now, we are still communicating and showing each other more respect.  Maybe it’s covid or the amount of time that has passed since our divorce, but I had always wanted my kids to see that we can still be great parents even though we are not together.  I hope that we are finally on the right track…


-snarky

 

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/

Independence Day

Independence Day

I am currently sitting on my front porch enjoying the sun, heat and breeze today is giving me. I wish it was me enjoying those three things with my family but the state I live in is seeing a spike in cases and where my family is,it’s the same

So instead I’m pretending I’m on vacation which right now is tricky because my neighbor is outside with her partner and he’s going all in and showing her some exercises. Meanwhile I’m sitting drinking fake cocktails in cutoffs.

It’s the 4th of July. Normally we’d be going somewhere. Instead here I am.

When I write these, music always plays in the background. This week it’s songs from Hamilton which I finally got to see.

I was all set to write to you about the things I’m celebrating my Independence from, but I’m not sure how relatable they are, and do you really want to hear about how during a pandemic I thought it  would be a good time to give up my last vice? Margaritas… and how I have been on a failed quest to find a fun substitute.

How because I still can’t go get my haircut I tried to cut the back myself and my daughter had to help me fix it.

How even though my person is only fifteen minutes away we suddenly feel like we are in a long distance relationship?

How I miss my friends?

I am not a very social person but what I wouldn’t give for some stranger to ask me if I know where something is during one of my rare Target runs.

How I worry about my friends and family everyday.

Every week I put a piece of me in words for you to read. 

This week is one of the harder ones because no one wants to be the person at the party with the arms crossed sitting in the corner.

Again, I dial back to how fortunate I am, but man what I wouldn’t give to bury my face in a basket of chips and a big old side of salsa.

The reality is, that is not my reality right now.

Instead I am trying to focus on my bright spots. The time I’ve gotten back with my daughter. 

My phone, actually being used as a phone. I have mentioned this before but I have definitely upped my phone conversations since March and it’s good.

Working from home – first I’m working. That in and of itself, but it also has meant more time with my daughter. I can’t tell you how much that has meant to me.

I’m learning to be mindful. Take a step back. I am learning to speak up.

I am learning now more than ever it’s incredibly important to speak up, stand up, and tell people you love them.

I am also learning I should not try to cut my own hair.

I am an up and  down roller coaster and that’s ok.

My eating habits are like that of a teenage boy. 

When there is a full moon, stop what you are doing and encourage your family members to look at it.

Tell people you love them. Tell people you need them. Tell people they are important.

Embrace who you are. 

Speak up.

Speak out.

Turn the music up.

Love loudly.

Give your dog hugs.

Talk to your cat.

We watched Hamilton this weekend as I mentioned, and my big take away,those guys didn’t have a rule book.

Why should you.

 

Be safe

Much love Mommas 

<3 Caprise

Out Of Control With Control

I find myself easily frustrated when my plans and instructions aren’t followed. I will get over it, if I can be provided with an in-depth and logical account for why things were done differently. It better be well thought out, more efficient, or cover some detail that I might have missed. I find that it is hard for me to take direction without explanation as well. I want to know why I am being asked to do something and how it fits into a bigger picture. I will most likely have suggestions or amendments as well. Rather than a character defect, I used to pass my behavior off on just being analytical. To be honest, I just get out of control with needing control.
There is so much weight placed on us on a regular basis. The demands of family, friends, bosses, and society are heavy and never ceasing. When one lets up, there will surely be another that remains to fill the emptiness. Managing it all without something falling through the crack is a tall order and being controlling seems to be the best fitting solution. That solution never really works though. I have found I always end up frustrated because someone didn’t go fast enough, they weren’t precise enough, or they needed constant intervention to get things right. Worn down from trying to control others, I found there is massive variability in my own work when I get too controlling. Things take longer because I am micromanaging others or I fear delegation, putting a massive amount work on my own plate. Further, I stunt the growth and creativity of others. Not allowing them the freedom to own a project or assist in their way can hinder them from learning the whys of life. It creates this feedback loop for the next time a tasks arises. Direction is needed constantly because the reigns are never handed over for people to learn and grow on their own. This is when the need for control is wildly out of control. There are other, more effective tools exist to manage our lives without having the overwhelming burden of every detail on our own shoulders.
Respect
The biggest tool to grab a hold of in our efforts to release control, is respect. People are people. They aren’t pawns or pieces to accomplish a task. Children are individuals rather than mini-mes waiting to take directions. When we begin to look at people clearly, we notice all the amazing talents they possess. Their potential to do and our desire to teach rather than direct, creates a healthier interaction. This also causes growth in us. I had a coworker, whose strengths did not include anything with technology, quickly rig a malfunctioning printer tray with a towel. I thought she was unqualified, but since she wasn’t trying to analyze the problem from the same technical perspective I was, she discovered a quick out of the box solution.
Routine 
Taking the first tool into account, building room into routines for variance eliminates the pressure to micromanage or do things ourselves. When we manage our routines well we can make room for grace. These allowances for reduce the stress of having people moving at their own pace. My son takes about 45 minutes to eat his breakfast. When I choose to calculate that into my morning routine it becomes a norm not an inconvenience. Instead of spoon feeding my 4 year old each bite, I am able to let go of controlling his pace and let him just. Even though it isn’t my pace, there really isn’t any harm in adjust the schedule to accommodate his needs. This also gives us permission to give ourselves grace. We have our own variances in our productivity. Extending the proper leniency increases the chances that we will meet or come in before deadlines rather than after.
Rest
A large consequence of controlling behaviors that get out of control is our in ability to rest. Downtime isn’t peaceful. We remain stressed about work, relationships, household management, and a constant barrage of other cares. Overtime our lack of rest decreases our efficiency. The result is we get less done in a given period and are more stressed as we see control slipping from our hands. I am the worse at leave my computer on for weeks and months at a time without restarting or shutting it down. Inevitably the computer RAM gets bogged down or those much delayed updates become a necessity rather than an option. Simply put, technology even needs to shut down so it can reboot and be at peak performance. Little times of rest help clear our hard drive giving us the ability to think more clearly and function more effectively.
Implementing these three “Rs” will help stop control from getting out of control in your life. We don’t have to constantly be doing and overseeing for us to be important or to boost our self worth. We can choose to loosen our tight grip of control and be a part of life. Enjoy life because the difficulties will surely come. We shouldn’t let ourselves be so worn out with the everyday ebb and flow that we are incapable of coping with anything else.
Shon W

You’re Like A Firefly

You’re like a firefly.  Everywhere you go, you light up.  You shimmer and shine your goodness right where you are.  You don’t even TRY.  It’s natural.  Just like the firefly.  He didn’t wake up this morning and say “I hope I shine really really bright tonight”.  Nope.  He just IS.  

That’s you.  Your smile, your energy your beauty.  It just IS.  

I remember when I was a kid, my sister and I used to catch the fireflys in a jar.  It was cool chasing them around the yard, watching them through the glass as they would light up every few seconds and then waiting till morning to see what they would do.  The first time we caught some, that next day, we wondered what did they actually look like and would they still light up…..  and maybe they did but we just couldn’t see it because the sun was shining.  Every time we caught some, in the morning, we would release them.  They did not want to live in the jar, even though we put grass in the jar and poked holes in the lid.  They wanted to be free.  Free to fly.  Free to light up the night with their shimmer and shine.

Let us remember that we are like the firefly.  We do not let others thwart our life. We do not let others keep us in a jar with grass and breathing holes and think it’s an acceptable way to live.  

Be free.  Free to glow and grow and sparkle.  Free to shimmer and shine and express our natural beauty.   Free with our own unique firefly life.  Make a difference as you travel through the days and nights shining your beauty and brightness on every one nearby.

 

xoxo,

Your God-girl

Tracy

Get The Other Person Saying Yes

Get The Other Person Saying Yes, Yes Immediately….
This is another Dale Carnegie principle, the idea itself has been credited to Socrates who was famous for asking questions rather than making statements in his dealing with people. This allowed him to understand them in a deeper way.
Unfortunately over the years sales people have been taught this as a “sales technique“ in order to coerce a customer to buy something. Having been associated with the sales industry for most of my adult life, I find the idea of manipulation detestable.
What Socrates and Dale Carnegie meant by this method was, to find areas in which you agree with someone.  There will be places where we disagree, but looking for where we agree does a couple of things. It causes us to think in terms of the other person’s interests and it takes our focus off of where we disagree. We are more likely to find common ground where we agree.  We are more open to someone else’s views when we feel they understand ours. We feel validated.
 “In talking with people, don’t begin by discussing the things On which you differ. Begin by emphasizing – and keep on emphasizing – the things on which you agree. Keep emphasizing – if possible – that you were both striving for the same end and you’re only difference is one of method and not purpose.“
– Dale Carnegie; How To Win Friends and Influence People
So, get the other person saying “yes, yes” immediately, and do it sincerely.

Finding Your New Place

Finding your new place…sometimes you need a change… I had gone to the same church since my kids were in preschool. We had switched to this church because it offered many programs for little kids and they could do to preschool there also.

I had volunteered for Sunday school for all of my kids throughout their preschool and elementary years. I had joined and participated in a bible group for years. I had also volunteered at the preschool during their preschool years.

We had attended first communions and faith milestones together at that church. We sat through so many Christmas programs and music concerts it felt never ending.

And after my divorce, it felt so different to be there. I felt like I didn’t fit in anymore. I slowly started to volunteer less for preschool. I started to attend church less when I didn’t have my kids. It just didn’t feel like my place anymore.

I didn’t feel comfortable going to church there anymore. It was too close for comfort with my ex and his new wife attending the same church.   I really wanted to feel comfortable attending.

My life was not the same as the past and I kinda felt like I didn’t fit in there anymore. I know I wrote many times about changes in my life after divorce and learning new path. I wanted to really grow and follow in my faith. This was a time in my life that I really needed to be able to feel comfortable with it. In the past, I had just gone along with the faith that worked best for my family or children. I had picked my church for my kids. This time I wanted it to be more about me.

So I started looking for a new church… my friends had recommended a church, so at first I started listening to the messages online. I listened to them for about 6 months before I actually attended in person. I really could relate to the messages. It was so different that I could relate to the messages and felt like sometimes they were meant for me.   I knew that I didn’t want to just jump into a new church without it feeling really like home.

When I first attended in person, I was so nervous to attend alone. No matter what it is in my life, attending alone is always so scary for me. I went with friends at first to feel comfortable. But then one weekend I went alone. It was so great. I felt comfortable and at peace. I had found my new home.

After that, I now go alone on the weekends without my kids. Its my time. This is one of the things that I really look forward to doing alone. I have many things that I like doing with friends in my life, but attending church alone has been so comforting for me.

I know I write a lot about learning to do new things alone or making new changes. Finding new activities, interests, or hobbies that bring you joy or peace is so exciting. I push myself to do these things because it is so out of my comfort zone from my past…

 

-snarky

 

https://www.snarkydivorcedgirl.com/

Dreaming Is Good

Dreaming is good.

I was on my third dream.  Or maybe it was my 5th dream?  Maybe it was all one dream that just kept changing so fast that in my slumber I didn’t recognize the connections. 

This is strange… I’m in a field yet a phone is ringing.  I didn’t realize if the phone was ringing IN the dream or IN my room.  It took a while for me to comprehend that the phone was actually ringing on my nightstand.  As I rolled over to locate it with my eyes still closed…. you see I didn’t want to open my eyes because then I might wake up.  Even if I opened my eyes just a little bit, I’d lose my place in my dream.  The dream that I was so rudely interrupted from.  I squinted with one eye and the clock said 3:00.  !?3AM?!  Who the heck is calling me at 3AM?  My eyes shot open only to find that it was only a phone number.  And in my phone…if a name doesn’t pop up when it rings…. Then I don’t know you.

I rolled back into my comfy blankets and tried to remember what was going on in my dream just 5 minutes ago.  I tried to go back there. I couldn’t put my finger on it nor could I return to the moment before the phone rang.  I was interrupted and now I was lost.  

It’s kind of like life and the dreams we have.  One minute we’re on a journey, answering the what’s, the why’s and the how’s.  Making lists and enjoying the excitement.  All the doors keep opening, goals become realities, it’s coming to life slowly…. and then there’s a hiccup.  A Huge Hiccup.  Like the phone call in the dream.  It takes you off your groove.  It lands you flat on your face.  Unnerved.  You are without words.

But unlike the inability to get back into your night dreaming, you do have the ability to pick yourself up, wipe yourself off and get back where you were with your life dream and continue from there.

xoxo,

Your God girl

Tracy

Can You Hear It Now?

Can you hear it now?

You probably know about Apple’s AirPods by now. I have been using them for over 2 years and still believe that they are one of Apple’s great achievements.

I have always tried to wear a headset when using my phone and continually am challenged by the wire connecting them to the phone. It always seems to get in the way. So, when Bluetooth headsets hit the market I started looking for ones that would stay in my ear, provide decent sound quality, both in the microphone and headset. I quickly discovered that anything that met those criteria hovered around $80-$100 price tag. The ones I liked best was made by Jobra  even though I had to use a hook  for it to stay on my ear.

As soon as Apple unveiled the AirPods,  I wanted a pair. I loved the minimal size and the idea that the case also charged them. But, once I got them I fell in love. Synching to my phone was as easy as pressing a button on the back of the case… That was it. My phone recognized them immediately and I was ready to start using them.

The design of the case is just what you would expect from Apple. You can feel the quality… from the smooth lines to the mechanical lid to the way the air pods slide into place magnetically. The case is about the size of a box of dental floss and fits easily and inconspicuously in my shirt pocket.

Usually I only use one AirPod at a time and get about 4 hours of battery life.  If I get low, I swap to the other one. That way I have another 4 hours while the first one charges back up. At my level of use the case only needs charging every three or four days.

My only complaint is that I sometimes leave the house without them….

I solved that by buying a second pair to leave in my car…and at $160 each, that says more about how much I love my AirPods.

The newest version is called AirPod Pro ($249). They are smaller in size, have a longer battery life, noise cancelling capability, and use silicone tips for a better fit….yes I did upgrade and fell in love again.

~Steve