Giuliano Hazan and His Extraordinary Food and Wine Tours in Italy

It is evening in Valpolicella, Italy, but a light warm breeze is blowing. A dozen or more people are seated around antique dining tables in the middle of an early 16th century Italian villa near Verona. The people are laughing and talkative, their wineglasses sparkling and their plates full. The tables are laden with Italian dishes that they have prepared themselves. Tomorrow they will journey together to explore this region of Italy, but tonight is consumed with delicious homemade food, excellent wine and new friends. This night has been made possible by Italian Chef Giuliano Hazan.


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Super Easy Ways To Get A Killer Base Tan

Getting a base tan is essential for certain situations. Maybe you’ve been invited to join your boyfriend’s family on their boat in the Bahamas. Or, you’re going down to Florida to visit Disney World. Maybe it’s just that upcoming 4th of July BBQ. Whatever the occasion, you don’t want to show up with your lily white legs while the rest of the girls show off their golden tans. Here are two easy ways to get a killer base tan.

Method #1: Fake It

Since the dawn of time, women have been faking beauty features they lacked for one reason or another. During WWII, when silk was hoarded for making paratrooper parachutes, women found their lingerie drawers woefully lacking in silk stocking. Not to be caught out walking around barelegged, clever women of the time simply sued an eyeliner pencil to draw that telltale line that simulated a silk stocking seam up the backs of their legs. The effect was surprisingly realistic.

Which brings us to method number one of achieving a killer base tan. There are lots of great fake tanners on the market, so there’s no reason to resort to those orangey self-tanning lotions that you might have tried in high school. Here are two of my favorites:

Art Naturals Sunless Tanning Lotion works for light, fair, medium and sensitive skin. It contains jojoba oil, so it moisturizes while it’s making your skin look tanned. You get an instant tint to your skin without the sun, and you can build it up to look darker with each application. I like that the packaging is BPA and paraben-free, and that the kit comes with an application mitt.

Beauty by Earth Self Tanner is an organic, natural sunless tanning lotion that works within 4-6 hours to give your skin a sun-kissed natural glow. Works on skin tones from light to medium and is okay for use on sensitive skin. I like it because the ingredients are all organic, including coconut oil, argan oil and aloe vera. Its non-streaking formulation works to give you a fake base tan for between four and seven days.

Method #2: Build It

You can build a real base tan if you have enough sunny day with which to work your tanning magic. Seven sunny days should be long enough to implement this build-it method. Remember, the goal is to build a healthy base tan without burning or otherwise damaging your gorgeous skin.

First, arm yourself with a 6-day, descending supply of sunblock. On day one, use the sunscreen with the highest SPF. On day two, use the next lowest SPF, on day three, the next lowest, etc. On the last day, which will be day seven, switch to a Hawaiian Tropic sun oil that contains all natural oils but no sunscreen. By the end of day seven, even the fairest in all the land (you!) will have achieved a killer base tan you can be proud to show off in shorts and a sleeveless top.

You may notice that I’ve left out the option of tanning beds in this list. The reason is that the CDC has specifically called out tanning beds as potentially more dangerous than outdoor tanning. Because tanning beds operate on a timer, and users normally stay in the tanning bed until the timer goes off, the odds are greater that a burn will develop. Outdoors, you can regulate your skin exposure, but inside a tanning bed, it’s much more difficult to do so, if not impossible. I recommend one of the above methods instead of resorting to a tanning bed.



4 Distracting Things To Do Until Your Food Cravings Pass


Food cravings can sabotage your health and weight loss goals. We all suffer from food cravings at some point, but it is possible to get through them without succumbing to the temptation. Experts say that food cravings usually go away after 15 minutes. Here are some ideas for distracting activities that will not only make the time fly by, but maybe even cut that food craving time in half.

Play Tetris

A surprising study conducted late last year at the University of Plymouth indicates that playing the video game of Tetris for as little as three minutes can reduce cravings by one-fifth. There’s something about this game that makes players forget about whatever food craving they were experiencing. This is the first test of its kind, so it’s possible that other video games can achieve similar results, though that hasn’t yet been put to the test. In the meantime, why not download this Tetris game on your smartphone so it’s ready to play when your next food craving rears its ugly head.

Have Sex

Food cravings can sometimes occur from the desire to fill something that’s missing in our lives, such as an emotional connection with another person. Having sex instead of binging on a bag of chips will not only keep you busy for 15 minutes (longer if you’re lucky), but it may also help to show you that a real emotional connection is available to you. And by the way, your partner doesn’t have to know that you’ve made a choice between him and a Milano cookie. That can be our little secret.

Use Aromatherapy

There is an abundance of anecdotal evidence to suggest that aromatherapy can reduce or eliminate food cravings. The next time a craving comes upon you, try brushing your teeth with minty toothpaste. The fresh taste in your mouth and your minty breath may inspire you to want to avoid ruining that fresh-brushed taste and smell. You can also keep a bottle of peppermint essential oil in your medicine cabinet. Whenever a food craving occurs, just pass the jar under your nose. Some people say that the peppermint scent will rid you of cravings and refresh your senses.


One of the best ways to avoid the temptation of a food craving is to exercise. The activity will take your mind off whatever is in your kitchen, and the knowledge that you’re getting in better physical condition will give you willpower to resist food cravings. To make it work, keep your gym bag in the car or closet, ready to go when cravings hit. If you don’t have a gym membership, a brisk walk or jog through the neighborhood will accomplish the same thing. After as little as 15 minutes, your food cravings will likely vanish.

One thing you can count on is, the more often you can resist your food cravings, the less frequent they will become. Remember, all you have to do is get through the next 15 minutes without giving in. After that, it will get easier as time goes on.



Here’s What Older Generations Don’t Understand About Millennials

Millennials are defined by Strauss and Howe (Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generationas those born between 1982 and 2004. There’s something separatist sounding about the name itself, and millennials seem a little bit misunderstood. Here are some common criticisms that have been leveled at millennials, and what the real situation is.

“They Are Self Absorbed”

Yes, they might be a little too fond of selfies, and are always to be found in group photos, hugging, laughing and smiling at each other. They appear to be happy within their own tribe. Unlike some previous generations, millennials actually like each other, and themselves. They weren’t raised in an era of self-deprivation or self-blame, and so it’s true that they do feel more satisfied with themselves. Other generations may have been self-absorbed, like the Yuppies, but the Yuppies lived in an age of economic success, whereas it can feel a little hard to take the happy smiling faces of millennials when the economy is still so low. Chances are, if everyone was happy, no would mind the smiling faces of millennials on social media.

“They Don’t Respect Privacy”

The millennials have been charged with not respecting privacy, especially since every conversation online is like a group chat. They post private pictures and share everything about their private lives. But that’s partly because they embrace the group input, and feel that every opinion matters. If there was ever a generation that believes in “the more the merrier,” it’s millennials. They basically invented the concept of the “crowd.” Since they like each other so much, they figured out early on that many hands (and heads) make light work. Now we have a whole host of companies dedicated to taking advantage of many sources of thought, skill and labor from around the globe. We have crowd funding, crowd tasking and crowd ideas that are used to create cohesive wholes. If you really, really like to work in groups, the millennials have a spot for you.

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Homemade Cleaning Products You Don’t Have To Fear Using

Whether you are looking for homemade cleaning products for health reasons or to save money, you’re in luck. There are homemade alternatives for just about any cleaning chore you face in your home. The best part is, you can look forward to the same or better results that you would achieve with its commercial counterpart.

Laundry Detergent

The following recipe for homemade laundry detergent has been making the rounds around the Internet for a while. There are variations, but the one I’m sharing with you now has been tried and tested by me. It’s currently my go-to laundry detergent. Why is it so great? It’s inexpensive, lasts a long time, and actually works. Note: If you can’t find the ingredients at your supermarket, head to the cleaning aisle of your local hardware store.


  • ½ cup Washing Soda
  • ½ cup Borax
  • 1/3 bar Fels-Naptha soap

Grate the Fels-Naptha soap using your kitchen box grater. Fill a stock pot with six cups of water. Add the Fels-Naptha and bring to a boil. Keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t boil over. Add the Borax and the washing soda to the water and mix with a spoon. Pour the water into a large bucket. Add a gallon and a half of tap water to the bucket and stir. Allow to sit undisturbed overnight. In the morning, you’ll find that it has set into a gelatinous consistency. Use as you would any commercial brand laundry detergent.

Fabric Softener Crystals

You’re probably familiar with those awesome new fabric softener crystals that add fragrance and softness to your laundry load. Unfortunately, they also lighten your wallet with their exorbitant cost. Now you can make a version yourself for pennies.


  • 4 cups Epsom salt
  • 8-10 drops fragrant oil

Just mix the two ingredients together into a bowl and mix well. Use about 1/8 of a cup per wash load. If you desire a stronger fragrance, add a few extra drops of fragrant oil.

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Are You Being Poisoned? Hidden Toxins in Your Daily Life

You try to take care of yourself by eating right and exercising. But did you know that there are hidden toxins in your daily life that can sabotage all your efforts? Check out these sources of toxins to see if you are susceptible.


Arsenic is a naturally occurring chemical that is used in a variety of ways in what is considered safe amounts, according to the FDA. But when quantities of arsenic exceed those safe amounts, it can wreak havoc on your health, including causing hair fallout, cancer, vomiting, diarrhea and even death.

Arsenic can build up in your body, so even if there are “safe” amounts of arsenic in your drinking water, your body will accumulate more arsenic if you get it from other sources. Those levels can reach toxic levels, which can lead to arsenic poisoning symptoms.

Here’s the bad news. A study in 2015 found levels exceeding safe amounts of arsenic in all but one of the five states in the U.S. that produce wine. So the wine that you drink from Washington, California, Oregon and New York has been tested by the Environmental Protection Agency and contains levels of arsenic that are over two timesabove safe levels. A class action lawsuit has been filed, but in the meantime, you might prefer to choose European wines until the mess has been sorted out.

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Worthy Ways To Upcycle Your Old Books

As a book lover, you probably have a collection that includes a few you know you won’t be reading again. If you love the look of all those books, and don’t necessarily want to give them away, why not try a few of these ideas to reuse your old books?


Turn a stack of old books into a stunning table lamp with these instructions.

For this project, you’ll need:

  • Several hardcover books (the number will depend on their width and your lamp hardware)
  • Lamp kit (available at woodshop craft stores or online)
  • Lamp shade
  • Drill and bits
  • Box cutter
  • Clamps
  • Screwdriver and screws
  1. Stack your books on the work table. Measure the center rod from the lamp kit and subtract one inch. That’s the maximum height your stack of books can be. View your stack of books critically and determine the arrangement that is most appealing to you according to which one you want at the top, bottom, etc.
  2. Move the stack of books, keeping just the bottom one. Clamp the bottom book to the table. Use a ½ inch bit to drill into the center of the book (through the front cover), up to halfway through the book.

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Pet Depression: Is It Real And What Are The Signs?

As a pet owner, you know that your pet has moods just like you do. Try cuddling up to your cat after leaving him alone at home for a week and you know the reception will be less than warm and fuzzy. Or see how different your dog treats you when you decide all his toys need to be replaced with freshly bought ones with that brand new smell. But when Fido is down in the dumps for a long time, or Sprinkles has lost interest in her catnip mouse, you might be wondering if it’s possible for your pet to get depressed in a similar way that humans do.

According to the North Shore Animal League, the world’s largest no-kill animal shelter and adoption organization, pet depression is a clinical, medical condition that exists. Though some of the causes of pet depression are different that what might cause depression in humans, many of them are the same.


Pets can fall into depression from being left alone for hours at a time. If you have a pet that stays at home all day by itself, he may start to feel lonely. If you go out straight after work, or don’t pay attention to your pet when you do get home, the feeling of loneliness can be exacerbated.

If you think your pet may be lonely, there are a few options:

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5 Weird Health Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

Every now and again, you end up with symptoms so weird you think they couldn’t be related to anything other than your vivid imagination. But certain conditions can result in the strangest symptoms. Here are some examples of weird symptoms that could be a sign of something you should have checked out.

Itchy Ears

It’s normal to have the occasional itch in your ear. But if the itching is intense or chronic, it’s time to dig a little deeper to root out the possible cause. According to medical experts, itchy ears combined with other symptoms such as fatigue and headaches could indicate an overgrowth of yeast in the body, which can possibly lead to other problems, such as joint trouble or digestive disorders.

Sparkles and Light Flashes in Field of Vision

Almost everyone sees what are called floaters in the vision at least some of the time. But if you are seeing sparkles or flashes of light, it could be a sign of something else. One of the symptoms of pre-diabetes is seeing sparkles in the field of vision, even if they only last for a few minutes and then go away. Don’t ignore this telltale sign that could mean something more serious is going on.


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Recipes That Put Us In The Mood For Spring

When warmer weather arrives, most of us get the urge to eat light. Our cravings move away from mashed potatoes and hot soup, and go toward light salads and cool dishes. These are recipes that will make you feel fresh a
nd breezy, just like springtime itself.

Mixed Berry Compote

Just the name of this recipe is enough to make your mouth water for juicy berries marinated in citrus and sugar. Serve by itself or over a scoop of French vanilla ice cream.


  • 3 cups berries, fresh or thawed frozen (blueberries, raspberries and blackberries will do nicely)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the sugar and citrus. Stir until smooth. Toss the berries in and cook on low for about 3 minutes. Best served warm.

Artichoke – Parmesan Bruschetta

As artichokes begin appearing on your grocer’s shelves, you may long for new ways to enjoy this exotic vegetable. This recipe doesn’t have to include fresh artichokes, however, the commercial, jarred variety will do just as well.


  • 1 loaf of Italian bread
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1 jar artichoke hearts (or fresh artichoke hearts)
  • Olive oil

Slice the Italian bread into 1-inch thick slices, and toast them. Drizzle the slices with olive oil. Place one artichoke heart on each slice and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Place under the broiler until the cheese is melted. Serve warm.


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