Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Gift from the Heart

I have had this pretty little angel now for about 20 years.
She sits atop my tree each year, but this year her little lights are not shinning.
I still gave her the honor of adorning my family's Christmas tree
this year for her beauty still shines.

While I was going through some old boxes trying to find some ornaments,
(my son had pulled this box down from the attic that we hadn't seen in a while)
I found this beautiful little reindeer that I have had since I was about 5 years old.
She has a place on my piano this year. I also found some cute pictures
of my granddaughters when they were little.
They all just brought joy to my heart.

The girls will be excited to see these.

While at the thrift store the other day, I also found this lovely angel.
I love the details in her gown and wings. She is made of tin.

I am not putting out many decorations this year
for the time has simply run out, but there will still be enough to bring cheer.

I don't normally check our mailbox for my wonderful husband
always retrieves it when the mailman comes, but the day-before-yesterday
I decided to check the mail when I got in from work. The husband hadn't checked it yet.
I noticed a package from a sweet, SWEET, blogger friend, Susan from Tea Diary (England). 

Susan had created the most adorable heart ornament for my Christmas tree!
You can tell she put in a lot of loving care into this creation.

The darling card was really heart felt.
And just as I was getting ready to throw away the packaging,
I found another little heart, nicely painted red with a white snow flake on it.
I was so excited!!

The little red wooden beauty is now on my tree 
along with the stuffed heart.

Susan, you are a very precious friend and I thank you for thinking of me
and sending me these wonderful gifts that were created from your own hands.
I will always cherish them.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Here's to your health!

Monday, December 19, 2011

My Own Christmas Find - TeaCup Tuesday

My wonderful husband and I decided to go to one of our thrift stores the other day. Well, it was I that insisted we go...LOL...but he is such a great guy that he agreed to go. Just as I stepped into the store, I saw this sitting upon a shelf. I hurriedly walked in that direction as if I were on fire. My husband couldn't believe this was what I was going after. I told him I didn't want to give anyone else a chance to grab this delight...

A one cup tea set that are in my favorite colors! I was so excited that I grabbed it up and said this is my Christmas gift to me. It was only $4.99.

A Childhood Memory: 
When I was a little girl, I can remember one year for Christmas I got a wonderful set of wooden chairs and small table (my own dining room set!) with a stove and refrigerator; you know, child size. I also received a china tea set. I loved it so much. But when my brothers played with me, we used the stove and refrigerator as caves for their dinosaurs. Then to play cowboys and Indians, we used the table and chairs to protect us from rifle shots!! LOL! Then I would bring them koolaid in the tea set. I was just never girly, girly all the time....I was also a tomboy. When you have brothers you love and want to spend time with, you have to compromise!! We always had a great time! I sure love my brothers a lot!!

 Anyway, the tea set is rather small, but makes a delightful cup of tea for one. And as you can see, my kitchen is in this beautiful blue. It may not be the taste of most, but I love bold colors.

"A woman is like a tea bag - you can't tell how strong she is
until you put her in hot water." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

I will be joining Sandi and Terri and Trish for tea time. Please take the time to visit them. 
You will not regret it.

My granddaughter took this photo of me. 
All other photos were taken by me.

Flower Power - Mosaic Monday

Good morning on this beautiful day. I was sick last week and 
didn't get a chance to post anything. So today I would 
love to share with you some photos I took of 
some beautiful roses and Christmas cactus.

Flowers are the sweetest things God ever made, and 
forgot to put a soul into. ~ Henry Beecher, Life Thoughts, 1858

 Earth laughs in flowers. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Hamatreya"

Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity. ~John Ruskin

Christmas Cactus - Jolly Dancer

The Power of the Flower

I love the soft touch of a flower
It's petals so delicate and warm
The fragrance surrounds the senses
Delighting my soul this morn

I love the sight of colorful flowers
Oh, the power it has over me
I want to wallow in its beauty
For there within lies the key

 Just the sight of this creation
Softens even the hardest heart
Bringing tender sensations
With Hope of a fresh new start

written by: Brenda Stevens
Copyright © 2011
Photos taken by: Brenda Stevens

I am joining Little Red House for this Mosaic Monday!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What Do You Say!! PINK Saturday!

I think it is absolutely wonderful that this Fire Department is in support of  what every woman hopes to never have, breast cancer.

Even the man is wearing Pink. This event was sponsored by  

I just LOVE her hat; don't you?

"Pink is the color of romance and a friend tells me that the girl with
the pink dress at the party is the one who is selected for each dance." --Alfred Carl Hottes

"Pink is not just a color, it's an attitude." --Anonymous

"A woman should be pink and cuddly for a man." --Jayne Mansfield

"I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day, and ...I believe in miracles."
--Audrey Hepburn

"So, maybe it's time to get your Pink on!"
--Brenda Stevens

Enjoy your beautiful PINK Saturday!!

Pictures are from Pink Heals Tour.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


My friend Marianne and I were discussing last night how everyone thinks breathing is automatic and we really don’t have to think about it or care how we naturally breathe. BOY, we are all taking breathing for granted! It does come naturally and we hardly notice our breathing all day. The fact is, automatic breathing is shallow breathing, just enough to keep us going. There are a lot of health benefits to deep breathing.


Here are a few examples of those healthful benefits from Dr. Leigh Connealy, per research studies:

  • Ten minutes of deep, diaphragmatic breathing after a meal reduced blood sugar levels, increased insulin, and decreased production of damaging free radicals. A similar study with athletes found that deep breathing after an exhaustive training session resulted in less exercise-produced free radicals.
  • Fibromyalgia patients experienced significantly less pain when using deep, slow breathing.
  • Home-based deep breathing training minimized depressed symptoms in a group of patients with heart disease.
  • A type of deep breathing used in yoga has been found helpful in treating depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In a related study, deep breathing during yoga practice improved breathing in patients who have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • In a clinical trial that compared the effects of mental relaxation exercises with slow breathing on patients who have high blood pressure, the slow-breathing group achieved the best results in reducing blood pressure.

As you can see, if you flip these study results, breathing problems are linked to a long list of health issues.

According to Dr. Connealy, when we think of breathing, we tend to think of lungs. She states that more is actually involved. Other muscles are to be included, such as the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen. One of the basics of proper breathing involves expansion and contraction of the diaphragm -- in other words, letting our tummy stick out. It will take a little practice to get the hang of it.

Dr. Connealy suggests the best way to start practicing is to lie on the floor (use a mat or towel if you like). Let your back relax into the floor. Use a pillow under your knees if you feel uncomfortable. Keep your shoulders flat, as though you are standing up straight, and stretch your torso and neck into a comfortable position. Don’t overdo it, just lie back, so your chest is open and your back feels relaxed and comfortable.

Focus inhaling through your nose to allow the incoming air to be filtered and warmed on its way to your lungs. Place your hands on your tummy so that when you inhale slowly through your nose, you make an effort to push your stomach out and not your upper chest.  Your hands should feel your stomach lifting. When you’ve filled your lungs, slowly squeeze your stomach back in toward your spine, forcing the air out of your lungs as you exhale through your mouth. It should take longer to exhale than to inhale.

Practice for only a minute or two at a time, to let your body become accustomed to the extra oxygen.  If you feel lightheaded, it just means that you are not use to deep breathing. Stop and try again later. It will take a little practice, but give it time and allow your diaphragm to strengthen.

If you are having trouble with the concept, watch a sleeping baby breathing and you’ll see how effortless belly breathing can be. Once you understand and have learned the process, you’ll be able to skip lying on the floor and practice deep breathing at your desk, while you are walking, or watching TV. Don’t deep breath in polluted areas though. Your lungs don’t need those toxins!! 

Practice often! Here's to your health!

Pictures by Microsoft.
The Lord heals your diseases, redeems your life from the pit, satisfies you with good, shows compassion to his children, and knows your frame. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
Psalm 103: 3-14

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Packing on Extra Pounds...

Are you worried about packing on the extra pounds through the holidays?
Now that Thanksgiving is behinds us, you may be wondering 
how you can survive the next few weeks without gaining a dress size.
How do we pass up the creamy eggnog and the delicacies like pecan pie
and butter topped biscuits and all the different cookies.
A lot of these dishes are once-a-year treats that a friend or relative
spent hours preparing. How do you say, "No thanks," without offending anyone?

Actually, here's a very good rule all year long! Don't let yourself become famished.
If you are starving when you arrive at a gathering and someone offers you 
a plate of brownies, you will not be able to resist. Make certain you've got
a nourishing snack handy to take the edge off; like unsalted almonds, 
a banana, or some whole grain crackers, or go for the vegetable tray.

Stay hydrated!! Many times what we think is hunger is actually thirst.
Make it a habit at social events to alternate between holiday
beverages and water. Alcohol, eggnog, and punches are loaded with empty
calories, plus alcohol is dehydrating.  Or create your own "mocktails"
with sparkling mineral water, and a splash of fruit juice with a little
cocktail-style garnish, like a lime or lemon wedge.

If at all possible, start off with soup and salad. Foods that contain water, 
like soup and salad greens, help us feel full faster.
This will increase hydration and you won't be quite so tempted to fill
up on other calorie-rich foods. 

Here's an idea; load up your plate with vegetables and a small piece of meat.
Eat the meat first because protein in your stomach turns off hunger
signals, then you'll be able to relax and eat more slowly.

Here's another idea; wait 20 minutes before going back for seconds. 
It takes that much time for your stomach to get the message that you are already full.
If you rush back too soon, then you'll most likely get that "overstuffed" feeling.

Building exercise into your day!! MOVE! Take a walk or jog in place. If your
schedule is too hectic for a half-hour of exercise all at once, then split it into
10-minute workouts, three times a day. If you are traveling, take some resistance bands,
Those are always a lot of fun. If you make the effort, you won't feel so tired throughout the day.

Instead of the traditional pumpkin pie, here is a Pumpkin Custard recipe.
All the spicy goodness of pumpkin pie, but without the crust's fat and calories.


  • 1 16 oz. can pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 Tablespoons raw organic honey
  • 1/2 cup heave cream
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 3 eggs, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter six small custard cups and place in a baking dish with 1" of water.

Mix spices, honey, and pumpkin together well. Mix in the eggs, then stir in cream and water. Pour the mixture into the buttered custard cups. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until the custard is firm. Allow to cool before serving.

If you still feel like you want something a little sweeter to munch on, maybe find a friend to share it with. Many times, just a bite of dessert is enough to satisfy you without disrupting your diet plan.

Here's to your health!

I am joining Martha for Tea Cup Tuesday.

Pictures by Microsoft.

The Lord heals your diseases, redeems your life from the pit, satisfies you with good, shows compassion to his children, and knows your frame. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
Psalm 103: 3-14 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Victoria BLUE - Mosaic Monday


My granddaughter performed in "The Nutcracker" production over the weekend.
She had the part of the Ginger Child. The dance they performed was AWESOME!

Both my granddaughters have parts in this play.

Vic's favorite color is blue. If she's not wearing blue, she's wear green.

She loves to laugh and she loves MAKING other laugh.

She loves dressing up and putting on my makeup.

She also loves trying on my cloths and she looks great in a hat.

We LOVE our Victoria!! 

She is very talented. Although she does not take piano lessons,
she can tap out a real nice song, like she is writing her own music.
The notes sound so sweet, just like her.
Victoria may be my Blue girl, but she is hardly ever blue.
She brings great joy to my life. I am thankful to be her grandmother.

I am joining Little Red House for this Mosaic Monday.