Tag Archives: tips

Tuesday:) Toni’s Top Tips for Today

26 Jul

“I always pass on good advice. It is the only thing to do with it. It is never of any use to oneself.” ― Oscar Wilde


I had lunch with my friend Mary today. I told her that I was going to the Women’s CHRP Retreat  at church this weekend. She said that she baked some brownies for the event, and was hoping they would stay fresh. I asked her if I ever told her my tip for keeping brownies, cupcakes, cookies, etc. moist and fresh tasting for days. She was impressed, so I shared some of my other tips. I’ll share with you too.

If you don’t have an infuser for flavoring water, you can use a whisk. When I cut up a mango, I save the pit and skin and either put it in a whisk or straight in a tall glass, add water and refrigerate. It’s a two-for-one. You get to eat the mango or fruit, and enjoy the water. Result, tasty flavored water. Keep refilling with water.

With the brownies and cookies, get a slice of soft bread, tear or cut up and place in the four corners of your baked goods, maybe one or two pieces in the middle, then cover with foil or its lid. Baked goods stay fresh and moist for a couple of days. Even add fresh bread pieces and throw out dried ones for a couple more days. Works every time. No more dried up frosting or dry brownies. Trust me…I have lots of experience.

My facvorite tip is the acupressure pinch for leg cramps. I learned this one when I took Lamaze classes way back in the 80’s. You take your index finger and place on that little grove above your lip, then place your thumb inside the lip and squeeze and press fingers together as hard as possible. Keep pinching until you feel the cramp disappear. It may take a few seconds, but it works. Believe me, I’ve used this one a zillion times. (Looks goofy, but who cares when you are in pain.)

Tuesday:) Toni’s Topsy-Turvey Tip Of The Day

17 Aug

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson


To say I’m strange and do goofy things is putting it mildly. I make faces with my brownie mix, I save dryer lint, and the list goes on. I’m always thinking of innovative ways to conserve, save the environment, and repurpose every day items. I think I mentioned before that I like to put my watermelon rinds in my glass pitcher of water to make fruity water, but the other day, I had cut up several real delicious papayas, and thought…hmm…how can I infuse this into my water? It seemed so wasteful to throw out the rinds. I looked around for something to infuse with. I couldn’t find anything big enough with holes.

Light bulb moment…In the container where I keep all the wooden spoons and spatulas, I found a whisk. Maybe?

I wedged the thin slices of papaya skins into the whisk. They slid in very nicely and stayed caged inside. Mind you, these are just the outside washed skins or peelings, the actual papaya was cut up and put in a fruit salad earlier. But, there’s always some fruit left. Waste not, want not.

The whisk worked perfectly.It’s stainless steel and plastic, it fits in the pitcher nicely, the rinds do not escape and float around, and the water is flavored and tastes like papaya. When the water is consumed, I just add more water, pop it in the fridge, and it’s a refreshing drink for summer and lasts several days.

So, that’s my tip for the day. It may sound silly, but it tastes pretty good.

Tuesday Tasty Tip of the Day

30 Sep

There is no love sincerer than the love of food.~George Bernard Shaw


Who doesn’t love food? Some people don’t like to cook or bake, but I love both. If you are cooking  and preparing food for four hundred or just for yourself, I think the number one rule should be 1.) Make the meal look pretty or fun. Fun food is always more appetizing. 

Even when preparing a simple salad for myself, I make it look pretty. This one happens to be silly and made me smile. 

Admit it, you’re smiling right now, aren’t you ? Or, at least you think I’m a nut. I see faces in my food. (Spinach salad with cheese hair, cherry tomatoes, and some left over chicken.)

Today, I made a pretty tostada. Under this creation is a crispy flour tortilla than I crisped in a dry pan, a few table spoons of black beans, topped with tomato, jack cheese, a few dollops of plain Greek yogurt, surrounded by baby spinach. I’m not a vegetarian, but I prepare this all the time. Pretty and delicious. 

Here’s a funny brownie mix face just for good measure. 

Food should be fun!!!

Tuesdsy : Toni ‘s Tip of the Day

26 Aug

You gain control over any situation with a positive outlook.~Lailah Gifty Akita, Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind


My timely tip for this Tuesday:

When life gives you old squishy lemons, make new refreshing lemonade. And when life gives you not so fresh and fluffy cupcakes, make new yummy cake balls and pop them in the freezer for a rainy day. 

 ~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I had a few cupcakes that were a couple of days old. The frosting was starting to get crusty. Oh no ! You can’t waste cupcakes. I do this with brownies, except rarely do I have left over brownies. 

Step. 1: Put cupcakes in a bowl. Yes, take the paper liners off, silly goose. 

Step 2: Mush and smush and blend cupcakes with a big fork. If you’re lazy or have a lot, you can use a good processor. I hate the clean up. 

Step. 3: Blend in some left over frosting that you have tucked away in the back scary recesses of your freezer. ( yes, I always have some in a baggy ) Or use about  1/2 cup of canned frosting. Smoosh that all up together. 

Step 4: Grab about a tablespoon of mixture and roll into bite size balls. I just use my hands. This way I can lick my fingers at the end. 

Step 5: Pop a couple in your mouth to make sure they are delicious. Yes, they are! 

Step. 6: You can either freeze them or dip them in melted chocolate or both. Or, just stand there and eat most of them like I did. There weren’t that many ! 


Tuesday Tip of the Day: Take a Little Time

24 Jun

My mission in life is not only to enjoy life, but to help others to feel the joy of life.Debasish Mridha


During my stay here with Mom, I’m trying to take time out to visit with and socialize with her “girlfriends.” These girls are al in their 80’s and 90’s, and they are so cute. They giggle and get around the best they can. 

This evening, I was sitting alone in a quiet corner downstairs by the activity room , deciding what I was going to blog about today , ( free wifi downstairs ), when a caravan of white -haired ladies in walkers scooted past me towards the elevator.  Mom’s friend, Miss Eleanor said,  “We ‘re going up to see Leona ‘s paintings. Wanna come?” 

I didn’t know Miss Leona , but she seemed very excited and proud to show off her artwork to the other residents.  So , off I went, trailing behind the parade of walkers. 

Once inside, we “oohed and awwed” at the paintings that Miss Leona had displayed on her walls. She said she doesn’t paint anymore , as her hands are no longer steady, but you could see the delight in her eyes when we all expounded on her amazing talent. 

It doesn’t take much to make someone smile or make them feel special… a kind word, a smile, or just taking a few minutes out of your day to listen or share a story. 

This quote is very profound. ..

My mission in life is not only to enjoy life, but to help others to feel the joy of life.

Debasish Mridha


Not only did I help make someone ‘s day a little brighter, I also found something fun to blog about. 

Tuesday Tip of the Day: Enjoy Every Moment

28 Jan

Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.
Eddie Cantor
While the east coast was being rocked and socked by snow storms and frigid temps, it was a glorious warm sunny day in McKinney. You can’t waste a wonderful winter day like today. I got up early and went to Zumba with my neighbor, Diane. When I got home, I went for a long brisk walk, almost two hours. It’s late January, and I had a t-shirt on, no jacket. It was in the 70’s. Woo hoo!

By 5 o’clock, I was ready for another walk. I was going to soak up each second of sunshine, and enjoy all the sights and sounds of nature. Here are some fabulous photos from my walk.


Several hot air balloons floated in the sky.

A young mom and her baby were feeding the ducks by the pond.

After my walk, I sat on the front step with an iced tea, called my sister and chatted on the phone, and just watched the glorious sun set paint the horizon.




Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why.
Eddie Cantor
I did that today. I didn’t miss any scenery or a second of sunshine.

Tuesday:Tips from Toni

5 Nov

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien
It was a cool drizzly morning, so I couldn’t get out for my morning walk. But, I did go to Zumba at 8:30. Rain nor sleet nor gloom of day can stop me from my Zumba class. (That covers the cheer and song part.)

By late afternoon, I was getting mighty hungry. But, what to fix for lunch? More leftovers? Maybe some hot soup. I used to love preparing huge pots of homemade soups and stews. Not any more. I want fast and easy.

Here’s my tip for a hearty, nutritious, vegetarian soup. One can of cream of mushroom soup and one can of black beans. Enough for two days. (More leftovers.)

Then, I warmed up a flour tortilla in a dry pan until crispy, plopped on some spinach, and put some leftover chicken fajitas on top. (The third and last day of those leftovers.)

Another tip. When your food looks pretty, it tastes so much better.

So, I pretty much covered the quote, Mr. Tolkein. I value food, cheer and song. Now, bring on the merrier world.


Tuesday: Tip of the Day

8 Oct

“Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.”
― Dalai Lama XIV
Quite a busy day. I went for a long walk at 7:15 am with my new neighbor, Daine, for about an hour, then off to Zumba 8:30-9:30. Stopped for an iced tea with Karen after class, then straight home to work on MORE unpacking. Will it never end? Nope!

I got so wrapped up with my whirlwind organizing, that I totally forgot that I hadn’t eaten in 24 hours. Yikes! I opened the fridge. Oops! No leftovers. Now what?

Thank goodness I learned that tip about freezing avocados. I buy them when they are in season and cheap, then add a little lemon and freeze halves in a little,ziplock.mI always have tortillas, cheese, spinach and plain yogurt in the fridge. Then there’s always a can of black beans in the pantry. All these items last a pretty long time.

Now, to prepare a feast. I warm the tortilla in a dry pan till crispy, add cheese, squish the avocado on top, a couple of spoonfuls of black beans, a handful of spinach, tomato, then a few dollops of yogurt. Oh my! Awesome!


This is one of my all time favorites. Great for vegetarians too. I’m not a vegatarian, but I could be…not really. Once in a while, I need a slice of pepperoni pizza.


Tuesday Tips and Tasks: One Step at a Time

24 Sep

“In order to move forward, you will have to stumble along the way, but every falter in your stride just makes your next step even stronger.”
― Lindsay Chamberlin
My tip for today: Take it one step at a time.

I decided to tackle a little more unpacking and organizing my studio/craft room. After Zumba, I went to Home Depot and bought 3 large shelf units. It took quite a while to put them together, but well worth the effort. The problem was, I had to move a zillion boxes and bins already stacked to the ceiling against the wall where the shelves needed to go.

I also discovered, when attempting to get organized, sometimes you make a huge mess before it gets better. But, I’m going to take it…yes, you guessed it, one step at a time.


This will be an ongoing battle, and will not get done in a day or two. Maybe a month or two, or a year or two.

So, as not to put too much stress or pressure on myself, I worked about 5 hours, then took a break. By take a break, I mean, I went for a walk. It was a gorgeous night.

Tip number two: Take a break and take some pictures.

Here are a couple of pics from my walk.

A lovely sunset. I didn’t find any lucky feathers or pennies. I didn’t save the world by finding any construction nails in the road. BUT, I did bump into a rather large furry creature about the size of my hand.

Tip number three: Always know when to walk away and stay clear of certain furry friends.


I’ve stumbled along the way, but each step is getting stronger.

Tuesday Tips and Treats for the Fourth of July

2 Jul

Erma Bombeck
You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.
The Fourth of July is right around the corner. I hope you all have some fun plans for our country’s big celebration of freedom. There are many fun things to do, fabulous foods, and friends and family to celebrate with. But, always remember to stay safe and remember why we celebrate.

Thank you to all who have sacrificed, who have served our country, and continue to protect us. We are home of the free because of the brave,





Tips to stay safe.11 Tips for a Safe Fourth of July

Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

Be a safe swimmer. Water sports and fireworks are two of the biggest pastimes for Fourth of July celebrations, and these are both linked to numerous deaths and injuries each year. Never swim alone, and make sure that kids’ water play is adequately supervised at all times. Many drownings occur when parents and other adults are nearby, so always have a designated chaperone for water play and don’t assume that others are watching the kids. Statistics show that most young children who drown in pools have been out of sight for less than five minutes.

If fireworks are legal in your community and are a part of your celebration, be sure to store and use them safely. Keep the kids away from the fireworks at all times, and keep spectators at a safe distance. Attending fireworks displays organized by professionals is always safer than trying to put on your own show.

Use alcohol responsibly. Alcohol and fireworks can be a hazardous and dangerous combination. Also, have a designated driver to bring partygoers home from the festivities. Remember also that alcohol and swimming can be as dangerous as drinking and driving.

Lakes, waterways, and seas will be crowded with boats. Review safe boating practices, and don’t drink and drive your boat. Alcohol consumption while operating boats or other motorized water vessels is illegal, and you can be arrested for a BWI (boating under the influence!). Be sure that you have an adequate number of life preservers on hand for extra guests. Become familiar with the boating laws in your area.

Cover food and beverages outdoors to discourage bees and wasps from attending your party. If someone is allergic to insect stings, you should have an emergency anaphylaxis kit on hand. Wearing shoes, long sleeves, and long pants outdoors and avoiding fragranced body products, bright colors, and sugary drinks can also help prevent bee stings.

Apply sunscreen both before and during an outdoor party. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause both premature aging and skin cancer in the long term, and a painful burn the next day. Even those with darker skin should use a sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15, according to recommendations from the American Academy of Dermatology.

Check prescription medications you are taking to assure you will not have a sun-sensitizing drug reaction to the medication.

If you’ll be hiking or camping in an area where ticks are abundant, wear long-sleeved, light-colored shirts and long pants tucked into socks or boots to protect yourself from tick-borne diseases. For your skin, you can use a tick repellent with no more than 30% DEET according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Products containing DEET should not be used on children less than 2 months of age and should not be applied to the hands or face of young children. Check yourself (and your pets) for ticks at the end of the day.

Spend adequate time indoors or in the shade and drink plenty of fluids to avoid heat illness in extremely hot climates. The risk of heat illness is increased when participating in strenuous activity or sports, and those with chronic medical conditions and the elderly are also at an increased risk of heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke. Alcohol consumption can also promote dehydration and increase the risk.

Keep children away from campfires and grills. Gas leaks, blocked tubes, and overfilled propane tanks can be a cause of grill fires and explosions.

Don’t leave the picnic spread out all day. Allowing food to sit in outdoor temperatures can invite foodborne illness. The U.S. FDA suggests never leaving food out for more than one hour when the temperature is above 90 F and not more than two hours at other times. Foods that need to be kept cold should be placed in a cooler with plenty of ice or freezing packs and held at a maximum temperature of 40 F. While mayonnaise and other egg dishes are often associated with food poisoning, any food can potentially become contaminated. Adequate hand washing and food preparation can also help prevent food poisoning.

CPSC.gov. Fireworks Safety.

USCGboating.org. Boating Saftey Resource Center.

Last Editorial Review: 6/30/2011