Celebrate Advent, even without kids!

When we think of Advent on a commercial level, it seems to currently center on activities for children. Pinterest is full of ideas of Advent activities to do with children, and Facebook is another avenue that ideas are being shared.

How about those of us that do not have a children?  As a single adult, Advent has been very meaningful to me so far this season, and I would like to share some of my ideas with you. Perhaps you will have ideas to share as well!

Advent is a time of waiting for Christ, it is a time of hopeful anticipation.


My advent practices:

Advent Wreath


Advent calendar and Countdown Clock


German Advent Poem:

Advent Advent, a little light burns,
First one, then two, then three, then four,
Then the Christ Child stands in front of the door



The Holiday, Prancer, The Nativity Story, Elf and The Santa Clause movies are my favorite.


Giving Ideas:  cookies, dinner, local charities, spread Christmas cheer (think Buddy the Elf).


Choose not to be busy, and only choose things that bring life and joy.


Commonplace: The Sequel

I previously posted about Commonplacing at this post. You may want to start there before reading further!

I have a new commonplace book since my post in August, that I wanted to share pictures of! I bought this on Amazon here.  (I am not an affiliate, so I’m not benefitting at all from sharing this link). This is my 2nd of these and I adore them, and it is such a great price!

This is the cover of my commonplace:


This is my index page:




Sample page in spoken section:


Sample page in Classics section:


Do you plan give commonplacing a try?

5 ingredient Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burrito

I have multiple food allergies, and so on busy evenings my favorite recipes are simple, quick and delicious.

When I look online for recipes, anytime the ingredient list gets over about 5, I know I am going to have most likely omit things.  So this is my take on black bean and sweet potato burritos. There are tons of recipes out there, this is my 5 ingredient version, all with things I can eat.

Serves 1 person, with leftovers for the next evening.


1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed

1 c. black beans, drained and rinsed

2 corn tortillas (I used gluten-free corn, you could also do other varieties).

pinch of salt

a bit of olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place the sweet potatoes on a sheet pan, coat with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. (For quick clean-up, I line the pan with foil).
  3. Put in the oven for about 20 minutes (stir at the 10 minute mark). They are done when fork tender.
  4. During that second, ten minute stretch, warm up the beans (I used the microwave for about 20 seconds).
  5. Warm up the tortillas. (I put a damp paper towel on top of two, and warmed them up for 30 seconds in the microwave).
  6. Top the tortillas with sweet potatoes and beans, roll up and eat!


You could also choose to top them with whatever you have on hand!

My only regret is I didn’t get a picture before the food was inhaled. There is always next time.

Roadwork Ahead!

This morning, Siri was navigating me to my morning meeting. As I proceeded to the highway, her chipper British accent (my preferred setting) alerted me to the road ahead.

“There is roadwork ahead, but it is still the fastest route.”

I know Siri didn’t intend to be profound, but she struck me that way. When obstacles are in our way, our tendency is often to go a different route, to turn around, to go the long way or find a short-cut. We don’t want to slow down and go through the obstacles.

Yet, it is still the fastest route? Perhaps it is because it is not always the destination, but the journey we are on that is important. If we skip an obstacle, we may skip an important moment that is a key point in our life.

Thanks, Siri for the morning thoughts!

Currently Reading

Hey everyone! I wanted to share what I am currently reading. I read several books at once, because they serve different purposes.  I also read pretty quickly and enjoy reading. I am not reading from each book every day!

Often times I will have friends ask what I am reading, so here is what is currently on my bookshelf (except for my fiction book which is on Kindle as I found a great deal).




The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had (Updated and Expanded)



Don Quixote (Signet Classics)



Eugene Field’s Poems Of Childhood



The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

Your Leadership Edge


Mantrums: The Sequel

I saw yet another mantrum this week! I was getting a few things from the grocery store and was in the express checkout lane. There was a man ahead of me in line, that while getting a free candy bar with the purchase of something particular he had, went on a rant to the cashier about food stamps and said something about himself being white (I couldn’t hear that part).

When it was my turn to check out, I asked the cashier how her day was going, she apologized for the gentleman that was on a rant. I said that I was fine, but asked if she was okay after dealing with that.

She told me that she has two special needs children and she is on food stamps herself, so while she was offended by what she was saying, she kept working to do her job.  I expressed that not everyone feels the way that man does, and thanked her for her good work at the store.

She was a kind woman, and did not deserve to be treated like that. She was simply doing her job.


I was getting my oil changed the other day, and was enjoying reading a book while I waited.

There was a man who was having some custom work done on his car, who was not happy about it and proceeded to throw a ‘mantrum.’ This is basically when a grown man throws a toddler tantrum.  He was yelling and cursing. The staff was calm and accommodating, without stooping to his level.

Throwing mantrums (or womentrums–which doesn’t have as nice of a ring to it), really takes away from the focus on the issue at hand. Instead, it can become more about someone’s emotions, and can be counterproductive to what is really going on.

My approach for dealing with customer service issues related to bills or other things, is when I call, I am very polite, inquire how they are doing and explain my issue, while noting that i know it is not their personal fault. I keep my tone light, while still getting my concern across.  Typically, issues get resolved pleasently and quickly.  We both walk away feeling good about ourselves.
With mantrums, no one wins, everyone feels miserable. With our world today, we need more kindness and consideration. When you are talking to someone else, remember they are a person, who has emotions. Belittling someone is never appropriate, even when you are upset.


Be the bigger person!