10 Hours or Less

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A new year means a new start!  And, like previous new years that have come my way, a resolution is bound to be established.  On Christmas, my mother-in-law, hubby, and myself joined together to make the same resolution together.  Our resolution is simple: We will watch only 10 hours of television a week.

Now, I’m sure some of you are aghast that we watched more than that to begin with.  In an attempt to be as honest with my readers as possible, I will ashamedly admit that I watched A LOT of television previously.  It didn’t feel like it… maybe it was just on in the background while I scrolled through Pinterest, or it was simply something to look at while I mindlessly ate my lunch.  No matter what the reason (or excuse) I had for watching it, the bottom line is it was poisoning me and my health in general.  And I didn’t realize the extent of this until I hit the “power” button.

This morning as I was eating my breakfast, a certain buzzing noise was kind of driving me crazy.  I got up only to realize it was the refrigerator running (better go catch it!).  Is that the sound my refrigerator makes?!  Who knew??  Now, the sounds of my house and my neighborhood in general have become my background noise.  I never knew these sounds existed because the sound of infomercials, car commercials, and screaming reality TV stars were constantly overpowering them.

The idea of the three of us doing this together is for a couple of reasons…
1) accountability: This is not the type of resolution I could do on my own, while my husband sat engulfed in the latest episode of Duck Dynasty.  Let’s face it- I have some willpower, but that situation would not last long.
2) It’s only been a few days, and we are already swapping stories of our various revolutions.  We have become more aware of our stress levels, what we’re eating, our conversations with one another, and our activity level.

I can’t wait to see how this will change us as our resolution continues!

I hope to share with you some of my lessons learned from this change in my life, and I hope I will also have some great DIY projects to share as well.  Now that I have all of this free time, I plan to cook more, start some projects I’ve been wanting to pursue, and definitely post more often on my blog I enjoy so much!

Do you make New Years resolutions?  What are they??  I enjoy hearing from you so much!!

~GOD BLESS!!

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Christmas Eve

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I just want to take a moment to send out some prayers to all of you for a happy, healthy Christmas season.  We aren’t traveling for Christmas this year, and while I miss my family it is nice to host a small
Christmas celebration here at our new home with my mother-in-law.

I leave you now with a Christmas prayer…

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth
~
Philippians 2:8-10

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Christmas Decorating

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Hello loves!

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, it is time to start decorating for Christmas!!  I am always excited to decorate my home for Christmas, and this year is no exception!

Here is a sneak peek at some of the decor I have up so far…

The mantel so far…

Christmas trees, glitter, and candles… does it get much better?!

The wreath I made above the mantel

… and a fun basket in the faux fireplace

I can’t get enough of this glitter reindeer!

That’s all I have to share for now, but I will be posting more soon!  I would love to see how you are decorating your home for the holidays!

DIY Bronzer

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Now that our 80 degree days are behind us, some pale-skinned individuals like myself look to bronzers to enhance what our momma’s didn’t give us.  I headed to my kitchen last weekend to put together an all-natural bronzer and I would love to share the recipe with you!

Here are your ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 15 drops rose otto, lavender, or rosemary essential oil

If you don’t have essential oil, don’t fret.  I prefer a powder-based bronzer so I did not include it.  The essential oil will make it more compact.  Begin with a clean make-up compact.  I re-used an old powder container I had been saving for a moment of beauty genius (ta-dah!)

Next, mix your ingredients.  A few things to remember: the cocoa powder will add depth of color, the corn starch will even out the color, and cinnamon adds glow.  After using the original recipe above for a few days, I went back and added some more cocoa powder.  I prefer to use my bronzer for contouring and I felt like the addition of more cocoa powder helped.

Finally, put your finished product in your make-up container.  Now you are all set to be a bronzed beauty throughout the coming months!

Have a great week!!

Punkin Seeds!

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Of course I know “punkin” isn’t a real word, but that’s how my husband refers to pumpkins so this post title is dedicated to him.  Love you, even if you use language sometimes that would make me think you have fewer teeth than you actually do.

I would like to share with you a Halloween tradition for me since college.  Thanks to my roomies my sophomore year of college, I discovered what most people already know: that pumpkin seeds toasted with seasoning salt are the best.thing.ever.    I love carving pumpkins around Halloween, but knowing that you will ultimately end up with a tasty treat makes it that much more enjoyable!

First, of course: carve those pumpkins!!  Have fun with it!  What face are you making? Is it a character? A person?  An animal?  Go crazy!

Matt going to town on his punkin

Once you have all of the innards out of the pumpkin, separate the seeds from the goo.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  After separating, rinse all of the pumpkins seeds so they are free of “pumpkin film”.  Then put them on an ungreased cookie sheet.  It’s ok if they’re wet – the water will evaporate in the oven.

Now you will sprinkle all of the seeds with the seasoning salt of your chosing.  I prefer Lawry’s, but it’s totally up to you.

Put the seeds in the oven for about 10-14 minutes.  I recommend checking them at 10 minutes to do a taste test.  There’s nothing worse to me than a soggy pumpkin seed, but some prefer them soggy.
If you prefer them on the crispy side like myself, leaving them in for closer to 12 minutes is perfect.

Yummy!

Now you are free to enjoy!

Here’s what our pumpkins look like on the front porch:

I love this fall wreath!

You literally have to hoard your own secret stash of pumpkin seeds if you want them to last more than a day in our house.
Is this a Halloween tradition in your home?  As always, I love to hear from you!

Cabo San Loco… Day 1

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Boy do I have some stories for you!  First let me say I am so thankful we were able to take a trip like this together, and overall our vacation in Cabo gave us the opportunity to connect in ways we could not have predicted.  We are blessed!

Tropical vacations for fair-skinned individuals like myself involve freckles populating my entire body to the point that, from about 100 yards away, it resembles a tan-like appearance.  Here I am prior to leaving Chicago.  We haven’t even left the country and this is the deepest tan I will have.  It’s a spray tan.

After getting through the maze of the airport and heaving our travel-weary bodies into a taxi, we made it.  The resort was good.  Not excellent, but I’m not going to be the booger in the punch bowl on this.
We were at a resort in Cabo.  Enough said.
Things were going great.  As soon as we checked into the hotel we made our way to the pool and immediately met 2 couples that were staying at our same resort.  They were also from Ohio and had that Midwestern warmth we love so much!  These Toledo-ians were Paul and Becky, and Dennis and Joyce.

Dennis and Joyce have been vacationing in Cabo for about 4 years now and had a lot of tips they were more than happy to share with us.  “SKY AUCTION DOT COM!” Dennis kept telling us.  It started as a mere suggestion, but soon became the topic of every third conversation.  Dennis was only trying to help us plan our future vacations, but this guy should seriously get paid royalties from skyauction.com for as much as he promotes it.  We found out later Dennis may or may not have gotten kicked out of a time share presentation because he talked about it so much.

After chatting with our new Cabo/Ohio BFF’s for a while, we decided to go to dinner with them at a local place called Maro’s.  It’s in downtown Cabo and is not someplace we would have ever found without their guidance.  At Maro’s we feasted on Mexican fare at a price suited for American tourists.  We also couldn’t resist getting their signature drink, a Beer-garita.  It was a great little place with an even better atmosphere.
Apparently we weren’t as “in” with the local crowd as we thought, because we discovered these hanging on the wall around the corner from our table.

So it may not have been as authentic as we thought…

After dinner we walked the streets, stopping to pet the lizard, and ended at our destination Cabo Blue.  Cabo Blue is an outdoor sports bar, complete with a projection screen on the side of a wooden building showing the current game/contest/fight.
Saturday night it happened to be boxing.

Paul and me meeting a new friend

The four of us found a large table and ordered drinks while Matt and Paul found a small cigar shop to peruse.  Matt and Paul returned with their purchases and Matt handed me my cigar.  We do not regularly smoke cigars, but it is a guilty pleasure that we enjoy from time to time.  And when is a better time to indulge in a guilty pleasure than on vacation?!
Light that thing, babe!
I wasn’t but 5 puffs into my cigar and zero sips into my beer when I knew I needed to stop smoking and drinking.  My head was spinning and I was most definitely out of it.  I excused myself to use the restroom, but as soon as I walked in, I turned around and walked back out.  That’s the last thing I remember until I woke back up to the sound of people yelling my name and asking me all kinds of questions at the same time.

I completely passed out after coming out of the bathroom.  It’s ok though, luckily my skull took the fall for me.  Dennis told me later it sounded like a melon was smashed on the pavement when I fell.
Even writing that makes me nauseous all over again.

When I awoke, there were people yelling questions from all angles.  “WHAT IS YOUR NAME?! WHERE ARE YOU?! WHAT DAY IS IT?! WHAT’S YOUR HUSBAND’S NAME?!” Even if I hadn’t just suffered an excruciating fall I would want to punch all of these people in the face.  My current state made the later impossible, so I just laid there like the slug I was and thankfully blurted out the appropriate answers.

After a short time I asked to sit up.  This position lasted approximately 15 seconds before I needed to lay back down again.
I could hear ambulance sirens in the background.

The next thing I knew I felt myself getting strapped onto a gurney and a brace being secured around my neck.
And off we went!

I will spare you the details of my ultimately humiliating ambulance ride, as this must remain on a need to know basis.  Grin.

We arrived at the hospital to a very friendly doctor who spoke English very well.  His attempts to joke with us while I was in and out of consciousness were interrupted occasionally by his Metallica ringtone.  Was this really happening??
After receiving 2 IV bags of fluids, we were told I would be admitted for the night and given another bag of fluids.  So there we were.  Matt; our Metallica-loving, English-speaking doctor; the Spanish-only speaking, nodding and smiling nurse; and me.  Just the four of us.  In the whole hospital.

Just my bump and me

The next morning, after some outside assistance, we were discharged and released back into our Mexican paradise.

And our vacation resumed.