Nature's Heart

Nature's Heart

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring Is Here!

Yay!!! Spring is here!!

The temperature is rising, the sun is out later and later. What a wonderful time of year.


With all the new beginnings happening around me, this is just encourages me to be as healthy as's the simple things. I recently discovered that Mio water flavor enhancers have been giving me horrible I eliminated these, I saw a tremendous reduction in the amount of headaches that I was experiencing.

 I love the taste of water...but sometimes I find it's helpful to keep motivated to keep hydrating, if there is a refreshing taste to it and I love when it is free from artificial flavorings and calories...It's as simple as adding a few slices of fresh cucumber. Other alternatives are slices of lemon, lime, fresh mint, peppermint, fennel, fruit or a combination of these! The options are endless!
 I recently came across a recipe that was delicious and allowed me to use a delicata squash in a different way than I normally would. They are an amazing alternative to french fries or onion rings.
Delicata Rings:
Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
Wash and cut delicata into rings about a 1/3rd of an inch and cut or scrape out the seeds.
In a small bowl add olive oil, oregano, thyme, basil, black pepper and rosemary and wisk.
Spread out the rings in a single layer (no overlapping) onto the baking dish and brush the herbed olive oil mixture over the delicata rings. Bake 10-12 mins and then flip the rings over and bake for another 8-12 mins.
Dill Mashed potatoes:
Boil 3-4 whole red potatoes
Mash with a fork, add 1/2 tsp-1tsp of coconut oil
add fresh cut dill and black pepper to taste and ENJOY!

On another note Ben just informed me that he bought his plane ticket!!! YAAAAYYYY!
 Is it April yet???

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

30 for 30

It's hard to believe that I'm turning 30 this year...30!!! I suppose that this is hard to believe because I still feel as if I am in my early 20's...Perhaps this is partially due to my belief that one's spirit is ageless. So far though I am looking forward to it...I have been told that one's 30's are fabulous because with age, comes certain freedoms including that you stop caring nearly as much about what other people think and that you shed some need to fit in simultaneously embracing and accepting your true self and core values." I do know that this is a milestone that is quickly arriving...and I am wondering what I can do to symbolize this Right of Passage in my life.

What would you suggest I do, or what have you done to celebrate this milestone?

Well as a fun thing I thought I would tell you a little about me...30 things for turning 30...and if any of you know me you will also know how much of a lover and unintentional mental collector of random facts I am... so here are 30 about me! 

1. If it’s good coffee or tea I tend to be a purist
2. I have been mistaken for being a vegetarian numerous times…I just love my veggies but I will eat some meat.
3. I’m an excellent swimmer but have a hard time with BIG bodies of open water…
4. I have been called, “Ms. Holly” from multiple and unrelated people for my entire life…I don’t know why…apparently it must seem to “fit”
5. My 3 ideal dream jobs as a child were to be an ice skater, elephant trainer or cashier...needless to say I have achieved one of the three...I'm pretty sure you can guess which.
6. “Put Me In the Zoo” by Robert Lopshire is one of the first books that I remember reading in it's entirety as a child...Funny how long it felt at the time.
7. I’m an introvert at heart who makes a daily effort to not be ruled by these tendencies
8.I prefer small group hang outs 1-3 people…as opposed to meeting with a larger group of friends
9. I find the term, “Take a listen” rather annoying…it just sounds weird to me
10.Give me tomatoes or mustard over ketchup(…or is it katsup?) any day
11. I have more scrap book paper than I know what to do with…but I’m working on that! J
12. I was called “Cousin IT” and Harry and the Henderson as a child because I had a LOT of hair.
13. Notorious for leaving things too long in my freezer…It could easily be considered a non-edible time capsule
14. Don’t end a sentence with, “Just Kidding”…we all know you aren’t.
15. Knock on wood but so far I have only had one cavity
16. I would love to participate and finish an IRONMAN (especially Ironman Hawaii!)
17. I love a good or cute pun or adorable knock-knock joke (I loved this cute design and fruit pun from Ashy Designs...she has a few more that you should check out.)
18. I love a good, dark beer…funny that often times the wait staff try to give the guy the darker beer. Haha nope surprise!!! That one is for me!
19. I’m definitely a crier while watching movies…sad, happy, moving…yup let the tears flow!
20. I seem to receive more compliments on my hair when I haven’t washed it in a day or two (unbeknownst to them)
21. Just the thought of bunnies gives me warm fuzzies!!! (No I didn’t plan for that to rhyme!)
22. I am definitely on the leave it end of raw cookie dough
23. What Kryptonite is to Superman, Dark Chocolate is to my willpower.
24. I get some of my best reading time in while on the elliptical machine...multitasking at its finest right? 
25. Some of my favorite work mornings are when I realize that I don’t need to touch up my makeup from the day before! Ha!
26. I have hated cooked peas since birth and this dislike is still going strong
27. Give me a cute pixie over longer hair any day!!!
28. My scary age…103!!! At which time I have promised Ben I will sky dive…I figure by that time I won’t have nearly as much to lose. lol
29. WONDER WOMAN!!!! Enough said. J
30. I would choose hiking and camping over an expensive night out 99.5 % of the time!!!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

For the love of cars! at Deluxe Customs

Here are some photos from my recent trip with Ben to pick up his 67' VW Fastback which is being restored. We arrived at Deluxe Customs in Tempe, Arizona and watched Ben as he saw his "Little Blue" be unveiled...literally like seeing a kid on Christmas.
We were warmly welcomed by all staff of Deluxe Customs, their work on this little vehicle was...stunning...immaculate and above and beyond.
 Matt talked with Ben about every aspect of this project, showing him in detail the work that was completed... but truly and I know Ben will back me up on this...the work speaks for itself.
 I was given free reign in their shop to take pictures to my hearts content...what an incredible opportunity to try and capture the moment, the atmosphere and the fun of this day.
 I can only hope that my pictures captured snapshots of this awesome day.
 Tools of the trade.
 Parts and other automobiles in various states of restoration at the shop.

 One of my favorite pictures from this session...I fell in love with this old rusted car hood.

 Ben and the full cast and crew of Deluxe Customs.
 Wheeling her outside to be loaded into the trailer.
 She's seeing the light for the first time since her paint job!

 I'm pretty sure she's smiling!

Thank you so much to all of the crew at Deluxe Customs for taking such care and pride in your work. Check out more of their work by following the link (You might see a picture or two of mine too!)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Another Life?


I have been asked: “ Do you believe in reincarnation?” or some version of that question…many times…

Let me tell you a little bit about my background. I grew up in a practicing Christian home. It was around the tender age of three I remember having some of my first thoughts and questions about the idea and belief of an "after-life" and Heaven. I was sitting on the floor with my mother looking at our book lined shelves when I asked my mother how one becomes “saved” and what that really means…and then concluding that conversation with the decision and prayer to giving my life to Christ. Over the years there have been bumps, smooth sailing, battles and joy in my walk as a Christian. I have explored and searched, I have had moments when I distanced myself as much as I could from God and returned the prodigal daughter. I am drawn to many things that isn’t typical of what one thinks of or defines when the word  “Christian” comes to mind. Traditionally though I can say that the topic of reincarnation is frowned upon or simply not talked about or brought up in my experience growing up in the church…

To put it as simply as I can, this is what I have come to know on a personal level:

What I have come to know and focus on is that I have been given and incredible gift for this current life as I know it, in this human form. With this human body there are certain limits and as well as responsibilities. I cannot re-live the past (other than in my mind…and usually this is not a healthy mental practice nor is it recommended to re-live things over and over, learn from YES, remain there? No.) and I do not know what the future holds for my life on many levels. What I do know is that I have today….today is where my power lies. I have the power to form my day…to be healthy and take care of this body and yes to plan and hope for the future but again, to recognize that nothing is ever guaranteed, and to enjoy the ride with all of its seen and unforeseen twist and turns. Although we love to live in the illusion that we have control and find security in that, I do believe that in reality everything is in a delicate balance.

I also know that by wondering what I might have been in the past…IF I was anything at all, just as wondering who I might be in my “future form/life” takes away from the here and now takes away from the present…my present moment…precious irreplaceable moments of time. I want to be a good steward with the time I have since I can simply push a “do over” button.  I do not want to regret any part of THIS life. I am working daily at embracing every moment and learning from every joy and challenge that life brings my way. Because I don’t want to live with regret, this pushes me to improve myself in as many different facets as possible… And is it me or does the thought or hope and wondering if one will come back in another life, have a hint that one didn’t live to their full potential in THIS life?

It is simply not for me to know…and this is liberating because it frees up my thinking space and I can better use my time and attention on other things. By accepting the notion that some things are out of our control, this gives us permission to “let it (the things that we can’t control) go”, to move forward and enjoy the NOW…after all now is all you have got isn’t it?