Ready or Not

Change sweeps in and knocks you off your feet (whether you feel ready for it or not). Change says “now is the time” while messing with how you see things and other people. Change says “my time is the best time” and doesn’t think about your plans or your goals or your interests are. There are no refunds to change and there are no chances to reverse what change brings about.  You can’t go back to how things were.

What about looking and asking for change? When you’ve seen the same things – for so long – you might want a radical transformation in your life. Of course, when you start asking for change, you hope the change is going to be the kind that adds years to your life (rather than the kind that takes it away). You hope. But the reality is that there are good times and bad times in life. Nobody wants to see the bad times and nobody wants to walk through life waiting for good to come. You just want good to be there and stay there like the skin of your back and the soles of your feet. You want goodness to cling to you like perfume that lingers or like a good meal that leaves a nice taste in your mouth. I know I do.

One thing for sure, about change, is certain: change moves inside of you when it moves around things and people in your life. Change transforms the change-e and it moves you to look for things and people that you never thought you’d be looking for before. Ultimately, despite all the havoc change can bring into your life, I say its a good thing. It can force you to take stock of who and what’s in your life (are they in or out?), and it can grow you for the better (once those important decisions are made).

-Adaora

 

 

 

 

 

Every Step

Last year went by very fast and this new one might go by fast too.You probably moved into 2016 with unfinished business and untied shoe laces from 2015 and the year before it.  They say a new year is a fresh start but I say a new year means its time to unload your goals, hopes, wishes, and plans from the last year into the new one. There’s always going to be old coming in with the new because goals, plans, wishes, and happenings don’t stop with a new year. Everything moves into the new year with you.

Every step draws you closer to your goals being reached. Every step draws you nearer to what you want and need. Every step says your still knee deep in pain, struggle, and hard work. Every step says you haven’t given up on yourself or your dreams. A lot of people work their way through life, in the workplace or at home, but not a lot of people work towards wish fulfillment. For me, a new year is a new commitment to continue working towards everything we wish to get out of this world (no matter how big or small). We owe it to ourselves to start the new year with our old hopes and dreams, and work towards making this new year our best yet.

– Adaora

 

Believing In Miracles

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A miracle is a dramatic ‘yes’ that makes you feel that absolutely everything you ever willed to happen – even the most seemingly far off thing – will happen. A miracle is a ‘yes’ so huge it makes you ask yourself why you ever doubted to begin with. A miracle is the kind of ‘yes’ that delivers the kind of happy yelp that comes when you barely whispered that ask and the ‘yes’ completely changes your life.

I wonder how many miracles we are allowed in our life. Is there a quota so small that we get them between years or decades? Do some people get the ‘yes’ so often that they don’t need miracles anymore? Do miracles only happen when you ask for one? Do miracles slip in and out whenever they want to? Do miracles have hearts and souls and feelings? Do miracles pick people who they feel the most sorry for, or  people they hope the most for? Is there a miracle committee in miracle-land?  Is there a Lead Miracle Angel that decides who gets a miracle? Does God do that?  I wonder.

I can count the number of miracles I’ve had on one finger: miracles happen when you’re hoping but not exactly expecting it to come on your timing (soon!) or any timing at all. The waiting is the most difficult thing.

Maybe a miracle will happen in my life (and in yours) today.

Adaora

Reading While Writing

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For me, reading while writing is like watching television: I can step into a story, get lost in it – while not thinking about what I’m working on – and then come out of it. It’s easy for me: a book ‘program’ can last for as long as you want it to; a book program can give you juice for your own writing (because seeing other writing to completion makes you want the same for your story), and a book program can make you think “my character wouldn’t do that because….”

There are non-program benefits to reading while writing too. Here they are:  you can see how other writers pace their stories, how other writers describe their universe (much differently than yours – as it should be),  you can see the way writers decide how much to share about their universe (a lot or a little), and you can see how characters change over the course a story (according to what’s happened to them).

The most interesting thing to me about writing is how you can tell a story about a world, or a character’s reaction to  the world they exist in, and it can only be told for a certain period of time. You can only say so much: a day, a week, a month, or a year in the life of a town or a character is enough because a reader wants to know that they can think of what might happen to them after the story ends – even if you go far into their future in an epilogue.

Adaora

 

 

 

 

 

Trying

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“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1

Hi, my name is Adaora and I’ve often tried more times than I’ve succeeded.

How many times do you try until you get tired of trying? How many times do you have to try until you get what you want out of trying?

I can kind of answer both questions: You have to try as many times as it takes to get what you’re after because anything that’s worth having takes more than a little bit of trying to get. You have to give things and people time to work themselves out (because there are always other things and people involved in your dreams).

I have a lot of dreams (bigger than what might fit in the front door); My dreams are so big that some might scoff if they knew what all of them were. My dreams are so large that I sometimes wonder if there are enough hours in the day (because, as much as we plan for more than today, tomorrow is never promised until we get there) or if there is enough time to do everything that I have to want to do. My dreams are so enormous that people have looked me in the eye and tried to talk me right out of them (you know this).

What keeps me going is faith: a long time ago I decided that it’s OK to try and fail; I decided that it’s OK to try and to keep trying until I get the outcome I want (within the parameters of outside circumstances); I decided that it’s OK to try for a very long time (before seeing a glimmer of anything); I decided that its OK to fail more times than I win (because that’s what you have to do in life in order to make it however you want to).

Guess what? I’m still trying (because the wins that come from trying are the best part).

Adaora

Mango Raspberry Smoothie

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There isn’t much to say or do here: mango is my favourite fruit and raspberries are very much enjoyed by me too. I like smoothies because I get to take in my favourite fruits at the same time: mangos (frozen or otherwise) have a great flavour to them which is not lost in the flavour of the raspberries. I like to start my day with a smoothie: they’re quick and easy and you can add more of one ingredient and less of the other if you want. The choice is yours here:

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups frozen mango cubes
1 1/2 cups of frozen raspberries
2 170g Blueberry yogurts
1 1/2 cups water

Directions:

Step one: throw everything into a blender

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Step two: pulse the blender and add more water (as needed – if needed) to loosen up the blend

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Step three: see your freshly made smoothie

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Step four: pour and drink it in a tall glass

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– Adaora

Hershey’s Chocolate Cranberry Muffins

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If you’re looking for a good use for those candies that go on sale November 1st, here’s one: Hershey Chocolate Cranberry Muffins:

Ingredients:
2cups of Semolina Flour
3 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup olive oil
10 Milk Chocolate or caramel Hershey pieces, chopped
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
Cooking tools:
1 dry bowl
1 wet bowl
1 12 slot muffin pan

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In your ‘dry’ bowl combine flour, baking soda, brown sugar, and salt, & spices. Mix together and set aside.

In your ‘wet’ bowl add olive oil, your one egg, milk, and vanilla extract. When all the liquids are combined pour your wet bowl into your dry bowl and mix until fully combined.

Next, take your cranberries and your chopped chocolate and add it into your batter bowl. Use a spoon or a spatula and carefully mix your cranberries and your chocolate in so the batter stays at a droppable consistency.

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You can use an ice cream scoop or a large spoon to drop equal amounts of batter into 8 lined muffin tins:

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Bake on high for 25-30 minutes (until brown along the edges) at 350 degrees.

Makes 8 muffins

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-Adaora