Monday, December 28, 2009

Some Highlights of 2009

2009 06 2009 01 2009 082009 09

2009 102009 12 2009 11 2009 13

2009 14 2009 15

2009 16 XMas 05 XMas 04 XMas 07

XMas 06 XMas 12

XMas 08 XMas 11

XMas 13 XMas 17

There were ups, and there were some serious downs. But we are so thankful for all the happy moments we got to experience! We can’t wait to see what 2010 has in store for us.

Question: What were some of your highlights of 2009?

Be well,


The Promise of A New Year

I don't usually make New Year's resolutions, but last year hubby and I wrote down some goals for 2009. At the time, I actually didn't feel like writing down goals, and hubby sort of made me. But I'm glad he did. I hadn't looked at these goals since almost a year ago, and it actually took me a while to find them buried somewhere on hubby's laptop. Here is what I wrote down on January 2, 2009.
  • Enjoy, cherish, and value my family every day
  • Find a good work-life balance
  • Be open to making changes/adjustments
  • Be physically active every day
  • Eat "right" yet enjoy life
  • Go on a "date" or do "a date thing" at least once a week - I was VERY optimistic with this one!
  • Be more organized - Still working on this one!
  • Care about how I look (but don't obsess) - I had "let myself go" a bit too much...
  • Be kind to myself and others
  • Keep writing blog entries (for a family blog I was writing at the time)
  • Document the toddler's every changing life
  • Back to #1 - enjoy the toddler, the teenager, & hubby
It was interesting for me to read this list, and looking at it, I realize that it really reflects my values. I don't necessarily think that it's a good idea to have "extreme" New Year's resolutions as I believe that lasting change most likely happens when it happens slowly. For example, in January 2009, we hadn't gone on a "date" or done "a date thing" since the toddler was born in the fall of 2007. It truly wasn't realistic to go on a date once per week. In fact, we went on our first date in July or August! However, the other goals were doable, and I'm really happy because I think that I did a pretty good job working on them every day. Did I accomplish all of them perfectly all the time? No. But I truly made an effort.

I believe it can be helpful to have goals to focus us and to make us think about what's important in life. It is also very helpful to assess the goals on a regular basis and to see what we need to adjust. Writing goals down and then not looking at them for almost a year like I did is not the best way to do it though. I think I'll try to have monthly goals for 2010 and will try to assess them at the end of every month. We'll see how it goes...

Questions: What are some of your big and small goals? Or do you not believe in setting goals at the beginning of a new year? If so, why not? If you do have goals, how often do you plan to assess/adjust them?

Be well,

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Kale Chips and Some Awards

I have been meaning to make kale chips for quite some time now, and yesterday I finally made some for the first time with the baby kale I received in my first CSA delivery. I simply seasoned the kale with salt, pepper, & some oil and then baked it at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes.

Not all the kale pieces were crispy, but I was afraid I would burn the kale. Next time I’ll definitely bake it a bit longer though…

Nevertheless, the toddler LOVED the chips (and so did hubby and I). Kale chips will definitely make a frequent appearance in our house…

Several weeks ago, Nicole at Prevention RD passed on two awards to me. I read Nicole’s blog every day and really enjoy the nutrition info she passes on to her readers. Plus, she shares awesome recipes. Thank you for the awards, Nicole!

Award_People love this site like (Nicole)

happy 101 (Nicole)

I am supposed to share 10 things that make me happy with you:
  1. Family
  2. Friends
  3. Doing “nothing”
  4. Reading a book for pleasure
  5. Walking on the beach
  6. Fresh, homegrown tomatoes – can’t wait for tomato season!!!
  7. My indoor basil plant
  8. Cheese – just a tiny bit at a time as too much makes my gallstones very unhappy
  9. Playing like a kid
  10. The color pink

Thanks again, Nicole! Also, Nicole is currently putting together a cookbook. Send her a recipe by January 1, and she’ll include it in the cookbook and provide you with an electronic copy of the cookbook.

Question: What makes you happy?

Be well,

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Good Times

Question: What were your favorite moments over the past few days?

Be well,


I Finally Joined a CSA

For quite some time, I have been wanting to join a CSA (community supported agriculture). In fact, I have considered joining one for many years. About 15 years ago, when I wanted to join for the first time, a friend of mine quit her CSA because she didn’t like being surprised every week with “random” produce and fruits. So I became a bit skeptical and decided to wait…

Basically, when you join a CSA you get a weekly, biweekly, or monthly delivery (or pick up) of produce that’s in season in your area and produced by local farmers. In general, you have the option to opt out of produce you know you don’t like. However, you never know for sure what’s going to show up on your doorstep.

I didn’t join a CSA until now because I enjoy shopping at Farmers’ Markets so much. However, there aren’t in fact that many organic farmers, and some markets seem to have more “vendors” versus true, local farmers. Also, some of my favorite local, organic farms have stopped selling at the markets in my area.

I joined the biweekly “basic” program, which means I get a produce delivery right to my front door every other Friday. I think this is a good way to “try it out” and see if this will work for us.

My first delivery was on Christmas Eve (Thursday) as all deliveries were moved up a day because of the holidays.

Here is what I got:

  • Napa Cabbage
  • Collard Greens
  • Kale
  • Baby Bok Choy
  • Broccoli
  • Lettuce
  • Leeks
  • Yellow Onions
  • Mandarins
  • Oranges
  • Apples

I already used the baby bok choy and an onion for a simple stir fry dish with some mushrooms on Thursday. I hadn’t planned on the dish, but it turned out great. I simply sauteed an onion and some garlic and then added the bok choy and the mushrooms and sauteed everything for a few minutes. Then I seasoned the dish with a bit of salt & pepper as well as a splash of sesame oil and a tiny bit of soy sauce.

I’m really glad I joined the CSA as it will (hopefully) inspire me to prepare and eat foods we may not otherwise buy and eat very often.

Questions: Are you part of a CSA (now or in the summer months)? If so, what do you like/not like about it? Have you ever considered joining a CSA (if not now, maybe in the summer months)?

Be well,


Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Cute Little Men

If you have been following this blog for a while, you know that I’m not much of a baker. In fact, I hadn’t baked anything this holiday season until earlier today when I made some gingerbread men. And I sort of cheated as they are out of a box… But I think they are darn cute…

I hope you are spending time with family and friends (whether you are celebrating this holiday or not) and that life has slowed down a bit. I want to thank you all for reading my blog, commenting, and emailing. And those of you who have your own blogs, thank you for inspiring me, making me laugh, making me think, and making me act. I truly believe that my life is better because of all of you.

Our holiday card this year says “Hope Peace Happiness” and that’s what I’m wishing you!

Be well,


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Good Bye, Uncle!

Well, my brother-in-law had to go back home, just when the toddler got really used to him… We had a “good bye dinner” on our last evening together. I actually prepared some of the dishes first thing in the morning, so the day was really stress-free and leisurely. Over the years I have learned that less is truly more when it comes to entertaining, and what really counts is having a good time with each other. Here was the “good bye food:”

Purple Rice

Salmon Cakes

Oven-baked Sweet Potato Fries

Brown Rice Spaghetti

Organic Beef Sauce with Carrots, Celery & Onions

Chickpea Stew with Dill

Pickled Radishes

Cucumber Salad with a Yogurt Dill Dressing (recipe to come soon)

And then it was time to say good bye…

When we dropped off my brother-in-law at the airport, we showed the toddler a photo of my brother-in-law’s new puppy and told him that his uncle had to go home to his puppy. He said, “Oh, uncle go home see puppy.” It was now totally clear to the toddler why he had to go. It was so cute…

Questions: What are you cooking/baking/eating these days?

Be well,