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It's the Little Things: Playing with my Spices

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Twice a year I go through my spices and organize, re-alphabetize (no one in my house, including me seems to consistently put spices back where they belong!!) and evaluate my spice rack.

Spices get old and stale and need to be tossed. This project helps me decide I'm never going to use something and toss it out: today it was dried basil. It is so readily available fresh now, and dried basil doesn't work the same way at all. I'm not going to use it anymore. I feel the same way about cilantro. Fresh is a whole different thing.

I'm all ready to cook now! When I open the doors to my spice storage area I feel like an artist, with a full selection of colorful alternatives.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRAMMYX7 8/29/2014 11:34AM

    Wow! What a beautiful spice cabinet. I love to cook and use spices for added flavor. I recently put all my spices in 2 stackable containers, one for small bottles and one for larger bottles and alphabetized mine. Made a trip to Penzey's for fresh bottles of some of the older ones I tossed. You are so right that some spices are better fresh.


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1MORNINGWALKER 8/29/2014 9:16AM

    A reminder to me to do this. Yours looks great emoticon

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KANOE10 8/29/2014 8:09AM

    I love spices. I did that yhis summer...went through and got rid of old spices. You look very organized.

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SUSANNAH31 8/29/2014 5:46AM

    What a worthwhile project. Spicing up food in different ways is something I like to do.

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TUDAFD 8/29/2014 12:06AM

    I love this -- wish I had one although I finally found space to hang the spice rack my hubby made so that should help. :)

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DALID414 8/28/2014 11:12PM

    That is an impressive spice nook!

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KELLIEBEAN 8/28/2014 9:21PM

    THAT is a thing of beauty. I'm jealous. I have to agree with you on the cilantro and basil. Nothing like the fresh stuff!

I was out of fresh basil the other day so I sprinkled dried basil over my tomato slices and mozzarella cheese and it just wasn't the same.

I bow down to you!

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AMARILYNH 8/28/2014 3:09PM

    Wow - that is one IMPRESSIVE spice cabinet! You are indeed ready to cook!! emoticon

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JANTHEBLONDE 8/28/2014 1:06PM

    Your pantry looks absolutely awesome! Way to go girl! You did a fabulous job! I think you should come over to my house and organize my spices! :-) :-) I hope you have a wonderful day!
Hugs and love!
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NEW-CAZ 8/28/2014 11:51AM

    very organised!

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WIFE48 8/28/2014 11:45AM

    I am impressed with your organized spice cupboard. emoticon

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1HAPPYSPIRIT 8/28/2014 11:34AM

    emoticon

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SEATTLE58 8/28/2014 11:20AM

    Wow, it looks like you're a good organizer! Can you come to do mine now? emoticon I think that I get it all good and organized and then it seems so rinky too! Ha! It is a good feeling to know where everything is. emoticon I love it! emoticon

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SANDICANE 8/28/2014 11:15AM

    I love spices too and what a great idea to re-organize them 2 x a year so we remember what we have!!!

Have fun cooking and I love your cabinet toooooooo!

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DOING-IT4ME 8/28/2014 11:12AM

    I like your cabinet - I desperately need a true spice cabinet in my house. My spices are always a mess, I have to pull have of them out of the cabinet to find the one I'm looking for!

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The Fears I've Left Behind by Losing Weight & Maintaining

Thursday, August 07, 2014

It struck me today that after a year and 11 months of healthy weight maintenance there are a bunch of things I no longer fear.

I no longer fear the scale. Up a pound or down a pound, I know what to do.

I no longer fear a pool party or 'swimsuit season'. I own 3 swim suits and none of them promise to make me look í10 pounds thinner.Ē Iím happy to put them on.

I no longer fear going to the gym. Iím one of the crowd there. In fitness classes I keep up when I can and do my own thing when I think itís too much of a stretch for my current level of conditioning.

I no longer worry about what Iím going to where to my next Ďbig event,í nor do I wonder if it will make me look fat. I donít own a single pair of Spanx. I wear what I want and enjoy the party.

I don't fear having my blood pressure taken at the doctors. High or low I know I've done my part to be healthy. The rest is up to genes, meds should I need them at some point, and the inevitabilty of aging. It won't be my fault!


I'd like to think I could have felt this fearless at any weight, but the fact is I did not. I was uncomfortable at best, and ashamed at worst.

I don't miss these fears! Not a single one of them. Fears don't keep me on track; my healthy goals do.


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRISTA987 8/24/2014 2:00PM

    Congrats on beating your fears! Such an amazing accomplishment!
I hope I can reach that point eventually too!

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KELLIEBEAN 8/8/2014 8:08AM

    What a great blog! I'm so happy for you! This is how life should be lived.

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EDLEAR 8/8/2014 6:51AM

    Sounds like one of the biggest things you've gained was more self confidence! Congrats on that.

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DALID414 8/7/2014 9:32PM

    Great fears to have lost along the way.

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GIZMOLUVSME 8/7/2014 7:12PM

    What an awesome blog and something we can all look forward to when we reach our goals! I like your point that if your health suffers, its not your fault cuz you have done your part. emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 8/7/2014 5:37PM

    Great achievements. Thanks for sharing. Congrats on all your success!!

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NEW-CAZ 8/7/2014 1:05PM

    emoticon emoticon

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JANTHEBLONDE 8/7/2014 11:14AM

    Fabulous blog! What a awesome outlook on life! You put to Sparks in Sparks! I am so proud of you! I hope you have a wonderful day!
Hugs and love!
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AMARILYNH 8/7/2014 11:02AM

    OMG I loved reading this - because you've identified the fears I DON'T have! Thanks for the reminder and the gratitude!!

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KLMEIRING 8/7/2014 10:46AM

    emoticon I enjoyed reading this blog! Thank you for sharing.

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BROOKLYN_BORN 8/7/2014 10:41AM

    Excellent attitude and very well stated.

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GORIANA 8/7/2014 10:34AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SEATTLE58 8/7/2014 10:10AM

    emoticon What a joy to read this! emoticon What a blessing to be broke free from that fear that we have in our minds! I've known that pretty much all my life. emoticon One day I will break free too! Thank you for a good blog! emoticon

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WIFE48 8/7/2014 10:04AM

    emoticon thanks for sharing.

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KIMPY225 8/7/2014 9:57AM

    This is a great outlook! Keep up the great work!

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KANOE10 8/7/2014 9:42AM

    That was a lovely blog. I also had those fears when I was obese. Isn't it nice to enjoy that freedom and happiness in your life? You have made some excellent growth in your life of health. Your positive confidence is inspiring.

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BABYSTEPS123 8/7/2014 9:31AM

    Congratulations on releasing those fears through your accomplishments. So great to be able to look back and see the difference! Keep up the good work! emoticon

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SANDICANE 8/7/2014 9:30AM

    Lovely blog...lovely. I'm sooo happy for you that you have found "freedom" in your life from weight-related issues!!!

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Under Promise and Over Deliver?

Friday, August 01, 2014

Ever felt backed into a corner by work or a family member to get something accomplished? Or felt the need to do more until you were exhausted?

I sure have. My PTA days come to mind! And in many other circumstances when I am thinking, "how can I possibly..." while saying, "sure, I'll do that."

Then one day a mentor of mine told me to try a bold new approach: "Under promise so you can over deliver." It sure beats the alternative of over promising and under delivering or struggling to meet my own self-inflicted performance goal. Most of the time it works just great.

Just last week my husband called and asked, "Are you cooking tonight?"

"Maybe, I said. Not sure."

As the afternoon progressed I happily put together a fine dinner for us.

He said, "I didn't think you'd cook!"

"I know," I said. "Changed my mind."

Smiles all around and no pressure felt.

I'm not sure this will work for everyone, but it sure works for me.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMEMINE1 8/3/2014 8:11PM

    emoticon

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KANOE10 8/3/2014 8:10AM

    That was a nice reminder. It is all too easy to get overcommitted.

Good blog!

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JANTHEBLONDE 8/1/2014 10:49PM

    Love your blog! Thanks for sharing! I hope you have a wonderful day!
Hugs and love!
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SANDICANE 8/1/2014 10:33PM

    That's a great tip! I love it! I'll practise it until I can do it...

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TUDAFD 8/1/2014 9:32PM

    Great idea!

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NEW-CAZ 8/1/2014 1:18PM

    emoticon

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DALID414 8/1/2014 10:43AM

    Oh, it definitely works!
I give my boss an approximate due date that is usually past the due date he'd like to hear, takes the pressure off and I deliver before my given date.

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KELLIEBEAN 8/1/2014 9:53AM

    I like it. I overcommit all the time. I'm getting better at it but it takes work.

LIke this weekend, my ex's wedding and the kids are trying to work out logistics and I'm trying to help when my ex is not.

I took a step back the other day and told the kids they need to talk amongst themselves, they are all adults.

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TANYA602 8/1/2014 9:42AM

    What a fabulous way of looking at it all! I need this tatoo'd somewhere so I can remember it. What was for dinner?!

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Conversations that Feed Me

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My husband and I start and end most day with a little conversation. In the morning we read the newspaper and chat over coffee and at night we collect our 'stories of the day' and catch one another up on what's happened. We've done this for as long as I can remember, even when we had children.

I consider this time as necessary and as essential as food and water to nourish and restore ourselves. I suppose we could say we are 'working on our relationship,' but really we are just having a relationship that blesses us both.

I'm wondering what other Sparkers do to sustain and nourish their lives on a daily basis?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANTHEBLONDE 7/24/2014 8:50AM

    Wow! My husband and I do the same thing! Thanks for sharing! I hope you have a wonderful day!
Hugs and love!
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DALID414 7/23/2014 4:25PM

    Every morning one of us asks the other how well/if we slept. Everyday after work (despite working together; job #2) I'll ask him how work went.
It's the small things.

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MICKEYH 7/23/2014 11:00AM

    Be patient for each other and sometime with love tap! emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 7/23/2014 8:19AM

    talk over brekkie, lunch and dinner and hug often.

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KANOE10 7/23/2014 8:03AM

    Mornings are often hectic. However, dinner and afterwards is spent catching up on the day. You have a lovely caring relationship with your husband and continue to nurture it.

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2BDYNAMIC 7/23/2014 7:56AM

    Wow!!! ....... You will not believe I was thinking about this last night! ........... My hubby and I do the same .......... We love our 'chat' time ............ and I have a blog in progress I am posting tomorrow on the subject ................ so I hope you stay tuned. Good thoughts in your blog ............. so important!

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KELLIEBEAN 7/23/2014 7:54AM

    Love it! We do the same thing but what I really love is we fall asleep holding hands, every night.

DH works nights and he tells me even though I'm out cold when he gets home, I still grab his hand when he comes to bed.

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RIDLEYRIDER 7/23/2014 7:45AM

  I think I'll start a new tradition with my hubs. Thanks!

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SUEARNOLD1 7/23/2014 7:39AM

    emoticon

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WDIPIM 7/23/2014 7:15AM

  You are very blessed to have such a good husband. God Bless you both

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EDLEAR 7/23/2014 7:13AM

    We do this too. My day just isn't the same if I haven't sat outside under the stars with my coffee and my big guy and connected. Some mornings we barely speak, just sit there together. Some mornings I'm in a rush to get going on something or other, but I force myself to slow down and sit and connect with him. I'm his refuge, and he cherishes and supports me.

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SANDICANE 7/23/2014 7:11AM

    Very very similar to you, however, in between those "husband" conversations, I now seek out "female" interaction to fill the void the passing of my dear friend Ana left in my life.....

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Health Report Card: IDEAL

Monday, July 07, 2014

Something fun happened today. My health care provider, Kaiser Permanente sent me a "Health Log." It said that my blood pressure was within the IDEAL range, that my BMI was within the IDEAL range and that my last LDL Cholesterol test was within the IDEAL range.

HOW COOL IS THAT?

I thought you would never ask. It is very cool. It has not always been so. When I started with Spark, now conming up on two and a half years ago, those numbers were anything but ideal. I was in TROUBLE. But no more.

I am also up to date on all th screenings I need for my age: mammo, colon cancer screening, pneumonia shot, bone density. This means I am taking care of myself, as we all need to.

SO AREN'T YOU LUCKY?

I thought you might ask that. Yes, I am fortunate, lucky, blessed. It's not all our doing. Bad things happen to people living a healthy life style and we don't control everything. So I am grateful.

MY TAKE AWAY?

I'm giving it my best shot to live a healthy life and "Spark along" each day. It's so worth it to do what I can to be healthy. So worth it. And my plan is to never take my health for granted. It's not all up to me, but it's what I can do.

And by the way: YAY!!!!!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALIIDA 7/18/2014 9:28AM

    Good for you on reaching ideal health, and I absolutely agree. Not everything that happens to our health is up to us, but if we do our best, we stack the cards in our favor for sure!

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GORIANA 7/9/2014 12:26AM

    emoticon ...mAy i suggest one more thing? If you are over 50 and haven't already, you might consider a shingles vaccine. My mom just got shingles and we are all super miffed that no one suggested this for her...so please give it some consideration. Shingles is terrible! (off my soapbox)

Back to emoticon your success. emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/9/2014 12:26:56 AM

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KANOE10 7/8/2014 8:45AM

    That is a wonderful lab report. You are living as healthy as you can! You have improved your life to a healthy one. Way to go, my friend. Being in the Ideal range is an excellent accomplishment.


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KELLIEBEAN 7/8/2014 7:50AM

    That is WAY better than any number on the scale. Congratulations! That is what it is all about!

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NEW-CAZ 7/8/2014 3:35AM

    emoticon so pleased for you!
You're obviously doing all the right things emoticon

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SANDICANE 7/7/2014 10:52PM

    I say YAY for you too! How wonderful you've been able to make all those changes, and yes, it's not all up to us, but doing what we can to live healthy, happy lives is what we can do.

And, thanks for stopping by my life...you mean a lot to me!

Cheers,
Sandi

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TANYA602 7/7/2014 10:52PM

    What a fabulous update! I can't wait to get into Kaiser and have my tests run!

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SWEDE_SU 7/7/2014 8:53PM

    emoticon great report! you're doing it all right!

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DALID414 7/7/2014 8:17PM

    emoticon on the emoticon report card

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JANTHEBLONDE 7/7/2014 7:30PM

    That's awesome news ... that your bloodwork came back excellent! Woo hoo! Let's do the happy dance! I'm so proud of you! You are with Sparks is all about! You are such an inspiration!
Hugs!
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WAY2GOCAT 7/7/2014 6:07PM

    Very emoticon Congratulations! I know it took a lot of hard work!

I also had some lab tests done last week and went to the doctor today to get the results.

NOT THAT IDEAL.

I continue to struggle with hypertension. I take 1 BP med already and my Doc added another. She also told me I needed to exercise more,but what I'm doing is a good start. Cholesterol is high. I had once gotten it under control with diet and exercise and to work on that again. Well meaning, my DH likes to feed me a hot b'fast in the mornings, the way his mom did him 60 years ago! But it includes WAY too many eggs that need to go! My preferance: Fruit and non-fat greek yogurt and cereal I love it! I can't take Statins because they causes an elevation in my liver enzymes, a problem I'm having as it is I'm again overweight at 165. I'm working on that!

GREAT NEWS though! Unbelievable news actually! @5 years ago.I was diagnosed with Kidney Disease with low kidney function. My PCP sent me to a Kidney Specialist who confirmed the results and told me I was in Stage 2 (of 5) Kidney Disease. He also told me it was incurable, would never get better and only get worse over time. TODAY MY KIDNEY FUNCTION IS NORMAL WITH NO SIGN OF KIDNEY DISEASE!!! To say this is less than a miracle would be denying the power of a Healing God! That is the only explanation!!! emoticon

Thanks so much Hon, for listening! I guess I made this about me, when it is all about you! I do tend to do that! emoticon

Today is day 13 returning to Spark. I do hope that with this program, changes to my lifestyle, and hard work I too can turn the numbers around as you have! You've given me new HOPE! Thanks for sharing your terrific news!! emoticon



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HOLLYM48 7/7/2014 5:18PM

    I hear you and totally agree. Everything that I can do to stay healthy is what I need to do. Somethings are outside our control but I am in charge of certain things and my weight and what I eat is one of them! Spark on! and congrats on being in the ideal range!

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