Paris Letters by Janice Macleod ... a review

I just finished a sweet little book, Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod, a young woman who turned her life around by living minimally and in the process made her life a work of art. It’s a book of concrete ideas on living minimally, life in Paris and love found all tied up in a nicely written story.

MacLeod’s writing is humorous and warm as she tells of how her adventure unfolded and the changes that led her to a better life, one she could love. It’s a quick read, has a good pace and keeps your interest. Anyone looking for the inspiration to re-create your life will absolutely enjoy this book.
Image from Goodreads


There are so many possibilities and today I will set an intention for happiness ... giving and getting and accepting my own power!

Picture your possibilities ...

As humans, we are nothing but our stories. As woman we tend to forget our own happiness in the quest to take care of others. We have to stop, remember our stories, then let them go ............. so we can create the next story of our life, each time better, each time stronger.

Isle of Palms with my son a few years back ... just being happy!

The Wild Horses of Sable Island

These wild horses are a gift, living free as intended. I would love to visit this island, now a Canadian national park and watch these beautiful animals in their habitat. This is truly in the top five on my bucket list.

To learn more about the Sable Island project and Roberto Dutesco, go to the Wild Horses of Sable Island website and read about the mobile museum.

  1. Sable Island is a small island situated 300 km southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and about 175 km southeast of the closest point of mainland Nova Scotia in the Atlantic Ocean. Wikipedia

Chicken Tomatillo Soup

Oh, I just love this soup. Perfect in any weather for dinner or lunch. I think you might like it too!
Tomatillos are usually a warm weather, summer/early autumn fruits but you can get them off season. You can also grow Tomatillos in beds or in containers. There are so many recipes for Tomatillo.

Tomatillo's are ripe when they are firm, green, shiny and still in their husks and how wonderful that they are filled with all the good things that are good for us ... Vitamins C and K, niacin, potassium and fiber.

Fill your slow cooker with the following:

(I always suggest using organic ingredients if you can, especially for the chicken)

2 pounds of diced tomatillos,
2 chicken quarters,
1 1/2 cups of dried Peruvian (Peruano) beans, 
1 sliced jalapeño,
1 diced onion,
2 cloves of peeled garlic,
and a teaspoon of salt.
Cover with water, about 4 cups,
Set it to cook on low for the day about 8 hours.

This pot will morph into delicious, sweet and tangy broth with the tenderest of beans and soft tastes of chicken. You'll just have to fill a bowl, dip some pieces of tortilla or cut a good chunk of rustic bread and a pour a glass of wine ... and enjoy!


This is Cody!
This is Cody when we brought him home from the rescue last year. He's an older dog and I was afraid of what might happen if no one chose him because of his age. He was quite thin then ... and shy, now he has picked up some weight, maybe too much and he is no longer shy.
He's the best dog anyone could ever have.

Good quotes

"If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it.  If you don't ask, the answer is always no.  If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place" ~Nora Roberts

What will you do today in your personal or business life to step forward and make it happen?

Sullivan's Island w/ my boy some years back!

Start the work

When do we start? It should be before too long, before it's too late. Wake up, clear your space, stretch, meditate, touch the soil, open your heart and start the work that only you know how to do. It's time, don't be afraid, there is a life out there for you and though the years past have been jumbled and you did what you must, good or bad, sensible or not, it's not too late to do what your heart has always called you to do.

There are people waiting to help you, look around. They may only be there for an hour, a day, a year or maybe longer, but they are there. Find them or ... let them find you. All your experiences have brought you to now so start the work, it won't be easy, work never is but it can be glorious.

SALE! Cowgirl Dirt cosmetics Valentine's Day Sale ... Save 15% storewide

Cowgirl Dirt cosmetics Valentine's day Sale through February 15 ... Enjoy!

Have a wonderful Valentine's Day,

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Return to Tradd Street by Karen White ... a review!

This book, the fourth in the Tradd Street series by Karen White has me a bit perplexed. I read the first three books and gave five stars to each; however, I just cannot do that for Return to Tradd Street.  The main character, Melanie, is becoming quite annoying with her negativity and constant mind chatter that doesn’t seem to be in harmony with reality. There didn't appear to be a real reason why Melanie should be nursing a broken heart.  As well, there was so much more that could have been developed in the story including back-stories and character formations for the Detective and the Gilberts. I don’t know why characters Rebecca and her fiancé Marc Longo had a role in the story at all.   It took me considerably longer to finish reading this book than it would normally take a book of this size.  I kept putting it down; it wasn’t a page-turner like the others in White’s series.

I am normally quite interested in White’s writing and the manner in which she forms her story and even though this book did not strike my fancy, I am familiar enough with White’s books and her writing style that she will continue to be a favorite author and should there be a fifth in the series, I’ll certainly read it.

Other books that I've read and enjoyed by Karen White are:
The Memory of Water



Please shop at independent bookstores whenever possible and support small business, 
they are your friends and your neighbors!

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Emotionally draining relationships

In the last two years I have been put in this position by two people with whom I had been very close to for a long time and after hearing them, then standing up for myself and saying my piece, I simply walked away. Sometimes it must be done ... especially when you know deep in your heart and mind that you have done nothing wrong and do not deserve to be hurt.

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Lipstick Sale through February 7th ... come see!

New Look. New Container.
Same Product.

Yeehaw Lip Sticks (formerly lip tint) now have a new container and look! They will still soothe and hydrate your lips while adding the perfect color to finish off your cowgirl look.

But that's not all...

Save 10% on Yeehaw Lip Sticks through

February 7th.
Shop Now Button

Note: Discount will be applied at checkout. 

Copyright © 2014 Cowgirl Dirt, All rights reserved.

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What's in your future?

"The thing is, the future happens. Every single day, like it or not. Sure, tomorrow is risky, frightening and in some way represents one step closer to the end. But it also brings with it the possibility of better and the chance to do something that matters." -- Seth Godin


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Four things I've learned ...

Today I woke very early, at 3:09 AM EST to be exact and was unable to sleep. It turned out that was an okay thing since I ended up watching a really good documentary on television. My earlier blog includes the link to the video.

I want to share some thoughts and also what I believe I have always known but saw first hand in this story about two children, who happen to be black Americans, attending a private school in New York City. The fact that they are black in America attending a school where they are the minority is important in this story but I saw something else that I thought was important too. Specifically, what is happening in American society that the school experience for boys is so different from girls. Only once does the film speak about how the girls, also black, do not experience the issues that the boys do. Yes, yes, yes, there are learning differences between boys and girls, we know that but it seems something else is going on as well. Are boys being treated differently ... forget race for a minute ... are the boys perceived by teachers and administrators differently? I ask this question as a parent of a boy.

What do you think? When I commented on the Public Television site, I mentioned my thought. I wonder if I'll get a response. I think it's a conversation that should be opened.

But here is what I believe I've always known as a parent but have had it reinforced through this film.

  • Parents make the best decisions they can with the information on hand
  • Advocating for your child is an imperative
  • All parents want the best for their kids and all kids try hard to please their parents
  • Every experience, good or bad, has value
If you have the time and the interest, watch the film. I think you will enjoy it, perhaps learn something you didn't already know or confirm your beliefs about society. Perhaps it will make you take action and that wouldn't be so bad.
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction 

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One Kind of American Experience

I'm glad I wasn't able to sleep tonight because I got the chance to watch this feature on television. This was an intriguing look at American life and I found the comments made by Brewster and his wife, at the very end of the film, to be insightful and important. Only once in the film was it mentioned that the girls did not struggle as much as the boys in the school environment and I think that should be explored further. The film only touched upon it, perhaps for a different documentary. I've bookmarked this film for my son to watch because the lessons learned here cross all cultures.

My title 'One Kind of American Experience' is important to me in this blog because this is not suggestive of the entire nation. I'm bringing attention to this because I know I have readers from outside the US. This is a film of a family's experience in a large city ... New York in this case, but it would most likely not be the experience of a family living in more rural areas of the country.  That said, I still believe there are lessons for all people in this film. Let me know if you agree ...

The film is long so you may want to set aside some time. 

--- Read Four things I've learned ... for more on this topic.

Season 26Episode 16

Watch American Promise on PBS. See more from POV.

#POV, #Documentary, #Culture, #AmericanPromise

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I fell down the stairs last evening in my home. Thankfully, my son was there to help. I'll be recuperating for a day or so since my lower back is quite sore and very uncomfortable. I'll be back soon.

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Coconut Oil ... so many benefits!

My pic and my cinnamon swirl cake!
My new 'go to' … Coconut Oil!

Maybe you’ve already tried it and love it.  Most people try it and like it for all different reasons.  I love it because you can use it in place of olive oil when cooking, it has a wonderful light flavor, and you can use it topically for moisturizing hair, and skin.  I bought the organic virgin coconut oil by Spectrum at the organic market.  It is solidified but melts quickly in your cooking or your hands.  You can purchase it in liquid form but I learned, from the woman who runs the organic market, that the liquefied form is processed so is no longer organic.

Some of the ways I’ve use coconut oil so far other than in my cooking:

HAIR: After giving my hair a light wash, I work the coconut oil from mid-roots down to the tips, the, comb through and leave it in for 20 minutes or overnight (I put a towel on my pillow but it does absorb quickly).  Afterward, thoroughly wash it out and if you want, condition as normal.  Your hair will be silky smooth, and as you continue the treatments, your hair will be beautifully moisturized.

CUTICLES: I keep a jar in the bath and a smaller cup by the sink and after washing my hands, I’ve been rubbing it into my cuticles.  I work a lot with my hands and my cuticles take a beating but this method has been helping to soften my cuticles and make them look and feel healthier.

PEDI: Use it in place of your regular moisturizer when caring for your feet.  After a shower if you are not heading out, use the oil to massage into your feet, and then cover with socks.  The oil will massage relatively fast and your feet will feet wonderful.

FACE: there are several I’ve tried and liked  ---
·         Use it to remove make-up, wipe away with a warm cloth.
·         Mix with olive oil for an all-natural face wash.  
·         After cleansing in the evening, use a small amount to moisturize your skin. I alternate this with a different oil that I have from  the cosmetic line I promote which is an organic facial Serum very rich in Vitamins C, E, and A.
·    I have heard that you could make an antibacterial mask of it with honey but I have not tried that yet.

BODY: Mix coconut oil with sugar for a fantastic body scrub.

Have you used coconut oil and do you have any special ways to use it that you’d like to share?

#GoTo #CoconutOil #Beauty

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