Wednesday, December 19

All is Calm...and FIT TIP (#182)

All is Bright

This time of year I love to look at snow-covered images. 
I like snow...from afar.
Or for limited periods of time in person,
if fun is involved.

To me/for me, this Christmas season does feel calm...and bright!
Last December was bright (and exciting)
but not calm.

Knee deep, but not in snow.  We (HH & I) were 2 months away
from becoming Man & Wife.
Busy combining 2 into one.  Two households, two lives.

a portion of our Christmas tree
Busy working our 3 piles.  Keep, Give, Toss.
Busy finding renters for "my" place.
Busy turning "his" place into ours.
Busy, fun, exciting, but not exactly calm.

I have vintage ice skates, and although I am kind of in love
with the above image
I will not be using my skates in a centerpiece.
Anything that was once on any one's foot does not
go near my food. Ever.
Maybe on a small side table in the home office?

So, the busy-ness of last Christmas season has wonderfully
become calm and bright.  Still fun and exciting...but calm.

Packages sent off late, oh well.  Who doesn't love to open
a few surprises after Christmas?  Extending the fun!

Calm and Bright.  Focusing on what the
Christmas season is really about.
Not just the birth of Jesus Christ,
but his life...his lessons.

Wishing you calmness and brightness this season!

FIT TIP (#182): Cuddle
Cuddling before bed relaxes the brain, reducing the process of over thinking, making it easier to fall asleep.

Words for the Week

Friday, December 14

Pop of Red...and FIT TIP (#181)


A glorious pop of red is something I adore.

(not to be confused with red pop **which I don't adore--
but I know an adorable lil girl in Texas who does)

It is such a bright, cheery and festive color.
I don't use a lot of red
in my holiday decorating.  Just a
pop, here and there.
Heck, I don't use much red in
my none-holiday life
But I do love a good pop of it.

You know how I feel about animal print.  Love.
I'm conflicted with the above image.
I don't love the coat.
I feel like I should.  I don't.
I love the pops of red.  They save it.
I do own a red handbag, stiped T
and lipstick **another story altogether**
But I won't be imitating this look.
Before I get back to holiday
pops of red
I have to mention another everyday
pop that I simply love...
Red Front Doors.
Two of my kids have them.  Ahhh! 
A few more pops to enjoy:

Hope your weekend is merry & bright
and includes a few pops!
FIT TIP (#181): Love First 
Words for the Week

Friday, December 7

Yes, it 'tis...

After doing this **December, Holiday Season, Christmas** for many, many years I happen to believe that the key to the whole JOLLY thing is strongly tied to SIMPLICITY.

Have you noticed how SIMPLICITY has become CHIC?  How awesome is that?  Very, very.
Speaking of Simple Chic, check this out:
not positive, but pretty sure credit for this brilliance goes to Lovely Things

Yesterday, when I realized that odds where high I'd still be at the office during the lunching hour,

I quickly **and simply** threw a healthy lunch together...and was even a bit giddy when I realized how festive it looked.  I mean really, I took a picture of cottage cheese?  
 And something I'm super JOLLY about these days, thanks to Handsome Husband:
diamonds are a girls best the niche that leads to the master bedroom.  I smile every time I walk by his handiwork. 
 Speaking of Jolly, Festive, Simple and Chic.  This is what I will be serving
for breakfast this weekend in honor of HH and his birthdate!  There will be some celebrating going on, for sure.

'tis the season, so have a JOLLY weekend!

Tuesday, December 4

Really, I Could...and FIT TIP (#180)

Cross my heart, I could...

see myself going to a Christmas party in this very place...honestly, I could.  Would you like to come along?  No jackets required!

And how about if instead of calling the above "graham crackers", I could start calling them "graham wafers"?  I saw them referred to as such in a recipe.  I kind of like the sound of it. 

Then I could make homemade graham wafers to be used for S'mores that I could also make, after roasting marshmallows in the backyard fire pit with Handsome Husband.

Ahhh, this floating candle.  I could make a handful of these as easy as 1,2,3.  I have the few supplies necessary on hand...including H2O!  I love the simplicity of this glow.

This evening I could throw together a bowl of new obsession.  I have always loved edamame.  Warm, cold, in the pod or out, seasoned or plain.  But then I fixed these one night as an appetizer and whoa! 

16 ounces frozen shelled edamame
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt (is there any other kind?)
1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
(or 1-2 teaspoons alternate seasoning)

Thaw edamame for an hour or so.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Gently pat edamame dry.  In mixing bowl toss edamame with olive oil and seasonings.  Taste to test seasonings.  Spread in single layer on a sheet pan and roast 30-40 minutes.  Stir every 10 minutes.  Their color will darken and the exterior will be dry.  You will hear them "singing" as steam escapes from inside the bean.  Best if eaten within a few hours.  They never make it that long around our house.  Yum!

And then I could serve roasted edamame at an outdoor the snow.  Wait, no I couldn't.  I don't live where it snows.  I live in the Valley of the Sun...where

I could just do yoga out by the pool instead, like I did the other day.  Yoga by the pool in December.  Crazy!

FIT TIP (#180):  Happy Chemicals
Smile. Even if you're in a bad mood, it will immediately improve. The simple action of thinking about smiling and using the muscles is enough to trigger happy chemicals in the brain.

Words for the Week

Friday, November 30

Kicking Myself...and FIT TIP (#179)

1. quick to notice or perceive; alert.
2. regard attentively; watchful.

And because I wasn't, I missed out.
I'm not going to type out the antonyms
because they are not pretty words.

While visiting our Texans recently
HH & I stopped at a busy grocery store
it was a Saturday, after all
to grab some fixins for a simple,
impromptu, surprise lunch/indoor picnic.

We made our way around the store
canoodling & flirting (with each other!) & selecting
goodies that would bring smiles
to our favorite little Texans.

Waiting our turn in one of the long check-out
lines, we continued canoodling, etc.
Passing some Texas time

Our turn finally arrived. I then saw some things,
asked some questions, got a few
vague answers and quickly began

There had been a lady who could have used
some help...and I would have gladly.
I decided right then
I will be more OBSERVANT in certain
situations.  While shopping, for instance.
I will!

Is there someone who needs help reaching,
lifting or carrying an item?  Someone in a hurry or
lacking a few dollars for a purchase?
As was the case in Texas.

A small pile of "goods" totaling less than $10.
Items that weren't necessities, but items that
 would have probably put smiles on
  little Texas faces...probably close in age
to my little Texans.

I will be more OBSERVANT.  Watchful.  Alert.

FIT TIP (#179):  Encouragement  
The more we encourage others, the more we are encouraged ourselves.

Words for the Week
"Christmas, my child, is love in action."  --Dale Evans

Wednesday, November 21

Always Count!

More than just one day a year...

we should certainly count our BLESSINGS,
but we should also make our blessing
Words for the Week

So much to be grateful for!

Monday, November 19

Turkey Tidbits...and FIT TIP (#178)

Did You Know?  Benjamin Franklin argued that the Turkey should be our National Bird.
He stated that it was more respectable and a native of North America.

Only male turkeys (toms) gobble...females (hens) make a clicking noise.

Nearly 88% of Americans surveyed (by National Turkey Federation) eat turkey at Thanksgiving.
I wonder what the other 12% eat?

Growing up I loved this:
Do You Wishbone?  Allow it to dry...then two people grasp each end of the wishbone.  After making a silent wish, they pull it away  Whoever gets the joint portion, gets their wish.

Turkey cheese ball idea...gobble gobble, click click

FIT TIP (#178):


Words for the Week

Wednesday, November 14

Between Spooky and Santa...and Fit Tip (#177)

I love the little stretch between Halloween and Christmas...
and the pause it gives to reflect on blessings of all sizes.

I keep a mini journal.  Mini is the key word here, and the part that helps me to be successful at journal keeping. There are only a few lines for each day.  Keeping it simple people!

I keep track of my exercise, our daily outings, and my "high" of each day. 

For the month of November, I have also focused on a blessing each day.  I am blessed.

We (HH and I) just returned from some Texas fun.  We flew into Dallas and spent a fabulous day with HH's son and daughter-in-law.  We then drove east and spent a handful of days with our little Texan's and their parents and their Papa Dan.  It was Knox's blessing weekend.  What special days!

Just so you know, my favorite form of exercising is hanging out with grandchildren.  If only any of them lived closer...I'd never have to step foot on my treadmill again :)

Parks, silly string wars, backyard games and exploring, etc. etc.  Blessed, I say!

FIT TIP (#177):  Happy is Healthy

Words for the Week

Monday, October 29

Limits...and FIT TIP (#176)

Limits, limits everywhere... 
speed limits, age limits, height limits, time limits, weight limits,
occupancy limits, luggage limits, etc.

Thank heavens, there are no prayer limits.

I pray.
I have never prayed as hard as I did 11 days ago.

My son-in-law is tough.  He is strong,
physically, mentally and spiritually.
So, when I received a heart-wrenching phone call
from him, I knew it wasn't good.
He told me that Knox was on his way to the hospital.
He couldn't tell me that he was okay.

**Knox, the day he was released from hospital, eyes were still
red, puffy, swollen w/surface scratches**

Husband & I immediately started praying.
I called my mom.  She prays...
And my kids and siblings.
Word spread quickly through our extended family.
Prayers were offered.
Knox fought...for his life, and won.

There is a lot more to the story.
But, the bottom line:
Knox is once again healthy.

Right now I am praying for (son) Jordan
and his awesome little family, and everyone
in the path of Hurricane Sandy.
Won't you join me?

On a different **limit** note:  
I think I've hit my limit in a few areas, and I don't think I'm the only one.
Blogs--I did a major purge on my Google Reader and boy, does it feel good.  Now I only follow blogs that I find uplifting, inspiring, entertaining, and/or have pics and stories of those I love. Phew!
Facebook--it just doesn't interest me like it once did.  Or did it really ever?  I took the lead from someone I admire, and kept my number of friends to a reasonable limit.  But still, the feed gets so clogged up know.  It's just not doing it for me.  I stay connected to my kids, siblings, close friends and church friends in real life.  I find these real life relationships (and Handsome Husband) so fulfilling!  I admit, I mostly follow political pages etc, on FB these days.
Pinterest--I don't do it.  I'm not knocking it...I see others gleaning great ideas from it. I hear it's addictive :)
Whenever I think about it...I change my mind!
Instagram--I like it because it's fast and easy and I only follow people I'm close each entry has my interest. But, sometimes I go a few days without even checking or posting. 

FIT TIP (#176): Pray
Numerous scientific studies have evaluated the therapeutic effects of prayer.  The research has shown that people who pray regularly are less likely to become ill and that when they do, they tend to recover faster.
Not only does prayer have healing effects for the people who pray, it also benefits those who are prayed for by others.

I didn't need a study to state the obvious...but it is interesting, huh?

Words for the Week

Friday, October 26

To Carve or Not to Carve

That is the question.

With so many cute & fun & creative options

it has become my preference 

to **GASP** not carve!

I now carve only

at carving parties.
And maybe sometimes I
even win a prize!

Now, if my kidlets were around, I would carve
with them...for them.

I love the above option.
Notice the key with tassel.

Have you carved yet?
Are you going to?

Words for the Week