Friday Five

More Friday Five Funnies (Vol. 3)

More Friday Five Funnies 3

We’re ready for a little down time after a hectic week! We figured that might work for you, too – so we’re sending you into the weekend with a few chuckles. We have plucked 5 favorites off our Facebook page that have been posted since our debut sampling of FB funnies and the summer update smiles. Enjoy!

Friday Five Funnies

 

Friday Five Funnies

Friday Five Funnies

Friday Five Funnies

Friday Five Funnies

If you haven’t had a chance to check out our Facebook page yet, drop by for a visit. We hope you LIKE it!

5 Ways to Put a Smile on Someone’s Face

5 Ways to Put a Smile on Someone's Face

“Be the reason someone smiles today.” Seeing that slogan pop up on social media regularly attached to lovely pictures and happy faces can fade into visual noise after a while. But it’s a terrific daily goal to set. Being the reason someone smiles benefits you as much – or more – than the recipient of your kindness. Oh, I know you’re not kind to get the physical, emotional, and spiritual lift that studies indicate doing good for others result in, but those are wonderful side effects, don’t you think?

Putting a smile on someone’s face is  as easy as offering a compliment or encouraging word. If you want to add a little creativity to the mix, here are 5 more ways to light up someone’s day:

  1. Give the compliment they can carry with them. Type out compliments on some make-your-own colorful business cards that can be found at office supply stores. Smile-inducing statements like: You have a beatiful smile! and That color looks wonderful on you! and Most fun shoes I’ve seen all day! and You are great at your job! Put a rubber band around your stack, carry them with you, and pass them out generously as “needed” throughout the day!
  2. Give a moment of your time. Next time you get good service at a restaurant, fast food place, hardware store, etc., ask to speak to the manager. They will be pleasantly surprised to be summoned for a positive reason and the employee may get props. A couple of days after letting a Best Buy manager know how an employee went above and beyond to offer assistance on, as we found out after the fact, the employee’s day off, we returned to the store. There in the Best Buy entryway was a framed picture of our awesome helper with a sign that proclaimed him “Employee of the Month.” Quite a payoff for a few minutes of time!
  3. Give the unexpected. Pick up some flowers while you’re grocery shopping – a little bouquet or mini-potted roses from the floral section most stores have now. After you pay for them, hand them to the person behind you in line and tell them to have a nice day. You’ll both end up smiling!
  4. Give them a reminder. Let that person whose company you enjoy, but rarely get to connect with, know you’re thinking of them. Use social media to send a bright picture (maybe of something they collect or a place you visited together?) with your just-because-I’m-thinking-of-you message. Sending a text or leaving a voicemail can be just as effective. Recently I remembered an adventure (okay, more of a misadventure) a friend and I had shared years ago and I called her to tell her how it still cracked me up. I deliberately called at a time I didn’t think she’d answer so that she would get the surprise message. I couldn’t get through the message without laughing as I recounted the memory. Which made her laugh when she received it. Mission accomplished!
  5. Give a blast-from-the-past. Send a hand-written thank you note to someone who has touched your life by some act they wouldn’t expect a thank you for. That wonderful role model, or a person whose wise advice has stayed with you, or someone who inspired you to take action. You know – that person who puts a smile on your face just by thinking of them. It’s your turn the make them smile!

Mary Tyler Moore isn’t the only one “who can turn the world on with her smile”* – we ALL have that power. Let’s go forth and use it well!

5 Ways to Put a Smile on Someone's Face

*If you did not recognize that reference, it may indicate that you aren’t in your fifties – please know that you are still welcome here!

Let Them Eat (Watermelon) Cake!

Let Them Eat (Watermelon) Cake!

Seeing this simple watermelon “cake” in Good Housekeeping magazine last year piqued my interest. Guilt-free cake? Could it be? OK, so it’s not really cake – but it meets all the requirements for a special occasion. Visually pleasing? Check! Delicious? Check! Festive? Absolutely! And – bonus! – it’s GOOD for you! So if you’re looking for something to do with the last of the season’s watermelon crop, throw a party – and let the guests eat cake!

You can keep it simple by coring a cylindrical piece of watermelon, “frosting” with a frozen whipped topping and decorating with fruit.  Voila! Your 10-minute cake is complete – and lovely!

Image courtesy of Good Housekeeping

Image courtesy of Good Housekeeping

 

If you want to take things up a notch, you can gussy up your cake by patting on sliced almonds or crushed walnuts along the sides of the “frosting” and creating a pattern on top with fresh fruit.

Image courtesy of paleocuppord.com

Image courtesy of paleocuppord.com

 

Or skip the “frosting” and go right for the heart for a fat-free delight!

Let Them Eat Watermelon Cake!

 

Watermelon cake is a healthy “sweet” for any age!

Image courtesy of Pinterest

Image courtesy of Pinterest

 

Get creative – your cake decor options are as limitless as your own imagination!

Image source thrivenutritionandwellness.wordpress.com

Image source thrivenutritionandwellness.wordpress.com

 

But  just so you know, while I’ve been sold on watermelon “cake,” I am taking a pass on watermelon bread!

Let Them Eat Watermelon Cake!

 

If you want to see a speedy version of one way to cut up a watermelon for a nicely-shaped cake, check out this brief YouTube video:

More Friday Five Funnies

More Friday Five FunniesWell, it’s time to start your weekend off with a chuckle again. The Fat-Bottom-Fifties Facebook page we told you about in March is moving right along. We notice we haven’t shared any of the posts with you since May, so here are 5 to put a smile on your face!

Friday Five Funnies

Friday Five Funnies

Friday Five Funny

Friday Five Funnies

Friday Five Funnies

If you haven’t had a chance to check out our Facebook page yet, drop by for a visit. We hope you LIKE it!

What’s the Ingredient You Can’t Live Without?

What's the Ingredient You Can't Live Without?

What is your go-to food prep ingredient? You know – the one that adds zing to what’s cooked, crunch to what’s not, or a bit of magic to what’s baked? That one ingredient you just can’t live without. OK – “can’t live without” may be a bit dramatic. Let’s put it this way: if you were taking a trip where you would have to prepare food (already provided!) at your destination and could only take one ingredient to add to it, what do you toss in your suitcase?

Here are my top five contenders:

5. Kale. I know – mere months ago I was balking at the thought of it being so pervasive it was  added to ice cream. But I have seen the light! I have gone from grudgingly tossing it into salads and smoothies as a virtuous nod to healthy eating, to feeling the fridge is bare without it. In addition to kale taking over my salads, it adds stamina to sandwiches and great texture to stir fry. I’m still not buying it as a dessert, though.

4. Garlic. It goes with everything. Some even swear it works with ice cream – although I haven’t tested that theory. So maybe I should say it goes with all things savory. It is the starting point to most of my cooked dishes and an accompaniment to many that aren’t.

3. Sliced almonds. I actually keep some in a ziplock snack bag in my purse. They add substance to yogurt and satisfying crunch to salads. A little sprinkling goes a long way and adds positive nutritional value for minimal calories.

2. Mace. There – it’s out. My secret ingredient for baked goods. It’s one of two secret ingredients for my stellar banana bread recipe. (No, I’m absolutely not divulging the second one!) For those of you not familiar with mace, I kind of think of it as nutmeg that’s been empowered. For a concise explanation of the difference between mace and nutmeg and what each works best with, click HERE. Good stuff!

But if I follow the rules I have asked you to follow by picking only one to toss in my suitcase? I’d have to go with:

1. Red pepper flakes. An absolute must for pizza paring, but a delightful optional contribution to so much more. They can turn bland into BAM! They add a controllable heat level to what was formerly flat. They add zip to soup, stews, eggs, bread – even chocolate. Those foil packets of red pepper flakes that are given away at pizza parlors (along with the parmesan cheese) can be found in my glove compartment, my office cupboard and my desk drawer. So please don’t take it personally if one happens to fall out of my purse while I’m eating dinner at your house – it’s no reflection on your cooking!

So what’s that one ingredient that YOU can’t live without?

Lessons From the Airport

 I just returned from what has become my tri-annual trip to Swan Lake. With hours of delay, I had plenty of time to enjoy the airport experience. One would think after all these years of traveling I’d have the whole process down pat. I wear shoes that slide off, have my quart-size plastic bag with liquids (no more than 4 ounces!) easily accessible, have nothing in my pockets, my ticket in one hand and my I.D in the other. And yet, each visit to the airport is educational. Here are five lessons I learned during my airport time on this trip.

1. The special alerts you receive on your phone are not necessarily reflected on the Departure Boards. After receiving two such alerts indicating my plane was going to be an hour and a half late departing, I left the house thirty minutes later than I had originally planned. Which still would get me there plenty early. So imagine my horror when I casually stroll in the airport and note on the Departure Board that my flight has a proud “ON TIME” next to the original departure time. Which was only six minutes away. I learned a couple more lessons before I picked up on the one about the board not reflecting the most current flight info.

2. If you only have underwire left on one side of your bra, you become a suspect. Two strips of metal under your breasts and you have good support. Apparently just one metal strip leads to the assumption you may have a concealed weapon in addition to being lopsided.

3. Freaking out and demanding that the security agent “Feel me faster” actually speeds up the process. I don’t think that is the usual response they get. Whether I had taken the fun out of the event or the agent was responding sympathetically I don’t know. What I do know is she abruptly stopped the search and told me to “just go.” Please keep in mind that I was quite sure my plane was already rolling down the runway – I think they can sense sincerity.

4. Your slip-off shoes should also be running shoes. Because if you are late, your plane will be at the terminal farthest away. Guaranteed. This is also true if you only think you are late. During my long, less-than-gazelle-like run, I had visions of running out to the runway screaming for the plane to stop. Imagine my surprise when my winded self arrived at a full terminal of lounging passengers. Fortunately I didn’t have enough breath in me to utter the words that first popped into my head when it was confirmed that the flight was indeed going to be delayed two more hours.

5. Bonding with fellow passengers is not always a two-way event. There was a lovely family of four seated directly across from me in the waiting area. The little boy was loaded with questions and each received a patient, informative response from his father. I got to know a lot about them in a half hour. In our kill-some-time wanderings, I passed the toddler and his dad twice in airport shops. When I encountered them a third time at a snack counter, I gave the dad a big smile and said hello. What I got back was a blank face as he scooted his child a little faster than necessary in the opposite direction. OK – so maybe it wasn’t so much a shared experience as it was eavesdropping. Lesson learned.

What’s YOUR most memorable airport lesson?

 

Friday Five Funnies

Friday Five Funnies

In March we told you about our new Facebook page and gave you a sample of the humor there. We thought we’d send you into the weekend with a smile on your face by sharing five of our favorite funnies from April!

 

Friday Five Funnies

Friday Five Funnies

 

Friday Five Funnies

Friday Five Funnies

 

Friday Five Funnies

Well, we’re off to the grocery store – Happy Weekend, All!

Five to Frame

Five to Frame

One theme that keeps popping up as we continue on our fierce journeys is “simplicity.” Many of us are de-cluttering, scaling back, buying less stuff, and de-stressing by simplifying things that just don’t need to be as complicated as they can be. And that includes home decor. We want around us that which makes us smile. And smiles don’t have to cost a bunch of money! Here are five to frame* that keep things interesting – but simple!

1. For the kitchen: Beautiful or whimsical food pictures. Tear them out of magazines or old cookbooks. Because they are virtually free, there’s no problem changing with the seasons, holidays or your latest yen!

 

Five to FrameFive to Frame

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. For the den: Maps. They are available wherever you go at convenience stores. Second-hand book stores are a great place to look for books on specific places, geography, biblical maps, and vintage depictions. Travel the world on a wall!

Five to Frame

 

3. Craft areas: Vintage Sewing Patterns. Framed individually, in duos or groups, they make an interesting focal point. You can often find them for a dollar or less at antique stores or malls.

Five to Frame

 

4. For dining areas: Pages from a picture book. If you don’t have any old ones you’re willing to deconstruct, check out garage sales and used book stores. In regular book stores, there’s often bins of clearance books that can be had at drastically reduced prices.

Five to Frame

 

5. For bedrooms: Fabrics. Some of those “scraps” in fabric and craft stores are pretty good size. Play with color combos and textures to make interesting groupings.

Five to frame

BONUS:

For bathrooms: Print an inspirational saying on a complimentary scrapbook paper. If you don’t have a favorite saying, do a Google search using any word plus “quote” or “saying,” such as “kindness quotes” or “funny sayings.” You’ll have so many to choose from, you may need more frames!

Five to Frame

*Reasonably priced quality frames can be found in clearance sections of department stores (ask!), craft stores, garage sales, antique stores, second-hand stores. A little craft or spray paint could turn it into the perfect match. You might even find some frames in your own closets or basements – if you’re willing to remove the picture of the relative you weren’t willing to hang on your wall!

 

Quick Fixes for Garden Envy

Quick Fixes for Garden Envy

Many of us enjoy the shot of bright color, freshness, or mood lift that flowers or plants provide, but having a garden is not an option. Whether you don’t have the time, space, or commitment that tending a garden requires, today’s Friday Five offers smile-inducing alternatives!

1. Vegetable pots. Make yourself a mini garden with a potted vegetable or two. Cherry tomatoes (I know – not really a vegetable!) are a great choice for patio containers – attractive and fruit producing! Click on the picture to see more ideas for veggies that do well in containers.

Quick Fixes for Garden Envy

2. Windowsill herb garden. The pictured kit was found on Amazon.com for $22 (give or take a few pennies), but you should be able to find something similar at a local lawn and garden type store. It brings fragrant right into your kitchen and makes it easy to snip some fresh right into your meals!

Quick Fixes for Garden Envy

3. $5 grocery store bouquet deconstructed. You’ll be surprised at the bang you can get for your buck by trimming individual blooms down and putting one or two in mini vases, juice or shot glasses. Line them up on a windowsill, group them on a tray in the middle of a table, or put a few in different rooms of the house to spread the love!

Quick Fixes for Garden EnvyQuick Fixes for Garden Envy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Remember terrariums? It’s a great way to bring a mini landscape indoors. Head to Pinterest for a plethora of ideas on containers – from light bulbs to jumbo bottles and everything in between! If you like the ones pictured below, click on it for some great how-tos.

Quick Fixes for Garden Envy

5. Succulents in bright pots or cans. These are a great choice for those of us without green thumbs. These hard-to-kill (but trust me when I say not impossible-to-kill) plants nestled in colorful cans turn a small space into a fiesta!

Quick Fixes for Garden EnvyQuick Fixes for Garden Envy

 

We hope these great ideas will leave you saying:

Quick Fixes for Garden Envy

Not Your Kid’s Easter Eggs

Not Your Kid's Easter EggsDo you like the look or creative aspect of decorating Easter Eggs but don’t want to tangle with the messy dye versions of yesteryear? Looking for something fun and different? For our Friday Five we’ve rounded up five that will put a smile on your face and add a little panache to your Easter decor! Click on the pictures for instructions and material lists.

1. Easter Egg Portraits – fun for hiding, decorating, or to use at the table instead of namecards for assigned seating!

Not Your Kid's Easter Eggs

2. Decorator Eggs – they’re easier to do than they may look and are a great choice if you have a color scheme you’re working with.

Not Your Kid's Easter Eggs

3. Pineapple Eggs – won’t these look great next to your fruit bowl?

Not Your Kid's Easter Eggs

4. Silk-wrapped Eggs – they are unique, surprisingly uncomplicated to create, and make a very classy presentation!

Not Your Kid's Easter Eggs

5. Strawberry Easter Eggs – OK, so they’re not technically eggs. But aren’t they pretty? And you don’t even have to go elsewhere for directions. Melt some white chocolate, put it into as many different small bowls as you want colors, drop a dot or two of food coloring in each and blend. Dip the strawberries and let dry for a few minutes. Decorate with contrasting colored white chocolate by squeezing through a small frosting nozzle or the clipped corner of baggie. Pretty in a platter or for a garnish on each plate!

Not Your Kid's Easter Eggs

 

Not Your Kid's Easter Eggs