Friday, February 26, 2010

Quirks





Pictures to prove point #13

You want to know what I love the most about myself? I love my strange quirks. I have realized my habits are what make me laugh, cry and scream. I will share with you what some might think are imperfections, but I like calling them quirks...the things I love the most about who I am .. the things I love to hate the most as well.

- I have cried in every movie I have ever watched (I have never seen a scary movie because I do not believe they should exist).
- I cry from warm and fuzzy commercials on a regular bases.
- I am painfully early wherever I go. Just went to the dentist the other week, and arrived an hour early..No matter where I am going, I will be perpetually early, so I walk around in circles until I am on time...I think it's the anxiety in me...
- I am horrid at spelling and still get my there, their and they're mixed up. I now know that I am still very intelligent, whether I learn how to spell well or not (but that took years of convincing).
- I love with absolutely every ounce of my heart, body and soul....I love...that is what I do..that is what I know. Sometimes this is the worst thing that one can possibly do. I love until I am hurt. I love so much..I become blind. I am trying to learn now how to let go...trying to teach my heart that love is not always the answer..not always enough. Love enough to know when to let go.
- I have hairy arms...yes this is an imperfection in western civilization...I have been told by strangers and friends that I need to wax them..but secretly, I love them..yes, I love every hair on my arms.
- I still look up to my sister, and I always will. She has shown me the beauty of family. She has shown me true love. (not really a quirk, but felt like writing that)
- I, like my Grandma Corbett, keep absolutely everything..every wrapper, every ticket stub, every fortune from my fortune cookies...
- I am anal retentive..Freud would have a field day if I was his patient!
- No matter what I am baking, I always think the recipe calls for way to much sugar, and change the amount. This is not a good idea and has rarely worked out well for the taste-buds.. No matter how many times I make this mistake, I never seem to learn.
-When I feel overwhelmed, I immediately remove all of my jewelry. When I have jewelry on + high anxiety, I feel claustrophobic. When I get really anxious, I have to come home and take off everything I am in, wash my face, brush my teeth, and put on loose, beautiful pajama's under an oversized sweater. Do not know how or why I became this way..but this is what makes me immediately feel better.
-I am a health freak who loves candy and tatter tots.
-I pose in front of the mirror on a daily bases...I take pictures of myself and crack up looking at them later...yes, I laugh at my funny faces..
- I bring leg warmers with me every trip I go on. I take off my shoes on car rides and planes, put my leg warmers on, and sit Indian style.

Ok, this is just the tip of the iceberg with me, but I think you get the point. Perfection is in the eye of the beholder...most people would look at these quirks I have and interpret them as problems, but they are just part of what makes me who I am. I wish that everyone could look into themselves, think about all of the quirks that make them whole, and love themselves for those traits and behaviors. In life, there is always something to learn, some way to grow, and some place to reach higher, but do not forget that we first have to love ourselves where we are, before we can love who we become. It is not about our first day of life, or our last final breath...it is what we do in-between.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Power of Pajama's


What would life be like without the comfort of pajamas? Even in the late middle ages, people slept naked. It was only until much later, with advancements in textile production, that nightgowns were mass produced for men. The origins of pajamas are thought to come from India. In the 1800's, Pj's were introduced to western society and slowly moved around the world.

Sleeping is such a powerful part of life. It is when we recharge our beautiful bodies. We should feel fabulous at night, and take some loving time for ourselves. Instead of throwing on an old t-shirt and sweats, buy some nice pajamas. Investing in beautiful pajamas and soft sheets are two things that help me wake up happy and refreshed. When I am upset and feeling really crappy, I come home, put on the prettiest pajamas I own, wash my face, brush my teeth, comb my hair and look into a mirror and say "I Love You" out loud to myself. This ritual has never failed me...I always feel better. All of this may seem silly to some people, but taking the time to look good, especially when others do not see you, brings on a sort of confidence you might not expect. Care about yourself. You are worth it.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mixology




My friends and I went to a bar-tending competition that became more intense than we could have ever imagined. We came in support of a friend. Most of her competition were seemingly normal and could be found at any great local watering hole. However, a few of them were a bit extreme. One woman's outfit looked like she just cracked open a disco ball and jumped right in. As she was "performing", she had the bar turn to music down so that she could serenade us with "dancing queen" (singing the first verse repetitively) the entire time. Next up to bat was a tinted sunglass wearing, miami beach dressing, Aussi wannabe. But, the grand finale was really with the last finalist, who just topped the whole darn show. She was fully dressed in star wars attire, with a decked out posse to help us all get into the galactic-al mood. Yes, Luke Skywalker was battling Darth behind her, and ewokes were running all around us. I have to admit, this was all slightly amusing, until her smoke machine went on overload and filled the bar with cumulus clouds.
In the end, Princess leia's intergalactic martini and Disco fever's purple Pricilla (which tasted way to much like peanut butter and jelly) won the competition, moving on to the next round in New York. I tried the drinks that were created, and I have to say, I think the whole production was rigged. Even though my friend lost, I enjoyed her drink the most. I do not know if it's because she's my friend, or because it's the only drink my taste-buds could comprehend, but I will share it with you, and you can decide if it is a winning combination!

A Summer to Remember

- Place some frozen green and purple grapes at the bottom of your cocktail glass or tumbler.
-Add two parts of your favorite vodka, one part of your favorite chardonnay, and two parts sparkling white wine. If you want to lessen the alcohol a bit, add a flavored sparkling water here instead.
-Mix very well in a shaker over ice. Pour in glass.
- Take more of your frozen grapes and stuff as many as you can onto a small skewer.
- You may want to play with the ingredients a bit, making the combination to your taste. I think this drink is super refreshing, and really easy to sip on.

This drink might have been a little too simple for the bar-tending competition, but I am a firm believer in the beauty of simplicity.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Learning Something New


Knitting...this is what I will be doing for the next month. I have heard, that if you keep your brain active and constantly challenged, you will live a long, healthy, meaningful life. I have decided to pick a new meaningful task and that is to knit...next will be to play guitar, and after that will be to perfect an upside down cake....

I want to be able to knit for family and friends, for my future babies, for anyone who might need a warm scarf in the winter. A woman came to me and offered to teach me how to knit for free, so now we are meeting, and I am happy. I have made a commitment, and am working towards a goal. Let others push you...better yet, push others to be better, stronger, happier...

My advice...do something that you have always wanted to do...take a dance class, painting class, yoga class.....become a runner, a cook, a photographer... just do something new, and you will learn so much more about yourself....I promise. You may feel as thought you are too busy, but we are only as busy as we make ourselves.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Thoughts



When Buddha was around, he said:

"The man of awareness lives in this world like a bee. He never mars the beauty of this world. He lives silently, moves silently. He asks only as much as is needed. His life is simple, it is not complex. He does not gather for tomorrow. The bee never gathers for tomorrow; today is enough unto itself.

Interpreted by: Osho

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Strength In Sight


When my father lost his sight, I often wondered what it was he would miss seeing the most. Would he miss the Cleveland Metro-parks, where he spent so much of his childhood at, or was it the view atop Turtle Mound in Florida, where he went every year with his best friend? Maybe it would be the inside of his favorite church...but I had a feeling he would miss seeing the faces of my brother and I the most.
Our eye sight plays a vital role in how we Interpret life on earth. Yes we see the horror in the world, but we also see the beauty. Flowers and animals, family and nature. Sometimes, even the sight of my sister makes my eyes well with tears of happiness. When I see my brother Eli, I immediately start to smile, and when I see my brother's Mike and Chris, I start to laugh. Sight triggers emotion, and I want to make sure I keep the blessing of my eye sight strong.
Here are some tip's that I live by to keep my beautiful eye's healthy
-Eat foods rich with beta-carotene. These foods convert to Vitamin A in the body.
-Make sure you get enough Vitamin A, because it is vital for proper immune and eye function.

Super Eye Foods
- Carrots, apricots, squash, pumpkin, spinach, watercress, broccoli, blue berries, gogi berries, and peas
-Leafy greens, such as your spinach and even peas have Lutein, known to protect eyes
- Carrots and blue berries have been shown to strengthen night vision

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Vinegar Shot


I am sick today..I think I may have the flu. My voice is gone, throat is scratched out, eyes burn when I close them, my nose is running and stuffy at the same time, I have a fever, headaches come and go, and I am very fatigued..yes, it sounds like the flu all right. Now what to do? I first call me sister for sympathy, which she gives me right away....still I feel like crap. Next I call my mom & she tells me that she is jealous my body has the chance to get all of it's sickness out. I do not think another person in this world would be jealous of someone's cold besides my dear mother.
Talking to other's just makes my throat hurt more, so no more calls. I have decided to hide under my covers today with Ballou. I will wear my fabulous sleeping-eye-mask to block out the gray sky. Most importantly, when I am not sleeping, I will drink plenty of liquids. One magical liquid I will make sure to drink is apple cider vinegar, hot water and honey. To many this sounds crazy, but I grew up on it as a cure-all substance. Once you get over the smell of vinegar, you will probably enjoy the taste! Vinegar is a cleaning agent and that is exactly what it does inside of you. Vinegar cleans, honey preserves, and water hydrates. Try it morning and night for three days and you will be better in no time. I happen to really enjoy the taste and drink it as a tea, but if you use less water, you can take it like a shot in one or two sips. The slight burn on the throat feels great and you will believe in this drinks healing power once you see the fast results!

Apple Cider Vinegar Shot/Tea

Teaspoon to a tablespoon of honey
Half of a cup to a cup of water
Tablespoon to four tablespoons AC vinegar
- heat water. add all three ingredients into favorite mug and stir well.
- drink up! (believe me, it smells way strong, but does not taste as intense)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Power of a Smile


When I was walking Ballou the other day, my thoughts were all in-compassing, and I walked around, lost in a sea made from my own mind. For a split second, I took the time to snap out of my head, and made eye contact with a women walking by me. She smiled at me with such warmth, and I smiled back. No words were used in this moment. None were needed. In that instant, she made whole day better. I felt warmth and love from a stranger who took the time to look at me and give me a real smile. The secret to why this particular smile impacted me so much was the depth of her eyes and the love which shown through. When I walk the streets, no matter where I am going, I try to smile with both my eyes and lips at everyone I see. You never know what kind of impact your smile might have on another beings day.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Best Bouillon


Why is it that chicken stocks and bouillon's are tastier than vegetable stocks? As a vegetarian I battled with this problem and never held it against restaurants or recipes when they choose a meatier base. For me, this problem became a challenge that I was bound to conquer....and finally, I think I did! My vegetable stock is phenomenal (I know it is not ladylike to brag, but it's the truth). So how do you make it?
Well, I keep all of the veggie scraps from previous meals in zip-lock bags, stored in the freezer. When I want to make soup or rice, I take out these veggies and boil them in water. Once boiling, I turn to a simmer and add the secret ingredient...Rapunzel vegan vegetable bouillon!!! I am head over heals in love with the whole Rapunzel bouillon line. The company happens to be sustainable, thoughtful and fabulous. When I fall in love with a product, I always want to know the back story. Rapunzel is a German company that was started by three friends. Their goal was to expand sustainable agriculture while providing healthy food options. Sounds like a company I am proud to buy from! To top it off, the products are amazingly tasty. If you do not have vegetable scraps or stock while you are cooking and still want extra meat-free flavor, just add the vegetable bouillon cube into your liquid base, and I promise the meal will be a success.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Birthing Rights


Last year I saw a documentary that changed my view on childbirth. I can honestly say, this was not a topic I put too much thought into, and always pictured the birth of my babies-to-be in the hospital. Now, I am in love with the idea of home-birth and hope to have the opportunity of experiencing it. Lately I have noticed more and more attention to this topic as well. In Western civilization the majority of births take place in a hospital, and in the States, only a 1/2 of 1 percent of births happen at home, while the exact opposite is true for the rest of the World! When I was very sick, my Dr. was adamant about keeping me out of the hospital. He explained that it was a breeding ground for disease, and not a place for a person with a weak immune system. Now, taking this information into consideration, why in the world would we ever want to give birth to our new-born babies in germ and disease filled infrastructures??HELLO!!! America, it is time we wake up from our urban-modern slumber. I am not pregnant...not even in the realm of thinking about having children...but, that does not mean this situation does not affect me (or all of us for that matter). My sister just had her first child, my godchild, about 14 months ago. I had no idea the implications this beautiful little girl would have on my life. I love her as I have never loved a little baby before and I cannot imagine life without her. I want ever day of her life to be filled with safety, health and love...including her first day on this Earth. If I have these strong feelings for my godchild, I cannot even imagine the amount of love I will have for my own. That is why I am researching more about this topic, and conversing about it with whomever I can find that will humor this conversation. It is so so important that women and men take the time and make their own plan about how they want their child to be born! Take the power and decision back. Please watch "The Business of Being Born"...and form your own opinion! Seriously, you will enjoy this movie no matter how you feel about childbirth.

http://www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com/

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dawes


I came across this band awhile ago and I really enjoy them....I guess one can categorize them as alternative-rocky-folky-chill. They make me smile, and that is how I knew the CD was worth buying. Some people focus on the beat of the music, while others are drawn towards the lyrics. I am a lyric girl...I love words and I believe in the unfathomable power they possess. As you envision the portraits Dawes music is painting, you cannot help but think about life's meaning. As I listen, the songs seem to pick up on the thoughts wrestling around in my heart......"only thing thats scarier than dying is not dying at all, so when i've lost all my control, God will rest my soul" (God Rest My Soul - Dawes).

If your in Chicago, They will be playing at the Double Door on Feb. 16th, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010

Food Journal


Taking responsibility for what we eat. Maybe this is part of the solution to ending obesity in this Country. What if every person had to write in a food journal after they ate? Would you still eat that extra slice of pizza? Would you want more potato chips?
I know that I am accountable to my journal and my body. Writing everyday takes practice, and sometimes I feel as though I can stop for awhile, but I have always gone back to tracking what I eat. For me, it is built in responsibility. Sure, I am the only one who reads my food journal, but it does help curb my snacking decisions. Sometimes, I will eat something and not want to put it in, or down play how much I had. When this happens, I have reinforced this as a bad decision by thinking about it again and writing it down. Typically, I think twice and show better control when the situation arises again. On the other hand, when I eat healthy, I am excited to write the entree and feel even better about myself and my choices. Try it for a month and see if it helps you...not just to loose weight, but to eat healthy. My reason for journaling was to figure out what vitamins I should be supplementing. I got tired of constantly asking myself, "do I get my daily amount of vitamin D from food, or do I need more?". At the end of the week, I take an assessment of all I have consumed and set a new goal for the next seven days, such as, lower my sugar intake, eat more veggies. If you need more structure, free food logs can be found online at websites such as:
tp://www.personal-nutrition-guide.com/weekly-food-diary.html

Friday, February 5, 2010

A+ Herb Pot


Is there any smell better than fresh herbs? Maybe fresh flowers, but really not much else. It is easy to pass on culinary herbs, but why? They are so tasty and so good for you. Did you know that Basil aids in digestion, and helps alleviate headaches? Or that Dill is shown to have an anticancer affect? Herbs not only taste wonderful, but they actually improve our health and vitality. I live in a tiny little apartment with no yard, porch or windowsills to grow my own herb garden. For now, I have to buy my herbs from a grocery store and hope I use them before they go south. My tricks to use up one's extra herbs is to chop them up and mix them in with your butter or olive oil, sprinkle them on a salad, turn them into a pesto and freeze, or make a stock. When I am cutting my veggies for whatever I am about to cook, I always save the parts I cut off and freeze them in a zip-lock bag. With the frozen veggies and my left over herbs, I make my vegetable stock. This way I have less waste, and a tasty liquid alternative to use while cooking. Use homemade vegetable stock as a substitute for water when you make rice next and your taste buds will thank you!

Above is an herb pot from DWR.com that will help herbs stay fresher longer as well. ($30.00)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Pillow Talk



Lately I have been trying to be cognizant of everything I take for granted. For example, every night I go to sleep in my bed, and have a pillow that keeps my head comfortable. Have I ever stopped to say thanks for that pillow? No. So now, before I get out of bed, I think about how wonderful it was to sleep on my pillow, and to have clean sheets and pillow cases. This sounds funny...believe me, the first time I tried it, I was like "thanks a lot pillow"... but I knew that if I did not really put my heart into this idea, no matter how strange it sounds, I wouldn't get anything out of it. When I give thanks to my fabulous pillow and comfortable bed for my past nights rest, I get out of bed with a smile already on my face. Try it and tell me what you think.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Best Bowls


The last time I decided to bake cookies in my itsy-bitsy kitchen, I found the biggest bowl I owned, plopped in all of the fabulous ingredients, and started mixing. Unfortunately, the ingredients went flying through the air and all over my apartment as soon as I turned on my electric beaters. I tried to stop before I lost too much, but to no avail. I was too late. Naturally, my reaction was to start crying, slide to the floor and wrap my short little arms around my knees. After giving myself a minute-long pity party, I got up, brushed off my frustration, and mixed what was left with my hands... for they were the only tool that I could trust at that time. After this horrid cookie making situation, I started day dreaming about extra large mixing bowls. Weeks later I was over a family friends house baking cookies with her little girls. I have decided that she has the absolute best mixing bowls in the entire world. I am so serious about this! The biggest bowl is big enough to stop any splatter from even starting, and the other bowls work really well for everything else in the kitchen. They are not microwave safe, but I do not own/believe in using microwaves, so that is cool with me. If they were not $75.00 ($70.00 on Amazon) I would have gotten them already. Instead, I just stare at them online with longing. If you are into baking/cooking, you should really invest in these fabulously color-forward bowls...so amazing..really.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Full Circle



Everyday, I am in the kitchen cooking. I love food, and I love to cook. For me, food preparation is a form of meditation. Having the ability to eat healthy and healing food reminds me that I am very blessed. Only problem...after the beautiful meal comes... the dishes. This is defiantly not my favorite choir to do.
Why? Because sponges tend to gross me out...talk about a power house of germs...yuck. Oh, you say just throw out your sponges regularly? well, I am really not into being that wasteful...catch 22...I know.. UNTIL I found scrubbers from a website called full circle home. These brushes or bristles are designed to stay off the counter, which allows less time for bacteria to fester. Further, the sponges are biodegradable! So fabulous. Now you can actually know your cleaning and not just spreading germs.

www.fullcirclehome.com

Monday, February 1, 2010

Feeling Heaven's Womb



About four years ago, I was baby-sitting for a family that had twin girls. They were very nice girls, but what I remember with vivid clarity is the baby blankets they both dragged in-tow. These blankets were made from the softest material I have ever felt in my entire life.....I mean melted butter, silk and fluff..... If you stuck your hand straight up into heavens womb, you would be feeling these blankets. I want the larger version of this blanket so badly, and I know someday I will find just the right reason to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a blanket. Little Giraffe Extra Large Throw, you will be mine someday!

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