Wednesday, July 28, 2010

~ Wednesday Gratitude ~

It's Wednesday already and time to link up with Heidi
at Heart and Home to share our gratitude.  Drop by her beautiful blog and join in as well as visit those that are sharing.

My intention is NOT to be a Debbie Downer with this post...please understand that.  I just feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude today for "LIFE" and all that it entails.  I'm sure that each of you can relate if you take a few moments out of your hectic schedules, quieten your thoughts and go within. I know &%^$ happens too ~ that's a part of the challenge and an opportunity to grow from that type experience.  Not fun and I don't want to gloss over the yucky stuff but I also don't choose to focus on that. In my opinion, what we think about, we bring about.  A friend's mom passed away early this morning at the age of 94 after a life well lived.  Another friend is in the hospital with a severe infection in one knee after having double knee replacements 2 weeks ago. Another had an unfortunate car accident, another's car went on the blink and on & on.  All a part of the yuck.  On the other hand, we are given an opportunity each day to make the best of that one day ~ to laugh, play, perform an act of kindness, dream, read, nap, swim, hike, cook, bake, sew, paint, decorate, bead, run, take photos, plan a celebration, whatever floats your boat!  Take the time to do something fun!  Forget vacuuming and play with your kids.  Get off the computer and talk to your hubby or teens. Call someone and laugh...tell them you love them...go to coffee or shopping...BE with a child, a parent, a loved one. Celebrate your life ~ it's the only one we get and it is NOT a dress rehearsal.  ;-)

And...............................I hope you dance!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

~ Coffee Filters ~

Coffee filters .... Who knew! And you can buy 1,000 at the Dollar Tree for almost nothing, even the large ones.

1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters make excellent covers.

2. Clean windows, mirrors, and chrome. Coffee filters are lint-free so they'll leave windows sparkling.

3. Protect China by separating your good dishes with a coffee filter between each dish.

4. Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.

5. Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.

6. Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free coffee filter.

7. Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.

8. Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.

9. Hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.

10. Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line a plant pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through the drainage holes. (I do this all the time!)

11. Prevent a Popsicle from dripping. Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.

12. Do you think we should use expensive strips to wax eyebrows? Use strips of coffee filters.

13. Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken fingers, etc., on them. It soaks up all the grease.

14. Keep in the bathroom. They make great "razor nick fixers."

15. As a sewing backing. Use a filter as an easy-to-tear backing for embroidering or appliqueing soft fabrics.

16. Put baking soda into a coffee filter and insert into shoes or a closet to absorb or prevent odors.

17. Use them to strain soup stock and to tie fresh herbs in to put in soups and stews.

18. Use a coffee filter to prevent spilling when you add fluids to your car.

19. Use them as a spoon rest while cooking and clean up small counter spills.

20. Can use to hold dry ingredients when baking or when cutting a piece of fruit or veggies. Saves on having extra bowls to wash.

21. Use them to wrap Christmas ornaments for storage.

22. Use them to remove fingernail polish when out of cotton balls.

23. Use them to sprout seeds. Simply dampen the coffee filter, place seeds inside, fold it and place it into a plastic baggie until they sprout.

24. Use coffee filters as blotting paper for pressed flowers. Place the flowers between two coffee filters and put the coffee filters in a thick/heavy book.

25. Use as a disposable "snack bowl" for popcorn, chips, etc.



Sunday, July 25, 2010

~ Getting To Know You ~

Another Sunday, another GTKY with Keely at Mannland5.  Go by and check out her blog as well as the others that have joined in.  You can do this too!
The Questions...

1. Thong or Granny Panties?
Somewhere in between, thank you!

2. If you see a guy with his fly down, do you tell him?
Yes.  I say "EYZ" ~ Examine Your Zipper  ;-)

3. Spanx or no Spanx?

4. Do you sleep in your sheets?
I'm not sure what this question is referring to ~ I do sleep between the sheets! No, I don't sleep in sweats ~

5. What is your favorite Disney character?
Fairy Godmother

6. Dream vacation spot?
Carmel, Monterey, Big Sur, CA; Destin, FL; Costa Rica

7. What is your dream job?
I'm retired but if I had a do-over, it would be a Chef

8. Who is your hero and why?
Any woman that overcomes abuse of any kind and makes a new life for herself & her children, if she has them. Tina Turner comes to mind!  :-)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

~ Tuxedo Brownie Torte ~

This is a first for me....I'm linking up with Foodie Friday. Please go over and see all of the other wonderful recipes posted!

Tuxedo Brownie Torte

1 (approximately 22-ounce) package fudge brownie mix
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 (10-ounce) package frozen raspberries
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup fresh red raspberries
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons white creme de cacao
1 cup vanilla flavored chips, melted
1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
1 tablespoon chocolate candy bar, grated

Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Prepare pan as directed on brownie mix package.

In a bowl, combine fudge brownie mix, water, oil, and egg. Blend well then spread in the prepared pan. Bake for 38 to 45 minutes, or until the center is set. Cool.

Meanwhile, process frozen raspberries in a food processor until pureed. Strain to remove the seeds.

In a saucepan, combine sugar and cornstarch. Gradually add the raspberry puree and mix well. Bring to a boil and cook until the mixture is clear, stirring constantly.

Cool for 5 minutes then spread over the brownie mixture to within 1/2-inch of the edge. Garnish with fresh red raspberries then refrigerate.
In a medium bowl, combine softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, and white creme de cacao; beat until smooth. Stir in melted vanilla chips and beat until smooth. Fold in cream whipped until stiff. Cover and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes. Pipe or spread over the raspberries. Sprinkle with grated chocolate candy bar.

Makes 8 servings


Monday, July 19, 2010

~ Question ~

Do any of you have one of the Cuisinart ice cream/sorbet makers?  Most of the reviews seem positive and better than using the Kitchen Aid attachment to the mixer.  I think it would be refreshing to have sorbets right now in this heat!  Lots of fresh fruits to try anyway.

Thanks in advance!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday/Funday again!  Linking up with Keely once again for GTKY. Join in ~ you'll find a lot of interesting info about your blogging friends.

The Questions ~

1. If you had to choose a country to live in besides USA (or the country you live in), which would it be?
Costa Rica

2. Which would be worse, wearing flip flops in the snow or wearing gloves in the summer?
Gloves in the summer!  I'm a bear with this heat & humidity we're having ~  :-(

3. Fried or Bake and why?
I'll say baked but prefer grilled ~ so tasty and lots healthier.

4. If you were an entertainment reporter, which celeb would you love to interview and why?
George Strait ~  'cause I'm in love with him.  ;-)

5. What was your favorite book as a preteen/teenager?
I have no idea....I didn't get a chance to read as much as I wanted to. I so enjoy it now!

6. List your top 3 guilty pleasure television shows.
Any of the Real Housewives shows, HGTV and Food Network.

7. What bumper sticker slogan best describes you/your attitude/your life?
"Life is not a dress rehearsal."

8. If you were to join a circus - what performer would you be?
Hmmmm, I don't do circuses.  I have a real issue about the animals' welfare.


Friday, July 16, 2010

~ An Old Cherokee Saying ~

An Old Cherokee Saying ~  This is probably one of the best analogies of life explained!


One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, "My son, the battle in life is between two wolves that live inside us all.

"One is Evil: anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

"The other is God: joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"

The old Cherokee replied,

"The one you feed."


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

~ Wednesday Gratitude ~

  It's Wednesday and another opportunity to link up with Heidi and express our gratitude!  Drop by her blog and join in...also, please visit the other blogs that have linked up too.

As I sit here in front of my computer (that links me to anyplace in the world) drinking the most wonderful cup of coffee in much needed air conditioning, I am so blessed!  I've had a shower with great body products and I've been able to dress in clothing of my choice which is clean and colorful.  I've had a breakfast of a whole grain waffle and fresh fruit and I've taken my vitamins. I have a choice as to quiet, music, the TV, etc.  This time last week I had just had my 2nd cataract surgery with a reknowned Dr and the results are amazing!  I am able to read most things without glasses, including all the fun blogs which links me to YOU.  Not one single thing I've mentioned is earth shattering to anyone but me but oh my, such miracles and blessings!  I cannot help but think of those that are less fortunate and send love and blessings their way. We truly have SO MUCH to be grateful for each moment of each day. 

Enjoy your miracles and blessings and make it a great day!


Monday, July 12, 2010

~ Important Women's Health Issue ~

Important Woman's Health Issue:
* Do you have feelings of inadequacy?

* Do you suffer from shyness?

* Do you sometimes wish you were more assertive?

* Do you suffer exhaustion from the day to day grind?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist about Margaritas.

Margaritas are the safe, natural way to feel better and more confident about yourself and your actions. Margaritas can help ease you out of your shyness and let you tell the world that you're ready and willing to do just about anything. You will notice the benefits of Margaritas almost immediately and with a regiment of regular doses you can overcome any obstacles that prevent you from living the life you want to live.

Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past and you will discover many talents you never knew you had. Stop hiding and start living, with Margaritas.

Margaritas may not be right for everyone. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use Margaritas. However, women who wouldn't mind nursing or becoming pregnant are encouraged to try it.

Side effects may include:

- Dizziness

- Nausea

- Vomiting

- Incarceration

- Erotic lustfulness

- Loss of motor control

- Loss of clothing

- Loss of money

- Loss of virginity

- Table dancing

- Headache

- Dehydration

- Dry mouth

- And a desire to sing Karaoke


* The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you are whispering when you are not.

* The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them.

* The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to think you can sing.

* The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you can logically converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting.

Please share this with other women who may need Margaritas.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

~ Getting To Know You ~

It's Sunday....or what I like to call I'm linking up with Keely at Mannland5 for another Getting To Know You.  Stop by her blog, join in and visit the others too.

The questions:

1. What is YOUR definition of sexy?
Self-confidence and a great sense of humor.

2. Would you rather clean up puke or change a poopy diaper?
Well, it's been eons for either one but I'd choose the poopy diaper ~ hands down.

3. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

4. If you had to give up one of your 5 senses for a year..which one would you give up?
I believe I would choose taste...and plan to be skinny!

5. Cake or Pie?
Both, thank you very much!

6. If you could play any character on TV (old or current) who would you play?
Blanche on "Golden Girls"

7. My favorite website is.....?
Honestly, there are wayyyyyy too many to name just one.

8. The highlight of my day is....?
I think the twilight time in the evenings would be my most favorite, especially in nice weather when you can be outside. Sitting down with a drink in hand and enjoying the sunset and early evening quiet.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

~ Off for surgery again ~

I'm having my second cataract surgery tomorrow so will be away from the computer for 2-3 days. I have to say that I'm excited about it and I know that it will turn out just as incredibly well as the first one!  It's just amazing to me the vast improvement thus far with the right eye so I'm doubly excited about both of them being completed...and very grateful!


Monday, July 5, 2010

~ 11 Ways To Feel Beautiful ~

I think we all go through times feeling "less than" beautiful and we really shouldn't.  The info below offers suggestions to change our thinking...see what you think!

"Your brain is constantly checking in with the rest of your body to find out how you're feeling," says Kelly McGonigal, PhD, a health psychologist at Stanford University. "When your posture is erect, the message it gets is: I feel good about myself. " One study, published last year in the European Journal of Social Psychology, found that subjects who sat up straight in their chairs instead of slouching were more confident about statements they wrote. Keeping your shoulders back and chest open also makes you look taller, slimmer, and radiantly self-assured.
Don't issue good/bad/pretty/ugly judgments when you look in the mirror. "If you have a scar, you can decide to see it as a flaw or simply as a memory of an injury," says Stacey Tantleff-Dunn, PhD, associate professor of psychology at the University of Central Florida and director of the Laboratory for the Study of Eating, Appearance & Health. Try to take in your physical attributes the way you would those of a child or beloved friend—with appreciation and acceptance, not criticism.
"Studies using eye-tracking technology have shown that people who are unhappy with their appearance zero in on their perceived flaws when they look in the mirror," says Nancy Etcoff, PhD, director of the Program in Aesthetics and Well Being at Massachusetts General Hospital. Turn your gaze on the feature you like (we know you have at least one). "When your eyes take in something that pleases you, your brain's reward system is activated, lifting your whole mood," says Etcoff.
"We all find smiling faces more attractive than nonsmiling ones," says Paul Ekman, PhD, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, who has studied facial expression for several decades. A smile not only lifts the muscles around the eyes and lips, for a more youthful appearance, but also generates a feel-good ripple effect: Your brain gets an instant mood boost from the muscle contractions, and that boost is maintained as people smile back at you.
Shallow breathing manifests itself as tension in your face, throat, even shoulders. On the other hand, when you take deep, slow breaths, you look and feel more at ease in your body. So take a second, enjoy the photo, and breathe.
When you compliment a child on her dress, she doesn't respond, "Oh, I don't think it fits quite right." (But she might say, "Thanks! And look at my shoes! And my braids! And did I tell you I'm the third tallest girl in my class?") Stop deflecting praise about your appearance. Simply say "thank you" when someone compliments your thick hair or sparkling eyes. You—and your admirer—will feel better about the exchange, creating positive reinforcement that makes you both want to give and receive compliments more often.
We're not talking a fuchsia pantsuit. Just a pop of color—say, in a necklace or scarf—can light up your face, and your mood. Not sure what to add to your wardrobe of black and greige? Try blue: "It's universally considered a 'happy' color, and there's a shade that looks good on everyone," says fashion stylist Joe Lupo, coauthor of Life in Color. If your skin tone is warm (it looks yellow-orange next to a piece of white paper), choose royal blues; if your complexion is cool (it has a more pinkish cast), try icier blues or aquas.

"Body image can be externally influenced—by a number on a scale or an image in a mirror—but it's also affected by physical sensations like discomfort," says McGonigal. When you wear clothes in the smaller size that you want to be (or once were), the feeling of constriction sends a constant signal to your brain that you're not thin enough. This isn't an appeal for elastic waistbands ("Looking like a schlump won't do much for your body image either," McGonigal says) but for clothes that are both elegant and comfortable—in the size you are now.

Unless you live off the grid (and if you're reading this, you probably don't), you're bombarded with media images of willowy, poreless women. It's human nature to compare yourself with these images—but if you're not a supermodel, you'll come up short. Until such pictures are stamped with warning labels (an idea British and French lawmakers have proposed), when you catch yourself in the act of comparing, remember that these pictures are incredibly unrealistic—engineered by teams of lighting experts, makeup artists, and a tricky little computer application called Photoshop. They're created to make you feel insecure and encourage you to open your wallet. "Studies of teens have shown that increased media savvy does reduce comparisons and negativity about appearance," says Kerry O'Brien, PhD, a psychology lecturer at the University of Manchester.

Recent research shows that our social networks have a profound effect on our behaviors and attitudes—including how we perceive our appearance. "It's hard to feel good about your looks if you're surrounded by people who criticize their own," says Etcoff. "Spend time around people who are confident in their bodies, and you'll find yourself following suit."

We mean that literally, as in change your lightbulbs. White-coated incandescent bulbs cast a wash of soft, pretty light, says lighting expert Dan Blitzer, president of the Practical Lighting Workshop. The Philips Natural and GE Reveal brands also filter out yellow tones for a clean white light that goes easy on all skin tones. Consider the placement of your light fixtures as well: "When light reaches your face from all directions, it minimizes lines and shadows," says Blitzer. In your bathroom, replace overhead lighting with fixtures on either side of your mirror.


Friday, July 2, 2010

~ Happy 4th! ~

I have obviously not posted this week ~ just not feelin' it!  Can't think of anything fun and interesting to share so have just abstained. ;-)  I will be away from the computer for a few days and wanted to wish each of you the best holiday ~ full of fun, fireworks & safety and great friends and family to share it with.  Please remember to celebrate America's birthday and also thank all of our military personnel and veterans for their service.  We remain the Land of the Free, Because of the Brave!