Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Reindeer...? You mean Santa doesn't use horses to pull his sleigh?

post signature
Pin It!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gorgeous Nails for the Holidays

I might be a little obsessed with nails/manicures. Maybe it's because my nails are always short and breaking. One can only are some really cute nails and the tutorial. Perfect for the holidays! I think these would look great with some red polish instead of the pink too.

post signature
Pin It!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Gift Giving--Joy or Stress?

My family usually draws names on Thanksgiving to exchange gifts at Christmas. Our family has grown quite large with nieces and nephews getting married and bringing special friends along to our holiday gathering. This year, one of my sisters suggested not doing a gift exchange or doing something else instead. She said it's too hard to figure out what gift to get especially when she only sees the grown kids a few times a year.

I think the "joy" her holiday is being over-shadowed by her stress in finding the right gift. Maybe she's right. It might be time for us to simplify our gift giving but still keep the fun. Here are some ideas I'll be suggesting to our family.

The Dice Game
Participants shake dice to get doubles. This entitles them to pick a gift from a pile of gifts or to steal one from other people playing the game. Usually these are rather inexpensive or recycled items. Everybody goes home with something and no one has to buy a gift for a particular person.

One idea is a 3-item combo. Each person gives and receives a combination of gifts. One is practical, one is a food item and one is a recycled gift. (Everyone's interpretation of "recycled" will probably be quite different so it will be fun to see what's in the gift!

Another idea is the gift of time. Plan an activity with the recipient. Tickets to a ball game, help with chores, going to a special restaurant or concert.

Charitable gifts. Instead of giving each other gifts, each person or family pools their money and gives it to a mutually chosen charity. Or each guest could bring a baby gift for an anonymous needy mother. You'll find more ideas if you check with area churches, schools or charities.

Recipe Exchange. Gather the ingredients for your favorite recipe in a basket. Include the recipe. Add a gift card if some items need to be refrigerated or have a short shelf-life. (You might consider your favorite meal or cocktail.)

I really like this "no-gift" idea. Everyone brings an item from a past Christmas. Photos, a letter to Santa, a favorite ornament, a special toy or maybe just a great story to share. This would be a wonderful way to connect the old and the young.

This site has lots more ideas on gift exchanges. How does your family deal with gift-exchanging?

post signature
Pin It!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Wishes

I hope you enjoy your holiday with lots of friends, family & food. I am  so grateful to all of you for reading my blog. Happy Thanksgiving!

post signature
Pin It!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Cuteness

I've seen so many cute ideas for Thanksgiving. Lots of food crafts, cupcakes, cake pops,etc. But this seemed so quick and easy and definitely cute! Go here to find the printable.

post signature
Pin It!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Talking Turkey and Healthy Fixings for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a special day with family and the traditional big turkey dinner. Are there any redeeming qualities to this calorie packed meal? Experts say yes if you take away the rich gravies and whipped cream. Here are the health benefits of some of our Thanksgiving dishes.

*Turkey--a good source of protein and a very lean meat. (especially the white meat)

*Potatoes--rich in vitamin c, has fiber and the skin contains potassium. Go easy on the butter.

*Cranberries--Lots of vitamin C and antioxidants which are effective in helping to prevent cancer, heart disease and stroke.

*Sweet Potatoes--rich in beta-carotene and vitamins including A,B,C and E. Lots of calcium and potassium.

*Dressing--Can be high in fat and sodium. Beef up the fiber by making it with whole grain bread. Go easy on the butter. Up the vitamin and mineral content by adding veggies such as peppers, onions, carrots and even frest fruit. Herbs like sage and rosemary contain anti-oxidants.

*Pumpkin Pie--usually lower in fat than other kinds of pie. Pumpkin contains vitamin A.

*Vegetables--ok to load your plate with these. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene. Spinach and Brussel Sprouts are rich in vitamin C and other anti-oxidants. Broccoli has vitamins A and B6, riboflavin and folic acid, calcium and iron.

*Red wine--contains anti-oxidants.

So go ahead and enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner. Give thanks for all the good food on your table and don't forget to thank the cook!

post signature
Pin It!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

                                                                             Did you forget about us...?
post signature
Pin It!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Treats on Tuesday

Have you ever wondered this? "Can I use non-MyMemories kits and graphics in the software?" The answer is "Most Definitely, YES"!!  My Memories has a video tutorial  to help you with this. See it here:

It's Tuesday so here is another  sweet freebie from My Memories. My Memories offers digital scrapbooking software and oodles of fresh and creative digital scrapbooking kits. At My Memories, you can find Word Art kits, calendar templates, quick pages, cluster frames, and more! For the frugal shopper, My Memories also offers free digital scrapbooking kits and a dollar store. Sweet! You can even create your own online photo books or calendars.

You can still get the 10% discount on the My Memories software (which can be downloaded immediately!) by using the code STMMMS1473 at checkout.

Have fun!
post signature
Pin It!

Monday, November 14, 2011

12 Ways to Keep From Gaining Weight During the Holidays

picture courtesy Hoosier Homemade

Oh, no the holidays are fast approaching! I've been seeing pictures and recipes for pumpkin cookies, pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin bars, pumpkin bread and the list keeps going! And this is just for Thanksgiving! I think we all need some help to keep from gaining weight over the holidays.(Most Americans don't lose the weight they gain over the holidays, even with good intentions.)

So here are 12 ideas for you to try to keep your svelte girlish figure or in my case, to still fit into my jeans after Christmas!

1. You Are What You Eat
Read labels and think about what you are eating. If you're going on an all day shopping spree at the mall, consider bringing along your own healthy snacks. Offer to bring a healthy dish if you are a guest. If you're the host, you'll want to prepare some healthy dishes for your guests.

2. Watch Your Portion Size.
You've heard it before--portion control. Use smaller plates or visualize only filling your plate 1/2 full.

3. Outsmart the Buffet.
Use a small plate and don't stack your food. Limit your helpings to one of each food. Choose veggies, fruit and the shrimp cocktail. Watch the dips and sauces.

4. Shift the Conversation Away From the Table.
When you are done eating, move to another room. Sitting around the table after the meal is over just invites trouble.

5. How Much to Prepare?
Figure out how many people are expected to eat and then prepare enough food to satisfy them and have a few left-overs for the next day.

6. Choose Your Sweets
Be selective. Only take the ones that you really, really can't live without. (anything chocolate!) Limit your portions again.

7. Cheat A Little
After all, it is the holidays. Sticking to a strict diet and not having any fun can sabotage your diet later.

8. Divert Your Attention
When at your holiday festivities focus on something other than the food. Find someone to chat with away from the food.

9. Limit Alcohol
Lots of calories in alcohol. If you feel left out without a drink, sip water or Club Soda so that you have something to carry.

10.Never Arrive Hungry
Have a snack before you leave home. If you arrive hungry drink some water first to fill you up before you start eating.

11. Don't Skip Meals to Save Calories
'Nuff said.

12. Exercise
After you feast-walk! Get moving and burn off those extra calories. Start a new tradition the "Family Walk". Get everyone involved and it will be more fun.

Anything to add to the list? Ways you've found to keep the pounds off during the holidays?
post signature
Pin It!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Day Late...Still Remembering Our Veterans

I am sorry to be a day late in remembering all of our country's Veterans on my blog. I am especially sorry since my dad is a WWII veteran. I did talk to him yesterday though and thanked him for his service.

I was thinking about my dad and trying to imagine what it must have been like for him. He left his home and family at a young age (he had just turned 18)and headed off to be a part of the army. He got his draft letter in the mail. HIs dad accompanied him to see if he could get out of being drafted. (They lived on a farm and his help was needed.) A neighbor boy went with them. The neighbor boy got out of it but my dad didn't.

At that time you had to be 19 to touch foreign shores so dad was sent from Fort to Fort--sort of killing time until he turned 19. While he was at Fort Mead, he got an APO number (to get mail). The APO number was associated with New York City. Dad and the rest of the soldiers he was with were happy. This meant they were going to Europe or so they thought.

They boarded a train, which supposedly was headed to New York City. The train stopped for water. One of the soldiers looked out the window and said, We aren't going to New York City". The others soldiers said, "How do you know?" He said, "We are stopping in my hometown." It was Scranton, PA. They were heading west. This meant fighting the Japanese.The train took them to Camp Adair, Oregon.

Dad went on to Camp Spotten, CA. While at this Camp, dad was loaded on a ship. He knew for sure that the ship was headed to the Pacific. Dad was still 18 when he got on. The ship went to Hawaii, but he wasn't allowed to get off the ship. They had just stopped to pick up mail.

The ship sailed on the Phillipines near Clark Airbase. He stayed on that base for about 10 days. The ship was loaded up with tanks and trucks. They sailed on to Seoul, Korea where the ship was unloaded. While in Seoul, Dad was in the 60th infantry division. Here he was classified as a scout and reconnaissance. After the war ended he was classified as a light truck driver of small trucks.

Dad spent 11 months there. They were offered a choice to enlist at a higher pay with a choice to go to any country. But once re-enlisted the soldier would serve another three years. Some did that to get a chance to go home on furlough because they were homesick and then they went on to serve in Europe.

My dad got shipped home early. The Army was sending in replacements, so Dad got to go home. On the way back there was a big storm on the west coast. Dad landed up going to the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. He made it to CA and eventually got on a train to Fort Sheridan, Illinois. There he got his discharge papers and money to travel home. He said, "A bunch of us hired a pilot to fly us back. Big ol' plane. No seats--just a wooden plank on the sides." (I'm guessing they didn't care as long as it got them home!)

My dad's older brother was also drafted a year earlier. He saw a lot of action in Okinawa and Iwo Jima. He came back a very changed man and would never talk about his war experience.
My dad's younger brother also served in the Korean War.

I'm glad that my dad told us about his military experience. We got a little glimpse into what it was like for him and the soldiers he was with. I'm very proud of him and all who are brave enough, strong enough, driven enough to protect and defend our country and those who aren't able to protect or defend themselves. Happy Veteran's Day a little late.

post signature
Pin It!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

On top of the world! (Apparently plane windows don't get washed....)

post signature
Pin It!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Treats on Tuesday

Woo-Hoo it's Tueaday and you know what that means! Another sweet freebie from My Memories. My Memories offers digital scrapbooking software and oodles of fresh and creative digital scrapbooking kits. At My Memories, you can find Word Art kits, calendar templates, quick pages, cluster frames, and more! For the frugal shopper, My Memories also offers free digital scrapbooking kits and a dollar store. Sweet! You can even create your own online photo books or calendars.

You can still get the 10% discount on the My Memories software (which can be downloaded immediately!) by using the code STMMMS1473 at checkout.

post signature
Pin It!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Thank You A Day: Gratitude Enhances Health

I read this article in the Minser Chiropractic Clinic Newsletter. Since this is the time of year that we remember what we have to be thankful for, I thought I would pass along their information.

The health benefits of gratitude are an amazing example of just how sturdy the bridge is between the mind, body, and emotions. Research shows that heart-centered feelings associated with gratitude, appreciation, and caring enhance health. When you find one thing, however small to be thankful for, and you hold that feeling for as little as 15 to 20 seconds, many subtle and beneficial physiological changes take place in your body. For instance:

*Levels of the stress hormones cortisol and norepinephrin decrease, creating a cascade of beneficial metabolic changes, such as an enhanced immune system

*Coronary arteries relax, increasing blood supply to your heart

*Heart rhythm becomes more harmonious, which positively affects other bodily organs, and lifts your mood

*Breathing becomes deeper, increasing the oxygen level of your tissues

Other studies found that gratitude makes people healthier, smarter, and more energetic. People who practiced gratitude daily, such as by writing in a gratitude journal, reported higher levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, attentiveness, and energy than those who did not. If all of this happens when you focus for just 15 to 20 seconds on something that brings you pleasure, joy, or a feeling of gratitude, imagine what would happen to your health if you were able to cultivate thoughts of appreciation on a consistent and regular basis.

Here's a good way to start: Get a piece of paper and list your blessings. List the tremendous wealth you have in the 7 different areas of your life: Family, Career, Spiritual, Financial, Physical, Social, and Mental. How many people miss things or appreciate them more when they are threatened? Try opening your eyes NOW and seeing how you are blessed. The more you give thanks for what you have, the more you'll have to give thanks for. Focus on and see what's good around you!

Thinking with your heart takes practice, but if you faithfully learn to start thinking with your heart and pay attention to areas of your life that bring you joy and fulfillment, over time you will evoke biochemical changes in your body that will recharge your batteries. Not only does it enhance your energy levels and reduce stress, but recognizing and appreciating life's many blessings is one of the most powerful ways I know to enahnce the immune system, balance your hormones, and promote heart health. This exercise can literally change your life.

I kept a gratitude journal for many year. I'm not sure why I stopped writing in it. I'm going to find it and start listing my blessings again. Do you have a gratitude journal?
post signature
Pin It!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

                           Love this quote from the Library of Congress in Wash. DC. That building is absolutely beautiful!
post signature
Pin It!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Treats on Tuesday

Happy Tuesday! Another great set of Quick Pages freebie that you can use to enhance your digital scrapbooking. The Freebie contains the 2 Quick Pages shown and all the pieces (papers and elements) used to create those Quick Pages! (These Quick Pages are deliberately created as "two-page layouts".) New Freebies every week on Tuesdays, so you can start an album for photobooks, printing or on line viewing by using them! This freebie is from MyMemories just for you!

You can still get the 10% discount on the My Memories software (which can be downloaded immediately!) by using the code STMMMS1473 at checkout.

Check out this tutorial for using photo only templates.

*Using PHOTO ONLY Template Albums & Pages* from Lisa Jurrens on Vimeo.
post signature
Pin It!


Related Posts with Thumbnails
Contact Me

Name *
Email *
Subject *
Message *