Monthly Archives

March 2020

Quarantine Series – Why us? Why now?

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Covid-19, why did it happen to us? Why did this happen right now? Why did it have to disrupt weddings, graduations, births, and more? Is it possible to have confidence in the face of Covid-19? Is it possible to see the world, in all its pain and suffering, and still have confidence? I would argue that yes, not only is it possible, it is desperately needed.

You see if we walk into situations full of fear and panic, that fear and panic will simply grow and grow until you collapse from the weight of it. And it’s honestly the easiest response. Giving into fear and panic is the easy answer. It’s the most accepted answer in today’s society. But what happens if we counter society, what happens if we walk into a situation with confidence instead of fear? What might happen is that we pull together. We become the community we were always meant to be. We become the lifeblood of the nation and care for our neighbors! We pull together to take care of the sick, elderly, poor, disabled, etc. Confidence over fear shows that we believe that as a society we are greater than the fear of a pandemic.

But where does this confidence come from? This confidence comes from faith. Faith that there is a God who is just, powerful and knows more than we ever will. Faith that our God is all powerful, mighty and we can trust Him even in the worst of times. Confidence that He is a God that is bigger than anything we can face and that when we put our confidence in Him there is no need to fear. I’m not going to lie; we got some devastating news this week and my initial thought was anger at God. How could He let this happen? How could He not know how important this was? Why now? Why us?

Honestly, I don’t know the answers to these questions. I think many times its easy to wallow and be frustrated when things don’t go our way. And as someone who really struggles not to get jealous of others, I can find my jealousy rearing its ugly head when things happen. Why did this have to happen to us, did we do something to deserve this? I don’t think we did. I don’t think this is a punishment for something we did. Maybe, just maybe, this is God pushing us toward Him and pushing us to be more like Him. To show grace and love even when things aren’t going the way we wanted or planned. That maybe when I prayed as a child to be the most compassionate person in the world, that I would face obstacles where I could show compassion and kindness. Compassion and kindness don’t happen overnight, they happen through time and facing obstacles.

So yes, things like viruses, war, famine, etc. are going to come into our lives. It will be frustrating, upsetting, and cause a little bit of chaos. But there is no reason to not have confidence in the midst of them. No reason to let our confidence waiver in the midst of these situations. Yes it is hard and yes it is not fun, but in the end it will be worth it. I want to look back at the end of my life and be proud of how I handled myself in times of stress and panic. Did I give in and get upset? Or did I step up with confidence and kindness? We have a choice and it is yours alone to make.

This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t take precautions or be aware of your surroundings and stay safe. But I don’t believe that we should give into fear and panic. Regardless of what’s going on, we are stronger when we stay stable, confident and unified. So, stand strong, support each other, support your neighbor and keep going. The more confidence we have that we can beat this and move on, the faster things will progress. Mindset is everything people. Change your mindset, change your life!

Quarantine Series – At Home Activity Ideas

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Quarantined. Social Distancing. Whatever case you are facing during this COVID-19 Pandemic, here are some ideas to try and keep yourself sane. At least semi-sane!

1.Take Care of Yourself

From my time working from home I can attest that you need to get up, take a shower, get ready just like you would any other day. If you don’t you will slide into depression and frustration faster than you would believe. Since these quarantines last 2 weeks minimum, I highly recommend you exercise this and don’t let it go! Below are some self care ideas if you can’t think of any.

2. Board Games

This is my go to at home activity. I absolutely love board games and I think it brings families together in the best way possible. I’ve linked a couple of my favorites here in case you are looking for some options!

3. Sign up for something outside your comfort zone.

This is a great option for those who are goal oriented or have a lot of pent up energy. Sign up for a new class, all of these have online options, as well as local classes once the quarantine is over!

  • 5K Walk or Run – Get out and start running in preparation for the event!
  • Martial Art Classes – Join an in-line martial art class and then keep it up once we can stop self isolating.
  • Sip & Paint Class – Grab a glass of wine and a Bob Ross YouTube video and enjoy!
  • Beginners Cooking Class – There are so many beginners cooking videos! Pick a food you’ve been wanting to eat and learn how to cook it!

4. Plan a trip for later in 2020!

The tourism company is taking a huge hit right now. Don’t be scared to make travel plans for the later half of 2020. They will need all the business to get back up and running. A few notes as you look for vacation options.

  • It’s okay to utilize the lower prices for airlines and hotels
  • Visit small businesses and promote them/purchase items to keep them afloat – Online gift cards are an amazing idea! Especially small businesses in the area your traveling to!
  • Take the plunge on the trip you’ve always wanted to take. Don’t be scared of getting sick, take a chance and travel big!

5. Organize Organize Organize

This is my least favorite thing to do, not going to lie. But you are at home and have the time. Just take the time to organize your home and then you are done! Everything will be done and you can move on to another, more fun idea. Plus you will psychologically feel better with a clean home and it will keep you calm as the day start running together.

6. Crafting and Gifting

I’m a believer that if you have the crafting gene and enjoy doing it, you should do it and help others through your gifts! Go down to storage and find broken, leftover craft materials and create new items for the elderly in nursing homes. Anything to brighten their day! If you sew, sew masks for those at the hospital that need them or blankets for the newborns in the ICU. Whatever your craft is, use it to help those in their time of need.

7. Learn a new activity.

There are more YouTube videos than you would believe with all kinds of tricks you can learn! One of my favorite things is looking up new cooking techniques and trying them out. I learned how to cut an onion a lot easier this way. Some fun ideas are listed below:

  • Cooking Shows – Learn New Techniques and Recipes
  • Learn a New Language – I’ve stopped and started learning French so many times I can’t count. Definitely a fun option if you are bored at home!
  • New workout techniques! I am really interested in barre and there are some at home barre videos you can try. Why not give some new at home workouts a try.
  • Makeup – There are hundreds, if not thousands of makeup artists on YouTube. Find a couple you like and learn some new techniques. Always something new to learn! I’m not very good at makeup so a couple videos would certainly be beneficial
  • Hair Tutorials- Find a YouTuber with similar hair type to your own and learn some new techniques! You can carry these with you post quarantine and if they don’t turn out good no one will see them since you are home alone.

8. Start a Side Hustle

That side hustle that you’ve always wanted to try? Why not try now? You have more time than you ever thought possible. So you might as well embrace it and make the most of the situation. Plus there are a lot of materials being offered free for the next 2 months, take advantage of this time!

  • Start a YouTube series
  • Start a Blog
  • Start a real business plan for the small business you’ve dreamed of doing
  • Research, research research. It’s not like you don’t have the time!

9. Garden

Seriously, YOU ARE HOME. Why not get your garden, backyard, flowerbed all set up and ready to go? It doesn’t require hanging out with anyone else and it gets you the fresh air that you desperately need during this time!

10. Shop Small

Y’all know that our small businesses community is really struggling right now. So if you have some extra cash and want to support your local small businesses, now is the time! Buy a gift card, order takeout, buy some gifts for birthdays/Christmas now, or update your wardrobe. However you can, please help, they need it now more than ever before. I listed a couple of my favorites below!

What are you doing to stay occupied during this time?? Let me know below!

Quarantine Series – 5 Tips to Working From Home

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Working from home for an extended period of time is completely different than working in an office format. I will be the first to admit that I am not perfect at it, but I work in a restricted space and have learned a lot of lessons in my time. Below are my 5 tips to working from home!

Morning Routine

Continue doing the same morning routine that you have been doing for years. Get up, shower, get dressed, etc. Don’t just roll out of bed and pull up your computer. I can promise you if you don’t keep up your morning routine you will spiral. You need your mind and body to stay consistent and know it’s time for work. Just like you would any other work week. The more consistent you can keep you life during this time, the better.

Separate Space

If possible, create a separate work environment for yourself. Make a space that you can stay focused in and then can walk away from when the ‘work day’ is over. And honestly, you will need the space just to keep your mind clear and focused. This space is critical for you to not get distracted and to keep focused during your work hours. I don’t have the luxury of a separate space as I work in a 32 foot trailer, so I just focus hard on creating and maintaining boundaries. The more boundaries you can put in place the better life will be.

Create Boundaries

Seriously, create real boundaries. Don’t overwork just because you are at home. If you are supposed to work until 5pm, work until 5pm and then stop. Work from home boundaries are absolutely critical to your sanity and keeping yourself focused. If you don’t create them in the beginning, it will be harder to enforce them later on. People will respect that you keep boundaries, don’t be afraid to make them and keep them.

Take Periodic Breaks

In an office setting, you get up and get coffee, head to lunch, and take several small breaks throughout the day. You need to continue a habit of getting up and walking around even while you are working from home. These breaks clear your mind and keep your body from getting stiff. Don’t stay in the same spot all day long. Get up, move around, just make sure to get your blood flowing.

Stay Healthy

Without doubt the thing I struggle with the most working from home is staying healthy. So I implore you, get up and exercise. Eat healthy and don’t eat all the food in your house just because you are home. This is where all of your self-control comes into place. You will need to keep yourself healthy while you are working from home. It’s critical to your health and ability to do your job well that you stay healthy. So be diligent and stay on top of this while you are working from home. You will thank yourself later.

There are many ways to work from home, many different techniques and styles. But these are my top 5 tips to at least get you started. If you have any tips of your own, please list them below!

Staying Confident in a World that Doesn’t Want You to Succeed

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You can’t have that. That is a ridiculous idea. You wasted so much time and money pursuing something that will never work out. The amount of times I have seen disapproving faces from people when I talk about my life goals, or what my huband and I are doing in life is insane. People either don’t understand why, don’t want to, or believe that we are ruining our lives. There aren’t many people out there anymore who are genuinely there to help you and encourage you. To say that you are more than what you have allowed yourself to believe. If I could say anything to you, it would be this, you are more than you believe. You can take a chance and still be successful. You can be so much more than you give yourself credit for.

And this isn’t a generational thing, my parents decided to change careers and pursue their passion. Which is an incredible, wonderful and brave thing to do. But the amount of disapproval, you’ll never accomplish it, and general nasty attitudes was insane. First of all, we live in the United States a place known for making your dreams come true. So why can’t the average every day person pursue their goals? Because we get sucked in my debts and responsibilities and believe we can’t take care of those while also pursuing that which gives us life. And I’m as guilty of this as anyone. I get sucked into the lie that these dreams I have are too big, too far fetched, too unrealistic. But that is a load of hooey. If my husband can become a doctor (side note: he graduates in 3 months!) and accomplish his dreams, whose to say that I can’t accomplish mine.

The only thing standing between you and your goals is YOU. You and your beliefs. Beliefs that you can or cannot do something. It’s okay if you don’t have money, start where you are. Do what you can. Just push for the things that make you the happiest. Life isn’t going to magically hand you your dream career and your dream life. Just like marriage, building a career is hard. And buidling a career on the side of your full time job is even harder. So give yourself grace. Tell yourself its okay to make mistakes and to not be where you want to be. You are only guaranteed one day, so keep pushing to make today the best day. Keep pushing each day to make tomorrow a better day. Just don’t give up. If you know that you don’t want to look back on your life without having made a difference, then get out and make a difference! Get out there and help those in need, encourage those who are desperate for a positive message, and bring light to this world that is getting consumed in darkness.

Pursue your career goals, bring light to the darkest areas in the world, find ways to be positive and happy so that you can bring more light into the world. Most of all, don’t accept that life is what it is. It’s up to you to make it better. Stay focused on the end result and one day you will look back and know that you made a difference in this world. People will always be negative, there will always be those who doubt you and your abilities. Don’t listen to those lies. You were created by a wonderful and powerful God. Believe that He made you for a reason and shine that light He gave you into the world.

Matthew 5:14-16 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

Ramen Dump – Chrissy Teigen Cravings Review

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I put off writing this review for weeks. Let me start out by saying that I had high hopes for this recipe. My husband and I have really grown to like ramen and I was interested in expanding my uses of ramen. Especially since it’s such a cheap ingredient! I will be honest that I was a little worried when I started reading the ingredients, there were a lot of items that I just wasn’t a fan of. For example, one of the prime ingredients is apple cider vinegar, which is a rough flavor, when it’s not cooked I feel like it overpowers the dish. There was also raw cabbage mix that went in, again something that I think it rough without being cooked with other ingredients.

Onto the honest thoughts. This was without doubt the most disgusting dish that I have ever had. I could barely get 3 bites down and my husband got maybe one bite before he looked over at me with wide eyes. This was just bad all around. For one, the ramen wasn’t cooked it was softened with the apple cider vinegar and that flavor combo was…. interesting to say the least. Combine that with the sugar, peas and corn and we just couldn’t stomach the flavors. I mean if you are a die hard ramen fan, then maybe I would suggest giving it a shot, but honestly I would say just avoid this recipe in its entirety.

Overall Review:

  • Overall Difficulty: 1/5
  • Price: Less than $15 for all ingredients.
  • Taste: 1/5
  • Recommendation: Now let me just state, this was an incredibly easy dish to make. It wasn’t hard and took very little time. However I would not recommend this dish. It makes a ton of food and if you don’t like it you will throw it all in the trash like I did. Sometimes its best to just let a recipe die and this is the one I would recommend.

The recipe can be found in Chrissy Teigens cookbook Cravings. This recipe review is a part of our Cravings Cookbook review.

xoxo – The Unprofessional Chef