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Month

December 2016

~ 2017 Goal ~ A New Look ~

Setting S. M. A. R. T. Goals

I LOVE setting New Years goals, and have done so for many years.  I know setting goals works.  There have been so many studies done on goal setting & success.  Just do a quick Google search, and you will find a plethora of information on the Goal Setting subject.  I am not sharing this post to convince you.  I know by setting written goals, I have achieved much more in my life than I WOULD HAVE WITHOUT THEM.  Setting goals has been a total game changer in many areas of my life.  A large area where I have had success in goal setting has been in the area of our finances, & I will be sharing some of that story in our new feature Frugal Fridays.

Each year, I chose a Word that helps me set my goals according to this theme for the upcoming year.  In the past, I have chosen Grace, Faith, Priorities…….just to name a few.  When I write out my goals, I keep this word in mind.  My word helps me define a theme for the year.

My word for 2016 was Authentic.  You can read that post here.  For the past several weeks, I have been meditating and thinking and praying over my 2017 Word Theme.  Several themes have flooded my thoughts and heart.  I have had a very difficult time narrowing it down to one.  So I believe the Lord would have me to do something completely different this year. 

I have decided to set a New Theme each month.

This is completely different from any type of Goal setting I have done in the past & I am super stoked!!

I will chose a theme at the beginning of each month.  Then I will write weekly…..Specific……Measurable…..Action…..focused goals to help achieve my desired out comes.  I will Post updates weekly on my progress.  This will have a dual purpose.  It is not enough to just write down your goals (although that is a great start)…You must constantly put them before you!   Goals without action are just dreams.  If you would like more info on that you can read a post regarding action on goals here.  This will also give me accountability!

In fact, this weekend my husband & I will sit down and actually write (with Pen & Paper) in our brand new 2017 notebook…..our goals.  We have been discussing & working out the details of our goals for several weeks now.  Let me state a little disclaimer…My husband has not always been a goal setter or on board with the whole “set written goals” idea.  Actually quite the Opposite.  In the beginning of our marriage, He couldn’t wrap his brain around the concept.  You know what, I wrote the goals anyway.  I kept doing it for me, and in a way for “us”.  We (My hubby & I) also have a little secret to share with you all, that we will reveal in our Frugal Friday Segment which will start January 6th!!

You see there is soooo much power in the written word (Maybe that’s why God chose to send us HIS love letter & Instruction booklet in the form of the Bible)  that I knew even if He wasn’t on board, setting & writing goals would still have power in our lives, and I was right.  It did not take too many years, and He was seeing that setting goals was making a difference in our lives, because even though He wasn’t an actual part of the process at that time, I would always share with Him what I had chosen and was working on…I love the verse that states husbands will be won with the conversation (Lifestyle) of their wives! 1 Peter 3:1…At that time my husband was not saved!

So if your Husband isn’t on board, don’t despair.  If you are a Single woman even more reason to put feet to your goals!

If you’ve never set goals before, no worries.

Read our entire Goal Setting Series.  It will help you get started.

Tomorrow I will post my January theme with weekly goals posted every Monday!!!!

Have a Safe & Happy New Year’s Eve!!!

Love & Blessings,

Michelle

Note: Please keep Sandy & her family in your thoughts and prayers. There was an unexpected death in her family, and she has been ministering to her family this week.  She has been absent here on the blog, but she will be back with her perspective on goal setting Single Mama style!! 

 

Welcome 2017

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Dear Friends,

We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas celebration with friends and family near and far!

As we prepare to close 2016, we are reflective of our Journey’s this past year.  If you have been reading here any length of time, you know last year we started out 2016 with a Journal/goal-setting Challenge.  If you are interested you can read that series here.   Stay tuned as we share one of the newest features on our blog.    2017 Goals ~ On a mission style!

Our blog went through a name change.  We posted a new name challenge and you all chose……….

2 mamasonamission

 We also went through major reconstruction! Backing up a blog is tricky business and, as we’ve shared before, Sandy & I are not Techie.  We are so grateful & thankful for our Web designer Sheri and for all of her hard work!!   She is an absolute gem, and we know it!!!

We hosted a July Boot Camp where we all got serious about our Health goals for 2016, and our local Mama’s joined in on the fun!  We had a lot of fun being Platoon leaders, and we have plans of hosting an even bigger Boot Camp in 2017!!

We found and fell in LOVE with Okra. We hosted our first challenge in September and our last one was this December!  Both were tons of fun and Okra has been a game changer for both of us,  as well as many of you!  We love Okra, water and if you missed that post, you can read it here.  Thank you to all who comment and share on our blog and FB page.  You are such an encouragement to us!!

We are very much looking forward to 2017 and have some new and exciting plans for the blog:

First, we are more than THM’s, and we want to share more of ourselves with you in 2017.  Both Sandy & I are frugalista’s, and we will be sharing much more of our frugal money saving ways in the future.

In many ways, Sandy & I are the same…but yet very different.  She refers to us as 2 different peas in the same pod!

She is a Single, Full-time working  Mom to a terrific Teenage Boy.

I (Michelle) am a married empty nester.  Our college guy just graduated with His BA degree and is now looking for a full-time job.  We know God has the perfect job for him.  I also work 30 hours a week as a  Vascular Nurse in a combined Cardiac/Vascular lab.

We love the THM plan and embrace it completely.  However, in 2017 we want move our Blog in a slightly different direction.  We want to share more of ourselves with you…Our readers.  We also want to share other topics & interests.

Some of the 2017 features will be:

Frugal Fridays

$5 THM Dinners

Monthly Goals / Challenges with Weekly Progress Updates (May not be THM related)

Let us close by sharing that we are thankful for each and every one of you who reads this blog!  We value your readership and so appreciate this community of friends!

We are very much looking forward to getting to know one another better in 2017!

~Blessings for a Safe & Happy New Year~

Michelle & Sandy

~ Lessons From a Christmas Tree ~

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

We wish you Joy unspeakable, Peace that passes all understanding, Love immeasurable...

Next up…How to Administer CPR…Who is in????

Remember to sign up for our closed Facebook page and emails to receive notifications when new posts are up on the blog…

Thank you for sharing your journey with us…

~Okra~ The Unsung Hero

Okra…a few years ago I couldn’t tell you one thing about Okra.

Truth…..I’m not sure I even knew it was a food.

Well I am sure glad that has changed, because this vegetable is worth the effort of getting to know up close and personal!

Our 7 day challenge is over…..but Our relationship with Okra is not!!!!

First things first…

I was able to get my Okra in by eating my Vegetable broth based  soup (I will be posting that recipe soon) and drinking my daily Okra water, which I have come to enjoy very much.  After I soaked the Okra in water overnight, I saved the Okra, sliced it up and froze it so I can add it to my soups/stews.

Vegetable Broth Based Soup

I didn’t venture too much from those two recipes.  Success comes differently to each of us, and I would rather make sure I’m getting my Okra in, instead of going all gourmet and stressing myself out.  Simplicity.  Remember perfection is the enemy of progress.

I did make roasted Okra on Night 2 of the challenge with frozen Okra (before I had fresh), and it was an epic failure, in my opinion.  I ate it, but it was not very good.  Horrible really.  It was a texture thing for me, I personally don’t think Okra has much taste.  I think I prefer fresh to frozen, so I will be on the lookout in my grocery stores for this.

Cost of this Package $2.95

I have enjoyed researching all the health benefits of Okra, and that is the main reason I will add it to my diet.  My goal in the upcoming weeks will be to add it to my diet at least 3 times week.

I haven’t tried pickled Okra but that is on my list!!

I am choosing not to weigh.  I truly am embracing the health benefits of this little veggie known as lady fingers!  I can tell you I have had a lot of energy this week, things have been very “regular” around here.  Everyone at work has a cold, and praise God I’ve dodged that bullet all week:):)

Please leave a comment here or on our FB Page, and let us know how you all did throughout the challenge.

Don’t worry…we will continue to keep singing the praises of Okra, and sharing how we are using it.  Okra is a keeper in our Opinion!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drum Roll Please…….

Okay…. So how many of you are tired of watching your friends, co-workers & just about anybody on the planet, eat all those sugar laden, hip growing, make you fat Christmas treats!!   Yeah us too….

Well that’s all about to change because these Jacked Up Cry No More Brownies are insanely yummy!  They are a heavy S but…hey it’s Christmas!!

So here we go!  You can thank us later!

Cry No More Brownies

First, Make the Cry No More Brownies Page 314.  We can’t share the recipe (The Book is copyrighted) but we will share our thoughts..

  • The Brownies are much better the next day.  We place ours  in the fridge overnight.
  • You must blend the Okra really, really, really well!
  • Keep the Okra to 3/4 cup (In our opinion).

So you probably have figured out we are not photographers.  Don’t worry we don’t plan on quitting our day Jobs!  However, bear with us …this is totally worth it!  This is the Okra blended with the eggs.  It takes several minutes of blending to get the Okra smooth.  This mixture is very smooth, and there are no bits of Okra noted.  Don’t skip this step….Trust us!

Chocolate and butter melted together:)

Out of the Oven.  Let Cool…

Okay now here is where it gets exciting!

Peppermint Cheesecake Filling

  • 8 ounce Cream Cheese Room Temp
  • 1/2 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup Gentle Sweet (More if you like it Sweet) We used 1/4 Cup
  • Beet Juice (Hang with us here)…Why would we ruin all the health benefits of Okra with artificial red food coloring?  We wouldn’t.  We opened up a can of sliced beets and used about a tsp of juice. Trust us you cannot taste it)!  If you wanted a deeper pink you could use a little more…Experiment!!
  • Peppermint Oil…Use caution here.  This stuff is strong.  We used 1/8 tsp.  I would not use more than that
  • 2-3 Tbl of Heavy Whipping Cream

Blend Together Well.

Place Cream Cheese mixture on top of cooled brownies.  Make sure the brownies are cool.  Spread evenly.

Sorry we didn’t get a Picture of the whipped topping.  We just blended the remainder of the heavy cream with 2 Tbl Gentle Sweet and a splash of vanilla.  If you don’t want your topping sweetened you can totally omit the sweetener.  However you like your whipped topping Mama’s!!

Spread the Whipped topping on top of the Cream cheese layer & sprinkle with sugar free peppermint candy if desired…Or you can totally skip that part, and this is still totally yummy.  Place in fridge several hours to overnight.

Who says we can’t have decadent yummy Christmas treats, and still get our Okra in!!   Not us!!!

So clearly not the best pictures…so don’t judge this recipe on these photos…this totally rocks.  My Husband was amazed at how good it tasted, and said he did not detect any taste of Okra or Beets!  This one is Christmas Party & Company worthy!

So how’s that for getting your Okra in!!

Hope you enjoy!!

See you all over on the Facebook Page

Tomorrow we will be back to our regularly scheduled programming:-)

 

 

 

Have You Noticed Any Changes?

We are Crazy for Okra!!

Okay today we are looking for your feedback.  Have any of you noticed any changes since starting the Okra Challenge?  We are not looking for weight loss results, we are just curious to see if any of you have noticed anything different???

As far as getting in my Okra…It was Okra water again this morning……..so super easy!  There is virtually no taste to me.

We hope the Challenge is going well for all of  you!

We will see you all over on the facebook page….Let’s share our results so far!!!!

Day #3 What Keeps Elf on the shelf so Skinny?

What makes Jackie Boy here so dang skinny?   Well Jack here has been eatin him some Okra!!

I’ve found him in various places stealing mine!!

But Jack knows what’s good for him, and I’m willing to share….

So without further ado….Here is another added health Benefit of Okra:

Phytochemicals….Specifically Beta Carotene & Lutein.

Both extremely beneficial in Eye health. This Okra is super good stuff!!

So here’s how we got our Okra in today:

So my friend, Crismarie, who knows we are on an Okra challenge bought us some fresh Okra at the Asian Store. (I think I have seen fresh Okra at Walmart) I will check this week when shopping.  At any rate you know She is a true friend when she buys you Okra….

So We’ve been reading about Okra water, and well, we are up for anything in this Okra Challenge!  So today…We drank our Okra!  Yep you read that right…and I liked it the best of anything so far.

Here is the link to what we read/watched. You soak 3-5 Okra overnight in a glass (trim off the ends & cut in half lengthwise)…then squeeze the Okra (leave the seeds in water for chugging) in the morning into the glass, remove the Okra and fill with fresh water. Then down the hatch!

It did not have much taste, actually it reminded me of Aloe Vera Juice. I found it very refreshing. It is a bit slimy (that super healthy mucilaginous fiber!) but it didn’t hinder me.  Yep down the hatch it went!

Seriously you should give this a try….

Let us know what you think in the comments!!

 

~Day #2 Okra Challenge~

Okay Mama’s Onto day 2 of the Challenge:

Let’s highlight some more of the health benefits of this tiny veggie…known as Ladies Fingers.  Okra is chock full of Vitamins….A, K and Vitamin C. Folate, & Iron.  It is also rich in Potassium and Magnesium.

Pregnancy This little gem is great for Pregnant Mama’s, secondary to the folate. Folate helps protect against Neural Tube birth defects in the first trimester of Pregnancy. Mama’s looking to conceive……Eat your Okra.

Anemia a problem for you? …. Eat up.  The Iron, Folate and Vitamin K aid in hemoglobin production in the blood, providing an amazing defense against anemia.

Vision – the high levels of Vitamin A help can help protect your vision.  It may even prove to be helpful in preventing Macular Degeneration as well as Cataracts. It is also has the Phytochemical (Antioxidant) Beta-Carotene….but we will cover that in the days ahead!

Asthma – The anti-inflammatory properties of Okra, and rich levels of Vitamin C can help with the symptoms of Asthma and the Mucilaginous fiber can also help in preventing colds and flu….. That’s worth eating Okra right there!!!

Disclaimer ~ If you are on the Blood thinner Coumadin (Warfarin), it would be wise to consult with your health Care Provider before consuming Okra. Okra is high Vitamin K and can negatively affect the efficacy of the drug.

Amazing….Simply Amazing…… We tell Ya…

So without further ado here is how We got today’s Okra in…..

This tip actually came from our FB page:

Felicia Saucier this is a comment from the THM board: Mandy Everson I know people have been posting this, but I wanted to chime in since I can’t handle milkshakes in the winter. The Choco Secret Big Boy with no ice + an extra cup of water, warmed on the stove, makes 3 cups of super smooth delicious hot chocolate.
I have a Ninja so I’m used to the random okra tidbits, but I can only imagine how divine this would be perfectly smooth.

We all learn so much from one another!  We thought this was a Genius idea so we gave it a try…..

The results…

The Choco Secret Big Boy Smoothie Pg. 415 in the Cookbook

on the Stove

(Note don’t Boil this, it will destroy the delicate Protein in the Whey, Just warm it Up)

We got 2 Servings of  Hot” Chokra”, We saved the second for later. Were smart like that!!

The Finished Product. Topped with a little Whip Cream…Just because we can! Food Freedom Baby! Actually We think the Whip Cream is a HUGE help to sweeten it up just a bit:) It was a Yummy treat this morning.

 How did you all get your Okra in?????  Pleaseeee tell us Inquiring minds really want to know!!

Don’t forget to sign up for our closed Facebook page too!

~ Day #1 OKRA Challenge ~

Welcome to Day #1 of the Okra Challenge

  • Each day of the challenge, we will first discuss the Health Benefits of Okra. Why? Because we think Knowledge is power, and we want to educate ourselves and share our knowledge with all of you regarding all the absolutely amazing health benefits of Okra. We also think you shouldn’t just take our word for it, but we believe each Mama should do their due diligence when adding any supplements to their diet. With that said….The health benefits that we have been researching of Okra are over the top, and we heartily support using this little gem in your arsenal of foods to gain health & wellness!

Okra is a Flowering Plant and is also known as Ladies Fingers (Which we think is totally Cool!)

Okra is very High in Mucilaginous Fiber:

What does that mean to a Trim Healthy Mama You ask?

Well let us tell you..First, the Mucilaginous Fiber is what gives Okra it’s slimmy feel.  It is also what makes it a Rock star in the THM arsenal.

Let’s start with the Digestive Health Benefits are as follows:

Perhaps one the most beneficial aspects of adding Okra to your diet is the significant increase it can have on your total fiber intake.  Mucilaginous fiber found in okra can be a huge help in improving the function and health of your digestive tract.  First, the fiber adds bulk.  Adding this type of fiber may mean that bowel movements are more regular, and there may be a reduction in gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, cramping, constipation and excess gas.  Secondly, it can also helps prevent diarrhea…as it adds bulk to watery stools.  Finally, fiber can help to clear out excess cholesterol in the body, as well as clear the digestive tract of harmful toxins.  Okra has also been studied to lower the risk of Colon Cancer secondary to the high fiber content.  It can also help lower high levels of Cholesterol….The other amazing benefit of the Mucilaginous Fiber found in Okra is it has huge benefits on the Respiratory tract!  Aiding those who suffer from Asthma and Respiratory issues.

WOW!  Those are some amazing benefits, but there are so many, many more which we will highlight through the challenge.

So how did we get in our Okra today you ask????

With a steaming bowl of Broth Based Vegetable Soup!

Brrrrr…It’s getting cold here in our neck of the woods, and we were looking for a hot steamy bowl of goodness.

So we started with a tsp of Coconut Oil. Add  in 1/2 cup Onion, 2 sticks Celery, and approx. 10 baby carrots. Sauté until soft.

Add in 1 can of Beef Broth…1/2 can of Diced tomatoes (juice included) 4 cups of H2O.  Next add your Spices.  I used Mineral salt, 1 Tbsp Worchester sauce, onion powder, 2 bay leaves, and a sprinkle of Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute.  Whatever Spices you like.  Remember this is Soup, anything goes!!!

 

Next I added 1 cup frozen Okra and 1 cup frozen Cauliflower, there are also a handful of peas sprinkled on top, because, hey, why not…it’s Vegetable Soup!  Bring to a Boil.  When Soup begins to boil, turn down to simmer.

After the Soup had simmered for a bit…(The Soup could be done in 20 min, but the longer it simmers the yummier soup is…in my opinion anyway:-) )  I added some Spinach leaves that I had picked out of a bag of greens I had bought earlier.

The Finished Product, and Oh so yummy!  The Soup is a FP, and can be paired with any number of Proteins.  You could even add Beef, Chicken or Turkey to this basic recipe.  I decided to just leave as Vegetable Soup. Because Vegetable Soup is my Fav!!!!!  You could also make this an E by adding in some Black beans and Serve over Quinoa . You could also add in a bit of Sweet Potato.  Really, a million variations.  The bottom line is it has a whole bunch of Okra in it, as well as a ton of other Veggies!!

How did you all get your Okra in today??  Please comment…Inquiring minds want to know!!!

A New 7 Day Okra Challenge!!

Yesterday we got a lot of traffic over a blog post we wrote back in September … “The Okra Challenge”.  If you are here visiting our site for the first time…Welcome!  We are so glad you are here!

We thought that since we had so much interest in The Okra Challenge yesterday, that we might as well start a new 7 day Challenge!!  So starting tomorrow, we will begin a new 7 day Okra Challenge!!

Each day we will be posting how we are getting in our daily quota (1 Cup) and a Health Benefit of this little baby!!  Because Hey….if we are going to eat it, we may as well know how good it is for us!!

Also, maybe you’re looking to start your journey, or maybe you just need a jump start…(Remember a new beginning is only 3 hours away)….Here is a link to a post that you may find encouraging:

How many times can I hit the Reset button?

What One Action are you going to take today, to help you have success on the 7 Day Okra Challenge?  Leave a comment on this post and let us know!!