Moon People Out and About

It’s that time again!  The Second Friday of the month where the moon gang gathers.  This time it was in my neck of the woods so I could introduce them to our Japanese Dollar store and our awesome Asian bakery.  We decided that our outings usually include for sure these few things, our gas tanks are typically on empty, we have to make a U-turn at least once and usually includes one or many of the following; agriculture, thrifting, food, wanderings, crafting (in future plans) and always, always without fail there is coffee involved.   Before we  visited the new Asian shopping center we first decided to go take a peek at the tulip mans front yard.  He happens to live in the town I grew up in and not too far from my home now.  Oh goodness, it was so pretty his front yard, much like a sweet cottage from another country.  The sky was so blue on this day too, very beautiful were the colorful flowers against the green grass and the blue sky and his trees were just beginning to get new leaves for spring.  Take a look below at some of the pictures from his yard.

IMG_3030Not only did he have boat loads of tulips, he also had my favorite spring flower, daffodils!

IMG_3036We were hoping he might pop out to say hello, but no such luck on this day

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IMG_3042I really loved this ruffley one, I had not seen one like this before

IMG_3043It really had me wanting to plant some bulbs next year but it’s a lot of hard work digging deep

IMG_3052That’s our very own MoonDaisy back there taking it all in!

IMG_3056The Moon Gang in shadow form

Our very next stop, Daiso Japan oh, how I adore this store and it’s so close to my house, it’s dangerous!  So we carefully combed the aisles of Daiso and I personally love how so much of the stuff in this store is just plain happy!  literally many of the products have smiles on them.  Check it out:)

IMG_3059Happy little trash cans and tissue box covers

IMG_3061makes cleaning kind of fun!

IMG_3062After combing the aisles of Daiso we walked across the parking lot to 85 Degrees to grab our cup of coffee and share a few pastries.  We were very excited to find they made half-moon cakes!!! So we ordered our coffee and sat outside enjoying the California weather.  Not to mention, hearts are usually also found on our outings of course!!

IMG_3065See half-moon cakes!!

IMG_3067getting ready to open up some moon cake, see the piggy timer?  That was a gift from Miss Moonspinner to MoonDaisy!  MoonDaisy sort of has a thing for pigs.

IMG_3068some of the best hearts are inside coffee

IMG_3070Fluffy, light and not too sweet

IMG_7313MoonMama gifted me this sweet heart espresso cup and saucer, it was the most adorable espresso cup I have ever seen!

IMG_3071And the day!  It came to a close but not before we did our famous foot shot, notice Me and MoonDaisy picked up some acupuncture slippers for a buck-fifty, they have coffee beans and cups on them.  She got some so I had to try too, she tells me they are good for circulation!

I have a plan!!

So I have a game plan folks.  Everyone needs one right? Well, of course if one is not going to give up.  So this weekend I thought about my plan (as I ate way too much stuff while in the midst of my pity party for not seeing a noticeable number difference on the scale)  But that’s behind me now.  Now I can focus on my plan.  I love variety but I don’t need variety, what I need is a simple plan.

IMG_2428I consider this a heart

I did all my preparation Sunday afternoon.  I went to the market then I spent hours in the kitchen.  This included baking a cake with the littlest and only girl.  We had found a pink camouflage cake made by Duff and we couldn’t resist.  So that counts for part of the time and clean-up efforts.  All well worth it.  I have never claimed to be an elegant baker and cake decorator that talent went to another family member.  So just for kicks, here is a picture of my finished cake.  It tasted amazing though, really fluffy and soft and sweet and the inside was really pretty.  I have a confession; I sort of burnt it so I had to shave off all the dark hard bits.  My oven runs hot and since I was so into my chopping and washing and preparing, I forgot to check on it.  Still good though, I also had to stop and clean up my puzzle cause the cats did some horseplay and burnt out on it and sent half of it to the floor.  Thank goodness I had finished it or I would have been ticked.

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Okay back to the plan.  For breakfast all week-long I will have two ham and egg cups.  I calculated the calories to be about 240.  I made a dozen of these little cups.  I used ham off the bone bought from sprouts and I had left over cilantro which I love so stuck some of that inside the egg mixture with just a touch of white cheddar cheese.  I like to warm them up and put little tiny chives on top when I eat them.  Still have my cup of coffee in the morning too.

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The dozen ready to package up by twos

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Breakfast today

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The compost from the salad making and egg cups was just so pretty to me

At around 10:00 I have my first snack 16 almonds and those tiny little nuts are high in calories but very, very good for us.  So I’m okay with it.  170 calories in all.

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It’s so crazy that this tiny handful is 170 calories, but really great ones!

Lunch (around noon) will be one of my salads in a jar.  I made a whole new round of them this weekend.  I used similar ingredients but used a roasted chicken for the meat portion, and instead of radishes I put in jicama.  This jar comes out to be about 260 calories because the chicken, beans and olive oil are the major calories but even the veggies hold some calorie value too, just not a lot.

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My next snack is around 2:00ish and it’s an apple with the most amazing almond butter with maple syrup in it.  The almond butter is very expensive at spouts but I think it’s worth the treat.  It’s a no stir nice and pure and organic almond butter.  I just use one Tablespoon instead of two and the calories for this snack are 145.

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This tablespoon does not cover all the slices, just a few dips here or there

I’m drinking plenty of water out of my darling owl cup.  It helps to have a straw, I drink it quicker.

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Dinner will be whatever I prepare for my family but I will eat small portions. Tonight I’m making a tamale pie.  But I have a nice handful of calories left after my walk today!

I also plan to increase my daily walk by one more lap with is a half mile and this will be 2 miles a day and at the end of the week that puts me at 10 miles walked.  That’s my plan!

Montly weight loss and healthy living style update

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March 1st 2014 not a single pound down ….THIS IS SO HARD 174 just like in February

January 1 2014

January 2014 180

It’s  that TIME again!  Time for that once a month update I promised I would give.  Let me first focus on all the good things in regards to February 2014.  Although really great things happened in February, I did not lose a single pound.  I mean at one point I did, there were a couple of days I was down for a total of 8 pounds but it went back up and stayed there.  So no weight loss this month it remains at 6 pounds total lost, and you want to know my real honest true feelings??  I’m discouraged, I’m upset, it sucks.  Yep, those are my true feelings.  I feel like giving up.  But I WILL NOT.  Don’t worry I’m still doing this.  Back to the positive things.

I walked 21 out of 28 days in February, I exceeded my goal!!

I tried the cool salad in a jar trick I saw on Pinterest.  It’s AMAZING!!

I drank plenty of water!

I have logged my calories every day for 58 days in a row on “my fitness pal”

When I have gone out to eat I order water to drink and only eat half my meal.  Because I still order things I love.

Two different gals at Bible study told me I was looking “good”  I’ll take it!

I got a tattoo!

Girl Scout cookies arrived.  I bought 10 boxes this year to support the little troopers I know and well; the thin mints sort of get me.  The rest I can pass on.

Although I didn’t lose a single pound in February, I’m newly energized for the month of March because we just started a pool at work for weight loss.  So we are competing (for money) so that will hopefully get me to think a little harder and longer about what I choose to do each day.

Lastly I will share my goals for March with you.

I plan to walk at least 4 times a week.

Eat breakfast every single day.

I plan to stretch nearly every night because I have a goal to do the splits just like my littlest and only girl.  We have a really cool and exciting blog called “Life in the 7 Cea’s”    In this blog Abbie and I share healthy snacks, and activities we do with each other to lead a healthy lifestyle.  It’s fun because it’s a shared blog with our friends in Australia Cathie and Jess another mother daughter team with the same healthy goals.  It’s so adorable, I hope you will stop by and check it out.

Salad in a Jar

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Today what I really really wanted and nearly made the stop on my way home from work was Wienerschnitzel, yes, you heard me I love Wienerschnitzel LOTS.  I know hotdogs are made out of really random crazy parts but you know what?  I like um.  So it wasn’t so much the hotdog I had in mind but the chili cheese fries, not just the original but their new bacon, ranch chili cheese fries.  I saw their add laying in the break room and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.  I’m here to tell you that changing your life style and eating better does not come easy for me.  It’s really hard and it takes much effort.  This is how it feels to me.  I’m still learning basically. Now is the time where you give me a big applause because this time I made a different choice  I went against my desire and stopped at the market to get some veggies to add to things I already knew I had at home to make a salad.  I had seen on someone’s Pinterest page this idea.  So it’s not my idea, I didn’t come up with this brilliant plan.  However I’m adopting it and it’s been made, tested, tasted and it’s a for sure a winning idea. Below see how I built my salad in a jar.  It’s a lot of work.  It is!  Lots of washing, chopping and making a nice big mess in the kitchen but since it’s done all at once it makes it worth while.  I made a half-dozen jars of salads that are now easy to grab on the go and super full of goodness.

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So these are the jars I began with, 6 clean pint & half sized jars with a wide mouth

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Then I cut up some leftover chicken and some cucumbers

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Rinsed some black beans, just one can

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I love cilantro, so I cut up some of that

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Cut up some broccoli (small) this is from my home delivery

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Radishes (also from home delivery)

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Carrots (again home delivery)

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orange bell pepper and red tomatoes

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kale (home delivery)

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Spinach and not photographed but a little butter lettuce (that was also from my home delivery)

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I put a little olive oil and balsamic viniager at the bottom of the jar

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I began to layer

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This is what it looked like when I finished packing it all in.

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Give it a good shake

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Dump it on a plate

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It fills about this much of the plate and the dressing covered all the crunchy yummy salad parts perfectly (see that heart on the jar lid?)

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But you see what I mean? Big Mess

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All the lettuce I didn’t use I will bag in a large ziplock

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Okay confession, not all these dishes are from this days chopping and preparing.

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So I plan to crank some music and clean up this mess next

IMG_2302Then I put the extra’s in my fridge, the fridge in the garage, that’s why this looks so bare;)  TaDa!  I highly recommend this!

Japanese Feast with friends

Thursday night Lilly came over to go to the local Korean market with me to buy food for our Friday night Japanese feast.

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I was the only red-head in the entire store and watch out cause I’ll be back!

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Lilly was telling me the love of span in the Asian culture.  We got the spicy and regular and we all loved it warpped in seaweed and rice.

IMG_1909We found the fish section to be very photogenic

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plenty of awesome produce for reasonable prices

Then Friday arrived and it was time to prepare, watch, learn, help, laugh, talk, visit and listen to music.  I had such a great night with my friend who also happens to own the most incredible shop and everything she sells in her shop, it helps less fortunate and it’s full of adorable handmade things.  I just have to put in a plug for one of my most favorite stores while I’m at this, I have talked about it before, it’s not knew news to my long time readers.  It’s called “Share and Do Good”  and very soon she will be opening up an online store so if you don’t live in our area, you would be able to browse her shop on line.  Not only did Lilly come by to show us how a Japanese feast is done, we invited the girls who grew up in our neighborhood to sit and watch and visit and EAT!  I’m pretty sure I can now do this on my own.  I was always a little intimidated to work with raw fish but now I know exactly where to buy our sashimi and also how to prepare it.  I just need a rice cooker and I’m set, oh and the darling cute dishes she brought along to present our food on.  I took only a few pictures because to be honest, I was too busy being in the moment than photographing our moments and when it came time to eat, I couldn’t spend very much time photographing the beautiful food, I had to eat it for goodness sake!

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our spread to prepare

IMG_1919Lilly busy making our food pretty

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we had a nice amount of fresh veggies and produce and good protein, with some carbs to round out the meal

IMG_1921Some of the girls from the neighborhood.  I have had the privilege to watch them grow into beautiful young ladies

IMG_1923The spread

IMG_1925My empty plate ready for the feast

IMG_1928The idea was to build our own Sushi tacos and that we did!

It was a really fun night filled with all things good. We even drove to 85 degrees for dessert!  It just so happened to be the grand opening on Friday night so hello!  AMAZING.  If you have not been, you must go!  We even got free key chains and since I bought a big box of pastries, I got a the coolest most happy red coffee mug you have ever seen!  I’m chalking February 21st, 2014 up to a very great night.

Life in the 7 Cea’s and Moon People adventures

We have a second post in our new shared blog and I feel so completely inspired!  Abbie and I woke up this morning and couldn’t wait to read what our friends in Australia were up to last week.  We were completely inspired after we looked at all the awesome pictures and read about their week.  So inspired we got out our children’s cook books too and made lists of some new healthy snacks we want to try this week.  We even want to do the fruit kabobs like our Oz friends did.  Please stop by and visit our new blog.  It’s chalk full of great things, great healthy things and some fails too, like our artichoke we never got to eating and the girls from way across the other side of our world had an interesting smoothie experience.  You can see what this is all about by visiting the 7 CEAS.

So Friday was our Moon Gang adventure day and my Moon gals took me to my very first estate sale!  Oh, they couldn’t believe I had never done anything like that before.  I have to admit, it felt a little strange. I know it’s all just “stuff”  and we can’t take it with us but as I walked through this house I couldn’t help but to imagine the life lived inside those walls.  The parties they must have thrown, the memories made there.  I didn’t buy anything.  I nearly did, I picked up two heart coffee mugs but decided my cupboard at home is already overflowing, I didn’t NEED another mug.  I took a picture of them instead.  This home was big and beautiful in an expensive neighborhood, it sat on a golf course and although it was very original inside with wall paper in every room I could tell in its prime it was top of the top.  I will share with you some of what my eyes took in as I strolled through the house.  I think it’s worth sharing.  I was intrigued and it did feel strange, it just did.  I know if I did buy something I would buy it respectfully.

IMG_1400  This room was filled with silk flowers and the wall paper reminded me of the Brady Bunch

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She must have been a petite gal, based on this sign we found, and her tiny shoes and small-clothes

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This was my favorite wall paper in all the house.  There were extra rolls of it too in her laundry room, I  suppose I could have bought some

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Luggage anyone? I wonder where all they have traveled?

IMG_1404She had a collection of wigs:) I imagine her to be a pixie kind of grandma

IMG_1406I even found a hippo for Miss Moonspinner, she holds a spot in her heart for these guys

IMG_1407The living room and den both had beautiful views of the golf course

IMG_1408the heart mugs I nearly bought

IMG_1410The Christmas room had some funky carpet, Moonspinner was crushing on the vacuum

IMG_1412I found this cart to be very charming in the blue dining room and that’s about it for the estate sale

Then the Moon gang took me to the coolest international market!  And I will explain this trip with pictures too.  Let me just say, I had another wonderful adventure with my moon peeps and got my laughs which added years to my life and “laugh wrinkles” to my face!  Brace yourself because you are about to meet our very own Moon Daisy in this blog, she agreed to let her face shine!

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Yes she loves coffee this MUCH!!

IMG_1416We took our coffee and got some FRESH still WARM flat bread made homemade right there.  It was so GOOD!!

IMG_1418and look what we found in the bread!

IMG_1421We even found fresh turmeric

IMG_1423Isn’t their produce pretty?

IMG_1424oh and I forgot to mention, Moon Mama read to us the most darling book about a little bear and his friend the moon on our way to our adventure.  So until next time!  We love you to the moon and back;)

mint tea in a new tea cup

How many ways can I photograph my tea?  Let me count thy ways!  I took about 20 if you want to know the truth of the matter but I’m only sharing NINE.  You see today I had the pleasure of meeting my mom for lunch.  It was a perfect gray and drizzly day.  WE got just a tiny bit of rain here today which we desperately need.  I had the best lunch with mom and since it was cold we decided tomato soup and splitting a sandwich would be just right. I love talking to her, I could talk to her for hours, she is very supportive and positive and nice to be around.  I’m blessed to love my mom so much I know not all mother daughter relationships are close.   I could really go on about my mom but today I wanted to share with you the tea-cup I bought.  (she bought two really cool things too)  We saw this orange dainty saucer and tea-cup, the floral print was gorgeous but we were quite taken by the bold orange on the cup!  I mean normally these dainty pretty cups are soft and pastel and you know not so BOLD.  I fell instantly in love with it but didn’t really want to pay 12.00 for it.  So I passed it up.  My mom said “you need that cup, it’s so you”  And just as she was standing in line to pay for her things I said, “I’m going to get that cup”  walked back to get it.  She said “you need both!”  I settled for the one and decided I would for sure have my tea out of it this afternoon!   So here are the pictures of the tea-cup in many different angles and light.  I know orange isn’t for everyone but I love it.  So much so I have an orange tea kettle, orange walls and now this orange tea-cup and saucer. I read somewhere that orange promotes creativity.  So it’s all good.

IMG_1358 IMG_1367 IMG_1371 IMG_1377 IMG_1386 IMG_1387 IMG_1389 IMG_1394 IMG_1399And in the end….there was a heart!!

what’s most important?

I’m in an online course right now and it has me in thought.  What’s important?  What’s not? I hurry so much throughout my moments, I feel like I don’t have enough time in my days, I just want more and more and more and there never ever seems to be “enough”  But it’s all in the way I’m making my choices.  The way I prioritize.  I will have thoughts like “I really want to spend time in the word”  but I must vacuum the dog hair up first, then the washing machines buzzes, need to switch loads, then I see the dirty dishes and think, “I need to clear those up so when we have dinner it doesn’t get too crazy in the kitchen”  Before I know it, my soccer player is calling because practice didn’t run as long and he needs a ride home, then it’s time to grab the cheerleader, then if I’m lucky I can prepare a semi decent dinner before I’m off to do something else, did I squeeze in my 30 minute walk, maybe after dinner I can fit it in, or maybe while the chicken is in the oven I can walk around the school quick. Oh, my gosh I didn’t make my bed, should I make it?  We are just going to sleep in it tonight!   Does it sound familiar at all?

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Yesterday I got home from work and I had in my mind I would walk the stairs for 20 minutes, and then I would vacuum, make my bed, do the dishes.  I had it all mapped out in my head.  I walked in and was delighted to see my oldest playing video games on the sofa.  “what are you doing home” I asked “It’s my day off” he replies.  Without even hesitating I ask, “would you like to sit and have some new tea with me” He explains that he will be leaving in about 20 minutes to pick up his girlfriend from school.  I tell him, “that’s all I need, are you in?”  He smiles and says “of course” It was in that moment I realized I was choosing him over the exercise, the vacuuming the THINGS that needed to be done.  Did they really need to be done?  Would the world crumble if I didn’t get to them?  So we had our tea and of course I took pictures.  He laughed and we smiled and he would say “oh, more pictures, we aren’t done?” and we would laugh and smile more.  I’m grateful for those brief moments.  Less than 10 minutes but I made the right choice.

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And guess what?  I still had time to walk the stairs, make my bed, and vacuum the house.  I didn’t get to the dishes and I wasn’t able to transfer the load of towels before I had to leave again to go watch my cheerleader cheer at her middle school volleyball game.  But I was okay with it.

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Today instead of doing the (morning) dishes first, I’m going to open my Bible and read through my study, if I have time after to do the dishes…..I will.  If not I will recruit the kids when they get home from school for some help.

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Golden Yummy in the Tummy Turmeric Tea

I have been known to take on lots of things however the things I’m talking about are usually of the creative sort, not so much the productive sort to a mainstream kind of person.  I signed up for a 28 days class with Michelle   and in this class I will be participating with a group of like-minded gals to slow down and really take in the moments around us.  The first week focuses on food.  Of course I’m excited.  I ADORE food, all kinds.  I promised the group I would share a new drink that I tried this weekend thanks to a local girlfriend of mine who told me all about it.  You can find the “real” recipe HERE  but you can also follow my loose version.  Because I don’t like to follow directions all that much.

I have included some pictures of the steps I took to make this yummy tummy warming drink.  Pretty good idea for all you in cold climates and if you happen to like the flavors of turmeric and ginger and coconut milk.  My friend Leah makes hers with raw milk and we both agree the honey required is way too much money, like about 30.00 for a jar of the Manuka honey.  

So here are all the things you will need in order to make this drink the way I make it. Coconut milk, coconut water, raw honey, turmeric, ginger and ghee 

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 grate the knob of ginger

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 add a spoonful of turmeric

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 add a spoonful of ghee and mix it all together to form a paste

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 Then put one cup of coconut milk, one cup of coconut water in a saucepan and add in that paste, plus a heaping teaspoon of honey.  Heat it all up.

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Then  be sure to strain it cause the first time I made this drink I didn’t and I was eating the ginger, which wasn’t so bad but it’s so much better smooth! That’s what happens when directions are not read.

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Then sit down and take a picture of your warm golden turmeric tea!  (J/K) you don’t have to take a picture of it.

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Enjoy!! And a very special thanks to my friend Leah who turned me on to this drink and I hope you will like it as much as we do.  

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A Year of Change

moms and girlsI’m so very excited to announce a new project that kicks off this month in February.  Towards the end of 2013 my friend Cathie in Australia and I talked about having a project together that would include our girls.  We tossed lots of ideas around and landed on the idea that we would be  good examples for our girls.  The past few years she and I have been accepting the fact that we are beautiful just as we are and in the past we may have put ourselves down, we may have called ourselves ugly or fat or avoided being in photo’s with our children because we didn’t look exactly “right” or what we considered “good enough.”  We didn’t have the perfect strong and toned body. This year that all CHANGES. We wrote a mission statement that included lots of words that began with the letter C.  Because of that we named our blog Life in the 7 Ceas  (and one  more for good measure)  our theme is nautical since with both live near water and our climate is mostly sunny.  We decided instead of just watching our children have fun we would begin to join them, to photograph ourselves having fun with them, doing healthy things with them.  We both posted our first post this weekend.  Cathie visited a local water spot they love to swim  at, we went on a long walk in our suburban neighborhood.  The girls from Australia share their story and pictures HERE and Us American girls share our story, pictures and video HERE.   I adore how on each of our outings with our girls we managed to find some hearts left out for us.  Please follow our journey this year as we have lots and lots of fun with our families, doing healthy things, getting off the sofa and away from the t.v. for fresh air and movement.

girlzMeet the beautiful girls, Jess and Abbie

me and cathieand their gorgeous Mums/Moms, Cathie and Tracie

Our mission statement is as follows:

CHANGE.  In order to change there must be CONSISTENCY, we must be COURAGEOUS in order to be fully COMMITTED to CARE for our vessels properly we need to be CAUTIOUS of what we put in our bodies and before we know it, we will be CONFIDENT in our new ways.  However we realize it takes enormous amounts of COOPERATION to truly succeed.

Be sure to read about the girls in Australia HERE   and the story behind Cathie’s motivation.  You can read about the girls in America HERE.

We plan to post about once a week.  We are both working moms or Mum’s as Cathie says it, and we have the best opportunity to do things with our girls on the weekends.  I hope you will join us this year as we CHANGE our lives for the better and show our girls just how wonderful it is to be a woman unique with our own special gifts and talents embracing what we were given and taking care of our health rather than trying to achieve that “perfect” body.