Top 10 Last Minute Christmas Gifts

It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.  Mother Teresa


Still not finished with your Christmas shopping?  Don’t panic. I got your back.  I post this every year when I am thinking, oh no! I’m a last minute shopper, again.  Are you like me and need a delicious or marvelous gift that doesn’t require a hefty rushed shipping charge? Then here’s some ideas that should help you out.

  • Amazon Gft Card: Email or print out at home.
  •  Instant downloads for gamers: My boys have a perennial wish list at Steam.
  •  Wine. But what’s a good pick?  Ask the store employees to select one out for you – they have never let me down. Popular wines include: Christmas Cabernet, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Gewurztraminer, Riesling, Chardonnay, Merlot.  If you feel like splurging, consider Ice Wine.  I once held a bottle in my hand, ah, maybe some day.
  •  Fruit/gift basket: Dust off a nice wicker basket or pick up one from Goodwill. Line it with a new kitchen towel and fill it with a variety of fruit from the grocery store, or pick another theme – popcorn and accompaniments, fancy pasta/sauce, bread, and some italian cookies.
  • Homemade coupon booklet: I still have a few coupons left from one I got a few years ago. Coupons could be for free hugs, lawn-mowing, babysitting service, car wash, breakfast in bed, home-cooked meal. Be sweet, don’t include an expiration date.
  •  Starbucks e-gift card: I give these often throughout the year when I am really in a pinch.  Everyone loves to get one.
  •  Regal e-gift: Who can afford going to the movies?  Keep in mind it’s $10 or more for one movie ticket.
  •  I-tunes/Apple: Can never get enough of these.
  •  Money – we all enjoy receiving cash. Don’t forget to tip special people like your mail and newspaper carriers, hair stylist, babysitter, dog sitter, music teacher.
  • Homemade goodies – We make hot cross buns, decadent chocolate fudge sauce, or caramel corn to give away to neighbors and friends.  I have made this recipe a dozen times and it is absolutely delicious and tops any caramel corn money can buy. It is amazing.

Above all, do not let the hunt for the right present take from your holiday joy.  Rarely do people remember what they got or didn’t get the year before.  In my house, we celebrate Christ’s birth and our joy comes from being together as a family. Embracing the faith,  embracing each other, recognizing that we are blessed whether we have, or have not.

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Want To Stay Healthy? This Is a Must!


Sick season is here: There are lots of things you can do to keep yourself healthy, but nothing tops regular good old-fashioned sudsy soap and water hand washing. And if your hands aren’t obviously soiled, alcohol based hand cleaners will do. Proper hand washing is vital.

No prissy hand dipping, fingertip only splash n’dry, quick soap rinse and go stuff.  Your technique must be perfect!

  • Wet your hands, generously apply soap, lather and clean under your finger nails outside the stream of water for at least 20 seconds – about the time it takes to sing happy birthday twice – in your head please. Rinse under running water.
  • Use automatic paper towel dispensers to dry.  Avoid the air dryers – they just recirculate germs.  Use your sleeve or paper towel to open the door or patiently wait for someone else to do it for you.

Forgo hand washing? That’s gross and you are now a vehicle of disease transmission.  Why would you want to be a germ farm?  Science tells us hand washing removes some of the nastiest bugs: Salmonella, E. coli, Norovirus, Adenovirus, coxsackie, Hepatitis A, C-diff, influenza, and more.

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Flu Health Advisory: Something Wicked this Way Comes

John Henry Fuseli's The Nightmare

The CDC issued a health advisory yesterday.  The vaccine for this flu season will NOT provide protection against the predominant “drifted” strain of H3N2 that is now circulating and has already caused five pediatric deaths.

Yes, you should still get the flu shot because some protection is better than none, but you also must be prepared for the worst:

Despite being vaccinated, you may still get the flu.

How do you know if you have the flu?

The flu is a nasty. Bad, horrible, agonizing…and potentially deadly.

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Could Miss Piggy Have Pre-Diabetes?

Drop that donut. Spit out the candy. No triple-scoop chocolate indulgence drizzled with hot fudge, caramel and dusted with butterfinger bits for you or you’ll get diabetes.  You probably have heard that one before. Confession time: I too have said something similar  to my boys when they were little and gullible. It was usually around Easter or Halloween.

Truth? Sugar itself doesn’t cause diabetes. However, frequent sweet binges are a bad idea because you are robbing yourself of the nutrients your body needs to function properly.  Keep it up and your teeth will suffer, you’ll feel sluggish, maybe get headaches, and you will gain weight.  It’s carbs that are the the offender as our body  can quickly convert them to glucose.  A carb heavy diet over a long period (say a lifetime) will add to excess weight which makes one a prime candidate for pre-diabetes.

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Pain is Inevitable – Misery is Optional


Why is it that some people languish in suffering while others who have similar ailments and tribulations chin up and continue to thrive despite their suffering?

I know folks in both camps. It baffles me how people with things like crippling arthritis, breast cancer, chronic kidney disease,  or victims of traumatic circumstances can adapt and cope despite the pain of their situation. They continue to believe that just to be alive is a grand thing.

Others bemoan about a hangnail and see the little aggravating and inevitable inconveniences as monumental disturbances – they make sure you know just how miserable they are and don’t you agree the world is a terrible place?

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National NP Week is Not a Box of Chocolates


November 9th-14th is National NP Week.  No this is not supposed to be a Hallmark holiday filled with chocolates, free lunches and thank you cards. That’s for Secretary’s or Bosses Day (which I think is bogus but that’s fodder for another post).

NP week was designed to be an Awareness Campaign to help educate the public about NPs, and to remind lawmakers of the importance of removing outdated barriers. This year is especially momental as it marks the passing of the NYS  Modernization Act: Effective Jan 1, 2015,  this new law removes the requirement of a written practice agreement between an experienced nurse practitioner and a collaborating physician as a condition of practice.

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6 Places I Find Inspiration for Writing


All the top social media blogs I read tell me where to find ideas for hot blogging content.  So off I go browsing Amazon’s top sellers for my niche, check out Drudge, and see what’s trending on twitter.  Next stop: Copyblogger and time suck some more, and then I notice the clock has tick-tocked to dinner hour and I’ve got nothing written.

What is wrong with me? Do I have writer’s block? Am I a procrastinator? Or am I trying too hard and discouraged because I’m such a teensy fish in a multitudinous ocean.

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Do it Anyway: The Paradoxical Commandments


Kent M. Keith wrote The Paradoxical Commandments in the late 1960’s when he was a sophomore at Harvard. You may have seen these commandments on a refrigerator magnet or included in a motivational presentation. Or you may be reading them for the first time.  Kent was wise beyond his nineteen years to come up with this list.  Forty-six years later he still writes, does speaking engagements, and seems like the kind of guy who follows both his own commandments as well as the original “10“.

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Be a Halloween Hero: Give a Top 10 Candy


Halloween has got to be one of the best days ever – Ring a door bell, say the magic words and ding-ding-ding – candy is delivered into your plastic pumpkin bucket.  I love Halloween! The sound of rustling leaves, the chatter of kids and parents, giggles, and an occasional shriek or “boo”.  For us, it’s never been about spooks and ghouls, it’s always been about the candy.  The goal: get out there and get it because it’s the Willy Wonka jackpot of chocolates,  sweet n’ sours, and everything wonderful!

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To be interesting, be interested.