I Support the More Than A Pink Movement!

by mitzimsa on April 17, 2018

Spring 2018 More Than Pink Fundraising 

Spring has Sprung the days are warmer, the grass is green and the trees and flowers are blossoming.  This is the time of year that everything has new life.  It’s also the time of year that The Shops at Montebello are proud to join with 170 participating  Simon Malls, The Mills, and Premium Outlets across the country, in an effort to renew hope to breast cancer patients. As they continue their mission to raise at least $1 million dollars for Susan G. Komens fight in breast cancer research. 

All Dressed Up In Pink

To Support This Worthy Cause

From April 14 to May 20, shoppers will be able to participate in a variety of programs, and fundraising in support of Susan G. Komen in the fight against breast cancer. The Shops at Montebello Guest Services is dressed in pink to support the Spring 2018 More Than Pink Movement.

Along with the transformation to Guest Services there’s a Hero Wall that’s located nearby.  For a $1.00 donation you will receive a pink sticker on which you can write the name of your More Than Pink  Hero.  Place the name on the wall for survivors and family members of survivors to visually celebrate and honor the hero who uplifted and inspired them through their fight with breast cancer.  I encourage you to take advantage of the Spring 2018 More Than Pink Fundraising event all proceeds raised go to Susan G. Komen.

So come join in on all the excitement and fun at this modern indoor shopping center that features four department stores and more than 160 shops, eateries, and restaurants.  The Shops at Montebello is the home to Macy’s, Macy’s Home, JCPenney, Forever21, Coach, G by Guess, H&M, and Cotton On. When your plum tuckered out from shopping and a break is in order, relax and unwind at one of the many dining options. There’s  BJ’s Restaurant and Brewery, Hikari Sushi, Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que and the Olive Garden. With such a wide the variety of retail shopping and dining selections there’s something for the entire family to experience.

Show Your Support Get In The Pink At One Of The 170 Locations

If you can’t make it to The Shops at Montebello join in on this spring event at one of  the 170 participating Simon Malls, The Mills, and Premium Outlets across the country, it’s about More Than Pink!





Remarkable Women Made Black History In Iowa

by mitzimsa on February 28, 2018

One Incredible Women of Black HistoryBlack History Photo

Mrs. Joeanne Cheatom

In Honor of Black History Month I would like to celebrate an African American History Maker of Des Moines Iowa, my Aunt.

As you read what she has done for the city of Des Moines you will see she played a role in how and why I have my perspective of life, living and people. She left me with …the ability to listen and have patients with people, know that you can learn from all, be knowledgeable enough to communicate with a drunk in the gutter and the person sitting in the top seat in the white house. To have compassion and be kind to people as well as lend a helping hand to one in need.  Last but not least My Gift of Gab, LOLL!

Fighting for Equality for all…not just the black people of Iowa

Mrs. Cheatom was often criticized for her outspokenness and desire for equality for all. In the late 1960’s Mrs. Cheatom found controversy when she befriended the young members of the Black Panther Party of Des Moines as they struggled for civil rights.
In 1968 Mrs. Cheatom organized the city’s first welfare rights organization. A year later with the help of the Black Panther Party, she established a breakfast program for children of low-income families.

In the fall of 1969 Mrs. Cheatom was charged with arson in a lumberyard fire and spent 14 days in jail. Throughout those years, Mrs. Cheatom remained the target of hate campaigns by the right-wing John Birch society, which handed out pamphlets criticizing her, and the work she did. At one point the FBI searched her home and ensured they keep track of her every move.

Always Giving a Helping Hand to the People of Iowa

In 1974 Mrs. Cheatom organized the Pre-Trial Support Program sponsored by the Des Moines Area Urban Mission Council of the United Methodist Church. That caused her to become once again, under public scrutiny. Under this program, Mrs. Cheatom won the release of persons awaiting trial on such charges as murder, robbery, and rape.

She made it her mission to secures pre-trail release for individuals who could not post bond. She helped these men and women find jobs, housing and aid for their families. Often they moved into her two-story house on Des Moines’ near north side while awaiting trial. Even though only two of the approximate 500 people she helped did not show up for court. The powers that be criticized her programs as being too soft on criminals.

Among Mrs. Cheatom’s proudest accomplishments is the co-founding of KUCB black radio station with Black Panther Walter Knox. The stationed focused on issues of the African American community and hosted talk shows by black journalist, and dealt deeply with Black history and community affairs. In it’s hay-day it was considered the “Black Voice” of Des Moines Iowa.Mrs. Cheatom served on the Polk County Health Services Board as well as on a citizen’s advisory committee for the Polk County Jail.

“The Mother of the civil rights movement in Des Moines, Iowa” Joeanne Cheatom stood as a beacon; “She stood for truth, never let up her struggle for equality – a warrior against racism in this community” – Charles Knox.  Des Moines showed Joanne Cheatom their apparition for her diligent service by remembering her with a Park dedicated in her name where many gather and enjoy!!!


Love Letter ~ Not A Thing of the Past

by mitzimsa on February 12, 2018

Send A Love Letter… To Someone You Love

Love Letter

It’s come down to the wire for purchasing a gift for your Valentine.  Maybe your low on cash after the holiday, well here’s an idea that is sure to be a hit!

The desire for a love letter is timeless. So many think that love letters are a thing of the past. But, I would guess if you ask the receiver they would beg to differ.  People love to know how loved they are.  Being told in a letter will be remembered and will last a life time.  Your loved one can hold on to the letter, reread and cherished such a wonderful gift from someone they love.  A love letter is not just for your romantic partner try sending one to your friend, parent or your child.

Love Letter – To Have and Hold A Life Time

Write a letter that your loved one would appreciate not the letter that you would like to receive, remember it’s about them not you.  Don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself to make it sound like what you think a love letter should be. You could write about when you first met; how it made you feel or the moment you fell in love with a person. Write about what a person has brought to your life.  Think about the little things that they have done that made a great impact in your life. Or that little something they do that makes you smile everyday!

Deliver The Love Letter In A Unique Way

There are many ways to take this gift to another level that will never be forgotten.  Presentation of delivery can be made as special as the letter it self. Include the love letter with or inside a box of chocolate, tie on to brown paper wrapped flower bouqet! Place the latter in a bottle. I like the idea of sealing the letter with a kiss or with a dab of your perfume, for your romantic partner. Seal the envelope with a wax seal stamp, include with a framed picture of the two of you having a blast!

But, if a love letter proves to be to much trouble for you to write on the fly to your romantic partner here’s a few more gift ideas that will keep you out of the dog house.


Vons Grocery Delivery

by mitzimsa on February 8, 2018

Which one will it be… Vons, Amazon or Google? In my quest to make life simple in 2018, I wanted to explore having my groceries delivered. This is not a service that I could have obtain in the area in which I live until recently. Amazon and Google, have come into my neighborhood with the service.  I believe it forced our local area stores to start to offer the service as well.

VONS Up At Bat!

In January I set down at the computer and placed my first grocery order for delivery with VONS. I decided to go with a local area store due to the promotion of purchase $100 get $25 off + free delivery (free delivery on first order only).

Shopping with the VONS online app was fairly easy once I got the hang of it. Since this was a test, I decided that I should shop by aisle along with the sales paper. I was careful not to buy items that weren’t needed to cut cost. Since I had taken inventory of my needs before sitting down to shop it made the process move along quit fast!

After placing items in the shopping cart, checking qualities, adding notations for my personal shopper. I then checked my items “no substitutions”.  It was time to move forward with delivery options.

It was too late to schedule for same day delivery so I decided to go with the next day between 12-1pm. I completed my order and set back to wait for the VONS grocery arrival!

I must say I was skeptical of this process which is surprising because I’m a glass half full type of gal. In the back of my mind I was so hoping that this would work out. It would shave some time off of my long list of chores which would give me more time to enjoy life!


Up early, cleaned out the fridge awaiting the arrival of my precious order. It’s barely noon and I hear a truck outside, I run into the kitchen peeked out the window and the excitement arose…IT’S THE VONS TRUCK!  This a great first sign their ON TIME!! While watching the delivery guy unload my order from the truck so many things ran through my mind. I just held my phone in my hand which by the way I was holding to take pictures for this very article BIG FAIL (no pictures).

As he handed me my order I was impressed with the way he explained what was in each bag. OMG!!! They have actually bagged items the way it should be done according to my taste. I kept repeating to myself this is GREAT! After handing me the last bag he wanted my signature. Then he opened his mouth and said…THERE ARE A FEW SUBSTITUTIONS. For me that was a red flag considering that I had checked the box on all items in my cart NO SUBSTITUTIONS. Okay I signed off so the delivery man could be on his merry way.

Vons – It’s All In The Bag

As I started to unbag the items I wanted to address the substitutions right away.  I’m happy to report the items where the same brand as I had ordered but the quantity differed. I was actually ok with this, it left me feeling as if they cared enough to make sure that I had what I needed.

I had ordered a limited amount from the meat department due to my freezer being full, the few items ordered passed my inspection just fine. When it came to the bag of produce I found that two of the items ordered did not meet my satisfaction. My tomatoes where too soft and the brown spots on the cauliflower would be considered unacceptable if I was personally shopping for someone.

If your wondering if I continue this service, YOUR DARN TOOTIN!!! I plan on placing an order with all outlets that are servicing my area to compare the quality of service from each outlet then decide who will win out as my supplier.

I can say this service will be LIFE CHANGING for me and will fit right in with simplifying my life in 2018!

Simplifying Life with Smart Technology in 2018!

by mitzimsa on January 28, 2018


Smart & Fancy Pants

Smart New Year Resolution – This is something that I don’t tend to do anymore. In the past I would vow to diet, walk more, go to the gym and any other task that would set me up to feel like a failure within the first few weeks of the New Year.

Back in November of 2017 I started to explore things that would make my life easier in 2018. Being a caregiver to my husband takes up the majority of my day, week, month and year. So, I needed to find ways to simplify.

She’s One Smart Cookie

I started to research what I could use in addition to my Amazon Alexa (which had not been used to it’s fullest potential since being purchased). When the first major shopping days of the holiday season rolled around, Black Thursday/Friday. I knew what smart things I would look for and set out to purchase all the smart items that my wallet could handle. What I realized after picking up my smart stuff…I was well on my way to a New Years Resolution of making my life simple as possible in 2018!

Alexa (which I renamed Ms. Smart) along with Philips Hue, Smartthings Outlets, Nest Products and Ring Products, I’m able to control almost everything in and outside my home right from my phone with one touch or just by giving Ms. Smart a command.

Getting It Done The Smart Way

I’ve also moved into another area of freeing up time…I started off 2018 with scheduling my first grocery store delivery .  Now that several stores have included my neighborhood into the coverage area, I welcome them with open arms.  This service will defiantly free up time and allow me to hopefully have more me time.

The other day on Facebook I surveyed my friends that are comprised mostly of Boomers like myself. I proposed this question “As you become older not doing what task would make life easier?” The most common answer was “Not doing any type of house work.” Well we’re all in the same ball park because next on my list will be hiring a housekeeper. Having someone come in to do baseboards, windows, scrub down the refrigerator, walls, deep clean bathrooms and kitchen floors.  If  I  could get this service once a month id be in good shape.  As far as what my next smart purchase will be…. I’ve got my eye on one of those fancy vacuums that you say the word and she’ll come a running!

Steak Fit for the Flintstones

by mitzimsa on January 20, 2018

Tomahawk Steak

Steak is one of our favorite items to prepare on the grill. Living in Southern California the weather allows grilling most of the year. We get to experiment and try out just about everything you can imagine on the grill.

The Tomahawk Steak has been popular in restaurants and steak houses and has become a readily available item in most big box stores meat selections. For quite some time you’ve been able to pick up the Tomahawk at your specialty gourmet market, my favorite Bristol Farms.

Tomahawk Steak Rage

This beautiful piece of beef resembles a tomahawk axe hence its name. It happens to be a long-bone Rib Eye and is cut from the center of the rib about 2” thick. This big boy stands out in any crowd just the sight of this well-marbled steak will impresses every time!

We’re talking a steak that can be up to 36 to 40 oz and then some, it’s not suggested that any one human being eat this much beef in one setting so we usually share one around our house.

Like I said earlier, we like to prepare ours on the grill but it can be done in the oven. I don’t suggest frying due to the size and thickness. It will come out marvelous prepared in the oven but before popping into the oven I would sear both sides on top of the stove in a large frying pan. Whatever way you decide to cook this baby be sure to let it rest before cutting. A good 10-20 minute nap, will allow the heat from the bone to redistribute. You will sink your teeth into one juicy succulent steak.

Since you’ll be sharing this steak here’s a few tips on cutting to get the best flavor and avoid toughness. You want the meat to just melt in your mouth so that you can enjoy all the flavor that is has to give!


Once rested, grab that long bone like a cave man or the Flintstones (if your familiar with this cartoon).  Lay that big boy on a cutting board. Cut along the bone lengthways to separate the meat from the bone and locate the grain. Place your knife perpendicular to the grain and slice this steak across the grain into nice thick juicy slices! Enjoy!!!


Booze Spiked Cocoa – Try This on a Lazy Winter Day

by mitzimsa on January 17, 2018

Cocoa for the Grown and Sexy!



Spiked Cocoa on a Winter Day.  As it is for everyone, its Winter…. some of us will fair this time of year better than others but we all have what’s called winter weather. Go out on a limb and trust me when I say add these items listed below to your grocery list this winter you’ll thank me later!

Whether You find yourself in a Bomb Cyclone, Polar Blast or Torrential Rain whichever one; you will be spending time at home hunkered down in a Netflix and Chill type of way.  Why not make up a batch of hot cocoa and spike it with a libation to warm your inners.

Don’t run to the cabinet and pull out that little packet that you add hot water and voila instacocoa.  Grab the ingredients suggested for your grocery list and your favorite large mug. The process of making cocoa from scratch may take a few more seconds but the reward will be much greater!

Since we’re talking Cocoa

You’ll of course need some type of milk or milk substitute and your choice of ingredients from below.

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

Bittersweet Chocolate

In most cases you probably already have the next three items as a staple in your cabinet or pantry



Vanilla Extract

Peppermint, whipped Cream and Marshmallows can also give a kick to a cup of cocoa!

Hope you left room for spiking…it’s time for the booze!

This is where it’s a matter of preference as to what libation you choose. Whether you want to warm your inners or take a nice long nap you choose your state of mind and liquor pairing.

Here are some of my suggestions of libations that work well with hot cocoa.

Vanilla Vodka (newly added to my list of favs)

Cognac (Remy, Hennessy VS edition in both brands will work just fine)

Red Wine (Yes, red wine…no need to go high end)



Kahlua happens to be my all-time favorite mixed with hot chocolate it’s like I’m having dessert along with a cup of coffee. Click here for my simple recipe of Kahlua Hot Chocolate. Enjoy, oh by the way you’re welcome!  Now go and post that cup of Hot Spiked Cocoa on Instagram!!

Thanksgiving Memories of Yesteryear

by mitzimsa on November 19, 2017

 Thanksgiving - Remembering Yesteryear

Thanksgiving – Time To Gather 

Family & Friends

The other day I was talking with a co-worker and she expressed that her 6 year old daughter was sad due to Thanksgiving not getting it’s just due when decorating for the holiday. Little Miss had tears in her eyes as she explained to her mom, “in the store they always have a whole lot of stuff for every other holiday but what about Thanksgiving why is there only turkeys? It’s not time for Santa, is it?”

She is so right, now day’s we go from Halloween straight to Christmas well, Christmas shopping that is on Black Friday which really starts before you can get the Thanksgiving Dinner on the table.

Thanksgiving Yesteryear

Remembering the yesteryear of this wonderful fall holiday is so warming.  When I think about it, getting together with family members watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thanksgiving morning is always the best!  Family members jump on highways and byways traveling from near and far just to enjoy the family gathering and all the good food. There has been many discussion and planning with the family on who would prepare the Big Bird on down to the crudité platter.

The table would be dressed as if it was ready for a photo shoot for a magazine spread. This was one of the occasions when the fine china and silver would make it’s grand appearance. The buffet would be dressed with the silver service to hold the coffee and hot water for tea throughout the long day. And if you were in charge of the mashed potatoes or macaroni and cheese you better know what you were doing in the kitchen.

In my family it was pretty much sacrilegious to mess up any part of the meal. Therefore there was a hierarchy followed when it came to the prep of the bird, dressing and gravy.

After going into the food coma and finding your spot to crash during the football game. You would awaken with your mind on dessert if not another helping of the main course before satisfying that sweet tooth!

However your decide to spend your day, lets keep this time reserved as an opportunity to gather with family and friends to enjoy this wonderful time to give thanks.


Trick or Treat? Not like I Remember

by mitzimsa on October 30, 2017

Trick or Treat Smell My Feet!

Trick or Treat House

With the fall holiday season drawing near it’s time for all the ghost and goblins to come to your door screaming TRICK OR TREAT!!  This also brings to mind how the tradition is nothing like it used to be.  For starters NOT ONE of the little creatures have a joke in store for your listening and laughing pleasure.

We use to spend hours teaching and practicing our Trick or Treat jokes and the delivery, to earn that extra piece of candy!  Back in the day this was part of the fun as well as seeing who was most creative with the costume. Our Mothers would spend hours planning and sewing costumes fit for the runway.  Of course there was always the kid that put their creative juices to work and would come up with something that the explanation would be a scarier then it looked!!

Trick or Treat? I Don’t Think So…

Aww, the good old days!  Older family members would get seats front and center by the door to be able to enjoy the festive time.  If they were able they would give out a treat or two to the cuties bringing miles of smile to all involved.

Why, back in the day children may even have stepped into the entry way for their rations. Or you would pale everyone in the car and go from neighborhood to neighborhood collecting bags of candy bigger then the little trick or treaters!

But, today I have found that not a lot of neighborhoods bother to participate in this holiday due to foolishness that’s going on in the world besides the cost of candy.

It’s Just Not The Way It Use To Be

Now we have to be aware of who’s coming to the door before we can opening, you don’t want to be subject to home invasion.  The little ones have to be aware of which houses they solicit for a treat with all of the bad people they could encounter and let’s not forget the tampering of the goodies that are handed out.  Nowadays you can drive around for hours and never find a street that has more than a few houses that are taking part in the celebration.  There goes the great work out for the parents before raiding the goodie bags later that night while the children sleep!

Finally, today trick or treating is… purchased customs of whom ever the child’s favorite cartoon or movie character is or possibly whom or whatever is in the news. Parties are being held at churches, community centers or private parties within the home for their little ones. Then there’s the mall and trunk or treat events.  Be sure to seek out events in your neighborhood!

BOO, whatever way you decide to celebrate, I want you to have a Happy Halloween  and a fun and safe time out there Trick or Treating!!!!!

LA Football: Sweet Spot for a Caregiver

by mitzimsa on September 25, 2017



Football season is in full effect, here in Los Angeles we’ve gone from no team at all to two professional teams. While many were hoping that the Raiders would be back to claim the throne the league decided they were best suited for Sin City! This is the first season that the Chargers and Rams have claimed LA as their home town territory. We’ll have to wait until the end of the season to see who ends up being top dog of LA Football!!

I can’t say that I was a drop dead fan for the game but I enjoyed many games on chilly Friday nights during my high school years became more intrigued while I attended Howard University, I fell for the Bison’s (You Know!) Once I took the time to check out a few professional games the huddle was better than I ever remembered! Therefore I never turned down a chance to travel to San Diego or the Bay Area to see the California Professional Teams but, these trips were more enticing for the road trip, shopping and spending time with friends.


I never would have dreamed how much football season would become a part of my life until I became a caregiver to my husband. I enjoy seeing him excited and talking trash every week during the season. He’s not one of the fans that claims a team he says he just likes a good game. On Sunday morning when he settles into his recliner to ready himself for the kickoff I prepare myself for the screaming and shouting and stomping that I’ll hear from the living room while I do my thing in the kitchen.

Having a chronic illness brings about so many ups, downs, triumphs and setbacks. If you think about it, its kind of the same in football. As a wife and caregiver to a man with a chronic illness, I live to hear and see the expressions of joy that the game brings to his life. Which makes me elated for the time of year when I hear “Are You Ready for Some Football”