Thursday, January 26, 2012

Take Pressure Off Yourself

Breakfast sandwich – If you or your kids have to eat breakfast on the run, make peanut butter sandwiches. Add raisins for more nutrition.

Fashion pick-me-up – If you need a boost of fashion, but funds are low, choose an accessory that draws the eye. A bright-colored handbag, print scarf, or chunky necklace may be all you need.

Quickie clean – You don’t have to clean your house top-to-bottom every single time you do housework. Buy a couple extra laundry baskets or plastic bins for tossing clutter. Run through the house with a feather duster, vacuum only the high-traffic areas, and squirt cleaning solution on a rag and wipe down visible surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom.

If you're looking for a fun read, I recommend Save the Date by Jenny B. Jones:

Former NFL star Alex Sinclair is a man who has it all--except the votes he needs to win his bid for Congress. Despite their mutual dislike, Alex makes Lucy a proposition: pose as his fiancie in return for the money she desperately needs. Bound to a man who isn't quite what he seems, Lucy will find her heart on the line--and maybe even her life. When God asks Alex and Lucy to scrap their playbook and follow his rules, will they finally say, "I do"?

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Routine and Repurposing

Kitchen staples for healthy meals – Have a variety of cans of beans. When you’re pressed for time, heat the beans, add rice and a green vegetable, and you’ll have a nutritious meal.

Pay bills – Set aside a specific time each month that you sit down and pay all your bills. If your bank offers a bill-pay service, take advantage of it by listing all your bills on the bank’s website.

Double-duty conditioner – When you need to shave your legs, and you discover you’re out of shaving cream, try using cheap hair conditioner instead. You may discover that you prefer the conditioner and nix buying shaving cream in the future.

At the risk of blowing your New Year's resolution diet, I'd like to recommend Always the Baker, Never the Bride by Sandra D. Bricker:

Thirty-six-year-old Emma has been baking specialty cakes and melt-in-your-mouth pastries at Atlanta's Backstreet Bakery for six years. Unfortunately, as a diabetic she never gets to taste her own creations! When she teams up with bad luck-plagued hotel manager Jackson Drake, will their partnership enable them to have their cake and eat it too? 288 pages, softcover from Abingdon.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Keep Things Simple

Simple and nutritious dinner – Get reacquainted with your slow cooker. Dump in your meat, veggies, and sauce, cover, and turn it on low. Dinner will be ready when you get home at the end of a long day, and cleanup will be simple since you’ll only have one pot to wash.

Keep track of busy schedules – Have one large calendar in a central spot in your house and insist that everyone post events and appointments. To make it fun for the kids, use colored pencils and assign each person a color.

Dry clean your hair – If your hair is dirty, and you don’t have time to wash it, sprinkle a little bit of baby powder at the roots, turn your head upside down, fluff it with your fingertips, and brush it out. You’ll be able to go another day before washing it.

After the kids are in bed, and you need to relax, curl up in a comfy chair and enjoy a great book. I'd like to recommend Tea for Two by Trish Perry:

Counselor Tina Milano has been visiting Milly's Tea Shop regularly for the past several months. She has many friends but no steady man in her life. Zack Cooper is a local farmer who provides Milly with fresh fruit and vegetables. As a single parent, Zach is doing his best to raise his teenage son and daughter on his own. When the kids get in minor scrapes with the law, Milly gently encourages Zack and Tina to work together to draw the teens back before their rebellious natures land them in even hotter water. At first Tina sees the relationship in only a professional capacity, but soon her friends notice the luscious scent of romance in the air and decide to help things along.

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Save Time

Quick and nutritious breakfast – Layer 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt sweetened to taste with agave nectar or honey, fresh or frozen berries, nuts, and low-fat, oatmeal granola.

Tips for busy people to manage housework – Clean the house in shorter spurts. Set a timer for 15-30 minutes and get as much done as you can in that time.

Make fashion easy – Line up a week’s worth of outfits, with everything for each day, including accessories, on one hanger.

At the end of a long day, relax with a cup of cocoa and a great book. I'd like to recommend Appalachian Weddings:

West Virginia proves to be the place for the heights of romance in these three inspirational novels. Instead of pursuing her dream, Emily finds herself working part-time with Veterinarian Noah Blake - definitely not the dream job she thought of when she got her degree in art history. Kim struggles with past decisions as two men become equally important in her life. Mandy should be the new manager at the photography studio, but Tony has stolen her job - as well as her heart.

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