Monday, November 21, 2011

Living Well and Staying Happy While Saving Money!

Well lovely readers, I don't know what got into me this week but I went on a major DIY Binge and made all sorts of stuff for our home. As I bask in the warm glow of my family's adoration (trust me, this will be short-lived) I thought I'd share what I did.

 Lemon Sugar Body Scrub. Smells heavenly and works wonders on skin. I paid $1 for the sealable large=ish jar and the actual scrub cost me less than $3 for a lot of sugar scrub!

 Cream cheese cinnamon sugar Sopapillas. Bad picture but scrumptious recipe I found on Pinterest. I'll post actual recipe and original poster on recipes page tomorrow. As you can see someone couldn't wait for the photo and ate some before I could get the bad pic I took anyway.

Homemade Body wash. I originally saw this on Pinterest as well but didn't like the ingredients so I searched the web and found a tip here, a tip there and came up with my own experimental variation which came out great. Cost about $4 for 1 and 1/2 gallons and it smells great.

 Crock pot Chicken and Dumplings recipe which I found here: Easy, inexpensive and delicious recipe that my family loved. We added tiny grape side golden potatoes to ours.

Deciding that I might as well keep on while I was on a roll I made:

 Homemade liquid laundry detergent. this was also a pinterest inspiration but I then did a little research and found a recipe I liked better on the web so i combined the two and came up with this. The consistency is good and the smell is fabulous. 7 gallons cost me $11.00. My husband is one happy camper about this one!

 Last but not least came the Better Homes and Gardens recipe for Mexican Mac and Cheese with Sausage and Salsa. We added fresh cilantro, and Rotel tomatoes with lime. I served 7-Up Biscuits which my family adored. I got the recipe from a lovely blog at:  The kids loved the process of watching "helping" me use soda to make biscuits. And the buttery goodness made them a huge hit with everyone!

I'll post all of these recipes on our recipe page tomorrow but for now folks, I'm worn out. But satisfied! Until next time, Live and love well and do what makes you happy! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Be kind. Always.

Hello All! I experienced one of the most profoundly horrific acts of tasteless and just plain evil behavior this past weekend and while it saddens me greatly, I've decided to combat it with what this blog is about...being kind. To that end, I found a lovely article on the internet that is from an organization similar to one I joined six years ago in the US called the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. The article that follows is from a UK version of a similar organization but the 29 ideas they list are awesome even though some of them need to be adjusted for life in the US. here is the original link to be credited with the story below:

The time has come when we cannot just rely on others to make the world a better place – each one of us has to do our bit.
It is therefore time for people to be more and more aware about their Personal Social Responsibility (PSR).
PSR is all about doing to others what you would like others do to you. It is about recognizing how your behaviour affects others, and holding yourself accountable for your actions. For example, contrast someone being well mannered and kind, with someone being rude.
And this brings me nicely to the theme of this post – being kind to others.

Kindness is contagious – and as part of Personal Socially Responsibility you might want to consider carrying out random acts of kindness on a daily basis.
It is truly a win/win/win situation. The person you are being kind to benefits through your help. You feel good for having helped someone. And the world is a better place through your kindness.
Never underestimate the impact of a single act of kindness. I still remember, after many years, the time someone stopped and helped me after my car had broken down down. Since then, I have stopped on the road myself and helped stranded motorists a number of times. All because of that single act of kindness by a stranger.
Also, it is important to carry out your acts of kindness without expecting anything back.

So where do you begin?

To get you started, I have listed 29 ideas below. And why the number 29? Because it is as good a number as any – and also because I couldn’t think of idea number 30!
Put them into practice and also create your own:-
  1. Send someone a hand written note of thanks.
  2. Make a card at home and send it to a friend for no reason.
  3. Buy a lottery ticket for a stranger.
  4. Put some coins in someone else’s parking meter.
  5. Buy a coffee for the man on the high street selling The Big Issue magazine.
  6. Cut your neighbour’s hedge.
  7. Walk your friend’s dog.
  8. Give a compliment about your waiter / waitress to his / her manager.
  9. Send someone a small gift anonymously.
  10. Stop and help someone replace their flat tyre.
  11. Let someone jump the queue at the bank.
  12. Pay for the drinks on the next table at a café.
  13. Treat a friend to the movies for no reason.
  14. Give a huge tip to someone when they least expect it.
  15. Hold the train door open for someone rushing to get in.
  16. Give up your seat for someone, not just an elderly person.
  17. Write notes of appreciation at least once a week.
  18. Talk to a homeless person and have a “normal” conversation.
  19. Pick up some rubbish in the road which would otherwise be lying around.
  20. Compliment a work colleague for their excellence.
  21. Recommend a competitor to a potential client.
  22. Give another driver your parking spot.
  23. Give a piece of fruit to a delivery person.
  24. Help an elderly neighbour carry the rubbish out.
  25. Tell all your family members how much your appreciate them.
  26. Leave a copy of an interesting book on a train / bus.
  27. Buy an inspirational book for a friend.
  28. Send a thank you note to a person who has helped you in the past.
  29. Smile a lot.
What goes around is sure to come around – happy helping :-)
Isn't that a lovely idea. I plan to do it now more than ever and to try some of these new ideas! I have a suggestion for number 30: Sincerely thank those people who have been true friends to you because true friends are rare and priceless. If anyone has anymore suggestions, please send them and I will add them to this post! Till later this week, Live Well, Be happy and Be kind! 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Puff Paint Abstract Art Tutorial
This fun and easy as well as inexpensive art project makes art easy even for non-artists like myself. The original tutorial is here: And here is the lovely pic:
And below is my version which I did slightly differently than the original tutorial:
 As you can see, this project has lots of potential even for non artsy folks like myself. I chose to spray paint mine a pale ocean blue to match my beach dwelling decor. Try one and send me the pics to share here! I promise to post a tutorial of mine with step by step photos and instructions soon! ~Teresa


Monday, November 7, 2011

Love and Be Thankful

Hello All! I know I have been away for a little but we're back on track now! Today I want to share a story from Candice. She found this somewhere and we knew it was perfect for the spirit of our blog and our readers! We sincerely hope you enjoy it:
 Her hair was up in a pony tail, Her favorite dress tied with a bow. Today was Daddy's Day at school, And she couldn't wait to go. But her mommy tried to tell her, That she probably should stay home. Why the kids might not understand, If she went to school alone. But she was not afraid; She knew just what to say. What to tell... her classmates Of why he wasn't there today. But still her mother worried, For her to face this day alone. And that was why once again, She tried to keep her daughter home. But the little girl went to school Eager to tell them all. About a dad she never sees A dad who never calls. There were daddies along the wall in back, For everyone to meet. Children squirming impatiently, Anxious in their seats One by one the teacher called A student from the class. To introduce their daddy, As seconds slowly passed. At last the teacher called her name, Every child turned to stare. Each of them was searching, A man who wasn't there. 'Where's her daddy at?' She heard a boy call out. 'She probably doesn't have one,' Another student dared to shout. And from somewhere near the back, She heard a daddy say, 'Looks like another deadbeat dad, Too busy to waste his day.' The words did not offend her, As she smiled up at her Mom. And looked back at her teacher, Who told her to go on. And with hands behind her back, Slowly she began to speak. And out from the mouth of a child, Came words incredibly unique. 'My Daddy couldn't be here, Because he lives so far away. But I know he wishes he could be, Since this is such a special day. And though you cannot meet him, I wanted you to know. All about my daddy, And how much he loves me so. He loved to tell me stories He taught me to ride my bike. He surprised me with pink roses, And taught me to fly a kite. We used to share fudge sundaes, And ice cream in a cone. And though you cannot see him. I'm not standing here alone. 'Cause my daddy's al ways with me, Even though we are apart I know because he told me, He'll forever be in my heart' With that, her little hand reached up, And lay across her chest. Feeling her own heartbeat, Beneath her favorite dress. And from somewhere here in the crowd of dads, Her mother stood in tears. Proudly watching her daughter, Who was wise beyond her years. For she stood up for the love Of a man not in her life. Doing what was best for her, Doing what was right. And when she dropped her hand back down, Staring straight into the crowd. She finished with a voice so soft, But its message clear and loud. 'I love my daddy very much, he's my shining star. And if he could, he'd be here, But heaven's just too far. You see he is a soldier And died just this past year When a roadside bomb hit his convoy And taught all of us to fear. But sometimes when I close my eyes, it's like he never went away.' And then she closed her eyes, And saw him there that day. And to her mothers amazement, She witnessed with surprise. A room full of daddies and children, All starting to close their eyes. Who knows what they saw before them, Who knows what they felt inside. Perhaps for merely a second, They saw him at her side. 'I know you're with me Daddy,' To the silence she called out. And what happened next made believers, Of those once filled with doubt. Not one in that room could explain it, For each of their eyes had been closed. But there on the desk beside her, Was a fragrant long-stemmed rose. And a child was blessed, if only for a moment, By the love of her shining star. And given the gift of believing, That heaven is never too far. Post this to let everyone know that our Soldiers will never be forgotten. Take the live and love. Until eternity.
Until next time, which will be later this week, live and love well my friends!  ~Teresa and Candice