Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Jaxtastic Life Spring Cleaning 30-Day Challenge - Launches April 1, 2015

Today, I’m excited to announce the first ever Jaxtastic Life Spring Cleaning 30-day Challenge!!!

This isn't your traditional spring cleaning activity where we are cleaning rugs, etc. This spring cleaning focuses on clearing out the clutter.

Clearing out clutter helps you Make Room for the Amazing, a part of creating your YOU-tastic life.
Here’s the best part! YOU get to vote on what clutter “topics” are included in this challenge.

Go to the survey at Jaxtastic Life Spring Cleaning Challenge Topic Survey to rank the topics according to your preference. The top 4 topics will be included in the challenge.

The challenge details will be in the Jaxtastic Life blog.

Optional daily emails will be sent if you opted in when you took the survey or you opt in from the blog.

On April 1, the challenge launches and the work begins.

I look forward to taking on this spring cleaning with you and see what AMAZING shows up.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Blackberries About To Go Bad? Make Easy Cobbler

Beautiful blackberries are available right now at Trader Joe's. For me blackberries are not only a yummy treat but also bring very happy memories of picking wild berries with the family on visits to grandma and grandpa's.

The decision to purchase blackberries this past weekend was more of a sentimental choice than a practical choice. So, before having to throw them away wasting money and then dealing with the guilt of "dishonoring" the happy "wild blackberry picking" memories I decided to take culinary action.

Poured through two cookbooks and about 5 minutes of internet trolling and I found the world's easiest blackberry cobbler recipe on Cooks.com

Recipe from Cooks.com
This anticipated deliciousness is currently in the oven. I'll post an update after the taste test.

At last, the cobber is done!!! It tastes pretty good. It's not the best cobbler I have ever had but it was pretty darn good and I will return to this recipe in the future in the pinch.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Lunch, Books, Journals and a Lenten Discipline Revealed

I didn't wake up today inspired to discover how I was going to observe Lent. Today just to be a normal work day that included a lunch break with a dear friend.

After a lunch at Simmzy's of great food and even better company, I enjoyed the shops of Long Beach's Belmont Shore, also known as 2nd Street.

My first stop was Apostrophe Books. I saw the fabulous display of journals as I walked in and made a mental note to return to them to make a selection because it had been quite a while since I had journaled. 

I strolled around the store and came to the wedding section. Usually I'd pass right by but this is a new era. You see, I got engaged this past Valentine's so I am looking at the world through a different set of lenses. 

The book, Running of the Bride by Rachel Eddey caught my eye as it wasn't the usual shmoopy, shmarmy, sickening wedding stuff that is out there. I grabbed one of the last 2 autographed copies and finished the tour of the store.

I returned to the journals section and made my pick, a Miro Canvas Series notebook. I know it's not the most delicate, pretty or fancy of journals, but it was perfect for my on-the-large-side handwriting style and it just felt right. 

Tonight, I was writing away in my new journal and it felt really good. I was on page 3 of 3 when it hit me. I can take on daily journal entries as my Lenten discipline!!! 

You see, I had been struggling as what to do to observe Lent. I have done the coffee & chocolate thing. I had considered trying out the Weight Watchers Simply Filling plan where you eat Power Foods (lean proteins, fruits, veg etc). It's very close to clean eating and it seemed like a good idea. The thing about good ideas is that if you don't plan/prepare for them, the idea will fail. The "prep work" for journaling is done. I have the journal. 

In the immortal words of Hannibal Smith, "I love it when a plan comes together" even if it happens in unexpected, mysterious ways.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

14 Days Left to Make Donations of Unwanted Items - Get a Receipt

As of December 17, you have 14 more days to donate any items to charity for 2014.

Gather your items, take a picture, write an inventory of the items (your tax person will love you for this) and then take them to your favorite charitable donation drop off center.

DON’T FORGET!!! Ask for a receipt.

It’s better to go sooner than later. Trust me, you don’t want to be at the donation drop off area of any charitable organization on December 31st. It's not pretty.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Address Book Decluttering – The One-Year Rule

 It’s that time of year when people are sending cards to loved ones with holiday greetings. 

Don’t worry if you haven’t already sent your cards. This post isn’t about shaming you into sending cards. I would actually suggest that if you haven’t done it by now, just let it go. Oh, yes, this is an intentional plug for my last post about taking a hard look at your holiday traditions.

Whether you have or haven’t sent the cards, this is a PERFECT time to take stock of your address book, whether it is digital or analog (aka paper). 

To declutter your address book, ask yourself this very simple question… 

“Have I had any communication with this person in the last year?” 

This is such a simple question and yet it is so hard. This isn’t the time to play the guilt/blame game. Dare to be bold and remove the person from your address book. 

By making room in your address book, you can make room for new entries (aka new people in your life) and you might just save some money on buying less holiday cards and stamps next year. 

Want more ideas/thoughts on decluttering your address book? Check out last year’s post on this very topic: “Easy Way to Make Room for the New – Clean Out Your Address Book.”

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Let it Go…Let it Go…a Hard Look at Holiday Traditions

Let it Go…Let it Go…a Hard Look at Holiday Traditions

Make Room for the Amazing in Your YOU-tastic Life

No, I’m not going to channel my inner-Elsa and belt out the entirety of Let It Go. If you need to hear it, you can go here Let It Go – sing-along version or reach out to any 6-year old and they will be happy to sing it for you.

I’m here to challenge you to look at your holiday “traditions” and see what you can give up.

Break out a piece of paper or create an Excel Spreadsheet for my techies and take on the below steps. If you are solo, complete these steps by your self. If you are coupled up or in a family then complete these steps together.
  1. Create 4 columns.
  2. In the first column, list all of the traditions you observe.
  3. In the second column, list why you observe each tradition.
  4. In the third column, list if you are happy about observing each tradition.
  5. FINALLY, for all of the “not happy about” traditions, consider letting them go. 

Be prepared! There will be all sorts of reasons flying around tempting you to keep these traditions:
  • “My nana or mom or grandpa (or whoever) always did this.”
    • Guilt plays a big part in keeping traditions connected to relatives. Having guilt as a motivator does no one any good.
  •  “It won’t be Christmas or winter or Hanukkah (or whatever) if we don’t do this.”
    • Being stressed out fulfilling a tradition you don’t like serves no one. Traditions are meant to celebrate, NOT stress.
  •  “I can’t deprive my kids, family, friends, co-workers, etc.”
    • This is a biggie for bakers. I’m not saying to stop baking. However, if the baking is more stress than pleasure…Let It Go!

 This is YOUR holiday season and YOU get to choose.

Now here’s the trickier, and most important, part of giving up a tradition…don’t add a new tradition in its place.

Enjoy the free time, the reduced stress and the open room for the amazing to show up.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

Happy World Gratitude Day 2014!!!

Today is World Gratitude Day!

For the last 21 days I played with sharing my gratitude each day. This exercise taught me a few things.

First, I had fun playing with what gratitude I shared and what I kept to myself.

Second, I got that it's ok to be grateful about the occasional shallow things like morning lattes or Fridays.

Third, even on the "challenging" days, I could find something for which to be grateful, see #2.

Fourth, people will mock the activity. At first reaction, I took the mocking personally but then I reminded myself that every voice has value. I also got that it wasn't about me.

Fifth, and most eye opening, was that not everyone wanted to play and didn't appreciate getting the suggestion to celebrate or feel gratitude. Again, I let go of taking the feedback personally and honored their voice.

I am thankful for this exercise and what I learned. I am also thankful for all who participated in whatever form was true to them.

Check out www.Gratefulness.org for more history of World Gratitude Day as well as discover ways to experience and express your gratitude.

Enjoy World Gratitude day. May you find an abundance of opportunites to feel and express your gratitude today and always.