Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Four Candles

My daughter and I teach the Children's Liturgy of the Word at our church . This past Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent so we lit one candle on the Advent Wreath. Here is a little poem to go along with this season of Advent.

The Four Candles
The four candles burn slowly.

The first one says:
”I am peace! However, nobody can keep me lit. I will go out."
It’s flame rapidly diminishes and goes out completely.

The second one says:
"I am faith! I am no longer indispensable, it doesn’t make any sense that I stay lit any longer." When it finished talking, a breeze softly blew on it putting it out.
Sadly the third candle spoke in it's turn:
”I am love! I haven’t got the strength to stay lit. People put me aside and don’t understand my importance. They even forget to love those who are nearest to them ."
And waiting no longer it goes out.

A child enters the room and sees three candles not burning. “Why are you not burning? You are supposed to stay lit till the end." Saying this, the child begins to cry.

Then the fourth candle said:
”Don’t be afraid, while I am still burning we can re-light the other candles, I am Hope!"

With shining eyes, the child took the candle of hope and lit the other candles.

May the flame of hope never go out for you!
Blessings to you all at this very special time of year.

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Little Black Dresses

It’s the holidays and the parties will be starting. Who doesn’t want to look like a million bucks? (and hopefully not to have to spend that much to find one.) What better way than to have a great little black dress!

Calvin Klein makes a great simple sleeveless sheath. $128.

If you’ve got great arms you might look good wearing this. Banana Republic $150.

A black dress with a little glitter to it. $158 at Nordstrom.

A slinky strappy little number—a Susana Monaco Cami Slip $100 found online at Eves Apple.

A reasonably priced ruffle bow trim little black dress $59 at Newport News.

A bargain black dress (but very cute!) the Silk Sophia dress. It was $165, now $49 at J Crew. (I love a bargain!)

Also at J Crew if you have a little more spending money. Lace Luciana only $1,295.

If you go to Ann Taylor you’ll find lots of black dresses in many styles and prices. Do you need a long black dress? You'll find one here.

For those of you who wear petite sizes, JCPenny has a really cute Jessica Howard Velvet and Satin. Was $100-120 is now $49-59. (That should help your holiday budget.)

Whatever your taste or price range, it seems like there is a little black dress out there for you. Which is your favorite style? Do you have a special occasion coming up to wear a beautiful black dress?

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Collage Offer

Get a free collage print at Walgreens. Limited offer so act fast. These collages are really fun! I did one of my grandkids and one of my children and their spouses.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Easy Thanksgiving Centerpiece

I am thankful that I am not hosting Thanksgiving at my house but instead have been invited to my brother and sister-in-law's house. (We have a very large extended family.)We do all bring a dish to share but they get the work of preparing the turkey,potatoes and dressing, not to mention figuring out where everyone is going to sit!

I'd like to share with my sister-in-law and all of you a really pretty, yet easy Thanksgiving centerpiece. Directions can be found here.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Thoughts for Thanksgiving

I asked my students today to tell one thing they were thankful for. I was amazed at how many could not come up with anything! We live in a society that takes too much for granted. I found this article on 1stholistic.com. I think it is great" food for thought" for Thanksgiving!

Consider the following facts. Then count your blessings.

•If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep ... you are richer than 75% of people in this world.

•If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace ... you are among the top 8% of the world's wealthy.

•If you woke up this morning with more health than illness ... you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.

•If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation...you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.

•If you can attend a church or other places of worship without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death ... you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.

•If your parents are still alive and still married ...you are very rare (and your parents too!). My parents celebrated 58 years this past Sept.!

•If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful ... you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.

•If you can hold someone's hand, hug them or even touch them on the shoulder ... you are blessed because you can offer healing touch.

•If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world that cannot read at all.

Have a good day, count your blessings, and pass this along to remind everyone else how blessed we all are.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Snug as a...Bedbug?

My son and daughter-in-law are traveling to New York soon. With all the media attention give to bedbugs I thought it would be helpful to do a little research on the critters. I would hate to have their vacation ruined!

Wikipedia says “The name 'bedbug' is derived from the insect's preferred habitat of houses and especially beds or other areas where people sleep.”

Bedbugs usually congregate together and can be found in beds, couches as well as luggage and other furniture. They especially like cracks and crevices associated with the bed frame and mattress. Bedbugs don’t care if their surroundings are clean or dirty. They can be found in even the most pristine accomations. Bedbugs usually are active at night and that is when most people get bitten.

Bed bugs are small, oval non-flying insects. Adult bed bugs reach 5-7 mm in length, while nymphs (juveniles) are as small as 1.5 mm. (They areabout the size of an apple seed.) Bed bugs have flat bodies and may sometimes be mistaken for ticks or small cockroaches. Adult bed bugs are reddish brown in color while nymphs are clear in color and appear bright red after feeding.

Bedbugs don't usually stay on their human hosts after their meal, but they might hide in your clothes or luggage left nearby on the floor. If you're traveling and bedbugs get into your luggage, you could end up bringing them home with you.

Travelers may want to get in the habit of checking their bed for signs of bed bugs. (Tiny dark spots reveal the presence of bedbugs.)Placing luggage up off the floor onto a luggage rack is a good idea. Vacuuming is not effective against these pests and most pesticides don’t work either. You could try pouring boiling water over them or using extreme temperatures. Or…you could try something a little easier and safer.

Kayla at Essential Wholesale has put together a video on how to make a natural Bed Bug Spray. Using Lavender Essential Oil as one of the main ingredients you can fight these little pests. On her blog Kayla says that lavender has been used for generations as a natural remedy for bed bugs.

I hope to never encounter these guys on any of my hotel stays. I will now travel with a spray using Kayla’s recipe. It’s hard to believe that the bedbug problem could become an epidemic! YUCK.
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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sole Survivor and the Empty Nest

My husband and I have been empty-nesters for a few years now. At first, the house seemed too quiet and I really missed having our kids around the supper table. Now, I still miss our kids but Jerry and I are having some of the best times! We get to travel, go out to eat during the week and when the phone rings it's for one of us.
One very nice thing we have been doing for each other is giving mini pedicures. I found a book at a garage sale that has detailed instructions and pictures on how to give a massage. So once a week, we soak our feet, use a foot scrub and give each other foot massages. It is SO relaxing! After a hard day at work I really look forward to this! It is so simple, yet we each feel so pampered. (I haven't gotten him to paint my toenails yet).
Of course we use Gathered From The Garden's foot soak, foot scrub and foot cream. The invigorating peppermint aroma is just that--invigorating! We also carry a foot spray and a foot powder.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Veteran's Day

Wishing all of our Veterans a very special day. We can never thank you enough for all you have done to keep Freedom alive. (A special shout out to my dad, a WWll Veteran.)God Bless the USA

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Thankfulness Project

Tell us something you are thankful for. It can be big, it can be small, lengthy or short and sweet, share it with us. This project will be open until Thanksgiving day for your comments. Feel free to post as many expressions of gratitude as you want whenever you think of them. I will be posting my own thankful thoughts throughout the month in the comment section as well. I hope you'll join me and I hope you enjoy reading what others have to say.
Thanks for participating!

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

National Love Your Body Day

I didn't realize that October 20 was "Love Your Body Day" until I read a blog post from Allison over at Create Positive Spin. (Isn't there a day for everything?) Anyway, I enjoyed reading her 10 reasons and it got me thinking about my own body. We are usually so intent on noticing the flaws when we look in the mirror that we overlook the good parts.

So...here's goes a little body love.

1. I have really long fingers. Great for playing piano and holding newborn babies. (Need to have some more grandbabies!)

2. My brown eyes can be very expressive. This comes in handy when reading stories to my second graders.

3. My body has kept up with my urge to be a runner. It hasn't always been easy starting this at a late stage in life but so far, my body is ok with it.

4. My brain is willing to keep learning. I enjoy learning more about aromatherapy, baking, crafting and how to use technology in my blogging.

5. I think my body tolerates pain pretty well. I had one baby without any medicated help, tons of dental work done and my body made it through.

6. My body has been very healthy. I haven't had any surgeries or broken bones. (knock on wood)

7. I have very thick hair so I don't think being bald will ever be an issue.

8. Am I only on eight? This is a little more work than I thought. Really am not used to thinking so positive about my body. Hmm...oh yes, my parents have terrible histories of heart disease/heart surgeries/procedures. So far, my heart has been healthy and is filled with gratitude for this blessing.

9. I can't forget my skin! So far, no age spots on my hands. I've been dreading this as I age but so far...so good!

10. My lap--does that count? It has been home to many little children, my own and others. It has helped me comfort, snuggle and share.

There I did it! It took some reflecting but I came up with 10. Here's a challenge for you. Can you do the same? Care to share at least one great thing about YOUR body?
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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Tips to Avoid Dry Winter Skin

Being a teacher I have recess duty in the afternoon. Going outside for fresh air can be invigorating here in Minnesota. But alas, winter is harsh on the skin. There is no getting around this fact. So here are some tips to do your best in protecting and treating your skin right.

1. Watch the temperature. Make sure that the water is not too hot for the shower. I know, a hot shower feels so good but warm is better for your skin. Hot water dries the skin by removing oils, thus making your skin scaly and prone to itching. Avoid spending too much time in the shower. Can you get in and out in 10 minutes or less?

2. Exfoliate. Keep your scrub downs to no more than twice a week. If you have sensitive skin, choose a scrub with soft, synthetic beads. A sponge or loofah works to slough dead skin cells too. You can make your own body scrubs.
3. Moisturize. Pat your skin dry instead of rubbing with your towel. Then apply a cream, lotion or oil to lock in moisture. I like to end my shower with a mug of water to which a teaspoon of jojaba oil or almond oil has been added. Since water is easily absorbed into the skin, the oil will penetrate into the skin more efficiently, making it soft and smooth.

It's hard to feel your best when dealing with dry skin, especially during harsh winter months but following these tips will help.

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Craftily Ever After (Blog)

Jessica at Craftily Ever After has the cutest FREE printable collection for your Thanksgiving d├ęcor. Check out what she does with them at her house. I really love the "Gobble" one!

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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Autumn Blues

This time of year it's hard not to get the autumn blues. Here in MN we've lost not only our warm temps but hours of daylight. If you're like me, you might need some help to chase away those blues.

*Try lighting a candle. It's warmth and encouragement will help to add some light to the dark evenings of autumn. I like to use a fall aroma such as pumpkin spice, cranberry or cinnamon. (An alternative to using a lit candle would be to try a reed diffuser. You'll get the wonderful fragrance but not the light and warmth. An essential oil blend in a room diffuser is awesome too!)

*Make a cup of herbal tea or hot chocolate. It's a pleasure just to hold the warm cup!

*There's nothing like a steaming bowl of soup to warm you on a cool fall day.

*Take a soothing bath. A warm soak after a chilly day is just what you need. Using oats in your bath is a terrific way to soothe the skin.

*Dig out the warm, fuzzy socks and slippers. Keeping your feet warm helps you feel warm all over.

*Keep exercising. This seems like a chore sometimes and I think I just don't have the energy. In reality, if you exercise, you'll have more energy to fight off those blues. Add some of your favorite music to get motivated.

*Spend more time with your favorite people. This is a great time to snuggle up with someone special!

These are just a few ways to make the days of autumn go by just a little faster. Soon it will be the holidays and that's a subject for another day!

Check out Gathered From The Garden's website for an autumn treat to pamper yourself! www.gatheredfromthegardenllc.4t.com

What's your favorite part of Autumn?

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