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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Yummy Multi-Grain Apple Cinnamon Pecan Muffins - Original Recipe

I love making up recipes. Sometimes they actually come out pretty good. This was one of those times.

I woke up this morning and started making my breakfast of 2 link sausages, 2 over medium eggs...but then I realized I didn't have any bread in the house.

I know its okay to have breakfast without any carbs, in fact, I many times do that. But for some reason, (maybe its a full moon), I really wanted some kind of bread this morning. So, I went to looking in my cabinets and I noticed some whole wheat flour, some breakfast cereal and a couple of packages of pre-sweetened, pre-flavored oatmeal.

So, I decided to try to make some muffins with these ingredients. Below is the recipe what I made up this morning to complement my hot breakfast.

1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups of Great Grains cereal (pecan and oat clusters variety)
2 individual serving packages of apple cinnamon flavored oatmeal
3 tablespoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt or sea salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups of water or milk
1/3 cup of vegetable oil
Optional (1/2 cup coconut sugar)

I did not use the coconut sugar, but then I don't like food very sweet, but I think that most people will want to add the sugar. The pre-sweetened oatmeal and cereal was enough sweetness for me.

Mix the dry ingredients first, then add the water or milk, mixing well before adding the eggs and oil. Mix well and pour into a buttered muffin pan. My mixture filled 12 muffin cups perfectly. I baked them in a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees for 23 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Serve warm with melted butter. Yummy!

These muffins had little chunks of apples and pecans from the cereals and I didn't have to slice or chop anything. So easy it should be illegal!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

5 Steps To Easier Potty Training

For an adult, the natural tendency when feelings of a full bladder or colon hit home is to make a B-Line to the nearest bathroom. We do this without hesitating, without any need to decide if that's the right thing to do or not.

In fact, in most cases, it is done with rather intense urgency. Let's go so far as to say with slight desperation. If for some reason, either medical or otherwise, we were unable to make it in time to a bathroom when needed, this has often brought tears and embarrassment.

Why is that so? Because at a very early age, it was ingrained in us to go directly to the bathroom and relieve ourselves as soon as the need arose. It was painstakingly taught to us as a basic necessity of life.

At times if feels as if our very lives depended on making it to the toilet in time. We quickly learned that there were consequences if we didn't make it in time. For some it might have been as mild as we didn't get the usual praise if we didn't unload in the proper place as we would have had we done that with success. Also, there was the discomfort physically.

For others, failure might have been met with some type of punishment. Either way, our bodies became quickly accustomed to the feelings of "dry" and "comfortable". And that grew into a lifelong habit of going to the bathroom whenever the urge presented and the fear of discomfort was our body's temporary master. But now that you have children of your own, how do you teach that automatic and seemingly involuntary response to go to the toilet? When speaking about comfort, modern day diapers are so absorbant that many times children do not feel much discomfort.

So, although not listed as one of the steps, it might be advantageous to switch to a toddler panty or underwear when potty training so that the child can see what uncomfortable wetness feels like. Its also easier and quicker to pull down underwear to go to the bathroom rather than taking a diaper off and on.

If you are envisioning cleaning up accidents about now and decide to go with the diaper because its easier for you, don't expect the same quick results from the steps below. Maybe the steps should include a number 6: Don't Be Lazy! Potty training is work and you must be willing to do it...unless of course you expect the daycare center or a hired nanny to do it for you. What a great parent you are going to be.

Ok, so if you are still reading, then likely you wish to be a great parent. Here's the scoop. For newborns, expelling waste in their diapers does not naturally instill any fear. They have not yet met with any need to go anywhere or do anything when they need to go. They just go. Now they do often times feel uncomfortable afterwards and so the crying begins, but they do not comprehend that they can personally do anything different to prevent this discomfort. At this point in their lives, they rely on Mom or Dad to do something to fix their discomfort.

So, again the point is that potty training is a learned behavior that must be taught and there are several strategies that have been used throughout history and some work better than others. Here are 5 steps that have been helpful in making this chore less difficult so that the transition from diaperhood to potty trained is a little smoother. See if these steps work well for you and if so, feel free to leave a comment.

1. Wait. That may seem like a strange step in this process but it is actually very important. Some parents are too anxious to progress to the point of not having to buy diapers that they rush their little one into premature potty training. It has been proven that a child's bladder muscles are not developed enough to hold back urine until they are at least 2 years old in most cases. So trying to force a child to hold it until reaching the potty chair when he or she is only 15 months old may only cause anxiety and stress.

2. Be Observant. Pay attention to signals that your child is ready to begin potty training. One signal that has been observed is that the child's diaper may be dry when first waking up in the morning. If so, you might quickly encourage them to sit on the potty and empty there rather than into the diaper. Another signal that potty training time may be close is that the child will start hiding behind a recliner or in a closet to go number 2. This shows that they are becoming aware that going to the bathroom is something that you stop doing other things for and go someplace to do. It's good to take note of what time of day that was, because likely they will have to go number 2 the same time each day.

3. Fully Invest. When the time comes that you decide to start potty training, fully invest your time and energy to only this project. If done right, successful potty training can be accomplished in less than a week, maybe even 3 or 4 days. But you must be willing to devote your entire attention to only this project. This can not be stressed enough. If you start potty training and then decide to go shopping for the day, don't blame the child when they have an accident because you were too busy to take them to the bathroom.

4. Be Consistent. Start by putting your child on the potty every 30 minutes when they first wake up on the day you begin this task. Encourage them to pee, maybe by running water or something. Make it fun and enjoyable and offer praise when they pee'd in the right place. Never scold the child if nothing happens. Stay calm. Anything else can actually create the kind of stress in your child that can cause problems later like bed-wetting or bowel incontinence. This is a process that takes patience. You are not expecting them to pee every 30 minutes, but rather the idea is to get them used to the feeling of an empty bladder and the habit of emptying on the potty. Later that afternoon, you might be able to go for an hour between sittings if you are seeing success so far.

5. Stick With It. By the second day, the habit is beginning to form and your child may begin naturally going when feeling full, but this is no time to let them take over the job. Keep at it through the second day and the third day. You might be up to 2 hours by now or even 3 hour intervals between potty sitting. But by now the habit is definitely becoming ingrained and they are learning how to keep their bladder empty and comfortable so that they will want to do that on their own. Remember not to scold if an accident should happen because they likely will. But there is nothing wrong with letting them know in kind, but firm words that the place to go is on the potty.

If you notice that your child becomes a bed-wetter, you should consult a physician, because there might be a medical or emotional reason for this. Otherwise it is not unusual for a child to occasionally wet the bed until he or she is age 5. Never restrict fluid intake just to prevent bed wetting. Keeping little bodies fully hydrated throughout the day is necessary for good health. However, its not a bad idea to hold back enormous amounts of liquid late in the evening. If they are thirsty before going to bed, maybe offer a sip or two just to satisfy without the entire glass.

So if you wait for the right time, are careful to observe when they are ready, fully invest your time and energy to train them, teach them the comfort of an empty bladder and are consistent and patient, you will be able to successfully teach your child a skill that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

5 Transitional Jobs For Women Over 50

Many people agree that the job market can be a very competitive and self-esteem stripping place to be. You may be a young, fresh, intelligent, adventurous, ambitious college graduate trying to find your place in the dog-eat-dog career world only to find that your resume has been set aside and replaced by someone with more experience.

This can be disheartening, but imagine the reality of being replaced because you are getting older and considered less productive. This is the case sometimes for women over 50 because they are now competing with all those young, fresh college grads full of energy and motivation.

And the painful truth is that as women age, they do feel a little less energetic. They do feel a little more fragile and a little less physically strong. When women reach the age of 50, they still have 15 or more years before they can retire, but may likely have increasing financial demands.

It is possible that either they themselves or their mate may begin to have some health issues to deal with. They may have some traditional expenses dealing with their grown children, like paying for their son's college or their daughter's wedding. And the old saying about raising children for only 18 years is bogus. Many parents feel compelled to assist their children financially well into their 20's or 30's.

So what are some of the options for women who want and need to stay active in the job market without breaking a hip and without losing their dignity. What if you had been a hard-working waitress for 20 or 30 thirty making anywhere from $15 to $25 an hour. This may not be the most dignified position, but it paid the bills and you survived doing it for all those years. But now, standing on your feet and running around tables for 10-11 shifts is simply killing you.

The truth is, many companies that are looking for sales agents actually mention in their job advertisements that those in the hospitality industry are well suited for that position. This is because servers or waitstaff are already used to dealing with people. They are already experienced in  dealing with work stress and deadlines, getting the food to the customer while still hot and they're still happy, etc. They have learned many good skills about organization and money management that can be used in client account management areas. And sales is definitely physically less demanding in most cases.

So Sales is option number 1 for women over 50. Many companies are looking for mature women to present their products. If your job would require in-home selling, people respond better to women making a pitch to them about certain products rather than men in many instances. This is because of the mother image that folks perceive about women, so women can come across as more trustworthy. Women are usually more warm and engaging in their approach to selling rather than men who sometimes come across as applying high pressure to their sales pitches.

Sales is one of the highest paid careers in the world making well over $100,000 annually if you find the right company. Insurance sales, walk-in tubs sales, home improvement sales and exercise equipment sales are just a few possibilities to consider. Craigslist and have long lists of sales opportunities to examine and you just might find the right one for you.

Now, what if you have worked for 20-30 years in a very high pressure or high stress job like Advertising or Public Relations, Event Coordinator or a company Executive. And now you are ready for a change to something a little less stressful now that you are over 50? You might consider becoming a consultant. Women over 50 have loads of experience in life in general and have learned many skills and trades that they could inspire or teach others to do. So becoming a Consultant is option number 2 for women over 50.

Start by creating business cards of what you consult in and network yourself with the clients that you have previously worked with and asked them to speak for you to others as well. You can advertise as a consultant in the particular field that you have experience in. Opening a LinkedIn account and gaining connections will also spread the word on what you do. More often than not, people want someone they respect to give them advice before they buy a product or use a service. You likely have much to share about your field that others are willing to pay for.

Another possibility for women over 50 is that of becoming a freelance writer. Women at this age have much to say about life in general or maybe about their field of expertise. So becoming a Writer is option number 3 for women over 50. Starting a successful blog has been financially rewarding for some but this is tougher than you may realize. So it might be better to start by guest posting on websites that offer the particular product or service that you feel passionate or knowledgeable about. There are also websites that offer to pay for freelance writers to keep their sites full of fresh content.

You might work on a book about humor, cooking, parenting, your field of expertise or whatever you like. There are many self-publishing sites out there and you could have your book up for sale on Amazon or Barnes & Noble in no time at all. If good grammar and story development are not your specialties, hire an editor. Royalties will begin to trickle in and if the book is pretty good, who knows...

Maybe you are not one of those women who have slaved for the corporate world for 20-30 years until you are tired and ready for a change. Maybe your husband paid the bills while you raised your children and kept house all those years. But now, you find yourself either divorced or suffering from empty nest syndrome and you want or need to enter the job market at age 52. This is certainly a tough time in life for that to happen. But you might consider whether or not you have the entrepreneurial spirit.

If you have a small amount of cash resources, you might look into buying some products wholesale and listing them on eBay. So Self-Employment is option number 4 for women over 50. You may not have to buy products wholesale. You might wish to make some type of craft like BoHo headbands or some type of creative decor. This would keep costs down and profits higher. eBay is one of the largest marketplaces in the world. There is no other storefront in the world that gets the kind of traffic that eBay gets with costs of operating a business there very low by comparison.

Spring Imports is one company that ships women's clothing out of the fashion district of New York and they do not require a minimum order to get started. All they ask is to just sign up for free membership. Orders over $300 get free shipping. If you bought 60 pieces of women's clothing for $5 each and sold them on eBay for $20 each, your profit after shipping costs of about $180 would be about $720. Not too bad a paycheck per week for working at home. Can you sell 60 pieces in a week? It's been done on eBay before, so it could happen to you too.

The last option (number 5) for women over 50 that wish to enter the job market is Domestic work. Child Care, Elder Care or Housekeeping is definitely something that most women are good at. offers you the ability to sign up for free membership and check out local positions in these fields. Many people want mature women rather than unpredictable teenagers to care for their children or their parents. Pay for childcare and eldercare usually ranges around $10 an hour. Light housekeeping is not typically too demanding physically, and pay usually centers around $15 to $20 an hour.

You may also have seen women over 50 working at Wal-Mart or the Dollar General store, but these positions might include standing on your feet for long shifts and lifting boxes up to 40 pounds each when restocking shelves. Fast food restaurants hire people of all ages, but these positions also require a lot of reaching and stooping and standing on your feet for many hours which might be difficult for some women over 50.

Some women find jobs in the Administrative field, like secretaries or other office positions. And you might get hired for these if you have typing and computer skills that are up to date. Up to date is the key expression here. If you worked in a doctor's office 30 years ago, the data entry and spreadsheet programs that most every office used was Lotus 1-2-3. The word processing programs were Word Perfect or WordStar2000. These are obsolete now for the most part. So if you wish to enter this field, you might need a refresher course on the latest software programs.

If you are loaded with money or if you qualify for grants or loans, you could take some college courses and get your degree and then you will have the same problems getting a job that young college graduates face every day. But this is certainly an honorable goal if goals is what you are shooting for.

So there you have it -5 possible job opportunities to check out if you one of those women over 50 that want or need to go back to work and would like to find something a little less physically demanding.