Worst Customer Service….EVER!

LGLG tvIf you have been around me at all lately you may have already heard me ranting about LG Canada. I share this post with you so that you can make an informed decision the next time you are making an electronics or home appliance purchase.

In November, I purchased a 32″ TV for my husband for Christmas. I was so excited because we often don’t exchange gifts at all and to surprise him with a TV for the bedroom was exciting. You can imagine my disappointment when he went to hook-up the television and it didn’t work. We contacted the company I bought it from and were told to deal directly with LG and this is where the nightmare starts….

LG set-up a case number and told us to take it to one of their local certified repair agents, which we did. It was deemed unrepairable and a replacement claim was submitted. Since the beginning of January, we have spent endless hours on hold and in debate with LG. We’ve been given the run around, false promises and an unending list of reasons why we had not yet received a replacement TV. As you can imagine, my frustration level was well over the top. If I had to go on hold one more time and listen to LG’s jargon about how at LG (Life is Good) your time is valuable…it might have sent me over the edge.  They are by leaps and bounds the worst company I have ever dealt with. The only experience that even comes close is the contractor we hired to do our bathroom make-over a few years back. He would be right up there with LG as the worst in customer service, but he represents himself and his own reputation with his poor work ethic and dishonestly. LG is what I would have expected to be a reputable company.

A few weeks ago,  I was told that although they most likely have a replacement TV in stock, the inventory wouldn’t be entered into the data base until near the end of April and it would only be then that they could reserve a TV for us. Did you know there is a television shortage right now? Me neither, I was surprised that LG, a television manufacturing company has had difficulty keeping TV’s in stock and it takes upwards of a month to update their inventory on the computer. Are you kidding me?

Of course at this point, there is nothing on this earth LG could do to win back my support. At this point, my best guess was that they could care less about their customers and would do absolutely nothing to make this right.  I figured if I was really lucky I might get my dudd television replaced in time for a Father’s Day gift – how lovely!

If LG were to sweep in and grant me a wish to make all this go away…what would I wish for?

First Choice: My $420 dollars back plus some extra cash for all of the headaches and stress they’ve caused. This would allow me to go and buy a Samsung! I will never purchase another LG product again.

Second Choice: How be don’t get too caught up on finding a comparable TV that is in the “system”…since I’m being forced to replace my LG televisioin with another, how be they try to regain some customer trust and do the right think by upgrading my television to something bigger and better? Seems logical to me. I’m sure that the money it would cost them will be nothing compared to the “free” negative advertising I plan to do for ….like ever!

The interesting thing is that I don’t think LG actually cares about its customers or the service they receive. After that conversation, I requested yet another jump up the rung in the customer service department. I was told a request would be put in “today” and once the manager reads it over, he/she will decide whether it warrants a follow-up call or email from them. If not, it will be re-routed back to the same incompetent department I’ve been dealing with for weeks. Let’s just say that based on my experience so far, I would be very surprised if the managers will be any more effective than their teams. Update: true to form, we never heard from anyone in the management team.

I called back with a request for a phone number and contact information for my lawyer to proceed. Interestingly, things seemed to begin to move much quicker at this point. Suddenly, there was a newer model that was put on reserve, but could only be sent once the old television was sent in. I reminded them once again, that I didn’t have the TV, their certified service agent here in Winnipeg did. They said they would contact him and have him return it. Once it was received they would send out the new one.  After a week and a half, I decided to call the service agent to see if and when he had returned the television. Surprisingly (NOT), he had not been contacted by LG, but had received a new television from them with no paper work or information attached to it. His best guess was that it was mine! So, on Thursday, April 23rd only 4 months after Christmas, LG finally came through and gave me a television of comparable value to that I had originally purchased. No apology, no credit voucher or gift certificate or any other compensation for the hours of headache caused over the last 4 months. Disappointing to say the least.

Summary:

I’ve always heard that LG products were quite good. I guess that if you are lucky enough to purchase one that has been made well and works effectively – you’ll probably be pleased with the company. However, if you should end up on the otherside and have issues – don’t hold your breath on getting them resolved anytime soon. All you have to do is visit LG Canada’s facebook page to see that I am not alone in the experience I’ve had with their customer service department. So, if you are in need of something new, make an informed decision about your purchase.

 

DIY Tacky Vintage Painting Upcycle

Vintage Thrift Store Painting

I picked up this oversized painting for $25 at the MCC Thrift store last week. (Have I mentioned MCC is one of my favourite stores?) I’m always pumped when my day off lands on a Tuesday because they restock on Mondays! Anyway, I had seen this a few days prior and couldn’t get it out of my mind. I got lots of “looks” as I proudly left with this baby under my arm.  Not sure why….it’s a real beaut!  Remember, when you’re “thrift shopping” it’s not about what you see, but all about the potential you see and the vision you have for a piece.

We have been making over our staff room at school (for the last 3 years) and our current project is the creation of a staff Coffee Bar. It’s actually almost finished, but not yet set up. We just finished painting a beautiful antique buffet and are now planning how to pull it all together. We thought it would be cool to have a chalkboard sign above the coffee station. The buffet is very large, so when I saw this frame (54″ X 21″), I figured the size was perfect. I loved the detail in the ornate frame and the upcycle was simple.  All it took was some TSP to clean off any residue and scuff up the gloss finish a bit, a coat of primer and a coat of paint. I’m not a big fan of gold, so paint was must. I was going to purchase a piece of wood for the chalkboard, but quickly realized that I could probably get away with sanding down the original oil painting. (I know someone out there is cringing at the idea that I ruined this piece of art…so sorry!) I used my mouse sander to smooth out the surface and then primed and painted overtop with spray paint. For this project I used chalkboard spray paint, but often just make my own homemade chalkboard paint.Screen Shot 2015-04-12 at 1.28.11 PM

 

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I’m just in the planning stages for the chalkboard word art that will be applied. It will be something simple, but the intention is for it to be a permanent sign, not a message board. Here’s to hoping the coffee station all comes together nicely and proves to be more functional for our large staff at school.

Antique Buffet Upcycle

Antique Buffet Before and AfterAbout 3 years ago, a small group of staff members at my school started up a little committee to work on the asthetics of our school and more specifically our staff room. None of us really know anything about Feng Shui, so as a joke, we call our committee, Feng Shui Our Way.  We began chipping away at the new look about 3 years ago, when we purchased paint and spent several hours repainting the entire staff room. Slowly we began replacing furniture and upgrading other elements, but it is definitely a work in progress.

A few months ago, we removed our commercial coffee maker from our staff room and replaced it with a couple of Tassimos and a Keurig. I think everyone is pretty happy with the new system. You bring your own pods and prepare a fresh cup of coffee with the touch of a button, whenever you wish. No more coin operated machines. The downside is that all of the new coffee makers take up much more counter space than the single commercial unit.

The solution …. a coffee station. Our committee decided to create a coffee station that would be set aside from the main counter space and allow staff to access the machines without so much congestion in the main part of the staff kitchen. We spent several weeks searching kijiji for something used and resonably priced that could serve as our new coffee station. Although I was excited about the concept, I was not finding a furniture piece that really “spoke to me”. We actually narrowed it down and decided to go and take a look at what we deemed to be the best option. I contacted the owner, but unfortantely was not getting a response. I tried several times and then decided to check-out the kijiji site for another look. It was then that I found exactly what I had been envisioning.

I found this antique dining buffet and the man was asking $200 for it. It seemed like a reasonable price and I loved the curves and detailed workmanship and was happy that it was taller and thus more of a bar or counter-top height than that of the dresser we were looking at. When I called, he was excited that I was making a serious inquiry and really just wanted it gone. He said that if I’d take it that day, he’d give it to us for $100. It was the perfect piece and I didn’t even need to negotiate. I would have happily paid the $200, but was certainly not going to argue with the $100 offer. I used the “stow and go” feature in our van to make the seats disappear into the floor and a colleage and I went to check it out. For the most part it was in good shape. It needed to be sanded, a broken piece glued back on the foot of one leg and a I had to cut a small piece off one of the drawer to match the broken part on the other side of the drawer. (See the detailed carving on the bottom of the middle front left drawer and how it is missing on the right side ~ too bad.) We also cut a circular hole in the top (that was hard) for the cords. We wanted the finished coffee station to have a nice clean look and that meant trying to hide the cords, if possible. They will feed down the top and out the back and hopefully be virtually out of sight when its all pulled together. All of the preparation and repairs were quite simple and almost a non-issue because we planned to paint the piece out black.Antique Buffet

I sanded and repaired the buffet at home and then just before spring break we spent a few lunch hours and evenings priming and painting. Overall it turned out quite beautiful, but I must admit that the top surface did not cover that well. I have painted many pieces of furniture over the years and have never had this problem, but we just couldn’t seem to get a perfectly smooth finish. I’m not sure if there was some kind of permanent damage to the wood or what, but it just kept coming out a bit “pebbly”. After much sanding and re-application, we decided it would just have to do. The plan is to purchase a piece of plexiglass to cover the surface, as there will be lots of wear and tear and spills and we want it to hold up long term. With the plexiglass top as well as the coffee makers sitting on top, I hope it won’t be that noticable.

Although we don’t have it set-up yet and the plexiglass is yet to be ordered, we are getting close. Ideally it takes about 20 days for paint to cure properly. We had used an oil based primer followed by a latex paint. We decided that we would give it the full 20 days to cure.  We are really hoping the finished piece will be durable and won’t chip easily. Here is where we are at so far!Painted Antique Buffet

Painted Antique Buffet

 

Delicious Crock Pot Chicken Chili

Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili

I often google recipes and have had good success searching the net, but my favourite recipes are generally those that I’ve collected from family and friends. Although I had never tasted this chili before trying the recipe, it was highly recommended from a friend at work. She said it was one of her family’s favourite recipes and that it was super easy to make. I had been wanting to try it for several weeks, but only got around to it last Sunday. I can’t say there was anything Easter-like about the meal, but it was incredibly good and easy to make.

The original recipe was found on Rita’s Recipes and I only made one small adjustment when I made it. I used my “go to” Spicy Red Pepper canned tomatoes instead of those Rita recommends.

Crock Pot Cream Cheese Chicken Chili:

Makes approximately 4-5 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 2 frozen chicken breasts* (I love that I don’t even have to thaw them for this recipe!)
  • 1 – 19 oz. can of Spicy Red Pepper Tomatoes
  • 1 can of kernel corn (with the liquid)
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 package of dry Ranch dressing mix
  • 1 Tablespoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 – 8 oz. package of cream cheese

Directions:

Add the first 8 ingredients to the crock pot in the order listed above. Stir to combine and then add the cream cheese on top. Set the slow cooker on low and cook the chili for 6 to 8 hours, stir it once or twice during cooking to mix in the cheese (if you are home). Shred the chicken using two forks. I did mine about an hour before serving and I  think this might help the chicken to really absorb the flavours.  Serve over a bed of rice.

Honestly, this might be the easiest meal I’ve ever prepared. It took me about 5 minutes to open the can and dump everything in the pot. No chopping or cutting….so easy and yet super yummy. I always know a meal is a hit when everyone in the family gives it a enthusiastic thumbs up and asks for seconds. I’ve come to realize that Mexican type dishes seem to have the best chance of scoring big with the whole family. I feel like I’m on a bit of a roll as the new Chicken Enchilada recipe got high ratings from my family as well.

*I think you could stretch this recipe a bit further by simply adding one more chicken breast. There is enough “liquid” base to support the extra chicken without altering anything else. I haven’t tried this, but think it would be worth a try to have some leftovers for lunches in the fridge.

Yes, It’s True I’m a SEACRET Agent

Me? A Seacret Agent ~ Seriously?

Anyone that knows me well would tell you that I am a classic example of a low maintenance woman. The thought of me promoting skin care and beauty products seems ridiculous, at best.

What Do I Mean By Low Maintenance?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that I don’t follow any kind of a beauty regime.

I shower everyday, but only wash my hair twice per week. I am all about low maintenance and refuse to spend hours “doing my hair”. Like washing, I blow dry and flat iron twice a week, after each wash. The rest of the week is taken care of with a shower cap and a hair brush. Hair products…none, well occasionally hair spray and a drop of that oil stuff I purchased about 10 years ago. I find that product makes my hair feel gross and forces me to wash it every second day or so, no product, no build up and it stays looking and feeling great for several days. On a bad hair day, you might see me sporting a ponytail. At my age, you might wonder why I still have long hair ~ in a nut shell….it’s easy to take care of!

I enjoy an occasional pedicure or spa treatment, but can say that I’ve probably never applied nail polish more than few times and each was a disaster. I inevitably mush one, attempt to fix it and ruin another in the process. Eventually, I just get out the polish remover and clear away any evidence I ever tried to paint my nails in the first place.

For over 40 years, I’ve never committed to washing my face before bed. I know you’re thinking “gross”, but I do not lie, the occasions on which I’ve washed the make-up off my face before bed are few and far between.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do take good care of myself. I’m clean and generally look at least somewhat “put together”, but I just don’t have the time, patience or interest in endless hours of pampering. Since my hair started to go grey a few years back, I’ve had to go in for colour about every 8 weeks. You can imagine the stretch this was for someone who traditionally got a haircut every August in time for the new school year, whether I needed it or not ~ Ha! Ha!  I just don’t see any of this “fussing” as a good use of my time.

Why Now?

In the last couple of years, I’ve noticed that the years of neglect are starting to catch-up with me. You know, those fine lines, wrinkles and age spots creeping their way to the surface of my face. I’ve finally considered the notion that taking care of one’s face/skin might actually be important. Although I’ve bought some products over the years (with good intentions), I just never really committed to using them on a regular basis. Sometimes I think opportunities are all about the timing and such was the case with this Seacret opportunity.

How I Got Started:

salt and oil scrubMy dad is a natural-born salesmen. You know one of those people who can sell virtually anything. A few years ago, he was raving about some skin care products that a family friend told him about. He had decided to become a rep with the company, mostly as a means to purchase the products at a discount. When he began to tell me about them, I was surprised to learn that the products he was talking about were the same ones I got suckered into buying at a kiosk in St. Vital mall, only a few weeks prior. What a coincidence! Anyway, I purchased a few products from the Seacret kiosk and other than the incredible Salt and Oil Scrub for dry hands, most of them sat unused in my medicine cabinet.

A recent call from Jesse, the same friend that had introduced my dad to Seacret a few years prior, got me thinking about the products and business opportunity. Jesse had become very successful with Seacret and his call peaked my curiousity. I decided that I should really give their skin care product line a try. My dad had purchased a “kit” when he joined the business and had hundreds of dollars of products just sitting there. He admitted he was never going to use or sell them and asked if I would be interested in having the business transferred to my name. Although I don’t really see myself doing a bunch of home parties, I decided that I could begin to use the products, share my experiences and pursue some online marketing. (I totally love the idea of earning extra money from home.) I decided to go to a Seacret presentation to learn more about the business and products and admit I was quite impressed.

Despite having a very traditional career as a teacher, I’ve always had the “entrepreneurial” bug and have dabbled in many businesses and opportunities over the years. From a small painting business with my husband, to restaurant ownership and several little network marketing businesses, I have always loved being around business-minded people and especially love the positive energy that often accompanies opportunities like this.

Why Seacret?

There are so many great networking businesses out there, but for me the decision was pretty easy.

  1. My dad had already purchased a starter kit and established the business, but it was “inactive”. Start-up costs for traditional businesses can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Networking companies allow the average person to start a business with minimal cost and virtually no experience, as training is a big part of these types of businesses. For me it was as simple as reactivating the existing business.
  2. Unlike most people, who have a preconceived idea about what network marketing is, I know first hand how powerful these types of businesses are. They are not get rich schemes, but rather work on the exact same system as every other business or structure. The harder you work, the greater the rewards. Sometimes people say that the people at the top make all the money ~ not unlike our government, education system or any business for that matter. The only difference is that the middle man is taken out and products go directly from the manufacturers to the consumers instead of through retail outlets, and the savings are passed along to the agents or sales team. They are primarily based on word of mouth advertising, although many internet marketers have aligned with networking companies by becoming affiliates and promoting their products on-line.  The great part is that you are paid based on not only your own personal work ethic and productivity, but also on that of your entire team’s.
  3. With the baby boomers aging, skin care and anti-aging products have become a billion dollar industry. The demand is already there and with Seacret originally launching its products in kiosks throughout North America, they already have an established market and customer base.
  4. I knew it was time for me to make a commitment to looking after my skin and why not use a premium product line that has proven results and is available to me, as a representative, at a wholesale price?

As I begin this process of developing a Seacret business, I need to become more familiar with the products. In late January, I tried doing the daily skin care program, but only lasted a few weeks before falling off the wagon. I know that I need to commit for a few months in order to see a difference and truth be told, I should be using their “age-defying” line, that is getting such rave reviews. However, with so much product already in my house, it only makes sense to start with the products that had already been purchased by my dad. If in fact I can stick to the program, I will treat myself with the anti-aging system, but there is no point spending the money if it is just going to sit in my cupboard! I will keep you posted as I try new products and let you know my thoughts and experiences.

Interested?

If you were one of the many people who purchased Seacret products from a kiosk and liked them, but didn’t know where to buy them now that the kiosks are gone….look no further. Follow the link to my Seacret site and purchase products directly from the company.

Or maybe you’ve never heard of the company or products before, but are looking for a great skin care line. Either way, just follow the above link to learn more about the company and its products.

If you’re like me and love a good deal, check-out how you can bundle products to get great deals or become a VIP customer and earn points towards future purchases.

Not everyone is cut out for a home based business, but it can be extremely rewarding and the potential is really only limited by the effort and time you commit. If you are interested in knowing more about the business opportunity, please follow the link or contact me directly via email or by commenting below.

 

 

Upcycled Homework Caddy

Ever since Eden started grade 7 and homework became a daily event in our life, it seems like she is constantly “borrowing” my supplies and not returning them and leaving scads of tools around the house. I decided to build her a homework caddy stocked with everything she’d need to complete her assignments. The caddy can easily be transported, so she can choose to do her homework in her room or at the table ~ whatever suits her best. This project was all about the 4 R’s ~ Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and of course, Repurpose.

Here’s What I Used:

The basis for this design came from these items that I had in my project bin. (Remember to click on the images to enlarge them.)

Of course, as I began to brainstorm and pull my ideas together, I needed additional items such as burlap, string, saw, drill and screws, wood glue, magnets and paint.

Here’s What I Did:

1. I removed the cord from the broken lamp and cut the shaft to create a nice pedestal-like base.

2. I attached the pedestal, circular “lazy susan” wooden base and the center post from the mug stand together with a long screw. homework caddy

3. I spray primed and painted the structure.

4. I then took the clean cans (of varying sizes) and wrapped burlap or string around them to give them a bit of a finished look.

5. I then wrapped some string around the center post as well.

6. I used a nail to punch holes in the bottom of each can near the center. I then screwed each to the wooden base.

7. Finally, I glued on a couple of strong magnets to hold paper clips and a mini-stapler.

8. The top pegs from the mug stand act as handles for the caddy.

Eden’s homework caddy contains an assortment of pencils, pens, markers, pencil crayons, scissors, a pencil sharpener, an eraser, a ruler, a stapler and a few paper clips ~ everything she needs, all in one place! Generally, my daughter prefers to do her homework in her own room, but when she needs help, she likes to work at the kitchen or dining room table. The caddy allows her to bring everything she needs with her.

If making something like this seems like too much work, don’t sweat it….pick-up a plastic caddy or something made out of wood or metal with dividers already in it….maybe something like a cutlery storage caddy. You can find many different styles and at a wide range of prices depending on the look you are going for.  The important thing is to have everything in one place and make it easy to transport.  Here are some of the options I found available:

DIY Industrial Style Kitchen Table and Stools

A few months back, we removed our table and chairs from the kitchen and replaced the table with an industrial style table that Tim made specifically for our space. Our kitchen is long and narrow and although there is room for a table, it had to be something that was quite narrow. The table we had was worn and the stools were beginning to wobble, so it was time for an upgrade. I had always found that our old table was too small for all four of us to sit comfortably. It was perfect for two and could accommodate 3 without too much discomfort, but four was simply too many with one side being against the wall. In designing the new table, we were able to extend the length to take up most of the wall opposite our cupboards. We weren’t sure what we were going to do about stools, but after lots of looking and nothing seeming to “fit” with the look, Tim decided to pick-up extra pipe and build stools to match.

I was so excited when he decided to use old tongue and groove boards that were previously installed on one of our basement walls. They needed to be sanded, but I loved how we were able to use the old boards for the stool seats. Although Tim finished making these months ago, it was only this week, that I finally applied the stain and urethane to complete them. I must say they are much nicer to sit on with the smooth finished surface and I am so happy with the look.

 

Easter Projects Revisited

Burlap Bunny Service Jar

I added a few cotton balls to show you how it will look as it is filled up.

Easter Snacks

wool wrapped plastic eggs

Sharpie Easter Eggs

Bingo Dabber Easter Eggs

 

I can’t say I’ve really done any Easter projects this year, but here are a few from last year! Click the picture to follow the links.

“Give It Time” Green Smoothie

green smoothie

Yes, I know this isn’t green!

I’ve been dealing with several health problems over the past few months and in my struggle to get my life back on track, I decided to commit to consuming green smoothies on a regular basis. I had tried several variations in the past and have to admit that healthy or not, they were just too “nasty” for me. However, when push comes to shove and your health is on the line, it is amazing how one can actually suppress the gag reflex and learn to enjoy these “puréed salads in a cup”.

If you landed here expecting me to tell you how delicious this healthy smoothie recipe is and that it is an absolute must try…this is not the post for you. I believe in being transparent and completely honest. When my friend passed this recipe along and I tried it for the first time, I was not a raving fan. In fact, when she asked me how I liked it, I said, “Okay, I guess…I didn’t throw-up”. And this was not really an exaggeration. If you are used to those creamy fruit filled dream like smoothie sensations like I was…brace yourself.

Green smoothies are not really that great tasting and the texture of mine don’t ever seem to get as smooth as in a fruit smoothie, but the strange thing is….within a couple of days you develop a taste for them. I mean I actually crave this cup of goodness. I can’t say it’s the flavour or the texture, but more so like I know I’m drinking a glass of nutrients or a cup of health…I can’t quite explain it, but I’m hooked. I now drink green smoothies most days (at least 5 days a week) and can honestly say I miss them on the days I don’t . Green smoothies are one of  the easiest ways to pack so many essential nutrients and vitamins into one meal.

Robin’s Original Green Smoothie Recipe:

What I love most about Robin’s recipe is that each and every ingredient that she uses was picked for its nutritional elements. To find out more about some of the many health benefits of the ingredients, just follow the links.

Dump all the ingredients in a blender and mix to desired consistency.

Green Smoothie Tips

My Variations:

In order for this “green smoothie” thing to work for me, I knew I had to tweak it so that it was more than just tolerable. Here is what I discovered:

I basically took Robin’s recipe and made a few adjustments so that it worked for me. For starters, I needed to change the colour and add a hint of sweetness to the mixture. I decided that frozen fruit would be the best option. Blueberries work really well because they are healthy, add that element of sweetness and above all create a deep purpley colour that looks delicious. For me, digestion is one of the problems I’m constantly dealing with, so cranberries and pineapple are also great options in terms of the health benefits. The downside is that neither do much for the smoothie in terms of colour. The cranberries create a smoothie that is a disgusting brownish green and the pineapples don’t adjust the green colour at all. When I add cranberries, I will often add in a number of blueberries as well, just to help with the colour.

I often find myself rushed in the morning and as much as I would like to have a fried egg along with my smoothie, I generally find, I just don’t have time to do both. So, if my smoothie was going to serve as my entire breakfast, I had to incorporate some protein into it. I decided to add chia seeds and flax meal to add a substantial amount of protein to my drink.

Although my recipe fluctuates and changes constantly, this is my basic plan:

Cindy’s “Give it Time” Green SmoothieGreen Smoothie

  • 2 cups of packed organic spinach (or baby romaine)
  • 2 stalks of celery (up to 3 with leaves on)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 a cucumber (if not organic, then peel it)
  • 1″ of fresh peeled ginger
  • 1/4 cup of fresh parsley
  • 1-2 mint leaves (when I have them on hand)
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • liquid (water or good quality fruit juice with no sugar added – usually pineapple or cranberry)
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons of flax meal (ground flax)
  • 2 to 3 Tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup of frozen fruit (blueberries, cranberries or pineapple chunks)

One of the biggest challenges is not making too big of a batch. I have a 16 oz cup with a straw and lid and my recipe usually fills that plus about 1/2 more. I wish I could get it exactly right, but I never seem to be able to. Of course, if I actually measured each and every ingredient every time, I would be able to perfect this, but I am often in such a rush I just eyeball the amounts as I throw them in the blender. Robin will often place the prepared veggies in her blender and set it in the fridge the evening before. This way she just has to add her liquid (and berries for me) to quickly whip it up in the morning. I never seem to be that organized or have the energy left to prep it at the end of the day, so I am pulling it together last minute. I probably have the time down to about 5 minutes and always take my smoothie in the car, so it is still a quick and easy breakfast.

In summary, I am totally hooked on my green smoothies, but you really do have to “give it time”.  Play with it a bit and commit to a week before giving up. I actually have a hard time drinking fruit smoothies now. They just seem soooo sweet. Much like when I went from drinking double double coffee to cream only. At first, it is not easy to take, but eventually you can’t even stomach the sugary taste.

Update:

Although I still enjoy my smoothies, I sometimes find it hard to enjoy a frozen drink on winter mornings when the temperatures are hovering between minus 20 and 40 degrees! I presently tend to be opting for eggs most mornings. However, I’ve recently been doing some research on the benefits of juicing. I had never really given juicing much thought and still am not sure if I’m up to the chore of cleaning the machine after each use. (I can be lazy that way.) However, Dr. Josh Axe is a real supporter of juicing and I totally respect him and his opinions.

Juicing is an easy way to get a whopping heap of fresh veggies (and fruits) into your diet in one easy shot – or however many you want a day. You can consume far more of these veggies and fruits with juicing than you could probably eat in the same amount of time.

A fellow blogger recently shared a post written on Health Ambition that outlined the health benefits of celery. Their article:  7 Surprising Celery Juice Benefits absolutely substantiates the advantages of including celery in juices (and I suppose in my smoothies as well). I also love the fact that there is a free download for juicing recipes. I recently borrowed a juicer from a friend and can’t wait to try some of their recipes! Juicing is a great way to optimize the number of nutrients in your diet and research suggests it can also aid in weight loss. With the big 50 looming in the not so distant future, I have noticed how easy it is for those few extra pounds to show up on the scale and how much more difficult it has become to make them disappear again. If you decide to giving juicing a try, let me know about your experiences. Be sure to check out the article on the health benefits of celery!