Friday, August 31, 2007

I'm convinced-Money is a woman!

Their powers of persuasion are just too alike not to be that way!

I had been down several months about my expanding waistline, despite my best eating efforts. Metabolism can be such a wicked step-sister! I had even gone as far as starting to RUN (so not me) just to make a difference.

Not only did I fall off all the wagons, I got lost on the trail.

It is amazing what a little $$$ will do to persuade a person to fill in the rest-whatever!

I still have 2 more days before our next weigh-in but I think it has been a fairly good first week. I won't go into details about how much weight I may or may not have lost since some of my competition frequents here :), but here is a sketch of how it has gone.

Eating- portion control, better food choices, not eating after 8pm. I did have some queso and 3 flour tortillas on Wednesday, but I only ate a specific amount of queso. Ok, I did also eating about 20 MM's that day too, but it is that time and a girl can only have so much self-control when her body is screaming.

Drinking- oh, how I wanted too! Wait, not that kind of drink! Seriously, lots more water and lots of cherry/pomegranate green tea. I still need to do better here. I even suffered through less junk in coffee :( I actually measured out how much creamer, chocolate, and cinnamon I put in-drats!

Supplements- much better this week. I done most mornings and few evenings.

Exercise- So, that is how people lose weight! The kids and I have worked out with Billy Blanks twice, I took a couple of walks, did sit-ups, push-ups. But the best was the tae bo-like moves and lunges I did for the world while the kids rode their bikes in the circle drive. Whatever it takes, right? But let me just say, that sitting and moving on my dierre was quite unpleasant starting around 5pm yesterday! Seriously, can 20 lunges for each leg make that much damage! Ouch!

Sleep- I am trying. Really, I am! I have gone to bed at 11:30 once, 12 twice (ok, OK, maybe one night it was 12:05, but it is entirely YOUR fault! More on that another time!), and even snuck in a 10:30 pm to 7 am in there. Wow, rest-what a novel idea!

Two more days left in Week 1 of our 12-week challenge! I will update you on my progress on Monday.

Oh, and, just in case some of you are considering a reference to money also being the root of all evil....

as my 5 year old says,

"Don't even think about it!"

We women have to stick together!


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I am, um, shockingly (almost!) speechless

"This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you've been awarded please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award."

If you lurk around very many blogs for too long, you do start to notice the love being passed around. And, you do start to wonder, what if....? But in the end, I truly hope that I never share, be it words or pictures, just for a little extra glory. I hope you feel you got what you came for and some days maybe a little blessed.

You certainly do that for me.

My new friend Kimmy shocked me with this the other day! It has been so fun to get to know about her, her life, her heart. I bet she would be a fun gal pal in real world!!

Now for the fun, albeit VERY HARD part of making some decisions. I can't even tell you how many people I check on every day or so; they are listed on my computers "favorites" right now until I can find time to put them on my sidebar or tell you about them in a post.

However, I would like to bestow this honor to:

Jennifer ~ It is funny to be someone's friend in both real and blog life. Although I pretty much know her life in real time, it is always great to catch another side of it. She deserves this award in both worlds! She is also in the running for my #1 commenter- is there an award for that?

Jennifer O ~ You can tell she has a heart for her family and her friends. Always a cute story about the boys. She is a dedicated commenter as well!

Jenna ~ She may be a 3rd generation friend, but I can just bet that she would be available in real world time if I needed her. I admire her supermom ability with 4 boys-that family has fun!

Kelli ~ We are both Oklahoma/Texas transplants and just saving each other's spots in our respective states (Go Sooners!!!). She is as funny and down-to-earth on the phone as you get from her blog. I hope to meet her soon!

Sarah ~ She was one of my winner's but now I get the privilege of keeping up with her life since I "know" her! She seems to have such a sweet and beautiful spirit. One of her latest offerings was good for me to read.

MommyZab or Not China Made ~ I have not had a chance to dig deep into her personal blog site, but I am so impressed with and inspired by her new site that I just wanted her to know how much she was appreciated. She is doing a good thing and I hope you go check her out.

Rachel ~ You may know her better as Hannah's mommy. If you have not heard Hannah's story or keep up with their life, I encourage you to go and be blessed. I am not saying you won't shed a tear and that you won't want to just reach through the computer and give a mom-to-mom hug, but no matter what, you WILL BE BLESSED! Go give her some love.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Because I want you to know the real me!

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

Whatever happened to the days when people would wear the same clothes several days in a row? Really! I say we revitalize that tradition!

It is not that I LOVE keeping up the house and all, but I LEAST LOVE household duties that involve too many steps to be completed. Grocery shopping and what I will present to you today as Exhibit L.

For Laundry.

Seriously, I should have taken pics of my piles of laundry prior to going through the "process". You know. Gather. Sort. Wash. Dry. Fold. Put away. Iron. Repeat. However, I am going to share with you what haunts me EVERY.SINGLE.DAY!

Not only do you see my two ironing piles, but I threw in a few towels and rugs to be folded just for good measure!

Shirt pile

Pants/shorts/dresses pile

I can get the other parts done in some kind of timely manner, but ironing, well here is the irony of it all.

I LOVE ironed clothes. It just makes me feel put together. And yes, I know about the stuff you can spray on clothes. I know about running them on the fluff cycle and then catching them fresh from the dryer. But honestly, I just don't do it. And if I used that method, our clothes would all be too small in about two laundry cycles!

And because I am a pile-maker/organizer, of course, separating them into respectable piles makes me feel like I have accomplished something. Some days I will even "straighten" the piles and consider it a good day! Curtis has resigned himself to ironing his 5 outfits for the week on Sunday. I basically live on the edge day to day.

About once a month, I will muster enough energy to just go for it. I spend several hours at least getting his pants, shorts, and shirts all ironed. Of course, by that time, I am too worn out to get to mine.

Well, it has been awhile, but since I know myself, the best I can do is promise to have it tackled by next Tuesday!

I do keep the room clean and neat otherwise.

I really have just come to appreciate my two piles as wonderful accent pieces!


p.s. you are in for a real treat with next week's tackle!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Weight Is Over!

Today is the last day.

For not eating more balanced meals during the day.
(I am bad about starving or binging.)

For not exercising.
(I fell off my runner's schedule & Billy is dusty.)

For not taking my supplements consistently.
(I remember about 50% of the time.)

For not drinking more good fluids during the day.
(I am horrible at this.)

For not going to bed before midnight.
(I can't even explain how hard this one will be.)

I have many, many more habits I need to re-establish for myself, but I will start with these because they will directly impact my ability to lose weight and get in shape.

And that is important because I am heading up a little weight-loss challenge at my church starting tomorrow. So far, there are 10 of us participating. We are the Weight-Loss Warriors and together will begin a 12-week challenge to see who can lose the most weight each week.

Here is how it will work for us in case you want to try it with some of your buddies.
(If you want more details, just email me for the flyer I made up.)

* Weigh-in each Sunday morning at church.
* Pay your $5 each Sunday.
* Provide your "tip of the week" to be shared with all.
* We have a gal at church who is a personal trainer who is also going to be taking our body fat measurements once a month for the 3 months.
* Every Monday, I email the Warriors with the winner and 1st runner-up. The winner wins the loot for the week and the 1st runner-up doesn't have to pay the following week. I will also email everyone's weight-loss, the tips, and a bible verse of encouragement for the week.
* After we are all done, we are going to have a celebration!

I am excited! I think this will help all of us stay committed to improving our health overall. What is even neater is that we have a good mix of participants. We all know each other and several of us do know each other better than others. I think this will be a nice way to create new relationships that are encouraging and supportive.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to go get started on the last supper.

I have a whole container of guacamole, several helpings of queso and chips (not the wimpy baked things that are good for ya either!), and possibly even a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies to devour before tomorrow at 8:45 am!!

You think I am kidding!

But I am not!

(the old version!)

Friday, August 24, 2007

His mother's son and other various summer ramblings

Well, as you will see below in several of the pictures, Luke has had some restless nights this last week or so. When it happened last week, I was shocked that he was still functioning at almost MIDNIGHT!


After I left him almost asleep in his bed, or so I thought, I probably had to go back 10 times before he finally passed out. He tested the lights in his room, played with his toys, read some books, sang some songs, tried on some clothes, came to check in with me several times, you name it.

Different week, same story.

He seemed to finally settled down after awhile. I just ignored him as long as he was not waking up his sister. And he did try! So after it got quiet, I went to check on him and found the following. Sorry for the poor quality. I turned on the lights, but it was still hazy.

Guess I can't blame his insomnia or desire to stay up late. He comes by it honestly!

the crash

this doesn't look comfortable

i love little feet

dreaming of food no doubt

I went to straighten his bed before picking him up off the floor and found this! Apparently, he got hungry for a late-night snack while I was ignoring him!

the remains

saving some for later


The kids have had a chance to go to the pool quite a bit this summer. We are lucky to have 5 different pools in our large extended neighborhood. One has a slide, another some things for the kids to play with, and the other 3 are simple pools with baby pools included. Both kids had swim lessons this summer. Anysa really rocked. She is a fish by nature and did well enough to make me nervous after last year's lessons. This year, she learned so much and I was amazed at her ability to do both a front and a back stroke, as well as swim for so long under water. Last year, I had to be with Luke throughout his entire lessons. This year, he had to go it alone with our teacher. We weren't without tears at almost every lesson, but we made it and as I expected, now that lessons are over, he has suddenly discovered his bravery. He will go under (as long as he can touch the bottom and simply go under and stand up) and is even using his boogie board out in the water by himself. We had 1:1 lessons at our own pools with our same gal as last year. She is just great with kids of all kinds!

A couple of weeks ago, Luke was mesmerized by some older women at the pool. You know, 12 year old girls are fascinating. Anyway, they were playing in the smaller pool and were being nice to Luke so he started flirting with them. I know they were impressed with his ability to jump up and down in and out of the water. At one point, he got out and came over to me. "Psst, Mom!" And with his thumb cocked towards the girls and his eyes cocked towards me, he said, "Those are my fwiends over there!" And back he went to entertain them!

This pool was empty on Tuesday and the kids decided to watch the shooting stars while lounging on their towels.



On Monday, I decided that the kids and I needed to actually go do something rather then waste time around the house, fight the battle at the store, or go swimming. So, we went to the National Scouting Museum in our area. While neither of my kids are old enough for scouting, the fact that it is indoors and advertised as having interactive activities, I figured it would at least be something to do. I made it seem all exciting to them by saying the word "MUSEUM!" when talking about it. Oh, and the fact that Mondays are free admission made my decision an easy one. Even if they got nothing educational out of it, we were still ahead of the game. I took one of my friend's daughters. Her older daughter has been my summer babysitter, but this young lady, while not old enough to baby sit, made a perfect mother's helper. I highly recommend that!

practicing knots

listening to some stories

Indian prince

a fun day


My children, especially Luke, seem to think they are incomplete without something foreign attached to their skin. I have had to start buying large boxes of cheap band-aids to manage all the boo-boos. Tattoos run a close second around here. I don't where he ever got the idea that adding something to the body that God gave him was ok. I mean it is not like his mother would ever do anything like that. She, of course, would go for something a little less permanent!!

Luke showing off his new tattoo

He wants everyone to know his devoted love towards his girl Barbie


My son has learned great pretending skills thanks to his sister. On this day, he found some chair pads that had come off the legs and thought he was pretty funny being a pirate.


I thought about documenting their knock down fights


the looks of denial as they both point fingers at each other, exclaiming "She/He did it"


the pouting and cries of "It's not faer!",

but went for the

"I love my sister/brother" look,

just cuz they are so darn cute.


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Foolish Games

I have heard about these things, but honestly have never received an email or phone contact before where I had to deal with this situation.

I received this email today.

It saddens me to think so many are destroyed by the cold-hearted scams of others.

The only reason I post this letter is to make you aware if you ever receive something like this.

Although I believe each and every one of my readers are extremely intelligent and would not fall for this type of scam, it never hurts to inform.



From Mrs. Doris Bello Abidjan Ivory Coast


My name is Mrs. Doris Bello. I am a widow and a mother with a son. I know you will see my letter to you as an embarrassment considering the fact that we do not know each other. I plead with you to be patient with me and give me audience because I found myself in a situation that I don’t have any option than to contact you, so that you can help me in this problem I found myself into, so I feel very pleased to contact you for your assistance and business relationship.

I am from sierra Leone, my dear husband Mr. Barry Bello was killed by the president Tejan Kabbah gunmen due to his political ambitions the heartless president who refuse to go out from power after a long civil war has also gave order to confiscate all my late husband and others assets including his bank accounts, since his death life has become miserable to me and my family, but we are lucky to have the information(IÃÔ(B of his company fixed deposit account of $18.3 million united states dollars outside the country which I and my son Jacob has the all the numbers covering the deposit . I am soliciting for your help to provide a bank account where this fund will be transfer to and invested into a profited venture such as..............

1 Real-Estate
2 Hotel businesses
3 Gas station

In your country, you will also help my son and I to have our resident visa to be in your country with out any problem. We have decided to compensate you with a good sum for any of your effort in getting things done for us which will be discuses after you declare your interest in helping us. You will also save as the director of any establishment which will be done with part of this fund in your country. We are now as a refuge in a local hotel Abidjan I will like you to contact me and my son Jacob for more details about this transaction if you are honest and capable in handling the transfer. We are hoping to hear from your urgently please kindly Reply to Via Email: (I deleted the email address.) Thanks.
Mrs. Doris. J .Bello
God bless you.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tackle-It Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

This is a feature you might recognize if you read several different blogs. It is my first time actually participating online. Since I always seem to be tackling something, I thought I would join the fun today.

But I have a confession.

I did my tackling on Sunday afternoon and evening. Since I work on Tuesdays, it would be hard for me to participate otherwise.

I have another confession.

I forgot to take "before" pictures. I almost feel like I am cheating. Oh, how I wish I had taken pictures though! You would have been even more proud seeing the difference. Let me see if I can paint it for you.


Imagine the closet overloaded and disorganized, almost to the point of fearing something would fall on your head if you opened the door too quickly. Imagine the bed unmade from the previous guest (several months ago!) and piled high with junk, things that were purchased and needed a home, items to hide from the kids, and disarray from quickly wrapping gifts prior to a party. Imagine the floor equally thrashed and strewn with the pillows that should have adorned the bed.


It has gotten that way a few times over the last 4 years, especially when I am preparing for the holidays or an event I have to do.

But most of the time, it looks like the presentation below. Let me introduce you to my clean and organized goody closet and what I like to refer to as my own personal bed and breakfast room!

The closet door. Here I usually keep necessary party items, small wrapping materials, a few crafty-type supplies. Let me just go ahead and let you in on my favorite organizational tool. Over-the-door shoe organizers! I literally have them on almost every closet door in my home. In the kids' rooms, they actually do house shoes, but every where else, well, the possibilities are endless! I am still using my original plastic ones, but I would love to start replacing them (when necessary) with the net ones that have double pockets! These things excite me almost as much as containers do The Organizing Junkie!

Full-door and inside right of closet. This side of my closet houses most of my gifts or goodies that I get on sale and then store. This old bookshelf does a great job of hosting all my stuff.

On the top shelf is a container of Valentine's stuff including cards for classmates (seriously, 3 years worth of cards because at 25-50 cents a box, how can you pass it up!), trinkets for classmates, and a few items I use around the house. You also see another container with Halloween/fall candles. All my other Halloween/fall stuff is in an orange box in the garage. I have some miscellaneous candles on top of that box.

The second shelf houses 5 cute photo albums (yet to be filled with pictures!) that I picked up at an outlet store. I also have a box of birthday party favors left over from several parties. I will either add them to my goody box for the kids or use them in birthday presents later on.

The third and fourth shelves house mostly kid gifts (either for mine or for birthdays. I love buying these things on clearance! There are few adult book gifts as well.

The bottom shelf which you can't see houses all my extra frames. You don't want to know! Let's just say I like frames!

Inside left of closet. Hanging on the bar are pieces of fabric, mostly holiday fabric. I love to sew but just don't do it enough lately. I got most of it at a ridiculous savings a few years ago. I have made holiday pillows, a few Christmas dresses for Anysa, and gift bags with them in the past. One year I won "Cutest Container" award by making cookie bags for a cookie exchange.

The tub at the bottom and the open containers used to house lots more extra fabric, but I reorganized. Now the tub houses some keepsake items and batting material. The containers are now home for the prizes the kids can buy with the "money" they earn from doing the chores. Behind the tub (what you can't see) are two larger gifts for the kids for Christmas and some empty bags.

Top of closet. I keep a box of gift bags and tissue paper as well as a big plastic container of wrapping supplies up there. I am also storing all my adult gifts for special occasions.

The prize containers up close. There is a box with lots of small trinkets as well.

Entering the bedroom. I made the valance to match the bedding and pillows. I also used the same fabric for a ceiling to floor shower curtain in the guest bath.

Bed from the entrance view.

Bed from the window side view. Our guest bath and guest bedroom were my first accomplishments in our home. I was only allowed white walls in our first home, so I was so ready to full fill my vision once given the opportunity.

I had purchased the white Matisse blanket and pillow shams ages ago at a clearance sale and found the gorgeous designer fabric at a seconds store for $1 a yard! Did I mention that I bought like 15 yards of that stuff!! I found the accenting rust and stripe later on.

Do you want to guess what is above the bed?

A pot rack! I spray painted it and wrapped it in a LOT of tulle! It took me forever to figure out the right wrapping pattern so it would not look too cheesy.

The rocker belonged to my great-grandmother (and probably belonged to her mother!). Those types of pieces are priceless to me, so I simply polished it and recovered the seat.

This was the first grown-up, pleated bed skirt I ever made!!!

Since I mentioned that I used to house lots of fabric in my goody closet, you are probably wondering where it went!

Well, last year, by simply rearranging the furniture, we turned our formal living/dining space at the front of our house into a casual sitting area/office/workspace. We have a dining room table and buffet that was given to us. The table is my office/sewing/scrapbook space. The buffet and the small shelf hidden beside it house my sewing supplies and fabric. I did some rearranging today and now fit ALL my fabric in those two spaces! I wish I had a cool space for my scrapbook stuff but for now it lives in my closet with all my pictures!

All tucked away.

On left-fabric with print and a paper cutter. On right-idea books.

Top drawer-sewing supplies. Bottom supplies-solid fabric and pillowcases. I love little girls in pillowcase dresses! Anysa received one then I learned how to make them and tea towel dresses! Since then, I have collected wonderful vintage pillowcases at rummage-type sales to make more.

This houses miscellaneous supplies, my patterns, and towels for hooded towels or bath aprons.

It felt sooo good to clean up that room and reorganize the closet and buffet!

I hope you enjoyed the tour!


p.s. oh, and don't be fooled! there were 3 piles of laundry to tackle right outside the fancy bedroom door! 3 piles i just kept stepping over to accomplish my goal!!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Look what I just won!!

Congratulations to the winners of last week’s books:

Understanding Your Moods When You’re Expecting:

5-Jenna at Kevin and Jenna
1-Stacey at the truest thing

Thanks Jennifer!!

Is this a sign?!!


The wheels on the car go round and round!

I found this over at Bee's and thought it would be so fun to do since I traveled quite a bit in my past. After completing my education to become an occupational therapist, including completing both of my internships out-of-state (Dallas and Denver!), I decided to travel as a contract therapist. I was single, loved to experience new things, and it paid well (including free housing and housing supplies). I listed the states and will do a little journal summary for ya'll.

*ok, i am bummed! my map is cut off so you can't see my northeastern states or australia in the world map below. i can see all of both maps while i am editing, but they cut off once i post. any suggestions?

create your own personalized map of the USA
or check out ourCalifornia travel guide

Alabama- I spent 5 months in Mobile working in the school district. I toured the battleship, enjoyed the Gulf, and learned all about Mardi Gras.
Arizona- I drove through on my trips to jobs and stayed in Phoenix for a conference.
Arkansas- I have visited friends several times in several towns, stayed in Hot Springs.
California- I have vacationed in San Fransisco and visited my brother and his family in the Santa Monica area.
Colorado- I did my psych rotation in Denver at Porter Hospital. I loved the 3 months I spent there. I lived with 3 other girls in a house in a cute neighborhood. We were walking distance from Central Park. I met them through a friend.
DC- I went there for a Greenspan/FloorTime conference and visited my friend.
Florida- I spent the best 3 months working in Port Charlotte! It wasn't the job, it was the friends I made. We worked during the week and played during the weekends. It was an international group; USA, England, Scotland. To this day, I keep up with at least one friend. "Hi K!" We traveled south to Key West and all the cute towns along the way. We spent time in Tampa as well. Discovered yummy Cuban food! I learned how to scuba dive, went to Epcot Center, and we traveled on an adventure to the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. It was such a fun time and I cherish those memories with such a great group of people.
Georgia- The 1996 Olympics in Atlanta!! We road tripped there, crashed at a friend's apartment, had fun in downtown (can't remember name of the popular area), and spent the day at the Olympics. It was awesome!
Iowa- I visited a friend there.
Kansas- I was born in Salina, lived in Columbus until I was 7, and spent time in Kansas City with friends while living in Missouri. I went to a KC Royals baseball game and spent time downtown. Loved their farmer's market.
Kentucky- Went through there on a Fall driving trip.
Louisiana- Hung out in Shreveport, found an adorable b&b in a small town outside there, and visited friends in Benton.
Mississippi- Traveled through.
Missouri- I worked at a hospital in St. Joseph for several months. I met another great group of friends and we spent a lot of time together outside of work. It is where I got my belly button pierced at the age of 26!
Nevada- Drove through several time and visited a friend in Reno. I did a girls' trip to Las Vegas and went back again for an Arbonne National Conference. Las Vegas is where I fell in love with Cirque du Soleil!! I have since been to several more here in Dallas.
New Jersey- I stayed in Secaucas (sp?) for a work conference. The weather was so yucky that I didn't even go into NY while there.
New Mexico- I learned how to snow ski in college, did my first white water rafting, and spent time there while at a work conference.
Oklahoma- Lived there since I was 7; Altus until 6th grade and Shawnee through college. Too many stories to tell.
Oregon- I lived in Douglas for 3 months working at a hospital. I hated the work, but fell in love with the area. We went to Portland, Bend, and several towns south of Douglas. I LOVED Bend; so quaint, stayed at a precious b&b and ate at Honkers. I don't know if it is still there but the story behind is wonderful But by far, I loved Crater Lake the best. SO BEAUTIFUL!! Read about it here and here and here Pictures don't do it justice!
Pennsylvania- Did a historical trip to Philly.
Tennessee- Part of our Fall driving trip which included Memphis (Elvis' home, boat tour, and great bbq with a college friend) and Nashville. I have also been to Nashville several other times because my friend for over 25 years lives there with her husband, son, and baby boy #2 on the way soon! Funny-her husband's mom used to be a HeeHaw Honey! You can read about their family business here.
Texas- Again, too many stories to tell starting in college! We made some weekend trips in college from OK, I worked here for a year prior to getting into OT school, lived here several times, worked in several small towns while traveling (Kermit anyone?), work and live in the area to this day, husband from east Texas.
Utah- Traveled through, enjoyed the scenery!

You can also do a world map of your travels. I have lots more to do!!

create your own visited country map

United States- See above!
Mexico- Two trips to Cancun; one for diving, the other with a girlfriend. The last found us eating at The Ritz. Long story but let me tell you...that is service!! I also earned a work trip to a resort in Acapulco. The best!!
Bahamas- Earned a work trip in the form of a cruise!
Australia- Wow, what an experience! This started while living in Florida because our friend K was planning a year-long backpack trip the next year and we thought it would be fun for us all to meet her in Australia. As it turns out, I was the only one to go. It was the BEST! We stayed in several locations, including Cairns, where I dove The Great Barrier Reef! We also met a friend via the internet who introduced us to his parents (a free night's stay) who then let us stay in their lake cabin a few days. What incredible hospitality!

What about you?


Saturday, August 18, 2007

I Do Love Granola- Part 1

I have been pondering this for some time and even promised a more detailed post back during the Horizon Organic Milk contest.

Waaaay back!

If you stumble over here and have any thoughts or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment for us all to benefit from. If you are totally immersed into all that is natural and good, please know that I am a babe in this area. And while I am continually trying to learn and make changes, I am still a work-in-progress when it comes to living healthy and making smart choices for myself, my family, and my environment.

What I share with you are my thoughts and my suggestions. I do not claim to be a medical professional or a trained expert about the things I mention. Please do the research yourself and then consult a professional to guide you. I am learning though and being an active participant in my life. One of my favorite quotes is by Maya Angelou, "I did then what I knew how to do, and when I knew better, I did better." Ahhh, living by grace!

I have decided to do this in at least 2 posts so your eyes don't completely glaze over!

I have always tried to take care of myself and help my family eat healthy. I consistently exercised periodically. I know you know what I mean! I occasionally took a multi-vitamin (I dosed up before and during pregnancies on folic acid stuff). But that was about it.


About 2 1/2 years ago, my friend introduced me to Arbonne products. **Let me go ahead and say this here. Obviously, this is my business and one could see this as another shameless plug. But here is the deal. Yes, it is my business, but it is also the products that I feel passionate about. I feel no shame in that fact. You may have a different opinion or make some different choices and that is so OK because different things work for different people. Anyway..........!

I saw and realized the difference in how products made without junk (mineral oil, an abundance of unnecessary chemicals, etc.) in them could do great things for one, inside and out. So, basically, if it could be replaced in our home with what Arbonne offered, that is what happened. I won't go into detail because what Arbonne offers is listed and linked on my sidebar.

What happened next, is that I really had to start looking at the other things in our home. I mean if I was gonna tell people why they needed to change their skin care, etc, then I might oughta think seriously about other aspects of our life and home. It only made sense.

Household products were the next victims!

For me, the choice is Shaklee for our household cleaners, dishes, and laundry products. I like being able to order when I need to and they have a great starter kit where you can try out many of these cleaners with one order. I love also, that like Arbonne and many other quality-made products, less really is more. It may seem like these products cost more upfront, but in the end, they cost less. They last longer and create a safer environment for our families.

As my awareness has increased, I have realized that more and more products are available that offer safer options. Look at your local retailers or seek out various company's distributors. There are definitely many more choices these days, and at various costs, which makes buying better much more affordable to a greater number of people. And of course, you CAN always make the stuff yourself! More on that later!

I am not sure why, but food came along last as far as reconsidering our options. Actually, more changes are on the way because since the time I actually started this post, my whole realization regarding products made in China and other thoughts concerning how I store our food and things has changed.

What is funny, is I actually had my daughter on the right start early on as a babe. She had eczema and was found to have a few allergies. Nothing life threatening, but enough to exacerbate the condition and make her miserable. Since we were early on with introducing milk to her, we went with rice milk. She knew no different. And just for the record, I totally flavor my kids milk if they want it. A healthy chocolate milk is way better than a coke or juice. After a few years, I started weaning her back to regular milk. Regular, hormone-injected, pesticide-residue filled cow milk. Yuck!! I PROMISE you that it did not take long for me to see her body change. Probably only enough for a mommy to notice, but I could totally see why all these artificial hormones could be influencing the early development of our young girls. However, it was still a long while before I got on the organic train.

About 6 months ago, I started reading and looking into other food choices more closely. Long ago, I had read The Maker's Diet, The 40 Day Health Experience That Will Change Your Life by Jordan Rubin. I knew what we should be doing, but it was a scary change, especially when my husband was not on the bandwagon and is a meat and potatoes, whatever-it-takes-to-make-it-taste-good, and at-the-lowest-cost kinda person.

So, nothing happened.

Then, I found this book. Ageless: The Naked Truth About Bioidentical Hormones. I had heard about bioidentical hormones over a year before and knew they were the best step up from natural progesterone creams. At first, I wondered about the whole Suzanne Somers expertise thing. But truly, other than talking about her own personal experiences and results, she leaves the information to the doctors she interviews for this book. This book was probably the catalyst for me to get serious about my health and the health of my family. I now want to read this one and this one.

Then I remembered that I had TWO books by Dr. Andrew Weil in my own library! I had read them before but had forgotten about them. They are Eating Well for Optimum Health: The Essential Guide to Bringing Health and Pleasure Back to Eating and Eight Weeks to Optimum Health. So I reread them, made some notes, and started making some changes.

Coming tomorrow- The Changes!


A Worthy "Cause"test

With all the problems we are having with products coming from China, I was excited to find NotChinaMade

Even more alarming is all the other things I learned from reading this site. It is not that I didn't know about these things. It is more likely I had just stopped paying attention. It is good to be enlightened again.

As with my healthier-life adventure, this adventure will also be a work in progress. Change can be difficult.

But worth it!

Why don't you head over and check it out yourself.

And while you are there, enter the contest


Friday, August 17, 2007

All About Me

I found this at my friend Kimmy's and thought it would be fun to do. I wasn't sure initially if I would be sharing my results, but since they turned out close to what I expected, then sharing I am! ;)

I haven't tried this, but apparently, you can take the tests over again. Might be fun to do that and see if the results are the same or very similar. No cheating on my part cuz Lord knows I don't remember well enough to cheat anymore!!

Click to view my Personality Profile page

ENFJ - The "Mentor" Myers-Briggs Personality Types
ENFJs are externally focused, introspective, altruistic, positive and have excellent people skills. They place utmost importance on helping others grow. They are warm and have a natural desire to be supportive and encouraging. Being charismatic and possessing excellent language skills, they do well in leadership roles. ENFJs strive to enhance the lives of their human brethren.


**At first, I wasn't sure I liked the "judging" aspect. However, if you go over and look at the definition, it is truly more me than "perceiving". The "sensing" vs. "iNtuition" is a little harder. Maybe I am more of my results, but I do feel that I utilize several of the "sensing" qualities. There is no question that I am "extroverted" and "feeling".

NF (Visionary)

ENFJ Population
Total: 3%
Male: 1.5%
Female: 4.5%

Primary Function
Extroverted Feeling

Secondary Function
Introverted Intuition

Tertiary Function
Extroverted Sensing

Least Function
Introverted Thinking

Famous or Real ENFJs
Abraham Maslow - psychologist
Andy Griffith - actor
Ben Affleck - actor
Ben Stiller - actor, comedian
Bob Saget - actor
Brenda Vaccaro - actress
Craig T. Nelson - actor (Coach)
Dennis Hopper - actor
Diane Sawyer - television journalist
Dick Van Dyke - actor
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - minister, civil rights activist
Elizabeth Dole - senator
Francois Mitterand - French President
James Garner - actor
John Wooden - basketball player, coach
Johnny Depp - actor
King David - King of Israel
Kirstie Alley - actress
Lauren Graham - actress
Margaret Mead - cultural anthropologist
Matthew McConaughey - actor
Mikhail Gorbachev - last leader of Soviet Union
Pete Sampras - tennis champion
Peyton Manning - NFL quarterback
Ralph Nader - attorney, political activist
Randy Quaid - actor
Ross Perot - businessman
Tommy Lee Jones - actor
William Aramony - United Way president
William Cullen Bryant - poet

Fictional ENFJs (Characters)
Faye Valentine - Cowboy Bebop
Jules Winnfield - Pulp Fiction

ENFJ Career Matches
ENFJs are often happy with the following jobs which tend to match well with the Mentor/Visionary personality.

Administrative Assistant
Careers Counselor
Church Worker
Computer Specialist
Events Coordinator
Human Resources
Occupational Therapist (That's Me!)
Project Manager
Sales Representative
Senior Manager
Social Worker
Technical Specialist

Click to view my Personality Profile page

Eight Intelligences
People with Linguistic intelligence are naturally good with writing or speaking and memorization.
**I expected this to be a bit higher.
People with Logical intelligence are driven by logic and reasoning.
**Yes, I do know how to be logical and am skilled in what I like to call "functional math"!
People with Visual intelligence are good at remembering images and aware of surroundings.
**I think I do have strength in this area.
People with Kinesthetic intelligence love movement, have good motor skills and are aware of their bodies.
**I agree that I am this, but not so high. Maybe this relates to my ability to work with children that don't have this strength.
People with musical intelligence are musically gifted and have a "good ear" for rhythm and composition.
**I love music but agree that is is NOT my talent!
People with intrapersonal intelligence are adept at looking inward.
**No, I am not self-absorbed, but do like to be introspective.
People with Interpersonal intelligence are good with people and thrive in social interactions.
**Yep, this is SO me.
People with Naturalist intelligence have a sensitivity to and appreciation for nature.
**Yea, I am not really into bugs!

So, what do you think? Is it me?

If you decide to do this, let me know because I would love to get to know you better!! You can do it over here.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Apparently, not everyone shares my ill feelings towards Polly

Initial shock

New realization and ultimate devastation


Pure Drama!

She took the news well, don't ya think!


Kicked to the curb!

Go to the Mattel website for an updated list of their increased voluntary recall and the steps to take for returning the items.

Although my number one concern is the health and safety of my children, on a purely personal note, I say.....



are too tiny,
have too many accessories,
have too many accessories that are too hard to find,
have too many pets,
discourage clean-up skills of girls around the world,
drive mommies around the world INSANE!!

You will NOT be missed!


Monday, August 13, 2007

You can't blame a girl for trying!

Who knows what will come of this! Is it real, is it not? I don't know, but like I can't blame a girl for trying!!

Over at Ashwin’s blog, you will find one crazy blog owner!! You can win $2500!! To enter just copy this text and paste it in your blog!! But hurry, this competition will not last long! So get posting!

Contest ends August 20th! (He says)


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Cuz I am lazy

Not really. I have a lot to say, don't get me wrong. I just need to stir it and let it marinate before it is just right for sharing.

But before we go on, I want to clarify for the record... my last post did not occur on the same day as the one before. Somehow, they both showed up as being on Monday (A WEEK AGO!), but truly, my last post was done on Wednesday. Now I agree, I still have been gone too long. But rest assured, I am about to make up for it.

I give you my precious Luke. He is just so darn handsome in these pics. I am the mom, so I feel inclined to brag. I told the lady I wanted to capture his incredible expressions. I think we did pretty good. He tried really hard to do what we asked. Part of my brewing thoughts are all his latest antics, thoughts, and words, so I won't share just yet!