Sunday, February 28, 2010

My Personal Rules to Live By.............

I cleaned my home office recently and found a list of 21 Rules To Live and decided to posted them last week for all to read. I did not personally write them and I don't know who the original author is but I do hope you read them and are applying some or all of those rules to your life.

Here is a list of Rules I did actually write a couple of years ago. They were inspired by the frustration and heartbreak of an unhealthy relationship that went from bad to worse and ended suddenly in a painful, brutal way. I cried my eyes out, tore apart my home to eliminate every single reminder of him, and threatened all my friends with serious consequences if they so much as mentioned his name. Several weeks later, I finally came to the harsh realization that the failure of that relationship (and past ones) was mostly my own fault because I never expressed what I wanted and didn't want. I dried my eyes, put my "big girl pants" on, sat down and wrote this list:

1. Clearly express your boundaries and what you will and will not tolerate

2. Know what you want and need and confidently ask for it!

3. Your needs, desires, and opinions are important, so speak up!

4. Never tolerate disrespect or mistreatment--even if it means walking out!

5. Act like you have what you want until you get it!

6. Choose your battles wisely, but always defend yourself

7. Accept others with their faults and shortcomings but never at the
expense of your own dignity

8. If others are not able or willing to give you what you want or need,
find people who can and will

9. If at all possible, completely avoid emotional vampires
(those who suck the life, joy, and energy from your life).

10. Always believe you deserve the best and expect and demand it or
others will assume you are satisfied with less!!

And this is my Daily Cyn............

Monday, February 22, 2010

Snow Again!!!

The weather forecast for tomorrow? SNOW! That's right....more of the frozen white stuff! So far, here in NY we have had over 30" of it, and it's only February.

I can't remember the last time we had such a large accumulation of snow. It doesn't seem to get warm enough or stay warm enough for any of it to melt away so it just keeps piling up and piling up, freezing over and making things a bit messy. The main topic on everyone's lips--SNOW and the aggravating, cold, inconvenience of it. Everywhere I go I hear the same thing, "I can't believe we are getting more snow! I can't take any more snow! When are we getting rid of all this snow? I hate the snow!" Personally, I love the snow. I love to play in it, walk in it, stand out in my front yard as it falls from the sky, and I love that crisp, chilly, peaceful hush after each snow fall. It's like God tossed a huge white blanket over my little world and everything is fresh and clean for just a little while. Yes, it's inconvenient. Yes, I must shovel it and dig out the car when the snow plows bury it. Snow is a nightmare to drive in, when it freezes over at night and turns to ice you must be extremely cautious, and it makes the daily commute to work extra slow, messy, and time consuming. It once took me over 5 hours to drive home from work in the snow. I was cold, tired, and hungry by the time I arrived at my house, but I also had 5 hours of uninterrupted time to think, listen to music, and chat on the phone with friends I never have the time to talk with (on the hands-free of course!) I take the LIRR to work now and all trains are suspended if there is an accumulation of ten inches or more. That means I am stranded and cannot get to the office if I tried. It also means I have a day off and don't have to get dressed. In this age of technology, I can have my office calls forwarded to my cell, retrieve and respond to emails, and schedule a closing all from the comfort of my livingroom, in my bathrobe, with a cup of hot cocoa and my little cat snuggled beside me. That's not such a bad thing! It's all about perspective, folks!

Despite my love for the snow, I recently noticed I have jumped on the bandwagon of constant complaining, rolling my eyes at every meterologist's mention of it, and cursing the very crunch of the frozen stuff beneath my feet each time I walk out the front door. Why is this? I thought back to when I was a kid and even a hint of snow in the forecast would cause an outbreak of joyous shouting, laughter and excitment! It meant days off from school, sled riding, snow ball fights, snow forts, snow men in the front yard! When did that attitude shift take place from sheer pleasure to aggravation? I didn't notice when it happened but it did and I don't like it! It was time for a little examination and evaluation.

When we become adults, life obviously changes. We have jobs, bills, a home, children and responsibilities, and burdens and concerns we never had as kids. Our goals and the things that keep us awake at night are different but does that mean we have to lose that sparkle and excitment we had as children? Does it mean we have to be serious, complaining, negative and aggravated? Absolutely not!!!

I am a Nutritional Consultant and my main focus is food. I practice and teach the benefits of a healthy diet and how we can heal ourselves and even prevent diseases simply by what we put in our mouths. I believe we are what we eat and that food is the foundation of good health. Food is important for our bodies but what about primary food? What do you nourish your spirit and soul with? What is it that brings you pleasure, that causes you to forget about everything else and get lost in the moment? If you can't put your finger on it, think back to when you were a child. What did you love to do back then and why aren't you doing it now? Have you ever watched a child at play? They don't care what they look like, who laughs at them or what they need to do tomorrow or even an hour from now. They are completely living in the present moment without a care in the world. When was the last time you felt like that?

I challenge you to try something different the next time the snow falls. Change your attitude and pretend you are young again. Forget about work, shoveling the driveway, and every other inconvenience for a little while. Get out your hat, your scarf, your gloves, your warm frumpy boots and take a walk in the snow, build a snowman, lay down in it, roll in it, and make snow angels. Build a snow fort, make a huge stock pile of snowballs and challenge your kids, your neighbors, or your mate to a snowball fight! Loser needs to make and serve the hot cocoa to the other as you sit and warm up before a roaring fire, or the heater, or the oven! Climb into a hot steaming bathtub with your sweetheart after and defrost together! Just have like a child for a little while. I guarantee you will be refreshed, renewed, rejuvenated and all your cares and burdens will disappear. You might even miraculously find the solution to a huge problem or issue simply because you stepped away from it for awhile and focused your energy on having fun! Your whole attitude will shift and the next time you hear snow in the forecast, rather than rolling your eyes and complaining like everyone else, you might discover that you do love the snow after all.

And this is my Daily Cyn.............

If you are interested in Nutritional Consulting or learning more about Primary Food, visit my website at: Send me an email or complete and submit one of the health questionnaires! I would love to hear from you!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Great Smile

One of the things I receive the most compliments on is my smile.  My smile is genuine, wide and warm and I do it often. I can get my man to do just about anything for me by simply smiling sweetly at him.  I was always told by my Southern Belle grandmother, "Smile, darlin', it makes you feel better and you'll get less wrinkles when you do!"  I love to smile. Smiling makes me feel better, it makes others feel better, and just like Grandma promised, I am 48 years old and don't have a wrinkle on my face.

Imagine my dismay when I discovered a little brown spot right on my front tooth about a month ago! I was so upset by this flaw on my otherwise perfectly straight, pearly whites.  It seemed to appear overnight, out of nowhere and I wasn't sure what to do about it.  I had heard and read about all kinds of  "over the counter" whitening agents and purchased a few but was never consistent.  I just don't have the patience to insert gross tasting gel into a plastic tray and insert it in my mouth for ten minutes. I tried the brush -on kind, the type in the little bottle with the tiny little brush.  You must stand there in front of the mirror and painstakingly brush every single tooth without missing a spot.  That's certainly not for me.  I even attempted to use those whitening strips but they wouldn't stay on.  This is most likely because I just can't refrain from talking long enough for them to work.  I tried toothpaste with added whiteners and mouthwash with whitening agents.   Nothing worked.  I considered having my teeth whitened professionally, but I really couldn't find the time and didn't want to spend the money.

Every time I looked in the mirror, all I saw was that darn brown spot.  In every photo taken, it jumped out at me and it appeared to be getting bigger and darker.  I became so insecure about it that I refused to have my picture taken, smiled with my mouth closed to prevent revealing any teeth, and would even cover my mouth with my hand when talking up close with someone.  People started noticing and asking if everything was ok! It was becoming absolutely ridiculous! 

I came across a product in the drugstore called "PLUS WHITE 5 MINUTE SPEED WHITENING GEL".  It looked just like a toothpaste tube. One step bleaching power, fast and easy. "What the heck, I'll add it to the collection I already have at home," I thought as I half-heartedly tossed it into my shopping cart.

There are a few ways to use this product. You can use it with with a mouth tray. Uh, no thanks.  You can take a cotton swab and brush it on every tooth. Forget it!  I could have just concentrated on the one tooth with the spot but I was afraid that one would be too white and all the rest would be too yellow.  Wait....... you can put it on your toothbrush! Now this sounds simple enough for even me.  Every night before bed I gently brushed my teeth with this gel (which doesn't taste half-bad)  and coated my teeth with it as evenly as possible.  I wasn't obsessive about it, but I managed to cover each tooth.  I left it on for 5 minutes.  I used the time to set up my coffee pot for the next morning.  When the time was up, I rinsed my mouth, and then brushed with regular tooth paste. The next morning I raced to the mirror expecting the spot to be gone but it was still there.  I was disappointed but realized I couldn't expect miracles in just one application so I decided to try it again.  I had to try this or spend $500 for professional treatment or live with the brown spot. I wasn't about to spend that money or continue hiding my smile.  Night after night for about two weeks I faithfully brushed with the gel and it became a habit. 

One morning while flossing, I noticed the the spot was completely gone! if it never existed! I was amazed! I was impressed! I began to sing the praises of this amazing little gel!  Now, a couple of nights a week I brush with it and then follow with my regular toothpaste to maintain the effects. I will never be without this tube of whitening gel and I recommend it to everyone who asks " How do you keep your teeth so white?"

You must try this product! It's inexpensive, it's fast, it's easy!  It was invented for impatient people like me who can't be bothered with fuss and mess.  I am smiling again, wide and proud, revealing all my pearly whites, throwing my head back and genuinely laughing with out worrying about that silly little brown spot that caused me to hide one of my greatest assets.  A warm smile can melt the coldest heart......even your own.

And this is my Daily Cyn.................


Natural Remedies for Bad Breath

Natural Remedies for Bad Breath

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

21 Rules to Live By

I had a few appointments today so I decided to work from home. One of the tasks I have been avoiding for months was cleaning out my home office. I finally accomplished this (and several other things as well) and while going through some old papers came across this list of RULES TO LIVE BY. I don't know where I originally got this list from but I want to share them with you:

1. Give people more than they expect and do it cheerfully

2. Marry a man/woman you love to talk to. As you grow older, their conversational skills will be as important as any other

3. Don't believe all you hear, spend all you have, or sleep all you want

4. When you say " I love you", mean it

5. When you say "I'm sorry", look the person in the eye

6. Be engaged at least six months before you get married

7. Believe in love at first sight

8. Never laugh at anyone's dream. People who don't have dreams don't have much

9. Love deeply and passionately. You might get hurt but it's the only way to live life

10. In disagreements, fight fairly. No name calling

11. Don't judge people by their relatives

12. Talk slowly but think quickly

13. When someone asks you a question you don't want to answer, smile and ask, "Why do you want to know?"

14. Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk

15. Say "bless you" when you hear someone sneeze

16. When you lose, don't lose the lesson

17. Remember the three R's: Respect for self, Respect for others, and Responsibility for all your actions

18. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship

19. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it

20. Smile when picking up the phone. The caller will hear it in your voice

21. Spend time alone

Print these rules and post them in a place where you can see them every day!

And this is my Daily Cyn......................

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Healthy Heart

Today is Valentine's Day.....the holiday we celebrate by honoring the ones we care about with cards, flowers, heart shaped boxes of chocolates, and by reaffirming the love we have for our sweethearts. I don't particularly subscribe to all of the Hallmark Hype of the day, but I do take the time to let the people I love know how special they are to me. We really should be doing this all the time, but a day set aside specifically for love right in the middle of February (the coldest month of the year) has a way of making us all feel a little warmer inside.

February is also American Heart Health Month and is a great time to refocus our attention on taking care of our hearts. Cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, are our nation's number one killer. As an advocate for health and wellness, I cannot stress enough the importance of a healthy diet and lifestyle. These are the most important weapons to fight cardiovascular disease. Here are a few tips for a healthier heart:

Chose lean meats and poultry without skin and prepare them without added saturated and transfat. Try alternative sources of protein other than meat once or twice weekly

Select lower fat dairy products

Avoid foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils

Cut back on foods and beverages with added sugars

Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt. Aim to eat less than 2500 mg or one teaspoon of sodium per day

If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation

Eat fish at least twice weekly. Recent research shows that eating oily fish containing omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, trout, and herring) may help lower your risk of death from coronary artery disease

Incorporate whole grains into your diet. People who eat whole grains regularly have a lower risk of obesity and lower cholestrol levels. Whole grains are a key source of nutrients and disease-fighting phytochemicals that are also found in many fruits and vegetables.

I am just grazing the surface here but these are basic, easy and simple suggestions everyone can do to keep the heart healthy and strong. On this Valentine's Day, you might be busy showering others with gifts and affection, but don't forget to take time for yourself and make the decision to love and cherish the most important person of all--yourself. It's never too late to start. It's never too late to change. Love is nourishing your own heart, your own dreams, and your own life so you can truly love others.

Here are a few websites you might find useful:

And this is my Daily Cyn....................

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Weight Loss Fairy

I love the idea of fairies; the dainty and beautiful mythical creatures that inhabit gardens, ponds, forests....... I am sure we have all heard of the Tooth Fairy. Lose a tooth, place it under your pillow before falling asleep, and this lovely being silently floats on paper thin wings into your bedroom, and exchanges money for the tooth. The first indication of anything even remotely loose in our mouths would set the "Operation Tooth Extraction" plan in motion for me and my brother, when we were kids. We would wiggle the loose money-maker with our tongues, pry with our fingers, our dad's pliers, or depending on how desperate we were for fast cash, we would try the old one end of the string to the tooth and the other to the door knob trick. Worst case scenario-- we would have to patiently wait for nature to take its course, hoping and praying that we would not swallow or lose the precious item when it finally decided to dislodge itself from our little pink gums.

Imagine my suprise to learn today, during some mindless internet surfing, there is a weight-loss fairy. How cool is that? If I could go to sleep at night and miraculously wake up thin, I would be the happiest girl in the world! The tooth fairy only requires an old tooth in exchange for cash. I was told the tooth fairy recycles the teeth (how very "'green" of her). I wonder what this weight loss fairy requires in exchange for eternal thinness? If it's fat she wants, I will gladly give it......take my thighs, please, and while you're at it, the extra pounds around my middle that suddenly appeared the day I turned 40 and despite all the crunches, sit ups, and Abs-of-Steel work outs I have done over the past 8 years, just will not go away. Take it, recycle it, and give it to one of those aggravating girls who eat all they want and never gain an ounce. You know who I mean-- those model-thin gals who have the audacity to complain about needing to "gain" weight as they consume an entire cheeseburger deluxe platter while you labor over a salad with no dressing, no croutons, no cheese, no bread and butter on the side! My boyfriend is really thin and wants to put on a few pounds. I will gladly make a donation to his cause.

All kidding aside, I found a wonderful website (I posted the link) with products and gifts for the body, mind and spirit. This is where I came across a lovely pair of "weigh-loss fairy" earrings. These dainty earrings have little dangling silver fairies and tiny healing stones:

Sodalite: to regulate the metabolism, help the digestive system, and aid in weight-loss

Amethyst: to aid in healing addictions of food and other substances

Obsidian: to reduce cravings and act as a shield against negativity

Tourmaline: to facilitate weight loss and get the energy flowing

I studied the healing power and energy of stones when I was in college and I am still not sure if I believe the claims. Perhaps it's the actual belief in the power and the energy that brings about the desired results. Who knows? If they really did have healing powers I would bury myself in an entire tub full of tourmaline stones to lose weight. It sure sounds alot easier than going to the gym every day and sacrificing bagels, mashed potatoes, and ice cream for the rest of my life.

The fact is, there is no miraculous weight-loss method other than hard work, moderation and determination. If these gorgeous fairy earrings with the healing stones can serve as a constant reminder to love and honor your body by eating good and nourishing food and exercising regularly, then by all means, order them and wear them daily. In the mean time, I am going to search for "weigh-gain fairy" earrings, discard all evidence of their true purpose, and send them to all my skinny friends.

And this is my Daily Cyn.............

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Just Say No!!

Speak your mind.....even if your voice shakes. -Maggie Kuhn

"NO!" We don't like to hear that word when we want something. Mustering up enough courage to walk in to the boss and request a raise after years of excellent and faithful service only to have your request denied is enough to rattle even the most confident person. As a child, I was constantly told "No". "No....don't touch that. cannot have a cookie. may not use the car tonight. I said No!" My son's very first word was "No!" I am convinced this is because I constantly said it to him. My boyfriend's niece (the most adorable girl in the world) shakes her finger and says, "No no no!" It's adorable. One night I was out with some friends. My boyfriend stepped outside for a few minutes and a guy asked me to dance. I shook my finger at him and responded, " No no no!!" just like she does. Those who heard me burst into hysterical laughter! I am sure the guy thought I was insane and probably relieved that I turned him down.

As much we dislike hearing "No" when it pertains to us and something we want or need; at times it is even more difficult to say. We say it to our children and our spouses but when it comes to others we find ourselves agreeing to all sorts of things we don't want to do because we just can't say no. The boss asks you to stay after work for a last minute, unscheduled meeting. Tonight is your son's final basketball game for the championship. You PROMISED him you would be there. What do you say?

Women find it even more difficult to say no at times. Women are often percieved to be "softer" so people tend to push harder, knowing they will appeal to their sympathetic side. Regardless of gender; to be soft, kind, and generous without being too soft, you need to be persistent. If you are the type that prides yourself on your empathy skills ( the ability to put yourself in someone elses' shoes) that does not mean that you have to agree to everything.

If you are a generous person how can you possibly turn down your favorite charity, the girl scouts selling cookies door to door or in front of the grocery store, or the woman who asks for a ride to church every Sunday morning, despite the fact it is several miles out of your way and there are other parishoners who live closer to her that can do it? You want to say no but you just can't. "If I consider myself a good person, a good friend, or a good Christian and want everyone to think of me that way, then I can't say no. What's wrong with me?" The truth of the matter is, constantly saying yes to even the smallest requests time after time demands a portion of your time, your money, effort, and talents and will cut into the other ways you might want to use those resources. Deep down, you know it!! This does not mean you should become a hardened "knee-jerk" naysayer, it means you should strive to make every yes you do say a good and genuine one. Here are some tips I have learned on saying no:

* Say it when you want to, not when you'll feel guilty for not saying it--or when you are using selflessness as an excuse to put off your own tasks.

* Before saying yes out of habit, fear or nervousness, buy yourself some time by saying you need to think about the request.

* Negotiate by saying "Yes, I can do that if you do...."

* Realize that "No" is a complete sentence. In Melville's story of the same name, Bartleby the Scrivener never explained why he would "prefer not to." You don't have to either.

No one will ever truly despise you for declining an invitation, donating your time to one fund raiser rather five, or for saying no to transporting a friend all over town on your only day off. The trick is to meet and satisfy your own needs while also accomodating the other person's cirumstances. For instance you might say, "I am no longer able to take you to the mall on saturday afternoons, but why don't you give Suzie a call? She loves going shopping and is always looking for someone to keep her company." You have just released yourself from the task and the responsibility, offered a solution to the problem, and helped another friend by introducing her to a new shopping buddy. They both will be singing your praises!

There is an old saying, " You never really know about a person until you walk a mile in their shoes". Go ahead and walk a mile or two but then don't forget to put your own shoes back on!

And this is my Daily Cyn....................

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Joy of Internet Shopping......

I am one of those people who does just about everything on-line. The major portion of my days and nights are spent in front of a computer so it just makes sense to me to kill two birds with one stone--work a few hours, take a ten minute break, shop a little, pay bills, check my bank accounts. Time is limited and valuable and to me....time is money. I much prefer spending my time off with the people I love or doing the things I really enjoy instead of running back and forth to stores to pick up items I need or want, writing and mailing checks, or going to the bank. This past Christmas I did not step into one store to purchase one gift. Everything was purchased on-line. This is the first year I did this and I saved time, money, and aggravation. Plodding through a shopping mall, wandering aimlessly from store to store, totally exhausted, frustrated, overburdened with dozens of shopping bags and boxes, sweating my butt off because I am wearing my heavy winter coat, is not my idea of a good time. I would rather have bamboo shoots rammed under my finger nails than spend an hour driving up, down and around a parking lot hoping to catch a glimpse of someone getting into their car so I can take their spot before anyone else does. How many times have you found that perfect parking space, only to lose it to some little old grandmother who, as you roll down your window and shout obscenities at her, swears she did not see your car there idling for the past thirty minutes. Perhaps it's time for some new glasses, Granny!!! I don't make a habit of yelling choice words at little old ladies but stress makes us do things we ordinarily would never do! This is the stress we need to avoid, especially during the so-called season of peace! This Christmas for me was completely relaxed, all my gifts boxed, bagged and beautifully wrapped and placed under the tree with a sigh of utter contentment and satisfaction a couple of weeks prior to the holiday. I was so proud of myself and had time left over to spend with family and friends, decorate, bake, and do whatever I wanted. I was able to enjoy every moment of the wonderful season and genuinely felt sorry for those still out shopping at the last possible moment because they had no idea what to buy for Aunt Ginny!!

If you have a computer and a credit card, debit card, or a pay-pal account, you can shop on line. You can even do all your grocery shopping via internet (another tremedous timesaver! Stay tuned for some info and tips I will be posting on that soon!) You can purchase anything your heart desires on line. I recently bought an item that looks like a clay planter complete with the plant and everything. It looks nice, it's decorative but......inside the planter is a cat litter box. I hate litter boxes! This is truly cat goes in through the cut-out in the back, does his business, and no one knows what's really in there....except him and me!!

There are a few little drawbacks to internet shopping. You must be slightly organized. This means you must keep track of birthdays, anniversaries, special occassions and events, and order in advance to allow time for shipping. You don't get to actually "see-touch-and-feel" the item before it arrives so be sure to order well in advance in case you absolutely hate it. Personally, I have been thoroughly pleased with every single purchase. In the beginning, experiment with the stores you are already familiar and confident in to guarantee satisfaction. If you were just invited to a party tomorrow and need a killer dress or a hostess gift, your best bet is to go to the store. If you don't mind paying an additional fee, most stores offer FED-EX shipping with in 24 hours. I only did this once for one item I urgently needed. Honestly, THAT kind of stress is so not worth it! Most of the time you will need to pay a nominal charge for basic shipping, but when you calculate the time, gas, and aggravation saved by shopping this way, it all balances. At times there are specials, free shipping for orders over a certain amount, and even no charges for preferred customers. I get emails daily alerting me to "free shipping days" and try to take advantage of these as often as I can. A penny saved is a penny earned......

Ok.....this all sounds interesting, but where do you start? Perhaps you have made a few purchases on-line, or are already a seasoned internet shopper, or you have absolutely NO idea how to do this. If you have an idea of what you want, simply type that item into your internet brower and dozens and dozens of websites should come up. That still can be overwhelming to most. You are looking to save time by doing this and you certainly don't want to spend countless hours surfing site after site for what you want. I have the easiest solution.

I recently became a distributor for Market America. As a health and nutritional counselor, I believe in their products and have experienced the benefits first hand and have heard nothing but rave reviews from friends and family that I have asked to sample the items. I am not here to sell you something (but do check out the products....they are oustanding). I have a website that you can visit and see for yourself. is the really exciting part. My website is a portal to thousands of stores...stores we all know and love, like MACYS, BEST BUY, VICTORIAS SECRET, and so much more. Think Stargate and stepping through a door to the whole wonderful world of one stop shopping at your finger-tips! It truly makes it all so simple! Type in what you are looking for and the stores that carry that particular item all pop up. You can also comparision shop for the store that offers that product at the lowest price. It's incredible!

You owe it to yourself to check out this website ( I have posted the link) and see for yourself how easy it is. Set yourself up as a preferred customer to take advantage of special promotions, sales and updates. The beauty of it is, you are in control. You never have to meet me, money never exchanges hands, I don't have to deliver the items to your home nor do you have to come and pick them up......another time saver for both of us. This is just one way to simplify your life and manage your time so you can do what ever it is you really love doing.....and isn't that what life is supposed to be about?

And this is my Daily Cyn...........

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Whining about Wine...........

I love a good wine.... I enjoy it frequently with dinner. After a particularly stressful day, I will get home from work, light some candles, play some jazz music, pour a glass and just sit, relax and sip. It's like a mini ritual with me and I find comfort in it. I suppose it can be done with any kind of drink, a cup of tea, a martini, a glass of sparkling water with a twist of lime or lemon. I just prefer the wine.

If you eat a fatty meal, serve red wine with it. It cuts the fat and actually helps to scrub your arteries clean. Red wine has healing properties, namely RESERVATROL. It's good for your heart, your cholesterol, your blood pressure. You can get it from a pill if you choose, but where's the fun in that? Slowly sip and enjoy a glass or swallow a pill?! Which sounds more appealing to you?

There is really no harm in having a glass or two of wine. Consuming the entire bottle by yourself in one evening....that's another story. If this is the case, perhaps you need to change your life a bit, get out more, or pick up the phone and call a friend to share a glass or two with you. A platter of cheese and crackers, good olives, and some fruit is the perfect thing to serve for impromtu gathering and it's just not the same with a glass of soda! Perrier water for the non-drinkers in your group, ok....but wine is good for the soul and just makes everything taste better.

For those on a budget, there is no need to break the bank or go into debt over a bottle of good wine. I am a big fan of Yellowtail. They make a good Merlot and their Shiraz ( a little heavy to drink in warmer weather) is the best I have ever had. I try not to be too religious about which wine goes with which food (the rule usually is white wine with fish, salads, and lighter pasta meals, red with beef or heavier pasta dinners like lasagna or manicotta.) No need to really stress over this but there are some die-hard wine lovers out there who will be offended if you do not have the right wine with a particular meal so try to keep a good variety of each on hand. If you are going to dinner and are not sure what your host is serving, bring a good Pinot Grigio. If he or she has planned a dinner that calls for red wine, the Pinot can be served before the meal with appetizers or even after with dessert. Chardonnay is great to serve in the summer, outside at a BBQ or at the beach or when just hanging by the pool with friends. Folks that are not regular wine drinkers will enjoy a Chardonnay for its lightness, slight sweetness, and low alcohol content. Red wine should be served room temperature, white always chilled. Some people toss a few ice cubes into a glass of white wine. I personally would NEVER do that (it waters down the taste!)....but to each his own. Just make sure you slip it in the fridge a few hours before, buy it from the cold case at the liquor store, or if worse comes to worse, toss the bottle into the freezer for awhile......but don't forget to check on it so it doesn't turn to ice.

The man I am dating is not much of a wine drinker. He is more of a Budweiser kind of guy. When we first starting dating he talked about a Red Rose' wine he really enjoys from time to time. Of course, I turned up my snobby nose at that idea. We recently were invited to dinner at his cousin's home and we stopped on the way for a bottle of wine. He knew exactly what he wanted and marched up to the register with a huge screw cap jug of Rose'. I threw a mini trantrum right there in the liquor store, absolutely refusing to bring a screw cap bottle of wine to dinner. He reluctantly put the jug back and because I knew they were serving pasta with meat sauce, we settled on a nice Merlot instead. At dinner, the bottle was opened but barely touched (except by me) and his cousin kept asking," Where's the Rose'?". Live and learn.

I have since sampled the screw-cap jug of wine and I must admit it's really not bad at all. It's inexpensive, very light, a little sweet and goes well with just about everything. I always make sure we have a bottle on hand for the weekends because I know it's something my man enjoys and I enjoy the ritual of sipping it with him. I have come to the is wine no matter what kind, red or white, cork or screw long as its shared with the people you love.

And this is my Daily Cyn........

Friday, February 5, 2010

Short and Sweet

I am going to keep this short and sweet today and will leave you with this:

Love as if you have never had your heart broken
Laugh as loudly and as often as you can
Kiss and make up as quickly as possible
Forgive easily and never hold a grudge
Dance as if no one is watching
And hold on tight because life is a roller coaster and it sure is one hell of a ride!!!

And this is my Daily Cyn.............

Thursday, February 4, 2010

What to Serve on Super Bowl Sunday

For those who don't know, I am a vegetarian. I don't consume beef, swine, lamb, venison, or fowl. On occassion I will have fish (usually salmon and usually when dining out). I am what you call a LACTO OVO VEGETARIAN which means I will eat eggs and dairy products. As long as the animal does not suffer or give its life to provide nourishment for me it's acceptable. (Yes, I am aware that the fish must die in order for me to eat it but that is a whole other topic to discuss another time).

My style of eating does cause issues with others, especially with men. The man I am currrently dating is a bona-fide meat eater. He loves his steak, preferably prime rib or filet mignon. Good choices if meat is your thing. He also likes a good beef chili. When we first began our relationship he was concerned about my vegetarian lifestyle and would say (in a terrified voice) " I am going to starve with you, aren't I?" when I would rattle off what I eaten on a particular day. I am currently carrying at least 20 extra pounds of excess weight so I am obviously far from starving. He should have no worries in that area. I would never expect him to exist on what I eat nor would I insist he eat my favorite meal- baked acorn squash stuffed with rice and nuts; drizzled with organic maple syrup. I can buy a roast. I would have no idea what to do with it once I got it home but eventually I am sure I would figure it out. I cooked a whole turkey one year at Thanksgiving and although I cried the whole time preparing the poor bird, it came out pretty good according to those brave enough to taste it.

This brings me to the subject of Super Bowl Sunday. Tradition dictates that we serve a buffet of assorted chips and dip, chicken wings, and big bowls of spicy beef chili with large quantities of iced cold beer to wash it all down. The very thought of even serving this type of food completely horrifies me but I know the man I love is looking foward to these things and if he has his way there won't be a single vegetable in sight the entire day. I have more than a dozen fantastic recipes for meatless chili including one made with TVP (texturized vegetable protein) that is pretty darn good! I don't think my recipes are going to work this time so I have spent the past several days pouring over cook books and surfing the net to find a sure-fire, kick-ass beef chili recipe I can serve with pride to my guy. I still have a couple of days before Sunday to figure this out. I could attempt to pass off my TVP chili as the real thing but he'll know it's fake. He will eat it but he won't really enjoy it. Where's the real pleasure in that?

What is the point of all this? I have touched on vegetarianism and my quest for the perfect chili recipe. I haven't offered any real opinions or earth shattering advice or solutions to anything. What I want to say is plain and simple. Serve and indulge in all the things you love to eat and drink during Super Bowl without an ounce of only comes once a year. Make sacrifices and do things for the people you love for tommorrow is promised to none of us and in doing so you will find true joy and contentment. So.....I will brown the chopped, ground cow in a pan, stir in all the necessary components and let it simmer all day. I will put out the chips and dip, the chicken wings and beer, and sit back and smile as I watch my guy enjoy it.

And this is my Daily Cyn.........

(oh.... and GO SAINTS!!!)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Status Symbol Land

Every morning I step off the train and head straight to Dunkin Donuts for my extra large coffee to sip at the office as I read my emails and go through paperwork.

This morning I was completely mesmerized by a woman on line ordering coffee ahead of me. She was covered from head to toe in designer attire right down to her Chanel hand bag and matching wallet, Gucci sun glasses (there was no sun today--it was snowing), and the Louis Vuitton scarf spattered with huge trademark VL emblems wrapped around her neck. I couldn't stop staring, not because I was impressed, but because I just couldn't help but wonder who on earth this woman was and if she had any clue herself. I just couldnt stop thinking all day about why this woman felt the need to drape herself completely in designer garb and accessories, and quite frankly, it made me a little sad.

Now I must confess, I have a few designer items that I paid small fortunes for back in the day when I earned a better living in the mortgage industry and didn't have to choose between paying my rent and bills that month or purchasing the latest trend. One year, for my birthday, I treated myself to a Cartier tank watch because I have wanted one since I was a teenager. I wore this simple, classic, timeless $ 6,000 watch with the unique and sturdy clasp only once or twice because I am terrified of losing it. Every once in awhile I open my jewelry box and take it out just to look at it. If times get really tough, at least I can sell it. I also had a gorgeous Vuitton wallet that cost me the equivalent of two week's worth of groceries. I had to have it but sadly my beloved wallet was stolen right from my purse (not designer) one night at a bar. I was not so upset about losing the wallet and all of its contents but rather insulted that anyone would steal from me because if they had simply asked I would have given them cash, the wallet, or anything else if they really, really wanted it.

When I graduated high school back in 1980 (GULP!!) I remember designer items becoming popular and more accessible to the "common folk". It all started with Aigner handbags which in those days cost a whopping $70!! When you are accustomed to paying no more than $5.99 for an item that is simply used to carry a velcro wallet, car keys and a lipstick, that much money for a purse was considered absolutely outrageous and down right sinful. Most girls I knew were willing to sacrifice opening several lovely gifts under the tree that year for Christmas in exchange for that one coveted handbag reluctantly purchased by their parents. No matter how I begged and pleaded and promised "never again to ask for another thing", my parents refused to buy one for me. I was bound and determined to get that handbag so I worked and scrimped and saved until I could afford one myself, carried it proudly for a few months, and to this day have absolutely no idea what happened to it.

I can't help but wonder about our fascination with designer products and why we have the need to advertise who we are or are not with these items. And this leads me back to the woman in Dunkin Donuts who quite honestly looked as if she had just been at a designer's frat party and they had gotten sick all over her! One or two pieces, I can understand, but a half dozen or more? What she was attempting to communicate to the world did not fool me. I saw a very insecure woman who felt the need to wear other people's names all over her body because she was not comfortable with her own. Her whole appearance announced, "Look at me! I am wearing all this stuff because I am somebody!" Quite honestly, those who truly ARE somebody, know they are and do not need to advertise it or flaunt it in any way, shape, or form. You look at them and you just know simply by their humility, their generosity, and most importantly by the way they treat others. May I never forget that I am who I am because of what is inside of me. I should never feel the need to validate myself or anyone else by a label of any kind; designer or otherwise.

I have my 30 year High School reunion coming up and I think I will take out my Cartier watch and wear it to the event, not to prove I am affluent or give the impression that I am but because it truly is a lovely time piece. I wish I still had that $70 Aigner handbag because it would really go well with the outfit I plan to wear that night. And to the person who stole my Louis Vuitton wallet, I pray you are enjoying it and that it is always filled with money because obviously you need it more.

And this is my Daily Cyn.......