The end of the 30 Day Challenge-

Some of you may remember that I challenged myself to 30 days of photos… to find the beauty around me.  I used my phone to upload all of these photos to Instagram, (http://instagram.com/acherry67) Here is what I found beautiful;

IMG_20131224_112920 IMG_20131224_154728 IMG_20131225_113348 IMG_20131225_130125 IMG_20131230_122530 IMG_20140103_144323 IMG_20140103_145312 IMG_20140104_082703 IMG_20140105_114026 IMG_20140106_112011 IMG_20140109_095934 IMG_20140109_185450 IMG_20140110_193129 IMG_20140111_141026 IMG_20140113_104426 IMG_20140114_194419 IMG_20140116_203611 IMG_20140117_094031 IMG_20140118_191852 IMG_20140119_080010 IMG_20140119_132538 IMG_20140122_111948 IMG_20140124_161522 IMG_20140124_162406 IMG_20140125_172934 IMG_20140125_185730 IMG_20140127_104357 IMG_20140128_164847 IMG_20140129_103051 IMG_20140129_111618 IMG_20140130_095436

The really great thing about this challenge was that it forced me to really look for the beauty in my life.  And when you find beautiful things around you, your life feels filled with beauty. Even on those days when it felt really ugly, just finding that one beautiful thing made me feel better. The law of attraction at work! So as a new month begins I’ve decided to try a new theme.  Since it’s February, I’m thinking my theme should be LOVE.

Starting tomorrow, I will be taking photos of Love… which I’m hoping will help me bring the love back to my life!

 

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Eggs Benedict

my first attempt at Eggs Benedict- Dec. 24th

my first attempt at Eggs Benedict- Dec. 24th

You can’t get a body like mine if you hate food- so I obviously love food.  One of my favorite dishes is Eggs Benedict.  If it’s on the menu at a restaurant I usually order it.  I have never made it at home.  There is something about poaching eggs that seemed daunting, so I avoided it. I finally got the courage Christmas Eve to try making it myself.  Here is the recipe; http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/hollandaise-sauce-recipe/index.html

Hollandaise Sauce
2000 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Prep Time:10 minInactive Prep Time: — Cook Time:10 min

Ingredients
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
Pinch cayenne
Pinch salt
Directions
Vigorously whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl and until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume. Place the bowl over a saucepan containing barely simmering water (or use a double boiler,) the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. Remove from heat, whisk in cayenne and salt. Cover and place in a warm spot until ready to use for the eggs benedict. If the sauce gets too thick, whisk in a few drops of warm water before serving.

EGGS BENEDICT
8 slices Canadian bacon
4 English muffins, split
2 teaspoons white vinegar
8 eggs
Salt and pepper, to taste
Hollandaise sauce, recipe above
Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
Brown the bacon in a medium skillet and toast the English muffins, cut sides up, on a baking sheet under the broiler.

Fill a 10-inch nonstick skillet half full of water. Add white vinegar to the cooking water. This will make the egg white cook faster so it does not spread. Bring to a slow boil. Gently break 1 of the eggs into the water taking care not to break it. Repeat with remaining eggs. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook 3 1/2 minutes until the egg white is set and yolk remains soft. Remove with a slotted spoon, allowing the egg to drain. To assemble: Lay a slice of Canadian bacon on top of each muffin half, followed by a poached egg. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon hollandaise sauce over the eggs. Garnish with chopped parsley. Yield: 4 servings

Here is a video of how to poach eggs that I found very helpful-

Wednesday’s Child

Monday’s child is fair of face,
Tuesday’s child is full of grace,
Wednesday’s child is full of woe,
Thursday’s child has far to go.
Friday’s child is loving and giving,
Saturday’s child works hard for a living,
But the child born on the Sabbath Day,
Is fair and wise and good and gay.

I’m not actually sure I was born on a Wednesday, but considering that 2013 has been a balance between great accomplishments and stunning defeats- I can say for sure that 2013 must have started on a Wednesday!  I’m going to dedicate Wednesdays to dealing with the things that bring me the most woe.  Each Wednesday will be about goals, either short term or long term, and reporting my progress weekly.  My main goal is not to turn every Wednesday into a woe is me, pity party for one, blog- although there is nothing wrong with those.  But my goal is to remain positive.  I’ll set a goal, I’ll keep you all updated, and I’ll be grateful for advice, encouragment and even a swift kick in the butt if I need it. So starting today- Wednesday is about working through it.

Because today is Christmas, it would be very easy for me to “woe is me” about being away from family, not having any gifts to open or being single during the holidays, while my unfaithful ex is celebrating with his fiancé before we’ve even filed for divorce.  Believe me I have plenty of reasons to feel sorry for myself today and everyday.  But I don’t- and I won’t.  On the surface, my life looks like a mess.  I’m getting a divorce, I’m unemployed, I’ll be homeless soon, and I have issues that seem to prevent me from “finding love”.  I could easily succumb to all of the stress, guilt and tragedies that life has handed me… or I could, one day at a time, one step at a time, make the most of what I do have.  Because under the surface, I have a lot!

If I take a moment to appreciate what I have, I can accomplish what may seem impossible.  I am getting a divorce, and that’s sad.  But the joy in it is that I won’t have to be with someone who doesn’t appreciate or support me.  I am unemployed, and that’s scary.  But the joy in that is that I’ve just graduated from college and am free to move anywhere in the world to pursue my dreams… MY DREAMS! I will be homeless soon and that sucks.  But the joy in that is that for now I have a beautiful house, food on the table and a closet full of clothes, and more importantly the ability to find a place that is just right for me and those dreams I’m pursuing. I am dealing with a lot of issues concerning relationships; trust, abuse, sex, and self-esteem to name a few. But the joy in that is that I’m learning that I can make better choices.

Obviously I have a lot to work through and there is no better time or place to start than right now, right here. My very first and most important goal is to find a full-time job.  I am planning on returning to my home state, to be near family and friends.  So I need a job as a writer, photographer or marketing manager.  I need an affordable place to live with a yard to accomodate my two dogs.  I also need an equitable divorce settlement, to be free from the past.  Once I have accomplished those goals, or even while I’m working toward them I can work on the other stuff too.

One of the projects I’m contemplating involves photography-

I’ve finally joined the 21st century and gotten on Instagram.  What I would like to do is spend the month of January photographing things along a theme.  I think that the theme should reflect something I want more of in my life.  So if you’re reading this, leave me a comment/vote about which theme you would like to see me photograph.  And if you are so inclined, feel free to take the challenge with me!

Possible themes;

Love

Kindness

 Peace

Happiness

Abundance

Blessings

Creativity

Beauty

Once the theme is set, I’ll begin photographing things daily along the lines of the theme.  You’ll be able to see them on my Instagram  acherry67@Instagram.com or you can wait until Friday, when I’ll post them all here.  I’m a firm believer in the idea that what you desire, what you focus your attention on begins to grow. Energy isn’t static or limited, you can’t use it all up.  If you focus your energy on something, you can make it happen, almost by magic.   It’s kind of like thinking about red cars and the only thing you begin to see on the road is red cars.  It doesn’t mean that green, blue, silver or black cars aren’t on the road- but because you’re focused on red cars, they magically seem to multiply.  Change isn’t really about magic or rocket science, it’s simply about seeing things differently.

I may not get everything I ask for, I might not get everything I deserve in life.  But if I focus my energy, my time and my skills on something I can achieve it.  One of my very favorite quotes is from the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun”, I love it so much I’ve created a tattoo around the idea of it.  The character of Catherine talks about searching and searching for something and not being able to find it, because sometimes we’re just focused to narrowly.  Sometimes when we stop looking for that one thing, we can see all the things we already have-