I love plants. They bring a fresh pop of color to any living space and also a bit of nature indoors. I walked around my house and counted a total of 21 pots with greenery. It got me to thinking of the health benefits so I did some research and here's what I found out:
If you think you want to try some plants in your house, start off small with some easy to grow ones such as spider plants, ivy, or philodendrons. Make sure you water them when the soil is dry to the touch (every 2 weeks or so in the winter). If you need a reminder to water, just schedule it on your calendar.
To reap the above benefits, experts recommend you have 1 large plant (8 inch diameter pot) for every 100 square feet of your house. That may seem like a lot but over time you will find your collection of plants grows. I have some that are over 20 years old!!! Happy planting.
Well, I guess we're a dog family now. Sort of. Dave and I have never had pets. I'm allergic to cats and too lazy to bother with shots. Dave would love to own a dog, but we work all day and go away a lot on the weekends, so it doesn't seem fair to have a dog that spends all of its time alone.
But our house is surrounded by neighbors with dogs. Two labs on one side of us, 2 big mutts on the other side of us, and directly behind us used to be 2 little yappy terriers owned by an older widow. The yappers disappeared a few months ago, and then one day I noticed a bigger brown and white dog in her yard who appeared to love the outdoors. He would sit at the fence, watching everything with his little ears perked up, smiling and taking it all in. His whole demeanor screamed "come play with me!"
So about a month ago I went over and spoke with my neighbor. Both of her terriers had died and she was content to be dog-less, until her brother died and left her his dog. Buddy. A 6-year-old Border Collie full of energy. I offered to walk him for her (she uses a cane and doesn't get out much). She accepted.
And so now we (sort of) have a dog. LOL. The first time I took him for a walk, he kept his tail tucked between his legs and his face down and quietly walked a straight line. I was a bit perplexed.....until I found out that he had NEVER been walked on a leash before. He had lived in the country, on land with horses and sheep, and had free reign of the property. The last few years when his dad was ill, he stuck close to his side, indoors, and then when he moved to my neighborhood he stayed in the fenced yard. So he didn't really know what to do on a leash.
But it didn't take him long to realize that a walk meant getting out and exploring new things. Now he comes running and wagging when he sees me and Dave walk up the drive. Buddy is the mildest dog I have ever met. He doesn't jump on people, he sits when you tell him to, I have only heard him bark once, and he is very friendly when he meets new people. The perfect dog!
We walk him daily, for about 45 minutes, and sometimes take him into our yard to play with frisbees and balls and let him run along the fence with the neighbors' dogs. He has already shed a few pounds, and I am getting a guaranteed 45-minutes of activity every day. Win-win.
Liza recently wrote an article about the health benefits of owning a dog! I'm reaping some of those benefits with my pseudo-ownership of Buddy!!
Currently it is too cold to enjoy being outdoors for any extended period of time and it gets dark early. This can lead to the winter blues quickly. Here are some ideas to energize and entertain you while you are a prisoner in your own home.
· Bundle up and go outdoors for a while: Enjoy a quiet walk in the snow, gather some friends and build a snowman, have a snowball fight with your neighbors, look for creatures foot prints, go sled riding.
· Organize your home: Take this time to empty and organize closets, dressers and cabinets. If you find items that you forgot you had or haven’t used in the past year, put them in a box to donate to charity.
· Add a few new items: Nothing makes you enjoy being home more than having something new to look at. It can be as simple as new throw pillows, a new wall decoration or a new comforter on your bed. It can even go a little further to include a fresh coat of new paint or a new piece of furniture. You can even online shop so that you get the added perk of awaiting a new delivery.
· Plan a trip: Planning a trip to take in the next month or two will keep you planning, preparing and eagerly looking forward to the break.
· Take advantage of local attractions: Museums, Aquariums, Zoos, or other indoor attractions in your area.
· Planned theme days and make a calendar: Craft day, movie day, build an indoor fort day, baking day, cooking day, board game day, read a book day, dance party day, karaoke day, spa day, funky hair style day, dress crazy day…the ideas go on and on.
· Go to a local hotel with a pool for the day: This is fun for both kids and adults to spend the day swimming indoors and get out of the house.
· Light up your home: Turn on the lights or lamps, light some candles, if you have a fireplace-make a fire, hang Christmas lights and plug in. The extra light can be comforting.
· Invite your neighbors to dinner: Sometimes winter weather keeps friends from traveling to see each other, but it’s easy for neighbors to visit each other.
· Call an old friend: Reconnecting with friends and family that you haven’t seen for a while on the phone is a great way to pass the time while enjoying a cup of hot tea or hot chocolate.
Finding a way to enjoy every season we endure will keep you happy and looking forward to the memories you create during them. Please feel free to share more ideas with us!
This is a recipe that my mom used to make on cold nights to fill up our bellies. It was a real crowd-pleaser, similar to lasagna but way easier. You can make it a bit healthier by using lower-fat versions of the sour cream and cheese and beef.
2 pounds ground beef
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 medium jar spaghetti sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
8 ounces sliced mushrooms (optional)
one 8 ounce bag egg noodles, cooked per directions
1 pint sour cream
1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese
Brown beef, onions, and garlic.
Drain. Add sauce, tomatoes, and mushrooms. Stir well.
Put one-half the noodles in a deep casserole dish and cover with one-half of the sauce mixture.
Pour one-half of the sour cream on top, then one-half of the mozzarella cheese.
Repeat with remaining ingredients.
Cover and bake 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
Remove cover and bake until cheese is bubbly. Enjoy!
Do you feel safe at home? For the most part, I do, except when my husband is away and especially at night. I am sure my paranoia is a result of the numerous movies I have watched and books that I have read, none the less it is important to feel safe at home. There are several things you can do to help you feel safer in your own home.
Feeling safe at home is essential to your well-being. I hope these tips are useful and I encourage anyone with more ideas to contribute with comments.
Brrr it is cold outside! At least in Cleveland, Ohio. I love to warm up with a nice cup of tea or hot chocolate. I also love when my friends join me. However, I always find myself digging through a canister stuffed with tea bags to see what selection I have to offer my guests. I saw this project online and decided to make it as a gift for a fellow tea-lover.
This project is very simple and very affordable!
I used a 14 inch diameter wire wreath base to start ($2 at local craft store)
I purchased clothes pins ($1 at local dollar store)
I laid the clothes pins on a piece of plastic and painted them with spray paint that I had left over from other projects. I started with a white base and then sprinkled them with various colors. I left them to dry overnight in my garage.
I used colored duct tape to cover the base of the wire wreath. (Cloth or ribbon could also be used)
I clipped the clothes pins to the top section of the wreath base and put a tea bag in each one.
I used a ribbon to make a loop to hang from a command hook.
This project can be done with a variety of textures, colors, and drink options. Have fun with it!
With a new year starting it might be a good time to clean up your eating habits. We Americans tend to eat processed and fatty foods that can wreak havoc on our bodies. Many experts recommend we strive for a more Mediterranean diet. It involves eating foods that are popular in countries that border the Mediterranean Sea (think Greece, Italy, etc).
Here are the basic principles of the Mediterranean diet:
I have been slowly adopting this diet and have already reaped the benefits of a smaller waistline, clearer skin, and more energy. It takes time but the benefits make it worth the effort. Those who follow a Mediterranean diet drastically reduce their risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease!
Most women like coming home to a clean house. Some of us even like cleaning. The problem is we live with other folks who might not share our penchant for neatness. Or perhaps we’re a bit messy ourselves? Either way the house can go downhill in a hurry. If you’re busy, or even a bit lazy, these tips will help to get that house gleaming in record time:
The bottom line is that the world will not end if your house is a bit messy. Just keep reminding yourself of that. If the mess really bugs you and you can afford it, hire someone to clean for you. I have a friend who does this and she claims it is money well spent!
This time of year, I love comfort food. Those hearty and warm dishes that just fill you up during the winter. This recipe is a family tradition known as ham pot pie. It is very easy and affordable to make. It is a little time consuming, but well worth it in the end!
This recipe uses left over ham bones. We usually freeze them after the holidays and wait for a cold winter day when we don’t intend to leave the house. It takes approximately 4 hours to complete.
Ingredients: Based off of one ham bone recipe, this can be multiplied as many times as you like for the amount of ham bones you have.
Ham bone with substantial meat remaining (can be frozen)
½ head of cabbage (chopped into bite size pieces)
6 regular potatoes peeled and cubed (set in water to prevent browning until cooked)
1 pound of green beans (cut into bite size pieces)
Pasta (1 cup flour, 2 eggs, ½ tsp salt-mix together and add water till dough-roll out onto lightly floured surface, flatten with rolling pin till approx. ¼ inch thick-use butter knife to cut into squares)
1.) Boil ham bone in large stock pot for 30 minutes, then reduce heat and simmer for another 1.5 hrs. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly. Remove bone from stock pot to a cutting board. Using a knife and fork, remove all edible pieces of ham. Throw bone away and keep ham for later use. Keep all fluid from ham bone boil in stock pot. Strain with slotted spoon to remove any large chunks of ham or any bone fragments.
2.) While ham is boiling, prepare all other above ingredients and put into individual bowls. Exception: allow pasta to remain on counter.
3.) Once all ingredients are prepared, bring ham stock to a boil. Add potatoes, wait 10 then add pasta by dropping individual pasta pieces into the boiling stock. Following pasta, add green beans. Allow all to boil for another 10 minutes until pasta is soft. Then add cabbage and ham pieces. Cover for another 5 minutes and remove from heat.
4.) Serve immediately, allow to simmer prior to meal, or spoon into storage dishes for freezer.
Mary and I grew up on this dish as well and LOVED it! Our mom would use turkey bones instead so we often got this meal around the holidays. The beauty of it is you can cook a lot of the noodles and stretch the amount of food to feed a bigger crowd (we are from a family of 10). You can also freeze the leftovers. ~ Nancy
Just a quick note to let you know that we have a page on Facebook dedicated to the subject of hysterectomies: preparing for, recovering, exercises, etc. We're trying to get the word out for Nancy's book, and created a page where women could go to ask questions, leave comments, support each other, etc.
And of course the book is available on Google Play, Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble.
Please share with anyone who may be interested. We appreciate it!
We thought it would be fun if we each wrote an article about New Year's Resolutions, to get three different viewpoints. This is the final installment.
New Year's resolutions. Every time I think about them, the words "stop" and "don't" come to mind. As in "stop smoking" or "don't eat chocolate" or "stop wasting money." Everything sounds so negative!
Don't get me wrong, I think it's a good idea to do those things, but as you know, very few people are able to stick to them. Life happens, temptations become overpowering. and by mid-January we all feel like losers for not achieving our goals.
So this year, I propose something a bit different. Why not make a resolution to do something you enjoy? That way it will be easy to achieve.
And perhaps most important: DON'T beat yourself up if you fall short of your goals!
Happy New Year!!
We thought it would be fun if we each wrote an article about New Year's Resolutions, to get three different viewpoints. We will post one Wednesday, Thursday,, and Friday. Happy New Year!
I admit that every year I make them and every year I start strong and waver within a month. It usually involves working out to lose 10 pounds. On average it takes 66 days before something becomes a routine. That is a long time for life to interrupt, reset the clock and set us up for failure! Granted there are some very driven people who focus and let nothing get in their way; those people tend to be successful with New Year resolutions. For the rest of us, I thought I would share some suggestions for the New Year that will encourage healthy habits.
First, everyone should strive to be financially healthy. We’re coming off of a big holiday season and heading into tax season. What a tough time of year to stash money away. That is why I love the 52 week challenge in which you start out simple and build on it. For week one, you deposit $1, for week 2 you deposit $2 and continue each week until the 52nd week of the year when you put the most away, $52. The great news is that if you are successful you will stash $1,378 away to use for Christmas shopping, a splurge or to invest. To help be successful, consider putting the money into a container with a lid glued on and a simple slot to put the money into. This will help to prevent you from retrieving it for other uses. Or give it to a close friend to hold for you. Also deposit the money on the same day every week so that it does become a routine.
Next, we want to be physically healthy. I encourage you to continue browsing this blog for healthy eating and exercise suggestions. It sounds simple enough: eat well, exercise at least three times a week, get enough sleep, and wash your hands frequently. It’s not as easy as it sounds, so I’ll give you couple of tips to help you be more successful. First find a work out that you enjoy, get a buddy to keep you motivated, and hang a calendar in which you get to mark off the days you worked out in a big red marker. What satisfaction there is in seeing those big red X’s accumulating! On the eating front, clear your cabinets of all of the junk! If it’s not there, it is much easier to avoid it when the cravings hit! Shop weekly or twice a week for fresh veggies to satisfy a crunchy craving and fruits to subdue those sweet cravings. Allow yourself your favorite treat in a small serving size if you’ve gathered at least 3 red X’s on your workout calendar each week! Set a family bedtime and ensure everyone sticks to it. Most of the time, electronics are the culprit delaying bedtime, thus I encourage a set time where everyone stows their electronic devices in the kitchen, turn off the television, and rests in their bedroom reading or working an activity book before they go to sleep. Avoiding blue light from electronics right before bedtime will help you get a more restful sleep.
Finally, let’s address emotional health. Everyone should have a hobby or hobbies that they truly enjoy, and they should make time to do so. Don’t underestimate the power of emotional health in conjunction with your physical health for a happy lifestyle. I love lists, so I encourage everyone to make a daily list of what to do. It helps to also add your workout, healthy eating and your hobby to your daily list. When you’ve completed it, cross it off your paper or delete it from your electronic device. It is very satisfying to complete your list each day.
Take a few minutes to make your list and get started on enjoying a happy and healthy 2015!
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