Friday, September 29, 2017

When I talk about “healthifying" your favorite meals, this is what’s up. Now if you know me at all, you know I LOVE TO COOK and my favorite meals all have a noodle in it. :D But if I want to stick to my goals, I need to find a way that doesn’t pack on the calories in my plate. Well Food Network got it right with this Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe made with whole wheat pasta and Turkey meatballs. I am so excited to try this one over the weekend!

Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs


• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

• 5 cloves garlic (4 smashed, 1 minced)

• 1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, crushed by hand

• 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

• 1 small piece Parmesan rind (optional)

• Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

• 3/4 pound 93% lean ground turkey

• 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for topping

• 1 slice stale whole-wheat bread, crust trimmed, bread chopped

• 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

• 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping

• 1 large egg white, lightly beaten

• 12 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the smashed garlic and cook 1 minute. Add the tomatoes with their juice, 2 cups water, 1/4 cup basil, the parmesan rind, if using, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 8 minutes. Discard the parmesan rind, if used. Chop the remaining 1/4 cup basil, then mix with the turkey, parsley, bread, ricotta, parmesan, egg white, minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste in a bowl using your hands.

Makes about 4 Servings

Friday, September 22, 2017

When Anxiety goes haywire!

This morning I woke up a little unsettled and wondered what was making my anxiety go haywire. I couldn't get into my routine. It seemed like it was taking me a really long time to get ready.

Then, I stepped back for a second and realized I needed to take a moment of gratitude for all that God has done, is doing and is going to do in my life. I had a roof over my head, a place to sleep, the lights were on, a car to drive and a job to go to. Once I did that, a sista straightened her crown and got on with her day thankful that she woke up and had a day to get on with.

What are you grateful for today?

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Anybody else love to read?

Sometimes I read a book 📚 to learn something new and sometimes it validates something I already know and practice. So when I read The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, it drove the point home that every choice I make today will define the choices I can make in the future. It also taught me that is never too late to begin making better choices to re-define my future. Reading this book allowed me to take an honest assessment of what I am not so thrilled about in my life and make a decision to make changes that will literally change my outlook and quality of life. Personal development is something I practice daily to not only improve my and my family's life but to share with everyone. When I learn something this good, I just can't keep it to myself!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Creating a budget doesn’t have to be scary

Creating a budget doesn’t have to be scary it can be a point of empowerment. On the surface it can create an opportunity to cut things out that really don’t matter, figure out where you have money but you just didn’t know it and make a plan to create extra income if you need it.

Recently, I created a budget for my household which, not gonna lie, had me a little apprehensive at first. As I was developing the budget, I realized that I was in as bad shape as I thought I was! I know that’s crazy, right? But it also put me in “fix it” mode. I started to list everything-credit card debt, personal loan debt, from balances to minimum payments to available credit. All I’m gonna say is, it was a sight to behold. And then it got real….

How was I gonna fix this? Notice I didn’t say I don’t know what to do, or, this is never going to get better. I went in with the idea that I CAN AND WILL develop a plan of attack and face this issue head on. I started exploring options. Should I get another, better paying job? Should I keep my job and get a 2nd job? Should I 10X my efforts in my side hustle? Should I start selling stuff on amazon, ebay, craigslist, etc.? Should I do all of these things? All of these are options I will explore and devise a plan around each these to determine the work and time involved to eventually overcome being in the red every month.

The process allowed me to take all of the apprehension and fear and suspicion out of my head and onto paper! That, in and of itself, was a relief! What is on paper, allows me to rationally and methodically plan and attack the issues that are holding me back financially. With all these figures all on paper, I can take control and do what needs to be done. The first lesson in this process is knowledge and with that I have power to implement a strategy to overcome at least one obstacle to my peace of mind.

So creating a budget doesn’t have to be scary. It can be revealing. It can be eye opening. It can put you on the offensive rather than the defensive, if you look into it early enough. That is, if you are brave enough to put a budget on paper before you are in the red, you still have the power to turn things around. But it doesn’t have to be scary. Having the foresight to acknowledge there is a problem but I can’t put my finger on it, should be encouraging to you. Maybe if I map it out I may be able to identify where the problem is.

When you look at your finances and see what you are actually spending every month, it can empower you to make changes that will affect your quality of life in profoundly positive ways. You will find that you can cut spending and save money or even invest money in things that will help you achieve certain goals but you never thought you could because you thought you didn’t have any money. Once you write these numbers down, you will discover that the money is there it just has been misplaced. You have power in everything you do. Creating a budget and sticking to it is only one of those things.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Where were you on Tuesday, September 11, 2001?

This is hard for me to write cuz believe it or not, after 16 years, I'm still raw by it. I was studying for finals when I heard my mother yelling at the tv. But that was normal so I didn't really pay it any attention. Then my phone started ringing incessantly and I tried to ignore it but it just kept on ringing and ringing. They just would not hang up till finally I answered it as snotty as I wanted to be. It was my sister asking me if I was watching tv. I said I was trying to study and ma was being ma as usual😡 and then she told me what was going on in the world. Two planes hit the World Trade Center in New York City. She asked me if I had heard from my other sister and her husband since they were traveling today. We kinda went back and forth a couple of times before it registered with me what was actually going on. Not knowing where my sister and her husband were traveling to or whether they were on a plane, put me in a state of panic. To the point I prayed like I never prayed before. I prayed that my sister and her husband were not on a plane. I prayed for the souls of the people that surely died and would die for this unholy catastrophe. I prayed until my mother grabbed me and said that my sister and her husband were not on a plane but were driving when this happened but they were okay. At least that was a relief. And then I turned on the tv. I saw the buildings burning. I saw the replay like it was Monday night football over and over again as the planes crashed into the buildings. I was horrified and my terror was renewed. I immediately thought of my daughter who was still at school. I wanted her home. My husband was at work and I wanted him home. I just wanted my family home and close to me. So many were not going to see their family ever again and I wanted my family home with me. It wasn't until I saw the first building fall that it occurred to me that a lot of people died that day that did not know the Lord. That was when the real tragedy occurred to me. That is when I was inconsolable. And I cried like a baby.

Take the time to say thanks!

When you have a mentor and a good friend or family member that is truly a 'ride or die', you gotta thank them from time to time. You...