Easy Way to Cut Calories From Holiday Parties & Everyday


The holidays are in full swing, we still have New Year’s Eve and Dia de Reyes (Three Wise Men Day) parties coming up. It is fun to indulge in our favorite meals and drinks during the holidays, but after a month of parties and dinners, all those calories can add up. An easy way to cut a few calories from Continue reading

Sending A Thank You Card

We all receive mail at home, mostly bills, insurance information, bank statements, and advertisements. Nothing too exciting, right? When I was single, I would check the mailbox once or twice per week. Now that I am married, that has changed because my hubby likes to check the mail everyday. I try to go through my mail daily to avoid it getting stacked on my night stand. Every once in  while, I will receive a personalized envelope with my name handwritten on it. It is either an invitation, a just because card from a friend (my favorite), or a thank you card. Recently, I received two thank you cards from friends. It was nice!

I appreciate that they took the time to write the card and send it to me! It was so thoughtful. I try to follow the tradition of sending thank you cards when I receive gifts or when someone does something very nice for me, like hold a dinner party in my honor. Sending a thank you card is not only polite, it is also a nice gesture! We have all become so used to using e-mail or texting, that the tradition of sending hand written cards is less common. Sending a thank you card takes just a few minutes and will surely make the recipient smile when they open it. If they are like me, they will probably smile even before they open the envelope!

Thank you cards are easy to find at stationary stores, on-line, and at most grocery stores. I usually buy them in packets with multiple cards at Target, Papyrus, or Marshalls. I also buy larger, individual cards at Trader Joe’s or Target. The cards at Trader Joe’s only cost a dollar and some people may think they are simpler than more expensive cards sold at stationary stores, but I like the designs and cute messages on them. The quality of the paper is also nice. When it comes to thank you cards, it really is the thought that counts, not the price of the card. So, next time you want to thank a friend or loved one for doing something nice – not only send them an e-mail or text, perhaps also write them a thank you card & send it in the mail. I can assure you they will appreciate the thoughtfulness behind it!

When was the last time you sent a thank you card? And, the last time you received a thank you card?



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The two thank you cards I recently received from friends.


Getting Back to My Old Habits


Hi friends,

Hope your week is getting off to a good start! As I have shared before, I have to work at staying at a healthy weight, always have and probably always will.  If I don’t exercise regularly, I can easily gain weight. In addition to exercise, I try to eat healthy foods and drink lots of water. I don’t deprive myself of anything, I eat in moderation, but do try to watch what I eat. Chocolate is one of my favorite treats and I don’t think I will ever give it up. A life without chocolate would just be less delicious, haha!

I have been married for a little more than three years and cook more often than I ever did when I was single. Actually, I rarely cooked when I was single and my fridge had limited items, most of which were healthy. I was and still am more of a snacker. I tend to eat small meals throughout the day. It is my system and it works for me. I rarely ate a full meal for dinner when I was single, I would have some crackers or a slice of bread with greek cheese, or maybe a few pieces of chocolate covered almonds, or a piece of fruit or some veggies, accompanied by a sparkling water. I know, sounds odd, but it was simple, tasty, healthy, and satisfied me. I rarely used the stove, let alone the oven – I would eat mostly fresh food and raw fruits or veggies.  Now that I am married, I have way more temptations in the fridge and pantry! Way more! I buy the groceries for our household and try to keep it healthy….but sometimes, my hubby will stop at a convenience store and buy chips or at a bakery and buy donuts or pastries. In addition to that, I  cook dinner for hubby a few times per week and sometimes I eat some of it. How can you not eat pasta or mashed potatoes? They are so delicious and the temptation is just too much when you are the one doing the cooking!

So, on a recent visit to Trader Joe’s ( I shop there every week), I bought edamame. I used to snack on them or have them as an entree for dinner. They are healthy, contain protein and lots of vitamins (plus at about $2 per bag, it is an inexpensive snack). This past weekend, when I got the urge to grab for a snack, I heated a bowl of edamame, sprinkled a little sea salt on them & voila’, a delicious snack! They are also tasty with a sprinkle of lime or lemon juice! I also find that because they have fiber, they make me feel satisfied for a longer period of time. In addition, I eat them from the pod, with my hands, so it takes me longer to eat them, hence my brain has time to register that I am eating and send a signal to my body that I am satisfied (full).

I am trying to get back to my old habit of not eating a full meal for dinner and instead snacking on healthy treats likes veggies & fruits!

Do you like endamame? How have your eating habits changed over the years? If you are single, do you eat a full meal at dinner time? If you are married, do you eat a full meal for dinner – or did you eat a full meal at dinner time when you were single?




The bag is not very large, enough for three to four servings and is sold frozen. I purchase the unsalted, soybean in a pod bag.


Edamame have vitamins, protein, & fiber.


I simply rinse the edamame and heat them in water. They are ready in just a few minutes!

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I strain them. DSCN7890 DSCN7894

Place them in a bowl, add a little bit of sea salt & voila’ – a delicious & healthy snack!

How to Cut 300 Calories from Your Day


Have you seen the two liter bottles of soda? They are huge! Growing up, my mom would often make us fresh lemonade or “aguas frescas” (natural fruit drinks), like agua de sandia or melon (watermelon or cantaloupe drinks). On occasions, we would buy the one liter or two liter bottles of soda for dinner. I can picture the giant bottle sitting on the dinner table and can still feel the fizz in my throat. As you know, I have to work at maintaining my weight (yes, I gain weight easily), so years ago I decided to stop drinking sodas. It was probably around my early twenties. Little by little, I just stopped drinking them. Mostly, because I started to read about the ingredients and realized they were adding to my daily caloric intake. I still missed the fizz, so I started drinking sparkling water instead. Just like that, with this one simple change, I cut between 200 – 400 calories from my day.

Sparkling water has zero calories and fat, no sugar or ingredients that sound like chemicals. It is basically natural spring water with carbonation. It gives me my fizz fix and refreshes me. It is also hydrating for the body. Some sparkling waters are healthier than others, some contain more sodium than others, and some are from natural springs. But, they don’t have calories, and overall are much healthier for you than soft drinks.


I buy mine at Trader Joe’s because I like the “natural lemon flavor” sparkling water they sell – and because it is the main store I shop at for groceries. The 18 oz. bottles come in four-packs and they also sell a 42 oz bottle.  I always have multiple bottles in stock at home and keep about five bottles in the fridge, to ensure they are chilled and easy to reach for. The Trader’s Joe’s brand tastes the same as the Crystal Geyser brand which can be found at most grocery stores and the bottle even looks the same (I’ve often wondered if they are bottled by the same company). I also drink Perrier and Pellegrino. I have been encouraging my husband to stop drinking sodas and even though he still orders a Diet Coke (or lemonade) when we are eating out, at home he drinks the sparkling waters instead of soda. We no longer buy soft drinks to have at home. Even little changes like this one can add up to a big difference in your daily calorie intake, and overall health throughout the years.

DSCN4525 An average serving ( 8oz – 18 oz) of a soft drink has between 182 – 364 calories, of which 27g are carbs, and 12g are sugar (most of the calories in soft drinks come from the sugar). It is ok to have a soft drink every once in a while, kind of like a special treat, but if you have one or two sodas every day you are adding quite a bit of calories to your day with just a serving. Also, diet soft drinks may list zero calories, but they may contain caramel color, citric acid, potassium citrate, aspartame, caffeine, phosphoric acid, and natural flavors (which may be made of chemicals to mimic natural tastes).

So, if you want to cut between 200 – 300 calories from your day, try replacing a soft drink with a sparkling water. Just try it – you’ve got nothing to lose, but calories! It may not happen overnight, but eventually, like me, you may no longer crave sodas. Plus, you’ll still get your fizz fix! I haven’t ordered or bought a soft drink for myself in years.


Do you drink sparkling water? Do you have a favorite sparkling water brand?