fifty-something

Friday Flash – Motivation

As you head into the weekend, keep heading toward that goal you have set for yourself. Don’t let slow progress discourage you. Little steps add up for big results! It’s about always moving forward – you can’t achieve a goal without first moving toward it. The thing to remind yourself is to

Friday Flash - Motivation

3 New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Want to Make – and Keep!

3 New Year's Resolutions You'll WANT to Make - AND Keep!

There are two types of New Year’s Resolutions. First, the ones that you are making again (lose weight, eat healthy, exercise, get organized, stop procrastinating, blah, blah, blah) Second, the ever popular I-resolve-NOT-to-make-New-Year’s-Resolutions resolution. Both categories are so tired, they should be permanently retired! We are ready for a new-and-improved New Year’s Resolution category – resolutions we look forward to keeping! Here are three that fit nicely into our new category.

  1. The Jar. This idea has been circulating in various forms for the past couple of years and I expect it will be around for years to come – because the results are so positive. The simple premise is you leave a container in a place that you see often and drop in notes throughout the year to commemorate moments, events, thoughts  – whatever you want. At the end of the year you read your notes. I did it this year for the first time, and my husband and I will read through the notes as part of our stay-at-home New Year’s Eve celebration. Our jar was a simple quart canning jar that I left on the kitchen counter – in spite of the fact that it matched nothing! I put a couple of mini notepads inside as well as a pen so that it was convenient to write our notes. I remember some of the notes I dropped in over the past year – a surprise visit from a dear friend, a stupid joke that had us laughing until our eyes watered, the trio of goats that showed up in our back yard. What I’m really looking forward to is reading over the notes I forgot about – and appreciating the moments all over again! As the months went on we found ourselves talking about “a laugh that will make the jar” and referring to events as a “jar moment.” Writing the notes not only magnify the appreciation of what is good or special in the moment, it records a memory to be enjoyed again later. And all for zero cost and a time investment of occasional minutes!

3 New Year's Resolutions You'll WANT to Make - AND Keep!

2. A year of Christmas Spirit. One of the wonderful things about the holiday season is it seems to soften hearts and promote generosity. Giving and acts of kindness are at an all-time high during the month of December. Soup kitchens are overrun with volunteers wanting to help serve and an abundance of carolers cheer up nursing home residents. Then comes January, and everyone is all niced-out. But the needs of others don’t get put on hold until the next holiday. And our own need to get outside of ourselves and help others (which can put our own problems and challenges in perspective) doesn’t end when the last holiday decoration is boxed up. Calendar in a monthly act of kindness, generosity, or encouragement. Whether it is twelve months of support for a specific charity (rocking babies, sorting books, serving food, . . . ), twelve different selections (sending a note of encouragement to somebody, mowing another’s lawn, putting a potted plant on a neighbor’s porch . . . ) or something in between, it’s all good. Not only do others benefit from your resolution, but studies show that such acts of kindness benefit the doer physically, spiritually, and emotionally. The ultimate win-win!

3 New Year's Resolutions You'll Want to Make - AND Keep

3. Blast back to your past. Commit to a year of lightening up, letting your inner child have a playdate, and go retro. Make a monthly date with yourself (or with a pal) to take a step back in time with something you enjoyed from the past. Whether you  schedule an activity (bowling? swinging at a playground?), watching a movie from “the day” (anybody remember Parent Trap?) or indulging in that blast-from-the-past treat (helloooooo Sander’s Bumpy Cake!!), be intentional about staying young at heart!

3 New Year's Resolutions You'll WANT to Make - AND Keep!

Set yourself up for success and productivity by making a New Year’s resolution (or three!) that you will look forward to keeping!

 HERE’S WISHING YOU YOUR BEST YEAR EVER! HAPPY NEW YEAR, FRIENDS!

5 Fast, Fit and Festive Edible Christmas Trees

blog2 edible christmas trees

Looking for a festive addition to your holiday buffet that offers a tasty alternative to sugar-laden treats? Here are 5 colorful options that are fast, festive and easy on the calories. Presenting: EDIBLE CHRISTMAS TREES!

The kiwi tree comes complete with ornaments – with very little assembly required!

5 Fast, Fit and Festive Christmas Foods

If you want a little more drama, start with a styrofoam cone and some toothpicks to have your tree go vertical. Berries, melons, kiwis – plenty of fruit options to make your own masterpiece!

Fat Fit and Festive Edible Christmas Trees

For those impromptu gatherings, you probably have the ingredients for a vegetable tree in your fridge already. Sliced pepper stems, cauliflower tree lights, broccoli floret greens all make great substitutions for the cucumber/carrot/tomato version shown. While a click on the picture gets you to the site it originated from, I couldn’t find the specific link for this  tree. I suspect you’ll be okay on this one without specific instructions!

Fast Fit and Festive Edible Christmas Tree

Does it get easier than a one-fruit tree that’s naturally decorated in Christmas colors?? Click on the picture for Eating Vibrantly’s suggestion on attaching the “tree trunk.”

Fast Fit and Festive Edible Christmas Trees

These pita trees are a great choice for an appetizer to contribute to the office party or family potluck. You will arrive knowing that no matter what is on the buffet, you have a great choice to snack on. They look artful and the recipe is an easy mix of seasoning, fat-free sour cream and guacamole. This substantive finger-food is a calorie bargain at only 30 per tree!

Fast Fit Festive Edible Christmas Trees

Christmas Trees never tasted so good!

Make Me Laugh!

MakeMeLaugh

It’s Friday!!! Best way to celebrate is with some humor! (Maybe we should change this to Monday Morning Mood Makers!!). Any who – enjoy the following Friday Funnies – in no particular order.

  • In honor of our weight loss journey

Zero to Eight

  • Just because it made me laugh

OCD

  • Because I recently had to show my granddaughter how to play solitaire after she lost electronic privileges.

Solitaire

  • Because it reminded me of some of the ‘hearing (loss)’ funnies shared at our house lately.

Recipe Error

Birthday Suit

We feel you are now sufficiently (and possibly inappropriately) armed and dangerous and ready to enjoy the weekend (like that never happens!).

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!

Motivational Monday #24

One of the mottoes that became popular in our generation is “Plan your work and work your plan.” So many of us set a goal and tried to work our plan diligently – only to meet with rejection from a third party who seemed to have the power to thwart that goal. The job that wasn’t offered, the submitted writing that was declined, the invitation refused – such obstacles to attaining a long-term goal can leave us with an overwhelming feeling of frustration or failure. We may be tempted to ignore the obstacles or force a  path through them because we are so intent on working our plan. But sometimes an unforeseen event, a perceived obstacle, can be a significant opportunity. Motivational speaker Steve Maraboli  certainly sees it that way; he said:

Motivational Monday #24

Stop Trying to Save Toads

Stop Trying to Save Toads

I see them flailing from my kitchen window. I know if I don’t help, I’ll find them lifeless in the skimmer later. So I stop what I’m doing and head out to save more toads. One would think I’d be a Toad Hero, right? But no. They actually fight my attempts to save them, diving toward the pool bottom or skittering away across the water surface. They dodge the life-saving shallow net I dip in to carry them to safety.

Each successful save is lifted out of the pool and gently turned out on the grass. Yet I receive no grateful croaks. Some of the toads, without even taking a few minutes to enjoy their new lease on life, head straight back toward the enticing water. They’ve already forgotten their panic-stricken flailing from moments before – they only have eyes for the sparkling surface ahead. You just can’t save a toad that is determined to jump back in the pool.

If you have a toad in your life, one that races back to the water no matter how many times you have scooped it out and laid it in the gentle arms of safety, you have two choices. You can either scoop until your arms finally give out, or you can acknowledge and accept the fact that toads have no heroes.

Albert Einstien probably had toads in mind when he said the following: Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. 

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: