Showing posts from October, 2015

To Eat Meat or Not?

"WHO: Processed meat can cause cancer; red meat probably can"

What kind of scientific study uses the word "probably"?
Here is my 2 cents on this:

Do not get your panties in a bunch over this misleading headline. They must have used Common Core math for this article.
The article claims an 18% higher rate if cancer for meat eaters, when the research only shows an increase of 5% to 6%. In my world, that is a 1% increase, NOT 18%. 
So eat meat if you want to...or don't eat it if you don't want to. So tired of the misinformation and scare tactics that 'journalists' use to get traffic, and of the subsequent freaking out by the readers because people only read a headline and do not read the rest of it carefully enough.
So stop stressing-and over-reacting. Just read, read some more. Research and decide for yourself what is best for you.
That is all.

Just Say "No" to Shopping on a Holiday

In my humble opinion, There are very few good reasons to go shopping on Thanksgiving Day. Its not like we don't know these holidays are coming. We have plenty of time to prepare and shop for what we need. 

While not everyone celebrates Christmas, or Easter, or Haunnuka, etc., I have never met any American who did not celebrate Thanksgiving.

One of the reasons I have never chosen to work in retail is because I believe that there are several days throughout the year that people should be home with their family if they want to be, and many retail stores are open on some of these days. Thanksgiving is one, Labor, Day, Mother's/Father's Day, and New Year's Day are my core list. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are  the other two I would add to my own personal list.

The cashiers, stock people, customer service associates, managers and others who work in the retail industry, deserve that time off if they want it. I would like to see retail stores be more flexible and sensitive to…

The Easy Way to Clean up Liquid Soap Spills

You never know what you will be greeted by when working with a client.
This is an image from my client's bathroom earlier today. You can't see it too well, but it is a big puddle (almost a full bottle) of Organic Baby Bath Wash that has spilled on the floor next to the bath tub. The (triangular) puddle is just about 14 inches wide at the back and 1/4 inch deep in the corner and by the baseboard.
Ok. So now we know why you don't let the kids play with full shampoo or body wash bottles in the tub. (Unless of course you like cleaning up soapy gooey messes like this one!)
The good news: the shampoo bottle is now empty so the kids can play with it without making a mess ! 
The better news: in this post, I am going to tell you and show you exactly how to clean a mess such as this.
The first thing to remember is DO NOT use water! At least not yet. Water will only make more suds and you will be here for a week trying to get all this goo cleaned up.
So the first thing you want to d…

Italian Christmas Cookies

Every year around this time, I think back to when my grandparents were still with us, and the fall garden harvest. There would be home canning, and herb drying, and such wonderful aromas coming from the kitchen-and in the upcoming holiday months, all these delicious foods that they lovingly grew and preserved would be incorporated into the holiday meals.

There was nothing like holiday time at my grandparent's house. Christmas was the most special time of all, not just because of the food and the gifts, but because of the love and care that went into planning, cooking and serving each meal-and the people who would be gathered at the table to enjoy each other's company and a delicious meal.

My Grandmother's favorite part was the baking. She must have had at least a dozen different types of cookies, including Biscotti and Perfect Pizelles that my grandfather made by saying one "Hail Mary" while the cookie dough was in the press. They came out perfect every time. Bu…

The Top 5 Things to Ask the Housekeeper Before you Hire Her

Once you have decided to hire a housekeeper, there are several ways to go about finding one.  The best way (in my opinion) is to ask for a personal referral from a friend, family member or neighbor. Most independent housekeepers and services like to have clients in the same neighborhood, to limit travel time, and some even give a small discount for referrals, so that may be a good place to start. You could also place and ad in a local paper, or post a flyer at a local college. With the rising cost of tuition, many college students are looking for ways to earn extra cash for books and course work when they are not taking classes. Be specific as to what you are looking for: (Examples: non smoker, English speaking, has own transportation, has liability insurance, brings own supplies, etc.) In order to be clear with prospective housekeepers, you should also come up with a tentative schedule and a list of tasks that you would like taken care of on a regular cleaning day. Be specific about wha…

How to Avoid Halloween Candy Overload

I will never forget the Halloween that my younger son (and middle child) went on a candy binge so fiercely that he made himself sick on sweet treats. (And neither will he!)

My sons were about 9 & 10. As I went through their pillow cases full of candy to toss out questionable looking items, I placed the "good Stuff" in a bowl for later. I allowed each of my sons to pick out 2 pieces to enjoy now, and set the bowl on top of the refrigerator instructing them that they could have another piece or two tomorrow.

The next morning, Michael, (my older son and oldest child) came in to wake me because his brother was, (in his words) "turning green and fluttering his eyes. Be prepared because I think he's gonna stay that color for a while mom..."

When I walked into the room, I immediately diagnosed the problem: empty candy wrappers littered the floor. My son was curled up in a ball, moaning & groaning in pain like there was no tomorrow. I asked him as I looked at …

Building a Better Centerpiece

A centerpiece adds color, interest and personality to your dining table, coffee table or buffet. While some are highly talented with elaborate floral arranging, others (like me) prefer to keep it quick, simple and somewhat whimsical.

There are no hard rules for building a centerpiece, except that it should serve as a point of convergence and as a way to welcome your guests or to get a conversation going. I like to use a mixture of textures and colors that reflect the event I am hosting.

Whether you opt for a simple centerpiece or a more elaborate design, here are some quick tips we've compiled to help you build a better centerpiece:

Use the occasion or season as your inspiration. Choose colors, textures, containers, props and little details to reflect the mood you wish to create or the event you are celebrating.Personalize your centerpiece to reflect the occasion, your unique personality or the guest of honor's hobbies. For example: colorful tin watering cans with simple sunfl…

11 Things to do Before Your Dinner Guests Arrive

So you are having some guests for dinner. Outside of the obvious, (buy food and beverages, clean, take out the trash.) what do you do to prepare?

I've asked a handful of my clients, blog readers and Social Network connections to contribute to this article by giving me one or two little details-things that they do to prepare for dinner guests. Their responses are below:

How do you prepare for guests? Please tell us in the comments area. 

1- Clean your bathroom. (Really clean it. Don't cover up with fake "Mountain Fresh-ness" spray. People WILL notice the dust and hair on the counter, in the drains and on the floor, even if you don't.)

2-Put out several clean hand towels by the sink. (Unless you want your bath towels and curtains used to dry off after hand washing! If you prefer disposables, here is what I use. Or these if I want something more decorative.)

3- Be sure there is at least one full roll of toilet paper in the bathroom, and a box of tissues. (Place an e…