Happy Mothers Day

Today I wanted to share some memories about my Momma.  The Dolly Parton songs, the hugs and many sits in her lap, the TV shows we have watched together over the years, being her baby and her being my world.


I came into this world a little over 38 years ago and have been so blessed with the Momma I have.  She means the world to me and nobody but me knows her like I do.

I want to wish her a Happy Mothers Day and tell her how much I love her and it never ceases to amaze me all this woman can do.  She is one of a kind and I wouldn’t trade her anything.

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Here are some pictures I’ve taken that I thought you might like.  These are for my Momma and all the other mothers out there.  What it means to be a mother is many things and my Momma is all those things to me.

Have a wonderful day

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Relaxation and Ferns

Finals have come and gone, finding a new place to live, deposits, studying, packing, finals, moving, my last final, unpacking and getting settled in.  Hectic — right?  So what am I doing today?  Spending the day relaxing and having me time.

Me time.  Does that make me sound selfish?IMG_20140510_144049_258  It’s not meant to sound that way.  Everyone should take time for themselves.  It doesn’t mean you have to be alone.  It can be a relaxing or doing a fun activity with the family, going to a dinner and movie with a friend or spouse or a group of friends, or maybe what I did earlier today?

I did quite a few things today actually.  I clipped my fern and took some pictures.  I sat outside for a while this afternoon and evening and watched the clouds roll by.  I let my mind wonder and my imagination take over.  I saw animals and objects within the clouds and it made me think of childhood and growing up.  Thought about Sara and Tonya, dirt roads, songs from “back in my day” and lots of other things that make me who I am.  I watched TV shows that 

Whatever you are going through or experiencing:  own it.  Don’t let it own you. Remember to take time for yourself and those you love. 

Relaxation is a good way to start and is free of charge. Nobody can make you pay for the relaxation you decide to experience.IMG_20140510_144256_354

The things we feel; overwhelmed, not feeling appreciated, moodiness, sadness, loneliness, and countless others are what life throws at us.  It’s been called the adventure, the ride…life.   It’s up to each individual person to take care of him or herself and make things you enjoy doing a part of your life.  It may just be once or twice a year that you may do it, such as baking cookies around the holidays, or raking leaves in the fall with the family.  Whatever you decide to do for yourself make sure it makes you happy.

Enjoy the pictures.

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Hiking Mount Nebo

This past Saturday I decided to take the afternoon off from homeworkIMG_20140426_154107_268 and blogging and go on a hike.  My neighbor Adam and I headed over to Mount Nebo for the afternoon to get some exercise, some fresh air and so I could take some pictures, which I also love to do.

Mount Nebo is 12 miles southwest of Russellville, the place I’m calling home for the next few years as I complete my bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and 7 miles west of Dardanelle.   Mount Nebo is located just south of the Arkansas River and rises 1350 ft above sea level.  Atop the mountain on the north side there are great views of the Arkansas River and Lake Dardanelle.

Mount Nebo is one of the Arkansas state parks system’s two parks offering launch sites for hang gliding enthusiasts. IMG_20140426_155703_010 The other park offering launch sites for hang gliders is Mount Magazine State Park located high atop Arkansas’s highest mountain, Mount Magazine, near Paris.

If you’ve never visited Arkansas, or this particular area of the state you really should.  The beauty and wonder of Arkansas is waiting and I’m excited for the summer ahead.  Check out the Mount Nebo State Park website here to learn more about the park and why you should plan on visiting.

Now for some pictures.  I enjoyed taking them and I hope you enjoy looking at them.

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The Health Benefits of Honey

Today I want to share with you the health benefits of honey.  IMG_20140428_112128_952

The process of bees making honey has always fascinated me. Here are some facts and tidbits about honeybees that I found very interesting and thought I’d share them with you before we get to the health benefits of honey.

  • Each honeybee colony contains a queen, drones and workers.
  • The queen in the largest bee in the colony, responsible solely for reproduction.
  • A productive queen can lay 3000 eggs in a single day.
  • Drones are males that have no stingers and mate with the queen.
  • Bees communicate by smell, vibrations, physical interaction and other bees pheromones.
  • The walls of a honeycomb are only 2/1000 of an inch thick, but can support 25 times their own weight.
  • Honeybees make the comb by chewing thin flakes of wax their bodies create and shapes them into a hexagonal shape forming the comb.
  • One square foot of honeycomb is made of 3 ounces of wax , providing room for 90 ounces of honey.

Pretty amazing stuff huh?  Now for the health benefits of honey.  Thanks to the website Mother Nature Network for the information below.  It is always much appreciated.

1.  Honey can help soothe coughing.  A 2007 study from Penn State College of Medicine that involved 139 children, found that buckwheat honey outperformed the cough suppressant, dextromethrophan (DM), in calming nighttime coughs in children and improving their sleep.  Another study published in Pediatrics included 270 children aged one to five with nighttime coughs due to simple colds;  in this study children who received two teaspoons of honey 30 minutes before bed coughed less frequently, less severely and were less likely to lose sleep due to the cough when compared to those who didn’t get honey.

2.  Honey has been found effective in treating wounds.  For the treatment of burn and wounds, WebMD notes:  Honey is applied directly or in a dressing which is usually changed every 24 to 48 hours.  When used directly 15-30 milligrams of honey has been applied every 12 to 48 hours, and covered with sterile gauze and bandages or polyurethane dressing.

3.  According to the National Honey Board, honey contains “small amounts of wide variety of vitamins and minerals including, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.” Honey 2 Thus, using honey instead of sugar provides you with more nutrients for your calories.

5.  The Mayo Clinic notes that honey may be a promising and inexpensive way to prevent low white blood cell count caused by chemotherapy.  In one small trail, 40 percent of cancer patients who were known to be at risk of neutropenia (very low blood count) had no further episodes of the condition after taking two teaspoons daily of therapeutic honey during chemotherapy.  More research is needed, but the remedy could hold great potential.

6.  In a study involving patients with chronic seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff, the participants were asked to apply honey diluted with 10 percent warm water to their problem areas and leave it for three hours before rinsing with warm water.  In all of the patients, itching was relieved and scaling disappeared within one week.  Skin lesions were completely healed within two weeks, and patients showed subjective improvement in hair lossas well.  And when applied weekly thereafter for six months, patients showed no sign of relapse.

Now with all of that said about the health benefits.  There are a couple things to remember about honey.  1.  One tablespoon of honey has 64 calories so it should be eaten in moderation.  Although, when’s the last time you tried to eat a considerable amount of honey?  2.  Honey is not appropriate for children younger than 12 months because it can contain the bacteria that causes infant botulism.

The next time you’re at the store pick up some honey.  Try to buy local if possible, which can also help with seasonal allergies.  Also note that the darker the color of the honey the stronger and richer it will be.  Now check out these recipes that contain honey and happy healthy eating.

Honey Dip, to cut calories use low fat or fat free cream cheese in this recipe.  Looks like a great dip for apples and pears.

Honey Grilled Shrimp

Honey Peanut Granola

Honey Glazed Chicken

The Health Benefits of Kiwi

Today I want to share with you the health benefits of kiwi.  IMG_20140428_111646_689Kiwi is a yummy little fruit that is native to northern China, but today is grown commercially in countries such as Italy, New Zealand, Chile, Greece, and France.

Here is a interesting tidbit of information I found on part of the history of the kiwi.

When the kiwifruit was first brought to and cultivated in New Zealand at the turn of the 20th century it was known at the Chinese Gooseberry.  When the time came to report the fruit, to avoid the high fees charged on berries, the name was changed to the kiwifruit, or kiwi because of the fruits shared characteristics with New Zealand’s national symbol, the kiwi bird, which is also small, brown and fuzzy.

Now for the health benefits of kiwis.  Thanks to the website Medical News Today for the information below.  As always it is very much appreciated.

1.  Kiwis can help you sleep better.  According to a study on the effects of kiwifruit consumption on sleep quality in adults with sleep problems, it was found that kiwi consumption may improve sleep onset, duration, and efficiency in adults with self-reported sleep disturbances.

2.  Kiwifruit is a great source of vitamin C, which is good for the skin.  Collagen, the skins support system, is reliant on vitamin C that is found in a number of fruits, such as kiwi.  Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that works in our bodies as an antioxidant to help prevent damage caused by the sun, pollution and smoke.  Vitamin C also helps smooth wrinkles and improve overall skin texture.

3.  Kiwis have fiber and potassium.  The fiber and potassium in kiwis support heart health. An increase in potassium intake along with a decrease in sodium intake is the most important dietary change that a person can make to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease.  High potassium intake helps to reduce the risk of stroke, protects against the loss of muscle mass, preserves bone mineral density and reduces the formation of kidney stone.

4.  Numerous studies have reported that the kiwi may have a mild laxative effect and could effect and could be used as a dietary supplement especially for elderly individuals experiencing constipation.  Regular consumption of kiwifruit has been shown to promote bulkier, softer and more frequent stool production

5.  Kiwis are low in calories, only 42 calories for a medium size kiwi.  Kiwis also contain vitamin E, copper, vitamin K, choline, magnesium and phosphorus.

As you can see kiwis are a great fuzzy little fruit with lots of benefits.  I would encourage you to pick some up the next time you’re at the grocery store.

Here are some recipes containing kiwi.  Give them a try and enjoy.

Kiwi Lime Pork Ribs

Kiwi Sensation

Kiwi Fruit Salsa

Perfect Summer Fruit Salad

The Health Benefits of Peanut Butter

Today I want to share with you the health benefits of peanut butter.  I absolutely love peanut butter.  There is always peanut butter in my cupboard and I eat it almost everyday. IMG_20140428_112047_846 There is a whipped kind of peanut butter that I have been buying the past few months.  It’s made by Jif and it is delicious.  Find it here.

Peanut butter on a blueberry bagel is really good and a great option for breakfast, with a glass of almond milk.  Yum!

Peanut butter has great health benefits and I want to share them with you today.  Thanks to the website Health Diaries for the information below.  I have learned so much from this website and I appreciate them so much.  Kudos to them.

Here are the health benefits of peanut butter:

1.  Peanut butter packs a bunch of nutrition into each bite.  Peanut butter contains both protein and healthy monosaturated fats, which will give you the energy pick-me-up that you are looking for.  Additionally, peanut butter has other nutrients including vitamin B3, tryptophan, which is an essential part of a persons diet and manganese.

2.  The monounsaturated fat in peanut butter has been linked with a decrease in the risk of heart disease.  Also, peanuts contain fiber, and a diet high in fiber will reduce bad cholesterol levels, known as LDL cholesterol.  Peanut butter also contains vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant that has been associated with lower levels of heart disease.

3.  Peanut butter is a great source of iron, which helps to maintain good circulation.  Other minerals in peanut butter include calcium, which is good for bones, copper, which can help with arthritis, boosts energy levels and helps with brain function.

4.  Peanut butter also contains potassium and magnesium.  Potassium helps to maintain healthy blood pressure.  Magnesium helps with bone health and has been shown to help with insomnia, migraines and depression.

5.  The protein and fiber in peanut butter are both beneficial for blood sugar control.IMG_20140428_112103_066  If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, or you are at risk of diabetes, including peanut butter in your diet may be beneficial because it will stabilize your blood sugar levels.

6.  Peanut butter contains resveratrol , an antioxidant that has been linked with lower levels of heart disease and cancer.  Some studies suggest that resveratrol may reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

7.  The antioxidants and fiber in peanut butter help to reduce the risk of cancer.  Antioxidants are effective because they clean up free radical activity within the body and fiber will reduce the risk of colon cancer because it keeps waste moving efficiently through the intestines.

That’s a lot of benefits.  So not only is peanut butter really good it’s also really good for you.  Be careful when choosing a peanut butter though, look for a natural peanut butter over varieties that use artificial flavors and/or additives.

Make peanut butter a part of your life and enjoy all the benefits it has to offer.

The Health Benefits of Pecans

Today I want to share with you the health benefits of pecans.  During the autumn months my mom spends time in the evenings relaxing after work shelling pecans. IMG_20140428_112411_345 I’ve asked her before why she doesn’t buy them already shelled and she said she doesn’t mind.  It’s almost like it’s relaxing for her.  My mom and her ways.  :-)

Thanks to the websites www.nutrition-and-you.com and healthyeating.sfgate.com for the information provided below.  As always it is always much appreciated.

Now for the health benefits of pecans:

1.  Pecans are a rich source of many phyto-chemical substances that may contribute to their overall antioxidant activity, including the polyphenolic antioxidant ellagic acid, vitamin E, beta-carotene, lutein and zea-xanthin.  Research studies have been suggestive of that these compounds help the body remove toxic oxygen-free radicals and thus, protect the body from diseases, cancers, and infections.

2.  Pecans are also rich in manganese, which helps the body function properly.

3.  Pecans are a good source of potassium, which help your muscles contract, maintain fluid balance and helps keep blood pressure normal.

4.  Pecans contain calcium and magnesium, which are both important for bone health.

5.  Pecans contain iron, which helps keep your blood healthy and helps carry oxygen through the blood.  

6.  Pecans contain zinc and selenium.  Zinc keeps the immune system healthy.  Zinc has also been shown to help fight cancer cells.  

7.  Pecans are a good source of fiber.   After eating fiber, you will feel full for longer.  This aids weight loss efforts because you end up eating less. Because pecans are high in good fat and have fiber they make a good snack option in a weight loss program.

As you can see there are many benefits in eating walnuts.  I would encourage you to make them a part of your life.  Make up some homemade trail mix and add walnuts into the mix.  Your health will appreciate it.

Here are a couple recipes containing pecans.  Give them a try.🙂

Spinach Salad with Peaches and Pecans

Bourbon Pecan Chicken



The Health Benefits of Watermelon

Today I want to share with you the health benefits of watermelon.  Warmer weather is upon us here in Arkansas and with warmer weather comes thoughts of outdoor activities and with those activities comes the act of eating watermelon.

There is nothing like a fresh piece of watermelon on a hot day. IMG_20140428_111717_835 My favorite kind of watermelon is the orange variety, which is sometimes hard to find.  I look forward to the weather getting warmer and warmer…remember I hate winter, and I look forward to eating some good watermelon soon.

Thanks to the website Medical News Today for the information below.  Watermelon doesn’t seem to have as many health benefits as other fruits, but it’s still good for you and shouldn’t be ignored.

Here are the health benefits of watermelon:

1.  Watermelon is a good source of vitamin C, which provides protection against immune system deficiencies, and vitamin A, which promotes good eyesight.

2.  The red flesh of a watermelon is a significant source of phytochemicals, in particular, lycopene, which is also found in tomatoes.  Lycopene is a nutrient with proven cancer-protection qualities.

3.  Researchers at Florida State University found that watermelon is effective at preventing pre-hypertention, which can lead to cardiovascular disease.  The study included nine participants who all benefited from the amino acid L-citrulline/L-arginine from watermelon extract, which lowered the participants aortic blood pressure.

4.  Eating watermelon can help alleviate the pain associated with muscle soreness.  A study, published in the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry”, revealed that eating watermelon  can help treat post-exercise muscle soreness because of its high levels of L-citrulline.

5.  Watermelons have been shown to help with male erectile dysfunction.  A study conducted by researchers at Texas A&M found that phytonutrients in watermelon can relax blood vessels in the same way Viagra does.  “Arginine boosts nitric oxicide, which relaxes blood vessels, having the same basic effect as Viagra, to treat erectile dysfunction and maybe even prevent it,” Dr. Bhimu Patil, director of Texas A&M’s Fruit and Vegetable Improvement at College Station, said.

6.  Watermelon works as a diuretic.  If you are having trouble urinating eat some watermelon and it won’t be long before you do.

As you can see watermelon has some good health benefits.IMG_20140428_111656_640  The next time you’re at the store you should pick up a watermelon to have over the weekend, or at your next BBQ or family get-together.  If you have the means to plant a garden you should plant some and come later in the summer you will have fresh watermelon, which can’t be beat.

Check out these recipes that contain watermelon.

Avocado Watermelon Salad

Mojito Fruit Salad

100% Fruit Cake


The Health Benefits of Green Beans

Today I want to share with you the health benefits of green beans.  This is another vegetable I don’t really care for when served by themselves, but I do like them in soups and I do like green bean casserole,IMG_20140428_111940_865 which is kind of weird since they are the main ingredient.  Me and my taste buds:  I know.  :-)

My mom makes homemade canned soup, which has loads of vegetables in it and it is delicious.  Her canned soup has tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, black eyed peas, cabbage, squash, green beans and corn.  I don’t think I’ve left anything out.  She could seriously sell it.  It’s that good.  My mom is the best cook in the world:  hands down!

Thanks to the websites healthyeating.sfgate.com and nutrition-and-you.com for the information provided below.  As always it is very much appreciated.

Now for the benefits of green beans, which are also referred to as string beans.

1.  String beans contain vitamin C.  Vitamin C benefits several tissues throughout your body because it helps you make collagen.  Collagen fibers hold your tissues together, keeping your skin strong and intact, your bones resistant to breaks, and your tendons and ligaments able to keep your muscles and joints in place.  Vitamin C also helps boost your immune system to protect you from infection.  A cup of string beans provides 12.2 milligrams of ascorbic acid, about 16 percent of the recommended daily intake for women or 14 percent of the RDA for men, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements.

2.  String beans are also a good source of vitamin K.  You need vitamin K to form blood clots, which prevent blood loss after an injury.  Making sure you get enough vitamin K protects you from abnormal or excessive bleeding, while a shortage of vitamin K can cause nosebleeds and bruising.  Each cup of string beans contains 14.4 micrograms of vitamin K — 16 percent of the daily vitamin K requirements for women or 12 percent for men, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.

3.  String beans contain iron.  Your cardiovascular system needs iron to stay healthy, since the mineral makes up a part of hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen through your bloodstream.  You also need iron to support your metabolism — it helps you produce the energy your cells need to function properly.  Your daily iron requirements depend on your sex: Men need 8 milligrams, while women need 18 milligrams, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.  Eating a cup of string beans boosts your intake by 1.03 milligrams.

4.  Green beans contain excellent levels of vitamin A and health promoting flavonoid pholphenolic antioxidants such as lutein, zea-xanthin and beta carotene.  These compounds help to act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals and reactive oxygen species that play a role in aging and various disease processes.

As you can see there are great benefits from eating green beans, so I would encourage you to make them a part of your life.

Now check out some recipes that contain green beans.  I’m going to give them a try.  They look good.  :-)

Grilled Sausage with Potatoes and Green Beans

Cowboy Stew

Garlic Chicken with Potatoes and Green Beans

The Health Benefits of Pistachios

Today I want to share with you the health benefits of pistachios.  I don’t eat them that often, but I do like them.  I don’t think I ever had pistachios until I was in my 20’s. IMG_20140428_111759_900 They weren’t something that I was every exposed to as a child so I guess that’s why I don’t think about them when I’m at the store.

I’ve been thinking about making up my own trail mix and will be sure to add pistachios as part of the mix.

Thanks to the website Health Diaries for the information provided below.  As always it is much appreciated.  This is such a great website for learning about the benefits of foods.  Good stuff.

Now for the benefits of pistachios:

1.  Pistachios have been shown to reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and increase the good HDL cholesterol after only a short period of regular consumption.  High in antioxidants such as vitamins A and E, they fight inflammation, protecting blood vessels and reducing risk of heart disease.  Even a moderate intake of pistachios has been shown to increase levels of lutein, an antioxidant well known for protecting against oxidized LDL, reducing heart disease.

2.  Pistachios are a great source of vitamin E, a powerful fat-soluble antioxidant, essential for maintaining the integrity of cell membranes and often recommended for healthy and beautiful skin.  Vitamin E does an excellent job protecting the skin from UV damage, providing daily defense against premature aging and skin cancer.

3.  Eating pistachios may help to prevent Type 2 diabetes.  Sixty percent of the recommended daily value of the mineral phosphorous is contained in just one cup of pistachios.  As well as breaking down proteins into amino acids, phosphorous aids glucose tolerance so pistachios are a great snack to help with the break down process.

4.  Pistachios are a great source for vitamin B6, which helps keep the immune system healthy.  The vitamin B6 found in pistachios helps the body make healthy red blood cells, and helps maintain the health of lymphoid glands, such as the thymus, spleen and lymph nodes, ensuring the production of white blood cells that defend the body from infections.

5.  Another great benefit of vitamin B6 is that is essential to make hemoglobin, the protein responsible for carrying oxygen through the blood stream to cells, and is also shown to increase the amount of oxygen carried throughout the body.

6.  Pistachios contain two carotenoids not found in most nuts.  These carotenoids, called lutein and zeaxanthin, function as protective antioxidants, defending tissues from damage from free radicals.  They have been linked with a decrease in the risk for developing age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of visual impairments and acquired blindness in the United States.

As you can see there are some great benefits and reasons why you should make pistachios a part of your life.  The next time you’re at the grocery store you should pick some up.  Buy a variety of nuts and make your own nut mix.  I plan on doing that soon.  Mixing nuts together that I like instead of buying nut mixes that are already premixed.

Check out these recipes containing pistachios.

Pistachio Crusted Chicken

Roasted Pineapple with Honey and Pistachios

Roasted Yams with Citrus Salsa