a year of living simply: week 14

Happy Wednesday, my friends! This morning, I was woken up by a wild turkey gobble-gobble-squawking on the lawn outside my bedroom window. It was quite a unique alarm to wake up to and a funny sight to usher in my day. 🙂

Today is going by quickly thanks to a mix of writing, “housekeeping” business type stuff, errands, and a gym session where I tried out the elliptical for the first time in a long time. It was exciting to do some cardio again without pain! My PT is working, slowly but surely — I just have to keep being patient and doing my exercises.

Now it’s time for this week’s simplicity…

year of living simply

Last week’s challenge — inspired by Lauren Singer, a 23-year-old blogger living in NYC who hasn’t produced ANY waste in two-plus years — was to pay attention to how much waste you produce and try to produce less. I found that simply being attentive helped me produce less garbage. For example, I refrained from using paper towels whenever possible, and instead of grabbing a stack of paper napkins at Starbucks, I only took one. I made sure to recycle even small pieces of paper, like oatmeal packets, that can easily sneak into the garbage. I reused envelopes when mailing packages at the post office. Instead of using Ziplock baggies to pack my veggie snacks, I used reusable containers. {Purchasing glass containers is on my to-do-list!} I aim to continue being aware of and working to reduce my waste, and I have a goal of learning how to start a compost container, too, for food waste. My sweetheart composts and it was something I was attracted to about him from the very beginning — his care for small details to help the environment. #treehuggersmakemeswoon

allyn trees

This week’s challenge was inspired by a conversation I had with my sweetie earlier this week. We always call each other to say goodnight and talk about our days, and sometimes we wind up on these conversational tangents that are really fascinating and I feel like I learn so much more about him from our long meandering talks. Anyway, somehow we got on the topic of how we perceive ourselves, and he said something I wasn’t anticipating: that sometimes he is surprised by things I say about myself here, on my blog. For example, a few weeks ago when I posted about how I’m learning to say “No” to things and how I tend to say “Maybe” and hem and haw and dread until I eventually say “No” and feel like I’m letting the person down — Allyn said that he never had that view of me at all. He sees me as someone who is very intentional about how I spend my time and proactive about committing to the things that matter to me. Of course, he admitted, there are surely things in my daily life and routine and work obligations, etc. that he doesn’t know about, but still — it got me thinking.

And when I tried to come up with specific examples of things I have said “Yes” to lately that I really haven’t wanted to do, my list was pretty dang short. A lot of memories I have of that behavior are pretty far in the past, like back in my high school and college days. I realized that maybe, without realizing it, I’ve been holding onto a limiting belief about myself and haven’t given myself credit for learning and growing. Maybe I am a different person now — stronger, more self-aware, more intentional and proactive about my time and my commitments — than I used to be when I was afraid to say, “No.” Perhaps in this instance, there is more truth in the way that Allyn sees me, than in the way I see myself.

view of trees

So this week’s challenge is to do some journaling about your beliefs: about yourself, your life, your relationships, your world. Be honest. Don’t write about what you “think” you should believe; write the story you tell yourself, deep down. Then reflect on what you’ve written. Is something you believe about yourself holding you back? Is anything an old, worn-out belief that is no longer serving you? How about letting go of it? If you are the type of person who likes ritual {as I do!} write your limiting belief or idea on a slip of paper and burn it to symbolize releasing it from your life.

Questions for the morning:

  • How did you reduce the waste you produce?
  • What is one limiting belief or idea that you could let go of today?

turkey enchiladas

Sorry I’ve been MIA the past week … I strained my hand from overuse of the computer, so I had to take some time completely computer-free. (It’s crazy how much I use the computer in my daily life — writing, blogging, checking email — I didn’t know what to do with myself without it!)

My hands are feeling better, and today I have another delicious & healthy recipe to share with you, courtesy of my amazing mom!


  • 1 package ground turkey meat
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 package of whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 can enchilada sauce (I like the La Victoria brand, mild)
  • a few handfuls of shredded cheese

1. Brown the ground turkey in a pan on medium heat. While the turkey is cooking, dice the onion.

2. Drain the fat from the turkey. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes more.

3. Open can of enchilada sauce and pour about 1/3 of the can into a glass baking dish (I used a 10 x 13 size) so it covers the bottom.

4. Hold one tortilla in your hand. Scoop in some of the ground turkey mixture, a spoonful of enchilada sauce, and a bit of shredded cheese. Roll the tortilla closed and place in the baking dish. Repeat until all the ground turkey is gone. (I usually make 5-6 enchiladas.)

5. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas and spread with a spoon until all parts of the tortilla are covered. Sprinkle with cheese.

6. Bake for 15-20 minutes in an oven set to 350 degrees.

And there you go! I served mine with green beans and a fresh garden salad. This recipe served my whole family with two extra enchiladas left over for lunch the next day! Yummy, healthy, easy and inexpensive — what more can you ask for in a meal?

Happy eating!


Cost: $15.00
Time: 30-40 minutes (including bake time)