A Mom's blog about wellness, self-growth, natural living, following passions, spirituality, working from home and family travel. Reviews too! Life's about having fun, learning, exploring and laughing. Thanks for visiting

Tuesday, March 25

Absolutely unacceptable!

An absolute MUST SEE if you have concerns for yourself or your family. The chemicals used in our skin care and many many other products are UNACCEPTABLE!( affiliate link)

Yekra Player

Yekra is a revolutionary new distribution network for feature films.

Unacceptable Levels

Unacceptable Levels examines the results of the chemical revolution of the 1940s through the eyes of affable filmmaker Ed Brown, a father seeking to understand the world in which he and his wife are raising their children. To create this debut documentary, one man and his camera traveled extensively to find and interview top minds in the fields of science, advocacy, and law. Weaving their testimonies into a compelling narrative, Brown presents us with the story of how the chemical revolution brought us to where we are, and of where, if we’re not vigilant, it may take us.



I'm proud that the company I represent- NYR Organic -is taking a stance against gmo's, gmo labeling and uses only safe, effective ingredients.They fully support this movie and Moms across America. See that here

Wednesday, March 12

My top 10 SPRING BEAUTY RENEWAL NECESSITIES from NYR Organic!


There may be SNOW in your area but it's almost SPRING. Spring is a time of renewal-new life- new birth-out with the old-in with the new. It's a time for cleansing and GROWTH, recharging and fresh new attitudes!

NYR can help you make a commitment to healthier holistic living.And get you on the path to a BETTER YOU!   I'm proud to be a part of the company as a Team Leader and Independent Consultant.

Here's my top 10 SPRING BEAUTY RENEWAL NECESSITIES!

1- Get the fantastic and informative HEALING FOODS BOOK and learn healing properties of 175 foods to incorporate into your diet!
2- Get rid of heavy serums and moisturizers and switch to lighter lotions-best selling Frankincense Intense or our amazing Rose line.
3- Revive and relax by the powerful scents nature has provided in the form of essential oils.
4-Scrub and slough off your dry winter skin in the shower with our seaweed salt scrub or our body scrub with dead sea salt. Or our body brush.
5- Toss the old make up and get some light Spring colors- Cosmetics like the beautiful mineral eyeshadows, luscious organic lip glosses and mineral make up made by NYR in gorgeous packaging!
6-Stock up with NYR's herbal remedies for spring and summer woes like burns, scrapes, bug bites and rashes.
7-Help save the Bees while you drench your skin in moisture with NYR's super popular Bee Lovely line.
8- Consider adding vitamins and supplements your body is craving. NYR has supplements, anti oxidant boost, frankincense, and Beauty Boost with none of the nasties like GMO's, fillers, dyes or preservatives.
9- Ditch the deodorants with aluminum and get NYR's deliciously scented safe deodorants, in beautiful classy glassy bottles that you deserve in your bathroom.
10-Consider making a FRESH START into a new part time or full time career of being in the holistic beauty and wellness industry. A simple $99 investment can be one of the best things you do for yourself this Spring!


Wednesday, February 26

Simple Uses for Essential Oils


Essential oils are just amazing in so many ways. The more you learn, the more intrigued you will be to keep using them for their healing benefits as well as the lovely naturally beautiful scents. There are literally hundreds of uses but here's a few simple ways to use EO's  if you are new to them. Pick up a few different ones, like lavender, peppermint, tea tree, orange and grapefruit to get you started. Or consider a blend or a small premixed blend you can carry and just roll onto your skin as needed.

You can massage with a carrier oil mixed with a few drops of essential oil (always follow directions for dilution). Many oils shouldn't be applied topically wihtout being diluted. A good rule of thumb is 10-12 drops of an EO for every ounce (30 mls) of oil. Popular carrier oils are almond oil, coconut oil and grapeseed oils.

Oils can also be used in homemade in cleaners.
Have you made any yet? 
A simple recipe is to use half water and half vinegar in a new standard size spray bottle and and 10-15 drops  of an essential oil or oil blends. Try lavender, lemon, orange or melaleuca (tea tree) oils. These are the ones I use. Many not only smell amazing, but they are antibacterial, anti fungal and anti viral. Not to mention, no chemicals around your family!

How about all purpose disinfecting wipes? Use an old plastic wipe container and add 1 cup water, 2 tbs vinegar, 1/2 tsp mild unscented dish soap and 8 drops of lemon essential oil. SO much safer than chlrox disinfecting wipes! (have you actually READ their label?) Now, cut up an old white pillow case into approx 6 inch squares and add to your mix in the plastic jar and cover tightly. It's a great frugal alternative to paper towels, however you could use sturdy paper towels in there if you want it to be disposable. These are GREAT to bring on vacation too. (Think hotels and rental strollers)

A nice kitchen sink scrub can be made with  1/4 cup baking soda, 1/8 cup vinegar and 5 drops bergamot and 5 drops orange or lemon oil. pour it in, watch it sizzle, scrub and rinse with warm water.

Do you practice yoga? How do you clean your mat? How about a simple spray of 1/8 cup witch hazel and 5 drops of tea tree oil, 5 drops of lavender and 3 drops of eucalyptus in a small travel size spray bottle that you can carry in your gym bag?
Simply spray on mist setting, let air dry 5 minutes and roll up. Kills germs and fungus and freshens the mat nicely! If it's too powerful smelling, halve the drops.


Other ways to freshen your home:

Place a few drops of lavender or peppermint oil ( depends if you want to RELAX or UPLIFT) on a cool light bulb and then turn on.
Place a few drops on a bowl of potpourri to refresh it and scent the rom naturally.
Add essential oils to a bath after the water has stopped running. 8-10 drops will do.
Add 2 or 3 drops to your shower gel as you use it.

Keep your car smelling fresh with a few drops or orange, lemon, bergamot or lavender on a cotton ball placed on your console or cup holder.

A few drops on a cotton ball placed in smelly sneakers works great too.

Increase you energy and focus during a mid afternoon slump by inhaling peppermint or grapefruit or placing a few drops on a cloth or cotton on your desk. If you are stressed, consider lavender instead.

Lavender on a throw pill on your bed at night will help you relax (check first to see if it stains, if so,sprinkle lavender on   potpourri in a small bowl in the bedroom or just on a few cotton balls in a bowl)

Peppermint can help curb your appetite-just sniff a few times when you are hungry in between meals. I DEFINITELY need to do this with Spring and Summer on their way.

You can pick up a great book for under $18 bucks to learn more about over 40 oils including therapeutic properties and uses.


Enjoy! 






Tuesday, January 21

Let's talk SKIN


Can we talk SKIN?
My December and January skin is usually bad bad bad with break outs ,and dullness and just loses it's glow, ya know? Anyone relate? 
Well, thanks to ditching the chemical skin care and going to organic skin care, it's WAY WAY BETTER this year. Not perfect because, well, I have sucky skin. Always wanted those beautiful clear complexions of a super model. Not happening, now in my 40's. 
BUT, and that's a BIG BUT(lol), this year, I am having WAY less break outs and WAY more glow!

My face is not as parched after I wash it :-) and DEFINITELY looks better when I wake up (as I tentatively take that first peek in the mirror) and I'm actually pleasantly surprised each day! And I can see pretty well close up still. 

I like looking good.
Not just "good for her age" good, but good.
and glowy.

That's my catchphrase this year. GLOWY! Makes me think of sunshine and summer and all that brighty whitey glittery magic.  
Wild Rose Beauty Balm is making me glowy for sure. The serums quench the dryness.
Beauty Sleep Concentrate is making me wake up with better skin. 
and Frankincense Intense is helping my wrinkles-yes, I have a lot and they simply mean I laughed a lot- so it's all GOOD! right? Right!

Next time we'll chat dry brushing, or maybe how I'm sleeping BETTER than a baby with lavender essential oil on my pillow. Fancy that!  Oh the fun and learning and RESULTS of being in an organic skin care biz!

Friday, January 3

7 little wellness changes to make for the upcoming year



I think the New Year is a great time to change some habits and to try new things, don't you?
Health and wellness is a top priority on everyone's list!



Here's my top 7 suggestions:

1- Read ALL labels on things you buy. From food to beauty. Choose without GMO's, parabens,chemicals, preservatives, pesticides, msg, dyes, etc.

2- Buy more organic. It doesn't have to be costly- as far as food, you can get store brands or consider Wildtree  for quality healthy foods or Vitacost  As far as skin care, NYR (the company I represent) is comparable to any organic brand and uses safe ingredients with none of the nasties. You can sign up and get a great 25% discount on your orders too. It's all about knowing how to get a good deal.

3- Ditch dryer sheets. I haven't used them in about 7 years. I use dryer balls or NOTHING. yes, nothing. and my clothes don't stick together once they lose that chemical coating from the sheets

4- Incorporate more spices and new veggies into your diet. Explore new tastes and cuisines and get all the health benefits of spices.

5-Practice yoga. and if you can't, or don't want to, at least spend 5 minutes a day in deep stretches, especially in the morning and before bedtime.

6- Add a serum to your skin care if you don't use one already. Skin care works great when layered for multiple benefits and if you live in a cold climate, like me, serums are fantastic in the winter.

7- Buy essential oils if you don't already. Use lavender to relax before bed , or a test, or at work. Mix it with carrier oils for a massage. Mix it with oil and sugar for a great body scrub. Use a dab for tension headaches. Mix it in homemade cleaners or air fresheners. Use peppermint to uplift and get rid of the midday slump. Try peppermint or energizing grapefruit or organge or rosemary in a burner or diffuser. Frankincense mixed with carrier oil on skin. SO many more uses! NYR makes a great book on essential oils so be sure to pick it up as a reference!

Wednesday, January 1

Top 10's and MORE in 2014!

Every new year, I try to pick a "theme" for the upcoming year. You know, a few key words and things to work on to make the year better than ever and to make ME be a better person.


Anyway, so this year's word is MORE


I decided it's a good word for many reasons...mainly, when you do MORE of one thing,particularly something good and improved, then it goes without saying you'll do less of the other thing. Plus I just like the sound of it.

So my top 10 list for 2014 is

1 to LOVE MORE
2 SMILE MORE
3 show MORE GRATITUDE
4 attract MORE ABUNDANCE
5 Exercise MORE
6 Do MORE random acts of kindness
7 Play MORE
8 Travel MORE
9 LAUGH MORE
10 RELAX MORE

See? Isn't that just great? When I focus on doing more , I will definitely improve my days and my relationships, even my income and my fun time.

Speaking of changing attitudes, I usually complain about winter ( who me?) though I am generally a positive person but just not a fan of the cold and being inside, but this year I am trying to focus on the the GOOD things about Winter so I'll make my top 10 list for that too



1 Everything Christmas- from the way my tree makes me smile to Christmas movies to buying gifts to driving around and looking at all the lights and especially the sweet Christmas letters and notes left to Santa :-)
2 Lighting a fire and watching movies with the kids
3 Making soup and chili
4 That anticipation of a big snow storm (I can even smell it, can you?)
5 Cleaning out and starting fresh for the new year
6 Lounging around in my fleece jammies all day
7 Hot Chocolate
8 Indoor waterparks
9 Having more time to read good books
10 Snuggling under blankets with my kids




I'm sure there are plenty more too. And in a few short months, we'll be remembering all the reasons we love Spring. Until then, I'm going to enjoy life MORE!! How about you?



Monday, December 16

The most wonderful time of the year?


Considering this is supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year,” I’m always surprised how frazzled it can get; how rude people can be, how rushed they are, and how some simply don’t take the time or make the effort to savor all the amazing things about this season.
Christmas Tree
So having said that, I made a short “bucket list” of a few things that would add more joy to my Christmas Season, and I hope to yours.

Let the kids stay up late. Relax a bit over the Christmas break and let children enjoy the special times. I get pretty strict about bedtime but I’m going to ease up a bit on non-school nights.
Take a few drives to nowhere.  As in, get in the car and drive around seeing as many Christmas lights and singing as many Christmas songs as you can. Don’t forget the Hot Cocoa and cookies.
Read together. Get a family Christmas book or just an awesome classic story like The Wizard of OzHarry Potter or The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Then grab extra pillows and blankets and take turns reading (if the kids are old enough).
Unplug! There, I’ve said it. But on the Holiday itself, leave the phone in a drawer. Same goes for dinner time, decorating the tree, family movie time and any Christmas event you are at. Give complete attention and savor it.I know it’s not easy, but I shut mine down as often as I can.
Make a new tradition and follow through on old ones, no matter how old the kids get. Ok, maybe when they’re 18 they won’t leave reindeer food anymore (but I will!). Whether it’s leaving the  reindeer food on the front lawn (one of my most treasure memories was dancing around the front lawn a few years ago with my kids, while it flurried on Christmas Eve and sprinkling reindeer food) or baking cookies, or singing together, or family movie nights, do it every single year and enjoy the familiarity of a wonderful family tradition. Priceless!
Do a random act of kindness. Or do many. This year I have donated some items to families with very ill children rather than try to sell them on Facebook pages. I’m making a tray of cookies for a neighbor who I think would love them. I’m being extra kind to cashiers, leaving larger tips, letting drivers merge into the Holiday traffic, saying Merry Christmas to strangers (with a smile!). What can you do to be extra kind today?
Buy 1 unbelievable, I -can’t -believe-you-did-this-gift for someone and make their season a little extra special. I have just the person in mind. Do you?
Have a family campfire. If you don’t have a fire pit, try an old wheelbarrow. Set it out back somewhere safe, bundle up, bring the marshmallows and if it’s snowing lightly, you get bonus points for making amazing family memories with the kids.

Buy a new Christmas ornament whenever you take a trip or day out this season; to the city, to a farm, to a museum, even to the mall. So when it’s hung on the tree, you will all remember just what you were doing and where you were when you got it. Ornaments with meaning are more delightful to hang than plain store bought balls.

Thursday, November 21

Make a Scented Homemade Heated Rice Sock

This is so easy to make and comes in very handy.

A heated rice sock is great for aches and pains of muscle strains, tight neck muscles, cramps,headaches and even just to warm cold hands or feet.

All you need is:
a sock (not too thin)
rice
a rubber band
essential oil ( I used lavender)



Fill the sock with rice using a scoop , funnel or just pour until at least the foot part is filled. You just need to leave a few inches to tie with a rubber band.

Put a rubber band around it.
Place a small bowl of water in the microwave with the sock next to it, so it gets moisture but doesn't get wet.
Heat in microwave about 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 minutes (check to see if it feels comfortable)

Take off the rubber band, add a few drops of essential oil, then place rubber band back on tightly and give rice a kneading to distribute. Done! Not only does it feel so soothing, but smells divine too.




You're an adult and I'm sure I don't need to remind you not to put directly on skin if it's too hot and never to use on babies right?

The heat lasts a while and you can re-heat it over and over! Heck, I think I'm bringing mine out to the car with me on those early morning drives to school when it's 15 degrees out.

Sunday, November 3

Learning more about a GMO free lifestyle?

With all the talk about GMO's, I find it interesting if someone chooses NOT to change their diets and lifestyle even at all, don't you? Even taking baby steps is a step in the right direction. I talk about baby steps all the time because I know for "real" people and busy moms, taking SOME steps, a little at a time, can lead to a bigger change down the road.

The first thing to do is to educate yourself about GMO's. You can learn a lot here at the non gmo project.Then look around for more info that will help you use non GMO's foods and items.

Of course, everything in moderation. So if you are learning more about GMO's  and want to make the move to healthier and organic living, at least buy as many non GMO and organic foods as you can (organic is non gmo)

Just found this book on Amazon and it looks fab! The NON GMO COOKBOOK
"Recipes and advice for a Non GMO lifestyle".







Want to learn more about how foods can HEAL and help your body? yeah, me too. I find that fascinating.
This new book from NYR Organic is selling like crazy. I'm thinking of a few people who may get it as a gift this year too.


As a matter of fact, ALL NYR products are GMO free!

Vitacost is an online store that offers many healthy brands. I've shopped there for years. With the price of gas, sometimes a nice $50 order, with NO shipping, right to your door, is much appreciated by busy moms. And they have very very low prices too.  Here's a $10 coupon 


I blogged about organic living on todaysmama recently too-  Why going organic is not a trend

Confused what to buy? Some brands that have organic and non- GMO products within their line are listed here

Do your best to support them as much as you can. Did you know that not every organic product is more expensive than traditional items?

I buy organic store brands at stores like Stop N Shop and they are actually CHEAPER than some of the garbage out there (think cereals, oatmeal, granola bars, carrots,etc.)
I can get a nice bag of organic apples for 5.99, got a bag of organic carrots just today for 99 cents, on sale from 1.49 and I ALWAYS and only buy store brand or name brand organic cereals and milk since my kids eat a lot of that. Organic "cheerios" are called toasted oats and they are delish! There's organic versions of so many-from granola, to hone bunches of oats to raisin bran. 
Just look around and try them!










Saturday, November 2

Switching to organic skincare? 3 Fabulous serums to try!

As a writer focusing on wellness, I have recently read a lot about skin care ingredients that are questionable or unsafe and the ones that are reported as safe and beneficial.

And as a woman and a Mom, I just like to use more natural and organic products nowadays.

I had no clue, until a few years ago, how many chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis, coming in all forms from inhaling, to eating, to putting on our skin.

So if we can make a safer choice, I'm all for it!

It's all about being an informed consumer and choosing safer ingredients.

I mean, why not right? It just can't hurt

Even if you choose just SOME organic products in your life, it  certainly cuts your chemical exposure.

If you can buy just 15%-25% organic foods, same thing.It's a good start!  This is not our great-grandmother's world. 
This is a world of chemical sprayings and factories. We all know that. 
So making some healthier natural living choices can only be said to improve our health. There are no guarantees it will stave off cancer or other illness but there is proof that eating "bad" and using a lot of chemicals can raise your risk of diseases. When there is a choice, choose natural or organic ( and there are usually choices)

Anyway, I was really reading about oils and other facial serums ( I'm a big fan of serums and oils) and wanted to point out some amazing ingredients and NONE OF THE NASTIES in these.   Here are just 3 of NYR's many facial products You can shop online here


Frankincense oil:
Power -rejuvenating properties to visibly firm skin
contains

bergamot for balancing

myrrh for strengthening and stimulating

macadamia oil for the fatty acids and softening

mandarin oil for toning

baobab oil for antioxidants and omegas 3, 6 and 9

evening primrose oil for skin plumping fatty acids

turmeric extract for brightening and helps even skin tone

frankincense -tightening, toning and reducing wrinkles.

and of course, most are certified organic ingredients too



Brightening Serum (Love this!)
Reduces the appearance of dark spots and creates a luminous flawless-looking complexion:

African star grass to even out skin color and create brightness and radiance as well as fade age spots, freckles and hyper-pigmentation

tara keeps skin hydrated and nourished

alfalfa conditions skin and increases skin metabolism, helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles

vitamin c antioxidant properties, inhibits UV-induced hyper pigmentation, collagen boosting, reduces appearance of wrinkles

raspberry seed oil- contains omegas for skin nutrition and protection, improves softness

turmeric for brightening and adding radiance

white tea to protect and nourish and provide stronger skin structure

aloe vera for healing and moisturizing

glycerin softens and soothes and reduces water loss


Daily Brightening Serum ( Can layer both brightening serums. This one kept my freckles from popping out all summer)
nourishes and corrects for even skin tone and a more luminous complexion

same ingredients as above serum but also with

sodium hyaluronate to boost moisture level and smooth out wrinkles

aloe vera a healing and moisturizing gel which also increases collagen and elastin

sunflower seed oil, antioxidant rich with vitamin E to revitalize and accelerate healing




Learn more  on my NYR site. I'm an independent consultant with this award winning company and love to share!
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Thursday, October 31

Bullies Can Change ~ Guest post by author Maria T. Lennon


Bullies Can Change
Guest post by author Maria T. Lennon


I’ve been doing many school visits to talk about my new book Confessions of a So-Called Middle Child.  The main character, a middle-child by the name of Charlie Cooper, is a tough, often mean, twelve-year-old girl who bullied and pranked her way through elementary school. Until one day her prank went too far and Charlie gets expelled from her elementary school in Malibu. 



Charlie is forced to spend the entire summer seeing a therapist to change her ways. By the end of the summer, all she wants is a fresh start at her new school. The question is, will she get one?

During my school visits I go through a fun presentation and when I’m done, I ask the kids whether or not they think Charlie can change.  I ask these children the question of whether or not bullies can change? We then either do a little writer’s workshop or we just have a group discussion. And this is what I’ve found:
  • Kids are incredibly forgiving.
  • 99% of them think bullies can change by people being nice to them.

Of course, I’m always interested in that one kid who puts his or her hand up and tells me they don’t believe bullies can change.  They usually say: 

  • Bullies usually have bad stuff going on at home and can’t change because it’s their home life that is making them mean.
  • Once you use bully tactics to get your way it’s hard to ever go back.

Kids are so smart. But I always demonstrate to them that life is full of the unexpected. In my novel, Charlie discovers a secret about this horribly bullied girl and it is this secret, which changes Charlie and makes her see that there is so much more than just being popular. And so Charlie changes. Don’t get me wrong, she doesn’t become super sweet or anything, but she becomes better. She does the right thing and not because she’s told to but because she wants to.

The kids I visit at these schools and afterschool programs always ask me why I wrote this book. And I tell them about my own family and the way I saw kids treating each other through their eyes. I have four kids, two boys and two girls. I spend much of my time at schools and see the way girls, in particular, treat each other. I have a middle child who had a tough time at school. It broke my heart to see her bully kids and be bullied by them. So I wanted to write a book about a girl who is a bully and who gets bullied. I wanted it to be funny so that when they’re reading it, they’re laughing and hopefully learning to be kinder at the same time.


Most importantly, I wanted them to see that we all have the capacity to change every day. Labels are a horrible thing. If you label a kid a bully, sometimes they get so used to being defined that they stay that way. They excel there, so why not? If you label a kid a victim, they can also get stuck there. 

Do I think bullies can change? I think they change every day. If they’re allowed to. 


About Maria Lennon:
Maria Lennon is the author of Harper Collin’s newest middle grade series Confessions of a So-Called Middle Child. This newest series to hit shelves is about middle child and reformed bully Charlie Cooper trying to make good on her promises. Hilariously spunky and fresh, this brings "Mean Girls" to the tween level, peppered with snarky comments, major attitude, and advice to spare from Charlie Cooper, whose virtues, flaws, fears promise to hit home among young girls, braving middle school in the 21st century and all the pressures that come with it: popularity, bullying, social media, the list goes on.
Maria’s other works include a screenplay about the Red Brigade which was a third place finalist in Francis Ford Coppola's screenwriter's competition and her first novel, Making it Up as I Go Along (Random House, 2004). 
Today, she lives in Laurel Canyon and has four children. When not driving one of her four children to school or volunteering at school libraries, she can be found sitting in a parked car, a café or a library writing novels, travel articles or just passed out.



For more information about Maria T. Lennon please visit: 

Like Her on Facebook at Maria T Lennon

Follow her on Twitter @Maria_T_Lennon



Monday, October 28

The family that eats together.....


You know, my FB status update the other day made me think about something.

I wrote" I had to go to the store to get soup ingredients today. this weather simply CALLS for soup :-)  french onion for me, chicken to J, noodle for K and chili for T"

Which I'm sure to some people seems ludicrous. Making 4 soups for 4 people? Unheard of in some homes right?

I mean, I grew up eating what Mom made. We all sat together and ate the same meal.That was just the way it was in the 70's. Maybe it's still that way for families. And my family DOES do that very often.
But I am not averse to making an individual meal for a kid. Or heck, even for me. We are all different people and we all have different tastes. While I won't do it every night and certainly not for a "I'm not in the mood for chicken" sort of thing, I will do it based on one simple memory.

I don't like red meat.

And I was forced to eat it as a child. Both my parents are huge red meat eaters. Seafood and red meat. and they are 2 foods I just don't like. And rarely rarely eat.

I remember the disgust I felt at hearing meatloaf was for dinner. Or the smell pot roast (I would pick out the potatoes and carrots-I loved that part of the dinner!)
Or the complete nausea I felt one day when the bus pulled up to my house and I saw a freshly killed deer hanging off a tree in our backyard. Come to think of it, THAT is the ONLY memory I have of ever being on the bus when I lived at that house. Kindergarten through 5th and 1 memory of getting off the bus?
Strong memory.
I don't know WHY I don't like red meat. I just kinda don't.
In my teens and 20's, if I ate a hamburger at a party, it had to be cooked until it resembled a hockey puck. Then it was layered with 4 tomatoes, 3 onions, tons of ketchup and some lettuce so it was barely discernible as meat. My father died when he saw me with it. His was a nice juicy pinkalicious color.

If I HAD to eat meat now, I would. If there's a speck of meat in a sauce on some pasta when I'm at a party, I'm not going to freak out anymore.  And I do eat chicken and turkey occasionally so it's not ALL meat I'm talking about. I'm definitely what they call a "flexitarian" which is a flexible vegetarian.I had a  teeny bite of my son's chili the other day to see if it was OK(my chili was beans only). I like to think that I'm even a flexitarian on a lot of aspects in my life.  Doesn't that sound ideal?

But getting back to tastes, I respect that everyone has different tastes. And as I'm off to make my French Onion Soup now, I know some of you will gag at that thought. Sometimes I add mushrooms to my soup. Other people hate mushrooms. VEGGIE meals just make me drool. Peppers and onions excite me, what can I say?


As long as MY family is at MY table and we are enjoying our meals together, then the family that eats together...is a strong loving unit that can't be broken by individual tastes.

Do you agree or disagree?


Thursday, October 24

While Facebook is like a party, sometimes I don't feel like chatting or listening to the BS a typical party can bring....sometimes I feel like browsing a museum.or someone's kitchen or living room.Or escaping to a beach fantasy on the shores of Greece.
Know what I mean?
Does that even make sense?
I feel like Facebook is the party, whether you are the party animal or the fly on the wall, and Pinterest is the museum, the garden, the beach, the runway, the furniture store, someone's kitchen....

I have to admit, I've become a bit of a Pinterest addict recently. But that is said in a good way. Truth. I've never been a crafter or DIYer but I see possibility on my screen that's just calling my name. I see recipes that I need 15 ingredients I don't have on hand but that I MUST make by next weekend.I see outfits that I go crazy for, kids ideas, and recipes that make me drool.

Tell me, do you think Pinterest is the best thing or what? What have you made or learned? What has inspired you?

Here's my thoughts on the top 6 reasons to be on Pinterest and a great collage my daughter made of our sweet kitties!


Soccer Mom? Damn right! These are the days

Soccer mom. We've all heard that expression. Yet sometimes there's a little smirk when it's said. Oddly. Because after many many years on the soccer field, you can call me a soccer Mom all you want but to me, it's just being a Mom.

The ( most silly) definition of soccer Mom is:

a middle-class suburban mother who spends a great deal of time taking her children to play soccer or engage in other activities.

Really? That's just about EVERY MOM I KNOW! So why do they call it soccer Mom? I'll never know. Sorry baseball mom, lacrosse mom, field hockey mom, track and field mom, football mom and hockey mom. oh, and "other activity"mom too.

I've been involved in soccer with my kids for 7 years now and have 2 sons who play for travel 
teams and the older one also plays for school.

I find NOTHING as exciting as sitting on the sidelines-sweating or freezing my butt off- and watching them play. I don't yell and I'm not a crazed fan.I simply ENJOY.

I love watching them work hard, play hard, enjoy themselves, and interact with team mates.

I love seeing them grow every single year, as a player and how strive to be better each game!

I honestly never thought I'd be so involved with sports. I didn't grow up playing any sports, and my brothers didn't play much, except in the streets.

But wow! Man, this is good stuff. These are the years I will cherish forever and miss like mad one day. These ARE the days my friends!
Luckily, they have many more years of playing so soccer will stay part of this family for years and years.

If your kids play ANY SPORT, I highly recommend you read this article.After all, you don't want to be a "nightmare sports parent", do you?

After every game , I make sure I tell my kids "I loved watching you play today"

Because I did.
  

Thursday, September 26

Easy and healthy ideas to shape up, feel great and have more energy!



Here’s some easy healthy ideas to incorporate into your daily diet.
Add sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or a sprinkling of nuts to salads and pasta salads (yes, they taste fab in the dressing!)
Try roasting vegetables more often. Roasted cauliflower, brussel sprouts,onions, broccoli and sweet potatoes are delicious and have converted even the pickiest of eaters.
Cut your pasta in half by mixing it with veggies.
Eat a rainbow of foods each day- at least 2 each-red, orange, yellow, green ,blue ,purple.Make it like a challenge to yourself.
Make meatless meals several days a week. This is easy for me as a flexitarian (vegetarian who is flexible and will eat meat here and there- for me , it’s chicken or turkey on occasion). Cutting meat usually cuts calories especially when you replace it with healthy grains, veggies or eggs (yes,eggs are healthy-have you heard?)
Get yourself on Pinterest and  search for boards like “healthy foods,” “delicious foods” etc…I am totally blown away with my food board I call “On the Menu” and so far, I have made (and devoured!) at least 15 new dishes that are to die for!
Eat on smaller plates. They fool the eye by looking fuller than they are but usually hold less calories than using a large dinner plate.
Simple ways to add exercise
Recently I’ve read that even 10 minute sessions of exercise work very effectively at raising metabolism. and Guess what? It takes 10 minutes to wait for dinner to cook right? Or wake up 10 minutes early. Do squats while brushing your teeth. Get up at every single commercial break and do jumping jacks and squats and push ups until your show starts again. That’s about 10 minutes for an hour show.
You’ve heard this one but do you do it? I try to (as long as I’m not in a rush) park as far away as you can from stores and work and walk more.
Connect with your family by taking after dinner or daily walks. Go me- I am SO good at this. The dishes can wait but the sunset can’t.  And honestly, I can’t stand doing dishes anyway. Paper plates are my fancy china, ha! Since I live 1/2 mile from the beach, I love to take a nice stroll several nights a week, watch the setting sun and then head home. Usually it’s an hour or more of a walk and not only is it exercise, it’s the BEST family time you will have (leave phones home or in pockets).  How’s this for a view?
We also hit the park often with scooters and bikes- I jog or walk fast while they scoot or ride. It’s fun! What I’ve been wanting to do is get a bike for me. If you live in a bike-able  neighborhood, consider yourself lucky.
Family exercise

No time for the gym but plenty of time for excuses? Buy a few exercise DVD’s or apps and you will always have a “class”ready and waiting. Amazon has them at greatprices.Try Jillian Michaels if you like her. Or the super popular P90X work outs.
Keep flexible by practicing yoga. I’ve been practicing yoga for about 13 years now. There are many styles of yoga and all will keep you supple, while some will burn fat more and others will teach you to relax and de-stress(restorative yoga)but all will help you turn inward, calm down, focus, be aware and work your muscles using your own body as counterweight. Get your starter yoga kit and then grab a few DVD’s. I like Baron Baptiste myself. How about Yoga Journal or Yoga for Beginners?
Got kids? Then dance the night away. No need to hit up the dance clubs (and obviously no time ) so put on those fun DVD’s or wii Just Dance and get the family moving. This is one of my favorite things. I know I look like a total fool but who cares? The family that fools together stays fit together.
Get yourself hand weights if you don’t have any. 20+ years ago I  got certified as an exercise trainer. Though I didn’t work it as a business, I learned a ton about muscles, bodies, exercises and how important it is to keep your metabolism burning calories by building muscle mass. I try to use my weights at least twice a week, but now I am ready for a heavier set of dumbbells or maybe I’ll try kettle balls this time. Any feedback on them? Let me know what works for you to keep the pounds off and in the best shape you can be.
So basically, my point is, do your research when it comes to “diet”plans. Know your foods. Know your limits. Add exercise. Eat less. Eat clean. and ENJOY your meals.
*disclaimer: Make sure you check with YOUR physician before starting any exercise or diet plan.
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