Friday, November 27, 2015

Stress-Busting Your Holy-days Tip #1


Do these iconic words from a jolly old elf produce a shiver down your spine instead of a twinkle in your eye?

Yep, many folks agree: Christmas is not only the most wonderful time of the year, it's also the most stressful.

Crazy-busyness can make it feel like just another harried holiday, not a holy-day. Instead of joyfully celebrating the birth of our Savior, we find ourselves screaming at the kids for being kids, resentful that Spouse isn't doing his/her share, angry that we've overspent again this year, and completely ragged out from that intensive last-minute cooking frenzy.

Not exactly the ''silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright" we'd hoped for, is it?

But take heart, my frazzled friend, there's hope. Hope that you can actually enjoy the holy-days; that you can live in the moment, feel the love, and embrace the wonder of the tiny messiah in a manger.

For the next few weeks, I'll be posting some tried and true tips for Decom-stressing your Holy-days ( be sure to hit "subscribe" on the right side of the screen so you won't miss anything). Here's the first Holy-day Stress Buster - please feel free to share the link to this post with your stressed-out friends and fam:

Stress Buster #1: KISS - Keep it Sweet & Simple

Examine your constipated calendar and perform an activities enema. Take ten minutes to sit down with your calendar to prioritize. First, pray: Ask Papa God to give you insight, clarity, and ruthlessness. Then identify the top 3 ministries He has assigned you in this season of your life (priorities will change as your life seasons change, so it's a good idea to re-assess periodically). Take a red marker and slash all activities not conducive to those three priorities. Be bold. Be ruthless. Cancel or postpone everything possible until January. This is your chance to free up yourself to truly experience the joy of the season. Carpe diem (Seize the day)!

Tidy now, deep clean later. No use duplicating your efforts. Your house will succumb to the ravages of Spontaneous Degeneration anyway. Spontaneous Degeneration? That's my Coty Near-Fact of Science that states that an hour after you triumphantly finish slaving over a clean house, mold begins sprouting on shiny faucets, green slime oozes from the vegetable crisper, tiny hairs creep up from the drain and embed themselves in the sink. Clothing magically appears on every piece of sitable furniture and dirty panties peek from behind hampers just in time for the dog to proudly present them to dinner guests. You can't fight Spontaneous Degeneration, but you can choose NOT to stress about it.

Strap on the Wrap. Wrap a few gifts every day instead of piling them like shrines to the clutter god, threatening to avalanche and bury you alive. Wrap, bow, and tag those puppies, then remove them from your too-do pile and line of sight. Ahhh. Stress relief already.

Spotlight center stage. Focus your decorating prowess on the three locations most festivities accentuate - the front door, Christmas tree, and dinner table. A welcoming entrance, festive tree, and creative centerpiece are really all that's necessary to provide your family and guests a very cool Yule.

Okay, BBFF (Blessed Blog Friend Forever), that's all we have room for today; stay tuned for more great tips coming soon.

Oh, and be sure to register NOW for a chance to win a fantastic Too Blessed to be Stressed Cookbook gift package in my Too Blessed to be Stressed Cookbook Christmas Drawing.

The grand prize includes my favorite kitchen stress-reducing doodads, an autographed copy of the award-winning Too Blessed to be Stressed Cookbook, and gift cards for FREE groceries to try out some of my quick, easy, and delicious recipes.

You can find details on how to enter on the Contest page at my website:

Monday, November 16, 2015

Cookbook Giveaway Winners Announced!

All right! Congrats to:

Diane Stanko
Patty Brooks
Ethel Appenzeller
Pamela Wright
Donna Solze and
Marie Garthwaite

Come on down! (If you're not on this list, don't fret ... keep reading. Another chance to win is right around the corner!)

Okay, so maybe you don't need to go anywhere, but you've just won a free copy of my new Too Blessed to be Stressed Cookbook! 

What you do need to do is to send me your mailing address and I'll get your prize right out to you. You can PM me on Facebook or drop me a line via my website contact page. So happy that you won - I really think you're gonna LOVE this cookbook!

Over 100 recipes requiring less than 20 minutes hands-on prep time, plus lots of great organizing tips, funny foodie stories, suggested menus, and even premade grocery lists to make your culinary life easier.

I want to thank everyone who entered the Cookbook giveaway and remind you that the fat lady hasn't sung yet! It ain't over folks! Stay tuned for another even BIGGER contest beginning on Black Friday (Nov.27). 

Besides more chances to win copies of the Too Blessed to be Stressed Cookbook, the grand prize will be a Decom-Stress Your Kitchen prize package containing all kinds of goodies (my personal favorites) to help free up your crazy-busy self and enjoy the holidays. Details will be announced right here a few days before Thanksgiving so be sure to subscribe to my blog if you haven't already.

And by the way, BBFF's (Best Blog Friends Forever), I would greatly appreciate your review of any of my books on Amazon or Goodreads - people really read those reviews and you'd be helping me out immensely (assuming you don't mention that you use my book pages to potty train your puppy!).

Wishing all my BBFF's a Thanksgiving full of gratitude to Papa God, great food, and family warmth!


P.S. I'd  LOVE to hear from any of you who try out some of the recipes from my Too Blessed to be Stressed Cookbook for Thanksgiving, like Sweet Potato Dumplings, Carrot-Squash Sensation, or Mudbar Ecstasy to name a few. And hey, be sure to send me a photo if you spatchcock your turkey!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Wee Hours

Whew! I'm dragging. And there's not much I can do about it. Aside from clonking myself over the head with a hammer.

And believe me I've considered it.

About five years ago I asked Papa God for more hours in the day to get things done. He sent me menopause. Now I have half the stinkin' night too.

Insomnia has its good points, I suppose. I sure get a lot done before the sun comes up. Many days I've put in 2-3 hours of work on my writing before most folks get out of bed.

I've witnessed some humdinger sunrises.

I know which streetlights are the best bat hangouts.

Star constellations I never knew existed are now my favorite nightlights.

I've learned there are at least ten shades of quiet.

When you e-mail people at 3 a.m., it's downright shocking how many people write back.

So I'm not alone. There are many of you out there having tea parties in the wee hours. (I'm convinced that phrase was invented by a menopausal woman on a midnight potty run.)

Let me share with you a scripture that gives me comfort in my insomniac affliction: "He awakens me morning by morning. He awakens my ear to hear as a disciple" (Isaiah 50:4-5, NASB).

Makes me wonder if Peter, James, or John were ever awakened from a dead sleep by a grinning Jesus donning his Nike's for a 4 a.m. hike.

At least we're in good company.