Well Yes! To A Stronger, Healthier, Happier Life

This shop, Well Yes! To A Stronger, Healthier, Happier Life, has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #WellYesMoment #CollectiveBias

Be inspired by this story of personal strength and determination while eating a delicious and nutritious cup of Well Yes!® Soup.

 

Well Yes! To A Stronger, Healthier, Happier Life

A Story of Challenge and Personal Determination.

 

There is something beautiful about a person who is confident, positive, and happy despite any struggles and challenges they may face. This type of person is an inspiration and encouragement to others with their strength and determination.

It is a mindset, one they live by day-by-day. One that starts with making good choices. Good choices such as eating deliciously crafted food, with real nutritious ingredients like Well Yes!® Soup. Good choices that inspire Moments of Yes!

 

Today, I’d like to share one such Moment of Yes!

My daughter, Rory, was born with a mitochondrial disorder — an energy metabolism disorder. What does that mean? Well, basically, she doesn’t always have the energy to make her body function properly. Because of this, she spent a lot of time in and out of the hospital while growing up, and that meant she missed a lot of schooling.

School Is A Challenge

The lowest point of her illness came when she was in the sixth grade as she spent six months in the hospital. She was at a children’s hospital, so that meant she could get some sort of schooling. But here is the rub, to qualify for schooling, your admission must last for two weeks, then your schooling may begin. Once discharged in the hospital’s computer system, even if immediately readmitted, your two-week waiting period begins all over again. Just think how crazy that is for chronically ill kids.

Well, during this six months in the hospital, they would try to get Rory home and discharge her. Sometimes we didn’t even leave the hospital room before being readmitted, others we’d get part way home before turning around, and a couple of times we made it home for a few hours before returning. That meant her schooling was constantly disrupted, and then you have to take into account the fact that she was gravely ill and not up to school as well.

Once Rory’s health stabilized somewhat, she qualified for medical home teaching through special education at the public school. They promised us that she would be able to achieve her high school diploma, after all, she had until she reached 21 years of age. It was important to me, but more importantly, the high school diploma was important to Rory. She is a smart girl; she could do the work and accomplish her goal.

Fighting To Make Dreams Come True

Of course, receiving only 2-hours of teaching 2-days a week, makes for slow progress, but that is all the California school district allows. As she turned seventeen, the school district suddenly changed their tune about Rory getting her diploma. They wanted her to take the test for her GED and move on her way. Her teacher was appalled, I was upset, and Rory was staunch in her decision that a GED was not acceptable to her. She was determined to earn her high school diploma!

With Rory leading the charge, we persevered. She earned her high school diploma! It was a fantastic and emotional day, a definite Moment of Yes!

Today, Rory attends a local college where she works hard and has attained membership in the Honors Society, Phi Theta Kappa. Can we say, “Proud Mama?” Well Yes!

Rory sips her favorite flavor, Tomato Carrot Bisque, from our vintage Campbell’s Soup mug.

 

Find Your Moment of Yes!

So, I encourage you to make your own Moments of Yes! Find the courage and the strength to make your dreams a reality. A great way to start is with a real, nutritious bowl of Well Yes! Soup.

Don’t forget to enter the #WellYesMoment Sweepstakes in the widget below for a chance to win up to a $500 Visa gift card! It’s as easy as clicking, logging in, and sharing your Moment of Yes story! If you win, think of all the ways you can use the prizing to achieve your Moment of Yes!

#WellYesMoment #Sweepstakes

#WellYesMoment #Sweepstakes (10/14 to 11/17)

CLICK HERE to ENTER the SWEEPSTAKES!

 

Well Yes! Soups are made with real, non-GMO ingredients with no antibiotics, contain no artificial flavors or colors, and is packaged with non-BPA linings. There are nine featured flavors. Some of our favorite flavors are Roasted Chicken with Wild Rice; Chicken Noodle; Tomato Carrot Bisque; Minestrone with Kale; and Sweet Potato Corn Chowder. YUM! These unique flavors challenge the status quo of canned soups.

So, say yes to the good stuff so you have what you need to say yes in the rest of your life. Well Yes! A Soup in the Right Direction®!

Want Savings? Click HERE for a printable COUPON!

Looking for another heartwarming story? Check out A Random Act of Kindness and see one woman’s amazing Moment of Yes! You just won’t believe what happened…

Do you have a Well Yes! Moment? I’d love to hear about it in the comments. Or you can share them on Facebook and Instagram and find additional inspiration too.

 

 

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A Random Act of Kindness

A random act of kindness gave my daughter a night she’ll never forget…

A Random Act of Kindness

A Dream Come True

 

I am sure you have all heard of the concept of a Random Act of Kindness, but have you ever experienced it first hand? Random acts of kindness are blessing for both giver and receiver. And today, I’d like to share a story of how one such Random Act of Kindness made the dream of Prom a reality.

The Act:

It was Rory’s senior year in high school, and we were extremely strapped for money. My ex, Rory’s dad, had stopped making the payments for my Suburban without telling me. I only found out when the man came to repossess the truck. Needless to say, it was a time riddled with stress and financial hardship. We did however manage to rescue our sole form of transportation, but it was a struggle to say the least.

Of course, as any high school girl, Rory had dreamed of going to Prom. Some how, I was going to make this work. I managed to scrimp and save to get everything taken care of, except for a dress. We were talking about making one for her, and had actually begun fabric shopping. Rory was looking for something in a medium teal green color, and wanted an asymmetrical style.

One weekend, her best friend, Lane, asked her to go dress shopping with her. Rory would have some fun trying on different dresses and pinpointing a style for us to make for her, while Lane would look for her Prom dress. As they tried on dresses in one store, another lady was there trying on a dress that she had custom ordered. The lady wasn’t as happy with the fit of the dress as she had hoped and wanted Rory to give it a try.

Rory tried on the dress, which fit almost perfectly, and was the exact color she was wanting for Prom. The custom-made dress was pre-paid and non-returnable. The lady told Rory she would sell it to her for fifty dollars. Rory told the lady that she didn’t have the money with her, but that she would call me and have me come down to the store. The lady just replied, “Don’t worry about the money. It’s gorgeous on you, and you should have it.”

The lady proceeded to tell the store clerk what she had decided to do, and signed a receipt for the clerk to notate the transaction. Rory thanked the lady, but the lady left the store before Rory could get any contact information. The sales clerk told Rory that the lady had paid close to $150 for the dress. In shock and flying high, Rory came home with a beautiful new dress free of charge. The lady probably has no idea of just how much that unselfish gift meant to Rory and to me.

 

The Outcome:

Now, the dress was the color Rory wanted, but it was a straight hemline, knee-length dress. So, my creative juices started flowing. What could I do to turn this free Prom dress into her absolute dream Prom dress? I wanted the dress to be wearable after Prom as a Graduation dress and more. It was back to the fabric store for me. I found a medium teal sparkly tulle that would be perfect.

I got to work and created a detachable bustle-train for the dress. It provided a beautiful sparkle and pop for Prom, and also transformed the straight hemline to an asymmetrical one–Rory’s dream.

 

 

Hair and make-up done, Rory looked like a princess…and felt like one too.

Dean thought Rory looked beautiful too.

As for Graduation… I gave Rory her first ‘shorter” hair cut ever, and she wore the dress a second time–no bustle-train, an entirely new look. She was thrilled.

This lady’s Random Act of Kindness warmed our hearts, and the hearts of all those we told. The selflessness of a perfect stranger made dreams come true… thank you.

 

Pay It Forward:

I challenge each and every one of you to be of a giving heart, and provide a Random Act of Kindness. These acts don’t need to cost money, they can be anything. Kindness is an act of the heart and a blessing to all. Make it a goal for this new year.

Have you ever been on the receiving end of a Random Act of Kindness?

Will you make giving Random Acts of Kindness a goal this year?

 

 

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A Lady of Influence

Yesterday was my Dad’s 85th birthday, and my Aunt’s 79th birthday. Yep, that’s right, Aunt Willie was born on my dad’s 6th birthday. He always joked that he wanted a puppy for his birthday and got a sister instead. The two of them, along with their other two brothers, were as close as siblings living in four different states could be.

They all grew up in the tiny farming town of Carthage, in northern central Mississippi. It is beautiful country, and the old farm house and barn structures are still standing and being used. Of course, it now has electricity and indoor plumbing! The fields and cow pastures are leased out to local farmers.

Life took the four siblings in different directions and scattered them to California, Georgia, Ohio, and Mississippi. Family reunions were always a barrel of laughs. It was fun to get together and play with all of our cousins, and life in Mississippi was so very different from California life. There were four of us girls that were all within three years of each other, and we would have a blast at Grandma’s house.

The doors all had skeleton key locks, and we would find really cool old things to play with. One of the things we had a lot of fun with was a porcelain doll with red painted fingernails and toenails. We called this doll Bloody Bones and would scare each other with the doll. The doll would be thrown into bedrooms or go sliding down the wooden floored hallway banging into walls while we screamed. Sometimes we would give her such a shove that she would end up in the living room with the adults, and we would have to go running in there screaming and laughing to retrieve Bloody Bones. We didn’t know until years later that Bloody Bones was actually one of our aunt’s most prized possessions as a child, and that she had painted her nails to make her fashionable.

Aunt Willie (her name was Willie Mae, her parents names squished together Willie and Lily Mae) was a hoot. She always had a big beautiful smile, a bubbly personality, and laughter on her lips. She was my favorite aunt. She worked as a flight attendant in her early years, where she met and married her husband, Uncle French. They settled in Ohio, where she went to work for the Quaker Oats company as an executive secretary until she retired.

After she retired at age 62, Aunt Willie decided to go to college. She graduated with a Master Degree 5 years later, Magna Cum Laude. She was an inspiration and an amazing woman.

Aunt Willie always made her nieces and nephews feel special and well-loved, even from clear across the country. You could always call and talk to her for how ever long you wanted. We had several hour long phone calls (maybe longer sometimes). She was there for us no matter what.

For the past 10-years, Aunt Willie has been struggling with pancreatic cancer. She always kept an upbeat and positive outlook. Yesterday, I called to wish her a happy 79th birthday. Her granddaughter answered the telephone. I had missed Aunt Willie by 45 minutes. This lovely, fun, and amazing woman had peacefully fallen asleep and gone to heaven. She will be missed by so many. Memories of Aunt Willie are and will be forever cherished.

~Lorelai

 

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Locks of Love

Locks of Love

A Hair Cut for a Cause

 

Got Hair?

How about donating some of it to Locks of Love?

My daughter, Rory, has a Mitochondrial Disorder that she has suffered from her entire life. When she was young (2-8 years old), she would periodically have to deal with Alopecia Areata, where she would have dime-size to silver-dollar-size areas with no hair. Her hair would just come out in clumps for no apparent reason. This made for a challenge in trying to hide these spots and keeping her hair looking nice.

When Rory was in 1st Grade, her school did an event for Locks of Love. What an amazing organization. They provide wigs for children with medical issues such as what Rory had, cancer, and more. My sister, niece, and I all cut our hair (a minimum of 10 inches) for donation. Rory could not do it but made it a personal goal to someday donate to Locks of Love.

I have no answer to why Rory no longer suffers from this affliction, but the girl has a head of hair now that you would not believe… long, thick, gorgeous, healthy! A couple of years ago, Rory’s hair was long enough and healthy enough to reach her goal.

Before~

Then, mom went to town chopping and hacking off Rory’s pony-tailed hair and trying to make a nice style for her. Here is the result…

After~

……..

One very happy girl!!!

But best of all, Rory finally got to make her contribution to this extremely worthy cause! If you would like to organize an event or just want to donate some hair, check out Locks of Love, here.

Update:

Since this post was originally written, Rory has again cut and donated her hair to Locks of Love. She got together with a friend to support this amazing project. Why not host your own cut-a-thon? It is easy to donate to Locks of Love.

 

 

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Funny Flub-ups! – The Caramel Sticky Buns Escapade

Meet Kirk, my son, who is now 20-years-old, 6 ft. 7 in. (and still growing), wears a size 17 shoe (Yikes, right?), and is heading into his senior year at college with a double major in Economics and Psychology, and a basketball scholarship. Now, this picture was taken about 2 1/2 years ago, and our story takes place about 3 years ahead of that…

My household erupted in hilarity one morning when Kirk decided to bake up some caramel sticky rolls. So sweet of him. Now granted, he was not baking them from scratch, but rather pulling the tube of buns out of the refrigerator that I had purchased from the grocery store the day before.

Kirk was unsure how to open the can of rolls (He was 15…and male…and we all know men don’t read instructions – they already know it all). So, instead of pulling the paper off the can and tapping it gently against the counter to make the tubing pop open, he took a pair of scissors and cut the metal ends off.

And get thisHe tried to push the (okay, I’m laughing so hard I can hardly write)…push the rolls out of the tube from one side to the other. HA! Of course, this did not work well. But eventually, the rolls were rescued, baked, and eaten–every scrumpdillyicious bite! We had a great family laugh to begin our long Labor Day weekend.

Being the ever-compassionate blogger that I am, I would not want you to experience such an embarrassing moment. So, here is a recipe for a homemade batch of Caramel Sticky Buns… (No tube required)!

Caramel Sticky Buns

5 from 1 reviews
Funny Flub-ups! - The Caramel Sticky Buns Escapade
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ooey-Gooey, warm, and delicious... Caramel Sticky Buns!
from:
Type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Baked Goods
Ingredients:
  • Dough:
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105° to 115°)
  • 1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 Tbsp. finely grated orange zest
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon. salt
  • 4 to 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • Topping:
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) coarsely chopped pecans
Directions:
  1. Make the dough. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine warm water, yeast and 1 tsp. sugar. Stir to dissolve and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add milk, butter, remaining sugar, egg yolks, orange zest, salt and 3 cups flour. Mix on low speed until blended. Switch to a dough hook and then, again on low speed, slowly incorporate the remaining 1 cup of flour. Increase speed to medium, kneading dough until smooth and slightly sticky (adding a little more flour if too wet), 3 to 5 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large, buttered bowl. Turn dough over in bowl to coat with the butter from the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour (or 2 hours if not in an entirely warm place). After the dough has risen, punch down. Turn out onto a lightly floured cutting board and let sit 20 minutes.
  3. Make the filling. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Melt butter; keep separate.
  4. Roll dough out into a 12" x 18" rectangle. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture. Starting with the long side, roll dough into a cylinder. Place seam side down on a flat surface and cut crosswise into 15 slices.
  5. Make the topping. In a 1-quart saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, honey and corn syrup over low heat; stir until sugar and butter are melted. Pour mixture into a greased 9" x 13" pan and sprinkle pecans on top.
  6. Place dough slices, flat side down, on top of prepared topping. Crowd them so they touch. Cover with plastic wrap, leaving room for the buns to rise, and refrigerate overnight.
  7. Remove the rolls from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature while the oven pre-heats. Preheat oven to 375°. Bake buns until golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove pan from oven and immediately (and carefully as not to spill hot topping on your toes!) invert onto a serving tray or baking dish. Let buns cool slightly and serve warm.
3.2.2885

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~Lorelai

 

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Eighteen Years Ago… Shooby Dooby Down To Ruby’s!

After a long, stressful pregnancy of bed-rest, multiple long-term hospitalizations, and constant contractions, I was finally told by my OB/GYN to go home and try to relax, and come back into the hospital early the next morning to induce labor. (What he did not tell me, was that the amniotic fluids were very low and the baby’s heart rate was running about 240 bpm).

My mother drove me to my appointment, and since this was one of my only outings, we stopped at Ruby’s Diner for lunch on the way home. We had eaten at Ruby’s the day before my son was born–it seemed like a good tradition.

I ordered the same lunch, an Aloha Burger (The delicious teriyaki glaze and a grilled pineapple ring will have you dancing the hula! Takes you straight to Maui!), Onion Rings, and a Chocolate Orange Malt (with extra malt). YUM! I’m hungry just thinking about it.

It was a tasty treat and a nice lunch with my mom before I had to return home to bed. Laying on your left side for months-on-end gets really old and really painful. Not to mention the boredom factor. I think I watched every episode of Murder She Wrote, Father Dowling, Saved By The Bell, and heaven forbid…the entire OJ Trial!!!

It was off to sleep early for me as I had to wake up at 4:30 am to go to the hospital the next morning… waiting anxiously for my little lovebug to come into this world…

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Embarrassing Moments of a Naïve Child Grown…

I live in the house in which I grew up. So, when we had the flood at Christmastime it forced me to empty my mother’s hutch in the dining room. My mother used every possible nook and cranny of that hutch for not only china, but also little bits of memorabilia—including some papers that we found shoved behind the drawers. We were in such a rush trying get things moved out of the area for repairs that we just placed everything into boxes and did not look at stuff too closely  (that project would come later).

Fast forward to months later as I was cleaning and refilling the hutch. I found a treasure that immediately made me blush, laugh so hard I had tears streaming down my face, and wonder just how on earth I survived and managed to raise a family—my Pre-Test For Sex Education!

I am sure my mother was watching from heaven and getting a good laugh herself. She knew she had saved that test for a good reason. Rory and Luke completely enjoyed my naïveté, and I decided it would share it with you.

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Believe me, I did finally figure it out! Obviously, I had a one-time spur of dyslexia and switched my answers for male and female…Oh, Lordy…

It just goes to show you how very different life was then. Children were allowed to be children. They did not have sex and violence stuffed down their throats at every turn of the TV dial (and yes, I do mean turn, we did not have a remote for the TV yet), flip of a magazine page, and graphic video gaming was not an option. Times were simpler and in some ways maybe better, but finding this treasure brought back a piece of that time, and we are all thankful for it.

Have you had something from your childhood crop up and make you laugh? Write a post and link it to this one, or tell me about it in a comment.

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Thank you WordPress Daily Prompt for helping me figure out what to blog about today!

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