Hey friends! So this is a totally different kind of post, right? It’s one I’ve wanted to do for close to a year. After about three back-to-back podcast episodes of Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert (specifically her “Leap into the Fire” episode), I felt inspired to write, and picked up my laptop instead of waiting for the “perfect” moment to write. Here’s the funny thing about that: I write three times a week, for at least the last year, and overall the last seven years, so what really was I afraid of this entire time?
All I’ve wanted was a little section of Jessica in the Kitchen where I could share with you, maybe once or twice a month, what’s going on in my life outside of the kitchen and introduce myself a bit more. The things that shape who I am day-to-day, that make me laugh, cry, and what new things I have planned for the website! I have no real structure for this, so it may end up changing a bit as we grow together in this, but I hope you walk away from this feeling happier, a bit uplifted and ready to tackle your day/week/month! Also, I want to hear your thoughts too. So, let’s give this a try then!
Before I begin, Happy 15th birthday to my darling “little” over 6 foot tall brother Benjamin! Happy Father’s Day to the best dad in the world!
I have been making an active effort to choose happiness. No really, I mean daily, I am actively deciding that today is going to be a great day. I wake up, say a prayer for gratitude, set my intentions for the day, and then meditate. I say out loud that today will be an amazing day, and I base my actions around what is best for that to actually happen. That means doing yoga/some form of exercise in the morning, eating a healthy breakfast, making my plan for the day, and then sitting down to work. Part of that means actively protecting my mental well-being.
There is so much sadness/anger/negativity going on all across the world. Thanks to social media, it is very easy to absorb it all. Friends, please know that it’s okay to turn it off. Know you can still care without having all that negativity consume your whole day. Know that it is OKAY to protect yourself, and actively choose happiness.
What are you doing actively to choose happiness?
I’m a very visual person, so it came as a huge surprise to me that I actually thoroughly enjoyed listening to books and podcasts. It kind of started after listening to Lilly Singh’s How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life. As an aside, you should read this book. It is empowering, magical and so relatable all at once. It completely won me over as an amazing, must-read book, and got me hooked on the spoken word concept of absorbing new enlightening and uplifting information.
If you have a busy day, and want more to time read, I love that you can listen to it during your busy periods, and go right back to reading it when you some down time. I have always loved learning, and to be able to be chopping in the kitchen, planting in the garden, or even during a shoot and listening and learning at the same is such an incredible experience.
My absolute favourite podcasts right now are The Marie Forleo Podcast, and Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert. Both of these are geared around being a creative person and from my perspective, building the confidence you need to truly explore your talent, which again, leads rights back to me daily choosing happiness. These podcasts really make me laugh, cry and smile, and I highly recommend them if you want a little boost in your day-to-day activities. I just bought Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear and I can’t wait to consume it. Being a huge Eat, Pray, Love fan, I can’t wait to read what she has in store.
What books are you reading now? How about podcasts? What do you recommend for me and fellow readers?
I touched on this a little earlier, but my day does not feel right if I don’t meditate. Sometimes when people hear meditation, they immediately draw for a single vision of what that could possibly mean, but honestly, meditation is what you make it. I love using the app Headspace because it helps me to be a whole lot more mindful, which is something I truly struggle with. I suffer from intense anxiety, and while I make no claims that this is the cure, I’ve really seen a huge difference in how I handle my anxiety when it rears its head. If this is something that you struggle with, or you just want to feel clearer throughout your days, I would highly recommend this for you.
For me, meditation is as simple as taking some time out of your insane day to appreciate the world around you. Sometimes that means appreciating the beautiful earth that God created, or a more guided exercise of being here and now – not completely engrossed in regrets of the pasts, and fears of the future, but instead, actually just being here in the real and live present. I find that it really helps to put my day into focus, and gets me focused on the things that matter the most to me.
Have you ever tried meditating or ever wanted to?
This one is a bit hilarious, because if you follow me on Instagram then you know that I am a plant mommy!! Gardening is a lot of work, but I truly enjoy it. It’s still so brand new to me, and so I am not pressuring myself to be perfect, but instead to be an active part of the process of growing something from seed to fruit/harvesting time. Right now I am growing spinach (and LOTS of it), tomatoes, three types of basil, mint, and rosemary. We want to move into peppers, and maybe even carrots. It’s been an amazing process, and trust me, when you see the time and effort that goes into your fresh food, you will eat it all! Sautéed spinach has never tasted better!
Do you have a garden or want to start one? What do you grow?
My current favourite quote is definitely from author of Love Warrior, Glennon Doyle Melton,
“The only meaningful thing we can offer one another is love. Not advice, not questions about our choices, not suggestions for the future, just love.”
In everything you do this week at least, offer love.
I’ve heard your pleas and yes, I’ll be introducing meal prep guides on Jessica in the Kitchen!! If you’re not familiar with meal prep, read all about it on my post where I go into some real detail about just how easy and useful it is. I’m still working on them, but I can’t wait to share them!
Also new, there’s a Jessica in the Kitchen Facebook friends group! We are growing everyday, and I’m inviting you to share your photos, recipe creations and what you’re making each day in the group! Come over and join us!
If I could have this breakfast every single day, I would. It’s great for a summer, breakfast, brunch or a side to a BBQ. It’s probably one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever made, too. Three seconds after I finished shooting the video, we were all devouring this.
Happy Sunday friends! Let me know all your thoughts in the comments sections or even by email.
What do YOU want to see here?
All my love,