March 20, 2015

Quaker Steel Cut 3-minute Oats

Quaker<sup>®</sup> Steel Cut Oats

So, I've been absent from blogging for many months. Life seems to just get away from you sometimes, especially when becoming a new mom. One of the things that I have gotten into this past year is doing product testing and reviews, and I recently got to try Quaker steel cut 3-minute oats for free, through a site called Bzzagent.

I LOVE these oats. The texture and flavor is worlds better than any other instant oatmeal packet I've tried. They are easy, mess-free and quick. I love having a hot breakfast but I'm not keen on getting up early to cook for myself while also preparing and feeding breakfast to a one year old. I can pop a packet of these in the microwave and they're ready to eat by the time I have my daughter settled in her seat.

Like any single-serve oatmeal pouch I've ever had, I only wish there was more in each packet. These are better than most, but come on! No matter how heart oatmeal is supposed to be, I'm not going to stay full all morning from 1/3 bowl of it. So, I usually eat this along with a smoothie or banana or something like that. Or my toddler's leftovers...

...usually that.

I like a little fruit with my oatmeal so blueberry and cranberry is my flavor of choice, but you can also get them in brown sugar and cinnamon, also good I'm sure. They've been on sale a lot recently at our Kroger and at Publix, so if you like oatmeal give them a try!

January 17, 2013

How will you serve?

Today I'm grateful for volunteering and service! I'm grateful that I am well, and that I have the ability to give back to my community.


from http://www.serve.gov/mlkday.asp

I learned about National Day of Service three years ago when I was serving as an Americorps VISTA member. The office where I worked was not on holiday, but as Americorps members, we were not to come in to work that day. Instead of using the holiday as a day to lay on the couch, however, we were challenged to make MLK day "a day on, not a day off". We were challenged to find volunteer projects and serve our community as a way to honor Martin Luther King Jr. As a VISTA, you are essentially a full-time volunteer...so I have to admit that I wasn't all that into it. Another VISTA volunteer and I got up early that morning to help out at an MLK day breakfast and speaking event. We helped set tables and arrange food, but for most of our time there we were able to sit back and listen as community members were honored and Dr. King's message was echoed. It was a beautiful event, and by the end I was so glad that I had been able to take time off from my regular work to be present in this celebration. I probably didn't make much of a contribution to the event that day, but the event had a big impact on me as a volunteer.

I have to admit that since that year, I haven't given much thought to the National Day of Service. I guess for the last two years it hasn't really been on my radar. I imagine that part of the reason for this is that my office isn't off for MLK day. Usually, the Day of Service is on a Monday, "a day on, not a day off" for those who do get that day off from work. This year, the official day is Saturday the 19th, and for some reason, I have been getting a lot of reminders. I have been getting Americorps alumni emails about the day and have felt the push to see what's going on in my area.

I love the idea of a day of community service as a memorial to Dr. King. What better way to honor his memory and move closer to his vision of community? Go here to listen to or read some of Dr. King's words. Get inspired.

So I've decided to get involved. I don't have a whole day to dedicate, in fact I don't have much time at all this Saturday. But I know that I (and you!) can do something! So this Saturday, I'll be headed to the Red Cross to donate blood.

Do you want to find a way to serve this weekend? Click here for more information about the National Day of Service. The search function on that web page didn't work for me...so in case it doesn't work for you either, try here to find out what is happening in your community.  Serve.gov is a great resource any time of the year to find ways to volunteer in your community! Get out. Do good. Feel good.

January 7, 2013

2013: Best year ever?

Whew! After a few weeks of celebrating and traveling, I am back and ready to get back to the regular (crazy) routine. I've been thinking a lot about goals and resolutions over the last little while, as I am sure many of you have as well. While New Year's Eve doesn't top my list of favorite holidays, I do love the spirit of renewal, new beginnings, re-defining yourself and deciding what you want your next year on this Earth to look like.

This year I've felt especially inspired to set goals. 2013 is going to be a big year for us, I can feel it! I want to get back to what's important.

I want spend more meaningful, intentional time with the people that I love. I want them to know that I love them. I want to hear what they have to say and hear what is happening in their lives and learn from them. I also want to spend more intentional time with myself, and with my Father in Heaven. And I want to document it more! More pictures, more journals, more blogging.

I want to love people more sincerely. I want to be present. Whether I am with a friend, a stranger, a therapy client or consumer, I want them to know that they are important to me, and that I value what they have to say.

I want to spend time learning the things that I love. I want to rekindle my relationship with my camera, and my sewing machine. I want to try new recipes. I want to master my brand new (thanks to loving family members) power tools and build beautiful and useful things. I want to write.

I want to be healthy and strong. I want to eat good food and run and be active.

I want to floss more.

Do you have resolutions or goals for 2013? Write them down. Share them with someone. Check in with yourself every once in a while. Seriously, 2013 is going to be an amazing year!

This is what my year is going to look like...




How about you?