Homemade Mac & Cheese

Posted on: January 28th, 2016 by Cathy Mendler No Comments


•    3 tablespoons plain dry breadcrumbs
•    1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
•    1/4 teaspoon paprika
•    1 16-ounce or 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed
•    1 3/4 cups low-fat milk, divided
•    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
•    2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
•    1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
•    1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
•    1/4 teaspoon salt
•    Freshly ground pepper, to taste
•    8 ounces (2 cups) whole-wheat elbow macaroni (or penne)

1.    Put a large pot of water on to boil. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat an 8-inch-square (2-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.

2.    Mix breadcrumbs, oil and paprika in a small bowl. Place spinach in a fine-mesh strainer and press out excess moisture.

3.    Heat 1 1/2 cups milk in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until steaming. Whisk remaining 1/4 cup milk and flour in a small bowl until smooth; add to the hot milk and cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce simmers and thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar cheese until melted. Stir in cottage cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

4.    Cook pasta for 4 minutes, or until not quite tender. (It will continue to cook during baking.) Drain and add to the cheese sauce; mix well. Spread half the pasta mixture in the prepared baking dish. Spoon the spinach on top. Top with the remaining pasta; sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture.

5.    Bake the casserole until bubbly and golden, 25 to 30 minutes.

For more recipes, check out our GET HEALTHY archives.

What’s New? What’s Happening? Find it Here!

Posted on: January 26th, 2016 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

2 leaves

What’s Happening?  Click Here


Where have I been?  Click Here


GET CHECKING…Our Archives!

Posted on: January 21st, 2016 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Get Checking...

Check out the GET CHECKING archives on our blog and find YOUR perfect checklist!




Help for the Arm-Long To-Do List!

Posted on: January 19th, 2016 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Get Productive...


..You may be making THESE mistakes!

Is YOUR To Do list as long as your right arm? Whether it’s on paper, stored on our phones or stuck in our heads, we all have a long list of things undone that are with us constantly. We also tend to make two major mistakes with our lists that could make a HUGE different to our productivity if we could just overcome them!

First, we are often guilty of confusing quantity with quality. Don’t associate your self-worth with the number of things that you check off your list. Accomplishing tasks move us forward, but make sure that you are not working at smaller, urgent yet less important tasks instead of allotting time to complete what is most important first. Review your list again and set some new priorities.

The other huge mistake that we see people make is to use our to-do lists as a form of torture! We create lists that are so long that it is virtually impossible to complete them. Then we feel badly when we don’t accomplish everything that we had set out to do. Negative thoughts take far too much energy and often cause us to be less productive. Reduce the size of your list, reward yourself and feel better about your accomplishments. We wish you all the best in the New Year and hope that these ideas will help you to turn over a new leaf and make 2016 your most organized year yet!

Try these two small suggestions for yourself, and let us know how you did on our BLOG or FACEBOOK PAGE.


Every Day Turns A New Leaf

Posted on: January 14th, 2016 by Cathy Mendler No Comments


Have Your New Year’s Resolutions Survived?

Posted on: January 12th, 2016 by Cathy Mendler No Comments

Cathy Mendler

What trait do EVERY one of our clients and probably most of our readers have in common? We want our spaces to be better organized, because we all know that this is one of the greatest keys to motivation, productivity and inspiration. At least 80% of us will TRY to accomplish this by making a list of resolutions this January, while only about 10% of us will actually keep them past February!

What is the key, then, to keeping our resolutions to improve our spaces AND our lives? We need to find the right approach that works for US personally! Here’s a list that we’ve compiled from our experience with helping our clients keep those resolutions all the way to NEXT New Year’s Eve.

1)    WRITE IT DOWN! Any goal is just a dream until you write it down! Making a checklist is NOT just for kids. Keep a chart where you can see it, and check off the boxes as you achieve your objectives.

2)    BREAK IT DOWN! Our resolutions tend to be for LARGE projects, like organizing your home for example. Break large goals down into smaller steps, and try setting up a rough schedule in advance which sets out your tasks month to month. Next, take a look at your tasks, and make a list of things that can be accomplished in a small amount of time and do them first!

3)    NARROW IT DOWN! Most of us set ourselves up for failure by making more goals than we could ever accomplish. Start off with just a few goals. Accomplish those first before you set out to do more.

4)    REMIND YOURSELF! If you are into high-tech, set up mobile reminders on your phone or mobile device. There are many apps available to help you with this!  For the less technically inclined, set up notes where you will see them often and remind yourself of your goals.

5)    MAKE IT FUN!
Not every goal needs to be a grueling one! Add enjoyable goals such as adding more plants or cut flowers to your home or redecorating a room. Goals can also be more fun to accomplish when you have a buddy or even a group to help you along the way. Try to stick with positive thinkers. Don’t forget to reward yourself for your good work along the way!

We wish you all the best in the New Year. Our hope is that these ideas will help you to turn over a new leaf and make 2016 your most organized year yet!

P.S. Do you have other suggestions for keeping your New Year’s resolutions? Comment on our blog or Facebook page and let us know!

Start the New Year With A New Recipe!

Posted on: January 5th, 2016 by Cathy Mendler No Comments


                        roasted pear grape kuchen


1/2 cup warm 2% reduced-fat milk (100° to 110°)
2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large eggs
9 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and divided
Baking spray with flour
1 1/2 cups seedless red grapes
2 firm peeled pears, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup chopped pecans
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups frozen reduced-calorie whipped topping, thawed


1. Combine milk, yeast, and 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Let stand 5 minutes.

2. Add remaining granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon oil, vanilla, rind, salt, nutmeg, and eggs; beat with a mixer at low speed until well combined. Add flour; beat at low speed 5 minutes or until batter is smooth. Add 5 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition. Smooth batter into a 9-inch springform pan coated with baking spray. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), away from drafts, 1 1/2 hours.

3. Preheat oven to 450°.

4. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon oil, grapes, and pears; arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake at 450° for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender. Cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.

5. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Combine grape mixture, butter, pecans, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Arrange mixture over dough. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from pan, and place on a serving platter. Serve with whipped topping.

our very best suggestion for simplifying your Holiday? Remember the reasons why you are celebrating and the things that are most important to you!
Thanks to Deb Wise at myrecipes.com!

For more healthy and delicious recipes, check out our Archives!


LAST CHANCE to Get 11 Banner Ads for $40!

Posted on: December 22nd, 2015 by Cathy Mendler No Comments



  Would you like to see YOUR ad in our next newsletter? For the month of
..December, we’re offering our readers the option to place banner ads in our
..newsletter for all of our 2016 issues. That’s at least 11 issues for the low
..price of $40 for the entire year. We LOVE creating this newsletter for
..you, and we’re proud of our high open rate.

Send us an email before the end of December, and we’ll send you the ad specifications and payment details.


Get Ready to Get Productive!

Posted on: December 17th, 2015 by Cathy Mendler No Comments


Get Productive...

  Here are our TOP 5 time-saving ideas for

MAKE A LIST, CHECK IT TWICE.  In addition to making a list before you head out, ask family members to provide you with their wish list in advance of the Holidays. Take advantage of online wish lists and store registries.

PLAN BACKWARDS. Look at your calendar in terms of deadlines. For instance, if you want your cards in the mail by December 10th, plan for all of the related tasks, such as writing a newsletter and getting stamps, and schedule enough time to complete them prior to your deadline. Do the same to plan for your gifts, meal planning, decorating and all the myriad tasks on your list.

STREAMLINE YOUR GIFT GIVING. Unless you REALLY enjoy them, avoid buying marathons by purchasing gifts online and even outsourcing to an assistant or family member. Having a list and a set budget can help reduce time lost to decision making and retracing your steps. Consider a gift exchange instead of giving a gift to all extended family members individually.

STRATEGIZE YOUR GIFT WRAPPING. Have a dedicated (and well-stocked) location in your home which everyone is expected to use. Encourage your family (and yourself!) to “wrap as you go” and NOT leave it all until the last minute. Another good idea is to purchase a number of the same gifts to give to teachers, hosts/hostesses, bosses, etc. Have a couple of these wrapped and on hand in case guests show up with an unexpected gift.

SIMPLIFY FOOD AND DECORATIONS. Stock your pantry with staples, so that you are well supplied for baking and food preparation. Not every dish and treat needs to be homemade–and neither does every meal! Consider a potluck dinner or giving out assignments. Have decorations like your tree and other greenery delivered.

These are just our TOP FIVE suggestions and you, no doubt, have many more. If you can think of some that we’ve missed, add your comments on our blog or FACEBOOK PAGE.


Take Time to Remember…

Posted on: December 15th, 2015 by Cathy Mendler No Comments