The Jar – Project 2015…

In yesterday’s post Project 2015 in a Jar {Positivity, Happiness, Thankfulness & Direction}, I wrote about how I was going to use a positivity jar as I had in 2014. I found this experience to be so rewarding. Getting to the end of the year and reading back all the moments, days and people that had a very positive and uplifting effect on my life was fantastic. I could actually see when my outlook had changed, when finding positives was not so difficult because I would look around and see mainly positives. The words I would say to people, the advice or support I would give was so much more positive; to be strong and keep going, believe in yourself, you CAN do this, look around – there is brightness everywhere.

Now, 2014 was a year I absolutely struggled. I had MANY ‘down’ moments. Times when I felt lost, trapped or afraid. The difference this year is that I honestly believed I could get through it, and that I could move on to an inner calm and brightness that I had not felt in a long time. I was uncertain within myself and which direction I wanted to move forward in, had doubts about my career, there was family illness and my health suffered too even resulting in surgery. I do not look back and only see tears and anger. I look back and see determination, laughter, love, resilience and strength. I didn’t do it alone, but I became aware of how much I can handle on my own. That I can put my own struggle aside and help another.

Reflecting on those coloured bits of paper helped me see how far I have come {note – not all pictured}.

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Here are some of the highlights of last year (I limited to 10, as honestly there were way too many!)

1. Realising as 2014 began that in less than a year I’d be back in my favourite city – New York City

2. Knowing a loved one who was struggling with an awful illness had amazing specialists team behind them.

3. Spending a lot of time with my younger brother and having DVD marathons.

4. The many catch ups and coffees with friends

5. Getting precious one on one time with my Mum – we had a few lunch dates and had the best conversations that were random, funny and heartfelt.

6. Planning, booking and flying to USA with my two friends L + C; celebrating 2014 and bringing in the New Year at an event in Times Square in New York City {major bucket list item ticked!}

7. House-sitting in a great location right near one of the local beaches – really uplifted my mood during a struggle period!

8. Spending an evening with two of my gorgeous little cousins just before I went away – we went to the beach and enjoyed dinner together.

9. Seeing two of my gorgeous friends marry each other and celebrating at their love filled wedding!

10. Spending time with my friends and their new babies – such a blessing!

here's to 2015!

here’s to 2015!

Ok, so now for Kooklah’s 2015 Positivity Jar …. {I am also going to add “She believed she could and so she did” to the lid}

Ribbon, quote on top and gold stars inside...

Ribbon, quote on top and gold stars inside…

This year has been so amazing already, in so many ways. I hope you will join me in this journey – either by keeping track of my updates, by commenting with some of your own positives, or maybe even starting your own jar. Your project can be the same or different. If you are doing something similar I would love to hear from you!

Kooklah Xo

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A yummy, healthy-ish snack

I don’t know about you, but I enjoy indulging in a small amount of dark chocolate on a semi-regular basis. If you purchase one with a high percentage of cacao, I find you can’t eat as much of it as you could with milk or flavoured chocolate.

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Image - organicfitness.com

As written by Women’s Health Magazine dark chocolate with 70% or higher cacao holds multiple health benefits. Some benefits include reducing stress and blood pressure, as well as the risk of heart disease or stroke, and assisting with weight maintenance (probably as less is eaten) and increasing mental function.

With this in mind, combined with a craving for chocolate {there is none in the house}, I decided that I wanted to make use of the benefits – and my enjoyment – of dark chocolate.  I came up with the following snack and can’t wait to head to the shops tomorrow, buy ingredients and try it!

Dark Chocolate Mixers

The concept is pretty simple, get some dark chocolate to melt down and mix other healthy ingredients into it, let the chocolate set, and then enjoy! What you use is really up to you, below I’ve depicted what I will make first, but first – some ingredient possibilities…

* Dried fruit e.g cranberry,  apricot, banana chips
* Nuts that are unsalted, roasted (no flavour, salt or coating)
* Trail mix, oats or cereals like Special K or Cornflakes
* Seeds
* Dessicated coconut
* Plain, unsweetened popcorn

Tomorrow I make ones combining dark chocolate,  chopped cranberries and unsalted peanuts, I will update with some shots when they have set!

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Image - thehungrymouse.com

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Image - nutsinbulk.com

What would you put in your mixers? I like the idea of having a container of these in the kitchen for a quick snack that is tasty and not completely unhealthy to have as an occasional treat. Do you already make something similar?

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Kooklah xo

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