I am very big into family, and I have a big family as well. 5 brothers and sisters (I'm the 5th of 6). 14 nieces and nephews (R Russell Patrick II joined us 10/13/13). 5 great-nephews & 6 great-nieces (Brooklyn Grace joined us 10/2/13). And no, with that many family members, I do not keep up with birthdays very well. Not well at ALL! Even with a master list on my fridge.
I'm also married. My husband and I got married here in San Antonio at the historic Sheraton Gunter Hotel downtown. And we are the proud parents of a 12 year old Alaskan Husky named Moo and three 1 year old kittens: Wicket, Willow, and Winter.
Like all Texas moms, I made my kid pose in the bluebonnets.
It’s cold, it’s rainy, it’s too humid. I don’t want to exercise outdoors, but being indoors can be monotonous. So let’s shake it up!
Park your bike. If you love to cycle, don't stop. Use a training stand to convert your bike into a stationary model that you can pedal indoors. You might watch your favorite action show and stay revved up as you ride.
Head for cover. Is walking your activity of choice? You might hit your stride at the nearest shopping mall. Of course, treadmills are a given at most fitness centers — but some have indoor tracks, as well.
Hit play. Fitness DVDs can be like having personal trainers at your disposal. Rent a few for variety — and see what you like. Your public library may also have some available. Or, you might start a workout DVD exchange club with friends.
Get more ideas to keep it fresh here.
Congratulations to the Texas A&M Traditions Club who have built the world's largest gingerbread house in Bryan, Texas! And yes, that's a new Guinness World Record! In order to be eligible for the world record, the house must be (and is) edible on the outside.
The home is 39,000 sq ft and almost 36 million calories! Unlike the prior winner, this house was built outside. You can even walk through it. No word on whether you can taste test it though.
Check out the article that includes photos and video here.
Protect your body…
When You’re Wrapping Gifts
Sit in a chair at a table, with your abdomen pulled in, your stomach muscles engaged, and your shoulders back and down. Keep all materials within easy reach to avoid awkward stretches.
When You're Cooking
Lessen back strain by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, shoulders back, and knees soft. Your counter height should be no more than a few inches below your hands if you have your arms at your side and your elbows bent at 90 degrees. If it’s too low, stack cutting boards; if it’s too high, stand on a sturdy stool.
When You’re on the Road
Sit with your legs uncrossed, your feet flat on the floor, and your spine straight. Place a small pillow behind your lower back to support it without exaggerating the natural curve.
Take a look at other ways to protect your body here.
You hear people saying it all the time, “Forgive and forget.” Or “It’s better for you if you let it go.” But why should you and how do you when you’ve been hurt so badly?
Remember that when you don’t forgive, you stay in the same place. There’s no moving forward, no growing, no getting better. So, it’s easy. To forgive takes strength and work. Lots of both actually. But it really IS better for you if you forgive. Why?
It can restore your feelings of being in control of your life and give back a sense of control over your life. It can also help get rid of stress and anxiety which in turn will lower your blood pressure.
To forgive requires a process. So here are some strategies to get you through.
Focus on the rewards. You may be able to sleep at night. You may feel happier.
Lean on someone. Friends and family can be confidants, shoulders to cry on, spiritual advisors and more.
Do things that make YOU happy. Instead of focusing on your anger or hurt, focus on your happiness and the happiness of the friends and family around you.
Get more ideas on how to be forgiving here.
Barbara has picked the celebrities she thinks are the most fascinating of 2013 for her last "Most Fascinating" special.
That list includes
The special airs on Wednesday, December 18th, at 8:30pm on ABC. The #1 Most Fascinating Person will be announced during the show. Barbara plans on retiring in May.
Read more here.
Everyone wants to go all out for holiday dinner, but let’s not break your budget this year.
Take inventory first.
Your very own pantry is your biggest money saver. When it comes to basic items you need for big meals, chances are, you already have them. For pies and desserts, think flour, sugar, baking soda and baking powder. For the savory dishes, think chicken stock, spices and olive oil.
Shopping before the crowds pile in means you get first dibs on all the best deals. Waiting until the last minute results in not only missing those deals, but also being forced to buy items that aren’t on sale simply because they’re the only ones that are left.
Plan costs ahead of time.
Factor in your holiday meal shopping early so that there’s room for it in your budget.
Stick to your list.
Don’t be tempted by the candy, décor and other treats that most stores will have glaring at you while you’re waiting in line to check out.
Look into other ways to help save here.
Photo courtesy: Shutterstock/kurhan
I don't shop on Black Friday. I can't handle the crowds. Nothing is important enough to deal with the lines at the checkout in my opinion. No thanks! That being said, some people will be out in force on Black Friday, and some retailers are even opening their doors on Thanksgiving Day. Stores like Best Buy, Dollar General, Michaels, Old Navy, and Sears. See a list of stores that will be open as well as their hours of operation here.
And you may not want to cook for Thanksgiving. You may want to just go out and be waited on. There will be plenty of restaurants open like Applebee's and Golden Corral. Just remember if you do go out to eat, it would be a really nice thing to tip well. Here is a list of other restaurants that will be open.
Photo Courtesy: Shutterstock/kurhan
Toys are among the worst buys on Black Friday because they see their demand peak around November. Typically prices on toys drop a couple of weeks before Christmas because retailers usually need to clear out their inventory before Christmas, since sales of the season’s hot toys die out after the holidays.
Companies will often offer selected electronic devices, such as TVs, at a heavy discount in order to get customers to come to their stores and then look to profit by selling accessories, such as cables, at a considerable mark up.
Sellers are more than eager to dump decorations before the end of the year, so prices are usually lower later in December.
Learn about other products not to buy here.
I love giving presents! It’s fun and I love seeing the smiles on my loved ones’ faces. But how do you keep to your budget?
Remember the Extras
When drawing up your list, go beyond gifts. Prep for all the other expenses that are likely to crop up — from travel to greeting cards & stamps to parties and (head-slap!) tips for the babysitter, the hairstylist, and others.
Ready, Set…Go Shopping!
It may sound strange, but the earlier you begin your shopping, the less you're likely to spend.
Keep Your Hands to Yourself
If you want to avoid unwanted splurges, resolve not to touch those amazing display items. Handling an object sparks possessive feelings, says research in the field of haptics — the science of touch.
Look into other ways not to spend too much here.