Feeling Overwhelmed? Here Are 7 Ways To Help You Find Balance

Feeling Overwhelmed? Here Are 7 Ways To Help You Find Balance

* post may contain affiliate links – what does that mean?

 

When You Are Feeling Overwhelmed –  7 Ways To Help You Find Balance 

Does your “To Do” List make you want to lie down?

You just don’t know how to get through it all.  No wonder.  We are nation of overwhelmed people.  Social media and the evening news hit us at every turn.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, everything is off.  Relationships with family, your spouse, co-workers.

My favorite part of the nightly news is the Happy Story they leave until the end.  You know the one that shows courage, determination, or someone just did a really nice thing?  I wonder why they don’t start the news with that?

But I digress.

Just know you are not alone.

Do I feel overwhelmed at times? Of course.  I think everyone does.

 

Maybe you are feeling overwhelmed about the new job?

Or looking after your parents?  Am I spending enough time with my kids?

Yes I know.

This list provides tools to help!

 

  • Please don’t expect to do all of these things.
  • That in itself would be overwhelming.  Pick two.
  • Two things that you can easily fit into your life right now.  Just two things that really resonate with you.

 

 

Let it go.

Please. There are things in this life that we can control, but so many we can’t.  Pick your battles.  Is it really worth it to stand on principle? Or is this the one time you compromise?  This can apply both to our work lives and at home.  And it’s also closely related to our striving for perfection so…..

Nobody’s Perfect

We are so hard on ourselves. Always striving to be the best we can be.  And that’s good! But trying to be perfect is exhausting.   We. Are. Human. Beings.  Prone to making mistakes, because that’s how we learn! Create an environment around you where others feel safe to share their mistakes and how they have learned from them.  You will be amazed at how relieved you feel when you say goodbye to perfection.  You will probably stand up straighter as a result.

Does your 'To Do' List make you want to lie down? Click To Tweet

Journaling

Writing meditation or journaling daily for 5 minutes    Writing in a journal, sort of free flow writing for 5 to 10 minutes every morning is a great strategy (IMHO) to clear the mind of clutter.  A brain dump if you will.  Even getting up a few extra minutes early to have your tea or coffee and journaling in a pretty notebook is so calming, almost like meditation.  Journalling has become very mainstream, there are journals for health, journals for weight loss, journals to overcome stress, bullet journals (they’re fun!) just about every combination.  We’ll be talking more about journalling on the blog in the weeks and months to come.  I think it’s that important.   I first heard about it in a book by Julia Cameron, called The Artist’s Way.  It’s an interesting read and you can get it through this link.  Journaling has gotten me through some very challenging times in my life.  I’m happy to say I’ve been meditating through my writing for many, many years!

Sleep on it

Use the 24 hour rule! – This is my absolute favorite strategy. When I am facing a problem, either at work or a disagreement with my spouse, giving it 24 hours to settle, to think about it in your mind, come up with solutions or compromise is the best.  Resisting the need to rush to be right, to get something to go YOUR way, may not remove the overwhelming feelings you are experiencing.  One day.  24 hours.  It really isn’t a very long time.  If you manage people, I’ll bet you already have this tool in your toolkit.

Have Fun

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s really hard to think about fun, right?  But please make it a priority.  Are you having any fun?  This is a difficult one for me.  I work full time at a desk job, and my passion, this blog, is my Side Hustle.  So you get where I’m going right?  If you are in a stressful job at work, have children or elder care responsibilities, debt, or any one of the many stresses that we juggle in our daily lives, chances are you aren’t getting any.  Fun, that is.  And fun doesn’t need to cost anything!  A visit to the local park, checking out the Community Calendar where you live, the local library, join a community sports team and meet new people!  I know some folks who think decluttering their home and cleaning are great fun! (Not me, rest assured) When I’m overwhelmed and stressed I bake pies.  Explore the walking trail in your neighborhood and see where it goes?  Have you tried Geocaching?

Eating, exercise, sleep

These three contribute to my feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, fatigued on a daily basis! We are an inert, java addicted, sleep deprived nation! Well I am for sure.  You too?  If you work at a desk or workstation all day, and the go home and drop on the sofa to surf the net, have a Netflix marathon, or scroll your phone, chances are your body is screaming for a little exercise.  If I didn’t have two dogs who count on me to get them out for a walk every evening, I wouldn’t either.  But here’s the thing.  Our bodies weren’t made to sit 12 to 16 hours a day!  So what about stretching as soon as you get home, before you sit down and pick up the phone or laptop.  We have a stretching activity at work every day.  Folks gather for 15 minutes and do stretches.  A colleague of mine has a set of hand weights she keeps by the television, and uses them during commercials.  A ball chair – you know the ones with the exercise ball in them?  I use that when I’m journaling in the morning with my cup of coffee.  Helps strengthen the core, sit up straight too.  All kinds of good benefits!

Unplug

Step away and breathe, find silence in the noise.   Okay, so we’ve touched on this above, but for sure there needs to be down time, off the devices.  Having a buffer between screen activity and sleep is the best thing you can do.  But more importantly, turning off the noise lets us get back in touch with ourselves, our thoughts, and our loved ones.  Some simple things to try is to make meal times a “device free zone”.   Giving yourself 30 minutes to decompress before bed every evening really does help.  Try it for a week and let me know if it makes difference!

Start right now

So pick two things and only two.

Try them out for 30 days.

Give yourself the gift of that time to see if it makes a difference.

I’m pretty sure it will.

Be kind to yourself.

 

woman on hammock with words be kind to yourself

 

This is the first post in a new category “Living”.  We’re just going to talk about life.  All of it.  Sometimes life is messy, and sometimes it is just so amazing you can’t contain yourself!

I hope you are having an amazing day.  Feel free to share this post with your friends too!

Or on Pinterest!

 

 

 

How To Completely Change Your Salted Caramel Sauce

How To Completely Change Your Salted Caramel Sauce

A rainy weekend at the trailer, and with the change in the weather, I’m thinking comfort food and something sweet!

I think homemade anything is the best – and this is the BEST Salted Caramel Sauce recipe by far!  And so easy to make too!

Salted caramel recipes are popular anytime.  You can find salted caramel sauce recipes just about everywhere and there are some really good ones too!  The sweet & salty flavor is so rich and creamy and really enhances just about anything.

salted caramel sauce in small mason jar with jute tied around in a bow. thick salted caramel, homemade salted caramel sauce, easy salted caramel sauce recipe

What goes well with Salted Caramel?

Well, we use it on coffee cake, pancakes and now my newest recipe – Blueberry Pear & Walnut Galette. You can even make salted caramel candy!

Related: Ice Cream Sauce Trifecta – Chocolate, Strawberry and Caramel Sundae Sauces You Can Make at Home!

Now this salted caramel recipe uses heavy cream, the kind that has at least 35% milk fat.

I’ve been asked “can you make salted caramel sauce without cream?”

Yes, you can!  Just substitute evaporated milk one for one if you wish.

This time I wanted to make something just a bit different, so I experimented with different flavors.  The result is this thick caramel sauce recipe and the secret sauce is almond-flavored liqueur.

I used Amaretto Di Saronno, but I’m sure there are others.  This salted caramel sauce recipe makes about a pint – and can be doubled to make more, which is what I will do the next time I make a batch.

salted caramel sauce in small mason jar with jute tied around in a bow. thick salted caramel, homemade salted caramel sauce, easy salted caramel sauce recipe

I think these little jars of salted caramel sauce would make perfect gifts at Christmas time and for hostess gifts.  I’ll use these cute little mason jars, like the ones shown here with twine ties around them.  What do you think? You can click the link to get them for yourself!

 

Here is the Easy Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe, just for you.

  • 1 cup dark brown sugar – well packed
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. Amaretto (almond flavoured liqueur)

 

(Prep time – about 30 minutes):

  • In a medium sized saucepan mix the brown sugar, butter, sea salt, and heavy cream and cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often, but not vigorously.
  • As the caramel begins to thicken, cook for another 2 minutes
  • Remove from heat and add the liqueur
  • Return to the stove and cook for another 2 minutes
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes
  • Pour into glass jars for storage
  • Tip: I poured the sauce into a 2 cup measuring cup and used that to pour into my little jars.
  • Enjoy!

 

Easy Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe
A delicious and easy Salted Caramel Sauce Recipe that makes up a thick sauce in minutes using heavy cream. We completely change the flavor with a hint of almond by adding almond liqueur, like Amaretto!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: North American
Servings: 4
Author: Judy
Ingredients
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar - well packed
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. Amaretto almond flavored liqueur
Instructions
  1. In a medium sized saucepan mix the brown sugar, butter, sea salt, and heavy cream and cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often, but not vigorously.
  2. As the caramel begins to thicken, cook for another 2 minutes
    Salted Caramel Sauce
  3. Remove from heat and add the liqueur
  4. Return to the stove and cook for another 2 minutes
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes
    Salted Caramel Sauce
  6. Pour into glass jars for storage

    Tip: I poured the sauce into a 2 cup measuring cup and used that to pour into my little jars.

    Enjoy!

    Salted Caramel Sauce
Friday Thoughts

Friday Thoughts

Musings about life, and weekly recipe updates

Friday Thoughts at Pie Lady Bakes!

Winter is here!

It has been so cold here in Toronto, Canada with our first big snowfall and temps hovering around the -10C/14F! Time to get the dog boots out too. Putting on 12 dog boots in the morning takes some time, but well worth to protect those little feet from all of the salt that gets put on sidewalks and roadways!

Tuesday night marked the end of Hannukah. We’re a Judaeo/Christian home, so we celebrate both Hannukah and Christmas, which makes for lots of fun. This year I thought I would try to make Rugelach, those sweet cream cheese pastry crescent cookies, filled with apricot jam, nuts and other sweetness.

rugelach cookies piled on a plate, covered in powdered sugar with white christmas trees in the background

Even though they are popular as Hannukah Cookies, these little guys are the perfect ‘winter’ cookie, just pour yourself a cup of Hot Chocolate and see what I mean!  You can see the recipe right here.

What we’re Baking this weekend….

Sunday is Christmas Eve, and we are gathering at our oldest daughter’s home.  I’m in charge of desserts, surprise, surprise!  So in addition to another batch of Rugelach, there is a call for a Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie, and since our son-in-law James love cheesecake, I will be baking an Eggnog Cheesecake and I’ll post that recipe next week.  This will be the first time I’ve made a cheesecake with eggnog.  It’s so exciting to try new recipes, don’t you think?

TV Shows We’re Watching…

This week we saw the finale for the Great Canadian Baking Show, and also enjoyed some Christmas episodes of the Great British Baking Show!  And The Voice is over until February!  Mark asked me what on earth will I do with all this free time. 🙂  I’m also fitting in a bunch of delightful Christmas movies, especially the romance ones!

 

My weekend plans….

In addition to baking, we’ll be wrapping presents!  Usually our gang prefers gifts of $$ so they can get what they want, but that all changed this year so Mark and I were shopping on December 21st!  It was really quite fun, and we were able to wrap it up at one major store.


Mark is getting to spend quality time with our Louisa – being a grandparent is so awesome! This week we spent Wednesday morning with her, since mom had to go to a meeting.  We were exhausted!  But of course we loved every minute. 🙂

 

Our Top Five Posts this week…

  1. Tourtiere
  2. Old Fashioned Chocolate Mayonnaise Cake
  3. Biscotti
  4. Pie Crust
  5. Coffee Cake

 

I’ve had this week off from work and it’s been a great to spend time with my honey and our family.  It’s so hard to believe that Christmas is only 4 days away!

Time to go…

But with the fun and joy of the holiday season, we’ve had some bittersweet moments too.  Sadly one of our furry family members had declined rapidly over the past couple of weeks, so we had to say goodbye.  Max you have been an amazing pet, a loving friend, and companion to Millie and Barkley.  We will miss you so much.  But we know that you have crossed the Rainbow Bridge and are now happily playing as the healthy, sweet boy you have always been.  This is one my all time favorite pics.  The joy on his little face is a delight to behold.

Friday Thoughts – What Do You Think?

This will now be a weekly post, to share my thoughts, what’s going on in our lives, our top posts for the week, and any baking news – or new recipes that are coming up.  I would love to hear your feedback in the comments below! 

Happy Holidays!

May you be blessed during this season of Peace, Hope, Love and Joy.  I know life isn’t always like the Currier and Ives Christmas Card.  But whatever way you celebrate – and even if you don’t, my wish is that you have some time for you to reflect, renew, and relax.

Best,

Judy 

Be sure to drop by and visit our Facebook page Easy as Pie Recipes & More and join our Facebook Group – The Perfect Pies Club.

 

 

 

 

Friday Thoughts

Friday Thoughts

TGIF.  Fridays.  My favourite day.  Thank Goodness it’s Friday.  Thank God it’s Friday.  We made it!

Musings about life, and weekly recipe updates

All things that people who work Monday to Friday say.  And of course that includes me!  I love Fridays.  As I sit drinking my coffee in the morning after a quick walk with the dogs, I envision a weekend ahead of ‘to do’s’ including baking, time with family, cleaning up and of course somewhere among all that busyness, time for me to relax! I think that’s the hardest thing to fit in right now.  You too?

My work is in the heart of Toronto, a busy bustling city of contradictions.  Like these pics I took on my way to work this week.  Right beside the city’s major shopping district The Eaton Centre, the Entertainment District, we see homeless people, living on the streets, right at the busiest corner.  It somehow isn’t right that this happens, in our country, when so many of us have so much and yet others have so little.

This is something I think about all the time, not just during the festive season, when I walk through this area every day on my way to work.  I do what I can, but of course it’s not enough.

My weekend plans:

This weekend I get to try out my new Kitchen Island for baking and filming videos!   It’s too exciting.  We had so much fun putting it together last weekend.  And I baked Cousin Marie’s Old Fashioned Coffee Cake.  You can read about that here!

This is the first post of a new lifestyle category on the blog, and I would love to hear what you think.  I wanted a place to just talk with you, share my musings.

And stay tuned for a revival of RV Life!  In my About page I share how Mark and I split our time between Toronto and Lindsay, living in our tiny apartment and RV.  We have really embraced the Tiny Home Life!

Hey it’s Friday December 8th and we are hurtling towards Christmas and the holidays. Here are the top 5  posts on the blog this week.  A combination of easy sweets and comfort food!

Top 5 Recipes on the Blog this week:

Apple Pandowdy

Apple Pie Coffee Cake

Best Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie Recipe

Blueberry Pear Walnut Galette

Buttermilk Chocolate Bundt Cake

What we’re baking this weekend

We celebrate both Hannukah and Christmas in our home, and with Hannukah beginning Tuesday, December 14th, I wanted to create a special treat.  So Ruggelach it is and I’ll be posting it this coming week.  A sweet flaky pastry, shaped like a crescent roll and filling with sweet goodness.  Yum! Yum!  Also some Apple Crumble Lasagna, Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins, a new Pie Crust Video.  OMG and I only have two days!!!  LOL   Busy. Busy.  🙂

TV Shows we are crazy about right now:

The Great Canadian Baking Show

The Great American Baking Show

The Great British Baking Show

(notice a theme here?) 🙂

and my all time favorite The Voice!  

And we have lots of time for the home team right now: The Leafs! 

 

Are you stuck for gift ideas?  Be sure to check out our Holiday Gift Guide for Bakers 2017 and the many cool items in our Shop over at Easy as Pie on Facebook!  There will be something there for you to choose, I’m certain.

Do you have an Instant Pot yet?  That all in one pressure cooker, rice cooker, yoghurt maker, slow cooker, which is taking the internet by storm!  I bought one last Christmas and our popular Instant Pot Mint Chocolate Cheesecake just might convince you to take the plunge!  It’s so easy, and I swear the BEST cheesecake ever.

 

Recipes and Posts I’ve Save this week…..

Peppermint Mocha Fudge Tart by Inside Brew Crew Life! I love this blog, the recipes and photos are stunning.  Something I aspire to!

Strawberry Nutella French Toast Rollups by Recipetin Eats.  Nagi makes the most amazing dishes and I think this one will appear on our breakfast table over the holidays!

Christmas Lights Cookies – such a cute video, at Southern Living.  These would be so much fun to make!

 

My holiday shopping is almost done, except for Mark.  There is absolutely nothing either of us need, but nice to find a special something that will tickle his fancy and show some love.   It’s amazing when you are married to your best friend ever.  We celebrated nine years at the end of November.  I heart him.

They are forecasting some Big Snow this weekend, so cozy times ahead.  I hope you have a lovely week….. and don’t forget to make time for you.

 

Best,

Judy

 

Maple Fudge Toffee Bars and Sweet Eileen’s

Maple Fudge Toffee Bars and Sweet Eileen’s

Are these homemade Maple Fudge Toffee Bars candy or cookie bars?

 

 

Well that’s up to you to decide!  An easy no-bake recipe that has a delicious chocolaty toffee base, smothered in creamy maple fudge.  Want some?

A chewy chocolate toffee bar smothered in yummy Maple Fudge! An easy no-bake maple fudge recipe that will disappear right before your eyes! Guaranteed!

 

 

I love this simple maple fudge recipe for so many reasons, but I think the biggest reason, besides the out of this world sweetness, is the fact that I can make it on top of the stove and that’s a keeper for trailer life.  If you’ve read my ABOUT page, you will know that my husband Mark and I love the RV life and spend a large part of the year at our trailer in Kawartha Lakes, Ontario, Canada.

maple-sugar-toffee-bars-squares-and-pan

 

 

 

In our family, we call this recipe Sweet Eileen’s, after my Mom, Eileen.  Mom was a sweetheart and loved to try out new recipes, just like I do!  I have a huge book full of recipes clippes from newspapers and magazines, some of them go back to the 1950’s.  I am so grateful to have such a legacy.

 

A chewy chocolate toffee bar smothered in yummy Maple Fudge! An easy no-bake maple fudge recipe that will disappear right before your eyes! Guaranteed!

Mom’s favorite recipes were squares or cookie bars, including this special Maple Fudge Toffee Bar recipe.

The ingredients are probably in your pantry right now, and all you need is a 8″ square pan.

Maple Fudge Toffee Bars
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

These no bake Maple Fudge Toffee Bars are just like fudge! 

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: North American
Servings: 12
Calories: 426 kcal
Author: Judy
Ingredients
Base
1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
Fudge Icing
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup real
  • 2 cups confectioner's sugar
Instructions
BaseMix butter, cocoa, water, sugar and eggs in a saucepan
  1. Bring to a boil over moderate heat
  2. Boil for one minute
  3. Removed from heat and add remaining ingredients and mix well
  4. Press into an 8 X 8 pan (or 13 X 9 makes a shorter bar), cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate
Fudge Icing - Melt butter, brown sugar in sauce pan
  1. Boil over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring constantly
  2. Add Milk and Maple Syrup and bring to a boil
  3. Remove from heat and let cool until lukewarm
  4. Stir in icing sugar
  5. Frost the base
  6. Refrigerate until set
Recipe Notes

These delicious bars are so sweet I cut them really small, like you would fudge. This recipe is great for hostess gifts, you can double the batch, and it will keep for 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Facts
Maple Fudge Toffee Bars
Amount Per Serving
Calories 426 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 23%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 48mg 16%
Sodium 233mg 10%
Potassium 189mg 5%
Total Carbohydrates 71g 24%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 60g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 5.7%
Calcium 6.6%
Iron 9.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

 

 

 

Blueberry, Pear & Walnut Galette with Almond Caramel Sauce

Blueberry, Pear & Walnut Galette with Almond Caramel Sauce

Blueberry, Pear & Walnut Galette with Almond Caramel Sauce.

This yummy combination of sweets will make your taste buds sing!  And it’s so quick to put together, the only waiting time is while it bakes.   And of course I’m now on the lookout for recipes that are not only sweet treats, but also ones that I can make in our RV gas oven!  A few weeks ago I shared that I had finally cracked the code on how to get the darn thing to light – and this week, voila!  The pilot light lit the first time.

I’ve been experimenting too with different types of frozen puff pastry – the best I’ve found so far are the ones that are rolled up and already on parchment paper.  That’s just too easy isn’t it?

galette

A galette is a free formed pie, so to speak, and originates in France, hence the name.  In addition to dessert galettes, savory types are very popular too, and usually include lots of delicious cheese, vegetables and often meat.  Like a free-formed quiche perhaps?  And instead of using a pie plate, it bakes on a cookie sheet.  Easy as Pie!

pear galette

For this recipe I used Bosc pears, blueberries, chopped walnuts, and brown sugar….well the recipe is below.  And my secret sauce?  A very easy version of caramel sauce that includes Amaretto the almond flavoured liqueur – you know the Italian kind?  The recipe for the caramel sauce is here.

 

The baking time and temps are for a regular household oven – but I did include the baking time and temp for my RV friends – just in case they want to try it too!

Ingredients:

1 roll of frozen puff pastry – your favorite kind
2 bosc pears, peeled and sliced thinly
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
4 tsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1 egg – beaten

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400F (or whatever temp the puff pastry instructions include)
Thaw the puff pastry, and place it on a cookie sheet (use the parchment paper it comes with)
Mix the brown sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg and ginger together
Toss the pears and walnuts in the sugar mixture until well coated
Arrange the pear slices in a circle – layering them evenly
Place the blueberries here and there over the pears to space them out
Fold over the puff pastry as shown in the photos, the more uneven it looks, the better!
Brush the puff pastry with the beaten egg
Place in the bottom third of the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden
Remove and let cool for a few minutes before you move it onto a rack

Enjoy!

RV Ovens: Warm your oven for about 5 minutes at 400F, turning the temp down to 350F when you put the galette in the oven. I bake with the rack on top of the fixed shelf and then during the last 10 minutes moved the entire pan to the floor of the oven. This browns the pastry nicely, just don’t go anywhere while you are baking. Baking with an RV Oven takes extra time, but is definitely worth it!

Have you tried to make a galette?  Let me know in the comments below!

Page 1 12