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How to Make Mini Apple Pies

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Made the cutest mini apple pies this weekend! This mini apple pies recipe has a filling that was perfect and full of that great fall cinnamon flavor. I served these at a small get together this weekend and they were perfect for that bite size dessert you are looking for! I highly recommend serving them warm if possible, but they were still amazing cooled off.

Let me start my review of these by saying that the tops took forever. I’ve never latticed a pie before and doing it on a mini scale for 18 pies was crazy. It took a long time and some of them turned out terrible because I couldn’t get the dough to cooperate with me! But once you push through and get everything done, they look absolutely adorable and are the perfect single serving of apple pie. The filling was easy enough to make. Like I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, peeling, coring and dicing several cups of apples is most of the prep work. I will say this recipe made too much filling, mainly because I think I used too many apples. But even with the 1/2 cup extra apples I filled twice as many muffins and still had filling leftover.

I would definitely make sure to buy two packages of dough. One package will be solely for the bottoms of the mini apple pies and one package solely for the tops of the apple pies. That would be my biggest suggestion based on my experience with this recipe. I would also be sure to let the dough thaw to room temperature so its easy to work with. Overall, this mini apple pies recipe turned out super cute and tasted great! I have no complaints with the taste and while they took a long time to make they were well worth the time!

Overall Review: 4.5/5

How to Make Mini Apple Pies

Recipe From: https://www.sprinklesomesugar.com/mini-apple-pies/
Servings 18

Ingredients
  

  • 5 cups Apples peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • pinch salt
  • 2 cups Water
  • 1 or 2 packages (2 9") store-bought pie crust
  • 1 Egg beaten for egg wash

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • Grease a 12 cup muffin tin (and a 6-cup tin if making full amount) and set aside for later
  • Peel, core and dice apples and put into bowl. Drizzle lemon juice on top and toss
  • In another bowl mix granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  • Transfer to a saucepan on medium heat. Pour in water and stir to combine. Continuously stir to prevent sticking at bottom.
  • While still on medium heat bring to a boil for 3 minutes so mixture gets thicker.
  • Add apples and mix well. Bring to a boil again. Then reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes
  • Once apple mixture is done simmering set aside to cool.
  • While mixture is cooling (or done earlier) – take first pie crusts and a 3 1/2" circle to cut the bottoms of the pies. once you have your circles, place them in the pan and push them to cover the bottom and sides.
  • On another pie dough, cut the pie into 1/2" strips and then into 2 1/2" smaller strips. Take 6 of the strips and criss cross them into the lattice form.
  • For the lattice form, just cross them one over the other and repeat. The middle will be different than the bottom and top.
  • Once the bottom crust is in, fill the muffin pin with the apple filling. About 2/3 full.
  • After the filling is in, place your lattice tops on the top and cut any extra off.
  • Use your egg wash to brush the tops of the pies
  • Place in oven for about 15 minutes until tops are lightly golden.
  • Absolutely best served warm and with some ice cream!

How to Make Apple Fritter Bread

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This bread is TO DIE FOR! Seriously this is a non negotiable fall item that you must bake! All the layers come together to form the most perfectly balanced fall bread that will have you craving more. I always know a dessert is good when my husband goes back for more. He absolutely loved this bread and I guarantee you will too. The biggest thing I love about this recipe from Home is Where the Boat is, that the layer in the center keeps the bread moist and allows that great apple cinnamon flavor with every bite. If you have a group dinner or event coming up, or just want something special to eat Sunday morning, this is the bread for you! See the photos below to see what I mean!

Please note that there are a lot of bowls involved in this, and that is to help create the layers that make the bread so good. So just be aware that there will be more cleanup than normal for this recipe. But the work is so worth it that you won’t care about the cleanup!

Overall Review: 5/5

Apple Fritter Bread

From: Home is Where the Boat Is
https://homeiswheretheboatis.net/2020/02/19/cinnamon-swirl-apple-fritter-bread/

Ingredients
  

  • 1/3 cup Light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 2 Apples Peeled and Chopped
  • 2/3 cup Sugar plus 2 tbsps
  • 1/2 cup Softened butter
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups All purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 tsps Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Spray a 9×5 inch loaf ban with nonstick spray
  • In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon and set aside
  • In another bowl mix 2 tbsp granulated sugar and tsp cinnamon with apples and set aside
  • Using a hand mixer and a large bowl, beat butter and remaining 2/3 cup sugar with mixer until fluffy
  • Add eggs to butter mixture one at a time.
  • Add vanilla extract to egg/butter mixture.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Add butter mixture to flour mixture and combine until well blended.
  • Mix 1/2 cup milk until batter is smooth
  • Pour half the batter into loaf pan. Then add half of the apple mixture
  • Sprinkle half the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture on top of apple mixture
  • Pour remaining batter on top of cinnamon/apple mixture. Then top with remaining apple mixture and then remaining cinnamon sugar mixture.
  • Lightly push down the top apple layer and swirl the brown sugar mixture through apples with a knife.
  • Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a toothpick stuck through center of bread comes out clean.
  • Let cool and serve with butter! Enjoy!

How to Make the Easiest Apple Muffins

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Hey y’all! Another fall day, another apple recipe! When fall hits, I am cooking all things apple and this recipe did not disappoint! It’s from Southern Living, a favorite of mine as all the recipes are amazing! These muffins did not take long to make and had a great flavor profile. My only suggestion to this would be that you may want to incorporate another 1/2 cup of apples. I like chunky muffins with lots of apple bites and feel like another 1/2 cup would have made the perfect muffin! Overall though, they are the perfect fall breakfast item and I highly recommend them!

Overall Review: 4.7/5

Apple Muffins

From: Southern Living https://www.southernliving.com/recipes/apple-muffins-recipe

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 cup Diced Apples
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 cup Packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup Whole Milk
  • 1/2 cup Salted Butter Melted and Cooled
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Eggs Slightly Beaten

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Grease a 12 cup muffin pan with spray
  • In a medium bowl mix the apples and granulated sugar and set aside
  • In a large bowl — Whisk flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon
  • Stir milk, butter, vanilla and eggs in the apple mixture
  • Add apple mixture to flour mixture. Stir until just combined.
  • Evenly pour into muffin cups
  • Bake for 18 minutes until a wooden pick inserted to center comes out clean.
  • Remove muffins to wire rack and let cool.
  • Serve with butter and enjoy!

How to Make a Harvest Apple Chicken Skillet

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So we went apple picking this weekend and I have a serious overflow of apples! As I’m working on ways to eat all of these apples I stumbled upon this Harvest Apple Chicken Skillet and it sounded perfect! I will say right off the bat that this takes a lot of prep work. There are so many vegetables and ingredients to chop beforehand that you will need to make sure you set aside time for the prep. But once you’ve completed the prep, the cook time doesn’t take long at all!

As for taste, this is definitely a sweet and savory dish. I would say this dish is decent, but not in my top favorites. I love all the vegetables and the bacon and chicken addition. But the sauce wasn’t quite there for me. I think that a different sauce would take this dish to a whole new level! But still, it was a good dinner and a fun new recipe to try!

Overall Review: 3/5

Harvest Apple Chicken Skillet

From: https://www.closetcooking.com/harvest-skillet-chicken-with-apples/
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Slices Bacon Chopped into 1/2 inch sections
  • 1 pd Chicken Bite Size Pieces
  • 1 Onion Diced
  • 1 Sweet Potato Peeled and Diced
  • 1 pd Brussel Sprouts Trimmed and quartered
  • 4 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1 Jalapeno Diced
  • 2 tsp Thyme
  • 2 Apples Diced
  • 1 cup Chicken Broth
  • 2 tbsp Whole Grain Mustard
  • 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • Salt to taste
  • Black Pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Prep Ingredients: Bacon, Chicken, Sweet Potato, Onion, Brussel Sprouts, Garlic and Apples
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the bacon until crispy
  • Once the bacon is done, transfer to a plate but keep the bacon grease in the pan.
  • Add the chopped chicken to the skillet and cook until golden about 7-8 minutes
  • Once the chicken is cooked transfer to a separate plate
  • Add onion, sweet potato, jalapeno, and brussel sprouts and cook until tender (10-15 minutes).
  • Add garlic, thyme and chopped apples. Cook for about 1-2 minutes
  • Add chicken broth.
  • Add cooked bacon and chicken and combine.
  • Add mustard, syrup, salt and pepper and combine. Let sauce thicken for 2-3 minutes
  • Serve in a bowl and enjoy!

5 Simple Things To Make Cooking A Breeze

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Cooking, especially on a busy workday can be stressful. By no stretch am I an expert cook, but I have been dealing with busy work nights and a husband with a busy schedule for years.

1.) Use A Cookbook

Seriously, unless you are a professional chef or have been cooking for years and years, use a cookbook. It is extremely helpful as you learn proportions, foods and spices that mix well together and just gets you comfortable in the kitchen. I rely heavily on cookbooks and do a ton of recipe reviews because its the best way to learn! Just like being in school, cooking by recipe is a great way to learn. If you don’t have a cookbook to learn off of, Pinterest is a great resource. Find food boards that either have reviews of the recipe or are by a reputable chef and use those recipes to enhance your cooking skills! But don’t do the same thing over and over again. Branch out to new recipes and slowly try to enhance your skills. You won’t get better if you continue to make sheet pan dinners.

2.) Necessary Tools

Okay this is going to be an ongoing topic for me. Let’s start with the absolute basics. When you are cooking you don’t need all the expensive culinary tools. You just need the basics and then you can work up from there. So basics I found that I just can’t replicate without.

  • Grater – A grater is so important so you don’t accidentally cut yourself (like I did) and saves you endless time and frustration. Trust me trying to ‘grate’ a lemon with a knife is not the same and it hurts when you miss the lemon.
  • Hand Mixer- The standing kitchen aid mixers are beautiful, but they are expensive. So if you are just starting out, I think getting a hand mixer will be your best friend. I have been hand mixing all the recipes I have tried and the time and effort it takes to get to the consistency you want is astounding. Save yourself the time and buy a hand mixer, this way you won’t be frustrated with recipes you are trying. My husband just got me one for our anniversary and I was thrilled! My cookies and recipes turned out 10 times better than if I had mixed them by hand.
  • Ladle, Spatula, Whisks, Wooden Spoon and a Spatula – For most of the meals you will be cooking these utensils should cover the basics! But my biggest recommendation is to buy good quality! You will be hardest on these utensils so make sure they will last! My spatulas are falling apart so I’m planning to get a better quality version!

3.) Use Salt Lightly

You can’t take salt back once its on your food. Start light and add more when necessary. So when they say sprinkle salt, sprinkle lightly and add as you see fit. But be careful not to add too much or you will ruin the food you spent so hard working on. You may already know this but it is always worth mentioning. Instead of excess salt, use other spices to bring flavor. I love red pepper flakes, oregano, basil and black pepper. Salt is an essential spice, but it should be used sparingly.

4.) When In Doubt – Stir Fry

This may not be the correct way to ‘Stir Fry’, but it’s what I call these super easy and healthy meals. For nights where I want to eat healthy or have a home cooked meal I make this. There are so many ways you can vary this and its done within 20 minutes!

  1. Take a large skillet and heat with about 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Chop up a meat(or meat substitute) of your choice and add to the pan.
  3. While your meat cooks, chop up a variety of veggies. I personally go for zucchini squash, bell peppers, onions, and jalapenos. Throw those into your 70-80% cooked mixture and combine.
  4. Season with salt, and pepper.
  5. Let cook for 7-10 minutes until veggies are tender.
  6. Serve warm with sides of fruit or rice.

5.) Cook Foods You Like

I feel like people forget this, cook the foods you like. Don’t cook foods that are healthy or popular if you don’t like them. Find healthy ways to serve the foods you like. Cook the tacos, the burgers, the chicken wings, etc. Life is short, cook the foods you enjoy and just look for new ways to help make those meals a bit healthier. But to cook at home more often, you need to like doing it. And that starts with cooking the foods you actually like eating!

Overall, just make cooking fun! The more fun it is the easier it will get. And the easier it gets the more frequently you will do so! Have fun cooking everyone!

Inadequate but Ready to be Used by God

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Find my looks on: https://www.liketoknow.it/cultivateconfidence

Do you ever feel tragically inadequate? I’ve definitely had moments in my life where I feel incredibly inadequate, where everything I do just doesn’t seem to be enough. Where it feels like you just can’t make a difference in this world? I am not a psychiatrist, and I don’t know much, but I do know that these feelings happen to everyone in one way or another. It’s because we want to be the best version of ourselves and when that doesn’t happen we panic. Especially for those of us with anxiety to begin with.

But those who feel inadequate are exactly who God is looking to use. He wants to use your imperfections, he wants to use your shortcomings to show His glory. With everything that is going on in the world, its easy to feel inadequate and stuck in what could you do? What could you, a lowly person, do to help fix the world? How could you make a difference?

I would argue that you CAN and SHOULD be used. God wants to use you to show His glory. And I think that starts in your community and home. Be the change that you want to see in the world. If you want to see less racism in the world, then speak out and let your actions speak louder than those words. If you want to see those in poverty get help and get on their feet; get out and help your community. Help the shelters in your community. Speak up and assist those who are in need, don’t stay silent, let God use you. But do it the way He wants you too.

Make the change with love, joy, peace, patience and endless grace. We are called to be like God, we are called to different than the world. Let me state this again, this isn’t staying silent, its using your platform and influence to make a difference. It’s words accompanied by action. It’s not one or the other. Get out and show the world what Gods kingdom and people are all about.

That means getting out and being DIFFERENT. Be different than the world — be BETTER. Be the person who loves everyone, regardless of skin-tone or background. Be the person who stands up for those who can’t stand up for themselves. Be the one who is humble enough to help those who are in need. Help those who are in need of food, shelter or water. I think the biggest thing we face is not CAN we help, its getting out of our own way and saying we WILL help. We will be different and make a difference, we will be better than we were before.

I do not have all the answers, but Jesus does. Jesus has instructed us how to live, how to live a life that glorifies Him. Whenever you feel anger, frustrations, stress, anxiety and especially inadequacy turn to Him and let Him guide you.

I listed a few verses that I think really apply to these situations. For when we don’t know what to do, turning to scripture is always an option.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7

“Let all that you do be done in love.” – 1 Corinthians 16:14

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31

We were all created in the image of God. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. Let’s act like it and be better.

Find my looks on: https://www.liketoknow.it/cultivateconfidence

My Year and A Half Living Full-Time in a Trailer

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We are finishing our time in our trailer and honestly it might be the most bitter-sweet thing I’ve ever experienced. I have loved every moment living in our travel trailer! It has grown my marriage, allowed me to experience so many unique places in the country, while also allowing my husband and I to stay together while working and finishing school. It’s done everything we needed and more and to let it go will be one of the hardest things.

Next week we are heading up to the Midwest to grab our things in storage and move to Pittsburgh to get settled before my husband starts his job at the local hospital. We are excited about the changes and its definitely the next right step for us. But its also so hard to let go of the year and a half of travel and memories that we have had in here. My husband will be the first to tell you that living in a trailer has been amazing. We will absolutely be buying one in the future and may even retire in one we loved it so much!

One of the best perks and the one I will always mention is how much its grown our marriage. Our travel trailer is 32 feet long so there is no room to hide! We have had to learn how to work together better than we did in the past. We were together all the time, had no family or friends around and lived in a confined space. So we had to learn to be more patient, be more understand, let go of anger, and to be extrodinarily kind. And honestly we have fought far less in the last year and a half because of these lessons that we learned. We work together and enjoy quality time together in ways that wouldn’t have been possible without getting out and trying something new.

Travel trailer life pushes you to go outside and adventure, to not sit in front of the TV but to be active. Because the space is limited, we were forced to get out more and honestly we really learned how little we need in terms of possessions and a house. While we are moving to a bigger place, its not near as big as what we used to believe we needed. The goal will be to continue to limit the amount of items that we need and maintain a lifestyle of staying outside and active.

With all that being said, I want to highlight my top five moments from this adventure and hopefully inspire you to get out, try something new and maybe even buy a trailer!

1.) Our First Outdoor Movie – On the Side of the Trailer

My husband and I saved up all our money from Christmas and some of our savings to purchase a new projector. We were able to get the projector in January(a month or so after moving in) and used the side of the trailer to project the movie onto. We had our small electric outdoor fireplace, drinks, blankets and perfect chilly weather. The Greatest Showman played as we sang along and enjoyed just the perfect night together. One of many outdoor movie nights that we have been able to enjoy while roaming the country. It was one of those moments that was so simple but so perfect at the same time and was just a great outcome of our trailer life!

2.) Birthday Adventures – Seattle Addition

Our first big road trip from Seattle was the first time really getting out feet wet traveling with the trailer. The drive up was full of craziness between being extremely cold one nights sleep at the truck stop, singing and chatting the whole drive up. We loved every moment in Seattle and fell in love with the beauty of the area. So when my birthday came along, I was given free reign to choose all our activities without complaint! And I utilized every moment of it. We traveled to two of the major parks in the surrounding areas (3-4 hours away from Seattle each). Meaning that my poor hubby drove about 10 hours round trip that weekend so that I could go exploring and enjoy the views! He was such a sweetheart about it and I couldn’t have imagined a better birthday view.

3.) Drive to Washington DC

Honestly, this was the craziest day of our trip. This was the shortest distance that we needed to travel, only about 5 and a half hours. But it ended up taking us double that amount of time to get there. To start, we had endless issues getting the awning to go back up. Some small mechanism decided to break down the morning we were supposed to leave and it took us hours to get it up and ready for travel. Once we got the awning up and went to check out I noticed a giant hole in the siding of our travel! One that I had never seen before! It turns out the day before while mowing the grass areas, one of the staff hit a rock that went straight through the siding of the camper. So we had to deal with that and get an agreement for them to pay the repairs before we could head out. Then as we were driving we had a cabinet door fall and several other issues on the drive. But the reason it is ranked as one of my top memories is because it was a crazy day but we handled everything with grace, love and support. We didn’t argue, we just dealt with the issues and moved on! To me it was a sign of how much we had grown in our marriage in such a short time.

4.) Cooking In The Trailer

Some of my favorite memories are trying to figure out how to cool in a 20 year old trailer. There were many things that don’t work the same as modern technology. For example, the oven does not heat evenly, everything is centered to the front right so you have to be mindful of that when you are working. I burnt several items trying to cook things evenly and not realizing how burnt the bottom was getting! But it was unique and different and we spent this time together learning and growing. I tried endless new recipes and learned to clean (slightly) better than before by having such a small kitchen. It pushed me to be better about cleaning up quickly and more efficiently.

5.) Christmas Eve 2019

I was having a really hard time this Christmas being by ourselves and being in south Florida. The weather was 85 degrees out, beautiful and sunny but it didn’t feel at all like Christmas. I wasn’t able to skype with family on Christmas Eve and it was just all weighing on me. But my hubby was so kind and stepped up to make me feel better. Sitting with me while I cried, playing board games with me, and getting up early on Christmas to take photos with me at the beach. Sometimes its the small things that we do for others that mean the most.

Quarantine Series – Is it possible to be positive in the middle of a crisis?

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I have seen a lot of posts recently about how the gravity of what’s going on has really weighed on everyone’s hearts. Its caused stress, anxiety and depression. As someone who has experienced all these emotions for a good chunk of my life, I can relate and empathize with everyone’s feelings.

It’s incredibly easy to get lost in the noise and the black hole of despair and panic. Many times it happens so gradually that you don’t notice it’s happened until its consuming all your thoughts. And being stuck in your home, while keeping yourself safe, is adding to the stress and anxiety in your life. But take heart and think about all that we have overcome in the past! We have overcome personal, social, regional and national catastrophes as a nation. And through it all we have come out stronger than we were before. Life is always going to throw things your way, it’s always going to have ups and downs. And as stressful and disheartening as those moments are, they teach us lessons. They teach us to be kinder, loving, smarter, and more confident. If we were to not face trials in life, we would not grow and succeed.

Staying positive through tragedy, embracing change and knowing that the future is bright is all you can do. Embrace the change, embrace the good and the bad, embrace the present and look to the future full of hope. Life will be crazy and the anxiety will run high at times. But you can find joy in the midst of anxiety. It is possible to feel all the emotions at once! Let them run — be positive while still being anxious. Be joyful while still feeling the pang of sorrow. It is when we suppress them that they can take over our lives. Be okay with things being stressful, anxious, overwhelming. But also be okay with joy and light being present as well. You can feel all the emotions and its okay to do so!

However you are feeling in the midst of this pandemic, remember that its okay to feel the emotions. It’s okay to be overwhelmed, but don’t be afraid to be positive as well. You aren’t negating the things going on in the world, you are just choosing to be a light in the midst of that darkness!

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!