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Easy Times, March 1, 2024

The first crocus of spring pushing up through brown grass.

Happy March, friend!

I’m writing this from the most unexpectedly beautiful spot: a work table in the main lobby of the Biloxi Public Library in Biloxi, Mississippi.

The lobby of the Biloxi Public Library

To get here to Mississippi, I left my house at 3:00 a.m. to catch an early 5:00 a.m. flight from Denver.

In the days leading up to that early morning departure, I noticed my tendency to create little “worst case scenarios” in my mind.

Allow me to present some of the stories from my overactive imagination:

  • My alarm won’t go off.
  • The Uber driver will text me from outside and I’ll still be asleep.
  • Security lines will be long at the airport.
  • I’ll miss my flight.
  • The overhead bins will be full on the plane.
  • Planes are full of germs, and I’ll catch a cold or Covid.
  • I won’t make my connecting flight in Dallas.

Do you ever do this? Experts call it “catastrophizing.”

People who like to feel in control (meekly raising my hand!) are more prone to imagining worst case scenarios, and this tendency can be linked to anxiety.

It’s worse at night (have you noticed?), when all problems can loom large.

How to Overcome Dread?

One suggestion is to make up a better story. So if I’m tossing and turning at night and imagining an annoyed Uber driving banging on my front door at 3:00 a.m., I might instead redirect my brain to imagine myself seated on the airplane, feeling relaxed and ready to enjoy my trip.

For more ideas, read my post about “Overcoming Dread: How to Stop Visualizing Bad Things.”

In this month’s newsletter, we’ve got easy recipes that are perfect for March, simple living tips, and a guide to growing your own sprouts.

Will you leave a comment below about what you’re up to this month? I would love to hear about your fun plans, or anything else you want to share.

Until next month,

Eliza Cross

NEW Old Recipe: Homemade Greek Yogurt (and why it has 400+ comments!)

Finished Greek yogurt in a serving bowl with a spoon.

13 years ago I published my easy method for making homemade Greek yogurt. Over the years more than 400 comments have piled up, from questions like “have you tried using powdered psyllium husks to thicken yogurt?” (Answer: not yet) to tips for straining the yogurt through sheer curtains… and even a paint strainer.

I decided it was time to update the recipe, answer as many questions as possible, and take new photos.

Check out the recipe for Homemade Greek Yogurt, and please add your thoughts and experiences to the comments!

Enjoy Quick Relief with Warm, Homemade Saline Solution

A small green pitcher, dish of salt, dish of baking soda and nasal wash bulb.

If springtime allergies or a cold have you feeling stuffy, homemade saline solution can provide instant relief.

A pinch of baking soda is the secret ingredient that makes this solution gentle and effective. Here’s the easy Saline Solution Recipe.

Seasonal Recipe: Easy Steamed Artichokes

A microwave steamed artichoke ready for serving with lemon wedges and melted butter.

March is the start of peak artichoke season here in the U.S. While the microwave isn’t usually my first choice for cooking something, it turns out to be the best appliance for steaming artichokes.

The process only takes about 5 minutes! The artichokes emerge from the microwave bright green and perfectly cooked. They’re so good with melted butter and fresh lemon wedges.

Read “How to Microwave an Artichoke” for the easy directions (and a few astonished comments from readers).

Grow Your Own Sprouts!

Close up of sprouted alfalfa seeds.

When you’ve got spring fever but it’s not quite time to plant the garden, growing your own sprouts is the fun and easy way to enjoy fresh greens.

Our complete guide will show you all the tips and tricks for cultivating nutritions, delicious sprouts.

More Simple Living Ideas on Pinterest

I’d love to connect with you over at Pinterest, where we have dozens of boards with thousands of easy recipes and simple ideas to make your life easier!

A teacup, yogurt, crocus, cookies, mini cheesecake, and feet in socks warming by a fire.

Your Exclusive Invitation: Join the Simple Life, Happy Home Group

A Christmas cactus, fireplace, and bowl of soup.

This special private Facebook group “Simple Life, Happy Home” is for members to share favorite recipes, gardening tips, simple living ideas, money saving strategies, pretty photos, pets, and more.

Request your membership and I’ll make sure you’re approved quickly.

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is the author of 17 books, including Small Bites and 101 Things To Do With Bacon. She shares ideas to simplify cooking, gardening, time and money. She is also the owner of Cross Media, Inc. and founder of the BENSA Bacon Lovers Society.

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