Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Borrowed Thought

Thought I should share with you part of my morning reading...

Moyers: Do you ever have this sense when you are following your bliss, as I have at moments, of being helped by hidden hands?

Campbell: All the time. It is miraculous. I even have a superstition that had grown on me as the result of invisible hands coming all the time - namely, that if you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living, When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don't be afraid, and doors will open where you didn't know they were going to be.

- Josheph Campbell with Bill Moyers, The Power of Myth

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Note Books For Thoughts

I was four (Eli six) when our parents divorced... As my father tried, in his own distant way, to ease our transition into our new, "single parent lifestyle", it was my mother who took on the responsibility of answering questions, coming up with age appropriate explanations, reassuring our souls, and calming our quizzical hearts. Thankfully, We were both very young, and transitioned as swimmingly as one could ask for. The fact of the matter is that our home was never really picturesque, and Dad disappearing for a bit was not out of the norm. Even so, my heart would ache for both of my parents.
Looking back into my vault of memories, I can come up with three major tools that helped with the couping:

1. Hugs from both parents. My young mind could not understand the depths of a divorce, but it could understand the feeling of love... and every hug reminded me that I was. My mother would give us hugs almost every time our paths crossed. She was always a security blanket that keeps you warm...never leaving your side. Dad on the other hand was random, kind of like the jackpot. Only the Lord really knew where he would disappear to, but, what I knew is that he would always come back... Magically appearing at the door. He would bend down low and Eli and I would run into his arms. Hugs from Dad was like filling up at the gas station. Right when I would feel as though I was riding on fumes, he would fill me up, reminding me to keep running strong.

2. Books about divorce. When Mom felt as though her words were not enough, she would buy children's books about divorce. They would help her point penetrate through our questioning brains. We would cuttle together on the couch and she would read books from the library. Than she would sneak in books such as Dinosaur's Divorce (my all time favorite). After, she would let us ask questions, and I would always feel better.

3. Writing in a journal. Yes, I know I was only four years of age, and could not really write out how I was feeling. But I did scribble until it eventually turned into words. I remember dancing around our front porch one morning, and stumbling upon a brand new pink and white journal. We lived in a split (double) house, and the journal was laying on the welcome mat, by the neighbors front door. Innocently, I thought God dropped this little treasure out of the sky for me, never for a moment thinking that maybe it belonged to the neighbor! As time went on, and Eli learned how to write cursive, he would circle the symbols in my scribble that could pass for letters. Soon, I was writing all by myself, and have continuously filled pages, notebooks, post-its and journals to the brim. At times I use words, but when those fail me, I resort back to the comfort of scribble; sometimes scribble make more sense to me than words... for, it is still a comforting outlet and an expression of my thoughts.

I would like to share three of my absolute favorite things in the WORLD:
1. Hugs
2. Books
3. Writing

Funny how life works...

In conclusion, I can say divorce (in my eyes) is just like a rug burn. Yes, it can really hurt. You may bleed a bit and just might be left with a scar, but you will heal in time, and life will go on. Yes, life will go on. Just like any situation, remember to always fill up our tank...for, it's the only was to keep running strong.

The beautiful journals above can be found on ... they are on my ever growing wish list of goodies!!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Oatmeal in the Morning

I could never understand how people wake up and start their day without breakfast in their belly. How do you function without morning nourishment? Better yet, how do you stay alert, calm and content? Personally, without an A.M. meal, I become quite cantankerous (i.e. difficult to deal with). To stave off a bad attitude, my go-to food happens to be a piece of fruit and a bowl of oatmeal. These fiber-rich carbohydrates kick start the day by releasing serotonin (your feel-good chemical). Oatmeal, along with whole grain and whole wheat breads, take longer to break down, leaving your stomach happy and your mind more content. Eat a strong breakfast, and notice your mood boost!

Ideas of what to add to your oats:
  • Dried fruits: cherries, raisins, cranberries, blueberries, apricots, plums
  • Fresh fruits: banana's, apples, figs (yum!), peaches, pears, berries
  • Nut-butters: peanut, almond, cashew
  • Dried nuts: Walnuts, slivered almonds, chopped hazelnuts
  • Crunchy granola (softens a bit and adds a really nice texture)
  • Sweetener: honey, agave, brown rice syrup, molasses
  • Dried Spice: Cinnamon (regular or spicy), nutmeg
  • Pinch of sea salt

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Favorite Radish

Macrobiotics as a concept is something I have been deeply interested in for years. Michio Kushi explains the theory best in her introduction of The Macrobiotic Way (3rd Edition):

"Macrobiotic Theory suggests that sickness and unhappiness are natures's way of urging us to adopt a proper diet and way of life, and that these truobles are unnecessary when we live in harmony with our environment."

When I started my exploration into the world of Macro, I fell in love with the deep beauty and respect given to food, mind and body... Bettering my understanding of appreciation...appreciation for your our health, our body, mind, and our soul...for earth, water, food, and energy. Like most topic's I am passionate about, I could go on talking about macrobiotics until we all reach Neverland. But that is not at all what I want to do at the moment. What I want to do, is tell you about my favorite radish that was introduced to me through the concept of Macrobiotics....strange thing to talk about? Well, only if you want to think about it that way!

Diakon radish was the first vegetable I decided to introduce into my diet when my journey through Macro foods began, and my love for this beautiful radish grows deeper and deeper every time I eat it. Why is diakon so fabulous you ask? I will tell you! Diakon helps our body digest fatty foods. It actually dissolves fatty deposits and mucus that hang around in the body. When eating fatty food (like meat and or fish) adding diakon will actually help your body get rid of unneeded fat. The next time you are making a salad, or want to stir fry some veggies, add diakon into the mix for an easy introduction! Believe me, you will not regret your decision.

P.S. The picture of Diakon (above) was found on an awesome site that you should check out if you have a minute!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Modern Wine Rack

Consolidating clutter is the name of my year long game. Baskets, shelves, drawers and boxes have been a god-sent, but I never could figure out what to do with my extra wine. Modern style is not exactly what I am drawn to, but this wine rack really caught my eye. Also, anything that can be attached to the wall works double duty: 1. storage 2. decoration

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


My wonderful friend Liza and I are moving into a new apartment soon. The apartment is beautiful and we are both excited to make a new home in our favorite city... but... a bit of my heart has been aching a little more than usual lately. When I was a little girl, I continuously told myself that I would live alone like a "big girl" one day. That day came; but, when I moved into my current apartment alone, with so many boxes and very limited space, an overwhelming angst came over me. 'how am I going to make a tiny apartment my warm and loving home, and how do I fit my stuff?'
As time past, clutter became organized, baskets became filled and life became clear once again. It was a years work in progress, but I have 'my space' just the way I like it...and now it's moving time.
At a sad moment, I sat on my bed with Ballou bear and a cup of tea. As I let myself sit in the sadness, a past memory warmly washed through my mind...

(on the telephone with my mother)
Mom: what are we going to do? our beautiful home has been taken from us, and I cannot fight for it any longer. It is just too painful and too hard for me. Are you mad at me?
Me: Mom, a house is just a house. It was a beautiful space because we made it that way. We made that house our home.
Mom: and now it's gone from us and I feel lost.
Me: Do not feel lost Mom. From now on, lets use the term home a bit differently. You will always and forever have a home, because we will always be your children, and we are your matter where we may be standing.
Mom: True, but our old home was my space. It was the longest place I have stayed and lived in in my entire life, and I put my all into it. So much work, so many memories. I wanted to pass it along to another young family, so that they may grow, love and laugh in it.
Me: I know... I did too, but life allows us control on only so much. Sometimes, it is best to let go and let live. Sometimes, the Universe has interesting ways of sharing grace, and allowing for new beginnings. I think it is time for the next chapter. When you stop fighting against the flow of life, the beauty will come naturally. Take a turn on your path my beautiful mama. There are new experiences, new love, exciting adventures and other houses you can proclaim as your home.
Mom: Don't you miss our old home?
Me: Yes, I do miss our old house, but our home is still in my heart.

...And the sadness I was feeling before, washed out of me with the memory. The Universe works in wonderful ways. Maybe that conversation with my mother was not for my mother at all. Maybe that wisdom was actually a glimpse of resolution. And maybe...just maybe, it was a guiding light... shining for me. I have decided to pass it along, just incase it can help guide you.

...Slow down...Remember....Live....Laugh...Love....

Friday, September 10, 2010

Omega 3's

Essential Fatty Acids cannot be made from the body, but are necessary for ones health; hence, essential! We get our Omega's through food. Taking in the recommended amount of EFA's can reduce the risk of Heart problems, elevate energy levels, and boost one's quality of life in general.

Here are some fabulous foods Omega 3's are found in:

  • Canola oil
  • Soybean oil,
  • Flaxseeds
  • Salmon
  • Walnuts
  • Crab
  • Shrimp

Thursday, September 9, 2010


A coworker of mine said one simple phrase to me yesterday that started an avalanche in my mind and heart.... She was smiling and cleaning up her desk, when she looked up and shared with me her thought: "I love being in love, don't you?"... I smiled and laughed at her beautiful acknowledgement of a wonderful feeling. Yes I love being in love...but what am I in love with? once the brainstorming started, I could not stop it from consuming my mind, heart and soul. Here are some of the things that I love being in love with...

Sharing drinks with wonderful friends...

Silly people...



Unconditional love...

The best doggie a girl could ever have...

A fridge full of fresh food...



Dancing my heart out with best friends...
Unique and pure characters...
Mothers and Daugthers...
Get-togethers and reunions...

Concerts in the rain...
Chicago life...

Cleveland's everlasting faith and hope...

What are some of the things you are in love with being in love with?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Summer Veggies with a Twist

Labor Day is around the corner, and the last picnic-weather-days are upon us. As I make my plans for the weekend, I immediately think about what I can create! My daily read through the New York Times gave me a wonderful picnic food idea. Just incase you have not thought ahead on what veggie dish you will be enjoying this Labor Day, I will share mine, in the hope of making your life a little easier and lot more tasty. I hope you enjoy the yummy love! For my fellow Veggie's, Ratatouille can be your main dish, shared perfectly with any grain. For those who like the meat...well, this is just about the most amazing side for any piece of grilled chicken or pork!

Ratatouille (as found on

Like many savory stews, this Ni├žoise classic tastes even better the day after you make it — and it’s great cold as well as hot, which is why I like it for picnics. Make a big pot of it a day or two beforehand, and pack as much as you need. To cut down on oil, I roast the eggplant, instead of frying it in the traditional manner, before combining it with the other vegetables.

1 1/2 pounds eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

3 tablespoons olive oil


3/4 pound (2 medium) onions, thinly sliced

4 to 6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

3/4 pound mixed sweet peppers (red, yellow, green), cut into slices about 3/4 inch wide by 1 1/2 inches long

1 1/4 pounds zucchini, sliced about 1/2 inch thick (if very thick, cut in half lengthwise first)

1 pound tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped

1 bay leaf

1 to 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, or 1/2 to 1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Freshly ground pepper

2 to 4 tablespoons slivered or chopped fresh basil, to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place the cubed eggplant in a large, heavy flameproof casserole. Toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and salt to taste. Place in the hot oven, and roast uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring from time to time until the eggplant is lightly browned and fragrant. Remove the casserole from the oven, cover tightly and allow the eggplant to steam in the hot casserole while you pan-cook the onions, peppers and zucchini.

2. Heat a tablespoon of the remaining oil over medium heat in a large, heavy nonstick skillet. Add the onions. Cook, stirring often, until just about tender, about five minutes. Stir in the peppers and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the peppers have softened and smell fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in half the garlic, and cook for another minute. Season with salt and pepper, and transfer to the casserole with the eggplant. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet, and add the zucchini. Cook, stirring often, until tender but still bright, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining garlic and mix together for a minute until fragrant. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and transfer to the casserole. Add the tomatoes to the casserole along with the bay leaf, thyme, oregano, and more salt and pepper to taste. Toss everything together, and place over medium-low heat. When the vegetables begin to sizzle, cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often, for 30 to 45 minutes until the mixture is juicy and fragrant and the vegetables are thoroughly tender. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve warm or cold, preferably the next day. Stir in the basil shortly before serving.

Yield: Serves six to eight. Advance preparation: Ratatouille keeps well in the refrigerator for about five days. Nutritional information per serving (six servings): 153 calories; 8 grams fat; 1 gramsaturated fat; 0 milligrams cholesterol; 21 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams dietary fiber; 18 milligrams sodium (does not include salt added during preparation); 4 grams protein

Martha Rose Shulman can be reached at Her new book, “Recipes for Health” (Rodale), will be published this week.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Word From Buddha

"One Single Match Can Enlighten The Darkest Corners" -Buddha

Yesterday, I opened a birthday gift sent from a beautiful friend. Inside the package included a miniature gnome, a birthstone charm necklace and a square box of matches. On the top of the match box held the above quote from Buddha. How such simple words can leave imprints on our hearts, shows the unique strength and power of language. We are on this Earth to live out our lives, and we make choices everyday that impact the World around us. The brighter we shine inside, the more light can be shared with others. Let your light shine... enlighten others with the pure beauty of kindness, laughter, compassion and love... and watch your light become contagious.


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