Saturday, March 20, 2010

Recipe Corner: Chicken Pesto Pizza

This is an easy delicious pizza that the whole family will love (even those that don’t like green food!). Enjoy!

• 1/2 cup pesto basil sauce
• 1 (12 inch) pre-baked pizza crust
• 2 cups cooked chicken breast strips
• 1 (6 ounce) jar artichoke hearts, drained (OPTIONAL)
• 1/2 cup shredded fontina cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
2. Spread pesto sauce over the pizza crust. Arrange chicken pieces and artichoke hearts over the sauce, and sprinkle with cheese.
3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until cheese is melted and lightly browned at the edges.

Useless Fact of the Day

"101 Dalmations" and "Peter Pan" are the only Disney animations in which ________________.

Blogger Award!!

I just want extend a huge thank-you to Lynette at Crazed Mind for the Attitude and Gratitude Award. I truly appreciate you thinking of me. Please stop by Crazed Mind when you get a chance. You will love her blog! I would love to pass this award on to these wonderful bloggers:

Blessed With Grace

 Yes, Our Hands are Full

Thirsty For Him

Husailey Bunch

Sarah’s Blog of Fun

Pure Joy

Our Life’s Journey in Christ

My Lifesong

Life Requires More Chocolate

Lamp Unto My Feet

For the nominees: these are the rules... pass it on!
- Put the Lemonade logo on your blog or within your post.
- Nominate at least 10 blogs with great attitude or gratitude.
- Link to the nominees within your post.
- Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog.- Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fight Bad Breath

The only thing worse than someone invading your personal space during a conversation, is someone invading your personal space during a conversation with bad breath. Can they not tell that they have bad breath? Have they just eaten something smelly or is this a daily problem? Although offering a mint or piece of gum may temporarily disguise the problem, it won’t fix it. Certain foods may be the cause of temporary bad breath, but certain health conditions and daily habits may contribute to more long term problems. The simplest solution to fighting bad breath is to improve your daily oral hygiene routine. We all know that flossing is important to keeping our teeth and gums healthy, but did you know that by neglecting to floss out the bits and pieces in between your teeth, you are leaving little food particles to rot, grow bacteria, and stink up your mouth. Unfortunately, when eating certain food, good oral hygiene can only offer you a temporary solution. According to, “as foods are digested and absorbed into your bloodstream, they are eventually carried to your lungs and given off in your breath. If you eat foods with strong odors (such as garlic or onions), brushing and flossing -- even mouthwash -- merely covers up the odor temporarily. The odor will not go away completely until the foods have passed through your body.”

Some bad breath, however, is harder to control. For example, most of us experience morning breath daily. Morning breath is caused because your mouth produces less saliva while you sleep. Saliva is important in cleaning your mouth of dead cells. Without enough saliva, the cells remain on our tongues and cheeks and begin decaying. For those who sleep with their mouth open, the problem is usually worse. This is why it is especially important to brush your tongue in the morning. You need to rid your mouth of all the dead cells to help fight the bad breath. It is also important to drink lots of water in order to avoid the dry mouth symptoms during the day.

Sicknesses can also be the culprit behind someone’s bad breath. As mucus drips and collects at the back of the throat, it creates a foul aroma and taste. Sometimes this smell and taste in ones’ mouth can be a good indicator that they are getting sick. You may think that taking a cold medicine or antihistamine to reduce the postnasal drip will fix the problem, but these medications are few leading causes of dry mouth which we just learned also causes bad breath. Other illnesses, such as, lung infections, cancers, kidney or liver failure, or even acid reflux can cause severe bad breath.

While researching bad breath I came across a very interesting fact. We are all aware that eating certain foods can cause bad breath, but did you know that the lack of food can also cause bad breath? According to the Mayo Clinic, “Dieters may develop unpleasant "fruity" breath from ketoacidosis, the breakdown of chemicals during fasting.” So what’s the solution in fighting this stinky breath? Although there isn’t a single answer, it would be smart to practice good oral hygiene, eliminate tobacco products, stay hydrated, and eat healthy food. And if your day of bad breath comes, just remember to stay out of everyone’s personal space! :-)  Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion!

Recipe Corner: Spinach Pinwheels

Here is a new recipe that I found on Although my picky family disagrees with me, it is very delicious! Anything green makes them turn up their noses, but if you live more on the “wild” side, you love them. Enjoy!

• 2 (8 ounce) packages refrigerated crescent rolls
• 1 (7 ounce) package garlic herb cheese spread
• 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. Split crescent dough in half along center perforation. Flatten one rectangle, sealing perforations. Spread with 1/4 of the cheese spread and sprinkle with spinach. Starting with long side, roll dough up, rolling back and forth several times to seal edges. Cut into 3/4 inch slices (about 15 slices per roll). Arrange the slices one inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Continue making the crescent roll ups until all of the ingredients are used.
3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until lightly browned. Serve immediately or keep warm on a warming tray.

Useless Fact of the Day

In M&M candies, the letters stand for _________________.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Insomnia has decided to make a pit stop at our house and it ain’t pretty! Sleepless nights are turning into cranky unproductive days that seem to drag on forever. Despite all attempts to turn my insomniacs into routine sleepers, the nights are becoming longer than the days! Why aren’t they sleeping?!? It is so much fun!!! According to, people have trouble sleeping for various reasons. The key is to discover what the reason(s) is and then address it specifically. “These causes may be divided into situational factors, medical or psychiatric conditions, or primary sleep problems.”

There are many situational factors that can cause insomnia. Many of us have experienced transient insomnia due to changes that have occurred in our lives. Major events, jet lag, changes in daily routine, loud noises, drug withdrawal, or upcoming stressful situations can all cause transient insomnia (1-7 days). Have you ever had one of those nights where you couldn’t shut off your brain? Were you worrying about something, planning something, or just thinking about the days ahead? These were the nights that you may have fell victim to insomnia. Over the counter cold medicines (as well as many prescription medications) can make sleep hard to come by as well. While some drugs, such as Benadryl, may cause drowsiness for some, it may act as a stimulant for others.

While transient insomnia is not detrimental, chronic insomnia, which is more long term, can be very harmful. Chronic insomnia typically stems from an underlying psychological condition. Issues such as stress, anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder can lead to insomnia. If you suspect that you or a family member is suffering from any of these conditions, you should consult a doctor immediately. Chronic insomnia can also develop due to physiological conditions. People who are suffering from chronic pain, sleep apnea, acid reflux, or other bothersome medical conditions may find trouble sleeping due to discomfort. This group has probably already consulted a doctor regarding their medical condition, but it is still important to inform your doctor of this unwelcomed side effect.

Insomnia can have a very negative effect on your daily life. Lack of sleep can result in headaches, poor appetite, lack of focus, memory decline, irritability, and slower reaction times. I have seen all of these in my insomniacs. It is very probable that sickness and medicine is the cause of the insomnia residing in my house, but it good to be aware of other culprits that are out there. Have you ever had to deal with insomnia? What helped you get back into the sleeping routine? Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion!

Recipe Corner: Orange Juice Chicken

This is another recipe that I found on It sounds very interesting and I think I’m going to give it a try this weekend. If anyone has tried it before, let me know what you think. Make it? Or skip it?


• 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
• 2 tablespoons prepared Dijon-style mustard
• 1/2 cup chopped onion
• 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, divided
• 2 cups orange juice
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2. Place chicken in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Spread mustard evenly over the chicken and sprinkle with chopped onion. Coat lightly with 1/4 cup of the brown sugar and pour in enough orange juice to cover chicken. Add butter on top.
3. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, then remove leftover sauce from baking dish and pour into a saucepan. Sprinkle chicken with remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar and return to oven.
4. Whisk flour into sauce in saucepan. Add any leftover orange juice and heat on high until the sauce thickens. Remove chicken from oven and place on a serving dish; pour sauce over the chicken or into a gravy boat, and serve.

Useless Fact of the Day

The average healthy human passes gas _____________times a day.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Sticking with the health theme, I decided to repost something from a while back. For those of you who have already read it, I apologize. For my new readers, I hope you enjoy!

Vitamins are sometimes hard to understand. Which ones are most important? How much is enough to benefit us? Can too much harm us? As my husband became more interested in taking vitamins, I decided that I would do a little research and see what role each vitamin plays. Of course, there are too many vitamins and nutrients to discuss in a single post, so I researched some of the most important ones to share.

Everyone knows that calcium is important in bone protection. But did you know that calcium alone will not help prevent osteoporosis. Calcium can only work as well as your body is able to metabolize and absorb it. Calcium needs the help of vitamin D, vitamin k, and magnesium. Be aware of the type of calcium supplement you are taking because without its supporting vitamins it may not be doing its job. If your body does not get enough of its needed calcium it may begin extracting from your bones and teeth. Some good non-dairy sources of calcium are whole wheat products, broccoli, kale, dark leafy greens, canned fish, legumes, okra, nuts, and seeds.

Omega-3 fatty acids have been becoming more popular over the last few years. They are known as the “good fats”. “Studies have shown that Omega- 3 fatty acids can have a positive on or prevent serious degenerative illnesses like heart disease, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and more. The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3’s are especially beneficial to menopausal women in preserving heart, breast and bone health, and even help keep our moods on an even keel.” (Dr. Marcel Pick). Good sources of omega-3 are found in seafood, hempseed oil, flaxseed, walnuts, canola oil, eggs, pumpkin seeds. If these are foods you don’t eat, you can take omega-3 supplements. However, research the product before you buy it because you could wind up burping fish all day.

Vitamin B-6 has many important functions in the body. One of its most important function is that is aids the stomach to produce hydrochloric acid. The production of hydrochloric acid is needed for the body to absorb calcium. Vitamin B-12 and Folic acid are also important in protection of our bones.
The last two vitamins are more common to households, vitamin C and A. Vitamin C plays an important role in building and maintaining body tissues. It also provides our immune system with important protection. If you feel a cold coming on, it is suggested that you take extra vitamin C to help boost your immune system. Vitamin C also protects our bodies from scurvy. Vitamin A improves our eyes ability to adjust to light as we go inside and out. Vitamin A also provides moisture for our eyes, skin, and mucus membranes.

Recipe Corner: Banana Crumb Muffins

My girls and I love muffins! While I was searching for a new recipe I came across this Banana Crumb Muffin that received outstanding reviews. I am going to post this and come back to it as soon as my bananas ripen. I hope you enjoy!

• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3 bananas, mashed
• 3/4 cup white sugar
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 1/3 cup butter, melted
• 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 tablespoon butter

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Useless Fact of the Day

Lightning strikes the Earth about _______________times a day.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Eat This, Not That: Part Two

Yesterday’s post focused on foods to avoid. Today I wanted to share some healthy discoveries I made from Eat This, Not That. According to the books, there are eight foods that you should eat every day: spinach, yogurt, tomatoes, carrots, blueberries, black beans, walnuts, and oats. Now it’s not very likely that you will include all of these every day, but you should try to eat as many as you can. These foods are full of Omega-3’s, antioxidants, and other important vitamins that help boost brain and heart function.

It is easy to say you should avoid fast food restaurants altogether, but it’s not likely to happen. So I looked through Eat This, Not That to find some healthy choices available at some of the most popular fast food joints. An Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich at Wendy’s served with mandarin oranges and medium ice tea has only 480 calories. This is a large enough meal to satisfy your hunger and it won’t stick to your thighs. Arby’s also had a grilled chicken sandwich that will keep you within your calorie budget. At Taco Bell, you can order two Fresco Soft Beef Tacos with a side of Mexican rice for 470 calories. By ordering a Fresco Taco, you have to sacrifice the cheese and sour cream, but if you at a little extra hot sauce, you still have a great taco.

How do you eat healthy when dining at a fast food restaurant? Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion!

Recipe Corner: Cherry Chocolate Marble Cake

This was actually the first cake I ever made from scratch. I made it for my mom’s birthday and everyone loved it. Enjoy!

• 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
• 2 cups sugar
• 3 eggs
• 6 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
• 6 tablespoons water
• 1 teaspoon almond extract
• 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
• 3/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/2 cups sour cream
• 3/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries, drained
• 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
• 3 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
• confectioners' sugar

1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the cherry juice, water and extract; mix well. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream. Mix just until combined.
2. Divide batter in half. to one portion, add cherries and walnuts; mix well. To the second portion, add chocolate; mix well. Spoon half of the cherry mixture into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan. Cover with half of the chocolate mixture. Repeat layers. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes; remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners; sugar if desired.

Useless Fact of the Day

Donal Duck comics were banned from Finland because____________.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Eat this, Not that

Most of you have probably heard of the popular books, Eat This, Not That, but like many of my friends you may not have had time to actually read them. I am usually very health conscious when it comes to feeding my family. However, every time I read one of these books, I gain surprising new insights. Eat This, Not That, is a great resource to have (especially if your family eats out often). Unfortunately though, you may discover some information you just did not want to know. For example, the cheese fries at Outback contain 2,900 calories. That is more than the average person’s daily intake of calories! I will admit, I love cheese fries, but that may be just too many calories.

Did you know that there is an omelet at IHOP that has 1,890 calories (Colorado omelet)? That is the same as eating six Egg McMuffins! If you are at IHOP and want an omelet, opt for the Garden version that packs only 430 calories. Another fattening breakfast food is the donut. I’ve never figured out how donuts became a breakfast food, but Americans love them. If you must eat a donut, the book suggests that you opt for the glazed donut instead of the cake donut. The difference is 100 calories and 8 grams of fat!

When ordering a salad, we often get a false belief that the meal is good for us. More often than not, salads served at restaurants are far from healthy. Take California’s Pizza Kitchen’s Thai salad for example. This salad contains 2,238 calories! This salad not only has two types of dressing, but also fried wonton strips. Eating this salad would be equivalent to eating 6 pounds of grilled sirloin steak! Wraps are another food item that portrays healthy eating. However, with the large tortilla and added dressings, they are loaded with calories. T.G.I. Friday’s BBQ Chicken Wrap has 1,720 calories. On top of loading the wrap with fattening ranch dressing, Friday’s also include an extra scoop of mayo. According to the book, this wrap is equivalent to eating three Big Macs!

Tomorrow I will continue this post with some foods that are good for you. What crazy calories have you been consuming? It can't be as bad as the Caribbean Jerk Nachos I ate last weekend! Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion!

Recipe Corner: Quick and Easy Éclair Cake

I just saw this recipe on and thought my kids would absolutely love to make this. It is a no bake recipe and it uses no appliances. I hope you enjoy this quick, safe, and fun to eat dessert!

• 2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
• 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
• 3 cups milk
• 1 (16 ounce) package graham cracker squares
• 1 (16 ounce) package prepared chocolate frosting

1. In a medium bowl, thoroughly blend the pudding mix, whipped topping, and milk.
2. Arrange a single layer of graham cracker squares in the bottom of a 13x9 inch baking pan. Evenly spread half of the pudding mixture over the crackers. Top with another layer of crackers and the remaining pudding mixture. Top with a final layer of graham crackers.
3. Spread the frosting over the whole cake up to the edges of the pan. Cover, and chill at least 4 hours before serving.

• The frosting will be easier to spread if the cake is covered and chilled for about 30 minutes before spreading.

Useless Fact of the Day

Most streets in Japan do not have __________________.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Silent Sunday

What is that?!?

It's a SPIDER!  Help Me!!!!

Don't worry, Mom.  I'll help!

You're scared of that little thing?

Don't worry!  I'll protect you!

Useless Fact of the Day

The most used line in the movies is _____________________.
Take a guess in the comments...