Why Blog?

The day you started blogging. What were you thinking?

The day I started to blog approximately 10 years ago with my original blog “JavaQueen14” (should have kept that blog, not sure why I deleted it, I was in a funk at the time I deleted) I met some amazing people that I’m still very close with to this day.

What was I thinking?  I was thinking that I had a lot on my mind and a lot of negative thoughts and things that I was going through and I wanted to share them with others.  I did not realize that people would actually “like” my posts and comment and we would become lifetime friends!  What an amazing experience it has been.  To go through something and know you are not alone.

I shared the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I had major rants and rages and the people that I have come to know as my true friends embraced me and never judged me.  What a relief and a blessing.  I’m excited to say that I’m actually going to meet two of them in person in April and cannot wait!

Blogging is a way to get the thoughts in my head out and a way to journal my life and what’s going on.  I have learned quite a few lessons the hard way and to be able to share that with others and hopefully make an impact on their life.  To help guide them so they don’t make the same mistakes – what a true blessing.

Facebook is nice, to keep in touch with people from the past and to keep family and friends updated but it’s something completely different to blog, to have a voice and to be able to splurge it all out there.  In an honest, truthful way to share your thoughts, feelings, and what you are going through at any given moment.

It’s all about sharing and not in a measured “character count” sort of way- you can let it flow and make your post as long or as short as you please.  It’s your own little place on this web and my hope is that someday when I’m no longer around, my kids and husband will be able to see what I was thinking and doing – to be able to see how much I love and cherish them.  Mine is more of a journal.

I wish mine could be more witty and funny – but that’s not so much my personality.  I have a demented sense of humor and every once and a while I have a little “zinger” of a funny that I can share but otherwise it’s pretty serious.  I wish I were more like my husband because he’s downright hilarious.

That’s why I blog, why do you blog?


3-Ingredient Crock Pot Chicken Tacos

  • Big Jar Salsa
  • 2 packets of taco seasonings
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (frozen)

Place salsa in crock and stir in taco seasonings.  Top with frozen chicken breast and cook on low for approx. 6 hours.

When chicken is tender, pull apart with a fork and mix with the salsa mixture.  Let it continue to cook.

Place on a warm tortilla and top with your favorite ingredients.


I got this idea off of Pinterest and have made it at least 1/2 dozen times, it never disappoints and is extremely easy to prepare.  Do yourself a favor and make it tonight 🙂  You’ll thank me!

Growing Pains

Growing up didn’t come easily to me.  I wasn’t sure of myself and didn’t have much self-esteem in my teenage years to my mid 20’s.  I was extremely sensitive (and my sister’s mocked me for this, which only exasperated it).  Being sensitive was a bad thing?  Yes, it was in my family.  I finally learned to accept myself in my late 30’s – that’s a lot of growing pains if you ask me.

I had no self-worth.  I knew I was pretty but thought that was the only thing I had going for me.  In high school, I didn’t get good grades because I didn’t know how to apply myself.  I didn’t know and therefore I did not apply myself, whatsoever.  Junior year I discovered “skipping” school and hanging out with my then boyfriend.  I’m pretty sure I didn’t turn in a single homework assignment and flunked out of most of my classes.

It wasn’t until my senior year of high school, where I had to retake most of my failed junior classes over again where I really excelled.  For the first time in my academic career I actually applied myself and was on the Dean’s list.  I became an honor roll student for the first time in my life.  I was proud of myself but I had to work really hard for it, it didn’t come easily.  I slipped back into my old ways when all of my friends went off to college after graduation.  I was left behind working at a dry cleaners with my boyfriend.  My parents had moved out of state and I stayed behind with him under his control.  It was not a healthy relationship.

He had a new truck which meant driving me everywhere I needed to go, which was nowhere without him.  He even drove me to and from work.  It was like I breathed this man 24/7.  He was very jealous.  I didn’t have any girlfriends anymore because he would get jealous and just wanted it to be “me and him”.  I’m not going to lie, part of me was flattered that he was so protective of me, nobody had ever been that protective of me in my lifetime.  I looked at it as if he loved me.  That was what love was to me.  I resented him a bit because it didn’t stop him from having his little gang of friends but I had nobody but him.

We dated for 4 years.  I gave him my everything and tried to make it work.  We fell into a routine slump.  One I was just not happy with so one day I called my brother (my favorite) and he drove to get me and took me home.  Best thing I ever could have done.  Sadly I went from one bad relationship to another because that’s all I knew.  Having no self-esteem or self-worth is such a hard thing.  I felt worthless but nobody would be able to tell that on the outside, I hid it well.  I had a steady self-loathing thing going on toward myself that nobody knew about.

One day, my best friend since kindergarten and her boyfriend set me up on a blind date.  I went out with this sweet guy and was like, “NO WAY” – he was too nice.  Too nice?  Is there such a thing?  Yes, when you are use to be treated like crap, there is such a thing.  I liked him, but he made me nervous and I wondered what ulterior motives this “nice guy” had.  Funny thing, he didn’t have any ulterior motives, he was genuinely a nice guy and he didn’t take crap from anyone.  So, he was strong, sweet (on me), caring, understanding, and sexy as hell but I still resisted because I just was not use to being treated so well.  I finally gave in one day and let myself go with him.  We had such a great time and once connected we stayed that way and have been married 25 years now.  He is the best thing that has ever happened to me.  He has taught me how to love myself, accept myself, and most importantly how to just be myself and he loves me just the way I am.

I never had anyone encourage me before.  For example.  I became interested in building a family website after my brother gave me one of his old computers.  My husband went out and got me a new faster one and also bought me the programs I needed to build and maintain my own site.  He wasn’t jealous or threatened that I wanted to learn something new.  He encouraged me to call my mom to go for a visit or to call a friend when I was bored.  What?  This must be what a healthy relationship was – but someone had to hit me over the head with it because it just wouldn’t register.  When you tell yourself you are no good for so many years, it begins to stick.  He helped to “unstick” it with me.

My husband would buy a new car, and drive the old one and let me drive the new, always.  He put my son and I first and foremost above anything and I could call him any time of day with any problems we were having and he was always there for us.  I began to trust.  To trust in his love but it didn’t come easily or fast.  I was always wondering when he would leave me.  I was depressed.  I suffered from clinical depression and anxiety and didn’t even know it.  Add to that OCD and PTSD from a childhood trauma.

And as these “things”, these demons unraveled, he didn’t run- he didn’t even hide.  He stepped up to be the strong man that he is and held my hand through all the trials and tribulations.  It took YEARS to sort out.  It took years of psychiatrists and therapy to learn what he had been telling me all along.  That I was ok.  I was not the problem.  What happened to me was the problem and all that was wrong stemmed from this problem.

To this day I struggle from depression, anxiety, OCD, and PTSD but he’s always there for me, my rock.  All he has to do is say, “How are you doing?” and if I say, “Not too good” he knows exactly what I’m going through and is there to soothe away the pain.  What would I ever do without this man.  God made him just for me.  I swear.  I believe that so much I had it tattooed on my back.

If you are out there, young and have no self-esteem or self-worth please talk to someone.  It’s something that can be overcome.  With the right help it can be whipped.  These are just the wrong messages that you are sending to yourself.  OR- Messages that others are sending to you which can be so damaging.  You count, you matter, and have worth.  You may not feel like it now, but it’s true.  I’m not perfect and have my days but we’re all just human after all.  It’s especially hard if you have someone knocking you down day after day telling you that you are worthless and that you wont amount to anything.  I’m here to tell you that is NOT true.  You are unique, special, and one of a kind.  You just need to learn how to let your light shine.  I’m here to help if you need.  Just shoot me a message and I’d be glad to help you out.


I’d hate for anyone to have to waste as much precious time as I did learning that I’m an individual, not made up of anything that anyone told me about myself.  I am me.  100% authentic and one of a kind.  You are too, you just don’t know it yet.



Meaning of my blog name

31 Day Blog Challenge:  Day 3 ~ Meaning of my blog name.

At first my blog name was Annebella Says ~ Annebella is a nickname I acquired as a Junior in High School from my Sociology Teacher.  I’ve been called Annebella ever since.

I was able to convince my best friend to blog with me, her name is Kate and that’s our new blog name “Annebella & Kate” and it’s been fun ever since.



Hearty Conversations

Great blog thought prompter! I love this site, very positive and upbeat. Give it a try- answer her question and psbly make a new friend 🙂

Stay Strong, Daily Warrior!

The Daily Warriors Community (consisting of the wonderful bloggers who follow this blog) is growing day by day.

We come from all walks of life. We deal with things differently, yet we can be so similar in certain ways.

I’d like to get to know you more and for you all to interact with each other too. Hence, I decided to have a special category entitled Hearty Conversations.

It’s really simple. I post a question, and you can answer through a comment. You can also leave a link of your blog post related to the question. I encourage you to comment on others’ answers if you feel like it, and possibly gain a new blogger friend. How awesome would that be? 

“The best conversations are the ones where you don’t have to worry about what you say, you can just be you.”

Let’s talk. 🙂


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How To: “Raised Garden Beds” I Dunno. But Here Ya Go!

A how-to post on something I know nothing about!


I thought this was a sweet idea – a post on “How To” but something that I know nothing about.  I researched how to make a raised garden bed for ya and will share the deets below:

I have copied this from Rodales Organic Life here.

5 Raised Bed Designs You Can Make In An Afternoon

Growing vegetables is much easier in loose soil, but building your own elevated plot doesn’t have to be difficult.



Raised garden beds boost vegetables above potentially waterlogged grounds. Not every gardener deals with a high water table, but there are other good reasons to plant in raised beds:

They are easier to keep free of encroaching grass than ground-level beds.
Elevated soil warms earlier in spring and drains more quickly after a rain.
Soil doesn’t become compacted because you don’t step on the growing area.
Raised beds offer easier access for planting, thinning, weeding, and harvest.

The following five raised beds are built from a variety of materials, described below. Each of these beds measures about 4 feet by 8 feet; you can adjust the dimensions to suit your needs, keeping in mind that anything wider than 4 feet will be more difficult to maintain. Try filling beds with a rich mixture of about two parts soil and one part compost.



Hammer 2-foot lengths of rebar into the ground around the perimeter of the bed, spacing them about 16 inches apart and leaving 10 inches of the rebar exposed above ground. Cut long, straight lengths of tree or shrub branches, up to a 1/2 inch in diameter. Weave the sticks or “wattle” through the vertical rebar, basket style; trim the ends at the bed corners as needed. Once the bed sides have reached the top of the rebar, bend 2-foot sticks in half and poke them into the ground over the woven wattle, holding the sticks in place. Pin the sides in this manner every few feet. Line the sides of the bed with burlap to keep soil from sifting through the wattle.

To build a 4-foot by 8-foot bed, you’ll need 18 pieces of rebar, each 24 inches long; a strip of burlap about 18 inches wide and 24 feet long; and about 100 long, flexible sticks.



Choose straight logs about a foot in diameter to create the bed edges. Logs of smaller diameter can be stacked, as pictured here. To avoid having to move massive logs, line up shorter firewood-length sections.

To build a 4-foot by 8-foot bed, you’ll need two 7-foot logs for the sides and two 4-foot logs for the ends.


Concrete Blocks

Place concrete blocks with open ends facing up to outline the raised bed. The openings can be filled with soil and used as planting pockets for small herbs or edible flowers.

To build a 4-foot by 8-foot bed, you’ll need 16 blocks, each measuring 8-by-8-by-16 inches.


Planks + Rebar

This bed can be constructed of leftover lumber of almost any dimension, so long as the wood is untreated. Hold the planks on edge with short lengths of rebar pounded into the ground every 2 or 3 feet.

To build a 4-foot by 8-foot bed, you’ll need two 2-by-12 planks 8 feet long, two 2-by-12 planks 4 feet long, and 12 pieces of rebar, each 24 inches long.

Learn More: Check out our step-by-step guide to building a raised bed from lumber planks.



Using the long, slender bags of sand that are sold as traction sand, outline a bed. Stack the bags two high all the way around the bed.

To build a 4-foot by 8-foot bed, you’ll need 20 sandbags.


I’ve always wanted a garden but do not have the room in my backyard.  I think this would be awesome to make and found the article extremely helpful.  I hope it gives you the help and guidance you need if you are interested in making your own raised garden bed this spring.  Just think of all the yummy recipes you can make with your own fresh veggies!  Enjoy!


20 Facts About Me

31 Day Blog Challenge:  Day 2 ~ 20 Facts About Me

  1. I am a 47 year old night shift worker with blonde hair and blue eyes
  2. I am super lazy
  3. I love to eat pickles, by the jar
  4. I suffer from depression, anxiety, OCD, and PTSD ~ I am a work in progress but have come such a long way from where I was even just 5 years ago.
  5. I hate to exercise
  6. I love trees and birds
  7. I love to draw
  8. I love to watch reality t.v. – I have a bunch of crappy favorites
  9. I am addicted to fb
  10. I love my husband more than anyone or anything on this planet
  11. I adore my 3 kids, my DIL, and my granddaughter
  12. I love my two dachshunds; one long haired and one short haired- don’t know what I’d do without them
  13. I love to write
  14. I admit, I love new cars- must be GMC or Chevrolet
  15. I usually am wearing t-shirt and jeans
  16. I love my Birthdays
  17. I love to give presents to people or help those out in need, it makes me feel like I’m on top of the world
  18. I love blogging, it’s such an awesome outlet
  19. I have a demented sense of humor – very crude and off color
  20. I love my mom, she’s my best friend

Here’s the challenge I’m doing this month, please feel free to join in if you like:




Quotes & Poetry

Make a list of your favorite quotes. Famous, inspirational, motivational or whatever kind of quotes you like.

When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.~Franklin D. Roosevelt

You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.~Indira Gandhi

Do not mind anything that anyone tells you about anyone else. Judge everyone and everything for yourself.~Henry James

There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.~Jane Austen

All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.~Edgar Allan Poe

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love.~Francis of Assisi

The only journey is the one within. ~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment. ~Will Rogers

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. ~Aesop

Work like you don’t need the money. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody’s watching.  ~Satchel Paig

If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.~Napoleon Hill

Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.~Walt Whitman

Happiness can exist only in acceptance.~George Orwell

There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.~Aldous Huxley

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.~Thomas Jefferson

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.~Lao Tzu

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. ~ Jesus Christ

Not all those who wander are lost. ~J. R. R. Tolkien

Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.~Benjamin Franklin


Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. ~Marcus Aurelius

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.~John C. Maxwell
Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.~Marcel Proust
Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.~Plato
If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.~John Quincy Adams
When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves. ~Viktor E. Frankl
Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier. ~Mother Teresa
It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see. ~Henry David Thoreau
We know what we are, but know not what we may be. ~ William Shakespear
A single rose can be my garden… a single friend, my world.~Leo Buscaglia

Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced. ~Soren Kierkegaard

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself. ~George Bernard Shaw

The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. ~Socrates

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it. ~Confucius

For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul. ~ Judy Garland

The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails. ~William Arthur Ward

Change your thoughts and you change your world.~Norman Vincent Peale

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.~Robert Frost

Love isn’t something you find. Love is something that finds you.~Loretta Young

Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.~Albert Camus

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.~Winston Churchill

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.~Aristotle

Where there is love there is life.~Mahatma Gandhi

One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.  ~Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.  ~Buddha

Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain. ~Joseph Campbell

Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. ~Oscar Wilde

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart. ~Helen Keller