Saturday, February 6, 2010

Open Discussion: Blizzard 2010

How is the snow treating you?   Did it reach the promised 20-30 inch mark? 

Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion!

Hotel Horrors

As my friends and I were discussing the possibility of a girls’ getaway weekend, I decided that it was time to disclose one of my greatest phobias. Hotel Rooms!!!! The very thought of a sleeping in a hotel makes me cringe. You never know what has happened in that room, who has been sick, or what little critters they have left behind.

Generally, hotel maids leave rooms looking presentable and clean. But research has proven that looks can be very deceiving. Of course, most people are aware that a hotel bathroom isn’t as clean as home, but are they aware of where else the germs are hiding? While the showers and toilets are scrub after each patron’s stay, other surfaces are not so lucky. The sinks, floors, and light switches are seldom disinfected and can easily be carrying the last person’s flu germs on them. Even the simple act of walking barefoot in the bathroom could have you taking home a new case of athlete’s foot.

The sleeping area is not any better. Although the sheets are laundered after each person’s visit, the bedspread and comforters are seldom cleaned. And the mattresses, of course, cannot be cleaned. Therefore they are the home to many critters that you may or may not be able to see. Although the common dust mites are too small for our eyes to see, bed bugs are just big enough. If you pull down the sheets in your hotel room and look closely, you may be able to make out some tiny red or brown spots. Those are your friendly neighborhood bed bugs. If you suspect you see them, but aren’t sure, grab a hair dryer and point it at the mattress. Bed bugs are attracted to heat and as they cluster together they will be easier to identify.

When planning a vacation, it would be smart to include some disinfectant wipes to your packing list. The wipes may save you from picking up a virus that is lurking on the doorknobs, remote control, ice bucket, telephone, or lamps. A simple wipe down of the hard surfaces may prevent your vacation from being spoiled.

Quote of the Day

There is no remedy for love but to love more.   Henry David Thoreau

Useless Fact of the Day

A blue whale’s heart is the size of a ___________.

Take a guess....

Friday, February 5, 2010

Giving Back

Donating money is probably the first thing that pops in your mind when thinking of charity. And although most of us would love to give to help a good cause, the money is not always there. Over the last couple of years, I have discovered that time given is just as valuable as money. There are numerous places that are always looking for volunteers. The Salvation Army soup kitchen, for example, is always looking for help preparing and serving meals (especially at dinner). There are countless people depending on the Salvation Army and you could be the one to feed a starving child just by donating a few hours of your time. Habitat for Humanity is another important organization. It is intimidating to picture yourself “building” a house, but with a bit of instruction and a little perseverance, you could be the one to give a family their first home. Locks of Love is a special charity to me because I was able to share the experience with my daughter. Supporting Locks of Love takes nothing but your own generosity. You could be the one to give a little girl her self-esteem back.

This year Disney is attempting to open our eyes to the world of volunteering. As if volunteering wasn’t a big enough reward, now Disney is offering a free day at the park for anyone giving a day to one of their chosen charities. If you go their website, , you can search for local participating charities. If there are none close to you, consider making a blanket for Project Linus. Most chapters are willing to accept mailed in blankets as long as comply with their chapter’s regulations.

If you have any questions about the charities listed above, please feel free to ask. I also am supporting Relay for Life. If you would like to make a donation or help raise funds, please email me at

Happy Volunteering!

Open Discussion: Vacations

 Everyone is always looking forward to their next great vacation. Where to go? What to see? Ski, sunbathe, or explore??? Where are your favorite vacation spots?

Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion.

Useless Fact of the Day

The liquid inside young coconuts can be used as a substitute for _____________.

Go ahead and take a guess...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Running Towards the Goal

Although I love running, I hesitate to call myself a runner. It is probably because I know a few true runners who are completely dedicated to training their bodies and their minds. I, on the other hand, have a very difficult time mentally. Yesterday, I accomplished a goal that I haven’t reached in a long time. I completed 10 miles, in my basement, on a treadmill. Granted it did take me about an hour and forty-five minutes to do, but I still did it. Throughout the run, I had to deal with a few minor aches and pains. However, that was nothing compared to the agony going on in my mind. Even with my music blaring and my kids’ distracting me every once in awhile, I was bored out of my mind.

My ultimate goal is to be able to complete a marathon with my father-in-law. But the thought of running for over four hours scares me to death. Not only would I be running longer than I’ve ever tried before, but also they don’t allow IPOD’s during a race. I know some of you out there are true runners. What do you do to mentally prepare for long runs? How do you fight the boredom?

Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion!

Recipe Corner: Spaghetti Bake

Spaghetti Bake is a family favorite. Add some veggies and garlic bread and you’ve got yourself a meal. Be aware, it makes a lot of food. But I never complain when I have leftovers. Enjoy!

Do you have a mouthwatering recipe you would like to recommend? Shoot me an email at and I can post it for all to enjoy!

Quote of the Day

“Love is the master key that opens the gates of happiness.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Digital vs. Hard Copy

We are living in the age of digital, well…everything. Anything you could possibly need seems to be right at your fingertips. With a click of a button, we can download movies, music, TV shows, books, newspapers, etc… Digital vs. hard copy has been an ongoing debate between my husband and I for years. Which is better? Which is more practical? Although I am losing some ground when it comes to digital music (I mean how convenient is ITunes), I stand firm when it comes to digital pictures and books (for now, at least). Don’t get me wrong, I love my digital camera as much as the next person, but I think we need to take the time to print hard copies of the pictures we cherish. What happens if your computer crashes tomorrow? Are you willing to risk losing all those precious memories forever?

Then that takes us to my beloved books. Could I possibly be satisfied reading from a digital reader for the rest of my life? Would I miss the feel and smell of a real book? I am currently testing out a Sony Reader (on loan from my wonderful mom). I have to admit, it is not all bad. It doesn’t have the same book feel to it, but it is definitely more eco friendly. It also takes up less space and is more cost effective. But are those reasons enough to convince me to stop buying my books??? I guess only time will tell. While there are advantages and disadvantages to both digital and hard copy, we all have our own preferences. Where do you stand in this ongoing debate?

Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion.

Quote of the Day

“The one thing we can never get enough of it love. And the one thing we never give enough is love.” Henry Miller

Useless Fact of the Day

Ancient Romans at one time used ___________as an ingredient in their toothpaste.

Go ahead and take a guess....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Winter Woes

My family and I dread winter every year. It’s not that we are bothered so much by the cold, or even the snow. What we dread each and every year is the dry skin season! Without fail, every November or December, red itchy patches of dry skin begin to form. We lather up with every “miracle” lotion available and pray for the promised results. I’ve even gone as far as sleeping with gloves on overly greasy hands. Yet somehow those tiny cracks still appear. Even the no-crack cream from Restoration Hardware (provided by my wonderful mother-in-law) couldn’t put a stop to the cracking. When our children were first born, we tried humidifiers in their rooms in hopes that a little added moisture might help. Sadly, the only thing the humidifier accomplished was ruining a few books.

I am sorry to say we have yet to find the solution that would make our winters more bearable. How many of you out there suffer from dry skin? How many of you have found your solution? Throw out your ideas and let’s cure those winter woes.

Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion!

Open Discussion: Super Bowl

What are your Super Bowl Predictions?  Will Manning and his Colts continue to dominate or will the Saints hold their own?

Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion!

Quote of the Day

“Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are and doing things as they out to be done.” Jack Billings

Monday, February 1, 2010

Recipe Corner: Cinnamon Bread

This is by far the best bread recipe I have ever tried. It is easy to make and does not require yeast or a bread maker (big plus in my book). Enjoy!

The 2010 Grammy Awards

If you love award shows like I do, you probably watched the Grammy Awards last night. No award show experience is complete without tuning in early to catch the arrival of the stars. The red carpet never fails to fascinate me. It is graced by some of the world’s best singers and actors. They are picked apart by the world’s toughest critics. And it is televised to millions and millions of homes. Despite all this, the stylists’ of the stars still keep their jobs. Take Beyonce, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, or Ciara, for example. How was their stylist able to convince them that the dress they chose worked? Or better yet, why was there no one around to advise them against their own choice. Then there are those like Lady Gaga who dress to get noticed. Last night, she graced our screen with an unusual light purple ensemble, “complimented” with long spiky things coming out of her dress and gloves. Of course, there are always the few good exceptions to the red carpet. The stars that choose to keep it simple (like Carrie Underwood) never fail to stun their viewers with their classic beauty.

Useless Fact of the Day

Even a small amount of ___________placed on a scorpion will make it go crazy and sting itself to death.

Go ahead and give it a guess...

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Movie Review: Avatar

Avatar, James Cameron’s futuristic Pocahontas tale, has captivated its audience since opening night. Like most of Cameron’s films, Avatar had us sitting in our seats for nearly three hours. However, the visual effects and the creation of a stunning new world kept us mesmerized until the very end. Avatar invites us to experience the movies like never before. Although the 3-D glasses had given me a headache by the end of the film, the experience was well worth it.

Open Discussion: Magazines

What magazines have you been reading? Would you recommend them? Should we save our money?

Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion!