Goodbye Bailey


This week I said goodbye to one of the best friends a person could ever hope for; Bailey loved me completely and unconditionally for almost 11 years and for that I am grateful.

We met each other on my 38th birthday just weeks after we moved to the Seattle area and she immediately became part of our family. We walked and sat together often, she was happiest nestled closely against my feet, legs, head and I loved her being there.

She will be a part of our hearts always.

Bailey, part of the Hobbs family, July 15, 2004 – July 6th 2015


Delicious blueberry muffins

Eating with a local celebrity!!
Photo by Lesley Hobbs

When you are feeding 6 hungry people you discover simple options to add to meals and lunch boxes. Until recently, I made school lunches every day for the kids and Tom and I shared breakfast duty, cooking hot meals at least 4 mornings a week. We had a routine and a meal plan that included pancakes, egg burritos, waffles, bacon and eggs on toast … and muffins.

Over the years I have made poppy seed, banana, jam-filled, corn, whole-grain and, of course, blueberry muffins regularly. I change most recipes I find, always seeking a tastier, healthier option and I found the basis of this recipe on OMG Chocolate Desserts. I am still figuring out ways to make them heartier – please let me know in the comments if you have a suggestion :) but I wanted to share the recipe and the great photo to get myself back into blogging!!

I choose to make these “mega” muffins and they are huge; one is certainly more than enough to fill me. Hope you love the flavor and texture of them as much as we do.

Blueberry Muffins With Almond Crumb Topping

For 12 Mega Blueberry Muffins:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup plain yogurt (I like Faye)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (solid, at room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups blueberries-fresh or frozen(thawed)-divided (half goes in the batter the rest for topping)
  • 1-2 tablespoon flour
  • 1/3 cup dried blueberries


  • For Crumb Topping:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup almond meal (ground almonds)
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 stick salted butter-melted
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon



  1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees and prepare 2 mega muffin pans.
  2. To make the crumb topping, whisk together flour, almond meal, sugar and cinnamon, add melted butter and stir with a fork (or fingers) until crumbly and set aside.
  3. To make the muffins, in a large bowl stir together flour, baking powder, salt and dried blueberries and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat the coconut oil with granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add in eggs and combine well. Whisk in yogurt, oil, and vanilla extract (mixture should be pale and yellow)
  5. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix everything together by hand. (I like to use a strong spatula.)
  6. In a small bowl sprinkle 1 1/2 cup blueberries with 1-2 tablespoon flour and toss until all blueberries are coated with thin layer of flour and then fold them gently into the batter.
  7. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling about 1/2 of each cup. Cover the batter with the remaining blueberries and then cover the blueberries generously with streusel topping.
  8. Place them in the oven and bake about 28-35 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan then remove muffins and cool on a wire rack.

2015 – Your Year of Abundance

Surfing in California

It’s that time of the year … Time to reflect on the amazing gifts and accomplishments from 2014. Take the time to celebrate and honor the things that have made you happy, proud and grateful.

And then take more time to ask what you most want for your life in 2015?

Abundance may not be the word you use to describe what you seek but I bet you want it. Abundance means:

  • Enough! Enough food, enough money, enough health, enough friends, enough joy, enough peace, enough laughter. Enough!
  • Deep-rooted contentment.
  • A feeling of space (openness) that fills and surrounds you, at all times, in all circumstances.
  • Knowing (and feeling) you are loved, wanted, needed.
  • Bringing the four corners of life – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – together in harmony and balance.

I believe there is an unending flow of bounty in this life; ours for the asking, the taking and the sharing and I believe it takes attention, intention, and work to remain open to abundance, wherever it may be. Setting an intention for an abundant 2015 may be perfect for you but sometimes abundance sounds big, huge, even overwhelming and it can help to start smaller and open your heart to the bounty in the every day slices of life.

What might this look like?

Personal examples from above:

  1. Enough health – I don’t have a desired weight or health goal. Every day I make one choice healthier than it has been in the past – drink more water, take the stairs, increase my vegetables, decrease  TV time. Being healthy is one of my biggest priorities and every morning I pray for guidance and support, every evening I remind myself of the one better choice I made that day.
  2. Feeling loved – For me this feeling comes from showing love to others. I have been sending quick texts with photos or dropping a card in the mail to those I love. If I see an article a friend might like I send the link with a short note. It has deepened my connections and increased the love in my life.
  3. Balancing life – I spend lots of time and energy in the physical and mental realms, less in the emotional and way too little in my spiritual practices. To recalibrate, I make my walk a meditation (no music and constantly bringing my mind back to the present), I aim to drive kindly, I look each person in the eye and smile to create more emotional connection and perhaps the most important – I filter what I allow into my world (limited TV and internet, only uplifting movies or documentaries, organic food when possible, great books/writing, etc…)

Like you, I want an abundant 2015 and like you, I am willing to work on being fully present to my life. Let’s travel together, share the joys, buffer the pain and celebrate each breath; wishing you a joyous, peaceful, abundant New Year.

Please share the steps you are taking to live more abundantly in the comments below.


Let’s light up the brain


“The human brain has 100 billion neurons, each neuron connected to 10 thousand other neurons. Sitting on your shoulders is the most complicated object in the known universe.” – Michio Kaku

Let’s get more use out of this most complicated object; from what I hear, it holds the key to a healthy long life!

I am happy to celebrate birthdays, I will never lie about my age (48) but I am not going out without a fight!

Research indicates that the more we participate in life, engage our bodies and our minds, challenge ourselves to try new things, the more vibrant and fulfilling our years will be. Here are 3 things you can do this week (and every week) to feel and live younger:

  1. Work out with (heavy) weights. Our youngest son, age 17, and I have been lifting together recently and it has challenged me physically and mentally. I am told that “older” women should lift light weights to keep muscle tone. To hell with that! I am lifting more now than I did when I was 20 and it shows. Please find someone who can train you properly and who will push you harder and further than you (or they) imagined possible.
  2. Learn new skills. I have been taking a marketing class from one of the top MBA programs in the world, for free. It is demanding, interesting, inspiring and an energy booster. I use Coursera but there are other options, many of them offering great subjects and really simple ways to expand your knowledge and engage your brain.
  3. Practice using your memory; it’s a ‘muscle’ – the more you use it the stronger it gets. Instead of taking your list to the grocery store, try to memorize it and go shopping without it. (It takes time but is worth the effort). When you have a “senior” moment, give yourself time to access the deeper caverns of your memory rather than giving up or looking something up online. Even those games where you test your memory are great options.

When we push ourselves to learn something new, to think harder, to work in a challenging way, we commit to a life of joy and abundance, a life where we get to participate fully for as long as we can. I for one want to push my brain to new levels of learning and experience; please join me.


Do you know where you’re going???


“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” – Lao Tzu

Do you know where you are heading? (For all aspects of life)

Do you like the destination?

If not, today is a good day to turn the wheel and head somewhere better. (Leaner body, calmer mind, compassionate relationships, stronger connection to God…lots of options!!)

Recently, we chose to reduce the amount of animal-based products in our diet and increase the range of plant-based products. It has been pretty simple, no drama, no withdrawals, plenty of food to choose from and enjoy. This shift in direction is for 2 reasons – we want to be more physically healthy than ever before as we head into our 50s and we disagree vehemently with the mistreatment of animals for food (heavy hearts). No, we are not vegan; we are simply making choices daily that include more plant-based options.

All the research indicates a plant-based diet is best for optimum health and it is certainly better for the environment and the animals.

If you’re in doubt watch “Forks Over Knives’ “Vegucated” “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” among countless other documentaries.

I urge you to allow the profound quote from Lao Tzu to sink in and inspire a shift in a single element of your life. Today.


Giving Thanks


I’ve written several times about gratitude (Here and here) and during this week of national (in the US) thanks giving I have a few more words to add.

I love the premise of Thanksgiving – we celebrate all the blessings in our lives, we recognize how fortunate we are, we gather around a table with people we love and share our bounty. It is truly a wonderful tradition.

I have noticed some dramatic shifts in the 20+ years we have celebrated Thanksgiving in the US. When I first moved here, many grocery stores were closed and the ones that were open closed at 2pm. There were no other shops open, lining up at midnight or earlier on Thursday evening was not done and Black Friday weekend felt quieter, less aggressive, more like a good way to keep the togetherness of Thursday going.

I liked it better “in the old days”.

I admit to a strong dislike for the current buy-buy-buy world I live in. Corporations push harder every week to instill a desire for more and we absorb the messages that having a new xyz will make us happier, prettier, more lovable.

My answer to this was to sell most of what we owned and hit the road for 9 months of self-discovery. I am not sure what the bigger answer is.

The only thing I can suggest is that this week, if you are in the US, you join me in boycotting shops and websites. I ask that we stand together against consumerism; take a few days to look at our lives and truly appreciate our many blessings.

I love the idea of an entire nation giving thanks, together we can bring the true spirit of Thanksgiving back to our society but it takes action on all our parts.

Happy Thanksgiving and Namaste.