Sunday, March 13, 2011

North Eastern Bound

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Late last week Mr.G finally got his orders on paper YAY!!! In about six weeks we will be hitting the road headed for Newport, Rhode Island. I am so excited to go back to New England words just can not express how happy I am with his orders. Living on Aquidneck Island will be such an interesting experience the area looks beautiful and full of history. I am looking forward to taking the boy's up to Concord so that they can see where Chavi was born and we can visit the Barefoot Books storefront.

I have a lot of planning and sorting to do and not much time to do it in. From the road trip to de-cluttering our home in preparation for the movers to pack it all up. We are headed down to North Carolina first to spend a couple days with my husband's parents so we are taking I-40 across and I -95 up.

I am thinking we will stop at a few of the state parks, the Memphis Childrens Museum, the Parthenon, The National Mall, and what ever else catches our eye along the way. If anyone has some ideas of things to see along I-40 and I-95 please let us know!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

This week my goals are: get through the boy's clothes, toy's, and hopefully get through our little shed. I would like for everything to be done a week before the mover's are scheduled so we can just relax and spend the last few days getting the apartment scrubbed down for the walk through. The list they gave seemed more strident then the walk out for base housing!

What are some tips and tricks you have for moving? Are you a list maker and an organizer or do you fly by the seat of your pants? I am going to try to do this move a lot more organized then I ever have before, so please wish me luck!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Hakarat Hatov - recognition of the good

Today, my hakarat hatov is the joy my children have for life.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Now, I am not sure what is happening in this photo my sister took this. I can see one thing though great fun is being had here by all!

Some days I might wonder why I ever decided I wanted to be a mother. You know, the days where nothing seems to go right. The kids won't stop bickering, dinner gets burnt, homework time was extra special hard, and oh by the way I need three dozen cupcakes by tomorrow and its 8:30 pm. (that's usually when I start humming Rick Recht's Be a  S.T.A.R. to myself!)

Then moments like this happen.

When my children show their sweet, goofy sides, and the times they make me laugh until it hurts (or make my heart grow three sizes bigger with pride). Then I remember "oh yeah, this is why I love my job!" The zrbtt's (if you don't know, then you need some 80's sitcoms in your life!), laughter, mispronounced words, cuddles, and goofiness make this all worth it.

Do you take the time to recognize the hakarat hatov in your life?

I frequently forget to be glad for all the good I do have, all the good others have given me. Way more often, I get wrapped up in what I think I don't have.

That is kind of looking at the world upside down isn't?

*Positive Jewish Living gave me the idea for my blog theme today

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Honey and Egg on my face Part 2

So last night I washed my face all nice and clean with my brand new Honey and African Black Seed soap, and I was ready to begin my adventure into homemade skin care YAY!

The first thing I did was put a kettle on to boil, I wanted to use a warm cloth steam on my pores before slathering egg all over my face. While scrounging through the very many tins and boxes of tea I have I discovered I didn't have any chamomile. I mean come on I have chocolate hazelnut tea but no chamomile how weird is that. So in my not so infinite wisdom, I grabbed what I assumed would be the next best thing, peppermint herbal tea.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

See how pretty and soothing it looks, well we will get to that in just a minute.

While the tea was steeping, I whipped up the facial masque. It was a lot thinner then I expected it to be and of course both the apple cider vinegar, and the bergamot are pretty strong scents. The lemon essential oil covers most of the smell up, or I got used to it pretty fast so by the time I was spreading it on my face it didn't smell bad at all.

Now this is the part of my adventure that I took a wrong turn, yes we are back to the peppermint tea.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I soaked my towel, and had the brilliant idea to pop the tea bags in the freezer to use later. I got the towel all wrung out and put it on my face. This part was nice a little tingly but it was a good tingle nothing in the danger zone. Breathing in the warm peppermint air was very soothing.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It looks sort of gross but don't let the looks fool you, this masque really worked! The masque itself is kind of on the runny side, so I put it on hovering over the bathroom sink to make clean up easier. My cat was very interested in this part, while he frantically licked up any drops that hit the counter.

Then I grabbed my tea bags and headed for the couch to lay down. Now at first the cool tea bags felt heavenly on my puffy over tired eyelids. Then they started to tingle which still was not very troubling but that quickly turned into an "Oh mylanta my eyes are on fire" feeling. I had to take the tea bags off, and make a mental note that peppermint tea no matter how soothing is not very good for the eyes.

The masque itself was very easy to remove with a warm cloth. My skin was a little red but I am not sure if this is from my super smart idea of opening my pores with peppermint oil or from the apple cider vinegar. My skin felt so amazingly soft and young as soon as the masque came off A+ on that. The real treat though was that it helped right away with my cystic acne (that word really is just gross) on my jaw line. I had a largish blemish right in the middle of my chin and right now it is g-o-n-e! As a result of the egg white my skin also feels firmer. I plan on re-trying this facial masque in a couple weeks and also want to try using baking soda to make an exfoliating paste.

This afternoon I told Mr. G "feel my skin, I swear it is as soft as a babies tuches!"

Monday, February 28, 2011

Honey & Egg on my face Part 1

A wonderful lady I know hooked me on this site, Mountain Rose Herbs. I literally must have everything on this site, they have spices, teas, EO's, pretty jars, so many neat and exciting things. This made me want to make something and the easiest thing to make (meaning I can get the supplies fairly cheap) is a homemade facial masque.

After some searching I decided on a honey and egg masque it seems pretty easy. Today I picked up some really raw honey, apple cider vinegar, and lemon EO at The Health Food Center. I could not for the life of me remember the other EO I needed so tomorrow when I go grocery shopping I will pick up the bergamot EO. I also picked up a jar of coconut oil because I thought I needed it, good to have around the house anyway I guess.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

1 egg (use the white for oily skin, the yolk for dry skin, both for combo skin)
1 tsp. honey
1/4 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
1 drop of Lavender EO for dry skin
1 drop of Bergamot EO for oily skin
1 drop of Lemon EO because it smells fresh and clean
put it on a your nice clean face, and leave it for 15-20 minutes, wash off with a warm wet cloth.

For added benefit you could steam your face to open the pores soak a wash cloth in a cup of herbal tea, wring out and lay across your face until it is cool. Not boiling hot you don't want to burn yourself. You could even put the tea bags in the freezer to place over your eyes after you get that masque on!

At this point Mr. G is laughing at me because I plan to put food on my face but I am really interested in ways to care for my skin without the added chemicals. Next time I am going to try the strawberry and yoghurt facial masque that just sounds so yummy!

I already had raw honey but I wanted something that had not had my tea spoon in it, seemed unsanitary. I found a brand called Really Raw Honey and it is amazing it has a lot of texture and chunks (that is a very unappealing word isn't it) in it, smells so nice too.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sucking Lemons

When life hands you lemons then its time to make lemon drops and throw a party!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

I was reading something today that was chock full of bitterness, complaining, and hate. It came as no surprise that the woman hates where she is living, and can find nothing redeeming about the area. It made me think about acceptance, and creating my own joy.

It is no secret that Oklahoma nee the mid-west, is not my favorite place to live. Yet, I have had so much fun here. I may be counting down until the movers come (still no clue when that will actually be that's the Navy for you) but I am enjoying keeping myself busy during the wait. There are many wonderful things to see and do here I end up constantly surprised, and delighted. We also belong to a great Temple (Temple B'Nai Israel) and the kids are all kinds of involved there. We will be sad to leave that.

While I do miss my friends and my family in Tucson, and have not managed to really make a close circle here, but that was my fault I didn't want to make friends only to leave them again so soon.

Whats my point? Well in my life I have found that it is up to me to create my happiness, and that my outside circumstances do not really have to matter. I can choose to be bitter and judge everything that I come across with my negative measure stick or I can look for the holiness (replace with what ever spiritual/scientific phrase that fits your need) in every moment.

Instead of spending the past seven months bemoaning and kvetching every waking moment, I have: explored Oklahoma City, tried new things (Stroller Strides), seen where some of my family came from (and is still buried), along with picking up a few new hobbies. When we leave this place I won't be sad but I will be happy with how I spent my time here and glad for the experience.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thrifty Sunday

This weekend I stopped at my Temple's Sisterhood rummage sale, and scored some cute finds for very little money.

Four things for me $8.00

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Israeli Bowl

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Vintage CorningWare Blue Colonial House pattern

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Trinket Box

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Japanese Creamer

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

A book (dated 1957) for Chavi 50 cents

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

A t-shirt for J-Bird 25 cents ignore the wrinkles please

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Friday, February 18, 2011

Food Friday

A few days ago I shocked my friends by admitting i have never experienced the joy to be found in a bowl of Chicken and Dumplings. Two of my friends were gracious enough to give me their recipes (yay) so I went with the crock pot version because I didn't want to hand cook something I was not even sure I would like.

It starts out kind of looking like a really gross mess.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Then I added in some frozen peas and carrots after the chicken had been bubbling away for about six hours.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

After about an hour (I kept losing track of time what can I say) I added in the dumplings, I cheated and used a can of home-style biscuits. At this point I was pretty skeptical about this cooking venture turning out well.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Oh but wait, this hot mess becomes pure heavan in your bowl, this will most definitely become one of my family's favorite winter meals.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

What's for desert?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Picture Day

This is Mr. Sad Cakes other wise known as our J-Bird

Sad cakes

He was three and one half year old when I took this picture. It was his first real experience at picking pumpkins from the farm. My sweet boy has a diagnosis of sensory processing disorder, food allergies, and asthma at this point in time he was still very withdrawn from the universe around him.

I have so many pictures of Mr. Sad Cakes, no eye contact, no smiles. This was a very bitter sweet time in our lives because he had only just received an official diagnosis. While it was a relief to begin speech therapy, OT, and PT, it was a hard pill to swallow to hear that your child is not NT.


Thanks to early intervention, special needs pre-school, a great ST, a fantastic OT/PT, and a wonderful developmental pediatrician Mr. Sad Cakes has left the building. J-Bird met his IEP goals and has been main-streamed, and while he still has his battles it is amazing at how far he has come. He is such a wonderful little man, and I am so thankful we were blessed with him.

We have no idea the future challenges that J-Bird may encounter, what ever comes though we will continue to face together as a family.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Today I signed the healthy mommy pledge over at Mrs. Muffins blog, I want to make a commitment to being a better example to my children. I hem and haw over the morals/values I teach them, pay money to send them to Sunday Shul, and Hebrew school, we want to give them a strong Jewish identity. Which is all fine and dandy, I think addressing spirituality is important. On the flip side I have not really given much time, or thought to what I am giving them health wise, beyond "take your vitamin it's good for you".


I provide healthy meals but what example do I show them? I think lately in our home there has been lot of do this "because I said so" but my actions don't meet my words. How can I fix this, or set a better example is what I am asking myself this morning. Mr. G and I have already committing to making sure our children will be eating healthy, now what about ourselves? We want our son's to learn healthy habits, feel good about themselves, and to look for mates that value themselves. They can't learn that at school they can only learn it watching Mr. G and myself.

"I will not talk bad about my body, especially in front of my children" I am guilty of this a lot. I know this because I hear my two little boys discussing their weight, and other peoples weight. Chavi points out weight loss infomercials to me, and exercise equipment at the local Target.. They are very zeroed in on weight and it breaks my heart that I taught them how to do that.

Here is the thing, I can tell them until I am blue in the face that they are wonderful just as they are, why on earth  would they believe me when I put myself down in front of them. Parenting is such a sticky wicket! Seeing how learning new habits is super hard, to be mindful of this I am putting it on my bathroom mirror. Hopefully seeing it every morning and evening will help me to be more eye-ware about bad mouthing myself (especially in-front of the children).

Do you show yourself the same consideration and compassion you give to others? We try so hard to be mindful of the others moving across this planet, but often we are just plain hateful to our own being. From the foods and chemicals we put in our body, to the inner voices we give permission to beat us down. I think it is time to tell our inner "Negative Nancy" to sit down and shut up. I may not be happy with my body right now but I can change that. The person that I am is more than the physical shell, and I am wonderful just as is.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


My newest "thing" is mindful cooking, instead of just randomly tossing food together I actually meal/menu plan. Mr. G surprised me with a subscription to Everyday with Rachael Ray , now I have to admit I am not a fan of RR. The magazine is nice though chock full of interesting articles and tasty recipes, so all of the fat none of the annoyingly grating voice. Her mac n' cheese with trees recipe is a huge hit in my home, and I use many of the ideas I find to feed my always hungry family.

I also devour every issue of Everyday Food and am a huge fan of the PBS series with the same name. So let me tell you how excited I was when I saw Lucinda Scala Quinn's newest show on the Hallmark Channel. I can happily say it is one of J-Bird's favorite shows now (and you guessed it one of mine).


This show is amazing LSQ makes homemade cooking look effortless, but the amazing thing is when you follow her lead it really is pretty effortless. Take chicken parmigiana with homemade sauce, I have never made it. I always thought it would be so hard and require hours of cooking. Until the day I saw LSQ make it I thought "Gee even I can do that!" I did and it was SO good.

Thanks to PBS, Hallmark, and some amazing blogs *cough* Chickens in the Road *cough*,  I have discovered the love and joy that can be found working in my  kitchen. Sometimes when I branch out and try a new meal idea it might not always work, sometimes I spectacularly crash and burn. Always though it is a growth experience for me, even when it makes me want to cry. Most times we get lucky, we find a new meal to love, and new tastes are always a welcome adventure in our household.

Where do you find your cooking and baking inspiration from? Are you right this minute trying to sneak new ideas onto your families plates or even your own? Are you mindful in the kitchen or working to be, if not maybe its time to hit Google and get some kitchen inspiration for yourself!

Tonight we are having taco's with homemade salsa and beans, I know I plan to have just as much fun eating it as I will cooking it.

Monday, February 14, 2011

This is not just a test of my emergency broadcast system

I can not think of a better way to show your family love than to announce "no more fast food".

The four year old, J-Bird promptly moans "its no fair Ima!
Husband, Mr.G whimpers "do we have to eat vegetables?"
The eight year old, Chavi is cool with it & will eat anything you put in front of him so he just wants to know "when are we eating" (every 15 seconds).

Seven months ago we moved from Arizona to Oklahoma somehow we fell off the health wagon and landed in the eat only crap wagon. The decline in healthy eating started slowly but as it rolls down hill it is quickly gaining size & momentum. I can kvetch about who, when, how, and why but the short of it is I tossed in the towel.

As we gear up for another move this time all the way back to the north east, I am also gearing up to make some major changes in the way my family is living starting with the foods we eat. More veggies, more fruits, more whole grains, less meat, dairy, and artificial junk.

Yes I said it, adios HFCS and red dye #40. I am also super excited for our move to Rhode Island and have been researching ways to buy local most of the foods we eat. I don't plan on waiting though we can do better right now and I plan on following through.

The real challenge will be trying to get Mr.G to understand that eating foil packets of tuna with ramen noodles and chili powder is not really healthy eating.

...this is an actual emergency so stay tuned for further instructions...