Showing posts from March, 2016

Wednesday—Good 4U Good 4The Home: How To Clean Pillows

Keep your pillows fluffy, soft & fresh

Spring cleaning 101:  Wash Your Pillows

Pillows need to be laundered twice a year. Double or triple that if you live in a hot or humid climate.
Most down & synthetic pillows can be laundered in the machine.  Check the care label to make sure.
Use pillow covers for regular use.
Use a mild liquid detergent to avoid residue from powdered detergents.
Add a second rinse cycle to the wash to remove all of the soap.
Wash two pillows at a time to balance the weight in the machine.
Dry flat in the sun, hang on the line, or use the dryer with a couple of tennis balls wrapped in socks to prevent clumping.  
If you dry on the line like I do, rehang & rotate the pillows top to bottom to enable even drying in the sun.
Replace pillows every 3 to 4 years, depending on how well they are holding up.  
If the pillow becomes clumpy or flat, it's time to donate it to the local animal shelter and buy a new pillow.
How to Wash Your Pillows by apartment therapy

Tuesday's Cupboard—Thai Shrimp Scampi

Adapted from Weight Watchers Magazine_September/October 2012

Thai Shrimp Scampi

Servings:  1 (I usually double or triple this recipe)
ingredients 1/3 cup (Thai Kitchen) organic light coconut milk1/4 c. chicken broth1/2 tsp. Thai red curry paste6 whole, fresh cleaned large shrimp3/4 cup hot cooked capellini or Barilla white fiber thin spaghetti2 T. fresh chopped cilantrohandful of dry-roasted peanutsfresh cracked black pepper
make it! Heat 1/3 c. light coconut milk, 1/4 c. chicken broth & 1/2 tsp. Thai red curry paste in a deep saucepan for 5 minutes.Add 6 peeled large shrimp; cook for 5 minutes.Add 3/4 cup hot cooked capellini & toss to combine.Top with freshly chopped cilantro, a handful of dry-roasted peanuts & freshly ground black pepper

Monday Writing Corner—April is National Letter Writing Month

Write-on is a fun literacy campaign to encourage the art of hand-written letters.  30 letters in 30 days starting on April 1st!  I'm in. 

Thanks to my niece, Rebecca, for posting it on facebook!

April is National Letter Writing Month

"Write_On is a campaign to promote joy, creativity, expression, and connection through hand-written correspondence inspired by Egg Press founder Tess Darrow." 

30 letters in 30 days starting on April 1.  
Check out their partners here.  
Check out writing stuff on Pinterest here.  
11 Great Reasons to Write a Letter or Card Say thank youSay congratsReconnect after a long timeSay something nice about someoneIt's fun & creativeIt's peacefulCheer someone upUse up old postcards & greeting cardsSend a photoPass on a family recipeUse up outdated denominations of stamps
More reasons to write a letter from the write_on blog by Sabrina Moyle from Hello!Lucky > Click here

• create • write • share •

Happy Easter 2016

Have a wonderful Easter week!

• happy• easter • 2016 •
• welcome • spring •

Saturday Finances—Unclaimed Property

Search individual state links to find out if you have any unclaimed assets

NAUPA National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators

What is unclaimed property?
According to the NAUPA definition, "unclaimed property" refers to accounts in financial institutions and companies that have had no activity generated or contact with the owner for one (1) year or longer.
Common forms include: savings or checking accounts stocks uncashed dividends or payroll checks refundstraveler's checkstrust distributionsunredeemed money order or gift certificatesinsurance payments & life insurance policiesannuitiescertificates of depositcustomer overpaymentsutility security depositsmineral royalty payments

How Does it Work?
Most states have unclaimed property laws which instruct companies to turn forgotten funds over to a state official who will then make a diligent effort to find the owners or their heirs.  
If you have moved around, you could potentially have lost funds in every state in w…

Friday Photo Gallery—Free Nik Software Suite

Omigosh.  Google bought Nik Software & decided to give away the pro-pack Nik Collection suite of photo fx.  This is the photography equivalent of giving away top-of-the-line Porsches.  

Nik Collection Be still my post-processing heart...

Free downloadHERE

Analog Efex Pro The look & feel of classic cameras, film, and lenses.

Color Efex Pro A comprehensive set of filters for color correction, retouching & creative effects.

Silver Efex Pro Black & white darkroom-inspired effects.

Viveza Selective color & tonality adjustments without complicated masks or non-intuitive controls.

HDR Efex Pro High-def effects with individualized selective adjustments.

Sharpener Pro Professional image sharpening tool set.

Dfine Tailored noise reduction.

Good4U, Good4 The Home—Golden Easter Eggs

Beautifully dyed natural yellow from onion skins, orange peels & turmeric!   And, no lingering flavors on the eggs.  Pretty cool. 

Golden Easter Eggs

you'll need
outer skins of 3 large onions peels from 2 large oranges 2 T. turmeric powder
6 white hard-boiled eggs, room temp

optional:edible gold paint&edible extra-fine glitter

dye the eggs
1.  Place onion skins, orange peels & turmeric in a medium-sized pot.
2.  Add 4 cups of cold water.
3.  Cover & bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low.  
4.  Simmer ingredients in a covered pot for 15 minutes.  When water has turned a deep shade of the color you're going for, remove the pot from the heat.
5.  Strain through a wire strainer, then add 2 T. white vinegar.  You should have about 3-1/2 cups of dye.
6.  I like to dye my eggs in a 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup.  It completely covers 5 eggs; 6 if you don't mind the top one slightly exposed.

Tuesday's Cupboard—Ayocote Bean Salad

Adapted from Weight Watcher's Magazine March/April 2016

Ayocote Bean Salad
prep 20 minutes serves 4

notes I used fresh corn kernals cut off of the cob instead of frozen.  It would also be good with leftover grilled corn (the original recipe calls for grilled corn kernals).  Instead of ancho chili powder, use regular chili powder (mild) to calm down the heat.  

ingredients two 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed4 plum tomatoes2 cobs of fresh corn kernals (about 1 cup)1/2 c. diced red onion1/2 c. chopped green onions1 c. chopped fresh cilantro1 c. chopped red bell pepper1 c. chopped yellow bell pepper3 T. lime juice1 T. chili powder2 T. extra-virgin olive oil1/2 tsp. kosher saltcracked black pepper
topping 2 fresh cut-up avocados (half an avo per serving)
make it! Combine all ingredients except avocados in a large bowl.Plate on a bed of fresh greens.  Top each serving with chopped avos.   Finish with freshly ground black pepper.

• fresh • healthy • food •

Sunday—Happy First Day of Spring 2016

It's Spring again!

Signs of Spring 2016

steve's morels

calla lily 


wild clover

lots of this

• happy • spring • 2016 •

Saturday Finances—The Big Short

Loved-loved-LOVED this movie!


I rented The Big Short last night.  
It scared me, made me laugh out loud, and made me a little less secure about personal investing.  But, as the movie points out over and over again...the mortgage bubble started at least three years before it collapsed.  For anyone who was paying attention, there was plenty of warning.
My take-away:  Pay attention.  
The more you know about how things work, the more secure your investments are.  
The Big Short is based on the notion of short selling.  
From Investopedia...
What is short selling?
When you short sell a stock, your broker will lend it to you. The stock will come from the brokerage's own inventory, from another one of the firm's customers, or from another brokerage firm. The shares are sold and the proceeds are credited to your account. Sooner or later, you must "close" the short by buying back the same number of shares (called covering) and returning them to your broker. 
If the price…