Where is America the Beautiful?

“America the Beautiful”, where are you? I suspect many of you are feeling much the same way I do. We love our country so much, but it feels like a big, angry mess right now. There’s just so much going on and so much of it feels completely out of our control. We can’t control the Pandemic. We can’t control the wildfires or hurricanes. We can’t stop the violent protesting, burning down our cities. We can’t control the climate of American politics, etc. etc. However, my vulnerability right now has me hopefully wondering: Can we still personally influence the beauty of America through all of this?

When I was little, I believed I would grow up to be someone who could change the world! Then over the years, as reality and maturity set in, the world humbled my childish, naive ambition. I bet most of you felt the same way. I love that God creates little kids so pure and sure of their power. I’m grateful he does. A few years ago, I went looking for that brave little girl. I had become a mom of 3 daughters and a mature woman. I had some things on my heart that I wanted to say back to the world. I knew that little girl would get me back to my writing and help me believe in my ability to write a book. I knew she would convince me that my small words, if I put great love behind them, could inspire. Sure, maybe they would just be helpful to my family or a few friends. But maybe, just maybe, they could help friends of friends and so on. I have always believed in the power of the ripple. I feel that even when we throw something small into the water, it can grow and stretch further than the eye can see.

I’m a pretty positive person who loves looking for the sunshine, but it’s not that easy to find right now. I’m grieving for “America the Beautiful”, and I know I’m not alone. Of course our country is strong. Of course it will eventually be fine again. But America is in need of beauty and healing right now. Our pure, younger self was right. Each ONE of us has the potential to be great…really great! We each possess enormous power through our words, actions, and the examples we provide every day. We make an impact. We can’t think we don’t or aren’t able. It’s the way we work with each other. It’s the way we play with each other. It’s the way we treat each other. We need to believe in our individual power. We need to use our power for good. We need to be the ones who keep America beautiful. 

#growyourselfbeautiful

#growamericabeautiful

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Sharon Caldwell Peddie is the Author of “Grow Yourself Beautiful: A Smart Girl’s Guide to Following Her Heart and Focusing on Her Inner Joy”. For more information on her book visit www.sharoncaldwellpeddie.com or https://www.amazon.com/Grow-Yourself-Beautiful-Following-Focusing/dp/1532057342/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=grow+yourself+beautiful&qid=1567376389&s=gateway&sr=8-1 or https://sharonpeddieblog.com https://www.pinterest.com/sharonpeddie/pins/

Anything contained in my blog that is written or shared by me is just my personal view. If you find inspiration in any of my content, please be responsible, safe and legal.

STYLE. How to Develop Yours!

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“IF SOMETHING GENUINELY APPEALS TO US, MAKES US COMFORTABLE, HELPS US FEEL ATTRACTIVE, AND UNDERSTOOD, THEN IT’S FOR US! “

Article by Sharon Caldwell Peddie

Photography by Ashley Taylor

Originally published in Boca Style Lifestyle

Our personal style is so much more than our clothes. It’s our hygiene. It’s the way we interact with people. It’s how we treat our family and friends. It’s how we decorate our home, as well as the way we take care of it. It’s the car we drive and how it looks inside. We show our style even through the way we wrap a present.

Of course we don’t take all of those things around with us; but our clothes make us a walking billboard. They’re an expression and message to ourselves and others. It’s important we’re communicating what we want to say to all of us. Our fashion and personal style should always feel “authentic” to us. Otherwise, it makes us feel awkward, phony, and uncomfortable. Our goal with our style and clothing should be to make us feel beautiful and comfortable.

Our personal style evolves as we do; and thank goodness, because if you’re like me, we’ve fallen prey to some pretty silly trends. There are always new ones and it’s fun to explore them through designers, magazines, Pinterest, bloggers, and influencers. At any age, it’s a great way to keep yourself current. However, it’s really important we view them through our personal lens. They may get you excited but unless it fits your personality, lifestyle, body shape, and comfort level, it will be working against your self confidence. We want our clothes to work with us in building confidence. I’ve always loved the sentiment “confidence is our greatest accessory”!

I truly believe if something genuinely appeals to us, makes us comfortable, helps us feel attractive, and understood, then it’s for us! So let that criteria help you while you shop and develop your style. It might be the latest trend, but it also might just be something in “your color”. If it fits you and your vibe just right, that is when you will rock the look! People admire the style of people who know who they are and dress like it. That’s your true fashion trend to follow.

Starting a board on Pinterest is a great way to start exploring your personal style. You can put categories in the search bar such as “jeans” or “yellow tops” and pin the ones that feel like you. Pretty soon you’ll have a whole board of fashion inspiration!

Sharon Caldwell Peddie is a new, Inspirational Writer and Author of  “Grow Yourself Beautiful: A Smart Girl’s Guide to Following Her Heart and Focusing on Her Inner Joy”. https://www.amazon.com/Grow-Yourself-Beautiful-Following-Focusing/dp/1532057342/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=grow+yourself+beautiful&qid=1599062525&sr=8-3

Peddie grew up in South Florida and now lives in Oregon. She’s a proud UF Gator Journalism Grad and currently working on Book 2. Check out her social media for ways to grow you and your life even more beautiful!

www.Pinterest.com/sharonpeddie/boards/

www.sharonpeddieblog.com

www.instagram.com/author_sharoncaldwellpeddie/

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Anything contained in my blog that is written or shared by me is just my personal view. If you find inspiration in any of my content, please be responsible, safe and legal.

College Dorm Checklist for Girls

These are anxious times already, and to be sending our kids off to college during a pandemic, certainly doesn’t help us feel any calmer. I’m taking my youngest daughter back to college next week and we’ve committed ourselves to just focusing on all of the positives. I’m a true believer in expect and hope for the best, but also be prepared for everything. When we’re prepared, it helps even tough situations go a little more smoothly.

I’ve sent 3 daughters off to college and I still don’t have it perfected, but I’ve developed a helpful checklist along the way, that I’d love to share. (My boy parent friends will have a much shorter list and a good giggle.)

Girls can certainly get away with much less than this and some may even think of more…but it will help you not have to start from scratch. I hope it’s helpful!

Big prayers for a healthy, safe, educational, fun and resilient college year to all of the kids, faculty and parents traveling near and far. What important lessons and life skills this year will be!

Dorm Checklist for Girls:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1t1GAnewMc59rF6_xoY5REnI5nXqsjavQxPP3k3Tij-E/edit?usp=sharing

Shampoo

Conditioner

Toothbrush

Toothpaste

Flossers

Hairspray

Dry shampoo 

Shower puff

Brush

Body wash or soap

Razor, fresh blades

Deodorant 

Face wash

Body and face moisturizers

Makeup

Makeup remover/wipes

Hair ties 

Blow dryer

Curling wand/straightener 

Nail polish and remover

Nail clippers and file

Reading glasses 

Sunglasses

Cotton balls or cotton pads

Tweezers

Tissues 

Paper towels 

Qtips

Antibacterial Hand wash 

Clorox wipes

Lysol Spray

Disinfecting Cleaner

Laundry detergent

Laundry bag

Shower caddy

Flipflops

Hand held Steamer

EmergenC

Vitamins

Advil and Tylenol

Aleve or Midol

Tampons/Femine products

Thermometer 

Disposable Face Masks

Hand Sanitizer

Cold and Flu medication 

Gatorade

Saltine Crackers

Ramen or soup

Bandaids

Antibiotic

Sunscreen

Snacks

Mini fridge 

Refillable water bottle

Planner

Computer

Desk organizer

Desk hutch

Notebook, pens, pencils 

Highlighters 

Folders 

Calculator 

Scissors

Stapler

Printer, paper, ink

Clock

Full length mirror

Desk lamp

Bed charging station

Music/Sonos speaker

Earbuds

Backpack 

Hand vac

Dorm key/car keys/ Lanyard

Pepper spray

Mattress bug cover 

Comfy mattress pad

Sheets (XL?)

Blanket

Comforter 

Pillows

Decorative pillows

Shower Towels

Wash cloth

Hand towel 

Clothes Hangers

Over door shoe organizer 

Wall decor

Bulletin board & white board

Push pins

Photos from home (and a way to display them)

Multiple outlet Power cord/surge protector 

Storage with drawers 

Rug

Makeup mirror for desk

Clothes: campus wear, inside dorm wear, sorority wear, spirit/game day wear, night wear, event wear, weather gear  

Shoes and socks for all the above occasions

Jewelry & organizer

Bulbs & Batteries for anything needed, ie, desk lamp, makeup mirror

Wastebasket/bags

Vaccinations needed prior and submit proof

Prescriptions

Insurance cards

Phone and tech chargers 

Weekend bag

Suitcase

Print any parking permits needed for move-in day

(Tool kit for moving in: command strip double sided tape, measuring tape, thumbnails hooks, hammer or screwdrivers)

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Sharon Caldwell Peddie is the Author of “Grow Yourself Beautiful: A Smart Girl’s Guide to Following Her Heart and Focusing on Her Inner Joy”. For more information on her book visit www.sharoncaldwellpeddie.com or https://www.amazon.com/Grow-Yourself-Beautiful-Following-Focusing/dp/1532057342/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=grow+yourself+beautiful&qid=1567376389&s=gateway&sr=8-1 or https://sharonpeddieblog.comhttps://www.pinterest.com/sharonpeddie/pins/

Anything contained in my blog that is written or shared by me is just my personal view. If you find inspiration in any of my content, please be responsible, safe and legal.

August Article for BocaStyle Magazine-“Kids & Pets” Edition

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Sharon Caldwell Peddie is the Author of “Grow Yourself Beautiful: A Smart Girl’s Guide to Following Her Heart and Focusing on Her Inner Joy”. For more information on her book visit www.sharoncaldwellpeddie.com or https://www.amazon.com/Grow-Yourself-Beautiful-Following-Focusing/dp/1532057342/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=grow+yourself+beautiful&qid=1567376389&s=gateway&sr=8-1 or https://sharonpeddieblog.comhttps://www.pinterest.com/sharonpeddie/pins/

Anything contained in my blog that is written or shared by me is just my personal view. If you find inspiration in any of my content, please be responsible, safe and legal.

Heirloom Tomatoes, Grilled Peaches & Burrata– Easy, Delicious, Elegant Summer Salad

Looking for inspiration for an easy, but elegant Summer Salad?

Summer is filled with so many beautiful fruits and vegetables, it’s easy to get something beautiful, creative and delicious on the table in a short amount of time.

This salad recipe is exactly as simple as it seems with flavors that meld together like a beautiful tapestry! Here’s the simple recipe:

Sliced, Heirloom Tomatoes of all colors and sizes

Sliced Peaches with drizzled balsamic glaze and grilled

Ball of Burrata Cheese

Fresh Basil

Drop the grilled peaches on top of the tomatoes and burrata, finish off with a nice drizzle of olive oil and top with fresh basil. It’s that easy!

Date night at home- Grilled Filet, roasted rosemary potatoes and Tomato, Peach, Burrata Salad.

Sharon Caldwell Peddie is also the Author of “Grow Yourself Beautiful: A Smart Girl’s Guide to Following Her Heart and Focusing on Her Inner Joy”. For more information on her book visit www.sharoncaldwellpeddie.com or https://www.amazon.com/Grow-Yourself-Beautiful-Following-Focusing/dp/1532057342/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=grow+yourself+beautiful&qid=1567376389&s=gateway&sr=8-1 or https://sharonpeddieblog.comhttps://www.pinterest.com/sharonpeddie/pins/

Anything contained in my blog that is written or shared by me is just my personal view. If you find inspiration in any of my content, please be responsible, safe and legal.

Travel by Book this Summer! Boca Style Magazine Article-CityLifestyle.com

Boca Style is a beautiful magazine and I was lucky enough to be asked to contribute to their July Issue! Don Schnurr-Publisher and Marti Schnurr-Editor, are right on point with their idea for this article to help inspire us to stay hopeful and positive until the world opens up to us again. Books are the perfect way to help us have adventures and travels without ever leaving our home. In my article, I recommend 3 books that I hope will inspire you in many unexpected ways to grow you and your life more beautiful! Thank you Don, Marti and Boca Style for this fun opportunity.

Grab a sneak peek of the magazine piece below. Articles can be found later this month at Citylifestyle.com and a complete copy of the monthly magazine at Lifestylepubs.com.

Sharon Caldwell Peddie is also the Author of “Grow Yourself Beautiful: A Smart Girl’s Guide to Following Her Heart and Focusing on Her Inner Joy”. For more information on her book visit www.sharoncaldwellpeddie.com or https://www.amazon.com/Grow-Yourself-Beautiful-Following-Focusing/dp/1532057342/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=grow+yourself+beautiful&qid=1567376389&s=gateway&sr=8-1 or https://sharonpeddieblog.comhttps://www.pinterest.com/sharonpeddie/pins/

Anything contained in my blog that is written or shared by me is just my personal view. If you find inspiration in any of my content, please be responsible, safe and legal.

If you make your own, you get to “speak gnocchi” however you want ;)

I feel there are many gifts wrapped up for us during Quarantine, if we can just take a deep breath and choose to open them. One of them is un-rushed time in the kitchen with family. I’ve got all 3 of my daughters back at home during quarantine, so we thought it would be fun to broaden our cooking skills and master some new techniques. We’ve been looking for recipes that challenge our usual run-of-the-mill meals and also make for a fun and festive evening. It’s been giving us a little something fun to look forward to on these quarantined weekend nights. It’s also proving to give us some special, positive memories during such a crazy and negative time.

 Last week was homemade traditional pasta, this week we took on “gnocchi”. (nyow·kee, ˈnȯ-kē, ˈnyȯ-, ˈnä) Gnocchi is also known as potato dumplings or “pillows of love”. Just like pasta, gnocchi’s texture is so much better if it’s homemade. I’m allergic to wheat, so I challenge myself to make gluten free recipes where my family can’t taste the difference. I think we have all decided over the years that many of the gluten free flours even have more flavor and a better texture for certain recipes. The recipe I’m leaving for you can be made with all purpose white flour or gluten free flour. (See link in recipe)

We had a lot of fun making the recipe and also trying to figure out the correct pronunciation. Ask five different people how to say it and you’ll get five different pronunciations. Regardless, it’s hard to say without getting the giggles. However, if you make your own, you don’t have worry that you’re not pronouncing it correctly to the waiter, and you can “speak gnocchi” however you want 😉  Enjoy!

#growyyourselfbeautiful #growyourlifebeautiful

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Homemade Gnocchi with Marinara Sauce, Fresh Basil and Mozzarella

Delicious Homemade Gnocchi with Marinara Sauce, Fresh Basil and Mozzarella.

  • Author: sharonpeddie
Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds of potatoes

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour or Gluten free flour. (See link for a favorite gluten free flour and it’s the one we used)1/2 cup or more for laying out and working the dough. https://www.bobsredmill.com/gluten-free-1-to-1-baking-flour.html

  • 1 1/2 eggs (you can do it)

  • 2/3 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 24 ounces of Marinara Sauce

  • Fresh ball of mozzarella

  • 1 cup of fresh grated parmesan cheese (more for topping when serving)

  • Fresh basil

Instructions

 

 

  1. In a large stock pot boil potatoes with their skins on. The skins will protect the potatoes from getting water logged and mushy. Don’t over fill the pot with water just enough to cover the potatoes.  Depending on the size of the potatoes, it should be “about” 15-20 minutes of boiling. You want them to just be fork tender, no more, no less. Cooking them too long will make the potatoes too mushy to grate/rice.

  2. Drain all of the water well. Remove potatoes. Allow them to cool for just a bit in a colander.

  3. Peel the boiled potatoes. At this point it’s easily done by hand.

  4. Now rice the potatoes. If you have a potato ricer use that. If not you can just use a grater. That’s what we did and it worked well.

  5. Mound the grated potatoes on the middle of a large cutting board or on a very clean, dry countertop. Top with flour. Sprinkle with salt.

  6. Using your hands, make a well by scooping out the center of your mound.

  7. Drop the eggs into the center of the well. Whisk the egg with a fork.

  8. Very gradually start pulling in the flour to the potato and egg mixture with the fork. Then begin to use your hands to really combine ingredients to form the dough. Make it a slow purposeful roll so you combine it but not over work the dough as you knead.  Don’t be tempted to keep adding flour at this point or it will give you dough that’s hard to work with and in turn, hard gnocchi. Eventually shape the dough into into large rectangular shape.

  9. Then cut the rectangle into into 8-10 pieces of dough, about 4 inches long.

  10. Roll each piece into a long rope by gently pushing softly with your fingers spread. Try to make an evenly sized ropes.

  11. Using a sharp, non- serrated knife (a pastry cutter is quicker if you have one!) cut dough ropes into pieces. We cut into 1-inch pieces. You can play with various shapes and sizes but make the whole batch as uniform as possible so it cooks evenly.

  12. To prevent sticking try to cook the gnocchi as soon as its made or at least keep it in a cool area. Be sure to toss them with a little extra flour while they’re waiting to be cooked. 

  13. To cook, drop them gently into a large boiling pot of salted boiling water. If you have a hand strainer, that works great to drop them in without getting burned or smashing their shape. Cook gnocchi until they start floating. They shouldn’t take more than about 2-5 minutes so taste test after 2-3 minutes. Remove them from the water with a hand strainer or slotted spoon.

  14. At this point there are lots of sauces and ways to prepare it. We immediately dropped them into a greased baking dish that had a layer of marinara sauce already down. (We preheated the sauce) After all the gnocchi was in the baking dish, we lightly tossed them with the sauce and with a cup of grated fresh parmesan cheese. We saved a little sauce for the top & topped that with fresh sliced mozzarella and fresh basil leaves-Then baked it off quickly until the cheese was melted and sauce was bubbling. About 10 minutes at 350.

Notes

We watched a few tutorial videos online and found that very helpful. It’s pretty straightforward and easier than we thought it would be!

Since this was our first attempt at making gnocchi, we decided to keep our focus on that, and just used a jar of a favorite marinara from our local market. https://www.zupans.com/private-label/marinara/

There are so many fun sauces you can make or buy to create something different each time. Hope you’ll give gnocchi making a try, it’s really fun!

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Sharon Caldwell Peddie is also the Author of “Grow Yourself Beautiful: A Smart Girl’s Guide to Following Her Heart and Focusing on Her Inner Joy”. For more information on her book visit www.sharoncaldwellpeddie.com or https://www.amazon.com/Grow-Yourself-Beautiful-Following-Focusing/dp/1532057342/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=grow+yourself+beautiful&qid=1567376389&s=gateway&sr=8-1 or https://sharonpeddieblog.comhttps://www.pinterest.com/sharonpeddie/pins/

Anything contained in my blog that is written or shared by me is just my personal view. If you find inspiration in any of my content, please be responsible, safe and legal.

Healthy “Quarantine Hug” Soup for the Soul

As if going to the grocery store right now isn’t stressful enough–We work up the courage to go, then as we play human checkers, we seem to be on a scavenger hunt to find what we went there for. I’m sure everyone who is overly “stocking up” has their own reasons, but it certainly is making grocery shopping even more challenging during such an already challenging time.

I love to get in my greens and fresh veggies of all types but I’ve been feeling a little nervous about eating uncooked fresh produce right now. With 5 of us trying to work out of the house, lunch time can sometimes last for hours by the time each person frees up time in their schedule, comes to the kitchen and pulls out their choices, etc. It’s a lot of different ingredients to keep an inventory of when you’re trying to eliminate some trips to the grocery store. It also creates a lot of different messes, so I decided making a giant pot of healthy soup here and there might help with some of that.

I have a couple of go-to healthy vegetable soup recipes I like to make, but this last shop at my local market had me scratching my head for usual ingredients. Many things were cleaned out so I found myself substituting quite a bit for recipes. With some of our favorites gone, I bought the produce that was left unloved. I’ll admit it: fennel and rainbow chard aren’t regulars on my list, but they sure will be now.

I couldn’t find cannellini beans or canned tomato paste either, so I subbed in garbanzo beans and tubed tomato paste for the soup I was trying to make. The unexpected substitutes made a soup so delicious, it deserves to be in my regular repertoire. Since many of us are finding ourselves in similar positions, I thought I’d share my make shift recipe with you. It’s very forgiving so you can also substitute where needed.

As terrible as Coronavirus and quarantine time is, I really feel it’s telling us so much if our hearts are open. I don’t mind life teaching me to be more flexible, creative, patient, healthy, generous…and loving among many other things. It’s funny, shortly after I worked so hard to “score” my items, I was asked to donate to a local group collecting food for people in need. Of course I did because we need to help take care of each other. Everywhere I’m turning, I’m seeing opportunities for spiritual renewal and growth. That’s what’s bringing me comfort through this whole experience.

I hope you enjoy this soup, my family loved it. It felt especially meaningful to eat a warm and healthy bowl of soup all together, at the same time today in our kitchen. With busy schedules and locations we haven’t been able to do that too often in recent years. I think I’ll call this recipe: Healthy “Quarantine Hug”-Soup for the Soul.

#growyourselfbeautiful

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Healthy “Quarantine Hug” Soup for the Soul

A healthy pot of veggie soup!

  • Author: sharonpeddie
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12-15 minutes
  • Total Time: Approx. 40-45 minute
Scale

Ingredients

2/3 cup of olive oil

1 medium sweet yellow onion, chopped

1 chopped leek 

2 cloves of finely chopped garlic

4 peeled carrots or 2 ish cups of baby carrots

3 celery stalks chopped

a generous handful of fresh roughly chopped parsley

1 fennel bulb, cut out the core at the bottom and use all white parts, chopped

A stalk (bunch) of washed and chopped rainbow chard

A stalk (bunch) of washed and chopped Tuscan kale (you can use any kind, I like the deep green if available)

2 handfuls of spinach

Half of a tube of tomato paste or small can

810 Cups of chicken broth

2 cans of garbanzo beans

oregano, thyme, rosemary, pinches of each  (dried or fresh)

pinches of kosher salt and pepper to taste

Italian blend cheese for garnish

half of a squeezed fresh lemon

Instructions

Heat oil and saute onions, leek, carrots, garlic, celery, fennel and parsley about 5 minutes.

Add tomato paste and herbs and stir well

Add chicken broth, beans, chard, kale and spinach

Cook for about 5-10 minutes on low…don’t cook too long so that your veggies still have texture and don’t turn to mush. 

Garnish with Cheese

Notes

Share a warm bowl with your quarantine crew. Stay safe and healthy. XO

Keywords: soup, quarantine soup, greens, kale, rainbow chard, spinach, healthy soups, warm soups,

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Sharon Caldwell Peddie is also the Author of “Grow Yourself Beautiful: A Smart Girl’s Guide to Following Her Heart and Focusing on Her Inner Joy”. For more information on her book visit www.sharoncaldwellpeddie.com or https://www.amazon.com/Grow-Yourself-Beautiful-Following-Focusing/dp/1532057342/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=grow+yourself+beautiful&qid=1567376389&s=gateway&sr=8-1 or https://sharonpeddieblog.comhttps://www.pinterest.com/sharonpeddie/pins/

Anything contained in my blog that is written or shared by me is just my personal view. If you find inspiration in any of my content, please be responsible, safe and legal.

There’s a Storm but the Sky isn’t Falling

There is a tumultuous storm named Coronavirus (Covid-19) pounding and drenching the world right now. It’s frightening for many reasons but for most of us, the sky is NOT falling. Many weren’t fortunate to have warning. Their tragedy began striking before they knew what was even happening.

We’re hearing a lot of screaming around us. The Chicken Little crowd is loud and wants to always force us to see only doom and gloom. However, if we’re wisely adhering to precautions, it can be just a very dark storm and the sun will shine again soon.

I don’t want to discount the big disappointments for all of us. There will be financial repercussions for most. There are many beautiful plans being cancelled left and right. It seems every day we’re forced to give up something a bit more from our “normal” life as we know it.

Things are very weird and chaotic and yes, it feels scary and unsure. Let’s feel our feelings and validate them. Let’s validate other people’s feelings about it too.

These feelings associated with this pandemic have been piled on top of what we were already facing.

This will challenge our character.

Our flexibility, creativity, and resilience are being dared by the minute.

Whenever life knocks me down, I try to get back up as soon as possible. Standing up quickly makes me feel powerful and in control, regardless of the situation. Part of getting up is quickly looking for positive perspective.

We’re all feeling the same way. How often is the whole world on the same team? How often do we all wake up with same problem to solve? We’ve all been sucker punched by Coronavirus. But if we don’t have it, let’s stand back up as quickly as we can. Let’s not let Coronavirus make us feel like we’re sick patients if we’re not. Let’s punch back at it and see how many beautiful and healthy things it actually may bring.

There isn’t a lot we can control in life. We can only control our perspective and they way we receive the things that happen to us.  We gain a sense of control when we build ourselves to have a beautiful perspective. We do have control of the beauty happening inside our minds and hearts.

If we’re following safety protocol, we will have more time on our hands than we’ve had in a long time. I don’t want this virus to make us act sick if we’re not. Let’s find the beauty and all of the silver linings right in front of us. Let’s create them. Let’s be brave and brilliant, not bored. Let’s use this unusual time to pray, meditate, value and thank.  Let’s exercise, rest, sleep and rejuvenate. Let’s dream, imagine, think, solve and create. Let’s read, learn, strategize and plan. Let’s love, be present, listen, connect and help. Let’s cook and sing! Let’s build. Let’s evolve and excel. Let’s make beautiful contributions to ourselves and others.

The sky isn’t falling unless we let it.

#growyourselfbeautiful

 

Sharon Caldwell Peddie is also the Author of “Grow Yourself Beautiful: A Smart Girl’s Guide to Following Her Heart and Focusing on Her Inner Joy”. For more information on her book visit www.sharoncaldwellpeddie.com or https://www.amazon.com/Grow-Yourself-Beautiful-Following-Focusing/dp/1532057342/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=grow+yourself+beautiful&qid=1567376389&s=gateway&sr=8-1 or https://sharonpeddieblog.comhttps://www.pinterest.com/sharonpeddie/pins/

Anything contained in my blog that is written or shared by me is just my personal view. If you find inspiration in any of my content, please be responsible, safe and legal.

 

 

 

Finding the Divine for the “9”

There are tragic events that happen in our country and in our world every single day. Do you ever ask yourself why we can feel the real for some of them and others we seem capable of distancing ourselves for self preservation? Since learning of the tragic helicopter crash on Sunday morning, I have found myself weeping on and off for people I don’t personally know. My heart has been aching for these special lives lost and all of their beloved families.

Losing Kobe, Gianna, John, Keri, Alyssa, Sarah, Payton, Christina and Ara feels so personal. Thinking of the magnitude of loss for their families also feels so personal. As I’ve talked to family and friends about it, watched and listened to interviews and witnessed the outpouring of emotion on social media, I’m so struck how personal this feels to all of us.

But something beautiful is also happening. Have you noticed? All of America feels like one big family caring about one big family loss. We are all heartbroken together for the families of these 9 people that suddenly feel like our family too.

At first, I think many people felt such an impact because it was Kobe Bryant and his beautiful daughter. But then, something even deeper happened. We began to see and feel all of them. We see ourselves and our families in every one of the 9. The beautiful and heart-breaking images of them connected us. We can relate to their bonds, love and dreams.

As I’ve prayed for the 9 beautiful souls and their devastated families, I’ve asked God to help all of us grasp some purpose and light. The number of them keeps coming into my heart. Nine. I’m not well versed in spiritual numerology and I’m certainly not an expert in biblical interpretation but it’s safe to say there is significant, divine, prophetic, spiritual meaning in 9.

Number 9 symbolizes the completeness of God. Number 9 represents the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit. It represents faith, spiritual enlightenment and energy without motive. It represents universal love. The fact that so many of our hearts are in unison at this moment over these “9” feels like something important we should stop and take note of. It feels like a spiritual gift if we want to open it and receive it.

At least for today, we are blessed that we are able to get back to the normality of our lives. That isn’t the case for the families of these 9. May we honor them all by not quickly forgetting this universal love they made us all feel. I feel the divine from this 9.83208128_10163547016480455_4912859793921671168_o

Sharon Caldwell Peddie is also the Author of “Grow Yourself Beautiful: A Smart Girl’s Guide to Following Her Heart and Focusing on Her Inner Joy”. For more information on her book visit www.sharoncaldwellpeddie.com or https://www.amazon.com/Grow-Yourself-Beautiful-Following-Focusing/dp/1532057342/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=grow+yourself+beautiful&qid=1567376389&s=gateway&sr=8-1 or https://sharonpeddieblog.comhttps://www.pinterest.com/sharonpeddie/pins/

Anything contained in my blog that is written or shared by me is just my personal view. If you find inspiration in any of my content, please be responsible, safe and legal.

2020 Resolutions–Knowing what I don’t want always leads me to what I do!

It’s been hard finding the time to write lately. It settles me to put my heart into words. Tonight, it feels especially important to put my 2020 hopes and “resolutions” into my new planner and out into the universe.

The rest of my family is out tonight, all doing fun things. That feels really nice so I put my perfect date night with “myself” into motion. I know I want to write but I want it to be inspired and not forced. So, I take a quiet bubble bath, something I haven’t slowed down to do since my achy last half marathon a couple of years ago! Next, I make my favorite dinner of salmon, enough for my 14 year old lab because I feel worried she hasn’t been eating enough. It’s dark, cold and raining so I pour a glass of an elegant Oregon Pinot Noir to give it a cozy feel. After, I grab my computer. I light a fire in the fireplace. I sit on the floor with my furry best friend all snuggled up next to me. Together, we peacefully coexist. She’s happy to have me still and next to her. I feel the same so I’m inspired to begin.

 Rather than a whole list of resolutions (that are often too enthusiastic and unrealistic anyway), it has always helped me to just choose 5 words to grow by. This year, I’ve chosen Faith, Love, Health, Discipline and Growth. I believe keeping those words close to me will lead me to make good decisions within my 2020 days and year.

Reflecting is helpful. I’m older now. My mature heart longs to be less selfish and have more substance. I want to make sure my “resolutions”/goals are all in line with that desire. My mature heart is what drove me to write my book. But my heart still wants to do more. I know my ability to write is a gift from God and it feels purposeful. I have always felt there is power and magic in the written word. In the last few years, I feel guided to write. So I’m listening, I’m writing. I’m hoping it touches the right hearts.

Whenever I try to figure out my direction, sometimes I find it easier to listen to what I don’t want. It always seems to guide me to what I do. I have goals in all areas of my life but as I said, my mature heart longs to have a life filled with real meaning. The world pushes “superficial” on us and it leaves us feeling stressed, anxious and some depressed. Accomplishments, possessions, perfection, etc. etc. In my opinion, that’s not what fills us up or calms us down. It’s being a loving person and being surrounded by loving people that is the key to our joy. I will make my decisions for all parts of my life with this in mind and heart. This leads me to writing about what I don’t want in 2020 so that it steers me to what I do want to be and what I want my life to mean.

I don’t want to lead a busy, busy life doing things that don’t bring me joy. I don’t want to be someone who isn’t grateful for my blessings. I don’t want to be someone who doesn’t understand that our struggles are also blessings, filled with lessons for our journey. I don’t want struggles to make me bitter.

I don’t want to be a wife who doesn’t take time to really look at my husband and hear his dreams and his struggles. I don’t want to be a family member that is removed from needs of my whole family. I don’t want to be a mom who doesn’t help my kids dream, or that drops the ball or misses a cry for help.

I don’t want to be the friend that doesn’t answer your text or can’t keep our plans. I don’t want to be the friend that doesn’t lift you up or make your dreams important to me too. I don’t want to be too busy or self involved to ask you if you’re ok. I don’t want to be too busy to ask if your loved ones are ok too.

 I don’t want to spend my life “online” and always be plugged in.  I also don’t want to be totally disconnected from the world and people I care about.  I don’t want to be the person on social media that spreads negativity, ignores your pain or resents your joy.

I don’t want to be a writer that writes inspiration-I want to be an inspired person who writes and shares. I don’t want to spend my days trying to be an “influencer” or following them…but I hope to always be a good influence. I don’t want to be a person who wants to have a big “following” and never values people enough to follow them back.

 I don’t want to be the neighbor that doesn’t see you outside or that you can’t ask for help. I don’t want to be the one who lets everyone else always pick up the tab. I don’t want to be the person that never volunteers. I don’t want to be the person that doesn’t take time help people in need.

 I don’t want to be the one who pushes my political views on you or makes you feel bad for yours. I don’t want to claim to be a good Christian but then judge you or make you feel bad. I don’t want to talk about my friends behind their back.

I don’t want to spend time with people who don’t make me feel good. I don’t want to ignore my physical, spiritual or mental health. I don’t want to have unhealthy habits as a way of life. I don’t want to have bad manners. I don’t want to treat people in my life in bad ways that affect their health or mental health.

I don’t want my year to be about just what I want. I don’t want to be shallow. I don’t want you to be shallow with me. I don’t want to be ignored. I don’t want to ignore you. I don’t want us to forget that we’re connected. I don’t want us to not include each other in our resolutions and goals. 

Happy New Year! I’m wishing you don’t have a lot of things you don’t want. I hope this helps inspire clarity to what we do want and need in 2020.

Sharon Caldwell Peddie is also the Author of “Grow Yourself Beautiful: A Smart Girl’s Guide to Following Her Heart and Focusing on Her Inner Joy”. For more information on her book visit www.sharoncaldwellpeddie.com or https://www.amazon.com/Grow-Yourself-Beautiful-Following-Focusing/dp/1532057342/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=grow+yourself+beautiful&qid=1567376389&s=gateway&sr=8-1 or https://sharonpeddieblog.comhttps://www.pinterest.com/sharonpeddie/pins/

Anything contained in my blog that is written or shared by me is just my personal view. If you find inspiration in any of my content, please be responsible, safe and legal.

Happy Fall

I love Fall but if you’re like me, you hate the transition of getting of here. I love Summer the most and it’s always hard for me to part ways with it. It seems it takes me until right now in October to be able to say Happy Fall. Now that I’ve fought through the transition and said my long, tough good-bye to Summer, I’m ready to embrace the treasures of Fall!

After some busy travel, on the way home from the airport yesterday, I noticed the trees in my neighborhood seemed to have changed colors over night. It’s funny how even a quick change of scenery, makes you see things more clearly when you get back. Right then, I made a commitment to get in a good walk today to be able to take in Fall’s beauty. I truly love to experience the glorious and changing colors of the leaves. I think it’s especially cool how each tree does it’s own thing, in it’s own colors, in it’s own time!

I especially enjoy a walk, run or hike in the Fall because the cool, crisp air is so invigorating. It seems to give us a little extra power, right? I also love how the temperature change invites cozy sweaters and cute boots. It’s a good season for Fashion!

As a football fan, Fall means there’s new hope for our favorite college and professional teams. This is the season, we’ll get ’em! We get to gather on our favorite campuses, stadiums and couches with the people we love who share our team love!

As a foodie who loves to cook, Fall means a whole new batch of farm fresh foods to keep our tables interesting! I think Fall crisp apples are an immediate mood enhancer! They’re so happy and delicious! And, I’m sucker for trying any recipe with butternut squash or pumpkin. How about you?

With the shift in weather and kids back in school, colds and allergies start up fast! Our immune systems welcome healthy soups and is there anything more cozy and healing, than a warm, delicious bowl of Fall?

Whatever the season, I now push myself to get in sync with it because ancient wisdom shows us the importance of it. We’re part of the universe and nature! When we embrace the season we’re in by getting ourselves in sync with it, we feel more centered! It’s vital for our mind, body and soul. So, whatever season we love, let’s celebrate it big when we’re in it, but let’s keep moving into the season at hand. Unsticking ourselves is so important so we can be totally present for the present! That’s when we feel our best!

So instead of dreading the early dark evenings, I’ll embrace being in jammies earlier and getting more sleep for good health. I’ll read more. I’ll visit pumpkin patches, vineyards and farmer’s markets. I’ll roast lots of fresh vegetables, eat more apples, make soulful soups and bake warm pumpkin bread. I’ll go to football games! I’ll plant bulbs, go on hikes, notice colors, and bring those colors into my home and wardrobe. I’ll get rid of Summer profile pics and replace them with some flannel. I’ll take lessons from the trees and let go of what’s dead and no longer serves me. I’ll build my roots and interior stronger in order for me to make beautiful new blooms! During the transition of seasons, sometimes we feel off and don’t know why. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of getting ourselves in sync with what’s changing. I hope you have a beautiful, happy Fall season and maybe found a little inspiration here to help get yourself there!

Sharon Caldwell Peddie is also the Author of “Grow Yourself Beautiful: A Smart Girl’s Guide to Following Her Heart and Focusing on Her Inner Joy”. For more information on her book visit www.sharoncaldwellpeddie.com or https://www.amazon.com/Grow-Yourself-Beautiful-Following-Focusing/dp/1532057342/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=grow+yourself+beautiful&qid=1567376389&s=gateway&sr=8-1 or https://sharonpeddieblog.comhttps://www.pinterest.com/sharonpeddie/pins/

Anything contained in my blog that is written or shared by me is just my personal view. If you find inspiration in any of my content, please be responsible, safe and legal.

Skewer Parties are Fun!

Get the party started with a beautiful and refreshing Aperol Spritz
https://www.aperol.com/en-us/aperol-spritz-ritual

I don’t know about you but I get excited about food on a skewer! When I see it, I just feel like fun is on it’s way! They’re so cute, I challenge you to hold one and not be enlivened as you bite and see what’s lined up next on the stick for your tastebuds.

I recently threw a small birthday celebration for a dear friend. Our Oregon Summer nights have such perfect temperatures. I thought it would be fun to have one for her on my back patio where she could feel special with friends in an intimate, relaxed atmosphere.

No one feels relaxed when a hostess is running all around preparing food. It’s much more comfortable for everyone when we can figure out a way to entertain that keeps an easy vibe. I decided a Skewer Party would be fun to try in order to achieve that. Besides skewers being cute and fun, they’re able to be prepared ahead of time. Once I set them on the counter, we were free to enjoy a comfortable, easy evening with the birthday girl!

My skewer menu was was farm to fork because Summer foods are so fresh, colorful and yummy, it called for it. However, as I was creating it, I realized how fun this kind of party can also be in Fall, Winter and Spring because each season brings us their own signature foods. I’m thinking a Greek, Italian or Asian food Skewer Party may coming soon too! So many fun possibilities!

If you enjoy having friends over or just want to make a family dinner night more fun, I hope these cute skewers inspire you!

Castelvetrano Olives and Swiss Cheese
( So easy! I sprinkled pistachio nuts among them and the extra green looked so pretty but forgot to take a picture later!)
Cherry Tomato Mix Caprese Skewers
( Try with a Balsamic Glaze or olive drizzle)
Watermelon, Feta Cheese and Fresh Mint Skewers
A sprinkle of Sea Salt or Balsamic glaze is also delicious on these!
Grilled Skirt Steak Skewers
with Horseradish Sour cream
Chocolate Drizzled Brownie, Strawberries and Marshmallow Skewers

Sharon Caldwell Peddie is also the Author of “Grow Yourself Beautiful: A Smart Girl’s Guide to Following Her Heart and Focusing on Her Inner Joy”. For more information on her book visit www.sharoncaldwellpeddie.com or https://www.amazon.com/Grow-Yourself-Beautiful-Following-Focusing/dp/1532057342/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=grow+yourself+beautiful&qid=1567376389&s=gateway&sr=8-1 or https://sharonpeddieblog.com

If you’d like to save any of these ideas on your Pinterest Boards follow her @https://www.pinterest.com/sharonpeddie/pins/

Anything contained in my blog that is written or shared by me is just my personal view. If you find inspiration in any of my content, please be responsible, safe and legal.

Summer Grillin’ and Chillin’

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Hey there blog friends! I’m sorry it’s been awhile since I’ve posted on my blog. It’s been a month of full of busy! It’s finally Summer though…..ahhhh deep breath. Summer is my favorite time of year! I’m not sure it will slow down much for me but at least it will be filled with longer days of sunshine, family and friends. I hope that’s the case for all of us!

I promised you a variety of inspiration on my blog and no season inspires me as much as Summer. Maybe it’s because I’m a Summer baby?!

Besides the vibe, warmth and sunshine, one of my favorite things about Summer is the gorgeous bounty of food it brings. Everything is so ripe and colorful! Farm to Fork is my favorite way to create a menu and eat, so I try to get to our local Farmers’ Market as much as possible during the Summer. I absolutely love the palettes of fresh, beautiful fruits, vegetables and flowers!

I also love that Summer is grilling season. Can we all agree that grilled foods are some of the tastiest? Grilling allows us to present food so clean and unfussy. Fresh fruits, veggies and grilled food make for such a perfectly delicious Summer food combination. It’s art for the eyes and food for our souls.

Loving grilled food, I’ve made sure I have that skill in my personal tool box. My husband has had to travel a lot for work over the years so I’ve gotten pretty handy at various tasks around the house. Grilling is one of them!

In general, I enjoy the creativity and love involved in cooking. It warms my heart to make food for my family and friends–it’s definitely one of my love languages. Summer evenings and temperatures are so lovely in Oregon and cooking outside feels more like a beautiful experience than a chore.

Throughout the Summer, I’ll share a few of my favorite grilled Summer meals. I hope it inspires you to be outside, get to a local Farmers’ Market and hone your “grill skills”.  All of those things I promise, will fill your heart with some of life’s simple joys.

Here’s what was on the menu at our house for Father’s Day. My hubby loves a juicy pork chop and a Summer peach so that’s what we gave him!

Grilled Pork Chops with Traeger’s Apricot BBQ Sauce, topped with balsamic glazed grilled peaches, Grilled Corn on the Cob and a Watermelon, feta, mint leaf salad with a balsamic glaze.

Link to Traeger’s Apricot BBQ Sauce:https://www.traegergrills.com/sauces/apricot-bbq-sauce?utm_source=google&utm_campaign=1818582670&utm_kwd=&gclid=Cj0KCQjwo7foBRD8ARIsAHTy2wl4L0-u71ooWwbP4F_zCmWwY7IH7Q-9J-g2KCdmBXJMwJlsBlCzR_4aAiP6EALw_wcB

I paired this meal with an Oregon Pinot Noir of course!
Link to Ponzi Wines:
https://www.ponzivineyards.com/product/2015-Ponzi-Pinot-Noir-Reserve?pageID=3F5D6E95-ACCA-B533-3700-17F0E1015B40&sortBy=DisplayOrder&maxRows=10&

Another delicious Ponzi Pinot Noir is their Tavola (often available at Costco and wine.com see link below )
https://www.wine.com/product/ponzi-tavola-pinot-noir-2017/522571?state=CA&s=GoogleBase_CSE_&cid=GoogleBase_CSE_522571_3664&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=&utm_campaign=Google_Shopping_CA_Beta&gclid=Cj0KCQjwo7foBRD8ARIsAHTy2wmLTm2wvHGhbt0tV-yaiO9yE80CgPVK3SS005gIaBTag30yc5KGbAgaAqXTEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds#

International Self-Care Day!

Today is an important day! It’s International Self-Care Day! Hey, that’s YOUR day! 

 I feel so strongly about self-care, I devoted a whole chapter to it in my book, “Grow Yourself Beautiful”. I believe it’s the key to our true beauty, strength and joy! I think a lot of people don’t truly understand the importance and benefits of “Self-Care”. Some even knock it, thinking it’s selfish or self indulgent. We live in a society where “busy” has become a badge of honor. Being busy, is just that, busy. Busy doesn’t always equal productivity or joy. Lack of self care leads to stress, anxiety, feeling overwhelmed and being unproductive. You’re not a machine, you’re a beautiful, living, breathing human being with feelings and needs. To be centered, healthy, beautiful and productive, you have to take care of yourself. Self-care is the road to making your all of dreams come true. It gives you strength for that journey!

Here’s some inspiration for developing your Self-Care as a way of life:

Feed and Nourish your mind, body and soul. There is nothing better for beauty, strength and productivity than healthy, nutritious eating. A beautiful body is a healthy body that is fed a proper balance and variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, effs, healthy fats, whole grains, nuts and legumes. Caring for yourself with beautiful foods and lots of water is one of the most important steps in self-care.

 Make sleep a priority.

Keep negative thoughts out of your head and life. What we say to us directly affects the way we feel. Keep those inner conversations loving and positive.

Keep negative or unsupportive people out of your closest circle.

Limit Social Media and hide or unfollow people who don’t make you feel good.

No drama life rule.

Seek laughter.

Forgive.

Practice gratitude and kindness.

Make time for important relationships and things you love to do!

Quiet time–Relax, Meditate and Pray.

Spend time with nature and animals.

Exercise every day in some way. Make sure it feels like a gift and not punishment.

Just say NO to things you know are not good for you. You deserve those NO’s.

Practice good hygiene. It always makes you feel better.

Create a beautiful home you love to be in.

Work toward something every day.

Stay on top of medical care-doctor and dental appointments, etc.

Self-care is always needed. It is as much what we don’t do, as it is what we do! Self-care needs to be a lifestyle. It’s important to keeping us centered, especially now when the crazy world seems especially crazy. Self-care plays an important part of growing our self-respect, self love and inner joy. Nurturing ourselves, teaches us we are worthy of time, love and care. It helps us grow ourselves and our lives more BEAUTIFUL.

Sharon Caldwell Peddie is the Author of “Grow Yourself Beautiful: A Smart Girl’s Guide to Following Her Heart and Focusing on Her Inner Joy”. For more information on her book visit www.sharoncaldwellpeddie.com or https://www.amazon.com/Grow-Yourself-Beautiful-Following-Focusing/dp/1532057342/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=grow+yourself+beautiful&qid=1567376389&s=gateway&sr=8-1 or https://sharonpeddieblog.comhttps://www.pinterest.com/sharonpeddie/pins/

Anything contained in my blog that is written or shared by me is just my personal view. If you find inspiration in any of my content, please be responsible, safe and legal.