Thursday, January 24, 2013

Comforting a sick friend or relative

So many of us have someone in our life who is very sick or maybe even dealing with a terminal illness. I came across this great list of ways to comfort a sick friend (or family member). Perhaps some of the ideas may be helpful to you.

27 ways to comfort a sick friend

We all want to be there when a friend or loved one needs us most. Why not step outside the box and use these creative ways to offer help, a boost or just some much-needed distractions?

Provide a dose of delight. Take a sick friend on an excursion to a “delightful place,” such as a botanical garden, nature trail, beach or forest preserve. It can be a soul-soothing experience. 

For a friend who is seriously ill and housebound, drop off some food, books or videos, but keep your visit short so as not to tire them out.

Burn a CD of your friend’s favorite songs or a selection of soothing, tranquil music.
Organize a group care network for a sick loved one. Email a group of close friends and set up a rotating system for coming over and helping with household chores or caregiving.  

Offer to help with the day-to-day stuff that needs to be done, such as a grocery trip, a Target run, doing a load of laundry, bringing home cooked food or walking the dog.

When you’re at the grocery store call your sick friend and say “I'm here what do you need?”  Or, “I have the kids after school... don't worry.”

Be a stable, reliable presence in your friend's life. Speaking calmly and checking in regularly can be a huge comfort to someone whose life has been turned upside down by a health challenge.

Keep in touch through regular emails or CarePages website postings. Say something.  Say anything. Let him or her know they are not alone.  

Send a weekly care package to a sick co-worker. Set up a drop box on your desk and ask co-workers to “lend” their favorite magazines, DVDs, and/or CDs to help your colleague pass the time.

A plant or a small bouquet of flowers is always appreciated--even after the healing process of surgery, chemo or other illnesses has begun.

Offer to arrange child care at no cost to the family when an illness happens that involves small children.

A health crisis can create chaos in so many ways. Send over a cleaning service to clean the house and restore a sense of serenity and order. 

Create a gift basket with fruits, granola bars, magazines, a deck of cards, candies, a package of thank you cards, stamps, a notebook and a pen. 

Donate your frequent flyer miles or give an airline gift certificate to a family member of a sick friend who lives far away.

Send books, DVDs or CDs through Amazon to help a sick friend pass the time. 

Send a box of seasonal fresh fruit through Harry and David to a friend who is recovering from illness or surgery.

Hire a manicurist/pedicurist to do a house call for a sick friend. 

Buy a gift membership to an online DVD rental service so your recovering friend can receive movies through the mail. Gift memberships can be purchased for one month up to a year.

If your friend is bed-bound or in the hospital 
for a while, send or drop off some soft, fluffy slippers, a soft bed pillow, lavender scented linen spray, wonderful pajamas, comfy socks, or foot massage cream to make them feel pampered.

Throw a feel-good get-together. Shower a friend with practical and meaningful gifts to help him or her get through a tough time, such as surgery or chemo. 
Provide food for the soul. Organize a pool of cooks to whip up comfort food to give and share, and make sure you've got a team in place to create your own meals-on-wheels network.

Become the wheels. Offer to accompany your friend to his or her medical appointment.

Put together a get-well kit. Include bottled water, green tea, Kleenex, fruits, vitamin C, and a bundle of healthy remedies. 

Provide healing hands. Massage can be a powerful tool for calming our psyches. Get your friend a gift certificate for a massage that can be redeemed when he or she feels up to it.

Empower your friend or loved one by providing them with a box filled with inspirational books, inspiring quotes and music.

Provide entertainment. Offer to take a sick friend to the movies. Or bring over a DVD, make some popcorn and watch a funny movie together. 

Laugh, chat, and share as you normally would. Remember that a person is not defined by illness. They are still the same friend to you and want to continue to do their 

part in the give and take of friendship.

You can see this list here:

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Nutritious but QUICK breakfasts

I have been asked to share some recipes and since my upcoming book, Catholic Mom's Cafe is a type of devotional set up as a 5-minute retreat book to do right at your kitchen table, first thing in the morning, I'll begin with a breakfast theme.

What do you do for a nutritious but QUICK breakfast? Breakfast is actually the most important meal of the day because we are "breaking the fast" of not eating all night long. Plus, of course, we need to get our day started off on a solid nutritious foot, so to speak. Right?

Many times, though, the kids are extra rambunctious or our dear other half happens to be in a bigger hurry than usual and then there's some extra stress thrown into our morning. I think it's good to have a basic plan whenever possible. Of course, any mom knows that even with our best planning efforts, God only knows what happens on any given morning! If we at least TRY to plan in advance about what we're going to do, (or try to do!) we'll be calmer and more able to proceed as planned (hopefully!). Well, barring any unforeseen circumstance.

But, we all know that's a given, right?

I like to eat yogurt with fresh berries or other fruit and yummy granola on top for breakfast. Sometimes, I make my own granola and when I am out of it, I eat the Bear Naked kind or Nature's Path Pumpkin Flax or some type of natural granola.

I'll make some granola soon and take some photos so I can post them here for you, along with my recipe. Granola is simple to make and can be stored easily. Then you can simply wash and cut up some fresh fruit, add the yogurt, scoop some fresh HOME MADE granola (yum!) from a pretty jar on your kitchen counter, add on top of your yogurt and fruit--and VOILA!--a nutritious and delicious breakfast.

Sometimes, I am in the mood for eggs for breakfast. I love omelets with healthy ingredients but seldom have time to make this on a week day morning so I save this for Sundays. Speaking of Sundays, if I'm not doing omelets, that's when I typically make healthy pancakes for the family.

Lately, I am on a poached egg kick. I have no idea why, but I have been craving them. It's another very easy breakfast, simply boil water in a small saucepan or pot. Crack the eggs into the boiling water. Set the timer for three minutes, depending upon how soft or well you like your eggs. I prefer mine more on the well side so I know there's no chance of salmonella poisoning, but with the yolk still a bit runny. Three minutes in boiling water works for me. Then, use a slotted spoon and scoop out the eggs into your bowl, and if desired, sprinkle with a little salt and black pepper.

Now, at this point, you may think I am really crazy, but I then add a few slivers of fresh raw garlic on top of my poached eggs (for nutritional benefits) and a few shavings of some nice sharp cheese, like Dubliner or sharp cheddar on top of that for flavor. Of course, you can skip the raw garlic. :) You can eat your eggs with a side of whole grain toast if you'd like. This is a quick and healthy breakfast (for those who don't have problems with eating eggs). I grow organic garlic, by the way, so I have plenty on hand.

I have also enjoyed making the kids "egg in the holes" for breakfast--easy and fun. Some people call this "hen in the nest" and many other names. You've probably made these yourself.

Use a glass to cut out a hole in a piece of bread (hopefully healthy whole grain variety). You can also use a cookie cutter or something else similar. Put a little butter or oil in a skillet, heat it up on medium heat. Toast the bread (one side) and the circle you cut out of the bread on the skillet for a short while and then crack an egg carefully into the hole in the bread. Turn it over as if you are making a fried egg to cook the other side. Cook to the doneness you prefer.

So, stay tuned for my granola recipe. At some point, I'll also share a really nice breakfast recipe that I usually do on Christmas morning but you can do it any time of the year.

In the meantime, I hope you'll share your ideas here. What do you do to try to eat a nutritious meal when you don't have a lot of time? Do you try to plan ahead or just go with the flow? Don't be shy, I'd love to hear from you.:)

God bless you and yours!

Friday, January 11, 2013

My New EWTN Television Show: Catholic Mom's Cafe!

It's getting exciting! I have been introduced recently to my lovely EWTN producer and we have been plotting and planning to get every detail just right for my segments in my five-part mini-series, "Catholic Mom's Cafe" on EWTN television.

My first five wonderful guests are all lined up. I'll announce them as we get closer. We'll all meet at the EWTN network in just a few months to tape the shows. I'll be sure to keep you posted about the show as we progress.

By the way, if the show goes well and folks like it, I believe I will do additional segments of this show for EWTN. Please keep this endeavor in your prayers.

This brand new blog is dedicated to bringing you news about my new EWTN television show specifically created to inspire and nourish the hearts and souls of Catholic moms everywhere, as well as to bring you news about my upcoming book, Catholic Mom's Cafe (releasing in March) which I wrote for the same reasons! You can see this new book in the right hand side bar of this blog.

I'll be posting all kinds of fun and helpful things here, as well as Catholic "tools," recipes, and advice for moms.

So, feel free to "follow" this blog and "like" the Face Book page too.

Please also spread the word to your mom friends and family. I'd love this to be a place to meet and share the Faith!

I'm looking forward to hearing from you! After all, we are all on this amazing journey of Faith together! Feel free to leave a comment.

Bye for now...God bless!


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Stay tuned...

Stay tuned...Coming to you in the Year of Faith...Catholic Mom's Cafe book will release in March 2013. This blog (with the same name) will be up and running before then with ideas, excerpts, reviews, inspiration, news, and maybe recipes too!

And, wait, there's more! I am currently creating a new show for Catholic moms on EWTN television! It's called, "Catholic Moms Cafe." This blog will relate to the show as well.

Come back for a visit, a smile, and huge doses of spiritual nourishment to aid you in your amazing (and challenging!) vocation as a Catholic mom.