Thursday, September 20, 2012


The last three years have been full of more change than some people have in a lifetime. I got divorced, found the love of my life, got pregnant, got married, had a baby, had surgery, our house was flooded, lost my newborn nephew, refinanced our house, and now am dealing with a major flea infestation brought on by one of our dogs that got loose and brought home some unwelcome friends, as well as updating the kitchen, and patio and redoing our floors. Needless to say, I have changed. From a fairly carefree girl, with tons of leisure time, able to go out dancing, have happy hours, and occasionally drink myself silly to a woman with responsibilities, a partner that I deeply respect and a child I am deeply devoted to and whose needs come first. Period. Also, I'd rather hang out as a family now than by myself. Maybe that seems lame to some but give me a patio, some family, friends and my husband and son over any bar, any day.

Needless to say, I have shed some friends along the way.

As a very loyal person, and a person who tries to treat my friends very well, I have been continually surprised at how hurtful girls can be. From the nutjob that brought cocaine to my family's vacation home without my knowledge and certainly without my blessing, to my childhood best friend who drunkenly screamed my personal business (most of it untrue and exaggerated) to a house full of people to the most recent heartbreak. My best friend made a comment about my mothering that I'm not sure I can recover from.  There had been tension mounting for a while.  She works and I stay home with my son, so she had invited me to happy hours and movies and things in the evening when I like to be home to feed my son and put him to sleep. He had been in a very clingy stage, and I had been going through hell trying to get him to bed some nights and I didn't want to leave him while he was having this issue. I tried to explain this to her at an afternoon Starbucks chat, and she looked at me like I had been lobotomized.

It took me a month or so to confront her about this, I admit to being a bit of a coward when it comes to confrontation, and when I did, I was almost sorry I had.  She remembered the conversation and knew exactly what I was talking about. And while she said she was sorry for 'hurting my feelings', she said that she thinks that I intentionally made my son dependent on only me 'on purpose, to make myself feel important'.  I was absolutely crushed and floored.  As she is not a mother, there was no way that I could explain to her that it's not about me anymore. That when it comes to my child, it's whatever is best for him. 'making myself feel important' doesn't even enter into the equation. As a stay at home mom and breastfeeding mother, it is natural that I am more physically close to my son. I am his main source of food, love, clean diapers, etc.  My husband is great with him. The absolute best at making him laugh, however, when it comes down to it, I spend the most time with him and he gets nourishment from my body, so OF COURSE he is dependent on me.

At first, all I could manage to say back was 'WOW, OK'.  She told me that she is sorry she hurt my feelings that first day, but that she is not sorry that was her reaction and that is how she feels and will never be sorry she has opinions on things. How do you argue with someone or make up with someone who isn't even sorry for making assumptions about your personal life or the way you raise your child??? I told her that we needed to take a breather and think about how to move forward.  Now that I have thought about it, and the deep hurt and anger from her remark has set in, I'm just not sure how to move on from this one.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

HONESTly Awesome Follow Up

I received my full size versions of 5 household/baby products the other day and I was so beyond thrilled that I had to write another post to rave about this amazing company.  In addition to all of the amazing things about this company, the packaging is recyclable (cardboard), and the padding is recyclable, reusable and compostable, as well as made from sustainable sources (and is beautifully printed to boot!).  The bottles are made of recycled and recyclable material.  Their products are also made in America, supporting domestic jobs and their factories use electricity powered by renewable energy.

Now, as far as the actual products, I LOVE the multi-surface cleaner, which smells fantastic.  I don't think it will disinfect heavy duty stuff, (like raw meats on the counter, but we don't have that stuff in our house anyway) so if you need something natural and that disinfects, use plain white vinegar. It doesn't smell good but it will kill any bacteria. Then use the surface cleaner afterwards. 

The stain remover, I have not used yet on anything heavy duty, like ketchup, but it did get peaches out of a white onesie.  It also smells fantastic (lavender).

The healing balm has done really well on minor scratches and skin irritation, including a dry, red rash on Lincoln's cheek.  It doesn't soak in quickly though and is a bit oily so watch your clothing if you pick up your baby after applying. It might be best to just apply it right before bedtime.

My favorite products might be the shampoo/body wash (vanilla orange) which smells like a creamsicle and the body lotion.  Lincoln has eczema and these have not irritated his skin. I love the peace of mind I have now, knowing that everything I am putting on my baby is safe. The fact that it smells great and was produced in an environmentally conscious way is icing on the cake.  Thanks, Jessica Alba.  I think your company is going to go far.

How It All Vegan

The other night, my husband and our son and I had dinner at my parents' house.  They still have trouble understanding my choices in my diet, and my dad especially likes to tease me about the 'vegan police' busting me for eating a little accidental meat here and there. As I mentioned in a previous post, I have been a vegetarian for a long time (I think almost 10 years now) and you think the idea wouldn't be so novel anymore. However, he did rather proudly find this app on his new iPhone which read aloud the different ways to pronounce 'vegan', there are FOUR, and we had a wonderful time listening to them and laughing. 

I am not totally vegan, but I have come a long way. Three months ago I thought I could never give up cheese. Chile con queso was it's own food group in my diet.  However, when my husband suggested we do a 30 day vegan challenge, I accepted. He had read about numerous marathon runners and other athletes who ate a plant based diet and that they were leaner, meaner, had quicker recovery and had great vitals. 

I used the book "The Engine 2 Diet" by Rip Esselstyn for the foundation of understanding how your body operates on a vegan diet, the benefits, and facts/myths about plant based diets.  I used "Skinny Bitch" by Rory Freeman and Kim Barnoun for meal planning. I had read Skinny Bitch years ago, but I hadn't been ready to take the next step.  It's pretty in your face, and when I reread it, I felt it came across pretty harsh.  However, I remembered how it lays out at least four weeks of meals in the back of the book and as I was not a huge fan of the meals in the Engine 2 book, I needed some other ideas. You can get it pretty cheap on  I would like to share some of the best of the best. I have made a few duds in my time but I have refined and honed my 10 years of vegetarian cooking know-how and cut out animal products. Here are my top Vegan meals. I will post a recipe or two at a time.

Ground 'Beef' Tacos and Black Beans
Ground 'Beef' and Pinto Bean Burritos and Mexican Rice
Taco Salad
Veggie Nachos
Portabella Fajitas and Chips/Guacamole
Black Bean Patties with corn on the cob and sweet potato fries
Lasagna with sauteed asparagus
Homemade Raw Pesto with Penne and Italian 'Sausage' with baked acorn squash
Pesto Pizza with salad
Pasta Primavera with salad
Spaghetti and 'Meat' Balls with salad
Chili with cornbread
Chili Dogs with vegetarian baked beans
Riblets with mashed potatoes
Cauliflower Steak with couscous
Veggie Burger with Tater Tots
Chinese Chicken Salad
Peanut Noodles with Broccoli Slaw Salad
Lettuce Wraps and Hot & Sour Soup
Peanut Tofu with Brown Rice and Broccoli

Scott ended up losing about 20 lbs in 3 and a half weeks. I lost about 4 lbs.  I have continued the vegan diet for the most part, eating no added cheese, consuming no dairy milk, yogurt, etc. However, a few of the meat substitues I use have some egg in them.  With continued exercise, I have finally reached my goal weight of 130 lbs. I have found when you don't consume animal fats in any way shape or form, you can actually eat a whole lot of food.

Sample meals for a day:
Breakfast: Cereal with almond milk
Snack: Instant Oatmeal
Lunch: Fake Chicken Patty sandwich topped with avocado, pop chips, a fruit
Snack: Hummus/Carrot Sticks
Dinner: Cheeseless Pesto Pizza wtih artichoke hearts
Dessert (only a few days a week): Country Choice Lemon Ginger cookies, which are to DIE FOR