Thursday, February 26, 2009

Paint Your Wardrobe

I absolutely love going into Kate's closet to choose her outfit for the day. One reason is because they are so petite and cute. The main reason, is because all her outfits are so colorful and fun.

Now I go into my closet. Hmmmmmm, should I wear black, gray, or white today? And let's not forget my exciting blue jeans or sweatpants.

Yes, I know, we all need the basic and classic black pants, dress, blah, blah, blah.....but where did the rest of the colors go? What happened to yellows, pinks, lavender, greens, etc.

I remember when Oprah had her walk-in closet built on national television and her entire wardrobe was sorted by color. It looked like a rainbow burst inside her closet. If it was mine, it would be only divided into two categories.

Spring is coming and the next piece of clothing that I intend on purchasing will be one of color. Not tacky, and definitely age appropriate. A cool tone to go with my warm complexion. I want to look at my clothes and have the same sense of excitement that I do when I look at Kate's.

A Moment of Silence

Good morning!

Everyday that I am blessed to open my eyes and look at the sky and wake up to my family, it is already a great day. Take a moment of silence today and think about all the things that you have been blessed with.

Don't think about the stress of work, or the dirty laundry, or your debt, just take a moment and appreciate the things in your life that really define who you are. We all have an exterior that we allow the world to see, but at the core is someone else. Someone who is essential to the cycle of life as a whole, and who has an undying spirit that is not of this world.

Look all around and you will find so much to be thankful for. When you hear what little kids like Owen have to face, you realize that the problems we have are so minuscule in the scheme of things.

Take it all in, own it, be grateful for it, and then release all that positive energy back into the Universe.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pray for Owen

Everyone reading this post, please click on the Bumble Beans blog to the right and read my friend Victoria's latest entry. Little Owen is fighting cancer and he needs all of our prayers. The more people pray for him, I believe the better his odds. Take the time to acknowledge this precious boys life and send healing vibes his way.

A Walk In The Sun

When was the last time you went for a walk? Living in NYC, it was a daily ritual. When I moved out to CO it became less so. Everyone drives everywhere. Today was a glorious day, 70 degrees, perfect for a stroll to the park. Kate was strapped to me and she enjoyed looking out at her environment.
Tyler (Lance & Ethan's friend) and Lance rode in the wagon. Sasha (Tyler's mom) was the one in charge of pulling.

Beautiful day to play at the park. The sun was glaring and the air was crisp. Difficult to believe that yesterday was a winter day. Wanted to go home and start gardening.

The sky a magnificent blue. The tree a most effervescent green.

Kate had sweet dreams on this sunny morning.

Next time you automatically think about hopping into your car, think twice. If it's a nice day and you are going somewhere close by, take a walk instead. There are so many more things that you can observe and enjoy by walking than driving. Be in the moment. Experience LIFE!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Start A Mini-Book Club

Ethan brought home a Tyrannosaurus Rex tooth that he made in his Mad Scientist class last week. I was blown away, I loved it so much. He is enthralled with dinosaurs. Every Friday is library day at his school and he has brought home a different dinosaur book every single time.

I am being educated all over again myself. There are so many things that I either forgot or never learned in the first place. Kids thrive when their parents are involved in their education. One of Kurt's clients who raised two successful adults, told him that when the teachers approached her to place her children in advanced courses because they were "geniuses" her response was, "My kids are not geniuses, they just have involved parents."

Education doesn't stop at school, it begins there and should continue at home.

Today, I came up with an idea of starting a children's book club for Ethan and Lance. I thought of teaming up with a mom whose kids are the same age group and choosing a book of the month to read with our boys. We will meet at the end of the month to discuss it with them. We can create a game or a craft around the subject to make it engaging along with cupcakes/cookies.

Women bond through stories all the time. Children can do the same. Their peers can spark their excitement for learning. Take the time to start your own book club with your child no matter how young or how old.

If your child is in college maybe this would be a good excuse to reconnect at least once a month.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

And the award goes to.........

I loved the Oscars last night. Enjoyed the new look of the theater, the intimacy, the fashion, the acceptance speeches, but most of all the green gems on Angelina Jolie....LOL!!! We suspect she drilled to the center of the Earth for those.

We threw an intimate party last night and had so much fun. Everyone brought over a yummy treat and we drank Champagne Punch. We voted on all the categories before the show started and the winner chose a prize out of my "goody bag" filled with surprises from the Dollar Store (my newest obsession). Of course, the person that made out like a champ was also the one that "claimed" to have not seen any of the movies (yes, I am referring to you Sarah). We are convinced that we got scammed...LOL!!

The night was a success due to hanging out with good friends as well as making new friends. It made the Academy Awards more interesting and not such a drag to watch, although Kurt constantly found something to do the entire evening. He does not like any sort of award ceremony.

Next year, I intend on wearing a ball gown myself with all the bling and accessories of a movie star. I will also build a stage in front of my fireplace for the fabulous acceptance speeches that we will be making ourselves.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Driving Etiquette

Today, as I was driving towards Kurt's Salon, I decided to be a most courteous driver. I was in no particular rush and so I followed all the rules (which we should all do anyway). I drove the speed limit, allowed for any car that signaled to enter in front of me, drove one car space behind for every ten miles per hour, and just watched traffic pass me by.

I wonder how many accidents are caused daily because we are in such a particular rush. My biggest pet peeve is when I signal to merge into a specific lane, which motivates the car behind me to speed up and make sure that I do not cross in front of them. Congratulations, you are now a half a mili-second ahead of me. Worst case scenario, is that I would make the crossover and that person would crash into me. Is it really worth it? For what? Ego? You're in a hurry? You want to prove what a macho driver you are?

Think about the decisions that you make as a driver and how a poor ones can cost you your life. We can't always determine what a person's intentions are face to face, much less when they are behind a wheel and a total stranger to us. The best you can do is to be a safe and calm driver and allow yourself the room you need to get out of a potential calamity.

Last but not least, DO NOT TEXT WHILE YOU DRIVE!!!! You are a moving time bomb. My children's lives depend on it!

For the love of kiwi

Lance's new favorite fruit is Kiwi....aka kwiwi. He said it tastes better than a sweet apple :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Kindness Is Recession Proof

4 Days since the Bake Sale for Kids' Cancer began at Kurt's Salon and we have already raised $200. We should be able, God willing, to exceed our $1000 Goal by Easter.
Everyone has been amazingly generous even when we are going through such financial hardship as a nation. We realize that helping those less fortunate is not a "want" but a "need". I have been blessed with donations, future brownie & cookie orders, as well as, sound advice on how to make this venture more profitable. My eyes are tired from baking so late, but my heart is wide awake with joy, at what has been accomplished thus far.

Thank you to everyone for your support and I will continue to update you on the sum raised weekly.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Reward Your Child & Reward Yourself

Two days ago, I purchased a Reward Chart for my sons. I am running out of ways to discipline without yelling or begging, and so I took the Super Nanny route of positive reinforcement. So far, we are in the honeymoon stages of the process, but I will take peace for as many days as it offers me.

The way it works is that whenever Ethan or Lance do something good, there are stickers that get applied to the chart under their name. 7 Stickers earns them a piece of candy, 14 stickers movie of their choice, and 21 is a new toy for no more than $10. What makes it even more efficient is the competitiveness between the two brothers to get that piece of candy first. Mom is very happy about all of the sweetness taking place. They ate their meal, did homework without complaining, helped me with laundry, said "please" and "thank you", shared with one another, and are going to bed on time. Who can argue with that?

If they misbehave, one sticker comes off. That seems to be much more effective with Lance than time outs. Keep your fingers crossed for us! If it lasts an entire week, it will seem like an extended vacation :)

I am also thinking of starting a reward chart for myself to motivate me to exercise and eat better weekly, along with other parts of my life that I tend to neglect.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Child's Dream

Today, was a beautiful day for golfing! Once Ethan discovered that people who golf had the potential to make millions, he is determined to become the next Tiger Woods. He became obsessed with golf at the age of 4!

Kate and I hung out in the sun and relished watching our men play.

Lance's number one passion is the guitar, but he doesn't mind trying to keep up with big brother. He mostly hit the tee instead of the golf ball, but he looked darn good while he was doing it.

It is important to encourage and support your children with their goals. As parents, we know what we would like for them to become even before they take their first breath. However, if we want our kids to become successful adults, let's put our own expectations aside and support the dreams that are important to them. After all, we don't want our children to be in a career that they do not have a passion for. Passion equals success and a content individual.

At the end of it all, we had a really nice afternoon.Kurt and I are now taking up golfing and guitar lessons too, thanks to our sons.



A best friend is always there,

whether you need advice, or a pep talk,

or even a shoulder to cry on.

A best friend listens with her heart

and is always honest with you,

even though the truth may not be what you want to hear.

A best friend knows all your secrets,

understands your fears shares your dreams.

A best friend never stops believing in you

even if you give upon yourself.

you are that kind of friend to me.

And no matter what happens,

you always will be.

You are my best forever friend.

By: Renee Duvall

For my dear friends Kat & Mirela who are a joy and have tremendous hearts. Thank you!!!

Precious Baby Hands

Last night after dinner, we received a call from one of Kurt's clients that her 10 month old got his precious little hands burned by touching the fireplace. She called us because she knew the same thing happened to Lance at the same age. We went to the hospital and all the emotions we experienced that dreadful day came flowing back. We couldn't help but feel such sympathy for the parents as tears welled up in our eyes.

The reason I wanted to post this topic is because burns are so common amongst toddlers under the age of 4. Attached, is a link that will teach you about burns amongst toddlers and what you should do when it occurs If you are a parent, please take the time to view this link so that you are more prepared than we were in this situation.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day


Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Debt Addiction

I got into a very philosophical and poignant conversation with my friend about the debt we are in and how to get out of it.

Money has a hold on us no matter how much we would like to deny it. We all experience a different relationship with the good ole dollar bill. Whether it manifests itself as our self esteem or our security, it is always present. The only way to escape its hold on us would be, total seclusion....e.g. a monk or nun! Unfortunately most of us are the average Joe trying to make sense of it all.

Why is it so easy to allow ourselves to spend unconsciously and regain consciousness when it is too late? Ninety-five percent of people in my life are in debt that they are struggling to get out of.

Debt negates freedom. Debt negates happiness. Debt negates our quality of time.

The good news is that we do have control over it when we finally accept the problem. Spending is no different than any other addiction. Since most of us are a "hiccup away from homelessness", today should be our wake up call.

There is no better time than during a recession for a call to action.


Yesterday, Kurt & I celebrated 9 Years of Marriage. The traditional gift for 9 years is Pottery. He bought me a beautiful vase and later had flowers delivered to fill it up with. Observing my vase, it got me thinking how a good marriage is very similar to creating a beautiful piece of pottery.

The first step is starting with the raw materials. In our case it was honesty (almost to a fault), friendship, and a sense of humor. Next you need to decide how you will apply those raw materials and what your goal is. We always agreed that what makes us strong is working together towards one common goal. There is no "I" but always a "we" to accomplish anything as a couple. Even after you decide that the clay will be transformed into a vase, or a cup, or a plate, things don't always go according to plan. If it is not handled with care and precision, your piece will flop. The important thing is to pick up where you left off and try again.

Marriage is not perfect. It takes a lot of attention, respect, time, heart, and patience. However, nothing worthwhile is ever easy. Think of all the relationships you are in and how they need to be tended to in order for them to work.

The reward is magnificent. If you are blessed enough to be in a working partnership, then you realize that this is the person you trust with your whole being. A person that will listen to your accomplishments as well as your heartaches. A person that will encourage you to be better than you ever imagined capable. A person that is there to make you smile, and comfort you, and make life much more manageable.

Open your heart to such possibilities. I really do believe that God has created someone for all of us, we just have to be willing to accept the love to come into our lives and cherish it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bake Sale for Kids' Cancer

I am organizing a bake sale in our community to raise money for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer The cookies/brownies will be made available at Kurt's Salon starting Valentine's Day and continue through to Easter. I will also be accepting orders/requests via e-mail at Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is a 501(c)3 nonprofit public charity raising money for pediatric cancer research through local bake sales. It was founded by a very determined mother to help increase her young son’s odds in his fight against cancer. In late 2007, she had the idea to bake cookies to sell during the holidays. Her small idea became a huge movement with 96,000 cookies baked and sold during a three-week period with the help of more than 250 dedicated volunteers. Her bake sale raised more than $400,000. During that massive bake sale she realized people want to get involved and help, they just need a way to do so. So Cookies for Kids’ Cancer was created.

If you are wondering why there is a need to raise money for pediatric cancer research, it might come as a surprise that pediatric cancer is the number one disease killer in the U.S. of children under the age of 18. In fact, it kills more children than asthma, AIDS, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis combined. Unfortunately, pediatric cancer receives a very small percentage of the National Cancer Institute’s $4.8 billion annual budget and almost no research and development dollars from pharmaceutical companies.

My goal is to raise $1000 during my bake sale. I hope you will help me reach my goal. Every dollar counts and every dollar makes a difference. Research funding has made a direct and measurable impact on the survival rates of pediatric cancer. If children are our most precious resource, why wouldn’t we do everything in our power to keep them safe? It’s our responsibility and obligation to protect them and our future.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. As the mother whose idea it was to create Cookies for Kids’ Cancer says, “If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes the world to fight pediatric cancer.” We’re in this fight because every child battling cancer deserves a fighting chance. I hope you too will join my efforts and be a good cookie.



P.S. I am also interested in volunteers to help me bake. I will work with your schedule.

Tomorrow Is Another Day


I had a tough day emotionally yesterday and was considering not even making an entry in my blog, but the reality is that we all have our off days. Every phone call I answered yesterday morning bummed me out. I felt like an elephant was stepping on my chest and refused to get off. I tried not get stuck in my self pity mode but the phone would not allow it.

Mid-afternoon, I decided I would no longer pick up anyone's calls and try to put myself on track again. My kids were the first to cheer me up with their darling faces and upbeat attitude. Afterwards, Kurt insisted that I take a drive to get some fresh air. I got in my car and the MRAZ song came on and I was already feeling better yelping the tune in my car.....thank goodness the windows were closed.

I went to the store and picked up a small box of my favorite chocolates (Rocher) and a bottle of German Riesling to have with my dinner....not the whole bottle, just a glass. I looked at the dim sky and I felt relief that the day was almost over and that tomorrow I could start over again.

At home, we had a nice dinner followed by Rocher chocolates. I was beginning to fully enjoy my day at 8PM. I wrapped up my niece's birthday gift which also made me feel better, because I love pretty girly things. Once I finished that task I took on one of my decoupage projects. It turned out OK...not bad for a first try. I will show a picture after V-Day so that grandma doesn't see it before then. I was going to tell her that the kids made it so she could pardon the amateurish look, but I suppose the secret is out now.

I finally shut my brain down at midnight and woke up this morning feeling renewed. Thank God that He gave me the opportunity at another sunrise to try and make this one work!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sharing Your Knowledge

Good Morning!

Yesterday our friend Dean came by to teach Lance how to play guitar. Lance has been showing an interest for quite some time now and Dean volunteered to bring his guitar over and jam with him. It is a wonderful treat for us! We love listening to our friend play and watching Lance's eyes follow his every move.

Later that night my friend Mirela came by and I taught her how to make Romanian Dumpling soup. She's a natural!

Sharing your knowledge/skill can change a person's life. It is not a temporary fix, it lasts forever.

Take the time to teach an individual something new. Teach a child to read, an adult to cook, or quilt, or garden, or knit. If we all took the time for one another this world would be a much more sufficient place.


David Letterman has inspired me to make my own Top 10 List....of questions!!!! Please shed some light on these.

  1. Why does my brain function better when I try to sleep than when I am awake?

  2. Why does my 2nd born spill EVERYTHING?

  3. Why do actors earn a better salary than teachers/doctors?

  4. Why do men hate going to the doctor?

  5. Why does "No" mean "Yes" to a toddler?

  6. Why are we getting rid of payphones, if cellphones "supposedly" cause brain cancer? Would you hand an asthma patient a cigarette in place of his/her inhaler?

  7. Why do "customer service" people hate dealing with customers?

  8. Why does food always taste better in other countries?

  9. Why couldn't I be a cat? People would treat me better!

  10. Why do comedians take themselves so seriously?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

It's All In A Day's Smile

My dear baby Kate has been ill all week long. We knew there was something wrong when she just didn't make eye contact or smile. The doctor diagnosed her with a double ear infection, pink eye, and a chest cold. My poor helpless 4 month old. My heart broke every time I heard her wheezing and coughing throughout the night. My lack of sleep did not matter as long as she got better.

Today was a glorious day!
Kate smiled at me and was so interactive.
She was BACK!!! I couldn't get enough of it and just started snapping photographs all day long.

Infants smile unconditionally. They don't care who you are or where you're from, everyone is good enough in their twinkly eyes. It makes us all feel like we are on cloud 9, but how often do we return the favor as adults?

Wake up today and smile because you want to make the rest of the world smile too. It's contagious, I guarantee!

Today's Odd Request

Today for a snack Ethan and Lance requested carrot sticks with sugar on top.

What wouldn't they eat with sugar on it? On an average my kids ask for candy about 35 times a day....phewwwwwwww, I'm tired of saying no.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Fruit Saga...Part 2

We woke up the next morning and soaked our hands in warm water and managed to get most of the splinters out. Now that the pain was gone, it was time for the taste test, which was the original intention.

As you can tell, the Cactus Pear is a marvelous red color on the inside and I expected the fruit to be bursting with flavor. To my surprise it was quite bland. It tastes like a milder version of a pear and has lots of tiny seeds inside. I used my Barnes & Noble Food Encyclopedia to educate myself on how it should be eaten. The book suggested to eat the pear with cream and sugar. Sounds like it would work, but I wanted to taste the fruit in its raw form.

Next, we moved on to the Ya Pear from China. I have to say I really enjoyed eating this. The Ya Pear is so crisp and refreshing, kind of like biting into a nice cold watermelon. The flavor again is mild but has just the right amount of sweetness. I would definitely buy this again.

This is called the Cherimoya or "Custard Apple" from Latin America. The supermarket stated that it should be eaten chilled and that it is a mix between a mango and banana. I did not taste either. It was actually a tough center with a bitter aftertaste. I referred back to my Barnes & Noble book and their picture of the Cherimoya did not look so smooth. I am presuming that maybe the one I picked out was not ripe enough. I am going to make the effort one more time to purchase the Cherimoya, but this time I will ask for assistance.

Lastly, we have the Pummelo, an ancestor of the grapefruit. If you like grapefruit, you will love the Pummelo. It is larger than a grapefruit, with a light green exterior, lots of flesh, and a bright flavor that jumps around in your mouth. It is still bitter like a grapefruit, but there is just something more lively and enjoyable about the Pummelo.
My goal was to experience fruits that I never considered purchasing before. Life is too short to not enjoy the bounty of mother nature. I will continue to experiment with food......I was thinking I would write "1000 Foods To Try Before You Die". I'm sure someone is already on it as we speak. Take the time to enjoy something new!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Fruit Saga.....Part 1

What started out as a venture for my family and I to discover new fruits, turned into a prickly nightmare..... On my way home today, I decided to stop at my favorite Asian Market and pick up four types of fruit we have never tasted. The first was the Cactus Pear from Mexico. You would think that the word "Cactus" would be enough of a warning for me, but it wasn't.

I came home and was so enthusiastic about the new fruits I bought, and so were the kids. They swarmed around the table asking me about the different delicacies. The one that particularly grabbed their attention was the Cactus Pear...of course. They each grabbed one and started bouncing it in their palms. So much fun they had.

Ten minutes later we got them ready for bed and put them in their pajamas. "Ouch", yelled Ethan. "What's the matter?" Kurt and I echoed. "I have splinters on my hands, it really hurts," he said with a pout on his face. "Splinters? Where did you get splinters from?" I asked, completely clueless. "I don't know mom."I am sure you are all aware where they came from, but for us the serious detective work had just begun. First, we blamed it on our dining room table, but that didn't make sense. After many questions and dismissals, it was Ethan that finally put the puzzle together. "Maybe it was the new fruit you brought home." Not long before he finished that thought, I felt my fingers throbbing too.

My children went to bed with their hands pointed at the ceiling because it was too painful to sleep on them. The splinters are so small that you cannot see them enough to pull them out. Ethan requested that I sign onto and put in a formal complaint. I love the simple minds of kids.

So my quest for discovery ended in agony. Please stay tuned to find out what other fruit I bought and if they passed the taste test.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Self Discovery

Last night, I had a very gratifying dinner with a close friend. I've known her for years, but for the first time she is blossoming into the woman she was meant to be. It's quite refreshing to me.

We discussed about being true to yourself and your beliefs. Everyone has heard of the phrase "authentic self", but how many of us truly are authentic?

We play so many different roles...mother, friend, spouse, employee, teacher, sibling, etc., that we lose our identity below all those layers. We become who we think we should be or what the world wants us to be. In turn, it starts to cause anxiety, confusion, unhappiness, because we are not living the life we want to live.

Take a few minutes today to really think about what YOU want out of life and the things that YOU want to accomplish without the influence of anybody else. What are your interests and passions? What will make you be the optimum person that you can be? What makes you genuinely happy?
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