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Monday Morning Mojo-You Can Accomplish Anything!

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team

Some people stop moving forward because they don’t believe that they have what it takes to accomplish the next objective. This could happen in many different ways. Some people don’t apply for promotions, for example, because they simply don’t believe that they could possibly get them. Some people don’t even think about starting a business because they don’t think that they are ‘smart enough’ to do so. Some people shy away from volunteering for special projects because they doubt whether or not they have the skills necessary to be useful.




These are all relatively common types of thoughts for humans to have… but they are also thoughts that could keep you from realizing your true potential. If you have ever had thoughts like these, then you know how difficult it can be to believe in yourself when the time comes to face bigger challenges. In the end, however, it is important for you to realize two very important truths.




  1. Sometimes past experiences and technical qualifications matter much less than a drive to succeed.

  2. If you never try to challenge yourself, you will never move forward.




When faced with a chance to do something bigger and better, you will always feel at least a little bit of pressure. You might feel inadequate, inexperienced, and doubt yourself. But these are all natural things to feel when you take the next step. What really matters, in these cases, is how you handle it.




Sometimes, your lack of technical experience may cause your boss or the person in charge to give the project to someone else… but sometimes, just the fact that you applied for it could cause you to be either seriously considered, or even selected. This thought alone might scare you… but you shouldn’t let it! You can accomplish anything that you put your mind to! Don’t let feelings of inferiority keep you from realizing your true potential.




One great way to overcome these feelings is to stand in front of the mirror and to tell yourself that you can accomplish anything that you set your mind to. Tell yourself that you are smart, strong, capable, talented, and ready to succeed. Don’t fall prey to the mindset that tells you that you are not good enough… because you will be if you choose to be!




Remember that success is a choice, and that choosing to move forward will not present any challenges that you can’t handle.

Tasty Tuesday Treats: Candy

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team

Homemade Paleo Almond Joy By: Fed and Fit


    3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut • 3 Tbl maple syrup • 6 Tbl extra virgin coconut oil • 1.5 cups chocolate chips • ½ cup natural almonds

Combine the coconut, maple syrup, and coconut oil in a food processor. Blend for 2 minutes, pausing halfway to scrape down the sides. Spoon the mixture into a 16-slotted plastic ice tray and press down. Place in the freezer while you prepare the melted chocolate. To temper the chocolate, place 1 cup of the chocolate chips in a glass bowl over a simmering pot of water. Stir constantly with a rubber spatula until melted or between 110 F and 115 F. Remove from heat and place on a towel, let the chocolate cool to 95 F and add the remaining ½ cup of chocolate chips. Stir until smooth with the rubber spatula. Break the coconut candy from the ice trays then dip the bottom of each one in the melted chocolate and place on a wire cooling wrack. Place a dot of the melted chocolate on top of each candy to serve as glue, then place an almond on the dot. Grab a spoonful of the chocolate and pour it over each candy, smoothing it over each side until totally covered. Transfer the candies from the wire rack to parchment paper then place in the refrigerator for one hour or until set. Wrap in squares of wax paper and twist the ends shut.


Paleo Chocolate Caramels By: Against All Grain


    ½ cup honey • 1½ tablespoons almond butter (smooth & with sea salt only) • 3 teaspoons unsalted grassfed butter (use raw cacao butter for dairy free) • 1 teaspoon water • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract • 1 cup dairy-free chocolate chips • ½ teaspoon coconut oil

    Bring the honey to low boil and simmer for 10 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally until the honey is deep amber color. Remove from the heat and add the almond butter, unsalted butter, vanilla, and water. Let it cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Pour caramel out onto a tray lined with parchment paper and cool to room temperature, for about 30 minutes and the caramel is pliable. Gently melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a bowl set over boiling water, or a double boiler. Pour the melted chocolate into candy molds, filling half way full. Pinch off small pieces of caramel and roll into a ball between your hands. Place the caramel at the center of the chocolate. Continue filling the molds to the top with chocolate. Refrigerate to harden for 1 hour.


Fruit Leather By: Simply Recipes


    Fresh fruit (apricots, peaches, plums, berries, apples, pears, grapes) (4 Cups of Fruit yields about one baking sheet of fruit leather) • Water • Lemon juice • Sugar (if needed) • Spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg (optional)

  1. Rinse the fruit. If you working with stone fruit, take out the pits, chop the fruit. If working with apples or pears, peel and core them, then chop. If working with grapes, de-stem them.

Taste the fruit before proceeding. Note how sweet the fruit is. If very sweet (ripe Concord grapes for example) you will not need to add any sugar. If still a little tart, you may need to add some sugar in the next step.


  1.  Place fruit in a large saucepan. Add a half cup of water for every 4 cups of chopped fruit. Bring to a simmer, cover and let cook on a low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the fruit is cooked through. Uncover and stir. Use a potato masher to mash up the fruit in the pan. Taste the fruit and determine what and how much sugar, lemon juice, or spices to add. Add sugar in small amounts (1 Tbsp at a time if working with 4 cups of fruit), to desired level of sweetness. Add lemon juice one teaspoon at a time to help brighten the flavor of the fruit. Add a pinch or two of cinnamon, nutmeg, or other spices to augment the flavor.

Continue to simmer and stir until any added sugar is completely dissolved and the fruit purée has thickened, another 5 or 10 minutes (or more).

Note if you are working with grapes - strain the juice out of the mashed grapes to make grape juice. Force what is left behind, after straining, through a food mill, to make the purée for the next step.

  1.  Put the purée through a food mill or chinoise. Alternatively purée it thoroughly in a blender or food processor. Taste again and adjust sugar/lemon/spices if necessary. The purée should be very smooth.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with sturdy plastic wrap (the kind that is microwave safe). Pour out the purée into the lined baking sheet to about an 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness.
  3. Place the baking sheet in the oven, try to keep any plastic wrap from touch the sides of the oven or the oven racks. Also try to make sure that the plastic wrap hasn't folded back over on top of the purée. If this happens, the purée won't dry out. Heat the oven to a low 140°F. If you have a convection setting, use it, it will speed up the process and help dry out the purée. Let dry in the oven like this for as long as it takes for the purée to dry out and form fruit leather. We usually keep it in the oven overnight, so about 8-12 hours. The fruit leather is ready when it is no longer sticky, but has a smooth surface.
  4.  When the fruit leather is ready, you can easily peel it up from the plastic wrap. To store it, roll it in its plastic wrap, put it in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator or freezer.

Monday Morning Mojo - Making Everyday Count

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team

Make every day count. Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple Computers, really did a good job of summarizing this idea when he spoke this quote into existence…


“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?' And whenever the answer has been 'No' for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” -Steve Jobs


What are you going to do today? You, just like every other human-being on the planet, woke up this morning with a gift. You woke up with 24 hours to spend in whatever way you deem the best. In a sense, that is all that you have. Time is the most valuable currency, but it is also the great equalizer. Whether you are rich or poor, time still passes at the same rate. 


And when you wake up in the morning, it falls to you to decide what you are going to do with it.


So what are you going to do today?


Making every day count is a concept that might sound foreign to a lot of people. Some people might say that they ‘have to go to work’ at a job that they hate just because they need to ‘pay the bills’. Some people might say that it is not their fault that they have to do things that they don’t want to do all day… and while it is true that not every moment of every day is going to be pleasant, the question is really one of direction. Do you like the direction that you are going in, or are you headed somewhere that you don’t want to go?


The best way to make every day count is to stop and think about where you want to end up some day. Where do you want to be in a year, in five years, in ten years, and when you retire? What do you want your life to be like when your kids are old enough to move out? What kind of home do you want to invite your grandchildren into? And most importantly, what kinds of things do you want to be doing when you are at retirement age? Do you still want to be doing what you are doing now, or is there something else that you would rather be involved in?


Keep these things in mind, and use every hour of your day to move you closer to where you want to be. Sign up for college courses… get an internship… or save up to start that business that you have always wanted to start! Don’t shy away from challenges. Success is a choice, and making every day count is as simple as making choices that are going to take you, eventually, to where you really want to be.

Tasty Tuesday Treats: Casseroles

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team


Special Thanks to Fit Moms Full Plates, Popular Paleo, and Life Made Full

Rotisserie Chicken Salad Casserole By: Fit Moms Full Plates

½ diced onion • ½ cup sliced almonds • ½ tsp salt • ¼ tsp pepper • ¼ tsp paprika • 2 tbsp lemon juice • ½- ¾ cup paleo mayo • 2/3 cup broken plantain chips (or potato chips for a real treat!)

Mix all ingredients except plantain/potato chips into a large bowl. Pour into a shallow greased casserole dish. Bake uncovered at 375°F for 15 minutes. Remove from oven & sprinkle plantain chips on top. Return to oven and cook an addition 5-10 minutes, or until chips begin to brown slightly.


Paleo Tex-Mex Casserole By: Popular Paleo

1 – 1.5 pounds grass-fed ground beef • 2 cups spinach • 2-3 carrots, diced (about a cup) • 1 parsnip, diced (about a cup and a half) • 1 zucchini, diced (6” zucchini/one cup) • 2 cups diced bell peppers • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced • 14.5 oz can organic diced tomatoes • 3 TBSP preferred Paleo-friendly fat (I used bacon grease) • 1/3 cup taco seasoning (or make your own) • 1/2 tsp sea salt • 5 cups shredded sweet potatoes • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted • 1/2 tsp onion powder • 1/2 tsp chili powder  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander • Optional garnish: fresh cilantro, sliced scallions, avocado and hot sauce

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees (Fahrenheit). Chop, dice and mince all the veggies and garlic. Notice that the volume of veggies to meat in the recipe is astoundingly in favor of the vegetables! Melt half of your fat of choice in a very large skillet or heavy-bottomed pan and add in all the veggies. Season with that 1/2 tsp of sea salt, toss together and cook these down until they are just about fork tender. Remove from the pan and set aside for later. In the same pan, add in the other half of your fat and get it up to temp.  Crumble in the ground beef, top with taco seasoning (purchased or your own blend, whatever you are comfortable with), mix and brown. While the ground beef browns, break out your grater. Now, grating is my all-time LEAST favorite chore in the kitchen, so this girl goes right to her Cuisinart food processor and shredder disk attachment.  Peel enough sweet potatoes to get you about 5 cups worth — I used 3 fairly large ones. Grate the sweet potatoes and set in a large mixing bowl. Melt 1/2 cup of coconut oil and pour over the shredded sweet potatoes while warm, toss immediately! The coconut oil will start to solidify again as it cools, so work efficiently. Once the coconut oil is mixed well, sprinkle the sweet potatoes with the onion powder, chili powder and ground coriander. Mix together. Bake at 375 degrees (Fahrenheit) for 20-30 minutes, then remove the foil and broil on low for 5 minutes — or until the sweet potatoes have browned and crisped up a bit.  Eyeball it. To serve, top with fresh cilantro and sliced scallions with some avocado and hot sauce on the side! And when you’re staring down some leftovers, reheat and top with a runny fried egg! Makes a great breakfast, lunch or dinner!


Paleo Shepherd’s Pie By: Life Made Full

1 batch mashed cauliflower (recipe below) • 3 lbs ground beef • 1 onion, diced small • 1 can diced tomatoes • 1 tsp garlic • 2-3 tsp garlic salt • 2 tsp chili powder • 2 tsp Italian seasoning • 1 can tomato paste • 2 TBSP olive oil

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add tomato, garlic, and garlic salt and cook for a few minutes. Add ground beef, chili powder, Italian seasoning and tomato paste and cook until meat is browned. Pour into a large casserole dish; 9×13 may fit it all, but mine was a bit bigger.

Recipe: Mashed Cauliflower (from Well Fed):

2 bags frozen cauliflower florets • 2 teaspoons minced garlic • 3 TBSP coconut oil • 3/4 cup coconut milk • salt and pepper to taste • 2 TBSP + 2 tsp chopped dried chives

Cook the cauliflower according to package directions until very soft. Drain and pour into food processor or blender. In a small saucepan, heat garlic, coconut oil, coconut milk, salt and pepper for about 1 minute.

Puree the cauliflower in food processor blender, scraping down sides. Add coconut milk mixture to processor, along with 1 TBSP chives. Process about 10-15 seconds. Taste and adjust seasonings. Sprinkle with chives. Spread over meat mixture, and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Monday Morning Mojo-Building Positive Relationships

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team

Relationships are essential to our existence as humans. Some people like to think of themselves as independent… and many of us are, at least to a point. But complete independence can also carry with it a negative side effect. It can cause us to lose sight of the value of relationships.


The truth is that positive relationships, whether they are with friends, with family, with coworkers, or with colleagues, are all important. They make our lives better, they make us better people, and they cause us to think more about others and less about ourselves. They help to keep us grounded and to realize that we are not alone in the world.


Building positive relationships definitely doesn’t happen all at once, and it definitely doesn’t happen by finding the perfect people to build them with. Some people spend a lot of time looking for the ‘perfect friend’ before realizing that, oftentimes, no such person really exists. The main problem with humans is that none of them are perfect… so holding out for the perfect friend could actually cause you to pass up other possible positive relationships in the process.


Building positive relationships starts with us. Before we can hope to be successful doing it, we have to become a positive person that someone else would want to spend time with.  Seek to add real value to other people’s lives, and don’t shy away from doing nice things for them. If they need help, don’t wait for them to ask you for it. Volunteer to pay them a visit. If your friend is sick, go to their house and fix them dinner. If your coworker is having a rough day, invite them out to lunch with you. If you have a family member who is having a difficult time, go out of your way to talk to them about it and to remind them that you are there for them.


Doing your part to generate positive relationships with others will benefit everyone involved… including you. In fact, you might find yourself reaping the greatest rewards of your new positive relationships… and that is a good thing! Selfless acts of kindness and a genuine interest in the well-being of others will never take you to a bad place. These are things that make us better as humans. They help to contribute to a better world, build stronger communities, and foster a sense of social dependence that is healthy to complex, sentient creatures like us.

Tasty Tuesday Treats!-Brunch!

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team

Ever wanted to make some brunch, but you’re not sure exactly what to make? We’ve got you covered! Here are few of our favorite healthy recipes that you can serve up the next time you’re in the mood for some tasty brunch! Special thanks to Ancestral Chef and Elana’s Pantry!

Carrot Egg Bacon Muffins by: Ancestral Chef

4 eggs • 1/2 cup coconut cream (the top cream from a refrigerated can of coconut milk) • 1 cup carrots, shredded (I used my food processor's shredding attachment) • 1/2 cup bacon bits • Bacon fat for greasing muffin pan or muffin cup liners

Preheat oven to 350F. Mix all the ingredients together well in a large mixing bowl (I use an electric mixer). Pour into muffin cups so that there's an equal amount in each cup. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool. Enjoy immediately or store in refrigerator for up to 5-7 days


Breakfast Sausage By: Elana’s Pantry

1 1/2 pounds organic ground pork or turkey • 2 tablespoons minced fresh sage • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary • 1 tablespoon honey • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper • 1 tablespoon olive oil

In a large bowl, combine the ground pork, sage, rosemary, honey, salt, and pepper, using your hands to mix the ingredients thoroughly.

Using a 1/3-cup measuring cup, form the mixture into 8 patties, each about 21/4 inches in diameter.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Cook the patties, turning them once and gently pressing them down to flatten, for 5 to 8 minutes per side, until golden brown and crispy. Transfer the patties to a paper towel–lined plate and serve.


2 Ingredient Paleo Pancake By: Ancestral Chef

1 Ripe Banana • 1 Egg

    Blend the egg and the banana in a blender to form a batter. Place 1 tablespoon of coconut oil into a frying pan and pour in the batter in a spiral to create a thin pancake. Let the pancake cook for around 10 minutes before flipping it. After flipping it, let the other side cook for around 10 minutes.


Monday Morning Mojo - Goals and New Beginnings

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team

March is a month of mixed feelings for many people. On one hand, it marks a definite milestone between winter and spring. On another, it is usually the time when people who have made New Year’s resolutions stop to take stock of what they have accomplished. For some people, this is a time to be proud because they have stuck with their goals… while for others, it can be a time of depression. Missed goals, failed objectives, and a general feeling of inadequacy might plague those who have not followed through on their resolutions… making March a depressing time for some people.


But it doesn’t have to be that way!


This is a great time to stop and take stock of your life, especially as it pertains to the rest of the year. March marks the end of the first quarter of the year, but it also marks the beginning of the largest and most important parts. This is a time to take stock of not only your professional life, but also of your personal goals. What do you want to accomplish this year? What sort of life do you want to be living before the next New Year rolls around?


These types of questions might require some soul-searching to answer… but don’t get disheartened. If so far things have not gone quite as well as you had planned, then remember that only you have the power to change your future. Setbacks happen, but it is important that you don’t let them keep you down. If you have experienced problems, difficulties, distractions, and general failure in the first two months of the year, then this is the perfect time to turn things around.


Remember that you cannot prevent everything… but you can be proactive about changing your destiny. Look back on the problems that you have thus-far encountered, and brainstorm ways to avoid them for the rest of the year. Also make an effort to write your goals down and to determine within yourself to stick with them, despite problems that you have already faced.


Most importantly, don’t fall victim to a defeatist mentality. Don’t accept failure, and don’t for one moment contemplate the fact that you might never achieve your goals. If you can determine within yourself to be a success and can visualize the road to it, then achievement and success are choices… not things that just happen!


This is the time to turn things around. This is the time to get started. This is the time for action… because the great thing about March is that it is still early enough to effect major change in your life. Don’t give up, and don’t give in… just get through, and stick with it. In the end, your patience and perseverance will be rewarded with success. It is not a matter of if, but a matter of when. 

Tasty Tuesday Treats!-Smoothies!

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team

Want a fast, tasty treat for any time of the day? Well, break out your blenders and make some healthy, DELICIOUS, Paleo-friendly Smoothies & Shakes! Check out our favorites from our friends at Eat Drink Paleo, Mark’s Daily Apple, It’s Time to Burn, and Ancestral Chef!


Salted Caramel Thickshake  By: Eat Drink Paleo

1/2 cup cold almond or coconut milk • 1 1/2 tsp cashew butter/spread or 1/4 cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked • 1/3 banana • 2 dried pitted Medjool dates • 1 tsp pure maple syrup (you can easily leave this out if you don’t like it too sweet) • A pinch of sea salt • A couple of ice cubes

Coconut Avacado By: Mark’s Daily Apple

1/2 avocado •1/4 cup coconut milk • 1 scoop whey protein • 2-4 tablespoons water (optional, if needed for texture) • 1/2 – 1 cup ice

Superberry By: It’s Time to Burn

4-5 Ice cubes • 1/2 a cup of water • 1 cup of Strawberries • 1/2 a cup of Raspberries • 1/2 a cup of Blackberries • 1 cup of Blueberries

Chocolate Almond Butter Smoothie By: Ancestral Chef

1 cup milk (coconut milk or almond milk) • 1 scoop (30g) chocolate protein powder • 1 tablespoon almond butter • 1/4 cup ice (optional)

Monday Morning Mojo-5 Ways To Turn Your Day Around

by Diane Cardano-Casacio & Her Team

Are you having a bad day? If so, don’t be surprised… we all have them. In fact, for most people, a bad day at least once per week is a common thing. It could be caused by any number of things like its Monday and you would rather be anywhere than at work. Maybe you don’t feel good. Maybe you just paid the bills and have barely enough money in your account to cover getting to work and back for the rest of the week. Maybe you are tired of friends who put your down and managers who make it their mission to cause you misery.


Whatever the case may be, the truth is that bad days happen… but that they don’t have to define you. In fact,changing your day from bad to good may be as simple as changing your outlook.


Here are 5 ways to turn your day around. Next time you are having a bad day, try one or two of them out. Odds are very good that utilizing these ideas will turn your frown upside-down and give you at least a better appreciation for your situation.


1… It could always be worse

It doesn’t take much brain-power to imagine things being worse. Consider this, and try to be thankful that the worst-case scenario is not your scenario. It could always be worse, so be thankful that your bad day is not infinitely bad.


2… Make a fun plan

Having a stressful day at work? Text your friends and see if some of them want to do something fun later on. Or text your spouse and plan a special date-night.Looking forward to something is a great way to get your mind off of your current woes.


3… Talk to someone

Talk to a friend, a family member, your spouse, or even the coworker in the cubicle next to yours about what is wrong. It might be difficult to do sometimes, but talking to other people about your problems can be very therapeutic.


4… Read motivational quotes

The internet is full of motivational quotes. Sometimes these little snippets of wisdom can give you the fuel you need to get you through the day.


5… Count your blessings

Everyone has things to be thankful for, and making a list of the good things in your life can often cause you to see that, though your day might seem bad, your life is actually pretty good!

Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9




Contact Information

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Diane Cardano & Associates
CARDANO Realtors
1021 Old York Road, Suite 401
Abington PA 19001
Office: 215-576-8666
Fax: 215-576-8677