December 31, 2013

New Year's Resolutions: Awful? or Awesome?

When it comes to New Year's Resolutions, the statistics don't lie: only 8% of people who make New Year’s resolutions stick to them, and those who don’t usually abandon them after just one week.

Does that mean that we shouldn't make resolutions at all? I hope not! I love the feeling of having a fresh start... and what better time to do it than the beginning of a new year?

I've done a little homework to find out which resolutions are a setup for disappointment and which will allow you to make some real changes this year. 

December 27, 2013

A few days off... {Self-Care Saturday}

Taking a few days off after Christmas is a great way to recharge and prepare for the coming new year. It feels so good to have some time to spend with family, clean up some of the holiday clutter, and just relax! 

And so... for just a while longer, my posts will remain several days apart. Not only will I be taking a much needed break, but I'll be preparing for an awesome new year of blogging and looking forward to sharing it with you!

December 21, 2013

Keep Warmth In Your Heart {Self-Care Saturday}

It's less than a week before Christmas and SO easy to slip into "GO MODE" to get all of those last minute things done. Today I'm reminded to stay focused on the important things and keep warmth in my heart. 

I was recently introduced to the Danish term "hygge" - a vague concept that really doesn't translate into English, but has made Denmark the happiest country on earth, even though they have longer, darker winters than we do here in Minnesota.

Even though I have been saying "HIGGIE" like "JIGGIE" like "Gettin' Higgie Wit It" - it actually sounds more like HYU-gah - and it's even harder to translate!

December 18, 2013

Great DIY Last Minute Gift Ideas

If you're not done with your holiday shopping, no worries! Here are TEN awesome DIY gift ideas that you can totally pull off before Christmas. There's something for everyone and nothing on the list that I wouldn't love personally - which is always the way I pick the projects to feature! 

Some of these are so simple you'll wonder why you didn't think of it before - especially the car air fresheners - but it's certainly not too late to put together some great gifts!

December 16, 2013

When Simplifying Makes Thing More Stressful

Sometimes working to simplify your life gets complicated! As an avid learner of anything that makes life better, I've researched and studied more things about simplifying your life than you can even imagine.

Much of the information out there is great. Some of the information I've shared without trying out first myself. (more on that in a sec.) Some of the suggestions seem too much of a sacrifice - like capsule wardrobes. No thanks!

When simplifying causes stress, it's time to take another look at the whole deal. Here are a few of my thoughts:

December 15, 2013

Life Is Very Short {Sunday Inspiration}

Life is very short, and there's no time for fussing & fighting my friend.

December 13, 2013

Winter Cleaning

When the halls are decked, the gifts under the tree, the stockings hung, it's time to get down to business and do your winter cleaning.

Winter cleaning is a lot different than spring cleaning... During the cold winter months, our windows are closed, and that affects the air quality in our homes. Adding pets, chemical cleaning products, dirt from outside and dust from your heating system only makes things worse! Here are the most important things to do for winter cleaning:

December 11, 2013

Yummy Homemade Treats for Your Dog

Not only are dog treats expensive, but the quality of the ingredients used has been questioned more than once. Dogs have gotten sick, and some have even died, from contaminated pet treats. Here are some fabulous recipes for doggie treats that are a homemade, wholesome alternative. 

December 10, 2013

Beautiful Winter Decorating Ideas

In "Creating A Beautiful Little Christmas" I recommend that instead of filling your home with Christmas decorations, you instead decorate for the winter season. You can add a few nice things that are specific to Christmas, but by decorating for the season instead of for the holiday, you don't have to switch everything out when Christmas is over.

December 8, 2013

It Always Seems Impossible Until It Is Done - Nelson Mandela {Sunday Inspiration}

It always seems impossible until it is done.  - Nelson Mandela

image source:

December 7, 2013

Easy Minnesota Comfort Food: Wild Rice Casserole Recipe

Today for "Self Care Saturday" I'm showing how good I am at self-care by combining YESTERDAY'S recipe post and TODAY'S self-care post. I have a nasty sinus headache but I'm still responsible for feeding the crew around here, and with these below zero temperatures here in Minneapolis, a good old Minnesota hot-dish and a loaf of homemade bread will be a perfect dinner for us.

December 5, 2013

Choices & Illusions by Eldon Taylor {Book Review}

I was sent this book, "Choices and Illusions" by Eldon Taylor, free for review by Hay House, but all opinions are mine.

"Choices and Illusions" is all about the way that your brain works and why your brain causes you to think the way that you do. Every decision that we make is influenced by our past experiences. Those influences can be positive, but they can also cause negative actions that impact the way that we live our life each and every day. 

December 4, 2013

Holiday Tip: Keep the Wine Flowing! VinoVinti Makes It Better

This post brought to you by VinoVinti. All opinions are 100% mine.

In my book "Creating A Beautiful Little Christmas" I talk just a bit about wine and offered a few recommendations of inexpensive choices, but I have to say that I LOVE wine. I love a glass with dinner, or sometimes a glass before bed. My favorite wine is a red that is not too sweet and not too dry - like a medium bodied Zinfandel - nice and SMOOTH!

I'm certainly no wine expert, but I can recommend that you check out my friend Mo's blog at for some great wine recommendations. She was recently at the San Diego Wine + Food Festival and posted some awesome wine selections that would make great gifts!

Another great gift idea is the VinoVinti. It's the greatest invention that you've never heard of! It removes excess carbon dioxide from wine, improving the flavor and smoothness of any wine. (similar to letting it "breathe" only a LOT faster!)  It uses a patented ceramic rod and vacuum pump to allow the excess CO2 molecules to form a bubble and escape the bottle, leaving behind a much better wine! Check out the video showing how it works... it's amazing!

I expected VinoVinti to be expensive, but it's not! It's $39.95 for everything you need to improve the flavor, feel and finish of any wine. It's not available in a lot of stores yet, so you need to go to their website VinoVinti to buy it, but what a PERFECT hostess gift to give this season! Or how about for that friend who loves wine, but you wouldn't feel comfortable selecting a bottle for her?

I liked VinoVinti on Facebook and you should too. You can read all of the comments from real people who have used VinoVinti and noticed a big difference in their wine. I can't wait to hear back from all of my readers after they give VinoVinti this Christmas so I can hear how much their friends and family enjoy it!

**Please drink responsibly, and as always, only drink if you are at least 21 years old or older**

Visit Sponsor's Site

December 3, 2013

Decorating for Christmas - Oh Christmas Tree!

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is the smell of a real Christmas tree. Because we have a crazy puppy in our house these days, we had to get a little creative! I didn't want a spindly Charlie Brown tree, so we selected our tree, then asked for a fresh cut - a foot above where the tree was originally cut! I did a little more trimming of lower branches after we got home, but I'm pretty happy with the results overall! 

I've been busy refinishing my printers cabinet so that we could get it in the house, but more on that later! Best of all, since the tree is 4 feet off the ground it's completely puppy proof!

December 2, 2013

Now available in PAPERBACK!

"Creating A Beautiful Little Christmas"  is now available for immediate purchase in paperback! Buy your copy on! 

December 1, 2013

Small Gifts {Sunday Inspiration}

The right gift doesn't have to break the bank. You can give a small token of your friendship with a small gift. For a huge variety of small gifts, many under $10, visit our small gift guide!