Monthly Archives: January 2010

2010 Handbook for Life

I recently received an email from Art House Gifts and they had included the following “Handbook for Life” tips. I actually try to live by these standards each and every day so I was thrilled when I saw this. It was written so perfectly that I just had to share.  Enjoy and have a great weekend!
1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
4. Live with the 3 E’s — Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy.
5. Make time to pray.
6. Play more games, meaningful ones especially.
7. Read more books than you did in 2009.
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
9. Sleep for 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.
11. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don’t have negative thoughts about things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don’t over do. Keep your limits.
14. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don’t waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake.
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
18. Forget issues of the past. Don’t remind your partner with his/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don’t hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won’t spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree…
25. Call your family often, especially your mom if you are lucky enough to still have her.
26. Each day give something good to others who care about you.
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
32. Do the right thing!
33. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. GOD heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come.
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.
40. Spend time with the people that YOU matter to (you know who they are).

The Joy of Container Roses

A Fragrant and relaxing home isn’t complete without some flowers growing outside. Since most of the nation is stuck under snow, ice and cold I thought I would help brighten your mood with some roses.  I’ve included a video below for those of you that are new to roses and/or gardening.  Growing roses in containers is easy and a wonderful project for those new to gardening.

Container gardens are wonderful whether you live in a large or small home, condo or tiny apartment. Growing roses in containers means you can easily transport them from place to place which is very handy if you have back or knee problems.  If a rose isn’t doing too well in a particular spot, simply slide the container onto a dolly, tilt it back and roll it away to a different location. If you want to give a rose away, it is not necessary to dig it up. Simply give away the rose, pot and all.

For health it is necessary to place the rose in a situation where it receives some moving air. Space containers about two feet apart. This will reduce the incidence of fungus-related rose diseases. A rose should also have a full day of sun, or at least seven hours.

Roses can spend their lifetime in this situation, excepting those places where the temperatures can drop dramatically over the winter months. It is advisable to move roses to a sheltered site or temporarily indoors. Finally, in spring offer roses in containers a tablespoon of epsom salts sprinkled around the base of the plant. This provides the necessary magnesium for healthy foliage. Also a kick-start of a fish emulsion feed in spring to get them off to a healthy start.

If you’re interested in purchasing roses online then I personally recommend Jackson & Perkins. I must admit that I’m a bit biased regarding this company since I’ve actually been one of their test gardeners as well as their customer for two decades.  Jackson & Perkins roses really are of supreme quality in my humble opinion.

I hope your day is full of sunshine and roses!

Free videos by Fresh

Additional reading:

Happy 101 Blog Award

Thank you to my dear friend, Bill Bruner, of Journey to Joy who passed on the Happy 101 blog award to me.
Rules: Copy the award image in your post. Then, list 10 things that make you happy and tag 10 bloggers who brighten your day. For those 10 bloggers who get the award, you must link back to my blog. Don’t forget to mention the person who gives you the award and notify the award receivers and put their links in your post.
My husband – My best friend and husband of 26 years. We have grown together over the years and supported each other during life’s up and downs. I’m thankful every day for the love, laughs and friendship that he brings to my life.

My daughter – A truly independent and strong young woman who I look up to. She is confident, beautiful and following her dream without fear. She’s my hero and a wonderful friend.
Living at the Beach – I have been blessed with the opportunity to live my life next to the glorious and ever changing Pacific ocean. It is a relaxing place which keeps me humble.
Animals – My three little doggie girls; Mini, Daisy and Ice provide my life with love, enjoyment, silliness and warmth. I’ve had animals in my life since I was a little girl. Rabbits, cows, goats, pigs, chickens, dogs and cats…oh my! They each have a personality and have brought much happiness to my 44 years.
Cooking – I love to prepare good old fashioned comfort food…it fills me with love and happiness to feed others.
Love – Since learning to love myself I have found peace within my heart and this love assists me in loving and supporting others.
Friends – Friends have come and gone over the years; but I cherish every friendship for what I learn, the time we had together, the laughter and tears as well as the joy they have brought me.
Internet: The Internet has opened up numerous doors to people that I would have never met otherwise. They’ve provided me love, support and feedback for which I’m truly grateful.
Creativity: I was blessed with artistic talent. From oil painting and handcrafts to photography and interior design – I feel alive when I’m creating.
Gardening: Digging in the earth and getting dirt under my nails illuminates me with happiness. Watching the plants change with the seasons provide me great internal joy. “You cannot feel closer to God as when you’re in the garden.”
Laughter: I love to make people laugh! I feel that laughter is the best medicine and it has gotten me through grief, fear and stressful situations.
These 10 blogs provide me joy, inspiration, happiness and laughter (not listed in any particular order):
I’ve been reading Bill’s posts since he first began writing his blog. He has assisted me in furthering my goals as well as providing me motivation and wisdom during life’s trying times. He is a forever friend that I greatly cherish.
Words that describe the author, Chip Etier…talented, devoted, helpful and friendly.
Stay at home mom of two getting back in touch with her crafty side. She is talented and loves dogs, humor, beads and musing about life in general. I often get a laugh or giggle from reading her posts!
Inspires readers to embrace their homes with their heart and all of the passion that it holds
Domestic Dish for the Modern Homemaker
A good designer helps you determine your style…not dictate theirs to you.
Cooking has never looked so good – Cynthia clearly shows step-by-step how she prepares wonderful recipes.
Edgy blog by satirist and short-story writer Lauren Salkin
Coffee With Marty
I’m constantly amazed how wise and wonderful this young man is. He touches the heart with his writing.
Dawn writes as though she has read my thoughts and feelings as she stirs up emotions deep within.

2010 Color of the Year: Turquoise!

Pantone, a global color authority, has selected turquoise as the color of the year for 2010. The blue-green shade replaces mimosa, the sunny yellow that was Pantone’s top pick for 2009. 

Combining the “serene qualities of blue with the invigorating aspects of green,” turquoise evokes thoughts of “soothing tropical waters and a languorous escape from the everyday troubles of the world, while restoring our sense of well-being,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute in Carlstadt, N.J.

Just the kind of feel-good color we need in 2010, the year in which the depressed economy is expected to start recovering.
To determine color trends, the Color Institute’s team of specialists travels the world, observing colors in many contexts and studying consumer psychology. Pantone then creates the standardized color palettes used in the design and fashion industries.
“In many cultures, turquoise occupies a special position in the world of color,” Eiseman says. “It is believed to be a protective talisman, a color of deep compassion and healing, and a color of faith and truth, inspired by water and sky.

Whether envisioned as a tranquil ocean surrounding a tropical island or a protective stone warding off evil spirits, Turquoise is a color that most people respond to positively. It is universally flattering, has appeal for men and women, and translates easily to fashion and interiors. With both warm and cool undertones, Turquoise pairs nicely with any other color in the spectrum. Turquoise adds a splash of excitement to neutrals and browns, complements reds and pinks, creates a classic maritime look with deep blues, livens up all other greens, and is especially trend-setting with yellow-greens.

People who like turquoise tend to be complex, imaginative and original, says Ron Redding, vice president of design for York Wallcoverings in York, Pa.
Once seen mainly in resort decor and clothing, turquoise now is making its way into “everyday homes,” says Gina Shaw, another designer with York Wallcoverings. In addition, “turquoise and other ocean-inspired blues are ‘eco-colors’ that reflect increasing consumer appreciation of the environment and nature.”
In general, a high-voltage color such as turquoise is best confined to smaller areas, such as a single wall. But if you’re not brave enough to splash the color of the year on your walls, at least use accessories to update your decor, Sheaf says.  “Pop in a turquoise lamp, picture frames, towels or a painted chair. The result will be magical.”

Perfect for a powder room or bedroom, Turquoise is an evocative, spa-like hue that adds an undertone of warmth and excitement to any cool space. In the kitchen, Turquoise adds a unique flare to tabletop and appliances.
If you love the many shades of Turquoise, here are some great ways to add it to your home: Pillows & Throws, Lamps, Turquoise Stones, Rugs or Artwork.  This is a wonderful way to give your home a New Year’s lift and add some bright, happy hues to the long, cold days and nights of winter.

Feng Shui for Serenity in the Bedroom

Given that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to write about feng shui for the boudoir. But as it turns out, all of my feng shui sources suggest tips for how to make the bedroom relaxing and sleep-friendly, rather than the stimulating and maybe not-so-sleepy Valentine’s mood I was picturing so today’s post is all about sleep and serenity–which, come to think of it, might be the best aphrodisiac around.

• Don’t keep more than a few books in your bedroom; they are too stimulating.

• Don’t use lots of yang colors, such as gold or red, in the bedroom. These colors stimulate your energy, resulting in poor sleep.

• Remove as much electronic equipment from your bedroom as possible, especially televisions, VCRs, stereos, and computers which emit electromagnetic energy that is detrimental to rest and health.

• Avoid sleeping in a bedroom situated above a garage, which channels the noxious fumes from the automobiles to the room’s occupants, affecting health.

• Don’t occupy a bedroom that is in a direct line with a straight road. If a vehicle’s headlights shine at or into a bedroom at night, use the room for exercise, storage, sewing, computer work, play, or other leisure activities instead.

• Keep your bedroom free of clutter and minimize the amount of furniture so that chi (life energy) can flow easily throughout the room.

• Don’t have any water features, such as fountains or aquariums, in your bedroom, where they are considered unlucky and can lead to loss of wealth.

• Don’t place the head of your bed against the wall shared with a bathroom.

• Choose bedding and linens in solid colors. If they have patterns, avoid geometric, angular designs that emanate negative energy and disturb your rest.

Adapted from Feng Shui Dos and Taboos (Storey Publishing, 2000) by Angi Ma Wong.

Books to purchase:

Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui

Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life : How to Use Feng Shui to Get Love, Money, Respect and Happiness

Feng Shui Your Life

A Favorite Escape – North Head Lighthouse

The century-old North Head Lighthouse, completed in 1898, sits atop a bluff in one of the windiest locations in the United States. Winds frequently clock at over 100 mph, guarding ships through the trecherous waters, known as the “Graveyard of the Pacific.” The Lighthouse is a favorite stop for visitors and one of my favorite places in the world. This 65 foot tall conical lighthouse sits north of the mouth to the Columbia River in Southwest Washington.
Since I live in close proximity, the Lighthouse is one of my favorite escapes, whether it be for sharing with friends and family or if I just need a break from life. A short stroll through the rainforest-like terrain provides numerous opportunities to view nature at its finest. We especially love to walk on the tiny Lighthouse Keeper’s path which provides especially beautiful photo opportunities. The Lighthouse was designed by German-born engineer C.W. Leick and sits on solid basalt more than 190 feet above sea level so it provides glorious views of Oregon to the South and the Long Beach Peninsula to the North.
Each changing season provides a new and unique experience. We trekked to the lighthouse after a freak snowstorm when the ground was covered in a lovely blanket of white.  Without a single other soul to be seen or heard from, the area was quiet, still and peaceful…even the ocean. During one of our summer visits we got caught in a fast moving rainstorm.  The storm produced fierce winds and rough seas that crashed loudly upon the rocky terrain below, however the Brown Pelicans flew around in utter delight and amusement. It was a sight that I’ll soon not forget.
Before there were lighthouses on the Peninsula, ships bound for Portland and Astoria navigated their way through high waves and shifting sandbars, focusing on fluttering white flags and notched trees along the shoreline by day and flickering signal fires by night. These methods were crude at best and, despite heroic efforts, the sea offshore of the Long Beach Peninsula became known as ‘The Graveyard of the Pacific’.
North Head has a neighboring lighthouse, Cape Disappointment, that is similar in shape, and painted in a unique stripe pattern so that the two can easily be recognized during daylight. This marking is called a daymark. Both lighthouses are fully functional and were taken under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Coast Guard in 1939.

After the last keeper left North Head in 1961, the lonely lighthouse began to deteriorate. Luckily the Coast Guard restored the lighthouse in the mid-80s and opened it to the public under the direction of the Cape Disappointment State Park. The keeper’s dwellings are nestled a half mile into the woods from the lighthouse itself, and have also been restored. Today, half of the dwellings house park personnel, but the other half and a single-family house are available for overnight stays.
If you venture to the Southwest Washington region, I highly recommend you stop by the Cape Disappointment State Park and especially the North Head Lighthouse where you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world.