How to Stay Young at Heart

staying young at heart

I may be older than you but I’m still young at heart!  And I’ve got a few healthy thoughts to share with you, to encourage you, no matter your age!

You think you’re old?  Listen to these historic facts:

  • Seth, the third son of Adam and Eve, was born after Abel’s murder when Adam was 130 years old,
  • and Seth died at 912 years of age.
  • Remember…Moses climbed a mountain at 80 years of age.
  • Abraham fathered a child at
  • Sarah became a mother at 90 or 91 (the only woman whose age is mentioned in the Bible).
  • Enoch, son of Jared, Father of Methuselah, was taken home by God at 365!
  • Lamech died at 777, a few years before the Great Flood, and named his first son Noah.
  • And today we think that living until we are 90 is miraculous!

Here’s a personal challenge for you.  Take a little time to study those individual’s lives and check out how they used the time that God gave them!

1 John 5:11-12 – “…God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life: he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

Some things to remember:

  • Freedom is never free!
  • Make today count!
  • As long as we have breath, we can pray!
  • Remember to vote!
  • Time is precious and life is a gift.  Give it your best!
  • Take a stand even if it means standing alone or using a cane or leaning on crutches!
  • Stay alert and engaged!

Augustine wrote, “Trust the past to God’s mercy, the present to God’s love,  and the future to God’s providence.”

And here’s your smile for the day — for those of us who are getting a little older and who have the goal of “keeping on keeping on”. (The following is said with tongue-in-cheek.)

God grant me the senility
to forget the people
I never liked anyway,
the good fortune
to run into the ones I do,
and the eyesight
to tell the difference!

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Robin Cox is an avid learner who shares encouragement and life lessons from God’s Word. She plays a mean game of Scrabble when she’s not baking, cooking, quilting, or spending time curating her incredible flowers and plants. Robin has taught women’s Bible studies for years in the local church, special events, and professional businesswomen meetings. There’s not much that makes Robin happier than knowing a life has been changed by trusting in Jesus. The gift of hospitality and a love for people shines through her written words.  Robin is delighted to find herself a contributor to The Savvy Rose (and we’re so happy to have her sharing her thoughts here!). Make yourself at home, grab a cup of tea, and sit awhile in the garden.

Sweet Potato Bread with Almond Flour

sweet potato bread recipe
Hi Savvy Friends! This post may be sponsored or contain affiliate links. My opinions are always my own. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, I make a small commission – at no cost to you – which helps keep this blog running, my recipes and posts free, and supports my family.

the savvy roseSaturday mornings are meant for coffee, reading my Bible while the hubby browses the newspaper, and making something warm and tasty for breakfast. Most week days I make oatmeal or have a slice of Ezekiel bread. Quick, easy and satisfying!

Growing up my mom was a baker and cook and she could make ANY thing. Every day she stretched the family budget by making delicious meals from scratch. She canned, baked bread, made sweet rolls, and managed her home like high-paid CEO who took a $1 salary. Her true wage earned – at her choice – was knowing her children were raised in safety and security while my dad worked to provide for our needs.

While I grew up appreciating the love of baking, now I avoid white flour and try to limit sugar. I have a complex attitude towards eating because:

  1. I ate a plant-based for 18 months during cancer round two. Juiced on the hour. Five pounds of carrots and six green apples daily with another 80% raw foods (lots of salads) and 20% cooked foods (sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa). No dairy because dairy can be inflammatory. Yes, I feel your pain – I have dairy farmers in my family. I moved from cow milk to almond and coconut milk, and the eating plan included a good portion (but not unlimited) healthy fats like almond oil, walnut oil, pumpkin oil, avocados and olive oil. Hummus? Delicious. No coffee. Lots of herbal tea and water. One teaspoon of raw honey or maple syrup daily. No artificial sweeteners. Hard? You bet. But dying from cancer and cancer treatment side effects (which I went through, twice) is harder.
  2. Went back to a more standard diet over the past couple of years and ate more of what I shouldn’t have. I feel healthy for all I’ve been through but I know I must be careful with what I eat. I need to do more consistent light exercise (walking, swimming, pilates). I did green powdered drink daily for the past few years but dropped the daily carrot juice to a few times per week. I’ve used the carrot juice as more of a maintenance routine; there is nothing like it and I love the drink.
  3. Recently have tried low carb/keto because it IS a great way to eat for people needing to lose weight. I did low carb years ago and really enjoyed it and I lost weight! But I put the weight back on. The ketogenic diet is being hailed as a great way to prevent cancer. I don’t argue that at all. However, having done the plant-based diet to recover from cancer and cancer treatment, I find the full ketogenic eating very “heavy”. Delicious, but heavy. Fried foods now kill my digestive system and I ate all kinds of fried food on low carb in the past. Keto allows artificial sweeteners, many of which I find concerning from a cancer survivor perspective. I use Stevia to sweeten herbal teas; I can’t stand stevia in my coffee.
  4. I toyed with Paleo which emphasizes eating only what “cave ancestors” would have had available. No whole grains (which were allowed on the plant-based diet); no dairy; lots of meat and healthy fats, plants, and nuts and berries. Hummus is off limits on paleo eating plans because it is a legume.
  5. This week I told my husband, “I feel best on plant-based. It was hard, and I did it to save my life and I got tired of it, but this ketogenic thing is WAYYYY too heavy for me.”

The verdict? I’m working to find the right heavily-plant based balance for me. Sometimes we can eat too much of a good thing; so portions of healthy foods are important, too.

Here is what I’ve decided is best for me:

  1. Cooked foods include oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, in limited amounts.
  2. No fried foods.
  3. Meats in very limited amounts (Green veggies have lots of protein! But if you don’t eat ANY meat, you need to supplement some of the omega fats that you won’t get without meat. Flaxseed is an excellent way to do that.)
  4. Meats that are consumed should be organic/hormone free chicken, turkey, and wild fish.
  5. At LEAST one big salad per day for lunch, and many days, it should be TWO. Lunch and supper.
  6. Fruit? Perfectly ok in limited quantities. Avoid the dirty dozen fruits known for high pesticide content.
  7. Healthy fats from good oils (almond, walnut, olive, coconut, avocado) perfectly great.
  8. Legumes are fine (yay, hummus!).
  9. When in doubt, if it doesn’t come off a tree or out of the ground, DON’T EAT IT.

the savvy roseToday I decided to try using up extra cooked sweet potatoes. I added almond flour, eggs, and spices to create a healthy bread. Here is my recipe!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Almond Flour (you could also use Coconut Flour)

1 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon Cloves (I used 9-10 drops of Young Living Clove Essential Oil – always use the Vitality line for oils that are ingested)

1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder

1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/4 teaspoon Salt (I use Himalayan Sea Salt)

1 cup Cooked & Mashed  Sweet Potato (for me this was two medium precooked sweet potatoes)

3 tablespoons melted Coconut Oil (best measured when melted, not solid)

1/4 cup Honey (you can also use Maple Syrup)

1 1/2 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. I prefer to put a drop of olive oil in the pan and use a paper towel to oils the entire pan.
  2. Line the pan with parchment paper to make your life easier after the bread finishes baking.
  3. In a small bowl combine the Almond Flour, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves (or Young Living Clove Vitality Essential Oil), Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Salt. Whisk to combine and then set aside.
  4. In another large mixing bowl whisk the Eggs. Add in Mashed Sweet Potato/Yam, Honey or Maple Syrup, Coconut Oil, and Vanilla. Whisk very well to combine all ingredients. There may be some small lumps from the Sweet Potato and that is fine.
  5. Pour dry ingredients into the bowl of wet ingredients and stir well to combine.
  6. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan.
  7. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, uncovered, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with very few moist crumbs attached.
  8. Allow bread to cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 20 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Carefully peel away the wax paper before slicing.
  10. Makes 1 loaf.
  11. PS: The plate below is indeed old Corelle from Mom’s kitchen. Anyone else grow up with this pattern :)?

finished sweet potato bread with almond flour

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Medjool Date Dessert Balls

healthy vegan recipe ideas dates coconut almonds walnuts coconut oil recipe

One of my favorite treats for a plant based eating plan is a recipe using dates to create a delicious, almost-fudge-brownie-like, dessert! I mean, healthy doesn’t have to mean cardboard, right?? Here are the ingredients I use. You will want to load them into a food processor and then blend them up good. Remove the mix from the food processor and shape into 1 inch balls. You’ll be rewarded with a yummy, healthy treat! You can also adjust the ingredients to include raw coconut flakes, chia seeds, or other ingredients you may want to try. Enjoy!

2 cups walnuts or almonds.

2 cups of Medjool dates. Be sure to remove the pits!

2 tablespoon coconut oil.

1/2 teaspon sea salt.

1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

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The Tapestry of Dark and Light

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A Few Thoughts Before We Get Into Today’s Tune-up

Psalm 92:14-15“They shall still bear fruit in old age.  They shall be fresh and flourishing, to declare that the Lord is upright, He is my Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.”  I’m here today to share some fruit. And it will point you to my Rock!

Jill Brisco and her husband, Stuart, were being interviewed on a Christian radio station.  Both are over 80 years of age.  I loved the remark that was made – that they were being introduced as “experts” because of their age.  So I want you to understand – I’m an “expert” – I turned 82 in May! If time isn’t precious to you right now where you are, you need to change your priorities!

Incidentally, the Briscoes have a book out called “Improving with Age”!!  How about that!

I may be older than you but I’m still young at heart!

the savvy roseTUNE-UP TIME! THE TAPESTRY OF DARK AND LIGHT IN OUR LIVES

I can guarantee – “light and dark” tapestry occurs in each of our lives.  God uses both to get our attention, to challenge us, to help us grow, to assist in the transformation process that He sovereignly designs for each one of us as He fulfills His plan to see us become more like His Son.   Romans 8:28-29 – “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.  For those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son…” – and THAT is what all the dark and light times of life are about. 

Presently, I send an email to my adult kids each weekday morning to remind them of my cheerleading efforts in word and prayer on their behalf.  And on June 28 I wrote:

“In August I will be speaking to a group of ladies so I am beginning to prepare a message on the dark and light times in our lives using some quilting projects as illustrations.  Consequently, my mind is focusing on the difficulties and challenges of the tough times faced, along with the unfathomable provisions that are given to us by the Father to counterbalance and totally overwhelm the heavy loads we find ourselves facing as we trudge, crawl, climb and sometimes scrape and dig our way along, and then at other times joyfully leaping and bounding along the pathway on which God is leading each one of us.  I’m being reminded of the constant, unfailing love and strength and provision of our Father to me as His child.  I am praising Him today with a thankful heart.  Acts 17:28 – “…in Him we live and move and have our being.  I love you – Mom”

And with that introduction, in my next post, we will look at how the tapestry of dark and light is illustrated in the beautiful art of quilting.

Are you a quilter? What are your favorite colors to use when you create a quilt?

the savvy rose

Robin Cox is an avid learner who shares encouragement and life lessons from God’s Word. She plays a mean game of Scrabble when she’s not baking, cooking, quilting, or spending time curating her incredible flowers and plants. Robin has taught women’s Bible studies for years in the local church, special events, and professional businesswomen meetings. There’s not much that makes Robin happier than knowing a life has been changed by trusting in Jesus. The gift of hospitality and a love for people shines through her written words.  Robin is delighted to find herself a contributor to The Savvy Rose. Make yourself at home, grab a cup of tea, and sit awhile in the garden.

Sharpeners

sharpening lives and homes tools for women

“If you know these things, happy are you if you do them.” John 13:17

Years ago the sharpening of tools was a regular necessity. A dull edge meant more work and possible harm to the wielder of the tools. Perhaps, today, it’s wise to consider way to gently “sharpen” our lives as women.

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Tools to Sharpen Our Lives and Homes

 

  • Read the scriptures daily.  Through them God will cleanse and renew your mind.  Romans 12:2 is a good resource. Watchman Nee, a Chinese church leader and Christian teacher who worked in China during the 20th century, daily practiced not eating breakfast until he had fed on God’s Word.  This is a great idea to consider. Whether you read God’s Word before breakfast or at another time during your day, as you read, circle the action words – then prayerfully choose to obey.
  • Memorize Scripture.  Buy a set of index cards.  As you read Scripture, print out a verse on a card that speaks to your heart. Tape the new verse where you will see it every day.  Practice saying it.  (I type mine up on business card stock and carry them with me so I can practice them wherever and whenever.)
  • One of the most beneficial places to install a book/magazine rack or to place a basket full of good things to read is in your bathroom near the toilet and tub.  Good reading for little people and big people!  Give the kids their own rack or basket.
  • Read, read, read – good magazines, good literature, biographies, autobiographies, history.  Subscribe to some good Christian stuff: World Magazine is a favorite of mine (World Magazine gives the Christian perspective on colleges, world happenings, etc. that we do not get in the world’s publications and printings), Focus on the Family magazines and books for the family, Turning Point literature (David Jeremiah),  etc.  Visit your church library for some excellent literature.  If you don’t like accumulating books, invest in a Kindle and simply read your books via today’s technology!
  • Do crossword puzzles and play Scrabble or other word games.

Start a prayer/memory journal and record in it on a daily basis.  (I use a spiral notebook.  At the start of each day, I record the month/day/year). With each contact that the Lord gives you on a daily basis, record a prayer request or praise regarding that individual.

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Remember to Sharpen Your Body

 

  • Decide to exercise every day one way or another.
  • Find some stairs to walk up and down as part of your exercise.  Walk inside your home or outside.  Walk the halls at the mall.  Walk around the block or in the school halls (some have approved walking programs).  Take the dog for a walk.  Take a longer walking direction to your destination (parking farther away when going to a store or for an appointment).  If you garden, that provides lots of exercise.  Join a fitness club or a fitness class.
  • If your physical agility allows, establish a daily stretch/bend/tummy tightening/arm exercise routine.  Do the exercises before you shower and dress.  Invest in a pair or set of dumbbells.  That will help prevent arms from becoming flabby or will lessen the flab.
  • Invest in other exercise equipment that is suitable for you or check out your local city or town for memberships to the YMCA for exercise classes, swimming, etc.
  • Use a doctor-approved wellness plan.
  • Follow scriptural instruction to lend to a healthy body.  That’s a program that should start yesterday!  Encourage family involvement.

the savvy rose

Remember to Sharpen Your Soul

 

  • Your outlook on life matters!
  • Tend to nurture/cultivate your relationship with God.  It takes choosing—then discipline, determination and planning—no matter how many years you walk with the Lord!
  • Tell God you want to be a source of joy to Him first and then to others.  Then ask Him for the grace and strength to be that each day.
  • Start a “Remember” journal of all the good things God does for you and of all the precious things others do for you.  I hope to do a “Remember” quilt sometime for posterity.
  • “He who hath friends must show himself to be friendly.”  Work at developing friendships!!
  • Train your mind to focus on serving others and away from focusing inwardly on self.  Mark 10:45 – “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  As we become more like Christ, this becomes of more importance to us.
  • Literally pray that God will help you train your mind to think positively (especially if you tend to be a negative person).  Being happy is a choice!  We can learn to choose to be happy women no matter what our circumstances!  I am currently doing a one-on-one Bible study with a young mom on this very subject.
  • Work on keeping your sense of humor.  If you’ve lost it, go find it!!
  • Practice smiling more!

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Remember to Sharpen Your Outreach

 

  • Decide to make one “new contact” phone call or go up to someone in church you haven’t met yet or put a thoughtful little note in a mailbox at church.
  • Track the church calendar, circle birthdays, and send an e-mail or card at the proper time.
  • Drop a “You’re on my heart” note to someone.
  • Ask pastor(s) who needs a visit.  Volunteer to do visitation.  Pastor(s) will faint.  Then when he/they revive(s), he’ll/they’ll praise the Lord!
  • Participate in your church’s Secret Pal ministry – it’s so much fun.  If your church doesn’t have one, organize one!  If you have an idea about a neat way for fellowship, share it with others.
  • Ask God to give you some fresh new ideas.  Then watch out!!

the savvy rose

Remember to Sharpen Your Sense of Accomplishment

 

  • Use lists – cross off each task or challenge as it is accomplished.
  • Early in the day make a list of things you’d like to get under your belt for that day:  make that phone call, quiet time, exercise/walking, reading/study, baking, water flowers, time you need to leave house for meeting, remind yourself to ________________________,
  • Keep two lists – one for future goals on it and one for today’s goals.
  • Do one little “extra” around the house each day: you’re queen of the castle so clean the throne – ha!  Clean out a drawer, dust (boo-0-0), wash curtains, Windex windows and glass frames, the TV screen, your glasses (!!), mend/iron clothes (yes I said “mend”), or organize an area.
  • Bored?  Ask God to help you see what He’s doing or ask Him what you can do! Editor’s note: You may have noticed, Robin does not get bored easily.

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Remember to Sharpen Your Personal Relationships

 

  • Pretend you’re an author and write an appreciation list to someone (from Max Lucado’s “Shaped by God”).
  • Send a note.
  • Plan a special get-away day and don’t reveal where you’re taking your friend until you get there!
  • Take a penny ride (every time you come to a turn, flip the penny – heads turn right, tails turn left).
  • Have an annual weekend reunion just for the girls and women in the family at a cottage, each others’ homes, etc.  Everyone brings games, food, whatever they love to do.  A few years ago we rented a cabin at North End Marina on Keuka Lake and also rented a pontoon boat so we could spend as much time as we wanted on the water sight-seeing and fishing.  Bring a journal that everyone can sign and note what was special to them.
  • Use your vocal chords to say, “I love you!”
  • Bake and share – on baking day I play a game – my extra batch of whatever I bake goes to the first person to stop at the house.  If no one shows, it goes to a neighbor.  It’s a lot of fun.  I swear our grown kids smell my chocolate chip cookies several miles away!
  • Remember!  Home is your husband’s castle.  Work at creating a home filled with peace, comfort, security, love, respect and joy.
  • Form the habit of looking for opportunities to compliment others and start with home members!
  • Practice looking attractive when it is time for hubby to arrive home from work.
  • Practice focusing on the joy of returning to your family at the end of the day while you drive home from your place of work.

the savvy rose

Remember to Sharpen Your Personal Relationship with God

 

  • No. 1: Make sure it exists.  1 John 5:11-12 tells us, “…God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
  • Keep short sin accounts with God.
  • Keep that which the Lord commands – 1 Samuel 13:14 – one day at a time.
  • Pray: “Please give me a heart and home You love to visit.”
  • Pray: “Help me Father.  I want to be a joy to You first of all.”
  • Pray that He will provide the needs of your life.  Don’t lay that one on your husband or your friends.
  • Make “I thank You Father and I love You” a daily statement.
  • Get up earlier and spend quiet time with Him if you don’t seem to make time as the day goes forward.  He can set you free from the bondage of sin and also the bondage of a too-busy day!  He can give you victory over circumstances.
  • Play peaceful music in your home.  You can pull in www.FLN.org and click on Praise Channel on your computer.  It will give your morning a gracious start.

The best way to sum up all the ways to sharpen our lives? Here it is: Yield to God the mundane, repetitive things of daily life!  LET GOD RENEW EACH DAY FOR YOU.  He’ll make the old seem like new!

the savvy rose

Robin Cox is an avid learner who shares encouragement and life lessons from God’s Word. She plays a mean game of Scrabble when she’s not baking, cooking, quilting, or spending time curating her incredible flowers and plants. Robin has taught women’s Bible studies for years in the local church, special events, and professional businesswomen meetings. There’s not much that makes Robin happier than knowing a life has been changed by trusting in Jesus. The gift of hospitality and a love for people shines through her written words.  Robin is delighted to find herself a contributor to The Savvy Rose. Make yourself at home, grab a cup of tea, and sit awhile in the garden.

The Happily Ever After

wedding planner binghamton, binghamton weddings, happily ever after, before the wedding, books about marriage, books about engagement, roses, wedding venue

Planning a wedding is not for the faint of heart, right? So here’s a question. Do you put as much effort into planning the “ever after” as you put into the “happily”?

Couples may benefit from premarital counseling. These services can be found most often through your church if you are a member, or you may seek out premarital help from a counseling organization.

There are many books and resources available to help women and men as they prepare for married life. Marriage is a good gift from God that should be treasured, cherished, and cultivated like a prized garden filled with beautiful flowers waiting to bloom. The wedding planning and wedding day events are just the beginning of a lifetime of adventure!

Here are books you may find helpful as you prepare for your wedding and the happily ever after.

 

Never Stop Holding Hands

Love and Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs

The Language of Sex

The Dude’s Guide to Marriage

The Meaning of Marriage: A Guide to the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God

101 Questions to Ask Before You Get Engaged

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts

The Power of a Praying Wife

The Power of a Praying Husband

Are you an Average Bride?

Hi Savvy Rose Friends! This post may be sponsored or contain affiliate links. My opinions are always my own. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, I make a small commission – at no cost to you – which helps keep this blog running, my recipes and posts free, and supports my family.

If you are, then you may be paying over $30,000 for your wedding.

According to The Knot, the national average cost of a wedding hits $35,329.

 “We polled nearly 13,000 brides and grooms who married in 2016 for The Knot 2016 Real Weddings Study and learned that they’re splurging on total personalization and creating the ultimate guest experience.”
Of course, the costs will vary based on what part of the country you live in.
“But remember, this number is still an average, which means, depending on where you choose to wed, your wedding bill could be higher or lower. Tying the knot in, say, Manhattan could cost an average of $78,464, while an Arkansas wedding will average at $19,522.
So what are factors that have made wedding costs soar?
More attention to the guest experience and reception amenities seem to be the driving forces in the higher cost of weddings. A Real Weddings survey from The Knot revealed the following averages for wedding costs, followed by the same list that we’ve made using creative ideas to lower costs for the budget-savvy bride.
The Knot – Average Wedding Costs:
  • Venue: $16,107
  • Photographer: $2037
  • Wedding/Event Planner: $2037
  • Reception Band: $4156

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    New! Savvy Minerals by Young Living Mascara for your Wedding Day
  • Reception DJ: $1245
  • Florist/Decor: $2534
  • Videographer: $1995
  • Wedding Dress: $1564
  • Groom’s Attire: $280
  • Wedding Cake: $582
  • Ceremony Site: $2197
  • Ceremony Musicians: $755
  • Invitations: $462
  • Transportation: $859
  • Favors: $268
  • Rehearsal Dinner: $1378
  • Engagement Ring: $6163
  • Officiant: $278
  • Catering (Price per Person): $71
  • Wedding Day Hair Styling: $119
  • Wedding Day Make-up: $100

Budget-Savvy Cost Savings Ideas:

  • Venue: Borrow the beautiful backyard of a friend or a local botanical garden. Cost: Free.
  • Photographer: Ask local friends about new photographers starting their photo career. As with any creative artist or services provider on this list, you are paying for quality and experience; however, you may just help a new photographer break into the wedding business and in exchange you may find a lower cost option or package.
  • Wedding/Event Planner: Check with your wedding venue or reception site and see if they have a coordinator on site. If you are a great organizer, their services may come included for just for the day of the event. If you’re not an organizer, pay for the wedding planner!
  • Reception Band: Spotify playlist.
  • Reception DJ: Local colleges have students that may be great at providing DJ services. Clearly, check references and be clear about the type of music you want!
  • Florist/Decor: Scale your flowers to highlight the ceremony area and bridal party table at the reception. Borrow vases and decor from friends who already have gotten married recently. Watch seasonal sales at local craft stores for great buys on centerpieces that your bridesmaids can help you put together.
  • Videographer: We had a photographer and videographer. There was a problem the day of the wedding and the video never made it out of the chapel. After 26 years, we’ve survived just fine with the lovely photo album.
  • savvy mineral makeup young living non toxic wedding makeupWedding Dress: Borrow from your mom or aunt; bag it online on a phenomenal clearance sale, or get it for a steal on your swap marketplace.
  • Groom’s Attire: Have the guys get a nice trendy suit that can be worn for other professional events.
  • Wedding Cake: So many options here if you have relatives or friends that love to bake! Do fancy cupcakes for the guests and one smaller cake for the bride and groom.
  • Ceremony Site: Are you a member of a church or civic organization? Chances are you can get help with the cost or a reduced rate.
  • Ceremony Musicians: While a string quartet is beautiful, a decent sound system and a Spotify playlist can do wonders (and modern weddings trend this way more and more).
  • Invitations: Vistaprint. Postcards. Online only via a wedding service. So many options!
  • Transportation: Ask a friend to borrow their beautiful vehicle for the day.
  • Favors: Check your local chocolate maker for great favors that will be tasty and cost less than other pre-made favors. Next best friend? Pinterest.
  • Rehearsal Dinner: We’ve been to rehearsal dinners at high-end Japanese restaurants, a spaghetti dinner, or pizza and wings. You can enjoy a dinner that is about the people you love and that won’t burn a bigger hole in your wallet.
  • Engagement Ring: Did you know that there are statistics showing that when people spend big bucks on rings, the marriage tends to have more problems? Stay within your budget. There’s always room for simple rings in the budget of mutual love.
  • Officiant: This one is not something you want to skimp on, but membership in your local church or place of worship may help lower the cost of the officiant. As with any other professional service listed on this page, their time, expertise and pre-wedding counseling adds up and should be properly compensated.
  • Catering (Price per Person): Why not consider a “desserts only” reception? You can drop the cost considerably while still offering decadent food for your guests to enjoy and remember.
  • Wedding Day Hair Styling: Depends on the bride – usually, this is a non-negotiable for a smooth day and a confident bride!
  • Wedding Day Make-up: Wedding day make-up is one less stress for the bride; we say, “Good investment” of both time and money.

the savvy roseAre you allotting your wedding ceremony and reception resources like the average couple? Or are you being budget-savvy? What are ways you have found to save or splurge on your special day? Tell us below!

Fall Doughnut Decor

fall foliage ny new york autumn leaves

Did you know doughnut decor is a thing?

Recently we went to our son-in-law’s birthday party. It was a perfect Fall evening; cool and crisp with a touch of damp. A cheerful bonfire in the backyard confirmed Autumn has arrived in full force and friends and family sat in chairs talking and eating.

The usual birthday cake was replaced with doughnuts! They were stacked on wooden holders made from an apple tree toppled by a lightning strike earlier in the summer. A 12-24″ wooden dowel was drilled into each piece of wood. Remember those plastic rings that stacked up on a pole in the nursery as kids? Replace those plastic rings with delicious doughnuts and you’ve got the idea.

Here is a picture from the doughnut dessert table. Isn’t it crafty? Lanterns in ball jars were added placed on wooden stumps from that same old apple tree.

fall decor, doughnuts, decorating, birthday party, doughnut holders, wooden doughtnut holder, lanterns, recycle wood

What’s your favorite doughnut display? (If you’re like us, it almost didn’t last enough to take a picture.) Enjoy!

Is the Ketogenic Way of Eating Good after Colon Cancer?

sugar cancer healthy
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I know the ketogenic way of eating has helped many people. I’ve seen friends lose all kinds of weight on the diet and the results for weight control and improved health are impressive.

But here’s why I struggle as a cancer survivor who did treatment, juicing, more treatment, more juicing/plant based diet for 18 months, has been clear four years, but whose weight has crept up way too high.

 

maze after cancer dietI’ve read with great interest the success many people have found doing the ketogenic diet. It has gained lots of credibility as a way to help prevent cancer, as well as help people already fighting cancer. Based on my previous success with low carb eating (like, over nine years previous) I started doing Keto a few weeks ago and here are my observations for *me* as a colon cancer and cancer treatment survivor.

  1. I can’t handle the heavy greasy fatty foods like I could years ago when I did low carb. Fried mozzarella sticks and pork rinds were GREAT back then. Now? No way – right through my battered digestive system.
  2. On the juicing and raw foods plan, the following keto-approved foods were NOT allowed while I was striving to heal my liver and my body through the cancer/recovery from cancer treatment crisis:
    1. Meat.
    2. Dairy (including eggs).
    3. Artificial sweeteners.
    4. Caffeine.
    5. Inflammatory oils and foods fried in them.
  3. The following foods WERE allowed during the healing crisis plant-based eating plan in a 80/20 ideal ratio, but are not allowed on the ketogenic way of eating (WOE). The plant-based was 80 percent raw foods, and 20 percent cooked foods:
    1. Whole grains in limited amounts (breads such as Ezekiel sprouted bread, oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa).
    2. The same healthy fats as Keto – avocado, olive oil, almond oil, walnut oil, coconut oil.
    3. Limited natural sugar. One teaspoon of honey daily.
    4. Herbal teas.
    5. Potatoes, both white and sweet.
    6. NO artificial sweeteners!
    7. I lost about 30 pounds without trying to lose anything except the cancer; on a raw foods eating plan your body gets to where it wants to be in order to be healthy. I ate when hungry and was very satisfied. My oncologist looked at me when I arrived after three months for our final decision about treatment and said, “I hear that you’ve been losing weight; that’s not good.” He was very serious. He had no understanding that I was 30 pounds overweight (again) at the time of the return of the cancer, and that I lost 30 pounds by eating well and juicing – my body was in the healing mode even with a tumor shutting down my left kidney. Physicians are simply not trained in nutrition as a mechanism for healing.
  4. My digestive system is missing 8 inches of colon and has been through a lot. In spite of this missing portion of my innards my body still handled the raw foods/juicing just fine. The slowing action of the cooked foods such as Ezekiel bread, oatmeal and rice helped my body function better (stopped the freight train coming through my colon) and I felt good eating those foods.
  5. At one time I was juicing five pounds of organic carrots and six apples daily (about 48 ounces of juice), and 32 ounces of greens/green drink. I do not do that much carrot juice now (it is sugar, but fine in my personal experience when following the strict cancer crisis diet protocol because you eliminate all other sugar). Green drink makes sense – no sugars. Carrot juice I still do on occasion, sort of a maintenance amount, but I try not to be eating other sugars on a day when I use the carrot juice.

This is a dilemma for me. Some things about both of these very valid eating strategies are complete opposites. And neither option includes chocolate lava cake.

So what’s a cancer and treatment survivor to do when she’s in menopause, happy to be alive, but not able to lose weight easily?

I’m still not sure I’ve got the right answer for my body yet. Or perhaps I do, but I don’t want to acknowledge that I still need to be very careful and disciplined. Disciplined eating is hard!

Here is what I’m striving for as I sort this all out.

  1. Avoid sugar. Use limited natural sugars such as honey, maple syrup, or all natural stevia as a substitute. No artificial sweeteners!
  2. Caffeine: I’m debating whether I should cut coffee out entirely, again, like I did for eighteen months on the plant-based healing plan. I enjoy the routine with my husband, but I also know caffeine is a drain on our adrenal glands.
  3. Dairy: I will enjoy in very limited amounts. I do use creamer in my morning coffee now.  I still like ricotta with a drop of stevia, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and topped with whipped cream from the old low carb plan I followed years ago. There are far worse things I can eat now that my body is no longer fighting cancer, but, should also be used very sparingly. Completely a splurge.
  4. If I want healthy carbs in my life then I need to exercise. I’ve found I like having carbs in the morning. For me this includes Ezekiel bread, oatmeal, etc.
  5. I need to exercise! This is a challenge for me. Keto says “no exercise required to lose weight, but ideally good to do”. Cancer survivors are encouraged to exercise 30 minutes per day. I like walking, pilates and swimming. I’m not a gym rat and am not motivated by high intensity interval training (HIIT) or cross-fit. They stress me out! I’ve read articles that grueling workouts done long term are actually NOT good for the body. But I need to do better at moving in some way every day!
  6. veggies to fight cancerVeggies, especially greens, should be unlimited.
  7. Fruits should be enjoyed in moderation, although I love a lot of pineapple for it’s anti-cancer properties and the benefits for my lungs. So clearly pineapples are abundant in good properties, but they also are not low carb!
  8. Essential oils have a place in my personal wellness-after-cancer plan. Young Living essential oils have helped support some of the emotional, physical, and environmental factors that influence my health now as a cancer and cancer treatment survivor. Menopause? I’ve found support from Progessence Plus, Clary Sage and Lady Sclareol (aMAZing). Achy body? I’ve found support from Frankincense, Copaiba, Aroma Seiz and more. Stress and anxiety? Support from Lavender, Cedarwood, Valor and Joy. I am eternally grateful for the addition of Young Living essential oils and supplements, savvy mineral make-up and products that are free of harsh chemicals and toxins. This step is a no-brainer for my personal wellness goals and I am excited to be learning more every day and to be able to share with other survivors!

Here is a video showing Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez talking about the ketogenic diet and his thoughts about whether it can cure cancer.

I’m basically back to realizing that the plant-based protocol is what worked for me, and is what still makes sense to maintain my health after cancer. In researching this topic for this post, I came across an article by Chris Beat Cancer and it has helped me solidify my thoughts for my personal goals. Check it out here. Here is the text that caught my attention:

There are thousands of people out there who have healed cancer naturally. I meet natural survivors constantly and even share their stories on this site. Most natural cancer healing protocols involve a radical change of diet and lifestyle that includes overdosing on nutrition with juicing, lots of raw plant food, little to no animal food, supplements, and herbal cleanses along with detox protocols like coffee enemas, etc. Those are all time-tested methods validated by a large body of long-term survivors.

I know a lot of long-term natural survivors, but I don’t know of any long-term survivors who have used a ketogenic diet to heal.

I’ve seen studies where rats on a ketogenic diet lived a little longer, then died… but no long-term human survivors.

And I’ve seen patients try the ketogenic diet and it fail them.

So those are my big hang ups.

I don’t care how good the science sounds. Survivors trump scientific theories. And until we have a substantial list of long-term survivors, I cannot in good conscience support ketogenic diet as a viable option for healing cancer.

In summary, I’m not comfortable going full low carb (keto) as a cancer survivor, and completely raw foods and juicing is incredibly rigorous, but I’ve got to incorporate that strategy more in my life and get back to those solid, proven basics. It’s what worked for me.

I think at this time in my journey “balance” is the word of the day, and “portion control”, and gentle, consistent exercise. This is a challenge for me and writing it down here in a post has given me some clarification and motivation and quite honestly admonishment for being lazy. I can use the excuse, “I’ve been through a horrendous cancer experience and I can do what I want,” or I can use the motivation, “I’ve been through a horrendous cancer experience and God has allowed me to be here. I need to make the most of this and continue to grow as a person to be what God wants me to be using proven cancer fighting and healing strategies that work!”

My experience is unique and clearly many people have found wonderful results from the ketogenic diet for health and weight loss support. Personally I am choosing to get back to the plant-base that helped me heal from a time of great crisis through cancer in my life.

How about you? Are you a cancer patient or cancer survivor? What are your thoughts on food and nutrition and how it affects our bodies? I’d love to hear your comments! #goingtomakemorecarrotjuicenow

P.S.: As always, none of my personal comments are intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Only your savvy doctor can do that kind of stuff!

The Healing Time

the healing time

Hippocrates said, “Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.”

Sunday mornings are my favorite. The world is on pause – in most cases – as we stop and rest and renew the mind, body and spirit. Our family experiences Sundays usually as a time to be in church, either as worship participants in the pew, or some family members participate in leading worship through playing music, singing, or preaching. Other times we may choose to rest if our bodies need the quiet of an unscheduled day and we are not committed to being involved in a worship service. There is a cycle to Sundays like the give and take of the rest of our lives. We are able to create the opportunity to rest and fellowship with other believers in our church community.

Today after the morning service my husband and me were talking about cycles and healing and upcoming decisions on the drive home. You know how some studies say the body fully regenerates on the cellular level every seven years? We feel like our family has been cautiously regenerated on some deeply healing level for the first time in seven years.

Seven years ago bought our first home and shortly afterwards I received a diagnosis of stage 3 colon cancer. 2010 was when the healing time, the healing crisis, began.

We’ve been through trauma, and relief, and trauma again, and joy, and are exhaling much of the difficult angst we’ve carried many years. All of us.

Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.

Perhaps you’ve found yourself in a similar place. For us, the opportunity to heal was forced upon us. We now see and accept that some of the stabilizers God placed so strongly around us over the past seven years are easing themselves away as we relax into the exercise of living securely, quietly, reserved, poised, rested, healed.

The healing time has not been all smooth sailing and consequence-free decisions. There has been a sometimes painful re-calibration of finding the family equilibrium. Painful like the healing of a wound; raw at first, then less sore as the healing time passes.

Are you in the Healing Time? Here are some thoughts from our family experience:

  1. Seek God’s help and wisdom for every decision, BEFORE you make decisions.
  2. Seek support from your church or faith community.
  3. Trust God to cover the gaps you are unable to manage.
  4. Be patient with yourself, and with your loved ones.

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