I found myself stagnate.  In transition.  Feeling a bit unguided.  Stuck. It lead to worry. Fear. Anxiety. An unrelentless need to figure it out.  I had been wringing my hands in desperation and unable to sleep.  With so many variables out of my control, it felt like I was just a passenger in my own life.  It’s a miserable existence that I don’t recommend…  

Insert forlorn photo here!

A Good Question to Ask When You Are Worried

Anxiety. Stress. Worry. It takes it’s toll!

The question that I’ve been asking myself lately?

“How much do you want to suffer?” 

Huh.  Have I been suffering? That sounded like such a heavy experience.  How have I been suffering? What does that look like in my life?  What are the choices I’m making?

How much do I want to suffer???  Not a whole lot come to find out!  The question was a bit eye opening for me. The worry, the fear, the intensity of it all… it did nothing for our situation.  Our house hadn’t magically sold, our debt hadn’t gone down.  We’re not a step closer to buying a home here and I still have no idea how I’m paying September’s bills.  So whyyyyy do it???

Worst case scenario, those bills become past due, my credit I had worked so hard to rebuild turns to shit and eventually, I have to rebuild it again.  Can I live through that?  Of course.  I did it once, I can do it again.  I also have a lot of shame about the amount of debt I’ve gotten myself back into.  Did I overspend… again?  Yup. Did we expect the house to sell a bit faster?  Yeah.  Whoops.  But beating myself up does nothing but let me marinate in my mistakes, still stuck, still fearful.  

How much do I want to suffer?  

I love this because it’s a question about taking back the reins and being proactive.  It’s about controlling what you can.  It’s about being grateful for all that IS.  

I need $700 by September 1st.  That’s all.  And at the end of the day?  I really don’t even need that. 

I just need air in my lungs, a little food for fuel and the rest are just gifts.  I don’t need the timeline for our house to sell.  I don’t need a down payment for a new home right now. I don’t need to know when we finally can move into a new home with more light.  I don’t need to have the answers about my creative life’s purpose yesterday.  And I certainly don’t need to be 60 pounds lighter before I allow myself to feel worthy. 

But my mind went down the rabbit hole and already saw bills past due, bankruptcy, the house in foreclosure, living in this rental shooting poorly lit photos, me dying of heart disease, Ruby without a mother, all of the world on fire, the aliens invading… All of these horrific things because of $700.  When you put it like that it seems… I don’t know… FREAKING CRAZY.   

When I began asking myself this question, I found myself being more proactive. Not about trying to figure it out– but about taking control of my life where I could.  I don’t want to suffer. So how can I gently change my actions and mentality?

Even when I’m exhausted, I’ve been doing my best to go out for walks to move my body, but to also be connected to nature and my intuition. I really do my best to use all five senses to take everything in. (Sidenote:  Highly reccomend a documentary from Iceland on Netflix called ‘Innsaei: The Power of Intuition’— a little slow to start but a few fascinating stories about how we’ve lost our connection with nature and with ourselves).  As soon as Ruby is down for a nap, I meditate because I know it’s the only time I have and who knows for how long!  I’ve been focusing on the spiritual– the mind, body, soul connection because that is what matters. AND when I’m most connected is when I’m most inspired and the ideas come…

There was a couple recently in the news, parents to a beautiful one year old girl, who went into a cave for an ice climbing day trip.  Despite being educated, experienced climbers, they took a wrong turn due to some poor information and ended up burning their packs and their own hair to survive, being rescued in the nick of time. Were they thinking about something like $700?  Not a chance.  The things they thought were important to them, they realized were so insanely insignificant, it was life changing. The wife said she couldn’t even look at instagram anymore because it just didn’t matter any more. 

How much do I want to suffer?  

I don’t plan on suffering anymore. Still human, but I practice letting go daily.  Everything will work itself out because everything always works out for us.  We expect good things.  And it’s not about our own timing. Coupled with the mantra, “My life is changing because I am changing my life” and I’m beginning to realize things are hardly that bad.  And that actually, I’m powerful and capable. And while I will be grateful for the house to sell, to be able to photograph in a house that has good light with a camera without focus issues, figuring out which creative life path will be most fulfilling and help the most people– blah, blah, blah…  it’s nothing I’m going to lose sleep over anymore.

It’s something I’ve been learning recently so I thought I’d share.  How much do you want to suffer and where can you take control?  Questions to take some time on… 

Happy Friday.  🙂

 

 

 

 

I’ve been a bit MIA the past week or two.  I go through crazy creative spurts and then have my days where I’m just surviving life and don’t want to do anything.  It usually coincides with how much sleep I’m getting.  It has also been unbearably hot, so who wants to turn on the stove?  ACK!  🙂 BUT!  I finally did get around to making some blueberry scones and I love this recipe.  

These scones are crunchy on the outside but tender in the middle.  When most people think of most blueberry scones they think of dry, flour-y hockey pucks.  That’s not a real scone, damn it! These are light and fluffy but packed with lots of buttery flavor, and due to the sugar sprinkled on the top, it’s got this crunchy sweet exterior that pairs deliciously with your morning coffee!

Crunchy, buttery and tender… Perfect start to your morning!

 

All those antioxidants in the blueberries?  SUPER healthy.  😉

Blueberry scones are super easy when you get the hang of it but can be a little daunting if you’ve never tried them before, but YOU GOT THIS!  At the bakery I used to work at, the goal was to make a batch within 8-12 minutes and then pop them in the oven, and with a line out the door… WE DID.  

For starters, you pulse all the dry ingredients in a food processor.  (Click HERE for the one I use.  In the realm of baking equipment, they’re fairly affordable now.  I want to say when I bought mine a few years ago, it cost something like $400).  Once all of your dry ingredients are pulsed together, you add your diced chopped butter and pulse until the butter chunks resemble the size of peas.  Now, if you don’t have a fancy shmancy food processor, you can totally use a pie cutter like THIS one.  That’s the one I have.  It’s sharp and cuts through butter like buttah! 

Then you transfer everything to a bowl and make a well in the center.  You add your whisked together buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla.  You lightly mix with a spatula until the dough is slightly moistened and begins to come together.  Then you add your fruit.  Fold in the berries gently.  

Finally, you dump out your dough onto a floured surface and with a bench scraper like THIS one, you chop up and mix the dough until it becomes moldable.  You shape the dough into a circled disk and cut into ten wedges.

Transfer the wedges onto a half sheet tray lined with parchment and sprayed with Pam.  You brush some egg wash on the top and sprinkle with a healthy dose of coarse sugar crystals like THIS.  I am currently out of my sugar crystals (D’OH!) so I used Turbinado Sugar in the Raw.  That works too!  But trust me, if you get the sugar crystals you get that bakery quality crunchy-sweet ‘muffin top.’  THE BEST PART.  🙂 

So that’s the scoop, folks!  Do yourself a ‘flavor’ and try these guys out.  A little self care in the form of summer fresh fruit yumminess.  You won’t be sorry!  And as always, if you like what you see, please follow along on instagram @MandiCrocker and @MandiCrockerSweets and be sure to share with your family and friends.  

Happy August, everyone!  Is it winter yet?  😉

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

5 1/2 c. flour

2/3 c. sugar

2 T baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp nutmeg

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 c. butter, cold and diced

2 T. vanilla

1 1/2 c. buttermilk 

1/2 c. sour cream

2 c. fresh blueberries

EGG WASH:

1 egg yolk

3 T. buttermilk

Coarse sugar crystals for sprinkling (about 1/3 c.)

 

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a half sheet tray with parchment paper and spray with Pam. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the 1 1/2 c. buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla. Set aside.

In a cup, whisk together the egg yolk and 3 T. buttermilk. Set aside.

In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, baking power, baking soda, nutmeg and salt.  Add butter and pulse until butter chunks resemble the size of peas.  (You can also use a pie cutter).  Transfer to a large bowl.

Make a well in the dry butter ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients.  With a spatula, lightly fold everything together until just moistened.  Fold fruit in gently. Dump out onto floured surface.  

With a bench scraper, chop into the dough until it starts to become moistened throughout.  Just enough for it all to come together and become moldable. Make a circle with the dough (about ten inches in width and 1 1/2- 2 inches in height) and cut into ten pie wedges.  

Transfer the wedges to the lined half sheet tray.  Brush with egg wash and sprinkle each scone with a hearty amount of sugar. Bake for approximately 26 minutes, turning half sheet around half way through.