Sunday, April 22, 2012

Business Announcement

Business Announcement
I'm WAY overdue in doing this, but I have a business announcement: I am now selling jewelry! It's one of those work-from-home businesses called Paparazzi Accessories. The best part of it all is this: EVERYTHING IS $5! Yup, you read that right: $5. Most of the necklaces come with matching earrings too.  It's so fun. Most of the items are trendy and spunky, with a few classic pieces thrown in. Here's a sampling of what I have in stock right now.
Browns 1:
Browns 2:
Brown 3:
Blacks 1:
Black 2:
Hair clips (all the hair clips also have a pin on the back, so you can attach to a purse, hat, anything)
a sampling of the headbands (the headbands will fit baby girls or grown ups, and they're not tight enough to give you a headache like some headbands do):
rings 1:
rings 2:
bracelets 1:
bracelets 2:
silver and whites:
Are you drooling as much as I am right now? How fun is this for new spring accessories? If you want something, let me know. I'm also toying with the idea of me mailing a box of things to a "distant hostess," who can host a party or showcase the box around for a week. Hostesses earn great rewards. Have I piqued your interest yet?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Unprocessed Produce at Pike Place Market

The idea: I am launching into 10-14 days (we’ll see how far I can get!) of unprocessed foods. As natural and as whole as I can manage. It’s like the “caveman diet” you’ve heard of: eating unprocessed, whole foods. Mainly, I’m cutting out processed sugars and flours (those who know me well know how much I love cookies and other delicious processed items). It’s also the idea behind The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which I haven't even read, but really want to. There's also this article, which says it's great for heart health.

Why? I am inspired by Bridget, who did this for 10 days and stopped craving sugars and flours. And Bobbi who did it for a few months with a diet called Prism. And Rena, who is going vegan for 100 days (obviously, since I’m going for 10 days, I’m not as hard core as she is!). And Kirsten, who once did it for 30 days. It’s a kick-start to getting me un-addicted to sugars and fast foods, and of course, I’m hoping to get rid of the belly that plagues my daily existence.

The plan: Avoid processed foods (no more Ritz crackers, granola bars, coffee creamer, leftover Easter candy, breads, hamburgers, French fries, margarine, cookies, cinnamon rolls, donuts … sigh … I could go on and on). Stick with as whole as I can: real butter (but not in the amounts I’d really love to use), sprouted breads, lean meats, lots of fruit and veggies, you know, nature’s items. If I use something processed, I’m trying to stick with things with only a few ingredients (like Ezekiel bread, cottage cheese, cheese sticks, hummus). I got to go to Trader Joe’s this weekend, so I stocked up on fantastic items like sunflower seed butter, peanut butter with sugar added in it, hummus, etc.

But don’t worry folks, I’m not going too extreme: there will still be splenda in my coffee, half-and-half in my coffee, mayonnaise (not in my coffee), and a few diet cokes. Hey, at least I’m making steps in the right direction! Another “cheat” is going to be dark chocolate; I got some 72 % dark chocolate there. Mmmmm. Oh, and maybe some no-bake cookies made with oats, non-sugar peanut butter, honey or agave nectar, and dark chocolate chips.

The challenge: If you’d like to join me on this journey, let me know! I’m only on day two. There’s still time. Jump in!

Also, if you can think of other things to add to my list, please give me more ideas. I know I’m going to need more snack options.

The menu: see below. If you want recipes for specific items and they’re not already listed, let me know.


Oatmeal sprinkled with almonds

Ezekiel bread (toasted)

Peanut butter banana smoothie (1 cup skim milk, 1 banana, 1 Tbsp peanut butter)

Chocolate smoothie (1 cup skim milk, 1 banana, 1 Tbsp cocoa, 1 Tbsp splenda)

Pear-ginger smoothie (3/4 cup skim milk, 1 cut pear, ¼ cup oats, 1 Tbsp cocoa, ½ tsp ginger)

Strawberry smoothie

Raisin bran cereal from Trader Joe’s



Celery sticks with hummus

Carrots sticks with salsa

Apples with peanut butter

Banana with peanut butter

Other fruit

Cottage cheese



Popcorn (not the drenched-in-butter kind!)

Sliced tomatoes



Roasted kale chips


Greek salad (lettuce, tomato, olives, red onion, avocado, feta cheese)

Salad with beans (lettuce, tomato, carrots, kidney beans)

Ezekiel bread with turkey slices

Tuna with mayo

Microwaved sweet potato with 1 Tbsp butter

Brown rice with tomatoes and basil

Wheatberry salad

Broccoli, orange, and olive salad (cooked cooled broccoli, fresh or mandarin orange slices, kalamata olives)

Cole slaw (shredded cabbage, carrots, grapes, and yogurt)


Veggie and chicken stir fry

Tofu-barley-spinach soup (yes, I know tofu is processed, but ...)

Lemony bulgur, asparagus, and tilapia

Spinach salad with bulgur, salmon, and orange dressing

Cajun beans and rice (but without the andouille)

Zucchini and chicken curry

Mexican rice, beans, and avocado salad


Roased bell peppers stuffed with rice and feta

Roasted chicken, potatoes, and fennel bulbs

Roasted broccoli, okra, cauliflower, other veggies

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

It's official: I'm Catholic now / The Bullios' visit

I love this family so much. They have very dear friends of ours for a long time. I was thrilled when Bridget agreed to be my sponsor for joining the Catholic church this Easter because that meant they had to come visit us! I was even more thrilled when she asked me to be baby Jack's godmother. What an honor!
The Bullios arrived on Thursday morning, and the kids were immediately playing together, just like old times. Here's our attempt at getting them all to cooperate for a picture on the couch:
We went to "Monkey Park" on Saturday and rode the train:
And the kids played in the creek there:
And we had a yummy late lunch at Amsterdam Cafe.
That night was "Easter vigil," the Saturday night service that begins after dusk and carries on late into the night. It's usually when people are confirmed and baptized into the Catholic church. Normally, our kids are in bed and asleep at 8 (okay, okay, 8:30). This service began at 8, so it was rough. Here's Benji asleep on Chad in the cry room, and Luke making a tired face:
There's me up front in the yellow dress being confirmed into the church. That makes it official: I am now a Catholic lady! (I'll be happy to answer any specific questions about that, such as "Well, why'd ya do that?")
The prayer after confirmation:
Poor Ethan and Kate fell asleep in the cry room by 8:30:
My fabulous yellow dress with my fabulous husband:
The Bullios and us: what a tired bunch we were! (at the time of this picture, it was about 11:45!)
Here's sweet baby Jack and me. What a honor to be his godmother!
Here's a (slightly) more successful attempt at the couch picture. This was late Sunday morning after we'd all recovered from the late night before.
Easter Sunday, we did egg hunting:
and more picture-taking:
and egg-dyeing:
And then, Sunday evening, we said goodbye to our friends and watched them drive away into the darkness. Then we went back into the quiet and darkness of our home, immediately feeling an emptiness. The next day, I worked on cleaning up the aftermath. This the boys' room:
But don't worry, Bridge, it only took an hour to clean up everything. :)

Monday, April 9, 2012


Last week, I didn't accomplish much on my list, but I did relax and have a wonderful time with our dear friends, the Bullios. And that was way more important (and fun). They drove all the way from Florida to spend Easter with us. I will write all about that in another post.

Goals for last week:

finish reading Jungle Doctor to Ethan (only did 1 chapter)

finish reading The Lamb’s Supper

read 5 chapters of Creative Correction (uh, only one chapter)

walk a total of 20 miles (ha, that didn’t happen! I only did 6!)

read the passion in all 4 gospels (only Matthew and Mark. This would have been an easy one; I should have made that one a priority)

do 5 short Vindale surveys (did 4)

do 1 Panda survey

make business announcement

discuss summer plans with Chad and put things on calendar

put pictures on computer

prepare and mount new pictures on the wall

earn 100 swag bucks

watch Raw for 30 Days

Goals for this week (Chad is gone this week, a full 7 days, so I'm aiming high by even making a list. But I want lots of distractions this week so I don't get too lonely and restless, especially at night after the kids are in bed ... assuming I can even get them all to bed and asleep by myself).

read and do workbook pages for last session's Bible study

do blog post about the B’s

finish reading Jungle Doctor to Ethan

read pages 26-92 of Creative Correction

read the passion and resurrection in Luke and John

do 5 short Vindale surveys

do 1 Panda survey

put pictures on computer and edit

share pictures on snapfish and facebook

make business announcement

prepare and mount new pictures on the wall

earn 100 swag bucks (started at 152)

walk 4 miles, 10 mins abs

1 hour zumba, 10 mins abs

1 hour yoga

50 minutes on airclimber, 10 mins hula hoop (???)

watch last week’s and this week’s episode of Once Upon a Time