Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wow... Inspiration!!

Thank you Nalamom! Your pen bouquet turned out AMAZING!!! It made my heart swell to see that someone read my Thief post and was inspired! And when I say inspired.... WOW! This bouquet is way better than the one I did. Now I'm inspired to do a spring bouquet. So basically what I'm saying is, I'm stealin this one too... hahahaha. You got the flowers from Michaels you said? Well folks, I guess I gotta run to Michaels! But I wanted to take a second to show everyone Nalamom's handy work. This is absolutely beautiful.

Nalamom: "It will just be nice to know where I can get a pen!"
Fittertwit: "And it's beautiful too! You're so crafty!"
Nalamom: "Na-uh!"

**To purchase a custom ordered Flower Pen Bouquet for a friend, loved one, or just yourself (to open your chi..hahaha) feel free to visit Fittertwit Made by Hand Crafts Store. Nalamom and I would LOVE to get a bouquet out to you! OOO, just in time for Mother's Day! :)
Resource Sponsor ----> Cool Irish Gifts

The Beat Goes On...

I did a really fun blog post with my personal workout playlist and since that post have received some suggested playlist songs. I loved them so much they were immediately added! Here they are:

Motley Crue - Kickstart My Heart (DUH!!! Why didn't I think of this one before??? THIS is the song to make you sweat!!!)

Outkast - BOB (another really great song to get your heart pumping. There is just something about this singer... his voice just sounds fun! I feel like I'm really having fun when I hear this song for some reason)

Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc. (Ok, this one is a WOW! There's something magical about hearing "feel good" over and over while you're working out. I almost feel like I'm reprogramming myself.. what! What's up?)

ACDC - Thunderstruck (this is another one that I just kind of have to ask myself why I didn't remember how completely awesome this song is! Songs like this always make me feel strong when I hear them!)

Greenday - American Idiot and Holiday (both of these songs are just so upbeat! Again, I think it's the singer's voice. Love them! With the tempo on these two, you sweat just listening to them. hahahaha!)

Hey, thanks to everyone for their input.... keep em coming!

Also, here is a great article from the NY Times regarding music during exercise and the scientific effects. Very Cool! I also found another great article at Elements4Health as well as a really interesting resource at MotionTraxx (check out the pic above). I'm not that familiar with MotionTraxx yet, but I thought we could all check em out. It actually sounds like a really great service, I just signed up for free! Let me know what you think.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Victim or Victor?

Every one of us has at least one story, some of us have many. Something incredible that has happened to us that we can either see as very bad and hurtful, or we can see beyond the pain to what it really is. The only good picture I can paint for this blog is that of childbirth. A child is conceived and the mother goes through 9 months (give or take) of discomfort that culminates in a great deal of pain to finally bring a child into the world. This blessing was always there (inside the womb) but the right pieces came together and it finally "materialized"! Mom cries tears of joy forgetting the immeasurable pain she just went through and the 9 month road that got her there. Suddenly it's all worth it; suddenly she is not a victim of the pain, but rather, received the most amazing blessing from it. Will you hear that story from every mother? The answer, sadly, is no.

For some people it is very hard to get past what "has happened to them" no matter what miraculous blessings result. Sometimes what happens to you is not about you at all. I believe that for those of us who can get over that, there is real and miraculous blessings coming our way. Everything truly works for the good for those who love the lord (see Romans 8:28), and this very thing can allow you to be grateful and victorious. A victim will be blinded, "Look what I lost because this happened." The victor gains sight, "Look what I gained because this happened." What we see and don't see will always be our choice, but what is really there was always predestined.

Resources Sponsor ----> http://tinyurl.com/ojco7q "Learn To Study The Bible"

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I Miss You!

Wow... I haven't done a nail care post in quite some time! Mainly because I've been working to get a garden up and running and because of that, I've kept my nails super short. I miss them! But after having a conversation with a girl friend who developed a suspicious fungal infection after a manicure, I decided I needed to share a brilliant discovery I found a couple of years ago.

Ever have the concern that a nail technician hasn't REALLY cleaned their implements? Would you like to do professional-like manicures at home but don't have the tools? I found the "cutest" little kit to fix both! It's called the Cutie Kit! This little kit is perfect for having the right tools at home as well as compact enough to travel with you to your nail salon. The kit comes with professional nippers, cuticle pusher, clipper, buffer, file, brush, pumice sponge and toe separators. The best part is that you can be sure that your personal implements have not been used on anyone else... or their fungus! YUCK! Because I no longer go to a salon, I don't really have to worry about that issue anymore, but I still love this kit because of what you get for the price. It has gone up a couple of dollars over the past couple of years, but at around $35, it is so worth the money for professional implements that you can use at home or take with you. Here's to your healthy nails girls!!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Healthy, Delicious and Nutritious

One of my favorite blogs is The Raw Chef Blog by Russell James. For my birthday, my sister got me his e-recipe book filled with Tai inspired recipes.

Last night: I am currently working on crepes and I gotta say that so far they are AMAZING!!! I ate the remaining batter from the blender pitcher and it was sooo yummy... um, raw. hahaha! I can picture the batter as some sort of sauce for a fruit salad maybe??? It was really that good just the way it was. This delicious batter is 2 Zucchini peeled, 1 1/2 C. of mango chunks, 1 T. lemon juice, 1 T. vanilla extract, 4 T. Amaretto flavored agave nectar, 2/3 C. flax meal that I blended in my Vitamix until it formed a slightly thick pancake-like batter. I spread the crepes to about a quarter of an inch thick on my plastic, non-stick dehydrator sheets and set the dehydrator to 105 degrees for about 4 hours.
I removed the crepes from the plastic sheets and flipped them on to the dehydrator tray mesh. Because I had to go to bed, I slipped the trays into the fridge over night. Be sure that when you are removing the crepes, that you CAREFULLY lift one of the edges and slowly peel back parallel to the opposite edge so that you don't tear the soft crepe. If you click on the pic on the right to enlarge it, you can see how I started mine.

This morning: I popped the trays back into the dehydrator for 2 more hours. SO YUMMY!! Seriously folks.... I just followed Russell's recipe, and they came out PERFECT!! I'm so proud of myself. I ate them right out of the dehydrator drizzled with room temp, pure, organic maple syrup. OMG, so good!!!

Here is a pic of what the crepes looked like right after I removed them from the plastic and flipped them onto the mesh before putting them back into the dehydrator to finish un-cooking. The light areas you see on the crepes are the areas that needed to finish dehydrating for that last two hours. If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you can kind of make out the "wet" areas and what the texture looks like a little better. These really are super easy!

*** OOPS!!! I forgot that I DID change the recipe slightly because my organic mangos were not quite ripe (slightly sour). I increased the flax meal and the agave nectar just a little. But that's the beauty of raw un-cooking... it's REALLY hard to mess up!!! ;)

Almost Too Pretty To Eat!

This meal is beyond delicious, healthy, and what was for dinner last night. This is my Rosemary Chicken with Quinoa and Asparagus. I brush the asparagus with EVOO and dust with sea salt and pepper. I fix the quinoa per the package instructions and then added 1 Tbsp. beef base, onion, cilantro (from my garden!) and diced bell pepper. The chicken is fixed per the recipe from Eating For Life which just happens to be my all time favorite cookbook. The recipe in the book called for cous-cous, but I HATE cous-cous. However, I LOVE quinoa (which has the consistency of cous-cous, but with much more protein), so I always make that instead with this chicken recipe. I found out that I love quinoa cooked AND raw. It actually makes a terrific salad once it's been sprouted. Wonderful stuff. I'll have to fix that and post the instructions next week (from my Raw Food Real World recipe book). Stay tuned for that! In the meantime, I recommend clicking on the link for the cookbook and checking it out! Usually when I buy cookbooks I may find a handful of useful recipes that fit my diet and actually taste good. Eating For Life is LOADED with them. All the recipes promote weight loss. I mean, look at this dinner, it's almost too pretty to eat! :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

My Seriously Yummy Concoction!!

The Magic Bullet has yet to fail me!!! I LOVE it! I whipped up this ultra healthy mousse in seconds, and the mint came straight from the garden. Yay! Here's how I made it.

Danielle's Heavenly Mousse

1 small container of low fat vanilla yogurt (I prefer Yoplait Light)
2 heaping tablespoons of Knudson Free cottage cheese
1 tablespoon of Amaretto flavored Agave Nectar
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
2-3 peeled and pitted organic figs (optional)
In Magic Bullet container combine above ingredients. Attach flat whipping blade and mix until mousse has formed (about 45 seconds). That's it. If you are using figs (which will create a thicker mouse after it sets in the fridge and will require longer blending time), be sure that they are room temperature before blending. Blend with chopping blade, remove and attach flat whipping blade until smooth. Allow to set in fridge at least 30 minutes before serving. This thing is quick and incredibly yummy! Here is the pic of the ingredients I used. Click on the pic to enlarge. I don't necessarily like a stiff mouse, so I did not add the figs. Because I use the thick and creamy yogurt, I get the consistency I'm looking for. ENJOY! I did.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Combining... Great Idea!

Inspiration comes from the darndest places. I have a new friend on Twitter who seriously makes me laugh. She is someone that I have never met in person, but we have an awful lot in common... (clearly the same sense of humor)! She and I both love to scrapbook and love to tweet. I would not have thought of this, but in my gratitude for meeting someone I otherwise would never have had the chance to talk to, Twitter is really filling a communication void. It's bringing back the fine art of "pen pal-ing" that died out many years ago and making it lightening fast. It's also enabling people to maintain "pen pal" relationships simultaneously with multiple people. I will call it "highly efficient pen pal-ing". I wonder if inmates are utilizing Twitter? Dang! Where the heck did THAT thought come from??? Anyway, it has been a source of major education for me already. But....

*** Just a little warning! I think that Twitter is blowing up faster than they can keep up. I sent a question to the support department and got a message almost a month later that said, "Twitter is currently reviewing your request. We get a lot of requests each day, and we can't answer all of them. We may not get to yours right away, or for quite awhile. If we can't get to your request, we'll let you know." Hahahahaha!!! I know that Twitter is currently raking in the dough, but whoever drafted this response email... I would fire them on the spot! What a horrible message to send out representing ANY corporate entity. Wow! It's one thing to not respond to someone's inquiry for a month, it's quite another to basically tell me that I'm unimportant! Again, Wow!
So a new communication/media/commerce outlet is about to take off and I thought I would share it here with everyone. The idea behind the concept is pretty amazing. It really combines everything (Ebay, Twitter, MySpace, etc.). With a structure like that, they will HAVE to have superior customer service in place to even compete!!!! If they do, I believe they will surpass their predecessors. Just my opinion. If you wanna check it out, here's a link: www.me2everyone.com/417467
Also, once I heard about this ground breaking site, I sent out an email to all my friends. I thought I'd share it here too so that everyone can see what I saw (namely free shares). I hope it helps to rid us of the seriously failing service that is prevalent in the tech world today. No matter how much technology you throw into the mix, this world will always run based on the relationships we have and how we nurture them. We win and lose based on that principal no matter how it's all wired.
***Link to the email I posted to MySpace****

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Beauty Queen Is, As Beauty Queen Does

Ms. California, what can I say.... I LOVE YOU!!! The Miss USA pageant contestant, Carrie Prejean, answered a question regarding same sex marriage at the pageant last Sunday. She was polite, honest and most importantly BIBLICALLY CORRECT! I love how she mentioned the freedom of choice before stating that she was raised with values that same sex marriage was wrong. I have always said, "God has given everyone free will, who am I to take it away." But Ms. Prejean DID have a responsibility to share what is right. I think she was brilliant! But I'm not writing this post to dredge up what happened last weekend as so many blogs are. I'm writing to inform anyone who is reading this post where Ms. Prejean's beliefs stem and to encourage her to keep speaking out. Leviticus 18:22 says "you shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination." For such a straight forward scripture, you'd think it was one of Jesus' infamous parables based on how society behaves. And while this isn't the first time the world has been so nonchalant about this particular subject (Sodom and Gomorrah), it might be the last. It's no coincidence that Sodom is the root of sodomy... yikes! 2Timothy 3:1-5 says "But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people." Mr. Hilton and everyone jumping on his bandwagon is simply fulfilling what the Bible says. God bless Mr. Hilton! Hang in there Ms. California. Everyone is failing to understand that this was not just YOUR opinion, but this is God's opinion. God, please have mercy on all our souls.

I have one last scripture to note: Leviticus 20:13 says, "And when a man lies down with a male the same as one lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them." To anyone like Ms. Prejean, who grew up studying their Holy Bible, homosexuality is a pretty severe and detestable thing.

Resources Sponsors ----> http://tinyurl.com/ojco7q "Learn To Study The Bible"


Ok, yes, I'm a thief. But look how cute this is! I couldn't resist. Actually, what you see in the pic is what I made after going to the public library and asking to borrow a pen. It wasn't until this horrible red flower (I swear it was the size of one of my throw pillows) was placed in my hand that I noticed someone actually took the time to wrap the ugly thing with green tape to make the stem. Huh, pretty! While this horribly gaudy pen was meant to be that way so that no one would WANT to steal it... what would it look like if made to be pretty and match the decor of your home? And it would serve the same purpose: to keep the pens in their place. I mean, that would be an awesome house warming gift too! This little gem guarantees that I NEVER have to go in search of a pen again!!! I totally stole the idea!

Pen Bouquet

What I got from the dollar store:
Retractable pens (refillable kind)
Brown mini pot that matched my decor
Pretty silk flowers (with thin wire stems)
Dry beans (any kind)

What I got from the craft store in the floral dept:
Flora Bond Glue
Stem Wrap Tape

What I had at home:
Pliers with wire cutters

First, prepare the pens and flowers. Write with all the pens to be sure they work and do NOT retract them. Unscrew all the tips and remove ink and springs. Measure the stems of each flower one to one and half inches from base of flower and clip the excess with wire cutters. Wrap the cut edge with tape.

With the empty pen casing, place a dab of glue just above where the tip goes and begin to wind the tape. Click on the pic to enlarge so that you can see that I did not glue or tape the threading where the pen tip screws back on. Make sure to wrap the pen tightly as you are taping. You will not need the glue again until you reach the top where the flower goes. Once you reach the top, be sure the pen is NOT retracted. Place the flower stem along side the pen casing as you continue to wrap tightly securing the flower. Once you reach the very top, wrap the tape tightly over pen's clicker (?) to secure it in the engaged position and wrap the tape around the flower base. Do this a couple of times to be sure the pen will not retract when in use. Snip the tape and place a dab of glue to secure the tape in place. Allow the glue to completely dry before replacing the ink, spring and pen tip. The finished pen allows me to replace the ink whenever it dries or runs out.

Finally, I filled the decorative mini pot with the dry beans so that the pens will stand up in the the pot and voila.... a beautiful pen bouquet that is simply a beautiful decoration. Mine has it's home next to my phone message book in the phone center.
Resource Sponsor ----> Cool Irish Gifts

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Center Yourself!

I talk quite a bit about organizing, because I believe that organizing has made me the happy person you don't see today (because this is a blog, get it?). It started when I wanted to decorate my house and began learning about Feng Shui. Now, I'm an Aries and I'm a redhead and stereotypically (and quite literally) I am NOT an organized person. Yes, this is all very true! But that's the beauty of organization... it is 100% learned. To date, I have never heard of the organizing gene. Some of us are a little more predisposed to "getting it" though, and I was not one of them. I spent many years frazzled because of disorganization. I would never have known that was the reason if I hadn't spent time organizing the things in my life. It is through that process that I felt the release of frustration.... I actually felt problems get solved. In a previous post, I talk about the problem with clothing in my bedroom. My husband and I argued over missing articles of clothing. I am not joking. It is beyond aggravating not knowing where stuff is.

One organizing trick is to create "centers". Centers allow you to know where something is immediately because any given item should only be kept in one or maybe two spots. For example I bought a decorative box and put hanging file folders in it for mail. The folders were marked paid, save, and file. The decorative box blended very nicely with my brown and purple kitchen and allowed for all mail to be found in one of two locations, the mail center or the file cabinet. The mail center came in handy because for my family the mail usually didn't make it beyond the kitchen and always ended up piled on the kitchen table.

Another center that I spoke about in a previous blog was the master closet. I made sure that clothes are now found either in the closet or in the laundry room. I installed a collapsible rod in the laundry room for hanging clothes on hangers before taking them to the closet to be hung. So many times clothing would end up piled on the bed to "be put away later". When later never came, they would end up piled on the dresser, hanging on the bed post, or even worse, the floor. There is nothing worse than clean clothes piled on a floor! So to fix all of this, I installed a closet organizer with drawers for clothes. I removed the dressers and bed posts. Problem solved. You can go to any home improvement center for help to customize your closet. There are options that will fit just about any budget from well known names such as Closet Maid, Sauder and Rubbermaid, just to name a few of the less pricier name brands. A mid range closet organizer is shown in the picture. Click this link for pricing. If you do have a larger budget, I also found Easy Closets and their design program is wonderful!!! Ooo! And don't forget my absolute favorite... IKEA!!! If you have an IKEA near you, I suggest you go! Talk about a great closet at a great price!!!

I also purchased a phone message book that you can get from any business supply store. This kept all messages centrally located and easy to find when information or phone numbers were needed down the road. That actually came in handy more than once when we needed a phone number for someone we hadn't spoken to in months or needed particular information from a phone message left earlier in the year. You'd be surprised how this little tip avoided some stress in my life. And can you never seem to find a pen? Or the pen that you cleaverly attached to the message book come up missing? Stay tuned, because I will post later in the week about a fix I stole from my local public library. I'm not kidding.... I just swiped it!!!! Wait and see!!!

A fun place to create centers in under beds. I currently have three centers under my bed using Sterilite Under Bed Storage Boxes. One center holds all of my candles (from the millions of Partylite Candle Parties I attend every year... ok, slight exaggeration. Only slight), another center holds all of my sewing/knitting/crocheting supplies and the third center holds sweaters. I LOVE not searching for these items that only get used a couple times every year, but when I need them, I know just where to find them.

Storage ottomans are a great way to add functional decoration for centering. I have two. One is in my bedroom. It is brown wicker and I use it for sitting and inside the ottoman is my Bible study materials. I have a concordance, a Bible dictionary, my notebook, highlighters, pens, Bible study books and of course, my Bible. A more mobile alternative (because I love it when stuff is mobile) is a simple plastic crate that you can get from the same business supply store you got the phone message book from.

The second ottoman is located in my bathroom at the vanity. I use the ottoman to store my makeup and cleansing products. Of course I also sit on it to put on my makeup. My husband is grateful that my girly stuff doesn't clutter the bathroom counter.

The last center I want to talk about is actually something that I got for my birthday a while back. I do NOT recommend this be given to anyone you love as a gift unless you REALLY know them and know that they will love it. I REALLY loved it!!! But because I don't want anyone to get in trouble because of something I blogged about, I am keeping this post from the gift-giving category. Again folks.... this is NOT a gift idea!!! I received a janitors cart. I am able to keep all of my cleaning supplies in one place and more importantly.... mobile! I no longer have to go from one room to the next for this or that and, "oh, I need garbage bags!" or "let me grab the vacuum." Everything is right there and I clean until a room is done and then off to the next room. My cleaning time has been split in half. Seriously! That's what I call efficient! Another alternative to the cleaning cart is a modified apron. Many years ago I attended a Women's Bible Camp where we attended Bible studies throughout the summer on various topics. One of the topics was organization and cleaning. It was recommended to take a regular apron and add loops and pockets. Pockets are great for holding cleaning rags, unused garbage bags, cleaning brushes, etc. The loops are great for holding feather dusters or for hanging spray bottles. You get the picture. You can also make an apron from scratch. Here is a site that offers free apron patterns. Either way you go, having everything you need for cleaning in a central location saves time, energy and stress.
Creating centers in your home will certainly ground you simply by knowing where your stuff is and relieves stress which is the basic definition of "centering yourself". Who knew it was to be taken so literally??? :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

One Girl's Opinion on Greasing Your Own Gear With Regulation

I am a lover of Stephen Colbert and the Colbert Report, but unfortunately not today!!! After listening to Elizabeth Warren talk about financial regulations that affected Stewart (on The Daily Show) enough to tout that her spiel was financial chicken soup, I watched the Stephen Colbert Show where he then proceeded to "define" what the very "regulations" will probably look like. This is what we could and should expect from our government; The Word Of The Day: Have Your Cake And Eat It Too. Don't get me wrong... the show was brilliant and I so agree with the views Stephen "doesn't" support, but it reminded me that the current condition of our government will not provide real resolution for the current circumstances and that I really should just buckle myself in for the economy to get far worse. It is only when the pain of change exceeds the pain of staying the same that our economy will turn around. With the current state of government corruption, I just don't see real motivation for real change. Just look at all the ear marks that our congressman attached to the stimulus package. A package, that in my opinion again, created a bigger hemorrhage. Never in our history have we lent money on failing collateral. And this money wasn't even a loan! Paying billions to companies that aren't even worth millions is just stupid. And the idea that poorly managed companies would not be replaced with well managed companies is again.... just stupid. THEY DIDN'T NEED OUR INTERFERENCE!!! But we did interfere; this from the "great thinkers" running this country. If left to fail (just like they are, even today WITH the bailout money... our money), I would bet that well managed companies (some who may not have even been in the financial biz) would branch out and excel causing our economy to do the same. But our government put a certain stop to that. No one can convince me that our congress, our entire government really, is not corrupt. At a time when we needed as much money as we possibly could to be put to work just to stabilize our country, these "wonderful" politicians were still attaching their own agenda's for gain to the stimulus package that WASN'T EVEN READ! They're only concern was trying to get an extra buck attached to that bill when our economy is literally bleeding out!!!

Chicken soup or cake... "what is that special ingredient.... arsenic? YUM!"

OMG... It's An Illness!

You know... for someone that I SERIOUSLY dismissed as a "reality star", Kim Kardashian is really turning out to be a celebrity in my eyes. She's "turning the tide" and I LOVE IT. I'm totally obsessed with seeing what she will do or say next... it's an illness. I know that actors are kind of down on reality stars because they get paid for simply having a camera crew follow them around, but if actors would have taken time to connect with "real people" beyond the glitz of Hollywood, reality stars wouldn't be so successfully winning our hearts. You see, while actors have to watch what they say and how they say it for fear of alienating the next gig, reality stars are paid for the very opposite. And I'm so tired of seeing the Hollywood fakes! The "Putting Real In Reality" is what I think Kim Kardashian has tapped into. I think she's realizing that she's getting paid for just being herself and she's starting to loosen up and open up to the public about it. In my opinion, she is single handedly turning the tide on what actually IS beautiful. Here you have an unbelievably gorgeous woman behaving like the rest of us (well, except for the sex tape thing... oops, or maybe not) with cellulite, falling asleep in the sun.... click on the link for THAT article!

I am seriously sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for the next completely regular thing for this girl to do. I will be in my glory the day that photos surface of her gorging herself on Haagen Dazs with mascara streaked down her face. Real girls are not airbrushed. And for a very long time, because of airbrushing, real girls have had to go to great lengths to hide our imperfections. Thank you Kim Kardashian! Thank you for showing the world that real girls are beautiful, curves, cellulite, tan lines (or burn lines) and all!!! Keep it coming.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sheer Bliss

Today's post isn't just about a topic I've learned about. This topic is about something that I've experienced in my life and know that I know. Want to know how fun it is to be wrong? Better yet, do you want to know the sheer bliss of letting someone else be right? Let me describe it to you.

There is an absolute joy with allowing someone else to be right. As much as YOU want to be right, picture the other person that you're engaged with hearing that wonderful phrase from you, "You know what? I think you're right." You will see the other person's whole countenance change, their faces often light up and they smile an approving smile. Nothing beats watching that emotional evolution.

For much of my childhood years I was told that I was stupid and made to feel very insignificant. I never understood, growing up, that would create an insatiable need to be right. It would be many years before I discovered that I didn't want people to think I was stupid. I wanted everyone to think I was intelligent. It would be even more years before I realized the impact of being teachable (which is VERY intelligent) vs. knowing everything. Notice I said teachable and not dumb or stupid. I've personally NEVER looked at someone who said I was right as stupid. In fact, the very opposite has always occurred. Because of my amazingly high opinion of myself, I always feel that the person agreeing with anything that I would have to say, is a complete genius!!! I'm joking of course, but kind of not. We all react that way. Agreement is the ultimate acceptance and instills immediate respect. You will also find yourself with a much more receptive audience during discussions that you just cannot admit that someone is right. Everyone will rethink why it is that you do not agree when you are typically so agreeable. They will not perceive your disagreement as offensive, but will be more empathetic toward your view because the acceptance and respect has already been cultivated. We find ourselves immediately on the offensive with the people who know everything aren't we? We are just waiting for that person to correct us leaving us feeling rejected and.... insignificant. I would take making someone feel wonderfully important over feeling insignificant and rejected any day. THAT is sheer bliss!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Midnight Babble.... AGAIN!!!

How's My Soul Lookin?

Blurred! hahahaha! That's only because I cropped and then blew it up, but I did this for a purpose. What does it mean, "the eyes are a window to the soul?" Can someone please tell me where that came from?

I am looking and looking and cannot see anything but an eyeball... hahahaha. Maybe I'll see something if I'm looking into both eyes? Maybe that's it; you need to see both!

Nope, still nothin!

High Yield Low Investment

As far as workouts go, this one is pretty challenging and so fun. You'd think for the effort you put forth for this one, it would require thousands of dollars in workout equipment... something that most people would shy away from in this economy. But no, this workout is effective and can be done at home with items you probably have around the house. You need a chair, a floor (duh!) and a rubber ball. That's it!!!! High yield from a seriously low investment!

Not surprising coming from "America's Girl Friend" Kelly Ripa. I was sifting through old Shape issues and ran across these six exercises that give a total body workout. It doesn't take a lot of time and you can REALLY feel these exercises working (watch out for the tricep can can... wow!).

You Are Just So Sweet... Really!

Every year I do the Master Cleanse and I love it. Along with being able to credit this cleanse with creating a cleaner me, it also can be credited with removing refined sugar from my diet... which is huge. So when I read one80.com's blog post on Maple Syrup, I sat up and paid attention. Note: REAL maple syrup should not be confused with pancake syrup, although tastes very good on them!!! In fact, the only sweeteners that I use are maple syrup and agave nectar.

Maple syrup is one of those magical ingredients that sweetens AND nourishes. Unlike refined sugar, maple syrup feeds the body and promotes healing. Maple syrup is one of the ingredients used to make the lemonade that you consume while on the Master Cleanse... along with cayenne, lemon and water. Yes, I said cayenne. Any culinary guru can tell you that sweet and spicy works very well together and this lemonade is no exception (it doesn't hurt that cayenne promotes healing as well... wink, wink). In fact, the taste of this lemonade makes this fasting cleanse surprisingly easy to do, and you can drink as much of the lemonade as you want. This lemonade tastes so good that I haven't drank lemonade any other way since first doing the master cleanse two years ago. For more information on the Master Cleanse, check out The Master Cleanser by Stanley Burroughs. It's full of tons of health information on top of everything you need to know about completing the cleanse. Drop me a line if you decide to give the Master Cleanse a try... I can hook you up with a few "Master Cleanse Communities" that were invaluable to me when I did it the first time.

Detoxify your body

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wow and Yummy!

I was out of town over the Easter holiday and I came back to a chocolaty, decadent blog post at one of my favorite blog sites, The Sunny Raw Kitchen! The blog post is called Super Caramel Chocolate Tarts and it looks AMAZING! This recipe brought to mind a recipe that I've been making for a few years and is my version of Snickers. I would peel as many dates as I could stand to peel and put them into a bowl and mash with a smidge of cold water (to keep it all from sticking, but not to much, because the dates need to be handled). Someone once said that dates are nature's caramel... love it. I would then form the 'caramel' into little bite size rectangles and roll them in crushed peanuts and set in the fridge to harden slightly. While those are in the fridge, I would take about a cup of carob powder, 1/4- 1/2 cup of honey and a splash of cold water and heat the mixture stirring constantly until I have a chocolaty syrup. I would then take the cold 'caramel' and peanut bars out of the fridge and dip them into the chocolate syrup. The cold bars would set the chocolate pretty quickly, but I would still put the completed "snickers" into the fridge to finish setting up.

Well, these bars taste even better than Snickers bars in my opinion and are way better for you, but this blog post at The Sunny Raw Kitchen brings to light (pardon the pun) that I might not have to cook the 'chocolate' mixture at all. If the honey is room temperature, the mixture should mix pretty nicely and then still set up when cold. I am definitely going to give it a try and let everyone know how it turns out! Thanx Sunny Raw Kitchen... I'm going to try the tarts as well! ;)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Feng Shui Part 4

Wow, this ended up being a long blog series on Feng Shui. I didn't realize what a process I had been through.

I did want to finalize this whole thing with my previous mention of color and one's color palette. It is true that color affects our moods which is why it plays such an important role in Feng Shui and can actually make your home feel like you're on vacation at a 5 star resort. Easterners just found it out sooner than Westerners did! Hahahahaha! There's a surprise! But in figuring out how to decorate your home, where does one start? Let's head back to the notes in my notebook. I first researched colors and moods. Understanding what colors inspired what feelings was a major help for me. I then took a trip to a model home center to look around and check out pre-selected color palettes to see which ones made me feel the best. Model home centers (if you have one near you) are a great tool for this because they usually have counter/carpet/wood color packages already put together and coordinated so that builders can expedite semi custom home selections. If you don't have one near you, you can also check out websites devoted to interior design like this one! The important thing is to pick colors you love and colors that make you feel great! For me, I started with the color red. Red is not exactly my favorite color, but I learned that red is the color of excitement and passion, energy, vitality and power. I knew that I wanted that feeling throughout my home, so I knew that is the color I would start with. I realized that I didn't want a bright red as brights did not make me feel good, so I picked an earthy red and decided that red would be used to accent each of the rooms. Yep, red would be the color to tie my whole house together. Ahhhh the flow! Then for the rest of the house... since deep, rich, earth tones made me feel the very best, earthy it would be. Green is the color of nature and calm, so my bedroom would be a deep green. Brown is also the color of nature, warmth and calm, so all living spaces would be a beautiful earthy brown. Purple is the color of royalty and power, so because I have a seriously outrageous sense of humor, my guest bathroom would be purple. And that led to the kitchen being brown and purple (see pic above) and I was off and running! Man, do I love the colors in my home! Every room makes me feel amazing... like I'm on vacation every day! But it's not just because of color. There is power in the phrase, "out of sight, out of mind". Becoming a master of illusion when decorating helps to create that feeling of being at a resort as well.

The one thing that was only briefly mentioned in one of the resources that I scowered, was the dual function of design elements. But I discovered how important it was. The items you decorate your home with can serve as both decor and storage/hiding. For example, a chest that appears to simply hold pillows on a potshelf (see pic), actually holds holiday serving platters and holiday decorations hidden by decorative pillows. These are items that I only use once a year, so it's no big deal to pull out the ladder to get them at Christmas time. If you're looking for a piece of art to fill an empty space on the wall, look into getting the perfect size wall mounted curio cabinet. There are plenty that are very decorative to match the design of your home and can act as storage as well.

There is a lot to Feng Shui even beyond what people may or may not believe about it's power and energy flow. The simple truth that Feng Shui can clear the clutter of your home and ease your stress lends credit to the whole "chi" thing in my opinion. Well, here's to all our chi. May it be open and receptive. I hope this blog series did a good enough job explaining Feng Shui and I hope seeing how I applied it's principals helps someone else create a personal sanctuary in their home.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Feng Shui Part 3

Ok, so I understood Feng Shui and I also realized that to put it into practice involved digging in and REALLY organizing. Everything needed to have a home, by that I mean no more mail piling up on the dining room table, no more clothes all over the floor, no more not being able to find the scissors because they were always put someplace different. No more clutter! All that might seem inconsequential, but it isn't. It's those little stresses that break you after having to keep it together for the big stuff during the day. It's all these little things that I believe are responsible for the saying, "you always hurt the one's you love". I think that we deal with very stressful situations with people we cannot possibly vent with and then come home to our family. The slightest stress ("why can I never find the scissors?!?") set us off. Instead of coming home with a load of stress to find the scissors exactly where you expected to find them and being able to let out that deep breath of satisfaction that SOMETHING went right today, we come home to more stress and disappointment because our chi is blocked with the clutter of our lives. I call that clutter "sight pollution". So here's where my notebook came in. In looking at all my furniture that was supporting and surrounded by all the piles of boxes, I realized that there were a few different kinds of "stuff". The first was the furniture or fixtures, I called it group A. The second was the "stuff" that went in or on the fixtures (group B) and the third was everything else (group C). Because I had so much of group B, I decided that I would start there. Like all the organizing resources had suggested, I made three piles for the group B: Keep, Throw Away and Donate. Once I established everything that I was going to keep (rule was that it had to have been used at least once in the past year), I had to decide where to keep it. Was it a keep-that-got-used-often, or was it a keep-that-got-used-once-that-year? The "stuff" that got used often found a convenient home in or on the furniture or a fixture (group A), the "stuff" that got used once a year got set aside. I did that with every room. If a piece of furniture was not going to work for my new organizational purposes, I kept a list in my notebook of replacement group A stuff that would work and spent the next 8 months saving and collecting these items.

Example: The new house was going to have a walk-in closet and the 2 dressers that we used to keep our clothes in were located in the bedroom. They were visual eyesores, were always overflowing and were also used as an entertainment unit for the TV and DVD player along with bedroom nic-nacs we kept. Realizing that these items just were not working (as clothes managed to get piled on top and hung on our bed posts) I got rid of the dressers, the nic-nacs and the foot board on the bed and replaced them with a closet organizer and an armoire. The armoire would be placed in the bedroom to hold the TV and DVD player ONLY. No more clothes in the bedroom. My bedroom would be a sanctuary. What you can't see in the pic is a 3 sectioned rolling clothes hamper under the cabinet on the bottom left. I dyed two of the hamper bags so that the dirty clothes would be color coordinated (white for whites, blue for colors, black for darks) by wash loads. This example was actually my first organizing project to get completed and will always be my shining glory as I've maintained a clothes-free, bedroom sanctuary for more than 5 years.

All of my keep-that-got-used-once-this-year stuff got listed on index cards and stored in garage storage bins. The number on the bin corresponded with the number on the card, that way I had a catalog for the items in the garage that could easily be found from the kitchen and retrieved within seconds as opposed to the MANY, MANY minutes in the past of rummaging through junk to find... well, let's say the scissors. You get my point!

Finally was group C. This was stuff like the TV remote control that didn't necessarily have a specific place to be but needed to have a temporary home when not in use. I purchased a holder that is placed on the side of the couch with pockets to hold the remotes, but concealed from line of sight. Another group C item was the aluminum foil. I ended up buying a rack to hold the aluminum foil, wax paper and ziplock bags and attaching the rack to the pantry door. Cupboard space was dedicated to kitchen appliances so they were out of sight when not in use and mail was gathered in a decorative file box with folders marked pay, paid, file and save. The pic at the top shows the view of my kitchen. The counters and table are kept clear most of the time.
Every detail that I wrote down in that notebook and worked out in my head over that 8 month period came to fruition and has been maintained ever since. I absolutely love the set up of my home, from color scheme to furniture to artwork. It all reflects the peaceful me and my family's style with that wonderful Feng Shui flare!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Feng Shui Part 2

Well, fortunately for me we moved into a rental house that was less than half the size of the ranch home we had just sold while we waited for our home's construction to complete. I say fortunately because I learned very quickly that as bad as you believe something is, it can get worse. There's nothing like floor to ceiling piles of boxes to block one's chi. That is how we lived for 8 months. I was aching for the space I thought I didn't have before. I wanted the doors and fences and dust... for just a second. Then something changed. I started dreaming of what the new home was going to be like. Because of this severe lack of space, I was able to actually see what the solutions to all of my complaints might be and kept a notebook of all my house design ideas. I thought about color schemes and did research on color and mood enhancement. I also researched home organization. You would be amazed what can be done in your home for virtually no money but save tons of time and space. Those eight months learning HOW to really make my new home work was a huge blessing. Being that I'm pretty disorganized and flighty by nature, I was blessed with not only the time (8 months), but also the motivation (seriously cramped environment) to make this new home be a source of peace for me and running smoothly. All this research and all these tools led me to one topic of discussion.... enter Feng Shui! Learning about Feng Shui combined all of this information into one principal: Placement/Structure. My very favorite book on this topic is Feng Shui Your Life by Jayme Barrett. I am a very visual person, so ideas along with visual examples and excerpts on application were not only key in my understanding of Feng Shui, but how to make it work for me as well. This is way more than red and gold decor or rock gardens! This is about a peaceful home free of clutter, one that allows you to move freely and gives you a place to relax away from the stress of the day. Even though I still have a lot to learn on the topic, I can honestly say that what I know has changed my life and the way I live it! When the physical things in your life stop creating tension, you would be amazed how the mental and spiritual things follow. I believe that also works the other way as well. For me though, changing the environment allowed me to breathe and relieved some pressure in my life. The dynamics with those I live with even changed. My husband jokingly says that I'm "all fenged up", but I know he loves it. I can tell by his mood every night when he gets home from work. I would have to say that we're both "fenged up"!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Feng Shui Part 1

Feng Shui is the art of design where placement of objects like furniture and decor, even walls opens/releases an individual's chi or energy. Whew! That was a mouth full. Being that all matter is made up of energy and that energy attracts and detracts, it makes sense to me that Feng Shui is not only real but it works. But beyond the common sense (or maybe not so common. Are normal people as ga-ga for Quantum Physics as I am? I'm a weirdo) I have experienced the "flow" of Feng Shui and have experienced the clutter without. I'm baring my soul here people! Buckle in!! :)

Mine and my husband's first house together was a ranch style home on an acre. Oh, it was nice... with a six car garage/workshop and an in-ground pool. There were stalls set up out back for livestock; by anyone's standards this house was NICE. Well, except mine. I don't mean to say that I didn't think the house was nice, more that it wasn't right for me. I just want to say that before I really get going, because the next part is going to sound like a huge list of complaints, but it really is not. I do have a point.

First, the house was located on a dirt road that was narrow and twisted and turned very oddly. If two vehicles were on the road, one vehicle had to pull over so that the other could pass. Due to the road being dirt (and this IS Arizona), it was impossible to keep the house clean. I pretty much had to dust daily, which I didn't, to keep the house looking presentable. Second, the ceilings throughout the house were 8 foot ceilings. For some people low ceilings are perfectly fine. For me.... well I'll get to that in just a sec. The living room was the first room you entered into when coming through the front door. Just the word "living" can pretty much tell you what everyone saw when they entered my home. And that, by the way, is also what I saw every time I entered my home. A room that was lived in. Newspapers on the floor, empty soda bottles, books in various stages of un-read and dust, lots of dust. The kitchen was located just behind the living room. A huge wall separated the living room and the kitchen. I had painted the kitchen and was proud of the job I did. I thought the colors accented the WHITE cabinets very well. A couple of things about the kitchen paint. Color plays a HUGE roll in Feng Shui. Color, like most everything else, affects energy. I picked bright colors because they seemed to fit the "country" style in the kitchen with the WHITE cabinets and the double french doors that led on to the extended patio. Bright colors are not MY colors, and I found that out the hard way. All the dust that came into the house from those wonderful doors turned the WHITE cabinets brown which terribly clashed with the bright colored walls. Had I known about the dust before I painted, I would have gone with a darker color to accent the cabinets that would (after 7 years) turn brown anyway... no matter how much you scrubbed them, but that would have hindered me from finding out that my personal color palette is an autumn and NOT spring. The hard lessons are always the best lessons.

As soon as you went through the french doors onto the back patio, your first view was the fencing that surrounded the pool and completely blocked the yard from the patio and ran most of the length of the extended patio's concrete. At the far end of the patio was another set of french doors that took you into the master bathroom. What was with all the doors?!? Now typically I would love doors, and natural light sources, etc. But in a house that is located on a dirt road, lots of doors is NOT a good thing unless your only joy in life is cleaning. On leaving the bedroom and entering the hall, I was greeted by MORE DOORS lining a narrow hallway that led back to the living room. Now, prior to converting the 2 car garage into living space and building the workshop/6 car garage, a garage door was located in the living room just before you entered the kitchen through a small archway. We eventually turned that garage door into another arch, added a wall for a small entrance onto what became a HUGE finished room. Since our laundry room was located in the garage, my husband added another wall and a door and we now had a laundry room that I mistakenly painted a bright color... again! But, the new converted room ended up being my saving grace. The openness of the room made me feel differently than the rest of the house. Could that be my chi? HAHAHAHA! I bought a can of paint labelled European White. I thought white would go with most of the other walls throughout the house since the only two rooms that were painted with an actual color were the kitchen and and now the laundry room. Well, as it turns out, the color European White is not white at all. It is a creamy beige with purple undertones (the color mix included red and blue with a black base). Now I know about paint colors, bases and mixing... at that time I didn't, let alone knowing ANYTHING about Feng Shui. I was a very young whipper-snapper back then! hahahaha. Now for the complaining. Over time, living in the house became very hard for me to feel comfortable in and learning about Feng Shui told me why. Clutter began to pile. It was as if I was finally resolved that I was not going to be able to keep the house clean and just wasn't going to bother trying. The lack of storage and organization made the air catch in my throat. This house blocked my chi from the low, coffin-like ceilings to the doors to the fencing as soon as you stepped into the back yard blocking the view of the entire acre of grass to THE NEVER ENDING DUST!!! This house was the furthest thing from zen for me. Then we moved!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Panic Switch Included With Every Model

So I was doing a Bible study with my new ESV Bible that I got for Christmas and got to Matthew 17:21 and it wasn't there. The scriptures jumped from 20 to 22. What??? I called my sister (who loved my study Bible so much that she got one for herself) to ask her to check out that verse; it was missing from her Bible as well. What the heck??? I hit the panic switch! That Bible was my new favorite. I can't rely on a Bible MISSING scriptures. I was in shock that this Bible that had over 95 contributors to make it, had this big of an error in it. In my panic I began raving that I was going to call someone to get reimbursed for the Bible. Sure enough, my sister jumped on my panic train and added that she was going to burn hers. Ok, hang on a sec. Does every girl come equipped with a panic switch??? I'm laughing too hard to finish this post. My side is hurting.... hahahahahahaha!
I was on the phone dialing the makers of the Bible when my sister saw the teeny tiny #4 footnote that read,"Some manuscripts insert verse 21." What the heck?!? I contacted the publisher of my Bible (Crossway) and spoke to a customer service rep explaining what had happened and the panic that I was in because I really loved this Bible. I had the rep laughing pretty hard as she listened to my story, she then explained to me that the scholars (95 contributed) collectively decided to create a literal translation instead of translating ideology and that (while my King James Version does contain verse 21) text had been discovered (Dead Sea Scrolls being part of that) since the King James was printed that suggested verse 21 was not part of the literal translation of the original text. Well, that seems like a reasonable explanation. The beauty of the ESV Bible is that it still includes the scripture, you just have to look in the footnotes for it. That is pretty cool!!! But I gotta say, my sister and I went from 0-60 and back to 0 again in .2 seconds. Wow, this topic is kind of a tough one. The Bible warns to not add or change the God inspired word (see Deut. 4:2 and Rev. 22:18-19)... very confusing. If we are to really believe that the Bible is inerrant, then why did God include a warning? That leads me to believe that there have been additions AND omissions and that my omnipotent God knew there would be and included warnings, sooooo who's to say that the King James is 100% accurate or the ESV? Which one is really the word of God? Apparently I'm not the only one in the dark on this one. I just read an entire thread on the topic and one poster made mention of the book of Jasher. Whoa, what? So I went lookin. Joshua 10:13 AND 2 Samuel 1:18 both reference the book of Jasher. None of my Bibles contain the book of Jasher. Yah, this topic could get pretty sticky.

Ultimately for me, it's about relationship with my God, which is why I read the Bible in the first place (see 2 Timothy 3:16-17 - ALL scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work). I think this can all be chalked up to everything works for the good for those who love the Lord. It comes down to me and God and whatever anyone else has done or has not done will not blur my focus on my Lord and Savior and the Almighty God who created me. This whole "Bible thing" could be a huge and needless hangup as I experienced today with the panic switch (Sorry Darvina). It was pretty hysterical both figuratively and literally, but ultimately helped to lock in my resolve! I cannot say it any better than this blogger, "Only Jesus is the inerrant word of God!" I like it alot!
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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Some Quantum Physics Fun!

Well... fun for me anyway! :)
I have been mulling over this particular post all week. It started with a Bible scripture that I could not find. The scripture was committed to memory, but I couldn't remember what book of the Bible to find it in. Dang it! And I really needed it during a discussion on Quantum Physics too. Since first learning about Quantum Physics I have been enthralled by it. I have always said that Quantum Physics is science discovering God! At the very root is the scientific proof that our world is not what we see. It is called Quantum Theory, however, in labs all over the world there is "living" proof that what we see and what actually is, are two very different things (at the atomic level... the core, as it were). Quantum Physicists have also proven that our thoughts are "things", measurable and quantifiable energy that alters at the atomic level. How can that NOT be exciting????!!!!

So I'm in this discussion talking about thought waves changing the world we are experiencing and say, "This can all be found in the Bible." I then easily conjure Proverbs 23:7, "For as a man thinks, so is he" and Matthew 17:20, "....if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you" Verse 21 adds*, "However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting." So why is verse 21 so important? Well it's important because brain waves are electromagnetic alpha waves. Yes, think magnet that actually draws atoms... no joke! It has been scientifically proven that meditative prayer (that feeling of zen that is achieved when the body is cleansing and not processing food and then praying in that condition) produces much higher alpha waves.... enough to cause environmental changes. Click here for study results on Tibetan Monks! So cool! Anyone need a mountain moved... I think I'm up for it! Just kidding.

We began talking about Dr. Wayne Dyer's (LOVE HIM!!!) The Power Of Intention as well as Dale Carnegie's The Strangest Secret both touting in essence, "what you think about you bring about". Both Dyer and Carnegie mention that these principals are found in the Bible. But where? Carnegie does recite, "Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you..."(Matthew 7), but there is a verse that I knew summed up the whole process quite clearly and I too couldn't just say, "it's in the Bible." So off I went in search of this scripture that eluded me. EUREKA!!!! 2 Peter 1:3, "His divine power HAS GRANTED to us ALL THINGS that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence." God is a "yes man"! I love it!!! So if it's all been granted, what's left? Us! God says yes to the desires of our heart. I've discovered that God concurs with me on the "what" I desire, but takes full control on the "how" it will go about happening. It is our job to "move the mountain", God never said that he would move it for you, he just said you have the power to do it. He's so amazing! Go ahead Quantum Physicists... keep peeling back the layers.

* Verse 21 was missing from my ESV Study Bible which led to some pretty funny antics as well as some serious soul searching. I WILL be posting a blog on it.
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Really Fun Workout

Some time ago a family member stored a Total Gym at my house. I have a workout room with weight equipment and was easily able to accommodate the addition since the Total Gym basically folds down to nothing and stores standing up so it uses vertical space (smart!). It was missing a bolt, and if I fixed it and got it working again, I was free to use it. Well, I just repaired it and have been having a blast with it. Ever since my Magic Bullet discovery, I've really been rethinking the whole infomercial gig. There's more to these products than just a bunch of junk being sold sight unseen to gullible buyers. The infomercials have really come full circle and seem to be taking quite a bit more pride in selling products that really deliver benefits. What I am loving most about this Total Gym is the ability to do a pilates workout on it. I've only done a few reformer exercises, but it seems to do a really great job. I'm going to order a pilates DVD so that I get an entire at-home pilates workout, and I'll be hittin ebay for that gem! I'll keep everyone posted on how that goes. I also just ordered the wing accessory and should have it this week. I don't know what I'm going to do if I have to give the Total Gym back.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

It Really Is Saving My Life!

Ooooo... purple!!!! As I was brushing this AMAZING color on my nails this morning, it hit me that there just could be more to this polish addiction than meets the eye. Now, some may think that I'm just trying to dream up a justification to run out and buy the new summer Color Club colors, but that just simply is not the case. I am trying to get a message out to possibly save a life; maybe even my own! hahahahaha! On a serious note, I think I DO know what the sudden new attraction is to nail polish. For starters, it is a very cheap way to feel beautiful! Instead of spa treatments or new outfits, I buy a new nail polish (usually in the $2-$4 range). Nothing makes you feel more put together, for less, than freshly polished nails. Second, I think there is quite a bit of merit to the idea that color affects your mood. I tend to gravitate toward bright cheerful colors. But recently, I've been choosing deeper, richer colors. More calming maybe? Anyhow, color therapy is certainly not a new concept and I DO notice that I feel wonderful shopping for a new nail polish color. My next test is to go nail polish shopping when I'm angry or aggravated to see how/if it changes my mood. OOOOO.... Experiment!!! The new polish pictured on my nails is OPI's Can You Dig It with a Konad nail stamp in Color Club's What A Drag. So very nice! I have been wanting to do these stars on purple so bad, and this was just the PERFECT purple!!! They turned out great and gave me a pretty little kick to the 'same-old' purple outfit I pulled out of my closet and wore today. See, one more benefit! If it means I can save just one life, it makes buying that nail polish that is on sale worth it!!! hahahahahaha!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

It Just Means So Much!

Well, today is my birthday! Yay me! And like most every birthday, my husband spends the day in the kitchen making me Lasagna. This lasagna is just about the most amazing birthday present I have ever received and I get it every year. The tradition started just a couple of weeks after my husband and I met. He found out my birthday was coming up and asked me what I wanted. I told him that he and I just met and that I couldn't accept a gift from him but that I really appreciated the thought. He insisted finally asking me if I wanted him to cook something for me. Ok, so he kicked the door WIDE open, how could I NOT test the waters?!? I smiled and said, "Lasagna. I would love lasagna." I knew that lasagna was pretty labor intensive and expected him to say that he couldn't do it, but instead, he smiled and proudly said, "Ok, lasagna it is!" My heart fell to the floor. I could not believe it. The day of my birthday, he took me to the store with him to "buy the goods". He did not skimp on anything. Being a guy, he spent the entire trip to the store boasting that he was getting the finest ingredients and that this lasagna was going to be the best... and it was! He has made it for me ever since. He always gets the freshest spinach, the best ricotta and parmesan, and hand selected hot italian sausage and ground turkey at the meat counter. The sauce is made from scratch (with a little help from a few canned ingredients) with all the right seasonings. It would not be a birthday without my lasagna.

I am listing this post under gift giving ideas because this lasagna represents the ultimate in gift giving. Something like this is special beyond words. It requires someone's time, their money and is the sincerest of gestures. Just look at the pic! Nothing says I love you more than that slice of cheesy, yummy goodness. It suddenly hit me tonight that I wish I had a picture of EVERY lasagna my husband has made for me over the past 15 years. I would totally do a scrapbook titled, "Ode to Kevin's Lasagna". He is just the greatest!
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My New Green Thumb

It just amazes me what we can do and don't even have a clue. I never thought of myself as having a green thumb. Never really cared about plant life one way or another. I mean, I've received the traditional "house warming" house plant a time or two and killed every one. Then one day I bought a $3.00 fern at my local grocery store and decided that I was going to try and keep it alive. Boy did I ever. That thing grew and grew to the point that I had to transplant the sucker every other month because it would keep outgrowing the pot. My husband used to make jokes that he'd wake up in a cold sweat after having a nightmare that it's long shoots grew their way down the hall and wrapped themselves around his neck. I also remember that nothing could kill this fern. I only watered it, maybe, once a month and would forget to bring it inside the house during pretty intense weather. I think at some point I did not want to care for it anymore.... it was SO MUCH work to care for this thing! We finally cut it in half and gave the two halves away when we moved. That was many years ago, so in hopes that I have matured and can handle caring for another living plant, I decided I was going to give a garden my all. Well, here is the fruit of my labor.... well, actually the vegetable. Turns out, caring for a garden is WAY EASIER than caring for a potted plant! Apparently these are the plants I should have been growing all along... no transplanting (well, other than the initial transplant from pot to garden). Here are my first sprouts from zucchini seeds that I planted. I'm so excited. Apparently I should have zucchini to eat off of my own plants in just a few months. Can you believe it??? I am stunned! I also have gorgeous romaine lettuce that had already been started and I transplanted into my garden. They went into shock and looked like they died. Then, about a week ago, I noticed green leaves sprouting up through the dead stuff. That was weird. You can kind of see the dead stuff at the base of very gorgeous green, organic and yummy leaves. I might have to cut off some leaves and have me a little home grown salad! This gardening thing is a great new hobby that I'm enjoying a lot. I bought a few books on organic gardening in desert climates, but there is one that offered serious help to this novice written by one of our locals, Dave Owens called Extreme Gardening. I HIGHLY recommend this book for anyone wanting to start a garden in the desert. I also appreciated, that out of all the books I purchased to get started, this one made it all VERY easy. The other books made organic gardening seem hard. I think it was mainly because the other books didn't "flow" like the Garden Guy's. Maybe? It just seemed like a lot of information on principals of organic gardening and this technique or that technique. Not information that a beginner needs out of the gate. But Extreme Gardening was informing me that it wasn't hard, that I only needed to devote about 15 minutes each day, feed the soil not the plant, and trust that the land would yield a lush garden. It works!!! A green thumb... this year's hot new, must-have item!!

Life Is Beautiful... Countdown to Holiday Mini Release

Stampin Up's 2020 Holiday Mini Catalog release is in 4 DAYS!!!!  YEEEEE!  Today's Freebie Friday on Facebook featured one of my favo...