Need Suggestions On High Blood Pressure

August 30, 2015
I worked in my two closets yesterday. No matter how many times I clean them out, suddenly I can barely open the doors again. So I certainly got plenty of exercise yesterday!

I've been getting as much exercise as I can tolerate, and eating a plant-based diet, very little sugar or salt. I only have one cup of coffee per day, and that's half decaf. Otherwise I drink water. 

I was feeling pretty confident about things. Then I took my blood pressure this morning, which I do every 3-4 days, and it's spiking up again. 

The doctor put me on a new medication, which I've been on a couple of weeks I guess. Or thereabouts. It's called Losartan Potassium.

I just can't seem to get my lower blood pressure reading out of the upper nineties. I take it after I've been sitting for awhile, not doing anything. 

When I feel stressed, I get busy doing something physical. Come on, life is just plain stressful at times. I don't live in a bubble. 

Anybody got any suggestions?

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A New Wall Quilt

August 29, 2015
I found a cute little wall quilt at River City Trading Post in Jenks. It was half price, and only $16 to start with. 

I took everything off this wall and put it here above my coffee station. There didn't seem a better place to put it. 

Eight dollars!

I got some other cheap goodies. Boy, that is the best place to shop.

They have lots of antique shops there, but I don't go in them because I doubt very seriously their prices could be beat. 

It's a pretty big place, so I got my exercise too!

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Just Loving Blue

August 28, 2015
There's something so serene about the color blue. Maybe because it's the color of the sky, or the ocean.


This collection of blue bottles: stunning.


Blue in the bedroom. Ah, I think I'd sleep peacefully there.

Blue on blue...


A blue living room. Blue on the walls. Blue on the couch.


A perfect medley of blue for sweet slumber...


A nice collection of blue books.


A gorgeous blue door.


Blue shutters and flowers to match.


This blue dresser is lovely paired with the green mirror.


Another blue bedroom.

These darker shades of blue are in fact my favorite. The color of a thunderstorm moving in. The indigo shade of unwashed new blue jeans. 

I wonder where they got the notion that an emotion is blue? Feeling blue, meaning sad? 

Blue makes me happy.

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Make Your Small Space Feel Cozy, Not Cluttered

This post is sponsored by Frugaa...

A small living space can be designed to look and feel cozy without the clutter usually found in small spaces. There are tricks to make the small space seem larger than it actually is. 

Invest In Beautiful Lighting
One way to optimize a small space is by including appropriate lighting. Both natural and artificial lighting can be used, with sheer window treatments that will let in more of the natural light you desire.

Everything Goes Up
Vertical lines should be used often when designing a small space. This will automatically draw the eye upward and give the illusion of a more spacious room.

Whenever possible, bookshelves and floor-to-ceiling shelves should have a vertical hierarchy. 

Create Ambiance Using Color

One way to open up a small space is to to stay within a light color palette for the walls. By using a lighter color scheme, it will give the room the illusion of being larger than it actually is. 

On the other hand, the use of darker colors can  make the space feel somewhat confined. 

Two important things to remember when deciding the color scheme of a small room:

1) Warmer colors portray the feeling that the space is coming toward the viewer. 

2) Cooler colors give the feeling that the space is moving away from the viewer.

White will work for small rooms. But other colors such as pale shades of blue, green and yellow are also a good choice to consider.

Keep the furniture arrangement simple and clutter free. Use tables and chairs that have slim and elevated legs, as this will open your space up visually. 

Heavy furniture pieces with skirts should be avoided, as they take away from the feeling of openness you're trying to achieve.

The use of decor should be used sparingly. The whole idea is not to overdo the furniture design and arrangement so that the space flows well. 

Less is more in many cases, especially when it comes to planning a small room design. Be selective about the furniture you choose with your space in mind. 

You will want to go for a cohesive feel for your small space rather than an eclectic mix of decor. 

Check out Frugaa for your future decorating needs.
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My Pick For Amara Kitchen Design Ideas

Amara, who is hosting the awards in which I was nominated in the Best Interior USA Blog category, asked me if I would like to find a kitchen I liked to add it to their online magazine, The LuxPad

The article is 50 Kitchen Design Ideas, and you can find it here.

You can also shop Amara's kitchen items here. They have a wonderful selection. (And my eye is on the red kitchen scales!)

Mine is of course included in the Colourful section of kitchens chosen by IBA nominees.

I chose this one...

Brenda Kula-Pruitt, Interior Blogger

“Probably most would not understand why I chose the photo of this kitchen as my favourite. So I’ll explain. This looks like someone’s grandmother’s kitchen. So it evokes many warm feelings in me. I absolutely love eat-in kitchens, and this one has that. I like white kitchen appliances, not stainless steel, which I find too harsh and industrial. I love the red and turquoise colour combination. The simplicity of the cabinets. The hardwood floors. The retro kitchen table surrounded by blue wooden chairs. I am crazy for polka dots. And most especially red and white polka dots. This kitchen carries with it a whimsical theme that makes me smile when I gaze at it. It looks like a lived in kitchen. One where love resides within its walls.”

Voting is still open for a few more weeks if you'd like to vote for Cozy Little House. You can vote here, or on my sidebar.
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I Finally Put These Curtains Up

August 27, 2015
I have had these curtains in my closet for at least a year. They were still unopened. I bought them when I bought the others you see around my place. 

But then I had surgery, and I didn't want to climb up and use my manual tools to put them up.

So the other day, I finally did. Boy, I need some electrical tools!

I know it's kind of dark. It is overcast today. And I only have three windows in this apartment, then the patio doors.

I'm just mixing red with orange and peach with red and all kinds of colors. I've just thrown caution to the wind and said to myself: Color is beautiful, no matter the hue or the shade.

That is a dog bed under the table.

When I found the green dresser at the garage sale, it replaced this hutch. And the hutch is in the bedroom on the wall between the closets.

I look at this assortment of fresh food, and talking about color! I am enjoying the food I'm eating, and I am not hungry.

I will do a weekly update on how I'm faring with the new food lifestyle I'm venturing on.

Oops! says Abi. You forgot us! So here they are in all their glory, staring out the storm door. For once Abi is fixated on something besides getting her face front and center!

NOTE: I have been asked where I got these curtains. Here they are, still for sale, and remember they're lined as well...
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Which Home Remodeling Projects Are Worth Your Money?

August 26, 2015

Everyone wants a beautiful home with a perfect floor, beautiful walls, and an awesome aesthetic, but it takes a lot to turn a not-so-beautiful home into the home that you want. The investment of remodeling a room, wall, or the flooring in your home could be beneficial to your bank account in the long run, if your intentions are to sell the home. 

But what about when you're just trying to remodel it to look nice while you’re in it? You are still investing in your home and helping to raise the overall price of your home.

Small Projects That Are Worth Your Money
There are a variety of small remodeling projects that can be well worth the money put into them. For example, replacing a leaky faucet will not only improve the look of the sink, but it can also save you money on your water bill. Therefore, that investment is well worth the money put into it. 

The same can be said for flooring. Certain types of flooring allow for insulation, while others may offer a skid-free surface. 

Furthermore, when attempting to sell a home, the prospective buyer is not going to appreciate a floor or wall that is busted up, scraped up, or that has missing pieces. 

Therefore, replacing these things could potentially create interest from a new buyer and help to sell the home twice as fast.

Although vinyl flooring might not last as long as hardwood, it can be much cheaper and easier to replace than wood flooring. While switching from hardwood to vinyl might not sound appealing, it can be if the hardwood is not in the best of shape. It can also be the best flooring to go for in certain instances. 

If you can eliminate stress, a bill, injuries, or save money in the future, the remodeling project is well worth the time and money that you would be putting into it. 

Check out for more tips about flooring for your next remodel. 

This is a sponsored post for
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I've Begun Fall Decorating

This miserable, muggy heat has kept me from going out much. So what have I been doing instead? Bringing out the fall stuff.

This is my kitchen table. Well, my only table if you want to be exact.

There's a Dollar Store right around the corner, so I went in and got a few things. Two little fall candles in jars, the acorns you see. I have to be careful, because once fall is over, I also have to find a place to store these things.

I'm hosting a fall blog tour in a few weeks with lots of great bloggers! You can see who in my sidebar.

Just for fun, I thought I'd add some dishes you haven't seen in some time. Remember the polka dotted bowls?

I wish I could get a straight shot, but the room isn't big enough to back up.

Have you started your fall decorating? Or are you still enjoying summer too much? When it gets to the dreadful heat and humidity of August, I'm ready for fall to come waltzing in!
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Now I Know How To Shop For Food

August 25, 2015
This morning it was finally cool enough that I could stand to go out and do some cutting and maintenance on my container plants. I always feel better when I've done this little chore, as if my plants are thanking me!

I went to the grocery store today, armed with the knowledge of what I can eat, via the book I'm reading by Dr. Neal Barnard, 21-Day Weight Loss Kick Start.

I did not elect to go to Walmart, because I just think it is too big a risk to my blood pressure. The Reasors I go to is probably the quietest and least trafficked in town.

Yes, it cost me more than I usually spend, probably $20-$30 at that very store. But after I cringed at the almost $100 grocery bill, I told myself it was going to pay off in the long run. Rah! Rah! (Geez, I never liked cheerleaders. I always thought it unfair that they had to cheer on the guys and the guys got all the glory. Now watch dozens of you say you were cheerleaders...)

I'm surprised I found a good way to eat (that doesn't make me want to scream) the first go round with the first book I bought. 

No meat, not even fish. No animal by products. No dairy products.

Aside from that, I can eat whatever I want, as much as I want, whenever I want!

Veggies, grains, keep oil to a minimum. I can even have some canned soup and veggies. I can have blueberry pancakes if I so desire. But nothing with eggs in it. And no dairy milk. 

I can even eat fast foods! At Taco Bell, I can order the bean burrito, hold the cheese. No sour cream. 

And that's just what I did, hungry, on the way to the grocery. You don't want to go to the grocery store hungry, as everyone knows. 

So right down from it was a Taco Bell. I ordered a bean burrito. (They are about half the size they used to give you, by the way.) I told him to hold the cheese and add tomatoes instead.

And it was good! I didn't even miss the cheese. I guess I'm lucky to be one of those souls that doesn't like things salty. And it tasted less salty without the cheese.

At Subway or Quiznos I can have a veggie sub. Supposedly at Burger King, that I currently do not frequent, they have (or at least had) a Veggie Whopper. Hold the cheese. (Don't know if they still serve this or not, but I'll sure check.)

If I want pizza, order veggies, hold the cheese. He tells you how to eat in restaurants, so that you don't feel deprived.

Really, this does not upset my apple cart too awful much, for I'm not crazy about meat. The texture of meat has never appealed to me greatly. 

I like veggies. I like tofu at the Chinese restaurant instead of meat. I'll miss the fried nuggets at Chick-Fil-A.

It's good to know I can throw together a quick meal, and not have to buy all kinds of crazy ingredients I don't currently have on the shelf. 

It makes me happy that there are no restrictions on how much I eat, no measuring whatsoever, and no counting calories!

Just being mindful. It's easy enough to keep in mind that if what I'm putting in my mouth once walked or swam in the ocean, then I can't eat it. I have to stick to plant-derived foods.

The idea of dieting does not appeal to anyone. And I've only dieted a few times. But once again, eventually I gained it back. I certainly gained weight after the ankle break/surgeries as walking was/is limited. 

Now I'm walking in place or walking around the apartment, 100 steps at a time to start, several times per day. I tend to be over zealous, so I'm trying to take it slow.

If I want toast, I can't have butter or margarine, but I can have jam. Yeah, that's what I thought: Well, that has sugar in it. 

The doctor says: "Yes, that's true enough. But even in its most concentrated form, sugar has less than half the calories of any fat or oil."

He also says: "In their natural state, nearly all plant-derived foods are very low in fat. Exceptions include nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and some soy products."

Use non-fat salad dressings. Non-dairy creamers. Yea! I can keep my coffee ritual just as it is!

Of course you skip the fried foods. Instead of meat chili, veggie or bean chili. Instead of a hot dog or hamburger, I can have the veggie version, which I happen to like anyway. 

I don't drink alcohol, so that's no problem. Yet I take medication that ratchets up my weight. So we'll see how this works in combination with that. Maybe after awhile I can do away with some of them.

Apparently the actress Alicia Silverstone is a big proponent of this style of eating. I'm not going to say diet, because it isn't a diet. It is a different way of eating.

And I can now say with near certainty why my cholesterol was high for the first time. And I feel really silly telling you this, for you'll think I'm a real dunce. Since I have not been eating much meat, I have been eating, on the average, 2-3 boiled eggs per day.

Yeah, enough said. I know you're shaking your head and thinking or maybe even saying out loud: "How stupid could she be?" 

Well, apparently pretty stupid. I did not realize that would drive it up so quickly. I thought, well, rationalized: I'm substituting eggs for meat. 

But I am always hungry before I go to bed and have to throw in an extra bowl of cereal or a yogurt. So obviously I'm not getting enough protein, nutrients, etc. 

I'm learning. I don't like to measure, count, or do equations with my food. I just want to eat it and move on. As I said, I eat to live. not live to eat. I don't want it to be this big deal each and every day. 

This book tells me how to replace eggs and meat and dairy in recipes. I can tell you right now what I'll miss the most, dairy. 

I am more of a free spirit. I don't want to join groups or check in at Weight Watchers, etc. Been there, done that. 

What I hated most of all was having to put so much time into thinking about meals. I don't know about you. But the more I think about food, the more I want to eat food.

So we shall see how this goes. I'll keep you updated. I'll keep a tally on my blood pressure and check back in a week or so.
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Tweak It Tuesday #156

August 24, 2015
Last week on Tweak It Tuesday...

Lovely Livings is bringing out autumn in August.

The Charm Of Home has tea and dessert.

Olives-n-Okra made peanut butter cheesecake.

Bargain Decorating With Laurie showed some of her pretties.

Our Gilded Abode created fall cone trees.

Redo It Yourself Inspirations showed this wooden pot she painted.

House Of Turquoise made traditional Hello Dollies.

Dream Lane showed her comfy sitting spot.

Working On Working Mom showed 35 skillet recipes.

Dandelion Patina showed how to style shelves.

Honey & Birch made black bean corn chowder.

Pocketful Of Posies painted this pretty piece.

In The New House celebrated her market opening.

The Sweetest Digs repurposed this shelf into a bar cart.

Urban Girl Bakes came up with a copy cat version of Chick-Fil-A frosted lemonade.

Karen's Up On The Hill showed her kitchen lighting.

Creative Country Mom decorated this corner in a romantic style.

Sunny Simple Life showed back to school centerpieces.

Happy Little Hive made cranberry apple quinoa salad.

Sharing Shadymont created a teacup vignette under glass.

The Painted Hinge is decorating for fall.

Renaissance Mermaid created a vignette with pears and flowers.

Lou Lou Girls baked cheesy cauliflower bread sticks.

Scrapality showed a new way to organize her cookbooks.

What have you tweaked this week?

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