Wrap it Up!

It’s about time to wrap it up – the last of the holiday gifts, your yearly To-Do list, the final expenditures of the year, all of your accomplishments, wishes and dreams for 2017 – wrap it up! The year will be over in less than two weeks. If there’s anything you MUST finish before next year, now is the time. I think I’ll just nap!
My father-in-law used to swear by the power nap. He came home for lunch, took a power nap, then went back to the office. He could see more patients in a day than any other doctor I’ve known, so maybe there was something to it.

Sleep organizations tout the health benefits of zapping stress and boosting your mood while making you more alert. My motivation is more that it seems a little bit naughty to nap during the workday and I’ve been way too nice this year. Plus, I read in a Men’s Health magazine article that napping after learning something can make my memory of what I learned five times better so a nap just makes sense.

If you’re not napping, and you don’t sleep enough at night, you’re in good company. According to the CDC, more than a third of us don’t get enough sleep. Sleeping less than 7 hours per day is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and obesity.

Perhaps a contributing factor is that few of us have learned to rest. We fill every moment with work, sports, shopping, kids activities, partying, hobbies, travel, or bombarding thoughts of work, sports, shopping, kids activities, partying, hobbies, and travel. When our minds don’t know how to rest, our bodies have difficulty sleeping.

Taking time to reflect on the state of our lives throughout the past year can lead to the insight that it’s time to regroup. A little courage and determination can lead to a happier, less hurried, and more productive 2018. Just think of it as organizing the closet of your mind.

Once I have things reordered in a way that supports the things I value, I’m able to create the life I want. It doesn’t always happen in a moment, but at least I know that I will be supported during the process. That can make all the difference in whether I get from point A to point B.

Napping, resting, and regrouping contribute to feeling revived, energized, and de-stressed. They may even make you look younger. I like to think so.

Move forward
Next year, my focus is on finding a path to joy. I know the feelings of fun, laughter, inspiration, awe, and reverence. I’m lacking in what it means to feel carefree, blissful, unhinged exuberance. Once I find the way to joy, I know I’ll want to wrap it up!





Hate Shopping? Avoid Black Friday and Still Give the Perfect Holiday Gift!

Hate Shopping? I know. It can wear you out. It’s always been easier for me to buy a little here and a little there throughout the year. By the time Christmas rolls around, all I have to do is wrap.

This year, I haven’t felt inspired to buy very much. A major remodeling project ate much of my time and I just haven’t run across anything that seems fun. That means that today, Black Friday, could be very tempting…except that I hate marathon shopping, typical gifts, arriving early, and crowds!

Luckily, I still don’t have to struggle or wait until the last minute. I have a lot of gluten-free flours on hand and a lot of gluten-free relatives. I’ve also consumed plenty of Bulgarian yogurt in the past few months. It comes in glass jars that I washed and saved. That means I have the perfect gift already available. All I have to do is throw it together!

Here’s how easy it is…Remember that Gouda Muffin recipe we posted in May? Take all the dry ingredients and put them in a clean jar:

1 cup white rice flour

1/2 cup brown rice flour

1/2 cup potato flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp xanthan gum

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda


Gluten-Free Mix


Decorate the jar and include a card with these instructions:

Gouda Muffins

12 medium muffins


1 jar muffin mix

8 oz whole milk plain yogurt

2 eggs

1/4 cup melted butter

6 oz gouda cheese, diced

Preheat oven to 425º.  Grease muffin tin or line with muffin cups.

Shake jar to remix ingredients. Place mix in a bowl. In a larger bowl, combine the yogurt, egg, and butter. Slowly fold the dry mixture into the liquids until you have a firm, non-sticky dough. Stir in cheese and spoon dough into muffin tin. Bake at 425º for 12-15 minutes or until top is brown. Remove to rack to cool.

Boom! You just created the perfect gift!

I’ve done the same thing with pancakes and biscuits. These mixes have become some of my sister’s favorite gifts. She asks me to give them again and again. (You’d think she’d return the jars.)

It’s sometimes easy to forget that simple gifts that thoughtfully fill a specific need are often the most appreciated. Of course I tend to remember this the minute I walk into a store during the holiday season!

Have shopping tips to share? We’d love to hear them!