Saturday, October 30, 2010

Is there more to life than this?

blog by: Kim

What will make you happiest over a long period of time?  I am talking about careers. Most people are doomed in childhood by accepting the axiom that
work = pain. Those who escape this are nearly all lured by prestige or money. How many even discover something they really love to do? Hmm…

Are you doing what you love now? Or is there more to life? Plenty of people who will later do great things seem to be disappointments early on, when they're trying to find their niche. I noticed that. Finding your niche isn’t something you just “create” you have to build it over time and take an active role because life will not come to you…you have to take it by the reigns and do it yourself. Wake up.

I tell my little girl that she will go to college. She can take her time and figure out what she wants to do as a career. I told her to find something that speaks to her, then get educated. Look for a  career that will interest her but also pay well enough to afford her a comfortable life. I want her to stand on her own two feet and not depend on a man to pay her way. I have seen too many girls latch on to an educated man with money and try to get a free ride. But if the relationship fails, the woman is left with very little and no way to support herself. I won’t let Emily be one of those women.

I asked Emily what she’d like to be. Her answers change depending on her age. When she was 5 she was sure she’d become a fairy princess. Then she said she wanted to be a cashier. Hmm….i explained she needed to aim a little higher and she chose a veterinarian. That sounded better. I explained she’d need to go to school for that and it required hard studying. She paused, asked for some ice cream and skipped off. Well at least the seed has been planted, right? I can push her in the right direction and keep my fingers crossed that she will make the right choices in life. I know she won’t always, I will have to watch her make mistakes, but it’s part of watching your kids grow up. (or so I am told. ask me again in 10 more years)

For years I knew about and enjoyed the therapeutic benefits of massage therapy. I love the whole mind/body/spirit connection. Why didn’t I recognize this right out of high school? Therapy like this reduces stress,  lessens depression and anxiety, helps your  immune system and heals muscles. The list goes on and on. When a close family member went through cancer a few years ago, I became more acutely aware of the inner workings of the body and how imperative it actually was to not abuse our bodies. I’m actually astonished at how little people some seem to realize about their physical health. It was my A-HA moment! Do I really find sitting at a desk, gazing at a computer screen 8 hours a day fulfilling? Eh…not really. Could I be doing  more spiritually fulfilling work? Probably, yes.

Thanks to the internet, you have a whole world of data at your fingertips. It is never too late. Do some research and find what makes you happy. You are not a generic drone. Find what is uniquely yours. Do something that matters and make a difference in your life, even I it’s just within your small community. Whatever it is you choose, do it well.

Whichever route you take, expect a struggle. Finding work you love is very difficult. Some will fail.  Some will succeed. It's rare to be free to work on what you want till your thirties or maybe forties. But if you have the destination in sight you'll be more likely to arrive at it. If you know you can love work, you're in the home stretch. If you know what work you love, you're practically there.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

How we made Lollipop Flower Rings

Blog by: kim & emily

Emily and I had some time this afternoon and decided to make our own little flowers rings from the candy ring-pops you buy in the store.

She though it would be best to EAT all 8 candy rings, but I nixed the idea and gave her ONE to eat instead. I broke off the candy on the other rings and threw it away..after eating a cherry one myself. Let's back up. Here's what the plastic ring pops look like minus the candy:

Use some wire cutters to snip off the top peg, so you have a flat surface:

Take a handful of silk flowers and leaves. Any kind you like. Michaels and Joanne's have big assortments, but they can be costly by the bunch. Another idea is thrift stores. You can find faux flowers at a fraction of the cost. This way it free's you up to buy more candy for you child to inhale :(

Use a hot glue gun. Trust me, they are inexpensive and worth the investment. Elmers glue will not hold and super glue is too thin. Add your flowers the way you think looks best. We also bought little tiny buttons to go in the middle of the flowers. Emily chose little mice (don't ask me why) and i chose a few vintage looking ones.

Mm 'kay, here is the finished product. Fun, easy and inexpensive to make. Yes, I will wear one with a little sun dress and Emmy will wear hers to school monday. We were asked about them at a downtown fair tonight. I told the lady they cost $2,540 each ; )

Here's Emily's little hand, wearing her creation:

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Craft. Fasion. Design. Inspiration | Waking Lucia: Pincushion Ring Tutorial

I saw this girl's cool blog and I wanted to share her "pin cushion ring" idea. Click on the link: Craft. Fasion. Design. Inspiration | Waking Lucia: Pincushion Ring Tutorial: "What do you get when you mix fashion and sewing? A pin cushion ring, of course! I can't tell you how many times I drop my pins on the floor..." to make fabric flowers for rings?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Are you being Naughty?

Blog by: Kim

It’s that time of year again. The holidays are coming. I love it. Halloween with loads of candy, Thanksgiving, Christmas, then the New Year. My favorite thing to do now when the weather gets colder is to cook and bake. I didn’t say I was good at it. Some dishes I make are amazing, others are a disaster (I keep quiet about those) Many times women have asked me how I stay slim. I assure them that I am human like everyone else and my ass has seen a couple extra pounds. I think many of us women deal with that. Men do to, but I’m a chick so I can only speak for the female species. Plus, some women  are emotional eaters as well. Sound familiar? Yes, I thought so. Me too.

Where was I? Yes….staying slim through the holidays when it’s so easy to over eat. I have no secrets, my metabolism is average and I’m to lazy for strenuous workouts.  I simply keep portions small, don’t eat much past 6:00 if I can help it, avoid most white carbs (pasta, white bread, rice, noodles) Mmm. Lots of lean protein, fruits and veggies, a multi vitamin a day, easy on the desserts, smart choices when eating out and I try to go walking or bike riding often. Grilled over fried, whole grains, stay away from heavy cream sauces and don’t skip breakfast. Are you writing this down?  No smoking, and easy on the booze. After 21, the hard partying “drunk” photos are no longer cute anyway. And lose the spandex dress party girl, those aren’t flattering for any body type. Next…

You might argue, “But I hate depriving myself.” So I answer, “You don’t  have to deprive, find a happy medium.” If you can find a healthy eating routine instead of a “diet,” you’ll stick to it over the long term. It’s worth it. Extra weight causes some cancers, heart disease, diabetes and more illnesses. So you see, it’s not all about vanity.

 I came up with four (yes, only four, my attention span is too short for more than four) great ways of keeping off the dreaded holiday weight at big dinner gatherings:

1. Bring something. Don’t go to a party empty handed. Whip up a healthy, but tasty dish.

2. Be picky. Choose your foods wisely. If you really want some of that creamy spinach dip, fine- but only a couple bites. Load up on veggies, salad and shrimp cocktail. Avoid  carbs (bread, pasta, etc),  creamy sauces, and fried foods. Self control is the key .

3. Plan ahead. If you know you’ll be eating a bigger meal, eat light all day, but don’t starve yourself or you’ll over eat. I always nibble on a light snack to avoid being too hungry for a large meal. That way I don’t attack the table. It works like a charm.

4. Savor your food. Eat slowly, savor every bite. Yeah, easier said than done, right? Avoid mindless eating. Wait ten minutes and then go back for more. You might decide you have had enough if you give your body time to digest. Mingle. And for god’s sake, stand somewhere other than the food table.

…and there’s a yummy loaf of home made banana bread calling my name. Then again, maybe tomorrow.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Chicken & 40 Cloves Garlic

This is one of those dishes that is simple, earthy, and rustic, yet produces results that taste complex, heavenly, and sophisticated. If you want to make your friends and family think you've been secretly taking gourmet cooking classes, this is the recipe for you.




* 4 lbs of chicken drumsticks and thighs
* 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 10 sprigs fresh thyme
* 40 peeled cloves garlic (40 = about 3 or 4 garlic heads)
* About a dozen shallots, peeled and trimmed
* Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a wide frying pan or skillet and brown on both sides (and all around for drumsticks) over high heat. Remove from heat, add oil, thyme, shallots, and garlic cloves. Be sure that all of the garlic cloves are sitting in the olive oil before you put the dish in the oven. Any cloves left out will not caramelize properly. Cover and bake for 1 hour. After the hour is up, remove cover and check your garlic. If they aren't yet soft to the point of being mushy, replace cover and allow the dish to cook for another 10 - 15 minutes. After the garlic reaches the mushy stage, remove cover and turn up oven to 425 degrees. Bake for another 10 minutes or so to let the skin crisp up.

Remove chicken from the oven, let rest for 5 to 10 minutes and serve.

(The recipe makes enough for about 4 to 6 people. I made this dish for 3, hence the absence of more chicken and the other 20 cloves of garlic from the photos.)
*If you have a large oven-safe frying pan, you can brown the chicken, toss in the other stuff, put the lid (or tight-fitting foil) on and put it into the oven. You can also transfer the chicken to a regular metal roasting pan or glass baking dish and cover with foil. Just make certain to scrape all the fried goodness from the bottom of your frying pan into the roasting pan.

**The garlic is good on a hearty bread, like a chewy, crusty Italian bread. Slice bead and toast very lightly. Then you just spread on the soft garlic like butter. A simple tossed salad compliments the meal nicely.**