it’s all about them, not you

Dear Ask Mom, I don’t think that I make a good first impression when I meet someone new or have a job interview, how can I change this?

People don’t remember what you said or what you wore as much as how you made them feel when they were with you. Make other people feel good about themselves. Try to shift the focus on to them not on you, everyone loves talking about themselves.

Winter/Spring salad

I’m not sure that it’s really Spring yet, so here’s a salad from The…

Late-Winter Salad with Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing

Makes about 1 1/4 cups dressing

For the dressing:
1 cup strawberry yogurt, Greek or regular
1 tablespoon mayonnaise (or sour cream)
2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
1/2 scant teaspoon ground mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
Kosher salt, to taste
Milk, to thin as necessary

For the salad:
Butter lettuce
2-3 citrus fruits (tangelos, blood oranges, cara cara), cut into supremes
1 ripe avocado, sliced
Poppy seeds, for garnish
Thinly sliced shallots, optional
Toasted pecans, optional
Grilled chicken or fish, optional

In a medium bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk the yogurt, mayonnaise, champagne vinegar, mustard powder, sugar, and poppy seeds to combine. Season with kosher salt to taste. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Stir in milk to thin to desired consistency and adjust seasoning to taste.

Arrange lettuce, citrus, avocados, and additional toppings in a shallow serving bowl. Pour dressing over the top and garnish with additional poppy seeds.

finders keepers

what are you looking for?

try these websites…



quick and easy health fixes that work…

Muscle tension- relieve muscle tension in your head and neck by lying down with an ice pack or bag of frozen peas, rolled in a towel, under your neck for 15 minutes.

Itchy rashes-  spritz your rash with European mineral water like San Pellegrino, for example— mineral-rich spring water relieves pain from burns and rashes and reduces inflammation.

Acne- gently scrub your face with coarse salt (an antiseptic) and a few drops of neem oil (an antifungal oil available at health food stores), rinse then apply a mask of plain yogurt for 15 to 30 minutes. The lactic acid in yogurt is a natural exfoliant that gives skin a glow, clears acne, and fades discolorations and fine lines.

Mosquito bites- maybe a little early for these but when they bite you get rid of the swelling and itching with aspirin paste. Crush a low-dose aspirin, add an ounce of water to dissolve, then apply. It’s an anti-inflammatory and should reduce the redness from bites or stings and pimples because it contains salicylic acid, the active ingredient in acne medicines.

Minor burns- treat minor burns can be treated with a cold compress of black or green tea. Soak a dish towel in cold tea and hold it on the burn.

Nausea- Sugar helps nausea, keep a can of peaches around and use the fruit syrup from a can of peaches. For motion sickness or stomach bugs, the last thing you need is a huge meal. But that syrup, or some sugary flat soda, should take the edge off.

Low energy- Low energy? make sure you’re getting enough water. Half of the people who come to me complaining of fatigue are actually dehydrated, drink more, aim for six to eight glasses a day.

Food poisoning- Black tea with a few pieces of burned toast will help you get over food poisoning. The reason it works is because the tannic acid in tea and charcoal in the toast will neutralize the toxins and help you get much better very quickly.

Muscle soreness- keep a paper cup filled with water in the freezer, and when next-day muscle or joint pain strikes,  peel off the top half-inch of paper for quick, easy application. Run the ice directly along the affected joint for 5 minutes at a time; any longer could cause frostbite.

Headache- try a foot massage, rub your feet a third of the way down the sole of the foot, where the toes begin and take a bath made from hot water and a few teaspoons of mustard powder (the kind you use in cooking). A foot bath instead of a total body bath works too, it’s relaxing and can ease general pain.



mentally exhausted

Mom, I’m mentally exhausted. What can I do about it?

If you’re mentally exhausted maybe you’re thinking too much! When you have to do something you don’t have to think about every possibility. Think about the simplest way to do something, assume everything will work out and if not deal with it. If things don’t work out deal with disasters with a good sense of humor and never forget it could always be worse.

madness strikes again

Dear Ask Mom, I am so crazy with March Madness, I watch it all day and all night at work and at home. What can I do to stop?

I can’t stop watching, either…I have no clue how to help you!

breakfast doesn’t get any better than this

this could be the best breakfast recipe so far from The Kitchn…

Breakfast Banana Split with Yogurt and Jam

Serves 1

1 banana, peeled
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons fruit jam or preserves
2 tablespoons sliced almonds or other nuts
1/4 cup fresh blueberries or other fresh fruit

Split the banana lengthwise and lay the two halves in a shallow bowl. Use an ice cream scoop to scoop out the yogurt and put it on top of the banana. Warm the jam in the microwave for 15 to 30 seconds or until it is very runny.

Use a spoon to drizzle the jam over the yogurt, and sprinkle the nuts over everything. Top with the blueberries, and enjoy!

it has sprung

Winter officially ends TODAY, run outside and do your “let Spring begin dance” and check out to track blossom times 

websites for odds and ends…


optimistic people in these places decided that since Spring starts today it would be a good idea to schedule flower shows (not sure what they are going to do if it doesn’t stop snowing):

  • Boston March 12-16
  • Chicago March 15-23
  • Philadelphia April 1-9
  • Portland, Maine April 6-9
  • San Francisco April 19-23
  • Toronto, Canada April 14-23

Spring clean something time

Spring is supposed to start any time now…and this is one of those be careful what you wish for because here’s a long Spring cleaning list


  1. Dust lighting fixtures.
  2. Wash walls and moldings.
  3. Wash doors, knobs and switch plates
  4. Empty out coat closet, air out coats and donate unneeded items.
  5. Clean or replace entry mat.
  6. Sweep and scrub floors.


  1. Open windows
  2. Dust furniture.
  3. For each drawer: remove items, wash drawer, line drawers, place items back neatly.  Donate unneeded items.
  4.  Remove everything from closets. Sweep and wash closet floor. Put everything back neatly.  Donate items you no longer need.  Try not to store things on closet floor.
  5. Move Bed.  Sort and put away anything that was under bed.  Sweep or vacuum under bed.  Try not to store things under bed.
  6. Put bed back.  Freshen mattress by sprinkling with baking soda, letting sit briefly, and vacuum it up.
  7. Launder bedding and curtains.  Wash pillows and duvet cover in hot water.  Replace mattress pad, freshen up duvet in hot dryer.
  8. Dust lights and shades.
  9. Wash windows and window sills.  Take out and wash window screens.
  10. Wash switch plates.  Wash walls and molding as needed.
  11. Wash mirrors and dust art.
  12. Wash doors and doorknobs.
  13. Wash vent covers.
  14. Sweep and wash floor or vacuum.


  1. Open windows
  2. Empty all cabinets and vanity.  Wash inside, replace items neatly.  Discard expired medications and cosmetics.
  3. Wash outside of cabinets and vanities
  4. Clean tub. Wax if necessary. Clean drain.
  5. Clean toilet, inside and out.  Remove seat and clean around seat bolts.
  6. Clean sink and drain.
  7. Shine faucets.
  8. Clean mirror and frame .
  9. Dust light fixtures.
  10. Wash windows and window sills. Take out and wash window screens.
  11. Wash switch plates, walls and trim.  Wash doors and door knobs.
  12. Wash vent covers.
  13.  Sweep and wash floors.
  14. Reseal grout lines if necessary.


  1. Open windows.
  2. Remove and clean window coverings. 
  3. For each cabinet or drawer: Remove items, wipe out drawer, place items back neatly.  Donate unneeded items.
  4. Wash and sanitize cutting boards.
  5. Sharpen knives.
  6. Wash cabinet doors and knobs
  7. Clean out and organize pantry.  Check food expiration dates.
  8. Clean oven.
  9. Clean cook top.
  10. Clean and organize refrigerator and freezer. Defrost freezer, if necessary.  Check food expiration dates.
  11. Clean under fridge and stove.
  12. Vacuum refrigerator coils.
  13. Clean microwave.
  14. Clean out toaster.
  15. Clean and descale kettle.
  16. Wipe down any other counter appliances
  17. Wash counters and back splash.
  18. Wash and shine sink. Shine faucet. Clean drain.
  19. Clean dishwasher
  20. Dust light fixtures.
  21. Wash windows and window sills.  Remove window screens and wash.
  22. Wash switch plates.
  23. Wash walls and moldings as needed.
  24. Wash doors and door knobs.
  25. Wash vent covers
  26. Sweep and wash floor.
  27. Wash outside and inside of washer and dryer.


  1. Open windows.
  2. Wash curtains.
  3. Dust table and chairs.
  4. Wipe down or dust other furnishing.
  5. Clean chair pads, if applicable.
  6. Polish table, if necessary
  7. Dust any displayed china or serving dishes.
  8. Launder table linens.
  9. Shine silverware.
  10. Dust art.
  11. Wash windows and window sills.  Take out and wash window screens.
  12. Wash switch plates
  13. Wash walls and trim.
  14. Wash doors and door knobs
  15. Wash vent covers.
  16. Clean floors.


  1. Open windows.
  2. Vacuum furniture.
  3. Spot clean sofas, if applicable.
  4. Launder throw pillows and blankets.
  5. Dust shelves and stuff.
  6. Dust lamps and lamp shades.
  7. Wash windows and window sills.
  8. Take out and wash window screens.
  9. Clean television screen.
  10. Carefully dust electronics.
  11. Sort through music, DVD collections, books and magazines. Donate whatever you don’t want to keep and organize the rest.
  12. Wash switch plates.
  13. Wash walls and trim as needed.
  14. Wash doors and knobs.
  15. Wash vent covers.
  16. Clean floors.


  • Clean blades of ceiling fans.
  • Sort through and organize photographs (digitally or into albums).
  • Sort and clean: linen closets, utility closets and office spaces.

I don’t know why you would want to but, you can find more cleaning tips at:

go face to face with problems

Dear Mom- I can never face my problems and solve them. How can I change?

It’s always much easier to run away than face things. The only way to get better at solving problems is by doing it, so start now and you’ll get better at it the more you do it. It’s really all about making good choices…

 let the March Madness begin…