Goji Berries Benefits

Goji Berries benefits are huge but were never on my bucket list of foods to try. When Viva Labs contacted me about writing a review I had a weak moment and said, “Yes, I’d love to try them.”

They came and I approached them with caution. Did I mention I am a picky eater? goji berries in a bowl

They looked like red raisins, didn’t smell awful so I popped one into my mouth. Then another, and another. These things are seriously good and good for you! That’s a bonus, right? They aren’t real sweet and I thought they left a warm buttery flavor on my tongue.

So what kind of benefits can you get from Goji Berries? Nice skin, they are loaded with beta- carotene, they can boost your immune system and protect your eyes. They are a good source of vitamin C and can reduce cold symptoms. They also have a lot of antioxidants. But don’t eat them if you are on blood thinners or take blood pressure or diabetic medication at least that’s what WebMd says.

There are also claims of weight loss, better sleeping and feeling calmer. I don’t know if those are true but if you like them why not see what happens?

Need more information about Goji Berries?

They have over 20 trace minerals and 18 amino acids, Vitamin A and Vitamin C along with a rich supply of antioxidants. Plus they are a source of dietary fiber so don’t eat a whole bunch in one day!

goji berries Viva labs

Want to try them for yourself?

Easter Meaning

The Easter celebration is a reminder that we no longer have to fear eternal damnation as long as we believe that Jesus died on the cross to save us.

Deep down I know this but I find at times my fingers grasping  chainlink staring at the cross, wondering. Did He really die for me? Why?

There’s nothing special about me, not really-sure I have some talents, I love my family and friends–even the cats who annoy me several times a day.

What makes me special enough to save?

cross behind fence

In Jeremiah 1-46 NIV We’re told before we were even formed in the womb God knew us! He knew what He was creating and all the faults we would have and the struggles we’d encounter to do what we are called to do. He knew if we choose to accept Him as Our Savior then we will come home to Him.

I’m letting go of the cold chain link and walking to towards the cross embracing what Jesus did for me. I will step aside from the insecure feelings that I’m not good enough. I am His. That’s the Easter Message I need to remember.

Perm Machine


For years my mom has said she’d rather go to the dentist than to the hair salon. This made no sense to me as I love to have someone fuss over me and make my hair do things I can’t.

woman in dental chair

Copyright: / 123RF Stock Photo

The discussion about her dislike came up again when I asked, “Mom, when you were little did you have curly hair?”

I wanted this information because I’ve decided to let my hair be what God intended–wavy and I wanted to know if I got it from my mom or dad.

“Oh no! My hair has always been straight. When I was 4 my mother started taking me to get perms. That was terrifying.”

“How could that be scary, mom?”

“There was this big machine that had curlers that dropped down. Electricity ran through the wires into the curlers making my hair into kinky curls.”

I stopped walking willing to let the Fitbit rest while I considered if I should drive to her house to make sure she was okay. “Electricity sent to your hair?”

“Yes, and I’ll never forget it. You go look it up on that machine of yours and you’ll see. It would have been about the mid 1930s. Then call me back.”

I said I would thinking,  “Mom has lost it. No way such a thing existed.” So I turned on my ‘machine’ that’s what mom calls the computer and searched for perms in the 1930s.

This is what turned up.


Thanks to PBA Progress for the use of the photo.

I had to call mom and tell her I found a photo.

She’s right it looks terrifying. The girl in the photo looks to be about the age my mom would have been.

So I’ve learned wavy hair doesn’t come easy if you don’t have it. I do and all I had to do was learn how to take care of it. It’s not as easy as it seems. I had to buy a book! This one:

Turns out I was doing everything wrong to get my waves to behave. I had to give up my flat iron and learn to leave conditioner in my hair. Someday I’ll post a photo. Not yet though because my hair hasn’t quite recovered from smashing it between the hot plates of the flat iron.

And just for fun here’s a short clip from a movie where the 1930s Friedrich perm machine is used.

And if you think this looks more like fun than scary I read that it is coming back in the form of a digital perm. Send me a photo if you have one done.


Downton Abbey and Blended Families


Spoiler alert! If you haven’t watched the season finale of Downton Abbey stop reading now.

Really, if you haven’t seen it stop reading or don’t blame me for telling you part of what happened.

Downton Abbey and Blended Families Wooden door in stone building England www.dianabrandmeyer.comCopyright: / 123RF Stock Photo

In the last episode of Downton Abbey, Isobel Crawley tells Lord Merton she can’t marry him. She refuses to live the last years of her life with children who do not like her and say they never will.

Never mind these are not small children they are Lord Merton’s adult children. Isobel Crawley gives up love, a position in society and amazing gardens because of bratty adults.

Did she do the right thing?

As a blended family mom I’m conflicted. True, the widowed Crawley has already had a child, seen him married, buried and has a grandson. She’s experienced a lot of living in her many years, has good friends and no serious need of someone to support her. That does make it easier to send someone away.


She let love slip away.

She wasn’t willing to see if God had an amazing plan for her.

She wasn’t willing to see if those adult children would come around and find a way to at least like her.

I find it sad she wasn’t willing trust that love can work miracles. While I watched the last show, I understood her reasoning and for a second considered she was making an admirable choice by not bringing discord to Lord Merton’s home. After all, would he continue to feel a deep love for her if his sons refused to accept her? Perhaps even refused to come home for holidays?

Blended families didn’t have the help that’s available now. Maybe that’s one of the reasons she didn’t marry Lord Merton. Would she have made a different decision if she’d had someone to discuss this with? Another couple whom married despite objections and found a new world of love?

Something to think about.

For me, I’m so glad I was willing to remarry and blend a family. It was hard at times but so worth it. I don’t mind telling others-wrote a book about it so others considering blending would be aware of issues and find a way to work through them.

It isn’t always fun, but hey do you know a family where every day is like a trip to Six Flags?

Check out the book. We’re Not Blended We’re Pureed a Survivor’s Guide to Blended Families.

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10 Reasons To Get Away

Do you need 10 reasons to get away? I’ve got some for you.

It seems like we all should plan yearly vacations to exotic places or just to the beach and yet many of us don’t. Some jobs allow you to take a vacation but it seems like you can never get away.

If you work for yourself  leaving town means zero dollars are being added to your bank account. That’s our life but we decided to take a 36 hour break from our work and head to Michigan. Brr! Though it was cold and the winds were brisk at 40 miles per hour I came back relaxed, happy and ready to commit to writing a new book.


Tree on frozen lake

1. Leave behind a to-do list that will never be finished.

2. Bolster creativity with a new environment. This is the first time I saw Lake Michigan with ice. Impressive. 

3. Reconnect with your spouse or family.

4. It’s a chance to break out of the ordinary, Meatloaf Monday, Taco Tuesday and Pizza Friday menu.

Snowman made to look live Elvis

5. Working out in a new environment–hotels have great underused equipment.

6. There are no expectations of being on the job the moment you finish breakfast. As a freelancer, I’m at my desk as soon as my tea is made.

7. Long drives gives you a chance to talk with your spouse about dreams, the future or the reality of your lifestyle .

8. Someone else will take care of the pets. I love my cats but when I’m gone I don’t miss cleaning the litter box or opening the door 50 times a day.

Cat sitting on desk

9. Time to read without interruptions! (hint: grab one of the books I’ve written)

10.  A chance to take amazing photos for your Project Life scrapbook. 

Don’t wait to get away until you have a free week. Let these 10 Reasons to Get Away inspire you to take a short weekend trip.

And don’t forget to keep you memories to enjoy later in your Project Life scrapbooks!

iphone photography book

David Molnar has an amazing iPhone photography book that he is giving away free! I’m taking his course right now and am learning so much about how to use the iPhone camera.

The book he is offering for free has the aps he uses to capture amazing photos on his phone. I don’t know how long it will be free so grab a copy now. Even if you don’t have an iPhone some of these aps are available for other phones–snapseed for example.

iPhone photography tool kit bookYou can download it here.

Using the iPhone to get photos is easy–it’s the camera you always have with you! Using a few aps can change the appearance of your photos from not bad to amazing!

Here are two shots I took this winter both with my camera. The second one was edited using snapseed.

prairie grassPrairie Grass

 If you want to know how to use these aps I’d suggest getting David Molnar’s other book.

iPhone photography book

Get it here.

Here is another post I wrote about some of the iPhone camera aps  I use. 

Please use the share buttons and share this post! Let’s have beautiful photos showing up all over the internet!

Grandparenting Changes Lives

Grandparenting is Life Changing


Today ends the first year of being a first time grandmother. It’s my grandson’s first birthday so I wanted to share ways he has changed my life.


I’ve to learned how to diaper with cloth diapers that snap! (Velcro is much easier!)

I thought my house was kid friendly but forgot how little ones stand up and hit their heads on desks.

Discovering that normal things like magazines and glass doors are giggle-worthy.

Baby food doesn’t always come in glass jars, sometimes it comes in squeeze packets. I had to ask for help on how to open these!

Happy Baby Baby Food

Putting a child in a car seat is a major time investment and you pray you have it right and the baby still has arms when you’re done.

The joy  I feel when he smiles at me—well there are no words!

Holding a little one again reminds me of how precious life is and how blessed I am to have this one in my arms.

Open mouthed, slobber kisses are better than anything I can purchase.

Watching a one year old has the advantage of a high calorie workout.

Pulling out toys that belonged to his father makes storing them worth it when you watch the excitement on his face. It seems even at a young age a new pair of wheels is the best.

 baby playing with truck

One of the biggest blessings I’ve experienced this past year is watching my husband with our grandson. We didn’t have babies together. I didn’t get to see how he gives himself completely, that look of pure love that washes over his face when he’s holding him and the silly but loveable way that he plays with a baby.

Grandfather and baby


Another blessing is watching my son be a dad. Wow. It takes my breath away to see the man caring for his son. Add to that the closeness I have with my daughter-in-law and I can’t imagine life being any better.


Happy Family



Happy Birthday Big Guy!

Birthday Boy

Kindle Paperwhite or Kindle Voyager

It’s time to treat myself. Feeling a bit guilty but it is a work purchase.

Do you have a Kindle?

Do you have the Paperwhite or Kindle Voyager?

I’ve been reading reviews and trying to decide what would be best for me. I will admit I’m a bit of a ‘got to have the newest thing’ but I’ve also learned a lot about money in the past few years -thank you Dave Ramsey. So I’m leaning toward the less expesnive Paperwhite.

Please weigh in on what choice I should buy.

And today is the last day to pick up The Trouble with Ralph on kindle for free!

Christmas Story Released Today!


 It’s here! The Festive Bride is ready to buy and download to your e-reader today!


Festive Bride by Diana Lesire Brandmeyer


The Festive Bride (The 12 Brides of Christmas Book 9)

Roy Gibbons decides Alma Pickens will make a perfect  mother to give his daughters for Christmas. He is sure it will be easy to arrange.

But this is the only wedding Alma will have, and she is determined to make it festive.

Will this bride be more than Roy bargained for?

Festive Bride



And because I’m bouncing on my chair with joy I’m offering these bonuses for those who purchase the book TODAY!


What you get:

Alma’s Painting Day Stew Recipe

Alma’s Griddle Cake Recipe

Alma’s Coloring sheet of kittens

How do you get them?


Put your email in the box and I’ll send them to you within 24 hours.

Festive Bride Freebies

3 Free things


<img src=”http://wms-na.amazon-adsystem.com/20070822/US/img/noscript.gif?tag=dianabrand-20&linkId=CAFHHQGH6P4Y76FD” alt=”” />

10 Reasons to Be a Grateful

Being Grateful and Thanksgiving

It’s been a year of ups and downs for my family. Your’s too? I’m posting my top ten reasons to be grateful, join me in the comments please.

Be Grateful 123

  • Family
  • Having two book contracts
  • Finding out why I haven’t felt good for two years and fixing that
  • My grandson–he gets a special mention
  • A pile of firewood on the porch
  • A husband who doesn’t complain about my cooking skills
  • Freedom to do what I want with my life
  • That I still have a mom to hug
  • An abundance of friends
  • Losing a nice number of pounds before the holiday season begins

So what are a few things you are grateful for this year?

Copyright: elosa / 123RF Stock Photo