Did you make a resolution to pick up a few new culinary tricks this year? If so, the first place to start isn't necessarily a cookbook full of complicated recipes. Rather, learn basic cooking techniques and knife skills first; all the recipes that follow are guaranteed to be much easier. To help you out, we've got a series, Know Your Techniques, wherein we introduce you to important culinary know-how. Keep reading for a few suggestions to get you on your way to culinary excellence.
When it comes to New Year's resolutions, getting fit is high on many of your lists. Whether you're heading back to the gym after a long hiatus or are new to the fitness scene, here are a handful of tips for tackling the gym. Hopefully they will help you maintain your fitness enthusiasm for months to come.
Here's a post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we bring you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this post about parenting resolutions for 2013.
The year 2012 has been a big one for me. My firstborn turned one, and my soon-to-be-secondborn announced her arrival in my uterus. The year 2013 promises to be busy, exciting, and full of new experiences for me and my family.
Here are a few tidbits, tricks, and tips that I’ve picked up in 2012 that will help me along in 2013:
- Stop to take pictures! If no one is hurt, and nothing is at risk of being broken, stop to take pictures! It’s important to have these pictures to look back on. Perhaps C won’t be as happy at all of the pictures I’ve taken when she’s older, especially the infamous “poop-in-the-pool” picture.
- Let others help you when they offer. I’ve always been an “I can do it myself” kind of girl. I spend my days chasing a toddler while my belly continues to grow bigger. It can be tough, but I manage just fine. When I’m around other people, I’m learning to embrace the offered help from others. If someone wants to get me a beverage, I’ll let them.
- It’s OK to be a bit sassy. Strangers have an uncanny ability to ask very personal, weird questions to pregnant women. If my sarcasm switch is turned on, they can expect to get a sassy answer in return. My favorite? When asked by a stranger what I’ll be naming my child, my response was “I’ll consult the father on that as soon as I figure out who it is.” There are never any follow-up questions.
- Encourage the silly. C is so animated and has such a unique personality. Of course, there’s a time and a place to be silly, but silliness can bring on creativeness, and I encourage C to be silly. She enjoys putting a bucket over her head and wandering around blindly. It’s funny to watch, but she’s also having to utilize her other senses to learn about her environment.
- Take a moment for yourself. I’m a mom, but that’s not the only thing that I am. It’s an important, time-consuming job, but it’s so important to take a moment each day for yourself. My husband has been my lifesaver. He comes home from work, and insists that I do something alone. This has ranged from taking a bath, painting my toenails, or just using the restroom alone with the door shut. It’s refreshing, energizing, and essential to my mental well-being.
- You’ll make mistakes. Accept it and move on. This is the hardest thing to learn, and will always be a learning process. No matter how hard you try, or how good your intentions are, you’ll mess up and make a mistake. Parenting is a tough job, and it’s all on-the-job training. Accept the mistakes that you’ve made, but always remember to move on. Even “perfect” parents make mistakes.
What are your parenting resolutions for 2013?
More great reads from BabyCenter:
Getting kids to sleep is a First World problem
Five things I wish I never taught my kid
Seven apps to journal your way through 2013
A new year means no more birth disappointment
Is she a bad mom if she flies to Mars?
Whether or not you set New Year's resolutions, there's always room for improving the order in our financial houses and the beginning of the year is a great time to start fresh. Kick off the new year and decade on an organized note and set yourself up to be in better touch with your finances in 2012 by following my January must dos.
It's a new year and a new you! We're highlighting 12 helpful tips to start off the year right, from quitting your caffeine addiction tp mastering time management. Here's another way to start afresh in 2012.
Public speaking is a regular — and regularly feared — part of life, so it's important to refine your skills. This year, challenge yourself by learning to lecture like a pro. Here are four tips to help you polish your public speaking.
- Assess yourself. What part of public speaking makes you nervous? Where have you slipped up in the past? One reason public speaking is so nerve-racking is because there's so much to manage — your presence, your words, your delivery, and your reaction. Determine your weakest points, from stuttering to stiff hands, in order to tailor your speech improvement.
- Find opportunities to practice. It's hard to feel confident about speaking if it's something you rarely do, so look for the chance to polish your technique in everyday life. At a dinner party? Offer to give the toast. Working on a new project at the office? Present it at the weekly staff meeting. Public speaking is like anything else: the more you do it, the better you'll become, and the more comfortable you'll feel when the moment arises.
Keep reading for more public speaking tips
Perhaps one of your culinary resolutions for 2012 was to make more things from scratch. If that is the case, we applaud you: Making store-bought items from scratch is a great way to improve basic cooking techniques and understand what goes into the foods we know and love. Not only do you get to control what goes into your food this way, but the flavors are often fresher and bolder than their store bought counterparts. Here are 20 homemade recipes that we think you should try.
Perhaps signing up for yoga classes was one of your healthy New Year's resolutions? I have found that yoga can be practiced by anyone at any age and it does a body good . . . both inside and out. And contrary to popular belief, yoga is so much more than just stretching — it's a union of the mind, body, and spirit. Here are some tips I've learned after years of practice that should help you get started.
- Inhale and exhale: Breathing is an integral part of yoga. It's easy to become so focused on achieving a particular pose that we tense up and forget to breathe. Proper breathing in yoga keeps you mindful of your practice and aware of each movement. Once connected to your breath, balance improves, muscles relax, and you're less prone to injury — hello, oxygen! The best way to breathe during yoga is deep down in your diaphragm (the large muscle right below your lungs). Slowly expand the lungs, pressing down the diaphragm, and causing your abdomen to expand as your lungs fill with air.
If one of your culinary resolutions this year has been to get more acquainted with basic skills in the kitchen, we've got the lowdown on a number of essential cooking techniques that are important to know. One of our favorite cooking methods is roasting. When done correctly, the technique truly coaxes more flavor out of foods — and employing the help of the oven is a surefire way to keep your hearth warm during the colder months as well.
Oven-roasting involves little more than dry heat, and is ideal for just about any type of whole food, from large cuts of meat and whole fish to fruits, vegetables, and seeds. Find out more — including how to roast any fruit or vegetable — when you keep reading.
After a month's worth of entertaining and gift giving, I'm feeling more cash-strapped than I should. That's why I've vowed to start the New Year right by cooking meals for a fraction of the price that I pay when I dine out — and shopping smarter, too. I know I'm not the only one trying to eat in more often, so here, I'm sharing 10 mantras to live by that will have your bank account thanking you down the road.