Monday, January 31, 2011

Big Snow Is Coming!!!!

Chicago is about to get about 20 inches of snow by Weds!
We Midwesterners are a hardy breed.  We will make it through this.
Here's how you should act before the white stuff starts falling.
(borrowed from another source...can't remember where)

Don't Freak Out

Take a deep breath. It's going to be alright. I promise. We are adults who live in the modern world and this isn't going to kill you. Sure, you might get stuck in your house for a few days because the villages can't get the plows working, but you will survive. Snow happens every winter, and even though the nightly news wants to make it seem like a very scary and newsworthy thing, it's not. Trust me.

Don't Cancel Anything...yet...

Don't cancel anything tonight because it's actually supposed to start snowing tomorrow. We like to pretend like the science of meteorology is more than asking a Magic 8-Ball some questions and making educated guesses. It's not! Just look at the forecast. "Six to 24 inches." That's a lot of leeway. And they can't tell you when it's going to happen, when it's going to start, or when it's going to stop, exactly. Chicago might even get less...or more...  Yes, the weatherman can be wrong. So don't reschedule all your meetings, nix your dinner date, or cancel school just because we've been told it's going to snow. Wait to see what happens. 
This isn't Georgia afterall, where they don't know what to do when they see a bit of frost on their window.

Don't Get Caught Unprepared

That doesn't mean you shouldn't prepare at all. Make arrangements in case the heavy snowfall ends up affecting your life. Take home those files you might need in case you have to work from home the next day. Call your coworker with the SUV and let her know she might need to pick you up if the roads are nasty. Put the babysitter on notice in case you need someone to take care of the kids. Put all your little ducks in a row—just wait before you make your final decisions. All your planning might be unnecessary.

Don't Buy Bread and Toilet Paper, unless you REALLY need it

Since you're preparing, you might want to hit the supermarket for some food, but don't buy toilet paper, bread, and milk. This is what everyone does, like they're stocking a bomb shelter or something. Even if you are trapped in your house, you will be stuck there for a couple of days max, and even then you can trudge out if you really need to. So, what should you stock up on? Junk food, coffee, booze, and a few frozen dinners in case you need some actual nourishment. But milk, bread, and toilet paper? Please. It's not the worst thing if you have to wipe your bum with some Kleenex. But if you run out of Ben and Jerry's? That could be a tragedy!

Don't Wear Something Stupid

Since we're getting ready, let's talk about your outfit for Tuesday/Wednesday. You want it to be warm. And water resistant. And you'll need heavy socks and some boots. But just cause it's snowy is no excuse to look like a mess. If you end up having to go into work or somewhere outside of the house (other than shoveling the sidewalk) you still have to wear something other than sweatpants (or pajamas). Make sure your long underwear is clean and handy and take your time coming up with a layered look that is both warm and appropriate. Don't get lazy and think, "It's snowing, who cares?" because everyone who sees you will be thinking, "Who is that slob in the snow?"

Lastly, unburry the shovels...just because you will wish you had.

Enjoy your potential day off and snuggle with the kids- after sledding and drinking hot chocolate!  Enjoy the excuse to SLOW DOWN!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

6 Ways to take a Mental Vacation

6 Ways to Take a Mental Vacation
(Reposted from one of my e-mail newsletters)

Sometimes you need to get away, but you don’t have the time or money. Don’t despair: A mental vacation can help reduce your stress.

By Diana Rodriguez

Medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH

Small stressors can quickly add up to major stress and one big stressful event can send you reeling, with no idea of how to start addressing it. If you could just get away for a little stress relief, you know you would be okay. But too few of us have the time — or the money — to run off on an impromptu vacation.

Well, you don’t have to spend a dime or go anywhere other than a quiet spot nearby to take a mental vacation.

Stress Relief: Take Off on a Mental Vacation

If you don’t find a way to reduce stress, your health will pay the price, both mentally and physically. It’s not necessary to get a lengthy massage or head to a beach to relax — you can unwind every day in simple ways and still get a major benefit.

"People who are under a lot of stress have physical problems related to constantly being under stress," says Sally R. Connolly, a social worker and therapist at the Couples Clinic of Louisville in Louisville, Ky. "And if you don’t find ways [to relieve it], even in small periods of time, you can have long-term consequences." It’s crucial to add stress relief to your everyday routine, she says.

Connolly suggests learning techniques to reduce stress and trying to sneak in one or two each day. "Even if it’s five minutes in the morning and five minutes at night, just find time to do that," she says.

Stress Relief: Six Quick Mental Trips

Visualizing a stress-free place and other relaxation techniques are quick and easy ways to help your whole body calm down and give you just the boost you need to get on with your day. Connolly suggests these six ways for you to slip away on a mental vacation to reduce stress:

1. Read a book in bed. Connolly says this is a great escape and can leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed, and ready to face whatever is outside your bedroom door. Your bed is warm, cozy, comfortable, and a peaceful place for you. It feels luxurious, and getting lost in a good book is a perfect way to forget, then refocus, your own thoughts.

2. Visualize relaxation. Steal a few quiet moments to close your eyes and think of an image that relaxes you — such as the warm sun on your skin and the sound of the ocean, a big country field sprinkled with flowers, or a trickling stream. Connolly suggests thinking back to a time when you felt peaceful and relaxed, and focus on releasing the tension from your toes to your head.

3. Look at pictures from a happy time. Connolly recommends pulling out snapshots from a photo album of a family vacation or a fun dinner with friends. Reflect on your memories of that occasion, and what made it so enjoyable. Spend a few quiet moments reminiscing, and you’ll find yourself more relaxed.

4. Look out a window. Distract yourself by focusing on something other than what’s stressing you. Grab a steaming cup of coffee or tea, close the door, and take a mental break. Do a little people watching, appreciate any birds within view, or enjoy some fluffy clouds rolling by. Allow yourself to daydream for a few minutes.

5. Listen to a relaxation CD. Invest in a couple of these CDs for a short daily escape, says Connolly. You may like to hear chirping birds, rolling waves, or gentle rain — whatever your choice, closing your eyes and listening to these soothing sounds while doing some deep breathing can help you relax and de-stress.

6. Take a walk. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress because it’s a great escape for your mind. Head out for a quiet early morning walk or lace up your sneakers on your lunch break. Walking along a trail, waterfront, or other peaceful place when possible may offer even more relaxation.

Treat yourself to a 5-, 10-, or 20-minute mental vacation each day and train your body to relax and reduce stress — you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel after taking just a few luxurious moments all to yourself.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Longaberger Spring Premier 2011

Check out some of the newest Spring Longaberger products to "Spuce-up" your home!

Contact me to order or book your February/March show now!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Celebrate Super Bowl XLV!

Host a Super- Super Bowl
Party this year with the
NFL Collection from Longaberger!

With beautiful baskets and serving pieces that are sure to score a touchdown with your football favorites, you will be the MVP of your party. Here's some handy tips to make the day extra special!
•Commemorate the BIG party by having your guests sign your favorite team lid. You’ll remember all the fun for years to come.

•Place ice in the Pittsburgh Steelers Buffet Basket and position a Woven Traditions® Buffet Bowl filled with delicious White Chicken Chili. Serving Made Easy! •The Green Bay Packers Sport Tray is perfect for sharing refreshing beverages or serving snacks like chips, popcorn and pretzels at the BIG party.

•Headed out to watch the game? Prepare your favorite nacho dip in the Woven Traditions 9”x13” Baking Dish and tote it on top of the Pittsburgh Steelers Medium Market Basket. Tuck chips inside the basket.

•Hosting your fellow Cheeseheads? Support your team while serving cheese and crackers on the Green Bay Packers WoodCrafts Cutting Board.

•The Pittsburgh Steelers Small Berry Basket is a hardworking favorite at a great price. Use by itself to hold cocktail napkins, or combine with a Soft Square Small Bowl to offer party-goers candy, mints, or antacids… depending on how much they enjoy the party!

•Looking for halftime entertainment? The Green Bay Packers TV Time™ Basket perfectly organizes party game essentials like a deck of cards, dice and scoring pads.

•Invite husbands over to tailgate and wives for the basket party. Show off the NFL Lineup products by serving snacks and decorating your home in favorite team colors.

For more great Super Bowl Party ideas and recipes, check out this great website!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The BEST Buffalo Wings EVER!

photo from Food Network
I made these Buffalo Wings last year for the Super Bowl and my family has requested them again for the Packers v Bears game tomorrow.
I am happy to oblige. :) 
Try them yourself!  They are simple yet awesomely tasty!
Alton’s Buffalo Wings

• 12 whole chicken wings (about 3 pounds)

• 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter

• 1 small clove garlic, minced

• 1/4 cup hot sauce

• Kosher salt


Place a 6-quart saucepan, with a steamer basket and 1 inch of water in the bottom, over high heat, cover and bring to a boil.

Remove the tips of the wings and discard or save for making stock. Use kitchen shears or a knife to separate the wings at the joint. Place the wings in the steamer basket, cover, reduce the heat to medium and steam 10 minutes. Remove the wings from the basket and carefully pat dry. Lay out the wings on a cooling rack set in a half sheet pan lined with paper towels and place in the refrigerator to dry, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove the paper towels on the pan and replace with parchment paper. Roast on the middle rack of the oven, about 20 minutes. Turn the wings over and cook 20 to 30 more minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and the skin is golden brown.

While the chicken is roasting, melt the butter in a small bowl with the garlic. Pour this along with the hot sauce and 1/2 teaspoon salt into a bowl large enough to hold all of the chicken and stir to combine. Remove the wings from the oven, transfer to the bowl and toss with the sauce. Serve warm.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Chip and Dip Bowl with Salsa!

Get ready for the Super Bowl Now!
Order early to get your team's color...
E-mail me or order yours online here on Weds. January 5th!