Refreshing Summer Cocktails and Beverage Recipes

Here are five delicious summer cocktail and beverage recipes that are great for entertaining or simply to enjoy after a long day of work.  The stacked beverage server from Horchow is also the perfect container for dispensing your refreshments of choice.

Tabernacle Crush from Food & Wine


Mango Sangria from
Bobby Flay’s Coconut Ice Tea
Rye and Pomegranate Punch from Bon Appetit
Stacked Optic Glass Beverage Server from Horchow

Wellness Monday: 6 Stress Reducers to Help Relieve Your Anger

Some things have a way of crawling under your skin. But before you let them make your blood boil, try these six pieces of advice that will help you keep your cool.

Recipes to Help You Live with and Beat Diabetes

A few weeks ago I saw Sherri Shepherd from The View, on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.  Sherri was on to promote her book, Plan D: How to Lose Weight and Beat Diabetes (Even If You Don't Have It).  Sherri recalled that when she was young, she would hear family members talking about someone having Sugar, but not paying too much attention to what Sugar was.  Even when someone showed up with a missing leg, it didn’t register.  The same with me.  As a child in Barbados, the term Sugar was often used.  No one used the word diabetes.  I now know the correct name for Sugar and as it was when I was a child, I also have friends and family members who are living with the disease. 

Diabetes is very prevalent in the African-American Community.  Many African-Americans eat too many fatty and fried foods, imbibe too many sweet drinks, use too much salt and don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables.  Like a lot of other Americans, many of them are also overweight or even obese.

On a trip to the supermarket about three years ago, I discovered some canned goods sold by an African American-owned company.  I had read a few articles in the business press about the success of this company.  I was happy that they were able to get their products on the shelves of this particular supermarket chain.  So I went ahead and purchased a can of one of their products.  However, when I opened the can at home and tasted its contents, I immediately spat them out!  The salt was overwhelming.  It seemed like at least a ½ lb of salt was added to the can.  This particular company sells a lot of product to the black community.
Image credit: sam74100 / 123RF Stock Photo
I attended a Health Fair given by my former employer a few years ago and was shocked to discover that each can of soda contains 10 tablespoons of sugar!  My then employer provided free sodas and I used to drink at least 2-3 cans of Coke or Pepsi per day.  A lot of my co-workers drank even more.  Today, I seldom drink soda.

Currently, we’re not only contending with obese adults, but also obese children.  There has also been a rise in Childhood Diabetes.  Both Type 1 and Type 2.  According to the American Diabetes Association, the increase in type 2 is linked to the prevalence of obesity in youth.

First Lady, Michelle Obama deserves a lot of credit for starting her Let’s Move campaign.  I have read that her campaign has actually produced positive results.  More kids and adults have included some form of exercise in their daily routine and are eating more fruits and vegetables.

Diabetes is not a disease that touches just overweight people.  It is an equal opportunity disease that can touch anyone who ingests too much sugar and doesn't have a healthy diet.  Many famous celebrities like Patti Labelle, Halle Berry and Mary Tyler Moore are living with diabetes.

Having diabetes or working to prevent the onset doesn't mean you have to give up desserts or other meals that you love. If you would like to prevent the onset of diabetes, watch what you eat.  Start by eating more fruits and vegetables, follow a diet with less sugar, salt and carbohydrates.  You can also pick up a copy of Sherri Shepherd’s book or any other book on living with or preventing the onset of diabetes.  To get you started on healthier eating habits, we've rounded up 17 amazing recipes from Diabetic Living just for you.  From appetizers to entrees, desserts and cocktails, we've got you covered.

Written by Jennifer!

The Side Effects of Sleep Deprivation

exhausted black young women sleeping with her head on a laptop computer 

Photo creidt: 123RF

I overslept on Friday morning and subsequently did not wake up until 10:00 am.  Because the rush hour ended around the time I woke up, by the time I got ready and took the train into the city, I would not have made it to work until after 12:00 noon so I decided to take the day off.  Every morning I wake up at 6:30 to get ready for my day job but Friday was different for a couple of reasons.

First, I forgot to set the alarm which never happens but that is not what was strange about the day.  What was strange is that even though I set the alarm every night, I never need it to wake up.  Every morning my body clock wakes me up at around 6:30 and I lie in bed until the alarm goes off at 6:45.  On Thursday night for the first time in ages, I forgot to set the alarm and my body clock did not work.  I slept until 10:00 am.

Jennifer is constantly telling me that I need to get more sleep.  My daytime job in publishing is high pressured.  We are continuously busy and there is seldom any downtime.  Then when I get home, I am up late into the night dealing with JenSan business.  I've felt tired in the past but not overly so until recently.  Now I think that it is time to take Jennifer's advice and get more sleep at night as the lack of sleep is finally catching up with me.

I did some research on sleep deprivation and discovered many side effects—including the expected ones like irritability and forgetfulness.  However, I also found several more that are of deeper concern like weight gain (something that has happened to me this year) an increased risk of strokes among others, in an article on the Huffington Post.

Even without the typical risk factors, like being overweight or having a family history, short sleep can up your risk for stroke, according to 2012 research. Adults who regularly slept fewer than six hours a night had four times the risk of stroke symptoms, HuffPost reported.

For the full list of scary health related risks caused by sleep deprivation, read the article on the Huffington Post.


Flea Markets: Weekend Bargain Hunting

Image credit: ilyashapovalov / 123RF Stock Photo

If you are looking for a good bargain, there's nothing more pleasurable than spending part of the weekend wandering through the nearest farmers market, craft fair or flea market.  You can buy fresh fruits and vegetables, support local artists and if you are really, really lucky, you could be the one to discover a true treasure that's worth a few thousand dollars or that actually belongs in a museum!  I guess such finds is the dream of most flea market hunters.

Sandra and I love to visit flea markets. We have been lucky enough to find some wonderful chandeliers, a couple of arm chairs for our living room, some paintings and more.  We've never made that great discovery but we love the treasures we've found over the years.

Image credit: oralleff / 123RF Stock Photo

If you love a good bargain and you're  looking for something to do this weekend, stop by your local flea market.  We've found links to some of the best from across the country  just for you.

Happy Hunting!

Brooklyn Flea, NYC and Pennsylvania



Pike Place Market, Seattle Washington

Written by Jennifer

Are you a Compulsive Shopper?

Are you a compulsive shopper and have you ever wondered why you can't seem to stop buying things?  Well, according to and article in the Huffington Post, researchers may have the answer.

Death by Temptation: 3 Cheesecake Recipes to die for

Ginger Orange Cheesecake from BHG Savory Cheesecake Appetizer from Pham Fatale No Bake Raspberry-Lemon Cheesecake from My Baking Addiction

A Sunday Brunch Treat: Ham-Asparagus and Cheese Strata

One of the favorite pastimes of New Yorkers is to meet for Sunday brunch to catch up with friends and have a mimosa or two.  The brunch menu would be missing something if it did not include a traditional strata dish.  I recently discovered this scrumptious  Ham-Asparagus and Cheese Strata

Cool off with Some Homemade Popsicles

It’s 100 degrees in the NYC area today but it feels more like 105.  When it’s this hot, I find the best way to cool off other than drinking water is enjoying a nice cool popsicle.  As HuffPost Taste noted in their recent article, nothing quite beats a homemade popsicle. They surfed the web and came up with 31 amazing popsicle recipes.  Some of them are adult fortified while others are tasty refreshing treats for the whole family. We’ve previewed three below but you can find the full listing over at the HuffPost Taste blog. image Melon Berry Diablo Cocktail Popsicle recipe by Bakers Royale   image  French 75 Popsicles recipe by Petite Kitchenesse   image  Mango Lassi Popsicle recipe by A Spicy Perspective