Tag Archives: tips

Tuesday Talk Time: Combat Mode


I’m in total combat mode! Why? I’ve been a major slacker in my dieting. At the start of the New Year I felt charged with enthusiasm to get things cranking. The truth is I just wasn’t emotionally on board. However, warmer weather is on the loom, and it’s painfully clear it’s time to push myself to melt some unwanted pounds pronto. It’s won’t be an easy battle and it may get down right ugly. Determined to my guns and if necessary going completely nuclear with my approach. Continue reading

7 Uses for Rubbing Alcohol

Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol is a common household item, but did you know this ordinary product has many uses?
Here are 7 Uses for Rubbing alcohol:

Hand Sanitizer
Long before the fancy, expensive itty bitty bottles of hand sanitizer became such a sensation, we were cleaning our hands with rubbing alcohol while away from home. If you check the label popular brands, you’ll find alcohol at the top of the ingredient lists.

Clean Your Phone
After using your cell phone all day, it’s a prime bacteria breeding ground. Alcohol is an all-in-one cleaner and disinfectant. It cuts greasy, grim collected on any small electronics.

Remove Ticks
Something we discovered many years ago is to soak a paper towel with alcohol and place it on a tick. The alcohol suffocates the scoundrel causing it to pull its head out of the victim long enough so you can remove it properly. Be sure to wipe the infected area with alcohol after the tick is gone. This works on people and pets

Dissolve Windshield Frost
On those chilly winter mornings, would you rather be enjoying your coffee instead of freezing your fingers off chipping away at the ice on your windshield? Now you can! Simply fill a spray bottle with rubbing alcohol and spray on the any the car glass, then wipe the frost off.

Heavy Weight Champion
Another trick is using that spray bottle filled with rubbing alcohol is on fruit flies. Just spray a fine mist on these little pesky varmints. The alcohol knocks the insects out cold and floor to the floor. You can then promptly squash and sweep up.

Permanent Marker Eraser
Apply rubbing alcohol on non-permeable surfaces such as plastic laminates or marble to gently remove little Suzie’s artwork. It’s also an excellent cleaner for white boards.

Make a Shapeable Ice Pack
Have a banged up knee? My DS does. I’m gonna try this one: a slushy ice pack. Directions: Mix 1 part rubbing alcohol with 3 parts water in a zip closure plastic bag and toss it the freezer. Next time, he injures his knee, I can pull this out of the freezer and wrap the now conforming ice pack in a towel for him to apply to his knee. Cool!

With cold season just around the corner, then you may want to read: 5 Cold Proof Tips for Your Cosmetics.

Now, let’s dash over for some Chats on a Farmhouse Porch. Patrice wants to know….

  1. Please tell me a fond autumn memory. Or tell me something interesting you’re doing now that fall is here. I have many fond fall-time memories of us venturing to the Smoky mountains for the day taking in the foliage, getting cider and fried apple pie at the Apple Barn & Cider Mill in Pigeon Forge, picnic lunches, photo shoots, ….I would love to do this all again this fall, but now with DS in college then I know won’t have much opportunity to squeeze this in. I’m thankful for the lovely memories just now.
  2. What’s your favorite kind of cheese? I’ve never met a cheese I didn’t like, you see. Actually, I would say my all-time favorite is sharp cheddar. That goes with just about anything.
  3. Have you ever been in a wedding, other than your own (if applicable)? I was a part of a wedding, but not actually in a wedding. I sat at the table for guests to sign the Bride & Groom’s guest book. It was nice to be thought of in this way.
  4. Did you ever do anything as a child to earn money? (Lemon aid stand, crafts, mother’s helper, chores, etc.) I use to clean a house for a few neighbors and would babysit for my aunts.
  5. Do you wear a watch? Nope. I haven’t in many years. My watch stopped working and I never replaced it, then I got a cell phone. Who needs a watch now, if you have a mobile phone, right?

One more stop for today. This week From This Side of the Pond asks:

1. The Wednesday Hodgepodge this week falls on John Chapman’s birth date.  He’s more famously known as Johnny Appleseed…what’s your favorite variety of apple?

2.   When did you last say ‘ick’? I’m drawing an absolute blank on this one…yep, still nothing. I’m gonna have to get back to you on this one…well, maybe if I can EVER remember.

3.   Do you think there’s a generation gap?  Explain. My first thought was yes, but then I pondered on this a bit more and decided not really. Generation gap is a temporary mindset. When we’re kids, we think anyone who is a few years older than us then they have no clue to what is going on. I mean after all, how can mom or dad know what it’s like to be young today? The reality is, we are all in the same spot once in our lives, but then we grow up and recognize circumstances are very much the same from one generation to another, except the names have changed. The key to remove the generation gap is helping preteens/teens understand their parents/grandparents walked a similar path and for parents/grandparents to remember those difficult years. Perhaps somewhere in-between the generations will meet with a newer understanding.

4.  What’s on your computer screen saver?  Do you leave it alone or change it often? Most of the time on our main computer, I have a blank screen saver.  But, the one on in my dining room I have a cosmic type slide show going with the clock displayed. This helps me to see the time from across the room.

5.  If you had the attention of the entire world for two minutes, what would you say? We are a people created to live forever, but that changed in the Garden of Eden. Many things since that time divides people and nation. The sins of our fathers carry down and we cannot EVER go back to the way things were in the beginning. We need to respect one another and accept we are all equal in God’s eyes regardless of religion, race, or gender. We should subscribe to the golden rule, “Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you.” While our world may never be at full peace, I’m certain this will help our nations to live together in more harmony.

6.  Four fashion trends to try this fall are-brocade/Jacquard (fancy printed fabrics), peplum, lace, and printed pants…which of these four would you be most likely to wear? Hmm, I would say lace would be my forte. I love soft, feminine things and lace symbolizes this in my mind.

7.  What can make your bad day better?  A big bear hug!

8.  Insert your own random thought here. I’m ecstatic over the return of DWTS. I think this season will be good one with past seasons’ stars on the show this year. This should mean most are excellent dancers. My favorite star is Apollo Ohno partnered with Katrina Smirnoff.

But, my favorite professional female dancer is Kym Johnson partnered with Joey Fatone formerly with NSYNC.

And, my favorite professional male dancers are….

Mark Ballas (with Bristol Palin)
Derek Hughs (with Shawn Johnson)

These two guys are so much fun to watch on the dance floor and they can be so hilarious at times!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

12 Ways To Celebrate Your Love

Celebrating ones’ love daily doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are 12 Ways To Celebrate Your Love:

  1. Embrace one another often throughout the day – snuggle on the sofa, lay close in bed, hold hands,…touching physically in a non- sexual way releases oxytocin – bonding hormone. Darling, if you want me to be closer to you, get closer to me ~Seals & Crofts
  2. Make time to take time at the start and at the end of each day to greet one another in a special way – a hug, a kiss, eye-locking that says “I missed you a lot today”. Look into your eyes I see a paradise. This world that I found is too good to be true ~Jefferson Starship
  3. Place a little note – romantic, sexy thoughts,… somewhere you are sure your spouse will find it later in the day. I want you, I need you, Give it to me, slowly, Give me your hand, sexy thoughts yeah ~Paula Abdul
  4. Write “I love you” on the bathroom mirror in lipstick, or in the sand, or on a dusty table top, or send a picture text with it written on your hand,…get creative with your expressions! I love you, honestly love you. ~Olivia Newton-John
  5. Write out and share with your spouse your “Why List” of x-number reasons “Why I love You”, “Why I Miss You”, “Why I Am Blessed To Have You”, “Why I Enjoy Spending Time With You”, or “Why I Need You”. I need you Like the flower needs the rain You know, I need you Guess I’ll start it all again You know, I need you Like the winter needs the spring You know I need you I need you~America
  6. Make a day night or plan a staycation with only the two you. Create time together like it was before children or if the kids have moved out then go crazy! Close your eyes and dream And and you can be with me ‘Neath the waves through the caves of hours Long forgotten now We’re all alone we’re all alone ~Rita Coolidge
  7. Dream together. Plan for the future, talk about all the what ifs, make goals, inspire one another! Dream on, Dream until your dreams come true ~Aerosmith
  8. Pick a joint hobby – photography, cooking, reading, etc promotes togetherness through common interests. Togetherness makes loneliness walk right out the door ~Buck Owens
  9. Show you’re interested in your spouse’s interests – buy him a new hand tool, buy her a craft or art supplies, ask questions, send a web link to your spouse. All small gestures, but these things say I’m paying attention.  So many ways, So many ways to show you love someone, So many ways, So many ways to show someone You care ~Carole King
  10. Take care of yourself – exercise, eat right, dress nice (ladies get sexy), get gorgeous (men be well-groomed), and smell nice (applies to both!) Don’t be fooled, physical attraction is very important. Take good care of yourself you belong to me ~Nancy Sinatra
  11. Random foreplay throughout the day – send a sexy picture text, blow a kiss or wink seductively at your spouse, kiss without kissing (Object: don’t touch at all. This will drive you both wild – try it!), flirt, tease,…reeve up the heat!  We’re out on the town And it’s passion that we’re after Keep fanning the flame Just a little faster ~Laura Branigan
  12. Sex. Intimacy is an important part of your relationship. Keep it alive! Spice things up! If your spouse is always the sex initiator then YOU start things off first. If you want my body and you think I’m sexy, Come on honey tell me so, If you really need me just reach out and touch me, Come on sugar let me know ~Rod Stewart
  • How do you celebrate your love every day? I incorporate several of the above already. However, if I’m honest, then I certainly need to include more. The problem with long-term relationships is sometimes we fall into a comfortable pattern. We don’t feel a pressing need to do much anymore and that is absolutely the worse mistake we can make. My commitment to my DH right here and now is to work all 12 ways into my day for you/us. Our love is worthy of constant celebration. I love you!
  • Do you prefer to celebrate anniversaries in a quiet intimate setting or throw a big party? I am definitely NOT a party person. My first choice is a quiet setting, as well as it is my DH’s. A lovely romantic dinner out or cozy meal at home is perfect, just as long as we are together.

A relationship between a husband and a wife should be celebrated 365 days a year, not just once a year. Remember the love you shared as two became one in holy matrimony? Let that speak every day of the year in your lives. Wherever….

There is Love – Paul Stookey
He is now to be among you at the calling of your hearts.
Rest assured this troubadour is acting on His part.
The union of your spirits here has caused Him to remain,
for whenever two or more of you are gathered in His name,
There is love. There is love.
Oh, a man shall leave his mother, and a woman leaves her home.
They will travel on to where the two will be as one.
As it was in the beginning, is now until the end,
woman draws her life from a man
and gives it back again and there is love.
Oh, there’s love.
Well, then what’s to be the reason for becoming man and wife?
Is it love that brings you here or love that brings you life?
For is loving is the answer then who’s the giving for?
Do you believe in something that you’ve never seen before?
Oh, there’s love. There is love.
He is now to be among you at the calling of your hearts.
Rest assured this troubadour is acting on His part.
The union of your spirits here has caused Him to remain
for whenever two or more of you are gathered in His name
there is love. Oh, there is love.


Link up with Miss Jenny and her classroom with your creative letter ‘C’ assignment this week and be sure to join Miss Amanda’s Q&A hop this Thursday with your custom post of choice.

Jenny Matlock



Have Your Cake and Eat It To! 5 Ways To Burn 500 Calories

Dieting is such a HEADACHE! None of us liking doing. None of us want to give up the things we love, but NONE of us want to be overweight either. Am I right? How can positive change in our eating habits be done without being overwhelming?

Here are 5 Ways to burn 500 calories that are totally doable!

1. Breakfast:

  • Replace whole milk for skim.
  • Say goodbye to bacon and sausages, but stick with your eggs for an excellent source of protein which will maintain you longer throughout the morning hours.
  • Sub high caloric condiments such as mayo with mustard or hummus to put on your bread.
  • If you must have ready to eat cereals, then choose flakes over granola. These are generally lower in calories. Better still go with a bowl of old fashion oatmeal sweetened with Splenda or sprinkle cinnamon on top. This will satisfy you better than cold cereals, too.
  • Avoid the fancy lattes. A 16oz version made with whole milk has a whopping 400 calories!

2. Snacks:

  • Eat slowly. By doing so, you’ll eat 70% per meal because when you thoroughly chew your food this allows your body time to activate the appetite-related hormones. Set your folk down in-between bites or keep your little paws out of the potato chip bag.
  • You can have your cake and eat it too, just share it with a friend.
  • Don’t ever eat out of a large multi-serving container. You can’t track your portions and are more lightly to over eat.
  • Never allow yourself to give into rewarding good dieting with no-no foods. Keep everything in moderation.

3. Dinner:

  • Avoid cooking with refined oils by replacing with olive oil.
  • Eat vegetables cooked with no oils or butter, don’t serve rice as an option.
  • Begin your meal by having a broth base soup. This will slow your eating and curb your appetite. Creamy soups are high in fat and calories, so avoid!
  • Use fat-free Italian dressing on your salads or bring out the flavors of your salad by using only spices.

4. Eating Desserts:

  • Skip ice cream shop ice creams by replacing with fruit and berries or melons.
  • Omit oils when baking by replacing with equal parts of applesauce in the recipe.
  • Make your own skim milk ice cream alternative, instead of buying premium store-bought vanilla ice cream.

5. Dining Out:

  • Don’t buy separate entrees. Usually, they are large enough for two people to share. Just ask for a second plate. Restaurants are happy to oblige.
  • Drink a warm beverage such as hot tea sweetened with Splenda or have a low-calorie soup before your meal. Having hot liquids before a meal decreases your appetite. Another alternative is to have a salad before your meal arrives, which also helps to fill you.
  • Steer away from deep-fried foods and think grilled lean meats like fish or chicken.

The first three days of any dieting regiment are the hardest, but if you can push through them then you’ll find it becomes easier and I have found the same principle to be true with exercising. Tenacity is the key!

TIP: According to a University of Michigan researcher, sleeping an extra hour a night could help a person drop up to 14 Pounds a year. (removed broken link attached to tip)

What tricks do you have up your sleeve when it comes to shaving calories from your diet?

Name Graphics



The Art of Letter Wrtiting

Photo Borrowed

Mobile devices are the way to stay connected with friends and family. In an instant, we can send a text or get an email.  This has become the preferred way to send a message. This is all great and fine, but something is lost.  These forms of staying in touch simply aren’t the same as getting a hand-written, flowery report of what’s going on in another person’s life in a ‘letter’.

Photo Credit

The art of letter writing is the personal expression of sharing with others a glimpse into our world. By sending a letter it becomes the next best thing to visiting your friend across the miles. No sooner as ink meets paper a masterpiece is in the works. Your thoughts spill from your mind onto your stationery forming an intimate picture of your life for others to absorb.

Let’s face it, there is something more tangible about an old-fashion letter over our modern-day technology to keeping in touch.  A letter is gently caressed with the fingers, it is carefully tucked into an envelope, and sealed tenderly with the lips of someone dear to you. Then, the magic of its journal from hand to land by air or sea until it reaches one’s hand again. Nothing compares to the burst of excitement that greets me when opening my mailbox to find a visit from a friend patiently waiting inside.

How to begin. Let’s start with the tools needed for letter writing. Becoming a letter artist requires the necessary supplies to create your masterpiece.

Stationery is the palette you’ll create your life’s story upon to share and reflects who you are to the intended recipient. Stationery can range from whimsical to serious or you can even keep it simple in using plain notebook paper. It doesn’t have to be expensive.

For free printable stationery visit:

Pens are your paintbrushes, as you create a picture of words. Sometimes the mood dictates the soft touch of charcoal and that’s when I turn to a #2 pencil. For me this is rarely the case. For the most part, ink calls your name and mine.

There are calligraphy writing instruments found in fountain and felt pens. I use both

There are pens specially for using on dark or light-colored paper.

Regardless of which pen you choice you can find pastel and bold colors found in a variety of ink types – liquid gels, metallic, and glitter.

Envelopes I usually keep it simple and use whatever is on hand, but in years’ past I enjoyed making my own envelopes from scenic magazine pages. It’s a creative project to turn something ordinary into fun!

Visit this site to download various envelope templates to create your own!

Personal Touch to your letter says to your recipient, “How sweet of her to think of me!” Often times, I’ll embellish my envelope with cute stickers and occasionally I’ll slip in a sheet for my friends. If my friend has small children, then I’ll include some kiddie stickers. Personal touches can include photos, postcards, bookmarks, or anything that’s easy to include in an envelope. It’s a small gesture, but it means a lot to the person getting it. Whatever tools or materials you use for the art of letter writing, be sure to write from your heart.

Who to write? Your parents, your brother, your sister, a good friend, your spouse, or your children. Simply write to this person, as if you are sitting beside him/her chatting over a cup of coffee. Make it a warm, fun experience. You will know you’ve accomplished this task by the time you seal your letter if a cozy ripple embraces you. You know that ‘feel good feeling’ when you sigh sweet relief as if to say, “All is well with my soul”.

Valentine’s Day is Tuesday, why not write a love letter to your sweetie? See, Tips on how to write a love letter.

The art of letter writing is slowly fading in our society. Jump on the crusade with me in restoring our culture of a piece of nostalgia.  Better late than never, I always say. For more “L” link ups, visit Miss Jenny Alphabe-Thursday classroom!

Have a reLaxing weekend!
Name Graphics






5 Cold Proof Tips for Your Cosmetics, Super Bowl XLVI Commericals, & Daughter’s Wedding Cake with RTT

We have had no winter to speak of. That’s not a complaint. I love the mild temperatures we get often. However, a part of me wonders,”When will we get that truly horrible cold snap?” Regardless of what the weather is doing. We are always faced with the ever presence of germs.

I’m going to share with you a few helpful ways to protect yourself from germs which grow in a common place, your make up!

5 Cold Proof Tips for Your Cosmetics

  1. Gently scrape lipstick surface, then dip into alcohol for 30 seconds, and allow to air dry with a clean tissue.
  2. Cake eyes shadows, blush, or other powders can be gently scraped to remove the top layer.
  3. Wash or replace applicator with soap and water every two weeks. In between washing you can use a disinfecting spray solution on your brushes one part water to nine parts rubbing alcohol.
  4. Liquid makes up can’t be completely de-germed. Pouring off the top is helpful but the best thing to do is replace your foundation with a pump container.
  5. Wash or wipe down your cosmetic bag twice a month. If you feel this isn’t thorough enough, then place your entire makeup bag in the freezer overnight.

This last one got me to thinking if you can de-germ you cosmetic by tossing it into the freezer, then maybe having some truly horrible frigid temperatures is what we need after all.  What’s your thought on this?

In past years, Super Bowl commercials were the highlight of this great sport’s event. I always looked forward to some hardy laughs between plays as sponsors rolled out 60 seconds of humor for the audience.

Sadly, somewhere along the way, Super Bowl ads changed from funny to stupid. This year, for the most part, the tide hadn’t shifted, but there were two candidates I did get a kick out of. Here they are…

The second one is fantastic, don’t you think?

Yesterday, my youngest daughter and her new husband marked their first full week of marriage. Last week was so crazy. I failed to do my random routine on Tuesday, but I didn’t forget to share my wedding cake creation on my blog. I just did so later in the week. You’re welcome to take a peek at my not-so Martha Stewart presentation if you wish to scroll down the page to see the answer to question 8 of my Wednesday Hodgepodge post.

My BIL, took this photo of our precious daughter and her new husband.  They had a beautiful ceremony on the lawn of the old Courthouse in downtown Knoxville.

I got a little creative with the picture in using My Memories software. If you’re interested in knowing more about this program, then click on the banner on the right side bar just below the ‘Subscribe To’ block. 

Speaking of weddings, we bought Father of the Bride with Steve Martin on DVD. It coincidentally released in theaters the year Nicole was born, 1990. I remember renting it years ago. At the time, our daughters were very small, maybe 1 and 3 years of age. We barely made it through the movie because of getting all choked up. That was too punishing for parents of small daughters to watch.

Now, that we have married daughters, DH and I, figured it’s safe to watch the flick without bawling our eyes out like babies. Personally, I don’t see myself making it through the movie with dry eyes. But… I’m gain for seeing it again!



Don’t forget, next Tuesday is Valentine’s Day. How do you plan to celebrate the sweetest day of the year? Check these out …



Have a terrific Tuesday!
Name Graphics




Sex Makes A Woman Look Younger

According to a recent news article on Fox News having sex can make a woman look younger and more attractive.
 Got you curious? I have to admit this one really reeled me in.  Experts agree according to the article, saying,

When a woman has sex, she produces amounts of the hormone estrogen, which gives a shine to the hair and a smoothness to the skin. Increased blood flow means a flush of the cheek and even a pout of the lips. And because sex also increases the production of collagen, having sex can ward off age spots and sagging skin. Some even call sex, the real fountain of youth.

Sex…intimacy is a very important spice in any healthy relationship.  God gave us these sensual feelings to communicate our affection to one another in a personal closeness that’s unique to any other relationships. Society teaches women that sex is a man’s thing but it isn’t.  Women are sexual creatures and love the thrill that intimacy brings.   Unfortunately, many women have hang-ups on how to deal with their sexuality and I am no different from the rest.

The things I’ve learned later in life and frankly I wish I had known about these when I was much younger but that’s part of growing older…I mean maturing, include these 5 tips.

1. Accept yourself as you are.  I believe every woman since the beginning of time has dealt with issues concerning her body image.  Some things can be altered through natural means, such as exercises and diet, which are two ingredients to make sure a healthier, appealing physique.  However, if your family genes have passed down to you a Bob Hope nose, thunder thighs, a large backside, or the likes then you need to embrace your God-given assets and love yourself despite for them.  We all can’t be carbon copies. The quicker you learn to love yourself, then you can more openly accept love through intimacy without any inhibitions.

2.  Activity…moving your body. We know exercise is good for our bodies to maintain our body shape and promote overall good health but did you know that being physical makes you feel sexy?  Oxygen fuels our cells and organs.  Oxygen boosts our performance, endurance, and energy levels. In essence, oxygen invigorates our entire body and this sense can promote sexy sensations.

3.  Don’t be afraid to explore your body.  This does a couple of things for you. It will help you to be in touch with your own sensitivity while accepting your body.  Touch for women is magical and special.  This is what ignites our sexuality, unlike our counter partners who are visually oriented.  A woman’s body is beautiful and should be appreciated by her.

4.  Downtime. What’s that? Right, I hear you on that score. Downtime is something mothers know very little about, but it’s essential to motivating our sexual senses.  Have your husband to take the kids out for a few hours or even an entire day on the weekend to help rejuvenate your body and mind with some quiet time to do whatever makes you happy in that space of time.  Also, make it a habit in going to bed with your husband every night. Escape with your partner early each evening to your bedroom for a bit of paradise a couple of times, if not more during the week.  You’ll be happy that you made the effort, remember sex makes you look more youthful and you’re increasing your activity level which promotes more oxygen levels. Doubly good, huh?

5. Joint intimacy.  Talk with your husband often about what works for you in the bedroom. Some men don’t know what their partners want, maybe due to their own insecurities or lack of understanding. For the most part, men have a sixth sense when it comes to knowing how to make it fun in the bedroom for their wives.   Try new things together – fantasies, positions, or techniques.  This is between the two of you, don’t be embarrassed about anything and enjoy the ecstasy that follows.

Life at 40 something is good for the most part and it’s far from being over.  In fact…this may be the best time in my life!