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  • Spreading Holiday Cheer

    It‘s the the most wonderful time of the year!!! A time for decorating your home, preparing the holiday menu, getting the family together and spending time enjoying one another. I look forward to this every year (except for the late night cooking course!) This Thanksgiving, we celebrated by going to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. A bucket list check off that everyone enjoyed. It was a 50+ degree day and almost no wind. I couldn’t have asked for better weather. Once we returned home, we ate, played games, watched some football and of course ate some more. It was such a great way to kick off the holidays. And now, it’s officially Christmas season! This means holiday decorations are up and gifts for many family and friends are being shopped for. Although I love shopping, I do understand that many do not have the financial means to do so and are barely getting by. It is during these times that I think about those who may not be able to give gifts to their children on Christmas Day and understand the importance of helping those in need and spreading holiday cheer. While it’s easy to get caught up in the commercialism of the holidays, it’s more important to remember those who are homeless, sick, may have lost a job or lost a loved one. We’ve all been through rough times and sometimes it’s the little things that mean the most and get us through. Caring for human kind spreads holiday cheer for everyone. If you are unsure of how to do so, here are a five simple ways to help those around you and truly exemplify the holiday spirit. Donate an old winter coat or blanket that may be in a closet that you have not used in a while. Find a local shelter and drop off canned foods, toiletries, feminine hygiene, along with a sweet note. Everyone loves sweet notes. Pay for someone’s groceries you are in line with at the grocery store. You never know what people are going through. While in line at Starbucks, bless the person behind you. They may have had a rough day and you are reminding them that people still care and it’s going to be okay. Find a charity that you care about and find out what they need. There is one in Seattle where I used to live called Mary’s Place. They provide shelter for women and their kids that have escaped an abusive home. They also help them find a job and get them acclimated to taking care of their family independently. Also, I’m working with a local place called Casa. My friend Emily told me about it and it spoke to my heart. It helps teenagers during the holidays that don’t have much. Often times, younger kids are given gifts during the holidays and the teenagers are forgotten. This helps bridge the gap and assures all kids are are being thought of during the holiday season. I hope this gives you some ideas of how to give and be a light in someone‘s world that truly needs it. May spreading holiday cheer become a part of your tradition and you pass it on to another family member or friend who continues to put a smile on someone else’s face. Happy holidays and let me know some of your giving holiday traditions! With love, AB

  • Crockpot Chicken Chili

    3 cups of chopped Collard Greens 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil 1 Onion, chopped 1 c. chopped carrots 3 minced garlic cloves 3 Tbsp. Red Peppers 3 Tbsp. Green Peppers 3 Tbsp. Yellow Peppers 2 Tbsp. Lemon Pepper 4 cups of shredded rotisserie chicken 2- 14 1/2 oz. cans of chicken broth 2- 4 oz. cans of chopped green chiles (Do not drain) 1 package white chicken chili seasoning 4 (16 oz) cans of navy beans (Do not drain) Directions: Saute onion, garlic, carrots, peppers, and chopped greens until tender. Place in Crockpot on high. Add in chopped rotisserie chicken and seasoning. Next, add chicken broth, green chiles and navy beans. Finally, let simmer in crockpot on high for 3-4 hours or on low overnight or all day (6 hours.) Serve with one of my favorites: Warm, buttery cornbread! Another option is Hawaiian Rolls which is a quick grab at the store! ;) Enjoy! Optional toppings: Add fresh cilantro, avocado, sour cream or sprinkle a little cheese on top!

  • Daily Self Care

    School’s back in, let the daily self care begin! Let’s be honest, 2020 and 2021 have been an adjustment. We ALL learned how to slow down, to spend more time with family, and to have important and meaningful conversations. We learned to go on walks, be more patient, show empathy, open up our eyes to what’s really going on outside our homes, to speak up and to take action. There is one more aspect that has been so pertinent to my growth on all levels and that is self care. I had to become more intentional in how I showed up for myself. Initially, I dedicated Sundays to highlight the importance of self care. However, this fall, I have created more self care goals. One of those goals is taking a daily self care approach and allot at least 30 minutes of “me“ time a day. It could be meditating in the morning before the day begins, telling myself what I love about me, reading a daily devotional and praying, going on a walk, or just being still. Whether you enjoy exercising, journaling, or even finding a group class, do what works for you daily. It doesn’t have to look the same each day. Your needs may change. You just have to be intentional in filling up your cup every single day. Remember, you can not pour from an empty cup. Fill up and remind yourself of how amazing you are. Don’t get caught in the hustle and bustle. Step up, give yourself a time out, and pour into yourself. It helps you realign with your purpose, your passions, and allows you to show up in ways you never knew were possible. Here are my 5 tips for building a daily self care routine: 1. Do something for you first thing in the morning. Whether it’s a workout, meditation or both. 💪🏾 How you start your day sets the tone for not just you but your family as well. 2. Do a daily affirmation or gratitude list. Start with 3 things and build from there. 🙏🏾 3. Be careful with what you consume. This could be anything from food, to negative thoughts, to social media. 🤳🏾 4. Give yourself time to be still. Reflecting and allowing yourself to “just be“ allows you to reset or regroup for the rest of the day. 🧘🏽‍♀️ 5. Take it one day at a time. Be flexible in what you choose. Listen to yourself and what your body is telling you. 👂🏾 Your daily needs may vary. Xo, Atoya Burleson

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