Monday, February 29, 2016

Spring Yard Clean Up

Oh, yes spring is just around the corner. And the weather is up and down if you live in the Midwest. And well there are some things that need to be done in the yard before things start growing. Starting on those warmer winter days can make the spring gardening much easier.

As you can see my yard has suffered from a little neglect over the past few years. I worked really hard to clear leaves out last fall. But I have this huge oak tree in the yard. But oak trees like to hang on to their leaves and so there are still a few of them around the yard. I love that tree, but I just wish it would shed all of its leaves early in the fall so I could take of it
So the first thing is to start gather up all of those leaves that hung around through the winter. And then gather up those twigs and branches that have fallen. 

If you can use some of those leaves for compost. I have more than enough so they need to be sent to the great place where all unwanted leaves go. 

As you can see the dancing chicken has been put to work raking leaves or just entertaining me while I work in the yard.

Sometimes I wonder if that tree will still be standing with all of the branches it has lost. I also need to start fixing some of the borders for the plants. Yes over the years they have been knocked out of place. But I'm not quite at the point where I can fix those yet. 

While I was out cleaning up the yard, I noticed that some of the bulbs had to started to come up. There were some that have come closer to the surface than they should so I added some compost to cover the bulbs and roots that were showing.

So have any of you been struck by gardening fever and started their spring yard clean up yet?

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sunday Thoughs

Sunday is a day for relaxation, and spending time doing things we enjoy. And well with relaxation you start thinking about what is good in your life. These are a few of the really good moments that have happened this week.

The Coloring and Card Game Meeting

Yes, a couple of friends and I have decided to meet up each week to play games and color. I forgot how weird the rules are for Mille Borne. I haven't played the game since I was a child. And my friend Andy dug out an original set of the game. A real vintage game from the 1970's. It was a good time last week.

Sailor Moon

Yes, I met with some friends at the Geek Girl Brunch a couple of weeks ago. One of them mentioned how big a fan they were of Sailor Moon. I have watched the series in the past, but I decided to watch it again. Yes, it is addictive. But it's a fun kind of addictive. The good news is I finished binge watching Shameless(the UK version) so I have more time to watch Sailor Moon. What on earth did we do for entertainment before Netflix and Youtube? I just can't imagine life without them anymore.
Find of the Week

I was in the mood to shop. And well I shouldn't be spending much money, but I ran into the Goodwill
This was the fabulous find of the day. It dances too! There are big things in store for this chicken.

Helping Someone Out

A friend of mine contacted me and asked for a ride somewhere. I'm glad that I have time to help others out right now. Last year at this time I was just focused on surviving my job. I can finally give back to all of those people who put up with me while I was under all that stress.

Saying No

I have the tendency to do things even though I don't want to so that I don't make waves. Yep, yesterday I just said no to something. The person wasn't very happy. But I feel like I didn't let someone take advantage of me that has been recently. Yay, Me!

So what's been going on in your life? 

Don't miss the chance to be a winner! 

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Everything Is Coming Up Roses

So here are a few versions of some roses that I purchased the other day. I couldn't really decide how I liked the picture best when I did photo editing.

Let me know which photo you like best.

Apple Honey Facial Mask

It always feels great to have get a facial, but let's face it most of us can't afford a day at the spa. So we settle for those at home spa moments. A homemade apple honey facial mask is one really great way to make your skin look healthier and feel great.

Here's What You Need

Half of a green apple
Half of a lemon
1 Tablespoon Honey
1 Tablespoon fresh yogurt

Here's What You Do

Put your items in a food processor. And hit the button blend it up until it's all smooth. Apply the mixture to your face, and let it sit for about 15 to 20 minutes. Then wash it off with a washcloth. 

Why is this so good for your skin?

Apples are packed full of Vitamin C. That helps with collagen production. This provides smoother and plumper skin. We all want that don't we? Honey is great because it has anti-bacterial components. If you have trouble with acne this is super for your skin. Lemon is a great exfoliant. And that yogurt is packed full of lactic acid which refines pores. All of these items are probably already in your fridge and cupboards. So it is far less expensive than products that you may buy at the store. And the side benefit is you know exactly what is going into your facial mask.

Want to know more about your skin?

Friday, February 26, 2016

Blueberry Banana Sandwich Spread

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But it's often the meal that we want to put the least amount of effort into. I mean seriously who wants to get up first thing in the morning and cook a big meal? I don't. But you can make a healthy and tasty breakfast with a lot of things that are already in your kitchen. And the great thing about this spread is it takes less than five minutes to prepare.

Here's What You Need

1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 ripe smashed banana
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup fresh blueberries
1 bagel
peanut butter

Here's What You Do

Mash the banana up with a fork in a bowl. Next add your blueberries and mash them a little. Add your honey and yogurt. And mix this all together. Spread the peanut butter and the blueberry banana spread over your bagel. This should be served fresh. It's easy so you can prepare it in the morning before you go out the door.

Need another simple spread for your bagel?

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Mukhabarat Baby

We all believe that the life of a CIA agent is all glamour and travel. But the truth is not so wonderful.

The Story

Eric Burkhart is a retired CIA officer. He worked for the agency for many years, and in this book he shares his story of what it is really like to work for the there. He tells his story from how he wound up working for the agency. And then he moves through career both stateside and abroad. He tells about the mundane routine of some days. And the excitement of others. His story provides a more human face to a somewhat mysterious agency.

What I Learned

This book is a memoir of Burkhart's life at the CIA. While part of me knew there really probably is no romance in working for a large government agency. But I didn't realize just how many employees at the agency really don't work in the field. He claims that like 90% of the employees work in an office. I don't know, but that seems like a lot. I didn't know that many of the agents are required to work at the border screening individuals as they come in the country. I would imagine that can be quite trying at times. And he points out some of the positive things that agents do at the border. 

What I Liked

I really liked that the author pointed out that the individuals who work for the CIA are individuals. Each one of them is unique. He points out the good and the bad about working for such a large organization. And I really enjoyed the story he told about a person who took a parking space for individuals with medical needs. We've all encountered co-workers like the one he describes. 

Who Should Read This Book

Anyone who wants to know what it is really like to be a secret agent. In our heads most individuals know that it isn't like the movies. But Burkhart tells about the exciting moments, and the routine. And let's face it most of the job is routine. But this is also a good book for anyone who is going to work for a large corporation. I've worked for a couple of large companies. And it is the same at all of them. The key to a good experience is decide what is in your control and what isn't. And do the job you are assigned. 


I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, and the opinions are all mine.

Shivers and Signposts

As we wander through life, it often takes us a while to figure out what is truly important. You may have some sort of plan about what you think you will do, but it is often not how things turn out. In essence we make plans and life just kind of happens.

The Book

Len Richman's book Shivers & Signposts is a memoir about his life. During his life he has marched to the beat of a different drummer. And by doing that he has had experiences that many individuals have not had. He tells about the experiences and the lessons he has learned from his life journey. He tells stories about how he got to the different places in his life. I really like that he doesn't just tell about the rosy part of leading a life different from the ordinary, but he tells just how stressful it can be through over commitment. But through the entire journey his life is interesting.

What I Learned

This book actually reminded me that it is fine when things don't run the way we planned. There are times when we will be able to have control over situations and there are times when we won't. It's how we handle these times that is really important. And he also pointed out just how important it is to say no I can do this. You need to recognize that you do have limits to what you can do. That's something I need to keep in mind.

Who Should Read This Book

Anyone who is interested in personal growth. It's always a good idea to listen to individuals who are older than us when they provide advice in life. It's even better if you receive advice from an individual who hasn't been afraid to follow their own path in life. So many people ignore their inner voice that is telling that what is really important in life. They are full of regrets. It is refreshing to let others know that you don't have to fit into a mold in order to find happiness.

Bonus Time

It's a giveaway


Yep, the author provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for a review, but I told you what I really thought of it.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wake Up Wednesday Linky Party 109

This is the week my work schedule changes. The dreaded 40 hour work weeks begins. I know that deep down I am really meant for the life of leisure. I am going to miss having three days off a week, it has been fun while it lasted. But even good things come to an end. And well I do need the extra money right now. So here's to the extra day at week. But right now it is time for a party!

 Wake Up Wednesday "Linky" Party
@ Sew Crafty Angel



We are so excited to have so many amazing bloggers party with us.
Check out this weeks Featured linkups.

Thank you so much to all those who share your blog in our party.
Last week we had  490 awesome linkups!   

 Wake Up and be happy, get excited and have fun with us! 
We want to be inspired, entertained, laugh and have a good time!

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This weeks 
Featured Bloggers

I'm Possible
Called To Be MORE

Ever feel like it's just impossible? Its too high a goal? Too hard to accomplish? Too lofty a height? Too scary? Too big a thing for little old you. So you tell yourself its impossible, that you'll never touch those stars... Me too. All the time!

Happy Homemaker Monday
Simple Joys of Home

Welcome to another week everyone!   How was your weekend?  We took a trip to the library and had fun choosing books with the girls.

Book Quote Poster
Over The Apple Tree

Make personal, one-of-a-kind wall art by printing and framing your favorite quote, book passage, or music lyric.

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups Recipe
Hello Creative Family

Today is such an exciting day for me. First of all… I’VE BEEN PUBLISHED IN A COOKBOOK FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME!!!! Second, I’m going to share with you a delicious (and healthy) dark chocolate almond butter cups recipe from the book! These almond butter cups are the things that dreams are made of!

The Paradox of Mercy
My Life As An Adventure

I have been in need of so much mercy in my life. And I have never ever earned it.  Not even once.
I have received so much mercy in my life.  And often as I let it do its work in my parched soul, I have found myself filled with gratitude and shame.  Gratitude for the mercy, and shame for needing it.

 Just 2 Sisters

It's Girl Scout Cookie time! Stock up and make Thin Mint Cupcakes.

It’s that time of year when you can find Girl Scout Cookies just about anywhere. If the girl next store wasn’t selling them, head to your local mall or grocery store and you’ll will probably find a booth where you can purchase your favorites. Speaking of favorites, those darn Thin Mint Cookies are my weakness.

Coconut Almond Energy Bites
Simple and Savory

These tasty coconut almond energy bites are made with only 4 ingredients: medjool dates, almonds, coconut flakes and cacao powder.  They are nutritious snack when you are craving something sweet.

 Wake Up Wednesday Linky
Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, crafts, decorating, fashion, makeup, health & fitness, recipes, mommy moments -- anything at all, as long as it is family-friendly.  Please visit some other bloggers and make some new friends and say hello to old friends..
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Adding your link to this blog hop gives Sew Crafty Angel permission to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts.  Note- All features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts will be linked back to the original source .Social media features are linked back to the linky party.