Friday, October 31, 2008

The Natural Cobweb Look Achieved

As we were walking into our front door yesterday, SJ commented to me,
" we shouldn't wipe down those yucky cobwebs stuck with bugs. They are
so Halloweeny!"

I quickly replied, "the natural look is what I was going for." So on
my to do list for tomorrow is cleaning the entryway of inhabitants.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

When Toothbrushing Goes Awry

Yesterday morning, I was in a bit of a rush to get out of the house worrying about being on time for the girl's flu shot appointment. We were brushing teeth in the bathroom, moments from walking out of the door. I was crouched down at GL's level to give her teeth one final swipe. As I reached out to pick her up and stand up at the same time, a pain radiated from the center of my spine and shot out to my sides. I immediately reacted with a yell.

My brain's initial reaction was to just keep on moving and pretend like the pain didn't exist. But it did. My eyes were welling up from the waves of pain that would come from the center of my spine if I moved in a particular way or any way really. I tried desperately to forget about it and we all headed out the door. To GL's dismay, I could not bend over and "Zip It", it being her jacket. She must have chanted "Zip It" about twenty times.

By the time we made it to the Doctor's office, I was literally in tears. I begged the receptionist for ibuprofen. I am not really the type to take any pills, so when she called out two or three, I was shocked that I didn't hesitate to respond, "THREE!!!". Luckily the pills kicked in and about an hour later the pain turned to an annoying throb. After a little begging, I convinced J to come home and help with school pick up and ballet duty.

Then I lucked out when I made my way to see a dear friend to help with my back problem. It's odd to say, back problem. I've never had a back injury and really this one has thrown me for a loop. My friend just so happens to be an Acupuncturist. He called me earlier in the day to discuss my situation and mentioned he could fit me in at 6. I jumped at the chance for relief.

After arriving at his office, my brain was slowed down a bit from the racing and constant focus on the pain in my back. His office was calm and settling. Before I knew it I was on the table, needles were in, and a dramatic calm had come over me. I was given a full gamut of treatments to help ease the pain I was experiencing. I left the office feeling completely different than when I walked in the door. I didn't need to take an ibuprofen before bed last night.

I am feeling sore this morning, but the pain isn't the same. I anticipate a few more days of moving a bit slower, snubbing my nose at bending over, and no funny twisting moves (that's when my body gives me the, NO!). But overall, I feel lucky this isn't anything to put me out for longer than a few days.

Special thanks to Kevin for helping me get through the day!

Check him out, Boulder County Acupuncture if you are in the area and need some non-traditional healing to help harmonize your mind and body.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesday Tips: Mother Earth Must Be Cringing With Election 2008

Although I half heartedly attempted to gather some real facts for this post, I came up short. I'm sure they exist, so for this Tuesday Tips, we are getting an emotionally charged post. With "Being Green" being the overused buzz word of the year, my goodness wouldn't we all agree that the Presidential Campaign of 2008 threw the notion of Being Green out the window?

Here's a list of my gripes with the Election Waste:

Junk Mail, glossy color paper advertisements wasting valuable resources and paper. Even if they are recyclable they are terrible. Every day in the last month, I must receive no less than 5 politically charged mailers.

Jet-setting around the country. I know the environmental impact of flying on private jets is horrific, not even jumbo jets. I can't imagine the atmospheric destruction that was caused from McCain/Palin and Obama/Biden visiting a different state every single day. With their ticket typically in different parts of the country in a single day. Then all the press flying around to follow them and interview them. Gulp.

Let's just throw in the poor folks on the bus, touring around following them. I haven't met an eco-friendly non-gas guzzling Greyhound Bus, have you?

Plastic, cardboard, and metal yard signs. Sometimes being stolen, just to anger the owner to go out and get a few more signs to replace it. Where are all these damn signs going to go on November 5th?

Electricity drains for every aspect of the campaign. Television advertisements, computers running 24x7, campaign phone calling, production of the junk mail, schmancy $1,000 a plate dinners, rallies, speeches, town hall meetings, all energy drains. All the people getting in their cars to come out and see both candidates. Although sometimes it's 100,000 people and sometimes it's only 4,000. Ouch!

It goes on and on. If you have a good one, please don't hesitate to share it!

Let me share some background into why this post came into fruition. When I flew into NYC last week, I was stuck over Pennsylvania just looping in airspace for about 45 minutes. Want to know why, Obama and McCain were both in mid town Manhattan that night for that televised comedic dinner they had. The air space needed to be cleared. That's when I realized what a huge impact this Campaigning has on both sides, clearing airspace, the trickle down effect just from an aviation stand point for that one situation is just mind blowing!

My proposal, I've come up with a brilliant idea, demand a horse and buggy presidential campaign for all future elections. They can get into those hard to reach areas, stopping by small towns and unchartered territory making the entire country feel special. Not using a drop of gasoline or compromising the environment. Splendid, don't you think?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Time To Watch and Wait...

The next ten days may be incredibly long, but for me, my duty is done. Friday morning before heading off to Aspen for the weekend we cast our ballots. Here's hoping true change sweeps the country November 4th!

Although there is a part of me that loves voting on Election Day, I didn't want to take any chances this year, so we decided to go early. Of course we took the girls, I grew up going to vote with my parents. I thinking voting is such an important value to embrace with our children. I love America and I love being an active part of a Democracy!

No matter who gets your vote, I hope you value your right enough to go cast your ballot!

Friday, October 24, 2008

What's Up With Cupcakes...

Sometimes New Yorkers tend to be a bit snarky (a witty mannerism, personality, or behavior that is a combination of sarcasm and cynicism). One fine day, we were walking down the street and I overheard someone say, "I just don't get cupcakes, what's the big deal?". Of course, the popularity of cupcakes was being called into question by someone residing in New York City. How typical.

Let me share what the big deal about cupcakes is, they are delightful little manageable treats. Cupcakes are portion control at it's finest. Cupcakes are portability at it's finest. Cupcakes need no forks or utensils. Cupcakes need, two free hands, one to peel back the paper wrapper, one to place up to mouth, and one open mouth ready to indulge.

Why in the world do we need to get down on cupcakes, I think they are brilliant. 

So where did I indulge in cupcakes on my New York City getaway? Two places, but I have a third cake experience to throw off the competition. First, the Magnolia Bakery was literally a stones throw away from the place where I was staying. And the crowds were completely unbearable. Every time we passed by, morning, noon, or the wee hours of the morning, drones of people were spilling out of the space. And at their West Village location, the cupcakes are out on the shelves, you hand pick them yourself. Which seems wonderful from a logistical point of view, but I will throw into that reality, EWW- gobs of people breathing and potentially handling my cupcake. Not so much thank you. The eve of my departure I wandered into the Magnolia Bakery in Rockefeller Center, was served right away and purchased a few cupcakes to go. The cupcakes were behind glass for the record. The employees, well they were robots. 

The second bakery where I indulged in the portable dessert, was Billy's Bakery. Now Billy's on the other hand was bustling, but delightfully so. Talk about a kid in a candy store, their layer cakes were stacked beyond my wildest imagination. The employees were beyond friendly, I actually wanted to hang out with a few of them, even when ordering at about 9:45 at night, fifteen minutes before closing on a Sunday. Not one crabby stare down, but rather some very happy employees. Funny enough, on my first visit a few days prior, I was chatting up some lovely NY Police Officers out front, who wouldn't let me buy them a cupcake, but I had a feeling they may inquire for my phone number. It was funny and I regret not getting a photo of that moment. 

My third cake experience, was a beautiful slice of Coconut Cake from Balthazar's bakery. This cake proved why cupcakes have taken the lead in the portable dessert department. I didn't bother to grab a fork, so the three of us just went to town on the cake right out front on the street. I had the meringue frosting and coconut all over my face. My hands were covered in the smooth and rich filling, but it was worth every chuckle and stain. 

And the results? Well, Balthazar won it hands down for me. I regret not indulging in the layer cakes at Billy's or Magnolia's. I know a little unfair of me. The Balthazar cake was moist and delicious, it had a beautiful meringue feeling frosting, like nothing I have ever tasted before. In the cupcake department, my first choice is Billy's. Their cake was moist and the balance of the sweetness of the buttercream frosting was just perfect. For taste testing purposes, I always eat a vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting. I found Magnolia's cupcakes to be delicious as well, but just a tad too sweet in the frosting department. It tasted as if I was spooning confectioner's sugar straight into my mouth. 

Overall any disappointment, no way! Loved them all. Loved the atmosphere and employees at Billy's hands down. I highly recommend a stop by the next time you are in West Chelsea! Oh and the cupcakes are very well priced, $2.25 at Billy's and $2.50 at Magnolia's. I have paid $2.75 for what tasted like a cupcake from a box in Denver before, which wouldn't even compare to these!

Next time I am in NYC, I must seek out Crumbs. I missed that one completely.Although J has mentioned they boldly opened one just doors down from my Beverly Hill's favorite, Sprinkles. So many little bakery gems, so little time!

Here enjoy a laugh to go, sorry it's not a cupcake...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Just Wondering??? A Google Reader & Blogger Blog Following Talk

If you don't use Blogger or Google Reader, please delete. This email will contain not one piece of relevant information to you. If you do, please read on, for I am confused and a bit mad. 

If anyone else out there gets frustrated when you "follow a blog" then that blog gets put into a special folder in Google Reader. A special folder you don't realize exists until a week has gone by. Then you try your hardest to figure out how to just get all your blogs in the INBOX of Google Reader, but they want a damn folder of their own. A blogs I am following folder, seems kind of silly doesn't it. I mean all the blogs in my reader I am following, Duh?

Does this sound crazy or remotely familiar to you? Because I really just want all my blogs in one folder, not two. 

Carry on...

Repressing Granolaville To Fit In The West Village

Packing my bags for NYC, I left most signs of Granolaville (that's what my host in NYC calls where I live in Colorado, it's not that far off in all honesty) behind me. I valiantly attempted to leave my fleece jackets, stainless steel water bottles, and synthetic layers back home in my closet. Instead I planned outfits I thought would be most appropriate for hitting the streets of the West Village. 

After our arrival to the West Village on the lower side of Manhattan, our host informed us that we had a 9:30pm dinner reservation. Aah, was that announcement echoed with laughter, for KS and I are usually in bed by that time or definitely in our comfy cozies for the night. But we were game. We were taking this, on vacation living it up, thing very happily in stride. That same evening turned out to be the biggest night for us. The city was permeating our beings and we were definitely ready to hob knob until the wee hours of the morning. 

The beauty of the days following was not having an agenda, but rather thoughts and ideas of how to spend the day. One day we found ourselves taking the subway to Brooklyn, so I could experience Williamsburg, the hipster scene, and catch up with some friends. For those of you that don't know, Brooklyn is about a 20 minute subway ride from the West Village, but if you live in the West Village the trip mentally feels like hours away. Talk about location, location, location. One of my biggest lessons learned is that those West Villagers certainly covet their location. 

Now don't get me wrong, it took me about 5 minutes to understand why the West Village is so coveted. It's full of beautiful brownstone buildings (think Carrie Bradshaw's apartment on SATC, which was literally across the street from where I stayed). The neighborhoods feel calm and serene, the honking is almost non-existent, and most tourists have other places on their must do list. Well except for the Magnolia Bakery, where you can literally find tourists spilling out onto the street, guidebooks in hand, cupcake in another with a camera lens capturing the moment. For those of you that enjoy feeling like insiders, most West Villagers snub their nose at Magnolia and prefer the cupcakes at Billy's Bakery (more details to follow on those two bakeries!). 

One day, just strolling down the block to meet my local friend for coffee, I was caught in paparazzi cross fire. Before I know it, five men are on the ground hiding under cars, large lenses in hand, to snap a shot. I was like, WHO IS IT??? It took a moment, but within seconds, Uma Thurman was having a conversation with her boyfriend Arki literally steps behind us. Photos here or I am sure in this week's edition of the Celebrity Gossip Magazines. I can see why celebrities chose to call the West Village home, they walk through the streets (with the exception of paparazzi moments) like everyone else, with no one going out of their way to bother them. 

I did pinky swear to my host, that he would have to crawl into a cave and die if I saw Sarah Jessica Parker out walking her dog, because I would have to stop her and ask for a photo. But it didn't happen, maybe next time.

As I sit writing, I am back in my comfy cozies, back in Granolaville. My thoughts longingly are brought back to just a few days ago, when the energy of New York City was coursing through my veins. When I lived rather absurdly carefree embracing the moments like a true local. I created the most wonderful new memories, with friends that have been in my life for decades. A smile graces my face when I think of our belly filling laughter that we couldn't escape, a laughter that made my trip complete. A laughter that hugged my soul. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Most Comfortable Bed On Earth

The weekend getaway to New York City, left me teetering on the edge of under slept, hungry, and somewhat foggy. After a day of travel, I had to pick myself up by the bootstraps and get my ass to Grad School for my class that evening. Lucky for me, my hubby was kind enough to actually drive me both ways, I think he was concerned about my conditional fogginess as well. I am happy to report that I did not fall asleep in class, although I felt myself about to nod off when asked to skim a long article. 

My head nestled right into my pillow when I collapsed into bed, after what felt like the longest day on earth. Nothing really compares to resting in the comfort of your own bed, the one I take for granted night after night. But last night I relished in it's comfort, my favorite sheets and comforter wrapped around me. I awoke refreshed, thank goodness, ready for my first day back on the job. 

I know you are wondering, how was it, how was the weekend away with no kids?

There are so many things to share, I'm still working through the details of how to journal my few days away. But overall in the most general terms I can say, it turned out to be a fabulous weekend. The experience was so completely different than my everyday life, I felt like I was living a double life. I laughed so much. I walked back into a friend's life that I hadn't seen in a decade like no time had passed whatsoever (is that not what you would call true friendship). Oh and I pounded pavement, I can't tell you how many times I wished I brought along my pedometer because I know I took at minimum 10,000 steps a day, and that may just be a low ball guesstimate. I had a couple celebrity sightings. I ate delicious food. I browsed the finest clothing racks in the country. I lived like a New Yorker for a weekend. 

Details to follow...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Notes From THE City

Growing up, New York City was always referred to as "THE city". Before my departure in conversation I would just casually mention how I was off to "the city" this weekend. Now that I think of it, some of my friends in Colorado probably were like, huh the city? 

Delightfully enough, the city has been wonderful, the west village is incredibly quaint and charming. I've fallen right into the culture, with my swift pace on the street, dinners after 9 pm, and plenty of window shopping. With not being on a tight schedule, just being free to meander through the streets, we've happened upon wonderful spots. Yesterday I quite randomly found a mini pair of Tretorns to match my pair for Sj. How stinking cute is that?

Although I have yet to set my eyes on Balthazar, we've managed to find some wonderful culinary gems. Today Balthazar is in the cards for me. Last night, we had fish and chips, from A Salt and Battery which was once featured on Bobby Flay's Throwdown. Although, no details here as food will have it's own post after my return to Colorado. (oh and for one friend of mine, I did follow the fish and chips up with Minstrels from the cute British Shoppe next door)

I must share one more quick tale. Even though millions of people call New York City home, as I was walking down the street yesterday, I saw a familiar face. I caught a glimpse of a beautiful mother and her two girls crossing the street. Turns out that mother was none other than, Mama Bird Diaries. I love that I am in Manhattan, but I can say what a small world. Amazing. 

Now I am off to get my serious shop on...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Funny How That Happens, Five Years Later

The passing of the last five years has almost completely gone in a blink of an eye. Obviously there were the moments that felt like they lasted forever (hello newborn phase!), but for the most part I am still in awe that my oldest daughter is five. Long ago, I would measure time by school years, throwing in the oh, that was in "fill in the blank" grade when that happened. But now I happily measure time by the milestones in my daughters lives. Funny how that happens.

The other day I was packing my suitcase for a trip I am taking this weekend and it hit me, this was the first time in five years I was packing my suitcase just for myself. It was five years ago and a couple of weeks when I first packed a suitcase with little itty bitty newborn baby clothes in my hospital suitcase mixed with my comfy post-partum leave the hospital clothes, some fresh socks, toiletries, and my favorite music. Over the years it slowly turned into diapers, toys, books, way too many pink outfits, oh and is there room for any of my things in this suitcase? Funny how that happens.

Hesitant excitement fills my mood tonight, before I step on a plane and wave goodbye to my hubby and two girls. Five years have passed and I am taking the leap with a dear friend, to have a weekend all to our grown up selves. We shopped together picking out clothes for fun fancy dinners. The kind of dinners I only dream of with out children picking off our plates or our purses full of distractions to just get through the quickest snarfing of food, so we can get out of the place before meltdowns ensue. I envision leisurely dinners this weekend where the wait staff gives us the stink eye, wondering if the damn party of three in the corner is ever going to leave. Probably not, for we will be on no one's clock but our own. Funny how that happens.

It's amazing, to not feel one moment of regret for the last five years of spending so much wonderful time with my girls. Coupled with not one moment of regret that the girls can spend the weekend with their daddy. Their daddy that they just adore so much, he'll be theirs until Monday afternoon. Considering it was just this week, that my 22 month old pulled on J's leg while he was getting dressed for work, looked up at him and said, "Don't leave Daddy". What a milestone. How precious are all the moments really. I'm glad J is going to be creating some with the girls. And I am thrilled I am going to be creating some new memories with old dear friends, friends that I am so happy to share my life with. Funny how that happens.

Five Years ago, October 2003

Fast forward, October 2008

(On a side note, I may try my hand at mobile blogging, but I make no promises, there sure will be plenty to write when I am back!)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I'm Blaming The iPhone...

During the week, most evenings I spend about an hour after the girls have been lulled to sleep on the computer. Unless it's Top Chef or Project Runway night, I feel very disenchanted by evening television. All the election smear commercials, it fills my brain with static, a bad static that I just want to escape. Unfortunately I'm not much of a serial television watcher. My hubby was actually shocked to see me sitting on the couch a few weeks ago, flipping back and forth between E.R. and Scrubs. In all honesty I have never watched a hospital drama, EVER. But during their season openers, I watched both. Don't ask me why. I even felt a bit weepy. How in the world do you hospital drama lovers do it, week after week?

Well back to my real story. Lately my new handy device, the iPhone , has changed my computer habits. During the day, I'd pop into my computer to, you know to quickly check my email, or see what's updated in reader, or what's up on FaceBook, and then a considerable amount of time just passes. I'd switch out a load of laundry and comment on a few blogs. But now, all that lost time in front of my desktop is gone for it's all in the palm of my hand, one quick minute, one quick tap.

Time for GL's nap? I'll just read some blogs until she dozes off. Or get lost in the current New York Times articles. Right in the palm of my hand. The downside of just in the palm of my hand is that commenting on blogs sucks on the iPhone. Or so I think. It's a bit of a hassle and doesn't quite seem worth the effort. So guess what i've turned into? A lurker. A blog lurker. I try to check in at least once a week to comment, but sometimes it doesn't happen. After the newness of my little device wears off, I'll be back, in full commenting fashion. For now, I am blaming it on my iPhone. 

(on a side note, I am a bit distracted by some events taking place in a couple of days, of  course details to follow!)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Join In, A Baby Shower Gathering For iMommy!!!

People may laugh at the notion that when you blog, you form a community. Over time, I've found this circle of women that I just adore, that are scattered across the country from California to Texas to D.C. to NYC to Chicago to Boston to five miles from my own house and all sorts of places I have never heard of in between! I love getting to know someone through their blog, for typically most bloggers share the good, the bad, and the quirky! The circle of people I have met through blogging have just been a delight, so today we are honoring one of those women, via the web!

Today some of folks in my little blogging circle and her blogging circle are throwing a virtual SURPRISE baby shower for iMommy, who is due with her second child in less than one month! The theme of the shower is to offer her some advice and I can't think of a better group of people than bloggers, to give advice. So Caitlin, I wish you a speedy delivery, a speedier recovery, and these tiny nuggets of wisdom as you welcome baby number two into your life!

Life With Baby Number Two-
  • Don't rush leaving the hospital after giving birth, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity to just have one on one time with your new precious arrival! The housework and Boopie will be just fine with out you! Oh and btw, do make sure Boopie is in good hands, so you aren't stressing about her, trying to bond with the new baby!

  • Make a mix playlist/cd of music you love to ease you through labor.

  • Let others take care of you, cooking, cleaning, help with Boopie after you settle back in at home. Relax!

  • Pick up a little special present for Boopie and tell her it's from the new baby, that way she'll feel special. It may even be fun to pack it in your hospital bag, to surprise her when she comes to the hospital. 

  • Many times, with baby number two, we as mothers feel compelled to hop right back into life the way it was before the baby arrived. Allow yourself plenty of time to get into a groove with both kids, don't put the pressure on yourself right away!

  • Enjoy the time, it passes so quickly. Allow lazy moments to fill your days with your new baby, Boopie, and your hubby by your side. Even if you are all snuggled up in bed together. 

And I couldn't resist this logo, I felt it was so you iMommy! I hope you enjoy it.

Please if you have any new baby advice, JOIN IN! It's a baby shower and your invited!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

She's Crafty To Boot...

Months and months ago, I picked up a beautiful remnant of a vintage floral print at a thrift store for $2.00. From the shape of it, I have concluded that it's former life was fancying up one's table. The fabric left me inspired to make something with it, to give it a new life. After many searches on the web, I was unable to locate a free how-to pattern for a purse that I really dug. But there are tons out there, so many creative people just sharing their ideas. During my hunt for the perfect purse pattern, I found Amy Butler designs. Oh they are so delightful.

After coming to the conclusion that I would have to pay for a pattern, I decided on the Birdie Sling. I found a hip fabric shop, Fancy Tiger, in Denver and took a little drive on a Sunday afternoon and picked up the pattern. I also purchased the liner material (white background with the animals, flowers, and trees) at the shop. It's a precious little gem in the world of generic chain craft stores, toting blah fabrics!

Then the pattern and materials sat around my house for almost two months. I had taken out the pattern right away, eager to get started. But I was a bit intimated by it, by the lingo, by the process. I don't really know how to sew, I just know how to pretend to sew. Repair things, yes. Create something from a pattern, not so much.

Finally, I found the courage and time, to sit down and really give it a shot. A few hours last night and about five hours today and I have a new beautiful purse. What's even better is that it's made from recycled material! I am so proud of it, I still can't believe I did it...And now for the final reveal:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Girl That Could Save The Princess

Have you ever thought about quirky things from your childhood, that no one knows about you? For some strange reason, I love reminiscing about my mastery of a particular video game way back in 1985.

Hours upon hours escaped me during my impressionable adolescence playing the brilliant game, Super Mario Brothers for Nintendo. I clearly remember skipping meals because I was on the cusp of saving the Princess, I could taste it. Nothing, I mean nothing could pry me away from the machine. How are kids getting fat playing video games these days, they must not be of the completely mesmerizing variety, I mean who would actually stop to eat?

Funny enough my family didn't even own a Super Nintendo, my neighbors did. So apparently they had no qualms with me living in their basement morning, noon, and night, fondling their controllers.

There's nothing quite like the feeling of being successful at Super Mario Brothers, the best selling video game of all time. Of knowing which tunnel to duck into, which hammer throwing duck to run past, and which dragon can be killed in an instant. Or where the secret shortcuts were, to skip ahead, getting closer to the big finish. Blood pumping, thumbs jamming, heart stomping, fun.

I hear the first three notes of the Super Mario Brother's theme song and I am taken back decades. Taken back to a time that I never want to escape me.

Here's someone perfecting the art in five minutes,I don't think I could claim that honor, even in my hayday:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sorry Wait Staff, I Tend To Be Difficult...

Have you ever met a finicky beverage drinker? Let's just say you have now. For me, it can never just be a plain old anything. "I'll have a coke". Nah. Not me. I'm the half and half drinker. All of my favorite beverages contain 1/2 of one drink and 1/2 of another.

First and foremost, the Arnold Palmer. 1/2 iced tea and 1/2 lemonade. One of the best beverages on the planet. Only problem, it has to be freshly made ingredients. If the waitress walks up with an Arnold Palmer made with Pink Lemonade, I just cringe inside. Or if they make it with pre-sweetened tea, it's just appalling. I've learned most of the ins and outs of where to order an Arnold Palmer from experience.Trust me, it's hit or miss in the Arnold Palmer department.

Then, there's the Shandy. Now the Shandy has many variations. It's most well known for being 1/2 ale (preferably Bass) and 1/2 lemonade, although I order it with Sprite. A good pal in jolly ol' England turned me onto this tasty treat. It's right up my alley, confusing to the wait staff and tasty going down.

Interesting enough, in Germany the Shandy or Radler started in the 1920's when a pub owner started to run out of beer, after 13,000 cyclists frequented his establishment. He began filling the beer glasses with 1/2 lemonade to extend the beer and told the cyclists it was to keep them from falling off their bicycles. HA!

Lastly, but most importantly is Chai. It's an Indian Spiced tea. 1/2 milk 1/2 chai concentrate. If it's too sweet, I have to turn it down. I love it hot, cold, iced, any way you offer it up to me. I've even started dabbling in Chai making at home, haven't been overly impressed by my batches, but in time I see it happening.

Sometimes being out of the ordinary when ordering beverages, doesn't always work out in my favor. Like the waitress that brought me a 1/2 a guinness 1/2 lemonade, when I ordered 1/2 Bass 1/2 Sprite. Yeah, not even close.

Maybe i'll just slip into a more mainstream approach to beverage consumption, like whiskey straight up or Pepsi, please. Nah.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tuesday Tips: Natural Cold Care

Well cold season descended upon us a bit sooner than I anticipated this year. Of course with the start of school comes the influx of viruses. GL was hit a bit harder and has a nighttime cough, which is tapering off after the first week. 

If you haven't heard cough syrups for children under six are not recommended, PERIOD. Last year there was a ban on products targeting younger children and a recent study just concluded that cough syrup related calls to poison control center have dropped by 50%. Now obviously there are situations where particular medicines may be prescribed by a Pediatrician for your children, by no means am I talking about such conditions.

We take the natural cold care route in our home, ONLY AFTER a trip to the Doctor to check on their lungs to make sure they are clear and there is no sign of wheezing, their ears are infection free, and their sinuses aren't infected. When your child had a cold due to virus, there aren't very many prescription options to help ease the family through the duration of the cold.

I just wanted to share some things that we do in our home to help with colds caused by viruses.

Before bedtime, we offer the girls Traditional Medicinals Just For Kids Cold Care Tea, with honey. I brew the tea and then add some apple juice to cool it off. Our Pediatrician really pushes fluids during the course of a cold.

During bath time, we put a few drops of the California Baby Essential Oils for Colds & Flu, they provide aromatherapy and help clear stuffed up noses.

We are huge fans of Thayers Slippery Elm cough drops as well, they are soft and chalky, which helps coat the throat, for those tickle in the back of their throat coughs. We also use (not for GL yet) Zand herbal lozenges, they make a variety of flavors.

One of our biggest helpers for stuffy noses is Little Noses, saline drops. Sometimes I use the nasal bulb after and other times, I don't want to fight it. The drops are great.

This may sound funny, but I always have a batch of orange juice popsicles made in the freezer. I just make them with re-usable popsicle molds, so they don't get all that junky chemical ingredients found in ordinary overpriced store brands. I find the popsicles make a huge difference when they have a cough that doesn't want to quit at night. I get them out of bed and feed them one. It soothes their throat and allows them to relax enough to get rest.

We also run a humidifier in the girls' bedrooms all through out the year. We use the Graco 4 gallon model, that was formerly made by Hamilton Beach. It's the same thing, just different name on the unit. Living in Colorado we need the moisture year round.

Lastly, we do the traditional spoon full of honey and a little squirt of lemon before bed. Just to help ease their throats and the urge to cough.

Now, I am not saying any of these methods work hands down, I just wanted to share some ways we get through cold season, ways in which we can help our girls make it through the night easing the cough. Sometimes I just feel left at odds as to how to best treat a virus, when the Doctor doesn't have any prescriptions to treat the specific problem.

As always, if you have any natural cold care remedies or tips, please share!

(all of these products I purchase at Whole Foods or local natural grocery stores, the Saline Drops are from Target, and the humidifier I purchased at Babies R Us, but all of these items are available online as well)

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Stain Fighting Gene Must Be Recessive

A year ago the reality of my lifestyle temporarily vacated my mind when I was giddy during the purchase of a white slip covered chair for my living room. Yes, WHITE. My love for white furniture was born around eight years ago when I discovered all things Rachel Ashwell, Shabby Chic

For years our design style has been eclectic. Not necessarily by choice, but more grounded in pick up a piece of furniture here or there, with hopes that it all goes together. Most realistically speaking our first baby, a 100 pound black lab, forced me to suppress my growing desire for slip covered casual, hang out at my beach cottage, white furniture. Then the girls arrived and yet again, my dream furniture was put on the back burner. Right around when GL was a newborn, I couldn't pass this chair up. I wanted so desperately to have "grown up" furniture. I had hope that my home's aesthetic could mesh with life with small children. 

Up until a couple of months ago, my white chair purchase was not a complete and total disaster. About once a month, I would give the slip cover a good washing and feel content about my purchase. Proving to those nay sayers that white is possible with children. Heck my mantra was even reduced to, what better color to bleach? More recently, after giving the chair a fresh wash, little tiny dirty hands would creep in just shy of twenty four hours to grace the white chair with some sort of stain. Sigh. 

Fast forward to tonight. At around 6pm I discovered I do not have my mother's stain fighting genes. Damn it. I kid you not, rarely does a stain get past my mother. My three brother's grew up with the whitest socks on the baseball fields. Something brown, almost with the appearance of dried blood, has stained the cushion cover of my white chair. I can't quite place what the stain is, but let's just call it set in.

After scrubbing by hand and brush with the following in any and every combination, PreSpot (by the makers of Meleleuca), Spray N Wash with Resolve Power, Clorox Bleach Pen, Tide Free and Clear, Soft Scrub with Bleach, Joy dish soap, and good ol' Bleach. All of these products which I rarely use, sit stored in the back of my laundry room cabinets for when I need to fight stains with the big guns. Two cycles in my machine, the stain has been diminished, but to my heart pounding sadness it still exists. I can see it, it will fade some when it dries, but it stands out like a sore thumb to me. 

Realistic next step, box up my cushion cover and mail it to my mother in New York, so she can unleash her stain fighting magic on it. Seriously what more could I possibly do? Any stain interventionists out there, please enlighten me, for my genetics are failing me. 

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Quick Post From Tahiti

Where in the world have I run off to? Take a moment to guess, hopefully some place very exotic with drinks served out of fresh pineapples and little cute umbrellas. Good job, that story sounds much better than my reality. I suppose it would be fair to say life got in the way of my time to sit down and write this week. Oh and a little virus that's left GL coughing at around Midnight or 2 am since Monday night. Give or take any combination of the two. I'm the type that actually just coaxes my coughing children to get out of bed, have a homemade orange juice popsicle, and give the body a chance to recuperate a bit from the coughing fits. Usually it works until a fine time such as 6:15am .

But most nights as I lay in bed, awake at some awful hour, my mind races as to what I should blog about, like any good blogging mind does. Then it's my challenge to craft my under slept induced posts to real life.

In honor of it finally being Friday, I'm ending with a glimpse into my brilliant mind, some thoughts that will not turn into their own post (it's okay to laugh now):

Sj has really been coming up with some memorable quotes this week, here's a few:
  • Rock Obama wants the world to be a perfect place that's happy, and that umm other guy...McCain he's privileged.
  • If only I could wash my brain back to that time when we were at the toy store. (she was trying to remember something or you know wash her brain back)
  • At lunch with a friend of hers she casually mentioned, Did you know Jill's dad is in jail! (insert me coughing up my burrito, yes a surprise to mommy as well)
On a political note, I've had enough of the election talk, election banter, election posts, and election commercials. I have officially vowed to myself that I will no longer engage in any political commentary from this point out, until November 4 or 5. This one will be a challenge. But before I stop, can I just say, how in the world can people be undecided at this point? It's not like we are comparing a Macintosh apple to a Golden Delicious apple here people, we are clearly talking Apples and Prunes!!!

My life has been graced with a beautiful new gadget, the iPhone. For the record my computer is nine years old, our television is even older, so technical gadgets aren't that important to me. But it's lovely, five days out and I can't imagine life with out it. If you have a chance can you share you favorite applications with me, so far I just adore the New York Times application!

Lastly, to all my blog friends. I've been keeping tabs on you with reader. I just haven't been on my computer to comment, please accept my apologies. I will be catching up this weekend, after I hang out with some olympic gymnasts, oh like Shawn Johnson. I can't tell you how desperately I want my picture taken with her!!! More to follow on that note, cross your fingers it will be complete with photos.