I just recently read an article in Forbes that was pure fascination for me. The article illustrated the difference between the two types of mindsets people have: a fixed mindset or a growth mindset.
In a fixed mindset, people believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits. They spend their time documenting their intelligence or talent instead of developing them.
In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.
Now, not to toot my own horn, but I definitely have a growth mindset. Besides the proof being that I embarked on this crazy journey in order to grow and experience beyond the scope of the norm, on top of that, every year I set goals for myself. Come January, I choose around 10 new goals and set out to accomplish them throughout the year. Those who know me, have actually seen the goals either hanging on my wall (when I was rooted) or drawn in chalk, or taped to my fridge—anywhere in plain sight so that I could be reminded--"hey, you have things to do, young lady."
Setting goals is something that excites and intrigues me. Every year, there's a new batch of things to accomplish, a new set of adventures to embark on. It gives me something to look forward to, something to work toward. I've set some very important goals in my time, as well as very simple ones. Some goals that I accomplished throughout the years include:
Run my first 10k ✔️
Pay someone a genuine compliment daily ✔️
Write my first screenplay ✔️
Eat at 3 new restaurants ✔️
Publish my first novel ✔️
Learn 10 new words and incorporate them into every day use✔️
Read 1 book each week ✔️
Try 3-5 new cheeses ✔️
Have multiple streams of income ✔️
Make three new recipes ✔️
These are just a few goals from the past few years that I put on my list and made sure I hit the mark. Holding myself accountable for both the big things and the small things, is important. Think about it, you have 12 months to accomplish 10 goals. That's quite a long time. Even if you work toward one goal a month, you'll still be swimming in downtime.
The issue with not setting any tangible objectives— it's like playing a game of soccer without any goals at either end of the field. You're going through your day-to-day life without much in the way of achievement. There are no goals to be scored, you're simply just playing the game.
So, I ask of you today.....can you set 3 goals for yourself this year? Start small. It could be visiting that local farmer's market you've been eyeing up. It could be practicing yoga once every week. It could be buying yourself a milkshake at a nearby diner. Whatever it is, consider it a goal, write it down, then accomplish it. The feeling of accomplishment alone is worth the time it takes getting there.
Here are a few of my 2016 Goals that I'm going to share with you, in hopes it will kick-start your goal setting for this upcoming year....Mine are mostly travel related, simply because I'm on the road full-time, but have as much fun with your goals as you want.
Swim in Havasupai Falls
Have a Cookie Shot
Practice Yoga at The Wave, in Marble Canyon, Arizona
Drink Pinot Noir in Napa Valley
Meditate in front of a Redwood
Just a few of my goals this year. What are yours? Let us know in the comments below!
The other day, we happened upon the HOPE Farmer's Market in Austin. It was a cool day, colder than we were used to from our last stint in Austin, but with the sunshine peeking through, it was a worthwhile stroll and a charming way to spend the afternoon.
The market isn't huge by any means. It's in a quaint little corner of town and features local artisans showcasing their passions, or simply their means to make a living. We ended up buying a few things that would take us through the week as far as food was concerned. One of our most prized purchases from that day at the market was the bag of root vegetables from JBG Organics.
For $5, we got all of those root veggies. We were shocked. It immediately got our wheels churning while we stood in their booth, teeming with rooted parsnips, Swiss chard, and golden beets. "A soup!" we decided. And so began our creation of one of the most delicious vegan soups I've ever tasted.
The Dino kale was a happy add-on. We thought that the root vegetable soup would need some texture, and throwing in kale at the end of cooking would be welcomed. If you aren't quite sure what Dinosaur kale is, then here's a bit of background info. Dino kale is also known as Tuscan kale or black kale. It's used in a variety of Italian dishes because it retains it's hearty, and wonderfully firm texture, even when cooked. The flavor is more of an earthy, nutty variety.
So, for $8, we had our root veggie soup staples. We got to cooking, and let me tell you the results were out-of-this-world. I'm not exaggerating when I say this soup was outstanding. Perfect for those cold winter nights. Or lazy Sunday afternoons. So without further ado, here it is...the recipe that dreams are made of...
Price per Serving: Around $1.40
2-3 cloves garlic
1 TBS vegan butter
4-5 lbs root vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, golden beets, parsnips, radishes, etc.)
2-3 TBS coconut oil
1 TBS paprika
1-2 tsp red pepper flakes
3-4 cups vegetable bouillon
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 head Dino kale (less if you aren't feeling to kale-y)
1/4-1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
Optional pre-step. Pour a glass of wine.
1. Heat vegan butter in a pot over low heat. Could be a soup pot. We only have an electric skillet in the RV so we had to make some concessions.
2. Chop up garlic and shallots. Add to melted butter.
3. Cook about 5-10 minutes. Don't burn. That tastes gross. Keep an eye.
4. Chop up the root veggies into small pieces, about an inch or two. We have this wonderful gadget thanks to my mom called the 1 Second Slicer. We did 4-5 lbs of root veggies in under a minute. NOJOKE. It's glorious. You can purchase one below if you'd like— I'm not lying when I say it has "cut" our chopping time by 90% for most meals.
7. Bring the pureed soup back into the pot. Add the almond milk. Feel free to add more almond milk, or water, in order to thin the soup out. That's a personal preference, if need be.
8. Chop up the Dino kale and add to the soup. Cook on low for another 5-10 minutes, depending on the texture you'd prefer.
And that's that. Vegan Root Vegetable Soup. You can top it with whatever you'd like—croutons, roasted pine nuts, garbanzos. That's the beautiful thing about soups, they can adapt to your tastebuds.
Hope you enjoy. Let us know in the comments what you think!
We spent the day in Houston, Texas last week on our way out of Florida. It was more of a fluke that we ended up stopping. It was a beautiful day, and we just happened to be driving through on the way to Austin. So, we collectively said, "why the heck not?"
We wanted some stipulations though, to our trip. We didn't want to spend any money. It wasn't one of those planned trips that are either on our bucket list, or really something we planned extensively, which for those, types of trips, we delegate more of a budget. So, since we weren't spending much money, we wanted to set a limit. Exploring Houston, Texas for less than $10.
First things first, there are a ton of free things to do in Houston. We absolutely adore cities like that—where their charm comes from travelers actually being able to afford to do things there. While we were about 30 minutes outside the city, we decided to do some research to see what we wanted to tackle in a day. This is the list we came up with:
1. Biscuit Paint Wall
2. Beer Can House
3. The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
4. Glenwood Haunted Cemetery
5. Water Wall
Sounds simple enough, right? Plus, we wanted to get a meal for less than $10 for both of us. These were our guidelines for Houston, Texas and I can happily say we stayed within the lines.
1. Biscuit Paint Wall
In Montrose, we heard about this beautifully painted wall that was a hidden gem of the city. Not many people can find it without a little nudge, so here is your little nudge: 1435 Westheimer, Houston, TX 77006.
The wall is a collaboration of colors, which seem to drip down, creating a wonderful aesthetic that is worth the trip. Nobody was in the parking lot, so we drove right in and snapped a few photos. It's free to see, free to photograph, and free to enjoy.
2. Beer Can House
This house is entirely covered in beer cans, as I'm sure you could surmise from the name. In 1968, John Milkovisch started this project, all because he was sick of cutting the grass.....well, and he liked beer. John, himself, drank (though his neighbors and his wife, Mary, happily helped out as well), all the beer that now cover the landscape and house. An estimated 50,000 cans. Although you can tour the property for $5 on Saturday or Sunday, you can also just walk by, or drive by, for free. Which in my opinion, is worth it.
3. The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
This traditional Hindu temple was Vanessa's favorite part of Houston. The mandir, located in the Houston suburb of Stafford, was built in 28 months and consists of 33,000 pieces of hand-carved Italian marble and Turkish limestone. It is the largest of its kind in Texas, and is free to peruse at your leisure.
We weren't allowed to take any photographs inside, out of respect for the religious experience for most, but it was absolutely stunning inside. The same marble carvings, paired with colored lights and bouts of Hindu history. Make sure to remove your shoes before entering, and remember to keep quiet.
There is also a grocery on premises where we ended up feasting for under $10. Palak Paneer, Roti, Samosas, Dhebra, Masala Banana Chips, and more—all for $20 total. We split it up into two meals on two different days, which came to $10 each meal. We heated everything up in the RV and had a feast.
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Marisa & Vanessa have a whole "About Us" blurb that they are dying for you to check out.