Sunday, December 31, 2017

Happy New Year #newyear

Happy New Year to everyone who ever reads, comments or likes my posts. We may not really know each other but I truly appreciate each and every one of you.

I wish you a wonderful 2018 filled with laughter and love. From my family to yours Happy 2018!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Today I Said Goodbye To My Grandmother

Saying goodbye to a loved one is hard. Grandma was 100 years old this past October. She lived a nice long life. She had a lot of friends, traveled and had a husband who adored her. He passed this past May. She also buried two childen who were only in their early 30s. She had been in a nursing home, rehab since breaking her should this Spring. She couldn’t see or hear well anymore. She didn’t really know wherre she was anymore either thinking that she was at her home upstate in Millbrook NY.  She passed right before Christmas. We didn’t expect she would live past the New Year as she had stopped eating. Thankfully she wasn’t ill, just old. Her body just couldn’t do it anymore.

I remind myself that she is again with my Grandpa, not feeling alone anymore and with her children again. Losing her for me, means less of my mother here on the planet. I know my sisters, and I, along with our children are here and part of her but her core family is only my Uncle, her brother now.

Today at her funeral I found myself looking at her casket ready to go in the ground with my grandfather and her two children a few rows back and thought, this is life. This is what is supposed to happen. We live, we die and hopefully we make a difference in the world. This realization doesn’t make it easier but it reminds us that we need to always live for now. Tomorrrow is a mystery and we never know how long we have. I pray for everyone reading this to have a long, full life and if you are mourning someone know that they would want you to live your best life. Cherish the time you have, enjoy your family, take pictures, create memories because one day that is all they will have of us.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

This Girl Makes Me Happy

My daughter is amazing. We all think that about our kids right? She is a challenge. She keeps me on my toes with an attitude that makes me cringe at times. She is quick witted, smart, talented and a total  crack up. She always gets the joke and loves to laugh. We have a special bond and too many times a day say exactly the same thing at the same time. Not sure if that means we spend too much time together but I will never get enough of her.

I usually tell people I want to be her when I grow up. She is oddly fearless yet extremely shy. She is not afraid to speak her mind or make a joke of herself. She truly is an amazing person and I am so happy to be her mother.

My Cat Luna Loves Her Christmas Gift

To Order

Friday, December 22, 2017

Christmas Themed Books For Kids

These elves are off the shelves.Ollie and Celia think they know what the life of an elf is supposed to be like: Make toys. Help Santa. Make more toys. Help Santa. Try out a new ice-cream flavor. Help Santa.But then Santa rocks the North Pole with a surprise announcement! He's decided this is going to be his last year in the Big Red Suit--and instead of letting his oldest son, the unfortunately named Klaus Claus, take over, he's opening up the job to any kid who wants to apply--Claus or elf. The Santa Trials have begun!Ollie and Celia enter the contest, having no idea whatsoever that they'll soon have to squeeze through impossible chimneys, race runaway sleighs, sweet-talk a squad of rowdy reindeer, and consume cruel amounts of cookies and milk. It's both an adventure and a survival test, far beyond what any elf or Claus has been asked to do before. But whoever rises to the top will get a reward even bigger than Christmas . .

The 411:

I am not done with the book yet but so far I am thoroughly enjoying it so wanted you to know

When Santa decides he wants to retire early but doesn't want to just hand the red suit down to his first son who would be the next in line to carry on the tradition of Santa. Instead he holds a contest that is open to anyone who wants to apply including the elves. This competition isn't easy after all it is a huge responsibility to be Santa.

I love Ollie and Celia two elves who enter the Santa Trials and found myself thinking that Top Shelf was a combination of The Hunger Games and Five Nights At Freddy's with a whole lot of humor and heart.  The story is entertaining and moves along quickly.

Hopefully I can finish it tonight and hand it to my son so he can read it.

This is a great Christmas read.

To Purchase

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Make a Next-Gen Gingerbread House

One of our favorite seasonal traditions is decorating a gingerbread house with the family. Some years we go all out and bake one from scratch. Other years we pick up a pre-made kit at the store. Either way, hands are sticky, hearts are full and memories are made. This year, we're giving the traditional gingerbread house a Go Organically "renovation" with fun swaps and alternative decorations that everyone will love. We're calling it the "Next-Gen Gingerbread House." Here's how it's done!
Step 1: Go House Hunting
First you'll need the gingerbread structure itself—meaning the walls, roof and doors. Your two options are baking and buying.
  • Baking: Find a basic gingerbread house recipe online, like this one from The Food Network. It includes paper patterns for your gingerbread house template so you'll know how big to make the walls, roof, etc. It's easy to swap out any of the ingredients for organic versions, such as organic butter or organic all-purpose flour.
  • Buying: The holidays can be hectic, so if you can make things easier with a pre-made kit, why not? This one from IKEA* includes just the structure itself and lets you add whatever decorations you want. Better yet? It's only $3.99. Perfect! If you're not near an IKEA, any kit will do. Simply save any unused decorations or icing for other holiday baking projects.
Step 2: Make the Cement
Next you'll need to make a binder to hold the structure together. Traditional royal icing is made with confectioners' sugar, egg whites and vanilla extract, and you can find the instructions here. For a Next-Gen version, consider modifying the recipe with coconut confectioners' sugar and free range eggs. Or skip the royal icing altogether in favor of melted organic white chocolate. Use your "cement" of choice to assemble the house and let it sit for a bit while you gather your decorations.

Step 3: Decorate with the Unexpected
Now comes the fun part: decorating! While we love candy canes and gumdrops as much as the next person, there's something so elegant about a natural-looking gingerbread house adorned with nuts, popcorn and fresh herbs. A few ideas to get you started:
  • Thatched roof: Use shredded wheat cereal to create a thatched roof. You can either apply whole pieces as shingles, or shred them with your hands and scatter them across the roof for a rustic effect.
  • Pathway: Create a "stone path" leading up to the front door using a mix of almonds and walnuts.
  • Windows: Outline your windows with pumpkin or sunflower seeds to mimic the look of a wooden frame.
  • Wreath: Shape a wreath out of fresh thyme to hang on the front of the house.
  • Pop of color: Use Go Organically Organic Fruit Snacks to add visual interest while keeping the rest of the look low key. Stick on a red door knob or outline the roof with a string of colorful holiday "lights."
Happy decorating from all of us at Go Organically! Made with real fruit, our gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free kids snacks are a great choice for your on-the-go life. Be sure to follow us on Facebook for more kid-friendly ideas!

*Note: Go Organically is not associated with IKEA.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

My BagBelt Stops Your Bag From Falling Off The Seat While You Concentrate On Driving

Guys it must have happened to you at least once. You are driving and suddenly you have to stop short for either a deer, traffic or horrible drivers. It happened to me just last week when I had to slow down quick because a deer decided it was the perfect time to jump-cross the road.  My pocket book was spilled all over the floor of the car including my water bottle which leaks. I needed to get over at the next safe spot to gather it all together and clean up the water before it soaked all my belongs and rug.  This is why I love MyBagBelt! I don't know why I never thought of this but thankfully Kristine Palmer did! It is a seat belt for your bag or whatever else is in the front seat with you!

While MyBagBelt®’s inventor, Kristine Palmer, was getting her MBA, she would spend a lot of time sitting in traffic on her way to class. She found it frustrating that every time she hit the brakes, her tote bag/purse went flying to the floorboard. She knew she needed to solve that problem, so she didn’t ruin the expensive equipment or have to deal with digging items out of the crevices of the car. Thus, she decided to create MyBagBelt®!

MyBagBelt® is easy to install; you simply slip it over the back of your passenger seat. Also, you never have to uninstall it when you have people in the car. It's specially designed so your passengers can lean against it without ever knowing the difference. (Just be sure to slide the buckle to the side of your seat for max comfort!)

From groceries to flower arrangements, you can slide and maneuver MyBagBelt® to meet almost any need you can think of.

This makes the perfect stocking stuffer gift. I need to get one for all my friends and family. 

I love having my bag secure next to me while I drive. It is definitely a must have. Look for it on my Holiday Gift Guide located on my home page. 

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary product for my honest opinion. No monetary compensation was offered.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

The Latin Food & Lifestyle Destination Shares New Festive Recipes

The Latin Food & Lifestyle Destination Shares New Festive Recipes

¡Feliz Navidad! Add a Latin spin to your next dinner party with these vibrant recipes from Cocina, the first online food destination dedicated to celebrating the Latin lifestyle through its vast culinary culture and libations. You’ll impress all of your dinner party guests with these beautiful treats and mouthwatering recipes.

‘Tis the season for spreading cheer and sharing recipes. We’ve included some of our holiday favorites below and you can find more at!

It’s almost too cute to eat! Learn how to make this fun and delicious snowman cake using regular chocolate cake mix and ground Mexican chocolate.

A fun twist to a classic treat. Learn how to make four different kinds of empanadas for this holiday season, because who doesn’t love an empanada?

The perfect dish to curl up with on those cold wintry days. Make this delicious and traditional ‘cuchuco’ this holiday season, a classic staple from central Colombia.

A refreshing and easy cocktail for any holiday party, take a sip and kiss under the mistletoe!

We LOVE food and we are incredibly excited to bring you even more amazing recipes, riveting stories from Latin countries and culture, and highlight local chefs and personalities with contrasting backgrounds. Be sure to check out for a year-round celebration of all things Latin-flavored, so pull up a chair, relax, and get ready for the first bite—the food is on us.

Follow Cocina on Facebook and Instagram!