Feed Your Soul

Preparing for a Lot of Family in a Little Space

- Friday, September 25, 2015

The holidays are just around the corner and for those of us hosting a lot of family in a little space, here are some ideas for easing the impact of crowding:

·         Consider a daybed or futon instead of a couch in your living room. Daybeds and futons can transform a living room into a guest bedroom in a matter of minutes.

·         If a daybed or futon isn’t an option, turn to a good quality air mattress. An air mattress gives you the freedom to make virtually any space, except the bathroom, into a comfortable place for your family and guests to sleep.

·         Clear the clutter as best you can so your family can stow their luggage. When out of town guests arrive they’ll feel more comfortable having a place to put their things. The clearer your floor space, the more places they’ll have for their things besides the kitchen table.

·         Make sure your bathroom door closes and locks, you have plenty of spare rolls of toilet paper and other supplies handy in your bathroom. The more you can maximize privacy for everyone, the better the visit will be.

·         Respect your out of town family’s privacy, schedule and space, especially if they are sleeping in your living room. If they typically turn in earlier than you, consider sleeping on the couch in your living room and making your bedroom the guest room so you can stay up as late as you want.

·         One way to make your living room more like a bedroom is to place a lamp next to the sleeping area, have an extra set of pillows on hand as well as towels and blankets close at hand. Keep things as cozy and convenient as possible.

For Mother Theresa Giving Wasn't Enough

- Thursday, September 24, 2015
“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” – Mother Theresa

How to Choose the Best Avocado

- Wednesday, September 23, 2015

For authentic Latin cooking you’ll want to choose the best avocado you can put your hands on. Here are some helpful tips:

·         Choose avocados with darker skin because these are riper than avocados with lighter skin. Avoid avocados with any large indentations as this may be a sign that the fruit has been bruised.

·         Hold the avocado in the palm of your hand and gently squeeze without applying fingertips to prevent bruising.

·         If the avocado yields to gentle pressure, it’s ripe and ready to eat. If it does not, then it is still considered “firm” and will be ripe in a few days. Avocados that feel soft to the touch or mushy may be overripe.

·         This takes practice but with time you’ll know what to look for when you’re in the store.

Best Way to Save Leftovers

- Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Here are some tips for storing leftovers:

•Use airtight, leak-proof, clear containers or wraps to store leftovers.

•Because bacteria spores can survive the cooking process and may germinate if foods are left out at room temperature long enough, it’s best to divide leftovers into small, flat containers so that they cool faster.

•Leftovers should be refrigerated within two hours of cooking. You don’t need to wait for piping-hot foods to cool down before storing them either because modern refrigerators can handle the heat.

• To keep food at a safe temperature cool air needs to circulate so don't stuff the refrigerator too full.

Why Good People are Like Candles

- Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Good people are like candles; they burn themselves up to give others light.

Foods to Keep You Well During Flu Season

- Monday, September 21, 2015

Boost your immunity for this flu season with the following foods:

·         Garlic helps the immune system make more white blood cells and natural killer cells.

·         Green Tea has more antioxidants than those found in vegetables, coffee, and red wine. Drinking 1–5 cups daily you’re less likely to get the flu than someone who doesn’t drink tea.

·         Kale offers more vitamin C than almost any other dark leafy green which can reduce an infection's symptoms and duration.

·         Mushrooms are a good source of immune-boosting minerals, including zinc.

·         Oats are a good source of soluble fiber which stimulates the production of the anti-inflammatory protein interleukin-4 and bolsters immunity.

·         Pumpkin Seeds are a great source of zinc which is an essential mineral for cellular functions, including immune cell production.

·         Yogurt - Probiotics in yogurt have been shown to increase flu-vaccine effectiveness and reduce a cold's duration and severity.

The Difference Between Making a Life and Making a Living

- Sunday, September 20, 2015
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

The Benefits of Giving Your Time

- Sunday, September 20, 2015

Busy schedules have lots of us feeling more time-constrained than ever but a recent study published in Psychological Science shows that helping others can actually increase our feeling of “time affluence” and alleviate our perception of “time famine.” Participants in the study carried out tasks in which they either gave their time or wasted it. The participants who spent time helping others by either writing to a sick child, helping an at-risk student from a local public high school, or doing something that was not part of their normal responsibilities— either for someone else or for themselves, reported that spending time on others seemed to “expand the future” in contrast to spending time on oneself. If you’re feeling time-constrained, consider giving your time to others. You’ll be happier in the long run and you’ll help others in the process.

How to Save at the Pump

- Saturday, September 19, 2015

We may not have any control over gas prices but there are some steps we can take to make the most bang for our buck. Here are some tips for how to save at the pump:

1.       Fill up on weekdays – The best time to buy gas is on a Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning because prices usually rise on the weekend.

2.       Discount Gas Cards – Rebate programs at Shell, Gulf, BP-Amoco and Exxon-Mobile offer as much as 5-10% off the gas you buy.

3.       Don’t Run on Empty If You Can Help It – Your car runs less efficiently when it’s on empty. When you have half a tank or a little less, fill your gas tank as soon as you can.

4.       Less is more – For every 100 pounds you carry in your car, your fuel economy decreases by 1-2%. Heavy items on your roof rack creates drag and eats up your gas. Opt for the trunk instead.

5.       Keep Your Eyes Open for the places near your house and work that offer the cheapest gas and shop there first.

Making the Most of Your Weekend

- Friday, September 18, 2015

For the Pujols Family, weekends whiz by in the blink of an eye. Here are some tips for making the most of your weekends:

·         Allow your mind and body to recover from the typical stresses you encounter during the week by doing a different kind of labor such as soccer, chopping firewood or playing a musical instrument.

·         A failure to plan is a plan for failure. Not that you need to micromanage with a minute-by-minute playbook, but sketching 3-5 activities in your planner lets you anticipate and savor the fun events you have planned for the weekend rather than succumbing to feeling tired and staying cooped up in your house.

·         Extend your weekend and dampen your Sunday night blues by making a tradition of a big dinner with your family, taking an early evening yoga class or volunteering by serving meals to those less fortunate.

·         Make the most of your morning. Consider getting up early to do your exercises or running. Getting up before the rest of your family is less disruptive to your day.

·         Create traditions of your own like Friday night pizza, Sunday morning pancakes or walking to religious services. Habits like these create traditions and memories. Comforting rituals like these boost your family’s happiness.


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