Thursday, December 31

Half-Priced Hope...Happy 2010!!!

As 2009 winds down

a new year **and decade**
just a whisper away

this was on sale **50% off Christmas clearance**
it's big...not an ornament

I love the whole idea of it.
Half-priced HOPE...for the new year!

Hope for the possibility
of new opportunities & experiences.
New lessons to be learned...
old lessons to be refined.

Happy **and hopeful** New Year!

Wednesday, December 23

FAVORITE recent FINDS under FIVE dollars...and FIT TIP (#62)

Fun **recent** discoveries
that put a **happy holiday** smile on my face.

Fluffy **winter** White Vintage Collar...antique mall
$5.00 **after 50% discount**
Handmade **crochet, with little pearls along the edge**

Frothier...Ross $4.00

Froth-i-er [fraw-thee-er] to make foamy.

Pour skim milk into glass vessel,
**not above black line**
heat in microwave 30 seconds.
Set **hot** vessel on cork pad...
**hand** pump lid/lever until frothy.
Pour over hot chocolate.
fat-free foamy fab-u-lous-ness!
**say that fast 3 times**

Unbleached Baking Cups...Sprouts $1.00/box **60 cups**
Besides the great natural color **that I so love**
other facts:
no chlorine, no toxins, 100% biodegradable, 100% compostable, microwave safe,
and can even be used without a muffin pan **hmmmm**

Twine Balls...thrift store $1.00 each
Found in original packaging.
**have you checked the price of twine lately?**
Various gauges...I bought them all!
**yes, I went back to the stinky store**

Old **love** Notes...sewing box, secret compartment $0
To: **7th grade** Jordan
From: Various **7th grade** Females

Knowing my sons didn't keep such things
around **at that age**
I'm thinking the little sister **hey Kendal!**
tucked them away in the secret hiding place...
for future use. **and forgot?**
I found them, and smiled!

Pop/Rock Holiday Favorites CD...Walmart $5.00
Sugar Ray **love Mark McGrath** sings Little Saint Nick.
Other performers include:
Collective Soul, Everything But The Girl, Jewel and more.
High energy Christmas tunes.
**some I've never heard before**

FIT TIP (#62): Peppermint Prescription
**in a NASA-funded study** During simulated driving scenarios, participants reported that peppermint lowered their feelings of fatigue or anxiety by 20%.

Peppermint & cinnamon each decreased frustration by 25%, increased alertness by 30% and made the ride seem 30% shorter.

Not a gum or candy person? Buy peppermint or cinnamon aromatherapy diffusers for the car.

Sunday, December 20

Holiday Hooks...and FIT TIP (#61)

What I do with a bunch of candy canes...

Break off the "hooks".
Melt dipping chocolate
and dip.
Don't forget to add
festive sprinkles.
I don't stop there.
I grab a bag of
honey wheat braided pretzel twists
and dip them.
**every last one of them**
Adding sprinkles to some.
Leaving some plain...oh-so yummy!
For friends & family.

And what becomes of the "hooks"?
Put in a zip lock baggie
and crush **until powdery**.
Add to hot chocolate.
More festive-ness!

P.S. If some of your lovies
don't like peppermint...
try Bob's Original
Cherry Rainbow Candy Canes.

FIT TIP (#61): Do Good, Feel Good
Acts of altruism can lend a little pep to your step. Many studies have found that service and volunteer work can boost your energy in six ways. It enhances:
...happiness satisfaction
...sense of control over life
...physical health
Abe Lincoln said, "When I do good, I feel good".

Thursday, December 17

Did You Know?...and FIT TIP (#60)

--Charles Dickens wrote "A Christmas Carol" (in 1843) in just 6 weeks.

--"Jingle Bells" was first written for Thanksgiving.

--Contrary to popular belief, poinsettia plants are non-toxic.

--If you received all the gifts in the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas," you would be the recipient of 364 presents.

--The first artificial Christmas trees were made of goose feathers and dyed green.

Antique **15 dollar** table w/book shelf. Before...

**I have a thing for black paint**

FIT TIP (#60): Interval Training...
which is alternating bursts of intense activity with bursts of lighter activity--is a good way to burn more fat.

For example, if you normally walk at a moderate pace, add in spurts of faster walking. Work up to adding in spurts of jogging. This strategy will burn overall more calories and more fat.

Sunday, December 13

Collections @ Christmastime...and FIT TIP (#59)

I've used bits & pieces of my collections
to decorate for Christmas this year.

I have a collection of vintage musical instruments.
I used the **full-size** trumpet
**inspired by Stone at Thanksgiving**
as the centerpiece of the tree.

I love old books.
Sometimes it's the title that I'm drawn to.
Other times it's the cover and/or color that attracts me.
Occasionally it's the inscription on the inside...

The Good Shepherd (1940) and
The Story of the Other Wise Man (1920)
are beautiful reminders of the
true meaning of the Christmas season.

I combined some of my cloches & black pedestals
for a centerpiece in the dining room.
I didn't have a pedestal **in black** the size
of one of the smaller glass domes...

but, I did have:
a black candlestick & appetizer plate...
and glue.

I now have the perfect pedestal
for one of my vintage trumpeters.

FIT TIP (#59): Tune In
Music is one of the most effective ways to change a bad mood, decrease tension, and increase energy.
Research suggests that music effectively distracts you from feeling fatigue.

Consider this: Runners in one study who listened to music while on the treadmill ran faster than those who jogged in silence.

Try this: Burn a CD of your favorite songs and play it when you need a pick-me-up.

Sunday, December 6

Tis the Season...and FIT TIP (#58)

Can hardly believe December
is almost a week old!

Celebrations have begun...
parties, dinners, goodie exchanges.

Thanks to our local ABC affiliate,
I share:

8 Holiday Goodies to Avoid
~Swedish meatballs
~Cheese straws
~Pecan pie
~Fruit cake...**um, no problem**
~Stuffed potatoes
~Pot roast...**yup, fixed one of those this week**
~Creamed spinach...**probably anything creamed**

FIT TIP (#58): Holiday Stress Reduction

Happy celebrating!