Friday, January 18, 2013

How "Frosty" Keeps Warm

These adorable Frosty mugs were a thoughtful, anonymously given Christmas gift to my children this past year (thank you to whoever gave them, we LOVE them!)  and we have already made good use out of them.



 We especially love that Frosty comes with a lid to keep our yummy homemade Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate piping hot until we're ready to drink it. ( or if you had younger children, for when little hands are trying to carry their drink without spilling!)

Last night we were really feeling winter's chill, so we pulled out Frosty and filled him up with my own secret recipe of homemade hot cocoa. As a mama there is nothing I enjoy more than filling my little mini-me's hearts up with love - and in this case it was through their stomach's haha.

I wanted to share my recipe with all of you as well so you could beat the chill with this super tasty treat!



Homemade Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate 
(makes approx. 2 regular mugs full)

 1/2   cups whole milk or cream ( I used half & half because we love rich, creamy cocoa!)
4 tablespoons "Fry's" cocoa powder (or to taste)
4 tablespoons light-brown or brown sugar (or to taste)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt (we don't like ours too salty, but some people do!)

In a small saucepan, heat cream or milk on high until just beginning to boil,, reduce heat to medium. Mix together cocoa powder and brown sugar, add slowly to milk, stirring constantly to mix.  Add salt and vanilla and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into mugs. Enjoy!

We reserve this as a special treat to have on occasion, but not too often given the high fat content of the cream (we don't want to encourage any cardiac arrests due to clogged arteries!)  We stick to the Everything In Moderation rule on this one.

Now, if anyone needs me, I'll be at the gym ;)

Frosty mugs full of hugs,
-J








Thursday, January 17, 2013

"A Day In the Life of a Blogger" or , "It's 10 a.m. and I'm Still In My Jammies . ."

Alright, truthfully it's actually only 8:09 a.m. as I type this  but I AM still in my jammies, haha ;)

 I'm laying here on the carpet in front of my fireplace in my living room,  laptop in front of me and a steaming cup of coffee next to it (not TOO close to it though - learned that lesson already!)

For someone like me who has spent years working in an office, the closest I've ever come to living the seemingly glamourous "carefree" lifestyle uf all those free-spirited, creative genius bloggers out there was at best a coveted daydream.   They always seemed to live such interesting lives, and usually seemingly spur-of-the-moment - or at the very least, made all the little spontaneous adventures of their day SEEM more interesting than data entry for 8 long hours. ( not hard, I know!)

I am married to a notorious Planner, and I being the Compulsive List-Maker, shamefully admit that our idea of a spontaneous adventure means hitting 7-Eleven just after midnight for a slurpee on aThursday night.(no judging!)

Idiosyncracies aside,  I thought that since I have been temporarily awarded a limited time off from my regylar office job ( in the form of a layoff haha) that I would use one of the days to try out the so-called "blogger lifestyle" so I will take all your readers along with me on this alleged adventure,

So! 


the other day after a hot shower to warm me up, and my 47th cup of coffee at my side in  my beloved Starbucks travel mug, I headed out the door .... into a  blizzard winter wonderland.,








I admit if: I'm a huge fan of monochromatic black&white images: photos, paintings, movies etc. BUT I almost NEVER edit "foodie" photos in black and white. Food is just too beautiful in all its glorious rich color and texture.
Yes, that cupcake was dessert.
 #don'tjudgeme

I ended the day with my BEST FRIEND, snuggling him on the couch for a few minutes before we turned in for the night. No I didn't get a pic of that. For those of you who know my husband, he is more elusive to get a photo of than Bigfoot.  (Hats off to our wedding photographer, who got more photos of him in one day  than I ever will again in my lifetime, haha)

It was a lovely day.
Sweet [day]dreams everyone!

Off to clean out and finally organize the kitchen cabinets and possibly find one last cupcake (hey, just being honest)
-J


Thursday, January 3, 2013

"Full Speed Ahead" - or - "Where's My Racing Goggles?"

Continuing along my borderline-OCD habit of list making, I've thoughtfully contructed this year's goal's list.   I found it interesting to see how different this year's list turned out from every other year (I've been doing this faithfully every year since 2007) - and I think it's a direct reflection of how different my life looks now, six years later. My goals back then were very "utilitarian" in nature and reflected my basic needs and drive for survival during some very challenging times and negative circumstances.  This time I see a dramatic shift from "survival mode", I feel like I'm finally able to change gears, shift right into DRIVE, and put the pedal to the metal!  hahaha ;)


Here's this years list!



+ goals list for 2013 +

Keep a journal.

read more often.

run.

no more sissy workouts - LIFT!

invest: in the future, in others, in myself +

Work smarter, not just harder.

Keep my priorities in order.

paint something.  =

Keep the big picture in mind . . .

 . . .but pay more attention to the details+

learn something new.

Find little ways to make every day a little bit special =
  And there ya have it ;)
If I was to describe the overall theme of this year's goal, I would say my ultimate overall goal would be something like, to be Wonderwoman  to strive for ultimate health and balance - in all areas : mind, body, and soul. I've learned the ridiculously hard way through personal experience that all three of these need to be healthy and in balance to truly experience life to the fullest.

But more importantly, IT TAKES WORK to keep healthy and balanced,  and YOU CAN'T DO IT ALONE. Everyone needs a support network, a few close friends to encourage you and whom you can truly rely on to give you that "tough love" when you need to held accountable.  Be willing to be that supporter to someone else as well - it's about give and take and giving back is just as important in that balance!

Have you set any goals for the year?  I welcome you to post a link in the comments section to your own list!  If you haven't made one,  I hope this at least inspires you to consider it -  goals are good motivators to get you out of bed on difficult mornings. And there's nothing quite like the feeling of crossing an accomplished goal off the list!  If you feel like you have noone around you to count on to support you in achieving your goals, then I WILL. I am right here for you - I will be your online source of encouragement, inspiration and tough love when you need it. Come read my blog whenever you need to be reminded that YOU'RE NOT ALONE, and that someone out there truly beleives in you - that someone is me! 

I've made up my mind to plug in our bass guitar and begin my first lesson.

Well, I'm gone for now, like all the feeling in my fingertips!

-J




 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


May the new year spark new hope iin your heart like a million candles!

Hugs warmer than the sparks flying of these sparklers,

-J