3 Cheers for fall!
This past week was nothing out of the ordinary but more of a quiet wonderful all the same. I took my daughter to her second dance class of the season. The girls are so adorable you can’t help but sit there with a smile on your face. We also checked out some local gymnastics places because my daughter is interested in that too. She has great upper body strength which she absolutely did not get from me.
Mid-way through the week my husband played in a golf tournament. He was 5 feet straight in line from winning us a boat. Can you believe it? Although we didn’t come home with a boat, we did finish the week off by planting a cute little maple tree that I hope will grow big and strong one day. In my long-term vision I see a tire swing, brightly colored leaves, and two children sitting in the trunk.
Today’s recipe is all about making healthy foods fun. Pumpkin-shaped roasted sweet potatoes are simple and delicious, with very few ingredients. This recipe is especially great for children, but can easily be jazzed up for a fall evening dinner party.
Sweet Potatoes are high in vitamins and antioxidants, and are a particularly great source of vitamin A. Sweet Potatoes are also an excellent source of beta-carotene. It is thought that serving the sweet potatoes with a fat helps the body get the full benefits of the beta-carotene, which is why the olive oil in this recipe is a great addition.
My personal favorite way to serve these healthy and delicious pumpkin-shaped sweet potatoes is over a vibrant green salad. It makes the salad look stunningly dressed for fall, and the bright orange color on top of the green backdrop is breath-taking.
I hope you enjoy this simple, fun fall dish. Make sure you check out the bonus video at the end!
Pumpkin-Shape Roasted Sweet Potatoes
| |Serves: 4 Ingredients:
- 2 large sweet potatoes, the thicker around the better for shapes
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- ¼ tsp. white pepper
*Cayenne pepper (optional), a small sprinkling for adult versionDirections:Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with a silpat, or parchment paper to prevent sticking.
Peel sweet potatoes and cut into ½ inch thick rounds.
Using a paring knife, or a small pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter, cut rounds into a pumpkin shape, making a stem, and trimming the bottom slightly. Each one will be different and unique, just like real pumpkins!
In a large bowl, gently toss the pumpkin-shaped sweet potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Place the sweet potatoes, spaced evenly apart on a baking sweet.
*Adult Version – Add a small sprinkling of cayenne pepper to the adult pumpkins for a boost in flavor!
Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until a fork can be easily inserted into the sweet potatoes.
To Print, Email or Text recipe click here
One more picture…
My daughter loves to be in the pictures. Here she is all ready for bed, with no shirt of course because that is how she rolls ;-)
This book is so informative and helpful I just had to share! It’s a must-read for women. Be sure to watch until the end for a great skin care tip!
With much love & gratitude,
Recently, I read The Honest Life: Living Naturally and True to You
by Jessica Alba. I could not put it down. The book inspired me, educated me, and gave me many, many wonderful ideas for making my home a safe and healthy environment for my family.
The Honest Life
truly does make healthy living fun and stylish, and I loved it!
It is a great book for anyone who wants to live an environmentally-friendly life.With love, gratitude, & fun, cozy reading time,Wendy Irene
I began reading Self-Care for Life: Find Joy, Peace, Serenity, Vitality, Sensuality, Abundance, and Enlightenment - Each and Every Day
several months ago. When I first received an email describing what the book was about I felt immediately drawn to it. It fascinates me how certain books seem to call to you. I like to think of it as our intuition guiding us towards a new lesson to be learned, a piece of wisdom that you need and maybe the book contains.
For so long I’ve wanted to write this review but put it off. You see, I’m not even half way through the book yet and I have an incredible urge to share it with you. This book contains daily insights, 365 entries, with fantastic ways in which you can practice self-care and boost your well-being. Self-Care for Life has meant so much to me that it has become a part of my daily meditation ritual. Something I take very seriously! Each day before my meditation I read one or two passages to help calm and sooth my soul and most importantly get my head in the right place before entering the silence and stillness meditation provides.
Rushing through this book in order to write a complete review would be a shame. It is too precious to me, and so I choose to slowly enjoy it throughout the year and let the pearls of wisdom unfold each day as they are meant to, one at a time. On the other hand, I couldn’t go another day without sharing Self-Care for Life with you because it is a treasure, and I believe in my heart some of you will also feel the calling of this book, and choose to take in its daily gems.
I’ve learned so much from the book already, including information about the power and energy of crystals, which I previously knew nothing about. One of my favorite parts of the book is the daily quotations. I’m a girl who adores a good quote. Wisdom in a few power packed words!
Genuinely I can say I feel this book enriches my life, one glorious day at a time, and if you’re feeling drawn to it I hope you’ll consider it too!
“The best way to take care of yourself is to care for your Self. With its unique three-fold approach, Self-Care for Life helps you nurture and nourish the mind, body, and spirit within the natural course of every day.”
Disclosure: I received a copy of the book for the purpose of review.
Disclosure: I received a copy of the book Never Give Up: How to Find Hope and Purpose in Adversityfor the purpose of review. Never Give Up
touched my life deeply. I will never look at my children the same way again. I always knew they were a gift, but the extent that I understand how truly precious my time with them is has completely changed. Never Give Up
was written by Ruthe Rosen
, mother of the beautiful Karla who at 14 years old was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. When Karla passed away Ruthe and her husband Michael founded the Let It Be Foundation
, a nonprofit organization that helps meet the needs of families with children who have been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses. Reading Never Give Up: How to find Hope and Purpose in Adversity
was a gift to my soul. I walked away from the book really understanding in a way I hadn’t fully understood before that all of life is a gift, including everything that comes in and out of our lives.
Problems are nothing more than I matter of perspective, and Karla Ann Asch-Rosen had the most incredible and wise perspective on life! Ruthe teaches us that you can get through your pain, even when you can’t see the light. This book will fill your eyes with tears, but it will also fill your heart with love.
A different kind of love than most of us have ever known. A love for someone you don’t know. Someone you have never met, but whose life has touched you so deeply you will never forget.
As soon as you read this book you’ll know what a gift Karla was and still is to this world, and how blessed we are to have her Mom, Ruthe, sharing her story. I would very much love for you to read Never Give Up
. It will not only enrich your life, but the lives of others as proceeds from the book go to The Let It Be Foundation
. Your appreciation for your children, for your loved ones will be enlightened. You will never look at them the same way again.
Thank you, Karla for enriching my life and the lives of my family. Your love still shines bright!
Ruthe & Karla
Never Forget Karla!
Never Give Up!
Listen to: Let It Be by The Beatles
p. 91 “Never, never, never give up!” ~Winston Churchill
p. 103 “Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, only saps today of its joy.” ~Leo Buscaglia
p. 115 “When your worst fear stares you in the face, don’t turn away; if you can find the courage to look it in the eye, you’ve accepted God’s great gift of strength.” ~Ruthe Rosen
p.121 “Without faith, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible.” ~Mary McLeod Bethane
p. 126 “Learning to let go isn’t about accepting loss, it’s about letting the person you love live life to the fullest, even when it means sharing them with others.” ~Ruthe Rosen
p. 141 “And in the end it is not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” ~Abraham Lincoln
Disclosure: I received a copy of the book Happiness Quotations: Gentle Reminders of Your Preciousness for the purpose of review.
Some days feel like a rollercoaster ride. One minute you’re smiling because your kids are so darn cute! The next, you’re completely wiped and the house has somehow exploded before your eyes. Those are the times I’m tempted to get rid of everything (mainly TOYS!) and start over. Everyone needs a pick-me-up throughout the day. Or what I like to call a spirit booster.
One of my favorite spirit boosters is a good quote. Quotes can put you back into a positive mindset in a matter of seconds. They can make you feel not alone in the feelings you are experiencing. When I heard about the book Happiness Quotations: Gentle Reminders of Your Preciousness
I was immediately drawn to it.
The book exceeded my expectations, and I had a hunch I would like it ;). The book became a treasured part of my daily routine. Every day, right before my 15 minutes of meditation
in the afternoon, I would read one or two passages from Happiness Quotations
. The passages were extremely moving and had the incredible ability to lift my spirits to a higher energy plane, which is a wonderful way to go into a few minutes of quiet time.
Happiness Quotations reminds you of just how precious and special you are. Something I don’t think we focus on enough. You are special and here for a reason. The more you are in touch with that, the more you have to give, and the more joy you receive from life. This book helps you to remember in a soft, gentle way.
I would highly recommend Happiness Quotations: Gentle Reminders of Your Preciousness
by Erica M. Nelson. It has been a joyful part of my day. One that I truly cherish. Thank you for sharing your light Erica! The gentle reminders helped me to create a more beautiful day.
p. 11 “Identify victories daily yet dream very big dreams that pull you toward the wings of angels.”
p.17 “Music brings you closer to your true self.”
p.35 “We are all of the same fabric, quilted together in a pattern of stars in the sky each unique, each perfect, each connected to the whole.”
p.91 “Songs have power to change you into becoming closer to your most spiritual being.”
Part of the human experience involves dealing with the shadow. I believe the shadow exists to help us learn important life lessons and grow. The fact that we understand deep unconditional love and compassion stems from our ability to relate to the shadow in others. It gives us the opportunity to let go of judgement and allow pure love to erupt from our soul, even in the hardest and most challenging circumstances.
It is not in denying the presence of our shadow, but in shedding light on the shadow that its self-sabotaging effects begin to disappear. The Shadow Effect
was created by 3 best selling authors: Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford and Marianne Williamson. It is a book that helps us recognize our shadow and its impact on our life so that we can move forward in a new light and release the harm it does to us and others.
The fact that this book includes the words of three great spiritual teachers is a blessing. Sometimes when you hear a message it can take on a completely new meaning or understanding depending on your ability to connect with the teacher. Although the shadow is the topic of discussion by all 3 authors, I walked away with different aha
moments from each one. If we want to change or correct our harmful behavior, awareness is the first vital step. Often I don’t think we are even conscious of the effects of our shadow. Denial can be a comfortable place to live.
Once we open the door and acknowledge what our wounds are, own them, take responsibility for them and the destructive behavior they may cause, we can then shed light on our shadow. Doing so not only alleviates its effects, but it can in turn be used for a greater good, to spread more love and joy. This also allows us to face what we view as character defects in ourselves and others in the light of compassion.
Throughout The Shadow Effect
, Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford and Marianne Williamson shed their own light on the shadow for us to better understand and recognize. Each author offers valuable lessons, that when received on the soul level feel like packages of love. This book illuminates the darker areas of human existence we so often struggle with, and that powerful light has the ability to set you free if you allow it into your life.
A Few Quotes from The Shadow Effect by Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford & Marianne Williamson
p.44 “So consider any negative reaction as though it were like an allergy or the flu, something that changes your situation for the moment only. An allergy is yours, but isn’t you.” ~Deepak Chopra
p.117 “Projection is an involuntary defence mechanism of the ego; instead of acknowledging the qualities in us that we dislike, we project them onto someone else.” ~Deepak Chopra
p. 125 “Ultimately, we must come to a place where we can uncover, own, and embrace every quality that exists, so that we no longer have to project our disowned aspects on others, so we can be free to see people through the wide lens of compassion rather than the illusional lens of projection.” ~Deepak Chopra
p.157 “Consciousness is a dynamic, creative energy.” ~Marianne Williamson
p.161 “We can forget the truth, but the universe never does.” ~Marianne Williamson
p. 168 “But the true seeker says, “What did I do wrong? What was my part in the disaster?” ~Marianne Williamson
p.170 “Your character defects are not where you’re bad, but where you’re wounded. But no matter who or what causes the wound, it’s yours now and you’re responsible for it.” ~Marianne Williamson
p.178 “There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking, so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.” ~Marianne Williamson
Reading The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
by Eckhart Tolle felt like a gift. It is nearly impossible to sum up how I feel about this book, other than to say I wholeheartedly recommend it. If you allow yourself to enter into its pages with a truly open mind and heart, the ability to walk away from the book with great wisdom and a true sense of peace is at your finger tips.
To be honest, if I had read this book at any other time in the past the message may not have impacted me the way it has now. The further into the book I journeyed the more awake and conscious I felt. I took my time reading this book. Often I would re-read passages several times until I felt in my heart that I understood the message.The Power of Now
has helped me in my everyday life. The gift I received from this book was the ability to recognize the dysfunction of the mind, especially when the mind travels too much into the past or future. Now when I feel this happening in myself I have a great tool I carry with me- the ability to shift myself back into the present moment.
Focusing on the present moment removes anxiety about the future, and pain from the past. It opens the door to peace and joy, like no other moment in time can do. When living outside of the now, life seems more like a pain/pleasure cycle, but within this very moment is where true love and joy is found. This is not something I felt completely conscious of until reading this book. That is the gift you receive from the words Eckhart Tolle shares.
Eckhart Tolle’s ability to be in touch with this ancient wisdom and pass it on is a true gift of love. Love from the source of greatness we are all a part of. Living consciously is the greatest gift of all. The Power of Now
is an open door.
Thank you, Eckhart Tolle for holding the door open for me and countless others! ♥
With Love,Wendy Irene
p. 189 “The ego believes that through negativity it can manipulate reality and get what it wants ... Instead of dissolving and undesirable one, it keeps it in place.”
p.191 “But as long as negativity is there, use it. Use it as a kind of signal that reminds you to be more present.”
p.205 “Surrender is the simple but profound wisdom of yielding to rather than opposing the flow of life.”
p.208 “Surrender reconnects you with the source-energy of Being, and if your doing is infused with Being, it becomes a joyful celebration of life energy that takes you more deeply into the Now.”
p.120 “The moment you truly forgive, you have reclaimed your power from the mind.”
p. 168 “A victim identity is the belief that the past is more powerful than the present, which is the opposite of truth.”
p.229 “...this renders the past powerless, and you realize deeply that nothing you ever did or that was ever done to you could touch even in the slightest the radiant essence of who you are. The whole concept of forgiveness then becomes unnecessary.”
It is with much excitement today that I share with you my latest read- Carrots ‘N’ Cake
! Carrots ‘N’ Cake is actually a blog
and now a BOOK
! The author, Tina Haupert, is someone very special. I met Tina while at college in Upstate NY. I had the pleasure of being one of her sorority sisters. Our college had a big Greek scene. Needless to say, we definitely found our fair share of fun while attending school.
Tina is one of two
major influences for me on starting this blog. Before her I really had no idea what blogging even meant. Tina has managed to turn her dreams into a reality and became a full-time blogger who masterfully created her own career. Now Tina is an author! To say I am proud of her would be a complete understatement. She absolutely ROCKS
and I am completely thrilled to share her book with you.
Carrots ‘N’ Cake: Healthy Living One Carrot and Cupcake at a Time
is Tina’s very personal journey to find a healthy lifestyle that included some of her favorite treats. Hence the name Carrots ‘N’ Cake! She knew that to get to her ‘feel great weight’
she needed to find a way to live healthy that worked for her. Tina shares her ups and downs, from high points of rockin muscles to lower ones that include the occasional binge. Her story is very real and honest. She shares more in her book than you may have seen on her very popular site.
While reading Carrots ‘N’ Cake
, the book, I couldn’t help but be reminded of how true it is that often we teach best what we most need to learn. I know that to hold true for myself and this site. The more I teach about consciousness and love, the more I learn, and the more I learn, the more I teach. It is truly a beautiful cycle.
Tina teaches us how she achieved a healthy lifestyle and how she works to maintain it. She opens her heart and her life to her readers. She shares her personal journey, and in turn teaches us what it is that she has learned along the way. It is a great gift she gives us all, for so many of us share in her struggles and can benefit from her wisdom.
Question: Tina, one of the most important lessons you teach is “if you’re not happy, do something about it.” When did you first come to that realization and start to live by that philosophy?Answer: I think I came to that realization when I was working full-time at Harvard. I was blogging at the time too, but I never had enough time to devote to it and the other projects I was working on at the time. I knew that something needed to change, and I started to look for a part-time job, so I could pay the bills and have more time for blogging. My gig with NuVal came along a few months later.
If you are looking for a book to help inspire you to choose a healthy lifestyle, I hope you’ll consider Carrots ‘N’ Cake. The book includes everything from exercise tips and routines, to over 50 of Tina’s favorite go-to recipes. Tina is the girl next door, who had big dreams and turned them into reality!
Congratulations on Carrots ‘N’ Cake the book, Tina! ♥
In the first month of our 3 month challenge
my husband and I conquered fast food and soda
. We had a pretty successful month, except for the cheat of pizza. Even though it has been more than a month since I have had any soda, I still get the occasional craving. For some reason writing about it makes me crave it, weird!
This month we are kicking things up a notch to break more of the addictions we have to processed foods, while turning our diet around into one that truly focuses on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. For inspiration and motivation we are reading Dr. Neal Barnard’s 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart
This program is totally pushing us out of our comfort zone because it involves a vegan diet. Vegan simply means no animal products, that includes dairy, eggs, and meat. Not only that, we are keeping oils at a minimum and not eating processed foods.
Some of you may be thinking I lost my marbles, but hear me out. Sometimes getting outside of your comfort zone induces the most growth. I never considered myself to be much of a meat eater. I always felt I could take it or leave it without too much trouble. However, this is the first time I have ever tried going without.
Eating this way, even after one week, has made me realize the absurd amounts of animal product that were in my diet. Let me tell you, Coke is not the only thing I am addicted to. I’m addicted to cheese! I never totally realized how much I consumed until I tried leaving it out of everything
. No cheese is by far the hardest part of this diet for me. I consider that to be a good thing. It has made me much more conscious of how much I consume, and for that I am grateful.
This program does not focus on the long term, and I think that is good. Life is about living in the now. When we live too much in the future or the past, we cause problems for ourselves. Right now I am happy to be trying something new outside of my comfort zone. I feel like I am learning a lot, and that has great value to me.
Going out to lunch and ordering a sandwich, hold the meat, and hold the cheese. I realized there is also animal product in the mayo, and on the butter to toast the bread. That is an awful lot of animal product for just one sandwich, and I am one person eating one meal. Think about the huge quantities we eat as a country!
Being conscious is of upmost importance to me. Spending this month completely conscious of my eating habits is going to help me moving forward into the future. Going from allowing processed foods into my diet to none at all, is a HUGE
eye opener. I didn’t think I ate a lot of processed food, until I cut it out completely. Now I realize I was wrong. I was eating more processed food than I was aware of.
This month is about pushing us outside of our comfort zone for growth by test driving a vegan diet. Dr. Barnard’s 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart
is our guidance and source of motivation for this month’s journey. Be on the lookout for more Vegan recipes
and updates on how this way of eating has impacted us. Maybe I’ll even be able to convince my husband to write a guest post about his experience with the program at the end of it...wink wink, hint hint Hubby ;-)
Have a great weekend, friends! ☼
Here is a video of Dr. Barnard on the Dr. Oz Show
Have you ever tried a Vegan diet? Would you? Why or Why not? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
While in the process of reading Discover the Power Within You
by Eric Butterworth, a book that forever changed me, I received an email with the opportunity to review How Plato and Pythagoras Can Save Your Life
by Nicholas Kardaras. To be honest, I am blessed with lots of opportunities to review books, most of which I decline, not because they aren’t of value and important, but because they deserve more time and energy than I am currently willing to commit. A book needs to, for lack of a better way to put it, really call out to me for me to invest myself in it.
As I go further along in my journey I have become more and more attuned to the energy I receive and feel, and in turn try my best to listen to that. Something about How Plato and Pythagoras Can Save Your Life
captured me even though I knew little about what to expect.
The book begins with Kardaras speaking about his life “addicted to excess as the owner of New York nightclubs frequented by the likes of Uma Thurman, JFK Jr. and Tom Cruise- until he wound up comatose on the sidewalk outside his own night club as the result of a drug overdose.”
As one might imagine this intimacy with death propels Kardaras on a search for answers and wisdom, in which he find some of his greatest teachers to be the ancient Greeks.
When the journey begins and I start to learn through Kardaras the lessons taught by some of the world’s most well known ancient Greek philosophers, which is the heart of the book, I almost fell out of my seat. Somehow I was re-reading the very same messages that changed me in the last book I read, only through a different lens - the philosophical lens.
You might think I sound crazy when I say this, but it felt as if the universe was speaking to me. It was saying- just in case you didn’t fully comprehend the message the last time around I am sending it to you again, with more examples, through more of the world’s greatest teachers. I was blown away.
When you read this book, prepare yourself for a ride, a journey of great meaning. You will go from meditative practices, to downloading sounds from a website in order to listen to the music of the stars (Yes!
The stars create music!). You will discover times when the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. That for me is a sign of hearing profound truth. One instance of this happening to me in the book was during the story of an 8 year old heart transplant recipient.
Trust me when I say, How Plato and Pythagoras Can Save Your Life: The Ancient Greek Prescription For Health and Happiness
is a meaningful ride. These messages keep reappearing in history over and over again through the world’s greatest teachers, and I don’t think they will ever stop. Not until we as a whole decide to listen and wake up to the profound message being taught.
There is a reason the work and teachings of these ancient Greek philosophers far surpass the length of their human life. This is still happening today. In my opinion, Oprah
is one of the greatest teachers of our time and if you listen, truly listen to the message she is teaching, you will be forever changed. I think it is safe to say Oprah’s work will also live on for many, many generations. Why do you think that is?
Although I have never been a NYC night club owner, or battled a drug addiction, I can nonetheless strongly relate to Kardaras’ journey to have a greater understanding for life and the infinite. The miraculous side effect of this journey is more peace, happiness, and the ability to really, truly forgive. This book even re-ignited my passion for math. For me, the entry of this book into my life was anything but random; it is my hearts openness to the information. Something we can all do if we choose. Sometimes a good journey is just what we are in need of to find more meaning and joy in the life that we have.
I would like to thank Nicholas Kardaras, psychotherapist and professor of transpersonal psychology, for the incredible lessons he has taught me through his work, and his teachings about the philosophy of the ancient Greeks. I am very grateful to have received this information, and as I move forward I will carry it with me and do my best to pass on what I have learned.
p.20 “Years later, during my training as a transpersonal psychologist, I would learn how important it is that the human psyche have a strong connection to nature and the natural world; indeed, the root cause of many of our neuroses- both personal and societal- is a disconnect with the earth.”
p.27 “In fact, according to Pythagoras, you could not only align with your higher purpose, but also actually merge with and become the object of your contemplation. In other words, if you contemplated the nature of infinity, you became infinite.”
p. 103 “But unlike religion, which relies on faith and doctrine, discursive philosophy teaches us how to use our reasoning minds to reach our own conclusions about the nature of the universe and our purpose within that larger realty.”
p. 115 “A better analogy for the relationship between the physical and the metaphysical might be that of an iceberg. All that we can see- all that we can experience with our senses- is that 10% tip floating above the frigid waters, but there’s much more to that iceberg that we can’t see, lurking beneath the surface.”
p.133 “philosopher, Greek for “lover of wisdom.”
p.161 “Math is, in effect, the operating software of cosmic existence.”
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