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Chocolate Almond Milk & Green Smoothie

23 Feb

Chocolate Almond Milk & Green Smoothie

In the mornings I am usually in a rush to eat, get the boys to school, etc. This is my staple smoothie.

I always have some greens in the fridge, even salad. On this day I poured some chocolate almond milk into blender, threw in a handful of mixed greens, a banana, some fresh strawberries, green hemp protein and BAM!

Try it for breakfast or late morning snack.

Finding My Balance

1 Feb
Me in side Crow Pose

Me in side Crow Pose

I cannot say that I am an authority on balance. I look back over my life and find that balancing my lifestyle differed according to where I was in life. In my 20’s, with no husband and children, I balanced work, college, post graduate studies, and a social life. Once I married my life shifted and, I had to find a new balance. In my 30’s I birthed one child, then two and three came soon after!! NOW I REALLY HAD TO BALANCE! To be honest here, often I was unbalanced. What I have always had was a desire to be:

-active

-engaged in life and

– always at peace.

In each decade of my adulthood I really would strive for balance in my life. The 20’s found me in college where I was active as a cheerleader and dancer. After college, I taught dance classes (as well as a teacher in the public schools). I took ballet classes and joined a gym. In my 30’s I resurfaced from the new motherhood trenches and exercised more, taught more fitness classes and, found sanity when I spent time doing something for myself. That something was exercising. It helped me release which, in turn, helped me handle the ins and outs of life.

Today (in my 40’s here), I found this definition of balance in my ZEN cards by Daniel Levin

Balance

The Center is not always the point of balance. When you find that place where BALANCE is achieved, Peace will result in all situations. There is no conflict, for everything RESTS without strain.

That sums up balance for me now. That place where I have peace and I find that all is well with myself; spirit, soul and body. My sense of peace and stability change with life. It ebbs and flows and, there are days as well as seasons that I am well out of balance. Ultimately, I always come back to the center, my center. And, for me that always includes time to Sweat Everyday!
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All I need are hot pants

17 Jan

OK, this is hilarious. While going through emails this morning I found a Groupon in my inbox for “Weightloss Hot Pants”. I almost choked on my green smoothie!! I mean hell, I’m drinking this green smoothie in order to keep wight off and all I need to do is wear some Hot Pants???

Image

I’m sorry but what the hell are these things? And furthermore at my age I don’t need to wear ANY hotpants! Once 40 hit and the naturally tight thighs left (well that was around 30) I needed to shed the hot pants. Hot Pants should be reserved for, hmmmm, no one! Well, little stick chicks with tight everything (under the age of 35) and innocent 10 year olds who haven’t even developed yet.

These hot pants aren’t like the Daisy Dukes

Remember her? She had NO BOOTY so, she was able to wear the hot pants.

The funniest thing is that the Hot Pants are suppose to help you lose weight. Damn! Clothes with infrared technology can get rid of the cellulite that I worked 40 years and three kids to get. Can I just get this stuff  in my jeans and sweats? Maybe I can get rich and design those. Then, I’ll go on Shark Tank and then I wouldn’t need to work out or drink this green smoothie.

Let me go, I need to order these things.

Happy Birthday Dr. King

16 Jan

I just watched Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream Speech”

It was so beautiful to watch and listen to the speech in it’s entirety.

It just so happens that I was in DC this weekend too!  I was determined to visit the King MemorialDr. King memorial in DC

We made it! It was more beautiful and touching than I imagined.

dr. king memorial 3

Even today, his words speak true. The quotes that surrounded the memorial were absolutely beautiful.

dr. king memorial 5

If you ever go to Washington DC you have to visit the memorial. Learning from the past to press forward. That is what the visit was for me.

Happy Birthday Dr. King.

Did this day resonant with you? How so? What did you do to reflect on the day?

Talking to your old self

15 Jan

If you had an opportunity to hang out with yourself, when you were younger, what would you say to your old self?

I asked my hubby that last night and he just looked at me quizzically and asked me what I was talking about. So, I rephrased the question. We are not in our 20’s anymore and, if we were able to hang out with our 20-year-old self, being the age now. What would we say or do with ourselves?

I was reflecting on this because I spent a weekend with a wonderful group of young 20-30 year old folks (maybe 30 was the oldest age, LOL) and, it was so interesting to watch and, listen to them. It was fun and, interesting because it made me reflect on my life at that age.

Why would I say anything to them? Did I even have anything worth saying to them that would affect anything; I don’t know. It was just interesting to me to know that in ten years they would be in a different space than they are now. You can hope, visualize and dream however, it is a future of uncertainty and life plays its cards out and you play the game given to you. You can makes choices on how you’ll play and it will affect the outcome so be wise. Which is funny because how “wise” can you be at 20?

I really had a good time being in my 20’s. I just wish I knew it at the time! I was too busy pondering the next move, worrying about my love life and just not relishing the moments. again, I did have fun and lived a happy life.I don’t have many regrets at all. Having no spouse, no kids, really no serious worries beyond work was just heavenly! In hindsight.

I suppose older people look at us a think “they just don’t know”.  As I did as I hung out with this group. But, not knowing, or worrying about it, makes life that much more fun and more interesting. Who knows what your children will be like, if you’ll have children, if you’ll connect with a life partner or not, if you’ll have a certain career or change midstream. if you live life to the fullest or suffer from health issues, etc. Not knowing about your future or worrying about it is the advice I’d give to my old (or young self) self.

“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life” Matthew 6:27 NIV

“Since you cannot do this very little thing why worry about the rest” Luke 12:26 NIV

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life” Luke 12:25 NIV

If I hung out with me I would have fun with me! I would enjoy the single, carefree life I had and not pressure me at all. I would sit and just watch and listen.

Life’s to short to  try to go back or really do anything else but relish each moment.

Emancipated Past and My Sons Future

5 Jan

photo credit Ki Taylor
http://www.twitter.com/akitaylor

One Hundred and fifty years ago, on January 1, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. I knew that bit of history and didn’t really think much of it (the 1st  is also my middle sons birthday so I was consumed with celebrating him), until I went to the post office. I needed to mail packages and found that I needed a stamp. When I saw the offerings of stamps I came across the commemorative stamp and had to purchase a page of them. They look really cool, don’t you agree?

stamps

I had to purchase them, because no matter how I feel about the politics of it all, the bottom line is, it changed the course for my people, forever. I had to purchase them because I need to show this to my three boys and, then begin the hard, emotional task of teaching them a vital part of their history.

Although it breaks my heart to have to teach them that only 150 years ago their ancestors were considered not to be people, but only property. Slaves. It’s a hard reality and one that breaks my heart. Why? Why, do they need to know? Because you learn from the past to prevent the same thing from happening in the  future. When someone calls them a “nigger” they need to know the ignorance and history behind why someone would think less of them. I cannot hide it from them. I have been called a nigger by mere strangers, with pure hatred towards me even though I had never met them in my life. They need to know.

I hate to have them know that only because of their skin color people will judge them, but it is a reality.

My husband, a professional, law abiding man, was just stopped the other day, before getting into his car at our hotel, because he “fit the description” of a unidentified robber in the vicinity. Two cops surrounded his car, startling him and I wonder what their intentions truly were. The hurt in my heart and the outrage in my spirit that is there because of that experience cannot be quenched and I have to protect my sons by teaching them history.

So, as many celebrate the emancipation  I acknowledge it and recognize the historical significance of it. I also use it to begin an educational process with my family, one I wish didn’t exist. One I hope time will heal and our society will change, however the reality is that is hasn’t yet. So, with a sorrowful heart I teach the boys that they are not the past, they are the future and they are AMAZING, STRONG, EDUCATED and INCREDIBLE.  As is their father, the man who supports his family, loves his family and contributes a lot to society. He is not a robber! He doesn’t deserve the treatment he received from police he received and our boys won’t either. I have to have them know this because they are the future.

3 Jan

Unsettling

31 Dec

That picture above is of a Nerf gun. It is called the Nerf Stampede gun. My 12-year-old really wanted it for Christmas. He has been very into Nerf guns for a couple of years now and it has been unsettling to me and my hubby. He gets the toy Nerf guns and then runs down to the basement to “mod” them out.

Very unsettling…

When the boys came along I was so sure I would be “that Mom”, no guns around Mom. My boys would be non-violent, respect women, and be a better man than most. Oh, and I wouldn’t be a yeller, spanker and never be  “like my mom”. (You already know I am SO THAT MOM now.) SO, when they started running around and making guns with absolutely any and every straight thing they could find I figured water guns would be fine. Then that  evolved into them getting a gun as gift or two and us allowing them to keep them. OK, no biggie. the rule then became don’t point guns at people ESPECIALLY your Mom, Dad or brothers (probably the main folks they wanted to “pretend” shoot). THEN the Nerf toys showed up, it’s OK, they are like water guns right?

ME – ” Mod them out for what son??

Son – “MOM, I like thaking things apart and, I watch YouTube videos on it and, it’s cool”

Me and Dad – “Videos on Nerf guns???”

Son – “Duh, yes!”

Mom and Dad – “OK (eyeballs rolling), whatever” (we watched and they really have lots of videos on this stuff!)

Time goes on and at least he doesn’t want those Airsoft guns, right?

Well he wants the Stampede, so, I order it and, Amazon  (LOVED Amazon this Christmas) delivers. I open it and WOW!!! The Damn thing has clips in it for automatic dispersal of the bullets. The Damn thing is a machine gun. It was as BIG as a real machine gun (I think as I have never seen one in person).  OH HELL NO!!! I couldn’t, my hubby couldn’t, we just couldn’t! ESPECIALLY in light of the fact that within one month 26 lives were brutally destroyed in Newton (with guns),  a 14-year-old boy was killed in Grayson, GA (with a gun) AND a man who was a vital part of his community was shot and killed by stray bullets ( gun again). The last two I had friends who were connected to. These were in three different parts of the country Conn., Georgia and California, yet all three were had guns involved.

We couldn’t.

How Unsettling.

This post isn’t a political commentary, opinion piece, or push for any agenda. I just wanted to share and put it out there that if there is one little thing I can do to help reduce violence I will. I hope taking a stand and not giving him the gun will plant a better seed than the opposite. Of course there is WAY more my hubby and I need to do to help foster a healthy lifestyle for our boys and, we will try to do our best. Be engaged in their lives so we can help them grow into understanding there honest and natural aggressiveness.

I have no judgement for those who carry guns, use them, etc. For me , I am just too uncomfortable with that type of violence. And a good guy with a gun scares me just as much as a bad guy with a gun. I wish they weren’t so prevalent in our society and I wish there was no need for them in our society and no need for so much anger, extreme violence and total disregard for life.

I just pray that we can all help boys and girls have more respect for life and be not so insensitive to violence and death.

Hey, I’m all about Peace, Love and Soul!

 

 

In Honor of those I know of who lost their lives to guns this month.  (I know none of theme personally but have shed tears for them all)

Paul Stampleton, Jr., 14 years old

Victor McClinton, 49 years old

– Charlotte Bacon, 2/22/06, female
– Daniel Barden, 9/25/05, male
– Rachel Davino, 7/17/83, female.
– Olivia Engel, 7/18/06, female
– Josephine Gay, 12/11/05, female
– Ana M. Marquez-Greene, 04/04/06, female
– Dylan Hockley, 3/8/06, male
– Dawn Hochsprung, 06/28/65, female
– Madeleine F. Hsu, 7/10/06, female
– Catherine V. Hubbard, 6/08/06, female
– Chase Kowalski, 10/31/05, male
– Jesse Lewis, 6/30/06, male
– James Mattioli , 3/22/06, male
– Grace McDonnell, 12/04/05, female
– Anne Marie Murphy, 07/25/60, female
– Emilie Parker, 5/12/06, female
– Jack Pinto, 5/06/06, male
– Noah Pozner, 11/20/06, male
– Caroline Previdi, 9/07/06, female
– Jessica Rekos, 5/10/06, female
– Avielle Richman, 10/17/06, female
– Lauren Rousseau, 6/1982, female (full date of birth not specified)
– Mary Sherlach, 2/11/56, female
– Victoria Soto, 11/04/85, female
– Benjamin Wheeler, 9/12/06, male
– Allison N. Wyatt, 7/03/06, female

2012 in review

30 Dec

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Reflections During The Unpacking

3 Dec

20121203-134946.jpg

I’m having quite a time unpacking the many, many and many more, boxes we have from moving. The moving company kindly (sarcasm because they really went overboard on the packing BUT I didn’t have to do it!) packed every single item in its own wrapping and placed them, sparingly, in boxes; lots of boxes.

Now we have so many boxes I could open a box store for the holidays. We have every size and shape box you can think of. We also have paper to wrap your items and pad the box with. Our garage is literally floor to ceiling full of boxes. The house has had it’s share of boxes too. Not to mention, we have unpacked dozen of boxes already (no exaggeration on the dozens part).

Unpacking boxes has given me a big dose of reality. We have too much S#%*!!

I am all in the Christmas spirit HOWEVER as I unpack I recognize that my family has more than enough. We are blessed and, as I make my fourth trip to Goodwill to donate items, I think we should do something more than just exchange gifts this year.

For a few years, on Thanksgiving morning, we delivered Meals on Wheels. We have taken all the boys do so many times. This year we didn’t and I really think we need to for Christmas. We need to do something on a consistent basis. Material items are not fulfilling or necessary and, as I witness this tough economy and natural anomalies as Sandy I unpack and reflect that others are in need, right now and we can do something about it. That is my reason for the season.

What will you do to help a neighbor this season? Oh, and if you need boxes I have a garage full!