Hostess Gift



Need a wonderful summer hostess gift? Have I got a “miracle cream” for you! I fell truly, madly, deeply in love with this ice cream from Brooklyn. I once ate an entire container in my pajamas! Each luscious pint is handmade from scratch and available online in ten seriously addictive flavors. It’s a spoonful of heaven. ($89 for six pints;


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Did you know adults who take a low-dose aspirin daily over an extended period of time appear to have a lower risk of certain cancers? Yuppers.

Men and women who were part of two studies reported on aspirin use biennially for 32 years. The Nursess Health Study and the Health Professionals follow-up study found regular aspirin use was associated with a lower risk for overall cancer, especially gastrointestinal tract tumors.  The findings were reported online March 3, 2016 in JAMA Oncology.

My oncologist put me on aspirin (81 mg) and I’ve been on it for seven years now. WOWZA! I am not at risk for gastrointestinal bleeding, and am hoping to stay on it for as long as I need to.

It is recommended that you speak with a physician before taking aspirin daily because of the significant risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. Remember, your doctor knows best.

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Don’t miss the boat! A few easy additions turn plain deviled eggs into a fun summer snack. Hoist the sails with tortilla chips, celery leaves, or sliced pepper or onion.  To keep the cucumber from flopping over, poke a celery stick through it.

Halve 12 hard-boiled eggs and transfer the yolks to a large bowl. Add 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise, 2 tsp. each Dijon mustard and fresh lemon juice, ¼ tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper and mix to combine.  Using a sandwich bag with the corner snipped off, pipe the mixture into the whites.

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Gray Malin is the artist of the moment for the Hollywood and fashion elite. His awe-inspiring aerial photographs of beaches around the world are shot from door-less helicopters, creating playful and stunning celebrations of light, shape, and perspective, as well as summer bliss. Combining the spirit of travel, adventure, luxury, and artistry, Malin built his eponymous lifestyle brand from a deep passion for photography and interior design. His work forges the synergy between wanderlust and adventure, creating the ultimate visual escape.

Beaches features more than twenty cities across six continents: Australia: Sydney; North America: Santa Monica, Miami, San Francisco, Kaua’i, Chicago, The Hamptons, and Cancun; South America: Rio de Janeiro; Europe: Capri, Rimini, Forte dei Marmi, Viareggio, Amalfi Coast, Barcelona, Lisbon and Saint-Tropez; Africa: Cape Town; Asia: Dubai

If you are in need of a hostess gift, this is it!



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A few summers ago, the NCI (National Cancer Institute) Cancer Center News released a story about a study done at The University of North Carolina that found that exercise may reduce risk for women diagnosed with breast cancer.

How does this work, exactly?  According to the NCI,

Physical activity may prevent tumor development by lowering hormone levels, particularly in premenopausal women; lowering levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), improving the immune response; and assisting with weight maintenance to avoid a high body mass and excess body fat.

How often?  It is suggested that people engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity on 5 or more days per week. Before you spit your coffee out all over the screen and deny even the remote possibility of this ever happening, know that you CAN do this (Shining Moment). Let’s start with 3 easy-peasy ways…

Incorporating Exercise into Your Life

  1. Make the decision to adopt a physically active lifestyle.
    • Set reasonable goals, e.g., “Exercise 15 minutes/day for the first week. Exercise 20 minutes/day for the second week.”
    • Write down your daily activities.
  2. Begin slowly, but consistently
    • Start doing something – ANYTHING – for 5 minutes. This will establish a positive habit to which you can build. 5 minutes becomes 10 minutes becomes 15. Walking can become running. Stretching can become resistance training.
  3. Commit with a friend
    • By doing so you not only have accountability, but you also have motivation!
    • One of the things that I especially love is when girlfriends want to catch up, they usually do so on the trails…talk about a double win-win!

Need specific suggestions? Well, try any one (or all!) of these:

  • Instead of taking an escalator or elevator, take the stairs.
  • Park at the far end of the grocery store parking lot and walk a little further.
  • When waiting in line at a store, flex your abs for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times.
  • If you take a bus or subway, get off one stop before your destination and walk the rest of the way.

It’s really not rocket science. The big deal is actually DOING it. And if you’re still not convinced, there are some other Shining Moments:

  • Exercise decreases and reverses stress
  • Exercise is a mood enhancer! Whenever I get a little grumpy (oh yessssssss, it does happen!), the BOTY (Boyfriend of the Year) suggests that I go for a walk or hike because he knows that I’ll come home happier!
  • It improves concentration and learning by increasing the brain chemicals called growth factors, which help make new brain cells and establish new connections between brain cells to help us learn.
  • Exercise helps build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints which as a woman of a certain age, ahem, I know that I need to think about these things.


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“The purpose of life is not to be happy.  It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Quick, think of a great way to celebrate! Ummm…July 20th was Moon Day, just saying. Anyhoo, this tiki bar-meets-farmstead treat with layers of coconut gelato, refreshing blueberry granite, and sparkling rose is great for any summer holiday. I love how the crisp bubbly wine cuts the float’s typical sweetness for a grown-up treat. It’s pure summer celebration.


3 cups Blueberry Granita (see below)

1 pint purchased coconut gelato (2 cups)

2 Tbsp. honey’2 cups fresh blueberries

1 750-ml bottle sparkling rose, chilled

½ cup very thinly sliced fresh basil leaves


  1. Prepare and freeze berry grenita
  2. Scoop grenita and gelato into six 10-to 12-oz. glasses. Top each with a drizzle of honey and some blueberries.  Pour rose over each.  Garnish with basil and serve immediately.


Blueberry Granita

In saucepan bring 1 cup water, ¾ cup sugar, and 2 tsp. lemon zest just to boiling over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.  Remove from heat; transfer to a large bowl.  Freeze for 15 minutes. Puree 4 cups fresh blueberries and 2 Tbsp. lemon juice in food processor until nearly smooth.  Strain puree through fine mesh sieve; discard solids.  Stir blueberry puree and ½ cup sparkling rose into syrup.  Pour into a 3-qt. rectangular baking dish.  Cover; freeze for 1 hour.  Scrape sides with a fork for even freezing.  Cover; freeze 2 hours more or until firm, scraping down sides once. Store in freezer for up to 3 months.

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A friend sent the following poem to me and was the most spectacular Shining Moment to my day.  I have to share it with you.  I hope that your day brims over with SM’s!

Look to This Day

For it is life-the very life of life.

In its brief course lie all

the realities and truths of existence

the joy of growth

the glory of action

the splendor of beauty.

For yesterday is already a memory

and tomorrow is only a vision

but today well lived makes every yesterday

a memory of happiness

and every tomorrow a vision of hope.

Look well, therefore, to this day.

-Ancient Sanskrit Poem

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Say the word, and four fresh 1 1/4 –pound Maine lobsters will be overnighted from oceanfront docks to your dinner table, along with an enameled-steel pot, bibs, crackers, and cooking instructions. (Deluxe lobster dinner for four, $146, Get cracking and place your order!

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I’m thrilled beyond belief to report that for the first time in a year and a half, I have slept eight hours in a row three nights…in a ROW.  I can hardly contain how happy I am. I mean beyond belief happy. I feel like a completely new person. It’s as if by going to sleep, I am actually waking up for the first time in a long, long, lonnnnnnng time.

In the meantime, however, I’m going to relish every, single second of glorious, wondrous, beautiful, Shining Moment sleep!

There are a lot of health benefits, by the way, to sleeping. As it turns out, sleeping is seriously good for us!  Here are my top 5 benefits of sleeping:

  1. Reduce stress- When your body is sleep deficient, it goes into a state of stress. The body’s functions are put on high alert which causes an increase in blood pressure and a production of stress hormones. Higher blood pressure increases your risk for heart attacks and strokes. The stress hormones also, unfortunately, make it harder for you to sleep.
  2. Reduce Inflammation & Repair the Body – The increase in stress hormones raises the level of inflammation in our body, also creating more risk for heart-related conditions, as well as cancer and diabetes. In terms of repair, while sleeping our body produces extra protein molecules while that help strengthen our ability to fight infection and stay healthy.
  3. Improve Memory– While our body may be resting, our brain is busy processing the day, making connections between events, sensory input, feelings and memories. Dreams and deep sleep are an important time for our brain to make memories and links. Getting more quality sleep will help us remember and process things better.
  4. Improve Creativity –In addition to consolidating memories, or making them stronger, our brain appears to reorganize and restructure them, which may result in more creativity as well. Researchers have found that people seem to strengthen the emotional components of a memory during sleep, which may help spur the creative process.
  5. Maintain a healthy weight-Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain. Researchers have found that people who sleep less than seven hours per night are more likely to be overweight or obese. It is thought that the lack of sleep impacts the balance of hormones in the body that affect appetite. The hormones ghrelin and leptin, important for the regulation of appetite, have been found to be disrupted by lack of sleep.

And because I’m ALL about SLEEP and feeling quite rested (WTF is that, I’ve been wondering for the past few years!), I thought I’d share with you my top 5 tips for getting myself to bed on time:

  1. First things first: give yourself a specific bedtime. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep every night, so take a look at your wake-up time, and work backward.
  2. Don’t wait until you feel sleepyto think “Hey, maybe it’s about time for bed.” It’s all too easy to keep yourself alert and busy way past the time that you should be asleep.
  3. Stay away from the internet for at least an hour before your bedtime. Television, too, but I think the internet is even more apt to make me feel artificially wide awake. I used to try to go through my emails one last time before bed, to get a jump on the morning, but I realized that this stimulating activity made it much harder to go to sleep.
  4. Don’t drink caffeine for several hours before your bedtime or even better, not at ALL!  Even drinking it in the morning can make a big difference in nighttime sleep.
  5. Get ready before bed well ahead of time. I have been known to put on my pajamas right after dinner. Not the sexiest look (well, sometimes I try), but getting ready for bed early helps guide me in the right direction.
  6. Create a bedtime ritual, and do it at the same time every night. Maybe you fix yourself a cup of herbal tea, maybe you read in bed, maybe you do an evening tidy-up. By doing the same thing every night, you will cue yourself to start heading to bed.

Wishing you some very, very sweet, Shining Moment dreams!


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