Tag Archive: books

big leapLately I have been trying to take 100% responsibility for my actions and what shows up in my life. This is just…silly-hard. I mean, you spend your life trying to figure out who and what is keeping you down…and then one day you realize that it’s yourself. If you truly believe that each individual on this earth is unique in their own way and has their own skill, vision, purpose, path, then you really need to think about what yours is and whether or not you are living up to your full potential. Whoa, tough.. I know. For some of you this may be very simple. Maybe you are a teacher and truly feel your purpose is to help children create their destiny. Maybe you’re a doctor and you are literally saving lives every day. Or, maybe you work in advertising selling processed cheese to the masses…. Maybe you have no idea what your purpose in this life is.

This, conveniently, brings me to my point. Are you living your best life? A full-filled life? A 100% conscious life that you have created? Maybe you are ‘good’ at your job, or you ‘like’ your job, but do you feel like it is your life’s purpose? You might be working in an area of competence or even excellence for yourself, but is it your area of ‘genius’? If not…. why?

This is not a very easy question to answer, and one that I am currently struggling with myself. I have a great job! I like my job! I help people feel better and take away their pain every day! But, I still feel a lacking. Why am I holding back?

This, conveniently, brings me to my next point. Am I self-sabotaging? Are you self-sabotaging?

A very enlightened fellow with an unfortunate name- Gay Hendricks- wrote a book called The Big Leap. (Very Roughly) It is about how we all have an upper limit of happiness and when we approach it we self-sabotage. For example, maybe you are trying to eat really healthy. You do great all week and then Saturday night you go out and have nachos, fried bacon and 8 beers. Or, maybe you have been trying to commit to a fitness plan and since you ate so bad on Saturday night and drank 8 beers, you aren’t feeling so hot on Sunday morning and skip the run. (Shut up! You don’t know me!)

The theory is that we all have a different comfort level with happiness and success, and when we get to that upper limit- if we don’t have the consciousness/awareness- we will f*ck it up. I know, for a fact, that I do this. Some times it looks like picking a fight with your husband about dishes when you know, damn-well, it’s not about the dishes.

I recommend the actual book because I am certainly not doing it justice. But, if nothing else, I can encourage you to at least consider the fact that you self-sabotage. Pay attention, you might surprise yourself. All of these things I keep talking about are all based on the same goal: trying to expand my own consciousness and create the life that I was meant to have. We can all do that! You have 100% control of your happiness and circumstance and peace of mind, you just need to realize it. I know that I am working on this very truth every damn day.

(I also recommend Life Visioning by Michael Bernard Beckwith, which is what I am currently reading, but will discuss another day.)

cookedA few weeks ago on my facebook page I declared this year the summer of grilling! I am currently reading cooked by Michael Pollan (as usual- highly recommend) and he begins his story with cooking with FIRE! Not only do I drool down my chin while reading this book, I have a new found inspiration for experimenting on the grill. I don’t have any fancy equipment, but I do have a gas Weber and a new metal box to hold wood chips for smoking. I also have a charcoal Weber that we almost never use. I know that it would be much cooler if I had a smoker and more equipment, but I don’t so I will work with what I have. The good news for you is that you can follow along at home with only the simple-ist equipment yourself. I have big plans of pork shoulder and baby back ribs and steaks and whole chickens and …… drool……

Sunday night I did Beer Can Chicken and it was amazing! (I kind of wanted to say Amaze-balls but when I do I get threatened with violence from those around me- especially Brent). Probably the juiciest, most delicious whole chicken I have ever cooked. I still need to work on the ‘rub’ so I will post about this in the future.

Tonight I made really great bratwurst. It really does make a difference when you buy it fresh from the butcher vs. the grocery store. I know brats aren’t very complicated, but I remember feeling over-whelmed the first time I made them on my own. I had tasted them at a million picnics over the years but didn’t know why some of them were amazing/juicy/flavorful and others were dry/bland/burnt. Here is how I do it:

5 Large Brats
2 beers (any kind)
3-4 cups water
2 bay leaves
1 tblsp. black pepper corns
1 tsp. (approx.) red pepper flakes
3 smashed cloves garlic
onion, garlic powder, sea salt
1/2 Vidalia/Yellow onion (for pot)
1/2 Vidalia/yellow onion diced for topping
gardeneria peppers (if you like spice)
Pickles (if you like less spicey)
diced tomatoes (for topping)
Spicy mustard
olive oil

brat spice

Start by dumping the beer and water into a big stock pot on stove, add bay leaves, pepper corns, red pepper, garlic, seasonings, and 1/2 onion along with the brats. Mix everything together and slowly bring to a boil.

Once you bring to boil, reduce to simmer for approx. 20 mins.

Meanwhile, preheat grill. You are going to want the grill med-high when you throw the brats on.

brat pot

After the brats are done simmering, I remove from liquid and place on foil lined cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper.

Grill 3-5 mins. each side until its at the crisp-ness you like (I like crispy!)

Serve with the toppings! As usual, I know this would be really good with a big ol’ brat bun…. but I do not serve them with bread. I serve with the onion, peppers, tomatoes, and spicy mustard. I also serve whatever yummy veggies I have that week. Enjoy!

finished brat

(Don’t worry- no spoilers) I am sure most of you have either read or at least heard of this book by now because it seems like the world is talking about. And, now that I finished the first book, I know why. First I’ll give you a little background without ruining the story for you and then I’ll go into my commentary.

The story is about a young girl, fresh out of college who meets a ridiculously hot and insanely rich man who wants her. Too good to be true? Yep! It turns out that this man, Christian Grey, has some very particular sexual preferences. The book (in pretty serious detail) talks about their sexual relationship, the normal ups and downs, and the sacrifices or concessions you make in a new relationship and when dealing with another person’s baggage. This is actually a trilogy, but I have only read the first book so I can only comment on the beginning of the story.

What is so fascinating about this book is how it is unlike anything that most of us have read. This is a love story WITH sex. And, let’s be honest here, that’s what women want in a book, love AND sex. We might not have known this about ourselves before reading 50 shades, but we know now! Now, I don’t want to say that women are more sophisticated with our ‘pornography’ preferences, but what the hell- Women are more sophisticated with our ‘pornography’ preferences. (I am using quotes because I feel like porn has a bad stigma and this book is nothing like what the average person thinks of when they think of porn). Women are not impressed by the following: girl answers knock at door, it’s the pizza guy but she has no money for the pizza. How can she possibly pay the man? Oh, I have an idea…. Yadda yadda yadda…..rough degrading fast sex…..shows over. We want a love story with a strong female protagonist and a sexy man, oh yeah and sex (even kinky sex). Who knew?! This book provides that. It’s like porn for the strong independent female.

Since first hearing about this book, I have heard women talking about it EVERYWHERE! That is every author’s dream- to write a story that the world is talking about. Women of all ages are discussing this book. Your mom is probably reading this book! Why? Because it is missing from our lives. This is the perfect book for women in monogamous relationships and its the perfect book for single women too. We could all use a little sexual excitement. How is it that no one else has thought of or succeeded with this? This is a HUGE un-tapped market and I predict it won’t be un-tapped for long. I bet there will be a lot more books and movies coming out like this in the next 3 years. The market has spoken.

Now, I’m not blindly praising this book. It does have flaws. Some parts are a little repetitive and the writing is not great. I like beautiful literary fiction and this definitely falls short, but frankly I don’t care. It makes up for that in how the story sucks you in and you want to hear about what they are going to do next. Feminists might find issue with this book (and I usually lean a little feminist myself), but I don’t mind it in this story. Does the female character make sacrifices she is not thrilled about to make a man happy? Yes. But the male character does as well. They struggle to find their own version of normal the way that we all do. And it’s thrillingly voyeuristic to watch it unfold.

Read this book! Better yet, read it out loud to your husband. 🙂