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Showing posts from July, 2014

The Price of Being The Authentic You

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About a year ago, I started working on finding a balance between taking care of others and myself. I started to create new boundaries with friends and loved ones, but while doing so, I felt like I was disconnecting with my roots. I believed that saying no, or not being “available”, when others needed me was viewed as rude or that I was being bitchy. I contribute that to my enabling of those around me, they knew that I would step up to the plate for them, no matter what. I would always say that I wasn’t doing anything else so I could help others! I didn’t know how to take care of myself that’s why I had time to help others. Until, my therapist asked me to start taking care of myself first, and then if there was time left, to take care of others. It was strange to do that, it felt selfish, but I started to slowly do things for me first, and for the first time in my life, asked for help when I needed it. I didn’t realize how hard it was going to be and I didn’t feel like myself for a li…

Fresh Peach Cake

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Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
Total Time: 1 hr 15 min Prep: 20 min Cook: 55 min Yield: 8 servings Level: Easy
Ingredients 1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 1/2 cups sugar 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 3 large ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Directions Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch-square baking pan.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and 1 cup of the sugar for 3 to 5 minutes on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, then the sour cream and vanilla, and mix until the batter is smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the b…

Many chapters make up a book…

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It takes courage to believe that the best has yet to come -Robin Roberts
After battling two life-threatening diseases, Robin Roberts still believed that the best had yet to come! She battled breast cancer and MDS (a disease of the bone marrow), each time she fought hard battles and won! While I watched an interview with Robin, I was inspired by the way she lived her life before and after her health battles. Robin had a dream to become a sportscaster at a time when women had not broken through that barrier, she worked her craft until she was ready and was hired by ESPN, where she hosted the network's news program, Sportscenter. Then, she challenged herself again when she was asked to guest host at Good Morning America, a show broadcast by ABC, she stepped up to the plate, took the job, and become a full-time co-host when Diane Sawyer, then an anchor on Good Morning America, was named anchor of ABC World News. She worked hard and had the determination to dream a bigger dream for hers…

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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Blue Whale, Dolphins, and Sea Otters!

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My kids and I went whale watching this week!What a beautiful experience it was. We were out on the sea for 2 hours looking out for whales and dolphins. 30 minutes into the excursion, a blue whale popped out of the sea and blew tons of water up in the air! It was truly an experience that took my breath away! It was a few seconds before I started to breathe again.It was a blissful moment that was so amazing that it’s hard to explain. Then we ran into pods of dolphins swimming along side the ship! There were a few babies in the pods that made me shed a tear of excitement because they were so beautiful and amazing. Then we ran into an area full of sea otters that were hanging around on top of a Buoy! It was the most exciting day I’ve had all summer and I can’t stop talking about it.


I’m still in complete awe of how beautiful and amazing the experience was and how I fully experienced every moment of it. I was left longing for more! The simplicity of sea life grounded me, gave me a boost o…

Baked Shrimp Scampi

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Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten 2008, Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, All Rights Reserved
Total Time:43 min Prep: 30 min Cook:13 min Yield: 6 servings Level: Easy
Ingredients 2 pounds (12 to 15 per pound) shrimp in the shell 3 tablespoons good olive oil 2 tablespoons dry white wine Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature 4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves) 1/4 cup minced shallots 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 extra-large egg yolk 2/3 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes) Lemon wedges, for serving
Directions Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss gently with the olive oil, wine, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature w…

What A Woman Learns

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When I was young, my grandmother would let me shadow her all day long while she carried on her daily routine. She taught me how to pray, cook, clean, rituals to keep grounded, how to care for myself, how to heal heart by spending time in nature. She lived her life with such grace that it was contagious and I wanted to be like her in every way!  We lovingly called her Abuelita Pime (Epimenia was her full name). I strongly felt her love then and now that she’s gone. Which brings me to an article that I read in Iyanla Vanzant’s website about ancient times, when grandmothers would take away the young girls from the villages or tribes so they could teach them important lessons on how to maneuver through life. Iyanla is one of America's most profound spiritual leaders and acclaimed empowerment legends. Her body of work spans over three decades to include 15 published books, 5 New York Times best sellers.
This article reminded me to teach my daughter what I feel that her grandmothers ca…

10 Ways to Make Your Eyes Look 10 Years Younger

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1. Eat an Iron-Rich Diet An iron deficiency could be the reason for your under-eye bags and dark circles. Make them go away by incorporating iron-rich foods like spinach, kidney beans and dark chocolate into your diet. Learn how to eat more iron with this grocery list from Dr. Oz.
2. Use Eye Primer When you put makeup directly on to your eyelids it will settle into wrinkles and crevices making them look more prominent. An eye primer will fill in these creases, allowing for smooth, long-lasting application.
3. Don't Overpluck Your Brows When you're over 40, over-tweezing will make you look like you're losing eyebrow hair – a classic sign of aging. Learn how to get your best brows at home with this grooming guide.
4. Moisturize Moisturizing is essential for youthful-looking eyes. Dry skin can lead to cracks, wrinkles and bags. If you're struggling with puffiness, opt for a gel eye serum or a calendula eye balm. If you want to reduce the appearance of crow's feet, reach for …

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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Fish Skewers with Basil Chimichurri

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Recipe courtesy of Melissa d'Arabian
Bestie Note: As a great appetizer - use leftover chimichurri sauce to spread over grill-toasted sourdough bread or baguette. 
Total Time: 47 min Prep: 25 min Inactive: 15 min Cook: 7 min Yield: 4 servings (2 skewers each) Level: Easy
Ingredients
Marinade: 1/4 cup chopped white onion 1 clove garlic, minced 1/4 cup vegetable oil 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar Juice of 1/2 a lemon (about 2 tablespoons) Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 10 ounces firm white fish, such as cod, haddock or halibut,cut into 16 pieces (about 1 inch each) 3 small zucchini and/or yellow squash (about 1 1/4 pounds),cut into 1-inch pieces
Basil Chimichurri: 1 1/4 cups fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped 3/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped 1 tablespoon finely chopped sweet onion 1 clove garlic, minced 1/3 cup olive oil 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar Juice of 1/2 a lemon (about 2 tablespoons) Pinch crushed red pepper flakes Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 8 cherry to…

Judging A Book By Its Cover...Wait A Minute!

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I watched an episode of Iyanla, Fix My Life, about Tess, a head nurse at a hospital that was fired because she was stealing painkillers from patients. Her family, comprised of 3 sisters and her mom, were ashamed of her and cried that she had tarnished the family name. When Iyanla asked each of the women to do an exercise with her, called The Walk of Shame. She asked each sister to say something they were ashamed of before they took a step forward. By the end of the exercise, all sisters had such horrible situations they had been through. Like getting arrested for driving under the influence, gambling addictions, broken and failed marriages that made their lives very sad and complicated, and a mother who stood by and never acknowledged their importance. The mother herself, had been a drunk, tried to commit suicide a few times, was addicted to painkillers, and was in a marriage that was abusive. Every bad situation the mother had been through in her life, her girls were a reflection of …

8 Household Uses for Hydrogen Peroxide

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Remove bloodstains Dab clothes, carpets or towels that have been stained by blood with a small amount of hydrogen peroxide. Let the liquid sit on the stain for a minute or so before rinsing with cold water. The stain will disappear before your eyes. This works best for lightly colored fabrics, however, as hydrogen peroxide can act as bleaching agent, so you may need to spot test before using.
Oral health While doctors don’t recommend that you use hydrogen peroxide to whiten your teeth, you can treat oral infections with a solution of 3% hydrogen peroxide and water. This is best used as a temporary measure under the care of a doctor as overuse can cause cell damage.
Remove earwax To remove earwax using hydrogen peroxide start by diluting 3% hydrogen peroxide with an equal amount of room-temperature water. Turn your head sideways and, using an ear dropper, put two drops of the solution in your ear. Let it sit for five to 10 minutes before tipping your head to let the softened wax drain out.
A…

Retirement…a dream come true?

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While visiting our cousins who are planning their retirement early next year, we learned so much about the people in their community, like the fact that most couples there have one person still working and the other one is retired.We were invited to the neighborhood party that weekend and met many of their neighbors. Everyone was very friendly and willing to tell us all about their retired lives, and others talked about still working part-time until they’re ready to retire. Some of the retired people talked longingly about their previous jobs and professions, while others were happy to put their professions behind them and love living a leisurely life. Our cousins live in this community part-time because they have full-time jobs that are 4 hours away so commuting is not an option, but they are there because that’s where they’re going to retire and want to get a jump start and grow roots there.
While walking around the party, I was always an earshot away from some of the gossiping going…

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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3 Fat Burning Tips

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Are summer BBQ’s and all day-snacking habits weighing you down?  According to Dr. Oz, choosing the right foods can trick your body into burning fat! Here are 3 Dr. Oz’s tips:
1. Eat MUFAs
Monounsaturated fatty acids, or MUFAs, are found in some of the nature's most indulgent foods, including avocado, olives, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts like cashews, almonds and pecans, nut butters and dark chocolate. Oddly enough, a study from the American Diabetic Association found that eating a diet rich in MUFAs actually decreased belly fat. MUFAs may also help improve insulin sensitivity, which is important for good blood sugar control and avoiding and treating diabetes. To put MUFAs to work on your belly fat, eat a MUFA-rich food with every meal and make sure that 50% of the fat calories you eat in a day come from MUFAs. 
Here are good portions to stick with:
A quarter avocado 10 olives 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons nuts 2 tablespoons nut butter A quarter cup of dark chocolate chips
2…

Follow The Leader...Not So, Says Martha Beck

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Martha Beck, a sociologist, life coach, best-selling author, and speaker who specializes in helping individuals and groups achieve personal and professional goals; writes about learning when to be the leader and when to follow. This topic is so interesting but also fear-provoking, because while I was in college, I followed the lead of every student, in every class, who seemed to have it figured out. I wanted to be just like them and find ways to study as much as they did, so I could get the grades they were getting. I wanted to have the balance they seemed to have between schoolwork and social life.
I was always fascinated by the straight “A” students in my classes, they made it look easy. I wondered why I was having a hard time finishing all of my schoolwork, studying for tests, and working full-time. Sadly, I wasn’t looking for what worked for me, I was looking at what worked for others and followed them, even though our situations and circumstances were completely different. Most of…

Herby Ranch Dressing

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Recipe courtesy of Ree Drummond 2012 Ree Drummond, All Rights Reserved
Total Time: 2 hr 5 min Prep: 5 min Inactive: 2 hr Yield: 8 servings Level: Easy
Ingredients 1 cup (real) mayonnaise 1/2 cup buttermilk (more as needed to reach desired consistency) 1/2 cup sour cream 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped 1/4 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano 3 teaspoons white vinegar 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce Salt and ground pepper
Directions Combine the mayonnaise, buttermilk, sour cream, basil, parsley, chives, oregano, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Chill for a couple of hours before serving.

For more recipes visit www.foodnetwork.com

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Nature..And Self Nurture

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A visit to The Grand Canyon this past December, left me wanting to visit more national parks during our summer-break. It turned out to be a turning point, and now the only (soon to be) 40th birthday gift I didn't know I wanted, but desperately, and unconsciously longed for!

I've complained about not having enough time, money, or ideas for a fun summer with the kids. But then, I found a deal online, and without hesitation booked a trip to Mammoth Lakes and made it all work! While in Mammoth, we took a day trip to Yosemite National Park. Both destinations are overwhelming to take in, with so many rivers, lakes, lush forests and beautiful mountains. But surprisingly, I was able to enjoy and appreciate every minute of it.
Fast-forward two weeks after we visited Mammoth and Yosemite, we find ourselves visiting our cousins in Paso Robles, which is known for its lush rolling hills, vineyards, and oak trees lining the winding roads. I was completely out of my daily routine for the trips…

Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Life Organizing

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When I don’t organize my life, I get flashes of anxiety that lessen my prospective of a good day, which then, makes me feel like I’m loosing control. I freak out and then become too overwhelmed to cope with it all, so I do what makes everything so much worse, I stand around hoping for life to organize itself!
Life with kids always feels off-center! Things change in seconds and before I know it, I’m in the middle of a big scheduling mess, kids fighting, missed appointments, and worse case - a kid with a fever that threatens planned outings. Multiple roles are hard to juggle! Especially when your kids are moving into new stages in their lives. Truth is, that I’m bad at improvising, and life is about improvising when there are bumps or detours on the road. My schedules are so tight that any delay or detour sends me into an anxiety moment that reminds me that it’s all too much and it can’t be done.
As I get older, I find it harder to multi-task, which makes the juggling of my multiple roles…