Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Monday, December 30, 2013

Birthday as license to be

Today is my birthday and yes with it so close to New Year's I could use it to reflect on a year gone and one coming up, but I choose on my birthday to give myself license to be what I want, eat what I want and wear what I want-- in essence to spend the whole day being me without caring what anyone or the world thinks.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

In the kitchen on Thursday: Sugar cookies to go with that Champagne

Easy Sugar Cookies

1 stick butter
2/3 C. sugar
2 Tbsp. ground almonds
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. milk
2 eggs

Pre heat oven to 325. Cream the butter and the sugar. Add the milk and eggs and beat well. Add all dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. You may want to use an electric mixer (I do). Place by teaspoonful on greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until edges are golden brown. Make 2-3 dozen.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Wednesday's words about Christmas

"Children, Christmas is not a date, it is a state of mind." —Mary Ellen Chase

(To all my readers: Happy Holidays and may 2014 be a joyous and healthy year for you —Mali List Mayer)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tuesday's tip: handy travel helpers

1. a pillowcase packs flat as a laundry bag

2. old prescription pill bottle as a pill box

3. large Altoids tin when packed with bandaids is a"first aid" kit

4. newspaper delivery bags do double duty as shoe bags

5. Have Fun!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tuesday's Tip" Music is the universal language

This morning my daughter was having a fashion crisis unable to decide what to wear to school, which dissolved into tears and then she started talking about the song they were learning in music class, Lean On Me, which just so happens is on my Itunes and she listened to it on the walk to school and the tears gave way to a smile (Thanks, Bill Withers).

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Watering Plants

Watering plants at night allows them to soak up as much water as possible without the sun light evaporating the water or drying out the plants.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Typos and tracking

I have been tracking my typos as I said I would and I average one per post, which is better than I thought it would be, but still not good, so keep the comments/feedback coming.

Friday, December 6, 2013

You can only go back by going forward....

I am looking at a picture of myself that is 13 or 14 years old that was somehow left on my desk and noticing that the only difference between me now and then (besides the clothes) is I weigh more now and smiled more then and it got me thinking that the only way to go back is to go forward, so in going forward, I resolve (New Year's resolution here?) to smile more (maybe then I won't be referred to as Ms. Grumpy by my daughter).

Thursday, December 5, 2013

In the Kitchen on Thursday: Leftover Cranberry Sauce Syrup

I make flavored simple syrups for my daughter to mix with seltzer so she can have "soda." She loves my cranberry version made with leftover sauce.

3/4 C. Water
3 Tbsp. Sugar
2 Tbsp. Cranberry sauce (I make it from scratch with orange juice and zest)

Heat all ingredients in a pot until the sugar is dissolved and just boiling. Turn off heat and cool. Pour into a glass jar. If you used a chuck sauce, strain it first. It will keep for 2 weeks. It can also be frozen for later use.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Heat water for coffee

For the past two mornings, my daughter (age 8) has made me a cup of coffee in my travel mug which is so sweet of her even if the coffee is cold, since she didn't heat the water (She said"I figured the water was still hot.")

(P.S. A second tip. just say to your child, the "blank" is delicious because it pays to sweeten things every now and then.)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

In the kitchen on Thursday: Potluck

(Containers of food for the potluck Thanksgiving dinner at my mon's place--Cranberry , Potato Pancakes, Roast Pecans, Cornbread Stuffing and Gingerbread Cookies)

Roast Pecans
2 lbs. Pecans
4 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Brown sugar
2 Tbsp Worstershire sauce

Heat oven to 400. Melt butter with sugar and Worstershire and coat pecans. Roast for 1 hour. Toss with salt. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

Happy Thanksgiving! I am thankful for my family, my home and my mon's pumpkin chiffon pie.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wednesday's words: On perseverance

"I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance." —John D. Rockefeller
Biography of John D. Rockefeller

Monday, November 25, 2013

Typos and change

Over the weekend a friend pointed out the typos and editing issues I have with my blog and since this is something that has plagued me for all of my life, a lightbulb went off and I remembered the book I just finished, Changeology, and decided to do the 5-step process to get better at proofreading my blog.

(P.S. If you see any typos, editing issues or just have a comment be sure to use the comment section—I welcome all feedback.)

Friday, November 22, 2013

What's in a number?....Age

I had coffee with a friend this morning who told me it was her birthday and I couldn't believe how old she was and that is when I truly realized that age is number by which we need not define ourselves and while as adults we should not act like kids all the time, we should be young at heart (and in mind).

Happy Birthday Linda!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

In the kitchen on Thursday: Rice Pudding, so good, there is no photo

Easy Baked Rice Pudding

1 Lg. can evaporated milk
1 Lg. can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 C. white rice

Preheat oven to 300. Stir all ingredients together in an oven proof dish with lid.  I use a dutch oven to make mine. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator. It will last up to a week.

Note: Do not use Basmati rice (I tried and it doesn't cook all the way through)

(P.S. Every time I went to take a picture, I forgot since I dove right in and devoured each bowl I served myself.)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

More words....

"It  is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no mane can sincerely try to help another without helping himself." —Ralph Waldo Emmerson

Wednesday's Words: We must do

"Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Willing  is not enough; we mist do." —Goethe
Goethe's Biography

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Another use for a "nipple brush"

Now, I use mine to clean the straw in water bottles and the opening in the lid of my travel mug. This way my coffee never tastes like tea and vice versa.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Counting to sleep (and not sheep)....

Lat night my daughter had trouble falling sleep based on an ad she saw on an animal themed cable station, so my husband said to count backwards from 100 and it took counting backwards and forwards with my daughter being silent for her to calm down enough to go to sleep and I thought I should try this stress relieving technique more often (especially with Thanksgiving next week), so I owe a big thank you to my husband with reservations, since three don't fit in a queen sized bed.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

In the kitchen on Thursday: A good gift....Homemade Hot Sauce

Hot Sauce

6 oz. hot peppers (any kind or a mix)
2 oz. garlic cloves
1 Tbsp. Kosher salt
3/4 C. distilled white vinegar

Wash and cut the tops of the peppers. Peel the the garlic. Roast both on a cookie sheet on broil for 3-5 minutes until pepper skin begins to blister. Pulse in food processor with salt. Scrape into jar and add vinegar. Let sit for two weeks and then strain out the pepper seeds. Makes a great gift for a spice loving family member or friend.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wednesday's words from a wise man

"Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome." —Samuel Johnson

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tip: Sugar busting

I discovered (much too late) the way to bust my sugar habit is to throw it out, something I practiced today with leftover candy corn—to repurpose a famous saying "One small step for my weight loss needs, one giant step for my sugar problem." (I mean no disrespect to the astronauts who landed on the moon in 1969.)

Story of first US landing on the moon—Apollo 11

Monday, November 11, 2013

WWII, Pilot checklist and the lesson of To-Do lists

Many months ago, while reading the Checklist Manifesto (by Atul Gawande) my Great-Uncle, then 92 years old, showed me his B-29 bomber manual from WWII and right there was the pilot checklist that Mr. Gawande references in his book and I saw first hand the importance of checklists, also known now as a to-do list and every time I do my list I think of "UB" and his manual.

(This is just one of the many insights I have gained from listening to my great-uncle tell stories about his youth, WWII and his working life).

I salute you, UB and all the other veterans of war for their service in protecting our freedom and those of our fellow men, women and children in this world.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Taming morning madness....

I have discovered that if I get up 30 minuted before my daughter, I can make her lunch, prepare breakfast for both of us (no more cereal every morning for her), plan my day over a cup of tea and we leave the house on time (which we did before) feeling relaxed, so take my advice and follow suit.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

In the kitchen on Thursday: Seasonal Muffins

After Halloween, I dismantled our display and dissected the pumpkin into seeds for roasting and the pulp for muffins. Making the muffins doubled as mother-daughter bonding.

(Muffins, hot out of the oven)
1 box gingerbread mix
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (optional)
1/4 C. water
3/4 C. pumpkin pulp pureed (or canned pumpkin)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together. Place liners in cupcake tins. Spoon in batter until each is 2/3 full. Bake for 30 minutes. Makes 10-12. Great with butter, cream cheese or plain.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

More Words....

"No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it." —Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein Biography

Wednesday's words: Size matters

"It is not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog." —Anonymous

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Eco friendly Laundry

A few months back I read that adding a dry towel to a dryer cycle cut drying time equaling saved energy. The added bonus is the clothes come out softer and with less static (with no dryer sheet).

Monday, November 4, 2013

November and the New Year

While it is not the new year and only November, I have decided to set some goals from now to the end of the year, break them down into bite size pieces and accomplish them none-the-less like they were new years' resolutions and those goals are to get check off more household projects, craft a better business message that really builds my "brand, support my husband in his work transition and get better at setting boundaries for my 8 year-old "teenager."

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Wednesday's words: The profit of a lifetime

"My mother always said, 'children are an investment and grandchildren are the profit.'" --A retail sales clerk

Thursday, October 24, 2013

In the kitchen on Thursday: For the 3rd grade cook book


2 Squares unsweetened chocolate

¼ C. Unsalted butter

1 C. Sugar

2 eggs, beaten

A pinch of salt

1 C. flour

½ tsp. Baking Powder

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

½ C. chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. Melt the chocolate and the butter in the top of a double boiler. Stir in the sugar and the eggs. Put the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Stir in the flour mixture, a little at a time. Place in a greased 8” square pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool completely and cut into squares. Makes 16 brownies.

(Original recipe from the James Beard Cook Book, ©1970)

Friday, October 18, 2013

How to teach financial responsibility?

My daughter has been great about saving her allowance (and not spending it), but then expects that for the holidays she will get everything she wants and gifts and I am wondering how to draw a connection to saving, responsible spending and "Grandma won't be buying everything you asked her for because it is too much money" (for which I need to convince Grandma).

Thursday, October 17, 2013

In the kitchen on Thursday: Branzino (not just for restaurants)

Pan-Roasted Whole Branzino

1 Whole Branzino (cleaned and filleted)
2. Tbsp. Sunflower oil
1/2 Lemon cut into round slices
4 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. dried Parsley
1 tsp. dried Thyme

If the fish still has the head and tail, cut them off. Wash and pat dry the Branzino. Heat the oil in a skillet. Place the lemon slices inside the fish. Pan fry the Branzino for 4 minutes a side. Remove from pan. Melt butter with herbs and deglaze the pan. Spoon the sauce over the fish. Makes 2 servings.

(Branzino hot out of the skillet)

(P.S. My husband gave this a thumbs up. I used the head an tail to make some fish broth that I froze for a later use.)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wednesday's words from Agatha Christie

"Oh dear, I never realized what a terrible lot of explaining one has to do in a murder." —Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie Biogrpahy

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tuesday's tip: Plan ahead mornings

This morning we woke up late, so I was glad I had packed my bag the night before and prepped lunches; this made getting out of the house on time for school more likely (and that I bought a cup of coffee rather than make one).

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Tying your shoes

My daughter explained to me that it was best to untie sneaker before putting them on to help the shoes last longer and I knew she was eight and I also knew that there was a lesson in this tip—doing things the right way first pays off in the long run (unfortunately I got the tip on the late side and my sneakers need to be replaced, but I will take better care of the new pair).

Thursday, October 3, 2013

In the kitchen on Thursday: Meal Planning

Every week I plan out what's for dinner by a single main ingredient on each cooking night and rotating certain recipes (you can see this weeks dinners above), so I can tell you what we are eating on Friday October 18th and I love doing this because it simplifies my life and my cooking.

(In the next issue of my newsletter, the lead article is on meal planning and goes in depth on the main ingredient and rotation methods and how to combine them as I do. Subscribe on my website. Website link, click subscribe button on lower left)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

In the parenting tool kit....

I recently discovered writing as an affective tool-- my daughter and write out why she is upset, what can be done about it, them read them to each other and have a discussion which stops her incessant whining and my losing my temper in response (Thanks, mom for the idea).

Tuesday's tip: An organized desk

From AK Organizing

AK Organizing website

Friday, September 27, 2013

Words...from dream to goal

"It's a dream until you write it down, and then it's a goal." -- Anonymous

In the kitchen on Thursdays, opps, Friday: Easy Chinese

1 package Tofu, medium firm
1 bunch Bok Choy, large
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/3 C. water
1 tsp. ground Ginger
2 cloves of garlic
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
2 Tbsp. oil (sunflower, grape seed or peanut)
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix soy sauce, water, ginger and garlic together. Slice Tofu and marinate in soy sauce mixture. Place on oiled baking tray. Wash Bok Choy and seperate. Toss with oil, salt and pepper. Place on cookie sheet, spreading out leaves. Place the Tofu in the oven. After 10 minutes add Bok Choy and bake for 20 minutes longer. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve imediately. Make 3 servings.

Tip: If the Bok Choy leaves are getting too crispy, cover with foil for the remainder of baking.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: DIY Manicure

If you paint your nails at home start with the nails on your dominate hand and there is less chance of messing them up as you do the other hand.

Monday, September 23, 2013

My daughter's behavior....Am I looking in a mirror or not?

I am sitting here reflecting on some bad behavior on my daughter's part—hard wiring, environment or teen attitude in a tween and I realized it is all of the above since, I was stubborn as a kid and still am, so now I am reflecting whether I have myself to blame for my daughter's bad behavior and attitude and what I can do to steer her in the direction of team work and loving attitude.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

All in the family....

I was at my mom's apartment the other day where I noticed that she already had Halloween cards for her grandchildren and her 2014 calendar (with a note to enter in birthdays) and I realized that my organization and planner skills (which I use in my new business), I got genetically from my mom and  my dad (he was organized and she is a planner).

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Healthier baking

In baking, oil can be substituted for melted butter and when the recipe calls for vegetable oil try Sunflower, Safflower or Olive Oil to make it healthier.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The importance of GOALS

I am happy to say that my first newsletter went out to 10 people, which was my goal, so I did it and I feel great, which is giving  me confidence to push my new business even farther (So what are your goals?)

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday: A day of reflection

This week has been awesome—my daughter started 3rd grade and already likes her teacher, my husband's contract was extended with his biggest client and my first newsletter hits computers on Monday—way to go Mayers!

(Shameless marketing: to receive the newsletter, website link and click the subscribe button.)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Back to school reality check...

Today my daughter entered 3rd grade and when I tried to talk to her about how proud I was that she was a 3rd grader she reminded me that I am 40 and in a gentle and joking way I told her it was mean to do this—I guess if our kids grew-up we grow older (Not Fair!).

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Lips done easy

From Laura Nadeau, make-up artist, use a lip pencil all over your lips to act as a primer under lip gloss—you get color and your gloss will last longer.


Friday, August 30, 2013

Patience pays off

I haven't posted in a few days, since my daughter ordered a new desk from IKEA and I have been putting it together with my daughter until her impatience got the best of her and I patiently finished the assembly (I wish the pieces had been numbered to correspond with numbers in  the instruction to make assembly easier)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Baking Substitution

If you are out of baking squares you can substitute with cocoa powder.

1 bitterweet baking square = 3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 Tbsp. oil and 1 Tbsp, sugar

I used this substitution recently in baking brownies and the only difference was that the brownies were denser in taste.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Being nice goes a long way....

Today I had to make a customer service call and since I was nice, the gentleman was nice back and over the weekend my daughter dumped her father's mail pile on the floor in an attempt to make him clean through it and I realized that we need to do a better job teaching her that if you are nice, people are nice back (I tried explaining this to her, but she was in no mood to listen).

(Eventually I sorted my husbands mail to make going trough it easier and to get it off the floor and he was appreciative—take that dear daughter.)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Wednesday's words: the best way for life to end....

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well perserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other body, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaminng 'WOO HOO what a ride'" -- Otis Gazette (Otis, MA)

Life is short or is it?

Yesterday, I learned that a woman I went to elementary school had died and she was my age, which got me thinking that life can be short and the way to extend it is to exercise, eat right and be positive and in reality we should all be this way without a death spurning us on.

(May the memory of Sarah be for blessing.)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

In the kitchen: No bake kid-friendly granola bars

(This batch was made by daughter with my mom as sous chef)
2.5 Cups of Rice Krispies
2 C. Quick Oats
1/2 C. Raisins
1/2 C. Brown sugar
1/2 C. Light corn syrup
1/2 C. creamy Peanut butter
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips.
Mix the cereal and the raisins in a bowl. Heat the sugar and the corn syrup in a small sauce pan over medium heat and stir constantly. Bring just to a boil, remove from heat and stirl in peanut butter and vanilla extract. Pour peanut butter mixture into oat mixture. Stir until dry ingredients is coated. Let stand 10 minutes. Then, stir in chocolate chiips. Press into a 9" X 13" pan and allow to cool. The cut into bars and store  in an air tight containter. Makes 12-18 bars.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

More words....

"Sometimes my mouth gets the best of me and that's not a good thing."-- Sylvie, age 8

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Remember a pen

When shopping, remember a pen to add items to you list and to check items off as you purchase them, so you don't forget to buy anything.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Vacation too long?

After being grumpy and testy all day with my mother and daughter on a shopping excursion, I am begining to wonder if my vacation has been too long and I am yearning to return home to deal with the mail, email and other household chorse or if I am just wanting time alone (sans mother and daughter) on my vacation.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

In the kitchen on Thursday: Summer ritual

Every summer vacation, my daughter and I make ice cream. This year we made chocolate.

1 Large can sweetened condensed milk
1 pint of cream
3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl until the cocoa poweder is almost all incorporated. Pour into the bowl of an ice cream maker. Follow the maker's directions for churning. When this is done, put the ice cream in the freezer. If the bowl can go in the freezer do so with plastic wrap on top. If it can't, scrape the ice cream into plastic containers with lids. In 3-4 hours, it will be "soft serve" and in 7-8 hours it will be hard.

For Vanilla ice cream, swap out the cocoa powder for 2-3 tsp. Vanilla Extract.

This is similar to the one I have...Ice Cream Maker

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tuesday's Tip

Clean out your refrigerator once a week to avoid food spoiling and/or molding. (I cleaned the fridge today and found gone bad leftover Sushi rolls—what a waste!)

Tuesday's tip: Vacation

Be sure to put a lamp on a timer, so your house won't look empty.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Time to yourself.....

This morning my daughter was whining because all the adults (we are on vacation with my mom) were busy, so I suggested that she could read, draw or play games on the IPad by herself and she whined more because at 8 years old she doesn't see the value in this and yet I see the teaching of an important life skill-- being able to "play" alone.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

In the kitchen on Thursday: A new take on a classic

Linguine with Pesto, Artichoke Hearts and Green Beans

1 Box Linguine
2 C. fresh green beans
3/4 C. Pesto sauce
3/4 C. Artichoke hearts
2-4 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

Cook the Linguine according to the box. Wash the green beans, trim the ends and cut in half. Add the beans to the pasta with 5 minutes left in cooking. Drain the artichokes. Cut into quarters and set aside. Drain the pasta and the beans. Toss with the Pesto sauce and artichoke hearts. Place in 4 bowls and sprinkle cheese on top. Serves 4.

Keep in mind picky eaters or kids can have the pasta without the veggies.

(Not a great photo of a great dinner.)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Avoid wrinkling clothes

Do not over stuff your drier or your clothes will come out wrinkled. (Since, I did this recently, I had to iron my husbands chinos.)

Friday, August 2, 2013

In the kitchen on Thursday and Friday: Mistakes happen

I tried yesterday to make frozen yogurt and ended up with a block of yogurt until I reread the recipe and saw that I was supposed to add milk, which I did today by slightly defrosting what I had and mixing in the milk and I hope (fingers crossed) this works.

Honey Blueberry Frozen Yogurt

1C. greek yogurt (it is already strained, but some recipes recommend doing it again—I did not)
1/4. milk
1 tsp. honey
1/4 C. blueberries

Mix all ingredients in a ice cream maker. Let it "churn" for 30-40 minutes and place in freezer.

I used a Sassafras Ice Cream Maker.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tuesday's tip: Nice smelling clothes

I take scented soaps and place them in old socks (one's that are no longer a pair) and knot them at the end and  place the "sachet" in a clothing drawer or on shelf. When I wear the clothes, they smell nice (even my underwear).

Friday, July 26, 2013

Make-Up Bag Makeover

After peeling off the flaking fabric and replacing with duct tape......

It is not perfect, but I am able to keep my "perfect sized" bag.
(If only it were this easy to make over one's life!)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

In the kitchen on Thursday: An easy dinner

Once a week, Thursday  night to be exact, we have OYO for dinner. That is "on your own." This means that we all get our dinner—take out, left overs or cobbled together from what is in the fridge. The benefit is that food does not go to waste and we can make a meal suited to our individual tastes (I don't like spciy and my daughter does). I wonder what I am having for dinner tonight.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Triple check

When you make a plan be sure to double and even triple check the time and other pertinent information (Today, I have a webinar at 10 am PDT, not EST which is pertinent info I overlooked).

Monday, July 22, 2013

To blog or not....

I am sitting in my home office (yes, I work from home) and realizing two things—1. A blog has to be ahead of the curve to attract people and it has to be content that people want to read, so I guess my Tuesday's Tips and In the Kitchen on Thursday or old school and that is why I am not attracting people. right?

Friday, July 19, 2013

In the Kitchen on Friday: Thursday night dinner

(Thursday night dinner)

Easy Ranch Dip

8 oz. container of Sour Cream
1/4 C. Mayo
1/4 C. Ranch dressing mix

Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Serve with cut vegetables or  chips. I served mine with carrot and celery sticks and homemade Buffalo wings (and there were no leftovers).

New Use....

Grocery lust on the back if a bank deposit slip--hey, it's "lined."

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

More words....

"Always be more than you appear and never appear to be more than you are."—originally attributed to Horst Kasner

Tuesday's Tip: Spend Less

" Big Bills....Convert money into $50 bills. You'll think twice before spending them." —from the AARP Bulletin 99 Great Ways to Save

Monday, July 15, 2013

Teachable moments

Last night as a I put my daughter to bed, she was still reveling in the HGTV Star episode and said to me, " It seems like you like the show too." and I replied, "I don't care for it much or TV for that matter, but I see you like it and I encourage you the same way I see that you like and are good at gymnastics which I encourage too." and in that moment my daughter learned what it takes to maintain a relationship (and be a parent).

(P.S. We are planning a family party to watch the last episode of this seasons HGTV Star show complete with popcorn and sparking apple cider to toast the winner.)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wednesday's words: The purpose of life

"The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away." —Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso Bio

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Confidence Builder

Last week I had a client meeting and was worried I would smell from sweat, so I grabbed two scented panty-liners and stuck them in the armpits of my shirt (sticky side to the fabric) and instantly my confidence went up a few notches.

Monday, July 8, 2013

What throw pillow shopping taught me...

Yesterday I went with my HGTV loving daughter to buy new throw pillows for our couch and she nearly melted down when she couldn't find any that went with the couch and our rug (a Turkish Kiln) and so we called her father who to her mind was not understanding and I leaned the keys to a relationship is listening and then understanding.

(P.S. She recovered when she was allowed to revamp a book shelf in our living room which now has an Architectural Digest flair to it.)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Friday: You might need to switch on the fly

I was standing in the grocery store (the third one) and did not see the chocolate wafers needed for an ice box cake which had been requested by my friend for her BBQ, so I immediately scanned the shelves for the ingredients to the only other icebox cake I know how to make and found them and in the process learned that when one thing doesn't fly, move on to something else right away.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wednesday's Words: On aging

"You don't grow old, you are old when you stop growing." -- Barry Hyatt (I saw this at my mom's house.)

Monday, July 1, 2013

2-steps: My business and my daughter....

In talking to people I came to see that getting clients is a 2-step process, the free consult call and the follow-up call and at the same time I realized that disciplining my 8 year old was also 2 steps—the punishment and making sure she understands why she is being punished (It is funny how many things in life of two steps)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

In the kitchen on Thursday: DIY Soda

1/4 C. Fruit juice
3/4 C. Seltzer

Mix ingredients in a glass. Add more juice if you want.

My daughter loves this because it is "refreshing" (to quote her).

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wednesday's words?: Wake-up

“I always write ‘Wake Up’ on my To-Do-List so I can at least accomplish one thing a day.” - Unknown author

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tuesday's tip; Clean the fridge

This morning, my daughter said, "when you food shop, you should clean the fridge. When I buy clothes, I get rid of some to make room for the new ones."-- Great advice!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Leftovers on Monday and I don't mean dinner

Tonight I am making Chinese chicken and sugar snap peas for dinner and today I finished projects from the weekend—watering plants, ordering my daughter a new baby doll and catching up on paperwork and in the end I feel I need another Monday before Tuesday comes at 12 AM.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The short and the long of it

Today I am going with my family to the cemetery to honor those who have died which makes me think life is short and it should be in order at all times which based on recent developments with my new business makes me ask, "How do I get a client o actually commit to meeting with me when they have agreed to do so?" (Any ideas are helpful.)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

In the kitchen on Thursday: Awesome summer salad

Asparagus and Bean Salad

1 lb. Asparagus
1 can (15 oz.) Cannellini beans

1/2 C. Olive Oil
Juice of one lemon
1 Tbsp. lemon zest
3 Tbsp. Dried Tarragon

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Break off the ends of the Asparagus and wash them. Add them to the pot with the heat off for 1.5 minutes. Immediately drain the Asparagus and place in a bowl with ice water. While the Asparagus is cooling, drain and rinse the can of beans and place in a salad bowl. Mix all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Add the Asparagus to the beans and toss in the dressing. Makes 4-6 servings.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

More words....

Wednesday's words: If I am gone, remember....

"If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together, there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart, I’ll always be with you." —Christopher Robin to Winnie the Pooh (by A.A.Milne)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Better Salad

Rip, don't cut salad greens

Except for Romaine, lettuce fares better when ripped then when cut. Tearing encourages breakage along naturally occurring cellular fault lines, while cutting damages cells, producing bruising and browning

From 101 Things I Learned in Culinary School by Louis Eguaras and Matthew Frederick

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday Blues

Well, today was definitely a Monday Monday because I could not get into the website development program to edit my site which was the priority for today, and so I went to the gym to let off some steam in a healthy manner and reset my priorities—making sure that my business Facebook page and Twitter account are current.

Facebook Page

Twitter Account

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A big shove goes a long way....

I don't normally exercise on the weekends, but today I put on my ankle weights and took a walk in Prospect Park, since my daughter said this morning "Whoever has the largest waist has to go to the gym today" and I was it, so on my way out the door I told her thank you (sometimes you need a big push to head in the right direction).

Friday, June 14, 2013

The week's accomplishments

This week I made it to the gym four times, so I thought about my other accomplishments—strengthening the mother-daughter bond by playing hooky from work and school with my daughter, shoring up my marriage with an awesome date night and taking some me time sitting on my butt getting a manicure and what I haven't accomplished...Friday night dinner, so I better head to the kitchen.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

In the Kitchen on Thursday: Healthy waffles for the kid in you...

Whole Grain Waffles

1 C. While flour
1/2 C. Wheat Flour
1/4 C. Wheat Germ
2 Tbsp. ground Flaxseed
1 Tbsp. Chia seed
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. Baking powder
1 1/2 C. Milk
1/3 C. Sunflower or Grape Seed oil
1 egg
a pinch of salt

Mix all dry ingredients together. Whisk together the egg an milk. Slowly add and mix the dry ingredients into the wet. Allow to sit for a few minutes before ladling into the waffle iron. When finished cooking place waffles on a cooling rack. Waffles can be stored in an air tight bag in the fridge or frozen. To reheat place in a toaster oven at 350 for 10 minutes. If frozen, reheat for 15 minutes.

(Disclaimer: My 8-year old daughter and her friend did not like them. They prefer waffles from a mix.)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wednesday's words: In honor of father's day

"When I was a boy of fouteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was atonished at how much he had learned in seven years." -- Mark Twain

Mark Twain Biography

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: In a pinch flour sifter

Place a fine mesh colander in a bowl and pour in your dry ingredients. Shake the colander over the bowl and your dry ingredients are sifted

Monday, June 10, 2013

Morning person or not?

I've spent years telling people that I became a morning person, when I had my daughter (now, 8) and got up at 3 or 4 AM when she was a baby only to realize this weekend that I am not morning person (just like my father who slept until noon on weekends) and so I raise a mug to coffee and afternoon gym workouts.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Baking, stress and weightloss

Today I baked a batch of Betty Crocker brownies and while the act of baking temporarily relieved my stress (always has), the brownies won't do anything for my need to lose another 10 lbs. (I lost 10 lbs. last year) and so I will pawn as many of the brownies off on my husband and daughter to avoid to much weight gain and after sugar guilt.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

In the kitchen on Thursday: No Cook Strawberry Jam

1 Lb. Strawberries
2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp. Chia Seed
1 Tbsp. Honey

Wash strawberries and remove leaves. Chop strawberries and place in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mash with a potato masher or pastry blender. Pour into Ball Jars. Keep refrigerated. Makes 3 jars.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wednesday's words: Listen

" It's important to listen. Most people just want to know they are heard." —Anne Marea

Friday, May 31, 2013

From my favorite radio host...

13 Kids, working and keeping it all together....

A daily does of inspiring your child...

Stephanie Thompson in her Fearless Parenting column (The Brooklyn Paper) talks about the importance of parents inspiring their kids, and not only is she right, but we can do it on a daily basis by being authentic, kind, respectful, and compassionate, so our kids learn these values from us (as the saying goes, "Actions speak louder than words.")

Stephanie Thompson's recent column

Thursday, May 30, 2013

In the kitchen on Thursday: Since a friend asked...

Bourbon Balls (from the Derbytown Winners cookbook)

1 C. Vanilla Wafer crumbs
1 C. chopped Pecans
1 C. Powdered Sugar
2 Tbsp. Cocoa powder
2 jiggers Bourbon
1 1/2 tsp. Corn Syrup

Blend the dry ingredients. Then blend in the wet ingredients. Form into balls and roll in powdered sugar if you want. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

1. Try chocolate wafers
2. Substitute flavored liquor or rum for the bourbon
3. Roll in ground flaked cocoanut instead of powdered sugar

What is a jigger?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Add Baking Soda

Add 2-3 Tbsp. baking soda when running your dishwasher or washing machine to give the soap a boost and help keep the appliance clean.

Monday, May 27, 2013

A massage many years ago taught me a valuable lesson—Let go at the beginning

Many years ago I had a Shaitsu massage end the practitioner said to me at the end that was I know calm enough to begin and that is how I felt at the end of this weekend after spending days in a cabin nestled among trees by a lake that I was ready to let "cranky" go and let in peace and tranquility—only we were driving home, so next time I better start earlier in the weekend to let go.

Friday, May 24, 2013

It's individual.....

This picture proves that everyone has their own opinion and the right to express because I personally think an Oreo is a classic.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

In the Kitchen on Thursday: Gluten Free Muffins to gobble up

1 C. Almond Meal/Flour
1C. Flax Seed Meal
1/2 C. applesauce
1/2 C. butter (1 Stick), melted and cooled
2 eggs beaten
1 Tbsp. baking powder (gluten free)
1/2 C. water
1/2 C. sugar
1 tsp. ground Cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground Nutmeg
pinch of salt

Add in:
2-3 Tbsp. grated carrots
1/4 C. golden raisins

Line a cupcake pan with liners. Pre heat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients, except add-ins, together until thoroughly blended. Then mix in add ins until just incorporated. Spoon batter into muffin tins so each is 3/4 full. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Allow to cool.

They are moist, light, delicious and don't even need any butter or jam.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Wednesday's words from John Wayne

"Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in your handfs. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday."
—John Wayne

John Wayne Biography

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Patent Leather like new

To keep patent leather looking shiny and to prevent cracking rub with petroleum jelly and shine with glass cleaner.

From 1003 Household HInts, copyright 1947

Monday, May 20, 2013

What I learned from having a new fence installed-- Quiet Time

At this very moment work is being done our house (new front fence, backyard lights and basement drain) and I am realizing that as a house needs to be reviewed and updated every so often, so do we as humans and that is what quiet reflection time is for, so today amid the sounds of drills and hammers, I plan to take some quiet time (and hope to do so every day this week) and you should too.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Family as Community and a Stubborn Mule to complicate things

My daughter has asked to drop out of Gymnastics and her father and I said, "No," and then I spent the rest of the morning explaining that a family is a community and as such we help each other out and it would be a big help if she went to gymnastics today (and didn't argue with the sitter) and the her father, I and she sat down and further discussed it over the weekend and the whole time she kept saying, "No," and therefore it was not a good morning that was rectified with a home made brownie, since I made a batch for her school's bake sale tomorrow at the Spring Fling.

(P.S. I called my daughter a stubborn mule just like my parents called me at age 8.)

Thursday, May 16, 2013

In the Kitchen on Thursday: Pesto Reinvented

Spinach Pesto

2 C. Spinach leaves, washed
5-10 Basil leaves, washed
1/2 Tbsp. dried minced garlic
2 Tbsp. Walnuts
1/4 C. Olive Oil
1/3 C. grated Parmesan (or Romano) cheese

Put all ingredients in the bowl of an electric chopper (i.e. Cuisinart) and pulse until the leaves and walnuts are finely chopped. Toss on your favorite pasta and garnish with more grated cheese and chopped walnuts.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tuesday's Tip....Candle wax removal

To easily remove candle wax from inside a candle holder, pour boiling water into the holder, and then after 2 minutes use a dull knife to pry out the wax and on the flip side you should freeze wax to remove it from table linens with a dull knife.

Friday, May 10, 2013

How about a mom's week?

My daughter's school has a teacher appreciation week that culminates today in a pot luck appreciation lunch (food supplied by parents) and it got me thinking, that I get one day, but her teacher's get a week and so I want a week too— no cooking, no laundry, no bedtime routine, no clean-up, no calendar conversations, no parenting discussions, etc (in reality, this couldn't work).

Thursday, May 9, 2013

In the kitchen on Thursday: Vegetable Risotto

2 Tbsp. Oil (Sunflower, Grape Seed or Safflower)
1 medium Onion
2 cloves Garlic
1 C. Aborio rice
4 C. vegetable broth
3/4 C. Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/2 C. white wine
10-12 Asparagus stalks

Heat oil in 10-12" skillet. Chop onion and garlic and add to skillet. "Stir fry" until Onion is just brown, add rice and toast for two minutes. Add broth in 1/2 cup increments and cook until almost all liquid is absorbed, 5-7 minutes. With the last 1/2 C. add the cheese and stir well. Then add the wine and Asparagus. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Kid Friendly Variation: Remove 1/2 -3/4 C. before adding the wine and Aparagus. Place in a small pot and add 1/4 C. thawed mixed frozen vegetables. Heat on low setting until veggies are warmed through. Makes 1 serving.

(Left: Asparagus, Right: Mixed Veggie)

(P.S. My daughter cleaned her plate last night and asked to have the same dinner tonight.)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Coffee and creativity....

Today I was at my mom's wanting a cup of coffee and created a drip to avoid instant and realized in that moment that some problems require really creative solutions.
(Just remember to firmly hold the edges of the filter when pulling it out.)

Wednesday's Words: Traffic

"Why do they call it rush hour when nothing moves?" — Robin Williams

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Gift Ribbon....No more tangles

I used a plastic strawberry container by threading the ribbon through the open slots at the bottom and store multiple colors by utilizing the slots on both sides.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Paint and Sadness

Once again my 8 year old daughter, who is into room layouts, interior design and watching HGTV, went to bed said because she doesn't think that her father and I like her grand redecorating ideas for our house, complete with paint color choices (selected today at the hardware store, when she was there with her sitter) and the real problem is we renovated the house to move in and don't want to do it again.

(Some of her selected paint colors)

Friday, May 3, 2013

The only kid in a grown-up world

Last weekend we celebrated my great-uncle's 93rd birthday and my daughter explained that she left the table because the conversation had been "adult" and she didn't feel included and once I got over the shock of her level of emotional expression, I realized that as the only child there she was right and we needed to do a better job of including her (maybe after seeing the baseball game this weekend, she'll be able to be a part of a discussion on the history of the sport and its greatest players).

(P.S. My uncle was talking about how he met Jackie Robinson through his work in PR.)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

In the kitchen on Thursday: Awesome chocolate cake (and vegan too)

3 C. Flour
2 C. Sugar
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. salt
2 C. hot water (not boiling)
3/4 C. Oil (Sunflower or Grape Seed)
2 Tbsp. White Vinegar
1 Tbsp. Instant coffee
1 Tbsp. Vanilla Extract.

Preheat oven to 350. Grease two 8" round cake pans. Mix together all dry ingredients. Stir together all wet ingredients and slowly mix into the dry ingredients. Pour into to cake pans and bake for 35-40 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes and then invert on to cooling rack to finish. Layer cake with icing. This recipe can be cut in half and done as one 8" round cake.

The cake was no longer vegan with the addition of vanilla ice cream and then I added strawberries. This made for an awesome and tasty cake for my great-uncle's 93rd birthday.

Monday, April 29, 2013

A family of three distinct personalities and one plan for the back deck....

Last night my family had Chinese take-out for dinner with each family member getting their own dish to highlight that we all have distinct personalities and at dinner I introduced a plan for the back deck that worked with all personalities and my family was a go (to quote an old favorite TV show, the A-team, "I love it when a plan comes together.")

To elaborate—one planner, one who does well under pressure and one with an organizing gene and the plan: to order a new picnic table and benches in 48 hours from internet research and the organizer gets to set it all up and have a budget to buy cushions (she is only 8 years old).

Thursday, April 25, 2013

In the Kitchen on Thursday: One Pan Chicken Dinner

Salt and Pepper Chicken with Bok Choy

1 1/2 lbs. Chicken thighs (bone in and skin on)
1 Tbsp. Coarse Salt
1/2 Tbsp. ground black pepper
1 lb. Bok Choy
6 mini sweet peppers
Oil (sunflower, grape seed or canola)

Preheat oven to 450.  Line a rimmed cookie sheet with tinfoil and lightly oil the foil. Mix the salt and pepper together. Place the thighs on the pan and generously sprinkle the S&P on them. Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Meanwhile clean and cut the peppers in strips. Clean the Bok Choy and separate the leaves.  At the 30 minute mark add the vegetables to the pan and continue roasting for 5 minutes. Serve warm. Makes 4 servings.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A "murse"?

Today at the gym, Live with Kelly and Michael asked Snoop Lion (a.k.a. Snoop Dogg) about his "murse" (man purse) which is worn by his body guard and I realized that my hsuband is soooo old fashioned in putting his wallet in his pocket and asking me to carry his eyedrops in my purse and that my marriage lacks "trend" and I realized that this is all all right.

Wednesday's words: putting your foot in your mouth, not!

"Make sure your brain is engaged before putting you mouth in gear. Unfortunately, there is no back space on out mouth. " --J.P. Olson

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday's Tip: Remember to breath

I heard this over and over in my yoga class and it got me thinking that if we took time on several occasions during the day to "remember to breath", that is focus on our breath, we could slow down, quiet or mind and in the end be more productive—so thanks to my yoga teacher, Evalena for reminding us to "slow down."

Monday, April 22, 2013

Not the usual Monday

Tea with one friend, lunch with another, the gym in between and the solution to our backyard dilemma-- just replace the table and benches now and the rest when we someday redo the backyard (removing the PIA above ground pool).

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Monday, April 15, 2013

My dad, My daughter and a golf swing....

Today when I was at the gym, I realized that one of the exercises I was doing was like a golf swing which father taught me (Thanks, Dad!) and now I am wondering if my daughter is on the Ipad for an hour plus what am I teaching her.

Friday, April 12, 2013

De-cluttering in the rain.....

A rainy day is keeping me inside and allowing me to exercise my mind by getting a lot of work and organizing done, so my brain and desk are no longer cluttered—this is an awesome feeling.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

In the Kitchen on Thursday: Chicken Tenders

Crunchy Chicken Tenders (even a kid will love—my daughter does.)

3-4 boneless chicken breasts
2 egg whites
2 Tbsp. milk
2 Tsp. Sriracha sauce
2 Tsp. chopped Scallion, greens only
1.5-2 C. Panko bread crumbs
Pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Grease the top of a broiling pan with cooking spray. Whisk together the egg whites, milk, Sriracha and scallions. In a shallow dish mix crumbs with pepper. Cut the chicken in strips lengthwise. Coat each strip with egg white mixture and then cover with bread crumbs. Place on the pan. Repeat with the rest of the chicken. When you are done, give the chicken pieces a misting of cooking spray. Place a piece of tinfoil on a lower rack and the put in your pan on the upper rack. Bake for 20-30 minutes. Serve with your favorite dipping Sauce.

What is Sriracha sauce?