Thursday, December 31, 2015

This New Year's Eve

Leave the hurt, betrayal, distrust, and pain behind.  Open the door to a new year, new happiness, new love, and new joy.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Confession:  I do not think I kept a single resolution from last year.  Not a one.  There is a new year beginning so I believe I will give it another shot!

Resolution One:  More exercise.  I am no longer allowed to hit the treadmill but I have switched to a recumbent bike.  As I can watch my shows while I exercise, this has a good shot!

Resolution Two:  Simplify.  This resolution is actually well under way.  If you have followed my posts, you have seen my Thursday Ten posts.  Baby steps, yes.  Things are leaving, though, slowly but surely.

Resolution Three:  Less Self-Hatred.  I am my own worst critic.  I expect perfection from myself and get immensely frustrated when I do not live up to my own expectations.  It needs to stop.

That is it for me this new year!  Share one of your resolutions!


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Things to Keep in the New Year

As the old year ends and the new approaches, a few words about things to keep in the new year.

1.  Friends -- Friends are a treasure to be kept always.

2.  Joy -- Take pleasure in the simplest of things and be joyful.

3.  Peace -- Let peace fill your heart and soul.

4.  Health -- Keep the healthy steps you made in the old year and keep going in the new!

5.  Simplicity -- Less truly is more.

6.  "No" -- Use "no" to protect your time, energy, resources, and peace in the new year.

7.  Smiles -- Use them, share them, spread them.

8.  Trust -- Regrets were left behind, put your trust in the future and those you love.

9.  Memories -- Revisit happy times but remember you don't live there anymore.

10. Love -- And the greatest of these is love.


Monday, December 28, 2015

Things to Leave Behind

As the old year ends and the new approaches, a few words about things to leave behind.

1.  Regrets -- Learn the lesson, but leave the regret behind.

2.  Toxic People -- Leave them...and the drama... behind.

3.  Guilt -- Accept your time and energy restraints and leave the guilt behind.

4.  Worry -- Enjoy the present and leave the worry about the future behind.

5.  "Yes" -- It is perfectly acceptable to say "no" and leave the automatic "yes" behind.

6.  Self-Criticism -- You are strong, beautiful, and intelligent.  Intelligent enough to leave the self-criticism behind.

7.  Fear -- The definition of courage is being afraid and doing it anyways.  Do it and leave fear behind.

8.  Stress -- Resources are finite.  Accept and leave the stress behind.

9.  Procrastination -- Time is shorter than you think.  Do it now.  Leave procrastination behind.

10. Grief -- Treasure the happy memories and leave the grief behind.


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Homemade New Year Poppers

Getting ready for the New Year!


Empty paper towel tubes (or toilet paper or wrapping paper)
Tissue Paper
Wrapping Paper
Curling Ribbon


Cut your tubes into 5 inch sections.  Cut both the wrapping and tissue paper into 10x6 inch pieces. Taking a 5 inch tube, cut it in half and center in the middle of a piece of cut tissue paper.  Roll the tube in the tissue paper, taping in place, and repeat with the wrapping paper.  Fill with candy and confetti.  Tie both ends with the curling ribbon, being careful not to rip the paper.  

To Use:

Have your guests grab both ends of the tube.  Pop away!!!

Happy Kwanzaa!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Holiday Challenge

This Christmas, I issue a challenge to my readers:

This Christmas, set an extra place at the table for someone who does not have a family with which to share the holiday.

This Christmas, pick up the phone and call someone you have not spoken to in a while.

This Christmas, send a sincere apology to someone you have wronged.

This Christmas, repair a friendship before it is irretrievably broken.

This Christmas, ban all talk of politics.

This Christmas, hug a loved one.

This Christmas, leave perfection by the side and enjoy the day.

This Christmas, tell someone you love them, before it is too late.

This Christmas, tell your children you love them and are proud of them.

This Christmas, let your friends know they are loved and treasured.

This Christmas, I wish you all love, peace, and joy.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Two weeks ago, I dealt with a personal loss.  There were a few lessons I learned in the process.

1.  Traveling ten hours with my son driving is survivable.  It was actually enjoyable!

2.  The generosity and kindness of a friend opening her home to us was immeasurable.

3.  The friends who gave up their time during the weekend to support me have a permanent place in my heart.

4.  On the opposite side of that coin is that friend who made numerous protestations of love and support but ultimately did not find it convenient to fit five minutes into her schedule.  Not surprisingly, that is also the same friend who expects a listening ear to be available whenever needed for extended, lengthy phone calls.

5.  I am lucky to have an incredibly strong, brave, and loving son.  I have never been so proud of him as I was on this trip.  

6.  While sharing my grief on my social media, it is not wise to continue sharing.  While I may be living in this space, it is not fair, loving, or appropriate to expect or subject anyone else to living there with me.

7.  When people show you who they truly are, whether good or bad, believe them.

8.  Keep your circle small.  Those who love you will make themselves know.  Keep those people close.

9.  Life does go on.  Daily activities must still be completed.  Grief cannot, and should not, interfere with responsibilities.  Grief does not pay the bills, do the grocery shopping, or water the garden. This is when you rely on your own strength and determination.

10. I am incredibly blessed with those I include in my circle.  For the friends who were physically there for me, for those who texted, called, and messaged me on a regular basis to check on me, for an incredible son...I am a fortunate woman.


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Last Minute Scrub

Perfect for whipping up for that last minute gift you need!


2 cups sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil
Few drops peppermint essential oil.


Add oil slowly until well mixed.  Add peppermint and mix until evenly distributed.  If desired, use food coloring to add some pizazz!!  Bottle in small jars, add ribbon, and you're ready to give!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Chocolate Kisses

Chocolate Lip Balm


1 tsp beeswax
1 tsp cocoa butter
1 tsp coconut oil 
1 capsule Vitamin E 
6 chocolate chips


Heat oils and beeswax melted. Add Vitamin E and chocolate chips. Mix well. Use a dropper to place in small tins or jars.

Guaranteed Chocolate Kisses for the holidays!!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Holiday Gifts

This month, Saturday recipes will focus on handmade gifts.  Hope you enjoy!

Gingerbread Cake

Gingerbread Cake Mix


4 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves

Combine all ingredients and place in a plastic sandwich bag and seal.  Place bag in a holiday mug. Attach the following directions on a gift tag:

Gingerbread Cake Mix
2 Tbsp molasses
1 small egg
2 Tbsp warm water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a bowl, add Gingerbread Cake Mix and remaining ingredients.  Mix thoroughly and pour into lightly greased mug.  Bake for 20 minutes.


Friday, December 4, 2015

Not A Cent

We are fully in the holiday season.  Today's Frugal Friday will not cost you a penny!!

During the holidays is the perfect opportunity to give back.  If you have a job, a roof over your head, and food in the fridge, you are in the position to give.  Here are a few ideas.

1.  Spend time visiting at a local nursing home.  The staff will be happy to direct you to those who do not receive many visitors.

2.  Volunteer at a local school.  Budgets have been cut...they always need help!!

3.  Visit your local animal shelter.  Walk a dog, pet a cat, clean out a cage.

4.  Check in on an elderly neighbor.  Families no longer as close as a few generations ago.

5.  Donate last year's coat to someone in need.

None of these will cost you any money other than possibly a bit of gas money.  Spread the love.


Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Thursday Ten

Confession:  I am a stationery addict.  I love it, have to have it, and rarely use it!  The truth is that I usually send an email or a text!!  That doesn't stop me, however, from picking up a cute set when I see it!

For this week's Thursday Ten, I cleaned out my stationery.  I did the ten, but truthfully, I could have done more!  And how did I remove this ten?  Well, I passed it on to another stationery addict!!  At least it is out of my house!!

Ten items at a time, baby step by baby step...I will simplify!!


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Lest We Forget

The New Colossus
By Emma Lazarus, 1883

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

This is my United States of America...and always will be so.


Tuesday, December 1, 2015


We are entering the last month of the year.  Not only a time for reflection, it is a time for letting go of those things we do not wish to carry into the new year.

This year, for me, has been one of pain and loss.  For the new year, I choose to carry the memories, the love, and the joy.  While the pain has changed me, I will not and cannot let it stop me.

This is the month for celebrating with family and friends.  I believe it is also the perfect to celebrate those people.  We rely on our circles for daily support, unconditional love, and the security of companionship.  That deserves to be treasured and celebrated.

As we make our way through this month, schedules get crazy and nerves get frayed.  Remember what we are celebrating.  Take a deep breath.  Be grateful.



Jerri's Empty Nest