For Your Enjoyment and for the Love of Spring!

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I hope everyone had a good Easter. It sure feels like spring is here, and I couldn’t be more happy. I do feel lucky that I live in Kansas and I get to experience all four seasons.  (Sometimes all in the same week! – no kidding.)

We made the sugar cookies I told you about last week. They were good, but the recipe only makes 21 and I thought the icing had too much butter. Here’s a picture.

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Spring makes most of us want to clean and freshen things up in our lives. I have been working my way through Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. I have not been consistent at all. I am doing the ideas she has in her book, and I am doing them in order. The problem is I do one then I let quite a bit of time go by before I pick up the book and do the next thing. I very much want to make it through the whole book. I just need to do it.

I love lists, and this list is fun! I have already done a number of the activities on this list. Check out these 50 Fun Spring Activities from Real Simple.

I think yoga is a great thing, but I don’t always make time to do it. I recently tried Runner’s Yoga. It’s for runners, joggers, and brisk walkers. It was 30 minutes long and it was a good practice. Not hard – lots of good stretching.

This past weekend I saw the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. I saw the original movie when it came out, and it was really good. The previews for this movie are actually better than the movie. The movie had some good parts. It just wasn’t as authentic and good as the original.

I hope you all have a wonderful week!

Book Review!

I love this book! It’s beautifully written and illustrated. I think it’s important in life to keep learning and growing. This book taught me things I had never even thought about before.

In the introduction the authors state, “Bee gardens make people happy! Whether you enjoy a brilliant chorus of saturated color, a tranquil sanctuary from the busy world, or a hardworking edible garden, there is a glorious, flower-filled bee garden waiting for you.”

This book is broken up into six chapters: 1 – Our Friends, the Bees; 2 – Plants for Your Bee-Friendly Garden; 3 – Bee-Friendly Plants for Edible Gardens; 4 – Bee Garden Basics; 5 – Designing Your Bee Garden; and 6 – Beyond Your Own Backyard – Becoming a Bee Activist.

The back of the book offers resources, regional plant lists, photography credits, and an index

I love nature, and I honestly have never given bees or insects much thought. After reading this book, I can see the powerful role bees play in our lives. I plan to implement some of these terrific ideas into my own yard.

This is a well thought out, beautifully designed, and helpful book.

 

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

The Grand Canyon is, Well,……. Grand!

 

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A few weeks ago my husband called me and asked if we were going to do something for spring break. I replied that I didn’t know. Later that night I told him that my answer wasn’t entirely honest. I knew exactly what I wanted to do; I just didn’t know if we could do it.

For years I have wanted to go to the Grand Canyon. I started looking at our schedules, flights, places we might stay, and TripAdvisor reviews. Soon I realized we might be able to pull it off. I am so glad we did! It’s not always easy traveling with five people, and it isn’t cheap. It is, however, almost always worth it. We grow when we travel.

We were only there three days, but we were able to go rim to rim.

The below picture was my first view of the canyon. I was awestruck.

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Here’s a picture of me happy as can be to be there.

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Us hanging out with Smokey the Bear.

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And, last but not least, the awesome trail we hiked going into the canyon.

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On to some recent sites I thought you might enjoy.

A friend recently sent me this.

It’s from Mentors Channel.

ellen sent me

My daughter and I plan to make these: Easter Grass Sugar Cookies with M&M’s Eggs.

Check out this inspiring piece: 99-year-old great-great-grandmother sets a new world record.

And, from yours truly 15 Pictures to Illustrate the Life of a Homebody.

Hope your week is terrific!

For Your Enjoyment!

 

 

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Good Monday morning! It’s Spring Break here – yahoo!! This is a photo of one of the roads around home that I like to go down. If given the choice, I almost always choose an open road to walk/run down. This was an evening photo, and it doesn’t do the actual scene justice. It was beautiful that night.

So I was taking a walk last Sunday morning, and I had about a million thoughts running through my mind. The underlying current, though, was a slight worrisome and discontented feeling. I wasn’t sure how the day would play out. I had some ideas of what I thought might happen, but no set plan. All of the sudden the best thought and feeling overcame me. I realized I didn’t need to do or know anything but what was going on right that moment.

It was a great revelation. I took in the sight of my dogs enjoying themselves, the gorgeous weather, the landscape, the birds chirping and singing. I just felt a mental uplift in that moment. I can honestly say the rest of the day unfolding very nicely. Better actually than I could have planned out.

Grateful for this little reminder to stay present and live moment to moment.

On to some recent things I found on the internet that you might enjoy.

Here is a 15 min Intermediate Total Body Workout W/dumbbells. She suggests 3-5 lb dumbbells. I only have 8 lb. It was fine. A pretty fun, good workout that can be done in a short time.

I follow a blog called elements of style and recently she posted My Top 15 Shows to Binge Watch. Check it out!

I thought this was interesting: Maya Angelou wrote incredible poetry. But here are 9 things you might not know she did.

While I was in the kitchen preparing dinner I listened to this podcast: How to experience more positive emotions everyday with Brooke Castillo.

And, last but not least, a little reminder for you as you head into your week.

Have a great week!!!

Book Review!~

a 50 year silenceAs so often happens with books I become engrossed in, I don’t want the book to end. It took me a couple of weeks to read this book. The author, Miranda Richmond Mouillot, takes on the daunting task of trying to solve the mystery of why her grandparents didn’t talk for Fifty years.

In the Preface she writes, “In the ten years it took to write everything down, my grandmother died and my grandfather lost his mind. I got married and had a child. I abandoned my intended career, moved to another country, and spent my savings. And the house, which may or may not have started it all, continued to fall down.

But still I was afraid to begin, for this is a story about a silence, and how do you break a silence that is not your own?”

This book is part love story, part memoir, and part historical. The author’s grandparents are holocaust survivors. She is incredibly close to her grandmother and becomes a savior for her grandfather. Through a tremendous amount of time, energy, and research a story is unfolded to the reader. Each person will take something different from her story. For me, it was heartbreaking and healing at the same time. I enjoyed the book because it was creative nonfiction. These are real people who I got to know through reading this book.  It was exciting, suspenseful, and hopeful; and in the end, I felt the author had to write this book for her own well-being.

I recommend this book.

More Info.

Author Bio.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

 

For Your Enjoyment – It’s all About the Fitbit!

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This is my dog, Sam, who is often my companion while exercising.

Before Christmas one of my sisters told me that I should consider getting a Fitbit. She thought I would really like one. I know several people who have them, but I never thought I really needed or wanted one. I have always used MapMyRun on my iPhone to record exercise. I decided I would at least do a little research on Fitbits to see if they had any merit.

I checked them out and decided I wanted to try one. I bought the Fitbit One Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker in black. It cost right under $80 and came with a clip.

I usually clip it to my bra. Sometimes I will clip it to my pants. I use it every day and I don’t use the sleep tracker.

To say I love it is an understatement. To say I might be obsessed with it, might be more accurate. I am competitive by nature, always pushing myself. It set a goal for me of 10,000 steps daily, so I decided I would start with that. Some days are easy to meet that goal and some days I have to work at it. This winter has been harder because I can’t get outside as much.

I have wisely decided not to utilize the “Add Friends” option. The app says, “Stay motivated with friends! Track progress, send encouragement, and get more active with friendly competition.”

When I first received my Fitbit, a friend added me. I thought that was fine. I noticed that I was always beating him in steps every day. Then after a few weeks, he stepped up his game and was beating me. Sometimes it wouldn’t be until late at night. I would see that he was a few thousands steps ahead of me. Around that time I was referring to him as “that bastard!” I decided maybe I was being too competitive and I dropped him as a friend. I made the decision that I only needed to compete with myself.

I am also slightly attached to my Fitbit. As in, if I don’t have it I get panicky. Sometimes I sleep with it on even though I don’t utilize the sleep tracking feature.

I don’t know if it’s because I am goal oriented or competitive or just think it’s fun, but I love meeting and exceeding my step goal every day.

I’m all about bringing more joy into my life, and I can honestly say the Fitbit has been fun. If you don’t have one, consider it. I am sure you will have your own tale to tell.

 

 

Book Review

tiny beautiful thingsSeveral years ago I read the book Wild  written by Cheryl Strayed. When the movie came out, I made sure I went to see it. I was familiar with the online site The Rumpushowever I didn’t know they had an advice column called Dear Sugar, and I didn’t know Cheryl Strayed was the writer giving advice.

When this book was loaned to me, I was warned that some of the subject matter was a little rough, but that it was a good book. This turned out to be a quite accurate description.

I am glad I read this book for many reasons. I don’t believe there is a single person on this earth who does not go through difficult times. When we do, we need a place to turn. Dear Sugar gives some very good advice. She is kind, honest, genuine, insightful, and gets straight to the heart of things. Often she makes her point through telling a story from her own life.

If you are looking for a book about real life situations and real advice on how to handle these situations, this is the book for you. It definitely made me think and grow from reading it.