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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

i'm on the "food rules" tour

I was recently asked to go on a book tour.  I was so oblivious.  Seriously I was like uh publisher lady...not sure if that will work in my schedule.  You know I have kids and a honey right??  She probably thought I was a crazy loon.  In fact being on a book tour just meant giving my opinion about the book...not going on tour like a rock star;)  DUH!  Okay I guess I can squeeze that in...hee hee!

So I get this book (Food Rules by Michael Pollan) in the mail and I start reading and at first I was like this isn't rocket science, it's all very common sense.  Then the genius of it all started kicking in.  We are so warped by this diet and that report etc...that we have no idea what to do any more regarding food.

This author breaks it down wonderfully into three parts.  What should I eat?  What kind of food should I eat?  How should I eat?   His mission was to more or less prove that our grandparents had all the wisdom in this area.  Lots of people wrote in and helped him out and he came up with 83 rules.

My favorite part of the book were the illustrations of course.  Apparently this is a new edition and the illustrations are a new added improvement.  I can only imagine how much they contributed to the original book.  The artist Maira Kalman was fantastic.  I loved her simple, colorful pages.  They drew me in 100%.

The beauty of the Food Rules book is that you don't have to follow every single rule.  It's not about that.  Even if you change a few bad habits and incorporate some of the rules your health will benefit.  My favorite rules were:

40.  Make water your beverage of choice.
45.  Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.
50.  Avoid ingredients that lie to your body.
56.  Eat when you are hungry not when you are bored.
69.  Order the small.
79.  Treat treats as treats.

I think I have some new "rules" to try and follow;)  Great stocking stuffer. 

Have a blessed day.

271.  hopefully breaking old habits
272.  the twinkle of Christmas in my house
273.  laundry done once again
274.  my girl whose beautiful voice rings out in the dark...when she should be sleeping
275.  friends who encourage and lift up
276.  creating all day...without my computer on!

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

our stand-in family

Normally the thought of not going back home to Illinois for Thanksgiving would put me in a tail spin.  It's that embracing of family and familiar that sums up this holiday for me.  Amazing how when you live away from your core family that new stand-in's emerge.  It happened in Minnesota and it's happening here...even if they are a state away;) 

Without a doubt this weekend was one of my top favorite's of all time.  Sounds dramatic doesn't it?  Well I'm not exaggerating.  Alicia and her family swooped into our home and from the minute they got there it just felt right.  We stayed in our jammies most of the time and didn't bother to put on make-up.

The kids bonded instantly and just had a ball...IN THE BASEMENT!

This allowed for a whole lot of adult conversation and bonding of our own which is a luxury as we all know it.  How often can we actually talk and not get interrupted??  It's just a fact.  I can't even tell you how therapeutic that was for Honey and I.  We drank in the friendship as if we had been stranded on a deserted island.  It was wonderful.

I got to see Alicia in her prime teaching the kids a fun little craft to add to our table.

Honey and I split that wishbone, and I wished with every fiber of my being for ________...can you guess???  He got the bigger end.  I don't think he even got that we were supposed to be making a secret wish.  It was all lost on him.  I'm taking his wish!

Thanksgiving day was relaxed and easy.  I didn't stress.  It wasn't ackward with both of us in the kitchen.  It was just really really nice.

Later in the day we took a walk, then the guys napped and watched football.  Alicia and I hunkered in and watched New in Town.  Remember that movie with Renee Zellweger...where she goes to Minnesota and falls in love with Harry Connick Jr??  Seeing the snow and cold made us so grateful to be here with an almost 70 degree Thanksgiving!

I'll never forget discovering via comment last year that we both longed to move out of the cold.  She's from South Dakota, and we just bonded immediately over that little nugget of info.  I secretly told her about the head hunter call to move us to Virginia, and she told me North Carolina was on their radar.  Now here we are almost a year later.  It's surreal how your life can change.

Black Friday was surprisingly fun.  We stayed up too late the night before to get up early, so we got going around 9.  In the car we said a little prayer for God to lead and guide give us discernment and wisdom with our finances and then off we went.  The crowds and traffic weren't too bad.  We got some really amazing deals and I'm completely done.  YES...I am DONE, and it's not even December yet.  Yee Haw!!!  Oh and I took her to Trader Joe's for the first time.  It had to be done;)

So a big giant check mark gets placed in that "first holiday in Virginia" box.  We both did it.  We celebrated it up big and we made it through just fine.  This new little stand-in family was just what we didn't know we needed...ha! 

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving too.
Have a blessed day.

264.  dusting off the Christmas decorations today
265.  sharing heart and soul with friends
266.  belly laughs
267.  new traditions
268.  that my jeans still sorta fit
269.  not shopping alone
270.  trusting for big wishes to come true

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

thankful i'm NOT a pilgrim OR a bus driver!

One of my favorite parts of being a stay at home mom is going on field trips.  I love arriving at school, putting on my little name tag and blessing my little one with my undivided attention for a WHOLE day:)  Whenever she sees me she always runs up and about knocks me over.  Tears rim her eyes.  She's got a sensitive heart.  She gets it from me;)  Not sure why she's so happy to see me, but it warms my heart and makes me feel SO loved.

I think I'm crushin' on this one here...and he's possibly crushing on me;)  What a little ham.  The bus driver played music on the way home and this one was dancin' it up big time.  He would turn around every now and then and just pose for me.  Giving me that look. 

The one thing I HATE about field trips is riding on the bus!  Holy nightmare.  My head was pounding by the time we got there.  Everybody takes it up about 10 million decibels and only know how to scream.  How this bus driver stays sane is beyond me.  He was loving it though.  He actually encouraged the craziness.  He called it the "party bus"...WHAT??  I kept wondering why such a sweet older gentleman would want to be driving a bus full of rowdy kids.  Wouldn't it be much nicer to be home reading the paper, sipping some tea and leisurely tending a garden or something??

Okay so I'm writing this post right before Thanksgiving because this IS why we celebrate.  This is where it all went down.  Back in 1611 settlers came to this area and were ordered to find and secure a new town for the colony. 

They toiled the land.  The main harvest being tobacco.

They dressed really funny and worked HARD to live in a land that was harsh.  Imagine having to make everything.  Imagine having to kill or grow everything you ate.  UGH!  That would have done me in.  My microwave takes too long in my opinion;)  

They became soldiers and fought the Indians who were not so happy to see them.

 Uh dude cover the nip!  Can you imagine this being your job?  He didn't speak.  He just wore his little Indian garb and eyeballed me with the camera.  I wasn't expecting a tat covered Indian, but I guess they existed right??  Anyway I'm not a history buff, but at some point certain Indians befriended the early colonists and helped them out, showing them how to hunt and farm. 

In the spirit of Thanksgiving can I just say I'm so THANKFUL I wasn't born during that time.  That I didn't have to work my fingers to the bone to just stay alive.  That I didn't have to worry about Indians killing my family or starving to death because I had no supplies.  I'm thankful for a furnace, microwave, television and computer.  I'm thankful I can walk through the woods and enjoy the trees and all things nature without having to worry about my life.

I'm also thankful that one of my very favorite people/blogging friend is coming to see me today with her sweet little family. YAY!!!!!  Alicia from La Famille is my new North Carolina neighbor.  We are the closest thing to family near each other so we thought it only right to celebrate this holiday together.  We will cook, feast and then shop to our little hearts content on Friday.  I'm NOT a morning person, so that will interesting.  It should be a fun couple of days.  What does your Thanksgiving look like?? 

Happy Thanksgiving friends.
I love and appreciate you girls!

256. Alicia
257. PIE
258. mashed potatoes and gravy
259. sherbet floats
260. BIG sales
261. reflecting on all things good
262. did i say PIE?? ;)
263. HIS faithfulness...all our blessings come from Him!

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Monday, November 21, 2011

deep breath

I've had one of those mornings, you know the kind where absolutely nothing goes according to plan.  How can I say this delicately...hmmmm knocking my beads off my jewelry table not once but TWICE is just CRAP!  Okay there I said it.  Can you even imagine the mess of about a million beads going every which way on vinyl flooring.  Picking it all up on a filthy, sawdust strewn floor and then turning around 10 minutes later and doing it again!!!!  Deep breath;) 

The whole time I just wanted to cry.  I don't have time for this Lord...why on earth did you allow that to happen...not once but TWICE!  Seriously I'm trying to find the lesson in it.  It must just be my day for frustration.  I can't access my email account on my computer either.  Deep breath!!! 

Life is just like that alot isn't it??  I went to the gym the other day and forgot my hairdryer.  I had to stand with my head under one of those high powered hand dryers.  You know the one that sounds like a jet plane and about takes the skin off of your hands??  Nice...looked like I had stuck my finger in an electrical outlet;)  I guess it's how we roll when crap happens...when mistakes are made.  Do we have a fit and act like a baby, or do we get on our hands and knees, and pick up the pieces and start all over again and again?  I think it's break time.  Love you girls...thanks for letting me vent.

Have a blessed day.

252.  grace, grace and grace
253.  giving it over
254.  praising Him despite my mood
255.  that my biggest problems are so so small!
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Sunday, November 20, 2011

breaking dawn

I've been in my own little world lately.  Christmas orders have been pouring in...yay!  It's a good thing, but when that happens other things take a back seat.  The house suffers a bit.  We eat breakfast for dinner A LOT!  I get frazzled.  Deadlines make me crazy.  I have no idea how people work full time and still do it all.

My Honey's a fixer.  I love that about him.  If he sees I'm frustrated he rushes in and tries to take care of me.  For instance my phone has been bugging me again.  I drop calls.  It bounces back and forth between 3G and 4G and won't allow me to connect.  Cell phones and I have a sordid history.  I swear they should hire me and pay me big bucks to find all the kinks.  If a cell phone can last a month with me it's golden!  Anyway we spent part of the weekend in Best Buy...again.  Honey going to bat to get me hooked up.  Didn't work, but he tried.  Then he worked on a computer issue I was having etc...  I love feeling takin' care of.  He's really good at that.

To top it all off he was my chick flick stand in.  Usually when a new Twilight flick comes out, the girls and I hit the movies for a night out.  We go out to dinner and then hit the teenie bopper movie...lusting over Jacob's ripped abs and gushing over Bella and Edward's deep love for each other.

My Honey of course thinks it's weird...and it is;)  He really doesn't get the Twilight movie thing, but last night we sat at sweet candlelit restaurant and he feigned interest in the movie just for me.  Major brownie points girls!  Gotta say out of all those movies I like Breaking Dawn the best.  It was pretty slow in some parts, but it was really good.  I had no idea how they were going film this particular book, but they pulled it off.

Inside I'm really a 15 year old girl.  I swear the thing I got most excited about at the movie was the PREVIEW for the Hunger Games!  Have you read that series??  It's written for teenagers, just like the Twilight books.  How I got all caught up in these books is beyond me, but they are really interesting. 

This is off topic, but do you ever buy cards for yourself?  If I see a card I love I buy it...even if I don't really have someone in mind at the time.  This one just makes me laugh.  The inside says, That's why we're friends.  Hello?  I personally think it's a good thing being a weirdo.  How about you?

Have a blessed day.

247.  cafe caturra...pork panini
248.  uninterrupted conversation with my best friend
249.  saving money when honey figures things out
250.  getting spruced up for my man
251.  the excitement of my favorite holiday fast approaching

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Friday, November 18, 2011


I think a lot about fear.  Maybe because lately I'm faced with it on a day to day basis.  It occured to me as I was driving the other day that I've crossed a milestone with living here.  When we first got here every time I got in the car to drive somewhere I was terrified.  The roads are extremely narrow with no shoulders.  They curve and dip and leave your stomach in knots.  I would even get a little car sick.  Every time a person would pass me I would raise up my shoulders, squint my eyes and let out a little EEEEEK!  Because it looked like they were going to hit me for sure.

It dawned on me as I was whizzing through the trees on my very own roller coaster/race track home the other day, that I'm passed that particular fear.  YIPPEEE!!!!  For the most part I don't shriek anymore.  My heart doesn't race every time I pull out onto that road, and the only thing I can think of that got me over that fear was that I HAD NO CHOICE, but to do it  There is no other route.  No other option.  Sometimes you just have to do it afraidUh and pleading with God to help me might have had a little part in it too;)

Fast forward to last night where my friend Maureen dragged me into another adventure.  Well she didn't really have to drag me I was jumping at the bit to go;)  She has an amazing group of friends and we've set up a craft group called f.e.a.t. (friends exploring art together).  Once a month we are going to meet and share a fun craft/skill with each other.  Isn't that like the best idea ever!!!

Last night was our first meeting and it was appropriately called masks and margaritas:)  You take stripes of plaster gauze, wet them and apply them all over your very Vaselined face...making a really cool mask.  It sets up pretty fast and after it's hardened you can paint and decorate it.  That's our next meeting.

Maureen.  Isn't she beautiful??  Love the mummified look she had going on!  Creepy:)

Taking the mask off was a bit tricky.  You had to pull it really slow, because it suctions to your face a little bit and it stings slightly.  I'm thinking we all just got a great spa exfoliation treatment for free;)


Okay so my turn came around.  Never thought I'd show myself in a shower cap and Vaseline on here...but there's always a first time for everything;)

About halfway in something kind of snapped to attention in me and I hit a panic wall.  It was like oh yeah I'm supposed to be afraid...cue heart racing NOW.  I'm a little claustrophobic.  I don't like airplanes or tight spaces...forget about going under water, but I thought I might be able to do this.   Unfortunately the fear just reared up it's ugly head. 

I wanted more than anything to just rip that thing OFF MY FACE!!!!!  Get it OFF.  I got up.  Took some deep breaths.  Kept reminding myself that I could breath and had my Nan finish me.  That's the thing with fear.  Most of the time it's irrational.  Will that spider hurt you?  Will talking in front of people be the worst thing that could happen?  Actually that's another biggie for me.  That's why I hide behind a computer;) 

Not sure if Nan was trying to distract me or what but pretty soon she started telling a story that made me want to laugh so hard, but I couldn't.  I would retell it, but it's completely inappropriate for my sweet little blog here. 

The reward for not ripping of the mask is that I get a cool visual of overcoming that panic attack.  I did something afraid.  Oh yeah and I moved to Virginia.  I drive on that death trap of a road everyday.  I make stuff.  I write stuff, and present it to you.  And day in and day out I'm reminded that it's alright to go for your dreams.  It's alright to be afraid.  It's just a reminder that you are living and breathing and human after all.  Just don't let it stop you. 

Have a blessed weekend.

242.  thank God it's FRIDAY
243.  meeting new creative women
244.  overcoming fear
245.  finding someone to teach me Lightroom
246.  my new "where women create" magazine...inspiration overload


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