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Organic Raw Kombucha

Some people have a diet coke habit; I have a Kombucha habit. Rarely a day goes by when I don’t drink a 16-ounce bottle of GT’s Enlightened Organic Raw Kombucha:  a slightly effervescent fermented tea. Light and smooth, Original flavor (my favorite) is filled with vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, Folate), probiotics, and antioxidants – and, at only 60 calories per bottle, GT’s Enlightened Organic Raw Kombucha Original has only 4 grams of sugar and 20 mg of sodium per bottle. Vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO, GT’s Enlightened Organic Raw Kombucha is refreshingly different from any other bottled drink on the market.

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“My Gentle Barn”

At the core of every human being is a resilience that buoys us back to the surface of life. With every painful loss or setback that brings us crashing to our knees, we find some way to keep breathing and move forward.

My Gentle Barn is the story of how one young girl made her dream come true. Ellie Laks grew up in an Orthodox Jewish family whose members didn’t understand who she was or what made her tick. Told to be quiet, help her mother, and subjugate herself to adults and males in particular, Ellie was a lonely and angry child who didn’t know why her family put her in a box where she didn’t belong and blamed her when she was victimized. Turning to animals – and especially those who needed help – Ellie found solace, compassion, and understanding in the creatures she shared a special connection with. Looking back as an adult, Ellie writes:

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Breville Crispy Crust Pizza Maker

Talk to any professional pizza maker and he will tell you there are two secrets to making a great pizza:  the crust and the right oven. Crust is subjective with most people preferring one made of white flour although whole wheat and whole grain doughs are gaining in popularity. And, then there is the type of crust: thin, Neapolitan, Pan, New York Style, Sicilian, and more to consider. But, no matter what kind or type of crust is preferred, the pizza can never be cooked properly unless the right oven is used which makes pizza making quite difficult at home….until now.

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Nana’s Coconut Chip Cookie

Nana’s Cookie Company of San Diego, California makes a variety of cookies and bars with the Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookie a true stand-out.  Made of all natural ingredients – organic whole wheat flour, oats, fruit juice, rice dextrin, non-GMO expeller pressed canola oil, chocolate chips, unsweetened coconut, baking powder, natural flavorings, and sea salt – Nana’s Coconut Chip Cookies are moist, chewy, and delicious. The cookies are made without refined sugars, dairy products, hydrogenated oils, eggs, trans fats, GMO, cane or beet products. Read more »


The Pea Shoot

Sprouts – miniature seedlings that grow from a seed – leave me feeling ambivalent as in…I should like them more than I do. In most grocery stores and markets, plastic containers showcasing bright green, yellow, and red sprouts – alfalfa, broccoli, clover, bean, radish – are displayed next to salad greens and fresh bunches of cilantro, parsley, and other herbs. Just seeing fresh seedlings makes me want to buy them. Nutritious and raw, sprouts make sandwiches and salads look appetizing and are supposed to add flavor but more often than not, I’ve always felt like there is something missing in the flavor department, until I tasted pea shoots which was love at first bite.

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“Friendly Fire”

..honey, this is life. You learn to live with guilt. You do the best you can. Believe me, you don’t get away with anything in this life. You’re going to pay the price, so you make sure you get your money’s worth.

Friendly Fire, a collection of 11 short stories written by Kathryn Chetkovich was awarded the John Simmons Short Fiction Award from the University of Iowa. Although 16 years have passed since the book was published, this treasury of short stories is as relevant today as when they were first read in 1998. Forthright but with a subtle message and often open-ended, these stories don’t have twists or imply completion primarily because the stories deal with tough issues: envy, irony, dishonesty, loyalty, teenage angst, aging, friendship, marriage, love, lust, and responsibility – highly charged emotions that inspire loose ends and don’t take well to predictability. Read more »


The Sumo Citrus Orange

A Sumo Citrus Orange is quite possibly the sweetest orange you will ever taste. Seedless, full of flavor, and easy to peel, the Sumo Citrus Orange is everything the Clementine seemed to promise but couldn’t deliver.

It all started with a citrus grower in Japan who wanted to combine the best attributes of two types of oranges: the easy to peel Satsuma of Japan and the big, juicy, sweet oranges of California. For years, this hybrid orange was only grown in Japan and Korea but a group of farmers in Central Valley, California – the 450 mile long, 50 mile wide large flat valley – realized this huge agricultural garden is the ideal place to grow one of the world’s best citrus fruits. Read more »


The Perfect Long Sleeve Tee

There are certain products that women are always on the hunt for: the perfect pocketbook, the perfect pair of shoes, and the perfect long sleeve tee. I’m still searching for the purse and shoes but I finally found the perfect long-sleeve tee after years of trying nearly every cotton tee on the market including Three Dot, Splendid, Petit Bateau, James Perse, Ralph Lauren, J Crew, Gap, Banana Republic, and more. Made by Hanro of Switzerland, the Fine Line Long Sleeve Shirt with a rounded neckline is a tailored double-rib knit blend of mercerized cotton (94%) and elastane (6%) that gives the shirt a stylish, flattering stretch that never loses its shape. Read more »


Dark Chocolate Covered Dried Mangos

One of our favorite places to eat lunch or dinner in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida is Christopher’s Kitchen – a   restaurant whose mission is to serve high quality, organic plant-based food. Fresh squeezed raw cold-pressed juices, nut milks, salads, veggie burgers, rustic pizzas, tacos, burritos, bowls, noodles and more are served at this casual, light-filled restaurant.

Christopher’s Kitchen also offers a wide variety of homemade desserts including dark chocolate covered mango, which is decadent and delicious: chewy, dried mango slices covered in rich dark chocolate. At $4 an ounce (or $64 per pound), the dark chocolate covered mangos at Christopher’s Kitchen are expensive so I decided to make this treat myself – a super, easy task that brings the cost down to about $11 a pound using premium dark chocolate and dried mangos). Read more »


“The SAT Is Not Fair”

The cover story of the New York Times Magazine (March 9, 2014) was the SAT – the standardized test designed to put high school students on a level playing field when it comes to college admissions in the US. Written by Todd Balf, the article is humorously (but truthfully) titled “The SAT Is Hated By…All Of The Above” meaning the most widely used college admissions test is despised by “stressed-out students, frustrated educators, hamstrung admissions officers, and anxious parents.” Designed as a tool by which all students could be compared, the SAT doesn’t do what it was designed to do and is, in fact unfair because students have unequal access to two systems: education and test-prep. Read more »