Helping you get in shape for 2017: Part 1

We are halfway through the first month of 2017 and if you are over 40, I want to help you get serious about getting in shape this year. As a former personal trainer, this is something near and dear to my heart. Far too many women over 40 settle for a less than healthy version of themselves, because they simply believe that getting in shape and feeling good is an unachievable goal for them.

Helping women over 40 get in shape for 2017 Well, snatch the pebble from my hand grasshopper, because you have stumbled upon someone who has pretty much tried it all when it comes to weight loss and nutrition plans. I am hear to tell you that you absolutely can get in phenomenal shape after you turn 40! And you SHOULD! Of course our bodies respond differently to things than they did in their 20’s, and it takes a bit of tweaking and a LOT of persistence- but the pay offs are far too big to ignore! Forget for just a second about the myriad of health issues which either ARE or are ABOUT to be knocking on our doors, but how awesome would it be to stop feeling like your clothes are too tight all. the. freakin. time ? To stop beating yourself up every time you have a cocktail? Or a cupcake? I mean seriously, life is just too short for that sort of thing.

*A topic for another day, but let me just say here: If you are talking mean and down to yourself in ANY way……..just stop it. Stop it now. Ain’t nobody got time for that sista. There are plenty of other people in this world who will put you down. Don’t take on that roll for yourself! * helping women over 40 get in shape

My most recent trial of a nutrition/workout plan can be read about here and here and again here ,if you are interested. I am going to be honest. After giving that method a very good try (meaning, I hit my entire plan with at least 85% accuracy), I don’t recommend it. I saw little to no change at the end 14 weeks (In fact- I saw a bigger change at around 5 weeks!). I was working out 6 days a week, very hard, and eating to hit my macros. If I had continued, no doubt, my body would have gotten with the program over time, but honestly, I was left feeling burnt out. Too much weight lifting. Too much time in the gym 6 days a week, and too much tracking everything. At the end I was left feeling worn out and with a sugar/carb craving that I didn’t have previously. Not exactly what I was hoping, but I did learn a lot about how simple carbohydrates affect my body at this age.helping women over 40 get in shape

I’m getting back to what I know works. It’s fast, efficient, and you can see results pretty quickly: A very Paleo leaning diet, with a small amount of carbs thrown in around my work outs. This means that the main focus every day is around meat and vegetables. Lots of vegetables! If you’d like to follow me with this, (and it really does work), you will be eating protein and vegetables at every meal, cutting way back on sugar, and throwing in a small amount of faster digesting carbohydrate (rice, 1/2 a bagel, potatoes) around your work out times. Coupled with quick but sweat inducing work outs…….you will lose fat.

This is hard in the beginning because you are cutting back on those white carbs that your body becomes so easily addicted to AND you are asking your body to move more than you were previously. It will rebel. It will tell you that you are going to die if you don’t have that croissant with butter….right. NOW. But you don’t need it and that feeling won’t last.  You will burn fat much, much faster without all those white carbs. Its tough getting over that first hurdle, but after a few weeks without them, you can then put them in their proper place in your life……..in moderation, for special occasions……without any of the guilt. Lovely, right?

There are also a few supplements that are tried and true for women our age and they can help you achieve results even faster. We’re going to go there. (I’m not peddling anything…..these are just the things that I know work!)helping women over 40 get in shape

So keep checking back in, and place your email in the box in the sidebar. Load up your fridge with meat and vegetables. Lets make 2017 OUR year. Lets just dive in and get it done!  I will have work outs,grocery lists and tips,  nutrition plans, encouragement…….the works! All especially for women over 40. We’re in this together!

Also, coming up, I have some fabulous Sephora finds. Also some not so fabulous ones. But I am digging through the hype and finding the products that are actually WORTH our hard earned, Over40 bucks.

Best Make up for women over 40 at Fresh Air and false Lashes
Reviews! Reviews! Coming up!!

Check back soon- this is going to be a great year!

Cheers!

Melissa

 

 

A Compelling Case for Breakfast

How did your breakfast look this morning? Are you eating breakfast each day?

I spent a lot of years as a busy, somewhat frazzled, homeschooling mom of little ones. Seriously, I should have eaten breakfast.

A Compelling Case

When I look back on my years as a young mom, I realize that there were a few simple steps I could have taken to greatly improve how I felt each day. My morning routine was strict and included some quiet reading moments for myself in the morning, (when I could get up before everyone), then a healthy breakfast for the kids before cleaning up and starting our school lessons. I lived on coffee until around noon when we would break for lunch and the kids would scatter for about 1/2 an hour while I flipped laundry, cleaned up from lunch and glanced over the schedule for the rest of the day. I would wrangle everyone back to the table to complete our lessons, before heading out in the afternoons for sports practices, theater classes, etc. etc., where I would usually find a moment to grab a Starbucks and a book, while everyone was dropped at their respective after-school activity.

Aside from the few bites I would have grabbed at lunch, I was basically running on caffeine and adrenaline. READ THIS NOW: The aforementioned recipe does not make for the most patient mother on the planet. By the afternoons, I was exhausted.

I would learn later, that one simple step would improve my day exponentially: EAT BREAKFAST

After sleeping all night (hopefully), your body needs fuel to burn. I felt SO MUCH better after establishing this routine. My blood sugar levels were no longer on a roller coaster and I was more peaceful and not so anxious and antsy. It was amazing. And while I don’t ever recommend eating a sugary breakfast, there are LOADS of options to give you these same benefits.

My Fast, Go- To Breakfast

I like to eat for my goals, so at the moment, my go-to breakfast is loaded with protein and vegetable carbohydrates. I timed myself this morning and it took about 10 minutes to make, from start to finish.

Making the case for a good breakfast at Fresh Air and False Lashes I am currently upping my protein and veggie intake, so I have:

2 egg whites + 1 whole egg scrambled

1 handful of spinach, chopped roughly

1/4 cup of chopped onion

1/4 cup of chopped mushrooms

garlic

*I also will use any combination of leftover vegetables from last nights dinner if I have them. I just chop ’em up!*

Add the onions, mushrooms and garlic (or whatever vegetables you are using!) to a sauté pan with just a tad of olive oil or cooking spray, etc.

Making the Case for a good breakfast at Fresh Air and False Lashes

Cook for about 1 minute or so, until just beginning to soften. They smell amazing!

Making the case for a good breakfast at Fresh Air and False Lashes

Add in your handful of chopped spinach and cook for about 30 seconds until it begins to wilt.

Making the case for a good breakfast at fresh Air and False Lashes

Add in your chopped tomatoes and cook for just 20-30 seconds until just warm. Now, remove everything from the pan, and set aside on a side plate.

Next, add in a bit more olive oil or cooking spray if necessary, and scramble your eggs. Add a bit of salt and pepper or Mrs. Dash if you are watching your salt intake.

Lastly, pile the cooked eggs, on a plate and top with the sautéed vegetables. I add about 1/4 tsp of parmesan cheese and top with 1/4 tsp. of sriracha.  Making the case for a good breakfast

This is my go to each morning right now. It takes less than 10 minutes to make, is filled with nutrition and no fillers. And it’s delicious!

If a non-sugar ladened breakfast isn’t already part of your routine, I can’t recommend highly enough that you go ahead and make that change this year!

Here’s to improved energy levels, less anxiety and a happier you!

What do you like to eat for breakfast? Do you have a healthy “on-the-go” breakfast that you grab? I’d love to hear it!

Cheers!

Melissa

As always, thank you for reading, sharing and commenting! Please consider adding your email to my list.

 

Clarisonic: A Review

I was genetically blessed, with good skin (Thanks mom). Most of my life, my skin has given me very few difficulties, minus that one Homecoming picture from high school. But in the last few years, I’ve noticed that my skin is really changing. We won’t go into my misspent youth or how flippantly I took my good skin for granted, but I’m seeing a lot more dryness now and even some redness that I haven’t ever encountered before.

I was adding these things to the ever growing list of “Awesome Things About Aging” and was preparing myself to just suck it up and deal with it, when I decided to buy a Clarisonic facial brush. I saw a great skin care post by Amanda over at The Bellezza Corner, that included some high praise for the Clarisonic. Amanda has breathtakingly beautiful skin, so I figured she just might know what she is talking about. I took the plunge.

*Amanda also convinced me to try Egyptian Magic for my dry-as-toast skin and I am currently giving it a good trial run! More on that later*

Clarisonic: A review
Clarisonic Mia 1 and First Aid Beauty cleanser

I purchased the Mia 1, which is their lowest priced cleansing brush, and currently retails at $129. The Mia 1 arrived well packaged, with a charger and one cleansing brush head. (First Aid Beauty Cleanser purchased separately.)

One of the interesting things about the brush on the Clarisonic, is that it doesn’t spin around in a circular motion. The individual brushes sort of vibrate (spin?) back and forth,which creates a very gentle, almost massaging feel on your skin when you use it. I keep mine, plugged into the charger at my bathroom vanity. The Clarisonic is also completely waterproof, so it can be used in the shower as well.

I haven’t used the wide range of Clarisonic cleansers, so I can’t speak to those, but I am loving the pictured facial cleansing lotion by First Aid Beauty. It is a rich, airy cream that cleans gently. I realized that a lot of the dryness I was experiencing was due to using products that were stripping away the natural oils from my face (which apparently- I need!). This product cleans gently, and is safe for sensitive skin. It retails for $20 and while it is not specifically formulated to be used with the Clarisonic, I am completely in love with my results and will repurchase.

I had used another, less expensive, facial cleansing brush in the past, but I saw no difference between using the brush and just using a wash cloth.

My Results:

After one use of the Clarisonic brush, I could see a difference.Clarisonic a review

There was no redness and my skin looked clean and healthy, with a brighter appearance. The benefits have continued with use and all the redness I was experiencing is gone.

I seriously love this brush. I use it by dampening the brush as well as my skin, and then placing the cleanser on my face. I use the Clarisonic in the motion across my face that is recommended in the directions. It has an automatic shut off to prevent over- exfoliation. When I’m finished, I rinse the brush, give it a quick wipe with a witch hazel pad and  then another quick rinse, and then I take the brush off to let it air dry.Clarisonic: A Review

Conclusion:

In short: I love it and won’t be without it. Its a game changer for me and I’m thrilled with my purchase!  It does exactly what you want it to do; it is convenient to use, gently cleanses your skin and leaves your face looking brighter than before, with benefits that seem to continue with use.

* Use the link below and get $25 off and be sure to go through EBATES to get an additional 4% cash back on top!*

Use this link to get $25 off! or check my Facebook Page for the coupon.

Do you use the Clarisonic? What do you think? How are you upping your skin care regime in 2017? Let me know!

As always, thanks for reading and please consider entering your email into the box on the side bar so that you never miss anything here at Fresh Air and False Lashes!

Cheers!

Melissa

Thoughts on the New Year

New Year at fresh Air and false Lashes
Happy 2017!

I don’t really do resolutions, but I love the idea of really letting my mind soak in the events of the past year. It is my nature to immediately brush aside any unpleasantness or hardships in my life as I am experiencing them. I don’t often dwell on the difficulties of my life, as I am going through them, but I like to intentionally take the occasion of the New Year to think back, even briefly, on all that has transpired. Both the good and the bad.

Because of things that simply go with the territory of my husbands (now former) job, I have found myself becoming quite reactionary and a bit calloused as we have had to ride this rough road for so many years. Sometimes you find yourself in survival mode and thats ok, because that is what has enabled you to, indeed, SURVIVE! And thats what that mode is there for! But take my word for it, you don’t want to be stuck in that mode for too long. It isn’t meant for the long haul……..it’s meant to get you through the tough times.
I backpacked, I camped, I snow shoed and snowmobiled. I was stuck in a few blizzards and drove through a hurricane.  I travelled to Scotland and hiked the Cairngorms. I was high on mountaintops and I was down at the seashore. I had a huge black bear come up onto my front porch this year and I bought my husband a giant puppy. I made a lot of new friends in 2016 and I also lost a friend. I welcomed our daughter home from South Africa and I dropped one of our sons off at the airport on his way to Australia. I watched my Virginia family go through some difficult situations without being able to be at home with them. I met some amazing heroes this year and was honored to have them dine at my table. 2016- you were not boring.

In 2017, for me personally, I would like to become a little softer again. I would like for the Lord to soften and open my heart in a way that has seemed impossible over the past several years. To help me become more thoughtful, less reactionary and more grateful. I would like to rediscover an openness and a willingness to just let go and let the Lord work in our lives as the changes come, which they most certainly will.

I am quite blessed to have family and friends who are not only there for us, but who will instantly roll up their sleeves and get dirty with us. I am thankful for our own children, who never bat an eye at anything that our family might go through, they just lean in and press on. We have all learned to weather storms as a strong and unbreakable team. And that’s pretty priceless, really.

In this New Year, I hope to continue my yoga practice and get deeper into it. I am amazed at the way yoga has been so good for my mind and body! I will continue to eat well and experiment with different work outs and nutrition plans to keep growing in that area and figuring out what works well for my body and what doesn’t. At 48 years old, I feel like this has really moved up on my list. Mobility, feeling good, having energy……..those things are really important.

I am sure there will be a lot of travel for us in 2017, and I am looking forward to it! I hope to constantly hone my travel habits and skills. I hope that each new place will  further help me to become more “at home” no matter where I am in the world.

It is my intent to grow this little blog of mine in 2017. I want to write relevant and engaging content that will put a smile on your face and make you look forward to stopping by here.

And lastly, in this New Year, I hope to drink good wine, eat delicious, food and really open my eyes to the world and the people around me. I want to intentionally laugh more, smile more and be kind when it isn’t necessary. May I learn to savor the good moments and be grateful for them!

And that is my wish for you in 2017 as well.

A New Year at Fresh Air and False Lashes!
Happy New Year!

2017- May we greet you with unbridled enthusiasm!

Happy New Year!

 

These 9 things made my life easier in 2016

I am SO ready for the New Year! 2016 has been a tough one and I am already smelling the winds of change in the air! Bring it. However, before I shut the door completely on 2016, I want to tell you about some things that actually DID make my life better this year in one way or another. it doesn’t seem right to close out the year without sharing them with you.

Lash Extensions

I wrote about these here and I still stand behind these beauties. I can never go back to lash curlers and mascara. Imagine, waking up to long lush lashes every day and never having to curl them or ever apply mascara again! These were a mega discovery for me this year. I am hopelessly addicted.

Lash Extensions for Over 40: things that made life easier
Lash extensions for Over 40.

Moisturizer

Living in Colorado, this is a big one. The air out here is super dry with over 300 days of sunshine a year! This makes it a completely awesome place to live, but a completely terrible place for your dry skin. After searching high and low, I have been using this moisturizer from Paris all year. It is rich and luxurious and a tiny little bit goes a long way, which means the price tag isn’t as bad as it seems. It actually gives my over 40- dry skin, a “plumped up” look. I love it. If you are in the US, it can only be purchased here, at Ayla.

Lycoconfort by Bio Recept
by Biorecept. Photo by www.aylabeauty.com

Laura Mercier Photo Edition Foundation

I sang the praises of this find, here. It is heavily pigmented and silky, so a little goes a long way. One tube has lasted me the whole year, and even my cat rarely sees me without make-up, so thats saying something. It is formulated to reflect light,which really makes your skin look more youthful and radiant. So unless you have someone willing to follow you around with a photo-light reflector, I would highly suggest this foundation.

Laura Mercier for over 40
Photo at www.sephora.com laura Mercier Photo Edition Foundation

Clip-in Hair Extensions

Some days I just want long hair. Thats really all there is to it. Some days, long, flowing locks are exactly what is called for. Real, human hair, clip in extensions are easy to use and look completely natural when matched to your hair color. Want long hair today? By god, you can have it. Oh, what a time to be alive!

Hair Extensions over 40; made life easier in 2016
Hair Extensions! Because some days you just want long hair.

New Ways to Get Cash!

You can get the details here, but I was able to save enough to buy an airline ticket this year, just using these methods. Enough said.

Asymmetrical Hemlines

The fashion gods shined down on us in 2016 by allowing for soft, stretchy leggings and long asymmetrical hem lines on shirts, sweaters and tees. Pairing them with practically any shoe or boot you’d like to style them with! In a pair of flats, I felt like I was cheating and wearing my pajamas out. Oh, let us revel in this while it lasts.I am particularly digging Ivanka trump’s clothing line right now. There are truly classic, feminine pieces  that are “forgiving” in their design and cut. This brand “gets” the look of varied hem lines.

things that made life easier in 2016
The asymmetrical hemline. It’s a yes.

 

Warby Parker

Yep. It was time. 2016 was the year I HAD to get reading glasses. My grown children were beginning to snicker at me as I would try to extend my arm far enough to actually read something. Ah well, 20/20 my whole life. It was good run. But Warby Parker is ah-mazing.They have a try-on at home service so you can pick out your frames and have them sent to your house for free, while you drive your husband and everyone you know crazy pick out your perfect frames. Thereby making reading glasses, a new accessory and not so terrible!

Warby Parker made life easier in 2016
Warby Parker at-home try-on

Chicken Enchiladas

My friend Barbie made this for us one night and everyone loved it. Then Barbie, being the good person that she is, told me how incredibly easy this meal was to make and passed me the recipe. This super fast, super easy recipe is a life saver on those nights when you are struck with the “oh-good-lord-it’s-late-whats-for-dinner” fear. And because hungry family members aren’t very nice, there is this recipe.  It’s fast. It’s easy. It’s good. It has made my life easier on several occasions.

Winston

Sure- why not? Get a puppy. Get a BIG puppy. While I am not sure Winston has made life EASIER……he has definitely made it better a thousand times over. We love our big lug.

Saint Bernard Puppy: things that made life easier in 2016
Our saint puppy, Winston definitely made 2016 better!

How was your 2016? Did you find anything great this year that made your life easier? I’d love to hear about it! Thanks so much for reading, following, sharing and commenting!

Cheers!

Melissa

 

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas! Here at my house I felt so blessed to have all three of my children, as well as my husband all at home. It was for just a short time, but I was super thankful for it. Over the years we have spent many, many Christmases apart due to the nature of my husbands work, so it never escapes me just what a blessing it is to have him at home with us. The kids are all mostly grown, so work schedules don’t always allow for time off around the holidays, so I was just so super thankful to have them all here.

Our Christmas card!!! I love it so much!

I do what any good mother of grown people would do when my children come home; I feed them huge, copious amounts of delicious home cooked meals and let them sleep in. There was Sausage gravy with biscuits, eggs benedict, ham biscuits, shrimp cocktail, Cinnamon rolls and a crazy good leg of lamb. It’s sneaky I know, but this ensures that they continue to keep the time brief in between visits. A mom has to do what a  mom has to do!

Christmas morning!
These are them. We love them so much!

We had a great time, and we even were able to use Face Time to be with our family back in Virginia during their traditional Christmas Eve party! Technology is amazing. What a time to be alive.

In other news, I have been slogging through blogger hell. Please forgive my recent lack of posts.  Not long ago I realized that I needed to change blogging platforms <insert scary music here>.

To prevent your eyes from glazing over, I’ll just stop right there and tell you that: I’ve been doing that. And it was soul sucking and painful. However, thanks to the people at WP Beginner, it. is.done. And now I can get on with life and with blogging! YAY! So,  I am back up, ready to roll and I am super excited about 2017!

Here are just a few pictures from our home this year.

                               CHRISTMAS 2016

Winstons First christmas
Winstons first christmas! He was pretty jazzed about the whole thing.

 

 

The 12 foot tree! I love how it turned out.

 

We crafted Christmas stockings this year!
My daughter, Savannah is super creative. She talked me into CRAFTING <shudder> Look how great they turned out! All the stockings hung above the fireplace !

Cheers and Happy New Year!

Melissa

 

Reviving the Cocktail Hour

At my house, we’ve become big believers in the cocktail hour. Our children are grown and only pop in here and there, so what used to be the big  family dinner time hustle, is now much more calm and laid back for us.  Instead of having to economize and really stretch a dollar on dinner as much as I did when the kids were young, now you will usually find me fixing something new or something a bit more complex for my husband and myself (and whichever of the kids might drop home for the evening.).

Enter: The Cocktail Hour

Cocktail hour- cranberry martini

 

My husband and I have really come to look forward to this in the evenings.  Its the time of day when the two of us can talk about our day, relax and just BE in a way that was, lets face it, pretty dang rare when you’ve got a young, growing family!

I love it! My husband usually likes an Old Fashioned or just a nice scotch straight up and I almost always have a cold gin martini (which I am constantly trying to perfect….I’ll keep you posted).

If it’s nice outside, we sit out on the deck and watch the sun go down, but sometimes our best conversations happen just sitting in the kitchen at the breakfast nook, sipping our cocktails. It isn’t a long time……45 minutes….maybe an hour, but it’s nice. It’s like our time, carved out and special. Of course it doesn’t always happen. His schedule is all over the place, but when he comes home at a decent hour, we make a point of it. After that, its dinner, some TV, emails, texts and all the rest.

But The Cocktail Hour. That’s ours.

Speaking of cocktails, we are still on a quest to find new, Christmasy cocktails that we enjoy. Martini fans rejoice!  I have your Christmas cocktail. This is light and not too sweet. Definitely not as sweet as a cosmopolitan, but just as pretty and with a taste that is little more complex.

The Cranberry Martini

Cocktail hour- cranberry martini

Recipe:

1.5 oz vodka

1/2 oz orange liqueur

1/2 oz dry vermouth

2- 1.5 oz cranberry juice cocktail

Chilled martini glass and cranberries for garnish

Combine all liquid into a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake until frost forms on the shaker. Pour/strain into the chilled glass and garnish with cranberries.

Cocktail hour- cranberry martini

Let me know what you think. This is an easy one to adjust to your personal sweetness preference as well.

Do you have anything that you do routinely, to spend time with your husband or significant other?  (And maybe yours doesn’t revolve around alcohol, but hey- no judging).

I’d love to hear about it. As always, thanks for reading!

Cheers!

Melissa

 

No more waiting. I gotta run.

We aren’t waiting anymore! We got the news that my husband got a brand new position and we will now be spending more time in the UK and Europe! Its all very exciting. Also I am petrified with about five million- billion unknown details…. but I am excited nonetheless. I am super proud of my husband. The man just never quits. 2017 is already shaping up to be anything but boring !

But this is why I have to run. Not for the health. Not even for weight loss. I have to run for my BRAIN. unspecified-2

Now- don’t get me wrong. I’m NOT a runner. No. Like…… not at all.

I’m just not the type. It’s not in my blood.

This is my brain: “OMG!!- NO- I don’t want to RACE you??!!… OMG!…..NO!”

But even with my ultra non-competitive spirit,  I find that even a 20 minute run in the middle of the day, can quite literally keep me sane. Not only is getting my blood pumping each day, healthy- but it helps keep my spirits up, it clears my head and its pretty much a major service to those that have to be around me on a daily basis. unspecified-9

I’m. Nice-r.

(And apparently, staying slightly drunk all the time is frowned upon.)

Here in Southern Colorado there is rarely a week that goes by that we don’t have ample sunshine and low humidity. Even in the winter. (Before I moved to Colorado- I was sure I’d be waist deep in snow with howling, bitter winters like Poor Pa was, in ” The Long Winter”, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Yeah..It’s not like that.) Anyway,  I don’t have much of a legitimate excuse not to get out there at least a few times each week. Oh-and I’ve noticed that, at 48, my body is beginning to challenge me in new and different ways. Thanks for that. Thats awesome. But in all honesty, my short runs and Yoga Every Damned Day seem to make the biggest difference for me. I attribute these two things the most, for preventing me from pulling a major, front page news- worthy, freak out over all of the aforementioned unknown, pretty BIG details. (OMG y’all…..the UK! )unspecified-8

I have the most beautiful area to run in right now, but I’ve logged my fair share on the treadmill over the years as well. I personally, don’t find that to be as refreshing and mind clearing as getting outdoors, but I know some people, from my personal training days, that seriously love and protect their treadmill time.

To be honest, I don’t think it matters much WHAT you do, just that you find something that you LIKE and that you can fit easily into your day. (Lets face it, most of us aren’t going to fight major traffic to get to the gym each day! Find what fits into YOUR day or week.)unspecified-7

Run, walk, swim, bike….whatever.  Just do your thing. For cryin’ out loud- you’re over 40!  Be proud that you are putting forth the effort and enjoy those rewards!  You don’t have to run or work-out like ANYONE else.

Because after 40, my dear friends……….. we take no shiz.

None.

I wonder if they think saying “shiz” is funny in the UK.

Leave me a comment and thanks so much for reading and following!

Cheers!

Melissa

Cranberry Moscow Mule

Looking for a Christmas cocktail to get you in the spirit? We have been making this festive twist on the moscow mule and we really love it. I’m not one for sugary drinks and this makes a very refreshing cocktail with just enough color and cranberry tartness to give you a little kick of holiday cheer!

image

The recipe:

  • Raw Cranberries and lime slices
  • the juice of one lime
  • 1 TBS of Cranberry Juice Cocktail ( the cocktail kind not the straight juice)
  • 8 oz ginger beer
  • 1 shot of vodka

Add all the liquid ingredients into a separate glass and stir gently. Pour into a copper mug filled with crushed ice. Top with raw cranberries and lime slices and enjoy.

*I forgot the lime slices in my picture, so you’ll just have to imagine those. Damn me and my non visual self.*

There is something so cool and rustic about those tarnished copper mugs. They make me think of wearing one of those giant russian hats and tossing around the word “Petrushka”a lot.

But thats just me.

Do you have a “go to” Christmas cocktail? Do you like to try new drinks each Christmas? I’d love to hear about it!

Cheers!

Melissa

Christmas Cards, Saint Bernards and Waiting

I’m just sharing a few minutes at my place today.  Do you know that awkward time when a big change may be about to take place in your life, but it hasn’t yet? Those times when you’ve done all you can do, it is completely out of your hands and you just have to WAIT? Well, thats where I find myself. And to say that I am severely lacking in the patience department is the understatement of the year. “Worlds Worst Waiter”. Thats me.

It is definitely feeling like Christmas here in Colorado. The snow is here and the mountains are just beautiful. I always tell people it’s like living inside of a Christmas card. Speaking of Christmas cards, do you guys do the family picture Christmas cards that are so popular here in the US? My whole family has always done them. To be sure, just getting everyone together and looking in the right direction at the same time, has made for some really funny memories. And remember, my sister is a professional photographer. She says we are her toughest gig all year. Surely she exaggerates. We are a super fun loving group- after its over (an over abundance of patience doesn’t run in the family, apparently).

This is one from several years ago that I really love, because our Uncle is in it with us. As I look at this photo, I can’t believe how many changes have taken place since then! image

I find sending Christmas cards to be so relaxing. I like to find a quiet time to do it, put on some Christmas music and pull up all my addresses on my lap top. I enjoy writing out the cards and thinking about each of the families.  I find a bit of Earl Gray goes exceedingly well with Christmas card writing.img_8506img_8542

This year I have Winston too keep me company as I address all the envelopes. So, if your card has a teeny bit of slobber on it- sorry- I’m doing the best I can here. He is VERY loving and likes to sit right with/on me. He has personal space issues……he doesn’t realize that there are any.

And for the record…it is VERY hard to ignore a saint bernard.

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Look at that sweet face. So what if he takes up the whole sofa? No judging.
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HOW can you not love him?
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This right here? This is why my caps lock is always on. Winston likes to lay his head on my keyboard to get my attention.

To get a family photo this year, we had to travel to Winter Park, Colorado. Our boys live and work there. Its such a beautiful little Colorado town. At this time of year, you will find our sons, either working…. or on the slopes. Yep. Thats their life up there. They seriously hit the ski slopes as soon as they get off work. Not a bad life, for sure.

We all huddled together for a picture, as we got Winston to stop trying to greet every.other.human.in.sight. and after one phone dying , my sis snapped a pic for us…..just as a big snow storm rolled in. It was freezing and windy and we all have our hair dusted with fresh blown snow. But we did it. Mission Accomplished. I’ll be sure to post it as it gets closer to Christmas!

How is it at at your house this week? Do you send family picture Christmas cards? I wonder if it is as popular in other countries as it is here?

As always, thanks for reading. Forgive me if I am a bit scattered……waiting does that to me.

Cheers!

Melissa