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Yummy Monday – Chicken Casserole

A quick and warm dinner for when you are on the go!
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Weekly Expectations

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My morning thoughts for September 26, 2014…

I am enjoying my tea this morning and reflecting on the amazing week that has just passed. This is a new habit of mine; prior to making this change I was always looking forward and forgetting about all of the awesome that happened in the past. I don’t want you to hear that you need to be living in the past. I want you to hear that in order to know how far you have come you need to look back to a bench mark and compare. 

I personally, hold myself to very high standards, higher standards that I would ever hold anyone else to. This has been a challenge for me to be ok with being me and accepting that life sometimes does happen but the goal is to be Greater then who I was yesterday. If I can do that each and every day I will be exceeding my expectations. 

With these thoughts I was left with some questions.

1. What are good benchmarks to use?

2. How frequently do you visit these bench marks?

3. What are fair expectations to have in my life?

So what are good benchmarks to use? I can only share with you the practices that I have adapted into my life; if you are currently using a system that is producing the results that you want please keep doing that. My bench marks happen in 4 areas of my life:

- Physical

- Financial

- Spiritual

- Personal

I set a bench mark in each of these area’s each week and review on Friday. (I like to use Friday as the end of my week, rather then Sunday – mind trick that makes me feel productive) I also write each of my bench marks on my schedule to remind myself that my schedule needs to reflect what I am working towards. 

It is the third question that is still a learning element for me. What is a fair expectation? This is the line that I am currently using as a filter and may still be open for change. I once again use four categories but this time I use the following

- Urgent and Important Tasks

- Not Urgent and Important Tasks

- Urgent and Not Important Tasks

- Not Urgent and Not Important Tasks

I fill out all of the tasks that I need to achieve in the week and place them in the appropriate category. One other trick that I use is that I colour code the task  with the quadrant of my life (Physical, Financial, Spiritual and Personal) This lets me see if I am allocating my tasks and therefore my time with what benchmarks I am working on. I say all of that to get back to the expectation. Prior to making these changes in my life my expectation was to get 100% on the list done, now my goal is to get 75% of the list done. 

We are all growing, changing and choosing what we are going to be doing. I share this with you as my practice, I would encourage you to figure out what practice works best for you and your life. 

Enjoy the journey and I would love to hear what you do to manage your executions! 

  

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Hashimoto’s Disease FAQs

What is Hashimoto’s disease?
Hashimoto’s disease or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (or autoimmune thyroiditis, or chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis) is an autoimmune thyroid disorder and is classified as a disease.
Hashimoto’s disease is caused by thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid as a result of the relentless attack of antibodies on the thyroid cells). It is not known what causes this autoimmune response initially, but it appears there is a genetic component (similar to other autoimmune disorders).

What is Hypothyroidism?
Hypothyroidism is a condition that is most commonly caused by Hashimoto’s disease.

What happens to the thyroid gland in Hashimoto’s?
Since Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disorder, antibodies attack proteins produced in the thyroid and this causes the eventual destruction of thyroid and an inability to produce thyroid hormones (triiodothyronine or T3 and thyroxine or T4)
If T3 and T4 are not being produced in sufficient amounts in children, physical growth may be stunted and learning difficulties may occur. In adults, the result is a decreased metabolic rate.

What are some of the symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease?
Hashimoto’s disease presents with varied symptoms, and some patients show no signs of the condition. Other sufferers often present with goitre (an enlarged thyroid), the size of which can vary greatly. The goitre can be a small lump that causes very little discomfort, or it can become very large and cause extensive discomfort in the neck/throat region.
In some cases, the goitre can also cause breathing and/or swallowing difficulties if the mass is blocking the esophagus.
It is also common in Hashimoto’s disease that a patient may cycle back and forth between hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) and hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) before eventually remaining in the state of hypothyroidism (once the thyroid reaches a state of sufficient destruction to stop the production of T3 and T4).
Other common symptoms associated with a lowered metabolic rate include: fatigue, weight-gain/difficulty (or inability) to lose weight, depression, anxiety, insomnia, stiff/sore muscles and joints, intolerance of cold temperatures, memory impairment, infertility, reduced appetite, and hair loss.

How is Hashimoto’s disease diagnosed?
Hashimoto’s disease can be diagnosed in multiple ways, but the most common route is through a clinical examination and blood tests.
The blood tests measure thyroid function by checking levels of T3, T4, and TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). An elevated level of TSH is usually indicative of reduced thyroid function.
Blood tests can also be performed to check for levels of the antibodies thyroglobulin (TG) and thyroid peroxidase (TPO). Elevated levels of these hormones is a potential sign of Hashimoto’s disease.
A biopsy is ordered if there is uneven swelling in the thyroid or if swelling increases drastically in order to rule out a tumor.
There is also the presence of a goitre in many cases.

How is Hashimoto’s disease treated?
The standard treatment for Hashimoto’s is to treat the hypothyroidism. What this means is that when the thyroid stops producing T3 and T4, hormone replacement therapy for the thyroid hormones (the generally prescribed medication is levothyroxine) is administered as a long-term treatment.
In rare cases where goitre becomes invasive and/or obstructs breathing or swallowing and medication is not providing suitable relief, surgical removal of part or all of the thyroid could be recommended.
There is also some support for consuming supplemental selenium as a way to reduce elevated antibody levels and restore hormone levels. However, it appears that eventually the thyroid will lose function and require additional support.

What are the long-term concerns with Hashimoto’s disease?
Generally speaking in patients who have their hormone levels under control over the long-term (with or without medication) should not experience complications beyond the symptoms of hypothyroidism. There are rare cases however, of patients that develop lymphoma (cancer of the lymph cells).

What is the take-home message?
Hashimoto’s disease is an autoimmune disorder and Hypothyroidism and a condition that is most commonly caused by Hashimoto’s.
The symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease are extremely varied from person to person and will require an individualized approach to care.
It is imperative that if you are suffering from this disorder to keep an open line of communication with your healthcare provider, as this will ensure that you always have the information that you require to make the best possible decisions regarding your long-term health and wellness.

REFERENCES

Lee, S., MD, PhD., Odeke, S., MD., FACE, Nagelberg, S., MD. (2014, June 3). Hashimoto Thyroiditis.
Retrieved from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/120937-overview#aw2aab6b2b6. Accessed September 8, 2014.

Shomon, M. (2014, August 18). Hashimoto’s vs. Hypothyroidism: What’s the Difference? Retrieved from http://thyroid.about.com/cs/hypothyroidism/a/hashivshypo_2.htm. Accessed September 9, 2014.

Society for Endocrinology. (2013, October 24). Hashimoto’s Disease. Retrieved from http://www.yourhormones.info/endocrine_conditions/hashimotos_disease.aspx. Accessed September 11, 2014.

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Twitter – What is it?

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Twitter – What is it?

 

Twitter is a microblogging tool – so just like traditional blogging but you are contained to 140 characters with each post or tweet. It is also a little bit like instant messaging, but with way more people potentially listening to what you have to say :)

 

Why you use it

Twitter allows you to share information in real time with the people that you are connected to. For example you are looking for a recipe for cake all you need to do is ask and you will  have a response right away! Twitter is the ultimate in helping you connect and speed any and all messages you want to get into the online space.

How to get started

All you need to do is go to www.twitter.com and flowing the instructions to get your account set up. Next review the twitter terminology below. Start “following” some friends, celebrities, brands, companies and you are all set-up on twitter; now the fun gets started.

Twitter Terminology

DM (aka direct message) – This is a private message of 140 characters or less sent to a fellow twitter follower. These messages are only seen by the twitter follow that you sent the message to.

Followers – are other twitter users who might stumble across you and ask to be a part of your network. They can see all of your tweets and can respond to them if they so choose.

Handle – is the name that you choose for your profile. This becomes part of your twitter URL. In simple language you could be found as www.twitter.com/handle or in my case www.twitter.com/brettanysoro.

Hashtag – So many twitter conversations are happening at any given moment in time that a Hashtag (#) is used to help people keep within a common conversation.

Listed – Twitter started lists to allow fellow tweeters to organize their followers in an easier fashion. You can create lists the way that you want.

Reply – This is how you respond to a tweet. You always have to include @ sign when you are replying to someone. The @ sign is the address or the person that you are sending the message to. For example if you wanted to reply to one of my tweets you would put @brettanysoro in the message as well as your reply.

Retweet (aka RT) – A retweet is reposting a tweet that you have seen on twitter to your own followers.

Trending Topic’s – Twitter posts the most popular topics of the day. Usually they reflect the top news stories.

Tweet – is a post or status update that is 140 characters long or less. If you would like to include a fellow tweeter in your message, you must include the @ symbol followed by the persons handle.

 

Getting the most out of Twitter

Your main goal with twitter is to gain followers. To do that you must first follow others. It is much like a cocktail party; a perfect place to meet new people, connect with acceptances and engage in conversations with topics that interest you. Don’t be shy to hit the reply button when you like someones tweet. The goal is to engage with people on twitter.

 

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Yummy Monday – Creamy Chicken and Rice

Using a roasting bag is the key to this creamy, zesty chicken dish. Fresh chicken breasts are combined with whole grain brown rice, tomatoes, cream of chicken soup and mushrooms for a fast and delicious comfort-style meal. Best of all? Clean-up is as simple as throwing away the roasting bag!
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Facebook – What is it?

Facebook

What is it

This may seem like an out of date question because there are millions who use Facebook each and everyday, but there are also millions who do not currently use Facebook and I want to give them the simple answer to what is Facebook. If you are already familiar with Facebook this post is not for you. Facebook is essentially an up to minute yearbook page that is all about you.

Why would you use it

Facebook is an unbelievable tool – it has a duel purpose; personal use and business use. Let’s get started on the average user; the personal Facebook user.

Your personal Facebook page – To boil it down to the basic’s your page is a perfect place to be able to connect with your friends and family. When you update it your friends can see what you have been up to and are able to “like” and comment on your thoughts, comments and activities. One of the most important points that I need to make when it comes to your personal page; this is not the place that you conduct business. Your personal Facebook page is for your personal life, not your business life. I say this both because Facebook does not allow you to sell off of your personal page but secondly the majority of your friends and family will not be your business customers. They want to be your friends and family.

If you are a business owner or are planning on taking a step into the business world we are going to chat about your business page. This is the perfect place to have a virtual store front. It gives you direct access to those who are interested in what you are offering, they are able to get to know you and what you stand for and you have control over what you post and don’t post; so keep as personally as you want to. I would encourage you to do the majority of your activity on Facebook on your business page if you goal is to use Facebook to communicate with your customers through social media.

Basically – Facebook is an amazing communication tool for the young, wise, tall, short, male, female, no matter who you are you are able to use Facebook as a tool.

How to get started

Facebook is very easy to set up. Go to www.facebook.com and set-up an account, using the prompting.

Terminology

Like – This button allows you to let people, pages, and business’ that you like what they are saying or a picture they posted.

Privacy – Use the setting that Facebook offers to determine what you would like people to be able to see and not see. If you are very concerned about privacy set the majority of the options to “only me”

Wall – This is the yearbook page – it is a canvas of posts, pictures and activities that you put up on Facebook. You are also able to have people comment on other peoples wall and vice versa.

Messages – If you want to have a personal conversation with a person you can send them a message. This is viewed only by you and the person you sent it to. I personally do not use Facebook messaging as a preferred method of communication because I believe it can be a distraction that makes you feel busy, when you are not accomplishing what I need to be.

Tag – You can use the tag feature to tag your friends and family in posts and pictures. This is a great way to be able to share an image quickly to and ensure the people you want to see it do.

 

I hope these basic’s help those who were looking just for the basic’s. I want you to be able to have the tools  that you need in order to create your ideal communication methods in your world!

Good luck and I would love to connect with you on Facebook – Here

 

 

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Yummy Monday – Thai Ribbons

Hey Guys!

It is a pleasure to share this recipe with you today. I hold this one close to the heart; I grew up with my mom making this for us and was always a family favourite. Every time I make these it brings me back to when we used to live on the farm.

I hope you enjoy as much as we do!

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Conflicts… They do happen

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I remember being a little girl and the worst thing in the world that could happen was CONFLICT. I would do anything that I could think of to avoid conflict. I looked at conflict as a one person must be right and the other wrong and to be on the safe side I would let the other party be right and I would take the wrong card in order to get the conflict to end. I am sure that like me you have also created some very good skills, tactic’s and other resources to minimize the conflict that we are trying so hard to avoid.

Recently I have had a change of heart – I still do not enjoy conflict but when I reflect back on the moments in my life where I had a to make something happen; they all started with a conflict that lit the fire. This is what made me wonder; maybe conflict isn’t bad it is just a little uncomfortable and things that are uncomfortable are not always bad.  So this is my change of heart, I am going to look at the moments when conflict arrises with friends, family, co-workers, strangers and anyone else as a moment where the feel maybe uncomfortable but there could be something amazing on the other side of the conflict if both parties are willing to go through the awkward to get to the awesome.

This is where I am so thankful to be invested in Life Long Learning. If I was not willing to continue learning; I would not of developed the skills to be able to facilitate conflict resolution.

Just like a fire – if it is not contained it will get out of control the same is for conflict.

I encourage you to think of how you could facilitate the conflict to get to a positive – win win outcome next time a conflict arrises. (I would try it on a non vital relationship first) and see how it goes. This is a skill that most people have never even thought about yet alone implemented into their daily lives. For me personally this is a skill I am going to be investing is getting better at because I think there are some beautiful things that come out of the awkward and I don’t want that to be a limiting factor in my life.

Enjoy your day today and tomorrow and the next!

Brettany

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Family – what it is all about

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 We have been able to have the most amazing summer; hanging out with friends and family, making new friends, road trips, ice cream dates, boat rides, fishing, reading, laughing and making memories! This has been one of favourite summers because we took the time to figure out what we wanted and then designed our summer to look the way we wanted.
 
 This word design has been coming up in my language lots lately and ever time I say it I catch myself… We didn’t design everything but we created moments to make memories by design. That is not all we design though; when I started to think about it we put a lot or a little design into a whole bunch of things:
 – moments to make memories
 – finances
 – family of creation
 – lifestyle
 – job enjoyment
 – friendships
 – familyships ( yes, I did just make that word up)
 – time management
 And much much more…. But how much time do we really spend designing these very important areas of life? In my option most people spend more time designing their living room, wedding, baby shower, golf game or anything else we find to spend our time on rather then designing to parts of our lives that truly create the lifestyle we are seeking.
 
 I have made a choice in my life to live by design rather then chance or whatever word you would use to describe it. I would encourage you to make a choice to how you are going to live your life and embrace it! One or the other is not better they are just different; I am sure happiness lays on both sides of the fence and I trust that you can make a choice.
 
 Live love laugh ~ till the end of days
 
 Brettany
 

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Skillet Lasanga

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