Gardening in Stilettos
The End of the Beginning....with every ending there is a new beginning!!
Hope everyone had a wonderful 2009 and wishing many blessings of a fantastic 2010!!!
Photo Courtesy of the Food Network


1 oz Organic Green Tea
1 1/2 oz Mango Puree
1 oz Jose Cuervo Tequila
1/2 oz Cointreau
Dash of Habenero
Splash of Lime Juice
Our lives can be filled with laughter and joy, but as demands on our time increase and unrealistic expectations begin to build, they often become anxiety ridden. Here are a few simple things you can do to deal with stress.

1. Welcome Your Day With Gratitude 
    When you awake to a new day before you let your mind slip into all
    the daily task, be still. Lay still for a few moments, take a few deep  
    breaths- in in through your nose and out through your mouth- welcome
    the gift of another day of life into your body. Place your hand over
    your heart and feel the rhythm, embrance that moment of being, hear
    your unique rhythm, connect to your spirit and energy- center yourself.
    When you place your feet to the floor and take your first steps of the
    say "Thank You". Be thankful for another day.

2. Love Your Body
    Before you leave your bedroom in the morning, do some stretches,  
    yoga, or calisthenics. Get your body active and maintain your basic 
    movements by keeping them strong and limber. Give your body the 
    a little love before starting your day. 

3. Laugh and Be A Kid Again
    Get outside to play with the kids. Play a game of tag. Ride your bike.
    Hola hoop. Just step outside open your arms and spin around, catch the 
    wind. Laugh- laughing is a great tension reliever, it reduces stress and 
    makes you feel better all around.

4. Listen to Music
    Keep a  play list on your ipod, your phone, MP3, or whatever device
    you use of some uptempo music that makes you feel good. Music is 
    good for the soul.

5. Peace & Quiet
    Take time for yourself. Our jobs and spending time with friends/family
    are a part of life, but it's also important to have atleast five minutes 
    to yourself to relax throughout the day.  Incorporate these moments in 
    your daily activity. Prayer and meditation are great practices for peace
    and quiet time. Also, if stressful moments creep in during your day
    do deep breathing exercises to realign yourself.

Bonus item and my personal favorite:
    Releasing of endorphins is a great way of feeling fabulous inside and

Today is the 3rd day of Kwanzaa
The Purpose of Kwanzaa

According to the official website, Kwanzaa, which is celebrated each year between December 26 and January 1, was established to reinforce basic principles in African culture.  The principles include and emphasis on family and a respect for community culture. Recently the scope of Kwanzaa has expanded to include people of all backgrounds who feel these principles are important.

Kwanzaa invites participants to meditate on and interpret its values in ways that are relevant to our individual and collective goals. It is my belief that these principles should be applied to our lives throughout the year.

The Seven Principles

  1. Umoja - stands for Unity
  2. Kujichagulia - stands for Self-Determination
  3. Ujima - stands for Collective Work and Responsibility
  4. Ujamaa - stands for Cooperative Economics
  5. Nia - stands for Purpose
  6. Kuumba - stands for Creativity
  7. Imani - stands for Faith

Wishing everyone a safe, healthy and happy holiday season!!!
Love: me & my significant other
Today is the Celebration of Winter Solstice Traditions – Monday, December 21, 2009 marks the Winter Solstice traditions, and this is the announcement of the official start of the winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Winter Solstice is also known as Yule.

Winter solstice falls every year around Dec. 21. It is because of the earth’s axial tilt, which is farthest away from the sun at its maximum of 23° 26′. At this time of the year, the sun is closer to the horizon, thus giving out least amount of daylight therefore shortening the day and lengthening the night.

But there is a bright side to it. Starting Tuesday, the days will start getting longer, leading to summer solstice, which in 2010 will fall on June 21. At that time, the day will be the longest with the daytime lasting for about 15 hours compared to 9 hours on Monday.

Our ancestors lived in a world where everyone believed in mystery and magic. Every year, they gathered together to celebrate the seemingly miraculous return of the light after the longest night of the year and that’s how Winter Solstice festivals were born. To this day, people all over the world celebrate Winter Solstice as a time of rebirth, a new beginning and a chance to marvel at the power of transition from darkness into light.

Source: Winter Solstice 2009: Today is the Celebration of Winter Solstice Traditions | Daily World Buzz
Via: Daily World Buzz

Every day we are given is a reason to celebrate and each season teaches us somthing new. So for the first time this year I will be participating in a Winter Solstice Celebration at the Lakeview Mansion.

"Candelight Winter Solstice Ceremony"
(releasing the old...making room for the new)
Recipe courtesy of Charles Corpion from the Four Seasons via Martha Stewart Show (december 2008)

Ingredients: Makes one cocktail

1 1/2 ounces orange vodka
1/2 ounce orange-flavored liqueur, such as Cointreau
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
Club soda chilled
Garnish: 1 mint leaf, 1 raspberry

Combine vodka, orange liqueur, lemon juice, and ice in a cocktail shaker
Shake and strain into a chilled martini glass top with a splash of club soda.
Add Garnish
One of my favorite hobbies and interest is photography. There was a time in life that I would never leave home without a camera, I must get back to this habit. So in efforts to move back into one of my all time favorite pasttimes. Here are a few photos of the 1st snow fall in my area this weekend.