Archive for 2011
Friday, December 30, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Our Pond Winter 2010
Tomorrow is the official 1st day of Winter and I couldn't be happier! Not because I love snowy, blustery days. Not because tomorrow is the shortest day of the year and I can start counting the days until spring arrives. Not solely because of the joy and happiness the Holidays bring.
No, finding my happy with this season most all of us dread, required some thinking.
Just reading the definition of winter puts me squarely on team anti-winter. Look at those Synonyms and you'll see what I mean.
The coldest season of the year, in the northern hemisphere from December to February and in the southern hemisphere from June to August. Adjective:
(of fruit and vegetables) Ripening late in the growing season and suitable for storage over the winter. Verb: (esp. of a bird) Spend the winter in a particular place: "birds wintering in the south".
verb. hibernate. wintry - hibernal - winterly - brumal . cold
While slathering on extra strength hand lotion last night to ease my drying hands ( that only get worse each day of this season), I decided to make a list of all the reasons I have to be happy and thankful this winter. If you are on team anti-winter, maybe a list is in your future too!
1. The girls are on Winter break from 12/21/11 until 1/5/12. Just having them home all day makes me smile! I enjoy their company immensely.
2. Getting end of year business tasks done feels good! Don't dread the shred is my motto as I clean out my filing cabinet and start a new storing and organizing method.
3. Dry skin gives me a good excuse to try new lotions! Maybe I'll write a review or two.
4. Christmas at home. Just the four of us. The girls in their new jammies all day. Traditions. Love. Harmony. Peace. Jesus. Food. Smiles. Laughs. Santa.
5. New Year. New Beginning. New Ideas. New directions. Wiping the slate clean is a good thing on so many fronts.
6. My youngest daughters birthday.
7. New cabinet jobs for my hubby. He's at his happiest when he's making sawdust.
8. New friendships. I've been invited to join some local groups and I'm looking forward to the opportunity to broaden my circle.
9. Free time. I have more of it in this season. I get crafty, I read more novels, I log on much less, I daydream about spring and how to design my flower beds, I laugh and sing and play with my kids more. I stay up late and watch sci-fi movies or talk and laugh with my hubby more. I connect more.
10. I have a really good feeling about 2012. Deep in my bones optimisim. The last few years have been hard and stressful for so many of us. Most of us truth be told, but I am a firm believer in the power of a Positive Attitude.
I am happy Winter is here because it forces me to slow down, think, be more present and in the moment.
Sure the weather outside may be frightful, but I'll welcome spring well rested and refreshed.
Happy Winter, Merry Christmas and Happy, Happy Holidays one and all!
I am so very thankful for all of you who read, comment and visit my blog.
Please let me know what you are thankful and happy for this season!
Monday, December 12, 2011
Torani flavored syrups are part of San Francisco’s heritage. With handwritten recipes from their Italian hometown, Rinaldo and Ezilda Torre introduced Torani syrups to San Francisco in 1925. In the back of their grocery store, they pressed fruits, nuts and spices, blended extracts with cane sugar and water in redwood vats and then fine-tuned the flavor. A true labor of love that has paid off for Torani, now the # 1 brand of flavored syrups in America, offering over 100 flavors.
I tried the sugar free Vanilla in my coffee first, adding 1 oz. to my coffee as instructed on the bottle. The aroma was inviting and I couldn’t wait to try my morning cup, but yikes, was it ever sweet! Perhaps an ounce is for a venti. I’m slowly learning to use the vanilla syrup properly, it is delicious, and my daughters love it full strength in their café au lait.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
5 Comments »
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
|What my daughters really want for Christmas|
Maybe another kitty is in order.
Are you giving a pet as a gift this year? 7 Comments »
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
| Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies|
You are going to love these simple, yummy cookies! Our plate didn't look like that for long.
The very best part is this is a no egg recipe so your kiddies~ and you can eat the dough!
Stir up a batch of fun and happy memories today with your family. Enjoy!
The Basic Chocolate Chip Drop Cookie
I've also baked up a few dozen Old Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Cookies which turned out really well I think in large part because I used dark brown sugar.
What is your favorite cookie recipe? Please share! 4 Comments »
Monday, November 28, 2011
I have been a fan of Amy at Blogging with Amy for almost as long as I've been blogging. Her advice is spot on and usually very timely. I have learned many tips and tricks from her and this post was just too perfect for me not to share.
I logged on this morning to over 15,000 emails! That is not a typo... 15K staring at me and I knew I had to do something!
Like a beacon in the night, Amy's post: Increase productivity, Unsubscribe liberally caught my eye, thanks in part to my lame attempt to corral my inbox by setting up alerts so there was a handy yellow arrow drawing my eye to it.
Thanks Gmail and Thanks Amy.
After reading her tips, I'm hoping for a streamlined inbox soon. I am say Yes! To Email Bankruptcy!
Need some inbox help? I invite you to read:
Increase productivity. Unsubscribe liberally.
I hope you find this as helpful as I did. Do you have an inbox tip you'd like to share?
Please leave a comment here!
12/5/11: Update: I did it! I am at ZERO in my inbox! Boy, that feels Good! Go ahead, take the plunge and declare email bankruptcy too! It's liberating and Gmail rewards with this sweet note:
No new mail! Want to read updates from your favorite sites? Try Google Reader 4 Comments »
Saturday, November 26, 2011
I've been taking it easy the last few days, truly enjoying my dear family and the spirit of Thanksgiving.
I tried reaching out to some of my girlfriends before the craziness of the "holidays" set in, but sadly I found several already too busy, or worse too engrossed in their own " stuff" to really connect with me. I got off the phone wondering if the call was even worth it.
This saddens me, because female friendships can be hard-won and tricky to keep, especially as we get older. I try to value the friends I have, but friendship must be reciprocal to thrive! I wondered why they couldn't see all they had to be thankful for? Was I living in my own rosy little world?
I know my best friend is happy and I am so very thankful for her.
But the rest of my circle? I have doubts.
So when I saw this movie over at Simple Truths I just had to share it. Maybe one or two of my " friends" will watch it and realize that alot of the stuff they " talked " with me about is mentioned within.
Oh, and they might also notice that they never stopped to ask me how I was. Maybe they just figured I was still happy-go-lucky me... but it would have been nice for them to check.
In the end, it's all good because I really care about them and I've learned over the years to lighten up and not take everything personally .. but I am going to keep my heart open to new friends.
I hope you will enjoy
Simple Truths-it's not just me
and remember this little diddy:
Make New Friends
But Keep the Old
One is Silver
and the other Gold
How do to stay connected with your friends? How do you invite new friends into your circle? 2 Comments »
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
I received this Bzz Kit:
Do you like dollar off coupons as much as I do? How about ones with no expiration date?
Enter my contest below to win ( 5) $ 1.00 off coupons for Purell products * oz. or larger.
Over the years, we have tried a plethora of hand sanitizers trying to find just the right combination of:
Thanks BzzAgent and Purell for giving me the opportunity to review, share and host my 1st giveaway.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
|Courtesy of www.bhg.com|
They say: There’s Still Time to Plant Bulbs for Spring!
Don’t hang up your trowel just yet! There’s still plenty of time to plant spring-flowering bulbs. In fact, it’s better to plant them late this year than to try to store them for planting next year."
I am very glad to hear this because I have been itching to do just one more project before Old Man Winter Takes over completely. Are you a gardener too? Here are some BHG links for you:
•Best Tulips for Your Garden
•Deer- and Rabbit-Resistant Bulbs
•Design Ideas from the Dutch
•Add Spring Color to Your Lawn
The first link, Best Tulips for your garden is where I discovered the amazing yellow Tarda Tulip above!
11 Comments »
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
|courtesy of www.flickr.com|
Usually, setting the clock back not only signals shorter days and my hubby getting home from work in complete darkness, but also a frenzy of activity in my business.
For the better part of the last 5 years, I was in direct sales, doing my best to keep my business hours " part-time" and not let the business interfere with family. With the " Holiday Sales" mantra so prevalent in our society, I can tell you that is easier said than done.
Looking back on those years now, from my new non-selling perspective, I see just how wrong my thinking was. They say hindsight is 20/20 and I must agree.
I thought I was happy with all that busy-ness. Even after I quit direct sales, I jumped into trying to earn from online channels, until I exhausted myself. It took me a while to hit the wall, but hit it I did.
And at the end of it all, our accountant always put down Homemaker as my Title. I didn't earn enough to warrant changing our filing status.
Rather than look back on this as a failure, I choose instead to see it as a learning experience, not only for me, but for my daughters. Sometimes in our effort to have it all, we fall short.
This is the first November in a long time where I am free to just be happy and in the moment. I'm just Linda, happy wife, mom, friend and it feels so good and liberating!
My to-do lists are not sources of frustration any longer because I can and do complete my tasks which are mainly home-centric now. Being a part time admin for my husbands business and a full-time wife and mom suits me and my family. I know that sets me up for ridicule by some who feel all Moms should be earning, but I don't care.
I think my happiness and that of my family is far more important. It is my job to teach my daughters how to cook and clean and nurture and build a happy home. It is what's in my heart, it's what my family wants. Does this paint me as a June Cleaver wanna be? Probably, and that's ok too.
To those who do work outside the home: I applaud you and lift you up high. I know yours is not an easy path. I pray that you are at a job that blesses you so that when you are home, you are content.
So, if you are reading this and are feeling stressed, please stop, if only for a moment and double check your course. You may be surprised to find you are on the wrong path. It's okay to stop and change directions.
If you could eliminate just one source of stress right now, what would it be?
6 Comments »
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
|The Liebster Award|
I received my first blog award yesterday from Carrie at www.inthesweetsunshine.com! Thanks Carrie for sharing your sunshine with me. If you need of dose of happy: go visit Carrie.
The Award:I had no idea what Liebster meant, but thankfully Carrie had done the leg work for me. She says she Googled the word and discovered that the word liebster is actually German for friend, love, or dearest.
Ah, isn't that sweet?
The purpose of this award is to spotlight up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers.
So let’s spread the love!
Here are the “official” rules for this award:
1.Copy and paste the award on your blog
2.Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you
3.Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog
4.Hope that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
Thank you again Carrie!
Here are five up-and-coming small blogs that I think you should all check out:
1. Natural Living- http://naturallivingsc.blogspot.com
2.Minoaka Bebe~Ho'o maikai- http://minoakabebe.blogspot.com/
3. Apron Strings and holy things- http://apronstringsandholythings.blogspot.com/
4. Dandelions and daffodils - http://ofdandelionsanddaffodils.blogspot.com/
5. Raising the Barrs- http://www.raisingthebarrs.com
I hope you'll go visit them! 2 Comments »
It's November, one of my favorite months with all the cooking and baking and holiday prepping, but before we launch into full Holiday-ness, I wanted to let you know of a great contest .
Enter those adorable Halloween Photos from now through Nov. 15, 2011.
Send your friends & family the link you'll receive in an email once your photo is entered into the contest so they can vote for your cutie. The photo that receives the most votes wins a $500 Shopping Spree from Totsy, and 4 additional random photos will win great prizes. Go Enter today and good luck!
Please stop back by and share your link with us! Some readers may not have photos to enter, so they can vote for yours!
This post contains an affiliate link and I may receive compensation depending on readers participation. 2 Comments »
Monday, October 31, 2011
Here's wishing you and yours a very healthy, safe and :
|courtesy of: www.zoomwallpaers.com|
Please be sure to watch out for all the littlest Ones who get excited and forget to watch out for us!
|courtesy of : www.mi9.com|
Remember to enjoy the magic of this day through your kids eyes, before you know it they will be too big to hang out with you!
Thursday, October 27, 2011
|courtesy of http://www.ribbons.net/|
If you ask most women, they would quickly say that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Thanks to the Susan B. Koman Foundation and it's pink army, we see pink everywhere in October and immediately know those wearing or showing their pink are proud supporters.
But did you know that October is also National Thank your Pastor Month?
No? Don't feel bad. Neither did I until I read my dear blogging buddy Donna Perugini 's post.
Donna is an Children's Book Author, so I've come to enjoy her posts full of wisdom and wit.
After reading her post, it got me thinking:
How many other causes are represented in October?
Here's what I found:
1. National Dental Hygiene Month www.adha.org/ndhm/index.html
2.National Disability Employment Awareness http://www.dol.gov/odep
3. World Mental Health Day, October 10th- http://www.wfmh.org/wmhday/about.html
4. World Food Day, October 16th http://www.worldfooddayusa.org/
5. Stop America's Violence Everywhere Today, October10 http://www.amaalliance.org/
6. Spinal Health Month http://www.allaboutbackandneckpain.com/index.asp
7.National Vegetarian Awareness Month http://www.jhsph.edu/
8.National Primary Care Week, (3rd week) http://www.strengthforcaring.com/
9. National Health Education Week,October 15 - 19 http://www.nche.org/
10.National Spina Bifida Awareness Month http://www.sbaa.org/
11.National Family Sexuality Education Month/Let's Talk http://www.plannedparenthood.org/
12.National Down Syndrome Awareness Month http://www.ndss.org/
13. National Chiropractic Month http://www.acatoday.org/
14. National Child Health Day, October 1, http://www.mchb.hrsa.gov/
15.National Celiac Disease Awareness Month http://www.csaceliacs.org/
16. Mammography Day, National (3rd Friday)http://www.cancer.org/
17. Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15-October 15 http://www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov/
18. National Cybersecurity month www.microsoft.com/security/resources/cybersecurity.aspx
19. National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation
October 22, 2011 http://www.october22.org/
20. National Pizza Month, http://www.31daysofpizza.com/
Seems there are alot of worthy causes that need our attention to make this world a better place. Even # 20, because if we all support our small, local pizza places we are helping!
I love it when a blog post starts conversations! I will keep adding to this list from your comments, so thank you and please add a cause if you know of one not listed!
21. The Domestic Violence Awareness Month: dvam.vawnet.org 6 Comments »
Monday, October 24, 2011
I'll be the first to admit: my posts have been a bit angst ridden lately. Sort of wishy-washy, what should I do, searching for purpose, all over the place dribble.
Yeah, harsh I know, but necessary dear reader, because if I'm sick of it; I know you are.
No longer willing to be the Debbie Downer, I have properly licked my wounds, gave myself a good mental shake and resolved to no longer be buffeted around the blogosphere like some poor helpless ninny.
Somewhere along the way, I drank the "Make Money Blogging" Kool-Aid and this stopped being fun.
I like fun; so here's my plan.
1. Stop Whining.
2. Count my blessings. They are plentiful.
3. Quit Sweating the small stuff.
4. Wholesale delete all money/social media/pro's emails and feeds. They are my kryptonite.
5. Keep doing product reviews. I still think they are fun!
6. Hang out with like minded bloggers.
7. Stop trying to do it all.
8. Write what I know. Followers and money will come if they are meant to.
9. Visit every blog on my readers list, if it's not a good match or of interest to me. Stop following.
10. Invite all my followers to do the same. If you are here and don't wish to read about and talk about all things hearth and home, raising tweens, running a small home based business while being happily married, please feel free to stop following me.
Simple. Action. Plan.
To those who actually read this blog and comment: Thank you! You are a rarity in this blogging community. And if I should find myself without many like you over the course of the next few days or weeks, so be it. I rather enjoy knowing where I stand and with whom.
Happy Monday. 2 Comments »
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Friday, October 7, 2011
Now that I've weathered the frustrating growth that all blogs must go through and settled on a clear and true course, I will happily share with you all the thing's near and dear to my homemakers heart.
Like my new tag line says, I will be: Putting the focus on home on my daily adventures in Wahmdom.
Ah, it feels so good to be settled and have a clear action plan! I should have known better than to stray to far a-field from what I know and love.
I wish you all a very happy day, a blessed weekend and because I've been too busy until now to say it:
|Painted by my 8 yr. old Ms. M.|
P.S. LinkWithin assures me that my old posts will stop being shared once Googlebots visit my site again. I apologize for the outdated links. 2 Comments »
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Join in the Hellmann’s Chicken Challenge each week at Hellmanns.com as Parmesan Crusted Chicken goes head-to-head with other tasty, juicy chicken recipes.
Please stop back by and let me know what recipe you voted for. Do you share recipes on your blog? I follow several, so please feel free to add yours in the comment section below, I'd love to visit.
Thanks as always for reading and good luck on winning the grocery gift card.
Speaking of winning, by sharing this with you, my partner One2One network will enter me in their drawing for a $ 50 dollar gift card.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011