Thursday, February 23, 2017

It's Time To Cleanse My Body

Back in October I started my 60 Day Total System Reboot plan. It is an extension and revision of my 37 Day System Detox. I decided to make this plan a complete book. In order to make sure I provided you the best product possible, I decided to go on the plan myself; I also recorded myself daily for the first few weeks.

It is now February and I am going on the plan again so I can provide you with a daily update that will also be a reference guide for anyone who decides to go on the plan themselves. I will post the video of the first time I was on the plan to provide a visual of my appearance while on the plan. You will notice how my face became slimmer and clearer while on this plan. Some of my posts will be short and won’t report much but the goal is to provide you with 60 days of updates and you can go directly to the posts by selecting 60 Day Total System Reboot in the topics column.

If you are interested in trying out the plan for yourself you will have two options once I have completed the plan. You can try the free version which will be posted on this blog or you can purchase the complete plan which will also be available.


And…It Is What It Is!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Through My Rose Colored Glasses


When I reflect back on my 2016, I try to think of ways I can duplicate it in 2017 or make it better.  My 2016, was not great because it just was, it was great because I made it that way. I chose happiness, I chose to keep my glass half full, but I also avoided as much negativity and drama as I could. We all know that negativity and drama is everywhere and negative people are hiding around every corner, but our reaction to them and those situations are what makes a world of difference. One of the things I have learned to do throughout my life is to internalize my role in situations then accept the consequence. For example, if I decided to buy something that I cannot comfortably afford, I have to accept if it causes me a hardship and not place blame on others. However, because I am aware of my financials I know not to put myself in those situations.

Another thing that has helped is picking and choosing my battles, this is a big one because I have to know when to just walk away, try a different approach or just attempt to empathize. Learning empathy has been the biggest part of my happiness. When you are surrounded by a number of people who just did not have a great 2016, you have to remember that whatever it is they went through, they at times deflected it onto you. Learning to approach them with the mindset that they are not in a good place allows you to: know when to walk away and how to approach them in a manner that will prevent friction. When I say this, I do not mean walk on eggshells or become a doormat, doing so would not allow you to have internal happiness, it would actually cause the opposite effect and cause you to become angry, just like them. But sometimes just knowing when you should set them straight as compared to keeping your calm, sticking to the point and walking away  not feeling like their attitude was personal. You know, having the ability to just shrug it off and going on with your day allowing them to sit in their own unhappiness.

I have learned to look at situations as blessings, even bad situations. Believe me, I could take a look at any negative situation and stew over it forever if I wanted to, never taking away a learning experience or anything else from it. But when something bad happens, I search for a positive and I focus on that. Even if the act itself was not positive, I try to see if something positive resulted from that incident. For example, say I was driving my car down the freeway and it just stopped at 3:45pm. Then I get it to the shop and they tell me there is nothing they can do and now I need a new car. I have no money to afford a new car but I have to do what I can to come up with something. Then I find out that at 4:00pm a car ran into a pole and shut down the street where I live and all of the cars that were there at that time had nowhere to go and was stuck on the street for hours. I would say “wow, I am sure glad I wasn’t stuck in that mess. Had I not broken down I would have drove right into it and maybe even been hit by the car or the pole”. Even if that may not have even happened to me, I use that as my positive moment and I trust in God to do the rest. I trust in God to provide a way for me to afford the new car I am going to need and with the power of God and my own self determination to make things happen, I know that I will have what I need.

I have said before, that I am spiritual and as a spiritual person I believe in God and the power of the universe. I am a true believer in the Secret and willing things in your direction. I feel as though when you listen to the silence of the universe, that you can hear God speak to you in the smallest of things. I am a firm believer in karma; I think what you put out into the universe comes back to you. So if you throw out negativity that is exactly what you will get back. So much negativity took place in the world in 2016 and at times it got to me, it got under my skin, I am sure these events also affected others. At one point the negativity consumed me and I had to disconnect from the world long enough to re-center myself and process life effectively, in a whole new light and mind frame. When I sit with myself I internalize life and situations and evaluate how I did or should handle them. I deal with it as someone looking from the outside in, then I work my way out.

Communication will always be your friend. Never allow what's bothering you to consume you. Take a moment to think about the situation and evaluate it properly and then talk about it. Even if the other person is not receptive to the conversation at least you know you got out what you were feeling so that it doesn't consume you.

This is what works for me, and you will need to do what works for you but always take time to self-evaluate and reflect on your life and the lives of those around you. Once you allow yourself a better sense of who you are, who they are, and how to process situations, your world will become your own and not dictated by those around you.

And…It Is What it Is!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Shani’s Southwest Chicken Soup

A few weeks ago I wanted some pulled chicken sandwiches. I decided to put a few chicken breasts and diced onion in my crockpot. Once it was done I realized I had made entirely too much shredded chicken, so I scooped out what I needed and left the rest in the crockpot. I was not sure what I wanted to do with the extra shredded chicken so I put it in a container and froze it. Finally, today I decided I would make some soup that would be perfect for this weather. I decided to share my recipe with you, this will probably be one of the easiest meals ou will ever make, the only thing that will take time is the chicken.

Shani’s Southwest Chicken Soup

Ingredients
2 shredded Chicken Breasts
4 cups Chicken Broth
½ Onion, diced
2 tbsp Garlic, minced
½ bundle of Cilantro, chopped
1 cup frozen Corn
1 cup dried Black Beans (or 14oz can)
1 14oz can diced Tomatoes
1 4oz can Green Chiles
1 8oz can Tomato Sauce
1 tbsp Oregano
2 tbsp Cumin
2 tbsp Taco Seasoning
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Pepper

Directions

Chicken
Boil chicken in 3-4 cups of water, add salt. Once cooked, remove chicken from water and place in a bowl. Pull chicken apart using a fork.
Beans (if using dry beans)
In a small bowl, soak beans in water overnight, rinse. You may want to cook your beans for a couple house in the crockpot or on the stove first.

Add all ingredients to your crockpot and cook on low for six hours. Do not drain your canned items. I would suggest mixing your ingredients with a large spoon after 3 hours.

Once it is done, you can add extras like sour cream, guacamole or tortilla strips to your serving.


And…It Is What It Is!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Goals: How Many of Us Have Them

Growing up we have plans, even someone with a hard life has a plan for their life. Some of our life plans may not be ambitious plans, but they are plans. Not everyone has the dream of going to college and finishing it through, but for those who do it is never too late. Sometimes life happens and we are unable to accomplish all of our goals and then the next thing you know that goal becomes a distant memory of what the plan was. Eventually you come back and think about that goal because it's lingering in your mind as something you never completed, a goal you never reached.

I remember when I made up my mind that I wanted to go back to school. I was sitting at work and a new girl sat across from me; she had completed her bachelor's degree and was getting ready to start working on her Master’s degree the next month at an online college. I researched the school she was going to and I remember telling myself that I was going to start preparing myself to go back to school as well; this was in September of 2011. I told myself that I would give myself until the spring of 2012 to settle myself and prepare for life as a student and I too would start on my degree at this online school. Well, 2012 came and I had emerged to myself into my fitness journey; then I ended up getting married at the end of the year. I was living my life fully emerged in my fitness and my marriage was not going how I had planned. It wasn't until after my separation that I thought about going to school again. In February of 2014 I quit my job for a different position. I was blessed to be offered the position due to my lack of a college degree, but my experience is what landed me the job. However, the company was not a right fit for me and it was time for me to look for something else. While I was looking for other positions a lot of jobs with that same supervising role required a degree. I was fortunate be offered a position with my current employer but I knew I still needed my degree. So in the spring of 2014 I decided that it was time to get my degree, my job search was not the only thing that prompted my decision, I had surrounded myself with people who had accomplished this goal, and it was their positive influence that led me in the right direction. I took my time and researched the online school again but ultimately decided to enroll in Community College instead of going to the online school I was going to go to. The reason I decided to do this is because I wanted to see an accomplishment for all of my hard work after the first 2 years. Meaning I wanted to obtain an Associate's degree then continue on and obtain my Bachelor's degree at a 4 year college, entering as a Junior. I decided to put the online school on hold until it was time to obtain my Master’s degree, which will take an additional 2 years, maybe less.

When I announced that I was going back to school I had mixed reviews, almost everyone was supportive of my decision. However, one important person was not very supportive, initially; that person was my mother and even though it hurt me to the core that she did not think I had the time to be a student, I moved forward with it anyway. The same way I did when my grandmother told me I would not graduate from high school a year early. In January 2015, I became a college student again since I had last attended 17 years prior; it was a very good feeling.

Now it is my 2 year anniversary and I am six classes away from completing my associate's degree. The same people I had cheering me on in the beginning are still in my corner today and my mom tells me how proud of me she is. I have made a believer out of anyone who has doubted me and I've made a believer out of myself. Yes, there was doubt even before I decided to enroll in school, I wondered if I would be able to do it, if I had what it took to be a student again, if my life warranted the time needed. My son constantly tells me how proud he is of me and it encourages him to do well in school. My daughter is currently a sophomore in college and even though she has her own bumps in the road she is working towards her goal.

Life happens every day, but what would life be if we did not go after the things we want most. So many people believe that things should be given to them, or they feel it is too late to have what they want. There is no greater feeling than reaching a goal and saying to yourself, I was worth all the effort it took to get there.

After I began to live my life on my terms, I became happy; I filled myself with purpose. Everything around me began to change and my outlook on my life did as well. When you go after what you want everything else falls into place and helps you along the way.

And…It Is What it Is!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Chicken Cheesteak Sliders

I have mentioned my cheese steak Sliders in quite a few post so I decided to go ahead and share the recipe with you I originally got this recipe from Facebook and there are many variations of the recipe but I will share with you mine and I will also share with you ways to cut time with the recipe.

Ingredients
14oz-16oz raw Boneless Chicken Tenders (or thin sliced chicken breasts)
1/2 Green Bell Pepper, diced
1/2 Red Bell Pepper, diced
1/2 Onion, diced
(or 1/2 frozen bag of peppers & onions)
1 pack of a dozen Hawaiian Rolls (or regular rolls)
6 slices of Provolone Cheese
Mayonnaise
Olive Oil (any oil)
*Any seasoning you like* (I used Old Bay, Himalayan Sea Salt, Pepper, Garlic)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat medium skillet on medium-high.
Rinse chicken.
Add a drizzle of oil to pan
Add chicken to pan, sprinkle with salt/pepper. Once it turns white flip and sprinkle with salt/pepper. When that side is white remove from pan, set aside. *Do not cook all the way through.
Sprinkle more oil in pan, add peppers and onions, add salt, pepper and garlic seasoning. Stir frequently.
Chop chicken (I like to slightly shred mines so its not chunky). Sprinkle with old bay, mix lightly.
Add chicken to peppers and onions, mix thoroughly. Cook until all of chicken has turned white and peppers and onions are soft.
Using a knife separate your rolls in half the long way (top and bottom).
Remove the top. Place bottom half in a baking dish. Spread mayonnaise on the bottom half of rolls. Top with chicken and peppers, top with cheese, covering the entire mixture, cover with top half of rolls and cover with foil.
Bake 25 minutes.
Cut along the pattern of the rolls.

And...It Is What It Is!

Happy Holidays

Now that the holidays are over I have time to reflect on everything before I head back to school and work.

Christmas was great and everyone loved their Tiered Tabletop Storage Towers I made them. However, my mom initially had no idea what it was for, so I went upstairs to her main bathroom, rummaged through her unorganized basket of makeup and placed items into the storage drawers; then she was thoroughly pleased with it. I absolutely love mines and I am happy I made them,  I also made one for my cousin. I noticed that the dollar store is still carrying the storage containers so if you want to make one of your own the items are still available for you to do so.

Christmas Eve we had the pleasure of going to a Seahawks game, even though they loss. Afterwards we joined the family at my cousins for a party and exchanged gifts. Christmas day we opened our gifts then headed out to my mom's for more gifts and some dinner. I must confess, I did not decorate for Christmas this year; no stockings, no lights, and no tree. I know, I know, Im terrible; but I did  give out 30 Christmas cards. My daughter came into town but she only stayed a week she got there the Wednesday before Christmas and was gone by Tuesday.

For New Year's Eve we joined some friends at their house and had a lot of fun playing games, drinking liquor and just having a good time. I must say it felt good getting out on New Year's Eve. I usually stay in the house and this was the first New Year's Eve in 6 years that I was social.
On New Year's Day I had planned to make a nice dinner however I was not feeling very great after partying so hard on New Year's Eve so we had pho for lunch. I ended up making some Chicken Cheesesteak Sliders for dinner and everyone was pleased. My love and I decided to smoke the Cornish hens that we were supposed to have for New Years Day dinner and just eat the meal today, January 2nd. So we made a brine recipe for the hens and will smoke them later today.

And...It Is What It Is!

Planning for My Birthday

On New Years Day, I was talking to my mom and she came up with the idea of me having my birthday party at home this year. I originally wanted to leave town and go to an island somewhere. But I have been on the up and down about doing so because I honestly just want to finish school which would include me taking a summer class. Since my birthday is in the summer it would not be as feasible to take a summer trip because I want to take summer classes so I can just graduate. By the way things are going with my school not having classes available at times for people who work I see that I am going to have to take something in the summer. Two years ago, for my birthday I had a luau party, it was in conjunction with my daughter's graduation party. The front of the house was for the birthday party and the backyard was for the graduation party, we had a lot of fun. Most of the functions at my house especially my birthday parties have always been for all ages; so with all of my family that number easily rises; it's always a very fun occasion.

In typical "mom fashion", my mom gave me ideas and told me to start buying stuff now and put away a birthday fund that is specifically for my party only, which is a very good idea. Also, every other week I will purchase items for my party that are non-perishable like water, soda, juice and liquor. I usually make a huge batch of jungle juice and the liquor for the alone is over $200. Plus I will have beer, wine and coolers for those that don't drink hard liquor. I usually make enough liquor to fill up a huge water cooler; you know, one of those that sit on the sidelines at football games and hold Gatorade. But I usually have so much liquor left over that people end up taking some home in the empty liquor bottles and I still have a bunch left over so I think what I will do this year is cut my recipe in half especially since this time I will have other forms of liquor and usually my jungle juice is the only liquor that I provide. I also plan on changing up my recipe a little bit and giving it more of an island flavor by adding different Liquors like Malibu rum instead of regular rum and pineapple juice instead of Sunny Delight.

The planning for my party will span two quarters; so I will be very busy with classes, family and work; not to mention my son's birthday. So this time I will make sure I actually plan and start my prep work well in advance. On a good note, the Dollar Tree sells a ton of luau party stuff during that time a year and I still have a lot of the stuff left over from the last luau birthday party I had, which is why I decided on this theme.

Right now my menu is pretty big and even though I have a big menu I am going to make everything on a smaller scale so there will be lots of options but there won't be too much food.

Tentative Menu
Spring Rolls
Chicken Philly Sliders
Barbecue Wings
Teriyaki Wings
Chicken Skewers
Grilled Veggie Kabobs 
My Mamas Meatballs
Mini Sandwiches 
Seven Layer Dip 
Fruit 
Salad
Pineapple Upside-down Rum Cupcakes Pineapple Upside-down Regular Cupcakes

Right now I am completely undecided on the decor, it's going to pretty much follow within the typical luau/beach party decor. However, I kept my party trays from the casino party so I will use those as well.

And...It Is What It Is!