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Lately, I have been taught a lot of lessons in a short amount of time. But one of these has been more outstanding than the rest: I have no control over my life.

I’m not a control freak, in fact, I’m far from that, but I like to know what’s going on. I’m a planner, and I have a solution to every situation that can arise. However, I’ve learned that it is impossible to plan for everything. Impossible. We’ve all been thrown a curve ball here and there, something completely out of left field that we didn’t even know could happen.

When this inevitably occurs, what I’ve learned is that God, or whatever it is that you believe in, has the situation under control (personally, I believe in Jesus, and I’m happy to talk to anyone who has questions, but I don’t like forcing anything on anyone. Belief is a personal choice and should be treated individually as such. That’s just my opinion).

For me, I could never imagine the precise way that God has orchestrated my life recently, which made me realize, I need to give up complete control. There’s no point in even trying, when it is so clearly orchestrated, that I can’t even begin to fathom why God would spend so much effort on me.

Now, that also doesn’t mean I’m going to sit here and do nothing, waiting for life to happen. In fact, before writing this blog I made six To Do lists for my current projects.

Giving up control means continuing on with what you think you are supposed to be doing, but being open to variations, instead of letting them stress you out and make you anxious. I’m the type of person where an unplanned, spur-of-the-moment dinner plan can throw off my entire week. Why do I let that happen? A chance to connect with a friend can derail my plans for the week? How does that make sense?

Well, I’m here to tell you that God will derail the plans that you have for yourself, and you need to let it happen.

BUT I’m also here to tell you that if you’re like me, and you need control, you can still have it… over yourself. No matter what you’re dealing with, every day you can control how you react to situations. Maybe it’s an unexpected bill, and you’re not sure where the money will come from. Just trust in the ultimate plan, and control how you react to the situation. Maybe it’s a tantrum from your boss that causes you to stay late and miss yoga class. Again, you can’t control your boss, but you can control how you let the situation affect you.

So, this week, I challenge you to be controlling not of other people or situations, but of yourself. This week, try not to complain a single time about anything, or maybe you need to control giving into your impulses. Whatever it is, know that you can have control, while surrendering at the same time.

 

“The storm may rage without, but it cannot affect us if there is peace within.” – James Allen

I must admit, this recipe has been a long time coming. Not sure why it took me so long to post, but let’s just say it’s worth the wait.

It’s a new year, which means more people are trying to watch their waistlines than they were two months ago. For lots of people, this will mean cutting carbs and upping your foliage. Since rabbits and I have the same diet, I’ll try to be of service to you.

Over the last year, I became a fan of dehydrating things and making other stuff out of them. Like cauliflower and zucchini crust. Let me be frank here: I failed A LOT. So, rest assured that this recipe is the most fail-safe of them out there, and you can use the dehydration process to make not only tostadas but pizza crusts too. Now, they don’t taste like your normal tostada and pizza crust, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad. In fact, they’re delicious! But I just want you to be prepared. Is there anything worse than thinking something tastes one way, and then it doesn’t?

So, here’s an easy, healthy, and pretty cheap meatless dinner option (but feel free to add some chicken, steak, etc.)

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CAULIFLOWER TOSTADA

What You Need:

1 cauliflower (I used two because I was making them Lakers-themed)

1 egg

3 tomatoes (diced)

1 can black beans (rinsed)

1 orange pepper (optional, the Anaheim Ducks were also playing… it was a festive night in my kitchen. It can really be any kind of pepper, or none)

1/2 red onion (diced, optional)

1/2 cup cilantro (optional)

1 avocado (chopped, optional)

Grated cheese (your choice, it’s for the toppings!)

Wax or parchment paper

 

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What You Do:

Okay, here’s the hardest part. Take the cauliflower and cut it up into pieces. Not small, but manageable. You can either put these in a food processor, or if you burnt yours out like I did, you can just use a grater. The gist is to get the cauliflower into tiny crumbles.

Put the cauliflower in a microwavable bowl, and micro it for 2 minutes, mix, 2 more minutes, mix, and 2 more minutes if you feel it’s necessary. Then, using a dishtowel or paper towels, get every remaining bit of water out of the cauliflower (this is crucial! If they’re wet you’ll have soggy tostadas and no one likes that).

Mix in the egg, and shape your tostadas on the wax paper.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through

While this is baking, you can heat up your beans in a pot. If you want to add even more flavor, mince a garlic clove, and add that along with chili powder. This isn’t a MUST DO though.

Then top with all of your goodies and you’re good to go!

 

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Messiness – Lawdy! This can get pretty messy, especially when you’re shaping the tostadas. BUT let me just say that it’s TOTALLY worth it! Mostly, the messiest part is all of the separate dishes for the toppings though. If you can manage that, you’re in business.

Simplicity – Once you get this down, it’s really simple. No harder than making hamburger patties. However, if you’re an anti-microwave person, this may prove a little bit more difficult. I personally like to nuke stuff as little as possible, but frankly, it’s necessary with this recipe to get the most amount of water out (my refusal to do so is why I failed my first few attempts). But if you’re feeling determined, you can definitely wring out the cauliflower on your own (I just hope you’ve been saving up your elbow grease all day!).

Budget – Each of these ingredients shouldn’t be more than $1-2 no matter where you shop! And one cauliflower head will make a good amount of tostadas, as long as you aim for the normal corn tortilla size.

Delicious Factor – I have to reiterate here: these don’t taste like your normal tostadas, but they’re still great! So, as long as you have that in mind, you’re going to be just fine! And as far as healthy substitutes go, these are one of my favorites.

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In case I haven’t mentioned it before, I’m a BIG James Allen fan. While his diction is, shall we say ‘classic,’ what he has to say is right on.

Over the last year, I’ve grappled with my anxiety a lot, but this meditation guide has without a doubt helped me become mentally stronger and overall more loving, understanding, kind, and patient.

You can buy the book for 99 cents on Kindle, James Allen’s Book of Meditations. Or, I also found this link for you too http://james-allen.in1woord.nl/daily.php

Either way, if you are trying to be the best version of yourself, it’s worth the 2 minutes a day!

Every time I go home, my dad has some new kinds of alcohol that we’re going to rope someone into helping us have a taste test with. And every time, without fail, my dad picks the scotch, and I pick the whiskey. Well, this year at Christmas, I tried possibly the best whiskey I’ve ever had. Now, I haven’t had that many kinds of whiskey, but after trying this, I don’t really care to try any more.

Tullamore D.E.W. is the best whiskey I’ve tasted. It’s flavorful, but with zero burn. And no, they aren’t paying me for this, but if they want to pay in whiskey, my flasks are pretty dry ;)

Anyways, I realize that not everyone likes their liquor neat, so, here are some of the recipes on their website. If you like what you see, go HERE to find the full recipe, and enjoy!

 

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It’s Monday, January 5, 2015, and do you know what? I have broken some of my resolutions (but my resolution to floss is still holding strong! Mom should be proud). I didn’t work out on the 1st; in fact, I barely even left my bed. So, that whole, “Attack the day” resolution: not happening. Also, I ate four gobstoppers, two Twizzlers, and a handful of potato chips, so, that whole “strict diet” thing is done with.

Psych!

I’m here to tell you that even if you’ve broken one or all of your resolutions, it’s okay! The idea that we can suddenly wake up one morning as a superior version of the person we were at 11:59pm 12/31/14 is silly! Give yourself some grace, and understand it’s a process. The point is to learn the process, and eventually it will become ingrained in your life.

And to show you real numbers about how NOT alone you are in achieving your goal, here’s a study done last January by University of Scranton, and published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology:

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As you can see, you are FAR from alone in breaking your resolutions! But as the chart says, people who at least made them are more likely to achieve their goals than people who didn’t. So, you’re already getting a head start, even if you did just eat an entire tub of peppermint ice cream because it’s seasonal and I can’t have it until next year!

You still have 360 days to make this the best year of your life!

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I have been fortunate enough to call Los Angeles my home since 2010, and I couldn’t be more thankful. I don’t care about the smog (maybe that’s because I grew up in Riverside county), or the traffic. I just love everything this city has to offer.

So, this year, I’m trying to do some things I haven’t done, and really didn’t even know existed. Like, did you know you can kayak in the LA River (did you even know there was a non-disgusting part of the LA River?!)? And who knew that all of those days I was driving home, I was passing the largest section of the Berlin Wall on the west coast. Oh, and West Hollywood’s park has a rooftop tennis court (because everything is more fabulous in WeHo than anywhere else, and that’s a fact).

This made me think about how everyone has different opinions on what the best parts of this city are, so I put together a list of what different people think you should see in LA, so you can make your own decision. For example, you may not be interested in visiting Escondido Falls (treacherous, but worth it. Just bring the right shoes), but maybe you’re interested in trying a Mai Tai from the place it was invented (Tiki Ti’s, in case you’re wondering, and I highly recommend it!).

And if you’re not from LA, I encourage you to see what your own city has to offer! People constantly seem to think that another city has more to offer them than their own, but have they really explored it? I know I haven’t.

Your LA bucket list

EYE ON L.A.: BUCKET LIST FEATURES UNIQUE ADVENTURES

 L.A.’s ultimate bucket list: Long Beach author pens ‘100 Things to Do in Los Angeles Before You Die’

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I just wanted to take a minute to wish you all a happy new year! I know, this is cliché, but so what! I truly wish you the happiest of new years!

Imagine if with each passing 365 days, we were happier than the ones before that. We’d all continually be the happiest versions of ourselves!

Sure, life throws us all curve balls, and we often have to wake up every day and choose to be happy, but that’s my wish for you. I wish you the strength to choose happiness in 2015, no matter the circumstances. It is possible, and I know that you can do it. Believe in yourself and the strength you have.

I know my big resolution for 2015 is to have more self-discipline, whether that means not eating a cupcake, making it to the gym no matter how tired I am, or finishing everything on my to-do list before going to bed.

I wish you luck with all of your resolutions and goals as we all bravely enter a new year!

 

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