Coffee. I don’t think I realized quite how much I valued my morning walk to Starbucks until I moved away from “the big city.” Even if I had a deadline, or was just plain lazy and didn’t feel like going out for a steaming cup, the coffee bar on my office floor was a perfect pit stop for a personalized morning jolt. These days, the closest Starbucks is 20+ miles away. Not exactly within walking distance. So, this got me to thinking, exactly how far would I go for my favorite cup of morning Joe? If 20 miles is too far, is 10 miles pushing the limit? What about five miles? Surely five miles is acceptable for a cup of that divine decadence that gets me going in the morning, right? We have a few cafes in town that have decent coffee, two national chains with adequate coffee (truth be told, I’d rather just have coffee at home) and a regional chain that is my first choice, if the short drive to town is all the farther I’d care to venture. Recently, I’ve learned the next town over is home to a coffee and crêperie with coffee that’s worth going the extra mile. The opportunity to visit has not crossed my path yet, but I have the feeling that, when … Read More
It’s Dad’s Day! That wonderful day of the year when Dad gets to put his feet up, relax with the beverage of his choice and watch the game. Wait … that’s football season. To all the dads out there, no matter how you’re spending it, we hope you’re having the best day possible. Happy Father’s Day!
Not long ago, a friend of mine found herself on the side of a busy highway with a flat tire. It was rush hour. Roadside assistance arrived on scene quickly to help get her back on the road. Upon arrival, the roadside assistance worker, with lights flashing, positioned the truck at an angle, protecting her from oncoming traffic. He then instructed her to remain inside her vehicle so she would remain as safe as possible. She did as she was told. As she watched the traffic continue to zoom past without slowing or moving over to the next lane, she became acutely aware of the danger he put himself in to help her. Frustrated with what she saw, she commented that she couldn’t believe how rude people were being as they passed. But the roadside assistance worker wasn’t surprised. He told her it was rare that someone slowed or moved to the next lane, despite the fact that it was the law to do so. A law? Really? Isn’t it just common courtesy? In fact, no. It is the law. And in 2015, just two, short years ago, a poll conducted by Mason Dixon Polling & Research revealed that 71 percent had never heard of “Move Over” laws, despite the fact that all 50 states have enacted them. The Move … Read More
In the late 1860s, communities across the U.S. began holding tributes to the fallen soldiers of the Civil War. But it is Waterloo, New York, that is accredited as the birthplace of what we refer to today as Memorial Day. The first celebration in Waterloo was on May 5, 1866. Two years to the day later, General John A. Logan proclaimed May 30, 1868, would be a national day of remembrance, dubbing it Decoration Day. Over the years, Decoration Day gradually became more widely known as Memorial Day. The Uniform Monday Holiday Act passed by Congress in 1968 changed the observance of Memorial Day from May 30 to the last Monday of May. This, however, did not go into effect until 1971, when Memorial Day was officially declared a federal holiday. You can read more about the history of Memorial Day at History.com. For now, please simply join us in honoring those who have served. Have a happy and safe Memorial Day.
As I prepared to write my Mother’s Day message, I found myself having a difficult time doing so. Why? Because every Mom is different and every mother-child relationship uniquely special. How do you celebrate that with one, all-encompassing message? So, I began looking for inspiration. I thought about by own relationships with both my mom and my daughter. What was the one thing about both of them that was also true about every other mother-child relationship in the world? And then, I found it. Purely by accident, while I was searching Pinterest for something new and different to make for dinner, there was my answer. The one, universal truth about Mom. Nothing is ever actually lost, until Mom can’t find it. To all the moms around the world, may your Mother’s Day be as special as you are every day the whole year through. Happy Mother’s Day.
Can you believe it’s Super Bowl weekend already? Man, it seems like football season flew by faster than a pass from Matt Stafford. Whether Super Bowl LI finds you cheering for Atlanta or New England, there is always one part of the experience that brings both sides together. The 13th annual Puppy Bowl. You thought I was going to say the commercials, didn’t you? Well, we’ll get to those in just a minute. But first, the “biggest game in adoption” and quite possibly a better predictor of the actual game than many of the so-called experts. The starting lineup for Team Fluff includes Alexander Hamilpup, Peanut and Stretch. Team Ruff, on the other hand, has Beebop, Puddles and Squirt to tackle any challenge that comes their way. Together, Team Fluff and Team Ruff are comprised of 39 puppies from 34 different animal shelters stretching across 22 states. With a special appearance by Punxsutawney Phil, chinchilla mascots and the Kitty Half-Time Show, this precursor to Super Bowl LI may be three hours of cuteness that will have you dialing up the local shelter. Tune in to Animal Planet at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT for pregame, with kickoff scheduled for 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT. You can also “meet” the players by visiting AnimalPlanet.com. Now, about those commercials … As with … Read More
Do you have big plans this weekend? Or perhaps you’re waiting for Memorial Day weekend? In either case, if your plans include packing up the family and heading to the lake, the beach or somewhere equally fun, try these quick, easy, make-ahead recipes that just may get the kids (and your spouse) to eat their vegetables. Easy, pea-sy summertime salad 2 cups steamed peas (or two cans of low-salt, canned peas, drained) 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 2-3 stalks celery, chopped 1/2 red onion, chopped 6-8 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled 1/2 cup light sandwich dressing (such as Kraft Miracle Whip Light) 1 tablespoon sugar Combine all ingredients except the dressing and sugar in a large bowl. Set aside. In a smaller bowl, mix the dressing and sugar together until creamy. Pour over vegetable mix and gently fold together until well coated. Refrigerate in an airtight container until you’re ready to hit the road. Irresistible broccoli salad 4 cups broccoli florets 2-3 stalks celery, chopped 1/2 red onion, chopped 1/3 cup raisins or cranberries 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 6-8 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled 2/3 cup light sandwich dressing (such as Kraft Miracle Whip Light) 1 tablespoon white vinegar 2 tablespoons sugar Combine all ingredients except the dressing, vinegar and … Read More
It’s football season, y’all! Finally! Like a little kid waiting for Christmas morning, I was beginning to think it was never going to get here. With college teams officially kicking off tonight and regular-season NFL matchups right around the corner, it’s time to dust off all your favorite recipes. It’s time to tailgate! If you’re anything like me, I want to enjoy hanging out with my fellow tailgaters, not spend my entire time cooking. So, here are a few fan-favorites that can be prepared the night before, freeing you up to sit back, relax and enjoy the pre-game festivities. Never-fail buffalo chicken dip 8-ounce brick of cream cheese 1 cup shredded chicken 2 T chicken broth Frank’s RedHot® to taste Put everything into a small slow cooker the night before and then start heating it on low 2-3 hours before you want to start eating. Serve it with celery and carrots, crackers, pita chips – it’s yummy on everything! Pizza pinwheels 2 rolls of puff pastry dough Any and all of your favorite pizza toppings Lightly flour a piece of parchment paper. (You can use wax paper if you don’t have parchment paper.) Unroll one of the puff pastries on the parchment paper. Cover the puff pastry with whatever pizza toppings you like, leaving ¼ to ½ inch on one … Read More
If you have been shackled to the Internet, waiting for the Netflix-sensation “Orange is the New Black” to return, your sentence is up. The breakout, largely inappropriate, award-winning show is launching into season three on June 12. Now that we know that orange is the hot color for correctional wear, what about cars? According to Forbes.com, white is the new black when it comes to popular colors for new cars. And this is not white’s first time at the prison rodeo. In the Forbes blog, DuPont color marketing manager Nancy Lockhart says, “white especially has been a constant top runner since really 1998.” Silver had a brief reign, in the early 2000s, but white came back with vengeance. And this is not just a trend in the U.S. Last year, white was also the most popular color in Asia, Europe and South America. There are several schools of thought on why white has remained so popular. Lockhart says that white cars “are seen as denoting status, luxury and quality.” A blog at Marketwatch.com says it has more to do with safety. The article says that darker-hued cars have up to a 12% higher crash risk than white cars. At dusk, black vehicles were found to have a 47% higher crash risk than white. The Marketwatch blog also states more practical … Read More
When I was a kid, preparing for a family road trip meant making sure every kid had a Sony Walkman and enough tapes (yes, cassette tapes) and battery power to cover the drive time. Today, it means smart phones, tablets, chargers and most importantly, keeping everything charged and connected. Having an easy-to-use, efficient infotainment system in your vehicle has become almost a staple these days. Not only can it get you out of a jam when you’re lost, it can make a long, boring car ride something far more enjoyable for the entire family. Uconnect is the system designed for and used in the FCA vehicle lineup. Created with safety in mind, the system is aimed at assisting drivers while keeping them focused on the road. For passengers, there are entertainment and audio options, including Wi-Fi so they can stay connected on the road. Recently, Digital Trends awarded FCA’s Uconnect system Infotainment of the Year. “With Uconnect, FCA avoided the pitfalls of option overload and distilled the essentials of infotainment into one handsome, accessible package,” wrote Digital Trends Automotive Editor Nick Jaynes. “We love Uconnect not only for its big, 8.4-inch touchscreen, few hardwired buttons, and responsiveness, but also for its clean but not overly sterile interface. Also a fan of the system, PCMag’s Doug Newcomb wrote, “… the Uconnect 8.4 system … Read More