Black Pepper: Spice It Up!

 

I never cook by adding salt. I love to add pepper to my preparations, though.

I love spice- yet not too much spice. Just enough to give a satisfying flavor to my tastebuds.

I enjoy the mild hotness of pepper by not over-sprinkling the spice into my various dishes.

Aside from livening up food, pepper offers us a few great benefits that serve our health to the fullest.

 

Transit Needs To Stop!🚍

 

Here today in New York it was announced that the MTA Metropolitan Transit Authority has planned to raise the fair again.

This goes for Buses, Subways, Toll fares and Long Island Railroad travel.

 

 

If anything, transportation fares should be reduced. They need to be going down instead of up!

Prices on everything as it is are already sky-high, exceeding the limits of people’s pocket books.

Soon the entire cost of living will be too expensive for any of us to live by.

 

With A Cherry On Top🍒

 

Cherries are expensive at most places where they are purchased but they are a must-have during the times they are in season.

I am sure there are instances where this fruit that is grown under good harvest can be sold reasonably, especially when caught on sale.

Nevertheless, I would rather spend a few extra dollars on quality goods than those manufactured under poorly suited conditions.

Cherries are unique in taste.

Biting into them while sucking on their deliciously, luscious flesh to spit out their seeds is mildly addictive once begun into indulgence.

You cannot just eat one if you are a lover of them. Even though eating Cherries can get messy as their juice will tend to temporarily stain one’s fingertips as well as to permanently stain one’s clothing if one is not careful by spurting into them and spurting the seeds out.

Cherries are one of the many best tasting, beneficial fruits available here on earth.

Not only are they a treat to eat they invitingly decorate other desserts and drinks with their near heart-like shape, deep red color, and thin stem.

 

Mouthwash Antiseptic

 

 

From an adolescent into my mid-teens, I remember using Listerine mouthwash.

The original liquid germ eliminator and breath freshener that contained alcohol burned inside my mouth so bad it would bring tears to my eyes.

I loved the way it tingled- that fresh, clean, medicine-like hygienic taste and feel that Listerine left behind.

The mouthwash is nowhere near the potency of what once was.

Long gone is the Listerine I used to know.

The last time I goggled down Listerine years ago it tasted like a watered-down waste of money that did nothing for the mouth.

There was absolutely no pep to the product at all.

I do not know what happened but if people contacted the company in reference to the alcohol content in the Listerine which burned like hell causing the product to be reduced in ingredients, then that is unfair.

Some always spoil things for others.

I hate when companies change or alter their items on the preferences of the majority.

What about the minority who were satisfied with certain products just the way they were?

Why not make a mild and extra strength to please those on both ends.

Well, that is how it goes.

A lot of companies cater to the majority on account of making a profit.

I have never purchased Listerine again, and I never will if it is not the same Listerine I used to know and love back in the day.

 

 

Breyers New All-Vanilla Non Dairy Ice Cream🍦

 

Over the weekend, when I was in New Hyde Park, New York I went looking to purchase a half a gallon of Breyers Non-Dairy Vanilla and Peanut butter Swirl.

To my disappointment there were not any containers of the dessert stocked at all inside of the freezer for me to take on the way home.

Instead- to my surprise- was a load of new completely Vanilla-flavored Breyers Non-Dairy gallons of ice cream located on the shelves.

Breyers finally produced an all-Vanilla dairy-free alternative frozen dessert as I had long hoped for.

Despite the pleasantness I felt after thoroughly checking the ingredient list and nutritional facts on the item I was not too satisfied.

I left the Non-Dairy Breyers in the freezer to freeze by itself.

I am still curious of how the new product taste though.

 

Pine🌲

 

 

Pine is one of nature’s natural delights.

Pine sol was a cleaning agent popular in my home growing up.

 

 

It is especially good for shining and use on wood aside from disinfecting other surfaces.

I enjoy cleaning with pine and I love the fresh smell it gives off, especially the lemon scented fragrance.

 

 

 

Enough For What Is Needed

 

I remember as a kid when my mother used the expression “You have a Champaign taste with a Kool-Aid pocketbook”.

We were not poor, but we were not rich either. We had our temporary normal days of drought from time to time, yet we always had what we needed to live comfortably.

We never went without thanks to God I know my mother would say.

My family ate good.

I do not currently eat expensively, but food can add up to be expensive when it comes to price. I know how to budget.

Just because I can afford something does not mean I will waste money on what I do not feel is necessary. I am not one who is into foolish splurge, though I do have elegant taste and choose nice, quality things.

I enjoy the pleasant dinners I prepare at home that are suitable to me. I do not put garbage into my body.

Cozy evenings, in front of the television set at peace while I eat.

 

Summertime

 

It was the mid 1980’s. The sun shined brightly. The usual two-and-a-half-month summer school recess was in effect.

Kids all around the neighborhood were either having fun or trying to find something to do to occupy themselves.

On my block when the day was a scorcher one of our neighbors would go get the sprinkler that he owned and had obtained through the police precinct.

He placed or screwed the device onto the fire hydrant that was in the middle part of our street near the curb.

All of us children had a delightful time running through the shower of water that heavily sprinkled over and across the center of the street.

Us children were in an environment, carefree- having wet and wild clean fun!

 

 

Sweet Reward

 

Do not forget to reward yourself and treat yourself to something sweet for all the effort and hard work toward whatever it is that you love or do. Even if it is just your favorite hobby.

Sit down, relax, and chill!

Give yourself a pat on the back- and look back at the things you have accomplished no matter how big or how small.

As long as you have been fulfilled.

 

Braids

 

Braids can be a lovely style of adornment to the head of hair.

I used to like when my hair was put into French braids in my youth- the look is very becoming in adults too.

I learned to bread around nine years of age through observing others then practicing on my doll heads.

Later in life I began to braid hair for others- some even paid me to do their hair.

Someone had recommended I do braiding on the side during my twenties to make extra money but that really was not my thing I would only braid hair for certain people when they asked as a special favor to them while they were nice enough to compensate me for my time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skins

 

The fleshy parts of fruits and vegetables are extremely healthy, but the edible skins of certain fruits and vegetables are even more beneficial to health.

The skin of potatoes, apples, cucumbers, zucchini and more contain richer amounts of vitamins, minerals and fiber.

I love eating baked potatoes with their peels on.  

Just be sure to know which fruit and vegetable skins are suitable to eat and those that are not.

 

Crunchy Cucumbers

 

My goodness!

I am a loyal life-long fan of cucumbers.

During my early youth I would go into our family backyard to where my grandmother planted her own fresh fruit and vegetables.

The cucumbers from her crops used to be large, wide, and crisp!

I would peel them, sprinkle salt on them, and eat them whole holding them inside the palm of my little hands.

Cucumbers are delicious sliced or chopped up in salads and they are super delicious within their pickled state.

The nutritional value of cucumbers is also fantastic. They are excellent for hydration as they naturally contain water as many fruits and vegetables do.

Cucumbers are good for the digestive system and they contain antioxidants.

 

 

Slow Down On The Jam: Spread It Wisely

 

I, as a lot of us did, grew up eating peanut butter and jelly sometimes.

I loved peanut butter far more than jam or jelly.

I delightfully ate a lot of peanut butter sandwiches on whole wheat bread during my twenties and thirties.

Grape jelly was my favorite out of other flavors when I did indulge.

I do not care for jams or jelly nowadays. I have not eaten any in a long time.

Fruit in their natural state is, of course, extremely healthy and should be eaten on a regular basis. Fruit preserves highly processed and high in sugar are not good to consume regularly.

Cleaning Supplies

 

Bending and stretching can seem like a strenuous workout while one is doing household cleaning.

I cleaned my bathroom today.

Nothing comes in handy the way Ajax/Comet and Brillo pads do!

They both get those tough, resistant stains out completely with steady force.

Clorox all purpose, Fantastic with a “k” at the end, Lysol and 409 cleaning and disinfectant sprays additionally help to do a great job too as I also had a few of them on hand!

My family always had Brillo pads and Comet in the house when I was growing up. My mother was fierce when it came to cleaning with these excellent supplies.

Juicy Pineapple Juice!

 

I love pineapple juice.

The natural beverage especially tastes so good/delicious when it is icy cold.

If I am not absorbing the nutrient rich juice from the fruit of a fresh pineapple within the walls of my mouth, I am pleasantly drinking it straight.

Not only is the flavor of pineapple juice highly refreshing- but the benefits also carried in the liquid as well as the core and flesh serves as an absolute refresher to the maintenance of optimum health!

So, take a glass or a cup and gulp down to a pineapple delight.

 

A Heart To Heart ❤

 

It is so important to take care of the heart and to keep those arteries as clean as possible.

Some people are genetically predisposed to have coronary events and one never knows when a heart attack or stroke may strike.

It does not matter what age we are it all depends on how we treat and care for our bodies by eating the proper foods, doing suitable exercise, getting significant rest, refraining from toxic substances which in the short term or long run cause harm or premature death, and avoiding unnecessary situations that can or will cause stress.

Go to the doctor for regular check-ups, always inquire them to further investigate anything that seems abnormal/out of range where health professionals may overlook or not pick up right away or at all.

Get second opinions on things too if need be.

We cannot afford to let the beats of our lives conk out on us. We must keep that clock ticking for as long as the beat goes on!

 

 

Scrunchies (Hair Care)

 

I have been wearing scrunchies since the 90’s.

They are the best hair-ties as far as I am concerned. They are flexible within their elasticity; they are durable without wearing out too soon- even while they continuously get wet.

Scrunchies do not pull-out strands of hair by getting tangled up as rubber bands and regular elastic barrettes do.

They come in a variety of fabrics/textures and colors.

However, I do not like the shiny/glossy velvet-type scrunchies. The satin ones are okay though I prefer the cottons ones only.

I currently keep my ponytail of natural hair that is growing fast and healthy  in two comfortable scrunchies- one secured at the top of the tail and the other secured near the bottom.

I always keep a supply of these lovely hair adornments on hand at home for later use.

 

I Just Love That Dove!

 

My mother taught me early on in life to be clean, especially with my body.

I was one who loved to take baths as a kid. As an adult I have a love for the shower.

My family used a variety of different quality brand name soaps throughout the years, but the one that stood out the most to become my favorite was dove bar soap and bodywash.

I love the sensitive and exfoliating bodywash and beauty bars out of all the varieties. Both have a great light-smelling fragrance that is not harsh and that does not irritate the skin.

Dove is sulfate free and healthy for the skin. It keeps my tone nice, soft, and smooth.

I even wash my hair with dove.

I always feel clean without any left behind residues.

Just fresh, clean, and smelling good!

 

Strive For A Healthy New Year

 

Another new year is here!

Everyone should always endeavor to love and respect themselves along with striving to constantly stay in good health.

Eat healthily, live healthily and think positively!

Have a healthy New Year.

 

Chit-Chat

 

An associate gave me a ride home this evening.

As we rode in her car, she brought up UFOs and how if they are up there in space somewhere to have peeked down here on us that they probably think us humans to be crazy.

I told her I believe in the “possibility” of aliens or extraterrestrial life on other planets.

I laughed and told her if they do think that we are crazy I understand. I also mentioned that we probably look weird to them the way they appear to us.

I concluded that they may not go around killing one another and other violent or negative things of the such that are done here on earth.

She added that the aliens do not want to come to live down here with us as they are perfectly at peace where they are at.

Well, if they truly exist they need to stay right there in space where they are at!

We both laughed then moved on with our chat.

Merry Christmas!

 

Because a savior was born everyone can spiritually be born again to live forever in eternal glory with our heavenly Father.  

While everyone continues to have breath within their body and wake up to see another day here on earth it is not too late for them to accept and receive Jesus if they have not already done so.  

This is the true celebration for a Merry Christmas.

The Best Presents Come Unwrapped

 

As children and even adults our parents want us to be happy. They always want the best for us.

Christmas used to be a fun, engaging time.

Back in the day the event was magnetically festive and energetic- exhibiting the true nature or spirit of what Christmas inhabited.

Many adults love to anticipate the receiving of gifts, but it is the children which served the ultimate excitement and joy.

Christmas never went by when I did not receive presents under the tree as a kid.

Despite the fact, my mother acknowledged there may come a time during Christmas when she may not be able to get me anything due to possible unpredictable events.

The day did come once, however, I was old enough where it did not matter.

We had a home that was secure, our bills were paid, we had food to eat, we had love around us, we had good health, we had God watching over us and our family members, and we had a long future to look forward to- those were the greatest gifts of all.

So, even though my mother enjoyed wrapping Christmas presents to surprise me the best presents came unwrapped, already out in the open to never be a lack thereof.

 

The Chimney Gave It Away!

 

As a child, and far before my time, parents told their children about Santa Claus as well as the tooth fairy.

The tooth fairy I never believed in as the concept made no sense.

I liked the idea and the impersonations of Santa’s at school or at the mall. The actors on television, the animations that portrayed Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, Santa’s elves and Santa’s reindeer- I mean who did not love Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer?

But when it came to the story of Santa Claus being real, I had my doubts.

I wanted to believe he was real as a kid; however, things just did not add up for me.

Number one, Santa was too heavy for the reindeer to carry his sleigh- and what was there to keep the reindeers able to fly up into the air?

Number two, we did not have a chimney in my family home so where was Santa Claus going to slide down?

It all sounded good for imaginary fun or entertainment, nevertheless, the notion was not easy for me to agree with even at a young age.

I decided to test what I had been told. On Christmas eve I sat up in the two front attic windows of my home before midnight. When midnight came, I did not see Santa, his sleigh, or reindeers loaded with gifts making their way over my neighbors’ rooftops.

I said to myself, “He’s not coming”, Santa Claus’s not showing up a confirmation to the doubts I already had.

After I made my way from the attic steps outside the door, my youngest aunt had said to me inside the hallway, “Toya- there isn’t any Santa Claus”.

My mother laughed when I informed her about my investigation and ended her humor with “Your nosey little butt up in that window”.

It was better for me to know the truth anyhow because it was more exciting for me as a child to have my own parents buy me gifts than to have some old guy who flew in the sky.

Aqua

 

Water is a beverage that never gets old, outdated, or played out.

Water is vital we need this natural liquid to survive.

Yes, there is such a fact of having too much water in the bloodstream whereas it can dilute and decrease nutrients.

There are even incidents of death caused by an over-excess of water inside the body.

Most of the time these are extreme cases.

Ordinarily, we need to continue the regular habit of getting enough fluids within our system, especially water.

There are still people who do not drink adequate amounts daily or at all.

Get as much of that mouthwatering water as possible- it is essential!

Too Much Of A “Sweet/Tasty” Thing!

Many of us get a taste for something sweet once in a while if not too often.

I fall into the occasional category. I get the urge for a cookie every now and then with long intervals in between.

I even want a piece of cake once in a while but yet to have found one on the market desirable to my choice of ingredients.

Either there is too much sugar, grams of fat, the wrong types of fat, or the product is not vegan suitable, and so on.

Of course, I could make my own cake, however, I am not interested in baking desserts like I used to years ago.

I do not mind baking some delicious cornbread though!

There is nothing wrong with indulging in the pleasure of succulent pastries.

The problem is that we tend to overeat the foods we enjoy the most or that we cannot get enough of once we start to consume them.

Everything should be in moderation we are constantly told, nevertheless, the idea of moderation is disregarded when what tastes good overpowers the portions that are within our limits for the moment.

All it really takes is discipline for those who find it difficult to refrain.

 

 

 

 

Soymilk And Cookies

I have been drinking vanilla soymilk as well as cooking plain soymilk with my oat bran when I get into the mood.

What I love about the vanilla soymilk is that it tastes like a health shake. Delicious, clean, and refreshing.

A lady I work with thought about me and brought me back a box of vegan coconut/oatmeal cookies the other day.

I had mentioned the item to her- how I had not had any of the cookies in a while- and when she returned from shopping at the grocery, she handed me the box of Steve and Andy’s organic coconut oatmeal cookies!

Onions And Garlic

 

I love onions. They are so strong within smell and taste. Powerful enough to literally bring tears to our eyes while we slice and handle them.

This pungent vegetable has always been a favorite of mine whether eaten raw or cooked. Onions bring out a distinct flavor along with garlic.

I love red onions in my salad. Biting into the crunchiness of the flesh causes a natural tingle and sting that indicates how potent the onions are.

When I swallow red onions a burning sensation flows through my nostrils, sometimes so bad that I have to pause before continuing to eat them.

Garlic burns too, and I love it!

The harsh tingles are nature’s release of inherent nutrients, purifiers, and restoration properties in action. They stimulate to take affect within the body.

Onions and garlic contribute highly to good health and well-being.

My grandfather used to make natural tonics- from onions that worked to knock out the common cold virus quickly. He grew up in the south, learning how to use herbs, spices, and vegetables as healing remedies from his grandmother.

Onion rings were an appetizer I once enjoyed but cut out due to it not being wise to make a habit out of eating fried foods.

When it comes to the spicy vegetable garlic, I use the contents of the bulb on just about everything!

Garlic also works as a beneficial antibiotic. I substituted garlic capsules for one of my dogs years ago until I was able to bring her to the vet to get her some amoxicillin. The garlic had really helped my dog out a lot.

 

 

My Dollars Worth

 

 

While I am not interested or motivated by the inspired events of Black Friday, I do appreciate a good sale when it comes to grocery shopping.

Yesterday, I happened to check one of my local supermarket’s weekly online circulars as I do periodically to see if any of my favorite or useful household products were on sale, and I was in luck!

My local Stop and Shop was having a major blowout that began on Friday and will end this coming Thursday.

After work, I went and picked up some vegetables, fruits and other essential items at very affordable prices.

 

Lemons 🍋

 

There is nothing sweet about lemons, they leave a sour taste in one’s mouth.

This fact in no way makes me bitter. I could never resent the lingering zest of flavor that lemons leave behind.

Nothing can duplicate the distinct taste of a lemon.

The citrus burst of tanginess is soothing and refreshing to the body.

Lemon in water, lemon drizzled over food, lemon brewed in tea, lemon transformed into my favorite drink- lemonade!

 

In The Mood For Oat Bran

 

I had recently gotten back into the habit of eating hot oat bran cereal after getting tired of it a while back.

The cereal tastes so good boiled with plain organic soymilk.

My bowl of oat bran comes out creamy and filling.

It is nice when what we eat can both be satisfying to the taste buds and beneficial to the health.

Oat bran is whole grain and high in fiber, a very wholesome and nutritious meal to enjoy regularly.

 

The Best Times To Feed Our Dogs?

If we were to directly ask our dogs when is the best time they’d like to eat I am sure their response would be, “Anytime is just fine with me!”- latoya lawrence 

 

I do not want to generalize because dogs all have their own dispositions and distinct preferences just as us people do.

However, I am pretty sure that if most dogs had it their way, they would be ready to eat all day long if we allowed them to.

So, while pet owners have various types of personal relationships with their dogs- some strict, some lenient, some a bit of both, some who just take natural moments of love, care, patience and attentiveness as they come.

Everyone does not tend to feed their dog on a precise day to day schedule, or even three times a day.

Some people feed their dogs throughout the day.

All that matters is what works out best for the pet, their owners, or the family.

If the dogs are being fed a healthy diet with portions suitable to their requirements everything should be fine.

One dog of mine would always get fed regular meals yet still make rounds in the house to other family members for extras.

I remember occasionally her belly would be so full that we could see it, and we would laugh and joke about how she hustled additional food from everybody.

Once she was satisfied, she went and nonchalantly rested her body in total contentment.

This was a healthy dog who ate table food and lived for a long time.

 

 

 

 

Doorbusters And Everyday Deals

 

When I regularly worked in retail we had sales advertised just about every day- latoya lawrence 

Well, today, many around different states took, and are still taking advantage of the after- holiday, next-day holiday sales, to lure eager customers into emptying their loads of wallets and pocketbooks.

I am glad to not be a part of that notorious hustle and bustle.

There is nothing wrong with shopping from time to time or shopping frequently if one can afford to spend.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with treating oneself.

I am one into wise shopping when I take part and indulge.

It is good to pick up items ahead of time at a low price to store up things that we need for later use.

This action saves one money and gives way to better convenience and financial budgeting.

My Tidbits

 

This past Saturday morning I had some cold, tasty, nutritious apple juice without any added sugar.

In the afternoon, I drank three cups of hot delicious tea back-to-back.

Later, during the evening, I made quite a few pieces of toast from whole wheat bread.

I lightly covered my toast with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Vegan spread that I had not purchased in almost two years.

And that is all I ate and drank for that entire day.

Wait A Minute! What Was In My Box Of Rice?!

 

On my way home from work earlier in the week, I stopped off at a grocery store that I frequent on rare occasions while I am within the area.

I purchased a box of instant Minute brown rice.

I have been a rice eater since childhood, always loved me some rice- whether yellow rice, red rice, beans and rice, peas and rice, rice pilaf or plain rice.

I cut out eating white rice unless colored with the benefits of Turmeric two years ago.

I have been eating mainly brown rice when I get the taste for it mixed in with lentils or various type of beans that I prepare.

When I got home later in the evening to pour the rice into a pot to boil an object of some sort fell out through the box along with the rice.

It was dark brown in color, had a sharp point on one side and broke in half like some dirty piece of matter possibly found in ground or soil.

Whatever the article was it was a turn off to me.

I immediately poured the contents of the rice out of my pot into the garbage. I took a photo of the Minute rice box proof of purchase, date, and time stamp.

Afterwards, I wrapped the box of remaining rice in a plastic bag and placed it inside the trash.

The next day I phoned up the company that manufactures the rice and was disappointed at the representative’s way of operating, so I hung up on her.

The representative wanted me to send a picture of what I found inside the box. I explained how it broke up and as I did not know what it was, I quickly discarded it

I proceeded to fill out a contact form located on the Minute Rice website. Now I am waiting to see if I will receive a response from them.

 

Take The Time To Unwind

 

Of course, a bath or a shower is soothing, relaxing, rejuvenating, refreshing and therapeutic.

I loved taking bubble-baths as a child. Back then in the early 80’s there was a popular bath product called Calgon with the television commercial slogan “Calgon take me away”.

I was one in my youth who sat back- even playful- in a hot tub full of foamy bubbles having a good time in the water!

 

 

Everyone should take the time out to pamper themselves alone in private, undisturbed in the quiet of the moment, or with calming/easy listening music.

I use to watch television while in the tub during childhood.

My mother sat a small size black and white TV inside the bathroom from time to time to keep us entertained as we took our separate baths.

I have such fond childhood memories.

 

 

Poopy-Poop

 

When I arrived home this evening, I took the most relieving and relaxing poop.

I do not understand why some are embarrassed to discuss a bowel movement as it is a very natural and cleansing activity.

 

 

To comfortably excrete waste is therapeutic to the body.

I enjoy taking a dump, it feels so good and refreshing.

 

Sweet Indulgence

 

I try not to make a habit out of this, however:

About three weeks ago my favorite non-dairy tasting ice cream was on sale for $2.50 each.

I scooped up two half (now it’s a 1.5 quarts) a gallon.

Last week they were on sale again. I purchased two more.

They are all finished now. I ate them all without guilt!

I had not had any of the vanilla peanut butter swirl in a while and I just could not resist the urge.

I used to constantly make the most delicious milkshakes with this Breyers nondairy delight two years ago!

The product is sourced with Non Gmo ingredients, Gluten free, RFA certified vanilla, and it’s completely dairy free- made with real Almond Milk.

I always read the labels!