Posts filed under ‘Bucket List’

Table Top S’mores for National Toasted Marshmallow Day

I hope you celebrate this day in as fun a fashion as we did.

Today is National Toasted Marshmallow Day. Hurray! Or it would be hurray, if I could celebrate it in style. How do you celebrate in style?

You celebrate in style by making s’mores. This is an easy thing to do IF you have a BBQ. I don’t. But I do have Pinterest and it comes with lots of ideas.

And one idea was a how to on making s’mores over a clay pot BBQ. That’s the ticket! And happy for me, making s’mores is on my End-of the-Summer Bucket List!

A short shopping trip ensued to buy the BBQ supplies and to personalize our s’mores as my daughter is gluten intolerant.

Step 1. Take the sticky label off the bottom of your clay pot & saucer.

Cookie Ingredients

  • Marshmallows – You can find dairy-free ones (we don’t have to anymore!)
  • Lindt Excellence Chocolate, A Touch of Sea Salt Dark Chocolate bar

I bought all these items at WalMart.

If you have your own BBQ, stop reading! Get to making your s’mores. However, if you need some way to make your s’mores, read on for the supply list and picture tutorial.

 

Step 2. Foil line the pot.  Poke a hole in the bottom so there is air flow.

BBQ Supplies

  • One 4″ clay pot and saucer per person – The pot was $0.77 and the saucer was $0.73.
  • Briquettes – Some brands have gluten, so check your bag if this is a concern.
  • Tinfoil
  • Firelighter
  • Bricks to put on TV tray

My daughter cooked her marshmallows with her clay pot BBQ on the ground (in our patio). I wanted more comfort so I cooked my marshmallows on a brick-lined TV tray.

PICTURE TUTORIAL — STEPS 1-2 ARE ABOVE. — STEPS 3-7 ARE BELOW.

Step 3. Fill the pot with briquettes. After I took this photo, I took out some of the briquettes. I put this many in to be dramatic.

Step 4. Light it up! Our BBQ’s had plenty of good flames for roasting right away. After about 5 minutes all the coals were nice and toasty.

Step 5. Assemble all the supplies. NOTE: We used a wooden skewer. Obviously this can be a fire hazard, so copy this idea at your own risk.

Step 6. Here I am roasting TWO marshmallows even though only one will fit on the cracker sandwich. The 2nd one is for eating right off the skewer!

Step 6b. Yes, they are alight! I like my marshmallows charred. How about you?

Step 7. Assemble your s’more. Isn’t this a thing of beauty?!

Another photo of a marshmallow on fire! One s’more and a couple of charred marshmallows made for a perfect dessert.

Your Turn . . .  Did you know that today (August 3oth) is National Toasted Marshmallow Day? How will you celebrate it? … Will you make your own tabletop s’mores? Let me know, if you have some suggestions. … Toast your own marshmallows and post on social media at #NationalToastedMarshmallowDay.

Related Posts . . . 

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Simplicity Day Reminds Us of the “Simple” Life

Today is #National  Simplicity Day. When was the last time you looked to simplify your life in terms of goals, balance, meaning, and social media?

Answer the questions below to get you started on this reflection.

  • How balanced is your life between the various areas like sleep, work, and recreation?
  • Are you spending quality time with the important people in your life and on projects that advance you towards your goals/dreams?
  • Is your spiritual life a relationship that you cultivate?

GOALS

One of my goals for this summer is to finish unfinished projects. And one of these projects is decluttering. Yesterday, with the help of my daughter, I went through ALL of my clothes. I tried on everything and only kept what I really liked or loved. The rest is in the give-away pile.

I have given myself a month to mend (mainly shorten) the clothes that need it. Otherwise they, too, will be given away. And after a month, I will check to see what I’ve actually worn. My tentative goal is to do something like Project 333.

I still need to do more work in my closet. I am surprised at how many non-clothes items are in there. I am also surprised at how many scarves I have. Tons, I tell you, tons!

“My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions but in the fewness of my wants.” ~ J. Botherton

BALANCE

I tend to work too much. As a result I neglect the important people in my life. That is one reason I wrote a Summer Bucket List. I want to make sure I have friend-balance in my life. So far this summer I have done well with having “dates.” Read #4 for an update.

These non-romantic times have been fun. I’ve eaten, chatted, walked, viewed vacation photos, and crafted. It may seem weird to some to have to schedule in dates, but I am finding that works for me.

MEANING

One thing that gives meaning to my life is a relationship with God. I want to and need to spend daily time reading and meditating on Scripture. I need to and want to spend time talking and listening to God. And finally I need to and want to spend time at church and with the people of the church. This type of focus keeps me maturing and balanced.

Also to add meaning to my life, I am thinking about what’s important to me. I am listening to an audiobook, Thrive. Arianna Huffington wants us to consider four areas to get back to living a life that counts: wonder, giving, wisdom, and wellness. I want to focus on these as well.

Joelle from 21 Delights wrote a list (of 21 things) that brings meaning to her life. Her top 10 are as follows … her husband … her children … her relationship with the Divine … Her extended family … witnessing goodness … life stories … friendship … solitude … Music … and art. Go here to read the complete list and post about why she wrote it.

I haven’t written such a list yet. What would your list include? What do you want to do more of? Less of? Read how a STOP DOING list is helpful.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media use can, at times, consume way too much of my time. I go on for just a quick minute. And then an hour later I am still on there. I want to and need to declutter that area of my life, too.

 It’s good practice to look at your social media use the way you would closets full of stuff. Ask yourself: Am I using social media intentionally or out of habit? What benefits does it bring me, what are the trade-offs, and do I need to change anything? If I cut back on social media, how else do I want to use that time? ~ Ellen from Simplifying at Home: Living Better with Less

In conclusion, in honor of National Simplicity Day I am reading a real book and not something from social media. I am reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau. He was an advocate for living a life of simplicity. If you’ve read this book, what are your take-aways?

Your Turn . . .  How “simple” is you life? . . .  Where would you like to make a change in the areas of GOALS, BALANCE, MEANING and/or SOCIAL MEDIA?

Related Posts . . . Check out the article that was the brainchild of this post: NATIONAL SIMPLICITY DAY from the National Day Calendar website.

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Half Way Through Summer Bucket List 2017 Review

Summer is halfway done – Here is my half-way review. After the number is my bolded goal for the 10 weeks of summer vacation.

This is one of my kindness rocks. I painted messages on five rocks. After I seal them, I will place them around town for strangers to find.

ONE. Craft 10 times. During these 5 weeks, I worked on four projects. I probably spent 10 sessions on them combined.

  1. I finished a felt patriotic wreath.
  2. I painted 5 kindness rocks.
  3. I created a HUGE birthday sign.
  4. I made Sun light prints with my daughter and granddaughter. These did not turn out at all. I will do some investigating and try it again.

I have SURPASSED my goal.

 TWO. Do 6 coaching sessions. 

  • I coached three ladies and the sessions went well. We’ll meet at least once more.
  • I had a request from a young adult and we will meet up soon.
  • And I used coaching techniques with two others in a more informal manner.

I am on target with my goal.

THREE. Finish 6 unfinished tasks/projects (aka UFP’s). 

  • I made nasal rinse …
  • I ordered vitamin c powder. …
  • I paid for my car registration and ordered a new key fob.
  • I decluttered in my bathroom, over my microwave, and one dresser.

So I did five items on my to-do list. I am doing well in this area.

Camping was a great way to spend lots of time with the (adult) kiddos and the grand-kiddos. And I got to read as well.

FOUR. Have 6 dates. I had 10 distinct friend/family dates. I made a HUGE effort to connect. I enjoyed it and I feel more emotionally FULL.

  • I camped.
  • Five of the dates involved lunch or dinner.
  • Three dates were spectator-oriented (vacation photos, Music in the Park and fireworks).
  • And two dates were all about projects – finishing up or planning future ones.

I’d say I have SURPASSED my goal.

FIVE. Lose weight. I have lost five pounds but then I put it back on again. So I have failed in this area.

  • But I have done WELL in my daily walking goal. I am on track with 10,000 daily steps.
  • My next goal is to get 15, 000 daily steps. I want to be in good walking shape for when I go to Spain in the late Fall.

 SIX. Read 6 books. Exceeded GOAL. I have changed up my list. Some I haven’t started. I’ve added others. And some are off the list all together. So far I have read 8 books and listened to one.

  1. The Eden Prophecy by Graham Brown
  2. Healthy Brain, Happy Life: A Personal Program to Activate Your Brain & Do Everything Better by Wendy Suzuki, PhD
  3. The Chalk Pit (Ruth Galloway series #9) by Elly Griffiths
  4. A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman by Joan Anderson
  5. 16th Seduction (Women’s Murder Club) by James Patterson
  6. The Testament of Gideon Mack by James Robertson
  7. Glitter and Glue: A Memoir by Kelly Corrigan
  8. I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak  (audio book from Library)
  9. TED Talks Storytelling: 23 Storytelling Techniques from the Best TED Talks by Akash Karia

I may not have done any Spanish, but I figured out how to make a birthday special. I created a huge card and paired it with a flock of flamingos from the dollar store.

SEVEN. Study Spanish 3 hours a week for 10 weeks. TOTAL BUST. I have not done anything towards this goal.

 EIGHT. Watch 5 musicals. I have watched 4 musicals. Two musicals on my original list will not be watched. I am definitely on track.

  • All That Jazz – Didn’t care for the storyline, so I didn’t watch the whole thing
  • Finian’s Rainbow – watched
  • Flower Drum Song – watched
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum – watched
  • Oliver! – Didn’t watch yet as I want to read the book first.
  • On a Clear Day You Can See Forever – watched

Out of the eight areas, I am on track or exceeded goal in six.

  • I am a total bust in one area.
  • And I am so-so in another area.

I still have 5 more weeks to go. And I am encouraged by how much fun and productive this Summer has already been. Keeping tabs like this is a sure-fire way for me to accomplish the necessary and fit in the fun.

Your Turn . . .  How is your summer coming along?

Related Resource . . . Summer 2017 Bucket List

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5 Items to Include on Every Bucket List: More Gratitude

When I choose a thankful outlook, I can  have freedom from negativity’s grip.

What do you think everyone ought to have on their bucket list?  I think having activities that cause personal growth are key. Thus I have written this series.

  • Sunday’s post was an introduction to this series.
  • Next Sunday’s post is about Loving God Better.
  • Today’s post (Tuesday) is about incorporating MORE GRATITUDE into life.

Do you have a gratitude practice? Having an ongoing, grateful attitude lessens the strangle-holds from fear, worry, and pessimism. We are then free to choose peace, positivity, and proactive actions. It is no secret that practicing gratitude is good for your health, your relationships, and your success.

Related Internet Articles. 

How to do this . . . 

ONE. Participate in internet memes like Friday’s Fave FiveIn this weekly post you share five things from the previous week for which you are grateful. Doing this mental exercise helps you focus on the good. This is especially helpful when it has been a tough or even just a blah week. Did you know that you get a mood boost by READING such a list others write? So double for your effort: write your own list and then read the lists of others.

TWO. Write in a gratitude journal: daily, month end recaps, or whenever the mood strikes. Many people end their day by writing down 3 good things from their day. For Lent one year I wrote in a gratitude notebook every night before bed. Read  my post on 3 Benefits of Month-Long Gratitude-Fest.

THREE. Photograph  your gratitude. Join others in a year long journal of photographing a daily blessing. Or be like me and do a month-long photographic journal of blessings. At the bottom of this post are links to the photos I took.

FOUR. Read up on the subject. Especially find out how practicing gratitude benefits your life. I have a small library of books on gratitude. Here is one link, Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss – a book review. There are at least 3 other books that have made a huge impact on me. I will do a review on these soon. Check out this link: 11 Children’s Books to Instill an Attitude of Gratitude.

FIVE. Hang around others who have a grateful spirit. Do you know someone like that? Interview them to find out the why and how of their gratitude practice. Make it a point to let their gratitude outlook rub off on you.

SIX. Look for mentors from books who have “gratitude” attitudes. One book on my list is Pollyanna. But on further reflection, does she exhibit gratitude or a positive attitude? I need to reread this book to find out more clearly. I asked friends to chip in with their ideas and below are some of their answers.

  • Anne Shirley in “Anne of Green Gables”
  • Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tiny in “A Christmas Carol”
  • Celie in “The Color Purple”
  • Charlie in “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”
  • Jamie Sullivan in “A Walk To Remember”
  • Sam Gamgee in “Lord of the Rings”
  •  Can you list any other characters that fit this criteria?

For some of the above and others from the original list, I need to go back and (re)read the books to determine if it is gratitude at work or positivity. I think this would be a good project for me. I will report back on my conclusions.

Your Turn . . .

  1. Are you a grateful person? How do you keep that as an ongoing trait? What are some of the benefits?
  2. What would you add to this list?
  3. What will you add into your life to help you notice and express the good in life more often?

Related Fruitful Words posts . . . 

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5 Items to Include on Every Bucket List

A thankful outlook gives us freedom from negativity

I LOVE bucket lists. It’s fun to brainstorm about what to try, where to go, etc. Making such a list helps me to be more life-focused. And because my life is more focused on what I DO want, I am more thankful. Which means I am also less negative and aimless.

But as much fun and purpose-driven a bucket list is, I don’t want it to be all about ME and MY experiences even though it is MY bucket list.

I want my bucket list to be a force for good                                                 and to cause me to grow.

There are 5 things I think that should be on every bucket list.  The posts in this series are below. As the post goes live, I will hot-link the title.

  • Introduction
  • 5 Items to Include on Every Bucket List: More Gratitude
  • 5 Items to Include on Every Bucket List: Love God Better
  • 5 Items to Include on Every Bucket List: Love People Better
  • 5 Items to Include on Every Bucket List: Love Myself Better
  • 5 Items to Include on Every Bucket List: Love My Enemy Better

I will share a post each Sunday and Tuesday.

Your Turn . . . Do you include items on your bucket list that cause you to grow and/or are a force for good? Share some ideas.

Related Posts . . . 

See you on Sunday!

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Ministry Flash Mob Gives Love

Here is some of the “flash mob” crew holding the TAPED SHUT, goody-filled shoeboxes.

The setting . . .

a subway, waiting room, hospital lobby, food court, any local space

Quietly a prepared group of people infiltrate the scene. On an agreed-upon cue, the group starts singing. The crowd, startled at first, begins to enjoy the planned musical numbers. After finishing their last song, the group members flow unnoticed and unhindered into the crowd.

Have you ever wanted to be part of a flash mob? I have for a three reasons.

  1. I like the practice of getting together with a like-minded group to perfect our gift of music.
  2. I like giving to others with no thought of return (on their part).
  3. I like giving others some beauty and a moment of feeling special.

Our 10 member group who went to India in July/August 2013 was part of a flash mob. But our gift wasn’t music; it was filled-to-the-brim, taped-shut-shoeboxes.

Our flash mob was a ministry flash mob.

Nomadic boy clutching his unwieldy shoebox

Our like-minded crew assembled and stuffed the boxes with snacks, hygiene items, school supplies, and toys. Actually it was the younger folks who assembled the 500 boxes. Annie, Andrew, Christina, Jonathon, Kadie, Katey, and Matthew did the hard work while having fun together.

The leadership thought us more mature women (Jenny, Merrily, Tricia and me) needed to go back to our hotel rooms to “stretch our backs.”  We had been involved in running and speaking at two full days of a women’s conference. My mind really wanted to help, but my body was very tired. So I gratefully acquiesced to having a rest.

It was awesome to be part of a team that gave to others without thought of return, without any stipulations.

We passed a box up to a boy in a window

We gave out 500 shoeboxes. We gave to four Buddhist schools, two nomadic tribes (YES, nomadic tribes), to kiddos alongside the road in villages and to four children in the scoop part of a digger-type truck.

What were their reactions?

  • One girl kissed her box
  • One boy cried while hugging the box
  • One mom put her child’s hands around the box. The child SMILED and so did her mom – the child was a blind girl in a wheelchair.
  • We were even mobbed at one point which was a bit scary!
  • One woman who was a teacher walking alongside the ride of a village asked, “Why are you doing this?” Our reply, “Because we LOVE the kids.

I wasn’t asked this question and I don’t normally think/answer quickly, but I hope I would’ve added, “Because Jesus loves your children, the beautiful children of India.”

Aren’t  “Just Because” presents special? In a way, they are more special than Christmas or birthday presents. We gave our mobs a moment of beauty and of feeling special with these “Just Because” presents.

This is one of the schools we visited.

Our intent was to love on the kiddos of northern India, the most poverty-stricken part of India.  Operation Christmas Child does not give out shoeboxes here; at least they didn’t in 2013 and the years before. But because of the generous giving of people (and many from Cordova Neighborhood Church), we were able to give away 500 boxes in a variety of settings over hundreds of miles.

True, there were no religious tracts, tent meetings, or follow-up cards in the boxes. The recipients didn’t know that LINC Ministries and Kashmir Evangelical Fellowship made this drop off happen in the name of Jesus.

  • But I am certain that our prayers will make a difference.
  • I am certain that those who’s hearts are opening to the ONE TRUE GOD will have further contact from those who come in the name of Jesus.
  • I am certain that some who are in our photographs will meet us in heaven.
  • And I am certain that our fearless leader, Leonard Lee, is following God’s plan for ministry in that area.

When we get to Heaven we will find out that the money, time and prayers given made an eternal difference. We were faithful to do what God asked us to do. God will be faithful to the furtherance of His Salvation.

I used to be worried that folks in 3rd world and developing countries wouldn’t have access to the Gospel and to His love. Not any more.

God’s Word and my experience in India have given me hope.

  • Not by might, or power, but by the Spirit. Zechariah 4:6
  • How lovely on the mountains are the feet of them who bring Good News. Isaiah 52:7
  • Your WORD will not return void. Isaiah 55:11

Your Turn . . . 

  1. Have you ever been part of a musical flash mob? Is it as wonderful an experience as I imagine?
  2. If you’ve been part of a shoebox ministry, why do you do it?

Related Resources  . . . 

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Summer 2017 Bucket List

This list is from 2011. Read the post to see what I want to experience this summer. What’s on your Summer bucket list?

School is out for 10 weeks. And even though I am not (currently) attending school, I still look at the school summer holiday as THE summer. Therefore the name of this bucket list is My (school) Summer Bucket List.

I want this summer to be memorable. And I tend to do more when I write things down. So I made a list of what I wanted to do. Then I narrowed my list down to 8 areas, some fun and some serious.

My (school) Summer Bucket List

ONE. Craft 10 times. I ENJOY crafting – by myself and with others. I want to make this a regular activity. This list includes art projects with my granddaughter, Operation Christmas Child projects, knitting, watercolour, making cards, and learning to crochet.

TWO. Do 6 coaching sessions. Recently I spent a week in Seattle attending a coach training course. Now I need some “guinea pigs” to practice what I learned. Let me know if you are game.

THREE. Finish 6 unfinished tasks/projects (aka UFP’s). This will be from a variety of areas: writing,  cleaning, financial, home, health, car.

In October 2014 I did a month of posts about finishing UFP’s. Here is the link to the landing page with the table of contents and my why. It was an eye-opening month and it was COOL to cross off so many items on my list. I was surprised I had so many. This month I will only pick 6.

FOUR. Have 6 friend dates. All too often I neglect to make time to meet up with friends on a regular basis. I am going to make this a priority this summer.

How do you maintain contact with friends? 

FIVE. Lose weight. This is my most important goal. I have had varied success with combatting my diabetes.  I have finally decided, this is it! It’s time to get on and stay on the healthy eating track. Plus I want to prove to my doctor that healthy eating, exercise, and other GOOD lifestyle choices WILL positively impact my blood sugar numbers.

My ideal goal is to lose 15 pounds. But since I am very insulin dependent that might not be possible; so I’ll be happy with 5 pounds. I’ve taken my measurements and a photo.  I’ll compare these with where I am at on August 11.

SIX. Read 6 books. The books are as follows …

  1. Healthy Brain, Happy Life: A Personal Program to Activate Your Brain & Do Everything Better by Wendy Suzuki, PhD
  2. No Easy Jesus: How the Toughest Choices Lead to the Greatest Life by Jason Mitchell
  3. The Chalk Pit (Ruth Galloway series #9) by Elly Griffiths
  4. Power Healing by John Wimber
  5. Romans
  6. A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman by Joan Anderson 

What is a Summer must read?

SEVEN. Study Spanish 3 hours a week for 10 weeks. I have plenty of resources. So the first thing I will do is make up a syllabus for myself. However, if you have any tips, please share them.

I will be going to Spain in the Fall and it would be really COOL if I could actually have conversations while there. To be more more precise, I want to engage in conservations more in depth than, “¿Dónde está el baño?”

EIGHT. Watch 5 musicals. My goal is to watch 59 musicals by March. Go here to find out my why. I hope to see at least one live musical. And in any case all of the following are on DVD’s from the library.

  • All That Jazz
  • Flower Drum Song
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
  • On a Clear Day You Can See Forever

Is there a musical or two that you recommend?

Your Turn . . . Do you have Summer plans? If yes, share them.

Related Resources . . .

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