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Showing posts from September, 2014

Opening and Receiving Go Together?

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One of the biggest gifts that I have ever received is the free 21-day Meditation Experience by Oprah and Deepak Chopra. I meditate to my favorite segments of the series when I’m in need of inner peace and inspiration. I recently played back a meditation session about inspiration, and these words by Deepak inspired me to look at my life a little closer: Most of us assume that inspiration is a special gift that belongs to artist, writers, and musicians. In fact you have this gift too. It’s important to say to yourself, “I want to be inspired”, “I open myself to it”, “I welcome it”.  When you have the intention to let spirit flow through you, you’ve taken the biggest step toward expanded happiness. Opening and receiving go together. Many people have a hard time with these two things. They are afraid to be open because it makes them feel vulnerable.
When you open the door to your home to receive a package from a delivery person, the mailman, a child selling candy, and even guests to a part…

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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When Fantasy Stays…Fantasy and Reality Kicks In

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When I was growing up, my fantasy dreams for my adult life included getting married, having two well-balanced kids, living in a beautiful home in a great neighborhood, having a successful career, and having financial freedom.  And it would all look like the picture-perfect life that is perpetually portrayed in the sappy-happily-ever after movies. Then…reality of life reared its head when I started dating and then ultimately found my amazing husband. Life as an adult was not glamorous! It was tough to maneuver and steer on the right direction. Not only that, I didn’t know how to get to find the right path, let alone try to maneuver around it.
Then as a married woman with children, I finally, really got it! Life is not always supposed to be happy-go lucky or “perfect”. I’m supposed to have happy days, sad days, blah days, upsetting days, and at times, devastating days. It’s all one ball of mixed emotions that show up as hard days, more times than not, and it’s no fun. This is where lea…

Energy Boosting Green-Pineapple Smoothie

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Avocado keeps this smoothie naturally creamy while raising your energy levels.
Ingredients 1/4 pineapple, peeled and cored 1 avocado, peeled and pit removed 1/4 cucumber, peeled
Directions Combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Makes 2-3 cups.
For more wellness tips go to www.doctoroz.com

A Final Goodbye To A Fellow Blogger

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Charlotte Kitley, a blogger for The Huffington Post UK wrote an article about her inevitable death, right before it happened on September 16, 2014. The piece was about her journey with bowel cancer and trying to protect her children from having their lives hijacked by the horrible disease that was destined to take her life, but what I got out of the article was that Charlotte was the definition of courage. She was determined to not give up living until it was time to take her last breath, she writes, as I write this, I am sat on the sofa, relatively pain-free and busy doing my little projects, sorting out the funeral and selling my car. We wake up every morning, grateful I can have a cuddle and kiss my babies. She was a planner indeed and planned a beautiful goodbye and send off that has touched the lives of everyone who has read her article. Her selflessness allowed her to get herself together to write such an emotional and final goodbye in this beautiful and last article. The artic…

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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4 Ways to Defy Your Age

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Dr. Oz's 4 Ways to Defy Your Age:

Reduce the appearance of wrinkles Make your own age-defying exfoliating face mask with honey, cinnamon and apple cider vinegar to get rid of dead skin, moisturize your face, and tighten skin so it doesn't sag. As you age, you lose collagen in your skin, which creates wrinkles. Exfoliating the skin with this cinnamon paste helps bring in new collagen, leading to fewer wrinkles. The vinegar acts as a toner; keeping skin cells hydrated which prevents wrinkles as well.
Try it: 
Use 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of honey to make a paste. Apply it to your face and leave on for 30 minutes every night and rinse. Then apply white vinegar toner using one part vinegar to one part water. Dip a cotton ball into the toner solution and rub all over face to help tighten skin.
Reduce the appearance of age spots Rubbing a fresh lemon on your skin can help lighten existing brown age spots. The vitamin C in the lemon inhibits melatonin production and can…

Chocolate Bark

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Enjoy a sweet treat without all the added sugar. Recipe courtesy of Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD and Jim Perko Sr. CEC, AAC

This dark-chocolate dessert provides tons of heart-healthy benefits while keeping your waistline intact. Skip the store-bought stuff and whip this up at home instead.
Ingredients 10 oz dark chocolate, 70% cocoa bittersweet chocolate 2 tsp instant espresso powder 1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces
1/2 cup toasted almond slices

For more wellness tips visit www.doctoroz.com

Chicken Cacciatore Subs

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Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray
Total Time: 25 min Prep: 10 min Cook: 15 min Yield: 4 servings Level: Easy 

Ingredients 4 pieces boneless skinless chicken breast, 6 to 8 ounces each Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling, plus 2 tablespoons Grill seasoning blend, or salt and pepper 4 sub rolls, split 2 cloves garlic, cracked away from skins 1 teaspoon red crushed pepper flakes 2 large portobello mushroom caps, sliced 1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced 1 large onion, white or brown skinned, sliced 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/3 palm full 1/2 cup dry red wine or stock -- chicken or beef flavor 1 (14-ounce) can, crushed tomatoes 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley 1/3 pound deli sliced provolone

Directions Heat a grill pan or large skillet. Drizzle chicken with oil, to cover,and season with grill seasoning blend or salt and pepper. Grill or pan-fry 6 minutes on each side.

Heat broiler, lightly toast rolls on cookie sheet and remove.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil, garli…

Letting Go Of Useless Patterns...

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I was having lunch with one of my closest friends, Lisa. She’s in teenage hell! Her kids are pushing the boundaries and are desperately trying to separate from her and her husband. We met up to commiserate about all our woes, we picked our favorite restaurant so we would feel safe and comfortable to lay it all out that day. We talked about how much harder life has gotten as we’re aging. We wondered if it’s harder to adjust to the fast-paced and emotional roller-coaster that teenagers bring, or if we’ve lost that sense of fearlessness that we once possessed as teens ourselves, or if we’re just too worn down to fight every? We agreed that it’s a bit of everything.
There we were, two strong women (and a little stubborn), chatting it up comfortably and while we could relate with everything we were discussing, we’re at different stages of our lives. We agreed that our stubbornness has made us trip one too many times down the same sinkholes in life, and each time we pass that same sinkhole w…

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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Lip-Smacking Bloody Mary

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McClure’s Bloody Mary mixer came about as a way to reuse much of the brine used to produce the company’s artisanal pickles. The brine is recycled into its own jar and combined with tomatoes, many locally grown near McClure’s Michigan operations. The result is a lip-smacking, tart and tangy Bloody Mary. Briney Bloody Mary
Ingredients:

3 oz. McClure's Bloody Mary

1.5 oz. Dragon Bleu Penja Pepper Vodka or Valentine Vodka
Garnish with a McClure's Pickle

Directions:

Serve over ice. Enjoy.

Courtesy of McClure’s Pickles

For more Vinegar cocktail recipes visit www.youbeauty.com

September 11th

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Radiating Wholeness...

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Since starting my journey to becoming a little more present each day, I’ve been able to see how it cleared the way to experiencing what it’s like to be in touch with the Source of my being. And it’s awesome!  When I came up with the idea to find ways to close the great decade of my 30’s, it was with an understanding that I needed to look back at lessons learned and being grateful for each lesson no matter how big, small, or disastrous it was. So, as the big day of turning 40 approaches, I feel like I’m radiating wholeness more than ever! Each of us feels happiness in direct proportion to how close we are to the Source of our own truth. -Oprah Winfrey.

I’ve happily, painfully, and consciously grown in so many ways these past 8 months. While I acknowledge that there’s an organic process of maturing as we get older, I can see that my maturity came with a sprinkle of grace. I feel so happy to be able to reach such beautiful close of a decade and start of a new one with love and happiness g…

Pumpkin Cheese Ball

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Recipe courtesy Michelle Buffardi for Cooking Channel
Total Time: 25 min Prep: 25 min Level: Easy
Directions With a mixer, blend 16 ounces room-temperature cream cheese with 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar, 3 tablespoons minced onion, 2 tablespoons salsa, 2 teaspoons ground cumin and 1 teaspoon minced jalapeño. Scoop onto plastic wrap and use the wrap to form the mixture into a 5-inch pumpkin-shaped ball; chill at least 2 hours. To serve, unwrap, roll in crushed nacho-flavored tortilla chips and press a bell pepper stem into the top.
Photograph by Sam Kaplan
For more recipes visit www.foodnetwork.com

We Will Never Forget...

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As we get closer to another anniversary of September 11th, I’m reminded of the pain and sorrow we faced as news broke of the hijacked planes on that September day. Around this time, stories of those who died almost 13 years ago are on newsfeeds in social media and news outlet. Today, I read a story about a pregnant woman named Lauren Grandcolas, who arrived to Newark airport early and was able to get on United Flight 93, which was one of the planes hijacked. She called her husband in San Rafael (he was asleep - it was early in the west coast) twice and left messages both times. Frank Somerville (KTVU) interviewed her husband Jack, after 9-11 and he kindly shared the voice messages that Lauren left him that morning. Sommerville says, in fact if you didn’t know better, you would have thought she was calling from the grocery store. Lauren said: Honey, are you there? Jack, pick up sweetie. Okay, well I just wanted to tell you I love you. We’re having a little problem on the plane. I’m tot…

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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A Moment In Time

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Life happens one moment at a time, for some of us, the present moment is comprised of the past and assumed future. As a result, we deprive ourselves from experiencing the very unique and present moment. So, we don’t allow the present moment to shine and reveal itself, we insert a disclaimer of why this moment is not valid or good enough because of what happened yesterday, an hour ago, or because of what the uncertain future has in store for us.
So, how do we find a balance between living in the present, past and future moments? For me, meditation is a good way to find that balance, but it has taken lots of practice and it’s still a work in progress. Lately, I’ve been lucky to experience a few more moments of absolute presence when I meditate, the feeling is amazing…it’s a combination of bliss, happiness, and joy that make me want to squeal. Pure stillness moments are attainable throughout the day when I stop, take a deep breath, clear my mind, and not think about what I have yet to acc…

Under-Eye Yogurt and Honey Mask

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NiteSpa owner Julia Martin, shares this under-eye mask with youbeauty.comthat helps those of us who don’t always get a good night sleep.
Under-Eye Yogurt and Honey Mask “A couple tablespoons each of Greek yogurt and honey can do wonders, since they’re both hydrating and anti-inflammatory,” Martin says. Mix them together with a teaspoon of turmeric powder (which contains proven anti-inflammatory properties) to make an under-eye mask that belies a lack of sleep. “Leave it on for 20 minutes, then tissue or rinse off to reveal brighter, more rested-looking skin,” Martin says.
For more beauty tips go to www.youbeauty.com

Lemon-Garlic Shrimp and Grits

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Total Time: 30 min Prep: 15 min Cook: 15 min Yield: 4 servings Level: Easy
Ingredients 3/4 cup instant grits Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese 3 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 1/4 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact 2 large cloves garlic, minced Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional) Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus wedges for serving 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley
Directions Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat, covered. Uncover and slowly whisk in the grits, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the parmesan and 1 tablespoon butter. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.
Meanwhile, season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp, garlic and cayenne, if using, and cook, tossing, unt…

Changes In Life Bring A Sense Of Loss…And Then We Grieve?

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I’ve never met anyone who is strong enough to handle the loss of a loved one or something important in his or her life. Most of us are ill equipped when it comes to handling loss. In my case, I go through life thinking that everyone and everything will remain in my life as long as I’m around. Yikes!
When we lose a loved one, a friendship, a job, cell phone, purse, or wallet, we wonder how that could happen. We go into shock, deep sadness or disappointment. We think that this is not supposed to happen in life, we feel entitled to having everyone we love and everything we own in our lives, forever. We don’t openly grieve, and so it becomes a lonely road because we chose to not talk about our sadness and disappointment. It’s hard to become vulnerable and grieve, it’s like chewing gum and rubbing your stomach at once, not easy to do.
I hate to think about grieving, even the loss of my curling iron that I’ve had since college, I shed a few tears over it dying. That curling iron would have…

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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