Thursday, April 25, 2013

Article On 13 Non-Toxic Kitchen Cleaners

Ever wondered how you can keep your kitchen spotless and clean? Thinking about how to avoid those nasty chemical cleaning agents and use some chemical free ways of cleaning the stove, kitchen counters and dirty pots and pans? Look no further, just read this article on 13 Non-Toxic Cleaners for kitchen cleaning and discover how simple this really is.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

6 Super Foods That Fight Cancer.


Research and studies on food that help lower our risk of cancer is a constant process. Yet, in a world where the disease is taking over swiftly, it is very important for us to know about the foods that help lower our risks. I call them "superfoods" that should be incorporated in everyone's diet at least once a week.

Studies on nutrition always mention that eating plant based foods are good for health. It is advised to aim to include the following in our daily servings. Cutting down on processed food and meat is a start. Lowering our intake of alcohol is also vital. And needless to say, avoid smoking.

Here is a list of 6 super nutritious foods that we must incorporate frequently in our diet :

  • BrocolliAs bad as it tastes, this cruciferous vegetable has it all. It is rich in vitamins, fiber and disease fighting compound sulforaphane (an antioxidant and stimulator of natural detoxifying enzymes) that boosts enzymes to fight out the cancer causing cells to develop in our body.  It is always wise to add this vegetable wherever you can in your food.     

  • Berries: All berries are packed with cancer fighting phytonutrients(the nutrients are often concentrated in the skins of fruits and vegetables that are responsible for their color, hue, scent, and flavor) and antioxidants. Black berries have a high concentration of phytochemicals that slow down the cancer cells development. Suggestive serving is about ½ a cup of berries a day.


  • Tomatoes : Cooked tomatoes is what benefits the human body due to it’s rich source of lycopene (a major carotenoid that gives color to the tomato)that allows the body to absorb highest quantity of the carotenoid when cooked. Tomatoes are widely known for their outstanding antioxidant content. 

  • Walnuts : Consuming an ounce of walnuts a day yields best results in fighting breast cancer as these nuts release cholesterol like molecules that block estrogen receptors in breast cancer.

  • Garlic : A clove of garlic a day goes a long way in fighting stomach cancer. It is said to have the ability to block the formation of cancer-causing substances and halt activation of cancer causing substances. Garlic is known for many healing powers to the human body, but it’s most powerful use is that it helps fight carcinogens from developing in our intestines.

  • Beans :  A diet rich in these nutritious legumes have protective effects against cancer growth. Their protein rich superfood that is high in fiber and antioxidants. Include about ½ cup of these legumes a few times a week to take advantage of their nutritional value.




The bottom line, bind the influence of food to restore your body. post signature

Monday, April 22, 2013

It’s Earth Day.


The Earth we live in needs us and we need to be there for her. Do your bit today as we celebrate Earth Day around the globe.

Here are a few ways that you could help save the Earth.

Save Energy as much as you can. Reduce your carbon footprint by switching off your vehicle engine at a signal.  Ecycle those outdated computer accessories and electronics.

The impact of disposing garbage inappropriately is catching up with us. Environmental protection begins at our homes and the way we dispose our garbage matters. Don’t trash it, reuse it. Plant seeds, recycle and reduce waste. Use reusable bags instead of plastic while shopping.

Save water efficiently. Take a five minute shower instead of filling a bathtub that consumes almost 70 gallons of water. Fix the leak and save water. Do a full load of laundry to conserve water wastage.


Earth Day 2013 is celebrated across the world on April 22nd. This year the focus is on climate change of a planet in flux. Read more about face of climate change at the earthday blog.

Visit the Earth Day blog to find out how communities across the world are participating to do their bit.

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.    -- Native American Proverb

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Monograms

I love making my own stationary and creating designs to use for different occasions. Today I created some vintage looking golden Monograms as freebies. 

Please take full advantage and download if you like. 

You can find more Monograms at my Photobucket Link_Monograms








Saturday, April 20, 2013

Weekend Poster



A Day In San Luis Obispo, California


This ancient Spanish city located mid-way between San Francisco and Los Angeles was a weekend getaway for us on a fine day in April. I call it ‘romantic city’ due to its attractive beaches and luscious scenery that boasts of rekindling and adventure for the young at heart. If you are like my husband & me who love hiking, spend quality time hiking in the midst of nature and wildlife in the rugged hills of Montana De Oro StatePark.


 Coves and marine coastllines

On a cloudy and breezy day, we simply adored the solitude and freedom along the several trails at Montana De Oro State Park.  This place has some gorgeous beaches like Spooner’s cove and the sun kissed yellow wildflowers that bloom in spring. It is a great place to camp and witness some wonderful wildlife like the black tailed deer or even the elephant seal although we did not see any that day.
Laguna Lake

This park is the largest state park in California and has some ravishing rocky cliffs, marine coastlines, splendid coastal mountains and includes all sorts of activities like horse riding, hiking, nature trails, wildlife, fishing, camping and biking. You can bring your bikes or rent them as there are several bike trails that you can enjoy. A good option is to go horse riding for the adventurous.
 Morro Rock (above) and Morro Bay (below)

We found the city reasonably affordable with attractive list of places to stay and dine. A pit stop should be at Embarcadero in Morro Bay where you can appreciate an exquisite meal at Tognazzini's Dockside Restaurant and also visit the fish market adjoining the restaurant. While at Tognazzini’s for lunch we indulged in delicious Dungeness crab cakes and a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon and entrees were Dungeness crab sandwich melt and Shrimp Scampi for lunch. The beautiful Morro Rock in the background painted a fine picture for our lovely lunch setting. After a good meal we stretched our legs in the cool waters of Morro Bay and just strolled along Dog Lovers Land and enjoyed the air around us with some salt water taffys.
Lunch @ Tognazzinis

Although we took off to Solvang from here due to time constraints, you could include a trip to Hearst Castle in your itinerary. An enjoyable and self-discovery trip nonetheless.

Links to discover more in San Luis Obispo, please visit the official site at http://www.slocity.org


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Penne Pasta with Shrimp and Brocolli stir fry in Alfredo Roasted Garlic Sauce

Weekends are just the correct time for me to experiment with my culinary skills. After all, there is always time and the left over vegetables of the week for my disposition.

I love making pasta with the different variations of pasta sauce and most of the time it works well for me. Also it is so easy to put together.

I am a strong beleiver in including large portions of vegetables in my food. Be it stir-fry or steamed vegetables are essential part of our diet. Throw in a bit of meat, seafood or wine to give it that weekend pleasure.

Below is my personal recipie that is tried and tested. Get creative and add your own vegetables if you like. Happy Pasta-day!

Penne Pasta with Shrimp & Brocolli in Alfredo Garlic Sauce.


Ingredients :
1 tbsp butter
3 brocolli heads trimmed and cleaned
2 cups of chopped celery sticks
2 cups of chopped brussel sprouts
1 carrot finely sliced

1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 packet of Penne Pasta
1 pod of sliced garlic
1 cup of milk
1 cup of Roasted Garlic Alfredo Sauce

1 pound cleaned and de-veined shrimp. Season with some salt and pepper and let marinate for 20 minutes.
Tip : Wash the shrimp several times with a pinch of turmeric powder. The turmeric remove any unpleasant odors and cleans the shrimp due to its antiseptic properties.

It's time to cook :

Wash and thaw the shrimp and season with salt and pepper and keep aside for about 15 minutes.


Cook the pasta as per instructions on the bag and set aside after tossing with a drizzle of olive oil.

Now to make the sauce :

Heat the butter and roast 1 clove of garlic till aromatic. Add the vegetables and stir fry for 5 minutes till cooked. Now add milk, salt and pepper and cover and cook for few minutes, stirring in between. Once the vegetables are done add the Alfredo sauce and combine to make a smooth creamy mixture. Let it cook on low-medium heat for a while and season according to taste. 

While this is coming together, take a separate pan, heat some olive oil and add the shrimps and sauté till the shrimps turn pink and are cooked to perfection. 

Combine the shrimps and the sauce and serve warm over the pasta with a glass of red wine. Don't forget to add some toasted croutons if you have any. 



Free Printables: Thank You Cards



If you are looking to send a lovely Thank You card to someone special, check out the printable version that you could download from this really cool site called Love vs Design. 


Poster Time



And they called it Solvang!



Located within California’s Central Coast in northern Santa Barbara County is a little Danish village called Solvang. Established in 1911 by a small group of Danes, the city contracts its name from the Danish word “sunny field”.


After passing flamboyant scenery of rolling hills, spring grass, barns and farms and several vineyards, you will find yourself entering a European village called Solvang. 



This beautiful place nests in the Santa Ynez Valley of California and is restructured to discreet tree lined streets, Hønen(horse drawn wagons), windmills, Danish eateries and Wine tasting rooms amid antiquated shops of  true Danish architecture.


This weekend, my husband and I took a stroll in a Danish village right here in California. We were sputtering with excitement at the sight of the village and almost instinctively parked on the street. The air was crisp and warm with the smell of Danish pastries and hot coffee all around. It seemed so eventful for a Saturday afternoon and tourists were caught up in exploring windmills and bicycling, indecisively moving in and out of the varied little shops that were so attractively adorned. For us, just sauntering and absorbing the architecture, the aroma and the culture were exhilarating enough.

The building facades captivated me and the cobblestone sidewalk was fascinating. The people seem warm and friendly enough. There are a lot of Danish influences and references to Vikings and Hans Christen Anderson, in the names of buildings and squares and blocks and streets to horse drawn wagons and cobbled sidewalks. There are so many impressive diverse stores from needlework to chocolates to antiques, candles and souvenir shops all in this town.



The best part of it all, Mortensen’s Danish Bakery with their choice of Danish pastries and the sweet smell of sugar, butter and jam everywhere. We tried the Raspberry Coconut Macaroon Squares with some regular coffee and it was heavenly. There was good demand for Owl Eye cookies and Danish cream pastries. We enjoyed the desert and each other’s company in that quaint little coffee shop all relaxed and pleased.


It is an invigorating place to visit over a weekend and enjoy fine dining, wine tasting or even window shopping just like the Danes would. After taking a lot of touristy photographs of the place, we decided to just take in and absorb Solvang’s content to go home and narrate stories off the day we visited that Danish village in California.





For more information about this place and how to get there visit their webpage @ http://www.solvangusa.com/


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Meditate For A Better Life.


Meditation is a practice in which an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or as an end in itself
– Wikipedia

There is no easy way to meditate. The only way is attempt to meditate. In this world of neurotic behavior and instability in life and technology we find it hard to take a moment to relax, focus and concentrate on ourselves. If we can spare five minutes in a day to close our eyes, take a deep breath and relax we may just have a very fruitful day.

Idyllically the essence of our life is the need for some bliss, peace and calm, it is what you need for yourself.  It would do us a world of good if we could just relax those straining muscles, dissolve those inconsequential worries and melt the tension from our bodies and thus indulge in converging on ourselves.  A meditative mind will also perceive an upsetting thought, but lets it die, while a negative mind lets it rule.

Research and studies show a lot of positives from meditation. The relaxation effect is so powerful that “disease fighting genes” power up if one regularly meditates. If you practice meditation, your chance of ailments from arthritis and lower blood pressure reduces and there will be an increase in the body’s healthy hormone levels and immunity. Emotional balance is hard to achieve and meditation can cure neurosis and traumatized egos.

Let’s face it, we live in a stressed out world of pandemonium and complexity. It is hard to keep up and stay relaxed in life. But after a day’s work, it has to be time to unwind. Practice meditation for five minutes and increase that time as you go along. If you meditate daily, you will reduce the release of the stress-hormones adrenalin and cortisol that are the culprits in heart disease, infertility and low immunity. Muscles contract and tighten when we are stressed and this causes digestion issues that should not occur.

Always meditate to release stress and stay relaxed. It will help in creating positive energy around you, creating a better life work balance and handling stress effectively. Start now, just time yourself for five minutes of deep intense breathing, exhale and inhale and focus your mind on your breathing. Divert your mind from all distractions and simply reflect on your breath.

Meditation brings wisdom; lack of mediation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what hold you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.
- Buddha


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