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What’s your morning routine and how do you stick to it!? Please I need your help! I want to feel more grounded

By June 19, 2017 Healthy lifestyle, Uncategorized

Gah!  Life is super amazing, I am quickly learning how many opportunities are out there.  I have been busy launching my business as an independent epicure consultant and perhaps another business!  Finding it hard to write I sit here, I try to let it flow out but it comes out as jargon.  Trying a new tactic I will just blather on until something interesting comes out….what is that saying about an infinite number of monkeys with an infinite number of typewriters will eventually produce a masterpiece.  How is that gonna work with only one monkey and one typewriter, HA!

Morning Routine Life Hacks Wanted

As my days get fuller I find it harder to blog, then once I hadn’t blogged in a week it kind of snowballed.  The same feeling I used to get when I skipped class in highschool, it just got harder to go as the days passed on.  I am a creature of habit and with my life in transition I have been struggling to find a new routine.  My biggest craving is for a healthy morning routine, some way to get me out of bed and excited for the day.

Right now I stumble out of bed, throw on clothes and head out the door for my walk.  If I walk at 8:15 I probably got out of bed at 8:08.  Wouldn’t it be nice if I could get up, do some yoga, meditation, have some lemon water and a healthy breakfast and work on a blog post!  I want that, and one thing I have learned is if you want it bad enough you can have it.  Your dreams can come true, but you have to put in the effort.

I would love to hear about other people’s morning routines and how you keep motivated to stick to it!?

Kaboom, I did it I, bandaid is ripped off and now tomorrow is a new day.   Tomorrow I will post some crazy jargon, half asleep as part of my new routine!  No I will try to make it coherent! Do we all think I can get up 5 minutes earlier and do 10 minutes of yoga tomorrow am before my walk?  Baby steps 🙂

Ttyt…Shannon

 

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I am simply loving Epicure! Check out how delicious and easy my first 5 meals have been! I am so inspired to eat real healthy food!

By June 2, 2017 Epicure, Healthy lifestyle, Uncategorized

I got my Epicure Consultant kit delivered last Friday and I have been eating healthy ever since!  No time was wasted digging into my kit, check out the delicious meals I have been preparing.

The Recipes with pictures!

Tuna Mac & Cheese Casserole

Friday night I made tuna mac & cheese casserole.  It took me 30 minutes fridge to table!  I wish I had a picture of the delicious healthy casserole but we were hungry and scarfed it down!  Using my new multipurpose steamer I cooked 2 cups of Catelli Super Greeens fusilli in the microwave, it took 7 minutes.  I drained the pasta and added two cans of tuna, two cups of frozen vegetables (spinach, corn, peas), the Epicure Mac & Cheese

https://shannonmcnabb.epicure.com/en/search?search=Mac+and+cheese

Epicure Mac & Cheese – Back

https://shannonmcnabb.epicure.com/en/search?search=Mac+and+cheese

Epicure Mac & Cheese – Front

packet along with the suggested butter and milk (I used almond milk).  Then into the microwave again for another 5-7 minutes.  After this I grated cheese and sprinkled bread crumbs on top and broiled it in the oven for about 5 minutes until bubbly and brown.  Add in some time to cool and you have a delicious dinnner in under 30 minutes, with ingredients you probably already have!

Bacon and Eggs

Yes that’s right I cooked bacon in the microwave using the multi purpose steamer.  Five slices took about 7 minutes and it came out crispy!  I wiped the bacon grease out of the steamer and put 5 eggs in there along with a tbsp of the cheese chives and bacon dip and cooked it for about 5-7 minutes in the microwave.  Breakfast for two in about 15 minutes, with minimal clean up required.  The silicone Epicure products are so easy to clean, all it takes is a little soap and some hot water and NO elbow grease.

Taco Beef for Salads and Fajitas

Yum, I absolutely love Mexican food!  The Epicure guacamole is amazing, and pretty versatile too. I got the Epicure good Mexican real fast in my starter kit.

Taco beef and guacamole Epicure style

I threw a pound of beef in the square steamer with some chopped bell peppers and onions and two tbsp of the Epicure Fajita Seasoning and put it in the microwave for 5 mins.  Then I mixed up the guacomole, 2 avocados, juice of a lime and 2 tbsp of the Epicure guacamole seasoning.

Taco salads are one of my favourites! I put about 3 cups of spinach on a plate, topped it with taco beef, sour cream and the guacamole, salsa and crushed up tostadas.  You can purchase Charras brand tostadas at Food Basics in the international section.

The next night I used the taco beef, guacomole and sour cream to make fajitas.  So freakin tasty and ready in about 5 minutes! I think I’m in love!  You could easily spice this up with salsa, cilantro, fresh romaine, tomatoes, etc.

Beef fajitas super fast!

Grilled Cheese with Bacon and Tomato with Greek Salad

I love this picture, can you see Ceasar licking his lips off to the right!? The base for my delectable grilled cheese was Rudolph’s Bavarian Multgrain Bread, I also buy this at my local Food Basics.  I have turned many people onto this bread because it is awesome, and I think it’s a healthier choice than other breads.

Old cheese deliciously melted between to golden slices of bread toasted with coconut oil in the cast iron pan.  I cover the pan with a lid to make sure the hard cheese melts before my bread burns.  Then the sandwich was stuffed with crispy bacon, made in the microwave using the multi purpose steamer and fresh slices of tomato!

Delicious grilled cheese with tomato and bacon served with a Greek side salad

The salad was super quick, a handful of mixed greens, chopped bell peppers, onions and feta cheese topped with the Epicure Greek Dressing.  You mix olive oil with red wine vinegar (I used balsamic vinegar) and some Greek salad dressing mix.  Healthy salad dressing in no time, preservative free!

Epicure cruet filled with Greek salad dressing.

 Apple & Tuna Melt with Greek Salad

Apple & Tuna Melt with side salad

The apple and tuna salad is a recipe out of the Epicure Good Food. Real Results book.  You mix up a can of tuna, a tsp of the guacamole mix and some Greek yogurt.  I ate this for lunch as plain tuna salad a couple of times, then decided to make it more comforting!  Using Rudolphs Bavarian multigrain bread I topped it with the tuna salad and shredded cheese, put it on some tin foil and popped it in the oven at 410F for about 5-10 minutes.  Finished it off with about 5 mins broiling on high until the cheese bubbled.  I paired this with another mixed green salad and Greek dressing. Yummy, I don’t miss eating out anymore because it is so much easier to make food at home, not to mention cheaper!

Contact me for your Epicure and healthy eating needs!

I hope you have enjoyed my quick and easy meals.  There will definitely be more, as I go along my journey, so stay tuned!  All Epicure product links on this page go to my personal Epicure website.  If you are interested in buying any product, having an Epicure cooking class or becoming an independent Epicure Consultant please don’t hesitate to contact me!

Hope you are having a great Friday!

Shannon

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Life with no job…..somehow it is busier than I expected

By May 24, 2017 Living, Rambling, Uncategorized

Weekend Update

Birthday Celebrations

Friday was low key,  I wasn’t feeling the greatest so I held the couch down and napped all afternoon.  Being well rested was super important because I had to celebrate my best buds birthday that evening!  We kicked it off with a bottle of sparkling wine yum!  Followed it up with going through our old yearbooks.  Ahh the laughter, my sides hurt!  It was just the two of us and a couple of dogs we had the best time!  It is great to have such a good friend so close by!

Camping/ Yurting

Saturday was yurt time!  The May long weekend is considered the begininning of summer so we had to kick off the season with camping!  Our campsite is in the middle of a field, with a spring.  It sounds weird, but it is gorgeous.

Georgia enjoying herself out at the yurt

Check out the view!

It’s not water view, but it’s pretty nice to me!

Cleaning out the yurt I found a snake!  YUCK!  I hate those creatures, they scare the crap out of me.  He was pretty small and brown, maybe a milk snake, he didn’t hang around, thank goodness!

The yurt is to be a place for family to gather and spend quality time together outdoors. I was super happy that my nephew and a couple of neices came out with their friends.  Unfortunately our party got rained out, BOO, early to bed for us!  This was my second night sleeping in the yurt.  It was comfortable until 6:30 am when my nephew woke me up because his blanket was soaked!  The temporary tarp that we had covering the yurt had failed us!  Luckily I had a brand new one ready to go on.  It wasn’t on already because I’m cheap and I was hoping to get the canvas sewn together so I didn’t have to use it!  It’s a McNabb thing lol!

After slip sliding in the mud and rain in the middle of a field at 6:30am we got back to bed.  Sleeping on an air mattress on the floor I could hear the rain running underneath the yurt platform. This gave me dreams of snakes crawling up into the yurt, lovely!

We got up around 10am and the rain had given up for a while.  We made a delicious camp breakfast of eggs and meat!  Funny how food tastes sooo much better camping.  Shortly after this it began raining again!  We retreated to the yurt, which now looked like a dungeon, since the tarp we put on is much darker than the old white one.  We spent a cozy afternoon in the yurt playing card games.

Camping Aftermath

I tapped out around 7:30 pm Sunday night and went home with the pooches.  I left my nephew and his friends to hang without the “old lady”.  They never said it but I felt like a dinosaur when I tried to make a joke about National Lampoons Christmas Vacation and all I got were blank stares!  The dogs were happy when I mentioned home, they both perked up and started wagging their butts. Ceaser especially enjoys the luxury of home, as you can see….

Ceaser living in the lap of luxury

Sunday night I enjoyed sleeping in a bed, without snake dreams and and getting rained on!  Don’t get me wrong I love camping, but I don’t love rain as much.  Unfortunately on Monday the combination of too little water, too much alcohol, sitting, poor eating, and possibly poor hygiene had taken it’s toll.  What an awful day, I had a terrible stomach ache, nothing was moving at all!  It felt lik I was digesting rocks.

Back to the Grind ;-o

My stomach was much better on Tuesday but still a little iffy.  I had energy and knew I needed to move if my digestive tract was going to clear out!  I cleaned everything, ahh it felt annoying but rewarding when it was all done.  With my nice clean house I could focus on other things, such as my blog, bucket list, and future!

I am happy to say that I have joined a cycling group and tonight should be my first group ride.  I went out last night for a 20km ride, my first of the season.  It was refreshing, painful, cold, hot and AWESOME! I tried to avoid hills, but a pretty big one snuck up on me.  It felt like I was going to die, but once I got to the top and caught my breath I felt stronger.

My awesome road bike

My ride all ready for the 2017 season

Maybe the bike ride inspired me, or my desire to eat more healthfully and avoid days like Monday but I did something SUPER EXCITING!  You can find out about it in my next post, which I promise will be soon!  I can’t wait to tell you how I am stepping outside my comfort zone and taking a chance on ME!

Peace out…

Shannon

 

 

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Want to Quit your Job? Change your perspective and you can change your life

By May 19, 2017 Quitting job

First of all I want to apologize, my plan was not to be absent from the blog all week!   In the mean time the idea for this post on changing perspective has been jumping out at me.

I have been feeling unsure of what to post about this week.  So I have been doing lots of research on blogging, from SEO to how long the posts should be. I guess I would call it regrouping!  SEO = Search engine optimization, and apparently it’s a big deal.

I digress, so why have I been feeling unsure….I think because I have been applying to a job, yes thats right a job, only one job, but it has been consuming all of my time.  This one job has been filling up my brain, so I have been updating my resume and wrangling up references.  But this has left me feeling a little guilty about the blog, like I’m cheating on it!  If you want to hear about the job let me know!

I was at an Epicure cooking class and I saw a friend that I hadn’t seen in a while, she mentioned that she wants to do what I’m doing and quit her job!  When I think about others I think well of course they could easily do what I am doing.  This made me think back to when I first considered quitting my job and it made me realize just how much my thinking and perspective has changed.  Which inspired me to write this post!

How does your perspective have to change for you to quit your job?

Prioritize what is important to you

Maybe it’s having a nice house, that’s ok!

What are you looking for out of life? How important is money to you, is your honking SUV your status symbol, do you absolutely love your cottage at the beach? Seriously, think long and hard about it, is money a tool that you use to make your life more convenient or is it something that you need to allow you to sleep at night?  Are you in debt up to your eyeballs…if that is the case i hate to break it to you, the best thing would be to deal with the debt first.

What makes you happy?

To be honest with you I used money both ways I used it to make life more convenient all of the time.  Why not, I was making a pretty penny, and i wanted to use my free time to be free, not shovel the driveway, build fences, or weed my flower beds.

I needed money to sleep at night, or I thought I did.  When I actually crunched the numbers I realized how much money I could actually get by on, I found that I needed a lot less money to be able to sleep.  Which leads us into looking at your budget.

Look at your budget realistically

Budget Realistically

Be honest here, it’s okay if you have never done it.  But DO IT NOW, you really can’t assess you life financially unless you know how much money is coming in and how much is going out.  Once you have your budget figured out then you can look at what can change.  For me the magic monthly number is around $2300 per month.  This affords me:

  • a vehicle, including insurance, maintenance, gas and government licensing fees
  • a roof over my head (all things included ie. internet, phone, heat, hydro, water)
  • two dogs to take care of
  • food
  • entertainment budget

Huge warning sign ahead, no budget for savings!  This is what i consider to be my “I can sleep at night” amount of money.  Ideally I need to make at least $500 per month extra for savings.  Savings for things like emergencies, maintenance and retirement.  But all in all this is what I consider to be a fairly comfortable budget aside from the fact that vacations are not accounted for.  These will have to be special budget items.

Listen to your instincts

Trust your instincts

The mantra at my old job was “it’s all pensionable time”.   It’s true pensions are amazing to have and I’m pretty sure they are are going the way of the dodo bird (a saying which I’m sure is dating me, and is possibly not relevant any more :-o).   What this saying meant to me was that in order to retire and be free, I had to live this unauthentic life, that, quite frankly, had started to really piss me off.  This made me sad, angry and depressed

In 2014 both my personal trainer and therapist were asking me if I had considered quitting my job.  It seemed like a crazy impossible dream.  The answer was no!  Things were supposed to be temporary at work, just needed to push through and get task ABC done.  First real lesson learned about the capitalistic structure, the more work you can get done, the more work you will have to do, and this seems to be relative.

In the years that followed nothing got better, I started to feel like i was doing the doggy paddle in the middle of the ocean.  Eventually I started to sink, it was like a switch had flipped, my body turned on survival mode.  It got really bad, so when I say listen to your instincts, I am no expert! My instincts were slapping me in the face constantly.  The more I listened the stronger they got, and the more clear everything became.

Instincts may just be seeing what you don’t want to

My doctor, his nurse, my new therapist, everyone was telling me.  I’m stubborn though and I wanted to perservere.  When I really paid attention my body was telling me too, I couldn’t sleep, I had gained weight, I couldn’t breathe, I cried all of time, nausea and headaches were the norm.

Eventually it became too much and I knew I had to get out.  The job was killing me, I didn’t choose it this way, it just was.  I did my very best to hang in there.  My body and brain took over with instincts, these seemed to be to eat, cry and most importantly to protect myself.

Have a little faith

Have a little faith!

Since I haven’t been working I feel much more relaxed, I have all the time in the world, and it feels amazing!  I actually enjoy shovelling the driveway, fixing up the house, and working on DIY projects.  I can focus on these things fully because I have no time contstraints.  This in turn allows me to save money!

I now have the time to shop around for bargains and build things for myself.  My mind used to lead me to buying something i wanted, now it leads to how can I make this thing for myself?

I’m even applying to a job, I might not get it, and I might not want it either!  The key is that my mind is now much more open to the universe. It might sound “airy fairy” but some things in life are bigger than what I can comprehend.  I keep an eye out on the job market just to see what’s out there.  This always makes me feel better.  There are a ton of jobs out there right now, even in my area of Grey and Bruce Counties.  I could easily get a job that would get me close to my monthly budget.

This is a type of short term, make me feel better thinking.  This seems to free my brain up to more exciting things, like starting a retreat centre, blogging and/or being some type of entreprener.  Not to mention the idea of passive income.  Thanks to Pinterest, for making it so easy to find uselful articles!

Faith in Yourself

So have some faith that everything will be okay, the world will not fall apart, you will still be safe and sound!  If you are reading this, you have fighter in you!  Fighters are survivors!  You are not going to let your life go to shit.  We are capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for.

How Has My Thinking Changed?

Lightbulb!

I went from “OMG I have to live like this for another 15-20 years” to “hey life is long, surely I can make a living doing something that I am passionate about”.  I spent a lot of time on Pinterest searching for ways to make money, side hustles, blogging.  It all came down to money, once I changed my mind about money, it seemed easier from there.  This took me over 2 years!  The money was my cushion, I’ve built up a little cushion and now I can sit on it for a while and figure out the next steps are going to be.

I have learned many things about myself during this journey,  having lots of money was not more important than my health.  Doing something that I didn’t feel was authentic was also very important.  My journey has led me down a path were I now feel like I will always be in control of my destiny.

Does this mean I will close myself off to the world, NO!  It means I will be more careful with who I trust and with what I trust them with.  I feel this has allowed me to be more open minded with people because I am not judging them by their faults.  I am expecting them to have faults, it is how they handle those faults that matter.

If you are considering quitting your job please don’t give up on your dream! If I can do it, anyone can, and that is just the sad ass truth.  Don’t tell me you can’t because it’s all lies!  The world is huge and life is long, don’t wait to live it!

Shannon

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DIY Lotion Recipe Review

By May 14, 2017 DIY, Essential Oils, Uncategorized

Happy Mothers Day everyone!  It feels like I haven’t posted in a forever!  My Mama is away today so I thought I would use this time to whip up a post about my lotion adventure.  I found a recipe on Pinterest called “How to Make Non-Greasy Lotion” from Going Zero Waste that I used.  Spoiler alert!  It turned out great, it almost has the consistency of noxema cream, no tingling though.

I started getting into making my own beauty products after I took a webinar from the Aromahead Institute. I stumbled across the Aromahead Institute on Facebook because some of my friends had shared the free webinars. So thank you social media!

The webinar was called Essential Oils for Allergies, it was about an hour long and it provided 5 recipes.  One of these was called The Best Smelling Cleaning Spray and I absolutely love this stuff, it has lemon, orange and peppermint essential oils, and liquid Castile soap.  I use it for everything, bathrooms, windows, counters, it is good on grease, smells amazing and is a natural insect repellent.  We have an annual ant problem in our kitchen and this spray seems to be helping keep them at bay.

If you check out the website they offer about four different Free Trainings so go check it out, I am going to take advantage now that I know about it!

So back to my lotion, I was a little concerned because of my face lotion mishap.  I did not get the emulsification complete, so I had a mixture of lotion and aloe Vera gel.  I think the reason this was is because I skipped using a double boiler to melt the beeswax and oils.  I just melted it on top of the stove in a small pot.  So my theory is that I got the oils too hot to emulsify with the water and aloe Vera gel.

Here are the ingredients that I used

  • almond oil
  • beeswax
  • cocoa butter
  • vitamin E oil
  • water

I then heated the grated beeswax, cocoa butter and almond oil in my makeshift double boiler.

Heating the almond oil, beeswax and cocoa butter in my makeshift double boiler.

Everything is melted and ready for the vitamin E oil and emulsification

The next step was to add 3/4 cup of water to your blender, I used a Ninja Blender.  I added the 3/4 cup of water and slowly added the oils into the top of the blender.  When I say slowly it seemed to take a long time probably 5-10 minutes.  My oils started to thicken near the end because they had cooled down. I had to stop and scrape down the sides of the blender a few times.  I stopped blending it when all of the water had been emulsified into the oils.  Near the end you could see water droplets surrounded by creamy white lotion while scraping down the sides of the blender.

I scraped the lotion out and into a container.  It looked like success!

It goes on nice and light, and smells like cocoa butter.

I became curious to see what the actual cost of making this lotion was.  So I crunched a few numbers, which I will not post but am happy to share if you contact me.  I calculated the cost of goods including the 13% sales tax we have to pay here in Ontario, Canada.  Here are the costs of ingredients:

  • almond oil $23.42/ 473 mL @ 142 mL used = $7.12
  • cocoa butter $19.20/207 mL @ 30 mL used = $2.78
  • beeswax $16.49/ 4 oz @ 1 oz used                   = $4.12
  • vitamin E oil $18.5/ 50mL @ 30 mL used     = $11.25
  • GRAND TOTAL  642 mL lotion               = $25.27

When I first saw this number I felt disappointment I really thought this was so much cheaper.  So I went on a venture to justify my hard work and mad lotion making skills!

I found a vitamin E lotion from The Body Shop that cost $13.00 for 250 mL, so for 642 mL the price would be more than the cost of my lotion.  I honestly didn’t look too hard.  I figured that the Body Shop is a trusted company in the lotion world, and although it’s not top shelf, its a middle of the road kind of brand, but sort of specialty.  When I read the ingredient list of the Body Shop lotion I felt a hundred times better.  It had all sorts of things I couldn’t pronounce, my lotion has 5 ingredients!

So in the long run I didn’t count my time, the cost of the electricity I used and other small variables (think cost of gas used to purchase ingredients, pro rated cost of blender etc.) I’m sure people could pick out many if they wanted to. Basically if I wanted to split hairs I would never make my own lotion again because it is just cheaper to buy it.

But there is some kind of satisfaction that can be gained by making something on your own from scratch. I beam with pride every time I slather that lotion on my body knowing that I made it myself.  I think it is a form of self love for me.  Caring enough to spend my time to create products so that I can nurture my body.  It also helps that I have no job ;-).

If you’ve got the time, give a DIY beauty product a whirl, I promise you they are not as hard as you think!

Shannon

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Verbal diarrhea, it’s cool to talk about poop I was a PHI!

By May 9, 2017 Rambling, Uncategorized

Overwhelmed is the word I’m looking for today :-(.  The holiday was a nice distraction but now that I’m home i can’t help but feel the old insecurities creeping in and trying to suffocate me, scare me into going back into my protective shell. I’m pretty sure I blew the shell to smithereens though!

My mind keeps swirling with where to start, what to do and how to move forward but I can’t seem to hold on to anything.  Part of me says holy crap what are you doing, you did this so your life would have more purpose, why does it feels like you have less now. The other part of me wants to somehow step into the eye of the storm and into some magical calm space where I can slow everything down and make rational decisions.  I want to focus on this magical calm space….because it just came out while I was writing.

For me a number of things comes to mind, Eckart Tolle is the first one, he wrote the amazing book A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, I haven’t read it in a couple of years but one thing that  I remember and use is the practice of asking yourself if you have anything to worry about in this very moment, by only focusing on the moment you are in you can live in the present. I am definitely taking it to bed with me tonight.

When I practice asking myself this question, the answer is almost always no, everything that my mind is trying to say I have to worry about is garbage.  I think I will read this book again, I remember getting so much out of it, I read it like I had to do a book report on it, I made notes, higlighted things, I didn’t want to miss anything. The book was so simple and yet so deep that I bought his first book The Power of Now, I started reading it but never finished it, I will have to put it on my list of books to read!

Funny how this post turned into a book review on Eckhart Tolle! Totally worth checking him out if you are interested in mindfulness. I also want to point out that when I started writing this post I felt like losing my sh#t a lot of times this am (its only 10:15) and I feel much more calm and relaxed. It is amazing how writing down your thoughts and feelings can provide clarity and mental relaxation.
So back to my life where to start first, I have a ton of projects on the go either in reality or mentally in my head! As I mentioned I like lists:

*-Finish moving into the closet

Closet Right

*-remove wallpaper in bedroom
-put up wallpaper and finish trim in bedroom
-make barn door for closet
-put up fence for front yard
*-inquire about renovating garage into bachelor apt
*-finish insulating yurt and start canvas(we want to camp next weekend)
-cut grass/tidy yards/flower beds
-remove flower bed in back yard and plant grass
-fix flower bed at the side
-make body lotion
-make dog food
-batch cook food and freeze

Closet view left, super proud of this closet, I made it all myself!

I used an * for the items that will provide me the most bang for my buck, or the ones that are most urgent.

Dreaded wallpaper wall! You can see why I am avoiding it!

I also have general life things to do such as clean the freaking house! Clutter makes me less productive, something I learned from Gretchen Rubin.

New wallpaper!

I don’t know why, but when the house is clean I can think more clearly, it’s like the clutter around the house some how clutters my mind. Groceries are also a must here! We have been away and have been eating out since we got home, which is not cheap. Therefore I must make a meal plan and a grocery list and go out and get it. We ate like crap last week and I am craving smoothies, salads and non-processed foods this week.

Part of my plan to not have a job is to spend less money as well, by meal planning and buying healthy food, batch cooking and freezing we can save money and help out our waistlines! Which is also why making dog food and body lotion comes into my list. Dog food is expensive and I don’t think it is that good for dogs so I have seen some recipes on Pinterest that I want to try out.
The same goes for body lotion, I have recently started making my own cleaning solution and face lotion, I am out of body lotion and I have a recipe I want to try. I made my own face lotion out of beeswax, argan oil, almond oil and aloe vera gel, you can find the recipe from Sweet Anne Designs

My homemade face lotion

I didn’t get the emulsification right so some of the aloe vera gel didn’t mix in, but it still works, and it has lasted a long time, I made it at the start of March and I still have a cup left, I keep it in the fridge.
I got all the ingredients locally from Lawson’s  in downtown Owen Sound. This is a great place to go, the owners and staff are very knowledgeable and will spend the time with you to get what you need.

Making your own stuff is actually very cheap, once you buy all of the carrier oils and things you need you might spend $200 but you will get many great healthy skincare products out of it. Have a look at what is in your body lotion and see if you can pronounce everything, they put so many preservatives in things that I want to try and make my own whenever possible. It usually turns out to be super cheap too!

Look at this I just rambled on and now I feel better! I have a plan for today I will make a meal plan and grocery list, get groceries, make body lotion, and finish moving into my closet. This seems manageable for today. Aaron just woke up and now I think maybe I should avoid him too, GAHH

Okay here is the thing, if anyone read my bucket list for 2017, which i secretly hope you didn’t, because I put on about quitting smoking, well I am almost 24 hours smoke free and I want to rage. I am embarrassed about smoking so it is hard for me to write about it. I was thinking about getting the patch or the inhaler but I read an article on it that made me decide to go cold turkey. It takes 3 days for the nicotine to get out of your system, when you use nicotine replacement therapy you are just delaying the inevitable. Because I have only been smoking for 6 weeks I decided to go through the 3 days of hell right off the hop. I feel bad for Aaron because he is on holidays this week and will be around, and is already annoying me! Hope he doesn’t read this! 😉

I want to say thank you to everyone who has read or shared my blog on Facebook.  I am on day 12 of the 30 day blog challenge and I’m starting to understand why blogging is so popular, it really is therapeutic.  So thanks people for being out there and being supportive!  I feel blessed xoxo

Shannon

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Relaxing at the cottage, yes that’s right no job and takin a vacay anyway!

By May 7, 2017 Travel, Uncategorized

Yes that’s right people I took a vacation from NO job, and it was wonderful!  Here is a great quote from Seinfeld that I think says it all!

Seinfeld Meme

Aaron, I and another couple rented a cottage on Lake Nipissing, near a little town called Callander.  Aaron and I had been to this place before, it is amazing, don’t worry I will add pics!  We have rented a few other cottages and this one blows them all out of the water!  The cottage is surrounded by acres of conservation land, which you have to drive through to get to the cottage.  Then when you see the cottage it is extremely private, with your own beach front, boat launch, patios, decks, everything, the cottage is nothing to sneeze at either.

For us the cottage is about peace and relaxation, there is no internet and no phone, which means we get to step out of our habits for a week and try to enjoy life differently.  Don’t get me wrong, we still use our phones, and the internet, it just has to be conserved.  Lucky for me I got a good deal on 6 Gof data for a month, which made it possible for me to continue working on the blog through out the week.

There was one or two days of sun, which I took full advantage of! I splurged and bought myself a bottle of prosecco, yum!  It went straight to my head, no pictures of that though 😉

A little bubbly on the patio

We even got a nice sunset one night! Aaron and I made sure to take it in down on the beach.  These simple pleasures in life brought everyone so much joy, and that is what cottage life is all about.

Aaron’s silhouette

 

Now my pictures don’t do the landscaping and stone work justice but it is AMAZING the owner is a gifted and tries to incorporate the beauty of the landscape into his work.

Sunset on Lake Nipissing

Path to the beach, lit up by the sunset

It truly is a beautiful property we were visited by three deer on a few occasions, sorry no pics, they weren’t hanging around long with the dogs barking at them.  I also got to see a huge bird pull something out of the lake, a rabbit, a chipmunk family and what we think was a hawk, circling around an open field hunting for prey.  I do have to say I feel more like we intruded on their life, I really felt like the deer were perplexed and possibly annoyed as to why humans had invaded their space early.

Ceasar & Georgia enjoying cottage life

Georgia enjoying the view

In spite of the wind and rain everyone had a great time.  Now it’s time for me to get back to reality and keep plugging away at making my new lifestyle sustainable.

Shannon

 

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Follow my blog with Bloglovin

By May 5, 2017 Uncategorized

<a href=”https://www.bloglovin.com/blog/18879477/?claim=gjsyxts4bfq”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

 

 

 

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Pros and Cons of NOT having a job

By May 4, 2017 Quitting job, Uncategorized

I have made a pro and con list of NOT having a job, probably should have done this before I quit huh?! Better late than never is one of my favourite sayings!

PROS of NOT Having a Job

  • No set hours, I can work when I’m productive
  • No Boss 🙂
  • As many vacation/sick/personal days as you need
  • Making less $ means paying less tax (accountants, please confirm;-)
  • Get to stay at home with the dogs all day
  • Not associated with a company
  • Choose your own challenges
  • More free time

CONS of NOT Having a Job

  • No guaranteed income 🙁
  • No benefits like health insurance, pension, etc.
  • No paid vacation or sick days
  • Don’t have to leave the house (sometimes I can be a homebody)
  • Some one else chooses your challenges
  • Work harder for less $, maybe

As you can see, I think I made the right choice…..hopefully.  I need to point out that I am a very driven person, sort of.  I’m one of these people who has a hard time finding balance, I’m either guns blazing or very sloth like, lol.  When I lose focus or get tired I have a hard time moving forward.

This is also why I put “don’t have to leave the house on the con list, although I like to push myself, I also like the warm cocoon that is staying at home.  Now if you are like me you will totally understand that statement, if you are not then, whoosh.  I am what Gretchen Rubin refers to in the four tendencies as an obliger.  For a better explanation go check her out, but I will give it the old college try.  An obliger is someone who easily meets outer expectations while struggling to meet inner expectations.  I believe this is why I find it hard to leave the house unless I have a reason to do so.  I need some outer force pushing me.  For me I suspect it will be the threatening of my savings and not being able to pay the bills!

One thing that I took a long hard look at was my family history.  On the McNabb side of the family everyone is in business for themselves, I always thought it was because we could be so difficult that we couldn’t work for someone else, lol, don’t tell my dad my theory!  Now I realize that we have very strong morals and it is easier to work for ourselves than it is to compromise our beliefs.  Or maybe we are control freak perfectionists who think we are the only ones who can do things right! No comment, and don’t talk to my partner 😉

I guess what I’m trying to say is that in the end I look up to and know a lot of people who went out on their own and made it. I know that I can sell myself a lot easier than I could sell anything else!

Cheers,

Shannon

 

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Shannon’s Bucket List 2017

By May 1, 2017 Uncategorized

I have prepared my 2017 bucket list, I know it’s it May 1 already but I still have 8 more months!

These are in no particular order, but numbered for my convenience 🙂

  1.  Get honey bees
  2. Complete the yurt

    I need to update the pic because we have the roof on, a door and a tarp covering it.

     

     

  3. Hike in, camp overnight and hike out on the Bruce Trail
  4. Hike 20 km in one day
  5. Do a 30 day nutrition challenge 
  6. Join a cycling group
  7. Cultivate a healthy morning routine
  8. Do a 30 day yoga challenge (yes I like 30 day challenges 🙂
  9. Take more pictures
  10. Go ziplining
  11. Go to an amusement park and ride all of the roller coasters
  12. Learn sign language
  13. Build a Teepee
  14. Make a scrapbook
  15. Attend/host a murder mystery dinner party
  16. Research my family tree with my Mom
  17. Get genetic testing done
  18. Quit smoking 🙁 sad face is because it is a nasty habit that I haven’t had for years but recently (1.5 months) started back up
  19. Start a blog – yay this one is done, I kinda gave myself this one as a give away, you know up my confidence.
  20. See the Northern Lights

    Northern Lights

  21. Get my Possesion and Acquisition Licence for a fire arm in Ontario

Lets see how this goes!!

Shannon

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