Tuesday, December 27, 2011


I am having an inner debate about this blog.
I wonder if I should continue.
I suppose when I started, I did not realize how much I do not know.
I did not realize how truly time consuming it is to maintain a blog. 
So I want to just take a moment to say I am not gone, just on hiatus until I figure out where this space fits in with the rest of my life.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's beginning to {smell} a lot like Christmas!

Oh, man! Not to be weird but: My house smells amazing
The aroma of a fresh cut evergreen alone is wonderful but this potpourri totally brings the eau de Christmas up a notch.
It literally smells like you're living in a giant apple pie... or something...
Hmm, anyway, I just kind of randomly threw things in the pot that I had on hand that also happen to smell nice so here's my recipe but don't go out and buy stuff if you don't have it. {I'll asterisk what is vital to the mix.}

* 3 cinnamon sticks
* 1 TBSP ground cloves (can also use whole cloves)
* at least one citrus fruit, cut or sliced
(I did one cut up lemon & one orange, sliced)
2-3 bay leaves
dash of nutmeg
dash of pumpkin pie spice
a pinch or two of dried lavender flowers
and I can't remember for sure but I think I added a dash of garam masala, too

Add all above ingredients to a sauce pan and cover with cold water.
Bring to a low simmer and continue simmering throughout the day,
adding more water when it gets low.
I used mine for two days before tossing it into the compost pile.

Monday, December 5, 2011

our advent calendar

I'm a little late in posting this, but you can still do this project! Just shorten it by a few days, maybe 12 Days of Christmas-style.
I've never made an advent calendar before but I kept seeing so many great ideas on other blogs & on pinterest.
I knew my four year old would love it too so I figured, why not?
This is such an easy and inexpensive project. I had a friend use her Cricut for the numbers and I found some pretty snowflake stickers to decorate the paper sacks. Each bag has a little activity, treat and/or small gift. Some, such as the bird feeder project contain the supplies needed.
Here are the activities that are in our bags this year... {advent}.
I am so excited about this and five days into it, so is my daughter! Our first activity was dancing around to Christmas music, so after dinner, we lit a candle & shimmied. Now she thinks every bag has a "party".
My hope is that this becomes a tradition of ours. It's a great way to focus on our little family during this otherwise hectic season.

Friday, December 2, 2011

These are a few of my Favorite Things

Ah, to be Oprah. I'm pretty sure if her show was still around, attending one of her Favorite Things episodes would totally make my {100 list}
A new car? Sure! Trip to Australia? Hell yes! Thanks, Oprah, you're the greatest!
One of my favorite home decor blogs, The Nester, is having a link party where we share some of our favorite things {under $30} and here, my dears, are mine:

Avalon Organics Lavender Facial Gel & Daily Moisturizer 
I am religious about my facial cleansing routine and have been using these two products for years. My skin loves them!

No more guessing when a recipe calls for a certain weight of an ingredient. Also, it just looks pretty on my counter. Mine has a red arrow though... yes, it matters.

I don't wash my hair every day and this stuff not only makes it look decent an extra day or so, the tropical scent smells amazing!

Oh, truly this is my obsession. 
And I can't find it in stores anymore. I've settled for plain but I'm so tempted to buy the 24 pack off Amazon!
I love the name and love the color. It's a perfect peachy, gold, pink color. 
I like it year-round but it is especially chic in summer. {I've always wanted to say that!}
It is a splurge for nail polish at $17 a bottle but it's high quality and doesn't chip forever.

Another splurge but this stuff is amazing! A little dab under your eyes and you look way more rested than you are. I have a serious problem with dark circles and this makes a huge difference.

I'm a list girl for sure and I love me a good fine point pen. These don't bleed and the color is nice and dark.

I don't watch tv so I get the entire season from the library and have a marathon.
My husband thinks I'm a crazy person when I watch Community cause I'm laughing so hard I can't breathe half the time. {Ken Jeong is awesome!
And who doesn't want a silly husband like Phil Dunphy?

Starbucks Tall Soy Latte with One Raw Sugar
That's my drink and they make it the best by far. Yum!

The I Ching
A friend gave me this a few years back and it is packed with wisdom. 
You throw 3 coins six times to determine which hexagram to read. Each is about a page and a half and there are 64 possibilities. Each hexagram is ancient Chinese wisdom that "teaches us to be led by our superior qualities." I like to throw a hexagram and read it over my coffee in the morning. 
It is a peaceful way to start the day.

An addiction, an obsession.
But hey, it's free!
And seriously, the creativity of some people is astounding!

Well, there you have it. A few things I can't live without.
What do you love???

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Meal Planning is my Lifesaver

Many years ago I dabbled in meal planning. I'd lovingly pore over my cookbooks and plan on cooking seven! new dinners each week. Inevitably, way too much food ended up going to waste and every meal besides dinner was a crapshoot. It wasn't a very productive habit, nor was it very organized, so eventually, I fizzled out. 
I recently got back in the the game though as part of an overall plan to bring some order and sanity to my life. I decided it would be more efficient to plan all meals and snacks so I would know exactly what to shop for and also so that at say, lunch time, I knew exactly what we'd be having rather than spending an hour staring at my cupboards trying to figure out what I could throw together. 
I plan a week's worth of meals and snacks each Thursday so I am well stocked and prepared at the start of the week. I also use the planner to keep track of my water consumption to make sure I'm guzzlin' throughout the day.
I put together a meal planning template and would like to share it with you...
Use it, love it, change it to fit your needs, whatever... have fun!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

100 list {part two}

A list of things I hope to accomplish in my time on this planet {in no particular order}:

26. help design & build my own home
27. age gracefully
28. learn arabic or turkish
29. be sure of myself
30. inspire someone
31. be a successful blogger
32. win a blog giveaway (3x now!)
33. go skinny dipping
34. go to france
35. go rock climbing
36. see the pyramids
37. create something that will be a family heirloom
38. learn to knit and/or crochet
39. have a {feminine} six pack
40. try AntiGravity yoga
41. do bikarm yoga regularly
42. try ayahuasca
43. see the grand canyon
44. go to an observatory to view the sky
45. visit all fifty states
46. live in an r.v. for a six months to one year while road tripping
47. run at least five miles without stopping
48. write an article for a magazine & have it published
49. visit all seven continents
50. use the i ching every morning

tell me... what's on your list?

Monday, November 28, 2011

get back to to it!

I hope you had a fantastic Thanksgiving among your family & friends!
I certainly did!!
And now, after spending three glorious days in Southern California with my parents and sisters, it's time to get back to work! I admit, I overdid the pie and under-did the exercise (read: not at all) but all is not lost. I think, at least for me, that is one of the biggest dieting pitfalls out there. I make all the right choices for a while but at the first sign of a slip-up, abandon ship! It's easy to start out with good intentions (I packed my running shoes & clothes) but fall to temptation. So rather than let it knock you down, use it to your advantage. Plan for those holiday feasts by working out a little harder those few days leading up to it. Really push yourself so you don't end up feeling guilty for a little indulgence. A treat here and there can be a good thing! So long as you don't turn treats into an all day, everyday kind of habit. Make great dietary choices the rest of the time so you can have an extra slice of your Mom's amazing pie or a few extra Christmas cookies. Start fresh, eat well, work off all that yumminess and watch yourself make progress. Because ultimately, one indulgent meal is not going to derail your efforts, just like one hard as hell workout isn't going to make you lose 5 pounds. Put in the time and you reach your goals, whatever they may be. Just remember to have fun getting there. Enjoy yourself and celebrate your progress!

Friday, November 25, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment}- A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
Inspired by SouleMama

Thursday, November 24, 2011

merci, danke, gracias

:: my loves
::  snacks
:: technology
:: snowy mountains
:: friends
:: warm days in November
:: vacations
:: second chances
:: books on cd
:: coffee

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

do you know the colors?

You will need 
:: one ice cube tray
:: red, yellow & blue food coloring
:: 1-2 droppers

Fill an ice cube tray with H2O.
Add a drop of food coloring (primary colors only) to either 3 or 6 of the compartments.
(I did 2 drops so the yellow was more orange.)
Demonstrate how to add a drop of two colors to the water to create a new color.
Watch your child discover the theory of color!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I should know better.

Apparently I am afraid of structure. I read somewhere that it was good for new bloggers to create and publish their writing schedule, both for themselves and their readers to refer to. How silly of me. Once I did that, I had nothing to write about. 
Obviously I am still going to write about all these topics. But when I say every Monday I will write about such and such, I have nothing to say. Unless of course you want to read the same thing every Monday. (Blah blah, yes, it's going well, this is what I'm doing...) Yeah, I'd get sick of that too. 
So again, my apologies for again writing for a week and then disappearing for another. Let me make it up to you. 

Friday, November 11, 2011

{this moment}

 {this moment}- A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
Inspired by SouleMama

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I am having an existential crisis.

It seems silly to be so influenced by a damn documentary, but I recently watched How the Earth Was Made and ever since I can't stop thinking: what if nothing matters
The film is basically a timeline of the planet's creation and is really quite fascinating.
 Once it reaches present day however, it doesn't stop. 
It continues with predictions of an ice age in so many thousand years and the eventual death of the planet in a few billion. 
Yes, I realize I will be loooong gone at this point but I can't get over the fact that 
no matter what we do, create, think or believe,
 our beloved blue and green will go the way of barren Mars. 
Am I a nihilist?
I just feel like, what's the point? I haven't given up... I plan to live a full life. But still,
 I will die, the Earth will die. 
It's the end beautiful friends...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

being present

With a shocking frequency lately, my daughter's various requests have been met with no/later/in a minute and so on.
Dishes need to be washed, laundry folded, the baby fed... 
I am making time for everything but her.
I've turned down board games, park trips and yes {regretfully}, even cuddles.
I admit, I find sitting on the floor playing trains or dolls a bit tedious but when did a clean sink become a higher priority than cuddles?

Undivided attention and affection are such a basic needs and surely have great impact on our children's lives. Yet how often do we find ourselves too "busy" or simply bored by the idea to spend time with our children.

I fear that one day, my "no" will be the last because she'll never ask me again, having been turned down so many times. Apologies then will be too little, too late. 
The thought literally turns my stomach and aches my heart.

My children awe and inspire me. I have found joy in motherhood... it's where I belong. 
It seems silly that I have to consciously choose to make this effort but I am committing to myself and to my babies to be fully present for them and take the time to truly meet their needs... to quit brushing them aside for another time.
So, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go have a tea party and snuggle my girl.

Monday, November 7, 2011

curiouser and curiouser

It is truly amazing what a little effort and time to nurture self can do.
In the 3 weeks since my weight loss challenge began, I have lost about 5 pounds and gained energy, discipline, strength and motivation.
Rather than start with drastic lifestyle changes that would likely overwhelm and lead to burn-out, I've put my effort toward simple swaps that have had big impact.
I encourage anyone on a weight loss journey to begin their first four weeks with these simple steps
(the hard stuff can come later, once these have become habit):

:: Get some sleep! And be consistent. Try to get to bed and wake up at the same time each day... yes, even on weekends. Learn what your body needs... I shoot for 7 1/2 to 8 hours each night.
:: Plan meals and snacks. Find a free template online or create your own. I plan my week's meals a few days in advance so I'm never caught off guard come meal time.
:: Drink water- I drink at least 60 ounces daily, just shy of one ounce per inch of my height. Drink a glass first thing in the morning and often throughout the day.
:: Eat 'power foods'. I like the Abs Diet list.
:: Eat often. Seems counterintuitive but if you get too hungry, you'll probably overdo it the next time.
:: Take a multivitamin and fish oil. I take mine just before bed so my body can first absorb nutrients from the food I eat throughout the day.
:: Eliminate refined sugar as much as possible. Raw honey, (real) maple syrup, stevia, sucanat and agave are good alternatives.
:: Decrease alcohol consumption.
:: Eliminate temptation. Get rid of the junk food in your cupboards. If you're anything like me, if it's there, you'll eat it.
:: Replace processed foods with whole foods.
:: Remember: this meal is not your last. Learn and listen to your body's fullness cues and stop eating when you're satisfied. There's no need to clear your plate at each meal. Serve yourself less to begin with if you have a hard time throwing away food.
:: Start exercising. Start small and do what you can for now. Remember the hard stuff can come later.
:: Be flexible. Life happens. Plan for slip-ups and changes to your routine. This isn't all or nothing.
:: Be gentle, set goals and remind yourself why you are doing this.

{disclaimer... I am not a professional or expert... this is what has worked for me... I encourage you to do your own research and discuss weight loss and fitness goals with a professional}

Also, tell people about your goal. Spread the word that your are on a path to transform your body and life! If they love you, they'll encourage you, cheer you on and keep you in check when you face temptation or discouragement.


Thursday, November 3, 2011


wow, this has not been my week. I'll be back fresh monday!

Friday, October 28, 2011

{this moment}

 {this moment}- A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
Inspired by SouleMama

Thursday, October 27, 2011

100 list {part one}

A list of things I hope to accomplish in my time on this planet {in no particular order}:

1. learn to surf
2. write a book
3. be an expat
4. participate in a triathlon
5. take a pottery class
6. vote
7. skydive
8. raise honeybees
9. get my nose pierced
11. ride in a hot air balloon
12. be a master gardener
13. pay off a mortgage
14. live debt-free
15. take a pole fitness class
16. own a home & property in Costa Rica
17. swim in an infinity pool
18. earn a bachelor's degree
19. visit 100 countries
20. learn french
21. find my passion
22. own a pair of black Louboutin's
23. own a boutique
25. see whales swimming in the ocean

MIssing entries have been removed because they no longer align with a certain aspect of my life.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

if you've got no money, honey

We are in serious trouble.
And it's all our fault.
We are facing a mountainous $25,000+ in consumer debt, plus a mortgage.
{I haven't actually sat down to get the exact number because truthfully, I'm terrified.}
We have no savings and we live paycheck to paycheck. 
Sound familiar?
Unfortunately, it's about to get worse. My husband starts at a new job Monday. 
It is a fantastic move for us in the long run but for now means a small pay cut and a 40 minute commute (one way).
I don't even know where to start. No wait, that's not true. Even as we struggle to pay our monthly bills, we are still spending frivolously. It's time to cut back. Way back. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

from the library

for the littles
:: Toot & Puddle- Hollie Hobbie
:: Wish You Were Here- Hollie Hobbie
:: You Are My Sunshine- Hollie Hobbie
:: Henry in Love- Peter McCarty
:: The Tiny Seed- Eric Carle
:: Pancakes, Pancakes!- Eric Carle
:: You're All My Favorites- Sam McBratney
:: Guess How Much I Love You- Sam McBratney
:: Gingerbread Baby- Jan Brett
:: The Hat- Jan Brett
:: Ladybug Girl- Jacky Davis & David Soman
:: We Gather Together: Celebrating the Harvest Season- Wendy Pfeffer
:: The Seven Silly Eaters- Mary Ann Heboerman
:: Where the Wild Things Are- Maurice Sendak
:: Pete's a Pizza- William Steig
:: Madlenka- Peter Sis
:: My Garden- Kevin Henkes
:: Zen Shorts- Jon J. Muth
:: Zen Ghosts- Jon J. Muth
:: The Snowy Day- Ezra Jack Keats
:: How to Catch a Star- Oliver Jeffers
:: De Vuelta a Casa- Oliver Jeffers

for me
:: Aleph- Paulo Coelho
:: The Attachment Parenting Book- William & Martha Sears
:: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle- Barbara Kingsolver
:: The Language of Flowers- Vanessa Diffenbaugh
:: Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating- Mark Bittman
:: The Power of Intention- Wayne W. Dyer

Monday, October 24, 2011

bring it

It started in the 5th grade. All around me, girls started growing boobs! Not me though. From there it was my curly hair, my height (or lack thereof), my skin, teeth, and body.
Oh, my body.
I became the Queen of Comparison Shopping.
The "pretty girls" were everything I wasn't
As I entered my teen years, youthful slenderness gave way to feminine curves that I was less than grateful for.
And those boobs I envied back in 5th? I got them... and I hated them.
 At 16, I got a job at an amazing chocolate shop. We were encouraged to eat as much as we wanted so we could describe flavors to the customers.
Luscious caramels, decadent truffles, rich fudge. Heavenly.
 I packed on a good 20 pounds in my first few months there.
The chocolate shop is now years behind me but those twenty pounds, plus some baby weight and some lazy weight, have stuck around. Rather than do anything about them, I've continued with the useless comparison game. Until now.
Screw comparing my body to other women! It's gotten me nowhere.
This body, my body, has grown some amazing babies.
 My breasts have nourished them, my arms have held them.
(They even inherited my curly hair!)
It's high time to show this body some gratitude!
I begin this journey with a challenge, a jumpstart to the real me. By nourishing my own body and exercising its muscles, I will prove myself I care. And in showing my body I appreciate her, I hope to teach my children to love theirs too.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

le premier jour

What a fascinating realm is the World Wide Web, no? Within are countless motivations and inspirations served up alongside a myriad of distraction. I have spent hundreds {thousands?} of hours seeking, browsing and coveting, cataloguing idea after idea... though acting on none. See, I'm lazy. There, I said it! Also, I'm broke. Why am I coming clean, you ask? Simply:: I'm tired. Tired of procrastinating... tired of not progressing.
So, I begin this blog as a quest.
For wisdom, for progress, for happiness.
While I continue to be inspired by others, I hope to become an inspiration myself.
My hope is for this space to evolve as I do.
Join me on this journey of self-discovery!