Star Wars Day

PBC Blog General 2 (16)Soon you may be seeing memes, posts and hearing people around you saying, “May the fourth be with you.”

I have said it knowing that it is an acknowledgment to Star Wars but this year I wanted to know more for some reason.  So I did what anyone would do.  I searched Google and landed and Wikipedia!  (Side note I just laughed at myself for a quick moment.)

Landed on Wikipedia I did…

(Side note I just laughed at myself for using my internal Yoda voice.)

Nonetheless, the phrase is a pun with Star Wars Day being on May the fourth and the Han Solo famous phrase to Luke Skywalker, “May the force be with you.” in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.

Wikipedia didn’t let me down but it sure didn’t tickle my Midi-chlorians .  I could have gone on with life not know the background of Star Wars Day.  Yet, in my research I did find something that may have tapped into my Dark Side – some people are saying NO to May the fourth.

https://www.starwars.com/embed/4e3640243d9a0c8bf9ef9d75
Star Wars Day Attack Ad: Say No to May the 4th on Disney Video

Nonetheless, in my heart, I believe I am a Jedi.  Thus, I end this post with…

May the fourth be with you!

Photo by Daniel Cheung on Unsplash

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Nursing Homes in 2069

PBC Blog General 2 (14)Recently, I took my mother to visit the skilled nursing and long-term care facility that she went into when she had her stroke.  She was thrilled to see the friends she made, both staff and patients when she visited.  Then while standing listening to golden oldies over the speaker in the dining hall as she talked to her favorite kitchen worker, and my mind began to wonder…

What will nursing homes be like for my generation?

Video or APP games will be our BINGO –  I don’t think we will find full satisfaction BINGO.  But leaderboards within the nursing home charting patient progress in Words with Friends, Candy Crush, Angry Birds, Zelda, or Super Mario.

Plant-based, Paleo, Keto, Pescatarian, Vegan, and Vegetarian Diets – Many are adopting new lifestyles and choices of living.  I just hope Ensure is working on some new dairy-free recipes.

Wireless Everything – Sure there may still be the need to buttons or remotes.  However, most electronic may be voice activated or be controlled by another smart device.

Different Dining Music – In the dining area instead of Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Green Day, or N’SYNC will probably be streaming over the speakers.

Virtual Pets – Being that many nursing homes don’t allow pets to be long term guests; I suspect many will have virtual pets that patients take of on their watch, tablet, phone or other device.

Beauty Salon Extravaganzas –  Also, I think the salons inside of facilities would need a wide variety of color options for dying hair.  In addition, they should be prepared for men and women getting manicures and pedicures.

Alternative Medicine Practitioners on Staff –  Due to the increasing demand for natural remedies I think these practitioners may find a home in these facilities.

Just random thought, but I would like to know your thoughts on this.

I am sure I missed something…what do you think nursing homes will be like?  Leave your reply below!

Photo by Aris Sfakianakis on Unsplash

National Day of Unplugging

I just took the pledge to “unplug” for National Day of Unplugging.   So I won’t be on social media from March 9 at sundown to March 10 at sundown and my Etsy shop, Peaces by Cortney will be closed.  To learn more or join in this pledge please visit the National Day of Unplugging website.

Won’t you unplug with me! Use #NationalDayOfUnPlugging .

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Image Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

5 Favorite Strawberry Recipes

Strawberry season will soon be here and I almost can’t wait!  Strawberries are red, small, sweet, and shaped like hearts.  How cute are they… I mean really?  When I was a kid we would go strawberry picking once during the season and come back with buckets of berries, red rings around our mouths, and full tummies.

Then arriving home we would wash them and transfer them into large bowls.  We kept some of them fresh but I remember helping with the prep work for soooo many recipes.  So here are five of my favorite strawberry recipes from Pinterest.  My family and I have tried them all and I have provided some additional insight to them.

Macerated Strawberries

This is recipe is super easy and the most dynamic of them all.  If you want to macerate strawberries without instructions or a recipe you can!  Just slice strawberries, add sugar, stir and let stand.  If you just added the sugar or orange juice as shown in the recipe you can freeze them.  Then you can top anything you want with the strawberries once thawed.  Put them on top of cereal, ice cream, oatmeal, cake… the list can go on.  But my all-time favorite way is to top them on My Grandma’s Old Fashioned Pound Cake with a dollop of whip cream.

Strawberry & Cream Pie

I first tasted this pie in the 80’s when my mother made after we went strawberry picking. I felt like a unicorn princess whenever I ate this.  It was that good!  If you buy a graham cracker crust instead of making your own, as mentioned in the recipe, you can still have that unicorn princess feeling that I had, just the same.

Strawberry Overnight Oats

I tried this in the fall of 2017 when I during my overnight oats craze,  of which I am still on.  I tried it just as the recipe directed.  However, the frozen strawberries we ok. Some of them were still kind of frozen.  But if you use fresh strawberries you are better off.  More of the strawberry flavor comes through and you are free from needing the chew frozen bits of strawberry.

Strawberry Mango Salsa

I first tried this recipe with grilled chicken years ago and it was DIVINE.  If you want to make it a full meal with the chicken just add rice.  And for my vegan friends, this is great with fried plantains, and rice in a burrito!

No Churn Strawberry Ice Cream

No ice cream maker means no problem!  Kids can really help towards the end.  However, forwarning, they may not be able to wait for it to freeze.

If you try any of them let me know!

This Is Me: Help, I am an indoor plant killer!

This is me and I am an indoor plant killer.  Sad and oh so true.   No matter how hard I have tried I can’t get a plant to live in my home.    I really want to bring plants inside but have continued to struggle for years.  I have tried aloe plants, cacti, succulents,  orchids, bromeliad, lily plants, waffle plants, bamboo, philodendron, and golden pothos.  No luck at all keeping any of them alive at all.

I love plants and when it comes to gardening outdoors I’ve got a green thumb.  There are benefits to having plants indoors and I want them…

I want them bad!  

  • Air Purifying
  • Added Air Moisture
  • Added Oxygen
  • Decreased Stress
  • Increased Creativity
  • Better Mental Health

I want to be the woman in the picture below.  My hands in the dirt with the ability to look at an indoor plant and give it exactly what it needs.  Sure, I would love to have several like her but I will settle for one.  Just one, please!!! I would really love to overcome this challenge and could use your help.

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If you can recommend books, have ideas, thoughts, or simply encouragement please comment below. 

I will do almost anything to keep one alive in my home.  Nonetheless, I am going to buy another plant this weekend in hopes that I can keep it alive.  It is also important to know that plants have been known to die within 48 hours under my care.  So please share your advice ASAP!!!!

What is the Deal with Dr. Seuss?

Recently, I have been seeing signs around with the infamous Dr. Seuss hat.  Then realizing Dr. Seuss day is just around the corner I began to reminisce.  Growing up I always loved looking at the pictures in Dr. Seuss books; and I would be ecstatic when one of the movies would come on TV.    The wording in the books would be tricky but fun.  And to this day, when I read his books to my kids I still stumble on the unique words sometimes.

The books are about nonsense…

However, a few years back a friend of mine mentioned that she hates Dr. Seuss books, refuses to read them to her children, and will not allow them to read them…EVER.  She said this with such clarity and boldness that I knew she was serious.  So I asked her why because they just seemed like fun books to me.  She then replied with a list, rattling them off with her fingers one by one.

  1. He doesn’t use correct grammar.
  2. He uses made-up words.
  3. The books are about nonsense.
  4. The books lack storylines.
  5. The books don’t help the development of language skills.

As the conversation continued, I kind of tuned out and began to question my parenting skills.  Am I being a bad parent for reading his books to my kids? Moreover, should I be concerned that I actually enjoy the books for myself every so often?  I immediately felt guilty, worried, offended and slightly judged all at the same time.  I was saying to myself, “what is the deal with Dr. Seuss?”  Come to find out, many people have a grudge against his writing style – a mean a lot of people.  Google it and you will see.

but it doesn’t really matter!

Well, it has been about six years since I had the encounter and I have to say… it doesn’t really matter. Both of my kids are school age now and doing just fine in the world of academia. What matters is that you read to your kids. Now that I think about it all the more… I wasted too many brain cells, back then, worrying about someone else’s opinion.

Special thanks to Tamarcus Brown for the photo.

unsplash-logoTamarcus Brown

Tasty Peanut Noodle Pasta Salad Recipe Review

Oh, my freaking tasty goodness! I think this salad changed my life.  Tasty’s Peanut Noodle Pasta Salad was simple yet had a complex flavor.  I did make some minor changes to the recipe for my liking but certainly didn’t stray too far.

 

I first saw this recipe on my Facebook feed.  I was a bit cautious because in the past I was not a bit fan of peanut butter mixed with sauces let alone pasta.  But the video kind of got me going.

The recipe certainly was flavorful.  It only had a little bit of heat from the siracha but not enough to even tingle your tongue.  As mentioned, I have made variations, however, I do find that the cucumbers do play a key roll in making sure the salad remains moist.  Without those, you may need to add a bit more water to help make sure the sauce is not too sticky after it has sat for an hour.  Other adjustments I have made:

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Replaced Raw Ginger with 1/4 tsp of Ginger Powder – The fresh raw ginger does have present a strong crisp peppery flavor.  With the ginger powder, the taste was a bit more subdued.

Replaced Linguine Noodles with Fettuccine – First, the linguine noodles taste better on the palate than the fettuccine noodles.  If the mouthy density of the noodles doesn’t make a difference to you then as the recipe states, any noodle will work.

86 the Cilantro – I have made this salad several times and sometimes I do and don’t have cilantro.  Either way, the salad still turns out great.  Knowing some people have a real aversion to cilantro having it on the side is a great option too.  But to other lovers of cilantro like myself, it brings the flavor that only cilantro can offer.

No Peanuts, No Problem – I like the crunch that the peanut offers in contracts to the soft noodles.  However, the fresh peppers also provide a crunch but it does not pack a punch.  So no peanuts no problem…you will still have a great salad.

Tasty has done it again! Try the recipe for yourself!

This is NOT a sponsored or an affiliate post.  I have NOT been compensated for these statements. All opinions remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the companies.  Also, the links in this post are not maintained.

This Is Me: Why I Became Vegan

2017 was a year that changed me in ways to this day I still don’t even know. One change was my path from Paleo, to vegetarian and finally to plant-based vegan. So what pushed me to make this change? The answer is my husband and mom.

PBC ERIn early 2017, my mother had a major stroke that impacted her cognition and caused her to lose sight on the right half of both of her eyes.  And within the same month, she was diagnosed with a highly aggressive cancer.  Today she is a cancer survivor and is doing well given all of what 2017 threw her way.  Nonetheless, the first six months of 2017 shook me to my core and led me to a lifestyle change.

Moreover, during the summer, my husband experienced a cardiac event that led to the ambulance rushing him away from home to the hospital in the dark and early hours of the morning.  Long story short there he is ok but he had to make changes to his diet as well – doctors orders.  I was surprised that I didn’t have a heart attack myself considering all of what I had encountered – but my husband was the last stray.  I had to make a change that would increase my chances of living a longer and healthier life.

In years past, I had sprints of pescatarianism and lacto-ovo-vegetarianism.  In 2016, I completed a Whole 30  which led to a paleo diet that I followed until my mother had a stroke in January 2017.  Over the next few months, traveling between home, work, kid’s school, radiation treatments, doctor offices and hospitals my eating habits when into the “trash”.  I ate whatever was easy and convenient.  Lot’s of pizza, fast-foods, ice cream, burgers and chicken nuggets.  To be honest I was in survival mode and food was comforting me instead of nourishing my body.

So on July 12, 2017, I became a vegetarian…”cold turkey”.  Then 90 days later, I completely transitioned to a plant-based vegan diet.  My skin has never looked clearer, my “numbers” are what they were 10 years ago and the boost of energy is REAL!  However, the energy element didn’t really kick in until about 6-8 weeks into me being vegan.

Now as a wife, mother, daughter, caregiver, full-time employee, blogger, and a crafter who is also vegan I still get tired – but who wouldn’t.  But I feel better about my food choices and in greater control of my health.  Overall, I became vegan because I wanted to increase my chances of living a longer and healthier life for not only myself but my family.  Though I must say I am beginning to develop personal feelings and convictions towards the treatment of animals in our food industry…but that is a blog post for another day!

VAVA Desktop Diffuser Product Review

While I featured VAVA Desktop Diffuser in my Cortney’s Favorite Things from 2017 I was so impressed that I wanted to share more about this particular item.  I mean I ended up buying a total of four of them – so it is safe to say, I think I am in LOVE!

Overview

When I order my first one I was a bit skeptical.  I liked the sleek, modern and minimalist look of the diffuser but was unsure about how it would perform.  After conducting much research on diffusers I knew I wanted it to have an auto-shutoff and an intermittent setting.  This had both and was so compact and cute… I took a chance!

PBC Desktop Diffuser Review 3

It arrived in sturdy packaging and include a users guide, cleaning brush, USB cord, and a black travel tote.  I initially purchased it for my bedside but the light would not go off while it was running (You can set it for the light to be off while it is still defusing. I just didn’t figure that out until a month later… SMH) So I took it to work instead.  And this proved to be so helpful while in the office.

After a couple of days, I felt like a ninja when I added my essential oils to fight off the germs that floated around the office.  And besides, it made my office smell pretty darn good!  I have enjoyed this diffuser so much because of its compact size and ease of use that I ended up ordering a total three more for my two kids and mother.  Now my kid requests me to turn it on at night to help them rest and it helps my mother get some additional rest to ease her anxiety.

Use, Settings & Cleaning

Since it only holds 30 ml it only leaves you the opportunity to add about 1-2 drops of essential oils.  So you could add your favorite single essential oil or a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil blend.  As I mentioned earlier, the diffuser will work with the lighting off.  Check out the guide below:

  • Continuous Mist = Press On Button One Initial Time
  • Intermittent Mist (30 secs on/30 secs off) = Press On Button One More Time After Initial
  • Turn Off Light = Press On Button One 2X During Continuous Mist or Intermittent Mist
  • Turn Off Diffuser = Holding Down On Button

Depending on the settings you use, the time of diffusing can range from 3 – 6 hours.  Also, the machine is easy to clean but I think the brush for the machine could be better. Lastly, it is not silent but only emits a very soft bubbling sound that is actually kind of soothing.

This is NOT a sponsored or an affiliate post.  I have NOT been compensated for these statements. All opinions remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the companies.  Also, the links in this post are not maintained. The purpose of this blog post is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various products. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Cortney’s Favorite Things from 2017

I am feeling like Oprah right now!  In 2017, I came across some pretty awesome things.  Also, this not a sponsored or affiliate post – just a few of my favorite things I wanted to share. Enjoy!

  1. Lemons Tote – “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” This was my mantra in 2017.  And I think Beyonce or any members of the Bey Hive just might like it too.
  2. Sleep Mask –  Believe it or not, I sleep with my eye just a wee bit open.  This mask has been a lifesaver in keeping my eyes closed and more moisturized as I sleep.
  3. Desktop Diffuser – I have been doing a bit of aromatherapy with essentials oils at home.  And this allows me to take the benefits of it to my desk at work.
  4. Bear Shower Curtain – This shower curtain is like none other.  The colors are mesmerizing.  It sets off my kid’s minimalist bathroom.
  5. 2018 Calendar –  I searched high and low for a calendar like this.  Compact, beautiful artwork and sleek design.
  6. Plaid Green Scarf – I eyed this for a while and finally bought for the winter.  I mean one of my favorite colors is green and I couldn’t resist.
  7. Clip-on Sunglasses –  I bought these originally for my mother but loved them so much I bought a pair for myself.  Lightweight and light blocking.  I couldn’t as for more.
  8. Pill Case – This tiny case is often used in emergencies.  It can slip right in my pocket and has been a staple in my tote and purse.
  9. Herbivore T-shirt – When I went Vegetarian on July 12, 2017 I wanted to let the world know but not be crazy about it.  This shirt is super soft and works for me now that I am vegan too.
  10. Octopus Mouse Pad – This just makes me think of the ocean.  I get an underwater, swirling, mermaid feeling whenever I look at it.  And mermaids make things happen!
This is NOT a sponsored or an affiliate post.  I have NOT been compensated for these statements. All opinions remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the companies.  Also, the links in this post are not maintained.

This Is Me: 2018 Resolution Theme

Welcome to 2018, time for resolutions, no resolutions or un-resolution.  This year I have opted to have not have a resolution but rather a theme.  The theme for this year is:

“Owning me with kindness and empathy.”

The thought behind the theme is owning who I was, who I am and who I will be in the future with the understanding that I am not perfect and still pretty cool anyways.  2017 was a real challenge but it allowed me to see my weaknesses and discover new strength that I had no idea I could muster up.  In the past, I often showed outer strength but struggled with internal stability, depression, and anxiety (Yes, I said it!).  Often times, I was harder and more critical of myself than anyone else could ever be; while wondering and caring a bit too much about what people thought.  But I have to take care of me and you have to take care of you.  So this year, resolution or un-resolution is to take me for who I am inside and out.

My hope for all of my followers is to see themselves for who they are and embrace themselves with kindness, understanding, and love that you so well deserve.

FYI – Not sure if I spelled un-resolution right or not. And that is OK.

5 Favorite Avocado Recipes

Over this year I have made a lot of changes to my diet.  However, one item that certainly has been a consistent member of my menu is AVOCADOS!  Yes, the fruit that is a berry a.k.a the “alligator pear”.   I have had it on toast, grits, salads,  and smoothies just to name a few.  Today I want to share my love for avocados with you too.  So here are five of my favorite avocado recipes from Pinterest.  All have been tried and truly are delicious.  If you try any of them let me know below!