Posted in Planning

Start Today Journal: A Preview

I’m a sucker for new post-it notes, new pens and markers….new journals….and I recently managed to snag a Start Today Journal c/o one fabulous Ms. Rachel Hollis and I want to tell you all about it!

The first run of this journal came in 3 patterns (brushed gold, tortoise shell and Hope is Not a Strategy) and is currently sold out. 200,000+ people trying to purchase 4,000 journals literally broke the internet on October 12, 2018. I feel like it’ll be a Jeopardy question one day, so make a mental note. Rachel and Dave (her husband) assure us that more journals with new covers are coming. Can’t wait!

While we wait on for the next editions of this journal, I’ll tell you about the awesomeness you will find right out of the box.

Can I first start by saying that if you haven’t heard of Rachel Hollis or haven’t listened to her RISE podcast then check her out. She has a down to earth, no-nonsense way of approaching life that I find refreshing. We really could be BFFs if she knew I existed, but back to the journal….

On the first page (after the cover page) you and Rachel are BFFs. Bonus! In the next several pages Rachel shares with us the process she used for years to be intentional in creating the empire she oversees today. Taking her 10, 10, 1 approach she walks you through an exercise of writing with emphatic intention where you want to be in 10 years, 10  dreams you will accomplish and 1 goal that will get you to that 10 year version of yourself the fastest. Recently on the RISE Together podcast, Rachel posted her keynote speech. In that talk she walked audience members through a visualization exercise much like she’s walks you through at the beginning of this journal. I’d encourage you to find that episode from September 26, 2018 and listen to it before you start this journal. Lord knows there is nothing worse than getting a fresh new journal and feel like you ruined it from the start. The worst!

Once you have your 10, 10, 1 exercise done Rachel gives you more than 100 pages (136 to be exact) of daily templates you use to write down 5 things your grateful for, those 10 dreams that you WILL make happen, and the 1 goal you’re focused on right now. That goal can be the same every day until you realize it, or it can change as you learn something new about that goal that may cause you to break it down into smaller goals, or you find that you don’t need to accomplish that goal at all, in which case you will revisit your dreams and identify a new goal to focus on. The intent is to stay focused on the goal as long as it takes for you begin to live those dreams you set for yourself once upon a time. I’ll also add that starting every day from a perspective of gratitude is powerful. I’ve been practicing this attitude of gratitude for 28 days as part of Rachel and Dave’s Last 90 Days challenge and rather than dreading what I need to do that day or the next day, I’ve been focusing on what and who I’m thankful for and I find I get so much more done when the intention is set on being grateful rather than feeling obligated.

At $24 per journal (that was the launch price in October 2018) I’d encourage you to add this gem to your toolbox and buy one for a friend. If you don’t have the $24 just know that you can use any ol’ piece of paper or notebook you have lying around to start this process. There are images of the journal’s insides on Instagram (link above). Just start the process. Meant to be so much more intentional than a running to do list that can seem trite and overwhelming. It takes you out of the day-to-day churn of life and gets you really focused on the bigger picture of who you want to be and what you need to do to get there.

Posted in Food

Chicken n’ Dumplins: From my heart to yours

Have you ever heard of chicken n’ dumplin’s? Not “dumplings” but “dumplins.” Its an entire meal in a bowl and it’s so good. I could make them and eat them multiple times each week, and they are so much better days after they are first made. They are an inexpensive staple in my family’s diet and one that I grew up eating all the time. I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to dumplins too. Don’t cut up frozen or refrigerated biscuits and try to pass them off to me as dumplins. Those are biscuits. BIG difference.

I come from a lineage of cooks that cook by feel and taste much like a pianist learns to play by ear. Sidebar: When my mom died a friend of our family created a cookbook for my sister and I of my mom and her mom’s (my grandma) recipes. I still have that binder of recipes and it cracks me up because most every recipe is incomplete. They include things like “Flour” not how much, not what type, just flour. Same with shortening, butter, salt, etc. It’s just like the women on my mom’s side of the family. They make food that comforts the soul. You know the foods you think about from your childhood that you crave when you’ve had a less than stellar day. There is no recipe because their food comes from their heart. Sure, there is a list of ingredients, but perhaps they thought you needed a little more sugar that day, or those biscuits needed to rise a little bit higher. Their food was meant to feed more than just the physical and I’m so glad I have their example to draw from as I feed those closest to me.

I’ve been asked repeatedly for my recipe, but I just don’t have one. The few times I attempted to put my recipe on paper I felt like I was cheating the recipient because I didn’t really know if my recipe made sense or if the process would result in my version of this dish. It’s so hard to pen a recipe for a food that is a part of who you are. Making chicken n’ dumplins is like an involuntary reaction – much like me trying to write directions on how I breathe. Impossible. So, in an effort to put a recipe out there that I know will work I created my very first video blog and I’ll walk you from beginning to end. The entire process of making my family’s version of chicken n’ dumplins.

Link: Video Blog – Chicken n’ Dumplins

What you’ll need:

2-4 hours depending on if you are boiling your own chicken or buying a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. I prefer boiling my own chicken when time allows, but I’ve done both and both are good.

A large pot, a long handled spatula, a butter knife and rolling pin.

3-4 cups of all purpose flour, 6-8 tbsp. of shortening, salt and pepper to taste, 32 oz of chicken broth, water, 1 can cream of chicken soup, 3-4 bay leaves, ice water.

I hope you make these and love them just as much as I do. If you do make them, please leave me a message and let me know what you think. Enjoy!