National Spaghetti Day – January 4th

Did you know January 4th is National Spaghetti Day?

Where did spaghetti come from??
Pasta is believed by some to have originated in China. It was said to have been brought to Italy by Marco Polo, a merchant from Venice. Others believed that Polo rediscovered pasta, and that the food was originally consumed by the Romans and Etruscans.

When was spaghetti created??
Introduced in 1965 by the Campbell Soup Company under the Franco-American brand, the pasta was created by Donald Goerke (1926–2010), “the Daddy-O of SpaghettiOs”, after a year-long internal study of the appropriate shape for a pasta dish that people could eat without making a mess.

When was spaghetti first made??
The first industrial pasta factory in America was built in Brooklyn in 1848 by, of all people, a Frenchman, who spread his spaghetti strands on the roof to dry in the sunshine.

Explore Cuisine shared some of their most popular spaghetti recipes to help you prepare – and I have to say, I can’t wait to try them all!

Roasted Vegetables with Pasta

Recipe by Cindy Gordon of Vegetarian Mama
  • 1 c of yellow squash, diced into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 c of zucchini squash, diced into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 c of red onion, diced into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 c of red bell pepper, deseeded, diced into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 c of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 t garlic salt OR salt and pepper as needed
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 c of fresh parsley
  • lemon
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Toss your veggies (excluding parsley) with olive oil and your choice of either garlic salt or salt/pepper.
  3. Put your veggies into an oven safe roasting pan. Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes.
  4. While your veggies are cooking, prepare your pasta per the directions on the box.
  5. When pasta is cooked, drain and set aside.
  6. When veggies are cooked, toss with pasta. Top mixture with the juice from one lemon half.
  7. Top with parsley and serve!

Southwestern Black Bean Spaghetti

Recipe and Image Credit: Lee Tilghman (Lee From America)
Serves 1 person
Preparation 30 minutes + 10 minutes cooking
  • 1/2 zucchini spiralized into “noodles”
  • 1/4 Red Bell Pepper
  • 2 handfuls Baby Spinach
  • 1/4 cucumber
  • 1/4 cup corn (canned in water works great- just rinse them)
  • 1/4 avocado mashed with fresh organic lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. vegan cheese (I used Leaf Cuisine Plain Cream Cheese) pumpkin seeds + dill for garnish
  1. Start by boiling a big pot of water for your black bean spaghetti. Once boiled, add the spaghetti and let cook for 6 minutes.
  2. Once done, remove from heat, rinse under cool water and set aside.
  3. Prep your veggies! Finely dice your cucumber, bell pepper, mash your avocado, spiralize your zucchini.
  4. Next, add a spicy adobo chipotle sauce to your noodles and zucchini noodles. Combine the ancho and guajillo chiles in a large bowl and add plenty of cold water to cover. Let them soak until soft, about 30 minutes. Place the soaked chiles in a blender along with the ginger, cumin, salt, and pepper. Blend until very smooth. Stop the motor a few times to scrape down the sides with a spatula and give things a stir, just to make sure everything’s getting puréed. Don’t be tempted to add liquid—you want the final sauce to be thick. Scrape the purée into a small bowl if you plan to use it soon, or into a jar with a tight fitting lid if you want to save it for later. It’ll keep in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for 3 months.
  5. Add a few handfuls of baby spinach to a big ‘ol bowl. Add some noodles, guac, then add cucumber, red bell pepper, vegan cheese, pumpkin seeds, and freshly chopped dill!
  6. Enjoy!

Roasted Cauliflower Alfredo Edamame Spaghetti

Recipe and Image Credit: Cindy Gordon (Vegetarian Mamma)
  • 4 cups of cauliflower florets
  • 2 T olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 oz vegan cream cheese
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • Garlic cloves (optional, see info in post)
  • 2 c vegetable broth
  • Fresh Parsley, for garnish
  1. Toss cauliflower with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes.
  2. In a blender combine roasted cauliflower, vegan cream cheese, smoked paprika, garlic (optional) and vegetable broth. Blend until smooth.
  3. Warm sauce in sauce pan on stove.
  4. Prepare spaghetti per directions on box.
  5. Combine sauce and spaghetti. Gently toss to coat.
  6. When ready to serve, place spaghetti onto plates, top with more smoked paprika and fresh parsley.
  7. ENJOY!


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Target Deals of the Week

Target has some great deals to start off the new year! Starting this coming Sunday save money on all your favorites, like 20% off Xhilaration clothing

20% OFF Gaiam Yoga products (think your New Years Resolutions!)

Re decorating? Check out 30% off rugs (Friday and Saturday only). I recently got a rug for my living room – and I can’t even tell you what a difference it makes. It’s like an entirely different house!

Also be sure to take full advantage of the FREE $5 GIFT CARD when you spend $15 on skin care products (and how easy is that to do? Especially in the winter!) Be sure to make 2 separate transactions to take advantage of this offer TWICE if you are ordering $30 worth! (Use your Target card and get FREE SHIPPING plus 5% OFF)

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5 Power Tools Every Woodworker Should Have

A number of beginners, who are attempting to get on track with woodworking, are worried about their inability to afford an entire shop full of power tools they think are needed to get started. However, they would be happy to know that getting started in the area of wood working does not require spending a fortune.

There are actually only five woodworking tools that beginning woodworkers need to have on hand when they are just starting out. Thankfully, the majority of them are fairly inexpensive. With these five tools, beginners can undertake quite a number of woodworking projects.

Circular Saw

There are individuals who think about the circular saw as less of a fine woodworking tool and more of a carpentry tool; however, this is not necessarily so. There is arguably no other basic handheld power tool as versatile as a circular saw. When paired with a clamp-on straight-edge, this tool can virtually be as precise as a table saw. Additionally, it can handle quite a number of the tasks that would be attempted with a table saw. This is especially true when it comes to cutting medium-density fiberboard, plywood or other sheet goods. When attempting woodworking on a budget, the first handheld power tool bought should be a quality circular saw. This is because it is likely to be the most useful when getting started.

Miter Saw

After choosing the perfect table saw for your needs, you should consider the miter saw as your next major purchase. While not as costly as a good-quality table saw, the best miter saw is remarkable for compound angled cuts like mitered, beveled and combination cuts. Once your capacity to make accurate cuts with a miter saw has been developed, you will find that the circular saw does not get as much use as before.

Owning a miter saw has so many uses for finish carpentry, crown molding and trim. Be sure to look for a miter saw that has features such as: Double bevel, radial arm slide and can cut beyond 45 degree angles. Visit Protoolzone’s in-depth miter saw reviews as they cover every feature thoroughly in layman’s terms.


The Jigsaw is another great tool for the beginner. It enables the user to cut circular and curved patterns in stock. It is highly likely that a band saw can cut thicker stock and will be more precise; however, the jigsaw, for the beginner, can be seamlessly effective. When it comes to versatility, go for a corded, orbital-action jigsaw with an easy blade changing system and one that feels comfortable in your hand.

Table Saw

Once the three previously mentioned handheld power tools have been acquired and you have become comfortable with using them, it will be time to purchase your first and possibly most essential woodworking tool – the table saw. This tool is the nucleus of every woodworking shop and the focus around which all other pieces of equipment are organized and used. As such, you will want to purchase the best table saw within your budget. Spend time to become knowledgeable about the features you actually want and find the table saw that is most suitable for your needs. A bit of research will reveal the most common features and assist you in determining the features needed. Additionally, you will learn how to identify whether those features are well built or merely added on because they are popular selling features.

Cordless Drill

The popularity of cordless power drills is largely due to their usefulness and portability. Typically, power drills are available in two different sizes: the ½-inch and 3/8-inch. The size is in relation to the dimension of the chuck and it indicates the biggest diameter bit that can be accommodated by the drill. For the most part, a 3/8-inch will be adequate; however, if you need to regularly drill larger holes or merely want additional power, you can consider investing more money and getting a ½-inch model.

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A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Your Career Path

Finding the right career path to go down is an extremely tricky task for most people. After all, this is something that you will be spending a significant chunk of your life doing. In an ideal world, everyone would have an extremely fulfilling career which provides them with happiness and fulfillment, but it often doesn’t work out this way. If you are currently embarking down a path which doesn’t provide you with these things, you have to be the one who takes active steps towards changing course.

There are plenty of different ways that you can find the path which is right for you. In this article, we are going to be talking about a few of the best ones, so try out these methods yourself if you are still searching for the career path that is right for you.

Discover What Makes Your Heart Beat Faster

Your ideal career should be something which holds your attention for a significant period of time, providing you with new challenges on a regular basis. After all, this is something that you will be devoting years of your life to. Perhaps one of the most common signs that you need to change career path is that you dread going to work every evening and you can’t get passionate about it when you talk to people. Write down a list of what interests you and try to think of careers that directly relate to these areas. At this time, it is not worth worrying about status or salary. If there is a job out there that you would be willing to do for free, any kind of payment that you receive is always going to be a bonus.

Write Down a List of Skills

A lot of people are quite modest when it comes to thinking about the skills that they possess, but this is an important step that is going to help you match with your ideal career path. Many skills are transferable, so they can apply to many different types of job as opposed to just a single one. If you are struggling to think of your own skills, you could ask someone close to you to list some for you. You may discover things that you have never really thought about yourself before. Developing skills is something that you should look to do throughout your entire life. The more skills that you possess, the more career paths that will be available for you to go down.

Take a Careers Test

If you are still struggling to match your passions and skills to a career path, there are plenty of tests out there which can help to steer you in the right direction. You could get one from a careers counsellor or take one of the various that you find online. With so many different options out there, you could try taking multiple to see the different results that come up. Of course, you don’t have to listen to what they say, but they will at least provide you with some additional information and inspiration. You never know, you could discover a career path that you had never considered before.     

Speak to People Already in the Field

One of the best ways that you can get more information about a career path is to speak to people who are already working in it. Even the careers which seem like they are dreams come true have their negative aspects, so finding out both the good and the bad points will give you the fullest picture of the path that you may be embarking on. If you are currently weighing up more than one different area, you should speak to someone involved in each different field. Even if you don’t know anyone personally, it is likely that you will be able to find someone in your social network who can put you in touch with a useful person. If you can pay a visit to them directly at their place of work, this will give you an even better idea of what the job is like.

Read Online About Careers

The internet is an invaluable tool which you can use to discover new careers and read accounts of people who already work in the field at all levels. It is a good idea to read as widely as possible, discovering more information about unconventional career paths and not just the obvious ones. When you start to zero in on some areas that interest you, it is worth exploring them as widely as possible. Perhaps you are passionate about healthcare. While there are the more obvious doctor and nurse careers, there are plenty more like pharmacists, administrators, technicians and support works, which you can find out more about on Essentially, before you enter a particular career, try to find out as much information as you possibly can about it.

Make a Top 10 List of Job Criteria

At this stage, hopefully you now have a pretty good idea of what you are looking for. If you have not quite settled on a single career path, you could try writing out a list of a few of the qualities that you are looking for in your dream job. Try narrowing down this down to your top 10. Obviously, it is going to be quite challenging to find a job that matches all of these, but if you get one which fits in with six or more, you are likely to be onto a good thing.

Keep an Open Mind

The last thing that you want to do is to rule out jobs because of stereotypes or negative stories that you have heard about them in the past. Keep an open mind and you may well find that these are careers that are ideally suited to you. Remember that everyone is different, and what is a nightmare to some people will be a dream come true for others. If you are at a stage in your life when you can try out multiple options, it is a good idea to do so. This way, you can get a decent impression of what will be best suited to you.

Try Some Work Experience

You may think that you have a brilliant idea for a career that you could embark on, but if you have never worked in this area before, it is a good idea to try out some work experience so you can get a better idea of what the day to day working environment is like. If you do decide that this is the right path for you, work experience gives you the opportunity to make some connections and demonstrate to potential employers that you are willing to put in the hours to learn the job. Another option is to undertake an internship in this field, though these are often difficult to come by and require you to work for a low salary or even for free. But many of the most popular careers require you to work your way up from the bottom, so doing an internship could be a stepping stone.     

Prepare Yourself for Your New Career

Just because you have settled on a career that you think will be perfect for you doesn’t mean that you will be able to get into it straight away. So, you need to start making preparations that will help you out. Start to tailor your resume to your new career path. Even if you don’t have any experience in this area, it is likely that you have developed some transferable skills through your previous work experience. If you are entering the world of work for the first time, you should describe how your education and general skill set makes you suited to the career you are going for.

Browse through job forums to find the different careers that are available to you. Perhaps through your research, you have found that you need to engage in further study, so you should start to explore the options that are available to you. If you think that you can go straight into a job, start to prepare your interview skills by presenting who you are and what you have to offer in clear and focused statements.

Hopefully, this quick guide has provided you with some inspiration about how you can enter a career that provides you with happiness and fulfillment. The first step that you need to take is to identify your skills and passions so that you can find a job that suits these things. If you are still struggling, it is worth speaking to a careers counsellor, taking a few quizzes, and chatting to people who work in various different jobs. You never know what you may find out. Try out some work experience to give you first-hand experience. Once you have found a path that is right for you, start taking steps to making your dream a reality.  


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Puppy Training Schedule

Puppies can grow up to be smart if you train them correctly—and that’s exactly what our goal is today! As schools have schedules and curriculums to teach children, so too should you have one while you train your puppy.

By the time you’re done creating a puppy training schedule, you’ll be persuaded that a puppy on a schedule is the best kind of best friend. When communication is seamless and they understand routine, your puppy will grow up to be obedient.

The Moment your Puppy is Active

Before your puppy turns two months old you must implement a daily routine, and with time this routine will turn into a habit. Here’s what you need to establish:

  • Where the food and water dishes are kept
  • Feeding times
  • Where the bed and other resting places are
  • Bathroom time
  • Where the toys are kept

Creating a puppy training schedule is important. Do you know how to implement a non strict training schedule? If you don’t your puppy will grow up to believe he is the master of the house and show you how you can fit into his life.

Sounds like a nightmare, right? Okay, so let’s make sure that doesn’t happen!


At Two to Three Months

You may think it’s still too young, but your puppy can understand and learn commands from only two months old.

So what basic training can be done during this beginning stage?


Teach Your Puppy Words

A dog’s mind is remarkable. Did you know that your puppy can actually understand certain words already?

Praise and correction words must be the first things taught to a young puppy. “Good” and “No” set the basis for future training. Make sure your dog knows these well before implementing other commands.

With time you can teach your pup other words such as:

  • “Get off”
  • “Out”
  • “Come”
  • “Drop it” or “Give”


Being Handled

When you brush, bath, clip nails or clean teeth, you shouldn’t have to fight against an unwilling puppy. Acceptance handling begins at a young age. If you leave it for too late your dog may even get aggressive with you when it’s older.

Your puppy may be resistant at first, but with a bit of assurance & reward it will feel comfortable with being handled. Taking your pup to check ups will be that much easier going forward.



A puppy’s mother does bestow some gentle behavior onto her litter. You now need to take over from the mother in certain ways.

When your puppy bites, he isn’t being gentle. Proper training must be implemented to correct this behavior. If not, an ungentle pup can grow up to be aggressive.

Correct bad behavior with positive reinforcement or by putting your pup in a timeout, rather than yelling or spanking at him or her. Squealing or yelping can make some pups believe they’re hurting you, and cause them to stop rough biting.


Household Rules

Even for you and I household rules help distinguish right from wrong. What will the household rules be for your puppy?

Decide on the actions you don’t want your pup to do. Ask yourself:

  • Is he or she allowed on the furniture?
  • Is he or she allowed on beds?
  • Is shredding toilet paper allowed?
  • Is the puppy allowed in the kitchen while food is being prepared?

Keeping to a puppy training schedule is important, as it maintains your puppy’s routine and learning capabilities. Remember that each pup is different and some may take longer to learn. With patience and training you can set your puppy on the patt of open communication and friendship.

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