What exactly is the Spring Equinox
Although there’s nothing official about it, it’s traditional to say the March or vernal equinox signals the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. This equinox does provide a hallmark for the sun’s motion in our sky, marking that special moment when the sun crosses the celestial equator going from south to north. The 2017 vernal equinox arrived on March 20 at 10:29 UTC. In the Northern Hemisphere, we’re enjoying earlier sunrises, later sunsets, softer winds, sprouting plants. Meanwhile, the opposite season – later sunrises, earlier sunset, chillier winds, dry and falling leaves – south of the equator. For all of us, the moon will be at the last quarter phase. Follow the links below to learn more about this equinox.
This blog borrowed
Here’s a great idea for those who are helping to increase the honey bee population. These great seed bombs are perfect for growing beautiful flowers that will attract the bees. https://www.facebook.com/HGTV/videos/10154616645414213/
Here’s a great article about the danger of the decreased honey bee population and the effect it is going to have on our lives.
Cheerios cereal is doing their part…check it out! Will you do your part?
The use of gold and gems in jewelry can be traced back a Millennia, to ancient cultures such as Egyptian and Mesopotamian. Jewelry has since then been an ever-present part of human civilization. Adorning oneself with jewelry has been consistent across space and time, across religions, cultures, class and gender.
Finish reading this article at the link below…
Well it’s been an early start to some turbulent weather already and it isn’t even spring yet. Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore! The wind has been whipping up all kinds of trouble. Trees toppling over on houses, patio furniture flying around, the infamous trash cans blowing across the highway and sleepless nights because it sounds like a train coming through the house. There were even reports of tornados in Ohio…some say an early start to a tumultuous spring season.
Being prepared is all part of creating a sense of ease when it comes to this season. Make sure you have plenty of batteries for flashlights, non-flame candles and a radio (if you have a radio) and keep a supply of bottled water and some edible right from the package food. Don’t forget to take your cell phone with you if you are heading to the basement for protection. You never know when you might need to make a 911 call. I would remind those who take daily medication to take some with you when you head to the basement, you might have to be there for longer than you think. Personally, I would keep a supply of food, water and batteries in my basement and in my normal living area. If tornados are on the menu for the day, you can hibernate in the basement and if for any reason you can’t leave your basement, you’ll have supplies. If it’s just going to be your garden variety of thunderstorms, then you can stay above ground and have supplies available in the case the electric goes off. If you’re fortunate enough to have a generator, then you’ll be fine until the skies clear!
Remember to have someone take a look at the trees around your house to make sure they are not a hazard to your property when the storm clouds gather. If your trees come down, recycle the wood into a warm fire and make sure your valuable jewelry is always in a fireproof safe, a fireproof safe is usually heavy enough that the wind will not carry it away!
Chin up everyone, spring is not always about stormy weather. It’s also about beautiful flowers, planting a garden, taking walks in the sunshine, smelling the freshly mowed lawn and listening to peepers in the evening. So be prepared, enjoy the warmer weather and hang on to your hat!
Go fly a kite!
Oh my goodness, this kite will make you feel so relaxed! Take a look at this video, so calming.
March is just around the corner and of course we all know March is the best time to fly a kite with the extra breeziness of the early spring season. So, I feel very good about telling all of you to “go fly a kite” and enjoy yourselves. Do you remember putting the kits together as a kid, the sticks fitting into the pre-made slots on the plastic kite? Getting just the right amount of bow in the stick and the tail, we can’t forget about the tail. The length of your kite tail had to be just right so it would take flight and stay in the air. Now as a kid, I didn’t have such an elaborate kite as this one, but back then it’s all we knew and it was a truckload of fun, not to mention it was great exercise with all the running and running, did I mention running, to get the kite off the ground and up in the air!
Now I know everyone that reads my blogs are intelligent people, probably bordering on genius, but I will just mention that if you see lines attached to poles and there is a big metal apparatus nearby, you might not want to fly your kite in that area. It will light up your life and not in a good way…so stay away from power lines!!
Find your local retailer or shop online for a kite, make sure it’s an amazing one like the one in the video, then grab your child, someone else’s child (better get permission from the parent, otherwise you might be misunderstood) or just get in touch with your inner child…and have an awesome, amazing time.
I heard an interesting remark on the radio this morning on the way to work. The man was speaking to a group of people and he asked them if they remember the complex math equations that they learned when they were in school. Many answered no, he told them that’s because they didn’t use that information once they left school. What we don’t use, we lose. I heard another story about a man who was an amazing basketball star in his high school years and was selected for the NBA, after his NBA years he didn’t focus on basketball much. He was asked to play in a basketball tournament for charity and re readily agreed to do it, what he didn’t realize was how much muscle, agility and skill he had lost over the years of not using that talent. Even the bible talks about using our gifts or that that will be lost, again the use it or lose it scenario. A friend of mine sang in a traveling group for many years, but after some life circumstances changed the way she felt about singing, she stopped. A few years later she decided to start singing again, only to find out that natural, good-given talent was no long as easy, natural or good as it used to be. Now it’s work and a challenge to get back to where she once was. Can we re-learn, most likely yes, but wouldn’t it be better to keep the “not so day to day” stuff a part of our day to day life? Along with that, another great thing to do in our lives is to never stop dreaming and setting goals. The man I was listening to on the way to work stated that a lot of people stop learning and growing at a certain age and that stunts them in their older years. He suggested everyone should continue to learn new things, take classes, watch “how to” videos and set new goals and achieve new dreams. Better still, work toward an old dream that you put on an imaginary shelf. Pick that dream up from that shelf today! Grab that dream and go!
Breaking 7 Habits For A More Successful YOU!
Is it a matter of intelligence? Does it have something to do with good luck? We think it’s more than that. The secret to being successful is in your habits. And while there are hundreds of articles out there that tell you what habits you should have in order to be successful, we’re here to tell what you must absolutely refuse to do anymore if you want to be the greatest you’ve ever been.
Yes, you should live a healthy and active life. But this is not enough. You must give up some things as well to make room for the people and activities that will truly help you become your best version of yourself.
Click here for more information!
Coming full circle…what we hope our children will do for us!
Remember when you were little and you knew you didn’t have to worry about anything because your parents made you feel safe and taken care of? As we grow older, we get married, have children, nurture our careers and find ourselves burning our candle at both ends and in the middle. It’s then we realize that the parents that took care of us and made us feel safe, now need us to take care of them and help them feel loved, secure and safe. Sometimes they don’t think or act the same as they did when they were a few years younger, maybe they don’t drive any longer, can’t keep track of the bills or their own medication, that’s when they need us more and more. My mother has said to me a few times, “did you ever in your life think you would have to take care of me,” no I didn’t, because I never thought about my parents getting old or changing, but here we are…things are changing. How do you now find the balance in your life? Your everyday life consists of a house to take care of, a job to go to every day, laundry to do, meals to prepare, trash to take out and your own finances to take care of. If you’re married, you have the responsibility of a relationship to nurture and maintain. If you’re not careful, you can find yourself completely burned out and overwhelmed. I don’t have all the answers, but I know that being there for your parents is the right thing to do. Even if you can’t do it all yourself, you can find outside sources of help. The one thing I can tell you is, don’t be a hero. If you are tired, burned out and can’t go on, then it’s time to seek out other ways to keep your parents happy, healthy and safe. Remember your own children will be watching you and you will become their example for how to care for someone you truly love. One day, they may be helping you take care of things in your life. Full circle we come, from parenting our children to being parented by our children and that’s what real love looks like!
-this blog written by a fellow blogger
Did you know that candy, flowers, cards and eating out rank higher than jewelry when it comes to gifts for Valentine’s Day? I have to admit, that completely blew my mind. Why would you give a gift that dies, causes weight gain or, in the case of a card, gets thrown in the trash? While you might not want to spend hundreds of dollars on a Valentine’s gift you will spend at least $100 dollars on flowers and a card, or on dinner out and a card…why not take that $100 and find something beautiful that will last a lifetime.
A woman doesn’t expect an extravagant and expensive gift. She just wants to know that she is special, valued and appreciated. That goes for men too. So ladies don’t forget…make him feel special on Valentine’s Day too!
Check out this informative link with interesting Valentine’s Day statistics.
Creating a life you can't wait to wake up to!
I see this quote everywhere on social media. It sounds wonderful, but the big question is how do we achieve this. I can tell you what I do to try to reach this point in life. I create goals for myself. I do some real soul searching to come up with the answer to the question, what really makes me happy. Once I have figured that out, I set forth with one or two of my goals. Sounds easy, right…it’s not always so easy. It may take some real effort, it may mean a financial investment, and it may mean a change in attitude, job or location. It may mean some real tough changes within you.
I believe it would be very naive to think that we will always be 100% happy with our lives, but the goal is to be happy as much of the time as humanly possible, and that comes by making it a life you want to have. So many people live a life where they merely exist and that my friends is not truly living. When you find yourself in that life situation, that’s when you start to make some big changes. Ask yourself some deep questions like am I working in a profession that I really like and am passionate about? Am I living beyond my financial means and find myself always strapped for money, how can I change that? Could I improve my worth and value in the workplace by extending my education? Am I treating my family in a way I am proud of, is my family treating me in a manner that makes me feel happy? Now I am not suggesting changing family members, I am suggesting sitting down for a family meeting and discussing how everyone can come together to create a better dynamic with the household. I am a firm believer in the phrase, “where there’s a will, there’s a way” and I put that into practice in life often! I also put my faith into action and I make sure that I am saturating myself in positive input as much as I can. From what I read, to what I watch and what I listen to on the radio, I try to keep it positive! You might be surprised how big an effect it has on your life. Give it a try!
I understand that there are times when grief and illness may be something you can’t change and during those times we must allow ourselves to process the pain, but also during those times it’s absolutely imperative that we find a way to focus on any positive aspect we can find and we also have to look for the strength within ourselves to push through, to grab on to the best we can find and live each day to the absolute fullness.
Find your best life now! Change what needs to be changed, embrace what makes you happy and wake up to a life you truly love!
THE GOLD OLD DAYS!
Do you have a favorite TV program that takes you back in time? I love all the old stuff. Andy Griffith, Carol Burnett, Mash, Colombo, Diagnosis Murder, Murder She Wrote and I could go on and on. So now, all the millennials are scratching their heads and asking each other what a “Mash is” or “who is Carol Burnette,” well if I really wanted to mess with them, I would say I loved the Red Skelton show and Lawrence Welk was a close second!
I will say there are a few TV shows in the current decade that I like, Last Man Standing, Chopped, Kids Chopped, Cooks or Cons, My 600 lb. Life and a few more. Wow, if you look back at my list, it’s a little scary how many murder mystery shows and food shows I like. I’m not weird, I promise, although all those cooking shows might be the tip off as to why I am interested in the show, My 600 lb. Life!
I do get a bit nostalgic when I watch Andy Griffith…dirt roads, old cars, manners, respect for country, respect for parents…not to mention the checker game at the barber shop and the sheriff’s office. Fishing at the local fishing hole and Sunday after church picnics on a blanket! Yep, I am sounding a little “Polly Anna” right now, but that’s what it was like “back in the day” and it was good!
Don’t get me wrong, HGTV has some pretty good programs and the cooking channel is amazing, did I say that already, well maybe not in so many words…I digress, I guess you can find the good in everything if you look close enough or you can just fire up the VCR (again the millennials) and watch all those old tapes!
If news is your thing, Fox and Friends water it down enough to be tolerated. They even laugh a little…not that there’s much to laugh at in the news! So if it’s world news you’re looking for on a less harsh platform, you might try Fox. Personally, I try to steer clear of all that stuff (putting on my rose colored glasses here) and I watch what’s funny, inspiring and uplifting! Okay, that may not always be true, again all the murder mystery shows! Did I mention I am a huge fan of the Hallmark Channels…what a sap! You were thinking it, so I said it for you!
If there’s nothing on the “tube” (a lot of people scratching their heads now) then grab a book, yes a book with paper pages and everything, and read something uplifting and inspiring. Or grab your kindle and hope the battery doesn’t die and download something good…or go to the library, yes they are still around! The library is another experience that should be had by all.
So now you’re thinking I am probably 75 or 80 years old and should get with it…well I am not. I am middle aged, computer literate, up to date on social media and websites and I know a thing or two about life…and I know I liked the kinder, gentler days!
After all this preaching, if you were to say to me “go make a cup of coffee” I would say to you, coffee from a coffee maker at home…no thank you, I’ll go to Starbucks! There are some things that should not be “back in the day”!
This blog was written for this site by a “middle aged” guest blogger!
If part of your New Year plan is to get into shape, lose a little weight and hydrate for better health, then here’s a good start. The four great links below will give you all the information you need to get started…and isn’t getting started the first step. I know I was excited to see the new thinking when it comes to exercise. Just 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there, offers as much reward as some of the more grueling workouts! That makes me smile, really smile! And, we didn’t leave it at that…the last link shares some awesome recipes that will have you eating healthy in no time!
How much water do I need daily?
How much water should you drink each day? It's a simple question with no easy answers. Studies have produced varying recommendations over the years, but in truth, your water needs depend on many factors, including your health, how active you are and where you live.
Although no single formula fits everyone, knowing more about your body's need for fluids will help you estimate how much water to drink each day.
Click this link to read the full article from the MayoClinic!
How many calories a day to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight?
There are a variety of methods available to help people lose weight. Following a healthy diet and cutting calories is the safest and most practical way to lose weight. Figuring out how many calories your body needs and how many you should cut out to help you lose weight can be confusing and difficult to calculate. There are a variety of equations, estimations and graphs that can help you calculate a calorie level that will help you lose weight. Outside of using an online calculator or chart, there are equations that you can use to find a specific calorie target for your body.
Click this link to ready the full article
How much exercise do I need daily?
You say you don't have time to exercise? You're hardly alone. For many people, lack of time is the single biggest obstacle to fitness. But, experts say, you may be overestimating how much exercise you really need to get at one time. Instead of investing an hour at the gym, what if you could get fitter with 10 minutes here, 10 minutes there through your day?
There's building evidence that short but frequent bouts of exercise can yield plenty of health benefits. Consider the following fitness findings:
Great recipes to help you get started and stay on track!
If you’re thinking of popping the question, celebrating an anniversary or buying him a new wedding band or gentleman’s right hand ring, then this information blog might just answer some questions about going natural or created
Where are diamonds found? Natural diamond sources are found in one of the following environments:
A Diamond is formed when extreme heat (temperatures of 2200 degrees Fahrenheit) and extreme pressure cause carbon atoms to crystallize forming diamonds approximately ninety miles under the earth's surface. Diamonds reach the surface of the earth via volcanic pipes or via placer / alluvial deposits. Kimberlite is a blue rock that occurs in ancient volcanic pipes and is the most common host of diamonds. When a volcano erupts diamonds are also deposited on, or near, the surface. Some of the kimberlite host rock is washed away by streams and rivers and diamonds are deposited as sediment in the stream sands in 'placer deposits' also called alluvial deposits. These deposits are caused by volcanic eruptions or by millions of years of erosion caused by rainfall and snow-melt which unearth the diamonds from their kimberlite source. So, in answer to the question where are diamonds found - areas where there have been volcanic activity or erosion and where natural elements such as streams, rivers and even glaciers might have taken them.
Lab created diamonds are a great choice for traveling or for workplaces that have chemicals or working environments that could damage your natural diamonds.
Lab-created diamonds, also called synthetic diamonds, cultivated diamonds, or cultured diamonds, are created through artificial processes rather than natural geological ones. Lab-created diamonds are commonly produced through one of two methods: the “high-pressure high-temperature” method (HPHT), and the “chemical vapor deposition” method (CVP). In the HPHT method, a diamond seed (a very small piece of diamond) is bathed in graphite and a metal-based catalyst. At very high temperatures and under high pressure, a controlled environment recreates the natural formation of diamonds and causes the diamond to grow. In the CVP method, a diamond seed is put into a vacuum environment along with hydrogen gas and methane. The corresponding physical and chemical processes cause the diamonds to grow.
Humans throughout history have made a habit of basing a great deal of our traditions and customs around food. The curious practice of raising our drink containers is one of the most ancient of these.
To answer your question, for starters, we’ll dispel a myth. You may have heard that the tradition of toasting originated out of a fear of poisoning- the idea being that clinking two glasses together would cause the liquid from both to spill into one another; thus, the people you’re drinking with wouldn’t poison you as they’d then be poisoning themselves. As interesting as this historical rumor is, not surprisingly, there is not a single shred of evidence backing up this conjecture.
As to the real origin, because the practice of honoring through a drink offering seems to have begun in pre-history, it’s hard to say who first got the idea. In fact, most ancient societies show evidence of doing this. The Ancient Greeks would offer libations to the Gods as a ritualistic practice, as well as make a point of drinking to each other’s health. Evidence of this can be found in The Odyssey when Ulysses drinks to the health of Achilles. The Romans placed such an importance on drinking to health that at one point in time the Senate passed a decree that stated that all must drink to Emperor Augustus at every meal. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire even describes a feast where Attila the Hun indulges in at least three toasts for every course.
The term “toast” originated in the 16th century. One of the first written accounts of it was in Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor when the character of Falstaff demands – “Go fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast in’t.” To translate, he’s asking for a great deal of wine with a piece of (literal) toast in it. I can hear your disgusted outrage and objections to adding toast to wine, but it was actually quite a common practice at the time. This is thought to be due to the quality of wine in the past- it was in many cases inferior to our modern vintages. Thus, placing a piece of toast within a jug was supposed to soak up some of the acidity and improve the flavor. This also had the side benefit of giving people something to do with a piece of stale bread, often spiced or with fruit embedded that would improve the bread’s palatability. Up until very recently in history, wasting food just wasn’t something people tended to do, so finding ways to make stale bread taste good was fairly common- waste not, want not. (This was also more or less how French Toast got its start.)
Over the coming centuries, the term “toasting”, in English, slowly transformed to incorporate traditional libations and the honoring of people. In the early days of this connection, the person being honored often received the physical toast saturated with wine at the end.
Toasting became so popular in the 17th and 18th centuries that Toastmasters came into being. Acting as a kind of party referee, they were there to ensure that the toasting didn’t become too excessive and that everyone got their fair share of toasting opportunities. This may sound silly, but it was a desperately needed role. If left to their own devices, guests would occasionally go on toasting every individual in the room. (This being a great excuse to drink excessive amounts of alcohol without seeming like a lush.)
Evidence of this change in etiquette is still apparent today, and there are even still Toastmaster Clubs. Furthermore, while we still often include alcohol in our toasting, drinking directly after a toast is usually far more restrained, often just a sip, and more reminiscent of its roots – a practice used to honor someone in a respectful and revered manner, rather than a great excuse to get drunk.
A word that tends to go hand in hand with toasting, “cheers”, or in medieval times “cheres”, derived from the Anglo-French word for ‘the face’. If we go a little further back, in Old French the word “chiere” meant “face, countenance, look, and expression.” By the late 14th century “cheres” had evolved to “cheere” and came to mean a mood that was reflected in the face. By the 18th century, it had come to mean gladness and it began being used to show support and encouragement. Considering that wine or alcohol in general, is something we drink in both celebration and lamentation, it’s hardly surprising that “cheers” eventually became a part of the toasting ritual.
A thank you note to…
You are the one thing in my life that is a constant. I know you will always be there for me, never bitter and always smooth and easy to take. You make me feel so warm inside when the weather is cold and you always make me comfortable when the weather is hot…you are so skilled in taking care of me. I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but I am always sad when you are gone, I just want you back. It never matters the situation, you are always the same. I can even change the way I think of you, sometimes you’re sweet and sometimes you’re just there in your natural form, it doesn’t matter because you’re never offended, sad or upset. I love how just the thought of you makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. You take me to a place that makes me feel happy and calm. Even if you make me feel jittery at times, you will even change your process to make me feel calm and peaceful. I don’t know how I would go on without you. I just wanted you to know and I wanted to say thank you my friend…this has been my thank you note to COFFEE!
This week’s post is borrowed from a Facebook post. I think it is the most unique, loving, caring, giving thing a parent or family member can do for a child. Enjoy this good read!
"In our family, we have a special way of transitioning the kids from receiving from Santa, to becoming a Santa.This way, the Santa construct is not a lie that gets discovered, but an unfolding series of good deeds and Christmas spirit.
When they are 6 or 7, whenever you see that dawning suspicion that Santa may not be a material being, that means the child is ready.
I take them out "for coffee" at the local wherever. We get a booth, order our drinks, and the following pronouncement is made:
“You sure have grown an awful lot this year. Not only are you taller, but I can see that your heart has grown, too. [Point out 2-3 examples of empathetic behavior, consideration of people's feelings, good deeds etc, the kid has done in the past year]. In fact, your heart has grown so much that I think you are ready to become a Santa Claus.
You probably have noticed that most of the Santas you see are people dressed up like him. Some of your friends might have even told you that there is no Santa. A lot of children think that, because they aren't ready to BE a Santa yet, but YOU ARE. Tell me the best things about Santa. What does Santa get for all of his trouble? [lead the kid from "cookies" to the good feeling of having done something for someone else]. Well, now YOU are ready to do your first job as a Santa!"
Make sure you maintain the proper conspiratorial tone.
We then have the child choose someone they know--a neighbor, usually. The child's mission is to secretly, deviously, find out something that the person needs, and then provide it, wrap it, deliver it--and never reveal to the target where it came from. Being a Santa isn't about getting credit, you see. It's unselfish giving.
My oldest chose the "witch lady" on the corner. She really was horrible--had a fence around the house and would never let the kids go in and get a stray ball or Frisbee. She'd yell at them to play quieter, etc--a real pill. He noticed when we drove to school that she came out every morning to get her paper in bare feet, so he decided she needed slippers. So then he had to go spy and decide how big her feet were. He hid in the bushes one Saturday, and decided she was a medium. We went to Kmart and bought warm slippers. He wrapped them up, and tagged it "Merry Christmas from Santa." After dinner one evening, he slipped down to her house, and slid the package under her driveway gate. The next morning, we watched her waddle out to get the paper, pick up the present, and go inside. My son was all excited, and couldn't wait to see what would happen next. The next morning, as we drove off, there she was, out getting her paper--wearing the slippers. He was ecstatic. I had to remind him that NO ONE could ever know what he did, or he wouldn't be a Santa.
Over the years, he chose a good number of targets, always coming up with a unique present just for them. One year, he polished up his bike, put a new seat on it, and gave it to one of our friend's daughters. These people were and are very poor. We did ask the dad if it was ok. The look on her face, when she saw the bike on the patio with a big bow on it, was almost as good as the look on my son's face.
When it came time for Son #2 to join the ranks, my oldest came along, and helped with the induction speech. They are both excellent at gifting, by the way, and never felt that they had been lied to--because they were let in on the Secret.
Decorating for the Holidays, hanging strand after strand of lights, garland and popcorn and dozens and dozens of decorative bulbs…that’s what makes it merry and bright, right?! What makes your Christmas special? Does your family do something unique for the holiday that makes it an extra special time of year, something that you couldn’t imagine a Christmas without? I think this time of year is the perfect opportunity to bless others. Even if you are struggling with something yourself, blessing others in small ways helps to take your mind off yourself and the battles you may be fighting. I find a simple text of encouragement or a quick message letting someone know they are valued is all it takes to brighten a day or to give someone the strength to keep moving forward. Maybe you can run an errand for someone who isn’t able to get out or take someone shopping who normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to go. Call a friend and ask them to have coffee with you, ask them how they are and what’s going on with them…make it all about them. In this world, believe me they need to be able to talk about life. The holidays can be a particularly lonely time of year for those who do not have family or whose family may be far away. Share your family with someone who otherwise would be alone. Compliment people on their hair or clothes let them know you noticed that they look particularly nice. Say please and thank you! Tip your waiter, waitress or barista a little extra…everyone struggles to balance finances with the added expense of gifting. If gifting is more than you can handle this year, give the gift of yourself. Offer a free backrub, or a night of babysitting, a day of cleaning or be someone’s cab for a day. Bake something delicious and wrap it beautifully, make a craft or card…something unique and special that is a reflection of who the recipient is. A gift need not be expensive to be appreciated. One last thing before I close this blog…remember to keep this spirit all year because the battles people are fighting or the hardships they are facing don’t end when the holiday season ends. Shouldn’t we be good to one another all the time…of course we should.
This blog borrowed from a fellow blogger.
Well, another Holiday Season is upon us and we are once again faced with the dilemma of whether to say Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday. Let’s take a look back to the year 1942 when Irving Berlin wrote the song Happy Holidays. People were not offended by that song and it actually became a crooner classic when Bing Crosby recorded it and it remains a classic to this day! How did we become so easily offended by the simplest of things? When you think about the term Happy Holidays, it truly is a holiday season. For some, it encompasses Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. For others it may mean a completely different set of holidays. Isn’t life really about loving those who may be different than we are, isn’t it about sharing God’s love, planting the seed and leaving the rest to God. If we truly love, we should not be easily offended, nor should we feel that we have to temper what we believe or hold back from sharing and living the life we are called to live. I think that we have made such a fuss and have taken such a stand over things, that years ago; we didn’t give a thought to? Don’t you think that as long as you have the right to celebrate however you choose and the right to say Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays is still intact, that perhaps we could just love one another, share the love and let God handle the rest? Remember, Happy Holidays was written in 1942…I don’t remember reading about one single riot over that song!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays…it’s all about LOVE!
The Faces at the Table - Happy Thanksgiving!
It’s almost here again, the time of year when we take time to reflect on the past few months. Time to count our blessings and list our reasons to be thankful, but sometimes it might be difficult to find that thankful moment, times when life becomes too much to handle. That’s when the faces at the table play the most important role ever! It’s time for them to tell you why they are thankful for “you” and what a difference you make in their lives. If you know someone this year that’s struggling to find the joyful peace of thankfulness, reach out and help them to understand that even though they can’t find their “thankful” self, you will help them to understand how important they are and how much they mean to you. It’s all about family and friends and helping others to feel included, safe, loved, appreciated and yes grateful. Life can be stressful, challenging and difficult, but it can also be amazing, even in the hardest of circumstances.
This year, try something different. Share what you love most about the people who complete your life. How do they tie into your thankfulness? What makes them special and unique? It only takes a few kind and sincere words to completely change the way someone feels. Just like harsh and unkind words can push a person deeper into despair, kindness and love can be the lifeline that pulls them out. We really do have the responsibility to lift each other up…the greatest of these is love!
Enjoy the meal, enjoy the season, enjoy each other and don’t forget to be a lifeline! We’ve only got one life on this earth; make it a beautiful, meaningful, loving and generous journey!
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
With the election over and most of the barrage of politics behind us for a while, it’s time to get back to treating each other with love, kindness and respect. The question is why did the presidential race bring out the worst in most? Social media was and is, riddled with unkindness and harsh remarks. It’s sad to see friendships split, families separated and relationships strained because of the strong difference of opinions. I say, it's over…and it’s time to remember that “the greatest of these is love” and we need to put that into practice now and forever forward. We are approaching a day that is set aside for being thankful and grateful for the blessings in our lives, shouldn’t we get our hearts and minds heading in the right direction so that the day truly is one of thanks! Thanksgiving will be followed by Christmas, another day set aside to be thankful for the greatest gift of all and to celebrate friends and family in whatever fashion you choose to celebrate the day. Why not start by choosing a “pay it forward” way of thinking in an area of your life where you can put that into practice several days during the holiday season. I can assure you that if you replace anger and distress with kindness and generosity, you will see this season in a whole new light and in turn, you will choose it for the days that follow. Anger, resentment, fear and distress will make you feel negative, tired, worn out and sad…but changing that mindset will turn your life around!
Please don’t let politics dictate your life now or in the future. Change your mind about the way you think, be kind, pay it forward, speak gently and love loudly…you can be the first link in a chain that changes the way others think!
A Christmas Engagement!
Do you think Christmas is a great time to get engaged? There are many unique ways to ask “will you,” ones that will really surprise her…be ready for tears though!
I think one truly unique way is to hide her engagement ring in a beautiful Christmas ornament. For years to come that ornament will hang on your Christmas tree and will always remind you of that special Christmas when the two of you decided to blend your lives together! How wonderful would it be to tell your children about how the ring was in or on an ornament and how you have kept it all through the years and how it still hangs on the tree every year. Better still, a story passed down to even your grandchildren and great grandchildren!
There are many ways to surprise her this upcoming holiday season and here’s a link to help you along on your way to a wonderful proposal!
What’s your plan? I once thought I wanted to sell everything and hit the open road, the problem was I couldn’t get my spouse on board. I would talk about all the wonderful travels and adventures we would experience, the places we would see and how we would never have to see snow again! Living in Ohio, that’s a big deal. I would further try to entice him by saying things like, if we don’t like the weather, we can just get in the RV and head to another state. He never seemed very excited about that prospect of becoming gypsies. I was ready, just say the word and let’s go. Then…he became very interested in the idea and suggested we talk about in a much deeper way, so we did. We discussed putting the money back from the sale of our house and having it available for the “just in case” situations and we talked about working part-time because we actually wanted to retire before we could collect Social Security and we talked about our children and grandchildren, our friends, other family members, our church family and lots of deep and important things. My husband said his greatest concern was that we would not feel like we were ever really “home” when we were on the road, and that in selling our house, we wouldn’t have a “home” to come home to. I told him I never worried about that, I explained how life on the road would make us free spirits and that our RV would become our home. We took several walks and had lots of talks about it and then…it happened, he started looking for RVs and I started worrying about missing home and missing our family and what if I missed my house and it was sold and what would we do then. I turned into him! So…we took another walk and I told him that now I was thinking differently about everything. I expressed my concerns and he looked at me and said, “yep, I knew you would start to change your mind if you gave it a little thought”, so now retirement looks differently to me. I guess I won’t become a gypsy with a free spirit, I guess I’ll just be a normal retiree. What does your retirement dream look like? Have you given it any thought? Are you financially prepared to do it the way you want? I hope so, I hope you do something fun and exciting and I hope you don’t let practicality clip your free spirit wings and I hope you never lose your gypsy soul!
This blog borrowed from a fellow blogger.
Texting...Can We Talk!
Can we talk?
Texting has certainly replaced most of our personal phone calls and several face-to-face conversations and while it’s a great form of communication, auto correct has certainly made it an adventure. How many times have you had to “read between the lines” in a text message and guess what the person was really saying, only to find out you were wrong. Autocorrect can certainly be entertaining and give us that dose of comedic relief we all need from time to time. Take for instant, the mom that texted her daughter that her Aunt Mary had died and ended the text with LOL…only to find out that LOL does not mean “lots of love” instead it means “laugh out loud” not so funny. How about the son that got a text from his mom that said, “your adopted” only to find out it was supposed to be “accepted” to a very prestigious college. Personally, I am not a fan of texting; I prefer a phone conversation, especially if I have a lot to say. I do, however, comply with most that prefer I text! I am a huge fan of proofreading, so hopefully most of my texts make total sense.
I will keep this short and sweet…don’t text and drive! Distracted driving is everywhere…not just texting, dialing someone, talking to someone and looking for your phone, it all spells out trouble! We’ve all seen or followed or even worse, met on the wrong side of the road, the distracted driver who is weaving and swerving and crossing the yellow line. There’s no text, call, Instagram or pin worth your life or the lives of others. It seems no one gets serious about it until they have a close call, a near miss or lose someone because of distracted driving. Take it seriously now…not when it’s too late.
I disagree...I don't hate you!
This time of year brings out the best and the worst in people. Not just those running for office, but also those who are passionate about the election and the issues at hand. Social media has greatly increased our ability to express ourselves across the miles, good or bad! There is, indeed, a great seriousness regarding this nation and many are overwrought with concerns, fears, hope, despair and opinions…today I want to say just a little bit about opinions.
Like I said, social media has made sharing our opinions with the entire human population as easy as a click, but remember, when you do that you are setting yourself up for disagreement, agreement, harsh remarks or the dreaded unfriending and unfollowing! I will say that I keep my political opinions to myself for the most part, why…because we are already on information overload by the media, why subject ourselves to anything more. Explore the facts and issues, watch the debates and make an informed, personal decision.
Always remember this, if you do put your opinions and feelings out there for the world to see and others disagree with you, it doesn’t mean they hate you…it just means they disagree.
There is something to be said about not discussing politics and religion…show your faith, support your country and keep your comments to a minimum. Remember, the whole world is watching! Well maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but it makes for good writing!
Layer and stack...it's always a party!
Did you know the “arm party” look never went out of style? Nope, it just evolved into the ring party, the neck party and the arm party! Some of the coolest looks can be found in layering your jewelry. Take your sterling silver and mixed metals and pair them with white, yellow and rose gold. Who knew that the mixing of precious metal would become so appealing! What’s more…mix your solid metals with gemstones and diamonds for a hot and trendy runway look. Don’t forget to add a great looking watch too.
Layering rings, whether on one finger or on many fingers, is a great fashion trend that will never get boring. You can even mix your sterling silver with your fine gold and diamonds and mix your solid metal with gemstones! The possibilities are only limited to the lack of adventure. Be adventurous and turn your jewelry layering techniques into something that EVERYONE is talking about.
Keeping your jewelry clean...never lose your sparkle!
Keeping your jewelry clean is probably not something you think about often, but others are looking at the beautiful pieces you are wearing so why not let them see your bling in the best possible condition. If you’re out running errands, stop at your local jewelry store and let them bring back the sparkle you fell in love with. If you can’t make it to the store, clean your jewelry with a soft toothbrush and some gentle cleaner and finish it off with a soft cloth. Remember, certain gemstones, like Opals, should not be submerged in water or cleaned with anything abrasive, so skip the toothbrush and use a gentle cleaning solution and a soft cloth. Be sure to dry it completely when you’re finished. Be careful when using an ultrasonic cleaner, always check with your jewelry expert before placing your precious gemstones and colored diamonds in anything that might cause movement. A professional jeweler will know…take the uncertainty out of the process and let the experts handle it.
When you think about it our jewelry is exposed to all kinds of dulling agents throughout the course of a day. Makeup, soap buildup, chemicals, food and pets just to name a few. We just don’t give it thought until we no longer see that burst of sparkle and shine when the lights hit our fingers, ears, wrists and necklines.
Keep your jewelry clean, let the experts handle it and sparkle, sparkle, sparkle!
Cold Frame Greenhouse...Be a Gardener All Year Long!
Wouldn’t it be great to be a gardener all year round and better still, to be able to enjoy the things you grow all year long! Creating a “cold frame” growing area is the equivalent of moving your growing season one growing zone to the south. Putting a “cold frame” inside a greenhouse is the equivalent of moving your growing season two growing zones to the south. For exceptionally cold areas, like Ohio where I live, you will want to put hay bales or bags of leaves around your cold frame to help hold in heat. During the months when sunlight is at a minimum, put aluminum foil over the windows to increase the warmth inside. If temperatures are higher than 50 degrees Fahrenheit outside, be sure to lift the top of your “cold frame” slightly so your plants do not become too hot and wilt.
And for the really good news…spinach, kale and arugula, the fantastic super foods, grow very well in a “cold frame” and keep you extra healthy! Your “cold frame” vegetables are not limited to these super foods so start reading up and decide which veggies you want to start growing this winter!
Check out this link for all the details. Have fun, eat healthy…be a cold weather gardener.
Make Her Engagement Ring as Special as She is!
While traditional engagement rings are always a good choice, many “grooms to be” are choosing the “not so traditional” engagement ring. There are many beautiful traditional engagement rings out there, but sometimes it’s a great idea to take into consideration your “soon to be” bride’s preferences or likes, heritage or occupation, before choosing that very special purchase. For instance, if your fiancé is a nurse, she may prefer a ring that sits lower and closer to her hand as opposed to one that sits up high and may catch on a patient’s clothing or skin. When Mark Zuckerberg proposed to his fiancé he chose a Ruby for the center stone instead of a diamond because of his fiancé’s Chinese Heritage. Prince William gave Princess Kate his mother’s Blue Sapphire and Diamond Halo design ring because he felt it would bring her presence to the wedding. Carrie Underwood wore an amazing yellow diamond engagement ring before becoming the blushing bride. So whether your honoring a heritage, a parent who has passed away or you simply want to have a ring that is extra special, other stones can certainly serve you well when you choose her “uniquely her” engagement ring.
We all know how expensive the whole getting engaged and married time in our lives can be, that being said, choosing a different precious gemstone for the center of her ring is always a great way to give her a truly stunning, and of course hot and trendy look that doesn’t cost you 3 months of salary. Throw the 3 month’s salary out the window along with buying a diamond the size as the age of the bride (bride is 22, carat size should be 2.2 carats) nope, not anymore! Now it’s all about making the ring extra special!
Pick her ring because you love her and you know her inside and out. Make it special because it reminds you of her. Tell her why you chose it. A woman always loves an engagement ring when it was thought through and chosen just for her. Remember you can always choose an engagement ring setting and then choose the stone for the center and/or for the surrounding stones…doing so makes the ring completely unique and one-of-a-kind…and she will love you for it!
2017 is right on our doorstep so it’s time to talk jewelry trends. The Boho Chic look is in for the upcoming year. Large jewelry pieces attached to the front of a headband or large pieces of jewelry that fit on top the head and adorn the forehead are what’s trending. Both large and small jewelry with animal motifs are hot, hot, hot! Super large jewelry paired with thin knit sweaters is the fashion statement for 2017. Large geometrics and floral patterns will be found everywhere in jewelry stores. If you’re thinking that you can’t wear this new trending look, rest assured that solid golds and gemstones are still a fashion must have for the upcoming year. Did I mention Pearls? Pearls will be everywhere, but not your grandmothers’ pearls, large statement pieces covered in pearls. Earrings will be large and asymmetrical, one very long earring on one ear and a different one on the other. Chokers are making a comeback in large bold looks. So 2017 looks like an exciting year for jewelry, a little adventurous, a little daring and a lot of fun. Hold on to your hats ladies…it’s going to be a wild ride!
An upward trend!
It might be incorrect to say yellow gold jewelry is making a comeback, because as statistics show, it never went away! However, for the last 3 or 4 years and especially now in 2016, yellow gold jewelry purchases are definitely trending upward. Sales are increasing and so are the sightings on models’ arms, necks, ears and hands on the most prestigious runways.
Yellow gold has always been a staple and a classic, but now we find it changing from glitzy to buttery and with less traditional style. Larger, grander and more abstract is replacing the traditional look of just yellow gold and diamonds. Many jewelry customers are taking their traditional yellow gold pieces and dismantling them, using the components to make a more modern and trendy piece of jewelry that better reflects the fashion trend of today.
Hotter still is rose gold. Rose gold bridges the gap between yellow gold and white gold. It pairs well with both yellow and white gold and helps to bring a jewelry wardrobe together. Rose gold engagement rings are trending upward and can be paired with a yellow or white gold band, making then extremely versatile and always lovely.
Gather up your outdated yellow gold jewelry pieces and create something new, trendy and stunning for this “not really a comeback” fashion trend!
We are closing in on one of the best times of the year to go hiking. Cooler weather, beautiful and colorful foliage and the sounds of fall critters and insects will melt stress and anxiety away. We all know the health benefits of hiking, but most of the concentration is on the physical aspect, but there are also the emotional aspects of sight, sound and smells. Exercise releases endorphins which makes us feel naturally happier so hiking is very good for our emotional well-being. When you add the wonderful smells and sounds to the natural endorphin release…you’ll experience an amazing transformation. Nature is so beautiful and should be enjoyed as much as possible. Grab your best pair of tennis shoes or hiking boots and your favorite 2-legged or 4-legged friend and hit the trail. Remember to keep it clean, don’t litter, and if you find litter pick it up along the way. No, you didn’t put it there, but you can certainly clean it up. Stay hydrated on your hike, drink plenty of fluids and take a break now and then…breaks are a great time to simply breath in all the great smells or to check out the wildlife scampering around. I included a link to many hiking trails just a few miles from where you live in Ohio.
Now get your shoes on and get out there and experience the great outdoors!
How one man repopulated a rare butterfly species in his backyard!
The California pipevine swallowtail butterfly is a wonder to behold. For centuries, the California pipevine swallowtail — or, Battus philenor hirsuta — called San Francisco home. As development increased in the early 20th century, the butterfly slowly began to disappear. Today it is a rare sight.
But one man's DIY efforts are starting to bring the butterfly back.
This is a really cool read. Enjoy!
Buying Bulk...Saving Time and Money!
Buying certain foods in bulk is a great way to save money, packaging, and shopping time, while opening up new opportunities to support good farmers. We all have to buy our kitchen staples like flour, sugar, salt, dried pasta, and nuts from the outside world, so why not buy in bulk and save money, while supporting your local vendors!
Buying these items in bulk can help eliminate several food shopping trips, reduce packaging waste, and ensure that more your food dollars never go to waste! Bulk bins at many grocery stores are a good start, but eventually you may want to explore direct-ordering large quantities of single items rather than choosing a few pounds from a store bin. Air tight containers and freezer methods keep your bulk products fresh until you’re ready to use them.
Check out this link for more information about buying and handling bulk foods in your own home.
Here’s to happier shopping and a new shopping adventure!
Why Backyard Chickens?
Having a small backyard flock of chickens is a growing trend in countries around the world. And it is not just country folks who enjoy raising chickens, more and more cities are relaxing their laws and ordinances and allowing chickens, so city dwellers can enjoy this pleasant hobby too. Many celebrities such a Jennifer Aniston, Barbra Streisand, Miley Cyrus, Chevy Chase, Reese Witherspoon and Martha Steward raise backyard chickens. So why are pet chickens so popular? Let's have a look at some of the benefits of raising backyard chickens.
Chickens are not just for pet purposes...Meat birds (Cornish Cross) are usually processed around the age of 7 – 9 weeks. So after feeding them for only 2 months, you can stock your freezer with your own wonderful, fresh, home-grown meat.
- When you raise your own chickens, you know what went into the meat and eggs. It’s a safer and healthier alternative to factory farmed poultry and eggs.
- The meat of farm-raised chicken has significantly less fat (and fewer calories) than typical store-bought chicken.
- Backyard and free ranged hens produce eggs that are very nutritious and great tasting. Not to mention they are always fresh! Free ranged and backyard hens' eggs are also much healthier than battery hens' eggs.
- Chickens make great pets for children and great 4H projects.
- They are friendly, easy to manage, low maintenance and can be kept as house pets as well.
- Chickens are a food source. Hens will provide you with wonderful fresh eggs and cockerels (and retired hens) can be processed and eaten.
- Chickens are entertaining and keeping and spending time with your feathered friends, or just, "watching chicken TV", can be rewarding and at times very funny.
Free range chickens are excellent, hardworking gardeners
- Once you’ve harvested everything you want from your vegetable garden, your chickens will happily clear the beds, scratching out and eating unwanted weeds, slugs and seeds and fertilizing the soil while they're at it.
- Own an orchard or a few fruit trees? Chickens will devour the fallen fruit before it can attract insects.
- Chicken manure contains high levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
- Chicken manure is more economically valuable than synthetic fertilizers.
- Chicken manure can be used to make fertilizer tea.
- Chickens love digging and scratching around in compost heaps and composting with chickens can be very beneficial for your compost heaps too.
- Chickens will happily take care of crickets, grass hoppers, snails and other pests in the garden.
And for bored chickens…
The Chicken Swing Reduce coop boredom and provide an activity for all breeds and ages of chickens with The Chicken Swing, which is fun–and fun to watch! For best results, introduce the swing to young fowl. However, chickens of all ages have been known to take up swinging. Features: Fun activity to reduce coop boredom Swinging motion is enjoyed by the chicken as well as the people who watch them swing.
Did you know 62 percent of millennials are brand loyal if a company is able to successfully engage with them on a social level. With over 91 percent of millennials using Facebook and other social media platforms, it's no wonder more and more brands are turning to social media to acquire and retain this market.
Remember, millennials like content they can relate to, talk in their terms…keep it simple and uncomplicated!
If your company were a person, who would it be?" In college, would they have been the teacher's pet or the lovable class clown? In a coffee shop, are they surrounded by a big group or having an intimate chat in the corner? Once you figure out who your company or product is, apply that voice and personality to your social media channels. This can help ensure that others feel the authenticity behind your brand.
No stock photos please, make sure your photos are real, personal, have meaning and evoke conversations and comments on social media.
Millennials also express interest in spending more on brands that publicly support causes they care about. Not everything has to connect to a charity or advocacy but keep it real and make sure you are passionate about something and let them know!
Millennials care about corporate social responsibility, but this can take on many different forms. This could be something as small as doing a team community service outing once a month.
Be sure to let it be known on social media that your employees support or help causes that change the world! Bake this type of social responsibility into your brand's story and give millennials a look into your values and company mission statement.
Millennials check their smartphones 74 times per day. Be sure to take advantage of that and don’t miss an opportunity! These days, digital doesn't mean reaching your audience on their desktops—it means embracing and utilizing all touch points.
Remember, Millennials like to keep it personal, so you might want to add personal texts and facetime chats to your usual e-mail blasts!
Millennials…keep it personal and social!
Reaping the Harvest!
It’s that time in the summer months when we are picking great vegetables from our gardens or visiting the local farmer’s markets to enjoy someone else’s fruits of labor! When you crunch into fresh cucumbers or slice into that rich red tomato, you know all your hard work was worth it! Planting a garden and reaping the harvest is a lot like owning a business.
If you’re a business owner, then you know there’s a lot of hard work that goes in to making a business a huge success. You invest time, money and sometimes sweat equity to get things going and get your name out there. The payoff comes when you have happy clients or customers and you know that you are providing a service or product they can’t do without! Maybe you’re the jeweler selling that one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry, or the tree business that removes a tree that fell during a storm, or a capable waste removal and recycling business that handles all the details of keeping your company in compliance with the EPA. Whatever you do, put your whole heart into it and be a great success.
Reaping the harvest can be very rewarding, whether it’s smiling faces around your dinner table enjoying the summer bounty or happy and satisfied customers reaping the bounty of your hard work, there is great satisfaction in working hard and making others happy! Make sure you’re a fruitful person and that your fruit is the highest quality!
Borrowed from a fellow blogger.
Why are barns red?
Why are barns red? Do you know the answer to this question? If not, this very interesting article will help you understand the reasons behind keeping barns red.
Did you know the first time a barn turned red was when it was treated with Linseed Oil to help preserve the wood? The wood took on a reddish tone and that set the trend for red barns. The color red was also associated with wealth, so red paint continued the normal for painting barns.
Some barns were straight and perfect and looked majestic against a sunset, some barns were slightly crooked and a little faded, but chock full of bales of hay for feeding the livestock. Both barns hold beauty for different reasons. Whether straight and majestic or slanted and faded…they both served a great purpose and held a great deal of charm!
Enjoy this article…it’s interesting and inspiring! And just in case you didn’t get your fill…check out the other link about Mail Pouch barns!
Saturday Morning Cartoons and More!
Saturday morning cartoons were the highlight of our childhood weekends. Casper the ghost, The Flintstones, Scooby Doo, and The Jetsons followed by the Monkees! We waited all week for early Saturday morning and all our familiar funnies! Boy our kids and grandkids really missed out on these great cartoons and shows.
Now that we’re adults and we look back on these cartoons, it becomes evident that the writers of The Jetsons were way ahead of their time. Remember when George Jetson would talk to his boss via the monitor in their space age home. They were skyping before skyping was even a thought! The Jetsons could make changes to their house via electronic connection…hmmm, sounds familiar. They were smart phone ready before smart phones were invented! Rosie the robot took care of the house, now we have IRobot taking care of our vacuuming!
Don’t let your kids, grandkids or kids of any kind miss out on these great cartoons. We were entertained by them and they will be too. If you can find then on DVD (DVDs aren’t obsolete yet) buy them and treat your kid family to a special cartoon night! If you can find them in syndication, DVR them and make a family night of it.
Now would be a great time to mention that when Saturday morning cartoons were over, it was out the door and on our bikes for a day of neighborhood fun! Get those kids to put away their devices and get back to the fun stuff we used to do as kids! I must admit, sometimes I did catch a Cincinnati Reds ballgame in the afternoon…did I mention I love baseball! Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, Ken Griffey and on and on…all greats from back in the day.
So…that sums up a Saturday in the life of a now Fifty-Something year old! Great times…introduce your family to those great times. Recreate it!
Smoothies - Nutritious, Delicious Time Savers!
Smoothies have become extremely popular and for good reason. I will share with you my personal reasons for consuming smoothies and also a great article with nutritional information and some free recipes.
I mostly have smoothies for breakfast, for many reasons but the biggest reason is because I am in a hurry and it’s the best way to get a nutritious breakfast and still make it to work on time. My morning favorite is peanut butter banana, recipe to follow and my favorite evening tropical fruit smoothie, also recipe to follow. My evening smoothie sometimes replaces my dinner, especially if I don’t feel like a heavy meal or if I am eating late for one reason or another. A lunch smoothie is not out of the question either, if I can’t come up with something easy to pack for lunch, I whip up a smoothie and pop it in my lunch bag, 15 minutes before lunch I put it in the freezer and lunch is served.
My co-workers are huge smoothie fans too and we share recipes using different fruits and vegetables just to keep it lively and to add some variety to our palate!
Families can get involved in nutrition by creating smoothies that taste great, but include fruits and vegetables your children or spouse wouldn’t necessarily eat. You can let your kids toss the ingredients into the blender, all the while talking about the nutritional value of each item you use.
If you grow your own garden, you can also feel good about your food going straight from the plant and into your blender.
Enjoy the article and the recipes…try a smoothie, I think you’ll be completely surprised!
Peanut Butter Banana
4 heaping tablespoons non-fat vanilla yogurt
2 heaping tablespoons Ovaltine
4 heaping tablespoons PB2 powdered peanut butter (this is key to keeping the fat and calories down) powdered peanut butter is delicious and can be found in the peanut butter isle at the grocery.
1 to 1 ½ frozen banana pieces (freezing the fruit is key to a great smoothie)
¼ to ½ cup cashew milk – low fat, low calorie and delicious (amount of milk depends on what consistency you like) I like mine on the thicker side.
Approx. 6 ice cubes
Blend on ice crusher
4 heaping tablespoons non-fat vanilla yogurt
½ frozen banana pieces
½ can frozen tropical fruit (I have tried the already frozen fruit and it’s not as good as the canned that you freeze yourself.)
1 heaping teaspoon vanilla pudding (tropical fruit has a lot of juice, you will need something to thicken a little.)
Small amount of cashew milk
Approx. 6 ice cubes.
Blend on ice crusher
Gluten free, low fat and protein packed! Cicadas are edible! There are recipes in this link I have provided for you, if you have the stomach for it.
This excerpt gives you a little insight as to what your Cicada filled dinner will taste like…I like to think of them as candy since they suck the sap from tree roots, trust me, it would be the only way I could even give them a try!
Cicadas spend most of their lives underground sucking sap from tree roots. The plant-based diet gives them a green, asparagus-like flavor, especially when eaten raw or boiled, according to Kristky, who prefers his Brood II bugs blanched and tossed into a leafy green salad like chunks of chicken.
Another devourer of Cicadas has this to say…
"Right now, craft cocktails are a big deal, so a cocktail with a candied cicada in it would be a good update," she said. The next day, she had the recipe in hand:
2 shots vodka
½ shot Campari
½ shot extra-dry vermouth
1 shot fresh orange juice
So this recipe might work for me considering it has a fair amount of alcohol in it. Either I would be thinking that the alcohol would kill anything the bug might have on it, or I would be thinking if I drink enough of the alcohol; the bugs in my drink won’t matter.
Now just when you were thinking you’ll give it a try, you have to remember that the Cicadas can be bad for you if they are gathered in an area that has had pesticides and herbicides used to control weeds and pests.
Another thing to consider before digging into your Cicada casserole is that you could be allergic to them; just like shrimp…check it out with your doctor first if you have severe food allergies.
Okay, now I know your mouths are watering and you can’t wait to get started planning your Cicada Buffet. Invite your friends and family, especially the ones that really “bug” you. Let them feast for a few minutes, then tell them you decided to try something different…you might want to have a few trash cans handy. Bon appetite!
HEY DAD...YOU'RE THE BEST!
This Sunday, June 19th, is Father’s Day. Did you or do you have an amazing father? Maybe it was a step-father, a God-father or a great mentor that filled the shoes of “Dad” in your life. It really doesn’t matter the title, it’s the dedication, love, and support that is important.
It doesn’t matter how old you are or how old your father is, time spent together is desired by both of you. Be sure this Father’s Day that you sit down and share a memory or two with your Dad.
Gifts can sometimes be hard to select each year, but no Dad, young or older would turn down a handmade birdhouse or bird feeder. How about a subscription for his favorite magazine or a gift certificate to his favorite place to eat? For the younger kids…there’s always something you can do that doesn’t cost anything, here’s a few good ideas, wash his car, make him a great snack, make a card, write a story about his childhood (if you don’t have all the facts, make up something really funny) or clean the garage.
Dad’s come in many forms. If someone wonderful touched your life in a very special way…honor him this Sunday in a way he’ll never forget!
You know, the millennial generation appears to be setting the trend in fashion, preservation, green living and social media…but when you really think about it the generational lines are blurred in many areas of life. We all like to be trendy in what we’re wearing whether it is clothing, jewelry or otherwise, so we tend to watch what others are doing in the world of fashion. The millennials are setting the trend, but eventually it shows up on all generations...and for many of us; we experienced the same fashion trends that are popular today, back in the seventies!
When you think about living green, living tiny and saving the planet, it appears that the millennials are setting the pace in these areas too, but baby boomers and beyond have been “downsizing” for years. Living tiny is the same thing as downsizing, just different words to describe it. Back in the sixties many were protesting the unnecessary use of chemicals and the mass clearing of forests and woodlands, and just like to today, creating new ways to preserve our planet. Repurposing, recycling and reusing…all words that could have been used to describe the way our grandparents lived. You didn’t throw anything away and you always found another purpose for those things!
Past generations preserved the trees around them, this generation plants to create new trees and woodlands for generations to come. Although they may not talk in excess about things like trees, they do see the beauty and necessity of them, and if you listen closely to conversations you’ll hear what you least expect.
So even though we are generations and years apart…people are still people. It might look like millennials are only interested in themselves, but they care about the past and they value the traditions and those who created the traditions. Ask them about their family, their grandparents, a favorite Aunt or Uncle or mentor…it won’t take long to find out they are a lot like you and I!
This blog is written by a non-millennial…obviously!
Let Summer Begin!
Summertime fun is here and it’s time for some of our favorite warm weather things to do, eat and experience. I have some fond memories of cookouts at my Grandparents house. Burgers and dogs on the grill, fresh watermelon slices and lots of running around in the yard, but the highlight of those cookouts would be the homemade ice cream. Mixing up the creamy confection in the kitchen and putting it in that special steel container, then the ice and salt concoction then taking turns at the handle that cranks that delicious mixture around and around until it becomes cold, luscious ice cream. Some like it with some chocolate sauce and whipped cream but give me plain old vanilla and I’m happy!
Summertime means a trip to your favorite theme park. Screaming at the top of your lungs on a rollercoaster, staying cool with a splashy water ride, eating everything in sight and collecting souvenirs in an attempt to hang on to the fun of the day.
Who can forget spending every sunny day at the local swimming pool and building those always important social connections with friends? Coconut scented sunscreen and tanning lotion, snacks during swim breaks, diving contests and great tans…memories to treasure! I bet you can’t smell coconut scented lotion and not think of the local pool!
Sun tea…yep, no explanation needed. Tea bags, water, container and sunshine…add some sugar or lemon and quench that thirst all day long!
Fun with the garden hose, screaming as the ice cold water hits your back (because you’re trying to run away of course) and drinking from the hose to save a trip to the house for a glass of water…yep, we drank out of the hose! I can still smell the rubber scent of the water, probably not very healthy, right!
I hope you have summertime fun memories, I hope you make summertime fun memories every year and for years to come. Share your memories with your children and grandchildren and anyone else that looks like they need to know what real fun is!
A girl bought an iPad, when her father saw it, He asked her "What was the 1st thing you did when you bought it?
"I put an anti-scratch sticker on the screen and bought a cover for the iPad" she replied.
"Did someone force you to do so?" "No" "Don't you think it's an insult to the manufacturer?" "No dad! In fact they even recommend using
a cover for the iPad" "Did you cover it because it was cheap & ugly?"
"Actually, I covered it because I didn't want it to get damaged and decrease in value."
"When you put the cover on, didn't it reduce the iPad's beauty?"
"I think it looks better and it is worth it for the protection it gives my iPad."
The father looked lovingly at his daughter and said, "Yet if I had asked you to cover your body which is much more precious than the iPad, would you have readily agreed???" She stood quietly…
Value yourself…you are worth it!
Borrowed from another writer
Take Care of The Pollinators!
It’s that time of year when different birds and insects start appearing out of nowhere! Have you filled your hummingbird feeder yet or thought about ways to get your butterfly garden in order? Hummingbirds are already fluttering around the multiple blooms in the area, but sometimes that’s not enough. Hummingbirds like a little sugar water available to them throughout the early spring and summer. There’s no need to put red food coloring in your sugar water, hummingbirds will find it just fine if it’s clear. Hummers are loving the lilac blooms right now and also some annual plant blooms. Keep an eye on your hummingbird feeders, hummingbirds can drain a feeder fairly quickly. Also be looking out for ants…they love making a mess of your feeder.
Let’s talk butterflies…Here’s are some ideas for plants that attract butterflies. Don’t forget to provide a few butterfly houses too!
Remember, our pollinators need shelter. They feel most comfortable with a space where they can hide from predators and shelter their young. Small bushes and shrubbery provide the perfect safe haven.
Fashion Trends...Get on Board!
If I say stripes, gingham, plaid, geometric shapes, pleats and florals are hot fashion trends for 2016 that would be an understatement! Conservative dressing, pattern wise anyway, is not what’s trending for spring and summer. Making a statement is definitely what’s in for warmer weather. And while we’re at it, let’s talk about shimmer, shine, metallic and glitter. What makes these fashion trends even better is that they are suitable for any body type.
Take a look at this great link from Glamour! You’ll find yourself thinking that you’ve seen some of these designs before…that’s because these designs have borrowed some popular fashions from the past! Don’t flip through these pictures too quickly, you’ll want to be sure you’ve captured today’s hot and trendy looks!
Life as a farmer is hard work, physical work usually from sun up to sun down and always at the mercy of the weather and harsh conditions. Farming is vital part of everyone’s life, without farmers sustainable life is not possible. When you think about it, even if we do not live on a farm or grow crops and house livestock, we are all cultivators in one form or another. As parents, we nurture and protect our children. We give them necessities of life to help them grow and learn and encourage them to make a difference in the world. As employers and employees, we cultivate relationships. We make a difference in the world by affecting it in ways too numerous to count. Politicians and elected officials cultivate county, city and national avenues. Doctors nurture patients’ health and encourage better ways to a healthier and more fruitful life. Pastors cultivate spiritual growth and help to grow an individual’s relationship with God. Vehicle and equipment manufacturers cultivate a growing and more productive way of life. Lastly, we are cultivators of ourselves, responsible for who we are and what we do and how we treat others regardless of the “weather of life.” We should be good farmers, growers of relationships, cultivators of good actions, morals and ethics…always looking for the better way to be good and fruitful farmers!
Are you a tech-aholic? Can’t get enough of social media? Well, to be totally truthful…I can’t either!
Social media has many benefits. It can connect families from all over the country. It can help you find long lost friends, colleagues, school mates, high school sweethearts and more. Social media is also a great marketing tool. You can learn so much about businesses by looking at their social media pages. Reviews, comments and posts can give you great insight into their services and how they preform them. You can see products, great deals, sales, solutions to problems, great recipes and the list goes on and on. Pinterest is an invaluable site for great ideas and “how to” projects. Even though youtube might not be considered social media, there are many useful and insightful videos that help you solve every day problems. I have to say our family has fixed many car repair issues and home improvement projects by watching helpful youtube videos. Youtube is also a ton of fun… hey, who doesn’t want to be able to whip and nae nae, not to mention stanky leg!
Now…let’s really talk about social media! I can’t say enough about the excessive amount of DRAMA that goes on every day all day! For some of us…it’s completely annoying, for others it seems to be a way of life in which they thrive. Now one would think it would be the young people, those who haven’t been on this earth long enough to know that not everyone wants to hear about your arguments, shopping trips, what you had to eat, who is talking about whom, work drama, road rage and…I could go on and on, but this kind of stuff is being posted by individuals of all ages! Please, enough already...nobody really wants to know everything about your life!
There is a really dark side to social media too. We need to educate our kids at a very young age about the people out there who seek to harm. Parents, really pay attention to who your kids are talking to, sharing photos with and meeting up with. Where there is good, evil is ever present!
So now that you have my two-cents worth about social media…I wonder, will you do anything differently?!
This blog borrowed from a fellow blogger.
Whether laughter has long standing health benefits or not is still up for debate in the medical field. But smiling, being positive and laughing can only create a better environment for everyone…so what can it hurt. Go ahead and hang out with people who make you happy and make you laugh, whether or not It is affecting your health might still be up in the air, I guarantee you’ll feel better laughing than frowning! Check out this article that looks at both sides of the debate! I choose to smile!
Getting Married at a Young Age.
One of the most important benefits of young marriage is that you get to do life together, longer! One of the downfalls of getting married later in life is that you don’t get as much time to spend together. Your 20s are a time of discovery and trial. Let’s be honest, it is HARD to be an adult, but luckily it is easier to go through everything with your spouse by your side. Financial troubles, career issues, relationship strains, they’re bound to happen. But having your person with you through it all makes everything better.
Marrying young may not be for everyone, but in this article you’ll find some really good arguments for extending a listening ear and an open mind when young people tell you they want to get married…now! This is a great read.
What exactly is a "She Shed"
It’s an alliterative way of referring to a woman’s backyard retreat. It can be a potting shed, an art studio, a treehouse, a converted playhouse, a cottage, a greenhouse, a camper, a converted chicken coop, basically any sort of detached building that suits the need…a little getaway for her, the equivalent to the man cave!
If you could have a she shed, what would you turn it into? How would you decorate it and what would you do when you escaped to it? Would you show it to your friends or keep it all to yourself?
We all need a place to escape, a place that makes us feel warm and happy. If that’s a she shed, then so be it.
Check out these great she shed designs, you’ll simply have to have one after you see these great designs!
This raspberry-and mint-colored tourmaline—nicknamed the “Steamboat”—is one of the world’s finest and most valuable mineral specimens. Photo by Duncan Pay © GIA, courtesy The Smithsonian Institution http://geogallery.si.edu
Born of fluid, heat, and pressure, minerals and gems dazzle us with their breathtaking colors, shapes, and diversity.” These words welcome visitors to the gem and mineral displays at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. As they explore and come face to face with nature’s artistry, they end up with an understanding that gemstones actually came out of the earth in beautiful, but rough form.
It’s what the museum’s curator, Jeffrey Post, Ph.D., calls a “teaching moment” for a lot of people. That’s the goal, he says, for people “to have that exciting moment, to think about the earth in a different way.”
The beautiful pieces of jewelry you wear every day started out looking very different from what they are now. The history behind the gemstone is beautifully intriguing. Visit this great website to learn more about how your jewelry came to be.
Where is your favorite place to relax and hangout? We all need a “feel good” “warm fuzzy” place to be when life gets to be a little too intense or when we just want to be in familiar surroundings with people we like. For some that might be the beach, for others that might mean the local coffee shop down the street. Wherever that is, be sure to take time and go there. We all need a place where we can let our thoughts go and simply just “be.”
What do you like to do in your “down” time? Do you listen to music, take a nap, paint, exercise or just be still…what’s your outlet? Relaxing and de-stressing is essential for good health. Even if your world is whizzing by you, find a way to slow it down…the payoff in the end is priceless.
Do you stress eat? From time to time stress can grip us and we find an outlet in eating, and mostly the “not so good for us” food. Before you start eating your way to peacefulness, figure out what’s bothering you and find a way to cope with it, like a long walk or some time in your garden. Eating your way through a situation only causes a new stress when you have to reverse the effect of overeating!
Let me share with you some of my coping mechanisms…I spend time at the local coffee shop, I play music, I exercise, practice yoga and I pray, pray and pray. Tap into the spiritual side of who you are…there is peace in quiet meditation and prayer.
Life is short, find your quiet place, tap into your inner peace and live a prosperous life!
This blog borrowed from a fellow blogger.
At Mees Jewelry, we know how important your weddings rings are. Losing them is something no one wants to experience. We found a few unbelievable stories of rings that were lost and found. Insuring your rings is always the best practice…but insurance only replaces the dollar aspect it can’t replace the sentiment behind the ring.
Enjoy these great stories and hang on to those rings!
Hidden in Some Weeds
Anthea Capewell lost her wedding ring and engagement ring in 1976, when they fell off her finger as she closed her garden gate. After a long and thorough search, she and her husband could only find the engagement ring. Eight years later, the couple moved out of the house, which is why it was even more amazing how 33 years after the ring was lost Anthea received a call from her old neighbor who claimed to have found the ring. The neighbors discovered the ring buried in some weeds underneath a hedge that was shared by the two homes. The discovery was such a pleasant surprise for the couple that Anthea and her husband immediately decided to renew their wedding vows in the next year.
In An Old Toilet
In 1974, a year after Donna Claver was married, the pregnant woman set her engagement ring on the tank lid of her toilet while she put lotion on. Unfortunately, the ring slipped into the bowl. Despite Donna and husband Terry’s best efforts, including unbolting the toilet and shaking it vigorously, the ring was stuck inside the hole at the bottom of the bowl and couldn’t be removed. Because the couple was too poor to afford a new toilet, they eventually gave up and put the fixture back in place, expecting to never retrieve their lost ring. As the years went by, the Clavers moved out of the home and it was sold over and over, but just last year, Terry happened to be roofing a house across the street from his old home when he noticed the new owners carrying the toilet to the trash. Remembering his wife’s lost ring, Terry climbed off the roof and told the gentlemen he’d be happy to throw the toilet away for them. He then took the fixture to his shop and broke it with a sledgehammer. Finally, the ring was free. Amazingly, after a little cleaning, the ring still looked brand new 36 years later.
In a Dog Food Bag
Toy surprises are usually reserved for cereals and Cracker Jack boxes, that’s why when Krista Berg discovered a man’s wedding ring in the bag of NutroMax she bought for her pup Otto, she figured it wasn’t meant as a bonus gift. Whereas most people would probably invoke the law of finders keepers, Krista decided to call around. When no one at the dog food plant had lost their ring, she tried calling the store where she bought the food and got in touch with Mike Stoddard, the rightful owner of the wedding ring. Mike was glad that Krista found his ring and not someone else, noting, "most people would just keep it.”
In a Garbage Truck
When 77 year-old Bridget Pericolo put her wedding and engagement rings into a Dixie cup for safe keeping, she certainly didn’t expect the adventure that followed. It all started when her husband thought the cup was trash and tossed it away with the rest of the garbage. Unfortunately, by that time, the local trash truck had already come by and collected the couple’s garbage bags. Bridget immediately called the local sanitation department, only to have the supervisor tell her that the truck couldn’t be stopped until the end of their route.
At the end of the day, Bridget’s husband Angelo met up with the two drivers of the truck and sifted through the entire truck of garbage, over ten tons worth, until they discovered the bag from the Pericolo’s house. After about 45 minutes of searching, Angelo returned to his wife of 55 years with a smile on his face and a ring in his hand.
On a Carrot
Lena Pahlsson was in the middle of an epic baking session, just before Christmas of 1995, when she removed her ring and placed it on the kitchen counter. At some point during the day, the ring disappeared and Lena and her husband, Ola, looked everywhere for the lost jewelry item. When they remodeled their kitchen a few years later, they even took the opportunity to search behind all the appliances and under the floorboards to no avail. Finally, the couple gave up hope on ever finding the ring. Sixteen years after the ring disappeared, Lena was outside, pulling up the last of the carrots in her garden when she noticed something strange about one of the carrots. The tiny vegetable had a strange thing wrapped around it. When she looked a little closer, Lena realized the carrot had grown inside of her wedding band. After a quick cleaning, the white gold band adorned with diamonds looks as good as new again. While no one knows for sure how the ring ended up in the garden, Ola has a few theories. “We thought maybe it had fallen in to the compostable food bin. Perhaps it ended up in compost that was spread over the vegetable patch later,” he said. Alternatively, he has speculated that maybe the family’s sheep, known for sneaking in and munching on the family’s kitchen scraps, had a hand in the disappearance.
At the Bottom of Some Sea Baths
The Dawn Fraser Baths are a tidal flow salt water pool in Australia, unlike normal pools, this means these baths are filled with salt water and silt, making it hard to find anything lost in the bottom. Fortunately for Joanne Norman, who lost her engagement ring while playing water polo at the baths, scuba diver Brad Lovell was available for hire, she tried to find the ring herself, but noted, the bottom of the ocean pool was covered in silt and was constantly moving. We tried to find it but with the (fading) light we were forced to give up. Joanne tried hiring a few local salvage divers to look for the ring, but she had no luck until she got in touch with Mr. Lovell. That’s because Brad incorporates a metal detector into his salvage diving to help him find specific items underwater. Brad got the idea for his business as he used a metal detector on the beach and was often interrupted by divers and swimmers asking him to help them find something they lost in the shallows. His idea to combine the practice with scuba diving has proven quite fruitful as he has since been hired to find a number of items lost under the ocean’s surface including the wedding ring of world surfing champion Layne Beachley. “The gratification I feel when reuniting people with a lost engagement or wedding ring is indescribable,” he says.
In the Mud of a Dirty Harbor
Just like Joanne Norman, ecologist Aleki Taumoepeau lost his rings in murky ocean water. In Taumoepeau’s case, he was searching the waters of New Zealand for invasive plant species. When the ring disappeared in water ten feet deep, Aleki tossed his anchor overboard to help him mark the spot. He recorded the area and then returned to his wife of three years who offered to buy him a new ring. "I just said 'No, I'll find it,'" he said. Three months later, he returned to the location and searched for the ring –to no avail. He then returned again, over a year later, and dared to dive into the freezing waters during the area’s winter season. Finally, he spotted his old anchor and then immediately saw the ring. "I couldn't believe that I could see the ring so perfectly," he said, "the whole top surface of the ring was glowing." As you may have guessed, Aleki’s ability to spot a “glowing” ring in the normally murky waters of New Zealand has earned him a new nickname amongst his friends…that’s right, he’s now the “Lord of the Ring."
Cooking up something new!
We all know that preparing our own meals at home is good for our health and our wallet. But let’s face it, with minimal free time and other priorities taking up space in our schedules, spending hours or even minutes in the kitchen isn’t always at the top of our to-do lists.
With all our daily responsibilities, it’s difficult to spend enjoyable time in the kitchen. Thankfully, healthy and awesome meals are possible without investing a lot of time and money. In fact, with less than a half hour each day, you can ensure that your family always has healthy and nutritious meals no matter how busy you are.
Because we all want to eat right and want to ensure our family eats right, quick and nutricious meals are a must for busy households! Here are 20 quick, nutricious and easy meals to add to your family’s diet soon.
Are you a thrift shopper? It really is an exciting trip to spend the day thrift shopping. From furniture to clothing, there’s always some hidden treasure that is waiting to be discovered. It’s not uncommon to find items with retail tags on them, now those are the real treasures.
Many times you can find a wonderful vintage piece of furniture that can be transformed into a unique up-to-date piece for your home. The entertainment center that becomes an infant’s wardrobe holder and changing area, the sofa table that becomes a trendy coffee cart or a beautiful picture frame that will become the perfect frame for a chalkboard, and all for a fraction of the cost of the new version.
The most interesting aspect of thrift shopping today is that the millennials love shopping at the second hand stores. Clothes from the seventies, jackets from the eighties are all treasured by the young ones living in the two thousands! Me…I am from a whole different generation and I thrift shop because I love the thrill of the hunt! Finding that perfect piece and then putting my personal design touch on it transforming it into something completely different from its original use! The other thought behind thrift shopping is the satisfaction of keeping these items out of the landfill…that’s important to millennials and my generation alike.
If you haven’t tried thrift shopping, yard sales or second hand and antique shops then walk on the wild side, set your creative side free and go have a great adventure today! Transform something old into something wonderful…it’s very fulfilling!
This blog borrowed from a fellow blogger.
March 13th is National Jewel Day!
From the dawn of civilization women has been amazed and besotted by the glitterati of the gem stones like Ruby, Emerald, Diamond, Sapphire, Amethyst, Pearl, Opal, Topaz and Peridot to name a few. And who doesn’t know the fascination of the fairer sex with the diamonds. Hence it comes as no surprise that there is a day dedicated to these jewels.
Yes!!! March 13 is officially recognized as the National Jewel Day. It’s an excellent day to indulge in your passion for jewelry.
If you are short of ideas here are some you can try on this Jewel Day.
So, on this day, remember the famously written lines by Jule Styne for movie “Gentlemen Loves Blondes” and sung by Marylyn Monroe -- “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” and go satisfy your jewelry fetish.
Every one of us has experienced a “red face” moment or two in our lifetime, what’s your most embarrassing moment? Let me tell you about mine…well one of mine.
Several years ago my husband and I decided to take a late night drive to McDonalds. I had not been feeling well, so I decided to go in my pajamas, a furry pink robe and brown boots. It seemed like a good idea at the time but turned out to be a very bad choice.
After our stop at McDonald’s we were leaving town, chatting like we normally do and my husband got a little distracted and ran through a stop sign. A truck coming from the other direction hit us, sending my husband’s head into the steering wheel. It wasn’t long before the police and paramedics showed up, each one of them giving me strange looks. I explained to everyone that I wasn’t feeling well and decided it was such a short trip that I just wanted to stay in my PJ’s and be comfortable, after all…what could happen. I went over it again and again in my head while riding in the squad with my husband. If only I had put on some pants instead of this pink furry robe. I just started to settle down when we arrived at the emergency room, where once again, everyone was staring at me. At this point, I had no shame. I loudly announced that we wanted a snack from McDonalds, I didn’t feel well, I thought it would be okay to wear my jammies, we were chatting, he didn’t stop and here we are! There, everyone knew why I was dressed in my “sleep” attire, pink furry robe and brown boots!
Everything turned out okay that night. My husband came home, our car was towed for repairs and I had a funny story to tell everyone. I learned a very valuable lesson that night. I have never gone anywhere in my jammies again, although…going to town in your pajamas is perfectly normal these days.
What turned your face red?
*blog borrowed from a fellow blogger
These muffins are inspired by a trip to Beaches in Ochos Rios Jamaica. Use whatever fresh ingredients you have on hand…but make sure their healthy! These are great to keep in the fridge. Pack one for lunch on those days you are brown bagging it!
If you want to make these for Valentine's Day, you can bake them in heart shaped muffin tins.
Loaded Baked Omelets
Servings: 6 • Size: 2 omelets • Points +: 4 • Smart Points: 4
Calories: 148 • Fat: 9 g • Carb: 3 g • Fiber: 0 g • Protein: 14 g
Sugar: 287 g • Sodium: 287 mg • Cholesterol: 196 mg
Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray the muffin tins with cooking spray.
In a large bowl whisk the eggs and egg whites, season with salt and pepper. Mix in the remaining ingredients. Place tins on a cookie sheet and bake 20 to 25 minutes, until set. Makes 12 omelets.
Embrace Your Memories!
I was driving today and saw smoke rising up out of some very tall pines, as I got closer I could smell the wood burning and I was immediately transported back to my days of camping. Even though I couldn’t see in the pines, my mind’s eye was already taking me to a place where friends were gathered around the fire, sitting in lawn chairs or on pieces of chunky wood where they were laughing, roasting hot dogs, making fried pies and enjoying each other’s company.
I remember the early mornings at the campgrounds, mist burning off by the sun and the smell of an early fire that was perfect for cooking breakfast sausage and eggs. Stepping outside the camper door and hearing a good morning greeting from your “campground neighbor” and feeling the weight of the world lifted off your shoulders as you take a stroll around to see who was up and about. Breathing in the cool morning air, hearing the sounds of campers getting their mornings started, hearing the laughter of children as they ride their bikes round and round the campground.
It’s funny how simple smells and familiar sights can take you back to a time that warms your heart and makes you smile. Even if it’s something you no longer do, a place you no longer live or friends who are no longer with us…your immediately taken back in time by sights and smells. Sometimes the mixture of happiness and melancholy come together and bring a smile and tear at the same time.
Embrace these moments…they are moments made real by memory!
I borrowed this blog from a fellow blogger.
Family…only six letters, but so important that you can’t even attempt to put a value on it. What does family look like? Sometimes family is not blood, but is a grafting of hearts that does not need blood to be family. Sometimes family is hairy and has 4 legs. Family is… forgiveness, understanding, kindness, generosity, laughter, tears, hugs and unconditional love.
Our extended families can include our colleagues, our church friends, our childhood friends and those who touch our lives every day in many capacities. Without family, our lives would feel hollow and empty.
Did you know in China, the elderly live out their lives with their families? Love and respect abound in these situations it’s a giving back to those who gave everything for their children to have a good life.
It doesn’t matter what your family dynamic looks like, what’s important is that there is love and understanding. Everyday should be lived showing those you love just how much they mean to you. Enjoy your family…love much and laugh often.
Are you enjoying the snow? Do you love to make a snowman or snow angels? Maybe a fun sled riding party is on your list for this winter. I guess if we have to endure cold, snowy weather we might as well make the most of it. As kids, we would fly down huge hills on our sleds and then grab the sled by its rope and start the long walk back up the hill so we could do it all over again. Layers of clothes, frozen toes, numb fingers and icicles hanging from our faces…we called it fun, and it was such fun! Hot chocolate waited for us inside the house, peeling off the layers of wet clothes and laying them on registers or near the fireplace, we would start talking about going back outside and how many times could we go down the hill before it would be too dark. Wow, we’re we crazy or what!
Do you remember snow ice cream? New, fluffy snow and some vanilla, that’s all it took to make a delicious concoction and tasty treat! Never, never use brown or yellow snow, better still, given the pollution today maybe just buy some ice cream at the grocery store! I guess that was an adventure of days gone by.
This winter, why not be a “child at heart” and revisit some of the incredibly fun things you enjoyed when you were young. Grab your children or grandchildren, the neighbor children and have a winter party. Make some cookies and hot chocolate, build a snowman, get out there and have a great time!
This time of year, our feathered friends are in need of a little help getting enough to eat. Not only is there the reward of knowing you’re making a difference but there’s also the benefit of watching the birds come and go, it’s a real stress reliever. You might be surprised to see how many different species of birds you’ll attract. Cardinals, Blue Jays, Finches and more stay all winter with us. Be sure to include some suet cakes for the many different kinds of woodpeckers that like a more hearty meal. Bird feed comes in many different mixes, but many of our feathered friends prefer the berries and nut blends. Don’t forget to include some peanuts or peanut butter suet cakes for a treat birds can’t resist.
If you don’t already have a bird feeder, there are many easy ways to get some food out there for them. Make it a project with the kids and smear some pinecones with peanut butter and roll them in bird seed. Hang them on the tree and watch the birds flock! Be sure to roll some in peanuts and dried berries for the woodpeckers. For a little advanced project and a beautiful look, follow this link to make some amazing birdfeeders out of empty wine bottles. Have fun and enjoy bird watching!
We’ve all heard of Essential Oils and know that there are many different oils and uses for them. The calming effects of Lavender, the healing prospects of Spearmint, Sandalwood, Rose and more have been boasted by many.
Did you know Oregano is helpful with digestion and Pine is good for cough and congestion? Jasmine is good for sensitive skin.
Even though I have not tried all the oils on the list, or have proof of their powers, it is a good read. See what you think. You never know, you might want to fill a diffuser with Lavender and start melting your stress away.
Check out this great link to learn more about essential oils and what they can do for you!
Friends I can’t wait to meet!
They’re out there, those friends you can’t wait to meet and get to know. The crazy one that drives recklessly, calls in sick (when they’re not), takes an outrageous vacation, wear ridiculous clothes and laughs so loud the whole world can hear.
The one that tells you a touching story from their life and makes you feel like the luckiest person alive. The one who just wants to lay their head on your shoulder and rest from weariness and defeat, the one you get to lift up with words or inspiration and experience!
The advice seeker that sees wisdom in your eyes and wants to know how you do “it” every day and keep your sanity, the one, who in the end tells you how to keep on going and makes all the difference in your life.
The friend you rarely ever see, but makes you feel as if time has stood still when you meet again, as if no time passed at all. The one who understands why you haven’t called or texted because life is too hectic and you just haven’t had time, the one that loves you if only for the short snippets of time you have together.
The friend that time has aged so perfectly that all you want to do is sit and talk for hours and soak in every drop of their experience and adventures, knowing time is running short.
Which friends are you waiting to meet? Who’s that perfect person you want to sit with, get to know, share some secrets and make a lifelong bond with? Get out there, get going, get to know someone new…make a forever friend today.
Did you ever wonder how the lineage of jewelry got started and progressed? Well, for inquiring minds, here’s the scoop.
Notice it stops at the 1950’s…I guess that’s because diamonds took the spot of most popular gemstone and as all women know, that’s a fact Jack!!!
Enjoy the article.
Timeline of Jewelry
110.000 - 73.000 BC - Decorative sea shell beads found in the archeological digs in Morocco. They were probably used as amulets. Drilled shells have also been found in Israel, Algeria and South Africa.
38.000 BC - Beads made from bone and animal teeth found in France.
28.000 BC - Fossilized shells and ivory beads found in the East Gravettian culture, located in modern Czech Republic.
4400 BC - Around the time of first domesticated animals and invention of wheel, ancient Thracian civilization produced oldest known objects made from gold.
5000- 30 BC - Use of copper starts a new era in jewelry production, and secrets of alluvial gold gathering arrives in Egypt around 4000 BC. They quickly start producing glazed steatite beads and countless jewelry designs based on scarab beetles, scrolls, winged birds, tigers, jackals and antelopes. Popular gemstones of that time were carnelian, feldspar, amethyst, chalcedony, lapis lazuli and turquoise.
2750 - 1200 BC - Ancient Mesopotamia produced wide range of jewelry based on the design of lives, grapes, cones and spirals. Gemstones that they used were agate, lapis, jasper and carnelian.
1400 - 30BC - Greek jewelry was made in the style of animals and shells and was infused with the amethysts, pearls, chalcedony, cornelian, garnet and emeralds.
500 BC - 400 AD - Ancient Roma preferred seal rings, brooches, amulets and talismans that were infused with the designs of animals and coiling snakes. Most popular gemstones were sapphires, emeralds, pearls, amber, garnets, jet and diamonds.
400 - 1000 AD - In European Dark Ages use of jewelry was not common, except among higher nobility and royalty.
1066 - 1485 - Medieval jewelry finally become widespread by the help of religion. The most famous designs of that time were hair and cloth jewelry that was worn during religious ceremonies. They were adorned with gemstones such as rubies, sapphires, pearls, emeralds, semi-precious stones and diamonds.
1500 -1830 - Arrival of Renaissance and Georgian time period brought rise of jewelry use in entire Europe. Necklaces (single or multi strand), earrings (ordinary or with chandeliers), and many other designs were decorated with the images of animals. Intricately designed gemstones became very popular to the point that diamond jewelry became commonly used as a part of evening attire.
1835 - 1900 - Reign of English Queen Victoria had a profound effect of fashion and jewelry tastes in Europe.
Early 1900s - These years were remembered for the Art Noveau and Edwardian styles.
1920 - 1935 - Roaring Twenties brought the rise of the Art Deco, which introduced jewelry of vibrant colors, filled with geometrical shapes, abstract designs, cubism, modernism and oriental art. It also popularized wearing of wristwatches.
1939 - 1949 - Because of influence of World War II and widespread embargoes on gemstones, popular jewelry shifted to the more metal based designs adorned with patriotic motifs and semi-precious and synthetic gemstones.
1950s - Post war years saw the return of brightly colored jewelry, heavy use of rhinestones and big beads. Diamonds solidified its spot as the most popular gemstone.
Here's a sample of what's trending for 2016!
As a very social society…staying ahead of the trends in most aspects of life is very important to us. Here’s some very useful information that will give you a head start on the trending jewelry, colors, fashion and cars for the upcoming 2016 year! Enjoy!
Great jewelry designs are on the horizon for 2016. Here’s a link to some great jewelry. http://styles7.com/2015/10/28/great-diamond-rings-designs-2016/
Here an interesting link that will keep you up-to-date with the trending colors for 2016 Jewelry. http://tips.jewelers.org/fine-jewelry-trends/
Looking ahead to spring/summer 2016, neutrals have the stage front and center. Check out this link for a sneak peek into the upcoming trends in clothing. http://beauty.bgfashion.net/article/10235/34/Spring-Summer-2016-Fashion-trends-Neutrals
Want to know which car won Motor Trends Car of the Year? Here’s a link with the winner and the runners up…maybe a new vehicle is in your future!
It just wouldn’t be the holiday season if we didn’t talk about cookies, candy and favorite foods. I’ve never really participated in a cookie exchange, but it sure sounds like a lot of fun. I do have favorite cookies and candy I like to make this time of year. Hands down, sugar cookies are my absolute favorite, but right on the heels of this delicious delight is homemade fudge. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without both of these sweet treats!
I remember as a child going to my Grandma’s house on Christmas Eve. Ham sandwiches were always on the menu! The ham slow baked all day and was adorned with pineapple rings…I can still taste that sandwich! Homemade candy and bowls full of nuts which we cracked with a nutcracker, round out this Christmas memory.
I guess as a child, everything seemed brighter, tastier and more fun because it was all newer and less tainted. I choose to keep that little child attitude this season. I will look at everything through my “child” eyes.
Blog borrowed from fellow blogger
2016 brings a sheer and feminine look that every bride will love.
Winter weddings can be incredibly beautiful and can give a whole new pallet of colors and enhancements! From icy branches to sparkling snowflakes to pinecones and pine…every space becomes an indoor wonderland. Blue, silver, red, gold…shining and bright, sparkling and elegant…that will be your winter wedding!
The bride will have so many lovely gown choices that will make choosing the perfect dress extremely difficult! Lace and satin, sheer and feminine, each dress the perfect masterpiece. The “dress destination” is all part of the incredible journey. For brides and their party that are very brave, you may choose an outdoor wonderland wedding. If you do, there are many great shrugs to keep your shoulders warm and cozy.
Whether your winter wedding is indoors or outdoors, it is sure to be stunning.
Jewelry can be a special gift for anyone. With the holidays coming up quickly, now is a great time to give a gift that will create a lasting memory. Remember, jewelry is not just for women but can touch the life of anyone.
What guy wouldn’t love a great pocket or wrist watch with an engraving that freezes the gift giving reason for a lifetime.
Every occasion he has to wear it or carry it in his pocket, every time he touches it, he will be reminded of the love that was a part of the process of picking just the right piece.
Jewelry for your child, niece or nephew or grandchild can be very special! Even when they grow, jewelry can be sized to continue to fit! If you’ve ever had a very special gift of jewelry, it never loses its’ special memory. When a piece of jewelry becomes so worn…you can take the stones and metal to a jeweler and recreate the memory with a new piece of jewelry.
Of course, ladies always love a special jewelry piece no matter the occasion! Remember, if a piece of jewelry can be engraved…always create a lasting impression with special thoughts, a nickname, a favorite phase or simply, “I Love You,” it completes the gift with true class!
Here are 10 reasons why you should get the Diamond cut that makes you perfectly happy. At Mees Jewelry we’ll make sure you get exactly what you want!
A cross between a Marquise and oval cut, this sparkling teardrop shape helps to elongate fingers.
Traditionally square-shaped with pointed, cut corners, the princess cut gives major sparkle with a combination of step and brilliant-cut facets.
This romantic cut needs no explanation.
Always a classic, the popular brilliant round diamond is the standard for all other diamond cuts.
This antique style features rounded corners and larger facets to increase their brilliance—sparkle galore.
Combining the elegance of the emerald shape with the brilliance of the round, the 70 facets of a radiant cut diamond maximize the effect of its color refraction.
Inspired by the smile of the Marquise de Pompadour, the elongated marquise cut diamond with pointed ends was commissioned by Louis XIV to match it.
With cut corners and a rectangular shape, the emerald cut is known as a step cut because of its resemblance to stair steps.
The oval cut with its even, perfectly symmetrical design and elongated shapes flatters any hand, giving the illusion of length.
Developed in 1902 by the Asscher Brothers in Holland, the Asscher cut is often called a "square emerald cut" for its cropped corners and square shape.
Holiday & New Year's Eve Marriage Proposal Ideas
It's that time of year when the world falls in love, every song you hear seems to say, "Will you marry me?" For a marriage proposal that will wow her or him (girls can propose too), review this list of our favorite holiday and New Year's Eve marriage proposal ideas.
Ask a local department store to let you play Santa for a day. Have one of your love's friends take her shopping and convince her to sit on Santa's lap. Once she's in position, give her the ultimate Christmas gift.
Make Every Day Count
Make an Advent calendar. Each door they open should reveal a sentimental memory or a reason you love her (or him) girls can propose too! Hide your proposal behind the door for December 25. If you're Jewish, use this idea for Hanukkah gifts, with each day's gift building up to the most important gift of all.
Spell It Out
Write out your proposal with roses in the snow or in Christmas lights on your house.
Attach plastic antlers and a red nose to your (cooperative, selfless) dog. Then put the ring on a ribbon around the dog's neck and send the mutt to wake your beloved. If you have two dogs, attach a "Marry me" sign to the second and send them in together. She'll never forget this Christmas morning! (Include your dog in the wedding!)
Make two time capsules. Put souvenirs and snapshots from your relationship into the capsule for the year that's ending. Put only a ring box into the second, signifying a new beginning in all senses of the word.
If you're at a party, work your proposal into the crowd's big countdown to the New Year. Right before everyone starts screaming, "10, 9, 8..." say, "I want to tell you why I love you so much." After each number the crowd yells, quickly tell your sweetie a reason (you'll have to rehearse exactly what you want to say). When the New Year arrives and everyone is hooting, simply whisper, "Will you marry me?"
Take the Cake
Invite your nearest and dearest to a party to celebrate Father Time's birthday, the beginning of a new year (and a new engagement)! Get or make a life-sized cake. Tell your sweetie you're going to surprise your friends, and tell your friends you're going to propose…top secret! At the stroke of midnight, jump out of the cake with a big sign around your neck that says, "(Name), will you marry me?"
Say It with Chocolate
Make reservations at an elegant restaurant and arrange for the wait-staff to bring out two covered desserts. Under your lid will be a heart-shaped cake in her favorite flavor; under hers, a ring box nestled in a bed of rose petals. Once revealed, instruct the waiters to bring over a bottle of bubbly.
By Lori Seto
When a Diamond becomes the Hero!
It’s a question that has fascinated humans for as long as we can remember: “What is beneath our feet?” One theory that may seem unlikely to you and me is that there is a vast layer of water between the Earth’s upper and lower mantle. Now, thanks to skilled scientists, a bit of luck, and a chocolate (brown) diamond, that theory has been confirmed.
The breakthrough came from a tiny inclusion in a diamond that most people would consider worthless. Inclusions, as you may know, are small bits of foreign (non-diamond) material that were trapped inside the diamond during its formation. In general, with engagement rings and other jewelry, the fewer inclusions a diamond has, the more valuable it is, however, in this case, one inclusion provided the key to unlocking a very old mystery.
Ringwoodite, is a substance that has been theorized to exist in this subterranean ocean, but has never been found on Earth except when brought here by meteorites. It only forms in high pressure environments like the Earth’s mantle. Scientists believe that this diamond was formed deep in the Earth’s mantle where a tiny piece of Ringwoodite was encased inside it. Then, a volcanic eruption caused it to be brought to the Earth’s surface where miners in Brazil later discovered it.
Through careful sample handling and high tech analysis, Dr. Graham Pearson and his team were able to verify that the inclusion in this diamond was indeed Ringwoodite. The existence of naturally occurring Ringwoodite confirms the theory that there is a vast amount of water beneath the Earth’s surface. How much water? Scientists believe it may be close to the amount of water in all of the Earth’s oceans combined.
This is a very exciting discovery, and as jewelers we love to hear stories where diamonds are the heroes (or at least play supporting roles). You can’t help but be impressed by this little brown diamond and all that it went through to carry this amazing substance to us. So, the next time you look down at that sparkling diamond on your finger; take a moment to imagine the incredible journey it has taken to reach you. What better symbol of love–enduring for a lifetime, forged under pressure, holding priceless treasures inside it–could there be?
Inexpensive or free things to do to finish out the fall season.
Enjoy the remaining fall season, grab the family, your best friend, your significant other and do something fun without breaking the bank. Here are a few great ideas we found! Enjoy!
What do you value the most?
If someone were to ask us what we value most, I'm sure that our relationships with our friends and family would come in close to the top of the list. But for most of use the way we allocate our time doesn't always reflect this.
At some level, we all know that the way we spend our time reveals our priorities, much more than merely what we say or think.
Maybe it’s true that we don’t always have the luxury of writing frequent, long personal emails, but we can make a more conscious effort to show people that they matter and that they’re special.
Here are a few ways to make someone feel special. Male or female…make their day!
People don’t just matter if they have something to offer us. They don’t just matter if we stand to benefit from the relationship. They don’t just matter if they’re “a good contact to have.” They just matter, period!
A ride like no other!
Are you a dare devil? The newest rollercoaster hits Cedar Point in 2016. This is one of the most talked about adventures today. It’s definitely what’s trending!
New roller coaster in Ohio Shatters 10 records!
Warning, this new roller coaster isn’t for the faint of heart.
Ohio’s Cedar Point amusement park released a CG mockup of its newest coaster, the Valravn Birdseye, which will be the tallest, fastest and longest dive coaster. This link will take you on a simulated ride.
Not only that, but when the ride opens next summer, the Valravn Birdseye will break 10 roller coaster records:
1. Tallest dive coaster - 223 feet
2. Fastest dive coaster - 75 mph
3. Longest dive coaster - 3,415 feet
4. Most inversions on a dive coaster - three
5. Longest drop on a dive coaster - 214 feet
6. Highest inversion on a dive coaster - 165 feet
7. Most roller coasters taller than 200 feet at one amusement park
8. Most rides at one amusement park - 72
9. Most steel roller coaster track at one amusement park - 52,125 feet/9.9 miles
10. Most roller coaster track at one amusement park - 60,110 feet/11.4 miles
The Valravn Birdseye was designed and built by Bolliger & Mabillard in Monthey, Switzerland, and is the 100th coaster the firm has created.
The roller coaster is expected to go into operation in the summer of 2016, so all roller coaster lovers rejoice! And maybe start getting in line for the first ride.
So, would you ride this? Sure does look like fun!
Look what's trending for fall 2015!
Welcome…this is our very first blog and we are so excited!
So here’s a look into what’s trending for fall 2015.
Welcome to cool, crisp air, s’mores, football, Halloween, and leaves changing colors season. It is coming into Fall! This is also the time of year to look forward to new Fall fashion trends.
We’re showing less décolleté and cleavage and more arm with slit sleeve fashions. So ladies, tone those arms and show them off! If you love skirts, then you’ll love this fall’s deluge of smart skirt looks. Pleats are back in both skirts and pants, so don’t be afraid to jump in. Boots are still all the rage, so pair them up with your new skirt or pair of slacks and step out in style. If you love bold colors and unique patterns accentuated with faux fur and extra-large bling, then you’ll love slipping into a great dress just in time for all the upcoming holidays! Large pointy collars on shirts, dresses and coats will create a look from another time. Look for it on every rack in your favorite place to shop. For those of us that still crave the layered look, it’s back!!! Look for suit jackets, pleated slacks and a great shirt layered in, for that look that says you mean business. 100 shades of grey…if you love this flattering color, look for it in every shade imaginable. It’s hot, hot, hot for fall! Fur, both real and faux, is making its’ way back into your wardrobe, even on your shoes and boots! You’ll be glad you saved your poncho wardrobe accessories because they are on trend again for fall, 2015.
Now let’s talk jewelry. Chokers are back and they are wide and noticeable. Large bling is everywhere. Statement jewelry is still hot! Look for earrings that hang low and have tassels and fringe! OOH-LA-LA!
If you wear eyeglasses and even if you don’t really need them…cat eye, the librarian look and the nerd look are what’s trending. So real or not, decorate your face this fall!
The three colors for fall that are on every runway are Gray, Black and Brown, and that includes hair!
So, get those fashion ideas flowing. How can you use what you already have in your closet to create some really interesting looks for this upcoming fabulous fall season? Always remember, if you don’t have enough jewelry, we’re here for you! Add a dazzling chunk of jewelry to your wardrobe and strut your bling!
Happy Fall from Mees Jewelry!
The use of gold and gems in can be traced back Millennia, to ancient cultures such as Egyptian and Mesopotamian. Jewelry has since then been an ever-present part of human civilization. Adorning oneself with jewelry has been consistent across space and time, across religions, cultures, class and gender.
Finish reading this article at the link below…