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Brrrr….  “Baby it’s Cold Outside”.

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Not the song that’s stirring so much this year. I’m talking about the cold weather. I know most of the country, are watching the weather maps and hating Florida. While we are not buried under several feet of snow, it’s too cold for us. The earnest day here gets a high of 62 this week.

    Not to disappoint or irritate anyone, I do not live where we have subzero temps with bitting wind chill. We get our fair share of cooler weather. Last week our high was only in the 40’s. Had to wear socks and shoes other than flip flops. What gets us is the humidity down here. In summer the moisture in the air guarantees afternoon showers with only 20% precipitation. It weighs heavily on everything during our hot and humid months. Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Texas… you all get the same conditions.

    What makes those frigid lows so bad here? We have no supplies nor experience in these conditions. This year we may get some snow and ice. Natives like me who were born here have very seldom even see it (unless on holiday somewhere north) or have moved here from cold climates. My hubby hails from Wisconsin, and we have other family there and in Missouri. He refuses to drive even with all his experience doing so.

    It’s not the sleet, snow, ice, or even blizzard conditions that keep us off the roads unless absolutely necessary. No my friends he will not drive with my fellow southerners who cannot drive in it. “I freely admit this”. We have no chains, snow tires, and the most salt we see is on the rim of a Margarita glass.

    This winter has been an interesting season so I thought with snow and ice reaching as far south as Tampa it would be a good time to remind ourselves of cold weather preperations since it’s not over yet.

    For most of us it’s not very different from hurricane prep. Batteries, water, food, prescriptions, and extra warm blankets are just a few. Those who didn’t know before Hurricane Michael should refresh your memories, or learn for the first time.

    Hurricanes – What you need to know

    • Take measures to protect people, property, plants, and pets.
    • Store some extra gallons of water in case of frozen or burst pipes.
    • Have cold weather attire. 60% of body heat is lost from the top of your head. Warm knitted hats are helpful, and those that block wind can be added if needed outside.
    • I love my Isotoner gloves! The soft inner layer keeps hands toasty warm while the leather outer layer blocks both the wind and wet, your hands may come into contact with.
    • If your hat doesn’t cover them you may want to consider ear muffs. Since I have grown my hair long again I generally leave it down to help.
    • Invest in a warm outside coat. Wool pea coats ( I got mine at JCPENNEY) still one of the best and as most are lined they are very effective. I prefer mine in a longer trench length for days I may wear a long skirt.

      New Years Eve

    • Wrap outside or exposed pipes in fabric or foam. If you have something like a Dollar Store pool noodle, cut for length and secure with zip tie. Protection that will hold up all year long.
    • Move potted plants inside or cover with plastic sheeting, to create green house warmth around the plants.
    • Bring animals indoors. If it’s too cold for you it’s too cold for them.
    • Make sure if you cannot bring animals indoors that they have heated shelter from the weather, and plenty of food and water.
    • Great story with happy ending for caring for community cats.

    As for me well I just got a notice that the temps are going back into freezing this weekend. I’m also goning to order some more Florida Sunshine, to go with the hearty recipes inspired by the cold. We are out of our stash we got for Christmas. With colds and flu’s on the rise the citrus will help our systems ward them off. Stay warm my friends. How do you stay warm this winter? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below or drop us an email at.

    Managing Your Year

    Facing the rest of the year ahead.

    If you’re like me we look at the year ahead and try to put habits in place that will make it easier to handle. My Pintrest boards are getting lots of added ideas. Every thing from recipes to holiday ideas, and don’t forget to update the calendars. I take this time out to both show myself some love, and get organized. Anyone who knows me has seen me go a little OCD when being organized. I try to start with the basics. Holidays, Anniversarys, home and garden, Birthdays and finance, parties, and other projects throuout the year. I start with the basics.

    My planner/engagement/brain for the year. I like a full desk size book. Why paper you ask? In the digital world we live in things like smartphone, tablets, smart tv, and even the laptop & desktop give us access to technology at our fingertips. Paper and pen are still my go to medium. I will probably add it to my digital devices, but for my main list I prefer paper. It’s where I start from. If you’ve ever tried updating or creating a note when you were fast asleep you’ll know why I still keep my pen and paper.

    I enjoy daily/weekly/monthly views in my planner. It helps me stay on track with both what I need to do today as well as looking ahead in the week or month. There are a lot of free pages available that can be printed however knowing myself, I would probably take a page out and loose it as I become involved in what ever project I’m currently working on. The last several years I’ve turned to Cat Naps.

    It is wire bound so I can leave it open atop my desk for quick daily checkins. I have important dates, appointments, moon cycle, holidays, and contact info that I transfer yearly into everyone. I usually purge or make changes as I go. I know your reading this and saying I have all that in my phone. I do too, but the tangible works better to help me stay on track.

    As the bills arrive by mail I enter the due dates, and mail by dates. Jot gift ideas as I come across them by person. I often hear people say I wish I had this or that, if appropriate I make a note of it and the name. As my husband and I do not have 9 to 5s it helps track both income and expenses.

    My digital lifesaver is a financial program I read about in a top app review… from

    I love it!!! There are lots of competition in this area, probably including your regular bank.

    Prism is a safe and secure way to not only keep up with but pay my bills as well. “Prism is the easy personal finance app for managing and paying bills. • “Love, love, love this app! For those of you stranded by Mint Bills…..This IS your life preserver ..”

    It gives reminders, schedules payments, income and current balances of both bank accounts and credit cards. It saves me a great deal of time, stamps, and energy. Unlike some I don’t have to go between apps to get all the info I need. it does take some time for initial setup but so worth it! Even locks the info on your phone if you left it up. Keeps prying eyes out of your personal information yet with a pin code it can easily be synced to all your devices.

    With these two it’s easy to control the chaos in my world. Well time to finish this up because according to my handy book it says I have more to do before hubby gets home from his job. Weeding recipes for collection cookbook to be ready for Mothers Day, Plan Easter Family Gathering, and take some free time to catch up on my to be read pile of books. What do you do to stay on track in your busy life?? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

    Looking Forward

    New Year, New Hopes

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    365 New Days, 365 New Chances

    As we look forward to the new year, many of us are planning changes in our lives. New Years Resolution are the theme of the day. I am resolving to take better care of my self. Diet, weight loss and more exercise will go toward better health. I’m also going to obsess over organization. I’m following a strict schedule for blog and writing. I am also embarking on rigid physical therapy to regain my mobility.

    This will keep me very busy especially when combined with household redesign and organizing. Above all I want a lot less trips to the hospital. I have found lots of tips and tricks and hopefully great suggestions to stay on track. I’m starting with basic rules when setting goals.

    • Make the goal acheivable. Unattainable or very hard roads to successfully completing often lead to failure.
    • Break larger goals into smaller parts. It will make them more achievable and provide a sense of wellbeing when completed.
    • Smaller completed goals encourage embarking on the next. Just like children that sense of accomplishment spurs us to keep going.
    • Celebrate Victories even the small ones add up to progress. Rewarding your Victories reinforces your resolve to complete even more.
    • Make the reward something you really want. Loss of a few pounds can be rewarded with a favorite dessert, or a glass of wine. Bigger victories need bigger rewards. So keep that in mind when choosing both the goal and reward.

    Most of all make it fun. This along with reward upon completion will keep me on track the whole year through. So as we raise our glass of Champagne to toast the arrival of 2018, have your goals, defined and scheduled with rewards defined to spur us to finish.

    Video clips from Sex and the City Movie (I do not own any of the music, video, or titles. I make no profit from these items and all belong to thier respective owners.)
    Here’s to the fun and accomplishments to be had. What are you striving to achieve in 2018?

    More like this?

    New Year, New Adventures

    New year, new you?

    I made it !!  I just had my 36th Birthday!   Anyone who is close to me knows that not too long ago the goal was to reach this age.   I’m not going to say its been easy…  I would like to think i’ve weathered the last few years withpoise and grace.   Overall I believe i’ve done rather well,  even when thoroughly aggravated or hit a low spot along the way .  What started as a stroke via a burst vessel in my brain,  is now a long recovery where we didn’t know how much damage there would be to regaining normal vision and balance.   I had to have specialized therapy to drink normal beverages and to walk again.   All the therapy and another brain surgery to remove some of the things that initially saved my life.  Turns out the tube had been giving me aweful dizziness and vertigo symptoms sometime just sitting up in bed.  That is how i spent my birthday one year later.  Last year my Christmas was spent clearing more complications this time in the form of a cyst from the original bleed that as it grew unoticed pressed on my spinal cord cutting off the messages my brain sent to my legs. I was so excited when post surgery and enough drugs to stand sitting up i could wiggle my toes.  I had read of people s o happy they cried but this was my first experience with that kind of joy.   Why am i telling you all this?   I implore people to stop living with regrets and procrastinación about your feelings.   Embrace how you feel and live the gift of life you’ve been given .  Smile,  laugh,  cry,  express your feelings , don’t wait to say i love you,  do not hesitate to clear the air with those closest to you.  Start with the general stuff as we focus on giving thanks,  endevore to make it a habit to look at all we have to be thankful for the whole year long.   Moms and dad’s,  granparents,  aunts and uncles,  friends and coworkers,  and most of all everyday you wake up to the prescious gift of children.  I have a new niece and nephew to spoil and my brothers oldest daughter who will start school soon.  I am so blessed that i get to meet them and watch them grow.   So as the hustle of the holidays begins,  remember to take time to appreciate all the blessings you already have .  Siblings,  parents, friends,  aunts,  and uncles,  never miss the chance to tell them how special they are to you. 

    I don’t know about you, but this time of year goes from zero to extreme in a matter of just a few weeks.  We just got through Valentine’s Day,  Mardi Gras is in full swing right now. Turn around and get Easter and Mothers day, before summer hits. Don’t leave Fathers/Dads Day out and since we live on the Gulf Coast Hurricane season.  Like I needed one more thing to be prepared for!   I included pins and photos that I do not own.  The recipes work well every time I used them.  Thank you fellow bloggers for these great recipes, tips, and ideas.  If I missed including your link drop me an email.

    1. Get organized.  I’m a list person. I make a to do and cross chores off as I complete them.  This time of year I make a big job list, with a smaller one for each room. So my big job list has, den, bedroom, kitchen, pantry, entry way, front hall closet, living room….etc.  in kitchen the regular tasks are augmented with larger, deeper, cleaning, by task so I get it all done.  The crossing off makes me feel more productive, than a list that feels like forever to complete. It also reduces the stress to get it done and not forget anything.
    2. Common vs. Private   & Fabreeze and Magic Erasers are our friends.   I try to finish all tasks in common areas of the house first.  Living Room, kitchen, entry way, front hall closet, dinning room, all make top of the list.  I leave private areas like bedrooms or master bath, my closet last.  That way if I run out of time before company comes or unexpected circumstances occur, the places seen and “lived” in, i’m putting my best foot forward.  If I don’t get my own closet sorted its only known to me, not a guest who wants to put sweater in the front hall closet.
    3. Make things manageable and go room by room.  I start at the front door and porch then work my way back.  Remove clutter, dead plants, cracked flower pot, or whatever then sweep porch to remove sand, salt, leaves… A good pressure wash from you hose will do wonders.  If you stored the cushions during the frigid temperatures of winter, its time to add them back.
    4. Incorporate deeper cleans with 20 extra minutes or so for task. While unloading dishwasher, remove others from cabinet, wipe cabinet inside and out. Replace contact paper if you use it.  Arrange dishes if changes needed when putting away.  1 to 3 cabinets an evening, makes it an easier task than all day in kitchen.  Clean fridge before trip to grocery store. Much easier with less stuff in both freezer and refrigerator.Make those bubbles fly.
    5. I do floors last as I finish a room, or spot clean if big job like cabinets in kitchen. (I gonna do them all again anyway at the end).  I use activities like shampooing carpets as workout time.  The machine is heavy and you can really work arms, legs, and core, with this. Try standing one spot and get furthest reach without moving your feet.  If done right you’ll feel it back, arms,legs, hips, core, will all be sore the next day.
    6. Remember to have fun!  Yes, spring cleaning is serious, for sanity, health, keeping up with important things for the kids, and answering the 300th ‘mom’ question, when they can’t find….Turn up the volume on the stereo get the kids involved.  A great time to teach sharing as we share toys, clothes, and even some food, for the less fortunate in your community.  

        7.  I’m not going to waste space on here but, please know these work great and please give credit to these wonderful bloggers.  

         41 homemade cleaners…these work really well

        I use magic erasers on almost every surface.  They work great on counters, cabinets, hand wash dishes, bathroom sink and counter, now they even make telescoping pole for easy reach of base boards.  I’ve got to see if I can attach magic eraser, and dryer sheet. They work very well on base boards.
        8.  I do kitchen, bath, pantry, laundry room, in that order and sometimes laundry room can wait until bedrooms are done to cope with any found laundry.  This also good out of way space to store donations, if you don’t have a garage.

        9.  Clean out closet first if you can.  I try to do this first to make space for the other stuff I’ve left around the room.  I also make updated list of occasion cards I have, and any gifts I’ve already acquired, so I don’t over buy.  By doing so I rarely get to an occasion where I’m searching or overspending.  My biggest responsibility is picking the correct wrapping.

        10.  Finish with floors. Vaccines and shampoo yourself, or have company that offer free rooms like Stanley steamer do them. A steam mop is very handy. Kills bacteria and viruses, without harsh chemicals near,pets and grandbabies. It is an expense, however the steam kills bacteria and viruses that lurk in in your carpet or other floor sufaces.  You get stray dust mites and any other icky things you probably don’t want to know about.  You don’t have to worry about an indoor picnic, or a blanket fort.  Enjoy the product of your labors the whole year through.  It shortens my task list, and looks great in about 15 min for quick pick up.  45 min with vacume, sweep, MOP,and dishes. If it all has places to go it won’t be cluttering the rest of the house. A 

        What’s your secret(s) to a clean house?  

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