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Archives for January 2011

Who needs sleep? I have a blog to worry about!

sprout in dirt
Ideas… Ideas… Ideas… Yup that’s me the “idea” lady… Spend hours when I’m “supposed” to be sleeping thinking about ideas for my site… After my horror last week when I realized that somehow according to Google I suck! I want to sit down and work on my site… or in this case think about it when I’m supposed to be sleeping…

I have a little problem though… I have sooo much to say… and so little time… I’m a special needs mom that right there is enough to fill a site, my daughter is going to be *gulp 19 on Sunday.

I have been on a healthy makeover for almost a year… yes, going slow I know but rather slow then lose it and gain it all back plus more, been there done that not going back… I love cooking new and delish food that is “good for you,” OK, that is worthy of another site…

I have another very neglected site which I started with a goal to help others who want to build on a dream; after starting a non profit organization,raising a million dollars to design and create the first fully inclusive playground in Maryland, use it as a model to create 25 more in the area and then help others around the country, yup you know the story…another site… butttt to be honest the site has fallen a little…

And in my “former” life I was an Interior Designer for both homes and offices… So I love design and all it encompasses… and ETSY is a part of that too! yup, another idea for a site…

I have loved meeting bloggy friends either just through reading other peoples sites and learning about them or actually after meeting them at conventions like Bloggy Boot Camp and so now I’m featuring “friends” who are special needs mama’s and ladies on healthy makeovers like myself…

How to mesh these ideas of who I am into one site and give great content to all of you on a daily basis… that is my new quest… Just wanted to let you know I’m workin on it!

According to Google… I… um… “Suck!”

I am so upset… Can someone please pass me a cup of coffee? I can’t remember being this upset since I was in school and worried about a grade NOT that I ever got a grade like this one…

Last week I realized that I had my Google Analytics entered in my HTML wrong. Well, they must have been wrong. I had entered the code a year earlier and I forgot about them. Maybe I didn’t forget, maybe, I just put looking at them off, kind of like weighing myself when I wasn’t on a “diet.” And just figured they were “there.” Sooo last week I thought I’d check them out and see what they had to “tell” me… And they told me I had “nothing”…. “Nothing” how could that be possible? So with some research and lots of time I figured out that I had the code in the wrong place… At that point, I put the code in the “right” place and figured I’d wait a week or so and check back. So, that is what I did smiling all the way… And then I saw it… Oooo boy, this is what they told me, my “bounce” rate “SUCKS!”… The bounce rate column was glaring at me…. 60%; what is that a “D?” Oh my god, do I dare say it? “I failed”… According to Google I’m failing!

Wahhhh, please pass the tissues… I don’t get it… I’m a “nice person” your average run of the mill lady… Mom…. Special Needs Mom yet… like most of America I have a weight issue that I have been working on… I have stories… I have good storiesI’m engaging… or so I thought… I spent a lot of time working with a designer on my site, so I thought it was pretty as well as functional… I know content is “king” I have heard that several times. However, I “thought” my content was good, no grammar or spelling errors, maybe not king but certainly princess material… Definitely NOT that of the…. JOKER!!!

So what is a “bounce rate?” According to Google… “Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page. Use this metric to measure visit quality – a high bounce rate generally indicates that site entrance pages aren’t relevant to your visitors. The more compelling your landing pages, the more visitors will stay on your site and convert. You can minimize bounce rates by tailoring landing pages to each keyword and ad that you run. Landing pages should provide the information and services that were promised in the ad copy.”

I spent all night tossing and turning… Why don’t “they” like me? I thought about what I do when I visit a site… How long do I stay? Does one post inspire me to check out more and more…? Honestly, if we are being brutally honest, which I think we are this morning! There are not too many sites that I spend more than a few minutes on… Unless we are talking about someone like the all mighty Pioneer Women… but come on how many sites are like hers? And honestly, I think she has a bunch of “elves” that live with her…

Do you know “your” Google analytics? Do I dare ask you what they are?

Didn’t you know Chicken Soup and Matzo Balls cures all?

 

my daughter cookingAll of our lives we have heard how “chicken soup” is good for the soul. Well, that is another post about what my grand mom was “about”. Oh how I miss my grand mom but that is not what this post is about…

However it is a sweet post, at least the thought behind it is sweet…

Sarah’s boyfriend had a bad cold and she wanted to do something “nice” for him so she suggested to me that she would like to make him “matzo ball soup.”

Yup, my undomesticated daughter who has done little more then make herself tea now wanted to make something for someone other than herself… Note to self, this is a big milestone in my “child’s” (yes, Sarah no matter how old you are you will always be my child; I write as I know this will be critiqued) life.

Of course, mom (that being me) had to run to the store to get all of the ingredients for the newly domesticated cook. After all I know there is nothing as good as a delicious bowl of Matzo ball soup when your head is stuff and nose is runny.

For those of you who have never had Matzo balls they are little round fluffy balls which just melt in your mouth, ifff you make them right, if not they can be like lead balloons; not good!

So here goes… Sarah’s Matzo Ball Soup

 

carrots, onions, celeryTake 2 large carrots chopped into small bite size pieces

And 2 large celery stalks also cut into bite sized pieces

Along with 1 diced large yellow onion

 

chicken and cut up vegiesTake 1 pound of skinless, boneless chicken thighs and add them to a large stock pot, *the dark meat has a little more flavor then the white meat.

 

chicken stock and veggiesFor a little extra flavor add 4 cups of Low Salt Organic Chicken Stock to 4 cups of water and add to the stock pot.

 

Then add the dry spices: 1tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp dried rosemary, and 1 tsp dried thyme and 1 tsp salt and ½ tsp cracked black pepper and one bay leaf.

 

chicken soup for the soulMix all together, and as it starts to simmer, smell the yummieness!

For this newly domestic cook this one pot meal is ideal for “clean-up” oh yes cleaning the pot must follow lol

While the soup is simmering into blissdom which translates into the last half hour of simmering…

Take 3 eggs and separate them

In a small bowl beat the egg whites until stiff

Then ever so gently fold in the yokes

Fold in ¼ cup of Matzo Meal to the egg mixture and a pinch of salt

OK, this is the important part, let stand 5 minutes… any longer and your balls will be “lead” which is the furthest thing that you want.

With wet hands form small 12 balls and gently drop them into your stock pot
Cook together for approximately 35 minutes or so

And then you will have the most magical potion to cure all that ails you…
Sarah quickly packed the soup up into 2 containers and poof she was gone to dish out her little bit of “happiness and good health.”

And there she goes… my “little” girl all grown up…

*I know I’m missing the photos for the matzo balls, so I will have to do a later post, but it is pretty easy… give them a try and let me know how much you just love them!

20 things you “might” want to know about… me… or maybe not

1. Inside my purse, you’ll discover: not to much, my wallet, my phone, my “Chanel Shades,” don’t judge people! I’ve had those for five years! Maybe a Laura Mercier lip gloss if my daughter hasn’t scarfed it up…
2. If stranded on an island, the five things I couldn’t live without: hmm, well other then basic things to live on, water, food, toilet paper… 1. My family 2. My computer, how else would I keep in touch? 3. OK, my cell phone… 4. A lifetime supply of the food network magazine, 5. Air conditioning I die in the heat just ask my family!
3. On my nightstand you’ll find: piles of books, photos of my children, Jasmine potpourri
4. When I grew up, I wanted to be: a pharmacist, funny ended up marrying into a family who owns one and not being a pharmacist.
5. My comfort food: vanilla ice cream with peanut butter, I know creepy right? It’s the sweet and salty thing
6. The location where I write: in my little office cubicle which I designed and love.
7. Three songs on my IPOD’s most played list: Jennifer Paige- Crush, Maroon 5- Secret, Katy Perry- teenage dream I love bee bop!
8. If I was on the cover of US Weekly, my headline would read: Best-selling Author changes world and donates 100th fully inclusive playground! Here’s hoping!
9. The three books that make me think of my childhood:
Are you there god it’s me Margret
Chicken Soup with Rice
Fun with Dick and Jane
-I’m sure I’m dating myself here! lol
10. My favorite Chick Flick: Tie between Love Actually and The Holiday
11. My favorite Chick Lit book: The Devil Wears Prada
12. My “must see” TV: Hmm used to be The Tutors, but now I guess it’s Glee
13. My Starbucks order: Grande decaf skim, sugar free hazelnut, delish!
14. My favorite curse word: I really try not to use any but I guess there is an occasional *ucker when speaking about a few choice people! Sorry!
15. My celebrity man crush: I’m sure I’m going to hear about this from my husband who reads each and every line and got pissed at something I wrote last year about “him” but it has to be David Boreanaz, sorry girls but the “original” vampire has it!
16. My celebrity girl crush: OK, kinda creepy, don’t really have one but will admit I think that Catherine Zeta Jones is beautiful!
17. My media crush: Hmmm again, don’t have one of these but Billy Bush always had a soft spot in my heart for helping me with Hadley’s Park, wayyy back when he was a little DJ in Washington.
18. Three words to summarize my book: Honest, Feel Good, Inspirational
19. It took me _____ to write my book. Still writing!
20. My book’s original title: I’m Still Standing… now it’s the name of my blog, I have a good idea for the book title but you are just going to have to wait and see…

So jump in and join me… give me the 20 things we might want to know about you… and link back so I can read all of yours after all you took the time to read mine! lol

Cran-Cherry-Pomegranate Sauce

 

cranberriesI love cranberries! You know it’s “fall” when cranberries hit the produce stand. My family likes the good ole cranberry jelly in a can, and I used to like that too untillll I came up with my own concoction after being introduced to Pomegranate juice last spring by Rebecca my nutritionist. *So, just know that pomegranate juice is good for you!

What I love about this is it is sooo easy! And I have made it a dozen times this fall and it is a new favorite for everyone who I have served it to. I thought I’d share with all of you… lucky lucky people!


Ingredients:
• 1 bag of Cranberries (16 oz) I bought organic so I needed 2 bags
• 8 oz of Tart Cherry Juice (this can be found in the organic food isle)
• 8 oz of Pomegranate Juice
• 1 c Sugar
• Small jar of Maraschino Cherries, cut in halves

Instructions:

washing cranberries
Clean off your cranberries

adding pom juice to cranberries
Then in all of their beautiful red color toss them into a medium sized saucepan.
Measure your Tart Cherry Juice and Pomegranate Juice and add it to the saucepan.

maraschino cherries
Add the halves of maraschino cherries

pouring in splenda
If you like it more tart start with a little sugar less and taste it. I’m a firm believer in the “taste test.” Heck, my grandmother rarely measured anything it was all a big “taste test” when she cooked and she was the “boss” of the kitchen for sure!

bringing to a boil
Stir everything together slowly, look at that great color! And let it cook for about 20 minutes on medium.

After it has cooked through put it in a glass container in the refridge and the secret love is done then, it thickens to a perfect sauce.

 

cran-cherry sauceThe sweet and tart flavor is divine! My husband loved it so much he added it to his favorite dessert good old plain vanilla ice cream and it gave it that extra decedent touch… yummy!

Give it a try and let me know how it turned out! Your family will love it and you don’t have to let them know it’s kind of good for them!

The body bugg, does it sting?

body media bodybugg
photo credit: body media

They call it the “body bugg” hmmm Last March I was “introduced” to this little critter that is known as “the body bugg” by Rebecca, my Nutritionist, when I started my Wellness Makeover.

You might ask, what is this little bug? And what does it do?” Well, it is a small black band that squeezes your upper arm and measures the calories that you expend all day. It measures everything from steps to calories! And to boot, there is a computer program where you input all of your food you eat as accurately as possible and at the end of the day, you can see calories in and just how many calories you burned off… The coolest thing to me was it also measured your resting time, because you wear it alllll the time, except in the shower… so I saw exactly how much sleep I was getting and how many calories I burned resting… Did you know sleeping burned calories? Not that I recommend sleeping all day!

As all little “pests” it was a bit of a nuisance but I have long missed the pesty and accurate device sooo last night I went back online to search for the little annoyance and yes, I ordered a new one so that I can continue with my Wellness Journey with accurate accountability…

On one hand the bane of my existence somehow was a pure delight to see just how well I was doing with my exercising! Ok, I’m ready to start the “itching” Mr. body bugg!

*I’d love to have you join in the journey to healthy living with me for healthy tips and musings from me

life unexpected…

And so it happened again… no matter how hard I try… my happiness for one daughter gets caught up with sadness for my other…

As a mom we watch our children change before our eyes. In the early years it is almost a miracle to watch the development of a newborn to a walking and talking toddler.

Sarah, my oldest, a very precocious and fashion minded toddler. Who I watched blossom through her youth and teens, now into her 20’s, a college graduate ready to “make it on her own.” (At least if you ask her that is what she thinks)

Well, this is what we want for our children, we want them to be happy and healthy, have security in a job and find happiness for their lives….

Butttt…. In the moment of watching Sarah grown up… graduation… and now getting ready to figure out how to move onto that next chapter in her life… I get caught up holding onto Hadley and wishing that she just had the chance to do one of these things… I do look at Hadley and marvel in all that she is and all that she has brought us, but sometimes ya know… I just wish… for more….

Special Needs Blog Hop, I’m there!

Today as I was hoping around bloggyworld I came across a Special Needs Blog Hop and I was so happy to meet up with these amazing moms and read their stories. The special needs community is a very unique community and it is special to have the support of each other. I recently began featuring other special needs “sista’s” on my site and look forward to meeting many more that I can share with.

The idea behind this hop, which was created by Tammy From Autism Learning Felt and Stacie from Super Mommy To The Rescue, was with hopes to bring the Special Needs Community closer together. Provide awareness and support to each other. Thanks to both of them!

This weeks Theme: What are 5 goals you have for the New Year?

1. I do not really believe in New Years resolutions so I’m just going to call these goals…. First and foremost I would like to continue on my Wellness Makeover that I began last March, I have been on a little hiatus and really need to get back to the gym and keep moving on, it really is a marathon and not a sprint.

2. I would like to become a little more “relaxed” this year… I’m working on it…

3. I would very much like to make it to Italy this year! I have a big birthday coming up this year and I have wanted to go to Italy for sometime and I am hoping that 2011 will be the year to make that happen.

4. I am on the brink of starting a new “business” and really would like to get that together this year.

5. As a little personal goal, I am going to try and make it to allll of my doctor’s this year! I spend so much time on everyone else’s needs I’m going to try and put my medical needs on top this year… Hello Mr. Root Canal! Uhhh

Love to have you join in!

It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day. It’s a new year!

Some of you know I adore Michael Buble and his song “Feeling Good” describes much of how I feel at the moment…

“Fish in the sea
You know how I feel
River running free
You know how I feel
Blossom on a tree
You know how I feel
It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good….”

The end of last year brought back my old nemeis; panic attacks… and it has brought my life to a bit of a halt, at least with me driving anywhere because that is where I “panic” in the car. Go figure, I have been driving for almost 30 or so years and have been pretty good at, my record it pretty clean! But it is a “control thing” and I know I freak myself out… I have been working on this for a little while and need to get in the car daily and push my limits more and more… I know this is a new year and I really am not one for making New Year resolutions but rather am trying to work on the things that have held me back in the past…

My writing is another thing I’m going to really concentrate on… I have “soooo” much to say, just ask my family.

I’m going to try something new for me and that is to give myself an Editorial type of schedule where I will be writing “Manic Monday or Meaningful Monday” posts which will typically be about special needs and our family.

On Work Out Wednesday I will write posts, probably humorous, about my life with exercise..

And on Fresh Flavor Friday I hope to share with you many of my favorite recipes that I have made since last February when I began my healthy makeover.

Hope you will keep in touch and let me know how you are all doing!