garden

Roasted Vegetables

This easy side dish not only looks great but tastes so good even the kids eat all these vegetables.

Ingredients

You can substitute vegetables according to likes and diet needs. These are what have used for both a regular or holiday meal.
1 Eggplant
1 bag brussel sprout halves ( fresh produce)
2 bell peppers assorted colors
1 pint grape tomatoes (I cut mine in half)
1 purple medium onion in wide strips
Broccoli florets
Cauliflower florets
Baby or chopped carrots
You can add potatoes if you choose

Directions

  1. Chop vegetables. Cut harder things like carrots in smaller pieces to make for more uniform cutting.
  2. Put all cut vegetables except tomatoes in large bowl.  Add 2 Tbsp Olive oil, salt, pepper, 3 Tbsp lemon juice and garlic powder if desired.
  3. Mix well to coat in both oil and seasoning.
  4. Spread evenly,  on a baking sheet.
  5. Place in pre-heated 350° oven for 30 to 45/minutes.


I also add different seasoning depending who and how I’m serving them.  I add Rosemary when serving with Christmas dinner. These also save a ton of time and you can skip the oil.


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Positive Thinking Day

September 13, 2019, in spite of being Friday the 13th is Positive Thinking Day.

Is life getting you down? If your answer is a yes, then Positive Thinking Day (PTD) on September 13 is just the holiday you need to celebrate. Choose to be positive even with all those Friday the 13th superstitions going around. My black cat, for instance brings nothing but love and cuddles.

Choose how your day will be.

PTD is a day to set aside all negative thoughts and see that the glass is always half full.

The stresses and struggles of daily life can sometimes fill our heads with pessimistic thoughts. This unofficial holiday promotes the idea that negative thoughts do more harm than good – they drain energy, create more stress and can make one a less likeable person. Nobody wants to spend time with someone who is always negative and pessimistic.

Lowers Depression

The holiday, also known as International Positive Thinking Day encourages people to deal with difficult situations in life with optimism and positivity.

Positive thinking can have many benefits. Studies have shown that positive thinking can reduce stress and the risk of heart diseases, lower depression and increase life span. Some studies have even shown that positive thinking can increase the body’s resistance to the common cold.

Positve affirmation cards
Positive Affirmation Cards – Unique 54 Card Deck with Storage Case – Train Your Mind Daily to Focus on the Positive and Watch Your Life Change for the Better. Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life.

by Because I’m Happy

How to Celebrate?

  • Think positive! If you are having trouble believe that the glass is half full, then have a friend or a loved one reaffirm you.
  • Take or sit in a positive thinking seminar. Sometimes hearing about the benefits of positive thinking from an uninvested party can help.
  • Make a conscious decision not to put yourself down every time you do something wrong.
  • Laugh as much as you can. Laughter can reduce stress and decrease the urge to think negatively. Go out for a comedy show or movie, do a marathon of your favorite comedy TV show or read a comic novel. You will see a marked difference in how you feel after a few laughs. After all, someone wise did once say laughter is the best medicine!
  • Still feeling a bit low? Turn that pity party into an awesome dance party. Studies have shown that physical exercise can help alleviate mood and promotes positive thinking.
  • Do something nice for yourself, a loved one or a stranger – doing good deeds can help increase levels of optimism.

Did You Know…

…that the term Debbie Downer is the name of a fictional character on the popular American late-night live television sketch comedy show, Saturday Night Live? The always negative character, played by Rachel Dratch made its first appearance in 2004. These days the term is used to call anyone who is always complaining and negative.

Information for this and other fun holidays from www.timeanddate.com

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Affirmations for positivity
Positive Affirmations
Sunny Dawn Johnston

Summer Sun

It’s summer, and this time of year we all like to spend time in the great outdoors. With the sun shining high, we vibrate with anticipation to get outdoors. Be it camping, hiking, backyard bbq, the pool or the beach, please remember, with the warmer temperatures, to drink plenty of water, use protection from the harmful effects of the sun, and avoid the possibly deadly consequences of heat and/or sun stroke.

  • The daily recommended amount of water is 8 – 16 oz glasses a day. That increases dramatically the longer you play in the sun. As you sweat, that fluid must be replaced. Sodas, alcoholic drinks, and energy drinks won’t do the job. In fact, some can do more harm than good. They provide sugary, empty calories without the electrolytes that fuel your boby. Cocktails and beer deplete your fluids, making you even more dehydrated. Pure waters, sparkling waters, and sports drinks, help to replace the electrolytes your bodies needs. Make sure you drink at least half again as much as you normally would while having your fun in the sun. Get a great recipe here.

  • Wear protective clothing. That sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? With the heat of the summer most of are thinking about how little we can wear to stay cool. Things like sunglasses that block uv rays protect your eyes. A large brim hat protects the top of your head from sunburn. It also provides shade to your face, neck and sometimes shoulders.
  • Adequate sunscreen will help block the damaging effects of the sun. Children especially need to wear sunblock. I’m a redhead, so I learned about the damaging effects of the sun at a young age. I don’t tan. I go from extremely pale to lobster red in a very short amount of time. Like babies, I have to use a sunscreen with spf 40 or higher. I blister easily and you can easily see where I did damage in my younger days trying to keep up with my friends who tan. Take it from me, the worst places to sunburn are under your hair, and the backs of your knees.
  • Avoid the most dangerous times of the day. The suns rays are the most dangerous for anyone between the hours of 10am and 3pm. If you’re heading for some fun in the sun, you’re get less direct sun before 10am or after 3pm. It’s best to avoid doing yard work or gardening during these peak sun times. If you must perform these activities during these times take care to protect yourself and know the warning signs of things like heatstroke.
  • Don’t be deceived by shade. I would give my mother the excuse of our pool being in the shade, to get out of wearing sunscreen. Trust me when I tell you, shade from a tree or other porous material will not protect you from the sun. You still need sunscreen!

  • Water reflects the suns rays. We’ve all seen people in movies who use those reflective panels to direct the rays. Like most, I thought, hey, I’m under the water, it will help protect me from the suns rays. While water does help diffuse the suns rays, it also reflects it back. So, if you wear the hat in the water, it’s directing those rays right back onto your shaded face and shoulders. Same rules here, make sure you wear the sunscreen. That tan is great when you’re young, but, as you age, that damaged skin begins to look like leather. The potential of developing skin cancer from those areas is also very high. The bandages and/or scars after having cancers removed from a place like your face are not attractive later. Indeed, if not caught, it can become something much worse than skin cancer.

  • Back to the fun. You celebrate family and holidays with a backyard bbq. Again, heavy hydration, will keep you healthier and cooler. Take frequent breaks from the heat and sun, on a patio, a porch, a pavillion, or in the house. Not only does taking such a break provide a temporary resbite, from the sun and heat, but keeps you from the overheating, that leads to sun stroke or heat stroke.

Stay safe and enjoy the summer fun and make memories you’ll cherish for years to come. I would love to hear how you spend your summer time. Drop us a comment letting us know. Don’t forget to like and share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pintrest.

Refreshing Summer Drinks

1 cucumber, sliced

1 lemon sliced

1 lime sliced

1/4 c chia seeds (optional)

Optional herbs I use mint with citrus or basil with berries. Just press to help release the oils contained in the leaves before adding to your favorite. Lavender lemonade is really good as well.

4 liters tonic or sparkling water

I love this style as it fits in the refrigerator door.

68 Ounces Glass Pitcher with Lid, Hot/Cold Water Carafe, Juice Jar and Iced Tea Pitcher by Purefold

I like this as it fits in the refrigerator door.

Mix all ingredients together in large gallon pitcher. Stir let sit several hours to infuse flavors. Add more tonic or sparkling water if needed. Serve over ice for a crisp, refreshing, and long hydrating summer cooler. The cucumber gives a fresh crisp flavor to citrus infused flavors. The optional chia seeds will soak up and release fluids as they digest. You can vary this recipe by adding different fruits. I like kiwifruit and honeydew melon as well as the cucumber. Intresting fact cucumber is already 70% water so adding some slices as editable garnish is a great way to add to the hydration in your glass.

Estilo 2 gallon Glass Single Mason Jar Beverage Drink Dispenser With Leak Free Spigot, Clear by Estilo

Bonus tip: If you forgot to chill the wine or taking it onto the patio, keep some grapes in the freezer. Green or red can then be added to your glass to keep it cool, without watering it down like regular ice.

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. 

Mary, Mary, how does your garden grow?

That was the nursery rhyme from childhood.  While my mother’s name is Mary, we’re open to new ideas. Do you plant a garden to enjoy all summer long?   While flowers are an obvious choice as a beautiful display around your home. When temperatures rise we often find more reasons to spend time outside,  so flowers are admired by many.
One of the other choices here is a kitchen garden.  Many professional chefs grow  lettuce, tomatoes, green beans, carrots, potatoes, and don’t forget the herbs.  If you want to save some cash this summer, grow your own organic veggies and herbs.  We love vegetables so spending  $60-$80 a month at the farmers market is not unusual.  Imagine you could save $60 a month for let’s say 5 months. That really starts to add up. Save for a fun day for the kids.  Or back to school supplies. How about a really long term goal like Christmas savings.

This year we’re going to try a new concept shared on Pinterest.  The herbs are moving to the railing on the front porch.  Containers will be joining these, we started a pineapple in one.  We think a couple small fruit trees.  I saw a blueberry bush, raspberry bush, and limes, strawberries, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, blackberries. They are available in what they call dwarf trees, perfect for containers. On the front porch gives easy access when the fruit comes in, and manage in off season.  The  concept we’re looking to try is called hay bale gardening.  

Not only does it raise plants up off the ground according to a little research this is better and faster than fertilizers.  Planting directly in the bale only requires water any a little potting soil.  Best news hay bales will decompose to enrich the soil in 1-2  years.

We also plan to move delicate vegetables or fruits into a green house to combat critters like birds, squirrels, and  possibly an armadillo that keeps digging holes in the yard.  Pergelas are beyond my ability.  Maybe I can talk my brother into building a simple one.  We have some grape vines that I want tobe encourage to the top of the trellis.  I understand most can be made from reclaimed wooden pallets.
Along with getting rid of wooden gazebo, we hope to create both a seating area with wood burning fire pit, and dining area partly covered with a sunshade.  A permanent fire pit is on the list as well.
Lavender, mint, and lemongrass are must haves by the porches front and back to keep mosquitoes away. I also want to try the shiny penny in water.  Hopefully this will keep them away from me. I enjoy the outdoors, as long as it’s not making a meal out of me!  I would love to get both a dry rivetbed, and fountain with pool to help with drainage form our yard.  All of these ideas are great fun for children and make great projects to do together.  What are you planting in your?  Any suggestions to turn my thumb green again? I hope along with hurricane preparations we can have it done in time for summer with family and friends.

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

       http://diyjoy.com/best-homemade-cleaners-recipes/8

      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.

      http://www.couponcloset.net/uses-for-mr-clean-magic-eraser/
      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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