Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Does Your Get Healthy Resolution Include Calcium?

Was getting healthy one of your New Year's Resolutions?  Usually when I hear getting healthy I think more fruits and vegetables but woman especially over 40, which I am need to think about calcium. Women over the age of 40 are susceptible to the disease osteoporosis and it is almost impossible to reverse.

My mother is in her 80's and her last bone density test showed her bones are weakening.  This is not good because if she fell she would probably break a bone and it would be very difficult for her body to heal.  Her friend fell last month and broke her hip and is still in the hospital. If the bones become too weak bending over or even coughing could cause a fracture.

The sad thing about osteoporosis is that it doesn't show any symptoms until it is too late. Osteoporosis according to is defined as too much bone breaking down and not enough new bone is being built back up.

Not getting enough calcium in the diet is the number one factor that leads to osteoporosis however there are other factors also such as smoking, not enough weight-resistant exercise and decrease in estrogen.  The Mayo Clinic advises that women between the ages of 18 and 50 should be getting 1000 mg of calcium a day and that amount increases to 1200 mg after age 50.

Getting enough calcium can be tough especially for those who don't like milk but now there are many products that are calcium fortified such as orange juice and morning cereals.

Here are just a few calcium rich foods to help fight against osteoporosis:

2 oz Swiss cheese - 544 mg
1 cup yogurt - 400 mg
2 oz cheddar cheese - 408 mg
1 cup milk - 300 mg
1 cup cooked spinach - 240 mg
1 cup cooked broccoli - 180 mg
1 cup ice cream - 176 mg
1 slice cheese pizza - 144 mg

One great way to get in your calcium is with a delicious morning smoothie.  Here is one of my favorites:

Blueberry Spinach Smoothie

1 cup raw spinach - 30 mg
1 cup frozen blueberries - 9 mg
1 banana - 6 mg
1/2 cup milk - 150 mg
6 oz blueberry yogurt - 200 mg

total calcium - 395 mg

Smoothies really are a great way to start your day.  Besides the calcium they can be packed full of all kinds of nutrients depending on what you put in it.  You can find tons of smoothie recipes on Pinterest.  I've pinned a few of my favorites on my Health and Fitness board. Click on the link to see the ones I like.

Health is something we should all work on and never take for granted. 

I hope you all have a great and healthy day.

Thank you for stopping by

Monday, January 19, 2015

14 Ways to Say I Love You

What do you love most about your spouse?  For me it is the way he is spontaneously affectionate. Not sexual but just a little physical flirting. Of course there are countless things I love about my husband and that is why I look forward to Valentine's Day.  Though I try to show him my love everyday, Valentine's Day gives me an excuse to devote a little more energy to express it.

For me Valentine's Day is a fun no stress holiday unlike the way Christmas and Thanksgiving are and I love coming up with new ideas each year to keep it fresh and new.  However there is one thing I do keep the same. We always stay home and I fix a candle lit romantic dinner for us. It seems a little odd but we do not have children at home, my husband is not a fan of crowded restaurants and I love trying out new recipes so it works for us.

By not making my husband do something he dreads is just one way to say I love you.

Here are a few more and not just for Valentine's Day:

  • Be creative when you express your love, both in words and actions
  • Give him time to be alone.
  • Tell him how proud you are of him
  • Pray for him
  • Be kind and thoughtful to his relatives
  • Brag about him to others
  • Flirt with him
  • Be forgiving 
  • Hide loving notes where he will find them
  • Tell him thank you
  • Let him know he is important to you
  • Show interest in his hobbies
  • Give him a few minutes to relax when coming home before starting in on the days problems.

Do you have a special way you say I love you?  Tell me about it in the comments below.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Valentine's Day is full of love.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

How Being a Stay-At-Home Wife Changed My Life

Choosing to be a stay at home wife and homemaker has changed my life.  Before my decision I was so consumed with my job that I never had time to relax and enjoy what life is really all about. I even took work with me on vacations.

Looking back over the years I can see how my choice is one of the best decisions I have ever made. Ten years ago I met my husband and when we got married we started trying to have a family. A year went by and no baby so we went to a reproductive specialist and the number one thing he said was to get rid of the stress in our lives.  And the number one stress factor in my life was my job so I quit and became a full time housewife.  Sadly though after many drugs, countless doctor visits and denied adoption I am still not a mother however I am a great wife and daughter.

Staying home has granted me the opportunity to make my husband's life easier.  Sometimes I joke and say I am my husband's secretary. But in truth I really don't mind making his doctor appointments, running errands for him or even picking up after him.  My biggest joy in these tasks is knowing he doesn't have to worry about them which allows him to focus on being the best husband and provider he can be.

Another way staying at home has changed my life is it has allowed me the opportunity to  enrich my relationship with my mother. For the past ten years we have gone to Bible study together, visited museum exhibits, gone to many luncheons, attended our local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) meetings and even studied Shakespeare at our Woman's Shakespeare Club meetings.  My father is not fairing well with his health lately and by being a stay at home wife has freed me up to go to the hospital anytime I am needed which is the biggest help I can be to my mother.

Back when I was working full time I'll never forget sitting at the picnic table where we were camping in the mountains of New Mexico grading papers during my Spring Break.  Our vacations had to coincide with the school schedule which means the tourist destinations were crowded for all the other families vacationing during the school breaks too.  Now we can go where we want anytime and usually we pick an off season destination and practically have the place to ourselves.  The prices are usually better too during those times and so we are saving money as well.

Since making the decision to stay home I have been able to do some volunteer work that is dear to my heart.  One is teaching ladies Bible study at my church on Tuesday mornings and the other is being a leader at Vacation Bible School.  I can also help more on committees for my DAR and Shakespeare groups.

As a stay home wife I have also improved my cooking skills.  Before I would pick up take-out on the way home from work or I heated a frozen dinner in the microwave.  Now I sit on Sunday evenings going through my cookbooks deciding on what the weekly menu will be.  I love my cookbook collection.  I have bought most of them from places in our travels.  And preparing our meals at home has saved us so much money and the food is healthier.

But the number one way being a full-time homemaker has changed my life is it has taken away the stress.  Stress has been known to cause a myriad of problems including high blood pressure, ulcers and even mental break-downs. So I could say being a full-time homemaker hasn't just changed my life it has saved it too.

There is a good article on this subject by Charles Murry called The Crucial Importance of Stay-At-Home Wives.

But when either partner in a marriage—and it will usually be the wife—chooses to devote full time to being a parent and neighbor instead, that choice should not just be accepted, but celebrated. ~Charles Murray 

Are you a stay at home wife with no children?  I'd love to hear from you.  Just leave a comment below.

Thank you for taking time to read my ramblings.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

My Weekly Menu ~Jan 12-18

One habit that I had gotten out of since the move was planning our weekly menus.  Our schedule has been so crazy and we have not completely unpacked all the boxes so getting take-out or heating up a frozen dinner has become a bad habit of late.  The one thing that planning a weekly menu has shown me is how much money we save.  Making dinner from fresh whole foods is also a lot healthier too. Take out and frozen dinners have a lot of sodium and calories.

Making dinner is also another way to make a house a home. My husband loves coming home from work to the smell of dinner cooking on the stove.

So without further adieu here is what will be served on our table this week.

Monday  Pecan Crusted Catfish served with rice and broccoli
Tuesday Left Overs
Wednesday  Refried Bean Soup served with cornbread
Thursday Left Overs
Friday Shepherd's Pie
Saturday Pizza Night
Sunday Spicy Beef and Cabbage Soup

I'll be linking up to Menu Plan Monday over at I'm an Organized Junkie.

Thank you for stopping by.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

7 Ways I am Becoming a Better Homemaker

The subtitle to my blog is "making a house a home".  Of course technically by moving into the dwelling our new house did become a home.  But I want it to be more than just a decorated, clean and organized dwelling. I want it to be home. A place where my family and friends want to come and spend time.

When I was younger I had a friend whose mother kept her house so clean and we were not allowed in any room other than my friend's bedroom or the kitchen when we were hungry.  I remember the house was pretty to look at but that is not what I want.  I can open a magazine and look at pretty rooms.  I want a living room with alphabet letters and Thomas train tracks all over the floor.  I want Crayon creations hanging on my refrigerator doors and  the squeals of laughter ringing from the rafters.

And so to turn this house into the loving home that I dream of there a few things that need to be done.

1. Finish unpacking all those boxes from our move.  And as I have been doing this I have come across the problem of finding a place for everything.  Which led to the realization that my husband and I have too much stuff.  And so there will be a lot of posts about decluttering on this blog.

2. Set goals. By setting goals I can measure my progress.  Setting goals will also help me pinpoint what I really want in a home.

3. Have a daily must do or to do list. This list should include those monthly home maintenance chores such as change the air filter and check the fire alarms but also those things that need to be done daily too like sweep the floor and so the dishes.  If I just wake up each day and do whatever I am in the mood to do very few things will really get accomplished.

4. Don't let procrastination or perfection get in the way. Homemaking to me should be a way of life.  It is a lifetime job that never really has an endpoint.  It is not something you work toward it is something you work at.  And if you procrastinate or worry about being perfect doing the daily tasks that are needed to keep the home running smoothly the house will not be a loving home where family and friends want to stay.

5. Take care of my body.  Running a home takes a lot of hard work.  It is important that homemakers take care of themselves by eating healthy and getting exercise.

6 Feed my mind and soul. And with the body come the mind and soul.  It is important to also challenge the mind by reading and learning new things.  One thing I am learning how to do is blogging. I have found a few web sites that actually offer blogging on line classes that I would like to take.  I also want to take care of my soul by staying in God's word each day and keeping my morning quiet time.

7. Be wise with my money. As a homemaking I also need to be fiscally responsible.  I can do this by keeping a budget, using coupons and help contribute to the family income which I hope this blog will eventually help me do.

This is just a basic outline for homemakers and over the next several months I hope you will follow me as I journal about turning my house into a loving home.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Nasty Stinky Toilet Remedy

I love my new home but I hate the stinky toilet in the master bath!  At first I thought a little toilet bowl cleaner would solve the problem but as soon as someone peed the smell would come back.

I am a faithful swish and swipe girl as learned on Flylady but the smell always came back.

Time for a little investigation.  Where is this smell coming from!

The enamel above the flush passage was not sealed in places and urine was absorbing into the ceramic.

I had two choices: buy a new toilet or try to seal the rim.  I chose to seal the rim with a paint especially made for chipped enamel.

Tub and Tile Paint.

This is very strong paint and required ventilation.

I only wanted to paint in a few places but the paint was so white it was obvious where I was painting so I taped to make a clean line where I didn't want paint.

Cost difference:
New toilet $100 (very cheap) - $300 (Cadillac)
paint and supplies $50

It also requires 72 hours to dry.

Now no more stinky toilet!

Have you ever tried to paint a toilet?  It was a first for me too.

Leave a comment and let me know what you think.


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Saving Christmas Cards

* my sweet husband just pointed out to me that these are my 2014 cards.  That is the great thing about book clips.  I will make a 2014 cover change it out and save this one for next year.

Christmas Cards are so wonderful and my favorites of course are the ones with pictures of my family and friends.  I wanted to keep these photo Christmas Card so started saving them in scrapbooks. For years I would get out all my scrapbook supplies and create layouts to display all these great photo cards.  It really made for a great Christmas scrapbook but took so much time and was a little impractical for a busy step-mom and grandmother.  So I've decided to do something different this year.

I found an ingenious idea on Pinterest to solve my dilemma of wanting to save all those wonderful Christmas Cards without taking a week to do it.

It's called a Christmas Card Ring Book and is very easy to make.