_bbR3iY5lLSjzaZNziPYc6VX6tk Inspiration CAN be found EVERYWHERE!: May 2010

Monday, May 31, 2010

Life's Little Lessons

I think this is week 21 in our journey

88. Even if you're financially well-to-do, have your children earn and pay for all their automobile insurance.
Once again I fail on this one.
I do pay for all of the insurance on the vehicles (their vehicles are in my name) but then auto insurance in NJ is unbelievably expensive - probably the most expensive in the states.

89. Recycle old newspapers, bottles and cans
We are required to do this here, but we've done it for so long I think we have been recycling even before it became a requirement ........ use to be "beer" money :)

90. Refill ice cube trays
Before icemakers this was a requirement - if you use the ice ...... refill the tray or have NO ICE

91. Don't let anyone ever see you tipsy.
You never know WHAT you will do when you are tipsy - and you never know WHO you will eventually want to work for - so drink in moderation when anyone is around (should be anytime)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Weight Watchers - Week 2

Today was weigh-in day and to be honest I was a little worried.

Yesterday's visit, while out shopping and running around with my daughter, to Sonic for lunch was enough to send trepidation soaring as I approached the scale this morning. I kept thinking, WHAT were you thinking when you said yes to Sonic while we were both starving?

I was surprised to see that I was down for the week, even with our "eventful" lunch. Now for the 2 weeks I'm down a whopping .5 lbs, which I think is outstanding, all things considered. I must have done something right because I am actually down 1.6 lbs from last week when all I wanted to do was give myself a mulligan and start over.

With the holiday weekend here and then I have to go to Atlantic City for 4 days for a convention I thought if I had another up week I was doomed.

This weekend shouldn't really be that difficult since I will be staying home and for the most part, that time will be alone since my husband needs to go check out property in PA and my daughter is working something like 48 hours over 4 days (starting today). If the weather holds, I plan on doing a little walking and "shredding" more papers and cleaning/organizing the basement.

Next week is my real problem, but I really think I can handle this - I just need to be careful.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


I purchased a VitaMix 5200 last week at Costco's during their in-store demo week. I had been debating about getting one of these babies for awhile now, but to be honest, the price scared me - I just didn't want to spend that much money on something I might not really use - I mean its a blender to goodness sakes - or that was my thinking anyway.

Even after watching them in the store (saw them originally on Monday) I still was in a quandary but still it had peaked my "desire" even more. It just so happened that I had also picked up the Consumer Reports Quick & Easy Shopping Guide - "Shop Smart" and found that they had tested this very blender. One of the others they tested was the Montel Williams Living Well Healthmaster - again one of those that I thought might be an alternative (and its about 1/2 the price).

After reading this article, I was still doing that internal battle - should I or shouldn't I? Well on Friday morning I decided that IF they were still there doing the demo (so I got the cheaper price) then I would get it. Well ...... I got it!

When I went back, one of the questions I asked was whether it could go in the dishwasher (minus the motor mind you) and the demo guy told me it could BUT they didn't recommend it because it would eventually dull the blender container because of the harshness of the detergent. He also told me that you really don't need to use the dishwasher anyway - even if you make sticky stuff like peanut butter ....... its almost self cleaning!

This is one of the BEST purchases I have made this year. I'm still going through the recipe book that comes with it - but I have made my own smoothies by basically throwing everything in (whole fruits - peels included, but coring apples and pears) , blend for less than a minute or two and pour. This is so darned good. They even have recipes for soups and sauces you can make in seconds and "cook" in the machine in minutes, as well as ICE CREAM and SORBET! I can't wait to try these.

And cleanup - water and a drop of dish detergent - blend and rinse....... no reason for anything else. I think even my daughter might be able to handle this one without leaving it for mom.

Yes it is expensive, in comparison to some of the other "blenders" out there, but I want to tell you the time you save, the things you can make and enjoy ...... is SOOOOO worth it. Heck it even comes with a 7 Year warranty! What comes with a warranty that lasts that long without paying extra? Guess you could say they stand behind their product.

I am so very happy I was able to pick one of these guys up. If you can - you really need to check this out - I'm giving this a fantastic rating. What's the highest rating ? 5 stars? 5 diamonds? It gets all of that and more.

If you want to check it out for yourself before purchasing - or if you want to have "ammo" to move it up your "wish list", just check out Vitamix for info and interactive demos as well as purchasing information if you can't get it at your local Costco.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Quote of the Day

"I’ve learned that
making a 'living'
is not the same thing as
making a 'life'."

Maya Angelou

How many of us are so busy trying to run from one thing to another, one task to another, that we forget what the heck we are doing it all for? I know there are times (especially when my kids were teens) that I was trying to get so many things done that at the end of the week I would sit back and say "What the heck did I really accomplish?"

As we are all so very stressed out with day to day life, try to remember this little bit of wisdom that Ms Angelou has given us. You can't get back the "little things" that your kids have done and you missed, because you were so busy "doing".

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
but by the moments that take our breath away."

Monday, May 24, 2010

Life's Little Lessons

We have made it to another week in our journey through Life's Little Instruction Book.

84. Forget the Joneses.
Who are the Joneses anyway? And who really cares? Unless you are a Jones, that is.
Don't worry about whether you are as good or better than anyone else or that you have more than someone else. Push yourself to be the best you can be - you could surprise yourself.

85. Never encourage anyone to become a lawyer.
We've all heard the lawyer jokes and some aren't far from the mark - enough said

86. Don't smoke.
Once you start it is one of the hardest things to quite - do yourself a favor and don't start.

87. Even if you're financially well-to-do, have your children earn and pay part of their college tuition.
I flunked this one - not once but twice. But I'm not hanging my head on this one.

I paid for my son's college tuition, room and board and book - he had to earn his "spending" money. He worked hard over each summer and breaks but that money was his.

I am currently paying for my daughter's tuition and books (she lives at home right now) and will pay for room and board when she transfers to a 4 year school just like I did for Dan. She also works weekends and summer breaks for her "spending" money, and again that's hers.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Weight Watchers - Week 1

Well it was NOT a good week for me .... this mornings weigh in was -1 lbs lost or should I say NOT lost, since we actually showed a 1 lb gain! Needless to say I was NOT a happy camper this morning. But I did at least make a good dent in getting things "prepared" for a good start - so maybe we will use this past week as a do-over so to speak. And I do know that I did not get in anywhere near as much water per day that I need nor did I really get in any productive exercise.

I have 3 Hungry Girl Cookbooks (just picked up 1-2-3 yesterday) and have put all the WW point values next to each recipe. I also have a number of WW recipe magazine-type books (which obviously have the points already calculated for me) and I have gotten things "set up", with a number of books I have "accumulated" that I will be calculating the points values for in the future, including some for diet "comfort" foods that really look good.

I have my journal all set up/ready to start the week and I will be using it each and EVERY day - so I'm not guessing at the end of the day if I have had enough points or if I've dipped into my "weekly" extra points. I have already posted breakfast for today (not too bad I guess at 5 points) but I need to be a little better here too.

I'm also going to be doing more "blog surfing" of those WW followers/leaders/lifers/winners that have some fantastic looking/sounding dishes and I'm going to make the family a part of this as well. No more cooking something different for them, although I will probably have more bread/rolls for them to have with their dinners than I will eat (hopefully) .

Here are a few that I have found and are WW success stories, whether they have reached their goal or not - they are encouraging me (even though they don't really know it)

Leading the weigh Heather is THE WW Queen, a success story AND former WW Leader!

Msbitchcakes I LOVE this lady!

Skinny taste Gina's WW Recipes are wonderful

Who are you diet Lori is great at sharing her Family Stories and Recipes

Pudget 1 Jessica proves that Losing Weight doesn't have to cost a fortune, but does have to taste great

Loser for Life Can't forget Marisa - she's still working it but proves to me that you CAN lose weight and have a fun and full family life, with all the celebrations that go along with it.

TJ's test kitchen Sometimes a picture is worth a THOUSAND words that make you just WANT to try her recipes.

As I find more and more successful and very "sharing" bloggers I will add them to my list and give them a shout out here - so you too can follow if you please. If you find any that you enjoy - let me know too please.

Ok, off to finish the laundry, get some walking in, figure out what I am going to make for the rest of the meals for today and maybe even tomorrow and then come up with something else to keep myself occupied. Oh and get in some water this morning so I'm not behind AGAIN!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Life's Little Lessons

19 weeks of Life's Little Instruction Book lessons.

80) Slow dance
Its just a nice way to dance - enough said.

81) Avoid sarcastic remarks
One of my pitfalls. I am forever making sarcastic remarks - especially when someone says or does something stupid. I do try to make them to myself, or apologize when they "slip" out. But I really must find a way to stop them from "slipping" out.

82) Steer clear of restaurants with strolling musicians
Not really sure about this one - how about you?

83) In business and in family relationships, remember that the most important thing is trust.
Trust is something that must be earned and so very heard to get back once it is lost.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Compliments of my cousin (and god-daughter - yes I AM that much older than she is)

Get on your knees and dig down deep

you can do what you think is impossible.

Keep on believing,

don't give in.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The ongoing battle continues ......

Ok I have decided that I am finished carrying this extra weight around. I am sick and tired of it and the multitude of clothes (in all different sizes) that continue to crowd my small closet.

I had previously done Nutrisystem and lost almost 40 pounds. Yes I said 40 pounds! I was so very proud of myself. Nutrisystem was (and is) a fantastic plan. It really does work - even without the "celebrity" users boasts/TV ads/etc. Unfortunately I got extremely bored with the food. In the last year I was trying to keep with the plan, the food I liked was extremely limited as they were getting rid of some entrees and creating their "select" line. I didn't mind the "no refrigeration" needed meals that you needed to purchase a month at a time, but somehow getting 2 weeks of shelf stable meals (yes the same ones I was getting tired of) and 2 weeks of freezer meals (and somehow I didn't think I had enough room for that) for more money than I was willing to pay (yes more than my shelf stable monthly payout) just didn't appeal to me.

So I started eating the meals that I was preparing for my family. Now they were much more "healthy" than before I started Nutrisystem, but still in all not the 1200 calories a day I was eating. So the "saga" began and unfortunately about 18 months later I gained back 20 pounds.

I still don't want to re-try Nutrisystem again (even though they seem to have more entrees added to their shelf stable line) at the moment because I really like to cook. I've decided to try working with the Weight Watcher's program. There are LOTS of blogs here about the WW program and LOTS of recipes to try. So you may see links to recipes I have tried and LOVE/LIKE/Will make again that I could also get my family to eat. As well as some of the Weight Watcher recipes I have found in the WW at home package I also bought - see I have been thinking about this.

Today (actually about 45 minutes ago) I signed up for Weight Watchers Online for 3 months. At this moment I have a goal of losing these extra 20 pounds during this 3 month period. Which means in 13 weeks I need to lose "approximately" 1.5 lbs a week. Now this doesn't sound like a big deal ........ I mean 1.5 lbs a week how difficult could that be? Yeah right I already know how difficult that can be BUT I am going to do it. And will be using this as part of my plan. If I have to share the good, the bad and the ugly to get to my goal ........ THAT is what I am going to do.

My points are calculated, I have some information already and am ready to be serious again.

So today is the first day of my plan - Weigh in will be on Friday and then every Friday after that. Why Friday ?? Not sure why but I think I will be more consistent during the week (when all things are considered work makes a weekDAY better than a weekEND day - I think)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


One of my bosses actually sent this to me this morning (think he has seen me do this before?) and although I have seen this before, I have become lax lately. I wanted to pass it on to any of you who also heat water this way and may have forgotten the dangers.

A man decided to have a cup of coffee. He took a cup of water and put it in the microwave to heat it up (something that he had done numerous times before). I am not sure how long he set the timer for, but he wanted to bring the water to a boil. When the timer shut the oven off, he removed the cup from the oven. As he looked into the cup, he noted that the water was not boiling, but suddenly the water in the cup 'blew up' into his face.... The cup remained intact until he threw it out of his hand, but all the water had flown out into his face due to the build up of energy. His whole face is blistered and he has 1st and 2nd degree burns to his face which may leave scarring.

He also may have lost partial sight in his left eye. While at the hospital, the doctor who was attending to him stated that this is a fairly common occurrence and water (alone) should never be heated in a microwave oven. If water is heated in this manner, something should be placed in the cup to diffuse the energy such as a wooden stir stick, tea bag, etc..., (nothing metal).

General Electric's Response:

Thanks for contacting us, I will be happy to assist you. The e-mail that you received is correct. Microwaved water and other liquids do not always bubble when they reach the boiling point. They can actually get superheated and not bubble at all. The superheated liquid will bubble up out of the cup when it is moved or when something like a spoon or tea bag is put into it.

To prevent this from happening and causing injury, do not heat any liquid for more than two minutes per cup. After heating, let the cup stand in the microwave for thirty seconds before moving it or adding anything into it.

Here is what our local science teacher had to say on the matter: 'Thanks for the microwave warning.. I have seen this happen before. It is caused by a phenomenon known as super heating. It can occur anytime water is heated and will particularly occur if the vessel that the water is heated in is new, or when heating a small amount of water (less than half a cup).

What happens is that the water heats faster than the vapor bubbles can form. If the cup is very new then it is unlikely to have small surface scratches inside it that provide a place for the bubbles to form. As the bubbles cannot form and release some of the heat has built up, the liquid does not boil, and the liquid continues to heat up well past its boiling point.

What then usually happens is that the liquid is bumped or jarred, which is just enough of a shock to cause the bubbles to rapidly form and expel the hot liquid. The rapid formation of bubbles is also why a carbonated beverage spews when opened after having been shaken.'

Monday, May 10, 2010

Life's Little Lessons

Life's Little Instruction Book - Lesson 18

77) Don't take good health for granted
You never know just how good things are or how much you can do until you can't because of your health.

78) When someone wants to hire you, even if its for a job you have little interest in - talk to them. Never close the door on an opportunity until you've had a chance to hear the offer in person
Sometimes you don't want to hear "when one door closes another one opens" but its true. You may not think that it is a job that you would like but it could be an opportunity that you need. Until you hear what is really involved - you might not realize that it is or will lead to the job you really want.

79) Don't mess with drugs, and don't associate with those who do.
Illegal drugs or drugs not prescribed to you will do you more harm than any good someone will profess it to give. People judge you by your friends .... so if they do drugs you will be assumed to do them as well, whether you do or not - so be guided by this.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Jersey Shore - sound good to you?

Are you a Jersey Shore person? Do you have fond memories of spending summers at the Jersey Shore? Or do you dream of having a home at the Jersey Shore? Would you like to have those dreams turn into reality? Then you must check out Bruce Germinsky, Realtor.

There are some fantastic properties shown on his site. But you don't have to just look at what he has shown, you can do some great searches here as well. Bruce has a great search engine for all kinds of property within Monmouth and Ocean Counties, where the Jersey shore is located. You can narrow down your search to get some ideas and then contact Bruce for additional information or even better, a walk through.

Looking for a single family home or a condo? How about an adult community? Or are you looking for a rental? Bruce Germinsky, Realtor, property search allows you to narrow down your search to just what you want, right down to the Elementary School district your new house will be in. Which, if you have kids or plan to have them, is a great thing. Or are you looking for high end ocean-front property? The Renaissance on the Ocean is another option that Bruce has to offer. If you are looking for a gated community with a clubhouse and pool and private beach, among other things, this could be the place for you!

You can see pictures and details of properties listed or a virtual tour of the home. Bruce Germinsky's featured real estate listings is a great way to check out what's hot this week. But of course you will need to check this link out regularly as I am sure this will change often - especially as things continue to get better in the housing market.

Have you heard your boss talking about relocating or wishing he could relocate the business to the Jersey Shore? Pier Village in Long Branch, is an interesting mix of residential rentals and business opportunities. Shops, boutiques, restaurants, professional office space ...... perhaps this would be something your boss would like to look into. Maybe an expansion possibility, that he or she would thank you for pointing out to him/her. Maybe even give you a promotion to manage the new location .... mmmm sounds like a plan to me!

As with many of my site reviews, I am being compensated for my review, but I do think that this is a great site if you are looking to relocate or if you are looking for a second home. I'm glad I've been given the opportunity to check it out. You too should check out Bruce Germinsky, Realtor.com you won't regret it!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

My baby isn't a baby anymore

Holy Crap that's a lot of candles ........ she's looking like she has doubts as to whether she could blow them out of not

But of course she was able to put them all out - my baby isn't a baby anymore - where did the time go?

Then the following weekend she got to celebrate her brother's graduation from the Virginia Beach Fire Academy. Here she is with bro and Captain Mike from the Virginia Beach Police Department.

For more pictures of her bro and graduation can be found at bragging rights

bragging rights!

TRFA 125 Graduation 4/26/10 .... Virginia Beach Fire Department

Congratulation Dan - YOU DID IT --- 3rd in the class!

City of Virginia Beach Fire Department.

Dan after Graduation
Dan with my sister, Sharon

Dan and a few of the Mt Bethel Fire Department (home town volunteer department) after graduation. Can't believe the guys came down for a Monday night Graduation, but they said they wouldn't have missed it they were so proud of him. See even his friends were proud of what he accomplished. So it's not just mom and dad and Jenn.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mistakes ......

I really like this one - if you can remember this one when you realize you've made a mistake, perhaps you won't feel quite so bad.

Mistakes are painful when they happen,
but years later
a collection of mistakes is what is called

Monday, May 3, 2010

Life's Little Lessons

Week 17 in our Journey of Life's Little Instruction Book starts with a very interesting post that could help many men stay on the good side of their wives and ends with something that I think should be a requirement of every school aged child so that it is / will be something that they continue into their "old" age.

73) Never forget your anniversary.
Ladies - make it as easy on your man as possible, they are just programmed differently than we are, so they need a little help. For example, to help my husband remember our anniversary - we got married 3 days before my parents 25th anniversary. So, if he misses the posting on the calendar, he can get a hint when I say ....... "Mom and Dad will be married 54 years on the 23rd" he will hopefully remember that on the 20th of June, we will be married 29 years.

74) Eat prunes
They say prunes help you keep "moving" :)

75) Ride a bike
Exercise that keeps you outside in the fresh air and sunshine!

76) Choose a charity in your community and support it generously with your time and your money.
I think this should be a requirement - service to those in your community builds a stronger community. It could be something very simple - helping to keep the community park clean as part of a school project. Or it could be something very time consuming (and in some cases dangerous) in being a volunteer fireman or emt or a police explorer. My son was both a volunteer fireman and an emt - I couldn't have been prouder of him. Not only did he help his community through his service (which started just after Sept 11, 2001) but he found his calling. Now not only was his community enriched by his service, he found his future. He is now a proud (and hopefully productive) member of the Virginia Beach Fire Department having just graduated from the Fire Academy. (more on this later - proud momma time)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mesothelioma - You CAN fight it.

Perhaps you have become extremely health conscious lately, or maybe with all the talk of changes in health insurance you've started to think more about your health and well-being or maybe you know someone with this ominous sounding disease - mesothelioma. Just looking at the word makes me think of pain and suffering.

Perhaps you already know something about this horrible disease. Mesothelioma occurs because of asbestos that can still be found in a number of places even after all the talk many years ago in the news. Many workers continue to come into contact with asbestos, especially now with more and more homeowners doing construction/remodeling on their homes instead of "moving on up" to the next neighborhood. You could have been exposed without realizing it.

But did you know that auto mechanics can also be exposed? I didn't. They can be exposed doing brake work - brake work ... can you believe it? Makes you think about where else exposure can occur.

We NEED to be more educated about Mesothelioma Cancer. We need to be informed about what is going on in our lives and we need to be our own advocate especially where our health is concerned. The "Big C" is a terrifying diagnosis, but it doesn't have to be a death sentence. We MUST work WITH our doctors to fight against this horrible disease. Don't be passive, become educated so that together with your doctor, you can make the right decisions for you.

If you have been diagnosed with this disease, or know someone that has been, you should check out this site to receive a free copy of an interesting book "
Surviving mesothelioma: A Patients Guide". Paul Kraus, the author, survived his diagnosis with mesothelioma cancer and has detailed his travels through diagnosis, the researching of his options and treatment as well as his success. He has survived more than 10 times his original "death sentence". His doctors had originally told him that he had a year to live, that was 12 years ago. I'd call that a success!

His book is NOT a substitute for your doctor's care, but it IS a story of hope. It can give you the hope you need so that you too will know that this diagnosis does NOT mean a death sentence - there ARE people who have survived.

I do hope that this will help anyone who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or know someone that has been. Knowledge and enlightenment is what can banish fear. Hope is what allows us to continue on.

This is a limited time offer - so if it is something that you or someone you know needs, hurry on over and get yours.