New Year

“New Year (same old sh*t?, not this year!)”


New Year! 2017 is here!  A brand New Year is upon us.  As we get older, time seems to go by so much faster.  Life has changed, so much of the fun and excitement has been extracted.  Worry, stress, anxiety, deadlines come and go, we slip back into just getting by.  We lose track of the little things that bring us joy.  Are you happy? Are you content? Or do you want more? Let’s make some legitimate goals today, no matter how large or small they may seem.  Not the same old New Year’s resolutions that get tucked away and forgotten. There is a process to setting goals and achieving positive results.  Studies have shown that by taking a few, easy steps, anyone can make their goals a reality.  Have you heard of Jon Acuff?  He is a New York Times best selling author, speaker, and all around great guy.  We had the pleasure of hearing him speak at a conference a few months ago, and it was spectacular! We highly recommend his latest book Do Over. As well as this book, and all of his other books, courses, and training materials.  At the moment, we are on day 6 of his 30 days of hustle training course, and it is packed full of tools, info, and motivation to help you succeed in making your dreams become a reality. Just google him if you are interested in learning more.

Anything worthwhile that we achieve takes hard work, and dedication.  There are no easy fixes, or get rich quick secrets. Fear not…there are some tips and tools that you can use, that will make your chance of success not only possible, but probable!  One thing that is proven to help you on your journey is to write it down.  Have a goal, or a dream, or an aspiration? Write it down, look at it, say it out loud, post it on social media.  Think of one person that you can share your goal with, tell them.  Every day, or at least once a week, share your progress with that person.  Share your frustration or your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem.  Use their praise, or advice, or even criticism…let it fuel your motivation.  Allow them to hold you accountable.  Set deadlines for yourself, and tell your person about them.  “I will write 1000 words by next Tuesday.” So when Wednesday comes, and your “who” asks you if you wrote those 1000 words, you have someone besides yourself to answer to.  Reward yourself, it’s human nature, and it works.  It can be anything that makes you happy, or that you enjoy, or even something you have wanted to buy.  When we were potty training our youngest son, I went to Costco and bought a giant tub of jelly beans.  Everytime he successfully used the toilet, he would get one.  Our family dentist did not agree with this method, but it worked like a charm.  Rewards are fun, and motivational.  I enjoy planning family vacations, months in advance.  It gives me something to look forward to, improves my overall moral, and makes everyday so much more bearable (especially for the people who have to live with me)! Surround yourself with successful people, ask them questions, model your actions for success.  Let’s draft a solid plan to make 2017 a great year, and then execute that plan.

I lived in the SouthEastern United States for many years.  In that region, there is a dish called Hoppin John. It is believed that eating this dish to kick off the new year will bring prosperity and good fortune.  This is basically a peas (beans) and rice dish, most often made with black-eyed peas and Carolina white rice. Like most dishes there are several variations depending on which Southern state you are from.  Here is our version, we hope you enjoy.

Hoppin John

Yield: 4-6 servings

Prep Time: 10-15 mins

Cook Time: about 1 hr


1 small onion small dice

3 celery stalks small dice

1 large green bell pepper small dice

2 cloves garlic minced

1/2 pound of bacon small dice

2 cups black-eyed peas rinsed

7 cups of chicken stock

3 cups of water

2 cups of Carolina white rice

2 tbl unsalted butter

2-4 drops YL Black Pepper E.O.

2-4 drops YL Celery Seed E.O.

2-4 drops YL Carrot Seed E.O.

1 tsp kosher or sea salt

flat leaf parsley  and thinly sliced scallions for garnish


Check and rinse black-eyed peas. In a large, heavy bottom pot, brown bacon and remove to a paper towel lined plate, reserving bacon fat.  Add 1 tbl butter to the pot with the bacon drippings and saute onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic for 1-3 minutes.  Add the peas, salt, 3 cups of chicken stock and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook until peas are tender, and most of the liquid has been absorbed.  Cook the rice with the remaining four cups of chicken stock (instead of water) and 1 tbl butter.  When the peas are fully cooked, add the crispy bacon from earlier, taste and adjust seasoning. Serve over the white rice, garnished with parsley and scallion.

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