Category Archives: Musings

Things Are Good These Days

Wanted to update you all on what’s going on in my life these days…I have to admit, things are pretty darn good. I went to the doctor and finally got some medicine to clear up my sinus issues.  As much as I hate to admit this, the natural way just wasn’t cutting it. My clear head is helping me keep up with my mission to “add life to my days, not days to my life“.  I’m trying to stay present and not stress too much about things I cannot control.  I am also doing my best to keep up with my artistic side by painting, designing and creating. Fueling that aspect of my life makes me feel the happiest.  I also started to work out a little more regularly.  My kids are finally starting to dig the “kid area” at my gym.  Yyyyesss!  In terms of being a parent, I am being positive but tough with my kids.  I can’t let these little ones walk all over me, which believe me, they are very capable of doing so. And finally, I am getting more organized! How you ask?  I started blocking out 20 minute chunks of my days to clean and organize without phone, email, or facebook interruptions.  I even set my timer on my phone to know when time’s up.

The next thing I want to get back into is Juicing!!!!  I want to juice everyday to get my family’s bodies strong for the winter months.  Eating better will also be a priority of mine.  I better get my copy of Clean out again!

Thanks again for all of your support and kind words!

May you all have peaceful and positive thoughts the next couple of days!

Lack of Discipline or Just A Free Spirit?

Routine and I are not on good terms.  Not sure why, but when I start to do things multiple days in a row (this does not include hygiene) I start to get this queezy feeling in my stomach and I stop.  Even if the routine is beneficial.  I know routine is good, kids and adults thrive from it, it keeps things predictable and it helps to manage the daily tasks, but I really shy away from it.  I view myself more as “free-spirit“.  I enjoy doing different things everyday – I like to shake things up and not settle. I thrive off of spontaneity, but I’m beginning to think my dynamic lifestyle may not be the best for me.

I started thinking about this the other night when I was too lazy to wash my face before bed…I took out my contacts, brushed my teeth but didn’t feel like washing my tired face.  I spend tons of money of potions and lotions to keep my face looking young(ish), but I don’t take 30 seconds to wash all the pollution and makeup off my face?!  My sister, who was an Estee Lauder consultant in college, told me if you don’t wash your face at night you add an extra 7 days to your looks…eeek!  Knowing that, I still don’t do it.  Another example, today I went to a Pilates boot camp class (think 2 intense hours of fatiguing just about every muscle in your body) then I came home and ate oreo cheesecake…my instructor would kick my ass if she found out.  What’s wrong with me?!  Is it lack of discipline or am I a creative soul trying my hardest not to confine myself to the monotony and boredom that a routine can evoke?  However, I do think it’s time I start buckling down and doing what’s best for me and my fam.  I should be predictable, right…?

How do I start working on discipline?  Do I see a psychologist?  Do I read a book on the subject?  Should I sign up for a martial arts class?  I brought this up to my husband today and he told me, “no need to spend any money – just do it”.  Seems pretty simple enough. Wish me luck again.

BTW: Trusting my gut is doing me well.  I feel happier, I feel more present, and I feel like the pressure I tend to put on myself has alleviated a bit…I’m enjoying the ride. Thank you for your positive thoughts.

I Changed My Mind

I’ve been a rule follower, maker, and advocate for my entire life.  In my mind, rules  keep me safe and help me to navigate through this sometimes unruly world. I can remember from a very early age trying my darndest to keep track of all these commands: “Step on a crack, you break your mother’s back…Don’t look at the sun…Don’t swallow your gum…When walking with scissors, make sure they are facing down…” It’s a lot for a small girl to take in!

As I grow and learn more about the world, I am trying to edit some of these restrictions (although I will always walk with those scissors facing down! (Thanks Mom)) I recently found myself in a bit of a pickle when faced with a pretty important life decision but found comfort upon the realization that it’s always okay to update those rules or even possibly…GASP…change my mind.

In my early twenties, like many women, I was in a hideously disastrous relationship.  The red flags were everywhere but I chose to ignore them  for years hoping and praying that this caveman would eventually come around.  Well, he didn’t.  I  (finally) broke up with him and moved out and with the very generous support of my family and friends, was able to start a brand new happy life on my own.  At the time I implemented many rules for my life in hopes that they would protect me from future devastation.  Among them:

Never Ever Wever Shever Live With A Boyfriend Before Marriage.

This protective amendment was easy enough to follow for the first couple years of my newly single existence seeing that my boyfriends were certainly not marriage material.  But then it happened:  I feel in love, deeply in love.  And with a really great guy (Hi babe!).  I held my ground for two more years, paying the rent on my very own studio apartment (which I slept at perhaps two days a week).  But still, I had my own place and I thought of it as my insurance policy if this relationship regrettably turned sour.

A couple of weeks ago I received a notice from my management company declaring that indeed my lease was up for renewal; I realized then that my relationship outlook was up for renewal as well.  My boyfriend and I have both read the articles on marriage and divorce, listened to the horror stories and seen first-hand what happens when things get bad.  We’ve vowed to respect our independent lives and not allow our relationship to become a vacuum.  And it’s agreed that we are both definitely in this for the long haul (insert wedding bells here).  So why am I standing with one foot in and one foot out?  Because I am scared.  And that’s no way to live.

So I changed my mind, I’m moving in with my boyfriend and couldn’t be happier.  I plan on walking away from my rules that are rooted in fear and replacing my motivations from a more loving and trusting place. But I am left with one question:  who gets the big closet?

Some shots of my pad before I start packing up…

Music Inspiration: M. Ward, She & Him

Ahh, listening to the music from M. Ward puts me such a relaxed and dreamy state. Matthew Ward is a singer-songwriter and guitarist from Oregon whose talent is effortless and innate.

My husband Neil introduced me to his music a few years ago and I have been hooked ever since. Last year we went to a show at The Vic and I was blown away by this man’s talent. He was on stage pounding his piano and jamming his guitar with such soul and passion – it made my heart pump with (musical) excitement.

His song Rave On (featuring Zooey Deschanel) from the Post War album makes me want to grab my kids or my husband and dance around the house.  When I listen the songs Rollercoaster and To Go Home, it mentally transports me back to 2006 when we were listening to his music and figuring out life with a newborn (Stella).

Now M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel collaborated again and came out with another upbeat record for their band She & Him.

Check it out!  It’s lovely.

Be Careful What You Wish For…

Ever since I quit my job to stay home with my beloved children, I have been wrestling with the fact that part of being a mom at home is being in charge of housework. Dusting, sweeping, mopping, picking up, doing dishes – I hate it all. Yes, hate is a strong word, but I really do. I complain about it all the time. I even claim to be allergic to it – I sneeze like crazy, my eyes begin to itch and I have a stuffy nose by the end of the day. I ask my friends what’s the secret behind having a clean home and they all say, “you clean.” duh. I still could not wrap my brain around the constant work. Just a few weeks ago, I was the mom who let the kids eat cookies and crackers in the living room without even thinking about it. I thought, ah they’re kids, let them enjoy and I will clean it up later, then bitch about it.

For months, I yearned to be tidier. Well, my dream came true. How you ask? I HAVE A MOUSE.  Gross.  I have to admit though, when I thought of mice in homes, I thought of being in the country or dirtiness. I neither live on prairie land nor do I have a dirty home – a bit unorganized, yes, but definitely not dirty. Now I find myself constantly cleaning my floors, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, and cleaning off all surfaces to avoid this small creäture. I have seen it and it’s quite small and, dare I say, cute. But it’s still a mouse. It actually reminds me of the little mice in the Disney movies (which my daughter’s been watching like crazy) that (ironically) help the princesses clean.  Anyway, as I was mopping the floor for the third time this morning I thought, dang, this place is clean! …thanks to our own little Mickey.

Now on to figuring out how to get rid of it. Oh, and I guess we should be careful what we wish for. I never thought mine would come true in the form of a mouse.

Where Do I Fit?

Ash and I were hanging at her place last week chatting, drinking wine and plotting for our next creative leaps. We talked about the voice of our blog and who we are trying to reach with our stories.

It’s obvious that Ashley speaks directly to the married ladies who have little ones-since she is indeed wed with children. But I wanted a title too, somewhere to file my current life status. I started brainstorming quirky titles for this precise moment of my life. I needed to find a pleasing way to coin this un-single un-married phase.

But then I stopped
.

I realized that I don’t need another title to define myself, I do enough of that already: daughter, sister, friend, human being, peace seeker, carbohydrate activist… The list goes on and on, and these are all wonderful ways in which I describe exactly where I am. I am comfortable here, and that fits perfectly.

How Much Stess Can We Take?

You know that tingly feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you’ve found yourself smack dab in the middle of some major (or minor) life/work/emotional/romantic crisis?  Your palms start to sweat, your heart rate increases, and your vision blurs a bit while the adrenalin is pumping.
The physiological definition of stress (according to Webster’s Dictionary) is quite interesting:  “…a specific response by the body to a stimulus, as fear or pain, that disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium of an organism.” We know that stress is necessary in all of our lives; otherwise the runaway bus that is hurling down the street in our direction would be of no interest. We rely on stress to keep us out of trouble, but for many it’s the stress itself that is putting us in harm’s way.
About six months ago, I was experiencing constant pain throughout my shoulders, neck, and back.  Although I practice yoga and am active and healthy, I just couldn’t shake the consistent soreness.  I decided to see a chiropractor for some help.  We went through the typical new patient questions, just giving him a brief synopsis of my life.  As he was checking my pulse, he looked up at my cautiously.
“Am I making you nervous?”
I felt bad that he would think this.
“No.”  I told him.
At that moment we were talking about my job, and I was explaining the agonizing toxicity of the environment.  He then told me that my heart rate was so elevated in reaction to this conversation that as a medical professional he should admit me to the hospital.  He blatantly told me that if my heart continues to be regularly put under such duress, I will have a heart attack before I turn 30.
Where did I go wrong?  How did I end up here?   I always thrived under stress; I felt like that was really when I had the opportunity to shine. How was I so oblivious to the fact that my life consisted of endless strands of sweat-inducing, gut flipping, nail biting melodramas?  I had to ask myself:  “Is this job really worth it?” I know that many of us deal with the same basic question whether in regards to our relationships, money, family or fears.  Needless to say, my answer was no and I immediately realized the urgency for a major life overhaul.
I quit my job and started collecting the pieces of myself that were left in the wake of my stress-induced binge.    I discovered how dreadfully out of balance life had become for me.  I made a promise to reconnect with My Mind, My Body, and My Spirit and to never again lose touch of their enormous gravity.
I am beyond grateful to welcome this refreshing sense of peace back into my life.  I am ecstatic as a I start my next journey to intimately understand the peace we all seek.

10 Sources of (INNER)PEACE for 2010



2010 has arrived and I’m feeling pumped for the new year and the beginning of a new decade!

People are getting inspired, getting healthy, realizing the importance of what we are putting in and on our bodies, conscious of the fact that our earth is precious and that we need to do everything in our power to heal it, realizing we truly have the power to help people around the world, and that we have total control of our thoughts (no matter how hard we have to work at it).

’10 sources of (inner)peace:

1.  The children in our lives.  Kids have this amazing way of forcing us to be PRESENT.  They are in the moment when they are running around, playing, eating, etc.  They focus on the task at hand, which is something that us adults need to remind ourselves to do.

2. Our Moms.  Both Meg and I have truly amazing moms.  Speaking for myself, I was the typical teenager who liked to do things my way.  My mom and I used to butt heads often, but as the years pass, she has inspired me to follow my dreams, be confident in what I do, to think for myself, and to have a lot of fun while doing it.  Meg’s mom has been such a great support for her, as well.  She opened her eyes to trusting her life’s path.  We are so thankful for them.

3.  You!  Thank you for all of your support in making this possible and for encouraging us to experience life on many different levels, and to share our thoughts.  We truly enjoy this process and look forward to living enlightened lives with you.

4.  Our significant others.  They are amazing, supportive and allow us to be who we truly are.

5.  Our friendships.  I can honestly say, Meg and I have wonderful friends who make us laugh, encourage us to live life to the fullest; and allow us to share our concerns, happiness and good fortune with one another.

6.  Books.  Books are an essential source of inspiration for the(Inner)Peace project.  As our libraries grow, so do our minds.

7.  Our city, Chicago. What a wonderful city with good people.  We are fortunate to have many facilities, beautiful gardens and architecture, wellness centers, etc. around as sources of inspiration.

8.  Vegetables and Fruit.  As I learn the benefits of raw fruit and vegetables, the more excited I get to consume them.  Eating well can truly make a difference in how our brain functions.  On a physical level, it makes our bodies feel great and it helps to keep a well balanced mind.

9.  Music.  Nothing like music to bring back a great memory, make us smile, dance, sing, and feel pure joy that inspires us to live in the moment.

10.  LOVE

We truly hope you have an inspired 2010.  Remember, anything is possible.  Put your mind to whatever you want to achieve and make it your best year ever!  That’s our plan.