Remembering Others This Season

With all that is going on this holiday season it’s easy to lose track of some of the more important, meaningful things we can do for others. I know already this year with cookie swaps, Christmas parties (my work, his work, our church, other group parties), mailing out my 150 Christmas cards, shopping for family gifts, getting the house ready for people to come over and visit, I’ve gotten carried away.

So, if I may, let me offer this one small thing you can do for someone else that will take no more than 2 minutes of your time, bring someone a smile, and you feeling good about yourself. When sending our your Christmas cards, please save one for a soldier, and send it to him/her at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

If you’ve ever been in the hospital for an extended period of time, or away from family for the holidays, you know it’s lonely. Try both at the same time. These men and women who have made the honorable sacrifice ought not be forgotten at this time of year.

So, when addressing that card, please send it to:
Holiday Mail for Heroes
PO Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD
20791-5456

Thanks for remembering others this special time of year.
For more information: http://www.wramc.amedd.army.mil/support/pages/default.aspx

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Product I Love: Nivea A Kiss Of Moisture

I love the cooler weather, it makes me happy and giddy, makes me want to bake and bake and bake, sip hot tea, and read books forever.

But just like my legs, my lips don’t like the cooler weather and dry air indoors from the heater. And this is why I love Nivea’s lip care product A Kiss Of Moisture.

This lip moisture product is not greasy, waxy or sticky. Instead it is very smooth, silky and feels like a conditioning product. I keep a stick in my car, home, and desk at work. Love it. If you are looking to keep your lips healthy and kissable give this a try!

note: I have not received any compensation of any sort for sharing my experience with this product.

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Open Letter To Shutterfly (pictures are in)

Dear Shutterfly,

I just wanted to take a moment and say thank you, thank you very much for your incredible service!

Before this year, I have never used a photo Christmas card service. I was taken in and tempted by the easy-to-use website and the layout of the cards themselves.

There were so many to choose from, cute, fun, whimsical, traditional, you gave me everything I wanted to choose from. Nothing was left out.

The prices were reasonable, I was pleased with that, the savings with the code SHIP25 saved me a good bit. Who doesn’t like FREE SHIPPING?!? I was so pleased with this I had to screenshot and Facebook it-

When I got the email confirming my order and informing me that it’d be expected to arrive Saturday the 4th to Thursday the 9th my thought was “I wish it’d come sooner, I wish I’d ordered it sooner, I am always so busy, oh well, it’ll be fine, it’s still good timing.”

I never imagined that when I looked at my email this morning and decided to check the shipping by UPS that I’d find it was on the truck ready to be delivered to my doorstep! And that it’d really be waiting for me when I got off work.

The quality of the cards is very nice, the convenience of the included envelopes is an added bonus. You have helped to take out some of the bigger stresses of card sending this year. Thanks so much! Look forward to using you again next year.

Your Friend,
Claire

 

Our Shutterfly creation:

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A Product I Love: OLAY

I will admit it, I have terrible skin. Just awful. Especially my legs in the winter. With the cooler weather, and the dry heat inside, my skin cracks and splits. Over the years I’ve used a good shower gel, or body wash, pat dry and followed up with some lotion. But most of the time the lotion sinking into the little cracks in my skin would bite and sting.

Meet my new shower buddy, OLAY in-shower body lotion. This product has saved me from the dry heat skin cracking I generally experience in the winter. If the dry skin’s got you this winter season, give it a try.

note: I have not received any compensation of any sort for sharing my experience with this product.

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Cake in a Cup

You could go to the store and pick up one of these Betty Crocker Warm Delights or, you could make your own cake in a cup in about 5 mins, including prep time.

2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons of chocolate chips
(milk chocolate or simisweet will be fine)
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon Irish cream (optional)

Mix the ingredients together in a small mixing bowl, spray a microwave-safe mug with a little cooking oil, and pour the batter into the mug, and microwave for 2 mins.
This is a little more fudge-like, than it is cake-like, but still a good little thing to make in a few mins if you just have a craving for something warm and chocolaty.
You can either eat this straight out of the mug and turn out onto a plate to eat. I like mine with some vanilla ice cream. ENJOY!

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Keep it to yourself *cough chough*

No one likes to be sick, I know I don’t.  So this post is a personal request from me, but on behalf of everyone else. Please if you are sick, stay home. Please don’t go to work, school, the store, or any other public place.

It always makes me a little nervous when I hear someone coughing and sneezing near me in public. I am wondering to myself “Am I going to get sick? How many days can I afford to be absent from work? Is my husband going to get sick too? Are we going to be sick together?”

Now, I do realize that this is a little extreme, and I try to stop myself before I think too far down that crazy path of WHAT IFs. So here are just a few basic tips to keep in mind this flu season.

1. Get a flu shot- I understand there is a lot of talk about pro’s and con’s for getting or not getting a flu shot, and I respect your opinion whatever it may be on that. But for me personally, I get one. It’s an extra defense against getting sick and missing work and missing bills and so forth.

2. Vitamin C is an excellent way to keep your immune system healthy and fight off a cold. Some people do a glass of orange juice every morning during the fall and winter seasons, and some vitamin supplements. But there are plenty of foods you can add to your menu to keep that C level up. Here are a few:

3. Stress. High levels of stress can wear your immune system down and make you more prone to being ill. I know, it’s the holidays, with lots to cook, clean, the in laws, the out laws, and holiday traffic stress seems inevitable. Try not to over burden yourself, and make too many obligations that are hard to keep. This should be a happy time of year! Be well!

4. Get those z’s. Lack of sleep can also wear your immune system down. Be sure to get a full night’s rest every night.

5, Stay hydrated. Keep liquids going. A bottle of water at your desk at work and glass of juice, water, tea, whatever on the kitchen counter at home is usually the way I keep reminding myself to drink something.

6. Eating well-balanced meals is also a good way to stay healthy and further rid off that cold. During the holidays it’s easy to find yourself eating foods that are too salty, starchy, or have too much sugar. Remembering to eat foods with protein, and leafy green veggies at home will keep some balance.

7.  Vampire Cough, yeah, sounds corny….but coughing or sneezing into your elbow will help to eliminate the spread of germs compared to sneezing into your hand. Let’s face it- you don’t ALWAYS have a tissue on you, or can get to it in time to catch that sneeze/cough.
Just thinking about all the things I touch with my hands alone at work alone kinds grosses me out.

(funny bit from The Office)

8. Wash, wash, wash. I shouldn’t have to say this, but sadly I do. It’s amazing to think about the number of people who don’t wash their hands after using a public restroom. Amazing what I see at work and stores. Please wash your hands when leaving the restroom, preparing foods, handling babies and small children. It’s easier and more convenient than ever with all these special soaps, antibacterial no water gels, antibacterial hand wipes, really there’s no “I wasn’t near a sink” excuse anymore. Keeping some in your purse, car, desk, will help to see that you have some within reach when you may need it.

9. Don’t share food. Just don’t it’s gross. If you are at a party and there’s a yummy dip to try with that pita bread, stick a spoon in the dip. That will encourage others to spoon the dip on the plate and eat from there, rather than dip the bread into the bowl and eat over it.

10. Stay away from sick people. Give them their space. encourage them to rest put their feel up, get well. Be a good friend, drop off a meal and a box of tissues, but don’t breathe in their germs and come give me a hug. I love you, but I love my health too.

Be well this season!

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Dinner, Roast-beef Sandwiches with Au Jus

Last night for dinner I made Roast-beef Sandwiches with Au Jus, aka French Dip Sandwiches. And I won’t lie, they were good,….. better than good, they were amazing. I had to share this recipe. The idea I got from fellow blogger Stephanie who has an amazing website dedicated to her slow cooker obsession (we have something in common.)

I did change a few things in the recipe but the idea is the same. Here’s what I did.


4 lb beef roast
1 (10.5 oz) can of beef broth
2 (10.5 oz) cans of Condensed French Onion Soup
1 (12 oz) bottle of dark beer  (I used Guinness)
1Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup cooking sherry
1/2 tsp black pepper
6 sandwich rolls (toast in oven lightly)

Toss everything (except the bread) into the slow cooker, set on low for 8 hours, tear meat into small chunks (you can do this with a fork in the slow cooker, or take out and let cool for a bit on the cutting board and tear apart, then place meat back into the pot) Stack meat onto the roll, and serve with a dish of the broth.

Dip the sandwich into the broth for juicy bites.

I think next time I make this dish I will serve this with sweet potato fries

Nifty Fact:
au jus (French for “with [its own] juice.”)

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