Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

meal ideas ~ an Irish stew for the day after

St Patrick’s Day was yesterday, sadly I worked and couldn't have my traditional Corned Beef n Cabbage and I love corned beef and cabbage. Are you like me and need something different for the "Day After St. Patrick' Day"? Well, friends, here is a simple delicious traditional Irish recipe that will fill your tummies with a comfort food delight. Also, and this is very important!~Be sure to have some nice cold Irish Beer handy.

Beer Braised Irish Stew and *Colcannon
makes 8 servings
Irish Stew:
 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
 1 (3 pound) beef chuck roast, trimmed 
      of fat and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
 1 cup coarsely chopped onion
 1 cup coarsely chopped carrot
 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle dark beer
 2 bay leaves
 1 teaspoon dried thyme
 1 teaspoon salt
 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
 2 cloves garlic, minced
 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

 3 slices bacon
 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
 2 cups thinly sliced kale or cabbage
 1/4 cup milk, warmed
 2 tablespoons butter
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F

Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until very hot, and brown the meat in 2 batches, stirring to brown the cubes on all sides. Return all the meat to the Dutch oven, sprinkle with flour, and stir lightly to coat the meat with flour. Stir in onion, carrots, dark beer, bay leaves, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, and cover.

Place the Dutch oven into the preheated oven, and cook for 45 minutes; uncover, stir the stew, and cook until the beef is very tender and the liquid is reduced by half, about 45 more minutes.
Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate. Crumble the bacon and set aside.

About 30 minutes before the stew is ready, make the colcannon: Place the potatoes into a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and allow to steam dry for a minute or two.
Place the cabbage into a microwave-safe bowl, and add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water. Cover and microwave on High for about 2 1/2 minutes; uncover (watch out for steam) and stir the cabbage. Cover and microwave for about 2 1/2 more minutes, until the cabbage is slightly tender but not mushy. Drain excess liquid, and set the cabbage aside, covered.

Place the potatoes into a large bowl, and add milk, butter, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Beat the potatoes with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Stir in the cabbage, crumbled bacon, and parsley until well combined.

To serve, place a scoop of colcannon onto a plate, make a hollow, and fill with braised beef stew.

From Wikipedia
Colcannon (Irish: cál ceannann, meaning "white-headed cabbage") is a traditional Irish dish mainly consisting of mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage. It is also the name of a song about the dish.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

healthy living ~help for the LBF challenge

Well, to say the least... my "Belly Fat" challenge has not been the wonderful results I had hoped, so I sat back and thought about this. As soon as I awaken and think about the healthy day I am going to have... I IMMEDIATELY want to I should not.  Okay this is mental- not physical- so I need to approach this from the psychological side of things. And how does one do that best? With affirmations, convincing your consciousness what the subconscious already knows.

Creating or maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be hard work and there are many reasons why people give up before reaching their goals. Often times, people find it too difficult to stick to the exercise routine, the diet, or simply get frustrated when the pounds don’t shed quickly enough. It is because of these facts that positive affirmations are so important and helpful. Whatever the reason, many people start with high resolve but find themselves reverting back to their old lifestyle, and positive health affirmations can make the difference between success and failure. 

Health Affirmations and How They Work  
A bit like “brain washing” yourself, ha! .... Health affirmations are statements that, when repeated over a period of time, help reshape internal motivations for losing weight, frequent exercise and becoming healthy. The result is that the subconscious mind begins to actually want to do these things and starts working with you instead of against you! 
The subconscious mind reasons that even though the desire to lose weight and eat healthy foods is strong, it is too hard and cannot be done; therefore, there is no use in trying. Health affirmations seek to change that thinking by replacing those thoughts with a positive attitude and motivation. These new inner beliefs of the mind lead to a permanent, lasting, and healthy lifestyle. 

How to Effectively Use Affirmations   
This method attempts to change the mind’s self-talk by reaffirming the determination to become healthy. This takes several repetitions over a period of time. It is best done either in the morning or right before bed, when the body is in a relaxed state and the subconscious mind is most receptive. Set aside at least 10 minutes for this practice. 

Below are some tips to keep in mind as you prepare to repeat your health affirmations: 
Sit in a comfortable position and ensure that each part of your body is comfortable.
Make a mental note that this time is set aside to relax, and there is nothing else to do until the session is over.
Take a deep, slow breath in through the nose and hold it for a second or two, until the tightness is felt in the chest. Let the breath out slowly through the mouth.
Relax the jaw by keeping the teeth separated slightly.
Take another deep breath, hold, and let out through the mouth. Notice the relaxed and loose feeling.
Focus on relaxing and breathing naturally. Feel the muscles becoming loose.
Repeat the health affirmations first out loud and then in the mind.
Continue repeating the affirmations throughout the day, several times a day. They are also helpful to say when faced with temptation. 

Positive Affirmations for Optimal Health  
Many more affirmations can be found if you search, but here are eight to start with. You can change any to fit your needs. I usually stay with just five at a time, so they are easy to remember and I don’t bog myself down.   

  • My desire for sugary foods is diminishing.
  • I do a healthy amount of exercise regularly.
  • My body gets all the nutrients it needs.
  • My desire for fattening foods is dissolving.
  • I have a strong urge to eat only healthy nutritious foods.
  • I feel good about myself.
  • I am attaining and maintaining my ideal weight.
  • I am strong and healthy.
  • I am peaceful and calm.

Positive Affirmations for Balance
 Now that you are learning to set-up yourself with some healthy affirmations, you can add a couple of days a week some healing time too. Here are the Chakra Affirmations I sometimes do- and need to get back to doing regularly.

You can use these affirmations on yourself by visualizing the corresponding color of each chakra as you sit quietly and feel yourself healing.

7. Crown Chakra: "I let go and I trust the process of life."
6. Third Eye Chakra: "I am wise."
5. Throat Chakra: "I am fully expressive. I express myself fully and appropriately."
4. Heart Chakra: "I am a radiant being of light and love."
3. Solar Plexus Chakra: "I accept myself completely."
2. Sacral Chakra: "I am filled with creativity."
1. Root Chakra: "I am disciplined. I attend to my mind, body and spirit everyday."

Although this may seem like a simple technique, it has amazing power to balance and align your chakra system and improve the overall quality of your life.

Monday, March 16, 2015


The search for deeper existence is a common in many of our lives. In our seeking, words of wisdom may help us navigate the journey within.

Here are 10 insights on human spirituality, collected from diverse philosophies, religions, teachers and traditions. Go slowly, allowing yourself time to reflect on each individual thought before moving to the next.

1. Jesus
That which you seek is already here, but you do not recognize it. (The Gospel of Thomas)

2. Buddha
No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.

3. Lao Tzu
Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear?

4. Hinduism
Go within yourself, and what you achieve there will overshadow your imperfections. (Sri Chinmoy)

5. Bahai
With the human soul, there is no decline. Its only movement is towards perfection; growth and progress alone constitute the motion of the soul.

6. Sufism
If you wish to find what you are looking for, remove that which hides your heart. (Kabir)

7. Zen Philosophy
With the sound of water falling into a stone bowl, suddenly the dust of your mind has been washed away. (Sen-No-Rikyu)

8. Judaism
Let your heart become ever more humble so that you may give yourself equally to all. Then you will be capable of meditating. (Isaac of Acco)

9. Catholicism
If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark. (St. John of the Cross)

10. Classical Philosophy
Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look. (Marcus Aurelius, Roman)

Just as none of us have the exact same experiences in life, no two philosophies and religions touch upon the same elements of our spirituality. However, looking past cultural and historical differences, we may be amazed by the similarities that persist between traditions. Remember that no matter where your destination lies, or where your path goes, the spiritual journey first begins within you – the individual human being.

Monday, March 9, 2015

a successful life

we all are born into a beginning with a soul in its purest form, we should all strive to gain wisdom and understanding without the loss of that purity; keeping it strong to the end of our path. for me, that will be a successful life.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

meal ideas ~ my favorite omelets

I really love omelets; packed with protein, eggs are a great way to start your day, have for lunch, or even that light and tasty dinner- they're great anytime. Try one of these recipes that are carb-smart and delicious.

Vegetable-Filled Omelets
Start the day with a low-calorie, protein-loaded egg breakfast. Bursting at the seams with herbed tomatoes, cucumber, and summer squash, this vegetarian omelet fills us up with just 7 grams of carb per serving.

1/2 cup no-salt-added diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, well drained
 1/2 cup chopped, seeded cucumber
 1/2 cup chopped yellow summer squash
 1/2 of a ripe avocado, seeded, peeled, and chopped
 2 eggs
 1 cup egg product
 2 tablespoons water
 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
 Nonstick cooking spray
 1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers
 Snipped fresh chives (optional)

For filling, in a medium bowl stir together tomatoes, cucumber, squash, and avocado. Set aside.

 In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, egg product, the water, basil, salt, and pepper. For each omelet, coat an 8-inch nonstick skillet generously with cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium heat. Add a generous 1/3 cup of the egg mixture to hot skillet. Quickly begin stirring eggs gently but continuously with a wooden spatula until mixture resembles cooked egg pieces surrounded by liquid egg. Stop stirring. Cook for 30 to 60 seconds more or until egg is set.

Spoon 1/2 cup of the filling over one side of omelet. Carefully fold omelet over the filling. Very carefully remove omelet from skillet. Repeat to make four omelets total, using paper towels to wipe skillet clean and spraying with cooking spray between omelets.

 Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the cheese over each omelet. If desired, garnish with chives.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 128 cal., 6 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 97 mg chol., 357 mg sodium, 7 g carb. (3 g fiber, 4 g sugars), 12 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Fat (d.e): 1; Mark as Free Exchange (d.e): 0; Lean Meat (d.e): 1.5; Vegetables (d.e): 1;

Quick and Easy Omelet
Indulge in breakfast in bed with this ready-in-minutes omelet. Round out the relaxing meal with fresh fruit or juice and toast.

Nonstick cooking spray
 2 cups refrigerated egg product, or 8 eggs
 2 tablespoons snipped fresh chives, Italian parsley, or chervil
 1/8 teaspoon salt
 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
 2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves or torn fresh spinach
 1 recipe Red Pepper Relish (see recipe)

 Coat an 10-inch nonstick skillet with flared sides with cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium heat.

 In a large bowl combine the eggs, chives, salt, and cayenne pepper. Use rotary beater or wire whisk to beat until frothy. Pour into prepared skillet. Immediately begin stirring the eggs gently but continuously with a wooden or plastic spatula until mixture resembles small pieces of cooked egg surrounded by liquid egg. Stop stirring. Cook for 30 to 60 seconds more or until egg is set but shiny.

 When egg is set but still shiny, sprinkle with cheese. Top with 1 cup of the spinach and 1/4 cup of the Red Pepper Relish. With a spatula, lift and fold one side of omelet partially over filling. Arrange remaining spinach on warm platter. Transfer omelet to platter. Top with remaining relish. Makes 4 servings.

Red Pepper Relish
2/3 cup chopped red sweet pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion or onion
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

 In a small bowl combine pepper, green onion, vinegar, and black pepper.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 122 cal., 3 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 10 mg chol., 404 mg sodium, 7 g carb. (3 g fiber), 16 g pro Diabetic ExchangesLean Meat (d.e): 2; Vegetables (d.e): 1.5; Fat (d.e): 0.5

Fresh Tomato Omelets with Mozzarella Cheese
This simple recipe whips together in minutes, so you can have a leisurely breakfast even on the go. If you prefer, substitute basil, dill, or marjoram for the oregano.

1 cup egg product  or 4 eggs, beaten
 1/8 teaspoon salt
 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
 Nonstick cooking spray
 1 tsp snipped fresh oregano or 1/4 tsp dried
 4 medium tomato slices
 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (1 ounce)

 In a small bowl, stir together eggs, salt, and pepper. Coat an unheated 8-inch nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat over medium heat. Pour 1/2 cup of the egg mixture into the hot skillet.

 Immediately begin stirring egg mixture gently but continuously with a wooden or plastic spatula until mixture resembles small pieces of cooked egg surrounded by liquid egg. Stop stirring. Cook for 30 to 60 seconds more or until egg mixture is set but shiny.

 Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of the fresh oregano or 1/8 teaspoon of the dried oregano onto eggs. Place 2 slices of tomato on top of one half of the egg mixture in skillet. Top with half the shredded mozzarella.

 With a spatula, lift and fold opposite edge of the omelet over tomato slices. Transfer to a warm plate. Repeat with remaining egg mixture, oregano, tomato, and cheese to make another omelet. Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:  103 cal., 2 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 9 mg chol., 463 mg sodium, 4 g carb. (1 g fiber), 16 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Fat (d.e): 0.5; Lean Meat (d.e): 2; Vegetables (d.e): 0.5

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

healthy living ~ week four, vintage stuff

Here we are at week four, how is it going with your “Flatten That Tummy” challenge. All I can say about mine--- is that it was a whole lot easier “developing” my belly fat than trying now to “demolish” it.  There is a battle of the buldge going on at my midsection...but I will prevail. I was talking to a friend, who is also involved with this challenge, about a machine that my mother had when I was a kid- it was one of those vibrating belts... I use to have fun playing with it, but like all of that kind of stuff- it was worthless for weight loss. I caught my mom one time even using a baker's rolling pin on her stomach and if to mash up the fat so it would just dissolve away. She got the idea from a popular rolling machine she had seen in an ad.

So, as we continue with our mighty challenge I thought it would be fun to post some vintage machines and products of old. Some are pretty funny, some you may remember, some I had even tried....ha!

anyone remember these?

there was a day when women were actually too skinny?

Monday, March 2, 2015

march's advice from a....

like this? check out  Earth Sun & Moon Trading Company website, they have a lot of fun-fun shirts, jackets, and hats of this nature
~pun intended~