My Go-To Recipe


I never share recipes on this blog....there's always time for a first, right?  Plus, this one rocks.  Trust me.

Years ago, in Colorado, I was at a party and the caterer was making these great, thin crust pizzas.  I was so curious how she was making them without a lot of fuss, so I watched her in the kitchen and asked questions.

What she showed me could not be any easier.  My family has adored these go-to pizzas ever since.  I make tortilla pizzas on the fly all the time when friends stop by because most often, I have all the ingredients on hand.  Want to make your own?

Tortilla Pizzas (15 minutes; includes assembly and bake time)

Ingredients:
  • Wheat tortillas (I like Trader Joe's Whole Wheat Handmade ones)
  • Pizza sauce (I literally use whatever pasta sauce I have on hand)
  • Cheese (shredded)
  • Toppings (go semi light on these and keep away from watery toppings like fresh tomatoes)
Steps:
  1. Preheat over to 400 degrees.  Line a baking tray with parchment.
  2. Lay out a tortilla and cover with pizza sauce (about three tablespoons of sauce as too much moisture will make the crust too soggy).  When you spread the sauce, you will see most of the tortilla right through it - that's how light you need to go on the sauce.
  3. Cover with cheese (like in the photo above) and any toppings.  But, again, the thin tortilla cannot handle an overload of toppings, so keep it tasty and not over-topped.
  4. Bake in the oven for 8-11 minutes until golden and bubbly.
  5. Cut into slices and enjoy!
I also serve these tortilla pizzas as a quick appetizer, as a snack for Lil O's playdates, with friends, and for dinner.  To make them a full meal, I often will serve with a green salad.  As you can tell by reading the recipe, prep time is minimal and sometimes I do interesting flavors like...
  • BBQ sauce, shredded chicken, fontina & mozzarella cheese, and red onions
  • Fig jam, proscuitto, gorgonzola & mozzarella cheese
  • All veggie toppings
  • All meat toppings
I just realized, I did share one other recipe on this blog.  It is one for Jedi here.  Ha!

Buen provecho,

Jen

PS - Did you see yesterday's post?  Come join Sue and I for a coaching workshop on June 7th!



June 7th Workshop - Join me and Sue!



Let's meet each other in person, ok?

June 7th, 2014, Sue and I are hosting a workshop.  This four-hour, interactive workshop, Expand your Growth Mindset, is aimed at helping participants - you! - embrace a growth mindset, identify your core values, discuss ways to live in alignment with your core values, and connect that knowledge to live a more fulfilled life.

Here's all you need to know to join us that day.  We'd love to meet you in person.
  • Place:  AACC outside of Annapolis, MD (the Arnold Campus).  CADE Building, Room 219. Here's a map in case you need it.
  • Date:  Saturday, June 7th, 2014
  • Time:  8:30am - 12:30pm; please arrive by 8:15am
  • Bring:  Water bottle, coffee cup, journal or paper, pen/pencil, plus your lovely self (and your friends, family members or favorite neighbors)
  • Wear:  Something comfortable; we'll be moving around a bit
  • Refreshments:  Light snacks and coffee provided
  • Cost:  $55-$75 (depends on if you live in county or not, or in state or not)

How to register by June 4th:  Fill out this form and fax to the number at the top of the form.  You can also send in the form with your payment to the address provided or email the completed form to iscenter (at) aacc.edu.  The form, you will notice, has a different workshop name on it, however, the workshop actually has two names (one public, one for the college), so use the form provided, ok?

I know it seems pretty low tech to not be able to register online.  Forgive my college.

If you have any questions about this workshop and deciding if it is right for you, please email me at jenglara (at) gmail.com.  I would love to answer your questions.   Registration deadline is best by June 4th.

Sue and I are ecstatic to share this workshop with you and meet you in person.

Best,

Jen


Launched a New Website

Check out today's PS way down below.  It's one of the fun collaborations I was working on last week.  Now, onto today's post.....

The time has come.  I need something more than Upcycled Education.  This is one of the secret projects I've been working on, though I did ask a few innocent bystanders for feedback.  Thank you - if you were one of them.



Don't get me wrong, I love this blog.  But, my skill set has grown over the past decade.  My web presence needs to grow, too.  Thus, I launched jenlara.com.

To develop the website, I crowdsourced which website builders were the most helpful and easy to use.  Though many people recommend Weebly's free option or purchasing a template off Etsy, I decided to use the website builder available at GoDaddy.  Since I use GoDaddy to buy my URLs, I thought, why not keep it easy and use their website builder for jenlara.com.  Plus, I couldn't beat the price - $1/month for the first year.  $5.99/month every year after.  The builder is so easy to use and manipulate.  In fact, Lil O is learning how to build a website on GoDaddy's website builder right now as she and I have a special, mama-daughter project coming this fall.

And because I continue to be in love with PicMonkey, I had to alter my photo.  I call this Pirate Jen.


And this one is titled, Cindy Crawford Jen. See my new beauty mark?  


I'm having too much fun DIYing myself.

When you get chance, go check out jenlara.com.  I'd love to hear your feedback.

xo,

Jen

PS - I'm chatting today about creativity with Elise Cripe on her podcast Elise Gets Crafty.  You can download the podcast here and visit her blog here.  If you aren't familiar with Elise, treat yourself.  She is bright, lovely, and creative, which I know for sure, because I gave her the TTCT - the Torrance Test for Creative Thinking.  We talk about her scores in the podcast and how to grow creativity.  I'm blushing as she calls me a creativity coach!  Too much fun.

Rainbow Loom Project Update #2

Rainbow Loom Project for AHOPE

I don't know about you, but I love seeing all this color on such a beautiful arm above.  This photo was taken by one of the AHOPE volunteers on their recent trip to Ethiopia.  Apparently, all the children, teens, and adults loved the Rainbow Loom bracelets we sent from our project here.

Thank you.

So many children from across the US and Canada sent bracelets as you know.  In fact, the total increased from 3,600 bracelets to over 3,800!  And the total monies raised cleared $4,000.  Yep, our kids, families, and assorted allies raised $4K.  

I'm forever grateful for your giving and I wonder what we will do next, collectively, to support orphaned children and teens living in Ethiopia with HIV.

Rainbow Loom bracelets in Ethiopia

I suspect there is more for us to do.  Let's move mountains together, yes?

xo,

Jen




You Are Awesome - Love This!

If you are in the states, I hope today is a reflective, heart-felt Memorial Day for you.  Today's featured artist is so enchanting - totally fitting for today.

You are awesome website graphic by Kal Barteski

I cannot believe how lovely and ingenious this new offering is by artist, Kal Barteski.  She combines her beautiful paintings, script, shapes, and any name into a digital print.

Yep, you heard me.  Totally customizable.  What a fantastic present.

What I also love is the spirit behind this project.  As Kal says, When you see your name in print, you believe the words.

I have so many people I'd like to buy Kal's prints for.....
  • Lil O...you are made of stars here.
  • Mr. UpCyclist.....you are an awesome dad here.
  • Every family should have this print - which you can customize by adding pets, two moms, two dads, etc.
  • And this one below is my new favorite wedding or anniversary gift.
Forever + Ever by Kal Barteski


Totally delighted,

Jen

All photos are from You Are Awesome, which is completely well-named and awesome.  I'm also loving their IG feed.



Life Updated: Colorful May Edition

Jen Lara May Collage

This May is sure looking different from most of my other Mays.  Here's what's happening.....
  • Painting!  Besides leading a girl scout badge night for painting, I've been fiddling around with my watercolors, again.  I made a set of notecards for myself that I love.  You know when you make something and you say to yourself, "Hey, I could sell those!"  That's how I felt about the notecards I painted.  I dig 'em.
  • I recently shipped my first order of stamps to Australia!  How neat that an educator across the Pacific found Upcycled Education's stamps.  I had to make that quickie garland above to send with the stamps.  By the way, last call for stamps.  The stamp shop will be closed for the summer very shortly.
  • Lil O recently spent four nights at a nature-based, sleep-away camp.  I missed her a ton, but I love how confident she's become.  My lil love is growing up.
  • Mr. UpCyclist is living up to his name this May.  Since he finished his first year of grad school, he is on his bike or running the trails around our county almost daily. I love seeing him in the Upcycled Education jersey pictured above.
  • Living outside DC means we are surrounded by history and cool monuments, museums, etc.  I am committed to visiting as many of those places as possible because I don't find them boring anymore.   And yes, admittingly so, I did used to find those places boring.
  • I'm part of a mommy swap.  More on that next week!  I must say, it makes me feel old-fashioned in the best way.
  • Lastly, I've been pushing myself to trail run more and more.  Jedi said he's quite pleased with that decision.
Happy Weekend - (and for those in the States), wishing you a reflective Memorial weekend,
Jen


Brave Lessons {No. 4}


To keep myself accountable for my word for 2014, Brave, I started a new series, Brave Lessons. You can find the first installations herehere and here.  This is what I have learned since those first three posts about Brave and here's what I am celebrating:
  • Last post, I was totally questioning if Brave was the right word for me.  I thought it might be too strong.  I was wrong.  Brave is exactly what I need.
  • I've noticed I've needed bravery in unexpected places - like on the trails with Jedi, coaching clients, and asking for help from loved ones.
  • My Brave is all relative.  I think about the girls in Nigeria, people in the path of a tornado, and some of the kids in my own neighborhood.  Talk about Brave.
  • My friend & colleague KP shared this saying with me, "Sounds like a first world problem."  I use that line all the time now to put my life and its problems into perspective. Jedi has a crazy amount of ticks and they are driving me insane!  Sounds like a first world problem.  Should Lil O and I go to camp this summer?  Sounds like a first world problem.  Should I make my coaching business cards or buy them?  Sounds like a first world problem.  I realize most of my first world problems do not require bravery.
As for celebrating....
  • I'm celebrating a recent collaboration with a fellow blogger who I admire tremendously.  Look for something fun regarding that next week.  I'll give you a hint:  You get to hear our voices!
  • Coaching.  You know how I adore {life & creativity} coaching.  With my semester coming to a close, I'm about to take on new clients.  Whose stuck and needs to get unstuck?  Email me and let's set up an appointment to chat by phone (jenglara at gmail.com). 
  • I have a few BIG things I will be announcing in the coming week. Dreams are becoming a reality and I am freaking out in the best way.  
Yay for Brave!  And yay for celebrations!  

Jen




Summer Plans, Anyone?


Because you know I need to know.  What are your summer plans?

Come on.  I really want to know.

Me?  I'll be taking some short roadtrips with Lil O, at a Katy Perry concert, driving across the US, frolicking in Colorado, and probably Instagramming the entire experience as nothing in my life is top secret.

Well, I do have a few secret things up my sleeve!

But, I'm not sharing anything else until you tell me your plans first.  Here's a link to share your plans with me.  Go fill it out NOW.  Geez, I'm bossy today, aren't I?

Obsessed with RVs and trailers,

Jen


Love. This. Quote.


This quote is screaming at me and I am loving it.

Does it speak to you?

xo,

Jen


Congrats, Mr. UpCyclist


Our handsome fellow, Mr. UpCyclist, just finished his first year of graduate school.  Only two more years and we'll get to call him Dr. UpCyclist.

We are so proud of you, love.

Yay!

xoxo,
Jen, Lil O, and Jedi

PS - If you haven't played with Recite - the image generator I used in the above graphic - check them out here.

PSS - I read that funny quote above on Pick Your Plum.  You know how they make me laugh, right?

Save the Date - June 7th!


Save the date!  Saturday, June 7th from 8:30am - 12:30pm.  Sue and I are leading our first workshop together.  Yep, you heard me.  Together!  Sue is flying in from Calgary.

This four-hour workshop will be hosted by my college outside Annapolis, Maryland.  More details will be announced here on the blog soon - including pricing, registration, exact room number, etc.

Let's do life enhancing work!  You deserve it!

Pinch me.

Jen

PS - Big thank you to Cousin A for making the Save the Date artwork above.

Soap, Colorado, Two Wins!


A few weeks ago, our friend and long-time blog supporter, Kim from the Fresh Soap Company in Breckenridge, CO ran a contest on her Facebook page.  The contest was to guess how much her Chip Off the Block soap weighed.

The Chip of the Block soap is Kim's clever way of using up all the leftovers from her soap making. After making a batch of soap, she basically pours any odds & ends into a giant mold and for over a year, it accumulates in size.  When she finally unmolds it, she has this massive chunk of a soap.

This year, Kim ran a Facebook contest to guess how much the soap weighed.  I guessed 33 pounds and apparently, was close - it was 29 pounds!  Can you imagine?  A 29-pound soap?!

For being one of the three closest guessers, Kim sent me two chunks of soap (pictured above).  Talk about happy mail!  Our shower smells delightful and my skin is sooooo soft.

Thanks, Kim :)

xo,

Jen

PS - Kim ships all of her soaps if you want to try a few of her lovely bars.  These are my absolute favorites:  Land of Milk and HoneyPut da Lime in da Coconut,  and Beer Soap.  But, really, all of her soaps are delightful and totally safe for face and showering.  And now that I think about it, perhaps you should visit her store in person.  This summer.  We can meet there, shop together and then go hiking in the Rocky Mountains together.  I will show you all of my favorite places.  Ahhhh......



My Life in Clothespins

Natural Life Clothespins Bike
If my life was a set of illustrated clothespins, I'm pretty sure this is what they'd look like.

If your life is like mine, you can find a set here.

Thanks, sweet sister and family for these!  I absolutely love them.

xo,

Jen

UPDATE: I made these into magnets like I did here.


My Favorite Airport Greeter


I'm pretty certain our family - Mr. UpCyclist, Lil O and I - would unanimously agree that flying home to Maryland and being greeted by Jedi at the airport is about as exciting as the actual trip itself.

Jedi is, by far, my favorite airport greeter.  If I offended former airport greeters, forgive me.  He is like a model citizen while he is there; look at his stately posture above.  He checks out everyone passing by, lays on the cold floor, and then, when he hears his whistle or name - watch out!  He'll bolt 50 yards to greet you.

His enthusiastic greeting not only warms my heart every. single. time, but, all the random airport onlookers totally smile, too.  It feels like a Hallmark movie come alive.

In love,

Jen

PS - Sometimes as the airport, random people will tell me that dogs aren't allowed.  Historically, as soon as someone says that, an airport police officer will come by and ask to pet Jedi.  Ha!



More Cool Artwork

Happy {belated} Mother's Day to all you cool mamas!


My good friends and family really get me.  Look at this artwork above (again by Kelly Rae Roberts).  It was a gift from my sister and her family.  

Seeker (of all things brave).

Are you kidding me?

You can find the artwork here.  The actual print they bought me is tiny and framed. I'm thinking it is 3 x 5 inches total.

 Totally elated,

Jen


Crowdfunding I Can Get Behind

I am blessed with the super creative people in my life.  Sometimes, my local friends and college students will ask me, how do you get so much done?  Me?  You should see the people I surround myself with - near and far.

Two of my creative friends have launched crowdfunding campaigns.  I couldn't resist and supported both of them.


Campaign #1:  A dear friend from Denver, Leigh and her partner have launched a lifestyle company called Be Hippy. The spirit of Be Hippy encapsulates everything I adore about Colorado and the amazing energy of that state and its people.  Besides designing the softest tees, fun trucker hats, stickers, totes and jewelry, they are using IndieGogo to crowdfund for a VW bus to promote Be Hippy even more.  I had to give to that campaign.  Passion deserves support.

Campaign #2:   Sue's newest endeavor!  Writing children's books.  I mean really?  Could life get any better?  She will take all that good coaching energy & spirit, plus her two awesome dogs (as the main characters) and voila, she will be a published author.  She is just $1500 shy of her goal.  If you'd like to give to her Kickstarter campaign, please do.  I know she will be grateful.

No donation to either campaign is too small; every single dollar you give means these creative, amazing, courageous women will move forward with their dreams and turn them into reality.

Happy Weekend,

Jen

Treat Yourself to a Coaching Class

CTI Coupon Code for Fundamentals

I think you remember the story of how/why I started taking coaching classes, right?  If not, here is the Reader's Digest version.  I had adored Sue's coaching skills for well over a year.  I kept saying to Sue, I just want your skills.  You are such a good listener, communicator, question asker....  Sue said, Go take the coaching classes.

What?  I could take the coaching classes even though I didn't want to be a coach (that part has since changed).

Yes!  I sure could.  Anyone can take CTI's coaching classes.  All you have to do is sign up - no prerequisites required.  And so I did.  My life was changed.  And now, I have taken four of the five classes they offer and LOVE them, which you already knew.  The first class (called, Fundamentals) is super affordable (compared to the other classes CTI offers).  But, every. single. class. is worth its weight in gold.  Trust me.

If you would like to try out the first class, Fundamentals, I have a coupon for $200 off.  That means the class will be $500 instead of $700 - whew.  Just mention this code CONNECT2014 when you register.  And then be ready for some of the highest quality instruction you will see in your life time.

Yep, it's that good.

Best,
Jen




My Very Favorite Necklace Right Now

State necklace from Cents of Style

Can you guess which state's shape this is?  Nope, not Florida.  Not Texas.  Not Maryland (which looked more like a gun than I was comfortable acknowledging).

It's one of my favorite states.  Actually, it is my favorite state.  Hello, Colorado!

I picked up this treasure on Groupon recently (or was that Living Social?).  With the deal, it was under $12.  It is not real silver or gold and I did trade out the 18" chain for a 16" one that I already had on hand, but man, am I in love with it!

If you want one for yourself (or a friend), you can purchase all the state necklaces on Cents of Style at the regular price $24.95 OR state necklaces are on sale at Jane! Click here for $9.99 pricing.  Go now as this sale will only last today!

xo,

Jen

PS - Doesn't Hawaii's shape look so crazy-cool?


Humor, My Love

I don't know about you, but I love a company with a great sense of humor.  Actually, I love people with a great sense of humor.  Let me bottom-line this:  I love humor.  Period.


On Instagram - my very favorite genre of social media - I am loving all the humorous posts by Pick Your Plum, a daily deal company.  You can find their Instagram account here.  Every image in this blog post is from Pick Your Plum's Instagram feed.  Fun, aren't they?


This one below is my absolute favorite.  Isn't it true?  Sadly true, indeed.


xo,

Jen

PS - Let's connect on Instagram.  I sooooo love that easy, visual space.


Jedi and The Honest Kitchen

Force by The Honest Kitchen

Can you believe I have a crush on a pet food company?  I do.  First, it is not often I think this, but I totally could work for The Honest Kitchen based in San Diego.  They are my kind of company - honest, genuine, innovative, open-minded, and aware.  Second, they are one of the original cycling team sponsors for Upcycled Education's cycling team (last summer).  Remember how cute their logo is on our jerseys' sleeve here?

But, even more than my crush and their support of the cycling team, they are so kind to Jedi.  And if you want to penetrate my heart, be kind to the humans and animals I love.

Honest Kitchen goodies for Jedi

In exchange for giving The Honest Kitchen feedback on their blogger program, they sent Jedi this care package - a small sample of Pro Bloom, a nice-size box of Force, and a cookbook called Made Out of Love. 

Made with Love Pet Cookbook

I've made dog treats for Jedi in the past, but how fun does this look?  A puppalicious doggie birthday cake with a yogurt & bacon frosting!

A birthday cake for a dog recipe

If you want to try their dog food, but aren't ready to commit, The Honest Kitchen makes a 2-lb. starter box (that's the size they sent Jedi).  Since their food is dehydrated (you mix it like you do oatmeal) that 2 lbs. becomes 8 lbs. worth of food.  Yay!  Plus, as a treat for Jedi, I like to stuff his Kongs full of The Honest Kitchen's food and freeze them for him.

Happy dog.  Happy dog-mama.  And happy company.

Triple awesome,

Jen

PS - Big thanks to my contact at The Honest Kitchen, Kate and her sweet dog, Blue.  Kate even signed the letter she sent from Blue!  Ruff!

PSS - I mentioned this before, but did you see The Honest Kitchen on Sunday Morning?  What a great video highlighting them which further proves how fantastic this company is.

Graduation Subway Art for 2014


FOR THE 2017 VERSION OF THIS SUBWAY ART, CLICK HERE!


Two years ago, I made the above graduation subway art (with a different year, of course) and it was a big hit in this post and this one.  Lately, I've received a few email requests to update the year.

Ta-da.  Here it is with 2014! 2015!!!

FOR 2016 GRADUATION SUBWAY ART, CLICK HERE!

Just right click on the subway art above and save (or copy) the image.  I personally like the subway art framed (in a $1 frame from the Dollar Tree).  I sure hope your graduate likes it!

Have a great weekend, fantastic blog reader,

Jen





Life Updated {Bye, bye April}


Dear April - You were an incredible month.

Your highlights included:
  • My birthday and growing older.  I finally feel like I am taking control of my life, not letting the day-to-day minutia push me around.  I think getting older can do that to a person, though this is a work-in-progress, I'm certain.
  • A glimpse of springtime: Mother Nature is really holding onto winter this year, isn't she?
  • Doodling!  I love to doodle and this spring, I informally want to expand my doodle skill set.  My journal is getting full.  I'm off to make thank you cards next.
  • Lil O is growing up and growing out.  I want to intentionally help her spread her wings and build relationships with awesome people - like our neighbor (and great friend), Laura.  I want her to be surrounded by strong, amazing women.
  • I rarely treat myself, but this spring I am splurging on fun things like new eyeglasses.  The ones above are from Whole Foods, plus some well-being swaps - more on that another day.
And before I forget!  Save the date!  Life coach, Sue is coming to Maryland!  She and I are hosting a 4-hour workshop on June 7th.  You must come!  More details to follow.  It will have a very coachy feel.

Bye, bye April,

Jen