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Armed Forces Day

One cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war. ~ Albert Einstein

Although we all have our own opinions on war, today is not the day to spout them. Today is a day to recognize and pray for soldiers the world over. Whether they are ours (USA), those of our allies or of our “enemies”.

Every soldier has his or her own reason – selfless or selfish – for signing up but it cannot be denied that it can be one of the most brutal jobs one can have. Brutal mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

Today, I ask for you to join me in prayer for all soldiers. Even those who are not “ours”. Even if we eventually “win” the wars we are involved in, we will have lost many, many people. Maybe even some who would have been our greatest leaders.

Wishing you much peace, happiness, and success,
Pearl Lane-Soliz | Mom. Writer. Blogger. Podcaster. | PearlLaneSoliz.com
Pearl 'Penny' Lane-Soliz

P.S. If you have any questions about any of my programs or services, or if you feel that I can ever be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the Mommies, soon-to-be Mommies, wanna be Mommies, and Heart Mommies (stepmoms, single dads, teachers, bus drivers, and more)!

Mother’s Day is a day to pray and give thanks for our mothers. Even if you mother was not the greatest, spend a few seconds at least thinking one nice thing about her. After all, regardless of who she was or wasn’t, she did give the world one of it’s most glorious blessings: a child. You.

Wishing you much peace, happiness, and success,
Pearl Lane-Soliz | Mom. Writer. Blogger. Podcaster. | PearlLaneSoliz.com
Pearl 'Penny' Lane-Soliz

P.S. If you have any questions about any of my programs or services, or if you feel that I can ever be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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The Power Of “The Daniel Fast”

It doesn’t matter if you are a big sinner or a little sinner, we all sin. The question is, how do you leapfrog all those speedbumps to gain an audience at the Lord’s feet? One of the most recommended ways across denominations (and even religions!) is to cycle through self-analysis, repentance, and fasting.

When You Are Seriously Stuggling But Don’t Know Where To Start

We all go through hard times – that’s a given in our world – but what do you do when it feels like prayer isn’t enough, like you just aren’t being heard, or like the trouble is so bad you aren’t sure how you can’t hang on anymore?

That’s where I was when I started combing my Bible, looking for an answer. … and I quickly realized I didn’t know where to look or that the answers I was getting didn’t make sense to me. What was the message in the passage? How did that apply to my situation? I started feeling overwhelmed and defeated.

Overwhelmed and defeated? Oh no!

Girrrrrl, I needed to snap my snaps and clap back at that negativity because a) I don’t need any more of that in my life and b) hello, my God is a good God. Bad things can become good things, silver linings are real things, and we were made to Glow in the Dark.

The search for a Word had to go on.

You Better Search, Search It Girl

… do your thing, find that passage!

Oh, come on. We all have quirks. Mine just happens to be cheese. If you are totes confused about the reference, just repeat that line in your head over RuPaul’s “Supermodel Of The World“.

Anyway …

Aside from a few (now guilt-laden) attempts at Bibliomancy, the top 3 ways I search for Biblical insight are:

  • Davka’s Tanach (for Android)
  • eSword (for Windows)
  • Google Search (for whatever platform I’m using but usually the Mac because I haven’t found a Biblical app I like for that one yet)

While I do have several print versions of the Bible (and a JPS Hebrew English Tanakh), I find it easier and faster to just type in a topic, theme, or word and presto! Get a bajillion results. With snippets and sometimes icons too!

*eeee!* (fangirl squeal)

That’s how exciting it is to get a Word. 😀

Don’t get me wrong, I like the topic and special event reading cheat sheet style lists that a lot of these books have. It’s just that sometimes, I can’t figure out how to make the passage fit my situation.

If you think I’m picking and choosing from the text to get what I want to hear, let’s be brutally honest here: if you can’t understand a passage, you won’t be able to apply it. Better to write that passage down (with a notation about when/why you got there) for future reference and keep digging until you get a nugget you can apply.

The Word of the Lord does not return void (Isaiah 55:11). Even if you feel like you (or I) didn’t get anything out of it, it’s lurking there in the subconscious. Patiently waiting for its time. In the meantime, there’s another Word that is active and ready to kick but right now. Find it.

So there I was, searching for insight when BOOM! BAM! Holy Word, Batman! I landed squarely in the Book of Daniel and The Daniel Fast … Fast … Fast. (Imagine that with a really cool echo effect.)

Everything I had been reading up until this point simply said to fast. What was a fast exactly, though? How was I supposed to fast? How long would I be fasting? Could I have any liquid (even a shake) or could I only have water? What if I started feeling sick? How would my prayer be answered then?

I’m not trying to be funny this time. I really had no idea what to expect or if I’d be able to tough it out long enough to get the door busting answer I was so desperate for.

Until I found The Daniel Fast. (Cue Zoolander pose.)

The Daniel Fast

According to those who encourage this form of fasting, the aim is to refrain from eating what are described in Daniel as “royal foods” including meats, leavened and sweet bread, and wine. Instead, the diet consists only of “pulses” and water. “Pulses” in this context is often taken as “food grown from seed”, including fruit, vegetables or lentils. “Vegetables” is used instead of “pulses” in some translations.[1][3] However, it is not explicitly stated that the refraining from these foods by Daniel was a fast.Wikipedia

My definition of The Daniel Fast isn’t quite the same as Wikipedia’s. I see it as living a vegetarian (possibly even vegan) life. I mean, Daniel was fasting from meat and wine – indefinitely – to stay kosher, not mourn for a set amount of days. He did say the prison guard could check on his health after 10 days but not that he was going to start eating like all the other young men (Daniel 1:1-21).

Yes, There’s Vegan:
… and more!
The only reason I am not totally convinced Daniel was vegan is because of the predominant type of clothing, shoes, and accessories during his time.

Vegans don’t use animals or animal products and, unless I am mistaken, at the least Daniel’s sandles would have been made out of thick hide.

Okay, so we’ve sort of got the definition narrowed down.

Now how do we apply it?

The short and simple answer is to become a full-time vegeterian: ditch all the meat, dairy, fish, and poultry products. This includes value added products like flavored yogurt and byproducts like bonemeal.

Unless you decide to be a pescatarian, lacto or ovo vegetarian, or another type of vegetarian. Seriously, you’ve got options!

There are some churches that encourage keeping The Daniel Fast but do it for just 10, 14, or 21 days at a time. Individuals will sometimes pledge to eat one vegeterian meal a week, one a day, all week with a meaty “cheat” day or two over the weekend, etc. As I said, options.

As for the wine, wellllll …

Technically, wine could be okay on a vegeterian (or even vegan) diet. Daniel most likely abstained because from both the meat and wine because of how it was prepared, stored, and often sacrificed to other gods/idols before being served. It could also have been a desire to keep his head straight and avoid any unintentional sin that sipping a little of the Pharoah’s special grape juice might egg on. He, as you may have guessed, is in his enemy’s house and trying to keep himself together.

What’s that? You aren’t trapped in your enemy’s chateau and you shudder at the thought of having to give up your nightly, heart-healthy wine habit? Fear not! There are vegan, kosher, and even non-alcoholoic halal wines available. (That last one blew my mind: literally 0.0% alcohol!)

The Power Of The Daniel Fast

The power of The Daniel Fast lies in the self-control required to alter your habits. Even if it’s a short term change, it *is* a change and we humans are notoriously prone to staying in our well worn tracks.

In older times, feast fare (aka things like barbeque) were trotted out only for celebrations or holidays. Unless you were royalty or wealthy. Then you had this fab menu avaiable to you every day. With wine, no less!

Modern food cycles have made it possible for everyone to enjoy feasts whenever we want to. (Or at least on weekends or payday.) Which makes a diet like Daniel’s more of a fast. A less drastic, maybe more medically-friendly fast with the potential to help us break through our negative patterns, open our eyes to new possibilities, and free ourselves from whatever bondage we are in.

That is truly powerful.

Wishing you much peace, happiness, and success,
Pearl Lane-Soliz | Mom. Writer. Blogger. Podcaster. | PearlLaneSoliz.com
Pearl 'Penny' Lane-Soliz

P.S. If you have any questions about any of my programs or services, or if you feel that I can ever be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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{ Fab For The Holidays } DIY Nail Salon: Fabulous Fingers and Toes On A Budget

The holidays are made for glam, amirite? Sparkles, twinkles, and baubles everywhere! Dinners, gifts, and parties! Ohh, let’s not forget the mistletoe!

But, oooh, girl. Your nails. Your toes!

All that buying for others and now you don’t have enough for yourself. Or maybe you had to choose between getting something for the kids or treating yourself. (I’m a single mom, I know how that goes sometimes!)

What if I told you that you could give yourself at least 5 pedicures and 5 full manicures (PLUS extras for quick fixes) for the price of ONE nail salon visit? Heck, you can get a lot more that that if you’ve got your DIY nail salon setup already. I calculated a full set of the nails I bought and listed below at about $1.09. Including nail polish!

You can read my full, verfied purchase, 5-star review of the Ejiubas nails on Amazon. They are AWESOME! I bought two packages in March and still have some left. I love how they make my digits look a little longer and more fabulous!

Starting From Scratch: DIY Nail Salon Supplies

You don’t need a lot to get started and if you freak out a little at the prices, just remember these aren’t one-time use items. They are investments that will be so worth it in the long run!

Here’s a basic list to get started:

  • Spa to massage and soften feet
  • Glass bowl to soak fingers in
  • Mini electric mani/pedi tool
  • Tip clipper
  • Manicure tools (for cuticles, trimming nails)
  • Nail files
  • Nails or tips
  • Nail glue
  • Nail polish remover (both “normal” and 100% acetone)
  • Rubbing alcohol or vinegar
  • Cotton balls or pads

You probably already have most of those at home already, right? If you don’t, here are a few of my recommendations:

Again, if you are worried about the up-front costs, don’t be. I got my Remington Foot Spa on sale at Goodwill a few years ago. It’s not fancy, it’s not even the cool heated one I listed here. It just massages (vibrates) but that’s all I really needed it to do anyway. I’ve had my mini electric mani/pedi kit and my heart-shaped glass (former desk candy) dish since around 2009.

Other than having to replace my tip clipper this week, the only expenses I have for my nails and toes are the nails themselves, nail glue, polish, polish remover, and cotton pads.

A Word On Glue

For the love of all that is self-care, please – PLEASE – do NOT skimp on your nail glue! Please don’t even TRY to use Super Glue! While the latter is awesome for most things, it is NOT designed for nails and can really damage your digits. The cost for both types of glue is about the same so do your gorgeous nails a huge favor and use the glue that is designed for them!

If you are going to skimp on anything, skimp on the nails themselves. A good nail glue will help whatever finger and toenail you pick to stay on so well you’d never know you skimped. (Unless they are really bad quality then … girrrrrrl. You need to invest in some Ejuibas! They come in different sizes, colors, and styles so there’s bound to be one you like.

Applying Your Nails

There are two main methods to DIY finger and toe nail applications: I’ve Got Time To Pamper Myself and I Don’t Have Time For This.

If you have the time, put on some amazing music, pour a glass of wine, and give your feet a much-needed massage! Seriously, women – whether we are moms or not – are usually running around taking care of everything for everyone else. Sometimes we don’t even realize how tired we are until we sit down for a few minutes. Then we start feeling the pain in our heels, arches, the balls of our feet, and even our calves!

Hands are a bit different. Hand lotion at night and in the morning seems to eliminate the need for a lot of hands-on (hands-on, get it? haha!) hand work. It’s more about making sure the nails are trimmed and filed well.

If you don’t have much time, simply make sure your nails are filed, clean them well, buff them gently with a nail file, swipe your nails with an alcohol or vinegar soaked cotton ball to help eliminate germs and prevent fungal infections, glue your nails on, and swipe a couple of coats of polish on. Tada! Done.

Yep. That’s it! If you’d like a better or more in-depth DIY instructional, let me know and I’ll whip one up for you but it’s really that easy. Especially if you carry a tube of nail glue and a couple of emergency replacement nails with you. 😉

Repairing, Replacing, Removing Your DIY Nails

Whether you want to repair, replace, or remove your DIY nails and toenails, 100% acetone will remove the Ejuibas and nail glue easily. Simply pour enough acetone in your glass soaking dish to soak the offending nail(s). It will all just ‘melt’ off.

If you are in a hurry, you can use an orange stick to help remove the ‘melting’ nail/glue combo a little faster. Just be careful not to use too much pressure or scrape your nail too hard!

Color or Design Changes

It’s not necessary to soak off a false nail or toenail just to change your nail polish color or tweak your nail design. Simply use the "normal" nail polish remover! Just be careful not to leave it on one spot for too long or that section will warp/get 'eaten' through. You can probably change your color about two times before you notice the nails are a little too soft to be useful.

Comments, Questions, Suggestions

So, what did you think? Do you (or would you) do your own nails? Do you have a different technique or products you recommend? Let me know in the comments below!

Wishing you much peace, happiness, and success,
Pearl Lane-Soliz | Mom. Writer. Blogger. Podcaster. | PearlLaneSoliz.com
Pearl 'Penny' Lane-Soliz

P.S. If you have any questions about any of my programs or services, or if you feel that I can ever be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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Fat Aloes, New Raised Beds, and A Stinky Dog

This morning was all about fat aloes, new raised beds, our sweet but stinky dog Ruth, and my kids on my little organic farm.

Note to Self: Sunscreen. Long sleeves. Shade. 😜

My original farm plan included an aloe crop and I’m embarrassed to admit I let it run wild when my plans fell through. The grass was up to my chest – totally covering the aloes – so I had no idea how beautiful the parent plants had grown.

The effort required to rip out the overgrown crabgrass/Johnsongrass/Buffelgrass (whatever my generations of ranching ancestors fed their cattle) distracted me from the discomfort of working out in the sun. Something I hadn’t done since I got married a few years ago. The result was an itchy, red sunburn that made my skin match my shirt.

On the positive side, we got the raised beds mostly filled. I hadn’t realized how much dirt I’d need for them. They look small but hold a significant volume of the organic soil/compost and chemical free rural dirt mix I am using this time around.

Eww! What’s that smell?!

Our Pitbull/Lab mix Ruth rolled in dead animal somewhere and was so proud of herself. I felt like I was going to be sick when she loved on me and Skylar Marie reacted by saying Ruth needed to shower because she smelled like poo poo. Boy did I giggle about that!

Meanwhile, I sent CJ on an exploratory mission to recover and properly bury the poor critter and freaked out when he was gone far longer than I anticipated. I can’t be mad though. It’s karma.

Like momma like son! I used to disappear into the woods, only returning at dusk. I can now imagine what my Mom and Grandma must have felt. Worry and a bit of fear – we are in the illegal immigrant and drug dumping zone – but also a sense of pride and a measure of happiness that my kids get to grow up with a bit of nature.

The space my kids can explore is nowhere near the acres I was lucky enough to wander about in but it’s something and that is really important to me.

It’s sad to know there is a little body out there that we weren’t able to treat with the respect it deserves. They aren’t “just” wild animals to us. They are miracles, creatures created by the One who created us.

It bothers us enough to keep looking.

Wishing you much peace, happiness, and success,
Pearl Lane-Soliz | Mom. Writer. Blogger. Podcaster. | PearlLaneSoliz.com
Pearl 'Penny' Lane-Soliz

P.S. If you have any questions about any of my programs or services, or if you feel that I can ever be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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Penny’s 4 Minute (or less!) BLT

There’s cattle to tend, goats to feed, paperwork to file, social media (customer service) to respond to, bills to be paid, and a ton of other stuff to do but your tummy is growling and the kids are getting downright hangry!

OH NOES! WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO?!

You are going to make Penny’s 4 Minute (or less!) BLT, that’s what. It’s fast, easy, cheap, filling, and delicious!

Ingredients

  • Butterball Everyday Turkey Bacon
  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Condiments
  • Seasoning (if desired)
  • Cheese (if desired)

DIRECTIONS

Stick a few slices of Butterball Everyday Turkey Bacon in the microwave as instructed. While those are being nuked, slice your tomato and lettuce (or spinach leaves). After that, just split open a Hawaiian roll and add your condiments, veggies, seasoning, and cheese. Top it all off with your warm turkey bacon as soon as you hear that microwave binging.

TADA! All done!

Now grab a cool beverage of your choice and take that much deserved 5 minute break, you amazing hard worker you.

Wishing you much peace, happiness, and success,
Pearl Lane-Soliz | Mom. Writer. Blogger. Podcaster. | PearlLaneSoliz.com
Pearl 'Penny' Lane-Soliz

P.S. If you have any questions about any of my programs or services, or if you feel that I can ever be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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Weekend Warrior: 21 Prepper Skills

Prepping is a practical skill that can benefit any household. Even if you don’t think the poop will ever hit the fan, our families don’t have to suffer so much (if at all) when the next natural disaster hits or if a political/economic decision or act of war affects our food or household good supply lines.

SHTF VS. TEOTWAWKI

If you do decide that you want to err on the side of caution and prepare for a disaster that may be inevitable, there are two scenarios you need to know about. There are a lot of acronyms for both scenarios but they are known best as SHTF and TEOTWAWKI.

Read the rest from the Redneck Survivalist …

As scary as any of those events may be, they actually aren’t super hard to prepare for. Yes, you may have to learn some skills you would prefer not to but the outcome for your family is much better.

The Suburban Steader has a great post called “21 Prepper Skills You Can Improve This Weekend” that I highly recommend reading.

It’s not an overwhelming or complicated list. Just some solid self-sufficiency skills you might be surprised you may already know or can develop without too much trouble.

You can read that article here: http://www.suburbansteader.com/21-prepper-skills-can-improve-weekend

Wishing you much peace, happiness, and success,
Pearl Lane-Soliz | Mom. Writer. Blogger. Podcaster. | PearlLaneSoliz.com
Pearl 'Penny' Lane-Soliz

P.S. If you have any questions about any of my programs or services, or if you feel that I can ever be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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Pet Emergency Preparedness

It’s sad but true: in an emergency, pets are often left behind because there simply wasn’t enough time to grab them and their stuff. Images from the aftermath of disasters like Hurricane Katrina illustrate how lost they are, how sad and grief stricken their human family members are, and the dangers that first responders face when trying to rescue them.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Both the Humane Society of the United States and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have resource sections designed to help you plan for potential disaster and even have outlines for simple but dependable disaster kits. These kits can also double as ready-to-go travel kits, reducing your stress and prep time before/after trips.

Make a kit for each one of your pets and check the kits periodically – just like you double-check your family’s kit – to make sure they are in good shape and everything is updated as needed.

Wishing you much peace, happiness, and success,
Pearl Lane-Soliz | Mom. Writer. Blogger. Podcaster. | PearlLaneSoliz.com
Pearl 'Penny' Lane-Soliz

P.S. If you have any questions about any of my programs or services, or if you feel that I can ever be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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Easy Ant Repellent

Ants. Ants everywhere! You don’t want to wait until you have an infestation that feels like the scarab attack scene from The Mummy but you aren’t ready to call in a pest control specialist yet either.

So, What Do You Do?

The fastest and easiest thing to do is mix about a 1:8 mixture of Dawn and water in a clean spray bottle. Then simply spray down any area you see ants! Counters, cupboards, the corner of the window where they are coming in.

Don’t rinse it off. Wipe it dry. The little bit of Dawn residue left should not be an issue for children or pets but it will bother the heck out of the ants. You can also spray their trail directly to disturb their progress.

Wishing you much peace, happiness, and success,
Pearl Lane-Soliz | Mom. Writer. Blogger. Podcaster. | PearlLaneSoliz.com
Pearl 'Penny' Lane-Soliz

P.S. If you have any questions about any of my programs or services, or if you feel that I can ever be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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Empowering Our Children And The Testing Of Our Faith

Is your faith being tested? Are you struggling with a negative self-image? Do you feel like you are stuck in a cycle of negative events and wonder “where is my God”?

You aren’t alone! At some point, we all go through seasons of doubt and struggle to understand and accept why bad things happen to good people.

What do you think? Leave me a comment below!

Wishing you much peace, happiness, and success,
Pearl Lane-Soliz | Mom. Writer. Blogger. Podcaster. | PearlLaneSoliz.com
Pearl 'Penny' Lane-Soliz

P.S. If you have any questions about any of my programs or services, or if you feel that I can ever be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact me.