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I haven’t posted much of anything lately.  I’ve been busy testing recipe creations but I’ve also been dealing with an upset tummy and a lack of appetite…a lot.  So that makes it a little challenging for someone that loves to cook and post recipes!  Any taste testers out there??

So I thought I’d mix it up a bit and post some of my favorite products that I like to use.

I’ll start with an Avon product, yes Avon.  I love Moisture Therapy lotion.  I use it everyday on my hands and body.

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I also have those dry heels that we ladies seem to have to deal with.  And I have to tell ya, since I started using Burts Bee’s Foot Lotion, I rarely have that problem!  Scouts Promise of Truth and Honor!!!  Of course there is coconut oil in there and we all know how beneficial that is!  I use the beeswax lip balm too.  I have several of them, all over the place… in my kitchen, my bathroom, my purse, pockets.  Love it!

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Next, my teeth!  My favorite toothbrush ever is the Spin Brush, its the best thing next to having a dental cleaning!  My teeth actually feel that clean. And I ONLY use Glide dental floss.  I have tried them all and thrown them all in the trash.  None can compare to Glide!

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Next on the list is my foundation.  I bounce back and forth from a liquid to a powder.  And the only liquid foundation allowed on my face is Maybelline Fit, and the compact for touch ups during the day.

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When I feel like a powder its Bare Minerals, as you can see by the practically empty jar.

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For my mascara, Its Loreal Voluminous. either the Full Definition or the Original.   I swear my lashes actually do look longer.  Even healthier!  I have a tube in my purse and one in my makeup case in the bathroom.  I don’t carry one in my purse for touch ups, its just that I am so anal about having to wear mascara that I figure if I ever get stuck somewhere and have to spend the night, I will at least have my mascara for the morning.  Sad isn’t it?

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My hair, the older I get the dried my hair gets. I use Frizz-Ease on wet and dry hair.  It does wonders!

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So there you have it, my favorite beauty products.  Just the basics, at my age and at this stage in my life these are pretty much all I need.

Live well my friends! XO

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I love French toast!  And I love Autumn, so why not combine pumpkin & spice to my French toast?  Sounds reasonable to me!

I had a loaf of Italian bread…..yea making “French” toast with “Italian” bread, I’m silly that way!!  I sliced half the loaf about ½” thick. I like to let the bread sit on the counter so it can start to dry out a little while I prepare the batter.

In a bowl place 3 eggs and whip them a little.  Add ½ cup of milk, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, a dash of salt, ground cloves and nutmeg.  Mix together well and then add 3 HEAPING tablespoons (or a ¼ cup) of canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie although I’m sure it would work).  Blend well.

Here comes the fun part, soak the bread, bathe it in that wonderful pumpkin batter!  Let the bread absorb but not get mushy, and then toss it in a preheated pan.  I usually do a medium low heat and flip the toast numerous times to make sure if gets heated thru completely and toasted nicely.  

With this batter I was able to make about 7 or 8 slices of toast.  Serve with a sprinkle of cinnamon, your favorite syrup and a very tall glass of ice cold milk!

Enjoy!

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I love ice cream!  This is a healthy way to get my ice cream!  And if you love a good chai tea latte like I do, you will have to try this. 

I have to admit, while it was churning away, I did stick a spoon into the creaminess and try it….more than once.

32 oz of Vanilla yogurt (I used greek, LOVE it and the protein it provides)

A good pinch of each:   Cinnamon, Ground Ginger, and Cardamom

1-2 T sugar (start with 1 T, but honestly, it really doesn’t need it at all.  I just felt that it made the chai flavor stand out!)

3/4 cup of water with 2 chai tea bags already brewed and cooled

Mix it all together and then follow your ice cream maker instructions.

Standby with a spoon to taste test as it is freezing

Enjoy!

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Want to win something that will help with your weight loss program?  Slimkicker via my blog, will be giving away this fantastic  kitchen scale .

To enter, leave a comment, just a sentence or two, with your suggestion on a fun, creative fitness or diet challenge.  The winner will be announced next week.

Check out Slimkicker.com, it is a wonderful site!   The site provides you with a way to track your calories and turn your weight loss and fitness goals into a level-up game with rewards.  You rack up points by tracking healthy calories, and completing challenges such as quitting soda for a week. You can upload a picture of a reward you would like, such as a cheat food (like one of my brownies), or an iPod that you have been wanting to buy, and they’ll remind you to reward yourself with that reward as you reach a certain number of points. 

There are challenges, forums and groups along with resources such as blogs, nutrition & fitness, calorie database, wellness,  and diet psychology.  And let’s not forget all the recipes and diets such as the  DukanDiet  and Weight Watchers.

REMEMBER TO LEAVE A COMMENT TO ENTER!!

Hope you have a fantastic day!

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Wow it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything!  Yes Debbie, I’m posting now!  And it’s about my experience touring the Battlefield at Gettysburg by horseback.

I haven’t been on a horse in probably 20 years, and that was a short ride in Mexico.  That is the extent of my horse riding.  As a little girl, like most little girls, I dreamed of owning horses.  I read any novel that pertained to horses.   In my youth, I used to walk or ride my bike to a nearby horse farm every weekend to feed them apples or just pet them!  I’d walk thru the stables and pretend they were mine.  Seriously, I begged my parents for a horse!  By the time I was a teenager, I could draw them too.  

So off to Gettysburg I go with two girlfriends.  One of which has experience with horses and has told me repeatedly I will be sore….yea yea yea I know, so I tuck some pain relievers in my purse.

We arrived early and had the pleasure of talking to the owner about her horses.  She has had horses since she was 8 years and has been doing tours for the past 30 years.  I am in awe!!!

She very cleverly matched all of us up with a horse.  Mine was a spirited little thing called “Pebbles” that the owner deemed a “Princess”.  What struck me as funny was there was a time in school where my friends called me Pebbles.  Pebbles also like to eat any grass vines or anything green that she got close too.  It was a chore to keep her on the trail!  Every time I went to snap a picture, she knew it, and wandered to the side of the trail.  I fell in love with her instantly!

I had to laugh at myself when the owner told me to bring Pebbles to stand beside her.  I said yea okay and how do I manage that!  I learned quickly but I still didn’t have the hang of it! 

The tour was fabulous, how many times have I stood somewhere along the roads around the battlefield and gazed out and imagined what the war would have been like.  Now here I was, on  a horse on the battlefield.

Our tour guide was very knowledgeable.  During one of her detailed events of the war, she began to tell us at approximately 1pm the cannon fire started; in the distance, reenactors were demonstrating cannon fire and at that exact moment the sound of a cannon echoed across the battlefield.  Got the horses attention too!

At our first stop for a history lesson, my knees and  legs were killing me.  Like really really get me off this thing killing me.  I silently signaled for the owner to come over, she adjusted the stirrups and I secretly thanked God for reminding me to take a pain reliever before we started the ride. 

By the time we got to the third stop for a history lesson, I was dying right there on that horse.  My backside hurt and my knees were screaming at me, all I wanted to do was get off the horse and stretch but I knew there would be no way for me to get back on without the step stool that the owner so kindly left us use when we started.  As bad as that sounds, I really LOVED being on Pebbles, it was so much fun!

So we make it back to the campground and I told the owner she would most likely need a very large shoehorn to pry my ass off the saddle because I was positive I was not going to able to swing my leg around!!!  But I did, with her instructions and me being oh so very careful.  A man near me asked for the shoehorn to be passed to him as well.  My lovely girlfriends managed to just hop on down all by themselves but the look on Ellen’s face pretty much summed up what I was already feeling, pain!   I didn’t realize I had butt-bones until then!!!!

So, did I enjoy myself and would I do it again??? You better believe I will!!!  I can’t wait!  But first there are some other things to do, like white water rafting :)

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I miss my…

Mom’s warm smile and loving personality

Dad’s mischievous nature and infectious laugh

Kids as babies

Brother, and everything about him

Nephew and his awesome hugs

 

I miss…

Living less than 10 minutes from the beach

The house I grew up in

Tucking my kids in bed at night and reading to them

Being tucked in by my Mom and Dad

Being able to eat anything and everything and NOT having to worry about fat, calories, cholesterol and weight gain

 

I miss my…

Grandfathers garage full of paint cans

Mammaw’s swing

Mom hamburg bar-b-q

Mom’s family speaking Pennsylvania Dutch

Youth

Grandmothers country farm cooking

 

I miss…

The book swap libraries at the marina’s I used to visit

Sleepovers at my both of my Grandmothers homes

Watching the sunset from the bow of a boat

Holding my Grandmothers hand

Rascal, my husky

 

I miss…

My Dad calming me down after I skinned my knee (but I don’t miss him ripping the band aid off)

Picking on my brother, in our adult years (it got wicked at times)

Having a garden and a patio

Having a tea party with my Dad

Having a back yard picnic with Mammaw

Recess

Naptime

My dolls

Playing a ridiculous card game called “Donkey” with my parents and aunt and uncle (laughed until I cried)

Going to the beach every summer with my family when I was a kid

 The innocence of my childhood and not having a care in the world

 

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At my age, birthdays should be celebrated in the length of a week!! And this year I have been doing just that thanks to my wonderful friends! However, my birthday week holds bittersweet memories of my family.

My brother and I were exactly one year and two days apart. I only knew my birthday as “Our” birthday. Growing up I never had a birthday cake that was my own, or my own birthday dinner, or birthday party. There were definitely times in my childhood years that I wished and hoped for my own special birthday. But now that I no longer have my brother, I truly miss having him to share our birthday. My fantastic friends always seem to make my birthday special and my own, but I still miss the days of a birthday cake that reads “Happy Birthday Kim & Kevin”. I totally miss the birthdays we shared as adults where I would undoubtedly smear frosting on my brother’s face and have him do something much worse to get even.

I also share a birthday with my Aunt, actually my brother was born on her birthday. We usually call each other on our special days, two days apart, and sing an off-key version of “Happy Birthday”!! And we certainly share the bittersweet birthday week. Many years ago, my Grandmother, my Aunts Mother, died but they hooked her to life support for a day only to disconnect her on my Aunt’s birthday.

And now, this week also marks the anniversary of my Dad’s passing. It’s four years now, although it seems like yesterday. Dad was still struggling with my Mom’s passing just six months earlier, in fact he was quite miserable to be around. He didn’t even call me on my birthday, he called a day or two later in an awful mood taking his sadness out on me which was fine, I certainly understood his depression, but right after that call he died in his sleep.

Soooo, my birthday is still fun, and exciting, and exhausting, AND I am very thankful for my fantastic friends! Along with the fun celebrations this week, there are lost loved ones to remember and cherish as well.

Cheers everyone!

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Resolution vs goals, or as I see it, Pressure vs Direction.

We are 6 days into a New Year!  It’s refreshing to have a new start at life but, we can do that at any point in our lives.  We don’t need January 1st for that to happen, yet many of us seem to wait for it.  Silly isn’t it.

So, how many of you created your New Year’s Resolution list?  Not me!  I used to create that list but I have goals I set for myself, it’s easier and has less pressure.  And if at any time I wander or stray I gently guide myself back on track.  Sometimes it may not be so gentle as I may need a swift kick in the ass, but hey, I’m flexible.  I can give myself a swift kick and good talking to!!

My long term goals are, for the most part, pretty easy for me to stay on track.  Minus the extra winter coat or new pair of heels I may occasionally buy that digs into the money that I wanted to save.  But the short term goals, now that’s my challenge.  For instance, here I sit blogging instead of starting that new scarf, or putting some things on Ebay.  My photo album from the walk in October needs to be put together and my own personal photo’s need printed, dated and put in albums.  But , here I am, on the sofa, on the computer, and watching a movie.   It really doesn’t matter that I spent most of the day cleaning, doing laundry, packing away Christmas decorations, grocery shopping and making chicken soup for a sick friend.  No, I have to remind myself that there are several other things that need to be done NOW.   Thankfully I have one more day to cram all that stuff in.  Ahhh yes there is always tomorrow to finish my honey-do list!

I am already planning my day tomorrow, minute by minute, chore by chore.  And a huge pot of coffee.  I also have a promise to not put too much pressure on myself and just enjoy the day by relaxing, breathing, prayer, meditation, yoga, cooking, knitting and walking the dog.  Anything else I can accomplish will be a bonus!!

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Looking for something fun to do with the kids this week?  Make these very aromatic ornaments!!!  you can use them on your tree as decorations or tie them onto gifts.  They are very easy to make and need about 2 to 3 days to completely dry.

Here’s the recipe (but DON’T eat them, they are NOT edible!!):

2 cups Cinnamon

1-1/2 Applesauce, NOT chunky

2 tsp ground Nutmeg

2 tsp ground Cloves

4 Tb Elmer’s Glue

Mix all the ingredients well.  When completely mixed, divide the dough in two parts,  roll out one batch between sheets of plastic wrap. Keep the dough around a 1/4″ think, if you make it too thin the ornaments will curl or break.  Using a toothpick or a small straw, put a hole in the top of the ornaments for the ribbon.  Place on cookie racks to dry.  After they are completely dry, you can carefully use a fingernail file to finish off the edges, tie a pretty ribbon in the ornament for hanging. 

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As I do every spring, I attend the Pink Out Women’s Cancer Fund event.  It is a night that is filled with fun, friendship, food and awe.  Money is raised for the Pink Out Fund, information is  HERE.  Please make a donation!

The mansion is a beautiful piece of architecture and design in itself but it is totally decorated in pink for this event.  The girls in the committee are all dressed in a theme outfit and we are greeted at the door by Jane Rice with a hug, a hug that is one that you would give your best friend as she enters your home for a girl’s night.  The committee women’s husbands wearpink polo shirts; they direct the parking and offer you a ride to the mansion in golf carts.  There are tall pink flags waving in the evening breeze as you drive up to the mansion, gorgeous pink flower arrangements are placed throughout the rooms (donated and crafted from plastic bottles and bags and painted), tables are adorned with pink fabric and ribbons, and beautifully hand-blown glass hats and purses dress the tables outside in the backyard.  The drinks for the evening are of a pink nature of course, made with cranberry or pomegranate juices, pink plates and napkins, pink food ~ pasta with a pink sauce and salmon, even the salad dressing had a pink hue to it! 

The entire place is filled with women in pink, it looks like a pepto bismol bottle exploded!  It’s one the most wonderful things you can experience.  The sister-hood, the love, the caring.  And then you are humbled when you see someone that is obviously undergoing chemo treatments.  I ran into a friend that I hadn’t seen in a long time.  She had no hair and my heart instantly ached for her.  She told me that she shaved her head for her daughter-in-law who has breast cancer.  LOVE

Volunteers for the evening, also in a theme outfit but different from the committee girls, are walking around all evening collecting your empty plates and cups.  There is also a  silent auction and raffle drawings. 

Then Jane speaks, her story of surviving cancer is amazing and makes me tear up every time.  A guest speaker spoke last night, a young woman; I could not move from where I was standing.  As she was introduced by her friend, it was mentioned that she was a tough cookie; she also mentioned a t-shirt that this young woman wore, it read “hey cancer, you picked the wrong bitch”.  And cancer did.  This young woman’s story was shocking and heartwarming and I couldn’t help but cry.  She had a doctor appointment, had her breast exam and was given a clean bill of health, in a matter of 2 months I believe; she did her own breast exam and found the lump that changed her life.  She talked about how she wanted to “feel” what cancer was like so for a few days she didn’t take some medicine, which she said looking back was probably not a good thing, but she still wanted to feel it.  After a treatment she was so sick but still went to work, had to excuse herself and then went back to work.  She did then take the meds, and she said that she really couldn’t explain why she wanted to do that but she did.  She also told us how she would have a treatment and then go home to put on her bikini, hop on the John Deere and mow her yard.  Yea I think she might be a tough girlie!  She told us though, she was still depressed and sad BUT she was not going to let cancer live her life, she was going to learn to live her life with cancer. 

After she spoke and walked away we were asked if we remembered a young bald girl 2 years ago in a pink fluffy dress, a lot of us agreed that yes we did, that was her and she will be celebrating 2 years of being cancer free this month. 

Next, Jane asked all the women in the room that had breast, ovarian or uterine cancer to come forward.   Women from all corners of the room walked up, some beside me.  I just cried.  They held hands and stood around a tree that was decorated with names of those being remember or honored with women’s cancer.   It was so moving. 

At the end of the night as you walk outside you are greeted by the husbands in pink polo shirts again.  They help you down the steps, hand you a gift and escort you to your car in the golf cart.  They use lights to guide you out of the cart and walk you to your car, open your car door and get you in the car safely.  And finally, they tell you “get home safely”.

People that care. Friends, family.  Amazing.  Please make a donation, this is a wonderful organization.

Ladies, do your breast exams!!!

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