Tag Archives: tips

#TuesdayTip Corralling Clutter

One of the harder things about my daughter’s move (besides mom separation anxiety) has been dealing with the clutter in my life. To help out the kids, we offered to let them take furniture that was in good shape, but we knew we would not be able to use when we downsized. Of course, that meant getting rid of lots of things that had been hanging around. Amazing the things I discovered and the money lost by duplicating things I already had. Also amazing, things I was holding onto that were no longer of use – like a decade old list of book review sites. After a decade, no longer pertinent.

What’s funny is that we’d put into place a way to keep most of the house uncluttered, but my office somehow didn’t get the memo. LOL. Anyway, here are some of my tips for dealing with clutter and some tips from experts on getting organized.

Caridad’s Tips for Corralling Clutter

    1. A place for everything and everything in its place. Makes it easy to find things and avoids duplicating items (like I did!)

    2. If you can store it electronically, do so, but not before deciding if you really really need to keep it. Scan and save notes, etc. to a hard drive and backup regularly, to both another drive and the cloud. Storage space on the cloud is more economical than you think.

    3. Every six months, go through your closets, desk, etc. and discard items that no longer fit, are broken or worn, you haven’t read/used. For clothes and other items that are in good condition, consider a donation to Goodwill or the Salvation Army so that others may benefit.

    4. Encourage kids to get rid of unused toys, etc. by turning it into an event – like a garage sale. Kids keep all proceeds from the sales and anything not sold is donated to charity.

    5. The next time you are in a store and want to buy an item, ask yourself how often you plan on using it and whether or not it’s just going to become a dust collector. Your more organized self and pocketbook will both thank you!

Expert’s Tips on Getting Organized

Hope enjoyed these tips and for those who are wondering, nope, that’s not my clutter in the photo below! I’m not that bad. LOL!
Corralling the Clutter - How to get organized

#WriteWed We’d Rather Be #Writing #Recipes

RatherBeWritingI want to thank my friend Lois Winston for rounding up a group of author friends to share time saving recipes and other tips to help you stay organized.

My recipe in the book combines a number of very healthy elements and you can change it up in a variety of ways with whatever you may have handy. Plus, you can use it as a side dish or make it a hearty meal by pairing it with some nice crusty bread. I like to fry an egg and put it over the dish to make it a main meal.

If you like this recipe, please check out the others in We’d Rather Be Writing: 88 Authors Share Timesaving Dinner Recipes and Other Tips. It’s a total bargain at only #99cents!

Swiss Chard with Chorizo and Cannellini Beans

Ingredients

2 pounds Swiss Chard chopped
1 cup cured chorizos chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 can (14 ounces give or take) white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Preparation

Place olive oil in skillet and heat the oil. Add chorizo and cook on medium heat.

While chorizo is cooking, wash Swiss Chard, dry, and remove larger tougher stems. Chop.

When chorizo is browned, remove from heat and add onion, garlic and Swiss Chard. Wilt the chard and let any juice from the greens evaporate a bit.

Add beans and toss to heat. Add the cooked chorizo to the greens and beans. Salt and pepper to taste. You may want to give it another drizzle of olive oil at the end. Total prep time is about 20-30 minutes and the above will serve two people as a main dish or 4 as a side dish.

Variations

Instead of the chorizo, try bacon, prosciutto, kielbasa or ham.

Instead of the Swiss Chard, substitute spinach, mustard greens, kale or escarole.

To bulk up the dish as a main meal, cube potatoes or sweet potatoes and cook along with the chorizo. Remove before adding the greens so the cubes will stay crunchy and then add back after you’ve warmed the beans.

Feeling in a soup kind of mood? Heat chicken broth, place the chorizo, greens and beans in a bowl and add a few ladles of broth to the bowl.

Voila, a dish that can have a myriad of variations! We call dishes like this refrigerator-cleaners in our house, but we also call them something else: Tasty! I hope you enjoyed this recipe from We’d Rather Be Writing: 88 Authors Share Timesaving Dinner Recipes and Other Tips.
SwissChardRecipe

New Year’s Resolutions Redux

Since last week I offered up my list of New Year’s Resolutions, I thought I’d follow up this week with letting you know just how I’m doing with mine! Feel free to let me know how you are doing with yours.

On the eating healthier, it’s a big “yes.” So far we’ve been watching what we are eating and staying away from lots of bad things. I’ve even started cutting back on my use of artificial sweeteners and the number of diet sodas I drink.

On the exercise, another “yes!” I’ve been going to the gym every day for a combination of aerobic and strength training. I’ve also been tracking how many steps I take and have really cracked that 10K barrier every day. In fact, I’ve been over 20K every day.

On the spending I earn a maybe. I’ve been good about not only brown bagging it, but today I made my first microwaved eggs. Pretty tasty I must say. So why only a maybe? My daughter and I hit IKEA last week to buy a needed piece of furniture for her bedroom. The clothes on the floor have finally found a home! Nevertheless it was a kaching on the wallet.

Still, there are lots more days in the month to offset that one big expense.

On the writing, I’ve had to put aside BORN TO SERVE, the first Diana and Ryder book in the REBORN vampire novels to do edits on NIGHT OF THE COUGAR which is another of the Nocturne Cravings I am doing. COUGAR will be out in June of this year and here is a little teaser for it:

A year ago, Jamie Morrison found passion in the arms of Galen Hawke, but a car accident ended their relationship. Now, she is reunited with Galen and discovers that he is something other than human. With a full moon on the horizon, all hell . . . and passion . . . are about to break loose.



I’m having a blast writing these erotic CRAVINGS stories and hope you’re enjoying them as well. In fact, I wanted to share the cover for my February CRAVINGS release with you.

Whoo, that is one sexy cover for NOCTURNAL WHISPERS!

So share your thoughts on your resolutions, the cover, anything really.

Temperature’s Rising!

We’re having a heat wave…

A tropical heat wave…

Here in the Northeast we are experiencing nearly record-breaking temperatures in addition to a decided lack of water. With the heat and humidity, it’s important to keep in mind some very important rules to safeguard your health.

  • Drink plenty of water while you are out and about and avoid caffeinated drinks which are diuretics. Also avoid alcohol.
  • If you are drinking sports drinks with all those electrolytes and metabolytes, please double-check the label especially if you have high blood pressure. The salts in those “lytes” may present a problem to your system.
  • If you need to be out and about, avoid the hottest part of the day from 11ish to 2ish.
  • Make sure to put on sun block if you will be out in the sun for any length of time or go fashionable and put on a nice broad-brimmed hat.
  • Do not leave animals or small children in cars with closed/semi-open windows. Not even for a minute since their bodies are much less able to tolerate high heat.
  • Wet your t-shirt, hanky or the insides of your wrists with water to help drive away the heat from your body. Get one of those spritz fan bottles and go to town!
  • If you don’t have air conditioning, make your own! Place a bowl of ice or cold water in front of the fan. It’ll pick up the cool and spread it around. Also place washcloths in a baggie and put them in the freezer. Take one out when it’s chilled and put it on your neck or wrists for instant cool.
  • Keep curtains and blinds drawn to cool off your house.
  • Wear loose, light-colored clothing.
  • If that doesn’t do it and if your local public library has air conditioning, head there for a quiet day of reading! After all, it’s your tax dollars paying for that air conditioning, so why not take advantage of it and of the many books to be found there.
  • Finally, learn the signs of heat stroke, namely, no sweating, dizziness, headache, nausea, confusion, unconsciousness, high body temp (103 or over), rapid pulse and flushed hot skin. If you see these symptoms, get the person to a shady area, get them water and try to cool them down. Last, but not least, call for medical help. Heat stroke can be deadly.

Hope these tips help you deal with our little tropical heat wave.

Tuesday Tip – Happiness, Stress and Weight

scaleWe’ve been talking about a lot of things for the New Year – Resilience, Happiness and Stress just to name a few. For me one thing that’s inherently tied to all three of those is my weight and not in a good way.

I know that I eat when I’m unhappy or stressed out. I know when it began – when my mom got sick and died. Back then the only thing that seemed to provide any comfort was food and so a pattern was born.

Of course understanding that and doing something about it are two different things. So when things got a little crazy last year, my weight ballooned. Again.

This year I’m doing something about it as well as about Happiness and Stress. So far so good. Choosing to be upbeat has helped. Taking some of those stress-busting steps has helped, especially two of them – prepping the night before and getting up ten minutes earlier.

Now I’m dealing with the weight thing, something which you know we’ve dealt with in the past.

My daughter gifted me with a copy of EAT THIS, NOT THAT for Christmas and I’m busy reading through it. I’ll let you know any good tips from there.

Some tips I have seen in the bombardment of New Year Resolution articles that I’ve tried and are good:

1. For snacking try a handful of almonds (about 12). Low in fat and high in fiber, they help stave off hunger.

2. Make sure to have breakfast. I’ve been starting with a cup of Quaker Oat Meal and I’m finding that I’m less hungry at lunch and also at dinner.

3. Have an orange at lunch or as a dessert. Citrus is apparently another great hunger fighter.

4. Exercise each day. A 20 minute walk will make a difference in how you feel. Try to include strength training. Building muscle will help with your metabolism.

5. Eat more slowly. It takes your brain some time to catch up and send the signal that you’re full. If you eat too fast (which I always do), you may be overeating.

6. Go Green! Use Avocado slices on your sandwich instead of mayo or butter. It’s a great vegetable fat and tasty too. Not an avocado fan? Switch to mustard instead.

7. Brown bag your lunch. Not only will you be saving money in these tough economic times, you will be better able to control what you are eating.

8. Try to eat more veggies. If you can, start your meal by eating the veggies. They have less calories for their volume and can help you eat less of the fattening stuff. Not a veggie person? Try V8 or tomato juice.

9. Cut back on carbs. If you keep them in moderation, you’ll notice an immediate change in belly fat and will likely have less cravings. When eating carbs, make sure they are high in fiber, low in refined sugars and have no trans fats.

10. Finally, remind yourself that it’s more stressful to be heavy and have health issues than it is to change your eating habits.

Hope you found these 10 tips helpful! If you’ve got some of your own to share, please let us know by posting a comment.

Five Delicious Tips For Self-Love

I’ve got an extra-special helping this Tuesday with special guest blogger Barbora Knobova who is giving us some tips for self-love! With the holidays upon us and some people feeling pressured or depressed, this is a timely post.

So without further ado, here is Barbara.

*****

TALES FOR DELICIOUS GIRLSMy book Tales for Delicious Girls encourages women to love themselves truly, appreciate and respect themselves, put themselves first. I believe in the power of self-love because we cannot be loved unless we love ourselves. Therefore, I would like to share with you the following five tips that might help you fall in love with yourself.

1. Treat yourself like the most precious person in your life.
Think about all the people you love. I bet there are so many wonderful people in your life. How do you treat them? With love and respect? Treat yourself the same way. You are the most important person in your life so treat yourself as such! You deserve it.

2. Be perfect in your own eyes.
We women tend to be overly critical to ourselves and very often we focus on what we don’t like about ourselves. Guess what? No one is perfect so let go off those negative feelings and statements. Stop making lists of your imperfections once and for all. Start making lists of your virtues instead!

3. Look into the mirror of your self-love.
Your relationships with other people reflect the relationship you have with yourself. They are the mirror of your self-love. If you don’t like the way your friends, family or colleagues treat you, look at the way you treat yourself. Change your attitude to yourself, show yourself lots of love and respect, and your relationships with other people will change too.

4. Cherish your inner and outer beauty.
You’ve heard it a thousand times: Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Your real beauty comes from within – and this is not a cliché! Attitude is everything. Be proud of yourself and decide to feel beautiful now. Because if you feel like the most beautiful girl in the world, that’s what you will be.

5. Decide to love yourself truly.
It’s all in your head. You can decide now to start loving yourself just a little bit more and it will turn your life around. Be your own best friend and treat yourself as such. Put yourself first and for once in your life focus on what you want and on what makes you happy. Your happiness is in your hands and the key to it is your self-love.

*****

Barbara KnobovaBarbora Knobova is a writer, love coach and expert in Delicious Life. A world traveler, she is one of those rare world citizens who live everywhere and nowhere. Barbora is a firm believer in female friendship, loyalty and bonding. She writes hilarious, sharp-witted, caustically apt, ironic, moving, true books for strong, independent, smart, fearless women. Barbora has also written several self-improvement books and teaches women about the importance of self-love in relationships and life in general. Barbora speaks eight languages and has found her home away from home in New York, London and Milan. She is always on the move, accompanied by her beagle Brinkley, the nasty dog from her new book Tales for Delicious Girls.
For more information on Barbara, please visit http://www.barboraknobova.com.

Tuesday Tip – When Pigs Flu!

pigHearing the news over the last few days, I find myself wondering whether this is really a pandemic or whether it’s all getting blown out of proportion. Regardless of which it is, it seems to make sense to take some common sense steps about the swine flu and to know a little bit more about it. So today’s Tuesday Tip is all about When Pigs Flu!

  • What is Swine Flu?
  • It’s any kind of influenza that’s common to the swine population.

  • Who can get it?
  • People who work with pigs, expecially in close contact, are at greater risk of infection, especially if they come into contact with a strain that has mutated into a form that can infect humans. The current outbreak is of a strain that mutated to allow for cross species transfer. Click here for more.

  • What are the symptoms?
  • According to the CDC, “(t)he symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. In the past, severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with swine flu infection in people. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.”

  • How does it spread?
  • Coughing, sneezing, touching objects which have been touched by someone who is contaminated with the flu.

  • How can you avoid becoming contaminated?
  • According to the CDC, you can avoid becoming infected by “wash(ing) your hands. Try to stay in good general health. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food. Try not touch surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu virus. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.”

  • How do I know if I have swine flu?
  • Since swine flu has many of the symptoms of regular flu, you will require testing to confirm whether or not you have swine flu. According to the CDC, if you live in an area where there are cases, like in NYC, contact your health provider if you start exhibiting symptoms.

  • Can I catch swine flu from eating pork?
  • Nope! So, hello baby back ribs this summer.

    So, please stay safe, be cautious and if you start feeling under the weather, don’t delay. Go to see your doctor to make sure you are okay.