Monday, December 31, 2012

She Thought of Me

A while back, my daughter went on a field trip with her class to the Renaissance Festival. She brought back a lot of photos and good memories. She also brought me this ring. So thoughtful and sweet. Amidst all the fun and excitement she thought of me. Priceless.
 (She also brought me a bracelet but I forgot to photograph it. I will soon! Because I LOVE IT!!!)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Easy Cheese Danish

After purchasing a store bought cheese danish only to find nary a bit of cheese in the whole thing, I remembered an old recipe hiding in the dark in my pantry in a hand-written family heirloom cookbook that I found abandoned on a dusty shelf in times gone by.
So, I dug it out, added the needed ingredients on my "last chance" before Christmas shopping list. We would have cheese danish on Christmas eve. And Christmas morning if it lasted that long.
I know there are many versions of this but this is the one I know & love.
Cheese Danish
what you'll need:
2 pkgs crescent rolls (I used Pillsbury)
2 pkgs (8 oz.) cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg (separated)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. milk (about)
what you'll do:
Lay one pkg. of crescent rolls (unseparated) in a 13"x9" pan. (this is easier at room temp.) Pinch together at seams.
Mix the cream cheese, vanilla, 1 cup regular sugar and the egg yolk together in a bowl (I used an electric hand mixer) until blended smooth & creamy. Pour over rolls in baking pan. Roll second pkg. of crescent rolls out over the top of the cream cheese mixture.Whisk the egg white with a fork or whisk until frothy & brush onto the top crescent roll layer lightly with a pastry brush.
Pop into a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown (about 30 minutes).
When the pastry is almost done baking, whisk together the powdered sugar & milk in a bowl until well combined & a good consistency for glazing. Drizzle glaze onto pastry while still hot from the oven. Refrigerate until set. Serve at room temperature.
(If you can wait that long ;) this is seriously one of those things I have a hard time stopping eating. Until it's gone.
(but that could be said for many things...)
whole package of crescent roll contents rolled out into the pan
cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and egg yolk
above ingredients beaten til smooth
cream cheese mixture pours easily atop crescent roll dough in baking pan before gingerly (ha) spreading out to cover dough completely
second package of crescent roll dough being unfurled on top of cream cheese filling
done. as good as its gonna get. aim to cover all the filling possible but if it doesn't quite meet each edge, don't worry about it.
 frothy egg white 

brushing egg white onto dough with one hand while praying I don't drop my camera onto egg white, dough & cream cheese goo from the other
confectioners sugar & milk glaze drizzled onto warm, fresh from the oven deliciousness

with glaze spread hither & yon

Now you're supposed to refrigerate but eat at room temperature. What?!!! Who made that up? I cooled it in the  fridge until it wouldn't fall apart when we cut it.
And then we ate it.
The end.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The AVON Corner~Mega Impact Eyeshadow

*Please note: links below may take you to my personal Avon website
One of my newest Avon "faves" is the Mega Impact Eyeshadow in Flash Black.
It's intensely pigmented and can be used wet or dry. I love to use the black as an eyeliner applied wet and the off white color makes a beautiful brow bone highlight! (I'm very fair and some black eyeliners are just too harsh for me. Used wet with an eyeliner brush, this is "just right".)
(this was taken indoors with overhead lighting)

Right now, as of C26 2012, (page 39 in the brochure) it's only $4.99! Using it the way I am, as a liner & highlight, it will last for A LONG TIME! However, I do think it would make a beautiful smoky eye as well and fully intend on experimenting with it in that way when I'm in a smoky eye kinda mood!

There are other gorgeous color duos to choose from in shades that would suit just about anyone!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Our Old Fashioned Thanksgiving

I thought I would share a few pictures of our little family get together we had on Thanksgiving day. After experiencing a rough year, we decided to keep the day quiet and intimate, free of the pressure that having a gaggle of guests can bring. Although I cut back on a lot of what I normally do by insisting EVERYTHING be made from scratch, I still spent the majority of the day in the kitchen. Mike made the turkey as he always does, and I made the sides. The result was delicious, as always.

the guest of honor!
always two of our very favorite "guests"~my son and grandson
kiss the cook!

We hope YOU enjoyed your Thanksgiving day!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's a Beautiful Day!

With the Thanksgiving holiday behind us and the Christmas season upon us, I just want to check in and say I hope everyone has been, and will be, enjoying the best this season has to offer!

I have not been keeping up with my frugal five nor my weekly to do's but, rest assured, I am still frugal and "to doing". In fact, I thought I'd share one of my happiest frugal things as of late. The flowers above were purchased as a mark down gift flower at the grocery store for $2.99. When I bought it, it was still in bloom so I set it by the front door to give a cheery "hello" to visitors and passers-by. When the blooms faded, I snipped off all the spent blooms, put the plant in a sunny but protected spot to see what would happen, if anything. I have watered it almost daily (we are still seeing temps in the 80's on some days even in November!) and am happily surprised that it is putting on a happy, colorful show!

Back soon. In between life happening!

Enjoy your day!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

Five Frugal Things

If anyone is peeking in here, I hope you are having a wonderful beginning to your week. We are experiencing some deliciously cool, sunny and NON humid weather! Love it!

On the other hand, I can so feel for those who have been devastated by hurricane Sandy because, living here on the Gulf Coast, we have our share of hits & near misses with those weather "tasmanian devils". God sees you all. Look to Him for comfort as many of us are lifting you up to Him in their prayers.

Remaining frugal minded this past week...

In the Garden~ I picked up a few more seed packets in the mark down bin at Walgreens. (We won't go into the marked down halloween candy that we bought. And ate.)

At the Grocery Store~  I've been stocking up the pantry with canned goods and other goodies to build up our stockpile that I've let run low in past weeks. It feels good having that type of "insurance" if need be. I think the recent hurricane put it back front and center in my realm of focus. And as much as I like having plenty on hand in case of emergency or unexpected company, I find that I tend to tap into a lot of that stuff to prepare comfort foods. And anyone that knows me knows I'm a bit fluffy so I have to watch that!
So...I also am making a point to stock up on some non-fattening stuff too:
In the Beauty Department~ I got out and used some leave in hair conditioner that I got with samples and I AM LOVING it! It made my hair so soft & less poofy! I may just invest in the full size of that stuff (especially since the samples came with a $! off coupon!)
In the Kitchen~ well...all the frugal meals & sales will take some time to make up for our new refrigerator & (finally!) dishwasher!!! I'm so excited!!! In the long run...I'm sure...they will pay for themselves. Right? I feel like I should say that ;)
In the Health Department~ I have been back on that treadmill! I had a daily goal of 30 minutes of exercise a day. Which I haven't quite hit this past week but I HAVE managed three days. 0-3. For me that's somethin'. And...I've been contemplating the big 5-0 coming up and asking myself how I want to usher that in??? So for three days straight, I have been eating well (no mo' halloween candy!) and when I have been tempted by my big bad sweet teeth (yes, I have more than one), I've indulged in fruit. Yay me!
Thanks for sharing my frugal five with me! 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What I Put in my Sam's Shopping Cart This Week

bread flour, organic baby spring mix, garlic heads, diced tomatoes
*I break the flour down into gallon sized ziploc bags and then seal them in a Food Saver bag with my Food Saver & pop them into the upright freezer.
*The garlic sits in a bowl handy for cooking. We use a lot of garlic!
*The salad mix is used to add with any other greens we might have for salads. Lately, I've been enjoying adding kale from my container garden to our salads! Hubby prefers  iceberg and since lettuce is one of the veggies that I understand to have high amounts of pesticides, I try to buy organic lettuce.
*The tomatoes get portioned out into Rubbermaid containers in one and two cup amounts and are frozen. Then, once frozen, I pop them out of the Rubbermaid containers and into FoodSaver bags to seal out air and put them back in the freezer for future use.
The total= $19.79
{flours bagged up in FoodSaver bags, awaiting their ride out to the upright freezer in the garage}

Sunday, November 4, 2012

To Do's & Ta Da's for the Week of November 4, 2012

This past week I got a little off track. Since hubby is home all the time now, I haven't found a good "flow". The routines I had going before he went in the hospital have been wiped off the map and the best I can come up with now is just to take each moment as it comes.

The things I hope to accomplish this upcoming week are many of the things that were on my list last week (and the week before) but since none of them are life or death, I hold on to my plans loosely. They will get done. Eventually.

To Do List (for the upcoming week) 

1)  In the Craft Room~ tackle some paper craft projects with the upcoming Christmas holidays in mind. Again, I did not get to this but I'm not scratching it off my list.

2)  In My Etsy Shop~ List an average of one item at least every other day. Same for this one /:
3)  In the Kitchen~ straighten out the pantry (how does it get SO out of control?!) I tackled two shelves but since I did stocking up this week at the grocery store, it is even more out of control than it was when I put this on my to do list.

4)  In the Sewing Room~ work on some sewing projects that need to be finished. Do I really even need to say it? The mere fact it has been carried over says it all.

5)  In the "Gym"~  get back on my exercise program by doing something for thirty minutes daily.

Ta Da List (things accomplished from last week)

1)  In the Garden~ *Pot up my three new succulents (one of which I got for half price since part of it had died off. I find that many times if a product has a bit of damage or is less than perfect, the store will give me a discount. Usually at least 10% but sometimes much more. All you have to do is ask!
{This is the sad little plant that I got for half price. You can see the shriveled up dead part. I'm happy to report it's doing well in it's new home!} 
 I also have three African violets that have been in desperate need of repotting for months!
*Plant more seeds. Flowers & veggies.

2)  In the Craft Room~ tackle some paper craft projects with the upcoming Christmas holidays in mind

3)  In My Etsy Shop~ List an average of one item at least every other day
4)  In the Kitchen~ straighten out the pantry (how does it get SO out of control?!) *

5)  In the Sewing Room~ work on some sewing projects that need to be finished.

6)  The Stockpile~ focus on more bulk purchases for our food stockpile rather than buying smaller quantities of items that can easily be stored. (Sam's, here I come!) This is ongoing.   

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Five Frugal Things

Here's five more frugal things I've done this past week...

1)  In the Garden~ Planted more seeds: White Lisbon Bunching Onions; Grand Rapids Leaf lettuce; Salad Bowl leaf lettuce; Parris Island Cos (romaine type) lettuce; cress; Purple Top White Globe turnips,Red Cored Chantenay carrots; Oriental Red Poppies; Shasta Daisy "Alaska" seeds and a few Sunflower seeds

A lot of the seeds I buy are from Walgreens or Walmart. I am going to check out some online sites for "freebies" to see what's available. Just out of curiosity.

2)  In the Kitchen~ made "clean out the fridge (and freezer and pantry ;D )" soup. It made enough for 3 meals.
3)  Cosmetics~ used up a hair conditioner, a hair mask and the rest of a travel/sample sized BBcream (love that stuff & really want to get a full sized container! But first, I have three more little ones to use up. I bought them on Amazon using a gift card  I earned from Swagbucks!~{Interested in Swagbucks? Just click on the "earn free prizes Swagbucks button off to the right here!}) I cut the tube open & got several more days wear out of it after I couldn't squeeze anymore from the tube (I do that whith all things tube-y). I put the tube in a zip top baggie to keep it from drying out.

4)  At the Store~  although not a necessity, we like sweets, so I stopped by Walgreens the day after Halloween and bought (only) a couple of bags of their half priced candy. Yum. I will probably find myself in there (if my timing is right) after the candy has been marked down 75-90%. Usually by then though it's slim pickins.

5)  Refuse Rescue~ I washed many a plastic zip top baggie this past week. From Gallon to sandwich size. Yes. I did.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Reworking a Recipe-Tuna Pasta

Sometimes I find myself in the kitchen, ready to prepare a recipe I was certain I had all the ingredients to, only to find that I am missing one or more of the ingredients the recipe calls for. Sometimes I purposely set out to make a recipe knowing I don't have quite the right ingredients. And that's okay as long as I know I have viable substitutes for those ingredients I don't have on hand.

I will admit not all recipes can be treated with such wild abandon but after cooking for as many years as I have, I feel1 comfortable substituting ingredients, confident that the end result will turn out just fine. Sometimes even better!

Let's take a Tuna Pasta recipe I made for the family this past weekend:

Tuna Pasta
Tuna 2- 5 oz. cans, drained
2 cups egg noodles, cooked & drained
1 cup peas
1/2 cup cheese
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup milk
Combine all ingredients, heating in pan just until heated through. Serve.

My notes-I cannot remember where I got this recipe from since I've had it so long. I don't know why the instructions are so vague. Luckily, it's hard to mess up!
If I were to guess, I would say this recipe would be 4 servings but for my family, ahem...more like two (or one if my husband had his way~he loves pasta!) so I double it.
tuna: even though I double this recipe, I don't double the tuna. I stick with the two cans. The water that is drained off is offered to the pets.
egg noodles: the last time I made this, I didn't have egg noodles on hand so I used shell shaped pasta instead.
cheese: I normally use shredded cheese; usually we keep shredded colby-jack, mild cheddar, Mexican 4 blend or mozzarella~any is good. This time I was out of shredded cheese so I used canned, grated, parmesan cheese.
peas: I prefer using frozen but did not have frozen peas on hand so I used canned peas from the pantry. I didn't measure, I just drained off the liquid and dumped the whole can of peas in the pot.
cream of mushroom soup: I normally use the 10 3/4 ounce size of condensed soup but didn't have that so I used a 19 ounce can of Progresso cream of mushroom soup.
milk: we don't keep milk on hand since we don't drink it but I used a bit of heavy cream mixed with water this time. I just eyeballed it but I would guess the ratio was a tablespoon of heavy cream and then added enough water to equal 1/2 cup (or in the case of doubling the recipe, I doubled the amounts.). I've also used reconstituted dry milk at times.  
With all the tweaks and substitutions, I made this time and in the past, we've never not liked the result! 
Serving suggestions: Hubby likes to add a squeeze of lemon to it. We all like to sprinkle parmesan on top. Add a simple green salad & maybe some garlic toast.
*Most of the ingredients for this dish I purchase on sale and keep on hand, making this a quick, thrifty meal!

As a new cook, I did follow recipes to the letter but as time has gone by and I have hundreds of dishes under my belt, I've learned (pretty much) what can and cannot be toyed with. Oh, I do still get nervous at times when I'm trying something new, but usually my fears are unfounded and the results are delicious! 

I hope this might help any novice cooks that are just now entering the world of cooking and baking to relax a bit, make common sense substitutions to your recipes if need be (hey, we all find ourselves in the kitchen from time to time in the middle of a recipe only to find we are missing something) and, worse case scenario, you have to call for pizza. And know it's not the end of the world!

(I wish I had thought to take pictures of the dish before it was devoured by all of us!)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

To Do's & Ta Da's

As Autumn arrives with her cooler temperatures (hooray!) and hubby continues to make steady progress in dealing with the aftermath of his stroke, I continue to try to maintain some semblance of normalcy, make our home a safe haven and cherish each moment for the gift that it is.  

And that brings me comfort.

Here's a peek into my...
To Do List (for the upcoming week)

1)  In the Garden~ *Pot up my three new succulents (one of which I got for half price since part of it had died off. I find that many times if a product has a bit of damage or is less than perfect, the store will give me a discount. Usually at least 10% but sometimes much more. All you have to do is ask! I also have three African violets that have been in desperate need of repotting for months!
*Plant more seeds. Flowers & veggies.

2)  In the Craft Room~ tackle some paper craft projects with the upcoming Christmas holidays in mind

3)  In My Etsy Shop~ List an average of one item at least every other day
4)  In the Kitchen~ straighten out the pantry (how does it get SO out of control?!) *

5)  In the Sewing Room~ work on some sewing projects that need to be finished.

6)  The Stockpile~ focus on more bulk purchases for our food stockpile rather than buying smaller quantities of items that can easily be stored. (Sam's, here I come!) This is ongoing. I got a couple of great deals and bought as much as I could afford/fit into  the pantry & fridge, but never made it to Sam's.

Ta Da! List (from last weeks to do's)
Sad to say but I did not accomplish as much as I would have liked. I stayed busy doing necessary things but working my daily schedule around hubbys needs causes all my good intentions to go out the window. He, and his needs, will always be my top priority over household tasks and projects so I cut myself some slack & just roll the to-do's over onto the next week. There's no life or death household emergencies here (:

* tackle some paper craft projects with the upcoming Christmas holidays in mind. I only managed to pull out all the supplies I would need to get started on this. It's something. 
* straighten out the pantry (how does it get SO out of control?!) I did not even begin this projects. On the contrary, I added MORE to the pantry. Now more than ever, it needs straightening!
* work on some sewing projects that need to be finished. I managed to iron one apron that has been waiting to go into my Etsy shop.
* continue to forage in the freezer and pantry for items I can use to make meals, snacks & treats But this is ongoing...
* focus on more bulk purchases for our food stockpile rather than buying smaller quantities of items that can easily be stored. (Sam's, here I come!) This is ongoing

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Five Frugal Things

Still trying to maintain a better focus on saving money when & where I can since our financial future is uncertain as hubby continues to recuperate at home. Plus, it's just the smart thing to do. Always.

So here's five things I've done or am doing lately when I have on my Frugal Franny britches:

1)  In the Garden~ *Moved established Genovese and Sweet basil plants from containers to the garden bed so they can stretch & wiggle their toes. *Planted spinach seeds. *Added any and all veggie scraps & mulch-worthy stuff to my mini mulch pile.

2)  At the Store~ *Got 5 free cans of white albacore tuna with ECB's from CVS. *Found organic, free range, humanely raised eggs for .20 less per dozen at a closer store (for when it's not convenient to go to my favorite health food store, which is a bit out of the way. Saving me money, time, gas and wear & tear on our vehicle) UPDATE 10/25/12: I went to buy some eggs today and found them $1 LESS than I have been paying!!! Time to stock up!

3)  Cosmetics~ *Went on a "makeup diet" for a while. Focusing on using what I already have on hand. (I used up a container of mineral makeup! And there's more where that came from so I don't really need to go out & buy another.)

4)  In the Kitchen~ *Made a yummy baked pasta dish using only items on hand: crumbled up leftover turkey meatloaf, pasta, tomato sauce & paste, dried Italian herbs (all four from the pantry), fresh basil & oregano (from the garden) & shredded mozzarella (given to me free). I cooked the tomato sauce, tomato paste & herbs til hot & bubbly, added the cooked pasta, stirred it all together, placed it in a greased casserole dish, sprinkled mozzarella on top & baked at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes (just til cheese was melted). I served it with a tossed salad. (To rave reviews I might add (;  )

5)  Washed my car at a "self serve" car wash for a little over $3. Saving me the usual $25 + $5 tip that we have been known to spend at the full-serve-sit-on-your-behoo-while-someone-else-cleans-your-car place. Bonus: great exercise!

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sometimes the Solution is Simple

After throwing out $9.50 (ouch) worth of coupons ($8 at Kroger & a $1.50 ECB at CVS) today that could have been used towards anything in their respective stores, and just wanting to kick myself for allowing them to expire before using them, I knew I needed a better way.

How does it even happen in the first place? Well, being the neatnik that I am (not), I tend to throw receipts & register generated rewards/coupons in my purse on the way out of the store. And there they float around awhile until one day, when I decide to either clean out/change out handbags. It is then that I find in my hot little hands one of those type coupons staring back at me, mocking me, expired.

I must, I tell myself, DO SOMETHING about this, for it happens all too often. So, I decide to keep them in my wallet, alongside the cash (since coupons are as good as cash, right? But only when we actually use them...) so they are in my face more often. 

Sometimes the solution to our dilemmas are simple. Whether we brainstorm them ourselves or ask for an objective opinion from someone else.

We'll see how this goes...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Ordering My Ordinary Days

Oh, so much has happened since I last posted here. What a difference a day can make in the direction our lives flow.
 My sweetheart suffered a stroke recently and spent the better part of a month in the hospital. After an emergency stent operation in his carodit artery and many days of in patient occupational and physical therapy, I am happy to say he is at home recuperating well. He has no feeling in his left side but does have use of his extremities so he is able to walk and has some use of his left hand (with struggle and frustration).
Needless to say, it has brought on some changes to our day to day routines and dealings but I still feel we are oh so blessed regardless of all that has happened. After all, things could be worse.

Count your blessings, name them one by one...

And I am blessed to be able to be at home to help him when he needs it. Cook our meals, tend our home and just be together.
But there are moments that happen where the loss of control over certain aspects of life slap us in the face just as hard reality so often does. And we move on.

Because of this, I have been trying to embrace those things that I can control: groceries (and the budgeting of), my little garden (that I continue to struggle to make happen), frugality (more important now than ever since we're not sure if hubby will be able to go back to work) and other household happenings. Doing these things seem more important to me now (even though they have always been important to me). I guess because it's familiar and it comforts me to know that they are still there for me. The ordinary things in my ordinary days. 

A few "comforting" things I've done this past week:

* planted more mint, lavender, parsley, zinnia, cilantro, dill, nasturtium, English daisy, chamomile and viola seeds. (I had tried with these seeds a few months back and had no luck, with the exception of parsley, mint and lavender plants that took but are struggling.) I'm going to experiment and see if they will sprout and do better with cooler months coming. It's soo hot here in the summer months! I also planted Table Queen squash, pumpkin and cantaloupe seeds for the first time ever! I'm curious to see what will come of them.
* made a conscious effort to use up leftovers before they went bad. I used up leftover steak to make hubby steak and eggs for breakfast one morning and a second dinner (yes, one steak lasted him three meals!). Took all the stale bread in the fridge & freezer & made my standby bread pudding (that recipe is so forgiving!) also incorporating two cups of applesauce that my DD had lost interest in (in place of the apples). Made french toast out of a few slices of day old homemade french bread for one of our breakfasts. Pulled out some pear sauce that I made a couple of years back from pears off our tree and froze for a yummy ice cream topping! (love my FoodSaver!)
* began the new habit of adding a couple of capfuls of bleach to my dishwater to help prevent colds, flu & other contagious, icky things. (our dishwasher is broken, whahhhhh! ) ':
* made a couple of loaves of french bread and one loaf of oatmeal bread. (Which wouldn't happen without my trusty breadmaker~just being honest.)

I'm sure there's more that I can't think or right now, but while I'm at it I'll make my "to do" list for the upcoming week for the projects that have been floating around in my mind...

* tackle some paper craft projects with the upcoming Christmas holidays in mind
* straighten out the pantry (how does it get SO out of control?!)
* work on some sewing projects that need to be finished.
* continue to forage in the freezer and pantry for items I can use to make meals, snacks & treats But this is ongoing...
* focus on more bulk purchases for our food stockpile rather than buying smaller quantities of items that can easily be stored. (Sam's, here I come!)

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Blood Pressure Update

Feeling better with each passing day! Why does it take a health crises to wake me up to taking better care of myself? I'm sure I'm not the only one. We, as women and parents in general, take such good care of the ones we love, shouldn't we love ourselves as much and take as good care of ourselves as we do others?
When I watched my heart beating, faithfully, without missing a beat (pun intended (o; ) on the ultrasound screen at the cardiologists office, I made a promise to it that I would be faithful to it in return and begin giving it the honor it so well deserves.
Let's all begin looking at ourselves the way God sees us, through loving eyes, and begin taking care of this one-and-only body we have.
The only time it's too late to start is when we are gone.
Have a HEALTHY day y'all!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

High Blood Pressure...yikes!

The past couple of weeks I haven't been feeling so good. Mainly queasiness that I attributed to the high heat of summer. I went online to see if it could possibly be related to (gasp!) perimenopause. One article said it could be, but wasn't common. Another caught my eye, suggesting that it could be due to high blood pressure. Hmmm...
I went on my queasy way making a mental note to check my BP soon. One evening after looking for a BP machine at our local Walgreens and not finding one, I asked DH if he would show me how to use his at home monitor. The reading? 170/115! DH immediately made me take one of his blood pressure meds. (I know it's not recommended to take others prescription drugs but...) I went through shock and disbelief for a while but made an appointment with my doctor the next day, last friday.
Blood draws, an ekg (of which wasn't normal, but the last few I've had have shown abnormalities), a urine sample, a prescription for BP meds and a referral to a cardiologist for a nuclear stress test. (I'd been through the stress test the first time a doctor found my ekg readings weren't right). So begins that process. In the meantime, I began research into what I could immediately do to help bring the readings down.
I began walking on our treadmill for 30 minutes, with a goal to add one minute each day for thirty days so I will be walking an hour a day in a month.
I began drinking teas with hibiscus as one of the main ingredients as that has been found to help bring BP numbers down. I also am getting back to drinking more tea in general for the antioxidants.
I have been faithful to take my supplements daily, which for a long while was hit or miss with me.
I have also began drinking 8 oz. of pomegranate juice daily, having read that it helps with cardiovascular health. (Drinking Pom Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice) I'm also trying to get in at least one green or fruit smoothie a day.
My diet will be the challenge. I love to eat. I love all the "bad" stuff. I don't have one sweet tooth, I have many. But I had already stopped eating meat about a month ago, I have begun to drink only decaf coffee and will do my best, taking it one meal/snack choice at a time, to eat more healthfully.
Oh...and I am trying to lasso that salt shaker.
I'm already beginning to feel MUCH better! And the numbers are down!
I say this all the time but, I STILL plan to live to be 144!!!
Let's ALL do something today, even if it's just ONE thing, to care for our hearts!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A Walk in the Park

We like to explore nearby, woodsy parks when we have a little time spare.
But don't let all the shade & stuff fool you.
It's HOT out there!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I Love My Breadmaker! Cinnamon Raisin Bread

I so love being able to dump all my ingredients in, set it and forget it!
If I am feeling really ambitious, or have more time, I might do the dough cycle only and transfer the dough to a bread pan (love my Pampered Chef one!) and bake it off in the oven. Usually 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees works.

Homemaking made easy!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Spahhh...On a Budget

When I want to feel like a million bucks, I find I can do so without sticker shock.
I found packets of Village Naturals Therapy mineral bath saok at my neighborhood Kroger store for only a dollar a piece. Wonderfully fragrant but I can duplicate the same by just using plain epsom salts from the drugstore and adding a few drops of deliciously scented essential oil(s) to the tub. Push the button for some jacuzzi action, lie back and close my eyes and I am on a mini vacation!
And I just couldn't resist these single foot, hand and facial masks that I found at Forever 21! For less than $2 each, why would I?
How do you like to pamper yourself?

Thursday, June 7, 2012

17 Candles

Well, only two but she's still seventeen today! Happy birthday lil' mama!!!
(Where does the time go?!)
{she partied with the best of 'em}

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Vegetarian Yumminess!

After watching Food Inc. a couple of weeks ago, DD & I decided: no more meat. Since then, I've been trying to hunt down delicious, filling vegetarian recipes. While I've made a couple of clunkers, this one does NOT fall into the clunker pile. This one is definitely a keeper!
I found it in my Good Housekeeping magazine and it will be safely filed away in my new "veggie meals" recipe folder.
I doubled the recipe and instead of using canned beans, I took a 16 oz. bag of black beans and threw them in the pressure cooker for a few (cooked with a steady stream of steam for about 7 minutes, turned of the fire and let them release pressure on their own. Less than thirty minutes for a more frugal bunch o' beans.) I substituted frozen corn kernels and made a guesstimate on the amount. I also substituted heart healthy EV olive oil for the canola.
Hope you are having a wonderful start to your summer!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Crazy for Coral!

{top, l to r: Sally Hansen Coral Reef #405; Maybelline Peachy Scene #525; Revlon Orange Flip #710. Bottom: Maybelline Coral Glow~I think, label's too small for my vision!}
This season I have been drawn to all the beautiful shades of coral, peaches and and soft apricots. This is highly unusual since I've always been drawn to pinks and roses and berries, feeling that they best set off my naturally pale coloring.

A girl can change her mind...right?

{top, l to r: Chico's blouse; close up of detailing on blouse; bottom: still obsessed with "accent nails" Ulta peach nail polish~can't find the bottle to get the true name/: & OPI Nicole Love your Life on ring finger}

{Revlon Orange Flip on lips; the Ulta brand peach colored nail polish. I am SOOOO impressed with Ulta's polish! Lasts for days with minimal chipping and wear!}


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