March 25, 2013

I Thought I Had An Idea. Turns Out I Had No Clue...

Fox News tells us one thing, MSNBC another, and CNN gives us yet a third explanation about how money is dispersed in this country.  The economy is up one day when the stock market hits record highs, yet those who continue to struggle with the rampant loss of jobs would not agree that our country has made a come back quite yet.

So, who are the people making the money contributing to our country's economic recovery?  More importantly, what percentage of the population hold the majority of the assets in this country?  We know they're out there, but where are they? Come to think of it, what percentage of Americans make up this lucky group?  Is it five percent?  Maybe ten?

This video clarified it for me, and I suspect it will do the same for you.

March 21, 2013

Whole Foods Gets An A+...

Whole Foods is known for being the grocery store where the elite shop for their fancy specialty items like organic kale and grass fed beef.  The environment, the beautiful produce, the expansive bakery and deli departments.  It makes for such a pleasant shopping experience.

Until recently I always donated my reusable bag credit to my local food bank.  And then this super cute cashier told me about the Whole Planet Foundation.  With toes tapping in frustration behind me in line, I got the skinny so I could pass it along to you.

The mission of  the Whole Planet Foundation is simple.  They provide loans, primarily to women, in the impoverished countries that supply products to Whole Foods Markets.  The loans are nominal by our standards, and are then used by the recipients to begin or expand a business.  The average "microcredit" is $162.00 and requires no formal contract and no collateral. And guess what?  The average repayment rate is 96%.   Thus far 236,000 loans have been extended, and it is estimated that over $22 million have been disbursed.

I have read many times that an important path out of world poverty is to empower the women in developing countries.  By seizing business opportunities, women glean more respect from those in their communities.  As a result, they naturally pass their legacy on to their daughters and other impressionable girls.

For the month of March, Whole Foods is having a fundraising campaign in support of this very important foundation.  You can participate in your local store or go online and contribute with any amount.

Nice job, Whole Foods!  I always like to see our country's leaders give back.

March 18, 2013

Five Easy Ways To Have Healthy Glowing Skin...

We all sit up and take notice when the newest moisturizer hits the market or a celebrity generously recommends their secret to youthful dewy skin.  Personally, I think it has to do with daily sunscreen, limited sun exposure, lots of water, less sugar, fewer preservatives, and lots of fruit and veggies.

I recently read an article that recommends five easy additions to our daily food intake that will help sustain healthy radiant skin as we get older.

~Tomatoes:  Tomatoes aid in the protection of harmful UV rays and boost collagen.  Collagen improves the elasticity of the skin.  The tomato is also an excellent source of lycopene, which is said to reduce the chance of certain cancers. So, what is lycopene?  It's an antioxidant compound that gives veggies their bright color, which is why Dr. Oz is always telling us to eat the most colorful fruits and veggies. The more vibrant the color, the better it is for us!

~Romaine Lettuce:  Just six leaves of romaine lettuce will give you 100% of your daily recommended allowance of vitamin A.  Vitamin A improves the renewal of cell function.  Romaine lettuce is also an excellent source of vitamin C, which again, helps with collagen.  The potassium in romaine lettuce will improve circulation, which gives you that youthful glow.

~Spinach: Spinach contains flavonoids, which have anticancer properties.  A flavonoid is a plant based compound that is an excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.  It also provides an excellent source of vitamin B and this little gem gives us the firmness we like to see when we look in the mirror.

~Beans and Legumes:  Beans and legumes are readily available in any market and come in lots of different forms.  They are biotin rich, which promotes youthful skin.  It also helps with dry hair, skin, and nails.

~Omega-3 Fatty Acids:  Fish, especially tuna and salmon are excellent options. In addition to glowing skin, it also gives us a natural protection to harmful UV rays and improves the elasticity of the skin.

A while back I wrote a blog called My gift to you...  At the end I gave you my cherished recipe for my famous chocolate chip cookies.  Well, today I am giving you another little treat.  It is my recipe for Tomato Coulis.  Sounds fancy but it's basically tomato sauce.  I never use tomato sauce from a jar because there is just too much salt.  I make it in a HUGE batch and freeze it so I can easily grab what I need for pasta, lasagna, meatloaf, and chili.  One of these days, I will write a blog about all the different ways I have morphed this sauce into countless dinner options.  For today, try it over a little whole wheat pasta and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, and you will be in heaven!  

                                                       Tomato Coulis

2 Cans whole tomatoes (unsalted 28 oz can)
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP kosher salt
2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano

Sauté olive oil and onions in a stock pot until translucent.  Add garlic and cook for a few more minutes.  Add tomatoes spices, salt, and pepper.  Simmer over medium heat for 45 minutes.  Puree mixture in a blender or you can use a hand blender, which I highly recommend.  It is very quick and much easier than blending batches of sauce.  If you do use a blender, cool the sauce first.  You can refrigerate or freeze this sauce.  I always quadruple the recipe and freeze.  Enjoy!

March 13, 2013

You'll Do It Because I Sang So...

This is one of my favorite YouTube videos of all time.  I originally saw it years ago, and stumbled upon it recently.  It is a collection of commonly heard parental gems that we all say to our children during those frustrating, as well as endearing moments. When cleverly put to music, it is a roller-coaster ride of true hilarity.  So, sit back and enjoy this one over and over again because this gal is perfection in my book!

March 9, 2013

Is Numerology Real or Bunk?

I saw Glynis McCants interviewed on The Talk a few months back.  She officially refers to herself as a "Pythagorean Numerologist."  Sounds like a fancy title that comes after years and years of advanced education.  Actually, she has spent the last 20 years studying the numbers that are basically attached to us through our birth date.  I guess on par with astrology, but it's even more individualized than lumping together everyone who was born within the same 30 days.

Here's how it determine your Life Path Number you do the following:

Let's say your birth date is December 30, 1975.  The way to find your number is by adding all the numbers of your birth date together like this:

December 30, 1975
So your Life Path Number would be 1

Okay, so now you look at her chart, which seeks to identify a person from nine different personality types.  Simply, if you are a one, for example, the definition of a one should explain you and the innermost quality that drives you in life.

One~ You are independent, self-motivated, hardworking.  Basically, seeks to be the best in all aspects of his/her life.
Two~ You are a bit of a romantic.  You want peace and companionship. According to McCants, a two does not welcome conflict, and can have a surly side if pushed too hard!
Three~ You are a communicator in all aspects of your life whether through the written word or verbally.  This group basically uses their senses to convey their creative genes.
Four~ You seek knowledge and this gives you security.  Typically, kind of a brainiac, who enjoys teaching others.
Five~You are a fun seeker and adventurous.  As a result, sometimes have a tough time settling into a solid relationship.
Six~You are the nurturing type.  You actually are best suited to be in charge of a business or in a leadership role.
Seven~Loner is such an unpleasant description.  Let's just say that you need your space.  A seven also tends to appear mysterious to others because of their tendency to remain detached.
Eight~ You seek financial security in order to find peace.  You tend to be generous, but also like nice things.  An eight sometimes has a tough time taking advice, and can inadvertently appear curt or unnecessarily harsh toward others.
Nine~ You are a natural leader, but also a humanitarian.  While you focus on taking care of others, you may neglect your own needs sometimes.

So, which one are you?  My husband and I could not resist calculating our individual numbers, and we laughed because they were spot on!  (Much to my own chagrin)

McCants also identifies on her website a person's Attitude Number through a similar process.  If you want to check out your attitude or learn more about the philosophy of numerology, you can do so by visiting Glynis McCants at

March 5, 2013

I Think We All Need A Pep Talk...

As we skulk through life, sometimes we become so focused on the mundane day to day that we fail to be inspired by the opportunity to propel ourselves to a higher bar.  The other day I stumbled upon this super-duper adorable kid.  You know the "it factor" that some people just have within them?  Well, this kid has it!  I fully enjoyed his entertaining pep talk and will refer to it again and again when I find myself falling into the abyss of mediocrity.  I hope you will take my word for it and spend a few minutes being wowed by this very special boy!

FYI~ When you think it's over, there's a little bit more.  Be sure to watch 'til the very end.

March 3, 2013

Thank You At Home And Across The Pond...

I have come to discover that writing is both terrifying yet incredibly satisfying.  I don't have to answer to anyone and I can say exactly what I think.  Granted, it will live in cyberspace for all of eternity so I try to keep that in the back of my head as I send out my thoughts.

Initially, I decided to write this blog as a gift to my teenage daughter who, like many, is navigating her journey through the formative years at a time when Facebook, Twitter, and texting not only distract, but create obstacles that we didn't have to deal with in the "olden days" when I was a teen.  Although, a funny thing has happened in the past few months.  I have generated a bit of an audience. And not just a North American audience, but readers all over the world.  I happened to look at my statistics the other day and I was surprised to see that I have regular readers in Europe, South America, Asia, and the Middle East.

At a time when so many of our countries are in political and economic discourse, I am reminded that we are closer than we think.  Perhaps not in proximity, but through the power of the Internet we have generated the ability to look into the windows of other countries.  Countries that we may have just read about in a history class a mere 20 years ago.

With that, I want to thank you.  Thank you for taking the time to read my blogs and comment or send me emails when something I have said resonates with you.