Odor Cleanser with Coffee

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odor cleanser by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere

Over time, the freezer develops a strange odor and last night I had to clean it out! I emptied it out and used an all purpose spray (made with On Guard Concentrate) to clean it out. On Guard has a pleasantly mild cinnamon and orange fragrance. I use it on all our surfaces too. When we have company ring to get in the gate, I quickly spray the counters down and wipe dry. I get the sweetest compliments from guests on how nice my home smells.

Freezer: After cleaning out the freezer, I put our food back in and placed a bowl of freshly ground coffee beans in a glass bowl on the shelf. Coffee beans and grounds are known odor cleaners.

Sense of Smell Cleaner: If you’re ever in the market for perfume or body sprays, take a small bag of coffee grounds with you. It cleanses the nasal senses so you can detect the actual fragrance of each perfume.

Hand Scrub: Interestingly enough, coffee grounds can also serve as a hand scrub! Place a tablespoon of liquid hand soap in the palm of your hand and a teaspoon of coffee grounds. Gently wash hands and rinse clean. Helps eliminate garlic and onion odor.

Exfoliating Prior to Shaving: Some women even use coffee grounds with liquid body wash as a body scrub, which is great just before shaving your legs. Minimizes foot odor.

Room Deodorizer: Just brew a fresh pot of coffee using freshly ground coffee beans of a dark roast variety.

Fireplace: Wet coffee grounds can be used to help make fireplace cleaning easier because it helps holds down the ash. Helps minimize the smell of the ash.

Car Freshener: Clear the air in your vehicle by placing fresh ground coffee grounds in an old knee high nylon and tie it. Place it under the seats in the car.

Pest Eliminator: Some housewives claim coffee grounds help repel ants and cats from your planters, keeping the flower beds clean from foul deposits. ;)


coffee grounds by sisterlisa, on Pix-O-Sphere


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11 Ways to Make the Family Meal a Time of Healing

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11 ways to make the family meal a time of healing

11 ways to make the family meal a time of healing

Many cultures know that having meals together with loved ones is a nurturing event. Not only can we improve our health, but we can improve our minds and souls in the process. My love language is cooking with other people. I love to prepare a meal with my family and friends then sit down to enjoy the fruit of our labor after a word of thanks. It’s a spiritual experience for me and I want to share that experience with others. Even better when I can create a healthy experience out of it.

I want my family to be able to have a relaxing meal and avoid stress . Stress can negatively affect our digestion and having good digestion is important for our health. Preparing a meal for loved ones shouldn’t be a cumbersome activity and it’s important to bring the family together for an enjoyable nutritional experience. Not only do we need to see the importance of a good dining experience, but also to be aware of how our food intake can negatively affecting our mood. Our mind, body, and spirit have a much deeper connection than we realize and nurturing a balance  between them can bring us into a more harmonious lifestyle. Not only can the food we eat help us to heal, but so can having family unity and love. We can be creating magical evenings if we’ll just set our minds and hearts to it.

Here are 11 ways to make the family meal a time of healing.

1. Make a plan: If you’re not accustomed to eating at the table on a regular basis, let the family know when you’re going to plan a ‘sit down’ meal for them. I understand that busy schedules don’t leave us time to sit down at 5 pm every night, but don’t let that stop you from planning a nice evening at least once a week. Plan your  meals to be on the same nights, such as Sundays, lets the family know there’s a special meal that gathers them together. They’ll know in advance that they will be sitting across the table from one another and it could help them work out their differences before hand.

“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones..”  ~Proverbs 17:22

2. Set the mood: Talk about the upcoming meal a week (or at least a few days) in advance. Let everyone know what’s being planned and how special the evening is going to be. Advanced notice of a joyful meal prepares their mood ahead of time. To make it extra special, let each family member take turns choosing the meal.

3. Ambiance: Customize a music playlist, make a floral arrangement, and light candles to create an ambiance for the gathering. You can enlist the children to help set the table special with bows made with twine around the napkins or place cards with fun doodles. Enlisting their help can create a team spirit to bring them closer together. Don’t use scented candles that would clash with the aroma of your meal.

4. Aromatherapy: Sautee crushed garlic, chopped onions, and chopped celery to create an aroma to fill the home. If your planned meal is breakfast instead of dinner, you can simmer some cinnamon, cloves, and apple slices in a small pan of water on the stove.

5. Seasoning the food with healing herbs and spices: Don’t over do the spices and sauces. Seasoning should be to enhance, not drown, the meal. Healing herbs and spices can be incorporated into your dish. Use fresh oregano and thyme from your garden in an Italian meal and fresh mint in your dessert.

6. Have purposeful conversations: Make sure the family knows to leave tension filling conversations for another time. This is a time to enjoy each other’s company over a nice meal. Encourage conversation that inspires and encourages. I often let my family know the health benefits of the ingredients I used in the meal. I think it’s good for them to know how healthy their food is while they’re enjoying it.

7. Don’t rush the meal:  Eating slower helps avoid choking, burping, and indigestion. Having conversations can slow everyone down so they’re not eating too quickly. The more you chew, before swallowing, the more effective saliva can be at breaking down your food for better digestion.

“Health and cheerfulness naturally beget each other.”  ~Joseph Addison

8. Stay at the table: Don’t let those who finish earlier leave the table. Let the kids know there is no race to get back to the television or video games. Enjoy each other’s company. Let your food settle over more conversation or use this time for some extra prayer. Does anyone have a prayer request? Let them know you care about their week and want to offer spiritual support.

9. Clean as a team: Assign each person a duty for clean up and make it fun. You can inspire team effort in clean up with a refreshing dessert that can only be had once the dinner is cleaned up. Turn on some music and sing together to keep everyone moving.

10. Give Thanks: Yes, give thanks after the meal. Thank everyone for coming together, give each other a hug, and let them know how important and meaningful the evening was to you.

11. Present the dessert: Dessert doesn’t have to be full of unnecessary calories. It can be as simple as a small bowl of strawberries or peaches with a drizzle of cream and honey.

Are there other ways you have made the family meal a special experience?

8 super healthy alternatives to using mayo

8 super healthy alternatives to using mayo

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Hostile Shoppers at Walmarts Across the Nation, but Not at Our Neighborhood Walmart

We’ve had over ten years experience being Black Friday Shoppers. Granted, our experience was in a smaller town of about 80,000 people. This was our first year Black Friday Shopping in Southern California. After looking through the ads, we decided on two stores. We split up between Walmart and Sears.

My husband’s parents closed escrow on their home and they wanted to get a new television. So they went to get in line an hour before the Sears was scheduled to open. My husband reported that he saw some hostility in some folks standing in line and out of curiosity he walked over to check it out. People were complaining and angry about something and the manager was doing his best to calm them down. He looked at my husband and asked what he needed. Scott kindly backed away and said he was just curious, but wanted to give the manager space to work this out and he returned to his place in line. A little while later, the manager came to my husband and told him to come find him as soon as he got in the store.

He did just that and the manager sold him a better television (worth $900) than what they went for…for $299.99. It wasn’t the television on sale, but he gave him the sale price. See what kindness and respect can do for you?

Meanwhile, my daughter Jessica and I were headed to Walmart in Huntington Beach. The previous years of national horror stories of pushing, screaming, stampeding, and trampling made me nervous. The store was already open when we arrived around 7 pm. We entered the store and although there was a good crowd, it was relatively quiet. We slowly made our way through the store and found EVERYTHING we had on our list. We then found a quiet aisle and waited there for my husband and his parents to arrive. Although we found everything we wanted, the rule was that we couldn’t actually purchase the items until 8 pm. The electronic items were guarded by employees until 8 pm, but the other things could be picked up without being in a line.

We began noticing an increase in voices just after 8 pm. I cautiously peeked around the corner of the aisle and didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. I think the people were just excited, but nothing hostile. It’s mind boggling that some communities experience apocalyptic violence just to save a few bucks after celebrating a national holiday to honor gratitude.

photo source Naked Pastor

I made my way up to the front to get a water from the refrigerator at the check stand and noticed the line went to the back of the store. When I got back to Jessica I told her we should just get in line and wait for Scott there. The line spanned 3/4 of the depths of the store. Scott called and said his parents wanted to go home so I offered to drive them. Jessica waited in line and I exited the store. Mom-in-love decided she would attempt to drive themselves home in the 4×4 so I could stay with Scott and Jessica. When we walked back into the store I noticed SHORT lines on more than 15 registers. Why in the world were we made to wait in a line to the back of the store?

Scott got in a line to hold our spot and I went back to get Jessica. Once we got the cart up to the shorter line I noticed about 50 people lining up behind us. We kept a close eye on the check stands and noticed that most of the people looked like zombies, rubbing red eyes and a bit dazed. I started escorting people out of the long line and into each check stand aisle.

People were thankful.

The massive line shortened and the lines were moving much quicker.

We finalized our purchase and took everything to the car, but we still had to get in the line for the 10 pm purchase of the ipad 2. That line was moving at a snail’s pace. No exaggeration. They had 3 registers dedicated to this specific purchase, heavily guarded. I understand the safety precautions and although Scott didn’t get through the line until 1 am, I am glad no one mobbed the doors and no one got hurt. Everyone was respectful.

During the time he was in line, Jess and I went back in to find the same long line again, with 15 registers wide open. We felt like heroes, escorting people to the open registers. They were so relieved and thankful. I think the crowded aisles made it hard for them to see the open registers. We continued to help keep the lines moving along while we waited for Scott. Eventually, the lines disappeared as the store came to a close, but Scott was still in line. So we started helping the employees sort through the ‘go back’ carts.

Hey, we had nothing else to do. Why not be helpful?

Although we had crowds, our overall experience at Walmart on Talbert Ave was an excellent one. The shoppers and employees were kind to us and we were encouraged to continue our Black Friday tradition again next year.

Our experience may have been a rare exception. The Walmart in the video below is a shame. But it’s NOT the Walmart store’s fault. It’s the shoppers. It’s shoppers like these that make national headlines, but it’s the Walmart we went to that should make the front page.


An additional note: I noticed on Twitter that Walmart employees in 7 states were on strike due to poor working conditions and low wages. When Walmart employees are made to put up with hostile and dangerous shoppers, as seen in the video above, Walmart should be paying them TOP DOLLAR to put up with that mob. No Walmart employee should have to risk their safety so untamed shoppers can get a discount on a phone. The Walmart in Huntington Beach impressed me! The shoppers impressed me! They worked together to make the experience as safe and pleasant as possible. This community rocks!

*Disclaimer: Walmart did not ask me nor pay me to write about our experience. I am not an employee nor a relative of an employee.

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