Posted in Food for Thought, Life in General

Take a Deep Breath – Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Wow!  That is easier said than done.  Right now my summer is coming to an end and I’m getting ready to welcome approximately 100 7th graders into my classroom on Tuesday. I’m not new to teaching.  I’ll be starting my 17th year.  (Yay me!)  But……those first day jitters always get to me.  Even the other veteran teachers I work with feel this way.

There are a few things I do to relax and here is one.  I wanted to share with you an app that I use called 7s Meditation  Everyday at 3:00 pm my phone beeps and I receive a mindful message.

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These reminders enable me to refocus and ground myself.  Some days I need it more than others.  Sometimes the messages are very appropriate for the day.  I set the time to 3:00 to get my messages because that is when my students are gone.

Here is an example of a message you might receive.  When your phone beeps and you open your app, Take a deep Breath (and I do) pops up.  Next, your 7s meditation is displayed, then SMILE and the smiley face.

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It’s a nice way to end the teaching day and to be mindful.  Many times this app gets me to reflect on the day.  I’ve been using this app consistently for about 4 years.  I look forward to getting my message each day.  Messages rarely repeat, and when they do, I look at it as a nice reminder.

I encourage you to download the app and try it.  Let me know how you like it!

 

 

 

Posted in Health, Life in General

Coconut Water – The Sparkling Kind

Okay…so I’m on a coconut water kick. Sparkling coconut water that is! I was recently on the east coast visiting my family in New Jersey. My sister, Amy, knows that I love sparkling water and asked me if I’ve ever tried Sanavi. She handed me a glass, I took a sip, and I was in heaven.

It’s bubbly with a refreshing coconut flavor. Sanavi is organic and unsweetened….nothing artificial is added. Best of all, it is zero calories. It’s not available in stores where I live in California, so I found that I can order it through Amazon. Yahoo!!! Each bottle is 17 fluid ounces and comes in a case of twelve for $17.99. If you’re an Amazon Prime member you’re in luck since it ships Prime.

A bit of trivia…..The name SANAVI is derived from the Latin words for health and life. Thank you Amy for turning me on to this delicious, sparkling coconut drink!

Posted in Travel

Road Tripping – West Glacier, Montana

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Well here we are in West Glacier, Montana.  For this stay we opted for the West Glacier KOA between 7/3-7/7/2017.  What a beautiful RV park.  Our site was in the back, quieter section which I much appreciated.  Look at our view!  This park was voted the #1 KOA of 2017.

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Glacier National Park was the goal of our month long road trip.  Our first day exploring was by car driving the Going-to-the Sun Road .  We were very lucky since it had just opened up fully the week before.  Below are pictures from our drive.

 

Hidden Lake Overlook

This was by f2014-08-27-013-1ar one of my favorite hikes.  The trail difficulty is rated as easy if you just go to the overlook.  It was 3 miles round trip at about a 7200 foot elevation.  From the pictures I saw, you walk on a guided path through beautiful meadows to get to the overlook. It started out this way. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

As we progressed, our hike took on a much different look!  Snow, and a lot of it.  We were totally NOT prepared (foot gear wise) for this hike.  As you can see from the pictures below, the guided path was practically non existent.  A pair of hiking poles would have really come in handy.

We started up a gradual incline which kept going, and going, and going.  I'm not used to walking up hill ….with sneakers…. in the snow.  LOL  My husband taught me how to herring bone which is walking with your feet pointing out at an angle and digging the inside of your feet into the snow.  It really helps with traction, but not really a good thing for the knees.  One of my goals was not to fall on my butt.

We were surrounded by a lot of other people on this hike.  I usually like to hike in solitude with my husband, but this was different.  Everyone was giving each other encouragement going up the snowy slopes.

Once we arrived at the overlook you looked out at the most incredible vista.  Most of the snow was gone in the area where we were standing, but looking down at the lake you could see that it still had ice on it.

As we were resting and enjoying the views I was talking with two women.  All of a sudden this happened.  This goat just appeared!  He was curious and not the least bit shy.  I was able to snap a couple of pictures, but also wanted to respect his privacy.

Now for the trek back down.  My goal was the same…not to fall on my butt.  I'm happy to say I was successful.  I just pretended that my feet were little skis!  It was a fun journey.

Driving back we stopped at this waterfall (one of the many).  If you look closely there are a series of falls up above as well.  We also came across an extremely friendly and curious Marmot.  It was apparent from his rotund physic that he was used to being fed. Something that I don't condone.  If we allowed him, he would have come right up to us.

 

Avalanche Trail

Our adventure the next day was hiking the Avalanche Trail.  The trail difficulty was rated as moderate.  Roundtrip the hike was 4.5 miles and about a 4000 foot elevation.  The trail is easy to follow (no snow at this elevation!  LOL) and you are surrounded by beautiful pines and ferns.  The trail parallels a river with a waterfall and rapids.  About half way in, we came across some fresh bear scat!  Yikes!!  It absolutely raised my awareness during this hike.  There were many people around taking this hike too, so I felt somewhat comfortable.

Once you reach Avalanche Lake it is peaceful and serine.  We stayed here a while to take in the all the beauty.  You had a panoramic view of mountains, waterfalls, and forest, not to mention the beautiful lake.  I must say that this hike tired me out, but it was definitely worth it.

If you are able to make it to this beautiful park, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  I will definitely make it here again in my travels.  So much more to explore here!

 

Posted in Health, Healthy Eating, Recipes

Farro? What’s that?

 

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Don’t ask me how or why, but some how I came home from Whole Foods with farro. What is this grain and what am I going to do with it?  Well from the package front it says that farro is a good source of fiber.  Okay…that’s good.

More research…I found out that farro is an ancient grain (in the wheat family) that has been around for quite some time.  Thousands of years it seems.  It almost resembles a wheat berry and when cooked has a soft, chewy texture.  It is also loaded with fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Alright, let’s give this farro a shot.  Now to find a recipe.  I found a recipe on foodnetwork.com, but as always adapted it to make it my own.  Winner winner chicken dinner!  My family loved it.  I hope you do to!

Farro with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups Farro
  • 2 teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 -2 cups cherry tomatoes, seeded and cut in half (amount depends on preference)
  • 1 sweet onion chopped and sauteed
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1-2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

Combine the water and farro in a medium saucepan. Add 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the farro is tender, about 25-30 minutes. Drain well, and then transfer to a large bowl to cool.

Add the tomatoes, sauteed onion, and fresh basil to the farro, and toss to combine.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Add the vinaigrette to the salad and toss to coat.

The salad can be refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before serving.

 

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Posted in Essential OIls, Health, Life in General

Essential Oils And Your Classroom

Today is August 6th and it won’t be long until my kiddos come back to school.  For those who know me, you know that I teach 7th grade English and History.  It’s so important to me to remain healthy as well as my students throughout the school year and to create a calm, comforting classroom.

This year my go-to essential oils in the classroom will be doTerra’s On Guard and Balance blends.

The  On Guard blend consists of the oils: wild orange, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary.  It supports the immune system by giving it a boost killing germs and airborne pathogens.  This is a definite must in my classroom throughout the year for both me and my students.

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The Balance blend consists of the oils: Spruce, Ho Wood, Frankincense, Blue tansy, and Blue Chamomile.  It has a warm, woody aroma which creates a sense of calm and well being.  It helps with attention deficit and hyperactivity among others.  It’s a wonderful grounding blend and I use it often.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of these or any of the doTerra oils, feel free to send me a message or check out my site at  www.mydoterra.com/wendykernmurphy