SkinnyVeganGirl Fried Rice

How To DIY, Real Parenting, SkinnyVeganGirl, Vegan Recipes



Right off the bat, I have a disclaimer: there’s no rice or frying in my SkinnyVeganGirl Fried Rice.  But then again there are about 50 calories per cup versus over 400 calories in traditional fried rice.  You’d have to eat over 8 bowls of this fried rice to equal the amount of calories in 1 bowl of Benihana Vegetable Fried Rice.  The recipe I’m sharing is flexible so long as you have riced cauliflower, a carrot, a stalk of celery, green onions, garlic and ginger.  You can kick it up a notch by adding several sliced mushrooms and a 1/4 cup of frozen green peas. The calorie count will still remain ridiculously low.



  • Frozen Riced Cauliflower, 12 OZ
  • 3 Tablespoons miso ginger broth or Veggie broth (1 tablespoon reserved.)
  • 1/4 cup sliced carrot
  • 1/4 cup sliced celery
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce or siracha
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Makes 4 servings


  1. In a non-stick fry pan, combine 2 tablespoons broth with carrots, celery, ginger and garlic.
  2. Cook over medium high heat until all liquid is gone.
  3. Add frozen cauliflower and continue to saute until heated through and all water is absorbed, about 3 minutes.

    4. Add spinach and toss over low heat until it’s wilted.IMG_7908

    5. Toss remaining ingredients over mixture and serve with a drizzle of sesame oil.IMG_7910


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved.


How to Make a Fidget Spinner

How To DIY, Uncategorized

Fidget spinners are the latest fad for teenage boys. This year’s hottest toy was originally designed to help kids with ADHD, autism or anxiety stay focused in the classroom. Now they are banned in high schools across the country. Educators claim they are doing the opposite of what they were originally intended and are a distraction in class.

That said, kids love them. If you are looking for a non-screen related activity to do with your teenager, try making a fidget spinner or two together. He might actually get into it. Just make sure he doesn’t take it to school.


  • hot glue gun and several glue sticks
  • paper
  • cardboard (can be a piece from a box or cereal box)
  • stencil or template of  fidget spinner
  • scissor
  • model magic clay or modeling clay
  • one ball bearing (my son got his from his old skateboard)
  • nail polish
  • 2 small pom poms or a piece of felt
  • glue or glue stick


  1. Print out template of fidget spinner. Press here to get one. Cut it out.
  2. Glue cut-out spinner template onto a piece of cardboard.
  3. Cut out cardboard template with a pair of scissors or box knife.
  4. Get about a tennis ball size of model magic or clay and flatten clay into 1/2 inch thick piece of clay that’s bigger than the template.
  5. Press the cardboard template into the clay so it makes about a 1/2″ mold.
  6. Remove paper template and press ball bearing into center of form.


  7. Plug glue gun into an outlet and wait until it’s warmed up.  Fill the imprint with glue. It will probably take several stick. Be careful to go around ball bearing not over it otherwise the fidget spinner won’t spin. Fill to top of mold.


  8. After glue hardens in a couple of minutes gently remove spinner from clay.  You can do any touch-ups with the glue gun.


  9. Glue a small pom pom to each side of the center of the ball bearing.IMG_5457
  10. Paint spinner with nail polish and allow to dry.


  11. Now you’re ready to spin.


    Copyright 2017.  All rights reserved.








How To Get Motivated, NOW!!!

How To DIY


I’ll tell you how to get motivated, but first I need to get motivated. Let me get another cup of coffee, take a bathroom break or check my email. Wait, I can’t do any of that or I’d violate my first tip.

Five Second Rule


My daughter sent me a link to a Ted Talk, “How to stop screwing yourself over,” by Mel Robbins. She has what she calls the five second rule. That is if you don’t do what you think about within five seconds of thinking it you won’t do it. So there goes my coffee… I need to blog. NOW

Feel the fear and do it anyway


There was a time in my life when I frequently listened to motivational and inspirational speakers. I was in a 12 step program for eating disorders and my sponsor suggested a book called, “Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway.”  by Susan Jeffers .  The concept was new to me, the idea that it’s ok to have fear and still act. That you can take chances in life and most of the time if the chance is worthwhile you will feel fear. Action involves change and change for a lot of us is scary.

If You wait for the perfect time all you do is wait

After I had my daughter, I wanted to have another child. My husband said we were in no position to have another child financially. Our 2 bedroom NYC apartment would be crammed with another person. God knows if you’ve ever had a baby they require so much space for such little beings. Stroller, high chair, crib, changing table boxes of diapers, swings, baby Einstein mats., car seats, the list seems endless, breast pump, bottles, breast feeding pillows bijorn carriers, a new wardrobe every 3 months. And if you plan to work good luck with that if you don’t have a nanny. Inevitably you will need help watching your child. I worked at home and brought my kids to the job site when I could but this is not always practical. So there is a real additional expense.

All the signs said no don’t have another baby but my biological clock was ticking and my husband’s biological clock was circa sundial so I just went ahead tried to get pregnant and fortunately was with child shortly thereafter at the age of 39.

The moral of my story is if you wait for things to be perfect and the stars to align, you will be waiting your whole life! Somewhere a long the way after my husband died I forgot this lesson. I was waiting for the first year to go by before I made any life decisions such as moving or getting a job. Then one year turned into two and my finances collapsed and I still didn’t miss my husband less. In fact I missed him more. So the expression timing is everything maybe is true but not in the sense the time has to be perfect, rather the time has to be immediate.  Do it within the five seconds of thinking about it. Don’t delay. Count on the moment will never being right. And waiting just creates more angst than facing your fear and doing it.

My Sh*tty First Draft: Just Do It

My friend told me that she heard something that helped to get rid of writer’s block. Some writer said that she would procrastinate writing because she didn’t want to put any thought down on paper unless it was perfect. Well good luck with that. I’ve never known anyone to be able to get it right on a first draft. So, this sage writer indoctrinated the start of all her writing assignments as “My sh*ty first draft.” This allowed her the freedom to at least to sit down and get to work. Sh*ty first drafts sometimes have buried in them great ideas that would never have gotten written. If you didn’t give yourself permission to be human, that’s sh*ty.

My top 4 favorite self help ideas are:

  • The Five Second Rule: Act on your ideas quickly

  • Feel the fear and do it anyway

  • If You wait for the perfect time all you’ll do is wait. The time is never perfect.

  • My Sh*ty First Draft: it’s ok if what you are doing sucks in the beginning. Just do It. (I should sell that one to Nike.)

  • Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.

How to Move Out of the College Dorm

How To DIY, Real Parenting

The First Summer Home

It’s May and spring is finally here:  flowers,  green leaves and warm weather.  Yet spring also heralds in some less than pleasant changes: allergies, spring cleaning and picking up your college student for the summer!

The last academic year was one of firsts, mostly for my daughter but also for the rest of the family.  Last fall, I was getting at least 20 texts and three teary calls a day about her terrible, awful, college life.  First it was the smelly roommate from hell who never showered or spoke.  Then she realized pre-med was not a good major for her since she hated math and science so she had to change her courses.  Next hurdle was the college swim team: she was having a hard time getting back in shape.  Finally the dining hall food wasn’t working since she is a vegan and the selection of food she could eat was limited. On top of everything else, she was homesick.

Up until spring break she wanted to transfer but magically when I arrived with the SUV in May to bring her home for the summer, she didn’t want to leave.  It was a total 180 degrees change.  I was ecstatic!  Could this positive, happy, well-adjusted 18-year-old be MY daughter.  And then I realized she was my child for when I got to her smelly dorm room not one single item was packed.


The above pictures show how the room looked after two hours of hard labor.  In all fairness to my daughter she had just finished finals that morning.  So we came up with a stress-free plan that worked quickly which I will share.

Divide and Conquer

Think of battle.  Picture yourself as a commander: you need to divide and conquer. We separated the items into the following piles:

  1. Trash: old school papers and notebooks that she won’t reuse,  mostly used lotions, dying plants, perishable items, cracked glasses and mugs, and anything else that is too gross to bring home. But be sure to check what your daughter deems trash.  Mine put a lamp in the pile claiming it just stopped working.  I asked if she tried changes the light bulb.  She said she didn’t know light bulbs had to be changed.
  2. Bedding: mattress protectors, foam mattress, sheets, pillows, comforter, sheets and blankets and towels.
  3. Items she won’t need until she’s back at school: extension cords, lamps, desk organizer, pencil, paper, pens, shower caddy, hangers, laundry bag, over the door hangers, unused command strips, trashcan, etc…
  4. Clothes she won’t need during the summer: coats, vests, heavy sweaters, pants, tights.
  5. Sorority clothes, signs and decorations that will go untouched over the summer.
  6. Team wear and training equipment that wouldn’t be used during break.


All of the above items could be stored in plastic containers or magic vacuum bags. If they need to be cleaned, as did all her bedding and towels, she had to wash then reseal them in magic vacuum bags when we get home. I found magic bags at Target but different brands are available at most large discount stores. I bought the largest size.


You will need a vacuum cleaner to suck all the air out of the bag.  Of course my daughter didn’t have a vacuum cleaner or know if there was one available in the dorm so instead of lugging my heavy upright model (which would also take up valuable space in the car) I found a compact Oreck 5 lb. vacuum that was easy to carry.


Toss into bags or leave on hangers

All her other clothes that needed to be cleaned and/or would be used doing the summer were thrown into the vacuum bags.  Some of her clothing such as items requiring ironing were left on the hangers and put into a large garbage bag with the hooks of the hangers sticking out.  Then we wrapped an elastic band around the tops of the hangers and tightened the bag’s drawstring around the them.

Most schools require the students to take everything of the walls, clean and unplug rental refrigerators and microwaves, wipe down all surfaces and empty the trash.

After we did accomplished this all that was left for us to do was lug the items 4 flights downstairs, cram everything into the car and have a well-deserved dinner before the road trip home.
Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.

How To Recycle Used Candles

How To DIY

If you love great fragrant soy candles in gorgeous containers, you have an expensive habit. High-end soy candles can cost a lot of money.  Lafco, a NY based home fragrance and body care company, makes exotic scents in exquisite hand blown decorative glass containers, but at $60 a candle, burning the midnight oil (or soy) can cost a small fortune.

Unfortunately candles stop burning even when a good amount of wax remains. I have reused these beautiful containers to make floral arrangements but let’s face it, unless the garden is in bloom, this isn’t practical. However, one hot day in August when I was melting the detriment wax stuck in the bottom of the container to use as a vase, I had a brain storm, or maybe it was a hot flash. Nonetheless, it was a good idea.

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I decided to recycle these vessels back to their original purpose and make them candles. So, I scraped the remaining wax from a candle, melted it in a double boiler, then poured the melted wax into a smaller containers.  Or if I had two of the same scent candle. Now sometimes I love a candle so much I might have several containers left over.  So with these I melted the same scent wax and then poured them back to a holder.

After scraping the wax out and removing the old wick, I put the wax into a coffee can and set it in a pot of boiling water, making sure the water level is several inches below the coffee pot of wax. While the wax is melting, I cut a new wick from a roll of special cotton wick string.  You can find it at any crafting store such as Micheals.

Cut off a piece of string about 3″ longer than the height of your container. When the wax is melted, dip the cotton string into the wax. Hang the wax from a clothes pin or lay it on a piece of wax paper making sure the wick is in a straight line.

Now you can remove the can of wax from the boiling water. Be sure you have a pot holder for this. Pour the wax slowly into the center of the vase.

Now it’s time to insert the wick.  Place a pencil across the top of the holder in order to hold the wick while the wax hardens. Insert the wick into the center of the mold.  Wrap the end of the wick around the pencil.  This holds the wick in place while it hardens.  Let it draw for at least 12 hours even though it will seem congealed in an hour.  Then just cut the wick about 3/4″ from the base.  Light, and enjoy!


Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.