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da Bears! January 16, 2011

Filed under: happy thoughts — celebrationgoddess @ 3:59 pm

SUNDAY’s Sampler Platter – (imagine that).

With da Bears win, everyone is now very excited: Bears vs. Pack next week. In honor here is the SNL skit that we all remember. Enjoy!

Laugh, learn and liven up your taste buds!



Booyah – Thanks!!! December 19, 2010

Filed under: happy thoughts — celebrationgoddess @ 4:33 pm

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.  Have you used one to say “thank you?”  ~William A. Ward

SUNDAY’s Sampler Platter – (imagine that).

EXCERPT: ‘365 Thank Yous’ by John Kralik

Author John Kralik on a Year of Daily Acts of Gratitude from ABC website:

When author John Kralik’s life hit a desperate low, he decided on New Years Day that if he could focus on what he had instead of what he didn’t have, that perhaps his life would become at least tolerable.

In 365 Thank Yous, Kralik chronicles the following year of his life, in which he wrote a thank you note every day to anyone and everyone he could think of. Read an excerpt of 365 Thank Yous below.

A Walk in the Mountains

Before she broke up with me, Grace and I had planned to spend New Year’s Day walking on the Echo Mountain trail that leads into Angeles National Forest above Pasadena. When the day came, I called her to see if she might still want to come. She had other plans. I would be starting the new year alone.

I decided to walk into the mountains anyway.

I took the three-mile hike above Pasadena on the Echo Mountain trail, which ends at the crumbled remains of an old hotel. Hot winds and constant mountain fires had burned down that hotel, again and again, and eventually, about seventy years ago, the owners had stopped rebuilding. Guests had reached the hotel by train on the Mount Lowe Railway, which was now defunct and had also since succumbed to the elements. Only corrupt and scattered remains of the track can be found. But spectacular views of the Los Angeles Basin stretch out below the crumbled stone bricks of the hotel’s remains. On a clear day you can see all the way to the ocean.

On this semi-clear day, when I got to the old hotel site, I joined a host of New Year’s early risers. (The AA crowd, I thought.) They were looking through binoculars, hoping to spy the Tournament of Roses Parade winding through the foggy streets of Pasadena below.

I could feel the distant rumblings of the parade, but I was in no mood for it, so I turned to walk deeper into the mountains. Eventually, the sounds of trombones and French horns faded. Longing to be completely alone, I meandered the back paths, pushing on until I was all by myself. Then I took a wrong turn, lost the path, and became completely lost. I had no company that day but the inner voice that kept saying “loser.” There was no one I wanted to ask on that walk who wanted to come with me. My desires and faults had left me solitary at middle age.

It was New Year’s. There was new growth all around. It was time to make new resolutions. It was time to change. I had felt this way before, of course; at fifty-two, I had a lot of unfulfilled New Year’s resolutions.

But this year not only was I a loser at what I was doing, I also didn’t want to do it anymore. I wanted to do something more meaningful with my life. I wanted to be more than just another lawyer slinging hatred for a living.

I had always wanted to write, I remembered. But thirty years ago, I had become a lawyer. Soon, I’d had a family to support; eventually, I had two families and a firm to support. There had never been time to write. A few months before my first child was born, I had packed up my writing neatly in files and put it away in a box. The box had fallen apart many times, but I had always replaced it. I had carried it from divorce to remarriage to divorce, from house to apartment to cheaper and cheaper apartments.

Now time was running out. I was older than the idol of my college years, Jack Kerouac, had been when he drank himself to death. I was just a bit younger than Hemingway had been when his muse so dimmed that he saw no point in living. As I struggled through the brush in search of a new path, I ran through ideas I’d had for writing projects over the years. This year, I thought, I should try to write something, and I should actually finish it. Yet even as this thought made its way through my mind, I knew how futile a thought it was. I had no time, no energy.

The mountains in this area are not so complicated, and despite the drama in my head, a return to civilization was still available to an inexperienced hiker. Heading generally downward, I eventually found another trail, and made my way, slipping and sliding, to the old hotel. Sitting on the remnants of its concrete slab, I stared out at the vast, quiet expanse of Los Angeles. This is a perspective from which the most sordid distress of humanity can seem peaceful.

For some reason, at that moment I thought of my grandfather John Kralik Jr., a veteran of the First World War and a successful dealer in insurance, real estate, and the stock market. Perhaps he came to mind because when he was my age, my grandfather had already retired. When I knew him, he played golf and watched it on television. In the morning, he sat at his desk and checked stock prices. Perhaps I was dwelling on my own bitterness at the certainty that I would not be playing golf or checking stock prices anytime soon. I would be working for a long time, I thought, perhaps till the moment of death.

When I was about five, my grandfather gave me a silver dollar. My grandfather had twelve grandchildren at the time. Eventually he would have twenty-four, and he would often try to impress us. It was about 1960, and if you really wanted to wow a child in those days, you gave him or her a silver dollar. It seemed an impossibly large sum of money in a shiny, mysterious package. I didn’t know how to spend it, and don’t believe I ever did. Silver dollars doled out by my grandfather and other relatives in those days were confiscated by my parents, who did not trust us with them. Eventually, my mother put them in a bank account, and I believe they are still there today. Though the money would have made no difference to me, I should have paid more attention to the message that my grandfather delivered with it. He promised that if I wrote him a letter thanking him for this silver dollar, he would send me another one. That was the way thank-you letters worked, he told me.

I have only a few memories of my grandfather from this period of my childhood, but I remember well that on this occasion he was true to his word, and soon I had two silver dollars. Having experienced the truth of this principle, however, I failed to learn it. I never sent a second thank-you note for the second silver dollar. For some reason, I left it at that. It may be that I didn’t need or want another silver dollar. After all, my mother would put it in the bank, and I would never see it. But I was blind to the real lesson he was trying to teach me. So I did not receive a third silver dollar.

A couple years before that walk in the mountains, as part of my pipe dream of a gentle, gallant law practice, I had fancied that I would be handwriting a lot of personal notes. My office manager had dutifully ordered some very nice personal stationery, several hundred notes and envelopes in a gentlemanly off-white. Soon we would be kicked out of our offices, and the return address on hundreds of unused envelopes would become obsolete.

Sitting on the concrete slab that is all that remains of the hotel at Echo Mountain, I listened to the voice, and then the following thoughts, first of my grandfather and his silver dollars, and then of the nearly useless envelopes. And I came up with an idea.

I would try to find one person to thank each day. One person to whom I would write a thank-you note. By the end of the year, I would have used up the stationery. I would have written 365 thank yous.

If my grandfather was right, I would have a lot more of what I was thankful for by the end of the year. If the voice was right, I would begin to get the things that I wanted. And if not, well, I had little more to lose.

I stood and began to walk down the mountain trail toward home. I had been in the mountains the entire day; I had walked nearly fifteen miles. I was exhausted and still had little hope, but I had figured out how I might go on. My only problem: Did I have anything to be grateful for? The way my life was going, I hardly thought so.

I saw the writer on the news and thought what a wonderful thing to do. So Thank you if
I haven’t told  you lately. I Thank You so much for your friendship!

Laugh, learn and liven up your taste buds!



Christkindlmarket – Chicago December 11, 2010

Filed under: happy thoughts — celebrationgoddess @ 8:11 am

History and Tradition

Inspired by the Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany, which began in 1545, the Christkindlmarket Chicago brings a cherished German and European tradition with international flair and local charm to Chicago. Chicago’s largest open-air Christmas festival was first held on Pioneer Court in 1996. By special invitation of Mayor Richard M. Daley, Christkindlmarket Chicago moved to Daley Plaza in 1997 and has become a stable event on the plaza ever since. Together with the support of the Mayor’s Office of Special Events (MOSE), Christkindlmarket Chicago has grown to become one of the most popular winter attractions in the heart of the city.


The vision of the Christkindlmarket Chicago was first conceptualized in 1995. The German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest Inc. (GACCoM) Consulting Services was seeking alternative ways to promote bilateral trade between the USA and Germany. Peter Flatzek, former Vice President of GACCoM, and Ray Lotter, then Manager of Commercial Services for GACCoM, initiated the partnership with the city officials of Nuremberg, Germany. Mr. Lotter invited companies from Germany and the Chicago area to participate in the first Christkindlmarket Chicago in 1996. The market was an instant success and continues to flourish.

The Christkindlmarket Chicago is also the perfect place for teachers and professors of the German language to bring their students. Here, they have the opportunity to practice skills at the market with numerous German speaking vendors. Several educational activities for students visiting the market include: scavenger hunts, interviews with vendors, or even singing German holiday songs for all to enjoy. At the market, students get to experience authenitc German traditions without having to travel any farther than the city of Chicago. From Kindergartners to graduate students the message is loud and clear: The Christkindlmarket is fun, fun, fun!

The Christkind

The name “Christkindlmarket” originates from the mythical tale of the Christkind (the name changes depending on regional provenance to the diminuitive like Christkindl, Christkindle, and Christkindel). She is a fairy-like being, dressed in a gold and white robe with a crown atop her golden locks. Depending on region and family tradition, either the “Christkind” (pronounced Kristkint) or the “Weihnachtsmann” (Father Christmas or better known as Santa Claus) will be the bearer of gifts.

The tradition of the Christkind is known among German-speaking countries including Germany, Austria and Switzerland, as well as in the Czech Republic, Italy, Liechtenstein, and even some South American countries.

The market has welcomed Nuremberg’s former Christkind to the city of Chicago for the past thirteen winter holiday seasons. Every year, the Christkind, who serves as an official representative of the city of Nuremberg, opens the Chicago Christkindlmarket with her famous decree. Her participation in the Annual Grand Opening Ceremony has been a cherished tradition since 1997. The ceremony takes place on Daley Plaza on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day.

Rebekka Volland, the 2007-2008 Nuremberg Christkind, is the official Christkind for the Christkindlmarket Chicago 2009-2010. Rebekka was chosen to be the Christkind in Nuremberg on November 7th, 2007 by a jury when she was only 18 years old.

Rebekka is originally from Nuremberg. She has a younger brother, with whom she enjoys watching games of the city’s soccer team 1. FC Nuremberg. Her hobbies are breakdancing, playing the piano as well as snowboarding. Since her high school graduation this summer she has been calling Canada her temporary home.

Dates and Times

The Christkindlmarket Chicago will be open daily from November 24, 2010 – December 24, 2010.

Opening Hours

Sunday – Thursday: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm Friday & Saturday: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm

Special Hours

Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 2010: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm Christmas Eve, December 24, 2010: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm


Laugh, learn and liven up your taste buds!



I Got to Please 345 Sailors Today! November 25, 2010

Filed under: happy thoughts — celebrationgoddess @ 2:17 pm

Potato peelers ready, now get peelin’!!! That’s how my Dad, the Marine, and I started our morning.  This is the second year that we’ve donated our time to the local VFW.

Me, Gary and Don boiled and mashed too many potaters to count!!!

I got to work with an old high school chum Tonee!

We joined a bunch of volunteers who make our local Great Lakes Naval Base sailors Thanksgiving a little bit happier since they can’t spend it with their families.

The guys out back get their turkey fryers rippin’ hot so that they can fry up 57 turkeys.

I caught my Dad “taste testing”

We made mountains of mashed and sweet potaters. Five gallons of gravy – watch out for my whisk! And lip smacking squash. Last year they didn’t cook evenly so I tried to get some 12 year old girls to squish the squash with their bare hands. Response from said girls, ewww no we’re not touching that!

It was a fulfilling day today! I give thanks to those men and women that serve our country. It was a pleasure to serve them. And the best part is standing outside with our giant flags waving them in on the buses, seeing them all standing in line to eat  our humble meal, and then karaoking to kick up some fun after chow!

Now I’m off to visit my sister up north in Mosinee Wisconsin. I should be able to successfully put on 3-4 pounds. Her and her hubby are the BEST cooks – having had three restaurants that they put me to work in occasionally. I earned my bread and butter or pink flamingo drinks by bartending, waitressing, or helping in the kitchen. The helping in the kitchen was the most amazing part. You know Hell’s Kitchen? Yeah that would be it!!!

Laugh, learn and liven up your taste buds!


Just had to add this one because it’s so funny!


Hans and the Hormones November 13, 2010

Filed under: happy thoughts,Music - la la la la!!! — celebrationgoddess @ 4:44 am

SO MUCH FUN SATURDAY – (the greatest day of the week!)

PreHistoric Hormones

Come out and dance with me! Saturday night at Thirsty Whale in Algonquin at 9:00pm. My old high school chum Vic Champney has been in this band forever! I’m so looking forward to this. This will be my last time cutting a rug since I will be getting foot surgery next month. No more high heels for a long time. boo hiss

FROM: http://bandstalkermchenry.blogspot.com/2009/02/hans-and-hormones-wool-street-cary.html
It’s no secret I like Hans and the Hormones. For a local area band that’s doing a wide range of danceable music, I really think these guys are one of the best around. They have about the best song selection anyone could ask for. They started out with a lot of new music and pulled in a lot of great not-always-heard-in-bars classic rock as the night progressed. Hans is a very good singer and so is Vic. I like Vic’s guitar playing and everyone in the band is a strong player. Hans and the Hormones consist of lead vocalist/guitar, lead vocalist/electric lead guitar, bass and drums. They have very good harmonies and they flow seamlessly from song to song thereby not giving the audience a chance to sit down once they have the audience up and dancing. Many of you other bands out there should go out to see the Hormones and some of the other excellent area bands to learn from these guys. One of my pet peeves is watching bands that take a minute or two between each song to get a drink or engage in some unintelligible banter. When you do that, you lose the dancers you fought so hard to gain.

Laugh, learn and liven up your taste buds!



32,000 carved pumpkins? Well I’m going! October 23, 2010

Filed under: Cool party idears,happy thoughts,Image that,Interesting — celebrationgoddess @ 7:22 am

SO MUCH FUN SATURDAY – (the greatest day of the week!)

Highwood is trying for the world’s record on lit pumpkins tonight. It’s sounds so exciting!


  • Evening Gourmet Farmer’s Market at City Hall Park and Antique Vendors at Everts Park from 12pm to 8pm
  • Noon to 8pm a day full of pumpkin carving and counting, food, vendors, children’s entertainment, live music on four different stages (City Park Main Stage: noon-4 pm Dr. Mudd, 4-8 pm TBA, Sheridan and Webster Stage: Phase Recording Studios will provide live music from noon-8, School of Rock will provide live music from 5:30-8 pm at School Of Rock (Everts) Park gazebo, Scout (WestOver) Park Stage: 2:00 noon – Midwest Young Artists’ brass ensemble), shopping, haunted fun house, hay rides, etc.
  • 11am is the Giant Pumpkin Land Regatta, featuring huge pumpkins propelled by human power in a 100-yard race from the corner of Sheridan Road and Highwood Avenue, due north. First 20 contestants receive free 200 lb pumpkins. Contact Rob Sabo at: rsabo@cityofhighwood.org to register.
  • Noon Pumpkin Pie contest winner announced at City Hall Park, entrance fee $1. Registration and rules contact Catherine Lambrecht at: cal60035@sbcglobal.net or 847/432-8255.
  • 1pm to 3pm Pumpkin Chuckin’ Catapult Contest at Scout (WestOver) Park. Visit www.celebratehighwood.com or email rsabo@cityofhighwood.org to register.
  • 2pm to 4pm Dress Your Pet Halloween Costume Contest at School of Rock (Everts) Park.
  • 4-5:30 pm The Great Costume Parade starting from the School of Rock (Everts) Park winding through Highwood.
  • 5:30pm Artist Pumpkin Carving Competition winner announced in front of City Hall (17 Highwood Avenue). 1st place $500, 2nd place $100, 3rd place $50. Submission fee is $25. Contestants can register at: highwoodpumpkincompetition@msn.com.

The festivities culminate at 6:30pm with the lighting and grand display to break the Guinness Book of World’s Record for the most jack-o-lanterns.

Laugh, learn and liven up your taste buds!



Sweetheart Autumn Picnic October 10, 2010

Filed under: happy thoughts,Relaxing — celebrationgoddess @ 7:22 am

SUCH A RELAXING SUNDAY – (enjoy a way to unwind.)

Grab your honey, grab some food and wine and get going!

A Romantic Autumn Picnic

There is something about picnics in the autumn that just says romance. The planning of a romantic autumn picnic is actually the most romantic part. It shows that you care about making a special moment and, chances are, that is exactly what your picnic will be.

Be sure to plan where to go on your romantic autumn picnic. The obvious choice is to wait until the leaves on the trees have started to change and plan a picnic in the forest (or the edge of a forest). If there are enough leaves on the ground (and it’s not wet), a playful leaf fight is a great way to start the sparks flying.

Some other romantic autumn picnic ideas you might want to consider are kite flying, hot-air balloon rides and horseback rides.

Autumn’s strong winds offer great kite flying weather and it’s a fun autumn picnic idea.

Hot-air balloon rides are also a great romantic autumn picnic idea and they offer a great chance to bond with your mate.

A horseback ride through in a secluded location is also a great idea. Autumn offers the perfect weather to really enjoy a horseback ride. It’s often simply too hot in the summertime to enjoy a long romantic horseback ride.

Beyond planning where to go on a romantic picnic in the autumn, give some consideration to what you plan to eat.  Finger foods like sandwiches or cold chicken strips are ok but for a romantic picnic you should really try to find something special. A particular dish that you both like or a homemade soup are good choices. You could also try finishing things off with a great wine and cheese or chocolate pairing.

This recipe will warm your hearts on a picnic!

Curried Chicken Salad with Garam Masala Biscuits


  1. 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
  2. 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  3. 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  4. 1 bay leaf
  5. 4 pounds chicken breast halves, on the bone, with skin
  6. 1 cup mayonnaise, plus more for spreading
  7. 1 tablespoon curry powder
  8. 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  9. 3 cups red grapes (about 14 ounces), halved
  10. 2 celery ribs, preferably from the heart, finely diced
  11. 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  12. 1/4 cup shelled pistachios, toasted (see Note)
  13. Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Fill a large pot with 3 quarts of water. Add the carrot, onion, peppercorns and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken and simmer over moderate heat until cooked through, about 30 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and refrigerate until cool enough to handle. Reserve the broth for another use.
  2. Discard all of the chicken skin. Remove the meat from the bones and cut it into 1/2-inch pieces.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the 1 cup of mayonnaise with the curry powder and lime juice. Stir in the chicken pieces, grapes, celery, cilantro and pistachios and season with salt and pepper. Serve the chicken salad with the Garam Masala Biscuits on the side. Alternatively, split the biscuits in half and spread them lightly with mayonnaise. Mound the chicken salad on the bottom halves and close the sandwiches. Serve right away.
Make Ahead: The chicken salad can be refrigerated overnight. Add the grapes and pistachios shortly before serving.


To toast the pistachios, spread them in a pie plate and bake at 350° for 5 minutes.For a deeper curry flavor, add a tablespoon or two of curry powder or garam masala to the chicken poaching liquid in Step 1. For a shortcut, skip step 1 altogether and start with a plain rotisserie chicken from the market.

Garam Masala Biscuits


  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  2. 3 tablespoons sugar
  3. 1 1/2 tablespoons garam masala
  4. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 1 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  8. 3/4 cup buttermilk, plus more for brushing


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a medium bowl, whisk the 2 cups of flour with the sugar, garam masala, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter until it is the size of small peas. Add the 3/4 cup of buttermilk and stir until a dough forms.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it 2 or 3 times. Roll or pat the dough into a 6-by-12-inch rectangle, about 3/4-inch thick. Using a floured knife, cut the dough into 8 square biscuits. Brush the tops with buttermilk and transfer the biscuits to a baking sheet. Bake for about 18 minutes, until risen and golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Don’t forget the smoochin.

Laugh, learn and liven up your taste buds!



I feel pretty oh so pretty!!! September 30, 2010

Filed under: happy thoughts,Image that,Interesting — celebrationgoddess @ 8:33 am

THINKING THURSDAY – (enjoy learning something new!)

When it comes to looking your best, upkeep costs like make-up, hair care, skin care and spa treatments can cost a pretty penny. American women spend an average of $7 billion a year on cosmetics and services each year, according to a 2008 study by the YWCA. Luckily, the price of beauty can be trimmed when you replace salon treatments for do-it-yourself solutions that cost a lot less.

Radiant Skin

You can use honey with sugar and salt crystals for a great smelling home face mask. You can also make a yogurt face mask from fresh yogurt, which is great for the skin. Top it off with some cucumber sliced for each eye to soothe.

Most people spend their money on anti-aging creams,. As long as you keep up the daily moisturizing and wash make up off before bed properly, then you don’t need to splurge too much on expensive creams.

Avoid exposure to the sun to maintain healthy, young looking skin. Wear moisturizers and foundations with sun protection. They don’t have to be expensive to be good, but they do have to be safe to keep skin looking young.

A final skin tip: Drink plenty of water. It keeps toxins at bay, leading to clearer looking skin.

Great Hair

We’ve all had bad hair days, but expensive products are not the only solution to frizziness, flyaways or split ends. Vinegar can help bring dull hair back to life.

Apple cider vinegar is a budget-friendly solution that adds shine to lackluster locks . After shampooing, rinse hair with a mixture of 1 cup of water and 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar. Rinse and dry. Apple cider vinegar is great for conditioning cleaning hair. It helps with itchy scalp and acts like a cream rinse when used after shampoo. And, The smell should fade in less than 30 minutes.

Another tip for healthy vibrant hair: Stimulate your scalp and send nutrients to hair follicles. Brush your hair before you hop into the shower, and once you’re in, massage your scalp while washing your hair. An extra few seconds can go a long way to improving the health of your hair.

Epsom Salt

Epsom Salt provides the beauty-conscious with a wealth of fun and healthy home remedies and beauty treatments.

In Grandma’s day, Epsom Salt was largely used as a laxative. Epsom Salt occurs naturally, although most of what we buy in the stores has been manufactured. Even still, the Epsom Salt retains its pure, natural and healing characteristics.

To take advantage of the health and beauty related functions of Epsom Salt, the Epsom Salt Council suggests the following tips:

To exfoliate:

Mix together two cups of Epsom Salt and 1 cup of petroleum jelly. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil for a pleasant fragrance. Apply the mixture to gently scrub away old cells and encourage a healthier-looking complexion.

For a facial:

Mix 1 teaspoon of Epsom Salt into a deep cleansing cream so you can reap the benefits of this mineral deep inside your skin. Massage the mixture onto your skin and then rinse with cool water. Pat dry.

To accompany a pedicure:

Before you go to the trouble of painting your nails, soften your feet by soaking them in a bathtub or plastic basin with warm water and Epsom Salt for at least 10 to 15 minutes. The salt will help to smoothen your feet, giving them a relaxed and refreshed feel.

Relaxing bath crystals:

Mix two cups of Epsom Salt with a few drops of a delightful fragrance to create a custom bath crystal. To dress up your bath crystals, add a few drops of food coloring or 1 teaspoon of glycerin. Store the crystals in an airtight container.

Soothing spa treatment:

After showering, the Epsom Salt Council recommends massaging handfuls of Epsom Salt over wet skin to exfoliate the body. It’s the same treatment many upscale spas use, without the upscale price!

For a tranquil soak:

Fill your bathtub with water at a comfortable temperature that you enjoy. As you’re filling the tub, add two cups of Epsom Salt to the water (if it is a standard-sized bathtub, make adjustments for larger tubs). Soak for at least 12 minutes, three times a week for best results. As an extra treat, the Epsom Salt Council recommends adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil for an invigorating aroma.

Stay beautiful you lovely goddesses!!! I know it’s what’s inside that counts, but a little pampering can never hurt eh?

Laugh, learn and liven up your taste buds!



ahhhhhhhh September 19, 2010

Filed under: happy thoughts — celebrationgoddess @ 8:50 am

SUCH A RELAXING SUNDAY – (enjoy a way to unwind.)

Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.

Napping shows that without a midday rest, we are not able to perform at optimal levels throughout the day. In fact, our performance falls apart. Napping maintains and even boosts our skills.

FROM THE RIRIAN PROJECT: http://ririanproject.com/about/

1. Less stress.

Curling up in a sunny patch on the floor or even lying your head down on your desk for a quick snooze brings relaxation. Research found that stress hormone levels were lower in those who took stress-reducing actions such as napping. Take a break each day from the stresses and reduce your risks, find a quiet, comfortable spot and take a nap. Even a short power nap can leave you feeling refreshed, renewed, and more focused.

2. Increased alertness and productivity.

If you have the opportunity for a power nap, particularly after a poor night of sleep, by all means, take one. You will feel more alert and energetic afterwards, and once rested after your mid-afternoon nap, your mood, efficiency, and alertness level will improve greatly. Scientists have even proven that taking a 20-minute nap approximately eight hours after you have awaken will do more for your stamina than sleeping another 20 minutes in the morning. Of course when you first come out of your afternoon nap, you will feel a bit groggy for around ten minutes, but once your decline in motor dexterity dissipates, you will reap the rewards of being well rested and ready to go for the rest of the day.

3. Improved memory and learning.

Naps aren’t just for the very young, old, and sluggish. Daytime dozing may enhance a person’s capacity to learn certain tasks. That, at least, is the eye-opening implication of a new study in which college students were challenged to detect subtle changes in an image during four different test sessions on the same day.

Participants improved on the task throughout the first session. The students’ speed and accuracy then leveled off during the second session. The scores of the participants who didn’t nap declined throughout the final two sessions. In contrast, volunteers who took a 20-minute power nap after completing the second practice session showed no ensuing performance dips. What’s more, 1-hour power nappers responded progressively faster and more accurately in the third and fourth sessions. It looks like napping may protect brain circuits from overuse until those neurons can consolidate what’s been learned about a procedure.

4. Good for the heart.

Taking 40 winks in the middle of the day may reduce the risk of death from heart disease, particularly in young healthy men, say researchers. They studied 23,681 individuals living in Greece who had no history of coronary heart disease, stroke or cancer when they first volunteered, and found that those who took a 30-minute siesta at least three times a week had a 37% lower risk of heart-related death. The researchers took into account ill health, age, and whether people were physically active. So go ahead and nap — a short daily snooze might ward off a heart attack later in life. It is known that countries where siestas are common tend to have lower levels of heart disease.

5. Increased cognitive functioning.

In a recent study, researchers at NASA showed that a 30-minute power nap increased cognitive faculties by approximately 40 percent! Tests carried out on one thousand volunteers proved that those who continued working without rest, made lower scores in intelligence tests like the IQ test. More importantly, their capacities to work and memorize decreased in comparison to those who napped after lunch.

In concordance with NASA’s work, biology students at Berkeley determined that the nap must be short in order to produce maximum effectiveness. Over forty five minutes, the beneficial effects of napping disappear and it is therefore suggested to take a fifteen to thirty five minute “power nap”. This is the time necessary for the organism to rest and enables brain neurons to recuperate.

6. Get motivated to exercise.

Sufficient sleep and naps help motivate exercise. Some 28 percent of adolescents say they are too tired to exercise, due to sleep. As adults, let’s not let tiredness ruin our jogs. You’re guaranteed to run longer, faster, more efficiently and mindfully when your body has it’s required amount of zzzz’s. So, store-up, shore-up and build-up your energy reserve with a power nap. It’s easy (free!) and proven effective.

7. Boost your creativity.

Rest and relaxation isn’t only vital to your health — it might also make you a more creative person. People tend to be more imaginative after a good night’s sleep. Other experts agree that taking a nap or stepping away from a problem or project refreshes the mind and could lead to better ideas later. Power napping allows your brain to create the loose associations necessary for creative insight and opens the way for a fresh burst of new ideas. So if you feel stuck, then you might want to take a nap. Return to the problem after diverting your attention for a while. The best part is that there’s no need to feel guilty, because taking some “me time,” in this case, could help your business in the long run.

8. Make up for midnight tossing and turning.

Some of the most recent research suggests that a bad night’s sleep can stress the body as well as the mind. One such study, suggests that missing sleep throws the body’s metabolism off kilter. Scientists at the University of Chicago studied physical changes in 11 young men who slept four hours per night for six nights in a row. They found that sleep deprivation seemed to trigger a diabetes-like condition, harmed hormone production, and interfered with the ability to use carbohydrates.

According to some studies, power napping is clearly beneficial to someone who is a normal sleeper but who is getting insufficient sleep at night. Researchers still don’t understand the underlying neurobiology, but it looks like sleep time is cumulative. They compared the alertness of people who slept eight hours a night to that of people who slept less but took a nap during the day. Both groups were equivalent.

9. Protect yourself from sleepiness.

Scientists had also found benefits in the “prophylactic” nap for people who have to stay up late. It can protect you from sleepiness. If you have to be up all night, a two-hour or a four-hour nap does provide additional alertness the next day. Research conducted by NASA produced similar results. Naps are clearly useful for some people, including shift workers, students, and anyone doing long-haul work, such as pilots on transcontinental runs.

10. Better health.

Napping in general benefits heart functioning, hormonal maintenance, and cell repair, says Dr. Sara Mednick who is at the forefront of napping research. A power nap, says Mednick, simply maximizes these benefits by getting the sleeper into and out of rejuvenating sleep as fast as possible.

Laugh, learn and liven up your taste buds!



I’m a Goddess, She’s a Goddess September 9, 2010

Filed under: happy thoughts,Image that — celebrationgoddess @ 8:13 am

You ARE a Goddess!!!

THINKING THURSDAY – (enjoy learning something new!)

Wouldn’t you like to be a Goddess too!!!

You know when I feel inwardly beautiful? When I am with my girlfriends and we are having a ‘goddess circle’.  – Jennifer Aniston


A beautiful video with pictures, music and these words: “A woman who is in the process of learning to know, accept and love herself on all levels, Mind Body and Spirit. A woman who, because she focuses on personal growth and self awareness, experiences a life, increasingly filled with peace, love, joy, passion and fun. A woman that understands that she has unlimited capacity to make her life anything she wants. A woman who is inspired to give to those around her our of her sense of gratitude and abundance.”

Goddesses take time and effort to look good. Cleopatra (a famous Egyptian queen) was said to take milk baths. Pour two cups of milk into your bath and swirl the water around a few times. Milk makes the skin soft and touchable – perfect for a goddess!

Clothes-wise: To start off, you need to look like a goddess. Goddesses can come in all forms, so you need to have your own style.

Wear your favorite bra and panties. Having good undergarments on make you feel sexy. AND you always want clean underwear on in case your in an accident. “Mom rule.”

Godesses are healthy. So, eat right, and exercise every day.

Godesses are rested. Get enough sleep and meditate on the wonder of your special life. Only you are you. And YOU are a goddess!!!

Always try your best! In work, with your family and friends, and at your favorite hobby.

Now, time for acting like a goddess. Treat everyone with respect, no matter who they are. NEVER become a diva! Smile and greet those you know or want to get to know, and those people who look lonely or sad.

Lastly, be nicer to everyone. Everyone loves a nice Goddess!

Laugh, learn and liven up your taste buds!