Tip of the day...

In line at the store, the bank, car repair shop...wherever you are...

Notice the name on the name tag of the person assisting you and use it! Ex.-"Hi Susan, how ya doin today?" They're people too and who knows, they might even say something that makes sense to you or makes you laugh and then you're BOTH better off;)
*scroll down for FOX Friday*


2/26 FOX Friday...

2/26 FOX Friday cont'd...

FOX News Article:
Watch this! :

My chinese take-out fortune cookie says...

'Unfortunately, your fortune has run out. You live in a country where your administration, in the middle of an economic crisis, spends millions of dollars on fortune cookies and you've resorted to seeking advice from China!! '
(scroll down for today's blog!!)

2/25 KILLER whale, who's shocked?!

If you know me at all, you know I HAVE to talk about this subject! It's no secret I'm an animal lover. I've had lots over the years, but my zoo currently holds 1 dog, a fish, a large cockatoo, 3 rabbits and 2 chickens. People who don't like animals have always creeped me out. I've been known to go home and get dog food and take it back up the road to a hitchhiker I saw with a dog. So, I understand the appeal of keeping interesting animals we don't see daily in a place where we can enjoy them at our leisure. Though like with all things, we have to draw the line somewhere!
I'm pretty sure that once upon a time one of these creatures did not just walk up to a human and say "I'm a KILLER whale". Humans named this animal because of it's size, habits and presence. Why then are we shocked when they exhibit the very behavior that earned them their name??
Below is a great link to a FOX News article on this story. In reading it, I was baffled when I learned that attacks on killer whale trainers is sort of part of the job! In fact, we see this in bear, tiger and gorilla training not to mention alot of others. If we know these animals are unhappy, why would we put ourselves at risk? This whale had apparently been exhibiting behavior 'like an ornery child' before this happened. Why were warning signs ignored? Luckily, over the years activists been able to curb the urge to euthanize these animals and this whale will not be killed. However, the lesson here should be that KILLER whales are just that. They need to remain in the wild and we can enjoy them from afar or through one of my favorite stations, National Geographic:)
Think of it this way. We put these animals, natural instincts and all, into captivity. (cage, aquarium, etc) Those places become their personal space, their home. As humans, we feel the same protectiveness of our personal space and our homes. Actually, we have a rule that says if somebody threatens or invades that, we can kill them on the spot. Why the double standard?


2/24 Video Vednesday...HOW?!?!!

Nora Jones' Turn Me On...

Tell me what you think! You asked for more singing, so I'll be posting songs every now and then that I might use to try out for Idol:) Let me know your HONEST opinion, it's the only way to really be helpful.
That's why Simon is my favorite judge!!


2/23 Best thing next to bare feet...and more!

My ankles, calves, knees, hips, behind, back, arms and all the little muscles in between that I haven't heard mentioned since my massage school anatomy class are in a significant amount of ...ummm....OOOWWEEE!!!
Why? Beach Body Insanity Workout with Shaun T!! This guy is serious. More serious than I like to be at 6am, but I did it anyway;) I like this video workout because you don't need fancy weights or a stinky gym, you just need yourself and the TV. Also, Shaun and the people behind him are in great shape, but they don't look like normal work-out-video-bots that can be intimidating. They're in a basketball court with natural lighting and it's a relaxed setting as opposed to a studio. Well, as relaxed as it can be never standing still! Every once in a while, it pans to one of the people taking a break mid-circuit or collapsing during an exercise to remind you that it's ok for you to do the same. I'm extremely competitive, so it's good for me to be reminded that if I do 38 instead of 40 side-to-sides, everything will be ok;)
I wanted to quit about 2 minutes in, then 10, then 30 and then 45 minutes was over and I was still alive...no matter how many times I told my husband I was going to die!! I found myself saying "I CAN'T do this" and then immediately thinking how I tell Leo that 'can't' is a bad word in our house. How can I tell my son that "we don't say can't in our family" and then say it myself? I'm able-bodied and there is no reason I cannot '...do all things through Him who strengthens me' !! And I DID:)

You'll notice though that my feet did not make that list of aching parts and the reason for that is my new kicks! Vibram 5 Fingers. I would rather be barefoot at ANY point in the day. These shoes allow me to do that during exercise, outside, at the store, everywhere. They are a smart choice for those of us with feet issues. Ok, so you asked to hear some of my faults? Bunions!!! Thanks a lot Mom or should I blame Grandma?! These feet take a beating. I like hot pink stilettos as much as any girl or a nice pair of high-heeled boots! Oo-la-la:) Isn't it only fair to my feet to treat them to these ergonomically correct wonderlands?! The company advertises that they are the next best thing to bare feet and I, as a self-proclaimed bare-foot connoisseur, can honestly say, they ARE!
So, there you have it. Two things that come highly recommended by me, if that means anything to ya. I should have a Beach Body right in time for bikini season! Check out the video and maybe you'll want to join me;)


Photo-Op!...Looooove this place!!

This is my favorite nail spa, the price is fantastic and the people are so nice! My favorite part is the hot rice bags they put on your shoulders, scrumptious!! Find something you like to treat yourself to and DO IT! You're worth it;) This one was my Valentine from Leo!

2/22 Mangiare Monday...

My best friend Bianca, who lives in Italy, simply does not understand the whole 'American meat & potatoes obsession'. One of her favorite things I say is "I love meat and meat loves me right back!" Well, the way we were raised, a meal just isn't complete without a meat and potato course. I think there are some of us who would never give up these two items, no matter the reward. So, here's a different option that a lot of us don't think about.

Instead of regular old potatoes, try sweet potatoes. We like sweet potato chips, fries, baked sweet potatoes, grilled, etc... They have an abundance of nutrition to draw from, whereas a white potato has practically none. These are a great side to that meat or any other main dish on your menu. Simple too! Just cut your potatoes thinly and lay them out on a paper towel(to dry them a bit) while you prepare your oil. PLEASE try to switch to peanut oil or coconut oil instead of vegetable oils or worse. Now that we've switched to peanut oil at our house, food tastes like it's been doused in lard when we eat out someplace that uses other oils. Put your oil in a saucepan and bring to medium heat or just a bit higher. Test one potato, when it floats and sizzles you're ready to fry! Don't put too many in or they won't move around and cook evenly. I like to cook them til they are half as golden as I like, then take them out and onto a paper towel. When all have been cooked half way, go back for a second round of frying. This way, you drain some of the grease that would normally penetrate the potatoes and you come out with a crispier finish. When they're all done, toss them with a little oregano, some garlic salt and pepper and your done!! The sweetness works with the garlic, trust me;)
*scroll down to hear about all the changes to the blog!! *


Well, wondering what's going on?! I sat back, listened to what you had to say...all of it...and made some changes! If somebody could tell me HOW to add background music to my blog, that would be great;) Beside that, here's what I've done. The 'What's Happening Now' section is gone...it's redundant. I will only be blogging Monday-Friday and only Mon, Wed & Fri are specified topics. That will give me more flexibility with what my topic is. Yes, I heard it....SHUT UP just a little bit on my video blogs, too much talking and trust me, that wasn't too hard to believe about myself;) I also got the message several times over that you WANT more singing?!? Funny, I thought I was subjecting you to torture making you listen to it. Well, you ain't seen nothin yet!! I'll talk about more interesting, even taboo, topics according to what you've said and even show some mistakes and faults of mine along the way. I'll share more recipes and Parenting Leo stories....yada yada yada. Hope you like the changes! I'll always be interested in your ideas, after all you ARE the ones reading!! :)


2/19 FOX Friday...

A public apology? Ok, it's only natural to have an opinion about Tiger Woods unless you've been in a coma for the last several weeks. I have a very strong one, but who am I to judge! We're all entitled to our opinion and we're even entitled to voice those opinions however we choose, but I personally do not know Tiger Woods and his decisions do not affect my life! Why on earth would he owe ME an apology?!!

Nuts! That's what I think of all the media involvement in the personal affairs of public figures, pro sports players and celebrities. Now, before you get all puffed up, let me explain. Yes, I agree that when a person is so widely known they should be aware that there are kids looking up to them and people taking example or wanting to be like them. That doesn't mean that their life has somehow become ours to toy with, invade or control! In fact, aren't we all supposed to be living and leading by example? He plays golf, he's not the Dalai Lama! If mobs of people followed any of us regular folk with cameras or got involved in our personal and private affairs (pun intended), we'd have a conniption.

Does it make sense that these two people who are going through a terrible time in their lives and should be focusing on their children, have to take time for a press conference and a public apology?? No matter their decision about a divorce, it's going to be a hard enough stage for them. The headlines are filled with questions like 'Will they announce a divorce?' 'What will Tiger say?' 'What will Tiger's woe story be?'....they've been showing shots of the empty stage where he's supposed to speak all morning long! The EMPTY stage?!?! That's news?! Disappointing.

It's disappointing because the media would only make Tiger and his mess as high profile as it is if that's what got the best ratings! That's what we want to hear? We're most interested in others hard times, mistakes, embarrassments, etc?? I'm not watching the news this morning intentionally because I think the whole spectacle is ridiculous. He owes his wife an apology. He owes his children an apology. He owes his mistresses(even though they made their own choices as well) an apology. Maybe he even owes Elins family and his own an apology for the embarrassment and disrespect, but he certainly does not owe you or I one at all!

Can't we be more interesting than this? Can't we find better things to fill our headlines with? I mean, do you want to get up on a stage and publicly talk about your biggest mistakes and failures? Every single one of us has them. Think about it.


2/18 Thursday is HER day...

As much as we love men....and boy don't we;)....it's wonderful to be a woman, isn't it? I mean, and I'm sorry fellas, just simply the view in the mirror after we get out of the shower is an argument in itself as to why I'd never trade my sex! I know we have to 'deal' with things that men don't and it doesn't seem fair.

My neighbors were getting out of the car the other day (she was due to have a little boy days ago ) and I was talking to the male half of the two. I said 'how you guys doin' ?' and he quickly replied with 'we're great!!' and went on from there about how easy this pregnancy had been, how she's taking it like a pro that the baby is overdue ...etc etc....and for the 4 or 5 minutes he went on I listened and nodded, but kept my eye on her. She had that 'so swollen I'll bust open if you touch me, so don't you dare!' look about her, she rolled her eyes all the way in the back of her head when the words 'like a pro' came out of his mouth and I think I saw a tear come out of her eye when she tried for the 5th or 6th time to pull herself up out of the car and just could not do it. However, she'd probably tell you she's 'great!' too if given the chance.
One of my sisters is pregnant with her 5th baby girl right now and she hasn't slowed down a bit! Even though she knows from previous pregnancies that she might have some postpartum depression and she has 4 girls to keep up with already, this lady has taken on more responsibility, a few new hobbies and gotten even more active in the church she loves! Amazing!!

My mom has been through some tough situations in her life, I mean tough. She saw the end of two tough marriages and then when she married my dad with two girls of her own, she became the stepmother of 6 more! That many mouths to feed has it's obvious struggles, but she always persevered. She runs a company with my dad from sun up to sun down practically to keep up with it's success. She's dealt with the loss of both of her parents and two of her brothers and the discovery of a sister!!! Yet, she makes time to stay active in church and ALWAYS makes time for her children and grandchildren. Not to mention, she looks ten years younger than she should at her age and is one of the most stylish, intelligent, complex ladies I know and after all the ups and downs of her life, keeps a smile on her face!

Another sister of mine is the 'workin-est' person I know. She made straight A's all through school, got a bachelors AND a masters degree, pushed her way up the ranks in the US Navy, was even on the presidential medical staff in Maryland, works medically with inmates and doesn't even flinch. On a typical 'day off of work' you'll find her on scaffolding painting her house, tiling a floor, cleaning the pool, trimming trees, cleaning gutters, running 8 or 10 errands....you catch my drift?

My best friend is Croatian and Italian, proudly. She came over to 'nowhere USA' as an exchange student our senior year (luckily for me). She went on to obtain a prestigious college degree and can speak/translate something like 8 different languages. She's traveled to more countries than I could even try to list. Just bought, gutted and remodeled her apartment by the sea and on top of it all helps to run a high-end international company after taking the place of the people she used to work under! There's no stopping her!

These are just 4 women that are close to me and there are around 3.3 billion women in this world. All of them with a story, struggles, failures, accomplishments. It's incredible to me. Especially since we've been this way since the beginning of time and for most of history were labeled as the lesser sex! Would we trade it? Absolutely not. That's what makes us so special.

Inspiring isn't it? Doesn't it make sense that I would devote an entire day each week to the HERs in this world?The only thing I would ask of these ladies and all of the rest of you is to take time for yourself! As a massage therapist I've used a comparison a million times to express how important it is to do this - 'Would you drive your car if the gas light said empty? Would you go without an oil change??' - (I blew up a car engine once by doing that so I would NOT recommend it) What is it that 're-fuels' you? What is your body's 'oil change' ? A pedicure? A massage? A glass of wine and a bubble bath? A day spent with the family? A good work-out? For me, it's taking time to enjoy a sunrise at the end of a good long walk in the morning. I have more energy on days I make time for that and tonight I think I'll go to my favorite nail spa tonight and use the gift certificate Leo got me for Valentines;)

Hold your head high, be proud of who we are. We CAN do it all. We are beautiful complex, top-of -the-line machines ladies....but even a Ferrari can't run on empty!


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*After you watch todays videos, scroll down to read the new Parenting Leo in the sidebar!*

2/17 Video Vednesday...

2/17 Video Vednesday cont'd...


to share with you...

I just wanted to share my Valentines;) My mom got me these beautiful flowers. Leo got me a manicure & pedicure at Polished, my favorite nail spa. The heart necklace from Skeletal Metal is very cool and my husband, Paul, got me that! Thanx guys:)


2/16 Two Cents Tuesday...

Today I'm going to keep my mouth shut and listen to you! Partly because I want to make my blog more interesting and partly because I broke my tooth;) I'm going to the dentist now to get it fixed and it's in the back, so it's not that bad. I'll tell you this though....lollipops are meant to be sucked on NOT bitten!!
So, take advantage of this time that my jaws aren't flapping like normal! Tell me what you've liked/disliked about my blog. Tell me what you want to see more of/less of.....any questions you've been dying to ask, yada yada yada....I want YOUR two cents this Tuesday!
Alright, I can't procrastinate any longer, gotta go to the dentist. Wish me luck! :(


Scroll down for...

*Be sure to scroll down and look at yesterdays posts. Valentine and a photo shoot of my sister and her girls. I posted them late yesterday, but they're too good to miss;)*

2/15 Mangiare Monday...

MMmmm.....as in Meatball sandwiches! Actually, Leo's "Mmm" would be for the zucchini:) After snow peas, I think it's his favorite! This meal is simple and quick to make and your family will love it, trust me. Of course you can always tweak my recipes using whatever ingredients you want or add something if it sounds good to you. That's the fun part of trying new recipes for me, tweaking it just a bit to my own taste buds' preferences. My best friend, Bianca, will cringe when I say this, but in my house that 'tweaking' almost always means adding garlic!

-all natural sourdough rolls
-ground buffalo seasoned with fresh garlic, oregano, basil, pepper and grey salt
-fresh mozzarella
-organic marinara
-diced zucchini seasoned with olive oil and lemon pepper

Make your 'meatballs' more like hamburger patties, so they fit on the roll and won't be too thick to bite! Brown them in a pan until golden on the outside and medium rare inside. Add marinara to pan and let simmer with the buffalo for at least 10 minutes to allow the meatballs to absorb the sauce. It should only be on medium heat, so you don't over cook the meat. Cut your rolls in half, place a meatball on them with a little sauce, add fresh mozzarella on top and place them on a pan along with the top buns. You can add a salad to this meal, but be sure to make your own croutons in just two minutes. Dice any bread and simmer in a pan with a bit of butter, garlic salt, pepper and parsley flakes until golden brown and spread onto baking pan. Broil the sandwiches and croutons until they are melted and browned. While they're broiling, put your zucchini in a pan heated to medium and saute until tender. Dinner is served!! These pictures are of this very meal at my dinner table just the other night. Hope you enjoy;)


2/14 My Valentine;)

Leo worked diligently to sign each card with a special scribble to his Grammy's, cousins, and friends. Hope your V'day was special too!!

2/14 Sunday Star....

These girls are all STARS in my eyes and I had a blast doing this shoot with them!! My sister & her four girls:)

2/14 Sunday Star...


2/13 Saturday Shopaholic...

Funny and ironic, I spent today being a Saturday Shopaholic for sure! I had two of my sisters and my mom in town and we went to a shoppers wonderland called Affair of the Heart. Six expo buildings filled with crafters and their crafts. Everything you can think of and a lot more things you'd never think of, but for some reason just have to have!! It's a great place to find fun and unique gifts to store away for birthdays and Christmas for all the people in your life. I ended up coming home with a cute ear warmer, a new hat, a pizza pocket maker, a hair pin, some emu oil, coasters, a headband and Leo got a tee pee!! Beside the serious loot we all brought home (my sisters both bought furniture and my mom....she bought everything in sight) we got to spend the day out together with NO KIDS! My husband watched all the kids:) An 11, 8, 4, 3, 2 and 1 yr old so we could have this day and he managed to do the laundry, make homemade popcorn and PAINT THEIR NAILS?!?! Am I dreaming? What a glorious day all around.......pinch me and I'll deck ya! ;)


2/12 FOX Friday...

I don't know about you, but I agree with Sarah Palin that we need a Commander in Chief running our country. We don't need somebody who's constantly blaming other people for what's going on and full of lip service with no action! The same goes for all the other 'soldiers of our government', those holding public offices. Man or woman, we need people speaking, acting and fighting for our country who say what they mean and mean what they say. Who aren't afraid to do whatever it takes to get the job done right. Who listen to the citizens of this country and fight to help them be heard!

Now, I LOVE a great cage fight. MMA is probably my favorite sport to watch! These guys and gals are tough. They are not full of rage, they train, plan and execute their strategies in great detail and with much work and diligence. They get right back up after a punch. They fight until the end, until the job is done. They have heart, pride.....I guess it's obvious what I am talking about by now if you've watched the news in the last couple of days and I think it's FANTASTIC!!

Chael Sonnen is running for Oregon state representative and I think he'd do a knock-out job! Watch the video below and decide for yourself, but honestly if he can fight like a warrior in the octagon I'm sure fighting like a warrior for our country would come just as natural and it sounds as though I'm right!

2/12 FOX Friday cont'd...


Photo-Op!..my precious pup, Athena:)

*scroll down for today's Thursday is HER day*

2/11 Thursday is HER day...

It is my very strong opinion that in this life we've been given, it is our responsibility to give what we can to those who need it. It's also my opinion that if we don't, we're setting ourselves and our lives up for failure! Being HER day, I thought giving was a perfect topic since women really capture the essence of what giving means. BUT, men, don't think this message couldn't be useful to you too;) I grew up in a household where, on any given night, my dad could come home from a business trip with a 'traveler' or somebody 'just a little down on their luck'...I never knew that most people called them 'homeless' until I was older. Boy I tell ya, what a warm meal, a hot shower, a soft place to sleep and maybe a little cash in their pocket does for a person living so harshly.....does more for the person giving, I promise! My mom has given her clothes right out of her closet (and her taste is impeccable) to somebody who needed them more at least a hundred times that I've seen. Times like these and all the other million examples I could give of my parents giving spirit, left an unshakable impression on me. Like a badge that I can't remove, but I'm so proud to wear.

Your first argument might be something like "what if they mis-use the money?" or "what if they don't appreciate what I do?" It doesn't matter. Simple as that. We will be judged by the way we live OUR lives, by the way WE give. It's not our job (even though it's so easy to do) to judge ANYONE, ever. Furthermore, the Bible tells us to go amongst ALL the people even your enemy and show them how to live. If we say "I don't want to help them because I don't think they'll yada yada yada...", we're overstepping our boundaries. Our instruction is : Give. Or if we say "I don't support them because they don't believe what I believe or live the way I live", we're NOT loving thy neighbor as thyself and we're missing out on an opportunity! Is it really being a witness when we only witness to people who already believe what we do? A witness does not judge and lecture. A true witness simply leads by example.

Your second argument might be "I don't have enough money to share" Ok. You won't catch ANY flack from me about this. In today's economy, that's completely understandable. Sometimes we just cannot squeeze extra money out of our budgets! Money is SO FAR from the only way to give, we have unlimited options!! The picture above is at my house right before I used one of my skills, massage therapy, to help somebody who needed it. That's right, we can use all of our skills to give to some one in need and not spend a penny! Remember too, that those in need of financial help aren't the only ones we should give to. Somebody close to me had a pretty terrible week and was heading into a doozy of another week, so I thought 'how can I help?'...a massage! If you have a friend who could use a few hours away from the kids, you could offer to watch them. If you know an elderly person who could use a friend to talk to once in a while, that friend could be you! If you are able to help somebody do lawn care, plumbing, beauty services, grocery shopping....you could even do taxes, sing at a nursing home, work at a food bank, become a Big Sister/Brother...etc! Say a kind word to somebody who looks down, be a shoulder to cry on. What are your special skills, what are all of your skills and how can you put them to better use? I know some of the coolest people I've met have been those fellas who smelled and looked scary when they came to our house and left clean, rested and with an extra spark in their eye. I know everyone can't do that and it seems pretty dangerous to bring some one into your home, but my dad always said he knew the Good Lord would take care of him. My dad was born in a pup tent, was raised by two wise and happy believers in a life of what most would call poverty, has overcome unspeakable obstacles, literally came back to life after being pronounced dead, started a rope company in his barn and with my mother has turned it into a global success that is growing faster than their heads can spin......why? He would say it's all thanks to Him. The point is, in the long run, you'll reap what you sow. Give and ye shall receive! Teach your children this, it's a dying belief in this 'every one's out for himself ' kind of world.
*a cool link I got from a friend http://myturnday.com/home/ *


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there's a new Parenting Leo in the side bar:)

2/9 Two Cents Tuesday...

As most lame ideas are, the idea that women are somehow less than men obviously had to come from ....a man! Think about it. When you're a child and need help, who do you run to? Your mother. Women can hold the same jobs as men and then go home and be masterminds of their own households. There is a reason, or millions of them, why the saying exists "Behind every great man is an even greater woman". We can go out and conquer the world, bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, fix a boo-boo with the other hand, vacuum with our foot, yada yada yada....Even the Bible says woman shall walk beside man, not under him. We aren't as quick to anger, which could be helpful in a time of war. We come up with the kinds of solutions that help everyone involved, not just ourselves. We're thrifty, creative and always have a back-up plan for when we're 'in a pinch'. Guys, when are we going to realize this country is ready for a WOMAN president?!!
Now, I'm not a man basher. For goodness sake, we need them!...and let's admit it, we like having them around;) All I'm saying is maybe, in light of our country's current state, we should try something new! It's no secret I don't believe Obama has our country's best interest at heart. Sarah Palin, on the other hand, is somebody I could really get behind! She loves our country, gets that we ARE at war and there's no choice in the matter, she concerned about LOWERING the national debt and is ALWAYS looking out for us regular old Americans. She's less concerned about her pocket book and more concerned about preserving the precious values our country was founded on. She recently spoke at the Tea Party Convention and did a bang up job. It's comforting to listen to a 'politician' give speech after speech after speech and her views, goals, morals, strategies and ideas remain the same. Consistent, honest and ,quite frankly, as blunt as they come! With all she has on her plate, she never slows down. She just keeps gaining momentum and I want to go along for the ride! If she runs for President, she'll have my vote!...and that's my two cents for today;)
*check out the Tea Party Movement at http://teapartypatriots.ning.com/ *


Can you believe I used to be this little guy's nanny?...well, live in Auntie:) While I was going to massage therapy school at age 18, I lived with my older sister and watched my two little nephews. It doesn't seem that long ago! This is the older brother of the ball player I posted the other day and he's no less talented. They call him the Birdman because of his 'mimicked' hairstyle after the Denver Nugget's Birdman and hold his hair in the same respect as a valued good luck charm and it must work, because they were victorious again last night!


Photo-Op!...this was at 7:30am:)

** scroll down for today's Mangiare Monday**


make sure to scroll down after you read a post, sometimes I publish two or three a day....

2/8 Mangiare Monday...

Well, today I'm just going to share a recipe with you to show you how easy it is to prepare foods you love healthfully!...and share a little about why you should;) Last night, I made these nachos for my husband and I to munch on during the Super Bowl. Since there wasn't a crumb left, I'm assuming he thought they were just as delicious as I did! Seemingly normal looking, these nachos are filled with surprises;

-organic blue corn chips
-colby jack cheese (ours is from the same folks we get our milk)
-ground buffalo (seasoned with chili powder, cayenne and garlic salt)
-organic jalapenos and tomatoes
-salsa (we make our own from organic ingredients)

We choose to eat buffalo at our house a lot of times over beef just because we love the taste and tenderness and it's a leaner meat. When we do eat beef, it's grass-fed which, beside the health benefits, is just a more tender, leaner meat. Just as we resemble what we eat, so do animals. With cattle, an even scarier villain is lurking. E coli showed it's ugly face in our country due to severe uncleanliness in the slaughterhouses. Commercial cattle are covered, literally, in their own feces when they reach the houses and do you think in today's economy there is a person giving each one a bath before it's demise?? That's why I prefer cattle/buffalo that were never covered in their own crap to begin with! It's the same with chicken. Most of the chicken available in stores was raised never seeing a second of daylight, genetically modified to grow to full size in weeks and was 'lucky' to make it to the slaughterhouse before dying of a heart attack or their bodies just collapsing from being too young to handle their own size!! YUMMY!...sounds delicious right?
Use the local farmers link under my links list to find resources for milk, cheese, produce, etc.... Our reasoning, beside supporting our local economy, is simply so that when we drink milk, we're ONLY drinking milk. When we eat cheese, it's JUST cheese. Our vegetables and fruits won't be covered in pesticides. Even the blue corn chips we used only had about 3 or 4 ingredients instead of 20. I never learned about the hydrogenated oils section of the nutrition pyramid or the 'unpronounceable chemical' section either! Why ingest things we can't even pronounce?! Food will taste like food again and you'll love it!


2/7 Photo-Op!...and a tiny brag session;)

This is my nephew, the athlete and scholar. Beside being devastatingly handsome and an all-around star athlete, he has a GPA and PSAT scores that have schools like Stanford drooling over him...and he's only a freshman in high school!!

2/7 Sunday Star...

Today is Sunday and I plan on soaking up as much of my 'son' today as possible, so I'll make this short and sweet! I need your help over the next few months. If I'm going to cross 'trying out for American Idol' off of my bucket list I only have this summer and next before I'm too old. First thing's first...song choice!! It doesn't matter if you're the best singer this side of Chucks BBQ, if you pick the wrong song....no golden ticket:(
I'm hummin' and singin' and testing my chops at songs I can think of, but maybe you have a better choice? Leave a comment with your ideas for good Idol audition songs and maybe I'll do a video post from time to time, singing some of your suggestions and mine and you can help me narrow them down?!! What do ya think?

2/7 Absolutely Aimee...

My sister has a blog that's totally different than mine, but just as interesting and full of great ideas like this one! She made this growing chart for Leo and we just LOVE it:) Check out the girl version she made for her daughters on her blog: http://absolutelyaimee.blogspot.com/


2/6 Saturday Shopaholic...

Saturday's in our family are pretty busy. It's basically the day we get up early and go to the farmer's market and go to get milk if the folks we buy it from aren't at the market. We also go the the grocery store and healthy foods store to get the rest of our rations for the week. While there, I also buy the fixings for my dog, Athena's food and vegetables for the chickens and rabbit. Later, I cook Athena's food (yes, that's what I said but we'll talk about that another time) and chop and divide the other animals' food.
I LOVE Saturday's! I love the farmers market and the folks who sell our delicious goods to us. I love that Leo yells "buffalo stick!" every time he sees the nice lady we buy our buffalo meats from and she gives him a free two-pack of buffalo jerky sticks in exchange for a hug:) I love tasting foods with robust earthy flavor. I love taking Leo to the milk farm so he can see exactly where his milk came from and know it was just made that morning. I love selecting all the ingredients for a new Food Renegade recipe I'm going to try. I love knowing that the products I'm deciding to buy are not going to affect my family negatively and will actually help our bodies and minds. I love knowing I'm making a real effort to fight against diseases like diabetes, cancer, etc. I gotta tell ya, I love my Saturday shopping experience just as much, if not more, than a shopping spree at the mall. You'll hear me talk MUCH more about this, but for now all I can say is that this re-alignment of priorities when it comes to my families nutrition has changed my life completely! It's a change for the good and I wouldn't go back in a million years. Although there are so many facts and statistics I could give you to back up what I'm trying to say, the simple truth is my taste buds and the way I feel since making changes toward healthier eating are what made up my mind. Try it for yourself, you'll be hooked!...and don't forget your re-usable bags;)

2/6 Photo-Op!

I'm famous for saying, "hey, this is a great 'photo-op' !" My family has nearly been driven insane by the flash of a camera in their eyes, but they always love the scrapbooks I make, the photos of their kids I take and my family Christmas dvd of photos along with music is a big hit! Doesn't matter where we are or how many of us are together (up to 40 or more sometimes!)...there I am, lurking in the background capturing moments. I've decided to take my passion professional, but from time to time, I'd also like to share a Photo-Op! with you;)
...stay tuned for today's Shopaholic...


2/5 FOX Friday...

FOX Friday is here and I couldn't decide on just one thing to talk about! So, I've narrowed it down to three...a link to help our troops, a comic in the making and a seriously silly story! Also, don't forget to check out Food Renegade under my blog list for great Super Bowl recipes!!
Wanna boost the morale of our troops and fill their bellies with something better than beef in a can? Visit http://www.pizzas4patriots.com/ to send pizza overseas! Thanks to these guys, our troops will be eating pizza and tossing footballs this Sunday along with the rest of us!! It may seem crazy to think that pizza would affect them, but those little normalcy's from home can go a long way toward keeping their spirits up. Check it out!

I heard a great bit this morning by a comic-in-the-making that had me rolling and the best quote went something like this...
"I encourage you all to stop watching politics on television and get on board..."-Obama-
Wow. To me, that translates into Mr Pres. basically telling us to stop educating ourselves and getting involved and just follow him like mindless cattle into the slaughterhouse! Are you kidding? I mean, he was joking right? Sadly not. The punch line to this bit? This president who wants us to back away from politics on television is also the same fella who has appeared on TV more than any other president in history by a long shot!
...badum-bum-ch :)

This next story baffles me and that's tough to do! A fourth grader playing with his friends at lunch-time was pulled, by his principal, from the room to the office. The reason? A Legoman gun equaling the length of a quarter and nickel end to end...literally! Even worse, the boy was nearly suspended!! The only reason he wasn't is because the news got ahold of the story. A spokesperson for the school admits the principal overreacted and it's true this should not have happened. There should have been a level of common sense, but is this really her fault? I think the bigger issue here is why she felt this was her only decision. If she hadn't it would have gotten out and then she'd be deemed 'the principal who allows guns in school'. Here in America we're fear motivated because there's always somebody there to twist our words or to be offended by what we do or to turn us in for what they think is wrong.
Not too long ago I was with my mother and my son in public. Leo was being terrible and I kept saying "You're going to get in trouble young man!" and "Next time it's a spankin!" and when he just kept getting worse I asked my mom "What am I doing wrong?!?!?" Her obvious response (and what I already very well knew) was that I wasn't doing what I thought was right for my son. This isn't a spanking vs. non-spanking point I'm making here, folks! It's bigger than that. I was basing my decision about what was best for my son on the fact that I was in public and what people would think/say/do. That's not fair to me, but it's especially not fair to Leo. Whatever you use for punishment, be consistent even in public. Your kids will learn you mean what you say no matter where you are and that's a good feeling for you AND them. It means they can trust you!
This extends to our entire country too. We take down crosses, because we don't want any trouble. We let criminals go free, because they promise a lawsuit. We keep our mouths shut about things we really believe in, because our friends have a different opinion. We let immigrants live tax-free because we don't want to face the activists. We allow 'capable as the rest of us' people to collect unemployment and welfare because they'll lash back with the word discrimination.
It's exhausting to try and be a different person around all the different people in our lives. So, let's work on being genuine! Let's believe the same thing in public as we do at home and not be afraid to say so whether it's politics, religion, etc. It's less stressful for us and a great example for our kids. Just imagine if we believed our government was being honest with us? Maybe we'd follow a little easier;)


2/4 Thursday is HER day...

A very special person in my life, my sister, lost her father on Saturday. Even though she'd suspected his time was coming, it's never an easy or pleasant experience in life when we lose somebody we love. I hope his soul rests in peace and that she finds peace in the days to come. The coolest thing, though, is that through her life no matter how far away or what the circumstances, her father always made time to call her and ALWAYS told her he was proud of who she was. What a gift!! Some people go their whole lives without a person to say "I'm proud of you"...and as successful as she is, it must have had an impact.

It got me thinking about who those people are in my life. As women, we're deeply rooted in our families. My family has definitely shaped me into the person I am today. That little boy in the picture above taught me to think for myself, to be inventive and creative, to sing, to respect others and give to them any time you can, to work hard even when it hurts, to never give up even when others tell you to, to love and respect all of God's creatures, that there really are second chances, and to thank The Good Lord for everything...he's my dad. That silky haired lady in pink taught me how to cook, she taught me to have pride in my family, she taught me class, how to mix a good drink and when she lost her eyesight, she taught me perseverance...she's my grandma. My other grandmother is sitting next to her. She taught me compassion, that there's a silver lining behind every cloud, she taught me kindness, to be content with the blessing's God's given you, not to judge others and also a love for musical instruments. One thing they all did? They always told me they were proud of me.

There are three pictures left up there...my mom:) What a beauty eh? People say I look like her, but I also hope they say I can sing beautifully like she does or that I turn as many heads when I walk in the room. I got my confidence from her, my eye for fashion and interior design, my LOUD but infectious laugh, my acting/entertaining ability, my respect for elders, my ability to throw a heck of a party or to take charge of the task at hand, my artistic ability and so much of my wisdom about life! I couldn't list all the things she's given me, but I do know that whoever I am or whatever I do she is proud of me and for that, this Thursday is HER day... Thanks mom;)

Thinking about my sister's loss, I decided that I needed to thank those who've encouraged me through my life and how good it still feels to hear it. Also, that I needed to make it a priority to lift my son up, making sure he knows I'm proud of him every day. Tell your children you're proud of them, no matter what their age. They want to hear it....don't you?