Today is my birthday – woo hoo!
I like to be remembered and celebrated, a little. I also like to celebrate others, and I believe in celebrating every single day.
When’s your birthday? Can we celebrate it today, with mine? Awesome. Happy Birthday, and Happy Un-Birthday.
Yes, we will sing songs.
Yes, we will enjoy cake.
Yes, we will give gifts.
Yes, we will show up with all of our goodness and messiness, to celebrate life as it is right now. I have friends who are dealing with some overwhelming stuff at the moment; it almost seems ludicrous for me to celebrate anything.
Believing that good is in or can come out of every moment, we’ll celebrate when and what we can. Are you ready to party?
Crank up the music. First, click this and let’s hear from the Beatles.
That’s the way to get a party started! One of my childhood friends wants to say something, too, before we cut to the cake. Have you met Mr. Rogers?
Now, let’s have some cake! One of my family favorites is a pineapple upside down cake. It can be made completely from scratch, or you can take some shortcuts and start with a mix. I found a gluten-free Pillsbury “classic yellow” cake box mix (Whaaaat? After breaking up with the Doughboy!) and I am using that to save time, for starters. Since I’m trying to eliminate my use of cooking oils, I am substituting applesauce for the vegetable oil called for in the recipe.
After you bake your cake, here’s the Pineapple Glaze to put on it while it’s warm:
1/2 stick of butter
1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar
1 cup of crushed pineapple, drained
Combine the above and pour over the baked cake while it’s still warm. Double this recipe for a two-layer cake. (Note: This is not a healthy recipe. Carry on.)
Now, it’s time for the gifts!
It’s been an amazing gift to me to interact with you through the comments on my blog, on my social media accounts, and in my free “Faith and Sweat” Facebook group the past several months. Thank you for reading and connecting.
Now I have some gifts for YOU! These involve some of my favorite things: chasing shiny objects (i.e., learning new things), taking and enjoying photos, and drinking COFFEE!
Learning something new
I love books, and in the past year I’ve utilized audiobooks and podcasts so I can learn on the go. Some of my favorite books that I could re-read and glean nuggets from several times include “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown; “Gift from the Sea,” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, and “Younger Next Year for Women,” by Chris Crowley & Henry S. Lodge, MD. (There’s a men’s version, too.)
Here’s your first gift, a pdf I found that gives you an overview of “Essentialism,” so you can try on some of the ideas in the book for yourself. Get it at this link HERE.
“Gift from the Sea” is a journey of self-discovery. Here’s a quotable image you can download and use on social media. I created it just for you.
“Younger Next Year for Women” was life-changing for me. I read it in early 2009 when I was beginning to focus on taking care of myself, after putting others first for so long. If you’re on Facebook, connect here to their resources and information. And GET THE BOOK. Read the book. I have it linked on my “Products I Love” page HERE.
A Word About Podcasts
Mindset is at the core of our attempts to be healthy, learn new things, grow, and become our best selves. I try to start each day with a quiet devotional time and try to spend each day learning a little something new.
In the past year, a quick way I’ve done this is by listening to podcasts while I exercise or drive. I could give you a long list of those worth checking out, but let me just introduce you to two for now – The RobCast, by Rob Bell, which centers on spirituality and life, and On Air With Ella, which is for “anyone who wants to feel better, look better, live better and have some fun along the way.”
I’m happy to delve deeper into podcasts I find helpful, or other resources, in a future article. Would that be of interest? Let me know!
Now, back to the party.
Celebrating with Photos
Did you bring the camera? We need pics of our party, of course! In 1999, I started a direct-sales business in memory-keeping/scrapbooking and remember telling the person who introduced me to that company, “I don’t want this to interfere with my writing.” A couple of years later, writing took a backseat to helping people preserve their memories through photos and stories. Now, I seek to do both – write for myself and the world, and help others tell their stories through photos and words.
If the idea of organizing and doing something with your photos overwhelms you, go ahead and get plugged into SaveYourPhotos.org. September is International Save Your Photos month, and this website will have many tips leading up to and during that month to help you. Also, I invite you to visit my other website, PhotoOrganize.Me, to see if what I offer there would be of interest to you. I will be blogging for both PhotoOrganize.Me and SaveYourPhotos.org, to encourage people to do more with their photos than share them on social media or store them on their smartphone.
We have our cake. We have our reading and listening material. We have our intention to do something with our photos.
Would you like some coffee?
(If you give a birthday girl a piece of cake and some books and websites, she’s going to want some coffee to go with it.)
I have a Keurig single-cup coffee maker, which I’ve had for about 9 years. The “care for creation” Christian in me gets agitated when throwing away those little cups, and I’ve composted and recycled some of them. The health-conscious woman in me likes that she doesn’t make AND drink 6+ cups of coffee each morning. Balance.
So here’s my final gift to you during our Birthday Bash: The next 16 people to subscribe to my updates at amyhoogervorst.com each will receive a free single-serve “Y-cup” of coffee from me. The coffee is from CLR Roasters, a division of Youngevity, a company for which I am a distributor. It’s fair-trade and organic. Great coffee. And the sales go to support our Be the Change Foundation, which helps a lot of other charitable organizations, so it’s a win-win-win.
To be eligible for a free Y-cup, Sign up here to receive my updates. You will need to enter your information into the “Get Updates” section of the right sidebar. If you’re one of the first 16 to do this, I will contact you to get your mailing address and mail you a “Y-cup” of coffee for your Keurig single-serve coffee maker.
AND, all of my subscribers as of Monday morning, June 13, will be entered into a drawing for a free bag of whole-bean or ground organic, fair trade coffee from Youngevity. So please share this article with anyone you think will be interested. If someone you know is interested in health, wellness, mindset, story, faith and sweat, I would love to hear from them and have them get my updates, too. I will contact the winner of my drawing after June 13, when all entries are due, to see which type of coffee he/she prefers.
So, to recap: Visit amyhoogervorst.com. Scroll down until you see “Get Updates” along the right-hand side of the page. Enter your information. There! You’re subscribed. (If you get a popup offer to get subscribed, you can click that instead.)
It’s time for some coffee to go with that cake, and those other gifts, and those songs.
Happy birthday to you, and to me, on today and all the days in between.
Connect with me by commenting below, or joining my free Faith & Sweat Facebook group, where we continue the conversation. Thanks for being part of this community, and sharing in the journey with us.
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