Tired of being tired?

Soft Gingersnaps

 One cookie that gets made yearly in our house is gingerbread. I've yet to attempt to create a gingerbread house from this recipe, but I'm eager to try, so maybe next year I will give it a try and see if I can create a house from my recipe. But for simple gingersnaps, this recipe is our all-time favorite. It's a quick recipe that combines the great taste of gingerbread with a snap to them that you get from store-bought gingerbread cookies.

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 7 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 stick cold butter
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tbsp. molasses
  • 2 egg yolks (separated)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Mix dry ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Add butter to mixture, honey, molasses, and one egg yolk. Mix until it forms a dough. I mix with my hands, because it's easier than using a spoon. Mix until smooth. If mixture is too wet, add more flour, if too dry add more honey, or molasses.

Roll globs of dough into a ball, depending on how big you want your cookies to be. Mine are about two tablespoons in size. Place dough balls on cookie sheet and lightly press down just a little bit. Beat remaining egg yok and brush a small amount on top of each cookie and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake for about 10-12 minutes for soft ginger cookies, or 14-15 minutes for harder cookies. Do not overbake.

Ginger is known to help aid in digestion, provide some relief from varicose veins, and reduce inflammation. These cookies can be paired with ginger tea to provide an even more ginger experience. Take freshly grated ginger (1-2 tbsp.) and one cup boiling water. Steep for about 10 minutes. You can add honey, lemon, or even cinnamon to your tea and enjoy up to three cups a day.

Five Simple Things (January 27)


Here are five things this week.

1. These Stamps.

We rarely mail anything anymore, but when we do we make sure to purchase Forever Stamps with meanings. These bring awareness to the struggles behind PTSD and how all mental health issues need to be talked about more without judgement. As someone that struggles with mental health issues, especially PTSD, these stamps make me feel seen and heard. You can get a sheet of these stamps here.

2. This Light.

We went to IKEA this week and I just loved this little mouse nightlight. I've been finding some really cute and interesting lights lately, and adding this one to my collection was a solid.

3. This Box.

Kiwi Eco Box is always a welcome arrival in our house. This month's items are definitely being put to use soon. The bamboo clothes pins, the hand soap, the bottle brush, and the mesh produce bag will all be a great addition to our sustainable household. You can sign up to get on the February mailing list for this monthly subscription here.

4. This View.

On January 23, this week Venus and Saturn lined up with the moon and gave off the brightest views. I've always loved how the moon and planets sit from our view on Earth, but when the planets can be see from our own planet and light up the night sky, that's incredible. What a time to be alive, right?

5. This Dish.

On our Diabolic Evil Discord server we share a lot of random horror topics and pictures, but we also share things from our real life, including food. This week one of my moderators shared this Shepard's Pie recipe and I gave it a shot. It was delicious and definitely something we will be making again in the future. Here's the recipe:

For filling:
  • 1 pound ground beef, cooked
  • 3/4 cup frozen carrots, fresh or canned
  • 3/4 cup corn
  • 3/4 cup green beans
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2-3 mini tomatoes, or Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 small jalapenos, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • Olive oil, enough to coat a medium cast iron skillet
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp. salt (or less to taste)
  • 1/2 tbsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp. garlic salt
  • 1/2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tbsp. paprika
  • 1/4-1/2 cup beef or vegetables broth
Oil pan and on medium high heat add garlic seasoning and vegetables. Cook about 10 minutes before adding the cooked ground beef. Add remaining seasonings and stir. Add broth and cook for about five to six minutes. Turn off heat and set aside. 

For top:
  • 6-8 medium to small potatoes, cleaned and cut into 8tbsp.
  • Half a head of garlic
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • fried onions in a can
Boil potatoes and garlic until fork tender, drain water. Add milk and butter and smash together, or mix in an electric mixer. Mix well to combine everything together. Add salt and pepper and taste the potatoes. If more or less salt and pepper need to be added, add them now and mix once more.

For cooking:
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Spread out meat and vegetable filling evenly into cast iron skillet
  • Cover with mashed potatoes like you're icing a cake.
  • Sprinkle with a bit more pepper.
  • Cook for 10-15 minutes, checking often for spill-over.
  • Sprinkle with fried onions and return to oven.
  • Broil for about 10 minutes for a crisp top.
Serve hot!

One last thing:

This week was Skylar's last week at AutoZone. It was bittersweet, but for his first job outside the household, he learned a lot. Especially, how to deal with the public. He ended up working his way up to management while he was there and turning his key in was a sad moment. I told him that his first job is one he will never forget. Now his path takes him to college and we couldn't be more proud!

Positive affirmations this week:

While going to therapy these last few years, I've also been working with a dietitian. Eating disorders come on and stick with you for a variety of reasons, but with mine it was a form of control and punishment over myself and my body. Being raised in an environment where you're constantly having to live in fight or flight and not having control over your own decisions in a healthy way, you only cope so long before the trauma and abuse hit you. And, what I went through hit me like a freight train hard. I not only developed the absolute worse case of PTSD and CPTSD, I was also hit with a serious eating disorder. Over the course of therapy I came to realize I was only hurting myself and regardless of my past, I do have control of my present and my future. One of the things I've learned is a better relationship with myself. Exercise is no longer a form of punishing myself, but also reasons to love my body and what all it can do, and how strong I really am. I am now on a great path to healing physically and mentally and along the way I learned that exercise is beneficial other than just to lose weight. The image below may help you on your exercise journey. And if you're struggling with an eating disorder, just know that your body is yours. No one else is going to hurt you, but you. Love yourself the way you are and make peace with your past. I promise it does get better and those bad days are just that, one day. It will pass and you will have a fresh new day to start again. You really can do this. We can do this. We are going to be okay.

Have a nice weekend.

Five Simple Things (January 20)


Here are five things this week.

1. These Views.

The sun has been out most of this week and each time I caught a glimpse of it, it seemed so calm and peaceful. Some weeks are tough, but this week has been a good week. These different views reminded me of the good things that are around me. Good things that make me just a bit happier this week and I am grateful for them all.

2. These Shoes.

We went shopping at Natural Grocers (Vitamin Cottage) this week and they had limited edition NOW Brand walking shoes with the Natural Grocers logo on the heel. We grabbed up three pairs, all under $20. I will be honest, these are the most comfortable shoes that I've ever worn. I love my Adidas Cloudfoam running shoes, but these are definitely a close second. These were a special through Natural Grocers, but you can get a pair from the NOW Brand website for about $30 plus shipping cost. Every five pairs of shoes sold during the winter season, Natural Grocers donated a blanket to a local shelter. So, it's a purchase we can feel good about making that will go towards helping someone in need.

3. This Rainbow.

Found this neon rainbow desk light this week and we absolutely love it! You can pick one up here.

4. This Box.

Loving this month's Kinder Beauty Box items. Can not say enough about the Pure'Am facewash. It is my absolute favorite facial product right now. You can sign up for Kinder Beauty here and get 18% off, and get on the mailing list for February.

5. This Raincoat.

Picked up this raincoat for Hardy, but got one size too small. When we were trying it on him, he was hating it, but was a good sport. 

I took it back and got the next size up and he enjoys it a lot now. He especially loves it when it's raining and we take him for a walk, or he goes outside. He hates getting wet, so it's perfect. 

One last thing:

I have been enjoying a breakfast of protein shakes and mix it up from time to time. Recently I've been Switching out between Pumpkin Spice Protein from Orgain, cacao powder, Sunwink Beauty Fruit Punch (Berry Healthy Skin), Vital Proteins, and Orgain Immunity Superfoods, hemp protein, and just added Your Super Super Greens. The Golden Mellow from Your Super I drink at night to help ease my anxiety and help me sleep. 

Positive affirmations this week:
This quote is a great way to remind you that your preparation in life will always be part of your success. If you go into anything unprepared, you will either have a hard time staying on task, or you're going to fail. Always, always go into life's tasks, no matter what they are, prepared as you can be. If a good night's sleep is a must to be on top of your game the following day, prepare yourself for that night's sleep. If studying, or looking over notes is your prep, then do it. Never neglect yourself, and the preparation you need to success. You're only hurting yourself in the end. You can do this!

Have a nice weekend.

Five Simple Things (January 13)

 Hello. Happy Friday the 13th!

Here are five things this week.

1. This Kitchen.

We recently went with this simple kitchen setup for the school bus and are looking for an innovative way to create a kitchen area around it. We have some ideas, but for now, we are pleased with the sink and counter setup on this small kitchenette. You can check out our progress on No Rain the Bus here.

2. This Kaleidoscope.

Ever since I bought this kaleidoscope, it has been taking it on every single road trip and have been finding small amounts of child-like joy using it. Marble kaleidoscopes are some of the best images you'll see with your eyes. I highly recommend this one from Schilling, and you can grab one here for under USD$10.

3. This Doggy.

Always the best doggy ever. Hardy turned 14 in December, but he is still the spunky little PITA, that's full of energy that we love

4. These Electronics.

The absolutely best noise-cancelling headphones I've found. If you're noise-sensitive, like me, or need a tool to help calm your anxiety, I highly recommend these by Raycon. I wear them shopping in busy stores like, Costco, IKEA, etc. I also wear them at the dentist office, checkups, and even working out. They have really helped keep filter out intrusive noises. You can get the exact ones pictured above here. Skylar uses this earbud version of these same Raycons and loves them, too. You can get those here.

These index cards and notebook have helped us save a lot of paper waste. The index cards have come in handy for Skylar and me during our college classes. Taking notes and quick study guides has been a breeze. These are from the Rocketbook brand and come with a cleaning cloth and pen. You can get the notebook here and the index cards here.

Grab us a new bus dash camera. This one mounts on the large rearview mirror on the front of the school bus and we have already been using it. We are hoping to get one that's larger for the back of the school bus, too, but aren't quite sure which style we want to go with. You can find this one and similar ones here.

5. This "Village."

We bought these to color and create a neighborhood scene, but we have been enjoying them just being plain white with the black lines. They are from IKEA.

One last thing:

Looking for some good news in the midst of all the negative? Check out the Good Newspaper. It's a monthly newspaper that helps give you some insight on an old Mr. Rogers quote of, "Look for the helpers." The Good Newspaper definitely helps show us all the helpers in the world. You can sign up here for the low rate of $8.

Positive affirmations this week:

Keep this in mind: If a person is successful, society will notice even the slightest mistake. So remember, mistakes are part of any process, especially successful progress, and what others think of this progress shouldn't dictate your success. I've had people that should be supportive, not supportive at all. It took a lot of time to realize these people were not looking out for my best interest. It hurt to finally realize their intentions were to hold me back, but now that I know, they are kept at a distance, rather than by my side. If you, too have people that aren't rooting for your success, then distance them and keep plugging away! You can do this!

Have a nice weekend.

Five Simple Things (January 6)

 Hello. Happy New Year!

Here are five things this week.

1. This Cheesecake.

  • 2 cups Annie's graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup melted Organic Valley salted butter
  • 4 tablespoons Wholesome sugar
  • 4 (8 ounce) blocks of Organic Valley cream cheese
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons real vanilla (not imitation)
  • 4 organic eggs
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, and sugar together in a bowl. Press into a light-colored a springform pan and set aside. Beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla together on medium speed until combined. Add eggs one at a time until just combined each time. Don't overmix. Pour into graham cracker crust and bake for 50 minutes to one hour, or until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool and remove from rim from pan. Refrigerate at least three hours, or overnight. Serve cool.

2. This Decoration.

Still have a few of our Christmas lights up, but we they will be coming down this weekend. This little tree comes out every year at New Year to mark the end of one year and the bright start of a new one.

3. These Gifts.

Skylar got me these two things for Christmas this year and I loved his thoughtfulness. The car freshener smells like banana and the candle is spot on for coconut scented tanning oil. They are both great gifts! You can grab the candle here, and the car freshener here.

4. This Sundial.

We are mystery deep in Hunt a Killer lately. This latest series is taking us deep into the heart of Louisiana to solve a murder. Each episode has come with some of the coolest items and evidence. Really loving this subscription. You can sign up here and get 30% off your first box from me!

5. These Items.

Loving this week's shipments that came in the mail. To the left is Necessaire. Can't say enough about their products. I even got Skylar to start using them, too and he loves the Eucalyptus Body Wash. You can snag a few of their items here. Mighty Nest's Mighty Fix this month was herb cutting scissors. I've wanted a pair of these for awhile now and I'm so glad they came with this month's fix. You can get a free Mighty Nest fix item here and sign up for the next Mighty Fix for February here

These foaming hand wash tablets, as well as the collagen face masks are from Might Nest, as well. Such great products can be added to your monthly subscription box each shipment. I haven't purchased a lot of things outside the house in a couple of years due to the fact that I just click and add them to my shipment each month and it saves me from having to get them at the store. Not only is it convenient, but it's also all earth-friendly and eco-friendly items that won't harm the planet, my family, or myself. They are products I feel confident about using every day.

Loving my new Bee Kind baseball cap. You can get one here.

Positive affirmations this week:

New year, new positive goals for 2023.

Have a nice weekend.