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Showing posts from November, 2016

Project Beautiful's #PBColorOurWorld Brown

Say hello to Project Beautiful, a group of bloggers who are fascinated by the world around them, including things such as gardening, nature, books, cooking, children, and more! This is our monthly blog round up of posts centered around a specific color.  Last month, we featured the color orange and now this month, brown!


Let's talk about brown a bit.  Brown is a composite color, meaning it is a combination of colors to make it.  There are many ways to make brown.  You can combine all the colors together, or you can use red and green in specific proportions to make brown.  Brown is the least liked color, according to some, but I love its richness and velvety smoothness.  In languages other than English, brown sounds a lot like our word for coffee.

Blooming Secrets featured these lovely b…
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Teamwork and Thanksgiving: Our Best Tips

My mother has been organizing Thanksgiving dinners since 1958.  We were talking during her recent hospitalization about her memories of Thanksgivings through the years and I got to hear many stories which lead to these best hints for a holiday filled with Teamwork and Thanksgiving.


My mom's earliest memories are with her mom's family.  Her cousins and her aunts and uncles took turns hosting the event and would come together at one of the homes. They spent the whole day with these families and playing with the cousins.  The women all brought dishes to help the hostess.  The kids sat away from the grown ups and in this family, no wine or alcohol was involved.  The best teamwork tip from this era was let people bring a dish!

My grandmother started hosting her own Thanksgiving when he…
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Homemade Pumpkin Puree

As much as I like my easy cooking, there are times when some things are just worth going the extra mile for.  One of these extra mile things is pumpkin puree.  You've done it, opened a can of pumpkin and seen that orange mass and scooped it out of the can for your pie.  This is what I know of pumpkin.  Pie filling and the puree that comes from a can.


 Until I met Evelyne from Nemscok Farms.  Evelyne told me the joys of roasting your own pumpkin and making your own puree.  Evelyne is no stranger to this blog.  She's my friend who sells the delicious chamomile tea that I love and recently published an eBook on knitting.  Her Nemscok Farm blog talks about all kinds of things related to homestyle living and her knitting blog, Knit's End, shared all kinds of delightful patterns and…
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10 Reflections on my 58th Birthday

It's my 58th birthday today, and I am thinking about my life and all the lessons I have learned that have helped me grow into the person I am today.




1.  There is no such thing as fair.
Everyone gets handed things in life that aren't fair.  My brother passed away when he was three.  I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian disease in 1982, lupus in 1996, and breast cancer in 2009. This isn't a pity party.  Each of us our dealt our own hand.  It is what we do with the cards that matters.

2.  Worrying solves nothing.
Worrying is such a time waster.  There are so many things you can do in the same amount of time as worrying, and in the end, you will have a painting, a knitted blanket, or a blog post.  Worrying never solved a problem, made your bank account flush, or brought your spou…
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Wine and Tea Poached Eggs #TastyParTEA

A baker's dozen bloggers have come together to share different recipes that use tea during the month of November. Whether you're a fan of sweet or savory #TastyParTEA's creations will make your mouth water.

This is a creation I read about years ago in a magazine I subscribed to that was all about Tea. I loved that magazine but I believe it went out of print a few years back.  The recipe was for Wine and Tea Poached Eggs.  Doesn't that sound different???

So, while I am making the eggs, I thought I would share with you my morning ritual of having a cup of this ImmuniTea with breakfast every day.  I am a breast cancer survivor and I am always looking for ways to boost my immune system and doing it naturally.  This tea is a perfect way for me to boost my immune system and star…
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The Final Secret Recipe Blog Post~Milk Poached Eggs

It is with a heavy heart that I share with you that the Secret Recipe Club is coming to a close. I met some awesome food bloggers during this time and learned so much from each of them.  I wish all the participants the best of luck and hope to work together in the future.  I must say thank you to our two wonderful bloggers who kept us organized, Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla and Sarah, from Fantastical Sharing who was the curator of Secret Recipe Club.

For this final event, I was assigned Melissa from Smells Like Brownies.  Isn't that the cutest blog name?  Melissa is a stay-at-home mom, which we all know is a fantastic opportunity for her and her family.  She started her blog with the intention of finding the perfect chocolate chip cookie.  Through her experiments, sh…
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Homemade Headache Salve

Trying to reduce the amount of chemicals in my body, I looked for a solution to my headaches.  Most of my headaches are caused by allergies or stress, so I wanted to find a easy, inexpensive and effective method for easing the pain.  I had tried a wonderful product that was a roller ball that you stroked across your forehead that was very effective, but the product was a bit expensive and hard to find.


This homemade product reminds me of the rollerball one.  The idea is to smear a bit of the product across the forehead, on the temples or on the nape of your neck.  You can also just simply inhale the scent.  The scent of the product (essential oils) helps your muscles relax so that the tension can be relieved.

Combine 1/4 c coconut oil with 1 T sweet almond oil.  Melt by either microwaving…
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Thanksgiving Side Dishes

Our family takes great joy in my sister's perfectly cooked turkey and her rolls made from my grandmother's from scratch recipe (Lorraine Wilson Holt).  When we have these at our table, Thanksgiving is complete!

Our side dishes generally compose of the following: homemade noodles, dressing, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and corn.  Standard fare by most Thanksgiving dinners, I would assume.

This list of Thanksgiving side dishes will give you a lot to think about, as it has our own family.  This year we are looking forward to cornbread dressing, brussels sprouts and bacon, and bourbon cranberry sauce!  Spreading our wings and learning to fly!


Even our green bean casserole is getting a make over!  I'd love to know your favor…
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Breakfast Polenta #TasteCreations

It's November and while the rest of the United States is thinking Thanksgiving and election, we took a moment to revere the humble polenta. Polenta was a peasant's food, and not always made from ground corn.  In Roman times the grain was often ground chickpeas, or mullet, or other readily available grain. The grain is ground, boiled with water and served with salted fish or a sauce.  When you read about gruel or mush, you are often reading about polenta.



In this decade, polenta has become a food that gourmands are using in all kinds of ways.  This breakfast polenta is such an example.  Very simple to make, and very delicious.



Breakfast Polenta
by Our Good Life Cook Time: 15 minutes 6080061 Ingredients (2 servings) 2 c waterpinch of saltblack pepper1.2 c instant polenta or ground cornme…
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A Sentence A Day~October

This month for my Sentence A Day, I am going to take part of a 31 Day Challenge to combat my feelings of being overwhelmed at different aspects of my life.  This will be a real challenge, keeping it to a sentence a day!  The 31 Day Challenge will help you walk through the different aspects of your life, prioritize them and keep them in your clearly defined focus. I'm ready to be focused!



For past editions of the A Sentence A Day journaling, check out these links:     MayJuneJuly,  August and September.

October 1.  Starting where I am right now: a full week of travel and work presentations, running two blogs, teaching two college classes, balancing family and friends, and time for myself.

October 2.  Recognizing that my life is full and that I am happy about it, makes me wonder if …
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Homemade Cough Drops

Last week I introduced you to a homemade cough syrup that I loved.  I found that I needed something that I could carry around, so I did some research and found a lot of recipes for homemade cough drops. I combined a couple of recipes and made these, which I like for a couple of reasons.  One, they are cheap to make and two, they are very effective.



To be perfectly honest, these cough drops do require a bit of time spent on the making of them.  Some tips I would offer are these:  use a good pot, use at least a two quart pot, and cool the mixture before making the drops.  I'll explain more as I go.

Cough Drops

2 Immunity tea bags
3/4 c boiling water
3/4 c honey
10 drops of Thieves essential oil
1 drop cinnamon oil
1 drop peppermint oil

Steep tea in boiling water.  Remove bags and add ho…
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Tin Roof Caramel Brownies

I love my PEO sisters and we like to do social things together.  One of these events is a cooking school demonstration at our local Dierberg's grocery store.  Dierberg's had beautiful cooking classrooms and offer a huge variety of classes, many with local celebrity chefs.  So much fun!


This class was a demonstration by one of our favorite instructors, Sally Bruns.  Sally has worked for Dierberg's for many years and is a sister of ours, too.  That makes it all the more fun!

The whole menu consisted of Potato, Corn and Bacon Chowder and a Mixed Greens Salad with Pears, Feta and Sugared Nuts, plus homemade bread.  I'm featuring this dessert, though, because it features one of my favorite convenience products: a cake mix!

The brownie is dense, with sweet caramel and salty pean…
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