Things I’m Loving Friday #293

Friday is here! Woohoo! Do you guys have anything fun on the agenda? My mom is in town through Monday (she’s also here to help watch the boys on Monday when I’ll be away on a blog trip) and so our weekend will be filled with quality time with Mae along with some other shenanigans. We’ll be heading to Disney On Ice with our whole crew and some of our friends on Saturday morning and then Ryan and I are going to sneak away to celebrate a friend’s birthday on Saturday night! On Sunday, I’m taking off for Cedar Rapids, Iowa and will be sure to fill you guys in about my travels soon. (In the meantime you may follow along on Instagram Stories if you’d like!)

It should be a rather active weekend but a fun one and I’m really looking forward to it. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and hope to see you back here next week. For now, I’d like to dive into my weekly Things I’m Loving Friday post and share a little bit about some of the things that made me smile this week. I missed typing up this post over the course of the past few weeks and am excited to be back in action today!

Happy Friday, my friends!

Things I’m Loving Friday 

  • All the Apple Recipes

If you have any apple recipes we need to try, please send them my way! Despite making at least four different apple recipes this week, we still have a full bag of apples to get through from last weekend’s apple picking adventures. Minimalist Baker’s recipe for cinnamon baked apples was one of the new-to-me recipes we tried that was right in our family’s wheelhouse for apple recipes we love (warm, sweet, cinnamon-y). Please feel free to share links to other apple recipe favs in the comments section of this post so we can give them a try this weekend.

Earlier this summer, during a girls’ weekend in Park City, I bought a pair of seamless bralettes from a local boutique. They were soft and inexpensive and appeared to have the perfect amount of padding/lining so I brought them back to Charlotte and figured they’d make a good lounging bra. I had no idea they’d quickly become my go-to everyday bra. You guys, I love these things! They’re incredibly comfortable and the deep v-neck makes them work with so many different outfits so I am finding myself wearing them under almost everything. I Googled the brand name to order myself another bra or two and wouldn’t you know these bralettes are available on Amazon! There is no clasp in the back so you just pull them on and they just feel so ridiculously soft and comfy. One important note: I have a rather small chest and I do not think these bralettes would work well for women who may be larger chested. They’re not overly supportive but work well for my cup size.

Apparently Daily Harvest caught wind of my love of their harvest bowls and smoothie cups because they reached out to me and offered to send their latest product my way: Daily Harvest Bites! The bites were different than I was expecting but in a very good way. They weren’t overly sweet but just sweet enough to taste like a treat and satisfy my sweet tooth. They’re also filled with healthy fats to help me feel satisfied and the Chocolate Hazelnut flavor reminded me of a rich bite of fudge without tasting sugar-laden. (Tip: Eat it right out of the freezer.) It melted in my mouth and I polished off all seven bites in two days. So good! The coconut lemon was another slam dunk and perfect for coconut lovers out there. It reminded me of a less sweet and more dense macaroon with a punch of zesty lemon. If you want to give these bites or any of the Daily Harvest bowls or smoothies a try, you can use my affiliate code pbfingers to get three free cups on your next order. Yum!!!

A little more than a week ago, I was in the market for a breezy read that didn’t feel too heavy or suspenseful. I always see Elin Hilderbrand’s books pop up on perfect summer beach read recommendation lists, so I figured Summer of ’69 was worth a shot. I loved the fact that the novel is set in 1969 in the midst of man’s first walk on the moon, Ted Kennedy’s Chappaquiddick scandal, the civil rights movement and more. The novel takes place on Nantucket and follows the Levin family and the family’s four children. Blair, the oldest daughter, is in a rocky marriage and pregnant with twins. Tiger, the only boy in the family, was recently deployed to Vietnam. Kirby, the middle daughter, decides to exercise her independence and spend her summer on Martha’s Vineyard where she stumbles upon an unexpected romance with a man whose mother knows about her troubled past. Jessie, the youngest at only 13 years old, is coming of age and forced to spend the summer with her secret-keeping mother and grandmother. The book was filled with enough intrigue to keep me engaged the entire time. It was predictable without feeling overly contrived and I looked forward to reading this novel before bed every night. If  you’re looking for an easy beach read, I recommend this one for sure!

  • Avana Sip or Swig Water Bottle

I feel a bit like a water bottle collector at this point because I have a small assortment of water bottles I love but if having cute water bottles on hand helps me drink more water, I think that is a win, right? When the team behind Avana emailed me about their new water bottle, it called to me not only because I thought the water bottle itself was beautiful (it reminds me of sipping cold water by the pool in the summer), but the sip or swig technology in the cap is seriously cool. Check it out:

I tend to prefer sipping my water but post-workout, the ability to gulp my water down and utilize the swig side comes in quite handy! Another awesome feature: Each bottle comes with a special code you can use to track how your bottle is helping with a specific water project in developing villages and communities. Love that!

  • Around the Web

Food: Sweet Potato Lentil Stew / Healthy No-Bake Oatmeal Bars / Cheeseburger Soup

Fitness: Upper Body + Core Tabata Workout / Back + Biceps One Song Workout

Sales: Up to 60% off Kids + Baby Sale at Old Navy + 30% off everything (Lots of joggers for $6, tees for $2-4 and my fav unisex pull-on slim-fit jeggings for Chase are only $8)/ $20-30 off select colors Lululemon Align PantSuper High-Rise Align Pant (aka the ridiculously comfy legging that feels like a second skin / $20+ off Athleta Trekkie North Jogger Pant /

  • Friday Flashbacks 

Crockpot Chicken Corn Chili (One of the most popular and EASIEST recipe I shared last year! Keep this one in mind as the temperatures begin to cool down!)

No Gym No Problem Workout (A do anywhere workout!)

No Gym Workout

Question of the Day

What is one thing making you smile today? 

The post Things I’m Loving Friday #293 appeared first on Peanut Butter Fingers.

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The Art of Creating a Ritual for What Matters Most

“Your sacred space is where you can find yourself again and again.” ~Joseph Campbell

By Leo Babauta

In this world where technology and consumerism have become our religion, we’ve largely lost something magical: the ability to elevate something into the realm of the sacred.

I’m not a fan of Catholic priests, but if you watch them perform the Eucharistic ritual in mass, it feels like a moment of true magic. If you watch a Zen priest performing similar rituals, it feels like a moment that is lifted into sacredness. Yoga practitioners before their altar, Muslims worshipping at mosques, Buddhists at their temples — they all practice this kind of sacred ritual.

What we’ve lost is this idea that there is an element of the divine in the world. I’m an atheist and don’t believe in God, but I believe in the divinity of every living being, every object, every breath. These aren’t just ordinary things to be taken for granted, but ordinary things to be deeply appreciated.

And so I’d like to advocate for the idea of ritual.

We can lift an everyday act into the realm of the divine by turning it into a sacred ritual. What I’ve been trying to practice is the art of turning what matters most in my life into a ritual.

What would it be like if you turned what matters most in your life into a ritual? (Hint: if it’s in your life, it is important, as you’ve chosen to include it in your limited time.)

In his book The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz writes in his chapter on the Fourth Agreement (“Always do your best”):

“ I make everything a ritual, and I always do my best. Taking a shower is a ritual for me, and with that action I tell my body how much I love it. I feel and enjoy the water on my body. I do my best to fulfill the needs of my body. I do my best to give to my body and to receive what my body gives to me.”

The ritual of taking a shower, then, becomes an act of appreciating the body you have, taking care of it, and fully loving it. It’s an act of devotion.

What would it be like to bring this art of devotion to everything that matters most in our lives?

The Elements of Ritual

So what would a ritual contain? It’s an art, so you can make it however you like. However, some elements to consider:

  • Create your environment: A ritual might have an altar, a temple, incense, etc. But your ritual doesn’t have to have these particular elements — the important thing is to consider what environment you’d like for this ritual, and how that environment will affect the practice. By taking care to create the environment, there’s an element of mindfulness and intention that is missing from most of our actions. An example might be to have flowers and music and sage as you do your yoga practice, or to eat dinner with phones off, a candle burning, and silence in the room.
  • Intention: As you start, set an intention for the ritual. What would you like to practice during this ritual? How do you want to show up? Set the intention, and then carry that intention throughout the ritual.
  • Bring presence: A key part of ritual is to be as fully present as you can. This is another element missing from most of our daily actions, but if we elevate something to ritual, it can increase our presence.
  • Deep appreciation: Ritual is about bringing full appreciation to the act. A daily shower ritual is appreciating your body for the miracle it is. Daily eating rituals is appreciating not only the nourishing food, but the people who put their life energy into growing, transporting and preparing the food. A daily writing ritual might be an appreciation of your connection to your reader. We often take things for granted — ritual brings the appreciation for life, the world, others and ourselves back into our lives.
  • Contemplation: Ritual can be a space for contemplating what’s important to you, what you are afraid of, what your aspirations are, and more. Again, this isn’t something we normally make space for, but what if we created that space?
  • Connection to aspiration: What do you want to create in the world? Who do you want to be? How would you like to show up, to shift yourself, to serve others? Ritual is a way to connect to these aspirations, so that we can be more resolved to live them.
  • Lift to sacredness: We take the ordinary things in our lives for granted, but what if we lifted the ordinary to sacredness? This doesn’t require a belief in God (though it can) … it’s imbuing a power into an action. The word “sacred” comes from  the Latin “sacrāre,” which means to consecrate, to dedicate. That usually has holy connotations but can simply mean to be devoted to something that has power. What if we could see the mundane as powerfully sacred and magical?
  • Close in gratitude: A ritual has a closing, which might be simply gratitude for whatever you just did, how you practiced, or what you are devoted to. Give a small prayer of thanks to yourself, to the world.

These are some elements to consider — you don’t have to include all of them, and there are many others you can pull in from traditional rituals that range from the pagan and Druids to shamanic to Vedic and more.

Rituals to Consider

Any act that you do each day, that’s important to you, can be considered for something to turn into a ritual.

For example, some that I’ve been experimenting with:

  • Start of your day: How would you like to start your day? Can it be with intention, gratitude, reflection? With aspiration and appreciation? With meditation and quiet?
  • Getting ready: When you get yourself ready for the day, will it be a rushed affair, or one of slowing down, appreciating your body, taking care of yourself, loving yourself?
  • Writing or other work: Whether your work be writing or phone calls or building a house … you can elevate that to ritual by creating intention around it, appreciating what you’re creating, pouring yourself into the act, bringing mindfulness to it. How can you elevate it to ritual?
  • Email & messages: We normally just dive into checking email and messages, but what if it became a sacred ritual of connecting to others, of carefully considering issues, of crafting language? Can we elevate the act to one of deep presence and appreciation?
  • Eating: With eating, we can simply fuel our bodies and put food down our throats, phones or TVs distracting us … or we can elevate the eating to an act of nourishing and loving our bodies, connecting to others and the earth that has provided for us, connecting to loved ones’ hearts.
  • Exercise: We can rush through exercise, just trying to get it over with. Or we can bring it to the realm of the divine, letting it be an act of love for our bodies, an act of connection to our environment, an act of full presence and highest purpose.
  • Yoga: Is it just exercise and stretching, or can it be a ritual of full devotion and surrender, of practice of our highest selves?
  • Meditation: We can sit there, waiting for the final meditation bell to ring, or we can let it be a ritual of practice for what we’d like to train in. Or simply a ritual of full appreciation for the moment.
  • Sleep: Is sleep a matter of being on devices until we’re so tired we can’t check another thing on social media? Or a time when we reflect on our day, prepare for our time of rest, slow down and appreciate our lives?

I have to confess that I have not perfected the art of creating ritual for all of these things — I’m still learning, still experimenting. I have a lot of growth to do here. But when I do it, I’ve found it absolutely profound.

Elevating What Matters Most to You

What is important to you? If it’s in your life, you must care enough about it that you’ve included it. Our hours are precious and limited, and we can take care to only place the things that matter most into that limited space.

So what you’ve included in your life must matter tremendously. Why not craft a ritual for this thing that matters so much?

If you care about checking social media, messages, email, news, blogs — why not make this act into ritual?

If you care about your relationship with someone, why not create a connection ritual where you fully connect with them?

If you care about reading, why not make a reading ritual?

If you care about your meaningful work, why not create a ritual for practicing with that work?

I invite you to create ritual around the deeper practice of your meaningful work with my latest creation:

The Fearless Purpose Training Package: A System for the Uncertainty of Your Meaningful Work

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Peek into Wednesday + Mae is Here!

Hey friends! How are you all doing today? I hope the week is treating you well so far. My mom arrived in town on Tuesday afternoon and her visits with our family are just the very, very best. I cannot tell you how much it means to me to see her with my boys and the love they have for their Mae is somethin’ fierce.

As I briefly mentioned on Monday’s blog post, my mom’s visit is due in part to the fact that I thought I was going to need a D&C on Wednesday morning. During my last doctor’s appointment, everything seemed to be heading in that direction and, to be honest, I was really, really upset. It felt like yet another setback and I just wanted to have some kind of closure and the ability to look forward after nearly a month of doctor’s appointments and bad news. Couple the information I received from the doctor last week with a rather small amount of bleeding after my second dose of medication, I felt fairly certain surgery would be recommended during my Tuesday afternoon appointment. My doctors already had my surgery on the books and I went through all of the pre-op phone calls on Tuesday morning.

I headed off to another doctor’s appointment on Tuesday afternoon and was completely shocked — and finally for the better — when everything appeared to be a lot better during my ultrasound. Apparently the remaining blood and tissue that initially concerned the doctors seemed to lessen to the point that a D&C was no longer recommended. I was completely surprised and so grateful. Over the course of the past several weeks, I kept feeling like every time I’d wrap my head around our loss and see a path forward, something would happen and I’d have to take two steps back. My appointment on Tuesday felt like the step forward I’ve been longing for through the grief.


Our Wednesday ended up looking quite a bit different than I initially pictured and I woke up feeling grateful for a morning at home with my coffee and my devotional since every part of me thought I’d be at the hospital at 5:30 a.m. instead. I always feel slightly awkward sharing glimpses into my faith in this space because it feels both personal and something I’m still quite insecure in speaking about myself, but I read something in my devotional on Wednesday morning that resonated deeply with me and felt worth sharing.

It touched on fixing our minds on GOOD things and God’s incredible blessings in our life during times when our thoughts seem to meditate on bad things, worry, anxiety and fear. Sometimes I find myself drowning in thoughts that center on worry and fear but when these thoughts creep in, if I can replace them with thoughts of gratitude and praise, there will be no room for the bad thoughts to take over. (This was from the September 18 devotional in Trusting God Day by Day: 365 Daily Devotions and centered around Philippians 4:8.) Gratitude is key!

I said goodbye to Ryan as I sipped my coffee and right at 7 a.m. Chase was up for the day. We read some books in his room and then my mom took over with Chase once Ryder woke up so I could get my littlest guy ready for the day and dig into some oatmeal for breakfast. My mom also offered to handle Chase’s preschool drop off on her way to Jazzercise so I was able to sneak off to an earlier Burn Boot Camp workout with Ryder which felt like a treat!

The workout on the agenda was a leg day workout and it was a serious burner.

Burn Boot Camp Leg Workout

We spent 10 minutes going through as many rounds of each triple set as possible and broke up the two triple sets with three rounds of 12 deadlifts. My quads were on fire after this one and I am so sore today. Ooph!

After my workout, I scooped Ryder up from childcare and we headed home where I brought some toys in our bathroom for Ryder to play with while I grabbed a quick shower. Right after I got dressed and threw my hair up, it was time for ISR!

Ryder seems to be on the ISR struggle bus lately which is why we’re still going to lessons right now. After a few weeks of amazing progress, his lack of fear of the water has returned and he seems to enjoy going under and swimming and smiles and gurgles water during his float without caring if his head submerges. He’s a crazy little fish and we’re trying to figure out what the best plan is for him moving forward. We need his float to come back!

After ISR, we came home and I fed Ryder a quick snack before settling him down for a nap and digging into some leftover pizza spaghetti pie as I responded to time-sensitive emails and began typing up the beginning of this blog post and parts of Friday’s post as well.

paleomg spaghetti pie

The rest of the afternoon passed by in a blur of playtime at home with my mom and the boys until Chase was ready for some quiet time in his crib. Once he was settled, I made myself a smoothie and then my mom offered to hang back and play with Ryder while Chase rested so I could enjoy a solo walk with Sadie.

There is something about my one-on-one walks with Sadie that totally rejuvenate me.

Whenever I have some time alone, I often listen to topical podcasts that teach me a little something but yesterday I opted to listen to one of my all-time favorite podcasts, NPR’s Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me. This is the podcast I turn to when I need to laugh and it was one of the first podcasts I listened to years ago when the whole podcast craze first began. (I’d absolutely love to go to a live taping in Chicago one day.)

Sadie and I covered just over three miles and it was wonderful. We finally had a reprieve from 90-degree temperatures yesterday so walking Sadie in 75-degree weather felt like such a treat. Fall, I am READY for you!

I arrived home to find my mom and Ryder in the thick of playtime and it was just the best thing to see.

Hey, family, if you’d like to pack up and move to North Carolina that would be grrrreat.

Eventually it was time for baths for the boys followed by pajamas and dinner once Ryan was home.

On the menu: Tuna seared in TJ’s Everything But The Bagel seasoning (ALDI fans, this is the wild caught sushi grade tuna that I always rave about that’s only $5 for 12 ounces!) + Baked sweet potatoes + Ginger sesame broccoli (aka my all-time favorite broccoli recipe — make this one ASAP and I promise you’ll want to eat a pound of broccoli in one sitting!)

We rounded out our evening with some outside playtime after dinner because it was so darn gorgeous!

(Happy 15 months to Ryder yesterday!) 

Once we made it inside and tucked the boys in bed, we called it an early night and I began reading Beautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand. I recently finished Summer of ’69 by the same author and it fit the bill for a breezy read that wasn’t too heavy or emotional. I figured I’d move right along and read another one of her novels with the hope that it would be a similar style book.

Plans for today include the usual Mom Life business but with Mae in the mix which will make it all the better. I hope you guys all have a great Thursday and I hope to see you back here tomorrow with the return of Things I’m Loving Friday!

The post Peek into Wednesday + Mae is Here! appeared first on Peanut Butter Fingers.

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Benefits and Uses of Horsetail (Shavegrass)

I’ve been using herbs and herbal preparations for years now to treat mild issues at home. Horsetail (also called shavegrass) is an herb that I always keep in the herb cabinet (which is what I have instead of a medicine cabinet!). It has been my go-to for hair, skin, and nail health but I am still …

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The Fearless Purpose Training Package: A System for the Uncertainty of Your Meaningful Work

“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.”

By Leo Babauta

Today I’m releasing a training package called Fearless Purpose that is the culmination of the last few years of my life’s work.

The ebook & training system are about fearlessly training in the uncertainty and anxiety that gets in the way of doing our meaningful work.

It’s about cultivating depth in our purpose, mindfully working with the habitual patterns that hold us back, and practicing a courageous willingness to be with whatever fears, patterns, and resistance that arise for us.

It’s about the groundlessness of our uncertain lives, and how we form habitual patterns to deal with that. These patterns include:

  • Procrastination
  • Putting off healthy habits like exercise, flossing,
  • Trying to control a situation by planning, lists, systems,
  • Grasping anxiously for control and feeling anxiety
  • Lashing out at others in frustration and anger
  • Perfectionism
  • Complaining, seeing things as burden or chore
  • Seeking distractions when you’re overwhelmed
  • Staying in busywork instead of focus
  • Trying to exit when it’s uncomfortable
  • Judging, feeling superior
  • Taking on too much, wanting to do everything
  • Constantly worrying about missing out
  • Ignoring a problem
  • Avoiding playing a bigger game
  • Eating comfort foods, watching TV, playing games
  • Smoking, biting nails, porn

In the training package, I show how to shift these patterns using mindfulness training.

This training package is for anyone who:

  • Wants to start a business that does good in the world but struggles with self-doubt and fears
  • Wants to make a positive impact but struggles with feeling overwhelmed
  • Wants to lead a team or organization but struggles with frustration and overwhelm
  • Wants to create space for their meaningful work but feels pulled in a thousand directions, never sure they’re doing the right thing
  • Wants to feel a sense of purpose in their lives but feels constantly busy with the churn of daily tasks
  • Wants to go deeper into mindfulness and develop a new relationship with themselves and everyone around them

If that’s you, this training system is for you. This is not an easy path, because it requires you to practice, over and over again.

The Training System Package

This package includes an ebook, but it’s actually a self-paced training system to help shift your patterns. I teach you the training that I’ve been doing with hundreds of other people, and then guide you into setting up your own training program.

In addition, I’ve included instructional videos and meditations to help with that training:

  • The Basic Fearless Practice
  • Meditation: Gentleness & Unconditional Friendliness with Everything You Face
  • Meditation: Basic Goodness
  • Meditation: Heart Practices
  • Instructional Video: Calling Out Patterns
  • Instructional Video: Advanced Practices
  • Instructional Video: Moving Closer to Pain
  • Video: My Integrity Work
  • How I’m Using the One Thing System

These videos and meditations are a part of the training system laid out in the ebook.

I invite you to start this training. It has helped many people change their lives in powerful ways in my coaching and Fearless Training Program.

The Invaluable Change This Creates

I’ve been training people in this system for the last few years — first in one-on-one coaching, workshops and retreats, and more recently in my Fearless Training Program where hundreds of people have trained and seen incredible results.

This is a proven system that has helped people overcome patterns that have held them back for years. They’ve gone on to:

  • Write books
  • Start their business
  • Play music in public
  • Do public speaking
  • Create art
  • Tackle their finances
  • Find focus and a sense of peace
  • Deal with anxiety
  • And much more

How much would it be worth for you to overcome old patterns of putting things off, avoiding, or getting paralyzed by anxiety? The training package, including the ebook, videos and meditations, is just $33. It’s worth a thousand times that, in my view, if you put it into action.

Buy the Fearless Purpose Training Package

p.s. As always, there’s a 100% guarantee — request a full refund and you’ll get it, no questions asked.

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Roasted Garlic Salad Dressing

I recently posted a simple recipe for making roasted garlic. It is amazing! I just can’t get enough. I probably give off a garlicky enough aura to protect my whole household from vampires. Anyway, I promised in that post to share my recipe for roasted garlic salad dressing… and here it is! Garlic: The New Kitchen …

Continue reading Roasted Garlic Salad Dressing

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286: Create a Dashboard for Your Life With Dan Pardi From Human OS

Dr. Dan Pardi is a researcher at Stanford University in California and at Leiden University in the Netherlands who specializes in studying lifestyle factors like sleep, exercise, and diet. He is the CEO of Human OS, an app designed to take a healthy lifestyle to the next level, hour by hour. This is not your …

Continue reading 286: Create a Dashboard for Your Life With Dan Pardi From Human OS

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