Friday, August 31, 2007

Happy Holiday Weekend Events!

Fri. Aug. 31 - Mon. Sept. 3 - Twelfth Annual Taste of Cleveland Loosen your belt a few notches, gather some friends and head to the Time Warner Cable Amphitheater at Tower City. From soul food to sushi, international culinary creations from a succulent sampling of Northeast Ohio chefs are sure to tempt the taste buds.

Sat 9/1 and Sun 9/2 - Rodgers & Hammerstein on Stage and Screen. Guest conductor George Daugherty will lead the Blossom Festival Orchestra in the world premiere of this new program at Blossom Music Center at 8:30PM. The Blossom Festival Orchestra will provide live accompaniment to iconic scenes from R&H masterpieces The Sound of Music, The King and I, Oklahoma!, South Pacific and Carousel. The film scenes, with stars including Julie Andrews, Deborah Kerr, Yul Brynner, Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRae, will be shown on five large screens, located in the Pavilion and above the lawn.

Sat 9/1 - Sat 9/22 - Seeing to Understand Art Exhbition - Features drawings and paintings by Dr. Linda B. Spurlock and Dr. Jon H. Sally. See how art and science intersect in a way that often goes unnoticed. See the scientist who gathers information and performs experiments to gain understanding, then translates that to sketch and shape to imagine something more complete. The exhibit opens Sat. at 8PM with an opening reception. North Water Street Gallery, 257 N. Water St., Kent. Gallery hours are Thursday through Saturday 1-5PM, or by appointment. for updates.

For more go to Community, Concerts & Events sections

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Breathe - By Keri Wyatt Kent

While juggling kids, errands, jobs, relationships, and church activities, many moms don't realize that their value is found not in what they do, but in who they are. If this is you, then maybe it's time to take a break and breathe. Author Keri Wyatt Kent wants to show you what Jesus meant when He said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." A Moms of Preschoolers (MOPS) selection.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

More Uses For Everyday Household Products

Quaker Oats for fast pain relief... It's not for breakfast any more! Mix 2 cups of Quaker Oats and 1 cup of water in a bowl and warm in the microwave for 1 minute, cool slightly, and apply the mixture to your hands for soothing relief from arthritis pain

Hunt's Tomato Paste boil cure ...cover the boil with Hunt's tomato paste as a compress. The acids from the tomatoes soothe the pain and bring the boil to a head.

Formula 409 doubles as bug killer ... If menacing bees, wasps, hornets, or yellow jackets get in your home and you can't find the insecticide, try a spray of Formula 409. Insects drop to the ground instantly.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Fitness Blunders Compromise Safety & Workout Effectiveness

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) polled its trainers to come up with a list of fitness blunders they encounter most often.

1. Not warming up or cooling down
2. Not stretching enough (or at all). And this should be done AFTER warming up a bit
so the muscles are more pliable.
3. Lifting too much weight, or relying on momentum (rather than muscle) to hoist the
4. Leaning on, or slouching over, your cardio machine.
5. Exercising at too low - or too high - a heart rate

To lose or tone do more reps, faster with a lighter weight. To build larger muscles do an average amount of reps, slower with a slightly heavier weight.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Recipe of The Week - Pasta with Zuchini & Roasted Garlic

Credit: National Pasta Association


8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound rotini pasta, uncooked (or the macaroni of your choice)
3 medium zucchini, coarsely grated

Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 450 degrees F.

Lay a 12-inch-square piece of foil on the counter and put the garlic on it. Sprinkle the thyme and rosemary over the garlic. Pour the oil over the garlic and herbs. Draw up the edges of the foil and make a sealed packet. Bake for 20 minutes.

While the garlic is baking, cook the pasta according to the package directions.

About 2 minutes before the pasta is done, add the zucchini (about 5 to 6 cups) to the pasta cooking water. Cook for 2 minutes. Drain the zucchini and pasta. Set aside.

Remove the garlic packet from the oven. Open the foil and mash the garlic lightly with a spoon. Toss with the pasta and zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.

The Bible is our Owner's Manual..Review It Regularly

As stated by Christian Speaker, Micca Campbell, "Our emotions and thoughts may not necessarily be wrong in the decision making process, however, the principles of God are entirely reliable. Let the word of Christ dwell in us - Colossians 3:15-17(NIV). The truth of God is whatever God is saying to you. When you hide God’s Word in your heart, the Holy Spirit will use it to guide you in decision making. So before you decide who to date, what to do for a living, or which house to buy, listen to what God says first. Then compare what you think is right to what God says is right in His Word."

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Pull Out Those Family Photo Albums

It might be hard to get the entire family together to sit down and view pictures of the past, but once you do, the fun can last for hours. Photo albums are a great way to show grandparents, God-parents, aunts and uncles in their younger days. It can generate conversation about popular music, fashion and hair styles of their youth. It is amazing to see the resemblance between the younger generation and former generations. Stories can be shared about how couples met, how families came to reside in a specific area, how family recipes came into existence and how family traditions began, etc. Viewing photo albums can also be a very touching time, as loved ones that have passed on are remembered and introduced to family members that did not have the opportunity to spend time with them.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Its A Weekend Of Festivals & Fun

Greek Festival - Enjoy the great Greek cuisine, music, dancing and indoor flea market -- cool toy bargains! Sts. Constantine and Helen Orthodox Church, Fri 8/24 through the weekend. 3352 Mayfield Rd., Cle Hts. Call 932-3300 or visit for details.

Egyptian Festival - Come enjoy stuffed grape leaves, shish kabob, and baklava. Check out the kids' rides and activities. Fri 8/24 through the weekend. St. Mark Coptic Church, 2100 East Pleasant Valley Road, Seven Hills.

Latino Heritage Festival - Performances by Latin bands, dance ensembles and vocal groups along with a sassy Salsa contest at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame takes place Sun 8/26. No-cost annual festival; access to the Rock Hall is at regular admission price.
Slavic Village Harvest Festival - Celebrate Eastern European traditions at this spectacular fest. Sat 8/25 and Sun 8/26. Traditional food (pierogies), music and dance creates a colorful atmosphere for the whole family.

Abracadabra - Learn everyday magic with the grand opening of this latest exhibit at the Cleveland Childrens' Museum Sat 8/25. Come see what it takes to deceive the eye and learn the math and science behind what appears to be magic!

Back to School Jam - Give your young ones a final goodbye to summer as you party it up with several live bands, a "Nothing But Net" 3-point shootout and appearances by Moondog and Donyell Marshall from the NBA Eastern Conference Champion Cleveland Cavaliers. The Radio Disney Street Team appears starting Sat 8/26 at 2PM.

Bike Through Time - Families can ride through time on the Towpath Trail to celebrate the 180-year history of the Ohio & Erie Canal. Fri 8/24 at 7PM trip is a 9-mile ride from Big Bend to downtown Akron and back. Helmets are required for all riders. The route starts and ends in the Big Bend Area of Sand Run Metro Park, 1337 Merriman Road, Akron. Call 330-865-8065 for details.

East End Neighborhood House hosts a summer celebration with family-oriented activities to the surrounding Buckeye-Woodland Hills community. Sat 8/25 11AM - 4PM Carnival games, line dancing and live entertainment are a part of the fun. Bring the family! Shaker Blvd. and E. 103rd Street. Call Pearl at 707-6002 for more info.

Homegrown Saturday Mornings - The City of Akron holds farmers markets that feature local farmers and produce, pancake breakfasts, trolley tours of downtown Akron, children’s activities, crafts, and science experiments. Sat 8/25 at 9AM features the kids' theme Flying High where activities include creating paper kites & airplanes.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Novels for Teens by Christian Authors Make Great Reading

Melody Carlson is my daughter's favorite author. She writes novels for teens, devotionals and children's books. The words seem to jump right off the page because her stories are so relevant. She speaks about situations that teens, young adults and women face every day. A reader can consider her stories in making sound decisions based on things her characters are going through.

Robin Jones Gunn is another wonderful author. One of her many series is the Christy Miller collection. This is, so far, a 4 Volume series. Each Volume is 3 books in 1. Christy faces so many situations from moving to a new city and entering high school, to evaluating various relationships. Through it all Christy does her best to listen to what God is telling her, and though growing up is hard, she finds comfort in the arms of her Savior.

Degrees of Betrayal is a trilogy written by 3 authors (Melody Carlson, Dandi Daley Mackall and Jeff Nesbit). Each book is based on the same event yet told from three different perspectives - each girl and a guy. Each character is dealing with the specific event, while dealing with what's going in their specific lives including their internal emotions. These books go deep under the surface of each character and shows that even though we might not want to see God in the midst, He is always there and His plan is always best.

These books make great suggested reading for your teen, give as a gift or enjoy yourself.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Take The Wrinkle Out Of Your Day

Downy Wrinkle Releaser works wonders. This product makes ironing a breeze and clothing wrinkle free. It can be used to freshen clothes too. Spray it on the item you wish to wear and toss it into the dryer for a bit. It leaves the item smelling great and the fabric feeling soft. You'll love this product. As a suggestion, take a small container with you when you travel. It's just the thing for those Back To School outfits.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Closet Organization Takes a New Turn

Closet organizing is tough. Deciding which clothes to keep is a challenge. Here's a basic rule - if it no longer fits, needs major mending or is no longer in style, let it go. Once you have gotten down to items you want to keep, try this. Begin with all hanger hooks going in the same direction. Each time you wear an outfit, turn the hanger hook in the opposite direction. After a designated time, reevaluate the clothing on the unturned hangers. These are probably not your favorites, yet, may be a blessing to someone else if donated or sold.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Recipe Of The Week

Here's a really great side dish recipe. My family loves it. You can add more cucumbers to it each day for a couple days and the flavor remains the same.
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup salad oil
2 Tbs. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. white pepper
1/4 tsp. oregano leaves
3 Medium cucumbers thinly sliced.

About one hour before serving, in a large bowl combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate at least 45 minutes to blend flavors, stirring occasionally. This will keep up to 2 days.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Take 2 Steps Towards Betterness Not Bitterness

Step One: Think straight about trouble. It’s not only inevitable, it’s indiscriminate. Trouble comes in all shapes and sizes. “Various trials” (James 1:2) affect our health, our careers, our relationships. Once we understand the facts, we can begin appreciating their significant value in our lives.

Step Two: Trade resistance and resentment for receptivity and rejoicing. “Count it all joy” (v.2). The joy is not in the presence of pain but in the knowledge that God is using our pain to refine us and make us better, not bitter. —Joe Stowell

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Joann Fabric & Craft Stores Creative University

Joann's is a great place to explore. There is something for everyone but did you know that they offer classes on how to do a wide variety of crafts and some of these classes are FREE? You can attend as a family, share some Mom & Child or Dad & Child time or even arrange to take a group, as a Children's Birthday Party activity for example and do one of the many Kid's Classes. Joann's offers Sewing I, II & III, Crocheting, Knitting and Quilting for the Kids. There are similar adult classes in addition to Gingerbread House Assembly & Decorating, Candy Making, Floral Design, Scrapbooking, Bow Making and a whole lot more. So explore Joann's with your family. It will open up a whole new world of possibilities. CLASS PREVIEW DAYS ARE SAT. 8/18, 8/25 AND NOV. 17 FROM NOON TO 3PM. Classes begin Sept. 5th! There are FREE Adult Make-it Take it Events: Sat Sept. 8 - 1pm to 3pm, Sept. 15 - Noon to 3pm , and Nov. 17 - 1pm to 3pm and FREE Creative Kids Events: Sat. Sept. 8 Sand Scenes Sand Art, Sat. Oct. 20 Face Painting and Sat. Nov. 17 Spool Knitting all noon to 1pm.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Weekend Family Fun

Fri. 8/17 - Sun 8/19 The Back to School Blast - Enjoy a 3-Day weekend filled with fabulous fun at The Children’s Museum of Cleveland. This end-of-summer celebration will transform the museum’s Pinzone Pavilion into a weekend festival of clowning, face painting, raffles, games and prizes. Activities will be entertaining, fun and educationally appropriate for families with children ages birth to 8 years. For schedule and details, visit

Sat. 8/18 KARAMU House is sponsoring an Arts and Cultural Festival from 11am-8pm at 2355 E. 89th St. in Cleveland. KARAMU is the oldest African American theatre for the performing arts in the United States.

Sun 8/19 A CHABAM Family Festival will feature lots of arts and crafts, music, pottery & pottery wheels, plus an interactive treehouse, puppet theater and suspension bridge will be open for exploration during CHABAM's no-cost family-friendly fest starting at 11AM. Come check out Cleveland's super cool music, art and movement program (a locally-owned start-up with an all degreed teaching team that is passionate about every child exploring the arts. 28700 Chagrin Blvd., Woodmere.

Now thru Oct. 31 Tremendous Treehouses, Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens in Akron, Ohio hosts this exhibit of 11 distinctive treehouses, installed throughout the landscaped gardens and grounds. Visit or call 330-836-5533 - 888-836-5533


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Bridal Shower Games Help Make Memories

Fabulous food, fun and fellowship at a Bridal Shower are expected, however, you can put a new twist on things with some exciting games.

1. Bridal Pictionary - Give each person a paperplate, some crayons and a blindfold! Have each person make their best attempt at drawing a picture of what they think the bride will look like on her wedding day. Make the picture as detailed as possible with veil, train, jewelry, etc. Give everyone 2 minutes or so and let the bride-to-be select which drawing is a close resemblance. Winner gets a prize. The pictures will be hilarious and the bride can keep them to look back on for years of laughter.

2. Bathroom Tissue Fashion Show - Select teams of 2 parties each and give each team 2 rolls of bathroom tissue. Each team is responsible for designing a wedding gown made of tissue and one person from each team must strut their stuff on the runway of sorts. Accessories are allowed (earrings, bouquet, headpiece) but they all have to be made out of tissue. Play some lively music for the big reveal. The most creative team wins!

3. Who Knows Me Best - The bride-to-be can work on this one with the hostess ahead of time to choose several questions that only those in the know will have the answers to. The more outrageous the questions, the more laughter resounds. Answers can be in a multiple choice format to help participants along a bit if you like. By the end of this game, everyone will know the bride-to-be a bit more than before.

Wedding prep can be stressful. Let the Bridal Shower be a time to relax, kick your shoes off and just have fun. Provide disposable cameras for photo ops. Video taping is also a plus. Planning a Bridal Shower?? Try this website for assistance.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


According to an article on CNN.Com, "Caregiver stress is directly related to the way our society views the elderly and the people who care for them,"Vitaliano says. Today, caregiving is viewed largely as a burden in this county. If it were viewed as more of a societal expectation and people were willing to offer more support, fewer caregivers would suffer in isolation, he says.


1. Begin and end your day with prayer (sometimes I find myself praying throughout the day).
2. Journaling, reading, going outside and taking several deep cleansing breaths several times a day, taking vitamins, adding more fresh fruits, veggies and lean protien (fish) to your diet, indulging in a bubble bath or aromatherapy, exercising, joining a support group or taking a class are all healthy things to do and ways to keep your stress level low.
3. Let allll relatives know your needs. There may be someone that is only available once a month to sit with your loved one or to prepare a meal here and there but that is still one less thing you need to do.
4. Make a spreadsheet to include medication information, chores, bill payments, etc.
5. Prepare an information sheet with pertinent info about your loved one so if they are taken to the hospital you or whomever is with them, can present a synopsis:
a. Name
b. Address
c. Birthdate
d. SSN
e. Medication and Dosages
f. Doctor contact information

Review the entire article and know that this syndrome can be avoided as we change our attitude about caregiving and take care of ourselves. We must begin to understand that one day we may either BECOME a caregiver or NEED a caregiver for ourselves. Make preparations towards those ends ahead of time. By all means, if you seek assistance from agencies, find out exactly what they are expecting in return, read fine print before you sign and definitely seek legal counsel. There is a lot of free information that agencies will send you - local Civic Centers and libraries have a wealth of information. Feel free to e-mail me at with the subject as "CAREGIVER". I would be happy to help in anyway. Sometimes caregivers just need someone to communicate with. Bless you in this effort.
Here are some other helpful sites regarding The Alzheimer's Association The Area On Aging for The Greater Cleveland Area and for Summit, Portage, Wayne and Stark Counties

The Best Stain Remover

There are so many products out there claiming to be the best at removing tough stains. Some have been around for years and companies are still coming up with New and Improved versions. The Mom Squad loves Tide To Go, but when it comes to using a stain remover at home, try SHAMPOO. Put any SHAMPOO on your stain, rub a bit and let it sit a moment, then wash as usual. It even removed a stain on a garment that I had previously washed and dried at least 3 times. I have used SHAMPOO ever since. Try it and let The Mom Squad know your results.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Recipe Of The Week - Quick Vegetarian Chili

1 large can Red Pack Petite Tomatoes (choose whatever variety you like)
2 - 8 oz cans Black Beans (1 can if you decide to add meat)
1 Lipton Beefy Onion Soup packet
Chili Powder to taste
2 cups of water

Pour ingredients in a large pot and stir. Bring to a boil, then cover, lower heat and simmer about 20 minutes. If you wish to add meat, brown one pound of ground turkey or beef in a skillet, drain, season and add meat to the pot. Either way, feel free to add choppped onions and/or bell peppers if you wish. Crackers or cornbread make a great companion for this tasty dish.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


YOU SAY: It's impossible
GOD SAYS: All things are possible
(Luke 18:27)

YOU SAY: I'm too tired
GOD SAYS: I will give you rest
(Matthew 11:28-30)

YOU SAY: Nobody really loves me
GOD SAYS: I love you
(John 3:1 6 & John 3:34 )

YOU SAY: I can't go on
GOD SAYS: My grace is sufficient
(II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

YOU SAY: I can't figure things out
GOD SAYS: I will direct your steps
(Proverbs 3:5- 6)

YOU SAY: I'm always worried and frustrated
GOD SAYS: Cast all your cares upon ME
(I Peter 5:7)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Scavenger Hunts-Fun For All

Whether you want to take the stress out of Back To School shopping or just want something fun to do at your local mall, grocery or discount store, Scavenger Hunts are the best. Make a list of items. Depending on the number of people in your group, you can divide into teams. Give each person or team member the items they are to pickup, then decide on a time-frame and final gathering place. Add unusual things on each list for those that want to earn bonus points. This is great to do as a family, with your Scout Troup, Bible Study Group, during sleepovers and birthday partys.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Weekend Events

Cedar Fairmount Summer Festival This no-cost event, sponsored by Cedar-Fairmount Special Improvement District, hits Sun 8/12 from noon to 5PM and features activities for children, musical performances, pony rides, Euclid Beach rocket car rides, a Pretty Pet Parade, clowns, face painting, works from local artists and crafts persons, and much more. Cedar-Fairmount restaurants and merchants will offer specials during the festival. The festival will be located on Cedar Road from Fairmount Blvd. to Euclid Heights Blvd. at the top of Cedar Hill in Cle Hts. Don't miss it!

Final Blast Off! The program that helps families explore space together at the Cleveland Children's Museum celebrates its final launch Sun 8/12, in collaboration with experts from NASA's Glenn Research Center. Blast Off! is designed to allow young children to pretend, play and explore space in a fun and creative atmosphere and encourages family participation through hands-on family learning in an interactive environment. Don't miss your last chance at interplanetary fun! 10730 Euclid Ave., University Circle.

Also, check out these great Community & Church Events posted on The Fish:

Free Look About Lodge Summer Concerts
Every Sunday evening starting July 1st-August 26th at 6pm
South Chagrin Reservation in Bentleyville
Call 440-247-7075 for details

Power Team
Aug 8th-Aug13th7pm
Faith Gym in Barberton
185 Third St NW
For more information call 330-564-7634

Family Summer Fest
Aug 8-Aug 10th 6:30pm-8:30pm
Aug 11 11am-3pm
Christian L.I.F.E. Church
8250 Garfield Road in Mentor
For more information call 440-255-0739

Christian Healthcare Ministries 25th Anniversary Open House
August 9th and 10th 9am-5pm
Chrisitan Healthcare Ministries
127 Hazelwood Avenue in Barberton
For more information call 330-848-1511 or email

Back to School Youth Revival
Friday August 10th 7pm
Saturday August 11th 7pm
Sunday August 12th 10:30am
Worldwide Great commission Fellowship
33525 Curtis Blvd in Eastlake
For more information call 440-339-4117

Healing Oils of the Bible
Friday, August 10th 7pm-9pm
Faith Fellowship Church
10277 Valley View Rd in Macedonia
For more information call 330-468-1737

Church of the Assumption Fun Festival Event
Aug 10th 7:30pm-11:30pm
Aug 11th 5pm-11pm
Aug 12th 1pm-9pm
Assumption Church
9183 Broadview Road in Broadview Heights
For more information call 619-990-1899

7th Annual Cornerstock Summer Festival
August 11-12th
Cornerstone Free Methodist Church
578 Killian Road in Akron
For more information call 330-962-8480 or visit

Faith Freedom Fellowship- Guest speaker Rev. Tim Obidike
Sunday August 12th at 10am and 6pm
Faith Freddom Fellowship
205 W. Liberty Street in Geneva
For more information call 440-466-8282

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Incredible Inchworm!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

We LOVE this new shoe technology, designed to keep growing with your kids! It's called the Inchworm shoe (developed by a dad) and able to expand up a full shoe size. Thanks to the accordion looking middle, Inchworm shoes grow in half size increments. Just push the button on the side, and pull the toe of the shoe to adjust to the next size. They are cute, practical, and affordable. This one definitely gets the Mom Squad seal of approval! For more info and to order (just in time for school) check out the website at:

Infidelity Can Be Devastating But You Can Survive

Whether you choose to remain in the relationship or not is up to you. Every situation is different and due to the many aspects that can take place in relationships things aren't always black and white but if BOTH parties are willing to put forth the effort to look at why things happened, to share information and create a foundation of trust, to seek counseling and in my opinion to pray together, I believe things can be better than ever. On the other hand, there are 3 things I learned in dealing with this situation: (1)If your mate is has absolutely nothing to do with you and everything to do with painful issues your mate is trying to pacify. Don't beat yourself up. Don't spend time wondering if the other person or people are better looking... thinner ...whatever. This is not an issue. When a mate has character and is mature he/she will be faithful and if there are problems in your relationship, they will approach you rather than seek comfort from someone else. Which leads me to (2)Keep the lines of communication open and trust your instincts. If you feel something is wrong and you go to your mate yet they assure you everything is great, but something continues to feel odd, 9 times out of 10 your instincts are right. You do not have to be a doormat, nor should you sit around with blinders on until the inevitable hits you in the face. Talk to close friends. Speak to your pastors. Seek legal counsel. And (3)Take good care of yourself during this tragedy and from this point on. You may not be able to sleep and eat normally at first, but maybe it is time to reevaluate YOU. Start enjoying YOU - warm bubble baths, massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, a new hairdo or color (Guys, salons & spas are not just for ladies anymore.)... putting some of your favorite tunes on an Ipod... taking some nice long walks... doing aerobics or yoga, indulging in the comforts of some good books... joining a club or the singles ministry at your church or starting a club regarding something that interests you, are all ways to jump start your life. Your life is not over - it may feel like it at first - but I truly believe THE BEST IS YET TO COME. And once you become reacquainted with yourself... whether you stay in the relationship or move on alone or engage one day in another relationship... NEVER FORGET TO SHOW LOVE TO YOURSELF. Here are 3 books that help(ed) me immensely: The Bible (there is nothing new under the sun); Surviving An Affair, by Dr. Willard Harley, Jr. & Dr. Jennifer Chalmers and Missing Being Mrs. by Jennifer Croly. There are faithful men and women in this world. Stay positive and prayerful.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Why Pay More If You Don't Have To?

There is no need to spend lots of money on beauty products. Some of the best ones can be found at your local drug or discount stores. I love St. Ives Apricot Facial Scrub. I have tried some of the more expensive, supposedly better for you products and they just don't measure up to the results I get with St. Ives. Keep checking the Mom Squad Blog for more Mom Squad Tested and Approved products.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Tips That May Bring Fast Relief

Did You Know...

...drinking two glasses of Gatorade can relieve headache pain almost immediately.

...Colgate toothpaste makes an excellent salve for burns.

...chewing a couple of Altoids peppermints can clear up your stuffy nose.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Short and Sweet - Recipe of the Week Apple Brown Dolly

My Mom made this every week during my childhood, so I consequently named it after her but most know it as Apple Brown Betty. In the summer, the apples came right off the tree in our front yard. Delicious served warm - add Vanilla Ice cream to make it really special.

Select an apple that you like. Buy enough to make 3-4 cups of sliced apples. (If you are in a hurry, buy a can of sliced apple dessert filling.)

Crumb Topping
1 cup Splenda or Sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup all purpose flour (You can substitute Bisquick if you like)
a dash of salt
1/2 cup butter

Preheat oven, 375 degrees. Prepare a pie plate with cooking spray or lightly grease with oil. Peel and thinly slice the apples and place in pie plate.

In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients, then cut the butter into the dry mixture and gently mix with a fork to make the crumb topping. Sprinkle over apples and bake for 35 - 45 minutes.

If you would like to WOW your dinner guests, prepare individual Dolly's in miniature bowls for each. They will be very impressed. Enjoy!

Inspiration - God Wants To See His Image In Us

Malachi 3:3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver.NIV

The process of refining silver explains a lot about the character and nature of God.

A silversmith holds the silver over the middle of the fire where the flames are hottest to burn away all the impurities. He must keep his eyes on the silver at all times, otherwise it would be destroyed. Here's what is even more amazing, the silversmith, knows when the silver is fully refined... "when he sees his image in it." If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has His eye on you. He watches and blesses you whether you have a relationship with Him or not...whether you know Him yet or not, HE KNOWS YOU. He created you and put you on this earth for a purpose. But when you ask Him to come into your heart, when you begin to seek a relationship with Him, He will refine you through life's journey until He sees His image in you. Trying times are difficult but they build spiritual character. Without these tests, there could be no testimonies for us to share with each other of God's mercy, grace and faithfulness. He is watching you...Keep your eye upon Him, not your circumstances. He will bring you through.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

A Wonderful Way Friends Can Stay In Touch - The Friend Journal

The many changes that take place when one graduates and/or relocates can put a strain on even the closest of friendships. Telephone calls, e-mail, MySpace and FaceBook are great, but may grow tedious and less interesting over time. Here is an idea that not only helps friends stay in touch but it allows friends, at their leisure, to get and give an indepth feel of various aspects of life with each other via a Friend Journal.

The concept is this: Buy a Journal...Determine a Friend Group...Set a Timeframe that works for everyone, i.e. every other month, every 3 months, holiday time....When the Journal is in your possession, fill it with whatever info you wish to share with your friends. Add pictures, fabric samples, whatever items help to bring your life to life via the pages of this Journal. Then mail the Journal to the next friend in line and so on. This is so much fun and it is such an intimate way to share with your closest friends. When it is all said and done, the Friend Journal is something you all can look back on for years to come...Create volumes of friend memories. My daughter and her best friends even named their Friend Journal. So for now at least, when I hear one of them say, "Who has the Baby?" I know they are referring to their Friend Journal. Here are best friends and Friend Journal enthusiasts Beranda, Jesi and Sarah, Graduation Day 2005.

Friday, August 03, 2007

What A Selection - Upcoming Weekend Events & More!

1. THIS Saturday, August 4th - Join Gina Hart from noon until 2pm at Ganley Volkswagon of Bedford, 250 Broadway Ave. on the Bedford Auto Mile.

2. THIS Sunday August 5 - 95.5 The Fish presents The FEST. The FEST is a FREE, one day, annual, Christian, family festival. This year the FEST features Michael W. Smith, Superchick and Praise-Apella and an 800 voice choir. The FEST has activities and events for people of all ages. Located at The Center for Pastoral Leadership at Borromeo Seminary, 28700 Euclid Ave. Wickliffe, OH, 440-943-7662.

3. THIS Sunday, August 5 - Join Josh Booth at Word of Grace Church from 12:30-2:30pm for Summerfest--a day of fun, food, kids games and fellowship! Word of Grace Church is located at 9021 Mayfield Road in Chesterland. Visit 440-729-7006

4. The Holden Express 'Garden Railroad' at The Holden Arboretum now open through September 23rd, features G-gauge model trains traveling over 2,000 linear feet of track, over replicas of some of the areas landmark bridges and past Holden’s historic barns. Visit .

5. The Medina County Fair has been a family tradition for 162 years, now open through August 5th. Since 1845, this fair has grown to become one of the top agricultural fairs in the state. Visit or call 330-723-9633

6. The Lion King at Playhouse Square, running now through September 9th, is Cleveland’s best-loved musical! Marvel at the breathtaking spectacle of animals brought to life by award-winning director Julie Taymor, whose visual images for this show you’ll remember forever. Call 216-241-6000 or visit

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Overwhelmed By Commitments???

In her book, "Women Who Do Too Much", author Patricia Sprinkle shares her long struggle with over-committing herself and how she slowed down to enjoy her family and, more importantly, her relationship with the Heavenly Father. This encouraging book will help you organize, prioritize and assess your personality, gifts and learning styles to allow you the time and energy you need to slow down and enjoy life as God intended.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A Product Review Worth Repeating

Summer is almost over...soon it will be Back To School time. Make lunchtime interesting and fun with this creative assortment of lunch bags by Lunchology (Nov. 2 article). Their wide selection of pre-printed lunch bags feature different themes such as: Educational, Inspirational, Sports, Holiday and "Entertain Your Brain". Lunchology is based in Akron, Ohio. It is always rewarding to support local businesses. The bags can easily be ordered online at