It Was a Cookie Morning……Banana Oatmeal That Is.


Sundays usually get a lazy start around our house that can work into a mid-morning Brunch usually involving eggs of some sort and occasionally Mimosa’s. Since Hubby was working today I missed out on my homemade breakfast and was feeling a bit off because of this.  Additionally, I was craving something sweet.

A quick perusal of the fridge revealed a banana that needed to be eaten and 1 egg…..In the bottom crisper drawer (which holds goodies of all sorts) I discovered a bag of chocolate chips with about 1/3 of a cup remaining.  Hmm, just enough for my favorite banana cookies.

Yes, I made cookies for breakfast.  I justified it by reciting the health benefits of the ingredients to my dog who didn’t really care, she just wanted a taste of whatever might drop on the floor……A Banana – 1 serving of fruit. Nutmeg and Cinnamon – numerous health benefits. Eggs – numerous vitamins, healthy fats and protein.  And finally, Oats & Flax Seed – fiber.  The other ingredients – not so healthy, but today, I was aiming for something other than a Hostess powdered donut!

The original recipe calls for shortening but I’m a firm believer that butter is better for you than shortening…..check out this great info on butter at Butter Believer.

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (print recipe)
Recipe adapted from submitted by blairbunny
Yield: 48 cookies

1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 egg
1 cup mashed banana
1 3/4 cup quick cooking oats
1 tablespoon ground flax-seed


1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2.  Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.
3.  Cream together with electric beaters, the shortening and sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Add egg, banana, oatmeal and flaxseed. Mix with a spoon.
4.  Add dry ingredients, mix well. If the mix is dry add 1-2 Tablespoons water, then add chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoon on ungreased cookie sheet or a      pizza stone.
5.  Bake for 7-10 minutes or until edges turn lightly brown. Cool on wire rack. Store in a closed container or sealed plastic bag.

Once these have cooled, make a cup of coffee or pour yourself an ice-cold glass of milk and enjoy!

Banana Pancakes

Continuing with the Banana theme, my Mom spent the night Friday and made Banana Pancakes the next morning…..LOVE her!  This super simple recipe calls for 1 mashed banana and 2 eggs beaten (no flour needed) making these gluten-free. We added chopped pecans with a dash of pure vanilla extract and cooked them on the griddle like regular pancakes. We topped them with Rice Syrup and a side of fruit – Again YUM!

Do you have a favorite weekend breakfast?  If so, please share!

Have a wonderful week and don’t forget Dave Matthews Band is playing at the Hollywood Bowl this Wednesday – Woo Hoo!

Mercy…..Will We Overcome This?

Have you ever spoke your truth because not to do so would be such an omission and your spirit would bug you until you blabbed?  Well, about a year and half ago I felt compelled to speak my truth in such a way that it may have come off as snarky, possibly even bitchy, centered in lack of confidence or even unworthiness.  As I look back on this situation I realize it was really my spirit talking to me and it WAS and still IS my truth.  I was allowing myself to be involved with people who judged me with cruel looks and snide remarks.  It was this way from the beginning when I didn’t know any of them and  I was looking forward to being part of something new and fun.

Recently, I wanted to take part in an opportunity that would put me right back in this situation and I tried to justify being there.  “Oh, I’ll just ignore them, this is right up my alley”, and “I’ll learn so much!”…..all the while my stomach was churning and I had this horrible feeling I was doing this for the wrong reasons.

Well, I listened to my gut and opted out and instead explored my feelings on the subject.  It wasn’t fun, but being true to myself gave me valuable clarity.  Here are few things that came up for me:

  • Why do I care what they think of me?
  • Are these the kind of people I want in my life?
  • Why don’t I trust my feelings the first time?

I had another experience that requires standing for several hours at a time.  I’ve done this before but the last couple of times, my back starts hurting about 45 minutes into it and by hour 2 I am in some serious pain.  By the end of the 3rd hour I want to cry – my back was really hurting.  As my mind runs down this dark scary path with many scenarios about the cause, I’ve come to realize I’m not honoring myself.  The funny thing, once I got into my car and headed home, my back didn’t bother me as much – by the end of the evening my pain was gone.

The message for me is clear; this is not what I want to be doing…..I’d rather be writing about my experiences or networking with others who share similar interests or helping people solve problems.  But, for now, this is where I am.  The lesson was to take notice of my feelings and catalog them for future reference.

I’ve decided to go where I’m welcomed and celebrated AND to listen to those niggling feelings of awareness.  I share this here with the idea that you too, might recognize this within yourself.

With that said, I want to share one of my musical loves.  Dave Matthews Band has long been a favorite of mine and I have a huge crush on Dave himself.  With lyrics that are sensitive and thought-provoking as well as entertaining, I get lost in this beautiful music.  The song Mercy is from the upcoming album Away From The World which is due for release on September 11, 2012.  It gives me reason to pause and take stock of where I am in this world of 7 billion people and realize – Yes, I do matter, and so do all of those I share this beautiful planet with.

Seeing Dave perform at Red Rocks in Denver is on my Life List and I remind Hubby quite often just in case he should forget.  So far, Red Rocks isn’t on the concert tour but Hollywood Bowl is.  Hubby, in all his Awesomeness, surprised me with tickets to DMB at the Hollywood Bowl!!!!!  From what I hear this is a wonderful venue with not a bad seat in the house!

I love my guy…….

Yes, I will overcome this and you can too…..believe in yourself and all the love around you.

I’d love to hear your stories of how you cope with being real and honoring yourself.  Please share this post if you think it could help someone.

Hugs, Cheryl

Wide Awake and Listening

Life has been a roller coaster lately and I chose the big girl ride……

scary |

My Honey has been away on a much-needed guy’s trip where there was lots of laughs, plenty of raunchy male humor and the releasing of bodily gases not appropriate for my delicate sensibilities.  There was also grilling of steaks, drinking good wine and smoking cigars – all around good fun.

I’m using his time away for personal reflection and redirecting my energy, as well creating a road map for my professional future.  I feel as if I’ve been on autopilot the last couple of years and I’ve not been listening to me.  You know, that voice that speaks volumes if you just get quiet and listen.

I have been deliberately tuning out that voice.  It knows what’s best for me, I know that…..but listening to it will cause me to make uncomfortable choices and require some accountability on my part.  Accountability to that scared child inside of me, who lives in fear of being ridiculed and believes she is sooo very unworthy.  As I re-read that last sentence I feel sad for that child because she has been in “therapy” most of her life trying to get it “right”.  What I want to tell her is that there is no “right or wrong” there just is, and after all these years can’t she see it doesn’t really matter.  What matters is her relationship with herself and her personal happiness.

I’ve mentioned in my other blog that I have been sick a couple of times over the past several weeks. What I haven’t shared there, is that I believe getting sick repeatedly, in different ways, is the body’s way of talking to us and saying “Hey” something is wrong!

So, I took action….I have a wonderfully intuitive relationship with my chiropractor and he is able to identify feelings and emotions that are stuck in my body.  He doesn’t say anything as he is adjusting me, but he knows exactly where these blockages are and as soon as he starts to work on that particular area, my body knows it’s time to release.  I usually start crying (If I forget to wear waterproof mascara I end up with raccoon eyes), not because I’m in physical pain but because I’m releasing emotional pain.

Speaking of emotional pain, the first time I heard Katy Perry sing Wide Awake,  I had such a strong reaction.  Yes, I did cry and that surprised me because I haven’t really cried in a couple of years.  This song speaks volumes to me on so many levels.  In the video, something she believes is good for her turns out to be to be very wrong for her….and it’s devastating.  But she turns inward and finds strength in her inner child and conquers those demons.  Take a look-see:

I can identify with a lot of those feelings.

I recently started a new job.  A job that I thought would be a fantastic opportunity and I would be working with someone who knew much more about my chosen field than I did and would be able impart knowledge to me.  I in turn would be that sponge and absorb all that was offered and work tirelessly to create more business and be rewarded financially for my efforts.  I didn’t work out that way.  I knew the first day it wasn’t for me but stuck it out for two more days.  I was so disappointed!  At first I cried a bit, then complained a bit, then picked myself up, put my big girl panties on and decided to be real and do what was best for me.  I quit my job……

The week before I started this job, my body was talking to me but I wasn’t listening, and it stopped me in my tracks.  My spine was out of alignment and my right hip was 1/2 and inch higher than the left.  My right leg was then 1/2 shorter than the left.  The pain was unbearable and I wasn’t able to walk, sit, stand or even lie down.  This is what happens when I stuff my emotions.  I moved through my fears (fear of letting go and growing, fear of being authentic and real, fear of being successful) and I sought out someone who could help me and I started listening.  Really listening to that all-knowing voice inside me, who loves me and accepts me, no matter what.

This is just me, being real, sharing with you.  If you’ve ever felt like this or maybe even going through something like this right now, know that you are not alone. Realize this is an opportunity to honor what you know to be true for you.  So, take a deep breath….it’s going to be o.k. just keep it real and listen, really listen, to what that voice tells you, because 9 times of out 10 that’s the answer.

I’m not sure what my professional future holds, but I realize I need to get out of my way and let things unfold as they will.  Life is good, I am blessed with many people to love and tomorrow is a new day.  Let that butterfly go free…..

I’ve heard lots of great things about The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, so I picked it the other day and I look forward to sharing some of my Happiness Project experiences with you.


Oooh La La – Now Get Your Butt in Gear!

Today is Tuesday and although I didn’t post here on Monday I did post on my other blog  about Memorial Day so I feel like I’m gaining ground on being consistent.

I still struggle with eating healthier and cutting back on my true liquid love a.k.a. WINE.  Yes, I do eat copious amounts of Kale and I LOVE quinoa  (if I was having more children I would consider naming one of them after this fabulous ancient grain) but I still snack on Trader Joe’s Chocolate Cat Cookies, I love Brie cheese and on a recent road trip to San Diego I indulged in Lay’s Potato Chips and Dr. Pepper….more than once.

We do have our fun cruisers to ride through the community

and I purchased a universal remote for the Xbox

which is to replace this cumbersome  hand-held contraption that feels so alien.

I did this in hopes of  making the Fitness Evolved 2012 easier to use.  Even that doesn’t seem to help….Plus I have a pool fitness set!

so I can look like this

Not even my fabulous friend J, getting into shape, has spurred me into to exercise.  And to think 4 years ago I was still wearing a bikini….

If I was planning on a work out today this is what I would start with…….And if I was from Paris I would say Oooh La La La La La La.



Love You Madly

It’s Monday again, and although I can’t complain having just returned from one of the mildest climates ever – San Diego – it’s still Monday and I feel a bit discombobulated.  When that happens I turn to music to change things up a bit and today it’s one of my favorite songs by Cake (gotta love a band named after one of my favorite food groups!)

This song is funky with a good beat and I find it easy to sing along with.  I mean, who doesn’t love a good trumpet woot?   I chose the version with the lyrics over the Iron Chef parody because I just couldn’t stomach that much raw fish…..Anyhoo, iTunes describes their style as smirking funk-pop.  I like the sound of that – in fact I’m going to work that into as many conversations as possible today.  So, here’s to Smirking Funk-Pop and some awesome Trumpet Woot.


I hate to see a weekend leave and I really struggle with Mondays in particular.  I’m not sure if it’s because Sunday is over and Hubby goes back to work or I have that insurmountable To Do List is staring me in the face.  This time it’s lasting all week….what I do know is, I need to get my butt in gear and get busy.

As a child I connected with music and as a teen it really resonated with me.  Who better to understand the angst of a 15-year-old than a sexy rock musician??  As an adult (I use that term loosely), my love for music has only increased – if I’m not singing along, I’m listening to it, full volume, almost blowing out the speakers.  So here I am sharing some of my favorite tunes or as I call it Music That Moves Me (check me out on Pinterest-Cheryl Hogate Johns).  I’ve been wanting to put something like this together for a while, but to give credit where it’s due, I first saw this concept on the Food and Wine Hedonist blog .  He writes of many topics with the wit and attitude I can only wish to emulate, most notably food and wine but also music.  His comes in the form of “Guilty Pleasures”, which I secretly look forward to – so be sure to check it out!

I was introduced to the music of Moby by my sister Melissa when she gifted me with songs from some her favorite artists.

Today’s favorite for getting me moving is Bodyrock by Moby……..So here’s to getting your blood pumping, your feet jumping and for cryin’ out loud, get those arms waving in the air!!

Fifty is the new Forty!

You may be wondering what is I Live That is all about.  Well, it’s about life at Fifty, fun ways to stay fit, yummy foods that are healthy, green living and of course family (I love my grandkids!).  Be sure to pop over to the About Page for more information.

I recently turned 50 and I just can’t believe it actually happened ~ To Me…….As if having nights sweats and insomnia isn’t bad enough, I am now experiencing forgetfulness …what did I come into this room for…and thinning hair – female pattern baldness – who knew….. dry skin, foggy thinking, and then – LOSS OF LIBIDO hits.  WTH??!!

I want the old me back with my beautiful hair, vibrant personality and sex.  Yes, I want SEX.  It was fun, I do remember that, and my hubby is the love of my life, so let’s get busy!

Another joy I am experiencing is 2 a.m. inspiration.  I roll over and realize I’m wide awake…I go through the usual questions ~ did I hear something, do I have to pee, am I hungry?  Nope….So I’m up, with a cup of tea, pounding away at the keyboard so to be sure those amazing insights that come only at that ungodly hour are captured.  As I’m typing away I hear a hissing noise.  As it continues, I wonder if it’s the music I have on very low as to not wake my honey, is the toilet running or maybe the water softener is cycling through? No….well it IS raining maybe that’s what it is.  I think I’ll make another cup of tea and just see what happens.  As I get closer to the oven I realize what it is….it’s the oven!  I turned it on to bake a potato for our Sunday morning breakfast.  Sheesh, I AM losing it.  Good thing I decided on that second cup of tea or we’d never have potatoes the next morning.

As I look in the mirror and wonder who that person is I realize – Yep – it’s me.  Only I’m not in my thirties anymore.  *Sigh**  I have wrinkles, age spots and grey hair – which my hair stylist Cassie camouflages quite nicely. My skin is thinning and gravity is pulling everything down and I just can’t stomach another push up bra, they’re too damn uncomfortable.  This is the girl who can take her bra off as she’s coasting into the driveway without removing her shirt….I have it down to a science.  I’m all about comfort.  Yes, I will post those 4 inch heels on my Pinterest page, but who am I kidding I can’t AND won’t wear those.

That’s for the 30-year-old me.  Let’s be realistic, you throw your back out just looking at them.  Here’s what I can wear now:

No seriously, I have switched from a pump to a wedge, although, I do have a nice collection of flats as living in the desert Southwest lends to sandals almost year round.

I am still a lover of all things pretty and nail polish is no exception.  Leaving the house with bare toes is like going braless to the grocery store and that ladies, with gravity fighting against me, isn’t gonna happen!

My Mother enjoyed turning 50.  She found the love of her life and this colored her world in such a positive way.  She was making good money, enjoyed traveling and loved spending time with her grandkids.  So all in all this was peaceful time in her life.  She did experience early menopause in her late 20’s so this changed things up for her a bit, but in her late 60’s she has experienced some of these same things I am now going through.  Interesting……

Nobody tells you what to expect at this age, and they certainly don’t talk about it, so I have to ask, what’s going on?  The next time one of your girlfriends or your sister(s) mention anything hormonal or out of character for their body, use this to open a dialog about these changes. What we are experiencing can be confusing and sometimes downright scary, so let’s support each other and make this an amazing segue to the second half of our lives.

The key here is living a balanced life.  For me, that means making an effort to eat real, unprocessed foods (I love Kale Salad and I eat Quinoa several times a week) and daily exercise along with keeping negative garbage out of my mind.  Spiritual balance is also a key part of my daily life.  It can be as simple as sitting quietly and emptying my mind of all worries or taking the dog for a walk and seeing the world through her eyes.  By surrounding myself with beauty, positive people and positive situations, life becomes richer.

So, in a nutshell, our hormones regulate every thing that happens in our body.  When we experience loss of hormones due to aging, things get wacky.  That’s where Hormone Replacement Therapy comes in to play; specifically Bio Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy. I will share more about BHRT, healthy foods  and Mind/Body/Spirit connections in future posts so stayed tuned but for now, here are a couple of links to get you started:

Suzanne Somers on Bioidentical Hormones. Any of her books are wonderful resources so check out your local library for copies.

Dr. Andrew Weil on Perimenopause

Donna Eden on Energy Medicine for Women

My husband truly is wonderful because he is taking all of this in stride.  When I screech “What is happening to me??!!”  he replies with “Oh Honey, it’s menopause” and then gives me a Big Hug.  I couldn’t ask for more, except to have my sex drive back to take advantage of his understanding.  This is, as Suzanne Somers puts it, Men-On-Pause.  Well that just sucks!  Let’s hit that Forward button and start enjoying life!

Happy Birthday to all the April babies out there….

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