Coffee… Breakfast…Tradition… making blueberry scones at home

CB353366-48C2-4D65-9550-E232D8E8D880Have you noticed that going out for a coffee and a danish, which used to be a “treat,” has become so expensive that it is not enjoyable anymore?

When I was young, because we had four children in the family, we rarely went out to eat; it was too expensive. In those days, if we did go out, it was for pizza, once a quarter. When the waitress came to take our order, she would ask what the “children” were drinking. My father in a loud bellowing voice would say, “WATER for them, a beer for me.”

My mother did not believe in soda. Growing up in Italy, they did not drink soft drinks or fruit juices. As a treat, on Sunday, they went to the park and had a gelato she would say.

This will make you smile… when I started dating, and the waitress came to take our order, I was too afraid to order ice tea or a soda, I was conditioned to order water. It wasn’t until one date asked, “WHY are you only having water? You can order a drink. Please, have a soda or ice tea, whatever you’d like.”

FUNNY, I thought to myself, “Yeah, I’m on my own now, why am I still drinking water?!”

This past weekend I was in the mood for scones. A friend of mine sent me a recipe and it was time to try it out. Scones are usually triangular, I made hearts, see photo.

My goal was to entice my daughters, so they would say, “Mama, those are adorable, we want some!”

seattle tea potGood news — my hearts were a BIG HIT.  Just need to add tea.

HEART SCONES on Sunday.  A new tradition!

Once children grow up, we need to entice the “little birdies” back to the nest.

“Afghan Cycles” – A documentary about Afghani women learning to cycle for independence and freedom…

Afghan Cycles movie poster

Photo courtesy of “Afghan Cycles,” http://www.afghancycles.com

A few years ago, I heard about a group of women in Afghanistan who were learning to cycle. They were starting a documentary about this, but it was going to take time to produce. Good news, last year the movie Afghan Cycles, produced by Let Media made it’s debut. I want to spread the word about it.

The Bicycle Story wrote an article, “Shannon Galpin: Riding to Revolution in Afghanistan” back in 2014 to share the start of this story. Shannon Galpin is from Colorado. She is the founder and President of Mountain2Mountain, which is a non-profit focused on global women’s rights.

Galpin’s focus on Afghani women and bikes started in 2009 when she brought her mountain bike to Afghanistan. As she rode around on her bike, it sparked conversation and interest from women about riding. In 2013, she started working and training with the Afghan National Women’s Cycling Team, as well as bike clubs that had started. On her website (Shannon Galpin), she has pictures of this journey and the women cyclists!

Afghan Cycles 4

Photo courtesy of “Afghan Cycles,” http://www.afghancycles.com

Sarah Menzies, Let Media, is a Producer, Editor, Filmmaker and brilliant story teller. It has taken her five years to produce this film with many rounds of fundraising, research, and trips to Afghanistan involved. You can see this documentary was long coming. I hope you will take a moment to read their story and view the film!

Let Media is asking us to spread the word. They welcome people to contact them to set up a screening of the film in their cities.

Here is how you can watch the film:

Available On Demand

The film is available for purchase on the following platforms:
US: iTunes, Microsoft, Google Play, Vudu and Amazon.
Canada: iTunes, Microsoft, Google Play
UK: iTunes, Amazon Microsoft, Google Play
Ireland: iTunes, Microsoft, Google Play

MY FINAL THOUGHTS…

When I was young and learned to ride a bike… IT’S TRUE, it gave me confidence, after I fell a zillion times, of course! A few scraped knees and elbows never stopped me. I had freedom and independence to go where I wanted in our neighborhood. I had a newspaper route where I made money, riding the bike also taught discipline and respect for my vehicle. How many times did I learn to put the chain back on, oil the chain, put the bell and basket on my bike and fix a flat tire (too many to count).

I loved the feel of the “fresh air” (spring, summer & fall) as I rode along Lake Michigan. Riding a bike was, and is, a powerful feeling. I can understand woman around the world wanting the same freedom and independence that I had.

If any of you (male or female) have had these same feelings of bike riding than you can understand how important this documentary is, so please… don’t be shy… share with others!

Sore throat? HALLS cough drops will give you inspiration…

I had to share this with you. When we have a sore throat many of us turn to Halls cough drops. In a hurry, we take the cough drop out of the wrapper, pop the cough drop in our mouth and throw away the wrapper.

Now, have you ever looked at the wrapper? I have to admit, I have not. Well, for some reason my daughter did. It was so amusing, the wrapper was filled with motivational messages.

So, as I am getting a cold… arghhh… I smiled at my Halls wrapper message today.

I sure do need a “battle cry!”

Thanks, HALLS!

Happy New Year 2019: If one wish could be granted…

I’m excited to start a new year. Each year, we all wonder what lies ahead of us. Would be great if we had a crystal ball to give us direction, but we don’t.

Which made me think, as we set our goals for 2019….

What if we had ONE WISH that could be granted each year, WHAT would that be?

I’m thinking about that. What is the BIG accomplishment, miracle or surprise that I would like to happen this year. Right now, I feel like I am sitting by the ocean and the water is so vast, I can’t see any islands in site AND that is what I need, to be able to see at least “one island,” and then I will know my direction.

So, I am OFF to contemplate my BIG WISH!

AND YOU… What is YOUR big wish?  Say it out loud, write it on a paper, or just think of it.  We ALL have different ways of putting out to the Universe what we would like. Do what works for you, but DO IT and let’s see what happens!

When you need writing inspiration, take a walk in the Zoo!

1666711D-6630-40D2-8E8E-8C0F71F8D979I love Fall, it’s such a great time of year. Yesterday, I went for a walk and I ended up at the zoo. It was a blustery day as Pooh Bear would say. I needed inspiration for my writing and taking a walk always helps clear the mind and offers new ideas.

I found this lion photo amusing. So, the male is sleeping while the female watches out for danger. From time to time, the male lion did lift his head to ROAR, and boy was it loud. I was in the gift shop when I heard him. He went on a few times. I rushed to the door thinking I would see him on top of the rock where the lioness was sitting. You know, letting the entire zoo know he was in charge. No such luck.

As I continued my walk I got a good shot of the zebra.

FA5F7C5B-CDBB-4468-B1F1-D987D522A935

I think you might enjoy this quick video of the Japanese Macaque.

Would love to hear where you go walking for inspiration.

Vision boards, scrap books, ART… What inspires YOU?

IMG_2548Fall is here, days are getting shorter. I had a pile of magazines to go through this weekend. I decided to work on my vison board.

First picture, what a find! I saw an advertisement selling computers. It popped in my mind that Brilliant Viewpoint is always on “my computer screen,” so I clipped that out. Then, I found, “Set Your Sights: Choose your path and focus on what matters.”

Clip, clip, snip, snip – page created!

Next, drawing. I’m not an artist, but found a video that gave instructions on drawing birds. NOTE: It did take a few tries to get this end result. Into the scrap book.

IMG_2550

I worked in advertising, so I was ALWAYS looking at ads, story headings–anything/anywhere it would catch my attention and I would think, “Ah, I love that! I need to add that phrase to my book.”

Next time you are in a dentist office, shopping mall, library — LOOK, SEE and READ what is around you. I bet you’ll wish you had your scissors handy, because your mind will visualize a NEW inspirational scrapbook page, like this one:

IMG_2551

The beauty of a vision board/scrap book is that it is YOURS!

What inspires you? Take it to the next step…

I read that a dream, is just that — a dream, but a dream written down with a date, NOW that becomes a GOAL! Take the goal and list the steps to get there, NOW you have a PLAN. Work the plan to completion, NOW you have fulfilled your DREAM!

SIMPLE… RIGHT?!

Self help – “Elf-help books” (Indiana -> Ireland)

IMG_2523Life is interesting, we come across certain things when we need them. For example, I was reading a Blog called, “It Starts with Me,” where the blogger had a personal post called, “Anxiety of the Unknown.” She tells the story of her fiancé who signed a sports contract that led them to a move across the world to the UK. After getting adjusted to a new life in England, her fiancé suffered a sports injury and as they await the results of the MRI, she is faced with the “unknown” of their future, which is worrisome.

When I went walking, I had her story on my mind.

I came upon a bookstore in Limerick (Ireland). I was amused when I saw these “small” books with little Elfs on them. Turns out they are “Elf-help Books” that have been around since 1987. They are illustrated by R.W. Alley, who is known for his Paddington Bear illustrations.

Imagine my surprise to learn that these books are published in Indiana, not Ireland. Sadly, Abbey Press Printing closed in June 2017. Not clear if there is a new Publisher, but books are still being sold on Amazon.

The “Worry” book caught my attention. This would be PERFECT for my Fellow Blogger who is concerned about the “unknown.”

Here are a few pages to read.

We all have worries in life. Somehow, I was brought to these books by a “little Elf.” They have adult and children Elf-help books.

If you were able to zoom in and read the pages I’ve shared with you, you can see that the worry message is simple, short and motivating. The illustrations are adorable in an innocent old fashioned way.

You can visit “Elf-help Books” at www.elf-help.com. 

I just read on Wikipedia that Abbey Press Printing was started in 1867 by Saint Meinrad Archabbey, who are Benedictine Monks in Southern Indiana. They’ve been marketing their products around the world and can be found in 25 English speaking countries. More than 20 foreign companies are licensed to print books in other languages.

So, the big question is “WHY, after 150 years, did they have to close their printing press this year?”