Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Great tips!

Crying for you onion~
Chopping onions making you cry? Here is a great solution: Put your whole unpeeled onions in the freezer for about five minutes before chopping. Then peel and chop... no more tears!

Cleaning your toothbrush??
Even after rinsing your toothbrush there are still germs on it; I keep a cup of rubbing alcohol on the sink and after each use I dip the brush in it and leave it overnight. Next morning rinse it and use it again. Your breath is always clean.

Hiding Christmas~Great idea for older children
For the family members still living at home, I wrap presents and put numbers on them instead of names. That way I can put the presents under the Christmas tree and only have to hide the master list instead of hiding all the presents until Christmas.

White Tennis shoes~ Toothpaste is great for this!
To keep your tennis shoe soles clean, just take an old toothbrush and some toothpaste, and scrub around the soles. The dirt will come off -- even red mud. It works great!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Desk Organizer for Free~
I hate to throw away the clear medicine bottles we all get from the pharmacy. Arrange the different sizes to design a desk organizer that either stands up or lies on its side. Use a glue gun and carefully glue the bottles together. You could paint on them or spruce them up however you desire. It won't cost you a dime and you'll help the environment.

Stain Removers~
I put a little Oxy-clean on a stain, let it sit, then gently scrub with a toothbrush and a little water. Wash as usual after you treat the stain. The stains come out every time!

Great tip
Striped Popsicles~
Pour watermelon juice into popsicle containers until they are half full. Fill them to the top with unsweetened pineapple juice, then freeze. These are a sweet, low-sugar popsicle that will add a cooling and delicious juicy treat to your children's summer fun.

I love this idea!
Keeping Track of Passwords~
I like to store all my favorite website user names and passwords on a Rolodex wheel. It is a quick reminder. Let your fingers do the walking!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Hunter's Closet - Consignment is All the Rage!

Kids Consignment Store
Opening Sat. May 2, 2009
1236 Hwy 16 N, Denver NC
(beside Captain’s Cap Restaurant)
Doors open 9:30 am – 3:00 pm
Brand Name Clothes & Accessories
Refreshments & Door Prizes

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lake Norman Divas

are on a mission to make a difference in their community. They just finished a book drive and donated them to the Ada Jenkins Center. They were very happy to receive the books! The adult books are for people to take, read and keep and the kids books are going into the after school area.
It is amazing---what a difference 1 group of Divas can make!

Join a chapter or start your own! It is simple and lots of fun to do with your girlfriends!

"Together we are making a difference."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

thrifty tips

Food Friendly
Brown bagging isn't just for your child any more. We as adults can pack a lunch. It is cost efficient and healthy to boot! Don't buy a prepackaged lunch they are rather expensive and not very nutritious.

Kids eat FREE!!
Many places offer a childs plate if buying a regular entree. A great way to save some money and not have to cook.

Clip a few coupons
You can either get the Sunday paper or join a coupon website. Check the local paper ads for the grocery store that you use and try using the coupons you have to buy whats in the ad.

Bulk up
Buy in bulk. Buying in bulk is agreat idea. You can save time and energy by doing this. Less time at the store, less gas and milage on your car. But be careful not to over buy because you think you getting a good deal!

Those wonderful store cards. Everybody has them. You carry about 15 or more of them on your key ring. You have one for every store you shop at! You could always just use your phone number. That is what my husband does.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Earth Day 2009

Happy Earth Day 2009!
Earth Day is a day to recognize our Earth.
It is up to us to make some changes to help
preserve it!

What have you done for our earth?

What will you do for our earth?

"Together we are making a difference!"

Thursday, April 16, 2009

March For Babies

The March of Dimes is hosting it's annual March for Babies in downtown Charlotte on Saturday, April 25th. The walk begins at 10 am and is just under 4 miles.

Proceeds raised through the efforts of the walkers and corporate sponsors go to help the March of Dimes research many issues that effect babies today, including premature birth and low birth weight. is participating in the event for the second year. Last year, raised just over $4,000. This year, we have raised $740 to date toward our $3,000 goal. If you would like to walk with our team, or make a donation towards our fundrasing efforts, please visit

"Together we are making a difference."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ten Tips to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer

In 2008, an estimated 1.5 million people in the United States were diagnosed with cancer, including over 700,000 new cases in men and nearly the same number of new cases in women.

There were also over 650,000 cancer deaths last year, which ranks cancer second only to heart disease as a leading cause of death.

What is Cancer?
Cancer is caused by changes in genes that control the growth and death of cells. The disease develops when cells continue to grow and divide instead of dying off when they get older as they would normally do. As cancer cells multiply, they can damage nearby tissues and can also spread to other parts of the body and develop into new tumors.

While improvements in detection, diagnosis, and treatment have increased the survival rate for many types of cancer, we also encourage doing all you can do to prevent the disease as a core strategy of your prescription for optimal health.

Prevention: 10 things we can all do to reduce the risk of developing cancer:

1. Avoid tobacco products and second-hand smoke
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States for both men and women. Ironically, it’s also the most preventable type of cancer. Some 87-percent of lung cancer deaths are attributable to exposure to tobacco smoke including roughly 3,000 deaths each year in non-smokers due to second-hand smoke. Of the 45 million Americans who still smoke in 2007, 30-percent of male and 21-percent of female high school students reported using some form of tobacco in the prior month. If you smoke, take the necessary steps to quit for the health of you and your loved ones.

2. Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight increases your chance of developing certain types of cancer, including cancer of the esophagus, colon and rectum, and pancreas. Obesity also increases the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women by roughly 50-percent, and endometrial cancer by about three fold. And carrying too much extra body weight is believed to account for up to 30-percent of kidney cancers in both men and women. Make smart food choices, control portion sizes, and fill up on fruits and vegetables to help manage your healthy weight and reduce your risk of cancer.

3. Get moving
The American Cancer Society recommends regular exercise as a way to prevent cancer. Regular exercise burns calories and can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight. Pick something that gets and keeps you moving like walking, hiking, cycling, swimming, team sports, and even dancing. Consider biking or walking to work, or take a walk during your lunch break. Be sure to gradually work up to 30-45 minutes of exercise a day for five or more days per week.

4. Eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
Fruits and vegetables are naturally rich in dietary antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and a whole family of carotenoids that may help to protect your healthy genes from oxidative damage. Recent research suggests that eating tomatoes may help to protect against developing prostate cancer, while eating cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts may help to protect against bladder cancer. Fruits and vegetables are also rich in fiber which can speed the transit of food through the digestive system and may reduce the absorption of cancer-causing chemicals. So eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables may be the best way to ensure broad spectrum protection.

5. Fresh is best
Until about 20 years ago, stomach cancer was the most common cancer worldwide, perhaps due to cultural preferences for eating large amounts of salt-preserved foods such as cured meats and pickled vegetables. This finding underscores the point that when it comes to eating most foods, it’s generally best to eat fresh rather than salted, cured, or pickled. In general, the less processed the food, the healthier it will be for you.

6. Limit alcohol intake
Excess alcohol consumption is associated with increased risks of cancers of the oral cavity, throat, voice box, esophagus, liver, breast, and possibly the colon and rectum. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in women, and aside from carrying too much body weight, alcohol intake is the only other established risk factor for this disease. It’s recommended that men who drink alcohol should limit their intake to no more than 2 drinks per day, while women should limit their intake to no more than 1 drink daily.

7. Practice sun safety and check for changes in your skin
Ultraviolet radiation from the sun is damaging to your skin. The genetic damage it can cause to skin cells can lead to skin cancer, a disease that is increasingly common, especially among young people. Be aware that the sun’s peak time is between 10 am and 3 pm and that sunlight exposure can be intensified by up to 50-percent when reflected from sand, water, snow, ice, and concrete. When outdoors, cover up exposed areas and wear sun screen with an SPF of 15 or more. Know your skin and be aware of the location, size, and shape of moles and skin spots, and report any changes promptly to your physician.

8. Reduce your exposure to potential carcinogens
There are many substances in the environment with the potential to put you at higher risk for developing cancer. On the job, minimize your exposure to fumes, dust, solvents, and chemicals. Try to reduce your everyday exposure to potentially-toxic environmental chemicals in the home and…
Dust and vacuum regularly to rid your home of toxins attracted to dust
Open windows and use fresh air to freshen and minimize indoor pollution
Filter your drinking water to remove pollutants
Switch to green cleaning products that are safe but still powerful

9. Know your family history and get screened
Some 5-10-percent of cancers are due to a genetic predisposition to cancer. Family history is a risk factor for common types of cancer including breast, ovarian, colon, and prostate cancer. If you have a family history of cancer your physician may recommend genetic testing to see if you have the type of gene that can increase your chance of developing cancer. For individuals with an average risk of cancer, the following cancer screening guidelines are recommended:
Breast cancer: Women should begin yearly mammograms at age 40 and conduct regular breast self exams starting in the 20’s.
Colon and rectal cancer: Men and women should have one or more screening tests including a colonoscopy starting at age 50.
Cervical cancer: All women should begin cervical cancer screening no later than 21 years of age.
Prostate cancer: Men should have the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and digital rectal examination annually beginning at age 50.

10. Choose your dietary supplements wisely
Whether it’s vitamin D, folic acid, calcium, the antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and the carotenoids, fiber, or emerging phytochemicals, nutrition surveys have made it clear that your diet is unlikely to be providing all the essential nutrients and other dietary factors you need to be at your healthiest. And dietary supplement studies have yielded compelling evidence that supplements can help to reduce the chance of developing cancer in undernourished individuals.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Underwater Egg Hunt
Rays Splash Planet April 2
10 a.m. til 1230 p.m. OR 5 p.m. til 7 p.m.
Children will be hunting for Easter eggs in Splash Park. Photos with the Easter Bunny will be taken and prizes given away!
The cost is $10 per child.

Bunny Trail Train Ride and Egg Hunt
521 Rec Center at Elon Park April 11
10 a.m. til 1 p.m.
Come join Peter Cotton Tail in a tour of his home on his Choo-Choo Train while hunting for eggs!
The cost is $5 per child.

Egg Hunt
Mallard Creek Recreation Center April 9
9 a.m. til 10 a.m.
Bunny hop while searching for eggs! Some filled with prizes. Plus eat a healthy snack that is provided.
The cost is $3 member/ $6 nonmember.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

10 Healthy, Green Snack Tips for School Kids

This article was written by Alexandra Zissu and what a fantastic idea and how easy it would be if more of us did this at our schools!

Follow these ideas to ensure your child is eating a healthy, nontoxic diet. It's a recipe for learning. I'm happily in the process of helping to green my daughter's preschool. I've aided them in their search for gentle industrial green products, and more eco- and kid-friendly hand soap. And I'm currently involved with a snack committee. The goal is to make sure our children are snacking on healthier things by setting up shopping guidelines and suggestions for parents. We're all already being mindful not to bring in anything that could cause allergic reactions, so the committee is thinking it won't be a huge leap to make to scan ingredient lists for a few more best-to-avoid items.
Here's a working draft of a "top ten" list (in no particular order) which I recently sent to the committee, and which will eventually be sent out to the school. Is there something I'm not thinking about? Or is there a great snack your kids love?

1. Buy Whole Foods
The best items to bring in are whole foods, and this doesn't mean things from Whole Foods but rather items that are whole/entire, and are close to how they came out of the earth -- i.e. unprocessed. Carrots, apples, nuts (though of course not the ones banned for food allergy reasons) etc.
2. Choose Processed Foods With Short Ingredient Lists
When it comes to things that are processed and then packaged like crackers and pretzels, ingredient lists should be very, very short. Michael Pollan has some rule of thumb about things not having any more than five ingredients in them. He also contends that if you can't pronounce or say an ingredient, you shouldn't eat it. These are simple and wise commonsense guidelines. We also obviously want to be avoiding trans fats.
3. Buy Organic Foods
Organic food has proven to be safest for growing children, and can be more nutritious than its conventional counterparts. Choose it. For everything. It's not that much more expensive for something as small as snacks. Not only does organic mean avoiding pesticide sprays and residues, but we're keeping those very things out of the earth and waterways they've inherited. With regard to crackers or anything that might contain some version of processed soy or corn (i.e. everything packaged), choosing organic means the corn and soy (and everything else) aren't allowed to be genetically modified. The above-mentioned five ingredient rule should also apply to organic crackers and the like -- just because something is organic doesn't mean it isn't overly processed.
4. Avoid the Dirty Dozen
When you cannot find organic fruits or veggies, or if something organic is just too expensive compared to its conventional counterpart, turn to the Environmental Working Group's
Dirty Dozen list. They tested and tested and came up with a list of the 12 least contaminated and 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables. If you're buying conventional, choose from their least contaminated list and always avoid the most contaminated list. It's a list that can be printed and put in your wallet. And certainly something we can link to off our school Website.
5. Avoid Sugary Snacks
There is a time and a place for it, but I'd argue that school snack isn't it (besides birthdays, and there are ample birthdays throughout the school year). If you're buying graham cracker sorts of things, read the ingredient list. I'm not sure I think graham crackers or any food in the shape of animals (teddies etc.) are really food. I'd love to ban them, but that might be too extreme to enforce.
6. Choose Whole Grain Snacks
Whole grains are proven again and again to be good for us, and excellent for growing kids. Most parents I hear from are trying to figure out how to work more grains into their diet. If you're buying things like crackers, rice cakes, and pretzels, opt for whole grain versions. There are spelt pretzels, for example, instead of white flour ones. Speaking of pretzels, low salt or no salt is a better idea for kids, as well. With (air popped) popcorn, organic is a must to avoid GM corn.
7. Draw a Good Food Road Map
To make it easy for parents, give specific instructions to go along with general guidelines. List which snacks can be purchased at which stores near the school, so people can just pick up the good stuff on the way in to school, and not have to bother trying to figure out which hummus contains sugar or which pita has an unexpected soy additive in it.
8. Avoid Packaged Yogurts
Many parents bring in cheese and crackers. Some even bring in packaged yogurt to avoid hormones and antibiotics (treatment of the animals and other environmental issues factor in here, of course, but no point in beating everyone over the head when we're trying to get them on board!). The packaged yogurts aren't great because of the packaging, but also because of the shocking amount of sugar in them (Marion Nestle, in her tome
What to Eat, goes off on packaged yogurts for young kids).
9. Pool Resources
Set up a pot for parents who aren't interested in being involved to put their snack cash in. Parents who like shopping for food can step up and do it for them, just as with all other duties at school.
10. Ban Processed Lunch Meats
I'm saving the best for last: meat. It's not actually the sort of thing parents tend to bring in for snack at our school, but from time to time they do bring in cold cuts. If people bring in meat at your school, stick your meat suggestions at the top of the list. Chemicals and other toxins bio accumulate in the flesh of animals at the top of the food chain. Organic is a must here.
Oh, and, don't forget to think about what you're serving these snacks on -- and the water in.

Monday, March 30, 2009

What's For Supper Ya'll? Parmesan Crusted Salmon

By Food Network

1 (6-ounce) salmon fillet, skin off
1/4 cup Parmesan, finely grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Paste:
4 ounces sun dried tomatoes, packed in olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Basil Pesto:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Parmesan Crisps, recipe follows
Sauteed Asparagus, recipe follows
Mashed Potatoes, recipe follows

Lightly season the salmon with salt and pepper. Generously coat 1side of the salmon with the finely grated Parmesan. In a non-stick saute pan, add approximately 3 tablespoons vegetable oil and place over high heat. When the oil is hot, carefully place the salmon in the pan cheese side down. Turn temperature down to medium heat and allow the salmon to cook about 4 minutes before flipping over. The idea is to form a nice crispy, lightly brown crust. Turn salmon and allow to cook another 3 or 4 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside in a warm place until plating.
Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Paste:
In a blender or food processor, add the sun-dried tomatoes along with their oil, the garlic cloves, and 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil. Process the mixture on high speed approximately 1 minute until almost smooth. The mixture should be slightly chunky. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Basil Pesto
In a blender or food processor, place the extra-virgin olive oil and garlic clove. Process until smooth. Add the basil leaves, and process for about 1 minute until mixture is relatively smooth. Add the Parmesan and process again until fully incorporated. Season the pesto with salt and pepper, to taste.
To plate:
Place a small mound of mash potatoes in the center of the plate. Place the asparagus on top of the mashed potatoes at an angle. Then put the salmon nicely on the plate, overlapping the asparagus. Drizzle the plate with both pestos and garnish the plate with the Parmesan crisp by securing it in the bed of mashed potatoes.
Parmesan Crisps:
1/4 cup Parmesan, coarsely grated
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heavily grease a cookie sheet (parchment paper is optional, but if using parchment, make sure it is heavily greased). In a 5-inch diameter circle, sprinkle the coarsely grated Parmesan. Make sure there is just enough to fill the circle, don't over do it! Place in oven and bake for approximately 8 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool before lifting from cookie sheet. Be extremely gentle with them they are very brittle when cool.
Sauteed Asparagus:
4 green asparagus
1/2 tablespoon butter
Salt and white pepper
Cut off about 2 inches of the ends of the asparagus, as they tend to be very coarse and tough. Blanch asparagus in boiling, well-salted water until tender. Shock them in ice water to keep them from cooking any further and hold them until you are ready to plate. Right before plating, in a saute pan over a low flame, melt the butter with the asparagus. Once the asparagus are hot, season with salt and white pepper.
Mashed Potatoes:
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8ths
1/2 cup cream
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Place the potatoes in cold, salted water over high heat. Cook thoroughly and strain. In a separate pot, heat heavy cream and butter. Using a potato masher, mash potatoes. Slowly incorporate the cream and butter mixture. Season with salt and white pepper, to taste.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Appetizer Tree

Appetizer Tree


This appetizer tree serves double-duty as a colorful and attractive table decoration for parties

and as an edible treat. If you are creative, you can carve the fresh pineapple into any shape that suits your party. Feel free to use your favorite fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and or/cooked meats in any combination. Modify the colors of the foods to fit your theme.

Prep Time: 1 hours


1 fresh pineapple
Edam cheese, cut into 1/2-inch squares
Cheddar cheese, cut into 1/2-inch squares
Summer sausage or pepperoni, cut into 1/2-inch squares
Cooked ham, cut into 1/2-inch squares
Fruit, cut into 1/2-inch squares

Preparation:Select a pineapple that freely stands upright. Slice off the green top. Cut away the outer skin, then carve into desired shape. Beginning at the bottom of the carved pineapple, use toothpicks to attach cheese, salami, and ham to the pineapple in a decorative pattern. You can alternate colors or put similar colors in separate rings. Feel free to use your favorite fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and or/cooked meats in any combination. Modify the colors of the foods to fit your party or holiday theme. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce, if desired.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Support Diabetes

Lauren Elizabeth Krajewski, daughter of Stan and Michele Krajewski was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on 9-4-08. Here is sweet way to support a great cause!

Wendy’s is once again partnering with JDRF to sell Jr. Frosty coupon books in support of the Walk to Cure Diabetes.

Please stop by your local Wendy’s to purchase a Jr. Frosty coupon book (including 7 coupons for only $1) and help find a cure!

*One 4 oz. frosty from Wendy’s is 29 grams of carbs*

We also encourage families to thank their local store manager
for their continued support of the Walk program.

Wendy’s has raised $718,106 since 2005 to support their goal of raising $1 million for diabetes research by 2010. Many thanks to Wendy’s for their commitment to help JDRF find a cure!

"Together we can make a difference!"

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Great Tips

Emergency Kit

Consider adding these items to your emergency first aid kit: Scissors to easily make a butterfly bandage from tape, a small vial of rubbing alcohol (try putting it in a film canister) to kill ticks and a first aid guide. A jewelry or toiletries travel organizer with see-through pouches is very helpful in storing the items!

Toilet Brush Holder

If you are like me and you still use the old-fashioned, round toilet brush, consider storing it in a discarded flower vase. It's a neat/handy way to store and disguise it.

Spray Bottles

To organize spray-bottle cleaners, I installed an inexpensive, lightweight metal towel bar on the wall above my washer and dryer. I hang the bottles by their spray triggers -- they never tip over, and are always handy.

Stomach and Cough
For an upset stomach, try sucking on a peppermint. It's soothing and really works. And for a cough that doesn't want to subside, try a drop of peppermint oil on your tongue. It will soothe your throat and work better than a cough drop.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

10 Easy At Home Tips

I am always looking for easy ways to "go green" in our house that are not going to entail me having to make a huge change since we are very busy these days! I read this fabulous article that I wanted to share with you from At Home Magazine. I hope you can make just 1 change to help our Earth!

Here are 10 easy ways to get going:

1. Pay Bills Online....Saves paper which Saves trees.

2. Read up on the best GREEN Products....Online of course

3. Use Native Plants....reduces the amount of water you need

4. Set your computer to sleep when not in use...Edison is a free software....visit to check it out

5. Recycle your CFL's (compact fluorescent light bulbs)....Free drop offs include most Home Depots and Ikea's

6. Install dimmer switches....Saves Energy....Visit to see where you can purchase CFL dimmer compatible bulbs

7. Program your thermostat....Saves Energy

8. Reverse ceiling fans....Winter it should turn clockwise and Summer counterclockwise

9. Install heat controlling window film...Saves Energy and Money

10. Look for the Energy Star Label, Water Sense Label, the Forest Stewardship Council Label and Green Seal Label to be sure you are using "GREEN" products

If you have any other easy suggestions we would love to hear from you!
"Together we are making a difference"

Monday, March 23, 2009

What's For Supper Ya'll? Crab Cakes!



2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard (can use up to 1 teaspoon if desired)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 pound cooked crab meat, flaked (I use back fin)
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs, more as needed
Salt and pepper to taste
Additional fresh breadcrumbs or, preferably, panko crumbs for dredging
Butter and oil for frying
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce with Capers and Dill (optional)

Mix together the parsley, mustard, Worcestershire, eggs and mayonnaise. Add the crab meat and crumbs. Season with salt and pepper and combine well but gently, so you don't break up the crab meat. Divide the mixture into 6 to 8 portions; flatten gently into thick patties. (To ensure even portions, pack the mixture into a 1/3-cup measure for each patty.) Coat each patty lightly with crumbs.

If possible, refrigerate for 30 minutes before sautéeing. Heat butter and a little oil, enough to generously cover the bottom, in a large fry pan over medium-high heat. Add the crab patties, in batches if necessary, and fry until golden brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. Serve immediately, with or without the Red Pepper Sauce.
Notes: The recipe can be cut in half. I often add herbs, such as chopped chives or dill for extra flavor. Just don't add so much as to overpower the crab. Cooked crabcakes may be kept warm in a 200° F oven while waiting for others to sauté.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Springtime brings out flowers, blooms and...MELAMINE!

I absolutely love eating outdoors!!! One thing I have learned is it's great to have melamine dishes on hand - they're durable, easy to clean, typically inexpensive and most importantly, shatterproof!

Over the years, I have begun to collect various melamine place settings. I use them for all different occasions. I have polka dots, stripes, multi-colored, you name it! This year, I have found a new favorite - pink damask!

The Divas In The Kitchen is proud to present this new collection to our viewers! We were able to buy several of these 12 piece place settings at a phenomenal price and can offer it to our divas at just $40!

If you'd like to purchase this 12 piece ensemble that includes:

Square Salad Plates, Bowls, Square Dinner Plates
Not for Use in Microwave, Dishwasher Safe
Pink, White with Damask Pattern
Dinner Plate Dimensions: 10.5" dia.
Salad/Dessert Plate Dimensions: 8.5" dia.
Bowl Dimensions: 6.5"dia.

click our link below!

Happy Spring!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How to "Go Green" when you are out and about??

The choices we make every day impact our planet. As consumers, we have choices! From the cars we drive to the food and stuff we buy. Become part of the solution, not part of the problem! Sometimes making green choices can be confusing because not all the "Green" is earth-friendly, certified organic and recyclable.

Get educated before you buy:

*Read Labels

*Ask Questions

*Pay attention to things like packaging and ingredients you can't pronounce.

*Consider long-term environmental effects of the "convenient" disposables we toss in landfills by the billions: diapers, napkins, razors, water bottles.

Make the change and Make it a "Green" one!

Monday, March 16, 2009

What's For Supper Ya'll? Quick Marinated Beef Kebabs With Peach Chutney

Quick Marinated Beef Kebabs With Peach

Brown Rice

1 pound beef tenderloin

2 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1 large onion

1 red bell pepper

8 medium mushrooms

2 cups water

2 cups quick cooking brown rice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the broiler or grill; marinate the beef and blanch the peppers and onions for the kebabs.

In a 4-quart saucepan, add plenty of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, cut the beef tenderloin into 1-inch cubes and mince the 2 garlic cloves. Place the tenderloin and the garlic in a resealable plastic bag with the 1-tablespoon olive oil, and 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar. Marinate the meat 10 minutes while preparing the vegetables. Cut the 1 onion into 8 wedges, cut the 1 red pepper into 8 squares, and remove the stems from the 8 mushrooms. Blanch the onions and red pepper in the boiling water for 2 minutes; drain.In a small saucepan, add the 2 cups water and the salt, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the 2 cups rice, remove from the heat, cover, and let sit for 5 minutes.Meanwhile, thread the onion wedges, red pepper squares, mushroom caps, and beef cubes onto skewers, beginning and ending with the onion wedges. Broil or grill the kebabs 2 to 3 inches from the heat for about 5 minutes on each side.Place the chutney in a bowl and set the bowl on the table.Fluff the rice with a fork. Spoon a serving of rice onto each of 4 dinner plates, place a kebab on top of the rice, and serve with the peach chutney.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Chocolate Fountain

You can turn any gathering into an extraordinary event by simply adding a chocolate fountain to the party. Your guests will love dipping fresh strawberries, marshmallows, pretzels, sugar cookies and other goodies into delicious flowing chocolate.

These fountains come in all shapes and sizes. Here are a few we have found for you: $39.90

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What have you done for your community lately??

It doesn't take a large number of people to make a difference!
Lake Norman Divas Chapter has been doing some really great things for our community and we are only a group of 18. We have done several drives already and we are only in our 6th month. We donated clothing to Lydia's Loft, stuffed animals to Crisis Assistants in Charlotte and currently we are donating prom dresses to the Ace and TJ Grinn Kids Foundation that will allow girls to have dresses that they would not be able to afford otherwise! I am very proud of the accomplishments we've made in such a short amount of time and know that our future of giving is very bright!

Speak up and tell us what you've done for your community lately! We'd love to here how Divaish you are.

"Together we are making a difference!"

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Family Time

The Mint Museum of Craft & Design wonderful things for your family to do. Every second Tuesday of the month they have a great program designed for kids 18 months up to 4 years (with a parent). Your art lover will enjoy a drop-in, friendly experience with you!
The next Tuesday is April 14 from 10 a.m. til noon. The theme is My Favorite Color, go on a color hunt in the museum and create a beautiful stained glass window.
They also have Saturdays that are sponsored by Target. All ages are welcome! Families are encouraged to drop by the museums art studio to enjoy making a project together. Projects are geared toward 5 years and up but age appropriate art supplies are available for your younger ones too.
Drop in any time between 1030 a.m. and 230 p.m. Please visit website or call 704-337-2050 for more information.

The 12th Annual St. Patrick's Day Parade & Charlotte goes Green Festival will be marching into town March 14th starting at 11a.m. Uptown Charlotte will hold its parade between 9th & Tryon Streets and head south to 3rd & Tryon Streets. After the parade is over the festival (free to public) will begin. Enjoy in the food and watch the Irish dancers while listening to music. Don't forget bagpipers, vendors and more!
Find out more at

Monday, March 9, 2009

What's For Supper Ya'll? Spring Recipe Ideas

Spring Recipe Ideas

By Family Fun

Celebrate the arrival of spring with recipes for cute cakes and cupcakes, outdoor grilling, and fresh fare -- perfect for enjoying the great outdoors.

Cute Cakes & Cupcakes
Baseball Cupcake
Butterfly Cake
Campout Cake
Catch a Rainbow Cake
Flower Power Cake
Flutter Delight Cupcakes
Froggy Cupcakes
Gumdrop Garden Cake
Hot Dog & Burger Cupcakes
I Like My Bike Cake
Jungle Cake
Ladybug Cake
Ladybug Cupcake
Lion and Lamb Cupcakes
New! March Madness Cupcakes
Nest Cupcake
Pretty Package Cake
Rose Basket Cupcake
Sunflower Cake
Sunflower Cupcake
Yellow Jacket Cupcake

Refreshing Spring Drinks
Berry Ice Cube Lemonade
Blue Lagoon
Johnnie Appleseed Slushy
Mango Tango Smoothie
Old-Fashioned Lemonade
Orange Creamsicle
Root Beer Float

Snacks & Fruity Treats
New! Better-for-You Brownies
New! Bubbly Berries and Grapefruit
Earth Day Bars
Frozen Fruit Pops
Fruit Kebobs
Fruit Pizza
Funky Fruit Snack
Healthy Hearts
Lady Bugs on a Stick
Monkey Mix
PB & J Blossom Sandwiches
Peachy Caramel S'mores
Sandwich on a Stick
New! Snowy Trail Mix
Strawberry Mice
New! Umbrella Cookies

Salad Days
Antipasto Salad
Apple Chicken Salad
Chinese Chicken Salad
Corn and Tomato Salad
Couscous Salad with Turkey
Greek Steak Salad
Hawaiian Chicken Salad
Honey-Lime Fruit Salad
Mango, Jicama & Cucumber
Spinach & Pine Nut Salad
Tropical Fruit with Lime
Vegetable Flowers

Great Grilling
Barbecued Pork Ribs
Best-Ever Hamburgers
Chicken BBQ Quesadillas
Chicken Fingers on a Stick
Chicken Yumsticks
Grilled Chicken Tostadas
Grilled Corn on the Cob
Grilled Everything Salad
Mediterranean Turkey Burgers
Moroccan Chicken Kebobs
Pacific Coast Salmon Burgers
Shrimp on a Stick
Smoky Potato Packets
Teriyaki Delight

Friday, March 6, 2009

Spring Fling! Party Activities To Do With Children


Pull out your gum boots and find a puddle to muck around in (or fill a wading pool with water). Then, bring out the food coloring, bubble bath, whisk, funnels, ladles, water wheel, etc. to have a wild 'n wet time!


Hop in the sandbox and use "tools" such as sieves, empty spice shakers, toilet rolls, tin cans with one or two ends removed, plant pots, etc. to add to the fun.


See how many of the following items you can find: - tree bark, acorn, dead leaf, seed, bone, sand, insect, twig, dead grass, spider web, rock pine needle, clover, ladybug, and bird.


Welcome the birds back with a tasty treat! Sandwich a bagel between two plastic lids. Thread a string through the center, and tie a big knot at the bottom. Hang from a tree.


Make ball scoops by cutting two or more 1-litre (or 1 quart) plastic milk jugs in half horizontally. Toss a small ball back and forth to a partner, using only the scoop to catch and throw.


Create your own pet rock by collecting a few well-shaped rocks and gluing them together. When dry, paint your new creature, and add features with markers, bits of felt or fabric, pipe cleaners, etc.


Add some color to your life! Use one of your dad's large paintbrushes (or a plant mister) to create pictures on the sidewalk, using water mixed with a little paint powder, food coloring, or Kool-Aid powder.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Janine Lynn is a parent, author, and educator. Born and raised in Alberta, she is the author of "Help! I'm Bored! - Over 300 Children's Activities for Ages 2-12". She wrote this book because she wanted all of her favorite teaching ideas collaborated into one book, ready to use for any occasion!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Reading with your child is the most important time of the day (for me the evening). Reading at home is fun but sometimes a different location is nice. We are all so lucky that there are great reading places around for us to get invovled in, with our children.
I have compiled a list of great close by locations for you to check out with your little ones.

First on the list is Author Squad (which my child and I enjoy). It is located in the Northcross shopping center(I-77, exit 25, next to Panera). They offer storytime each week on Wednesday from 10-11 a.m. and then again on Thursday from 3-4p.m. They also have a great store with unique gifts and a workshop for children (and adults) to make their very own book!
For more information please check out their website

Second is Barnes and Noble in Birkdale Village. The book store holds storytime on Mondays and Saturdays at 1030a.m. During the first storytime of the month costume characters show up to meet the children. They also have an American Girl Club that is held every second Wednesday of the month at 430 p.m
Please call for more information 704-895-8855

Plan a day of shopping with your little one and let them hit Books-A-million in Concord for storytime on Monday at 1030 a.m. What a great excuse!
Located in Concord Mills for more information please call 704-979-8300

The Public Library is also a place for a great book! They have so many classes at different times from your littlest one to you, the adult.
To find the nearest location and more information please go to the website

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Oprah's show last week....

really disturbed me and I can not stop thinking about it....
They were showing us the faces of this recession! Most were middle class people who have lost their jobs and are living on the streets, in shelters and in tent communities. When someone loses their job and can't pay their mortgage, the home is taken by the bank. They showed what happens to the items in homes that have been foreclosed on. Most of the people just leave with maybe a suitcase, the shirt on their backs and the basic necessities. After the home is foreclosed on, a company is hired to clean out the home from top to bottom in order to get it ready to sell. So I'm thinking they donate the things to people who are needy....Nope...most of the homes items are put into dumpsters and then taken to a landfill. Of course I was very disturbed! Why aren't they donating to shelters or people in need. Well according to the company who does this job in that area, they said it happens too quickly and the places in there area are full. I find that to be an unacceptable answer. Our landfills DO NOT need to be filled with such items.

Does anyone have any solutions? or comments?

"Together we can make a difference"

Monday, March 2, 2009

What's For Supper Ya'll? Treat New Parents to 'Welcome Baby' Dinner

Treat New Parents to 'Welcome Baby' Dinner
By Ame Andrews, Little Rock, Arkansas

When friends of mine had a new baby, I came up with a "Welcome to the World" dinner to deliver when they came home from the hospital.

From personal experience, I knew how difficult it can be in those first few weeks to care for a new baby and the rest of the family, plus baby yourself a bit. I didn't have time to make many home-cooked meals, and I appreciated it when someone stopped by with a tasty dish.

For my friend's theme menu, I combined several favorite recipes that were easily portable and came up with clever names for them: Special Delivery Chicken, Green Bean Bundles of Joy, Bringing Home Baby Carrots and 2 a.m. Feeding Snack Bars.

Comforting Main Dish
Special Delivery Chicken is a simple but delicious casserole that can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen. Chicken breasts are baked in a savory sour cream sauce. With a buttery crumb topping, this main dish is comforting and popular with all ages. I was quite sure my friend's toddler would love it, because mine does.

The casserole was accompanied by two vegetable dishes. For Green Bean Bundles of Joy, I used fresh green beans from our local farmer's market and tied them with bacon strips to make the "bundles." They take on a pleasantly tart taste when baked in Italian dressing.

Bringing Home Baby Carrots are cooked with honey and apple juice. The baby carrots fit my theme nicely and are so sweet and tender, just like a newborn. They couldn't be simpler to prepare.

And finally, I made 2 a.m. Feeding Snack Bars for dessert or a late-night snack when Mom or Dad gets up with the baby. It was a fitting name for these decadent triple-chocolate brownies with a candy-bar topping. They are great with a glass of milk anytime.

The brownies can be made the day before, and I cooked the rest of the food just before delivering it. The meal was ready for the table when I arrived at my friend's home in the evening. Each dish was labeled, wrapped with ribbon and placed in a baby gift bag.

I had cooked and packaged everything in disposable foil or plastic containers so the busy new mom didn't have to worry about cleaning or returning any dishes to me. The proud parents were delighted with their special dinner—and putting it together was fun for me.

I started thinking up themes when I was a kindergarten teacher, and it's become an enjoyable hobby! "Welcome to the World" is one I wanted to share because it's a unique and appreciated gift. Why not consider it the next time someone you know brings home a new bundle of joy?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Birthday Party Ideas & Tips

Birthday party ideas for kids, adults, and everyone in between!

By Plum Drama

Planning birthday party ideas, whether it’s for a toddler, teenager, or adult, can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a lot of hard work. There are a lot of great birthday party ideas out there, so how do you decide which one is best for you!? We’re here to help.

We have put together what we think are the best party ideas out there. We have been in the party planning business for a long time, so we’ve seen a lot and have helped a lot of customers throw amazing parties! We hope you’ll learn from some of our experiences and get some great birthday party ideas from us.

All of our birthday party ideas are organized by the age of the person who will be celebrating his/her birthday. For each of our birthday party ideas we provide an overview of what to expect and what to plan for, so that you’ll have a quick checklist that you can refer to as you plan your special event. Next, we offer money and time saving tips and ideas that will help to make your birthday party less stressful, so that you can stop counting pennies and start joining in the festivities. Whenever possible, we try to find coupons and special web deals if there are certain items that we’ve used in the past and are willing to endorse.

We know that all birthday party ideas have a common set of ground rules that you should keep in mind as you plan your parties.

Rule #1: Start planning early.

Part of the stress of party planning comes when you try to do everything at the last minute. Our biggest piece of advice if you’re starting to plan a birthday party is to start early. After all, you know the date of the party, right?! So, what’s the excuse in procrastinating? Start the planning process at least a few weeks ahead of the big day. This will allow you time to get your party date on the calendars of the people who you really want to invite. It will also allow you time to buy and/or order any party supplies that will help to make your birthday party that much more memorable.

Rule #2: It helps to have a theme.

Many birthday party ideas start with a theme, like your child’s favorite character (Dora the Explorer) or an experiential theme if it’s an adult birthday party idea (such as, “Tropical Paradise”). Having a theme to your birthday party creates unity among all the elements that you’ll be incorporating into the event, which then helps to make the entire day feel like a grand event that the guests will remember forever.

Rule #3: Invite guests who are coming to have a good time.

This rule sounds a bit harsh, but we all have friends who can turn even the brightest, happiest moments into Debbie Downer moments. While it’s fine to invite these “less-than-energetic” folks to your event, make sure you balance it with your friends who are more high-energy and are there to have a GREAT time. We also have friends who could have fun doing nothing at all because of their cheery disposition and positive outlooks. Make sure they’re coming to the party too!

Rule #4: Remember to have fun.

Oftentimes, everyone at the birthday party has a great time EXCEPT for the person who organized and spent all the time to get the party together. Don’t let that be YOU! Start the planning process early, so you don’t stress too close to the event date, and assign tasks on the day of the party. This will allow you to free up some of your time and get some enjoyment out of the event that you worked so hard to create.

Rule #5: Focus on the big picture.

Many hosts make the mistake of perfecting every little detail to their event. This is another surefire way to guarantee your own misery at the party you’ve worked hard to throw for someone. Keep in mind that NOTHING ever goes EXACTLY as planned, so learn to roll with the punches on the day of your birthday party. Don’t focus on the tiny details that no one will care about or notice. As long as there are guests, food, and (maybe) a cake, trust me…the rest will take care of itself.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Revolution 2009

Check out one of our Divas in action!

Diva Jessica, AKA "Fitness Diva", with the help of several other dedicated YMCA Cycling Instructors, staff, and volunteers put together Revolution 2009!

Revolution 2009 was a four-hour cycling challenge! Riders participated individually, or in teams of two, three or four. Roadies were welcome to bring and ride their trainers if they prefer! There was replenishment, door prizes, great music, and more throughout the ride! All participants received a t-shirt and awesome goody bag! And of course a post-ride celebration!

It took place last Saturday, February 21, 2009 at the Lake Norman YMCA in the gymnasium.

All money raised went directly towards Community Outreach at the Lake Norman YMCA. Programs and services provided by the Lake Norman YMCA impact the lives of children and families in our communities most fragile neighborhoods. Your contribution makes it possible for the YMCA to be a leader in community development. Funds raised through our campaign enable us to provide After-school and Teen programs, English as a Second Language classes, Active Older Adults health and wellness programs and summer literacy program. Most importantly every dollar raised through our outreach efforts stay in right here in our community.

We are very proud to see one of our Divas making a difference in our community!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Eco-Friendly Toys

When buying toys, I am always questioning if they are safe or not! With the lead scares and most of our toys being shipped in from over seas, you just never know. I have been looking for safe eco-friendly alternatives. Here is a great website with a variety of choices:

If you have any additional toys you'd like to share, we'd love to check them out~

Monday, February 23, 2009

What's For Supper Ya'll? Manhattan Crab Chowder

Manhattan Crab Chowder

By The Food Network

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely diced onion
1 cup finely diced cored fennel bulb, plus 2 tablespoons chopped fronds, divided
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups precooked diced potatoes (see Tip)
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1 pound pasteurized crabmeat, drained if necessary

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, fennel bulb, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are just starting to brown, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add broth, water and potatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, crab and fennel fronds. Return to a boil, stirring often; immediately remove from heat.

We call for convenient canned crushed tomatoes, but you only need 2 cups; store leftover tomatoes in an airtight container for 1 week in the refrigerator or months in the freezer. Note: Look for precooked diced potatoes in the refrigerated section of most supermarket produce departments—near other fresh, prepared vegetables.

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Great Resource: 1001 Creative Ideas For Fun Parties

Even the most creative divas need a little help sometimes in planning parties! I picked up this great book many years ago "The Best Party Book 1001 Creative Ideas For Fun Parties" by Penny Warner.

This book gives you ideas for almost any occassion! For example, it discusses party tips for:

Wedding Showers,

Baby Showers,

Birthday Parties,




Comings and Goings Parties,

Reunions, Christmas,


New Year's,

Valentine's Day,

St. Patrick's Day,

Cinco de Mayo,

Fourth of July,

Halloween and so many others!

The book gives you a checklist and helps you plan a theme, guest list, menu and games and activities. It even talks about creative party invitations, party mood and atmosphere.

If you're in a party rut or simply want new inspiration, check out this book today!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What a wonderful event!!

To be part of a fundraiser is such a great way to give back to the community. The Cookies For A Cause/Ace and TJs Grinn Kids Foundation proved to be a great success! It was wonderful to get the opportunity to meet some of the Grinn Kid Families and the founders of the foundation too! We had a lot of traffic and raised a lot of money that will help support the Grinn Kid families travels! Thank you to all the donating cookies from BJs, Polk A Dot Bakery and Otis Spunkmeyer. The cookies were very yummy!!

"Together we are making a difference one morsel at a time!"

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Divas everywhere

Do you have an excellent appetizer recipe? One that every time you bring it to an occasion somebody is asking for the recipe. Well if you do, we at The Divas in the Kitchen are doing just that, asking for it. We are collecting yummy appetizer recipes for our Annual Appetizer Diva cookbook. If you have a recipe and are willing to share or you know of someone that has a great one, please email us at . We would love to put it in this years appetizer cookbook and share it with others.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Spring into Diva Wear!

We are proud to introduce our latest creation - Diva Wear! As chapters are sprouting up all over the country, we thought it was time to show our Diva Spirit!

Short Sleeve T-Shirt $20

Long Sleeve T-Shirt $25

Baseball Cap $18

Taking Preorders Now! Simply email us at . Remember to tell us what size you need!

7 Superfoods to Eat for a Health Boost

Here are 7 healthy foods you should include in your diet! Enjoy.

1. Spinach- low in calories and high in nutrients. Research has shown that spinach aids in the prevention of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, some cancers and cardiovascular disease.
2. Walnuts- excellent source of protein, fiber and vitamin E. Walnuts are the only nuts that contain a significant amount of omega-3s, and are known for their high antioxidant activity. Eat them by the handful or toss them on salads.
3. Honey- acts as an antioxidant- a substance that can prevent the effects of free radicals, which we're exposed to from environmental toxins such as tobacco smoke or radiation and which can contribute to disease. Honey also contains oligosaccharides, which increase the number of good bacteria in the colon. The color of honey is relevant: the darker the honey the more antioxidants it contains.
4. Salmon- is a tasty fish that's chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial fats that can improve heart health. Salmon is also protein-rich. Choose wild over farmed salmon, which has been shown to contain elevated levels of contaminants and is artificially colored.
5. Oats- The fiber in oats lowers total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, or the bad type of cholesterol. With every 1 percent reduction in LDL cholesterol, heart-disease risk is lowered 1 to 3 percent. Oats also contain plant chemicals that have antioxidant properties.
6. Dark Chocolate- The good news: Dark chocolate is a potent antioxidant and can help reduce blood pressure. The potentially bad news: You should still keep your daily chocolate intake low, due to the fat and calories. Remember that darker is better because processing strips chocolate of some of its health benefits.
7. Blueberries- Sweet blueberries don't just make your smoothies and cereal taste better; they contain high levels of antioxidants. Some research has shown blueberries can slow degenerative diseases associated with aging and improve motor skills. Still other studies have shown the fruit to improve urinary tract health.

Monday, February 16, 2009

What's For Supper Ya'll? Mini Crabcakes!

Mini Crabcakes

By Family Fun

1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs (available in the ethnic foods section of large supermarkets)
1 pound lump crabmeat, shell pieces removed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more as needed
Lemon wedges

1. Mix the bell pepper, parsley, scallions, mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper in a large bowl. Add the bread crumbs and crabmeat, and toss gently to mix.

2. Divide the crab mixture into 12 equal portions (about 1/4 cup each) and shape each into a 1-inch-thick patty.

3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the crab cakes to the skillet and cook until they're golden on both sides, adding more oil as needed. Cook about 3 minutes per side.

Serve warm with lemon wedges. Makes 12.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Together Cookies For A Cause and Ace and TJ's Grin Kids are celebrating! Come join all the fun and load up on some yummy cookies.




Feb 14th

Time: 11-3

Place: Concord Mills.

$10 buys you a bag to load up with cookies. Over 25 of the grin kids and their families will be there to inform the crowd about their favorite charities.

To learn more, please visit

"Together we are making a difference"

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valentines wreath

Valentine's Day color Construction Paper (Red, White, Pink, Purple...)
Paper Plate
Heart Pattern
String or Yarn for hanging

1. Cut a lot of small hearts of different sizes from the color or colors of construction paper of your choice.
2. Cut out the middle of a paper plate, leaving the rim.
3. Glue your hearts all around the paper plate to form your wreath.
4. You can tie a ribbon on it if you wish, or hang string to the back to hang from a nail or hook.

Thank you to allcraft for this great idea.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A New Way to Drink Coffee

Many of us love our morning coffee! I actually just started drinking coffee after my second baby was born and now I am hooked. I love to take my coffee with me or get it while I am out but I do not like to use paper cups as it is not GREEN! :)

I am always looking for new cups and I think I have found a favorite! It is by a company called Lizzie Lane Originals! Super cute and reasonably priced. Plus my favorite part is the interchangeable fabric. I love that I can change it out and make it feel like a new cup! Most importantly the tumbler is stainless steel which eliminates polyethylene, a plastic that can be absorbed by your body, and waste that ends up in a landfill.

Cute, Eco-Friendly and Affordable!! Check them there many other fabulous gifts at

Monday, February 9, 2009

What's For Supper Ya'll? Spicy Tilapia with Pineapple-Pepper Relish

Spicy Tilapia with Pineapple-Pepper Relish

By Cooking Light

4 servings (serving size: 1 fillet, about 1/2 cup relish, and 1 lime wedge)

2 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh pineapple chunks
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped plum tomato
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 small jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
4 lime wedges

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Combine Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle fish evenly with spice mixture. Add fish to pan, and cook for 2 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness.

Combine pineapple and next 5 ingredients (through jalapeño) in a large bowl, stirring gently. Serve pineapple mixture with fish. Garnish with lime wedges.

Nutritional Information
228 (22% from fat)
5.5g (sat 1.2g,mono 2.2g,poly 1.4g)

Kate Washington, Cooking Light, APRIL 2007

Friday, February 6, 2009

Money Saving Party Ideas

Money Saving Party Ideas

Plan a Party that Fits in Your Budget
By Donna Pilato,

We have all experienced those times when we want to have a party but finances are tight. As you begin to create your guest list, you become excited about the prospect of entertaining. Thinking about the things you'll have to buy to pull off this party, the excitement comes to an abrupt halt. There are invitations, paper goods, decorations, food, drinks, the list becomes a deal breaker. But it doesn't have to if you reconsider your approach to this party. There are many things you can do to keep your party budget under control.

Set a Budget

Don't even begin to plan your party before you decide on your budget. Decide how much money you can afford to spend on your party - then stick to it. The total budget will help you decide on the style of party you can host, and will protect you from that after-party budget hangover.

Don't Mail Invitations

Send email invitations instead. Besides saving on the expense of a purchased invitation card, with the cost of postage seemingly increasing every other month, it makes good sense to turn to electronic invitations for all but the most formal events. The added benefit of using online invitation sites is that they will help you to manage your responses.

Good Riddance to Disposables

Even the least expensive paper plates, cups, and plastic cutlery will quickly add up. You can save on that expense by using your regular dinnerware, flatware, and glassware. Don't be afraid to mix and match if you don't have enough pieces in one set to serve all of your guests. Eclectic tables can be very stylish as long as you put pieces together with a little thought. Still don't have enough pieces? Ask your best friend if you can borrow some dinnerware or flatware, and you can return the favor someday. Not only will this save on expenses, it's also good for the environment.
Choose a Little Less Convenience for the Produce

It's tempting to pick up those little packages of pre-washed, pre-cut fruits and veggies, but they come at a price. Buy your produce in bulk and prep it yourself to save on your party grocery bill. It usually lasts longer, and stays fresher if you wash and cut your produce closer to the party date. And while we're on the subject of produce, always choose produce that is in-season for your area. That's where you'll find the best deals.
Pasta, Rice and Potatoes - The Sneaky Three Dollar Stretchers
Traditionally these three starches have been the keys to stretching a dollar. Salads, side dishes, and casseroles made with these ingredients will be budget-friendly. And who doesn't love a tray of baked ziti or scoop of potato salad?

Make It a Community Party

No one minds being asked to contribute a dish to your casual party. It's not as though you've asked them to be the host! With that basic concept in mind, you can organize a:

BYOB or Other Beverage Cost Saving Tricks

For a casual party, it's very common for hosts to tell their guests that soft drinks will be provided, but guests can feel free to bring any liquor of their choosing. If you're not comfortable doing that, you can save on alcohol expenses by purchasing wine, champagne or beer by the case. Or consider making a seasonal punch as your economical, alcoholic beverage for the party.

Affordable Themes

By hosting a party with a theme, you can easily mask the underlying economy of your food. Themes make it fun, and you can add to the ambience with music (borrowed from a collector friend if you don't have the appropriate selections). Here are several affordable party themes:

Make Your Own Tacos
Pizza Party
Desserts Only
Italian Pasta Night
Ice Cream Sunday

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Angels and Sparrows Soup Kitchen Fundraiser

Here is some updated info about the Angels and Sparrows fundraiser:
1st Annual Angels and Sparrows Soup Throwdown
Date: Sat, Feb 7th
Time: 11:00-1:00
Place: Angels and Sparrows (115 in Huntersville behind New Friendship Church) corner of Ramah and 115

3 local chefs will be making gourmet soup and competing to win the 1st annual Soup throw down! Chefs from Dressler's, Northstone Country Club, and Sysco foods will be making soup.

3 gourmet soups will be served along with bread, drink, and dessert

$5: large bowl of one soup served with bread, drink, and dessert
$10: 3 small bowls of soup served with bread, drink, and dessert.
This option entitles you to vote for the best chef
This fundraiser will be a lot of fun!
Come see the soup kitchen and have some delicious soup at the same time! Tell your friends...

"Together We Can Make A Difference"

Easy Chicken Pasta

Easy Chicken Pasta

What's For Supper Ya'll?

White Beans, Pasta and Chicken
8 ounces dried cavatappi, fusilli, rotini, ditaloni, or other short pasta tubes
1 15- to 19-ounce can cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
12 ounces cooked chicken, shredded
1/4 cup snipped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley sprigs (optional - I usually skip it)
Olive oil (optional - but I recommend at least a little for moisture)
1. In a large saucepan, cook pasta according to package directions; drain well and set aside.
2. In a blender or food processor, combine 3/4 cup of the beans and the chicken broth. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Place bean puree in pan used for cooking the pasta; bring to boiling. Return pasta to pan.
3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook garlic in 1 tablespoon hot olive oil for 1 minute. Add tomatoes; cook for 1 minute. Add the remaining beans, shredded chicken, snipped parsley, pepper and salt. Heat through.
4. Add the tomato mixture to hot pasta; toss to cost. Top with parsley sprigs and additional olive oil. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
Posted by Stacy Nelson, Easy Dinner

Featured Charity of The Week

If you're looking for a cause...

American Red Cross