My Inspiration: Purpose and Legacy

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image credit: bing.com/images

2014 marked 4 years of moving  out of my old life and stepping into a brand new life. It marked being divorced for exactly one year. I made it a normal practice with each year to not make any resolutions. It is my practice to resolve to set goals. 2014 is the year in which I made the goals of finding a job with purpose and moving into my own space.

It was not just about finding a job, but to searching for a job with purpose. I wanted to join a new organization that made a difference in some way and my 7yo DD asked me one day “mom what is your legacy?”. This set the ball in motion to really think “what is my legacy”, what can I pass on? When she asked the question I could not provide an immediate answer. After months of sending resumes and searching my emails for open positions I decided to look more at organizations that provided a “PURPOSE”.   What does a job with PURPOSE mean?  For me a job with PURPOSE is one where I am passionate and committed to the mission of the organization. It is a wonderful feeling to look forward to each morning when you are excited about making a difference and offering feedback that will benefit the lives of others.

I am fortunate to say that my goal was realized and I have found my job with PURPOSE.   The next phase is moving with the kids. If I include moving for the first time from home to college, this is my seventh time moving. It is exciting to plan a new space but hectic when you think of all the things you have accumulated in the last 4 years.   The one good thing that comes from moving is you can purge any and everything you are no longer using. I go through the kids clothes and either give away items or send to a consignment store.   It feels good to get organized and donate things that are of no use.  I wish I could say setting goals is an easy task but it takes mapping out a plan and putting the gears in MOTION!

My Kid’s Chronicles: Sneaker Craze

A few months ago on a sneaker shopping trip to Footlooker who knew it would lead to my lesson on popular kids sneakers!  This lesson was by none other than my 7 year old.    She searched through the store and the first pair were Jordans affectionately known as Js, next were KDs (Kevin Durant’s sneakers) and then Fruity Pebbles (Lebron James’ sneakers)  Who knew?  My teen was gearing up to try on a a pair of high top Adidas.  He was unmoved by the Js.  In light of his men’s size feet I was really glad.

This was the day I got served because my 7yo was ready to buy each pair and spend any amount of money. She is totally clueless on spending and earning money.  According to her KDs were very popular with the kids at her summer camp.   I was totally oblivious to the fact these were named after basketball player, Kevin Durant.  Kids are so brand conscious I was floored, who knew this would be my kids?

 

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Next were Jordans in silver/pink, in case you were wondering
pwp_sheetZRNPX18Q photo credit:nike.com

Then last but not least were the “Fruity Pebbles” sneakers thanks to Lebron JamesWhe
nike-lebron-11-boys-preschool photo credit: nike.com

When the teen turned 14, Jordan’s were now on his list(oh and did I mention he is now wearing a 9 1/2 mens)….HELP I need a part-time job just to support this new craze, geez!!!
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photo credit: nike.com

One savings I did find for my DS is Nordstrom Rack. Nordstrom Rack carries a nice selection of men’s Nike track sneakers for less than $100.

Single Mom Chronicles : Volume 1

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When I started blogging 5 years ago, I never realized it was going to be a low cost form of therapy.  This past weekend I decided to change my categories to coincide with my current life situation.    The last four years has been filled with months and months of transition from married to separted to divorced.    I guess some people really embrace being a single parent.  For me it was imposed by the current relationship or lack there of I was living in so I stepped off the rollercoaster.

It is difficult to embrace a new life especially when there are exenuating financial implications associated with the prior life.   It took almost 2 years for me to feel like I could breath again.   I wish I could say there were no mistakes made along the way of this transition but this would be far from the truth.   In order to recover for any transition you have to experience an emotional rollercoaster so you can truly appreciate an existence of well-being and peace.

Sometimes I feel like being a single parent has such a negative conotation.  You have a new circle of friends and associates because not all social circles are conducive to your new lifestyle.  It is definitely a discovery of true and genuine relationships.   For those relationships that do not support your new lifestyle you must terminate  the negative energy.     I have learned not everyone wants to see you at peace and happy.   This is sometimes a hard pill to swallow but life goes on and up!!!!  I am no longer confined by what another person thinks about my choices and life decisions.   Life transition gives a new found strength that is necessary to embrace every opportunity and blessing in my path.

I felt I needed to use a visual representation of my spirit.  A butterfly is a creature of transition that blossoms into a beautiful carefree being.  This is how I feel in this moment of evolving transition.   I get to enjoy soaring through this journey with peace and well-being!

Cooking and Baking By Me: Apple Bread

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Why I love Pinterest?  It is a visual smorgasboard of everything you can think of eating or making in your kitchen.  This is another hit from Pinterest one of the best new recipes I have tried.   It is definitely moist and the crumb topping is the best part of the recipe.

1 cup sugar
½ cup butter, softened
2 eggs
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups apples, peeled and finely chopped
Topping ingredients:

4 tablespoons butter, softened (room temperature)
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
Directions for making the Best Apple Bread:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the sugar and butter, blend in the eggs and sour cream. Add the flour, soda and salt, mix just well enough to incorporate. Mix in the vanilla. Stir in the apples. Spread the batter in the bottom of a greased loaf pan (or one lined with parchment – see above).

In a small mixing bowl, stir together the topping ingredients with a fork. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the bread batter.

Bake for 55 – 60 minutes or until done.

Cooking and Baking By Me: Empanandas, Food Network

I am a huge fan of Food Network and love to try new recipes just to mix it up a bit. When I saw Sunny Anderson making this recipe, I had to find an excuse to make them. I get so bored with eating the same foods so I am always game for something new. For a side dish, I served Goya’s Mexican rice and made a dipping sauce using mayo and dijon mustard.

Bay Ridge Empanadas
Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Pinch ground cinnamon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted
1/2 cup shredded white Cheddar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon sazon seasoning
12 store-bought (6-inch) empanada wrappers
1 egg, lightly beaten
Directions
In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is warm, add the onion and saute until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute more. Stir in the beef, cumin, curry, chili powder, allspice, thyme, cinnamon, and salt and pepper, to taste. Saute, stirring often, until the beef has browned, about 10 minutes. Add the corn and the Cheddar and set aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Melt the butter with the sazon powder small pan over low heat. Stir well to combine and reserve. Working with 1 wrapper at a time, scoop 2 heaping tablespoons of the filling into the center of the wrapper. Brush the edges of the dough with beaten egg, then fold the dough over to form a half moon, pressing out the air with your fingertips. Use the tines of a fork to pinch and seal the edges, creating a border about 1-inch wide. Repeat with remaining filling and wrappers.
Transfer the patties to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using a pastry brush, coat the tops of patties with the reserved sazon butter. Bake according to dough package instructions, or until puffed and lightly browned, about 20 minutes.

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Music Monday: Not In That Way – Sam Smith

Teen Chronicles: What I Can Teach My Son

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Today I had an interesting conversation with a good friend. The time has gone by so fast we had years to catch up on but of course one conversation is not enough. One thing we did agree on is what to teach our sons.

I am in no way saying I want to take the role of dad but I have learned that I can instill in my son the things that are important to me. Here is my list of things to teach my boy child who is now a teen:

1)There is a reason to put down a toilet seat especially if you are living with females, it is a common courtesy and considerate
2)Opening the door for me and/or his sister before we reach the door
3)Walking on the outside of me and/or his sister if we are walking down a street
4)Opening a car door for a female is not old fashioned it is being a gentleman
5)Learn to be self sufficient, even if that means learning to cook for yourself and doing your own laundry
6)Never disrespect a female in any way  verbally, emotionally or physically

Although I cannot guarantee my son will continue to do these things he can never say I did not teach him what to do.