Oh, Baby it’s cold outside! Still, that doesn’t mean you must wrap up in a blanket & stay in all day. cold weather is the perfect time to throw a party! And what better way to entertain when the snow is blowing that with a sledding party! Country Living offers you all the tips & ideas you need to host a fabulous event on a cold winter week-end! Let friendship keep you warm this winter! Enjoy!
The weather is wet & cold here in SoCal today. This is the perfect time for soup. I have a big pot of vegetable soup simmering in my large slow cooker. I plan to add a salad & pumpkin muffins, homemade of course, to make a wonderful wet winter supper.
Soup is one of my very favorite foods. There is no limit to what you can add to soup. People often ask me what I put into one of my soups. I’m not always able to tell them because I tend to add a bit of this & a little of that. This is what makes soup so great for me.
while I like creating my own soup concoctions, I also like new ideas. Southern Living share a variety of soups you can make, serve & freeze to enjoy later. I always make enough soup so I can freeze some for later. Thanks, Southern Living! Enjoy!
Source: Fix-and-Freeze Soups & Stews
I LOVE Law & Order. I watch it on one of the local stations every Wednesday & Thursday. I watch other crime shows as well but Law & Order allows me to see the police do their job & the prosecutors do their job. So I see courtroom action every episode. Most episodes, at some point, a judge asks the defendant, “How do you plead?” And they have to say Guilty or not guilty. Most of the time, they say not guilty so the show can continue rather than ending early! 😊
Funny how even the most guilty person pleads not guilty in the hopes they can get away with whatever crime they are accused of committing. Not so much with mommies. We tend to plead guilty over the most minor infraction. And most of the time, WE AREN’T EVEN GUILTY OF ANYTHING!!!!!
As I see it, guilt implies we have done something wrong. Not just wrong in our own eyes but wrong according to society standards. If a person cheats on their spouse, they are guilty of adultery. Not passing judgement here. Just saying this sort of behavior should be avoided. If a parent mistreats a. Hold, especially to an extreme, they are guilty of abuse. This is just NOT acceptable behavior.
If however you are unable or unwilling to buy your child the newest toy that EVERYONE has, you may feel bad but you should NOT feel guilty. You haven’t done anything wrong. Your kids may disagree but they would be wrong!
I believe most of the time we feel guilty, what we really are is afraid. We fear what others may think. We fear what they may say. We fear we might be harming our children. And to make matters worse, we going onto the court of public opinion, known as social media, and display our sense of guilt so other may judge us. And judge us they will. I have never seen so many glass house residents throw around so many stones! Perhaps it makes others feel less guilty when they judge others.
All I know is we need to stop calling it guilt. The more we tell ourselves,how guilty we feel, the more we reinforce our feelings of inadequacy & failure. Which only makes us feel more guilty, more afraid.
So, to begin this journey away from guilt, become more aware when you tell yourself how guilty you feel and, as Barney Fife would say, ” Nip it in the bud!”
It can be very easy & VERY inexpensive to organize your home however, if you are like me, you may find yourself overwhelmed trying to determine how to begin we moved into a new house 2 months ago & I am still sorting through things, tossing some & trying to decide how to store the things I want to keep. Good Housekeeping is helping me with this task with this collection of organizational ideas for the entire house. What I like best is the fact the tools for these tips come from the DOLLAR STORE! YAY! Let’s tackle our clutter one bit at a time. Before long, the job will be done! Enjoy!
The Holidays will soon be over & a new year begun. For most of the country, that means cold, wet, snowy weather is ahead of us. It’s easy to hibernate under a throw when the weather is nasty, binge watching Netflix & eating comfort food all day. For Winter 2016, make a positive change! You can huddle under your throw watching your favorite show, season by season but instead of eating, create some of these wonderful crafts projects from Good Housekeeping. Each is a repurposed item project & you KNOW how much I LOVE repurposing! Get ready now before the weather gets worse by stocking up carefully on the items you’ll need to stay busy when the wind howls & the moisture falls! Enjoy!
I know many of you have made a commitment to enjoy healthier meals in 2015. I agree! But I also feel it is important to start the day off with a hearty, healthy breakfast. Not a huge meal but enough of the great fuel you & your family need to get going & keep going!
I’m sharing these fabulous breakfast ideas from Betty Crocker to help you create incredible breakfasts for your incredible family! Enjoy!
Avoid Holiday Let-down
The last of the cookies are eaten, the decorations are sagging, and it is time to face the New Year. Whether your holidays were joyous, mediocre, or less than merry, most of us experience a letdown once the carols stop. Instead of singing the winter blues, try these easy steps to wrap up the holidays in style.
- Take out less trash. Instead of tossing the pretty wrapping paper, have the kids shred it as each present is opened. Save the colorful strips in a plastic bag for festive packing all through the year.
- Reuse bows, gift bags, sturdy boxes and ribbon. Every year, everyone at our house waits to see who gets the green fabric box with the purple satin ribbon. It’s been in use for ten holiday seasons.
- Be a savvy Santa. Shop the after Christmas sales for terrific bargains on next year’s gifts.
- Pick up discounted holiday themed paper goods. Napkins, paper towels, plates, table linens and tissue can be had for less than half price.
- Un-trim the tree when the guests are still around to help. Group items that go together and clearly label the boxes. For example: tree trimmings, kitchen decor, downstairs manger, sled collection. It’s a present to yourself next year when you dig out the decorations once again.
- Replace your old lights with the new, safer LED lights. They burn brighter on 80% less energy and are cool to the touch. Grab them on sale and you’ll be light years ahead of the game next year.
- Sweep in the New Year with a clean home. Enlist the help of your kids, who are probably home on Christmas break. After a few days with nothing to do, they will be happy to help.
- Recycle your tree. Most cities pick up your discarded tree and chip it into mulch for city parks. They also offer free mulch to city residents in the spring and fall. So even after you pick up the last needle from the carpet, your tree will get a second shot at beautifying the landscape.
- Take a look at your bottom line. If the holiday bills are pouring in, sit down and form a plan of action to pay them off as quickly as possible. To avoid the same debt cycle next year, start saving now. A little money put aside each month in a Christmas account will add up to easy holiday budgeting next year.
- Whittle your waistline. Whether you indulged a little too much in Grandma’s fudge or overdid it on the rich holiday fare, it is the perfect time to eat healthier and lose any extra pounds. Maintaining a healthy weight will save you money by keeping you out of the hospital or doctor’s office.
- Plan your summer vacation. It is not too early to start thinking ahead to sultry summer heat and tempting travel packages. By researching early, you could lock in ultra cheap deals on airfare, lodging and your dream destination. It will also give you something to look forward to in the dreary winter months.
- Refresh your home’s decor. Do a mini makeover in the guest bathroom by cashing in some of your gift cards. Add a splash of warm color to your neutral living room with pillows and cozy throws. Change out the outdated fluorescent fixture in the kitchen for a bright new look.
- Shovel someone else’s sidewalk. Maybe your next-door neighbor fell on the ice and broke her ankle. Or you notice that the Erickson’s down the block didn’t winter in Arizona this year and are having trouble keeping up with the snow. Helping out fosters good feelings. When you need a hand someday, your neighbors will be there.
- Donate your holiday magazines. Christmas magazines typically have tons of craft and decorating projects, perfect for your child’s teacher. Or give them to a nearby nursing home. Arrange to regularly drop off your magazines in the New Year, to keep clutter at bay and let others enjoy them.
- Make a list of this year’s favorite holiday memories. Was it baking cookies with the kids? Shopping the after Christmas sales with your son? Wrestling the real tree into the van in –13 degrees below zero weather? This will give you a head start on next year’s holiday season.
If what you are feeling goes beyond the holiday let-down blues, you may be suffering from a deeper form of depression.
Anyone who has ever experienced it knows how devastating a bout of depression can be. The symptoms range anywhere from intense feelings of sadness, hopelessness, despair, sleeplessness, fatigue, physical aches and pains, to suicidal thoughts and urges. It can last for days, weeks, months, or even years. The quality of life can degrade to the point of wondering if it is even worth it to go on.
There is hope. We no longer have to endure depression. There are many drugs available to help in the fight against depression. Visit with your doctor to determine if drugs are a good option for you.
Besides pills, there are some positive changes you can use to improve your outlook on life. These tiny steps can lead you out of the pit of despair and bring you back into the light. Best of all, they are completely free.
Live for today. We can’t change the past, so dwelling on mistakes or bad choices will only drag us down. Likewise, we can’t predict exactly what will happen in the future, so we shouldn’t waste time and energy worrying about “what ifs.”
When you wake up each morning, think of one thing you are thankful for in that moment. It could be the beautiful sunrise, the sounds of your children waking up, the smell of coffee enticing you to the kitchen, or just the fact that you have a whole day to be the best you can be.
Every day, focus on at least one positive thing to look forward to. Maybe it is the day you meet your husband for lunch, or your favorite author’s new book is released. You can create special moments, too. Pick up a rare indulgence like a frothy milkshake or go in for a totally new haircut. When we train our minds to look for good things, we find them.
Exercise your way to those happy endorphins. Even if you just walk around the block, do some sit-ups during commercial breaks or dedicate an hour to the gym, your spirits will rise and you will feel better about yourself. Make it a routine and think of it as your physical therapy.
If something is really bothering you, limit the amount of time you dwell on it to ten minutes a day. Writing down your fears and worries can release you from fretting about it. Remind yourself to put it aside after your time is up.
Music is a powerful mood lifter. Play anything you like; upbeat tempos, fast beats or easy sing-a-longs can lift you out of the doldrums and put the spring back in your step. Even playing a radio or CD player quietly throughout the day can make you feel happier.
Pets are a great way to lift your spirits. Playing, petting and cuddling will calm you down and make you more optimistic. Even just attending to your pet’s basic needs can give you a feeling of worthiness and take your focus off of your sadness.
Smile as you go about your day. When you look for ways to show kindness to others, you feel generous and your spirit is blessed. You just may be the person who helps someone else who is having a bad day.
Speaking of bad days; we all experience them. No one can be upbeat and positive all of the time. When a bad spell hits, keep yourself busy doing projects or specific tasks like reorganizing your desk or filing papers. Your feelings of accomplishment can balance out the negative and come up rosy.
Before you go to sleep at night, think of three positive things that happened that day. Let yourself be grateful for them. When we concentrate on gratitude, we appreciate what we have been given, instead of always looking at life like a glass half empty. Tomorrow is a clean slate. It is like the ultimate do-over: each day is a new beginning to how you want to live your life. The happiest people are not the ones with the most money, but the ones who are content with what they have.
Depression is brought on by many circumstances, most of which cannot be changed. Yet how we choose to react can mean the difference between despair and a more hopeful outlook. By actively participating in how we handle sadness, we can create a positive outlook on life and dig out of depression, once and for all.
Keeping these hints in mind will make wrapping up the holidays a celebration instead of a letdown. Stay merry in the New Year by looking ahead and cherishing your priceless memories of a happy holiday season, from start to finish.
Shaunna Privratsky is a fulltime author. She lives in North Dakota with her family and is happily looking forward to a new year. Visit The Discount Diva at http://shaunna67.tripod.com/id21.html