How to Plan a Successful Month

Have you ever noticed how easy it is for a day to pass and you have no idea what you actually accomplished? Or in this COVID time a whole month or two? 

1It happens to the best of us. I have learned over the years that in order to get stuff done you must plan it out. In this time of absolute craziness I have been spending my time trying to get more consistent with blogging and writing. It keeps me distracted and busy and focusing on what I want to focus on. 

For me – I am not very good under pressure so the best way I can get around this is by planning my month ahead of time. Planning out my writing days. Planning out my creativity. 

Let me show you how to plan your month so that you see progress and success. 

My biggest and best planning tools come in a few parts:

Step one is always the list of things that need to get accomplished in a month. This might be a big list but get it all down on paper so you know what you are working with. I list out everything on the to-do list. Things I want to focus on and things I would like to ideally finish. Creative projects, writing projects, exercise and weight loss goals, relationships, work, travel, fun. Whatever you want to focus on or what needs to get done for the month this is where it needs to go. 

The bullet Journal is where I start (think of this as 1A). The format is flexible. I can write as many things as I want. It is a tool that I have been using for years. I like this as a place to make my progress charts and my overall monthly things.  I always do a monthly budget spread and hone in on bill payments and what money needs to go where (which is how I paid off 40k worth of debt so far). I like to come up with monthly exercise plans as well including how many days I want to hit the gym (since my new primary focus is weightloss success) – really it is my goals and dreams list and how to make them happen.

The brain dump book (think of this as 1B) which is technically also a bullet journal – this is separate for me from my more organized bullet journal. This is where I scribble all my writing ideas and blog post ideas. It is a place where I can be messy and just think up things. Larger pages and more space to really detail out how I want to write posts. Sometimes at the most random times I have a thought about something I want to write and I need to jot down the key points to remember it later. This is “that” book.

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For both of these books I use the classic bullet journal the leuchtturm1917 brand that you can find here. But you can also buy them from Chapters. I like the dot grid because it means I can be creative with how I write and schedule things. But honestly you can use whatever you have. You don’t NEED this particular book. But I find writing it out on paper is what I need. 

Step two is to add everything onto my master calendar. This is where I start to get really precise. Now that I know what I want to write about I like to post what blog post I want to have published on what day. I fill in meetings, birthdays, bill payments, paydays, any and all events … anything to get a huge overview of the month.  This is the moment when the month looks like it has nothing going on to having everything happening. 

The big arse wall calendar helps with this because I can add multiple things to each day. If you are scheduling for more than one person you can even color code this. You can easily move things around and visually look at the month at a glance.

Step three: The day book (mini calendar) – this is a typical day book broken down by the hour. I want to write in my particulars by the day. I try to make sure it is filled out the night before for optimum productivity. Or it is also great to plan out your day in the morning with a cup of coffee. Since all the COVID stuff has started I really have enjoyed being a bit more lax with my days and have found this has been working better for me. 

I bought both of these from Staples. 

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Because I am home all the time I have been slacking on my digital calendar – but when I was full time flying I would then fill in my digital calendar (step four) so that I could also be on top of what stuff I needed to get done on the road. 

Productivity happens when you plan.

For all those people trying to launch their at home business this is ley. Spending a couple hours each week getting organized will get you way ahead of the game. I think it is truthful in anything in life the better you plan the better success you have in achieving the goals. 

What is your June looking like – do you have your month all sorted yet?

Struggling with getting organized in general – try this get organized bootcamp!

 

Meatless Monday: Quick & Easy Plant Based Food Ideas

Vegan fast food is a trending topic but so is health and proper nutrition. So how do you combine the two of them?? There are so many ways to get in your vegan “fast foods” with out packing in the calories. This week on meatless Monday I want to talk about easy ways to get food in your belly without having to spend hours in the kitchen making scrumptious vegan food or taking a rip through a drive though and packing in some bad calories.

Plant based/vegan foods are everywhere – you don’t need to over think it. Here are things I keep stocked in my house for easy vegan eats and snacking:

Vegan Dips and Sauce

This is by far the easier group to reach for because it is likely that people eating omnivore diets don’t even realize that some of basic life goodness is already plant based. Fruits and veggies and a quick dip make vegan snacking so easy. It can be as simple as a banana and some peanut butter. Veggies and hummus. Or Veggies and other beans dips. I make a white bean spinach and artichoke dip that covers all my bases. It has protein and iron and is great on bread, crackers, toast and veggies. Now a days you can get already cut up veggies in the grocery store and SO MANY vegan dips have come on the market it is hard to keep up.  Keeping a stock of fresh fruit and veggies in the fridge and a few cracker in the cupboards is a great way to keep the snacks quick and healthy and plant based.

The Fake Meats

If I am being truthful – I was a vegetarian for 10 years before I even entered the world of fake meats. Mostly I thought they were gross. However in 2020 – you can’t go wrong. There are so many options for simulated meat products it is insane. I love to throw them in a salad to ramp up my protein and to get in another texture. Slicing up a Fieldroast sausage and adding it into salad = yum. A little ground round to make a taco salad = delicious. Combine meat alternatives and some lentils with your salad and its high protein goodness keeping you full for hours. Your options for variety here are pretty endless AND it makes for a quick meal. Heat up the veggie meat while you prep the salad. For nights when you are to tired to create an epic vegan dish this is a great alternative. In summer time  – this is when this shines for me. No long cooking or meal prep – just straight up deliciousness. (Just keep in mind these are not always the healthiest and might not be the best food choices – so enjoy them in moderation)

Protein Shakes

There are lots of nutrient dense vegan protein powders on the market. Vega is one of the most popular (I am a huge fan of the vanilla protein and greens). But even some of the MLMs like Beachbody and Arbonne have leaned into vegan shakes (Arbonne Marble Cake Vegan Protein is the bomb). I like to make my smoothies with unsweetened almond milk, protein powder, nut butter, half of a frozen banana and then what ever other fruit and veg. Smoothies can be super filling if they are crafted properly – I personally need the protein with a fat and the veg and fruit. It keeps me fuller longer and makes the smoothie worth having. All these things fast, easy and vegan.

Vegan Pizza

Everyones favourite = pizza. It is quick and easy and believe it or not you can make them pretty darn healthy if you want to. I guess this is the time to really say  – anything you can make  … I can make vegan. I have a no-rise flatbread recipe that whips up in no time – and with a little sauce and random veg you got yourself a pizza in about 30 mins. If you use a pre-made store bought crust – you can have it ready in 10mins. I like to make sure I have some fresh pineapple or mango to throw on the top, extra sauce on the crust and a nice dipping sauce – I don’t even bother with the fake cheese. So yum.

The Good Old Fashioned Sandwich or Wrap

This is the basics but seriously you can put together a vegan sandwiches  in minutes – toast it up or throw some things in a wrap or lettuce wrap. You don’t need to be boring. You can go the route of hummus and guac loaded with veggies. But you can use other bean dips – like spinach and artichoke bean dip. How about layer in some smoked tofu? Add in that protein and a smoke flavour. Use all the best veggie topping – to spice it up try adding in some fresh herbs. Cilantro or dill are wonderful on a sandwich. You can have savoury nut butter sandwiches by adding some ginger and garlic to your almond butter then loading it with veg. Chickpea salads, lentil salads are also delicious and keep well in the fridge for a couple of days. The options are really endless.

 

I know vegan can seem pretty daunting at times but once you really dive in you can really see that there are so many things already in your fridge that are perfect as they are. In 2020 it is pretty popular to have vegan eats accessible at your favourite restaurants, and the drive thru, on Door Dash or Uber Eats … you can make big pots of chili and stews and freeze then so your meal prep doesn’t get boring. It is possible to make quick satisfying eats from your regular variety.

I hope this helps you with some inspiration for plant based from your already stocked kitchen. I would love to se picture of what you are making. Please tag me.

 

 

25 Things I Miss About Being A Flight Attendant

Flying is exhausting and hard work. It can be draining and challenging and push all your buttons. It can also be super fun. I miss the lifestyle of whizzing around and being a social butterfly. There are so many amazing things about being a flight attendant – here are some of the things I miss the most.

25 Things I Miss About Flying:

  • Always going places – the constant act of getting on a plane and being in different cities and sleeping in different beds. Motion. Always going.
  • Airplane cookies. Biscoff cookies. It is both embarrassing and staggering the amount of times I have eaten cookies and pretzels for breakfast. It has been months since I indulged in such behaviour.
  • Putting on high heels and the uniform and feeling suited up and acting the part.
  • Making new road friends every few days.
  • Sunsets in Mexico.
  • Hawaii. Just all of it – beaches and sunrises and humidity and Maitai’s
  • Getting all the fun stuff from all the places: Rumcream in Halifax. Coconut granola in Hawaii. All the American vegan foods pretty much anywhere in the USA. Colliding Tides in PEI – it is so amazing to pick up all my special treats on the road and bring them home I miss all those things.
  • Hot men in uniform. There are lots of men in lots of uniforms trolling the airports. It some nice eye candy.
  • Redeye flights and working all night.
  • Hypoxic giggles from flying to many hours in such a short amount of time.
  • The passengers. The good and the bad – but always interesting.
  • The drama.
  • Getting home from Mexico and cleaning sand out of my suitcase in the middle of the winter
  • St John’s, Newfoundland. I miss you.
  • Room Parties.
  • Paydays. Actually working my butt off for a huge payday and being rewarded with all that money to freely spend how I want.
  • Hotel room coffee in bed.
  • Awesome places to take badass photos.
  • Visiting my network of friends in random cities.
  • Day drinking in the afternoon in warm places without an care in the world.
  • Exploring new places.
  • Adventures.
  • The galley of confessions. Getting to talk about real stuff with real strangers and really opening up.
  • Feeling like the world is my oyster and that I can go anywhere.
  • Feeling alive.

 

I am sure there are more things to miss about flight attendant life – I just am feeling nostalgic and missing all the things that such a fun career can bring.

Are you a furloughed flight attendant? What are you missing the most?

Meatless Monday: How to Stock you Pantry for Plant Based Eating

How many times have you done to the grocery store and bought a bunch of vegetables and veggie things and gotten home and not had anything to make?  Back in the day … actually until my early 30ies … When I was shopping for myself I would do this all the time. I would just go and buy the things that I liked and then would figure it out when I got home. Only to find that I was missing ingredients and have all this food with no real plan. It wasn’t until my first crack at weight loss that I really got into teaching myself how to cook really good plant based meals. Having a well stocked pantry and planning out what I was going to make and then shopping for those things changed my approach to cooking and eating.

If you have a well stocked supply you can make a delicious meals with things you have on-hand. If you don’t like to plan to far in advance being fully stocked is the way to go. As you many know – grocery shopping hungry is a bad idea and often leads to shopping with reckless abandon and getting $200 worth of food with nothing to make. So set yourself up for success with a list in hand, a coffee on the go and a full belly. This will stop you from getting food you don’t need because your eyes are bigger than your stomach.

If you want to see a lot of success at plant based cooking and being prepared for anything the trick is a well stocked pantry and freezer.  My trick is to keep a well stocked freezer of frozen fruit and veg as well as a well stocked pantry and spice cupboard.

Things I always have at home:

The best freezer food to have in stock:

Peas, corn, broccoli, edamame, chopped and cubed butternut squash, bananas, raspberries, berries, pomegranate seeds, mango, pineapple. Basically I keep the fruit in stock so I can have daily smoothies. I also use the frozen fruit in my overnight oats. I love the juice from the melted frozen berries it adds some sweetness and flavor. The veggies are great for cooking when you want to have variety without it going bad. Stews, chili, curries – it is nice to keep those veggies in stock without needing to have them fresh and ready.

The best foods to keep in the pantry:

Red lentils, canned lentils, canned chickpeas, canned black beans, really any bean canned, nutritional yeast, canned diced tomatoes, tomato paste, veggie broth, pastas, rice, oatmeal, nut butters, also carrots, potato and onion. If you think you might like to bake:  all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, chia seeds, flax seeds.

Spices:

I have said this before I will mention it again. If you want to learn the ways around a plant based kitchen you need to up your SPICE game. You will need a well stocked spice cupboard. When I was first starting out my cupboard was always stocked with: onion powder, garlic power, cumin, chili power, smoked paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, garlic salt, cinnamon and yellow curry powder. Those are all stocked to this day but I have way more spices now because the collection has grown over time.

With my house stocked in this manner – it is pretty easy to create recipes out of what I have on hand. I can really get a lot done with my house well stocked. It leaves my weekly shopping list for essential veggies that have a shorter shelf life and plant based milks and butters and such.

A well stocked foundation of stuff really helps to keep you prepared to lean into meat free options. Once you have the supplies you just need to learn how to use them. Hit the follow button to Stay tuned in for more recipe ideas coming every Monday! You can also check out my plant based Instagram!

If you are interested in learning how to make your favorite dish plant based or if there is a recipe you are looking for in particular please comment below and I’ll do my best to plan that out for you.

Until next time ❤ !

 

6 Ways to Focus on Your Own Adventure and Creative Voice

I inadvertently ask for permission a lot.

Like I am seeking approval from my friends because I want to fit in. But then I get mad when people shit on my plans. I take personal offense to it. It is a double edged sword.  I want opinions, but I also don’t give a shit what people think.

I am curious how you feel about the typical dream zappers in your life?  Because lets be real, we all have people in our lives that like to crush our dreams and make us feel stupid for even trying. It is crazy how this can really shift decisions in our lives without us even really noticing.

To those people I want to give you a heartfelt FUCK YOU – go ruin someone elses’ dreams.

Some of you might know a few years back I went to school and studied Architecture Technology. At the time I was really interested in alternative housing. If I am being honest, I am still pretty interested in tiny homes but these days it is more about van life. I am very interested in building a van into a RV; the classic millennial sprinter van turned tiny home.  Maybe a short-term living solution but also maybe just long term fun. Mostly, I want to be able to have a little house on wheels that I can drive around the mountains in. Anyway a few nights ago, I found a pretty old camper van on kijiji (the Canadian version of craigslist) and got really excited. Now don’t get me wrong – buying a 40 year old vehicle comes with all sorts of potential problems. I texted a few people wanting to know what people thought of the particular van. I also wanted to know if anyone had purchased a used van online and what kinds of questions I should be asking. This is not my forte. I definitely don’t want to get taken advantage of so I tried enlisting a little bit of help.

Big Mistake.

Huge.

The amount of negative comments and judgement = astounding. For a few moments it had me really wondering if I should even consider this type of investment. After I thought about it for awhile, I honestly wondered why someone elses’ opinion of what I want to buy or do really matters? Why did I even ask? Just because someone that isn’t creative or adventurous and can’t see the benefits of such an adventure – does that mean it shouldn’t get done? Silly.

Not only does their opinion not matter but nor does their judgement on your life.

My sense of adventure has always been that of someone that is willing to try with no money than to hold off and never do anything until I have a lot of money. I am not sure if it is quarantine or what but lately I have really just been thinking a lot about how I have lived my life and whose opinions have mattered.  What other people think has really dictated a lot of things in my life. I have been questioning how I am at my happiest.

Not caring what people think to pursue things you want is hard.  I want to know – is someone really your friend if they aren’t supporting you in at least some of your crazy ideas? I don’t know.

If you are having trouble pushing past those voices here are a few things you can try out:

  • Stop listening to what other people think of your ideas – unless someone is at the very same level as you in the very same space it really is hard to take their opinion of you seriously. Sometimes it is honestly better to just shut up about your plans. Stop asking the world for permission and just go after what you want.
  • If you want to take up blogging, vlogging, photography, an instrument or what ever it is – take the time and learn the craft. Let your passion fuel you – not judgement from other people. Half the battle is believing that you can!
  • Find like minded individuals – if you think selling everything you own and moving to <insert random locale here > is what you need to do then do it. Just because someone is scared to go to Asia doesn’t mean you should rethink your life plan. Go by yourself and find all the others that did the same. You will make amazing new friends.
  • You will never know what your vision could be if you never try. Get out there and create.
  • Be bold. Be authentic and be you and stop asking permission from someone who don’t have one iota of a sense of adventure.
  • The reason your are awesome and amazing and crazy is that you take the risks – I can’t imagine where I would be today had I not set off on a mission to pay off my debt seriously 3 years ago. Everything great takes time – so take the time, make the plan and start today.

 

If you are wondering I didn’t buy the van because it required $1500+ of work to fix the suspension and I would need to fix the stove and the fridge as well. I will continue the search for my perfect camper. I can’t decide if I should spend 15k and have a van that is ready to roll or 3k and have to put in 10K of fixes. I have put it out into the universe so we will see what happens.

The point of this post is simple to not take stalk into what other people think about your decision to do fun and adventurous things. Their opinion and their fear are about them. The end.  

Meatless Monday: Tofu Scramble

It is a long weekend so clearly that requires a really delicious brunch option. I love a savory breakfast so much that I often eat lunch or dinner for breakfast. On this weeks edition of Meatless Monday I think we need to explore the really yummy breakfast world of tofu scrambles.

Like an egg scramble you can kind of go in whatever direction you want aka use what you have in the fridge. But I do like to make a bit of a TexMex version – because it is delicious.

The trick you need to know is that tofu doesn’t taste like much so you need to infuse the flavor flavs into it – This is what you will need:

  • 1 block of medium/firm tofu (crumbled)
  • 1/4 of a red pepper, cut into strips
  • 1/4 of a green pepper, cut into strips
  • 1/2 a yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2 garlic gloves, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • splash of water
  • cilantro & green onion for topping

 

Let’s do this:

First things first – you need to drain the tofu, pat it dry then wrap it in a paper towel, set it on a plate with something heavy on top. The goal is to get as much water out as you can. If you have a tofu press this is your time to shine! This should take about 10-15 mins. While the tofu is pressing, chop, dice and prep the veggies.

Next up in a fry pan add in whatever you use to saute (oil, veggie broth or whatever). Add in the onion and cook those for about 3 minutes. Toss into the pan the garlic, peppers, and mushrooms. Let that cook for another couple of minutes. You will then need to unleash the tofu from whatever you are pressing it in and crumble the brick of tofu into the pan with the veggies. Break it up so it looks like scrambled eggs (if you cut it up with a knife it will look strange so absolutely break it up with your hands). While the tofu is browning – in a small bowl add in all the spices with a splash of water to make a slightly runny paste. Add the paste into the pan and mix everything together.  Add in the spinach. Once the spice slurry is absorbed into the tofu and the spinach is wilted –  it is ready to rumble.

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TexMex Tofu Scramble @thatvegannamedcarol

I like this topped with green onion and cilantro, a side of salsa and maybe some avocado. A little grainy toast or some taters also pair well.

Impress the crap outta the person that you share your bed with. #yumcity

 

Meatless Monday: Biscuit Pot Pie Stew Fusion

This recipe inspiration came from a very recent Sweet Simple Vegan Recipe (link here) and then fused with an all time favourite Vegan Pot Pie recipe that I have been using for years from Sarah Kramers’ La Dolce Vegan cookbook. Today I figured out why so many Americans eat biscuits and gravy – because it is saucy and bready and starchy and delicious.

I think you could really use any super saucy stew recipe – I like recipes that are forgiving – swapping out veggies should be easy. However, this combo makes the colors look vibrant and that, Friends, is what I like my food to look like.

What you will need:

  • Pillsbury Oven Ready Biscuits
  • 1 medium Onion, diced
  • 2 Carrots, diced
  • ½  a Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 2 cups Veggie broth
  • 2 Medium Potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup frozen Peas
  • 1/3 cup frozen Corn and Jalapeño mix
  • ¼ cup dried Red Lentils
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne
  • ½ tsp Sage
  • ½ tsp Thyme
  • 2 tablespoons Corn Starch
  • 3/4 cup Plant Milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Fire up the oven to 400F. Start by sautéing the onions, after a couple minutes add in the carrots and red pepper. Once the onions start to look translucent add in the veggie broth, potatoes, peas, corn and jalapeño, dried lentils and the spices. Bring to a boil and then let it cook for about 6 minutes or until those lentils are soft. Add in the plant milk and corn starch.  Transfer the stew mixture to a baking dish. Cover with tin foil.

Timing is now SUPER key. You want to get out those oven ready biscuits. You want the stew to be in the oven for about 20 mins total – so now you need to do the math for the biscuits to cook and the stew to cook together. You want to half cook the biscuits before placing them on top of the stew. Since my oven ready biscuits only needed 10 mins in the oven. I cooked the covered stew for 10 mins. Then I put the biscuits on a tray in the oven and let them both cook for 5 mins then I removed the cover on the stew and put the biscuits right on top in the dish to finish cooking for 5 mins.  This lets the gravy get into the biscuits without it being mushy.

Once done, serve up. I added a bit of vegan butter to the biscuits and sprinkled some chives on top.

This was bomb-diggy! So hearty for this cold weather we have been having. This would feed about 4 people – with a couple extra biscuits.

Please tag me if you make them so I can see your creations.

Listing Out my Creative Projects to Give You Inspiration to Work on The Things You Always Dreamed Possible … #inthistogether

It has been almost 6 weeks since my last flight….

6 WEEKS!!!

It actually feels kind of strange to be on the ground this long. When all this chaos first start I volunteered for a leave of absence. That 2 month period is quickly coming to an end. On May 8th, 2020 I got officially furloughed starting June 1st – not that I was not expecting this, I was. I knew it was going to happen but seeing it there in the email – “my services are not longer needed” due to this crazy Pandemic was a feeling I wasn’t prepared for.  I have come to the realization that very likely I wont be flying for the remainder of this year.

For me – the only way to deal with all of this stuff is to just stay kind of busy.  There are many lessons I have learned in this life and one of them is that sitting around doing nothing on unemployment is literally THE WORST THING I can do for my mental health. The problem I have been having is discipline and focus. Literally if you saw my journal, planning book, day book, bullet journal and online course note taking book – you would know that I think up more ideas than I can even handle. But executing those ideas is a whole different thing.

I know – Everything is insane right now. But I also can’t help but feel like this is a gift from the universe. A gift of time to work on anything I ever thought would be a fun creative job – while I am getting paid and have endless time. I therefore can only see this as almost wasted time if I don’t pursue these passions.

Here is a little catch up of how I am keeping myself busy while being grounded from flying but also a list of ideas of things that you could do to keep yourself busy:

  • I started making a vegan cookbook. This is a project I have been wanting to do for YEARS. I was really excited from the get go but writing out recipes is kind of boring and I definitely waiver in what kind of things I want to include. I also sometimes feel I need to test the recipe – which means a lot of the same foods for me to eat and a WHOLE lot of cooking.  I really need to invest in the equipment for the next stages of the creative process and that equals daunting. I often get lost in the idea of how I would present the book. Then I decided to needed to start posting Meatless Monday recipes to garner interest and then the entire project just got really overwhelming. When things feel overwhelming I have a tendency to quit.
  • I started an outline draft for a book I want to write and for the first time this idea seems like the winner or more so it seems like I finally figured out a way to organize my thoughts. I will continue to map that out as social isolation drags on – and soon will start my chapter breakdowns. This is going to be a long process but something that will be so validating.
  • I have committed to a few knitting projects for some friends – they are in the works but not completed. I do that while I am watching Netflix as part of my evening routine. Knitting socks is complex.
  • I have started brainstorming ideas for YouTube because for the last 5 years I have been telling people I want to do this (imagine where I would be had I just started) – I have actually tried to create videos but I rarely get the gumption to post the video for anyone to see – which I need to do if I want to get some viewers. I think it is a really cool creative platform that I want to explore more. Plus filming is fun.
  • I started the MLM experiment where I thought I would join Arbonne and actually try and make money that way – but that is just sitting there and I have a series of blog posts half started that I never finished. The thing is now I just mostly order products for myself because I quite like them and then I don’t even mention it to anyone.
  • I started a blog series called #grounded (this series that you are reading) that I have essentially not written a post in a month because I thought my days weren’t interesting enough – because lets face it – what are we all really doing at home. Pressuring myself to write posts about doing nothing all day got slightly daunting.
  • I have bought many, many random things online that I don’t actually need. And now I am wondering if I will need to return most of them.
  • I spent a lot of time in my car with a backpack, my laptop, a handful of journals and a couple of books thinking I am going to pull off some sort of creative miracle in terms of creating content but I never actually do anything but drink coffee and stare into the park  – kind of planning but not doing.
  • I have reorganized my space to try and un-stifle my creative energy. It has kind of worked.
  • I start working on a vlogging – travel videography course – still plugging away at it – one lesson every few days. It is actually why I want to start filming YouTube Videos because I can – inspiration for travel video isn’t really my top priority during social isolation times.
  • I have been to a couple webinars on artists at the Glenbow Museum which quiet frankly is really cool and I can’t wait till the gallery can open up so I can by a membership.

 

Well that is it – that is what has been keeping me busy. I feel like while I am sad that I am not flying I am really trying to use this time to work on things I always wanted to work on but never, ever, ever made time. I think it is pretty cool to have this time to really explore my creative energy. It is really exciting.

What kind of creative projects are you working on while cooped up at home?

I am absolutely looking to build my creative community so if you are doing any of the above ideas please message me so we can create together.

 

 

Meatless Monday: Chili Taco Salad

If there is one go-to meal I have had for the last few years it is chili taco salad. It pretty much works spring, fall, and summer and to be honest it is a great way to use up things in your pantry and veggies that look less than stellar in the fridge.  Chili never gets old with the endless number of combos to try out. I extra love that I can have leftovers for days – chili tastes better with time, it freezes well and honestly you can have chili and corn bread, chili in a bun bowl, chili on salad and my personal favorite chili as a taco salad  … the options are there. I know, I know – you think of hot chili as a fall food. Well damn it – I am using up things in my pantry and this is literally one of my favorite things to eat. Also, you probably have nothing but sweet, sweet time to let this simmer.

In this veggie version we are using 2 different kinds of beans (lentils would also work well) – nothing aggressive; kidney and black beans + the odds and ends that are lurking in my pantry and in my kitchen. I even thru in a can of pumpkin puree (actually recipe inspiration photo below) – this adds thickness to the chili without making it taste like pumpkin.

Chili is VERY forgiving if you have more of one thing and less of another –  buttttt to make my recipe – you will need:

  • I medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ bag of tri color frozen mixed peppers
  • 28oz can of Tomatoes (mine had Italian spices because that was all I had in my cupboard)
  • 2 cups veggie broth
  • 14oz can of pumpkin puree (BE VERY CERTAIN TO NOT PUT IN PUMPKIN PIE FILLING)
  • 2.5 Tablespoons of what ever chili powder you like
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp Braggs liquid amino

 

I sautéed the first 5 ingredients until lightly browned and then added in the spices and let the flavors get all warm and smelling delicious – then I dumped the other stuff in the pot. Brought it to a boil and then let simmer for 20 mins.

(NOTES: use the veggies you have on hand that is what chili is for – out of celery skip it. Also if you don’t have pumpkin don’t add that – but you might want to lighten up on the broth OR add in 1/4 of dried red lentils OR add cornstarch 1 tablespoon at a time and let it thicken up. Yes you can put in soy sauce instead of liquid amino OR leave it out)

How to make the Chili Taco Salad:

Roughly chop up 2 cups of lettuce of your choice – I use romaine. Spread out over a plate. Then add about 1 cup of chili on top of the lettuce. On top of all that add – Green onion, Cilantro, Pineapple, Corn chips.

BOOM! Springtime / Summer Time Chile Taco Salad.

Please if you make this tag me on Instagram in your posts at thatgirlnamedcarol or thatvegannamedcarol

~Enjoy!

 

The Problem with Free Information on the Internet – a Rachel Hollis critique

Let me just start out by saying – I have zero problem with the fact that Rachel Hollis is a success. I think anyone can do anything they put their mind to – hustle, heart and a whole lot of ambition can get you anywhere you want to go. To a certain extent it really is motivation and consistency that can get you anywhere. It is abundantly clear that Mrs. Hollis has all of that in spades. Looking at the way we are in 2020 with an abundance of people making careers as influencers we are in a different time. Digital careers are saving the world during the COVID crisis. Digital nomad life is going to hit the globe strong when we can all start travelling again. This is more about the claim that all you need is high school and Google for success. Because Rachel Hollis is now very wealthy it appears that she figures that her opinion and her way is the smart way to see this type of success – making lots of money does not mean you are smart. Her privilege as a white woman blogging in and from the USA is rarely discussed.

Free information on the Internet does not teach you how to do business properly, think independently or how to interpret information and make it your own.

 

Perhaps I am butt hurt because I have been formally educated in a University and a College but when influencers talk about how their success with only a high school education it makes me irrationally furious. It is not so much that they are successful because anyone can hustle – but it is that they make glaring mistake on citing sources and crediting other authors. They are stealing people’s thoughts and using them as their own. Anyone in any area of post secondary education knows the importance of citing sources and influence. You simple can not steal other people thoughts and call them your own. We all know that we learned from the thoughts of other people, it is how we evolved, it is how we got here – there aren’t really original thoughts anymore – things have been done before but not interpreting the information and making it your own  – this is the problem.

person in gray long sleeve shirt using macbook pro
Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

Since quarantine has started, I have been trying to fill my time by catching up on my podcasts and half-finished books. I have been subscribed to the RISE podcast for months because there is some great information in the podcast and Rachel Hollis is an amazing speaker – she interviews with elegance and has amazing guests and at times has some great advice. In general her podcasts are great HOWEVER in the intro she has made it clear that her brand is being successful came solely from the “ free information she got on the internet” – and while yes she did learn a lot from the internet she really hasn’t quite figure out that she can’t steal people words and call them her own. She needs to site her sources. She has been accused publicly of plagiarism and it seems to me that the posts are taken off her social platforms but there is zero discussion about it.  Just a couple of days ago – her media team actually posted on Instagram a post that read “still … I rise” which is a quote from Maya Angelou – at least in 2020 she has learned to take it down and to credit the source which she did in a follow up post where she blamed her team. However, has she learned how to properly source and credit other authors from the “free information she got on the internet”? It does not look like she has.

I own a copy of ‘Girl, stop apologizing’ and ‘Girl, was your face’ …  Both okay reads. Both glaringly have stolen information from other self-help leaders and turned into her own work. It wreaks of privilege and this is my problem with Rachel Hollis. I want to like her because I LOVE motivational, personal development books. But I cannot get passed her arrogance.

SHE. IS. PRIVILEGED.

woman working at home using her laptop
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels.com

Yes, she worked hard but also yes she had an abundance of white privilege. Why can we never discuss how privileged she really is? How her connections got her where she is? How she did not build this business alone?

Love her or hate her Rachel Hollis has really become someone to pay attention to over the years. But do not fool yourself into only seeing her overnight success because that does not exist. It took years to grow her brand and her business. The idea of on overnight success is an illusion – spending 10 years working at her business with no success to finally have that one post, that one viral sensation to reach you to success. That is basically how it is all done. The one viral post that took you 10 years to figure out. Along the way Rachel has been accused of plagiarism. Stealing quotes and stealing concepts and basically not knowing how to site a source for her information. It boils down to being ACCUSED of COPYING AND NOT CREDITING PEOPLES WORK. This is NOT the way to do it, Friends. The issue here is not being about to critically assess where the information is coming from and whether it is a credible source. She is sharing stolen information and is misguided about crediting sources and using quotation marks – she is trying to pull it off as her own. Basically, she is taking the spotlight from people that earned those credentials.

Rachel Hollis pretending like privilege did not help in getting her where she is and that it was all from the free information on the internet is absolutely a false claim.