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Hello world!


Welcome to Mirth and Motivation! This is a Lifestyle blog offering an eclectic mix of mirthful and motivational pieces, life tipsadvice, interviews, social media ruminations and  inspirational posts on people, places, and events that shape our lives. I invite you to stay awhile, read some posts, and share your thoughts with this growing online blog community.

One of the fundamental rules of blogging is to make connections with others by adding value through our message/content, comments, and social interactions. I hope you’ll share your comments and expertise with me. If you’d like to write a Guest post, offer a sponsorship or PR opportunity, send me a message via the contact form below or email me at: contact at with your inquiry. Thank you!

Something I know for sure is that we all want to be heard, appreciated and respected; that sincere and positive messages are far more appealing than incendiary angling for blog attention. If your blogosphere surfing brings you here, relax, kick back, and share a positive tidbit on your worldview.

So, How should we handle the global economic shift? How do we stay mirthful and motivated?
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Food Files: Green Beans Medley


“I think careful cooking is love, don’t you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who’s close to you is about as nice a valentine as you can give.” Julia Child

Food Files: Green Beans Medley

Food Files: Green Beans Medley

Food Files: Green Beans Medley

Food Files: Green Beans Medley

Green beans, also known as string bean, snap bean in the northeastern and western United States, or ejotes in Mexico, are the unripe fruit of various cultivars of the common bean. Wikipedia

My new weekly segment on food; Food Files is the brainchild and brilliant idea of my kids. I’ve always been a foodie and love experimenting with different ingredients and spices, but I’ve never considered creating a segment on Food. I don’t claim to be a Julia Child, I’ll leave that professional level skill for my Mom and other experts. The dish I’m sharing today, Green Beans Medley, is an easy dish to make. A good friend from my college days shared the dish with me and she assured me it was a favorite of her family in Beirut. It can been eaten as a side to a full meal or as a complement to a rice, couscous or pasta dish. Food plays an important role in all of our lives because we need it for nourishment and to keep our bodies fueled and healthy. Many of us have good memories of meals shred and food remains a great way to bring family and friends together.

Food Files: Green Beans Medley - Ingredients and spices

Food Files: Green Beans Medley – Ingredients and spices

3 Ibs of Green Beans
8-10 fresh, Ripe Tomatoes (diced)
1/4 cup of Olive Oil (cold pressed)
1/4 cup of chopped Ginger
1 whole clove of Garlic (diced)
1/2 of a fresh, chopped hot pepper

1 tsp Tumeric
1 Tbsp Herbes de Provence
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp Rosemary

Preparation and more below Read more…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Yellow Yellow


“I just go with the flow, I follow the yellow brick road. I don’t know where it’s going to lead me, but I follow it.” Grace Jones

Weekly Photo Challenge: Yellow - Sunflower welcomes a bee

Weekly Photo Challenge: Yellow – Sunflower welcomes a bee

Weekly Photo Challenge: Yellow -  Center of a Sunflower

Weekly Photo Challenge: Yellow – Center of a Sunflower

Yellow is commonly associated with gold, wealth, sunshine, reason, happiness, optimism and pleasure, but also with envy, jealousy and betrayal. It plays an important role in Asian culture, particularly in China… In Ancient Egypt, yellow was associated with gold, which was considered to be imperishable, eternal and indestructible. The skin and bones of the gods were believed to be made of gold. Yellow

Yellow is a color that warms my heart. Every season, starting in early spring, I look forward to the blossoming yellow blooms in my garden. Gardening has always been a huge part of my life. Part of my childhood years were spent in a household with a Mom who enjoyed gardening, raising small farm animals and bird watching/feeding. As far back as I can remember, I had a garden of sorts. When I moved to New York, I had indoor plants and window plants in the summer. While some people find gardening messy and buggy, I enjoy the connection to the earth and the calm it brings to my mind. Plus, I always look forward to seeing seeds germinate and grow into beautiful colorful flowers. Don’t you?  For this challenge, all I could see in my mind’s eye were bursts of  yellow flora and  I couldn’t resist the call to honor the many blooms from summers past.


“Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun.” Pablo Picasso

Weekly Photo Challenge: Yellow - A collage of yellow flowers and a motorcycle

Weekly Photo Challenge: Yellow – A collage of yellow flowers and a motorcycle

Weekly Photo Challenge: Yellow -  Daffodils in my spring garden

Weekly Photo Challenge: Yellow – Daylilies in my spring garden

Yellow is the color of sunshine. It’s associated with joy, happiness, intellect, and energy. Yellow produces a warming effect, arouses cheerfulness, stimulates mental activity, and generates muscle energy. Yellow is often associated with food. Yellow

As I read posts explaining the symbolic meaning of yellow, I couldn’t help but smile; especially reading the snippet above about the joy and sunshine the color evokes.  There is something uplifting about that shade and even though we tend to look at lemons as bitter and a symbol of hard-times and bad cars,  the cheeriness of the color persists. After the color yellow, I love seeing red and white flowers in my garden and then everything else. Why? You might ask… It’s because I can see them from the street and bright flowers lift my spirit and make me smile. Enjoy the shots from my garden and from walks about town. I’ve shared many yellow flowers from my collection in the photos above and below. Stay a while and share your favorite color and flower.
More Below! Read more…

Reflections: What Makes You Feel Rich?


“Even the rich are hungry for love, for being cared for, for being wanted, for having someone to call their own.” Mother Teresa

Reflections: What Makes You Rich? - Sculpture Ahava by Robert Indiana

Reflections: What Makes You Rich? – Sculpture Ahava by Robert Indiana

What makes you feel rich? The holiday season is in full swing now, and it’s an important time to remember what makes us feel rich. By rich, I mean what do you cherish most and why does this matter? Would you trade your health,  life, family, friends, health and happiness for wealth?  Yesterday was the first day of Hanukkah, next week will be Christmas, and Kwanzaa will start the day after. As we get into the spirit of all these celebrations, please take a moment to remember what truly matters and what makes all these special celebrations invaluable. Lately, as I read blogs and news reports, I read and hear about a lot of pain, loss and dejection. My heart breaks for each story, and for all the families who won’t have a place to celebrate, a tree, a bag full of gifts or a fancy meal. Please, please remember to take this season to rekindle your love and gratitude for your loved ones. Tell them honestly what you can and what you can’t afford, and let them know that LOVE – Ahava (in Hebrew) is the glue that holds you together.  Gratitude for what we do have will help us find some joy in the season.

This morning, I was reading a blog post from one of my favorite bloggers and the topic gave me food for thought. I’m sharing parts of what came to me both as a comment and afterwards. I’m a big believer in maintaining a positive attitude and making choices that help us grow. I love reading blog posts, and one on being rich and/or poor got me thinking about a topic that bothers a lot of people; especially during the holiday season.

“There are people who have money and people who are rich.” Coco Chanel

Reflections: What Makes You Rich? - Grandmother and child

Reflections: What Makes You Rich? – Grandmother and child

Why does it matter that we think about the question? We often read articles about the rich and poor and what creates both conditions. While some might say that poverty is a state of mind, there are real events that can devastate a family and push them into poverty; health, job loss, financial mishaps, disasters, poor choices, luck/timing, and other life experiences that let bad things happen to good, hardworking people. At a real estate conference I attended some years ago, Donald Trump was the keynote speaker, and he said something that has stayed with me. He told us that when people get very wealthy, many of them act like they worked harder than everyone else and made fabulous, smart choices. He shared that most people don’t like to admit to the luck factor (I call it grace) because it takes the power and all the decision out of their hands.  As people whispered, “what about your wealth, your wealth, Mr. Trump?”, he informed us all that he amassed his wealth through a combination of factors: an inheritance, great personal effort, business acumen and lucky breaks. Luck is a factor in being rich or poor, and making people feel guilty for not being financially wealthy is wrong. Yep, Donald said that and I’ve never stopped admiring him for speaking so honestly.

While there are some basic rules that help people win or fail, the outcomes are not so simple; there is timing, location and circumstance. In the final analysis, I will also say that being rich is a state of mind. There are wealthy people who live like paupers and have a poverty mentality, and there are people who are money conscious and still have none. It’s not so simple to ascribe wealth to hard work and poverty to laziness.  If we look around us and think about it honestly, we know that hard work or even laziness won’t necessarily produce the expected outcome. If you are content with having less, have loving friends and family, have health, and love living with the simple things of life, you are richer than the next billionaire out there. The real question is: What makes you feel rich?

More Below! Read more…


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