Category: Food & Home

Buddah Bowls a Perfect Fit

Posted on Sep 1, 2014 by No Comments

Winter weather calls for soup and summer is ideal for ice cream. Buddah bowls are perfect for both.

Buddah bowls aren’t new, but for some reason I’ve only recently discovered them. I had been using a very large coffee cup for my soup but holding the handle grows a little awkward as I sip my soup while watching TV.

The Buddha bowl takes care of that problem. It has a hole for your thumb that lets the bowl fit naturally but securely in the palm of your hand while eating cereal, soup, popcorn or whatever else you’re inclined to much on.

I like these bowls for a number of reasons. They are a decent size and don’t require two hands to carry or hold. They are perfect for late night snacking and can be used for coffee, tea, or hot chocolate if you like.

I won’t go as far as to say that using a Buddah bowl will add tranquility to your routine, or Zen enlightenment to your morning, but I do find it almost comforting to hold. Perhaps because it is so well balanced in my hand. I bought the bowl over a month ago, use it almost every day and have decided to buy an entire set.

It’s funny how the littlest things can make you happy, and for some reason this bowl is one of those things. Perhaps because it is so practical and useful! It’s one of those things that make me question why it wasn’t thought of sooner.

Buddah bowls stack, are dishwasher and microwave safe, and are much easier to balance than a traditional bowl or even a large mug type bowl. They are literally made to fit your hand. If you haven’t tried one, I highly recommend you do.

Photo credits: Amazon

Women Need to Make Retirement a Priority

Posted on Aug 29, 2014 by No Comments

I wish I had thought things through when I was 20. I was used to working — I’d worked since I was 14 and I owned two businesses by 18 (that’s not as impressive as it looks, by the way).

By the time I was 20 I wanted to settle down, have kids, and work on being the best mom in the history of the world. Since we were one income we were unable to save much money and over the years it became apparent that we’d never really be able to save money.

When I had a little extra I used it for things the family needed or wanted and now? Now I wish I had put some of that away for me.

The decades passed and I was divorced a month, almost to the day, before my 30th anniversary.  I had exactly $800.00 in savings, a tiny freelance writing business, a blog, and a lot of mouths to feed and bills to pay.

As things got better I put money away. I think I got all the way up to $1,500.00 one time. The problem is that I would have a slow month or one of the kids would need something extra and it was gone again.

Things are better now — much better. This year I will start my retirement plan and since I am 54 I am going to have to be pretty smart about it. I have waited much too long, put too many other people’s need ahead of my own, and not been as wise as I should have been.

So, when I was reading 7 Tips for Women to Have a More Secure Retirement it really hit home with me. Since more and more women are finding themselves single in midlife it is smart to be aware of retirement issues.

Often, even if a woman works she takes time off to raise children and that puts her behind in her retirement savings. While a husband might call it “our retirement” there’s a good bet that if it comes down to talking with a divorce lawyer it will suddenly be “my retirement”.

Many women choose to stay home and raise families, and like me, find themselves victims of the thirty year ditch at a time when it is nearly impossible for them to find a good job.

Even if you are happily married, statistics say that the average woman lives to be 86 and the average man only 84. Chances are that you will outlive your husband.

No matter how old you are, it’s important that you come up with a strategy to begin saving for retirement for yourself. If you stay married and you both retire then you’ll have double the financial security, right?

One of the best things you can do right now is to shop around for a financial adviser. He (or she) will be able to help you decide what type of retirement plan is best for you and how you can get that money in there.

Even if you are married and your husband has an adviser he uses, you can certainly have a different one. It’s important to have someone that you trust implicitly.

Have you thought about retirement yet?

photo credit: kenteegardin for SeniorLiving via photopin cc

Link Round-up: Therapy, Cinnamon Rolls, Gifts, and More

Posted on Aug 28, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has tips for getting help for depression and anxiety online, cinnamon roll twists, a gift idea, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie showed us how to make a delicious vegetarian chili.

One Good Thing by Jillee talks about finding a counselor you can visit via Skype.

A Beautiful Mess shared a fabulous gift idea for sisters.

link ru cinnamon roll twists

Annie’s Noms shared a recipe for cinnamon roll twists.

Kenarry shared an amazing mountain home makeover.

Create Craft Love taught us how to make a foam head Halloween candy bowl.

You Brew My Tea shared a DIY upcycled t-shirt scarf craft.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Annie’s Noms

Identical Twins Test Sugar Vs. Fat in the Weight Loss War

Posted on Aug 28, 2014 by No Comments

Diets which promise weight loss are without number and with them come much controversy. What’s the best approach?

In the weight loss war, sugar and fat have both been demonized, and identical twins Alexander and Chris Van Tulleken decided to find out which approach worked best.

The 35-year-old twins are both doctors and decided that using their identical genetics would be a good way to test the sugar vs. fat weight loss approaches.

According to Alexander they are both “gluttons” and as they’ve gotten older realized they had to pay attention to their diets if they wanted to maintain a healthy weight, but even with their medical training neither of them really knew much about eating well.

Since both sugar and fat have been blamed as the cause for weight gain, that’s where they started. Alexander would cut out carbs for a month and Chris would eat low fat.

Before I mention the results, the problem I see with their approach is that Alexander cut all carbs. To be equal I think Chris should have cut all fat. But the reasoning was that we need some fat, and I think the same is true with carbs. We need some carbohydrates for good health.

Other than those limitations, they could eat however much they wanted and the two of them exercised the same amount. At the end of the month, Alexander lost 9 pounds. Chris lost weight but the amount wasn’t disclosed, but it was less than his brother. I don’t understand withholding that information. It doesn’t give us measurable results.

Aside from that, both were “miserable” on their respective diets. Alexander found that on the no-carb approach he experienced side effects like bad breath, and he felt sluggish and tired and was constipated. The one good side effect is that he wasn’t hungry.

His low-fat brother on the other hand was always hungry and found that eating was no longer enjoyable.

What I take away from this experiment is that balance is important. Instead of a no-carb approach, a low-carb approach would probably have addressed his negative side effects. Low-carb adds leafy greens and other vegetables and fruits to the diet.

Healthy weight loss is more than a number on a scale! We also want to feel good!

Photo credits: 1OneMinuteNews

Portion Sizes Made Easy

Posted on Aug 27, 2014 by No Comments

I think one of the biggest reasons so many of us gain weight is that we don’t really understand how much we’re overeating. Serving sizes are listed on packages, but many times people will eat a whole package and not realize they’ve eaten three servings.

While food labels can help us understand how much a portion is, there are other factors that come in to play.

For instance, not all of us are the same size. That means we don’t require the same number of calories and as a result, our portion sizes may not be the same as what is ideal for others. In fact, in this over-sized, jumbo-size meal world we try navigate, it can sometimes look like we don’t have enough food on our plate, when in fact we do.

A serving size of meat should be about the size of the palm of your hand. That means someone with a bigger hand gets a bigger portion. I know it doesn’t seem “fair” but that’s the way our bodies are made. If you want to lose weight or maintain your weight loss, it is important not to overeat.

  • Measure bowls and cups: If you’re like me, you get tired of measuring everything you eat. To make it easier, measure your bowls, cups, etc. and know how much they hold. That way when it comes time to eat you’ll be able to gauge the portion correct for you without actually measuring again.
  • Use a smaller dinner plate: Did you know American dinner plates are bigger than European dinner plates? Using a larger plate makes it easy to overeat and not even know it. Instead, choose a smaller plate. Our correct portions will fill it up with no problem.
  • Don’t eat seconds: I remember my friend coming back from the doctor miffed, because he told her the best exercise she could do is push away from the table to avoid eating seconds. We don’t need seconds, even if it’s delicious. When we choose to go back for more we’ve just supersized our meal!

If you don’t know what a reasonable portion is for you, you can visit the MyPlate site to help you get a handle on what’s right for you and for your kids.

I have one loved one in my life who has gained quite a bit as a teen because she does her best to keep up with what her teenage brother’s eating. It’s a fact: girls don’t need the same amount of calories as boys. That’s a fact I still don’t like but have learned to live with. We don’t all need the same amount of calories and that’s why correct portion awareness is key in helping us maintain a healthy weight.

Photo credits: UrbaneWomenMag

Link Round-up: Baked Oatmeal, Summer Cocktail, Organization, and More

Posted on Aug 26, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has organization tips, granola bars, a summer cocktail recipe, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie showed us how to make strawberry shortcake baked oatmeal.

One Good Thing by Jillee has tips for getting the house organized for the upcoming school year.

Life with the Crust Off shared a peanut butter jelly blondie recipe.

link ru mango and pineapple

Annie’s Noms shared mango and pineapple granola bar recipe.

A Beautiful Mess whipped up a strawberry basil lemonade cocktail for the last days of summer.

Cupcakes and Cashmere shared a recipe for jam-filled corn muffins.

You Brew My Tea showed us how to make an easy wild rice pilaf.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Annie’s Noms

Yogurt Found to Help Prevent Risk of Diabetes

Posted on Aug 25, 2014 by No Comments

Health experts have made it clear that adopting healthy lifestyle habits can help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. Now a new study published in Diabetologia Journal of the EASD suggests that eating yogurt four or five times a week as one of those habits may lower the risk.

For this study, researchers in the UK scrutinized the diets of 4,000 people and followed them for 11 years. Their findings showed that people who had the highest yogurt consumption had a 24 percent decreased risk of developing diabetes compared to those who didn’t eat yogurt.

How much yogurt did they eat? Four and a half 4-ounce servings of low fat yogurt each week. According to the study, one of the positive effects of eating yogurt is that it results in the consumption of fewer unhealthy deserts and snacks. Researchers determined that replacing a serving of chips with a serving of yogurt reduced the risk of diabetes by 47 percent.

While I like yogurt, with this kind of logic I can’t help but wonder if the results are due to eating less of other unhealthy foods.

But the research also points to the benefit of eating such a fermented dairy product. It contains probiotics and vitamin K which have been shown to protect against diabetes.  The study looked at the consumption of other dairy products, too, but found only some of them are beneficial to reducing the risk of diabetes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if the rate of diabetes continues to grow at its current rate, by 2050 one out of every three people will have it.

I sometimes stand back amazed at the fact that we live in a time of technology and information and know more than ever about health and yet we have around 26 million people in the United States with diabetes. That’s 8.3 percent of the population.

Photo credits: Amazon

Control Your Oven via Smartphone

Posted on Aug 22, 2014 by No Comments

Imagine being able to shut the oven off or turn it on from your phone while you are stuck in traffic? How cool would that be?

GE has a new app upgrade that lets you control the temperature, set the timer, preheat, and even check on the cooking status of your oven meal while you are away. You can even turn the whole oven off. This isn’t available for all ovens but only four of their wall oven models. The ovens cost between $2,000.00 and $4,000.00 and are available in several finishes.

The company doesn’t plan on stopping here, either. They plan on adding similar updates to other types of appliances as time goes on.

I think this is one of those technology things that really might make a difference in someone’s life. I’d love to be able to put something on the stove, for example, run out on an errand, and turn the stove off at the proper time.

This whole house remote technology that seems to be becoming more prevalent and possible is intriguing to me. I mean, you can by a Smart-Home system and turn off lights, turn off televisions, turn off water – you can probably even flush toilets and start laundry.

I think I’d have way too much fun, though. I see myself sitting in the car turning off the kids’ television programs, turning the lights on and off, and randomly starting the garbage disposal for effect. I am that kind of mom.

What do you think? Is this something you would benefit from?

photo credit: philcampbell via photopin cc

Link Round-up: Contouring, Black Bean Dip, Birthday Party Tips, and More

Posted on Aug 21, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has tips for contouring your eyes, a black bean dip recipe, tips for birthday parties and more.

The Tiptoe Fairy shared a fun game that encourages emotional intelligence.

Mind Body Green shared 10 feng shui tips to help you sleep better.

Create Craft Love showed us how to throw a splash party.

Bella Sugar showed us how to beautifully contour your eyes.

link ru black bean dip

A Beautiful Mess shared a recipe for creamy black bean dip.

A Pair and a Spare DIY showed us how to make throw cushions.

Spaceships and Laser Beams showed us how to throw a cute dino dig themed birthday party.

Photo credit: The Tiptoe Fairy and A Beautiful Mess