SustainableVentura.TV's May 2013 show (hosted by Maryann Ridini Spencer), features a trip to the Earth Day Eco-Fest in Promenade Park and visits with the Refill Shoppe (363 E. Main in downtown Ventura) and the Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC) to find out about their reduce and reuse policies. City of Ventura Environmental Specialist Courtney Lindberg also shares some great tips on preventing stormwater pollution. WATCH THE SHOW: http://bit.ly/12bK2Cp
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SustainableVentura.TV's May 2013 show (hosted by Maryann Ridini Spencer), features a trip to the Earth Day Eco-Fest in Promenade Park and visits with the Refill Shoppe (363 E. Main in downtown Ventura) and the Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC) to find out about their reduce and reuse policies. City of Ventura Environmental Specialist Courtney Lindberg also shares some great tips on preventing stormwater pollution. WATCH THE SHOW: http://bit.ly/12bK2Cp
Did you know that many household cleaning products, while even used "as directed" could be hazardous to your health as well as the environment?
Many household products are toxic and can be hazardous to your health, they can also pose a threat to the environment if they end up getting into our drains and waterways.
On product labels, have you ever read words like flammable, corrosive, reactive or toxic? If so, in the future, why not consider safer and more "eco-friendly" alternatives.
Looking for less toxic alternatives isn't always easy, either. Even when a product is listed as "safe" or "green," it can be masking as environmentally friendly. This is called greenwashing and can be very confusing to consumers who are trying to make more eco-conscious cleaning product choices.
The best mode of operation is to look for statements that read: non-toxic, non-petroleum based or free of ammonia, phosphates, dye and perfume, and that read "biodegradable."
Stay away from products using words such as: DANGER and POISON. Products labeled CAUTION or WARNING contain the least toxic, but can still cause harm.
Green Cleaning Recipes from Care2.com
How to Make a Non-Toxic Cleaning Kit
- Baking Soda
- Washing Soda
- White Distilled Vinegar
- Natural Liquid Soap or Detergent
- Tea Tree Oil
- 6 Clean Spray Bottles
- 2 Glass Jars
Creamy Soft Scrubber
Pour ½ c. of baking soda into a bowl, and add enough liquid detergent to make a texture-like frosting. Scoop the mixture onto a sponge, and wash the surface. This is the perfect recipe for cleaning the bathtub because it rinses easily and doesn't leave grit. Note: Add 1 tsp. of vegetable glycerin to the mixture and store in a sealed glass jar to keep the product moist. Otherwise, just make as much as you need at a time.
- ¼-1/2 tsp. liquid detergent
- 3 T. vinegar
- 2 c. water
- Spray bottle
Put all the ingredients into a spray bottle, shake it up a bit, and use as you would a commercial brand. The soap in this recipe is important. It cuts the wax residue from the commercial brands you might have used in the past.
- 1 c. or more baking soda
- A squirt or two of liquid detergent
Sprinkle water generously over the bottom of the oven, then cover the grime with enough baking soda that the surface is totally white. Sprinkle some more water over the top. Let the mixture set overnight. You can easily wipe up the grease the next morning because the grime will have loosened. When you have cleaned up the worst of the mess, dab a bit of liquid detergent or soap on a sponge, and wash the remaining residue from the oven.
All-Purpose Spray Cleaner
- ½ tsp. washing soda
- A dab of liquid soap
- 2 c. hot tap water
- Combine the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake until the washing soda has dissolved. Apply and wipe off with a sponge or rag.
- ½ tsp. oil, such as olive (or jojoba, a liquid wax)
- ¼ c. vinegar or fresh lemon juice
- Mix the ingredients in a glass jar. Dab a soft rag into the solution and wipe onto wood surfaces. Cover the glass jar and store indefinitely.
Keep a clean spray bottle filled with straight 5% vinegar in your kitchen near your cutting board and in your bathroom. Use them for cleaning. The smell of vinegar dissipates within a few hours. Straight vinegar is also great for cleaning the toilet rim. Just spray it on and wipe off.
Tea Tree Treasure
Nothing natural works for mold and mildew as well as this spray. Tea tree oil is expensive, but a little goes a very long way. Note that the smell of tea tree oil is very strong, but it will dissipate in a few days.
- 2 tsp. tea tree oil
- 2 c. water
Combine in a spray bottle, shake to blend, and spray on problem areas. Do not rinse.
Makes two cups.
Straight vinegar reportedly kills 82% of mold. Pour some white distilled vinegar straight into a spray bottle. Spray on the moldy area, and let set without rinsing if you can put up with the smell. Smell will dissipate in a few hours.
This article by Maryann Ridini Spencer also appears at SustainableVentura.TV
The Legend of St. Valentine
In ancient Rome, around the time of 278 A.D., St. Valentine, a priest during the reign of Roman Emperor Claudius II, was executed on February 14. The Emperor decreed that young men could not marry and have families, as the he felt that it would detract from their duties and commitments as soldiers. Legend has it that St. Valentine performed wedding ceremonies for young lovers in secret. Eventually, St. Valentine was caught, imprisoned and beheaded for these acts of love and kindness. The fact that St. Valentine was executed for love makes him a much loved, heroic and martyred romantic figure.
Just before his execution, he is said to have written a letter to his jailer's daughter, signing it "From Your Valentine."
Throughout the ages, Valentine's Day has been celebrated in many ways across the globe. It's been recorded that Valentine's Day greetings date back to the Middle Ages, with written Valentine sentiments coming much later.
While some may look upon Valentine's Day as a becoming somewhat of a commercial holiday, it's important to remember the true meaning of how and why the day is remembered.
This Valentine's Day, how are you planning to show your husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, mother, father, children and other family members and friends your love?
A beautiful card? A romantic dinner? A gift of a dozen red roses or a box of candy?
Whatever you decide, here are some ideas that I hope will inspire you:
*For a very special Valentine - a great gift for a woman to receive is a locket (with slots for photos inside). That way she can wear her locket close to her heart -- always. And for a man, a pocket watch, also with room for the photo.
*Poets such as John Donne, William Shakespeare, Dickinson, Gibran and Browning set hearts afire with their words. Purchase a book of love poems (or download them from the internet), and then read and share the poems with your loved one by a roaring fire.
*If you're good at taking photos, building a book of memorable pictures of the places you've visited together, and the places you'd like to visit, can be made and bound on online publishing sites such as lulu.com and blurb.com.
*Create a series of special cards (the size of index cards) on nice card stock. You can purchase these types of cards at stores like JoAnn's, Michael's, Staples and Office Depot to name a few. Decorate the cards by writing and painting on them, even attaching photos. Come up with a series of things that you will do for your loved one and document this on each individual card. Some ideas could include: A massage after a long day at work, preparing their favorite meal, packing a picnic lunch to share on an ocean bluff, a day get-away to a spot you'll both enjoy. Have fun and get creative!
*Surprise your partner with an unexpected weekend get-away (or even a night away) to a romantic bed and breakfast. (Minus the computers and electronics!)
*Prepare your partner's favorite meal and share a romantic movie classic together.
Love is precious and our time on earth is limited. Remember to tell the ones you love, how much they are loved. Celebrate your love on Valentine's Day - and better yet, every day.
For simply delicious, easy-to-make recipes and creative inspirations for joyous living, visit my blog at SimplyDeliciousLiving.com.
Listen to THIS "Celebrating Love on St. Valentine's Day" PODCAST, CLICK HERE.
While your making your New Year's resolutions in your personal and professional life. Keep the environment in mind!
Here are some green tips to help save the planet that can also help you save on your pocketbook!
•Buy local, fresh, organically grown fruits and vegetables
Save on greenhouse gas emissions and use less gas when you visit the grocery store. Plan your trips and carpool with a friend. You'll cut down on local pollution and also contribute to the local economy when you buy local.
Is your car a gas guzzler? If so, why not opt for an energy saving vehicle or better yet, if you can, walk, ride a bike or take public transportation!
•Energy Efficient Living
Discover how to make your home more energy efficient, CLICK HERE.
•Green Your Office
You can help save the environment buy employing sustainable practices at the office. READ MORE.
Clean your home, yourself & your environment using healthy Green Products. LEARN MORE.
•Buy Recycled Paper Products
Products made with 100% recycled paper require less water in the manufacturing process. Recycled products also reduce waste going into our already overcrowded landfills.
•Carry a water bottle and Recyclable bag everywhere you go
Avoid buying bottled water when you can bring delicious tasting tap water with you in a BPA-Free, recyclable container. You'll save money, your health (drinking water is healthy and you'll save the environment.
A great way to reduce plastic bag use is to keep reusable bags in the car, your purse/briefcase/backpack, etc., where you will remember to take them into the store. Use reusable produce bags instead of the plastic bags at the store and Farmer's Market.
•Easy retrofits for water conservation
Installing low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators in your kitchen and bathroom sinks are simple and inexpensive ways to conserve water. Low-flow showerheads and aerators can reduce your home water consumption as much as 50%. The cost of heating the water can also be reduced 50%. Using less water and energy keeps money in your pocketbook and saves our natural resources!
A landscape can be both beautiful and water efficient. Set your irrigation timers at season appropriate watering cycles set to water only in the early morning or later in the evening to avoid evaporation and wind interference. Get water to the intended targets, the roots of your garden and lawn.
REDUCE•REUSE•RECYCLE IN 2013!
By Maryann Ridini Spencer, From Sustainable Ventura
Holiday Stress Busters!
The December Holiday season is a great time to celebrate with family and friends.
However, while it's a joyous time, it can also be a stressful and demanding time. Perhaps you'll have a houseful of guests? If that's the case cleaning, cooking and entertaining can be daunting. Maybe you have a lot of gifts to buy in a down economy or perhaps it will be the first season you'll be without a cherished loved one?
What are some ways you can keep the joy and curb the stress?
•Ask for help. If you're the host for a big event, seek out assistance for shopping, cooking, cleaning and sharing the holiday-related chores.
•Make a list and do check it twice. Planning ahead and designating a budget for gift shopping as well as entertaining items, will allow you to limit your trips to the store and the pain on your pocketbook.
•Maintain your health (and your waistline!) during the holidays. Get regular exercise, eat right and make sure you get enough sleep. Indulging too much in alcohol, sweets and cakes will not only make you feel bad, it can cause guilt and stress levels to rise. (Not to mention panic when you step on the scale!).
•Create an escape. If too much family togetherness is getting you down and you find yourself needing a breather -- clear your head and take some time for yourself doing what you like to do. Try talking a long nature walk, reading a good book, listening to a symphony or watching a good movie.
•Spread the JOY. If you're feeling alone at the holidays, get social and volunteer your time at a church, temple or community event.
•Do your homework before traveling. If you're traveling, check the weather and plan for unexpected delays. Don't wait until the last minute to pack or get to the airport. If you're traveling with children, bring games, reading material and other amusements that can keep the children interested if you're delayed. If you're not a fan of plane food or those high calories, unhealthy snacks you find at airports, you may also want to pack your own meal and bring some healthy snacks along. Eating right will keep you feeling balanced and positive.
•Get creative. A great way to get in the spirit is to plan a fun arts and crafts or baking day with family and/or friends. Put on your favorite music, get creative and enjoy the company.
•Surround yourself with LOVE. Fill your heart and your time with those people and things you truly love. Take heed of the past, if you know a situation is going to cause you too much pain or stress, avoid it. Make this the best holiday season ever!
LISTEN TO the Simply Delicious Living
"HOLIDAY STRESS BUSTERS" Podcast, CLICK HERE.
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On Thursday, November 8, 2012, the first Water: Take 1 Online Short Film Contest Awards Presentation and Party was hosted by Brooks Institute of Photography on one of the sound stages at their Ventura Campus. SustainableVentura.TV's Maryann Ridini Spencer covered the event attended by Ventura Mayor Mike Tracy and Ventura City Councilmembers Christy Weir and Neal Andrews. Those present enjoyed refreshments and mixed and mingled before watching a special video presentation of finalist and winning films. Also present were local contest winners and representatives from Patagonia, Limoneira, Ventura Water and iThentic, all contest sponsors.
Over 125 people attended the free ceremony, open the public with an RSVP.
WATCH THE VIDEO NEWS STORY
On Thursday, October 25, 2012 from 4:30-7:30pm, The Ventura Chamber of Commerce presented the "Haunting at the Harbor" Business Expo at the Four Points Sheraton on Schooner Drive in the Ventura Harbor. The event featured over 60 local businesses showcased in tabletop exhibits, food vendors, a silent auction and raffles and prizes. The "Sustainable Ventura" TV Series was on hand to talk to attendees.
"Sustainable Ventura," hosted by Maryann Ridini Spencer and Ray Olson, airs on Caps-TV VTV's Channel 15, Thursdays at 8:30pm. It rebroadcasts Monday-Thursday and Saturdays at 9:00am, Sundays at 8:30pm and every other Wednesday at 8:30pm.
Halloween costumes, depending upon how elaborate you intend to get, can cost at a minimum, $25 dollars on up per costume. If you've got several children or family members to outfit, the costume bills (along with candy and other fun fare) can really start to mount.
So why not get creative with reusable, eco-friendly Halloween costumes? How do you start? Look in your closet. What do you have that might (when paired with certain items), make a great costume? Maybe you have all the items you need or perhaps you may have to buy one piece rather than an entire costume. Another great resource is check with friends and relatives. See what you can mix and match. Thrift shops, where others trade in their wares, are also a great place to find the little nuances to add to your costume. Below are some great ideas for reusable Halloween costumes to try:
Princess -Pair a long gown with gloves (short or long). Wear a tiara and carry a star wand. Your Halloween subjects will bow in appreciation.
Cowboy or Cowgirl- Flannel shirt with Jeans, cowboy boots and hat. You might even tie a red bandana around your neck. Don't forget to carry some rope - to lasso in your candy of course.
Halloween Masked Man- Everyone knows the iconic white mask from the John Carpenter Halloween movies. How to create this look? Black pants, black top and white mask of course. BOO!
Hippie or 70's person- Think colorful. For girls and women - pair a long skirt with a flowered top. Wear several long necklaces and dangly earrings. A headband around your head or floppy hat also works. For a man - pull out some ripped jeans and wear a cool t-shirt with a peace sign (or your favorite band logo). Put on the boots and/or sandals and maybe a funky hat. Now you're lookin' groovy!
Witch - Pair a black skirt and top with pointy hat. Bring a long a broom (or for a wand, carry a long glow stick!). Instead of black, you can also opt for being a good witch and wear blue or white. Whatever it is you choose to do, just remember to say, "Bippity Boppity Boo!" Now you're ready to caste some spells!
Vampire - I vant to drink your blood! To transform into a creature of the night that would even give Bram Stoker a scare, almost any type of dress with creative make-up will do. (If you have a red or black cape, fantastic. However, the only purchase that might be needed to complete the look - Vampire fangs! (Even a red lipsticked-mouth with droplets of blood dripping from the corners will do!).
Maid - Coffee or tea anyone? A maid's outfit might be anything from a black dress or skirt and top paired with a white apron. Don't forget to carry your broom, feather duster or even a silver serving tray!
Hobo -To create the look of an authentic hobo, try wearing some ripped or patched jeans or pants. An oversized jacket and t-shirt and a funny looking hat add great touches. Of course, don't forget your hobo stick (a long stick with a red kerchief pouch - which can double as another place to stash your candy!).
Hollywood director - Lights! Cameras! Action! If you want to get the look of an old time Hollywood director - wear some jeans or black pants, paired with a white or dark top. Don't forget the beret, dark shades. You might also want to carry a video camera to document the Halloween fun!
Let your creativity run wild.
Creating your own costume will be
almost as much fun as going out Trick-or-Treating!
*Original article by Maryann Ridini Spencer appears in print in the Sustainable Ventura Newsletter & Blog.
It's important for everyone to take a break from life as they know it and revel in the delicious luxury of vacation and of not doing anything - or doing as they please.
The complications of life, work and juggling many tasks often lead to stress and stress can definitely take a toll on one's body, physical appearance and health!
While it's important to take little breaks (like weekends) and enjoying regular hobbies and activities, there's nothing more potent than jetting off to a tropical vacation spot or taking an historical tour of a European location.
Vacations are a great way to connect to yourself and to those you love. Travel that gets commemorated in a picture album is also a way to relive the pleasure of a vacation long after the vacation ends.
I'm still delighting in a recent trip my husband and I took to Hawaii. I find that whenever I look at the many photos we took, I get a happy, energized feeling. I almost feel as if we are there!
Some great tips to keep your vacation stress free:
•Get a Vacation Account
Keep a savings account stash of cash just for vacations. Figure out what your budget will allow, then put away a certain amount of money each week on an ongoing basis. You'll be surprise how it adds up.
Research your destination. Talk to friends who might have traveled to the spot. Get recommendations for accommodations, food and sightseeing. Research information on the net. Better yet, perhaps an acquaintance might know some of the locals you can contact before you leave home. Some of my best experiences have transpired when I've contacted friends of friends. I've gotten some great, personalized tours of places that could have never been duplicated otherwise.
•Speak at least a few words
Knowing to say hello, goodbye, thank you, yes and no along with "Where's the toilet?" and some other important phrases can serve you well. While you may not be in for taking a Rosetta stone course, you can always find an English translation dictionary on Amazon.com or in your local bookstore.
•Understand the customs and local you're visiting
Americans have a bad enough rap as it is overseas. So, why not get caught up on the local customs? Research the country and towns you'll be visiting. When you get to your destination, you'll feel like a local and get a great education while you're at it!
•Get some of the local currency before you leave home. Travel with secure Traveler's checks.
While you may want to pay for everything on your trip with credit cards (a good idea to keep accurate records), you may also want to have a few dollars in your pocket of the local currency. Traveler's checks are also a great way to go because they're refundable, if lost or stolen and usually within 24 hours.
Find out the weather of the locale you'll be visiting at the time of your visit. Bring various layers of dress just in case. It's always a good idea to pack wash and wear and clothing that looks great no matter how wrinkled it gets. Bring multi-purpose clothes. For women, a dress you can wear during the day with sandals and at night with a pretty scarf or different jewelry to jazz it up. For men, a jacket that can be worn casually and with/or without a tie. (So at night, you can get into that exclusive restaurant!).
•Let work know you are on vacation (try not to answer emails)
A vacation is when you vacate your usual life. So put away the computer and texting. Let the office know you'll be unreachable. Make sure you have someone qualified to cover for you just in case there's a problem at work. Don't feel guilty. You deserve your vacation. It's also a good idea to post your pictures on Facebook when you get home. (It's NOT a good idea to let everyone know you're out of town!).
•Take lots of pictures
I know some folks that moan and groan that they have to get their picture taken. However, these same folks love seeing the photos post-vacation - especially as the years go by. So tell your family, spouse, friend or anyone else on the trip with you to, "Chill!" You're making memories here! Many new cameras also have video capabilities. If a picture says a thousand words then a video can, well you get the idea.
•Bring home a memorable item that will represent your trip
I always love to pick up a local artist's painting, watercolor or stencil when I travel. That way, when I look at them hanging on the wall at home, the memories flood back.
You might also pick up a beautiful piece of furniture that you can ship back or some other item that has meaning just for you.
Vacations are all part of Simply Delicious Living, so enjoy your trip, even if it's a weekend jaunt, you deserve every moment. To find out more about simply delicious living, visit my blog at simplydeliciousliving.com
LISTEN TO THE PODCAST FROM OUR RSS FEED, CLICK HERE.
Listen to Simply Delicious Vacations Podcast in iTunes, CLICK HERE.
"Green Drinks" is a term known in the environmental world as a fun,
meet up for like-minded business professionals in relaxing, celebratory
settings where they can network, exchange ideas and forge valuable
Well known in international environmental circles, Green Drinks is a network
of unstructured meet-ups where environmental professionals and
locals get together in a relaxing setting to network, exchange
and forge valuable relationships. At last count, Green Drinks
are hosted in over 600 cities worldwide.
The mixture of attendees at Green Drinks events usually include professionals
in the areas of: general business, academia, government,
home décor, construction and other fields.
On Wednesday, August 1, The Ventura Chamber of Commerce's
Green Task Force (GTF)
organized this year's first Ventura-based Green
Drinks event at
EcoLogic Life, downtown's designer showroom for
decoration products. The event was a smashing success
with over 50
attendees. Tutti's on Main provided the delicious food.
Alquimia Tequila provided the green drinks, made from organic agave, no food
LtoR: Diane de Mailly and Courtney Lindberg, Green Task Force Co-Chairs
"Green Drinks has been around for a long time," said Diane de Mailly,
President, DDM Metering Systems and GTF Co-Chair. "Recently, the
GTF was asked to step in and organize these events in Ventura. We know
they'll be a big success moving forward because Ventura is such an
amazing community dedicated to the environment. We plan to make
Green Drinks a quarterly event."
the GTF strives to do," added Courtney Lindberg, Environment
with the City of Ventura's Environmental Sustainability
GTF Co-Chair, "is to promote green business development.
We bring local
businesses together and educate them about sustainable
covering such topics as waste recycling, energy, water
pollution prevention and staff education. We highlight successes and
learn from our mistakes so that we can grow as a community with
business practices part of our every day consciousness."
Green Task Force LtoR: Courtney Lindberg (Environmental Specialist,
City of Ventura's Environmental Sustainability Division and Green
Task Force Co-Chair), Janis Shinkawa (Veterinarian, Buena Animal
Hospital), Diane de Mailly (President DDM Metering Systems
and Green Task Force Co-Chair), Kirsten Davis (AdvoCare)
and James Davis (Associated Electric)
you had to paint Ventura one color, it would probably be blue,
color of our ocean. If you added another color, it would be
green," Rick Cole, City Manager, City of Ventura. "This is a
community and environmentally-oriented to its core.
We all pay attention
to the motto 'Think globally, act locally.'
Whether it be on a global
scale, or a local scale, waste costs money
and pollutes the planet. It's
also something we don't want to pass
onto the next generation."
addition to Green Drinks, the GTF organizes a series of quarterly
Practices Workshops" where local businesses share their
green ideas and
practices with others in the community. To date,
there have been
workshops at Red Brick Pizza focusing on sustainable
practices and the
YMCA focusing on lighting retrofits.
VIEWVIEW Event Photos on Facebook, CLICK HERE.
May 2012, The Green Task Force teamed up with the office of
Assemblymember Das Williams's for the Second Annual Green Jobs
Summit held at City Hall.
Green Jobs Summit brought a number of businesses together to talk
ideas and sustainable principles," said James Joyce,
Representative, Office of Assemblymember Das Williams.
together on the Summit, our office developed a
great relationship with The Green Task Force. There's so much
synergy. It's great to be a part of it."
Stay tuned and read this newsletter for information on future
Ventura-based Green Drinks events.
VIEW the GREEN DRINKS TV NEWS STORY, CLICK HERE!
VIEW Event Photos on Facebook, CLICK HERE!
A healthy garden is a garden that is filled with a variety of flowering plants that encourages a host of beneficial creatures such as ladybugs, dragonflies, lacewings, tiny non-stinging wasps and other little welcome friends that feed on garden pests.
Pesticides are extremely dangerous to the health of our waterways. When it rains, these toxic elements are carried by debris and water emanating from our lawns and gardens, and flow, untreated, into the storm drain system. It's a major source of water pollution.
Some helpful tips to keep pesticides out of our rivers, creeks and oceans:
*Reduce or eliminate the use of broad-spectrum pesticides.
*Attract beneficial insects into your garden by providing the right mix of healthy plants and flowers.
*Plant compatible species for your garden vs. altering natural growing conditions.
*Know your soil and the soil requirements for your plants.
*Understand the characteristics of your garden and what your plants require.
*Select pest and disease resistant plants.
*Watering requirements vary from species and soil type.
LISTEN to the Sustainable Ventura Podcast on Healthy Gardens in iTunes, CLICK HERE.
SUBSCRIBE to the Sustainable Ventura Podcast RSS Feed, CLICK HERE
Also visit, SustainableVentura.Wordpress.com
Get Your GREEN on!
Many countries around the world celebrate the day. Father's Day became a recognized holiday in the early 20th century, following the recognition of Mother's Day - a holiday that was founded by Anna Jarvis in honor of her mother.
The first celebration of Father's Day was at the YMCA in Spokane, Washington in 1910. Sonora Smart Dodd wanted to honor her father, a Civil war veteran, William Jackson Smart, a single parent who raised his six children. After hearing a sermon about Anna Jarvis's Mother's Day in 1909, she told her pastor that Father's should have a similar holiday honoring them.
Although it did not catch on right away, by the 1930s, Dodd stepped up the process to raise awareness for the holiday on a national level. However, it wasn't until the mid 1966, when President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard signed it into law in 1972.
Growing up and today, I have so many wonderful memories of my Father, Len, and my mother, Kathleen, who are both in their 80s.
My father, a college professor, PhD and author, continues to be a wonderful role model as loving, caring father.
Our education was top priority always. He taught my brothers, sister and I, to always be the best we can be and to pursue our dreams. He instills positive family values and lives by their example.
He and my mother set an amazing legacy of what a loving marriage should be.
Below is a poem I'd like to dedicate to my father and all the men in my family and to father's everywhere:
What Makes a Dad
God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called it ... Dad
LISTEN TO THE PODCAST FROM OUR RSS FEED, CLICK HERE.
Listen to A Father's Day Tribute Podcast in iTunes, CLICK HERE.
STOP and Smell the Flowers!
Do you find yourself rushing off to work in the morning, and getting home late every night?
Are you taking meals in the car or at your computer?
When you look at your calendar for the week, do you find that you are ever overwhelmed by the endless schedule of activities?
As the years pass by, do you find them getting shorter and shorter with dreams and vacations always put on the back burner?
It's important for your health, well-being and success to stop and smell the flowers - or the coffee - EVERY DAY!
TIPS TO GET THE MOST OUT OF LIFE
*Look at your calendar. Is every meeting and every appointment absolutely necessary? You might find you can combine a few meetings and/or eliminate one or two.
*Are you driving all over town without any plan? Try to organize your meetings in certain areas of town back-to-back. You might also want to coordinate meetings out of the office only 1 day a week. This will save on time and gas money.
*Make a part of every evening and weekends an opportunity to spend quality time with your family. Prepare dinner and weekend meals together. Use this time for uninterrupted conversation minus the electronics. Plan family activities.
*Enjoy the moment - the wind on your face, the taste of morning coffee, the sun on your shoulders.
*When you're eating a meal - Sit down to a table or to nature, and enjoy your meal. Taste it. Eat natural, fresh foods and produce. You'll feel better and find you need less food to satisfy you.
*Meditate and Pray every day. Give thanks for what you have.
*Write down your goals and dreams. Look at them often. You'll find by doing this, you'll begin to see them transpire in your life.
*If you are unhappy or depressed, look inside honestly and work to change what is ailing you. Seek counsel if necessary.
*Whether at home or at work - ask for the guidance and support you need - Delegate when possible.
*Plan ahead for vacations, weekend trips and special getaways that you can look forward to.
*Start TODAY to create love and happiness in your life. It starts with you. Express your love with a card, a text or a small token of your affection.
*Put a smile on someone's face and SMILE a lot!
A friend of mine recently lost a young family member in an accident. Another person I know lost their parent suddenly. Don't let a tragic event find you wishing you spent more time with a friend or loved one.
Take heed that it is the QUALITY of life, and the deep personal relationships that bring meaning - not the superficial material things we can't take with us.
Enjoy simply delicious living EVERYDAY.
Visit my blog at SimplyDeliciousLiving.com for joyous living inspirations and great easy-to-make, simply delicious recipes and cooking videos!
Listen to STOP: SMELL THE FLOWERS Podcast in ITunes, CLICK HERE.
Whether you're working in a corporate office, or, as many people are these days, in a home office, it's important that you create a space that will support you in your career and keep you productive and focused.
Design a space that makes you smile, where you can feel comfortable and ready to "dig in" to your day.
It may take some time, and trial and error, to determine what works for you and what doesn't, but here are some helpful pointers to help guide you.
Separate home and office
If you do work at home, make it a point to have your office in an area that's separate from the living space - and yours alone - where you can work without distraction and can close the door and leave work behind at the end of the workday.
Make Yourself Comfortable
Choose a desk that is just right for you. Be mindful of its color and materials. Are you more comfortable working on a desk made of wood? What about the size? You want to be comfortable in your workspace.
Choose a chair that you can easily sit in for hours. You may want to try out a few brands before settling.
Decorate your room with personal items that highlight your success
Showcase your awards, certificates, artwork, memorable photos, client thank yous and other items that are a positive reminder of your achievements.
Say Hello to Nature
Natural abundant light and clean, flowing air sources promote a harmonious feng shui. Decorate with potted plants. Place your desk in front of a garden view. You might even want to bring in nature sounds with a waterfall.
Clutter has been known to drain energy, not to mention being an eye sore. Design a workspace where you can easily organize your books, journals and paperwork in an organized fashion that is also eye appealing and conducive to work. Maybe you'd like to have an armoire with doors or a bookcase with baskets or colored notebooks to hold your paperwork and miscellaneous items?
Choose Your Colors
I prefer working in light, bright white spaces that are accented with color and close to nature.
However, a blue room, the color of the sky and ocean water, is known to be relaxing in a good way - and also known to increase productivity and work efficiency. Find what works for you and makes you the most focused and energetic.
Creative a Positive Feng Shui
You've heard of people using feng shui in their homes - well feng shui can also be used in creating a productive and creative workspace - be it in a formal office or a home office.
Feng Shui is a geomantic practice that is used to configure and harmonize spiritual forces to improve life by allowing positive energy forces to flow.
You might want to have a feng shui professional visit your office for some helpful pointers - or read up on the practice yourself.
Again, this is YOUR space. You'll be spending many hours a day in this area making money as well as your dreams come true. Don't compromise. Make your space work for you.
For some great recipes and simply delicious living ideas, visit my blog at: SimplyDeliciousLiving.com
Enjoy simply delicious living today, and every day!
by Maryann Ridini Spencer
Sunday, May 13, is Mother's Day --
the day when we honor and celebrate
mothers and motherhood.
The celebration of the day occurs
on various dates throughout the
world and can be traced back to
elaborate ancient festivals in
Greece and Rome.
However, the more modern day version of the holiday began in the early 1900s.
A woman by the name of Anna Marie Reeves Jarvis, hailing from West Virginia,
founded Mother's Day clubs in several cities at the time, to improve poor sanitary
and health conditions. Anna and the Mother's Day Work Club also fed, clothed
and treated the wounds of both Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.
The mothers and women who worked good deeds as part of the Mother's Day Club,
truly served the people, not only as loving mothers, but demonstrating
characteristic "unconditional motherly love" and support to all.
In 1907, two years after Anna's death, her daughter, also named Anna, rightly began
a campaign to make "Mother's Day" a recognized holiday in the U.S. Her desire
came to pass, and in 1914, Mother's Day became a nationally celebrated holiday.
Honoring mothers with their special day soon became popular around the globe.
In honor of Mother's Day, I'd like to dedicate the following poem to mothers everywhere,
and especially my wonderful Mom, Kay (pictured below Left to Right: Kay - Maryann's
Mom, Maryann, and Len - Maryann's Dad, Christmas, 2007):
A Mother's Love
by Helen Steiner Rice
A Mother's love is something
that no on can explain,
It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away . . .
It is patient and forgiving
when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters
even though the heart is breaking . . .
It believes beyond believing
when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty
of the rarest, brightest gems . . .
It is far beyond defining,
it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret
like the mysteries of creation . . .
A many splendored miracle
man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence
of God's tender guiding hand.
Happy Mother's Day!
Visit My Recipe & Video blog for simply delicious easy recipes and joyous living
inspirations. At SimplyDeliciousLiving.com
Enjoy Simply Delicious Living today and Everyday!
I looked up the word "flexibility" in the dictionary just to read how it would be defined. One definition read:
"The ability of a material to deform elastically and return to its original shape when the applied stress is removed." - Wikipedia
I chuckled when I read that. The image I saw in my mind was of the Superhero Elastagirl in the Disney/Pixar Cartoon, The Incredibles. Her body could stretch and contort and revert back to normal with ease. And seeing that image made me think of the fact that CHANGE requires FLEXIBILITY.
And while we humans might not be able to stretch like Elastagirl (pictured left), in today's world of new technology, mergers and acquisitions, downsizing and job evaporation, in order to survive intact, a person has to definitely remain open and able to adapt -- be flexible -- when necessary.
Some of the most important things you can do when change happens:
Acknowledge the change. There may be some moments of wanting to drown your sorrows in mindless television or eating some good ole' comfort food but then recognize you have to regroup and get organized.
Think positive. Look at change as an opportunity to grow and expand. Life after all, moves forward. Change is one guarantee we can all count on.
Write your thoughts and goals down. Figure out next steps. Plan and brainstorm with friends and associates. This is the time when nurturing relationships come in very handy. If you've built a strong network of friends and business associates, you'll be able to talk to individuals about how they dealt with various changes in their own lives and what advice they might be able to give you.
Get the support you need.
Be kind to yourself. Plan some activities and events that you love that will cheer you up. Be extra conscious of doing this while you cope with change. Doing what you love with the people you enjoy will keep your spirits on an even keel.
I remember, years ago, I was producing and writing for a TV show. When the show got cancelled, I found myself out of work. I was terrified. However, a wise friend told me to relax and have fun while I mounted a new job search. Getting stressed about it wouldn't do me any good.
So I heeded that advice. I took a few days off for a well-deserved rest in a relaxing location. I followed that up with spending my days networking and sending out resumes. And I also took time to go to the gym, watch movies that I never had time to watch and read some wonderful books. I kept busy with friends and family and eventually found an amazing job.
During times of critical change, make sure you eat right. Exercise and get enough rest. Meditation can also work wonders. Surround yourself with positivity.
When you feel better and have the right energy, attitude and
motivation it requires to remain FLEXIBLE to maneuver around life's
twists and changes, YOU BECOME the SUPERHERO of YOUR OWN LIFE!
Enjoy Simply Delicious Living, Today and Everyday!
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THIS PODCAST in iTUNES!
Maybe it's something related to work. A feeling that there might be a problem that will come up if you follow (or don't follow) a specific course of action?
Perhaps you've just got off the phone with a friend or family member and they sound okay and say everything's alright, but you "just know" that's not the case. Or maybe you have an uneasy feeling in your stomach?
Was there a time where you said to yourself, "I knew I should have done that, or "I should have done that."
When you heard the phone ring, did you know who was going to be on the line before you answered? Or just knew what route to drive in a strange setting?
These insights, or immediate cognitions that give us the ability to acquire information without the use of direct knowledge or without rational thought or reason, is INTUITION. Intuition are beliefs we have about things, people and situations that may not even be justified, accept to ourselves and our gut.
While everyone has intuition, some people are more conscious of these feelings and how to respond to them, or better yet, how to interpret the information they receive or feel into positive action.
In the time of the cave man, often humans had to live by their intuition - in order to stay alive, find food and avert danger.
Getting in touch with this part of your consciousness can also help today. In business, in your personal life and in dealing with decisions as they come up. It's important to use all the information that's available to us - from study and research, history, logic and reasoning... and intuition.
How do you get in touch with your intuition processing powers?
1. Well, how do you feel? What's the energy in the room? Are you feeling relaxed, breathing normally? Feeling well or is your gut tight? Does your skin crawl? Do you feel drained or get a feeling of foreboding that something negative is about to happen?
When you've weighed the obvious, consider your gut feelings. Listen to that "gut" reaction in your stomach.
2. If it's something you want to know, ask yourself questions and listen to the first answer that pops into your head. Try to quiet all the other chatter that fights this dominant thought or feeling.
3. Get some meditation tapes and books. Learn how to meditate to clear your mind. Meditation allows you to clearly and succinctly identify your thoughts and feelings and it also has a myriad of health benefits.
4. Get Creative. It's been documented that exercising your right brain by getting in touch with creativity (such as painting, dance and other creative outlets) can help you lead a pathway to your intuition.
5. Journal your thoughts. It might not be a bad idea to write down your intuitions and then see what transpires. Becoming aware can help you build your confidence and your ability to connect with your gut.
For some great books that enhance intuition, consider:
Enjoy Simply Delicious Living, Today and Every Day!
If you're like most people, there are going to be days you just might not feel like getting out of bed or at least, out of your PJs. Perhaps you've broken up with your boyfriend or girlfriend?
Maybe you've had a fight with a family member or co-worker?
Could it be that your going thru stress over a job change or a move? Maybe you've just got a bad case of the blahs?
What are some great ways to Bust the Blues and get on the road to happy again?
1. Get enough rest - at least 8 hours. Sleep is essential for a person's health, rejuvenation and well-being.
2. Exercise - Exercise triggers those wonderful endorphins that make you feel better. Get moving by taking a brisk walk or go to the gym for a workout. Not only will you immediately have more energy, you'll find that life will appear brighter. Regular exercise will also have you looking your best - which in turn will also contribute to your self-esteem -- and make you feel better!
3. Eat right - Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Lean meats and fish. Eating well will make you have more energy and stamina. And some really good news - Eat Chocolate! It's been documented that eating a bit of dark chocolate (70% or higher) every day can unleash antioxidants that are good for your heart and cardiovascular system (by lowering blood pressure and cholesterol).
4. Evaluate what you think. If you hear negative tapes in your head. Erase them. Listen to positive people, write down affirmations CUT OUT beliefs and behaviors that don't work for you and only keep you depressed. A session or two of Hynotherapy, which will go right to your subconscious mind, can also work wonders to get you on the right track!
5. Write down your problems and concerns. Make a list of any problems in the personal and/or professional areas of your life. Talk to a counselor or trusted friend about brainstorming solutions. If you don't address what's ailing you, it will only eat away at you.
6. Create a fun social life. Share interests and activities. Make plans with friends, family and associates. Look at the calendar to ascertain what days you will have free for fun activities and PLAN. Search out events in your local area online. You may also want a change of scenery by taking a weekend excursion to a nearby town to explore.
7. Get passionate about a hobby you enjoy - Working at something you love builds self-esteem, satisfaction and makes you feel good because you're expressing yourself!
8. Watch a COMEDY. LAUGH! There's a reason why it's been known to be the best medicine!
9. LISTEN to your favorite music. Music is also known to have tremendous healing and stress-reducing powers.
10. Get thee to a local day spa. Enjoy a yoga class. Take a dip in the hot tub. Get a new hair cut or blow dry. Better yet, treat yourself to a professional body massage to relieve stress and for overall healing. A healing touch can work wonders. Why? Massage therapy helps move lymph fluid around the body and oxygenate organs and tissues. And of course, there's nothing quite like, or as healing, as the human touch. Amen!
11. Pay It Forward. Do something nice for someone else. Giving joy only increases joy.
If you are going through a major life change or upheaval, it would be wise to seek out professional advice from your doctor or making an appointment with a therapist.
There is so much beauty to enjoy in life. Don't stay in a negative state for too long.
Live it to the fullest and enjoy Simply Delicious Living everyday!
For more Body•Mind•Spirit inspirations and great recipes & cooking videos, Visit our Recipe and Video blog at SimplyDeliciousLiving.TV
LISTEN to this PODCAST in iTunes. (View in iTunes and VOTE - 5 stars please!).
Getting creative with arts and crafts
is a wonderful way to
Not only is it fulfilling,
it can give you a wonderful sense
of accomplishment, boost
unleash a more playful
side of you.
Spring and the Easter and
Passover holidays are a great
to share and give thanks with
those you love. Create a memorable
homemade gift with love to bring to
holiday celebration or to use
as a unique table centerpiece.
One fantastic way to create that special gift or centerpiece is to
get creative painting terracotta pots.
Purchase a terracotta pot at your favorite
gardening or thrift shop.
Select a size of your choosing and
then gather your favorite
Perhaps a vibrant pink, sunny yellow,
lime green, sky blue and orange sorbet.
Then pull out a painting brush and get creative!
Create spontaneously or you might want to draw a design
Choose a base color for your terracotta pot. Paint it. Then take
a pencil and draw your design onto the painted pot. Later, fill in
the design with paint colors of your choice.
Once the paint has dried, you can fill the pot with such items as:
A pretty plant
Jelly beans and other easter candies
Cookies or muffins wrapped decoratively
I still have a terracotta pot that I was given years ago as a gift (with chocolate chip cookies inside), that I use in my office to hold telephone books and other sundry items.
Getting creative with painting terracotta pots doesn't just
have to be reserved for spring either. Make painted gifts
and centerpieces with terracotta pots any time of year or for any holiday.
It's a great activity to do alone - or with your family
Spread some smiles & have a simply delicious
Easter and Passover!
Listen to this Podcast in iTunes!
Simply Delicious Living is, in part, about making every meal
an experience and - when it comes your body-mind-
spirit balance - it's about living a healthy, creative, fulfilling
and joyous life.
There are certain things we do everyday - often without
- Wash our face
- Brush our hair and our teeth
- Take a shower
How many times have you grabbed a muffin, piece of toast,
power bar with coffee to eat while driving in the car? Or
eaten a sandwich doing work at the
computer? What about
nuking a lean
cuisine or TV dinner in the microwave to
eat while watching TV?
I must say, I've been a culprit of all of the above.
However, when you eat like this, usually you grab the
foods that aren't as nutritious for you. You might not even
remember what you ate.
Worse, you might not even be able to
pronounce all the ingredients on the packaging.
Your dissatisfaction with inhaling your meal less than
minutes might even drive you to scan the refrigerator
and freezer for something else to satisfy you.
I've been there too.
What I've noticed for myself, is that when I slow down,
consciously think about what I'm eating, (making sure by
reading the labeling
that it's organic, natural), yet also tasty
to me, I get satisfied more
quickly. I also feel better both
physically and mentally.
Conscious eating has also been a lifesaver in keeping my
weight in check.
What are some great tips to conscious, healthy eating that will
make you more satisfied?
•Plan ahead. Make a list of what foods/meals you'd like to enjoy
each week and what you'll have time to prepare. Create a shopping
list before you visit the market
•Purchase and prepare foods with ingredients you can
and know what they are.
•Eat fresh and local produce whenever possible. This contributes
to your overall health
as well as the local economy and the
environment (less greenhouse gas emissions from importing!).
•Cook, steam, grill or eat your foods raw vs. nuking in the
•Enjoy the foods you like, within reason. If it's dessert you're
out healthy alternatives that will satisfy. (Visit our
Recipe and Video Blog at SimplyDeliciousLiving.TV. We have
some great desserts made with fruit and/or made with very
•Enjoy the preparation. As you make your meal, consider all
the ingredients and what
you're putting into your body - and
your body's history and reaction to them after eating.
•Take the time to sit down and enjoy a meal (minus the
Use it for family
time and for good conversation. If
put on your favorite CD, enjoy the meal preparation and then as you
eat, savor the flavors. I assure you, it will put a smile on your face!
you eat your meal, rather than shoveling the food
non-stop, breathe between bites. Let your brain have a chance to
register that you're getting full.
•Appreciate and give thanks. Thank the farmers, the store, the
food growers, yourself or your loved ones who prepared the
meal - and thank God and the Universe, for the
that you are about to eat that will nourish and satisfy your body
and provide you with sustenance to live and create harmoniously!
LISTEN to the Conscious Eating Podcast! CLICK HERE
and SUBSCRIBE our Recipe & Video Blog
SimplyDeliciousLiving.TV for great recipes and creative
inspirations for joyous living!
She co-hosts "Sustainable Ventura" with Ray Olson on CAPS-TV's VTV, Channel 15 as well as "Simply Delicious Living with Maryann" on Time Warner Cable ON DEMAND.