Spring Fling!

Spring Fling!

I’m having a little fling with all things spring…

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 …and why not–with the promise of a spirit of youth, it’s no wonder most everyone loves SPRING!

Here’s just a few of my favorite things about spring!

One of my most favorite things about spring is getting outside on a regular basis again…breathing in the fresh air, greeting neighbors, talking on porches!

Spring Fling!  www.mytributejournal.com

   “Kind words exchanged are like a spring day!”  Chinese Proverb

If there is anything that makes me feel younger, it’s being able to go outdoors and play with my granddaughters!  It also does my heart good to see that Makena likes her hula hoop as much as I did mine when I was her age!

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“Be sure and take your pleasures seriously!”  Charles Eames 

Like it states on one of my favorite greeting cards, I usually subscribe to the motto that putting in a little hard work usually makes most things in life all that more worthwhile–nurturing a garden is definitely my zen!

Curly Girl card  www.mytributejournal.com

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“I love spring anywhere, but if I have a choice, I would always greet it in a garden!” Ruth Stout

From brightly colored nail polish to floral wallets and purses or colorful shoes and sandals, there’s just something about all the beautiful, vibrant colors of spring that can’t help but make you so happy!

Nail Polish colors for spring  www.mytributejournal.com

A pedicure is a spring must-have, don’t you think–I love these fun shades of my favorite Essie nail polish! 

Relic spring wallet  www.mytributejournal.comThis flower wallet by Relic that I got on sale at Kohl’s is perfect for spring!  There were other fun patterns to pick from.

e52388be0175dde662c88ad00e31f1a0I love these comfy Gap cutout flats for spring!  I got the tangerine pair, but don’t you love all the colors!  

“Spring colors…a perpetual astonishment!” Ellis Peters

Some of my family members weighed in on spring too…

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Both my sons-in-law are bike enthusiasts–so biking is always a favorite thing for them to look forward to come spring!

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No doubt, the East coast has had a long, cold winter season that has left things looking a little gray and drab back there–my daughter, who lives in New York City, simply stated that she longs for spring sunshine!  

Adventures await...  www.mytributejournal.com

My oldest daughter put it perfectly when she told me that she thought everyone just seemed more energized and ready for new outdoor adventures come springtime…she’s looking forward to once again going on walks together and playing with her girls in their backyard!  

“Spring is nature’s way of saying…Let’s Party!” Robin Williams

Spring quote  www.mytributejournal.com

I hope everyone has a fabulous fling with all the things you love most about spring!

What are some of the things you look forward to doing most during the springtime?  

–Mary

Healthy, Wealthy And Wise! Death and Taxes!

Healthy Wealthy And Wise!  Death And Taxes!

I know, I’m barely getting this March “Healthy, Wealthy And Wise” blog post in before the end of the month…but seriously, where did March go!

Healthy, Wealthy and Wise!  www.mytributejournal.com

As we look forward to getting outside and being more active in the nicer, spring weather, this might be a good time, if you haven’t done so already, to do a little physical inventory of your overall well-being and maybe schedule a yearly exam with your personal physician.  Filing our tax returns is also inevitable in a few short weeks, so I’m always on the look-out for some good advice that might make that process a little less painful!

This time of year always makes me think of the sage advice given in this quote by Benjamin Franklin:

Healthy, Wealthy And Wise!  Death And Taxes!  www.mytributejournal.com

If you’re anything like my husband was when I first married him, going to the doctor happened only when you were sick, but as a registered nurse, I wouldn’t have done my professiont any good if I hadn’t at least tried to teach him a little preventative medicine and encouraged him to have regular check-ups!

Being healthy.  www.mytributejournal.com

I’m sure you are all familiar with the phrase, “Knowledge is power!”  The power of being in tune with our bodies and gaining the knowledge it takes to keep them going strong, can never be underestimated!

Recently, the Hospital Corporation of America came out with a guideline of five questions to have handy for your next visit to your doctor:

5 Questions to Ask At Your Next Check-Up:

1. What are my health numbers, what should they be?  Your health numbers include vital health statistics like your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and body mass index.

2. What screening tests do I need based on my gender and age?  An important role your doctor plays in your overall health and well-being is to identify appropriate screening, counseling and preventative services for you based on your specific patient characteristics.

3. Am I up to date on all my shots.  Often, we think of immunizations only in terms of infants and children, but there are some shots that are worthwhile for adults to get too; there is a new pneumonia vaccination that is available now, especially for those with ongoing respiratory conditions. 

4. After reviewing my family’s medical history, is there anything I should be worried about?  Predisposing symptoms are best tackled sooner rather than later!

5. If I change one lifestyle habit, what should it be?  This is a loaded question, to be sure, but one that a good physician is prepared to tackle.  One change in your health habits can sometimes mean the difference between life and death!  

My husband and I find that when we schedule our check-ups around important dates like our birthdays or anniversary, they’re more likely to occur.  I’m happy to report that I don’t even have to remind my husband to see a doctor anymore; we both realize the importance of staying healthy for each other and for our family!

Gaining wealth.  www.mytributejournal.com

The jokes about taxes are prolific:

“Taxes grow without rain.”  Jewish Proverb

“There is no such thing as a good tax.” Winston Churchill

“Income tax has made more liars out of American people than golf has.”  Will Rogers

That being said, I think most of us would agree that paying taxes is no laughing matter!  My daughter’s husband is a CPA, Certified Public Accountant, and she would surely second the notion that tax season can be somewhat stressful, since Shane, my son-in-law, puts in long work hours this time of year.  I can honestly say that Shane truly enjoys his occupation and takes pride in providing a good service to his clients, so I asked him to share a few tips that he thought would be worthwhile in helping prepare our tax returns for this year and in future years to come.

1. Pay a professional!  CPA’s are well-educated on the current tax laws and will have a number of suggestions to help you decrease your tax burden either on past, current, or future tax returns.

2. If you truly want to lower you income tax liability, you’ll need implement to an advised plan in the last quarter of the previous year, at the very least.  If you wait until after the year has ended, you will only have a few ways available to you to help lower your income tax liability, even then, many people may not qualify for these options.    

3. When trying to minimize taxes owed, it’s important to remember your overall financial health.  Some tax planning tips might be good to help avoid paying extra taxes, but may not be a good move financially–this is when a good financial advisor and/or tax consultant is key.

4. It’s also important to remember that just as not two snowflakes are not alike, no two tax returns are alike either.  Just because your neighbor or coworker qualifies to get a tax refund, does not mean you will get money back.  There are many factors that go into preparing an income tax return, so it isn’t a good idea to compare your situation with another’s, unless you know all the information behind the tax return.     

Using wisdom.  www.mytibutejournal.com

My dad used to say it was a wise man (or woman) who knew when it was wise to speak up and say something, and when it was wiser to be quiet and go about your business as usual.  After discussing death (or rather, avoiding it) and taxes, perhaps the wisest way to end this journal entry is with a few of my father’s favorite quotes on gaining wisdom.

“When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise!  Proverbs 10:19

By now, you know that if I’m talking about my father, I’ve just got to include a Mark Twain quote too; this one was indeed a favorite–and the way he lived his life, exemplified it perfectly!

Mark Twain quote  www.mytributejournal.com

In other words, being happy and wise isn’t always in seeking “greener pastures”, so to speak!  Pretty straight forward and a little less jestful for Mark Twain, I’d say!

I hope everyone stays healthy and wise as you finish up your taxes!

Do you have any good health or organization tips you’d like to share that help you survive tax season?    

–Mary

Little Things Mean A Lot!

Little Things Mean A Lot!

Lately, I have found that the goals and dreams I set for 2015 are already in need of some re-energizing…so in an attempt to do just that, I decided to take a good look around at all the little things that mean a lot to me and help make life good, and in turn, inspire me to live better–if you find yourself in a first quarter slump, maybe doing this will help you too.

Little Things Mean A Lot!  www.mytributejournal.com Small surprises, kindness given softly, a reassuring touch, the generous gift of another’s time…these little things both astonish and enchant us and ultimately add up to make our lives a big wonderful existence!

Noticing The Little Things!

◊ You might be wondering how little things like a George Strait CD and cleaning sponges combine to make my life better.

FullSizeRender (3) My husband was raised in a large family of nine children, and as you can imagine there were plenty of jobs to be done!  Saturday mornings at our  house are often started with George Strait music blaring loud and my husband scrubbing the floors and vacuuming carpets.  As my husband and I work together to get things done around the house, it means we can to go “play” much sooner!  Perhaps this doesn’t seem like much, but man, isn’t a guy who helps with the cleaning simply the best!  All those little things we do for each other as husband and wife certainly mean a lot!

◊  Come March, my overly zealous January exercise goals and strides for healthy eating start waning a bit!

Women's Health magazine  www.mytributejournal.comLucky for those of us who are feeling a little less than enthusiastic about getting up and out of bed early to hit the gym, helpful resources like the article in this month’s Women’s Health on “Lazy Ways To Burn More Calories” have us covered!  I find it’s best for me to have a few options right about now that help keep me motivated and give me the boost I need to stick with healthier choices.  Finding ways to live better are just a few of the little things we do for ourselves so we can be strong and live longer.  I’m not going to lie though, I also took to heart the advice given in the article “Best Sleep Ever”!

◊  No doubt about it, life gets busy, and schedules are hectic at times–but I will always strive to find a good balance between meeting my various obligations and spending time with those I love!

Little Things Mean A Lot!  www.mytributejournal.com

Little Things Mean A Lot!  www.mytributejournal.com I think one advantage of getting a little older (yes, there are a few) is that finding time to spend with loved ones seems to be much easier to prioritize!  Like most children, my cute granddaughters have a knack of making the little ordinary things you do each day, from working around the house to a simple lunch date, seem like the most fun you’ll ever have!  Spending time with them is usually first on my “To Do” list these days–besides being with them often provides extra opportunities for me to spend a little more time with their mother, my neat daughter–and that means the world to me!

◊  Some days you can be surrounded with all sorts of people, but your heart is still lonely.

Little Things Mean A Lot!  www.mytributejournal.com

I feel lucky to have neat friends who know just when to pick me up, dust me off, and even bring me my favorite treats on occasion–often accompanied by a heartfelt note or brief visit where we laugh about our ordinary, but crazy lives!  All the little things these ladies do not only mean a lot to me, they help restore my hope and confidence!

What I’m learning now is…

Little things and kind deeds mean a lot because they can’t help but expand your heart until it’s ready to burst…and that makes you want to do little things that mean a lot to others in return!

Little Things Mean A Lot!  www.mytributejournal.com

“The long, long memories of life are of people who are loving and kind!”  Helen Exley

What’s been a happy, wonderful deed you’ve experienced lately?

–Mary