Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Preserving as an act of creativity!!

Preserving = Creativity

Recently I have been focusing much of my time and energy on "preserving the harvest". To me this is a very creative process, where I spend hours searching for recipes, hours picking, pulling and otherwise gleaning produce that I have grown or someone else has grown, then I get down to the process of preserving food.  I feel such a sense of pride when something turns out good and my family and friends enjoy my creations. It really is a beautiful thing to put a seed or start into the ground, spend time watering and caring then gleaning the bounty of the harvest.  I would not say that this is exactly easy to do, at least not when caring for two smallish girls and attempting to keep the house somewhat in order and everyone somewhat happy.  I find it so rewarding when the process is complete that I am full of joy for doing it.
I have become very focused in recent years on the importance of supporting the local economy as much as possible. For my family this has become something that we spend much of our time and energy on.  I feel for the earth every time I see an item that has been shipped across the ocean or across the continent to be on my dinner table that I put much effort into preventing that.  We do eat bananas and citrus that isn't grown in Montana, they are so good it is hard to give them up...
Eventually I would like to glean 90%+ of our food from our regional area.  We are not there yet, at least not during the winter and early spring months.  This is where canning/preserving comes into the picture.  Last year I focused on things like fermenting and dry storage, which by the way did not work out well. We had about 50 pounds of potatoes and 30 pounds of onions rot in our dry storage area because it was so warm in the late fall last year.  This year I have one five gallon bucket full of potatoes and my plan is to get a plastic bin, fill it with sand and put the potatoes in there for the fall and early winter.  Our onions did not grow well this year so we will be getting those from a farm that we purchase a CSA (community support agriculture) from outside of Dixon {County Rail Farm: } I would like to encourage you to look into a CSA in your area if you are not able to grow much produce, it is a great way to support the local economy and farmers while getting quality produce throughout late spring, summer and fall.
This year we have seven smallish organic gardens that we have produced everything from tomatoes, eggplants, tomatillos, zucchini, potatoes, onions, basil, peas, and many other items.  I love gardening and sometime hopefully in the near future we will have a larger space where I can focus my energy on developing into a real hobby farm. I have this reocurring vision during meditations where I am in a field of flowers, vegetables, and herbs and I am standing there with this feeling of peace and joy. It really is a beautiful vision that I know will happen.  Onto how preserving equals creativity for me.
I love to be creative in many ways including sewing, painting, singing, knitting and crochetting, as well as in food art.  The food art is really where I feel a sense of peace, creating dishes that others love and that I love brings about a sense of joy beyond explanation.  When I started preserving food about five years ago, my Husband Alex was the one who really wanted me to get into it.  He grew up in Bulgaria and spend much of his childhood summers helping his fanily preserve the harvest that they grew on their plot of land.  He would often reminise about helping his grandma cook tomato sauce in a cauldron like pot over open flame and how they would preserve hundreds of jars for the family.  I couldn't even imagine this but was excited to begin experimenting.  I was terrified that any wrong move would result in the death or illness of those I loved so was always arguing with Alex about the need to follow all of the directions and make sure all our food was boiled nearly to death... This was before I discovered the art of fermentation and the beauty of new recipes that do not require extensive boiling in the water bath canner. 
The first two years were terribly nerve wracking and not enjoyable.  At that point I decided that I needed to relax a little bit and let go of the terror about preserving.  This is when the real fun began.  I started checking out books from the library and talking to my experienced friends about preserving.  I realized that it is not that difficult it requires a few very important steps like cleanliness and heat, at least where canning is concerned.  I also learned that if something doesn't work out there is no need to freak just throw it out and move along to the next thing...
Last year we decided to try our hand at garlic farming, and I must say it is one of the easiest things to grow that there is, just put it in the soil cover with straw or some other mulch in November, leave it there until high summer, pull it out, hang to dry, and actually hang it to dry do not lay it in your shed to rot... then cut the ends off and put in baskets or some other bags or you could braid it too, then enjoy garlic, which is outrageously expensive like eight dollars a pound or something, for the next six to eight months.
Last year we had a great time with some friends who had an abundance of apples, we rented an apple press a few times and made loads of apple juice to turn into wine and to process for juice.  I also made apple butter, pear butter and some apple sauce too.  I love the apple press it is really great fun and produces the best product you have ever tasted.  Raw apple cider is truly a great pleasure from the earth. I wouldn't recommend drinking a half gallon it will cause a serious belly ache, you have been warned...
This year I have processed about fifteen jars of salsa, twenty jars of cardamom plum jelly/jam, five jars of ketchup, I attempted fermented saurekraut, fermented pickles, and froze about twenty pounds of tomatillos in salsa and raw. I currently have corn to freeze, ten pounds of strawberries to put up, around fifteen pounds of produce for more salsa, basil to turn into pesto, herbs to dry, some apples and pears to be put up in one way or another. 
The ways to utilize fresh produce are varied and really dependent on personal choice.  I think that if you do not know how and have the desire to learn then look into a really great book called Canning for the New Generation by Liana Krissoff, the recipes in there are excellent and there are many varied ways to utilize the fruits of the earth.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Relationships: the value of obedience vs. congruence


The value of obedience vs healthy loving communication


Recently the value of obedience versus healthy loving communication has been firmly rooted in my thinking and thought processess surrounding the girls and my relationship.  Many in my life are convinced that children need to have this instant obedience to pretty much all adults and especially parents.  I have struggled with this line of thinking pretty much continuously for the past almost five years.  This is actually a continuous point of disagreement between Alex and I.  However, for the past couple months I have been focusing my energy on getting the girls to basically do what I tell them the first time I tell them.  This has brought about some incongruence in myself and in our relationship. After a battle tonight over a minor issue I realized that this is not working for us, again  I want to duscuss the idea that parents are smarter and do not make mistakes therefore children should do as they are told :)
I like to encourage the girls to think for themselves. This can be tedious and tiring in the day to day living.  For example tonight, Iz, was taking a bath and I told her there was enough water in the bath and she wanted more.  We had a big blowout and now a few hours after they have fallen asleep and I have talked with a friend and thought about it myself I came to the realization that I was putting the value of following my orders over the value of having a healthy relationship with her tonight again.  As an adult I attempt to stay away from telling others what to do and how to do it.  As an adult I find it very frustrating when others try to tell me what to do and how to do it, and I am constantly striving to encourage other adults to think for themselves and do what work for them.  At least this is what I tell myself...
 I find it very interesting how viewpoints can sway throughout parenting.  I didn't even realize this was an issue before I was a parent. Now it is something I wonder/worry with pretty much every day, sometimes more than once a day.  I really want to focus on having a healthy and strong relationship with my daughters and most of the time I am.  Then there are those days where I forget what I am attempting to do and I think that following orders and obeying me is what is most important.  Its all about love, love for yourself, love for your partner, the love for your children.  This is what I want to focus on love, in all aspects of my life.  
As a child I didn't question whether my parents loved me, I have a very loving and openly affectionate family.  I didnt' realize it might be considered strange to kiss my family on the mouth until I was well into my twenties.  I think this is a blessing, I always knew I was loved and that I was loved unconditionally.  My family is very unusual in many ways.  I guess what I am working with is having a healthy loving relationship with my girls while encouraging them to follow my lead in behavior and do what I "want" them to do. 
This is not a new parenting idea, many of my parent friends talk about this dynamic. The reality I wonder upon is what if what I want them to do and what they want to do is dramatically different, how do we solve that? How does that work out to create a relationship that is loving and accepting and that works for all of us.  In the day to day, that really is what is most important to me, what works for all of us.  I know it doesnt' work for them to have to follow orders all day and not express their free will and desire.  I also know it doesn't work for me to spend all day picking up clothes and putting shoes away, setting the table and listening to yelling and yelling back. This brings us to the minute by minute of whether to put more water into the bathtub and how long is an appropriate amount of time to be taking a bath anyways... 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Children and Innocence

Isyss & Bella, 2012
Children and Innocence
The other day the girlies were outside playing and my neighbor and I were chatting.  I try not to push my ideas about what children should be wearing and should not be wearing onto the girlies, this often leads to periods of naked time.  I think that it is good especially for little girls to run around naked, I think it helps them to feel comfortable with their body.  My neighbor mentioned that her son, who is six, looked over at the house the other day and said "oh, I can't look over there." He wanted to close the windows because my girls were running around naked, this frustrated me.  I said he is too young to be thinking like that and ended the conversation. 

I feel like in this time in the world there is so much pressure for children to grow up and act mature and adultlike.  I find as a parent it is something that is very easy to encourage children to do. Its almost as if their innocence and living in the moment is too much for us parents to handle and we try to squash it as quickly as possible.  I don't know if this is true or not but it is a thought that I am mulling around. This conversation with my neighbor brought up an issue that I have been working on in myself of growing up too soon and feeling like my childlike bliss was not acceptable.

Childhood and Parenting
Recently I have been thinking about my childhood and wondering how it is affecting my parenting and my abilities to understand the girlies.  This came about due to some work that I am doing with Adrienne Elise of the Intuitive Empowerment Institute  I had a session with Adrienne a couple weeks ago where I was exploring a pain that I have been having in my third chakra, the solar plexus, center of self esteem, and empowerment.  This pain has been going on for many years and lately has increased.

Image from

During the session I had a few images from my childhood emerge and they were powerful images from a time in my life that was very difficult and painful. I immediately closed off and did not want to process through the experiences I was having.  I realized, after some thought and discussion with my mom and others, pain from childhood is real and is best to be dealt with as soon as possible. Otherwise it can become this physical issue that can affect the whole of our being and create serious pain and suffering.  I also realized that as parents the best option is to attempt to deal with our own issues when they come up because children are sensitive and often times will take on our pain and suffering because they know nothing else. 

Fruit of Labors
So I ask myself how did I come to this deep topic of discussion from a simple review of a conversation with my neighbor. The reality for me is that everything is interconnected and this conversation with my neighbor brought up some issues that I have been dealing with but didn't realize was affecting my parenting and my daily life.  I attempt to parent in a conscious and aware fashion and often times fail miserably at both.  I want my daughters to be secure in who they are and to walk around naked if they so desire, especially as young girls.  I want to be secure in who I am and to expose myself emotionally and spiritually to myself and others that I so choose.  This is the key I have realized is that in order to be the best parent I can be I must heal myself from the inside out. This is the true struggle for my daily life and parenting is the work on my own inner health.

For many years I thought that the best way to come to a space of health was from the outside looking in.  I thought that if I spent much of my time helping others to be the best they can be that I would automatically become healthier as a byproduct.  Now I realize that this faulty thinking is a problem.  I must work to heal my own wounds from childhood and from past lives in order to be healthy and strong.  This may seem obvious to some but for me it has taken many years  to come to this realization.

How then does this change my daily life and parenting of my two beautiful girls. I have been becoming the person I always wanted, accepting of differences, attempting clarity within myself,
seeing beauty in the pain and the ease of life, wondering, floating through the space time continuum that I have created for myself, grounding in earth power, knowing that I am loved and I love, of myself and those around me, knowing the power I hold within my self to create and to heal with Love, Love, Love

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Changes and the Power of Positivity

Tonight I went to an abundance circle. The concept of an abundance circle is really a great one, it is easier to create abundance in the company of others who are also creating abundance. My focus of abundance is towards our new housing situation, it has become increasing apparent that a housing situation that meets all our needs and is lovely will be a true gift straight from the supreme abundance creator of all. I want to be clear about this I have faith that the perfect house is there and will come to us when the time is just right; the current issue I am having is more related to the timeline that seems to be in the works with our current housing situation as well as other factors of the move. I went down to Moab to visit with family and it was very lovely and really a blessed time for me because of all the stress that is currently piling on due to our housing crunch. I felt like it was the calm before the storm. The storm of coming home to stressed out husband and stressed out environment around the housing of this area. I don't know about you but stress makes me a little crazy and grouchy, which with my husband already being a little *persnickity* we are a real fine combo. So tonight I went to this prosperity circle thinking that I would get some great answers on what direction I need to go in to find this perfect place to live and what I got was a much different response of settle. Someone in the circle pointed out to me that there was three different directions that i spoke of around the idea of settling. This was very thoughtful and helpful for her to point out, the directions from my perspective are 1- settle where you are 2- settle down and wait and 3- settle for something that is not ideal. These are really where we are at in our search at the moment. Alex and I have both spent so much emotional and physical energy looking for just the perfect place to live that we are physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted and we really do need to settle down... It was like the perfect outside perspective we need to calm down in order to get the divine direction that we need in order to allow our perfect place to come into our lives. Adrienne Elise, the organizer extraordinaire of this empowerment circle, stated that in order to prepare ourselves for abundance the goal is to live from a state of already having the abundance then the abundance will come. Its almost like the axiom fake it till you make it. I am going to attempt this and see how it goes. An incredible amount of emotional energy has been spent in this house hunt and house preparation that I now feel like settling is a good idea in the sense of calming down and openning myself up for the perfect place instead of closing down and searching out. What situations have you been in where you have needed to take a step back and take a deep breath for the abundance to come?
Abundance is such an interesting word to me, I have felt for all of my life that my abundance was in the love and caring of an amazing family. My family on both sides, my moms and dads, are truly amazing, the most loving and caring people I have ever met. I always feel like I am so blessed to have such a wonderful family that poverty or lack of money never really bothered me, it seemed like a backburner idea because the love I felt was so much. Tonight during the prosperity circle I felt an abundance of love that I know comes from the love I have felt for my life from my family and this is a true blessing. I know that not everyone feels this way or even has an awesome family like I do. This is the second empowerment/abundance circle that I have been at where I have felt such an overwhelming feeling of love and pure joy. I do not know how to explain it other than its feels so good like my chest will burst with all the love I feel. I have always believed that we can go to the highest peaks from within ourselves and this is really all the proof I need that this is the reality.
As I sign off I want to encourage you to think about what you have in abundance in your life and what you would like to create abundance in your life. My creation right now is to settle down and see the abundance and prosperity I have already in my life. It is there and I need to enjoy it...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Simplification and Organization Continues

Last weekend on Saturday my energy was sky high and I decided to tackle a project that needed to be done but was causing me mental anxiety just thinking about it. The shed is and 8x8' space and up until last weekend I could hardly walk in the door. To say that my husband is unorganized in work areas is a bit of an understatement. His van and the shed were both complete disasters with items pilled high and stacked on top of each other so as not to create any space to move around. So enough complaining about it, last Satrday we took everything out and spread it all over the lawn, then I cleaned the floors and Alex put up more shelving then we carefully went through everything and decided whether it would be donated, recycled or kept, or trashed. The items that we kept were put back in the shed in an organized fashion with like items being together and each main grouping having a shelf or specifi spot. It looks lovely in there now and is so tidy it makes us both feel good.

Last year before winter Alex built a greenhouse for some plants we wanted to continue growing and for this spring. I put all the gardening and lawn tools in the greenhouse, which I think is a much more efficient use of space and time. Now when I want to get into a project in the yard I open the greenhouse and there are all my tools. Its neat and organized.

I have been on an organizing kick lately and I am really enjoying the extra energy that is being paid around the house and yard. It makes me feel so much better to look around and see that things have been paid attention to and are where I want them to be. Before this recent kick I would look around the house and there was tools in the kitchen, living room, bedroom, and pretty much everywhere. Now I look around and all the cds and dvds are in there place, the books of frequent use are on the shelves in the living room. The shelving around the house is organized and not full of random items that I didn't know where else to put. It really feels good to pay some attention and give my mental and physical energy to my space. Now with all that said it looks like we will be moving away from this house and onto new adventures in the next couple months. Its strange because I feel like I finally have the space how I want it and an opportunity came along for us to move that will work out really well for us. Strange how that works?!

I feel like the newly organized space is going to make this move so much simpler and more organized than previous moves. I still have some simplifying to do in a couple more spaces in the house then it will be time to start packing up and moving on.

Do you find that when everything is organized its easier to live in your space? Do you like to move? How often do you move?

We have moved just about once a year since we got married. It gets quite stressful to move so often, I told Alex when we moved to where we are now maybe it would be good if we would stay here for a few years and now we will be moving again in spite of my best efforts. :)

I will really miss this place and our neighbors in particular, we have all developed really great relationships with our neighbors and I am going to really miss them. It is so nice to have neighbors you really like and hope that when you go outside you will see them and have the opportunity to visit.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Past Lives and Paranormal Activity and other strange unseens

When I was pregnant with my Iz, my oldest daughter, I had the opportunity to have a regression, which is basically a way to go back in time and examine your life. During my first regression I was given the opportunity to go back to past lives and to the other side. During these experiences I learned so much about life and the beauty and everlasting nature of the soul and really the overall beauty that is the soul. Last night I was talking with someone about paranormal activity and some experiences this person had with spirits and the fear that can be associated with these interactions. I remembered about a few places my husband and I have lived that had some modicum of paranormal activity. For whatever reason it didn't bother me much, I am not usually afraid by the unknown and am usually more curious. Alex was very bothered in the house we lived in when I was pregnant with Iz. He often felt as though the house was "haunted" and he would experience very bizarre things there. The funny thing about the house is that a previous owner built the house and there was a mycofungi (sp) room in the basement for growing mushrooms. This was our storage area. Alex did not enjoy the basement and would rarely go down there. It didn't usually bother me except on the rare occasion that wierd noises would occur when I was alone in the house. I remember this one dream I had where a man came to visit me and said he lived in the house and was telling me about some experiences he had there. I found that to be very interesting. So all this brings me to my conversation and how fascinating it is that people have such varied perspectives on the spirit world. What are your perspectives on the spirit world? Do you believe in past lives and reincarnation? How do you feel about regression?

Apparently it is very uncommen for pregnant women to have regressions, something about being in the here and now. I felt this deep desire within myself to have a regression and I am so thrilled that I listened as the things I learned during those sessions have helped me in so many ways since having Iz. I was written about in a book by Diane Morrin, the therapist I saw for the past life regressions. One of the things I deeply appreciated about Diane is that she is a trained therapist and she offered hypnotherapy and regression as a method of helping people with the issues they struggle with. She said it is one of the fastest and easiest methods of therapy there is. People usually need about three or four two hour sessions and they are feeling much better. I love that! This was my experience as well.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Simplification continued

Last week my mom was visiting, I forgot how nice it is to have grandma around, the girls are over the moon with Grammy. It truly makes life simpler to have family close. If we could make it work for the longterm we would love it!

Since my mom was in town we decided to take full advantage of her massive organizing and simpliflying skillset to work on the spare room/office. Mom and I cleaned out about fifteen boxes of stuff and organized everything else in the room. The girls have a playroom now and I have a space that is pleasant to work in. It feels so good to have accomplished it. This room has bEn on my list for a long time. I finally decided I wanted to turn it into a playroom for the girls and it has been the bet thing. Every day the girls are in there doing crafts and just in general entertaining themselves. I wonder what took me so long, the freedom I am experiencing is so wonderful! Wow, its amazing what one night can change with the right tools, right people, and the right mindset.

Now, after that room I have a plan for the big bedroom. I am really excited to work on it more, if I can find the time. I have started by getting reid of one dresser, next is some clot diapers and then a few other things and I am ready to start beauitifying! This is my favorite part!

Have you been working on any simplifying?

Monday, January 30, 2012


Yesterday we went "hiking" and sledding. Hiking involved pulling the girls in the sleds up a very steep hill covered with about a foot of snow for approximately twenty minutes. At that point Bells said Mama can we go home and leave those guys (Alex and Iz) here? :) I took that to be a sign it was time to turn around, thankfully. I am so sore this morning I wasn't sure getting up was a possibility ;). Then after Bells was comfortably seated in the car we decided to make a couple runs on the sledding hill. The first run Alex and Iz wrecked and he flew over the top of her, I was talking with my mom and she had to let me go as I was laughing so hard I couldn't breath. It was the funniest thing I have seen in a long time. We took a few more runs then left.

Saturday was the only day of the week I didn't go to the gym. Instead I stayed home to "rest", which actually involved a massive kitchen cleanup and rearrangement. Cleaning out the drawers is next on my simplifying list for the kitchen. Last weekend I went through all the bags of rice and beans, put them into half gallon jars and put them up in the cupboard. I also cleaned out the cupboard of all expired foods and stuff we don't use. It took half of Saturday.

Alex went to the Y with the girls, he worked out then took the girls to something called Family Fun Time. They set up bouncy houses and other play zones for kids and tables and chairs for parents. The girlies said much fun was had!

Before they even got home my friend called to see if I wanted to get coffee with her at the local bakery, The Black Cat. It is so delicioua, I was thrilled to have some time to visit with a friend. I ordered a slice of veggie quiche and a double chocolate macadamia nut espresso cookie! The quiche was very filling and I only ate a bite of the cookie. Although before the hike on Sunday I did finish it off. YUM!!!

What did you do this weekend? Anything out of the ordinary, fun or otherwise pleasure filled?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Real Food Recipe

I have a deep appreciation for Kelly the Kitchen Kop's blog, she hosts a real food wednesday blog thing. I thought it might be fun to post a recipe that my husband taught me how to make. It is a recipe from his mom, she was russian, it is one of my favorites for a quick weekday meal. So here is the recipe-
Cabbage Beef Fry

1 pound ground beef or pork sausage
1 small head organic cabbage (chopped finely)
1-2 carrots (shredded in the pan)
1 can organic tomato sauce (12 or 16ish ounces) or paste with water
Salt and pepper
Balsamic Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar

How I make it:

I get out a large stainless steel pan, heat it empty for a couple minutes on mediumish, add meat and brown partially, then add finely chopped cabbage, mix well and cover for a couple minutes until meat is cooked. Now comes the challenging part, add a can of tomato sauce or tomato paste with some water. Then shred carrot on top, mix well again. Cover again for a few more minutes then add salt and pepper and a splash or two of vinegar to taste. Stir then cover and let cabbage cook a bit. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. This is delicious served hot with some whole grain bread or not.

I usually eat it plain with some sour cream stirred in, the girls like it with bread and sour cream. It is really yummy and takes about 30 to 35 minutes from start to finish!

Let me know if you like this recipe.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Meal Planning?! and other stuff

I have this idea that planning meals is the sign of a very organized and put together household. My household is not organized nor put together therefore planning our meals for a week or so has been a stated goal of mine. I start off really good when I decide to start planning meals then shit hits the fan and it all falls apart after a few days up to a week. Recently I have decided to try a new route to cooking dinners and other meals too. Since starting the weightloss class my time available in the kitchen has been drastically reduced. The first week of the class we ate out, at the local grocery store, more times than I care to recall. So last week something had to change. I cooked one night then the next night we had leftovers and again the third night I cooked then leftovers. By the fifth night I was ready for a change so we ate burritos out. I am trying out giving up bread and some other flourish products so I had a "naked" burrito. It was so good I don't know if I will go back to regular burritos.

For breakfast we pretty much have the same thing everyday eggs, some sort of meat and the girlies and Alex have toast. I have a large mug of steaming hot Tipu's Chai Tea, my absolute favorite beverage of all time, and water too. It gets a little boring around here in the morning. Occasionally Alex will make oatmeal, which in case you were wondering, I do not enjoy AT ALL! I really don't like oatmeal its like sacrilege or something but its not for me. For lunch I will make the girls a pb and homemade jelly sandwich or some soup or ... I really like to eat out for lunch, its terrible in so many ways but I like to go to the local health store and eat a large salad or something from the delicious deli bar. If you live in Missoula you probably know already about the Good Food Store, we spend way too much money there, its awesome!!

This week I am planning on doing the same thing cooking one day eating leftovers the next... I made chili this weekend with properly soaked beans on Sunday and yesterday we had "taco" chili salad. The girlies and Alex were not impressed?! In case you were wondering what a chili taco salad is, I chopped up a bunch of cabbage and lettuce, put a large scoop of chili on top, shredded cheese, homemade salsa, and veganaise because we were out of sour cream. Then I crushed up some tortilla chips on top and wallah!! I thought it was delicious! :)

On a completely different note, last night was the Chinese New Year and the New moon. I don't know if you are into all the astrology/new moon/full moon stuff, I find it fascinating. I love thinking about the gravitational pull of the moon and how it affects the cyclical (sp?) Nature of the world. It seems women in particular are affected by the gravitational pull of the moon. I love to think about how our ancestors were so close to the earth that the women would all cycle around the new moon and were then fertile around the full moon. That is pretty cool stuff energetically. Last night I went to a female empowerment workshop. It was really transformative in my emotional state. I felt so out of control and really pretty rotten yesterday. I went last night. We meditated on the female organs for approximately and hour and a half. Today I feel much refreshed and ready to start the day! I love meditating in a group, especially of all women, it is such a lovely experience emotionally and spiritually.

I know not everyone is into meditating; I really enjoy it and find it to be such a wonderful release from the stresses of life and the human form.

I wanted to make a quick note that I received a sort of interesting comment on my cookware post from a Dupont Teflon representative, she claims that teflon is perfectly safe and that there are no risk factors associated with the use of nonstick cookware. I found this very interesting that someone who represents dupont and teflon products would be bothered enough by my post to write a comment. I appreciate the fact that it takes all types for the world to go round and regardless of whether nonstick cookware is "safe" or not I much prefer the feel and cooking ability of cast iron and stainless steel I do stand behind my previous post about teflon nonstick type cookware I just wanted to reply to the comment here.

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Do you meal plan? How do you do it? Have you ever meditated and what do you like or dislike about it?

Saturday, January 21, 2012


I find that cookware can be a sensitive topic in some households. My favorite cookware is cast iron and when that doesn't seem fitting for the job, stainless steel is my next choice. I was a diehard teflon coated cookware fan for years until I started doing some research when a friend told me teflon is toxic. He told me that when teflon pans start to wear out and flake off it gets in your food and then you eat it. The body doesn't know what to do with teflon and it can cause some serious problems over time. I was so irritated when this friend bought me a stainless steel pan with a lid from the thrift store. Like I said diehard teflon cookware fan! A year or so later I had to replace a couple pans that were wearing out and by this time I was smartening up. I got a stainless steel pan then a cast iron one. Now this brings me to the idea for this post and where it came from. I follow a blog called Kelly the Kitchen Kop and she is hosting a giveaway for a Le Creuset frying pan. I have long coveted Le Creuset cookware however find the $100 to $300 pricetag far above my pricerange. If I could afford it or find it at the thrift store I would love an entire set of Le Creuset cookware. Ahhh, that would be lovely! What kind of cookware do you use? Are you aware of the teflon debate? Any other thoughts on cookware?

Go check out the giveaway, its a great one!

Friday, January 20, 2012


The other day I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Clean, and Rachel was talking about simplifying her life by simplifying and decluttering her home. This really struck a cord with me because lately when I look around my house I see piles and messes all over the place. Some of it is mine and some of it from the other members of my family. I have started going through the girls room, clearing up toys that aren't being played with or are broken and putting up older toys so the new can be thoroughly enjoyed. I have been working on it for a few days and I am starting to notice a difference in the overall feel in there. Next I want to find time to go through clothes and clean those up. The bins are overflowing and it appears as if there are always a few items remaining after the end of a week or so that just sit. I find with my girlies if the clothes are sitting in the drawer and they would rather wear dirty clothes it may be a sign that those items need a new home. I also started working on my own room. I have much work to do in there, not only purging but also cleaning and beautifying. If you go over to Rachels blog she posted about beautifyinh your space after you have purged and cleaned up. This is the step I love the most so often times I like to skip the other two. This is not a good plan in case you were thinking about doing it.

I wrote this post a few weeks ago and never finished it for publishing so figured I would add on the current status of simplyfying. I went through the girlies room and cleared out a large box of toys and it seems more manageable on that front. The clothing is what is next in their room. I cleaned out two drawers of clothes from my drawers and have many to go. I lost a little momentum when I started the weight loss class. It takes up much of my free time and housework and simplifying are taking a back shelf. I feel so good physically and have lost five pounds in two weeks. I have a little over a hundred to lose to five pounds every two weeks is pretty reasonable. I am moderately sore much of the time in my muscles, this feels good for a change. I am tracking my calories on livestrong and its going well there too. I have given up bread so far although not all flour products. That is one mini goal I have is to give up ll flour products for a while and see what happens. I have recently been missing bread so I am looking for a substitute, especially with breakfast, maybe oats. I will keep updates on this aspect of my life on facebook regularly and here when I can.

With the extra time being taken with the class I have been making dinner earlier and falling asleep as soon as I finish with the class and the girlies go to sleep. It is nice in some ways and not so in others. I am much more tired but also more energized. That doesn't make any sense, however it all seems to depend on what I eat during the day. Weird and not so weird?!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012-A New Year-Oh the Possibilities

This morning as I chatted with my hb about the new year he commented that the calendar new year is not that big of a deal. He said nature doesn't start new because it turns January 1st. I agree that nature doesn't start new although usually at this time of year the ground is covered in snow and it is cold and fresh when you head outside. This year however there is minimal snow and it feels like a cold spring dsay out. I like the calender new year and it feels like a perfect opportunity to clean out the old and bring in the new. This year I am starting a weight loss class at the local y. I have wanted to work on this issue I have with eating too much and exercising too little for quite some time so I figured now is a good time to start. The girlies are getting bigger and I need to put a bit of energy back into me.

It seems like being a mother of two young daughters is a full-time plus kind of gig and I really enjoy it much of the time. I also see how easy it is to almost lose a part of yourself that you once had ahold of so tightly. Now I must focus a few moments on this part of myself so I can be an example to myself and my girlies and quite frankly my hb. I am excited to get started. Also nervous as we eat a pretty clean diet with lots of healthy fats and clean food, so counting calories may be a little bit hard for me. I am thinking about ordering the book eat fat lose fat for examples of ways to lose weight without skimping on the fat and good proteins, like eggs and grass fed beef.

My struggle with overweight and eating too much has been a long time one. I used to eat unhealthy foods in unhealthy amounts and now I still struggle with the unhealthy amounts. At one time I was going to overeaters anonymous, trying to figure out how to help myself. I found out that the way to help myself is to learn to control my emotions. I have found this to be a real struggle being home with my girlies and trying to figure out how to be the best moma to them. Of course this internal struggle will not go away with a weight loss class, what I am hoping to find is ways to come to peace. I think my expectations are quite high!

We have been working out two to three times a week since the beginning of October and that has been really great. I am excited for this class because apparently the instructor works on a specific plan for you and helps you to come up with ways to lose weight healthily.I, of course, realize that a six week class will not be the fix to my issues but I think any step up is a step in the right direction.

The other day I was talking to the homeopath about the coming of 2012 and her views on it. She said in paraphrase that anything that has not been beneficial in our lives will become so unbearable that we will be internally bound with a deep desire to change it. This is howi have been feeling for the past month is a deep desire to change some things that are not working for me. One of these is this overweight/overeating issue. There are others too but this one is important in so many ways. I want to be a good example for my girlies, show them how to be healthy emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally. I feel like coming to realizations with this issue will be beneficial in so many ways!

Is there any struggles you have that you are planning to work on as the year begins? Do you have any New Years Resolutions?