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carol@inkwellcoaching.com

Crown Point, IN

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July 29, 2021

Choose the Tastiest Cantaloupe, Every Time

I stumbled across some Tuscan-Style Extra Sweet Cantaloupes this week, and they certainly live up to their name. They are produced by Dulcinea Farms w

July 22, 2021

Mr. Corn Comes Home to Indiana

Here in Indiana, it’s corn season. The best and sweetest makes its appearance now through August. Along with the corn season came my cousin, Mr. Cor

July 15, 2021

Getting Creative with Blueberries

Welcome to blueberry season and all the deliciousness that comes with it. This fruit is very versatile, as it can be eaten fresh, frozen, added to a v

July 9, 2021

Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad

1 cup organic quinoa                                                                                2 cups...

July 7, 2021

What’s the Best Diet for You?

There are many options when it comes to eating: keto, paleo, vegan, low carb, intermittent fasting, and more. Which one is the best? I don’t endorse

July 1, 2021

A Simple Celebration Salad

Happy Independence Day and the kick-off to summer! Since there will probably be a few picnics and family gatherings happening at some point, I thought

June 24, 2021

Ever try butter on saltines?

I’d forgotten about this childhood treat until a friend of mine mentioned it. We’d gathered for an informal dinner, and the next thing I knew we w

June 17, 2021

Beware of the Buggy Bandit

This week, my client and I were enjoying a peaceful grocery shopping field trip at Whole Foods. We were in the produce department reviewing the list o

June 10, 2021

A Delicate Summer Surprise

Apricots are a hidden gem of a fruit. While the delicate little apricot is not even in the running of most popular fruits in the world, it has a speci

June 3, 2021

A Special Pasta Dish Just for You

I was fortunate to work with my friend, Chef Lynn and make this special recipe with her. She recreated it from her favorite dish at Popolano’s and l

Celebrating the Birth Month

I love birthdays! It matters not which one I happen to be celebrating, as they are all a gift.  As each year passes, I find that I treasure each one more than the last, hence my “birth month” celebrations. That and the fact that many people love to send birthday wishes and feel bad when they miss the day. No worries when you have a month…unless the month is February.

As a quick review, the majority of months have either 30 or 31 days. For whatever reason, February got the short straw, with 28 days–29 on a good year. (And don’t we feel really sad for those folks born on February 29th?) Doesn’t it figure I showed up in the midst of winter and in the shortest calendar month?

When I turned 50, my family and friends surprised me with a party during my birth month but after my birthday. On the wall was a HUGE sign that read “Happy Birth Month, Carol!” What fun! Others had finally accepted my philosophy in writing.

The question was posed as to when I began my month-long celebration, since February is a few days short. Is it 31 days prior to, or following my day? To which I replied, “Yes.”

Next time you have a birthday, give the birth month celebration a try. Let me know what you think and if you would do it again. You always have the option of going back to the one-day deal. As for me, I am now lobbying for the birth year…

“God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.”  Voltaire

Because it’s Always Something

So many times in life we think, “If I can just get through this crisis, or away from this job, or away from this person,” everything would be great! Right? Not so much.

We have heard the phrase many times, “It’s always something!” and it is. Whether it’s about our health, relationships, finances, career– there will always be trouble brewing somewhere.

It is in the midst of difficulty that we decide on the attitude with which we face the music. We can learn to do the dance, or stand on the side of the gym. We can be the light that helps others find their way in the dark, or wander without hope. We can bloom where we are planted, or stay stuck in the dirt.

The good news is that we have a choice. (I wrote a poem about that years ago—check out My Poetry page!) We are all connected, so our positive -or negative- outlook will affect everyone around us. Perhaps your co-worker or neighbor is facing some tougher stuff than you.

Think about it next time everything (or even one thing) seems to be a mess. Be brave. Do the dance. Be the light. Bloom in your glory. The people around you will receive a great gift and you will feel amazing!

“Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:15-16 NIV

Gluten Free Pumpkin Bread

When you are looking for a special pumpkin treat on the healthier side, this is perfect!

  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Combine coconut flour, spices and baking powder.  In a separate bowl, combine all remaining ingredients except nuts and chocolate chips until well blended.  Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and blend well.  If you wish,  fold in the nuts and/or chocolate chips until evenly blended.  Grease a loaf pan with coconut or olive oil and add the batter.  Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool and remove from pan.

 

Why We Need to Retreat

Retreat:  a period of withdrawal from worldly activities for prayer and meditation;  withdrawal into privacy or seclusion, a place for this. (Oxford American Dictionary)

One of my earliest memories of taking retreat is from my college days, as a Delta Gamma pledge going on “walk-out.”  My pledge class left campus one Friday afternoon to go somewhere secret and spend the weekend together.  Our pledge trainer came with, along with a couple other active members we deemed worthy.  We had a blast.  Of course, we had some fraternity education that was supposed to prepare us to become full-fledged members, but what I remember most was the camaraderie and unity we felt as we cocooned from the world.  Oh, and lots of great food!

In the days since then, I have been on an engaged couples retreat, Cursillo retreats, girlfriend getaway retreats, spa weekend retreat, one-day spiritual retreats, and business women retreats.  My most recent retreat was with about twenty business women at a camp located near the snowy Dunes of Michigan.  What a special gift to spend the bulk of an entire winter weekend learning from some of the best leaders and spirited entrepreneurs in Northwest Indiana.

As is typical of retreats, new friendships were cultivated that would have otherwise never had an opportunity to begin.  The practicality of spending the time necessary to really get to know these women just would not happen in the course of “business as usual.”  When we briefly break away from family, work, grocery shopping, laundry, etc, our minds settle into a different realm that is more open to change, friendship, and clarity.  We learn that we are not alone in having bigger-than-life dreams and the courage necessary to bring them to fruition.  Although each of us is on a unique journey, we all encounter a few lions, tigers and bears along the way.

In closing, if you have never gone on retreat, make a plan to go away.  If you have gone on retreat, make a plan to go away.  Why?  In between the moonlit hikes, snowball fights, laughter and tears, you will experience a renewal of Spirit that can only come from withdrawal from the world.  Oh, and lots of great food! 

“In order to understand the world, one has to get away from it on occasion.”  Albert Camus