I am Grateful ~

Christmas feels different to me this year. I am on my own and for the first time, in a very long time, I feel relaxed. It feels uncomplicated, and I like it. I have so much love in my life and for that I am grateful. I have a very colourful circle of friends and an amazing family.

I have wrapped the Jing Tinglers, Flu Floopers, Tar Tinkers, Who Hoovers, Far Ginkers, Trum Tupers, Slu Slumkers, Blum Bloopers, Who Wompers and Zu Zitter Carzays! I am ready for Santa! I am also ready to pack on a couple of pounds eating shortbread and sipping Bailey’s coffees. Felize Navidad!!

I am embracing those who have stepped into my life in an unconventional way with acceptance and love. My circle is expanding this year and that’s exciting. I am teaching my kids to be open, aware and accept what the Universe brings forth. Life challenges us with change, allowing us to grow and unfold as human beings. It’s how you deal with change that matters.

I have so much to be grateful for…

I have two incredible kids who I adore and LOVE spending time with. I am fortunate to have two amazing parents who are still in love after 60 years together. I am grateful for the unconditional friendship and bond I have with my kids Dad. My girlfriends make me feel blessed, supported and never alone! I love my man-friends who continue to make me smile and keep me somewhat grounded on my path to never say never land…and last but not least my furry friend who is the sweetest, most loveable, kind, crazy companion I could ever ask for…even when she pee’s in the basement and shreds her bed 😉

The spirit of Christmas is about giving, so please don’t forget to share what you are grateful for with those who are less fortunate this holiday season and all year round!

“Sooooo Santa I have nothing on my list this year, and it’s not because I think I am on your naughty list it’s because I have everything I need. Believing in the magic is what I will pass on to my kids this year!

My Christmas wish is pretty simple…a day filled with lots of love, ear to ear (((((smiles))))), twinkling eyes, warm long hugs, lingering kisses, spirits that soar to the moon and back, breathtaking aromas, full bodied wine that makes one giggle, a full tummy, a content heart, conversations that fill the room with chatter, happiness, joy and no dishes to clean up!” 

Take a moment to remind yourself what you are grateful for!

Svaha ~

 

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Gifts Are All Around Us

Bonnie Johnson's Post
Happy Boxing Day
The big day is over.  Phew!  All the rushing around, Christmas baking, shopping (unless you are boxing day shopping today) and gift wrapping is now behind us for another year. Yesterday was a day of abundance for most of us; abundant food, drink, family, friends and gifts.  Gifts in every shape and size and monetary value, but the intangible gifts are the most touching and valuable to me;  like the gifts of laughter, love, friendship and family.

Our lives are often so full of stuff; modern conveniences, material possessions and unnecessary luxuries that we tend to forget or miss the real gifts that surround us every day.  Of course I am grateful for all of the wrapped gifts I received this Christmas, but I would like to see the spirit of gratitude continue for us all each day of the year.  Sure, gratitude is a feeling of thankfulness in response to receiving something whether it’s a gift or an act of kindness, but I believe we can choose to feel gratitude everyday regardless of our situation or circumstances.  I read somewhere that the feeling of gratitude has the same vibrational energy as love and I believe it.  They feel the same don’t they?

To me it’s all about feeling good.  Look for things to feel good about and grateful for and you cannot help but find yourself in a wonderful frame of mind.  When you consciously choose to focus on life’s blessings, they will suddenly appear everywhere for you.  It is the law of attraction at it’s finest.

In the relatively new field of “positive psychology,” researchers are studying the science of thankfulness. In The Psychology of Gratitude, Dr. Michael McCullough of the University of Miami and Dr. Robert Emmons of the University of California at Davis, show how participating in regular, deliberate appreciation improves almost everything. By having their research participants keep weekly or daily gratitude journals and practicing self-guided exercises, the researchers discovered their participants slept better, exercised more, increased positive emotions, had more rhythmic heartbeats, progressed toward personal goals more quickly, and helped others more often.

Speaking of gratitude, I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our regular readers who have been so supportive of our Tara Cronica since her inception this past year and to say welcome to our new readers.  We are so grateful to have you all join us here.

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Marcel Proust

Svaha!

Bonnie

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Give Yourself a Boost

Bonnie Johnson's PostThere is less than a week left before Christmas arrives and for many of us that means the push is on to get all those last minute things done.  Wrapping, baking, cleaning, shopping, shopping, and shopping.  It can be stressful and very tiring.  Then there are all the holiday get-togethers that usually include late nights and alcohol.  These combined can really run you down and when you get run down you’re immune system is lowered and before you know it you are sick.

One way to combat this is to start your day with a boost; a nutritious boost in the form of a smoothie.  My usual recipe is to add a few cubes of ice, a banana and blueberries, ground flax or flax oil, bee pollen, hemp protein and some fruit juice and blend.   Easy peasy.  However, after discovering a great site called Making Love in the Kitchen by Meghan Telpner I’ve learned that a smoothie can be so much more.green smoothie

Here are Meghan’s suggestions for a smoothie followed by her recipe for a power packed, energy rich, health supportive GREEN Smoothie.

  • Goji berries as they are a superior source of antioxidants.
  • Soaked almonds for their protein and calcium content.
  • Chia seeds, for their amazing amino acid profile and omega 3 essential fatty acids that have a great anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Cacao beans, one of the most powerful foods on earth, rich in antioxidants (maybe the most concentrated source available) and essential trace minerals.
  • Depending on how I ate the previous day, I might also add in some flax- also a good source of protein and omega 3s, they are a lubricating source of fibre.
  • Fresh or dried coconut, or a scoop of coconut oil- a super food that is anti-microbial, anti-parasitic and anti-viral. It also helps stabilize blood sugar.
  • Pinch of cayenne to increase circulation which helps the body detoxify waste by increasing blood circulation to bring in fresh oxygen to the cells.
  • Spirulina– this is a non-negotiable! This blue-green algae comes from the sea and is a superior source of protein. It is a powder so it requires very little energy to be digested and is amazingly rich in chlorophyll- a phytochemical that comes straight from the sun’s energy, helps detoxify and nourish the blood and therefore every cell of the body. In my opinion, this is one the best green foods we can eat.
  • Sprouts– sprout your own or buy them, they are rich in protein and enzymes (details here). I like pea shoots the best as they are green and also for convenience, they stay very long in the fridge (about two weeks if not more!)
  • Celery– great source of cellulose (fibre that does not get digested but just helps move things along) and helps with sodium balance in the cells
  • Half a banana– adds some sweetness, potassium and creaminess
  • And lots of water. I don’t like my smoothies that thick so I add a lot of water, and with all that fibre, the more water the better.
  • Stevia– for a little sweetness without effecting blood sugar

Other things I may add in depending on what’s in my fridge- spinach, cucumber, zucchini, avocado and kale. I will sometimes change up the fruit- using mango or berries when they are in season. I have been known to throw in a wedge of lemon for vitamin C or some ginger if I feel cold, or rundown. But what you likely notice is that this is a very green smoothie. Yes! Yes it is. Too much fruit in the morning will spike your blood sugar levels and keep you craving sweets through the day. (Oops, I did not know that!)

Lean, mean and green is the way to go!

Super Powered Breakfast Smoothie

2 Tbs raw almonds (soaked if possible)
1 Tbs chia seeds
1 Tbs goji berries
1 Tbs raw cacao beans or nibs
1/2 Tbs spirulina
1 Tbs coconut (or 1/2 Tbs coconut oil)
1/4 – 1/3 cup sprouts
1-2 stalks of celery
1 banana
pinch of cayenne
3 cups water
stevia (optional)
1 Tbs flaxseeds (optional and may need to pre-grind depending on the power of your blender)

  • Throw in the blender and blend.
  • Drink right away- all the fibre will start to absorb the water if you leave it too long)

Unfortunately I don’t have most of these ingredients in my cupboard yet which means…yep, more shopping. But once I have them I’ll be unstoppable!
Bonnie

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Is Santa Claus Real?

Tracy“Is Santa Real?” Here’s a question all parents are hearing as we count down from weeks to days before the most exciting day of the year for a lot of children around the world.  I have an 11 year old son and a 8 year old daughter who have obviously been talking about Santa as the excitement builds with Christmas morning arriving soon.

I still remember the the Christmas Eve my cousin Sherene was in my room looking out my window in hopes of seeing Santa Claus.  She was much older and I had a hard time sleeping, as most kids do on Christmas Eve.  Santa was en route so how could anyone sleep.  All kids wish deep down that they might actually get a glimpse of Santa each year coming down the chimney and so we try our hardest to keep our little peepers open as long as we can.  Sherene was looking out my window when all of a sudden she exclaimed “DO YOU SEE HIM, DO YOU SEE HIM!!” her eyes bulge open like saucers as she pointed into the sky way off into the horizon.  I squinted with all my might and there he was Santa Claus being pulled in his sleigh by his 8 reindeer!  I still remember the excitement that filled my entire being.  Ahhh to be 7 again…pure magic!

SantaSleigh

My son asked me years ago if I believed in Santa and I told him my story once again.  He smiles each time and I can tell by the look in his eyes he is swept up in the magic and spirit of Christmas.  This year he asked me again, knowing what I was going to say ” If you don’t believe you don’t receive”.  That wasn’t quite enough for him this year, he took it one step further as I thought he might at 11.  He tried to put it back on me.  He said okay Mom but when I have kids and they wake up really excited Christmas morning and you didn’t tell me it was you and there is nothing left for them under the tree it will be your fault!!  I  assured him there would be gifts under his tree for his little ones.  He told me then that he too believed in the “Spirit of Christmas”. My 8 year old daughter on the other hand put it like this,  she looked me straight in the eyes and said ” Are you Santa, not waiting for a response she carried on, cause if you are that would be really really disappointing” and she walked away.

If you have kids who are questioning the spirit of Christmas you need to watch “The Polar Express” , it will set everyone straight!  When either of my kids ask me if I believe and I expect it to happen each year I take a moment and remember back the night I saw Santa in his sleigh with his reindeer in the horizon and I tell them that I believe because I saw him with my own two eyes.  I was one of the lucky ones, and I know I am not alone.  Christmas is about giving so this year make sure you do your share of giving to others in the Spirit of Christmas!

If you would like to track Santa this Christmas visit “Norad Track Santa” there are lots of fun things for kids to explore on this site!  Another great site for kids is NorthPole.com.  And if you want to find out if your on Santa’s Naughty or Nice list check out Santa’s Nice-o-Meter.

Happy Holiday’s Everyone !!

Tracy signiture

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There’s No Place Like Home…right?

Bonnie Johnson's PostI’ve been away traveling for the past ten days.  I love going away, being away and then after traveling all day; I love that moment when I arrive home.  Ahhh!  I always love coming home.  Isn’t it the greatest feeling when you walk through your own front door into familiarity again?  It certainly helps to be greeted by a dog like ours who cries and wags her tail so hard she risks having it fly right off her backside.  To be surrounded again by all my favourite things is great but the cherry on top for me is sleeping in my own bed with my own cozy pillow.  I truly love my pillow.

Welcome-home-doormat-001Then the next morning arrives and I realize I have to get back to all the routines I couldn’t wait to leave behind.  Hmm.  Suddenly I’m back to work, I have responsibilities again, and I’ve got to make that bed, cook dinner, and do the laundry, laundry and more laundry.  Aaargh! What’s worse, I woke feeling like I’d left something behind in Tampa.  Oh yes, I remember now.  I left my son behind.  He lives there and I live here. We also left behind a daughter (my step daughter) in New York.  She lives there and we live here.  Well this sucks.  And my friend can’t even get a pap test for crying out loud!  Oh no, I’m starting to spiral down into an after-vacation-funk.  I keep hearing Dido in my head singing “Sand in My Shoes”.  There’s nothing left to do but find a way to enjoy the here and now…the minus 10 degrees Celsius… er, I mean the beautiful crisp winter air that means Christmas is around the corner.   No wait! That just makes me feel panic because I have not decorated or shopped yet.

I’ve got it! I’m going back to bed to cuddle my pillow and dream about my next vacation.travel dreaming

BonnieZZZZ

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