Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Book Review: Total Blueprint For World Domination

Total Blueprint For World Domination
By: Jolene Stockman

Target big dreams and build a plan to achieve them! You've got one life, one shot, and all the power to make it happen. Get ready to dream big and live big. It's all up to you. And it starts now.

Total Blueprint for World Domination (17,000 words) is a powerful life-planning book for teens that will inspire. The book lets readers:
*Explore hidden passions and find direction.
*Create heart-pounding, toe-tingling goals.
*Recruit an army for support.
*Design a dream world and make it happen.
*Achieve world domination step-by-step.

Full of tips and tricks for tackling life's challenges, Total Blueprint for World Domination is a book that will motivate readers to take their life to the next level.

Anything is possible. And anything is possible for you. Believe it. Total Blueprint for World Domination takes you from this very second to your greatest dreams. So, are you ready?

**** 4/5 stars!  I really liked this book. Although it is geared towards teens, I totally felt like it applied to my life now. This book has great positive energy and is so motivating!! Stockman does a great job of walking the reader through setting up a life plan/goal and then showing how to accomplish that plan/goal.

I am definitely going to be reading this again in about 6 months when I am ready to re-evaluate my life plans and goals!!

Some of my favorite quotes:
"Your Personal  Vision
Start by thinking about what makes you Super You.  Ask yourself:
-What am I good at?
-What do I feel strongly about?
-What do I like doing?
-What makes me special?
-What are my passions?
-What do I want to do with my life?"
"Make your goals challenging, but possible!"
"Enthusiasm is infectious - give it to everyone you meet!"

"I will create win-win relationships by being true to myself, and appreciating others.  I will learn about myself through my relationships."

"Your intentions are like your personal vision, they are just for you.  So when you write them, be honest, kind, and true."
 This book really got me thinking about my life and my life plan.  It would have been great to have this when I was a teen so that I had more of a direction going through high school and college but I'm glad that I now have it as a resource to help direct and focus my life moving forward.

I recommend this book for teens and adults alike but caution that there are a few light swears.

I will be reading and reviewing Jolene Stockman's "The Jelly Bean Crisis" and  "Jawbreaker: Unlock the (U)niverse" and then will probably end with an author interview.  Read along with me so that you can submit any interview questions you may have.

Have you already read Total Blueprint For World Domination?  Comment and let me know what you thought.

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

One Year Out Of Work

On October 5, 2012 I found out that I was going to be laid off as an Inside Sales Account Manager at UPS Freight.  I had worked there for just less than 5 years.  November 30, 2012 was my last day of work there.  It has now been one year since I have been out of work and I thought that I would share some of my reflections with you.

Not having my own income is suffocating.  I used to be able to run to the dollar store or Smith's two or three times each month and spend $20 and it was no big deal.  I could go out to lunch a few times each month and  get take out/eat out a few times each month and it was fine.  It was my money and if I wanted to spend a little, I would.  I wouldn't consider myself a big spender but I do miss being able to buy holiday decorations and whatever else without feeling like I have to clear it through my husband.  I do have savings that I have been able to use but I don't want to spend any more of it.  From here on out, I'll have to beg money from my husband and hope he gives me some.  (He totally will give me some when we have extra in any given month.  He really is a great guy and not too much of a money grinch.)

Being a stay at home mom is awesome.  I love being able to be there for my kids and being a part of their lives.  I love being able to do play dates, go to the park, and volunteer at Talon's preschool.  Snuggling with my kids is one of my favorite things in the whole world.  It's nice being with them in the morning when they are pleasant instead of just at night for a couple of hours when they are tired, hungry, and just plain grumpy.  It's nice being able to take my kids to the zoo and the aquarium and all those fun places during the week when it is less crowded.  I get to take naps most afternoons!

Being a stay at home mom is terrible.  There is never enough time in the day and yet the days drag on and on.  I get sick of my kids every single day and I can't  wait until my husband gets home at about 7:30is each night to help me take care of the them.  I feel trapped like I can't go anywhere, despite being home and having no other obligations, because it is so miserable to haul the kids around places.  I feel super unproductive so often.  Being covered in other people's bodily fluids gets old fast.

There are a lot of other perks, too.  I like that when I am sick I can just stay at home and not have to worry about sick time or missing too much work.  I love being at home during the day so that I can help others by doing things like bringing meals to new moms, which was super hard to do when I would get home from work at 5:30.  Being able to wear my sweat or yoga pants all day long long is one of the best things ever.  I can eat real food, snack, and bake cookies whenever I want.  I have time to do random stuff like blog.

I really do enjoy staying at home and the benefits far outweigh the bad stuff.  I do plan on going back to school and going back to work eventually, but for now, this is me.

Do you stay at home?  Do you work?  Share some of your thoughts and experiences!

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Monday, December 2, 2013

Recipe: Bone Broth

Bone broth is super easy to make! Apparently, it is one of the most healthful foods out there, too. I have been making mine with turkey carcasses left over from Thanksgiving but it can be made with chicken, beef, etc.

The recipe is pretty loose and it is better to make the bone broth from what you have on hand, than not at all. 

I chop my veggies smaller than they need to be because I plan in eating them with some of the broth. You'll especially want to do this if you are going to be making soup with the vegetables included. 

You just throw it all in the crockpot, fill it up with water, and turn it on. 

Yummy soup!


2 carrots (I use a handful or two of minis)
1 medium onion
2 celeries
3-4 sprigs fresh parsley 
1-2 sprigs fresh thyme
1-2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper

Put the bones/carcass in the crockpot. Roughly chop the carrots and celery and then slice and quarter the onion. Throw the veggies and garlic in the crockpot. Pull the leaves of the herbs right off into the pot. Add the bay leaf, vinegar, and any salt and pepper you might want (I usually add just a bit of pepper and wait to add the rest later).  Fill the crockpot with water leaving about 1-1/2 inch space at the top so it doesn't boil over. Turn it on low. Leave for 8-10 hours turning carcass every couple of hours.  (Warning: Your house will smell delicious!!!)

When it is done cooking, strain the broth with a fine wire strainer into a pitcher then pour the broth into your storage containers. Refrigerate until cold, scoop off the layer of fat, then seal and store in the freezer.

-The first time I made bone broth, I only used onion, carrots, celery, and parsley and it was still great!!
What do you put in your bone broth to make it delicious?

100 Days of Real Food, Primally Inspired, Weed'em & Reap, Chow

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Jewelry Everyday Earring Giveaway

I have a friend who makes super cute jewelry and sells it at great prices! I just ordered a whole bunch to give to my visiting teaching ladies and to Talon's preschool teacher I also bought a couple of things for myself (I may have to place another order because she just put a few new items in her shop that I am loving!!).

I also ordered a pair of earrings to give away to one of my lucky blog friends!!

To enter the earring giveaway:

1.  Go to the Jewelry Everyday shop and find your favorite item.
2.  Come back here and post a comment telling us what that favorite item is.
3.  Make your entries official by clicking the enter buttons on the raffle widget.
4. Come back each day to get your daily entry.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I was able to get a Jewelry Everyday discount code for At The Beech House readers!!  You will receive $6 off a $20 minimum order now through Dec. 31, 2013 with the code 'beechhouse'. You're welcome!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Come Unto Jesus

Remember when we looked at the hymn 'I Believe In Christ' and liked it? Well, I came across another song for us to look at.  I was at a church conference Saturday and when we sang 'Come Unto Jesus,' the words really hit me and I knew that I wanted to take a closer look.

Orson Pratt Huish

Come unto Jesus, ye heavy laden,
Careworn and fainting, by sin oppressed.
He'll safely guide you unto that haven
where all who trust him my rest.

Come unto Jesus; He'll ever heed you,
Though in the darkness you've gone astray.
His love will find you and gently lead you
From darkest night into day.

Come unto Jesus; He'll surely hear you,
If you in meekness plead for his love.
Oh, know you not that angels are near you
From brightest mansions above?

Come unto Jesus from every nation,
From every land and isle of the sea.
Unto the high and lowly in station,
Ever he calls, "Come to me."

Matthew 11:28-30
2 Nephi 26:33

One of the parts that I love is 'Oh, know you not that angels are near you...?'  I know it has been said many times by the prophets, apostles, scriptures, and even the Lord himself  that His "angels will be round about [me], to bear [me] up" but it is really easy to forget those angelic helpers in the midst of day to day life, especially in my times of depression.  What a wonderful thing to know that we are surrounded by heavenly angels as well as living angels of friends, family, and neighbors, who watch over us, help us, care for and about us, and want us to succeed in life in the best, most pleasant, and happiest way possible.  All we have to do is come unto Jesus.

What do you think of 'Come Unto Jesus?'  What is your favorite part?  Any thoughts?

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Recipe: Easy Homemade Broccoli Cheese Sauce

I whipped this together the other night when I needed a quick dinner before book club. I had some left over broccoli from making Cheesy Cream of Broccoli Soup with Bacon and some left over heavy cream and cheeses from a Baked Ziti recipe I'll be posting soon. 

This pic is actually the leftover sauce that I ate tonight :)

This is a super easy sauce that whips up really quickly and is so good that I literally kept eating it with a spoon while I waited for my baked potatoes to finish cooking. Enjoy!

Start by chopping up the broccoli, boiling the broccoli steaming water, and melting the butter.  Finish chopping the broccoli and get it steaming before you add the flour to the butter, otherwise, you will be trying to stir your roux and chop broccoli and then add cream before the roux browns too much and then be stirring the white sauce so it doesn't burn while still trying to chop broccoli and your broccoli steaming water will be trying to boil out of the pan (no punctuation crazy sentence to reflect the real life craziness).  No good.
3 Cups???

 At this point the thought came to me that Talon, my 3 year old, hadn't gone to the bathroom for a while.  So in the midst of everything else, I ran into my bedroom where he was playing Sonic and found that he had peed right on my bed.  Awesome :| 
Phew, no lumps!

Once it is mixed together, you'll want to taste it...a bunch.  We like ours a little thick, but this would be the point to add milk a little at a time to the consistency you prefer.

Talon's baked potato with the cheese sauce.  He liked it!

3 Cups broccoli, chopped small
1/2 Cup water
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons flour
1 1/2 Cups heavy cream
1 Cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 Cup mozerella cheese, shredded
1/2 Cup parmesan cheese, shredded
Milk for consistency

 Start by chopping the broccoli into smaller pieces (little chopped stems work perfectly in this sauce).  Bring the water and sea salt to a boil in a medium/small pot with a lid.  Add the broccoli and stir until the water returns to a boil then turn the heat to low and cover.  Cook for 5 minutes and test softness.  (You could use frozen broccoli and follow the cooking directions on the package.)  Melt the butter in a medium/large pot.  Add the flour and stir until combined.  Bring temperature to medium high then add the cream and stir until it starts to bubble and thicken.  Turn the heat off and stir in the cheese.  Add the broccoli and any remaining cooking water to the sauce and stir it in.  This will make a fairly thick sauce so feel free, at this point, to add milk a bit at a time, if you would like your sauce a little more thin.  -Serves 4.