We all know that the end of this month is Thanksgiving, but how many of you know that this month is National Peanut Butter Month. So this week I am paying homage to Peanut Butter. I love peanut butter for a few reasons. One being that it has taught me some amazing life lessons.

A friend of mine tells the story of how much he hates peanut butter, but would make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for his daughters who loved them. One day he realized that he was imposing his disdain for peanut butter on his daughter without even realizing it. He realized it when his daughter complained that he put too much jelly, which he loved, and not enough peanut butter on her sandwich. He was so focused on what he loved that he was not thinking about what she enjoyed and what spoke to her. To this day he still hates peanut butter, but puts more peanut butter on his daughter’s sandwiches and less jelly, which she enjoys, but not as much as the peanut butter. His story reminds me of how easy it is to put our needs and desires over others.

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October 19, 2017

So today is National Chocolate Cupcake Day. Well it was when I started writing this on Wednesday (LOL). I love blogging and sometimes the words seem to just flow from my brain faster than I can type them. Other times, I start and delete and start and delete, never quite satisfied with the ideas for my blog post. Sometimes it helps for me to go sit in our prayer and meditation garden, as a change of scenery sometimes helps. Other times, I will go fix myself a cup of tea or coffee. None of that was really working this week, until I did a search on the Pampered Chef website for chocolate cupcakes because Wednesday was National Chocolate Cupcake Day. What really spoke to me were three recipes one for a white chocolate cupcake with truffle filling, one for a red velvet cupcake, and one for a dark chocolate truffle cupcake. I have made the white chocolate and dark chocolate recipes a few times because I love how messy they are to eat. I love the melted chocolate that seeps out.

It was these images of “chocolate” which spoke to my soul, especially as a light skinned biracial woman. When I was pastoring, a few congregants would remind me that they were chocolate. I would then smile and remind them that chocolate comes in a wide diversity of colors. I remember once being told I was not chocolate enough to be chocolate and that white chocolate is not chocolate. Interestingly enough there is a similar debate about whether or not white chocolate, which is made from the same cocoa butter as all other chocolates, is really chocolate.

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October 4, 2017

I have yet to meet someone who does not like tacos. Some people prefer corn vs flour tortillas. Others prefer crunchy over soft shells. Some prefer beef, others steak, chicken, fish, shrimp, or some other protein. It is not about whether or not people like tacos, but how they construct them

When we think about tacos, we think about something to eat. My guess is nobody thinks about it the way it was first used in the 18th century when it was the paper which was wrapped around gunpowder for small explosives.[1] It wasn’t about an explosion of tastes in one’s mouth, but about helping to create explosions in the mines.

As I have been thinking about tacos, I have come to realize that tacos are a great way of thinking about people’s spiritual journeys. We are all on one, even if one sees themselves as their Higher Power. We are all on a journey, it is just about how we construct one. Some need the harder structure that comes with some religious traditions while others like the flexibility that comes with other spiritual beliefs.

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August 31, 2017

No recipes this week. I was talking to a friend of mine, trying to quiet my mind so I could hear what I was supposed to blog about. There have been days that my life has felt like a hot dish in a microwave, as I have tried to get through a rapidly increasing number of projects and tasks in a very short amount of time.

Sometimes managing your life can look much simpler then it is. As a friend of mine said this morning, “I cannot explain how hard it is to get a hot bowl over of the microwave. One day, I swear, I’m going to drop one.” We all have those phases in our life when what should be a simple thing, tend to become complicated, because our “dish” has become overheated with demands.

Maybe that is why the Microwave Grip Set spoke to me this morning. To use them all you have to do is slip them over your fingertips and thumbs before you take a hot dish out of the microwave. The raised bumps and ridges give you a secure hold, and your hands stay safe from the heat. The grips are easy to wipe clean, or you can run them through the dishwasher

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August 23, 2017

I have always had a special attachment to our Nourish and Share bowls for so many reasons. One is that they are a reminder to me that the Pampered Chef mission of bringing people together to share a meal is not a reality for everyone. Our Round-Up from the Heart® Nourish & Share Bowl Set helps those in need. For each bowl set purchased, Pampered Chef contributes $2, the equivalent of 22 meals*, to Feeding America® to help fight hunger. Includes a copy of a Season’s Best® (Fall/Winter 2016)!

*$1 helps provide 11 meals secured by Feeding America® on behalf of local member food banks. That means that every set ordered provides for 22 meals for those who are in need of food. Pampered Chef® guarantees a minimum donation of $250,000 through the purchase of select Pampered Chef® products and other fundraising activities associated with the Round-Up from the Heart® campaign from Sept. 1, 2016–Aug. 31, 2017. That means that Pampered chef contribute to the provision of 2,750,000 meals each year. For me that is mind boggling.

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August 16, 2017

This past weekend I had to spend the day at the Animal Hospital Emergency Room as one of our cats developed a urinary tract infection. Sitting there talking with and listening to the love people had for their furbabies, just like me. One of our babies, Mr Mittens, has a sensitive stomach and some possible food allergies, so we have been trying to find foods that will calm his stomach and that will make him feel better. While there are quite a few organic foods out there, I am looking forward to trying some of the recipes I have gathered that are for cats using my Pampered Chef products. So today, I thought I would share a few recipes for those of you who are cat parents (or slaves to your cats) and those who are dog parents.

They are as much members of our families as our human members. So here are a few ways to create mealtime memories with and for your furbabies. Hope you enjoy making some of them and your babies enjoy eating some of them.

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August 9, 2017

I have been thinking a lot about change, in part because the theme this month at Inspiritual is vision. It is also the change in seasons with Pampered Chef. We have over 70 products being retired and/or coming back restyled. There are those products whose time has come and there are products whose time is just beginning.

This change is not unlike our lives. There are things, people and opportunities which come into our lives for a season and then their time comes to an end. There are times we need to let something go because it has served its purpose, it no longer fits in with the vision we have been given for our lives, or some other reason. The same is true for Pampered Chef. As the vision for the company changes, as the food trends in this country change, so do our products.

Vision requires us to call on our values and our imagination. The spiritual practice of vision encompasses the discovery of fresh insights about the way things are and the cultivation of different outlooks on what can be. You might have heard about people creating vision boards. This is one way of practicing vision. Practicing vision helps you tap into your inner wisdom and be in tune with Spirit. Practicing vision requires you to draw on all your gifts and skills. As numerous teachers have taught me, “if you cannot see it, you cannot achieve it.”

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It’s National Ice Cream Sandwich Day! How could I not possibly write about Ice Cream Sandwiches. When I think about them so many memories come to mind. One of them is a conversation with a friend about the flavor of ice cream in an ice cream sandwich. I told her that I thought it really did not matter what flavor ice cream or “sandwich” it was, as long as the flavors went together and it tasted good. She insisted that the ice cream had to be vanilla and the “sandwich” chocolate. As I sit and think about this again, I have come to realize that our views on ice cream sandwiches and our views on spirituality are similar.

For her, despite the diversity of translations of the Bible, and there are numerous, she will only read the King James Version of the bible. She will only read out of the King James Version.  A few years ago, someone she knew gave her a new Bible. Initially, she was excited. However, then she realized it was not the King James Version, but the NEW King James Version. It was not something she could read. It was not her vanilla ice cream in a chocolate sandwich.

I on the other hand, am not so concerned with where the lessons and inspiration come from, rather being open to receiving them and understanding why they are coming to me at this moment in my life. The recipes I am sharing today are for those of you who are like my friend, those who are a little more like me, and those who are somewhere in between. Happy National Ice Cream Sandwich Day!

Here are the three Ice Cream Sandwich recipes you can find on my Pampered Chef website

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July 26, 2017

Sometimes it is the simplest things in life that can inspire you and motivate you to do and see things differently. Take for example, the Pampered Chef Ceramic Egg Cooker. It is simply a ceramic vessel that allows you to cook up a healthy breakfast in just a few minutes. Put eggs in it, shake them up, and your favorite ingredients and put in the microwave. That’s it right?

Honestly, though I have come to realize there are some powerful lessons in this egg cooker. The lid has a vent hole which lets steam escape as you cook and includes a silicone gasket, which keeps the lid secure. We can easily understand why this is important when microwaving, as we do not want things boiling over and making a mess. In our own lives, we so often have moments or situations which make us want to blow a gasket, and thus we create messes, or contribute to messy situations in our lives. The vent hole reminds me that I need to ensure that I have people, places, and things I do which allow me to vent without losing my temper. One of the things which allows me to let off steam is cooking. I will pull out my manual food processor and chop up lots of onions, and other vegetables. I also meditate, sit in my rocking chair, go for a roll around the block, have a need to keep it real with the Ultimate Consciousness and go sit in my meditation and prayer garden and surrender it to the Universe.

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July 19, 2017

This morning I was having a conversation with a friend who lives in Ontario and she got me thinking about our Cut n Seal. For a variety of reasons, the name really struck me this morning because it reminded me that there are things we need to cut out of our lives as they cut away at the foundation of our spiritual relationship and things that we need to seal in as they are important of us to hold within us and will bring us through the challenging moments in our lives. So today I want to focus on five cuts and five seals and then I will share five of my favorite recipes from the website and five that you can’t find on the site. 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 . Let’s go.

I have been thinking about five things, which can cut away at our lives and our spiritual foundation.

Too much on your plate
I know this is true for me and I am constantly working on keeping room in my life for the Ultimate Consciousness aka God to use me. It seems like good people are always busy. I constantly have to look at my schedule and see what I can cut off or cut out so I have more time to focus on my relationship with the Divine. When I don’t then I can feel the impact on my life emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually. Sometimes I need a Cut n Seal on my calendar to cut things out and off.

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