Wednesday, September 26, 2007

White Pesto Sauce for Ravioli or Tortellini

I bought homemade asparagus and smoked mozzarella ravioli from the farmer's market a few weeks ago, but felt that a pesto or tomato sauce would overpower the mild flavor of the raviolis. So, I came up with the following sauce and it worked beautifully! Plan to use the sauce on all kinds of raviolis and tortellini.

Handful of garlic, chopped
Olive oil and/or butter
Almonds, slivered (try pine nuts, too)
Saute garlic in olive oil and/or butter on medium flame until golden, add almonds and cook until brown. Turn off heat and add remaining ingredients. Toss onto cooked pasta.

For many more tips, go to:
Harmonious Environment:Beautify, Detoxify & Energize Your Life, Your Home & Your Planet

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Creating a Harmonious Environment: Tip #3


Even when you love everything about your space, still consider the lighting. The most obvious question is: do you have adequate lighting for the tasks which are done in a particular room? For example, a task lamp (with a powerful natural spectrum CFL bulb) by your reading chair can do wonders.

Overhead lighting or ambient lighting, lights an entire space. However, bright light in the fixtures is not always necessary. The solution? Dimmer switches! I am a huge fan of dimmer switches, dimmers allow you the flexibility to really control the ambiance of a room.

When I moved into my house, the living room had recessed light fixtures in the corners of the room. It was obvious that they had rarely been used. In their sad state, they did little to light the room. I cleaned the glasses and installed one hundred watt, long-lasting full-spectrum bulbs and added a dimmer switch. They are now wonderful! I rarely have them on high (but full power does come in handy at times) but on low, they are now perfect for entertaining or watching TV.

Consider accent lighting to highlight special artwork and architecture, or to create drama. Nightlights placed in dark hallways or bathrooms are a great way to make occupants feel safe and secure, they cost practically nothing to light and use very little energy.

Small, windowless rooms need extra lighting. The addition of mirrors will help even more, as the lights bounce reflects off of the mirror and creates more light.

Candles and firelight help to create a soft glow in a room. Candles make great accent lighting. Try candles in dark corners and near interesting art pieces.

If you are unhappy about the light in any of your rooms, really consider changing it. From a well-lit kitchen that makes food preparation easy, to soothing dim lights for a romantic dinner, you will not believe the difference perfect lighting makes!

For many more tips, go to:
Harmonious Environment:Beautify, Detoxify & Energize Your Life, Your Home & Your Planet

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Creating a Harmonious Environment: Tip #2

Placement of Bed and Desk
To feel secure, follow these guidelines for placement of your desk and bed.
  • Place your desk in the commanding position in your office. The commanding position is another key concept in Feng Shui.
    • The commanding position is as far from the front door as possible, but not in direct line with it. Moving your desk in this manner is empowering and will help you to succeed in your career.
    • If your back is towards the door or you cannot see the door, you simply will not feel secure, as anyone can walk in and surprise you. If your desk cannot be moved put a mirror in front of you so that you can see who enters.
  • The bed should be in the commanding position, giving you the widest possible “bird’s eye view” for maximum security and comfort it should be furthest from the door with an unobstructed view of the door, but not directly in line with the door, because the flow of chi is too strong. The head of the bed should be against a wall or corner for security.
For many more tips, go to:
Harmonious Environment:Beautify, Detoxify & Energize Your Life, Your Home & Your Planet

Monday, September 10, 2007

Creating a Harmonious Environment: Tip #1

Starting today, I will begin posting a tip of the day for creating a Harmonious Environment. Feng Shui, good design, Vastu and other principles will be used.

Tip #1
Keep the Entryway and all Doorways Free of Clutter
The front door to your home is of paramount importance, as it is the main access point for chi to flow inside. The pathway leading to your front door and into your home and entryway should be inviting, open and free from clutter. Visualize life-force energy, as it flows up your walkway and into your home. Are there obstacles preventing the chi from flowing smoothly and easily? Do you open the door to a pile of shoes and coats thrown on a nearby chair? Does your door hang on its hinges correctly, open and close properly, is it in good condition?

Overgrown bushes, dead plants or flowers, discarded objects outside your home, and clutter inside or around the front door and entry area can result in chi moving too slowly or inadequately into your home. The chi in your home becomes too yin and the result is that your home feels stagnant, as not enough fresh energy is entering your home. As clutter inside the home causes negative, stagnant chi, so do overgrown bushes, dead plants or flowers, or discarded objects outside your home.

Keep all doorways in your home free of clutter to help ensure the proper flow of chi in each room.

For many more tips, go to:
Harmonious Environment:Beautify, Detoxify & Energize Your Life, Your Home & Your Planet

Thursday, September 6, 2007

How to Reduce Global Warming, Increase Your Health, & Live an Eco-Friendly Life Filled with Beauty: A Holistic and Systematic Approach

Climate change…world hunger…serious illness…it seems like a never-ending list. So many problems, so many paths for improvement! It can feel utterly overwhelming—until you start to see the ways all these issues are interconnected, and realize that there are ways to address all of the at once, holistically. But how do you move forward? Where do you start?

Norma Lehmeier Hartie, creator of the Harmonious Adjustments™ system, has a road map for you: her multiple-award-winning new book, Harmonious Environment:Beautify, Detoxify & Energize Your Life, Your Home & Your Planet

Combining elements of Feng Shui, the Law of Attraction, earth-based spirituality, including the Four Element practice, and other philosophies/techniques; the Harmonious Adjustments™ system outlined in Hartie's book shows how to:

· Cleanse a home of indoor air pollution, hidden harsh chemicals, harmful negative energy, and other toxic elements

· Organize your home to keep it uncluttered and easy to clean with Green methods

· Switch to an eco-friendly, healthier lifestyle with easy methods and products for personal care, household cleaning, cooking and eating (complete with tasty, nutritious easily prepared recipes)

· Learn secrets of Green lighting and interior decorating to inexpensively create attractive, warm, comfortable spaces

· Sleep better

· Improve your career, your organizational skills, even your love life

A Book of the Year Award Finalist for both the Foreword Magazine and Nautilus Awards and an Independent Publisher Highlighted Title, Harmonious Environment includes a huge list of resources and a full index.

"Clearly written, cleanly organized, and enthusiastically presented, this is an unusual an eclectic addition to anyone's home improvement library."—Fearless Reviews

Qualified journalists: Hartie is available for interviews, and review copies are available.

Harmonious Environment: Beautify, Detoxify & Energize Your Life, Your Home & Your Planet by Norma Lehmeier Hartie

ISBN 9780977963300, 300 pages, 8.5 x 8.5 trade paperback, $19.95
Lingham Press,


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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Annual Neighbor Party--Menu and Recipes

We had our annual neighbor party on Labor Day with five families at our place. With a swimming pool, hammock, plenty of room for the kids to run, and a giant firepit for bonfires, our home is perfect for an outdoor summer party.


Hors d’oeuvres
Southwestern dip and chips
Crudite with vegetables, cheeses, crostini and crackers
Artichoke and Spinach Dip (recipe below)

BBQ short ribs and chicken
Pasta with pesto and chicken (see August 24 post)
Mixed tossed salad
Potato salad

Assorted brownies
Smores (see June 19 post)

Artichoke and Spinach Dip
This is my favorite version of this popular dish.

1 can artichokes, coarsely chopped or 1 jar Trader Joe's Artichoke Antipasto
1 package frozen spinach, microwave and drain water
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup Parmesan
2 cloves garlic, crushed
8 oz. jack cheese, grated
Combine everything and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until warm. Serve with vegetables and a good French or Italian bread sliced and baked until crusty.

For more recipes, go to: Harmonious Environment:Beautify, Detoxify & Energize Your Life, Your Home & Your Planet