Category: Emily Brockbrader

Stockings a well-heeled tradition of American Christmas celebrations

Right along with the Christmas tree, Christmas stockings have long been an essential part of holiday traditions in homes across the world. Taking it back to 1823 when Clement Clarke Moore penned “A Visit From Saint Nicholas” presents the line that is permanently engrained in our brains and still elicits a feeling of warmth and happiness: “The Stockings were hung by the chimney with care, In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.” How stockings actually originated has no concrete explanation, although one legend seems pretty consistent and widely referenced across the board. From the Smithsonain Magazine: “A recently widowed man and father of three girls was having a tough time making ends meet. Even though his daughters were beautiful, he was worried that their impoverished status would make it impossible for them to marry. “St. Nicholas was wandering though the town where the man lived and heard villagers discussing that family’s plight. “He wanted to help, but knew the man would refuse any kind of charity directly. Instead, one night, he slid down the chimney of the family’s house and filled the girls’ recently laundered stockings, which were drying by the fire, with gold coins. Then, he disappeared. “The girls awoke in the morning, overjoyed upon discovering the bounty. Because of St. Nick’s generosity, the daughters were eligible to wed and their father could rest easy that...

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Zucchini: The produce that keeps on giving

Mark your calendars! Aug. 8 is “National Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day!” Really, it’s a thing. There’s even a hashtag on social media. Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise due to overzealous planting of this easy to cultivate, high producing fruit (yes, botanically, zucchini is considered a fruit) gardeners everywhere are often overrun with squash and zucchini in August and need a place for them to go. There are a couple of factors that make this plant a producing perfect storm, but the main one is simply zucchini is easy to grow. It’s not fussy about...

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Use a smart strategy when making your resolutions list

by Emily Brockbrader “Lose weight.” … “Eat healthier.” … “Become more organized.” … “This is the year of ME.” Sound familiar? As the holiday season looms, many of us take the time to look back on 2017 and re-evaluate some life choices. All the things you had planned when the ball dropped may have fallen by the wayside this past spring. According to, 68 percent of people had lost sight of their New Year’s goal by March — just three months in — and at year-end only 15 percent remained committed. “People are doing it all wrong,” says Robert Butterworth, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Los Angeles. “The worst time to make New Year’s resolutions is on New Year’s Eve. We’re exhausted after the holidays. We’re stressed out. The weather is bad. Everyone is talking about it and watching what your resolutions are.” Even so, more than half of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, and marketing for health clubs, diet programs and smoking cessation medications skyrocket. Even with all the flashy “get bathing suit ready!” ads, in the end, the results will depend on you, your desire and the right strategy. Start small, in weekly, or even daily, increments. Everyone has a different goal and looking at it as a whole can be a bit daunting. Let’s say you’d like to lose 50 pounds. Instead of “I want...

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