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Thank you to my beautiful friend Najia for this photo!

How did you do with your calendar ? I know for me, it’s a huge comfort to have a foundation of what this year will bring sketched out visually. And now for the magic: now that we’ve got a plan, we can step back and see where there’s room for change.

Eeek! Change? You might be thinking: I thought I was planning this out so I could feel more in control of my life! I so get it. We’re all afraid of change. Me included. But the thing is…the only thing we can be absolutely sure of is that things will change. It’s the nature of life. So let’s roll with it.

Let’s celebrate change and let’s flip the script on our fear of it. Change is the engine that fuels our dreams for the future.

Don’t be afraid to let go of negative things—when we can let go of the things, habits and people that no longer serve us, we open up, breathe easier, and this makes room for positive things to come our way.

So I encourage you to take that step back, and really take an honest look (and not through rose-colored glasses!) at what you can change. And sometimes that means letting go of toxic relationships, and this can be love or friendships, or even business partnerships that aren’t working. Take stock of the habits or patterns that are blocking your path.

Here’s a beautiful thing—change isn’t just about letting go—it’s also about creating space to explore new experiences and discovering what brings you joy!

Try to think of change like a slow burn. It takes time to get to real self-awareness. Time, self-care and self-compassion.

So let’s make some time and get comfortable—let’s give ourselves some breathing room and permission to be ourselves.

For me, this looks like hanging out with people that make me feel good about myself, people that respect me like I respect them. It means nourishing myself with hearty comfort foods.

It’s having new experiences—like discovering a culinary scene rooted in a purposeful community for the first time. It’s getting inspired by other real stories of people who have embraced change, even though it’s scary, and have come out stronger on the other side.

A few weeks ago, in the spirit of change and expansion, my team and I took a trip to Chestnut Hill. I gotta tell you, this ain’t your grandmother’s Chestnut Hill anymore! We were welcomed so warmly by the Chestnut Hill Business Association and taken on a personal walking tour by Executive Director, Martha Sharkey.

Her enthusiasm for this beautiful Northwest Philadelphia neighborhood could only be matched by my own. The business and restaurant owners are generous and authentic—and so is the food. The energy in this town is so friendly—everyone is down-to-earth and connected.

Our fabulous host, Martha! Thank you so much again!

The heart of the place is the Market at the Fareway, previously the Chestnut Hill Farmer’s Market, and with its eclectic collection of high quality foods and artisan vendors, it truly has something for everyone. It’s been completely refurbished and renovated since 2012, with great indoor and outdoor seating, and a goal to provide the very best, in fresh, local and socially-responsible products and in personalized service. (I can’t WAIT to take you there. Stay tuned.)

It was in the cozy aisles of the Market that I first spied a product that I think might change some lives. What caught my eye was of course, the name…you know how much I love clever funny puns and word play (just take a look back at some of the titles of my blogs! Ha!)…so when I saw frozen packages with the words “What a Crock!” emblazoned on them through the frosty door…I got excited and had to ask.

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So many great options. Mmmmm, comfort food!

 

 

I’m so glad I did. What A Crock Meals To Go is a family-owned small business that started with meat and potatoes…right in the kitchen of husband and wife team, Brie and Justin West.

What A Crock Meals To Go is a family-owned small business that started with meat and potatoes…right in the kitchen of Brieanna and Justin West. Their gourmet slow-cooker meals are made from scratch with fresh ingredients and no preservatives. Pop it out of your freezer and into your crock pot and hours later you have a healthy, home-cooked dish.

Brie had the idea to meal prep for an entire week of slow-cooker meals when she was pregnant with her first baby. By the time her hubby Justin got home from work at 9 or 10 at night, she would be exhausted and just want to spend time with him instead of cooking a meal. Soon, friends and family were asking them for extra portions of their delicious time-saving crock pot meals. Their goal “was, and still is, to give you back time.”

You see where I’m going with this? Time is the most precious thing we have. Making more time for the things that are really important is essential to making positive changes in your life.

I’m so inspired by Brie’s personal story about starting this business:

“Today I am a proud mom. We have worked so hard for this, it wasn’t easy and it still isn’t; but we are stronger because we decided to take this leap. I feel good about offering a product that helps families…If your dreams don’t scare the hell out of you then they are not big enough. Believe in yourself and follow your dream and maybe you can make the world a better place in the process.”

Amen, sister!

Brie and Justin West, owners of What a Crock

So…what’s driving your vision for a bright future?  What are your dreams?  How can you make small changes in your life to support them?  Let me know in the comments here or in our Facebook community. As always, I’m here, right with you, on this journey.

xo

Jacquie

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PS  What’s for dinner?  Why not swing by What a Crock and plan your meals for the week?   They also have party dips and dishes perfect for parties or for any night of the week!