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Friday, August 30, 2013

Trash The Takeout Menus and Try These Cooking Tips

Specialty Bakery in North Andover, MAThere are a lot of sayings that surround food. Use the tips presented in this article and you can bring your cooking to new heights. Bake pie crusts a little longer than you think they should be baked. They need to be a golden caramel color instead of pale blonde. This color means that the sugar has caramelized in the crust and will have a crunchy and sweet flavor.

Your spices should be stored in a place that is dark and cool. Using fresh spices will make tastier meals. There are ways to fix your dish and you are able to instantly use it immediately. Mix 1 tablespoon of starch and 2 tablespoons of water. Stir this mixture into your sauce as it simmers and it will make it more thick. Make sure to introduce the mix once your sauce looks better.

Partially frozen meat makes it easier to cut into thin strips. This works especially well for the meat slicing styles typically used in Asian recipes. However, be sure to allow the meat strips to thaw before cooking them, so it cooks evenly.
Cooking processes like boiling can remove nutrients from food. To retain the healthy nutrients, quickly steam or sauté your vegetables, enjoy them in their natural, eat them raw.

Specialty Cake Shop in North Andover, MA 

Many use a good number of apples for baking and cooking throughout fall and winter, but if stored improperly, they will spoil quickly. To keep apples at the peak of perfection, you should keep them in a plastic bag and in a cool temperature. One rotten apple will spoil the bunch so make sure you keep an eye on them while stored.
Are you a fan of using basil? Take a few twigs of the basil and place it in a glass. Add some water until the stems. Put it on top of your counter and it will remain fresh for weeks! The basil can actually grow roots if you keep the water regularly. Trim or cut the basil once in a while so it grows even more and you will be able to enjoy fresh basil!
Fresh ingredients can really enhance the flavor of your meal, and can help bring a lot of flavor out of your dish.
Garlic is among the multitude of many tasty ingredients that offers flavor has a downside; it transfers to your hands and fingers. Try rubbing your hands on stainless steel sink after you work with the garlic or other potent ingredients. This will clean your hand and keep the smells from permeating whatever food you handle next.
Plan to make a large batch so you can be frozen and used later. Good homemade chicken stock is a wonderful base in soups, stews, stews and other dishes.
Add chicken broth to your pan when you cook them. Chicken broth is a great way to add flavor to vegetables and prevents them from sticking to your pan.
Food is a building block of life, and has profound effects on the body. Apply the advice you learned and wow the people you love!

~o~
Call us today at (978) 620-0636 to order a gift card for someone you love from our specialty cake shop. We proudly serve
North Andover, Andover, Georgetown, Windham, North Reading, Tewksbury, Chelmsford, Carlisle, Concord, and Westford.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Years of Building Priceless Experiences and Joyful Bliss :)

Eleven years ago, when I first met you..... it was not love at first sight, but it was a love that grew strongly in 2 years.
Nine years ago, when we finally said our "I do's". After a simple ceremony and thanksgiving dinner, you and I, just you and I, were happily counting the stars in the sky! That was the most wonderful gift I received on my wedding day, just "you and I" and the stars in the sky. We started with a few stars, but slowly, as we looked deeper into the sky, we saw more stars twinkling, and rejoicing with us.
( and I know, it took us nine years after counting the stars together to learn how to photograph our galaxy with the starry filled sky, haha!)

Sunset

Sunset, taken from La Jolla Shores Scripps Institution of Oceanography
San Diego, CA

How to get here:

1. Park at Kellog Park in La Jolla Shores ( directly in front of La Jolla Shores Beach)
2. Walk North, past the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Pier.
3. The pictures above were taken at the tidepool area. 

Aside from watching the world go by, the beautiful sunset, at low tide, this area has a rich tidepool, which provides an exciting window to the life at sea.

Mobile Medical Units


In today’s weak economy, people are making sure that every penny they have is maximized. With rising costs in the healthcare industry including medical equipment, imaging centers and hospitals are saving money by opting to upgrade their existing equipment versus buying new equipment.

One example for saving money on imaging equipment is by investing money in mobile MRI units. These units consume less power and cost a lot less money than a fixed unit. Mobile medical units from LifelineMobile.com can do a great job providing reliable diagnostic images just as good as a fixed unit.

The mobile MRI units are as good as the fixed units, but because they are so much smaller, they are movable from one hospital to another or used in emergency rooms for patients in need of diagnostic imaging fast. These units can be carried into rural areas to service small medical offices and remote hospitals.

Because the mobile MRI units are easily transported, it is possible to rent or lease the MRI machines. If a hospital is repairing their MRI unit or trying to renovate rooms, the mobile MRI unit can be used to serve the patients in need of an MRI scan.

To save even more money, a hospital might choose to buy a used mobile MRI unit. This is a lot smarter than leasing the equipment if it is needed for a long time. When MRI equipment is restored, it is restored to the original condition.

This is a very flexible piece of diagnostic imaging equipment that is necessary for hospitals and health establishments.

Life at The Sea

Some Sea Life Photos I took here in San Diego
Top- playful dolphin
Bottom left- whale's tail
Bottom right- group of sea stars
framed using instaframe apps

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

What is Mesotherapy and What are the Benefits?

Mesotherapy was introduced into the United States near the end of the twentieth century. The treatment had originally been developed in France as long ago as the 1950's, and it had already been recognized by French doctors as a traditional medical technique by the 1980's. 


What is Mesotherapy?

It is considered a minimally-invasive and generally safe technique. It might be an effective treatment for people who do not want to resort to more invasive or dramatic treatments like surgery. It is generally used as a cosmetic treatment. While it is cheaper than surgery, it is also not likely to be covered by your health insurance plan.
The advantage of this technique is that it can target specific problem areas very well. If a woman would like to relieve cellulite on her thighs or a man would like to target wrinkles in his neck, this treatment might be suggested. You might think of it as using a delicate touch rather than a hammer to provide certain types of treatment.
Mesotherapy might be thought of like an injection that sends tiny bullets of medication to certain problem areas of the body. These injections might consist or traditional medicine, homeopathic treatments, anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. The type of injection used will depend upon the problem that is being treated at the moment. Doctors select the right medication or nutrient for different problems.
What does Mesotherapy treat? It is very commonly associated with weight loss or cellulite removal. It might also help with anti-aging and eliminating stubborn fat deposits. Because it sends concentration nutrients or medication to specific areas, it may be very effective.
It is also not as invasive as surgery for these problems. It is simply performed with very short and thin needles. Bruising is usually minimal and disappears after a few days.


Side Effects

Side effects are usually minimal. There could be a slight burning feeling that lasts a few minutes. Some sensitivity could last for a few days. Patients may also experience swelling for a few days. Side effects are generally much milder than those associated with more invasive techniques.
After the side effects disappear, the patient should be able to enjoy an improvement. This improvement might include the minimization of fat or cellulite.
This is actually a medical specialty. It is only administered by medical doctors who have special training in this procedure. You will not get these injections at a beauty salon or health spa, unless that facility employes a specially trained doctor. Do not take this treatment from any non-doctor who offers it.
Have you considered this type of treatment for stubborn fat, ugly cellulite, or even wrinkles? It is generally quicker and less invasive than surgery. It is only performed by specially trained medical doctors, and it has been medically tested for over half of a century all over the world.
If you are interested in considering this alternative remedy, you can look for a trained practitioner. They have offices in most major US cities.

About The Guest Author:
N/A

Looking Back

In my previous post, Blogging Happiness, I shared how my blogging has transformed from simply sharing the priceless happiness I find in hiking and being with nature into gaining really wonderful and extra caring friends, gaining more knowledge from reading relevant sites, and also, gaining extra income.
Being a reflective person, I love looking back sometimes to learn from the steps I made before. Now, as I was looking back to some of my first posts in The Joys of Simple Life, my post on "Change" brought me smiles :) Back then, I was very new to blogger, and was still contemplating which web hosting should I use for my site. Having little knowledge about web hosting directory, I had to ask the sound advise of some blogging friends about their thoughts on best blog hosting.
Reading my post about "Change" where I compared my move from my freely hosted blog to my own new site to these two pictures:
Can you see the difference between these two pictures?
 I likened my move before from a freely hosted site to building my own blog site to the two pictures above: they are the same cactus flower, the same bees, yet, the bees were just in different directions. In the top picture, the two bees were facing each other, and the in the bottom picture, they turned away from each other. To get the most out of everything the two bees had to face CHANGE, even though it meant they will have to back away, move to another flower, all for the BEST. They have to pursue change for their best, for the flowers' best, and for the world's best! I moved away from my comfort zone in my old home to a new territory, to give way to a new home that allowed me to expand my wings. 
Now, 3 years later, I am so glad I made that change in my life, no regrets. 


Socializing In Exercise

Human beings need to socialize.  It is natural for them to express their thoughts and feelings to others and to listen to those talking to them. Socialization refers to the lifelong process of taking in and spreading out norms, ideologies, and customs offering a person with the habits and skills necessary for engaging himself within the society.  Socializing is also an exercise in itself.  Exercise improves both physical and social health.

Starting
It is important to make sure that the exercise habit includes a social element.  Don’t just go to the gym, work out, leave and not talk to anyone. Instead, put social interactions into some of your weekly exercise routines. Take for instance, when you are in one of the Chiswick gyms in London, meeting people is an opportunity of a lifetime. These gyms take in guests and members who belong to the affluent. Why not start communicating? Before long you shall have developed friendship and connections.
Smiling is a great way to initiate a conversation and connect with people. It gives your whole being a positive aura. People get to notice this and will take you in a group faster.  It is said that it takes only a few muscles to smile but it takes more to be frowning.  Smiling can work to counteract the effects of stress. By training ourselves to smile, we teach our body into believing that everything is good, thereby reducing stress. Smiling can actually change your mood at present and your attitude as a whole in the near future. So, what a good way to start; put on a smile and pretty soon you'll be smiling every day of your life.

Follow Up
A healthy lifestyle takes more than treadmills in gyms and feeding on salads. There are many other activities that are pleasurable and fun which at the same time will enhance social skills.  By understanding how these activities can help you socialize better and live longer, will take you to living a happy life.
Let us refresh ourselves on the types of physical exercises depending on their overall effect on the human body: flexibility exercises, such as stretching, moving the head and shoulders, bending, rotating the toes, feet, arms, waist and hips.  These daily activities improve the range of motion of muscles and joints.  Aerobic exercises, such as walking, running, swimming, cycling, rowing, or playing skipping rope, tennis, or badminton.  These sports focus on increasing cardiovascular endurance. Finally, the anaerobic exercises include functional, weight, or eccentric training, sprinting, and high-intensity interval training. These increase short-term muscle strength.

Maintain
Airing out individual views on certain issues are common among people especially when they come together in places of exercise. The informality provides them more freedom to be expressive of their opinions. These issues can range from the broad topics of politics, economics, and health to the more specifics like celebrities or their friends and neighbors. They tend to influence each other/s views that later become an acceptable outlook or normal value to have within a society.

About the Guest Author:
N/A

Monday, August 26, 2013

City To Outdoors: The Hybrid Look

The Hybrid Look
Summer break is now over, it's now back to work for me, but no sad face since it does not mean that summer fun ends. :) Living in San Diego with an idyllic quality of life ( though residents pay for its high price dearly ), we do have to make the most of what we are paying higher for: a balance of city and nature's beauty. Thus, because the day is still long, after work, we still can enjoy hiking and the ocean. San Diego's unparalleled accessibility to nature and the great outdoors is the reason behind the "hybrid" look. One colleague before told me, that the "hybrid look" is the "San Diego fashion" statement. 
with jeans folded up to avoid getting wet for more fun shooting and exploring

What is a hybrid look? It is very typical of San Diego, something that could cross between work in the city and the outdoors. The messenger bag that you see in the first picture above, is taken from the work bag ( ladies bag) and simply transferred to backpack ( it's now put inside the backpack in the above picture). All essential things are placed in the messenger bag, allowing for a quick change of bag to cross from city to outdoors. 

The dark blue jeans is very common here because it does not look too rugged at work, nor does not look too formal at the trails, or on the sand. Also, the dark blue jeans won't look odd when you change shoes after work, from a more dressy comfortable shoes to a hiking shoes. In short, the key gear for the hybrid look is the dark jeans and a comfortable blouse that could cross city to outdoors. 

Anyway, here's why we love enjoying outdoors after a day's work. I will let pictures speak from here.
Reflected Cliffs ( can you see hikers on top of the bluffs?)

Cabins at Beaver Bend

When you find Beavers Bend cabins at BrokenBowLakeCabins.com and rent them out for a week of vacation, the next step in the process is planning out what you need to bring with you. Remember that this is going to be a relaxing vacation that gets you out of your normal, daily grind and really helps you see the benefits of living a simple life. Just a week in a cabin, without television or Internet, can make a huge difference. If the cabin comes with those amenities, you may even want to turn them off.

While packing, check to see what the cabin is already going to have for you. There is nothing better than a hot cup of coffee in the morning, especially when you sit on the porch and look out over the water. Does the cabin already have coffee? Even if it does, do you want to bring your favorite flavor along, rather than using regular? You need to bring all of your own food, but some little things, like coffee, will often be provided.

You should also think about bringing along entertainment options that will be a bit more low-tech. Going to a cabin means escaping the technology that you use every day, not bringing it with you. Bring a good book that you can read as you sit by the fire. If you are going with your family, bring some board games or a pack of cards so that you can all have fun and bond.

Clouds

"Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky."- Rabindranath Tagore

~ photo of me taken by my hubby at La Jolla Shores' Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Music and Cold Pack for a Less Pain Life

Me, and This Is No Pink Statement :)
I had shared here before how I had been struggling with migraine since I was a child, and was getting tired of all the medications given to me since then. The worse accusations I got when I was still young was I was simply being lazy and made my headaches my excuses to skip school. Those accusations for sure did not help me deal with my pain at all, but I believe, they helped strengthened my character more. I learned to walk on with my life, with so much faith, regardless of what other people say. 

Let me share with you some of my natural pain remedies:

1. Music has always been my partner to ease the pains in my life. I especially love praise music for somehow, I find more comfort in God's words as I listen, or as I as I sing them. 
I do love to sing, but that does not mean I am good in singing. :) Actually, one of my first most treasured acquisition when I was young when I started working was a surround sound. My uncle was very kind to give me an audio rack back then, I did not have to buy audio desk at musician's friend on my own. When I moved here in US, after saving enough, again, one of my first acquisitions was a surround sound. I simply wanted to experience songs as if I am in a recording, where the music seems to be fuller, richer, and drawing me deeply.  I always love to sing God's words, sometimes, I hum on my own. Sometimes, I hum with the records as I played them in surround sound. Sometimes, I dance as I sing. Sometimes, I close my eyes and dream......

" I close my eyes....
What do I see?
I see Your arms outstretched.....
Inviting me to take a step
To embrace you
To dance with you.....
Happily I ran to you....
As I feel your loving embrace,
Tears of happiness overflowing
There were no words between us
But in the silence...
Yes in the silence,
I feel Your strength....
Healing me!
Giving me hopes!
To dream and dance with You again! "

Somehow, music has just a strong power in healing and inspiring me. It has been my long time partner to battle the pains in my life, both physiological ( from migraines) and emotional pain. Ah, what would life be without music? I am glad the answer is there will always be, as long as we know how to open our hearts to the sound around us, yes, even in the sound of silence!

2. COLD PACK
My Ice Pack
In my quest of dealing with my migraines free from medications ( or minimal medications), without anyone telling me, I decided to see a chiropractor in addition to my medical doctor. Since chiropractic medicine is included in our health benefits, I decided I might as well use this benefit, for who knows? I may enjoy a pain free life ( very dreamy), or even just a life with less pain. I talked to my chiropractor about how I had been dealing with migraine since I was a child, how doctors assured me that "at least, my extremely debilitating pain is not from something more malignant, only that I suffer from unexplainable bouts of migraine", that though not life threatening, but something I always had wished there is a better cure than taking the prescribed pain medications. I am glad for that visit ( I regularly see chiropractor now, every 3 weeks), because since then, my migraine attacks were less, the severity is tolerable and the duration is also shortened during the attack. Ice Pack or Cold Pack has been my partner since I saw chiropractor.
I use a thin shirt to wrap the ice pack, then, I put it at the back of my neck (like you see in the first picture above), which look like a "pink statement". :) It's an "ice pack" statement.

3. Back and Neck Stretches
Aside from regular exercise everyday, I also do a lot of stretches and breathing exercises that were prescribed to me by my chiropractor. The exercises are more focused on my back and neck. I have learned that doing regular stretches helps regulate my blood flow, promoting a better circulation, thus helping me get less migraine attacks now.

Anyway, I am not really 100% free from pain now, but I would love to say I am now at about 98% free from migraine attacks. Also, the headaches I get these days do not have the severity that I used to get before. I also do not get headaches as frequent, in fact, because I almost had been living a pain free life for months now, I totally had forgotten to use cold pack, that last week, I finally remembered to use my ice pack again because I felt some headache. But thankfully, the pain is very tolerable for me, and the ice pack helped me manage the pain more easily. 

Now, let me take a break from here, not only to rest my eyes, but to start my regular stretching and breathing exercises, yes, WITH MUSIC!! 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Sauteed Zucchini

We do have lots of zucchini at home a lot of the time. We don't grow it, but several of hubby's colleagues at work grow zucchini and they always give us baskets of them. Sometimes hubby just have to say no since we are getting so much. Anyway, I love zucchini grilled, and sometimes, I simply sautee it in olive oil, with some minced garlic and green onion from the bay window garden. So simple to make, yet adds a variety of nutrients for us. :)

YUM!

Change......for the better

My wife and I were faced with a dilemma. Our home sold and we had to move in the same week our daughter was moving across country to attend college. In the past my wife and I moved ourselves, but this time we are older and with two moves at the same time it was going to be impossible. We needed help and fast plus we needed competitive prices. We have never hired a moving company so we were not sure how to go about hiring a moving company, what questions to ask, or what services a moving company would offer.

Another thing that concerns us is getting my daughter car insurance since she would be in another state. My daughter would be attending college in the North Carolina. I am thinking of asking her to get don allred insurance for her car insurance. Don Allred Insurance is known to provide the best opportunity for everyone's needs and saving money in that area.

How I wish I would be there with my daughter to assist her as she moves to North Carolina for a new phase in her life, from high school to college. Sadly, we too are so tied up with moving all our stuff to a new house. Kids have left us now, and we don't see the need to stay in a bigger house. We sold the house and moving to a 2 bedroom condo nearer the city. Just choosing which things to let go and which things to bring to our place is causing us enough headache already.

But sometimes, we do have to face change, for the better.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Tokwa na Walang Baboy ( Tofu without Pork )

Tokwa't Baboy ( Crispy and Crunchy Fried Tofu with Pork ) is a popular dish in the Philippines. However, I actually prefer this dish using all tofu without adding the pork. Here is how I make it:

Tofu Preparation:
1. Cut the tofu into thin rectangles, maybe 1x2 inches. 
2. Fry in olive oil until brown.
3. Place in paper towel to reduce the oil in the tofu.

Sauce Preparation:
1. Mix soy sauce, spicy vinegar, a little bit water, and a little bit honey.
2. Add a little amount of minced garlic.
3. Mix in chopped onions, tomatoes and sweet pepper.

The Tofu Dish Preparation:
1. Simply mix the fried tofu and the sauce above. Serve and enjoy!
In our case, we enjoyed the tofu with grilled portabella mushroom and rice, very berry juice (below )and yogurt with honey and fruits dessert (below).
Very Berry Juice :)
( okay, I named this juice as very berry since it is a mixture of all fruits that end in berry, such as: strawberry, raspberry, blackberry and blueberry. I simply mix all the berries in blender, and added a little water, to make this very berry juice! )
Dessert
(Low Fat Yogurt, Honey, Apples and Blackberries)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Incorporating Reupholstery Into Your Interior Design Project


Interior design is a professional career but that doesn’t mean that you can’t design your own home and its various rooms. Experimenting with colour and space and choosing fabrics and furniture can give a real sense of achievement and really help you to put your own stamp on your home.
There are hundreds of websites which can suggest all manner of ideas, hints and tips as well as online retailers who can supply everything you need, from wallpaper to contemporary furniture. There are also many tricks or the trade and inspiring and creative ideas which can really add life and feeling to any design project for the home.

Consider Reupholstery for your favourite furniture.
When it comes to designing the look and feel of a room, furniture has a huge part to play. Well chosen furniture can really make a room but his doesn’t always mean you have to go to the expense of buying new.
Reupholstery provides an affordable, real world solution for bringing your furniture up to date. If you are lucky enough to have an old piece of furniture or maybe a family heirloom then it pays to hang on to it. This is because most modern furniture is no longer built to the quality standards that it once was and so older pieces of furniture tend to be longer lasting and extremely well built.
If you do have an item such as this then it might be looking a little tired or outdated and reupholstery offers the perfect solution. There are a range of professional reupholstery firms available who can advise and help you to bring your cherished piece back to life. There are hundreds of fabrics to choose from in all manner of colours, textures and designs.

Professional Re-Upholstery
If you choose to have your cherished piece of furniture reupholstered then a professional firm will be able to tighten any loose joints, refurbish any woodwork and replace any springs which may be worn. Once covered in your brand new choice of fabric, you will be amazed at the results and can expect many more years of service from a quality piece.

Buying Second Hand
If you don’t have a family heirloom or cherished piece then you can still get some excellent results by buying a second hand piece of furniture and having it re-covered or reupholstered. Again, it allows you creative control and your unique choice of fabrics and not only saves you money but it ensures that no one else has a piece of furniture like yours!
Second hand furniture is available from junk shops, car boot sales, internet auction sites and even on little hand written advertisements you may see in supermarkets and stores. There is so much more pride and satisfaction in knowing that you designed and produced a beautiful piece of furniture from an old, unwanted chair or sofa.
Got any of your own tips on how to reupholster your old furniture, let us know in the comments below. If you have any success stories from second hand shops, we’d love to hear from you.

About The Guest Author
Maddison Moss is an interior designer and bargain hunting addict. She will try her hand at anything to get an excellent deal, regardless of whether that that involves knitting her own scarves or undertaking all of her own furniture upholstery.

Partners

Lake Lucille, Wasilla, AK
Partners.....do you see the partners in the picture above? This picture was taken at about 11 pm, such light very late in the evening. But then, when winter comes, Alaska will have more darkness than light. 
Here is another "partner" pictures, somehow, the pairs of wildlife make the late evening light more romantic :)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

5 Ways to Improve Your Gut Health

If you are suffering from poor digestion, you will suffer from a variety of health issues that can include reduced energy levels, bloating and constipation. You can definitely benefit by naturally improving your gut health and it is something that you can truly manage on your own. Good digestion will provide you with many health benefits, including an increased immune system, improved energy levels, and overall wellbeing. Here are five great ways to naturally improve your digestion.
  1. Always Stay Hydrated
Water is undoubtedly one of the best things you can provide your body with – and your digestive system is no different. Just like a shortage on fiber can negatively impact your digestions, not drinking enough water can slow down your digestive system significantly and make it more difficult for you to pass stools. Your gut needs a constant water supply to move waste through your system, so make an effort to consume a glass of water every few hours; it will also help to prevent bloating and constipation.
A great guideline to follow if you want to make sure that your body is sufficiently hydrated is to keep an eye on your urine; if it’s clear then you know you are getting enough water every day. If not, try to increase your daily water intake by adding a few more glasses until you get the desired result.
  1. Stay Physically Active
If possible, always maintain an active, healthy lifestyle. Physical exercise is not only good for improving your body’s circulation and overall health, but it will allow your digestive system to work optimally. Physical exercise speeds up blood flow to all your organs and stimulates the muscles in your digestive tract.
Exercise also reduces stress, so it has multiple benefits to offer your body. Try to do at least 30 minutes of exercise on a daily basis; this can include walking, swimming, or even using an elliptical trainer. You can do this every day of the week and increase your body’s digestive system.
  1. Avoid Processed Food and Refined Sugar
Apart from the fact that you will gain weight, eating fatty or fried foods are not healthy for your gut. These foods are difficult to digest and it will slow the entire digestive process down. Eating foods that contain a high amount of sugar will also case a build-up of unnecessary garbage in your gut that will only weigh your entire system down, and the same goes for full-fat dairy products. Rather replace these with low-fat or fat-free dairy products and try to go for lean cuts of meat like chicken breast and turkey. Also avoid foods that are high in sugar and dairy, and replace butter and margarine with olive oil when preparing meals.
  1. Increase Your Fiber Intake
You’ve definitely heard this before – eat more fiber to improve your digestion. Fiber will help to move things along in your digestive tract and it will also slow down the uptake of glucose in your blood stream. This in turn will help to keep your blood sugar levels normal and constant. If you eat enough fiber every day, it will also help to increase the overall weight and size of your stools, thereby making it easy for your body to sufficiently pass them through your digestive system. 
Without enough fiber, your digestive system might feel gassy and constipated; you can reduce this effect by stoking up on fiber-rich foods like nuts and seeds, rye bread, apples, raisins, leafy vegetables and oatmeal.
  1. Add Probiotics to Your Diet
Probiotics, or good bacteria, are naturally found in your gut and have many benefits to offer your entire digestive system. They work to prevent many different health disorders and conditions, especially those that influence your digestive tract. Probiotics work to regulate your bowel movements and also help with the natural uptake of nutrients and vitamins. Experts recommend eating foods that are rich in probiotics, like sauerkraut, yoghurt that contains “live cultures”, miso soup, kefir and sour pickles. You can also try taking a probiotic supplement which is available in a powder or capsule form.
Your gut works to process food, protect you from illnesses, and absorb nutrients. There is almost ten times as much bacterium in your gut cells than any other cell in your body and it is important to make sure that you keep your entire digestive system as healthy as possible. A healthy gut has many benefits to offer and this is why it is so important to keep an eye on the foods that you consume. If you want a healthy body, an increase in energy levels, and overall wellbeing, always listen to your gut!

About the Author:
Lorien is a contributor for HealthLine.com, a popular resource that offers expert health advice from qualified professionals and experienced contributors. 

High Carb and Sugar Rich Breakfast - oh no!

A lot may think I eat all healthy foods all the time because of recipes of what seem like healthy foods that I share here. Though it is true we eat healthier foods and diverse mix of vegetables and fruits most of the time, but there are sometimes we do indulge to satisfy our cravings.
Here is an example of our not so healthy breakfast sometimes.

The bread is loaded with lots of butter, which I used to make garlic bread. The egg is nutritious and a complete food but I deep fried it in butter (the unhealthy part) until very crunchy. As you can tell, I love butter. :) It's regular butter, since light butter is not good for cooking since oftentimes they contain water and starch.

The coffee is sweetened by condensed milk, haha! Now, coffee is supposed to be beneficial to health for people unaffected by caffeine ( if people reacts to caffeine, they still can enjoy the drink and get the health benefits by drinking decaffeinated coffee), however, what makes my coffee above less healthy is the full cream condensed milk, yes, lots of processed sugar.

The condensed milk, the full cream butter in scrambled egg and garlic buttered bread made a high carb and sugar rich breakfast. Don't worry, we'll burn it boogie boarding, swimming and hiking.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Garden Supports add form and function to any garden

Gardens, offer the respite of a quiet space amid the hustle and bustle of everyday life .
It can have a transformational effect on one’s mood or outlook. While there are many different types of gardens,  once you are including plants that trail, fall, creep, sweep, droop, or hang, vegetables, flowers, plants or trees, they will all need support. Your garden support should not only add to the aesthetic beauty of your garden or surroundings but serve as a very important and useful tool. No vegetable garden is complete without juicy red tomatoes, fresh crisp cucumbers and at least one of the many varieties of peas.

These are all perennial favourites in most English gardens. All these vegetables will require some form of garden support.  They  keep your vines and trellises off the garden floor where it can be affected by insects, wet or moist conditions and run the risk of being  trampled upon. Garden supports actually help to increase the yield of your vegetables. Who wouldn’t want that?  Stakes are the popular choice for use in vegetable gardens as they come in a variety of sizes.

An ever-present flower in the English flower garden is roses. Some gardens are dedicated wholly and solely to these beautiful flowers. This is the famous English rose garden.
There are many different species and varieties of roses and not all of them need support. The trailing or climbing rose’s beauty would be hidden and wasted if it was not properly supported and displayed on a trellis. This is the appropriate garden support for roses. An added bonus is that your roses will be bigger and bloom more profusely because of the addition of a trellis for support.   The type of garden support you choose should add to the natural beauty of your surroundings without being obtrusive.
There are a wide variety of colours and styles that are available, as well as the whole gamut of finishes, textures and colours available. These include, but are not limited to white, brown, green and black. Support for your garden is dictated by your personal preference, taste, or style, as well as the season and conditions in your garden. Today your Mega Garden Store has a wide variety to choose from  Acrylic, PVC coated, Fibreglass, rusted iron and  galvanized metal, offer you the flexibility to add garden supports to our next gardening project.

About The Author
Written by Kime Briton for Mega Garden Store.

Sweet Potato Chicken Curry

Made sweet potato chicken curry for dinner last night, and we enjoyed it.
still in the pan
and we enjoyed it with rice

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:
sweet potato, cut into about 1.5 inch cube
skinless chicken breast ( cut also into about 1.5 inch cube )
mixed vegetable
carrots
2% greek yogurt
rice milk
coconut milk
tomato paste
curry paste
curry powder
crushed garlic and ginger
some cilantro and green onion for garnish

Method:
1. Sautee garlic and ginger until brown.
2. Add chicken and sweet potato
3. Stir in the tomato paste, rice milk, curry paste, curry powder and yogurt ( I do not measure my ingredients, I usually just base it to taste )
4. Simmer until sweet potato is soft ( by this time, chicken is also cooked ).
5. When sweet potato and chicken are cooked, add some cilantro and green onion for garnish.
6. ENJOY!!

Friday, August 16, 2013

What Better Way To Admire Your Garden Handiwork?



There can be few pleasures in life as gratifying than, after a hard days toil, sitting back and admiring your garden. Whether it was pruning roses, cutting back hedges, or just mowing the lawn, you deserve a rest, and a beautiful wooden bench provides just the opportunity. Maybe you just planned the work and watched someone else carry it out, or you simply enjoy spending time in your low maintenance garden - whatever the reason, take a seat and enjoy the view!

Perfect for every setting

Whatever your style, garden benches have come on a long way from the traditional park style that we all associate with our youth. Wooden benches in particular can come in a number of designs, from the simple to the sublimely intricate, in both natural and painted finishes to almost any colour you could imagine! Unlike summer garden furniture, that needs to be stored away in cold and wet weather, garden benches provide an all year round opportunity to view your garden. Of course, you can cover them up if you think you won't want to use them in winter, however treatments and preservatives mean rotten wooden benches are largely a thing of the last.

Room to grow

You may think that a garden bench seems like an extravagance when there is just perhaps you to sit on it. But one of the delights of a British summer is sharing your garden with friends and family, even if it is just one other person. A garden bench provides a perfect solution to these seating problem, without the need to find dusty garden chairs in the shed, or risk getting living room cushions dirty on the floor. But what if you want to be alone in your garden? A garden bench provides room to spread out. Sit in the middle with refreshments on one side and your newspapers or books on the other. No need for a table!

Something for Everyone

The dependable garden bench is perfect for all gardens and all occasions, and it's just a question of choosing whether you want traditional or fancy, painted or natural. Sizes can be adjusted, with some benches just for two, moving up to those suitable for four. It all depends upon your preference. If you're not really sure what's out there, then try a website such as www.gardenbenches.com who offer a wide range of benches in a variety of designs, finishes and sizes, including a useful range of accessories including covers and cushions. Forget digging in the shed for that garden furniture set, a garden bench is an investment in enjoying the beauty of your garden!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Enjoying A Vegetable Meal

Hubby and I are foodies, but home foodies! :) In short, we enjoy eating at home a lot! Why? Because I love making our food. Somehow, cooking and preparing food for me is just like hiking and nature wandering which washes away all the stress from the busyness of life.

Another reason why we love to eat at home (unless we have no choice but to eat out, like on a vacation, or when wandering that we needed nourishment while on the road ) is because we both love vegetables. We love foods, but somehow, our taste buds are very selective to vegetables and fruits. We both are into thin dishes, not dishes cooked in too much butter, cream and cheese. Though I would use butter and cheese sometimes in our cooking, but we usually get the low fat kind, but not blended with sugar and other additives ( we pay extra attention to the ingredients posted in the label of the products). The food that we love are not usually the food that is served in the restaurants. And we love it that we know what is in our food.

Our food choices, make us appear very health conscious. Though that is just an added bonus for us, since they really are our natural choice. I could remember when I was younger than 7 years old, I only ate sweet pepper, tomatoes, onion, corn, peanuts, kadios beans ( black beans) and a few fruits. However, I was so scared of doctor's needle ( I had severe allergies when I was young), that when the doctor told me I was frail and sickly not because of what I ate but because of what I did not eat! Though all the foods I ate look and sound healthy, but I may lack nutrients from other food sources. What scared me most was when he told me, "If you won't add a variety to your meal, you may have no choice but to face the wrath of my needle more often." I HATED NEEDLES (INJECTION) BIG TIME! Right when we got home after the doctor told me that, my mother did not even have to ask me, but I just harvested our bittermelon, and started eating them raw ( yes, I prefer my vegetables when I was young uncooked) despite how bitter it was! That bittermelon helped me really diversify my diet since if I could eat one very bitter vegetable raw, the rest are so easy to eat! Haha!  The bittermelon became my all time favorite vegetable in the end. 

Thus, imagine I and hubby during our adventure trips, where most restaurants serve those rich oh so fatty meals, feel so deprived from the daily foods we are more used to. Whenever we get back home, I would prepare a vegetable meal, that would fill us up. And we would eat our vegetables with GUSTO! 

Here is an example of a vegetable meal ( no meat at all! ):


1st course: Spinach, Tomato and Sweet Pepper Salad
I only use vinegar, a few drops of extra virgin olive oil, soy sauce, and minced garlic and onion for dressing 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Get Healthy Skin Now With These Tips

Laser Hair Removal in Manassas, VA  Healthy skin is skin that does not have infections, acne or blemishes. Like other things in your own body, looking after your skin is going to enhance its health. There are lots of alternatives available, from cleanse routines to surgical or aesthetic intervention. The treatments discussed below can assist you to pick the one which might be perfect for your skin.

Recall the whole body in regards to skincare. Always utilize a body brush when having a shower. It will help to slough away any dead skin cells and support blood circulation, invigorating the skin. Additionally, it assists in decreasing the look of cellulite, which really is actually a common criticism, notably in girls.

Skincare is one of these issues that is simpler to prevent this to fix, so take some time to look after your pores daily with cleansing agents and moisturisers. The ideal method to achieve this is with allnatural oils for that xeroderma, and much more light remedies for skin with more of an oily makeup.

Razor bumps are the bane of several guys's workdays. To prevent razor bumps when shaving, you should utilize the appropriate razor. Incredibly, more blades doesn't always mean a better shave; the recent addition of 4 and 5 blade shavers have really caused more razor bumps than the ones that are just double or triplebladed. Get one of these top quality doublebladed razor, rather one having a disposable head, and you'll understand you will find yourself having a smoother face.

For those who have sensitive skin, avoid using cosmetics which aren't organic or hypoallergenic. Several popular cosmetics brands comprise harsh irritants, scents and other compounds that may entirely irritate the skin. Follow allnatural make-up free of those ingredients and also make certain not to blend too many manufacturers because this could also bring about a response.

Skincare is significant and it is a proven fact that many folks recognized at a young age.

The most effective program for many would be to utilize a gentle soap and luke-warm water blend two times a day plus a clean face rag. Astringents and drugs should just be utilized by people who need them because of acne or other skin issues

Skin Care Center in Manassas, VA

Using a daily moisturizer with an SPF is crucial for everybody. Sun damage makes one's skin age quicker than it should, but it's easily avoidable. Using a daily SPF moisturizer solves problems until they begin.

Oatmeal isn't only for breakfast. It helps itchy skin, also. Colloidal oatmeal can assist with itchy skin brought on by eczema, psoriasis, insect bites and poison ivy. Including a cup or two of colloidal oatmeal into a warm bath helps treat itchy skin. Rinse with cool water after, then pat dry with a towel. This is often done up to three times daily for relief.

While this post has stated before, having healthy skin means that you really do not hold skin infections, acne or blemishes. Skincare is requierd to produce healthy skin that'll look amazing. The info shared here should have helped you realize which ones which you will need for your own skin.

About The Guest Author:

Seeking an upscale full-service day spa that makes your skin beautiful? Artisan Laser Skin Care Center, a Manassas skin care spa, houses a staff of certified technicians and estheticians to deliver impressive results that reinvigorate your skin.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

COMFORT FIRST, STYLE IS THE WAY YOU MAKE IT!

Would You Be Caught Wearing A Dress With a Birk?

Do you consider shoes as protection from the elements ( long walk on hard cemented grounds, carrying your weight, etc) or are they part of your accessory and personal expression, where fashion comes first, never mind the comfort?

I must admit I belong to the latter group when I was younger, way much younger, in teens! Having a monthly stipend from my scholarship, where my parents did not nag us how to spend or save those money, I always had some extra money to spend on: shoes! Though I spent most of my scholarship stipend for school supplies, put some into my savings account, but I must admit I spent also some for personal expression such as collecting shoes! Consider this conversation before between me and my younger brother (YB):

YB: "You have so much shoes, you are no different from Imelda Marcos."
Me: "It's okay, I still save some money! And most of them are cheap!"
YB: "How cheap is cheap? You see, if you have one hundred shoes, for P100, that is already P10,000! You could probably just have 2 very comfortable shoes, and you will save more buy not hoarding more shoes!"
Me: "Dear brother, all shoes are the same, nothing is really comfortable. It's really more to prettify ladies feet!"
YB: " Trust me sister, once you have worn a true comfortable shoes, you can't wear other shoes, those shoes! (pointing to my collection) And though comfortable shoes may be more expensive, but you will find yourself saving a lot more money because you will end up being more careful in buying new one because you can't just easily spend on them. Unlike your fashion shoes, you think it's only P100, but you buy so many, and you end up spending all your money because they are cheap!"

Haaaayst!! I never appreciated those words of wisdom from my younger brother then ( take note: those conversation were during our college years!). It was no surprise to us when he beat all of us buying a house and a car at such a younger age than anyone of us did! He was the "comfort first, STYLE is the way you make it" guy! His choices were kind of very expensive for me then, but truth is, he was SAVING A LOT MORE than anyone of us because he was careful in buying and spending because his choices of comfortable gears were way too expensive for our standard!

But, what changed me? I reached a point in my life where I could no longer wear my collection of shoes without feeling some foot and back pain. And, a friend's horror story.

My friend would not be caught wearing any other shoes but high heeled shoes. She walked with high heeled shoes since teens. When she started feeling the pain before hitting 30s, she ignored the pain, for she could just not imagine herself wearing those dowdy shoes! She lost to knee surgery in her 30s, and was prescribed to wear only acceptable podiatric shoes that would not damage her knees any further and would still keep a healthy posture.

I asked myself after seeing her live the painful experience and losing the strength of her legs for the love of fashionable high heeled shoes. "Do I continue to live the pain until I lose the strength of my legs and health? Or do I listen to my body and shift shoes? Which one makes me happier? Wearing those fashion shoes, or being able to hike until I am very old and very gray?"

I decided I wanted to keep on hiking until I am very old and very gray, and was thankful I was able to listen to my aching body from wearing the wrong shoes that slowly, I dumped my pride, and accepted myself that I could wear a Birkenstock after all. Yes, when I was younger, I told myself, " No way I would wear a Birk, it's so ugly not worth it's price!" But we do change, especially when health is at risk. Like my younger brother, I have adopted the motto:
"COMFORT FIRST, STYLE IS THE WAY YOU MAKE IT!"
Wearing Birkenstock With Dress for Casual/Summer Outfit

Friday, August 9, 2013

#FuelABetterYou by Nutrisystem

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Nutrisystem, Inc.. All opinions are 100% mine.
Turmeric Vegie Rice, Baked Black Beans with 2% Mozarella Cheese, Salad and 100% Fresh Vegetable&Fruits Smoothie
Healthy eating does not have to sacrifice taste. That's our eating motto at home since both hubby and I enjoy good food! We do not believe in restrictive diet, instead, we enjoy a balance of diverse sources of foods. We love our plate to have a variety of colors. Somehow, the more colors there are on the plate, the more we enjoy our foods. Luckily for us, more vegetable and fruit colors also mean more nutrients. However, I am not really a nutrient expert, such as Nutrisystem, who has been helping America lose weight for over 40 years. Nutrisystem® provides a convenient way to learn how to lose weight and live healthier by delivering quality food and meal programs directly to customers’ doorsteps. They have over 150 perfectly portioned® entrees and snacks on the menu, where you will find all of your favorites.
Nutrisystem®'s Variety of Food
The picture above of a variety of foods from Nutrisystem is very inspiring for me, since I know a lot of people who work so hard to lose weight but fail because they have so much restrictive diet that sadly they could not keep in their lifetime. The moment they go back to eating something differently, they start gaining their weight. Unlike with Nutrisystem®, good foods are not sacrificed to lose weight. They serve a variety of foods that makes one satisfied and not crave unhealthily to gain more weight. They also offer vitamins, supplements, cookbooks and a host of other tools created to maximize weight loss success.
Now, here is the good news. How would you want to have a taste of these yummy dishes and also work on your losing weight goals? Nutrisystem® is currently sponsoring Nutrisystem Fuel A Better You Sweepstakes that will fuel your goals and fuel your greatness.

It's easy enough to join. Visit the sweepstakes tab on the Nutrisystem Facebook Page, fill out the entry form and press the enter button to submit your entry.

Prizes that await you in the Nutrisystem® Fuel A Better You Sweepstakes are:

Four (4) Winners who will receive one Nutrisystem® Select® program with 28 days of food products delivered to their door

One (1) Grand Prize Winner who will receive one Nutrisystem® Select® program, with 28 days of food products delivered to their door and five hundred dollars ($500) cash.

Either prize will be a great way to get anyone on the road to their weight loss goal and a healthier selves. As Nutrisystem® says, “Fuel your goals. Fuel your greatness”! Who does not want to fuel a healthier self to enjoy life fully?
Certainly, not me! I wish to keep a healthy life so I can enjoy exploring the great outdoors even when I am very old and very gray!
Disclosure: Even though I have been remunerated to promote The Nutrisystem Fuel A Better You Sweepstake but all opinions are 100% my own. As I stated above, I believe that healthy eating does not have to sacrifice taste, and I am very happy to note that Nutrisystem has helped Americans lose weight by delivering quality food and meal programs directly to their customers’ doorsteps.
Visit Sponsor's Site

Thursday, August 8, 2013

City 2 Outdoors n Comfort & Style

Before my summer break, I thought of creating another blog which will focus on comfortable gears, from city to outdoors. However, I now sadly have come to a resolve that I could not add another blog. Like what they say, the mind is willing, but the body is weak! Haha! Weak in such a sense that I am actually a lot busier in the summer when I am supposed to be in summer break! I thought I would have lots of time to start another blog during my break, but truth is I have not even tweaked any of my two blogs because most of my time were spent wandering. I guess, I just love the great outdoors so much. 

Anyway, since there will be no 3rd blog for me ( at least for the moment), I am adding instead that blog title "City 2 Outdoors n Comfort & Style" as one of major categories of this blog. Here, you will get to see me not only with my hiking gears, but also, the "ME" when I am not hiking. 

To welcome you to this new category in my site, let me share with you first....."ME!"

The Teacher. Teaching has been my long time passion. I love Math and Science, and I get high with happiness whenever I share the passion of thinking and problem solving with my students. The joy is priceless in empowering the minds of the youths and touching their hearts. Perhaps, it is the "Math and Science"-mind in me that makes me love exploring nature more. I just see so much patterns, so much logic, so much to think about, so much to analyze, so much to experiment while observing and learning from our wonderful world. But I will not bore you about how Math and Science plays a big role in studying Earth's past to arm us in present times and to prepare us ahead of what is to come. Instead, I will let you have a glimpse as to what you will see here sometimes, a teacher's Comfort N Style!
The Teacher 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A distinguished Wan Chai serviced apartment that you can depend on

Wan Chai is an area that is packed with a vibrant business district (composed of office centers, halls, etc.), as it’s also close by the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. So it’s definitely one area in the city that is perfect for businessmen to settle in. But of course, the locality is not only limited to the business-savvy people, as it’s frequented by solo travelers and families as well. So if you’re looking to stay in the city for just a short while, you can still find some peace and quiet in Wan Chai in the form of a distinguished serviced apartment.

The kind of convenience that a serviced apartment in Wan Chai provides

The demand for putting up more serviced accommodations have certainly grown throughout the years, particularly in Wan Chai. So residing in the area would definitely give you the convenience that you seek, especially if you’re in the city for business or for leisure. But apart from that, the district is also ideal for those who are attending seminars or working on a temporary project in Hong Kong. But it’s also perfect for families or solo travelers that are looking for an accommodation that’ll easily connect them to several popular dining choices (from small family-owned to high-end restaurants), entertainment venues, shopping centers (luxury items) and transportation links.

Although most serviced apartments in Wan Chai don’t come cheap. You can still depend on the quality and service that each one provides. Just take for example V Wan Chai. It’s a tranquil abode that is ‘carved to purpose’, as it ‘combines luxurious minimalism with warm home comfort’.

What to expect from a V Wan Chai serviced apartment

The room configurations in V Wan Chai range from a garden studio to a deluxe studio. They also offer terraced garden apartments that boast of a full outdoor dining area. Apart from that, the V serviced lodging also offers its residents the ‘V PLAY’. It’s where barbeque facilities are provided, along with some entertainment and relaxation amenities.

V Wan Chai guestrooms: What’s in store for you?

One of the highlights of staying in a serviced flat would have to be the inclusion of a kitchen. The room that will be provided to you will have a fully equipped kitchenette. So you can expect to cook your own meals, while using nothing, but the latest kitchenware and cookware (add to that a complimentary supply of fresh herbs). Therefore, having your own cooking space will definitely help ease off on costs that are usually spent on dining out.

Guestrooms are also furnished with some of the finest materials. The bedroom is prepared with crisp starched linens, feathery soft pillows and premium made beds. The en-suite bathroom on the other hand is also fitted out with a rain-shower, Corian-made bathtub, Italian-designed faucets, bath accessories and toiletries. The rooms in V Wan Chai are also provided with a reliable Wi-Fi connection, a 42” plasma TV with NOW channels, a DVD player and library, a Wii console with popular games and an in-room safe.

V Wan Chai services

The serviced accommodation also offers the following: housekeeping, airport limousine pick-up (for an extra cost), a 24-hour security and the use of their business center and self-service laundry facilities.

About the Guest Author:

The author has a large interest in finding new places to explore and to blog about.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A STRESS FREE LIFE!!

I recently crossed path with a co-teacher at the beach. He was done surfing while I was on my way to the tidepool. We asked each other how has life this summer break been treating us. We both laughed because we both had the same answer, which was:

Life this summer is all about.......

ENJOYING A VERY FULL BREAKFAST TO FUEL OUR DAY'S ACTIVITIES SUCH AS:
 HIKING,
TIDEPOOLING.....
HAVE A FULL LUNCH IN BETWEEN THE ACTIVITIES....

TO CONTINUE LIFE AT THE BEACH....
SURFING, OR BOOGIE BOARDING AND/OR SNORKELING ( til sundown)
HAVE A FULL DINNER
plate: rice, eggplant and tofu;  drink: mixed vegetables/fruits smoothie
TO REPEAT THE SAME THING NEXT DAY! :)


It's a stress free life, no time for shopping at all, haha! :) Wish summer vacation comes everyday!! :)