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Showing posts from July, 2013

Book Report: Simple Stunning Parties at Home

This is one of the best books on home entertaining on the market.

As a former full- time event planner, I love books in this genre, the reason why I love this book so much is because it is done very tastefully and the photography is simply stunning.

The menu's are practical and simple and the recipes are simple and all ingredients can be found in your grocery store.

Another reason why I love this book is they have playlists that everyone can download from iTunes.

Karen Bussen also includes in this book, practical activities that everyone can enjoy and even ideas for departing gift bags.

You can buy this amazing book at amazon.com at 22.95, this one investment that you will enjoy.

Cheers to Entertaining!

Holiday Shopping in July

Yes we took a break from the pool and BBQ's to get ready for the Holidays.

It is our second holiday season at Positivexpert. We really scored great items for the ENTIRE holiday season, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Apres Ski Parties.

Check out what we bought at Crate and Barrel

1. Ruby Red Cotton Napkins- at 1.95 each
2. Set of 6 Ramekins- at 8.95 (Perfect for individual Mac N Cheese)
3. 2 Star Bowls 6" Width, 6" Depth, 2.25 Height- (Perfect for Holiday M&M's)
4. 2 sets of 20 Gingerbread Beverage Napkins- 1.95 each ( Apres and Cookie Swap Parties)
5. 1 Josephine Runner- This is an Ivory Runner with Gold and Silver Snowflakes- Goes Well with Green, Red, Black and Rust Color Tablecloths.
6. Gingerbread Man Mugs 2.95 each
7. Gingerbread Man 12" Platter- 9.95
8. Set of Appetizer Plates (12) - 13.95
9. 2 Green Votive Holders        -.95each
10. 4 Small Square Dishes        - .95 each Perfect for Nuts and Dipping Sauces
11. Set of 18 Orange Paper Plates-2.9…

Healthy Eats Alert: Moringstar: Chickpea Burger and Sauasge Patties

My favorite Morningstar Products are:

1. Breakfast Patties:
Sausage Patties taste amazingly delicious, and it is half the fat and calories of Turkey and Pork Sausages.

2. Chickpea Patties:
This is a new product but the taste is wonderful. It is also amazingly filling and you don't need any condiments.

3. Mushroom Burgers:
I love mushrooms the two mushrooms that are used are Portabella and button mushrooms. Again, you don't need any condiments.

You can eat one for a meal with a salad and you are filled.

Cheers to being and staying healthy!!

Salmon Three Ways

Omega 3's are life saving, it is great for the heart, brain, and skin. Wild Alaskan Salmon is the best form of Omega 3's, here are some great seasonings for your salmon.

1. Dill, Garlic and Lemon-
Rise the Salmon and season with dill, garlic, and lemon. Bake in a shallow pan with olive oil.

2. Light Soy and Ginger-
Take low sodium soy sauce with freshly grated ginger and marinade filets for a day then bake.

3. Italian Crusted
Take Italian bread crumbs with 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese, mix the cheese and the bread crumbs together coat the salmon filets with olive oil, then. Crispy and tasty, yet great for you!

Serve with Green Beans and red wine!

Half- Half Diet

We all heard the latest diet fads, juicing, cleanses, vegetarian, vegan, etc.

However, the majority of the reason why people relapse, when starting on a new eating plan, is they don't ease into it, its all or none.

When I was losing the majority of my weight, I still ate pizza with pepperoni, now I only eat homemade pizza that I make, with fresh veggies.

Here's the half/half diet:

Half Health/ Half Sin- this way you don't feel deprived in any way and relapse.
So if you like cutlets with pasta al vodka, this is how you would make it a half and half meal.

1. Use thinly cut organic chicken breasts with no antibiotics.
2. Instead of whole eggs, use eggs whites
3. Dredge in Italian bread crumbs.
4. Bake in a pan with olive oil, til crispy.
(Cut half the fat if you were to have deep fat fried the cutlets, and dredged them in whole eggs.)

Pasta:
Instead of regular penne, use whole wheat penne
Saute mushroom in olive oil with thyme and oregano.
When penne is al dente, coat with RAO's Vodka…

Nature Secrets to Common Summer Ailments

OK, so you been to couple of BBQ's lately and you have indulged, indulged to point where either you or your hubby is going to drugstore to get Mylanta.

Most antacids erode the stomach lining after a while.

Here are some proven fruits that you can use for these ailments:

1. Eat a slice of papaya after every meal, I have been doing this for one year, I don't have acid reflux, or heartburn after eating; especially a heavy meal.

2. Orange Peel Tea- Hot Orange Peel tea works wonders for acid reflux and heartburn.

3. Apples: Eat an apple after any heavy meal.

These are proven methods by nature to heal and soothe us.

Cheers to GOOD HEALTH!

OF COURSE SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR CORRECT MEDICAL ADVICE! 

Candle Safety

We talk a lot about candles and different scents; however we want everyone to be SAFE.

1. Always have your candle in a fire resistant bowl with water, of course don't submerge your candle, but have you candle floating this would contain any fires should the candle container break.

2. Never sleep with a candle.

3. Never lite a candle in the same room that your are doing your mani/pedi in because the fumes of the nail products can ignite a fire.

4. Never allow children near candles.

5. If you are hosting a dinner party light candles before the guests come at least three hours, when guests arrive, put the candles out, your room should be perfectly scented by then.

6. Lastly, always follow the burn instructions: Some candles have a 5 hour to 50 hour burn time, please respect the instructions.

Cheers to enjoying your candles responsibly!

Cool Down with Summer Drinks

Summer Time is hot and sticky and although, you may thing it is a good idea to cool down with Ice Cold Beer think again.

Here are our favorite refreshing Summer Time drinks:

Spa Water: Cucumber, Lemon and Mint Ice Water

1. Slice one cucumber
2. Juice one lemon
3. Chop up some fresh mint sprigs
4. 1 pitcher of Spring Water

Blend ingredients, stir, and chill for 2 hours, by the time you come home from the beach you will have a cooling drink.

Hibiscus and Lime Spritzer
1. Take a couple of bags of hibiscus tea, brew them to your desired strength.
2. 1 cup of lime juice
3. 1/4 cup of Agave Nectar

Blend all ingredients till while tea is still warm and chill for 2 hours, serve with over ice.

Cheers to a nice cool down for the summer!

Do You Really Need to Use that Coupon?

We live in a deal society.

Every day I get a min. of 5 e-mails from major department stores or flash sites about 20 percent off if I buy 75 dollars of clothing, or if you order something you get 30 dollars off your next purchase.

So one day, I did a gut check, do I really need to use these coupons?

Getting deals can be very addictive especially for quality items.

However, when is enough, enough...

My rude awakening came when my mail carrier started to violently throw boxes at my step or a package came destroyed.

I thought it was her and rude behavior, until I began to examine why I was buying?

I already had enough summer clothes, I really needed fall clothing, but after that purchase, how many sample boxes do I need?

So, I had to part ways with my 30.00 department store coupon, and take a break from shopping, although I wasn't going into debt. But, it was time I stepped outside to wear all my summer purchases.

It was time to give this woman a break in terms of  her walking in the hot sun w…

Summer Foodie Week: Grilled Rosemary Chicken Salad

Grilled Chicken you think boring and dry!

Nope here's why:

1. Trimmed chicken breast
2. 2 cloves of garlic
3. 3 sprigs of Fresh Rosemary
4. 1/2 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Blend Olive Oil, garlic, and rosemary together, then add chicken.

Marinade chicken overnight, then grill chicken until thoroughly cooked.

Then take the rest of the marinade during the last 5 min. of grilling and pour over the chicken.

Serve over a bed of fresh greens, we prefer spinach and white wine.

Cheers to healthy and tasty grilled chicken salad.

Summer Foodie Week: Roasted Corn

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While watching the Food Network, one day I came across this recipe, I added my own touches and it is delicious.

1. 6 ears of the young sweet corn
2. 1/2 cup of Mexican Cheese
3. 1 tablespoon of Smoked Paprika
4. Lime Wedges

Grill corn on a open flame until thoroughly roasted.

When corn is thoroughly grilled then slather with butter, smoked paprika, turmeric, garlic, and Mexican Cheese.

Serve with lime wedge.



Tastes amazing!

Cheers to Grilled Corn!

Summer Foodie Week: Loaded Potato Salad

We had this last summer and it was great, but don't eat it every day.

Loaded Potato Salad:
1. 1 lb. cleaned and scrubbed New Potato's cut in half
2. 1 lb. thick slab of cured Hickory smoked bacon
3. 1 container of Greek Yogurt
4. 1/4 lb. of sharp cheddar cheese
5. 1 bunch of diced scallions

Roast New Potato's in the oven til tender, coat them with Extra Virgin Olive Oil
While New Potato's are roasting, fry til crispy the Hickory Smoked bacon
When the bacon is finished frying, then drain on paper towel
After the potato's are finished roasting, allow them to cool.

Mix in a big bowl:
1. Potato's
2. Bacon
3. Greek Yogurt
4. Cheddar Cheese (sharp is great)
5. Scallions

Mix till well blended and chill until guests arrive. Once again, this should only be eaten once a year!

Cheers to Loaded Potato Salad!

Summer Foodie Week: Ice Cream Sandwichs

Remember the Good Humor Ice Cream Truck in your neighborhood?

And everyone got the classics--Toasted Almond Bar, Strawberry Shortcake, or The Ice Cream Sandwich-- two chocolate cookies with vanilla ice cream.
So after your next summer gathering you may want to elevate the classic Ice Cream Sandwich:

Here's what we cooked up:

We bought a variety of Pepperidge Farm Cookies and our Favorite Ice Cream here is what we came up with:

White Chocolate Macadamia Cookie with Coffee Ice Cream--- The cookie is delicious and sweet so balance out the sweetness a coffee ice cream, for a great Kona like flavor.

Oatmeal Raisin with Vanilla Ice Cream--This is great for the elderly who love classic foods.

Milk Chocolate Toffee Almond-- We used a caramel ice cream such as duce de leche, to balance out the sweetness we rolled it in sea salt. Yummmy!

Milk Chocolate Coconut Almond--This gave us a run for our money. We used Buttered Almond Ice Cream, it was excellent. It truly had us going back for more.

Cheers t…

Taking Care of Summer Hair

You spent a fortune on those highlights or partials so why not take care of it, even while you are on vacation.

1. Any stylist will tell you those who have highlights, must deep condition their hair every week. So the products we found to be the best for this are Fredric Fakkai, his entire line is great, but his deep conditioner for color treated hair is amazing!

2. Also when you are going swimming in a pool or the ocean, always put conditioner in it first, this will help prevent breakage from the chlorine and sea salt. Of course after your swim, rise your hair thoroughly.

3. Avoid flat irons and keratin treatments, they will make your hair look like straw.

4. If you have extensions or pieces for fullness, only wear them on special occasions, the heat from those things causes your scalp to sweat and in the worse case you may get an infection, your scalp needs AIR!

Cheers to taking care of those summer locks!

VIP Fab Fit Fun Box Review

Everyone  loves to get a little something special in the mail.

You know I am a big fan of the Must Have Boxes, however the VIP Fab Fit Fun Box curated by Juliana Rancic is totally amazing.

It is 49.99, I know a bit steep for some, but it is sent out every quarter, so every season you get the top of the line products from someone who knows a lot about products.

For the summer box:

1. Evian Facial Spray- We are having a heat wave in NYC, so a little spritz, keeps the body temperature way down.

2. Pur-lisse- Gentle Soy Milk Cleanser and Make Up Remover:
 Even though I don't wear foundation in the summer, the product is amazing and really leaves your face clean and fresh.

3. Yes to Cucumbers Facial Towelettes:
I put these in the fridge in a Ziploc and whenever I am ready to go out, then I put them in my bag, once again on NYC subway can be gross, so I just pop one out before I go my destination and it leaves me totally refreshed.

4. Ivory and Mason Eyewear:
This came in so handy becau…

House Guests and Intimacy

What do you when you and hubby just came back from the beach and you and him are both in the mood?

What's the big deal it is your summer home right?

Yeah, but this was week you invited guests, ugh...

Well, it depends if the houseguests are young children, teens, or adults.

In cases where you want a little intimacy before dinner, but there are young children and teens around, I suggest you and yours take it to bathroom, you both have to shower before dinner anyway, and the bathroom will be locked with running water--drowning out the noise...And one adult leave the bathroom full dressed.

You should never do anything around children or young adults that would open up Pandora's Box, sex, alcohol, smoking, etc.

Also, if you are in a relationship and someone who has children make certain to keep your bedroom doors locked! It is traumatic if you ever walked in on your parents, imagine a child walking in on someone who isn't Mommy and Daddy.

As for adults, people over 30, once again keep…

How to End Summertime Bloating

Most people think summertime is the ideal time to get away go to beach.

However, in order to keep up that summertime beach figure here are a few tips to avoid bloating.

1. Limit BBQ, I know everyone is having a BBQ or grilling something; however many sauces especially dry rubs are loaded with sodium, which causes water retention.

2. Limit Alcohol, I am not telling anyone to have cold Margarita, however it is important to limit alcohol consumption, because again it contributes to water retention.

3. Increase Water Intake, especially those hot days at the beach or pool, you need will be perspiring and the fluids need to be replenished. So increase that water.

4. Increase Fruit Intake, especially watermelon, watermelon is great for bloating issues because it is a natural diuretic.

5. Limit sun exposure- Many people love to spend hours sunbathing but aside from skin cancer risks, the sun and heat does have people to retain water.

Those are some helpful tips, so you can end summertime bloating.

Ch…

Pantry Check for Unexpected Guests

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Summertime is a light and breezy time. It is also the time of year when people "stop by" they are visiting someone in area and figure they would give you a visit.

Here are several must haves for these uninvited guests:

Alcohol:
1. 2 bottles of white wine
2. 2 bottles of red whine
3. 2 bottles of sparkling wine

Beverages:
1. Cold Bottled Water/ Room Temperature Water
2. Lemonade
3. Ice Tea

Appetizers:
The best appetizer company is The Perfect Bite Company, you can buy there products at HSN, Saks, William Sonoma or buy from the company directly.
My picks are:
1. Eggplant Pizza
2. Mushroom Pizza
3. Mini-Cheeseburgers- Apple wood Smoked Bacon to Onion and Blue Cheese
4. Classic Pigs Blanket
These are super easy just put them in the oven at 425 at 20 min., so from time your guests call and when they arrive they will have tasty treats




Crackers:
Water Crackers- light airy crackers that are served in the UK.

Nuts:
The best nuts are Bobby Sue Nuts you can get two large jars of their gourmet nuts for 21.9…

Summer Soiree's: What to Bring??

Now that it is official, in terms of the summer house season, many of you will be getting invites to attend every one's soiree.

Here is a guide to what to bring:

Couples Night: You and your boyfriend and three other couples.
Bring a nice vase- you can get from waterford.com, everyone brings flowers, wine, or dessert. I once went to a dinner party and the room looked like a florist with every one's flowers, that the host ended up giving an arrangement to the senior citizen's center the next day.

Charity Night:
Especially, in the Hampton's everyone is having a soiree to benefit a charity. I have an extremely short list of charities I support, but in any case for these events, a case of the best bubbly would do, Verve Cliquot never hurts, with a nice note sorry we can't attend the event, but please add this to the festivities.

Potluck:
Surprisingly, some people have great potlucks in the summer and it is a time to bring your bring your best dish. Ask ahead what to bring and …

Buy for Fall NOW !!

It seems a bit strange that in the thick of July heat I am telling you to buy for winter.

However, while I was in the store for an amazing sale, when I noticed tons of high quality sweaters, puffer vests, etc. that were not used, but the inventory just didn't sell for whatever reason.

So, I bought some great high quality evening sweaters for fall and winter for under $30.00 total. One sweater I know I will wear when hosting my Apres Ski Party.

Now, only buy clothing, no beauty or food items. But, it may take some time to scour through the racks, but it so worth it when you do find the great deals, that can easily transition you to fall to winter.

Many styles really don't change such as gunmetal colors, gold tones, color blocking and black and white combinations.

So, next time you pass by clearance rack and see some high quality sweaters, don't hesitate to pick up especially if you are getting a 90 percent discount!

Cheers to savings!

July 4th Menu

July 4th, is here and everyone is looking forward to your annual get together.

Here is a menu that I put together that is healthy and hearty at the same time.

Lobster and Pasta Salad
2 pounds cooked lobster meat
1 box of whole wheat pasta penne will do
2 boxes of plump assorted cherry tomato's
3 ears of golden corn
1 bunch of asparagus
1 bunch of fresh dill
1 container of plain Greek yogurt
1 juice of lemon

Chop the lobster meat into bite size pieces and set aside in the fridge

1. Cook your penne pasta into boiling hot water with olive oil.
2. Grill your corn and asparagus on the hot grill

When pasta and veggies are cooked, allow to cool for at least 15 min.

Blend:
1. Yogurt
2. Dill
3. Lemon Juice
4. Capers- (I know I just threw those in!)

In a large serving bowl, mix lobster meat, pasta and veggies with dressing, until well coated, but not excessive, chill until arrive.

Grilled Flank Steak
For the meat eaters of the world. Marinade steak with olive oil, parsley, cumin, garlic, turmeric, and black pepp…

Scent Alert London Calling!!

So by now, you know that I love scents, I find them very relaxing and soothing.

I was walking by Bath and Body Works, of course I had to go inside.

It is/was there annual Semi- Annual Sale and as you walk in they give you a 20 percent coupon.

Cool...

However, the scents that I chose wasn't on sale, but for a stressed fill week, you would want to invest in these two candles.

1. Watermelon Lemonade- Citrus with a subtle hint of fruit. 3 votives for 10.00 plus a discount, great for homemade spa day.

2. London!! This scent is AMAZING in terms of the citrus scent of lemon that does not smell like citronella (bug repellant)

So a large London candle plus 3 Watermelon Citrus all for $26.50!!!

Yummm.....

Cheers to the wonders of scents.