Monday, March 31, 2008

Reese Witherspoon and Avon's Empowerment Bracelet

Usually on mompreneur monday we share a site, article, product or service related to being a female entrepreneur. We've covered everything from Academic Software (great prices on products like Illustrator and Windows XP) to articles by Heather Ledeboer (the woman behind Mom 4 Life) to VistaPrint (great pricing on business cards and marketing materials). But today I'd like to feature a product that has less to do with our businesses and more to do with empowering women around the world.

Avon and Reese Witherspoon, Avon's Global Ambassador, recently introduced the W
omen's Empowerment Bracelet:

As honorary chair of the Avon Foundation, I'm very excited to introduce Avon's first global charity product designed to save and improve women's lives worldwide. ... It's a symbol of unity that represents a future without limitations for all women.

... Bracelet proceeds will be used to create a new Avon Empowerment Fund. The first $500,000 from bracelet sales will be matched by the Avon Foundation for a total donation of $1 million to UNIFEM, the United Nations Development Fund for Women, for projects that will empower women around the world.

Show your support, show your solidarity, show off your bracelet."
At only $3 the Women's Empowerment Bracelet, a silvertone infinity symbol on a blue stretch cord, is a simple yet stylish is an easy way to support a worthy cause. 100% of net proceeds ($2.25 per bracelet) are donated to the Avon Empowerment Fund to end violence against women. And while you're at it, check out Avon's Speak Out Against Domestic Violence Key Chain. 100% of its net proceeds ($3.72) are donated to Speak Out Against Domestic Violence.

Being a woman and a business owner you and I know the power behind the word "empowerment" and I think it's our responsibility to help other women whenever and wherever we can. So buy a bracelet for yourself and pick up a few extra as gifts for friends and family. Supporting a worthy cause is always in fashion. --Emily

Friday, March 28, 2008

focaccia bread that multitasks

For today's food for thought friday I wanted to share my favorite focaccia bread recipe (and it's not my favorite just because it's bread-machine friendly!). This recipe makes a great focaccia bread but it also makes a yummy dough perfect for homemade pizza.

When warmer weather hits we love to take the dough, halve it, then roll it into to good size, thin pizza crusts, top with our favorite toppings, and grill it brick-oven style on our Williams-Sonoma Grill-Top Pizza Stone (now the Pizza-Que Pizza Stone). It also works great simply rolled out on a cookie sheet, topped half with cheese and half with cheese and pepperoni (can you tell I've got kids?), and baked until cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.

Easy Focaccia Bread
2 3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp white sugar
1 T active dry yeast
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 T vegetable oil
1 c water
2 T olive oil
1 T grated Parmesan cheese
1 c mozzarella

In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, basil and black pepper. Mix in the vegetable oil and water. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Punch dough down; place on greased baking sheet. Pat into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Brush top with olive oil and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm.
To prepare this recipe in a bread machine simply add the ingredients in the order you normally would for a bread machine recipe (liquids first, then dry ingredients, and then yeast). Then follow the rest of the directions for baking.

Speaking of "dough" I love this quote by J. Paul Getty:
If you can count your money, you don't have a billion dollars.

Hmmm...guess I don't have a billion dollars...yet. --Emily

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

i like bugs!

As a mother I know practically all the songs to the latest kid shows. But one of my personal favorites is the one on 'Yo Gabba Gabba' which goes something like "I like bugs, I like bugs, I like bugs, I like bugs!" (I'm sure the person who wrote that one probably had plenty of late nights.) But I actually do have a point, and that is I like bugs! The "good" bugs that is...the kind you find in yogurt and other probiotic dairy products like Kefir.

Lifeway is an ingenious company that came up with several Kefir products and a new one called Probugs that's great for kids. Kefir has 10 active "good" bugs whereas yogurt has maybe 2 or 3. That's good for us because it helps our bodies fight disease, strengthen our immune system, and keep our digestive systems healthy.

Lifeway was nice enough to let us review their Probugs kefir, and I have to say I'm impressed. I'll tell you straight up I don't like yogurt; it makes me gag so I was nervous to try it. My first impression? Not bad, definitely something I could get used to especially when I know I am doing something good for myself. Now, my kids' take on it--YUM! That's saying a lot, coming from the world's 4 pickiest eaters!

The packaging is fun and makes any kid want to dive right in. It also comes in 3 fun flavors: Orange Creamy Crawler, Gooberry Pie, and Sublime Slime Lime (say that 5 times fast). My kids thought I was feeding them a milkshake and wanted to eat it for every meal and problem with that! So I will now be re-stocking the fridge with more Probugs. Lucky for me they are located at most grocery stores and health food stores. Hope the kids won't mind sharing with me, maybe I'll grow up and buy the the adult version,
Kefir. --LeShan

Unclutterer helps you get and stay organized

I am one of those people who has a hard time functioning if the bed isn't made and my desk is in disarray. Though I used to be much more organized before a husband and four children entered the picture, I still do my best to keep cupboards and closets uncluttered. Many days I fail (I'm the only one interested in a clutter-free home around here) but I do achieve small successes here and there, and that gives me hope. Of course much of the clutter is due to those aforementioned children and they do grow up all to quickly, so I'm doing my best to ignore the buckets of Barbie clothes, orphaned shoes, and tower of powerful mini magnets on top of the fridge (um, that's actually my husband's tower) and enjoy the chaos while I still can.

Where did all that come from and where am I going with such a lengthy intro? For those who thrive on organization or aspire to thriving on organization, Unclutterer is for you. Unclutterer is "not just for the helplessly disorganized who would lose their head if it wasn’t attached to them, and pack rats looking to put their stashes on a diet, but also for obsessive compulsive neat freaks looking to squeeze even more order into their lives." The site offers tips, strategies, product reviews, and reader questions. It also offers a heated debate once in a while. (Check out the comments on Semi-homemade cooking for busy people, a post highlighting Sandra Lee's cookbook.) I love the Unitasker Wednesday posts, which "humorously poke fun at the single-use items that manage to find their way into our homes." My favorites? Food molds and the Spinmallow.

You'll find lots of tips on organization from magazines like Real Simple and Martha Stewart Living, but I'm pretty sure they're not nearly as much fun to read and down-to-earth as Unclutterer. --Emily

Monday, March 24, 2008

the color of spring

Don't you just love color? Color can invoke a mood or a memory. Sometimes you can even tell whether a person is happy, sad, shy, or outgoing, just by the colors they choose. Yep, color is a powerful thing.

Blue Iris happens to be THE color for 2008 according to Pantone, which is a complete contrast to 2007's Chili Pepper Red. If you're wondering what other colors are going to be big for 2008, check out Fashion Trendsetter or, COLOURlovers blog will show you the latest trends. Although these are the hottest colors for Spring, I like what the author of COULORlovers says about following your intuition;

The Color Of You
Blue and green are excellent colors, and they pair well with one another. I’m sure the professionals that study color trends know more than I do about the direction color is heading. As an artist, however, there is a deep-seeded belief that wants to rebel against mainstream ideas and icons. Colors that easily become accepted metaphors without the aid of outside visual stimulus are useful in society. Breaking down familiar metaphors to establish new forms, and to continue to challenge the boundaries of culture is also necessary to avoid becoming stagnant.
No matter the color of the year, follow honest, intuitive ideas. Trends come and go. Passionate art is potentially infinite.

My intuition says I'm thrilled to see that blue is big this season! It's calming and alive. That could be a motto to live by for 2008.--LeShan

do you aspire to a 4-hour work week?

I have never thought of a 4-hour work week as a goal of mine but after reading the first chapter of Timothy Ferriss The 4-Hour Work Week I'm thinking of setting a belated New Year's Resolution. As a business owner is a 4-hour work week even possible? From what I've read, it is. The first chapter of his book has me so intrigued the book is awaiting purchase in my shopping cart. Apparently my husband's heard about this book as well and is just as anxious to read what insight Ferriss shares beyond the first few pages.

You could read an endless, and I mean endless, list of money management and business management books but as a mom and business owner do you really have the time? The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch gives you the first chapter of The 4-Hour Work Week so you can have a taste of what Ferriss has to offer before investing any more time reading it. (Most of us don't yet have a 4-hour work week so time is precious!)

Many of us own our business because we love what we're doing but that doesn't mean we don't want to spend more time with our family, and having a little extra money doesn't hurt either. If you've read a great money or business management book please share it with us. reviews are helpful but hearing what other moms and women business owners like is even better! --Emily

Friday, March 21, 2008

eat like the french do.

We've heard that we should eat more like the French, and I totally agree! I love french fries, and french onion soup loaded with cheese and bread--yum! Here's another recipe that will get you saying "oui, oui!"

French Dip Sandwiches
3 lbs Boneless Roast Beef
2 cans of French onion soup
1 can of beer (any kind will do)
6-8 French buns or bread of choice

Empty all ingredients into large crockpot, cook on High for 4-5 hours. Remove the roast and shred, replace the roast back into the crock pot and continue to cook for 1-2 hours longer. Toast your bread of choice with butter in the oven before adding shredded beef on top. Pour the leftover juice into bowls for dipping.
Optional: I like to add sliced swiss cheese on top.

"Rien de sert de courrir, il faut partir a point"
It is not worth running, one should leave at the right moment.

Now if only I could live by those words, I wouldn't always be in such a rush--LeShan

Thursday, March 20, 2008

NEW! "that's hot! thursday"

Thursday is usually our thankful thursday when we talk about the things in life for which we're most thankful. As much as we have enjoyed counting our blessing we felt a little change was in order to help spice up our daily posts. So say hello to our new that's hot! thursday!

From now on we're dedicating Thursdays to reviewing the latest and greatest products for moms, dads, and little ones. We'll feature products you can't live without (and probably a few you actually could) and hopefully offer some fun giveaways and special discounts just for our freshly baked readers! You're going to love our honest, unbiased, tell-it-like-it-is, "fresh" reviews so don't miss a single that's hot! thursday if you want to know which products are hot and not so hot (yep, we'll have a few of those as well). --Emily

* If you've got a product you'd like us to review or suggestions for products you'd like to see on that's hot! thursday, just shoot us an email at

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

a little of Zen Habits goes a long way

Though I may not always implement all the great things I read about simplifying, dejunking, eating healthy, and organizing I still like reading about them. If anything reading about these things gives me goals to which I can continually aspire. Zen Habits is a perfect fit for wonderful web wednesday, for it is a site that is all about excellence through implementing good habits.

Leo Babauta, the site's author, is married with six kids, lives on Guam, and is "a writer and a runner and a vegetarian." Just the married with six kids part is enough to grab my attention, but even more impressive are his writings on everything from achieving goals to being organized to eliminating debt to eating healthy to simplifying. (I probably could've used some help simplifying that last sentence!) I love the quote from Aristotle on his About page: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit."

How about getting into the habit of being a great friend? I love "A User's Guide to Fabulous Friendships," a guest post from Kelly Rigby of She-Power. Here's just a taste of what's inside this great post: "Friendship is like a marriage. It cannot be created once. It must be created over and over again. ... We must nurture our friendships so they may flourish with us through our changing lives. ..." With how busy our lives are these days it might be a good time to reconsider what are truly our highest priorities.

"Make Today Your Personal Miracle" from Zen Habits' author is a must read for everyone, and probably a must read on a daily basis. "Today is a gift, for each of us. What are you going to do with it? How will you make the most of this life?" Good question. Now what's your answer? --Emily

Monday, March 17, 2008

think spring

"Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush."
--Doug Larson

With Spring just around the corner well, maybe not so much for those of you on the wrong side of the equator...either way it's got us thinking florals and easy breezy dresses. Here's some tips to get you bloomin' with fashion, just click on the highlighted word for a sample:

  • Go on a safari- The button down shirt dress paired with peep toe sandals, a bigger heel preferably, and thick bangles. You can also go with a tribal print top and khakis, grrrreat!
  • Are you vested?- Hope you've hung on to those rockin' vests from the 90's, because they're back baby. The best vest is one that is masculine but form fitting.
  • Thin is in- Okay it was never really out, but I'm talking about long and lean necklaces, and earrings. Warning: Although these long necklaces look fabulous, they don't mix well with young children, I've tried.
  • Strap yourself in- T-strap sandals or strappy sandals are big this Spring. It's a great look because it goes well with anything from flirty dresses to sporty shorts. If you are more the bargain shopper and don't feel like shelling out a few hundred on some high-end designer, check out Urban Outfitter's, Old Navy, or Target. --LeShan, a must-bookmark site

Because I'm still on the upward climb of a very steep learning curve I am always on the lookout for resources that make the seemingly never-ending climb a little easier., a sister site of, is one of those "where have you been all my small business' life" sort of sites.

The article-rich site offers great advice on everything from PR to legal issues to HR to growing your business. You've got news, message boards, success stories (this week it's about the mompreneurs behind Taggies) and even a weekly inspirational comic. (I'm all about the IS in the georgie tees' tagline!) Many of the articles come from other blogs such as WeekendEntrepreneur and Tuned Into Business. I love having a clearinghouse of information so I can pick and choose what I'd like to read and won't miss anything. You can even get Daily Inspiration via RSS!

I think as business owners we need to learn as much as we can but sometimes the amount of information out there can be overwhelming. does a fantastic job of compiling some of the most pertinent info out there into one easily navigated site, which means you can save time searching the web. Anything that gives me more time to accomplish the other 99 things on my to-do list is worth bookmarking! --Emily

Friday, March 14, 2008

did someone say blog party?*

Who doesn't love a good party, and when you've got a guest list of over 1,000 it IS a party! freshly baked is excited to be a part of 5 Minutes for Mom's second annual Ultimate Blog Party. Yes, this post is probably a lot less visually stimulating than others you've read from the Mr. Linky list but I party in my pj's most of the time and it's not a pretty picture. ;) Of course my partner LeShan is always dolled up and ready to go so I'm happy to include a picture of her. (You can thank me later, LeShan.)

We're two moms with 8 children between us (no, that 8 isn't a typo and includes a set of twins) and a business we're still trying to get off the ground. Well, georgie tees has hovered a few inches off the ground for the first couple years and we're ready for it to finally take off. We have a feeling 2008 is the year great things will happen, so if you've got a dream this is the year to go for it! Our blog has everything from recipes to tips for mompreneurs to fashion trends (LeShan dishes up some of the best fashion trends and advice out there) to sites and products we love.

Enough about us in this post (if you want to read more you can read our story here). Head on over to the Ultimate Blog Party for your chance to win some great prizes. Because there's two of us we would have to share any prize we won (at least we're good at sharing) so our favorites are:

And if those prizes are taken we'd love any prize in the form of a gift certificate so we can easily share the win!

To really make this a party we're giving away one of our "mama lisa" tees (a $38 value; winner's choice). We will draw the winner from the comments on this post. Taking a cue from another Ultimate Blog Party giveaway at La Vie de Laurie (she's giving away an awesome "Save the Ta-Tas" tee so head on over and enter to win), leaving a comment below gets you one entry but posting about our giveaway on your blog is worth three entries! Be sure and include a link to your blog post in your comment. The winner will be drawn on Saturday, March 15th.

Party, party, party! (And yes, that's to the tune of "toga, toga, toga!") --Emily

**Congratulations to Alexa, the winner of our "mama lisa" giveaway!** Alexa will receive our "mama lisa" tee in honeydew. Thanks to everyone who joined us for the Ultimate Blog Party. We had a blast!

it wouldn't be a party without some cake!

To wrap up the Ultimate Blog Party here's a really yummy sheet cake recipe for food for thought friday. It takes a little more work than a box cake but your efforts will be sweetly rewarded!

Warning! Only make this if you plan to serve it to guests otherwise you'll find yourself eating the entire thing!

Texas Sheet Cake
2 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 c sugar
1 cube margarine
1 c water
4 T cocoa
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift the flour, salt and sugar together. Bring margarine, water, and cocoa to a boil and pour into the flour mixture. In another bowl whisk the eggs, baking soda, vanilla, and buttermilk and add to the other ingredients. Bake in a greased cookie sheet for 20 minutes.

1 cube margarine
2 T cocoa
1 box powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
6 T milk
1/2 c nuts (optional)

In a medium saucepan melt margarine and cocoa (do not boil). Take off heat and whisk in powdered sugar gradually. Add vanilla, milk, and nuts. Ice cake while hot. Let cool and serve.
Thank you for joining us for the Ultimate Blog Party! We'll be drawing the winner of our "mama lisa" giveaway tomorrow (see post at the top of the page), so you still have time to enter. And now I leave you with this food for thought from Mitch Hedberg:
I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2000 of something.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

the secret life of a soccer mom

This week I am thankful for a new show on TLC called "The Secret Life of a Soccer Mom." Hosted by Tracey Gold (yes, the straight-A sister of oh-so-cute Kirk Cameron on "Growing Pains") the show gives a stay-at-home mom the chance to secretly live the life she gave up to raise her family. Can any of you relate?

Though I don't have one specific dream job or dream career I gave up, I fight the daily battle between business and family. I love my children to pieces but I love trying to grow a busine
ss. I often wish I had 8 straight hours a day to work (my husband's heard this song before) but it's just not possible with two under the age of three at home and two more in elementary school. And of course they're only young once! Other days I wish I had 8 straight hours to play without the worry of out-of-stock inventory, surprise bills, and trying to grow a business on a very small budget. How many of us have secret lives, secret wishes, secret dreams?

If you missed Monday's show it was fabulous. (Warning: spoiler ahead so if you plan to watch the show skip to the next paragraph!) Katie, who in a previous life was an award-winning chef, had the opportunity of working as a chef in Chocolat Restaurant & Bar in Los Angeles. After many ups and a few downs she got rave reviews from the food critics (ever so hard to please) and in the end was offered a full-time position. What really hit home were the tears she shed as she turned down the offer so she could raise her two preschoolers and continue to mold them into the men she knows they can be (almost a direct quote). My heart broke for her as she again put her dream on hold and yet I cheered because she chose family first.

"The Secret Life of a Soccer Mom" airs every Monday at 10/9c on TLC and is a must-watch in my book. And I say three cheers to all you soccer moms out there who have given up a dream or two to mold your own little ones into the wonderful people they are destined to become. --Emily

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

so glad the girls from Whatever Hollywood don't like to wait!

You're going to love today's wonderful web wednesday. Thanks to Hungry Girl I've discovered Whatever Hollywood, a compilation of fantastically entertaining shorts all produced, directed, and starring three wonderfully talented girls: is the collaboration of three creative friends, Suri, Apple and Shiloh. Though the respective TV host, actress, and singer have each enjoyed considerable success, they deplored the slow and political prototype that they call 'Hollywood 1.0.' Simply said, these girls were bad... at waiting. So Whatever Hollywood! They'd upgrade and do it themselves in their studio apartment with the help of Final Cut Pro, sparkly fabrics, low-carb pizzas and lots of enthusiasm.
Though they no longer have the help of their low-carb pizzas (find out why in Love at First Bite) the girls from Whatever Hollywood work magic in front of a green screen (aka "the green sheet" from Joanne Fabrics). With spring around the corner and thoughts of Mystic Tan in the air, enjoy Whatever Hollywood's Spray Tan Rap (and be sure to check out the behind-the-scenes'll definitely laugh out loud). --Emily

*** The Girls need your vote! They are in YouTube's Sketchies2 Top 20 , the biggest sketch comedy of the year. Check out their homepage for how you can help them make the Top 10 for a chance to win some serious cash. (Think of all the low-carb pizzas they'll be able to buy on the black market!) You can vote once a day so once you've got the voting system down make it a part of your daily routine through Wednesday, March 19th. ***

Monday, March 10, 2008

easy hair trends

Summer months are just around the corner and shedding some layers and adding color doesn't just mean clothing, it also means hair. Some of the hottest new hair trends will even be "mom" friendly.

Last year it was the Pob, made famous by Victoria Posh Beckham (Posh+bob=Pob). This year it's back to basics with the Bob, a bit longer and less A-line. This cut is great because it's simple, sleek and easy to manage.

The Fringe is fun and can help add a fresh look to those of us who might find it difficult to take off the length. BTW, Heidi Klum is also sporting another fashion trend for 2008, the nude with sheer look.

The Crop is the most daring, but as you can see on the right side of our blog Emily pulls it off fabulously! It's so young and fresh and although you need a lot of confidence to pull this one off, it would make for one easy do!

Some of the hottest hair color trends for Spring 2008 are dirty blonde, platinum blonde, and auburn red (not red). You can check out the latest trends for yourself at along with all the other latest trends in clothing, makeup, eyeglasses and more.--LeShan

mompreneurs and marriage--it really can work!

Let's be honest here. It's not always a walk in the park when it comes to running a business, and I'm not just talking about the everyday ups and downs that come with being a business owner. I'm talking about the hard work it often takes to have both a successful business and a successful marriage--at the same time.

If you find yourself questioning whether it can really work, you'll love "How to Keep Your Marriage Strong While Running a Small Business," an article written for Startup Princess by Heather Ledeboer of Mom 4 Life. (Yes, we link to articles and interviews by Heather a lot, but when you've got a great resource like Heather, can you blame us?) "So what happens when you try to mix two loves—your business and your marriage—can they survive?" Heather give us a resounding YES!

After reading her article be sure to browse the comments posted below. You'll find you're not the only one fighting the battle of the (married) business owner. I am still learning to put aside work to spend more time with my husband so he doesn't feel like he's at the bottom of my to-do list (no pun intended). As supportive as he is, he would rather have a wife than a business partner and I don't blame him. A wife is a lot more fun! --Emily

Friday, March 7, 2008

satisfy your cravings with some help from Hungry Girl

For food for thought friday I just had to share one of my new favorite sites, Hungry Girl. Hungry Girl offers "tips & tricks...for hungry chicks" like you and me. (I don't know about you but I'm hungry a large part of the day, especially late at night while writing posts for freshly baked!)

Hungry Girl's tips and tricks include fantastic substitutions for high-fat, high-calorie, high-sugar items, great recipes, review, polls, and even a weekend survival guide. One of my favorite features is their "Chew the Right Thing" where Hungry Girl shares her "fabulous food finds & hidden horrors." I bet you didn't know a slice of Starbucks' Banana Nut Loaf contains as much as 470 calories and 24 fat grams! If you're a banana bread fan then you'll eat up Hungry Girl's healthier banana bread recipe. My favorite? HG's Frozen Fudge Chip Freeze. I am a big fan of Starbucks' Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino Blended Creme and so I was more than thrilled to read about HG's just-as-decadent swap. I've included the recipe below to give you a taste of how truly tasty this site is!

Hungry Girl's Frozen Fudge Chip Freeze
1 25-calorie packet diet hot cocoa mix, dissolved in 4 oz. warm water
1 T sugar-free chocolate syrup
2 oz. light vanilla soymilk
3 no-calorie sweetener packets (like Splenda)
1 T semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
7 - 8 ice cubes OR 1 cup crushed ice
2 T fat-free Reddi-wip

Place cocoa mixture, chocolate syrup, sweetener, chocolate chips, soymilk and ice in a blender. Blend on high speed for 30-45 seconds. Pour into an attractive cup and top with a little fat-free Reddi-wip. Makes 1 serving.
Satisfy those unhealthy late-night cravings by nibbling on the great info you'll find at Hungry Girl. Try "Who is HG?" first--it makes a great appetizer! --Emily

Thursday, March 6, 2008

sew for sanity

''The most dangerous of our impulses reign in ourselves against ourselves. To dissolve them is a creative act."
~ Hugo von Hofmannsthal

One of the best things that helps me get straightened out after I've been bent out of whack is to sew. When I get behind my sewing machine it's like having a session with a therapist--not that I know what that's like, I'm saving that for when my kids move-out. I am always so thankful when I can find the time to create something. When I can focus my thoughts and energies into a project it helps me unwind.

And so it is with all of us when we are able to use our creative energy. Whether you like to garden or paint or write poetry, or whatever it is we probably don't tap into that creative side nearly enough. Challenge yourself to set aside time to create something that you love to do. Put together that scrap book or photo album, paint a wall in your home. Do something special for yourself, because you can't take care of other's unless you are taking care of yourself. --LeShan

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil

I love some of the fabulous resources you can find on the web, and the site I'm highlighting one today's wonderful web wednesday is one of those. (Disclaimer: this review is one I did on Boutique Cafe back in July, 2006 but felt it was time to mention it again.)

Okay, so maybe “evil” is a strong word, but if you’re like me, today’s movies can have unpleasant surprises buried in their PG ratings. I’ve rented a seemingly innocent PG movie and heard a thing or two I wish my little ones hadn’t. If you’d like to avoid such choice moments, check out Kids-In-Mind, a site whose mission is to “provide parents and other adults with objective and complete information about a film’s content so that they can decide, based on their own value system, whether they should watch a movie with or without their kids.”

The site doesn’t recommend a movie, place judgment, critique or criticize. They leave that up to you. What they do provide are extremely--and I mean, extremely--detailed descriptions of what the movies contain. As the site says, it’s kind of like reading a food nutrition label. You know exactly what you’re getting. They have three basic categories for rating a movie: Sex/Nudity, Violence/Gore, and
Profanity, with a scale of 1 to 10. In the detailed review Kids-In-Mind actually lists in detail every occurrence of nudity, violence, or profanity. Let me tell you, it’s far better than relying on word-of-mouth!

Kids-in-Mind has movie reviews for both what’s now playing and what’s new on video, along with links to other websites where you can read what Ebert & Roeper have to say. Of course, I don’t think Ebert & Roeper actually counted the number of sexual references (0) and religious exclamations (5) or give you a list of discussion topics (sibling rivalry, divorce, separation, custody, obsessions, family, love, anger, disappointment, vengeance, suicide, mental illness, deathy) you’ll find in “Spiderwick.” -Emily

Monday, March 3, 2008

anti-fashion, fashion blog

Can you tell which image is from the 70's and which is the latest trend? (The one on the left is Mischa Barton.) I think they actually made these high waisted pants even uglier, talk about the ultimate "mom" pants!

"Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months". --Oscar Wilde.

Don't get me wrong, I love fashion, I think I have always loved it. Like when I used to sew my own mini skirts when I was 10 years old. Fashion has always been a part of society and will always be. The thing that rubs me wrong like a cheap suit, is when following every latest trend becomes what we live and die by. Some of the best designers are the ones who followed their own style and didn't go after the latest this or that. Be your own designer, break some rules and start your own fashion trends. "Trust with your heart and not your head" --Dove Chocolate foil (so much wisdom in a little wrapper). Many of the best fashion designers did just that; take for example: Betsy Johnson, crazy, girly, and fun wear; Ralph Lauren, classic yet always with an edge that is all its own, and one of my favorite tees designer, Amy Tangerine, unique,cute and comfortable. All of these designers did their own thing, they followed their heart.

No one has ever been a trend setter by following the latest trends! Fashion is only ugly when it's not your own.--LeShan

what's "The Big Idea?"

I don't watch much TV. Just don't have time for it. I end up watching most of my shows online while working late into the evening. Thank heavens you can catch Ugly Betty and Grey's Anatomy on ABC's website! Unfortunately "The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch" is one show without full episodes online and I never remember to watch it because 8pm MST is crazy time around here. Fortunately CNBC offers snippets from the show that I always catch the next day.

If you haven't watched "The Big Idea" and you're an entrepreneur, then you're missing out. Though Donny can be over the top sometimes he always dishes out some great advice to would-be millionaires. The people on his show are a lot like you and me, men and women with a hopefully great business idea and the desire to make that product or service successful. "Minute to Millions" is one of my favorite segments as is "The Million Dollar Question" (business owners ask Donny their most important business question via webcam). I also love "Will It Play in Peoria?"

Even if you're not interested in making millions "The Big Idea" does a great job of keeping you inspired about what you're doing and gives some great tips, tricks, and tried-and-true methods.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

top of the muffin to you!

Have you seen that Seinfeld about the top of the muffin? It's true, I could eat just the top of the muffin and throw the rest away. Here's a really good muffin recipe that stores in the fridge for up to 6 weeks!

(1) 15oz Box Raisin Bran Flakes
3 C Sugar
5 C Flour
5 tsp Baking Soda
4 Eggs
1 C Oil
2 tsp Salt
1 qrt Buttermilk

Mix dry ingredients well. Beat eggs; add to the dry ingredients along with the vegetable oil and buttermilk. Mix all ingredients together. Spoon into greased muffin pan. Bake at 375 in preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes. Store in covered container in the fridge for up to 6 weeks. Do not re-stir mixture. Makes 4 dozen.--LeShan