When Allergies Linger

I know…. school’s out- it’s “Summer”!! Well, kind of, Summer officially starts on June 21st and lasts until September 23rd. So technically we are still in Spring and still affected by those allergies!! And if you’re like me and maybe your kids. your done with being loaded up with crazy amounts of medicines to find some relief.

I have included an article from Dr. Bill Sears, so of us have been fortunate to hear him speak at various events. Love his style, kind and practical.

Great read and tips! Enjoy!!!

Calming allergy itchies without harsh chemicals. By Bill Sears, MD, America’s Pediatrician

For some children, even the thought of spring makes their eyes burn, itch and water. Their noses and throats also get itchy and uncomfortable. If your child’s symptoms are mild and do not seem to interfere with his life very much, then you really do not need to give any prescription medication.

The immune system plays an important role in the body’s reaction to allergens. Here are some natural, alternative approaches to supporting the immune system and relieving itch-causing symptoms.

  • Eat plenty of vibrantly-colored fruits and vegetables. These play important roles in balancing the immune system. There is now science to support the old adage: an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apples contain quercetin, an antioxidant that has antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties. Peppers, onions and garlic contain compounds that help thin and reduce mucus.

  • Provide temporary relief from itchy, burning, watery and/or red eyes by using Similasan Allergy Eye Relief. These drops’ natural active ingredients help stimulate the body’s natural defenses. And because they contain no dyes, harsh vasoconstrictors or antihistamines, they can be used as often as needed.

  • Use a portable air purifier to remove allergens from your home. High-Efficiency Particulate Accumulator filters can remove dust mite droppings, pollens, molds, spores, animal dander, and many other irritants. They cost $100 – $200. Place it in the main living area of the house during the night to clean the air while you sleep. Then run it in the bedroom during the afternoon so the air will be clean while you sleep.

  • Make exercise part of his routine. Regularly getting moderate-intensity exercise will help boost the immune system. Just be aware that pollen counts are usually highest during the late morning and early afternoon. Limit outside playtime to early morning, late afternoon and evenings during allergy season.

  • Make sleep a priority. “The mind and body work better when they are well rested, and that applies to the body’s defenses against allergens. Aim for your child to get at least seven or eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every night.

Mild allergies or even a string of colds will usually work themselves out within two to three months, thus making more intense allergy intervention unnecessary.

About the author: William Sears, M.D., has been advising parents on how to raise healthier families for over 40 years. He received his medical training at Harvard Medical School’s Children’s Hospital in Boston and The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, the world’s largest children’s hospital, where he was associate ward chief of the newborn intensive care unit before serving as the chief of pediatrics at Toronto Western Hospital, a teaching hospital of the University of Toronto. He has served as a professor of pediatrics at the University of Toronto, University of South Carolina, University of Southern California School of Medicine, and University of California: Irvine. A father of 8 children, he and his wife Martha have written more than 45 books and hundreds articles on parenting, childcare, nutrition, and healthy aging. He is the cofounder of the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute for training health coaches, and he runs the health and parenting website AskDrSears.com. Dr. Sears and his contribution to family health were featured on the cover of TIME Magazine in May 2012. He is noted for his science-made-simple-and-fun approach to family health.

Would like to send a shout out for being the opportunity and permission to share the article from Dr. Sears!!

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Father’s Day 2 Weeks Away

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Gift giving has come a long way since the days of macaroni necklaces. With Father’s Day just two weeks away, it time to start looking.

Put down the necktie! You don’t have to give him a tie, unless his job requires it…. how about jewelry?

Yup, I said jewelry- a ring to be exact. You might be thinking, he has a ring, I know. So does my husband. But when you find the right ring, it sure will be a great surprise.

This is a Tungsten Carbide ring, it also has “I love you” engraved on the inside. Great character right? Where did I find it? Right here : http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07MZ1MCQC

They offer many other colors and designs. Not sure what ring size to get? If it’s not a surprise gift here’s a ring sizing chart you can use

Mine wasn’t a surprise gift so here’s how it looked on him

Here’s a bonus- use this discount code for a great deal on the ring; PH7ULI4R

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Families “Make- A- Wish” Come True

Every child has a special wish. From having a pony as a pet to what they want to be when they grow up. And we as parents or guardians spend many years helping them make the latter wish come true. Numerous after school and summer camps, don’t forget the clubs that focus on the future astronaut or chef. Many years of experiences and trials to endure.

But what if you didn’t have all of those years? As heartbreaking as it is to think about, there are those precious children that don’t have the luxury of time due to an unfortunate illness.

That’s where organizations like Make-A-Wish come in. Not just nationwide but world wise. An organization that combines donors, supporters and volunteers together to make a critically ill child’s wish come true.

What is your part in it? Of course you can go straight to their website (www.wish.org) and sign up to volunteer or make a donation.

Or you can participate in a sponsored event at different establishments in your local area.

Recently, Maggiano’s had two special events where a portion of the proceeds went to the Make-A-Wish Foundation!!

Their first event was for the kiddos! A Kids Cooking Class featuring their famous lasagna!!

The little chefs were lead by none other than Chef Patrick!

Step by step they were guided into making their lasagna and learning a little more about the Maggiano’s lasagna.

Of course, like in any family, you can’t go home without having a bite to eat….. appetizer buffet is all set!

The second event was for the adults…. a Paint and Sip Class! Since it was on Cinco de Mayo, sangria cocktails and a summer cactus to create led by Hope.

Stations at every table Its time to begin.

This is Maggiano’s so noshing is allowed. In the form of an appetizer and dessert buffet!

Finally the finished product….

Fun filled events, but more heart filling knowing that you have been able to contribute to making a child’s dream come true…

And when those wishes come true, their happiness can light up the world!!

A Place for Everything, Everything in its Place

Tidying up has never been this trendy when I was growing up. Back then the joy came from being done with the task!!

But now that we are older, we feel more than joy, it’s a sense of completion. It’s almost like wiping a clean slate and starting fresh. To get to the end, we have to start.

We look at our humble “abodes” and try to decide what area to tackle first. Along with how to organize or , maybe even, purge.

Just this past April 23rd I had the pleasure of having Amanda Scudder and her co-organizer Melissa from Abundance Organizing as my guest speaker at my “Dish the CFA Tea with Geri B” event!!

What great insights they shared! With the benefit of not being in a large convention setting like her past appearances, we were really able to get out our questions.

It’s in this type of casual setting that can process the process of true organization. What do I mean? Organizing is more than just de junking. I fall guilty to clothes that I “might” fit back into, or seem too sentimental to let go. Amanda and Melissa’s take? If you do fit back into that piece of clothing, will it still be part of the 80/20 section of your clothing repertoire. Would you actually wear it? And, if it is sentimental it shouldn’t be hanging with what you wear- makes sense.

For the record- I probably should look at my closet with the 80/20 in mind, something many of us do.

“We wear 80% of the time the same 20% of clothes” Yup! Guilty!!

What about the junk drawer? It’s time to gather up your items, segregate like items and designate, because do we really need 3 staplers?

What about containers? Love them- but find clear ones so you can see what’s in them. An item she uses that’s so versatile are chalkboard style labels. Easy to clean and rename your container.

There’s so much more!! And let’s be honest, sometimes we need someone outside our immediate “bubble” to help us work through the designating part.

If you are in the Virginia area you can contact their office; http://www.abundanceorganizing.com

If not? To find your local professional organizer go to; http://www.napo.com

“Dish the CFA Tea with Geri B” wouldn’t be the same without its book of the month contributed by Harlequin Books

Not to mention our featured corner of new products, and of course….. great raffle gift baskets from me and prizes from Chick Fil A!

Stay tuned ! For May we are having High Tea!! So out on your fascinator hat and pinkies up for petit fours and tea.

Another Weeknight Dinner

It’s May and we’re deep into Spring!! We’re gardening, reorganizing the house and prepping for Summer that is a hop-skip, and jump away!!

Amidst all this, dinner has to be made. As you’ve seen, all over the internet are the quick dinner recipes. Now, if you’ve got an InstaPot you’ve got it covered. But what if you’re one of the few, like myself, that don’t?

Guess what? Casseroles are still trending. I know what you’re thinking, casseroles now a days aren’t like what Grandma used to make. They’re diverse, adjustable and hearty. And depending on the ingredients, can be an all in one incorporating your protein, starch and vegetables.

Let me share with you the casserole I recently made. My feature protein? Wild Planet Food Wild Pink Salmon!!

It’s light but satisfying, and we all know the great benefits of salmon. Especially when you have quality salmon that is sustainable seafood and of such high quality.

Here’s what I put together into our weeknight dinner casserole…..

A couple of cans of the Wild Planet Wild Pink Salmon, (condensed) cream of mushroom soup, pasta and (“squeeze drained) frozen chopped spinach.

While I cooked the pasta (to just before al denté stage), I combined all the other ingredients into my mixing bowl. I do a lot of “eye-balling” when I cook so let me apologize in advance.

Just a dash of salt and pepper, I also like to add a sprinkle or two of garlic powder. As you mix, you’ll see if it looks too dry or clumpy, add a splash of milk. Or if you want a richer texture use heavy cream. It should have a smooth creamy base. On occasion my dash of milk have turned more into a splash- no worries!! I add some grated Parmesan cheese, which, come to think of it works well too.

Since I used the entire pound of pasta, which I didn’t cook all the way because it will cook some more in the oven and you don’t want mushy pasta. I will be baking it all in one of my rectangular roasting pans.

I mix the pasta with the salmon mix, I did spray my pan so it won’t stick when served. Put your casserole mix in the pan, cover with foil. Bake at 400°, my oven is quite old so I had it at 425°. After 20 minutes I uncovered it and sprinkled a mix of breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese (I didn’t add it previously), back in the oven for about ten minutes or until it had a golden brown color to the top.

Voilà! Dinner, and leftovers make a great lunch!!

Special thanks to Wild Planet Foods for sponsoring this article and their generosity sharing their products with me!!

Interesting learning more about them? Go to :

http://www.wildplanetfoods.com

Junior Sous Chef? Maybe

 You’ve heard me talk about how kids now a days are foodies. Way more than we were kids… back in the day. It’s not a bad thing, in fact it’s amazing to see their take on all the different foods around us.

What makes it even more amazing is that these young foodies not only want to taste all the flavors, they want to create it!

So grab your toque, and tie that apron. Maggiano’s Kids Cooking Class are in full swing.

Now, I may have some biased, my kids have been attending these classes for some time, dare I say- years!

Do the classes repeat menus? Sometimes, but that’s ok. Repetition helps them remember what to do.

So how long have we been going? For kicks, my daughter acted as sous chef for Executive Chef Mike at the last class!

They had her wear a chef’s coat and class began! Side note- she has attended enough classes to qualify for her own her coat, it’s on order. How? They offer each attends a lunch card. Once the card is completed the “student” earns his/her own chef jacket compliments of Maggiano’s!!

Starting with fundamentals and at each course Chef Mike goes to each table to help guide and answer questions.

Maggiano’s makes sure that all their guests are comfortable and happy. So as the kids are learning and creating, parents- breakfast and warm coffee awaits!

What happens to all of their creations? The student get to take it all home. No, it doesn’t become their lunch. Maggiano’s has something else for them!

A nice buffet of their famous dishes, spaghetti and meatballs, along with their Mac n’ cheese. Complete with salad and bread

Do I recommend these classes? Yes! There fun, yummy and a great way for kids to learn a life skill!!

Check with your local Maggiano’s, mine has a class once a month. Where to find them?

You can call your local Maggiano’s, or check the Eventbrite website, where you can also purchase tickets for the event.

Earth Day Everyday

April 22nd is Earth day!

How do you celebrate Earth day?

It doesn’t have to be a big parade or a big party. We can celebrate Earth Day, each day, a little but every day.

You can start with the food you share with your family and friends. Here’s some fabulous tips from Chef Gerard Viverito in an article he recently wrote:

Five Earth Day food-shopping tips to follow all year   
Earth Day, celebrated every April 22, is a global event designed to raise ecological awareness. I’ve been fortunate to travel the world. I’ve seen firsthand how different cultures protect their natural resources. Here in the U.S., we’re getting better at making planet-friendly food decisions but doing the right thing can be confusing. Here are five simple grocery shopping tips you can start doing right away that will help protect our environment.

Buy only what you need. It’s all about efficiency. More than 30 percent of the United States’ food goes to waste. Eat your leftovers or freeze what you can’t consume right away. If you find you overbought, share with your neighbors or donate the items to a local food shelf.Choose products with less packaging. Stroll past the individually wrapped packaged snacks. Drink more tap water. Spread Nutella on apples or whole-grain crackers instead of stocking the cabinets with bags of fruit snacks or chips. You will produce less waste, and consume more essential vitamins and minerals.

  1. Use cooking oils that require less land to produce. For example, genetically modified crops such as corn, soy and canola require as much as 10 times more land than palm oil. As our world population increases, the edible oil demand could easily lead to more deforestation. Thankfully, a large percentage of the nutritious palm oil in our U.S. food supply comes from Malaysia, where it is certified as sustainably produced. Plus, while those other oil crop fields are routinely plowed under, oil palm trees produce fruit for up to 30 years. So, the lush oil palm plantations provide stable homes for wildlife. Fun fact: In Malaysia, barn owls and snakes are used to control the pest populations, enabling farmers to reduce the use of harmful chemical pesticides.

  2. Go meatless at least once a week. Not only is a plant-based diet healthy but livestock is the largest driver of deforestation in the world. The Union of Concerned Scientists  (UCS) have even made beef cattle the emphasis of its deforestation campaign. Livestock accounts for 71 percent of agricultural land, or 30 percent of land surface on the planet, according to a FAO report. While less significant, soybeans, pigs and poultry, and corn are causes of deforestation according to a Climate Focus report.

  3. Buy only US-caught seafood. Ninety one percent of our seafood is imported. We don’t know how it was caught or what regulations were followed to protect our oceans. I serve as Director of Culinary Education for Passionfish, an NGO non-profit organization dedicated to educating people around the globe on the issue of sustainability in the seas. One of the most important questions you can ask at the supermarket or fish market is the country of origin. The American seafood industry generally has better sustainability practices than those of other countries.


This year’s Earth Day theme is “Protect our Species”. Some of the best solutions for protecting our wildlife and their habitats are to support the global use of certified sustainable products, such as Malaysian palm oil, buying local to help keep nearby farmlands from becoming paved shopping malls, and choosing American seafood to help protect the health of our oceans.


Author Biography: Chef Gerard Viverito, The Sustainable Chef, is a culinary instructor as the Director of Culinary Education for Passionfish, a NGO non-profit organization dedicated to educating people around the globe on the issue of sustainability in the seas. He is also operator of Saveur Fine Catering, a company whose beliefs and products center on local, sustainable and organic foods. Chef Viverito’s pantry is loaded with items commonly overlooked in the supermarkets, yet he has a thorough understanding of them and a passion to teach others how to cook more healthfully.


In addition, Chef Viverito has dedicated a large part of his career to what he terms “functional cooking.” This is where he adds nutritional ingredients to dishes to gain healthful results. He is well known for his ability to lower the glycemic index value of food, add omega fatty acids, and whole proteins to dishes without compromising the texture or taste. He appears regularly on radio and television programs demonstrating this as well as consulting clients on their dietary needs. www.ChefGerard.com

Now, I have been so fortunate enough to have met Chef Gerard- and he’s so down to earth and practical with his recipes and techniques. He truly understands what the “everyday” family is about.

It’s true that every little bit, adds up to us help preserve the planet we love. And when you put together all the little things that we can easily do, we also lead by example to our children on the importance of clean environment living! ❤️

HAPPY EARTH DAY!!!