Monday, January 30, 2012

It Wasn't A Dream

It Wasn't A Dream

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Louisville, KY voted one of best cities for family visits

ABC City Guides for Kids Names Top 7 Family Destinations  

Press Release:  Newswire

 PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Spring Break is around the corner and ABC City Guides for Kids has released its annual Top 7 Family Destinations list. According to Family Travel expert, Matthew Rosenberger, 2012 will be another strong year for family travel.
  1. Pittsburgh, PAHeinz History Center  and the Carnegie Science Center are world class.  Ride the Duquesne Incline for the best view of Kidsburgh and the city's 3 Rivers.  Visit Primanti Bros., the Strip District and Andy Warhol Museum.
  2. Atlantic City, NJ – So much more than casinos here, visit the Absecon Lighthouse,  Historic Gardner's Basin, Steel Pier and Ripley Museum, then enjoy salt water taffy on America's first Boardwalk or at the beach.   Visit Tony's for great pizza and the other White House for a submarine sandwich.
  3. Times Square, New YorkSee the Gazillion Bubble Show on Broadway, ride the Giant Ferris Wheel inside Toys "R" Us, and visit the Hershey and M&M super stores.  At the end of the day, grab a seat on the red steps in Father Duffy Square and soak in the sights and sounds of the Crossroads of the World.
  4. Chicago, IL – Plan a summer visit during the Taste of Chicago Festival.  Schedule plenty of time for Museum Campus, Navy Pier and the Art Institute. Lincoln Park Zoo, Lake Michigan and Wrigley Field are mandatory stops.  Wind down with a stroll on Michigan Avenue.
  5. Philadelphia, PA – Start at the Rocky statue then race to the top of the Art Museum steps and plan a city sculpture scavenger hunt.  Stop by the Franklin Institute and Mummers Museum then grab "one wit" at Geno's or Pat's in South Philly before heading to a Phillies game.
  6. Louisville, KY— The Louisville Slugger Museum may have the best "factory" tour in the country.  Visit Churchill Downs, Ali Museum, and Louisville Stoneware factory and gallery.  Kids will want to eat every meal at Lynn's Paradise Cafe.
  7. Washington, DC – The Smithsonian Museums, International Spy Museum and Newseum will be bustling all year. Plan a visit during the National Cherry Blossom Festival and catch a Nats game too.

Read more:

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Valentine's Day at the Inn

Valentine's Day at most bed and breakfasts is usually very busy. They fill up with couples looking for a romantic get-away to celebrate the day or week-end with someone they love. The Inns offer Sweetheart Packages, Spa Packages and the like. They fill the rooms with red roses, champagne and chocolates. We, at the Aleksander House, like to serve a special sweetheart's breakfast of Belgium Waffles with fresh strawberries and real whipped cream. Strawberries and chocolate seem to be very popular on Valentine's Day, so many of the Innkeepers make chocolate-covered strawberries. They're really not difficult to make. Here are a couple of recipes:

Recipes for Chocolate Covered Strawberries

16 ounces milk chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening
1 pound fresh strawberries with leaves
Insert toothpicks into the tops of the strawberries.
In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and shortening, stirring occasionally until smooth. Holding them by the toothpicks, dip the strawberries into the chocolate mixture.
Turn berries upside down. Insert pick in Styrofoam for chocolate to cool.
Recipe from: Armida Cooks
Since it's Valentine's Day today, I figured I'll re-post this oldie-but goodie recipe for Chocolate Covered Strawberries. If you want to impress your cutie pie, these strawberries are so easy to make.
Whenever I go to a fancy Sunday brunch, there are two things that I first look out for: the champagne and the chocolate covered strawberries. The recipe below is fool proof and delicious. Just make sure your strawberries are super dry before you dip them in the chocolate. Oh my gawd, I'm having cravings just writing this!
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons shortening, such a vegetable Crisco (do not use butter, margarine, spread or oil)*
12 large fresh strawberries, with stems, rinsed and patted dry
Prepare cookie sheet by placing wax paper on bottom of it.
Place chocolate chips and shortening in medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 1-1/2 minutes or just until chips are melted and mixture is smooth when stirred; cool slightly.
Holding strawberry by top, dip 2/3 of each berry into chocolate mixture; shake gently to remove excess. Place on prepared tray.
Refrigerate until coating is firm, about 30 minutes. Store, covered, in refrigerator.
*Butter, margarine and spreads contain water which may prevent chocolate from melting properly; oil may prevent chocolate from forming a coating.

*Chcek out our Valentine's packages. They are available now through the end of February.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Starting today (01/01/12): Eat Healthy in the New Year

Well, I did it...not a good thing, but a bad thing..... to my cholesterol. I made a really stupid mistake. After taking a two hour ultrasound test to determine the amount of plaque in my arteries, I found out I had zero plaque. I was surprised, amazed,  and very happy. But instead of focusing on the fact that my cholesterol was only 190, I focused on the "no plaque" diagnosis and decided I could eat all the fat, including saturated, I wanted. Yeah....I know, as I said...stupid! I love dairy, so I just went nuts eating all ice cream, cheese, sour cream, etc. I wanted. And not the low-fat kind.

The result, a year later, was a rise of 30 points in my cholesterol. I can't believe I did this to myself. I didn't gain a lot of weight, only around seven pounds, but the increased  cholesterol has me and my doctor worried enough that I've made a New Year's resolution to get it down. My doctor says it's not high enough to put me on medication, so he evidently trusts me to do what I can with diet and exercise. I really know what to do; I've done it before, but I scouted around the intenet to find a few reminders and some new ideas just to get me back on the right track.

So here's my plan:  Diet wise, of course I have to stop eating all that Ben and Jerry's ice cream...that's a given. In addition, I'm going back to low fat dairy in general and cutting out processed foods, including cookies and crackers. One exception is rice cholesterol there. Here's one thing I haven't tried before: Cheerios for breakfast every morning, with walnuts and dried cranberries. They say it works; I'll let you know if it works for me.

Now, for the exercise. I know for a fact regular exercise lowers cholesterol. So yesterday, I trekked over to the YMCA, where I have a membership I haven't used in months, and checked out what's available for seniors. First thing was the weight room. In October and November, I was in physical therapy and worked on my quads and ham strings. It really strengthened me and I lost some weight to boot. Anyhow, I'm going to work on the same machines at the Y. I lost some of that strength, because I didn't continue exercising after I was released from PT, so I need to get that back right away. In addition to the weight machines, I plan on using the treadmill. It's a machine that I can handle pretty well so I think it will be helpful. Finally, I will take a "sit-down" free weights class for seniors twice a week, for upper body strength.

Now, besides lowering my cholesterol and gaining back some strength, I want to lose some weight. I have stage 4 arthritis, which is essentially bone on bone. So, strengthening those muscles around the knee and losing weight will help alleviate the pain.

Good plan...right? Well, I just hope I can stick to it. It'll be hard when the business picks up again after January. But right now I'm pretty motivated and if I can get myself hooked on this program, like I was on PT, I think I can muddle through. Anyhow, at my age, it's super important to maintain my health and strength.....Pray for me.

I found this video and I will be posting more ideas as I find them.

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