Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Bee!

There's nothing more special than having grandchildren! Right? Here's a photo of one of my grandsons. His name is Braden, but we call him "Bee." He turned four on Valentines Day! Don't you just want to pinch those cheeks???
Grammie P

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Breakfast Cereals to Avoid!

A bowl of cereal alone shouldn’t give you or your kids the shakes first thing in the morning. But considering the amount of sugar in these breakfast favorites, don’t be too surprised if you start feeling a little rattled. Here are some of the least healthful breakfast cereals marketed directly to children according to the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, which studied 277 different types of cereal and ranked them based on a variety of health factors. Don't be surprised if they’re among your adult favorites too. This might just change your grocery shopping habits.

10. Froot Loops These colorful loops, not surprisingly, are among the least healthful breakfast cereals. Regular Froot Loops are 41 percent sugar and 10 percent fiber, plus red, blue and yellow dyes. But the Marshmallow version is even worse. They’re 48 percent sugar and 7 percent fiber.
9. Corn Pops Certain cereals are just as sugary as a glazed doughnut, according to Consumer Reports findings last year. “We studied how 91 youngsters, ages 6 to 16, poured their cereal and found that, on average, they served themselves about 50 percent to 65 percent more than the suggested serving size for three of the four tested cereals,” Consumer Reports said. Corn Pops are 41 percent sugar and have no fiber at all, according to Rudd Center studies.

8. Reese’s Puffs “Reese’s Puffs is an interesting case because it’s the worst brand in terms of nutrition in our study,” and much of its advertising targets African-Americans, notes Jennifer Harris, Rudd Center marketing director. “In its TV advertising, there are only black actors and on their Web site, it’s all about Reese’s puffs raps with black animated characters saying ‘get your bling,’” Harris explains. African Americans already have higher rates of obesity, so that was disturbing. Reese’s Puffs are 41 percent sugar, 3 percent fiber and contain red, yellow and blue dyes.

7. Fruity and Cocoa Pebbles These colorful breakfast bits have at least one redeeming quality: they’re fairly high in fiber. But that “doesn’t make a huge difference. The sugar is really the most disturbing thing about this. All Americans eat too much sugar, and if you serve that much sugar at breakfast, that takes up their sugar allocation for the day," Harris says.
6. Frosted Flakes “If you look at marketing literature and market research, it shows that the earlier you introduce brands to children and the more feelings you can associate with your brand, the more they’ll be involved in the brand,” Harris says. Enter Tony the Tiger. Frosted Flakes are 37 percent sugar and 3 percent fiber. The lower-sugar version is 26 percent sugar and doesn’t have any added artificial sweeteners.
5. Trix With the “Trix are for kids” tagline, there’s no denying that the sugar-coated, colorful cereal is marketed to children as fun. And kids may be affected by these ads at a younger age that you might think. Two- to five-year-old kids saw sugary cereal ads more often (about 550 times per year) than adults (200 times per year). “The number of cereal advertisements viewed by preschoolers is disturbing. Children under age seven or eight years do not possess the cognitive abilities to understand the persuasive intent of advertising, and therefore have no ability to defend against its influence,” the Rudd Center report said. Trix are 38 percent sugar and 3 percent fiber and contain red yellow and blue dyes.
4. Cocoa Puffs This highly-advertised chocolate lovers’ favorite is one of the worst when it comes to sugar, but at least there aren’t any artificial colors. And, while it may be vitamin-fortified, among the cereal’s top three ingredients are sugar and corn syrup. And, as a bonus, fructose is added. Cocoa Puffs are 44 percent sugar and have 4 percent fiber.
3. Lucky Charms Disturbingly, sometimes children’s cereals aren’t considered food so much as something to play with. “The same message is being used to market all of these cereals,” says Harris. “It’s all about fun.” In commercials, there’s so little information about the product that you might not even know it’s food, she adds. “This product is more of a toy than a food—a lot of them have bright colors and they come up with new shapes all the time.” Lucky Charms are 41 percent sugar and 4 percent fiber and contain yellow, blue and red dyes, which brings them in as the third-worst cereal.
2. Honey Nut Cheerios Honey Nut Cheerios are among a list of cereals advertised as “better for you” than other types of breakfast items, “however, these products are all significantly worse for you than other cereals in the General Mills portfolio,” according to the Rudd Center’s report.The cereal is touted as a “great tasting way to help lower your cholesterol,” according to the brand’s Web site. “Bring these … along as a snack while doing the activities you love, and you can show your heart some love all day long!” the site suggests. But as you lower your cholesterol, you may be raising your blood sugar, since Honey Nut Cheerios are 32 percent sugar and 7 percent fiber.
1. Cinnamon Toast CrunchCinnamon Toast Crunch is one of the least healthful cereals marketed directly to kids based on their sugar and fiber content and the presence of food dyes, among other factors, according to the Rudd Center. The researchers weren’t surprised to find that many sugary cereals are marketed to kids, but they didn’t expect to find that only sugary cereals target children, says Harris. “The more nutritious ones are marketed to parents, not kids,” she notes.About 33 percent of Cinnamon Toast Crunch is sugar, according to the Center’s research, while its fiber content is only 3 percent . There’s a reduced sugar version of the breakfast favorite, but the sugar is replaced with Sucralose, an artificial sweetener.

If you didn’t see your favorite here, type in your favorite at to search for stats on your breakfast cereal of choice.
Grammie P

Thursday, November 5, 2009

16 Uses for Your Dishwasher!

1. Baseball Hats: Baseball hats can get extremely smelly. When run through the clothes washer, they lose their shape. However, placed on the top rack of your dishwasher they’ll come out stink-free and perfectly in shape.

2. Kitchen Sponges: I’ll never be able to explain why or what that revolting smell is in kitchen sponges after only a week of use. Instead of tossing them into the trash, though, throw them in with your dishes to get another week or two of use.

4. Kids’ Toys: From Legos to rubber duckies, all of your children’s toys can be run through your dishwasher to kill germs and bacteria. (There are some unimaginably nasty things growing on some of those GI Joes …)

5. Garden Tools: Shovels, shears, pruners, and hoes are meant to get dirty. However, a routine cleaning will ensure your garden tools last a lifetime.

6. Pets’ Toys: Man’s best friend deserves a germ-free plastic hot dog to chomp on. Run your pet’s chew toys through the dishwasher to ensure your pet (and floor) have exemplary hygiene.

7. Flip Flops, Wellies, and Crocs: Your rubber shoes could probably use a good cleaning. Run a wash with a little baking soda added to clean your tootsie-wear and simultaneously get rid of any residual gunk in your dishwasher.

8. Hubcaps and Wheel Covers: Forget ruining your manicure scrubbing away at road grime and tire oil. Run your hubcaps and wheel covers in the dishwasher on the pots-and-pans cycle for shiny rims.

9. Tools: Hammers, screwdrivers, and wrenches get oily and rusty. Cycle them through the dishwasher to return them to their original shiny state. (Just remember to leave the electric ones behind.)

10. Shin Guards and Knee Pads: Sports equipment gets sweaty and smelly fast. They too can lose shape in the washing machine. Throw them in with your dishwasher for a reek-free game.

11. Dustpan: Your dustpan is one of the dirtiest pieces of cleaning equipment in the house. Run it through the dishwasher to kill the all the germs and dust it collects.

12. Hair Accessories: From oily tresses to product overload, hair accessories need to be cleaned often. Run your combs, brushes, ties, barrettes, and hairpins through the dishwasher for gunk-free hair.

13. Toothbrushes: Toothbrushes are a breeding ground for bacteria, fungi, and viruses. While most dentists advise rinsing them with hot water on a daily basis, a weekly run through the dishwasher can ensure your teeth, gums, and mouth are receiving the best care possible.

14. Makeup Brushes: Makeup brushes collect oils, product residue, and bacteria that can lead to clogged pores and acne. Run them through the dishwasher for clean brushes and clear skin.

15. Light Fixture Covers: Light fixtures with glass covers tend to collect a large amount of dust. Remove the cover and run it through the wash to get some sneeze-free light. Just avoid any fixtures that are antique, enameled, or painted.

16. Refrigerator Shelves: Refrigerators can get stinky, real quick. It’s laborious and tough to scrub each individual shelf and drawer. Throw them in the dishwasher to get them shiny and stank-free.

It’s best to rinse your dishwasher out with baking soda every few months (even if you’re not using it to clean your shin guards) to ensure your washer stays germ- and bacteria-free. Also, for most of these items, especially the clothing-related ones, it’s best to wash them separately and not with your regular dishes.

~Grammie P~

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Happy Halloween! Carve the Pumpkin 2

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Grandma...

I've been thinking a lot about her lately. Not sure why - maybe it is because my daughter mentioned her the other day. Her name was Irene. I thought I would jot down some simple things I remember about her and a few memories so that my daughters and my sister could know what I remember of her. This isn't all, of course - some things I keep to myself.

Grandma loved to cook. She would call me (just me) occasionally and say, "I've made a chocolate pie, want to come over and have some?" And since she was only around the block, I took off. We usually ate the whole pie between ourselves! We had GREAT conversations over that made-from-scratch chocolate pie. She also made something she called "goulash." Never knew what all was in it - but it was always good!

Grandma worked as a cashier at the local grocery store. That's the only out-of-the-home job I remember her having. She loved animals. Over the years there were horses, cats, dogs and chickens in her back yard.

Grandma taught me how to crochet. She sewed a lot of her own clothes. She rarely wore pants, mostly dresses - unless she was working in the garden. She wore a straw sun bonnet. She had a purse for every occasion. She sometimes had a hard time keeping up with her keys - because she changed purses so much. She wore aprons a lot.

Grandma loved Avon's Roses, Roses perfume. She always smelled like roses to me. She always wore red lipstick and always cleaned her face with Ponds cold cream, nothing else. She loved to powder herself after bathing and throughout the day. She always used the loose perfumed powders and the big "poofs."
Grandma had skin like silk (had to be the Ponds). She went to the beauty shop weekly for a shampoo and set. Sometimes I drove her.

Grandma kept greeting cards for every occasion. She liked to hide things, so others couldn't find them. She'd call me and ask, "do you remember when I put so-and- so?"

Grandma was a member of "the garden club." I never really figured out what they did, except have parties, eat and gossip. But I do remember they always had fun. She always had beautiful flowers - must have been "the garden club."

Grandma liked to hum and sing. She loved to swing in the porch swing under the trees in her back yard. It was one of my favorite places growing up. She had a voice that went straight into your heart. Grandma was soft and feminine. I used to lay my head on her lap and she would play with my ears and hair - I'd go to sleep. This was another of my favorite places.

Everyone loved her. At her funeral, she was referred to as a "deaconess." I believe that was fitting.

Grammie P

Plugging myself...

The colors of fall are here and that means between the chilly winds and the changing temperatures, your skin needs protection more than ever. Now is the time to prepare for winter's arrival with the sweet delights of the Sugar Cookie Bath and Body Collection. You won't be able to get enough of its delicious sweet scent as it restores moisture, keeping you happy and hydrated as the cold comes in. Contact me to schedule a holiday Spa-la-la-la-la (if you are in the central Arkansas area) or place your order online today!

Grammie P

P.S. Get BC Spa Travel Bag with purchase of Sugar Cookie Bath and body Collection set. Available through October 31!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Grammie P’s Pumpkin Pie

This is GREAT with whipped cream! I have also included Aunt Ruthie’s Pat-in-the-Pan Crust for those who haven’t tried this. It’s SO easy and tastes yummy!

Filling Ingredients:

3 cups cooked pumpkin (canned is fine)
1 ¼ cups evaporated milk
2 ½ cups granulated sugar
½ heaping teaspoon ground nutmet
½ scant teaspoon salt
¼ rounded teaspoon allspice
½ rounded teaspoon cinnamon
4 well-beaten eggs
2 pie shells


Preheat oven to 375ºF. Mix all ingredients thoroughly and pour into two deep, unbaked pie shells. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a knife comes out of the center clean. Yields: 2 9-inch pies.

Pat-in-the-Pan Crust Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups Flour (All Purpose Unbleached)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
3 Tablespoons cold milk
2/3 cup oil (vegetable or canola–make sure it is fresh!)

Pat-in-the-Pan Crust Directions:

Whisk together dry ingredients in a bowl until blended. Add wet ingredients and stir gently until the dough forms a ball. (For a tender crust, do not over mix). Put dough into pie pan and pat it thin and flat to conform to the shape of the pan. Crimp the edges. You are now ready for the filling.

Great Pumpkin Blessings!