Archive for the ‘Lifestyle’ Category

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.


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!


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!


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.


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


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?


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


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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Two of my sweet little grandkids spent the night the other weekend.  As I was making my bed the 10 year old asked why I make my bed?  I answered him with a simple “I like things nice and neat.”

But then I started thinking, why do I really make my bed?  Why am I so anal about being neat and clean?  Why are my cabinets and drawers organized?

  1. A made bed seems to be more inviting than a tangled mess of blankets.  When it’s time for me to crawl between the sheets, it feels good to snuggle in and get all comfy instead of trying to kick the blankets into place to stay warm.  When I walk into my bedroom, and see that it’s all picked up and the bed is made, it just looks good.  And really, the entire reason we purchase our bedding is because we loved the way the freshly made bed looked on the package or in the catalog right?  My bedroom might not look like it belongs in Better Homes and Garden but it is quite pretty and comfortable.
  2. I love coming home from work and having my home neat and tidy.  I’m usually quite tired and it just makes me feel better if things are in place.  I try to put things away as I’m finished with them.  It only takes a minute here and there to put things away, but it takes much longer to try to tidy up an entire house!
  3. I’m not embarrassed to have someone “pop” in expectantly.  I might have a project that I’m working on, or laundry that I’m folding but it’s not messy and embarrassing and I’m not making excuses for being a slob!!
  4. I can find things.  I know where they are, so if there is something I need or want, I can usually find it right away.  Now don’t get me wrong, I have super busy weeks where I have been known to run in and out of my house faster than lightening itself.   I hate it, and I am really trying to avoid those situations at all costs.  Life is so much happier and lovable if you take your time and enjoy the ride.
  5. I feel more creative.  My creative and artistic juices seem to flow better.  If my home isn’t a messy cluttered space, then my mind isn’t cluttered either.
  6. I’m much more comfortable and at peace if my belongings are not strewn throughout my house.  You would be surprised how this really works!  Seriously, try it!

So there you have it, there are a ton of organization idea’s and plan on Pinterest.  Find what works for you and do it.  But don’t spend a lot of money on expensive totes and baskets.  Buy what you need and make do with what you have.  And most important, de-clutter!  Get rid of the stuff you don’t use or even like.  Keep things if they are sentimental but either display them simply or carefully wrap them up and store them.

I love those small plastic organizing tubs that you can find at Target or Wal Mart; my bathroom and kitchen drawers look great, I love those things!  But I also have my batteries stored in a plastic dog food container.

My clothes are organized by color; sounds crazy but when I’m choosing my outfit for the next day, it’s really kinda cool to not have to rummage through my entire closet looking for that one purple sweater I want to wear!!

My jewelry is organized in trays, as are my socks.  My undies are a different story tho….

I even have a binder with all of my important information so when that day comes and I need my passport, credit card info, etc, it’s in one place.  And, when it’s my time to meet my Lord all of my necessary documents are in one place for my kids.

So, why do I make my bed?  And why am I a neat freak?  It’s comfortable, looks great, I’m more creative and relaxed, and happier!

Have a great night and make your bed tomorrow morning!!

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In my personal goal of becoming more organized; I wanted to make my grocery lists organized too (is that not crazy!)  So I have created my own “shopping list”.  And since I did I have seen some posted on Pinterest so I thought I’d share mine, guess I’m not the only one out there that feels this need.

When I write my shopping list on a piece of paper, I scribble.  And I scribble all over the page with frozen items in with the fruit items, dairy in with the paper products, you know what I mean right??  So most of the time I end up back tracking through the store frustrated and really wanting to get the heck out of the store OR I undoubtedly forget things (I’m not the only person to do this right?).  The trick however, is to remember to take it along with you when you go shopping!!!!  I don’t know how to help with remembering, I struggle too…

My list is not fancy or decorated to make it look pretty, it’s just a list, plain and simple, which is how I like my life these days.  I hope you like it and will give it a try, I really don’t want to be the only lost soul in my store with an organized list!!

Cheers my friends!

Shopping List

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Salted Caramel ice cream and coffee’s seem to be a popular flavor these days.  Funny, but I can remember from my childhood that my Mom’s favorite ice cream was caramel, when it wasn’t popular.  Or salted!

There was a little dairy store in a neighboring country town that made their own ice cream, and even though I was always a chocolate kind of girl, that caramel ice cream was fantastic and I would often sneak a few spoonful’s of my Mom’s!  And, she usually had those little Kraft caramel candies in the pantry too.

I’ve always loved caramel and now I seemed to have outgrown that chocolate phase (well….not entirely), I seem to choose caramel over chocolate these days.  Is that a sign of old age, or just big girl maturity?

So, when I go out, and I see salted caramel milkshakes, latte’s, etc, I will definitely choose that over chocolate.


One evening I was craving something caramel and made this caramel smoothie.  Another new addiction!

I only buy plain greek yogurt, you can use vanilla but I find that depending on the brand, the vanilla can overpower the taste I am going for, you use whatever you want.

Also, I am one to make just about everything from scratch however, when it comes to some things (like caramel topping) I will buy the jarred or bottled caramel sauce.  I don’t use that much so it’s really just a time saver thing for me, again, use what you want or what is easy for you.


Here’s the recipe:

Into a small blender or smoothie maker add:

1/4 cup milk (I use almond milk)

1 T sugar

1 cup plain yogurt

1/4 tsp vanilla

Blend well.  Add 2 T caramel sauce and 2 dashes of salt and blend again.  Taste, adjust the caramel and salt to your liking, I added another tablespoon of caramel (total of 3 T).

Pour into your glass, top with whipped topping and a drizzle of caramel sauce and enjoy!


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It’s been a really long time since I posted!  WOW!  I have been cooking and working on some recipes, hopefully I’ll get them all posted soon.  But I think I’ll need to start exercising harder and walking on the treadmill for about 5 hours every day!!

I love potato soup, I think it has to be my all time favorite soup.  I really struggled putting this recipe together though, I am in such a habit of just tossing the ingredients in the pot.  I had to slow down and actually take my time to work on the measurements.

This soup is super easy to make, serves 2 BIG bowls and is ready to eat in about 15 to 20 minutes!

Potato Soup Creamy (2)

I usually use a baked potato for my soup.  After pouring the milks and broth in the pan I would just cut up the baked potato in cubes (minus the potato skin) and toss it in.  Figured it couldn’t get any easier than that.  Until I found cubed hash brown potatoes in the freezer section of my grocery store!!!  They are the perfect size for this soup.  And you don’t have to thaw them!!

Potato soup (2)

First gather all the ingredients, while the butter is melting over a medium heat, I measure the broth in the measuring cup ahead of time so its ready to go.  I prefer to use vegetable broth but you can use chicken broth if you like.  Once the butter is melted, add the flour and slowly whisk together, letting it cook for just a minute or so.  Then slowly whisk in the vegetable broth, whisking as you pour.  After making sure there are no lumps, add the half & half and the milk.  Add the potatoes, and let the soup come to a very light simmer.  Stir often and don’t wander away to do something!  Let the soup simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes (stirring often!!) so the potatoes can cook and heat thru.  Reduce the heat to a low setting and add the cheese and sour cream.  For the cheese, add about a half cup first to test the thickness and flavor and add more as you like.  Once the cheese and sour cream are melted thru, remove the pot from the heat and serve.  If you think the soup is too thick, you can add a little milk to thin it out.

I love having a glass of wine and piece of thick crusty bread with this soup.

Enjoy!  Recipe below.

Potato Soup Creamy (1)


1 T Butter or Margarine

1 T Flour

¾ Cup Vegetable Broth (chicken works well too)

¾ Cup Half & Half

½ Cup Milk

1 to 1-1/2 Cup Cubed Frozen Potatoes

½ to 1 Cup Shredded Cheese

½ Cup Sour Cream

Salt and Pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a pot on medium heat, when melted add the flour and whisk together, let the flour cook just a little.  Slowly whisk in the broth, making sure there are no lumps.  Add the half & half and the milk.  Add the potatoes and bring to a very light simmer for about 10-15 minutes.  Stir often, don’t walk away.  Turn the heat to a lower setting and add the cheese and sour cream.  When blended, remove pot from heat.

Top with bacon, sour cream, chopped dill or scallions, any of your favorite toppings!

Cook’s Note:  use your favorite cheese, I prefer Monterey Jack but use whatever you like.  Adding the cheese will thicken your soup, if it gets too thick you can thin it out with a little milk.

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I prefer to take my own homemade meals to work for my lunch.  Cafeteria food just doesn’t cut it for me in sooo many ways!  And many nights I’m kinda busy with trying to get some exercise in, errands, Domestic Goddess duties or spend time with family and friends.  So I need something that whips up fast and is delish, this couscous recipe pretty much takes care of it!

I like to alter this recipe too, I have thrown in shrimp, changed the veggies, its awesome with aspargus tips or grilled red peppers and zucchini or squash.  I’ve also thrown in some frozen corn that I wanted to use up.   Go ahead and try different herbs and spices too, you really can’t mess this up…..unless you burn it!

Couscous with greenbeans sundried tomatoes (4)

Here’s the recipe:

2 T Olive Oil

½  cup Grande Couscous

2/3 c Green Beans, frozen pieces

¼ c Sundried Tomatoes, chopped

1-1/4 to 1-1/2 c Chicken Broth

Salt & Pepper

2 dashes of Turmeric (optional)

1 dash of Cayenne Pepper (optional)

 Use a large sauce pan for this.   Add the oil to a pan that is over a medium to a medium-high heat, add the couscous and stir almost continuously to toast..  You may have to turn your heat back so as not to burn the couscous, this should only take about 3 minutes.

Add 1-1/4 cup of chicken broth and reduce the heat to a low simmer.  Add the green beans and the chopped sundried tomatoes.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Add the turmeric and cayenne if you are using.

Stir occasionally.  When the broth is just about absorbed, taste the couscous.  If you would like it just a little more tender, as I do, add another ¼ cup of the broth.

This makes two large servings.  I like to sometimes top with a grated parmesan cheese but it is just as delicious without the cheese.  You could also serve this as a side alongside fish or chicken but I prefer to make it my main dish.

Grande Couscous is also called Israeli Couscous, or at least that’s what I’ve found.  Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do, its so versatile.

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I love to make my veggie lentil soup!  But…. There have been times where the lentils weren’t all that good.  They were sort of hard.  Do I soak them?  Cook them longer?  Hmmm… Crockpot soup!!

I have this small crockpot that is great for dips at parties, a half of a chicken breast, and now for soup!  I love throwing all the ingredients in before I leave for work in the morning, and when I get home I have delicious soup waiting for me!!

The first time I made this soup in the crockpot, I didn’t put any meat in the soup as I don’t usually eat that much meat.  But if you want meat, I suggest using cooked meat.  I’ve used sausage (my fav) or shredded  chicken (from leftovers).  I’m also not a huge fan of beans so if you want to add a little more lentils, go ahead!

Lentil Soup (1)

Here’s what I did:

¼ cup green beans, frozen in 1 in. pieces

¼ cup carrots, sliced (either frozen or fresh)

1/4 cup lentils

2-1/2 cups chicken or beef stock

A scant ¼ cup chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

½ -3/4 cup diced tomatoes, canned, undrained

Salt & Pepper

Dash of cayenne pepper or any other spice/herb that you typically like to cook with. 

Toss all the ingredients in the crockpot, season to your taste. Turn on the lowest heat selection.  I wouldn’t do this on a day that you wouldn’t get home longer than 6-8 hours.  Depending on the size of your little crockpot, you may have to adjust the amounts so it doesn’t cook over while you are away.  I always sit my crockpot on a plate before I add anything to it.

This recipe made 2 big bowls of soup for me. And,  I really love a good slice of crusty bread along with this soup.  Or any soup for that matter.


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I’m in love.  Puppy Love!  My son adopted a puppy…..at his house *whew. 

But I’ve been busy helping him because he works a lot.  And I want to steal the puppy.  I can’t keep my lips off his cute little wrinkly face.

I have to admit, when we went to look at Dozer, and clearly bring him home, I really wasn’t all that impressed with the breed…English Bulldog, AKA Bullies.  But as I held him and he licked my face, he stole my heart.

Watching my son learn to take care of another living being, has been a challenge as I sometimes feel I’m being very bossy but he seems to welcome the advice since he has never had a dog that he is responsible for by himself.  We have had family dogs, but I did all the training, he did all the playing and enjoying.  He has learned quickly how much is involved with a puppy.  And I am watching as he tries to develop his patience. *insert giggle

Unfortunately we didn’t know that the area where the “breeder” was located was well known for backyard puppy mills.  And surprisingly, 2 particular religious sects that I would have never imaged to “mass produce puppies”, are the biggest culprits.  I had NO IDEA!  The breeder’s house did have 3 outdoor pens with dogs in them so clearly dog breeding was a business for him.  At the time though, I just thought he really loved the breed but as my son was making the purchase and getting the papers, I wandered a little closer to the pens to get a closer look because my curiosity had peaked.  And there were a number of dogs in the pens. 

   Look at those toes!

My son is happy that he rescued one of the puppies.  The vet appointment showed a skin infection, parasites and worms in his stools all due to his living conditions.  We noticed that many of his nails had been broken back to his skin and I was concerned as to why, but the vet seems to think it was his living conditions as well and they will grow back. 

In the last 4 weeks, Dozer has gained 8 pounds!  He is still on meds for the parasites and worms but he is on the road to recovery! 

He’s a very happy and playful pup.  And full of sweet love.  I do on most occasions get bitten on the nose when I grab his face to kiss him!  And when I sit on the floor to play with him I usually get my fingers bit, but then he jumps on me and gives me plenty of puppy kisses!

I haven’t stolen him yet.  But the time is comin’

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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!


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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


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