30 December 2018

Simplifying My Way Into 2019

Image from our last trip to Friday Harbor, WA. Click HERE to view more

I always strive to find the perfect balance and seek simplicity. Several of my posts and writings seem to always circle back to a common theme; a goal of minimizing the clutter in my life (both literally and figuratively) and focusing on how to embrace the simple life that is filled with meaning and purpose.

So what do all these words exactly mean?
What exactly is balance? What does it mean to simplify your life?

Honestly, I don't have an answer. It's something I take a day at a time and figure out as I go.

I do know one thing, I have made a conscious effort to minimize the amount of "stuff" in my home and this progress has brought me a sense of calmness. With less clutter in your life there is less anxiety and stress. These days, I make mindful purchases. I always ask myself, do I like what I am buying, do I need this item, does it serve a purpose to me, my home or my family? If the answer is no, then chances are I don't really need to make that purchase. Yes, it is partly about spending my money wisely, but it is also about respecting my home and only bringing in items that I enjoy and need. Bringing new items into my home should offer joy and excitement.

One area I need to concentrate on is being more mindful of those around me. While we can simplify the environment that surrounds us, we can also simply our relationships. Just like our home, those too can become cluttered. And as I mentioned above, often times with clutter comes anxiety and stress. My goal for 2019 is to release any expectations that I have of others. I often find myself getting upset with others because of their actions or lack of actions, for the words they choose to use or not use and the simple fact that their priorities don't align with mine. I need to accept others for who they are, I need to accept all of their qualities. And if their values differ than mine and if they bring negativity into my life and my family, then it's okay to give that relationship space.

We've all heard the quote "Think positive, be positive & positive things will happen." Well, yes, that is true. But it is more than that. You can think away all you want, but you need to act. If you want positivity in your life, go out and make it happen. Make changes. Become a better person. Surround yourself with positive people. Eat healthy. Get fit. Live intentionally. Live with a purpose.

And if doing this takes simplifying and clearing away the clutter in your life, whether it's objects or relationships, then make that change happen.

"If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living."
Gail Sheehy

13 December 2018

Holiday Bliss Balls | SCD* Paleo

*This recipe was originally featured in Babiekins Magazine 2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Now that the holidays are here that means our homes will be filled with plenty of sweets and treats. As a healthy alternative, we love to keep bliss balls on hand! These healthy treats are a great snack that can be prepared in advance and stored in the freezer, making them the perfect grab-and-go holiday dessert. They are packed with fiber, minerals and vitamins and are an excellent source to incorporating nuts, seeds and healthy fats into your family’s diet.

Yield: 24 balls

1 cup almonds, cashews or macadamia nuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut
20 medjool dates, pitted
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of sea salt
2 Tbs coconut oil
¼ cup cocoa powder*
optional toppings: pistachios, almond slivers, dried rose petals, sea salt, dark chocolate*, cacao powder*, coconut flakes, dragon fruit powder

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Add all the ingredients to a food a processor and pulse until fully combined. The mixture should be slightly sticky and hold together when pinched between your fingers.
3. Roll into one inch size balls and roll in your desired toppings or dip in melted chocolate and then sprinkle your toppings on top.
4. Place bliss balls in the frig or freezer to set.
5. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to one month.

**Omit these items to make SCD compliant

05 December 2018

A Holiday Gift Guide With Petit Collage

Now that the holidays are here, I strive to stay focused on the true meaning of the season. But I fully admit, I absolutely enjoy shopping for others, yet I often catch myself purchasing items just to buy something for someone. I have decided that I don't want to fall into that trap this year. I want to center myself around meaningful purchases that are not only unique and special, but ethical and sustainable. By choosing environmentally-friendly materials, we are focusing on high quality, eco-friendly products.

Petit Collage founder, collage artist Lorena Siminovich, created an earth-friendly company that focuses on materials crafted from recycled cardboard to FSC-certified wood and soy-based inks. Petit Collage avoids plastic and their products are designed with the health of children, and the planet, in mind. They have so many beautifully crafted products to choose from, and below are just a few of my favorite!

And, use code: Elizabethmjacob to save an exclusive 15% off at petitcollage.com.

1. Pop-out and Build Pirate Ship Playset
2. My Crafty Toy Camera Kit
3. Forest 5pc Bamboo Mealtime Set
4. Outer Space Puzzle
5. Carnival Play Set
6. Wooden Xylophone Musical Toy
7. Little Miss Mermaid Growth Chart
8. You Know What I Love? Picture Book
9. Mighty Dinosaurs Stickers
10. Pop-Out and Build Paris
11. Bunny Organic Chime Ball
12. Superheroes Magnetic Builder

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*This post is created in partnership with Petit Collage