Basil- I love it! Don't you?

If you want to be happy for an hour, get drunk.  If you want to be happy for three days, take a wife.  If you want to be happy for a week, kill your pig and eat it.  But if you want to be happy for a lifetime become a gardener!  Chinese saying

I totally agree with this one.  In the last couple of years I have experienced so much peace and happiness in the garden, watching things grow. 

One of my favorite herbs is Basil, it is so fragrant.  Also, who doesn't love pesto!  I am even successfully growing it in AZ.  Which is know easy task.  Don't forget to prune your basil every one to two weeks for the most favorable leafs. 

 Pesto can be made up to 3 days in advance. To store, place it in a container and press plastic wrap on top of the pesto so that it’s touching the surface. Cover with a lid or another piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Or freeze up to 1 month.

What you will need...

4 cups tightly packed basil leaves

1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (about 1 ounce)

3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

1 medium garlic clove, finely chopped

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (Thank you Trisha for showing me the light 4 yrs ago, Joe bite me, eat all the regular salt and margarine you want.  Only Kosher now!)

1/3 cup olive oil

 Put it all in the blender adding the oil last and slowly

Makes: 1 heaping cup

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Are You Making Yourself Crazy?

Here it comes again, another Monday.  On the bright side, Monday is a fresh new beginning.  However, for all of you worn out amazing women, Monday means another week of juggling way too many things; as an employee, mother, boss, spouse, friend - the list is endless. 

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We have so much going on that we become overwhelmed.  When we are tired, the smallest things become unmanageable.  We walk a fine line between sanity and being insane.  We must learn when to rest, and when to say no to things that are just not that important.

"No" is not a dirty word.  It can actually be the most freeing word you will ever say.   We are meant to seek God daily for Him to lead our very full lives.  Jesus told us that the Holy Spirit would come alongside us, lead, guide and direct us.  So then why are we running in circles?  We lose sight of what really matters and what doesn't. 

I will never forget one Easter in particular.  Chloe was a baby, and my two oldest girls were still living at home.  I wanted to create the perfect Easter, one they would never forget.  Well, I think Jesus had already done that... but I was going to make it memorable and beautiful!  We had lots of family and friends coming over, so I was going to make the perfect Easter brunch.  I started on decorations the week before.  

I made huge paper mache Easter eggs the size of watermelons.  I placed the eggs all over the back yard.  I sat a very long table outside with pretty linens, china and fresh flowers.  I made the girls awesome Easter baskets.  I stuffed all the eggs with candy for the Easter egg hunt, I made sure everyone had a cute Easter outfit, and I made a homemade sugar-free cheese cake, dang it!  Well, I was so busy and overwhelmed with everything that we ended up missing church.  I felt really bad, but I had to do all these things so I could be the perfect mom and the perfect hostess! 

As soon as our guests arrived, the little boys started kicking my paper mache Easter eggs, that I worked on for weeks, like footballs onto the roof of our house.  The chocolate candy in the eggs had melted, and the kids said it looked like poop and didn't want to eat it.  When I went to serve my dessert that I was so proud of, it fell apart!  Nothing like a good dose of reality to put your priorities in place. 

I realized I had missed what was important.  Jesus said, "Come unto me and I will give you rest", not "run around like a crazy woman spending time on things that don't really matter."  All the things we do as women to set the mood for holidays and everyday living are important, but it all needs to be kept in perspective.

10 Minutes or 10 Things

As an adult with ADD, I have to admit I make myself literally dizzy more times than I can count.
My daily "routine" differs from day to day.  I find myself blow drying my hair for 90 seconds, then putting mascara on one eye, then washing two dishes, then checking email, then blow dry my hair for another 15 seconds, then sweep half the kitchen - this goes on and on throughout the day. 

Sometimes, I look at things and they feel overwhelming to me.  We entertain a lot, and I am often left with an overwhelming mess, since I do not clean up as I go.  Besides clearing the table, and putting necessary perishable items away, I sit and enjoy my guests.  So the next day or later on that evening, depending on how late the party goes, I freak out over the mess!  I just want to get in the car, drive far away, and hope to return to a spotless kitchen.  Because this is not feasible or realistic, I tell myself: just do 10 things. 

So that's what I do -  I put away 10 things.  Then I do something else for 10-15 minutes, like water the plants, check emails, ect.  Then I go back and do 10 more things.  This way it isn't overwhelming and I can deal with it.  Having an eleven year-old daughter, who is a lot like me, I break things down for her in the same way.  I use the 10 minute or 10 things method.  It make the craziness in our head a little more manageable.