Fun Friday: St. George Island Florida

On Wednesday, so I guess that would make this a Wellness Wednesday post, lol, we visited St. George Island for the second time. We had family visiting from out of state that we have not been able to see since Covid began. I love St. George Island, and as much as I adore St. Augustine, St. George might be my new favorite.

It was extremely windy, a little chilly, and the surf was rough. We did not swim, but kind of got our ankles and knees wet. It was a great day to walk the beach, sit on the beach, and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Gulf of Mexico. There were maybe 10 people on the beach, and it is a huge beach. It is actually a state park, so it was only 6 dollars for the whole car to enter the park. I told my husband we really need to visit this park more often, like once a month.

Enjoy my beautiful picks and I will write again, Monday. Have an awesome weekend! We are in for some nasty weather again, tomorrow. Please respect the property of my images.


does yardwork count as exercise?

Hello, and welcome back to another Sweating on Sunday topic. I finally am back to regular workout routines after a shoulder injury sidelined any upper body work, and then I was sick with what seemed like Covid, but I tested negative 3 times. I do still have a lingering cough and actually think it was Covid as I was directly exposed by a coworker. Anyhow, I had to quarantine and no one else was exposed by me. My husband and daughter also got sick, and also tested negative. If you are vaccinated you can get a breakthrough infection though it will be milder and you may not get enough of a viral load to test positive, and supposedly you can not spread it. This post may contain affiliate links.

This time of year, in Florida, I could literally do yardwork every single day for at least an hour. Between the garden, mowing, weed whacking, and all the trimming that constantly needs doing, my daily workout could be yardwork. Or, could it? Is yardwork exercise, or just being active? I know for me it is definitely exercise. My heart rate goes up, I get plenty hot and sweaty, and I burn calories according to my fitness watch. Now, for me I like to stay in the light to moderate intensity. range of exercise due to my Kidney Disease. I try to never hit the high or maximum heart rate zones. To find your maximum heart rate zone for exercise subtract your age from 220. I will be 52 in a couple of weeks so that makes my maximum heart rate 168. If you would like to read more about heart rate zones, click here.

Not only does your heart rate increase, but you also will be working various muscles while doing yardwork. Check out this Pinterest image to see which garden tools work which muscles. Or, this one to see the muscles used when mowing grass with a push mower. As you can see different tools work different muscles. It is best if you can do yardwork for at least 60 minutes. That is super easy for me. We have almost an acre of land, and half of it I use a push mower to mow. The other half my husband does with a riding mower which of course is not exercise at all.

The two short videos below explain it even better. The first video is from a homesteading gentleman who shows how he stays in shape working the homestead and using the various tools mentioned. The second video the gentleman actually shows his stats from his fitness watch after he mows his 3/4 of an acre yard, and figures out whether it was exercise or just activity. Be sure and watch it.

You may not need that expensive gym membership, after all. But, you may need to supplement if you only do yardwork once or twice a week. Health Buddy Melissa has not tested or used any of the products mentioned in the second video.

Make sure you rest if you need to and then start back up, drink plenty of water, and then cool off and relax when you are all done.


Join my Mailchimp mailing list to receive Healthy Buddy Melissa special content, and deals.

Success! You're on the list.

self care saturday: Massage

Hello, and Happy Saturday! I am still waiting on my Covid test results so I can come out of quarantine. If you are not on my Mailchimp mailing list, join below, then you don’t know that I was exposed to Covid at work. Even though I am vaccinated, and was wearing my mask, I did get symptoms 6 days after direct exposure. So, I have been tested 3 times now, twice with the rapid test, and yesterday with the PCR test. If this does turn out to be a breakthrough infection than it is very important for the health department to know about it. I was fully vaccinated as of March 10th. That is the two weeks post second dose. That is only four months ago, and my immunity should not have started to drop off already. I was actually quite ill for about 36 hours. So, now I wait. I really hate waiting and being in quarantine isn’t a whole lot of fun either. This post may contain affiliate links.

I try to leave Saturday for Self Care topics. However, we should try to do Self Care at the very least a few times a week, if not daily. If you can only squeeze it in one day a week then it is definitely better than nothing. This week I am talking about Massage for Self Care.

Massage has many Health benefits. Here are some.

  1. Massage can teat some disorders such as: back pain, muscle pain, joint pain, stress, anxiety, High Blood Pressure, and Insomnia.
  2. Massage can help support chronic diseases like CKD, Diabetes, and Cancer. Support in this context means it can help to alleviate symptoms. It does not mean cure.
  3. Massage can promote deep relaxation and calm.
  4. Reduce muscle tension and increase circulation.
  5. Reduce stress hormones and stimulate the Lymphatic System.
  6. Increase joint flexibility and mobility
  7. Help the recovery process for soft tissue injuries
  8. Increase mental alertness

Massage can be lengthy or short. There are many different types of massage. Some people may not like to to be touched in a massage kind of way by others, so self massage can be learnt. It is quite simple. And further if someone is really unsure about self massage something like Reiki, where the hands do not actually need to touch the body can be tried.

Whether you choose to hire someone to give you a massage, use Reiki, or self massage it is important to remember to set the mood. Be in a calm, quiet place. Decide what time of day is best for you to get your massage. I think most people find a massage at the end of their day would be very relaxing and promote good sleep. However, if you are looking to gain more energy than a massage at the start of your day may be best. Even after a hard exercise session a massage would be perfect. I prefer self massage, or Reiki, when I am outside in nature. The sounds of the birds, feel of the warm sun, make me feel calm and relaxed. If I were to choose to do it inside I would prefer a dim room with lovely candles and soft music. If candles bother you, you can always use an essential oil diffuser to add lovely scents, or they can be added to the oil of your choice. Lavender is very common as a stress relieving essential oil. Make sure people in your home know you are having Me Time and you should not be bothered for a bit. Turn off your phone, or put it away so as not to distract you. Maybe you just want to do a quick massage before jumping in the shower. That too is OK, but try to have a time for just you where you can really enjoy the massage and the self care it promotes.

Some special considerations for massage:

If you are pregnant, have skin rashes or infections, there is a possibility of broken bones, or there is a life threatening illness, in these cases a doctor’s clearance to receive a massage, or Reiki therapy would be prudent. Massage for children is probably going to be controversial. I would say at the very least parental consent would be needed and possibly present for the entirety of the massage, or Reiki session.

The video below is the only complete body self massage video I could find. Here are some Ayurvedic Oils you may wish to try in your next massage. Please note I have not personally tried these oils. I am not saying Ayurveda is any better than any other kind of massage therapies.


Join my Mailchimp mailing list to receive my weekly newsletter with all kinds of good stuff.

Success! You're on the list.

20 minute Distance reiki sessions for stress management, relaxation, healing energy

I am finally getting to updating my Wellness Plans. As I had mentioned in May I am focusing more on the Wellness part of my Health Coaching certificate, rather than one on one coaching sessions. This is more targeted, and I think more helpful since the market is already flooded with Health Coaching. Please read all the way through, and ask questions if needed. You can purchase by using the Paypal button, but be aware that this is not an instant access type plan. I do work outside the home, and have other commitments. Please allow 24 hours from time of purchase for me to respond to you. My Paypal is 20 years old, and is in my husband’s name, but he has no access to it, nor does he even know how to use Paypal.

What is Reiki? Reiki is a energy healing therapy. I do not advertise it as a cure to anything. To heal something can mean many things to many people. For the purpose of my Reiki sessions, to heal will be defined as to bring into balance. Reiki can be used for many things but stress management, and relaxation are probably the most popular. It can also be used to manage pain. When the body is out of balance different manifestations of illness can occur. I am a level 2 Reiki Practitioner. Any paying customer will have access to see my certificate. Distance Reiki can be performed anywhere and any time that the practitioner sets aside. You do not even have to do anything for the Reiki session. You can be lying down, sitting, or even at work. Some people may have some knowledge of Reiki already, and for the purposes of my Reiki practice, I call on my Christian God to provide me with healing energy that I transfer to you through hand positions. Please be aware of this before you purchase a Reiki session from me. During the session I move my hands into Reiki positions while I concentrate on your energy to bring you back into balance. That is the easiest way for me to explain it. Sessions are 20 minutes in length, but they can be shorter or longer. You can always email me with questions, before purchasing, by using the contact form at the end of the post.

If you decide to purchase a Distance Reiki session from me, the next steps will be as follows:

  1. Within 24 hours of Paypal notifying me that a purchase has been made I will contact you via the Paypal email provided on the receipt. This email will be a welcome email and will request that you set up a meet and greet via email, Zoom, or Facebook Messenger. In that meet and greet we will discuss your intentions for your session, and you will get to know me a little better. I do need to see what you look like, either via Zoom or a picture, for Distance Reiki to work. I will ask some basic, private questions, about any medical issues you may have, and you will need to sign a form allowing me to perform Distance Reiki on you. Then you can make an appointment for your session, or you can decide it isn’t for you and your money will be refunded.
  2. Once I have completed your Reiki session I will send you a follow up email. You may not even notice anything, especially the first time, or you may have experienced something intense. We will discuss this. You can then decide to purchase more sessions, or to end our relationship for Distance Reiki.
  3. Please note Distance Reiki can be performed on any consenting adult over age 18. If a parent wants to give consent for a child that will be noted on the agreement. Distance Reiki can also be performed on pets like at 4th of July for pets scared of fireworks. I will need to see a picture of the pet. You must be able to read, write, and or speak English. I do not know any other languages at this time.
  4. All of my files are kept for 2 years and then destroyed.


If you would like to sign up for my mailing list, via Mailchimp, you will receive my weekly newsletter, plus a free smoothie recipe and my new 15 minute mile treadmill walk routine. This is brand new and should be going out to all subscribers today.

Success! You're on the list.

My 3 favorite mindfulness techniques that may help lower blood pressure

Happy Monday! I hope everyone had an awesome weekend. I was able to work, technically light duty because I was not allowed to lift or pull, but I was grateful to work. I think sometimes we take for granted the importance of work and how it plays into our mindset. That doesn’t mean I think people should work themselves to death, just that it does have purpose other than to make money. This post may contain affiliate links.

This whole month I have been discussing Blood Pressure Awareness. You can see all of the posts in the series in the archives. As you may know, if you read here a lot, I have completed my Mindfulness Certificate course. I think people interpret Mindfulness in different ways and that is fine. Mindfulness is being in the present, being aware of your surroundings and how you feel about your surroundings. It is not an escape, or ignoring of what is going on around you. It is a way to become stronger, and more resilient in dealing with negative experiences and the way you react to them. It can help you relieve Stress and relax.

There was a study done that shows that Mindfulness may be able to help lower blood pressure or avoid it. Remember, that Stress is a huge driver of blood pressure. So, it would make sense that learning Mindfulness, may help lower or even prevent High Blood Pressure. As I always say, please do not ever stop taking medication on the advice of someone online. Talk to your doctor that you would like to try Mindfulness to see if it can help you. Hopefully your doctor will say, awesome and lets monitor you while you do it to see if it helps or not.

There are many different Mindfulness techniques. A lot of people use Meditation. But, to me Meditation is more about removing yourself from your thoughts and feelings, not exploring or noticing them. Don’t get me wrong Meditation super awesome and I love it, but just not really Mindful to me. A lot of people like controlled breathing patterns. This is also an awesome technique and is particularly helpful when the moment can not be escaped or left for a few minutes. Such as excusing yourself to take a few minutes to reflect and gather your thoughts. Counting to 5 before you speak so you can think of a good response instead of a hasty one is another great technique. You can read the article here.

So, what are my 3 favorite techniques for minding my emotions and being in the present moment?

  1. Mindful Meditation. To me Mindful Meditation is a type of self reflection of my day or how I reacted to certain circumstances. Since I tend to Ruminate, or go over things again and again, especially when it is time for sleep, Mindful Meditation helps me to finalize all my thoughts on the day so I can fall asleep. There are obviously several ways that you can do this. My favorite way is to hook up my Bluetooth headphones and play the video below on low, while wearing this eye warming mask. My son gave me money for Mother’s Day and I bought one. It isn’t that exact brand but pretty much the same. The mask stays warm for exactly 20 minutes, and during that 20 minutes I reflect on the events of the day, noticing how I reacted to those events. If I think I could have had a better reaction I make a note of that in my mind so hopefully the next time I will remember to notice how I am feeling and better control the situation. I find this technique not only helpful for me to fall asleep faster but to learn more about myself and the ways that I respond to situations. If you don’t like the idea of the eye mask, using a journal to reflect on your day is another option. Not only do I fall asleep faster, but the warming mask also helps my dry eyes. You can read about my dry eye saga, here.
  2. Body Scans. Body scanning is a very easy technique to learn. You can do it in a restroom, or just sitting quietly and no one will even know you are doing it. I use Self Reiki for my body scan. I can’t really do it in public, because people will definitely notice. But, I could do it in a restroom or quiet office space. This is especially helpful if you are noticing that you are having a negative response to a situation, or feeling stressed. You are in the present moment and noticing how you are feeling. You may not like the feeling, body scanning may help to reduced that stressor and eliminate it.
  3. Mindful Exercise. This will be different for everyone. Whatever type of exercise and music format will allow you to reflect on your emotions related to situations is what you are looking for. For me, and I have talked about this probably 100 times, walking in nature is my thing. Even if I am on the treadmill I tend to put on nature sounds while I walk. It allows my mind to wander and concentrate on situations, reactions and how I can reduce that stressor thereby possibly reducing blood pressure. Yoga, Pilates, Kickboxing perhaps, or jumping around to Hard Rock may be more your thing. Whatever allows you to be present in a moment, evaluate it, feel it, and then change it if need be. Mindfulness is not always about changing how you behave in a situation. Through your reflection you may find that you behaved just fine and you are OK with it. So, store it and let it be.

No matter which Mindfulness topic you may want to try, it is important to use your senses to notice your surroundings. Touch, Smell, Sight, Sound, and Taste are the 5 senses. Try to notice them in your everyday life it will help you to become more mindfully aware.


Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

If you would like to learn more about Mindfulness and how it can help you in your every day life, please use the contact form at the end of this post to message me with your questions. If you are interested in a Distance Reiki session, a 20 minute session is 50 dollars. Use the contact form to message me for details.

Join my mailing list and get a free smoothie recipe right away. Plus, my weekly newsletter where I share content I don’t share here, plus savings and deals.

Success! You're on the list.

National picnic day! What a great way to relieve some stress~

I have been discussing the topic of Stress all month. It just so happens that today is National Picnic Day! Forgive the graphic it says international, but why couldn’t it be international. The weather here in Florida has been amazing! It is cool at night and warm in the day. We actually had a Winter of sorts, and a Spring. That does not usually happen here. If you read here a lot, then you may remember that I homeschool my kids. Well, only one left and she only has one more year. When they were little picnics were one of their favorite things to do. Of course they didn’t need fancy food or wine. Some bologna cut in fun shapes, crackers, and a juice box was all they needed. Add sunshine, possible swimming, kites, squirt guns, dirt, whatever and they were happy. Did you know picnic literally means a meal eaten outdoors? Anything could be a picnic. I could totally see me sitting on the beach with some wine, cheese, and grapes and having an adult picnic. Ooh that sounds nice with some good friends. So, get outside, have a picnic, and relieve some Stress! Below are two videos for your picnic enjoyment.


Join my mailing list to receive a free smoothie recipe, content not shared on this blog, and my awesome weekly newsletter!

Success! You're on the list.

Social saturday: Share something interesting!

Happy Saturday! It is raining here so I can’t do any of my outside stuff. But, that means I have plenty of time to work on inside stuff. Watch for my new and updated, It’s A New Day 30 day coaching plan. It should be posted later today. I hope to get some Valentine’s Day crafts done too. Next week’s menu plan is completed and you can get it by signing up for Meals With Melissa.

Today, if you want to share something interesting from a blog, or something you sell, you can do so in the comments. I will share all appropriate links to one of my social media sites. Appropriate means an item, or article that is not being sent to a spam site, or other malicious sites. I check and verify all links before sharing them. It would be nice if others shared my post too, but it is not required.

Today, I am sharing about the bird the White Ibis. Every year, towards springtime, and when we are going to get a lot of rain, flocks of these birds visit my yard, and the neighborhood. They roost in the trees and eat aquatic invertebrates. They make cute noises, too. Check out this page to learn more about this interesting bird. When I walk at one of my nature parks I will see the White Ibis roosting in the trees and searching for food in very large flocks. The all white ones are adults and the brown and white are juveniles. I love birds and nature. Taking pictures of them brings me lots of joy. See my pictures below.

Sign up for my newsletter and get my smoothie popsicle recipe, and never miss a thing!

Success! You're on the list.

crafting with melissa

Happy Thursday! Did you see my new paid subscription yesterday, Meals with Melissa? If not you can read about Meals with Melissa, here. My meal plan for next week is complete, plus Valentine’s Day and the Super Bowl are in February. If you would like to see what I will be making, get the meal plan, and recipes, plus how I adapt them for my CKD stage 3, be sure and sign up for Meals with Melissa.

Today, I am introducing Crafting With Melissa. This is also a 30 day subscription plan, that you can renew, or not, at the end of the subscription. Crafting and having Hobbies is a great way to relieve stress and possibly even earn a little side money. At the very least you can make wonderful gifts and home decor. I personally painting, crocheting, glass etching, gardening, jewelry making and lots of others too. Read on to see what your subscription will get you.

1- At the beginning of your subscription, within 3 days of payment being received, you will receive 5 craft project for you to work on for the next 30 days. Your subscription will begin whenever you pay. It does not have to be on the first of the month.

2- Each project will tell you what you need to buy, places where you can buy the items, any special tools you will need, and instructions to complete each project. I will share picture directions along with text, or I might even try videos.

3- Then two times each week I will touch base with you to see how you are doing, and see what you may need help with. You may ask me questions at any time. I will work you through any difficulties you may be experiencing. Plus I will share with you how and where you can make extra money with your new hobby.

4- I will share my finished items either through pictures or possibly videos.

5- Most of these will be fairly easy and affordable. I will try to keep them to themed projects around holidays and seasons. Some projects will be outside of themes.

6- The price for this subscription is 10 dollars per month. You can pay with the Paypal button below, or you can use the contact form to message me and I will send you an invoice to your Paypal email account.

7- All emails are sent individually, not group. I respect everyone’s privacy, and do not want people soliciting others.

Come back next week for 3 more paid subscription options, Lose Weight with Melissa, Mindfulness with Melissa, and Health and Wellness Challenge.

This weekend I will be posting about dry eyes, and dry mouth in relation to CKD. I will share how I have been treating this with a very affordable and effective method.


14 days of Gratitude: Day 2 and the outdoor christmas tree

Happy Saturday! I am happy you are here. Today is day 2 of my 14 days of gratitude journaling challenge. Did you do day 1? Today’s prompt is: What is your favorite scents? Now it was meant to be scent as in one, but unfortunately I can not pick just one. So, I made it scents. While I love a lot of scents I definitely have some favorites. I like scents in candles and air fresheners, but they aren’t really natural scents. So, I am sticking with natural scents.

My most favorite natural scents:

1-Apple cinnamon They can be separate but I especially love them together.

2- Jasmine


4- Peppermint

5- Fresh crisp clean air, usually in Fall when it is dry and lovely.

I am grateful I can smell these lovely things. I have a sister who can not smell at all. I feel so bad for her, not that she complains. I am so sensitive to smell that I can not cook meals overnight in the crockpot like some lucky ladies can. I will smell it all night and it will keep me awake, lol. I also had to stop using my diffuser at night as the smells would disturb my sleep. So weird, lol!

What are your favorite scents? Think about it and write them down. If you are not sure go on a smell testing adventure, and then be grateful you discovered them.

Today, for Self Care Saturday, I am sharing a post I found on Pinterest about the Outdoor Christmas Tree. We had done a variety of this many years ago when my kids were small using pine cones. We put them on our porch to better see the birds. But, what a lovely idea of decorating a tree just for our feathered friends. We have Palm Trees in our yard, not exactly a traditional Christmas Tree, but we can easily see them. We also have some evergreen trees on the edges of the yard. We could decorate them too as the birds love those trees, but we just won’t be able to bird watch as well. I probably won’t do this until closer to Christmas because the end of December, January, and February is when we really get tons of birds visiting. I will be sure and share a picture when we do it and maybe some birds visiting too. I will try a video. You can read how to do an Outdoor Christmas Tree, here. You may be wondering how this is Self Care. Well, for two reasons. 1- You are being kind to nature, and 2- through the beauty of watching the birds that will visit you may find peace and relaxation. I know I do.

Starting the day after Thanksgiving I will be sharing gift-giving ideas that will be geared towards people with CKD. They will not be affiliate links, just things I find and love myself, or have added to my list. Be sure to watch for that.


Sign up for my Mailchimp newsletter!

Success! You're on the list.

Self care sunday my fall/halloween miniature garden

Happy Sunday! It is another cool, dreary day in Florida. I do not mind the cool weather, matter of fact I welcome it. But, the gray, damp, dreary I could do without. I am a sunshine girl!

Part of my self care routine is gardening and yardwork. Yes, yardwork! I find yardwork soothing even if I am sweating to death. Last Fall I made a very smart decision to plant some baby Elephant Ears in old bins I had. They grew quite quickly over this past Spring and are regularly making babies. I have been able to propagate these two Elephant Ears into at least 20 new plants that have been planted all along my privacy fence. Why they regularly make babies in the container, but not as rapidly in the ground, I have no idea. I love plants that I can propagate and get more plants for free. Gardening is a work in progress for me. I plant a lot of plants in the Fall and then baby them through the Winter. Summer gardening is just too hot in Florida. I have been able to propagate and replant my Plumbago which is awesome on a trellis or along a fence line. My Confederate Jasmine has made a natural privacy barrier now along one fence line surrounding the back yard. Confederate Jasmine is a very fast growing, sweet smelling plant. I do have to trim it back quite a bit to keep it under control. I have not successfully been able to propagate any new Confederate Jasmine. Hibiscus is another of my plants that I have been able to successfully propagate and get new plants, as well as Mums. I try to plant only plants that can grow in this awful heat.

My miniature garden, and I am slowly building another, is an old wheelbarrow that one of the handles rotted off rendering it useless. It has been a miniature garden for over a year now. I simply change up the decor for different seasons. Right now it has a Fall/Halloween theme. After Thanksgiving I will create my Winter garden. It is not necessarily a Fairy Garden as I put Gnomes, and miniature people in their too. I forgot to add the little people, except for one witch, so you won’t see them in my images. I also forgot I bought some pumpkins and pinecones, that actually were for candles, but they didn’t work well in candles. I will also be adding them to the garden. The lights are fairy lights, that are solar powered. I paid 15 dollars for them on Amazon and they last forever. I plan on getting more of them. I have one other set that will be a cool Halloween decoration. Be sure to check back in about a week for a super easy Halloween decoration. Most of my miniature garden items are either handmade by me, see the terra cotta house, bought from the Dollar Tree, Hobby Lobby, upcycled from other items, or purchased at a consignment store that I love. I keep my miniature garden under the trees so it does not get too much water.

See the videos below for some great miniature garden ideas. Some are quite fancy and expensive, while others are more affordable. What about plants? The plants can be pricy. I get mine at Walmart, wait for their succulents to go on clearance. Even if they look scraggly succulents can come back to life with a little love. Trader Joes also has awesome miniature plants at very good prices. I buy a lot of my miniature plants there. Dollar Tree sells faux succulents which are awesome too. I often have to change out my plants as they do grow and can get quite large. I simply move them to a bigger garden, and replace them with smaller ones. I am trying to propagate some Ivy in the miniature garden right now with the hopes to transplant it in the Spring. If you prefer to order online there are tons of websites that offer miniature plants. They can be quite pricy, though. The fence in my garden is a Christmas fence, but it is a pain to get it exactly where I want it, so it stays in the garden all year. If you have some empty jars lying around you could make these illuminaries pretty easily, or use them as a Fairy House in the garden.

I have so much fun creating my miniature garden, and changing it with the seasons and holidays. It is fun, relaxing, and soothing for me. If you would like to learn more about how a Holistic Health Coach can help you with your own Self Care, you can use the contact form below to message me, or email me at for a free meet and greet. All new customers get their first month of coaching for 25 dollars.