Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Welcome July....Patriotic Punch...



Enjoy this refreshing Patriotic Sangria for the 4th:


Sunday, June 28, 2020

Lavender....

Lavender 

It always reminds me of our trip to the French Riviera, where I bought the prettiest lavender
sachets at a little shop where they also sold the loveliest linens.  I had a brief conversation with the shopkeeper, we both spoke a little of each other's language and had a few good laughs!

The fragrance from the oils of the lavender plant is believed to help promote calmness and wellness. It's also said to help reduce stress, anxiety, and possibly even mild pain.

if you are growing lavender, here are a few uses for it:



Lavender Water
To make lavender water simply follow these steps: Bring 4 c water to a fast boil. Pour this over 2 tablespoons of fresh or dried lavender flowers in a non-metallic bowl. Cover the bowl and leave at room temperature at least until it is cool or up to overnight. 
Lavender water is commonly used to scent linens or clothing. A little spray before ironing will perfume most fabrics with the fresh scent of lavender. You can also use it as an air freshener or furniture spray.

Drying Lavender 
Use two rubber bands per dried lavender bunch—one just beneath the flower heads and one at the base of stems. Hang bundles upside down to dry in a dark, warm spot. Protect drying lavender from sunlight to retain best color, and place a bowl beneath the bundles to catch any buds or blooms that might fall.

Go here to find  10 things to make with lavender!




Thursday, June 25, 2020

Compliments and Praise on Social Media.....is it always genuine?






Can you compliment someone too much?

I recently read an article about compliments and comments online.  The author mentioned that she did not receive as many comments on her blog as she used to and wondered if others felt the same. 

 I think most of us realize who reads our posts, many of us have trackers, some check their stats and some even have comments disabled.  About 10% of my blog visitors leave a comment and it is nice to communicate with them.  I receive genuine comments, emails and Direct Messages on my Social Media and it is rewarding to build these relationships.  So many are kind and genuine and brighten my day!

The article went on to discuss comments and when they become disingenuous!  These are some interesting points she made:


The too-frequent compliment

By giving nonstop compliments, you seem insincere, and even if you genuinely feel this way, it would be best to keep some of those words of admiration to yourself. Also, the downside of giving too many compliments is that people come to expect them from you.  It can also be exhausting on the receiving end.  



Make your compliment genuine 

Compliments and comments on social media can easily veer into flattery and feel hollow and artificial,  leaving the recipient wondering about the giver’s hidden agenda.  The more compliments you give, the less they mean!  And she stressed that it is not necessary to comment back to a comment left.  Many people use this tactic on FaceBook so that their posts are brought back up to the top of everyone's feed, that is why you sometimes see the same post, over and over and over again!   A simple "like" can acknowledge the compliment.


Don't bring the compliment back to YOU

There is a type of compliment that a person gives, and it always brings it back to themself, for instance  “I love your chair.  I have one that I adore and everyone loves.  It has the prettiest fabric and is so comfy.  It is the first chair that my guest go to when they visit” ……..some people don’t realize how they can hijack a compliment and make sure it ends up being about them!   The envious compliment is even more troubling: "Oh, I have to have one of those, too, where did you get it??"

 It can be construed as selfish and double-dealing! 



We all like to be acknowledged, but when does it become unreal?

Not every post, photograph, idea or craft needs to be acknowledged, especially when you see the same post on Instagram, Facebook and on a blog.  Think about WHY you are commenting and complimenting, ask yourself if it is about you or the person you are addressing, don't overdo it, and be genuine
 
All of her points gave me some 'food for thought".  She ended by saying "some people do not need a lot of attention, they post ideas and pictures just for the pure pleasure of sharing and for others to enjoy!"



Any thoughts from you?

Sunday, June 21, 2020

The Power of Words....

I am a retired teacher with over 25 years of experience and while in the classroom I knew the power of my words and how they could affect a teenager's life, I understood how words had the ability to help, heal, hinder, harm, humiliate and humble. I could motivate and influence my students with my vocabulary as well as with my silence, expressions and/or encouragement.  My words helped to build positive relationships, drove positive behavior and impacted many, many lives over the years.  

I could manifest change with my words! 

I understood the power of words!



I started blogging over 10 years ago as a way to journal and share ideas.  I know I have influenced some with a few of my creative ideas, I have made incredible friendships, and I have been inspired by so many.

What I never gave much thought to was how my words on this blog or on Instagram would affect others as much as they do.  

During the Pandemic I tried to stay positive, posting photos with inspiring quotes, sharing recipes and encouraging thoughts.  It was a challenging time to blog because I was housebound for so long.

I received lots of feedback, inspiration, messages and thanks from many followers and they were all appreciated, especially because as a blogger you don't always know whose lives you have touched.




My point is this:

I received a lovely note and gift from a woman who said I inspired her to 
"spread some sunshine....and instead of buying, started gifting".  

Out of the kindest of her heart, she sent me this lovely MacKenzie-Childs pitcher to use when my "wonderful hubby makes breakfast".



All bloggers appreciate comments on their posts, but to receive a gift and hand written note is an extraordinary and spectacular surprise!

Simply put, words hold an immense and tremendous power to manifest change, and hopefully for the best.  It can be contagious, can make you feel appreciated and can promote a bond of friendship.



So this past Saturday, when John made his "Saturday Breakfast", we enjoyed a pitcher of Mango  Mimosas!


Cheers to YOU!



Because of this sweet gift, I will also be "paying it forward" to someone who has inspired me!

Thanks to my dear friend and I hope our paths cross again soon!



Circus Glassware by MacKenzie-Childs

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Maple Bacon Butter....

I don't think I will ever eat pancakes or french toast without this delicious butter....ever again!


You must use 100% maple syrup and real butter!


It's very simple to make!

Mix together:
1/4 c butter at room temp
2 t maple syrup
1 slice of crispy cooked bacon, crumbled
1 t bacon grease

I pressed mine into butter molds, but that isn't necessary!


Pretty roses:


I have never tasted anything so delish on french toast!


I think this will also be a delicious way to add flavor to plain ol' toast, too!



Friday, June 19, 2020

Meatloaf Stuffed Zucchini...


The other night I made meatloaf for dinner and had a little brainstorm for the next night's dinner.  I rolled up some of the uncooked meatloaf mixture and wrapped it in plastic:



The next night I halved 2 zucchinis  and hollowed out the centers a bit....


...and seasoned them with EVOO and spices:


I sprinkle a bit of shredded cheddar into the cavities and chopped up a bit of green peppers and onion to add on top:


I "squished" (new culinary term) the meatloaf on top...


and sprinkled on some more cheese and baked them at 350° for 30 -35 minutes :



This was definitely an experiment and they turned out delish!


I ate 2 halves!!


And the next day I heated up a leftover piece and added a little salsa on top for an additional flavor!



I have stuffed zucchini with a sausage mixture before but this was just as good!

This is definitely something I will make again!!


Wednesday, June 17, 2020

It's Strawberry Season in CNY....


It is strawberry pickin' time in Central NY and William's Farm always has bright red, delicious, and juicy strawberries!  

What to do with all of your berries?  

Here are a few ideas:




You can make strawberry mice with licorice string for tails, chocolate chips for eyes and nose and sliced almonds for ears:





Make a Strawberry Pie :



  Try some Strawberry Bread :



  Make some jam :
               

Try Tequila Infused Strawberries for an adult party:


OR


Make a simple fruit salad for lunch:


Have a refreshing cocktail:


Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese and also contain decent amounts of folate (vitamin B9) and potassium.  They are very rich in antioxidants and plant compounds, which may have benefits for heart health and blood sugar control.  They also: 

  • improve blood antioxidant status
  • decrease oxidative stress
  • reduce inflammation
  • improve vascular function
  • improve your blood lipid profile
  • reduce the harmful oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol
Hope you have a BERRY good day!


Monday, June 15, 2020

Strawberry and Mint Mojito....




This is the perfect season for a "strawberry cocktail".

In Central NY it is 'Strawberry Pickin' Season' and my mint is flourishing in my little garden!


My spearmint is coming back from last year and my large mint plant is full ready to be pinched back!


All you need is vodka, mint, a few strawberries, a lime and soda water:


Muddle 2 strawberries and 5-6 mint leaves in the bottom of a glass. Add a shot of vodka, squeeze in a small wedge of lime and top with soda water!


It's a pretty drink, especially when you garnish it with a berry, a lime slice and a sprig of mint:


It's best to drink this with a straw, or you can strain it:



This is such a refreshing drink for an afternoon break!


If you are looking for more cocktail recipes, visit my recipe page and scroll to "COCKTAILS"


CHEERS!

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