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!


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.

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.


Back in Action!

Hope BraceletIt has been simply ages since my last post. So much has happened; some good, some not so great, but it all kept me from blogging my little heart out as I usually like to do. We had some health scares with my son…the initial reason for my absence. After working through that and getting the all-clear (no relapse – phew), I just got busy living life away from the computer.

It really did feel good not checking email and finding ways to fit in a full-blown photo-shoot each time I cleaned, or made a meal. I loved the lack of pressure…the blogging world continued to thrive, and I was not hurting anyone by checking out for a while.

Of course I missed the daily interactions between my blogging friends. I hope they will forgive me and let me get back into the game. It is strange to just not be there anymore. While I felt it was a much needed break, I did have pangs of guilt and certainly wanted to know what everyone was doing. (To be honest, I did check in on everyone via my phone, I just didn’t actively participate!)

So what, you may be asking, was I doing? I was spending LOTS of time with my kids. I was going out with friends, I was mentally recharging, I was being a Healthy, Working Mom….just not blogging about it. I really felt the blog was taking up what little time I had after work and at the weekends.

You may now have the question, what are you doing back? I understand this fully. I am not going to be back as much as I used to be. I am not going to spend every mealtime checking ingredients, or rushing back and forth to a kiddie event, trying to carve out more time to get my thoughts and ideas on paper. I don’t want to “blog my way through life” as I was doing. I literally blogged in my head as things were happening, rather than enjoying what was going on! Crazy huh? I will be relaying my discoveries related to organic and eco-friendly living, sharing the fun crafts I do with my kids, and letting you know what I made for meals…just not as often.

Superman SammyI have also been drawn back into the world of cancer. While this is a dark subject, it is also something I am looking at proactively. Sammy is cancer-free (thankfully the scare was just that…a scare and not relapse), and I do have more time to give back to others. Sadly, Sammy’s buddy “G” has relapsed (he’s only eight) and awaits a transplant.

My approach to all of this is to do something. I used to blog over at Superman Sammy just to get my angst and woes out. I still check in occasionally to update people. This blog was meant to be my “life after cancer” blog. It still is, but the two will be tied forever by an unseen but painfully real need for me to move forward but never forget. Anyway, I decided to create jewelry to sell in order to raise money to beat cancer to a pulp! We support The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and proceeds will go to them, and also to help me start up a project that I’ve been mulling over in my mind for a while. Sammy had t.shirts made with his name in the superman logo. He has been known as Superman Sammy since diagnosis, and the shirts can be seen all over the town where he goes to school. They were sold to raise money for The Danny Fund, a charity helping families with children suffering catastrophic illnesses. The orange Superman Sammy shirts are famous in our part of the world! The link above takes you to the side-show of Sammy’s infamous day-release from hospital to attend the fundraiser!

Recently, a little girl was diagnosed with a brain tumor and the mom who helped create the Superman Sammy shirts, had one made up for “S”. She sports her wonderful shirt all over the hospital where she also waits for surgeries and a transplant. The shirts seem to bring hope and courage to these young heroes. (I had one made for “G” and his family a while back for the Walk for the Cure.)

So I want to have a shirt made up for the children of CHAM, then Children’s Hospital at Montefiore where Sammy was treated. I want them to see their name in the Superman logo and feel special and recognized for their strength too. So, I’m making jewelry!

Running an Etsy shop is quite hilarious at this point. First of all I have to make the jewelry. I’m fairly good at that aspect of things, and Sammy has also designed the “Chunky Monkey” bracelet set that I wear almost everyday with pride. The funny part comes when I have to take the photographs. I am NOT a photographer and I stink at it. So I am now learning, via the Etsy tutorials no less, how to make my pictures look more “Come and buy me” than “Gosh, what is that?” I kid you not, I really need to work on this. So my newest challenge is born.

I like to learn new things. In fact, I do well when pushed to do something I am not entirely comfortable doing. Once I do get it right, watch out for many shameless plugs for my Etsy Shop, We Were But Stones. It is for a VERY good cause 🙂 Just don’t laugh at the awful photography…it will get better!

Memories Bring Joy

"Memories bring joy"
What an amazing day! I did not do anything spectacular, in fact it was quite a dull day on the surface. But despite the never-ending state testing and laborious task of getting my nails done for a meeting I’m about to attend, for some reason I hate it, I rediscover something exceedingly wonderful.

I read through some blogs as I waited I my car for the downpour of rain to stop. One of them talked about things to do with your family instead of watching tv. The usual list came up: go for a walk, read books, play games etc. An as a family, we really are not big on T.V. anyway.

What I did get from the article was a beautiful reminder of how special my time with my children is. I thought about how much we like to be together, actually enjoying one another’s company. We plan to go out together, exercise together, and family night is virtually sacred.

This day was amazing because I didn’t beat myself up about not being the best mom ( I could do that very easily) but instead, I sat alone reliving all the wonderful moments I’ve enjoyed with my family, playing a movie in my head, seeing the smiles and laughter as if I was actually there.

Who needs yoga, massage or a shrink? Just stop and daydream about your memories for a while. It is mightily refreshing!

A New Entryway

I am not sticking to my usual script here and it did, in fact, take me some time to decide to write about this, but I am, so here goes. I have been thinking about making my entryway a lot more attractive lately. What has this got to do with being healthy? You may ask. Well, I completely believe that health comes in many forms, both mental and physical. I know that my mind has to feel calm in order or me to even contemplate getting my body into some semblance of healthy. What better way than to boost my mood than to walk in after a long day at work to this:

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Zapping My Belly Fat

Belly fat is not pretty! As I get older, I notice I gain weight much more quickly around my mid-section than before. This is inconvenient: my closet does not have elastic waistlines and I am NOT going to buy more clothes to accommodate the bulge. Worse still, belly fat is a sign of potential health risks. According to the Mayo Clinic, extra pounds around the belly can lead to:

Cardiovascular disease
Type 2 diabetes
Breast cancer
Colorectal cancer

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Physical Wellbeing

It had been almost a year since I began the first incarnation of this blog. It started out as a fitness journal; a way for me to track my stats, eating and exercise. It has morphed into so much more, but I have decided to use this month, given it is the same month my little blog hatched, to see where I am in terms of health. Click here to see my original motivation and stats.
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Rules and Chores Equal Confidence!

Children are the world’s best procrastinators. Ask them to do something, they usually don’t get to it right away. Often you will have to asked several times before the request is met. Are these children being disobedient? Not really, they are just being, well, kids!
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Lemon Salt Body Scrub

I love the daffodils blooming in the garden, the blossoms bursting forth upon the trees. These are signs that spring is here, not to mention the unusually warm weather! I have been faithfully applying my coconut and olive oil body juice each day, and I’m very pleased with my skin. But now am going to be baring all, at least in terms of showing a little more leg, foot and arm, I want to take my beauty routine up a notch and give my skin some power-washing. Continue reading

Creating a Workable Schedule

I really thought I would never get around to writing this post! Report cards really got in the way of creating a family schedule. Parent-teacher conferences also made things a little more tricky. Add in the fact that the boys stayed at Nana’s house for sleep overs more than once this week, due to the aforementioned schedule interrupters, and I just had to admit defeat and wait a while before pulling together my master plan. Continue reading