National Thrift Store Month – Make it Happen!

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We have a National Prune Month.

We have a National Noodle Month.

We have a National Bread Machine Baking Month.

So why not a National Thrift Store Month?  Reusing and recycling second-hand goods from t-shirts to teapots is a wonderful way to make sure we are using our resources wisely. So much junk is produced each year and our society has become wasteful–buying and throwing away items that are barely used just because we want something else.

Thrift stores also provide people with jobs and most thrift stores are non-profits or support charity organizations.  They ensure that millions of pounds of clothing and household goods do not end up in the landfill every year.  And you know what else?  They are fun!  That’s right…shopping in thrift stores is fun. You never know what treasures you’ll find at prices that are far below regular retail prices.

If you would like to support the group petitioning for National Thrift Store Month, visit Shopping Golightly at her blog The Thrifty Chicks, and join the rapidly growing Facebook group here.

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Allay Recipe #1: Mango Salsa

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Photo Credit:  TeeJe

Mango season is upon us and this delicious, nutrition-packed fruit is not just for smoothies.  Consider making this mango salsa and using it for everything from a simple dip to a garnish for fish or chicken.  It is sweet, tangy, and a little spicy–a delicious accompanyment for many dishes.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup finely-chopped red onion
2 mangoes peeled and diced small
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice, or to taste
1/2 cup finely-minced fresh cilantro leaves
1 jalapeno pepper, de-seeded and chopped
1/2 orange bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped
1-2 Tbsp. rice vinegar, or to taste
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar

Instructions:

1.  In a large bowl, add all the ingredients and toss to coat in the lime juice, vinegar, sugar and salt.
2.  Transfer to a resealable container and refrigerate.  Let sit overnight for the flavors to blend.  You may want to drain some of the excess juice before serving.

Serving ideas:

  • Dip for Pita chips
  • Accompaniment for Veggie Quesadillas
  • A chutney for grilled sea bass or tilapia filets

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The Wearin’ o’ the Green (Nail Polish)

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us!  For those of us who love to show our Irish pride–or who simply love to join in the festivities–I have a selection of gorgeous green nail polish shades that will make your St. Patty’s Day outfit stand out as you raise your glass to toast the occasion:

1. OPI Call My Cell-ery ($8.50)

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2.  Zoya Tangy ($6.00)

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3.  Piggy Polish Envy ($7.00)

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4.  SallyHanson Glow ($6.29)

Ulta.com

5.  Maybelline Go-Go Green ($3.99)

Ulta.com

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National Nutrition Month!

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Photo Credit:  Carol Moshier

Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month?

Every five years the U.S. Government publishes their dietary guidelines with the latest supporting science and reasearch to help us maintain a healthier lifestyle through proper nutrition.  The latest version is the 2005 report, which is available in a PDF ebook format here:  dietguide1

Even if you’re not concerned about your weight, there are manyhealth issues directly linked to our eating habits:  high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease.

A regular review of your eating, shopping and cooking habits is good for you in the long run.  Take some time to review this ebook and see if there are some changes you can make to improve your chances for excellent health.

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Top Ten Chick Flicks in the History of Chick Flicks

titanicChick flick (also “chick’s flick”) is slang for a film designed to appeal to a female target audience. The term was first used in the 1980s a decade during which such chick flicks as Beaches were released. Although many types of films may be directed toward the female gender, “chick flick” is typically used only in reference to films that are heavy with emotion or contain themes that are relationship-based (though not necessarily romantic and may not involve men). – Wikipedia

1.  Steel Magnolias

A group of southern women see each other through all the major changes in their lives, including the tragic loss of Julia Roberts.  Did you really think we could do a chick flick list without a single Sally Field movie in it?

2.  Nine to Five

The ultimate female bonding film in which Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin smoke a joint and then exact revenge on their misogynistic, chauvinistic boss, played by a perfectly by Dabney Coleman.

3.  Fried Green Tomatoes

Two southern women–Idgie and Ruth–meet  in 1920’s Alabama meet and become lifelong friends and partners in the Whistlestop Cafe during flashbacks told by Jessica Tandy.  Kathy Bates plays a modern day woman desperately in need of empowerment, which she gains over time by listening to the stories.

4.  Father of the Bride

It’s sweet.  It’s romantic.  It’s all about a wedding and a father who can’t bear to let his little girl go until he realizes just how happy she is with her perfect fiance.  Steve Martin brings timeless humor to this feelgood movie about father-daughter relationships.

5.  Enchanted April

Four very different women living in post-war England plan a getaway to Italy, each hoping to escape their own personal problems.  With the help of beautiful Italian countryside, a newfound freedom, and the support of one another they rediscover themselves and head home with  a new lease on life.

6.  My Big Fat Greek Wedding

A Chicago-born Greek girl feels hopeless in love because of her awkward shyness and lack of style.  She decides to take a leap and go to college, where she discovers herself and gets a new hairdo.  Soon after she meets a dreamy school teacher and falls in love; but she must overcome her family’s prejudice against a non-Greek man before she can get married and live happily ever after.  The film has genuine chemistry between all the actors and a charming, funny storyline.

7.  Sleepless in Seattle

SIS is the quintiessential chick flick; and it’s the movie that made everyone realize just how adorable Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks are together.  A widower’s son calls in to a radio talk show to try and find a new wife for his father.  Meanwhile, Meg Ryan’s character is engaged but not happily.  She hears the boy’s call and becomes obsessed with meeting “Sleepless in Seattle.”  They finally get together on Valentine’s Day at the top of the Empire State Building.  It doesn’t get any more chickyflicky!

8.  Out of Africa

Based on the true story of the woman who wrote under the pen name Isak Dineson.  Meryl Streep plays the plucky Dane who marries a man she doesn’t love just to save her from spinsterhood and sets out to settle and farm coffee in Africa.  Along the way she meets Robert Redford and forms a relationship that can only be described as epic.  With some of the most superb acting in the history of film, and breathtaking cinematography;  Out of Africa is a must-see for any woman who wants to get lost in a bowl of popcorn and a box of kleenex for three hours.

9.  Breakfast at Tiffany’s

A plucky young woman making her way in the world, living a glamorous life in New York City falls for a young gigalo and is reminded of who she really is.  Every woman in the world wants to look  and dress like Audrey Hepburn in this classic film.

10.  Titanic

Can you make a chick flick list without this movie on it?  Perhaps the biggest film of all time, Titanic is a cheesefest full of romance, angst, sexual chemistry and period costumes.  A young but firey Leo DiCaprio and a luscious Kate Winslet steam up the windows in a car and fall in love on the doomed voyage.

Do you have a favorite chick flick that isn’t on this list?  Leave a comment and tell us what it is!

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Women’s History Month

In honor of women’s history month, I’m bringing you a collection of links to some amazing websites where you can learn about U.S. Women’s History, as well as the histories of notable women around the world.  As women, we owe a lot to oru foremothers.  Those who came before us and sacrificed for the rights that many of us take for granted.  It was less than a century ago when women were considered second-class citizens still fighting for their basic rights to be recognized.  Women didn’t have the right to vote in our country until 1920.  Much progress has been made in the past 89 years, but there is still a long way to go.  

List of Firsts is Women’s Accomplishments from TheHistoryChannel.com

National Women’s History Project

Interactive Women’s History Timeline from Biography.com.

Biographies of Notable Women from About.com.

300 Women Who Changed the World from Encyclopedia Britannica.

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Female Force!

michelle-obama-female-force1   sarahpalincomic  phpthumbphp       ffclinton

I’m not really sure what to think about this.  On one had, having Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama and Caroline Kennedy as comic book *ahem…sorry* graphic novel charcters really dumbs down the role of women in politics.  Why should these women have to be entertaining just for people to want to read about them?  On the other hand, I understand that these stories can potentially reach people who otherwise wouldn’t pick up a biography or a newspaper.  And let’s face it, they are definitely a nice alternative to the skimpily-dressed, sex goddess females that are normally found in these types of publications.  The books are sold for $3.99 each, which I guess makes them worth buying if for no other reason but the novelty.

What do you think?  Would you buy Female Force books–for yourself or some other impressionable youngster?

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