Accountability matters

When my alarm goes off and it’s dark outside, all I want to do it hit snooze. But I always think about my accountability partner. She’s probably working out right now because she’s amazing. I can’t let her down. We’re on this journey together. So I get up and, after walking my dogs, I change […]

A coffee creamer lover’s dream

Fat is good for you.

Read that again and internalize it.

Fat is good for you.

I’m not a nutritionist, but I’ve learned a lot from reading and listening to nutritionists’ work. After listening to Dishing Up Nutrition, a podcast by Nutritional Weight & Wellness, I’ve learned a lot about what is good for our bodies and what we think is good for our bodies.

As a Tone It Up nutrition plan member, I know the right kind of fat is good at the right time of day. These fats are satiating and necessary for your physical and mental health.

Combining these approaches has proven to work well for me the past month. I use full fat foods and avoid processed foods as much as possible. I also enjoy full fat dairy sparingly. A dash or two in my coffee, cheese on top of a taco sometimes, and a glob of Greek yogurt with breakfast some days.

Now, to more important things….

I love coffee.

I know, I know. Typical writer crutch.

Buying bottled coffee creamer from the grocery store has been one of my crutches. I can lessen my cups of coffee, but I still love good-tasting coffee, which usually means a lot of creamer or syrups in a fancy latté.

When one of the nutritionists from Nutritional Weight & Wellness said you should have about a tablespoon of fat per meal and highly suggested adding a tablespoon of real cream with your morning coffee, I was sold. I decided to make my own coffee creamer.

You could just add cream flavoring straight to your coffee, but I like my coffee milky. So I adapted this recipe for coffee creamer lovers.

Plus, my husband recently had the chance to learn the process of making maple syrup, from tree to jar, and I was able to join him for a day. The boiling process intrigued me (unfortunately, I didn’t get any pictures), so I wanted to use maple syrup as my natural sweetener in this recipe.

I don’t know the nutrition facts, but I do know it’s way healthier than the stuff filled with stabilizers at the grocery store. To go a step farther, make your almond milk at home – I’m not quite there yet.

After my first cup of coffee with my homemade coffee creamer, I noticed I didn’t get dehydrated at all that morning. A few days in, I realized how it helped me feel fuller, longer. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

A Coffee Creamer Lover’s Dream Homemade Creamer

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. heavy cream or half and half*
  • 6 oz. almond milk (or until container is full)
  • 3 Tbs. maple syrup (more or less to your taste buds – aim for less as time goes on)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

Pour all ingredients into a mason jar or an empty, clean creamer bottle with the label removed. Shake well and keep refrigerated.

To Use

Shake well. Pour your desired creamer amount into your coffee mug first. Then pour your hot coffee on top. This creates a delicious foaminess, just like a simple latté!

This stuff literally tastes like melted ice cream. Just a splash (or three) revs your coffee!

*Heavy cream is also called heavy whipping cream at your local grocery store, though the heavy whipping cream may mean it has less fat than regular heavy cream for better whipping consistency. Heavy cream has a higher percentage of fat than half and half, so I prefer heavy cream, but there are days when you accidentally grab the wrong one at the grocery store.

If you liked this recipe, buy me a cup of coffee. Thank you!

Budgeting matters in the creative life

My husband and I recently completed Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University, so together, our financial budget matters. But so does our time budget. Your grandma’s birthday is this weekend? My best friends’s birthday is next weekend and I work all day.

Why does money and time matter to the creative life?

We need to budget our creative time and, when applicable, budget money for our creative life.

This includes things like blog fees, publishing fees, graphic design fees for your new book cover. I’m not going to lie. I kinda suck at this (aren’t I poetic?), but I’ve learned to sneak in time for my creativity lately, a lot in part because of this blog. Write in the cracks of life. I write during breaks at work. I write on my phone while riding shotgun to events. I jot down ideas as they come to me on sticky notes, to-do lists, and random slips of paper.

Taking time away from creativity because you’re lazy can be like signing on for a loan.

You are indebted to whoever or whatever you signed the loan and your time to. You can pay it back and slowly get your time back, but it takes time and money. Time and money you’ll never get back.

This is not a get-rich-quick scheme. If you get money quick, you’re probably going to lose money quick. The same thing goes with inspiration-driven creativity.

If you rely on only creating when the muse visits or when inspiration hits, your creativity is going to be fleeting.

You’re going to lose it fast. But if you budget time for creativity often in your schedule, it will just keep on building, similar to interest on an investment.

Challenge A: Budget your time for next week. Make time for your creative life by literally writing your creative hours down on your calendar. I don’t care if you put it in your phone, write it in a tiny box on a printed calendar in your office, or add it to your to-do list, but write or type it somewhere. Then follow through with this commitment to yourself and for yourself.

Challenge B: Add a creative line to your budget. Whatever your art needs, like a computer program, contest fees, or paint, set aside some money for it because your art is worth it.