Addiction and the Holidays

The holidays are a difficult time of year for the most healthy people.  The Buddhist teacher, Ram Dass, famously said, “If you think you’re enlightened, go spend a week with your parents.”  Add addiction and emotional problems, and it can be a total nightmare.

Four years ago,  I was the only person in my treatment center.  Everyone else went home for the holidays, but I had to stay behind.  Loneliness doesn’t begin to describe the feeling. But at the end of the day I was right where I needed to be. I was incapable of staying sober and I knew I would die if I didn’t get help.

One year ago, on December 21st 2013, my childhood friend died of a tragic drug overdose, leaving behind two  young children.  I will never forget her little boy fighting back tears as he tried to read a letter about his mommy at her funeral.  He couldn’t do it. He completely broke down in front of all of us, his dad stepping in to try to comfort him.

This disease is brutal, life-destroying and family-destroying .  It doesn’t let up, not even for the holidays.

I am so incredibly grateful for my recovery.  It isn’t always easy.  But what an amazing adventure it’s.  And trust me, if I can do it, anyone can.

If anyone needs help, is thinking about drug treatment, let me know.  It doesn’t matter how much money you have.  There are places for everyone’s budget.  Let me help you find them.

I hope you all have a safe new years. ❤

Fall Meals

It is finally fall so I thought that I would share a delicious recipe with you! In our house fall means hearty meals with family over for dinner.

I don’t eat red meat often. My husband happens to be a steak and potatoes type of man which means that he is pretty bummed eating chicken, fish or vegetarian every night.

The other day I had a craving for red meat for some reason so I thought that I would pull out one of my old favorite recipes and make a delicious beef stew.

Ingredients:

2lbs of beef stew meat

1 yellow onion

5 carrots

4 stalk of celery

3 potatoes

2 tbs. of a high heat oil

4 cubes beef bouillon

4 cups of water

1 tbs. freshly chopped rosemary

1tsp. garlic powder

1tsp. dried parsley

salt and pepper for seasoning

2tsp. of corn starch

Directions:

In a large dutch oven heat oil on medium high. Add beef and cook until browned. Dissolve bouillon into 4 cups of water and then add to the beef. Put all of the seasoning into the dutch oven, bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for one hour.

At this time I prep all of my veggies. I wash them all, peel the carrots and then chop the carrots and celery into 1in. pieces. I chop up the potatoes with the skins off. I then put them together in a large bowl and back in the refrigerator.

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After the hour passes add in the vegetable mixture and bring heat back up to return to a boil. The dissolve the two tsp. of corn starch into two teaspoons of cold water. Add that mixture into the pot. Cover, reduce temperature to a simmer and continue to cook for one more hour.

My family was so hungry I didn’t have time to take a picture of the final product but it looks delicious and your house will smell so good too.  I make mine with the Trader Joes rolls that you just throw in the oven. This meal is definitely kid friendly too. I just took out some of the meat and veggies and chopped it up for Harper. I hope you enjoy 🙂

The Cibo Review

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Recently, I was at a restaurant with my family for lunch. Harper was just getting into table foods. But if I put a plate in front of her, it would end up on the floor. Still the case today! So inevitably, she would eat the food that I would cut up for her right off of the table. As she is eating, I am watching a bus boy clean off the table next to us. Harmless enough, right? Wrong! He proceeded to wipe the $10 bill that was left on the table with his table rag and then wiped down the rest of the table with the very same cloth. I literally gagged. Never again would Harper eat off a table. That’s when I came across The Cibo. A new mompreneur product that was about to launch. The great thing about it? It sticks to most surfaces, without being sticky! I just rinse or wipe it when she is done, roll it up, and throw it back in my diaper bag.

This is now one of my mommy must haves! The Cibo is not just a great place mat, but it helps to keep floors clean with is handy little scoop. I love their slogan, “make their mess a little less.” As mothers, could we ask for more? You can use it for kids aged 1 to 8 for food, as well as for crafts. Even better, this particular mommy inventor is dedicated to helping to end hunger for children. A portion of the proceeds go to feeding hungry children. And who isn’t all about giving back these days?!

For your viewing pleasure, here is an adorable video of Harper and her Cibo.

You can buy The Cibo for your little one here

Enter PROMO CODE “Harper” at check out for 10% off!

Happy Halloween!

The month of October went by so fast.

It seems as though everyone I know was born in October. We went to six birthday parties this month.

My husband, Evan, turned 40! I threw him a surprise party at a restaurant in Santa Monica with 30 of our closest friends and family.

His parents came for a visit from Canada and now it’s Halloween. I am grateful that I made it through October without wanting to crawl into a hole to hibernate.

Fall and winter are my favorite times of the year. Since having Harper I have thought a lot about family tradition. This year we took a pumpkin patch family photo and will be having a big family Halloween dinner at my house before everyone disperses into their Halloween evening activities. What are some of your families Halloween/fall time traditions.

 I though I would share some of my favorite photos from this month.

Here are Harpers outfit details:

Floral sweatshirt: Baby Gap 

Denim Jacket: Baby Gap

Red Dress: Splendid baby

Moccasins: Minnetonka Moccasins

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Make Your Own Baby Food

Organic baby food bought in stores is pricey and obviously not as fresh and nutritious as what you can make yourself at home. If you care about your baby’s health, saving money and our planet, take an hour a week and make your own baby food! It’s easy to do and it only takes about 15 minutes to make a batch of your own.

 Stage 1 Foods

pears, apples, carrots, peas, prunes, squash and sweet potato

 Stage 2 Foods – 6 months and older

apples and apricots, apples and blueberry, apples and plums, bananas, banana’s, peaches and raspberries, pears and mango’s

 Stage 3 Foods

sweet peas and creamed spinach, zucchini peas and broccoli

Combinations that Harper loves:

apple, peach, oatmeal  and yogurt

apple, yogurt, oatmeal and banana

banana, apricot barley and yogurt

prunes, peaches and oatmeal

peas, summer squash and brown rice

corn and butternut squash

carrots, spinach and potatoes

green beans and brown rice

sweet potatoes and brown rice

List of several BPA Free baby food containers companies:

Sage Spoonfuls

Baby Cube

Sprout Cups

What you will need to make baby foods:

Steamer

Blender

Tiny glass jars with BPA free plastic lids

Or BPA free plastic baby food containers

How To:

Wash and peel fruits and veggies with a natural fruit and veggie wash

Steam food until soft but not soggy.

Use the organic flour version of any grains added

Organic plain whole yogurt

Drain and blend until smooth add a small amount of water if needed

You may need to use a vita-mix or food processor for denser veggies.

Spoon food into containers and allow to completely cool before putting on the lid.

Cool in refrigerator for a few hours before freezing

Will last up to 3 months in freezer