Break the Rules: Sanity Saving Mom Moments Part 1


I am all about healthy eating and exercise.  I am all about organic whole foods.  I am all about cooking as much from scratch as possible.  BUT….sometimes I don’t…and that’s okay too.  You see, if I never allowed myself to break the rules and ignore the screaming angel on my shoulder reaching ten decibel level as she reminds me why I should NOT give, then I am sure I would go slightly insane!  I am a working mom, running a small business on the side, tying to help her pre-teen and teen boys grow into great people…that’s a LOT of work people!!!!  So…I cheat every now and again…and it feels great (until I read the labels so I avoid that).

So here’s how I cheated today:

organic hotdog and chips

It was Superbowl Sunday yesterday and half my household were thrilled by the outcome…the other half, not so much.  We had junk food in…Hubby had been in charge of shopping so the Red 40 and Yellow dyes were everywhere.  Chips, of every conceivable variety were in abundance…crazy huh?  Anyway, we chowed down on organic hotdogs and burgers with these horrendously popular chips as a side.

Today, we have LOTS of leftovers.  I could take the high road, throw out the chips and cook a hearty homemade soup for lunch…but no.  I made hotdogs and a lovely side of chips!  Yep….me….moi…I did that.  Why?  Because it is a snow day, I’m trying to get my new website off the ground, and I felt like cheating.  And that’s okay!

So go ahead…cheat now and again.  Use paper plates.  Give in to laziness.  Just don’t do it too often.  Tomorrow’s lunch?  Homemade organic baked potatoes with salad and grilled chicken.

The moral of the story is…let it go sometimes…give yourself a mommy break…life is too short to be a supermom all the time.

How do you “cheat” a little?  Share your stories and help us all feel better!

8 Ways to Clean Your House Quickly


Tips for quick cleaning
Don’t you just hate it when you have a huge mess your the home? You live there after all. And you have people come to visit sometimes, right? And then you feel overwhelmed because it’s just too much keeping up with all that cleaning and tidying and stuff. Not because you are lazy. But because there a a gazillion other things you have to do and the list never ends…and the laundry, cleaning, cooking and organizing never ends either!

The good new is there are always shortcuts; things you can do to lessen the load when it comes time to actually cleaning the house. I try to set aside some time each week, usually at the weekend when I’m not working, to focus on the house cleaning, but I am working on making that time much less of a drag, and more of a moment just to finish off things.

Here are some ways to stay on top of all that cleaning a little more. I have been trying them out for a while and I have to say, I’m a lot less crazy by the weekend. I have less to do before I deep clean and that makes it all go by so much faster. Happy Mom!
cleaning time

1. Store dirty dished in the dishwasher, not in the sink so you can wipe down the sink in less than a minute

2. When you shower, wipe down the tiles and squeegee the shower doors

3. Every time you go upstairs, take something with you

4. Make the bed as soon as you get up

5. Hang up your clothes when you take them off or devote 1 minute every morning doing that before dressing

6. Brush teeth, wash face, moisturize then wipe down sink, and toilet….it becomes part of your morning/evening routine!

7. Have cleaning supplies handy on every level of your home. Grab a duster and dust an area as you walk though it. No need for heavy duty cleaning each day, just a light dust will keep things at bay

8. Train the kiddies….okay, this one is always a work in progress but if everyone helps for 5 minutes a day, things will improve. I ask my boys to pick everything up and put it away before bed. No excuses…or no games at the weekend!
we can do it

What do you do to stay on top of the cleaning?

New Year 2015: The Year Of ME, and Other Big Plans


2015 the year of me
Where has the time gone? I really don’t know how I have been so busy and yet told you about absolutely none of it…I’m a bad Healthy Working Mom! But, on the bright side, I have a whole years worth of great stuff to share…and I will…I promise…I really mean it this time.

So, yeah, that’s what this New Year is about. ME! “What?” you might ask…”Aren’t you supposed to be all about the kids and family and all the things a mom has to do and making sure the house is perfect and keeping fit and dieting right and wearing nice clothes and working on creating the most amazing and super model citizens there can be and…?” Well, yes. I will be doing all of that. But I will also be REALLY taking more time for myself and focussing a little less on being supermom…and I’m not capitalizing that as it is not EVER going to happen and doesn’t deserve my recognition that it is a name…(storms off in a self-indulgent huff).

Quick recap:

Button had leukemia. Button is now a five year survivor….best thing EVER EVER EVER!

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Hubby and I have had MAJOR problems in terms of staying together…apparently that is what often happens after a child had a life-threatening illness. We are still together and working hard to stay that way.

Peanut made the ALL-Star team in Baseball and is now in the Babe Ruth league.
IMG_4139

We got a new dog, Pepper. He is a rescue from a puppy mill and a real mess. But we love him. And yes, he is eating kale!

Puppy Mill Rescue Dog

Nana H is very sick with Lupus, Fibromyalgia and Myeloma. We are finding the distance between Connecticut and England so hard to cope with. We hope to visit her in the summer, but who knows if it will be possible. Perhaps two of us will go.

Both boys are at the Magnet Middle School and doing well. Button is learning to be more social but still misses a lot of school due to illness. If something is going around, he will catch it…poor kid!

And now about ME…I have a new business! I am still teaching full time but I began creating jewelry to help me stay sane during my son’s treatment. What do you know? People actually love to buy it!! I’m as surprised as you, but I decided to turn it into something that gives back to those fighting cancer. Butterfly Warriors Jewelry donates $2 of every sale to a charity (stated on the website). Button even helped me design a couple of the pieces. My work is getting increasingly popular and I LOVE what I’m doing. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! I now have a focus that is productive and helps others…what a great feeling! I am not receiving help or charity…something I hated during treatment but truly appreciated. Pop on over and take a look at Butterfly Warriors Jewelry. There is a blog too! The website is very much a work in progress so if you like my jewelry but want to see more, I do have a LOT more on my ETSY site here.

bW agate necklace

What are we looking forward to this year? Well, I’m hoping we help Button cope with his emotional issues as a survivor. We have a long road to go with this but we are moving in the right direction. I will be posting about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in the coming weeks.

Coping with pre-teen boys means my wisdom as a mommy has diminished somewhat. They don’t eat food anymore, just junk (my definition of junk anyway), and they have turned into lazy slobs. I will be telling you all about my mission to reclaim dominion of my household. New dishes to try, revamped schedule to keep the boys on track with their chores…all this needs to be done NOW!

Juggling a small business, family and working full time is not an easy feet. I will share my highs and lows with you along with the tips and tricks I pick up along the way.

So, just a taster of things to come in the next few weeks/months…

    Great new healthy eating ideas
    How to schedule pre-teens in so they feel they are in charge (a little)
    Cleaning tips to brighten your day (and house)
    Juggling business, home, family and health
    and much more….

      Oh, and you will be hearing a lot about how I’m helping ME…in many, many ways. As I always say, “A healthy mom makes for a happy home.” And it’s the year of ME. I aim to be happy and healthy so my kiddies and hubby are happy too.

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Health – A Year Later


As I have not been using this blog, I have not tracked my successes and failures in keeping healthy. Please note I call it healthy rather than ‘slim’, ‘trim’, or ‘skinny’ as these words do not describe my idea of healthy.  Don’t get me wrong, I know it is unhealthy to carry too much fat on one’s body, and I do like to fit into my clothes without feeling like the buttons are going to pop, but healthy is more than just measurements and appearance.  

 

However….I am SHOCKED by my big fail over the past year.  I have been mindful of eating well (family dinners have been regular and always organic, healthy foods).  I have enjoyed many fun games with the kids..a great way to exercise and bond at the same time.  The fail happened recently….over the summer vacation when my common sense just seems to fly out the window.  You see, we love to do day trips and spur of the moment adventures’ which I am totally useless and planning for in terms of food.  We end up eating out all the time and my love of pasta and rich sauces seems perfectly reasonable when I am paying for it and someone else is cooking it…not to mention  the accompanying drink that seems just part of the package!   

In addition, I have not danced in months.  My schedule was the initial block, followed by the dance studio closing for the summer.  I did not realize just how much that exercise helped me stay fit!  

Here are the stats from last August:

Weight: – 144lbs

Height:  - 5’6″

Waist: – 33.5″

Chest: – 37.5″

Hips: – 40″

Thigh: – 22.5″

 

Now take a look at today’s stats….eek!

Weight: – 152 lbs

Height:  - 5’6″

Waist: – 35″

Chest: – 39″

Hips: – 40″

Thigh: – 23″

 

What on earth????  So reality hits home and I am disappointed in myself because I had done so well with my plan from February.  Blast those wonderful summer days of over-indulgence and zero self-discipline.  Mental note to self – be mindful of summer temptations and be stricter about packed lunches.  (Yes, I know I wanted to get away from the grind of making packed lunches every day which we need for school…but I can’t let myself go like this again!)

I will be posting my efforts to get my curvy but not quite so uncomfortable body back.  I will also share the daunting  but very worthwhile attempt and joining Team in Training for a half-marathon.  Yep…I am going to try :)  More on that soon..I just have to get up the nerve to send in the application forms…can anyone say procrastination?

Breakfast Sandwiches – Mediterranean Style!


Simple meze of feta cheese and olives: charact...

 

Today is the last day of summer vacation for the boys.  We are about to head off on a family day out….not sure where..we like to just go and see where we end up :)    To set us up for the adventure,  I made a delicious breakfast for the family.

My boys are beginning to appreciate stacking and building food, burger-style.  Peanut tends to add more variety than does Button, but adapting the presentation of the food, a la family style, helps encourage them to experiment.  Scouring the fridge for ingredients my boys might eat, I pulled together the following hearty and protein-packed breakfast. Continue reading

Getting Back on Track!


healthI have been very busy lately. It is summer and I have been avoiding the rut I got into last year of blogging all day. Instead, family time has been a priority. I was hoping that the more relaxed schedule, the ability to sleep in past 5am, and the absence of work stress would help me feel less tired.

You see, I have been fighting fatigue for some time now. My doctor gave me the all clear, reminding me that I have been more than stressed for the past three years as my son battled leukemia. I feel now, however, that I should have recovered more from that than my body actually has. I will never ‘relax’ and forget about it all, but I don’t have the immediate stress of the illness anymore. So what is going on?

Continue reading

Family Fun


Yankee Stadium on July 1, 2010

Yankee Stadium on July 1, 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love the summer when we pack up the boys and three generations head off to watch the Yankees play. We sometimes have good seats, sometimes not so great, but it is always the buzz that keeps us happy. Nana and Poppa, Nana Haze, Uncle Ricky, my hubby and my boys…all my favorite people in one place watching my favorite team.

I don’t eat hotdogs, but they are delicious when they cost more than any sane human being would generally be willing to pay for them.  I am not a big beer drinker; but I love the flat, easy to spill water with some bubbles and a color reminiscent of pee…and generally chug a few while I cheer for the Yankees (even more if they are losing).

I often sit and soak up the enormity of the stadium.  Yes, it is large, but I really mean the history behind it (with the old stadium), and the possibilities for the memories that will be created for generations to come in the new stadium.  I know my boys will be sitting in those seats with their own children, eating hotdogs (goodness only know what they will cost then…but they will be REALLY delicious), and there is the possibility that I will be included as the grandmother, in keeping with the three generations that visit and cheer together today.

I do like the game, but there is so much more to the experience.  Soaking it all in with the eyes of a child, marvelling at the architecture so obviously paying homage to the old stadium, but infusing a new hope in its design.  I imagine myself at the old games, I mean really old games..watching the greats of yesteryear making history.  Strangely, I usually view these montages in black and white, even on the sunniest of days.

I love Yankee stadium, spending special time with my family and cheering on between mouthfuls of junk and watery bubble pee.  It is magical in a special way…I never went as a child, so I am a child when I go now…I just have to remember to keep an eye on the kids from time to time!

Summer Smoothies


I am a Smoothie fan. I like to create my own versions and discover new and interesting tastes. Not everything works out, especially as I am not good at following measuring rules, but sometimes I hit the jackpot!

My shining glory this morning was a recipe inspired by recent posts on other blogs to do with Kale. I am not a lover of this green, leafy vegetable, but I do know how wonderful it is nutritionally. Naturally, I have never managed to get my kids to eat it, as I don’t cook it much. Continue reading

Organic? New York Times Article


Eden Farms

Having read the New York Times article on the lack of ‘organic’ in our organic food, I am very disturbed by the latest revelations. It seems that we cannot buy real food anymore. We can buy almost real food, but there is always something added or modified. I, like so many others, felt okay buying the overpriced organic options, after all, they had been certified and followed the rules of untarnished, un-poisioned (my own word) food right? Apparently not!

Eden Foods seems to be in the small minority of companies that actually care about providing truly organic products in non-toxic cans and packaging. I strongly suggest all those who can afford it, buy many shares in that company now!

But what of us Joe Shmo’s who just want to feed our children healthy food without going bankrupt? When big companies buy up smaller organic companies, the prices might can come down a little. Of course now I know why. And what about meat? I eat meat, but cannot afford the cost of organic meat too often…which can be a good thing as I’m forced to eat more veggies :) However, it makes finding restaurants that serve organic meats very hard to come by!

So, super-companies are reducing our ability to buy real organic food…they have the majority share of the food industry and are manipulating the way food is deemed to be considered organic. What can we do about this?

Many people are shouting out that we should skip the stores altogether and buy locally grown produce from our Farmer’s Markets. Others suggest being careful but not overly dramatic about the issue. I am sure that there are also many who have just thrown in the towel, as time and money are just too limited to cook from scratch everyday or buy the more expensive goods.

Personally, I’d like to focus more on asking why this is allowed in the first place. This has become public and a major paper has written about it. We all need to shout out and be heard…write to our member of congress, respond to the article, petition stores, boycott products.

How should we, as a nation of consumers, win back our rights to real food?