Marriage Old Fashioned? Just Throw a Kegger!

I have just been told that my marriage of 35 years is old and obsolete! Wow! I was also informed that the marriages “now days” are shorter no longer than 7 to 11 years. I was shocked to say the least. If you are going into this short term then delete the vows “Till death do us part”. I am in my marriage for the long haul. I am growing old with the man I love, my BEST FRIEND.

I recently read and article in CNB News “First-time marriages: probably 20 to 25 percent have ended in divorce on average,”  according to Shaunti Feldhahn in an article written by Paul Strand http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2014/May/Divorce-Shocker-Most-Marriages-Do-Make-It/ . This is much lower than we are led to believe. I have been told it is as high as 50%. So glad to see it is much lower.

So if this relationship you’re in is for the short term then why have the expensive dress, cake flowers, wedding and reception? Just throw a kegger and put up a banner that says “Together until we find someone better”, gifts optional!

No matter what the statistics are and what the naysayers are chanting, I am in my marriage for the long term, say 200 hundred years or more!

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End of the Year – Don’t Look Back

End of the Year – Don’t Look Back

All to often when faced with the end of the year and making New Year’s Resolutions we look back at what we didn’t accomplish during the last year.  DON’T!!!  Never look back.

Look forward, don’t look back.  Instead of making your usual New Year’s Resolutions make a list of what you want to accomplish…..a To Do List!  Be reasonable, don’t make it a long list, make a list that is attainable over the next 12 months.  That is what I have done for the past two years and love scratching off the items I have accomplished.  It is so gratifying, and when it is gratifying you will be willing to get more accomplished. Don’t stress out over your list either.  Decide what you want to accomplish first and do it then go on to the next  project.  You will be surprised how gratifying this is.

Don’t bog yourself down in “I should have” for the prior year.  Look forward to what you CAN accomplish over the next year

Happy New Year!

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Crock Pot Candy Gifts

I”m still baking and cooking for the upcoming Holidays. I find a lot of joy making yummy gifts for others. The following recipe is one of my favorites as it is SO EASY! Make up a double or triple batch and give to your friends and family. This also makes a great hostess gift!

Crock Pot Candy

32 oz. Pecans (you can also use peanuts, walnuts, almonds)

12 oz. Semi sweet chocolate chips

4   oz. German sweet chocolate

32 oz. Dark Chocolate Melts (or white chocolate)

I use all dark chocolate, as this is my favorite!

Place ingredients in a crock pot as listed. DO NOT stir. Cook on low for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. DO NOT open the lid. After cooked, stir and drop by spoonfuls on a parchment paper or wax paper lined pan..   Allow to harden (I stick mine in the refrigerator to speed this up) Store in a closed container. SHARE as these are addictive and you can eat them all yourself.

These make great Christmas & New Year’s gifts!

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Handmade Gifts – Crock Pot Apple Butter

Again this year I am making my Home Made Apple Butter.  Great gift idea!

Crock Pot Apple Butter

6 1/2 pounds apples – peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract (add when finished cooking)

  1. Core and slice apples. I do not peel mine.
  2. Put the apples in a 4 quart or larger crock pot, then add the sugar and spices. Stir the mixture the best you can then cover and cook on high for one hour.
  3. Cook on low (stirring occasionally, I stir every hour), until the apple butter reaches a spreadable consistency and is dark brown in color. This takes 12 or more hours depending on your crock pot.
  4. Transfer to hot, sterilized jars (aproximately 8 half pints), I boil my jars and lids and imediately fill as I take them out of the boiling water. Take care not to fill past the headspace line. Refrigerate any jars that fail to seal properly.

 

To Freeze: Allow the jars to cool. Then, place in the freezer. Use within a year, for the best quality.

 

Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Yield: 4 pints

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 12 hours

Ingredients:

Directions:

Notes:

– I used a combination of Granny Smith, Red Delicious and Honey Crisp apples for this recipe. I also increased my recipe to 9 pounds of apples and adjusted the rest of the recipe accordingly. This yielded 12 half pints.
– The sweetness of your apples will depend on how much sugar you use. I used mostly brown sugar as I try to stay away from white sugar. Adjust according to your apples and preferences.

– You can speed up cooking time by keeping it on high but you MUST stir every hour.
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What a Beautiful Morning

Morning Journaling

It is cloudy out this morning, which makes it a good time to sit down and journal. Although any time is a good time to journal. Day, night, rain or shine, journal and feel the stress leave your body.

Why journal? It clears the heart and soul of things that get in the way. Sorrow, fear, hate. Write them down and close the journal and walk away. Better yet, tear out that page and burn it. You will be surprised how much satisfaction and cleansing this will bring.

THEN, journal about the things you are thankful for in your life, be it either the past or the present. Your family, friends, the animals in your life, there is no limit of people or things that bring you great joy. There is so much to be thankful for each and every day.

I am thankful for the clouds and rain as they are rare where I live. The beautiful sunrise I got to see this morning because my cat Thor Kitty insisted I get up. Now, because I got up, I get the witness and enjoy the rare quiet of my house, as I sit here journaling with coffee in hand and my cat curled up at my side.

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Small Business Owner’s, Diversify!

Diversify

If you’re a Small Business Owner then you probably already know that diversification is the name of the game. If you don’t diversify and grow your business almost daily then you will die a very painful death.

I know several Small Business owners that do one thing and do it well, but over the long haul they are loosing their buyers. You can buy the same product once maybe twice (the second time as a replacement or a gift) and then the buyer is done, they no longer need or want your single product. At this point your buyer moves on to someone else that has grown their business by adding to their product line. They have diversified and their business is growing!

Change or diversification is constant and if you want to grow your business then you to must change and grow. Stretch those creative juices. Look around you, what is your competition doing that you aren’t? Are they on more than one site? Do they promote their business on social media sites? Do they blog, send emails? Take a close look, why are they out selling you.

Don’t allow your business to become stale, reach for that brass ring. When you diversify test the waters first by making a few of your new product and see how that item goes over. No Small Business wants to be stuck with a lot product that bombed out in the market place. Go slow, test a few new products and make sure you market and promote your new line.

If you have a product that didn’t make it, CUT the price, put it on sale, get it off your shelves and make room for what your customer really wants.

“Just as variety is the spice of life, diversification is the key to success in business.” McNulty

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OOPS! Holiday Shopping- A Year of Living Cheap

Don’t let the frantic pace of the holidays make you lose site of your budget goals.  Don’t buy that first gift you see because  you just want to get it over with and move on.  THINK! 

Ask yourself, is this really the gift you want to give?  Is this the price you want to pay.  Is there something that is more appropriate or something  they will appreciate/use more than this item?

Take a few minutes to sit down, write down the names of the people you want to give gifts to this holiday season.  Then go over the list again and eliminate the people that should not be on the list, don’t let emotions guide you, be practical.  Write at least two gift ideas that are inexpensive and would mean something to the person you are giving the gift.  No gift has to be expensive  if it comes from the heart.  A handmade item often times will mean more to the recipients than an expensive gift bought in haste.

My mom would rather receive a card that tells her how much she has meant to me than something I bought.  So buy a nice card, and write with your heart.

You still have time to plan ahead and get the right gift.  Do not let the fast talking marketers make you buy, THINK.

You will be glad you did when the holidays are history and you can look back with a smile and know they were the best.

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