Good Golly It's Molly!

The Office Drama Queen

Who's the ODQ - Office Drama Queen -- where you work?  Every place has one, right?  Today we talked about ways to recognize the ODQ, how to avoid her and what to do if it turns out that you're the ODQ!  Loved today's segment with Amanda Guralski - the Bizgal's Career Coach - check it out! www.themorningblend.com/videos/119618679.html

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Fish Done Right

I like to cook fish, but I don't like the way it smells in my house and my son is allergic to it (he gets chicken on fish nights).  I know the health benefits so I try to make it once a week if possible. 

I got the best -- and SUPER easy recipe -- from Peggy Harvey, the assistant in the TODAY'S TMJ4 sales department.  I made it Friday night and my kids loved it so much that I had to call her at home and tell her about it.  I used flounder because I had some fillets in the freezer, but you could use any white fish.  Cod would be great, tilapia would be fantastic.  Here it is:

PEGGY'S PHENOMENAL FISH:

Put a few teaspoons of olive oil in a skillet on high heat.  Put the thawed or fresh fillet in the pan and cook for just 2 minutes on each side.  Time it, because you do not want to overcook it.  If you have a thick fillet, cook a little longer.  When it's close to being done, squeeze a big lemon wedge over the top of each fillet and let the liquid sort of burn off.  Then put on sea salt and pepper to taste.  It tastes like butter!!  I've never made better fish and I couldn't be happier about how easy it is to make.

Try it yourself and let me know if your family likes it, too! 

 

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Is this a good idea on TV?

I've never been a fan of announcing my plans -- especially for self-improvement.  I guess my biggest concern is having people checking up on me all the time.  As it turns out, that's a great way to make a resolution a reality.

On that note, today I announced on The Morning Blend that I have set some goals for 2011.  My time table is actually a little tighter than that.  During the next 12 weeks my resoluation is to lose 20 pounds, lose at least one dress/pants size and increase my energy and fitness level.

Now that I've said that on TV, I'm feeling a lot of pressure.  Everybody in the office will be asking me how much weight I've lost, did I gain any over the weekend and should I really be eating that?!  Ugh - that sounds like a recipe for disaster.

My New Year's hope is that it's a recipe for success.

I'm working out with the Fit Food Trainer.  Her name is Sarah Dusseau and she's unlike any other trainer you know.  Why?  She's also an amazing chef and she provides delicious, healthy meals as part of her service.  The meals are filling and delicious.  Our show's executive producer, Kim Buchanan, is also on this 12-week journey with me.  She's already lost 7 pounds in just 10 days!  I think having her next to me during workouts, talking about healthy snacks and supporting each other along the way is another way to improve the chances for success.

You should give Sarah a call if you have similar goals.  And keep watching -- maybe it'll turn out to be a good thing that I've told everybody about my intentions.

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Ready for Menopause?

Today on The Morning Blend we threw out a few suggestions for women in their 30's and 40's to prepare for menopause.  The way I understand it -- from friends and others -- it's easier said than done!

Some of the natural tips we suggested include eating a Mediterranean style diet (veggies, fruits, fish, whole grains and good fats like olive oil and nuts); strengthening your core, quitting smoking, doing kegels at every spotlight (to strengthen muscles); treating depression, taking up a new hobby and increasing your circle of friends.

From what people tell me, it's hard to feel normal during this so-called "change of life".  What do you think?   Any tips for battling hot flashes or maintaining your weight?  Experts say at menopause we all need to eat as many as 400 fewer calories per day to maintain!  Ugh.  Share your thoughts!

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No Helmet, No Wheels, No Debate

On today's Morning Blend a 13-year-old boy named Jonah Prom had an incredible message for any kid out there who things helmets aren't cool.  When he was 11, he almost died on a rip stick at his grandparents' house.   He wasn't wearing a helmet when he crashed at the bottom of a hill on a driveway.  Thankfully, doctors and a miracle came together to save his life and now he can walk, talk and think. 

You can watch him and his parents on The Morning Blend website.  It's a story all parents -- and kids -- should watch.  Parents can nag kids to wear a helmet -- but there's a lot more impact when a young teenager speaks from tragic experience.

I'll leave you with a portion of the letter written by Jeff Prom, Jonah Prom's father, while in the hospital, praying for his son's life:

"As we stood in Jonah’s room yesterday morning with him in an induced coma, having a machine breath for him, with a bolt screwed into the top of his head to monitor the pressure on his brain, with what looked like a bowl of spaghetti’s worth of wires attached, stuck, laying on his body… the Neurosurgeon seized the moment as I’m sure he has countless times before and asked me a simple and pointed question “why wasn’t he wearing a helmet?” I’m embarrassed that I even tried to answer it. There is no answer, no reason, no excuse"

I think we all need to adopt the Prom Family Rule:  No helmet -- no wheels -- no excuse!

Give me an "S" for SAFETY

My son is only 7 but thinking about him one day playing football has always freaked me out.  Then my 10-year-old daughter started  cheerleading with the rec department and I realized she might've signed up for a sport far more dangerous.  Several times she was hoisted in the air and everytime my heart skipped a beat.  Several girls fell, both during practice and at games where they joined older girls to learn more about cheerleading.

The National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research found that cheerleading is the most dangerous sport among high school and college female athletes.  It cites 'gymnastics-type stunts" as the main reason for so many serious -- and sometimes fatal -- injuries.  I mentioned this information today on The Morning Blend.

It's interesting that the most serious injuries occur not on the court or the field -- but on the sidelines!

What can parents do?  I suggest we become more involved in activities like cheerleading and strongly request that programs, especially for kids, are as safe as possible.  Is all the "stunting" really necessary?

The American Association of Cheerleading Coaches & Administrators' have guidelines to help reduce the likelihood of injuries.  That's probably a great place to start!

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Mom, where's my allowance?

Today on The Morning Blend we asked viewers about allowances.  Does your child get an allowance?  If so, how much money do you give them?  Do you require household work or chores as part of the negotiation?  Do you take away the allowance as a discipline tool?

These are all good questions.  Here's my opinion -- kids should get an allowance, the amount should depend on their age and yes, they should do work around the house.  I'm not sure that kids should be taught that an allowance is "payment" for the chores -- or chores well done.  Rather, I think they should have the impression that doing chores is part of what makes a household work, it's required and the allowance is just something they are given to begin learning some important money management skills.

Money teaches kids how to save, how to spend and how to give to charity.  But, they only learn those things if parents lead by example, feel comfortable talking about money and if they teach their children the value of those three things.  I think a lot of people think the most important lessons are about saving and giving to chartiy but I personally believe it's just as important -- if not more important -- to learn how to spend wisely.  In many ways, that's the biggest challenge.

That's why I don't like the idea of "mad money".  To me the term encourages reckless spending.  I don't think spending should every be so willy-nilly but I do think it's okay to buy something just because you really want it.

Just so you know - I don't always practice what I preach.  I often forget to remind them to set aside money for savings and charity -- and sometimes I fail to teach them about wise spending when they're staring at a box of candy, another purse (when they already have 15 in the closet) and a car that I know will break in a week.

What do you think?  I'm dying to hear a variety of viewpoints on this subject!

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What?!

On the show yesterday we interviewed a woman in her 50's with rather severe hearing loss.  She wears hearing aids now.  Finally.  I say finally because she's had difficulty hearing for most of her life but only recently began wearing hearing aids.  I asked her what prompted her to finally get help.  During the commercial break she told me she used to be a nurse and was fired 5 times.

5 times?!  An you imagine?  It makes sense though -- imagine a nurse not being able to hear people around her.  She said she was always perceived as being rude or dumb.  Both of those descriptions are bad for a nurse. 

She's extremely intelligent and very caring -- she even has her MBA.  It's amazing to think that she received such a high level of education without ever receiving any accomodations for her hearing loss. She says she never really knew that she had a problem.  I've thought about her ever since she visited the show.  I just can't imagine not knowing that, but she says she was born and raised during a time when hearing issues were not addressed like they are now.

It's sad to think that people on Medicare do not have coverage for hearing loss.  So money for things like hearing aids come out of people's pockets.  In fact, most insurance plans do not cover hearing-related problems.  That's a disgrace!  In every way I can imagine, it is a true medical problem and one that deserves more attention and more financing.

 

 

She now sits on one of the governor's committees to advocate for people with hearing loss. 

Chef, Nanny or Housekeeper?

Our executive producer recently blogged about a really thought-provoking question.  She asked, "what would you do if you won a lot of money? If you could hire one full-time staff member would it be a chef, nanny or housekeeper?"  She answered, "hands down for me it would be the housekeeper. That would give me more time to cook and be with my kids. It is fun to dream".

 What would you choose?

For me - it would be hard to pass up a full-time housekeeper -- someone to do the laundry especially!  I swear doing laundry has become a second job for me, particularly now with soccer, baseball and outside play in full swing.  About the nanny -- I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with that (now that my kids are a little older), simply because I want to be spending time with my kids (most of the time anyway).   Now I'm thinking about a full-time cook -- someone to pack lunches, prepare breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.  That's starting to really appeal to me.  I would really enjoy it if my full-time chef would also do the meal planning, grocery shopping and clean up after every meal and snack.  I think a chef would also help us all eat healthy.   I love the idea of coming home to a house that smells like dinner is already cooking and I'm not lifting a finger.  Of course, the chef I hire will be able to make gourmet meals, birthday cakes and breakfast in bed, too!  Now I'm really dreaming....

I think at this point in my life I'm going with the chef.  What do you think?  I'd love to hear from you!

Miss Wisconsin USA & Me

Courtney Lopez, Miss Wisconsin USA, stopped by The Morning Blend studio today for a chat.   She leaves for Vegas Sunday to compete in the upcoming Miss USA pageant.  I have to say, I'm always impressed by the swimsuit competition.  I know it's  controversial.  But regardless of how appropriate you think a swimsuit competition is, you have to be impressed by the composure of the women who walk across a stage -- usually in a bikini -- with high heels on.  I would be so afraid of falling I would pass out.   Courtney said if she wins the crown she'll start by thanking all the people who helped to get to where she is -- and then she'll go out for a huge plate of nachos.  When you think about all that must go into preparing for the swimsuit competition, it's easy to see why some chips and cheese sound like a great way to celebrate!

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