Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year Raw Freezer Fudge - And my Goals for the New Year

Well a Happy New Year to you!  
With the New Year upon us today I reflect on some of my most notable challenges and successes from 2013 and from those challenges/successes I created goals for the New Year.  No I'm not going to run a marathon, or lose weight, or not cuss, or go to bed early.  I know what's realistic for me.  Wait, I do have a goal regarding bedtime which includes getting my bony butt in bed earlier than 11:00 pm (and that, my friends, is something).  I'm a very goal oriented person (yes, I make daily goals for myself) and so here are my general goals for the Year (in order by category).

1.  Family - marriage.  Continue a strong partnership with Scott, use kind/constructive communication, and be mindful of my mood and behavior.

2.  Family - kids.  Continue to learn and explore alternative methods to deal with sibling bickering (rivalry). 
Use effective behavioral interventions, reflective speech, and empathetic language.  Continue reading the book "Siblings Without Rivalry" which is proving to be a great resource.  Be okay with the chaos that is childhood, laugh about it, embrace it, pick my battles, let things go, don't be so ridged.  Keep it light, fun, structured, and safe. Don't be overly annoyed and angry.  

3.  Health - body.  Continue eating foods that make me feel good and avoid foods that make me feel bad.  Start doing more Yoga, or just stretch every morning.  Try to walk everyday, or ride bikes to school.  Try and get IN bed before 11:00 pm.  

4.  Health - mind. Continue using positive coping to decrease stress.  Introduce more effective coping with sibling bickering. Use more positive visual imagery.  Read a few enjoyable books.  

5. Professional.  Use meditative/relaxation techniques at work when things get stressful.  Take time off when I need it.  Work on my L.C.S.W. CEUs.  Attend at least one new conference or therapy-related talk this year.  Meet with my other therapist friends to process and reflect on work and trouble shoot challenges.  

6.  Hobbies.  Blog when I have time, take time away when I need it - blogging will always be there.  Continue learning Spanish guitar, and continue playing guitar (it's very calming and centering). Continue work on my scrapbooking and creating videos of the kids. Plan my spring/summer garden.  Break out my jewelry making stuff as a calming, therapeutic activity.  Visit a few of my favorite thrift stores when I get the urge to buy something new.  

7.  Home.  Continue to purge what's not used, continue organizing and cleaning as a method to feel productive and calm.  De-clutter as needed. Slowly work on getting the garage more organized.  Wash dishes as I cook so I'm not totally overwhelmed by insane kitchen messes.  

8.  Personal.  Go out to dinner with girlfriends.  Carve out some alone time each week.  It's okay to not be doing something - be more comfortable doing nothing.  Be more in nature.  Slow down. Appreciate the pain-free days and treat my body with kindness and respect.  Be the change I want to see, speak how I want to feel, and smile at others as often as possible.  

9.  Be okay with eating an entire batch of raw freezer fudge.  
I deserve it! 
Happy New Year Raw Freezer Fudge 

(click the links below for where to purchase the ingredients)

-1/2 cup soaked medjool dates (about 7)
-1/4 cup raw local honey
-1/4 cup raw cacao powder
-1/2 cup melted coconut oil
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
-Chopped walnuts for garnish

How To:
1.  Soak the dates in water for 3 to 4 hours.  Drain the dates and add dates to a food processor fitted with the S blade.  To the food processor add in the almond butter.  Pulse the dates and almond butter until the dates are broken down.
2.  With the food processor running, drizzle in the melted coconut oil, honey and vanilla.  Blend until everything is smooth and creamy.  Open the lid and add in the cacao powder.  Blend again until the mixture is thick and creamy.
3.  Spread mixture out on a silicone mat or wax paper - make it as thick or as thin as you like.  Top with chopped walnuts.  Place in freezer.  The fudge will stay soft from the dates and honey.  You could also store in the fridge, but I prefer the freezer.  These do well at room temperature for a while.  They don't melt all over the place.

*For nut free, use homemade sunflower seed butter.  
*For vegan, use coconut nectar or maple syrup (using maple syrup will make the recipe a little softer, as it's not as viscous).  
*For sugar free, use 3/4 teaspoon chocolate or vanilla liquid stevia (or to taste). 
{Affiliate Links in Post}
Shared on these wonderful link parties: Raw Foods Thursday, Wellness Weekend, Paleo Link Party, Whole Food Fridays, 


  1. I didn't know you played guitar. How beautiful, especially spanish guitar! I've been making sleep one of my goals too, and what's fascinating is how powerful a healing tool it is. I felt the inflammation in my body decrease, when I started getting to bed earlier on a regular basis. Here's to a healthy and happy new year!

    1. Hi Elieen. Yes, I've played for 13 year now. I picked it up when I was in graduate school as a creative outlet (I was doing my thesis at the time). I do love it. I've been dabbling in Spanish guitar for a few years, but really want to focus more on it. You're right, it is so beautiful! And I think you are so right about the sleep. I will try to get to bed earlier and earlier each night so I get some quality sleep. I'm such a night owl...and I work a late shift at the mental health hospital (3:00 pm - 11:30 pm). But I only plan to work this for a year or so and it's only three days per week.

      Happy New Year to you friend. xoxo

  • Oh my gosh, these look AMAZING!! I love freezer fudge! So fun, yummy and satisfying!:) I love your goals as well, and let me know if you find what works for bedtime! I have the SAME problem. It's been 12 a.m. for me lately, and I miss getting up early! I'd love to hear your tips for that when you find them:) I so enjoy your blog, thanks for putting so much hard work into it!!!

  • gfe--gluten free easilyJanuary 2, 2014 at 6:43 PM

    This is amazing looking fudge, Amber!! Can't wait to try it some time!

    I think sleep is a common issue among many of us. My husband just retired and we've been sleeping in the last week. It's been wonderful. No more getting up at 5 am. I might finally start getting the amount of sleep I need every night--woohoo! There was just not way, I could make myself go to bed earlier to get 8 hours with that wake-up call. Thanks for sharing all your goals, dear. Others resonate, too. :-)

    Happy New Year! xoxo,

  • Emily @ Recipes to NourishJanuary 3, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    This recipe sounds so good Amber! Yum, I wish I had some in my freezer now to snack on. And I love your goals for this year, I am inspired by them. Thanks for being you.

  • Looks heavenly. Great goals especially eating an entire batch of freezer fudge :)

  • Your goals are fantastic Amber-very similar to mine though I only wish I could play the guitar! These fudge treats look out of this world good and I might just eat a whole batch myself as well. Happy New Year Amber-May It Be The Best One Yet!

  • Heather @Gluten-Free CatJanuary 8, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    Your goals are so well thought out. I love them all, especially #9. :) Sharing this lovely fudge at Raw Foods Thursdays. I really appreciate your participation!



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