Useful Maintenance Reminder Tool from Allstate

Property Maintenance

Not too long ago, I did a post on “Are there any useful cleaning tips for me”?   Well, a gentleman reached out to me and shared a link to Allstate’s website where they house a FREE useful maintenance reminder tool for your Home and Car

The tool can be used to simplify our busy lives in just a few minutes.  The tool will also allow you to learn about preventive maintenance and learn when to service your vehicles or when to perform maintenance tasks for your home.

Here is the link and I think you will find it quite interesting http://www.allstate.com/tools-and-resources/maintenance-reminder.aspxWith a few simple clicks you could be signed up in no time and have all your maintenance needs related to your home and car on track.  Don’t forget to sign up for convenient Alerts to your mobile phone or email as well.

Floretha WorleyProperty

Who’s got the “GUTS” to do a 5K?

 

So, you’re really not a runner?  Me neither.  I have tried and tried to make myself a runner, but I’m just not sure if I will ever get past a 5K distance.  To be honest, it took me a long time before I could even get to the point where I could run 1 mile without feeling like I was absolutely going to keel over, much less 3.1 miles.  I guess that was probably because I didn’t really have a training plan when I started.  My plan at the time was just to go to the gym several times a week and see how far I could get on the treadmill each time.  An actual plan may have moved me along a little faster.

Luckily, I have a nifty little 5K training plan right here for anybody else who’s interested.  Who’s with me?  Anybody out there have “run a 5K” as a goal on their bucket list?  Let’s go ahead and cross that one off the list.  There are a lot of great races in the fall and I am looking for one to do.  If anybody wants to join me, I would love the company.

There are a ton of training plans out there for beginners, but some of them just aren’t realistic AT ALL.  I mean, who needs a 5K training program for a BEGINNER that starts you out on the first week running 1.5 miles?  You’re already halfway there at that point!  This one is MUCH more realistic and seems a lot easier to accomplish.

This training plan was taking from http://www.coolrunning.com.  Sorry about the formatting.  Go to their website if you want to read more about this plan or check our their other training plans if this one isn’t challenging enough for you.

Week

Workout 1

Workout 2

Workout 3

1

Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of   jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of   jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 60 seconds of   jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

2

Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of   jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

Brisk five-minute warmup walk. Then alternate 90 seconds of   jogging and two minutes of walking for a total of 20 minutes.

3

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the   following:

  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three        minutes)

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the   following:

  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90        seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three minutes)

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then do two repetitions of the   following:

  • Jog 200 yards (or 90 seconds)
  • Walk 200 yards (or 90        seconds)
  • Jog 400 yards (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 400 yards (or three        minutes)

4

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2        minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2        minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 2-1/2        minutes)
  • Jog 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 seconds)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

5

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
  • Walk 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog two miles (or 20   minutes) with no walking.

6

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 3/4 mile (or 8 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1/2 mile (or 5 minutes)

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then:

  • Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)
  • Walk 1/4 mile (or 3 minutes)
  • Jog 1 mile (or 10 minutes)

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2-1/4 miles (or 22   minutes) with no walking.

7

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25   minutes).

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25   minutes).

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25   minutes).

8

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28   minutes).

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28   minutes).

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28   minutes).

9

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).

Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).

The final workout! Congratulations! Brisk five-minute warmup   walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).

Happy running!!

Jennifer

 

Meet our July 2013 Girlfriend of the Month!

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Name: Ilene Grayson

Occupation: Owner, Apartment Arrangements by Ilene

Why we think she is Girlfriend of the Month material:

Despite never advertising, Ilene has built a very successful independently [female] owned business based solely off of word of mouth endorsements.  Ilene is very active in the Charlotte community and is always seeking out her next adventure.

 

J: What is your definition of success and what makes you feel successful?

I: I think I am successful because I am happy and I like my job and I like what I do.  What I do is a service even though I do what people tell me. You can deviate a little bit, but doing what you’re told is a piece of cake.  How can you be wrong?

Success is making enough money to cover your expenses.  You might see a big house and a picket fence as a goal, but I never did.  I was raised in a big house with lots of fences all around.  It was a rural coal mining town.  My goal was to live in places all over the world.  I used to take a month off every year and go somewhere in Europe, North Africa, Alaska, New Zealand or wherever.  I would have to work like hell to get caught up after I got back though.

J: Why did you want to go all over the place?  Just because you wanted to see it?

I: Yes.  I was raised in a very small town.  We didn’t go to the beach.  We lived in the mountains so we didn’t have to travel for that.  We would go to the lake sometimes. I still want to see everything.  I just don’t feel like taking a month off anymore.  I feel like I could hit and run in a week now.

J: You went to school in England for two and a half years when you were younger.  What was that like?

I: I was 19.  I was in nursing school and interested in Psychiatry.  I talked to somebody about it and got a letter of recommendation and then a few months later, I was in England.  It was scary and terrifying and wonderful.

J: Why was it terrifying?

I: I had spent some time away from my family in Hartford, Connecticut, but I was still attached to mom.  I would fly home and spend time with the family.  But this was way across the ocean.  I went on the Queen Elizabeth.  We were at sea for 7 days and we had a storm and they had to bring out the stabilizers and everything.  I was down below with all the poor people and students.

J: What was England like?

I: I would study in the morning and then do some work in the ward in the afternoon and then I would work and stay on for high tea because it was like dinner.  The British would pay you for anything that was a service to society but I was scrounging a lot back then.

Later, my goal in working was to see how much fun it would be to stay in a five star hotel.  I deserve it.  It’s fun.  It comes with breakfast, dinner and a massage.  I haven’t done that in a long while.  Now I will meet family in Pittsburgh and share a room with family for $80 a room.

J: You got to where you are now by starting your own thing.

I: Yeah, because I don’t really have any talents.

J: I will stop you right there.  I remember you telling me quite some time ago that you believe that EVERYBODY has a talent.

I: OK.  I did have a talent.  My gift of gab is my talent.  Relating with people.  Learning how to ask a question that doesn’t offend somebody because I want to know everything.  Eventually, if you ask the right 2 or 3 questions up front they will take over and tell you everything.  I recently was working with a man from Mexico City and he didn’t want to talk initially.  Finally, I saw that he had a pack of cigarettes and I asked him if he wanted to stop for a smoke and he did.  So we went along and stopped every couple of hours so he could have a cigarette and then I found out all about his dogs and how he’s allergic to them and how he has a new 9 month old baby.  I joked with him and pointed out that he mentioned the dogs first before the baby.  He laughed.  He thought that was funny, too.

J: Would you say that you have always been driven or did you recently acquire that trait.

I: No.  I was a kept woman.  That means married.  A housewife.  I was the hostess and the trip-booker and the watch the kid person.

J: Did you enjoy that?

I: No.  Not very much.  I once took off 17 long weekends to visit family and others.  I didn’t like ironing and I didn’t like laundry, even though I’ve always been a compulsive cleaner.

J: You say you weren’t driven then, but was it something that you acquired later on or was it hidden or hibernating somewhere?

I: No.  I’ve always been an adventurer, but not driven business-wise.  I was always driven to have a new adventure and my husband was like that when we first met but as he got more involved in business he became less and less like that.

J: When you started your own business, you had $40.00 in the bank.  Weren’t you scared?

I: Yes, I had $40 and I have doubled it!  Yes, I was petrified.  But it was fun, really fun.

J: I thought you said scary.

I: Scary, fun.  I was scared all the time, but being scared is fun.

J: So you were fearless, which is not to say that you didn’t have any fear, but you didn’t let it inhibit you.

I: Actually, the fear kind of made me be stronger because not only did I have to accomplish what I needed to accomplish, I had to accomplish it while being afraid to do what I was doing.

J: Even when you were a housewife, you would work here and there and volunteer everywhere.  That doesn’t sound like somebody who’s not driven to me.  Are you very restless?

I: Oh, yeah.  I am an A++ personality.  I have to do something all the time.  I can’t sit at my desk for more than 2 or 3 hours.  I will have to get up and go somewhere.  I’ll call it an adventure.  People who work in offices all the time don’t fare as well as others health-wise.

J: What made you decide that you wanted to strike out on your own and do this job?

I: Well, before I started the business and when I was married, we moved 17 times in 20 years.  My husband would hire a new somebody and ask me to take so and so’s wife out and help them find an apartment, help them find furniture.  Help them get their electric turned on.  So, I was doing that and one lady in an office one day said to me “how much do you get paid for this?” And I said “I don’t get paid. I do it for free.”  She then mentioned that there was another lady who was doing it and helping people find apartments and I told her I went a step further and helped them find furniture and get set up.  I’m like their mom.

So I looked into starting a business from that day on.  This was in my head actually before the divorce.  When everything started to disintegrate at the same time, I went downtown and got a business license.  I had a friend who had just started a business at the time who helped me name it.  He said that I would want to name it with the two A’s so I would be in the front of the phone book.

J: What time do you get up in the morning?

I: In the summer, just when the sun wakes me.  In the winter, around 7:30 or 8:00.  I do get up in the middle of the night sometimes and do things though.

J: Do you have insomnia or something?

I: No, sometimes I just wake up and I have an idea.

J: Do you keep notebooks by you?

I:  Oh yeah. By the bed, on the bar, everywhere.  I get so mad at myself if I forget whatever great idea I had.

J: Do you ever suffer from negative self-talk?

I: No.  I have an ego problem that is really difficult for everybody and myself to deal with.  I think I am right and I think I can handle everything.  I have never been plagued by self-doubt.  I just keep busy.  Sometimes I worry about facets of my business that aren’t doing well, but they aren’t my part of it.  For instance, if I have a vendor that I am having trouble with, I have to figure out how to deal with that.  I probably had a confidence problem when I was young.  I was really shy so I just go involved and tried out for everything.

J: Do you have anybody in particular who inspires you?

I: Me.  I’m my own hero.  I have been asked that so many times.  I have overcome so many things and I have accomplished so many things without any help.  I’ve never borrowed any money-ever! I’ve asked for advice but I’ve never asked someone to just do it for me.

J: I know now that mistakes are valuable.  Do you agree?

I: Oh yeah.  I have a list of 150 things that I have done wrong.  Somebody told me a long time ago that ignorance is not a dirty word. It’s an opportunity to go out and learn something.

J: Have you ever had any mentors.

I: Yes, my ex-husband.  During our family gatherings in the morning, he used to plan his day.  I do that now.  It’s Saturday and I know now what I am doing on Monday.  He was devoted to his job.  He was very strict with his employees and with himself. He was always on time.  He always looked nice and the store always looked good.  I learned a lot from him as far as business.  I didn’t like the way he excluded his family at that cost and that is why I have incorporated my son into my business.

J: Do you mentor other people?

I: I have started three people in this business.  One was my sister and she did it for 15 years up in Pittsburgh. I also helped 2 of my former assistants.

J: Do you have any particular theme song, mantra or phrase that you really relate to?

I: Yes!  “Let’s take the rest of the day off.”

J: One final question.  What kind of advice would you give to other women?

I: You have to find out what you do best and what you like to do.

 

 

 

 

Fabulous Zucchini Pizza

zUCCINNI ROUNDS

By Jennifer

Day 3 in my 40 in T minus 30 challenge.

I am happy to report that I have done pretty well over the weekend with my exercising, water and food choices.  Today, I made myself lunch using a recipe inspired from something I saw on Pinterest.

These zucchini pizzas were surprisingly tasty.  It tasted like eating a real pizza but without the calories from the bread.  Big bonus here: it is super easy to make!!

I have seen this done with strips of zucchini as opposed to the rounds that I used.  I just happened to have been given a mutant sized zucchini from somebody’s garden and I am trying to figure out how I am going to eat it all.  I put a dent in it today.

To make, you put the zucchini slices on a baking sheet and spray them with olive oil.  Then, you top your slices with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni rounds and a little bit of parmesan cheese to top it off.  Bake at 400F for about 15-20 minutes and voila!!  Delicious pizza snack!

Does anybody have any other healthy and delicious recipes to share?

 

40 in T minus 30

By Jennifer

I will turn 40 in exactly 30 days.  Last year, just after my 39th birthday, I sat down and wrote out a bunch of goals that I had hoped to achieve by the time I turned 40.  I am sorry to say that I have achieved very, very few of those goals.  Somehow, I took my eye off the prize and now at the 11th hour I am trying to cram for my exams.

I know that it sort of defeats the purpose and it is unrealistic to expect that I can achieve all of my goals in the next 30 days, but I can at least pick 1 of those goals and start working on it now and hope that in 30 days, I will see some improvement.  Big shocker!  I am picking my fitness goal.

Last year, I wanted to be able to run 5 miles without stopping and be able to do 2 pull-ups (yes, I realize how very pathetic this sounds, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right?).  I also wanted 6 pack abs, but let’s be realistic.  I know now that you can’t actually achieve 6 pack abs simply by drinking Michelob Ultra.

So, while I doubt that I will be able to run 5 miles without stopping at the end of this 30 days, and I’m not all that confident on the pull-ups either, I want to at least feel like I am making progress toward a goal and, frankly, I want to look and feel good so I can really enjoy myself when 40 comes careening around the corner.

Wanna hear my plan?  Good!  My plan is to work out EVERY SINGLE DAY for the next 30 days.  I am not committing myself to grueling workouts, but I am committing myself to at least 10 minutes of exercise each and every day for the next 30 days.

I will also make myself drink at least 32 ounces of water each day.  Again, seems pitiful, but I am pretty sure the liquid content of my body at this point is 90% tea and diet sun drop and 10% water.  I will work over the next 30 days to reverse those numbers.  But I will NOT commit to giving up my hot tea in the morning.  That’s a recipe for disaster.

Finally, I am going to watch my food intake.  Since I will be working out more, I will try to not ruin it like I usually do by eating crap (read: cake, cupcakes, French fries, potato chips).  I am going to fill up my fridge with as many fruits and veggies as I can reasonably eat at a time and concentrate on those.  Added bonus: I can torture my kids with this awful healthy food, too!

To help me keep myself accountable and to help anybody else who might want to go along on this little journey with me, I will post fitness plans and healthy recipes to try for the next month.  If anybody has any fitness tips or healthy recipes they want to share, please do!  I can use your help.

I will post my progress weekly and I ask that you please help me hold my feet to the fire.  I need to keep my eye on the prize, which, if I am successful, might be an awesome, perfectly fitting (better fitting) new outfit for me to sport on my 40th birthday!!

 

 

Adventures in Asperger’s-Part 1-The Diagnosis

By Jennifer

My 5 year old son was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome a little over a year ago.  It was one of those things for my husband and me where we just knew that something wasn’t “right”.  Though we would find that we would have a hard time getting anybody to see it like we did.

As an infant, our son was fairly typical- he ate, slept and pooped like any other infant does.  He opened his eyes, looked at stuff, made noises and otherwise developed along a fairly normal trajectory.  Then, as a toddler, he still seemed fairly typical.  He talked and played and laughed a LOT (in fact, most all of the video I have from him as a toddler is of him belly laughing at different things.  His laugh is infectious and one of my favorite sounds in the whole world.).  He was, however, slightly delayed in the typical milestones like crawling and walking.

When he first became mobile, he didn’t start with a normal crawl.  He would do this army drag kind of thing across the floor as if he had no legs or as if they had been severely mangled and had been rendered useless.  Then, after a while, he finally got the hang of crawling the proper way but that must not have been fun enough for him because he would “trick it up”.  He used to like to move his head from side to side while he was crawling.  I don’t know if it made him dizzy or what effect it had, but he clearly seemed to enjoy it because he did it all the time.

It took him a good while before he was comfortable walking.  I don’t think he really started walking well until about 18 months.  But, by then he could really cover some ground.  He was tough to keep up with and he made me a nervous wreck because he had no regard for sharp corners on tables or shelves or anything else that could harm, maim, cut or break him in some fashion or the fact that his balance still wasn’t all that great.

It was about the time in between crawling and walking that we really started to notice his quirks.  He would get down on the floor and really study the screws in the bottom of his jump-a-roo and he would intently explore the feel and texture of them with his thumbs.  He explored everything with his thumbs.  Then, he found something on the bottom of the jump-a-roo that would spin.  I think it was a washer on a screw or something and he would spin it over and over and over again with his thumbs and this would give him hours of joy.  In fact, anything that spun would entertain and delight him for hours.

Then we stated to notice that he would compulsively compare things.  For instance, he would crawl from the living room to our bedroom and back again all the while looking upward so he could compare the ceiling fans in each room.  Keep in mind, he was less than 2 when he was doing this.  It just seemed “odd”.  I never saw any other 2, 3 or even 4 year olds doing this.  Most other kids never bothered to notice the fans at all.

We knew his behavior was little bit quirky, but we somewhat disregarded it until his 2 and 3 year old behavior started to become so rigid that it would induce tantrums which caused us to start having to alter our plans periodically because he would get too worked up and we couldn’t reason with him or calm him down.  He was completely irrational in our opinion and we couldn’t understand how a kid that was seemingly so smart wouldn’t listen to reason.

This is when we really started to take notice.  But, we kept getting the same basic responses from other parents – “Hey, he’s a three year old!  They have tantrums.  That’s what they do!”  OK.  I understood that, but his somehow seemed different from a typical two or three year old tantrum, though we couldn’t pinpoint why exactly.

I should mention that we were comparing him to his older sister, somewhat unfairly, I suppose.  But, she was our only real frame of reference.  She is a “typically developing” child as they say, but she was so far on the other end of the spectrum with being compliant that we knew we weren’t really getting a good comparison.  She was so well-behaved and sweet and somewhat abnormal in her exemplary behavior.

But, I think back to the time at the beach when he refused to go out on the beach because he couldn’t stand the texture of the sand.  He would only wear certain bathing suits if he liked the design, but more often than not, he required ones that didn’t have a design of any sort on them.  He didn’t want to wear his shoes.  He wouldn’t wear his hat and getting sunscreen on him may as well have been like pouring sulfuric acid directly on him (I should mention here that my son is a very, very fair redhead and that wearing a hat and sunscreen is absolutely non-negotiable).  He was, in a word, rigid.

At home, he would only wear certain pajamas, again mostly if they didn’t have any print or designs on them.  He would throw a gigantic fit if you tried to put him in a shirt he didn’t like.  He would freak out whenever I would wear a tank top.  To this day, he still calls it a “bad shirt” and he wants me to wear something over it.  When we would ask people “don’t you find that odd behavior?” their reply was usually “maybe a little, he’s just very smart and very particular about things.”

It was the staggering number of other things like this that started to add up that finally got us to take action.

After hearing from the pediatrician at his 3 year check-up that he was “perfectly fine, just intelligent and highly inquisitive” and after hearing from everybody else that “he’s just a three year old”, we started scouring the internet for articles on Oppositional Defiance Disorder, ADHD and autism, we were starting to suspect that his issues lay somewhere on the autism spectrum.  It’s just that he laughed and talked and looked us in the eye just fine and the articles on autism seemed to focus on the non-verbal, non-engaged, more severely affected autistic individuals, which left us confused.  Was he or was he not autistic?

Still, we had our suspicions and after an exhaustive search, we finally found a doctor in our area that would test him for autism.  Now, it wasn’t a cheap process and insurance didn’t cover it, so we had to save up for a while before we could take him back for the actual testing after we had the initial consult.  Meanwhile, we blew up the internet with searches on autism and eventually Asperger’s.  We felt pretty certain what we were dealing with before he ever had the first test.

Flash forward 6 months and we were sitting in the doctor’s office awaiting the results of the Cognitive testing she had performed.  When she came in she didn’t even beat around the bush.  She started the conversation by looking at us and saying “Yes, it’s Asperger’s.  Not a doubt in my mind.”

Now, you might think that we would have been disappointed or a little bit sad or scared, but the truth is that we felt vindicated.  We knew it all along.  Now, this gave us a formal diagnosis that we could use to his benefit.  Now we knew what we were dealing with and we could start taking action to help him.  It was actually a big, giant relief.  We weren’t crazy.  We were his parents and we trusted our gut and I am so very happy that we did.

It makes me wonder how many other parents are out there struggling to make sense of their child’s behavior and know that something isn’t connecting quite right, but can’t seem to get it figured out.

I will be writing a regular series on my experiences with parenting a child with Asperger’s Syndrome.  I hope with all my heart that I will be able to help somebody along the way.  And if anybody has any insight or tips for me for dealing with Asperger’s, I implore you to please share them here with me and anybody else that might find them helpful.  Knowledge is power.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Adventures in Asperger’s-The Plan of Action.

So Tell Me What You Want…

 

In the famous words of the Spice Girls- “So, tell me what you want, what you really, really want.”

 

I know I am going to be getting this question a lot.  People are going to ask just what in the world GUTS is and what it is exactly that I am hoping to get from it.  Now, mind you, I don’t want to speak for Amy or Floretha.  What I express here is just what I want.  They may want the same things or something slightly different but along the same lines at least.

I want to establish a place where there is a real sense of community and support.

I want for us to collaborate with awesome people (that’s you!).

I want to exchange ideas with one another.

I want us to go on adventures together.

I want for us all to have an unlimited supply of Girlfriends- the ones that really care, not the caddy “I want to compete with you and stab you in the back” kind.

I want us all to help each other achieve goals, however big or small.

I want us to push each other to be more than we ever even though we could be.

I want us to give ourselves and each other kudos for each and every accomplishment.

I want GUTS to reach beyond the geographical boundaries of the United States and connect with Girlfriends from all around the world and experience all kinds of different cultures and traditions.  I want to shrink the world.

I want to think bigger and not be shy away from doing something grand out of fear that it’s a dumb idea or that I will be laughed at.  I will probably need a push from my Girlfriends to do it.

I want us all to be as independent as possible and learn as much as we can to make us and keep us independent, but have a huge support system, too, and not be afraid to fall back a little bit every now and again on our Girlfriends.

I want us to teach each other.  Whatever our particular skill set is, I want for us to be generous with our knowledge and mentor each other when possible.

I want for us to give back to our community.  Charity and community service will be a GUTS mainstay.

I want to host a variety of events where all of the Girlfriends can get together and enjoy each other’s company.

I want bad self-esteem and second guessing ourselves to be a thing of the past-for ALL of us!

I want to be able to spend my days and nights working on all things GUTS related because I believe in the idea.

 

I know it sounds like I want the sun, moon and stars but I want it for ALL of us.  The world is pretty good right now as it is (yes, I am an optimist), but imagine how much better we can make it if we are willing to help each other grow, learn, share and practice compassion with one another.

Sounds like a tall order, I know, but WE ARE WORTH IT, ladies!!

Are there any cleaning tips for me?

We all ask this question.  What can I do differently in keeping my house clean?  Are there any cleaning tips I could use that would actually work for a busy parent who works outside of the home and also have a 9 year old to take care of.  I don’t know about anyone else, but I don’t want to continue to spend my Friday’s, Saturday’s and sometimes Sunday’s cleaning up when there are so many other things I would rather be doing.

I know that there is not a shortage of cleaning tips out there but how do I get those tips to work for me?  Maybe I am not sticking to a realistic plan that would keep me from doing housework on the weekends.  I continue to say to myself that I am not going to spend my life cleaning.  As far as I am concerned, everything is not going to be perfect.

I have so many organizing books and those books make organizing and staying on task look so easy.  Well, with that said, here are a few interesting tips that I found.  I am not going to lead you to believe that these tips are working for me but what I can say is that they are interesting tips that may help you if not me.

1.  Clean your toilet bowl by adding cola into it.  Folks praise cola as the best product that can clean rings from around your toilet bowl.  I am just going to make one comment…I am a coke drinker and to be quite honest I don’t know if I can waste a can of coke on my toilet bowl.  I’ll try.

2.  Try using unwanted shampoo in your hand dispenser.  It works just as well as hand soap.

3.  Eucalyptus oil removes gummy residue left by stickers.

4.  To get blood out of fabrics, use hydrogen peroxide.  Apply it directly to the stain and then launder in the machine.

5.  To stop drawers from sticking, rub a bar of soap across the runners to make them glide smoothly.

6.  To clan the bottom of the iron, sprinkle salt on the wrong board and iron back and forth.

7.  to stop ants from entering your house, draw a chaulk line on the ground where you want them to stop.  When the lines starts to fade, you will need to redraw.

Well, these are my interesting tips that I found.  If anyone has any great tips that would help with cleaning please feel free to post a comment.

Thanks

Floretha Worley

Observations

 

The other day I was in a hurry to get somewhere, as usual, probably late to horseback riding lessons or dance or work or something and the car in front of me just WOULD NOT go.  If I could have pushed them along with the bumper of my car firmly pressed against the bumper of their car without fear of litigation or arrest, I would have done it.  When I finally got around them, I just had to see who was holding me up.  I didn’t get a great look at this person who was determined to wreck my day by doing the speed limit, but I did notice that they were sitting so close to the steering wheel that they could probably smell and taste it.  Then it hit me.  With the exception of actual race car drivers, the closer somebody sits to the steering wheel, the slower they will go. It’s just a fact.  Observe it the next time you are on the road.

I am adding this as one of my personal truths, right behind 1) bongos make every song better and 2) limes are an underrated accompaniment to all drinks and dishes and 3) spring is the absolute best season of the year-hands down

What about you?  Do you have any personal truths?  I would love to hear about them!.

 

By Jennifer

 

 

Happy Birthday to Me!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

I had a very nice day today.  I was blessed to celebrate another birthday.  I dare not tell how old I am but I will say that the time has flown by soooo quickly.  It makes you think about living your life to the fullest and doing what makes you happy.  I really can’t say that I have gotten there in my life yet but I continue to pray that I will.  It’s all about taking that next step and one day I will!  I will have GUTS and dive right off just like the girl in our logo!

Floretha Worley

Molasses Cookie Mix

Molasses Cookies

 

 

 

 

Here is a recipe for old-fashioned Molasses cookies that are quite delightful.

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp cloves

1/8 tsp allspice

1 tsp ginger

In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.  If you are not going to bake the cookies right away, then you can store the mix in an airtight container until needed.  You can also give this mix as a nice present.

Attach this to the Jar

Molasses Cookies/Makes 4 dozen cookies

3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened

1 egg

1/4 cup sulfured molasses

1 package Molasses Cookie Mix

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In a large bowl, cream together the butter, egg, and molasses.  Add the Molasses Cookie Mix and beat until smooth.  Shape the dough into 1-inch balls; roll in granulated sugar and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.  Bake for 9 to 11 minutes.  Cool on wire racks.

Good Luck!

Floretha Worley

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