Pizza!

October is National Pizza month in the USA.  Pizzas of all kinds are favored around the world.  Pizza is great for family Friday, whether you’re making homemade pizza together or just eating pizza together.  Enjoy today’s post about pizza facts, history and recipes you can make with your family!

Trivia & information:

Some interesting facts about pizza and pizza eaters.

Books! A great selection of pizza related books for teachers.

Pizza Today: A magazine all about pizza

Pizzaware.com: a great source of information, recipes, facts and world pizza news.

Recipes:

Food Network’s collection of pizza dough, Italian pizza, dessert pizza, breakfast pizza and more!

Recipe Pizza with lots of pizza dough, sauces, topping ideas and more

Great Pizza Recipes.com with a surprising selection of pizza recipes

Sandy and Sue present a few unique pizza ideas (search “pizza”)

Share your favorite pizza recipes, toppings and restaurants below!

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The truth about dressing up

Halloween is rapidly approaching!  The kids and adults are purchasing or creating their costumes for Halloween parties, trick-or-treating and more.  Halloween is a great time to pretend to be someone you’ve always wanted to be or fantasized about.  However, the dressing up of Halloween holds truth about our lives: so many people are living lives while wishing they could be someone else.

Life isn’t about hiding behind the person you’re pretending to be, pretending to be someone to make someone else happy or living something other than your dreams.  In this century full of changes, transformations, and open, honest people, you can be the person you feel like you are inside.  If that’s too bold or scary for you, you can certainly try on a few “hats” and see what really fits you best.

So, in this time of trying on costumes and pretending to be  someone else, I encourage you to try on a different life, try on a different job, try eating something different, try on a different attitude, and try on a different outlook in life.  Maybe you won’t actually like what you thought you wanted to be, but you’ll find something you like better while you’re making changes.

Sure it may seem difficult, or even a little scary.  But life is full of changes.  You can choose to be who you want to be or continue dressing up in a costume that just isn’t you.

Have you made a life change or a job change?  What were your experiences?  I encourage you to share your thoughts, experiences and feelings.

 

Organizing and Computers

Computers are great! I absolutely love them and they do greatly benefit our lives.  However, there are some challenges we’re discovering now with the abundance of internet, increasing storage space and demand of speed.  Today, we’ve got 2 things to talk about in regards to computers and organization.

First let’s talk about how we can use computers in our organizing.  Computers are a great way to create and update lists.  For example, it’s easy to create a list of foods in your pantry, update it as you eat items and know what you need to buy or what you didn’t like.  Second, it’s easy to make labels that young ones can read or put pictures on labels for the really young so they can help you do the organizing in the house (or at least their room).  Also, while you’re creating lists, you can create a list of your valuables and store it on a flash drive or storage site on the internet so you can access it should something happen.  Organizing your business files on computers is necessary and saves trees too!  Put those client lists, product descriptions, information about your suppliers, financial information and other important information that help you run your business in easy to find files.

Second, let’s talk about organizing on computers.  Computers are quickly becoming stockpiles of information that we have more difficulty navigating.  The more precise labeling you can do on your computer the easier it will be for you to find things.  This includes the infamous email inbox.  Don’t let files stay in your inbox.  Have designated folders in your email where you can store things so you can quickly find them when you need them.

If you’re just getting started using your computer to help you organize, or organizing on your computer, it can seem overwhelming.  Decide to devote 10 minutes a day to doing both activities and in a month or few months time you will have your computer files helping you organize your house and your computer files will be neatly organized so you can find anything you need.

Share your thoughts, comments and questions below!

Fear and Relationships

How are your relationships right now?  Are you in a fight?  Have you just broken up with your significant other?  Wishing you could see family members more?  Relationships do make the world go ’round, yet they are notoriously difficult to manage and work in.  On another blog of mine, I shared on Friday about fears we experience when we communicate.  It’s a great introduction and tie-in to our conversation about fears and relationships today.

Whether you’re getting into a new relationship, ending one, or in between, fears abound in relationships.  We have fears about being honest about who we are and what we like.  We have fears that we won’t be accepted and loved if we don’t go along with someone or something.  We fear that it might be our last chance at love so we should do everything we can to keep things going.  So what can and should we do when we face a fear in ourselves or our relationships?

1: don’t ignore it or pretend it’s not there.  Take a brief look at the fear.  Try to discover why it has appeared in your life and what it could be triggered from.  Think about past experiences and people who may have a connection to the fear.  Sometimes fears are irrational, and other times it is our mind or body attempting to protect us from something potentially dangerous.

2: don’t dwell on it.  Yes, take a look and try to understand what your fear is about or attempting to protect you from, but the longer you dwell on it, the more real it will become to you and harder it will be to release.

3: talk with someone.  You don’t have to share all about the stuff that happened in the past, just share with your partner or friend that you’re struggling with a fear, and a little about the fear.  By telling them about your fear, they can be more sensitive about their actions and words to help, and may even be able to help you work through the fear.

Fear and relationships are both deep subjects with many complications.  There is no simple answers to working through fears and relationships, but through open, honest, trusting communication, we can begin to reduce fears and improve relationships.  Share your thoughts, questions and comments below!

Uncovering Life Purpose

We were each given a life, and with that life, a purpose.  It isn’t always easy to understand our purpose or know how to live out that purpose.  Discovering your purpose could be the easiest or the hardest thing you’ve ever done.

Before we go any further, let’s check the dictionary for a definition of purpose: The reason for which something exists or is done, made, used, etc..  This is a really simple definition but I think it works really well for today’s purposes.

There are many ways to discover your purpose, or reason for existence.  Today I’m sharing one process that you can follow to begin to discover your purpose.

1-Make a list of things you enjoy doing (as many as you can think of, the more the better, even little things like drinking coffee or filing papers at work (at least 30)).

2-Have a friend or two make lists of things you are good at.

3-Compare the lists and make another list that lists both what you enjoy and what your friend(s) say you are good at.

4-Star those you already do during your weekly and daily activities.

5-Think of ways you can incorporate your top 3, unstarred items, on that list into your life and activities this week.

As you look at the items you starred, as well as your top 3 unstarred items, these will help you connect the dots towards your purpose.  So let’s say that you enjoy cleaning up after your kids, filing papers at work, listening to and helping people.  Part of your life purpose may be to help people organize their lives and homes/businesses.  When you bring together other areas of your purpose, you will be able to write a short paragraph that cohesively combines the things you are good at and things you have a passion for, as well as who you are as a person. If you Google “life purpose statements” you will find several pages with some examples of people’s life purpose statements could also help you get started on yours.

Share your life purpose statements, or ask questions below.

Giving Up or Going Forward

Have you sat at your desk recently and wondered what you were supposed to be doing or how you were going to get what you wanted done?  Have you secretly wondered if it was worth the effort?  Are you thinking about giving up?  Before you give up, let me share with you a quote from Chris Howard.  On a recent seminar, as well in some of his live events and programs, he talked about working with your existing businesses and with your goals.  One statement he said really caught my attention.  He said “Step inside your goal.”

If you’re feeling like quitting, wait.  First take a moment and sit quietly.  Then bring your end result, your goal, your desires to mind.  How do you feel as you think about it?  Do you feel slightly intimidated, very excited and warm inside?  Do you feel tired, cold and unmotivated?  What do you feel?

If you feel emotions along the lines of the first description, even if you’re feeling frustrated currently, you’re probably going in the right direction. You may not know all the details of how you’re going to achieve your goals and desires, but your goal should give you some empowerment and encouragement that will help you figure out the details on the way.  Don’t give up on your dream, there are great things ahead for you.

If you feel more along the lines of the second one, it may be time to take a break and reevaluate your goals and/or the plans you have made that you think will bring you to your goal or desire.  You may not really want what you established as your goal anymore.  You may have moved into a different area of life that you now have a new goal.  If you still want to achieve that goal, consulting a coach or business adviser could help you gain the clarity and passion you’re missing.

Don’t give up yet, you could be right around the corner of a breakthrough.  Share below how it felt to “Step inside your goal!”

Pumpkin Carving

A great fall activity for the whole family is pumpkin carving!

Several great resources with carving ideas:

-Google “pumpkin carving” and check out the images that come up (parents, don’t do this with your kids, some pumpkins are very graphic!)

-DLTK’s Pumpkin Carving page, with ideas (scroll down) and how-to help. (very kid friendly!)

Carving pumpkins.com has some more advanced, traditional, and a few kid-friendly ideas.

Family Fun features many great ideas and tips for pumpkin carving.

Pumpkin Glow has some non-traditional ideas.

World Wild Life’s ideas for animal pumpkin carvings and more

Decorating with pumpkins:

Good Housekeeping ideas for decorating with pumpkins.

Sunset shares some simple fall decorating ideas.

Pumpkin seed recipes:

Here’s a very simple recipe for roasted pumpkin seeds (there are more complicated and involved ones too)

Share your pumpkin carving pictures and favorite pumpkin memories below 🙂

You’re Important!

Everybody has responsibilities, obligations and people requesting their time.  As a result, we often ignore our own needs and desires.  One of the courses available on my website is about 10 things you should be doing daily that will help you balance your life and accomplish what your goals.  One of those 10 things is about spending time on yourself every day.  If you’re ready to start feeling fulfilled, feel less stress or be more present in your daily activities, incorporate one, or some, of the suggestions below.

1- yoga

2- listen to your favorite music

3- walk/exercise

4- meditate

5- read something other than the newspaper, like a fiction book

6- eat your favorite food or snack

7- nap

8-  do something creative like writing, painting, scrapbooking, crafts, sewing, quilting etc

9- spend time playing with your pet

10- get coffee/tea from local coffee shop

11- write or read a blog or two

12- cleaning or organizing if you enjoy it

13- call a friend or family member to catch up

14- spend time in nature

15- ask your partner to give you a massage

16- take a long, hot bath or shower

To learn more, click here and scroll down about 2/3 of the page to my “10 Daily Habits” course and other courses and programs I offer.  Share your favorite “you time” activity below!

Get Organized!

The first week of October (this year celebrated the 4th – 11th) is known as National Get Organized week in the USA.  So for this post, I’m going to talk about the 3 most cluttered areas of your house, and an easy tip or two to deal with the clutter in each area.

Kitchen: Kitchens have become the central hub for many homes.  We eat, work, talk, play, do homework and more there.  So it’s no surprise that they have become clutter central.  As easy as it is to leave whatever mess until tomorrow, don’t.  Take time each day to do a little cleanup so you’re not stressed when you walk in there the next morning.  Also, as much as possible, put things that don’t belong in the kitchen where they really belong.  It’s great that there is a place for the whole family to be together, but encourage everyone to help clean up at the end of the day.

Clothes closet:  This is one of the most intimidating areas for most people.  They just don’t know what to do with all their clothes, shoes and other items in their closet.  First, make sure that it all fits you, or realistically could fit you.  If you’re holding onto something from childhood that doesn’t fit you and won’t fit your kids, donate it.  Another great suggestion is to use the under-the-bed boxes that college students use to store your off-season clothes (or shoes) that you won’t be wearing anytime soon.

Kids Playroom: It’s great to have a room to keep all the kids toys, but even if you are lucky enough to have a room just for their toys, it can get overwhelming.  Have some pretty painted shelves to store books and some toys on.  Also, have some higher shelves, or shelves in a closet or the garage, to store half of their toys.  By rotating in and out toys, you’ll keep the kids guessing and their toys won’t get old or boring to them as quickly.  This will also reduce the number of toys for you/them to trip over.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, contact an organizer in your area to assist you.  What one room will you start your organizing quest in? (share below)

Apple Picking Family Style

What better activity to do in the fall as a family than go apple picking!   You can watch your kids run up and down the paths around the apple trees, drink some cider together and eat yummy fresh apples.  Going apple picking is great for all ages too.  Let’s take a look at 4 great reasons to go apple picking this fall with your family.

Apple picking is an easy way to get some exercise and be outside.  Whether you’re an outdoor family or not, apple picking is an easy way to get the whole family together for some outdoor exercise.  It’s not too much, though, that you wouldn’t be able to do it with some of the youngest and oldest members of your family.

By going to the orchard to pick your own apples, each family member has a choice of what apple they want to pick.  No fighting in the supermarket, instead you can all pick what you want!  It’s also a great opportunity to try new flavors of apples you haven’t had before.

Orchards are relatively close to most people, so we’re not talking about a big time commitment or big expense.  You can visit the orchard for part of a Saturday or Sunday and still have time leftover to do things like homework and housework later that afternoon, or earlier in the morning.  As far as cost goes, some PYO (pick your own) farms charge as little as $0.60 per pound.

Visiting the apple orchard is fun!  It’s not a traditional activity for most families, unless you’ve grown up on or very near a farm.  It’s a great opportunity to show kids where the apples really come from and to give them the experience of picking their own food.  The fun can continue once you get home (or in the car) eating what you’ve picked and baking lots of great snacks and desserts.

Two great resources for apple picking are the Pick Your Own website and Local Harvest website.

Share your apple picking memories with your family, and orchards you love to visit below!