fostering a grateful spirit

"If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams, and you will always look lovely." -Roald Dahl

a habit is formed? {day 66}

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for breakfast for dinner, pumpkin waffles with apple cider syrup and maple chicken breakfast sausage, for cooking with my sweet hubs, and for heart shaped edges to our waffles…

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and for pictures of this little cutie on his first field trip…

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and for sweet snuggles from my favorite furry creature.

they say it takes 66 days to form a good habit. I have noticed that most days (even bad days), I am finding it much easier to find things to be grateful for. I don’t even know how many people are reading this, but I am grateful for this little blog. it helps keep me focused. so thanks!

what keeps you focused and on what?

{day 62}

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for a super pretty sunset that I got to drive towards and watch…
for rehearsal dinners and weddings and for friends turning 30 and bonfires. this is a super busy weekend, but crazy full of goodness.

I also wanted to share this precious picture:

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there’s no better feeling than feeling right at home!! what a blessing for these boys who, 24 hours ago, had never even set foot in the us, and had definitely never had a home to call their own. beautiful.

October 1 {day 51}

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remember this plant that I love? it’s called seedum. look at these other awesome seedum plants I got today.

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had a fun at blumen gardens with aubree. three great things about blumen: 1. it’s gorgeous and full of plants and I could easily spend tons of time there. 2. aubree was with me and she’s pretty awesome. and 3. it was the perfect way to start ANNIVERSARY MONTH (woohoo!!!) because its where our reception was held. such sweet, sweet memories of celebrating with our family and friends.

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speaking of anniversary month, it is October and my favorite month of the year! we are celebrating with pizza and Monday night football with my parents.
also, it was jean jacket weather today. awesome.

anybody else celebrating October? tell me about it!!

{day 50}

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today I am grateful for a God who sees fit to paint our surroundings with such beautiful colors. I don’t know if I haven’t been paying attention or if these colors are just coming out, but holy cow, the trees are freaking amazing. this picture doesn’t even begin to do these colors justice. reason #671 that fall is my favorite season.

today was not one of those days that I feel pretty normal. I did not feel well at all. but sick days mean snuggly nights, which are my fave.

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healthy pumpkin dark chocolate muffins

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okay, I found this recipe on pinterest (where else!?!), which led me to this blog.
I adapted it a little to match my tastes/what I had in my kitchen/making it even a little bit healthier. According to myfitnesspal, these muffins have 154.2 calories and only 3.9 grams of fat (I did 12 large muffins), so eat to your pumpkin-loving-heart’s content.

1.5 c whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur’s unbleached white whole wheat flour. I am not advocating for them, just sharing info)
1/8 c chia seeds
2 t baking powder
1/2 t cinnamon (I probably actually used a little more. I really like cinnamon.)
1/4 t salt
dash (shake or two) of nutmeg
dash of ground clove
1 c canned pumpkin puree
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 c packed brown sugar
1/2 c skim milk
1/3 c unsweetened applesauce
1 t vanilla
1/2 c dark chocolate (the stuff I had was in chunks, so I took the food processor to it)

Preheat your oven to 350.

Mix all dry items in a large bowl (flour, chia seeds, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, clove).
In a medium bowl, mix eggs, brown sugar, pumpkin, milk, applesauce, and vanilla.
When well mixed, add the wet ingredient mix in with the dry ingredients. Mix together until moistened. Stir in chocolate chips.

I used silicone baking cups, and probably could have ended up with closer to 14 or 15 muffins, but I had already figured out the nutrition information and I didn’t feel like re-doing it. If you’re not using liners, I’d recommend lightly spraying your muffin pan. You can do 24-ish mini muffins, and bake 15-18 minutes (I haven’t tried that size yet), or make 12-15 regular sized muffins for 20-22 minutes. 20 was about perfect in our oven.

I love baking with applesauce, and it helps keep the calories very low, but, in my experience, things do spoil a little bit quicker than when I bake with oil. These aren’t going to last long enough for that to be a concern for me (the hubs is a big fan too), but I did want to caution you if you won’t go through them quickly. The oil/applesauce conversion is 1 for 1, so if you prefer oil, it’d be 1/3 cup canola oil instead of the applesauce.

ENJOY!!!

bonus post

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I know I just posted like 2 hours ago, but it’s been a great night. 🙂 after a rough fibro day, I’ve been feeling pretty good tonight, and even got to make some delicious and healthy pumpkin dark chocolate muffins. I’ll try to post the recipe tomorrow.

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also, my sweet hubs fell asleep on the couch waiting for them to bake. perhaps I should start earlier next time.
oh, also grateful for the hubs cleaning the kitchen up after dinner, and for the energy to put those dishes away and wash the new ones while the muffins baked. there is something relaxing about having a clean kitchen.
I swear, those are not words I ever thought I’d say.
Also, Mumford serenaded my baking experience–LOVING the new album.