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4th of July and Family Fireworks! By Cynthia Brian

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4th of July and Family Fireworks! By Cynthia Brian

Teens talk and the world listens every Tuesday NOON PT on the Voice America Kids Network. Produced by StarStyle® Productions, LLC and Cynthia Brian, these young adults know how to rock and express their unique views. Join the fun! “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” –Thomas Jefferson

Hosts Brigitte Jia and Joven Hundal discuss Independence Days around the world, including what they enjoy on the 4th of July-BBQ’s, fireworks, parades, family, and freedom. They interview Dr. Eric Maisel, author of Overcoming Your Difficult Family, 8 Skills for Thriving in Any Family Situation. Dr. Maisel shows how to stay sane when family isn’t, providing practical strategies that can be implemented immediately.  Overcoming Your Difficult Family is a “field guide” to common types of dysfunctional families, and a big helping of real life success stories that are dinner table tested and approved. You’ll learn to maintain inner peace in the midst of family chaos and maybe even create a better life for your whole family.

Chelsea Pelchat talks about the historical significance of the 4th of July and some shocking statistics revolving around the birth of this great nation. On July 3, 1776, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail telling her that he wanted this event of Independence Day to be commemorated with “Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”  Have a great holiday and Happy 4th of July!

Bio: Eric Maisel, PHD Eric Maisel, PhD, is a retired family therapist, an active life coach, and the author of more than fifty books including his latest, Overcoming Your Difficult Family. He has been quoted or featured in a variety of publications, including Martha Stewart Living, Redbook, Glamour, Men’s Health, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Self. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit him online at www.EricMaisel.com.

Listen at Voice America Kids Network


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Express Yourself! Teen Radio is produced by Cynthia Brian of Starstyle Productions, llc as an outreach program of Be the Star You Are! charity. To make a tax-deductible donation to keep this positive youth programming broadcasting weekly to international audiences, visit http://www.bethestaryouare.org/donate.htm.

Dare to care! For all the latest news on what teens are talking about on Express Yourself! Teen Radio embed this code into your blogs and web sites <Iframe src=”http://www.voiceamerica.com/jwplayer/HostPlayer.html?showid=2014″ frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”auto” width=”420″ height=”380″></Iframe> Be the Star You Are! charity. It’s ALWAYS the Season of Giving.  Make a donation today. http://www.bethestaryouare.org/donate.htm. Buy books and shirts at http://starstyleradio.net/Store.html .

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Hang Time! by Cynthia Brian

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Hang Time! by Cynthia Brian

“Flowers and fruit are only the beginning. In the seed lies the life and the future.”
  — Marion Zimmer Bradley,
greens of hostas
Fruit, luscious, juicy, tantalizing ripe fruit! There is no better nor satisfying delicacy than the fruit you grow in your own backyard. Whether it’s a pot or a plot, growing your own is the way the rock it! With our long warm summer days at their height, fruit and vegetables are ripening quickly awaiting plucking for our feasts. Apricots, plums, prunes, mulberries, loquats, tangelos, and tangerines are just a few of the gems hanging from my trees right now. Soon there will be mouth-watering peaches, pears, apples, guavas, nectarines, and figs. Tomatoes have taken up the space left by harvested greens, while beans, eggplant, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, and tomatillos are racing to the finish line. It’s a virtual Farmer’s Market in my garden and this is exactly the way I like to eat. Every day I walk into my potager to fill baskets with crunchy deliciousness for our supper. I never know what I’ll be creating in the kitchen until I see what’s ready to harvest.

I continue to sprinkle lettuce and arugula seeds in the empty spaces to extend my summer, fall and winter crops. My recommendation is to sow rows of bush beans, carrots, and radishes or any other vegetable every three weeks to satisfy your cravings for freshness. Remember to continue to replenish the soil with nutrient rich compost to keep productivity high.
delivering wood chips
Did you know that that average home gardener only spends $359 per year on gardening supplies and plants as reported in a study conducted by Money.com? That seems ridiculously low when you consider that growing your own tomatoes will save you an average $9.50, cucumbers $8.00, peppers $3.60, green beans $2.50, and carrots $3.50.  And that doesn’t include the spectacular taste, increased vitamins, and the fact that you actually know what you put into your soil!  When it comes to homegrown fruits and vegetables, I am a garden to table snob. The finest, healthiest, most cost efficient source of nutrients is waiting for you in the garden. Dig in!

With the barbeque season in full swing, delight guests with grilled stone fruit. Cut peaches, nectarines, or apricots in half, remove the pit, brush with olive oil and drizzle a bit of honey. Grill for a minute or two on each side. Serve with goat cheese, arugula, or as a side dish. Fresh, surprising, and oh, so delicious…a burst of sweetness with your 4th of July fare. About those pits…if you want another fruit tree, plant in potting soil in a container and watch the new life grow. It’s hang time.

nectarines on flatbread
Cynthia Brian’s Fresh Ideas for July

MULCH before the heat of summer begins. If you can use an entire truck-load of wood chips, tree service companies are happy to give you free chips. Mulching keeps the soil cooler while decreasing the weed population.

COMBINE arugula, mint, and sage in a food processor with a splash of olive oil and pepper for a mouth-watering variation on traditional pesto. Add the grated cheese of your choice to use over pastas, in soups, or whirled in an omelet.

HYDRATE yourself with fruits from the garden including watermelon, peaches, cucumbers, tomatoes, strawberries, and corn. A slice of watermelon provides you with at least ten ounces of water while a medium peach will give you five ounces of H20.

RELIEVE anxiety and stress by cutting a bouquet of lavender, then crushing the flowers in your palms. Inhale the healing fragrance before bed for a restful slumber.
king snake in garden2
WATCH for snakes! Gopher snakes and King snakes have been slithering through my grass. Don’t be alarmed, snakes eradicate rodents including gophers, moles, rats, and mice.

SHOWCASE your horticultural talents by mixing textures, colors, and sizes in your garden, always being away of water, sunlight, and soil PH needs. A lemon-lime nandina paired with a black adder phormium and a purple salvia are spectacular bedmates.

PEPPER your garden by throwing seeds of Love in a Mist and California poppies. The colors look smashing together and both re-seed. Plus Love in a Mist seedpods make fantastic dried flowers.

WANT a lush landscape? Embrace the beauty of leaves. Foliage plants have dramatic impact, especially when grouped together. Hosta, heuchera, coleus, and variegated plants are showstoppers, specifically in shaded areas.

PLANT gladioli bulbs for summer drama with long stalks of trumpet shaped florets that are considered hummingbird heaven.
COVER an unsightly fence with clematis. Read the tags to learn the correct sun exposure, then let the explosion of blooms blow your mind. Clematis make great cut flowers too.

TUCK succulents in between other plantings. Most succulents shoot up spires of blooms as an added bonus. Of course, succulents are very drought tolerant and an excellent choice for our gardens. To get a better idea of the variety of succulents that fare well in our area, visit The Ruth Bancroft Gardens in Walnut Creek.

GRILL vegetables (as well as stone fruit) on the barbecue. A variety of zucchini, peppers, and corn are always excellent choices. Don’t shuck the husks on the corn to keep the nutrients and flavor inside. Slip basil or cilantro inside for added flavor.

THINK about what bulbs and rhizomes you will want to buy to plant in the fall. Do you want more daffodils, tulips, Dutch iris, anemones, or something more exotic? Catalogues are a great way to get your lists started.

THANKS to everyone who has emailed me with positive notes about these columsn. I do appreciate all of my readers and want you to be the best gardeners ever!

CELEBRATE the Fourth of July by dressing up in your sparkly red, white, and blue to HANG out in your personal paradise.

Let the fireworks fly! Happy 240th Independence Day.
purple clematis
Happy gardening. Happy growing!

See more

Cynthia Brian
The Goddess Gardener
Starstyle® Productions, llc
Tune into Cynthia’s Radio show at www.StarStyleRadio.com
Garden and plant consultations by appointment.

Independence Day, Freedom Rings, July Garden Guide

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Independence Day, Freedom Rings, July Garden Guide

Spirit_of_'76-4th of july

Starstyle®-Be the Star You Are!®
with Cynthia Brian and Heather Brittany on StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® Radio brought to the airwaves under the auspices ofBe the Star You Are!® 501 c3 charity, LIVE, since 1998.
This hour is fun, informative, and lively. Join us!

4th of july 2014 - 08table

On the 4th of July, parades, picnics, barbecues, and fireworks are the main events. What many forget to honor are our courageous founding fathers who risked their lives to gain freedom from an oppressive British monarchy. Today’s program will discuss freedom, what independence means for all of us, and how we can make sure that we embrace liberty, justice, and freedom for all. Goddess Gardener, Cynthia Brian, will take us outdoors to discuss what we can do in the July garden to conserve water and still enjoy our backyards. Cynthia will also relate a true story from her award winning book, Be the Star You Are!® for TEENS with the Gift of Freedom.
4th of july-Freedom
Listen at Voice America 

Listen at StarStyle Radio with photos and descriptions


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Buy books by Cynthia Brian HERE
Check out the online fundraiser for BTSYA
The award winning positive talk radio program, StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® broadcasts on the Voice America Empowerment Channel LIVE every Wednesday from 4-5pm Pt/7-8pm ET.  Cynthia Brian and Heather Brittany are the Mother/Daughter dynamic duo who have been co-hosting this program live weekly since 1998 bringing upbeat, life enhancing conversation to the world. With Cynthia’s expertise in interviewing the trailblazers, authors, and experts and Heather’s healthy living segments, these Goddess Gals are your personal growth coaches helping you to jumpstart your life while igniting your flame of greatness.
Brought to the airwaves under the auspices of the literacy and positive media charity, Be the Star You Are!®, each program will pump your energy to help you live, love, laugh, learn, and lead.

Tune in the Power Hour every Wednesday from 4-5pm PT/70-8pm ET and join our empowerment party.
For photos, descriptions, links, archives, and more, visit StarStyle Radio.
Get inspired, motivated, and informed with StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®
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Make a donation today to Be the Star You Are!® charity

Cynthia Brian talks about the empowering outreach programs offered by Be the Star You Are!® charity.

Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for July

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Cynthia Brian’s Gardening Guide for July

cynhtia-roses by beach

“All good things are wild and free.” Henry David Thoreau

Summer is here in its full glory with the 4th of July promise of parades, pancake breakfasts, barbecues, fireworks, and family fun. Our dry hills glisten golden while water conservation is the talk of the town.  The warm winter allowed fruit trees to burst into bloom only to have the blossoms knocked to the ground by a late rain.  Ripening fruit is sparse, if nonexistent, except for certain varieties. My experiment of early vegetable planting in April resulted in plants that didn’t survive the acute climate changes. Despite this dismal failure, I’m glad I attempted the unexpected. Next spring I’ll wait until the optimum moment to transplant seedlings. On the positive side, plants that froze have recovered and are thriving. Other than straightforward yard maintenance, July is relatively labor-free since we’ve already done all the really hard work in preparation for the season. Sit on the patio, pour yourself a cold one, and enjoy living in the land of the free.


  • ⎫ RETHINK summer beverages by making your own flavored waters with fruits and herbs from your garden. Add mint, cucumbers, tangerines, basil, and berries to your favorite cocktail for a splash of sunshine. 
  • ⎫ REMOVE your lawn and replace it with an EBMUD sustainable landscape option and you’ll qualify for a rebate of $.50 per square foot of grass removed. Call 866-403-2683 to schedule an appointment.
  • ⎫ CONSERVE moisture by adding 2-3 inches of mulch to your landscape if you haven’t already. Visit www.EBMUD.com for discount coupons on purchasing mulch.
  • ⎫ WATER early in the morning or evening to eliminate evaporation and water deeply yet infrequently. It’s hot and deep watering encourages a deeper root system.
  • ⎫ SOAK tree roots with a deep soaker. While lawns will come back if they are not watered, your trees will die without H20. Buy a deep soaker rod and use it.
  • ⎫ LINGER on a bench at the beach, in your garden, or at the park to enjoy the scenery.
  • ⎫ GROW your own vegetables, fruits, and herbs and be water-wise. Home gardeners use ¼ to 1/8 less water than commercial growers for the same produce.
  • ⎫ ADD straw to beds as an excellent covering that provides a habitat for beneficial microbes while keeping the soil moist
  • ⎫ THIN apricots, peaches, pears, apples, and lemons on your trees to allow for a tastier, larger fruit harvest when ripe.
  • ⎫ PROPAGATE herbs such as lovage and lemon grass and edible flowers like nasturtiums and calendula for a perennial party of exotic flavors.
  • ⎫ INCREASE the amount of sunscreen you use while in the garden. Make sure to re-apply often, wear a hat, and sunglasses to protect your eyes.
  • ⎫ EAT fresh organic eggs as eggs currently sold in supermarkets are nutritionally inferior to eggs produced by hens raised on pasture. Testing has found that, compared to official U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) nutrient data for commercial eggs, eggs from hens raised on pasture contain

1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin, 7 times more beta carotene.

  • ⎫ CLEAR debris, leaves, limbs, dead grass, wood, reeds, and all flammable materials from around the perimeter of your home. Fire danger is high all summer.
  • ⎫ PREPARE to pay more for fresh produce at your local grocer and farmer’s market if you haven’t grown your own.
  • ⎫ SPRINKLE Growstone’s Gnat Nix®, a non-toxic, chemical-free fungus gnat control top dressing made from recycled landfill glass on the surface of your containers and beds to reduce gnats on plants, indoors and out. www.growstone.com.
  • ⎫ VOLUNTEER in a city or community garden even if you are not a gardener. Research indicates that even a little digging in the dirt boosts serotonin levels and decreases depression.
  • ⎫ LEARN from your mistakes. Don’t get frazzled when something you planted doesn’t grow in a particular spot. Plants wither and die. Plant something else.
  • ⎫ CUT back alliums after they are dry to encourage new growth and naturalization.
  • ⎫ CHECK yourself for ticks every time you come in from the outdoors. Ticks will jump on your body during hiking, gardening, or just strolling. (I’ve had four hitchhike so far this season!)
  • ⎫ WALK around your garden daily to observe what is new, what needs attention, and to admire your artistry.
  • ⎫ DECORATE for Independence Day by filling containers with the colors of our flag. Red and white cyclamen, blue lobelia, white perennial alyssum paired with variegated society garlic makes a festive moveable display.
  • ⎫ NAP in the shade. You deserve a break today.

Happy gardening and happy growing!


Cynthia Brian

Independence Day, July Garden Guide, Youth Self-Reliance, Prevent Home Burglaries By Cynthia Brian

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Independence Day, July Garden Guide, Youth Self-Reliance, Prevent Home Burglaries By Cynthia Brian


Welcome to Starstyle®-Be the Star You Are!® with your hosts Cynthia Brian and Heather Brittany on the Voice America Empowerment Channel.  Our goal is to seed, stimulate, and support space for positive, meaningful conversations that will get you talking around the dinner table.

It’s been 239 years since the United States became an independent nation. On July 4th, we celebrate our freedom and democracy. In T42, Cynthia Brian and Heather Brittany highlight the benefits Americans enjoy while flying the red, white, and blue.

Let the fireworks explode!

Gardens are in full bloom everywhere in July. What are some of the tasks you need to accomplish in the summer garden? Goddess garden strolls through the backyard to shovel the dirt.

Fostering self-reliance in children is a balancing act. As a parent you want kids to learn the rules without being a helicopter yet you want them to hone their decision making skills. Tips on how to give kids responsibility from life coach Cynthia Brian.

A home burglary occurs in the U.S. every 13 seconds and only one in four burglars are ever caught. Cynthia Brian shares ways to keep the bad guys at bay for your summer travels.  Listen to the program at the Voice America Network and Listen at Starstyle® Be the Star You Are!® Radio. Buy books by Cynthia Brian

Congrats to everyone who volunteers and supports Be the Star You Are!®. BTSYA has been named a 2014 TOP NON PROFIT for the 6th straight year and is one of the first to be awarded this honor by Guidestar and Great Non Profits.

The award winning positive talk radio program, StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® broadcasts on the Voice America Empowerment Channel LIVE every Wednesday from 4-5pm Pt/7-8pm ET. Cynthia Brian and Heather Brittany are the Mother/Daughter dynamic duo who have been co-hosting this program live weekly since 1998 bringing upbeat, life enhancing conversation to the world. With Cynthia’s expertise in interviewing the trailblazers, authors, and experts and Heather’s healthy living segments, these Goddess Gals are your personal growth coaches helping you to jumpstart your life while igniting your flame of greatness.

Brought to the airwaves under the auspices of the literacy and positive media charity, Be the Star You Are!®,  each program will pump your energy to help you live, love, laugh, learn, and lead.

Previous guests and fans of the program on World Talk Radio will always be able to access the archives at

Tune in the Power Hour every Wednesday from 4-5pm PT/70-8pmET and join our empowerment party.  For photos, descriptions, links, archives, and more!  Get inspired, motivated, and informed with StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!®

Lend us Your Ears!!!  Make a donation today to Be the Star You Are!® charity

If you are a fan of the authors, experts, celebrities, and guests that appear regularly on StarStyle®-Be the Star You Are!® radio, you can now be sure to never miss an episode. Embed this code into your WordPress site or any site and you’ll always have Cynthia Brian, Heather Brittany, and all of your favorite pioneers on the planet at your fingertips.  Upbeat, positive, life-changing talk radio broadcasting live each week since 1998. Lend us Your Ears. We are Starstyle®-Be the Star You Are!®


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