Nature's Heart

Nature's Heart

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mini Spa Treat

Turns out I had two hours after work and before my evening small group rehearsal…What to do what to do!?!?
A mini home spa treat was the answer for me! I decided on a DIY pedicure with this adorable color that I picked up around Christmas time and to watch one of my favorite French foreign films, “Avenue Montaigne”. 
The wind outside was blowing so hard that my windows were whistling and shaking, making me ever so grateful that I was in my cozy little apartment and not out in the cold rainy weather…I worked on my 3-Generations Star Quilt too! Anyway, so with the help of an amazing bowl of cinnamon popcorn, that’s what I did with my two unexpected hours of free time! 

After the movie I had just enough time to browse quickly through an “Outdoor Photographer” magazine that a co-worker gave to me earlier that day before I headed out of the door for rehearsal. Yay for surprise presents! It's the simple things in life right? I can’t wait to actually read this more thoroughly once I have more time!! It’s little moments like these that help get you through what would have been a long day!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A whole lot "o" oats

Just finished one of my favorite breakfast combos! 4-5 ingredients and about a 1 ½ minutes in the microwave and “presto!” you have your morning meal with little effort and great healthy rewards!
And seeing that February is America Heart awareness month, this meal seemed appropriate.
½ Cup plain whole oats
3/4-1 Cup water
Handful of fresh baby spinach
4-5 cherry tomatoes
handful of sliced mushrooms (optional)

Put oats and water in a microwave safe bowl or mug and microwave for about 40 seconds until most of the water is absorbed. * Make sure to watch it so it doesn't boil over! Stir and add spinach (I shred the leaves if there are some that are really large) and slice the cherry tomatoes in half or 3rds, add a little water if none remains and microwave for another 30+ seconds and Tada! You have a amazing, easy and healthy meal to start your day!

Going, going...

Since it is America Heart month, did you know that heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death among women??? Heart disease even beats all forms of cancer combined! Wow wow wow! The good news is there are lots of little/easy changes that make a huge impact on your health and helping keep your cholesterol in check. More information can be found at:

Some little changes that I am planning to make or continue to maintain:
·         Decreasing the amount of processed and preservative filled foods that I eat
·         Use at least one of my 15 minute breaks to move/work out my body in some way…go for a walk, stretch etc.
·         Work out at least 4 days a week
·         Drink more water/stay hydrated (And no, coffee or sugar filled drinks don’t count haha nice try though!)

Some other easy ideas:

·         Partner up with friend or family member and become work-out buddies
·         Walk your dog 5 minutes longer than normal, you both will benefit! Don’t have a dog? Go for a walk anyway or offer to walk a neighbor or friends dog! J
·         Add/include one portion of fresh fruit or vegetables to every meal
·         Educate yourself and others about healthy eating habits and exercise routines
·         Park farther away from the grocery store, mall etc.

What easy changes steps can you/are you planning to make to help increase or maintain your health?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Jewelry Surprise

Yay!!! I can’t help but be excited when I saw that my necklace from AMAZIMA Ministries was waiting for me this morning!!! It came in an adorable little burlap bag and I had no clue what it was going to look like color wise until I opened it. How ironic is it that it matched my outfit today?!!! Haha! It’s so nice to know that my purchase supports women in Uganda to make their own income and to provide for their family, keeping these beautiful women from turning to garbage digging, making alcohol or prostitution to make an income! What a lovely reminder this piece of jewelry is. It has instantly risen to be one of my favorite pieces of jewelry…and I love that I can wear it as a bracelet too! I think I might invest in one or two more down the road. As if this beautiful sun filled Tuesday wasn’t enough to make my day this little surprise in the mail certainly did. What a wonderful way to start the day!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Fast of Sorts

30 day Spending Fast (or in this case 31 days):

After a friend shared an article mentioning the idea of a “30 day spending fast” I decided that January 1st 2012 was going to be my start date. Basically this fast meant that I wasn’t allowed to spend any money other than on bills for an entire month. I made once exception to this “no-spending” plan which was for the of purchase gas. That meant no food/groceries, hair maintenance, entertainment etc. On the one hand the very thought of undertaking this challenge was a little overwhelming …but then on the other hand, I couldn’t wait to begin!

There were a lot of lessons that I learned during the process and I came to realize that the biggest lesson for me was about contentment. I realized the importance of being content with where I was and with what I already had. With the money restriction, I was no longer able to randomly (or mindlessly in a lot of cases), browse the dollar store (justifying a handful of things because “it’s only a dollar” and then walking out with $10 or more each time), or wandering the various isles at Joanne Fabrics and then getting “inspired” and having to pick up more supplies, all of which simply added to my already long creative “to do” list and to the pile of unused supplies already waiting for me use. I became very conscious of where my time and money went once I wasn’t able to do those things anymore! I began working on many projects that I had put off because I had been distracted by the latest and greatest “thing”. I got SO MUCH done in 31 days! Some of these things included working on my “3-generations star quilt”, finishing a two volume scrapbook album for my father that he asked me to do over a year ago, going to the gym more often and having the opportunity to write, reflected and read a great deal (two of the books are mentioned in my first blog posting). By trying to avoid being tempted at buying things, I also found that I saved a lot of time by not opening e-mails that I knew carried advertisements, specials and coupons.

I never considered myself to be a materialistic kind of person and I allowed myself to have moments of splurging or feeling as if I deserved a purchase… as it turned out…to some extent I was expressing my own value and self worth with the purchasing of new items. This challenge opened my eyes in so many ways! It was amazing to see how much I depended upon other things to distract or entertain me. How a lot of my energy, time and money went into the pursuit of acquiring “things”. Not being able to spend money allowed me to re-realize where and what I put my value in because despite what I wanted to believe, my bank statement said otherwise. It was an “Ouch” moment for sure…much tougher lesson than I thought going into this. While pacifying and filling my life with stuff was unintentional, once those things were taken away, I felt a huge weight suddenly lifted off my shoulders! I wasn’t being distracted by the “I want” bug anymore…or filling my life with superficial things that were just collecting dust… instead I spent my time having memory making quality-time and doing healthy activities.

In a nutshell: The biggest lesson learned was that I don’t ever want to put my value in “things” again…one of the easiest and most reflecting ways to look at what you value is to look at where your money goes… Do I recommend this? Heck Yes!!! I’m even thinking of doing in on a semi-regular basis!…try it and see what happens…Enjoy!