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Finally! Our figs are ripe. It seems to be very late this year. I can’t take any credit for this. My husband is a gardening genius. He has propagated so many trees, we practically have a fig farm (ok, I am exaggerating a little!)

Here is the latest pick. Unfortunately, we have been feeding the local animals (deer? chipmunks?) with the larger figs, so we only had one of those (so far)!


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My husband grew up in a family that pickled all kinds of vegetables and even some fruit. Not me. Growing up, we only ate one kind pickle — barrel (sour) pickles from our local deli. Little did I know all of the variations that are out there.

Even though the pickling possibilities are endless, I admit I still like garlicky cucumber barrel pickles the best. Unfortunately, even when I find barrel pickles, I can never find the taste like the ones I had growing up. So now, I have decided to make my own.

One thing about making it myself is I can adjust the flavor until I get it to exactly where I want it to be. I prefer garlicky and don’t like lots of dill. Some people like to add sugar to their pickle recipes, but I prefer them without — plus, it is a healthier option. …


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Last week, I was in Bed Bath and Beyond when I came across a spice organizing shelf. I was about to declutter my spice cabinet anyway, so it caught my attention. The shelf was very customizable. You can make it narrower, wider, taller, shorter, etc. It looked great, and I was about to buy it when I realized something.

Buying products to help me declutter is counterproductive!

If I only wanted to organize the spices, this would have been perfect, but that wasn’t my intention at all.

How many times have I fallen into this trap? How many times have I bought products to “help” me declutter? …


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My friend Lisa is moving after living in the same place for 25 years. She and her husband have spent the last several weeks packing and throwing things out.

“It’s incredible,” she said recently. “I don’t know how we accumulated so much stuff. Most of these things haven’t been looked at, let alone used, in years.”

It made me look at how much I have accumulated, and it was a real eye-opener.

Before I got married, and even after I was newly married, I would move every few years. …


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Photo Credits: Pixabay

Intermittent Fasting has become so popular. My friend Rena did this a couple of years ago and has taken off loads of weight, and she has also been able to keep it off.

I have never been heavy — until recently. I was always thin and never had to diet. I was able to eat whatever I wanted. Always.

Things have changed. I moved out of NYC sixteen years ago. Moving to the suburbs, I noticed that I was walking much less. The pounds crept on a little. I stopped working there ten years ago and have been working full time from home. The pounds started creeping on more. …


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Photo Credits: Pixabay

It is always surprising to me when someone wishes bad Karma on someone else. I have a few friends who do this regularly. Whenever one feels slighted or tries to comfort someone else that feels hurt, they will try to invoke Karma with “That’s ok. Karma will get them”; or “Hurry up, Karma.”

It’s like they have hired the universe’s hitman to swoop down and seek exacting revenge, and it can’t happen fast enough.

I understand. Sometimes people get hurt, feel betrayed, or get angry. They feel bad and want the person who did them wrong to feel bad. …


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Photo credits: Pixabay

I admit it. I am a recovering perfectionist. It is a learned behavior as I come from a long line of perfectionists. For the longest time, I hated making mistakes. No mistake was small enough to get under my skin. I was my own worst critic.

I used to think trying to be perfect was only about me and my goals, but after getting feedback from co-workers, I learned otherwise. I was making everyone I worked with miserable.

I focused my perfectionism mostly on goals and accomplishments at work, but it doesn’t matter if someone is a perfectionist in just one area of life or every part of life; it always has the same impact. As I have helped people overcome perfectionism in many areas of their lives, I can see the causes of and solutions to overcome perfectionism typically follow the same patterns. …


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Photo Credits: Pixabay

I am not always happy with my writing. Sometimes it’s a struggle and I labor on a piece for hours, never satisfied. Yet, I love writing, so this needs to change — I need to become a writer whose work I love to read.

I don’t consider myself a professional writer, although I have been writing business documents for years. During the early part of my career, I wrote how-to guides and technical procedures. Since these needed to be easy to understand, my writing was very simple and boring!

This style has become my comfort zone. This is where I always find myself when I start to write something new. It may include a personal story but often winds up being a how-to guide or a list of next steps.


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Photo credits: Pixabay

I don’t know when 10,000 steps became the number we should all try to achieve when losing weight. Some say it began as a marketing campaign for a pedometer in Japan. All I know is I hear the 10,000 steps rule all the time.

Since I wanted to know if this was real or not, I challenged myself to walk 10,000 steps a day for 30 days.

To see the real impact of walking 10,000 steps a day, I decided to change nothing else. I needed to make sure no other factors that would influence my results. I didn’t change my diet. …


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One of my favorite condiments is preserved lemons. They are easy to make and add depth to many dishes.

Preserved lemons come from the middle east and have now made their way into many different types of cuisines. They are preserved by combining salt with the juice from the lemon and then letting them sit for several days to several weeks, depending on the recipe.

After sitting in salt and lemon juice, the lemon rinds become soft and less bitter. Each bite of a preserved lemon leaves a sweet aftertaste.

I use preserved lemons in many ways and add them to many different types of dishes…

About

Ann Lustig

I write about the Food, Happiness, Relationships, Work and Striving for a Simpler and Easier Life… Follow me at simplerandeasier.com

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