I have to brag a little. I have some of the kindest, most beautiful friends in my life. It’s true. I hope it’s true for you as well.
I try to find beauty and goodness in my daily life, but some days it’s hard. Some days are trying and the only solution is to cover them in chocolate sauce to make them good.
Then there are days like today, when an encouraging gift from a beautiful friend arrive in my mailbox.
It’s perfect, isn’t it!
She makes these in several themes. The organza drawstring bag is filled with little inspirational quotes. It’s like a bag of calorie-free fortune cookies!
This is a random handful straight from the bag.
Days like today, gratitude is all over the place.
Mother’s day is quickly approaching. If you have a mother in your life, make her breakfast and give her one of these bags and she’ll probably cry a little.
Be sweet and make your mother cry.
I love the twisted sentiment of that. I need to go into the bumper sticker business!
I love yoga. I love yoga. I love yoga. I almost typed “I love Yoda.” That’s a totally different love, and a little weird, but one I will not deny. I just want to put him in a baby sling and carry him around all day while he dispenses sage advice. He might not appreciate being treated like an infant. Maybe a piggyback is more his speed. That post is for another day.
Today, I’m feeling the love of yoga.
I have been practicing it on and off for over 20 years. Lately, it’s more off than on. Whenever I start up after a hiatus, I always look back and wonder why on earth I ever put it on hold. Nothing feels better than beginning and ending the day with core-strengthening and muscle-lengthening stretches. It makes all the chaos of the world manageable, invites deep sleep and helps define a time for prayer, so that I can go about my life in a state of rest and reassurance. Why not do something that awesome everyday?
Because life gets in the way sometimes, that’s why. It shouldn’t get in the way of being healthy since ignoring your health will shorten and diminish your quality of life. I’m guilty of putting my health on the back burner. You?
For me, yoga happens at home when I can fit it in between teaching, cleaning, cooking, sewing, gardening and blogging, among other obligations. I enjoy yoga mat simplicity, but I sometimes feel I’m missing out on some deep stretching and strengthening.
Enter the Yoga Trapeze!
Two months ago, I was temporarily insane and agreed to letting my teen-aged daughter have a slumber party for her birthday. Not only did I agree to the sleepover, but told her I would make all the party favors and goodies. The goal was for the party to be fun, but also budget-friendly. She agreed to help, so we plunged head-first into party-planning mode.
First, we needed a theme. We decided on a spa party, or as I like to call it, a spaaaahhhh party. I’m cool like that.
After searching for invitations and finding nothing ready-made that she liked, she decided to make her own. As a friend said, “That apple didn’t fall far from the tree.” Using blank notecards, pre-cut tags and a rubber stamp, she created a very spa-like invitation with a little bling, of course.
One of the easiest and most delicious condiments in this wonderful world of ours is marinated feta. There. I said it. It’s on the internet. It must be true.
I love marinated feta on salads, but my favorite way to have it is on sandwiches. I had the best sandwich of my entire live a couple of months ago at a local cafe and it rocked my world. I have been recreating it and I will share it with you as soon as I have perfected the flavors. One component of this life-altering sandwich was this marinated feta.
The recipe is simple. I don’t think it can be called a recipe, but I don’t know what else to call it. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Simple Marinated Feta
1 bottle of Italian dressing (or homemade)
1 block of feta cheese
2 bay leaves
Crumble the feta.
Place the feta in a mason jar, wedging the bay leaves down along the side of the jar.
Pour the Italian dressing over the top and cover it with a lid.
Refrigerate the jar and it will last for weeks, maybe longer. Ours is usually eaten before then.
That’s all there is to it! You can get as fancy as you want with the Italian dressing. Make it from scratch if you want. I went with a bottle of store-bought dressing I had in my pantry since we keep it simple here at the hive, but I have also used homemade dressing with fantastic results. Go with your heart on this!
For years, I’ve been telling anyone who will listen that I need a clone. In a perfectly cloned life, I’m showering my family with love and affection and the other woman house cleaning. So, if anyone reading this is in need of a test subject, I’m your gal!
My problem isn’t unique. Moms all over the world have to balance out the wants and needs of their families while keeping themselves in balance because if Momma’s not happy, nobody’s happy.
In order to keep my balance and find rest for myself, I must sometimes force it. One way I keep my balance, literally, is through yoga. Another way to give my body rest when I’ve been running for everyone else, is to crochet. It forces me off my feet and my perpetually busy mind is calmed through the repetitive motion of hooking yarn.
One of my favorite things to crochet are dishcloths. Quirky, I know, but follow me. I have my reasons.
Work up a few dishcloths with this free crochet pattern and give a little sushi love. Who doesn’t love kitschy kitchen crochet thingys?
Last year, about this time of year, I wrote about our clothes dryer kicking the bucket and building a solar clothes dryer out of necessity. Because we live in the country with horses for neighbors, we can hang out our laundry with reckless abandon. The horses don’t judge us when they see our laundry hanging on the line. At least not that we know. You never can tell with horses.
Because we get much use from our clothesline, our clothespin bag has seen better days. Much better days.
For several years, I have been eating a strict gluten-free diet. For several years, I have been pining away over the loss of angel food cake.
Those days are over!
I finally hit on a good recipe for a gluten-free angel food cake. It is what every angel food cake should be. The fluffy, soft, spongy texture melts in your mouth and the Meyer lemon sauce lends a perfect amount of sweet and tart. The blueberries are pure bliss.
Pure bliss, I say!
Because Easter is quickly approaching and this cake would make a lovely addition to your table, I’m sharing.
I give all fruits equal opportunity, but I love when pineapples and mangoes are in season. I play favorites. It’s not right, but I do.
This is simple recipe that can be modified to suit your tastes or to use whatever fruits you have on hand.
We are butter people, here at the hive. We don’t overdo it, but we love butter. And cheese. Always the cheese.
The downside of butter, is that it isn’t spreadable when it is cold and it must remain refrigerated because it’s perishable.
Enter the French butter bell. Tada!
This butter bell is beautiful and functional. The good people at Homestead Heritage, just outside of Waco, TX, make these beautiful French butter bells and sell them in their Potter’s House and Gift Barn. This one is in the Homestead Green color and it’s made with Texas clay. Getcha one!
It simple to use and the butter says fresh and, most importantly, spreadable!
Simply soften a stick of butter, or make your own fresh butter. When the butter is soft, moosh it (highly technical term) into the bell-shaped part of the lid. Fill the crock about halfway with cold water (I use filtered) and place the lid on so that the bell with the butter hangs in the cold water.
That’s all there is to it! Refrigeration is not necessary for fresh, soft and spreadable buttah!
Because I’m over forty and don’t want to feel like it, I’m trying to be good about taking care of myself. Just about every morning for the past 10 years, I have a green smoothie for breakfast. It’s a good start, but lately, I’ve been adding Matcha green tea powder to it for an added energy and I love the calm boost it gives me in the morning. Because I like this boost, I’ve been looking for ways to incorporate it into other foods.
One delicious way to consume more matcha is to make a healthy, vegan Shamrock Shake. It’s loaded with goodies and tastes like chocolate-mint ice cream!
Ice cream for breakfast! I’ll do it. I’m not afraid.
As I was browsing the internets, I came across some convincing reasons to consume matcha. Because I want us all to enjoy good health, and jiggle less, I’m sharing the love.