Join Me in Choosing Positivity and Happiness

This year I made a promise to myself to focus on being positive and happy; to strive to see the good things in every day and every situation; to surround myself with positive people and things; to expand my horizons. Over the past couple of years I feel like I was becoming more and more negative and, along with that, less happy and upbeat.  I theorize this change in mental outlook was leading to things like high blood pressure, dental issues (I broke several crowns - I am a legend at my … [Read more...]

Independence Day – Family, Food & Fun

Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays. I love everything about it - what it celebrates, how it is celebrated, the weather, the fireworks.... We are lucky enough to live on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean. From our back yard we have a great view of the fireworks display shot from a barge just outside of Dana Point Harbor.  We can also see the display put on by San Clemente to the south and Laguna Beach and Corona del Mar to the north.  On  a few exceptionally clear 4th of July … [Read more...]

Family Traditions and a Recipe

  If you don't have some family traditions that you keep going year after year you need to get busy and develop a few! My family started a tradition of baking and candy making at Christmastime about 15 years ago. Since we subscribe to the "go big or go home" mentality, our baking and candy making consists of 3 days and results in well over 100 pounds of candy and cookies. This year we used over 45 pounds of chocolate and at least 25 pounds of nuts. We work on it for about 12-16 hours each … [Read more...]

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

  Just a few memories that make me smile. Find Your Own Balance - Terri … [Read more...]

Happy 83rd Birthday Dad!

Tomorrow is my Dad's birthday.  He was born in 1930.  The President of the United States was Herbert Hoover;   the Chrysler Building was completed in New York City; sliced bread went on sale for the first time in England; the average cost of a new house was $7,145.00; the average wages per year  was $1,970.00; the cost of a gallon of gas was 10 cents; the average cost for house rent  was $15.00 per month; a loaf of bread cost 9 cents , a pound of hamburger meat cost 13 cents; and a Pontiac Big … [Read more...]

A Book Worth Reading – A Novel About Alzheimer’s

  I just finished Still Alice, by Lisa Genova.   The book tells the story of a 50 year old Harvard Psychology professor who has early onset Alzheimer's disease.  It is a novel, but it is evident that the author did her homework.  This opinion is purely my own, but I feel it is an educated opinion. A little over 20 years ago, as a student in the Music Therapy program at CSULB, I worked as an activity coordinator at the John Douglas French Center for Alzheimer's Disease.  At that time, … [Read more...]

What to do with those holiday leftovers?

The women in my family have an unnatural fear of not having enough food at gatherings. I am not sure where this comes from since we generally always have way more than we need. This doesn't matter, the fear remains. As a result, we always end up with leftover food. Usually a lot of it. This Christmas was no exception. I am not a huge fan of left overs in original form. I like to figure out things to do with leftover food to transform it into something new. This year my leftover beef … [Read more...]

Beef Tenderloin with Port Mushroom Sauce – New Year’s Day Dinner?

Well Hello There!  I have missed you. October through the end of the year is always the busiest for me.  In addition to the holidays that occur during these months, my wedding anniversary and birthday also happen.  This year I was determined to try to stay as relaxed as possible and enjoy the ride.  As a result, I did not do much writing over the last few months.  I guess I gave (all 3 of) you a break from reading my blog.  I hope you enjoyed your time off because I plan to get back into … [Read more...]

Cautionary Tale For Dog Owners

  It is strange how sometimes things that shouldn't happen do and they have a more far-reaching impact than it would initially seem.    The size of the impact is  not always proportionate to the size of the event.  Today a small dog made a big impact on many people.  Hopefully something good will come out of this event and will prevent a similar one from happening in the future. This afternoon my sister, my two nieces (ages 9 and 12) and my mother took their dogs to a dog park in Seal … [Read more...]

Things My Dad Taught Me

Today, my dad - Leo Smith - turned 82. In honor of his birthday I am going to share a few Leoisms. Some are things he has said, some are things I have learned through observation and experience. 1. A little hard work never killed anyone. 2. Do it right or don't do it at all. 3. Saving for a rainy day is a good thing. 4. Saving for a rainy day by burying money in a coffee can in the garden is not a good thing. 5. Always keep the windshield on your car clean. 6. Don't be a sissy dog. 7. Your … [Read more...]