Thursday, November 29, 2012

Every year we host a little get together for friends and family. Usually some sweet treats,appetizers and wine. This year I'm thinking of adding a hot chocolate bar for the kids and adults who would rather not have the wine.

Here are some great ideas and photos. I'll probably choose a little from each to make my hot chocolate bar. (I'm sure there are more sweet ideas on Pinterest.)

Real mom didn't have a picture of the actual bar but she has LOTS of good ideas for mix-ins and flavored cocoas!
Hostess with the Mostess even has some really fun printables for the hot chocolate bar.  Wouldn't this be fun for New Year's Eve!
I also plan to put out some Peppermint Schnapps and Kahlua for the adults to add. I'm thinking this just might be more popular than the wine!! 
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Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I am giving Thanks today for all of my readers. Hoping you are finding much to be grateful for! Blessings to you and your family!
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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Beautiful Mind

Taking some time for yourself in a quiet spot can be very important to maintaining mental health.
Looking after the health of your mind is an important part of your road to balance and well-being especially with the holidays coming up. Maintaining mental health is extremely important. Here are some ways to make your mind beautiful to match your beautiful body.

* Improve your diet: What you eat and drink can protect against feelings of anxiety and depression.
   Cut back on refined sugar, white flour and alcohol. It really will make you feel better!

*Maintain friendships: Just listening and talking to friends who are feeling down can make a huge difference-for you and for them. With email and cell phones you have no excuse not to!

*Exercise: The effects of exercise on mood are immediate. Whether it is a workout in the gym or a simple walk or bike ride, exercise is uplifting and it can be a great social activity. It's kind of contagious too. If you start and you talk about it to others, you may motivate them to join you.

*Rest: Sleep is essential to our health. Sleeping is the time when your body can renew and rebuild its physical and mental energy. If you have problems relaxing and falling asleep, perhaps Gathered From the Garden's  Sleep Well Blend (essential oils) can help you find your peace.

*Laugh: A good laugh does amazing things for the mind and soul.

*Cry: It's good to let everything out of your system and to release pent up feelings. Most of the time, we feel much better after we have allowed ourselves to cry.

*Take a bath: The mental health benefits of a comforting bath are well known. Allow yourself to escape in a soothing aroma infused bath. It will help you reset and re-energize. Try Gathered's Stress Relief Blend in your ritual and experience the power of the bath.

*Make time for you: Make time for your hobbies and interests. Scheduling time for yourself is sometimes hard, but it will increase a positive attitude and self image.  Even if it's just a few minutes a day.

One of my goals is to have a more relaxing, enjoyable holiday season. I think that by trying the above ideas I will meet that goal. Do you have ideas to add?
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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thankful Thursday

On this week's calendar;
*Some new books arrived from Amazon so I've got some good reading ahead.
*Today I got to have lunch with my two sweet granddaughters.
*Yesterday someone guessed my age as much younger. :-)
*Gas prices have dropped a little.
*I got some great pictures using my macro lens and some fall foliage.
*I got my Christmas lights put up. (I know it's early but here in MN you can't rely on nice weather so I had to take advantage of some warmer temps.!)
What's on your Thankful list this week?
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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Paying Blessings Forward

I have never seen the movie Pay It Forward but I know the jist of it. So it was interesting to read the post "Thanks and Giving--Paying Blessings Forward" on the How Does She blog.   Stephanie shows us a chart that her family has used. They listed all of the things they are thankful for. Then they listed ways that they could "pay it forward" especially to the homeless in their town.

Stephanie and her children put together ziplock bags containing essential and fun items. They kept these bags in their car and had them handy to pass out. They always had a gift ready. I love this idea! While we don't have many homeless people on the streets in our town, we do have many at the shelters. This would be a great project for my grandchildren and me to share our blessings.

Do you have other ways that you pay it forward? Does your family do anything special to celebrate the thanks plus the giving?

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Happy Veteran's Day

A big Thank You to all of the men and women that have served or are serving our country!
So proud of my dad-- a WWII army veteran.
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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Pumpkins, Pumpkins, Pumpkins

Tis the season for…Pumpkins! A little pumpkin trivia and fun beauty recipes using pumpkin.

*As reported in USA Today , "The biggest pumpkin pie on record weighed 418 pounds and was made by Windsor Farmers Market and Windsor High School Culinary Arts program in California.

*Surprise! The pumpkin is actually a fruit, a member of the Cucurbitaceae family of plants with trailing vines.

*Six of the seven continents can grow pumpkins including Alaska! Antarctica is the only continent that they won't grow on.

*Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites.

*Pumpkins are 90 percent water. Pumpkins have zero cholesterol. They’re also low in calories, fat, and sodium and high in fiber.

*Pumpkins contain enzymes that when applied to skin, loosen the bonds that keep dull outer skin cells clinging to the surface. Pumpkin also delivers a burst of nourishing and hydrating botanicals, leaving skin as smooth and glowing.
So here are “beauty recipes” for you-- using some pumpkin!                             

Pumpkin Face and Body Mask

Mix together:
½ cup canned pumpkin,
1/4cup white clay (Gathered From the Garden has white Kaolin Clay which would be great in this recipe),
1T. honey,                       
2 T. water,
1 T. almond oil
and 2 tsp. cinnamon

Apply evenly to your face or anywhere else that you’d like to smooth. Leave on 10 minutes before rinsing. Almond oil moisturizes, clay draws out impurities, honey replenishes collagen and cinnamon improves circulation.

                                                Pumpkin Scrub                                                   
 1 T canned or fresh pureed Pumpkin
• 1 T cut oats
• 1 T water
• 1 t Corn meal
Directions: In a small bowl, mix oats with warm (not hot) water. Let it sit for a minute or so and soak. Mix in the Pumpkin puree, blending well. Add the Corn meal and stir well. Apply a small amount at a time to a clean face while scrubbing in circular movements gently. After scrubbing the entire face, leave on for about 5 minutes longer or just until it is almost dry, but not entirely. Gently remove with a warm wash cloth. Moisturize like usual.
This amount is enough for the face, neck, chest area and shoulders. Leaves skin silky soft!
I've seen a ton of pumpkin recipes on different blogs and Pinterest. Thinking I might try something different for Thanksgiving instead of Pumpkin Pie. Are you a fan of pumpkin?
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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thankful Thursday

What a week! Lots to put on the calendar. A few things I wrote down:
*love this windstill morning to run
*found a new restaurant serving homemade food made with local produce
*reading stories to my grandson
*finding fresh raspberries on sale
*finding a free download of Photoshop Elements 11
What are some of the things you found to be thankful for this week?
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Saturday, November 3, 2012

21 Days of Thanks

Thanksgiving is a time for us to reflect on our many blessings, and to be thankful for all that we have. We truly are blessed! People who are grateful and thankful for the blessings they have seem to be happier and more content in their lives.

So to keep in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am going to write on my calendar each day something I am thankful for. I used to keep a Gratitude Journal for years but I kind of got away from it. I'd write in it before bed but then somehow I got busy and tired and it fell by the wayside. I go again.

Do you want to join me? I think jotting one thing on the calendar is doable. Plus, if we occasionally share it might keep us  motivated. How about if we check in each Thursday? Share in the comments section one or more of the things you were grateful for this week. (Photos are welcome too.)If you join me it will give me an easy one to jot on the calendar right off! (My very first one was all of you--thanks for reading my blog!)
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