Category Archives: Natural Beauty

Ideas, Tips for maintaining your natural beauty

Zagreb – Ancient Modern City

Zagreb, a city of ancient buildings whose windows proclaim more modern pursuits, such as HM, Pandora, Guess: ATMs located on the sides of buildings whose structure might be 400 years old. New buildings squeezed between old, although the definition of new here might mean the building is only 100 years old. A city of steep streets leading to hidden alleyways with more architectural treasures.

           

             

 

I loved the feel and energy of Zagreb. While it is a bustling city, there are parks and trees all over. It’s a city that invites you to stay a while, to explore its secrets and meet its people.

 

We strolled through the open market, full of homegrown fruits and vegetables, fresh caught fish, and homemade crafts, such as crochet tablecloths and scarves, tatted lace blouses, and so much more.

Bartering for tomatoes

YUM! homegrown & fresh

All of the outside stalls have the same umbrella pattern, it was explained to us that each city has its own pattern. These umbrellas proudly displayed Zagreb’s pattern.

Zagreb’s Pattern

The indoor market offered fresh fish, meats and more. The delicious scent of homemade bread drew us in, the homemade olive oil encouraged us to eat a bit more than we should.

Indoor Market

Leaving the market, we headed up the hill towards Zagreb’s Cathedral. Croats are primarily Roman Catholic and there are many beautiful churches and shrines to visit. The Cathedral is the tallest building in Croatia, majestically towering over trees and buildings

Tallest building in Croatia

The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is Gothic in style, breathtakingly beautiful.

 

Entryway

Entrance Statues

Window at the altar

There are many different styles of tile on the floor. The patterns represent different cities.  I don’t know if I took a picture of Zagreb’s pattern or not.

Outside in the cathedral’s square is a gold stature of the Blessed Virgin surrounded by Archangels at the base.

Entombed at the altar in a glass coffin is the body of Cardinal Stepinac. I felt it was disrespectful to take pictures inside the cathedral without prior permission, so I limited myself to the few you see here. You can learn more about this beautiful church here.

We also visited  the Church of St. Catherine, although it was not open for visitors.

There are numerous cafes and coffee shops, most offer outdoor seating with an open invitation to sit and visit for a bit. No rush here.

Art Cafe

This particular cafe feature art by local artists.

 

After a bit of refreshment we continued our journey through the city of Zagreb…

 

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Plitvices Lakes National Park

Rarely do things make me speechless, although I do tear up with joy frequently. Plitvices evoked both of these. It’s beauty is difficult to put into words, therefore, this blog will be written with pictures and only a few words.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Around every corner there is yet another awe-inspiring sight. Trails are clearly marked and you are not to leave the trail. One of the reasons for this ruling, other than the destruction of delicate flora and fauna, is the possibility of landmines from the Croatian War for Independence.

No this picture is not upside down!

The travertine walls of the park create the beautiful turquoise water. Every where you walk the energy is uplifting.

 

The park is filled with animals of all sorts, birds were singing, but most chose to avoid the public.

This guy made a brief appearance, much to the delight of his photographers.

I don’t know that my pictures do justice to Plitvices’ beauty.

The color contrasts of the park are spectacular!

A small rain storm brought the fish to the surface

and a lone duck out for a swim.

Through the leaves of the trees you can just catch a glimpse of the boat ride. I’ll bet the views from the boat are stunning.

Can you see now why I am at a loss for words?  Plitvices Lakes National Park is breathtaking.

Next: Touring Zagreb

 

 

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Croatia – Vrlo Lijepo!

Croatia – Day 1

Recently, I was blessed with the chance to visit Croatia. I am so glad I did!
Croatia is a beautiful country, a country of contrast and a country of friendly, helpful people.

       

Leaving Denver on a non-stop to Frankfurt, I was grateful it was a Lufthansa overnight flight, I could sleep.  The crew was great and the flight smooth. I was also lucky in my seat mate. He was a friendly but not overly talkative gentleman. We knew some of the same people in Denver which helped to pass the time. From Frankfurt, I flew Croatia Airlines to Zagreb. Another friendly crew and easy quick flight.

I met my daughter in Zagreb and off we went to our AirBnB. I can highly recommend our apartment here. Great location and walking distance to City Center. Our host was lovely and helpful.

After setting our luggage down, we set out to explore a bit before crashing from jet lag. Zagreb’s City Center is awesome, filled with open cafes, comfortable seating and every type of food you can imagine.  We opted for sparkling water, fresh caught fish and homemade bread with olive oil. Our meal was ukusno, delicious. We dined on Bogovićeva street, coming across Davor Preis’ sculpture of the Sun during our after dinner stroll. Preis’ has installed a scale model of the solar system throughout Zagreb.

 

 

The rest of our evening was spent walking through the City Center enjoying the sights and sounds. We returned to our apartment early to sleep off our jet lag, tomorrow we’re off to Plitvices Lakes National Park! I can’t wait!

 

Next: Plitvices Lake National Park

 

 

 

 

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Hiking the Falls

Road Trip – part 2

After leaving Mr. BareButt in Silt, we headed towards Rifle, CO and Rifle Falls. Rifle Falls State Park is a beautiful area to hike and never crowded due to the strict parking policies. Once the lot is full, no more entries. Hence the reason we left so early in the morning.

The appeal of Rifle Falls is not only its beauty and small crowds, it’s also the negative ions from the waterfalls. Negative ions are the positive ones for you.

Pictures of the Falls are really all you need to describe them.

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Sherry at the Falls for the first time.

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Hiking up to the top of the Falls

 

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We sat here in quiet meditation. So peaceful.

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Following different access trails

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These are all taken on the lower trail. The park was lush with greenery.

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The lower edge of the Falls is an easy stroll from the parking lot. To hike up, around and behind them you will need a shoe with a sturdy sole. Sherry was not thrilled with the caves on the upper trail, but the kids popping out of the darkness to scare her loved them!

There’s nothing like ice cream after a hot hike, so off to Rifle for a sweet treat.

Moo’s Place was just what we had hoped for. The sorbet was very refreshing. Sherry thought their  horchata ice cream was the best. Lo, and behold, right next to Moo’s was a Lift Up thrift shop, you know we had to go in. Sherry bought 2 small candle cups, I bought a piece of turquoise glassware.

Leaving Rifle, we headed to Parachute, Co. We wanted to check out the solar flowers at the Parachute rest area. I wouldn’t mind have these flowers in my yard.

 

We also found this story about the Wild West at the rest area.

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Across the street from the rest area is not only a beautiful view but a very impressive teepee.

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Part 3 – Colorado Wine Country

Here’s to a Happy Life! 🌳

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MaryBeth & Sherry

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How to Survive the Big M

Yep! We’re talking menopause.

While researching menopause causes, symptoms and the treatment/prevention of the aforementioned, we’ve come to certain inevitable conclusions:

There is no known prevention for menopause. We know, we know, for the most part we don’t mind the end result of menopause, but, by golly, isn’t there a way to avoid the discomfort? Nope, just like exercise, we got to go through it to get to the end result.

The-seven-dwarves-of-menopause

After thorough Internet research, here’s what we’ve learned.

 

Anything and everything you eat may or may not cause hot flashes.
Anything and everything you eat may or may not cause insomnia.
Anything and everything you eat may or may not cause joint pain.
Anything and everything you eat may or may not cause night sweats.
Anything and everything you eat may or may not cause mood swings.
Anything and everything you eat may or may not cause weight gain.

Okay, now that every man has groaned and uttered “Ewwww” and left this blog, let’s talk turkey.

menopause

Sorry to say menopause appears to be a fact of life for most women. And if you think about it, for their partners. They enjoy it vicariously through us. You’re welcome. Did you all honestly think we were going to go through this without you?

(Insert evil laugh here)

Okay, we are done laughing and back to this blog.

no eating

As you can see by our bullet points above, the best thing you can do is avoid eating or drinking anything and everything. Difficult, we agree, but think of your waistline!

Based on the fact that we enjoy eating and drinking, we’ve decided to put together our own list of do’s and don’ts.

How to avoid or lessen the symptoms of menopause.

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Do go through menopause with a buddy or two. This is the safest way. Keep your buddy on speed dial for emergency texts and calls.
Don’t decide for your buddy what they can and can not eat. This prevents injury to yourself and others.
Do go out with your girlfriends and laugh. This eases any and all symptoms
Do go out with your girlfriends and their significant others. The sympathetic nods amongst the significants makes them feel like part of the team. (Did we just call menopause a team sport?)

menopause
Do live near a nice cold swimming pool, lake or ocean. Do feel free to take a plunge at anytime. Do not feel free to do so naked. Alternate solution: Keep your bathtub full of cold water at all times – Do feel free to take this plunge naked.
Do take anyone who says “oh c’mon, it’s not that bad!”, to a local sauna, sit with them until they get up to leave, pull them back down and say “nope,not done yet” and “oh c’mon, it’s not that bad!”

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We sincerely hope this helps .

Read this book for more humor on Menopause .

menopause sucks

And this one for safe and natural ways to balance your hormones.

Dr

 

Here’s to a Happy Life!

MaryBeth & Sherry

Visit our sister site : Calming Interiors

 

How to make luxurious body butter with just three ingredients

We’ll can’t wait to try this! Thanks Hens and Honey for the recipe. Donna added tip in the Hens and Honey comments: Use expeller pressed coconut oil. No scent. Tropical Traditions (online) have it and it’s awesome. All credit for this recipe, photos and talent goes to Hens and Honey.

Body butter blog

My biggest advice for someone who is trying to switch over to a more natural, healthy lifestyle is to just do a little at a time, and I follow my own advice. I think it is the key to sustaining changes in the future.

Now that it doesn’t feel like such a struggle to buy, cook and eat naturally, I’m starting to take aim at other areas in my life. My new goals? Switching over the health and beauty products I’m using to more natural alternatives. Our skin is our largest organ, right? So, why would we want to gunk it up with a bunch of junk? I’ll admit my cabinets have been filled with Bath and Body Works lotion. It’s my weakness, but after I checked out the ingredient list (and realized I didn’t know what nearly anything was), I decided to end the love affair. Seriously, check this…

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The Twelve Days of Christmas – Day 5

In all the noise of the holidays, we sometimes wish for a little peace and quiet.

Day 5 –   Walking   –   Walking is beneficial in so many ways, healthy and uplifting. We love walking during the holidays, whether it be after a snowfall or to view the holiday lights. So grab your loved ones and head out.

There is a special joy in bundling up and heading out in the brisk air. When the sunlight hits the new-fallen snow it seems to glisten with diamonds. I am always tempted to make a snow angel. My decision is based on how far it is to the house.  Breathing in the fresh air is both invigorating and calming.

Our favorite walk during this season is to see the lights, strolling along the creek path with the tall trees covered in white lights while the bushes are draped with multi-colored lights until we reach the LED tree. This enormous pine in its cloak of many colors is a beautiful sight to see.

Visitor Center Tree

Or a visit to the botanical gardens with its covered trellises, whimsically lit butterflies, dragonflies, and strolling carolers. Every year there is something new, but our family tradition remains the same. We buy hot chocolate, a bag of roasted chestnuts and head down the path. Once we are sufficiently chilled, we step into the warm atrium filled with poinsettia of every color. I love to sit on a bench near the fountains for reflection. It’s so serene.

Blue Tree Botanic Gardens

There are so many places to take a holiday walk and escape the noise of the holidays. We have  Zoolights, Butterfly Pavilion, our neighborhoods, the Civic Center and many more. One of these years we will manage to see them all!

If you find yourself getting a bit overwhelmed this year, head outside, it’s good for the soul.