Tiramisu

Just in case you missed it on a previous post; I worked at Olive Garden for nearly 20 years, 17 and a half of which were when I worked there as a manager, so I have had plenty of Tiramisu “back in the day”!

When I moved to Romania nearly one year ago, I decided to make this fabulous dessert at home. After quite a few attempts, the following recipe has proven to be the tastiest and closest to the one at Olive Garden.

Ingredients

  •  4  egg yolks
  •  2  tablespoons of milk
  •  2⁄3 cups of sugar
  •  2  cups = 450 grams… but I use all 500 grams of the mascarpone cheese
  •  1⁄4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  •  24 ladyfinger (cookies)
  •  2 cups of Sweet Coffee/Espresso

DIRECTIONS

1. Fill a saute pan halfway with water and bring it to a boil over a medium heat, then reduce the heat so that the water is simmering.

2. Whisk the egg yolks, milk, and sugar together in a medium metal saucepan, then place the saucepan into the saute pan with the simmering water.

3. Stir the mixture often for 8 to 10 minutes or until the mixture thickens.

4. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and add the 2 cups of mascarpone cheese and the vanilla. Whisk the cheese until it smooths out. Let this mixture sit till the rest is ready.

5. Mix 2 cups of espresso (or really strong coffee) with either 2 tablespoons of sugar or 2 tablespoons of honey (I use honey). Then place this in a large, shallow baking pan.

6. Put the ladyfingers into the sweet espresso and let them soak up the juices. Then, carefully position them the way that you want them. They will be very soft and they might break… but who cares… You don’t see them and you are going to eat them anyway!

7. You have two choices; Either arrange 1 layer flat and put the entire cheese mixture on top OR you can double it up by layering it with 12 soaked fingers, half of the cheese mixture, the next 12 ladyfingers, followed by the other half of the cheese mixture. I have tried it both ways and guess what… it tastes the same way! However, the appearance is slightly different; one is flat and the other is slightly flatter when you plate it One is flat and the other stands up beautifully like the one at Olive Garden.  😉

Related image

This picture is from Olive Garden and Google

8. However you choose, the topping should still be the same; sprinkle cocoa powder and cinnamon over the top of the dessert prior to placing it in the refrigerator. Then, cover and chill for several hours… 20 hours will make it taste EXCELLENT. Less time cooling will still make it a great cake BUT if you want my advice… let it sit to get the best possible flavor.

 

I hope that you enjoy this recipe! If you have any questions please let me know so that I can help. I also will enjoy hearing from you so please leave a comment below.

Christy 🙂

 

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With my numerous posts about exercise, you may begin to wonder whether or not I have any Multiple Sclerosis symptoms of my own. I can assure you that I am not immune; I join half of the MSers in the world today who have been faced with Cognitive Issues:

  • Memory
  • Attention & Concentration
  • Word-finding
  • Speed of information processing
  • Abstract reasoning and problem solving
  • Visual & spatial abilities (such as driving or reading a map)
  • Ability to shift between tasks
  • Organization

For me, forgetting what I am doing, saying, and thinking can and does take place in the middle of each of these activities. This is not as much of a problem for me now, since I am no longer working, but it did cause me some embarrassment while I was working nearly 1 year ago.

Luckily, I had the BEST boss in the world who was more than understanding, so I did “get away with alot” but I was still embarrassed just the same.  I lost my keys at work and she talked me out of my “poor me” crises when I cried because I thought I was never going to be the same sharp manager that I once was. On a smaller scale, I would forget whether or not I spoke to someone about something, so chances were they heard what I had to say multiple times. Sometimes I felt uneasy stares from my customers as I visited their table(s) more than once in a 15 minute period to see if their experience was going great. I did always play off any “overdue visits” with a joke so I was able to get away with those mishaps too. Another thing I had going for me was the fact that I had been managing for so long, things actually became a repetition, and most days were a pleasure because I spent them talking to repeat guests and employees who really liked being there. The bad days, were of course, when something out of the norm popped up and I could not handle the pressure. Thinking back; I do miss it but I am happy that I am not hurting their operation with my illness while potentially worsening my health in the process. As the saying goes… “It is bitter-sweet” that I left.

MS Fact #8: Cognitive difficulties

Currently, I forget things like passwords, the spelling of different words, and what my plans were. I can’t remember how many times I have changed my passwords because I could not remember what I had entered (sometimes… even if it was just 5 minutes prior). Spellcheck has really become my buddy; I use it for all kinds of words, large and small, because I forget the silliest words imaginable! Besides forgetting what I was doing, more specifically, I forget where I put my keys! I sometimes even leave them in the door (this one bothers so much when I do it) but I talk myself out of it fast so that I do not feel too bad.

There are many different MS symptoms and each person can have one to all of them in varying degrees. The picture below shows the symptoms with the percentage of people who have each one.

Image result for ms symptoms 2018

Image from: Colintec.co

So, enough with the problems, let’s talk about the solutions! Cognitive Issues can be better managed by:

  • Having quiet time.
  • Identifying and avoiding your distractions.
  • Using your optimal time periods to get the harder things done.
  • Take your time to do things by pacing yourself so that you can save your energy!
  • Learn about your attention span’s lifespan so that you can take breaks at the right time.
  • Don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed! Break things down so that they can be done in sessions.
  • Have fun with things like puzzles, meditation, and reading!
  • Don’t be shy to ask people to repeat things or speak slower if you didn’t catch their quick response(s).
  • Talk more slowly yourself so that you do not loose your train of thought!
  • Don’t stop learning new words; synonyms come in handy when a word is forgotten.
  • Be organized. Use notes, a journal / blog, calendar, and checklists so that you have yourself covered in case of a memory lapse. Post-its are my friend!
  • Always put things in the same place. I now have a key holder right next to my door to avoid leaving them in the door and/or misplacing them further inside the house.
  • Speak to yourself in a loud voice when you do things so that you can remember that you did them. For example… “I am turning off the stove now.” OR “I am putting my keys on the key holder.”   😉
  • For errands; plan and write down everything from the “stops that need to take place” to “items needed” so that you can be sure everything gets done and gotten.
  • You can use a paper note, or electronic notepad app and voicemail on your phone, if you want to remind yourself to do something later on.

Thank-you for reading this post today! Great news!!! That is it for now. 😉 Next time I will share with you all one my favorite cake recipes of all time. This one is a close tie to the Kentucky Derby pie recipe that I shared last week.

I hope that this post finds you all having a great start to your week. As always, I would enjoy hearing form you, so please leave me a note below.

Christy 🙂

Oops… I Forgot to Name This One!

Happiness = No Complaining

This is lake Valiug. It flows between some mountains, a mere 30 minutes drive above Restia, Romania. This is a place of peace and fun! We have been to this lake many times and we have done different things each time that we visited; swimming, bike riding, hiking, dining, cook outs, snow ball fights, and so much more are enjoyed here during different parts of the year.

Image result for valiug

Today we swam and it was great! We swam from one side to the other, and then back, which was a thirty minute round trip for us. The weather outside was beautiful, the sun was shinning, and the only sound (besides us) was from the water being blown by the wind.

I had time to really disconnect and think while we were in the water. I toyed with memories from my basic training days, remembering how I complained often to my dad about obstacles which were hard for me. His answer always was the same. He always said “Learn to enjoy these moments because one day they will pass and you will miss them!” With that advice, I couldn’t help but to try and extract joy from even the worst of days back then.

To this day, I still try to extract joys, even on the days that it is hard to “see the light.” Most of all, I try to do this without complaining when things aren’t going the way that I think they should. God’s word mentions this happiness strategy in the following verse:

Philippians 2:14-16 KJV

14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

Imagine if I were to complain to others, or just to myself internally, about my swim today. I could have complained about the water being to cold, about being too tired to swim, about there being dirt and rocks there to walk on in the entrance, or even about a fear of mine… perhaps about potentially being bitten by a snake. In the past, I would have let these kind of excuses / complaints either cloud the beauty of my adventure, or even worse, I would have not swam at all. I am glad that with God’s help I have grown in this area of my life. I am happy that I have finally learned how to do things that bring me joy without complaining.

I hope that you are able to do the things that bring you joy without complaining. Isn’t it so rewarding? Thank-you for reading this post, I hope that you found it useful. I look forward to hearing from you!

Christy 🙂

Chocolate and Nuts… Oh MY!!!

Jay Mentor’s Pecan Day Post prompted me to share one of my all-time favorite pies! Now-a-days, I just taste it, and pass the rest along because I am “not supposed to”eat some of the ingredients listed below. However, in the past, I did eat this pie often and I enjoyed it immensely every single time! Thank-you Jay for bringing up this fond memory of mine!

If you have not visited his site  you should check it out. His posts are positive, interesting, and fun to read!

Now… Here’s the pie…

Kentucky Derby Pie

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar & 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup of melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • eggs
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips
  • 1 cup broken pecans OR walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Blend the sugars and melted butter with an electric mixer. Add the vanilla, eggs and flour and then mix very well. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans and then pour them into an unbaked pie crust.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes an then cool the pie completely prior to serving (cooling takes a few hours).

 

I hope that you enjoy this recipe! As always, thank-you for stopping by and reading this post! I would enjoy hearing from you so please comment below.

Christy 🙂

Celebrities with Multiple Sclerosis

I feel  a bit more at ease when I see that others in the world are handling Multiple Sclerosis in a positive manner. It uplifts me, and it gives me the hope that I need to push forward and continue doing what I believe that I can do.

The following videos have helped me. By sharing them, I hope to help any of you who are interested.

Chad Vaccarino

I worked Chad’s dad, Joey Vaccarino, for many years at the Olive Garden. When I was diagnosed with MS in 2010, Joey had me speak with his son Chad, who helped me in the beginning when I needed help the most. His advice was great; he said to stay away from the medicine if you can so that you can avoid the side effects. He also said to watch the video about the Paleo diet from Terry Wahls so that I would know more about what was best to eat. He is not a doctor, but I am glad that I took his advice, because I have been drug free during my entire ride by simply watching what I eat.

 

Matt Embry

Matt Embry is also motivating. His diet is a bit different than the one I learned above, and although I don’t follow Matt’s diet advice 100% of the time, exercise is something that I got covered! Anyhow, if you want some great advice from someone who is clearly making the best of their MS life, simply key his name into Youtube, and watch his videos… you won’t be sorry!

If these two popular faces are not enough, check this list of”Celebrities with MS” to see the famous MS faces of the world!

I enjoy the fact that so many of these celebrities are trying to make a difference in the way the world handles and views MS.

Thank-you for stopping by and reading my post today. I look forward to any comments that you have, so please share them below. I hope that you have a great rest of your week.

Christy 🙂

 

 

Fasole Batuta Recipe

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Fasole Batuta translates into Mashed Beans. The Romanian name for this dish sounds better to me so I use that name instead.

Dried beans taste better, and they are healthier than canned, so following this method will give you a better meal. The beans cook with more ease if you soak them in a big bowl overnight prior to cooking. Wash the beans after soaking them so that you are cooking clean beans.

Boil the beans in a large pot ( like the one pictured below) till they are completely soft. This should take approximately 1.5 hours if you soaked them the night before. Add the seasoning in at the beginning of the boiling process. I use the following ingredients:

  • 2 beef flavored Knor cubes
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic (use a garlic mincer =  man’s best kitchen invention!)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 table spoon of salt

IMG_6867

Right before the beans are done saute 2 medium-sized onions in olive oil and a little salt for taste. When the onions are soft, add 2 table spoons of paprika, and stir continuously so that the paprika doesn’t burn.

Once the beans are completely soft mash them with a potato masher, then blend them with a bender, till they are smooth like mashed potatoes.

In a bowl of your choice place half of the beans in the bottom, followed by a thin layer of (half of) the onions with paprika and olive oil, then add the other half of the beans followed by the remaining onion mixture on top. For decoration purposes top with parsley or dill.

I hope that you enjoy this recipe. I would enjoy hearing what you think so please leave a comment below.

Christy 🙂

 

Turkish People are Friendly

In my post “Vacation in Turkey” I mentioned that I had been pleasantly surprised by the warmth of the Turkish people. Since that post Ms Lab Rat has asked me to describe my first interaction with a Turkish person that made me realize they were friendly.

I am not trying to get of track, but I will just a little, by saying if you haven’t been to her site you should! Her posts are a pleasure to read due to her unique skill set in writing, her passion for a great life, and her humor for things that others may simply take for granted. You will be pleased… I promise!

Back to our story… 😉

My first interaction was with a clerk, at the hotel that we stayed at, on our first night in Turkey. I met him the morning after our stay, when we were ready to check out, and go elsewhere for breakfast because it was only 7am and the complimentary hotel breakfast wasn’t scheduled to start until 8am. He could’ve just taken our key and we would’ve been happy with our stay knowing that we were planning to leave before breakfast began. Instead, he struck up a conversation (in English) with our daughter asking her if she was enjoying Turkey. She told him that we had just gotten here the night before and that she was still tired. His response was more than I had expected, he said that if we gave him 5 minutes we could have breakfast in the dinning room. I was wowed by his degree of service and care for his customers. After we ate, and drank their delicious Turkish tea, he invited us to visit again if we were ever in the area. Coming from the hospitality industry myself, I have learned to look for these acts of kindness, and this one was simply overwhelming to me.

I have to describe one more interaction which took place a few days later. Sorry, but this one is also necessary in my eyes. I had to test the waters while we were in Pamukkale, and since it was hot and there were so many others doing it, I got down to my bikini for a quick dip even though I saw some women there fully dressed with hair dressings and all. Well, as soon as I got to the water, there was an elderly woman right beside me who needed a helping hand as we walked into the water that laid above the rocky maintain that we stood on. The rocks were a bit slippery, and some jagged edges were not pleasant to walk on, so extra caution was necessary. I grabbed her arm so that I could support her, despite the fact that she was dressed from head to foot in black, and simply wished that she would be okay with my help and not judge my choice of clothing. She looked up at me immediately and said “Thank-you sweetheart!” in English! We sat together and she told me that she loves her country and that she wishes I would enjoy it too. She was not an employee. She did not have to except my help. If she would’ve just taken my help and not said a word I would’ve been happy with the interaction just the same, but instead, she wanted to give me well wishes. I thought that was so kind of her to do.

Of course, the people at the resort we stayed at, were all nice too! We even went to a Turkish shopping bazaar in the city and found nice people there as well. I was happy to have met all these nice people during our visit, it sure does make us want to go back if we are ever given the opportunity to do so.

Thank-you for taking the time to read my post today. I am always thrilled to read your comments so please share them below.

Chrisy 🙂

 

MSers Don’t Give Up

Chef Chris Holland is a two-time Chopped champion whose life was temporarily interrupted after his diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis. He thought that his life was over when he got MS so he became addicted to his opioid medication because of his hopeless thoughts and feelings. Luckily, he got the help that he needed, and he is now back on track and giving back to the people who helped him when he needed it the most. Here is the video that explains his amazing story: http://abc7ny.com/society/chef-once-derailed-by-addiction-gives-back-to-rehab-center/3366939/ 

Here’s his restaurant’s website – https://grapedvine.com/dvinebar/

Although he has had his ups and downs, he has now turned his life around for the better and he is helping others in the process. On Chopped, he was quoted for saying “If somebody is watching this show who was diagnosed with MS, I’m hoping that they see with their own eyes that there is life after the diagnosis. There’s plenty of living left to do.” This, along with his will to get back on track and help others, is what inspired me to share his story.

A few things came to my mind while I read about Chris:

  • What is Opioid?

This link explains the answer to this question – https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/guide/narcotic-pain-medications#1

  • Why did he feel this way?

This question can only be answered on a case by case basis. Personally, when I was diagnosed, I felt nearly the same way! I was a manager at the Olive Garden at the time. I remember seeing people walking in the front door with their walkers and me having to excuse myself to go to the restroom to cry because I was scared that I would be on a walker (or worse) myself very soon. Luckily, I never did anything drastic like reaching to drugs to solve my problems but I know that it could have been easy to do if the circumstances would have been just right. Being diagnosed with something that could make you live the rest of your life in a wheelchair is a scary pill to swallow. Support, a feeling of hope, faith, and happiness from within are all so vital.

 

Cheryl Hile gives me hope to keep jogging every day that I can. She has completed her “7 marathons on 7 continents” and she is now working on “The Next Adventure”; A marathon that will be in Detroit on October 21, 2018. She has already gathered up numerous MSers to run this marathon with her, both physically present and afar (including multiple virtual participants from different continents).

Here’s the link which has a video of her diagnosis, her overcoming her running challenges with the help of her brace, and her passion to keep going; http://www.cherylhile.com/running/the-next-adventure

Her positivity is something that I thoroughly enjoy and try to have in my own life. I do, of course, encourage others to do the same. Why not live as happy as possible? Something that also caught my attention about her is the fact that she bought a bike. In the event that she can no longer run, she still plans to be in marathons to inspire others while keeping herself happy.

Thank-you for taking the time to read my post today. I would enjoy hearing from you so please comment below.

Christy 🙂

Turkey

Sunis Efes Royal Palace Resort & Spa

http://efes.sunishotels.com/

This resort was one of the best that I have had the pleasure of staying in; the staff was friendly and accommodating and the amenities were superb. I especially enjoyed watching the entertainment crew gather people for various activities during the day and evening time functions, they really did have the necessary gusto to “get the party started!”

Even though we lived in Florida for many years, staying directly on the beach was a “first time event” for us, so we obviously cherished the water! We were avid pool goers before now, but you would think that we always enjoyed the big deep blue sea more than the pool(s). Sand, salt water, and other silly excuses are now a thing of the past! It is funny how quickly you can ditch an old bad habit, like finding reasons why not to enjoy something, if and when you really want to. Salt water swimming was one of the highlights of our vacation so I am surely glad that we did not make any excuses!

The night life at Sunis Resort was top notch; there was a show each and every night, from flame blowing to acrobats, we were entertained after dinner without turning on a television set, laptop, or iPhone.

We also had the pleasure of visiting 4 sought-after sights during our stay in Turkey; House of Virgin Mary, Ephesus, the Trojan Horse, and Pamukkale. I have included websites for more information below.

House of Virgin Mary

http://www.meryemana.info/uk/Benedict-XVI

The House of Virgin Mary is located near the ancient city of Ephesus in Kusadasi, Turkey; this is where it is believed that she lived and died. This was my favorite site simply due to its sense of peace; the atmosphere inside and out were both serene.

IMG_6854

 

Ephesus

 http://www.ephesus.us/

This was an amazing place to see also. We enjoyed walking through these old ruins and seeing what was still standing from 10 BC.

Trojan Horse

This is the “Movie-famous” Trojan Horse from the 2004 film of Troy starring Brad Pitt. This wooden horse was donated to the city of Canakkale after the filming of the movie.

This “blast from the past” was magnificent both by visual site and location; this work of art has been left sitting on a board walk next to the water boat ferry nestled in between streets of shops and restaurants. Our afternoon was beautifully complete by coming here… we enjoyed our picture taking, followed by an ice cream, and then a ride on the ferry!

Image may contain: sky and outdoor

 

Pamukkale

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/europe/turkey/articles/Pamukkale-everything-you-need-to-know-about-visiting-Turkeys-most-popular-attraction/

This was an enjoyable site for the most part. You see, we are not the biggest fans of over-crowded places, and this place was packed so it was harder for us to enjoy. We also were expecting to see more pools of water than we did, based on what we saw online prior to visiting. This mountain is still beautiful even though the pools are dried up, it is just not as beautiful as it looks online. I did try to find out why the water was dried up, but I have not been successful other than going by the “hear-say” of locals saying that the summer months are too hot so the water is dried up during this time of year.

 

Thank-you for taking the time to read my post… I hope that you enjoyed it. I would enjoy hearing from you and I hope that you all are doing well!

Christy 🙂

Great Habits = Happiness

The featured image was once just a round, brown nut. After falling from its life support (the tree), it bloomed and dried over time, making itself a work of art. I saw many of its counterparts in the tree prior to taking a picture of this magnificent site. There were also some nuts which had fallen and stayed closed.  My eyes were only interested in this one unique beauty which had fallen, shape-shifted, and lured me in with its sheer elegance. Christians are like this flower; they break away from the world that they know so that they can recreate themselves into something that others want to see, listen to, and learn from. Just like many of you, I am trying to shape-shift and show the world God’s love, so please bear with me while I find ways to say things that will please him.

I was left “speechless” after veiwing this for the first time so I watched it again. Then, I read the Bible, and found further clarification that a change in our habits can make us happier! We all know that being happy is an inside job; it takes a conscious effort of thinking the right thoughts, doing and seeing the right things, learning things which build us, and feeling things that make us happy. We have to form habits (if we do not have them already) which produce a happy life for ourselves to live. We cannot base our present and future moments on what happened in the past. This only makes us forebode about what “might” come, and sometimes these events in our minds never come, so essentially we spend our days worrying about nonsense.

 

God wants us to live a happy life. He wants us to feel fulfilled and share his love with the world. He wants us to find ways to stay happy and make our futures great. I believe that there are many guides to happiness on this road that we call life;  books, videos, uplifting posts, web searches, and so much more can help as long as we stay focused on the positives in our search. If we stay the course, we can find positive messages such as these, which help strengthen us to be better versions of ourselves!

The following verses show how God wants us to live; He wants us to live with peace, love, and happiness instead of fear, evil, and worry:

Jeremiah 29:11 King James Version (KJV) 

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

2 Timothy 1:7  KJV

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

John 14:27 KJV

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Matthew 6: 34 KJV

34 Take therefore no thought for the tomorrow: for the tomorrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

James 4:14 KJV

14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

 

Thank-you for stopping by my site today and reading this post. I hope that you found it useful. I would enjoy hearing from you so please share any thoughts that you have below.

Christy 🙂

 

 

Vacation in Turkey

After visiting Turkey for the first time in my life, I have to say that it was definitely more than I had imagined it to be! The drive was simply amazing with the mountains, the sea, desert-like landscapes, sunflower and other agricultural fields, cities and so much more for the eye to feast itself upon as we drove in pure amazement! I have taken plenty of road trips in my time, but this one was one of my favorites because of its vast views!

The people provided a pleasant shock to me as well. I had my suspicions and slight fears due to what I had seen on the news, media, internet and through hearing warnings prior to going. Well, they were all nice and they welcomed us at each place that we stopped, offering us nothing but smiles and warmth. This made me feel at peace while being excited to be in a place that I had never been!

This melting pot also made me feel nostalgic seeing the different cultures intertwine as they do in Florida.  It was a pleasure, to once again, see people from different backgrounds come together and work in harmony.

Ultimately, Turkey simply wowed me because of its ability to shock me in so many different ways! I have done some research on this country and provided it below, along with one of the websites that I collected information from.

https://www.microarch.org/micro35/Turkey/DATA/FACTS.HTM

FACT SHEET

OVERVIEW:
While modern Turkey is a relatively young republic having been founded upon the remains of the Ottoman Empire in 1923, it is an ancient land, the cradle of civilization and the center of world history. The site of the first human settlement; the seat of the Greek, Roman and Ottoman Empires; the birthplace of Homer and the last home of the Virgin Mary; the originator of yogurt and that presenter of coffee to the West – just a microscopic sampling of Turkey’s extraordinary heritage. Today, this large country, twice the size of California, with its spectacular coastline, majestic mountains, cosmopolitan cities and quaint villages is one of the world’s most desirable destinations, a captivating blend of East and West, antiquity and contemporary, the exotic and the familiar.

OFFICAL NAME:
The Republic of Turkey (Türkiye Cumhuriyeti)

LOCATION:
Eastern Mediterranean on both the European and Asian continents at the only point in the world where three continents converge – Europe, Africa and Asia. The European portion of Turkey is known as Thrace, while the Asian is called Anatolia or Asia Minor; Istanbul straddles both as the world’s only city located on two continents. Turkey is surrounded on three sides by water – the Agean, Black and Mediterranean Seas – yielding more than 5,000 miles of coastline.

SIZE:
314,500 square miles, slightly larger than the state of Texas – 3 percent in Europe and 97 percent in Asia

CAPITAL:
Ankara in the heart of Anatolia. Despite its long history – Ankara has been continuously inhabited since the Bronze Age – it is a thoroughly modern, well-planned city distinguished by wide avenues, green parks, elegant shops, embassies and government buildings, and numerous world-class hotels and restaurants. Indeed it is the only city in Turkey with an urban development plan dating to the 1930s, the result of the formerly provincial town being named the capital of The Republic or Turkey by its founder, Kemal Atatürk, in 1923.

POPULATION:
65.3 million (as of 2000)

LANGUAGE:
Turkish, which uses the Latin Alphabet, part of the Ural-Altaic group and strongly related to Finno-Hungarian languages. English is widely spoken in major cities and resort areas.

GOVERNMENT:
Founded in 1923 by Kemal Atatürk Turkey is a democratic, secular, social state governed by the rule of law; committed to the concepts of public peace, national solidarity, justice, respecting human rights and the nationalism of Atatürk; based on the principle of a separation of powers.

  • Legislative Power: The Turkish Grand National Assembly
  • Executive Power: President and the Council of Ministers
  • Judicial Power: Independent courts and supreme judiciary organs

A member of NATO, Turkey is a candidate for inclusion in the European Union.

MAJOR CITIES:
Istanbul 9.2 million
Ankara 3.7 million
Konya 1.9 million
Adana 1.7 million

Bursa1.2 million

CLIMATE:
Although Turkey is situated in a geographical location where climatic conditions are quite temperate, the diverse nature of the landscape, and the existence of mountains running parallel to the coasts, results in significant differences in climatic conditions from one region to the other. While the coastal areas enjoy milder climates – warm summers and mild winters – the inland Anatolian plateau experiences extremes of hot summers and cold winters with limited rainfall.
GEOGRAPHICAL REGIONS:
Seven regions, divided into 80 administrative provinces, four of which are name after the seas that abut them:

  • Black Sea Region
  • Marmara Region
  • Aegean Region
  • Mediterranean Region

The other three regions are named in accordance with their location in Anatolia.

  • Central Anatolia Region
  • Eastern Anatolia Region
  • Southern Anatolia Region
ECONOMY:
16th largest in the world and the strongest in the Balkans, the Black Sea and Caspian basin, Central Asia and the Middle East – with an average growth rate over the past 30 years of around five percent.

Agriculture remains the economy’s base with Turkey being the world’s leading producer of hard-shell nuts, figs and apricot, fourth in fresh vegetable, grape and tobacco production, and seventh in wheat and cotton production. However, Turkey is also among the leading manufacturers of textiles and ready-to-wear clothing, representing 36 percent of exports. The leather processing industry is also an important sector of the Turkish economy.

MONETARY EXCHANGE:
Turkish lira (TL) with coinage in 25,000, 50,000 and 250,000 lira pieces. Bank notes are in 100,000, 250,000, 500,000, 1,000,000, 5,000,000 10,000,000 and 20,000,000 lira denominations. The exchange rates for foreign currencies are published daily. Traveler’s checks are widely accepted and can be cashed upon producing identification. The most popularly accepted credit cards are American Express, Diner’s Club, Visa and MasterCard. Exchange offices in resort areas and major tourist destinations are generally open until midnight.

DOCUMENTS:
In addition to a passport, a visa is required for all U.S. citizens entering Turkey. Visas may be obtained upon any Turkish entry point or in advance from one of the Turkish Consulates around the U.S. Application for a business visa must be made ahead of time.

The tourist visa is valid for a year starting from the issue date. There are two different types – a single entry visa, which allows a stay of up to three months, and a multiple entry visa, which allows for a stay of up to three months for each entry.

Visas given at entry points are valid only for three months. Therefore, visas must be obtained in advance for visits lasting longer stays and for study, research or employment purposes.

HOSPITALITY:
Centuries-old cornerstone of Turkish daily life, especially for travelers for which tradition dictates a warm welcome and the offering of refreshments

VISITORS:
435,000 total arrivals in 2001- including via cruise ship, which accounts for the vast majority of first time visits to Turkey. The number of visitors has more than doubled over the last six years with Turkey devoting more money to tourism than any other European country during this period.

AVERAGE STAY LENGTH:
10 days

HOTELS:
Luxury to budget, the choices are vast. The greatest number of five- and four-star hotels are in Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir, as well as in the Mediterranean and Aegean coastal resort areas. Breakfast is usually included in the room rate, even at more modest properties. Many hotels are licensed by the Ministry of Tourism; rated from one to five stars, they are required to meet strict regulations and standards.

Special License Hotels – a relatively new breed of boutique properties that have been converted into charming, atmospheric hotels from Ottoman mansions, caravanserais and other structures that are protected by the government. Because of building restrictions, facilities and amenities may be somewhat limited making them difficult to categorize within the star system.

RESTAURANTS:
World-class fine dining, particularly in Istanbul and Ankara where international cuisine is quite prevalent. There are also many small, family restaurants serving traditional Turkish cuisine at moderate prices and roadside establishments offer spit-roasted lamb, salads and fresh vegetables stuffed with savory rice. Tasty local beers and fine Turkish wines are available throughout the country.

CULTURAL ACTIVITIES:
Unrivaled in terms of exploring the remnants of a number of the world’s most important civilizations, through countless ruins, internationally acclaimed and restored historic structures. Music, theater dance and art are also hallmarks of Turkish culture.

RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES:
Turkey’s diverse typography presents almost limitless opportunities for: bicycling; boating; diving; golf; hiking; rafting; and skiing (snow and water).

Anatolia’s nearly 1,000 thermal springs have generated a number of spas and therapeutic facilities.

FESTIVALS:
From camel wrestling to yachting, music to wine, Turkey celebrates its distinctive traditions with festivals staged every month or the year.

TRAVEL:
Turkish Airlines provides regular service to and from Turkey’s seven international airports to the rest of the world. Other major international carriers have access to those gateways as well.

Car and passenger ferries from many Black Sea and Mediterranean ports serve Turkish shores and rail service is available from most major European cities to Istanbul.

Turkish Airlines and Turkish Railways maintain an expansive transportation network throughout the country.

ELECTRICITY:
220 volts

RELIGION:
The only country in the world where churches, synagogues and mosques of peacefully co-existed for centuries, the population is 99 percent Muslim. As a secular state Turkey guarantees complete freedom of worship to non-Muslims.

FLAG:
Red background with a white crescent and star in the middle

NATIONAL ANTHEM:
“Istiklal Marsi” (Independence March), lyrics by Mehmet Akif Ersoy Adopted as Turkey’s National Anthem on March 12,1921

INFORMATION:
Call 1-877-FOR-TURKEY or contact the Turkish Tourist Offices in Washington, D.C., at 202-612-6800 or in New York at 212-687-2194, and visit their Web sites at www.tourismturkey.org or www.turizm.gov.tr.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Details of the places we stopped will be in my future post(s)… I will try to put them all in one but we will see…

We felt drawn to visiting a country near Romania, and we realized that this was where we should go when a friend suggested Turkey to us. The following verse applies in many occasions in our lives, but I like to think that it works here as well.

Proverbs 16:9 KJV

A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps.

Thank-you for taking the time to visit and read my post today! I would enjoy hearing from you so please do share your comments below!

Christy 🙂

Crochet Bookmarks

These are great projects for any newbie crocheters out there. I am still new to the crocheting world and I found this to be quite simple. It took me approximately 15 minutes for the single colored one and approximately 25 minutes for the multi-colored one.

For both- you start with the tassled end by making a single chain as long as you wish. Then, you continue on and crochet the flower without cutting till the very end. For multiple flowers simply crochet as many as you want seperately and then tie them on by knotting multiple times so that they are really secure.

Here’s the video that I used to help guide me. I did modify it a little.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLSN6_7R0rY&feature=share

Youtube does have plenty of great videos for new crocheters… just like me. 😉

There are a wide variety of projects for all levels of expertise and all kinds of things. Best advice I can give you is to go in with an idea of what you want to make, see what video(s) is/are best for you, and just give it a shot. Yarn is cheap so you don’t have much to loose. You never know… you might enjoy it!

Thank-you for stopping by and reading my post today. I would like to hear from you so please share any DIY ideas that you have below.

Chrsity 🙂

Compliments = Happiness

Today I wanted to try something different so I went into my images, scrolled quickly, and clicked on a random picture.

This is from a book that I read a while back, one of Joyce Meyer’s.

As for me, I am a firm believer of compliments, I give them as often as possible. I believe that if you see something that could be said, that may put a smile on someone else’s face, then… why not say it? Why not brighten their day? You never know what they’ve been thru and your compliment could just provide that little support that they need in that moment.

So… go ahead… make someone else’s day better. In turn, your reward will be far better than it would if you were to hold your tonge. You get to feel good about yourself.

Being a part of the wordpress community thus far has been so rewarding. I am meeting so many positive people that give compliments often… I believe that this is why I am so hooked.

Thank-you very much for stopping by and reading my post today. I would enjoy hearing from you so please share your thoughts below.

Happy Sunday!

Christy 🙂

My Favorite Poem

Footprints is, and has always been, my favorite read because of its ability to make me feel at peace.

This poem reminds me that…

  • God is always present.
  • God carries me when I need it the most.

I am pleasantly reminded of this poem whenever I see footprints.

Doesn’t it feel good to know that God has this kind of love for us? Not only is he there when we need him… He carries us when we cannot walk it alone!

Thank-you for taking the time to read my post today. I hope that you enjoyed it. I would enjoy hearing your thoughts so please share.

Christy 😃

Enjoy Life without Excuses

After packing, cleaning the house, and driving a really long way… we came to a paradise that I am thoroughly enjoying! You see, I lived in Florida nearly my whole life, up until about 10 months ago. Now we live in a mountainous area which we love! However, returning to the sea 🌊 has been such a pleasurable experience.

I can’t help but to wonder… Why didn’t I enjoy the ocean in Florida as much as I enjoy the sea right now?

I believe that I took it for granted, I was too busy, I didn’t want to get sand in my car, the drive wasn’t convenient and the list of ridiculous reasons goes on and on.

So, for now, I sit here on the beach… enjoying the moments that I never did before. I sit on a chair in the sand listening to the waves crash, the seagulls sing, and the wind blow. I don’t regret my lost moments because I did other things that I enjoyed to fill the time, but I do plan on not having anymore lost moments because of silly excuses!

I hope that this post finds you all well, enjoying life’s precious moments, without making excuses and/or finding reasons not to.

Thank-you for taking the time to read my post today! I would enjoy hearing from you.

Christy 🙂

Run the Right Race

I just stumbled upon this video on Youtube and I wanted to share…

The biggest and most important message you can ever hear and try to fulfill is – “Who’d you bring?” – I pray that this video inspires you to be “limitless with God”.

This is the verse that he quotes: Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

 

 

I would really enjoy hearing your thoughts so please don’t be shy. I hope that you are having a blessed day!

Christy 🙂

Sweet and Easy

We like to eat our pancakes/crepes a variety of different ways; fluffy or thin, sweet or not sweet (to add a topping), and also hot or cold. This is a go-to favorite of ours for breakfast time, mid-day or even for a dessert.

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While some areas of the world prefer pancakes and other areas prefer crepes, these are still both enjoyed all over the world. 

For us, you could say that pancakes are our “comfort food”, but we have found crepes to be equally enjoyable. Besides the obvious difference in appearance, there are slight differences in the ingredients as well. Pancakes are fluffy, they have more flour and baking powder, which serves as a raising agent. Crepes are flat.

🥞 Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 & 1/2 cups of milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence (optional)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups of flour
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar (optional)
  • 3 tsp baking powder
Directions:
 
  1. Mix the flour, sugar (optional), and baking powder in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  2. Beat the eggs slightly in a separate bowl and then mix in the milk and vanilla (optional).
  3. Make a well in the center of the DRY ingredients and then add the WET ingredients into the center. 
  4. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together until smooth.
  5. Pour a 1/4 cup batter into a heated saute pan, immediately tilting pan until the batter covers the bottom. Cook until the edges start to dry and the center looks bubbly. Turn to brown the other side.

Crepes

Ingredients:
  • eggs
  • 1 & 1/2 cups of milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons of sugar (optional)
Directions:
  1. Beat the eggs slightly in a medium bowl.
  2. Add all of the remaining ingredients and continue beating until smooth. 
  3. Heat the saute pan over a medium-high heat (375°F.) until hot. Grease the pan lightly with butter. 
  4. Pour a 1/4 cup batter into the hot pan, immediately tilting pan until batter covers bottom. Cook until the edges start to dry and the center is set. Turn to brown the other side.
  5. These are great tasting as-is OR you can fill them with any filling that you wish; Honey, Jelly, or Nutella.

IMG_6478

Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis, also known as the OMS“, has a recipe for pancakes too.

Here is the link to their recipe: https://overcomingms.org/recipe/oms-friendly-pancakes/

I have tried this recipe and I enjoyed it. However, my family prefers the recipes that I  listed above. Sometimes we “live a little” and enjoy something sweet, while other times we watch what we eat. Either way, as long as it is all done within moderation, why not enjoy something you like? 

Thank-you for reading my post today, I hope that you enjoyed it. What home-made desserts do you like? I would enjoy seeing your favorites, so please share them below. Hope you are having a great week! 

Christy 🙂

3, 2, 1 – Quote Me!

3,2,1 – Quote Me was started by A Guy Called Bloke and I have been tagged to take part in the fun by The Britchy One

Easy Rules:

  • Thank the Selector… Thank-you Britchy!
  • Post 2 quotes for the dedicated topic of the day = “Happiness” is Today’s Topic.
  • Select 3 bloggers to take part in the challenge.

 

My 2 Quotes:

“Don’t wait for everything to be perfect before you decide to enjoy your life.”

-Joyce Meyer

 

IMG_6446 “When life becomes a rollercoaster… throw your arms up and enjoy the ride!”

– Suzy Toronto

 

My 3 Nominees:

Jessica at Personal Growth Blog

Jena at Jena Pendarvis

Vickie at Viclea

 

Hope you enjoy this and Happy Saturday to you all!

Christy 🙂

Salt Mines are Fun!

Relic underground salt mines from the 17th century, formerly known as workplaces, now house some of the most unique amusement parks that I have ever seen. These refurbished salt mines offer a wide range of things to do; the entertainment is abundant and different at each location.

Trip Advisor and Travel Guide Romania rate these underground parks highly, and rightfully so, mainly because of their ability to wow visitors of all ages. Business Insider named Turda “one of the ten coolest underground places in the world”.

 

Turda Minehttp://salinaturda.eu/?lang=en

Turda’s entertainment offers:

  • Amphitheater
  • A bowling alley
  • An underground lake with paddle and row boats
  • A Ferris wheel
  • Ping Pong Tables
  • Mini Golf Course

7 days a week, from 9am-6pm, you can enjoy this hidden gem for the low price of 30 lei ($7.47 or 6.43 Euro) per adult and 15 lei ($3.73 or 3.22 Euro) per child.

IMG_6405

 

Praid Minehttp://www.salinapraid.ro/salina-praid

Entertainment at Pride:

  • Obstacle Course
  • Bouncy House
  • Crafting Corner
  • A Church
  •  Illy Coffee 🙂 and other concession stands
  • Ping Pong Tables
Adul (Monday – Friday): 30 lei  ($7.47 or 6.43 Euro)
Adult (Saturday – Sunday): 35 lei   ($8.71 or 7.50 Euro)
Child (Monday – Friday): 20 lei  ($4.98 or 4.29 Euro)
Child (Saturday – Sunday): 25 lei ($6.22 or 5.36 Euro)

IMG_6406

IMG_6414

 

The websites above provide more information about these salt mines, should you be interested. I would like to hear from you as well if you have any questions so please comment below. Thank-you for stopping by and reading my post. I hope that you are having a great weekend!

Christy 🙂

Peace, Joy, and Faith

A peaceful and joyful life is obtainable and so rewarding. Living this way is a choice which can be done through discipline and faith. When I spend my time learning more about this topic I am filled with hope, passion for more, and strength.

The following are the best ways to start being happier with your life right now:

  • Be happy with what you have, instead of wishing for what you don’t have!
  • Don’t complain about anything! This is a hard one… (I am still working on it).
  • Don’t compare yourself to others, ONLY compare yourself to yourself!
  • Search for ways to learn new things that will help you be a better you.
  • Believe in yourself and give yourself credit.
  • Be willing to give to others in need; they may need your time, money, etc.
  • Control your thoughts! Positive thoughts about yourself, others around you, and the world we live in will only help you to have more confidence which makes you happy!

God’s word supports this; 1 Timothy 6:6-12 (KJV) says it best…

But godliness with contentment is great gain.

For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

 

I appreciate you stopping by my site today. Thank-you for taking the time to read my post. I would really like to hear from you in the comments below; please share any other things that you use to make your life a happy one.

Christy 🙂

 

Exercise for better days with MS

Last night I was feeling tired and sore pretty much all over, my back was especially causing me some discomfort. Instead of just dealing with the pain, or taking medication, I decided to stretch with some of my favorite music. My stretching shortly turned into a yoga and dance session followed by an ab, upper body, and lower body workout with a yoga mat and two 5 kilo hand weights (this is 11 pounds for each hand).

How did I go from feeling awful to working out, and then feeling great afterward?

Discipline is the first step to overcoming excuses which make you think that it is okay to just live without exercise.

Motivation is a close second; think of how you will feel afterward so that you can get started. Once you start, you are more than likely going to do more than you thought you would do, to begin with.

Endorphins are the rewards your body gets to enjoy during and after the workout is done. These are chemicals released from your body, while it is active, which tell your brain that you will not feel pain. They also make you happy; which is a Double-WIN!!

There are so many great reasons to exercise, so I have named some of my favorite ones below:

  1. Helps me to fight against my MS symptoms. Other diseases or non-disease related symptoms are helped as well; It is a great defense against laziness! 😉
  2. Weight control is better managed when exercise takes place daily.
  3. Makes you happy!
  4. Makes sleeping all night more likely.
  5. It is fun! Of course, it isn’t fun every day, but this is where the discipline comes in!

 

My normal exercise routine usually consists of a light jog for about 20-25 minutes a day. Every other day I do this “yoga/dance/ muscle workout” which lasts 30 minutes. On the days that I am not feeling well, I just keep it light, so that I can stay motivated on future days.

My jogs are not what they used to be, and that is okay because I still keep going and that is what counts! I take my phone with me on the days that I need a little variety; these are the days I take pictures while jogging. I agree, it may look weird like Zooey Deschanel in Yes Man, but I do capture some great pictures along the way!

I started this “picture-jogging” back while I was living in Florida; these are a few of my greatest pictures from there…

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Here are some of my shots from Romania so far…

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Of course, the winter weather didn’t stop me! I made it out even when it snowed; extra clothing was a must and 20 minutes was the maximum on those cold days!

IMG_6360

 

“If you have faith anything is possible. Anything at all.” Bethany Hamilton (Soul Surfer)

Bethany Hamilton is a girl surfer who lost her arm due to a shark bite and she still continued surfing despite her shortcoming. She not only came out of her devasting situation with hope, she wanted to touch others and bring them to God. She is a hero and I am inspired by her. I didn’t lose my arm, I was just diagnosed with MS, so why not continue to do what I know I can do?

I am not a doctor, and I do not want anyone reading this to feel like they should push themselves further than they possibly can. I just hope to inspire those who may be having an “off day” because those are easily beaten with the right attitude!

I hope that you enjoyed reading my post and thank-you for stopping by! I would enjoy hearing your thoughts on anything I have here. Happy Sunday!

Christy 🙂

 

A Bible Talk About Happiness

 

Being happy isn’t something that just happens; it is a result of things you do, say, feel, and think. We don’t get to be happy all the time, and that is okay, so long as we push for our next moment of happiness. Don’t get stuck in a slump and think it is alright to stay there; you have to push to get out, push to find something that will make you happy and work for it!

I have always found happiness in God’s word. There have been many times in my life when I was too busy to read the bible and pray. Even though it doesn’t take that much time, I found other things that just had to be done. Those things became my priorities, and in turn, I was unhappy.

You might find your happiness in something different, and if that is the case, that is what you should strive to put first in your life.

During my time here in Romania I have pushed myself to put God first in my life. I spend most of my mornings reading the bible and praying for guidance. I have learned that God directs us through peace; essentially, we know what path to take by the way we feel. Feeling uneasy about something means that it probably isn’t God’s will so “going there” would not be the right thing to do. Even after praying, mistakes still happen and God will be there, all we have to do is ask him and have faith that he will take care of us.

 

1 Peter 5:7 KJV

Casting all your care upon him: for he careth for you. 

This verse invites us to let our problems go by praying about them and having faith that they will be resolved. This does not mean that issues go away instantly; sometimes we have to pray for weeks, months or even years depending on the severity of the problem. Faith helps us to keep on praying and believing till one day we come out of whatever problem(s) we are in.

Psalms 34:14 KJV

Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

Once we come out of our issue we must stay focused on moving in the right direction. Back-sliding can and does happen, so continuous prayer after the problem stage is necessary.

Proverbs 17:22 KJV

A merry heart doeth good like medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. 

We should always keep in mind that “happiness does a body good”, and it does good for others around us as well, so our priorities in life should be in line with working towards what makes us happy.

Mathew 5:9 KJV

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

I am pleased to have met many peacemakers in my lifetime; they make me want to do more for God and others, they make me happy, and through their inspiration, they help me stay focused on what I need to do in my own life. Having a Miraculous Smile is definite when I am blessed to interact with them!

 

I want to thank-you for taking the time to read my post and for stopping by my site. I hope that you enjoyed this and I would really like to hear from you!

 

Christy 🙂

 

 

 

Berry Cakes

To start, I want to show you the website to something I found when I was nearly ready to post this.

https://cakebreak.org.uk/how-your-support-helps/

The MS Society, located in the UK, allows bakers to bake for a cause; the money saved from these baked goods go to MS research and development. I would like anyone reading this, who lives close enough by and who has the time, to sign up and use my recipe (or your recipe) for this great cause! You never know… you could be featured in March of 2019! 🙂

Thank-you! 😉

This DESCRIPTION is from their site:

Are you a showstopper or a savvy shopper? Do you bake your own or prefer someone else to take the heat in the kitchen?

Whether you’re a star baker or an expert faker, we hope you’ll take a Cake Break this March. You’ll be raising dough to help stop MS while you enjoy your home-baked or hand-picked treats!

Bake or buy your treats, share with your friends, family and colleagues, and take time out to remember the people who matter most to you. MS doesn’t always give us a break. But by taking a Cake Break together, we can raise the funds needed to change that.

 

 Now onto my post…

Berry and cherry picking is new to me. Up until the start of this summer, I found berries and cherries in the grocery store. They were always packaged so nicely and I enjoyed them every time I bought them. Now, that I have experienced pulling fruit from trees and plants, I am more inspired to make the best of what I was able to see growing from the earth. I feel blessed to eat something that is fresh and tasty, while not having to worry about waste because if I pick too many I can always bake a cake with them!

 

Berry Cakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream

 

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, cream butter, and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Add the 4 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add alternately with sour cream, beating just enough after each addition to keep batter smooth.
  2. Bake for 5 minutes and then add in fresh cut and washed fruit of choice; I have made this with strawberries  🍓  and cherries 🍒 and it came out good either way.
  3. Bake at 350° for an additional 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  4. Let it cool for 15 minutes before removing it from the pan.
  5. Powdered sugar makes a picturesque topping.

 

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Of course, if I eat cake, a jog is in order! Even though I don’t eat cake every day, I usually try to get my jog in on the daily,  just to stay as healthy as I possibly can. I find my self-discipline from God and I pray that if you eat cake, you are able to self-discipline yourself into whatever makes you feel okay afterward too! 😉

This was my favorite bridge in Fort Lauderdale. It, of course, led to the beach so the run was always quite nice, to say the least! I took this picture on one of my jogs to the ocean.

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I hope that you enjoy this recipe. I would be happy to see any summer recipes that you have, so please comment, so that we can all enjoy! Thank-you for taking the time to read my post and I hope you have a great rest of your Sunday!

 

Post Share: Dizzy on MS: What is MS? — Dinosaurs, Donkeys and MS

This post from Heather well-covers the topic of what MS actually is, it is very informative and she managed to make it a fun read! If you haven’t been to her site, please be sure to stop by, you will be pleased for sure! Her non-threatening way of communicating something like MS is a true talent.

 

For the last week of MS awareness month me and Dizzy have decided to make a little post and video about MS. One of the things I find most difficult with MS is trying to explain to people what exactly it is. People mostly think MS=wheelchairs and that’s about it, so we’re going to hopefully try and explain […]

via Dizzy on MS: What is MS? — Dinosaurs, Donkeys and MS

Post Share: Cog Fog and Brain Zaps?! — Tripping Through Treacle

May 30th is “World MS Day”, and I found out just yesterday, so I read up on some posts about MS. Working together to spread awareness is the goal, so I hope to accomplish this by sharing this great post from Jen. Her recap of the MS symptoms is very informative and accurate. I have personally felt many of these symptoms myself. What symptoms have you felt? If you haven’t been to her site yet, please check it out, it is more than worth the visit; her posts are always an inspiration and educational.

I continue to be off work for the time being, awaiting my Access to Work report regarding adaptations and aids that may support me to remain in work. All this time off has done the world of good for my MS, I have to say. Unfortunately, I can’t say that my symptoms have magically disappeared, but […]

via Cog Fog and Brain Zaps?! — Tripping Through Treacle

Hunedoara Castle

 

 

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting this castle once again. Given its spectacular layout, I found it to be intriguing, despite the fact that I had visited it before.

A castle with many names, that it is! This castle goes by three different names; Although Corvin Castle is its predominant name, it has also been dubbed Hunyadi Castle or Hunedoara Castle. I call it the Hunedoara Castle since I was first introduced to it by this name during my initial visit many years ago.

This is one of the largest castles in Europe and it is also one of the quoted “Top Wonders of Romania” to visit. It has been in a few movie scenes, like most castles are, which include Royal Hearts from HallmarkGhost Rider Two, and  Fright Night to name a few. I have to admit, seeing a picture of Nicholas Cage in front of this castle on Google made me realize how much more well-known it is versus what I had originally thought.

This castle is definitely worth a visit; the price is more than fair for the enchanting sites offered. I spent a mere 25 lei for my ticket, this translates to a grand total of $6.25 or 5.38 Euro, which is really low considering the fact that you get to visit a site from the mid-1400s.

The narration displayed throughout the castle was in both Romanian and English languages, which makes the experience that much more worthwhile.

There was a historical feel along the inside of the castle, especially in the towers, because of the old appearances and cool wind gusts which made the entire experience seem as dated as it should’ve been.
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The furniture looked just like what you would see in the movies; it was old-fashioned, and “fit for a king”, as the saying goes.

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The castle’s model appeared to be on point with the exterior views. It was positioned under a beautiful arch, near two windows, which gave it plenty of incoming natural light. I thoroughly enjoyed the stairways, which were decorated with clover-like construction.

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http://www.castelulcorvinilor.ro/ – This is the castle’s official website.

 

Below is a picture that I took on a train ride from Resita Romania to Anina Romania. I paired it with Psalm 2:8 because there are times that I feel as though we can do more traveling if we simply ask.

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Thank-you for taking the time to read my post. I hope that you found some joy in it. Hearing from you would be great, so please let me know what you think about anything I have listed here.

Christy 🙂

 

 

DIY Crafts

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I am a huge fan of jean products! Now that I am no longer required to wear business casual attire for five days out of the week, I am usually found wearing either a pair of jeans, jean shorts, a jean skirt, a jean vest or a jean jacket. My fondness for “all things jean” inspired me to look up ways to make a jean purse.

I found a variety of ways to repurpose a purse out of either pants, shorts or a skirt. I chose the skirt option because I found the design more appealing. My frugal side was happy to discover that what would’ve cost me an easy $35.18 US dollars / 30 euros online ended up only costing me 10 lei which is $2.53 US dollars / 2.16 euros. 

1 Romanian Leu equals $0.25 in US Dollars and 0.22 in Euro

This inexpensive project was mainly possible because of two things; My friend helped me sow the bottom of the skirt with her sewing machine and I found the skirt at a thrift store. As the saying goes; “Teamwork makes the dream work!” In this case, my dream came true!

Why stop there? I had to have a matching wallet too! So… here it is…

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Of course, I had to apply a flower-like crochet applique on both sides, just for a little extra pizazz. I firmly believe that this little detail made the wallet look far better than it did when it was just the plain jean.

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Crochet is still a part of my hobby to-do list. During this past week, I made another pair of house slippers. This time I made them big enough to fit an adult! I am getting the hang of crocheting now, which means I no longer need to watch videos on how to crochet. I simply follow along when I get stumped and I do what I can do on my own. I find it more peaceful to work on my own, so this is a good thing.

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I do enjoy making crafts, and I also enjoy the peace that comes along with this activity. Perhaps my strongest like is my ability to be still and pray while I work.

Colossians 3:23 NIV – Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. Thank-you for taking the time to read my post. I hope you enjoyed it! Please let me know what you think about these crafts or what I have written here. “Feedback is your friend” is another saying that I know so I will enjoy whatever friend(s) you have for me! 😉

Christy 🙂

Nature Walk in Girliste

 

Girliste is a small village twenty minutes away from our new home in Romania.  This village resides in an outdoor paradise; distant mountains surround the entrance way and the exit is a hiking trail which ventures through a forest and then into a clearing inside a valley nestled between more mountains. There is a river which flows alongside the entire hiking trail proving a sound of beauty to go along with the sights.

Our dog enjoyed his freedom while leading the way as if he were our tour guide on this great outdoor adventure! He did a great job showing us around this magnificent display of nature.

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We saw a cluster of blue butterflies and quickly snapped a picture of them before they flew away! This was the first time I ever saw so many butterflies in one place. It was really pretty to see and it was a magical moment when we saw them flutter up around us. In comparison to online pictures, these butterflies are called Common Blue Butterflies.

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There were plenty of fruit-bearing trees and plants throughout the village and on our walk. We had the pleasure of eating a variety of fresh-picked fruits, including cherries and some berries, along the way.

IMG_6061We ate Fragutele, which are small-sized berries, that resemble a mix between strawberry and raspberry. They had a very sweet taste.    🙂

One tree appeared to have been struck by lightning, or perhaps it had been partially burnt by a fire, and it was still alive and bearing fruit called Mulberry. This Morus Alba tree was uniquely beautiful and its fruit was tasty. Most berries are helpful to our bodies, including Mulberries, they are filled with nutrients that are important for us. Iron, vitamins, dietary fiber and potassium are all packed into this tiny little fruit.

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This tree made me think of this scripture today…

Jeremiah 17 verses 7-8     KJV

7 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope in the Lord is. 8 For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. 

Faith is shown when we are able to bear fruit despite the obstacles we go through in life. I believe that we should live life to its fullest, even if we have illnesses like MS. No two storms are made equal, and I have had the pleasure of connecting with many wonderful Christians who bear fruit even though they have been struck by lightening force destruction in their lives. These people inspire me to keep smiling miraculously on the days that I might feel like wearing a frown instead.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read my post. I hope you enjoyed it and I look forward to any comments that you may have. I also hope you had a great weekend!

Christy 🙂

Transfagarasan

 

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Breath-taking views surround these 71 miles (114 kilometers) of pure bliss called Transfagarasan. Being the second highest paved road in Romania, this road’s elevation sits at 6,600 feet (2,000 meters), which places you near the clouds in some places. The highest point of this roadway is at Lake Balea, which is a majestic world wander all on its own.

 

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Created in the 1970s, during the Ceausescu era, some say that it followed the fear of an invasion by the Soviet Union. It is also known for being built by the military, in subpar working conditions, which led to many deaths during its creation. With great gratitude for those who helped build this road, regardless of the reasons of it being built, I declare that this roadway has been a majestic beauty for the past 44 years.

Tranfagarasan has gained some great accolades in being named “the best road in the world” on Top Gear in 2009.  It has also been mentioned on many travel sites and news channels, including CNN, for its ability to be one of the best road trips of all time.

Visitors from all over the world have enjoyed this road. During our 4 visits, we have met people from many other European countries, who have traveled there in a variety of ways. Visitors come to visit by car, travel bus, motorcycle, bicycle, foot, and even by herding sheep.

There are many hotels to choose from, but our favorite is Cabana Capra.  It is nestled in between the mountains and it is right on one of the curves of the Transfagarasan. So, as you can imagine, it has beautiful views from the balconies, terrace, and walkways all around its exterior.

 

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We have been blessed enough to visit during different seasons, and we have found this roadway and the mountains both beautiful when covered in either sun or snow. This road is said to be closed once the snow gets too thick, usually from October till June, but this does vary due to weather since we were able to visit in the month of June for two consecutive years, and once in January. I recommend calling and checking online for roadblocks and/or hotel availability prior to getting there.

 

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In the future, I will return to this magical place. I hope to include Romania’s Ice hotel on one of my future visits. If and when we do go to the Ice Hotel, I will be sure to post pictures and the like when I return.

I hope you have enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. As always, I would enjoy hearing your thoughts. Thank-you for taking the time to read this!

 

Christy 😊

Ochiul Beiului

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In Romania, I have had the pleasure of seeing some really gorgeous places, but this one is one of my favorites! This place is actually less than a 2-hour drive from where we live, so that is a BIG plus! We have visited Ochiul Beiului three times and we have enjoyed each trip thoroughly!

Upon arrival, you have the choice of parking at the entrance, or driving a few kilometers more for a shorter walk. Driving after the entrance is exquisite on the eye, but rough terrain on the car tires, so extra precaution is necessary! We chose to walk less and drive a little more, which made our light hike 2.5 hours round trip.

The drive and the hike were both enchanting! You could hear water flowing and the breeze blowing through the trees the entire way.  I felt free in this enchanted land of trees, grass, hills, water flows, waterfalls, and all of the other sites in this artistic display of nature.

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There are multiple “ooh-ahh” moments along the way, which make you want to keep going so that you can see what comes next. Each point of interest is equally majestic in its own unique way; there are multiple spots to see different waterfalls, an open field with mountains in the background, the wilderness, and a turquoise blue lake which looks like a page torn from a storybook.

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Ochiul Beiului’s beauty is definitely worth the visit and re-visits. In the end, should you be hungry (which we were), you can either have a picnic, a cook-out on a portable grill or eat at their “fresh-fish fry” and crepe station. We have tried all three of these options on different visits and we have enjoyed them all.

If you happen to be planning a trip, or you are interested in more details of this beautiful place, please reach out to me and I would be delighted to help. I do enjoy your comments so please let me know what you think of Ochiul Beiului.

Christy 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crochet Newbie

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After my transition of working full-time, to being a stay-at-home mom, I was blessed with some additional time to spend learning new things like crocheting.

A few months ago I decided to learn how to crochet for fun and I am enjoying this new-found hobby. Creating something new gives me a miraculous smile.

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I remember watching my grandma crochet when I was young, she made large blankets for nearly everyone that she knew! I was never interested in learning this craft at that point in my life so I am glad that she offered to teach me without forcing me to learn. Now that I am older I find pleasure in this hobby. I am self-teaching myself through Youtube mostly, and some of my new Romanian friends help me when they can.

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I find crocheting to be good for me due to the following reasons; it is calming, it provides me with handmade treasures (for my daughter or for gifting purposes), and I get the chance to be proud of my work. Maybe one day I will be able to move this hobby forward, but for now, I am just enjoying it.

I have found that crochet is a convenient hobby to carry along wherever you go; I took a project on a recent road trip and found it easy to do while traveling. In the future, when I travel by plane, I will be sure to take a plastic crochet hook for security purposes.      😉

Nearly a year ago I did not have the time to learn new things and develop my own self-interests. I was a mom,  wife and career woman spending time off with family, friends, shopping, swimming, jogging, and other things that were already known to me. I believe that in life we are given chances to learn new things when the time is right. When we are given chances we should take them, make the best of them, and see where they lead us. Luke 1:37 (KJV) says “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” This is how someone like me had the chance to learn an amazing new craft. I hope you take the chance when are feeling that it is time to experience something new and amazing in your life.

I am sure that others out there are more developed in crochet than I am, so please share any suggestions, pictures, or any feedback that you may have on my projects. I look forward to hearing from you!

Christy  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eating Healthy for Better Days with Multiple Sclerosis

Our diet plays a big role in how our bodies function so we should eat as healthy as possible. Since being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, I have found more and more ways to eat healthily!

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 Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day!

My mornings usually consist of a glass of lemon water first thing after I wake up. Then, within an hour of waking up, I eat a healthy breakfast which usually consists of two boiled eggs and a grapefruit with chai and flax seeds. At times, I absolutely need some variety so I pick from the following for my breakfast meals:

  • 2 boiled eggs and a grapefruit with chai and flax seeds (mentioned above).
  • Half of a banana and oatmeal cooked in hot water (not milk) & sweetened with 1 teaspoon of organic honey.
  • Greek yogurt, half a banana, and one piece of bread with peanut butter.

Most importantly, I have learned to make my breakfast a filling one so that I avoid snacking prior to lunchtime.

COFFEE – My cappuccinos, and /or coffee with cream or milk, is now a black coffee with ground cinnamon, cocoa, nutmeg, ground turmeric, and organic honey.

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Lunch must be eaten!

Lunches are usually in a bit of a hurry for me so I try to keep them as simple as possible, a protein with a green side. Keeping in mind that I often switch the sides and proteins listed for variety, below are the meals I chose from:

  • Grilled chicken breast with a side salad.
  • Baked chicken breast with a baked sweet potato.
  • Baked fish with a side salad.
  • A bowl of soup.

As of late, I have finally distinguished between eating a healthy lunch and skipping lunch. Lunches are the last meal prior dinner so skipping lunch will only make dinner heavier which is worse than eating a balanced meal for both lunch and dinner.

Green Tea– I enjoy a cup of this daily! I boil it with fresh ginger and 2 or 3 lemon wedges. Occasionally, I add 1 teaspoon of organic honey when my sweet tooth kicks in.

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Dinner should be light and early!

Given that I cook during the day for a nightly “family meal”, I try to at least taste the items I cook. I succeed at this by eating a small portion of whatever I cook, along with a salad.

In my last post, I enclosed two new recipes that I have learned here in Romania. Today’s NEW recipe is Momaliga, which is a Romanian favorite! It is also healthy so I do try to have this as a dinner side at least twice a week!

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 Mamaliga (Polenta)

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Ingredients:

  • 4 cups water
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preparation:

  1. Bring water to a boil in a large pot with salt, then simmer and pour with a steady stream the cornmeal.
  2. Stir constantly for about 20 minutes with a wooden spoon, until you notice that the mamaliga breaks away easily from the sides of the pot.
  3. The cooked mamaliga should be thick enough to stay in place on a plate.

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I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you have any questions please let me know and I will gladfully help!

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“If Only” I had always eaten healthy while I was young!

During my childhood, my diet wasn’t a concern to me at all.  I drank “southern sweet tea” without any limitations. It was common to have a pitcher of this sugar killer sitting in the frig. I also drank soda, with unlimited refills, from fountain machines. I often enjoyed a wide variety of candy; ring pops, bubble yum gum, blow pops, snickers, M&Ms, and so much more! For cookies, I had to have the double stuffed Oreos! I would even make them quadruple-creamed by taking off the back from two of the cookies, sandwiching them together, to give myself enough “extra” cream! Loaded hotdogs were also my thing! Just like today, there were mixed messages about what was healthy. Honey-nut-roasted peanuts were quoted as the “healthy snack” of my childhood, so we ate plenty of them! Our saving grace to this diet massacre was the watermelon we ate on hot summer days.

After years and years of sugar-filled drinks and foods, I began to care more about what I drank and ate when I joined the military. Drinking plenty of water (without sugar) is the most important lesson during my time in the service.  It is so important to drink water first thing in the morning, and enough throughout the day, to help our bodies to stay strong and function properly. Salad, vegetables, and fruits should make up more of our diets than meats and other items that we consume. Although I tried to ignore the following, I was also reminded that desserts, sugary drinks, and snack items should be limited and avoided as much as possible. I was, of course, taught this prior to this time in my life BUT this is when I began to care.

I had a true diet wake-up call when I was diagnosed with MS! I was told that if I didn’t eat healthily I could lose my ability to walk. This scared me! I listened, researched and connected with those who already had MS at the time. I learned some more helpful ways to keep myself on track.

After being diagnosed with MS I adapted the following items into my diet:

  • Lemon Water & Tons of Water
  • Salad with Apple Cider Vinegar instead of dressing
  • Baked Sweet Potatoes
  • Kale Shakes
  • Apples and Grapefruit
  • Occasional dark chocolate for my sweet tooth
  • Green tea with lemon, ginger, and organic honey… (most days I drink without the honey)
  • Baked or Grilled Chicken and fish (without sauce)
  • Salmon with lemon, salt, and pepper only! (no sauce)

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In an effort to give this subject a funny ending, here is a corny joke; I ate an MS during my younger years, so now I have MS. It may sound a little funny this way, but it is true, I put bad food into my body and it caused me to have a lifelong disease. How I manage it best is by eating as healthy as possible so that I can continue to keep up a miraculous smile!

I would love to hear any diet secrets you have… so please share! Thank-you and I hope to hear from you soon… Christy 😊

 

Finding Comfort in Cooking

Staying within your comfort zone can be seen as “good for you” or “bad for you” depending on how you look at it. When moving to a new country, there is room for serenity, so it is “good for you” to stay within your comfort zone while adapting and overcoming new challenges.

In the USA I worked in the hospitality industry for nearly 20 years, most of which was at the Olive Garden, so I am all too familiar with “following a recipe”.  Since our move, I have learned to make some new things. Here are a few of my favorites:

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Guluste Soup

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Boil a carrot, a parsnip, a celery stalk and some meat of your choice with salt, pepper, and seasoned salt. Then, remove EVERYTHING and leave only the broth in the pot. Last, add the dumplings to this soup.

Ingredients & Preparation for Guluste Dumplings:

  1. Beat 2 Eggs.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of oil.
  3. Add a little salt and pepper.
  4. Add 8 tablespoons of grits, one by one, mixing after each spoon full.

Mix the ingredients above. Insert a metal tablespoon spoon into the boiling soup broth. Use the hot wet spoon to scoop from the mixture and then add one spoon at a time to the boiling soup broth. After dropping all of the dumplings, let the water boil on low for an additional 10 minutes and then turn it off. Add one cup of cold water as soon as you turn it off so that the dumplings grow. Then add some freshly chopped parsley on top for garnish and taste. This mix makes 10-12 dumplings.

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 Silvia Cake

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Cake Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (or 300g) of flour
  • 6 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/2 cup (or 100 g) of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa
  • 6 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate with lemon juice

Cake Preparation:

  1. Mix all of these ingredients well and divided it into 3 equal parts. Bake on low for 15 minutes. Insert a toothpick to check if it is done. If not, return to the oven for a few minutes, and then be sure that the toothpick comes from the cake without batter.

Cream ingredients:

  • 1/2 a cup of milk
  • 6 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 cup (or 200 g) of sugar

Cream Preparation:

  1. Stir the starch with sugar. Slowly bring the milk to a boil, adding the dry mix slowly, until it thickens.
  2. After it thickens, remove it from the fire and allow it to cool.
  3. Mix butter with a hand mixer in a separate bowl.
  4. When the cream has cooled, mix it with the blended butter.
  5. Arrangement: cake-cream-cake-cream-cake; visually, it will be black, white, black, white and black.

Top Glaze Ingredients:

  • 8 tablespoons of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons of milk and a small slice of butter

Top Glaze Preparation:

  1. Mix & boil these ingredients till they are a liquid. Pour this on top of the “cake-cream-cake” set up.

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Moving to Romania has been a rewarding experience for us. My husband and I have toyed with this idea since we first met, and now after all these years, it is our reality. I do have to admit, moving here wasn’t easy! It was sad saying goodbye to all of our family, friends, co-workers and even the people at our daughter’s school. We prayed diligently for the courage and patience necessary to make this big change in our lives possible. There were times during our transit when we felt discouraged, but it is such a blessing that we pushed through it all and followed the path that we felt was right.

Now that the big move is complete, I am grateful that we came because being here feels right for us. I am more rested than I have ever been and I am seeing that what I once learned is true; MS is better managed with less stress, ongoing exercise, healthier eating habits, and the right amount of sleep.

I do hope you enjoy these recipes. Should you have any questions about any of them, please reach out to me, I would be more than happy to help.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Christy

3-Day Quote Challenge

Here is my last “Quote Post”… for now! I have to say, this has been fun! I have always enjoyed quotes and seeing so many of them these past few days has been a true treat for me! Thank-you to all who took the time to share and make others feel inspired!

Once again, thank-you Heather & Dizzy from Dinosaurs, Donkeys, and MS for inviting me to share some of my favorite quotes!

The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Post a quote for three consecutive days (1 quote for each day).
  3. Share why this quote appeals so much to you.
  4. Nominate 3 different bloggers for each day.

 

I was given this bag on a flight from the USA to Germany a few years ago.

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“Is there any adventure more exciting than meeting new people and finding out what lives within them?”

Sonja Henie

 

Meeting new people is an exciting adventure! You get to experience the unknown while learning something that you never would have learned if you didn’t come into contact with that person. I am enjoying meeting all of you thru this blog and I look forward to upcoming adventures such as these!

The 3-day Quote Challenge

Again I thank-you Heather & Dizzy from Dinosaurs, Donkeys, and MS for inviting me to share some of my favorite quotes!

The Rules

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Post a quote for three consecutive days (1 quote for each day).
  3. Share why this quote appeals so much to you.
  4. Nominate 3 different bloggers for each day.

 

“Love the life you live. Live the life you love.”

—Bob Marley

Life is best when it is enjoyed! I choose to be happy with what I have or make the changes necessary to live a great life. After all, we only live once, why not make the best of it?!

The 3 day Quote Challenge

Thank-you to Heather & Dizzy from Dinosaurs, Donkeys, and MS for inviting me to share some of my favorite quotes!

The Rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Post a quote for three consecutive days (1 quote for each day).
  3. Share why this quote appeals so much to you.
  4. Nominate 3 different bloggers for each day.

 

pearl

I have always been fascinated with the formation of pearls! Something so beautiful, derived from suffering, is simply majestic!

I believe we are all on a journey to becoming a pearl; It takes time, ability to deal with nuisances, and finally a reckoning that we are indeed special. Obstacles can way us down, or make us stronger, depending on how we choose to handle them.

My Nominees are:
1) Jo Ann Maxwell @ Fearlessinjesuschrist
2) Alyssa @ Fightmsdaily
3) Heather @ Dinosaurs, Donkeys, and MS