Love, Anxiety and Hot Cocoa

Ever since my older kids were little, I have had a tradition of making them hot chocolate when it was cold out, especially when they didn’t feel good… Or when they just kind a needed that extra internal hug.

I absolutely love hot chocolate, I always have! and I love to add different flavors into my hot chocolate. I have to admit my favorite hot chocolate probably is when I add peppermint to it. Each of my kids liked something different with their hot chocolate… So I’ve learned to make hot chocolate with vanilla, ice cream, peppermint and even banana among other flavors… I know it sounds a little strange to have banana,  but trust me.. it taste better than it sounds.

Anybody who knows me, knows I love mugs, I collect mugs. I guess part of the reason why I love mugs so much is because I equate them with sitting down and having a cup of hot chocolate or tea or coffee and just enjoying myself or spending time with my kids.

We always had a tradition of having hot chocolate, before we opened our presents… I love having  little traditions like that.. and I love that one with my kids! I know that when they see hot chocolate it reminds them of those positive childhood memories.

Peyton and I absolutely love having hot chocolate together… As I’ve discussed many times my hubby is an oil guy, so he’s not always home. When it gets cold, Peyton and I have a tradition of sitting and having a cuppa hot cocoa and relaxing. Sometimes we just talk… Sometimes we watch TV together and sometimes we just relax. Although I love hot chocolate all year round, I especially love it during the holidays. There is something very magical to me about hot chocolate and Christmas.

There’s something very relaxing to me about sitting in front of the fireplace with the Christmas tree and mantle lights on, drinking a cup of hot chocolate… In one of my Christmas mugs… With two peppermint sticks in my hot chocolate.

I talk a lot about that I have GAD… General anxiety disorder in my blogs… Having my cup of hot chocolate is one of the ways that I help lower my anxiety during the holiday season.

I think we all have those little things that we do, or places that we can go that allow us to destress and calm down… And as silly as it sounds, hot chocolate is one of those for me. I know Peyton feels the same way.. there’s something very soothing to him about a cup of hot chocolate.

I’m including hear my favorite hot chocolate recipe… This is a very common hot chocolate recipe I know it’s out there in many places, so I’m not pretending it’s mine… But I’ve also added some of the changes that I do to it to make it different…all food disclaimers apply! : )

I hope you enjoy, and I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed Friday! As always, thanks so much for following us on our 45 Awesomism days of the holidays… The support has been overwhelming and I really appreciate it, both Peyton and I do! We look forward to “talking” to you tomorrow have a happy national Cocoa day

 

Ingredients:

  1. 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  2. 1/2 cup granulated sugar… I add a pinch of brown sugar
  3. 1/3 cup hot water
  4. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  5. 4 cups milk (dairy or non-dairy) I usually do 3 cups milk and one cup french vanilla creamer
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or ! teaspoon Almond extract or 1 Teaspoon Peppermint extract… this is my favorite

Instructions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the cocoa powder, sugar, water, and salt over medium heat.
  2. Cook, stirring constantly until smooth and bring to a simmer.
  3. Reduce heat, and stir in the milk, do not boil.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour into mugs and serve immediately.

Pictures Of The Season

As we get ready for the World to start it’s Christmas Decorating… Let’s take a moment to look at the Beauty,Fun and Images of Fall/Autumn!

Beauty is everywhere…. If we take the time to look for things that make us smile.. we can and will find so many items… Here are a few of mine and Peyton’s favorite items that we have seen  ….. We have collected these from many places.

Hope you enjoy!

 

“Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is.”
— Anonymous

 

Hope you enjoy our Images of the Season! we’d love to see your pictures!

As always thanks for reading my blog! We have lots more awesome stuff coming between now and New Years Day! Hope everyone has a very Blessed Sunday!

 

45 Awesomism Days of the Holidays

We are super excited to be doing the 45 Awesomism days of the holidays!

As I have discussed in previous blogs… I have GAD, general anxiety disorder… And Peyton is as everyone knows well…  is autistic.

The holidays can be very stressful for everyone, but it can be particularly stressful for those who suffer with anxiety.

Nowadays… The stores start decorating for the holidays and pushing Christmas and Thanksgiving already in July… I kid you not, Peyton and I were in a store in July and they were taking down their Fourth of July items and putting up Christmas already!!

That can really add to the stress and anxiety of the holidays, because it seems like as it comes sooner and sooner it gets more and more in your head about the holidays.

I absolutely love Christmas! It is my favorite holiday… I have always really decorated every house I’ve ever owned to the max… Peyton loves Christmas as well, and as I get older.. I get less and less inspired to do all kinds of decorating.. dragging all the boxes out of the attic… Although we call ours a Texas basement because it is a walk-able attic, so it’s not as difficult… But dragging everything down, scrubbing down the house.. putting everything that was Up away and then putting up all the Christmas decorations takes a lot of work!

However; to see Peyton’s face be so happy and so excited, it’s all worth it to me!

I decided that this year I was going to do a 45 day long blog/video/pictures/craft/ideas/recipes/tips on my Website!.We will have everything in one place on our website… Also, we will have a dedicated Flipboard Magazine, A dedicated Pinterest Board… we will be having daily items on Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin!

I’m by no means an expert on helping lower your anxiety and/ or your stress… but I do know that with me, when I see tips that I can use, such as other peoples ideas.. it really does take a certain amount of the anxiety out of my life… So that’s what I’m hoping to do here! Just inspire people and help maybe lower your stress level, lower your anxiety by providing so many different things that can help you during the holiday seasons!

We will be covering Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day… as well as a few other surprises!

We have an Awesome Thanksgiving guest Blogger that you won’t want to miss his heartfelt Thanksgiving Blog.

I hope you enjoy our” 45 Awesomism days of the Holidays” and please share with your friends, family and anyone else that you think might benefit from it!

If you have any tips or ideas or would love to be a guest blogger, I would love to hear from you!

As always thanks so much for reading my blog and let’s get started…….. tomorrow we will start with a blog about some Thanksgiving tips

Here is a blog that I wrote a few years ago about the Stress I put on myself during the Holidays. Link: Traditions are made to be broken

Nature does not hurry

I absolutely love a good cup of tea and about a week and a half ago I was making myself a traditional medicinal tea.

I was feeling a little bit under the weather and had a sore throat, so I decided to make myself a really strong cup of throat tea. On the little paper tag of each teabag there was a saying and this particular bag it said “nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. By LAO Tzu.

This really got me thinking… There’s so much wisdom in that saying, nature doesn’t hurry… a flower doesn’t grow overnight… a tree doesn’t grow in a day… There’s so many things about nature that are very slow and methodical… Yet nature somehow always gets it done.

Sometimes it’s not things we want to have done such as hurricanes, bad storms, floods tornadoes etc. but other times there’s so much beauty in nature, we have some of the most beautiful flowers… the clouds are just gorgeous!

I love to lay down and look at the clouds in the sky and try to find either animals or cartoon characters or pictures within the clouds…

I’ve been fortunate enough that I’ve traveled into a lot of places in the world, and I’ve seen so many different parts of nature… I’ve seen lakes, I’ve seen Rivers.. I’ve seen mighty oceans I’ve seen mountains.. I’ve seen deserts… I’ve seen flatland’s.. I’ve seen Hill country.. I’ve seen unbelievably gorgeous Forests… And they all have one thing in common… they are there for our viewing, and for us to learn from, and for us to enjoy and for us to see.

The more I thought about that saying as I was sipping my tea the more I realized… I so often put myself on this list! I feel like I have to get this done, I have to get that done! Now there are somethings in life we have to get done.. like we have to pay bills on time, we have to make sure that we eat each day, that we take care of ourselves if we’re sick or just make sure that things are done!

We have to go to work, we have to cook or clean or do other Daily or weekly chores… I get that but there’s so many things that we put on our self each and every day that we feel like we are against a clock…

Or maybe we don’t vacuum the carpet today, maybe we put it off for a day or two… Instead of vacuuming maybe we go outside and sit and look at the clouds above… What is wrong with that? nothing!!

It allows us a time to mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally “ Grow“ I know for myself I need that time… I need that downtime. Time where I allow myself to refresh, to just relax to take life.. just one small step…

I have written other blogs about slowing down… Why run when you can walk… And I do try… But as I sat there with my sore throat drinking my medicinal tea, I thought to myself this “Could not have come at a better time… I don’t need to hurry… One way or another I will get it all accomplished”…

So my stress and my anxiety can be put on the back burner… And my mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health will be put on the front burner… Because at the end of the day nature doesn’t Hurry yet everything is accomplished!

Friday Cup of Coffee

I absolutely love a great cup of coffee… Mark and I make ours with a French press… We buy flavored coffee and add flavor creamer‘s… I add cinnamon to mine as well, Mark is not a big cinnamon fan like I am… So we have two different containers for our coffees… As well as two different French presses.

Many don’t know it but yeah man what is the “birthplace“ of coffee I actually didn’t know that until I went to Yemen. I was given some coffee as a gift when I was there, and I must say it was some of the best coffee I’ve ever had.

It isn’t only the coffee itself though, the location, countless etc. is part of a truly awesome “coffee break” experience. One of my favorite times of the day when my older kids were younger was to sit with my legs in our pool and drink my morning coffee… We live on an acreage And it was so quiet and peaceful.

It was a nice way to start my day before the stresses of kids, homeschooling work etc. started. My kids used to buy me coffee mugs for presents and to this day I cherish them and other personal mugs! There’s something comfortable about a quiet coffee time. It comes the mind and the body. As my older kids become adults they still didn’t understand why I valued my morning cup of coffee, as they now have their own morning rituals.

One of my new favorite morning rituals… Is my Sunday morning ritual, where I go and sit in the fire side café at the Woodlands United Methodist Church… And have my coffee and listen to the church service… It is a wonderfully comfortable and calming place… There is a big fireplace cozy leather chairs and couches… The coffee is wonderful and the ambience is even better. I cherish my morning coffee… Not so much because of where I have but What it means to me. Do you have a morning ritual that you really enjoy?

Do you have something that helps you face the anxieties and stresses of each day? I’d love to hear it…

Cinnamon Vanilla Coffee Creamer Recipe:

Ingredients:
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1 3/4 cup Milk
1 TBSP vanilla
1 1/2 heaping tsp cinnamon
1 TBSP brown sugar
Instructions:
1. Add condensed milk and milk to blender and combine
2. To the milk mixture, add the vanilla, cinnamon, and brown sugar.
3. Blend until well combined, make sure the cinnamon is well mixed in.
4. Store air-tight in refrigerator.
5. Shake well before each use it as the cinnamon tends to settle at the bottom of the jar.

As always… Thank you for reading my blog and have an awesome day.