Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Off to College... tips to make it a smooth transition.

So you are headed off to college. Congratulations on your achievement. There are so many things to think about and so many new exciting experiences you will enjoy. College is happening, here's a handy list of items to help you with the transition. 
College Checklist

Pillow cases
Comforter (check what size you need, dorm room beds are twin)
Sheet set
Body pillow and cover (optional)

If you are living in the dorm, chances are that the furniture will already be provided. They usually provide a bunk bed as well as a closet and a desk with chair. If you chose to live in an apartment, you may find this list helpful.
Futon cover
Lounge chair

Shower caddy
Flip-flops (for the shower)
Hair wrap, body wrap (optional)
Body wash
Skin care
Bath accessories
Personal care items
Shower puff
Contact lenses/solution
Shower curtain/shower liner (optional)
Shower spray (such as shower to shower, or Lysol) (optional)
Hairstyling products

Bottle opener
Water bottle/plastic pitcher
Cleaning supplies
Paper towels
Disinfecting wipes
Broom and dust pan
Trash can
Laundry detergent
Dryer sheets
Laundry basket/bag
Drying rack (only if you live in an apartment and your dishwasher doesn’t have a dry cycle option)
Lint brush
Mini ironing board
Toilet bowl cleaner
Toilet brush
Garbage bags (plastic, paper)
Toaster/toaster oven
Mini fridge (ice trays)
Coffeemaker/espresso maker
Electric tea pot
Can opener
Pizza cutter
Pot holder
Food storage bags
Cooking utensils
Utensil tray
Kitchen gadgets
Mixing bowls
Shelf liners (optional)
Dish soap
Dish-cleaning wand
Dish towels
Paper towels

Bus Pass

DVD Blu-Ray player
Gaming system games
Laptop case
Laptop desk
Cords/cables/power strip
USB drive
Storage bins
Storage carts
Closet organizers
Bed risers
Under-bed storage
Desktop organizer
3M command hooks

Mini Barbecue
Stadium seat
Address book

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Banana Spinach Smoothies, by, Gina Meyers

Usually, the combination of bananas and spinach isn't the first thing that pops into one's head when preparing a smoothie. For me, it was out of necessity, that's what I had in the fridge so I went for it. Upon researching (yes, cookbook authors have a tendency to do this), I discovered that I was packing my smoothie with a punch. This is what I added, a handful of spinach, ice, almond, coconut milk, a little orange juice, a banana. Place in the blender for about thirty seconds on pulse and walla. You will be receiving vitamin k, vitamin c, and potassium with this easy to make smoothie. Vitamin K plays an essential role in early wound healing.

For other smoothie recipes check out: Dorm Room Essentials Cookbook, by, Gina Meyers

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Sketches from creating The Magic of Bewitched Trivia & More book cover, by, Gina Meyers



Perhaps, one of the most interesting things about being a writer, is getting the opportunity to work with other talented people. Artist Erik Davison is one such person. I've saved these rough sketches that he so brilliantly drew to show the progression and the vision that I had for my Magic of Bewitched Trivia and More book cover. Initially, I dreamed that my book cover would resemble the opening credits from Bewitched with cartoon Samantha riding on a broom with the Manhattan skyscrapers in the background and the sky blue. "Weell", as Samantha Stephens used to say, those dreams came to a crashing halt one day when I was perusing the Barnes & Noble Popular Culture section at the bookstore and I came across Herbie J. Pilato's Bewitched Book. From that point, 1994, to 2004, when The Magic of Bewitched Trivia & More was published, I guess you could say, my inspiration was brewing. You can view Erik Davison's artwork at: You can purchase Herbie's Bewitched Book: Herbie's Books. You can purchase Gina's book at: Magic of Bewitched at Amazon

Monday, June 26, 2017

Easy Guacamole Recipe, excerpt from Dorm Room Essentials Cookbook

Easy Guacamole Recipe
Level of Expertise
Bachelor’s Degree
2 Ripe Avocados, mashed
1 Small Onion, diced (purple, white, or yellow onion)
1 ripe tomato, chopped (Campari, Roma, or garden variety tomatoes)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 lime, squeezed and juiced
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Peel and mash avocados in a medium serving bowl. Stir in diced onion, minced garlic, chopped tomato, lime juice, and salt and pepper. Season with remaining lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Chill for half an hour in the refrigerator to blend flavors.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Summertime Eats To Beat The Heat, Tomato Caprese Salad with Italian Basil

Summertime Eats To Beat The Heat

Tomato Caprese Salad

Me and my daughter Lauren went to our local Farmer's Market and picked out wonderful tomatoes, as well as basil. This is an easy, healthy and flavorful dish that is perfect for those warm summer days. The balsamic vinegar gives it some acidity while you bite into the juicy tomatoes.

1/2 pound of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 large vine-ripened tomatoes (heirloom and beefsteak, found at Farmer's Market(s)
1 cup of fresh Italian Basil leaves (found at Farmer's Market(s)
Drizzle avocado oil
Drizzle balsamic oil

Directions: In a circular design around the side of a serving plate, alternate fresh mozzarella, slices on a large platter or on an individual plate if you are doing individual portions with sliced tomatoes, overlapping for effect. Wash and tear fresh basil leaves and place liberally over the slices. Drizzle avocado oil as well as balsamic vinegar to taste.

For these and Uni(versity) Tips check out: Dorm Room Essentials Cookbook, by, Gina Meyers

Photo courtesy of KP Phagnasay

Photo courtesy of KP Phagnasay

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Bat Chips by, Gina Meyers

Bat Chips
6 large flour tortillas
Olive Oil Cooking Spray
Sea salt or salt

Directions: Preheat your broiler. On a cutting board, arrange flour tortillas, use a bat shaped cookie cutter and cut as many bats as possibly can fit per tortilla, about six bats per tortilla. Lightly spray a cookie sheet with olive oil cooking spray and arrange bats. Spray bat tortillas with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Broil and cook until they are brown on one side, then with a spatula, flip over and begin browning the second side. Cool and add additional salt if desired. Makes approximately 36 bat chips.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Corn Confetti Salad

Corn Confetti Salad

Summertime is the perfect time to find creative and refreshing ways to use the extra corn on the cob that is so plentiful this time of year.  Ask a Fresno native and they will tell you the Fresno State store has the best corn on the cob around!

Dorm Room Delicacy

Level of expertise
Bachelors Degree


Slice the corn off the cob, getting as much of each kernel as you can.

Wash all produce (except the onion).  Dice the jalapeno, making sure to remove the ribs and seeds.  Halve the cherry tomatoes.    Thinly slice the celery horizontally.  Finely chop the onions.

Put all ingredients into a bowl and toss to ensure it is evenly dressed.  Place in the fridge for 1 hour to chill and serve as a refreshing summertime side dish.


4 ears cooked corn

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

2 TBSP of honey or 1 TBSP Sugar

½ tsp salt

1 small jalapeno pepper

2 cups of cherry tomatoes

2 stalks of celery,

¼ cup of white or red onion, finely chopped

3 ounces of shredded Monterey jack cheese

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

High Blood Pressure, The Silent Killer, by, Gina Meyers

Did you know that one in three women’s deaths each year is due to heart disease and stroke? According to the American Heart Association, these numbers don’t lie. This is why they call high blood pressure the “silent killer”. You can have no symptoms and suddenly get a stroke or a heart attack. Imagine my utter shock when about three months ago, I went to get my yearly physical and it was discovered I had hypertension. How could this happen to me I thought instantly. Sure, my mom and grandma both have high blood pressure, but it would skip a generation, right? Wrong! After researching, I learned that one of the risk factors of high blood pressure is a family history. Knowing the risk factors of high blood pressure are essential to your survival. Here’s what I learned. If you’ve been minding your own business, meaning not drinking excessively, exercising regularly, eating nutritiously, zeroing in on your stressors, not smoking, then you are on your way to getting back to being healthy. Know your numbers. 120/80 is considered a normal blood pressure reading. Check your body mass index number, which is your weight by your height and see if you fall into the obese category. Know your total cholesterol, the good and the bad and your blood pressure. Also, have your blood sugars checked yearly. Move: Walking at least 15 minutes per day. Exercise is good for your heart and good for your bones. It also is an excellent stress reducer. If you can do 30 minutes of aerobic activity five days a week, such as biking, walking, or swimming that can reduce your risk of high blood pressure. Always ask your doctor before changing your exercise routine. Consider changes in your diet. See a nutritionist, research a more heart healthy diet full of leafy green vegetables and hearty legumes. Cut down on red meat and full-fat dairy. Strive for a heart-healthy diet of chicken, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains. Watch your carbohydrates if you want to lose weight and keep blood sugar in check. Avoid salt if you have hypertension. Here’s a very short list. Some heart healthy foods Apples, bananas, oranges, broccoli, carrots Legumes Fish rich in Omega 3, fatty oils First thing, drink water. Cottage cheese Peanut butter Chocolate, at least 70% cocoa Raspberries Greek Yogurt Pumpkin Seeds Warm milk and honey Blueberries Almonds Kale chips Turkey bacon Big NO No’s Coconut Oil, salt, caffeine, red meat, food and drinks high in sugar. Be a stress zapper: We can’t get rid of stress in our lives, however, we can find ways to balance our lives. Exercise is an excellent stress reducer, as is journaling. When you are stressed, try to avoid eating unhealthy, this will only compound the problem. Don’t take for granted your health. Even if you feel great, take a moment out of your busy schedule and do a blood pressure reading. They are free at most CVS and Walmart stores. At select Walgreens, you can ask the pharmacist if they do free blood pressure readings. If you do have high blood pressure, remember there’s no stigma in taking blood pressure medicine and your loved one’s would rather have you around than potentially gone.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Purchase Noni Julie's Biscotti Cookies Today!

Dozen Regular, Gluten-Free, or Sugar-Free

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Bella's Delightful Portabella Vegetable Melody

Bella's Delightful Portabella Vegetable Melody
2 large Portabella mushrooms, gills and stems discarded
Mushroom Seasoning:
1/8 teaspoon of ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon of black pepper, freshly ground
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Directions: Wash and clean two portabella mushrooms. Discard stems and gills. On a cookie sheet, drizzle avocado oil and lay out the two mushrooms, belly up and sprinkle with ground coriander, ground cumin, and black pepper.  Bake in the oven for twenty-five to thirty minutes.
While mushrooms are baking, prepare the vegetable filling.
Vegetable Filling:
1 leek stalk, sliced and diced
1/8 of a cup of red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced (about 1 medium sized pepper)
1 cup yellow bell pepper, diced (about 1 medium sized pepper)
4-5 celery stalks, roughly diced
1 cup fresh basil, pull loose leaves off of basil plant
2 slices of lemon wedges (squeeze juice of the lemon)
2-3 cups of Rainbow kale
1 Tablespoon of Avocado Oil
Directions: Heat vegetable melody in a medium sized skillet on medium- high heat. Combine onion, bell peppers, celery, kale and all of the ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon.  Turn heat down to low and cover until vegetables are sweating. Uncover, and turn up the heat again to high, and sauté. Continue to do this for 5-8 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Turn off stove and remove skillet from heat. Stir in red chili pepper flakes, capers and parsley. Allow to come to room temperature.
When about ready to serve, place mushrooms on an oven safe dish, and generously portion out heaps of vegetable melody mixture into each mushroom. Can microwave the mixture on a microwave safe plate or may reheat in the oven for 8-10 minutes in a 200 degree oven.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

These Shoes Are Made For Walking, My Number 1 Tip for Traveling Abroad

These Shoes Are Made For Walking, My Number 1 Tip for Traveling Abroad
By, Gina Meyers

I love traveling abroad, but I don't like looking like a tourist. My simple, yet Number 1 travel tip for traveling abroad is to purchase second hand stylish shoes.

While in Dublin recently, I discovered the city has a plethora of wonderful second hand shops. I visited quite a few and found the perfect easily worn in my size boots. Because the shoes had been broken in, I didn't need to worry about blisters or anything uncomfortable happening to my feet. What resulted was a pleasant trip where I dressed and felt like a native. Not wanting to add anything besides my souvenirs to my suitcase, I simply disposed of the shoes prior to my departure. And for four euros, the equivalent of $5.00 I saved my feet from pain, I looked stylish and I saved a lot of money. If you do purchase shoes before traveling, I would recommend breaking them in for at least two weeks prior to your trip abroad.

Happy traveling!