Simply Yaya

Shiny new year…
It’s that time of year: a bright, shiny New Year, full of resolutions to lose weight, get fit, save money and work on a budget. Full of possibilities to get it right. Out with the old and in with the new.

2022 was like any other year in my life, full of joy, sorrow, happiness and sadness. But oh, how thankful I am for the 49 years I’ve been given – the bad years and the good ones, too. They have all brought me here to where I am today. And there is only one word for where that is. Content.

Content with where my career path is. Content with the strong influences in my life. Content with my family, my friends and my heart. It’s a good place to be.

Is there room for improvement? Sure, there is. We are all a work in progress every day all day. I’ve started meditating, taking deep breaths, and laying down worry that in past years would have eaten me alive. My organizational skills still need some work. My mind still runs in a thousand different directions at once. I still gossip more than I should. Self-reflection is hard, y’all.
I don’t know your resolutions, or if you even have any. Some folks think they are malarkey, nonsense, but not me.

“Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul…” – Emily Dickinson

A wonderful high school English teacher gave me my love for this wonderful poem. If you’ve never read it, you should. That poem reminds me of all the shiny new years in my past and in my future. There is always hope. It keeps me young, it keeps me happy, and it keeps me humble. Thank you, Mrs. Esslinger.

My resolutions for this year?

Serve others. Find the need in your community and meet it – without expecting anything in return.

Pray for others. Compliment them. Find something beautiful in someone (even those you don’t know) and speak it aloud. You never know just how much a kind word might mean to someone.
Love myself more. Slow down and smell the roses. Practice self-care – for the mind and the soul. We gain nothing if we wear ourselves so thin that our lives can’t be enjoyed.

Check on your neighbors. Respect your elders. Cook them a meal, even. And if you are that neighbor that needs checked on, let folks lift you up. Don’t block your blessings.
Here’s to a bright, shiny 2023!

If one of your resolutions is to cook more, here is a quick, easy recipe for you to try.


Sheet Pan Nachos
1. Brown or cook your choice of meat (hamburger, pork, chicken) and season with taco seasonings.
2. Take a sheet pan and spread out tortilla chips until pan is covered. Top with choice of cooked meat.
3. Add toppings of your choice. I use fire roasted canned corn, refried beans, cheese and jalapenos. Anything works for toppings!
4. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted on top.
5. Top with sour cream, salsa or pico de gallo if desired.
Yaya Tip: *Cook your meat in bulk and freeze in portions to keep on hand for stress free dinners.

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