Healthy Lifestyle Ideas

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Favorite Stuffed Olives

I thought I'd take a picture of the stuffed olives I like to use in my Mexican Martinis for Tee.  Thanks for the question, Tee. I really like the jalapeno ones, but also have tried the garlic and almond stuffed ones. Then I saw the blue cheese and dried tomato stuffed olives and had to have them too. Yum!!
I'm able to find them in my local stores (Ingles, Kroger and Publix).

Have you ever heard of a Tussie Mussie?

I recently learned how to make Tussie Mussies which are tight, compact bouquets of flowers that you can make straight from the garden and they are wonderful to give as a gift because you can carry them in your hand and they stay fresh for a long time. I'd heard of nosegays but never the term Tussie Mussie. There's quite a history behind the idea of the little bouquets - and not just Victorian. The idea of the tussie mussie goes  back to the medieval times, but they were especially popular during Queen Victoria's time.

I made three different looking tussie mussies and put them into small containers filled with water. Depending on the flowers used, they can stay fresh looking a long time out of water and that's why they make such a great little gift to give out. I also love the look of them on a dining room table because they're low and they look beautiful all lined up.

You use floral tape and wrap each stem as it's added to the bouquet. The greenery is added last and then all is wrapped one final time so that its easy to hold. I wrapped the one on the left a little too loose. The one on the right was wrapped better.

The rose one to the right was the most delicate. It was out of water for 2 hrs and started to look a little wilty by the second end.

The tussie mussie below is larger than the other two, but the bouquets can be quite big (as big as a bridal bouquet).

If it still fits in your hand and is tight and compact, it's a tussie mussie. They can also be made out of just greenery, using herbs and fragrant leaves which I think would be gorgeous, especially for the holidays.  Special thanks to Master Gardener Becky and thanks to her sister, Sally, who I learned later is an amazing mixed media artist who has artwork featured in many galleries.   I've placed the link to her blogsite on her name.  I'm sure I'll be making lots of Tussie Mussies in the future.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Children's ATC Swap for Thanksgiving and Christmas (Please Re-Post)

I am hosting an ATC swap for kids, ages 4 - 15 (ages are not set in stone) for Thanksgiving and Christmas. *Please re-post this on your blog if you know of any artistic children who might enjoy an ATC swap.  Thanks!!
Also my new blog for the kid ATC swap is:

The Thanksgiving Swap is open for sign-up now through  November 7 and the deadline for mailing out the ATC is November 15.
The Christmas ATC Swap sign-up is open now through December 7 with a  mail out deadline of December 15.

Send me an email if you have a child interested in this swap and I'll send you the details. My email address is

Special Halloween Gifts Received

My middle daughter is reading the Harry Potter series and was thrilled to receive this wonderful spell book and quill made by my friend Wendy.  Wendy also gave me a tiny folding book that's amazing. Thanks Wendy!

How to Lose Weight During the Holidays

I hope you all had a nice Halloween. It was a lot of fun for us - the weather was wonderful and we didn't have much candy left over (thank goodness). I've been thinking recently about  how to make it through the holidays this year and not gain extra weight, so I came up with  this little dessert using fresh fruit.  Orange and chocolate flavors are such a classic combination, so I melted one small mini Hershey bar (left over Halloween candy) and drizzled it over the orange.