Finding Peace in a Book · Uncategorized

Finding Peace in a Book

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I am one that loves the idea of reading books. I go to the bookstore and spend hours there thumbing through all the titles, going back and forth with all the different subjects and spend time going through every single book they have in the bargain book bin. I browse the Magazines I get some coffee and I make a day of it because I love everything about books.

My issue is my attention span and finishing a book. Even though my schedule goes around my life I still find myself being very busy as the books stack up on my nightstand each of them being half read. I found a better way which is the books on CDs.

I find buying these CDs in that same beautiful bookstore actually get finished. I choose things that I know are okay for Julian to listen to as well since if he is not in school he is with me. I have CDs from Eric worre, Tony Robbins, Jim Rohn and two of my absolute favorites, the Oola guys. I’ve listened to all of these over and over many times but the one that captured my heart and has brought me an exponential amount of peace is the one pictured above “Buddha a story of Enlightenment” written and narrated by Deepak Chopra.

I was searching for a book on enlightenment which was  recommended to me. When searching for it,  I found the one written by Deepak Chopra on CD. It’s by far the best $9.99 I’ve spent. I have listened to the CD more than 15 times to date and plan on restarting it shortly. It is a story that elevates my awareness and makes the gratitude that I feel daily heightened.

The story is narrated by the author Deepak Chopra and it starts with Buddha as a baby being born to royalty in his beautiful castle. It takes you through his journey of finding himself and finding peace that he’s not even sure exists. He puts himself through so many situations where most would crumble. To follow him on this journey until he reaches his ultimate enlightning is so beautiful,  something that I don’t even have exact words for, the best I can say is it makes me want to be a better person listening to him. It is powerful in the most subtle way. I find myself releasing any stress and anxiety I may have as I listen to this. It’s something I strongly recommend for anyone who is looking for a book on enlightenment, a spiritual path or just wants a good read / listen.

Julian actually request this CD to be played and he can cite certain parts of it as if it’s his own.

Have you read this? How has it affected you if at all?

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Make This

This is a Must Make, it’s Delicious !

Dinner time isn’t  always the easiest in our house. I eat as little meat as possible while everyone else puts their noses up at some of my meals.  Tonight was a home run in every way. I made chicken for  Julian and his friend but decided I was going to put my creation, that is new to me on their plates. I put together frozen spinach, mushrooms, garlic, red onions and a little olive oil and sauted it on the stove top. Once all the liquid evaporated I put it in puff pastry dough – generic store-brand -mine was from Target. I beat one egg, added some water to it and did an egg wash on top. I cut three holes on top for ventilation and baked it at 425 for 15 minutes. Everybody got a slice and everybody ate it! In half of my “pie” I added feta cheese for myself I didn’t want to spring too much taste on them in one meal!

All you need is one sheet of the puff pastry dough, which I cooked it on my Pampered Chef stone. Pre-heat your oven to 425°.  Saute your red onion, I used a quarter of an onion, 3 cloves of garlic, minced. Once your onion is translucent add your 8 ounces of frozen spiniach and 8 ounces of mushrooms (whichever kind you like).  Add some salt, pepper, parsley and oregano, mix in and stir occasionally until all liquid evaporates. Pile it into your pastry dough, fold up the edges to close it up, slice a few holes on top and brush on the egg wash. Pop it in the oven, in 15 minutes you have an amazing meal/side dish. When you take it out give it 5 minutes to rest before cutting into it.

Please let me know if you try this how you liked it!

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Spend, Share, Save

Share, Spend, Save

I have never really been fully fiscally responsible. This led to me always playing catch up on just about everything. I knew when that pink GEICO envelope came I had 15 days to pay that bill.  Two years ago my boss was talking to someone and said simply “responsible adults pay their bills on time”. My first reaction was eff you lady, but then I wrote it on a post it note and stuck it to my computer. I made a spread sheet of all my bills and all money coming in and got on track.  I do not want Julian heading into his 40’s with this same issues!

I bought the jars shown above at Target (my second home) for $3.00 along with liquid chalk to label them.  Julian and I went over what each jar was for. When he completes a chore on his “Chores For Money” (list is on previous blog) he has to pick a jar to put the money in. The rule is, if he only picks spend, everything in the end gets donated. My being in the hospital had a great impact on him so he decided that his share will be donated to people that need help paying their hospital bills. His save was deposited today in the tune of  $13.45. Julian also decided it was time to open the spend jar and head to target with the money he earned. It took him over an hour to decide what his $15.00 would get him. He finally decided on Legos and a stocking for Grandma!

Do you have your kids save money? Do they get to pick how much they save? I’d love to know how others teach good spending habbits.

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Prepping Healthy Meals For Better Eating Habbits

Prep Time Is Anytime When You Want To Make A Change In Your Eating Habits

The biggest excuse for not eating better and taking care of ourselves is time and money.  I no longer have that 9-5 job, instead of fitting my life around work I decided to fit work around my life.  Even with that it seems I have found many things to fill my spare time.  I’ve had very poor eating habits in the past, once setting myself as a priority that has changed. I’m on an extremely tight budget but still want the best that is offered in our supermarket.  I am a constant coupon cutter and will go to different stores for what I want. Making myself important and not wanting Julian to learn the same bad habits makes the extra trips worth it to get the best bargains.

Prepare before entering the store.  Figure out what you’ll be making based on what’s on sale. I try to do as much organic as possible, if not organic non GMO.  There are coupons for these items!  If you go to the companies website they usually have printable coupons, which I print at the library sometimes to save my ink cartridges. Once you have your list go in and stick to it! Shop the outer area of the store. This is where you will find whole foods as they need refrigeration. Going through the aisles can lead to adding more processed foods blowing your meal plan and budget at the same time.

Prep time is anytime you’re not running around. I don’t have a set time when I do it but I always get it done.  Based on what’s on sale can dictate when it happens. If I’m making soups, vegetarian chili or enchiladas I make it all on Sunday so it’s ready for dinners and lunches. Some days are like today, as Julian did his homework I prepped. I washed my fruit in my Thieves fruit and veggie cleaner while I cut up left over chicken making it into an amazing chicken salad. Math, snacks, lunches while dinner is cooking makes me a happy mama!

When do you prep your food? Do you involve your kids? Julian loves to help prep as well as helping decide what we’re going to have. Do your little .. or big ones help in the decision making on what’s for dinner?

My finished product:

Chicken, grapes, vegan mayonnaise, raw walnuts and a few cran raisins. Adding bacon is optional, I left it out.

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Are You Saving Memories or A Hording Junkie? · Uncategorized

Are You Saving Memories or A Hording Junkie?

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Photographs and other memorabilia are hard for me to part with.  My father died when I was seven so all I really have are pictures of us as a family, of him as a kid in Croatia and Italy, and of him in the Army.  There are a few other things I have of his like his scouting jacket with all his patches that I now wear at my own Den meetings.  Through the years (before digital photos) I always took pictures of everything that I was afraid I would forget. There was no thought that my memory would hold onto the moment or that I would see anything more than once so I needed to cement a guarantee that I would remember with pictures, memorabilia and anything else I could hold onto.  This was an expensive obsession of trying to preserve time. Getting film developed and printed to find half of the photos were throw aways didn’t stop me. I had photo albums with exact dictation of every photo with fear of forgetting. I even kept the crappy photos just in case.

Fast forward to me getting married and having to pack up my room which spilled into the entire apartment. I finally had enough room for everything, my husband came with little to nothing so there was plenty of room for me. That lasted all of two years as my compulsion continued as I felt I needed to dictate my new life so when I had kids they could see every moment of our life, just what every kid wants..no?  I framed pictures and hung them all over the place, I wasn’t happy with my living conditions so I wanted all these pictures to surround me on every wall.  I started to purge my things with the plan of moving out, five bags of memories I was willing to get rid of. There went all the bad or duplicate photos no one wanted. I let it go!

Next was me moving out, back to Long Island I went. Packed up, how is it possible to still have so much stuff.  While packing I got rid of three more bags out to the curb. As I unpacked in my new apartment I didn’t want clutter, I wanted clean lines and a clean house so I got rid of things as I unpacked. The past was to be the past, I was forging forward with a new life.  Everything fit perfectly, I couldn’t even fill up the five new closets I now had! Yet in the 9 years I am living here I find myself in the same situation all over again. That fear of not remembering every moment hit me hard.

Before I had Julian (2010) I was nesting hard, I cleaned out everything.  Bags and bags were donated or discarded.  When I had Julian I was unable to look at photos of us in the hospital  but I kept taking them and ordering them through an online service but never opened them, just put them into a huge storage container for the future.  Looking at the pictures you would never know how I was feeling inside or my reasons for not being able to look at the pictures.  My memory obsession paired with my postpartum made me manic and anxious every day. I thought about hiring someone to go through them, organize and put them into photo albums that I bought in preparation, I never did.  It is now 6 years later I got rid of every photo album, instead I filled up decorated shoe boxes and let go of everything having to be in exact order.  The last thing for me to go through was that large storage bin which I did last night.  Looking at the photos, enjoying the moments and letting go of the neurotic behavior made going through them a joy.  Julian had fun looking at himself through the years. I have the pictures separated in two piles – before Julian and after Julian, the old me would have to have everything in chronological order, marked on the back the exact date and into an album with a dictation. I feel so free being able to just box them up and put away for future viewing.

Am I alone with this? Are you a hoarder of memories too? Do you know how to let go and be free?

 

Elf on The Shelf

Is Your Elf Naughty or Nice?

 

Is your home haunted by that creepy but kind Elf on the Shelf? I was against it for awhile, until a family member convinced me to buy it. He was on sale for 75% off after Christmas which led to the decision to just do it.  Remembering to move him is sometimes an issue, those days I make up a story or throw him someplace before Julian walks into the room.  Elfie is now part of our Christmas tradition and Julian wakes up overjoyed to see where he is.   Have you ever forgotten to move your Elf? By December 20th are you ready to just stuff him in a stocking? I have felt that way at times when I just don’t know what to do with him but the excitement from Julian makes it worth it.  It is one more day he believes in the magic of Christmas. Here are a few pictures from the 3 years I have been moving this guy around!

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Toy Review

Toy Review

Christmas is coming which means decisions on what toys to get my little one.  Have you ever looked at a toy and instantly feel drained knowing that you are going to have to spend the next 12 months gathering the pieces from under ever piece of furniture in your home or preparing hiding places for when he is hunting you down to play? That is how I feel about this dominos game, he would love it but it would spend 12 months being my nemesis.  Have you ever had to make this decision? What did you do? I gave in and bought it, I’m currently scouting out spots to hide!20161202_184954.jpg

Toxic Free Home

Toxic Free Homes

Watching TV there are a bunch of commercials for bleach. “Just pour and mix with water, soak your kids toys and they are clean”. This really bothers me. No matter how much you dilute it, it’s still bleach on a toy your baby is going to put in it’s mouth. This goes for most items you can find in your house, lotions, perfumes, air fresheners etc. these are all made up of chemicals that are going into your body. If you can’t put it in your body (external use only) why would you want it on your body or breathe it into your body? Your skin is your biggest organ so what you put on it eventually seeps into your system. This is one of the reasons they warn against talcum powder or deodorants which can cause harmful damage as proven in recent lawsuits. We are so careful about what we feed our kids, shouldn’t we also have the same attentiveness as to what we put on or having around them?

We have one cleaner in our house for everything. One bottle, with a different dilution for each room. What is it? Thieves household cleaner made by Young Living.

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Aside from the amazing job it does cleaning it also smells amazing. Thieves is a mixture of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary essential oils. The cleaner also has lemon oil added in. The warning for this cleaner: If swallowed drink water if you dislike the taste. No poison control needed.  We actually also use it to clean out cuts and boo-boos.

All-purpose cleaner: Combine 1 capful Thieves Household Cleaner and 2–3 cups water.

  • Degreaser: Combine 1 capful Thieves Household Cleaner and 2 cups water. For heavy cleaning, use half or quarter the amount of water. If necessary, use a cloth to apply Thieves Household Cleaner undiluted. After cleaning, wipe the area with a cloth dampened with water.
  • Glass and mirror cleaner: Combine 1 capful Thieves Household Cleaner, 5 drops Citrus Fresh™ essential oil blend, 1 teaspoon white vinegar, and 3 cups water.

We have a spray bottle for each room with the correct dilution so it is always ready for use.  Thieves has a whole line of cleaning products like hand sanitizer, fruit and veggie cleaner, hand soap, toothpaste, mouthwash and dental floss. You can check it out here http://yl.pe/8c5.  The cleaner also raises the vibration in your home, I like to meditate right after cleaning because of the smell, the higher vibration and having a clean house makes me feel good.

 

What cleaners are you using?  Is it important as to what is on the label? If it says “all natural” do you still read the ingredients?

Chores For Your Kids, To Pay or To Not · Uncategorized

Chores for Kids

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In our house Julian is expected to do a list of daily chores that he is not rewarded for monetarily.  Since he is a member of this house hold he is expected to chip in some sweat to keep the house clean and to encourages him to participate in activities such as cooking and setting the table. I made a separate list to give him the opportunity to make money.  This list helps to build his character and gives him the option to learn how he can make a difference. There are things on there ranging from volunteering to reading extra books. He enjoys picking something each week, sometimes more than one.

To get him to do some extra chores I make it into a scavenger hunt. Things like collect all water bottles and get them ready to be recycled, collect all things that are green to be put away etc. It makes it fun and he gets excited that he earned some money while doing it.

We keep it up in the hallway so if he needs to refer back to what he needs to do it is right there for him to read. Here’s what we have up, what chores do your kids do? Do you pay them for completing their chores?

Julian’s Chores:

Monday

  • Homework
  • Read
  • Set the table
  • Dishes
  • Put Jeorge out  (our dog)

Tuesday

  • Homework
  • Read
  • Clear the table
  • Clean your desk
  • Put Jeorge out

Wednesday

  • Read
  • Homework
  • Help prep dinner
  • Put Jeorge out

Thursday

  • Read
  • Homework
  • Set the table
  • Dishes
  • Put Jeorge out
  • Clean up your toys

Friday

  • Soccer practice
  • Clear the table
  • Put Jeorge out
  • Sort your laundry
  • vacuum

Saturday

  • Set the table
  • Dishes
  • Pick what we are having for dinner
  • Put Jeorge out

Tasks for money  $$

  • Read three books, aside from homework assignments
  • Complete extra chores
  • Perform two random acts of kindness
  • Help me put up positive flyers for people
  • Complete your reading quest
  • Volunteer
  • Pick up garbage from the neighborhood
  • Weed the yard and driveway
  • Help clean out the car, vacuum it and go with me to the car wash
  • Make thank you cards for veterans
  • Help me with the laundry
  • Sweep the kitchen and bathroom floors
  • Complete 5 pages from your sight words
  • Go one day with no tv, video games or computer
  • Make a craft for someone else

 

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KIds Self Esteem

Manifesting Your Kids Self-Esteem Using Positive Affirmations

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In preschool Julian was bullied in school, he was only 3.  He always prided himself on what a fast runner he was. One day when I picked him up he told me he was a slow poke and stupid. This broke my heart to hear those words come from his little mouth.  It was that night I started to rebuild his self esteem and faith in himself on how awesome he is.  As I was putting him to bed I would softly speak positive things about him. “You are smart, you are funny, you are a great friend, you are a fast runner”.

Julian is a sensitive soul through and through. He is harder on himself than anyone could be to him.  He is me, I feel it is my responsibility to help him see all the beauty he has with in himself. Our cards, which I originally wrote the words and he decorated help him pick things to replace any negative feelings he may have brewing within him. It allows him to pick words to be proud of. As he grows and understands more he is writing out his own cards.  On hard days we pin them to our vision boards, the back of the door or wherever he might need to see that message that day.

To make your own is really easy!!

What you need:

Index cards or card stock and all the things that are awesome about your kid.. that’s it. If you need some help getting started check out the list below and pick a few!

Positive Affirmations for Kids

I am strong I am important
I am loved I am compassionate
I am smart I am funny
A bad moment doesn’t make a bad day I am kind
I am  good friend I am honest
I am a miracle I can do anything
I appreciate myself and my family I am worthy
I am perfect just as I am I am enough

Affirmations for Parent to Reinforce your Child’s Self-Esteem

You are important to our family You are my sunshine
I appreciate you You make my day better
You are my favorite part of the day You did a great job
You are a great person You are kind
You are a wonderful kid You are smart
You are creative You are a fast runner
I believe in you I know you do your best
I know you are kind You are thoughtful
You make the world better You can do anything
You are helpful You’re beautiful
Love surrounds you You have a beautiful heart
You have great ideas I love talking to you