Powerofhabit

It’s mid March people- have you accomplished your new year’s resolutions? If you’re like me, you don’t even remember what they were. Agh!

But, it doesn’t have to be that way. I just finished The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, but Charles Duhigg. Amazing book. It is well written and well researched with interesting examples of how habits effect our lives and how powerful they are.

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I think this is a must read. It has definitely been thought provoking for me. We are giving one away this week along with a house dress – in which to read said book, of course.

To ENTER TO WIN the The Power of Habit book AND a House Dress, you MUST BE EMAIL SUBSCRIBED TO OUR BLOG NEWSLETTER.

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If you are subscribed, congratulations, you are entered to win!

We will select an email winner on Monday March 30th. Good Luck.

Family Room Progress

by Kara on March 16, 2015

Hi friends.  Today’s post is a progress shot.  I painted the Lotus flower stencil on the fireplace wall two years ago.  I purchased the stencil on etsy and used paint that I had on hand.  Two years is long enough to live with a “feature” wall color in this house.  I think I probably seem compulsive about home decor but, the ideas usually stew in my head for months until the stars align, then I really go for it!

stencilprogress Cleaned up and really for a drastic color change.  And there is that little test swatch I posted on Instagram.

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I really contemplated stopping at this point.  I love how the fireplace is set apart from the rest of the wall but,  I wanted the TV to “disappear”.

paintingfamilyroom2 Projects seem to evolve as you go and this one is no different.  I love the look here but, we just aren’t quite done :)  Oh, and this is the first time that I haven’t painted a project myself!  He was so FAST.  I was in my sons classroom and it was finished by the time I got back.  I’m calling this good time management, but I still feel like a cheater.

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I can’t wait to put it all back together!

We Brave Women

by Mary on March 12, 2015

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It’s alway a pleasure to meet people who are doing things to make the world, and the people in it, better. We feel that the women over at webravewomen.com are doing just that. Ashley Mae Hoiland and Zina Bennion are the ladies behind the movement to empower women to be brave.

Noor Inayat Khan Two

They said:

The project started when we asked people on social media to finish the sentence, “I am brave because…”  The hashtag #webravewomen quickly grew well beyond our social circles and we were touched by the honesty and willingness to share.  The words and images on the hashtag told us that women are ready and wanting empowering movements that challenge us and ask us to get to know our best and most brave selves.  Our motives are to help women, both young and old, and in every walk of life, find and be proud of the ways in which they are brave.  We want to facilitate and encourage women in telling their own stories by learning about brave women from history and brave women among us now.  We believe in the power of women being visible to young girls.

Join them in their movement over that.  www.WeBraveWomen.com and our instagram @webravewomen

Katherine Switzer Two

 

All artwork is done by Ashley Mae Hoiland.

Thai Pasta Salad

by Mary on March 9, 2015

thai-salad

I have been seriously craving this. It is amazing.

Thai Pasta Salad with Creamy Cilantro Peanut Dressing

I consider this salad a main dish salad as it is hearty, filling, and has lots of different ingredients. This is very versatile; feel free to use your favorite ingredients. You can add/substitute napa cabbage, bok choy, snow peas, black sesame seeds, etc. This works well packed for lunch, just pack the dressing separately and combine just before eating. Feel free to half the dressing recipe as it makes about 1.5 cups. I like to make extra to use later on in the week as a dipping sauce for skewers, veggies, or rolls.

  • ¼ pound whole wheat angel hair pasta
  • 3 cups finely shredded green cabbage
  • 2 cups finely shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup shelled edamame beans
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/3 cup chopped raw peanuts

Cook the whole wheat angel hair pasta until al dente. Combine the pasta, cabbage, lettuce, carrot, red pepper, and edamame in a large bowl. Toss with about 2/3 cup (or as much as you like) Creamy Cilantro Peanut Dressing. On a large platter or individual dishes, plate the salad and top with bean sprouts, cilantro leaves, and peanuts. Serves 6.

 Creamy Cilantro Peanut Dressing

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup all-natural smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 3 tablespoons tamari, or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon or small piece of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce /li>
  • 1 ½ cups fresh cilantro leaves (about 1/2 bunch)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend well. Make sure that it is smooth and creamy. Store in the refrigerator for 7-10 days.

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Things that Matter {on running}

by Kara on March 2, 2015

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My dad wore a yellow wind breaker and a white nike hat to every high school track meet I ran.  My eyes scanned the crowd every time I went to the start line; yellow jacket… check, white hat… check, stop watch… check.  My best race was at the subsection finals in the 300 meter hurdles.  My heart could burst remembering how proud my dad was of me.

Running has always been a sport of guts, determination, (not enough training, ever) and whole lot of emotion.  I’ve run 12+ races as an adult and things haven’t changed.

Phoenix Marathon was Saturday.  This race, last year was the last thing I did with my brother, Trevor, before he passed away one month later.  I never knew a race could mean so much.

I know I haven’t reached my potential as a runner.  I plan to someday.  I’ve always been too busy or lazy or preoccupied to really give the sport 100%.  But as I sit here and look at my pile of medals I’m so glad I didn’t wait until I could do it perfectly.  Life is happening now and while I haven’t been fast my legs still went the distance.

A lot of my friends run and most of my family does too.   I’ve never been in a race without at least one of them.  Doing hard things with people ties you together in a way that sunshine and rainbows never could.  Sign me up to do hard things with my people, because they matter.

chocolate granola bar

Healthy granola bars can be a great snack and source of pick-me-up energy. But it’s tough to find store-bought granola bars without added sugar, preservatives, and more unnatural stuff. I looked up the ingredients for an  “oats-and-honey” granola bar that was my favorite during childhood. The first three ingredients are: whole-grain oats, sugar, and canola oil (and the list continues…).  So I made my own version. These homemade bars are complete with omega-3s, protein, fiber, and … chocolate! The best thing is that when they cool they achieve the perfect crunchy texture.

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Chocolate Hazelnut Granola Bars

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup puffed crispy rice cereal
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tablespoon flax seed
1/2 cup honey (raw local is best)
1/2 cup Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (the all-natural or raw spreads are best, or you can use–gasp!–Nutella)
3 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup nuts (I like almonds or walnuts)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with parchment paper, letting it drape slightly over the sides of the pan.

Chop the nuts. In a large bowl stir together rolled oats, crispy rice cereal, coconut flakes, and flax seed. Add in honey, chocolate hazelnut spread, vanilla extract, and stir until blended.

Spread and press evenly onto parchment-lined baking pan and bake in a preheated oven on the center rack for 20-25 minutes until top is golden brown. Cool pan on wire rack for 20 minutes. (Resist the urge to cut or handle the bars until they are cool.) Once pan is cool to the touch, lift parchment paper from pan and set granola on parchment pan until almost completely cooled.

To make eight full-sized bars, cut down the center and then cut each section into 4 evenly sized bars per section. Cut them all in half again for 16 small squares.

Sharpie on Concrete

by Kara on February 16, 2015

Henry Mack Dining1 Creativity seems to flow when I’m out of time.  Why is that?  I’m at my best when it’s (really) go time.  I had put off our dining room floor until it was time to move in knowing that I’d think of something.  We were too tight on time and patience for painters tape and drying time so we decided drawing a pattern was better than painting.  We rigged a Compass, got a few Huge Sharpies and went for it.  I really thought we’d end up covering a disaster with wood flooring, but… IT WORKED!  Can you believe it?  A sharpie ducted taped to a dowel.

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Introducing Henry Mack Book Club

by Mary on February 12, 2015

maryjolley

I love books. That didn’t seem to portray my true feelings…. I’m obsessed. I love to wander through bookstores for fun. I love to talk about books until my friends’ ears fall off. The very  best is finding a good book and getting lost it in. Like bad pizza, the opposite is also true. I can’t stand a bad book. I understand that is somewhat subjective, but I rarely pick up books off the shelf without first looking at reviews and ratings. I have been disappointed too many times to waste my limited time reading garbage.

So… I’ve decided to share some of my favorite reads with you. Hopefully you will share your favorites with me, too.

Since it’s almost Valentine’s Day, I’m kicking off with a Romance!

Edenbrooke is a sweet love story. It’s clean and wholesome. I first read it on a cozy rainy day and it was perfect. Takes place in regency era England. Think Jane Austen without the heavy language.

To show my love for ya’ll, I’m giving away a copy on our instagram today! @henry_mack.

Love and Kisses.

Vegan Pancakes for Valentine’s

by Mary on February 9, 2015

I owe this recipe to my mom, who started making them years ago. They have been a huge hit and they are packed with nutrition. With all the heart shaped chocolates I can’t seem to stop eating, it’s nice to start the day off with a heart shaped treat that it a real treat for your heart (hehe).

valentinepancakes

Moist Blueberry Banana Pancakes

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 cups soy or almond milk
  • 2 Tbs real maple syrup, plus more for serving
  • 3 medium bananas
  • 4 oz apple sauce (1/2 cup)
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and allspice and set aside.

Mash well two of the bananas and mix with the milk; stir in maple syrup and apple sauce. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing with a few swift strokes until just combines. Chop the remaining bananas. Fold bananas and blueberries in until just incorporated.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or skillet over medium heat. Cook pancakes and serve with maple syrup.

veganpancakes

Henry Mack Hearts the HOME

by Kara on February 2, 2015

kara-Smith

Hello!  I’m Kara and I love houses; big, small, old, and new.  I took an interior design class in college but am not otherwise classically trained in design.   If thinking about homes day and night counts for something, I definitely have that going for me.  I like every design style and subscribe to the idea that if you love it, “it works”.  Years ago I planned to start a blog called “I heart this house”.   I wanted to document my ideas and projects and I’m excited to do a little of that here.  Our efforts in the home are the most important, so I say we have fun inside those four(ish) walls.