Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Taking Care of Myself

We all want to be the best mom for our children, to give them everything they need emotionally and physically to be successful in this world. 

The job of a mother is a difficult one as we juggle all the responsibilities of taking care of our family. Being a mom can be emotionally and physically draining, but we must push on for our children. 

I began a journey almost six years ago when I bought my Jeep. It wasn't a planned journey, but evolved into my Jeep Journey of discovering me. Along the way, I realized I was failing as a mother. I forgot to do the one most important thing, and that was to take care of myself. 

A good mother's number one responsibility is to take care of herself first and foremost. It is not being selfish, it is being a good mother. It is so easy to stop taking care of yourself when things become overwhelming however, this is so important especially during those overwhelming times. 

When you stop taking care of yourself your children are impacted. It also impacts your ability to enjoy being a mother. Your children are watching you and learning from you. So you need to set a good example on how to take care of yourself and love yourself.

It's never too late to start being a good mother. Six years ago I started to get back on track to being a good mom. I started taking care of myself and showing my children how to take care of yourself. Even the little things like drinking eight glasses of water a day, exercising, partaking in your hobbies, and finding your passion. 

Now I'm living my life for me while setting an example for my children. I still take care of my family but now that includes myself as well. 

I made a promise to myself to take 30 minutes everyday for just me to do what I want to do, whether it's soaking in the tub or reading a good book. I also started my bucket list which I actively check off as much as I can.

I also have the goal of doing one fun thing for me, at least once a month, like off-roading or dancing or going to a concert. The list is endless. As my children get older, all our interests change, so I work hard at making sure we all are taking care of ourselves and doing the things we love. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Neighborhood Happy Hour "How To"

My 2019 Goal is "Don't Waste". 
 2019 Goals - Blog Post 
It encompasses many things like money, time, and food. You get the picture. I love to hang out with my friends and have a good time. That can get expensive going out for drinks or dinner. So one way to cut down on the cost of going out for dinner and drinks is to have my own Happy Hour. 

Now that my kids are older I don't spend as much time running them to events or hanging out at school outings like I did when they were in elementary school. Part of my new journey is to simplify my life. One way is saying no to volunteering for events which used to fill my calendar. That means I don't see my neighborhood friends like I used to. 

I love to throw a party and hang out with friends to catch up. So I decided to remedy this by hosting my own Monthly Happy Hours this winter. Which also helps with my "Don't Waste" goal. 

Since going to bartenders school I have become fascinated with mixology. Having a monthly Happy Hour gives me the chance to try out new cocktails and shooters. My neighborhood friends are lucky (or unlucky) as they are my guinea pigs. 

Throwing a party doesn't have to be complicated nor expensive, especially if you host monthly Happy Hours which I hope you will join me this winter and throw your own Happy Hour Parties. 

Top 5 Steps

to Throwing at Home
Monthly Happy Hours

- Plan 2 featured cocktails and 1 or 2 shooters around your theme. 

Holiday Happy Hour Drinks 
Recipes Below 

Candy Cane Shooter
Nutcracker Shooter
North Pole Chill 
Jingle Jangle Punch
Cranberry Margarita

- Invite your friends & neighbors ask them to bring appetizers and the booze (which you can use for the upcoming Happy Hours) You provide the mixers.

- The day of the party pre-make your drinks in pitchers, punch bowls, and shooter glasses. 

- I offered 5 small inexpensive gifts for a drawing for anyone who brought an appetizer. 

I am planning more Happy Hours this winter with a Beach Theme, Mexican Fiesta Theme, and a Millenial Martini Theme. 

Set up your own neighborhood Happy Hour! Share you pictures and add the hashtags

Candy Cane Shooter
Rim shooter glass with crushed candy canes
Mix equal parts, shake with ice & strain 
Peppermint Schnapps

Nutcracker Shooter
Mix equal parts & shake with ice & strain
Peppermint Schnapps
Hazelnut Liqueur 

North Pole Chill 
Mix equal parts, shake & strain over ice 
Hazelnut Liqueur
Peppermint Schnapps

Jingle Jangle Punch
Mix and stir well with ice
1.5 cups Raspberry Vodka
3/4 cup Grand Marnier or Triple Sec
1 cup Lemon Juice
1.5 cups simple syrup

Then with a shaker add 7 to 8 berries (raspberries, blue berries, blackberries) and some of the mixed liquid and shake vigorously and strain into a punch bowl. Do this until all the liquid is shaken.

Right before serving add more berries and 3/4 bottle of a sparkling dry wine

Cranberry Margarita

Mix in 1 1/4 c cranberry juice
1/2 cup frozen cranberries
3/4 cup lime juice
3/4 cup tequila
1/2 cup Grand Marnier or Triple Sec 

pour over ice

Last Minute Red Sangria

Muddle 3/4 sliced orange & lemon
1/2 cup Blackberry Brandy
1/2 cup Orange Juice
Muddle then add ice
Add 1 Bottle (750ml) bottle Pinot Noir
Add slice orange, lemon & apple chunks   

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Top 5 Ways My Jeep Changed My Life

I have said so many times, "My Jeep Changed My Life". In so many ways, large and small, my Jeep has changed my life. Here are the Top 5 Ways My Jeep Wrangler Changed My Life.

I found my passion. That passion is my Blog and Vlog. I love sharing my story through my words and video. Photography has been a love of mine since I was in elementary school. 

I became a television videographer, but gave it up to raise my family. Now with my YouTube videos and my blog I am able to use my passion in this new age of social media. 

I have made so many new friends from being part of the Jeep Community. Friends I know will be in my life forever! I may not see them every day or week, but they are some of the best friends I will ever have.    

I never truly had a hobby I could call my own until I discovered off-roading. It is so exhilarating being out in nature with my Jeep tackling the trails. 

Working on my Jeep has given me the gift of empowerment. There is nothing like modifying your own Jeep knowing you did the work yourself. The best part is realizing how capable I really am. 

A new mindset, some people call it minimalism, but I call it Living Simple. It's about what is important to living your best life and focusing on what makes you happy. Living Simple is marked by clarity, purpose, and intentional living. Intentional living is the promotion of the things I most value and the removal of everything that distracts me from it. 

I believe that Living Simple isn't about what I get rid of but more about creating more space for the life and purpose I treasure most.

I found the stuff I had was distracting me. That stuff was taking up my time. Getting rid of the stuff allows me to use my resources better use elsewhere. 

Getting rid of the excess stuff in the basement, back of the closet and shelves in the garage, and all the stuff for the “what ifs” in my life was so freeing. I do not need to pair down to nothing but ditch the excess. 

Living Simple is a guardrail that helps keep me on a course toward a more meaningful life.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

New Year's Goals

I've never been big on New Year's Resolutions.  Goals and Bucket Lists is where it's at for me. 

Jeep Momma Blog Post

My 2019 Goal  

Be less Wasteful -- with my time and my money. This is so I have more time and money to do the things I enjoy. One of my goals when I turned 50 was to try different things whether it's food or experiences. I will continue with that as well. 

When I turned 50 I created a Bucket List. I don't always get to check items off the bucket list because the items can be costly. So I have created a mini-bucket list for in between the big Bucket List items. 

Mini-Bucket List

The Soundry
See the Band Reagan Years
Escape Room with Friends
New restaurants in the area - Pub Dog Pizza, Sanford Grill,
More Dancing - Nottingham's Tavern
Find a Good Jazz Bar

North American Adventure - Update

We all have those dreams in the back of our mind we plan for when we retire. Well, during Episode 35 of the Jeep Talk Call In Show those dreams started blooming into a plan instead of swimming around in my head. 

Follow me here, as I plan for one of my dream trips (I have several). As a mom with a family, it is hard just to up and leave for a year or two to do all the traveling I would like. So this trip will take some thoughtful planning to get the biggest bang for my buck.

This page will be updated as with all the latest of my planning steps.    

Day 8 - The research begins on the possible destinations. I will log and record my findings on this page - Route.

Day 7 The Mile Post arrived in the mail. What an amazing book. It is so full of great information that will make planning a breeze.  

Day 4 - Created My North American Adventure Blog Pages 

Day 2 - Ordered The Mile Post - May 3, 2017 

Day 1 - Truly Inspired - May 2, 2017

North American Adventure Route

My North American Adventure route is going to require a lot of planning and research on my part. The route will play a big role in my budget. I am a little torn on the direction I should take. I have so many dream trips.

I would really love to wheel across America hitting as many off road parks as I could. I also want to visit all the U.S. National Parks. I was thinking of doing a little of both, but I fear trail damage to my Jeep could cut this trip short. So, for now, I think it would be best to stick to sightseeing and camping, with maybe some mild wheeling thrown in the mix. 

I also am debating if I should just stick to the continental United States or head through Canada to Alaska. A lot of questions to answer with so many choices to pick. 

Right now Alaska is top on my list. So many majestic places to see and really cool adventures. 

Crossing the mighty Teklinika River
photo courtesy of The Road Chose Me

I begin my research with the person who inspired me in the first place, Dan with The Road Chose Me. In 2009 he made a trek from Alaska to the tip of South America. Currently he is on a journey in Africa.  

Standing in The Arctic Ocean
photo courtesy of The Road Chose Me
I really love his adventure to the Arctic Sea, and all the places he hiked in Alaska. However, doing that trek alone scares me. I wonder if I am capable of hiking to some of those remote locations alone.

Arctic Camping (taken at 11pm)
photo courtesy The Road Chose Me

I would love to do some of the remote backpacking, but for this trip I might have to stick to a little less remote. One day I will try out a remote back country backpacking hike with an experienced backpacker. So for now I will stick to the path a little more traveled, but not a lot traveled. 

I know with out a doubt Alaska is on the list. So I will go from there. Will I add Wyoming, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and Montana to the list. A little more research is needed.  

North Cascades Hiking Guide

Alaska Destinations on the List

Deadhorse/Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic Ocean

Denali National Park
There is one road in this park, 92 miles. The first 15 miles can be publicly driven then you must get on a tour bus or hike. The bus tours are 6 to 8 hours and cost about $130. There are very few established trails.   

The cool thing is I found the Denali Jeep Tours. $170 to $500 for a 4 hour tour. I can even take my own Jeep.

Their sister company also has some great adventures they suggested I check out. Experience Denali

This Park is not accessible by vehicle or has any established trails. This one might just be a drive-by on this trip.

Glacier Bay National Park
This park is only accessible by boat. There are tour boats that are 9 hours and about $200. 

McCarthy Road & Kennecott 

Gold Mining Tours - $50 plus 

Train Excursions - 
-- Bennett  $230
-- White Pass Summit $125 

Links from my research

Travel Alaska

The MilePost  - they offer a great travel guide. I bought mine and it is so full of amazing information. 

West Coast Destinations - Research still needs to be done for each of these locations. Then once I decide my top destinations I will plot them on a map, figure out a route and start my budget. 

I also think I need to research some places in Canada too!  

South Dakota 
Mt. Rushmore

Crater of the Moon 
Shoshone Falls
The Black Cliffs
Custer Ghost Town - Stanley Idaho

Grand Teton National Park
Devils Tower
Lamar Valley
Old Trail Town 

Glacier National Park
Grinnell Clacier

Crater Lake National Park
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
Mount Hood National Forest
Multnomah Falls
Sea Lion Caves 

Mt. Rainier
Olympic National Park
Puget Sound 
North Cascades National Park 

Go to Moab again?
Bryce Canyon National Park
Zion National Park
Capital Reef National Park

Northern California
Kings Canyon National Park
Redwood National Park

Great Basin National Park

North America Adventure Budget

60 Before 60

I recently shared about revisiting my bucket list on this new season of my life.  Bucket List Revised - 2023 As I approach another milestone...