Sunday, December 31, 2006

San Diego Restuarant Week - January 7 - 12

Get a taste of incredible dining experiences at more than 120 of the county's finest restaurant at San Diego Restaurant Week. You can indulge in a three-course (three options per course), fixed menu for only $30 or $40 per person, depending on the restaurant. Tax, beverage and gratuity not included. Advance reservations recommended.

Visit San Diego Restaurant website for a list of participating restaurants, menus and reservations.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Rona's Weekly Blog Recommendation: 4:53am

I first found her blog through turkey feathers. Here's a self-described Christian woman, mother of 5 grown children, grandmother of 5 and happily married to her high school sweetheart, who loves sewing, quilting, scrapbooking and folk art. You'll love seeing and reading about her latest craft projects. My favorite being her Advent calendar. (please take a look at this one)

Please feel free to stop by 4:53am and say hello. Let her know that BerryMorins Bits and Tips sent you.

Check Out "Nero Wolfe TV Series: Second Season" on DVD - Blockbuster Online

We just finished watching 'Nero Wolfe TV Series: Second Season' starring Timothy Hutton and Maury Chaykin. The episodes are based on the 'Nero Wolfe' books by Rex Stout. If you're looking for an old fashion who dunn it this DVD series is for you. The writing, acting and direction remind me of a well done performance. Our teenage son boasted, after watching one DVD of the series, that he was hooked.

His favorite character is Archie Goodwin, played by Timothy Hutton. Marcus states that Archie is smart, knows how to handle the ladies and can handle himself in any physical altercation. He also makes frequent comments of the style of dress, language and technology. (remember rotary phones)

Nero Wolfe, played by Maury Chaykin, will have you reaching for your dictionary. But, yeck, that's part of the fun of watching this series.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Law & Order New Years Eve and Day Marathon

Alert to all you L&O Fans! December 31 to January 1, TNT is airring a 'Law & Order' marathon from 8 pm to 1 pm pacific time.

USA Network is having a Law & Order: CI marathon on December 31 from 6 am to 5 am, January 1, 2007.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Natural Treatments for Anxiety by Jamie Lynn

Natural Treatments for Anxiety By: Jamie Lynn

Natural treatments for anxiety such as meditation and hypnotherapy are gaining in popularity amongst sufferers of common stress as well as more serious anxiety disorders.

While drugs and supplements can promise some effectiveness in treating anxiety, holistic methods can help you to make an overall reduction in stress through long-term lifestyle changes.

Even for those severely stricken with anxiety, remedies such as Xanax and Buspar are meant to treat the symptoms of anxiety, not address the root causes. Xanax and other anti anxiety treatments can also have serious side effects including hallucinations, rashes, mouth sores, yellowing of the skin, dry mouth and headache. In addition, anti stress medication can cause serious addiction and withdrawal symptoms if the dosage is decreased suddenly.

Various natural supplements such as ginseng and valerian have been used successfully as anxiety treatments. For example, ginseng has been shown to have positive effects on anxiety, in addition to cardiovascular health, menopause, physical endurance and diabetes. However, once the substance is no longer ingested, the beneficial effects slowly dissipate. Like prescription drugs, natural supplements fail to address underlying triggers behind anxiety and stress.

It is interesting to note that doctors are increasingly turning to natural treatments for anxiety, in addition to more traditional methods. Studies are beginning to show the physiological effects which occur in the body during holistic practices such as meditation and hypnotherapy. For example, during Transcendental Meditation, a style of meditation founded in the 1950s by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, mental activity is slowed while alertness and clarity remain. Actual physiological changes include slowing of the metabolic rate, increased cerebral blood flow and changes in muscle resistance.

The changes are a direct reaction to physiological changes induced by heightened and continued stress. After Transcendental Meditation, the patient reports feeling relaxed, happy and better able to function both personally and professionally.

Hypnotherapy is another natural treatment for anxiety that is increasingly beginning to be accepted as valid in the medical community. Through guided imagery and positive associations, the patient works with the hypnotist to recognize underlying triggers and causes behind anxiety-ridden behavior. Hypnotherapy has also showed promising success in treating addictive behaviors such as drinking, overeating, smoking and drug use. What makes hypnotherapy so effective is that it cuts directly to the unconscious mind, where fears and phobias are housed. There are also physiological effects which occur during hypnotherapy (lessening of the heart rate, reduction of the stress inducing hormone cortisol etc.) which lessen overall anxiety and stress.

Drugs and supplements can be an instant fix for anxiety and stress and do promise a certain amount of effectiveness and relief. In fact, doctors may prescribe medication as a means of getting some of the more immediate symptoms under control. However, if you are suffering from an anxiety disorder or a heightened stress level, be sure to inquire about natural treatments for anxiety such as meditation and hypnotherapy.

A holistic approach, addressing both lifestyle and physical symptoms, can be a more effective treatment for anxiety than conventional methods, and may just be the answer for you.
Article by:

Jamie Lynn has dedicated herself to teaching others the Power of Meditation and other alternative health/healing tips and techiques for the mind, body and spirit!

What is Boxing Day - December 26

Boxing Day is a holiday that is celebrated in England, New Zealand, Canada and Australia, on the following Monday after Christmas. The traditional celebration is giving money and/or donations to charities, the needy and people in service positions.

You can read more information about Boxing Day at the following websites.
Annie's Boxing Day Page

Monday, December 25, 2006

Law and Order Series Christmas Marathon

I am a 'Law and Order' fan. Actually my husband and son are too. We even quote Lennyhumorism. (that's Marcus' word) TNT has the original 'Law and Order' show on Christmas Day! For us diehard fans, TNT has given us a terrific Christmas present. All day long we can enjoy our favorite Executive Assistant D.A. Jack McCoy and others catch the bad guys and put them behind bars, while unwrapping our presents, eating our dinner and just kicking back!

The marathon starts at 12pm. Visit the website for a list of the shows, reminder services, photo gallery, and more. While you're there test your knowledge playing the 'Law and Order Triva'. We played it together and had a lot of fun answering the questions. There's also a demo of the interactive game. I've played it a few times and it's great!

Christmas Truce - Learn More About It

And on this day in 1917, in war-torn Europe, German and English soldiers called a Christmas Day truce. For one day they shared food, exchange gifts, sang Christmas carols and spoke of home. Many say that they played soccer.

At nightfall, they returned to their muddy trenches. But the story is told that the next day each army purposely fired over the heads of the other, unable to kill the men they now regarded as their comrades.

You can read more about Christmas Truce at the following websites.

Christmas Truce 1914 - a collection of letters written by British soliders about the Christmas Truce
The History Channel - Today in History has a video clip

Merry Christmas from Berry-Morins Bits and Tips

Here's wishing you and your's a Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday Season.

From Rona, Marcus and Charles

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Rona's Weekly Blog Recommendation: A Good Cup of Coffee

Please visit this week's Blog recommendation, A Good Cup of Coffee. Here's a Kentucky stay at home mom of 2 kids, husband and dog who blogs about her daily life. And she recognizes that must have beverage, coffee, while doing it all! Pop in for a visit and say hello.

Working on the Christmas Day

Holidays mean working extra hours, at my work at home customer service job. Many people ask me if the call volume goes down. Actually it doesn't and sometimes it's increases, in comparison to a regular day. I think there are many people who don't have family obligations. For others, it's just not a holiday that they recognize. And sometimes I get calls from people who are lonely and want to talk.

I don't mind working on the holidays. There's always an incentive and plenty of available hours. My husband and son will be busy watching football games and cooking dinner.

The good thing is that I can be wearing my favorite robe, pjs and slippers while working. Happy Holidays.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Housecleaning Tips - Grab Dust Hiding in the Kitchen by Karen Fritscher-Porter

Housecleaning Tips - Grab Dust Hiding in the Kitchen By: Karen Fritscher-Porter

Housecleaning tips usually discuss the importance of dusting your home. But this one gives you the inside scoop about a place you often don't think to include on your dusting route. That's the kitchen.

When you think of cleaning the kitchen you think of grease and food. But you'll find a lot of dust and grime settling in the kitchen on top of the stove hood. Clean this frequently. The easiest way is with a paper towel and some window cleaner or all purpose cleaner. Just make sure you don't have any food sitting on the stovetop or closest countertops while doing this job because some dust will fall there. So after you clean the stove hood, you'll need to clean the stovetop and countertop, also using paper towels and some spray cleaner.

Use a stool to climb up high enough to see and dust the top of the refrigerator. Using your dust cloth, pull the dust in a forward motion to start so that more of it doesn't fall behind the fridge. You want to pull out the fridge to clean behind it, including its coils, and the floor but not as often as you generally just dust the top of the fridge.

Every now and then you'll also want to dust the tops of the top kitchen cabinets, another favorite concealed place for dust to settle. This also calls for a sturdy step ladder. If you have a hand vaccum, you can plug it into the socket on the kitchen counter and just suck up the dirt with the attachments. Otherwise, you can still do it by hand with a just slightly damp cloth to grab the dust.

The tops of the curtains, drapes or valances in the kitchen also catch a lot of dust, especially if you have a ceiling vent blowing near them. Fortunately, a lot of kitchen curtains are easy machine washable styles that also are easy and quick to take down and hang back up. But that doesn't necessarily mean yours are so. You should wash or dryclean your curtains, drapes or valances periodically following their individual care instructions. Consider using the vacuum cleaner dust attachment along with a step ladder for in-between quick dust jobs at the top of the curtains or valance. Or knock the dust to the floor or counter with a hand-held professional feather duster and then vacuum it up.

Another place in the kitchen that cobwebs hide is at the base of the lower kitchen cabinets---like that indented spot where your feet settle when you're using the sink. This is the small inset part usually where the cabinets meet the floor. Reach under there with a broom to knock those cobwebs and debris to the floor. And then sweep the floor.

These housecleaning tips don't cover all the dusty spots you'll find in your home or kitchen, but it's a start. And these are some of the most unobvious places that will keep your dust allergic friends sneezing and itching if you don't tend to these dust hideaways.

Article by:

Karen Fritscher-Porter is a nationally published freelance writer who writes about home organizing and housecleaning tips. Read more at her website .

Product Recommendation: Swiffer Max

After 7 years, I decided it was time to retire the old Swiffer dry mop. Last night, I purchased a Swiffer Max and am thrilled. This one cleans a larger area. (love it) And like the older model you can use wet and dry cloths. In between those monthly hands and knee kitchen floor scrubbings I use my Swiffer. It's much more convenient than a mop and no need for a bucket.

My husband and son don't mind mopping the floors with the Swiffer either. This item should be in every household's broom closet.

The price was an affordable $10, for the starter kit. at our local Sears Essential. It included a sample of the wet and dry cloths.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Ice Skating at Horton Plaza

Marcus and the home-based educated group went to the ice skating rink at the famous Horton Plaza last week. The outdoors was just right for this winter activity. Cool, overcast weather with lots of thermos of hot chocolate. I'm proud to say that he didn't fall once but did require additional socks due to cold feet. (this mom packs it all in her handy messenger bag) Parents took pictures and video of our kids. Some even bravely put on a pair of skates and headed out there too.

Afterwards, Marcus and I headed to Great Kahn's Mongolian Festival for a hot and filling lunch. If you've never had the Great Khan experience than allow me to explain. You place your order entree and drink, pay and then are presented with a bowl and napkin. You have a selection of frozen shaved meats, vegetables, sauces and noodles or rice. They cook the assortment on flat grills with no oil. (very healthy) We were hungry and enjoyed every mouthful.

On our way to the car, we stopped at a few stores to admire the window displays. I then remembered that I needed to purchase a gift card for my husband's secret santa, at work. So, we stopped at the concierge's desk, purchased one and had our parking stub validated before heading home. I had such a fantastic time with our kidlet that day. I'm glad he did too!

Did You Read About the Teen That Returned $24,000?

Now here's a very honest young man. And he wouldn't even accept a reward. He was only doing what was right...returning something that wasn't his.

Click here to read the article.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Wordless Wednesday

Learn How To Plan Your Meals to Free Up Your Time by Aurelia Williams

Many of the the Stay at home mom blogs, that I visit recommend menu planning. Not only do you save time but you save money. And who doesn't want to do that?

Learn How To Plan Your Meals to Free Up Your Time By: Aurelia Williams

Meal planning and bulk cooking are both wonderful techniques you can utilize and modify to fit your families needs. The idea behind this is simple. The principle is that you cook and or prepare your meals ahead of time and then preserve them by either freezing or fridgerating them. Also, meal planning you can cook one large meal and get 2-3 other meals out of it! The key here is to make every meal you cook count! When you are going to prepare a family favorite, double, triple, even quadruple the recipe if it will keep in the freezer. Sound wonderful doesn’t it? Why not give yourself a much-needed break -- cook ahead today so you can relax tomorrow!

The first step in meal planning is always the most challenging. To make it less challenging I suggest that you grab the following supplies: Pen, paper, your personal recipe collection or your favorite cookbook and a comfortable chair. Start by writing down a list of your favorite meals and plan on preparing a grocery list that will coincide with your list. Now, since we are talking bulk cooking here – if you normally would serve up one pot of spaghetti – plan to serve 2 (that would mean that you will have to double the recipe – so be sure to alter your shopping list accordingly) – It will take the same amount of time to cook – just a little extra planning is needed.

Next you can use a blank calendar and simply write the meals down on the day you will serve them. I personally post my meal plan up on my refrigerator for the entire house to see. This also helps to prompt me for the next day of meals that will be served.

The most important tool in meal planning and bulk cooking is your freezer. If you have a small freezer, don’t fret; you can fit many meals in that small freezer space – it will just call for a little more creativity on your part. With the use of freezer bags, that you can stack flat and the use of some freezer proof containers you will be surprised at how many meals your freezer can hold.

Here are a few essential and widely used meal planning techniques and tips:

Multi-recipes ~ Using this strategy requires you to cook many main course meals in one day. For instance, on a Sunday morning you could prepare a roast in your Crock pot, some spaghetti on top of the stove, a baked Chicken in the oven and perhaps a nice salad. You also could quarter and boil some potatoes, cook some rice and some veggies (either fresh or canned). What you now have is 5 different meals that you can use throughout the entire week. You can eat one of the meals that very evening and you could Freeze or refrigerate the rest. This technique works very well for some people and it provides a wide variety of dishes that you can use. I personally use this technique from time to time. I usually do my multi-recipe cooking on a Sunday and it can take up to 5 hrs to complete but what you are left with is 2 weeks worth of food that you can enjoy. And notice that the meals that I use in my Multi-recipe list are easy to prepare.

One Cook Wonder ~ With this strategy you would cook one main course recipe that can be used for different meals. For Instance, let’s say you just baked a large turkey. You could slice some of the turkey off and serve the breast with gravy, dice some of the turkey and prepare a turkey gumbo and use the rest for either a soup or turkey salad. Mind you, you do not have to prepare all of those meals on one day. After the Turkey has been cooked and cooled, you can freeze and refrigerate the turkey that you cut off the carcass and prepare your other Turkey related meals at a different time.

Quick and Easy meals ~ Be sure to incorporate those quick and easy meals into your planning process. If your family loves Sloppy Joes – cook up the sloppy joe meat in bulk and freeze it – then all you need to do is defrost the meat, grab some buns and viola. What about Hamburger Helper? Why not cook 2-3 boxes of it, separate it into 3 separate large containers and freeze them. That idea alone allows you to prepare 3 meals in just 30-minutes.

Designate a meal for a particular night ~ Every Friday night in my house is either Pizza or burger night. The idea here is to choose any night of the week and just designate a meal to go with that night. I always make sure that I have plenty of Frozen Pizza’s with a variety of toppings on hand in my freezer. The same goes for those Turkey burger patties (my family doesn’t eat much ground beef). The idea behind this process is that you now have one night’s meal already planned. You can also stock up on that meal when the products are on sale. If you see Frozen pizza’s being sold in bulk, grab them up!

Love your leftovers ~ This is one of my favorite parts of meal planning as it allows you to use your imagination. At least every other week or so be sure to go through your refrigerator and take inventory of what you have in there. When you combine 2-3 leftovers, you may find that you have a meal right there. You can use left over pasta from spaghetti to prepare a pasta salad, leftover spaghetti sauce and just a few pieces of chicken can be a wonderful dish to top with cheese and place in the oven. Again, with a little imagination – you can make your leftovers work for you!

Use the sales paper ~ everyone loves a good sale and I use the sales paper to help me in my meal planning. When I see our Family favorites on sale – instead of buying one, I will purchase 3-4 of the same items and simply come home and prepare the meals or freeze the food that I purchased. My family and I love Chicken. When I spot whole chickens on sale I’ve been known to purchase up to 5-6 at a time. Keep in mind that I have a family of 6 and in my family of six; there are 3 teenagers (and you know how much they can consume). By shopping like this, I actually save hundreds and hundreds of dollars a year in food alone!

Helpful supplies
Labels/freezer bags/Freezer-proof containers: Be sure that you have all of your freezing and refrigerating needs on hand. When storing food in freezer safe containers be sure to place a label on the container with the name of the meal and the date the meal was prepared.

Crockpot: This handy appliance is my best friend in the kitchen. When using a crockpot you literally prepare the meal, place it in the crockpot, Set it & Forget it. It is a hands free cooking experience. I cook whole chickens in my crock pot and then slice the chicken up to freeze and use for sandwiches, enchilada’s, chicken salads, chicken soup, chicken stew.. as you can see – the possibilities are endless.

As you can see, meal planning is a money, sanity and time saver – what else could a busy mom ask for?

Now, let’s get Cookin’!

Article by:
Aurelia Williams is the author of Journey To Joy, an inspiring eBook that explores many obstacles that women face. It also provides essential action steps, worksheets, resources and an hour long Balancing Your Life Audio.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Laundry - The Neverending Story? by Carrie Lauth

Laundry. Ugh. Is that what you hear or maybe you are saying these words yourself? My family does the laundry together, usually on Saturdays. Sometimes my husband and I do the laundry together.

Laundry - The Neverending Story? By: Carrie Lauth

Laundry can be a huge time sucker and it's the task many Moms dread most. It doesn't have to be this way. Here are some tips to help you tame the laundry beast.


Minimize the amount of laundry you do by creating new standards of "dirty". If you wear a pair of jeans for two hours then put on your shorts, are the jeans dirty? Not in my house. Pajamas put on a clean body at night after a bath and worn once aren't dirty either. Ditto for a towel that blots a freshly scrubbed body. Teach your kids that dirty means it has food or obvious dirt marks on it. The exception? Underwear of course!

Minimize sorting by putting a hamper in each bedroom that has 3 slots. One for whites, one for darks, one for mixed colors. For kids that are very young, try cutting out a large circle from construction paper for each category. Tape these on the wall above the hamper to show where to put each color. Alternately, you could buy inexpensive colored bins that match laundry colors.

Train your kids to bring you their dirty laundry at the beginning of each day or at some other time you choose. Don't turn socks right side out for laundering. Show your family members how to take off their socks without bunching them into an inside out ball. If they don't choose to listen to your sock lessons, let them turn their own socks right side out.

You may be able to minimize sorting even more by washing more clothes together. Many times light colors can go into the wash with mixed colors if you use cold water and the items aren't brand new. Typically only cheap clothing fades anyway so buy your kid's clothing from the nicer stores. It will last longer and wash well.

Some important questions to ponder: Do underwear need to be "folded" or can they be neatly placed flat in drawers? What about small T shirts and shorts? Do socks need to be matched up or can they be thrown into plastic boxes in a drawer and matched up by the wearer? Important questions, these!


In some homes, the person who dirties the laundry is responsible for taking the laundry to the washing up area. If clothing doesn't make it there (meaning it's stuffed under beds, in corners of closets or otherwise lying on the floor), it doesn't get washed. Natural consequences work well for laundry. The first time your daughter doesn't have her favorite shirt that she just has to wear to the mall, she'll remember to get it to the laundry room. When hubby has no boxers, he may be motivated to get them in the hamper too. Developing "laundry on the floor blindness" is helpful for a Mom!

Older kids can be taught how to use the washing machine and dryer. Kids ages 2 and up can help with folding and getting clean laundry to their dressers. Even a toddler can "match corners" to fold washcloths and put their undies and socks in dresser drawers. Most youngsters think folding laundry is fun. Keep this myth going with them as long as humanly possible!

Don't Procrastinate

Some tasks don't take longer to complete if you procrastinate a bit. Vacuuming, for instance, takes roughly the same amount of time to complete whether you do it daily or weekly. Laundry is not one of these chores. Doing a load of laundry a day is preferable to tackling a mountain of dirty clothes that have set in stains, bad odors and maybe even mildew. Be sure to finish the job completely- putting the load into the dryer quickly so the clothes don't sour. Then remove from the dryer promptly for folding so they don't wrinkle.

As long as we continue to eat, sweat and move about, we'll have to deal with laundry. Hopefully these tips will help you spend a little less time dealing with the repercussions of being human!

Article by:

Carrie Lauth is the host of For more housekeeping with kids tips, visit

Rona's Book Recommendation: The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom

Here's a book that has been on my reading list for a long time. I finally had the opportunity to get my hand on a copy through This much talked about book is just amazing, heart warming and caused me a few tears. It's a lovely little book that follows the main character, Eddie, through a series of meetings with people who have affected his life, after he dies. The last thing he remembers is two small hands linking with his, as he tries to save a young girl from an amusement park ride accident. Some of the five people he meets surprise him, as well as the settings in which he finds them.

This book really puts light on those of us who may feel we have a dull, boring life with no purpose.

Here's a book that makes a fantastic gift for anytime of the year. With all the horrible news recently we should all get a copy and read it.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Peter Boyle and Loraine Boyle's Marriage Marriage site has a terrific profile about Peter and Loraine Boyle's marriage. As many of you know, Peter Boyle, 'Everybody Loves Raymond', passed away this week. He and his wife were married for 29 years. As you read this profile please take note of Peter and Loraine's comments regarding each other. I hope that it leaves you with a warm feeling today.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Visit Martha for Ornament Projects

Visit Martha for a list of ornament projects, that you and your family can make. You can then hang them on the tree or give as gifts.

The Anxiety Club by Demetria Zinga

The Anxiety Club By: Demetria Zinga

"How am I going to make it? What am I going to do? Where will we get the money?”

Do these questions sound familiar to you? Are they perhaps, questions you’ve asked recently?

Then welcome to the club. I call it the Anxiety Club.
We’ve all been part of that club at some point in our lives. There are moments when bills need to be paid, but the money is no where to be found. Situations occur in our lives, and we have to make really tough decisions that affect everyone involved. Sometimes we don’t see that light at the end of the tunnel and we feel trapped.
So I’ve asked, “What do I do? What do I say? How will I solve this problem?” and last but not least, “God, are you there?”

The Anxiety Club always has a way of making you pay your dues even before you decide to discontinue your membership. You’ll pay through your emotions, your health, and spiritual well being. Anxiety and worry causes undue stress, not to mention a myriad of other negative things it does to your nervous system. By joining the club, you could end up be an emotional wreck, and spiritually depleted of your joy, energy, and enthusiasm for serving Christ.

So you want out of the club? “But how do I get out?” you say. I mean, it’s one thing to wish yourself into a peaceful state of mind, but the reality of it is, you STILL have bills that are unpaid. Life still goes on.
Okay, true, but the words of our Savior sum it all up:
“Do not worry about our life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? …Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature…?”
In other words, worrying will not make the situation better. Here’s a GREAT, practical solution to the problems we face:
“Have faith in God…”, quoted by the Savior Himself.

Ready to join the Faith Club? Well, hop aboard. Don’t worry, there’s no penalty for signing up too late, and the only dues you’ll pay will be the commitment you make to trust Christ for everything you will ever need in life. And the good thing about it is, membership to the Faith Club offers GREAT benefits, like peace of mind, joy, security, and strength to face the hard times. Additional perks and bonuses are also available.

Now don’t you think it’s time to leave the Anxiety Club behind?

Article by:

Demetria Zinga is a Navy wife and mother of a fun preschooler. The founder of Christian Ladies Connect and Christian Ladies Talk Radio, a ministerial ezine and online radio podcast for Christian women, she has a passion to help other women in thei

Thursday, December 14, 2006

More Companies Going Virtual with Workers Telecommuting

Click here to read a news article at the about the lastest on a company going virtual. The article explains it's a benefit to the telecommuter's life by providing more quality of life while working. Also, allowing the company to expand their workforce.

Save Up to 50% at Eddie! Last Minute Gifts

Suede Handbag $59.99 plus s/h and appicable tax.

My favorite online store, Eddie, has many shirts, pants and accessory items at 50% off. You'll find great selections for the women, men and teens in your life. And If you spend $100 or more you'll get free shipping, till December 25, 2006, just enter the code HOLIDAYFS at checkout.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Low Fat Gingerbread Recipe - Low Fat Cooking

Look at what I found. Here's a low fat gingerbread recipe for those of us on a restricted diet. See you can still enjoy desserts in a moderate serving. Enjoy and thanks to Low Fat Cooking site!

Rona's Product Recommendation: Pyrex Portable

Holidays mean potlucks and that means it's time to break out my Pyrex Portable. Our contribution to the my husband's holiday potluck, Tequila Lime Chicken. Yummy. Originally posted in August 2006.

After several years of potlucks, having food spill out in the car, trying to keep it hot till serving, I decided it was time to purchase a Pyrex Portable. I purchased my 5 piece Portable set at Smart and Final. It was at an affordable price, $19.99. It not only came with 2 hot/cold bags but a slotted spoon. The holder has plenty of pockets for places to put paper plates, utensils and other items. There's a place to write your address and phone number, in case you forget you Portable. (not thatI would but it's a good idea) The handles are very strong and have Velcor closers. You can cook and serve your dish in the cassorole dish. Just put the cover on after it comes out of the oven.

Now that I'm hooked on my rectangle cassorole Portable I would like to purchase some of the other pieces.

I am strongly recommend this product. It's great for picnics too. You'll be wondering why you waited so long. I sure did!

This product is sold in many department stores and food stores. Also visit these online stores for prices and selections.




Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Rona's Weekly Blog Recommendation: This Mama Cooks!

Now here's a blog that everyone can sink their teeth into! This Mama Cooks! has recipes, cookbook and product reviews and other food news. The blog is bright, colorful and fun. You'll enjoy your visit so much that I suggest bookmarking for future returns.

One of my favorite post is her Food Blog of the Week. That's how I recently got turned onto Gluten-Free Goddess. Here's a most visit blog for those of us who are required to follow a gluten free diet but still want to enjoy eating tasty food.

And please consider purchasing a ticket for A Menu of Hope at This Mama Cooks! You could win a beautiful collection of cookbooks. A Menu of Hope raises money for UNICEF's food programs. Please stop by her website for more information on A Menu of Hope today.

Today is Gingerbread House Day !

In honor of Gingerbread House Day, visit Kids' Turn Central for instructions and supplies for making a variety of gingerbread houses.

After you're done, stop by The to see what some nice kid gingerbread house creations!

Visit to Send Your Condolences to the Kim Family

James Kim, Senior Editor, passed away trying to find help for his family. The family had gotten their car stuck in the snow.

You can watch the memorial video by visiting the website. You'll also find a link to forward condolences and donations to the family.

Our family sends prayers to the Kim family and their friends during this most difficult time.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Rona's DVD Recommendation: 'Murder She Wrote: First Season'

When I check out or rent a classic TV show DVD I never know if our teenager is going to be interested in watching it. He has surprised me many times and is now a fan of 'Nero Wolfe', 'Alf' and 'Adam 12'.

This weekend, I checked out 'Murder She Wrote: First Season' on DVD from our local public library. After my final phone shift, I sat back and popped it into the DVD player. As the intro was playing here comes Marcus. Do you know after one episode and tons of questions he's a fan?

If you're not familiar with the series, it starred Angela Lansbury, as Jessica Fletcher. She lives in a fictional town, in Maine, called Cabot Cove, is a retired English teacher and who writes mystery 'who done it' books. She also finds herself investigating the crimes.

I always found it a fun and cute TV show to watch. And these days it's nice to just be entertained without being slammed with profanity, sex and nudity.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Creating Your Christmas or Hanukah Scrapbook by Audrey Okaneko

Don't forget that mini scrapbooks make great gifts.

Creating Your Christmas or Hanukah Scrapbook By: Audrey Okaneko

We hear the phrase “holiday season” beginning as early as October 1st, yet, when it comes to creating scrapbook albums, I often see photos from just the one day of Christmas, or the 8 days of Hanukah.

This year, create your album for the entire season. What does this mean? When do you start your shopping and planning? My kids have always created a wish list for my mom and dad. Make a copy of these wish lists and add them to your scrapbook.

Once you begin your shopping, take photos of the bags and bags of goodies you have purchased. There have been years where I’ve looked in my trunk and just laughed at the amount of bags I have inside. Some years I have bought gifts for teachers, for coworkers, for my family and for the many gift exchanges I’m involved in.

I’ve always done my gift wrapping either during the day when the kids are at school or at night when they are asleep. Take a few photos of the gifts all being wrapped.

Most years, my kids and I bake. We bake for classmates, for coworkers, for those who provide us wonderful service during the years and for the many parties we seem to attend during the “holiday season”. Take photos of your baking process. Consider including a few recipes from your baking in the scrapbook. Copy the recipes onto acid free paper.

Are you having any type of dinner at your home? Again, snap some photos of the grocery list, the preparations and again consider adding a few of your dinner recipes.

Do you put decorations in your home? I have seen absolutely beautiful homes, both for Christmas and for Hanukah over the years. Take photos of your home without guests in it. Then take photos again when the house is filled with people, noise and great food.

Opening presents is a highlight for children. In addition to taking photos of everyone opening their gifts, save some of the wrapping papers for your scrapbook. Save just a little bit as it will yellow.

If you receive cards from family and friends, consider laminating the cards and adding them to your scrapbook. If the card itself it not acid free, it will over time yellow and crack, which is why I suggest laminating them.

This year when you consider your holiday scrapbook, consider the entire season, not just the one or eight days.

Article by:
Audrey Okaneko has been scrapbooking for several years. She can be reached at or visited at

How to Just Say No and Not to Take On Too Much by Cucan Pemo

Who isn't guilty of doing please raise their hands in the air and wave them like you just don't care! Okay, you can put them down now.

Practice saying no both at home and at work, whenever you’re asked to take on more than you know you can handle. Overextending yourself can be a hard habit to break, but it is an essential step in getting out of your own way so you can accomplish your life’s goals. You deserve time for yourself, and you must be responsible for ensuring your personal needs are met.

Here are 5 ways to learn to say “NO”:

1. “I’m not comfortable/don’t enjoy doing that.” Stick to your guns. If you’re asked to do something that seems wrong or a task you despise doing, don’t agree to it and explain why. This way you will be able to avoid repeat requests for the same thing.

2. “I can’t help right now, but ask me later.” Again, be honest with this statement. If you really do want to help out, but just don’t have the time when the request is made, let the person asking you know that you’d be happy to help out when you can. If possible, give them a specific availability, like tomorrow or next week, when you know you’ll be free. If they need the task done before then, they will find someone else.

3. “I have no experience with this type of task.” This is similar to stating you’re not the best person for the job, but more significant- at least for you. When you take on a task for someone else, you shouldn’t have to learn a whole new skill set just to complete one thing. However, if it’s something you were planning to learn anyway, you might want to take advantage of the opportunity to learn something new.

4. “I know you want to [other person’s objective] but I can’t get away from [other commitment] right now.” This is a polite way to acknowledge the needs of the other person while refusing to overburden yourself. This can also open the opportunity to handle the root issue of the request in a way that is convenient for both of you.

5. “No, but...” If for whatever reason you can’t commit to a request, you can offer an alternative that would be beneficial to the situation. Perhaps you’re unable to perform the specific task requested, but there is another aspect of the project you would be able to help out with. Again, this leaves your options open without making you seem callous or unconcerned with whomever is making a request of you.

Article by:

My Deep Meditation Secrets!
Learn all the magic and power of deep meditation and how to live a balanced life filled with abundance, luck, freedom and love! Read the amazing story of a modern day competitive Athlete and her magical meditation journey!
Tips, ideas and insights on meditation and fitness!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Today in History: Pearl Harbor was Attacked

On this date, in 1941, Japanese aircraft attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. There were many heroic moments that day. One is Dorie Miller, a cook on the USS West Virgina, rushed to the deck and began firing one of the ship's large anti-aircraft guns at planes above. He continued firing till he ran out of his ammo and was ordered to abandon ship. For his heroism, Mr. Miller was rewarded the Naval Cross. As a side note, he was the first African-American to receive this honor.

Visit the following websites for more information. And don't forget your local public library. They have a selection of books, DVDs, videos and audio for you to check out.


Naval Historical Center

Take a Listen to Army Talk Radio Show - 'Everlasting Matrimony'

Tara Cooke, Army Talk Radio Show, speaks with author, Sheryl Kurland about her book, 'Everlasting Matrimony'. Sheryl spoke with couples that were married 50 years or more and included their advice into her book.

Some of her findings that I found enlighting was that living together before marriage doesn't help one stay married. That getting divorced can lower your wealth by 77%.

You don't have to be an army wife to listen and enjoy Tara's show. She covers many topics that are revelant to all of us.

When you access the website, click on Archives and look for the November 27, 2006 show.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Surving the Office Party Tips - Management

Are you planning on attending your spouse's office party? Before you head out the door,it's not a bad idea to brush up on the office party etiquette and do and don't tips so that you have a great time. Visit Management website for more information.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Time Out for Coffee - Making Our Marriage a Priority

Recently, my husband took me out for coffee at 'The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf' after his work. We like to purchase our coffees and find a comfortable spot to sit. Sometimes we play Yahtzee or cards. Other times we discuss our day, politics or just gossip.

Our time out reminds me of our dates. He would call me up and invite me out for a drink or coffee. Remembering those times always brings a smile to this lady's face.

One of our rules is not to talk about our son. Sometimes it's difficult because he works two jobs and this can be the only time we have. But, we do very well at sticking to our rule.

It's SO important to have some time just for you, as a couple. Even though our son is now 14 years old it still can be tricky. Don't forget that you started out with just the two of you. Put your marriage in the front seat, it deserves to be there.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Read Comments Regarding the Dr. Phil Homeschool Show

The homeschooler blogs and message boards are on fire regarding the recent
airing of Dr. Phil show regarding homeschool families. Apparently, it wasn't
a positive take.

Please feel free to post your comments regarding the show, especially if
you saw it.

As always, have an enjoyable day!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Take a Listen to This Week's Army Talk Radio Show - Maintaining a Marriage

I recently added the icon for 'Army Wife Talk Radio Show' to my Blogs. Even though I'm not a military wife I enjoy listening to the show. Tara discusses issues that important to those spouses that have a love one on deployment. She also discusses issues that are important to all of us. Such topics as depression, communications in relationships, parenting have been discussed.

As a former Air Force brat and married to a former Navy guy I know that military life brings unique concerns. I want to support this show. I appreciate the sacrifice of the military and their families.

Please let your military friends and family know about this great weekly show. Also, visit the website. It has so much information, as well as ways you can support the show and our military. You can click on Moms Radio Network icon to link to the show.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Subscribe to the WC Mini Mag - It's Free!

Are you still not subscribing to The WC Mini Mag yet? Why not, it's free, arrives in your mailbox bi-monthly and is jammed full of articles for work at home moms or those who want to be. It's brought to you by Work at Home Moms Talk Radio.

October 2006 issue featured an insightful article by Lynette Chandler, '31 Quick Blogging Ideas'. After reading her article you'll never again say "I have no idea what to blog about."

I actually keep my issues for future reference. They're small and can be kept in my filing cabinet. So, no more excuses ladies. Click here to sign up.

National Cake Day - Diabetics Can Eat Cake!

Here's a sweet treat for diabetics and their families....cake! Yes, you can still eat cake. Just click on the link for the recipes. Enjoy!

Diabetic Carrot Cake

Diabetic Cake Recipe

Fresh Peach Cake

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Organizing Your Home Office and Paperwork by Stephanine Davies

My latest organizing project is purging my paperwork, creating new files and organizing my home office area. This woman is on a mission with trash bin, shredder and my DymoLabelMaker!

Organizing Your Home Office and Paperwork By: Stephanie Davies

Organizing your home office can truly be a hair raising task! By home office, I mean any area of your house which you pay bills in, write notes, send cards, store paperwork, etc. Some people are lucky to have a separate room for this purpose, and others section off an area in a room with perhaps just a desk. Either way, this article will deal with organizing this area of your life.

When organizing your home office, the first and foremost priority is going to be all that paperwork. The worst thing that has happened to me is when looking for a bill, a phone number, or important information...I just can't find it! Even though I know that it HAS to be in there....somewhere.

There are several different ways to organize your important bills, paperwork, and documents. I suggest you choose the one that best fits your budget and your lifestyle.

The first method is perhaps the easiest method. I call it the file-away billboard method. First you will need to get your hands on a filing cabinet. What size depends on the amount on paperwork you intend to store - I myself have a 4 drawer metal cabinet since I have a large amount of papers that need to be kept straightened out. Next, label the drawers. If you have a 2 drawer you may wish to simply label the top drawer "bills" and the bottom drawer "documents". If you have a 4 drawer, you can include "extremely important" and "misc." to the list. If possible make sure the cabinet drawers support hanging folders, if not, then you can cheaply purchase a hanging file folder "frame" to support those. Next purchase at least one box of hanging file folders. Label each folder as specifically as you can. Here are some suggestions:


- Unpaid Bills (put each bill you get in the mail in this folder so you will know exactly what needs to be paid. Put each bill in its own folder as soon as you pay it, and write on the stub when it was paid and the check number. That way you can look back for easy reference if you need to. - Cable Bill/Paid - Water Bill/Paid - Electric Bill/Paid - Mortgage Bill/Paid - Telephone/Paid - Child Care/Paid - Columbia House/Paid - Misc./Paid (this one is for those once only bills that won't get enough to have their own folder)


Note: Those marked with an * are those which could be filed in "important" if you had an extra drawer. - House papers* (to keep all the mortgage or lease papers together) - Medical Insurance* (you can keep separate insurance files for each covered family member) - Receipts* - Warranties* - Recipes - Useful URLs - Car/Auto Documents* (loan agreements, titles, maintenance records can be kept here) - Misc Important* (for those that wouldn't fit a specific category) - Bank Statements* - Computer Papers/Instructions

Of course you can make any folders to whatever applies to you. I find this to be the easiest and fastest way to get organized with paperwork, if not the least expensive. I also recommend buying a medium to large size bulletin board and putting all of the most important things on there that you always forget you have. Things like important phone number, coupons, reminders, and more can go there easily. It is also a great place to hang children's artwork if you have small children.

The next method is a little less efficient, but can work wonders for those on a tight budget. First get several medium to small size boxes that have separate lids, and either get several yards of fabric, or you can even use old clothes with interesting patterns. Get a hold of some fabric glue (the best kind to use is the spray kind). Then cut the fabric to cover the outside of the box, and also the lid. Glue the fabric to the boxes securely, and let dry. Then using 3X5 cards, label each box as needed.



I have created several very pretty floral boxes using this method, and you can even add pictures of loved ones, pictures cut from magazines, sequins, or anything else you can think of. The stack the boxes, and add papers to their respective boxes as needed. Simple and effective!

Another good thing to use when organizing your papers are folders, as in the kind kids use in school, with a pocket on each side. They come in many different styles, and can be useful in keeping together slips of information, and things you need to put away but do not yet have the time. I personally always keep a plastic tray on my desk for "papers that need to be put away", either in boxes or file cabinet drawers, so that I can put them a way when I have a spare moment, yet they won't get lost.

It is always good to keep several plain boxes in your basement or storage area, and label them by year (i.e. "1997" "1998" "1999" "2000",ect.), and at the end of each year, go through where you keep your paid bills and receipts, and place every each in the box for the prior year. That way your box or file cabinet won't get stuffed full, and yet you will have these items on hand in case of an audit or other dispute.

I hope these home office tips help you, and it is always best to think of your home office just as you would a business office. Pretend you are the secretary keeping things in place to run a business, and you will never go wrong.

Article by:

Stephanie Davies is a 27 year old Missourian with 10 years of internet experience, a loving husband and a zoo which includes 3 cats, 6 sugar gliders, 3 snakes, a ferret and a fish named #3 (#1 and #2 went to the great fishbowl in the sky). She currently owns and operates her own business, Mystickal Incense & More, which sells handmade candles, incense, bath & body products and other handcrafted products at

Friday, November 24, 2006

Make Affordable Holiday Gift Baskets by Nicole Dean

When it come to creating an affordable gift basket I need a lot of help. Thanks to Nicole Dean ideas we can create affordable and appealing gift baskets.

Make Affordable Holiday Gift Baskets By: Nicole Dean

Gift baskets are a great gift for families. You can make your own Holiday Gift Baskets inexpensively and easily using some of the ideas below.

Start with a basket or container. Throughout the year, watch for inexpensive baskets wherever you go. I find great baskets of all shapes and sizes at dollar stores. However, you aren’t limited by baskets. Use anything from a popcorn tin to a beach pail filled with goodies for an inexpensive gift.

There are a zillion themes to choose from and they're very fun to make. Here are just a few ideas, but the possibilities are endless.

Family Movie Night Basket:
Fill a basket with classic movie theater snacks, like Junior Mints and Raisinettes. Include a few family-friendly DVDs. Don't forget the microwaveable popcorn.

Sunday Morning Basket:
Fill a basket with gourmet coffee and tea, muffin mix, pancake mix and syrup, jellies and jams and other yummy breakfast treats. Line the basket with the funnies from the newspaper. Include coloring books and crayons to keep the kids busy while Mom and Dad fix breakfast.

Making Memories Gift Basket:
This is a great gift for scrapbookers. Include the basics of what they'll need to create a family memory book - an album, papers and embellishments, markers, a glue stick. Include a disposable camera for each child in the family in the basket so that their memories in the making can be captured through their eyes. You can even include a few photos of the family that you already have to help them get started.

The holidays do not need to cost a fortune. You can give thoughtful Holiday Gift Baskets to family and friends to show you care.

Article by:

Nicole Dean is the mostly-sane mom and owner of – a fun and informative site to help moms achieve success working from home. She invites you to learn more money-saving tricks at

Holiday Gift Shopping Ideas for Teens

Are you looking for some great holiday gift ideas for tweens and teens? I've gathered a list of resources that have posted gift suggestions, along with some of our teen's favorite online stores. Some of these may already be on your list but you may find some surprises. (I sure did)

Parenting My Teens

Parenting Your Adolescents

Disipline Crosses

Orange County Choppers

Eddie Bauer

'Ignite Your Faith' Christian Teen Magazine

GameTap - Online Game Site

PBTeen - Teen furnishings, backpacks, decor

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving from Berrymorins Bits and Tips

All of these recipes are diabetic approved. Please refer to Mr. Food's Quick & Easy Diabetic Cooking cookbook for the items with an star. Our Thanksgiving menu, this year, is as follows:


Mashed Potatoes* with Turkey Gravy

Whole Wheat Rolls

Mac and Cheese*

Mixed Green Salad

Apple Pie*

Here's wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Wordless Wednesday - Annual Corny Joke Day on Dr. Laura Show!

Need Alittle Help This Thanksgiving? Purchase Your Thanksgiving Planning Guide Today

I don't know about you but being organized during the holidays makes it more enjoyable for you and your family. So stop pulling your hair out today. Stop by Healthy Menu and purchase the Thanksgiving Planning Guide. It's full of planning tips, decorating ideas, healthy recipes, crafts for the kids and shopping list and much more! And get get all of this for just $9.97 per downloadable guide.

Just click on the Thanksgiving icon, on the right of the blog.

I printed mine today, immediately 3 hole punched it and added it to my House Management Book. Now, excuse me but I'm going to kick back and enjoy the stress-free holidays.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Can Homeschoolers Take The Educator's Deduction? - Homeschool CPA

Have you been thinking about taking the Educator's Deduction on your tax return this year? Well, you may want to think twice about not doing it, especially if you do not qualify for the deduction. Please visit Homeschool CPA's blog post for more details on this deduction and other tax information.

Will Your' Homeschool Group Have a Yearbook This Year?

When my mother was visiting us, last fall, I pulled out our son's yearbook from previous year. Her remark was " He has a yearbook?" Then she started looking through it and commented "That's a great idea!" We actually get that and similar comments when we mention that our ISP program has a yearbook.

The first day of school, kids get their pictures taken for student ids. They use those pictures for the class pictures. Through out the year, parents and students take pictures at field trips and activities.

Just because you homeschool doesn't mean that your kids should miss out on this opportunity.

You could have a traditional yearbook made in cooperation of your homeschool support group. Many companies have recognized the fact that homeschoolers want to document their school year. Visit Jostens Yearbook for homeschool yearbooks for details and sample kits.

Some parents and groups make their own yearbook. It can be as simple as a a scrapbook of the year or elaborate as having it printed and given as gifts to family and friends. Visit Katie's Homemade Homeschool Yearbook website for creative ideas.

Whichever method you use to document your school year you'll definitely enjoy looking at your books in years to come!

Monday, November 20, 2006

November 20 is National Military Family Recognition Day

Did you know that National Military Family Recognition Day falls on Monday of Thanksgiving week every year? How appropriate don't you think?

Here are some ways to show your support to a local military family. How about offering your hospitality by inviting them over for dinner, making a batch of cookies and including a card and delivering it, babysitting the little ones so the spouse can take a much needed break, or making a holiday gift basket and presenting it as a family.

This year, our church is delivering 150 turkeys to a local charity. The charity is planning on assembling and presenting food baskets to local Navy and Marine families who's spouses are deployed.

As a former Air Force brat there are many memories of the communities coming together to let us know how much they appreciated us. Now that I'm an adult I really want to give back. So, let's give all military families a standing ovation and a big thank you today.

It's Annual Corny Joke Day on Dr. Laura this Wednesday!

Listen to the Dr. Laura Show this Wednesday, November 22 for the Annual Corny Joke Day, 11am to 3pm PST. Listeners will call in with their funny jokes. Those that really crack up Dr. Laura and her staff will be eligible for prizes.

If you're not comfortable going on the show you can fax in your jokes but you will not be eligible for a prize. Visit the website for more fun details.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Women by Grace Radio Show is Looking for Your Questions

Kelly McCausey and Sandra Jensen, Women By Grace Radio, are looking for your anonymous questions regarding sex and the Christian women for their next show segment. The ladies would like to cover this topic well so here are some of their suggestions for topics: Dealing with sexual abuse, sexual purity, teaching our children about sex, and enjoying sex within marriage. For more details, please visit their website.

You'll also find a link within My Favorite Internet Talk Radio Shows.

'Is Your Spouse Stressed at Work' by Donna Savage

Recently, I found a terrific article, by Donna Savage, at Marriage that I would like to share with you. It's called 'Is Your Spouse Stressed at Work'. She provides helpful information such as that during stressful times we cannot fix everything, sometimes all you can do is provide support by listening and being there. For some of us, just being quiet and listening is a very difficult task.

You'll also read about adjusting your expectations during this time, creating a calm and relaxing homefront and much more.

I like what she had to say about making the choice to either sulk in the corner or give your spouse tender kisses. Who wouldn't have more fun with the latter?

Saturday, November 18, 2006

One Dish Chicken and Vegetables

Since our family is now following a low fat diet doesn't mean that we are forgoing flavor. Here's a comfort chicken and vegetable recipe that you'll find they'll enjoy. Experiment with the variety of vegetables. Originally the recipe didn't call for sweet potatoes but my family loves them.

While chicken thighs are not as low fat as chicken breasts, they are perfect for the Dutch oven. Be sure to choose skinless chicken thighs and trim any excess fat before cooking. Make sure to clean your vegetables before assembling your dish. Clean your cutting board, knife and hands before chopping your next vegetables.

1 medium white onion, chopped
1 acorn squash, chopped
1 handful of green beans, ends trimmed
1 8-ounce pack sliced mushrooms
1 sweet potato, chopped
2 medium red potatoes cut into chunks
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
crushed black pepper and salt
1/2 tsp fresh thyme
1 small sprig rosemary or equivalent of dried rosemary

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat bottom, sides, and top of lid of a large Dutch oven with nonstick cooking spray. Place vegetables in the pot. Trim chicken thighs of excess fat and cut into pieces. Add chicken to the pot, followed by herbs, kosher salt and pepper. Cook for 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

'Naomi's New Hope' - TV Show on Hallmark Channel

Originally posted in January 2005 on this blog, during this busy holiday season set some time aside to renew and refresh with 'Naomi's New Hope'.

I'm a big believer in alternative treatments. With mediation, pray, imagine therapy and more, I am able to face my day with a positive attitude. My pain doesn't manage me, I can manage my pain.

I also love Naomi Judd's approach to her chronic condition and life. Hallmark Channel has blessed us with 'Naomi's New Hope'. This show is on Sunday mornings with repeats during the week. Naomi will have friends and special guests, discussing faith, values and spirituality and alternative approaches to treating illness.

As I approach today, one quote that Ms. Judd made will stay with me today. "Solitude is a refreshment for the soul." I plan on spending some time mediating. It really helps me face the rest of my day. I can actually feel the stress and anxiety wash off of me.

So, take some time for you, a cup of decaffinated tea or coffee and get aquainted with Naomi Judd. I'll be viewing right there with you.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Take a Listen to CWAHM Talk Radio Show

Jill Hart, CWAHM Talk Radio Show host, speaks with Lee Warren, author of 'The Experience of Christmas'. They discuss his career and this latest book. Don't forget to enter for your chance to win a free copy of 'The Experience of Christmas'.

You'll also hear Brenda Nixon, parenting expert, and Success from Home segment from Diana Ennen.

As always, you can listen at your convenience, 24/7 and even download to your MP3 Player. Enjoy the show!

The Accomplishment Journal by Katie Kolodzy

During these busy holidays please take some time out for someone important. You!

***Thank you to my mother-in-law, Terry, for the inspiration for this article.***

When the house looks like it’s exploded and the children seem to be picking fights all day, I find myself thinking and sighing, “I never get anything done” and I could really use a pat on the back. Do you need a little encouragement at moments like this? Well take a couple of minutes right now to find out how to have an uplifting journal ready for the low times in your day.

I call it an Accomplishment Journal
It’s the answer to the question, “What do you do all day?” It’s a pick-me-up on a bad day. It’s a list of many goals that you’ve attained in the course of your daily life. And, when you’re old & gray and your grown grandchildren want to know when you made that quilt for their mom, you can pull it out & give them a precise answer, even if your memory fails you.

What kind of things do you record in an Accomplishment Journal?
Think of all the ordinary things you do that add up to a lot of time & effort; things that you’re proud of doing; things that you love to do, though they may seem daunting at the time. Let me give you some examples…

Finished Crafts or Projects: Making a scrapbook, Sewing curtains for the dining room, Taking up a new craft & completing your first project; Things that you made & gave as holiday gifts or birthday presents (also handy for remembering not to give the same thing next year!); Redecorating a room or other home improvement projects; List what your garden yielded after a summer of hard work.

Family Events & Personal Accomplishments: Planning (& enjoying) a family vacation; Record the titles & authors of books that you read, or books that you read to your children; Successfully funding your rainy-day savings account; Meeting your goals for exercise or weight loss; Growing your work-at-home business; List how you’ve volunteered in your community each month.

How to Begin?
All you need is a simple journal and a pen. If you’re going to buy a new journal, find one that has a sewn binding & a durable cover – fabric is better than cardboard; leather is best of all, though pricey (but I’m sure you can find a good deal!)

The Simple Layout
Take minute to write your name & today’s date on the first page; when the book is full, you can add an end date! On the next page, write the current year at the top & this month below it. Now, next time you do something that fits your criteria for an “accomplishment”, grab that pen & write it down. At the end of the month, just skip a line & write next month’s name to begin a new list. At the end of the year, begin a whole new page.

Use it Often!
You need to have this book on-hand for the bad moments, as well as to remember to record your successes when they happen. I would suggest you keep it either in a prominent place in the kitchen (near the phone, or perhaps right on the counter) or on an easily accessible shelf in the family room. If a lot of your accomplishments will be craft projects, then keep the book near where you work on these things.

The most important thing is that you record what you do because, someday, you’ll look back at the book & remember that although you felt so busy or rushed (or even frazzled!) you really did do a lot of things that made a difference to you & your family.

Article by:

Katie Kolodzy is a wife & mother of a growing family and co-owner of - Traditional Homes with Traditional Values. Nurtured Home features homemaking and gentle mothering articles and tips! For our latest information on creating a nurtured home for your entire family, sign up for our newsletter, "Nurtured News" at

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Our Book Recommendation: 'Life Lists for Teens' by Pamela Espeland

Our teen just recently read this book and gave it his high recommendations.

I originally read a review of 'Life Lists for Teens' by Pamela Espeland on Parenting Adolences newsletter. The book received high marks. Despite the fact that this book's audience is teenagers I decided that I would like to read it.

This book is a series of tips, steps and how-to's to growing up, learning and having fun. Some of my favorite lists were 9 Reasons to Go to Church, Mosque, Temple or Meetings, The 6 Pillars of Character, 10 Ways to Learn New Words and 10 Reasons for Not Getting a Tatoo or Body Piercing.

I not only recommend giving this book to your teen but for parents to read it too. They should have renamed the book, 'Life Lists for Teens and Parents'. By the way, I actually finished it one afternoon. And yes, I did enjoy it, as I learned and was entertained.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Book Recommendation: 'Ma Dear's Aprons' by Patricia C. McKissack

I originally posted this book recommendation in my other blog, 'Marcus and Me' at

There's just something about aprons that leaves many of us with warm, loving feelings and memories of the person who wore them. You'll find this and more in a beautiful book called 'Ma Dear's Aprons' by Patricia C. McKissack. The main character, David Earl, a young African American boy and his mother Ma Dear, have very little money but lots of love and caring. David fondly comments about how Ma Dear wears a different apron everyday and the various jobs that she does during the week. The illustrations are vivid and bright.

This is a fantastic book for the whole family. The message that I was left with was that our lives' goal should be about family, love and caring. Here's a very poor family that has so much. Consider sharing this book with your family after your Thanksgiving dinner. Perhaps it will become a family tradition.

Today is National Clean Out Your Refridgerator Day

Well now we don't have any more excuses. It's National Clean Out Your Refridgerator Day. So grab your rubber gloves, baking soda, sponge, cleaning cloths and some hot water and start cleaning.

Cleaning the Refrigerator Tips

Wordless Wednesday - We Miss You Ed Bradley

Passed away on November 10, 2006.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Looking for Entry-Level Virtual Customer Service Postions? Stop by The Telecommuting

If you've ever stopped by Telecommuting you know that Nell Taliercio, The Telecommuting Lady, provides tons of information. One of the most common questions, at her message board is 'Where do I start?' Well, Nell has complied a list of some of the best Virtual Customer Service companies, their pay rates and other helpful details at The Telecommuting

And the best part, this information is free. So if you're considering working from home in the virutal customer service world consider making your first stop by Telecommuting Happy Job Searching.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Rona's Recommended Weekly Blog: turkey feathers

While visiting turkey feathers it's like taking a peek into a beautiful home. The pink, blue and white colors on this blog give you a warm comforting feel. You'll read about turkey feathers' current recipes, crafts and everyday activities. Don't leave without reading and view the pictures of Le Petite Patisserie, a confectionary store dollhouse. It's definite work of art. Who needs to have a subscription to 'Martha Stewart Living' magazine when there's turkey feathers.

So grab a cup of coffee in your favorite dainty cup and stop by for a visit.

Thankfulness in Times of Trouble by Rose DesRochers

Thanksgiving is a time for food celebration and fun. Every year on Thanksgiving, families gather around the table to enjoy a meal and give thanks. But for some folks, Thanksgiving can be a lonely time. Many adults spend the holidays feeling isolated and depressed. In the wake of Katrina’s aftermath, this will be the first holiday for many without relatives and friends. In addition many families may be experiencing financial strains.

Today as we celebrate this Thanksgiving, it is important to remember that it’s about more than being thankful for one day, it is an entire lifetime. Today is the day to be thankful for all the things in your life, no matter how big they are, or how small. Even in our deepest sorrow, we can find things to be thankful for.

Holidays bring out emotional pain. This time of year can be difficult for any one who has suffered a loss. Should you be missing loved ones this holiday, rejoice in the knowledge that they are with God. Don’t push yourself today; allow yourself that time to grieve.

For those who may be feeling depressed this Thanksgiving holiday, open your heart to giving. Helping other people in need is a wonderful way to celebrate the day and may make you feel less alone. Check out communities in your area that may need volunteers during the holidays- example soup kitchens, shelters, hospitals or reach out to your local church.

Life is full of unexpected changes. Death is very much apart of life. Whatever you do today, don’t cover up your feelings of depression and isolation. Own up to those feelings and know that you’re not alone. Somewhere today, someone is feeling the same way that you are.

Today on this Thanksgiving Day please remember, though the harvest might not always be plentiful, family and friends may be few, God has given us each a great deal to be thankful for. My experience is that, it is much easier to thank God for our blessing than to find a way to be thankful in the midst of our troubles.

I'm thankful that I have the strength to meet the challenges that come with life. I’m thankful for each memory that family and friends have given me. I’m thankful for having a profound understanding that it is more important to give than to receive. This Thanksgiving I have much to be thankful for.

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving. ~W.T. Purkiser

Today be thankful for what you have to give, not just what you have received.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Article by:

Rose DesRochers is a published poet and freelance writer. Rose has been writing poetry for more than 20 years. She is also the founder of , a supportive online writing community for men and women over 18. She is also the Assistant Administrator of

Sunday, November 12, 2006

'Aprons for Adoption' - Purchase with a Cause

When you purchase a handmade apron from 'Aprons for Adoption' you'll be contributing to help Aaron and Casey Klein with their dream of starting a family through adoption. The aprons are made by Casey and very affordable at $12.95 plus $2 shipping charges. These will make great gifts for family members and friends. I plan on purchasing one for budding chef.

Visit her mother's website, for more information.

Friday, November 10, 2006

We'll Miss You Ed Bradley

I was cleaning our son's room, listening to our local NPR radio station when the news reporter mention that Ed Bradley, '60 Minutes' had died of leukeima. I had no idea that Mr. Bradley was ill. But that was just like him. He was a class act, stylish, a jazz fan, and spoke fluent French.

Ed Bradley was my first major crush while I was in college. I even transferred to Cheney University, PA, for a semester. (I didn't know that he had graduated from there when I applied) I watched '60 Minutes' every Sunday faithfully. When he visited my hometown for a story I actually was able to meet him. He was an eloquent man.

You can read more about Ed Bradley at

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Save Money with Online Ink Cartridges by Anna Josephs

We do purchase our ink cartridges online. Why? In many situations it's less expensive then the retail stores.

Save Money with Online Ink Cartridges By: Anna Josephs

Are you in need of ink cartridges? Think about purchasing it online. It is easy and saves over expensive manufacturer’s brands. Numbers of online ink cartridges sites have compatible inkjet cartridges print perfect just like name brand. Ink refill or purchasing inkjet cartridges online has become very easy and flexible for busy office.

The purchasing part is easy. However, but sometimes deciding on which type of ink cartridge to buy can be confusing. Generally in market we find three basic types of ink cartridges for printer. They are OEM cartridges, compatible ink cartridges and remanufactured cartridges.

Among all the cartridges the best cartridges that you can find in terms of quality are the OEM brand name ink cartridges because they are made to perform optimally with a specific printer. That is why OEM brands are comparatively expensive then brands.
When it comes to purchasing online you will find a lot of what sold on the internet and relatively at very low prices and compared to the shop. So purchasing ink cartridges online can be a very good deal.

What is your requirement first thing and secondly it is very important to decide what you are buying in advance. It is you who will decide what is required for your printer. Number of online site also provides you ink refill kits that make it possible to refill an ink cartridge.

Online is the best way to purchase ink cartridges or to get refill it with minimum rates as compared to market rates. Many online sites also provides you home delivery if one if buying in bulk and also after sales service. If there is any problem then you don’t have to go anywhere else. Just call them and inform about the problem that you have with your ink cartridges. They will inkjet or toner cartridge, by definition, is a cartridge which has been serviced, cleaned, refilled with toner or ink and if required few component parts repaired or replaced.

Article by:

Anna Josephs is a freelance editor having experience of many years in writing articles and news releases on various topics related to health, automobile and social issues. Currently, she is working on To get more details on Refilling Cartridge, please visit . Please feel free to write feedback on this article. Anna Josephs can be contacted at

This article is available for reprint with author's resource box intact and all links live and clickable. Copyright is reserved by author.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

November 8 is Parents are Teachers Day!

Give yourself a big hug and pat on the back today for the fantastic job that you do.

Believe me our kids are watching and learning from us everyday. Our son makes me so proud! Recently he was watching a program about celebrity moms. When he observed that many or most had nannies he said, "Man, does that stink! I would want to have my parents raising me. Mom, I won't do that when I have kids." Out of the mouth of babes!

Wordless Wednesday - Hubby and Me at Sea World Homeschooler Days

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day - Get Out and Vote!

In the state of California, we have several important Props that will be decided. I wanted to get more information so during my Internet search I found Easy Voter Guide. You'll find the voter's guide available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese. The guide is downloadable and can be printed.

You can also find your local poll place. There's links to the official Secretary of State voter's guide, campaign finance reports and

Remember to vote!

Monday, November 06, 2006

I Love Nachos Day! Yummy Treat for the Whole Family

Here's a few delicious and filling nacho recipes that the whole family can enjoy. They're also diabetic approved. As always remember to watch your portions.

Chicken Nachos

Fiesta Nachos

Loaded Nachos

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Telecommuting Customer Service Reps Tip: Listen to Your Voice

When I was working on the outside, in customer service, one of our training tools was monitoring calls. A sample of calls are recorded, listening to and given feedback. This is a very helpful way to improve your stats. Now that I monitored calls on a contract basis, I cannot tell you how many people that talk too fast, not loud enough or clearly. It's a distract to the customer, resulting in low sales and scores. But it can be improved.

Since we work for ourselves could I suggest talking into a recorder and having your partner or teenager and yourself 'grade' a few calls each week. Or have the person listen to you while you're taking calls. They and you should be listening for tone, pace and clarity. And be honest. This process is a helpful tool.

One of the ways I was able to slow down was by becoming a Readers Helper at our local school. By reading books to small kids, I had to slow down, articulate my words and watch my pitch. Even accentuate a word or words to create excitement will be helpful. Remember, your voice is 'the face'.

I still use the monitoring techinque. A funny note: My teenager knows 'my phone voice' and 'regular voice' are different. He tells me that it freaks him out. But the kid gives very helpful advice. I also monitor my husband on his calls. His scores have been steadliy increasing and he's pleased with his progress.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Telecommuting Reviews at Telecommuting

Where can you turn to when you need honest, helpful advice on work products and services for telecommuters? Head to Telecommuting Reviews at Telecommuting Nell Tailercio, Telecommuting Answer Lady, has reviews on resume services, job lead sites, books and more. And while you're there don't forget to sign up for her free weekly e-newsletter. You'll read about career advice, telecommuting updates and job leads.

My Contributed Reviews at Telecommuting Reviews:

Customer Service for Dummies 3rd Edition by Karen Leland and Keith Bailey

Telework Recruiting - A Telecommuting Job Lead

Friday, November 03, 2006

November 3 is National Housewife's Day

As the Home CEO I do use many online resources to get the job done. Microsoft Excel helps me balance the family budget. I use our online banking to pay bills. The Internet allows me to do comparision shopping. And I do order our groceries and have them delivery from

My Home Management Binder helps me keep many records, paperwork, cleaning tips and schedules organized. I can refer to my personal library for help on sewing a button, cleaning the windows and the proper temperature for baking a ham.

So, today be proud to be a housewife. Scrub the toilet with pride and a smile on your face. Your job is extremely important to the family. And as our teenage son so elegantly put it, "All moms are working moms".

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