Making Time for Yourself

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Making Time for Yourself

By Paula Deen

Some people say that I would own a zoo if I could, and you know what? They might just be right. I love my animals like they’re a part of my family. I have my sweet dogs, my beautiful birds, ducks and catfish in my pond, and chickens. Yes, even chickens.

Don’t worry, though; these chickens aren’t for fryin’! I wouldn’t dream of it. (They do give me the freshest eggs, however!) I just love walking out into my backyard and visiting with my brood. Y’all, I’ve even been known to pick them up and cradle them like babies. It’s so sweet when they fall asleep in Mama’s arms, and it’s soothing for me too. And you know, I think that’s really what having my chickens and all of my pets is really about.

My life can be pretty busy sometimes, and at the end of the day when I get to come home to my loving husband, beautiful family, and wonderful animals, it’s a reminder for me for slow down from all the hustle and bustle of the world and to really appreciate what’s important in my life. I think I must be one of the luckiest girls alive, and I often have to wonder what I’ve done to deserve all the goodness that’s surrounds me.

This summer I did what I had been wanting to do for 22 years. I took a vacation. The last ten years or so have been a wild ride, I wouldn’t change ‘em for a minute. But, all the traveling and working really caught up to me and I realized that I wasn’t as connected anymore as I used to. I needed to be recharged. So that’s just what I did! I took a vacation, with only one rule: no work and all play! And you know what? It wasn’t anything extravagant at all. Y’all, I just sat at my house and had plenty of Paula-time. It was wonderful to unplug and rejuvenate myself!

Here are some ways that I learned to unplug:

Cooking. Okay, okay, so maybe this is a little bit of a cheat, since it’s technically what I do for a living, but the truth of the matter is that I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t do it. Cooking a good meal helps sooth me and allows me to refocus.

Reading. It’s no secret that I love reading cookbooks, and I read ‘em just like most folks read a novel.

Shelling. A dear friend taught me the art of shelling. I collect frames, busts, mirrors, and just about anything and glue seashells to them to make them interesting pieces of art. This summer I couldn’t stop!

Watercolor painting. My girlfriend, Donna, paints beautiful watercolor paintings, and I wanted to learn! I’ve only taken a few lessons from her, but boy, do I sure love it.

So what do y’all do? How do you relax when you need some personal time?

Want a closer look at my chickens? Check out my video tour here!

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Reader Comments:

54321

I loved you and your sons shows on the food network. I miss them I got the recipe for the Yummy Yogurt Breakfast Banana Splits sounds delicious

By Rosie Hill on April 01, 2014

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I Love your website Paula! And I want you to know Every recipe I've tried of yours over the years is so delicious, love your recipe books too...I just wanted to take the time to say thank you for all you've done. Keep up the great work. I have two son too, one of which is grown and married and you have been such an inspiration to me and my family. God Bless You and Yours! With Love smile P.S. Relax in your lovely home with your sweet beautiful family and those sweet fur babies of yours every chance you can, you deserve it!

By Christina Hines on April 01, 2014

54321

My husband and I came to Savannah back in the spring so 2008 and I was not disappointed. We were going to be in town for three days and I was going to eat at your restaurant as many times as I could. Much to the the surprise of my husband. He had never known real southern food and I knew he would love your cooking. I thank god I don't live any closer to Savannah or I would really have a weight problem.smile Paula we love you and are very proud of you.

By Janine Ketchum on January 08, 2014

54321

Paula and the boys, you all just RELAX me everyday. When you laugh, I laugh. Thanks for running everyday to make these show a HIT! Lov ya all, Carla and her cat, BEBE

By Carla on March 03, 2012

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Hi Paula, Just want to tell you how thankful I am to you. Your possitive additude and your great sense of humor has helped me become a happier person. I met you and Michael at the meet and greet in Cherokee, NC this past august, I did write you a letter and you said you would read it. I hope that you did. The letter explained why I am so thankful to you. I hope you realize that you have touched alot of lives. Keep the Smile and keep being who you are. Love and Best Wishes, Katharine

By Katharine Brown on February 22, 2012

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i was so devastated to find out that Paula Deen and the Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show is not coming To Atlanta Ga this year I have gone to this event every year . I cried at the news. My granddaughter even begged to go this year. i took my daughter last year for her birthday and she said she could not have had a better present. i am going to keep begging Denise til they come back to Atlanta. Please Please Please come back to Atlanta. I hope Paula will read this. We love her so much

By cindy on February 05, 2012

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Paula, Thanks for all you do and love your cooking shows. You make my day when you are on TV. I love the way you tak and how you are so sweet and always happy. I love your receipes they are so good. My husband and I go to Branson a lot to relaz. And I sew and make some quilts. I make lots of quilts for my grandchildren, Niecesand I also made them for my boys when they were growing up. I have made a couple wedding quilts that is what I do when I relax. It is lots of work. But I enjoy it. I wish you the best of everything. You are so sweet. J would love to have you for a friend you seem so much fun. By Marybeth Worthen

By Narybeth Worthen on January 17, 2012

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DEAREST PAULA, YOU ARE THE ULTIMATE "GIRLFRIEND"...THANKS FOR BEING "YOU". I HAVE BEEN ON YOUR CRUISE, YOUR SHOWS AT THE METRO COOKING PRESENTATIONS, YOUR BOOK SIGNINGS, MET MICHAEL AND HIS BRO IN NEW ORLEANS WHILE YOU WERE ON A PHOTO SHOOT...JUST LOVE KEEPING UP WITH Y'ALL. PLUS I TAPE ALL OF YOUR FOOD NETWORK SHOWS. JUST LOVE IT WHEN THE BOYS AND MICHAEL ARE ON THERE. PLUS SOME OF YOUR GIRLFRIENDS ARE SO CUTE AND FUNNY, JUST LIKE YOU! IF YOU EVER COME TO ANNISTON, ALABAMA AND NEED ANYTHING, I AM YOUR GIRL! WE GOT DOCTORS,CHEFS,DENTIST,TENNIS PRO,LANDSCAPE DESIGNER, ARCHITECT, DECORATOR AND A FIRST CLASS FLORAL DESIGN TEAM FOR LARGE OR SMALL EVENTS! JUST ASK AND WE WILL PROVIDE, PLUS WE CAN PUT YOU UP AT A BEAUTIFUL VICTORIAN INN IN THE MIDDLE OF TOWN! I LOVE YOU PAULA, SUSIE ULREY

By Susie Ulrey on October 26, 2011

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PAULA, YOU ARE A TRUE SOUTHERN GAL. I REALLY ENJOY LISTENING TO YOU TALK AND SEEING YOU. THE PICTURE OF YOU ON HERE IS ADORABLE. WOULD LOVE TO HAVE YOU FOR A NEIGHBOR. I WOULD PROBABLY MAKE A PEST OF MYSELF COMING OVER TO CHAT. ME? I AM 84 (ACT LIKE 44)AND I TRULY STILL ENJOY LIFE. I LOVE PEOPLE AND I STILL KEEP IN TOUCH WILL ALL OF MY FRIENDS WHO WENT TO YOUNG HARRIS COLLEGE. I GO BACK EVERY YEAR FOR HOMECOMING AND GET TO SEE MY FRIENDS WHO ARE STILL LIVING. YOU KEEP ON TAKING TIME FOR "PAULA" CAUSE HONEY, TIMES/AWASTING. YOU WILL NOT REALIZE IT TILL YOUR TOO TIRED TO GO AND DO SO............GO TAKE SOME TIME FOR YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND TOGETHER. I MEAN IT NOW.................SINCERELY TOMMY BOYLEN

By TOMMY BOYLEN on October 21, 2011

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Hey Paula......I am truly inspired by your "life-Biography Story" of how you "picked yourself up -dusted yourself off - and moved on in life." Talking about when you divorced your husband and it was just you and your two handsome sons and only $200 dollars to your name....and now look at you Girl!! Well, I am also divorced after 24 years and when hard times, which seems to be more than not, hit me and I feel as though I'm going to drown....I think of you and how you made it - and I find this inner -strength to keep going. I often say to my twin sisters "how fun it would be to be out on the town with you!" You would be a BLAST! Well I am going to my friend's Halloween Party and I didn't know what to be - until I visited my favorited consignment store and I seen this aqua satin blouse....I threw it up onto the counter and asked Joe - the lady who owns the store, "I can use this for something for Halloween...I'm not sure what, but I know I can use it. What could I use it for Joe?" She smiled real big at me and said, "PAULA DEEN" I smiled, we smiled, I said, "YES! THAT'S IT!" So I started looking for aqua jewelry and whatnot to match. Joe said, "I met Paula once, and this color I know she would wear!" Joe said, "you will have to practice talking like Paula." I said, "Oh, that's no problem ya'll lol I will be the hit of the party...and I know I will talk like Paula all night long...cuz I am a goof!" lol I think you're a beautiful lady Paula....and I'm so happy that you've made it in life and married a really nice man....YOU GO GIRL

By Deborah Ivanoff on October 14, 2011

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Well Paula, here it is i actually watch you on your shows for my relaxing time and i love cookbooks myself and everyone of them are yours so you can tell i love my paula , i actually remember the first time you came on Tv in the country house i was calling everybody telling them to turn the food network on that my twin was on there love your personality just like mine dont meet a stranger , i come to Savannah to visit at your resturant and store i plan on coming when it is decorated for christmas i am excited !! but no relaxing in Savannah !!

By Amy Soyars on October 12, 2011

54321

Relax? Oh Sugar, whats that?! I used to quilt, but have too many cats for that anymore. I crochet when I'm stressed, and when I want to really enjoy 'me' time I do my artwork. Colored pencil and watercolor. Maybe a little jewelry. Play with my dogs... theres three of them. Or go hang out with the chickens. I DO understand about the hens. They are so funny and I love those wonderful sounds they make when they're content. So soothing. I have four Buff Orpintons, they are GORGEOUS! And they know it! This coming Spring I want to try some Delawares. The Florida heat can really beat some of these girls down. I freeze water in milk jugs and set out in their run, so they can lay near and cool off! Also, saw you on Dr. Oz today. Stopping smoking is the best thing you can do for yourself Sweetheart. You have a Nation full of folks wishing you all the best! Good luck! And thank you so very much for being YOU.

By Alice Mae Lewis on October 11, 2011

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To relax. I knit. I've been knitting for 55 years. (I'm 71 be 72 on Dec. 20. I love your shows I watch your shhow as often as I can. I cook alot of your recipes. My family loves them. all. I also love reading and cooking. and my church. Well, you hang in there girl. Be good to yourself. Much love. Judy

By judy on October 06, 2011

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Paula- I knit and crochet and bake and knit with two of my 5 grandaughters. I made sure all my children could cook. Starting with my oldest who is the best cook aside from u, lol. i taught him when he was 9, he cooked for scouts and won many awards for his cooking. when i am not knitting, i make quilts for children and send them to a place in utah. but when i really want to relax, i head to ma. and spend time with my oldest boy and enjoy his cooking. love to u and mike and your family. p.s when are we going to get to see the new little guy of jamie and Brooke? Rosie in Ct.

By rOSIE HERDMAN on October 05, 2011

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HI PAULA. I USE TO LIVE IN NORTHEAST OKLA. NOT FAR FROM TULSA. MY NEIGHBORS HAD LAYING HENS. AND WE BOTH HAD A HUGE GARDEN AND HERB GARDEN. DO I MISS THEM, U BET I DO. BUT I AM ABLE TO COME TO MARKET PLACES AND BUY FRESH PRODUCE. HEY GIRL THAT IS JUST THE SWEET SOUTHERN LADY IN U WANTING TO FIND RELATION AT HOME AND WITH YUUR COOKING AND GARDEN AND PETS. I STILL MISS MY AUNT AND UNCLES POULTRY FARM AND DAIRY, THEY ARE GONE AND HAVE BEEN FOR YEARS. U LOOK SO CUTE IN THAT HAT. LOVE YOUR SESSIONS COOKING WITH YOUR BOYS. I TRY TO DO THE SAME WITH MY OLDEST SON WHEN I CAN. MUCH LOVE ROSIE IN CT.

By RoseMarie Herdman on October 05, 2011

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I too love to read cookbooks as novels I have a recipe published in Goose Berry Farms, for potato quiche, my dream would be to make this quiche with you Paula, I am 62 years old and I love to cook and create my own recipes, I hardly ever use a recipe, even yours Paula without adding my own twist. I love your show especially when your two handsome sons are on. I guess you never see these, but if you ever need a helper I would love to be on your show, but doesn't every body.

By Ruth Ahders on October 05, 2011

54321

Dear Paula, Your vacation sounds like a real vacation what we all need in this busy world toaday is to slow down and find ourselves again that can get lost along the say before we know it. I have a small herb garden and, love to work in it. A few months ago i sarted writting in my journal just a few thoughts of the day i was surprised how much better i felt to just put my thoughts onto paper and let it all out happy or sad . i also love to go on our boat and, just be with nature and the beauty of it all. Love you Kay Goodman

By kay goodman on October 05, 2011

54321

Dear Paula, I love watching your show,I really like it when your husband cooks with you, he seem to make you laugh a lot,you have a wonderful closeness to your family an in this day and age that's priceless.My 12 yr old son even watches your show with me,and loves to help in the kitchen.But I really just want to say THANK YOU, for all your wonderful recipes,your show,and all the other wonderful things that you do,you are a blessing and you are BLESSED.

By nancy boulden on October 05, 2011

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Paula, The things that give me alot of peace are so simple, and I think thats the ticket. Such things as weeding my garden,sitting by the ocean listening to the waves crash on the rocks,and the smell of fresh baked cookies ,bread,and lasagna. But most of all a big hug from my loved ones it just melts away everything. Hugs to YOU

By Penny on October 05, 2011

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I work in a restaurant and as you know that involves long hours everyday! Believe it or not I really look forward to my days off from work so that I can cook a great meal.that is the way I unwind and our whole family gets involved.I get great satisfaction from cooking and it just makes home a happy place!

By leticia on October 05, 2011

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