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Be Opened to Change.

For the past five years I have carried the same purse made by Brahmin. It’s a beautiful wallet on string which I love. I couldn’t imagine having any other shoulder bag. It was small and compact. Perfect, because if I had a larger purse I had the tendency to fill it up with all types of things I didn’t need.

Old Brahim wallet on a string.
Old Brahim wallet on a string.

The wallet on a string also had sentimental value. My husband purchased it for me as a gift before he started the long journey of medical school. If you look up Brahmin handbags, you’ll see they carry a hefty price tag. Not extremely expensive but enough that someone like myself wouldn’t have a closet stocked with more than one. I also don’t switch my purse to match my outfit unless going out to a formal event. The reason, I’m usually in too big of a hurry to bother having packed my day with a weeks worth of things to do.

So when this bag I loved started to become worn out and I toyed with the idea of replacing it. I visited the Brahmin site and to my horror discovered my beloved wallet on a string was discontinued! After all it HAD been five years, but I didn’t care I wanted THAT purse.

After hunting on ebay for a new one with no such luck, we went to the local mall one afternoon to shop for some well needed clothes for my husband. As we walked through the mall, my husband saw the Brahmin store. Realizing I had been complaining for weeks about the fact my purse had been discontinued, he took control and shoved me inside the store. There he explained my situation to one of the lovely woman working the floor. She immediately went to a rack of the styles that had replaced my wonderful wallet bag. I stared in horror as they looked larger and weren’t what I had grown attached to and loved for the past five year. I mean how could I get used to all the compartments being located in a different area?

New Brahmin bag I love.
New Brahmin bag I love.

My husband, who despises shopping stared at me like I had two heads. “She’ll take this one,” he said and went to the register to pay for it. Sweat began to pour out from my brow. He was buying me this expensive purse AND he was going to expect me to use it! But how could I? This one was a huge change from my other bag.

He decided to withhold the purse until my birthday which was in two weeks. Good, because this allowed me a little more time to adjust to the idea of replacement of my leather appendage of the past five years.

On June 1st, my birthday,  I received my new Brahim bag. I opened it and placed in on a chair giving it the stare down for a few days. I knew I had to break away from my old worn-out love and replace it. As I switched all of my personal items from the old compact bag to the slightly larger one I discovered I no longer needed a separate cellphone wristlet, the new bag had a spot just for cellphones, also I could keep my sunglasses in this bag and it had a zipped in wallet to hold all credit and debit cards. It wasn’t too large or heavy at all. Suddenly I was in love. Change can be good! Sometimes we are stuck in our old ways and can’t see that doing something differently might just be the best thing for us after all.

Have you ever been stuck doing something one way, only to discover a new found freedom when someone or something makes you try to do it differently? Leave a comment and lets talk about it.

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Holiday Gifts From The Heart.

I’m so sorry I haven’t blogged in a while. But like everyone else I’ve been busy with the pre-holiday rush, family and festivities. IMG_2312I decorated five large trees in my home and also decorated my parents tree as well.

Then I decided to make some presents for friend and family. As some of you know I make soap, paint and write too. Squeezing the time in to fit everything can and is a real challenge.

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I painted three paintings as gifts and made bars of peppermint soap. IMG_2304For my father, I made a few joke bars of soap to look like his fish tank full of fish.

I have always made gifts for family and friends in addition to my holiday shopping. I think it adds a special meaning to the word giving. Do you make any gifts of food, crafts or have any special traditions that add to your holiday experience? I would love to hear from you.

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Lets Have a Wine Tasting!

A few years ago I started the tradition in the fall to have a wine tasting. Since I don’t know a thing about wine I thought it would be a fun way to entertain and learn about various types of wine.

There are several wine companies out there that will come to your home and allow you to taste different bottles of wine of purchase. The plan is to have a group of friends over and rating them. There is no pressure to purchase wine but you do get a group discount and a few free bottles. This was the motivation for the group to work together with a serious rating system.

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I provided plenty of appetizers, cheese, crackers, fruit and a delicious baked brie.

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With the dessert wines I had a French apple pastry tart.

French Apple Pastry 002The we all had some delicious strong coffee as we completed our orders.  So if your looking for a fun festive casual way to entertain with friends why not try a wine tasting?

Baked Brie Recipe

1/2 of one box of 17.5 oz. frozen puff pastry thawed.

1 ounce wheel of brie cheese

1/4 cup of sliced almonds

1/2 cup of brown sugar

1/4 cup of cried cranberries

Preheat the over to 350.

Grease a 9 inch pie pan. Slice the wheel of brie in half horizontally so that the halves are two flatter wheels of brie. Lay the puff pastry down in the pan. Place half a wheel of brie rind down on the pastry. Sprinkle with almonds, sugar and dried cranberries. Place the other half of brie rind up. Bundle the puff pastry around twisting on top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Wait 5 minutes before serving.

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Love and Friendship is at the heart of the Barefoot Bay books.

Today I’m temporarily derailed from my usual topics to talk about a series of books which touched my heart. Love, family and friendship are the foundation and strength to get us through our everyday lives. This series is based on those very things.

When I picked up Barefoot in the Sand, book one in the Barefoot Bay Series. I expected and easy beach read. What I got was an emotional story filled with lovable characters that resonated with me. And I wanted more! I wanted to be in the magical world of Barefoot Bay.

With the release of Barefoot in the Rain and Barefoot in the Sun, I was able to enjoy these four woman all over again. Each book filled with diverse characters and a history I longed to discover. It was like a mini vacation for a few hours, and when it was over I felt good inside. So why am I talking about this today you ask? Well today the final book has been released!

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There is something magical about Mimosa Key, that makes you want to revisit it again and again with each book. So  if you’re looking for a great read with lovable characters, witty dialogue and a compelling story pick up a copy of each of these today!

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Good Clean Fun

A few years ago, a friend of mine found out she had breast cancer. In her case she was lucky the growth they found was caught in time and contained. The odd thing was when they sent it to the lab for testing they found it was full of parabens found in soaps, shower gels and body lotions. IMG_0472

This prompted me to begin researching what actually was in the products I had been using on my body. It also launched a fun craft making side business.

As I furthered my investigation into what are in many popular body lotions and store chains, I was horrified to find they were filled with the very ingredients that not only cause cancer in laboratory animals, which I am against testing on, but people were having cysts removed from other parts of their bodies filled with the chemicals in these products.

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I dug in and did my homework even more. I discovered I could make my own soaps and lotions with all natural and organic products. I fell in love this the creative process and find it very relaxing to blend essential oils with natural glycerin soaps.

Once my family began using the soaps I created, we discovered something interesting. People found their skin was no longer dry after showering. Using my soap actually kept their skin moist. Another type of soap I make helped several people with eczema, psoriasis and acne. 3-1947-IMAG1658

I enjoy the creative process and the fact that I use the finest natural and organic ingredients. I also feel the satisfaction that my soaps have helped  certain skin conditions and eased the discomfort of many people.

The FDA is still deciding if parabens really have an effect on the human body, but for me I would rather be safe than sorry.

If you have any questions or comments message me. I’ll be happy to chat with you.