Posted in Essential OIls, Life in General, Recipes

Mocktails with an Essential Oil Twist,

Doesn’t this drink look festive and refreshing? I was catching up on email and saw a newsletter from DoTERRA and it had a recipe for this inviting, non-alcoholic drink. It’s so simple and I know you’ll enjoy it.

Cranberry Lime Spritzer

Ingredients:

Cranberry juice

Sparkling water or lemon-lime soda

Ice cubes

Lime essential oil

Directions:

1. Fill glass with ice and pour sparking water or lemon-lime soda half way.

2. Fill additional half of glass with cranberry juice.

3. Add 1 drop Lime essential oil and stir.

Tip: For garnish, add sliced limes and cranberries.

Below is a Cranberry Orange Spritzer. Substitute lime with a drop of Wild Orange essential oil. Garnish with cranberries and sliced oranges.

Let me know if you try these and how you like them. I think I’d like to post more on interesting drinks that are alcohol free😄👍. Can’t wait to hear from you!

xoxo Wendy

Posted in Essential OIls, Health, Life in General

doTERRA – “Gift of the Earth”

love-earthWhen I saw this picture, I thought it represented everything I think about when thinking about doTERRA.  DoTERRA means “Gift of the Earth” and this picture sums it up beautifully.  What better gift to give to yourself than natural, holistic oils? Since the cold and flu season are upon us, two oils that are must haves in my house are OnGuard and Breathe blends.

The Breathe Blend can be used aromatically and topically. I usually diffuse this blend and put a drop under my nose to breathe in. The main oils in this blend are Laurel, Peppermint and Eucalyptus among others which all support a healthy respiratory system.

Healthy airflow and oxygen supply bring life and energy with each breath.

OnGuard can also be used aromatically, topically, and internally. I usually put a drop on my toothbrush whenever I’m brushing my teeth since it kills germs and airborne pathogens. I also diffuse this blend when feel a cold coming on (like right now 🤔). The main oils in this blend are Wild Orange, Clove, and Cinnamon.

A strong immunity combats viral and bacterial threats to the body. Use OnGuard blend to keep yourself healthy.

Questions for me? Please don’t hesitate to ask. http://www.mydoterra.com/wendykernmurphy

xoxo Wendy

Posted in Food for Thought, Life in General

The Time Conscious Teacher

My husband has often pointed out to me how (as he calls it) obsessed with “time” I am.  At first I was very defensive about it, but as I sat down to really think about it I realized he was right.  I’m the first to point out when we should leave for an event.  We have to be on time you know.  Can’t be late.  I’m always wondering:  Do I have enough time?  I’m also a planning fanatic.  So yes!  I’m obsessed with time and being a teacher is the culprit of my obsession.  My day is run by the clock and bells!  Go figure

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The best way to explain why I am the way I am is to list examples…teaching examples.  Here goes.

  1.  The first bell rings at 8:21.  Not 8:20, but 8:21.
  2.  School gets out at 2:47.  Not 2:45, not 2:50, but 2:47.
  3. Although school lets out at 2:47, my site time is 3:12, not 3:10, not 3:15. but 3:12.
  4.  Sometimes an announcement will be made that Mr. or Mrs. ______class was let out late so students might be 2 minutes late to their next class.  Ugh
  5. I’m always reminding students of the time to keep them on track with their daily assignments.
  6. I make a lesson plan for each day and I feel compelled to finish everything during that period.  It doesn’t always happen so it gets tacked on to the next day.  Great..now I’m behind!
  7. I don’t have the luxury of leaving the classroom when I want.  I even have to schedule when I pee.  I make a mad dash between classes hoping not to be late myself!

These a some examples I’ve come up with to explain my “time obsession”.  I’m trying to be mindful of my obsession with time, but it can be difficult.  When I’m off the clock as a teacher, I will often catch myself wondering about time related ideas, things, etc.  As my husband tells me frequently…”relax”.  That would be so nice.  I am working on it though,  being mindful of my obsession with time is half the battle.

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Posted in Healthy Eating, Recipes

Sesame Rice Noodles – Yum Delicious

img_2323Over the summer I was at a Pot Luck Party. I saw that someone brought some rice noodles with veggies. It was so delicious and I kept on eating it; probably about 3 helpings worth…..Shhhh don’t tell anyone. 😄. I’ve periodically seen and bought rice

noodles at the deli counter, but now I’m thinking how hard would it be to make my own? Let me tell you it’s not hard at all.

Sesame Rice Noodles with Veggies
Ingredients

  • 1 pkg rice noodles
  • thinly sliced green onion (amount to your liking)
  • broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces (amount to your liking)
  • sweet red pepper, chopped (amount to your liking)

Sauce

  • 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tsp ground ginger (more/less depending on your taste)
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce or coconut aminos
  •  4 tbsp organic maple syrup
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp crushed red chillies

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, mix your sauce ingredients together and set aside.
  • Boil your rice noodles according to package directions until soft.
  • Blanch broccoli and red pepper 2-3 minutes
  • In a saucepan on medium heat, pour your sauce in and allow to cook, 3-4 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to low and add in your rice noodles and veggies.
  • Ready to serve!

As far as the veggies go, use whatever veggies you like.  I just happened to have broccoli and red pepper when I made this for the first time.  Carrots, zucchini and mushrooms would also go well with rice noodles.  The reason I put “to your liking” for the amount of veggies is that everyone has different taste when it comes to the amount of something in a recipe.  I always look at recipes and think to myself:  How would I change it for my liking?  Experiment and have fun.  That’s what healthy cooking is all about.

xoxo Wendy

Posted in Food for Thought, Life in General

The Gift of Life

Today I woke up to a crisp autumn morning (53 degrees in California). Bailey and I went for our walk on the green belt in our neighborhood. I live in the foothills of Mt Diablo and I get to stare at this mountain everyday when I walk. Most of the time I lose myself in thought about what a beautiful place I live in. It never gets old looking at the mountain. I’m so thankful for the life I have. I try never to take it for granted.

This afternoon my husband and I attended a memorial for a friend who tragically lost his life in a hit and run accident. I’ve never liked these type of events: funeral, memorial service, celebration of life, what ever you want to call it I just don’t like them. Perhaps I’m reminded of my own mortality. I must say, however, that these events force people together who might not get together in the social circles they typically frequent. We also wanted to be there to support his wife. My husband and I both commented on the unusual mix of people. Young, old, tattooed, pierced, straight, gay, short hair, long hair, light skin, dark skin such an array of diversity. I savored all the differences. Our friend touched many lives and it was evident this afternoon.

People, if they wished, could say a few words if they wanted to. Many people stood up to talk. I heard such passion and conviction in their words. So much positivity. As I stated, our friend had such an impact on so many people over the years. I also heard, “I wish he knew….”, “I wish I told him…..”. Ahhh..regret and guilt. Woulda shoulda coulda.

It really got me thinking about this gift we have….life. We are all mortal. There is no certainty or guarantee that we will wake up to see a new day. Depressing? Yes! But true. I remember hearing a gentleman say to live fearlessly. His point was that many things go unsaid. Live fearlessly and tell the people in your life what they mean to you. What is the worst thing that can happen. I’m sharing this with you, but I’m also telling myself the same thing. It’s my goal to embrace this life of mine and live fearlessly.

xoxo Wendy

Posted in Food for Thought, Healthy Eating, Life in General

What’s To Become Of Whole Foods? Here Is What I Found Out.

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I’m a little late in posting this, but I wanted to wait to see what would happen after the acquisition.

Monday, August 28, 2017 was the day Amazon officially acquired Whole Foods Market. Amazon was very clear that prices would be slashed.

“Whole Foods Market will offer lower prices starting Monday on a selection of best-selling grocery staples across its stores, with more to come,” the company said in a statement.

I was very worried about this take over.  My worries revolved around quality and customer service which are so very important to me.  I buy strictly organic when it comes to fruit and vegetables.  Would there be less organic produce?  Would the quality of produce suffer?   I often chat up the employees working in produce.  From what I’m told, even a lot of their fruit and veggies labeled as conventional are organically grown. That USDA Organic label is very expensive which is why many farmers choose to go without.  I guess I will find out on my next shopping trip.organic4colorsealgif

Any canned goods I buy are organic and I look to make sure that the lining is non-BPA.  Whole Food’s 365 brands are top notch in my book and I buy them often. They are the equivalent  of the generic “store brand”  What was going to happen here?  Would their strict guidelines on non-BPA go away?

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Fish and poultry were also a major concern of mine.  The fish I buy is wild caught, not farmed.  I must say however, that they have very strict guidelines on their farmed fish.

Many people have concerns about farm-raised seafood…for good reason! A lot of harm has been done by poorly managed seafood farms. That’s why we decided to do something about it. We do farmed better. Fresh or frozen, we know where all of our farm-raised seafood comes from, and require third-party verification of water quality and dozens of other quality standards, including what it was fed, and what it wasn’t. Bottom line, all our farmed seafood is Responsibly Farmed seafood.

Be that as it may, I still buy all wild caught seafood. Would Whole Foods continue to have a wide selection of wild caught fish or would there be more farm raised fish?

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I make sure the poultry I buy is organic and free range.  It’s important to me how these chickens are raised and what they are fed.  Whole Foods has a strict 5-Step animal welfare rating  which I pay close attention to.  Again, that same question about standards.

Here’s what I found out.  When I went shopping this morning I anticipated sale signs to be all over the store.  To my surprise that was not the case.  In fact, none of the items that I typically buy were on sale.

Produce:  The only organic produce I saw on sale were tomatoes and avocados.  Some conventional produce seemed slightly lower.

Seafood:  A sight price reduction on farmed-raised, but wild caught prices remained the same.

Poultry: Organic, free range was status quo.  No price change.

At the check out line I was told that of the thousands of brands that they carry, only 75 items were on sale.  WOW!  No savings for me.  This was not what I expected at all. Maybe my fears were premature, but only time will tell.  After all it’s only been a week since the take over.

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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