Wednesday, September 18, 2013

She's Come Unplugged

   I have a confession to make.  In this day and age of social media connection I decided to disconnect my Facebook account.  Why you may ask?  I was becoming overly distracted.  I tried only checking it once a week, once a day, once an hour.  I felt like a dog answering Pavlov's bell, constantly checking my phone for each little ping.
    I started on Facebook innocently enough.  I actually made my account at the suggestion of updates from Cardio Coach.  Friends found me and it was fun to re-connect.  Soon I was enjoying quizzes, but only after I put the kids to bed.  Then I would check during their naptime.  It's just like taking a little coffee break. Now I am sneaking off to look for just ten minutes (in the bathroom)!

     I think I am only on it 10 minutes a day, but the multiple checks on my phone really add up.    It is great to catch up with everyone, but constantly being plugged in has left me feeling like a spiritually deflated balloon.  I am always wanting more.  I see others vacation pictures and I want to go away again.  I have to remind myself that I did travel with my family this year.

     This year I would like to take that 10 minutes back to really connect with a real person in my life, to call and catch up with my best friend, take a walk or play with my kids.  What can I accomplish or enjoy with my time offline? 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

After School Surprise: Lego Creation

Lego towers
   I was surprised when I walked into my son's room after school and found his latest Lego creation.  His teacher read _The Man Who Walked Between The Towers_ by Mordicai Gernstein and completely unprompted my son made this model of the twin towers. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

March Gladness

    Congratulations to Carol, Chrissie and Diane who all received a token of my appreciation this month.  I hope you create many happy meals with your gift!  I want to take this moment to say thank you to all my readers.  I am very grateful to share my cooking with all of you.  Your wonderful feedback has been an extraordinary experience.

   Outside the Box needs your continued input.  I am exploring life "outside the box" and not just in the kitchen. I will be sharing my experience with simplicity and looking to creative people who live sustainably, within their means, and make the most of life on this planet. Please send your ideas to and I may interview you soon to be a featured blog guest.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy Bloga-versary

   Two years ago today I began an adventure in both cooking and writing.    I began with a stack of recipes and a desire to carve out something of my own.  On that journey I have had a lot of fun, many messes, and a sense of accomplishment.

    I have had a ball cooking up many dishes.  Although some attempts were not successful, they all taught me something.  I overcame my fear of photography and learned some technical aspects too.   Having followers around the world surprised and delighted me.  I was thrilled to be re-pinned on Pinterest.

     The goal of trying new recipes was met, yet I found my cooking style to be not following any recipe at all!   I learned to cook from what I had on hand instead of cooking by a new recipe.  This was a great way to waste less food.  One of the things I really enjoyed was learning to batch cook.  I also liked transforming leftovers into a new meal (that didn't look like leftovers) .  This brought out my creative side and gave me a frugal fix.  I made A LOT of soup.

    Thank you for joining me on my quest in the kitchen.   To celebrate my writing anniversary, I will be giving away cookbooks this month.  To participate in the cookbook giveaway: comment on any "Outside the Box" blogpost (including any past post); re-pin a post to Pinterest, or shamelessly promote me on facebook or Twitter.

     It is time to retire my little black recipe book, but not my laptop.  I look forward to bringing you my life "Outside the Box." Thank you for reading, eating and sharing.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Read this Book? Yes I Will!

     When health psychologist, Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D., offered a course on “The Science of Willpower”at Stanford University it was very well received. In fact it was so popular they had to keep changing the room to accommodate the number of students enrolling. Students have used her 10 week course to improve their lives in many areas including "...quitting smoking, losing weight, getting out of debt and becoming a better parent." McGonigal shares, “Understanding the science of willpower gave them strategies for developing self-control, and greater strength to pursue what mattered most to them.”

     McGonigal felt that scientific studies and findings about willpower had not been translated to the public. Her book, The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It, presents diverse research studies in an easy-to-follow format. The gray boxes call attention to exercises for the reader. The chapter summary section is very helpful for reviewing the presented information.

     The author's style is knowledgeable and yet extremely approachable. I enjoyed her sense of humor that emerged throughout the book. It kept the informative nature of the book from becoming dry. Her inclusion of apps and websites kept the tone very hip, yet not too overwhelming to scare away the technophobic.  Reading the book felt like being immersed in her classroom. You had the benefits of the studies and exercises as if you were taking the course.

     My future self thanks me for reading this book. Trust me, once you've read it, you'll see what I mean. This review is brought to you by BlogHer Book Club compensation, but the opinions are all mine. Be sure to check it out at BlogHer Book Club.  What are your willpower challenges?