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Hulu Binge Watching

I have this habit, let's not call it a bad habit. But, it has to do with movies and tv shows.
Typically, I miss the boat or maybe even rebel a little when a show or movie is popular.

I was late to Hogwarts, the Hunger Games, and even Twilight. I didn't watch Pretty Little Liars until it was in one of the last seasons. But once I discovered these I became thoroughly engrossed and binge watched everything I could. So what's my latest binge worthy show?

Veronica Mars.

I can't even begin to tell you how hooked I have become on this show. How hooked, you ask? So hooked that I have watched ALL 72 episodes and the movie in just over a weeks time. And, now what? Do I rewatch them all? Write fan fiction? Pretend that Rob Thomas didn't just rip my heart out?

I feel like a teenage girl. I'm probably a sap and that's okay but I will admit that I cried during the last episode. Like full on actual tears.

Yes, we're in the middle of a pandemic and my hormones are probably off. Life just seems crazy right now so I'm not gonna beat myself up over the fact that I cried over a tv show. Heck, maybe I needed to cry.

Me and Anxiety

Looking back I've had some form of anxiety most of my life. 
That's hard to type for some reason.
I've learned to accept a lot of my other life experiences but this one seems especially hard sometimes. It's affected me in ways I probably don't even realize to this day. It can be hard to explain to other people. I've heard the following comments, "What are you feeling anxious about?" Everything and nothing at the same time. I saw the following image on Facebook and related to it.

At this point, it's hard to determine what threads of my personality are me and what threads are anxiety-based. I think many other people with anxiety might struggle with this.
That's why I am going to start sharing my struggles more.
Once we see we aren't alone, we start feeling a whole lot better.
At least, I do.

Quote of the Day: Moving On

It's easy to say we are over something. An emotion. A fight. Abuse. Addiction. It is easy to say and so much harder to live out. Moving on without dealing with it is impossible. Part of our soul stays stuck. Immovable in its grief. We may not recognize it for years but then it pops up again out of the blue. 

It's so much worse for people who stuff things inside. Are you like that? I know I am. I stuff. I say I'm fine. I try to make myself believe it. In the end, usually after a binge, I realize the truth. Why do I stuff things down inside as if I can't handle it? Oh wait, I know this one. It's because I am trying to deal with it all by myself instead of entrusting it to the One who can not only handle it but take it completely from me. 

Getting beyond something requires thinking, feeling, and prayer. It comes with understanding what we felt and why as well as why that feeling doesn't need to be with us anymore.

Is there anything you are struggling with moving past?

How to Help Those Impacted by the California Fires

I think most people have heard about the California fires at this point. It is devastating to think about losing your home, belongings, pets, family members in this way. The massive Camp Fire has left a path of destruction in its wake through the devastated community of Paradise. And, in Southern California, the Woosley and Hill fires are raging, with nearly 20,000 acres burned and thousands of people forced to evacuate.

I read an update for the Camp Fire and it stated:

9 confirmed dead. Over 6,453 residences destroyed, 263 businesses burned, 52,000 people evacuated, 1,500 people at the shelters. 90,000 acres burned at 5% contained. The Camp Fire is now the most destructive fire in California history. RED FLAG WARNING for Saturday night through Monday. Winds are expected to be at 30-50 mph again making for ideal fire conditions. 

It's heartbreaking to see such loss.I'm praying for the containment of this fire and for those affected. But more than prayers, which I wholeheartedly believe in, I wanted to look for other ways to help. So, I compiled this list in the hopes that others would link arms and join me! Please share with others to spread the word and let me know if there are other means to help.

To Donate:

GoFundMe has compiled a list of verified campaigns that are backed by the GoFundMe guarantee.

The Salvation Army has its own hotline number 1-800-SAL-ARMY. If you call, you can designate your donation to Camp Fire aid.

United Way of Northern California (UWNC) on Friday announced the creation of the NorCal Disaster Relief Fund to aid victims of the Camp Fire. To make a donation, text BUTTEFIRE to 91999 or click the link below.

You can make a monetary donation to the American Red Cross by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. You can also click the link below for information on volunteering.

The Post Where I Cram A Bunch of Info into One Update

Ever since we moved back from Wyoming, we've been living in an apartment. Honestly, I haven't had to live in an apartment setting in YEARS and it's quite an adjustment. I have had to come face to face with the fact that not everybody wants to be what I consider to be a good neighbor and I just have to deal with that. And I am but sometimes it's not easy but it's life.

There has been so much going on since we moved back to sunny Arizona. We are no longer homeschooling. That's right, she is in fourth grade at our local public school. I love her school and am thankful she's had great teachers so far! 

Speaking of our kiddo, she's ten now and growing up so fast. She is in orchestra (viola anyone?) and choir as well as a drawing class. She is especially fond of drawing. I thank my niece for her awesome influence in that.

And, what am I doing with all my free time you might ask? I have a part-time job! I've been working at Scrapbook.com in their warehouse and I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed being in such close proximity to all their beautiful products. Haha, and no, this is not sponsored.

My goal is to get back to blogging in a more consistent way because I truly love talking with you here about life. 

So, what's new with you?

How to Keep Your Kids Busy This Summer

Summer is officially here! The kids are going to be home much more now, and the last thing you want to hear are those all-too familiar words: “I’m bored”. A child’s boredom is too often easily quelled by letting them play with a tablet or video games, but it’s important to help them stay active, entertained, and enjoying the wonderful summer weather.

Plant a Garden
One of the easiest ways to keep your kids busy during the summer is to help them plant and tend to a garden. It is something that they can return to and keep up with over the entire summer, and they will love seeing the plants that they helped nurture and grow themselves. Since they aren’t in school, an activity that allows them to learn new skills will keeps their brains active, and it will give them a green thumb that they can look forward to using every summer. If they plant a vegetable garden, they will be excited to enjoy delicious food that sprouted in their own backyard thanks to their help.

Train Little Chefs
Summer is marked with graduation parties, family reunions, 4th of July celebrations, and backyard barbecues, so when it comes to this season, there is going to be lots of food to enjoy. Let the kids take part in making their own summer snacks and treats for another activity that will keep them occupied but also help them learn new skills that they can apply as they grow up! Healthy wraps and sandwiches (made with those homegrown vegetables) and fruit salads are easy to make, and chips with homemade salsa or guacamole is something simple to prepare and enjoy.  They can also cool off with homemade popsicles for dessert, or just as a snack on a hot and sunny day!

Turn a Rainy Day into a Reel Good Time
Throughout the summer you will want to get the kids outside as often as possible, but some days are going to be rainy and gloomy. When stuck indoors, use the opportunity to set up a fun movie day for the kids! Pop some of their favorite popcorn, let them cozy up with pillows and blankets, pop in a favorite DVD and let them enjoy a relaxing pajamas day. If you want to have reassurance that they have access to wholesome and Christian content, Pure Flix offers a large variety of movies, shows, and educational programming. If they want to “binge” safely on a rainy day, look no further!

Garage Sale

A creative way to keep kids busy is to plan a big family garage sale later in the summer. The kids can spend the summer months deciding what toys and clothes they aren’t using anymore and might want to sell to get rid of any clutter they have around the house! When the garage sale day comes, the kids can participate in a garage sale staple if they want and can sell refreshing lemonade to customers. When they start to make money from their item sales, they will feel like little entrepreneurs!

Musical Monday: Orla Gartland

Music has long been a guilty pleasure of mine. I especially love discovering new singer/songwriters on Youtube. There is an abundance of wonderful musicians but occasionally you find ones that you cannot get out of your head. Here is one of my favorites, Orla Gartland. She posts both covers and originals. This song is her most recent called 'I Go Crazy'. Please enjoy and show her love by clicking through to Youtube and subscribing to her channel!

I Feel Pretty - Arrives on Digital July 3 and on Blu-ray & DVD July 17

I Feel Pretty is a self-help book disguised as a comedy film. Okay, not really but it is a comedy with a very good message. The movie which released in theaters in April 2018 is filled with an all-star comedic cast including Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams, Rory Scovel, Busy Philipps, Aidy Bryant, Emily Ratajkowski and Naomi Campbell.

An ordinary woman who struggles with feelings of insecurity and inadequacy on a daily basis wakes from a fall believing she is suddenly the most beautiful and capable woman on the planet.

I know most women struggle with insecurities about themselves and the desire to change or be "more beautiful" but I really wish that it were possible that all of us would have the belief in ourselves that we are beautiful exactly as we are and that our improvements should not be directed in the area of beauty on the outside but on the inside. Cheesy? Yes, I'm sure it is but I still wish it were so.

I Feel Pretty releases on Digital July 3 and on Blu-ray & DVD July 17. Be sure to get a copy and have a fun girl's night in with your closest gal pals!

Rainy Days and Wednesdays

One thing I loved about Wyoming was that you never knew what type of weather you'd have when you woke up. It could be snowy, windy, rainy, sunny, or a combo of the above. And that's not even mentioning freezing snow or hail. Arizona is more stable. Sun, sun, and more sun is usually in the forecast unless it's Monsoon season. So, I have to say days like today are extremely welcome to me.

I sat on the bed with no other noise except the sound of water splish-splashing outside. The window was open and the cool air wafted in regularly. In short, it was perfect napping weather. It was drizzly all day long and I loved every moment. Well, not so much the ones where I begged the dog to go to the bathroom outside but overall I loved the day.

Keto Chicken Spinach Artichoke Dip Casserole

The other day I was sitting there staring down a package of chicken breasts willing them to cook themselves. I'm kidding, kind of. But, you know food ruts are real and sometimes this momma just doesn't want to make the same thing one more time. So, I came up with this idea to combine Spinach Artichoke Dip with Chicken.

Keto Chicken Spinach Artichoke Dip Casserole

8 servings/3 net carbs per serving

1 lb chicken breast, diced
12 oz marinated artichoke hearts, chopped
10 oz chopped spinach
1 c. diced zucchini
1/2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. mayo
8 oz cream cheese
1 c. mozzarella (+more to sprinkle on top)
1/4 c. parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Cook chicken until browned on all sides but not completely cooked through. 
  • Cook spinach in microwave until softened then squeeze all juice out.
  • Add chicken, spinach, chopped artichoke hearts, and zucchini to a 9x13 pan. 
  • Soften cream cheese then add with mayo, sour cream,parmesan,  and mozzarella to a bowl. Mix until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Combine with the chicken mixture. 
  • Sprinkle more mozzarella on top before baking. 
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until done.

This is a creamy, filling meal. If you like Spinach Artichoke Dip you will love this one. We certainly did! The numbers change depending on the ingredient brands you use and the amount of mozzarella you put on the top. My numbers are below.

Per Serving
Calories 360
Fat 28 g
Total Carb 4 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Protein 23 g

5 Reasons New Year's Resolutions Will Fail

With New Year 2018 just behind us, some of you might be thinking about resolutions. Most people resolve to stop doing something like smoking or start working out. I've been there. Well, I don't smoke but I mean resolving to make changes. There is nothing wrong with that. Heck, I made the resolution in October to change the way I was eating and break food addiction using the Ketogenic way of eating. With God's strength, I am succeeding at this goal.

What makes me nervous about New Year's resolutions specifically is the fact that most people will not stick with them. I saw a statistic recently that said only 8% of people who make a New Year's resolution will still be sticking with it by the end of the year. Eight freaking percent. So, it made me wonder. Why do people give up on eating healthier? Why have I failed in the past?

1. Not prepping for life.

Huh? How do you prep for life anyway? Well, what I mean by this is thinking ahead for what could or will be happening. I am very deliberate now in making sure I plan to eat well. If I am doing something I plan out what I might be able to eat. If there's nothing, I either eat beforehand or bring something with me. It takes more thought but it saves me every time.

2. Haven't dealt with the past.

We all have some sort of baggage from our past. Some of us, have more than others. I truly believe that the pain we've experienced can be a huge blessing because it helps us help others. That being said, we need to deal with the things that try to destroy us or we will never be in a healthy place. I truly recommend Celebrate Recovery, if you have one near you. It sounds scary but it's not just for people with addictions to drugs or alcohol. It's for any type of struggle or hang up.

3. No support team.

If you can't find support in your family or friends, make some new friends! Find a support group or even a Facebook support group. Even though I have tons of support in my family or friends, I'm part of several on Facebook including one specifically for Keto-ers. It is so helpful!

4. Never putting yourself on the to-do list.

I wouldn't say "put yourself first" because I think that attitude can be selfish and destructive. I would say, don't forget about yourself. You have value. You matter too. Take the time to take care of yourself.

5. Being afraid of change.

Life is change. That's what they say but change can be scary. The unknown has always made me tremble a bit. I struggle with being a control freak if you can't tell. It's stressful and I don't want to live the rest of my life that way. So, I had to make a conscious decision to step outside of what I'm comfortable with and let it happen for my own good.

I say all this not to discourage you but to spur you on toward reaching your goals. You can do it!