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November/December 2009

Vintage Recipes When to Say Yes...or No

Avoid Credit Card Debt On the Cover

Mary Banas Community Life Church


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‘Tis the season to be jolly and merry and joyous and thankful. While most of us have plenty to be jolly and joyous about, the holidays can turn our joy into a bundle of stress if we’re not careful. And for all of you Supermoms out there, extra caution is recommended. On page 10, read about steps you can take to ease the holiday stress and make it a true celebration! In addition, know your limits and avoid overwhelming yourself. So take a deep breath, do what you can, know when to say no, and don’t expect perfection. A few simple reminders will get you through this busy time with a thankful heart and memories you and your family will cherish forever. And since no holiday is authentic without digging into the old recipe box and making all those special dishes that warm the heart, on page 14, we’ve provided a few vintage recipes that you may be adding to your menu this holiday season. From Cranberry Meringue Pie to Sweet Potato Apple Scallop, your dishes will be the talk of the town. And finally, this is the time of year that many of us spend more than what is within our budget. Consequently, we’re left with the bills we’re unable to pay. Don’t let this be you this year. On page 20, read about avoiding credit card debt and beginning the new year with a feeling of success!

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November/December 2009 | McKinney Woman

McKinney Woman | November/December 2009

McKinney Woman Contents November/December 2009 Issue 21 8



On the Cover Mary Banas


Community Life Church

Cover Photo by:

Wendolin Mercado Photography

Cover Clothes by:

Cynthia Elliot Boutique Jacket by Nueva - $235

Cover Make Up by:

Sharla at Sharla’s Cosmetics & Bath

Publisher/Editor: Vanessa Ximenez


6 Cover Story Mary Banas

Community Life Church

8 The Gift of Happiness & Confidence 10 Supermom vs Holiday Stress 14 Vintage Recipes


22 The Divine Line

Art Director: Marlina Rahman

16 Make Your Own Candy

20 Avoid Credit Card Debt

Heather Arbuckle Lu Vorise Dahlman Sarah Dunnahoe Kathy Garland Diana Guintu Shelly Hill Grandma Linda Maria Lynne Kim Seidel Laxmi Wadhwa

During the holiday season

28 Food & Festivities

Without the extra weight

30 Overpowering Winter Health Blues

26 Empowering Women

Contributing Writers:

For advertising information contact our office at 972-547-6261 808 S. College St. #112 McKinney, TX 75069

McKinney Woman Magazine is a product of North Texas Magazines, Inc.

Copyright 2009, exclusive of proprietary ads and artwork designs. All rights reserved. No portion may be reproduced in whole or in part by any means without prior written permission from the publisher. Placement of advertising is not a personal endorsement by the publisher or its representatives, and no liability arising therefrom is assumed.

November/December 2009 | McKinney Woman

On the cover

Mary Banas

Community Life Church Are you sure you want to uproot our family and move to McKinney? Our children are secure and happy; I have a dream job administrating in the school my children attend, Meghan’s going to be a junior… Are you sure God? Are you sure you want us to start a church in McKinney? Couldn’t we just establish some satellite churches here in West Texas that would allow us to remain living here? Not sure why I was questioning the God of the universe … I do

Mary and Mike Banas Photo by Wendolin Mercado

know better, but I was struggling with giving up my comfort and security to go to a new city, where people, may or may not want me or

quickly… God began adding many families and a couple of years

my husband to minister to them. At 42, it seemed like a big risk. A

later, we hired a church realtor and began looking for a perma-

risk ten years earlier would have been a dream fulfilled. We humans

nent church home, a rather daunting task, I might add, But not

are so funny about the details aren’t we? I mean I could have been

for God.

90 like Sarah was when she had Isaac. God was patient with my struggles, I accepted His wisdom in the timing, and our entire family

Soon after, my husband, Mike dropped something off at McKin-

answered the call. Mike and I and our four children, loaded up our

ney High and then proceeded to our accountant in downtown

belongings, said some tearful goodbyes to those who had become

McKinney. The trek led him by what was then Christ is Life

our extended family and crossed the great state of Texas with antici-

Christian Center. He had this unshakable notion to go in and ask

pation of what God was going to do in this next chapter of life.

the pastor if he was interested in selling the property. He drove around the property three times, no for sale sign. Finally rational

Little did I know, the majority of families in the fast growing city of

thinking got the better of him and he decided against approaching

McKinney have too only recently settled. Maybe, just maybe, they,

the pastor right then.

like us, needed a life-giving community. Perhaps our past experience of building an extended family when we had no physical family

Just like God, and what we now know is providential, he put Mike

would be needed here. Maybe just maybe in our post-modern

on the same trek, the very next day. As Mike was again passing

technological age there are others who value authentic, life-giving

the same church property, he heard clearly in his mind the ques-

relationships in a church community.

tion, Are you going in there, or not? This time he did not hesitate. He entered the building, requested the pastor, and asked him the

On September 28, 2003 we launched our first weekend service at

million dollar question (literally) before reasoning got the better

Earl Slaughter Elementary School with a group of men and women

of him. The pastor (Dr. Bill Smith) led Mike to his office, invited

committed to see a church birthed that had a unique calling and a

his wife to join them and asked Mike to repeat the question to his

vision to connect people and build spiritual family. The church grew

wife. She, in turn, smiled and Mike’s heart was hopeful. Dr. Bill

McKinney Woman | November/December 2009

turned to Mike and said,” Young man, the Lord woke me up at 2

We are committed, not only to train this generation, but the next as

AM last night and told me to pray for a buyer to come by today to

well. We believe if we can capture young hearts for Christ, we can

purchase this property and you sir are that man.”

more effectively bring the kingdom to this culture and pro actively circumvent harmful and hurtful choices in our children’s lives. We

We chuckle and theorize about God not being able to wake Dr.

do so in two ways: first we have godly children’s teachers, helpers

Bill up the first night or how gentle He was with Mike’s humanity. I

and youth leaders that model the love of Christ and are passionate

am thankful for my husband’s heart to listen and Pastor Bill’s obe-

about imparting godly character through bible-based curriculum;

dience to pray. For us personally, it was yet another confirmation

secondly, the leadership desires to partner with parents and assist

that He had called us to plant a church and He was establishing

them in their god-given responsibility to impart a godly world view.

the roots of Community Life Church. Impacting people’s lives is the heart of Community Life Church and Like Abraham, we had the promise, but we still had to consider

our greatest desire is to see lives changed, marriages restored,

raising a large sum of money in 90 days. Miracles ensued and in

families reunited, purpose found, cross-generational relationships

September of 2007, we had our first service in our new home at

built and hope embraced. It is available to all of us in Christ. He

601 S. Graves Street. We are forever grateful to those who gave

promises us a new heart-a complete renovation, not just a change

sacrificially with their time and resources to make that dream

for the better.

a reality. What makes it work is family… the community God is giving us in At Community Life Church we desire to build, an authentic

McKinney, TX. It has been overwhelming to see the faithfulness

expression of the church that reaches and influences our com-

of God at work in my church, my family, and my life. The new vi-

munity and eventually the world. We desire to do so by having

sion, new passion, new life, in McKinney even at my age, has been

vibrant Sunday morning worship services with relevant bible-

invigorating and so worth it.

based teaching, small groups, and training individuals in the truth through our discipleship track. We purpose to empower individu-

You are welcome to join us or get plugged into the many life giving

als to fulfill their God-given destinies in every sphere of life.

churches here in our community. We all need to be salt and light at this time in this generation.


November/December 2009 | McKinney Woman

By Kim Seidel

Before I had a baby, I never understood how a mother couldn’t find time to shower or – gasp! – brush her teeth and hair. Now, two daughters later, I totally understand how the day can fly by without changing from the sweatpants and t-shirt I wore to bed.

The Gift of Happiness

and Confidence Over the years, however, I realized the days I do pay extra atten-

“Motherhood should be fun, so slide down the slide with your kids,

tion to myself are the days I’m able to give more loving attention

laugh and smile more,” Denay says. “That’s the essence of a

to my children. It may sound contrary, but it’s really true.

‘Hot Mom’.’’

As mothers, finding our happiness and confidence – inside and

Make improvements you can see.

out – is the most important gift we can give to our children, says

Sometimes you have to work from “the outside in.” When you

Jessica Denay, co-founder of the Hot Moms Club, and author of

look good, you feel good. It’s a fact, and it’s natural. Look at

“The Hot Mom’s Handbook: Moms Have More Fun!” (Naked Ink

how your own 4 year old struts around in a new outfit. So, put on

publishing, 2006).

some lip gloss, get that hair cut you’ve been putting off, or treat yourself to a new dress or blouse.

“Your outside should reflect your inside and when you feel good inside, you want to reflect that in the way you look, walk, and talk,” Denay says. “Projecting an image of confidence sets you

Ditch the sweats.

It’s easy to fall into a comfortable rut. Give your appearance the

up for success and respect, and it teaches your children to have

attention it deserves, because you deserve it! As moms, we’re

confidence and self-respect.”

multi-tasking goddesses, so taking a few extra minutes in the morning to pull yourself together isn’t out of the question, Denay

Don’t use the tough economy and your family’s tight budget to overlook yourself. You are important, and you can look and feel great without breaking your bank account.

says. It will change your entire day.

Clean your closet.

To begin developing a sense of your personal style, clean out So many of the following ideas to be your best are FREE!


your closet. It won’t cost you anything, but some time. Get rid of clothes and accessories you haven’t worn for a year.

This is the simplest and most effective thing you can do, Denay

Another fun and economical idea is to host a “Clean Out Your

says. You’ll feel happier and look 10 years younger. Your chil-

Closet” party. Denay hosts one every season. She gives her

dren should always remember you smiling.

friends and co-workers a two-week notice to go through their

McKinney Woman | November/December 2009

stuff. They all get together with their bags of clothes, purses, jewelry and other things to exchange. “We have a little wine, some choco-

Take a deep breath and hold it.

When it’s too uncomfortable, release it. A great exercise is to

late, and a lot of laughs,” she says. “Everyone ends up going home

make sure you’re breathing deep enough so you can hear the

with something ‘new’ to add to her wardrobe.”

inhales and exhales.

And whatever is left over can be donated to your local Goodwill, or

Enjoy the silence.

women’s shelter.

Find silence now and then. Commit to spending time alone, doing

Commit to regular exercise.

Denay isn’t saying go out and buy an expensive fitness club membership or fancy machines. To be a Hot Mom, think of fitness as a lifelong habit. Walking several times a week will enhance your self-

something that you love.

Lighten up and be silly.

Take time to laugh at the funny things your kids say and do. Throw on a fun CD and dance together around your living room.

esteem dramatically, Denay says. Denay tells women “to love your kids and love your life.” You Incorporate your kids into your exercise regime. “Walk with the kids,

don’t have to be one of those moms who is so lost in the routine,

jump rope with the kids, swim, dance, go to the gym, run up and

she forgets to truly enjoy the moment.

down your stairs 10 times, or run after your 3-year-old,” Denay says. “There is a release that fits into every schedule.”

Practice good eating habits.

Take some time to really focus on what you’re putting in your body

Find nature.

Discover the simple treasures for free right out your own front door. Take a walk around the neighborhood together and discover them with your kids.

and why. Eating your child’s leftovers, as you’re cleaning up after a meal, doesn’t count as good nutrition for moms.

“We have to open ourselves and our children up to all the wonder that surrounds us daily,” Denay says. “Create a treasure box and

The quickest and easiest way to boost your energy and your complexion (and again, it’s inexpensive!) is to drink water. Take in water throughout your day.

fill it with all that you find - your memories from special days.”

Unleash your inner goddess.

It’s hard to feel sexy when you’re changing poopy diapers all day, Another cheap and easy trick is to keep fruit in the house. It’s the

but remember you’re still a woman. Find things to do that remind

perfect snack for moms on the move. Denay is also a huge fan of

you of your desirability. Wear sexy lingerie or take a belly dancing

trail mix: nuts, berries, dried fruit, and chocolate chips. Let your kids

class. Keep your bedroom as your sanctuary, filled with romantic

mix their own bags and always have it on hand.

scented candles and lotions. As your confidence grows, you’ll naturally feel more romantic. Remember you’re modeling relation-


ships for your children so you owe it to them to keep the spark in

Breathe in, out. “Hot Moms recognize that taking ‘time outs’ to re-



charge, get centered and balanced is crucial to being a good parent,” Denay says. Kim Seidel is a freelance writer living in Onalaska, Wis., with her

Breath is the essence of life. “Taking time to regulate your breath en-

husband and two young daughters.

hances your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being,” she says.

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November/December 2009 | McKinney Woman

By Diana Guintu

Supermom vs.

Holiday Stress Although, the holidays are supposed to be a joyful time, all the stress that comes from preparing for the holidays can leave us feeling less cheerful. No one knows this better than a Supermom. Here are some helpful holiday management tips that can help ensure a joyous and less stressful holiday season:

the “to do” items on your list. Take a deep breath and enjoy the

Make Your Spirit Bright!

true to your heart. Ask yourself the following questions: What

Greet each day with the right frame of mind. It is important for you to be mindful of your mood and mindset throughout your day. A peaceful holiday season is only possible when you choose to remain centered; no matter what is happening around you. Most of us are too busy worrying and preparing for the next moment. Make a commitment this holiday season to practice being

moment. Experience the all sounds, scents, and feelings of the holiday season. Allow them to flow throughout your entire body and mind. Try to remember that what you focus on expands.

Stay True to Your Heart

All of us probably have noticed the mom that has a huge sense of urgency written all over her face while she’s out running her errands. Whether it’s shopping for gifts, hosting parties, or volunteering to help, most supermoms hit the holiday season running! Keep in mind that you do NOT have to do EVERYTHING. It is especially important for you to prioritize everything and stay do I value? What do I want from this holiday season? What memories do I want to create? For me, it isn’t the shopping or how many parties I can squeeze in. It is about spending quality time with the people I love and care about. I suggest that you rank your top priorities and write them down in a place where you can see them on a regular basis. Sometimes you just need a reminder of the important things in life.

more mindful about your mood. Allow yourself to let go of all


McKinney Woman | November/December 2009

Use the same list of priorities as your compass when asked to make commitments or promises. If someone’s request or invite doesn’t align with your list, you have a personal responsibility to yourself to say no once in a while. Decide for yourself what you want to experience during the holidays. Then make a plan to embrace more of those activities and

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Spread Love and Joy

Don’t let the commercialism and materialism of the season


drain your energy. Commit to making things different this year. You can do it! If going to the mall and battling with traffic and crowds drains you, then try shopping online while listening to your favorite holiday music. Maybe bake some goodies or make some holiday crafts, like picture frames or holiday baskets. Try doing activities that the whole family can participate in and enjoy. You could even start a new family tradition. For instance, our family does the Secret Santa

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thing. You’ve probably heard of it. Basically, each person draws a name from a hat, and then provides a gift for the person when it’s time. The best part is keeping it a secret. Instead of worrying about how much money to spend on getting gifts for everyone, we focus our energy on making that one person feel special.

Give To Yourself

You may notice that people don’t usually take care of themselves during the holidays. Supermoms are no exception.

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Poor nutrition, no exercise, lack of sleep and overspending can all lead to a hectic and stressful holiday season. As a result, they end up feeling burnt-out instead of feeling fulfilled. It’s time to create a radical shift in your life. Give yourself the gift of SELF-CARE! Tune into your body, and give yourself permission to rest when you are tired, or treat yourself to something fun like a day at the spa with a girlfriend. Allow other people to help out by taking on some of the extra tasks to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Spend time with people that are joyful and uplifting, and try to avoid the Scrooges out there. By surrounding yourself with inspirational and positive people, you will be able to focus more on the joy of the season as opposed to the stress of it. Stress is a normal part of our lives. How we manage it is what can make or break us. Avoid the holiday stress by following some of these ideas. Also, be sure to find time for

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yourself. Try to remember what the holidays are truly about. Celebrating and enjoying this special time of year with the ones you love.


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November/December 2009 | McKinney Woman




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November/December 2009 | McKinney Woman


By Grandma Linda

Vintage Recipes Here we are in November and the Christmas decorations have hit the stores. And during this holiday season, we will be preparing holiday meals, or dishes to take to holiday meals. If you are looking for something different to prepare this year for Thanksgiving or Christmas, let these recipes help you out. All of these recipes are from my vintage recipe collection. Most are from my mother’s estate. If you like seafood, try Oyster Dressing. Want to do something different with sweet potatoes? Try this Sweet Potato Apple Scallop. For a different touch to the dessert selection, add this tasty Cranberry Meringue Pie. Be bold, step out, and add a few new touches to your holiday table this year.


McKinney Woman | November/December 2009

Cranberry Meringue Pie • 1 pkg (12 oz) fresh or frozen cranberries (thaw frozen berries) • 1 cup orange juice • 3/4 cup water • 1 1/2 cups sugar • 1/3 cup quick cooking tapioca • 2 tbsp grated orange peel, optional 1/4 tbsp salt Meringue: • 4 egg whites • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar • 1/2 cup sugar • 1 baked 9-inch pie shell Place cranberries in a food processor; cover and pulse until coarsely chopped. In a large saucepan, combine the cranberries, orange juice, water, sugar, tapioca, orange peel and salt. Let stand for 5 minutes. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Keep warm. In a clean, cold mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar and beat on medium speed of an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at

a time. Beat until stiff peaks form. Spoon the warm filling into the pie shell. Spread meringue over filling being careful to seal the edges to the crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 1 hour. Chill, covered, in refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving. Refrigerate any leftovers.

Sweet Potato Apple Scallop • 2 lbs sweet potatoes (3 medium) • 2 med apples, peeled and cored • 1 tbsp lemon juice • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar • 1/4 cup chopped pecans • 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon • 1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice • 1/2 tbsp orange extract • 2 tbsp butter Place sweet potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil; cook 20-25minutes or until tender. Drain and cool. Peel potatoes and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Place in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish or pan that has been greased. Cut apples into 1/4-inch rings; cut in half. Arrange over sweet potatoes. Sprinkle apple slices with lemon juice. Combine the brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and orange extract. Sprinkle mixture over apples. Dot with butter. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until apples are tender.

Oyster Dressing • 1 pint fresh oysters • 6 to 7 cups dried bread crumbs • 1 cup chopped onions • 1 tbsp sage • 1 tbsp each of rosemary and thyme • Dash of salt and of pepper • 2 to 2 1/2 cups turkey broth (or chicken broth) • 1/4 cup melted margarine Wash oysters thoroughly. Combine oysters with remaining ingredients. Pour mixture into a well greased baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes.

Note: This recipe is from an old complimentary grocery store card. M WM Grandma Linda is a collector of vintage recipes. She enjoys

sharing them with others on her blog at Article source:

November/December 2009 | McKinney Woman


By Shelly Hill

Make Your Own Candy

This Holiday Season When it comes to holiday candy, I prefer to make my own. Making your own confections, is easier than you might think. When it comes to making candy, you need to prepare ahead of time. Read the recipe completely, making sure you have all of the ingredients and equipment needed. Lay out everything that you will need before you begin to prepare the recipe.

Candy Making Tips How To Crush Peppermint Candies: I find the easiest way to do this is by placing the peppermint candies in a heavy duty zipper close bag. Wrap a clean kitchen towel around the bag, then use a hammer to smash the candies. Storing Your Homemade Confections: I find it best to store my candy in the refrigerator in an airtight container. If you are worried about sticking, line your container with parchment paper. Presenting Your Confection’s As Gifts: Purchase some quality plastic containers, or some round decorative holiday theme ‘d tins. If you are using metal tins, line the bottoms with parchment paper. If you are making the Bonbons, purchase mini muffin cup liners. You can place a Bonbon in each liner, this keeps them separated and presentable.

Here are 3 of my favorite Holiday Recipes. The following recipes do not require the use of a candy thermometer:

Peppermint Marble Bark

• 6 squares semi-sweet baking chocolate • 6 squares premium white baking chocolate • 1 cup crushed peppermint candies

Microwave semi-sweet and white baking chocolates in separate microwave-safe bowls, on high for 1 1/2 minutes. Stir until chocolates are completely melted. Stir 1/2 cup of the peppermint candies into each bowl. Alternately spoon melted chocolate onto waxed paper lined cookie sheet. Swirl chocolates together with knife to marbleize. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Break into pieces.

White Chocolate Fudge with Cranberries • • • • •

2 pkg. (6 squares each) white chocolate 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk 1 cup chopped almonds 1/2 cup dried cranberries 1 tbsp. grated orange peel

Line a 8” square pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over the sides of your pan, set aside. Microwave chocolate and milk in a bowl until chocolate is almost melted. Stir until chocolate is melted. Add almonds, cranberries, and grated orange peel. Stir until blended. Spread chocolate mixture into a prepared pan. Refrigerate for 2 hours until firm. Remove from pan via foil and place on a tray; cut into squares. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container.

Peppermint Bonbons • • • •

1 lb. vanilla flavored confectioners coating 1/2 cup whipping cream 1 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract crushed peppermint candies

In a heavy saucepan, melt confectioners coating over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in whipping cream and peppermint extract. Beat at high speed with mixer until smooth. Chill in freezer for 25 minutes or until candy is stiff enough to be shaped. Form candy into round balls. Roll balls into crushed peppermint candy pieces. Arrange on a non-stick baking mat; let cool. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container. M WM Shelly Hill has been working from home since 1989 in Direct

Sales. You can visit Shelly online at or at Article source:


McKinney Woman | November/December 2009

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November/December 2009 | McKinney Woman


Ideal Family


By Marcia Lynne

Real mountains, luxury cabins and a family getaway are 2.5 hours away from McKinney, TX.

Just one of the many affordable and luxuriously appointed cabins available for a weekend getaway in McCurtain County, OK.

Secluded cabins in the towering pines of McCurtain County, OK are ideal for family getaways.

Just across the Oklahoma border and a short 2.5 hour drive from McKinney, Texas is a family getaway few people know about in North Texas. For my family, it’s our weekend home away from home. Typically, my two kids (Tyler, 12 and Emma, 9) are glued to the TV, a video game or the family computer. As an active mom, I’m always looking for a way to stay connected with my husband and children, without connecting to an electrical outlet.

The fall foliage and changing colors in McCurtain County, OK. are among the country’s best - just a short drive northeast of McKinney, TX.

In today’s tough economic times, we love the idea of an affordable “staycation” that’s less than a gas tank away. Located in the Kiamichi Mountains, your family just won’t believe that a place so wonderful and beautiful is so close to home. A couple of restaurants you will want to check out are Steven’s Gap Restaurant, Highway 259 North, Broken Bow, OK 580-484-6350 and a little more upscale Abendigo’s in Hochatown, OK 580-494-7222.

A few years ago, a friend of mine suggested I travel northward to McCurtain County, Oklahoma… to the Beavers Bend State Park and Broken Bow Lake area located in Southeast Oklahoma.

As for a wonderful cabin, your family will enjoy staying in the High Lonesome Lodge - rented by Heartpine Hollow Cabins. (580) 241-7895 or (580) 306-7894.

On that advice, we went… and we fell in love with the entire county. There are quaint little towns like Idabel, Broken Bow, Valliant and Hochatown that offer shopping, great restaurants, museums, water activities, hiking, biking…. you name it. McCurtain County offers something for the entire family – both outdoors and indoors. Thankfully, it is everything the mall and typical family getaway isn’t.

For more information on McCurtain County, Oklahoma, visit

Since that time, we’ve made it a point to visit once or twice a year. Adding to the attraction and allure of McCurtain County are their “Indian Summers.” Due to the foliage and soil content, McCurtain County stays “green” deep into the fall. But when fall does hit usually around the second week in November… it is a county-wide splash of showing fall foliage that is second to none. Being a creature of comfort, I was thrilled to learn that McCurtain County features a wide variety of lodging – ranging from the small and rustic cabins, to a lodge overlooking the lake, to motels and large and luxurious cabins in the deep pines. You’ll find clean, comfortable cabins with spacious rooms, big beds, brand new and clean showers and hot tubs. Thanks to my wonderful husband, who is willing to watch our children, I’ve been able to plan a few “girls weekends” with a few friends. We leave our “mom” duties at home, rent a great cabin, visit the local winery and take a break from the routine. My husband and I were married on Valentine’s Day. We’ve found the winter months of January and February in McCurtain County to be the ideal place for that fireplace-romantic-husband-and-wife weekend.


McKinney Woman | November/December 2009

Marcia’s top 15 free family activities in McCurtain County: Outdoor 1. Bald Eagle watching along the sheer cliffs of Mountain Fork River 2. Pet a snake at the Beavers Bend Nature Center 3. Scenic wildlife viewing drive in the Ouachita National Forest 4. Family hiking along the David Boren Trail at Beavers Bend 5. Picnic under the cypress trees along the Mountain Fork River

Historic 1. View Indian Artifacts at the Indian Memorial Museum 2. Visit Oklahoma’s oldest standing church, Wheelock Church 3. See a dinosaur at the Museum of the Red River 4. Tour the majestic Barnes-Stevenson House 5. Tour Waterfall Creek Pecan Farm in Idabel

Family Activities 1. Watch a live radio show on Broadway Street in Broken Bow 2. Feed goats at Honey Bear Ranch 3. Watch chainsaw sculpting at Hochatown Junction Station 4. Make arts and crafts at Beavers Bend Nature Center 5. Listen to campfire stories at Beavers Bend Nature Center

Marcia Lynne is a freelance travel writer based in the DFW area.

November/December 2009 | McKinney Woman


By millete

Avoid Credit Card Debt During holiday seasons, temptations are everywhere! People can’t resist spending, thus, giving them a lot of post holiday season stress.

Budgeting using your credit cards

When holidays are fast approaching, people tend to think that they have not saved up enough for their celebrations. Budgeting seems to become taken for granted during these days. The credit card is an obvious attraction just to cover the inevitable shortfall in resources.

This is also the high season for business people who usually cash in to maximize their sales and profits. They will stock up,

Here are the advantages when you are using your credit card to

price up and smile all the way to the bank. They have a good idea

finance your expenditures.

that people will be less restrained in their suspending than at any

•It gives you free access to about a month’s credit

other time.

•It allows you to track your expenses •You will have a temporary ability to spend more than what you

If you are one of those people who weren’t able to resist and fight

can really afford

the temptation, then you are also one of them who suffered from

•There is no need for you to carry a lot of cash around you

financial stress after the holidays. For sure, you are now thinking of how to control your spending in the next coming holidays.

However, there is a cliché that too much of something is bad

If you are really serious about doing this, you need to control the

enough. There are significant dangers if you will not control your

critical factors like the increase in the rate of your spending, the

spending practice. Research proves that spending could increase

manner in which you finance that spending, and the heavy finan-

by up to 35% when using a credit card compared with using

cial demands that follow in the subsequent month.

cash. There are principles that you may want to consider to help you out of credit card debt.


McKinney Woman | November/December 2009

Use a spending plan

you can pay it off in full. If you still decide to use your credit card, be prepared for extra costs in interest and penalties associated

Consider cutting intended festive expenses, or other expenses if

with extended credit. This will definitely add to your expenses

you foresee that your spending is going to exceed your income

and you will run the risk of creating ongoing hard-core debt if you

for the festive month. If you have drawn up your spending plan

will not be ready to reduce other regular expense to accommo-

for that period, that’s where credit card comes to the scene. You

date this.

know that there is a danger that you will be uncertain whether or not you are living within your means unless you are monitoring your spending in both cash and credit. If you are not in control of your finances, it would be really unwise to use a credit card.

Watch your debt-income ratio

Do not let your net worth shrink

The kind of debt that you incurred during the holiday seasons adds to your liabilities, but contributes nothing to your assets. Your net worth is reduced to the extent of consumer debt incurred. Shrinking net worth is not good for your financial health.

In managing your financial affairs, one of the key indicators to

So do have yourself a happy holiday. When dealing with it,

watch is your debt-income ratio. This is monthly debt repayment

finance it in such a way that it will give you the comfort that you

as a percentage of your monthly after-tax income, and raises a

won’t be debt-laden the following month.

red flag when you tinker with too much debt. A ratio of over 20% is becoming unhealthy. If you already have credit card debt that

The holiday season is the perfect time to celebrate, make merry,

is overdue, do not add to it. Do not forget that use of your credit

and have fun. Travel plans have been made, lists of gifts for

card adds to your debt.

family and friends have been drawn up, and arrangements for

Bridge your finances

parties are in full gear. It is indeed the season to be jolly, but also the season when spending runs wild.

When you are talking about credit cards, then you are actually dealing with the short- term financing of your operations. That

You need to spend wisely if you don’t want to get in a hard-core

means settling any debt incurred using your card within days.

debt that will lead you into a lot of trouble.


Paying the minimum balance will not be enough. Do yourself a huge favor by not using a credit card if you are not confident that

Article Source:

November/December 2009 | McKinney Woman



The Divine Line

By Heather Arbuckle

Be Still

“Be still, and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10

Coming down the stairs after tucking in the kids, I looked around my house wearily and shook my head in disbelief. It appeared as though the toy box had exploded on the living room floor, as dolls littered the carpet. Clothes, some folded, some stacked in piles in need of folding, stared back at me accusingly. A sink of dirty dishes mocked my fatigued spirit, as the problems of the day flooded my mind with anxiety. In that moment, I felt as though I was in a Calgon commercial and my world began spinning in my weary head. I walked to the dark office, closed the door and began to weep, feeling broken and exasperated. In that moment of quiet, I could hear my God so clearly commanding me to “Be still”. The next day, I sent the kids to school and took a day off with the Lord. We had coffee together. We did the dishes together. We folded clothes together. We even took a nap together. I did not turn on the television, answer the phone, or listen to the radio. Instead, I made my tiny world silent, eager to hear from my Heavenly Father. If we are honest with ourselves, we could all use a spiritual “day off” with the Lord. For most, if not all of us, life has become too busy, too hectic and too loud. Being a gentleman, God prefers to whisper rather than yell to get our attention. It is for this reason that He commands us to “be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) The LORD desires to speak to our hearts and calm our spirits, but he asks us to be quiet and rest so we can hear him clearly. As we settle at his feet, God ministers to our heart and grants us renewal. But, we must agree to be still and allow Him to remind us that He is God and we are not. A story all too familiar has plagued humankind since the days when Jesus walked among us. Let us be reminded of Mary and Martha, two of Jesus most beloved followers in His time here on Earth. Martha, a fussy busy bee, scurried around her home taking care of the many preparations to be made for Jesus, their house guest. Meanwhile, her sister Mary sat at the feet of Jesus,

listening to His every word wide-eyed as the Lord spoke truth into her world. Martha saw all the work that needed to be done, but Mary saw her Savior before her. (Luke 10:-38-42) We are reminded that Mary chose wisely, as she recognized what was needed. Before anything else, we need time to sit at the feet of Jesus. For it is in the stillness we are able to hear God’s voice and be reminded of His righteousness. It is in His quiet presence that our spirit finds assurance that above all else God is love. As we are still before Him, the Lord reminds us “the LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger abounding in love.” (vs. 8) He promises that “the LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.” (vs. 6) Being utterly merciful, our Heavenly Father “does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities”. (vs. 10) Granting forgiveness through the blood of Christ, he offers redemption and gives assurance that “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” (vs. 12) Filled with compassion, our God looks on us in complete adoration for “as a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.” (vs. 13-14) And since God is eternal He promises “from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children.” (vs. 17) No doubt, the days and weeks to come will be demanding for us all. Yet, the Lord promises He is one “who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (vs. 4-5) As we head into the business of each week, let us remember to “be still” and “praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” (vs. 2) After all, He is God. He is Good. And He is calling us into His presence. M WM Heather Arbuckle is a free-lance writer who lives in McKinney, TX with

her huband Marty and her three beautiful children Jack, Lily, and Sofie.


McKinney Woman | November/December 2009

If the crash smashed your bumper, what did it do to your spine? FIND OUT WITH OUR EXAM.


IF YOUR SPINE was damaged in an auto accident, you may not even know it. Problems with your back and neck (like whiplash) might not cause you pain for weeks or even months. As an auto injury expert, Dr. Arora knows what to look for. With years of experience and leading-edge technology to help him spot problems, he can stop your pain fast.

MCKINNEY PAIN & WELLNESS CENTER Call now: 972.540.6630 for your free exam 2600 Eldorado Parkway, Suite 100 (Two blocks west of I-75)

Why worry? Dr. Arora has helped over 2,000 McKinney residents feel better for life with the latest treatments in back and neck care. Call now, and let him check the damage with a free exam.


Spinal examination for new patients ($150 Value) Includes: Complete spinal analysis - to ensure your good health Motion tests - to see why you have trouble moving Muscle tests - to see why you’re stiff Neurological and orthopedic exams to detect nerve or disc damage Private consultation with the doctor to make your options clear

November/December 2009 | McKinney Woman


What is A Homeowner Referral Network (HRN)?

A Homeowner Referral Network (HRN) is a free local and organized referral service for homeowners comprised of prescreened highly skilled, dependable independent home improvement contractors. Contractors represented in the network may range from painters, plumbers and electricians to floor refinishers, carpenters, remodelers and handymen. HRN’s perform due diligence prequalifying home improvement contractors’ and remodelers by checking their licensing, bonding, insurance, and references prior to matching them to homeowners. They also check the quality of their work and the homeowner’s satisfaction with the workmanship and the contractor’s responsiveness to their home improvement needs. They are a boutique concierge service for homeowners’ saving them valuable time pouring over newspapers, telephone directories and internet referral listing services searching for reliable qualified contractors. Currently, there are 400 HRN’s businesses operating throughout the United States and the question that every North Texas homeowner should ask themselves is: if I live in Texas, why would I call a referral listing service that is located in another state and expect them to know about the local contractors in my community? And this is where an HRN’s niche service offerings differentiate themselves in the home improvement market by being a local and personalized service to its homeowners.


McKinney Woman | November/December 2009

The value proposition that HRN’s offer home improvement contractors is that of an “outsourced” sales and marketing force. HRN’s take on the responsibility of promoting the home improvement contractor services to their homeowner clientele. Contractors within the network cannot pay into the network. What this means to homeowners, is that the contractors have been referred into the network by previously satisfied customers or colleagues and then are carefully selected to match with homeowners needing their particular service. Contractors within an HRN must be licensed, bonded and insured. They will need to be in business for five years. If the business is under five years old, they must have exceptional customer service and business references. HRN’s also require that the contractors within the network have five checkable references and good people skills. To contractors, this means that only other home improvement professionals with the same high standards will be included in the network, therefore maintaining their valued reputation. An HRN helps to broaden their client base and maintain a steady flow of work especially during the slow season and there are no upfront fees. Contractors within an HRN may not be the most inexpensive, but they will provide quality work at competitive prices. Where as big referral listing companies make their money by charging contractors listing and/or lead fees for example they will receive a lead and send it to 20 contractors and still get their fee, regardless of whether the contractor gets or even wants the job. And the homeowner is still tasked with screening and qualifying the contractor. HRN’s take the guesswork out of looking for qualified prescreened contractors and the best thing about the service is it’s free to the homeowner. For more information on how an HRN can help you with your next home improvement project, contact Lu Vorise Dahlman at 972.345.5683 or visit her at:

The Homeowner’s Referral Network Lu Vorise Dahlman (LV) is the owner and President of The HomeOwner’s Contractor Referral Network, LLC (THCRN) a free “local and personalized” contractor referral service connecting homeowners in Collin County to prescreened local independent, skilled and dependable contractors, from floor refinishers, to plumbers, electricians and decorative wall painters etc. LV’s twenty years of executive recruitment experience consulting to major corporations such as United Airlines, Motorola Inc, Towers Perrin HR Consulting and Allstate Insurance Corporation provides her with the background and expertise to perform due diligence interviewing home improvement contractors’ and remodelers: checking their licensing, bonding and insurance and the quality of their work for matching them to homeowners. She also does her due diligence working with homeowners: defining the scope of their home improvement project, the budget, the timeline, and managing the homeowner’s expectations for the project. She is the broker of services between the two groups, in a fast-growing and decidedly personal twist on the home improvement and remodeling referral business. It was while listening to family and friends home improvement project horror stories such as contractors not showing up and/or not completing the project that inspired her to start a homeowner’s contractor referral service. If a homeowner is interested in using THCRN services, they can either submit a request for services online and or via phone. A representative

from THCRN will then follow up with the homeowner to get any additional information regarding the project and begin the search for the right contractor. And the best part of all is that the service is free to the homeowner. According to LV, THCRN differ from national internet referral listing services by being local to the communities we serve and every contractor listed within the network is interviewed. And as quoted by LV “we really get to know our contractors during the interview process”. Although the contractors are independent, LV is available to the homeowner per request throughout the entire project.

List of Services to Homeowner: • Appliance Repair • Architects • Bathtub Reglazing • Carpet Cleaning • Carpenters • Chimney Repair/Cleaning • Computer Specialists • Decorating Painting • Electricians • Exterminators/Pest Control • Floor Refinishing • Gardeners • General Contractors • Glazers • Handymen

• Movers • Painters • Party Favors • Party Wait Staff • Personal Shoppers • Plumbers • Rubbish Removal • Seamstress • Snow Removal • Sprinkler Installation/ Maintenance • Tile Installation/Repair • Tutors • Typist • Window Installation • Window Treatments (... and more)

For more information about how the HomeOwner’s Referral Network, contact:

LV Dahlman at call 972-345-5683 or visit us at November/December 2009 | McKinney Woman



Empowering Women

By Kathy Garland

When to Say Yes... or No Have you ever said yes when you really wanted to say no? This usually results in stress and precious time away from what’s most important to you in your life. How can you get out of this mindset that you need to say yes? Or that you are afraid to say no because it will cause conflict? Fortunately there are some boundaries and guidelines you can create for yourself on when to say yes and when to say no. When you take time to do this, you will have more energy, more time for your own personal interests and be more available to who and what really matters in your life. Recently a person in my network asked me to teach a few classes to a group of students she mentored. Normally I would say yes because I love teaching. This time, I said no because fall is a busy time of year for me. I had made a commitment to myself not to take on additional volunteer opportunities until January. In this case, what was most important to me was managing my schedule and honoring my commitment to myself and my clients. While I value and love teaching, there will be another opportunity

marketing programs “guaranteed to grow your business.” I have a friend that I talk to when I want to purchase a new product – especially those “Buy Now – just for today” type offers. I’ve saved a ton of money by knowing my trigger points and I make smarter decisions too.

to volunteer.

5. Practice, practice, practice saying no. Ask

Here are some questions and exercises for you to answer that will

where you say no.

make it easier for you to decide when you want to say yes and when you want to say no.

1. Know what’s important to you. What is worth it for you to say yes to? Will you look back at your decision and be happy about it?

2. What is your vision for your life? Having a vision is a focal point for your passions and is like a roadmap for your life. Being clear about this one thing can be the basis for your decisions.

an objective, supportive friend to help you practice scenarios

This will take some planning, some thinking and some action to implement. However, when you use these five strategies, you will have more time and resources to focus on what matters most to you. For tips on how to say no politely and firmly, visit my website at and check out the resource section which contains articles on increasing your personal power.


3. How will you benefit from saying yes to this request? How will you benefit from saying no? Be honest

Kathy Garland, is a transformational

with yourself.

personal power, develop their business and leadership skills and

4. Know your triggers. To whom or to what is it difficult to say no? One of my triggers is spending money on


McKinney Woman | November/December 2009

leader, speaker and trainer who works with women to increase their create focus for the future. She resides in McKinney and works with clients both across the U. S. and Canada.

Wendolin Mercado Photography offers a fast-paced high energy photo shoot just like the ones you see on TV! Models can bring up to five outfits and choose between a studio shoot, a location shoot around Downtown, or a combination. You will end up with photos to fill a five page fashion spread that rival those found in all the popular magazines!

“Wendolin is amazing!� Kelly Cannell, McKinney, Texas.

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Lindy Cannell

8th Grader Faubion Middle School

November/December 2009 | McKinney Woman


By Sarah Dunnahoe | Metabolic Research center

Food & Festivities

without The Extra Weight Statistics tell us that the average American gains between 7-10 pounds during the holiday season. Then after giving in to the temptations and gaining the weight most Americans maintain that extra weight and will add onto it additional pounds the following holiday season. Oh, what a tangled web! It is so easy to understand why Americans can gain so much weight during the holiday season. Everywhere you turn there is food. The colorful, inviting television ads, the grocery store displays, office and other parties, etc. Particularly the parties…at these events most likely there will be assortments of delicious food and deserts, not to mention the delicious sugar laden beverages that are also commonly offered. Ah yes, holiday seasons are wrought with food and festivity and thank goodness. There is nothing wrong with a little indulgence during this time. We have to be careful not to overdo and remember to eat food that will help us maintain a nutritional balance. Enjoy yourselves with moderation. 5 Tips for eating healthy during the holiday season.

1. Don’t go to a holiday party hungry. I know exactly what you are thinking, however, if you go to the party hungry you most assuredly will overeat. So, before the dinner party

which to over indulge. For all other meals during the season try to maintain that healthy balance that you already have in place.

3. Do not skip meals. Again continue to practice your daily healthy habits. Eat your 3 to 5 small meals a day. Skipping meals will most assuredly mean over eating when the festive foods are in front of you.

4. Increase your exercise. Let’s face it; avoiding the extra calories during this time is very hard. So, increase your exercise to counter balance the extra caloric intake that you may have. One way to get extra exercise is to park in spaces farthest from the mall when you go shopping. Also, choose the stairs versus the elevator or escalators.

5. Host a holiday party yourself. Hosting a Holiday Party yourself gives you complete control over

have a healthy snack. If this isn’t possible, at the party perhaps

the menu. This way you control the number of healthy offerings

snack on vegetables or a salad before you indulge in a meal or

versus the non-healthy ones. This is also the time that you could

other holiday goodies.

take the focus away from the food. Make the holiday celebration

2. Maintain your healthy eating habits throughout the holiday season. Do this by choosing for example, Christmas Dinner. For this meal

more fun and meaningful.

6. Take time for yourself. Holiday time is stressful for many people. Be sure to take time to

perhaps decide to allow yourself to eat something that you would

relax and unwind. Regarding the holiday, set limits, plan, eat well,

not have normally like stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes and dessert.

get plenty of rest and most of all keep it simple.

Then don’t feel guilty about your choices. But remember this will only work in your favor if you choose one meal during the holiday in


Sarah Dunnahoe, Area Director, Metabolic Research Center - weight

loss specialist.


McKinney Woman | November/December 2009

DON’T BE A VICTIM OF THOSE HOLIDAY POUNDS! Metabolic Research Center can help The average american gain 5-12 pounds during the holiday season.

Metabolic Research Center offers a FREE and PERSONAL consultation to help Adults and Children: • Decrease body fat • Increase energy • Lose belly fat • Balance hormones • Tighten skin Nancy Vrooman • LOSE weight lost 105 pounds • Reduce cravings and hunger Nutritional planning as well as herb and vitamin programs available!

Mindy Wills lost 52 pounds and 58 ¾ inches

You have nothing to lose but your weight!

Call today for a FREE consultation call

214-491-4222 •

3 Locations to serve you: McKinney, Plano and Frisco

November/December 2009 | McKinney Woman


By Laxmi Wadhwa

Overpowering Winter

Health Blues Winter is approaching and it is a right time to be prepared to handle the winter blues. This is the season that brings exciting holidays but it also comes with the lowest average temperature, affecting our health. Given below are some simple, natural and homely measures to handle winter blues effectively. The cures come right from your kitchen – natural, inexpensive and most effective.

Skin Care

The skin becomes drier during this season and it needs nourishment. Following are some handy tips to protect your skin in the winter. • Make use of mild soaps or cleansers to clean your skin fol-

sleep; irregular sleeping schedule has adverse effects on the overall health. Expose yourself to fresh air and eat well-balanced diet. • Wear gloves and other protective coverings before you move out of home. Woolen sweaters or overcoats prove a good shield in this season.


Effective Home Remedies for Cough, Cold and Flu to maintain good Health

• Rub cucumber slices, aloe vera gel, plain lip balm or petroleum

Cough, cold and flu are the frequently observed health problems

jelly on the chapped skin and lips.

during winter. Handle them effectively with your regular kitchen

• Use sunscreen lotion or lavender oil that helps prevent the skin


from sunburn since the sun rays affect the skin most during this

• Gargling with warm salt water is used mainly for sore throats,


but it is also effective when you have colds. The warm salt helps

• Massage your skin with Jasmine, Wheat Germ, Sesame or

wash away germs in your throat and make the healing process a lot

Almond oil, before bath is the best thing you can do to keep the


skin equally moisturized.

• Ginger is excellent for nausea and works as a digestive herb. A

• Packs of honey and milk, mashed avocado or mashed papaya

combination of ginger juice and honey helps revealing sore throat.

with wheat germ oil provide appropriate nourishment to the skin.

Start your day with a ginger tea or basil tea, which have medicinal

• Olive oil can work wonders in reinforcing moisture to your hair.

value and work as a preventive measure for cold and cough. Also, a

Treat your legs by adding a few drops of oil in the water that you

few sips of honey and carrot juice help cure a throat infection.

use to soak them.

• Garlic consists of anti-viral and anti-fungal activities that cure the

• Drink plenty of water to keep the body hydrated. Water plays

cold. Consumption of hot garlic soup or garlic juice mixed with onion

an important role in keeping your skin alive. Have adequate

juice in hot water works as a magic for cold and flu.

lowed by a daily moisturizer. Use the paste of ground green gram powder instead of a soap to work your way to a soft and supple


McKinney Woman | November/December 2009

• In case of extreme Dry Cough, boil down around 100 grams of lady’s finger in half liter hot water and drink up. Rich in mucilage, lady’s finger acts as an effective drug. You can also take steam of this concoction.

Effective Home remedies for Headache, Earache and Toothache

• Headaches are common during the season of flu and cold. Dab

• A hot curry made by tamarind, butter and pepper also helps to

the mixture of peppermint and vegetable oil on the forehead to get

clear the nasal passage and gives relief from cold. For those, who

relief from annoying headaches.

prefer non-veg, hot Chicken Soup is considered as one of the

• Earache, is usually a result of infection and it can be cured by

most beneficial of all of the hot liquids that cure cold and cough.

several homely remedies such as putting drops of ginger juice or

Also, hot foods like spicy curries, mustard sauce help to clear the

basil juice in the ears, taking a hot water bath that helps melting the

nasal blockage.

vax accumulated in the earsand helps lessening the ear pain.

• Dietary sources of vitamin C include fruits and vegetables, par-

• Toothache, is another common ailment during winter and it can

ticularly citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, grapefruit that aid

be treated with the use of cloves, mixture of clove oil with pepper

curing symptoms of cold. Detoxifying lemon juice is very useful

powder and chamomile oil. Apply a paste of lemon juice and asafoe-

during cold. Eating an apple everyday provides basic nutrition and

tdia (Hing) on the aching part and it gives a pain-relief.

protection to your body and practice it more than reading it as an old proverb.

It is amazing how the regular spices, herbs and other kitchen

• Drink a mixture of hot milk with a spoonful of turmeric. This old

paraphernalia can be so useful to handle the common ailments.

remedy aids to relief throat infection.

These simple home remedies give you a natural relief and save

• Use of bitter gourd root paste with honey and basil juice is a

you and your family from spending money on unnecessary bills

good remedy for cold.

and medication. A little care will keep the wintry troubles at bay.

• A natural antibiotic like Goldenseal is beneficial when there is

Welcome winter with the Grandma’s remedies and enjoy a sound

greater nasal infection. Peppermint candy and herbal teas are

health throughout this season! For more suggestive articles log on

also very good at helping to fight with cough and cold.

ICICI Lombard.


• Eucalyptus or thyme oil are helpful when inhaled in steam and can also be used as natural vaporizers. Regular handwash with a

mild sanitizer also serves the purpose. Follow it with almond oil or


baby cream.

Article source:

November/December 2009 | McKinney Woman



McKinney Woman | November/December 2009

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