Shopping and Makeup.

I am not a big shopper or makeup person. I try my best to buy what I truly love and let the rest go.

I like to give and receive functional gifts. Black Friday has now become a long weekend rolled into Cyber Monday. I did shop for myself. I love Boom by Cindy Joseph. I bought the Boomstick Trio.  Color, Glimmer and Glow will be in my makeup kit! The Boomstick Trio creates the look of happiness and I don’t need a mirror to apply. They are made from wonderful ingredients like beeswax and honey. I love how the products smell. The color stick is fantastic. I use it as a blush, eye shadow and lip color. The Glo stick is a moisturizer that you can use anytime anywhere. The Glimmer stick is a push for me. It feels a bit fancy. I thought I would step it up for the Holidays.

Here is a video that I created in 2015 with my friend Wendy. I am not a makeup person. It has over 16,000 views about me wearing makeup!

I also like to buy myself beeswax candles from Vermont HoneyLights. Vermont HoneyLights is a small mother daughter business in Bristol, Vermont.  Shawna and Bonita are passionate about making beeswax candles. They are concerned about the survival of  honey bees. They know the importance of using natural ingredients and supporting  hardworking beekeepers. It is my once a year purchase to celebrate the Year. I love beeswax candles. They smell amazing, they give off negative ions which make you feel good. These are the only candles that I use. If someone gives me a candle, I usually re-gift them. Just this morning, a friend gave me her own homemade candle. I told her no thanks, that I only use beeswax candles. She is a wonderful friend that I can say things like that to her without hurting her feelings. She will give it to someone who will love it.

I have to begin to shop for my family’s Christmas gifts. I have one great idea in mind, but I don’t want to give it away just yet. I am buying from a company where 50% of their profits go to buy a particular product for people in need. It will make a great gift!

I am focusing on keeping things simple by shopping local and supporting small businesses this Holiday Season.

What kind of gifts do you like to give? Do you like to make things to give as gifts like my candle making friend? I am always looking for creative ideas. I would love to hear from you.

Love,

Mary

 

 

 

What do I really want?

Step one to Feeling Better in last week’s blog was to get clear on what you really want.

1. Get Clear About What You Really Want And Journal. It is very powerful to start writing your thoughts down. I have been listening to Marie Forleo’s Everything is Figure Outable. She has an exercise in her book where she has you answer the question; What do you really want? Every day for 7 days, finish this sentence in writing. I really want… After the 7 days, go back and circle the ideas that repeated for you. I have gotten a clearer picture on what I want.  Being focused is an energy saver

I thought it would be powerful to share what I really want.

This is what came up for me. I really want. I want to be calmer, feel more fulfilled, and happier. My plan is do the following to help me reach my goals.

  • A clean simple natural home.  I love to come home to a clean orderly house. The beds are made. The kitchen sink is clean. The bathrooms are orderly with towels neatly hanging. I use natural cleaning products.
  •  OutdoorFit to continue to be more than a typical boot camp. Being Fit and Healthy is an act of personal power. It creates independence and self reliance. I want my OutdoorFit ladies to continue to be strong, healthy, fit, and empowered regardless of their age.
  • A better relationship with my husband.  Dan and I have been married for 42 years and have a good relationship. It is always a work in progress.
  • More Creativity. I want to keep writing a weekly blog post. It feels like an important exercise for me. I have been enjoying adding my colored sharpie art work. I love being around creative people. I need to be creative too!
  • More time spent in nature. We had a family house on a lake in Vermont which we sold. I really miss being in the country. For now, I intend to hike in the woods and take walks on the beach.
  • Better self care. I take pretty good care of myself. I get massages and chiropractic adjustments. I would like more of it and to commit to daily meditation.
  • More coffee dates with friends. I love Jerry Seinfield’s Comedians in Cars getting Coffee. It feels like the perfect thing to do. Pick up your friend in an old car, have coffee, laugh and take a walk. This morning, I picked up my friend Ivone in my Honda CR-V drove to the beach, and walked the boardwalk. Afterwards we had a delicious breakfast. You always laugh with Ivone. I am working on the idea of having an old car.

I am sure this list will change. For now, it feels right. My hope is that I will feel calmer, more fulfilled and happier. I will be able to perform at a higher level and to create a better life for myself and the people around me.

What do you really want? I encourage you to spend time to figure it out. I would love to hear what your list is.

Love,

Mary

 

 

How to Feel Better?

I enjoy inspiring women to be strong, healthy and fit so they can live empowered fulfilled lives. It is important to put your body first. How do you feel in your body today? Are you cranky and agitated? It is important to lead from a calm and centered place. I have so much extra energy at times which is not always a good thing. I love working out because it calms me and I feel so much better when I am done. Over exercising is not a good idea though. There are other ways to ground yourself.

10 Tips to a Balanced Grounded Life.

How to Feel Better?

1. Get Clear About What You Really Want And Journal. It is very powerful to start writing your thoughts down. I have been listening to Marie Forleo’s Everything is Figure Outable. She has an exercise in her book where she has you answer the question; What do you really want? Every day for 7 days, finish this sentence in writing. I really want… After the 7 days, go back and circle the ideas that repeated for you. I have gotten a clearer picture on what I want.  Being focused is an energy saver!

2. Go Outside. Garden, Compost, Walk, and of course OutdoorFit is an excellent option.  Have you heard of Forest Bathing? The Japanese consider it plant medicine. It is called shinrin-yoku. Forest Bathing is walking in the woods and breathing in the forest air.  It has amazing health benefits. It improves your gut biome, boosts immunity, reduces stress hormones, blood pressure and heart rate. It just makes you feel better!

3. Eat Organic Food. Focus on vegetables and protein. Buy the highest quality food that you can afford. What you put in your mouth truly matters. I love starting my day with a cup of organic bulletproof coffee and ending it with a lovely glass of organic wine.

4. Practice Gratitude. It is easy to practice gratitude when life is going well. It is also so important to find blessings in the struggles. Life will feel lighter when you practice gratitude.

5. Read Daily. It is an effort for me to sit down and read a book. I am now committed to reading at least 10 minutes every morning. I’m currently reading Dave Asprey’s Game Changers. I have picked up a lot of great ideas from the successful people profiled in the book, just by reading 10 minutes daily.

6. Meditate. I am working on meditating 20 minutes a day. It has been very helpful.  I am calmer. Meditation activates the  parasympathetic nervous system. Leading from place of calm instead of having a fight or flight response is very powerful.

7. Declutter. Start getting rid of the things that you no longer love or serve a function for you. Check out my post about my closet. I feel so much better with less!

8. Create a simple cleaning schedule. This has been so helpful to me. I spend a little time everyday cleaning.  It makes me happy to come home to a clean simple home.  Dust your baseboards once in a while. You will sleep better.

9. Say Something Nice To Someone. Be a cheerleader!  Stop talking about yourself and start asking questions. Pay attention to how it makes you feel.

10. Get a good night sleep. This is always a work in progress. Shut off the electronics, have a cup of tea, or take an epsom salt bath before you go to bed.

How do you practice self care? What is important to you? I would love to hear what is working for you!

Love,

Mary

Times of feeling anxious and stress, I clean.

When I am feeling anxious and stressed I start cleaning. It is very therapeutic to clean out a drawer, organize a closet and get rid of things that no longer serve me. I also love reading about cleaning, simplifying and organizational systems that help with the process. I went to the library and took out Joshua Becker’s The Minimalist House and  The Martha Manual’s by Martha Stewart. It feels like the right thing to do. When in question, start cleaning. The answers to your concerns and a cleaner house might just happen at the same time.

Last week, I tackled my clothes.  What do I love? What do I wear? Why am I hanging on to a dress that reminds me of my mother when she was pregnant? I feel much better with less. I have the clothes and the shoes that I feel good wearing which is key to my joy and happiness.

I share the closet with my husband. I have one pole, one wire drawer, which has my summer clothes, shorts, bathing suit etc. I have a small dresser with my sweaters. I love cashmere! I kept a few sweaters that I love and have donated the rest.

My shoes are a work in progress. I changed over to minimal shoes. I have a pair of Vivo barefoot brown boots and also a pair of Vivo barefoot black boots. I love them and they are so great for the health of your feet. Strong healthy feet is the way I want to go.  Uncomfortable heels are not for me! Of course, sneakers are always a great option.

Socks are a very important  fashion statement for me. In the above picture I have on my Organic “Shine on” Full Moon socks on. You can wear them anytime but it feels appropriate and empowering to wear them on the Full Moon.

Have Fun with your clothes. Clean out your closet. It is an excellent way to feel better!

Love,

Mary

 

 

What is your soul’s purpose?

First things first! Sunday, September 15th is my birthday. I love telling people it is my birthday. Everyone is so nice to you on your birthday, and this is a special one! Actually, all of them are special, aren’t they? I am going to be 65! There is just something about that number and everything that goes along with it. I am now signed up with Medicare, a prescription plan and AARP. My goal is to stay away from doctors the best I can. I focus on being strong, healthy and fit. It is the best way to go.

I joined Origin, Kate Northrup’s membership community. The September focus is to find your mission. In other words, what is your soul’s purpose? I have been working very hard on this. I figure it is time to be clear about my soul’s purpose. The word power keeps popping into my head. Power is something I shied away from. It sounded too scary. I would need to be brave to step into my own power.

Recently, I have been thinking about it differently. What does it mean to live an empowered life? Being strong, healthy and fit is so important to me. I want to feel the best I possibly can in my body. It is where your energy comes from. In order for me to have have a happy positive day, I need to feel good! I find purpose and joy in helping others feel strong healthy and fit as well.

I found that my own power is inspiring others to be able to live an active life. My OutdoorFit ladies live active, empowered lives.  They travel, play tennis, ski, and golf. Elaine, my favorite, is 81. She walks her dog Teddy four miles a day! You need to keep strong, healthy and fit to do those things.

In the process of working with my OutdoorFit ladies,  I have easily dropped the weight that I gained going through menopause. I am now 137lbs! I know it is not all about the weight, but you and I know when you hit your number you feel great!

Let’s have a virtual party on Sunday! Have a piece of cake and send me a birthday blessing!

Love,

Mary

Dinner in 20!

Do you have a weekly meal plan?

I cook about the same every week. I try my best to eat in season. I change up the vegetables and herbs depending on what was at the Farmer’s Market, or in the CSA box that week.

Having a plan makes shopping easy. I shop once a week at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. I just go through the aisles and buy the same thing I also love Thrive Market. We eat what I buy so there is very little waste.

Here is a typical week of dinners.

  • Saturday: White rice, vegetables, cod  (Click here to read why I eat white rice instead of brown rice.)
  • Sunday: Banza chickpea pasta, chicken sausage, vegetables
  • Monday: Shrimp, sweet potatoes, vegetables
  • Tuesday: Chicken Fajitas(I marinate enough chicken thighs so I can have it on Thursday as well.) I serve with grain free Siete Chips.
  • Wednesday: Scallops, rice, vegetables
  • Thursday: Chicken Fajitas
  • Friday: Pizza Night! Amy’s cheese-less pizza, chicken sausage, vegetables

I cook in portion sizes. I cook for four. Full disclosure, sometimes the three of us eat the whole thing. Or I save one serving for Tom’s lunch the next day. The beauty of it all is cooking time is about 20 minutes.

Lately, I  have been buying a whole organic chicken, pasture raised when I can find it. I make pulled chicken for lunches, and save the bones to make bone broth. I love the efficiency and no waste in the process! During the week, I cook rice in the homemade bone broth. The broth is so good for you and it adds great flavor to the white rice.

I love having a plan and knowing what’s for dinner. My special needs son Tom will ask me what’s for dinner. If I don’t have an answer he will keep asking. He has made me organized! I now have less stress around dinner. I am also working on eating earlier. The plan is to eat at 6 pm. I need to start cooking at  5:40. I can usually get in on the table in 20 minutes or at least in 30!

I love having my IPAD on my kitchen windows so I can watch Garden Answers or Grace and Frankie for the third time! It makes kitchen time fun!

I hope this was helpful to you.  Do you have a meal plan?. Please post a comment. I love hearing about your everyday life.

Watermelon
        Eat in Season.

 

 

 

 

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