Embracing 50 with Grace

Thankful for this milestone 50th year of my life. Thank you God for my health and strength and for loving me like crazy!  I live to serve you and to be a light wherever I go.

LET’S GET IT 2017!

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On my mark…

I was happy to bid farewell to 2016.  It was a trying year for me with many unwelcome surprises for my family, much sadness, division and many disappointments.  It has also been a year of awakenings….good and bad, but nevertheless, I am awake and on my mark with lessons learned.  Through it all we survived, I survived by God’s grace and mercy.

 

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Alameda Beach ~ iPhone photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get set…

Yesterday I spent quiet time with myself meditating, updating my vision board, purged clutter from the house and from my mind and danced like I was on stage as I sipped on champagne with the anticipation of the arrival of the new year, which caught me fast asleep. 😴💤💤

 

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GraceFace GameFace

Go…

Game on!  As 2017 has arrived and if God says the same, it will bring to me a milestone birthday in 9 days, the excitement of new opportunities, the birth of new ideas and the hope of giving God even more of me through service.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, so look out 2017.  I’m ready to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee!🐝

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Farmer’s Market

I am fortunate to work directly across the street from the UN Plaza, where the “Heart of the City Farmers Market” has been a mainstay since 1981 every Wednesday and Sunday.  I love the convenience of being able to pick up my fresh fruits and veggies for the week as well as support vendors that I have become acquainted with.  It’s a win win for me!  From savoring produce at the peak of freshness to meeting the people who grow your food, there are countless reasons to support farmers markets. Here are just a few!

1. Taste Real Flavors
The fruits and vegetables you buy at the farmers market are the freshest and tastiest available. Fruits are allowed to ripen fully in the field and are brought directly to you—no long-distance shipping, no gassing to simulate the ripening process, no sitting for weeks in storage. This food is as real as it gets—fresh from the farm.

2. Enjoy the Season
The food you buy at the farmers market is seasonal. It is fresh and delicious and reflects the truest flavors. Shopping and cooking from the farmers market helps you to reconnect with the cycles of nature in our region. As you look forward to asparagus in spring, savor sweet corn in summer, or bake pumpkins in autumn, you reconnect with the earth, the weather, and the turning of the year.

3. Support Family Farmers
Family farmers need your support, now that large agribusiness dominates food production in the U.S. Small family farms have a hard time competing in the food marketplace. Buying directly from farmers gives them a better return for their produce and gives them a fighting chance in today’s globalized economy.

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Photos taken by yours truly from my iPhone

 

4. Protect the Environment
Food in the U.S. travels an average of 1,500 miles to get to your plate. All this shipping uses large amounts of natural resources (especially fossil fuels), contributes to pollution, and creates trash with extra packaging. Conventional agriculture also uses many more resources than sustainable agriculture and pollutes water, land, and air with toxic agricultural by-products. Food at the farmers market is transported shorter distances and is generally grown using methods that minimize the impact on the earth.

5. Nourish Yourself
Much food found in grocery stores is highly processed and grown using pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetic modification. Some of it has been irradiated, waxed, or gassed in transit. These practices may have negative effects on human health. In contrast, most food found at the farmers market is minimally processed, and many of our farmers go to great lengths to grow the most nutritious produce possible by using sustainable techniques, picking produce right before the market, and growing heirloom varieties.

6. Discover the Spice of Life: Variety
At the farmers market you find an amazing array of produce that you don’t see in your average supermarket: red carrots, a rainbow of heirloom tomatoes, purple cauliflower, stinging nettles, green garlic, watermelon radishes, quail eggs, maitake mushrooms, and much, much more. It is a wonderful opportunity to savor the biodiversity of our planet.

7. Promote Humane Treatment of Animals
At the farmers market, you can find meats, cheeses, and eggs from animals that have been raised without hormones or antibiotics, who have grazed on green grass and eaten natural diets, and who have been spared the cramped and unnatural living conditions of feedlots and cages that are typical of animal agriculture.

8. Know Where Your Food Comes From
A regular trip to a farmers market is one of the best ways to connect with where your food comes from. Meeting and talking to farmers and food artisans is a great opportunity to learn more about how and where food is produced. CUESA’s seller profiles that hang at the booths give you even more opportunities to learn about the people who work hard to bring you the most delicious and nutritious food around. Profiles, articles about sellers, and a map of farms are also available on this website.

9. Learn Cooking Tips, Recipes, and Meal Ideas
Few grocery store cashiers or produce stockers will give you tips on how to cook the ingredients you buy, but farmers, ranchers, and artisans at the farmers market are often passionate cooks with plenty of free advice about how to cook the foods they are selling. You can also attend free seasonal cooking demonstrations by leading Bay Area chefs and evening classes on food preservation and other kitchen skills.

10. Connect with Your Community
Wouldn’t you rather stroll amidst outdoor stalls of fresh produce on a sunny day than roll your cart around a grocery store with artificial lights and piped in music? Coming to the farmers market makes shopping a pleasure rather than a chore. The farmers market is a community hub—a place to meet up with your friends, bring your children, or just get a taste of small-town life in the midst of our wonderful big city.

Support our farmers and bless your temple with fresh and wholesome goodness!

The GraceFace Movement

https://gracefacenetwork.com/2016/09/09/connect-with-us

She’s A Boss ~ Bay Love Marketing❤️

I had the pleasure of meeting Christina about 2 years ago.  We worked for the same company in San Francisco and had an instant connection that has surpassed the workplace.  Christina is a wife, working mother of 2 and she is the Boss and founder of Bay Love Marketing.  As entrepreneurs and working women, we value and understand the importance of working together.  GraceFace Network is always excited to help connect the dots for other entrepreneurs.  Christina is knowledgeable, easy to communicate with and she has a giving spirit.  Her professional experience includes 10 years in the real estate industry; leasing and marketing apartment homes in the Bay Area. The services she offers include, but are not limited to providing expert advise on managing social media networks and integrated marketing services.  Let Christina help you to take your business marketing needs to the next level!

Follow her on Facebook and stop by her blog to say hello and tell her GraceFace sent you…💞

http://www.baylovemktg.com

 

The Top 14 Herbs of the Bible

The Top 14 Herbs of the Bible

Good information from Dr Axe….

People have been using herbs for thousands of years because of their culinary and medicinal benefits. I’ve listed out some of the most popular herbs of the Bible, and what they were traditionally used for. Hopefully, you can pick up a tip or two on how to incorporate these Biblical herbs into your diet today.
Herbs of the Bible

1. Aloes

The Aloe vera plant has been used for thousands of years to heal a variety of conditions, most notably burns, wounds, skin irritations, and constipation. Aloe was also used to embalm the dead, as well as for perfume.

Today, aloe is used in many ways including treating burns, sunburns, healing bruises and rashes, moisturize skin, fight athletes foot, prevent scarring and stretch marks, speed up hair growth, and many more.

2. Anise

All parts of the anise plant were used during Biblical times. The seeds, leaves and stem were used to cool high temperatures, as well as for other medicinal purposes.

Today, Anise can be used to help with digestion and can be used as an anti-flatulence agent, a relief aid for coughs and colds and also can help with insomnia. Usually taken by crushing the seeds into a tea.

3. Balm

Balm refers to an extremely fragrant substance that was extracted from the balsam tree. In Biblical times, balsam was considered extremely valuable. Its gum was used as incense, while the oil that came from the bark, the leaves and the berries worked well as medicine.

4. Bitter herbs

Bitter herbs are a collective term used for lettuce, horehound, tansy, horseradish, endive and coriander seeds. Bitter herbs were mostly used for food. In fact, the people of Israel were commanded to have bitter herbs with their Passover lamb.

Today, they can be used to help with urinary tract infections, kidney stones, fluid retention, achy joints and gout.

5. Cassia

Cassia oil was popularly used as anointing oil during Biblical times. Cassia has aromatic properties quite similar to cinnamon.

Today, Cassia can be used as natural hair care, coloring and conditioning. The leaves are harvested, dried, and ground into a powder used for natural hair care.

6. Cinnamon

Cinnamon, once considered more precious than gold, has some amazing medicinal benefits. The bark, where the oil comes from, was traditionally collected for anointing oil, as well as perfume.

Today, cinnamon can be used for athlete’s foot, indigestion, improve brain function, helps lower blood glucose levels, among many others.

7. Cumin

The ancient Israelites took cumin seeds, dried them, and used them to flavor their food.

Today, cumin can help with digestion, cardiovascular disease, urinary disorders, and fever.

8. Frankincense

Most popularly known for incense, Frankincense was used during ceremonial offerings and considered an article of luxury.

Today, it can be used as an analgesic, antidepressant and sedative, in addition to being a powerful healing herb. Frankincense is also a primary ingredient in stress-reducing incenses.

9. Garlic

Garlic has been used as both food and medicine in many cultures for thousands of years, dating back to when the Egyptian pyramids were built.

Today, garlic is used to help prevent heart disease, including atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries (plaque buildup in the arteries that can block the flow of blood and may lead to heart attack or stroke), high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and to boost the immune system. Garlic may also help protect against cancer.

10. Hyssop

Hyssop is a sweet smelling plant from the mint family. It was used in many ceremonial rituals of the Israelites, as burning hyssop typically meant an inner cleansing.

11. Mint

Mint has been used for thousands of years as a culinary herb and for medicine.

Today, mint can help with stomach aches, poor digestion, fever, hiccups, ear aches and sinuses.

12. Mustard

One of Jesus’ most famous parables was about the mustard seed. This may be because mustard grew so abundantly in Palestine.

Today, mustard can be used for soar throats, muscle and back relaxing, and as a hair conditioner to treat damaged hair.

13. Myrrh

In Biblical times, it was sold as a spice or an ingredient of the anointing oil used in the Tabernacle, or as a salve for the purification of the dead. In the Roman world, it was considered a natural remedy for almost every human affliction, from earaches to hemorrhoids.

Today, myrrh can be used as a cleansing agent, and to help with ulcerated throats and mouth sores.

14. Saffron

The most expensive spice in the world today was also very dear during ancient times. Because of its distinct yellow color, saffron was used not only for flavoring but to make ancient dyes as well. Ancient peoples used saffron to treat stomach upsets, bubonic plague, and smallpox.

http://www.DrAxe.com

click on pictures for pricing info

Where’s the Beef?

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CAJUN STEAK WITH APRICOT ORANGE GLAZE

PRINT
PREP TIME
10 mins
COOK TIME
40 mins
TOTAL TIME
50 mins

Author: Jen@CarlsbadCravings.com
Serves: 6 servings
INGREDIENTS
1-2 tri-tip roast(s) (3 – 4 lbs.), also known as triangle steak or bottom sirloin cut*

Marinade
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Cajun Spice Mix

Cajun Spice Mix
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon EACH paprika, smoked paprika, brown sugar, onion pwdr, chili pwdr
1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon EACH dried basil, thyme, black pepper
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoon salt

Apricot Orange Glaze
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1/3 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon reserved Cajun Spices
INSTRUCTIONS
Spice Rub/Marinade: In a medium bowl, whisk together the Cajun Spice Mix. Add 3 tablespoons to a freezer size plastic bag along with all of the Marinade ingredients. Whisk together. Pierce steak all over with a fork and add to marinade. Massage marinade into steak and seal bag. Marinate 8-24 hours, turning bag occasionally. Store remaining Reserved Cajun Spice Rub in a sealed container/bag.
When ready to grill, remove 1 teaspoon Reserved Cajun Spice Rub and add it to a small saucepan for your Apricot Orange Glaze. Whisk all remaining Cajun Spice Rub with 3 tablespoons olive oil and rub all over steak while it comes to room temperature – 30-60 minutes. (There will seem like a lot of rub which is a good thing)
Grill: Grease and preheat grill to 400 degrees F. Sear roast for 3-5 minutes per side, cover, and turn heat down to 350 degrees F. Grill for 15 minutes, flip, cover, and cook an additional 10-20 minutes, depending on the size of your steak cut and how well done you want your steak. Watch closely that your temperature stays around 350 degrees F.
Check for doneness with a meat thermometer inserted right in the middle of the steak. Thermometer should read: 135 degrees F for medium rare, 145 degrees F for medium. The outside of the roast will get quite dark with a charred crust which is exactly what you want with this cut of steak.
Remove steak from grill, loosely tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes before slicing THINLY across the grain. Serve with Apricot Orange Glaze (recipe follows).
Apricot Orange Glaze: While the steak is grilling, whisk together all of the Apricot Orange Glaze ingredients in small sauce pan with reserved 1 teaspoon Cajun Spice Mix. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until reduced and thickened.

Log on to: http://www.carlsbadcravings.com for more yummy recipes!

“we rise by lifting each other” GraceFace

©Carlsbad Cravings Original

7 Foods that Boost Your Mood

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Here are some of my favorite happiness-creating, mood-boosting foods:
By Dr. Axe
For recipes, please click on the link at the end of the message

1. Avocado

Avocado benefits are far-reaching, particularly in the brain department. In fact, you’ll find them on nearly every healthy-eating list I create — and with good reason. This superfood is loaded with benefits ranging from protecting your heart to helping with digestion, but it’s also a great pick for improving your mood. Avocados are natural hormone balancers, ensuring your brain is making the right chemicals needed for keep it feeling great. If I had to recommend just one food to eat to feel happier, this would be it, the mood-boosting avocado. It’s the No. 1 food to eat to feel happier.

Try it: Satisfy your sweet tooth and enjoy all of avocados’ benefits with my Chocolate Avocado Mousse recipe.

2. Grapes

Juicy grapes are the ultimate take-along snack, but these powerful little fruits are also handy when you want to feel better. When you look at grapes nutrition, you see they are packed with antioxidants, especially flavonoids, which have been found to affect mood. (3) While you can get some of the antioxidant benefits from red wine, which is made from grapes, alcohol is a known depressant. Keep your spirits up by eating the fruit in its natural state instead.

Try it. This hearty homemade Chicken Salad recipe includes a serving of grapes, but feel free to serve extra on the side.

3. Shiitake mushrooms

This meaty mushroom has more to offer than just taste. Upgrading your normal white mushrooms to this Asian variety brings a variety of nutrients to the table, including vitamin B6. While the entire B vitamin complex family is critical to ensuring our physical and psychological functions operate normally, B6, also known as pyridoxine, is particularly great for improving your mood and feeling good.

Because vitamin B6 impacts the production of serotonin and neurotransmitters, healthy B6 levels are associated with a positive mood and reducing stress naturally. (4a) It’s also been proven to effectively treat mood disorders like depression. (4b) Plus, shiitake mushrooms are a delicious addition to meat-free meals thanks to their texture and ability to soak up sauces and taste. Mmm.

Try it: My Vegan Sushi mixes shiitake mushrooms, cauliflower rice and some tasty veggies for a vegan-friendly sushi that everyone will enjoy.

4. Raw nuts

It’s time to go nuts. That’s because these bite-sized foods are loaded with healthy benefits that will leave you smiling. Nuts are full of serotonin, a feel-good chemical that’s in short supply when you’re depressed. (5) Nuts are also full of antioxidants and healthy fats. I’m a fan of walnuts, Brazil nuts and cashews — just be sure to be mindful of how many you eat. While they are healthy, nuts are also high in fat and calories, so a handful or two is usually the right amount.

Try it. These Salty Lime Roasted Nuts combine sea salt with maple syrup for a sweet and salty snack you can eat on the go.

5. Salmon

Wild-caught salmon is one of the best foods for both your mood and brain health. This lean protein contains double your recommended value of vitamin B12. Getting enough of this vitamin is crucial to warding off depressing and staying mentally healthy. (6)

One study found that patients with the highest vitamin B12 levels were most successful in combatting depression. (7) Salmon also packs a punch of mood-stabilizing essential fatty acids. These bad boys keep your brain operating in tip-top shape by helping you producing the right chemicals so you can turn that frown upside down. (8)

Try it. This Salmon Stir Fry recipe comes together in minutes and pairs my favorite fish with a heap of fresh veggies.

6. Sesame seeds

Not just a topping, sesame seeds are powerful in their own right. This ancient crop has been keeping happy levels up for thousands of years. Its benefits stem from tyrosine. This amino acid boosts the brain’s dopamine levels, kicking the feel-good hormone into high gear, while balancing out the others. Pretty impressive for such a small seed!

Try it. Sprinkle sesame seeds on salad or in smoothies. You can also roast them and make this Tahini recipe, a delicious alternative to the usual hummus.

7. Strawberries

Last in this list of mood-boosting foods? Probably the most beloved of berries: the strawberry, which proves the berries are rich in an array of vitamins and nutrients like vitamins A and C and manganese. Because of this, strawberries serve as a strong line of defense against brain degeneration, while also boosting the happy chemicals your brain produces. And who can argue at how good they taste?

Try it. My Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Seed Pudding is dairy-free, full of berries and makes an excellent breakfast or dessert.

Mood-Boosting Foods: 7 Foods for Greater Happiness

Today I begin a new life

The Scroll Mark One

TODAY I BEGIN A NEW LIFE.
Author: Og Mandino

Today I shed my old skin which hath, too long, suffered the bruises of failure and the wounds of mediocrity.

Today I am born anew and my birthplace is a vineyard where there is fruit for all.

Today I will pluck grapes of wisdom from the tallest and fullest vines in the vineyard, for these were planted by the wisest of my profession who have come before me, generation upon generation.

Today I will savor the taste of grapes from these vines and verily I will swallow the seed of success buried in each and new life will sprout within me.

The career I have chosen is laden with opportunity, yet it is fraught with heartbreak and despair and the bodies of those who have failed, were they piled one atop another, would cast its shadow down upon all the pyramids of the earth.

Yet I will not fail, as the others, for in my hands I now hold the charts which will guide me through perilous waters to shores which only yesterday seemed but a dream.

Failure no longer will be my payment for struggle. Just as nature made no provision for my body to tolerate pain neither has it made any provision for my life to suffer failure. Failure, like pain, is alien to my life. In the past I accepted it as I accepted pain. Now I reject it and I am prepared for wisdom and principles which will guide me out of the shadows into the sunlight of wealth, position, and happiness far beyond my most extravagant dreams until even the golden apples in the Garden of Hesperides will seem no more than my just reward.

Time teaches all things to he who lives forever but I have not the luxury of eternity. Yet, within my allotted time I must practice the art of patience for nature acts never in haste. To create the olive, king of all trees, a hundred years is required. An onion plant is old in nine weeks. I have lived as an onion plant. It has not pleased me. Now I wouldst become the greatest of olive trees and, in truth, the greatest of salesmen.

And how will this be accomplished? For I have neither the knowledge nor the experience to achieve greatness and already I have stumbled in ignorance and fallen into pools of self-pity. The answer is simple. I will commence my journey unencumbered with either the weight of unnecessary knowledge or the handicap of meaningless experience. Nature already has supplied me with knowledge and instinct far greater than any beast in the forest and the value of experience is overrated, usually by old men who nod wisely and speak stupidly.

In truth, experience teaches thoroughly yet her course of instruction devours men’s years so the value of her lessons diminishes with the time necessary to acquire her special wisdom. The end finds it wasted on dead men. Furthermore, experience is comparable to fashion; an action that proved successful today will be unworkable and impractical tomorrow.

Only principles endure and these I now possess, for the laws that will lead me to greatness are contained in the words of these scrolls. What they will teach me is more to prevent failure than to gain success, for what is success other than a state of mind? Which two, among a thousand wise men, will define success in the same words; yet failure is always described but one way. Failure is man’s inability to reach his goals in life, whatever they may be.

In truth, the only difference between those who have failed and those who have succeeded lies in the difference of their habits. Good habits are the key to all success. Bad habits are the unlocked door to failure. Thus, the first law I will obey, which preceedeth all others is – I will form good habits and become their slaves.

As a child I was slave to my impulses; now I am slave to my habits, as are all grown men. I have surrendered my free will to the years of accumulated habits and the past deeds of my life have already marked out a path which threatens to imprison my future. My actions are ruled by appetite, passion, prejudice, greed, love, fear, environment, habit, and the worst of these tyrants is habit. Therefore, if I must be a slave to habit let me be a slave to good habits. My bad habits must be destroyed and new furrows prepared for good seed.

I will form good habits and become their slave.

And how will I accomplish this difficult feat? Through these scrolls, it will be done, for each scroll contains a principle which will drive a bad habit from my life and replace it with one which will bring me closer to success. For it is another of nature’s laws that only a habit can subdue another habit. So, in order for these written words to perform their chosen task, I must discipline myself with the first of my new habits which is as follows:

I will read each scroll for thirty days in this prescribed manner, before I proceed to the next scroll.

First, I will read the words in silence when I arise. Then, I will read the words in silence after I have partaken of my midday meal. Last, I will read the words again just before I retire at day’s end, and most important, on this occasion I will read the words aloud.

On the next day I will repeat this procedure, and I will continue in like manner for thirty days. Then, I will turn to the next scroll and repeat this procedure for another thirty days. I will continue in this manner until I have lived with each scroll for thirty days and my reading has become habit.

And what will be accomplished with this habit? Herein lies the hidden secret of all man’s accomplishments. As I repeat the words daily they will soon become a part of my active mind, but more important, they will also seep into my other mind, that mysterious source which never sleeps, which creates my dreams; and often makes me act in ways I do not comprehend.

As the words of these scrolls are consumed by my mysterious mind I will begin to awake, each morning, with a vitality I have never known before. My vigor will increase, my enthusiasm will rise, my desire to meet the world will overcome every fear I once knew at sunrise, and I will be happier than I ever believed it possible to be in this world of strife and sorrow.

Eventually I will find myself reacting to all situations which confront me as I was commanded in the scrolls to react, and soon these actions and reactions will become easy to perform, for any act with practice becomes easy.

Thus a new and good habit is born, for when an act becomes easy through constant repetition it becomes a pleasure to perform and if it is a pleasure to perform it is man’s nature to perform it often. When I perform it often it becomes a habit and I become its slave and since it is a good habit this is my will.

Today I begin a new life.

And I make a solemn oath to myself that nothing will retard my new life’s growth. I will lose not a day from these readings for that day cannot be retrieved nor can I substitute another for it. I must not, I will not, break this habit of daily reading from these scrolls and, in truth, the few moments spent each day on this new habit are but a small price to pay for the happiness and success that will be mine.

As I read and re-read the words in the scrolls to follow, never will I allow the brevity of each scroll nor the simplicity of its words to cause me to treat the scroll’s message lightly. Thousands of grapes are pressed to fill one jar with wine, and the grapeskin and pulp are tossed to the birds. So it is with these grapes of wisdom from the ages. Much has been filtered and tossed to the wind. Only the pure truth lies distilled in the words to come. I will drink as instructed and spill not a drop. And the seed of success I will swallow.

Today my old skin has become as dust. I will walk tall among men and they will know me not, for today I am a new man, with a new life.