Archive for the ‘Good Things’ Category

Gardening and Other Fun

May 21st, 2017

I have been spending a LOT of time working, exercising and getting my garden ready for the summer. I’ve been planting beautiful flowers and love seeing them begin to thrive.

Today, another trip to the garden center & I picked up two strawberry plants. I’ve never tried to grow strawberries- and these are both hybrids, so I’m looking forward to seeing if they do anything. I also grabbed some garlic chives- which smell absolutely amazing & can not wait for them to get large enough for me to actually use them.

In between that- I’m working on all the planning for a huge catering job I’m doing the first week of June. I’m excited about it, but at the same time, also a little nervous. As with most things- planning is everything.

Once I have that done- I’ll be able to concentrate more on the planning for my upcoming birthday trip- which I’m getting VERY excited about!

What’s happening with you?

Sales Sales Everywhere Sales

February 9th, 2017

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a good sale, but something about ‘stumbling upon’ a great sale tends to bring me even more joy than one I knew about.     Such was the case and point a few days ago.

Back story-   Late last year I picked up a fully automatic coffee machine as a birthday / Christmas gift for Marcel.  He had been complaining about the  machine we had at the time, saying the coffee was no longer good from that machine.   I disagreed with him, but he was so adamant that I finally decided to surprise him with the machine.     We both agree, we love that it grinds the beans each and every time, plus the cappuccinos and other options are great.   It can pretty much make everything.

The milk container that attaches to the machine had a transparent tube which transported the milk up through to the milk frother.  More times than I remember, I kept thinking-   One day we’re going to lose that tubing.   Well that day came a few weeks ago.  We have searched high and low for it-  and it didn’t get put away where it usually was, so all we can conclude is that it was accidentally tossed in the garbage. (This information has a purpose I promise- bare with me.)

I went on the quest online to find this little rubber hose  and it was to be found NO WHERE!    The only way I could find to replace it was to order the entire contraption again- at a price of more than $30.00, which I didn’t think even remotely necessary.   So the quest began to find a piece of hose that would fit.  Armed with the top of the milk container we went to several stores before we realized that we couldn’t find the exact size we needed, but ended up finding an adapter that would work that we could fit into the tubing and well-   we now have cappuccino again!  HURRAY!     I digress!

If you know us in our everyday life-  you know that we’ve been working on home projects for a year now.   We’ve slowly but surely been checking things off our list- and one thing we’ve wanted to do is paint the doors and trimming inside but hadn’t chosen a paint color yet.    We were walking through the home improvement store and low and behold there was this huge table of discontinued ‘last years’ colors that they had marked down to very cheap.  Usually the colors aren’t fabulous (usually too bright or too dark) but we spotted exactly what we needed that we knew should go great with our walls.    After scouring the table to make sure they had enough (after all we knew we needed several quarts) we grabbed four cans and off we went.    The regular price was more than $22 each and we ended up getting them for around $5.50.     I am really excited about it, as it was not only a steal, it was also a project that we’ve been wanting to get started.   The bonus on top of the great price:   The paint is water based, which means no over the top smells that will drive my allergies bonkers.

I also noticed there were a lot of sales happening, but since we didn’t need anything else, we skipped the rest.

 

Have you found any great home improvement deals lately?

Christmas- Southern Living Style

December 15th, 2016

It has been a hustle and bustle kind of week.    I’d love to say that I’ve got everything together- have the tree up and it’s looking festive in here, but I’d be lying.    We have the tree, but it’s yet to be brought in and decorated.    We DO have the lights and decorations out-    so that’s a step in the right direction, but I’ve been swamped with work this week.   I’m grateful- oh so grateful, but I’ve been baking my  heart out-  with more in the works.

img_2300Thankfully, I’m a little ahead of schedule after running behind schedule earlier in the week, so that is a huge plus!  Tonight I took some time and finally cracked open my Christmas with Southern Living book that I’d ordered but not taken the time to look at yet.

I’ve also been itching for the Bake from Scratch holiday issue, so was able to browse it a little as well.  Both are favorites, but I’m one of those people who will leave a cookbook sitting for months if I can’t stop and fully savor each and every page.

I know it may sound silly, but it’s true.  There’s something almost ritualistic about it.   Pure enjoyment and focused on the season at hand.

I’ve seen several recipes that I want to make for our own holiday table, including my grandmas praline recipe that I improved a couple of years ago, plus divinity.    My dearest great aunt sent me a gallon of pecans that she’s picked up from her orchard and shelled.     It was an amazing gift, and something that makes me want to create something special with the fresh pecans that I know were sent with much love.

I want whatever I make with some of them to be made with love and deliberation, but also something that the flavor of the pecans will shine through.

What would you suggest?   I’ll be sure to share what I decide to make, but as for now- I’ve got some relaxing to do as tomorrow a villiage of gingerbread men await my services.

Finding Pokemon

July 18th, 2016

To know me is to know that when new ‘tech’ things hit the market that get a lot of buzz- then my curiosity get the better of me and I want to know what the buzz is all about. Such was the case when the Pokemon Go app hit the market and the world erupted in more movement and gathering in spots to catch critters on the ‘Poke trail’.

Now, some of you are familiar with the original Pokemon. I am not one of those people. I don’t live under a rock, so I had heard of it ‘back in the day’, but it wasn’t something that interested me. Still, I couldn’t help but download this Pokemon Go app to see what all the hype was about.

I didn’t read tutorials, I didn’t read ‘about’ the game, so I really had no clue what the objective was, although because I’m somewhat tech savvy- I did figure out quickly that you wander around- and Pokemons appear and you capture then by tossing balls at them- It’s silly, but it has a charm about it. Good, innocent fun- as far as I’m concerned, you can’t go wrong there.

I’ve seen A LOT of people talking about how ridiculous they think it is that when there are so many serious issues happening globally that Pokemon would get all this attention that people could be focusing on other more serious issues.

My thoughts on that- I think the world needs to stop being so focused on what’s wrong- and take some time to chill- and have a little fun. Everyone has an opinion about what everyone is doing wrong these days- but no one seems to be focused on what anyone is doing right- THAT makes me sad.

When I see people playing Pokemon- I see smiles and laughter. I ran into two strangers the other day- They were 30 somethings and I’m clearly a late 40 something- and when they saw that my phone screen was opened to Pokemon- they immediately started talking to me- laughing and sharing about their game experience.

I had the same with my neighbor- whom I adore anyway, but I ran into her on the street and I had my game open- to see what was in the area- and Marcel said- Oh No- she’s doing Pokemon too! We laughed, chatted about the game and she said where she used to take her dog on 15 minute walks- she’s now taking him on 30+ minute walks- simply because she wants to see what kind of Pokemons she can find.

I’ve seen parents with their children out searching- It’s bringing people together, it”s positive and it is encouraging people to move more.

In my book- bring on more Pokemon!

Oops speaking of which- I just spotted one of those worm ones on Mister M. Gotta catch em all! Later!

On the Eve of the New Year

December 31st, 2015

On the heels of the new year- I find myself thinking and reflecting on the year that has passed.     It has been one of loss and heartache for people I love dearly, but through it all love has prevailed-  family and friendship above all-    Resilience and the beauty of the human spirit shines through.

It has also been one of many wonderful adventures-  with family and friends.   The trip to Italy with my parents and Marcel- one of the high points-  Experiencing Lake Como, the people, the culture and everything in between was pure bliss-    To be able to share that with three of the people I love most in the world leaves me so grateful.

Yesterday I finished Brene Brown’s book-  Rising Strong.   I read it in two days, and it came at the perfect time.   Ironically, I had started it during the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, read the first chapter, and while I loved it-  knew that I was too distracted with ‘life’ to fully take the time to soak it in.    My intent was to grab a chapter here and there as time allowed, but what actually happened was much better.    I put the book on the coffee table and there it sat until Christmas had passed and all of my orders and work had been completed for the year.   One afternoon this week I took advantage of the sunshine and mild temps, made myself a cup of Chai tea and spent most of the afternoon reading.    I read half of the book in one afternoon, and yesterday I finished the other half.

I read every page- no, more accurately I soaked up each and every page as though I were a sponge soaking up spilled liquid.  I used my pen to highlight passages that really spoke to me (and there were many)!

It’s a rare day that I order a physical book these days,  choosing to save space and trees by ordering most everything for the Kindle.   This book was an exception, as I wanted to be able to pick it up and reference my favorite parts- and the notes I wrote within the margins.        This book was HUGE for me in terms of putting into perspective what I’d already been learning over the course of the year-   and I’m grateful.

Saturday, I’ll be spending the day in a city I’ve never explored with a few dear friends.   I’m looking forward to the time with them, plus seeing and experiencing something new.

I should arrive home to a couple of things (outside of the fur babies, JJ and Mister M- and Marcel)   1- Elizabeth  Gilberts new book Big Magic (which will be my next read)   2-  The card I sent myself with a list of the 25 things I want more of in my life for the new year.   I write them down, but I love mail- and I loved the idea of receiving that gift- and being able to put it away- and at the end of the year pull it out and review it!

Time to enjoy some time with my favorite guy- but I leave you with these last words for 2015:

 

Do more than belong: participate. – Do more than care: help.
Do more than believe: practice. – Do more than be fair: be kind.
Do more than forgive: forget. – Do more than dream: work.
~William Arthur Ward

 

 

I Love Great Customer Service

August 7th, 2015

I celebrate many things in life daily, but one thing I never fail to celebrate is amazing customer service. I had a problem with an Amazon order last week, and as soon as I realized, I gave them a call. During the course of getting it all sorted, I spoke to four different Amazon professionals, all of which were courteous and went above and beyond their duties as a customer service representative.

It’s these type of ‘little things’ that find me loyal to so many companies- both large and small. What about you? Do you find yourself being more loyal to companies who offer out-of-this-world customer service?

Thank you Amazon!

Happy Birthday to ME!

July 14th, 2015

birthdayMost of you know- I celebrate my birthday the entire month of July.  After all,  why should I choose one day to celebrate the day of my birth, when the entire month seems like so much more fun?

This year-  I made my own birthday cake.  I tried out a new technique (painting on buttercream)- and I shared the results with some of my friends and family.

One of my girlfriends spent the night with me on the eve of my birthday- and guess what I had for breakfast on my birthday morning?  YES- you guessed it!  This slice of cake-  with a cup of coffee in an adorable Blonde Amsterdam mug that another friend had given me as a gift.

The month thus far as been magical on so many levels, but mostly because of the people I surround myself with.   They are absolutely amazing, and I am very grateful.

I’m at a threshold in my life, and one that is about to catapult me into orbit of blessings and great things.  I can feel it-  and I am filled with gratitude for everything that I’m going to receive, and for everyone who is coming into my life.

I have so much I want to share about this new chapter in my life, but right now I’ve got a few other things I must get accomplished first. After all- it’s still July and there’s much celebrating to be done.

 

The Gifts Which Surround Us

July 6th, 2015

zucchiniLast week, I walked outside to pick some herbs for a California chicken salad recipe that a friend gave me- and I was greeted with these gorgeous yellow zucchini blossoms.

The day before, I noticed a few blossoms as I went out to water them, and admire how well they were doing, but I wasn’t anticipating that both plants would be in glorious, full bloom.

Even though I was in the midst of a busy and well planned out day-  I paused and enjoyed the beauty of the gift in front of me.

We often get so tied up in our own ‘busy’ that we fail to take the time to notice the things that are right in front of us-   Not only in nature, but in moments with family, friends and sometimes, even strangers.

In this day of being ‘plugged-in’ and ‘instant-everything’ – we tend to be losing our sense of being present in the moment and noticing things around us-     Give yourself a gift today-  Be present- notice your surroundings and the gifts around you.

Day 94- 100 Happy Days

February 18th, 2015

94Ahhh sushi-    I’ve since had a ‘sushi fix’ but not so much that I’m not already craving it again.  Oh what I would give to be able to find specialty sushi here, but then I wouldn’t have my BFF here to share it with…

 

On this day : My favorite sushi, and anticipating upcoming sushi dates with Samantha.

Day 75- 100 Happy Days

February 8th, 2015

75Where would we be without bees?   One of my favorite things at the moment- and has been for a while is raw honey-   I like to have a bit right out of the jar-  but I’ve most recently even mixed some with cinnamon to ward off colds-   It’s the ultimate in good stuff.

 

On this particular day-  I posted this for the happy of the day- Seeing a bee work his magic collecting pollen.

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