Feed Your Soul

How to Encourage Your Favorite Budding Artist

Pujols Kitchen - Thursday, May 05, 2016


                Lots of people believe you can’t make money as an artist, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Plenty of artists are able to earn a living as graphic designers, book cover designers, website designers and behind the scenes in Hollywood. Today is Cartoonists Day, a day that celebrates the anniversary of the first ever color cartoon, The Yellow Kid in 1895. Cartoons are a large part of our culture and a core component of today’s newspapers as well as other print and online media. Consider encouraging your favorite budding artist by gifting them a sketch book or a how-to book that offers basic drawing instruction or guidance for sharpening drawing skills.

Your Cubicle: From Sad and Pathetic to Cool and Creative

Pujols Kitchen - Thursday, April 28, 2016


                Sometimes our eyes need a break from the computer screen which makes decorating your cubicle to your tastes so essential. Here are some ways to turn your cubicle from sad and pathetic to cool and creative.

Chances are, your cubicle has you boxed in a gray-walled cave for at least eight hours a day. The biggest step you can take toward transforming your cubicle is to customize the walls and floor. You can change the floor easily enough by adding an area rug with your favorite colors. Most cubicle walls are made of bulletin-board like panels so one simple solution is to tack fabric over them.

In addition to fabric, you could also hang motivational posters on each panel, use vinyl wall stickers, or simply put up photos or postcards. Good news is 3M hooks and picture hanging strips allow nail-free hanging which is ideal for cubicle decorating.

Like millions of employees in the workplace, part of what makes your work environment is lit by soul-draining overhead fluorescent lighting. You don’t have to be held prisoner to such lighting conditions. Consider adding string lights or a small accent lamp with a bold shade. You can also make yourself feel like you’re working in sunlight by using a lamp with a full spectrum bulb.

The fastest and easiest way to customize your cubicle is with accessories. To liven up your cubicle consider incorporating living things like plants and fish. If you have a black thumb, try a table top biosphere, or just fake it with silk leaved plants or flowers.

Finally, don’t forget to have fun with your favorite collectibles that will make your workplace more fun and inspiring. Sci-Fi action figures and pieces that are a reflection of you and your personality will take your cubicle to the next level. Just make sure not to go overboard. Your cubicle is not your dorm room and you don’t want the company you work for to consider your work space inappropriate.

How to Feel Like a Kid Again

Pujols Kitchen - Thursday, April 21, 2016


        “Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional.” –Walt Disney

        There are all sorts of ways to feel like a kid again, but one of our favorites is a round of kickball. Used by physical education teachers to teach elementary kids the basics of baseball, “kick baseball” is typically played on a field and uses 3 bases, a pitcher’s mound and a home plate. Like baseball, two teams compete to score runs by kicking a rubber ball and running around the bases to score. The team with the most runs at the end of 9 innings wins the game.

How to Beat Your Bad Mood with Healthy Foods

Pujols Kitchen - Thursday, April 14, 2016


                Much as we’d all like to believe ice cream can cure any bad mood, the sad truth is ice cream doesn’t always work. Here are some suggestions for how to beat your bad mood with healthy foods.

·         If a heavy workload and busy schedule has you stressed, it’s okay to indulge in some chocolate to reduce the stress hormones swimming in your body.

·         By the end of the work week lots of us feel sluggish and the best way to improve concentration is by eating folate rich foods like spinach.

·         If you’re cranky, chances are your sugar and energy levels are low. Eating an apple with peanut butter will keep your sugar and energy levels stable for a longer time.

·         Feeling anxious? Eating salmon for omega-3 fatty acids can help tame your anxiety.

·         Sometimes we all reach a boiling point and need something to calm us down. To calm down fast, sip a cup of Green Tea.

·         When PMS gets you down an egg salad sandwich is just what your body needs to help boost serotonin levels and improve your mood.

·         If sadness has set in turn to low-fat milk for Vitamin D. A vitamin D deficiency may be contributing to your low mood and can reduce feelings of depression.

How to Give in Times of Crisis

Pujols Kitchen - Thursday, April 07, 2016


                Watch the nightly news and you’ll see there are all sorts of people in need across the world due to natural disasters or acts of terrorism. Lots of us want to help but aren’t certain the best way to do so. Here are some tips for giving during times of crisis.

·         Give to an established charity with a proven track record of success when it comes to dealing with the type of disaster and in the region in which the disaster occurred. Be sure to get proof the organization is in fact a registered public charity with 501 (c) (3) status.

·         Designate your gift to ensure your donation will be used as you intended. Online giving portals offer a check box feature to tell the organization how you’d like them to spend your contribution. If mailing a check, write a note in the memo section specifying how you want the check spent.

·         Avoid sending supplies. Even if mail could get to the impacted region, no one is set up to receive, organize or distribute these goods to victims. It’s more effective to have a garage sale and turn your used goods into cash and donate that money to the cause.

·         Do your homework to get as much information as you can about a charity and the nature of its work. Some charities provide shelter, some food and water, while others provide medical assistance. Others will focus more on the short term or long term rebuilding efforts. Consider the area where you want your money to help.

·         Results take time so while it’s important to be patient with charities to mobilize, that doesn’t mean donors shouldn’t hold charities accountable for delivering on their promises. Be sure to follow up with the charity in a few months to find out how your donation was used and if the organization needs additional support to complete the recovery effort.

How to Cut Fresh Herbs

Pujols Kitchen - Thursday, March 31, 2016


                Whether used for cooking, bouquets, teas or herbal baths, there’s no substitute for fresh cut herbs and knowing how to cut, preserve, harvest and store them is essential. Here are some tips and tricks for cutting fresh herbs.

It’s good to snip herbal plants regularly throughout the summer as this will encourage new growth and branching. Herbs are hearty so you can harvest successive cuttings whenever you need fresh herbs. Be sure to cut no more than one-third of the stem’s length unless the herb is chives or lavender in which case you’ll want to harvest the flowering steps at ground level when they’re in bloom.

It’s best to gather herbs early in the day before the sun bakes the plants’ essential oils but after the dew has dried. When harvesting herbal leaves, the best time to do this is when the plant’s flowers start to form, cutting the stems at their peak. Near the end of the growing season, when you’re ready to start harvesting seeds, wait for the flowers to mature and turn brown. Harvesting the seeds will be easier.

When it comes to cooking with herbs, strip the leaves from the plant’s stems by sliding your forefinger and thumb from top to bottom. Herbs like bay, parsley and tansy have thicker leaves and you’ll want to snip those.

Preserving herbs entails gathering small bunches (10-15 stems) and hanging them in a warm, airy place to dry. You can wrap the stems tightly with a rubber band or tie them with twine. Then hang the herb bunches on the rung of a hanger, from a nail, or on a drying rack. Depending on the plant’s moisture content, drying can take up to three weeks. Remove crisp-dry leaves before storing herbs. Place a paper bag over dry seed heads, tying the open end of the bag around the stems, with one type of herb in each bag. Label each bag and in a few weeks the seeds will drop into the bag. Allow seeds to dry out completely before properly storing.

To properly store dried herbs you’ll need airtight glass or ceramic containers. Store these containers away from light and heat. This is the best way to protect the herbs’ fragrance and flavor. Keep your herbs’ leaves whole, crushing leaves to release flavor just before needed. Dried herbs should be used within a year of harvesting.

How To Decorate Swirled Easter Eggs

Pujols Kitchen - Thursday, March 24, 2016


You don’t have to be a Picasso or Michelangelo to create swirled eggs this Easter. The trick lies in food coloring and shaving cream. Die your Easter eggs a solid color first with any Easter egg dying kit from the store and once they’ve dried get to swirling. Squirt shaving cream into a Pyrex baking dish and squeeze a few drops here and there of your favorite two shades of food coloring. Drag a skewer or chop sticks through to create the swirls then roll an egg through the swirled shaving cream and dry the egg off with a paper towel.

How to Make Shamrock Floats

Pujols Kitchen - Thursday, March 17, 2016


This Shamrock Float is a kid favorite.

Supplies:

·         Mason Jars

·         Straws

Ingredients:

·         1 carton Lime Sherbet

·         1 – 2 liter 7-Up or Sprite

Directions:

In a punch bowl, combine the sherbet and soda. Ladle into mason jars and serve with straws.

How to Celebrate Pack Your Lunch Day

Pujols Kitchen - Thursday, March 10, 2016


Happy Pack Your Lunch Day! Plenty of us avoid taking the time to pack our lunches, preferring to get out of the office for a change of scenery. But packing your own lunch has several benefits. You can eat whatever you like and not be restricted by what’s available to buy in the company cafeteria. You know what ingredients are in your food. Packing your lunch saves a lot of money over time than buying your lunch. But the best benefit to packing your lunch is donating the money you would have spent on eating out to a charity. If more of us did this, we might be able to eliminate world hunger.

How to Celebrate World Book Day

Pujols Kitchen - Thursday, March 03, 2016


“A book is a device to ignite the imagination.”—Alan Bennett

                Happy World Book Day! Created April 23, 1995 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Book Day is the perfect day to read that book you’ve been meaning to finish. Read with your children. Or, you can organize your own library. Arrange books by genre on your shelves. Place romance novels on one shelf, non-fiction on another, biographies on a third shelf and mysteries on a fourth. You can alphabetize them by the author’s last name or by title. There’s no right or wrong way. It’s your book collection!


 

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