Podcasts Worth Your Time

Good Morning, Afternoon, Evening (pick whichever one you’re currently reading this at)! Happy Monday – I hope it has been a productive day for you all!

Recently I’ve really been getting into listening to podcasts and personal development, because why not. You are worth investing the time into yourself to become a better you (not that you aren’t already great). This was one of my focuses for this year and I wanted to share some of my favorite podcasts and the episodes that I think are worth your time to go and listen to – there’s a takeaway for everyone!

First and foremost the EmpowerHER podcast by none other than Kacia Fitzgerald. Thanks to a suggestion by a friend I have become obsessed with listening to her podcasts, while yes they are geared to women, men can take away just as much from the episodes. She discusses a wide range of topics and how we can use purpose driven action to become better individuals! Some of my favorite episodes are listed below, but don’t get me wrong I’ve listened to every episode plus some previous published since I’ve started listening!

  • Tips to get your HAPPY ON!
  • What if you just GO FOR IT?
  • PURPOSE DRIVEN ACTION

Second, also suggested by the same friend mentioned above, The Goal Digger Podcast by Jenna Kutcher. She focuses more on how you can build your dream job and answers those questions that have your self-worth the main question in your head of are you good enough? Episodes you should check out:

  • 225: Answered: Is It Better To Be An Introvert or Extrovert
  • 220: There Aren’t Really Failures: Here’s Proof
  • 200: Not Feeling Creative? Listen to This

Lastly, the You Can Sip With Us podcast with Ashlie & Colleen. This is one of those podcasts that you just tune into, laugh and have a good time listening to. These two talk about what they like or don’t like that week, some hot takes and shenanigans! I like this one cause I’ll check out the products they mention in their podcasts and they explain why they like it and overall it’s just a fun podcast to listen too! I don’t have a list of favorite episodes because they are all amazing and honestly since I started listening I’ve listened to them all.

Some other note worthy podcasts to check out are Rise Podcast with Rachel Hollis (come on we all know how motivational she can be!), Ear Biscuits with Rhett & Link (Good Mythical Morning is their YouTube channel), and The Bobby Bones show (if you’re in the south or like country music you’ll know who this is!).

What are some of your favorite personal development podcasts?? Share them with me below!

Thanksgiving!

Hi all! I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday! Thankfully I had a few days off from work to be able to focus on making a few great dishes for our Thanksgiving feast. While I’m not a fan of a Turkey dinner I do like to prepare for one, because in all honesty I just like being in the kitchen. Our dinner included a Turkey (of course), stuffing and cranberry sauce (which we ended up leaving in the fridge totally spaced there!), yams with marshmallows on top, rolls and of course pumpkin pie and whipped cream! 

The place settings turned out great for our Thanksgiving table. I used a mix of brown and red plates that were at the house and found some cream cloth napkins at Tuesday Morning on sale. I always like to use cloth napkins when I can as they class up your table setting and are eco-friendly because once you’re done for the night just throw them in the wash! I also found these pumpkin place card holders at Crate & Barrel (definitely a new favorite store) for just under $3! I was hoping for wood discs to be the place mats but they unfortunately didn’t dry out in time to be able to use them, but I look forward to using them in the future.

Crate & Barrel Pumpkins: https://www.crateandbarrel.com/pumpkin-place-card-holder/s221136
Similar item on Amazon (Pumpkin): https://amzn.to/2ScCQps
Similar item on Amazon (Napkins) : https://amzn.to/2SeTlRV

I started the day by  making a 3 cheese quiche, recipe courtesy of the Magnolia Table CookBook from Joanna Gaines, and it was delicious! It was a mix of Gruyere, Smoked Cheddar (the recipe calls for sharp white, but I thought the smoked flavor would pair well with the other cheeses…and it did.), and Parmesan cheese. The crust is a shortening crust that I make for heartier pies!  

Pie Crust

  • Servings: 2
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 C. Flour
  • 2/3 C. Cold Shortening
  • 6-10 tbsp. Ice Cold Water

Directions

  1. Cut the shortening into the flour using either a pastry blender or a fork until the shortening is in pea size, you can also whip up this crust in a food processor if you’re in a hurry.
  2. Add the ice cold water a tablespoon at a time until the pastry has come together and pulled away from the sides of the bowl.
  3. Finish combining with hands, cut into 2 disks and chill for AT LEAST 45 minutes before using. This allows the shortening to chill back down and thus provide the air pockets when the crust is baking.

Recipe Courtesy of Magnolia Table Cookbook: https://amzn.to/2TMkEVy

We started off with some appetizers which were super simple and easy to whip up, definitely go to recipes in my household! Deviled Eggs and Cream Cheese dip (1 stick of cream cheese w/ Johnny’s salad essence https://amzn.to/2S85ZlG; mix to taste): with veggies.

Deviled Eggs


Ingredients

  • 10 Hard Boiled Eggs (this will yield 20 deviled eggs)
  • 1/2-2/3 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 2-3 tbsp Mustard
  • 1 tsp. Distilled White Vinegar
  • Bacon Bits (optional)
  • Paprika

Directions

  1. Hard boil your eggs, make sure your eggs are dry before cutting them in half and putting the yolks into a separate bowl.
  2. Mix together all of the ingredients excluding the egg whites. note that you can add more or less of any of the ingredients based on your preference of taste and texture.
  3. Put roughly 1-2 tbsp of the mixture into each egg white half and sprinkle with paprika. (the paprika is strictly for presentation, your guests won’t be able to taste it.)

I found the serving tray at TJ Maxx but here’s a similar item on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2DY4cN1

Then came the turkey! I must admit I’m not a fan of turkey, BUT I am a fan of cooking one. I use the base herbs of sage, rosemary and thyme, throw some lemons, onions and other vegetables inside to eat once the turkey is done and then let it roast! One trick I use is I actually work the butter up between the skin and the turkey breast AND put butter and olive oil on top of the entire bird. This helps to get that extra crispy crust and who doesn’t love butter? I start off by roasting the turkey for 30 minutes at 450° and then I turn down the oven to 350° for the rest of the time the turkey needs to reach 165° in the breast, roughly 2-4 hours depending on the size of your turkey. Make sure you rest your turkey for AT LEAST 15 minutes to let the juices soak into the turkey. 

Last but not least was the pumpkin pie and whip cream (not pictured)! This is my favorite part of the meal. I made the pumpkin pie the day before so that it had time to chill. There are a ton of different pumpkin pie recipes out there but I tend to go pretty basic with the ingredients. If you are using a homemade crust be sure to pre-bake it for about 10 minutes to prevent a soggy bottom! This goes for all custard pies.

I then made some homemade whip cream, which I prefer over the stuff from the store. Homemade whip cream is one of the simplest recipes! I freeze my bowl and whisk about 20-30 minutes before I whip up the cream as it helps to stabilize the cream. Then put in about 1 C. of heavy whipping cream and about 1/8 c. of powdered sugar. You CAN use regular granulated sugar but I use powdered as it keeps the consistency of the whip cream smoother. 

Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients

  • 1 15oz. can Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 can Evaporated Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. Clove
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°
  2. Beat the eggs.
  3. Add to the eggs the pumpkin puree, and spices.
  4. While whisking add the can of evaporated milk until combined.
  5. Add mixture to hot crust (see notes) and bake at 425° for 15 minutes.
  6. Reduce oven temperature to 350° and bake for another 45 minutes or until a knife comes out clean from the center.
  7. Cool for an hour and then put into fridge loosely covered to cool completely.

  • If you are using a homemade crust pre-bake the crust for 10 minutes in a 425° oven and pour ingredients into the crust once it comes out.
  • If you are using a store bought crust, make sure it has been pre-baked if not pre-bake.

After we ate until we couldn’t eat anymore we lounged and watched Hallmark Christmas movies cause it is that time of year, and while the movies all have the same plot, they are still good to watch. So that is the gist of my Thanksgiving and a few recipes that I wanted to share with y’all for your next Thanksgiving or even your next party. What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving dishes? Share with me below!

I’d love to connect so make sure you’re following me on Instagram @cravetheextraordinary or on Pinterest @knasburg

Heads up: I am a particant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. So if you choose to buy similar item through the links provided in this post you will NOT pay a penny more but I will earn a small commission. Thanks!

Humbled from the Storm

Tropical Storm Micheal was one for the books, at least my books.

As a little background, I moved to the East coast, to Virginia, about a year and a half ago from the West coast. On the West coast we have storms but nothing like a tropical storm or a hurricane, at least in the time that I lived there, we got a TON of rain but nothing crazy. So when Hurricane Florence came through I was feeling anxious about what may happen, fortunately for the small town I live in Florence just sent a lot of rain, though the surrounding areas had quite the run in with tornadoes. Unfortunately tropical storm Micheal was a completely different story.

img_2429Our little town was wrecked by the storm, I’m talking trees down, power lines across the roads, flooding, tornado warnings and the works. We lost power on Thursday and didn’t get it back until Sunday night. This was our front yard the next day (see the picture).

 

I am okay with a power outage for a few hours, maybe a day, 4 days was a whole other story. I was upset, because we had a long weekend and I couldn’t do anything I wanted to due to no power. The food in both the fridge and freezer were now rotten, with the exception of a few items. Living on your own, you realize just how big a deal it is to lose all your refrigerated food aka money down the drain. I now had a ton of yard work to do, I just was not happy.  A few thoughts going through my head? “This is the worst” “I need power” “I can’t believe I have to figure out what to do without power”, these are thoughts of someone who needed to be knocked down a few notches from her britches. I wish I had realized this when the power was actually out rather than on Monday when our power was fully restored, but I was glad I came to the realization.

I am currently doing the #last90days challenge that Rachel Hollis created. Everyday we are supposed to write down 10 things we are grateful for. When the power was out I didn’t do this at all, because I was so mad, grumpy and I didn’t have anything to be grateful for (at least I didn’t think so when we were in the thick of it). This is where the realization came in on Monday. I sat down to write what I was grateful for and I said to myself “Kathyn, what good came out of this weekend that you can be grateful for, there’s got to be something or you’ve wasted your entire weekend whining?”

I started to think and realize just how ungrateful I had been during the weekend, and began to write down the things I was grateful for over the weekend:

  1. The men working to restore power. Here are these men that are miles from their own families (we had about 100 power line trucks in our small town) working to restore not only your power but power to the ENTIRE town. What makes me so special that my power should be restored first, nothing. NOTHING.
  2. No damage happened to my house, my car, or myself. Did any damage happen to my house? No. Did others have damage to their houses? Yes. So why am I complaining? I should be grateful that I was spared the damage and all I had to do was clean up the trees that fell in the yard.
  3. I did yard work. I know that this one seems insignificant to the first two, but had their been power my weekend would of consisted of baking, or binge watching friends (which I’m now doing after work… why haven’t I watched this sooner?), instead because of the power outage I worked outside, the weather was amazing and had a fire with friends that evening. I felt accomplished, but yet I was irritated with myself that it took the power going out to actually do some yard work.
  4. POWER. As simple as this one is, it is everything. These things that we have every day, power, running water, heat, we forget to be grateful for because we are so used to having these things. We should be grateful for these things every day, because there are individuals who do NOT have these things. This was a big realization for me because even the everyday things we don’t think to be grateful for are some of the things we should be the most grateful for.

While the list goes on I wanted to share these specific things I’m grateful for because these had the most significant impact on my thought process and perception of situations that I’m not a fan of, or make me immediately grumpy. These items made me realize when I start complaining about the power going out, or even something small, that I need to also find the good that’s coming from what’s happening. If I keep focusing on the negative I’m going to be in a horrible mood and I’ll just be ungrateful. BUT if I can find the good from the situation, instead of being upset and irritate with those that are around me, or the situation, I’ll be grateful and willing to go with the flow, like doing yard work without an attitude.

I’d like to challenge all of you (I am challenging myself to do the same) that the next time you find yourself in a spot where all you can think are negative thoughts, ask yourself these questions: What can I be grateful for in this situation? What have I done that I necessarily wouldn’t have? Has anything good come from this situation?

The Grove Collaborative

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Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission or credit to the Grove.co to fund my addiction to sustainable and healthy cleaning and household products if you use these links to make a purchase. You will not be charged extra, and you’ll help me to keep my house clean (plus there’s a free gift after your first purchase)! It’s a win for everyone, really!

If you haven’t heard of the Grove Collaborative I am here to tell you about all the wonderful things that it has to offer, and no I am not getting paid to write this post – though read my disclaimer above, I may be credited if you check out using my link that I’ve provided below (SPOILER: There’s a free gift set in it for you once you check out)!

So what is the Grove Collaborative? Well in layman terms, if you sign up to be a VIP member you receive recurring shipments (that you schedule – it could be once a year if you preferred) of sustainable household products from brands that seek to have the cleanest ingredients and ethical supply chains! If you are a VIP member you receive your own personal guide that will suggest different products to you that you may not have though of or sought out.

Some of my favorite brands are the Mrs. Meyer’s household cleaning products – these have not failed me yet! They smell fantastic and get the job done. Another brand is the Grove’s personal brand which comes out with new products quite often! One of their newest products that I received is the toilet paper (I know, who knew I’d be talking about TP) and tissue paper, the twist is that it is made from Bamboo rather than trees! Plus every time I buy a cube it goes towards restoration efforts here in the U.S., which I love knowing that when I buy products that I’m doing what I can for the environment.

There isn’t just household products either on the website they have household products, personal care products (you can see the coffee facial scrub in the left of my photo above, the brown stick with the word YES on it, or even my hand sanitizer on the right – they have a pump bottle and travel sprays which make it convenient!),  products for kids and pets!

Some of the products I receive monthly are coconut oil (so many uses), sponges, hand sanitizer, dish soap, candles, essential oils, I mean the variety of products that I can get from the Grove Collaborative and feel good about is amazing! I have been receiving shipments from them since February of this year and haven’t bought a single cleaning product from another store. I’ll have to admit I’m a fan of the convenience that it is delivered to your door and they email you a few days before asking you to check your cart and make any last minute changes.

So if you’d like to see what I’m raving about or what your free gift may be after your first purchase, go over to the Grove Collaborative and check them out! If you use this link: https://www.grove.co/referrer/7618640/ you’ll receive a 5-piece gift set after your first purchase!

Have you used a subscription service before? What are some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments!

Cookies made easy!

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I like cookies, like I REALLY enjoy them. However I don’t always want to mix up a fresh batch on a Wednesday after a long day at work and other errands. So on days that I have the time to mix up a batch I do BUT I don’t bake them… except for maybe one or two, gotta reward myself with a warm cookie! So what’s the process of making them and keeping them fresh to bake whenever I want one or two?

First you gotta make the cookies… scroll down for my chocolate chip cookie recipe that I’ve been making for years and is a favorite of my families.

Then it’s quite simple all you do is scoop the cookies onto a baking sheet in a single layer, I didn’t have a cookie scoop so I aimed for about 2 tbsp scoops with spoons.

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You’ll then want to throw this sheet into the freezer for about 30 minutes, you may have heard the term flash freezing. This is just freezing the cookie dough slightly so that you when you transfer them into a freezer friendly storage bag they won’t become one big cookie! I would recommend flash freezing anything you bulk freeze from fresh goods.

Then once you’re ready to have a cookie or you have guests coming over plus have the amazing smell in your house that happens when you bake fresh cookies, you just take however many cookies you want, preheat your oven to 375°F and bake for about 12 minutes. You can use this trick of flash freezing for most drop cookies!

So next time you have a few free hours on a weekend, whip up a fresh batch of cookie dough and freeze them up!


CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE DOUGH
Makes roughly 36 cookies, depending on how much dough you eat 😉

2 1/3 C. Flour
1 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
2 Sticks unsalted Butter – Softened to room temp.
3/4 C. Granulated Sugar
3/4 C. Light Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1-2 C. Semi-Sweet Choc. Chips (amount varies on preference)

Preheat your oven to 375°F. In a bowl mix the flour, salt and baking soda and set aside. Then in another bowl cream the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer (you can do this with a spoon, but it’ll take a little more elbow grease!). Add the eggs 1 at a time incorporating each fully. Then add the flour mixture in about a cup at a time until incorporated, then add the desired amount of chocolate chips, walnuts or anything else you may like in your chocolate chip cookies! Place on a baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes. [If your cookies are straight from the freezer they will need 12 minutes].