Tuesday, April 18, 2017

10 #Tips for a #HappyLife - Smile

I was told that there are FOUR basic emotions - Anger, Sadness, Happiness, and Worry. Everything else is a combination of those in varying degrees (In Inside Out, they used Disgust and Fear, but hey, it's not an exact science - don't worry about it!)

Either way you slice it, HAPPINESS is OUTNUMBERED!

That's why it takes a lot of effort to get over a tough situation.
That's why feeling happy and positive is so awesome!
That's why we need to spread more of it around.

It's so easy to criticize and doubt and make fun of others - Twitter and social media have become trumpets of negativity. So much arguing. No compromise or giving others a chance or trying to see things from another perspective. Blech!

Remember when TVs were called "idiot boxes?" Well, it looks like phones and devices are taking their place, but they're worse. They possess people! People become obsessed with them. They can't live without the little buggers. The instant feedback is addictive. And many base their happiness on the number of "likes" or "followers" they have.

My hope is for people to realize we need to disconnect from our devices sometimes and have in person, human interactions. Put down the device and look around. Communicate face to face. Take a walk without your earbuds and listen to nature. Have a device-free meal and talk to your family.

This Device Free Dinner video made me smile =)


Share a real live smile, not just an emoji!
Smiles are healthy contagious!
Spread happiness with a smile!

Have a happy week!

Friday, April 14, 2017

The POISON We Create

About a week ago, a good friend and I were having a late night convo. She's one of those friends you take your problems to, vent them to the high heavens with no judgement on their part. THOSE kinds of friends are seriously the best! Anyways, there I was venting out my "to the high heavens", and she gave the best advice I could ever receive heard elsewhere.

It's like YOU'RE drinking the poison, but waiting for THEM to die.

And then, it all made sense. I literally was poisoning my life, my family, my world by dredging on things going on, knowing I couldn't control them, or better yet - people are going to do stupid things all the time.

So what to do? Well, like the quote says, if I'm going to drink the poison, then I'm only hurting myself internally by stewing about it. And stewing means your attitude changes, and THAT effects other facets of your life as well. BUT, if I don't drink the poison, then...I'm literally letting it go.

How hard is that? Well, very. I am human. And my personality is the type to remember those things. But, when phrased like I'm killing myself while they continue life like la-la-la...um, well, then the joke is on me. And that sucks.

I hope this reaches out to anyone stressing their life out with unnecessariness. It happens. It's real. We create it. We mold it. We embellish it. We sometimes even see things that aren't there. Stop. Think about it. Stop whatever it is you're doing to create the poison and getting you to drink it. It's not easy. But it's worth it!! Peace will come. Give it a few days. Heck, a few weeks. It's worth it!! And P.S. - so are you!

Suck out the poison...and keep...moving...forward!!


Friday, April 7, 2017

Pumping Iron

Visit Spice of Life for more smiles

Ironing. 
Love it. Hate it. Avoid it. 

What's to love? The history! 

Did you know the board we use today was invented by a freed African-American slave? Sarah Boone was a dressmaker in Connecticut. She did a lot of ironing and got fed up with boards that didn't quite fit, so she designed the board we all know and love today. I suppose until Sarah stepped up and made improvements, people were ironing on tables and floors like broke college students.



What's to hate? The work! 
But we can make that a little easier...

1. Line your board with foil to reflect the heat from the iron.
2. Keep a spray bottle of clear water handy. Set it to mist, not stream.
3. Iron easily scorched items by covering with a square of cotton, like a pillow case or cloth napkin.
4. Got a broken decal (you know, the raised kind like on jerseys)? Touch up the bad sections with waxed paper. Lay waxed side down and use the tip of the hot iron to go over the section.
5. Accidentally got goop on your iron that will leave black smears? Try toothpaste first. If that fails, use a fine grit sandpaper attached to a wooden block. Rub gently while iron is hot, wipe clean.

What to avoid? Any bit you can!

1. Hang or fold easily wrinkled clothes immediately from the dryer.
2. Allow clothes to run through the cool cycle on the dryer before tossing in a basket.
3. Never press clothes into the basket, like my husband. Three loads of clothes stuffed in one basket will always cause wrinkles.
4. Left a load of clothes in the basket too long and have a mess of wrinkles? Spritz clothes with clear water and toss back in the dryer.
5. Bringing out seasonal clothes from bags in storage? Soak a washcloth with water and a bit of liquid fabric softener and toss in dryer with clothes. It removes the wrinkles and comes out smelling fresh.



Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Rub Some Dirt In It!

Did you hear that scream just now? That's me when I accidentally bite my ice cream instead of carefully dropping it on my tongue in the back of my mouth. Some people have sensitive teeth. I have touchy little hypochondriac teeth that like to scream if a cool breeze enters my mouth.

Over the years, my dentist has given me a dozen recommendations and even a prescription toothpaste that tasted like a urinal cake smells. I've tried every OTC sensitive toothpaste sold in two states by this point. Some worked a little bit, some stained my teeth, and in the hunt I discovered that anything with stannous fluoride gives me Kylie Jenner lips and makes my tongue bleed. Ouch!

There's a phrase my husband loves to say when anyone gets a cut in our household: "Rub some dirt in it!" Followed by a manly grunt, of course. So after all of the many failures with conventional toothpaste, imagine my surprise when I find a conversation on a forum about sensitive teeth where people have had success with...

Dirt.

In their mouths.

My first thought - and pardon my Klingon - was heeeelllllllllll no. But then I found it discussed on a few other forums where people just like me with crazy-sensitive teeth were really experiencing great results with The Dirt Natural Toothpaste, so I did a little more digging about how it works.

From the website: "Did you know the glycerin in modern toothpaste can coat your teeth and prevent the natural process of re-mineralization that keeps your teeth strong and white? The Dirt is made to allow your natural re-mineralization process to do it's thang and get your teeth back to their strong, sparkly selves."

After about a week, I finally forgave them for the gratuitous use of "thang" and ordered it from the site.

The smallest jar claims to be a 3-month supply and it was as expensive as the prescription toothpaste I'd tried ($20). I generally get 2 months use out of a $6-8 tube of paste, and the penny-pinching side of me is still flinching a bit. So was it worth it? I've been using it now for about a week and here's what I've experienced so far:

  • The first time you use it is W-E-I-R-D. The fine bentonite clay they use to aid in re-mineralization reminds you that yes, there is actual, honest-to-god dirt in your mouth right now. And when you spit, it's totes mud. But it isn't grainy or thick, thank goodness, so there isn't a texture to be grossed out over.
  • The cinnamon and orange spice flavor is actually really pleasant. The chalky taste of the fine clay lingers a bit, though, so I still feel better if I use a diluted mouth wash after for additional freshness.
  • My teeth start squeaking while I'm brushing and by the time I'm finished, they feel exactly like they do after the dentist polishes them. And I can't stop running my tongue over them.
  • 4 days after I started using it, I drank a fountain soda full of ice without a straw... and didn't squeal when the ice hit my teeth. It was still totally uncomfortable, but that ice-pick in my tooth feeling didn't come like it usually does.
  • A week later I'm able to breathe in through my mouth and the rush of air doesn't bother my teeth like it used to.
And no - I promise I'm not receiving anything for this post! I just know there are tons of us out there with cold-sensitive teeth, and I hope this review helps one of you. 

I haven't had any negative experiences/side effects or anything with this yet, but if something does happen I fully intend to come back and edit this post with my findings.

Have any of you had luck with natural toothpastes or other remedies for sensitive teeth?





Monday, March 20, 2017

10 #Tips for a #HappyLife - Breathe

As I send my first born off to college this Fall, I want to give him a few last pieces of advice, whether he takes it or not... I'll be sharing them with you all over the next ten months in my week here at the House. And I'll gladly take any comments or suggestions you'd like to add!

10 Tips for a Happy Life

10. Breathe. Go ahead and laugh. I did when I heard a friend say this the other day as advice she got from someone to help her with her stress at basketball games. Just saying it to each other helped us laugh some stress away at the horrible calls...

But breathing really is a great way to calm down. If more people took a deep breath before immediately reacting to bad news or someone disagreeing with them, there might be more peace in the world.

Controlled breathing is also a good way to help you get through something intense. Anticipation of a traumatic or important event--like public speaking which I am about to try, ah!--can elevate heart rate and cause anxiety. Taking a few calming breaths beforehand gives you control over your body's reaction and can steady your nerves enough to get you past that first step.

Lastly, steady breathing can help you fall asleep. If you are worried about something and it's causing you to stay awake at night, try concentrating on slow, steady breathing. In addition, imagine each muscle in your body relaxes, starting with your toes and work your way up. You'll feel the tension leave and probably won't reach your waist before you're fast asleep!

Wouldn't the world be a better place if people breathed more? Ha!

Monday, March 13, 2017

2017 FASHION: What's In and What's Out!

About a week ago, a friend posted on Facebook some major flashbacks I was having to the 90's with the whole small floral print dresses and shirts. I mean, come on, it's bad enough crushed velvet is back, but not the small floral print! I always DID wonder if it ever would.

So that had me wondering. What IS the new fashion right now and what ISN'T. Alas! A list of the top five IN and OUT for 2017. Let's first get rid of some crap, I mean...stuff.

1. Plain sneakers - well yeah, we aren't all going sailing today so...
2.Corset tops - sorry Kardashians...(not sorry)
3. Stretch skinny jeans - apparently a more vintage look is going to make waves
4. Lingerie inspired dresses - I mean...come on. Less is not always more.
5. 4-5" or more heels - apparently women now want comfort (imagine that!)



OK, now what exactly is IN!

1.Mule shoes - from low heels to high, strap/strapless (ok so this is the only '90s one reappearing, phew!)
2. Stripes - I'm so for this, but vertical. (horizontal = wide look)
3. Athletic inspired fashion - hate to say it but workout clothes are kinda in
4. Abstract prints - we all knew those yoga designs would eventually catch up to us
5. Fun sneakers - well yeah, I mean...hello? 


What do you think?? Agree / disagree? I'm all for the new change.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Eggcelence


Easy Easter eggs!
Easter egg time is coming! I am NOT crafty. Coloring eggs is about all I'm capable of doing, which stinks because mine are never really pretty. Last year, I decided to try decoupage-- which is just a fancy word for saying I decided to glue magazine pictures onto hard boiled eggs. I used regular white school glue and small pictures I cut out. Easy peasy and cute. And yes, they still peel fine.

How fresh are your eggs? 
I left two dozen eggs in my garage overnight. The temperature was in the mid-fifties, so whether or not my eggs were spoiled was questionable. I called my egg lady, Loretta-- who delivers me farm- fresh eggs weekly-- and asked her if she thought they were okay to eat. She told me to place the egg in a bowl of water, if it floated, toss them out. If they stood on end, hard boil them. If they lay flat, they're still fresh. Glad to say, mine were still fresh.

Peeling all those hard boiled eggs is easy!
Did you know older eggs are easier to peel? I get my eggs fresh from the farm and they are sometimes darn near impossible to peel. To make it easier, I always tap the wide side on the counter and crack it. Then I flip it over and tap the top of the egg. After that, I roll the egg on the counter to loosen the shell a little-- though be careful not to apply too much pressure and squish the egg. 

Want fluffier, yellower egg yolks?
Cool boiled eggs quickly when done cooking. I remove from the stove, pour off the hot water and replace with ice and cold water. The rapid cooling makes the egg yolk less dense. 

How about a few egg funnies? 
What's an egg's least favorite day? Fry-day
Who tells the best egg jokes? comedi-hens
How do chickens get out of the house? Through the eggs-it
How do chickens come into the house? Through the hen-trance
How do monsters like their eggs? Terri-fried
How many eggs does it take to screw in a light bulb? 0...eggs have no hands.





Friday, March 3, 2017

Loving the LipSense!

Hey everyone! I invited Robin Hall, a dear writer friend of mine, to join us and talk about a new business venture she took on. One you can even do yourself! Here she is talking about: LIPSENSE!!


Hello, the Really Real Housewives!!
 
After reading Tammy’s lipstick post in December, I asked if she’d be willing to add another brand to the mix, and she agreed! YAY! She tried out Sheer Berry, a great color to bring out green eyes. (even though Tammy has brown, it still looked great!) She asked me to briefly introduce myself and LipSense.

Tammy and I are writing friends. I’m a North Carolina girl, enjoying country living with my 3 acres, 5 kids, 1 husband, 1 dog, and 22 chickens (goats to come!) I teach yoga and strength training classes, love to bike (mountain and road) and rock climb.  Here I am with my cuties on Valentine’s Day.

I gave up lipstick years ago. My husband wouldn’t kiss me if I wore it, and I didn’t want to get it on my babies. So when I heard about this good-for-you lipstick that stayed where it belonged, and worked as hard as I do, I decided to give it a chance.

Not only did my color stay, but my lips became so much healthier. No more dry, chapped lips for me! I don’t even have to hide chapstick in my utensil drawer anymore! Plus, it’s great for Halloween:)

 Obviously I love it, but I’ll let Tammy tell you about her experience!!

I had a wonderful experience, Robin!! As everyone knows, I like the Color Stay by Maybelline, but I found LipSense to be equally amazing. I loved the OOPS wand idea! And, in the long run, you may feel like you are dishing out more money, but once you look at the ounces - you're not!! I hands down think LipSense is the bees-knees! Here is a photo of the color I chose which was a plum-like color.

You can find Robin's LipSense on facebook at:
 www.facebook.com/groups/Rokissandmakeup where you can also see her many colors and  products to purchase. Robin can even tell you how you can become a distributor if you so wish! SPECIAL DISCOUNT!! If you use the promo code: ReallyRealHousewives you get free shipping on your order!!  Aren't having amazing friends, awesome??

 
If you have tried LipSense, I would love to hear your opinion of this long wear lipstick. If you haven’t tried LipSense yet, I would love to hear about which color you would try first! Leave a comment below to let me know. 


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Battling the Winter Blues

Are you ready for Spring?
We had a teaser of spring this week, got to 75 one day! My boys were happy to get outside. But cold weather is around the corner, so it's not quite time for shorts yet.

Well, here are a few ways to squelch the Winter Blues...
(from Real Simple and Article)
  1. Seek the light!
  2. Eat better
  3. Get some exercise
  4. Don't watch the news! i.e. - avoid negativity
  5. Listen to some tunes
  6. Talk to friends, old and new
This list may sound familiar because it's also a good way to live, no matter what time of year it is. I know I'd be happier if I ate better and exercised more, but it's just not as high a priority as it should be.

I also put together a list of some Positives Parts of Winter!
  1. Sweaters & Boots
  2. Cozy comfort - blankets, fires, hot cocoa, cuddling
  3. No bugs!
  4. No outdoor allergies!
  5. No yard work
  6. Snow - just not too much
  7. Basketball season - fun sport to watch
  8. Outdoor fun - skating, sledding, skiing, snowmen
Winter is not my favorite season, but it's not all bad. And soon Spring will be here with new, new, new... And that's why we have the change of seasons, so we don't have to deal with too much of one - unless you want to and move to Florida!

Ready for Spring? What do you like about winter? How do you beat the winter blues?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Great Sugar Crash of '17

Feeling a little off this morning? Maybe a bit shaky, or
irritable, or unreasonably hungry? You might even have a bit of a headache, or think your heart is beating a little too fast. If you are, don't go to WebMD (it's really not a tumor) - it's probably just all the Valentines candy we broke our diets for yesterday. You - if you're like me - might be in the middle of a sugar crash. And considering all that delicious, wonderful, soul-saving chocolaty goodness is on sale today, it's probably going to get worse.

I don't usually eat a ton of sweets, so it was pretty easy for me to find the culprit when I started sweating after candy bar number [redacted]. What I didn't know, though, is that there are several ways to help mitigate the terror of a sugar hangover that go beyond simply drinking a few gallons of water.

I found some great advice from our friends over at Reader's Digest on how to recover from a sugar binge, and some of it was kind of surprising. The full article is here, but if you're jonesing for a quick fix, here's a summary:
  1. Lay off further sugar infusions. A body needs to find balance again and can't do it if you keep going back for more.
  2.  Eat a spoonful of peanut butter. You don't have to tell me twice...
  3. Take the stairs, go for a quick walk - anything to move your body and burn that sugar energy.
  4. Seek out diuretics like green tea with lemon to help flush your kidneys. But remember to keep drinking water at the same time!
  5. Plan your next meals to be low-sugar while your body heals itself.
Personally - I'm all about the peanut butter fix. As far as I'm concerned, the ONLY way to eat peanut butter is with a spoon. And keep in mind - this is absolutely not medical advice and you should consult your doctor if you have or think you might have diabetes and experience the symptoms I mentioned above. This is just for those of us - like me - without insulin-related issues who tend to overdo it with the chocolate on holidays :-)

So now it's confession time - hands up if you splurged yesterday! *puts both hands up*





Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Get Ready to Feel the Love

It’s February. The month of Love
Which is totally awesome if you’re married or dating a romantic.

But what if you’re single? Or married to a guy who thinks jumper cables make a great gift-- totally true story...

Then you do what the Really Real Housewives do! You bend the rules...you improvise...you twist that holiday to suit yourself.

How about this Valentine's Day you get prepared to turn February 14th into a holiday where you show the love to one of the most important people in your life-

YOU!!

How about an in-home spa day?

Can’t afford all the scrubs and creams? Make your own!

Apple-Cinnamon Body Scrub
2 Tbs. brown sugar
2 Tbs. white sugar
1 Tbs. applesauce
1 Tsp. cinnamon

Need a great hair rinse to wash away product build up and increase shine?  
Beer!
Soak hair in beer, leave on for five minutes and rinse.
(You only need one can, but feel free to grab a six-pack if you’re feeling thirsty.)

Olive Oil Moisturizer
½ cup olive oil
½ cup sugar
Rub on and rinse with warm water.

 If you want to go full-blown anti-Valentine, feel free to celebrate SAD


Pick up a copy of My Bloody Valentine- the 2009 version with this hottie:

Photo credit IMDb
I'm not sure if the movie is any good, but 201 minutes with Jensen Ackles is never a waste of time. You can rent the movie from Amazon for 3.99, but sadly it's only available from Netflix on DVD. 


Friday, February 3, 2017

Getting Old Ain't So Bad - If You're Sassy!

Hi-ya. Me again. Back for my final fling as this week's guest blogger. And today... anything goes! Woo-HOO! So what are we gonna talk about? Something you've all heard about before, I'm sure... those dreaded midlife crises. You know, that time of life when we allegedly go temporarily nuts, and do all sorts of wild and crazy things because we suddenly notice we're (gasp!) getting old.  Driven by desperation, we supposedly do anything and everything we can to prove we're still young... even if it's nothing but a silly delusion.

HOGWASH!!! I don't think that midlife crisis nonsense amounts to a hill of beans. Granted, my hubby and I sped past the mid-points of our lives a long time ago, but we still haven't experienced any great angst about getting old, or behaved any nuttier than we ever have. Know why? Because, believe it or not, this is actually a great time of life. Exhilarating, even. We truly ARE the captains of our own ships now. If we want to do something, we do it.

Well into the post-retirement years, our time is our own, and what we do with it is up to us. If an old guy wants to buy a convertible sports car, why shouldn't he? That doesn't have a thing to do with being in crisis. Doggone it, he worked hard all of his life, raised his family, and now, he can finally afford to treat himself to some of the things he's always wanted. We seniors can indulge ourselves by fulfilling some of our delayed wants, the things we put off all of those years when raising our families, and our careers often took top priority. If an old gal wants to dye her hair purple, why the heck not? Maybe it's her favorite color. If an old guy leaves his longtime wife to run off with a twenty-something bimbo, that doesn't mean he's having a mid-life crisis, either. All that means is he's an ass, and probably always has been.

There's actually a lot of good things to say about getting older. Like we generally have the confidence to stand for more convictions, and the moxie to fall for less malarkey. We may still be competitive, but we also realize being kind is much more important than being right. We've learned it isn't very smart to test the depth of the water with both feet, and we understand that the true art of conversation isn't just about saying the right thing. Sometimes, it means keeping our mouths shut when it's oh-so-tempting to deliver a verbal shot.

You may have heard this quote before. It's been sent to me many times, but without attribution, so I don't know who initiated it, but it's worth sharing:

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW! What a ride!"

That's our plan. To enjoy the ride as long as it lasts, and to carpe the hell out of each diem. Don't make a big deal out of getting old; just enjoy it. My body parts may be getting old, I may take more pills every day than I ever imagined possible, and the pain under my boob may turn out to be a bum knee, but I'm determined to stay young at heart and in attitude. Is that being sassy? Could be, but I refuse to let aging get me down. (For one thing, it's too damned hard to get back up again!)

Be assured, ladies, that no matter how old you are, you can still have the body of a 21-year old, if that's what you want. But (Bada-boom!) you may have to buy him a few drinks first... In closing, I'm gonna make a blatant plug for a book called Old Broads Waxing Poetic, a compilation of poetry from some very talented ladies. (And me.) Best thing about it? All proceeds go to CARE International, a fantastic organization, so none of us ever see a penny of it. If you're interested, you can find it on Amazon.
Isn't that cover awesome? The image Forever Young is courtesy of a very generous Italian artist named Francesco Romoli, who immediately agreed to let me use it... for free... when I contacted him. In closing, I'd like to share one of my poems from that book with you. It's called Ode to Old Age.

I found a hair there under my chin,
And I yanked that sucker out,
But wouldn't you know, the very next day,
Two more began to sprout.

I don't know what's happening;
It's a perplexing change of pace,
My arms and legs are going bald,
But I have to shave my face.

It's such a rotten travesty;
My tummy once was flat.
But now my hourglass is mostly ass,
And my waist has turned to fat.

My body's slowly sagging,
And I don't look so hot;
If a man wants to ogle my bosom now,
I'm afraid he'll have to squat.

But that's okay, 'cause I'm still here,
Of life I'm still a part.
So what if when I bend or stretch,
I leak a little fart?

I've lots of life and love in store,
Though I'm not young and shiny;
If ya wanta know the truth,
Old age can kiss my heinie.

Well, that's it, folks. It's been a pleasure. Thanks to the lovely Tammy for inviting me over to do a few guest posts. Remember: A good attitude is contagious, but for Heaven's sake, don't wait to catch it from someone. Be a carrier. Best wishes from Susan, longtime housewife, and visiting SOB (Sassy Old Broad)

We had so much fun with this Fun, Sassy lady! Susan, thanks for teaching us to take life less seriously and enjoy it as much as we can!

Susan with her hubby's 1930 Model A rat rod. (Lucky for her, he apparently likes old things.) If you're a glutton for punishment, and want more of Susan's SOB sense of humor, you're cordially invited to visit her blog I Think; Therefore, I Yam where she blogs most Fridays.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Sassy Health Tips

Hi-ya. So here I am again. Still a bit saggy... although personally, I prefer to think of it as more of a relaxed fit... and hopefully, still sassy and savvy enough to provide you with some worthwhile wellness tips. Some of these may be old-hat to you, some may be new, and some may even be a bit counter-intuitive, but I'm going to try not to be such a smart ass today. This stuff's as real as the mildew growing under my boobs. Okay, so I totally made that part up. (Just a few squirts of X-14 keeps the mildew problem down nicely.) Okay, another lie. Sorry. But trust me, these tips are on the up-and-up. (Unlike my boobs...)
  • Want to  amp up a twenty-minute nap so it does a better job kicking fatigue in the keister? Have a cup of coffee first. Really. Downing approximately 200 mg of caffeine immediately before catching a few zees is all you need to turn your mini- nap into a super nap. That's because of something called adenosine, which is a natural byproduct of being awake and active. The higher its level, the more fatigued we feel. Makes sense, right? Well, a nap clears that stuff out of our system, and caffeine is an adenosine-blocker, so just as you're waking up from that nap, the caffeine is kicking in, and... ta-DA!... it effectively amplifies the benefits of that nap. 
  • Are you one of those people who is so conscientious about brushing your pearly whites immediately after every meal that you carry a toothbrush in your purse? Hold on. You might want to rethink that, because you may not be doing something quite as good as you think you are. Especially if your meal includes something acidic... like citrus fruit, tomatoes, sports drinks, or sodas. Acid temporarily softens tooth enamel, so brushing too soon, when your teeth are at their most vulnerable, can actually cause damage to your teeth. Bottom line? If you want to still have your choppers when you're as old as I am, best to wait 30-60 minutes before pulling out your toothbrush.
  • Those snack products marketed in 100-calorie packages seem to be a great idea, right? I mean, they control our portion size, and essentially save us from ourselves. (Assuming we have enough willpower to only eat one of them, that is.) The thing is, that small portion of carbs may spike your blood sugar a tad initially, but then you're too soon hungry again... for more carbs. It'd be better in the long run to pass on the carb snacks altogether, and reach for proteins. Something like peanut butter or cheese and apple slices. More calories per serving, yeah, but you'll feel full faster, and stay full longer. That means you won't be tempted to stuff your face with something else, and will end up eating fewer calories overall. 
  • Are you hooked on energy drinks? If you drink them, you probably are. One of those hopped-up beverages has five times more caffeine than a comparable amount of coffee, so no wonder it leaves you feeling nervous, jittery, and irritable, and makes your heart race. In addition to that mega-dose of caffeine, it also contains aurine, a central nervous system stimulant, and upwards of fifty grams of sugar. (That's a whopping thirteen teaspoons!) Yeah, that'll provide a rapid spike in blood sugar, all right, but it'll also lead to an inevitable hard crash, which will leave you fuzzy-headed, groggy, and... in need of another energy drink. 
  • It may sound counter-intuitive, but when you're dragging, exercise can re-energize you. Just thirty minutes of moderate exercise is enough to lessen your fatigue, improve your mood, and get those juices flowing again. Unfortunately, blog-hopping, jumping to conclusions, flying off the handle, carrying things too far, dodging responsibility, pushing your luck, and doing diddly squats don't count as exercises.
  • Would you believe there's no evidence that antibacterial soap is any more effective than regular soap? In fact, long-term usage of anti-bacterial products can actually be detrimental to your health. Some of the ingredients in them, particularly something called tricolsan, can lead to hormonal changes in users, and to bacteria with a  higher resistance to antibiotics. Getting the optimal amount of effectiveness from a regular bar of soap requires a certain amount of lather time. A simple trick: To reach that optimal time while washing your hands, sing Happy Birthday in your head... twice.  Well, I suppose you could belt it out loud, but it might get you some strange looks if you do it in a public restroom. Not that (ahem) I know anything about that from personal experience, of course... 
  • Smelling a green apple can help ease the severity of migraine headaches. Certain scents naturally help us relax and reduce tension, and studies have shown the green apple scent to be particularly effective. A chilled cut lime is also reported to reduce headache pain, both by smelling it, and by rubbing it on the forehead or temples. For a select few, squeezing it into a margarita may also be beneficial.
  • Honey is a powerful antibacterial. Just a little dab will do ya before applying a bandage. If you suffer from hay fever, a teaspoon of honey a day is also reputed to reduce those miserable symptoms. Sweet, huh?
  • Cut yourself in the kitchen? (In a minor way, that is; I'm not talking about a to-the-bone debacle.) Rinse the area with cold water, (Use soap if you were handling raw meat.) sprinkle on some black pepper, and  then apply pressure until the bleeding stops. Who'd a thunk it? Good old black pepper has analgesic, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties. How 'bout that? (Doesn't sting, either!)
  • Looks like I need to increase my intake of spearmint tea. Just two cups of it a day are supposed to help with hormonal problems, like acne or excess hair. It accomplishes this by reducing the level of male hormones in the body. (I'm reeeeeally getting tired of having to shave my darned face!)
  • Having trouble regulating your blood sugar level? Drink slime water! I don't mean you have to sneak out in the middle of a moonless night and skim muck off the top of a dirty ditch, or anything. Nope, you can make your own slime water. I do. Every evening, I wash three pieces of okra, slice off the ends, cut the larger pods in half, and cover all of the pieces with about half a cup of water. (You could use more, but the more you make, the more somebody has to drink.) Refrigerate overnight and in the morning, remove the okra, and drink the slimy water. My husband is the one who saw the tip online, and after investigating it on multiple medical websites, I ascertained that it could help, and most important, it couldn't hurt, so we decided to give it a try. Guess what? At least, for my husband, it has made a difference. Okra water doesn't negate the need for regular diabetes medications, but it has kept his numbers on a nice even keel. (If you try this, drink it all down at once. Then the slime isn't even noticeable.) (So he says...)
Th-th-th-that's all, folks, Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.
Best wishes from Susan, long-time housewife, and visiting SOB (Sassy Old Broad)

One of the best things about being an old broad is... grandchildren. Susan and Smarticus have thirteen of them, ranging from three to eighteen, but since they can't all fit on her lap at one time, here's three of the younger ones who do fit. Most Fridays, Susan blogs at I Think;Therefore, I Yam Y'all are cordially invited to come visit her. No telling what the topic might be on any given week. Her body may not be flexible anymore, but her interests still are.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Handy Dandy Sassy Tips

I know you're going to enjoy this week's guest, the super sassy Susan Swiderski!

It's a real honor to be here with y'all today, but before I share some appropriate (and okay... some inappropriate) handy-dandy tips with you, I feel it is my civic duty to issue a warning. One of the ladies who runs this blog is... now how shall I put this delicately?... a tad underhanded. (gasp!) I know. Shocking, isn't it? When inviting me to serve a stint as guest blogger here, Tammy called me... sassy. Yeah, sassy. Not saggy... sassy. How in the world could an old broad like me possibly say no when she threw a word like that at me, I ask you? It's been quite a few years since anyone associated that word with me, so I'm just gonna wrap it around me, and savor the feeling. Yep, that's me... classy, sassy, and a bit smart assy. Okay, not entirely true. But I am a bona fide smart ass, so you'd be wise to take what I'm about to tell you with a handful of salt.
Okay, ready for some nifty neat-o some-of-'em-even-work time-saving and money-saving tips?
  • Most of the things you waste time worrying about never happen, so cut it out! Worrying causes stress, gives you wrinkles, and wastes valuable time you could be using to do something much more worthwhile, like eating ice cream or sucking face with your fella. Besides, worrying never changes a darned thing. Never.
  • Clean up messes as they happen. I know it's tempting to ignore that mini-mountain of cereal you just knocked onto the kitchen floor, but don't. An even better alternative? Have at least one dog and one cat in your home. Believe you me, pets make an unbeatable clean-up team. Plus, cats with a propensity to arf provide you with the perfect incentive to clean your floors and carpets... one small area at a time.
  • To cut down on mildew, wipe down your shower walls and tiles after each shower. If you have a shower curtain, give it a couple good whacks to knock off excess water, and then leave the curtain closed to allow it to dry more quickly. Better yet? Join a gym. Then you can take all of your showers there, and let somebody else worry about mildew. As an added bonus, you can even spend a minute or two exercising while you're there. Might as well. Or you could do it my way... I do lots of diddly squats around the house every day. 
  • If you insist on wasting money and water by continuing to take your showers at home, rather than join a gym as I suggested, you may eventually notice the shower head isn't quite as squeaky clean as it used to be. I suppose you could go all Martha Stewart and scrub it with a toothbrush or something, but how about this? Secure a plastic baggy of vinegar over the head overnight, and ta-DA! Just like magic, all of the residue disappears. (Even though you want to be frugal and all that, I wouldn't recommend re-using that vinegar in your next salad... it's a tad on the soapy side.)
  • When lemons and/or limes are on sale, buy extra. Squeeze the juice out of some of them and freeze it in ice cube trays. Once it's completely frozen, you can store the cubes in a plastic bag. One cube equals about a tablespoon of juice. 
  • Some recipes call for buttermilk. I don't know about you, but we don't drink that stuff, so it'd be a waste of time and money to run to the store to buy it for a particular recipe, when I know the rest of it would just end up down the drain. No problem. I don't have to go to the store, and neither do you. Just add a tablespoon of vinegar per cup of good ol' normal milk. It's a perfect substitute.
  • Planning a dinner party, but hate the idea of wasting money on fancy after-dinner mints? So don't! Freeze a colorful tube of toothpaste, and then cut the tube open, and slice the paste into wafer-thin treats. Instant fresh breath!  PLUS, everyone saves time by skipping the usual after-dinner tooth-brushing routine. Win-win!
  • If you're in a hurry, or have somewhere you absolutely have to be, never ever make eye contact with your spouse while eating a banana. 
  • Need to drop some pounds in a hurry? Eat raw pork or rancid tuna. You can lose up to twelve pounds in only two days, without having to fork over one red cent on any of those dangerous diet pills. 
  • To save money on toilet paper, borrow it from work. Not whole, unopened rolls, mind you. Just rolls that have already been started. No one will ever notice. And, um, I'm using the word borrow facetiously. No need to return it. When you get down to the empty cardboard roll, you can put that to use, too. If you cut it lengthwise, you can put it around a roll of opened wrapping paper like a cuff. Keeps the rolls looking much neater. If you care about such things. If you don't, just throw it away. No skin off my nose.
  • Wanta save big money on your electric bill? Turn off the lights. Yep, all of them. If everybody wears a miner's hat, there's absolutely no need to turn on a lamp.
  • While we're saving money, here's another handy tip. Don't waste any money on one of those little address books for friends' addresses and phone numbers, either. Don't you get free phone directories? There ya go!  Just cross out the names of people you don't know. 
  • Here's a reeeeeeally big money-saver. When you go out with friends, leave your wallet at home. You can save yourself a bundle! However, you may eventually have to find new friends. 
  • And finally: be nice. Really. Going out of your way to be nice, especially to your spouse, will save a lot of time that might otherwise be wasted in argument. Most of the time, being kind is much more important than being right. (If all else fails, reach for a banana. Make eye contact at your own peril.)
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.
Best wishes from Susan, long-time housewife, and visiting SOB
(Sassy Old Broad)

Susan and her husband transferred from Maryland to Georgia in 1971, and have lived in the same so-called starter home ever since. (Too lazy to pack up all their stuff!) She was a stay-at-home mom, and after the kids all flew the coop, she was perfectly happy to continue being a kept woman full-time homemaker, as well as a perpetual you-name-it-and-she'll-do-it volunteer. Since her hubby Smarticus retired fifteen years ago, they've been enjoying plenty of spur-of-the-moment adventures. (With the right attitude, everything is an adventure!) She has written one novel, Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade, and helped put together a poetry book for charity called Old Broads Waxing Poetic. She blogs most Fridays at I Think: Therefore, I Yam

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Key Lime Pie, Cheesecakes, & Cupcakes - A Love Story

Today, I'm saying to heck and hades with my diet. I've been craving key lime like nobody's business. When my cravings get this serious, it's time for me to cave (if only to prevent any potential homicides, I swear.).

And when I want key lime, the hardest decision to make is key lime pie vs key lime cheesecake. And then, do I make a whole pie? I really don't need to eat the whole thing. And I totally will. So enter my favorite solution to my favorite craving:

KEY LIME CHEESY CUPCAKES!
We love key lime pie so much we
had it for our wedding cake :-)

These bad boys have been a hit every time I've made them, AND it gives me an excuse to keep just a few for myself and get the rest of them out of my greedy, grubby hands.

---------------------------------------------------
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1 muffin pan (with 12 cupcake liners)
1 box vanilla wafers
2 limes
2 8oz packages philly cream cheese(softened)
3/4 Cups granulated sugar
1 8oz tub cool whip
1 can Reddi-whip


  • Prep the muffin pan by placing 1 liner in each muffin cup and then add 1 vanilla wafer to the bottom. Set aside.
  • Squeeze the juice from 1 lime
  • Mix softened cream cheese, sugar and fresh lime together w/hand mixer on low, until well blended. Taste the mixture to determine if there is enough lime flavor to your liking. If you desire a stronger lime flavor, add more fresh lime juice 1 tsp at a time.
  • Gently with a cake spatula fold in the 8oz tub of cool whip until all mixed in.
  • Fill the lined muffin cups to the top with the mixture, then refrigerate at least 1 hour.
  • Serve chilled with a dollop of reddi-whip and garnish with a thin slice of lime curled on top (optional).
-------------------------------------------------------

Now go forth and make cupcakes! And send me pictures so I can drool over them :-)




Monday, January 23, 2017

"Supper" Heroes of the Kitchen

It's 2:13 PM on Sunday as I'm finally sitting down to write this and I'm pretty well beat; I've been in the kitchen since around 10:30 this morning doing meal prep for the week. My feet are screaming at me, but I don't feel bad for ignoring their whining considering I've now got 12 meals in the fridge ready for grab-n-go this week.

I'm going to pat myself on the back for a moment - I'm still *mostly* sticking to the diet  healthy way of eating (WOE) we started at the beginning of the year (it's pretty much halfway between paleo and Mediterranean), and trying to stick to that WOE has drastically changed the staples that I used to keep in the kitchen for quick meals. The hardest change was slowly emptying out our cheese drawer and ditching the assorted pre-sliced cheeses. I might have cried a little, but the occasion Babybel gouda mini-wheels have kept me from going on a dairy-deprived rampage. If you haven't had these, you're missing out on little pieces of heaven.

Other changes haven't been nearly so hard:

  • I've swapped pastas for zucchini and eggplant (the spiralizer comes next week!).
  • Red cabbage slices make shockingly delicious salsa scoops with the right amount of crunch.
  • Marinated cucumbers are seriously good on everything. EVERYTHING.
  • So is sliced/shredded turkey breast. Getting whole smoked breasts (1-3 lbs) on sale then slicing/vacuum bagging/freezing at home has given us a great source of fast protein that goes in everything from salads to wraps to stews and saved a bunch of money in the process (suck it, Geico.)
And last but not least:
  • My favorite hero to replace sugar/sweet sauces in entrees: frozen no-sugar added orange juice concentrate (FoC from here on out). Buy this. Keep this in your freezer. It's a game changer for flavor AND it cuts out refined sugars in favor of natural sugars.
I can't tell you how many times I've pulled out the FoC when recipes called for either sugar or something else syrupy, and it ALWAYS tastes better. It also adds a major flavor boost when you need a little zing. Here are just a few of the ways I've used it:
  • Homemade vinaigrette recipe calls for half a cup of sugar? Ditch it. Use a single tbs of sugar and add two tbs of FoC instead. 
  • Citrus chicken/pork marinade - 1 cup plain greek yogurt plus 1/4 cup FoC. Throw in curry/coriander to taste.
  • Hawaiian Ham glaze - Ditch the brown sugar! Thaw 1/2 cup of FoC with pineapple (still no-sugar added) and simmer with 1/2 cup of honey on the stove top until it has an even texture, then you're ready to glaze the ham! Note - I like to spear the ham with pineapple chunks when I make this recipe.
  • Zesty sandwich dressing - 1 tsp of natural mayo blended with 1 tbs of FoC. Great on turkey or ham sandwiches.
  • Quick-pickled red cabbage - add 1 tbs FoC to 1 cup vinegar (I prefer white wine vingar), pour over finely-chopped raw cabbage until covered, and keep in the fridge for great salad, wrap, hot dog, or burger toppings. 
Honestly, if sweet is what you're craving and you can imagine citrus going well with it, this is a really fantastic way to soothe that sweet tooth without blowing up your refined sugar count for the day on your calorie tracker. You even get a great dose of vitamin C while you're at it. So, basically, it's totally here to save the day... from the flu.

Now it's question time! I've let you in on my favorite "supper" hero secret. What are you favorite healthy trade-offs?


Friday, January 20, 2017

#FridayFavorite

Happy Friday everyone! It’s my last day here at the TRRH and I am so grateful for the time spent. Talking with women, with real people who connect over similar experiences, or even just emotions, this is the kind of stuff that I love.

Today, I want to introduce you to #FridayFavorite. It’s something I started two years ago on my blog because I realized that I was constantly writing about things that stressed me out, or things that I had to learn to overcome, but I wasn’t ever giving straight acknowledgement to those things from the week that made me happy. And the more I thought about it, there is a lot during the week that makes me happy. So, I began blogging about something new each Friday, a song, a moment with my daughter or husband, a movie, a book…you name it. Whatever made me happy, that was my #FridayFavorite for the week.

Well, this might be a week late, because the Golden Globes were two Sundays ago, but I cannot ignore Ryan Gosling and the fact that beyond the downright handsome face, straight-from-the-gods abdominals, and quirky sense of humor, he is also a woman’s man. A man who would stand in front of his peers and the rest of the world, and thank his partner for being the rock that made it possible for him to have it all: a family and a successful career.

"You don’t get to be up here without standing on the shoulders of a mountain of people…While I was singing and dancing and playing piano and having one the best experiences I've ever had on a film, my lady was raising our daughter, pregnant with our second, and trying to help her brother fight his battle with cancer….If she hadn't taken all that on so that I could have this experience, it would surely be someone else up here other than me today…Sweetheart, thank you." 

My. Lawd.

I burst into tears, immediately searched every plaque, meme, quote board with this thank-you speech on it, and have referenced it at least twice a day every day since the actual event. Because…YASSSSS! Thank you, Ryan Gosling, for acknowledging what was important: your life partner; the woman who keeps the homestead running so there is a home, and a family, to come back to. The woman who was NOT at the award ceremony receiving accolades, but at home, nursing a new baby, and reading stories the oldest daughter. The woman whose own career can’t exist the same way as yours when she wants to be the kind of mother she does.

You, Ryan Gosling, are the next several Friday Favorites, not because you made a public show of loving your wife—but because you publicly acknowledged a mother’s work, and just how darn important and life-changing it can be, despite the lack of awards ceremonies for it.

Tell me your #FridayFavorites from the week, beautiful people. I can’t wait to hear about them.
Xoxo


Kristen Kehoe is a wife, mother to a four-year-old girl and four-month-old puppy, teacher, romance author, and captain of the crazy train. Nice to meet you ;-)
Website



Thanks for being here this week, Kristen, and sharing your insights and advice. It's been awesome getting to know you and learning from your experiences!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Happy is the First Step to Healthy

Hello again! Thank you all for having me back.

It’s confession time, Ladies. I don’t cook. At all.

Sometimes, I think about learning, watch Giada or the Ranch woman with red hair whose always making something yummy, and I think, I got this. And then reality by the name of the smoke alarm or food poisoning sets in and I go back to remembering that coffee is my one and only culinary quest. The rest, thankfully, is my husband’s.

And to answer your unasked question, yes, I look to the sky and give thanks for this amazing gift of a husband who cooks every day ;) But, while I have no crockpot recipes to give you (another confession? I cried the last time I tried to use my crockpot—I’m that scared of the kitchen), I do happen to have some health tips. Not because I’m a healthy person who has the golden ticket to health and happiness—the direct opposite actually: I understand what it’s like to want to be healthy and stand in my own way. Once I recognized what I was doing, everything changed.

  1. Being healthy isn’t attached to a specific weight—it’s attached to how we feel about ourselves. The power of positive thinking is a real thing. Don’t just make goals, make affirmations and read them.
  2. Try new things. I am a college athlete who thought running and lifting for hours a day was the only way to exercise. This was false. In fact, the more out-of-my-comfort zone I get, the happier I find myself, and the more charged my body. Right now, I’m doing the BeachBody Country Heat dance videos. I feel like an idiot each time, I still have no idea what a kick-ball-change is, and I often look like an uncoordinated colt learning to walk, but I sweat, and I smile at the end.
  3. Do not keep a food diary. This is something a counselor recommended to me a long time ago when I was struggling with my weight—write down everything you eat so you can recognize what’s positive and what’s negative. All it ever did was make me feel like I was heavy, disgusting, a failure. I write nothing down and I do not weigh myself. I set steps, and I make goals: a healthy breakfast, a timed amount of physical activity, replace one meal a day with a salad, and one splurge item a week (it’s almost always pizza).
  4. Do not attach your confidence to your image. What we look like is only part of our package; it’s the wrapping paper. We have to love who we are and what we can do more than we love that outer part of us. This takes time—more than dieting and working out does, but those results…they are the game changers.
  5. Finally, don’t be afraid to find a friend who understands your journey, and ask them to take it with you. I found my supporting cast in an online happiness group—I’m now supported by and supporter to women I’ve never met before, but who understand what I’m doing. This is, perhaps, the greatest tip. Don’t rely on those you’ve always known—sometimes, it takes the support and understanding of a stranger to give you what you need. 
Emotional health is just as important as your physical health. Do something for you, without strings or expectations of weight loss or image building, and find the happy that will make your healthy. If you need a friend for your journey, find me on Facebook at Author Kristen Kehoe I would love to support you.

Until next time, here’s to finding happy.
xo

Kristen Kehoe is a wife, mother to a four-year-old girl and four-month-old puppy, teacher, romance author, and captain of the crazy train. Nice to meet you ;-)
Website

Monday, January 16, 2017

#MondayMusings - Living in the Moments

Today we welcome Kristen Kehoe to the House - she's got some common sense tips for happier living!

Hello ladies of The REALLY Real Housewives and everyone else! Thank you for having me.

Before with worry
Yes, captain. I suffer from what I’m starting to understand as the mom illness, AKA I have to do it all, be it all, know it all, and I better be efficient while I’m at it.

What does this mean? Well, it means I like to worry about anything. Everything. All of it. Why? Please see above for the aforementioned illness.

Honestly? I want to know that what I’m doing is enough—for my family, myself, my career…I also like to make lists ;) I’m organized in my crazy.

But, lovely people, in my thirty-two young years (seriously, I adore my thirties), through the people around me, experiences I have had and those I’ve observed, I’ve learned that worry is not the key to a good life. Living is.

What’s that, you say? What is this thing called living, and who has time for it? Trust me, I hear you.

We all have bills to pay, work to stress over and complete, housework to contend with, a spouse to communicate with, maybe even spend alone time with, and children to feed, scold, praise, feed, cuddle, nurture, educate, love, etc. We all have those things, whatever they are, that we do every day to make sure we can keep our lives functioning. But living isn’t just about those necessary things that keep us going, however much they consume us; it includes stopping, looking around, and being in this moment (even if this moment includes going insane from cabin fever while the school dares to cancel for ice and snow again. Don’t they know we just had winter break? Another game of Candy Land or Connect Four or, sweet baby jeebus, BARBIES, will kill me).

For me, living in these moments means turning my phone onto airplane mode, or Do Not Disturb, and resisting the urge to check my steps for the day, or my book rankings, or sales dashboard, or reading the latest blog post about finding more readers and greater success. It means resisting the urge to scroll through my Instagram feed and compare myself to every other crafting-DIY-CrossFit mom who has five times the number of children and projects as me, and ten percent less body-fat and wrinkles.

  • Living means putting on rain boots and taking my puppy and daughter for a walk, even when she’s whining and the dog is chewing on her leash trying to walk herself, and I’m half-crazy by the end of those two miles.
  • Living means accepting that my body is thirty-two, not seventeen, not twenty-five, and the marks and curves (fine, lumps) it bears are those of life, not just age.
  • And living means looking at myself in the mirror instead of the Instagram filter, and knowing that happiness is mine for the taking—if I’m willing—and it is not dependent on flawless skin, great lashes, or smooth hair (read: everything I would have to purchase in order to have).


After letting go of worry
It’s not ground breaking, but if there is any advice that I might be qualified to give (and trust me, the jury is still out on that) it is that for a few moments a day, we have to stop, look away from the never-ending stack of “to-do” and “worry-about” and “status update,” and embrace the moment.

Kiss your cat, your kids, your dog, your partner, your spouse…heck, kiss your kindle and the book boyfriends that live in it and just live. We often look for happiness in those big moments—but life is made up of small moments, insignificant moments, that all paint that one chaotic and brilliant picture. So live today, right now, over your first or fifth cup of coffee. We can go back to worrying in just a minute.

Until next time.
xoxo

Kristen Kehoe is a wife, mother to a four-year-old girl and four-month-old puppy, teacher, romance author, and captain of the crazy train. Nice to meet you ;-)
Website
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...