Posted on 6 Jan 2014 In: Health, life, Style

All For A Bottle Of Wine

Whatever possessed me to go the wine and spirit store at 4 PM on New Year’s Eve is beyond me. I should have gone the day before, but nooooooo, I went when every other person in this city decided to go.

Allow me to interject here that Pennsylvania is a strictly regulated state when it comes to alcohol and can only be purchased in a liquor store. Whereas in Florida (where I lived for 20 years), you can purchase wine and beer in grocery stores, convenient stores and most drug stores (like CVS and Walgreen’s). When I went back to Florida last year to visit my family, I had forgotten how awesomely convenient that was.

Anyway, as I walked up to the store (which by the way is a brand new store) I could tell, just from looking through the widows that it was PACKED with customers. I stood outside and pondered, “Do I really want to do this?” But then I thought, “Why not…no matter what store I go to, it’s going to be crowded.” So, I went inside and decided to make it an adventure. Besides, I had my camera with me so I knew I could take pictures and write a blog post about it.

Isn’t it hilarious how we bloggers are always thinking blog post?

First of all, it was so crowded that I couldn’t even get to the Cabernet Sauvignon section of wines because the line of people waiting to get to the cash register, wrapped around the entire store; blocking the shelves. And the customers were so paranoid that someone else was going to cut in line, that there were no spaces between them to even see what was on the shelves.

Finally, I found the wine section I was looking for and had to say, “Excuse me, but I need to get in between you so that I can quickly grab a bottle off that shelf.” A woman so kindly said, “Sure, go right ahead.”

After I got my wine, I then had to figure out where the check out line started. And low and behold, it started waaaaaaay on the other side of the store by the front entrance. And you will be able to tell from the next series of photographs, how big this liquor store is. It looks like a MEGA wine and spirit store.

So I took my bottle of wine and marched myself to the end of the line.

Then very nonchalantly, I pulled out my camera and started snapping photos so that I could show you how LONG the line was.

I did eventually make it to the other side of the line, but even still…

I have to say that the cashier who rang me up was a delight – very friendly, upbeat and quick. And I told her so; thanked her, and then wished her a Happy New Year.

All in all I probably only had to wait in line maybe 15-20 minutes, so I didn’t think it was that bad.

But as I walk out the door though, I turned around and noticed that there was now a line just to get INTO the store. In fact, the store manager had to stand outside and monitor how many people could enter by how many people exited.

OY VEY! 

And as I walked away, I took one last look through the windows and thought, “Shit, I’m glad I went at 4 PM instead of 5 PM.

Oh and by the way, this is the bottle of wine I purchased from Rex-Goliath. It’s a fabulous Cabernet, but I have also tried their Pinot Noir and Shiraz, which are equally as fabulous. 

Happy Monday y’all!

Posted on 3 Jan 2014 In: Food

Easy Crock Pot Secret Recipes

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Hi ,
Hope you had a wonderful week.
We were hit with a blizzard here in New York overnight. I’m already
exhausted from shoveling snow. I’m certainly looking forward to a
relaxing weekend. To help keep this weekends meals stress-free,
I’ve collected some fantastic crock pot recipes (below) to help
make your dinners a snap to prepare.
First, I have a secret recipe for beef and peppers. This recipe
tastes great and couldn’t be easier to make. Serve it over some
rice and dinner is all set.
This recipe is only one of the delicious crock pot recipes featured
in the Set It and Forget It cookbook. In this book, you will find
a complete collection of easy-to-prepare crock pot recipes.
Members of our Discount Cookbook Club will receive this entire
cookbook with their membership. If you’re interested in joining
the club, you can download this title and many others right now: Go Here

Or if you’d like to get this title alone, go here.
Enjoy!
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New Secret Recipe
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Beef and Peppers
2 pounds round steak — lean
2 green peppers — sliced thin
2 tablespoons dried onions — minced -or- 1/2 minced fresh small onion
1 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 garlic clove — minced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Cut the steak into serving size pieces. If desired you can brown the meat in a little hot oil before adding to crockpot.
Place the thinly sliced pepper rings in bottom of crockpot, reserving a few to place on top of meat if desired. (Vegetables cook better when placed on bottom of pot.)
Arrange the meat on pepper, careful to not stack one piece directly on top of another.
Mix all other ingredients and pour over meat and peppers.
Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for about 4 hours.
Serve with rice or mashed potatoes and simply seasoned vegetables.
Serves 8

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Source – Set It and Forget It Crock Pot Recipes
Enjoy these great-tasting recipes from our forum:
– Crockpot Creamy Mexican Chicken

– Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken
– Crock Pot Chicken and Ramen Noodles
Find these recipes and many more on our forum: Go Here
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Kind Regards,
Ron
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Posted on 3 Jan 2014 In: Health, life, Style

Winter Photograph Share

The old stock exchange building in Society Hill, Philadelphia

First, I would like to thank everyone who submitted a photograph for this theme.

And what I love about these photographs is the variety.

For those of you who missed this photo share, I will be sharing more in the upcoming year with different themes.

So without further ado, I give you…Winter!

Enjoy…

Mark from Mark My Words: “Winter in the Columbia Gorge. This is Horesetail Falls during a recent cold spell.”

Jaffer Maniar from ManiaRavings.com: “This was taken last week when we had the big freeze. Everything was covered in ice: Including these ropes and clothespins.

Dale Cooper from Diary of an Internet Nobody: “A giant snowball that was left on a footpath in Rock Park in Barnstaple a couple of years ago, it’s about five foot across. Took nearly a week to melt.”

Rob from Luna Park Gazette: “This is a sign that a co-worker actually put on her door.”

Angelia from Angelia’s Photography: “One of the “great” winter storms of my time. Yes, really. Record breaking snowfall in our North Texas town. It is one of my most favorite times out taking photos.”

Mel from Mels Dream: “This was Friday morning down the road…..and no, I didn’t get to hobble into the snow. I’m a workin’ woman and I was already pressing getting to work on time.”

Bijoux from Bytes From the Burbs: “This winter photo combines two things that get on my nerves: deer and snow.”

Debbie from Musings by an ND Domer’s Mom: “I know this doesn’t look “wintery,” but this is what a Southern winter looks like! Notice the leaves still on the magnolia tree at right and the grass still sort of green! This picture was taken just the other day from Gulfport, MS.”

Jean from Jean Has Been Shopping:  “Winter in Arizona (bougainvillea).”

Secret Agent Woman from Blogging Incognito: “I took this one in my front yard last winter – a dogwood branch with the buds encased in ice – I like it as a reminder of the Spring that lies within the Winter.”

Valerie From Photo A Day Blog:  “i only drink hot chocolate in the winter and when i do i always top with whipped creme.”

Again, thank you everyone! And if you haven’t already done so, please visit these blogs because they’re really COOL people!

Have a wonderful wintry weekend y’all!
X

P.S. It snowed here in Philadelphia last night (and heavy), so we’re covered in it.

What Science Has Learned About Willpower and Self-Control

Perhaps your resolve for 2014 is to quit smoking, improve your diet, drink less alcohol, become more physically active, or to break some other bad habit. However, we all know sticking to a New Year’s resolution can be hard. After all, temptations are everywhere, and bad habits can be difficult to shake.

I almost think of bad habits as something needing to be healed like a pesky wound, or something to be nurtured and encouraged to move on. After all, if you think about it, if a person becomes dependent on their bad habits, they establish a relationship with them, and it can be hard to say goodbye to that which is known so well.

Plus, everyday life is full of self-control demands, and these daily demands can drain ones willpower. Keep in mind it’s most challenging to resist temptations when you’re tired or stressed. Researchers have determined self-control is highest in the morning hours, and steadily declines and deteriorates over the course of the day. When trying to change you can’t relay on willpower alone. If you do, you run the risk of feeling burnt out.

Luckily, scientist are discovering which strategies are effective at boosting willpower, and WILL put an end to bad habits. The best part is, these strategies consist of instituting minor, doable tweaks to your usual behavior.

Five Strategies That Work For Breaking Bad Habits:

Choose the Right Words 
It’s more empowering to say, “I don’t,” rather than, “I can’t,” when trying to resist temptation and stick to your planned course of behavior, according to the latest recent research. For example, if you are trying to eat healthy and someone offers you a chocolate chip cookie, you’d say, “I don’t eat sweets,” rather than, “I can’t eat sweets.”

This is effective because the phrase, “I can’t,” signals a sense of loss from having to give up something you want – whether it’s ice cream after dinner or sleeping an extra half an hour in the morning, rather than getting up to work out.

By contrast, saying, “I don’t” is self-empowering and elicits determination, thus making any refusal strategy more effective. Researches say using the words “I don’t,”  increased peoples’ feelings of control, which then resulted in a positive behavioral change, more than saying “I can’t,” or using the generic, “just-say-no” strategy.

Keep Other People’s Reactions in Mind
When considering a particular choice for yourself you’re trying to change – that bad habit you want kiss goodbye – researches suggest you consider the opinions of people you value – what would they think of your choice? Would they be proud of you or would they disapprove?

Using this ‘social element’ can provide a powerful boost to ones self-control. Bringing a role model to mind is also an effective tool when you need a little boost to your willpower by asking yourself what that role model would do.

For some people, envisioning what their mother or father would think about their loss of willpower is an effective way to stay on track.

Engage in Mini Workouts 
Recent research has also found short bouts of exercise improved self-control. The theory: Brief bouts of exercise may boost blood flow to the pre-frontal areas of the brain, which are responsible for executive functions, such as planning and controlling inhibitions.

For people trying to quit smoking for example, going for a short, brisk walk when a craving for a cigarette ensues, helps to alleviate the craving and break the habit cycle. It’s turning your attention away from your craving and toward an activity, thus helping to reprogram the brain, and enjoy a healthier pursuit.

Commit to a Small, Consistent Act of Self-Control 
Sticking with a single behavior requiring self-control can improve overall willpower. Simply foregoing dessert after dinner for example, helps to improve the overall willpower in other areas of a person’s life, like taking good care of our health, resisting temptation, and feeling more in control of our emotions.

Implementing this single behavior self-control becomes a form of training, which will naturally boost confidence, and help a person to improve all areas of their lives. Such as when a person starts to lose weight and they begin to feel healthier, they are rewarded with an improved self image, positive feedback and support from others, increased energy, improved sleep, etc. which furthers motivates change, and strengthens self-control and willpower.

Practice Mindfulness Meditation 
Mindful meditation, or shamatha, is a form of meditation involving developing a conscious awareness and acceptance of living in the ‘now’ – assisted by focusing on breathing, posture, and gaze – while letting your mind roam free. It’s taking your mind to a place of calm and harmony.

This activity is relaxing, but has also shown, according to a recent study at the University of Basel in Switzerland, to counteract the effects of focusing on maintaining self-control, which can lead to a depletion of self-control by feeling worn out from maintaining the effort to change.

 In other words, mindfulness meditation can replenish your self-control after it’s been drained. Mindfulness meditation is  not difficult to do, requires no special equipment, and is best performed in a place that is void of too much noise or distraction. If you’d like to learn more about this form of meditation, there are many websites offering online guides. This is one I personally like: How To Do Mindfulness Meditation.

          Implementing these research-proven strategies should help to empower anyone looking to break and             change a bad habit for good, or to gain more self-control. These tools can bring success, and move                any New Year’s resolutions to the completed list.
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Posted on 31 Dec 2013 In: Food

Top 10 Secret Recipes of 2013

Hi ,

On behalf of the team at RecipeSecrets.net, I’d like to wish you a very happy and blessed new year!

Over the past year we’ve shared so many
great-tasting secret recipes from some of the most popular restaurants
around. To recap a great year, here are our Top 10 Secret Recipes of
2013 based on popularity.

Get them all now – click here

Happy New Year!

Kind Regards,

Ron
PS- Join us on Facebook and get more recipes and freebies: Go Here

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Posted on 30 Dec 2013 In: Health, life, Style

My Deliciously Edible Christmas Present

As you know, I love sweets.

And as you also know from a previous post, I love the combination of dark chocolate and peppermint. So you can imagine how excited I got when one of the girls I work with brought in a homemade, sweet Christmas treat, which she gave to several of her fellow-employees. In fact, I got so excited when she handed it to me, that I started jumping and down like a kangaroo on a pogo stick. You would have sworn she had just handed me a picture of Tom Ford with an invitation to meet him for a glass of wine on New Year’s Eve at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.

Talk about a SWEET treat…

*note: I have a wobbly knee weakness for dark hair, dark eyes, and a scruffy face.

Um, yes, anyway…

Actually, the sweet treat I’m referring to is this…

 It was a dark chocolate cupcake in a mason jar. How faaabulous is that?

And the best part is that the cupcake was topped with a peppermint ganache and candy cane pieces.

TO DIE FOR!!!!

This was perhaps one of THE most delicious sweet treats I tasted throughout the holiday season. It was PURE heaven!

I ate it over a period of four days because I wanted it to last. Plus, I knew it probably had about 6,000 grams of sugar in it, so I didn’t want to OD and have to call 911-Sugar Shock.

Here, take a look at me enjoying it…

But I guess you’re all wondering if I had to choose between receiving a cupcake like this, or having a date with Tom Ford for a glass of wine on New Year’s Eve, which would I pick?

Um…let me think about that for a minute.

*one second later*

Yup, definitely the latter…

Wishing you a Sweet and Happy New Year everyone!
Looking forward to blogging with y’all in 2014.
Cheers and much X

Posted on 29 Dec 2013 In: Health, life, Style

It’s a fabulous night for some faux fur

 
Boy has the temperature finally dropped! Before heading out today I stumbled upon a pair of boots that I love but have not worn all winter. The lace-up boots pictured top left are by Tamaris* and feature special technology in the soles to improve comfort. They also feature a faux-fur trim that matches my new faux fur collar from ASOS, which was a handy coincidence. 
These collars are a great idea and are the perfect way to reinvent your winter coat throughout the season. The collars come in a variety of different colours and sizes, from lapel-style, like mine, to long tabard ones. Mine was reduced in the sale to £16.50, so it’s a good time to snap one up.
Style Tip: The fur collars have a little hook to keep them secured but it works a lot better if you squeeze it closed and lift the collar over your head. I found it too loose otherwise, and after being a bit heavy-handed I pulled the little loop off.
At this time of year I love wearing faux fur because it suits the season, and it’s the sort of thing you can’t wear all year round. How do you style your faux fur?
*I am a Sarenza blog ambassador 
Posted on 27 Dec 2013 In: Food

Bonefish Grill Secret Recipe

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Hi ,
Hope you’re doing well.
We had such an enjoyable Christmas celebration. It’s always nice
when the whole family is all together. Santa was too good to us
all and I hope your Christmas was full of joy as well!
Today’s secret recipe (shown below) is for an elegant
Mediterranean-inspired dish served at Bonefish Grill. Fresh shrimp
and scallops are sautéed with Kalamata olives and sundried tomatoes
to create a dish that is full of so many great flavors. Serve with
some crusty bread and dinner is ready to go.
If you love the flavors of the Mediterranean, then you should check
out these recipes on our forum: Go Here
Enjoy!
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
New Secret Recipe
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Bonefish Grill Saucy Shrimp and Scallops
2 oz. Butter
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 ea. green onion
10 ea. Kalamata olives, ½ pieces
2 tbsp. sundried tomatoes, julienne
3 oz. shrimp (small count)
3 oz. bay scallops
2 tbsp. lemon juice
¼ cup clam broth
3 tbsp. Feta cheese, crumbles
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
For service: crusty bread, as needed

Heat butter in a sauté pan. Add garlic and green onions and sauté
until the aroma fills the air.

Add Kalamata olives and sundried tomatoes – cook for 30 seconds.

Add shrimp and scallops, salt and pepper and sauté until firm – do
not overcook.

Add lemon juice, clam juice and feta cheese – bring to a simmer.

Pour into heated serving dish.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Serve with crusty bread.
Serves 1

Share This Recipe:

Source: Bonefish Grill
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RECOMMENDED:

1) Get Paid to Write Short Articles (Limited Openings)If you want to earn up to $315 a day and you don’t mind writing
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2) 7 Steps To Lower Your Cholesterol and Blood PressureLearn how you can easily lower your cholesterol and blood pressure
without using any expensive medications. Use these techniques to
ensure a healthy heart and a happy life: Go Here

3) Delicious Juicing Recipes That Target Your Health ConcernsOver 275 healthy juice recipes based on the latest nutritional
discoveries! Boost your immune system, boost your energy, improve
your sex life, and fight your health problems: Go Here

Until next time… Be Well!
Kind Regards,
Ron
PS- Join us on Facebook and get more recipes and freebies: Go Here

PPS- Forward this email to a friend or tell them to sign up here.
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