Weekly Spread for week of 3/23/2020

It’s the last full week of March. Can you believe it? This week I used some stickers from a couple of new books I purchased last week. The flowers came from the latest Happy Planner Florals book and I also picked up something from Capital City Designs.

The peacock, a favorite bird of mine (I have a peacock feather tatoo) I had printed out on sticker paper months ago. I felt good about using it this week.

I hope you guys like the spread. Continue to be safe and healthy and social distance as much as possible.

Until next time,

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Working From Home

Happy 1st Day of Spring!

With the Covid-19 pandemic going on so many of us are working from home. It can become really easy to become distracted with things around the house and not get much done concerning the job. I have worked from home a few times in the past and I knew the pitfalls of getting distracted by home trying to work from home. With the company I work for mandating that only essential employees are allowed on campus, I had to think of ways to make my work from home experience productive.

The first thing that I decided to do was to try to stick to my normal getting ready routine as much as possible. Of course, I do not have to get up as early because I do not have to pack lunch, or drive to work/school; but I do get up at a time that ensures that I can log in around the same time that I would if I was driving in.

The next thing I do is begin my morning the same way that I would if I was in the office. I make a cup of tea and fill my water bottle with ice water. I have the same breakfast that I would if I was in the office and look over my emails while eating my grapefruit and yogurt.

Throughout the day I try to work the same way that I would in the office. I listen to the morning show on my computer (with headphones on), I listen to my music (with headphones on) when the show is over, I try to eat lunch at the same time I would if I was in the office. And make sure that my lunch is similar to what I would have if I had packed a lunch. I still get up and make sure that my kitchen is clean before I “go to work”. I cut up my apple and orange and place them in the frig so they are cold when lunch time comes.

I end my day around the same time that I would if I was in the office. I log out at the same time that I would normally. Resist the urge to work beyond normal work hours because you are at home. The key to this is make sure that you act as normal as possible.

Do you have any work from home ideas that you would like to share? Comment below with suggestions and comments. Share how you are surviving during social distancing. Until next time, stay safe and happy.

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Dashboard Planner Spread week of 3/16/2020

Hello Everyone,

I hope that you are staying healthy during this health crisis and making wise decisions about your social interactions.  Along with all of the drama associated with COVID-19, this week includes St. Patrick’s Day and the First Day of Spring.  What a way to celebrate both of these events, being seperated from most people.

I decided to take inspiration from a few planners that I saw that took the weeks spread to transition from winter to spring.

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There was a section that I was unsure of what to do with it and I promise even this morning, I wanted to place something over those flowers to cover it up.  I felt it was too springy for this spread since I had a little winter included in it.

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Although the weather has been more spring-like for the past few weeks (and has everyone’s allergies starting early), the official transition is not until the 19th.

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This week I have to cancel all of the plans/reservations that we made for Spring Break.  Babydoll is super bummed.  I just hope that no one gives me a hard time.  I really hate to have to become miffed.  Is anyone else having to cancel travel plans?  What are you guys doing for spring break if you have children?

Anyway, I hope that I have given you some inspiration and that you and your family continue to be in good health and strength. Until next time.

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Makhana, the healthy snack

About a month ago, my mother called me and talked to me about a YouTube video that she had watched that day by Adrienne Bailon discussing her weight loss.  As you know l have been on a weight loss journey for close to 2 years now and it has been slow but steady.  My brother says I’m not slim fast, but slim slow.  My mother is also conscience about her weight in that she wants to maintain the weight that she lost and at the same time come off some of the medications that she takes that she feels is a result of some of her eating habits.  For me, it is important to be able to change my eating habits so that it becomes more of an eating lifestyle change and NOT a diet.

I’m getting off topic.  One of the things that my mother asked me about was a snack that Adrienne mentioned called AsaPop.  Because I am always looking for a “healthy” snack, my mother wondered if I had ever heard of it.  I had not.  My mother then was asking where I thought I could find something like that.  Ok….one thing I know is that we live in a land-locked state (Indiana) that is near a major metropolis (Chicago), but we don’t have access to a lot of things like people in that major metropolis even leaving if I live in a large city.  The things that people find easily on the west coast and east coast and even Chicago, we are mostly likely not going to be able to find it readily here.  I did some research and found out that AsaPop is a name brand snack that is made from cooked Water Lily Seeds.  It is flavored with different spices and is very popular in Asian cultures.  I also found out that you can order the brand AsaPop online for the low low price of about $4.99 for a one ounce package (that low low price reference was full of sarcasm).  I was not about to pay that.  So more research revealed that you could make “AsaPop” at home if you have the correct ingredients.

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Clockwise from top left: Chocolate Coconut, Barbecue, and Caramel.

The main ingredient you need is Makhana, which is actually a water lily seed has been processed.  I then had to find where I could purchase Makhana.  My first thought was our local International grocery store, Saraga.

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Makhana is something that is commonly eaten by the Indian community and I know if there is something that I want to find that is common in another country or culture then I need to get to Saraga.  When I went to Saraga, I initially tried to see if I could see if I could find makhana that had already been flavored.  That was a bust.  Then I walked the aisles looking for plain makhana, on my third pass I found phool makhana.

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I bought two bags and went home to attempt to make this healthy snack.  I was told that you can roast the makhana either on the stovetop or in the oven.  I tried out both options and quickly discovered that I like cook it on top of the stove.  I also read that when you are toasting it on the stovetop that a small amount of oil (olive, ghee, etc.) is used.  I tried this the first time, but found that I prefer to toast it dry.  I tasted the makhana before I started because I was curious and so that I could have a reference for when it was done.  Raw, it taste like how you would think the packing peanuts would taste.  I’ve never tasted packing peanuts; if you have and can describe it let me know.  When it is completely toasted, it has the same texture as popcorn.  I think for the size pan that I used, it took about 15 minutes when the temperature is on low and I suggest that you toast it on low and shake the pan occasionally to move the makhana around and toast evenly.

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Once the makhana was toasted, I used avocado cooking spray or spray “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” to mist the makhana and sprinkled the seasoning mix of choice.  For the savory seasonings I used the avocado spray and the sweet seasonings I used the “I Can’t Believe It”.

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I’ve tried a few different savory seasonings and the one that has stuck is a barbeque seasoning that I got online for making homemade barbeque chips.  The sweet makhana that I have made has been a lemon version, chocolate, chocolate coconut, and caramel.  The lemon and caramel are huge hits with Babydoll and my mother (I really like them too).  The barbeque is so good; you can eat it all in one sitting if you aren’t conscious of how much you’re eating.

I calculated the WW point for the barbeque, lemon and chocolate versions and 1 ounce is around 3 pts and the caramel is 2 pts .  I used a caramel recipe that uses no butter, the main ingredients are maple syrup and nut butter (sing hallelujah for no refined sugars).  I usually make a batch every couple of weeks. We bag it up and take it to the movies, I have it specifically on the days that I’m eating grain/starch free or whenever the mood hits me.

If you have an international grocery story, I would highly suggest you purchase some phool makhana and attempt these recipes for one of the best tasting, healthiest snacks around.   Have you heard of or tried AsaPop or other flavored makhana snack?  Comment below to let me know.  If you try either of these recipes, I would love to hear about it.

Until next time,

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Barbecue Makhana

Barbecue Makhana recipe download.

Caramel Makhana

Caramel Makhana recipe download.

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Planner Spread week of March 9, 2020

Happy Monday,

Have you sufficiently recovered from “springing forward” with daylight savings time beginning?  We missed church yesterday because I woke up close to the time when we should have been heading out the door.  After having an in-depth discussion about what time we needed to get up and leave (Babydoll was going to drive us), we missed it.

Anyway, I had a chance to spend some time getting my planner ready for the week while I watched “Bringing Up Bates” and talked to my mother.  I began cleaning and reorganizing my office and craft space, so I had a really decluttered desk to work on.  I decorated the spread based on the on RongRong sticker that I pulled from a small sticker book that I found when cleaning. It’s March, so I wanted to stick with some green.

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I have three birthday’s that I will be celebrating this  week.  I gotta mail out a birthday card in the next day or two.  This Saturday is going to be a busy one. There is the lunch with “the original six” (my parents and their children only) celebrating my father’s birthday, I’m cooking and hosting. Then there is a bookclub meeting later that evening where we will have discussions about the books we read, but also plans for the upcoming Lori Foster RAGT in June.  Finally, Babydoll is getting her hair braided, that I will be working around drop-off and pick-up.

What’s your week looking like?  Are you finding the weeks flying by?  Comment below with your thoughts.

Have a great week,

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Planner Spread week of March 3

Good Morning everyone,

This weeks spread is full of gold and came about because I’m thinking of travel.  Spring break is at the end of the month and recently I received info about our family reunion this summer.  Getting out of this city is on my mind.

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It was a busy Monday for me, I had a follow-up doctor’s appointment about my knee, had to drop off Sasha Fierce to get a haircut, needed to pick up a few things for Babydoll that she forgot to mention when I went grocery shopping last weekend, and I had to make some granola.

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I ended up getting a cortisone shot to the knee after four weeks of physical therapy and no real change.  Man can I tell you that I had to breath through that shot like I did when I was in labor nearly sixteen years ago.  My knee felt a little weird (the doctor used the term “full” and I think that is a good description).

It’s raining today and most of the week, but the temperature is in the 50’s.  The dreary weather had me in the mood to make a pot of chili.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I finished my planner spread while I ate lunch and worked on chili.  I have no idea why the stickers were raising up so much this time around, but my hope is that it lays flatter once I put it in my planner and close it up for a few hours.

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I wonder if I should color in that flower.  Anyway….I hope you guys enjoy and have a great week.

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Dashboard Layout of the Week

Happy Last Week of February,

At one point I had decided to show my weekly planner spread, but fell off with that.  Mostly it was because I would forget to take a picture of the spread before the pen.  But looking for inspiration online for the Happy Planner Dashboard layout in the Classic size I found that there were not a lot of options.  So…..I’m going to start sharing again.  I have changed the way my layout looks and I will elaborate on that at a later time, but for now this is the spread for the week of 24-Feb-2020 to 1-Mar-2020.

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If you have any suggestions, feel free to comment below.  Thanks and have a great week.

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