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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

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July 18, 2019

Happy National Ice Cream Month

The year was 1984. President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of July as National Ice Cream Day. This ye

July 11, 2019

How to Bok Choy

Summer is adventure time. With the abundance of various fruits and vegetables available at grocery stores and farmers markets, there is no reason to b

July 4, 2019

Relax and Enjoy

Welcome to the dog days of summer and simple eating. Unlike winter, when those crock pot soups and stews hit the spot, we are now in the season of lig

June 27, 2019

Atomic Habits

My current summer (now that it’s official!) read is “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. I’m working on improving a few of mine—slowly—one at a

June 13, 2019

Ten of My Best Tips

Q. What to blog about when I have too many ideas flying around my brain and I simply am not able to choose? A. Tips that cover a variety of topics, wi

June 6, 2019

The Joys of June…and Strawberries

Along with June come some fun celebrations. Besides the new season of life celebrated by many graduates (and parents, now free of tuition payments), a

May 30, 2019

Avocado Toast

Shake up your morning and your taste buds with an order of avocado toast. I’ve seen this on some menus, and it’s a quick and easy dish to make at

May 23, 2019

Float Your Troubles Away

There are many ways to improve your state of mind and health that have nothing to do with food. Floating is one of them. Floating therapy is the relax

May 16, 2019

Fitness Made Simple

When you boil it all down, getting fit is really very simple. Here’s the secret: Create a habit that leads you in the direction of improving your he

May 9, 2019

I Ate Raw Cookie Dough

As I was making a batch of gluten free chocolate chip cookies, I caught myself swiping my finger along the inside of the bowl. I then proceeded to lic

Celebrating the Birth Month

I love birthdays! It matters not which one I happen to be celebrating, as they are all a gift.  As each year passes, I find that I treasure each one more than the last, hence my “birth month” celebrations. That and the fact that many people love to send birthday wishes and feel bad when they miss the day. No worries when you have a month…unless the month is February.

As a quick review, the majority of months have either 30 or 31 days. For whatever reason, February got the short straw, with 28 days–29 on a good year. (And don’t we feel really sad for those folks born on February 29th?) Doesn’t it figure I showed up in the midst of winter and in the shortest calendar month?

When I turned 50, my family and friends surprised me with a party during my birth month but after my birthday. On the wall was a HUGE sign that read “Happy Birth Month, Carol!” What fun! Others had finally accepted my philosophy in writing.

The question was posed as to when I began my month-long celebration, since February is a few days short. Is it 31 days prior to, or following my day? To which I replied, “Yes.”

Next time you have a birthday, give the birth month celebration a try. Let me know what you think and if you would do it again. You always have the option of going back to the one-day deal. As for me, I am now lobbying for the birth year…

“God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.”  Voltaire

Because it’s Always Something

So many times in life we think, “If I can just get through this crisis, or away from this job, or away from this person,” everything would be great! Right? Not so much.

We have heard the phrase many times, “It’s always something!” and it is. Whether it’s about our health, relationships, finances, career– there will always be trouble brewing somewhere.

It is in the midst of difficulty that we decide on the attitude with which we face the music. We can learn to do the dance, or stand on the side of the gym. We can be the light that helps others find their way in the dark, or wander without hope. We can bloom where we are planted, or stay stuck in the dirt.

The good news is that we have a choice. (I wrote a poem about that years ago—check out My Poetry page!) We are all connected, so our positive -or negative- outlook will affect everyone around us. Perhaps your co-worker or neighbor is facing some tougher stuff than you.

Think about it next time everything (or even one thing) seems to be a mess. Be brave. Do the dance. Be the light. Bloom in your glory. The people around you will receive a great gift and you will feel amazing!

“Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:15-16 NIV

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread

When you are looking for a special pumpkin treat on the healthier side, this is perfect!

  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Combine coconut flour, spices and baking powder.  In a separate bowl, combine all remaining ingredients except nuts and chocolate chips until well blended.  Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and blend well.  If you wish,  fold in the nuts and/or chocolate chips until evenly blended.  Grease a loaf pan with coconut or olive oil and add the batter.  Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool and remove from pan.

 

Why We Need to Retreat

Retreat:  a period of withdrawal from worldly activities for prayer and meditation;  withdrawal into privacy or seclusion, a place for this. (Oxford American Dictionary)

One of my earliest memories of taking retreat is from my college days, as a Delta Gamma pledge going on “walk-out.”  My pledge class left campus one Friday afternoon to go somewhere secret and spend the weekend together.  Our pledge trainer came with, along with a couple other active members we deemed worthy.  We had a blast.  Of course, we had some fraternity education that was supposed to prepare us to become full-fledged members, but what I remember most was the camaraderie and unity we felt as we cocooned from the world.  Oh, and lots of great food!

In the days since then, I have been on an engaged couples retreat, Cursillo retreats, girlfriend getaway retreats, spa weekend retreat, one-day spiritual retreats, and business women retreats.  My most recent retreat was with about twenty business women at a camp located near the snowy Dunes of Michigan.  What a special gift to spend the bulk of an entire winter weekend learning from some of the best leaders and spirited entrepreneurs in Northwest Indiana.

As is typical of retreats, new friendships were cultivated that would have otherwise never had an opportunity to begin.  The practicality of spending the time necessary to really get to know these women just would not happen in the course of “business as usual.”  When we briefly break away from family, work, grocery shopping, laundry, etc, our minds settle into a different realm that is more open to change, friendship, and clarity.  We learn that we are not alone in having bigger-than-life dreams and the courage necessary to bring them to fruition.  Although each of us is on a unique journey, we all encounter a few lions, tigers and bears along the way.

In closing, if you have never gone on retreat, make a plan to go away.  If you have gone on retreat, make a plan to go away.  Why?  In between the moonlit hikes, snowball fights, laughter and tears, you will experience a renewal of Spirit that can only come from withdrawal from the world.  Oh, and lots of great food! 

“In order to understand the world, one has to get away from it on occasion.”  Albert Camus