Aloe Vera – How good it is!

I grew up with this prickly little plant in my back yard. My mother, who wasn’t particularly known for her green thumb, was insistent on keeping up with this weird, gangly shrub. I never paid much attention to it, until I’d procure a cut or burn from fooling around in the kitchen, which was often.

*footnote – Reading while trying to cook is not a favorable combination… but I digress.* 

Mom would promptly send me out to the yard to break off a leaf of the aloe vera, and spread the gel over the cut or burn, to aid in the healing.  Most often than not, my wound would heal very well, with little to no scarring.  I can’t say I always followed directions, so when I did end up with an offensive mark, Mom would say, “See? Didn’t use that Aloe Vera like I told you!”

As an adult with a family of my own, I found myself coming full circle to my parent’s old remedies… but not without a little research first. This plant is amazing!

Also known as “Lily of the Desert”, Aloe Vera is known for its extraordinary healing properties.

  • The gel found within the leaves acts as a topical ointment for minor burns and abrasions.
  • It is popular as a soothing, naturally cooling treatment for sunburns.
  • The gel can also be orally ingested, as it is also said to aid in digestive issues and minor cases of stomach ulcers. *It is highly recommended to buy Organic Aloe Gel that advises oral ingestion on the label. Any other source can be dangerous and eating it straight from the plant is just plain gross.*

Did you know that Aloe Vera is awesome for your hair too? It’s juice acts as a natural conditioner and moisturizer. It has the ability to penetrate the hair follicle and strand, to aid in restoring the hair to it’s natural sheen. It’s a wonderful scalp treatment for afflictions such as psoriasis and dandruff, and if that’s not good enough… wait for it…. it’s recognized for it’s ability to promote hair growth! Oh yes it is!

I’ve used Aloe Vera for most of my adult life for different purposes, and I can honestly say that I’m a fan. Aloe Vera Rocks!

Image

For more compelling information on this amazing plant, check out this article from  Global Healing Center: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/nutrition/benefits-of-aloe-vera

It’s good stuff!

Write On!

Do you like to write? Maybe you have ideas about a story, or maybe you’re own life is a compelling tele novella. Whether you consider yourself a dedicated writer, or aspiring, we all need a little push in the right, or write direction! (Knee-slapper…. couldn’t resist)

 I am a writer. I’ve written since I was a kid, and it’s a part of the fabric of my being.  Yet with all it’s importance, it often gets pushed to the side in my world for school, kids, household… you name it!  But writing is not only gratifying on so many levels, it can also be therapeutic.  I want to encourage all of you to harness the almighty pen, if not for the good of all humanity, then simply for yourself.  Here are a few ways to get going, and release the inner-Hemingway in you!
  1.  Journal: Get in the practice of writing with a good old-fashion journal. Complain about your day, talk about your cat, talk about your hopes and dreams… just write it all out. This is also good for the soul.
  2. Set writing goals: Wanna write the next Harry Potter? Feel like you can be the next Stephen King? Write down your goals and ideas. Read them back to yourself. How much time can you dedicate to this craft? Hold yourself accountable for sticking to it! After all, this is for you, and you’re worth it.
  3. Join a local writer’s critique group: Whether you’re a novice or a novelist, joining a critique group is essential to any writer. It’s like attracting like; writers support and feed each other inspirational energy. If you find a group of writers who are generally positive, truthful, yet encouraging, it may surprise you how quickly those creative juices start to flow. Whatever the genre, get out there and find a group!
  4. Take a writing class: This is essential! Even if it’s one time, a class will aim you in the right direction with your writing goals, as well as fine-tune your knowledge of the craft itself. We’re never too old to learn, and there’s no such thing as too much practice.
  5. Write. Write some more. Keep on writing!
 I will continue to post things on the art and the craft of writing to encourage those of you who might be hesitant on this new venture. Everyone has a voice, and what you have to say might be just the thing someone needs to hear. Or read. Same difference.

Live Your Life

This is a page of encouragement. Right now, I won’t quote scripture, or paraphrase some clever philosopher. Not that I won’t ever… just not this second. I only want to say this:

You are capable. You are able. You are God’s creation. Live your life like you mean it!

And to all the youngin’s out there – Y.O.L.O. (You Only Live Once) doesn’t apply to getting drunk, staying high, having irresponsible sex everywhere with everyone, living life on “the edge”….

You Only Live Once indicates that you should aspire to do it right the first time; See the world, aim high, effect someone’s life for the better, have enough fun to see another day, and many more after. Do you… be better. Live your life like you mean it!

*Steps off of soapbox*

That’s all folks.

Good Eats in the Heat

It’s August, clearly hot in most areas of North America, and with the heat comes the occasional aversion for the kitchen  Even the most enthusiastic foodie like myself can’t imagination turning on the oven even in an air-conditioned setting.

Here’s a quick, no-heat option for a Spanish favorite – Gazpacho.  This is a cold tomato soup, which sounds a slightly unattractive for those unfamiliar, but unless you don’t like tomatoes, this is a delicious, refreshing dish that could be an appetizer or a light meal with some shrimp and a good crusty bread. Here’s a recipe from one of my fav sites, Allrecipes.com:
Southern Spain-Style Gazpacho
recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: MUGAL
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
Servings: 4
“This refreshingly tangy bowl of the Spanish classic was inspired by a trip to Toledo, Spain.”
INGREDIENTS:
3/4 green bell pepper, seeded
1/2 cucumber, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
2 day-old crusty bread rolls, cut into thick
slices
6 tomatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon olive oil
DIRECTIONS:
1. Blend the green bell pepper, cucumber, garlic, and 1/2 cup olive oil together in a blender until smooth. Add the bread slices to the blender one at a time and blend each into the mixture until smooth. Blend the tomatoes into the mixture one at a time until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl; season with salt and cayenne pepper. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon olive oil to serve.
As I stated before, I am a foodie. I’m suggesting recipes that I’ve not only tried, I’ve pretty much owned them. (patting self on the back) There are a lot of gazpacho recipes out there, but this one is the closest I’ve come to the gazpacho I tasted and fell in love with in Spain. I have just a couple of suggestions:
  • Try red wine vinegar instead of balsamic. This is up to you, but I like the taste of the red wine vinegar.
  • Use a really good spanish extra-virgin olive oil. You’d be surprised how the oil contributes to the taste.
Enjoy!

Transitioning into Fall

             

August – Hot, balmy days; humidity on high on the east coast, triple digits on the west coast. Summer has seemingly drained you of your fashion-wit, being too hot to wear anything beyond the shortest shorts, (within reason for some of us) skimpiest tank-top, and sandals of all heights, tall to small.  Yes, August bakes one to the core, but the good thing is, it’s the last hurrah-month before September slides right in, featuring back-to-school, milder days, and cooler, layer-worthy nights.

So how does one transition from hot, balmy to cool, breezy? Three simple elements will do the trick:

  1. The Blazer: This accessory will take you through three out of four seasons! You can dress up just about any casual look with a well-fitting blazer. (Emphasis on well-fitting) There are lots of fun colors to choose from to add a little “pop” to your look, and can take you from day to night, or vice-versa. Do it!
  2. Hosiery: Get your tights-game up, Ladies! Opaque, sheer, fishnet… whatever you come up with, adorn those legs! You can be playful or fierce with all the textures and colors to choose from… Just a suggestion: The shorter the skirt or dress, opaque’s the best.
  3. Scarves: They are your friend! They’re light-weight, with whimsical designs (my fav scarf is yellow with birds all over) that fold up itty-bitty into a cute clutch, or tie it onto your hand-bag’s strap in a careless sort of way. Come nightfall, and it’s a little breezier than expected, BAM! Out comes the jazzy scarf to drape casually around your neck – keeps you toasty with instant cool.

So there you have it… three easy acquisitions that will carry you easily from summer to fall.

Happy shopping, all!

Welcome

Well hello there,

Welcome to my humble abode… It’s so nice of you to stop by! What is this blog with the peculiar name about, you ask?  It’s an information pit-stop for the average writer/fashionista/cook/homemaker/student/dreamer/doer, such as myself.  If you’ve been accused of being a jack/Jane-of-a-trades, with a multitude of interests, you’ve come to the right place! I will cover a spectrum of topics on the regular, to keep up with the voices in my head. Not really… the voices are much too quick to keep up with. 😉

Stop by as often as you like… Get the latest recipe, some style tips, a little encouraging word, or anything else from the delightful melange of this blog. And if you like it here, don’t forget to tell somebody!

Yours Truly,

BF

PS: This is meant to be a positive and friendly environment. Although your comments are encouraged and appreciated, hatred and maliciousness are not. Let’s be kind to ourselves, and each other.

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