Dear Universe,



This is an open letter to the universe that is from all of my heart. I am doing lots of personal growth work right now and have done a lot of that this year, especially in the wake of the shut down of Josephine.com and then the closing of Murray’s Coffee Bar. I am working on lots of learning right now, not only about how to start over but about myself and how I want to show up for the world. This journey has had lots of ups and downs, but this I know for sure: it is a journey that is full of amazing twists and turns and we all must be awake enough to really soak it all in and appreciate it all. With lots of love, this is what I’d like to express to the universe right now.

Dear Universe,

This is a thank you letter to you for all of the wonders we have in the world. I remember when I was a little girl and every day I would have an imaginative plan to go and do something like run my restaurant or have a picnic with my dolls. Everything was so vivid in those days of play out in the forest, the yard and the field. Every day my grandpa would ask me what my plans in my realm were that day. I really, truly felt so amazing every single day playing, imagining, pretending. There was almost no line between real life and imaginary because in my world it was all possible.

I always imagine you to be a beautiful galaxy of stars swirling around, sparkling with light and a million colors. You love to see our dreams, our imaginations, our faith in what is possible for our lives and our destinies. Sometimes you send us challenges or setbacks to test how well we can do, to train us for what is to come. At the time those can take our magic away if we allow it, or it can make us stronger to face what is to come to reach our dreams. Today I choose to allow everything to make me stronger, to make me wiser, to help me face the challenges to reach my dreams and help others along my path.

I know that inside I still have that imagination that I had as a little girl, every day when I am baking at home I am really in my fancy patisserie, surrounded by lots of amazing people, beautiful music and all of the delights of the culinary world. Every day when I prepare to work and put on my apron I am entering the sacred universe of dreams, I must not resist doing the work because creating works of art out of food is what I was born to do. I am in my realm and that gives me daily joy. I ask that you help me see this magical world.

Sometimes we lose sight of our imaginations, our dream world, because our physical reality is otherwise. However, every day we see others who have overcome amazing challenges because they kept the dream, they kept the imagination and they kept going no matter what. They are evidence of the fact that everything can become our reality if we choose it to be so.

I am learning day by day to tap into my inner self, to believe in myself, to really look into my creativity and believe that I can make anything happen. I thank you for showing me the beauty of nature, the mystery of a lucky penny on the sidewalk, the amazing conversations with my son (whose imagination is simply stunning and filled with detail), the invitations to lunch and coffee from people in the community lately and so many other daily surprises.

Often we focus on the things that we don’t have, that is so easy to start to do, but I thank you for the opportunity to start over each day and try again. I will begin each day focusing on the magical, beautiful world that is already here and all of the magic yet to come.

I realize today that meditation is like a chat with the universe. It is a very quiet chat, but if we listen we will find clues, ideas, actions we can take that take us closer to our dreams. I am working on learning to meditate. It is not an easy thing for me since I love to be so active, but I realize that to quiet the mind is a beautiful thing as well.

Thank you for all that has come into my life, positive or negative. From the positive I have learned joy, from the negative I have learned and grown.

So now I find a new focus and I am asking you- the universe- for work that brings me joy and creativity and abundance each and every day, to me and to those who I serve, for work I can do in the community to help those who need it, for lots of opportunities for travel all around the world and for opportunities to spread joy everywhere I go. I am on this path and already have taken action on so much of this. I am excited by what you will send me next and I will be listening each morning for answers.

With lots of love,


I am adding a donate button on my blog posts now starting with my Dear Universe post. These donations will help me continue to provide great content on a weekly business as well as grow my gluten free baking business. Thank you so much for your generosity!


The Joyfully Balanced Diet

The Joyfully Balanced Diet

Last week I was terribly sick. This is a very rare occurrence for me, as I work so hard to stay very healthy. At the same time I realize that this illness in a way was a blessing. I had worked so hard before the holidays and the week before preparing for a new year for my business and I have noticed that I often have a hard time deciding when to stop working. I just love to get things done and achieve goals! However, there is a time where my body says: "This is enough, I'm slowing you down with this illness so that you can get the rest that you need." Ok, it really doesn't say that out loud, but it did tell me with aches and extreme fatigue.

For quite a few days I stayed in bed and drank water and herbal tea. I also didn't have much of an appetite. However, I paid attention to signs of hunger and what my body was craving. Strangely, I found myself wanting dried apricots, corn chips and applesauce (sometimes with a little bit of homemade granola on top.) Towards the end I did want some soup, chili and some other things, but I was down to the basics at the beginning. I later found out that dried apricots have a lot of iron in them. I found that I was feeling much better with eating things with more iron in them and that is what my body was searching for. 

This experience taught me a lot about the complexities of eating, nutrition and listening to how we and our bodies feel with different foods. I think everyone reacts to foods in different ways. I know that I react well to a high protein, high vegetable diet. However, I do feel the need for some grains in the form of brown rice and oats sprinkled in. These help round out my diet as do thing such as Greek yogurt and a splash of milk in my coffee. 

When I was sick there was a bright joy to those orange apricots. A joy that carried me through the day and let me know that I was going to get better and that I would have my energy back soon. At the beginning of January I experimented with a few days of a more Keto-centered approach to eating and really cut back on carbs and fruit especially. I found that I was still hungry often and that a lot of the joy of food was taken away from me. That is when I decided that I would take some things that I liked about that diet and add back in some more fruits and some grains. This has left me with a joyful balance. I will continue to experiment with my daily food choices and see what feels best to me. Food is a very joyful thing to me, but I believe it is highly personal too, and one approach doesn't work for every single person the same way. The fundamentals for me going forward are: 

3 vegetable servings a day

8 glasses of water a day

A joyful balance of high protein, brown rice, oats, lots of vegetables and fruits that I love

This feels right to me as I felt myself at the beginning of the month bewildered about what to eat (to be honest) and hungrier way more often than on my "listening/joyful" approach. I felt myself looking up different kinds of snacks instead of choosing from some great things I already had on hand. I was second-guessing myself way too often. I find that we all have lots of wisdom already in our bodies and that it is important to tap into it. That being said, studying nutrition and getting help from nutritionists has great merit as well as they can often tailor your choices especially for you. 

My final thought is that we should all experiment more and find out what foods bring our bodies the most joy in the form of health. Here's to balance and a great 2018! 

With lots of care,


My 100 Day Journey- One Step at a Time

my 100 day journey- one step at a time

Today I want to share with you a 100 day journey that I took with a very special journal. This journal is called The Freedom Journal. It was created by John Lee Dumas of the daily podcast EO Fire to help all of us reach our biggest goals in 100 days.  Even though this journey lasted 100 days, I am taking one step a day, every day towards many other 100 day journeys. Here I will share with you how this journal works, how it changed my life and continues to help me on my next goals day after day. 

Every year we start out in January with very big goals or a long list of resolutions. We really do intend to do those things with all of our hearts. We start out strong with lots of resolve, but sometimes we try to reach the goal not one step at a time, but one leap at a time. Taking too many leaps at a time can cause overwhelm and burnout. I have been there many times. We simply don't break down the goal into small enough steps to be completed each day toward our big goal. We don't set deadlines. We don't have accountability. The Freedom journal helped me with all of those obstacles. 

Action is the Key: 

Before I go into the details of my goal, my journey and how you can accomplish a big goal too, I want you to know that action is required. If you don't take action to begin and take continual action to improve and go for your goals, even with the best tools- you will be stalled. Be sure to commit to as much action as you can, day by day. I have taken an occasional break, but I have planned for it and then dove in when my break was over to take the next step. It takes creating rules for yourself and it takes discipline to make this happen. That being said, this journal and the accountability it provides, as long as you use it on a consistent basis will work wonders for you! I am so excited to share with you what worked for me along my journey. 

my 100 day journey- one step at a time

My Goal: 

With this 100 day journey my goal was to write, publish and market my first cookbook- my gluten free brunch cookbook. This was a huge goal for me because although I had written an e-book, producing a physical cookbook for sale online was such a big project. Breaking it down one day at a time really helped me. 

What the journal helped me with was: 

  • Writing down each morning what I was grateful for. I really enjoy this feature of the journal. It really puts into perspective what is important in our lives and that obstacles are just small compared to the blessings we have in life. Even though I write 5 days a week in a separate gratitude journal, I believe this section is so important. There can never be "too much" gratitude. It is always important to be grateful for what we have and the support we get from others. 

  • Writing down my big goal each and every day. It may seem crazy to write down the same goal every day for 100 days, but it really drives home what you are working towards. It really helps you focus on your goal. 


  • Actually coming up with an action plan for each day. This helped me come up with how I was going to structure my day to get my to-do list done for my big goal each day. 


  • Writing down 3 things I was going to accomplish that day towards my goal. Sometimes I only wrote 1-2 tasks in for the day because I knew it was a day that I had other commitments but I knew that even if I only did one task toward my goal it would help move me forward. 


  • Checking in with myself each evening. I love this feature of the journal. You check in with yourself in the morning to get set up, then you check back in during the evening to see how things went, how you can improve and what went right. 


  • Dealing with struggles. In the evening journal section, there is space to write about struggles you had and how to solve them. I think this is so important to reflect on. Some days I had some struggles such as I had a hard time getting started because of feeling overwhelmed. However, I found that once I got started I had so much momentum build up that I did manage to accomplish my tasks. Many nights I wrote that although I had trouble getting going I "did the task anyway." That is a huge win! Often the mindset of overwhelm or resistance to starting can be powerful, but what is more powerful is when we push through the other side and say "I did it anyway!" This is a winning attitude and the way to push through any obstacle. 


  • Having a deadline. It is so important to have a deadline, a launch day, a checkpoint. This is really what drives us forward and keeps us accountable. It is a date you can firmly put on the calendar, you can tell your friends, family and customers about this deadline/launch date. You can create excitement! Having an end day as well as an end goal makes all of the difference. I can tell you that it was so much fun to see that date on the calendar and know I was working hard to get there. It did take us 4 extra days to actually have the book up online, however, we were officially done except for a few details on day 100. I am proud of that. There will always be obstacles, setbacks, challenges, but if we keep going, keep stepping forward that is what will help us get to our goal. 

Personal Lessons I learned: 

  • I learned that each day is a gift. Time is all we have. We must take action each day toward our goals, our dreams. Me must use the gifts and talents we are given to help others. To inspire others towards their best selves as well. 
  • I learned perseverance through challenges. Sometimes there were challenges in the process and I learned to be patient, to always choose kindness in every situation and to always move forward. It is important to take time out to think of solutions, work together to solve problems and move on. There will always be challenges. That is what life is about and we should embrace them and know they are there to teach us to rise up to be kind leaders, thoughtful human beings and people who want to share the best of themselves. 
  • I learned leadership skills and speaking up for what I needed and when. I made sure that everyone was heard and had a voice in the process and learned that everyone has a different style but everyone deserves a chance to speak and to be part of the project. 
  • I learned that sometimes things will take much, much longer than expected. You need to have patience and know that some things are out of your control. You must be creative and come up with solutions and work-arounds to problems. 

What I am working on now: 

As of today I just completed my second edition of my cookbook. We created a trade paperback edition that will sell for a lower price point. I am so proud of this accomplishment. The book is available through Blurb currently and then will be on other online retailers in about 2 weeks.

Here is a link to my book: 


I am also working on a 30 day goal in the Freedom Journal to market the new edition of the book, create more content including weekly videos for my You Tube Channel focusing on life tips, more blog posts and my new Facebook group "Cheery Life Recipes" where I share daily stories of inspiration, photos, recipes and more. I am happily working one step at a time on this current goal as well as writing 2 posts a week on this blog and doing my weekly newsletter. 

I encourage you to pick up a Freedom Journal to start your journey today. Feel free to reach out to me at info@thecheerychef.com if you need any support on your journey. 

Here are the resources for this blog post: 

The Freedom Journal: 


EO Fire: 


Trista Ainsworth You Tube Channel: 



Start Your Journey! 

I wish you all the best as you start your journey to your goal. I know that the more that I use the journal, the more focused I am. I am so very proud of what I have accomplished and I know I will continue to move forward so that I can serve more people and help more people along the way. 

My Daily Routines- Building Daily Habits that Move You Toward Your Goals!

My daily routines- Building Daily Habits that Move You Toward Your Goals!

Many times life can really seem like such a crazy juggling act, or a giant puzzle. It is sometimes the opposite of the calming, serene scene pictured above from my afternoon tea. In our minds there are so many moving pieces, so many things we want to accomplish, so many people we want to help, so many places we want to go and so many tasks we must get done in order to move forward. I still sometimes have "mind-storms" where tons of different tasks come to mind, and I find I need to quiet that storm and refocus to figure out what to do next. 

Over this step by step journey of creating The Cheery Chef, of discovering who I really am, of concentrating on my craft so that I can share it with others I have found that the best way to calm the storm is to create daily habits that become automatic and move me towards my goals. There are now set numbers of things that I do daily, weekly and monthly that move me in the direction I want to go. This is slow, incremental success, but it is the best kind.  This is not to say this journey has been easy, in fact, it has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. I find myself juggling business tasks with family tasks and lots of other things that love to do to help others. However, I find peace in my routines, even when I have to shift my schedule when my son gets sick, I have appointments to go to or other things come up. Now I have a way to deal with those things too, and calmly move on with my work. 

In this post I want to share with you my 3 sets of habits. This may help you develop your sets of habits as well. 

Daily Habits: 

Monday to Friday, I have several habits that help me go through my morning. I wake up at around 4:30am in order to get these done. I make it a priority. This may not work for everyone, but I am very much a morning person and it really works for me and energizes me for the rest of the day. I am still trying to figure out how to handle the weekends. I do like to sleep in a bit, but then I really miss easing into the day with my morning ritual. So, I am still experimenting on how best to create a weekend morning habit. I think I will start to try waking up a bit later, however earlier than my husband and son so I can have a bit of quiet time before they wake up. 

Here are the things that I do before my son gets up & ready for school during the week: 

1. 5 minutes of meditation

2. Affirmations- a list to help me energize for the day

3. Read for 20 minutes

4. Write down 10 ideas

5. Write in my Freedom Journal* about my goal for the day

6. Put a load of laundry in

7. Exercise

8. Get dressed/ready

9. Post to my Cheery Chef Facebook Page

10. Send a short message to my best friend in Mexico

*You can learn more about the Freedom Journal in the link below. It is a great tool to help you accomplish a big goal in 100 days. Make sure to check it out! 



Later on in the day I have these other habits: 

1. Post to Instagram.

2.  No social media or email between 9am-12 noon.

3. Do my Freedom Journal task to move me towards my 100-day goal.

4. Write about my progress in the Freedom Journal in the evening. 


Weekly Habits/Theme Days:  

These habits help me stay on top of my content creation and the inner workings of my business and platform that I am building. It is important to have a schedule every week and it makes it easy because I can "plug-in" these habits into my schedule to make sure that they get done. I want to have a well-rounded work week where I am fitting in: writing, communications, meeting in person with people, pro-development and more. 

1. Post 2 blog posts per week.

2.Write 3 blog posts per week so that I have some extras to fall back on.

3. Create 3 new recipes per week.

4. Send out 1 newsletter per week.

5. Send 3 emails out per week to places where I can do cooking demos or other people I can partner with, etc.

6. Study 2 $100 MBA lessons per week. 

7. Get to one networking event per week. 

Another thing that I do is something that I learned from Kate Erickson from the podcast "Kate's Take-The EO Fire Audio blog." This is: theming days. I love this concept because it means that I don't usually have to move from one task in the kitchen to another on the computer in one day. It means I can really focus and concentrate on my tasks. Now, there are some weeks where I may have to schedule an appointment on one of my theme days, or something comes up that I need to take care of. I try to avoid this, but sometimes it happens. So, in these cases I try to set aside other times to do my weekly habits and readjust. 

Here is a link to the podcast that talks about theming your days: 


Here are my theme days: 

Mondays: Kitchen Day! 

Tuesdays: Writing Day!

Wednesdays: Catch up Day! On this day I sometimes schedule appointments or catch up on other tasks. 

Thursdays: Pro Development Day! 

Fridays: Networking/Social Day! 


Monthly Habits: 

These habits are mostly personal. I really want to be a well-rounded person that makes time to spend with others because those are the most cherished times. I love to get together with friends for lunch, go on date night with my husband or with my mom and family for other events as well. The pedicure is my monthly treat because with lots of cooking I am on my feet a lot! I really want to get out and about in the community as well so I work on setting up free cooking demos every month. 

1. Get together with friends.

2. Get together with family.

3. Get a pedicure.

4. Go on a date night with my husband. 

5. Do 1-2 community cooking demos per month. 

To close, I would like to say that I, like everyone else everywhere am a "work in progress." Every day I am learning, adjusting and figuring out how best to spend my time so that I can help and reach the most people, make a difference and an impact on the world. It is an organic process, always moving, changing. There have been times I have failed someone, or needed to re-prioritize but didn't. I learn from these mistakes and try to do better next time. That is what life is all about. Everyone and everything is our teacher. We have to learn what we can to be just a little bit better each day, to shine a little more light on the world. 

I want to encourage you to commit to your craft, to get up and do something that makes your heart sing on a regular basis. There will be challenges. There will be roadblocks. There will be heartbreak. This is the journey. But, in this journey of the spirit, I am learning that the hardest things to accomplish are also the most beautiful and precious. Give it your best! Give it your all! We all want to see what you have in your heart! 

I thank you with all of my heart and hope that you have an amazing day! Onward and upward we go!