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Welcome to Mirth and Motivation!

Before you leave a comment, STOP, consider this: Our comments are part of our digital footprint on the internet. They tell the world how we think and respond to information. I know YOU took time out of your busy schedule and landed here. I’m rooting for you to say something inspiring that will help others who read my posts. THANK YOU! ❤

Hello world!


Welcome to Mirth and Motivation! This is a Lifestyle/Motivational blog offering an eclectic mix of mirthful and motivational pieces: Life Tips / Advice, Affirmations/Wellness, Women’s Lives, Food, Travel, Interviews, Inspirational posts, Reviews, Peace, AND Social Media ruminations 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 with your inquiry by email at: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com or contact(@)positivekismet(.)com Thank you!

Something I know for sure is that we all want to be heard, appreciated and respected; I know that sincere, positive, and empowering 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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Try The World: A Taste of SOUTH AFRICA


“What one won’t eat by itself, one will eat when mixed with other food.” Bantu & Lamba Proverb

Try The World: A Taste of SOUTH AFRICA

Try The World: A Taste of SOUTH AFRICA

Golden beaches. Jagged mountains. National parks overflowing with wildlife and spectacular natural scenery. Located at the southern tip of Africa, South Africa is a vast country with wildly varying landscapes and a population that is no less diverse. The country has eleven official languages and more than a dozen tribes, and is affectionately known as the Rainbow Nation. From the vineyards and vibrant, multicultural neighborhoods of Cape Town, to a safari surrounded by lions, elephants, and rhinos in Kruger National Park, it’s easy to lose yourself in the beauty of South Africa. Pull up a chair at our braai as we introduce you to some of the unique and exotic flavors of this dynamic country. Try The World South Africa


Try The World: A Taste Of SOUTH AFRICA: With Spring around the corner, it’s time to think of where I’d rather be. Wouldn’t it be nice to venture into the world of new foods to try? Try The World: The South African Box takes us on another gastronomic adventure into the world of South African gourmet cuisine. As I write this post, I’m thinking of my many South African friends, former classmates, and social media connections. They live in a beautiful, multi-ethnic country rich with natural resources, cultures, languages and diverse religions that speak to the many people who moved to the area.  Over centuries, the nation, on the Southern tip of the African continent, saw an influx of outsiders who came and settled as colonialists, immigrants, and others seeking new opportunities in this land of great wealth, fantastic weather and a dark apartheid history. Even though the system of apartheid was gradually dismantled and eventually abandoned, with the release and election of Nelson Mandela, its reverberations remain a lingering albeit quiet presence in the region. Poverty and inequality are still areas of concern.

When I think of South Africa, I think of a nation with tremendous potential. Since 1994, when the majority black population became enfranchised, a lot of business growth opened doors to many and despite challenges, success stories continue to show the human spirit rising above the grind. According to Wikipedia, It is classified by the World Bank as an upper-middle-income economy, a newly industrialized nation, the second-largest economy in Africa, and the 34th-largest in the world.  It’s purchasing power ranks it at the seventh-highest per capita income in Africa. All good stats and, as with many other countries on our beloved continent, food is a great way to connect and fresh locally sourced ingredients are a big part of the diet.

This post is about the celebration of South African Cuisine; both indigenous and non indigenous foods from the region. Bantu culture and foods from Khoisan groups make up the African indigenous cuisine. Dutch (since 1652), German, French, Italian, Greek, British, Indo-Asian/India, Indonesia and Portugal/Mozambique cuisine all have influences on South African cuisine as we know it today. So the food is a reflection of the diverse cultures and people that make up the population of the region. Food is healing…

READ: South Africa
Top 13 Traditional South African Foods to Have a Good Time With



“One spoon of soup in need has more value than a pot of soup when we have an abundance of food.” Angolan Proverb

Try The World: A Taste of SOUTH AFRICA

Try The World: A Taste of SOUTH AFRICA

If you are looking for a fly in your food it means that you are full. South African Proverb
The man who counts the bits of food he swallows is never satisfied. African Proverb

What’s inside my Try The World –  SOUTH AFRICA Box? Every box of curated gourmet items includes a spice, a sweet, traditional foods that folks love and cherish in the country of origin, and a Culture Guide that walks you though the history of each item, the family behind the farm or company, and a few recipes to try with your food items. If you so choose, you may use the items to create your own recipes or add them to your favorite foods… that is the beauty of enjoying foods from around the world. For our gastronomic adventure into South Africa please come back and stay tuned for a full description. Where would I rather be? Enjoying a delicious home-cooked South African dish. And you?
READ: Top 10 foods to try in South Africa

Sign up today for your first journey into Try The World’s gourmet items to enjoy. As an Ambassador for this extraordinary brand, I’d like to remind everyone about our special deep discount. SPECIAL OFFER: Try The World has made a special offer of 15% discount off the first subscription box to all my readers. As a reader of this blog, you can use the discount code on purchasing your first $39/box subscription option and/or on all gift boxes. Use the coupon code MMTRAVELS15 during your checkout to get your awesome discount.

What about pricing?  Subscriptions now start at $33/Box.
A bi-monthly subscription is $39/box charged every two months
A 6 months tour subscription is $35/box charged every six months
A year tour subscription is $33/box charged every year
People have the option to order a gift single box and/or gift tours.

If the SOUTH AFRICA Box calls you, sign up today, save 15% on your first box and a new box will be shipped, every other month, when it becomes available.


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Motivation Mondays: St. Patrick’s Day Traditions, Toasts & Tales


“Sufficient for me is that honor which is not seen of men but is felt in the heart, as faithful is He who hath promised and who never lies.”  Saint Patrick

Motivation Mondays: St. Patrick’s Day Traditions, Toasts & Tales

Motivation Mondays: St. Patrick’s Day Traditions, Toasts & Tales

The list of Irish saints is past counting; but in it all no other figure is so human, friendly, and lovable as St. Patrick — who was an Irishman only by adoption. Stephen Gwynn
A blessing is a circle of light drawn around a person to protect, heal and strengthen. John O’Donohue
I have a Creator who knew all things, even before they were made – even me, his poor little child. Saint Patrick
For each petal on the shamrock
This brings a wish your way –
Good health, good luck, and happiness
For today and every day.
~Author Unknown

May luck be our companion.
May friends stand by our side.
May history remind us all.
Of Ireland’s faith and pride.
May God bless us with happiness.
May love and faith abide

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!: Even though March 17 is the official day of celebration, the joyful and colorful parades start a week earlier. As far back as I can remember, many folks celebrate this popular, international holiday by joining throngs of people in colorful parades everywhere and some make up their own version of what it all means. What I love about this day of revelry is how much fun and creativity goes into planning the parades and celebrations; organizers showcase the best of Ireland and its immigrant population around the world and for good reason. The Irish immigrant population originated the first parade in New York in 1762, and the event has grown beyond that first attempt to honor St Paddy and all things Irish. To help us understand this invented cultural extravaganza, I have added, in the block quotes above each paragraph, a quote from Saint Patrick, a few quotes from Irish creatives, and a couple of traditional Irish Toasts/Blessings to help us celebrate this happy day. What do you really know about Saint Patrick’s Day? I have included insightful Traditions/Facts and Tales/Myths about this special day for your enjoyment. You’d be surprised to learn new insights on this beloved tradition. Do Read them.

Traditions/Facts: The harp is the symbol of Ireland not the green shamrock. Many St. Patrick’s Day “traditions” have nothing to do with Ireland or Irish culture; officially these are American invented traditions. Did you know that New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is the longest running civilian parade in the world? Colonial New York City hosted the first official St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1762, when Irish immigrants in the British colonial army marched down city streets.  Some say that St. Patrick’s Day was invented in America by Irish-Americans and the U.S. tradition of St. Patrick’s Day parades, packed pubs, and green has since become popular in Ireland. It is closely followed by the parades in Montreal and Dublin. Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is little more than 75 years old. Apparently, the shortest St Patrick’s Day parade in the world is in Dripsey, Cork. It lasts 100 yards which is the distance between the village’s two pubs.

 In 1903, Saint Patrick’s Day became an official public holiday in Ireland but, it was a minor religious holiday celebrated with reverence, calm and no booze. A priest would acknowledge the feast day, and families would celebrate with a big meal, but that was about it. In the 1970s, the revelry we see in the US was picked up on St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland and the shift created some push back but it continued in the new vein. In the mid 1990s, the Irish government began a campaign to use Saint Patrick’s Day to showcase Ireland and its culture; with a festival as the end goal. The first, official Saint Patrick’s Festival was held on 17 March 1996 in Ireland. Over time, the celebrations have taken on a mythical angle that include drinking green beer, clovers, leprechauns and what have you. As long as you take it all in jest, it’s fine but let’s remember to separate tales from traditions.  Every St. Patrick’s Day, revelers raise a pint of stout and wish their companions “Slainté!”—the Irish word, pronounced SLAN-cha, for “health.” They wear a shamrock NOT a four-leaf clover. Trifolium dubium, the wild-growing, three-leaf clover that some botanists consider the official shamrock, is an annual plant that germinates in the spring.  plus, it is a wiser option as your chances of finding a four-leaf clover are slim to none – how about 1 in 10,000? I did find one though.
READ: St. Patrick’s Day – Origins, Facts, Celebrations, Traditions



“Anyone acquainted with Ireland knows that the morning of St. Patrick’s Day consists of the night of the seventeenth of March flavored strongly with the morning of the eighteenth.” Author Unknown

Motivation Mondays: St. Patrick’s Day Traditions, Toasts & Tales

Motivation Mondays: St. Patrick’s Day Traditions, Toasts & Tales

Motivation Mondays: St. Patrick’s Day Traditions, Toasts & Tales

Motivation Mondays: St. Patrick’s Day Traditions, Toasts & Tales

If you hold a four-leaf shamrock in your left hand at dawn on St. Patrick’s Day you get what you want very much but haven’t wished for. Patricia Lynch
The joyful heart sees and reads the world with a sense of freedom and graciousness. John O’Donohue
I only seek in my old age to perfect that which I had not before thoroughly learned in my youth, because my sins were a hindrance to me. Saint Patrick
Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers—
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours—
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through! Irish Blessings

May there always be work for your hands to do.
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine on your windowpane.
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
May Grace fill your heart with gladness to cheer you. Irish Blessings


Mixing Tradition with Tales: When I think of Saint Patrick and read about his life, I think of a young man motivated by an inner prompting to go back to the land where he was once enslaved and do some good.  That is one of the fundamental motives we can adopt this year as we work our way through our goals/plans…. SEEK TO DO SOME GOOD. We must also work to steep ourselves in fact finding for clarity. One of the challenges we face when we read about cultural events is being able to separate fact from myth. We read all sorts of interpretations on the internet and because we assume that nobody is watching, some of us take liberties by stretching the truth and making up new stories. I must admit that until I started doing my homework on cultural events, I believed almost everything that I was told about so many of them: from Saint Patrick’s Day, Kwanzaa, to April Fool’s day and more. With a bit more investigation, we can get to the bottom of these stories and learn to appreciate and respect these holidays for what they truly represent. Learning the real traditions and backstories makes for an exciting and more engaged and appreciative celebration. After all, it takes a lot of effort to get any annual event off the ground.  I wish each of you a bit o’ luck of the Irish. Happy Saint Paddy’s Day!

Traditions/Facts: Did you know that there 34.5 million folks of Irish descent in the US? This means that there are more Irish people living in the U.S. than in Ireland because Ireland has about 4.2. million people and counting. In contrast, we have about 34 million people of Irish descent living in America and understandably, that is why Saint Paddy’s Day parade started here.

Saint Patrick’s Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, “the Day of the Festival of Patrick”) is considered a cultural and religious holiday and is celebrated on 17 March, the death date of the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461). It marks the Roman Catholic feast day for St. Patrick who was born in Britain not in Ireland.
As the legend goes, St. Patrick was kidnapped at 16 and brought to Ireland where he was sold as a slave in the county of Antrim. He was a bonded slave for six years until he escaped to Gaul, in France. He later returned to his parents’ home in Britain, where he had a vision that he would preach to the Irish. After 14 years of study, Patrick returned to Ireland, and built his first church in 445 in Armagh. He went on to build more churches and spread the Christian faith for about 30 years. His legacy remains in Ireland for the good deeds he brought to the area. He was a former slave from Britain who received a calling to serve the Irish people.
READ: St. Patrick’s Day: Facts & Fiction
Saint Patrick’s Day: Quotes, Toasts & Sayings #saintpatricksday
The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for FEB 2018/MAR 2018 are:



01/01 –   01/01 New Year’s Day, 01/04  World Braille Day, 01/07 Orthodox Christmas, Golden Globes Award
01/08 –   01/11 Human Trafficking Awareness,  01/14 Orthodox New Year,
01/15 –   01/15  Martin Luther King Day,  01/21 World Religion Day,
01/22 –   01/26 International Customs Day, 01/27 International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust
01/28 –   01/28  Grammy Awards,


03/04 – Women’s History Month, National Nutrition Month, Irish-American Heritage Month, American Red Cross Month, 08 International Women’s Day, World Kidney Day, 04 Academy Awards
03/11 – 11 Daylight Savings, 14 Pi Day, 15 World Consumer Rights Day, 17 St Patrick’s Day
03/18 – 19 St Joseph, 20 International Day of Happiness, 21 World poetry Day, 22 World Water day, 24 Earth Hour
03/25 – Palm Sunday, 29 Holy Thursday, 30 Good Friday, 31 Passover

Are You Looking for Ways to Stay Creative in 2018?

– Join the Daily Post Post-a-day or Post-a-week Challenge.

— Join the BlogHer Writing Lab
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Photo Challenge: STORY TELLING


“If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn’t need to lug around a camera.” Lewis Hine.

Photo Challenge: STORY TELLING

Photo Challenge: STORY TELLING

 Photo Challenge: STORY TELLING

Photo Challenge: STORY TELLING

Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still. Dorothea Lange
Photography, as a powerful medium of expression and communications, offers an infinite variety of perception, interpretation and execution. Ansel Adams
Photography is like a moment, an instant. You need a half-second to get the photo. So it’s good to capture people when they are themselves. Patrick Demarchelier

To celebrate International Women’s Day and share the joy of vegan cooking, the lovely ladies of Women Chefs and Restaurateurs (WCR) in collaboration with the James Beard Foundation, organized an evening of exquisite dining in NYC at James Beard House on West 12th St. The evening was truly a remarkable celebration of the best in Vegan cooking; all the dishes you see above were vegan preparations made of the freshest and most sophisticated flavors. My dear friend, Nina Curtis, who by the way, is the incoming President of the organization, joined a fine team of chefs from around the globe to make the occasion truly special. The theme for the evening was Women Chefs Rule: The Vegan Edition and it was memorable.  The setting, Mr Beard’s home,  made for a magical time in a space known for its long and rich history of bringing master chefs and eager foodies together for fine home cooked American cuisine.  The home has a cozy feel and we could all sense the love of food that has been celebrated there for decades.

I must confess that the evening started with wine and a selection of tasty hors d’oeuvres. And Yes, I didn’t photography all of them because the usual traffic congestion in the city meant that I missed a few (two to be exact) of those delicacies. I gobbled down the Toasted Quinoa Cakes with whipped fava bean hummus, dill oil and onion flowers and forgot to photograph them. I was lucky that by the time  I caught my breath and got my wits together, the creamy and flavorful Chilled Carrot-Borscht Shooters with macadamia nut sour creme and amaranth micro-greens drink came round.  I took several photos of my two glass servings and of every dish from then on. Each dish was paired with a wine that enhanced the flavors and made for a delightful end to a special day… That said, come back for the rest of the story and remember that Women’s History Month continues for the rest of March.



“My inspiration has always been photography’s ability to stop time and reveal what the naked eye cannot see.” Lois Greenfield

Photo Challenge: STORY TELLING

Photo Challenge: STORY TELLING

Photo Challenge: STORY TELLING

Photo Challenge: STORY TELLING

Your photography is a record of your living, for anyone who really sees. Paul Strand
In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality. Alfred Stieglitz
To me, the magic of photography, per se, is that you can capture an instant of a second that couldn’t exist before and couldn’t exist after. It’s almost like a cowboy that draws his gun. You draw a second before or after, you miss and you’re dead – not them. To me, photography’s always like that. Mario Testino

This week’s photography challenge calls for visual storytelling and the evening of delicious gourmet foods fits the bill. I have more to share so come back pronto!


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