Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spring and Easter Home and Yard Decorating

Every year when the season changes I like to change up my home decor and my outside yard decorations to reflect the new season or holiday. When we had full-time children at home, we really went over-board with our decorating but have scaled it down quite considerably now that we are empty nesters.

This year I decided to get out just a few of our Easter decorations and most of them are ones that I've had for many years. Yikes...I need to update and get some new fresh things for next year. About 12-14 years ago my husband made me two 4 foot tall wooden bunny rabbits out of pine wood which I painted and decorated. Every year I put one on our porch near the front door and the second one on the little porch near our side door. They welcome holiday visitors into our home every year. I think once the holiday is over, I am going to give both of them a fresh coat of paint and new bows, they are starting to look a little shabby!

Right now the walkway of our front porch I placed a wooden "Easter Bunny Stop Here" yard sign since that is the walkway and door that my little grand daughter tends to use. Nearby that I have a few outdoor ceramic Easter eggs nestled among some flowers and grass.

In my family room I have a few stuffed bunny rabbits sitting out, a few ceramic Easter figurines sitting out and a small bunny rabbit throw rug in front the sofa. I love taking little plush bunnies and nestling them in and around my house plants which looks cute!

Last year I did pick up 2 sets of these resin bunny rabbit figurines after the holiday on clearance and ONLY paid $1.49 per set. I love bargains like that and I think they are adorable. I have one set sitting on an end table in the family room and another set sitting on top of our entertainment center.

Also outside I hung up a very large "Spring" themed house flag onto the flag pole that I got this year. I love the white daisy's and the cute red lady bugs on this flag! It's cute and I can leave it up until the start of Summer and then I will switch out the flag to another one. I also hung out on my little garden flag holder a small "Easter Bunny Welcome" flag which is way too cute too!

In our eat-in kitchen I did put an Easter theme'd table cloth, placemats and a centerpiece onto the table which looks really cute and festive. I did dig out a few of my spring theme'd kitchen linens and put them out on display too (dish towels, dish cloths, oven mitt and hot pads).

As you can see, I didn't go overboard this year but next year I really plan on going all out! Do you decorate for the Easter holiday? The spring season? Do you just do a few little touches or do you go way out with your home & yard decorating?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

4 Plants With The Healing Power To Cure What Ails You

Doctor Says More Americans Realize The Effectiveness of Remedies Found In Nature
* Image Courtesy of 
A fever, stomach pains or a simple case of the sniffles can send people rushing to the pharmacy for a drug to battle their symptoms.

But Mother Nature provides a number of medicinal plants with healing properties that also can nurse you back to health, a fact more Americans are beginning to discover.

“The use of herbal medicine, although traditional in many Eastern cultures, had been only a minor fad in Western medicine until recent decades,” says Dr. Virender Sodhi, founder of the Ayurvedic and Naturopathic Medical Clinic which provides complementary and alternative medicine.

That trend has been shifting as a growing body of studies and research has demonstrated the effects of traditional remedies on chronic diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, says Sodhi, author of the new guide, “Ayurvedic Herbs: The Comprehensive Resource for Ayurvedic Healing Solutions”.

That’s not necessarily news to ailing people in other parts of the world, such as Asia and Africa. For centuries, they have found relief through herbal medicines derived from shrubs, vines, trees and other plants, Sodhi says.

Here are four examples, a couple of which are recognizable by better known names and purposes.

Glycyrrhiza glabra. Most people would recognize this plant by its more common name – licorice. It has been used for centuries in the traditional and folk medicines of Asia and Europe to treat ailments ranging from the common cold to liver disease, Sodhi says. Most Americans likely encountered licorice as children because the sweet root of the plant is used to make candy. Licorice can cure more than a sweet tooth, though. It can protect people from the influenza virus. In cell line studies it was shown to reduce titer of the influenza virus by 90 percent and have strong immune modulation properties. It’s an important ingredient in many herbal preparations, Sodhi said, especially for bronchial conditions. Because of its expectorant properties, powdered licorice has been used for centuries to treat coughs. Modern cough syrups often contain licorice extract.

Piper nigrum. This flowering vine’s berries, when still unripe, are used to produce black pepper, but spicing up food isn’t its only talent. Piper nigrum has anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and anti-spasmodic properties that make it ideal for treating digestive disorders, Sodhi says. It doesn’t stop there. Drug resistance is a major concern in cancer patients. Piper nigrum can reverse multiple drug resistance many fold and significantly increase the apoptotic effect of many pharmaceutical drugs.

Boswellia serrate. Commonly known as Frankincense, this herb has powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Several patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s colitis have gone in to remission using a Boswellia preparation. In brain tumor patients it has reduced cerebral edema by 75 percent. Sodhi has mentioned case studies of many patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica and ulcerative colitis who went into remission.

Bael. This fruit-bearing tree indigenous to the hills and plains of central and southern India has numerous uses. The fruit promotes healthy digestion and is used medicinally to treat such conditions as diarrhea, dysentery and cholera. The leaves, roots and bark of Bael also have medicinal value. They help relieve acute bronchitis, heart palpitations, intermittent fevers and many other ailments. Dr. Sodhi has observed 100 percent success in treating patients of clostridium difficile, who did not respond to standard medical protocol of metronidazole (Flagyl), Dificid (fidaxomicin), or vanconycin.

About Virender Sodhi, M.D., N.D.

Dr. Virender Sodhi was the first Ayurvedic and Naturopathic physician in the United States. He is the author of “Ayurvedic Herbs: The Comprehensive Resource for Ayurvedic Healing Solutions,” ( and founder of the Ayurvedic and Naturopathic Medical Clinic, ( Dr. Sodhi earned his M.D. (Ayurved) in 1980 from the Dayanand Ayurvedic Medical College in Jalandar, India. He served as a college professor in India until 1986, when the Indian government selected him to share Ayurveda with Western society as part of a cultural exchange program. He finished his fellowship in Integrative Oncology with Dr. Mark Rosenberg in 2012. Dr. Sodhi is a visiting professor at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Scottsdale, Ariz., at the University of Washington School of Pharmacy, and at Des Moines University in Iowa.

Friday, March 20, 2015

2 Delicious Irish Cocktail Recipes

Last week I was pretty sick with the flu and didn't get a chance to publish these 2 St. Patrick's Day cocktail recipes...sorry! With that said, they can be enjoyed year-round so I wanted to get them published for all of you today.

Even on a Tuesday – this year’s March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day can tempt infrequent drinkers to get out and enjoy the festivities. But you don’t have to drink dyed-green beer to tap into the spirit of the holiday, says Steven Earles, CEO of Portland-based Eastside Distilling.

Dropkick Murphy Coffee: Inspired from the popular Celtic punk band, this feisty coffee has the buzz and kick many enjoy in kicking off an extended night of celebration.4

1 ½ oz. Burnside Bourbon
½ oz. Below Deck Coffee Rum
2 tsp. vanilla simple syrup
Whip Cream
Ground cinnamon

In a coffee glass add Burnside Bourbon, Coffee Rum, and vanilla simple syrup. Fill glass with coffee leaving about 1/4 room. Top with whip cream and then a few dashes of ground cinnamon. You can garnish with lucky clovers!

Blarney Stone Kiss: A popular attraction in Ireland, the Blarney Stone gives those who kiss it – which requires an acrobatic, back-bending approach – the gift of the gab. The following shooter gives you the same.

1 oz. Burnside Bourbon
½ oz. Cherry Bomb
2 tsp. lime juice
Lime wedge

Add all ingredients to a shaker, chill hard, and serve in a shot glass. Garnish with lime wedge. Since most people won't be able to kiss the Blarney Stone on St. Patrick's day, make sure to take this shot and then “kiss” (bite) the lime wedge after.

Disclosure: You must be 21 years of age or older to consume alcohol. Please drink responsibly.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Green Pistachio Smoothie Recipe

Saint Patrick’s day is almost here! Looking for a healthy way to celebrate the holiday? Try a green smoothie! Certified Nutritional Health Counselor and founder of Hands on Healthy, Sara Siskind, has created a delicious and nutritious Green Pistachio Smoothie that will nourish and energize you in preparation for the fun-filled day. So, gather your friends and fellow leprechauns and have a whale of a time this St. Paddy’s day!

Green Pistachio Smoothie Recipe
Serves 2

1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup Setton Farms Pistachios
2 handfuls baby spinach
1 banana (frozen is best)
2 Pistachio Chewy Bites chopped into small pieces
ice as needed

Place all ingredients except the PCB into a high power blender. Blend until creamy. Pour into 2 glasses. Served topped with chopped Pistachio Chewy Bites. Enjoy!

About Pistachio Chewy Bites - With two main ingredients, Pistachio Chewy Bites provide healthy snack lovers the amazing benefits of pistachios and cranberries in a delicious and nutritious bite-size bar. Pistachio Chewy Bites are heart-healthy, 100% all natural, gluten and dairy free, low in sodium, GMO free, vegan and a great on-the-go protein snack. They also have no cholesterol, zero trans-fat and are a good source of dietary fiber. These nutrient-rich snack bars provide a great balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat for sustainable energy. With 7 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber and healthy fat, the individually wrapped bars are the perfect one stop shop.

About Sara Siskind - Certified Nutritional Health Counselor, Sara Siskind is the founder of Hands On Healthy, cooking classes for adults, families and teens based in New York. Sara has dedicated her career to educating clients on how food and lifestyle choices affect health, and how to make the right choices to look and feel your best each day. Sara translates the complexity of integrated nutrition into usable tools with easy-to-cook recipes that appeal to the entire family. Sara counsels privately to offer highly customized health and nutrition plans for her clients. She also works with parents on shopping and cooking smarter to create healthier homes. In addition, she teaches beginner to gourmet cooking classes with her signature "toss it in" approach. In addition, Sara regularly works with corporations and non-profit organizations to lead workshops and lectures on healthy eating.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


My granddaughter, nieces and nephews all love the Night at the Museum franchise and all of them are really excited about the release of the Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb on DVD starting today!!! I am going to get a few copies to stuff into their Easter baskets next month. Here is some information about the release!

Bring home the adventure on March 10th, 2015 on Blu-ray™ and DVD!

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment brings back to life your favorite museum heroes in NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB available on Blu-ray™ and DVD March 10. Families around the globe have come out to see the hysterical third and final installment in the franchise which has grossed more than a billion dollars2. Now, parents and kids can not only enjoy the best ‘Night’ ever, but also get their hands on a bonus Digital HD movie: their choice of either Night at the Museum or Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.

If it’s laughter you’re after, get ready for the most hilarious night ever! Ben Stiller leads an all-star comedy cast, including Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Rebel Wilson and Ricky Gervais, for one final, fun-filled Night at the Museum. This time, Larry Daley (Stiller) and his heroic friends embark on their greatest adventure yet as they travel to London in order to save the magic that brings the museum exhibits to life!

The Blu-ray™ comes with tons of special features that will have the whole family laughing! You can check out how Stiller got into character for his alter ego Laaa, get a behind the scenes look at The British Museum and learn how the film’s iconic fight scene inside an M.C. Escher painting came to light. Best of all, every Blu-ray™ comes with a bonus Digital HD movie – not only do you get a Digital HD version of NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB, but you also get a Bonus digital movie – your choice of one of the other movies in the franchise.

ABOUT TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT - Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is the industry leading worldwide marketing, sales and distribution company for all Fox produced, acquired and third party partner film and television programing. Each year TCFHE expands its award-winning global product portfolio with the introduction of new entertainment content through established and emerging formats including DVD, Blu-ray™ and Digital HD™. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is a subsidiary of 21st Century Fox.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Spicy Tomato Soup Recipe

I loved grilled cheese sandwiches and my favorite soup to pair up with them happens to be a good old-fashioned bowl of homemade tomato soup. Nothing goes better with a grilled cheese than that! Today I am sharing a "guest recipe" with all of you. Looks delicious to me!

Today's recipe and photo is courtesy of IMUSA.

This delicious recipe for Spicy Tomato Soup with Hominy is sure to take your idea of comfort food to the next level. This one-pot recipe is super easy to make but is sure not to leave out any flavor. Whether it is a cold rainy day or you're just feeling a little under the weather this recipe will be sure to lift your spirits and elevate your taste buds.

Spicy Tomato Soup with Hominy Recipe

4 Tblsp. olive oil
3 medium red onions, finely chopped
8 gloves of garlic, minced
2 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
2 Tblsp. tomato paste
2 tsp. sugar
¼ tsp cayenne pepper or more if desired
2 C. canned hominy, drained
8 C. water
Salt and pepper
Queso fresco, grated
Cilantro, chopped
olive oil

In your IMUSA dutch oven heat olive oil on medium heat and cook onions until soft, 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add crushed tomatoes, paste, sugar, cayenne pepper and mix. Lower heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add hominy and water. Allow to simmer for 10 more minutes than season with salt and pepper. Add more water if too thick. Serve soup with grated queso fresco, chopped cilantro and drizzled olive oil.