When the opportunity arose to review 4 Ingredients
by internationally bestselling authors Kim McCosker and Rachael Bermingham I jumped at the chance! I could not wait to crack open the book and see how many recipe ideas the book would contain using only 4 ingredients, but most importantly would be well suited for my family. How many recipes would the book contain that I actually wanted to try in my own kitchen?
The answer to that is - so many I almost didn’t know where to begin! It was an exciting surprise. I didn’t know what to expect from 4 Ingredients. Would the book be full of ideas I would never use? Would it contain lots of recipes using ingredients my family rarely buys? Well, I am here to tell you the recipes included in this book are for the everyday family or individual. The family that needs inspiration in the kitchen to make simple and delicious meals at home without having to spend lots of money or time searching for a long list of ingredients.
To keep things even more simple all the recipes can be prepared with just 1 cup, 1 tablespoon, and 1 teaspoon so there are far less dishes and utensils to clean afterwards. Is that great or what?! Often we get bored in the kitchen, caught up in the same old routine, or stuck in the eating out wheel because we are short on time. 4 Ingredients is as simple as it gets, as well as a great source of inspiration you can leave on your counter and flip through over and over again, because you know none of the recipes are going to be hugely time consuming or expensive.
Simplicity brings me so much joy! Our minds love to complicate things that don’t need to be. This book is a wonderful source of inspiration but also that clean slate so many of us are looking for in preparing family meals. There are many things I love about this book but I think my absolute favorite part is that it is a perfect jumping off point. You start with a very basic recipe that will perfectly get the job done, and you can easily add more of your family’s favorite ingredients to kick them up a notch. It is up to you, but the basics are there and the ability to keep things very simple at your finger tips.
After reading through the book I decided to start with a snack recipe for my family. Snacks are the foods that tend to be the most processed in my family, because who wants to put a lot of effort into foods in-between meals? Recently I watched a segment on the health benefits of flax seed oil so I adapted the first recipe I tried from 4 Ingredients to include mulled flax seeds. To my delight it worked out beautifully!
Flaxseed and Honey Bars (adapted from Sesame & Honey Bars p.228)
This book is full of simple inspiration
, but the book itself is not the only thing that is incredibly inspirational. Another reason I really wanted to share 4 Ingredients
with you is because of the story behind it. The idea for 4 Ingredients
was invented one night over a glass of wine between friends Kim McCosker & Rachel Bermingham, who between them have six little boys.“We wanted to make our busy lives a little easier in the kitchen. We wanted to pick up a cookbook and within minutes be on the way to making a quick Chicken Pie, a delicious Beef Stir-fry, mouth-watering Southern Friend Chicken, Corn Dumplings or divine little Chocolate Brownies with ingredients we could find in the cupboard so we didn’t have to get all the kids in the car and head out to find,” Rachael and Kim said.
Where the story gets even more remarkable is that the 2 women were initially turned down by publishers, but they did not let that stop them from accomplishing their dream. They started by printing 2000 copies of the book and going door to door to sell them. Now 4 Ingredients
has a combined sale of over 3.5 million copies! What an amazing example of turning dreams into reality no matter what anyone says! We can all learn from their philosophy- “It’s important to focus on what you want, put in the time and effort to achieve it and you’ll be rewarded.”4 Ingredients
was followed by 3 more books, and the next one I am personally going to be on the lookout for is 4 Ingredients Fast, Fresh, & Healthy with Deepak Chopra
. I recently read The Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents
by Deepak Chopra and loved it. I am truly excited to see their work combined!Disclosure: This book was offered to me in exchange for my honest opinion. SWEET because I totally HEART it! :)
Do you make a lot of your own snacks, such as granola bars, or go for the packaged ones?
A couple of weeks ago when visiting Oprah’s
website, I was on the lookout for new book recommendations, and came across the book The Happiness Project
by Gretchen Rubin. The title really grabbed me so I did a quick search to find out more. Don’t you love Google for that?!The Happiness Project
was born one day when author, Gretchen Rubin had an epiphany on the city bus, “The days are long, but the years are short.”
Rubin, wife and Mother to 2 young girls, wondered was she making the most of her life? She decided to dedicate 1 year to testing out ancient wisdom, lessons from modern culture and scientific research on happiness. Throughout the year Rubin makes many discoveries on how to unlock happiness within her.
To guide her project Rubin formulates twelve commandments, starting with “Be Gretchen.”
In addition, she creates a list of “Secrets to Adulthood”
, one example being “people don’t notice your mistakes as much as you think.”
Coming back to this wisdom helps Rubin accomplish her resolutions. Each month Rubin focuses on a new resolution, ending the last month in a culmination of all her resolutions for the year.
This book was funny, wise, and very real at the same time. The years do
go by incredibly fast so what are you waiting for? Choose happiness now! Reading this book you will come to understand through Rubin’s personal examples that happiness can be achieved here and now. It may not always be the easier choice; in fact, often “it is easy to be heavy; hard to be light.”
Wouldn’t you agree all great things are worth the effort?
From the book:p. 23 Buddhist saying “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”
p. 156 “I learned another reason not to say critical things about other people: “spontaneous trait transference.” Studies show that because of this psychological phenomenon, people unintentionally transfer to me the traits I ascribe to other people...What I say about other people sticks to me- even when I talk to someone who already knows me. So I do well to say only good things.”
--The Happiness Project
was not only inspiring, it was motivating. When you see the changes made in Gretchen Rubin’s life, you become excited to test drive some of the wisdom in your own life. Rubin also has a popular daily blog
where she encourages others to start their own Happiness Project and provides readers with tools
on how to start. After reading The Happiness Project, I walked away from the book with the feeling of personal growth, which in and of itself creates happiness.
What is one thing in life you want yourself to like, but really you don’t? Trying to like it takes away from living your truth.
When I finished reading Women, Food, and God
by Geneen Roth, I wasn’t sure what to read next. Making time for reading has enhanced my day and uplifted me. Sometimes it is a few minutes early in the morning. Other times it is for 30 min before bed. When I love what I am reading I seem to find ways to squeeze in a few pages here and there. I googled Deepak Chopra, an author whose name was familiar and stayed with me, but I had not yet read any of his books.
Through my search I came across The Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents: Guiding Your Children to Success & Fulfillment
by Deepak Chopra. I knew this was the book I wanted to read next! Before The Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents
Chopra wrote The Seven Spiritual Laws for Success
. The Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents
was Chopra’s response to “thousands of letters from parents who expressed the desire to convey the principles they had learned to their children, along with questions about how to do so.”
Although The Seven Spiritual Laws for Success
sounds very appealing to me, and I want to pick that one up soon, I decided to start with the one for parents first because my main focus the majority of the day revolves around caring for and teaching my young children. Reading a book with ideas for becoming a better spiritual teacher to my children very much intrigued me.
In my core, I believe having a strong spiritual foundation will help my children enjoy their journey and aid them in life’s challenges. You are what you believe. Believing in love and compassion, “the ability to feel joy and spread it to others”
and the notion that you are here for a reason aids in achieving true success. Chopra “explains how to convey these laws to children, and how to embody them in age-specific activities each day.” Reading The Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents has taught me skills that in my greatest hopes I will be able to successfully pass onto my children. This is not a parenting book that tells you if your kids do ‘A’ you should respond by doing ‘B’. The book instead looks at the overall big picture of your role as a parent from which you find your own path. The Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents greatly inspired me, and opened me up to new ideas that I not only liked but felt right in my heart. If you follow your heart I don’t think you can go wrong, only grow.
Thank you Deepak Chopra for sharing your heartfelt book and for your positive guidance and ideas!
Have a beautiful day, friends! ♥
I’ll say goodbye for now with some of my favorite quotes I made special note of while reading the book.The Seven Spiritual Laws for Parents: Guiding Your Children to Success & Fulfillment by Deepak Choprap.45 “We put no pressure on them to achieve conventional success. This is our way of telling them that the universe cherished them for who they are, not for what they do.”
p.152 “Innocence is the knowledge that you can guide your children but never control them. You must be open to the person within every child, a person who is bound to be different from you. In innocence this fact can be accepted with a peaceful heart.”
p.153 “Thus to see a child with real love means to see this spark of the divine. ...being able to look at a child as a soul embarked on the journey of soul-making.”
p. 154 “The most good you can do for yourself spiritually is to play your role as parent with total love, conviction, and purpose.”
p. 156 “When you can see past the role playing and still act your role with love and dedication, then I believe you are truly spiritual in your approach to parenting.”
After reading O’s Words That Matter
the next book I picked up was Women, Food, and God
by Geneen Roth. I am happy to say I’ve had really good luck with books lately because it was another good one. This book opened me up to new ways of thinking about my relationship with food. Women, Food, and God
motivated me to really start paying attention to true hunger cues and to stop eating when my body feels satisfied. There are lots of times when I don’t follow this. I really like what we are having so I finish what is on my plate, even though that pushes me past satisfied to overly full. With children we are often on a routine schedule. It makes life easier that way. When it is time for them to eat I need to evaluate how hungry I am, and not simply eat to eat.
There are also times when I let myself get too hungry. For me personally, when I am past hungry I start to feel faint and nauseous, which is how I know it has been too long. As a Mom there are those times you feed everyone else a couple of times, but haven’t taken a moment to feed yourself. Packing healthy snacks for myself, not just the kids could really help with that. When I go too long I tend to eat anything that is easy instead of the best healthy options, which I am more willing to take a moment to prepare when I am not starving.
Listening to your body about true hunger cues is an expression of self love. Eating only when you are hungry and not for any other reason- such as boredom, or as an escape from stress- means getting in touch with yourself and your emotions on a deeper level. Also, taking the time to sit down and eat without distractions- TV, radio, newspaper, or books- allows you to listen to your body’s signals. This is another area I need to work on. My normal morning routine is more like eating breakfast while unloading the dishwasher or packing for school. Basically, using our great multitasking skills is not ideal while eating.
Besides being motivated to listen to my body’s signals, I also felt empowered from reading Women, Food, and God
. Roth speaks about how despite our past we are not broken, and that often we try too hard to fix ourselves that we don’t tap into the peaceful, whole human being that we are. She also makes us aware of “the voice” in our head. That crazy voice that makes up stories and what if’s. The voice that gets down on you and says hateful words. The voice gets in the way of the power of now.
When you catch your inner voice being crazy or making up stories or getting anxious, it really is as simple as telling it to GO AWAY
. Try it the next time you hear the voice saying something negative about yourself, or getting worried. It is truly empowering. Telling the voice to vamoose exposes the peaceful, loving, whole being that lives behind the voice, you.
Reading Women, Food, and God
helped me to feel more at peace with myself. As well, it renewed and motivated me in ways that I can treat myself with love and kindness. This translates positively into all aspects of your life, not just your relationship with food. I walked away from this book feeling uplifted and empowered. Books with the ability to tap into my soul are my favorite kind to read, and Women, Food, and God
by Geneen Roth was one of them!
I bid you farewell with an inspirational video of Geneen Roth on Women, Food, and God. Have a lovely day, friends!
Are you good at listening to your body’s full signals, or do you struggle with it like me?
After I finished reading The Naked Mom
by Brooke Burke, I enjoyed it so much I decided to pick up another book right away while I was on a role. As a Mom it is so easy to lose steam and forget about doing activities you love. The book I chose was O’s Words That Matter: Everyday truths to Guide and Inspire
“Oprah says she's lived her life by quotations and sayings, so to celebrate O's 10th anniversary, the editors compiled a collection of insightful quotes drawn from the magazine's first decade. You'll find encouragement and advice on everything from dreaming big to aging brilliantly.”
The Verdict: I love, love, LOOOVE it!
Two thumbs up for sure!
I have always enjoyed inspirational quotes. I write them down, save them on my computer, and get them sent daily to my inbox from a couple of sites. A great quote can really lift your spirits. In fact, my copy of O’s Words That Matter is jammed with sticky tabs at the moment. Now that I am done reading it, the book lives in my office.
This book is great to read over and over again. When you need a few minutes to gather yourself, if you are feeling stressed out or frustrated, or losing patience with your kids, or anyone else for that matter, you pull out this book and spend just a couple of minutes flipping through some of your favorite quotes to feel renewed.
There are also those times when you are procrastinating getting something done. Instead of browsing Facebook or your email again, or hitting the pantry for snacks, address those feelings by reading a few quotes from the book and let them uplift and motivate you.O’s Words That Matter
is a book I would recommend to everyone, especially those who love reading quotes. This book had brought me joy and inspiration, and I know it will continue to for a long time to come. The book is its own
little piece of inspirational art work in my home.“Here’s what my love affair with quotations has taught me: the more you focus on words that uplift you, the more you embody the ideas contained in those words.”
~Oprah Winfrey- O’s Words That Matter
Do you have any favorite quotes? Please share them with me!
When The Naked Mom
by Brooke Burke arrived at my door step I was very excited to start reading. To be honest, I really don’t read very many books these days. In little spurts of time I find it easier to read short articles here and there. With children, if you want time to read you have to make it a high priority in the small amount of time that you have, and there is usually a huge number of things you want to do or NOT
do in that time.
It took me only a couple of days to read The Naked Mom. I can’t tell you the last time I read a book that fast! Reading the Naked Mom became what I wanted to spend all my spare moments doing in those few days. That alone tells you much more than anything I could write.
From reading Brooke’s blog
on Modern Mom I already felt like I knew her. She writes from her heart. That takes an incredible amount of courage. She shares her life, and reading her book is like having a very deep and real conversation with one of your best girlfriends. She talks about experiences and lessons she has learned that the vast majority of us would share only with our closest loved ones, if at all, and the reader is better for it.
To give others the gift of your open heart is a tremendous blessing, and one of the greatest gifts we can give as human beings. Brooke allows lessons to be learned from her life, even from the things that cause her the most heart ache. That kind of open hearted sharing with the world should not be taken for granted, and truly appreciated for the gift that it is. In my opinion, I believe the writer and the reader both experience healing and a better understanding of life. What more can you hope for in a book than that?
If I could I would give you all a copy, my friends, but because I can’t I will share with you the link where you can get a copy of the book should you choose to share in the journey of a remarkable woman with an incredible heart.The Naked Mom by Brooke Burke
Thank you Brooke for sharing your heart with us♥
What is the last book you read and could not put down?
p.s. a special Happy Valentine’s Wish to my loving husband! Today is the anniversary of our first date. I love you, more than words!
Welcome Survival 4 Moms readers!Today I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to have a guest post on The Survival Guide 4 Rookie Moms’ blog.The fantastic duo behind this site are Erica Wells and Lorraine Regel. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Erica a couple of times at the Digital Mum and Maple Leaf Roundtable Events, and I hope that one day I will have the opportunity to meet Lorraine too!
These two ladies together created the book The Survival Guide for Rookie Moms.
Becoming a new Mom is full of many adventures you never saw coming. Most of them seem smack you right in the face without warning (oh wait, that was my toddler!). At times it can be very isolating. I’m pretty sure we had to get rid of our couch after the huge cravat that was formed from sitting on the thing all day and night feeding my baby boy. The funny part is before you become a Mom you think I’m kidding. Then your precious angel is born and you know I’m 100% serious.The Survival Guide for Rookie Moms is a great book to have right by your side to know that you are absolutely not going it alone in this crazy, amazing, and life-altering adventure. The book is full of things no one ever tells you about becoming a Mom. The best part - the book light hearted and will make you laugh! What better way to cope with life than to find humour in even the most challenging of situations?If your hormones are raging and one moment you’re happy and the next your wiping the baby-blues tears away this book will be just what you’re in need of to lift your spirits, and help you realize there are many of us Moms right here with you.If you’re quick enough to read this book before you have a baby, you’ll probably be better prepared to find humour is the whole experience that so many Moms have gone through before you. For the Mom that’s at home literally breaking in the couch (and needs a break from the 24/7 television) let this book written by Moms who care for Moms be the friend you’re in need of. We all need someone to help us feel better, show us we are not alone, and make us laugh. Despite my best efforts to stay on the phone with my husband ALL day (really not kidding again!) it is very hard for even your most beloved family and friends who are trying so hard to get some work done besides the constant feedings and diaper changes you’re going through. Let this book help you!A Little Background...I thought I would share a little background on myself for those of you new to this site. I’m so happy you stopped by! My name is Wendy and I’m a recovering new Mom. OK, so I’m definitely not recovered yet! I’m a mother of 2: a boy (age 4 1/2) and a girl (1 ½). I started Give Love Create Happiness because I thought I was losing my brain. Seriously, it was feeling kind of mushy up there, and I needed a creative outlet. Here I talk about everything from creating more happiness in life, to laughing at the whole parenting gig (sarcasm is my friend!). You’ll find bits and pieces of my journey and a recipe or two.Life is quit the ride and my aim is to spread love and happiness anyway I can!If you would like to see more of my work try my section Creating Happiness under categories on the sidebar, or if you’re in need of something a little more light-hearted and maybe a good laugh try my recent post Shred about one of my daughter’s favorite activities! Where can I buy this fantastic book?Follow these links:Amazon.caAmazon.com Also, for more information check out Erica and Lorraine’s website at www.survival4moms.comTo read my guest post on Survival 4 Moms follow this link: From the Time you have ChildrenHave a great weekend!♥Wendy Irene Question of the day:What advice would you give a rookie mom?Thank you for sharing your thoughts in the comments!
Father’s Day is right around the corner, and in honour of Dads everywhere I would like to share with you my thoughts on the first chapter of the book The Core of Happiness: a Novel about the Quest for Happiness by an inspirational Dad and author Rudy Wietfeldt. Rudy Wietfeldt has been faced with some astounding tragedies in his life, for which my heart feels much compassion. I appreciate his resilience and think that his work to help others discover what happiness truly means to them is something to be thankful for.Last Sunday, in keeping with my desire to do something enjoyable every day, as well as indulge in some much needed weekend relaxation, I shut the door to my bedroom, pulled a chair up to the window, opened it and let the sunlight and fresh air pour in while I sat down to read chapter 1.Set in a small town bakery shop discussions of happiness pursue while the characters enjoy their coffees. It immediately brought back memories of my job working at a small town coffee shop. One of my favorite parts of the job was the happiness that flooded in the door each day with the local people, who over time I began to know very well. There is something special brought out in people when coffees are enjoyed together.Finding positivity to add to your life was part of the characters’ discussion (Wietfeldt 28), and reading reminders of what happiness really means down to its core was just that for me. We are surrounded by “natural joy” in life that is there waiting for us to absorb, an easy thing to do simply by being conscious of it (22).Believing in yourself, thinking happily, and remembering to let go of judgement because happiness is person dependent are all wonderful messages that I was reminded of (20), as well as the important fact that you can choose to view your life as a happy one even through times of sadness (28). Sadness in life does not negate happiness and certainly does not mean you have failed at living happily. Often in sadness happiness is born because it opens our eyes to true happiness, which very often we shut out.The reference to The Little Engine That Could with its powerful message to believe in yourself only opened my heart further, because that is my son’s favorite book of choice right now (25). You know the book you read over and over again to your child each day, because that is the one they pick every time? J I was reminded of how special that time together is, something that gets taken for granted now and then. As well as the incredible fact that as a parent I have the ability to help teach my children to see life as full from the very start. A very significant and uplifting tool, that can help enhance their lives. The messages stayed with me even after I stopped reading and left for the mall to run some weekly errands. Instead of seeing all the things I don’t have while shopping, I looked at the contents in the mall as “all the things I can live without” as Plato was so fantastically quoted (17). When passion and words unite it is a wonderful thing!So much happiness can be found in community, just as the community of characters at the Olde Bakery Shoppe reminded me. Community is something I treasure that you provide me in sharing this blog. Here tucked away in this corner of the internet, I love that we can share discussions of life and living well, and if you bring along a cup of coffee or a mug of your favorite tea we can enjoy it together.
If you could pick anyone, who would you take out for a coffee date?
Wietfeldt, Rudy. The Core of Happiness. Renaissance Publishing, November 2008.