charity begins at home

dear Ask Mom, I paid for a charity event that I wanted to go to, but I found out that the organization supports a few charities and I do NOT support one of them. Should I go since I have paid for it or ask for a refund?
If you feel strongly about not supporting the charity then don’t go, but they already have your money so  you should go and mention to the organizer that if you had looked into it you would not have contributed to the event. Tell the organizer why and leave it at that. Next time of course check into things more carefully or ask some questions. Since you have inadvertently supported a charity that you don’t like you could make an equal donation to a charity that you do support if your conscience is bothering you.

all by myself

Mom, I have started to spend most of my time alone. When someone asks me to do something I usually don’t want to do what they are doing and I don’t feel like I want to hang around with anyone. Is it ok if I spend most of my time by myself?
Being alone isn’t bad but, are you doing something that you like doing while you’re alone, or are you sitting on the couch watching tv all day and all night? It’s better if you balance your time and spend some time alone, but do things with people you know and it’s also good to spend some time trying to meet new people and make new friends. Spending time alone doesn’t mean that you sit in the house by yourself, go do something, being alone should never stop you from doing things.

vacation #1 or #2?

Dear Mom, I live in the South, my friend who lives in a state in the North visited me in the winter. We planned that I would visit her in the summer, but I just got an invitation from someone else  for the same time that we planned to get together to go somewhere that I have never been. I only have 2 weeks vacation so I can’t do both. I would really like to accept the second invitation. What should I do?
Did you make definite plans with your friend for the summer vacation or was it just mentioned? Is your friend counting on it? Are you trying to justify accepting a better invitation? There’s a friendship involved here, not just a vacation. If you answer these questions honestly you’ll know what you should do…

perfect plate of pasta

too hot to cook, but make a pot of pasta and this is a perfect summer dish…

Mediterranean Summer Pasta with Salsa Cruda

Ingredients

1/2 cup pitted olives, lightly chopped
2 ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons capers
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/3 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
12 ounces angel hair pasta
Parmesan, for grating

Directions

In a large pasta serving bowl, mix together the olives, tomatoes, mint, capers, garlic, red pepper flakes, orange zest and olive oil. Season with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Stir and lightly press the ingredients with the back of the spoon to incorporate flavors. Let sit for at least 30 minutes, or up to a day.

Just before serving, cook the angel hair pasta in salted boiling water according to package instructions. Remove the garlic clove from the pasta sauce. Drain the pasta and while still steaming hot, place the pasta on top of the cold sauce. Let sit for a minute before tossing the pasta. Top with grated Parmesan and serve.

recipe from thekitchn.com


non-stop tunes

hi mom, I’m having a party and I’m not a good cook. What should I do to make sure that the party is is a great success? I don’t think I can learn to cook by this weekend!
Food is maybe the most important thing at a party, but a close second is music. Make sure music is playing all the time. Good music will make everyone will think that they’re having fun as soon as they show up…have everyone help with the rest and cater everything…have as much fun as your guests

it’s how you say it

Ask mom, Sometimes I don’t think before I say things and I’m so worried that I will say something to hurt someone’s feelings, so even when someone asks me I never give my opinion or say what I really think. If someone asks should I say what I really think?
It  depends who you are talking to  and lots of times it’s not what you say, but how you say it. Don’t worry so much about offending people with the truth.  Always say whatever you have to say with as much kindness as possible.

multibrain?

Mom- will I get more things done if I multitask or do one thing at a time? It seems like I never get anything done.
I used multitasking as an excuse to start lots of things and never finishing anything. It takes too much energy to figure out how to do a lot of things at the same time. I don’t have a multigrain, so it works better to make a list or decide the most important thing that needs to be done when you have a lot to do. Prioritize, and do one thing at a time. Finish something and move on, at least you will finish whatever you start instead of leaving a few things almost done.

have an unplanned good time

Dear Mom, I’m going on vacation alone. I need your best advice for having a good time on my own.
Good for you…my best advice is plan for the worst and don’t over plan, Talk to people, make friends and just see where you wind up. Walk a lot and don’t worry about your body clock, sleep when you can- but keep going, you’ll sleep when you get home… enjoy

summer sipping

If you love peaches, lemonade and anything spiked- you’ll love this, enjoy…

Sparkling Spiked Peach Lemonade

Serves 4
1 cup sugar
1 cup of water
3 large peaches
6 cups sparkling water
1 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cup vodka
In a small pot, combine the sugar and 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, and simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool completely.
Remove the skins from 2 of the peaches, reserving the third. Cut an “X” in the bottom of each one, and place them in a pot of boiling water for about 30 seconds. Transfer the peaches to an ice bath, and peel when cool enough to handle. Slice each peeled peach in half and remove the pits. Cut peaches into cubes, place them in the blender or food processor, and puree until liquified.
In a large pitcher, combine the pureed peaches, the cooled simple syrup, the sparkling water, the lemon juice and the vodka. Stir to combine. Add ice and stir again.
Cut the remaining peach into thin slices. Stir a few of the slices into the lemonade and use the others to garnish the glasses.
Recipe Notes
You can use store-bought peach puree, but it will be sweeter than using fresh peaches. Adjust the amount of simple syrup as needed.
You can substitute club soda for the sparkling water.
and…when I wanted a good summer drink a friend told me that his favorite cool drink recipe ingredients are: lemon-ice, vodka and a blender. Make up your own proportions and enjoy!

write it first

Dear Mom, I have a terrible problem. I wrote an email and I didn’t pay attention to the recipient’s name that popped up when I put in the first letter. I accidentally sent it to the person who the email was about and it was not a nice email!! Do I have to move out of town? What do I do?
I’m cringing because I’ve done the same thing. You could try to explain your way out of it without making it a big deal or worse, but there’s not much you can do about it, so try to let it go. It won’t happen again if you write the contents of the email first then go back and add the recipient’s email address after you’ve written the email so that even if you accidentally hit send it won’t go anywhere and you can make sure you double check the name that pops up on the recipient line. I think there’s also a way to unsend now, but I don’t know how it works…