Ask Mom- What’s the one thing that I should change about me so that next year is a better year?

The only things that you can change are the things that you control and nothing else matters.


eat smartly

if you’re doing a lot of eating on the run and in food courts at the malls here’s what you should know…

Choose reduced fat or light- a reduced fat muffin will save you 50 calories and 5 grams of fat  instead of the regular muffin. At Starbucks, java chip Frappuccino with nonfat milk has 260 fewer calories and 14 fewer grams of fat than the same drink with whole milk and whipped cream. Visit Jamba Juice and you’ll save 120 calories by ordering a “light” banana berry smoothie instead of the “classic”.
Be picky about toppings- Add blueberries, strawberries, or bananas to frozen yogurt: They have 13 to 33 calories per quarter-­cup and no fat, but an ounce of peanuts, almonds, M&M’s, or peanut-butter-cup candies adds 137 to 169 calories. Order an Auntie Anne’s pretzel and you’ll cut 30 calories by skipping butter and 590 milligrams of sodium by leaving out the salt; 60 calories by avoiding sweet-mustard dipping sauce; and 150 calories (and 450 milligrams of sodium) by saying no to melted-cheese dip. You can’t do much right at Cinnabon except to pass on the frosting cup (180 calories).
Choose the right type- At Doc Popcorn, eat “better butter” instead of “caramel kettle” and cut calories in half. At Cold Stone Creamery, do the same by picking vanilla frozen yogurt, not vanilla bean ice cream.
Size matters- Yes, a Dunkin’ Munchkin is small, but a couple might at least satisfy your sweet tooth; and at 70 calories each, even six chocolate glazed munchkins have fewer calories than one blueberry muffin. Cold Stone’s Gotta Have It size of vanilla bean ice cream has 790 calories and 46 grams of fat; its Like It size has 330 calories and 19 grams of fat.
Check figures online before you go- Don’t assume you’ll know what’s most nutritious. Should you always choose something with veggies or fruit? No. The Starbucks zucchini walnut muffin has 490 calories and 28 grams of fat, and fruit smoothies can be wicked.
Eat a real lunch- Don’t sample a collection of fattening snacks. Eating a Starbucks ham and swiss panini instead of that pretzel dog can cut calories by almost half and fat by almost two-thirds.
Huffington Post had all of this good info and more…

let the returning begin

let the returning begin…


  1. Hate it? An insider’s guide to returning gifts –

  2. 7 Roadblocks To Returning Gifts – Consumerist

  3. Returning Gifts Etiquette – Gifting Resource Center

and to all

merry, happy, joyous, peaceful

deal with it

Dear Ask Mom, I am going to be with people that I don’t like too much over the holidays. How do I deal with this?

You are required to be a nice person, kind and pleasant to be around, you don’t have to be their new best friend.

sorry can’t help you

Dear Ask Mom, I have a friend who only calls me when she has a problem. I like her, but I’m not a therapist, what can I do?

Listen for a few minutes, then change the subject. If your friend keeps coming back to her problems, tell her that your advice is worth exactly what she is paying for it- nothing and start talking about something else before you get depressed about her problems and then you’ll need a therapist, too…


if you’re trying to fit into your favorite dress or last year’s tux, nibble instead of eating meals, but be careful little nibbles are not small in calories…

• 1 Lemon-Thyme Bruschetta – Slices of baguette spread with ricotta and lemon zest. Really couldn’t be easier.
• 2 Fava Bean and Radish Bruschetta – Hello, spring!
• 3 Cream Cheese and Arugula Toast Bites – These things come together in aflash.
• 4 Fresh Mozzarella Toasts with Spicy Herb Oil – Plenty of fresh summer flavor.

• 5 How To Make Prosciutto Rosettes – Curls of meat to accompany a cheese tray.
• 6 Prosciutto-Wrapped Arugula – Such a simple, fresh appetizer — love this.
• 7 Stuffed Sweet Piquante Peppers – Meat and cheese in a bright, sweet pepper.
• 8 A Trio Of Cheese Balls – Cheese balls are so retro, and so back in these days. Make one (or all three) of these and watch your guests huddle round.

• 9 Roasted Edamame with Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper – Simple, quick, and addictive.
• 10 Ina Garten’s Chipotle and Rosemary Spiced Nuts – People go crazy for these.
• 11 Cheddar Olives – A Southern classic.
• 12 Cheesy Spicy Popcorn – Toasty, cheesy, and salty.

• 13 Spinach and Artichoke Dip – Can’t go wrong with a classic.
• 14 A Salty, Savory, Sexy, Scrumptious, Smooth and Spreadable Vegan Dip!– Yeah, what it says.
• 15 Zucchini, Mint and Yogurt Spread – Fresh and unexpected.
• 16 Kalamata Olive Tapenade with Shallots – All you need are a few pantry ingredients, and a quick blitz in the food processor.

• 17 Cipollini and Mushroom Tart – People go crazy for small bites of this stuff.
• 18 Smoky Deviled Eggs with Greek Yogurt – Never underestimate the power of a deviled egg.
• 19 Leek, Ricotta, and Lemon Flatbread – Little wedges of this are more substantial than a lot of party food, and have a refreshingly bright taste.
• 20 How To Make Pretzel Bites Fit For A Crowd – Homemade pretzel bites? Oh yeah!
• 21 Ortine’s Mediterranean Platter – A whole platter of good appetizers.

• 22 Stuffed Figs with Honey-Balsamic Syrup – Sweet and rich.
• 23 Juno’s Pregnant Dates – Bacon-wrapped dates. Sweet AND salty.
• 24 DIY Salt Caramels – Scatter a few homemade caramels in among the salty stuff.
• 25 Extra-Dark Brownies with Sea Salt and Lime – A bite of dark brownie is just the right ending to a party of little nibbles.

find all of these recipes at

looking good

more what to wear where websites…

  1. How to Dress for Every Occasion –

  2. Dress Right – AskMen

dressing up

if you’ve been invited, here’s is a dress code to follow, if you care…according to Emily Post

White Tie
  • Black tailcoat, matching trousers with a single stripe of satin or braid in the US; two stripes in Europe or the UK
  • white piqué wing-collared shirt with stiff front
  • white vest
  • white-colored (e.g., mother of pearl) studs and cufflinks
  • white bow tie
  • white or gray gloves
  • black patent shoes and black dress socks


  • Formal (floor length) evening gown
Black Tie
  • Black tuxedo jacket and matching trousers
    formal (piqué or pleated front) white shirt
  • black-colored (e.g., onyx) studs and cufflinks
  • black bow tie (silk, shiny satin or twill)
  • black cummerbund to match tie, or a vest
  • dressy suspenders to ensure a good fit (optional)
  • black patent shoes and black dress socks
  • no gloves.
  • In summer or on a cruise: white dinner jacket, black tuxedo trousers plus other black tie wardrobe.


  • Formal (floor length) evening gown
  • dressy cocktail dress
  • Your dressiest little black dress
Black Tie
  • Tuxedo combined with trendy or whimsical items, such as a black shirt or a matching colored or patterned bow tie and cummerbund
  • Formal (floor length) evening gown
  • dressy cocktail dress
  • your dressiest little black dress
  • fun or unique accessories


Black Tie
  • Either a tuxedo (see ‘Black Tie’ above) or
  • Dark suit, white shirt, and conservative tie
  • dressy leather shoes and dark dress socks
  • Formal (floor length) evening gown
  • dressy cocktail dress
  • a little black dress
  • dressy separates


  • Dark, business suit
  • matching vest (optional)
  • dress shirt
  • conservative tie
  • dressy leather shoes and dark dress socks
  • Short afternoon or cocktail dress
  • a little black dress
  • long dressy skirt and top
  • dressy separates


(usually for the holidays)
  • Seasonal sport coat or blazer in color of choice, and slacks
  • open-collar shirt
  • dress shirt and optional “festive” or holiday-themed tie
  • Cocktail dress or
  • long dressy skirt and top
  • dressy pants outfit or separates
  • a little black dress
  • feature holiday colors and accessories


Business Formal *
  • Dark business suit
  • matching vest (optional)
  • dress shirt
  • conservative tie
  • dressy leather shoes and dark dress socks
  • Suit
  • business-style dress
  • dress with a jacket
  • stockings (optional in summer)
  • heels, low or high


  • Seasonal sport coat or blazer with slacks or khakis
  • dress shirt with optional tie, or casual button-down shirt
  • open-collar or polo shirt
  • loafers or loafer-style shoes and socks
  • Skirt, khakis or pants
  • open-collar shirt, knit shirt, or sweater
    (no spaghetti straps or decolleté)
  • casual-style dress


  • Seasonal sport coat or blazer and slacks
  • dress shirt, casual button-down shirt
  • optional tie
  • open-collar or polo shirt
  • Dress
  • skirt and dressy top
  • dressy pants outfit
  • nice jeans and dressy top


  • Khakis or good jeans (clean, no holes)
  • cargo or Bermuda shorts—depending on occasion and climate
  • plain t-shirt (no slogans), polo shirt, or turtleneck
  • casual button-down shirt
  • sweater
  • loafers, sneakers (with or without socks), or sandals
  • Sundress
  • long or short skirt
  • khakis or nice jeans
  • shorts (depending on occasion and climate)
  • plain t-shirt (no slogans), polo shirt, or turtleneck
  • casual button-down blouse

don’t talk about it

Mom, When I go home I will be seeing friends that I only see once or twice a year and it seems like we spend most of our time talking about feeling bad about not seeing each other and keeping in touch. How can we stop wasting our time when we are together talking about not seeing each other?

Exactly, don’t talk about it. If you want to get in touch with people text them, call them or go see them, but don’t spend your time together talking about why you never see each other…that makes no sense