{ Hello 2018 }

Right now, It’s 5 below zero F. / -20.6 C.

One feels layered, puffy and fat.

One is fat, because I ate too many goodies between Thanksgiving and Christmas.


Thankful Things:

  • Lots of winter sunshine lately.
  • A good heating system and a cozy new down comforter.
  • No mosquitoes.

Frozen Mosquito 2

Hopeful Things:

  • In 2018, I want to….
  • Look into my children’s eyes more when I talk to them.
  • Spend less time checking my phone.
  • Renew and redecorate [in non-extravagant, budget style.]


How Cold Is It? 

-10 degrees - You need jumper cables to get the car going.

-25 degrees - You need jumper cables to get the driver going.

-30 degrees - You plan a two week hot bath. 

-40 degrees - Californians disappear. Minnesotans button top button. Canadians put on sweater. 

-50 degrees - Congressional hot air freezes. Alaskans close the bathroom window.

-90 degrees - Lawyers put their hands in their own pockets.

taken from homeutah.edu

Photo credits:

snow — Les Anderson

frozen mosquito — Lens & Life

coins — Pixabay / Padrinan


{ Warning: Snack Avoidance Can Lead to Snacking }

I left the house with a protein bar, bottles of water and a cup of coffee.  I was determined to eat light tonight.

I wasn’t even thinking of food while scurrying around GoodWill, trying on black boots. (I’m always trying to find black boots.)

The returns and the library stop kept me busy.

I even made it through every aisle at Aldi.  (I turned over a teeny package of almonds at the checkout, but resisted.)

I entered the doors of my favorite upscale grocery store.  This is a dream spot for anyone seeking to enjoy free wifi — a lovely area with tables and booths, virtually empty post-dinnertime.

You feel like you should buy at least a token item, if you’re going to sit there at a booth.

I pulled down a can of my favorite sugar-free sparkling water.


It went downhill from there.

Peeking around for a small high-protein snack, I discovered the bulk foods section.

Yes, there were high-protein choices….but there were various other offerings…

  • …such as these delicious little critters: chocolate covered cinnamon bears. I finished off a very small bag. bears
  • I can never resist licorice Allsorts.

    I tried to scoop just a few of each kind, but got several more than I bargained for.


  • I needed something savory, so I added Asian cracker mix to my basket.

    asian mix
    The kind I bought included peas…so I got my veggies at least.

Tomorrow we’re going to make a stop at Trader Joe’s.

Just to stay accountable, here are the things I will not even look at!

  1. Those amazing dark chocolate-covered peanut butter cups at the checkout.
  2. Equally amazing dark chocolate covered almonds.
  3. Frozen mango mochi.  But if my daughter buys a box, you know I have to help her.
  4. Ditto with frozen chocolate-covered banana slices.

Feeling slightly defeated as I finish off my sugar-free sparkling water,

Lisa 🙂


Less is more….creative.

They say that when you have less, you are forced to be more creative.

If you have unlimited art supplies, you think, “Where do I start?”

If you only have a package of flimsy paper plates and some brads, you brainstorm and come up with something unique…like a paper plate skeleton. 

Creativity also thrives in a sparse kitchen. Because we have a big family, our pantry is consistently on the verge of emptiness. This is the perfect environment for innovation.

One day I scrounged a little ham, some rice, cheese and a smattering of fresh and limp vegetables. Strategic marketing made this odd assortment into a memorable dish. I called it Nickelodeon Hash.

When my husband was out of work for several months, our refrigerator was often annoyingly barren. But lunch was never missed. Thinking outside the box one day,  I concocted a casserole of leftover black beans, salsa, rice, scrambled egg and cream cheese.

One spunky child named it “poverty in a pan.” With this innovative title, she proved that an environment of “less” can allow creative juices to flow abundantly.