Meet my new besties

Hint: Diane Von Furstenberg is one of them!

During relatively quiet afternoons, while my kids are doing their homework, I sit with them, on hand for questions and bribes encouragement, with my laptop and check through “my blog list”.  This week’s read through produced quite a gem, here’s my treasure hunt OR skip to the bottom link below the pic for the prize:

I started at Zero Waste Home – Bea where are you?  Moved on to You Are the River, not really into house stuff right now though.  So I visited Garance Dore for a smile and a laugh and met Amanda.  Inspired my some of the spring shows I saw on Garance but reminding myself it’s FALL that’s coming I checked-out Net-a-Porter where I saw Amanda again.  My interest peeked, I googled “Amanda de Cadenet The Conversation” and THAT is when I met my new besties.

The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet – Episode 4*

When I was a brand new mom with a brand new baby, I would have LOVED to look at something like this when I should have been “napping” like the baby.

*Episode 4 is the only one I’ve been able to see all the way through, but I’m hopeful for the other episodes.  This is more than just girl talk it’s girl SUPPORT and who doesn’t need more of that!  Feel free to skip over Miley Cyrus – I did.


Texas Radio

image via blog @ Percolate

I listen to music in the car.  It’s one of the things that makes me very happy. When advertising took over my local radio stations my husband and I switched to satellite.  When the technology entered my life to listen to Pandora in the car I switched to that.

But now, NOW my friends I have 91.7 KXT.

KXT is all over the great state of Texas and is primarily funded by listeners.  The ads are minimal and most music interruptions are welcome announcements about neat events in my local area.  Kinda like NPR but for music!  It is so nice to have my listening pleasure back in the hands of talented DJ’s.  Mr./Mrs. DJ you’ve revived some too long ignored favorites like 10,000 Maniacs, The Cure and Bob Dylan and introduced me to a few new ones like Blind Pilot.  I thank you and a check is in the mail.

Rock on Texas.

So fresh and CLEAN 2

We are finishing up week 2 of our Clean Cleanse (woo hoo) and it just keeps getting better.  I could extol the benefits of this experience for paragraphs but you can go to the website and read through hundreds of stories like mine and my husband’s going on about bright eyes, clear minds, boundless energy, slimmer hips and a peaceful heart.  So, here a couple of details, tips maybe, to acknowledge that like most good things, this experience also has it’s challenges.

1.  Just want to clarify my husband and I are not doing “Clean” through the pre-packaged program they sell on the website.  We are following the whole program based on the book, so $5.98 from the used book store makes this information accessible to most people.  That said, having a juicer and a high-powered blender (my choices are Breville and Vita-Mix) do make this process a whole lot easier!

2.  Defining your hunger and confronting the ugly truth – People have different goals when doing a cleanse, loosing weight wasn’t on my list so when I make my morning shake it is anything but low-calorie.  I’m talking half an avocado, almond butter, walnuts, cashews….and sometimes that’s all together in one shake.  SO, a few hours after ingesting said shake I know I’m not “hungry” but my body is craving something and sending signals that seem a lot like hunger.  Identifying that I’d been using food as a distraction or a comfort has made me face the truth that I need some additional stimulation in my life.  I need to “grow my garden” as a wise friend once told me.  This is easier said than done of course when parenting and lack of “free” time are the facts of my foreseeable future.

3.  Eating raw garlic and taking tablespoons of olive oil is hard and unpleasant.  ‘Nough said there.

4.  What goes in must come out…..right?  I, but not my husband, have experienced some traffic jams with the end of the digestion process – please don’t make me spell it out, I’m not that brave.  But my whole reason for doing this is to get the bad stuff out and that fact that that wasn’t happening as smoothly and effortlessly as I expected has been a challenge.

5.  Fast-forwarding to the finish line – We still have a week to go with this cleanse and I already find myself thinking, “I don’t want to loose this good feeling, what are we going to do when we are eating ‘normally’ again”.  Have I learned nothing?!  My job right now is to stay present in the process and to focus on getting the most out of this for my body to heal and restore itself……this too, I find difficult.

For more Do’s and Don’ts this is the Clean Food list:

image via Clean website

NYDJ I love you but your name SUCKS

image via Nordstrom

I needed wanted some new jeans for fall.  Yes, NEW.  I visited all my used clothing haunts and could not find what I wanted.

I pre-shopped online, meaning I looked up who might carry what I was interested in wearing for fall and I decided on this brand – Not Your Daughter’s Jeans (NYDJ).  How this brand name got approved by focus groups baffles me!  My daughter is 7 so the chances of me mistaking her jeans for mine are slim.  I know that I could possibly be shopping above my “intended age bracket” in this particular category but even still the name is terrible.

Here are my suggestions:

Mrs. Robinson Jeans

MILF Jeans – maybe too crass, no?

Not 21 Forever Jeans

Genius Jeans*

*This is my favorite because when I wear these jeans and bend over to tie my kid’s shoe, my bum and undies are NOT flying in the breeze!  The fact that they’ve solved this issue is – GENIUS.  Also, these jeans are comfortable, like sweatpants comfortable but look polished and put together.  I’ve worn them about everyday for a week and they’ve held their shape which says a lot when your day involves running around the park, working on floor puzzles, sorting through legos, walking the dog, etc. and my jeans are gathering compliments along the way.

For those looking for some genius jeans I can highly recommend these.

I saw the sign

I have a new stop sign in my life.  It is on a road I travel frequently, sometimes even a couple times a day.  I COULD see this as an annoyance, an  obstacle, a total hindrance to my rebellious speeding that usually occurs on this road.

But I don’t.

I see a reminder to take a breath, to stop rushing, to enjoy the journey.

Thanks Stop Sign, you opened up my eyes*.


(*And Thank You Ace of Base for your Swedish pop that gets me every time)

Random Act of Kindess

Yesterday, 2 minutes into my run on the treadmill at the YMCA, my elastic hairband broke.  No longer a helpful circle, but a useless string of elastic, I tucked it in my pocket and tried for the “hair knot”.  I twisted, tucked, and pulled my hair into a tight, strong knot that  lasted all of 1 minute.

Not to be dissuaded I thought,

“Women run with their hair down, I’ve seen it in movies, especially in movies around the LA area.”

So I continued running, my long, heavy, thick, curly hair bouncing about.

3 minutes later a complete stranger appears at my shoulder holding out a pony tail holder.

Thank you kind stranger, you made my run far more enjoyable and reminded me to be aware of times that I can offer up some kindness too!

Chinese take out that isn’t

This dish has become what my husband and I always want, or maybe expect when we order Chinese food.  In reality our order always seems to fall short.  Too greasy?  What’s in there?  Doggie bags in styrofoam packs wrapped in plastic – ACK!

Cut to a fortuitous grocery store visit to Whole Foods when I was quite starving and strolling by the hot food bar and I spotted “Stir Fried Cabbage”.  I grabbed a sample, swooned with delight and once I got home I emailed the kind people at Whole Foods who forked over the recipe below.  It is exactly as they sent it to me, hence the “chef speak”.

Stir Fried Cabbage

Ingredients:  Green Cabbage (chopped), Canola Oil, Sesame Oil, Salt, Pepper, Ginger (minced), Garlic (minced), Green Onions

1.  In a saute pan, add a blend of sesame and canola oil, enough to cover the bottom of the pan generously.  Turn on High.

2.  Add chopped green cabbage to saute pan, coat evenly with oil.  Let cabbage sit for 1-2 minutes to soften and gather color.

3.  Stir in minced garlic and ginger and blend evenly.  Our chefs in the kitchen usually do this to taste, but 1 tbsp. of each should be enough for 1 lb. of cabbage.  OUr chef recommends that if you life your cabbage spicier, add another 1/2 tbsp. ginger!

4.  Saute for about 2 more minutes until cabbage is cooked, but still crisp.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add chopped green onions on top and serve.

The result is pictured above and here are my personal tweaks:  I use a blend of sesame oil and safflower oil.  For my salt I’m pretty addicted to the pink Himalayan salt.  After cabbage is complete I toss in a few cashews to warm and brown in the pan and sprinkle on top.  Lunch is served!

P.S.  Just like regular Chinese take out, the left overs are even better the next day.  Also easy to make in the morning and pack-up to take for a lunch on the go.

Is fashion FUN?

image via Shopbop

In my opinion, it’s like everything – it depends on your perspective.  With the transition into fall, I seem to be having conversations everywhere about clothes and style.  There are the rules, thoughts about what’s in, worries about what’s out, statement pieces, basics, mom jeans, skinnies, flares, age appropriate or not…….it can all be like a giant sucker of all the fun.

What about self-expression?

What about feeling pretty?

What about wanting to look tough or comfy?

With online shopping we can all search through hundreds of images from dozens of different stores and they’ll all tell you what you should be wearing NOW.  Well, what if you don’t wanna or what if all the trends they are pushing right now feel ridiculous to you?!

I’ll focus on the moms out there because in my opinion having children come into your life can cause a pretty big change in style…..and about 1,000 other things.

Here’s what I know, it is important to define your style, below are a couple tips:

  • If anyone out there is really starting from square one this is a pretty timeless list for basics that work in every kind of closet for every age.

  • It helps to know the rules if only so you can choose to break them.  You need patience here because I’m not talking about White after Labor Day kind of rules (btw white jeans are fine all year round).  I have a loose/tight rule, if my bottoms are tight, my top is looser or vice versa.  I also have a quality over quantity rule, a closet stuffed with clothes doesn’t necessarily give you more options.  I have a three ways rule – my clothes work hard, they have to be versatile.
  • It helps to look at clothes that fit your style on “real” people.  This could be a movie character, a celebrity, your aunt, you get the point.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer has been one of my style inspiration peeps for years (I’m not saying how many) – I find her feminine/tough/functional mix highly practical for moi.
  • It helps to take pictures of yourself in the clothes you like best and the ones you receive compliments when wearing, these will be the building blocks from which change can happen.
  • Don’t forget the fun – wear non-matching socks under your boots if that helps support your wackiness, wear something that makes you feel good even if it’s unexpected.  Like Bea working barefoot in her red strapless dress.

image via Zero Waste Home

Here is a blog that has fun with mom style, the authors are also of pretty different style aesthetics, so there’s a bit of range:

Ain’t No Mom Jeans

image via Ain’t No Mom Jeans

These ladies are having fun with clothes and it’s really nice to see a few fall trends on someone who is NOT 6 feet tall, 95 lbs and 14 years old – ya feel me?

Happy fall, hope you are having fun!

I feel so CLEAN

Week 1 into our cleanse and holy cow I feel so clean and so happy!  Like dancing on the ceiling happy…and light, I feel light.  This summer I wrote about my tendency to overindulge, especially in sweets and fats….I don’t think I was really overeating my salads if you know what I mean.  An intervention was in order, so my husband and I broke out the Clean cleanse.  We’ve done it before but this round we’re really following all the “extras” laid out in the book including daily meditation, banishing snacks whenever possible, dry brushing, and a nightly dose of olive oil to just name a few.  The basics are for 21 days we do two liquid meals, one at breakfast and one for dinner, lunch is a meal from their list of acceptable foods with the idea being as raw as possible and as organic as possible.

Changing up our food has already yielded huge benefits, we are sleeping better, my husband is so glow-y with his bright eyes – he looks 5 years younger, he says I too am sporting a youthful glow, I’ve mentioned the spike in happiness we are both experiencing – all of these things are wonderful BUT they are not my favorite part of my experience so far.

My favorite part is identifying that food and eating out had become a sort of hobby!

“Let’s grab a bite, have some coffee/tea, take the kids for an ice cream, etc., etc.”

So, during these three weeks (and I’m hoping for longer) we will get out and DO something instead of go out and EAT something.  One caveat, the “detox date”, my husband and I went out for a green juice at one of the few NEW juicing places that have opened after dropping the kids at school.  $15 bucks for two green drinks – DAMN, thank goodness it counts as breakfast.  But it was a really nice break from cleaning the juicer.

Not completely unlike traveling, this cleanse experience has changed up our daily routine, offering some awesome insights.

I should mention that neither my favorite part of the experience, nor all the benefits we are outwardly experiencing thus far are the point of our cleanse.  We are giving our bodies a break so they can clean themselves up and heal as needed……also to break my crack, I mean SUGAR addiction.  Has to be said, just in one week, I feel like the spell has been broken on that front!

Why parenting rocks

When I started this blog I thought I’d be doing a lot of posting on parenting stuff but turns out, what I think and what I feel about parenting is tough for me to put into words.

But when I walked into my room yesterday and saw “Shoe Dude” sitting there in the middle of my spring/fall closet switch I thought, this is it, this is why being a parent is so cool.  Where I saw pairs of shoes, my kids saw a red boat of fire ready to take Shoe Dude on an adventure.

Having little ones in your life offers an amazing perspective that grown up people tend to loose somewhere along the line.  Their honesty, their innocence, their curiosity, their intelligence, their instincts – I find it all fascinating and inspiring.

If like me you have little ones in your life, Happy Saturday morning to you, I’m sure you’ve been up for hours “enjoying” all of their energy!