Vintage!

So simple but beautiful
Why is someone’s old stuff (no one really wants) so appealing yet incredibly expensive?  Well, I’m guessing because  it’s Vintage!    As M and her hubby R tackle a massive fixer upper project on three acres – C & I  are all in with tons of moral support,  constant encouragement,  a little back breaking labor(mainly C) and plenty of unsolicited opinions (mainly me).  Now, don’t judge- cause at least we help out with their two very active  boys 👦🏻 & 👶!
Rustic farmhouse table requires your first born as payment

We recently had our fill of the Vintage experience at The Mill and Adjectives.  These unique 4,000 sq. ft.  stores specialize in repurposing then selling anything and everything your little heart ❤️ may desire both new and old!

Old world lighting

While browsing for a rustic farmhouse table, a farmer’s sink, a stand alone tub 🛀🏼, old looking clocks⏰⏱🕰, decorative signs, and distressed furniture,  a barnyard door and windows, it suddenly dawned on me, we could have opened our own Vintage shop with all the stuff we threw out in the 80s with each of our four military moves.

However, one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.  It was great fun to get some ideas💡and inspiration to build a farmhouse table to sit ten for Sunday brunch or dinner.  We also walked away with a brand new sparkling white farmhouse sink, a stand alone tub, three old silver buckets for eclectic kitchen lighting and a really cool looking wooden toolbox for flowers 🌺 🌸🌻 in big mason jars

Repurposed furniture with chalk paint
 Lesson learned on this trip –   ” Don’t throw out your old junk cause it may fetch big bucks $$$$$ in the future! ”  It’s way to late for me but maybe not for you.
More wall sayings

Forest Bathing

I recently read that nature walks 🏃🏽‍♀️have a variety of positive +++ health ❤️benefits.  Benefits include a decrease in blood pressure, anxiety, stress, depression and an increase in energy, mood, brain and emotional health.   And of course-sleeping better.   In fact, the Japanese call therapeutic nature walks 🏃🏽‍♀️”Forest Bathing.” 🌲🌲🌲🌲- immersion in a forest for the purpose of  relaxation and recreation to enhance physical and mental health.

Fortunately, after the move to our new place, we  discovered we are surrounded by beautiful nature trails 🌲🌲🌲🌲 !   So ☀️Saturday morning after breakfast 🍳 C and I enjoyed a walk in the nature trails for some much needed “Forest Bathing.”   We were graced with the coolest weather we’ve had in all of May.   During the three mile adventure,  we encountered several hikers, bikers and runners also making the most of the gorgeous scenery.

In our season of less with more time to enjoy simple pleasures we will definitely be Forest Bathing 🌲🌲🌲🌲 much more often for the purpose of  relaxation and recreation-  the  health benefits will just be icing on the cake.

 

A New Season of Less

 

Last month, we sold Casa Martoral – a beautiful 2,500 sq. ft. 🏡 after five months on the market and we are so thankful!   A lovely young couple with three young boys are now the proud owners of our home and a great 👍🏽 community!

Sold!!

Our 12 years of 🏡 ownership in Casa Martoral were filled with many wonderful blessings – Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts, several A+ school celebrations🎉, book clubs🍷📚, brunches☕️🥓, luncheons🌮, dinners parties, birthday parties 🎂, bunco, promotions🥂🍾🍻, graduations👨🏽‍🎓👩🏽‍🎓 and a gorgeous wedding.  All this was topped off by the debut of two gorgeous grand babies – Ben👦🏻 and Eli👶.   And for all these memories and blessings we are forever grateful for God’s amazing grace and ❤️!

Spring time at Casa Martoral

However, the time has come to let go of stuff in order to welcome a new season in our life!  A season of LESS!   Less cleaning, polishing, organizing, mowing, landscaping, less clutter, books 📚, 👗, 👜and 👠 👢👡👞, less furniture, toys, gadgets, decor and most important of all-  less JUNK & STUFF!

Our new season begins now by downsizing and minimizing.  We will now have more time ⏰for church, to relax🏝🏖, to dance, listen to music🎧, grow organic veggies, watch  🌺 🌸bloom, sip sangria or drink a Blue Moon, play with our grand babies,  vacation ✈️🚘🛳  much more often and enjoy the simple things of life that bring so much joy!

Sangria 🍷🍷

 

Blue Moon with orange 🍊

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring is blooming
More time to enjoy the island of Puerto Rico.

❤️Healthy Green Smoothies

Green Smoothie

I recently fried 🔥 the motor on my beloved Nutri Bullet in my quest to find the tastiest and healthiest green smoothie recipe!   I was really bummed for days missing my daily smoothie fix and tried really hard to go cold  🦃 for a month .  Who needs a green smoothie everyday?  However,  who was I kidding?  I needed a daily smoothie fix and energy boost everyday.

Plus growing organic greens 🥒🥗🥙 in the Tower Garden made it easy to experiment with kale, spinach, spring mix, parsley and fruit favorites 🍉🍏🍎🍐🍊🍋🍌🍍🍒🍓🍈 for our daily green smoothie fix.

Healthy Greens for Smoothies

Since our daily green smoothie addiction required powerful motorized strength 🏋🏼and the Nutri Ninja Professional with 900 watts of amazing ice chopping powers was on sale at Wally World – the Ninja baby was definitely it!  C and I made a mad dash to buy the little gem 💎 in order to test its super Ninja powers and try its 30 days of recipes booklet.  And I was so happy 😊to be back in the smoothie making business.

Nutri Ninja
Nutri Ninja Professional

Our #1 favorite green delight includes a cup of all four greens from the TG and a cup of frozen papaya, mango, strawberries 🍍, a splash of key lime honey 🍯 and half a cup of OJ.

Earning the #2 spot as all time favorite is the all four greens,🍍, banana, 🍒 , a splash of lavender or orange blossom honey 🍯 and coconut water smoothie.

With hot summer🏝☀️ days quickly approaching you may also want to enjoy some of these amazingly delicious and healthy green smoothies.   Or perhaps you may just want to share some of your favorite recipes in the comment box below so others can enjoy your favorites.  Cheers!

Recipe Booklet

Love,

Fitbela

 

Weight Watchers Smart Points ❤️

Cuties 0 Smart Points

If you are needing to shed a few pounds and wish to do it without those awful  hunger pangs then Weight Watchers Smart Points is for you.  It’s a clear winner ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- simply delicious and it really works!

Why you ask?  Well, first of all 🍉🍒🍌🍇🍍🍐🍊🍓and 🍅🥒🥕🥗 have zero point value so they do not count against your daily point intake.   YES-you can eat fruits and veggies all day long for free.   Protein🍗🥚🍤🧀 at each meal helps you feel fully satisfied throughout the day!  And those amazing extra weekly points which everyone gets lets you splurge on all those extras 🍕🍪🍦🍰🍹🍸🍺🍷 you love ❤️ without guilt while losing weight.

Blue Moon 5 Smart Points

 

3 Veggie Spring Rolls 5 Smart Points

However, what really makes it a cut above the rest is the WW app activated when you join the program. It lets you log your food 🌮🥙🍜 intake on My Day while including activity points and graphs 📈 your weight loss on My Journey.

But my very favorite app feature is Connect which unites you with a worldwide community of Weight Watchers and 24/7 Chats for tips, plan support or back on track if you fall off the bandwagon.

So if you’re wanting to lose a few pounds in a healthy, simple way while testing out delicious new recipes check out a WW meeting near you.

Fitbela

Splurge Day! Chicken Chipotle Pizza 8 Smart Points

♥️ The Amazing Power Air Fryer XL

 

Do you ♥️ fried foods 🍟 but not the fat, calories and mess that go along with eating them!  Well, now you can have your cake 🍰 and eat it too.  It’s called the amazing  Power Air Fryer XL.  The reviews for this powerful baby which ranges between $100-$299 for the 3, 4 or 5 qt.  model are amazing ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.   I know , I know – I sound like an infomercial but this is such a great gadget to own if you ♥️ fried food.

The Amazing Power Air Fryer XL
French Fries without the fat
Skinny Breaded Chicken Parmesan
Ham and Spinach Frittata  with Fries

Our baby was under our Christmas 🌲 as a 🎁 from our daughter M and it was ♥️at first sight!  Its rapid air technology is designed for faster and healthier cooking with great results and no mess or grease burns.   A touch pad for time ⏰, temperature setting and food options make it easy to use.

It lets you fry, bake, steam, roast, grill, steam, or sauté foods guilt free.  Favorites we ❤️ include: toasty Cuban or pastrami sandwiches 🥖, fish 🐟, fries 🍟, coconut 🍤, pork chops, breaded 🍗, plantains and spring rolls-  all fried with just one teaspoon of butter or a EVOO and ZERO MESS!

My favorite veggie spring rolls  with zero oil added

Now it’s not all fun and games here.  There are a few drawbacks. The air fryer is fat and bulky so you need extra counter space for it.  Ours lives on the counter for daily use at lunch or dinner time and took over George Foreman’s spot.    Also, while learning how to use this nifty invention,  over cooking sometimes happens since foods cook quickly and portion sizes or quantity of food in the fryer affect the end result. And finally, it does require turning the food over at the half way point-  just a small inconvenience for fried yummies 😍.

So if you ever decide one of these beauties is for you,  monitor closely to avoid overcooking, use your timer ⏰, turn food over at the half mark for even results and enjoy moist and flavorful fried foods  guilt free everyday of the week!

Here’s to crossing 🤞🏼my fingers that one will magically appear in your kitchen on Mothers’ Day 👩🏻‍⚕️or your next birthday 🎉 🎂!

 

 

Love,

Fitbela

Spring in Europe

Paris , France lunch served at Cafe Roussillon
Eiffel Tower Paris, France at night to see the light display

If you’re  ever planning a trip to Europe,  spring season 🐥 is probably the best time of the year to go!   Last May,  M and I splurged on a ten day mother/daughter 👩🏻‍⚕️👩🏻‍⚕️ getaway to Paris🇫🇷, Rome 🇮🇹, Florence🇮🇹 and Barcelona🇪🇸 .  Little did we know it was off season so fares were reasonably priced, crowds were sparse and the weather was delightful! 🌈🌞!

Barcelona, Spain dinner served at 9 pm

We flew Lufthansa ✈️- (the German 🇩🇪 national airline that took home the prize for Best Transatlantic Airline🥇 and Best Airline in Western Europe🏆)  and  absolutely loved the food, coffee ☕️, wine🍷, desserts 🍨and recently released movies 🎥  on the flight.  The flight attendants were the happiest and friendliest I had ever met!

In Europe, sharing delicious meals🍝, wines🍷, desserts 🍰, cheeses 🧀  and accommodations made the whole mother/daughter escapade a real blast! Travel from  one country to another by charter flights ✈️ as well as trains 🚞 and purchasing tickets 🎟🎟 for places of interest before leaving home helped us make good use of time ⏰ and  avoid long, long lines at our favorite destination spots.   So if you ever decide to see Europe during the spring season here are some favorite things to see and enjoy!

Rome Breakfast in Italy
Loved this organic farm cafe in Paris ❤️

 

La Sagrada Familia Spain
La Sagrada Familia

 

Trevi Fountain Rome, Italy
The Vatican Rome, Italy

 

 

 

 

 

Inspire Bible for Journaling

Inspire Bible forJournaling

Last year, the week before Mother’s Day 💐, Barnes & Nobles sent out a flash e-mail 💌  about bibles for 50% off in honor of Mother’s Day 🌻.    I guess they were thinking Mothers needed all the extra divine grace ❤️and intervention ❤️ they could get.   Since my 20 year old bible was coming apart at the seams and looking really used and torn,  I asked for an Inspire Bible for Journaling as a MD 🎁.  This bible would help me memorize bible passages or scripture while giving me a creative outlet by using all types of mediums and colors for self-expression and relaxation!

Inspire Psalms
Psalm 59;16

Little did I know the Inspire Bible for Creative Journaling was on the top 10 best selling book list standing strong 🏋🏼 at #8, so getting one in my little 🖐🏽 🖐🏽was going to be – Mission Impossible! After multiple calls ☎️, we found one in  Daytona and drove to Family Christian Store to pick it up.  We scored the last beautiful teal Bible for Journaling with my name engraved (of course for a price) at 50% off!   I was feeling like a kid in a candy store and of course,  I needed extra candy to get started.   Those included  multiple gel pens,  colored pencils and several scrapbooking supplies at Michael’s.

Gel pens in gold, silver and every color in the rainbow
Artist Inspiration

With exactly 10 months into BJ,  I can say my new bible has definitely helped  me add a few more memorized passages to my repertoire. I’m  able to share passages with others or quote scripture in time of need when I’m feeling a little stressed or overwhelmed or when others need a little encouragement.  After attending Amber Bolton’s seminar ( the creative genius behind Bible Journaling) I’ve been inspired to test out all sorts of colors and mediums to personalize my new bible.  I have even added new books 📚- Inspire Psalms and The Psalms in Color – especially since Psalms is my  favorite❤️book of the bible.   I am thankful that  BJ has inspired and encouraged me to open my colorful bible much more often.

New additions

So if you are ever in need of a little  soulful relaxation or perhaps some prayerful meditation – Bible Journaling may be a simple way to get into your bible daily to Reflect, Relax and Rejoice!

The Psalms in Color
Psalm 89:1

 

 

 

Loom Knitting ❤️

A new love for yarn
New collection of looms

I recently joined a great group of individuals dedicated to giving back to others or paying it forward with beautiful handmade creations.

The Deltona Happy Hookers ❤️ meet once a week for several hours to knit, crochet and loom – hats, blankets, afghans, baby hats and booties.  These beautiful masterpieces are created with donated yarn by very talented men 👴and women 👵🏻 (yes men 👴knit too) then given to the Salvation Army, the Coalition for the Homeless, veterans, cancer patients and hospitals for 👶 newborns or premies in the NICU.  Some afghans are even donated to the library for silent auctions for fund raising.

On my first visit to the DHH as a peace ✌🏼offering,  I brought yarn to donate to the group to make-up for my lack of skills. ( I thought maybe they wouldn’t notice I didn’t have a clue.)   I was warmly greeted by Nancy 👩🏻‍⚕️ their fearless leader who was super nice.  So with zero experience but a genuine desire to learn,  I sat next to Alice 💁who was also fairly new to the group and a loom knitter.  Alice convinced me loom knitting was the way to go- faster, easier and effortless.  So with green donated yarn, a few looms I purchased and a loomahat.com tutorial on YouTube recommended by my new friend,  I began loom knitting 👶 baby hats and booties in about an hour ⏰ each.   Baby👶 hats were fairly quick and  easy- booties were a bear🐻 -those took several (3) attempts before they resembled real baby booties.  Almost immediately,  I found a love for loom knitting tiny baby items.   Even B 👦🏻& E👶 will be the proud owners of hats for our trip✈️ to Arches National Park, Utah next month in April!

My first attempt at loom knitting
Finally a set to donate

Also recently, a grant $$$  I wrote ✍🏼  (“Good Works” ) for supplies was awarded to the group by Thrivent Financial  to help us expand our reach even more.   It’s really exciting and rewarding to create something beautiful with your own hands and then just give it away as a 🎁.  It even sparks joy.   I still have much to learn about the world of  loom knitting,  but making new friends as I learn is the icing on the cake 🎂.  So if you ever have the time or desire to pay it forward come and join us!

Love,

Fitbela

Isla del Encanto- Puerto Rico

Toro Salao in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Today is our first day back home from a five day stay on the beautiful  “Isla del Encanto” 🌴 or Island of Enchantment better known as “PUERTO RICO” or RICH PORT.    All I can say is —it was way too SHORT!

My hubby and I left longing for more time to enjoy ☀️ 70 degree weather,  tropical breezes,  mosquito free quarters,  sangria roja 🍷,   specialty dishes of pork with plantain and the musical notes 🎶 of “El Coqui” – a tiny inch long frog unique to the island of Puerto Rico 🇵🇷 with a one of a kind mating call.

Yum!
90 years old!

The highlight of our trip was celebrating my dear mother-in-law’s 90th 🎈🎉🎂- yes-90th.   In spite of a few aches and pains, she was alert, witty,  happy🤗 and eager to open 🎁 and enjoy good food, 🎂with bubbly🥂🍾.  We were so blessed and honored to be a part of the festivities and spend some island time with her and the rest of the M clan!

During the short stay,  we landed in Old San Juan- capital of Puerto Rico to have lunch at our favorite spot- “Toro 🐂 Salao “ -or the Salty Bull🐂 Sangria and Tapa Bar/ Restaurant . There we feasted on shrimp 🍤 empanadas with chipotle 🌶 dipping sauce, beef and bacon sliders 🍔, sweet potato chipotle fries, organic green salads 🥗, and the mouth watering Signature Toro 🐂 Sangria Roja🍷 with a dash of pineapple🍍, mango, lemon-lime 🍋, and passion fruit juice.  It’s  a real tropical 🌴 explosion 💥!   We topped it off with an island treat of “coco con parcha” or coconut with passion fruit – a gelato type dessert and the best mocha-chino cafe ☕️ ☕️in the island-expresso with chocolate topped with steaming frothy milk.  All for about $50 bucks-priceless!

El Toro Rojo Sangria
Lunch at Toro Salao

 

 

Coco y Parcha

 

With a quick trip after all the festivities to Plaza Carolina – the local mall for a few souvenirs  of “casitas” magnets,  “pique” for the guys and matching sneakers for my good-looking  boys B👦🏻 & E👶🏼🍼we were ready for our Jet Blue ✈️ flight back home 🏡.

 

 

Handmade casita magnets for the gals
Pique for the guys

However, in an effort to ease back into my reality as gently as possible,  I  found the musical notes 🎶 of “El Coqui” on youtube for you to enjoy.   So sit back, relax and listen to the sounds of nature as you attempt to sleep tonight to the evening song of “El Coqui.”  Sweet dreams 😴  and “buenas noches.”

Besitos,

Fitbela