The day of rest

Sunday, the day of rest. Are you enjoying this beautiful day? I remember the days of the past when Sunday was a day set aside for family. Going to church and experiencing the peace and rejuvenation with your Church family and then the traditional Sunday dinner shared with your Aunts, Uncles and Cousins. It seems as if we have lost our ability to slow down and set aside time for family and fellowship. While it may seem like a daunting task to coordinate a family dinner...all it takes is one person sending out or calling everyone with a date and time. The best family dinners are pot luck, it allows everyone to participate. This is the last Sunday of March, but April gives us 4 chances to revive the past.
I hope you will join with your family or church family and make a date in April.

Today, I attended Lighthouse Covenant Fellowship Church in Benicia and on the back of the herald was a poem, The Clock ( Reading the poem made me reflect on the fact that we have been given life to love, live and enjoy to the fullest. How are you spending your hours on earth? Are you living out your purpose?

The clock of life is wound but once, and no man
has the power to tell just when the hands
will stop
at l
ate or early hour.
To lose one's Wealth is sad indeed.
To lose one's Health is more.
To loose one's
Soul, is such a loss
that no one can restore.
Author Unknown


March Madness - Slam Dunk Recipes

Well, it’s getting down to the wire for all of the March Madness fans…chances are you may have a group of folks over to watch the games. Here are two quick and delicious basketball/football, any kind of gathering recipes.

Black Bean, Corn and Turkey Chili


1 tbsp olive oil

1 pound ground turkey

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp dried oregano leaves,

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 3/4 cups Chicken Broth

1 cup Chunky Salsa

1 cup frozen whole kernel corn

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained


1.Heat the oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the turkey, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, black pepper and garlic powder. Cook until turkey is well browned, stirring frequently to break up meat.2.Stir the broth, salsa, beans and corn into the saucepan. Heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low.

Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Stir the chili occasionally while cooking.

Great served with chips, sour cream and salsa.

Chicken Salad With Grapes and Pecans

Prep: 20 min., Chill: 1 hr.

Makes 4 servings


* 1/2 cup light or regular mayonnaise

* 1/2 cup plain yogurt

* 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

* 1 teaspoon salt

* 1/2 teaspoon pepper

* 2 pounds skinned and boned chicken breasts, cooked and chopped

* 3 cups red and green seedless grapes, halved

* 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted

* Lettuce leaves


1. Stir together 1/2 cup mayonnaise and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Add chopped chicken and grapes, tossing gently to coat. Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Stir in pecans just before serving. Serve on a bed of lettuce leaves.

What's your favorite potluck dish?


How Tech Savvy Are You?

Do you




Zesty Moms – You’re probably already on the great websites, own the latest gadgets, and gizmos that make life in this digital age easier and more fun. But while some of us go high-tech at every turn, others prefer a more old-school approach. Take this two minute quiz to find out if you are savvier than your neighbor?

1. Your baby's first birthday is coming up, but some loved ones won't be able to make it to the party. To keep them updated, you plan to:

A. Mail prints and a nice letter describing the day's events
B. Send a mass e-mail with a few great photos attached
C. Post video on YouTube and photos on Flickr and link to everything from your blog.

2. You're at the warehouse store and see what seems like a great price on an HDTV, but you're not familiar with the brand. You:

A. Buy it. You'll return it if it doesn't work out.
B. Go home and Google the brand name to see what comes up, then do some research on Amazon,
Consumer Reports, and the manufacturer's website

C. Pull out your iPhone or BlackBerry right there in the store and see what people are saying about that
model on CNET, Engadget, and Newegg

3. When you feel the need for mom connection, you:

A. Knock on your neighbor's door
B. Dash off a quick e-mail or call a mom friend to set up a playdate
C. Send a Twitter update saying, "I'm lonely, call me!" and change your Facebook status to "Needs adult
human interaction."

4. To organize the pictures from your recent family vacation, you'll: A. Get out the paper cutters and glue dots: It's scrappin' time!
B. Upload your digital photos to a photo-sharing site like Shutterfly, Snapfish, or KodakGallery
C. Pull out your Wacom electronic illustration tablet to customize your shots for digital scrapbooking

5. Your can't-live-without-it tech gadgets are:

A. Microwave, home phone, and TV
B. Cell phone, iPod, and TiVo
C. iPhone or BlackBerry and a home media center that combines computing, TV, Web browsing, DVR,
music, gaming, and more

6. When it's time to plan a family trip, you:

A. Call your travel agent
B. Surf around on Travelocity, Priceline, Expedia, Orbitz, Hotwire, or the airline websites
C. Use Kayak, SideStep or Mobissimo to compare prices across multiple travel sites, then check Farecast to
decide when to buy and SeatGuru to book the best plane seats possible

7. How do you usually chat with far-flung relatives?

A. Your home phone — you pay a flat fee for unlimited long distance
B. Your cell phone — you use the free long distance that comes with your plan
C. Your webcam — you made sure to set one up for them the last time you visited

8. When you're out and about and your cell phone rings, you:

A. Worry! No one calls your cell unless it's an emergency — you don't usually give the number out or use it

B. Start digging around in your purse — you keep forgetting to leave your phone in an easily accessible

C. Answer immediately. Two words: Bluetooth headset.

9. You're out to dinner with the family and realize you're about to miss the latest episode of CSI. You:

A. Call your best friend later and ask her what happened
B. Don't stress — you're pretty sure your TiVo will record it for you, and if not, you'll try to find it online
C. Get on your smartphone and check your online TiVo scheduling to make sure it's recording as planned

10. What are your go-to sites for online shopping?

A. None really — you'd rather see, touch, and try things on before you buy, and talk to the sales associates
B. The websites for your favorite brick-and-mortar stores, a few online boutiques, and eBay
C. Same as B. — but you make sure to check prices on comparison-shopping sites and search for coupon
codes before you buy

11. Family movie night is coming up! To choose a flick, you go to:

A. The movie rental store or the library
B. Your Netflix queue
C. Your computer — you're set up to stream or download a movie directly to your HDTV

12. The grandparents want new photos of their little darlings right away! You:
Grab your camera and take some cute shots of your kids playing. You'll splurge for one-hour photo
processing and put the prints in the mail pronto.

B. Upload some of your recent digital pictures to a photo-processing center in their town and tell Gram and
Pop-pop they'll have new prints today

C. E-mail some new photos to the WiFi digital photo frame you gave them. The new pics should be flashing in
their home momentarily!

13. Your kids love to go online, so you make sure to:

A. Keep the computer where you can see it and check on them frequently
B. Same as A. — plus, review the history tab on your browser to see which sites they're visiting
C. Same as A. — plus, use programs like Spector Pro or WebWatcher, or the parental controls on a Mac, to
keep track of all their online activity

Congratulations, you finished the quiz! Now, look back over your answers — did you check mostly A, B, or C?

Mostly A:

Personal Purist — You may not be the most tech-savvy mom around, but you make no apologies for it. Sure, you carry a cell phone, check your e-mail, and use the Internet. But you like to have that personal touch to everything you do, and e-mails and text messages can leave you feeling chilly. You much prefer a phone call, handwritten note, or face-to-face meeting.

In today's hectic and sometimes impersonal world, your style is a breath of fresh air — and we're certainly not going to suggest that you change it. But if you are interested in exploring high-tech tools, know that there are many easy-to-use, free websites that fit nicely with your sociable, friendly nature. You may be surprised by how many old friends you'll find hanging out on Facebook or Bebo.

And while the calendar in the kitchen may work just fine for organizing your family's comings and goings, you may want to check out online helpers like the super user-friendly Cozi. Not only will it manage a color-coded family calendar for you, it will also send e-mail and text reminders for important events and keep track of your shopping list.

Other sites that suit Personal Purists are Etsy, where artisans and regular folks buy and sell beautiful, one-of-a-kind handmade goods; Tiny Prints, for lovely invitations with old-fashioned appeal; and Fruition Designs, which sells charming "mommy calling cards" to pass out to moms you like on the playground. When handled with grace, technology can enhance rather than replace the personal connections you thrive on.

Mostly B:

Plugged-in Player — You're definitely in tune with technology and know how to use it to streamline your various mommy duties, keep in touch with family and friends, find shopping deals, and entertain yourself during your all-too-rare downtime.

Even Plugged-in Players don't know about every techy tool floating around out there, though. Since you're already using plenty of gadgets, websites, and other high-tech devices to your advantage, let us suggest a few that may not be on your radar...yet.

If you love blogs and online content, but don't have time to surf around at leisure (what mom does?), try Kirtsy, where women bubble the best of the web to the top for you.

Tired of being left out of your kids' gaming? If they have a Wii, use Nintendo's WiiFit to turn it into your own personal trainer. Or jump into the mix with free online games from PopCap like Zuma and Bejeweled.

As far as gadgets go, you can up your green-tech cred by juicing your cell phone with a solar-powered charger or find out how to turn a cell phone into a baby monitor over at Parent Hacks.

And next time you need information on the go, text 4INFO to get weather reports, sports scores, and even locations of WiFi hotspots, or call 800-GOOG-411 for free directory assistance. See? You knew you loved technology for a reason!

Mostly C:

Digital Diva — Wow — we have seen the future, and it is you. You are the ultimate plugged-in mom. The first in the playgroup with all the newest gizmos, other moms come to you for tech support and electronic buying advice. You pride yourself on being an early adopter of all the hot new technologies, and no gadget is too much for you to handle.

But all moms, no matter how tech-savvy, could use more time and help. Try I Want Sandy, a free online personal assistant who will send you e-mail and text message reminders of things like snack day at preschool or your weekly yoga class. Also check out Mint, a free money-management site that will track the balances of all your credit cards and bank accounts and show exactly how and where you're spending your hard-earned cash.

Don't let your immersion in the online world keep you from the personal contact we all need, though. While you can find kinship with other tech-zesty moms on blogs like TechMamas or 5minutesformom, it's a good idea to unplug and go e-free every now and then.

Now you know your tech savviness! So, are you savvier than your neighbor? What's your favorite gadget?


What's in your cup?

“I’m a little teapot short and stout.
Here is my handle. Here is my spout.

When I get all steamed up hear me s
Just tip me over and pour me out”

Many of us are familiar with this children’s nursery rhyme, but did you know that what is in the little tea pot provides a wealth of health benefits.

Tea is known as nature’s 'wonder drug'. The ability of tea to promote good health has long been believed in many areas of the world, especially Argentina, Africa, Japan, China, and India. Another fabulous benefit of tea is that according to the American Society for Clinical Nutrition, drinking green tea promotes weight loss.

What’s In A Tea Bag?

Tea is prepared from linder leaves, leaf buds and tender stalks of different varieties of the warm-weather evergreen known as camellia sinensis. The most popular types of tea are:

  • Green Tea
  • Black Tea
  • Ginseng Tea
  • Herbal Tea
  • Oolong Tea
  • Rooibos Tea
  • White Tea

The degree of processing the leaves of camellia sinensis determines whether a tea will be green, black or red (oolong). Green tea is the least processed. These are simply steamed quickly before packaging. Black and red teas are partially dried, crushed and fermented. The length of fermentation, which causes the leaves to blacken, determines whether the tea will be red or black.

The Antioxidant Connection
Research shows that any tea derived from camellia sinensis has cancer-fighting properties. The leaves of this plant contain chemicals called polyphenols, which give tea its antioxidant properties.

Polyphenols in tea are known to:

  • Help protect cells from the normal, but damaging, physiological process known as "oxidative stress." Although oxygen is vital to life, it's also incorporated into reactive substances called free radicals. These can damage the cells in our body and have been implicated in the slow chain reaction of damage leading to heart disease and cancer.
  • Help prevent blood clotting
  • Help lower cholesterol levels
  • Help neutralize enzymes that aid in the growth of tumors
  • Help deactivate cancer promoters
  • Help stimulate the immune system

Green tea also contains a variety of other ingredients that are beneficial to your health. These include theanine (an amino acid unique to tea), vitamins, minerals, and methylxanthines. These components are the source of the healthful properties of tea and are known to:

  • Help fight against mutagenic agents
  • Delay aging
  • Help fight high blood pressure
  • Help fight against viral and bacterial infection
  • Help improve the functions of the digestive and excretory systems

Tea also has fluoride for strong teeth, virtually no calories, and half the amount of caffeine found in an equally-sized cup of coffee.

The Weight Loss Connection

Green tea is proven to help you lose weight in several key ways - And best of all, a one week supply of green tea costs only a few dollars.

The first way green tea helps you lose weight is by naturally increasing your metabolism. Metabolism can be a complicated word - but in a diet context it's simple. To keep your body warm, run cellular processes, and even digest food, your body needs to use energy. Your body gets this energy from food calories. Thus, if you raise your metabolism, you will burn more than you're taking in, and lose weight. Green tea raises your metabolism by giving you a small, steady increase in energy. If your weight is steady, and you add a few cups of green tea per day, you absolutely will lose weight.

A second, equally important impact of green tea on weight loss is appetite suppression. The same energy boost green tea gives you helps you curb food cravings. Clearly, one of the most difficult parts of a diet is steering clear of the amazing foods you love.

To sum it up - by drinking 2-4 cups a day of tea, you can reap the numerous curative and preventive and weight shedding tea benefits.

Personally, I drink 4 – 6 cups of Eco Teas Yerba Mate tea each day. While technically not a green tea, it provides all of the benefits plus some! Check out their site The tea can be purchased at Whole Foods and other Health Food Stores.

Here’s to a Wednesday packed with wellness and a healthier YOU!

What's your favorite tea? Is green tea in your diet plan?


Spring is in the air!

Spring has sprung…how about you?

It’s time to come out of hibernation, shake off the cobwebs and begin planning the perfect spring getaway;

Couples on the west coast can plan a spring getaway to the most romantic California destinations; Napa, San Francisco, Carmel and of course sunny San Diego.

Our favorite getaway destination in the Napa area is The Villagio Inn and Spa. Newly renovated and offering fantastic spring specials which include deluxe accommodations for two in a guest room with a fireplace and oversize sunken bathtub, complimentary bottle of wine and access to the Champagne Breakfast Buffet. This is truly an invitation to indulge.

The Midwest and East Coast temperatures are still a little chilly but with the Airlines offering fantastic get away deals, why not book a flight to sunny California.

On a budget?

You can create your own romantic getaway. Send the kids off for the weekend and follow some of the suggestions from Melissa Michaels at Her ten suggestions not only create a wonderful spring romantic weekend getaway but an everyday tranquil place to retreat:

Here are 10 ideas for creating a romantic and restful sanctuary:

  1. Remove Clutter
    Clutter is the enemy of a peaceful bedroom.
  2. Hide Electronics
    Keep electronic gadgets including electric clocks concealed if it all possible.
  3. Mood Lighting
    Install dimmers and three way switches to create the perfect mood.
  4. Beautiful Bedding
    Invest in good quality attractive bedding. Discount stores often have great deals on discontinued quality bedding; have fun mixing and matching what you find!
  5. Closed Storage
    Bedside tables are clutter magnets..
  6. Sparkling Clean
    Give your room a good cleaning.
  7. Scrumptious Scents
    Freshen the air with wonderful smelling candles.
  8. Make Bed Daily
    Commit to making the bed as soon as your feet hit the floor–and keep it from being buried in clutter all day.
  9. Soothing Music
    Create your own play list of soothing music.
  10. Privacy
    Teach your children and household members to respect your privacy when the door is shut. You should be able to shut the door and block out the world now and then!
How do you celebrate spring? What's your favorite romantic candle fragrance?


Ace that Job Interview!

Got interviews?

How do you stand out from the crowd with 8.1% of Americans unemployed and hundreds applying for the same position? The recession is throwing more and more people into the job hunt, people who haven’t the slightest idea about how to make it through a coveted interview. So, how should one answer the questions? If you or someone you know has an interview scheduled for this week. Here are a few pointers:

  • Prepare for the questions. Look for clues from the job description, phone interviews or conversations with the person setting up the interview. What type of person are they looking for? What goals would their ideal candidate have?
  • Confirm your assumptions during the interview. Probe for clues to what type of candidate the interviewers are looking for. Ask questions of the interviewer.
  • Don’t spit back the interviewer’s words when you answer the question. For example, if they say they’re looking for someone that can take on a leadership role, don’t just say “I want to be in a leadership role.” Instead, state that you want to be instrumental in growing the company/department/organization. If you’ve done any training in areas of management or leadership, you can say that you want an opportunity to use these new skills.
  • Be sincere and confident. If the interviewer feels you’re just saying something because you think that’s what they want to hear, it may turn them off. The same holds true for you providing an answer that you obviously don’t believe you can achieve.
  • Be realistic – from the interviewer’s perspective. Our goal here is to get the job and the interviewer may not share our overwhelming optimism – or worse, feel threatened by it. So choose your words carefully to ensure that you don’t intimidate the interviewer. You can still keep your goals; you just want to share them with people that will support you.
  • If multiple people interview you, make sure that your answer is consistent between all interviewers. You don’t want to come across as someone who will say anything to get the job – unless you’re a politician.

So for your next interview, make sure your answer is sincere, confident, realistic (from the interviewer’s point of view) and an in-line with the interviewer’s goals.

What's your success did you get the job?

Resources that will put you ahead:

“How to survive in an Interview and …Get the Job!” a DVD series developed by Human Resources Professionals. Click here to watch a video clip.


Fridge Friday - What's for Dinner?

Fridge Friday

Well we are off to the races…the first Fridge Friday posting!

So, it’s Friday…what’s for dinner? At our house we like to keep it casual, but fun. My favorite Friday night family dinner is burgers and fries. Yikes, you might think, not the gut busting, calorie laden, mooo dinner…well, you are right, these recipes are for lean mean Best Turkey Burger in the World and Can't Stop Eating Crispy French Fries. Check out these great recipes for a healthy casual Friday night dinner. What’s on your menu? Do you cook on Friday nights?

The Best Turkey Burger in the World!


  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped green and red peppers
  • 1 clove finely chopped garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon cajun spice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • Dash salt
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey ( I prefer Trader Joe’s)
  • 4 hamburger buns, split
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  • 4 slices tomato

serves 4

  1. Place onions, peppers, garlic and oil in a small skillet; cook for 3-4 minutes or until very soft, stirring occasionally. Add the white wine cover and cook until the wine is absorbed, about 2 -4 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the ground turkey, garlic powder, poultry seasoning, cajun spice, mustard, pepper, salt. Mix thoroughly. Add the onion, pepper, garlic mixture and mix. Shape into four patties. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
  3. In a nonstick skillet coated with one teaspoon olive oil, cook patties over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F. Serve on buns with lettuce and tomato.

Nutritional Analysis: 1 burger equals 353 calories, 13 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 90 mg cholesterol, 549 mg sodium, 32 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 25 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 starch, 1/2 fat.

Can’t Stop Eating Crispy French Fries


* 5 Large Russet Potatoes

* 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

* Salt and Pepper to Taste

serves 4


1. Begin with some nice russet potatoes as shown here. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Wash the potatoes to prepare for slicing. I prefer not to peel the potatoes.

Cut the french fries even in size to ensure even cooking. If you have a mandoline, it makes slicing ea

3. Place potatoes in a bowl of ice cold water, add a dash of salt Soak in salted water for about 30 minutes to release some of the starch and allow the fries to crisp up in the oven.

4. Dry the potatoes. This is a crucial step. If the potatoes are not completely dry, they will not crisp up and the moisture will cause them to steam in the oven.

5. Place in a bowl and season them with salt, pepper and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss gently to coat. Lay the potatoes on parchment paper and place in the oven. Once in the oven, turn them periodically to ensure even browning. Bake for about 30 - 45 minutes or until golden brown.

6. Remove from the oven and sprinkle 1/8 teaspoon cajun spice and 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder over the fries and toss.

Place the fries on a plate with the burger and your Friday night dinner is ready!



Wow, I am so excited to finally get started...can you say procrastination!! Over the years I've read and followed so many fantastic blogs, 5minutes for Mom, Godz Girl, Nonsuperwomanchronicles, CafeMom, the list goes on and on...So, I am jumping into the world of blogging with both feet and looking forward to meeting new cyber friends and connecting at all of the fun events.