What I Learned While Walking 5 Miles in the Rain

IMG_2209Have you ever done something you’ve done before many times only to have the outcome be completely different…even life changing?

Just before spring break started, I asked my youngest son what he wanted to do to make his vacation memorable and fun. He gave me a list of ideas and one of them was to get some hikes completed for his Boy Scout Hiking merit badge. The badge requires 6 hikes ranging from 5 miles to 20 miles. We set a goal to do a 5-miler and a 10-miler this week, as long as the weather would cooperate.

Thursday, we woke to more rain, but decided at the last minute to drive up to Sac State with my husband, The Professor. We got a map of our course and figured we could brave the elements since Spring break was going fast and we were running out of time to get the hikes completed. With just 15 minutes to prepare, I grabbed one of my daughter’s old backpacks, some lip balm, a couple of water bottles, my wallet, phone, Sparkle Sue’s glasses, a hat, some Epic bars, and a few essential oils.  We were off!Sac State

I walk a lot and have gone on numerous hikes over the years, but this time would be different. I could feel it.
It was only sprinkling and the temperature cool, but tolerable when we arrived on campus. We walked with my husband to the building where he would be teaching his first class and said our good-bye’s.

Jerry Cook Sarah CookI pulled my hat down over my ears and handed the umbrella to my son. At first we walked on the sidewalk, but eventually the sidewalk ran out and we began walking through grassy areas. The dew and newly fallen rain soaked into our shoes and it wasn’t long before our socks were damp.

The longer we walked, the more cold and wet our feet became and it dawned on me how our homeless community must feel every day that it rains. I made up my mind to do something to help my brothers and sisters who were also walking in the rain somewhere in Sacramento.Share the Path Sac State Sarah L Cook

I’ve owned my own business for nearly a quarter of a century and one of my biggest passions is donating a large portion of my profits to charitable causes. Knowing that I am helping ease someone else’s burdens is what gets me up in the morning.

It’s been said that a handout isn’t always a hand up, and I’ve pondered on ways I could help that would truly lift and not just be a bandaid on the problem. It occurred to me as I was walking, that we can “share the path” of helping others by using our own personal gifts, talents and resources in unique ways to lift those who need lifting.

John Greenleaf Whittier said, “Thee lift me and I’ll lift thee, and we’ll ascend together”. I truly believe that when we use what we have to bless and lift others, we ourselves are lifted and in the process of lifting and serving, we also inspire others to do the same. That, my friends is the essence of living a Belle Belle Vie.

During this month of April Showers,  I will be donating a portion of my Mary Kay profits to purchase rain coats and warm socks to donate to the homeless. I invite you to do the same, or pick some other cause that inspires you to use your God-given gifts in a way that honors Him and serves His Children.April Showers of Kindness Sarah L Cook

 

Bacon and Sprouted Lentil Soup

IMG_0934For over a dozen years now I have been eating according the the “Blood Type” diet as per recommendations from our osteopath who just so happened to miraculously save My Handsome Man’s life in 2004. He suggested My Handsome Man (Blood Type A) make modifications to his diet and told him it would safe his life and  potentially cure him of the health issues he was facing. The changes were immense and I wanted to be supportive, so I modified my diet (Blood Type B) as well. This recipe is considered “highly beneficial” for A Blood Types and “neutral/beneficial” for B Blood Types since the lentils are sprouted. If you are using lentils that are not sprouted, it is considered an “avoid” recipe for B’s.

  • YIELDS
    MAKES 8 SERVINGS
  • PREP TIME
    15 MIN
  • COOK TIME
    30 MIN

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 8 oz turkey bacon
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 quart (32 oz.) vegetable stock or turkey bone broth
  • 1 1/4 cup uncooked truRoots® Organic Sprouted Lentils
  • 2 c organic salsa (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. HEAT oil in large pot oven over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots, bacon, and garlic until softened. Remove bacon and chop into small pieces. Add curry powder, cumin, and salt. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until fragrant.
  2. ADD salsa*, stock/broth and lentils. Bring to boil. Reduce to simmer. Cook 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender.

* My Handsome Man doesn’t eat tomatoes, so I usually skip the salsa when I make it for him!!

Gluten Free Baked Apple Crisp!!

My daughter left for college about a month ago and ever since I have been re-learning my way around the kitchen. You see, she has been experimenting in the kitchen since she was 6 years old, wrote and published her first collaborative cookbook when she was 10, and has since edged me out of my cooking responsibilities as a wife and mother. We’ve been missing her terribly and her delicious cooking too! I was hankering for a treat on Sunday night and decided to do something about rather than eat another rice cake or carrots. I spied a recipe for Apple Brown Betty in, “I Can’t Believe It’s Food Storage” by Crystal Godfrey and decided to give it some modifications and make it for dessert.

Baked Apple Crisp form Sarah L Cooks Kitchen

Filling

2 C boiling water

4 C dried apple slices (we get ours from the LDS Online store)

Add the following after the apples and water have set for at least 5 minutes.

1-2 drops clove essential oil from doTerra

1/4 C barley malt

 

Topping 

1/2 C gluten-free all purpose flour (I used Pamella’s this time)Baked Apple Crisp form Sarah L Cooks kitchen

1/4 C gluten-free oats (I used Bob’s Red Mill this time)

1/4 t cinnamon

1 t brown sugar

1/4 C butter

 

Pour boiling water over dried apples. Let stand at least 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix dry topping ingredients together, then cut in butter. Drain 1/4 C of liquid off the bowl of apples and stir in the barley malt and 1-2 drops of clove oil. You may also choose to add 1-2 drops of cinnamon oil to the apples as well. Place apples and any remaining liquid in a greased pie plate of 9-inch square baking pan. Sprinkle topping over the apple mixture. Bake at 350 F for 55 minutes.

I think it tasted best served warm, but that didn’t stop me or My Handsome Man for having the “leftovers” this morning for breakfast. I had mine with three over-easy eggs and My Handsome Man had his with large vanilla protein smoothie.

 

My Girl is Graduating and We’re Saving Money

imageMy Girl is graduating from high school this month. She is my second child to graduate from high school. With graduation comes lots of expenses, but we have managed to save money using the Three B’s and choosing to spend money based on our values.

Hear about the the Three B’s and other graduation tips on my Family Financial Cents segment on Sac and Co by watching the video below.

Could you use family finance tips for other parts of our life? Visit the “Family Finance and Your Future” here on my blog.

I would love to hear from you! Please reach out on onTwitter, Instagram, or Facebook!! :-)

Family Financial Cents: Weathering the Financial Storms of Life

There will always be storms in life and by taking actions that matter when those storms come, you will often create more positive outcomes. By choosing daily to take actions to prepare for unexpected events, while fully living present in the moments of today, you allow for safer travels for yourself and your family when life sends the hail and whirlwinds.

Have you faced a financial storm such as a fire, job loss, illness, or other family emergency that you have since gotten through? I would love to hear your thoughts on how you and your family weathered those storms.

When Life Throws You LemonsOften financial storms can lead to storms in others areas of your life and when that happens it’s important to know what steps to take to make it through to the other side and back to awesomeness. I created a complimentary online workshop called, “When Life Throws You Lemons”.  Click HERE to receive this gift from me!! 

Magic Happened In the Kitchen Tonight

Sarah Thompson of Sarah's Kitchen with Sarah L CookI met one of the most caring and wealthy souls on the planet via social media a couple of weeks ago and tonight I met her in person. Sarah Thompson hosted a Kindness Campaign Freezer Meal party for a family in her neighborhood whose three year-old daughter passed away last week.

I was drawn to Sarah the moment I read about her on her website and Facebook page and sent her a message sharing how impressed I was. Her reply was so prompt and so heartfelt and I knew straight away she was a kindred spirit and we would be fast friends. Tonight when I met her in person, I was even more impressed, not just with Sarah but with her family and the kind and generous women she surrounds herself with.
Kindness Campaign from Sarah's Kitchen

Tonight’s Kindness Campaign blew me away. Over a dozen women and some families showed up to make meals for this family who has suffered such loss. When we walked in, we were met with pans and pans filled with pre-prepped ingredients to make freezers full of meals! As Sarah was sharing with us the process of the party, she mentioned she had spent over 30 hours of donated time in preparing the food for this family. My heart burst with love for her and of angels she is doing every single day.

Sarah shared her love for this family and how the meals we were donating funds for and assembling would fill their hearts with love and healing in the coming months. I don’t even know them, but the meal I made for them somehow created a bond of compassion and I felt love grow in my heart as I carefully filled the pan of food and wrote a note of healing on the lid.

After assembling the donated meal, I was going to go home and spend time with my family. Then, I remembered they would be watching a show together and I wouldn’t likely be missed if I stayed a little longer. I was drawn in by the magic in the kitchen and the fellowship of all the women who were somehow becoming my friends in such a short time. I made a few meals and am looking forward to seeing what my family thinks of my “gourmet cooking” thanks to Sarah!

 

Welcome to the 2016 Prom Pretty Giveaway!!

Sarah L Cook's Prom Pretty Giveaway

Are you ready for Prom 2K16!!! Do you like to win prizes? Tune into Sac&Co today at 11:30am for a chance to win everything that you’ll need for a magical prom night in my special giveaway!

Prom Pretty Gift Basket from Mary Kay and Sarah L CookWhat’s included in the Prom Pretty Gift Basket?

Over $140 in Mary Kay products as well as extra goodies!!

Dear Millennial and GenZ Children…

Dear Millennial and GenZ ChildrenI read an article recently about socialism and the perks and pitfalls of living in a socialist/communist country. The case for socialism was inspired by Millennials and I am choosing to share my thoughts because I have children that are in the Millennial generation as well as GenerationZ and I want them to know what their Momma believes in and that is Free Enterprise and Working Smart as well as Working Hard! Something that is “free” from our government means that millions of tax-paying citizens have had their paycheck stripped so that the government could choose to create a “free” perk for someone/some organization. Let’s be crystal clear, something “free” from the government is NOT FREE!!  The last time I checked some of the “free” things we can experience on this planet are: sunshine, rain, God’s grace, smiles, …you get the idea.

Thanks to my Mary Kay clients, social media marketing clients, and the people who hire me to speak or who buy my courses and my book, my businesses have paid for countless perks for my sweet children’s lives, for all the people who support my businesses (Mary Kay staff/employees, UPS drivers, USPS workers, dry cleaners, etc) and for all the people I have hired along my 22+ year journey in business who have worked in my home or virtually in their own home or local coffee shop!

My children have never received an “allowance” because I don’t believe in giving my children money except on Birthdays or other special occasions just so they can “experience money” or ” gain money education” at an early age. Their financial literacy has been awarded them by doing chores because they are part of Team Cook/our family. They have been allowed to earn money by doing household “Pay Jobs” (jobs that aren’t party of daily chores) or by working for me or my husband in our business ventures. Each child has been on my payroll since they were about 7 years old as per IRS tax code which states that I can hire my children to do jobs/tasks in my business. The fact that they have been on my payroll does not mean they have been given a paycheck… that would be called welfare and I don’t believe in that for most cases either. I  don’t pay my children a paycheck unless they work and earn the money. Novel concept, isn’t it?

So many people over the years have consulted with me about hiring their own children in their businesses and one of the most common questions is, “What would I have my children do in my business?” So, I created The List. You can get The List of  “99 Things Kids Can Do to Make Money”  by clicking this link and then opting in to get the “Free Gifts” mentioned on that page. I created The List based on the tasks/jobs my kids have done over the years and I stopped at 99 things because, it’s catchier than “105 Things…” and I wanted to leave room for those reading the list to come up with their own ideas! It’s more fun that way!

I could literally talk/write for hours about the valuable benefits from teaching children to work, become self-reliant, manage the resources of this Good Earth, and share their gifts with others, but you likely wouldn’t stay that long, so feel free to come stop by my blog again and read some more.

If you liked what you found here, by all means, SHARE it with others! If you really liked what you read, implement some of the ideas and message me with how they worked for you. You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or via email: Sarah@SarahLCook.com

 

Finance Friday: Getting Your College Cash

If you have a college student, college-bound student or you are a student; you may have heard of he FAFSA. It is an online questionnaire/application that helps the federal government as well as colleges/universities you are interested in be able to determine how much financial aide to offer you. Take a look at some of the tips I share today on Sac and Co:

Family Financial Cents: Ways to Say, “I Love You” without Breaking the Bank

Sarah L Cook Sacramento and Company

To see a short video I did called “Giving Love to Those Who Matter Most”, click here.

To read a short post I did on examples of gifts you can make for under $6, visit Dare Whimsy.

What love language do you speak? What language do your loved ones, co-workers and clients speak? Please share your comments below and we can all learn together! :-)

If you found this video valuable, please share it with others.