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2021 Word of the Year: Intentional

Friday, February 19, 2021


 

It's totally ok to choose my word of the year a couple of months into 2021, right?

Truth be told, I've never chosen a word of the year. I've always been a traditional resolutions-making gal; nothing too intense, rather goals and visions for the year ahead.

But the more I read about others' words and thought about the concept, the more it appealed to me. I mean... I love words. I'm all about words! So why not? But it took a while to choose a word that really resonated with me, had genuine meaning to me, and aligned with my vision for the year ahead -- a year which will, no doubt, be unlike any other.

So after considering several possibilities, I ultimately chose the word intentional.

The definition of the word intentional is pretty straight forward: to be done with purpose, deliberately. It's a word that kept popping up in books I was reading and podcasts I was listening to. It's a word that, I realized, is connected to joy. And who doesn't want as much of that as possible? 

The more I thought about it, the more living with intention made sense, especially for this season of life. Reflecting on the things I want to improve, the things that seem to take away from joy, made me realize that adding intentionality into those areas would help. For instance: eating intentionally (leading to healthier, more satisfying choices and more energy). Spending my time intentionally (when I'm with the kids, be purposefully with them... when I'm working, spending that time focused on work, etc.) to avoid feeling burnt out, hurried, and unaccomplished. Spending money more intentionally, which is actually something I feel I did really well with last year (not just buying something because it worked, or was on sale, or was "just ok" but spending money -- which is what we receive as a trade for the most valuable thing of all, our time -- on things that truly bring me joy).


The importance of forming my goals for the year with intention also became really apparent. What do I want to accomplish this year, and why? What can I purposefully do that will add value and joy to my (and my family's) life? What speaks to me as an individual? Scrolling social media or only doing things that I'm supposed to do might pass the time, but they don't fill me up. They don't add value. Our time is so precious and ultimately so short -- I'm becoming more and more convinced that we need to spend it as intentionally as possible.

Don't get me wrong, I'm still an advocate for the YOLO way of life. ;) Sometimes, we just want and need to let go and live life a little less planned and a little less scripted. Sometimes the very best memories are made this way. Sometimes, in the letting go, we discover parts of ourselves we didn't know existed. I know all of this is true, and in fact, living intentionally will only help with this. The goal isn't to live a scripted planned-to-death life, but an authentic and genuine one. Yes, I think we can still be intentional even with the YOLO part of our lives. 


I could go on and on about this (again, obsessed with words, haha). Have you chosen a word of the year? I would love to hear what it is and why you chose it!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Thursday, February 18, 2021

 



If you need a warm, savory meal for a cold winter day... look no further! 

When I started to make this Loaded Baked Potato Soup, I actually intended to follow a recipe I had found. But then I bought a few wrong ingredients and realized the recipe I had wasn't for a slow cooker -- and slow cookers are my jam when it comes to soup (and a lot of other meals!). Nothing beats throwing ingredients into a big pot and forgetting about it until dinnertime rolls around, especially with the craziness of these days we're in.

So I did what I tend to do a lot these days and improvised! And I'm so glad I did, because this soup turned out so yummy, and I realized by subbing a milk base for a broth base and cutting out butter, I saved a ton of calories but sacrificed none of the flavor (and trust, there are still plenty of calories in this soup, haha). I will warn you, I pretty much eye-balled amounts of everything, so feel free to adjust as you see fit. That's the beauty of soup -- with the basic ingredients in place, it's hard to go wrong.

Here's What You Need:

-32 oz chicken broth

-Small Yukon Gold potatoes

-Thick cut bacon

-White or yellow onion

-Cheddar cheese, shredded

-1/2 cup - 1 cup heavy cream

-Sour cream

-Flour

-Garlic salt

-Cracked pepper


Here's What You Do:

-Bake bacon in oven heated to 400 for 25 minutes (my tried & true bacon-cooking method, and it took a lot of trial & error and fire alarms going off, is to place bacon on a baking sheet and cover with another baking sheet)

-While bacon is cooking, wash and cut potatoes into cubes, dump into crockpot

-Chop white (or yellow) onion -- I used about 1/2 an onion -- and add to crockpot

-Once bacon is done cooking, tear apart 4-6 slices and add to crockpot

-Pour whole carton of chicken broth into crockpot (should just cover the dry ingredients) and mix everything together

-Cook on high for 3.5-4 hours, or low 5-6 hours

-About a half hour before you want to serve, whisk together 1 tablespoon flour and 1/4-1/2 cup of heavy cream, pour into crockpot

-Add approx. 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

-Add few dollops (what a fun word) of sour cream

-Add garlic salt and cracked pepper to taste

-Stir all together and cook for another 30 minutes or so

-Enjoy topped with shredded cheddar and crumbled bacon!

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