July 24, 2010

Natural Face Masks

Posted in Health, Women tagged , , , at 5:45 am by Liliana

Natural beauty secrets

Natural beauty secrets

If you have a free, leisurely afternoon this summer, do something nice for yourself.

Make yourself a tall glass of iced tea. Then mix one of these natural facial masks to make your face clear and beautiful. Sit on a comfortable chair, read a magazine or a good book, and relax.

Here is a list of well known natural combinations for nurturing beautiful skin.

Just mash the ingredients together and let the mixture sit on your face for 10-15 minutes.

  • Apple & Honey & Oatmeal
  • Avocado & Honey
  • Banana &  Plain Yogurt & Honey
  • Brown Sugar & Milk
  • Strawberries & Cream & Honey
  • Egg Yolk & Honey & Olive Oil
  • Oatmeal & Olive Oil
  • Cucumber & Yogurt & Strawberries & Honey
  • Blended Almonds & Honey & Egg White
  • Baking Soda & Water
  • Apricots & Milk
  • Lemon & Egg & Honey

Do you have any natural beauty secrets you might like to share?

July 19, 2010

RepairClinic.com – Troubleshooting Your Dehumidifier

Posted in appliance parts, Health, RepairClinic.com, Weather tagged , , , , , , , at 6:46 am by Liliana

Dehumidifier Parts

Dehumidifier Parts

With the summer in full swing and humidity at record levels, it is important to have your dehumidifier working as efficiently as possible. If something does go wrong, don’t despair. RepairClinic has all the information you need to fix your unit quickly. And if you need parts, visit our website.

Here are a few steps to help you diagnose your problem:

The coils frost up
The coils (on the back of your dehumidifier) are the evaporator. When the unit runs, the coils get very cold. As the fan draws the room air over the coils, the humidity in the air condenses out onto the cold coils. If the temperature of the air the fan draws over the coils is too cool, the humidity that condenses out of the air freezes on the coils.

To remedy this problem, you can try any of these:

Warm up the room the dehumidifier is in.
Put the dehumidifier on a sturdy table (the room air is coolest near the ground).
Turn the unit off until the room warms up.

It runs, but no air blows out the front of the unit
Your dehumidifier has a circulating fan that draws the room air over the coils. If there’s no air movement out the front or the back of the unit, the fan motor may be burned out or stuck, or the fan blade may be broken. If so, you need to replace the fan motor or the fan blade.

The indicator light is on, but the unit doesn’t run
The tank may be full. Your dehumidifier has a safety device that turns off the appliance when the water tank is full. Usually the tank itself either presses against a switch or there’s a device connected to the tank that triggers a switch when the tank is in place and full.

If you’ve emptied the tank and the unit doesn’t run, inspect the place where the tank rests to see if there’s a switch or mechanism that’s not being activated. You may be able to turn it on with a simple flick of your finger.

The container fills up too quickly
When the container fills quickly, your dehumidifier is doing its job. If the container fills quickly for many days in a row, you may want to locate the source of the humidity (for example, is there an unsealed crawl space?) and see if you can correct the problem at the source.

The container doesn’t fill
If your dehumidifier doesn’t seem to run often but the humidity in the room is high, try adjusting the humidistat control on the dehumidifier to a dryer setting. If the dehumidifier seems to run constantly, but there’s little or no water in the container, there may be a problem in the refrigeration system. Try cleaning the unit. If that doesn’t work, you can not repair the refrigeration system yourself. This is the time to call a qualified appliance repair technician.

July 17, 2010

Dark Chocolate Truffles

Posted in Food, Health, Recipes tagged , , , , at 7:05 am by Liliana

Dark Chocolate Truffles

Dark Chocolate Truffles

It is not easy to find a recipe for a delicious dessert that is also good for you. Well, here is one.

Don’t be sidelined by the word – prunes. Try and you will see how good they can taste!

Prep and Cook Time: 15 minutes


  • 1/2 cup pitted prunes
  • 1/4 cup pitted dates
  • 3 TBS almond butter
  • 1 TBS maple syrup
  • 3 TBS unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 cup finely grated unsweetened coconut


  1. In a food processor, drop the prunes and dates through the feed hole one by one. Scrape the processor bowl and run until the prunes and dates are smooth.
  2. Add remaining ingredients except for the coconut. Run until smooth and scrape the processor bowl with a spatula as needed.
  3. Roll the mixture into 12 one-inch balls and roll in coconut to coat. Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.

Makes 12 pieces.

Try these lovely truffles with tea or coffee.

Source: George Mateljan

July 11, 2010

I Think I Might Be Winning!!!!!

Posted in Breast Cancer, Cancer, Good people, Health, Holidays, Women tagged , , , , , at 7:35 am by Liliana

Cheers to Bridget!

Cheers to Bridget!

It seems like we have been hearing a lot of bad news this year, so I thought it would cheer everyone up to hear some undeniably excellent news.

I wrote recently about a young lady whose spirit and resilience have moved me deeply. Her name is Bridget Spence. She writes a wonderful blog that I recommend you visit often: My Big Girl Pants.

This was her latest post:

“I Think I Might Be Winning!!!!!

I wanted to start everyone’s holiday weekend off on the right foot. Get the champagne out, people. Put away the Big Girl Pants and put on your prettiest pair of Party Pants because I am winning this battle.

That’s right, you heard me. After months of set backs and pain and side effects and trying oh-so-very-hard to keep a smile, I finally got one piece of good news!

Yesterday, my scans showed that the cancer in my liver had SHRUNK!!!!!!!!!

This TDM1 really might be that silver bullet I had hoped for. Now, it isn’t a cure, but it is clearly working.

For the past four years, one liver spot had been there, lurking. It hadn’t changed size or shape in four years. It hadn’t grown, but it certainly hadn’t shrunk. Then, a few months ago, a second little bugger in my liver showed up. The scans yesterday showed that, after only two rounds of TDM1, both tumors had shrunk visibly. One went from 2.8mm to 1.3mm. The other had shrunk from 1.6mm to .8mm.

My Doctor was gleeful and I take my cues from her. I’m not planning for dozens of little pants babies quite yet, but I could have the year of quiet that I had hoped and prayed for. I might even have a couple years of normalcy and quiet. The goal is that these suckers keep shrinking and that the side effects remain manageable. My heart function dropped slightly, but it was still above the 50% mark, so we are not going to worry about that today. I am going to exercise and try to keep the ol’ tinker in Lance Armstrong-style shape so that this drug can continue working its magic.

My cancer had been humming along in my body for the past four years and now it’s been hit with a new drug and it doesn’t know what hit it! Here’s hoping my little silver bullet keeps killing and keeps shrinking. But let’s not hope for too much.

Today, I am going to take this news and stick it in my back pocket. I am going to enjoy a fabulous Fourth of July weekend. Big Man and I are going to let our hair down and let our breath come out in a big sigh of relief. We are going to start planning our futures as all 26 and 30 year olds should do. The world is our oyster today, and I must say, we earned it.


Cheers, dear Bridget! I drank a glass of wine in your honor. I wish you all the best in this world.

July 10, 2010

Israeli Couscous Salad

Posted in Food, Health, Recipes, Weather tagged , , , , , , at 6:11 am by Liliana

Israeli Couscous Salad

During these long, hot summer days, refresh yourself with this healthy and nutritious salad. It is very filling.


  • 1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous
  • 1 heaping cup cucumber, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 large stalk celery, strings removed and diced
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh dill, or more, to taste
  • 10 to 12 basil leaves, thinly sliced, or more, to taste
  • 4 medium firm, ripe apricots or 3 medium firm, ripe nectarines, pitted and diced
  • 1 heaping cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes (red or yellow, or a combination)
  • 1 medium firm, ripe avocado, peeled and diced
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (or less if you’d like a lower fat dish)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice, or more, to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Mixed baby greens, as needed
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or 1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds


Bring 5 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the Israeli couscous and cook at a rapid simmer for about 8 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water until the couscous is at room temperature.

In a mixing bowl, combine the couscous with the remaining ingredients except the last two. Toss well to combine.

Line a large serving platter with some greens. Mound the salad over them, letting some of the greens show along the edge. Sprinkle the top with the toasted nuts. Serve at once or cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

Source: FatFree Vegan Kitchen

July 9, 2010

Enjoying the Heat Wave

Posted in Food, Health, Serbia, Weather tagged , , , , , , , , , , , at 6:38 am by Liliana

Pleasures of summer

Pleasures of summer

Large parts of the US and the world are suffering from an intense heat wave. The temperature and the humidity are high. The sun is unforgiving in its glare. It is not fun being outside.

The best thing to do is stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day (between 10 am and 3 pm.) Stay in a cool place. Even if you do not have an air conditioner, you can take precautions. Open your windows during the night, and close and shade them during the day. Don’t exert yourself too much.

It is important to keep hydrated so drink lots of water. There is no substitute for water. Everything else (lemonade, sports drinks, coffee, etc.) should be in addition to it. Sip water all day or take frequent water breaks.

Eat small meals. Try eating a few smaller, lighter meals rather than one big portion. You will generate less heat and not feel as full.

Eat lots of fruit. Watermelons, strawberries, apples, cantaloupes and grapes are some of my favorite choices for hot summer days and all have a high water content. Try juicy peaches and other seasonal fruit – all at the height of ripeness, freshness and deliciousness.

Eat lots of vegetables. Fresh, crisp, refreshing salads are a perfect choice. Lettuce (so many varieties to choose from,) cucumbers, celery, spinach and peppers are all over 90% water. A bit of kosher salt, a light drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and some lemon juice – what can be more delicious?

Eat hot peppers, they make you sweat, and this process cools you down. Peppers are a big part of the Serbian culture, hot peppers and sweet peppers, all kinds of peppers. One of my favorite summer salads is Serbian Roasted Pepper Salad.

Don’t forget salt. Salt retains water, but since there is salt in so many foods we eat and in most sports drinks, don’t overdo it.  Let common sense be your guide.

Best wishes to all my readers. Stay cool but don’t merely endure this lovely season. Enjoy your summer. Revel in its pleasures.

July 7, 2010

CSA Box of Treasures

Posted in Breast Cancer, Cancer, Family, Food, Garden, Health, Home, Recipes tagged , , , , , , at 6:46 am by Liliana

CSA produce

CSA produce

Every Wednesday morning, someone from my family makes sure to stop at the farmer’s market and pick up our CSA box of treasures.

What is CSA?
CSA or Community Supported Agriculture, is a program that allows small farmers to market their own local, seasonal produce directly to their immediate community.  I joined the membership of our particular farm last winter, and paid for the entire season by last May.

Now, from early June through the middle of October, all we need to do is show up and pick up a box of fresh, organic produce. Every week is a surprise, and we are never sure what will be for dinner. All produce had been picked the day before and is at the peak of its ripeness and nutritional value.

We have been eating all kinds of greens and a number of plants we hadn’t tried before. But everyone agrees that the experiment has been a huge success so far. We all gather around the box and marvel at the beauty, color, flavor and fragrance of various vegetables, herbs and flowers.

This is what we found in our treasure box today:

  • Genovese basil – an herb with sweet, spicy, shiny, green leaves perfect for flavoring salads, soups and stews; making pesto or freezing for winter.
  • Fava beans – resemble large lima beans with a tart, pungent flavor; can be cooked or eaten raw in salads.
  • Green beans – Maxibel French Fillet are very slender green beans with firm texture and delicate flavor; we usually eat them steamed, sautéed, stir-fried, or in a delicious green bean soup.
  • Beets & greens – Red Ace beets are round, smooth, deep red roots with sweet flavor and red-veined green leaves. Chioggia greens are an Italian variety with green leaves and pink-striped stems; root has cherry red, candy-striped color and a sweet flavor. Both are delicious steamed in salads, soups or stews.
  • Broccoli – deep emerald green, tiny buds that are clustered on top of stout, edible stems.  Delicious steamed with a bit of salt, olive oil and fresh lemon juice.
  • Napa cabbage – crinkly, thick, cream-colored leaves with celadon tips.  Unlike the strong-flavored waxy leaves on round cabbage heads, these are thin, crisp, and delicately mild.  Use raw, sauté, bake, or braise; common in stir-fries or soups.
  • Italian dandelion greens – bright red stem with a jagged, dark green leaf. Not a true dandelion, but rather a chicory with darker green and slightly larger leaves with a tangy, slightly bitter taste. Refreshing as a salad green or cooked as a vegetable.
  • Fresh garlic – a bulb of several papery white cloves. Can be eaten minced raw in salad dressings, sautéed and added to stir-fries, meats, vegetables. As garlic butter (1/2 cup of softened butter mashed with four minced cloves of garlic). Also, try roasting garlic by cutting off tops of garlic bulbs, so cloves are exposed, brushing with olive oil and baking for 1 hour at 350 degrees; squeeze garlic out of skins and spread on good, crusty bread.
  • Lettuce – Red/Green Leaf, Romaine, and Oak.
  • Green onions or scallions – young shoots of bulb onions with long green stalks and milder taste than large bulb onions.
  • Summer squash –  intense yellow color, straight neck squash with buttery flavor and firm texture.  Delicious sautéed, roasted, in stir fries or soups.

What a glorious bounty! Call around for your own local CSA farm information.

This directory might help you get started: www.localharvest.org

July 2, 2010

Orange and Coconut Treat

Posted in Food, Health, Recipes tagged , , , , , at 7:32 am by Liliana

Orange and Coconut Treat

Orange and Coconut Treat

It takes no time to prepare this healthy and delicious fruit treat.

It could make a fine after-school snack for your kids.

Other members of your family who appreciates delicious food will be grateful as well.

Or make it for yourself, as a mid-morning treat at work. Enjoy.

Prep and Cook Time: 15 minutes


  • 4 oranges, peeled and cut into segments
  • 2 bananas, peeled and sliced
  • ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 TBS sliced, toasted almonds

Prepare fruit and toss with coconut and almonds.

Source: George Mateljan

June 30, 2010

Portobello Curry with Green Rice

Posted in Food, Health, Recipes tagged , , , , at 6:43 am by Liliana

Portobello mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms

I love mushrooms and am always looking for delicious recipes that feature this exquisite fungi.

Try this  fragrant, enticing recipe and spice up your summer dinner. It will make you think of the Far East and the ancient spice rout!

Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes


  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup snipped fresh cilantro
  • 4 tsp. finely minced fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 lb. Portobello mushrooms, cut in 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onion
  • 2 tsp. Madras (spicy) curry powder or curry powder
  • 1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 2 Tbsp. coarsely chopped cashews or peanuts


1. In medium saucepan combine rice, 2 cups water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 15 to 20 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed.

2. Meanwhile, in blender or food processor combine 1/2 cup of the coconut milk, cilantro, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1 garlic clove, and the lime juice. Cover; blend or process until nearly smooth. Stir into rice. Cover; keep warm.

3. In 12-inch skillet cook mushrooms in hot oil over medium heat for 5 minutes; turn occasionally. Add green onions, curry powder, red pepper, and remaining ginger and garlic. Cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and remaining coconut milk. Heat through. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

4. To serve, divide rice among plates. Top with mushroom mixture and sprinkle with nuts. Makes 4 servings.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

June 27, 2010

The Oil Spill

Posted in Breast Cancer, Cancer, Children, Cleaning, Health, Money, News, Travel, Weather tagged , , , , , at 6:46 am by Liliana


"Make my hands respect the things you have"

There is a great environmental tragedy happening in the Gulf of Mexico and it affects our entire planet.

I wanted to address the issue, to acknowledge the unprecedented affliction, torment and suffering, but my words feel inadequate and shallow.

What can I say that hasn’t been said? What wisdom can I offer?

I will let this beautiful Native American Prayer speak for me. It says everything, and much more, that I wanted to express.

Native American Prayer

Oh, Great Spirit
Whose voice I hear in the winds,
And whose breath gives life to all the world,
hear me, I am small and weak,
I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty and make my eyes ever behold
the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have
made and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand the things
you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have
hidden in every leaf and rock.

I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy – myself.
Make me always ready to come to you
with clean hands and straight eyes.
So when life fades, as the fading sunset,
my Spirit may come to you without shame.

(translated by Lakota Sioux Chief Yellow Lark in 1887)

Source: http://www.sapphyr.net/natam/quotes-nativeamerican.htm

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