Monday, October 31, 2011

PROUD Like There's No Tomorrow

After climbing three flights of stairs, the last being much tighter and steeper than the previous, I arrived at the open balcony of the Wheeler Opera House. As you would imagine, the spring loaded seats are velvet covered, the balcony railing is serpentine shaped rich wood, most likely a mahogany. I couldn't help but reflect upon the history of the space I was occupying, as my eyes were drawn to the beautiful chandelier hanging overhead. The walls are intricately painted with stencil detailing, the mahogany runs in lovely organic curves through out the entire theater. There's no denying it's a very special place.

I wasn't in the Opera House for a live theatrical performance, I was there to catch the latest release of Warren Miller's annual feature length ski movie, this year aptly titled ... Like There's No Tomorrow. The ellipsis is a part of the title, allowing one to fill in the blank with how they would like to seize the moment. For some reason my first thoughts always rise to, LOVE Like There's No Tomorrow. As I settled into my seat, my girls next to me with J on the end, our friends sitting behind us, my heart started racing when the movie opened. The lights go down, but the glow of the movie illuminates the theater, the music is always the hook setting us up to get ready for the 90 minute adventure we are about to embark on.

While I could find a way to muster the appropriate lingo to describe the skiing action in ... Like There's No Tomorrow, I seem to always have a much different take away from the movie every year. Don't get me wrong, the skiers and snowboarders are amazing at what they do, but I'm moved in such a different way. I found myself fighting back tears in the Squaw Valley segment thinking, wow I'm actually crying at a ski movie. Holy sap. I can't quite place why it felt so emotional to me, the music always plays a roll, Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone to Fascination Street. Maybe it was the highlights of one of the Directors of Photography, Tom Day's intense passion for what he does and how much he loves where he lives. Or maybe it was how my oldest daughter was nestled into my husband's shoulder with the glow from all the beautiful pristine snow on the screen highlighting their matching blue eyes.

More than likely the tears welled in my eyes more than once during the movie because of the music, the setting, the stunning visuals, and the taking in of my husband's hard work. I've openly admitted many times, I've never quite felt what the passionate skiers in the movie feel with skies strapped to my feet. Although, this year I've come the closest to understanding, for some reason the slow motion shots to me were so deeply moving it transcended the experience into a feeling for me.

I tend to be a hard nose about J's job always highlighting how often it takes him away from us, there is no denying that what he does is incredible. Giddy school girl emotions run through my body when I know I'll be seeing a segment he was an integral part of creating. There's nothing quite like watching my two girls so intently focused on a film playing on the big screen, that their father produced. It's magic. While I am surrounded by people hooting and hollering at the incredible ski action they are watching, I join in for my husband, confirming to him I'll always be his biggest cheerleader.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

200 Hikes Day 199: Sparkle Snow

The title of this post is facetious. At some point the number of times I went hiking just got replaced with, I want to go out for a hike. My desire to take photos varies, sometimes my phone or camera is always in my hand and other days I like to hike with no stopping or distractions. Yesterday we received a nice snowstorm and today the sun was out in full force. I was drawn to the trails, to get out there and crunch around on the ice pack and get a little rush of blood to my cheeks.

It was delightful.

This is in my backyard. The view from the start of the trail.


As I was walking back down the trail, the sun was blazing in my face. I was looking down off the trail on the right and the magnificent beauty of the snow sparkling from the sunshine was breathtaking. I tried to capture a photo, but it's hard when the sun is so bright to see exactly what is being captured.

Here's my attempt at remembering the moment, sparkle snow in all it's glory.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chipotle, Food WITH OUT Integrity

Please see updated link from May 2013 at the bottom of this post! 

As I sit to write this post,  I am conflicted by what I need to say. While I could instantly take the straight forward fact stance and simply publish the response I received from Chipotle in regards to my inquiry, I feel like it's just not that easy.

In my family food matters. Nourishing my daughter's growing bodies in a way that is wholesome and void of additives, chemicals, preservatives, antibiotics, genetically modified organisms, and other laboratory created substances is a tough job. But a job I embrace. I'm the first line of defense and I wholeheartedly understand that every dollar I spend in the market or at a restaurant drives what items that market will in turn choose to sell me. Consumers drive supply, it's a simple proven fact. Convincing everyone of this fact is a different story, but again I often take on the conversation with friends and acquaintances convincing them their dollar has power. I recently heard 80% of all processed food in the grocery store contains genetically modified foods. Here's a breakdown of crops that are genetically modified, 94% soybeans, 73% cotton (Bt & HT), 73% corn (Bt & HT). Bt means every cell of the plant is spliced to produce insecticide and it is categorized as an insecticide by the USDA (not as a vegetable). 

Unfortunately in the United States our politicians have simply become Corporate Whores (back door deals help corporations buy the laws that put their business interests before citizens). The USDA and FDA are being run by men and women that have spent a majority of their careers working closely with or for companies such as Cargill, Monsanto, or DOW Chemical. Corporations that are in the business of engineering chemicals side by side with engineering the seeds that produce crops that become our food. NOT food that was grown on a family farm from seeds that were passed down for generations. While in most developed countries the government protects the citizens from genetically modified foods, here in the United States we've allowed our children to become the guinea pig generation. We don't know the deep ramifications that GMO's reek on our health, partially because when a seed is genetically modified it is patented and that makes it intellectual property of the company that created it; essentially making it illegal for independent tests to be done on the seeds. To top it off, we don't know what we are eating because the government has been dragging it's feet on labeling GMO's. Our only protection against GMO's is buying organic because it's illegal for organic foods to be genetically modified.

Which leads me to Chipotle. I'm not sure if you've ever been to their website, but they do one heck of a job wearing a gorgeous environmental loving costume. They throw around words like "food with integrity", family farms, naturally raised meats, and sustainable farming. They sponsored Food, Inc movie showings and even have the audacity to publicly boast about their relationship with Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms (a man who has TRULY changed the face of farming, not pretended to).



I went for a very long time without questioning Chipotle's use of genetically modified corn, but one day it hit me. If the corn was organic, I am sure they would find a place to boast about it, but I convinced myself that they must source conventionally grown non-GMO corn like other conscious businesses do. Take for example Whole Foods, they sell corn tortilla chips that are NON-GMO Project verified, which means the corn is conventionally grown from seed that has not been created in a laboratory. Surely if Whole Foods can sell a huge bag of tortilla chips for $2, Chipotle could seek out conventional corn farmers that grow real corn and make it work for their profit margin.

So I wrote to Chipotle, straight forward asking them their stance on GMO's. Finally, I heard back from them. Unfortunately they were BRUTALLY HONEST with me (full letter below). They use GM corn in their stores, the animals they purchase from ranchers were fed grain that was GM, essentially throwing out every single adjective they use to describe their food and business. Chipotle is one big greenwashing sham. They've got slick PR and Marketing departments, which they use to deceptively distract their customers from what they are really selling.

Chipotle, we deserve better. You can make the change, America will embrace it. Time to truly give us Food With Integrity, not Food With Illusion. In case you need to fully understand the definition of integrity:

integrity |inˈtegritē|nounthe quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness he is known to be a man of integrity.

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Denise,

Thanks for writing to us. We appreciate your concern over GMOs and I hope I can help. I know you are not asking about the corn salsa, but to be clear, the sweet corn we use in our corn-poblano salsa is not GMO. Our supplier does not purchase GM seed, and maintains a more-than-safe buffer zone between their fields and neighboring fields to prevent any cross pollination. This corn is also grown in the Pacific Northwest, near the facility that processes this corn. The peppers in this salsa are also GMO free.

Unfortunately, while we are able to secure suppliers for the salsa, we cannot guarantee that the corn used in our corn tortillas is non--GMO at this time. The field corn used to feed our livestock is also not organic (we don't buy organic meat today) and so we cannot guarantee that it is non-GMO. This is certainly a direction we are looking to take, but suppliers are very difficult to find. Also, since GMO foods are not segregated or labeled in this country, and the only way you can tell generally if something is GMO free is if it’s labeled specifically as organic and the price point for organic foods are too high at this time. We were able to find non-GMO corn for our salsa, but that is more of the exception than the norm. 

We are working on increasing our use of organic produce when the benefit outweighs the costs. For example, if we can find organic foods, but we have to ship them across the country, it could negate the benefits because of the impact of transportation. That's why we are also focused on using locally sourced produce whenever we can.

Unfortunately, there is much to be done to improve our current food system. We are not perfect, but we are working to make a change and we’ll likely never stop trying to make things better. GMO concerns are certainly among the things we are trying to improve upon and it is one of the reasons why our corn salsa is coming from non-GMO sources as we do want to give our guests options. 

I know that wasnt't the answer you were hoping for ad I'm sorry we aren't there yet, but we do want to be honest as we understand these things impact our guests' dining decisions.


Sincerely,
SK | Customer Service Manager
Chipotle Mexican Grill


[UPDATE FROM MAY 2013, CHIPOTLE LABELS GMOS]

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Quick and (Almost) Easy Half Bathroom Re-Do, With Before and After Photos!

The neighborhood my husband and I purchased a home in was originally built in the early 60's. The footprint of our home when it was built was a 950 +/- square foot home, 3 bedrooms, one full and one half bathroom. The half bath is in our bedroom, making it an official "master suite". Since the 60's our home has been added onto and our square footage has doubled. But interestingly enough, the people we purchased the home from didn't do much updating in the two decades they lived here. Our half bath when we moved in contained all 1960's original components (sink, mirrored cabinet, light fixture, toilet, light switch, and towel bar).

As you can see from the photo below, our 16 square foot half bath (which I am truly grateful for) is basically a closet with a toilet and sink in it. It gets the job done, I was adamant about having a second toilet when looking at houses. The bathroom isn't just open to our bedroom, we installed French Doors, in the photo I have both doors fully open. The former owners of our house had very interesting taste in paint color, they loved bold bright colors. Before the house went on the market, they did a once over on the entire place with a pale grey color. Occasionally you can catch a glimpse of their interesting taste, like shown here in the bathroom, they left the ceiling bright mustard yellow. I think this color compliments the lovely neon green our bedroom once was.


Due to the size constraints of the space, it was very difficult to walk into a hardware store and purchase a new sink off the shelf. We did have the option to replace our original wall mounted sink with another wall mounted or pedestal style sink, but I really wanted a small cabinet for basic storage. After the IKEA store opened in Denver, I set my sights on a bathroom cabinet that would fit our tiny space perfectly. Thank goodness for European design that highlights the need of small spaces.

This weekend, we finally set out to install our new sink and cabinet, update the towel rack, and give the space a fresh coat of paint. We only ran into ONE minor problem, which is detailed below. Our wall mounted sink had no shut offs at the hot and cold water supply. The lines were original and no one over the course of the last five decades installed shut offs.


Looking at this photo, I realized I never had my head under the sink very often. Thank goodness I didn't.  To remedy our problem, we had to turn off the main water shut off to our entire house. The sink was removed and water shut offs were installed on the pipes with soldering. After that was completed we were ready to reconfigure the new pipes under the sink and get to the installation.

With the two main pieces of the bathroom being a white toilet and sink, I wanted to add some color to the room to give the space more interest. The color of paint I chose was called Summer Dragonfly from a no-VOC eco-line our big box hardware store phased out in the Spring. I picked up a few gallons of paint for $5 each. I had the paint, crossed my fingers the color would work, and just went for it.


Total cost of bathroom re-do was a little under $200.00 including the new shut off valves, paint, towel rack, sink and faucet with cabinet (IKEA provides all the new pipes with the cabinet). The toilet we had replaced when we first moved last year. The framed Van Gogh print was just repurposed from another room. At this time, we have also decided to keep the vintage mirrored cabinet and light fixture. I'm sure we'll update them eventually, but for right now, they seem to be working just perfectly in the space.

Before and After:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dearest Chipotle (Say it isn't so)...

Dearest Chipotle,
  I desperately need some clarification on your stance on serving particular ingredients to your consumers (including myself and my children). I am a mother of two young girls and quite frankly I've adored the Chipotle "front", sustainability, hug a farmer, know where your food comes from. The Willie Nelson video was at the crux of beauty! Right after that kumbaya moment, this awful feeling crept into my mind. Something I had never questioned before.

I was standing at the counter last week, this thought came over me. Intuitively I recognized that there are no claims as to what type of corn you use in your tortillas and chips. I am not referring to the whole sweet corn in your salsa.  I wondered if the corn was the exact opposite of natural, but rather LABRATORY CREATED GM corn?

I avoid Genetically Modified food products and crops at all costs. I can rattle the % of GM soy, corn, and cotton that has taken over the agriculture landscape in the USA. We all know corn is one of the biggest GM crops in the USA. To be more fair, we also know when a corn seed is genetically modified, it becomes labeled as an INSECTICIDE because every single gene in the plant produces insecticide. I couldn't imagine Chipotle using Bt Corn to make their corn chips, the place where pigs are groomed before they reach the slaughter house?

My two very important questions:

1. Is the corn used in your tortillas and chips made from Genetically Modified Bt Corn?

2. Are the animals that you purchase to sell for meat fed a grain based diet which includes GM grains?

I appreciate your time and response in this matter. I still am holding out that Chipotle is doing the right thing by not purchasing GM insecticide (aka corn) to sell in the form of tortillas and chips.

Denise

Want to submit your own questions, do so here.
More information as to what inspired this, other than my gut feeling? Read this article.

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This exact message was submitted at 10:30 pm, 10/20/11, via Talk To Us on Chipotle's Webpage, response will be posted as soon as I receive one, IF I receive one. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Homemade Egg Roll Bento

I'm huge on sandwich alternative bentos. Sandwiches day in and day out just get boring to pack, not to mention to eat! We made egg rolls last night for dinner, so I just heated it up a bit and added it to the bento. In the small container above it is some Organic Tamari (wheat free soy sauce).

To make the egg rolls, we buy the pre-made egg roll wrappers in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, typically near where you'll find tofu. We shred carrots, purple cabbage, saute some Shiitake mushrooms with tofu, fresh ginger, garlic, salt and pepper, add sesame oil and tamari, and then use the filling to stuff the egg rolls. The best part of home made egg rolls, you can bake them in the oven, they get nice and crisp and it's easier to do a big batch that way! Tip, brush the outside with a little sesame oil, then they bake up wonderfully.

This is what my workspace looks like, which I typically don't show!

Egg Rolls: vegetables and tofu. Tamari in small container.
Strawberries, celery, carrots.
Organic popcorn, medium cheddar cheese, homemade chocolate chip cookie!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tuesday Tips: Seven Indoor Plants Which Eliminate Indoor Air Pollutants

Did you know the average American spends 90% of their time indoors and that indoor air quality is the 4th greatest contributor to a person's health? While I would love to have my windows open year round, I just don't live in a climate which makes that possible. There are many houseplants which have been proven to remove pollutants such as VOC's or Volatile Organic Compounds from the air.

I love house plants, I once went through a phase where I bought a plant every time I went to the hardware store. Once we moved into our house, I had the pictures hung on the walls, the curtains up, but something was missing. I had yet to buy houseplants. I only have plants from the list below because I love that they not only add softness to my house, but they work very hard to help keep our indoor air quality healthier! It truly motivates me to keep my plants healthy, knowing they are helping me keep the air in my home cleaner.

Here's a list of 7 plants with photos and which pollutants they remove:

Ferns 
Eliminate: VOC's such as Toluene (release in printing inks), Xylene.  

Golden Pothos 
Eliminates: Carbon Monoxide and Formaldehyde.  

 Peace Lily 
Eliminates: Acetone, Ammonia, Benzene, Ethyl Acetate, Formaldehyde, Methyl Alcohol, Tricholoroethylene, Xylene. 

Anthurium
 Eliminates: Ammonia, Formaldehyde, Toluene, Xylene. 

Dieffenbachia 
Eliminates formaldehyde, such as from new carpet.

 Dracaena 
Eliminates Formaldehyde, Toluene, Xylene. 

Song of India 
Eliminates Formaldehyde, Toluene, Xylene. 



When you are houseplant shopping, keep an eye out for this logo, which was created to help you identify plants that help clean the air.

For more information as well as other plants to bring into your home that improve the air quality, visit:

Costa Farms O2 For You, Clean Air Plant Guide





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I'd like to thank Costa Farms for providing me with new houseplants for my home. This post was an idea I've had in my queue for months, not something Costa Farms requested. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bunny Playing In Nori Bento

A bunny sandwich was requested today, with nori. I didn't have any strips of nori, so I just toasted a big sheet and cut it up for the sandwich to sit on, so it didn't get wet and mushy. We don't like mushy nori.



A sheet of nori, under the bunny sandwich, other 1/2 is a moon.
Sandwich is applegate ham, sharp cheddar, organic ww bread, mustard.
Red plum, grapes. 

One Month, No Unnecessary Spending. Period.

In our family, I control the finances. By control, I mean, I pay the bills and make sure we have enough money in our account to cover our spending. Lately, I haven't wanted to log into our bank account to get a sense of our money flow. In translation that boils down to, we haven't been doing the best job managing our money. The biggest problem for me is that we've been unconsciously spending the past couple of months.

Going out to eat? Sure, what time should we meet? Where do you want to go? 

Nights out with friends, I'll be there. 

Stop by Anthropologie, oh that dress on clearance sure is a great deal.

Anthropologie is right next door to Target. Just a quick run in for dishsoap and leave with clothes for the girls, not to mention a bag or two of non essentials. 

Cupcakes after lunch, why not, the bakery is just steps away.

Pop by the farm stand, leave $40 lighter. 

Books from the Scholastic book club flyer, ah pick out a few books. 

A new table for our kitchen would be awesome, let's just to to IKEA and buy one, it's a great price. A cartload of other stuff later, we had our new table. 

Stockings to go with my dress for the wedding, I'll just stop by the coffee shop for a tea after. 

I know deep down, when I avoid logging into the bank account, I need to reel things in for us in the spending department. As of Sunday, we are trying to go for one month with no unnecessary spending. J's first inquiry was if I considered beer a necessity or not? Now, I don't consider beer a necessity, but I also realize he loves a six pack on the weekends. I'm not going to take that away. It's more avoiding the thrift store or used book store. It's those nonchalant walks to our local coffee shop as a special treat instead of just having something at home. All those tiny moments, just stopping by here or there, that rolls into one big chunk of change which affects our ability to save money. I want to save money every month and right now, we aren't doing that. Sigh. 

The beauty of where we live is that there are hundreds of ways to recreate for free. Right in this moment, I couldn't name one item from a store like Target that I absolutely NEED. Not one. The deal is there is no scrimping in the food department, we will shop like we always do, definitely picking up items that are on sale for the week. I've vowed to bake a bit more at home for the girls, which I love doing anyway. I know for a fact we have plenty of toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, laundry detergent, and even a new dish brush (see IKEA mention) so there are no excuses to just stop into Target. Feeling well stocked seems like the best time to try to pull this off, especially with the holidays looming. 

Sunday October 16th - Sunday November 13th are the dates we've committed to. I will update weekly on how the journey is going. My goal is to put a few hundred in savings come Nov 15th. Watching our savings account grow is way sexier than any clearance item from Anthropologie. Maybe I need to put that on a post-it note on my bathroom mirror. 




A Gift Bestowed Upon Me

The wedding invitations are far and few between these days. We've lapsed into that phase of our lives when weddings are once a year, maybe every year and a half. Now that I think of it, I'm rarely being invited to baby showers anymore. I suppose you could say we are all grown up. The milestones are changing, I hesitantly anticipate the arrival of graduation party invitations of children I once changed their diapers.

The joy of having a wedding to attend these days, is how special they are. I cherished the moment because I can reflect upon the beauty of maturing in a way in which you allow yourself the confidence to choose the people you want to be a part of your life. I find the people I surround myself with are the ones that have big hearts, are mutually open and caring, and whom I truly adore. This weekend one of those special people in our lives finally tied the knot. I must clarify when I say finally, I hardly mean it in a negative way, finally is just how life unfolded. Duly noted, we've also graciously grown to love his wife, she easily makes us feel like our friendship is just as endearing. As the sun was setting over the Flatirons in Boulder, the bride and groom were basking in the sun's glory before us, I could feel in my heart this wedding was the one. The one that was meant to be.

I believe there are few greater gifts in life than to witness the beauty of two wonderful people deeply in love, committing to one another through the celebration of marriage. With that, I will always remember this weekend with a huge smile, grateful for the gift they bestowed upon me.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mechatars Interactive Robotic Toy Giveaway and Discount Code!



My eight year old is one of those girls that fluidly bounces from the world of a traditional ballet dress code to letting down her bun to hit jumps on her mountain bike at our city's bicycle park. I feel fortunate to have a girl that loves being grounded in a world that allows her to explore new things, no matter which direction that may be.

She isn't shy when it comes to video games or online gaming worlds. When I was asked to check out Mechatars, which combines the online gaming world with RC robotic toys, I jumped at the opportunity. Just as I assumed, my girl, was thrilled to be able to preview Alpha.

As fast as we could get Alpha from the box, I felt like it was up and running. I don't remember a time now when Alpha wasn't one of her go to toys after school. We sat down together to navigate the online world, Alpha plugs into the computer with a USB, and we created an account with a username. Each time she logs in, Alpha is able to participate in epic battles in the Mechaverse with her guidance. The best part for me, an email instantly arrived in my inbox, stating what my daughter's login was including her password. I keep a folder of all of her login information, so I can monitor her online activity.

She's still learning to navigate how the online and RC robotic Alpha works and is eager for one of her friend's to get one as a gift, so they can battle in real life. I am grateful for the online tutorial that initially helped guide her through the Mechaverse. One of the strongest selling points for me with Alpha is that it's very in depth and it feels as if she's just scratched the surface. There's many levels to power up to, as well as a wide range of weaponry to learn to manipulate for battles. A couple of weeks in our home and Alpha is just as exciting as day one!

Now here's the fun part, A GIVEAWAY!


Visit the Mechatars website and choose a Mechatars you would most like to win. 

  1. To enter you may leave as many comments as you would like, but the only requirement to make it valid is that it must contain the name of the Mechatars you would like! Hint: there are three. 
  2. Please make sure I have a valid email address to contact you if you are the winner. Feel free to leave it in your comment. You do not need a blogger account to enter! 
  3. Contest open to US Residents only, I will provide your information to the company for them to directly ship the Mechatars to you. Please note, while the company will try to fill a specific request, the Mechatars you receive may not be the exact one you wanted due to stock limitations.
  4. Contest open from posting until 9pm, MST on Sunday 10/16. I need to submit your personal information on Monday 10/17, if you are chosen as the winner.

Good luck and have fun entering!


Details!
  • 10% off at iloverobots.com with the coupon code MECHMOM  good until 11/30!
  • Perfect for ages 6-12
  • Access to online world comes with the purchase of the Mechatars. No additional monthly memberships. Available at Target, Radio Shack, Toys R'Us, iloverobots.com (MSRP: $39.99)


Disclosure: I was selected to participate in this sponsored post series by Clever Girls Collective. 


Winner comment #7, KDV, I'll be contacting you for your information! 
click to enlarge

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Days Like This Bento

We all have them, sometimes I chose not to share, but I am today.


Bagel with cheddar and mustard, lightly toasted
cucumber slices, strawberries
Kid's ZBar

Monday, October 10, 2011

It's Never Okay To Hate

My youngest walked in the door from school, her head was hung a little low. It was obvious that something was up. J picked her up that morning and proceeded to tell me why the long face. Apparently as they were walking home from school he overheard a little girl in G's class tell her nanny, "That's the girl that hates me." She pointed to my daughter. When I heard those words from my husband, my heart sank.

HATE?

My 4 year old used the term HATE loosely with a classmate? Of course a discussion and reasoning is sometimes difficult with a 4 year old, the conversation turned into a complete tear filled meltdown. Allowing G many moments to think and an incredible amount of patience, I tried to gather insight into why such harsh words were exchanged at school.

Unfortunately my daughter has a very friendly personality and can be quite the charmer, but also very distinctly craves personal space. She went through a phase when she was 2 or 3 years old, when she wouldn't even let us lie down on her bed with her. It was her space and she put up those boundaries very confidently. With that said, desiring personal space, never, ever in my mind would justify using such hurtful words. In our home, we simply don't use the word hate. We have always embraced allowing the girls to form their own opinions and let us know when something just didn't feel right to them, but HATE, I just don't like it. Nor do I tolerate my daughter openly using it with classmates.

Through out our discussion about the conflict, G finally shared that the little girl likes to touch her hair, sit very close to her, and always holds onto her dress or clothing when she is next to her. Of course we talked through how to appropriately tell her classmate that she needed some personal space in a way that was kind. While I struggled with contacting the teacher to alert of her of the situation and possibly intervene, ultimately I allowed G to apologize and share with the girl her need for personal space. It was important for me to give G the opportunity to recognize when someone made her feel uncomfortable and handle it in a manner that was not intentionally hurtful.

After school the next day, I confirmed that G apologized straight off to the girl. I made sure to witness a calm resolve between the two before we set off on our walk home that morning. I'm not sure if the way I handled the situation worked, but I do know opening dialogue and working through things has a positive impact on G. I hope she can take those lessons with her through her school years. I'm much happier when the worst part of the day was when she could only have one snack, not two.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Birthday Girl Bento, Bring On The Sushi!

A special request from the birthday girl, a vegetable sushi roll for lunch. Unfortunately it was not home made, my morning consisted of preparing for a sleepover and baking a cake, so it was store bought. I'm not ashamed!


Vegetable roll, brown rice, avocado, carrots, cucumbers.
Strawberries, almonds.
Birthday treat, a Hershey's Kiss. 

Two Girls, Kirby's Epic Yarn, A Friendship Is Born

Nearly one year ago when Kirby's Epic Yarn was released, my oldest daughter simply fell for Kirby. She quickly became very confident playing Kirby and at some point this summer, she finished the game completely on her own. Of course I was one proud Mama, knowing that feeling, having been a fanatic for the original Super Mario Brothers. I became so well versed in "saving the Princess" that I would often be asked to put on a show when playing Nintendo with friends. Honestly, I loved being the girl known to perform just as well as the boys when it came to video games.

Back in August, a friend updated on Twitter, that her daughter needed some help playing Kirby. She was very frustrated in the Hot Land- Cool Cave section. I casually asked Sj about that part of Kirby's Epic Yarn and she agreed it was rather difficult, but she was able to finally get through it. So we did what any friend would do, we shot a quick video of Sj completing the section, uploaded it to Twitter and sent it to Tracey. Tracey in turn showed her daughter, who was then able to finish the Cool Cave section. Tracey's daughter was surprised there was someone out there willing to help her get through it! Of course, we were thrilled to be able to help.

A few days later Sj was asking me about Tracey's daughter. I couldn't answer her questions, so I told her to write a letter and we'd mail it with Tracey's permission of course. A week later, Sj received a letter back in the mail from Tracey's daughter and a friendship has been born. I adore that two bonded over Kirby and are now developing a friendship via letter writing. Requests have already come in from Sj asking if she could meet her new friend when we visit California and I answered, I sure hope so!

Two girls, a few thousand miles apart, but one love for Kirby brings them together.

Here's the quick video we posted on Twitter:



Disclosure: I am a very proud, Nintendo Brand Enthusiast. I was sent a copy of Kirby's Epic Yarn, a year ago when it released. This post is not sponsored, nor was it requested because of my Brand Enthusiast relationship. As always at Eat Play Love, all content is original.