Is Turkey number 6 American Food Icon?

Benjamin Franklin famously wished the turkey had been chosen for the national bird and symbol of America.  I can’t blame him.  The turkey is the American version of the peacock.  And it is the tastiest of the pesky roadkill animals.

The turkey that we think of is native to North America and quickly became a popular poultry with early settlers because they were/are 1) delicious, 2) abundant, and 3) surprisingly dumb creatures which are fairly easy to kill.

In modern days, no holiday table is complete without the huge poultry centerpiece.  Obviously, that includes Thanksgiving.  It only makes sense to celebrate the (originally) uniquely American tradition with a uniquely American fowl.  I find it also serve as a subtle metaphor for the abundance and wealth America boasts.  Turkeys are one of the largest food-birds (the largest in North America.)  Tomorrow, millions of turkeys will be either overcooked or undercooked (aka wasted), placed on the table, and surrounded with copious heaps of sides that won’t see Saturday by one means or another.  A huge, fat turkey is the appropriate gluttonous symbol of the 4th Thursday of November. Read more

I Believe In The Power Of Print

What can I say? I’m the sort of traveler who brings a multitude of books on any plane, train, or automobile trip. I need my pop/vacation fiction; I work with online GED prep and I know the power 

0008 Adobe ID 397ASP33493-443620of digital learning but privately I love reading “normal books. I need my serious, highbrow fiction; I need something spiritual; I need something educational. The e-reader lured me with its light, slim build and its capacity to house an entire library.

But when I saw an e-reader for the first time, my paranoid reaction was primarily fueled by 1960′s science fiction. Have you ever seen the episode of The Twilight Zone where a librarian in a future society is declared obsolete and sentenced to death? Being a grade-school girl spent an inordinate amount of time in libraries, I was scared out of my mind by that episode. I had nightmares, in fact.

How, I wondered, could books, of all things, be declared obsolete? The Christmas that my dad gave my mom an Amazon Kindle as a gift, I believed I had finally seen how books could slowly be eased out of our society. Like those poor Mafiosos who join the Witness Protection Program, books would disappear quietly, and nobody would notice they were gone until it was too late. Read more


For those who use fashion as a way to express themselves, you know that style isn’t just about what you wear.

When analyzing an individual’s style, it’s more than just the clothes on their body that completes their look. All parts, from head to toe, are an integral part of my favorite sport of “people watching”.  In fact, self-expression has been taken to new heights (or lengths!) this season with recurring trend of nail art. Fashionistas and trendsetters have taken to a new medium this spring, artistically elaborating on a seemingly understated canvas like never before.


Usually, I like to stick with neutral, matte shades that can be worn at the office rifling through papers or out at a chic city lounge with my friends. Fire engine red, ballet pink and coral are my go-to shades. However, once I saw this gallery from Lucky Magazine, I decided to get crafty and try some more creative designs for myself.

Of course, not all nail art is created equal, and your boss might have a thing or two to say about multi-colored digits. But if you’re willing to invest in a “Peter Pan collared“-mani, I say go for it! Cute nails always make me feel more, well, polished!

How Pinterest motivated me to work out

Pinterest is  my newest to-go source. After a long day at the office, all I really want to do is go on Pinterest and get inspired. Turns out, not all hope is lost the minute I cave and start flipping through pinboards. Yesterday I found an awesome quiz about personality and jobs. Who knew that if you answer a bunch of simple questions you can get your professional profile, apparently there are 6 groups of jobs. It’s a great tool if you want to change a career like I . So I was pretty happy to find this test. My second discovery was about motivation for workout.

I’m off to the beach for the weekend in a couple of weeks so naturally I’m trying to figure out the easiest way to look buff in my bikini while doing the least amount of work. It’s not that I really hate working out, it’s just that. Read more

Winning the Consuming vs Creating Battle

“Our mantra: brutal prioritization, maniacal focus.” – Jeffrey Kalmikoff 

Last time, I talked about how there’s a battle you face every day between consuming and creating.  As artist, we often have trouble organizing and making the most of the time available to us.  We have to fight against temptation from the constant stream of information we have before us, and make the decision to create for ourselves. The Resistance rears it’s ugly head and you’re locked in a fight that determines the rest of your day.  Here’s how I win.

Brutal Prioritization

I have a daily action list for every day of the week.  I’ve kept this list on paper, in Basecamp, in Evernote, and a text document in my Dropbox.  It doesn’t matter where you keep it – just that you keep one.

On my list, I have every day of the week along with what I want to accomplish that day. Everything gets ranked with what I have to get done (high priority) down to what would be nice to get done (low priority).  Along with that priority, each action also has a time limit on it.  I know, time limits sound childish but it’s how I structure out my day.  My list might look like this:

  • Start work day – 8am
  • Check email, social media, and Google reader – 25 mins
  • Edit some recent work in photoshop and backup online – 45 mins
  • Draft and refine one blog post for publication – 25 mins
  • Get out (photo walk, excursion, or anything to get out of the house ) – 1 hour
  • Brainstorm/journal for personal projects and series – 25 mins
  • Explore (see what others are doing that inspires) – 25 mins

Read more

Avoiding the Ruts

As the wheels of a great idea turn, there are inevitably ruts left in the road.  If you aren’t careful, you can back-track and easily fall into one.  At some point or another, every artist finds themselves in a rut.  Or worse, a series of ruts with no solid ground in sight.

As a photographer, you may find yourself taking pictures of poses A, B, and C in locations 1, 2, and 3.  A painter may be really good at realism and find their work turning to ducks and deer plastered in motel rooms around the country.  As cooks, we may exhaust our creativity on certain events and realize our personal menus have become taco Tuesday and stir-Friday.  (Archer, anyone?)  Ruts are steady, safe, reliable, and…. boring.  Mind-numbingly boring.

I have found myself in rut cycles, and I look at them as a challenge.  Accepting that you’ll find yourself in such positions (probably) many times throughout your life is a good thing.  As soon as you realize the comforting walls rising, you can take the opportunity to break through.

My favorite way to break the habits of a rut is to take the ingredients (because I get in cooking ruts) that I use in my rut-dish and turn them into something different.  It’s harder than making a completely new dish, but that is the fun of it.  Transforming your safe elements into daring, new things.  This helps me from crawling back into the same rut because I can look at the same item from many angles from there on out. Read more

Does Skipping Breakfast Affect Kids Weight?

Research shows

Kids who skip breakfast tend to weigh more than those who eat breakfast regularly. Why? Eating breakfast may help to reduce snacking and avoid overeating later in the day.

Not all breakfast are created equal

Your kids will get more mileage from an English muffin with scrambled eggs, fruit and a cup of fat-free milk than they will from a bowl of sweetened cereal and a large glass of juice. A smart breakfast choice includes whole grains, lean protein and some fruit or veggies.

One of my favorite breakfast

Growing up my kids loved “The Girl-Scout Egg” have you heard of it? It’s fast and easy and a great start to a day.

Lightly butter (real butter) a piece of whole grain bread (not whole wheat, there is a big difference) both sides, place on a skillet on medium heat and grill slightly (about 1 minute), turn over then with a small round cookie cutter or something that will cut about a 2″ circle cut out the center of the bread (you can do this prior to cooking if you choose), then crack an egg into the middle of the open hole, cook to your child’s liking if they like the egg over medium you should turn the toast over to cook the other side. Read more


Keeping with my promise to share a little home décor on here, I thought I’d recommend this very simple d.i.y. I found on everybody’s favorite idea machine, Pinterest, for all you city dwellers and suburbanites! This craft is so easy, you can do it on your next rainy day.


All you need is:

  • A dollar cookie sheet (the thin one-time use kind)
  • Some fabric/ wrapping paper
  • Ribbon/ rope/ string
  • Adhesive/ hot glue gun
  • Hole punch
  • Cute magnet

Read more

The Rest of the Circle?

The neurologist maintains the meds for us; the pediatrician cares, is a resource; the developmental pathways caseworker has assisted us on additional paperwork for our second wait list for Medicaid resources; the school staff is invaluable; the physical therapist is on hold while we work on the more important issues that the occupational therapist can address.

One of the hardest things to express to anyone is how difficult it is to go to a professional, present your broken child and see them give a half concerted effort before shrugging their shoulders in surrender, or worse, continuing on pretending to be the end-al professional that’s going to help your boy “be like new” and take your money.

We’ve discarded those.

I’m looking forward to professionals who understand what it is to know you can never make your child completely better, cured, but you can find the right things to help him be his best; with the right help.  To people that understand what it’s like to feel helpless to help your true love, your child. Read more

A Part of the Circle

It has taken us 6 years, but we are finally narrowing down our list of those who are important to us, to Alex, to his Circle of Care.

We are very fortunate to live in Douglas County, Colorado.  My husband continues to make a long commute every workday to keep us here.  We had such positive school experiences thus far.  So many others around the U.S. have not; my heart goes out to them.  I cross my finger for us.

Alex’s preschool teacher is still in our lives, sitting for us and hanging out with me from time to time.  She is a trusted friend. His current Para (aide) in selfless.  She continually tells us that she will do anything to help him and “anything that makes (our) lives easier”.  How can you not value that person!

His current SSN teach has proven to be an amazing resource. This teacher, Miss A, has been there to listen to all of our concerns, makes every effort to address each of them.  She has recommended our family for any service she can find; including for a SWAAAC evaluation.  She helped him gain a voice. (A guest post on another blog to be forthcoming explaining it; an article to follow.) Read more