I'm amazed at how superior your vanilla is!
- Des, The Grommet

CASEM COOP: A Story of Commitment, Endurance and Love


It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to changeAttributed to Charles Darwin

If you’ve traveled to Costa Rica, you’ve experienced its beauty and the many ways to enjoy all it offers. A small, narrow country angled between Nicaragua and Panama, it is bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean; on the west, the Pacific. It has a high literacy rate, no military, is politically stable and welcomes tourists to enjoy its warm, tropical weather, outdoor activities and eco-tourism.

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Share — The Cookbook that Celebrates our Common Humanity.

16256838As a member of a number of culinary organizations, I’m always excited to see the wonderful array of cookbooks that fellow culinarians publish each year. Getting a coveted review in the New York Times or making the  holiday short lists in the national press can elevate some lucky authors to magnificent sales and notoriety, but there are so many books that don’t make the cut for whatever reason or aren’t glamorous  yet are valuable gems.

One such book that has caught my attention is Share: The Cookbook that Celebrates our Common Humanity. With  a foreword by Meryl Streep, Share  has created some buzz, and there are contributions from well-known people, but it’s not a sexy book with a glitzy cover and over-the-top recipes that will sit on coffee tables and look glamorous, whether or not it’s actually used. Instead, Share highlights how food is our common denominator, a way to nourish us physically, mentally and spiritually. And it speaks of how food can provide employment, economic stability and environmental sustainability in the developing world. Additionally, all of the profits from book sales go to Women for Women International, a non-profit that provides opportunities for women who have survived rape, torture and war.

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Food Jobs

Nearly all of us dream about what it would be like to change careers. This can be both exhilarating to imagine ourselves following our passions or dreams and also more than a little daunting.  What exactly will it take to reinvent myself?  Is there a market for it?  How do I start? Sound familiar?

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Financial Self-Defense for Women

How many of you received wise financial counsel and an overview of how money and economics work before you left home?  Sure, lots of us had allowances and were told that we should save our money, but what about when you went off to college or left home for good?  Did you have any real sense about how to budget, to set up a retirement account or even to create financial goals for yourself?  Chances are, the answer is a resounding “no.”  I was encouraged to create a savings account and not to live beyond my means, but the only advice I ever had about a retirement account was when my father told me that the most important thing about college was to find a good husband.

Times have changed, but many of us, especially those of us who are women, rarely receive serious guidance on how to manage money effectively and create a safety net for difficult times or for our retirement unless we major in economics or business planning.  While a book on finances is somewhat outside the box for the type of  books I review for this site,  I have just finished reading a great basic guidebook on financial planning, and decided to share it as financial survival is crucial for us all,

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Transformational Speaking: If You Want To Change the World, Tell A Better Story

If You Want To Change The World, TELL A BETTER STORY

Gail Larsen, (Celestial Arts/Random House)

In 2005, as I practiced a two minute “elevator speech” for the Women Leaders for the World graduation, my coach Joanne Brem, suddenly exclaimed, “Wow, I get it!  You want to change the world.  You must contact Gail Larsen and take her workshop!”

I took Joanne’s advice seriously. Two months later I was in Santa Fe, New Mexico at Gayle’s four-day Real Speaking intensive along with four other attendees. Our goal? To connect with our authentic voices and take our messages into the world at large.

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Why do our customers love Rain's Choice vanilla?

  • 99% of all vanilla products are imitation. Ours are 100% PURE!
  • We carefully choose all products to assure best QUALITY & FLAVOR!
  • Our farmers are paid a FAIR PRICE.
  • Our vanilla beans are SUSTAINABLY grown.
  • Everything we sell is grown WITHOUT CHEMICAL pesticides or fertilizers.
  • Your purchase here supports our HUMANITARIAN efforts.

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For an update on the 2016 vanilla shortage, please see "Why is Vanilla so Expensive?"

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