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30.1.10

Chicken Hot Pot

2-3 frozen chicken breasts
1 can sweetcorn
1 can black beans
1 can of diced tomatoes or one small jar of salsa
1 packet of taco or fajita seasoning

· Place all ingredients in your hot pot (even frozen chicken).
· Cook on low for 8-10 hours
· After about 4 hours shred the chicken using 2 forks
· Stir and let cook until time to serve
· Serve on whole wheat tortillas topped with your favorite toppings (sour cream, shredded cheddar, green onion, avacado etc...) on rice.
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29.1.10

Dreams

Today I am going to start two new categories in my Blog - Dreams & Bible Study! I have come to realise lately the importance of both of these areas. For some reason this past birthday was a life changing one. I didn't realise at the time but looking back to last December (only a month ago but feels like forever ago) I see how things have changed for me. I turned 36 & for some reason being 36 has made me look at life very differently. First of all I started seeing how short life is & how little time I really have to do everything I want to do with my life - and there is a lot I want to do. Secondly, being 36 has made me look back at my life & how much of my youth I have missed out on. Until now I have kinda acted like an overgrown teenager, perhaps because I "missed" a huge chunk of my teenage years I probably felt like I had some catching up to do with the fun stuff. But turning 36 definitely changed the way I see myself. I feel older, much older not just one year older than 35 but the difference between a teenager and an adult. Weird I know but that's the only way I can describe it. Clearly I am going through some changes this year - I intended for 2010 to be the most fun year I have ever had but it seems pretty serious at the moment. Perhaps when I have figured this grown up stuff out I can get back to the fun part he he. I can see this is going to be an interesting season in my life - I would love to hear your thoughts & comments as I share it with you.

For the time being though I have decided that I better start making a way to realise my dreams but also I would like to get deeper into the heart of God. I hope to Blog my random thoughts as I work my way through the Bible. I find writing does hope me process things, so I do help me processing is interesting or perhaps even helpful to you.

Have a great day!
Love Angela xxx
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28.1.10

Hypertension, Acne, Constipation & Depression

Hypertension, acne, constipation & depression are a few examples of some of the medical conditions that many people face today - the list could go on forever! I was researching hypertension for a friend today to see what food best deals with this. I came across; garlic, red wine (in moderation of course), celery, banana, watermelon, potatoes, spinach, almonds, oranges, fish, oats & brown rice.

This got me thinking about the food I eat to help me keep my skin clear of acne & the food I eat so I don't dip into depression & the way I try to exercise for all the same reasons. It seems that most physical ailments & mental conditions can be prevented or often cured simply by eating a balanced healthy diet. So why is that most of us panic when we get ill & only then start finding out what is best to eat to cure our ailment? It's so silly isn't it? So I have decided to stop being silly & work even harder at maintaining a healthy balanced diet so I can live a long & healthy life :)

Knowing that the perfect combination is healthy eating & exercise, if you only had to do one, which would you rather? Eat healthy or exercise? For me its eat healthy because at the moment, with this cold weather, I am not getting around to much exercise. How about you?
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23.1.10

Enjoying the Journey

Jordan sent me an article this past week about little ones watching TV. It's very interesting & got me thinking about my family life. Lately I have been finding life... well a bit "noisy" & stressful. Finding the balance is becoming challenging as Daniel & Amy are growing & getting more noisy & needy! Some days I get quite desperate for a quiet moment, even now as I type I am faced with several interruptions! I did write about getting my priorities in order a while ago & continue to be committed to getting it right. Most importantly though, I really want to enjoy the journey & not wish my life away. I can easily wish whole days away just to get to the part of my day when the little ones are in bed & the house is quiet! This brings me back to the article Jordan sent me. I found it very interesting that TV & movies actually discourage us to enjoy the journey. If you think about it most movies cover the entire journey all the way to the happy ending in 1 1/2 hours! Movies cut out the sometimes ordinary and mundane details of our life - they cut out the journey. Everything about our life these days is fast paced with instant messaging, microwave food, etc. I love technology & all the benefits, I also love movies so have nothing against these things. What I am wrestling with is the life that we can easily lose if we don't monitor how we allow these things to affect us.

On Saturday Eric & I took our little ones to the library. We just sat in the play area, read stories & hung out. Nothing spectacular but it was really nice & made our family day really special. It was one of the many simple things that we do that would never be exciting enough to make a movie about, but it is part of our journey. The impression that TV & movies give us about life is not real which can often leave us feeling dissatisfied with thoughts that our life is boring or inferior to the life that movies portray. I challenge you to join me in making special memories out of the seemingly ordinary moments of our every day life. I intend to find the fun amidst the noise, I plan to enjoy the demands of the children rather than wish the day away! There are so many creative ways to make life fun. For example I like to practice my singing while I wash the dishes. I allow Daniel to help me cook whenever I can just so we can have fun together - even though it makes more mess it is so worth the memories we are making. Do you have any ideas of what we can do to make something special out of life's ordinary moments?
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20.1.10

Marriage Tip #5 - Influence

I have come to the conclusion that as wives we influence our husbands. No matter whether we are good, bad or ugly wives we do influence him. I have noticed in my own life & watched others & I can see clearly that when a man really loves a woman he wants to please her. I also noticed that he needs her approval & it frustrates him when the woman he loves doesn't approve so he does whatever he can to please her. As women, if we realize this we can see how we can easily use this to our advantage or to his advantage. Sadly I have also observed that woman use this to manipulate & control their husband. It's a easy trap to fall into & I am always careful of this trap!

In Genesis 2:18 God said that he will make him a helper comparable to him. I believe that what we should do with our influence is use it to help our husbands. Since we have this influence in his life let's not use it for evil but we can use it for good to help him, to build him up, to help him be all he can be in this life. I have only been married for 5 years now but I can clearly see how I have a great deal of influence in my husbands life because he loves me so much. I am very grateful for his love & in return I do my best to use my influence to support & help him in his life. Observe your marriage for a while & let me know what you see - do you find this to be true & do you feel challenged to be very careful with how you use your influence? I would love to hear your thoughts about this...
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18.1.10

Kitchen Tip - Freeze Herbs

I got a great tip from my mom while I visited her recently! You may already know this but I never even thought of it. So often I end up throwing away old herbs or ginger. Many times I go to the fridge to get some ginger out & it has shriveled up and looks really bad so it ends up in the bin. I go to the shop to buy more, forget about it again & when I need it... back to the bin. I know, I am so silly! My mom however is a very clever lady - she freezes her fresh ginger & herbs! Why didn't I think of that... The lovely lady in the photo is my mom with my very amazing step-dad.

Silly question, mom can you freeze garlic too then?
Do you have any handy kitchen tips?
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14.1.10

Goals

Tonight I am going to be talking to our leaders at church about setting goals the SMART way! I really feel that if we are not setting goals both for our personal life & as a church then we might be very disappointed
when we go nowhere or achieve nothing. I am passionate about setting goals for my life & so thought it would be good if I shared my passion with my lovely King's Daughters :)

SMART Goal Setting

S = Specific
Goals should be straightforward and emphasize what you want to happen. Specifics help us to focus our efforts and clearly define what we are going to do.

WHAT are you going to do? Use action words such as create, organize, lead, develop, plan, build etc.
WHY is this important to do at this time? What do you want to ultimately accomplish?
HOW are you going to do it? (By...)

Ensure the goals you set are very specific, clear and easy. Instead of setting a goal to lose weight or be healthier, set a specific goal to lose 2cm off your waistline or to walk 5 miles at an aerobically challenging pace.

M = Measurable
If you can't measure it, you can't manage it. Choose a goal with measurable progress, so you can see the change occur. How will you see when you reach your goal? Be specific! "I want to read 3 chapter books of 100 pages on my own before my birthday" shows the specific target to be measure. "I want to be a good reader" is not as measurable. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement..

A = Attainable
Goals you set which are too far out of your reach, you probably won't commit to doing. A goal needs to stretch you slightly so you feel you can do it and it will need a real commitment from you. For instance, if you aim to lose 20lbs in one week, we all know that isn't achievable. But setting a goal to lose 1lb and when you've achieved that, aiming to lose a further 1lb, will keep it achievable for you. The feeling of success which this brings helps you to remain motivated.

R = Relevant
This is not a synonym for "easy." Relevant or realistic, in this case, means "do-able." A realistic project may push the skills and knowledge of the people working on it but it shouldn't break them. Devise a plan or a way of getting there which makes the goal realistic. The goal needs to be realistic for you and where you are at the moment. A goal of never again eating sweets, cakes, crisps and chocolate may not be realistic for someone who really enjoys these foods. For instance, it may be more realistic to set a goal of eating a piece of fruit each day instead of one sweet item. You can then choose to work towards reducing the amount of sweet products gradually as and when this feels realistic for you.

T = Time-bound
Set a time frame for the goal: for next week, in three months, by fifth grade. Putting an end point on your goal gives you a clear target to work towards. Without a time limit, there's no urgency to start taking action now. Time must be measurable, attainable and realistic.
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10.1.10

Marriage Tip #4 - Remember

Take time to remember what you first loved about each other. It is so easy to get sidetracked with real life & it is so easy to forget all the good things that made you attracted to each other in the first place. Occasionally Eric & I intentionally look back & reminisce. We remember our first meal together, our special walk along the river Thames in London that lead to us dating, we remember our honeymoon. Our memories are so precious to us & we love to remember to good times.

From time to time Eric & I also take out the photo albums & flip through them. We treasure our memories & once we have finished looking through the albums we manage to see things back in their proper perspective. Sometimes you forget that your life is really good but looking through the photo album can easily remind you. Take time to remember the good things - don't wait for a memory to come to you, be intentional about it, make yourself remember - it is so worth i
t.
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6.1.10

Amy's 1st Birthday & SNOW!

We have so much news so thought I would update you a little bit! On 27th December we celebrated Amy's first birthday! She tried to blow out her candle but couldn't quite get the hang of it so we all helped her. I can't believe she is 1 already, the last year has just flown by!

Today was so much fun, we had our first snow of the season & it was a really good snow! The best I have seen in England since I have lived here - yikes and that is 9 years now! So of course we had to build a snow man :)


What fun have you been up to so far this year?
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3.1.10

Deeper

Eric's message today was fantastic! Over the next 4 weeks he is exploring how we can build a deeper relationship with God through our relationship with Church, The Word, Prayer & Worship. Today he spoke about our relationship with Church & identified 3 groups of people: 1) people who believe in the vision enough to benefit from it, 2) people who believe in the vision enough to contribute comfortably, & 3) people believe in the vision enough to give their lives to it. It was a powerful word that really spoke to me & I am determined more than ever to make sure I remain in the third category of people. If the Church was so important that Jesus died for her then surely we should make Church one of the top priorities in our life. Most of all, why wouldn't I want to be planted in the House of God? He promised that if I am my life will flourish, and who doesn't want a flourishing life :) So here's to a great new year & to a flourishing life... *cling* xxx
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