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Showing posts from March, 2014

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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The Beauty of Aging, Gracefully!

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I recently watched an episode on Oprah Prime about aging gracefully. What a graceful way to go about having an aging conversation without having an anxiety attack, or having the need to add your dermatologist to your favorites on your phone, or trying to find a second job to be able to afford adding the “graceful” to the “aging”.  Oprah and Cameron Diaz, and then Oprah and Sharon Stone had the conversation about aging gracefully.  Two perfect beauties, with long legs, beautiful skin, and a body that any 20 year old would envy.  No need to breakout into hives, right?  Aging gracefully, the “Hollywood” way, is perfectly achievable…if you have your in-house esthetician, plastic surgeon, nutritionists, and a wad of cash that resembles your mortgage payment.  The reality of aging gracefully for “normal” chicks like me is that I don’t have enough time or cash for facials once a month, or expensive lotions and potions.  I get as fancy as a store bought mask, and once a year, a birthday faci…

We love...Tea!

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Dr. Oz knows how to pick them!  According to recent research, these different variations of teas have health benefits.  I have tried a few of them and love them!  With or without health benefits, a good cup of tea in the morning and/or with a good friend, is always my recipe to de-stress and enjoy my day!
Passionflower Tea For Anxiety 
Passionflower has the flavone chrysin, which has anti-anxiety benefits. It works best for people with anxiety who also experience a lot of circular thinking or obsessive thoughts. Try a cup of passionflower tea before bed to calm your mind.
Oolong Tea For Weight Loss 
Oolong tea boosts metabolism, helping you burn fat faster. Its unique catechin (an antioxidant) and caffeine combination ignites your body’s fat-burning furnace and raises your metabolism for up to 2 hours after drinking it. Oolong tea also contains polyphenols that help block fat-building enzymes. Studies have shown that drinking oolong tea has led to sustained weight loss and a smaller waist…

Spring Break!

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My kids are on Spring Break! This means, lots of running around, and lots of demands for excursions and activities!  Social media is completely messing with my kids’ minds about what Spring Break should look like; they see the pictures of vacations that a lot of their friends take during Spring Break, and they wonder why our vacation doesn’t look like that!  Some of their friends are in Hawaii and others are in resorts that surround the California beaches.  As for us, we took a 2-day trip to Santa Barbara where we hung out by the pool and just chilled out.  We could only financially swing a 1-night hotel stay, so our vacation was very short, but we had a great time!  They at least got to do something!  Shouldn’t they be grateful for that?  They were for a few minutes!  But, they are growing up with social media influencing them and that complicates the way the see life.
When we talked about what we can afford to do, our kids still wanted us to check into other options for another get…

Chicken Nacho Soup

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Chicken Nacho Soup Total Time: 8 hr 20 min Prep: 20 min Cook: 8 hr Yield: 4 servings Level: Easy
CATEGORIES Chicken Soup Slow Cooker
Ingredients 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1 14 .5-ounce can diced tomatoes (preferably fire-roasted) 1 large russet potato, peeled and diced 1 zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch pieces 1/2 white onion, finely diced 1 small jalapeno pepper, finely chopped, plus slices for topping (remove seeds for less heat) 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 3 sprigs cilantro 1 15 -ounce can hominy, drained and rinsed 3/4 cup crushed tortilla chips, plus whole chips for topping 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth Kosher salt 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch pieces 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 8 ounces American cheese, diced 1/2 cup milk
Directions Combine the tomato paste, tomatoes, potato, zucchini, onion, jalapeno, garlic, oregano, cumin, cilantro and hominy in a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the crushed tortilla chips, the chicken brot…

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Whiteboard/Blackboard Conversations

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I was listening to the radio the other day, changed stations and heard the end of an interview with an actor that was on a Broadway play.  I was bummed that I didn’t catch the name of the actor or the show he’s on, because he sounded like a hoot.  He was talking about how different it was to be on TV than Broadway, and how hard it was to have to rest his voice because of so many performances.  So, he doesn’t talk on Mondays and uses a whiteboard to write what he needs to say to others.  However, after a few hours, he figured it wasn’t worth writing what he wanted to say most of the time, so he cut down most of his conversations in half.  Hmmm…what a concept!  I thought about the whiteboard all day after hearing that interview.  I too, wanted to use the whiteboard, but as an experiment, to see how I would handle my daily interactions with others.  I couldn’t find a portable whiteboard at home so I decided to mentally recite what I wanted to say before I said it to people.  It was so m…

Spring Is Here - 10 Best Beauty Uses for Baking Soda!

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Spring is here and what better way to start anew than taking care of our basic beauty needs with a new twist...baking soda!  Here are Dr. Oz's10 Best Beauty Uses for Baking Soda.  Bestie Note: I've used baking soda for a few of the tips below and plan to try the rest of the tips this month! I hope you try them out too.  Let us know in the comment section which one is your fave! - Fabiola For more beauty tips and wellness advice go to www.doctoroz.com
Dry Shampoo Instead of spending tons of money on dry shampoo, sprinkle a little baking soda at the root and tousle your hair. The result is the same for a fraction of the cost.
Volumizing Shampoo You can add volume to your hair just by mixing a quarter size of baking soda to your daily dollop of shampoo. The baking soda will help remove impurities, leaving your hair lighter and full of volume.
Acne Treatment You don't need harsh chemicals to fight acne. Try a mixture of baking soda and honey to help clear and skin. Apply for 15 minu…

Chocolate "Sundae" Ice Pops

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Recipe courtesy of Melissa d'Arabian

Frozen treats are an excellent place to include healthier ingredients--almost anything in the form of an ice pop brings back the wide-eyed joy of childhood (and it takes a while to consume even just a few ounces!). I love making frozen pops with fruit purees and juices, but these are my favorite because they are creamy, chocolaty, and decadent. My kids think it's hilarious that they are eating avocado in their pop (oh, to be five...).
Total Time: 8 hr 15 min Prep: 15 min Inactive: 8 hr Yield: 8 to 12 ice pops Level: Easy
Ingredients 1 cup low-fat milk 1 cup low-fat evaporated milk 1 avocado, halved, pitted and peeled 1 ripe banana, peeled 3 tablespoons honey 1/4 cup cocoa powder 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Up to 4 tablespoons chocolate syrup
Directions To a blender add half the milk, half the evaporated milk, the avocado, banana, honey, cocoa and vanilla. Blend until well combined and smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the remaining milk and evaporated milk and …

Earthquake!!

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The Southern Californian in me is not surprised that we had a jolting wake up call yesterday morning, due to a 4.4 earthquake centered about 20 miles from my house!  Scientist and normal people like myself know of the possibilities of an earthquake happening at anytime, but you’re never “really” prepared when it does hit.  Mentally, I’m never really ready, and following instructions of what to do when an earthquake does happen, is not my initial instinct.  My instincts do however, have me jumping out of bed and screaming “oh God, it’s shaking - earthquake!!”  Forget putting on my shoes in case there’s broken glass on the floor, or getting the flashlight next to my bed in case the power was out!  I heard my son cry and rushed, barefoot to his room, to find him under the covers and completely shaken.  My daughter was really shaken too!  I carried my son and walked my daughter over to our bedroom.  I never thought of turning on the lights, so I did all of this in the dark!  I was so sha…

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of the Day

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Quote Of The Day

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Wolfgang Puck’s Blueberry Pie With Teff Pastry Crust

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End your meal with Wolfgang Puck's healthier take on this classic dessert.
Ingredients 1 recipe Teff Pie Dough  (recipe below) 6 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed and thoroughly drained 3/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling 5 tbsp tapioca starch 1/4 tsp Chinese five-spice powder Zest of 1 lemon Pinch of kosher salt 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Directions Prepare the Teff Pie Dough as directed (recipe below).
Divide the chilled dough in half. On a sheet of parchment paper, use a rolling pin to roll out one piece of dough into a 12-inch circle. Loosely roll it up around the rolling pin, then unroll over a 9-inch pie plate. Gently press the dough into the plate.
Roll out the remaining piece of dough, loosely roll it up around the rolling pin, and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Put the blueberries in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, stir together the sugar, tapioca, five-spice powder, lemon zest and salt. Sprinkle this mixture over the blueberries along with the lemon juice. Tos…

No High Heels!

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It’s been almost 9-weeks since I rolled (sprained) my ankle, and just this week, I was able to do an abdominal (abs)-exercise on Tracy Anderson’s workout video!The exercise requires being on plank position, bending one leg onto my chest, while dropping my hip all the way down to the floor.It’s a tough move to do, and for almost 9-weeks, my hip couldn’t drop for the life of me. It was so frustrating.
After 7 visits to my chiropractor, stretching, exercising with a bum ankle, supplements to help the swelling, and being in discomfort this entire time, I’m finally feeling like my ankle is almost healed!I’m able to drop my hip almost completely during my abs exercise!It’s unbelievable that the swelling hasn’t fully gone down!  The best line that my chiropractor said to me during my visits was "don't whip out" when he talked about going back to exercising and stretching.  He always emphasized that it was going to be uncomfortable to go back to my normal exercise routine but tha…

AT&T Can Suck It

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I have to share this open letter that I wrote to AT&T's president, because it's too good not to...
Dear Mr. Randall L. Stephenson
I wonder what would happen if your AT&T service went out?You know, your Internet, cable and home phone, in a full black out, I bet your service would be restored within minutes, if not, hours!Yeah, I wish I had that kind of pull around AT&T!After 6 days in a full blackout of services, we still can’t even get an idea when our service will be restored and why this is happening, I bet that wouldn’t happen to you.I bet you wouldn’t be told that they have to send out a crew to check out the problem, and then assess what needs to be fixed, and then set up another appointment to fix it.Problems with equipment outside our house can sure be a pain to fix and get to, according to the 12 people we have spoken to at AT&T.
It must be nice and cushy in your house, with your uninterrupted service year round!I wish I were in your shoes after day 6 with…

St. Patrick's Day Chocolate-Mint Cookies

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Ingredients 1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker® sugar cookie mix (or you can make your own sugar cookie mix) 1 tablespoon sour cream ½ cup butter, softened 1 egg 1 teaspoon green food color 3 teaspoons peppermint or mint extract (optional) 1 bag (12 oz) dark chocolate chips (2 cups) ¼ cup shamrock candy sprinkles
Vanilla-Cream Filling: 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature 1/4 cup vegetable shortening 2 cups confectioners' sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Directions: Heat oven to 375°F.  Line large cookie sheet with cooking parchment paper.
In large bowl, stir cookie mix, butter, egg, sour cream, food color and 2 teaspoons of the peppermint extract until soft dough forms. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheet.
Bake 8 to 11 minutes or until barely golden around edges. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely.
Vanilla-Cream Filling: Put the butter and shortening in a mixing bowl and, at low speed, gradually beat in th…

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Growing children! How will I survive?

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As much as I like to complain about all the shenanigans that my kids try to pull off everyday, I admit that I was sad when I came to the realization that I only have 8 years until I’m an empty nester (that is, if both of my kids move out to go to college) YIKES!! Nevertheless, my role as the “all” to my kids is slowly changing, and before I know it, they will be adults and need me sporadically in different ways.My days will most likely not be filled with doing everything for them and I will maybe, have time to sit down and read a book, start a new career, go out to a movie with my husband, and maybe even take a nap!As heavy as my daily schedule is and how exhausted I am at the end of each week, I can’t picture my life without all of it.
As my children have gotten older, they have slowly started to become more responsible for their stuff and themselves, and don’t rely on me for everything.They sometimes would rather I not get involved in what they’re doing (sniffle). The early foggy s…