Wednesday, May 20, 2009
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
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.
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!
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
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
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
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.
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
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
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
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Thursday, March 26, 2009
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!
for their continued support of the Walk program.
"Together we can make a difference!"
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
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.
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
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 www.verdiem.com 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 www.1000bulbs.com 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!
Monday, March 23, 2009
SERVES 3 to 4 AS A MAIN DISH, 6 to 8 AS AN APPETIZER
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.
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
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!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
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
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 www.mintmuseum.org 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 www.charlottestpatsday.com
Monday, March 9, 2009
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
Catch a Rainbow Cake
Flower Power Cake
Flutter Delight Cupcakes
Gumdrop Garden Cake
Hot Dog & Burger Cupcakes
I Like My Bike Cake
Lion and Lamb Cupcakes
New! March Madness Cupcakes
Pretty Package Cake
Rose Basket Cupcake
Yellow Jacket Cupcake
Refreshing Spring Drinks
Berry Ice Cube Lemonade
Johnnie Appleseed Slushy
Mango Tango Smoothie
Root Beer Float
Snacks & Fruity Treats
New! Better-for-You Brownies
New! Bubbly Berries and Grapefruit
Earth Day Bars
Frozen Fruit Pops
Funky Fruit Snack
Lady Bugs on a Stick
PB & J Blossom Sandwiches
Peachy Caramel S'mores
Sandwich on a Stick
New! Snowy Trail Mix
New! Umbrella Cookies
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
Barbecued Pork Ribs
Chicken BBQ Quesadillas
Chicken Fingers on a Stick
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
Friday, March 6, 2009
NATURE SCAVENGER HUNT
SPLASHY SIDEWALK PAINTINGS
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
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 www.authorsquad.com
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 www.plcmc.org/programs/
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
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.
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.
Friday, February 27, 2009
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.
Rule #2: It helps to have a theme.
Rule #3: Invite guests who are coming to have a good time.
Rule #4: Remember to have fun.
Rule #5: Focus on the big picture.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
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.
Friday, February 20, 2009
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:
Comings and Goings Parties,
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
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Short Sleeve T-Shirt $20
Long Sleeve T-Shirt $25
Baseball Cap $18
Taking Preorders Now! Simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org . Remember to tell us what size you need!
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
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
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.
COOKIES FOR A CAUSE
A SWEET FUNDRAISER TO CELEBRATE
A DECADE OF MAGIC FOR ACE AND TJ'S GRIN KIDS
Date: Feb 14th
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 http://www.grinkids.org/events/134/
"Together we are making a difference"
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Valentine's Day color Construction Paper (Red, White, Pink, Purple...)
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.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
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.
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
Plan a Party that Fits in Your Budget
By Donna Pilato, About.com
Set a Budget
Choose a Little Less Convenience for the Produce
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?
Italian Pasta Night
Ice Cream Sunday
Thursday, February 5, 2009
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"
What's For Supper Ya'll?
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 Recipes.blogspot.com