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Thrifty and Reusable Halloween Costumes

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Halloween costumes, depending upon how elaborate you intend to get, can cost at a minimum, $25 dollars on up per costume.  If you've got several children or family members to outfit, the costume bills (along with candy and other fun fare) can really start to mount.

So why not get creative with reusable, eco-friendly Halloween costumes? How do you start? Look in your closet.  What do you have that might (when paired with certain items), make a great costume? Maybe you have all the items you need or perhaps you may have to buy one piece rather than an entire costume.  Another great resource is check with friends and relatives. See what you can mix and match.  Thrift shops, where others trade in their wares, are also a great place to find the little nuances to add to your costume. Below are some great ideas for reusable Halloween costumes to try:

Princess -Pair a long gown with gloves (short or long). Wear a tiara and carry a star wand. Your Halloween subjects will bow in appreciation.

Cowboy or Cowgirl- Flannel shirt with Jeans, cowboy boots and hat. You might even tie a red bandana around your neck.  Don't forget to carry some rope - to lasso in your candy of course.

Halloween Masked Man- Everyone knows the iconic white mask from the John Carpenter Halloween movies.  How to create this look? Black pants, black top and white mask of course.  BOO!

Hippie or 70's person- Think colorful.  For girls and women - pair a long skirt with a flowered top.  Wear several long necklaces and dangly earrings.  A headband around your head or floppy hat also works.  For a man - pull out some ripped jeans and wear a cool t-shirt with a peace sign (or your favorite band logo).  Put on the boots and/or sandals and maybe a funky hat. Now you're lookin' groovy!

Witch - Pair a black skirt and top with pointy hat.  Bring a long a broom  (or for a wand, carry a long glow stick!). Instead of black, you can also opt for being a good witch and wear blue or white.  Whatever it is you choose to do, just remember to say, "Bippity Boppity Boo!"  Now you're ready to caste some spells!

Vampire - I vant to drink your blood!  To transform into a creature of the night that would even give Bram Stoker a scare,  almost any type of dress with creative make-up will do. (If you have a red or black cape, fantastic.  However, the only purchase that might be needed to complete the look - Vampire fangs!  (Even a red lipsticked-mouth with droplets of blood dripping from the corners will  do!).

Maid - Coffee or tea anyone?  A maid's outfit might be anything from a black dress or skirt and top paired with a white apron.  Don't forget to carry your broom,  feather duster or even a silver serving tray!

Hobo -To create the look of an authentic hobo, try wearing some ripped or patched jeans or pants.  An oversized jacket and t-shirt and a funny looking hat add great touches.  Of course, don't forget your hobo stick (a long stick with a red kerchief pouch - which can double as another place to stash your candy!).

Hollywood director - Lights! Cameras! Action!  If you want to get the look of an old time Hollywood director - wear some jeans or black pants, paired with a white or dark top.  Don't forget the beret, dark shades.  You might also want to carry a video camera to document the Halloween fun!

Let your creativity run wild.

Creating your own costume will be almost as much fun as going out Trick-or-Treating!


LISTEN TO THIS PODCAST, CLICK HERE!


To VIEW HALLOWEEN COSTUME IMAGES,  CLICK HERE!

*Original article by Maryann Ridini Spencer appears in print in the Sustainable Ventura Newsletter & Blog.


Simply Delicious Vacations

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It's important for everyone to take a break from life as they know it and revel in the delicious luxury of vacation and of not doing anything  - or doing as they please. 

 

The complications of life, work and juggling many tasks often lead to stress and stress can definitely take a toll on one's body, physical appearance and health!

 

While it's important to take little breaks (like weekends) and enjoying regular hobbies and activities, there's nothing more potent than jetting off to a tropical vacation spot or taking an historical tour of a European location.

 

Vacations are a great way to connect to yourself and to those you love.  Travel that gets commemorated in a picture album is also a way to relive the pleasure of a vacation long after the vacation ends.


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I'm still delighting in a recent trip my husband and I took to Hawaii.  I find that whenever I look at the many photos we took, I get a happy, energized feeling.   I almost feel as if we are there!

 

Some great tips to keep your vacation stress free:

 

•Get a Vacation Account

Keep a savings account stash of cash just for vacations. Figure out what your budget will allow, then put away a certain amount of money each week on an ongoing basis. You'll be surprise how it adds up. 

 

•Plan ahead

Research your destination.  Talk to friends who might have traveled to the spot.  Get recommendations for accommodations, food and sightseeing. Research information on the net.  Better yet, perhaps an acquaintance might know some of the locals you can contact before you leave home.  Some of my best experiences have transpired when I've contacted friends of friends.  I've gotten some great, personalized tours of places that could have never been duplicated otherwise.

 

•Speak at least a few words

Knowing to say hello, goodbye, thank you, yes and no along with "Where's the toilet?" and some other important phrases can serve you well.  While you may not be in for taking a Rosetta stone course, you can always find an English translation dictionary on Amazon.com or in your local bookstore.

 

•Understand the customs and local you're visiting

Americans have a bad enough rap as it is overseas.  So, why not get caught up on the local customs?  Research the country and towns you'll be visiting.  When you get to your destination, you'll feel like a local and get a great education while you're at it!

 

•Get some of the local currency before you leave home.  Travel with secure Traveler's checks.

While you may want to pay for everything on your trip with credit cards (a good idea to keep accurate records), you may also want to have a few dollars in your pocket of the local currency.  Traveler's checks are also a great way to go because they're refundable, if lost or stolen and usually within 24 hours.

 

•Pack well

Find out the weather of the locale you'll be visiting at the time of your visit.  Bring various layers of dress just in case.  It's always a good idea to pack wash and wear and clothing that looks great no matter how wrinkled it gets.  Bring multi-purpose clothes. For women, a dress you can wear during the day with sandals and at night with a pretty scarf or different jewelry to jazz it up. For men, a jacket that can be worn casually and with/or without a tie. (So at night, you can  get into that exclusive restaurant!).

 

•Let work know you are on vacation (try not to answer emails)

A vacation is when you vacate your usual life.  So put away the computer and texting.  Let the office know you'll be unreachable. Make sure you have someone qualified to cover for you just in case there's a problem at work.  Don't feel guilty.  You deserve your vacation.  It's also a good idea to post your pictures on Facebook when you get home. (It's NOT a good idea to let everyone know you're out of town!). 

 

•Take lots of pictures

I know some folks that moan and groan that they have to get their picture taken.  However, these same folks love seeing the photos post-vacation - especially as the years go by.  So tell your family, spouse, friend or anyone else on the trip with you to, "Chill!" You're making memories here!  Many new cameras also have video capabilities.  If a picture says a thousand words then a video can, well you get the idea.

 

•Bring home a memorable item that will represent your trip

I always love to pick up a local artist's painting, watercolor or stencil when I travel.  That way, when I look at them hanging on the wall at home, the memories flood back.


You might also pick up a beautiful piece of furniture that you can ship back or some other item that has meaning just for you.

 

Vacations are all part of Simply Delicious Living, so enjoy your trip, even if it's a weekend jaunt, you deserve every moment.  To find out more about simply delicious living, visit my blog at simplydeliciousliving.com

 

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST FROM OUR RSS FEED, CLICK HERE.


Listen to Simply Delicious Vacations Podcast in iTunes, CLICK HERE.

 

A Tribute to Father's Everywhere on Father's Day

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momdadweddingday.jpgFather's Day honors fathers and celebrates the influence father's make in their children's lives. (pictured above Maryann's parents on their wedding day, November 5, 1956).

Many countries around the world celebrate the day.  Father's Day became a recognized holiday in the early 20th century, following the recognition of Mother's Day - a holiday that was founded by Anna Jarvis in honor of her mother.

The first celebration of Father's Day was at the YMCA in Spokane, Washington in 1910.  Sonora Smart Dodd wanted to honor her father, a Civil war veteran, William Jackson Smart, a single parent who raised his six children.  After hearing a sermon about Anna Jarvis's Mother's Day in 1909, she told her pastor that Father's should have a similar holiday honoring them.

Although it did not catch on right away, by the 1930s, Dodd stepped up the process to raise awareness for the holiday on a national level.  However, it wasn't until the mid 1966, when President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father's Day.  Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard signed it into law in 1972.

Growing up and today, I have so many wonderful memories of my Father, Len, and my mother, Kathleen, who are both in their 80s.

My father, a college professor, PhD and author, continues to be a wonderful role model as loving, caring father.

Our education was top priority always.   He taught my brothers, sister and I, to always be the best we can be and to pursue our dreams.  He instills positive family values and lives by their example.

He and my mother set an amazing legacy of what a loving marriage should be.

Below is a poem I'd like to dedicate to my father and all the men in my family and to father's everywhere:

What Makes a Dad

God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called it ... Dad

-Anonymous


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LISTEN TO THE PODCAST FROM OUR RSS FEED, CLICK HERE.

Listen to A Father's Day Tribute Podcast in iTunes, CLICK HERE.


Healing Power of Meditation & Prayer

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Many studies have been conducted that demonstrate that those who believe in a higher power, pray and meditate, tend to be healthier and happier.  The reasons for this, in part, may find its roots in the recognition of being loved by a Divine power, a sense of purpose, and for the general well-being these practices promote.  Both prayer and meditation have been linked to fighting depression, lowering blood pressure, reducing stress and keeping an individual in balance mentally and physically - all factors that contribute to positive health.

To pray and to mediate, it's important to find time where you can be free from distraction.

For meditation in particular, it's important to clear at least 20-30 minutes of alone time.

Meditation is something you'll be doing for yourself, but that will impact not only you, but those around  you - in a positive way.

Some tips to get you started:

•Wear comfortable clothing

Meditate in your PJs, in your yoga pants, baggy sweats -- something comfortable!

•Create a quiet space that is free from distraction

Turn off the phone, TV and Music. No technology, please.

•Get in a comfortable position

Sit cross-legged, lay down - whatever position makes you the most comfortable.  You'll be in it for at least 20-30 minutes, so comfort is key.

•Close your eyes

•Breathe

Take deliberate breaths. Develop an in and out rhythm.

•Accept thoughts in to your mind and then let them leave

The goal in meditation is to clear the mind of all thoughts. Concentrate on your breathing can help you quiet your mind.

The more you meditate, the easier it will be and the more you will realize the benefits of the calm and harmony it creates.

There are many helpful books about meditation and prayer available.  I personally enjoy the guided meditation tapes for health, well-being, spiritual wellness.

Some great resources include:

How To Mediate:  A Practical Guide by Kathleen McDonald and Robina Courtin

Meditation for Beginners by Jack Kornfield

Your Present:  A Half-Hour of Peace:  A Guided Imagery Meditation for Physical & Spiritual Wellness by Susie Mantell

Getting in the Gap:  Making Conscious Contact with God Through Meditation by Dr. Wayne Dyer

How to Pray When You Don't Know What To Say:  More than 40 Ways to Approach God by Elmer L. Towns

and of course, there is always the Bible - Old and New Testament!

 

LISTEN TO: HEALING MEDITATION AND PRAYER PODCAST,

CLICK HERE!


-Maryann Ridini Spencer

STOP: Smell the Flowers!

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STOP and Smell the Flowers!

 

Do you find yourself rushing off to work in the morning, and getting home late every night?

Are you taking meals in the car or at your computer?

When you look at your calendar for the week, do you find that you are ever overwhelmed by the endless schedule of activities?

As the years pass by, do you find them getting shorter and shorter with dreams and vacations always put on the back burner?

It's important for your health, well-being and success to stop and smell the flowers - or the coffee - EVERY DAY!

TIPS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF LIFE

*Look at your calendar. Is every meeting and every appointment absolutely necessary?  You might find you can combine a few meetings and/or eliminate one or two.

*Are you driving all over town without any plan?   Try to organize your meetings in certain areas of town back-to-back.  You might also want to coordinate meetings out of the office only 1 day a week.  This will save on time and gas money.

*Make a part of every evening and weekends an opportunity to spend quality time with your family.  Prepare dinner and weekend meals together.  Use this time for uninterrupted conversation minus the electronics.  Plan family activities.

*Enjoy the moment - the wind on your face, the taste of morning coffee, the sun on your shoulders.

*When you're eating a meal - Sit down to a table or to nature, and enjoy your meal. Taste it.  Eat natural, fresh foods and produce. You'll feel better and find you need less food to satisfy you. 

*Meditate and Pray every day.  Give thanks for what you have. 

*Write down your goals and dreams.  Look at them often.   You'll find by doing this, you'll begin to see them transpire in your life.

*If you are unhappy or depressed, look inside honestly and work to change what is ailing you.  Seek counsel if necessary.

*Whether at home or at work - ask for the guidance and support you need - Delegate when possible.

*Plan ahead for vacations, weekend trips and special getaways that you can look forward to.

*Start TODAY to create love and happiness in your life.  It starts with you. Express your love with a card, a text or a small token of your affection.

*Put a smile on someone's face and SMILE a lot!

A friend of mine recently lost a young family member in an accident.  Another person I know lost their parent suddenly.   Don't let a tragic event find you wishing you spent more time with a friend or loved one.

Take heed that it is the QUALITY of life, and the deep personal relationships that bring meaning - not the superficial material things we can't take with us.

Enjoy simply delicious living EVERYDAY. 

Visit my blog at SimplyDeliciousLiving.com for joyous living inspirations and great easy-to-make, simply delicious recipes and cooking videos!

 

Listen to STOP: SMELL THE FLOWERS Podcast in ITunes, CLICK HERE.

 

Creating A Workspace That Works!

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Whether you're working in a corporate office, or, as many people are these days, in a home office, it's important that you create a space that will support you in your career and keep you productive and focused.

Design a space that makes you smile, where you can feel comfortable and ready to "dig in" to your day.

It may take some time, and trial and error, to determine what works for you and what doesn't, but here are some helpful pointers to help guide you.

Separate home and office

If you do work at home, make it a point to have your office in an area that's separate from the living space - and yours alone - where you can work without distraction and can close the door and leave work behind at the end of the workday.

Make Yourself Comfortable

Choose a desk that is just right for you.   Be mindful of its color and materials.  Are you more comfortable working on a desk made of wood?  What about the size? You want to be comfortable in your workspace.

Choose a chair that you can easily sit in for hours.  You may want to try out a few brands before settling.

Decorate your room with personal items that highlight your success

Showcase your awards, certificates, artwork, memorable photos, client thank yous and other items that are a positive reminder of your achievements.

Say Hello to Nature

Natural abundant light and clean, flowing air sources promote a harmonious feng shui.  Decorate with potted plants.  Place your desk in front of a garden view. You might even want to bring in nature sounds with a waterfall.

Get Organized

Clutter has been known to drain energy, not to mention being an eye sore.  Design a workspace where you can easily organize your books, journals and paperwork in an organized fashion that is also eye appealing and conducive to work. Maybe you'd like to have an armoire with doors or a bookcase with baskets or colored notebooks to hold your paperwork and miscellaneous items?

Choose Your Colors

I prefer working in light, bright white spaces that are accented with color and close to nature.

However, a blue room, the color of the sky and ocean water, is known to be relaxing in a good way - and also known to increase productivity and work efficiency.  Find what works for you and makes you the most focused and energetic.

Creative a Positive Feng Shui

You've heard of people using feng shui in their homes - well feng shui can also be used in creating a productive and creative workspace - be it in a formal office or a home office.

Feng Shui is a geomantic practice that is used to configure and harmonize spiritual forces to improve life by allowing positive energy forces to flow.

You might want to have a feng shui professional visit your office for some helpful pointers - or read up on the practice yourself.

Again, this is YOUR space.  You'll be spending many hours a day in this area making money as well as your dreams come true.  Don't compromise.  Make your space work for you.

For some great recipes and simply delicious living ideas, visit my blog at:  SimplyDeliciousLiving.com

Enjoy simply delicious living today, and every day!

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THIS PODCAST in iTUNES!

A Mother's Love: The Origins of Mother's Day

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by Maryann Ridini Spencer

Sunday, May 13, is Mother's Day --
the day when we honor and celebrate
mothers and motherhood. 

The celebration of the day occurs
on various dates throughout the
world and can be traced back to
elaborate ancient festivals in
Greece and Rome. 


However, the more modern day version of the holiday began in the early 1900s. 

A woman by the name of Anna Marie Reeves Jarvis, hailing from West Virginia,
founded Mother's Day clubs in several cities at the time, to improve poor sanitary
and health conditions.  Anna and the Mother's Day Work Club also fed, clothed
and treated the wounds of both Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. 

The mothers and women who worked good deeds as part of the Mother's Day Club,
truly served the people, not only as loving mothers, but demonstrating
characteristic "unconditional motherly love" and support to all. 

In 1907, two years after Anna's death, her daughter, also named Anna, rightly began
 a campaign to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday in the U.S.  Her desire
came to pass, and in 1914, Mother's Day became a nationally celebrated holiday. 
Honoring mothers with their special day soon became popular around the globe.

In honor of Mother's Day, I'd like to dedicate the following poem to mothers everywhere,
and especially my wonderful Mom, Kay (pictured below Left to Right:  Kay - Maryann's
Mom, Maryann, and Len - Maryann's Dad,
Christmas, 2007):

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A Mother's Love
by Helen Steiner Rice


A Mother's love is something
that no on can explain,
It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away . . .
It is patient and forgiving
when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters
even though the heart is breaking . . .
It believes beyond believing
when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty
of the rarest, brightest gems . . .
It is far beyond defining,
it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret
like the mysteries of creation . . .
A many splendored miracle
man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence
of God's tender guiding hand.

Happy Mother's Day!

Visit My Recipe & Video blog for simply delicious easy recipes and joyous living

inspirations. At SimplyDeliciousLiving.com


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CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THIS PODCAST in iTUNES!


Enjoy Simply Delicious Living today and Everyday!

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Become the Superhero of Your Own Life: Master Change

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I looked up the word "flexibility" in the dictionary just to read how it would be defined. One definition read:

"The ability of a material to deform elastically and return to its original shape when the applied stress is removed." - Wikipedia

I chuckled when I read that. The image I saw in my mind was of the Superhero Elastagirl in the Disney/Pixar Cartoon, The Incredibles.  Her body could stretch and contort and revert back to normal with ease.  And seeing that image made me think of the fact that CHANGE requires FLEXIBILITY.

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And while we humans might not be able to stretch like Elastagirl (pictured left), in today's world of new technology, mergers and acquisitions, downsizing and job evaporation, in order to survive intact, a person has to definitely remain open and able to adapt -- be flexible -- when necessary.

Some of the most important things you can do when change happens:

Acknowledge the change. There may be some moments of wanting to drown your sorrows in mindless television or eating some good ole' comfort food but then recognize you have to regroup and get organized.

Think positive. Look at change as an opportunity to grow and expand.  Life after all, moves forward.  Change is one guarantee we can all count on.

Write your thoughts and goals down.  Figure out next steps.  Plan and brainstorm with friends and associates. This is the time when nurturing relationships come in very handy.  If you've built a strong network of friends and business associates, you'll be able to talk to individuals about how they dealt with various changes in their own lives and what advice they might be able to give you.

Get the support you need. 

Be kind to yourself.  Plan some activities and events that you love that will cheer you up.  Be extra conscious of doing this while you cope with change.  Doing what you love with the people you enjoy will keep your spirits on an even keel.

I remember, years ago, I was producing and writing for a TV show. When the show got cancelled, I found myself out of work.  I was terrified.  However, a wise friend told me to relax and have fun while I mounted a new job search.  Getting stressed about it wouldn't do me any good.

So I heeded that advice.  I took a few days off for a well-deserved rest in a relaxing location.  I followed that up with spending my days networking and sending out resumes.  And I also took time to go to the gym, watch movies that I never had time to watch and read some wonderful books.  I kept busy with friends and family and eventually found an amazing job.

During times of critical change, make sure you eat right.  Exercise and get enough rest. Meditation can also work wonders. Surround yourself with positivity.

When you feel better and have the right energy, attitude and motivation it requires to remain FLEXIBLE to maneuver around life's twists and changes, YOU BECOME the SUPERHERO of YOUR OWN LIFE!

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Enjoy Simply Delicious Living, Today and Everyday!
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THIS PODCAST in iTUNES!

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READING LIST:

The Way of Transition:  Embracing Life's Most Difficult Moments by William Bridges

The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Intuition: Follow Your Truth

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Intuition2.jpgHave you ever had a gut feeling about something - positive or negative - that gives you an extra insight into a particular situation?


Maybe it's something related to work.  A feeling that there might be a problem that will come up if you follow (or don't follow) a specific course of action?

Perhaps you've just got off the phone with a friend or family member and they sound okay and say everything's alright, but you "just know" that's not the case.  Or maybe you have an uneasy feeling in your stomach?

Was there a time where you said to yourself, "I knew I should have done that, or "I should have done that." 

When you heard the phone ring, did you know who was going to be on the line before you answered?  Or  just knew what route to drive in a strange setting?

These insights, or immediate cognitions that give us the ability to acquire information without the use of direct knowledge or without rational thought or reason, is INTUITION.  Intuition are beliefs we have about things, people and situations that may not even be justified, accept to ourselves and our gut.

While everyone has intuition, some people are more conscious of these feelings and how to respond to them,  or better yet, how to interpret the information they receive or feel into positive action.

In the time of the cave man, often humans had to live by their intuition - in order to stay alive, find food and avert danger.

Getting in touch with this part of your consciousness can also help today.  In business, in your personal life and in dealing with decisions as they come up.   It's important to use all the information that's available to us - from study and research, history, logic and reasoning... and intuition.

How do you get in touch with your intuition processing powers? 

1. Well, how do you feel? What's the energy in the room? Are you feeling relaxed, breathing normally?  Feeling well or is your gut tight?  Does your skin crawl?  Do you feel drained or get a feeling of foreboding that something negative is about to happen?

When you've weighed the obvious, consider your gut feelings.  Listen to that "gut" reaction in your stomach.

2. If it's something you want to know, ask yourself questions and listen to the first answer that pops into your head.  Try to quiet all the other chatter that fights this dominant thought or feeling.

3. Get  some meditation tapes and books. Learn how to meditate to clear your mind. Meditation allows you to clearly and succinctly identify your thoughts and feelings and it also has a myriad of health benefits.

4.  Get Creative. It's  been documented that exercising your right brain by getting in touch with creativity (such as painting, dance and other creative outlets) can help you lead a pathway to your intuition.

5.  Journal your thoughts.  It might not be a bad idea to write down your intuitions and then see what transpires.  Becoming aware can help you build your confidence and your ability to connect with your gut.

For some great books that enhance intuition, consider:

Practical Intuition, Laura Day

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind, Joseph Murphy

Developing Intuition:  Practical Guidance for Daily Life by Shakti Gawain

The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success and The Book of Secrets:  Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life both by Deepak Chopra

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Enjoy Simply Delicious Living, Today and Every Day!



Top Tips for Busting The Blues

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If you're like most people, there are going to be days you just might not feel like getting out of bed or at least, out of your PJs.  Perhaps you've broken up with your boyfriend or girlfriend? 

Maybe you've had a fight with a family member or co-worker?

Could it be that your going thru stress over a job change or a move?  Maybe you've just got a bad case of the blahs?

What are some great ways to Bust the Blues and get on the road to happy again?

1.  Get enough rest - at least 8 hours. Sleep is essential for a person's health, rejuvenation and well-being.

2.  Exercise - Exercise triggers those wonderful endorphins that make you feel better.  Get moving  by taking a brisk walk or go to the gym for a workout.  Not only will you immediately have more energy, you'll find that life will appear brighter.  Regular exercise will also have you looking your best - which in turn will also contribute to your self-esteem --  and make you feel better!

3.  Eat right - Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.  Lean meats and fish.  Eating well will make you have more energy and stamina.  And some really good news - Eat Chocolate!  It's  been documented that eating a bit of dark chocolate (70% or higher) every day can unleash antioxidants that are good for your heart and cardiovascular system (by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol).

4.  Evaluate what you think.  If you hear negative tapes in your head.  Erase them.   Listen to positive people, write down affirmations  CUT OUT beliefs and behaviors that don't work for you and only keep you depressed.  A session or two of Hynotherapy, which will go right to your subconscious mind, can also work wonders to get you on the right track!

5.  Write down your problems and concerns.  Make a list of any problems in the personal and/or professional areas of your life.  Talk to a counselor or trusted friend about brainstorming solutions.  If you don't address what's ailing you, it will only eat away at you.

6.  Create a fun social life.   Share interests and activities. Make plans with friends, family and associates.  Look at the calendar to ascertain what days you will have free for fun activities and PLAN.  Search out events in your local area online.  You may also want a change of scenery by taking a weekend excursion to a nearby town to explore.

7.  Get passionate about a hobby you enjoy - Working at something you love builds self-esteem, satisfaction and makes you feel good because you're expressing yourself!

8.  Watch a COMEDY.  LAUGH!  There's a reason why it's been known to be the best medicine!

9.  LISTEN to your favorite music.  Music is also known to have tremendous healing and stress-reducing powers.

10.  Get thee to a local day spa.  Enjoy a yoga class.  Take a dip in the hot tub. Get a new hair cut or blow dry.  Better yet, treat yourself to a professional body massage to relieve stress and for overall healing. A healing touch can work wonders.  Why?  Massage therapy helps move lymph fluid around the body and oxygenate organs and tissues.  And  of course, there's nothing quite like, or as healing,  as the human touch. Amen!

11.  Pay It Forward. Do something nice for someone else.  Giving joy only increases joy.

If you are going through a major life change or upheaval, it would be wise to seek out professional advice from your doctor or making an appointment with a therapist.

There is so much beauty to enjoy in life.  Don't stay in a negative state for too long.

Live it to the fullest and enjoy Simply Delicious Living everyday! 

For more Body•Mind•Spirit inspirations and great recipes & cooking videos, Visit our Recipe and Video blog at SimplyDeliciousLiving.TV

LISTEN to this PODCAST in iTunes.  (View in iTunes and VOTE - 5 stars please!).

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VC Style
Maryann Ridini-Spencer produces video stories about environmentally friendly and healthy living in Ventura County.

She co-hosts "Sustainable Ventura" with Ray Olson on CAPS-TV's VTV, Channel 15 as well as "Simply Delicious Living with Maryann" on Time Warner Cable ON DEMAND.