Camping meals

“My fear of camping: I’m convinced bugs will crawl up my vagina and lay eggs. Isn’t everyone?”
― Kathy Griffin, Official Book Club Selection: A Memoir According to Kathy Griffin

I told you I would remember to get back online and post some of my recipes from the weekend. Unfortunately, I was so caught up in the gloriousness of nature that I forgot to take pictures of all the meals. (I know, gloriousness is not a word…) My favorite part of camping is planning the meals and finding new ways to out smart all the added cooking preparations.I pack pretty basic snacks: pre-cut fruit and veggies, lots of chips and dip (the boys can’t get enough), cookies, granola bars, and I definitely cannot forget stuff for s’mores (…. and beer!).

Long post for today, but I hope you enjoy all the meals we had each day.

 

DAY ONE

 Lunch – Typical hot dogs, baked beans, and broccoli slaw

                This one is pretty self explanatory and a must-have on the men’s list for suggested meals.

 

Dinner – Dutch oven Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

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  Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 cups of cheese (Colby or Monterey Jack)
  • Green Chile Enchilada Sauce (28 oz)
  • Small corn tortillas (enough for three layers)

 

  1. The trick to making this recipe super simple is to prep the meal before camping. I boil my chicken to make it easier to shred. Typically, chicken tenderloins will take 10-12 minutes to fully cook while full chicken breasts will take closer to 20 minutes. Be sure there is enough water to fully cover the chicken.
  2. Once cooked, shred the chicken using forks or a kitchen mixer (my kitchenaid shreds chicken in about a minute). Add the sour cream and garlic powder. Mix thoroughly and place mixture in Ziploc or container to bring camping. This can also go in the freezer if you need to prepare this more than a day or two before the trip.
  3. Prepare coals for the Dutch oven. I use a 12-inch Dutch oven that typically requires 8 coals on the bottom and 16 on top. Always place fewer numbers of coals on the bottom to prevent food from burning on the bottom of the oven. For easy cleaning, line your Dutch oven completely with heavy duty aluminum foil.
  4. When your coals are close to ready, start putting the casserole together. Pour 1” of sauce on the bottom and then line the bottom of the oven with tortillas. Layer half of the chicken mixture on top of the tortillas, followed by a third of the cheese and a third of the remaining sauce. Repeat the layers (tortillas, chicken, cheese, sauce). Add a third layer of tortillas and spread the remainder of the sauce and cheese along the top.
  5. Place the coals accordingly and cook for about thirty minutes. To make sure the casserole is cooking evenly, you may want to rotate the dutch oven every ten minutes or so.
  6. Enjoy with some chips and salsa and a large margarita! Perfect for summer camping by the lake.

 

 

DAY TWO

Breakfast – Dutch oven breakfast casserole

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Ingredients:

  • 12 eggs (for easy storage, wisk eggs as home with a little salt and store in a large water bottle)
  • ½ a stick of butter
  • 2 lbs of frozen hashbrowns (any kind is fine; I used country style)
  • Pre-cooked Turkey sausage crumbles (or your favorite breakfast meat)
  • 1 ½ cups of shredded cheese
  • Your preference of salt and pepper
  • Optional veggies: diced tomatoes (or rotel), green chiles, spinach, onions, etc.

 

  1. Prepare coals for the Dutch oven. I use a 12-inch Dutch oven that typically requires 8 coals on the bottom and 16 on top. Always place fewer numbers of coals on the bottom to prevent food from burning on the bottom of the oven. For easy cleaning, line your Dutch oven completely with heavy duty aluminum foil.
  2. Melt butter in the bottom of the oven. Once melted, add all the hash browns, meat, veggies, and spices. Allow the mixture to cook with the lid on for about 10 minutes (be sure the mixture is warm and the hashbrowns are no longer frozen)
  3. Add eggs and top with cheese. Cook for an additional 15 minutes or until the eggs are cooked and the cheese is melted.
  4. We enjoyed this casserole with a serving of fruit salad and morning coffee.

 

 

Lunch – Taco Salad

 Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • Taco seasoning
  • 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can rotel (drained)
  • Tortilla chips (or nacho Doritos)
  • Optional toppings: Shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, chiles, sour cream, salsa, avocadoes, etc.

 

  1. This is another one that can save a lot of time by prepping at home. Cook the ground turkey in a large skillet on the stove top. Once fully cooked, drain out excess oil. Place back on the stove top and add the taco seasoning, rotel, and black beans until the combination is thoroughly mixed and warm. Allow the mixture to cool before placing in ziplock or plastic container for camping trip.
  2. Another thing that can be prepared at home is the topping. Shred lettuce, dice tomatoes and onions, etc. and place items in plastic containers or baggies for camping.
  3. When ready for the meal, you can choose to reheat the meat mixture or leave it cold. Prepare each plate with a scoop of the meat mixture and crushed chips. I like to allow others to put their own toppings to fit their unique tastes.

Note: This recipe also works well for “Tacos in a Bag” and is great for kids. Simply bring individual sized Doritos bags or Ziplocs of tortilla chips and scoop the meat mixture and toppings into the bag. It’s the perfect lunch on the go!

 

 

Dinner – Dutch oven BBQ Chicken and Potatoes

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 Ingredients:

  • Chicken of your choice- breasts, half chickens, leg quarters (I used three leg quarters)
  • 2-3 large potatoes
  • BBQ Sauce
  • 1 tbs Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Sauce ingredients:

  • Bottle of BBQ Sauce (18 oz, I used Sweet Baby Ray’s)
  • ¼ cup Italian dressing
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  1. Prepare coals for the Dutch oven. I use a 12-inch Dutch oven that typically requires 8 coals on the bottom and 16 on top; however, for this recipe, I like to have extra on top, closer to 20 coals. Always place fewer numbers of coals on the bottom to prevent food from burning on the bottom of the oven. For easy cleaning, line your Dutch oven completely with heavy duty aluminum foil.
  2. I mixed the sauce prior to camping and brought the sauce with me in a container. You could also pour the sauce ingredients into the bottom of the Dutch oven and mix it that way. Once the sauce is poured into the bottom, place the chicken on the bottom. I suggest flipping and stirring the chicken a few times to evenly distribute the sauce.
  3. Chop up the potatoes into desired, bite size pieces. Toss the potatoes in olive oil and desired amounts of salt and pepper. Pour the potatoes on top of the chicken and place lid on the dutch oven.
  4. Once the coals are placed, the cook time can take anywhere from 1 to 1 ½ hours depending on the size of the chicken and the amount of heat in the oven. To check if the dinner is fully cooked, poke the potatoes with a fork and be sure they’re at the desired texture. You could also check the temperature of the chicken, but I have noticed the chicken cooks faster than the potatoes so I test the potatoes.
  5. Enjoy!

 

 

DAY THREE

Breakfast – Crunchy Eggs

This is my camping favorite and, of course, I forgot a picture. It sounds totally weird, but trust me on this one. It is delicious!!! And if you can’t tell, I really like Rotel!

 Ingredients:

  • 2 large skillets or a large flat top – makes it easier to cook all at once
  • 8 eggs
  • ½ a bag of potato chips (crushed)
  • 1 can rotel (drained)
  • 1 tbs minced garlic
  • 2 tbs olive oil (1 tbs in each pan)
  • Desired salt and pepper
  1. Heat olive oil in pans. Once hot, add garlic and rotel into pans (1/2 in each skillet). Once the garlic starts to brown, stir in crushed potato chips and continue to cook for about five minutes.
  2. Next, make four circular “baskets” of mixture in each pan, exposing the pan in the middle of the “basket”. Drop an egg into each “basket” or hole and cook to desired tempature (sunny side up, over hard, etc.). If you would rather do scrambled eggs, simply wisk the eggs and stir into the potato chip mixture until fully cooked.
  3. This recipe is super yummy with some hot sauce or salsa on top!

 

Enjoy the recipes! xoxo Taryn

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Fishing Trip to the White Mountains

“When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.” ~ Peace Pilgrim – 

Hey y’all! Just got back into town yesterday afternoon from my weekend fishing trip with my hubby, Tanner, my father-in-law, Todd, and Wesley. I was hoping to make a post yesterday, but I was too busy unpacking, cleaning, and finally getting a nice shower! I love camping and not having to worry about make up and brushing my hair for a few days, but seriously: a shower is the absolute best feeling after a weekend in the woods!

I don’t have time for a long post today, so I made a quick collage of photos of the trip and videos of Wesley enjoying the water. Taking a dog for the first time was quite an experience, but I think we have the hang of it for next time. Check out the weekend recap video:

It was such a nice trip, even though I had to work on teacher training homework and we didn’t catch much! 

Yes, I snapchat while camping...
Yes, I snapchat while camping…

The quality time we got to spend together was fantastic and I truly feel like I was able to bond with my dog on a whole new level. He really did not do well with the cold, so at night he would snuggle up right in between me and Tanner, pressed into the heat of our bodies. The innocence of his energy was so sweet and, of course, warm! I cannot wait to bring him again sometime. 

My views during nap time
My views during nap time

Wednesday or Thursday this week, I will be posting a recap of the weekend meals and recipes! Make sure to stop back by for some of my all time favorite camping meals! 

xoxo Taryn 

 

Balance: Feminine and Masculine

“Male and female represent the two sides of the great radical dualism. But in fact they are perpetually passing into one another. Fluid hardens to solid, solid rushes to fluid. There is no wholly masculine man, no purely feminine woman. ” – Margaret Fuller

Quick post for today, as I am anxious to get packed and loaded for our weekend fishing trip!

It seems like I have had a “theme” for my life this week: balancing masculine vs feminine. Seriously, it seems to be repeating itself to me everywhere I go. I have just started a marriage class with my church and our first study is on the book, Love and Respect. This week’s lesson really hit hard on the difference between male and female and how neither is “wrong,” just different. It is really important to appreciate these differences and find balance between them. A harmonic marriage is found by balancing between the masculine and feminine needs.

Likewise, my yoga teacher last night mentioned the need for the masculine and feminine features of the body to work together in order to find peaceful practice. The head (masculine) cannot work efficiently without the aid of the heart (feminine) and vice versa. Without lifting the chest, you are unable to properly lift the head. They must work together in harmony and not fight against each other to find stability and peace.

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This theme just seems to be following me around lately, so I had to share. I can’t wait to share details and recipes from our fishing trip this weekend. I am going with my husband, father-in-law, and our dog, Wesley, so I hope the masculinity in this bunch won’t overwhelm me too much!

Have a safe weekend – Taryn

How I Cool Off When Stressed

“When you are balanced, you find that the world will come to you exactly as and when it needs to. Just like you learned in summer camp: if you get lost, just stay put until you are found. Breathe.” – Amy Jirsa – Quiet Earth Yoga

So, I am having one of those mornings in the office. You know how it goes: you hit snooze too many times (have no time for morning yoga), get to work and are handed awful news, spend an hour on the phone with the rudest customer service agent you have ever dealt with in your entire life, realized you forgot to grab breakfast and it’s already 10:30 and you’ve been so busy that you haven’t even had a cup of coffee. And you neeeeed that cup of coffee! ASAP! Move out of my way people!!!

You know what I’m talking about right? We all have days where we feel terribly overwhelmed, unbalanced, emotionally strained. We are human! It is completely normal to experience moments of stress and exasperation. In these moments, I am so thankful for learning pranayama techniques. Pranayama is a sanskrit word used to describe the extension and control of the breath, the life force. It is through the controlling of the breath that we are able to slow ourselves down, allow the entire body to become oxygenated, focus our awareness, and become grounded. There are many different types of pranayama and I encourage you to look into different breaths that can positively effect your life and your practice.

I tend to run into these stressful situations when I am at work, or someplace in public. Therefore, arching my back, making giant googly eyes, and sticking my tongue out for Lion’s Breath (Simhasana) won’t work if I want to keep a sane reputation. My favorite pranayama to simmer me down is Ujjayi or Victorious Breath, which is the most common type of breath during a Hatha yoga class (Great article: 8 Reasons Why We Use Ujjayi Breath in Yoga). I love Yoga With Adriene’s pranayama videos and she has a great explanation of Ujjayi:

I love this breath because I can just take 1-2 minutes here or there when I am feeling overwhelmed and I am really able to steady my emotions. The best thing is that Ujjayi breath is typically not noticed by my co-workers or the man who just cut me off on the freeway. A lot of people compare this type of breathing to Darth Vader (my husband compares the sound of Ujjayi breath to someone being constipated…), but it does not have to be practiced very loudly. It should be audible to yourself and not the person in the cubicle next to you.

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Sorry, I thought this was really funny

“Just breathe” isn’t quoted by everyone on the planet for no damn reason; it works! Even if you are not into yoga, taking a moment to breathe and unwind doesn’t harm anyone, so why not try it out? I’m telling y’all, it will do wonders for your mood.

If you are really feeling overwhelmed and the breathing just won’t cut it today, find something to laugh about. Seriously! Take five minutes out of  your work schedule or busy day at home and find some silly video about funny cats or goofy baby laughs or army men singing Frozen or whatever! When I need a laugh, I just enjoy the presence of my goofball dog, Wesley.

Hope y’all are able to find some time to breathe (and laugh) today! – Taryn

Weekend in Williams

“Family time is sacred time and should be protected and respected.” – Boyd K. Packard

Spending time with family is such a priority for my hubby and I, especially when we get to spend time together outside of the busy city life. We spent this past weekend on a lovely adventure to Williams, AZ to visit his sister (Spencer) and her fiancé (Patrick). The weekend went by WAY too quick, but we were still able to get a lot accomplished!

Saturday morning, we spent some time at Bearizona. Bearizona is best described as a Jurassic Park for bears and more. You drive through the park in your own vehicle (or hop on their big bus) and the animals walk right along the side of your car. We saw different kinds of sheep, deer, wolves, bob cats, buffalo, bears and more. Check out the video below for pictures and short video clips!

Bearizona Slideshow

Patrick works as a young life director in the Williams area and works out of their Lost Canyon camp.  We spent the afternoon touring the facilities, drinking coffee, and playing basketball. Well, they played basketball while I attempted to make baskets! The camp is absolutely beautiful and hosts christian retreats year round. 

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The greatest thing about Spencer’s cute new home in Williams is the proximity to downtown. Williams is located on Route 66 and we were able to walk five minutes into the downtown area for shopping, dining, and more. We even stopped by one of the local bars for karaoke (to which Spencer and Patrick rapped the song Grillz and became small town rock stars)! 

I found out this weekend we are all really nasty competitors and sore losers. However, I am fairly convinced that anyone who tries this new game, Catan, they introduced us to would agree. We couldn’t believe the gorgeous weather. As we played board games on the porch, we got to enjoy everything from sunshine to thunderstorms. 

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Seriously though, these guys are the best! And, they’re getting married in 2 months!!!! I am so glad to have family members we cherish so dearly and that host so graciously. Cannot wait to do it again sometime!

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xo Taryn 

lol
On the ride home…

TGIF!

Morning Check List:

Clothed? Ah sufficiently

Keys? Yep just found ’em

Coffee cup? FULL

Sanity? Sanity?

and we have a runner…

Saw this quote this morning and had to laugh. I seriously cursed my way out of bed this morning after tucking in much too late and having battled with my lab all night (he decided between 2-3 am was the best time of day to play fetch with himself on the bed…)! 

I had my first night of yoga teacher training last night and loved it! Although, I am a little freaked out about the amount of time it is going to consume and the lack of sleep I will be getting Thursday and Friday evenings. But hey, how can one find success without making a few sacrifices? 

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But, honestly, thank God for Fridays and coffee!

I hope y’all have an amazing weekend. I’ll be heading up to Williams, AZ suuuuper late tonight to visit my sister-in-law and I cannot wait to share pictures with y’all of beautiful northern Arizona! 

Sharing: Ted Talks – Depression

Buddha was asked, “What have you gained from meditation?” He replied, “Nothing! However, let me tell you what I have lost: anger, anxiety, depression, insecurity, fear of old age, and death.”

Only on my third post and I’m already getting serious with y’all!

In light of recent events, there has been a lot of talk about depression and suicide. I try to ignore many of these articles, as I feel they don’t completely understand depression and it tends to make me angry. However, I was inspired by my friend and follow blogger’s recent post about the struggle in her own life and her battle with the misconceptions: The HM Rants.

I honestly do not feel I am able to explain to you everything I want to about the misconceptions of depression, but I watched a video a few months ago and it was done so perfectly! Andrew Solomon gives a brilliant explanation of depression in this Ted Talk and I really encourage you all to watch it before voicing an opinion on depression and mental illness.

Depression runs in my family and I have experienced it since I was about 11-years-old. I kind of feel like it came out of no where. One day, I was all sunshine and rainbows, and then I was lost into this storm of terrible agony and sorrow, for no reason at all. I did not invite depression into my life to get attention (which was the perspective of many of my close friends at the time). I cannot even count the number of relationships I have lost, or nearly lost, because they do not understand my experience. My friends could never wrap their heads around my behavior. My depression really comes in waves and typically, I am braced for it and can combat the depression before it gets bad. Other times, I have allowed it to get completely out of control. My friends stopped inviting me out because I couldn’t help but have a miserable time. It could get to the point where I wouldn’t even get off the couch to eat because the effort that would take would be too exhausting to even think about.

It is not because I hate my life or desire more than I have. I actually love my life. I love my house, my husband, my dogs, my family, etc. However, two months after getting married, I experienced depression again. I couldn’t get myself onto the mat, cried for hours at night and could not figure out why, had a hard time getting out of bed every day, had no sexual desire at all. My husband thought I was being ungrateful and dramatic. It’s been a huge challenge to explain to him the sickness of depression that I do not control, I do not ask for.

I must say I am very thankful for finding yoga because it has been an incredible treatment for my depression. If you are experiencing depression, I really would encourage you to try and implement aspects of yoga philosophy and physical practice into your life. Medication was never for me, yoga is my medication. (If medication is working for you, I encourage you to continue using it!)

Morning Routine

“Getting up in the morning to do your sadhana does not mean you will become God. No, getting up in the morning, you will become you!” 

– Yogi Bhajan

Good morning y’all! I thought today I would share a little bit about my morning routine.

So, I tend to have a difficult time accomplishing things in the evening. I come home with a list of to-dos, ready to be completed. Then, I get an hour long phone call from my Nana, chase the dog around the house for 20 minutes trying to get back my favorite bra, cook a recipe that was supposed to take 30 minutes but really takes 75… and before you know it, it’s bed time! Now I can’t even remember my to-do list and I am rushing through my facewash to get into bed “on time”. Does this sound like your evenings? 

I came to the conclusion that in order to find time for myself, I really needed to start waking up early to find the right “stillness” I needed. This was NOT an easy change for me. I’ve always been a bit of a night owl and my body really fought hard to keep it that way. I found this awesome “greatist” about becoming a morning person and I pinned it on my wall and followed it to my best ability. I would suggest you do the same if you’re looking to start finding more time in the morning. Honestly, the most important tool you will need for waking up earlier is a motivator. Just saying “I want to wake up earlier” is not going to help you. Try “I want to wake up earlier to find time for journaling,” “I want to get up every morning to enjoy my coffee as the sun rises,” “I want to wake up earlier to find time for a morning jog/workout.” Keep this as your reminder. You are doing something great for yourself! 

Gotta be 100% honest people, I don’t always wake up early. Sometimes, I cannot for the life of me get to bed on time and I need a little extra snooze time. That’s okay! Don’t punish your body if it is crying out for some extra sleep, just don’t let it become a habit. Okay… blah, blah, blah. Now onto my morning routine.

So, I was really hoping to get to the dog park super early this morning, but I was happy for my plans to be canceled thanks to some beautiful morning rain in AZ today! Love it! I still woke up on time, but I spent my time curled up watching the rain outside and tossing the ball to Wesley inside the house… 

First thing I try to do every morning is eat some fruit and make myself some tea (or coffee on days I’m really dragging). I read a fabulous article by Mind, Body, Green  about eating fruit and the benefits of doing it first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach. If you are trying to put on muscle, it’s really important that you eat within the first 20-40 minutes of waking up to feed your body, or it will resort to feeding off your muscles! Green tea with a little honey and lemon is a great way to rinse out the body and give yourself a little boost of energy. 

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Next, I hop in the shower for 10-20 minutes. (I really try hard remember to rinse my mouth with some coconut oil while I shower, but I typically only remember to do so 25% of the time.) For me, showering in the morning is extremely beneficial because it loosens up my body for morning yoga. I began this practice (along with the morning tea) after reading Iyengar’s Light on Yoga. He suggests the shower to loosen up and the tea or coffee to get your body energized. He also recommends practicing on an empty stomach, but the fruit is so light, it generally does not bother me. 

Yoga time! I try to spend 20-40 minutes after my shower practicing yoga. Sometimes, I follow my own routine or I look up a video online to follow. I love, love, love Yoga with Adriene videos. I was able to transform some space in my home office/craft room to allow space for my yoga practice where I can shut the door and have some ME time. 

I got pretty excited about effects this morning...
I got pretty excited about effects this morning…

After some much needed savasana (corpse pose), I get my morning going again by finally getting ready. I honestly hate getting ready and I really try to spend less than 15 minutes getting dressed, doing hair, and makeup. I wish I could care a little more about my getting ready routine, but I just don’t! Shout out to all you girls looking so gosh darn beautiful in the morning! Seriously, you rock! I am a little too lazy for that… While I am getting ready, this is usually a great time to listen to some aspirations, an inspiring ted talk, or whatever is your thing. It encourages me to kick some ass throughout the day. 

Before heading to work, I am starting to get hungry again so I make a juice or smoothie to bring with me and pack a small morning snack. This morning I packed homemade energy bites and a peachy green juice. So good!

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Then, it’s time for work. If I have a few extra minutes, I feed the trimmings and pulp from my juice to my chickens, love on the pooches for a minute, and typically run out the house because now I’m going to be late (and usually run back into the house to grab my juice I forgot). No morning is ever the same, but this gives you a pretty good idea of my basic “routine”. Thanks for reading y’all!

Doggies are loving the weather, chickens are grubbing on breakfast, and I am actually off to work ON TIME! Loving it!
Doggies are loving the weather, chickens are grubbing on breakfast, and I am actually off to work ON TIME! Loving it!

Get in touch with your creative side

“A relaxed mind is a creative mind.” – Yogi Tea

One of my favorite things about yoga is the ability to cultivate new ideas and creative thinking. If you’re like me, you are not always able to find outlets of creativity in your 9-5 office job (or while waiting tables, chasing kids, etc,) and you begin to feel quite deprived of your personal sense of expression.  Sometimes, it is great to take a night off from the mat and allow yourself time to let that creativity soar whether you spend some time writing a silly poem about a 3-legged elephant, dance around the house in your undies to Glee mash-ups, or dig into a crayon box to color Disney Princess books with your three-year-old. Whatever your creative outlet may be: do it! Find the time; it’s there somewhere, just find it!

I spent yesterday evening at my mom’s house, surrounded by a number of my siblings, to spend some creative time together. Getting crafty on your own is fun, but crafting with other minds is such a blessing. In yoga, you experience something so powerful when the entire class is jointly engaged in the mantras or making ridiculous faces together while in lion’s breath. It’s a unity of energy that completely amplifies your experience. I would have to say that painting (or dancing or writing or whatever) with others is such a great practice! You really feed off the creativity of others and there is a quiet encouragement to complete your project and not give into the imperfections crying out at you to stop. We all followed the same tutorial video (Mixed Media Mondays) and our results were entirely different:

Top left: my mom, top right: me, bottom left: my 5-year-old sister, bottom right: my 18-year-old sister

It was a blast to “play” together and see how unique our own creativity is. Best part: I was completely at ease with my life and the stresses of the day. I felt grounded and accomplished.

I really want to encourage everyone to find some time this week (and hopefully every week) to get creative. Find twenty minutes, an hour, any amount of time you can and do something you love! Then, tell me about it. Post a comment or send me a picture of what you did to access some creativity in your life (time to actually make something you’ve pinned on Pinterest)!