We are Amy and Gail Shingler, sisters-in-law and friends!

We are passionate about living authentic and intentional lives!

We are enthusiastic about healthy eating!

We created a space to share our favorite recipes & the life philosophies from which they stem!

Our desire is to inspire,

may you be edified by what you read here!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

a thank you to my husband art

to my dearest friend
my husband
my ART
this is who you are to me
this is what you do for me
thank you
with all the love i have in me
your GAIL

Saturday, December 29, 2012

advice from a tree

go out on a limb,
branch out,
and welcome pruning,
Trees' branches can become dull, broken or diseased.
If trees are well-maintained through regular pruning and trimming, they can function better and give back more to people and the environment.
maintain silence
Trees muffle urban noise almost as effectively as stone walls,
and they are much more inviting and beautiful!
remember your roots
Roots obtain water, oxygen and minerals from soil.
They do not grow toward anything or in any particular direction.
To avoid root disease, trees must maintain a healthy, vigorous environment around them.
help others breathe
A mature, healthy, leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year.
drink plenty of water
Trees need water to nourish themselves and allow their roots to grow stronger.
keep others from drowning
Flash flooding can be dramatically reduced by a forest or by planting trees.
be content with your natural beauty
Real estate values increase when trees beautify a neighborhood.
sway with the wind
Wind can alter plant growth and cause extensive, irreversible damage.
A tree’s ability to sway, and the frequency with which it sways, reduces damage to its limbs, trunk and roots.
enjoy the view.

Friday, December 28, 2012

zucchini hummus

this can be used as a salad dressing or a dip!

2 cups zucchini, diced (approximately 2 zucchinis) - DO NOT PEEL
3/4 cup tahini (this is easy to make yourself!)
1/2 cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic minced
1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt
2 teaspoons cumin powder

In a food processor fitted with an "s" blade, process all ingredients until smooth.  
Will store in container in fridge for up to 5 days. 

Another great recipe by Diana Stobo.

celebrating each other!

honoring and celebrating our sister angie shingler,
for her strength and wisdom,
her resourcefulness and willingness to share what she has learned
on the subjects of health and wellness and gardening and God!
visit her blog S.O.PUREhttp://beinspiredseekjoy.wordpress.com
for beautiful, inspirational writing and useful information!
she is a seasoned and successful gardener
who hopes to continue to enjoy the many benefits 
of sustainable living!
congratulations, angie!  
we can't wait to journey along with you 
and hear what you have to share!
i am looking forward to turning my peach thumb green!  
can you help me with that?!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Clean dishes to the rescue

This will almost make you want to do a load of dishes friends!  Well, maybe not.  The last few weeks I have been using my homemade dishwasher detergent and LOVE IT.  I wanted a recipe that was simple, easy, cheap, and of course, effective.  Here it is:

1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup food grade citric acid, found at breweries (I subbed Lemishine)
1/2 cup Kosher Salt (for scrubbing action)

The original recipe called for 1/2 cup citric acid and advised if you have hard water to increase it to 1 full cup.  I have been pleased with this because we do.

Use 1 TBSP per load.  Then to top it off, fill your rinse aid dispenser with white distilled vinegar. 

Now for the ugly part, it does tend to clump so make sure you put it in an airtight container and maybe put in a few moisture control packets that are in your vitamins or new shoes (who knows the name of those buggers?).

The next best thing to dishes washing themselves.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

freshness is in the air

A few weeks ago I made my own laundry detergent and dish washing detergent.  I wanted to give them a test drive before I passed them along.  Oh my! These have been awesome.  My dishes are sparkling and my clothes are clean without harsh chemicals (did I mention it was frugal?)!   The recipes are simple and super easy.  Today I will share the laundry detergent recipe.  Now, there are many different recipes to be found out in cyberspace.  In many of them you grate the bar of soap and if you want liquid detergent you get out a sauce pan and heat the mixture up.  What if I told you all you needed was a container, a tablespoon and few cheap ingredients and then all you do is add water.  I know you want to hug me right now!  Here it is:

Makes 1 gallon

3 Tbsp  Borax  (found in laundry aisle)
3 Tbsp Washing Soda (found in laundry aisle)
2 Tbsp Liquid dish soap  (I love Mrs. Meyers brand for the smell, But I have used others too)
4 cups hot water

(Mix these ingredients together carefully until they are dissolved)
Fill the rest of the gallon with water

This detergent is watery as opposed to your name brand labels.  You want to use 1 cup for large loads.  I bought a BPA free 2.5 gallon water jug and made a big batch all at once.  I also used a homemade liquid fabric softener which I will share another time.  I want to give credit where the credit is due.  I found this recipe on www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com she has some awesome recipes for other cleaners and so far I have been really impressed.  She uses Dawn Dish soap but I just went with a more green version of soap.  Same thing.  She has some pictures on her site, if you are a visual person and that helps.  She used recycled orange juice containers.  Ingenious! But for now, I am in laundry heaven (if there is such place).  Just leave me be with my clean towels!  Now, if I could only find my missing socks!  

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Silence can be a gift

Today I sit still alone with my family busy and out of the house.  I find myself comfortable in the silence.  Last night I was "working" at being balanced and sane.  I choose in this moment to reflect on the whys.     We are all surrounded with distractions (some good and some limiting us from pushing through).  It is healthy and I believe necessary to take the silence and let it envelop us...to begin to look beyond our circumstances and into our hearts.  Recognize the areas that clutter has been shoved in the corners of our minds and to organize those thoughts and feelings so that we can be balanced and whole and at peace.   This is an exercise, by that I mean at times it can feel uncomfortable to realize and come to peace with my weaknesses and other times to rejoice in how I have seen grace given to me by God and others even when I do not deserve it.
Let us strive:
To be quick to forgive ourselves and others.  
To give grace to ourselves and others.  
To be present with God and others. 
Right Now.  Here.  Be.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

get on with it

There is nothing for you to go back and live over, 
Or fix, 
Or feel regret about now. 
Every part of your life has unfolded just right.  
And so - now - knowing all that you know from where you now stand, 
Now what do you want? 
The answers are coming to you. 
Go forth in joy, 
And get on with it.
Esther Hicks

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

mexican hot chocolate

1½ cups almond milk (or favorite
   nut/seed milk)
1 tablespoon raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon agave nectar or
   coconut palm sugar or maple syrup
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan 
and heat slowly over low heat, stirring 
often. Or heat in your high-speed blender
by blending on high until milk warms. 
Pour into a beautiful mug and enjoy!

from diana stobo.com

Saturday, December 8, 2012


truly living is not always so great.
being AWARE is difficult.
it is a difficult habit to get into
and it is an uncomfortable place to stay.
when we are living,
when we are aware,
we see in ourselves
things like
depression, sadness, grief, despair,
worry, anxiety, insecurity, jealousy,
restlessness, discontent,
maybe even hopelessness, helplessness, worthlessness.
we have moments of not knowing "how" or "why"
and we succumb to the sadness.
it's important to walk into those moments courageously,
and it's important to recognize them,
even embrace them as a real part of who we are,
WHERE we are at that time in our lives.
it is equally important not to stay,
not to let those moments wash over us endlessly,
again and again and again like crashing waves,
so that we are left gasping for air,
so that we are left drowning in their darkness.
when we choose to live,
when we choose to be aware,
we can also choose what we see,
what we dwell on.
we can choose
for the smallest thing,
for a glass of ice water
or a hot shower that washes off the "dirt" of the day.
we can watch a baby,
(there's usually one around somewhere!)
in itself, watching a baby or toddler
 brings a moment of presence,
and if we're lucky,
or if "someone somewhere" knows the depth of our sadness,
that baby or toddler will smile at us,
and THAT is something
that can completely transport us out of ourselves,
unless you don't like kids,
in which case you're gonna have to look for, or hope for,
that thing LIKE the smile of a child
that will take you outside of yourself long enough to see there IS an outside of yourself.
i am trying to live
especially when it is easier or more desirable
to "check out."
i am trying to live
with myself, inside myself, outside myself,
and to know and choose
when the right time is
to do all those different kinds of living,
the goal for me being
to live
"divinely aware."

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

microdonations that make a big difference

find ideas below from PUREWOW .COM to make this season a bit more meaningful and balance out the drudgery of standing in long post office lines to get packages out on time!  It only takes a little thought and a little practice to make this kind of giving an addictive habit!  :)

"While you should never need a seasonal excuse to make a charitable donation, this time of year it can feel particularly pressing to help those less fortunate.

One really easy way to do that is through microdonations--the regular giving of small amounts that actually do a lot of good. Here, a few ways to get in on the action.
Watsi Like Kickstarter for charity, this new nonprofit enables you to directly fund low-cost, high-impact medical treatments for people in need. (For instance, you can donate as little as $1 to help a 12-year-old Nepalese child get a life-changing heart surgery.) Many treatments are already fully funded, but the site adds new requests daily.

Snoball “Every time the Giants score a touchdown, I’ll donate 50 cents to Oxfam.” “For every pound I lose, I’ll contribute $2 to cancer research.” Such are the kinds of pledges you can make on Snoball, a new website and social media platform for incentivized giving.

Instead This new app for iPhone and Android encourages you to give up small, unnecessary luxuries (that $3 latte, a pricey lunch) and instead give the money to the charity of your choice with just a few taps. Smart saving and responsible giving: That’s what we call the holiday spirit."

Saturday, December 1, 2012

i want to love you with all my heart

when people attack you, 
in any way, shape or form, 
verbally, physically, or emotionally, 
subtly, covertly or very openly, overtly,

and you notice that you still love them with ALL your heart,

your work is done.

this is my goal.

Friday, November 30, 2012

live now ! just " do the dishes "

Last New Year's, my husband Art and I were fortunate to be able---and wise enough---to go to a seminar by Byron Katie.  (and if we had the disposable income right now, you better believe i would be right back there again this year, paying for anyone and everyone who wanted to join the party!)  The first day began with a welcome and a worksheet, asking us to write down the name of someone who had "wronged" us, how they had wronged us, and what we wanted to say to them that would most certainly make them understand how wrong they had been to wrong us in the first place!  before i even started writing, i was laughing...if this was the first exercise of the 4-day seminar, i was certain the name i wrote down would NOT be the one "wrong" by the end of the seminar!  I was right about that...that person wasn't even "wrong" 10 minutes later!

Byron Katie is someone who has "been there," struggling with insecurity, depression, and dwelling on harmful, toxic perceptions of herself, the world and the people in it...she has been paralyzed by guilt and shame and fear...and she learned---and practices regularly---and teaches others how---to turn those life-destroying thoughts around, to give LIFE-GIVING thoughts a throne's seat i her mind and spirit...what we THINK of everything and everyone is our only ONE, TRUE REALITY...and we have a choice about how and what we are going to think...

Byron Katie has free worksheets and videos on her website, she has downloadable sessions with people there, too, they will make you laugh and cry and celebrate life and others!  she has videos on YOUTUBE as well...one of her refrains "is it true?"  As we close out 2012, i encourage you to check out her story and her philosophy and her practice, and to find your own life-giving answers to the question "is it true?" about the life-destroying thoughts we can think each and everyday without even being aware that is what they are, living unaware of their grave ripple through our lives...below is one of Byron Katie's blogposts...i am so happy to share her with you...i am so grateful she is on the planet sharing LIFE with others...

"Become mindful of how often your conversations focus on the past or future.

Be aware of the verbs you use: was, did, will, are going to, etc. To speak of the past in the present is to reawaken and recreate it fully in the present, if only in our minds, and then we are lost to what is present for us now. To speak of the future is to create and live with a fantasy.
If you want to experience fear, think of the future.
If you want to experience shame and guilt, think of the past.
Just focus on the dishes in front of you.
"Doing the dishes" is a practice of learning to love the action that is in front of you. Your inner voice or intuition guides you all day long to do simple things such as doing the dishes, driving to work, or sweeping the floor. Allow the sanctity of simplicity. Listening to your inner voice and then acting on its suggestions with implicit trust creates a life that is more graceful, effortless, and miraculous.
The miracle of now."

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

a great way to start the day!

Start your day with warm water and the juice of half a lemon. This simple detox drink helps balance pH levels, gets the gastrointestinal track moving, flushes toxins and even helps clear skin. Keep the cleansing going by adding two tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a liter of water and sipping throughout the day.