January: New Year, New Beginnings: Quotation


Let me listen to me and not to them.

– Gertrude Stein

Let us have faith in each other. Let us not grow weary and lose heart, for there are more seasons to come and there is more work to do.

– Hillary Clinton [11/11/16]

Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in good season we shall reap.

– also from that speech by H. Clinton, drawn from Galatians 6:9

January: New Year, New Beginnings: Reflection


What small thing can you do when you wake up in the morning to tap into that sense of marvel before you start your day? [365 Health and Happiness Boosters by M.J. Ryan]

I really want to be a morning person.

I also really want to be a nite-owl.

I’m naturally more of the latter, although I can stay up until 2am, and still get up at 7 if I need to. If I don’t need to, I tend to stay in bed, whether it’s sleeping or reading or writing. I actually get a lot done in my pajamas. I think that works for wintertime. It’s cold and it’s grey, and I don’t want to go anywhere, including out of my cocoon.

At the moment, the sun is shining, and it’s deceiving me into thinking it’s not quite so cold out, and enticing me to leave the house, which I will almost certainly regret.

Spring mornings just have that sense of marvel. It’s the same sun, the same window, the same temperature on the inside, but what is it about spring mornings that feel differently? Perhaps it’s the angle of the sun, the way it peers in the window, the glow from behind the bare trees. The glow begins a little earlier each day, and it can be not only inspirational, but motivational.

It urges me to rise, to grasp everything.

I read two books every morning before I check facebookagram and my email. The first is the one where that initial question/prompt came from. MJ Ryan’s book of health and happiness boosters. Some i ignore – they don’t quite work for me, and that is what I like about the book; take it or leave it. Take what works, and leave the rest. So far, there are questions to ponder, breathing techniques, quotations, and we’ll see what else as the year progresses. One page, or half a page really each day.

The second book is a year long devotional study dedicated to the women of the Bible. Each week, I’m introduced to a new Biblical woman, and each day a different thought about her to read and meditate on. It’s a Monday through Friday, which leaves Saturday and Sunday for regular worship or reviewing what I’ve read. So far, Sarah and Hagar. Up next: Lot’s Wife and then Rebekkah, and so on.

Those are the two that get me started and my mind moving, getting ready for whatever the day brings: reading, errands, writing, phone calls.

I know it’s not quite enough; there is something missing from my morning ritual, and I’m still not sure what it is, but I continue looking for it. However, those two books are small ways to start my day when I wake up in the morning. It takes little time, and so I can fit it in almost every morning before anything else no matter how structured the rest of the day is, and it carries through the weekend to give me the stability that often falls apart once school and work are over for the week and everyone wants to control the day.

I’ll keep you updated.

What small thing can you change or add to your morning?

January: New Year, New Beginnings: Recipe


This past holiday season I went through all of those pinned posts, saved Tasty videos on Facebook, and thought that I would try one or three new recipes out. As it turned out, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, I tried out eight new recipes, some from the internet (Facebook and Pinterest) and a couple that I created on my own. Others I combined elements from more than one source.
If I do say so myself, they were phenomenal! I would make almost all of them again.

Even though the New Year’s parties are over, some of us are still eating appetizers for dinner, and the Super Bowl is not that far off. I thought I’d share this first experiment that my family absolutely loved!

I got the idea from a Tasty video for stuffed meatballs as well as my love for Cornish pasties that I developed a taste for on my first trip to England.

I let an 8oz. block of cream cheese soften. (I actually didn’t use a full block; this one had been started but it was mostly all there)

I then added in 1/2 a bag of frozen chopped spinach, 1/2 teaspoon (or your preference) of garlic powder, and 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese (again, use your preferred cheese).

Mix well.

I then took a box of Pillsbury pie crusts and rolled them out one at a time. I used a 1 cup measuring cup to cut the dough into circles, then balled the dough and did it all over again until there was no dough left, only a pile of circles.

I placed a small spoonful of the spinach mixture in each circle, covered it with another circle, pressed it closed with a fork, and brushed them with an egg wash. (Another option is to put less mixture and fold the circle over into a halfmoon shape, sealing and brushing it in the same way. This will give you twice as many hand pies if you’re serving several small items).

Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until a golden color.

My family couldn’t get enough of them.
Ingredient List

1 box Pillsbury (or preferred brand) pie crusts

1 8oz. brick of cream cheese (I use Philadelphia brand)

1/2 bag of frozen chopped spinach

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 cup cheddar (or preferred) cheese

1 egg (for egg wash)

Follow the directions as outlined above.

NEW SERIES: January: New Year, New Beginnings


​A new year means new beginnings, new goals, new intentions. I haven’t come up with everything I want to focus on this year, but I’m starting out slowly, going one month, one day at a time. From now until April, I have started a series of posts with the focus on a central theme. January’s theme is new year, new beginnings, and I wrote a blurb on the first. This weekly series will begin on the 1st of each month (from now through April when I’ll reassess how it’s going along), and then each week after, there will be a related post. The categories that I’m using for those weekly posts include: the introductory blurb, a recipe or food related item, a quotation, photograph or artwork, and a reflection.

I’m excited to begin the year this way.

Following this introduction is the second post for January: a new recipe.