2/1 Mangiare Monday

Happy Monday and welcome to my first addition of Mangiare Monday! With diseases like cancer, diabetes and, yes, obesity running rampant in our country, we owe it to ourselves and our families to seriously assess the way we're eating. These bodies we have are a blessing and we should show our appreciation by treating them with respect. I couldn't possibly fit all of my thoughts and views into today's blog which is why I'll be back talking about this every Monday:)

The first thing we can do is make sure what we're eating is actually food. You might say "if I'm eating it, it's food right?" NO!!!!! In fact, if it's from the center isles of the grocery store, chances are it's probably not. You want foods with no ingredients list (ie. apple, lettuce, 100% fruit juice), but if there is a list, you want to know what everything is and ask yourself if your grandmother would recognize it as food. If you don't eliminate anything from your diet except partially hydrogenated oils and high fructose syrups you'll be making LEAPS & BOUNDS toward healthier living! Our bodies don't even know how to process them!! Eating naturally and organically isn't 'new age' folks! The space food we call nutrition is 'new age'. Really! If you think about it, your grandmother and hers and theirs before them ate 'naturally' or 'organically'. We've only started to add these poisons, fillers and pesticides to our food in the last handful of decades. It's sad though that already we have managed to 'un-food' almost 95% of what's available in grocery stores! Do I still indulge in Oreos, Doritos, and all the other terrible for you, but wonderful tasting stuff out there? You betcha!!.....but only every once in a while;)
Read your labels, shop your local farmers markets and health food stores(this supports your town, city, state, etc...not China or wherever else!) . Grow your own! Watch the movie 'Food Inc'. Cook more at home instead of going out, your family will reconnect. You'll find healthier, more delicious foods and a new-found appreciation for the the planet that brought them to you!
If you read this weeks Parenting Leo, you know we have our own chickens. Last night I used one of my favorite Food Renegade recipes to highlight those eggs Leo rounds up for us;) Only, I added some diced mozzarella and some ground buffalo (you could use ground beef too, grass-fed is best) PLEASE try it! I admit, it seems strange at first, but it's so delicious my two year old even asks for seconds!! Paired with a nice salad and a glass of prosecco, it's pretty darn tasty!!...besides, trying new things keeps us young right?;)

for the recipe:

1/31 Sunday Star

Sundays are dedicated to stars...that includes me or any other person I deem worthy because, after all, it is MY blog!;) As I'm sure you've guessed by now, I'm on a personal journey of my own and I'm dragging my family right along with me! It's definitely NOT a quest for stardom, but rather a quest to find my inner 'star'...to utilize my talents doing something that I love to do!

Yes, you guessed it. I AM the person in the buffet line who has a completely sufficient amount of food on her plate and yet, for some reason, keeps piling it on!! In other words, I have enough on my plate with my husband, my two year old, my daily activities and my 'large is an understatement' extended family, BUT I just can't resist challenging myself with more!

I've written a children's book, picked up a degree in acting, am dabbling in freelance photography, AM trying out for the next season of American Idol, I started this blog.....the list goes on! No, I don't think I'm the next Carrie Underwood or the next Jennifer Aniston or even the next Shel Silverstein, but I'll always know that I devoted time to things that I love doing and I won't have any regrets about never trying something I always wanted to! That's worth it to me:)

I encourage all of you to do this in some way, in whatever way fits you and those dreams YOU KNOW you have! Just do it! There will always be those who think we're crazy, or who think we'll fail or those who just laugh at us, but what does that matter? What do they have to do with our lives? If you look past those people you'll be surprised (I know I was) at how many more people there are who want to see you succeed! They really do and they'll support you along the way. All I know is there were times that I couldn't remember the last song I sang, the last stage I acted on, the last time I sat down to write....and that didn't settle well with me. Yes, my husband thinks I'm a fabulous wife and my son thinks I'm the best thing since motorcycles and so those are gifts I've been blessed with as well. Now, I'm just making time for all the things that I love. Actually, I'm just making time for me! I always wanted to be Mary Tyler Moore tossing my hat up in the air because that theme song was so encouraging;) My favorite part and new motto?

"Love is all around, no need to waste it! You can have the town, why don't you take it? You might just make it after all!!"


1/30 Saturday Shopaholic

Once upon a time in what seems like a far away land a long, long time ago, an extremely beautiful knock-out of a princess (please allow for personal indulgences) could spend her days shopping to her hearts content, buying whatever she wanted just because 'it's SO cute, please?!' worked nearly every time she asked her very giving mother and father;) The princess had great taste and loved all things 'fashion'. She grew up and set out on her own life's journey where decisions between a car payment or some new shoes were very, very hard! She got married to a handsome prince who liked the bills paid on time and money in the bank, the economy took a turn for the worse and asking herself questions like "Is $150 too much for a shirt?" just seemed slightly unreasonable! Trial and error isn't pretty, but is usually fruitful in the end. Looking fabulous and in one of her favorite stores (in fact she'd bought the shirt she was wearing there a few weeks ago) she was slapped right across the face by none other than.....THE SHIRT SHE WAS WEARING THAT SHE'D JUST BOUGHT A FEW WEEKS AGO!!! Only, it was about 75% cheaper! At that rate, she could have bought three more shirts. She left the store, empty-handed.

After MY wake-up call, I set out to find a more thrifty way of shopping while never compromising my personal fashion sense. That's when I discovered the beauty of CLEARANCE!

Listen ladies, hold your head high as you walk to the back of the store first or directly to the red signs as you're about to embark on a different path and you'll never turn back! It's not urban legend, it's true...the clothes on clearance are the SAME EXACT clothes that were in the front of the store just a few weeks ago! Call me cheap, tacky, call me what you will....It's fun, for me, to 'window shop' knowing I'll have that shirt in the window, and probably the one or two next to it and still have money left for lunch! All for a fraction of the price of that one shirt in the window. Sounds smart to me;)......try it, I dare ya!


1/29 FOX Friday

Was America 'intoxicated' by Obama? I have to admit, before doing my own research, the package he was promoting seemed like a sweet deal! I mean, gosh, he danced on Ellen and Oprah even loved him;) The point is, we did too much listening and not enough of our own research as a country and now? I don't think I need to tell you what's happened because of it. Our precious country is in jeopardy, folks! Big-time. Bamboozled? Yes, and we should feel a little sheepish, but at least you didn't nationally pronounce your love for the man in a heavily publicized music video! They call her 'Obama Girl' and she's a little upset. Watch this clip of her on Hannity and see for yourself. Just a regular girl, gorgeous and entrepreneurial, trying to make her way.....she's already thinking of a new video lead. Obama lost the country's approval and now 'Obama Girl'?!?! I'm sure this has the White House in a frenzy;)

Don't forget to scroll down to catch my opinion on Obama's State of the Union Address in the 'What's Happening Now' section!


1/28 Thursday is HER day...

Well, cabin fever here I come! With a winter storm on it's way promising to keep us prisoner at home for a couple of days, I'm less than enthused. My husband and I asked each other what we needed before we were prepared for the storm. His answers were something like 'propane, food that doesn't need to be cooked, flashlights, water, candles, etc etc etc.... Mine? Maybe not as sensible, but definitely as smart!

I said we needed to pray, buy some games and chocolate and I needed to make sure and have a nice hot bath before the storm came in and oh!, don't forget we need to bring in the chickens and rabbit!!

Since this is HER day I got to thinking about my list and how I was proud to have thought like a woman during a storm. If you break it down you could use my logic to face any storm and I think you'd do pretty good.

- Praying! No problem with asking Him to send in some back-ups to get you through whatever you're facing.

- Games? Finding the humor in every situation and trying to have fun in all you do is a perfect way to cut tension that builds during hard times.

- Chocolate. (no explanation necessary)

- Hot bath;) Take time for yourself, especially if you are expecting some stress. Relax your mind and body and take care of YOU, so that you can take care of others and because you work hard enough to deserve it!

- Rabbits and Chickens? Never forget about your friends and never NEVER leave them out in the cold. Remembering your friends when they need you will always pay off in the end when they'll be there for you!!

Quirky? Maybe, but I'll take my chances!! Have a fabulous day:)