News + Views

Reimagine a Creative Breakfast


In Good Taste








(Family Features) Mornings for many people start with snoozing, scrubbing and hustling in a rush to get out the door on time, making it easy to fall into a rut when it comes to breakfast. From grabbing a cup of coffee or breakfast bar on-the-go to eating the same cereal every day, your morning meal could benefit from a little imagination.

Break from the mundane and reimagine breakfast for something a little more creative in the mornings. Upgrade bland breakfast toast with unique toppings and flavor combinations, like Peanut Butter, Bacon and Banana Toast. The smokiness of Smithfield bacon pairs perfectly with the sweetness of peanut butter and banana for a flavor-filled breakfast. Available in a wide variety of flavors and cuts, like Cherrywood, Thick Cut and classic Hometown Original, it’s smoked and cured to perfection so you can incorporate it into breakfast recipes all week long.

Better yet, you don’t have to wake up early or spend hours in the kitchen to have a scrumptious start to your day.

With an easy option like Smithfield Anytime Favorites Ham, the work is done for you so you’re well on your way to a wholesome breakfast in minutes. This Ham and Blueberry Toast can be the fresh take your morning needs.

For more creative and filling breakfast ideas, visit

Ham and Blueberry Toast

Servings: 4

3/4       cup cream cheese

1          cup blueberries, divided

4          slices sourdough bread

1          cup Smithfield Anytime Favorites Hickory Smoked 8-ounce Boneless Ham Steak, cooked and cut into cubes

1/4       cup pistachios

1/2       cup microgreens

In food processor, blend cream cheese and 1/2 cup blueberries until smooth.

Toast bread until brown. Spread with blueberry cream cheese mixture. Top with ham steak cubes, remaining blueberries, pistachios and microgreens.

Bacon, Peanut Butter and Banana Toast

Servings: 4

4          slices whole-wheat toast

3/4       cup peanut butter

2          medium bananas

1/3       cup shelled pistachios

4          slices Smithfield Cherrywood Bacon, cooked and cut into pieces

Toast bread until brown. Spread with peanut butter.

Cut bananas into thin slices and place on top of peanut butter. Sprinkle with pistachios and bacon pieces.



April 25, 2018 |

Budgeting Tips for a Healthier Lifestyle


To Your Health









(Family Features) From the cost of gym memberships to prepping healthier meals, living well can be expensive. Before you abandon your goals for a healthier lifestyle, consider these tips that show you don’t have to overspend to live a better life.

Plan Your Meals

An impromptu visit to the grocery store inevitably ends up costing more than a well-planned trip. Get organized by planning your meals and grocery list ahead of time to help save money and find ways to use healthy ingredients across multiple meals. Plus, preparing meals at home helps ensure you can eat the foods you want, rather than settling for something because it’s the only sensible option on the menu at a restaurant. Another option is taking advantage of the premeasured portions of healthy meal boxes, which can help you skip the prep time and avoid wasting unused groceries.

Weigh Your Workout Options

A gym membership may be a tempting investment when you’re trying to commit to a get-fit regimen, but it’s not always the smartest move money-wise. If you can discipline yourself to use it, investing in at-home equipment may be a better long-term buy. There are also plenty of ways to add exercise at no cost through activities like running, walking or practicing yoga in your living room.

Invest in Rest

Eating better and increasing physical activity are important aspects of a healthy lifestyle, but so is giving your body a chance to rest. Quality sleep lets your body and mind heal and rejuvenate from everyday activity, and better sleep is likely to reduce your stress level while improving your mental function and mood. There’s no better way to show yourself some love than with a good night’s rest, but according to research from Mattress Firm, 35 percent of Americans report their sleep quality as “poor” or “fair.”

Additional research shows that 64 percent of people experience improved sleep quality after investing in a new mattress. As the nation’s largest bedding retailer, Mattress Firm’s purchasing power translates to affordable prices and a wide selection of mattresses and bedding accessories, which can help you stretch your budget further. Find more sleep tips and budget-friendly ideas at

Rethink Checkups

When it comes to medical care, office visits can add up. If you just need basic medical attention such as a checkup, a physical or a remedy for a common illness, a retail clinic may be a more cost-effective option than a traditional doctor’s office. Many insurance carriers offer an incentive for retail clinic visits by offering discounted co-pays, or if you’re paying out of pocket, the retail clinic can be a big money saver.

A healthier lifestyle requires commitment and hard work, but as these tips prove, creating a better life doesn’t have to mean overhauling your budget.


Photo courtesy of Getty Images


April 25, 2018 |

Westchester Broadway Theatre Welcomes Sister Act

Bits & Pieces Column

Helpful Chitchat







By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel




For families looking for a unique experience on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, or to celebrate a special night out with friends and family, there is a new production at the popular Westchester Broadway Theatre (WBT) in Elmsford that will be playing until July 1, 2018.

Sister Act, based on the Touchstone motion picture, tells the hilarious story of Deloris Van Cartier, a disco diva, whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a murder. Under protective custody, she is hidden in the one place she won’t be found—a convent! Disguised as a nun and under the suspicious watch of the Mother Superior, Deloris helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she unexpectedly rediscovers her own. This is a sparkling tribute to the universal power of friendship, sisterhood and music.

As anticipated, the WBT continues its habit (pun intended) of offering both fantastic entertainment and a wonderful dining experience to its audience! The dazzling dance routines and songs inspired by Motown, soul and disco are perfectly entwined in the storyline that takes place in the 1970s. Casting is always superb and audiences quickly empathize and root for the characters in WBT plays.

This show features: Zuri Washington (Deloris Van Cartier), Mary Jo McConnell (Mother Superior), Lani Corson (Sister Mary Robert), Ken Jennings (Monsignor O’Hara), Philip Michael Baskerville (Curtis Shank), Danny Wilford (Eddie Souther), Corben Williams (TJ), Jayson Elliott (Joey), Mike D’Amico (Pablo), Sandy Rosenberg (Sister Mary Lazarus), Katelyn Lauria (Sister Mary Patrick). Many cast members have dual roles and multiple costume changes so the equally talented ensemble of Melanie Burg, Joanna Caruso, Sincee Daniels, Hannah Eakin, Hector Flores Jr., Keyonna Knight, Jose Plaza,  T. Shyvonne Stewart, Jessi St. George, Stephanie Sable, and Karen Webb add to the strength of this inspiring production. Sister Act music is by Alan Menken with lyrics by Glenn Slater and is based on the book by Bill and Cheri Steinkellner. This production contains additional book material by Douglas Carter Beane, is directed and extraordinarily choreographed by Donna Drake, with musical direction by Bob Bray.

The banter between the Mother Superior, who’s against hiding a showgirl and the streetwise Deloris Van Cartier is hilarious. Professional singer Deloris can’t believe her ears when she is assigned to join the off-key choir of nuns in the poorly funded congregation. How the nuns find their vocal talents and combine with disco dance moves provides some of the best choreography. The cast of 25 keeps the stage ablaze with song, dance, glitzy costumes and scenery. The WBT continues to impress with set design, as convent scenes are depicted with floor to ceiling stone archways and passages that replicate the nuns’ domain.

Throughout the show the audience could be heard laughing at the humorous lines, then clapping enthusiastically following the song and dance numbers. The finale brought a well- deserved standing ovation.

The WBT dinner theatre continues to offer the best value around. Parking is free.

For Reservations: Call (914) 592-2222 or visit:

Gift certificates, matinee performances and group discounts are available.


April 25, 2018 |

Serious About Work


ROI by Frank J. Rich







By Frank J. Rich




So many interviewers make this issue the primary goal in determining the suitability of candidates. The post-interview summary often sounds like this: “Likeable, easy going, good skills, but talks in the first person singular too much to be a team player.” Or, “He has a spotty work experience.” Is it because he’s not serious about his work?

When in talks with employees, do you have the view that they are doing all they can do to achieve “agreed upon” goals? If not, what do you conclude? Is he taking responsibility for the “complete task” that’s missing?

Enterprise organizations need the best from stakeholders every day. When disengaged—54 percent of employees—the meaning and the joy in work are hard to find. Uninvested employees are indifferent about the work they do and the value of it to them. It’s a common concern since roughly 85 percent of the workforce dislikes their jobs.

Least-resistance oriented, most people find their lowest level of contribution—just enough to get by. It’s a condition just short of complacency for most, though some move quickly to actively disengage—17 percent of the workforce. Armed with this information, how do we determine whom among candidates is serious about his work? The trick may be in developing a good sense of what it feels and sounds like to be actively engaged in meaningful work; the goal of all serious workers. Consider the answers to the following question:

Describe what it means to be serious about your work.

Candidate A: “I’m very serious about my work. I always studied hard when in college, and arrived at work promptly at my first job. I work hard and do everything that is asked of me. I know that this job, like most others, is not 9-5, and I always give 110 percent. I take my work very seriously.”

Candidate B: “To be serious about work means growing a greater sense of the whole than just an understanding of the task at hand. I think it requires that I take responsibility for the success of the team, the individual team players, and the goals of the organization. I think when people do that, they enjoy their work more and are able to make a more valuable contribution to the organization. Encouraging those around me to do their best makes me better and conditions the work with real purpose. I think that is what it means to be serious about your work.”

Which of these candidates has demonstrated an understanding of the meaning in being serious about one’s work? Candidate A’s answer is more common than B’s answer by 10:1. Surprised? Yet, the only modeling apparent in the answers above is in candidate B’s words. Clearly, the candidate is prepared by the thinking that preceded them.

The opportunity in the work we do is prepared in us. If it truly is not in your organization, if the culture is predatory in nature, then move on. But in most organizations, it is not opportunity that’s missing but the willingness to invest fully in the work we do. To make a difference is easy; just give of yourself by an internal standard, not the one by which others measure themselves. Go beyond the task to complete the job. Few do; a difference maker in successful individual effort. Everyone is gifted, but some don’t open the package.


April 20, 2018 |

5th Annual Poughkeepsie High School Career and Job Fair







Student scholars at Poughkeepsie High School met with more than 60 local businesses and organizations to learn about potential career pathways on Thursday, April 19 at the 5th Annual Career & Job Fair at Poughkeepsie High School. A ribbon cutting ceremony took place beforehand to kick off the career and job fair. Special guests including New York State Senator, Sue Serino, Dutchess County Executive, Marcus Molinaro, and Mayor of the City of Poughkeepsie, Rob Rolison, attended the ceremony and said a few words to the attendees. This event was presented by the Poughkeepsie City School District, the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the Career Action Center.

The students of Poughkeepsie High School were able to match their skills and interests to real world choices by interacting and networking with professionals. Students were inspired after hearing unique stories of how these exhibitors became successful in their industry. Exhibitors were asked to bring promotional materials for both the students and their fellow presenters. The Career and Job fair served as a format for networking for students and professionals alike.

While the Career and Job Fair only lasted one day, students will be able to follow up on the information they learned about with the Poughkeepsie High School Career Action Center. The Career Action Center is a service located directly in the Poughkeepsie high school with two dedicated mentors and has an open-door policy so that whenever students are not in class, they are welcome to stop by for whatever they need. The Career Action Center offers a comfortable environment in which students can ask questions and get help with things like resumes or job searches. They offer a more intensive Career Exploration Class that prepares students for post-secondary education, assists with finding employment, and offers local internship opportunities. This class provides students with invaluable experiences and skills through internships. Internship experience allows students to become aware of the skills required for a particular career, and helps them become better prepared to choose a career path. The opportunities available to students through the Career Action Center at Poughkeepsie High School not only benefit their day-to-day experiences, but also prepare them for future successful careers.

The Career Action Center is a program under The Workforce Development Center. Since 1996, the Workforce Development Center has successfully linked businesses to the public workforce system. Their staff works to increase business access to qualified workers, and ensure income eligible residents are prepared for the workplace environment, its responsibilities, and retention.

For more information about the Career Action Center, or the Workforce Development Center visit or call Audra B. Gerty at (845) 454-1700 ext. 1007.


April 20, 2018 |

Shop the Spring Vendor Fair — Remember Mother’s Day is Coming


Celebrate spring and shop unique vendors at the Seven Star school Spring Vendor Fair on May 5 from 8am – 4pm at Brewster High School 50 Foggintown Road in Brewster, NY. The Vendor Fair is the perfect opportunity to ​find a special gift  for Mother’s Day

We will have a variety of vendors with products including jewelry, clothing, kitchen and home products, totes and bags, makeup and nails, hair accessories, doll clothes, hand-crafted woodwork and more!

​ We will also be holding a raffle for chances to win some great products!​

Come to the fair to visit the following vendors:

Thirty-One Gifts: Our fashionable, functional products make life easier. Select from different types of organizing items including bags, purses, thermal shopping bags and more.

Rodan + Fields Skincare : No matter how young or how old you are there is no reason not to love your skin. Rodan + Fields is life changing skincare.

Pampered Chef: Pampered Chef has been around for 38 years and it known for its innovative and durable kitchen products!

Jamberry: Jamberry is nail art done right! Whether you’re into polishes, gels, or nail wraps, this is your one stop shop!

3 Little Birdies Boutique: Unique, hand made accessories for everyone!

Tupperware: Tupperware is the best food storage and preparation product on the market. Celebrating 70 years of the party.

Touchstone Crystal by Swarovski: Shop for fun and affordable jewelry! Life calls for sparkle!Show us how you style your Touchstone Crystal.

LuLaRoe: LuLaRoe is simply the most comfortable clothing you’ll ever wear! The clothing line has unique patterns and colors in leggings, dresses, skirts and tops for women.

Le-Vel: Simple 3 Step Health and Wellness Company Premium Grade Nutritional Supplements  – Thrive by Le-Vel!

Gastelu Jewelry:  Sterling silver jewelry for women and men. Personal service to take care of your needs and style.

Rebecca Lane Crafts: Handmade doll clothes for American Girl dolls.

18” doll clothes and accessories including dresses with matching purses, jogging suits, pajamas, Capri outfits with matching hats and shoes.

GJF Decorative Wood: Unique hand-crafted woodworking pieces including jewelry and valet boxes, centerpieces, desk accessories, planters and shelves.

Questions? Contact Seven Star School at or call 845.278.0728 or visit








April 19, 2018 |
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