I usually cook a Rachel Ray’s recipe but I had to take a break. Why? Well, My friend posted her amazing soup recipe on Facebook. I asked if I could share it with you. This is the best soup I have ever had using squash and it freezes well.
With Labor Day behind us and the kiddos back in school, I am getting in the swing of things and my mind is looking toward fall. I am sure that we all have certain things that we do at specific times of the year, but I usually give my house a good cleaning about twice a year – in the spring and in the fall. This includes everything from cleaning windows and window sashes to cleaning and purging toys, old clothes, and other unwanted or unused products in my house. I also start thinking even further ahead to the holidays and how I might lessen the stresses that inevitably come with that time of year.Continue reading
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Fall is my favorite time of the year! The changing of the leaves, the smells of apple and cinnamon in the air, and smiles carved into pumpkins. So every year my family and I make a Fall Bucket List of all the fun things we want to do that season! We are lucky that here in Tennessee we get a real fall with great temperatures and big pumpkin patches. Continue reading
It’s 6:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning as I trudge down the steps with bed head and sleep still wanting to linger in my eyes; somehow my husband convinced me that it was my turn to take the dog out. Opening the sunroom door, I stepped outside with bare feet and was met with a cool breeze blowing across my face as a slight chill slipped up my spine. Ahh fall, how I’ve missed you. Most mornings I encourage my dog to hurry up and “go” because I want to retreat back to the coziness of my home; but not this morning. My lungs welcomed the cool air as I inhaled as deeply as I could while my ears caught the honking of a gaggle of geese flying overhead. A few birds sing from the treetops while the squirrels seem to magically glide across the branches working tirelessly to fill their storage “bins” for winter. Fall is officially here and in the coming days and weeks leaves will turn and flutter to the ground, green grass will fade to brown and what was green and lush will turn dormant and wither away. To some, fall is a sign of loss, of deterioration, a farewell to the carefree days of summer; they are sad. I welcome fall as a time to slow down, breathe deep, put on a sweatshirt and cuddle up to a fire. Fall, I think is a time to reflect on the busyness of summer and prepare for the coming winter. Much like the changing seasons of weather our lives are similar. Nothing ever stays the same. Nothing should ever stay the same. To quote a friend “Change is good…just ask a butterfly”. What would happen if the caterpillars stayed the same? Our world wouldn’t experience the magic and beauty that can only come from the butterfly. And while the lifespan of a butterfly is measured in mere weeks, it embraces those weeks (seasons) with purpose and determination to change and reach its full potential; to serve its purpose.
Along with the inevitable change in seasons in the weather we must be mindful of the changes brought about in our own lives. Quite often we find ourselves hanging out along the ditches of our life road avoiding change out of fear and worry. Staying stagnant it seems can feel safer than making a conscious effort to improve and grow our spirits. When we embrace changes in our lives, whether personal or professional we allow ourselves the opportunity to learn and grow and when we learn and grow we are able to encourage others to do the same.
This past week a friend shared a story on social media about Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers working with 12 year old Annie who lost her twin brother Jack to cancer. Annie is working to bring awareness to childhood cancer by encouraging folks to wear gold in September. As devastating as the loss of her brother has been, Annie has taken this sudden change in her life as an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. With Rogers at her side Annie goes door to door sharing her story in hopes that others won’t have to go through what she and her family have. Losing Jack, her twin, was difficult, but Annie is determined to make a difference. With Rogers’ celebrity status Annie could have stayed in the shadows while Rogers spoke on her behalf. What impressed me most was that Rogers would introduce her and stand in the shadows while she shared her story. At 12 years Annie is walking down her life path embracing the new season without Jack but holding onto his memory and making sure it lives on through her special project. Annie could stay in the ditch of her life road and wallow in the sadness that resides there, but she chooses to stay and travel the path ahead of her; a path that is filled with uncertainty. My guess is that as Annie continues to work to promote her project she will grow and nurture her own spirit as well as those around her.
I encourage you to embrace the challenges that your life brings using those challenges as an opportunity to learn something new, encourage someone else to learn something new and to make a difference in your world. As I sit on the steps, breathe the cool air deep into my lungs I welcome the new season, the colorful leaves, and the scampering squirrels and take comfort in knowing that just as the new season approaches, there will be another to follow and one to follow after that. The cycle of life will continue whether we participate or not. However, participating and accepting the changes as a challenge to make life better for ourselves and those around us is a much better way to live and love life. Poet Anne Bradstreet wrote “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” Happy Fall Y’all…..
I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
Check out Karla’s 24 Day Advocare Challenge updates!
From the weather we had in TN this morning, I think I can safely say that Fall is upon us! Fall is my favorite seasons because I love all the colors, smells, sites, and sounds that comes with fall. Pumpkins, apples, fun costumes, and candy corn, what’s not to love right? With that in mind I wanted to share with you some of my favorite fall recipes that we have made through out the years, enjoy!Continue reading