Alisa Murray’s Living the Sweet Life | January 2017| Hello again January! You my friend are in the HOT seat!

Living the Sweet Life January 2017

Hello Again January! You my friend, are in the HOT seat!
Well my darlings! It’s finally here! Another New Year and I don’t think I could be more happier than I am right now. Last year was filled with so many things…very few good and lots of very very bad. Thus leaving me anticipating 2017 for quite some time. Why is it that January always puts us into that frame of mind? For sure…there’s the changing of the actual year which encourages CHANGE. With anything new, especially a whole year before us we always seem to want to challenge ourselves which then leads us to those pesky resolutions we try to bother with. I though have decided that January marks a new beginning. I’ll not be making lots of crazy goals that I will then have to lament come mid year about having not accomplished… nope.. not this ole’ Auntie A! This year I am going to BREATHE!
I am going to spend less time doing and lot’s of time thinking. I am going to enjoy each day as if it were my very last. I am not going to one thing about my weight or pressure myself to exercise. And…if that notion, a far off notion that it surely is; were to strike then I guess yes I reckon I might have to STRETCH!
I am going to write and take note of all around me. I am going to make the decision to be unavailable for 30 whole days in a row! God only knows what mischief I will get into! I am going to access every room in my house and remove everything that no longer suits me. As my “stuff” piles high, I will scoot it closer to the door and then I will KICK it out! I promise.
After all I will be turning 47 next month and there’s my first book coming out too. It’s time to be in my moments and enjoying each one of them. Children are growing and soon they will be GONE!
So January…I think I may have accidentally done what I had hoped I wouldn’t do to you! Yes, I ahem…I just made some crazy goals and yes I will be frazzled come June if they are not either finished or well on that way. It’s called LIVING! Those that move forward have to in order to ACCOMPLISH! I am truly sorry dear January.. You are definitely in the HOT seat!

Hope each of Ya’ll have a Wonderful January!
Take Care of YOU!

Alisa Murray aka. Auntie A’s Top Ten things to do in November

The “LIST”
Top 10 things to do in November!
with “Auntie A”
Each day this month write something you are grateful for in a memo on your iphone. When doing your daily meditations refer to this growing list.
Download the app “Buddhify” and watch yourself transform into a meditating and calm guru during this busy holiday season!
Go to the farmers market and gather the best blueberries and go to your garden and grab some thyme and below you’ll see my recipe for my homemade preserves. I would go back through my “gift list” and make up a bunch of these so gifts are all done!
Walk through the trees and take pictures of the sun as it develops beautiful shadows at sunset or sunrise. Download that to your desktop and be mindful of how blessed you are to be ALIVE!
On my nightside table….”The Golden Condom” by Jeanne Safer, PHD and “Anatomy of a Soldier” by Harry Parker.
Instead of buying the little wax thing’s to make your house smell good add to your burners a spoonful of coconut oil and allspice and nutmeg or cinnamon.
Power wash your driveway and deck so in the most probable case scenario of us having a “warm” Thanksgiving you’re outdoor spaces will be beautiful gathering places for your family and friends.
Drop off boxes of cereal to “Lunches of Love” Did you know that one box of cereal will feed a hungry child from Friday our of school till Monday returning back? With the seasonal school breaks coming up we need to stock up on cereal to be ready for both Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks for the children.
9. Find out through your church who has a needy family and sponsor them for their food, toys and decorations.
10. Be sure to have a basket at the front door of your home for cell phones. During the meal ask that no-one check in or be online so as to be PRESENT and MINDFUL of the live time of Thanksgiving this year.

Alisa Murray | Award winning columnist and photographer | Living the Sweet Life | Top 5 Essential oils for you to plant in your garden this fall | November 2016

The  Top 5 Ethereal Oils you should plant in your garden this fall!
I just planted the fall garden and it got me to thinking about just how much I use my garden in both cooking but in practical things around the house. It’s pretty easy even with our crazy hot weather to keep rosemary, basil, lemons,mint and rose year long. There’s countless uses for herbs but I wanted to share a few with you for the autumn months coming ahead!
1. Lavender
Aside form just smelling so wonderful lavender is good for de-stressing yourself or a space in your home. In the oil form in a warm and toasty bath you’ll be guaranteed a better nights sleep. It’s also an excellent way to treat sunburns, and clean pimples and cuts. I like to take a spray bottle of water and add oil to is and then spritz your bed linens in between changes.
2. Rosemary
Again in my garden… and a real favorite with my family when cut directly and placed in 2 gallons of water to just sip on throughout the day. Of course I am using it for so much in my cooking but it also is interestingly effective as a way to concentrate. Burn some in your homeschool space and watch your children’s focus become more directed. Another great way to use is in your bath with epsom salts…this little wonder is great for aching muscles after a day of doing what we do!
3. Lemons
I am partial to lemons because I usually drink my water everyday with a fresh one! Lemons “fix” dry scratchy throats…boost our immune systems and are great for getting a bathroom or a garbage disposal clean and fresh.
4. Mint
Again folks…in my garden! The oils from mint are perfect for making your mojitos most fabulous and their benefits to the stomach and digestion needs to make them a favorite natural go to in your home pharmacy. Feeling nauseated? It helps to boil the leaves and let the air become diffused with it’s aroma.
5. Rose
I love that this oil has the ability to really heal, enlightened and protect. Add a little oil in a warmer and it can help calm the fears of mothers giving birth and also the elderly as they are dying. It can be used to alleviate cramps and as a warm bath a few drops is even safe to bathe a baby! It leaves the skin feeling soft and the mind calmed.

Hopefully you can carve out a spot in your yard and if not my sister has had great success with those indoor aero-gardens where you can grow a few herbs that will become very handy when the time arises to tend to a scratchy throat, draw a soothing bath or make a homemade loaf of bread with some of that rosemary just outside your door!


Alisa Murray’s Top Ten Things to Do in October | #alisamurray

Top 10 things to do in October!
with “Auntie A”

Well folks, it’s time to get the fall planting done and fresh herbs planted for the upcoming months. Head over to the garden shop and purchase new tomato plants, dill, basil,thyme,sage and cucumbers. While you’re there I also want…
You to purchase a few trees and plant those in your yard too…it’s a good time with things cooling off and prices are at the best of the year right now
In your kitchen…start a “starter” and soon you’ll be ready to bake breads for your neighbors and friends for holiday harvest giving. (see how to below)
Decorate your doorstep with fall foliage and pumpkins and your hearth and staircase with seasonal lighting and garlands…add a few glittery pumpkins for some extra pizzazz!
Make a Monogram Wreath by taking a letter purchased for your local hobby store and gluing foliage to the frame.
Make Wrapped Poached Pears…they are so impressive when hosting an afternoon tea with friends. Go to for the recipe
Of course, read at least two good books, on my nightside table now…”Blowback” by Brad Thor and “The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo” by Amy Schumer
Gather beautiful fresh flowers in the colors of fall and adorn your dinner table with an arrangement. Add Eucalyptus and berries for a real yummy showpiece for your family to enjoy.
Go get a mammogram and donate blood and get a flu shot! Lots to do but all must be done! 🙂
Go by the homeless shelter and drop off the baskets you’ve been collecting of give away items in your home from fall cleaning. Ask the children to sign up to feed the homeless one day a month from now till end of the year.

Alisa Murray’s Top Ten Things to do in September| #alisamurray


Top 10 things to do in September! with “Auntie A”

  1. Create a wish bowl for each family member to add to and take from and begin instilling in your children a giving and being thankful mentality. We keep ours in the kitchen and oftentimes I ask the children to place in the bowl items they want for christmas and things they would like to do.
  2. Keep working on your holiday shopping list so that you can be finished early and not rushed as the holidays approach.
  3. Pick a room in your home and give it a makeover… freshly paint it and wash all the curtains and pillows.. fall cleaning goes faster when you do one room with focus at a time.

  4. Keep looking at Christmas Vacation getaways and call your agent to get the best deals and get booked!
  5. Schedule a makeup lesson with your make up artist and learn about all the latest techniques in eye makeup so you are all set for the upcoming holiday parties.
  6. Have the children go through their toys and books and make a box of stuff to give away.
  7. Have all the carpets steam cleaned in your house
  8. Read at least two good books, on my nightside table now… “Grief is the thing with feather”

    by Max Porter and “Beautiful Bombshell” by Christina Lawson

  9. Pick an hour in your week and dedicate it to writing. Sit and sip tea and let your thoughts

    flow onto the page. Write about your children, how you feel about the world right now.. let

    your mind wander and write down where it leads you…

  10. Pick an elderly person in your church or go to the nursing home and bring them some

    flowers. Try to set up a monthly “date” to visit and get to know them.