I made homemade mayonnaise!

I have been focusing on ways to reduce my plastic consumption and food waste. I have been so inspired by the Dutch Hill Homestead.   They are all about zero waste. They make as many products from scratch as possible, and feed any leftovers to the chickens and goats. I don’t have chickens or goats, so I put my food scraps into the compost bin.

I am all about keeping things easy. I don’t like to fuss or spend hours in the kitchen. I looked at what I buy on a regular basis and investigated how to make them from scratch. Once you have the process down it is easy. My son Tom loves mayonnaise. He will eat it straight from the jar. This morning I made homemade mayo. It was so easy and I used a cute little ball jar.

1/2 cup Organic Avocado oil

1 egg from farmer’s market.

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard.

1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Put all of the ingredients right in the ball jar. Get out the blender stick and blend for about 20 seconds. To tell you the truth, I didn’t measure and it came out just fine.  I only make a small amount that I can use within a few days.

I also started making cashew milk, cashew yogurt, and almond milk. I hesitated with the almond milk because you need to strain it. I bought a nut bag and it is super easy. It strains the milk to remove the pulp. I can use the leftover pulp to make fat balls. I am feeling very efficient!

The last thing I have been doing is making bone broth. I buy an organic chicken I put the chicken in a covered pot full of water, bring the water to a boil and then simmer for about 90 minutes. I make pulled chicken from the meat, dividing it up into 4 oz portions in cute ball jars. It makes an easy grab and go lunch.  I then put the stock, the bones and vegetables into the crock pot on low for 24 hours to make delicious bone broth.

Everything tastes so much better when made from scratch with the best possible ingredients. Reducing plastic consumption and food waste is good for your health, our planet and your pocketbook.

I hope this inspires you to get out the blender stick and whip up some homemade mayo! Let me know. I would love to hear from you.

Love,

Mary

 

 

“Romancing the Ordinary”

My book club is reading Mirabai Starr’s WILD MERCY. Each chapter ends with a prompt.  Our latest prompt is: “My deepest desire is …” .

My first reaction is, I don’t know. I think how sad is that? So, I gave it a few days and this is what came up for me.

Finding Joy in the Everyday.

Laura from Garden Answer talks about “Romancing the Ordinary”.  Romancing the Ordinary is using something beautiful instead of just focusing on function. She uses a beautiful tomato cage to hold her tomatoes in place instead of a bamboo stick.

I love my morning coffee ritual. I use a 12 oz glass Bodum French Press. I make my coffee bulletproof, of course, and I pour it into an insulated glass mug. I buy my coffee from a local roaster, Fair Mountain Coffee, in Atlantic Highlands, NJ. It is organic, fair trade and delicious!

It is so nice to eat a salad for lunch with my husband. Especially when the lettuce is in season and handpicked from my backyard garden.

I love looking out my kitchen window while doing the dishes. Right now, the zinnias are in full bloom.

It is not always easy to find the joy. I work on finding joy in driving Tom, my special needs son, to camp. He tells me the same stories over and over while listening to his favorite radio station, 1410 am.  It is all about bringing the sacred into the ordinary. He is a blessing.

On a lighter note, I would also like a Big Chill refrigerator, a brick walkway, a trip to Mount Rushmore in a hybrid Volvo station wagon and a golden retriever puppy named Sophie. Oh, and learn to tap dance like Gene Kelly!

What are your deepest desires? Think about it and let me know. I would love to hear from you.

Love,

Mary

Writing from the Heart.

I have joined a writing circle. Something I never thought about doing. I have thought it would be great to be a best selling novelist and write in front of an ocean front window. You know, like Diane Keaton in Something’s Gotta Give.

Today, I set up a little creativity table in our spare room. Something I always wanted but never bothered doing.  I made a cup of ginger tea, and I set my timer for 20 minutes and started drawing. I wanted to create an illustration that went with I wrote.

I started reading Writing from the Heart by Nancy Slonim Aronie. Her first assignment is to write one thing someone said to you a long time ago that still hurts. Again, I set my timer. This time for ten minutes and I started writing.

“No wonder you look sick your hair is parted on the wrong side.” Mom

I was probably 8 at the time. It always feel like I am eight at the time.

I imagine myself playing in the mirror with my hair venturing out to try new things. My Mom sees me and says, “No wonder you look sick your hair is parted on the wrong side.”

How has this shut me down? Has it made me self conscious of wearing my hair differently or wearing something I normally wouldn’t wear? Am I afraid to change because I might look worse or I might be noticed?

How many times have I done that to my kids? This is what therapy is made of.

Even to this day, I think of my hair when I see my Mom. She likes it better up. Who do you think you are with your hair long and flowing is what is playing in my head.

It is weird and amazing the power one sentence can have on your head,

At 64, it is time to get past so many things.

  • Wear your hair anyway you want.
  • Step into the world with confidence.
  • Go get a pedicure.
  • Buy a dress.
  • Wear your sneakers with everything.
  • Put on Red Lipstick. Boom!
  • Wear a headband maybe even with a knot in it.

Just writing all of this gives me a clarity, joy and happiness. I love my Mom and Fitness is my Fashion Statement!

What brings you clarity, joy and happiness? Set a timer,  and bring out the colored pencils, it can be very helpful.

Love,

Mary

A great lightweight skirt with pockets and a tank top worn with cute sneakers!

 

I am roasting a pasture raised chicken today!

 

This week, I bought meat from a local farm, Snoep Winkle Farm. They are located in Branchville, NJ. I first learned about Snoep Winkle because they sell their eggs at Whole Foods.

They sell grass fed chickens, pork, beef, and lamb as well.

From Snoep Winkle Farm:

“The more we learned about the conventional methods by which most livestock are raised, the more convinced we became that we wanted our animals to be raised as God intended – eating grass as the basis of their diet.

We do not give our animals steroids, growth hormones, nor sub-therapeutic levels of antibiotics. Raising the animals on pasture is not only good for their diet, but is also the way they were intended to be raised. Their manure is directly applied to the fields by the animals themselves, thus fertilizing the pastures.”

I think it is so important to support our local farmers. It is critical for our health, our family’s well being and  the survival of the earth. Does that seem extreme? Maybe.

I know it is more expensive. If you pay attention to portion control and eat less. It all works out in the end.

Tom and I have been going to the farmer’s market every Sunday. I love to buy sheep yogurt and sheep cheese from Valley Shepherd Creamery in Long Valley, NJ.  It is so delicious! I buy 1/4 pound and that is our cheese for the week.

I love my little back yard garden this year. It is so nice to go out every morning to pick lettuce for a salad. Pretty soon, I will have tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini and cute little red potatoes! I have connected with other people who know more about it than I do. It is a wonderful community and we all learn from each other.

Do you have a garden? What do you like to grow?

Happy Gardening!

Love,

Mary

 

June

I almost gave up wine again. I really enjoy my evening glass of wine. It was slowly starting to be more than one glass of wine. I have been working hard in the garden. I like to keep my wine in refrigerator this time of year. I would come in around 5pm, take a shower and then come down to make dinner. I would pour a glass of wine and start cooking. I would pour a little more in my glass to have with my dinner. You know how it goes. I do fine if I stick to one glass of wine. I have a friend who announced she is not drinking for the month of June. I thought I “should” give it up for the month too. You know what, I don’t want to. I have done it before and it is aggravating.

Instead, I am recommitted to just one glass of wine and I am drinking 2 jars of water before I have the glass of wine. I am hydrated and feel so much better and I don’t want the extra glass of wine.

Here is the June Challenge and I encourage you to do it with me. Drink at least half your body weight in water daily. I weigh 137lbs. I  need to drink 68 oz of water. I am drinking 2 jars of water before meals and before my morning coffee. Each jar holds 16oz of water. I am drinking 6 jars a day which is 96 oz of water which is even better. Instead of giving up something that I really enjoy I am adding something that I will benefit greatly from.

Would you like to join me in the June Challenge? It is always more fun with friends!

Are you looking for a new workout? This is a great time of year for OutdoorFit.  It is a full body workout which will keep you strong and flexible with great endurance at any age.

Elaine 81, doing step-ups off a rock with an 8 pound weight! Don’t worry, I can modify for any fitness level. You don’t need to keep up with Elaine!

Hope to see you soon.

Love,

Mary

Watercolor Painting by my friend Deb Sparling.

Grow Your own Salad.

 

I love my simple vegetable garden. I planted lettuce, kale, arugula, tomatoes, cucumbers, a few herbs AND cute little organic red potatoes! I go outside every morning to pick lettuce, so I am all set for the day’s salads. It tastes so much better when you grow your own! I hope you have been inspired to plant a small garden, or maybe have a pot of basil on your kitchen window sill.

 

I am so glad that the April OutdoorFit Functional Fitness Challenge was to go outside everyday and work in the yard. Some days, I went out just to pull a few weeds. Other days I planted a vegetable garden, planted flowers and moved plants around. It was amazing how much I was able to get done!  A huge benefit from all of this has been connecting with my gardening friends! We text each other, send videos and share tips! I love that I have a community of people who love the earth and physical movement here in NJ.

Movement, going outside, eating fresh greens from your garden is very important for your health, well being and feeling fabulous!

Are you feeling fabulous?

Here are a few  fabulous tips.

  • Eat the best possible food that you can.
  • Hang out with Fit and Fabulous Energetic people.
  • Get a good night sleep.
  • Meditate daily.
  • Read a good book.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Take high quality supplements.
  • Enjoy a glass of organic red wine!
  • Plant some lettuce.

Would you like my support to get you there?  Click here to learn more about my 90 Day Fit and Fabulous Program.

December

 

December Intentions 

Slow down and take time for creativity. I really enjoy it when I take time for creativity. I love it when I take the extra steps to make something special. It creates coziness in my life. Last weekend, I replaced an old worn cushion cover on an outside antique wicker chair. I was thinking I don’t have time, but I can make time. It took me a few hours but I did it. I was then motivated to sweep the porch off. Next, I added some extra greens and dried hydrangea from my garden to the generic wreath hanging on the door. Now, every time I come into my house it makes me happy.

Trust in my own decisions. I am recovering my dining room chairs. I found two fabulous grain cloth fabrics on Etsy. Now, I need to decide which one to use. Either one will work. So, what do I do?? I text a friend and say what do you think? She said give it the weekend and pick the one I like best. She knows me too well! So much harder for me but of course it is the right answer!

Organize. This is huge for me. Last Sunday, I got up, cleaned the refrigerator, wrote out the dinners I wanted to make for the week, and made a shopping list.  I actually stuck to the meal plan each night this week. It has been so freeing. I know what I am making and I have the ingredients!  I have leftovers that I  put in ball jars for lunches. It is so efficient and calming.  Next step is to organize other areas of my life. What if I made a to do list for my business?  I am sure successful entrepreneurs have a plan written out not just ideas in their head.

Meditation. I am always saying I am going to meditate. I am getting better at being consistent with this, and I am beginning to feel a difference in my body. It is very grounding. 20 minutes meditation daily is a wonderful intention for December. Take time to get quiet.

Eat Well. Stay off the grains and sugar. This no longer feels like deprivation, which is a miracle. That is a whole other blog post. I set the intention not to have dessert and it works. December is a time of celebration and I can enjoy without going crazy eating treats that I don’t really want.

Exercise. I exercise. I teach OutdoorFit 5 times a week. It is also important for me to walk daily. George the dog is in my heart and is with me on my walks.

What changes would you like to make in December? Exercise more, eat well, meditate. If you feel overwhelmed, start small. Focus on one little area and complete a small task. It builds momentum and you will feel like doing more.  It will bring peace and joy.

Enjoy the Season, It is the most wonderful time of the year.

Happy December!

Love,

Mary

 

 

 

An interview with Andreea Fegan!

I am so excited about this blog post! I have been wanting to interview Andreea of Little Bites of Joy. We were  able to get together today and talk about the impact of her spring minimalism challenges! It felt like the perfect time to talk, right before the typical shopping season starts!

Here comes the amazing synchronicity spiritual part. I wanted to talk to her about coziness. A few years back, I felt like the coziness in my life had disappeared. I would tell friends  and they wouldn’t understand what I was talking about. ( I have figure a few things out like put a lovely candle and a bar of wonderful soap in your bathroom. It will feel cozy.) Andreea understands!  She just posted her latest challenge today!

HYGGE IN DECEMBER!

Hygge is a Danish word which means the quality of Coziness.

Click on photo to take you to a link to read more about the challenge! It would be so much fun to do this together!

The Summer of Fun.

Do you love summer?

I am not a summer person. To be honest, it makes me a bit nervous. I have a sense of guilt about having FUN. I live 5 miles from the ocean and  rarely get there. I would rather stay home and weed on some level. I am working on changing.

I am inspired by Casey Neistat? Do you follow him? (I am old enough to be his Mother. I think I have seen everyone of his videos.  I love his enthusiasm and love of life.)

I watched his you Tube Video. First Day of Summer.

 SO…I am making an announcement! This will be my summer of fun!

At the Jersey Shore with Ivone!

I have been to the beach twice so far! Thanks Ivone!

Coffee with Wendy!

I went shopping, bought a dress and enjoyed a cup of coffee on a bench in Red Bank with my Fashion Consultant Wendy!

I have been to a parade with my son Tom! Spent an hour having candy thrown at us. I had a piece of double bubble gum! Check out this short video of Thomas conducting the bagpipers. Lots of Fun!

I bought a new pair of sneakers! New Balance Minimus! I am so excited about them. The next blog post will be about Lighten up in so many ways starting with your Feet!

Run Faster Jump Higher:)

What are you doing for fun this summer?  Going to the beach? Taking a bike ride? A trip to Italy? I would love to hear!

Enjoy!

Love,

Mary

 

What brings you joy?

 

I have been doing a lot of work the past 6 weeks. Letting go of stuff. If you follow me on social media you know I have been involved with a minimalist challenge. The first month it was a task a day like clean  out your junk drawer. This month it is to donate, recycle or trash each day of the month. June 1 is one item. June 30 is 30 items. It feels really wonderful to have clean emptied closets. Not completely emptied. I held on to a few things that “spark joy”

It looks like a road trip in 1975! It is actually a trip to Goodwill! Donate, Donate, Donate!

The process has brought clarity.  What is important? What brings me happiness and a coziness to my life?

There certainly has been a shift for me.

  • I  have an easy cleaning schedule.
  • A clean house
  • A clean car
  • A clean tool shed!
  • A clean desk.
  • An organized Junk drawer
  • I have embraced a lighter simple diet with lots of fruit and vegetables.
  • I feel calmer.
  • I feel good about my closet and my minimalist wardrobe. Fitness is my Fashion Statement!
  • I love open spaces.
  • I have a heightened awareness around gift giving. I love functional simple gifts.
  • Less is more…buy what you need.
  • Bonus Round! I have released 4 pounds this month that have been hanging on!!

An added joy is to go outside, pick basil and kale from my cute little manageable garden.

This morning I made a kale, basil and lime smoothie. I added cauliflower to thicken it up. I use a whey protein powder from happy grass fed cows.

A great way to start my day!

What brings you joy and happiness? Are you holding on to stuff that doesn’t serve you? I would love to hear from you!

Love, Mary