Opera and Homemade Pizza

 

I am always looking for ways to save time and save money. This recipe for pizza dough is super simple and contains items I already have so it is "free."

But why go through all the trouble you ask? Frozen pizza is pretty cheap and then there is the MESS.

There's a few reasons why. Firstly, I can save money. Second, it's nice to work with my hands. Thirdly, there is nothing like homemade bread, and lastly, togetherness. You see, when I bake, I try to do it with my kids.

(And my dog. She might just jump on a chair and try to take a bite out of the dough. )

To save time, I double the recipe to use for later or even better, surprise someone else with some awesome dough!

I hummed this song while making it with my son. 

 

Here's how you make it:

This App Will Help You Create Balance

 

Accountability is Key

Recently, I came up with some new work/life balance goals I want to focus on – blocking out time for blogging, time for prayer, time for family and friends, and time to waste with my husband. But I decided I really need help with accountability. I was successful in losing almost 30 lbs because I had accountability.  I was in a fitness group on Facebook where I had to weigh in every week. Without accountability, I am lost. I am the type of person who will do my best not to let anyone else down, but when it comes to letting myself down, it’s easy.

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So, I wanted something similar for my current goals and I found this app:

Balanced

5 things I love about this app, it:

  1. Is easy to use.
  2. Shows me how well I’m done in each area.
  3. Helps me to create balance in my life by bringing up tasks that should be next according to the frequency I’ve set as a goal or because I’ve neglected it.
  4. Regulates recurring tasks so I don’t have to put them on a to-do list Every. Single. Day.
  5. Keeps me making progress and staying focused on my goals – the things that I’ve identified I need to work on, not the things that have already become habits.

What are your favorite apps? How do you create balance? I’d love to hear in the comments below!

8 Things for When You’re in a Funk…

See the source imageDo you ever feel awful and have no idea why?

Yeah, well, me too.

And I’ve realized that analyzing does not help and only exasperates it. I’ve discovered that action is all that makes a difference, because when you take a good action, good feelings will eventually come. And nothing can uplift your spirit like an act of kindness.

  1. Share an inspiring post.
  2. Compliment someone.
  3. Call a lonely person
  4. Visit an elderly person.
  5. Make something for someone.
  6. Do a project that will bless others.
  7. Pay for the person behind you.
  8. Surprise someone in your family.

What do you do when you are in a funk? Let me know in the comments!

13 Ways to Have a Positive Leadership Presence

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Sometimes we all have bad moods, but let’s choose joy.

Let’s face it. Sometimes we just don’t feel good, and who knows why? And sometimes the people around are all like this:

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But you don’t have to let those people get you down! Trust me, when I was a supervisor I dealt with plenty of these types who were grumpy for whatever reason. I once worked with a girl who would have grumpy customers complain and after she addressed the issue she would say “please don’t let that ruin your day!” I found that hilarious and I remembered her wisdom. So I learned to choose my interpretation and just shrug and figure they were tired and didn’t let my coworkers or customers ruin my day, either.

Why and how I started leading with joy

For whatever reason, I am the type of person who is deeply affected by the energy level around me. There’s nothing I hate more than walking into a room full of gloomy, grumpy complainers. And this happened almost every day when I worked at a coffee shop. Yes, life is hard. Yes, work is hard. But life is short people! And I decided I wasn’t going to let others bring me down. I was going to lift them up with me. And I gotta tell you, it’s a pretty good feeling to see people cheer up. Every morning I’d walk into work with a big smile on my face, head held high, and say “Good morning!” in the cheeriest voice I could conjure up. Even if people didn’t say hi back. Even if people glared at me. Even if people said “it’s too early to be happy”. I refused to let anyone dull my sparkle, thank you very much. And you know what? It was contagious. Now I’m learning to practice this at home.

Remember this…

When you walk into work or enter some environment (even your own home), there are things you can do  set your mind on showing love to those around you and at the same time cultivate camaraderie with others, and lead the way to a positive environment:

  1. Pray for favor with others.
  2. Read Mother Teresa’s Anyway Prayer.
  3. Dress well enough that you like how you look and you don’t care what others think.
  4. Walk tall.
  5. Smile.
  6. Speak excitement and joy into your day.
  7. Exclaim “hi everyone!” even if everyone’s head is down – you’ll stand out but you won’t regret it! Better to be happy then be like everyone else.
  8. Ask everyone how they are, acknowledge them individually , make eye contact, remember their name, remember details about their lives.
  9. Be curious about others and less concerned about your own agenda. Practice self-forgetfulness.
  10. Use self-deprecating humor.
  11. Compliment others.
  12. Write notes of recognition that show genuine acknowledgment of something specific.
  13. When someone is about to walk in, slow clap…because why not?!

Even if you are grumpy or the energy in the room is low, bring joy anyway. Bring it on!

Remember, you don’t have to feel great to be great. Feel happy to be happy, Feel confident to be confident. Feel loving to be loving. Most of the time, life is about doing it anyway, regardless of how you feel. Lead with joy!

 

19 Ways to Have a Successful Marriage

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True love isn’t something you “fall in to” it is something you do, day in, day out , through sickness and in health. A marriage succeeds because of love – caring more for the other’s happiness. (This, however, doesn’t mean you don’t talk about your feelings. This is also of utmost importance.) It isn’t because either spouse is perfect, it’s because both have the desire to do the work. Over the years I have collected words of wisdom on marriage from various sources, and they have helped guide me in times of uncertainty:

  1. Never go to bed on your anger.
  2. It’s not about 50/50 or who gives more. It’s about both of you giving as much as you can.
  3. Accept that marriage is sacrifice.
  4. Love without expecting in return.
  5. Surprise each other.
  6. Give gifts to each other for no reason, even if its small.
  7. Be each other’s number one fan.
  8. Answer the question “Who are you nicest to?” if its not your spouse, something’s wrong.
  9. Ask yourself every day “what have I done for my marriage today?”
  10. Set healthy boundaries in your marriage.
  11. Put God first, then each other.
  12. Energize yourselves so you can energize each other.
  13. If you are hurt, upset, say so – in a non-accusatory way. Don’t try to have peace at any price – you will end up resenting your spouse. We all have feelings and we all hurt those we love because we are imperfect beings.
  14. Love is a cycle – Romance – Disillusionment – Choose to Love – True Joy
  15. Seek to outdo each other in generosity.
  16. Seek first to understand.
  17. Make time for each other (even when you have kids!)
  18. Try replacing your name with Love and ask yourself if the same message applies! “Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.”-1 Corinthians 13
  19. And I also always remember the lyrics to the Amy Grant song, “House of Love”-when something this strong gets a hold on you the odds are ninety-nine to one its got a hold on him too…”11646f10c2cd639d160e551079a25e66

Disillusioned? Keep track.

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Sometimes life can seem so mundane and even depressing.

Sometimes because you aren’t feeling well you notice the faults in others more.

This is why I love keeping track of joyful things that happen each day in my journal. They can be big like reaching a goal or small like having a quiet moment to yourself to enjoy your coffee. This habit has taught me to have more gratitude, be more mindful, and to enjoy the simple things. I also keep track of little things my husband does which reminds me of what an amazing guy he is and how much he loves me. Sometimes you can take your loved ones for granted because of the everyday stresses of living and notice the negative more than the positive.

I got these ideas from these books:

 

Writing in my journal has caused me to see that no matter how bad my day is there is still something to be grateful for and I’ve made some kind of progress!

How Do You Know if You’re Enough?

Have you ever felt inadequate? Insufficient? Not good enough?

Have you ever wondered what God’s expectation of you actually is? Do you constantly think you are failing? Do you see all the needs of the world and wish you could or think you should do more?

I don’t think God thinks of us this way. He’s our LOVING Father. He commands us to be faithful, not successful. Those of you out there who are parents – when your child learned to walk, did you get mad or disappointed every time your child fell? No, I’m sure you were so proud that he/she tried. And what did your child do? He/she got right back up. Every. Single. Time. So you think your child had an existential crisis every time? Probably not.

This relationship I just described is the same one God has with us. All he expects us to do is discern what we believe is His will and try to do it. God does not will for us to be perfect nor does He call us to be anyone besides who we are. He wants us to have peace – which means we must allow for time for Him and time to rest and time to waste on our passions and with our family. The kind of life He wants for us might not include fancy parties (unless hospitality is your charism), a perfectly clean home at all times , kids involved in many activities, etc . The life God wants for you might fit probably one of these things but that’s it. Make sure it’s your blue flame. Your family will benefit from a peaceful you more than a frustrated , tired, annoyed, resentful you that is trying to live up to others expectations. Make peace your priority.
Also who better than to teach us how God wants us to live than a modern saint like Mother Teresa. This was her daily schedule:

4:30-5:00 Rise and get cleaned up
5:00-6:30 Prayers and Mass
6:30-8:00 Breakfast and cleanup
8:00-12:30 Work for the poor
12:30-2:30 Lunch and rest
2:30-3:00 Spiritual reading and meditation
3:00-3:15 Tea break
3:15-4:30 Adoration
4:30-7:30 Work for the poor
7:30-9:00 Dinner and clean up
9:00-9:45 Night prayers
9:45 Bedtime

So what can we learn from this?

  1. She took some quiet time to wake up.
  2. She spent a lot of time praying or doing some other spiritual activity. (Looks like more than 3 hours)
  3. She took time to rest and just enjoy life – look how much time she allots to meal times! I think most of us would only do a half hour for each in an attempt to get more done.
  4. According to my calculations she only spend 7 not 8 hours on her “job” of helping the poor.
  5. She didn’t sleep for 8 hours but she made rest a priority in the middle of the day.
  6. She had a set bed time and awake time.
  7. She had margin in her schedule – she doesn’t rush through anything.
  8. It seems very balanced. There are no excesses or deficits.
  9. She didn’t watch T.V. (Lol)
  10. She probably had to say no to some good opportunities to continue serving the way she did.

Also through my reading about Mother Teresa she did not think twice when it was time to move to the next block on the schedule- she told herself if something was left undone that it wasn’t Gods will otherwise He would have given her more time. And she had regular, predictable, uninterrupted time for prayer, rest, etc. Obviously your schedule will differ depending on your state in life but I think basically we are all doing a lot , more than enough, we probably aren’t praying enough though or resting enough. We let “efficiency” and “productivity” or an approval addiction dictate how we spend our time. Also we may let excesses like too much sleep or media time eat up our time or let deficits like not enough sleep take away our peace in our efforts to be perfect and get others approval. Also when deciding how to use our time, this idea from “A Mothers Rule of Life” is helpful-

The Five Ps:
Prayer
Person
Partner ( omit if this doesn’t apply)
Parent (ditto)
Provider

Organize your schedule while sticking to these priorities – everything else there just wasn’t time for or you need to find help if possible.

Also remember we all have our crosses to bear. Some of us might be in a life situation where we are basically just surviving and that’s ok. Just remember though, not to take on crosses that were not intended for us. Sometimes our misery is self-inflicted because we are trying to be perfect. And if you are in survival mode, try to have a plan in place for when you are going to get out of it.

Basically God does not call us to do things we don’t have the time, resources, or capacity to do. He calls us to be faithful not successful.