_bbR3iY5lLSjzaZNziPYc6VX6tk Inspiration CAN be found EVERYWHERE!: June 2011

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Downy Giveaway

This is so easy ...... everyone has a Facebook Account right?  If not you really should get one - its free.

As an "incentive" to get a Facebook account (and then you can follow me too) Downy has a giveaway for today.  They are giving away 500,000 free samples of their new product - unstopable.

Here is the link to their Facebook Page - Downy - that you can like and then get your chance.
Click here: http://www5.thepromotionaloffer.com/downyunstopable/ for your chance to claim a sample for yourself

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Yes You CAN

Lots of people limit their possibilities by giving up easily. 
Never tell yourself -
This is too much for me. 
It's no use. 
I can't go on. 

If you do you're licked, 
and by your own thinking too. 

Keep believing and keep on keeping on.

Norman Vincent Peale

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Weight loss doesn't have to be difficult

We have even more things to help us on our journey of weight loss that I have recently "stumbled" upon.

We all know consciously or unconsciously that there are Foods That keep us from Losing Weight, but sometimes we need to be reminded so our unconscious mind can "woken up".    We can thank thatsfit.com for this great reminder.

Fitbottomedgirls.com have provided us with the Secrets to eating a healthy diet to help make it a little easier for us to "remember" HOW to keep losing weight.  Sometimes I find that when you go on a "diet" it is great for the first few weeks - maybe even a month or two - but then it becomes a chore.  We start to feel deprived because we "have" to eat different than everyone else in our circle. 

With these great reminders, we can stick with our "diet" that doesn't have to be a "diet" but a "lifestyle" change that makes us lighter and slimmer and hopefully much healthier than we are now and for years to come.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Nice Jewelry you CAN afford

I found this great site that has some very nice jewelry that really is affordable.  You get to create some very interesting (and interchangeable) necklaces without breaking the bank. 

For instance you could make these Summer time necklaces by purchasing the Summer in the Hamptons Cluster and a Cable Chain in your choice of 3 lengths or the Figaro Chain, also available in 3 different lengths and the New York Nights Cluster  

Summer in the Hamptons

Or New York Nights

Because these are interchangeable, you could end up with not 2 necklaces but 6!  And these could be yours for less than $50.

They have a great selection of bracelets too.   One of my favorites is the Mother's Birthstone Bracelet.

These pictures don't seem to do this jewelry justice.  If this has even "remotely" tweaked your interest ..... check out their site and see how much better it looks over there.

I think I may be making some purchases this year - maybe even pick up some early Christmas gifts.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Summer goodness with just a few minutes of kitchen time

a month of ice pop-recipes that look pretty darn good even if you dont have their machine - but I thought it looks pretty cool too.  -quickpop-maker

I bet you could "low cal" many of these easily.

I AM going to be trying some of these very very soon.

Zoku also has its own blog to check out with even MORE recipes!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Trying to figure out a Healthy Diet Plan?

If you are like me, you have probably tried every diet plan imaginable or at least it seems that way.  I have really enjoyed, for the most part,  my time with The Fresh Diet, but it is going to end soon.  Now I need to find something that will keep me going on my journey that I can afford with a family to take care of as well.

I happened to stumble upon this guide in EatingWell.com's website that I think just might work for me and you. 

But First Things First.  You need to decide what calorie range you need to be at to lose between 1 and 2 pounds per week - since that is the healthy way to loss weight.  Granted if you haven't been dieting you may lose more than that for the first few weeks but then it will slow and that's what you want.

Once you know what your calorie level should be, Eating Well has come up with a sample 7 day menu for some of the "popular" levels:

1200 calories per day

1400 calories per day

1600 calories per day

1800 calories per day

2000 calories per day

Don't forget to check out all 7 days and the recipes that they also provide.  I bet you could find all kinds of combinations from these sample menus to go for weeks if not months without getting bored.  What I really like is that all the recipes, that I've checked out so far, give the nutritional stats so you can mix and match something from the 1600 calorie range and use it in the 1200 calorie range day by adjusting your other items.

They also offer a 28 day program ... and at the bottom of the page you can find links to all kinds of  recipe options for 500 calories or less, options for pork, fish, chicken, beef even for those of us who are vegetarians!  See I told you endless ideas and suggestions.

I'm thinking this is where I will start.  That and probably some of the Hungry Girl recipes and Taste of  Home Comfort Food DIET Cookbook  (I do seem to have a few cookbooks with "diets" in mind).  See I have been looking towards the future so I don't have to stop cooking and eating well while on a diet.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Fat Burning Foods

I thnk I'm on a roll now .. look what I found!

Some great Fat Burning Foods that can easily be added to your diet (you might be surprised that you already eat some) to help you cut the fat without making you feel like you are eating "diet" food.

Check out the Fat-Burning Foods Slideshow.  I found all kinds of great things on WebMD.com

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Free E-book Cookbooks

If you are like me you LOVE cookbooks.  I probably have 2 big boxes of cookbooks IN ADDITION TO the ones I have on the top shelf of my kitchen rack.  I do "rotate" the books from time to time so its not the same ones all the time.    BUT I always look at more!

I admit it is somewhat of an addiction ........ but in my defense I do use them for the recipes they have but usually I will look through the book and get "ideas" of what I would like to make.  I admit I usually make the recipe as it is written at least once before I start to personalize it ........

If you would like I have included links to  Mr Food's FREE eCookbooks and Mr Food's FREE Holiday eCookbooks for your browsing pleasure - or should I say to start your culinary discovery?

I have already downloaded mine ... maybe we can experiment together.  What do you say?  I would love to hear what you like in these and I can share what I like or how I changed / updated them as well.

Thanks to Just Married with coupons for the heads up on these great links.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Quote of the Day .......

Ok perhaps I have "lost it" but some days this is how I feel. Can you feel it too?

If you can keep your head
when all about you are losing theirs,

it's just possible
you haven't grasped the situation.

Jean Kerr

A Great Cleaning Appliance

I know I have used this kitchen appliance on a "regular" basis for .... oh maybe 40 years or so and don't think that ANY kitchen should be without it.  I bet you feel the same way - even if you haven't been using it for as long as I have.

Here is a great article to remind you that it is NOT just for dishes - but you knew that didn't you?   I know I have put more things in my dishwasher - some not listed here - but this is a great starting point. 10 things you can clean in the dishwasher will get you thinking of other things that you can get clean without spending precious time scrubbing or soaking or well just hand-washing.

I have extremely hard well water, and of course don't have a water softener, so on occasion (ok probably every other day depending on use) I put in 1/4 cup of borax (20 mule team)  along with one of those cute detergent tablets and have a super clean dishwasher AND dishes AND spot free glasses.

Recipe Rehab

Here is a great place to look for "revised" recipes to be able to stick with your diet plan without giving up your favorites.  Or maybe you can find some new favorites.

I know I'm looking at some that are very interesting at Recipe Rehab at That'sFit.com

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Do you know what your birth sign says about you?

Chris Angel showed how this worked on one of his shows, but it was still kind of surprising. Below are true descriptions of zodiac signs. Read your sign and see how others see you - not always how you see yourself. This is the real deal, try ignoring or changing it and the first thing you'll notice is having a horrible day, starting tomorrow morning - and it only gets worse from there.

CAPRICORN: The Go-Getter (Dec 22 - Jan 19) Patient and wise. Practical and rigid.. Ambitious. Tends to be Good-looking. Humorous and funny. Can be a bit shy and reserved. Often pessimistic. Capricorns tend to act before they think and can be Unfriendly at times.. Hold grudges. Like competition. Get what they want.

AQUARIUS: The Sweetheart (Jan 20 - Feb 18) Optimistic and honest. Sweet personality..... Very independent. Inventive and intelligent. Friendly and loyal. Can seem unemotional... Can be a bit rebellious.. Very stubborn, but original and unique. Attractive on the inside and out... Eccentric personality.

PISCES: The Dreamer (Feb 19 - Mar 20) Generous, kind, and thoughtful. Very creative and imaginative. May become secretive and vague. Sensitive. Don't like details. Dreamy and unrealistic. Sympathetic and loving. Kind Unselfish. Good kisser. Beautiful.

ARIES: The Daredevil (Mar 21 - April 19) Energetic. Adventurous and spontaneous.. Confident and enthusiastic. Fun. Loves a challenge. EXTREMELY impatient. Sometimes selfish. Short fuse. (Easily angered..) Lively, passionate, and sharp wit. Outgoing. Lose interest quickly - easily bored. Egotistical. Courageous and assertive. Tends to be physical and athletic.

TAURUS:   The Enduring One (April 20 - May 20) Charming but aggressive.. Can come off as boring, but they are not. Hard workers. Warm-hearted. Strong, has endurance. Solid beings that are stable and secure in their ways. Not looking for shortcuts. Take pride in their beauty. Patient and reliable. Make great friends and give good advice. Loving and kind. Loves hard - passionate. Express themselves emotionally.. Prone to ferocious temper-tantrums. Determined. Indulge themselves often. Very generous..

GEMINI: The Chatterbox (May 21 - June 20) Smart and witty. Outgoing, very chatty.. Lively, energetic. Adaptable but needs to express themselves. Argumentative and outspoken. Like change. Versatile. Busy, sometimes nervous and tense. Gossips. May seem superficial or inconsistent. Beautiful physically and mentally.

CANCER: The Protector (June 21 - July 22) Moody, emotional. May be shy. Very loving and caring. Pretty/handsome. Excellent partners for life. Protective. Inventive and imaginative. Cautious. Touchy-feely kind of person. Needs love from others. Easily hurt, but sympathetic.

LEO: The Boss (July 23 - Aug 22) Very organized. Need order in their lives - like being in control. Like boundaries.. Tend to take over everything. Bossy. Like to help Others. Social and outgoing. Extroverted.. Generous, warm-hearted. Sensitive. Creative energy... Full of themselves. Loving. Doing the right thing is important to Leos.. Attractive.

VIRGO: The Perfectionist (Aug 23 - Sept 22) Dominant In relationships. Conservative. Always wants the last word.. Argumentative. Worries. Very smart. Dislikes noise and chaos. Eager. Hardworking. Loyal. Beautiful. Easy to talk to. Hard to please. Harsh. Practical and very fussy.. Often shy. Pessimistic...

LIBRA: The Harmonizer (Sept 23 - Oct 22) Nice to everyone they meet. Can't make up their mind . Have own unique appeal. Creative, energetic, and very social. Hates to be alone. Peaceful, generous. Very loving and beautiful.. Flirtatious Give in too easily. Procrastinators.. Very gullible.

SCORPIO: The Intense One (Oct 23 - Nov 21) Very energetic. Intelligent. Can be jealous and/or possessive. Hardworking. Great kisser.. Can become obsessive or secretive. Holds grudges. Attractive. Determined. Loves being in long Relationships. Talkative... Romantic. Can be self-centered at times. Passionate and Emotional.

SAGITTARIUS: The Happy-Go-Lucky One (Nov 22 - Dec 21) Good-natured optimist...Doesn't want to grow up (Peter Pan Syndrome).Boastful. Likes luxuries and gambling. Social and outgoing.. Doesn't like responsibilities. Often fantasizes. Impatient.... Fun to be around. Having lots of friends.. Flirtatious. Doesn't like rules... Sometimes hypocritical.. Dislikes being confined - tight spaces or even tight clothes. Doesn't like being doubted.. Beautiful inside and out

Monday, June 20, 2011

Quote for today - Happy Anniversary!

You don't marry someone you can live with - 
you marry the person who you cannot live without.

Happy Anniversary Honey
Can you believe it is 30 years today?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day Dad!

Happy Father's Day to all the Dad's out there ........ THIS Day is for YOU.

More Diet Tips

Ok I'm on a roll now - here are some great articles that I have found recently that can help you stay on the healthy lifestyle you have chosen.  You have chosen to have a healthy lifestyle right?

Snacks Under 100 Calories

Lose Water Weight - the Easy Way

Watch out for these Belly Bloating Foods

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Improve Your Mood

I stumbled upon this article, Improve your Digestion to Boost your Mood and thought it had some great suggestions for more than just your mood that I will be trying. 

Heck boosting metabolism and decreasing cellulite sounds pretty awesome to me.  How about to you?

There seem to be a lot of pretty interesting articles around lately - or maybe I'm just looking for them more.  Have you found anything you want to pass along?  I'd love to see them.

Friday, June 17, 2011

June's a good month

June is a great month ...... school is out (if not already), Summer Starts, No threat of Snow or Ice and if you are a follower of A Few Short Cuts ....... you could be the winner of a Gift Box that she is adding something to every day in June!

Now you really need to click on over to June 30 Day Surprise Box Giveaway and join in on the fun.  You have a few different ways to enter AND can enter every day  ----  so WHAT are you waiting for?

There are some really great things in that box already.  I'm in and I am going to enter every day to increase my chances.  How about you?

AND in her reminder today .......
We already have over $140 in Gift Cards in the box!

Let’s set a new milestone.  
9,000 Facebook fans before the giveaway is over and another BIG prize gets added to the box
Sounds like fun!

Well ............ have you clicked yet?

Soda - Is it really what we think?

I know I buy way too much soda for my family.  Oh we buy other things, including bottled water (don't yell at me please - I have a well with very very hard water and even after 30 years in this house, it still bothers me at times), but after reading this article I'm wondering if I should stop having it on hand here.

What happens to your body after you drink soda everyday, definitely gives you something to think about, although I didn't see what "for a long time" really meant.

But I am thinking that perhaps having a little less soda around wouldn't be a bad thing - at least in my house.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ditch the Diet

Ahhhh now that I have your attention, I found another article that has promise.  Ditch the Diet:  3 Hormones that make us Fat.  This was very short, and in some ways an advertisement for Dr Natasha Turner's book The Supercharged Hormone Diet or The Hormone Diet, but it definitely gave me something to think about.

You can purchase these books (one version for Canada and one for US) at bookstores or from Amazon.com, who also has a Kindle version for those of us that don't buy hardcover books anymore.

As others have said - I'm thinking its something to talk to a doctor about (I know, I know you never thought you would hear me say that)

Powerful - It's a beautiful Day

Hopefully this will come through so that ALL will be touched by this video.  Someone I know on facebook had posted this on his page Tuesday.  It really does need to be shared with the world.  Sometimes we forget to appreciate what is right in front of our eyes.

If you see this ....... share it.  Make TODAY a Beautiful Day for all.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tuesday's Fresh Diet Meals

Since I had some running around to do and catching up after being away most of last week, it was nice to see my little buddy sitting outside my door Tuesday morning.

Breakfast was Honey Roasted Granola with Fresh Diced Pineapple & Passion Fruit Yogurt.  This is a wonderful breakfast item that is a nice combination of sweet and tart.  The Pineapple is generally on the sweeter side and the passion fruit yogurt is tart (tarter than any of the other flavored yogurts).  I always like to make this a more "festive" plating - so when early on I thought to put this in a margarita glass ...... it became the "norm".  I added yesterday's flower surprise to the mix just to make it even more "pretty".

Lunch was Whole Wheat Pizza Topped with Tri Color Bell Pepper, Mozzarella Cheese and Marinara Sauce.  Even though I "erred" when I was heating this up - I ran down to the basement while it was heating up in the toaster oven (that someone put on broil instead of bake) so it was a little burnt around the edges.  Since whenever we order pizza from the "outside world" or if I make it myself at home from scratch - we ask for thin crust and WELL DONE, I didn't have any problem with these burnt edges.  This is usually a good entree - so it is a regular for me when offered.

My snack was the House Turkey Patties with Honey Glazed Apples.  I have had this before, and is being shown here on a dish that is 4 inches in diam - just so you have an idea of the "size" of this snack.  I have to say that this time the apples were a little "thicker" so they didn't melt when heated in the microwave and actually had a flavor - although it was more cinnamon than anything else.  The turkey patties were maybe formed with a tablespoon (I think they call this "coronets", so they really weren't more than the snack it was purported to be.  It would have been nice if there was something other than "just turkey" in those patties - literally just turkey - if there were seasonings added ... it was in someone else's patties.

Dinner was Pork Cutlet with Apple Chutney with Green Split Pea Puree and Roasted Green Asparagus.  Although there were 3 slices in my container - you really could only eat 2 - the 3rd slice was full of "something" that could not be cut - and ended up in the garbage.  The Apple Chutney was very spicy this time - which I did like, but was glad it was in a separate container so that I could add as much as I wanted.  The Green Pea Puree was exceptionally thick this time so it was actually harder to warm through.  The green Asparagus, although I don't think the picture shows this, was surprisingly good even though it appeared to be either "over roasted" or "older".  It was still on the crisp side of tender crisp so I will say it was still ok for me.

My dessert was Tropical Dried Fruit with Pina Colada Yogurt.  When I first saw this in the container I was thinking the kitchen ran out of fruit that's for sure.  When I actually put it on a plate I found some pieces sitting under the yogurt container.  I also "separated" the fruit pieces - the apricots and prunes were "stuck together" so I got more pieces that were thin as opposed to fewer pieces that were thick.  Sorry the picture is a little dark ....... my kitchen was trying to set the mood for me last night (ok so a bulb blew out and I didn't feel like climbing up to replace it)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Monday's The Fresh Diet Meals

After being away from my Fresh Diet meals for a week while in Atlantic City, I was so happy to see my little buddy sitting outside my door.

Breakfast of Monday was Apple Ricotta Cheese Crepes with Fresh Strawberries.  I really do enjoy these even though I find they are not as filling as some of the other options.  These unfortunately were even less filling than usual.  Between the 3 crepes in my breakfast container, IF there was 1 TABLESPOON of Ricotta Cheese, that was a lot.  There was no apple or even apple flavor in the filling at all.  They say to heat these for 30 - 45 seconds, but I ate them "cool".  I actually like them better "cool" although I have had them heated on more than one occasion.  The flower was the little "present" that we sometimes receive on Monday mornings - very pretty.  The flower usually lasts a few days sitting on top of the stones in my bamboo planter in my kitchen.  Brings a smile to my face each time I see it.

Lunch was the Philly Cheese Steak Whole Wheat Wrap with Sauteed Bell Pepper and Mozzarella Cheese.   This was rather interesting, as it was on a "green" wrap - which I "assume" was a spinach wrap.  It was also much smaller than normal.  The menu says to heat this for 1 - 1:20 minutes, but  I have found that most of the wraps have a wonderful flavor if you have the ability to heat them on a grill or panini pan.  This particular wrap was more wrap than anything else, but then after my breakfast crepes (they looked like mini wraps didn't they?) I wasn't totally surprised when I cut my "mini" cheese steak wrap in half.

The snack was White Chocolate Chip Cappuccino Cheese Cake - minus any chips.  Although it was falling apart, it was a nice treat for the afternoon.  That and I was starving by 3PM.

Dinner was Donna's Turkey Meatloaf with Baby Farmer Carrots and Whole Wheat Linguine Pasta.  Once again I had to finish cooking this entree before I could actually eat it.  There was not much to "hold it together" as I assume there was not a bread crumb or oats to be found.  Not much in the way of anything but turkey in this meatloaf with a little tomato sauce over the top.  I really wish they would cook this in muffin tin - we know they have these tins - so that it would actually stay together and perhaps have those nice "crunchies" that a true meatloaf lover loves to have - the end pieces for everyone!  Because mine was rather "raw" looking when I opened the container - I cooked mine on a grill pan and got a little bit of "crunchies" that added flavor.  I am assuming the carrots were steamed without any seasonings.  The Linguine Pasta was cooked well - just this side of al dente with someone finding the salt for the cooking water.

Dessert was Strawberry Vanilla Pudding.  I forgot to take a picture of this one - so I'm showing you one I had taken back in February when I got this last.  Sorry its not in a pretty cup - February is tax time - I'm lucky to eat and sleep then.    It's one of the few things that hasn't been played with.

All in all, I have become very disappointed with the preparation of the NY kitchen.  I have seen meals prepared by other kitchens (CA and TX have some fantastic looking meals posted on the Facebook page) this year that remind me of the meals NY use to prepare.   For my remaining time on The Fresh Diet, I really wish they would find the love/pride/joy/whatever it was that they had last year, so that I can end my subscription on a high note.  I really don't know if that will happen, but I am keeping an open mind and thinking "happy thoughts" and sending "good vibes" their way

Monday, June 13, 2011

Cynthia Cooper

Do you remember WorldCom? 

Do you know anyone who worked there or anyone who became of victim of their fall from grace?

Does the name Cynthia Cooper mean anything to you?

While I was at the NJSCPA convention last week in Atlantic City, I had the privilege of meeting Cynthia Cooper, a former vice president at WorldCom, and listen to her speak about, in a very condensed version, what happened and how she ended up in the middle of this economic and financial nightmare.

I was able to purchase her book, Extraordinary Circumstances which Business Week thought was "well worth reading" and USA Today said was "A powerful tale".  I've just started reading - but I have to say that I am enjoying it so far.  Even if you are not an accountant (we are sometimes a unique group) I believe it will be easy to read.  

Although this is a the story of corporate dishonesty and financial ruin, it also shows us that you do not have to be "one of the sheep" but you can rise above it and be a leader.  YOU can be a Cynthia Cooper and MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

If you get a chance - go look for this book (its also available in a Kindle version) and see what kind of a leader Cynthia Cooper turned out to be.  I would like to think that I too would have the courage of my convictions if I was in her position - I'm just not positive that I have the strength that she had.

Thank you Cynthia for having the strength of your convictions and for sharing it with us.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fen Shui says THIS year is a very Special Year

The month of July this year 
has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays.
This combination arrives only once every 623 years.
The Chinese call this phenomenon ´The Sacs of money .

If you pass on this message, Chinese tradition says you will receive money in 5 days.
And according to Feng Shui, those who do not pass on this message will have financial problems for the rest of the year.

This year is a bit special.
We will have 4 unusual dates:
1/1/11, 11/1/11, 1/11/11, 11/11/11
...and that is not all.

Take the last two digits of the year of your birth and the age you will have or have this year, add them, and the sum for everyone is 111
Ex: 63 + 48 = 111

This year is the Year of Money and Wealth.
The month of October (my birth month) 
will have 5 Saturdays, 5 Sundays and 5 Mondays!
This combination arrives only once every 823 years!
These years are called the years of Gain.

The proverb says that if you pass on this message to 8 good friends
you will discover money in the next 4 days!
And the rule of Feng Shui also says that if you do not you will receive nothing !

This is all very mysterious - but perhaps it is worth the try !!


Are you drinking your water?  You know that the medical, dietary and health professionals tell us that we should be drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day - and some weight loss professionals feel that we should be drinking 1/2 our body weight in "ounces" - so if you weigh 150 lbs - you should be drinking 75 ounces of water per day.  THAT is a lot of water each day.

Well I have found a way to drink all that water while still adding some flavor and interest without added calories.  If you haven't found Mio yet - you really should.  My daughter actually introduced this to my husband and I this past winter. 

There are some great flavors (my personal favorites are Mango Peach and Berry Pomegranate) but I still need to try the Sweet Tea and Strawberry Watermelon.  Right now you can only get Mio at grocery stores but I am hoping that soon it will be available online for everyone that doesn't have a grocery store that carries Mio - or maybe we can get all the stores to carry it on a regular basis.  NOW wouldn't THAT be great?

Are you interested yet?  Do you have questions?  They have a great FAQ page on both their website and Formspring that will probably have ALL the answers to ALL your questions. 

Personally I pick up one of the containers every time I see it ....... yes we all have our "quirks" and right now this is mine - I do not want to run out and with 3 of us using Mio we seem to have containers "disappearing" to the office or purse to carry with us. 

So get your water in .........
Get your Mio !

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Got Gas?

I had my car towed. 
There's nothing wrong with it; 
that was just cheaper than buying a tank of gas.
Jay Leno

Car Repairs

I don't know about you but I think trying to have my car repaired is worse than anything else you could possibly do.  I mean really - if I knew how to do my own car repairs I would do it myself before I had to deal with mechanics.

Sometimes I think when they see a woman drive in ....... dollar signs appear instead of us.  That was why when I found repairpal, I was instantly in love!  

Repairpal.com is the answer to so many women's prayers.  You can keep track of your regular maintenance as well as repairs that you have had done. 

You can even get an estimate of what it should cost to have repairs done on your car - how cool is that?  Never again will I feel like I am at the mercy of a mechanic.  Never again will I have to just accept what they say is the cost of a repair - I will have an idea in advance, what to expect when I go to the local mechanic for service.

They even have a way for you to search for a repair shop or dealership to get that repair.  This is perfect for someone who is traveling and has a problem or someone new to the area!

I will definitely be looking at RepairPal.com as a way to keep my car in great shape for a long time!

Although I was paid for this review, the thoughts are mine without reservation or additional compensation.

NJSCPA Convention 2011

Some of you may have known that I have been at the NJSCPA 2011 Annual Convention in Atlantic City this past week.

It was a great week of education, reconnecting with old friends and acquaintances, meeting new friends and fun.  Yes I said fun.  We accountants really do know how to have fun.  We are not your father's (or grandfather's) accountant.  We know how to let our hair down and have a good time.

As evidence of this good time ....... here is a short video of my friend John Szczomak, an accountant that was never a dancer - he may be the ultimate "connector" but dancing .... well even his girlfriend says that is just not his thing (hmmm sounds just like my husband).  This year's convention has been eventful for John - he can now check off "learning to dance" off his list.

You really should check out this short clip of John's accomplishment. forever highlighted on YouTube!

Here is a great video of the winner of the cup stacking challenge. 

See I told you we know how to have fun .......... Can't wait for next year!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Have you tried Groupon.com?

You are not still paying full price for your purchases, are you?

I'm sure, if you have looked at my blog at all, you know how much I love The Fresh Diet, but it can be expensive, if you don't hit on one of their deals.  When Jenn made the Dean's List this past  Fall Semester, she really wanted to try The Fresh Diet, since she thought my meals  looked great and the convenience would be good for the Spring Semester.

Right about that time I hit on a wonderful deal from Groupon.com for just what I needed - 2 weeks of The Fresh Diet at a fantastic price! 

But that was just the first deal.  There are always great deals at Groupon.com that you really should check out.  Trust me it has some fantastic deals that are always changing - so keep checking them out. 

I do.

Friday, June 3, 2011

86-year Old Lady's Letter to Bank

Shown below, is an actual letter that was sent to a bank by an 86 year old woman.

The bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it published in the New York Times.

Dear Sir:

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which I endeavored to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting
the check and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honor it..

I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire pension, an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only eight years.

You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account $30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank.

My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways.  I noticed that whereas I personally answer your telephone calls and letters, --- when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded,
faceless entity which your bank has become.

From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person.

My mortgage and loan repayments will therefore and hereafter no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by check, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate.

Be aware that it is an offense under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope.

Please find attached an Application Contact which I require your chosen employee to complete.

I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative.

Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Notary Public, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof.
In due course, at MY convenience, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me.

I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modeled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service.

As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Let me level the playing field even further.

When you call me, press buttons as follows:


#1. To make an appointment to see me

#2. To query a missing payment.

#3. To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.
#4 To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping

#5. To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.

#6. To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home

#7. To leave a message on my computer, a password to access my computer is required.
Password will be communicated to you at a later date to that Authorized Contact mentioned earlier.

#8. To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 7.

#9. To make a general complaint or inquiry.
The contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service.

#10. This is a second reminder to press* for English.

While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call.

Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.
May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous New Year? 

Your Humble Client

And remember: Don't make old People mad.
We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My Fresh Diet meals from Tuesday May 31st

It was really nice to see my little buddy sitting outside my door early in the morning.  My great Fresh Diet delivery person (Hi Owen) had left my TFD bag sitting right outside my kitchen door.  Not only does he bring me my little buddy with my meals for the day - he takes such good care of me and my buddy.  He is just so sweet!

Breakfast was Cinnamon Swirl Multi-Grain French Toast with Fresh Apples and Blackberry Ricotta Cheese.  This was a new item for me and I have to say it was pretty darned good.  Since I had increased my calorie range to 1600 - 1800calories per day, I received almost 3 halves of the toast.  The Apples were exceptionally good this time.  They were nicely firm, almost like a mix of apple and pear, and they had not turned brown as they usually do once they are cut.  I really need to find out what kind of apples these were - I want more!  I so love the flavored Ricotta Cheese ...... I WILL figure out how to make this.

Lunch was a Tuna Burger on Whole Wheat Bun with Cucumber and Avocado Salsa.  This was an interesting burger - I really just wish they had a real Whole Wheat Bun and not a bun made with "Enriched Wheat Flour" which if you have done any reading about flours you know that this really isn't whole wheat and therefore doesn't have the benefits of whole wheat.  I do love Avocado Salsa.

My snack for the day was a Low Fat Passion Fruit Yogurt Mousse.  This was exceptionally firm so it was easy (ok reasonably easy) to slip this one out of the container to plate.  It did have a grainier texture than a regular mousse but the flavor was very intense and I did enjoy it.  I believe I have had this before, and wasn't terribly enthused about it - this time however it was great.

Dinner was Roasted Pork Loin with Pineapple Mango Chutney with Roasted Bell Peppers and Roasted Fennel.  I have had this before, and it was rather tender despite the thick slice.  I liked the combination of bell peppers and fennel that were roasted ...... they had the same textures but the flavors came out much better this way.  I think they complemented each other very well.  The Pineapple Mango Chutney was sooo good.  I really need to find out how to make the chutneys and sauces from The Fresh Diet.  I can't say that I like all of them, but I bet its probably close to 90% of them.

Rumor has it they are going to come out with their cookbook sometime this year ......... it will be worth the price of the book just for the chutney and sauce recipes!

Dessert was Apple Cinnamon Cheese Cake ...... what can I say?  Cheese Cake?  Was very good, nice flavor without being overbearing with either flavor.  I was so tired by the time I was ready for dessert (I had finished planting all the herbs and flowers and seeds I have for the deck) I forgot to take a picture.  I even looked to see if I had one from one of my other deliveries ...... nope sorry.  Trust me it was good.

 If you are ready, give them a call at 1-866-FRESH50 and tell them that I sent you (or you could just give them my referral code - K2M4T) - Sales and Customer Service ROCKS!  And if you are looking for some great support ....... check out The Fresh Diet Facebook Page - we are one big happy (well most of the time) family.  And they have some awesome contests that the Fearless Leader likes to run.

A 'Modern Family' for the 21st century

I've only seen this show a few times - not exactly sure why but hey thanks to Archie's review, I will have to check it out and be a little more careful on what channel the TV gets set on tonight.

Contribution by Archie Watts

Not since my favorite show about nothing (Seinfeld) have I looked forward to watching a sitcom about something, ABC's Modern Family on Wednesday nights. The mocumentary style of following this hysterical family around an L.A. suburban neighborhood is fraught with the type of real human events that well, make for comedy.

I mean, this is a great take on a modern family. You have an older guy (Jay) married to a much younger woman (Gloria) and she has a son who is pre-teenish but acts 20 (Manny).  There are two gay men (Mitchell and Cameron) who have adopted a Vietnamese baby (Lily). Mitchell is the adult son of Jay, who also has an adult daughter Claire. 

Claire is an over-reactive homemaker with three typical and not so typical kids. Her husband is the biggest nerd in the world who thinks he is the coolest dude in the world. Yes it is quite the conglomeration of type A's and type B's, over zealous and laid back, serious and funny, nerdy and kind-of-hip people.

Even with all these cast members you never miss seeing any of them in every episode as it is set up in three vignettes, one for each family yet intertwines them all into a slice of life. If my satellite TV from Direc4U.com ever goes out on Wednesday nights, someone is gonna pay big time.

Thanks again Archie!