Light Up Lives With Positive Encouragement

You know the saying misery loves company? Well, misery isn’t the only one, trouble loves it too. If you are going to do something “bad” or cause some sort of chaos, you never want to do it alone, right? You always need a partner in crime to go down with you.  It is as if we feel that as long as someone else is doing it with us, we won’t feel as guilty. But really all we are doing is encouraging others to do wrong.

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Word of the Week: Rive

Hurricane Wilma Damage 2005

Hurricane Wilma Damage 2005

Hurricane Wilma Damage- 2005

The word of the week is: Rive

Pronunciation: [rahyv]

Definition:

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What We Can Learn From The Birds

I love watching and taking pictures of birds. They are so beautiful to watch, and we can learn a thing or two from the birds. I have plenty of pictures to share, but for now I will add just a few.

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Word of the Week: Halcyon

The word of the week is: Halcyon

Pronunciation: [hal-see-uhn]

Definition:

adjective

1. calm; peaceful; tranquil (halcyon weather)

2. rich; wealthy; prosperous (halcyon times of peace)

3. happy; joyful; carefree (halcyon days of youth)

4. of or pertaining to the halcyon or kingfisher.

noun

5. a mythical bird, usually identified with the kingfisher, said to breed about the time of the winter solstice in a nest floating on the sea, and to have the power of charming winds and waves into calmness.
6. any of various kingfishers, especially of the genus Halcyon.

When I think of calm and peaceful, I envision sitting on the beach watching the beautiful sunset or sunrise and listening to the waves crash onto shore. The picture for this post was taken in Naples, FL during my mini vacation with my boyfriend last August. The noun defintion of halcyon (the mythical bird and kingfisher) also relates to the ocean which also makes this picture so fitting. May your day today be very halcyon! Here are a couple more pictures of the beach from that same trip below.

Easy Snack Ideas

Sometimes you want a simple snack that tastes good and doesn’t require too much time or ingredients. Well, here are 3 options you can choose from. Two are sweet and one is salty. And you can always make your own variation of each.

Peanut Butter & Granola Apples

peanut butter and granola apples

I recently saw this recipe in RedBook magazine and decided to give it a try. I have seen people eat peanut butter and apples before, but never with granola. I didn’t have any granola on hand so I use some rolled oats I bought at Target. All you have to do is slice an apple, spread peanut butter on one side, and cover with granola or oats. The oats I used had cocoa powder, nuts and seeds as well, but no sugar.

Cinnamon Apple Toast

Cinnamon Apple Toast

This is very easy and delicious. It is a great item for breakfast or an afternoon snack. Use a piece of whole-wheat bread and spread a little butter on it. Then add apple slices and a little sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon. Broil in toaster oven for about 4 minutes, keep an eye on it as everyone likes their toast cooked a little different.

Mini Pizzas

mini pizzas

When there is not much in the house to eat or I just feel like some pizza, I usually make these mini pizzas. It requires the same ingredients as a regular pizza except you use Arnolds Whole Wheat sandwich thins for the crust. There are other brands of sandwich thins, but I like Arnolds the best.

In the picture, one pizza has tomato sauce, garlic powder, mozzarella and swiss cheese and fresh basil. The second pizza has tomato sauce with cheddar cheese and corn beef. The only reason I used corn beef was because we had some leftover and that was the only meat I had around. It tasted pretty good. Of course you can easily substitute pepperoni.  I cooked mine in the toaster oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Make your pizza however you like. I usually like onions on mine.

Other snacks I like are mixed raw nuts, veggies and dip, cucumbers with tuna, and a small smoothie.

Do you have any favorite snack recipes? I would like to hear your unique creations, share them in the comment section below.

Word of the Week: Ephemeral

The word of the week is: Ephemeral

Pronunciation: [ih-fem-er-uhl]

Definition:

adjective
1. lasting a very short time; short-lived; transitory: (such as the ephemeral joys of childhood)

2. lasting but one day (like an ephemeral flower)

noun

3. anything short-lived, as certain insects.

Think about how a butterfly is on the Earth for such a short period of time, yet contributes so much. We don’t just need butterflies to pollinate flowers in order to continue the plant life cycle, but they also add beauty to our lives. They may not live very long (2-4 weeks) but they live their life with a purpose, which is how we should live ours. Time goes by fast, so live each moment intentionally and to the fullest. And when you have the chance to make someone else’s life a little more beautiful, take the opportunity and run with it.

photo above taken and edited by me. Quote said by Rabindranath Tagore.

Find Inspiration in The World Around You

Here are some photos I have taken with some quotes that I like. All the photos were taken by me and the quotes I have read somewhere at one point.

Troubled Waters cleanse us - quote

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Strawberry Jello & Pretzel Pie

Strawberry Jello Pretzel Pie

I found this recipe on the-girl-who-ate-everything.com and thought it looked interesting. I made this for 4th of July and it was so good!! It reminds me of a strawberry cheesecake. It is a little messy, but not too difficult to make. I wanted a dessert that was different, yet didn’t require too many ingredients. I’m a crust girl, to me the best part of the cheesecake is the crust (if it is done right that is). This pretzel crust is the perfect combination of salty and sweet and super yummy. Give this recipe a try if you like strawberry cheesecake.

What You Need

2 1/2 cups of finely crushed pretzels

3 Tablespoons of brown sugar

1 1/2 sticks of melted butter

1- 6 oz. package of strawberry instant jello

8 oz. fresh strawberries, sliced (the original recipe called for a whole pack of strawberries which is 16 oz. I only used about half, but if you want to add more go ahead)

1- 8 oz. package of cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup sugar

8 oz. cool whip

How To Prepare

1. Make the Jello as directed on the box and add strawberries. Refrigerate until partially set. I used the fast process on the box (using half water half ice) and left my jello in the fridge for about 1 1/2 hours. It may take longer if you just use water. Just make sure it is not too watery or it will make the crust soggy.

2. When jello is almost ready, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. Combine the crushed pretzels, brown sugar and melted butter and press it in a greased 9 x 13 pan. I lined my pan with parchment paper instead of greasing it. If the crust is too dry and is not sticking well, you can add more melted butter.

4. Bake crust for 10 minutes.

5. Combine cream cheese and sugar in a bowl and beat with hand mixer until smooth. Then add cool whip and beat to combine fully.

6. Once the crust is cool, add the cream cheese layer on top of the crust and smooth it out. Make sure you smooth it out all the way to the corners.

7. Pour the jello on top over the cream cheese layer. I scooped my jello out with a spoon. Then place in fridge to cool.

8. It is best to wait a few hours for it to set before eating. I thought it tasted best the next day. You can add more fresh strawberries on top if you wish.

Motivation Monday (Health)

Eating healthy can be difiicult and anything that can make it a little easier is a plus. I put together two lists if you are looking for food high in fiber or high in protein. These lists do not have everything on them, but should give you some examples and serve as a reference.

fiber rich food

protein rich food
*correction to the protein photo above: that should be 1/2 cup of Quinoa.

Think of each day as a day to make a change and another chance to better yourself. Don’t get discouraged if you screwed up yesterday, make it better TODAY. You only have one body and if you ruin it, you will be the one who will suffer. So take responsibility, make smart decisions and don’t let your emotions get the best of you. Make things happen, you have the power so use it!

A great quote that may help:

 “The number one reason why people quit is because they look how far they’ve got to go, instead of how far they’ve come.”

information sources: todaysdietitian.com, nutritiondata.self.com

What’s All The Hype About?

There are a few random, unrelated things that seem to have a lot of people excited and I am not too sure why. Of course I first want to say that if something makes you excited, that is awesome, I am in no way  trying to convince you otherwise. I am just stating my opinion in order to find out if anyone feels the same way. Discussion is always a good thing. So let’s begin.

Too Many 3D Movies

Does anyone else find it slightly irritating that every movie seems to be in 3D now? Don’t get me wrong, I think the technology is awesome, but that doesn’t mean we need to make every single movie like that.  I saw Avatar in 3D because of the beautiful graphics and colors, but most of the time I would just rather watch movies in their normal version. I already wear glasses so I don’t exactly want to wear 2 pairs of glasses haha. Sometimes I think it just takes away from the movie. For instance, one of the Resident Evil movies was in 3D and it seemed a little ridiculous, as if they had to exaggerate the actor’s movements in certain scenes in order to make them “pop out” in 3D. I think it works great for cartoon kid’s movies and things that may have extraordinary graphics, but it doesn’t seem to fit for everything. But I guess if they can make money creating 3D versions they will keep doing it. So as long as they don’t stop offering a regular 2D version, I can’t complain.

When I was looking for a picture for this post I stumbled upon glasses that turn 3D movies back into 2D. It would probably be a better idea just to go to the 2D showing instead of wearing glasses at the 3D version in order to see it in 2D lol, sounds confusing. I guess they would come in handy if everyone you went to the movie with wanted to see it in 3D except you. Or if they stop making a 2D version. I just thought it was interesting. You can find the article about the glasses here at gizmag.com. So what about you, Do you prefer to watch movies in 3D?

IKEA is Overrated


image source

Everyone seems to be obsessed with IKEA and I don’t understand why. Yes, they offer a large array of merchandise at cheap prices, but none of it is anything spectacular. In fact, it is all pretty much junk, which is why it is so cheap. I’m not against IKEA, some items are worth purchasing there, but I wouldn’t say it is the best store ever (as many people make it out to be).

For example, I bought a wardrobe closet from IKEA for my room, since my closet is very small and I needed more space for my huge collection of clothes. I knew going into it that IKEA made very cheap furniture, but if I didn’t have thousands of dollars to spend, IKEA was really the only place I could find one. So I took my chances and ended up paying around $500 (which was still pricey for me). Well, you are supposed to assemble it while lying it on its side first and then pick it up to finish building it. Well, since it is so crappy, the thing starts cracking and breaking in the process of picking it up. In order to make it stable we had to drill brackets and more screws all over it. It would have just fallen apart completely if we were to build it as the instructions said. It has worked just fine now that it is put together, but I doubt it would be able to be moved from here.

Besides it being cheap, it makes me claustrophobic! Once you are in the store it is like being in a huge maze. Even though there are shortcuts throughout the store, I feel like I am trapped since there are no windows. Plus, it is always so crowded, which doesn’t help.

So why do people find it so amazing? Please fill me in because I just don’t get it.

Call Me Maybe Won’t Go Away

call me maybe song versus the movie Taken- image source

I’m sure I am not the only one so please tell me you relate. That call me maybe song gets on my nerves! I have managed to get it stuck in my head a few too many times and just don’t understand the fascination with the song. It has become so popular lately and there are videos all over YouTube and on television using that song. I would put a link to it for reference, but if you haven’t already heard it I’ll spare you. Although, I doubt you have been able to escape that song, but if you have, consider yourself lucky. What do you think about the song and the hype surrounding it?

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