22 May 2017

Ocean Fun, Joy & More In Puerto Rico (Part I)

I had fully intended to be sharing my Puerto Rico trip with you while I was on this beautiful archipelago Island, 980 miles away from the Mainland. When I last wrote I included Five Tips for Creating a Playful Life, well I think that is exactly what we did while we were in Puerto Rico!
 I really did take my computer, plugged it in and then I never even turned it on! How is that for unplugging from the world, (it did feel so good) well except for Instagram where I did share much of our exploring, visiting, and time well spent  with my family and Island living.
So, welcome to a little Island joy today where I am sharing part one of my trip with Ocean fun and some traveling tips to the Island of Enchantment.

The island of Puerto Rico is not very big, it is approximately 100 miles long and 35 miles wide.
On the North side of the Island is the Atlantic Ocean and to the East shore is the Caribbean.
The North side of the Island has stronger currents and the the East is calmer.
Puerto Rico is close to the deepest submarine depression in the North Atlantic Ocean.
The Puerto Rico Trench with depths exceeding 8,300 meters.
Gilligan's Island-Cayo Aurora-Guanica-vacation-jemma

Travel by Ferry

I fully believe that when one travels to an island one simply must travel to nearby shorelines via a ferry. For me this is how I get a  true feel for the sea without being in it and also a sense of what the Island is all about.
We took two ferry rides one to Old San Juan and one to Gilligan's Island.
So let's begin with the Ferry Ride to Gilligan's Island, which naturally has been nicknamed after the popular TV show.
Cayo Aurora, is the cay's formal name. It is a mile off the coast of Guanica on the southwest coast of Puerto Rico. This is also on the Caribbean side of the Island where the waters are calmer and turquoise. 
Meet my fellow travel partner and grandson Wyatt. His Mother and sister are of course traveling with us and are on the other side of the boat. You might just notice the knot and scab on his forehead... Wyatt was riding his scooter and toppled over right in front of my eyes.
Of course I was watching the children that particular afternoon when the accident happened.
Well, being a Grandmother this is one thing that you do not want to happen, especially upon your first few days of arrival!
But we got all of  the injuries out of the way at the beginning of my visit and no hard feelings were harbored either.
Mangrove-Gilligan's Island-ocean-sea-athomewithjemma

Explore a Mangrove Lagoon

Naturally you cannot travel this distance and miss the Mangroves, you must explore a Mangrove lagoon. These channels provide homes for Iguanas, fish, birds, and various sea creatures, they are like an intriguing labyrinth of discovery and adventure.
There are nine protected Mangrove areas on the Island of Puerto Rico.
I am not certain if the one along the edge of Gilligan's Island is one of them, but we all enjoyed this Magical Mangrove.
The tide was out on our visit here and gave us great access for exploration and swimming.

Wear Sunblock, Be Happy & Don't Worry

This is my granddaughter Avery and she is the best little traveler. We lathered her in sunblock and she still tans so beautifully and too easily. Most definitely a Coppertone baby.

Puerto Rico is pretty close to the Equator  (1277 miles) Texas (7942 miles) and the sun is shining brightly at 5:30 a.m.

tropics-Puerto Rico-family-jemma

Forget your Hairstyle & Bring Your Teddy

Puerto Rico falls in the tropical climate zone and there is no way you can keep your curls in place.
Oh, and even Teddy deserves a trip to the beach, in the sand and ocean too.
(Wouldn't you agree....)

At Home With Jemma-Traveling

Quiet water, quiet times with baby and Mimi.


Sea Glass

Searching for sea glass is great fun and when you gather up enough of the muliti colored and tumbled glass you can even make  sea-glass  jewelry .

We traveled to Old San Juan twice while I was visiting, however on this particular day we combed the beach at San Juan Antiguo-Puerta De Tierra for sea glass.
It is a mesmerizing and relaxing project.

San Juan Antiguo-Puerto De Tierra-at home with jemma

A great way to sift through the sand in search of sea glass is to use colanders.

Always wear a Hat
Protect you eyes, hair and face from the intense sun.


I will be sharing a few more posts on Puerto Rico which will include a little shopping, some of the History, Churches, and some hands on crafts that Amanda did using natural finds from the Island.
I can't wait to show how to make your own sea grape leaf coaster!


Thank you sweet family for making this Mimi feel so loved and I might add young!
Of course Ponce De Leon is buried on this Island of enchantment and you do know he had inside information on the fountain of youth!

Jemma- Ocean-Family-vacation

Thanks for joining me!

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23 April 2017

Five Tips For Creating A Playful Life & Traveling To Puerto Rico

I am ready to be playful, in fact I need to be playful, we all need to be playful and you know why?
It keeps us young!
 I am certain that you have heard this saying over and over again
"We don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing."~George Bernard Shaw.
Well I need to laugh with my darling daughter who I haven't seen in 4 months, except for Face Time, which surely takes the sting out of the distance.
 I am looking forward to visiting with my kind and caring son-in-law, play a game of Frisbee with with my adorable grandson and granddaughter and dance with abandon along the edge of the deep blue sea.
Playful living with At Home With Jemma
By the time that most of you will be reading this I will have left Texas bright and early this morning for 10 days of family fun and the scenery wont be too bad either...(photo below)
I will be sharing the beauty, play and joy of my Puerto Trip on Instagram and also here on my blog as we travel on the island and surrounding areas.
Travel, playful, happy, joyful, inspirational, living
You know sometimes we all just get in old rut and sort of have to say to ourselves "hey lady getting going, get playful, get creative and live!"
So here I am today shaking up my life and sharing some tips on how to rekindle that playful life we knew as a child.

“Tiny humans see magic and possibility where big humans only see mess and responsibility. May we see the magic again through their eyes and rediscover all the possibilities life has to offer.” ~ L. R. Knost

Playful Tip Number One-
It is an attitude of the heart!

So yesterday I stepped out of my comfort zone and I had a snappy, happy attitude. I mulled over all of the sensible colors of nail polish and then I said to myself hey now go ahead and get some pretty amazing nail polish color.
My heart said do it so I did!

playful living-Jemma

Playful Tip Number Two-
Find that amazing imagination and use it to ignite your HAPPY!

Playful and happy go hand in hand, don't be fearful of tapping into that youthful imaginative source that you knew as a youngster.
Paint, dance, sing, garden, and of course find time to be silly!


Playful Tip Number Three-
Live with gratitude and be present in the moment.

Because each moment has the potential to be playful!
Don't miss the current moments by worrying about the future or agonizing over the past.
Capture each moment as if it were a fluttering butterfly.


Playful Tip Number Four-
Play with your surroundings.

What you choose to surround yourself with either depletes or feeds your true self.
What books do you read, what movies do you watch, what about your music choices?
Who do you associate with, do they inspire you and accept your authentic self?
Part of living a playful life is creating an environment for playful living.


Playful Tip Number Five-
Temporarily let go of agendas and thoughts.

Focus less on achieving and focus more on the experience.
Opening up our hearts and emptying our minds allows us to live through life rather than forcing life to happen.
As we journey through the magic of life we experience a freedom to play in the magic of living it.

living with focus on the moment-jemma
Looking forward to sharing some of our playful Puerto Rico moments with you.
Thanks for joining me!
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18 April 2017

Perfect Yeast Rolls Tips & Recipe

My enthusiasm for sharing things that really work is at an all time high right now.
Whether it is gardening ideas seasoned with joy, perhaps a simple decorating tip or a tried and true scrumptious recipe.
I'd like to share them all with you and today I am sharing a recipe for Perfect yeast rolls!
Are they picture perfect...no but they are mighty tasty.
I know this for certain, the more time that I spend with my hands in the garden soil or in a cup of flour the more I know that I have truly reclaimed my passion, renewed my purpose and have revisited skills and hobbies that I have always enjoyed and found to be productive.


So in this world of unpredictably I am going to be consistently sharing the predictable aspects of my life with you.
I hope that you will enjoy incorporating a few of these predictable recipes, gardening tips and such into yours too.

For my sweet friends onINSTAGRAM this recipe is especially for you!

Perfect Yeast Rolls Recipe from my real kitchen to yours and guess what they make perfect sandwich buns for mini sandwiches too.


Perfect yeast rolls tips:

1. You can use active yeast or compressed yeast in your recipes. Both take 5-10 minutes to soften.

2. Add the correct amount of sugar, it is the raw material from which yeast manufactures the leavening gas and also adds flavor and aids in browning.

3.Don't skip on the salt it is added to the dough for flavor, but also helps to control fermenting.

4. On day of high humidity dough may require up to one more cup of flour than recipe states, you will know by the stickiness of the dough.

5. Let dough rest before shaping to regain elasticity. Cover during this resting period so surface with not dry.


Sharing some behind the scene facts of why your bread goes from dough to buns!
For more of the science behind the bread you might enjoy Serious Eats

Scalding Milk
Milk that has been heated to 82 degrees (nearly to boil) then cooled down.
Scalding the milk is more of a scientific purpose for bread. The whey protein in the milk can weaken gluten and prevent the dough from rising properly. Scalding the milk deactivates the protein so this doesn't happen.


This is the most dramatic transformation the dough will go through.
Rising is a process of respiration.

Fermentation and a type of fungus.

Basically three types of yeast:

*Fresh Yeast (block or cake)
*Active-Dry Yeast
*Instant Yeast


Leaving you all today with these positive words.

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14 April 2017

Five Gardening Benefits For Your Body

My husband and I recently returned form a rejuvenating trip to Colorado, and even though we were terribly sad to be leaving our Mountain views behind us we were delighted to find our organic veggie and flower garden flourishing and producing.


After hurriedly unpacking my suitcase and starting a load of wash I immediately headed out to the garden to begin weeding and watering. As I was bending, twisting and tugging at those pesky weeds I began thinking of all of the benefits that our garden was providing me.
Today I am super excited to be sharing those five gardening benefits with you!


The simple act of gardening has so many physical and mental benefits. Gardening provides moderate exercise that can take us right from our twenties and well into our eighties. Want to reduce anxiety, tension and stress just try spending an afternoon cultivating, weeding or watering your garden.
So whether you garden on your patio,in containers,a community garden or in your own backyard you are about to be amazed at the marvelous, wonderful and incredible benefits your body is receiving!
For more inspiring information on this topic you might like to visit Eartheasy.


Gardening Benefit  # 1
Create  A Positive Change.
Did you know that Gardening for just 30 minutes a week lowers cortisol levels and improves our moods.
Seems that nurturing a plant helps promote well-being, positive outlooks, reduces heart disease and fights off memory loss.


Gardening Benefit # 2
Increase Your Immunity.

You know those "good" bacteria that we all hear about...well good news they live in our soil.
Those little organisms are called Mycobacterium vaccae and we absorb them when we are working in our gardens by breathing them in and we ingest them when we eat our veggies.
These working bacteria have the potential to alleviate asthma, psoriasis and allergy symptoms.
(These bacteria might even make us happier and smarter!)
Healing Landscapes

Gardening-Dahlia- organic-sleeping-better-Jemma

Gardening Benefit # 3
Sleep Better.

I don't know about you, but for me there are times that sleep can be very elusive.
Tending to the garden can truly help aid in better sleep. Physical activity is tiring, but even more than that, that sense of well being gained from gardening can really help us to have sweet dreams!


Gardening Benefit # 4
Healthier Diet.

Once you experience the joy, satisfaction and healthy eating from growing your own food, you'll never turn back to eating any other way.
From garden to table is the freshest, healthiest and one of the most rewarding ways to bring excitement to food.
"When you grow it, you own it." That's my Motto. We are what we eat...

Grow your Own and Create a Legacy-Jemma

Gardening Benefit # 5
Gardening Is Good For All Ages.

Gardening transcends age and helps to create meaningful family connections.
Whether you are a young Mother or a Grandmother gardening with your family and children or grandchildren is a fabulous way to ditch the electronics and get back to nature. Not only do the kids learn concepts from gardening they also see first hand how to take care of our planet.
"Grow your own food and create a legacy."  ~Jemma Olson


Stay healthy and plant something wonderful, beautiful and maybe even edible this weekend!


Please Join Me~
Life and Linda
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30 March 2017

The Dance Of The Garden & Gardening Tips

Do you love to garden? Do you love to be right smack in the middle of nature?
Well if you do and if you are looking for some gardening tips and have some to share, I'd love for you to stick around !
By now I am sure you know that I am most content being in the middle of nature.
That includes my garden, the mountains, the forest, the valleys.
These are perfect spots where I can I plop right down in the middle of it all, burrow my hands into the soil, hike a mountain, picnic among the trees or simply sit in a quiet valley and just hear the silence.
It is here in these intricately designed elements, which far surpass anything that man could make, that I find my happy place.
Among the glory of nature I just enjoy watching the dance of it all, you know nature has it's own rhythms just like the tides of the sea and one of my favorites dances to be part of is that of the Garden.
Have you ever watched a seed sprout and unfurl it's newly discovered leaves?
(This is a green bean.)
How about seeing the wind skip along the tips of pink cosmos petals.
We know that it is amazing, don't we...
While to some this photo may not look like much, but just wait, in a few short months the delicate dance of this garden will have begun and waltzed, tangoed and produced beauty and food.

Did you know that people that surround themselves with nature are less stressed?
It's been reported that women who include the joy of nature in their lives actually live longer.

Today I am sharing with you some nifty gardening tips that have worked well for me, so they just might for you too.

Today I planted my second crop of radish, zinnia and sunflower.

Gardening Tip One:

Plant your garden in intervals of anywhere from 2-3 weeks.

Increases the longevity of the crop. When one planting is finishing up producing your second crop and subsequent crops will begin.


Gardening Tip Two:

Organic Gardening

One of my primary goals is organic gardening and to become organically certified in order to sell my produce to local organic markets/restaurants.

I have worked with all three of these organic products and I know that they work and here is why.

1. Llama Manure
2. Fish Emulsion
3. Seaweed Fertilizer


1. Use " llama beans" for a natural and organic fertilizer. They are a rich organic fertilizer with potassium, nitrogen and phosphorous. They are earth friendly and reduce your carbon footprint by recycling part of nature.
  • "According to High Desert Organic Gardeners, you should use 13 times the amount of llama manure as you would chemical fertilizer to get the same amount of nitrogen as 20-10-5 mixes."
  • Reference from SF Homeguides

2. Fish Emulsion is a natural and burn free nitrogen and organic fertilizer, and stimulates microorganisms that live in the soil.

3. Liquid Seaweed Fertilizer boosts plant health and helps with environmental stress.
Can even help discourage spider mites.


This is our second season for a vegetable garden in our new home.
My first post of the gardening season from last year was 5 Tips For Growing A Garden, which includes some basic tips on location, soil, water, fertilizers and commitment.

Here is my recommendation for 5 Fabulous Plants.

5 plants to have in your home or garden with jemma

For more gardening inspiration you might enjoy reading My Old Fashioned Garden.

Wishing you all much gardening happiness!

purple flowers in Jemma's garden

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