Archive for March, 2010

Wide Open Spaces

Ladies, do you sometimes feel worn out; overwhelmed; and with nothing left to give? I have felt this way and at times, I long for wide open spaces. I do my best to implement two simples steps that protect my time and space; I hope they work for you.

1). Work margin into your life.  Don’t schedule appointments/activities back to back during the day.  Give yourself a little time in between so that you can catch your breathe.

2). Set a limit on the number of evenings you are out of the home and guard this.  If another evening out sneaks up, try to move one of the others. You may find yourself getting very good at saying “Let me get back to you in the next couple of days’ before you make a commitment.

Start with these two simple steps and begin to breathe a more peaceful life.

Photo: http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-corn-rimagefree2669941-resi1872868

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The newest addition to my list of favorite soups is ‘Leek and Sweet Potato Soup’. A leek is a root vegetable in the onion family that is very mild tasting. If you don’t know what it looks like, you can see it in the photo above. The recipe below is from the Simply Great Food Dieticians of Canada cookbook (one of my favorite cookbooks). The recipe is quick to make and the soup is tasty; nutritious; and colorful.

Leek and Sweet Potato Soup

2 TBSP vegetable oil

4 cups chopped leeks (white and light green parts only)

4 cups diced peeled large sweet potatoes

4 cups reduced sodium chicken and vegetable broth

1 can (14oz/398ml) evaporated milk

1 tsp dill week

Salt and pepper freshly ground

( I use gluten free ingredients)

  1. In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat,. Sauté leeks for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Add potatoes and broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Remove from heat.
  2. Working in batches, transfer soup to blender and puree until smooth.
  3. Return soup to saucepan and add evaporated milk and dill. Heat over low heat (do not boil or milk could curdle). Season to taste with salt and pepper

–         For blending, I use a stick blender and blend right in the saucepan.

–         I substitute soft tofu for evaporated milk

–         Slow cooker 8 hours on low – add milk and dill just before serving

–        Double the recipe and freeze some for later

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This morning, I headed out to walk Beni, my daughter Erin’s dog.  It was a crisp snowy morning for the third day of Spring. I was content listening to inspirational music on my MP3 and I was nice and warm in my parka. As I walked, a car approached from behind, hugging the curb and on the wrong side of the road! I noticed the driver was talking on her cell phone. She parked the car (pointing the wrong way) in front of a home where child care is provided. Next, she exited the car alone; crossed in front of me; and proceeded to march towards the house – all the while on her cell phone. As I passed by the car, I was startled when the rear passenger door swung open and out jumped a little boy – about 4 years old.  When the little boy saw Beni, he began to gleefully repeat over and over ‘puppy puppy” – trying to get his moms attention. (more…)

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Happy Spring Ladies

Today is the first day of spring – how very exciting.

I thought I would share my spring chore list with you. Now, I prefer not to have a list at all, as I like to keep things up all year long, but some things are just better done at this time of year. I find that writing down jobs helps to better manage general maintenance and things that we tend to overlook. I keep my outline conveniently on my computer and update it when need be.  This way, I do not have to think about what needs to be done in spring, I just look at my schedule. Come spring, I print a copy; put in on the refrigerator; and we begin to tackle it. Ladies, if you do not already keep a record of tasks that need to be done for spring (or fall); I really encourage you to consider it. By doing so, you will simply your life and be far better organized.

Here is what our tasks look like this year: (more…)

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Do you have a list of your freezer contents in your kitchen? I like to keep one right on my fridge. This way, I know what is in the freezer when I am planning a meal or menu. We try to remember to update the list as we use things. My husband usually creates a new list every couple of weeks. Creating a list saves time and money. If you are not using a list, I hope you start soon.

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One of my favorite things to do to rejuvenate myself is to enjoy a nice hot Epsom Salt bath.  Have you tried this? Epsom  Salt baths help remove toxins by increasing blood flow to the skins surface and drawing from the body toxins. Here is what you need to do:   Run a bath as hot as you can stand; pour ½ to 1 cup of Epsom Salt under the running water; dry brush your entire body (to remove dead skin & get the blood flowing under the skin); and now hop in the tub. Soak in the bath as long as you can – aim for 15 – 30 minutes.  Drink water before and during the bath. Now wash your body and rinse well.  After towel drying, lather your body with lotion.  To add a little more pampering, exfoliate your face and apply a very good moisturizer with  SPF.  Have a rejuvenating bath once a week. You will love it and so will your body.

Other substances you may like to add to the bath water:

Apple cider vinegar – 1 cup – works about the same way as Epsom Salts.

Baking Soda – 1 cup – good old fashion remedy for colds, flus, and skin irritations


You can gradually add more Epsom Salt with time – about 1-2 cups.

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The other day, I was reminded of how important it is to say something kind to someone else. I was talking with my youngest daughter  Erin about growing old.  During our conversation, she said ‘Don’t worry mom, when you are old I’ll help you in the bath and if I can’t, then I will hire someone to help you’.  Her kind words really meant a lot to me and I quickly wrote them down in my ‘pleasant things’  journal. The next day, we (Erin, Gerry and I) went out for breakfast to a very busy restaurant. The server was amazing. She was very pleasant;  wore a non stop smile; and knew the menu well enough to make a good suggestion from each page. I said to her ‘you are a fantastic waitress’. She seemed quite surprised and also flattered by my compliment. You know,  a kind word, or a compliment, is a free gift you can give that has tremendous impact on the receiver.  Give someone a compliment today. Then work on getting better at giving compliments, that’s what I’m trying to do.

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