Feb 042016


Fit at Fifty and Beyond: A Balanced Exercise and Nutrition Program
by F. Michael Gloth, Rudy Speckamp (Contributor)

Series: A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: DiaMedica; 1 edition (April 28, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0979356474
ISBN-13: 978-0979356476

As people reach their fifties, the body’s metabolism slows. Without a change in eating or exercise habits, it’s common to put on weight and become less able to perform routine physical activities. Fit at Fifty and Beyond provides practical suggestions for eating and exercise that help readers look and feel better as the years go by. Beginning with a discussion of how evolution made it possible for humans to store energy efficiently — which translates into weight gain as we age — the authors spell out a strategy for eating and exercising wisely. Sample recipes translate the guidelines into healthy and delicious meals, while the chapters on exercise offer tips on choosing an exercise program that corresponds with each individual’s personality and favorite activities. By taking these simple steps as early as possible, readers can stave off or even prevent many of the effects of aging.

This is an older book (1999), but full of helpful information. One of the things the author says is that you shouldn’t concentrate on the number on your scale. Instead, go by the changes you see in your body. If you do weight yourself, do it first thing in the morning. Workouts should also be done in the morning if possible, but anytime you can do it will benefit your health. I’ve always relied more on how my clothes and body felt than I did  on the scale. I’ve also always tried to workout first thing in the morning because if I didn’t, I may not get it done.

When eating healthier, I’ve always given myself one day a week to eat something I’ve been craving. Having that day to look forward too really helps me stick to the plan the rest of the week. The author agrees on that.

There are a lot of subjects in this smallish book including Getting Started, Maintaining Your Diet & Exercise Lifestyle When You Travel, Nutritional Supplements/Dietary Considerations/Food-Medication Interactions, Defining What’s Right For You and some Recipes.  There are a lot of photos of different exercises with instructions on doing them which will be helpful to anyone just starting to workout.

There really isn’t any new information in this book for people who are knowledgeable in this area, but it is a helpful guide for someone who is 50 or over and is just learning or wants a refresher course. It tells you how to start eating healthier, some exercises you can do at home or away from home, what to eat after you exercise, what multivitamins and minerals your body needs and  more. The most important thing he says is, (at least to me) that we need to drink a lot of water. I try to drink 80-100 oz. of water a day and I know I feel better when I do.

Overall, this is a good book and I enjoyed reading it.

Jan 232016


Healing Foods: Nutrition For The Mind, Body, And Spirit
by Michael van Straten

Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Barnes Noble Books
ISBN-10: 0760706204
ISBN-13: 978-0760706206

Healing Foods: Nutrition for the Mind, Body, and Spirit shows you how you can successfully harness the healing power of food and how you can adapt your eating pattern to prevent disease and promote well-being. Divided into four sections, it covers the nutritional needs of people of all ages, offers an index of positive foods, lists ailments that can be cured or helped by a change in eating habits, steers the reader through the vitamin and mineral maze, and gives useful information on supplements and food additives.

This book only has 224 pages, but it’s packed full of information. It has 4 parts, each with quite a few chapters.

Part 1 is Food For Life
It covers a wide range of topics like Free Radicals and Antioxidants, Strength and Stamina (for men, women, teen girls and teen boys), Pregnancy, Menopause, and Memory/Concentration.

Part 2 is The Food Index
The first chapter explains in detail What Is Nutrution? It lists a few specific diets: Vegetarian, Mederterranean, Macrobiotic, Food Combining, Exclusion, and Convalescent. Next the book covers the different types of food like fruit, veggies, fats/oils, bread, eggs etc. It’s very detailed, even covering cerals and drinks. I learned that cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are part of what is called Brassicas.

Part 3 is Ailments That Food Can Help Heal
This is my favorite. It includes sections on foods that can help or prevent different conditions like allergies, alopecia, anemia, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, back pain, blood sugar, bronchitis, childhood diseases like chicken pox and German measles, food poisoning, shingles, varicose veins and more. It gives you tips on what to eat/drink and explains what’s causing it.

Part 4 is Useful Information
This chapter has a section on Abbreviations. COAD stands for Chronic Obstuctive Airways Disease, WHO stands for World Health Organization, ADI stants for Acceptable Daily Intake. There are many more in this list too. More chapters cover Vitamins/Minerals, Medicine and Drugs, Additives, Further Reading guide, a really long list of Useful Addresses like Alzheimer’s Association, Epiepsy Foundation Of America, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, and an Index.

I’ve had a few similar books throughout the years but I think this is the best I’ve seen. I love it so much I want to buy a copy  so I can have it handy. I would definitely recommend this to anyone.


wkendcookingWeekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

Dec 042015


Really Good F Words: Your Interactive Guide to Self-Care by Lorrie Forde

Influence Publishing
ISBN: 978-1771411240
Published November 1, 2015
Softcover, 238 pages
Content Rating: G

Where are you on your priority list? A key question in measuring self-care. Uncover your own customized strategies for moving further up that list as you bring this thought provoking and interactive book to life around your own kitchen table. Connect with friends and get your sense of self back with doable self-care strategies.

Author Lorrie Forde invites you to break all the old rules about not writing in books—this one is yours to write in, reflect back on, and share as you choose. Make it work for you! This is not another thing to add to your ‘to-do’ list. Let the pages do the work and before you know it, you’ll be laughing with friends, reconnecting with your passion, and the envy of your peers as you figure out what ‘feeds you’ and where your ‘weak spots’ are. How long will it take till you’re using “F” words all the time and your cookie jar is overflowing? Analogies like this cookie jar and using really good “F” words help us to laugh at reality and a little laughter really can make all the difference.

Buy the book:    Amazon  ~   Barnes & Noble


That title got your attention didn’t it? In this case, the “F” words are good ones.The author does a wonderful job of showing how important, and easy, it is to be happier. Not only is this a self-help book, it’s also a workbook where you can write (gasp!) in the book to keep track of your progress. I had the PDF version and transferred it to my Kindle, so I used a piece of paper. Good thing since I don’t know if I could have written in the book.

There are many different ways in the book to help you become more fulfilled, one of which is to join or start a support group that focuses on being positive.

I think this is a great book for anyone who wants to be more content with their life. With the author guiding you in this journey, it’s like having your own personal self-help coach.

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who wants to work on making you a priority in your life, and being a more content person.


8384d8ac-8053-4c67-a75f-06919b712793 Lorrie Forde is a daughter, a mother, a sister, a grandma, and a friend. She learned the hard way that balance is her secret ingredient in the analogy of a full and healthy ‘cookie jar’.

During a twenty-five year career in post-secondary education and through her work as a professional Executive and Life Coach, Lorrie has gathered the research and the tools she needed to bring this book to life. “I believe everyone deserves to have a coach and this book was a way for me to make that possible. I invite my readers to have fun with the process and to trust that their answers will come—they always do.” Lorrie loves to fill her days with adventure and laughter. She enjoys her work and says, “I work hard but I work to live—I don’t live to work.”

Connect with the author:   Website  ~ Twitter  ~  Facebook


Win 1 print copy of Really Good F Words and a coaching session worth $125 from Mountaintop Coaching

(USA & Canada)

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Dec 032015


Ditching the Drive-Thru by J. Natalie Winch

After an exhausting day at work, hitting the drive-thru or nuking a pre-fab meal is all too often the go-to decision for feeding a family. Cooking a meal from scratch using fresh ingredients can seem beyond the average person’s time, energy, or financial means. But with mounting evidence pointing to processed food and our industrial food system as the culprits behind many of our nation’s health problems—including obesity, diabetes, and cancer—it’s now more important than ever to be fully informed about what goes on your family’s dinner plates.

If you’re ready to take control of your food choices but don’t know the difference between grass-fed versus grain-fed, pastured versus free-range, or organic versus sustainable, read this book to discover:

• How to create your own thirty-month plan to convert your family from junk food to real food, without a revolt!

• Recipes and advice on planning and prepping meals so you can make homecooked a habit for your family

• Instructions for getting the most out of produce using techniques such as lacto-fermentation, dehydrating, and canning

•  introduction to the world of farm-direct sales, including tips on locating local farms, seeing through marketing buzzwords, and shopping with CSAs Ditching the Drive-Thru exposes the insidious hold the commercial food industry has taken over the fast-paced lives of the average American and the danger these processed foods and diet plans pose to our health, environment, and emotional well being.

Learn how to break free from the grind and return to a simpler relationship with food from farmers, not factories, and home-cooked meals that are created in your kitchen, not on a conveyor belt.

Buy the book:    Amazon   Barnes & Noble


This book was not at all what I was expecting. While it did have a lot of information, it just didn’t give me what I was looking for. One minute the author was writting about how awful animals are treated, the next minute she was talking about eating their meat, or eggs. I just felt that there was more negative talk about food in general than I wanted.

To be fair, the author seems to know her stuff and seems to truly want us all to eat better.

There are a few pictures scattered throughout the book and a few recipes, I might try the one for Homemade Greek Style Yogurt.

I do know that a lot of times, liking a book or not can depend on your mood. So please don’t let my review convince you to pass on this book. I know it’s getting a lot of 4 and 5 star reviews, and for that reason I plan on reading it again in a few months or so to see if my thoughts change. At this time I would give this a 3 star rating.
Author’s Bio:
524823e1-36ed-470b-8985-5349ddea9183 J. Natalie Winch lives in southern New Jersey, not far from where she grew up, with her husband, two children, and dogs. When she isn’t mothering, teaching, grading, or making lesson plans, Natalie runs the Hebrew School at her synagogue, coaches soccer, teaches lacto-fermentation classes, writes the occasional entry for her blog Food Empowerment (tradsnotfads.com), and fights the dust bunnies that threaten to take over her family room.

Connect with the author:   Website


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Oct 202015

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Stop the Diet, I Want To Get Off! by Lisa Tilinger Johansen

Paperback: 350 pages
Publisher: J. Murray Press (July 15, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0996310207
ISBN-13: 978-0996310208
Genre: Nonfiction/Nutrition/Health

The Paleo. The Zone. The Gluten-free. Another day, another diet. We’re caught in a never-ending merry-go-round of weight loss plans, fueled by celebrity endorsers, TV doctors and companies angling for a piece of a $60 billion industry. But do these diets really work? And how healthy are they?

Registered Dietitian Lisa Tillinger Johansen examines dozens of the most wildly popular diets based on medical facts, not hype. And along the way, she reveals tried-and-true weight loss strategies, relying on her years of hospital experience, weight-loss seminars and community outreach efforts. With insight and humor, Stop The Diet, I Want To Get Off shows that the best answer is often not a trendy celebrity-endorsed diet, but easy-to-follow guidelines that are best for our health and our waistlines.

For anyone wanting to learn how to eat health or to lose weight, this is a great book. It’s very in depth with sections on the different diets out there, what you should and shouldn’t eat, what to eat instead of, nutrition labels etc. There are many charts and how much of what food to eat, and what exercise to do and for how long to burn off the calories of different foods.

There’s a whole lot of information in this book and I think it would be a good one to have around if you are trying to get healthier or lose weight.

Book Trailer:


About the Author
unnamed (1) Lisa Tillinger Johansen, MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian who counsels clients on a wide range of health issues. Her debut nutrition book, Fast Food Vindication, received the Discovery Award (sponsored by USA Today, Kirkus and The Huffington Post). She lives in Southern California.

Her latest book is the nonfiction/nutrition/health book, Stop the Diet, I Want To Get Off!


Stop the Diet, I Want to Get Off! is available at Amazon
Pick up your copy at
Barnes & Noble
Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at
Author websites – Stop the Diet, Consult the Dietitian and Fast Food Vindication
Connect with Lisa on Facebook and Twitter


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Oct 082015

Someone Died – Now What?
A Personal and Professional Perspective on Coping with Grief and Loss
by Corrie Sirota

Paperback: 138 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 11, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 150530248X
ISBN-13: 978-1505302486

Someone Died… Now What? is a GPS for grieving. Corrie Sirota provides Guidance, Perspective and Support to help you navigate your way through the grief process. Whether someone you love has died or someone you know is struggling with a loss, this book addresses many of the issues and questions that surface, providing concrete assistance on what to do immediately following a death, how to deal with feelings of sadness, anger and guilt, non-death losses and how to support grieving children. You will learn that grief is an ongoing process, and is as unique and individual as you are.

This is a very good book for anyone who has lost someone. The grieving process is different for everyone and there are plenty of myths about it. One of the myths that I know to be untrue is “A sudden death is worse than a death resulting from a long term illness”.  My mother died from cancer and even though we all thought we were prepared for it, we weren’t. It was as devastating as if she had died instantly with no warning.

In the beginning of the book is a chapter about the stupid things people say to you when you lose a loved one. Thankfully, no one said anything to me when my husband passed away, that I felt was stupid or hit me the wrong way. The bulk of my support came from my 3 children and 4 grandchildren. They were grieving along with me. I don’t know how I’d have survived without their support. The rest of my support came from my friends and book blogging friends. So many kind words and prayers and I can’t thank you all enough.

The book lists the stages of greif as Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Grief, Acceptance. I felt all of those things, but the grief was present from even before my husband Henry passed away, because I knew it was coming. The thought of losing the love of my life was overwhelming. For me, other than the grief, depression was the biggest stage for me. I went, and still do from time to time, through periods of depression. I was Henry’s sole caregiver for almost 30 years and for most of those years I didn’t work outside the house and we were together pretty much 24/7. Not having him with me to talk to, not hearing him sing etc. is something I’ll probably always have trouble dealing with.

The book also talks about how so many things can trigger sadness. That is definitely true. So many things remind me of Henry, and now of my dog Patches who I lost on Sept. 28th. She was my baby and I miss her so much.

Another thing I found that related to me was that people second guessing themselves. “I should have, if only I’d, and I could have”. I’ve said them all many times. The book lists some ways to move forward:

Ask for help or let people help
Allow yourself to grieve
Seek information
Avoid making hasty decisions
Take care of yourself physically
Remember good nutrition is important
Keep a journal
join a book club
make daily affirmations
get involved in social and leisure activities
plan things to look forward to
do something for someone else
hold onto hope
put balance back into your life: pray, rest, work and play
join a grief support group
go to church
try saying yes more often

One of the most profound statements in the book for me was when the author wrote of a woman named Sari, a woman who had lost her husband, who said “It’s like a land mine. You are concentrating on something and all of a sudden, BOOM, it hits you. Hard. And you didn’t even see it coming.” That has happened to me so many times. And it’s like a fresh cut each time.

The last few chapters are Creating New “Normals”, The Importance Of Laughter, The Importance of Laughter-Really, and Gone But Not Forgotten. I am starting to laugh more and am getting ready to make some changes to my life that will set me on the path to a new normal. But yes, although Henry is gone, he will never be forgotten. He was and will always be a huge part of me.

This is a short book, only 138 pages, but it is packed full of so much more than what I’ve mentioned. I will be reading this book from time to time because of the comfort I felt while reading it. I definitely recommend it for any one else going through the stages of grief.

Jul 092015


Conquer Your Pain in 9 Steps by Carole Staveley

Are you frustrated with your current health condition? Have you been unable to get satisfactory answers? Do you wonder if there are solutions to your health problems that you might not be aware of? After conquering a chronic pain condition that stymied the medical establishment and left her struggling to remain active for 13 years, Carole Staveley regained her life and achieve something beyond her wildest dreams: an Ironman triathlon. Recognizing the years of unnecessary suffering in her own life, Carole’s mission today is to maximize your chances of overcoming perceived health barriers in the shortest possible time. This book will help you achieve new levels of wellness by helping you: Develop the mindset that empowers you to search for solutions and persevere through the ups and downs of your health improvement journey. Effectively build a health “team” of problem solvers eager to help you achieve your health goals. Identify, implement and evaluate various approaches that can contribute to improving your condition. Keep your healthy vision alive, no matter the challenges you face.

Carole Staveley takes her hard earned knowledge and puts it in this book so that you too can conquer your pain. She suffered for years and with this book gives you information so that you can begin to improve your health.

There are four sections in this book, and at the end is a “Conclusion”.
Section 1: Establish a Health Champion Mindset
Section 2: Build and Leverage Your Health Champion Team
Section 3: Persevere
Section 4: On Chronic Pain and Triathlons

Through these sections you’ll read how to set appropriate goals, select the right health professionals, fully implement potential solutions and more. It guides you step by step so that you can get your thoughts straight about your symptoms and how to go about setting up a plan that will help you the most. One of the things that I liked about the book was the information on selecting a doctor and surrounding yourself with positive people. I also liked the information in Section 4, chapter ten on what to or not to eat, supplements, hydration, strength training, yoga, massage, quality sleep and more. One of the things the author talks about is practicing gratitude. I always try to be grateful for everything in my life, I was glad to see this in her book. I think a positive attitude is very important to your health.

This book is packed with information that is easy to understand. It was much more in depth than I was expecting.

It you or anyone you know has chronic pain, I would highly recommend this book.

Jun 192015


Return to Food: The Life-Changing Anti-Diet by Sherry Strong
Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Influence Publishing Inc (December 1, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1771410604
ISBN-13: 978-1771410601

Chances are if you are feeling flat, fat and tired, or are experiencing chronic illness, you are not eating real food. If you want to bounce out of bed feeling fit and fabulous you must find out what is and isn’t real food. This book challenges prescriptive approaches to diet, eating and food, with a revolutionary philosophical approach based on science and studying the healthiest, longest living people on the planet. This approach has seen thousands of people develop a more pleasurable, healthier, and more sustainable eating lifestyle.”

Like the title says, this is an anti-diet book. In this book the author gives you information on how to eat better so that you are healthier and  feel better. She says “When you give the body what it needs to heal itself, it does so remarkably well”. And that means eating food from the earth.

I’ve read a lot of books on what we should be eating and how much, but this book is different. Sherry has had her own struggles with her weight and health, and wants to help others reach a healthy way of life. You can tell she did a lot of research. She writes it in a way that made it click like no other book on this subject has. She says that many so called health foods are toxic to our bodies because of the way they are made. I believe that. She also says our thoughts can be toxic or have the power to energize and protect the body. I believe that also.

The 8 chapters are The Cost Of Fast And Easy, The Lethal Recipe, Nature’s Principle, The Consumption Concept, HyperNourishment, The Universal Recipe For Healing, Love-Sweet Love and Food-Sweet Food, and The Holistic Path.

My two favorite chapters where The Universal Recipe For Healing which has sections on how to listen to your body, get quite and plug into nature as well as air, water, sleep, vegetation, movement and sunshine. I also loved the chapter The Holistic Path. It includes how to do a kitchen audit, shopping, how to set up your kitchen.

There is a bit of humor in the book too, she says “Chocolate is God’s way of saying he loves us and wants us to be happy”.

In the back of the book there are a few recipes. Some have ingredients that I’ve never seen in a regular supermarket like maca powder and dulse. I guess you could find them at a health food store. There is also a section on what you need in your pantry, freezer and fridge as well as the kitchen equipment you need to practice what’s in the book.

There are also illustrations by the author throughout the book and they are beautiful. I loved that she included them in the book.

I thought this book was fantastic and think it could help anyone make a lifestyle change to become healthier, not only in body, but also in mind and spirit.


unnamed Sherry Strong is a food philosopher, chef and nutritionist who has travelled around the globe to do diet and lifestyle makeovers, and has worked with celebrities, elite athletes, Fortune 500 CEOs, billionaires, and Jamie Oliver and his Fifteen Foundation. Sherry’s philosophies and simple strategies help people feel better and live their best life by developing a healthy relationship with food and their body. Sherry was the Victorian Chair of Nutrition Australia, the Melbourne Head of Slow Food, Curator and Co-Founder of the World Wellness Project Summit and founder of the Return to Food Academy where she teaches people to become Return to Food Coaches and Entrepreneurs.


Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Buy the book: Amazon ~ Chapters-Indigo ~ Barnes & Noble


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Jun 102015

Calming the Chaos small

Calming the Chaos by Jackie Woodside

Paperback: 232 pages
Publisher: Next Century Publishing (April 7, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1629038229
ISBN-13: 978-1629038223

Far too many people in contemporary culture feel they don’t have enough time to “get it all done.” The stress of this chronic overwhelm creates a disorganized mind that leads to a chaotic life. Based on her highly acclaimed “Energy Management” workshops, and drawn from over 25 years of counseling and coaching experience, professional trainer and speaker Jackie Woodside shares her breakthrough methods that lead to becoming the least stressed, most productive person you know!

In Calming the Chaos, you will learn the step-by-step skills and thought processes that lead to increased productivity and peace of mind. Jackie’s approach stems from the new frontier of human performance called energetic consciousness. Part philosophy, part psychology, fully practical application, you will learn:

– Why there is no such thing as time management and what to do instead.
– How to manage your energy instead of your time and stress.
– The three-step formula for managing every component of your life for the rest of your life!
– Why “to-do lists” are a set up for failure and what really works.
– “The Three Strikes Rule” that will end procrastination for good!
– How to always know that you have the time for what you want and need to do!

Many books promise to change your life. Applying these principles will make this a reality!

This book is about calming the chaos of our lives. Even though my life isn’t full of chaos, my mind is, so I think I could benefit from this book.There are 24 chapters within 7 sections. The sections are:
A New Paradigm
Deepening Your Awareness At The Path To Change
Energetic Consciousness
It Is So Simple!
The Power Of Focus
Living Your Life In Alignment
Planning And IntentionI’ve been really stressed lately and this book is a great tool for living a calmer life. In using the steps she’s outlined in this book, I believe I can get some of that stress under control. One area I’m struggling with is trying to get rid of everything I don’t “have” to have so that I can move to a smaller place. Chapter 14 deals with decluttering and I think it will help me with that.Jackie says there are Energy Boosters (things that feed our sense of vitality, aliveness and satisfaction), and Energy Busters (things that drain and disempower us).

Throughout the book there are worksheets to help you understand where you’re at and to help you improve your life. There are also many quotes. This one was written for me:


Go Through Your Mail As Soon As You Receive It

I am so bad at this. I usually just put it on the desk and after it piles up a bit I go through it. Even though I hate having to go through so much at a time, I continue to do it. I think not going through the mail as I get it is an Energy Buster, so I need to work on it.

To be honest, I didn’t do any of the worksheets, but reading this book gave me a good feeling so I plan on re-reading it, this time slower, and taking time to do the worksheets.

I think anyone who lives a chaotic life would benefit from this book and I’d recommend it 100%.

Jackie Woodside Jackie Woodside, CPC, LICSW is a psychotherapist, coach, speaker and author, specializing in the power of managing personal energy, rather than time or stress. An Amazon bestselling author of ‘What If It’s Time for a Change?’ and highly sought-after speaker on leadership and empowerment topics, Jackie conducts training programs for public, private and government sectors nationwide.

Connect with Jackie:  Website ~ Twitter   ~  Facebook

Where To Buy The Book: Author’s Website,  Amazon,  Barnes & Noble



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May 142015


Most of you reading this know I don’t like a messy/dirty house. But since I lost my husband, I haven’t really cared much. About housework or much of anything. Except for family, that’s what I care about, my family.

My house is still pretty clean, but I’m not a fanatic about it any more. Since I’m thinking about moving closer to town and that would mean living in a smaller house, I need to get rid of everything I don’t absolutely have to have…or want.

I found Declutter Your Home In 30 Days @ SparkPeople and thought it would be a good thing to do. So, here goes… I’ll update on this post.

Day 1: Medicine Cabinet
Toss expired medications, hotel shampoos that you’ll never use, and throw out lotions you’ve had since 1990. While you’re at it, give the mirror a quick wipe, too.

Day 2: Shower
Get rid of the extras and empties in your shower. Invest in a shower caddy to keep everything organized and in one spot.

Day 3: Makeup Drawer/Bag
Go through your makeup bag or drawer and reassess some of the items. Hot pink eye shadow you haven’t touched since 1980? Toss! Lipstick that doesn’t smell quite right anymore? You know what to do. If you haven’t used it in a year, it’s time to trash it.

Day 4: Linen Closet
Over time those neatly stacked towels start to shift and folded sheets somehow end up on the floor. And why is your kiddo’s baseball bat in there, anyway? Take stock of what’s in the linen closet, straighten what you want and consider donating items you haven’t used in more than a year to charity.

Day 5: Nightstand
Nightstands collect books, water bottles and electronics along with gobs of dust. Clear it off, wipe it down and leave only the bare minimum.

Day 6: Dresser
Dressers can hide a lot in their drawers. Open every drawer, refold messy clothes and match every sock. Start a donate pile of any clothes you no longer need and a toss pile of holey shirts and socks you can part with.

Day 7: Master Closet
Add to those donate and toss piles by going through your closet. Follow your gut: You know what you’re regularly wearing and what haven’t worn in ages. Try not to let sentimentality get in the way of decluttering!

Day 8: Entryway/Mudroom
Check the entrances to your house for out-of-place clutter. Kids kick off shoes and drop bags; adults leave keys and mail. Come up with a system for stuff that should be there (like hanging hooks or a coat rack or shoe cubbies) and instill habits to keep the space clear otherwise.

Day 9: Coat Closet
Coat closets often become hiding places for more than just winter jackets. See what’s been hiding in its depths that belongs somewhere else and what you can pull out to toss.

Day 10: Kitchen Drawers
Why so many crumbs, kitchen drawers? And why is this burned spatula still hanging around? And why are there still baby spoons in the silverware drawer when your youngest child is in kindergarten? Toss or donate! Then organize so the things you use the most are the most easily accessible.

Day 11: Kitchen Cabinets
When you’re quickly cleaning up after dinner it can be easy to throw pots and pans and bowls into cabinets willy-nilly, so take time to straighten cabinets and organize items if their placement isn’t working for you. Infrequently used items can go in a pantry or other storage spot to free up more space for items you do use all the time. Those storage containers without lids and those lids without matching containers? Now’s the time to toss the lids. Use the containers themselves as storage caddies for small items in drawers or cabinets throughout the house.

Day 12: Pantry
Give your pantry an organizational once-over. Organize canned goods by type, check expiration dates and get rid of foods you’ll never eat (like that trendy food you tried and hated). Unexpired and shelf stable foods can be donated to your local food pantry.

Day 13: Spice Rack
I recently went through my spice rack and was appalled that some of my spices were purchased more than four years ago. If you’ve got spices that could be in kindergarten, you’re probably not using them very frequently in your favorite recipes, so it’s likely safe to toss them. Plus, fresh spices will taste better anyway!

Day 14: Refrigerator and Freezer
Many people try to give their fridge a look once a week or so to toss any leftovers that are moldy, but you likely don’t think about condiments and other fridge staples. Check all the bottles and jars and toss any that are expired or that you just never use (like that hot sauce you tried and decided you hated).

Day 15: Junk Drawer
Junk drawers by their very nature are designed to hold junk and odds and ends that don’t really belong anywhere else. But give it a look to see if there’s any obvious trash, and see if there’s anything you could move to another spot. You just might find that set of keys you thought you’d lost forever.

Day 16: Under-Sink Storage
If you’ve got pedestal sinks throughout the house, you get off easily on this chore. But if you’ve got under-sink storage, like under the kitchen sink, look under there to see what’s been hiding and what needs to go.

Living Room
Day 17: Mantel
A fireplace is lovely–except when it’s covered in clutter and junk. It takes away from the beauty of a roaring fire! So if your mantel is a storage place for DVDs or books or mail and other items that don’t belong, try to find a spot for the unnecessary items to clear it off.

Day 18: Bookshelves
Bookshelves are great for storing and displaying books, art, accent décor, family pictures and more. But they can be a problem when they start to be holding places for extra clutter that makes them look less attractive. Give your bookshelves a glance to see if there’s anything that doesn’t belong. Then rearrange the items so it looks deliberate, not haphazard.

Day 19: Storage Furniture
Go through that console table in the living room, the armoire in the guest bedroom and the trunk sitting in the corner of the basement. See if you really need its contents—and if you even need the actual furniture itself!

Home Office
Day 20: Office Desk
Workspaces can be hard to keep clutter-free. When you’re at your desk, you’re working or paying bills rather than focusing on keeping it clean. So do a sweep of the surfaces in the office and asses what you can keep and what you can toss.

Day 21: Filing Cabinets
Filing cabinets can get filled in a hurry, so go through yours to see what you can shred or recycle. You probably don’t need that phone bill from 2005.

Day 22: Mail
Junk mail, bills and magazines pile up faster than dust bunnies. Clear your mail storage area and come up with a system for discarding junk immediately and storing bills that need your attention where they won’t get overlooked. For instance, keep a small recycling bin just inside the front door so junk can go straight from the mailbox into the bin.

Other Spaces
Day 25: Laundry Room
The most likely clutter offender in my laundry room? A shirt that’s “dry clean only” that has been laying there unlaundered for eons. If that’s the situation in your house, label and hang a reusable bag for dry cleaning and get the clutter off the floor. Other laundry offenders include coins and receipts that fall out of pockets and end up on the dryer. Clear it out!

Day 26: Porch
Porches can get cluttered quickly with gardening equipment that never got put in the shed and shoes that got left outside because they were muddy. Take stock of the porch and put items in their proper spots.

Day 27: Hobby Room
Have a space or work room for hobbies or home improvement items? See what you can pitch or donate and what you can better organize.

Day 28: Basement
Now that you’ve gone through your house and properly stored things in their rightful places or gotten rid of them, check out your actual storage spots. If you’ve had boxes of books packed away for years, chances are that you don’t need them (and won’t miss them). Can you rearrange anything to make more space? Can you sell or donate anything you don’t need? Is it time to rent a dumpster and really clear things out?

Day 29: Garage
The garage can be quite a chore, so leave it for the weekend and a day when it’s beautiful outside. Get rid of what you don’t need, pump up flat bicycle tires and get that lawnmower ready for spring!

Day 30: Car
When you’re finished with the garage, don’t forget about your car. Get rid of the obvious trash (empty water bottles, wrappers, etc.) but also check the glove box for expired insurance cards you can toss and snacks that melted last summer.

Your Bonus Project
You know that area in your house or life that needs to be organized. If it didn’t make this list, your final project is to organize that space, whether it’s the attic, a loft space, an offsite storage unit or bin full of your childhood stuff.

Breaking down a massive job into smaller more manageable steps can make a task like decluttering your entire life seem slightly more manageable. In just 30 days, you’ll have a noticeably less cluttered house, and maybe you’ll even find a few things you thought had disappeared forever! Plus, you might make a few bucks at a garage sale or feel really good about donating some quality items that you no longer need.

May 132015



Series: Going Against the Grain – Italian Style!
Paperback: 188 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 18, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1499222432
ISBN-13: 978-1499222432
This two-part book is a vital adjunct to any home attempting to be gluten-free. The first part guides you through early diagnosis and is an essential guide for any beginner diagnosed with celiac disease or some form of gluten sensitivity. You will learn how to identify symptoms of the disease, how celiac disease is diagnosed, and the consequences if left untreated. It will help you to understand how to read labels and how to manage your gluten-free home in a shared environment. It outlines practical advice for parents of children with celiac disease as well as tips for eating out and dealing with social settings such as special occasions or when traveling. Honorary foreword provided by renowned Dr. Peter HR Green, MD – Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University.

Growing up authentically Sicilian, Nuccia Ardagna thought that getting rid of gluten meant giving up her favorite traditional foods, but that could not be further from the truth! Nuccia combines her passion for eating amazingly Italian with her new dietary needs to bring you scrumptious, traditional Italian (and Sicilian) recipes. From simple, classic appetizers to decadent desserts you thought you could never enjoy, every recipe is easy-to-follow and offers beautiful full-color pictures throughout. You can feel confident about entertaining guests and family with these mouth-watering recipes. You can eat healthier, feel better, and truly enjoy living gluten-free while never having to sacrifice great taste! In this book, Nuccia not only shares her personal story with celiac disease but also the recipes she grew up with at home and uses to entertain guests. Look for the bonus section at the end of the book along with a section dedicated to her favorite links and resources.

We hope you enjoy the book and find it helpful in your journey.


I don’t have a problem with gluten but know a few people who do. I was surprised to learn through this book that if you celiac disease there is a lot more to managing it than just avoiding gluten.

The first part of the book is a wealth of information about celiac disease from the symptoms to how to manage it on a daily basis. The author tells what celiac disease is, what the symptoms are, about her diagnosis, how to manage it, how to read food labels, what other health problems can occur due to celiac disease and more.

The second part of the book is full of recipes that anyone can enjoy. They are all pretty easy to make with ingredients that are easy to find. The recipes range from starters to desserts and they all look yummy. Yes, there are color photos and they will make your tummy growl. I haven’t made anything yet, but do have a list of some I want to try.

Anyone who suspects they, or someone they know has a gluten intolerence should read this book.

Author’s Bio:

unnamed-32Nuccia Ardagna loves to travel to the place of her roots: SICILIA! Being Sicilian, she grew up with mamma, nonna and all her zie learning all the tricks of the trade and creating DELICIOUS Italian food from scratch. When diagnosed with celiac disease she was forced to learn new habits and, now, after trial and error and experimenting, wants to share her exquisite culinary creations with you.

She IS a true Italian to the core.

Connect with Nuccia: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

Italy Bok Tours small PNG

Linking to Weekend Cooking