Favorites Friday - Everything but the Bagel Seasoning

Jumping on here really quick to share a current favorite with you all.

Everything but

I feel like everyone may already know about this, but just in case you don't, you NEED to try it! I love it on avocado toast and bagels with cream cheese. It just makes ordinary seem so...extra! Lot's of garlic flavor and sooo yum. I even used it as a stocking stuffer at Christmas last year.

Let me know if you've tried it and how you use it. I'd love to know.

Encourage one another,


Ten Minute Gift Idea



This time of year I love giving little homemade gifts to friends and neighbors. This year I made peppermint sugar scrubs and packaged them in the empty Oui yogurt jars that I'd been saving over the summer and fall. The lids were ordered online here and were the only real expense I had for this project. I already had everything I needed - the coconut oil, sugar and essential oils. The candy canes were left over from my gingerbread houses and the greens were from my yard. I calculated that each little filled jar cost just under $1.75 to make. They were quick and easy and I was able to whip up a batch in just a few minutes and the best part was I already had everything I needed.

Here's how I did it.

Combine 2 cups of granulated white sugar to 1/2 cup of softened coconut oil. This time of year the coconut oil is pretty solid so I microwaved it for about 45 seconds to get it to a liquid state. To that I added about six drops of peppermint essential oils (you can substitute lavender, lemon or any essential oil that you like). How much oil you add is up to you, but peppermint is a strong fragrance and I find I get a nice effect with just a few drops. Definitely add more if you want. Once the three ingredients are thoroughly combined, spoon into clean, dry jars and cover with tight fitting lids. Embellish and label as desired. You can even tie on a tiny spoon if you want.

That's all there is to it. So easy and sugar scrubs are great to exfoliate dry winter skin, either in the shower or bath. The coconut oil leaves your skin super soft, smooth and hydrated and the peppermint is a refreshing, festive touch. I even exfoliate my face with it.   


I popped some broken candy cane pieces in the top of the jars just for fun.






If you want to make them extra Christmassy,  you can color half of the sugar mixture with two drops or so of red food coloring then alternately layer the mixtures in the jars for a candy cane effect.





Pinterest has lots of ideas for making sugar scrubs using lots of different fragrance combinations.

I love quick, inexpensive projects like this. Don't you? I hope you'll try it - your friends will love you for it.

Encourage one another,




Favorites Friday - Long Baths and Bath Bombs or How One Thing Leads to Another

So the last time that we chatted I told you about how I'm just a teensy bit obsessed with tracking my sleep patterns using my Fitbit Charge 2. It was fun hearing from several of you who, like me, find sleep tracking weirdly fascinating.

Of course once you see your sleep/awake cycles you naturally wonder about ways to improve the quality of your sleep (at least I do), so I started researching things that promote a good nights sleep which led me to Epsom Salt baths and essential oils.  


Knowing that lavender oil helps promote sleep I started out buying lavender scented Epsom Salts




but I quickly realized that it was much cheaper to make my own with plain ol Epsom Salts from Costco or Sam's Club then add a few drops of essential oils to my bath water.


I use almost two cups of salt in my nightly bath so I go through this stuff pretty quickly. Not only has nightly soaking just before bed helped me relax and fall asleep quickly (and pretty much stay asleep all night), but surprisingly the added magnesium and sulfates that are apparently absorbed through my skin from the bath water have helped tremendously with my symptoms of idiopathic peripheral neuropathy by relaxing my muscles and calming the nerves in my feet and legs. Epsom Salt baths are also said to aid in reducing inflammation. What started as a natural sleep aid has helped me with my baffling chronic leg pain and numbness. Who knew? You can read more about the benefits of Epsom salt baths here.

I was enjoying these nightly soaks so much that I began to wonder if there was something else I could add to my bath water to up the fun factor a bit, so on a whim while in Las Vegas this summer, I purchased a few bath bombs from a company called Lush. I'd seen a few Lush stores in malls in the past and even wandered through a few from time to time but frankly could never understand why anyone would pay $5 to $10 for a bath bomb just to wash it down the drain. That was before I tried all natural and handmade Lush products. Now Lush is not only a favorite thing, but kind of a passion.  


I keep my bath bombs in glass jars (because you know how I love a pretty display) at the edge of my tub, then select a scent depending on my mood.


I can't tell you how marvelous and moisturized these products make my skin feel.


For times when I'm feeling especially extravagant I'll reach for one of these babies. Talk about luxurious!

I honestly don't know if I would have taken the time to soak for forty minutes each night before I retired - probably not since I was more of a shower, always on the run kind of gal. Like exercising, soaking takes a big chunk of time out of my day, but for me, it's so worth the investment in my health and feeling of wellbeing.

One thing I've learned over the past year is that you have to take your health into your own hands - researching and trying things that make you feel better. I've also learned that sometimes what doctors order for you can actually make you feel worse. I've learned that you are the boss of you and that there is a real feeling of power and hope when you take control of your own health.

UntitledNext time I'll tell you how I spend those pampering forty minutes while soaking each night but only if you promise not to judge. Smileyface

Until then, be kind to yourself. Love you guys.

Encourage one another,


This post was not sponsored  and all opinions and observations are my own.

Favorites Friday - My Fitbit Charge 2

Welcome back. Today I want to share another one of my current most favorite things in the whole world. Hearts

Now that I'm retired I try and pay more attention to the amount of exercise and sleep I get along with what I eat on a daily basis. My Fitbit certainly qualifies as a favorite thing because it not only tracks my daily activity by counting the number of steps I get (I shoot for at least 10,000) but it also tracks my nightly sleep patterns.  


First thing each morning, while I wait for my coffee to brew, I check my Fitbit app on my phone to see how well I slept the night before. I love this new and improved feature of the sleep tracker where it breaks down the four stages of sleep - Awake, Light, REM and Deep. Fitbit trackers can measure your time spent in each sleep stage, as well as your time awake.

Since sleep affects every part of life—your health and your mood, it can help you perform at your best, stay productive, and fight weight gain and depression.

I know I may be weird, but I just think it's fun to pay attention of this stuff.

Here's mine from a recent Saturday night/Sunday morning when it thundered all night, non stop.




Yikes,Crytalk about sleep interruptus! That must have been one doozy of a thunder clap at midnight! Actually, I thought I had slept a lot less than it tracked but evidently after awhile I just gave in and slept through all of the noise.

Another cool feature is that it gives you a 30 day average of your sleep as well as showing how your sleep quality compares with women (or men) in your age group.




The percentage on the left in the dark is my sleep pattern and the light sections are the benchmark percentages with their averages to the right. I find it strangely comforting knowing that waking up in the middle of the night is a fairly common practice with women my age, but I clearly need to work on my Deep sleep cycle.

All of this nonsense has led me to research other ways to induce a better quality of sleep, some of which I will share with you later.

I'd love to hear from you on what natural things you do to help assure a good nights sleep.

I'm curious about how many of you sleep through the night. If you don't, do you concoct a magic potion that you drink just before bed? Do you crank up the air conditioner, use a sound machine or take a long bath before turning in? Or do you just hit the sack and hope for the best? 

I'd love to know. Do share!

Encourage one another,


This blog post is not sponsored. All views, observations and opinions are my own.



I thought it would be fun to start a "Favorites Friday" feature here where I share with you some of my current favorite things. I have to admit that my list of favorites is as varied as it is long and seems to be ever changing.

Today I'll start by sharing my new found love for Ghee.



Since moving to Kansas I've tried to pay a little more attention to my health and how what I eat makes me feel. I could write a whole blog post about my diet and how what I eat (and don't eat) has helped the way I feel and someday I will, but basically I've noticed that I can be prone to inflammation and consequently have pretty much eliminated dairy from my diet (except for an occasional small jar of yogurt).Wink

I found this brand of ghee one day while combing the grocery aisles for some healthy food alternatives. If I'm perfectly honest here, it was the label that drew me to this particular brand - you all know what a sucker I am for packaging. Having never tasted ghee, I really didn't know what to expect. What I've discovered is that ghee is delicious!

Here's the deal in a nut shell: ghee is clarified butter that has been cooked down for hours resulting in a naturally rich golden oil with an amazingly intense buttery flavor. Because it's lactose-free, ghee is the perfect fat in which to cook my morning eggs. It isn't considered a dairy so it doesn't contribute to my inflammation (ghee actually claims it can decrease inflamation) yet it adds a decadence to my eggs that I absolutely love. It seriously transforms a common fried egg to something special. 

 I just wanted to share this new find with you here and to encourage you to pay attention to the way your body reacts to the foods you eat - it may be trying to tell you something, you just need to be still and listen. 

Thanks for your comments. Love you guys! Hearts

Encourage one another,


This post is not sponsored and the opinions and observations are strictly my own.