When doves cry…

No words can convey the loss the music world and fans are feeling.

Creativity is something we all look forward to. We look to our actors, musicians, writers and artists for the next piece of “genius” that will transform our emotions, stir our own creativity and push us into new directions of thinking.

If you are longing for a song or want to reminisce and you can’t find your cassette tapes, you find your turn table needs a new needle or your boom box is out of batteries… Love isn’t far away. Many radio stations including iheart radio are paying tribute to the great purple one.

Peace. 💜💔


GF Pizza from Jet’s

Along with my modified diet a couple of things my doctor recommended in order to feel better and continue to lose weight were 

1) stay away from sugar


2) stay away from gluten

I have a mild sensitivity for gluten anyway but have chosen to suffer through my carb addiction like a trooper…. Until the last 6 weeks or so.

The 21 day reset has made it easier to give it up once and for all. But there are those times that I get a hankering for something bread or cracker like.

Tonight I decided since the kids wanted pizza and we were being lazy that I would give the new gluten free pizza crust that jet’s had to offer a try.

I am still vegetarian so I got it with cheese only (I prepared some tomato slices and steamed spinach for a quick topping) 

The result was just “ok”. The flavor was good but the crust was a bit doughy in the middle. Outer edges were better but they need to figure out how to precook or toast it up a bit like a thin and crispy crust. I’d rather have an excellent crispy crust than a doughy wanna be thin crust.

It was fine for dinner as an after thought but I’ll have to start to practice for a good gf crust in the future.  I can’t see choosing this on purpose again.

I hear cauliflower crust is all the rage. Maybe I’ll check that out too.

Sunday afternoon treat

Since I have been eating pretty much a vegan diet I had to think about some of the yummies I’ve enjoyed in the past that were tasty yet on the healthy side.

Way on the other side of town is a market that I love. It’s the kind of place with an apothecary and loads of natural food goodies. It’s the kind of place I could happily move in and make myself at home. It’s also a little on the pricy side even if they carry items I can’t find anywhere else. One of the treats I splurge on when I’m there is organic date rolls covered in almonds. You can get the coconut variety at any Whole Foods but I have yet to see the almond ones in another store. 

A little container that holds about 10 date rolls will set you back about $8.50… Give or take depending on the weight.

Now fast forward to my latest trip to Costco where I found these beauties 

Tick tick tick says my brain. I can do this. So I snatched up the bag from Costco for about $8 and I made a plan to try to make date rolls myself.

I looked around the web a bit and ended up doing pretty much what I always end up doing …. I cross mixed a couple of recipes together. The results were great. My son and husband loved them and I’m thrilled that it takes almost no time to whip up one of my favorite sweet treats.

Here is how simple the recipe is:

20 dates and a teaspoon of water mixed in the food processor until it forms a ball.

In one batch I mixed crushed walnuts and coconut in the mix. Another I added crushed almonds in the mix.

You can then roll them in coconut or, my favorite, almonds. Or whatever you fancy.

The result:

They say you should chill them for an hour or so but I’ve always kept mine in the air tight container they came in and then stashed that in the bread box. I’ll have to see what’s the meaning behind the chill.

In the end I made about 25 rolls with a quarter bag of dates to spare. I consider this a huge win and saved a tank of gas from not going across town in the process. 😉

BeachBody 21 Ultimate Reset Review

First let me say that I am not one of the coaches. I was not given this program/product and I am receiving nothing from this review.  You, of course, are gonna get a bunch of info which I am happy to share with you.

I decided to do this program for a couple of reasons. One to lose weight…which you know (or are told) is secondary and the other was to completely clean up my eating.

Most people eat way worse than me. Now, I don’t say that to be mean or point fingers. Its not that kind of thing. A lot of people have lost 20lbs. in 21 days and frankly they have flushed a toxic filled diet right out to the trash. No more meat, bread, pizza, fast food, chips, dairy etc.

They encourage changing over to organic products so that your are taking in less toxins for this cleanse. I already ate organic 98% of the time. They start by weaning you off of animal product in the first week, I’m already a vegetarian. I do on occasion enjoy yogurt and I like eggs a lot, cheese here and there and damn, do I love me some ice cream. My biggest challenge of cleaning up my diet was eliminating sugar and bread carbs. The other thing that made this menu easier for me is that I was already familiar with all of the foods. I knew where to get Tempeh and what it was, quinoa, millet, seaweed, Braggs etc. I already had alot of the items in my house. I just used them differently. This did seem to be a challenge for some of the participants.

So  it kinda goes like this… A bunch of supplements to assist with the cleanse, your metabolism, gut bacteria, digestion and reducing inflammation. There is a little schedule guide that tells you when to take what and how long before you eat a meal. You are supposed to drink darn close to a gallon of distilled water per day. * I think the best I did was about 80 ozs a day which is up from my normal 24ish. I will admit that plain distilled water with the mineralize wasn’t working with me. I had to add a few drops of organic liquid stevia and lemon to be able to tolerate it at all. Fresh lemon taste much better than bottled -by the way. There is a rockin recipe book that goes with your menu plan and I WILL be using a bunch of the recipes in the future. Super Yum! Like I said before it slowly weans you off of foods like meat and bread and then into grains and then none to the point that in the last week you are eating a vegan diet. Now I know that this may or may not work for some people. They have support pages set up per phase on FaceBook so that you can ask questions and get/give support to others going through the same phase as you. There are Beachbody people that answer your questions on FB if you can’t find it on the website or book. And frankly they are pretty quick at replying. There is a substitution list if you are missing an ingredient. In the book there is also a “menu in a crunch” that helps you with easier meals if you are on the run.

The biggest complaints at first were people who had headaches from caffeine withdrawal. Knowing I was starting the program and that they highly recommend no over the counter meds be used, like my dear friend Motrin, I switched to decaf coffee. I did this 4 days prior to my start. That way when a headache set in my friend Mo was there to help me and I wasn’t messing up my progress. I would highly suggest that to anyone who plans on doing this program and has caffeine in their current diet.

The second complaint was the alkalize/power greens. I loved that little salad in a cup.You add the packet to 3-4oz of distilled water. But on week 2 there is the detox packet that people loved and I was not a fan of AT ALL. There is a combo of herbs or something that just tasted off to me. I couldnt quite wrap my head around it and while they suggest 8-12ozs of water to take it I have to admit it took me more like 13 or 14ozs. The upside of it, besides the reason for it, is that I was taking in 39+ ozs of water just taking the detox.

People complained about being hungry or not having enough food. You are actually allowed a snack each day. I had two snacks in week one and then never had another. I was full after each meal without any trouble.

There is the option to use Shakeology (vegan chocolate or strawberry) as a breakfast sub or a snack. I used one of each flavor for breakfast on two different days. Chocolate with frozen strawberries and distilled mineralized water tasted way better to me than the strawberry flavor. 

The cool thing about this program is all of the fresh food and yummy recipes. And it can be said that the prep, cooking and clean up can be just as uncool. You just don’t realize how much it takes to make a good meal. And clearly by the way people eat these days you know that it’s easier to make something less nutritious than to actually take the time and make a “good for you” meal. The first week or so I spent so so so much time in the kitchen. The prep, cutting, planning, cooking felt like I was there for a million years. Then after you have this tasty wonderful meal and you’re happy and full and then you turn around to see a giant mountain of pots and pans. I just kept thinking of it as burning calories. I really really needed to think of it as something positive.

I was faced with a very large life challenge in week 2 (read *high stress* thinking of drinking and smoking and cursing and crying) I don’t smoke at all and drink on rare occasion. Ice cream would have been helpful but I couldn’t find it on any of my daily menus!! I did “break” and have a tablespoon of almond butter. I couldn’t think of anything else that I would really enjoy and it was allowed in week one. I didn’t think it would screw me up that bad and it served well as a little emotional food relief.

My other challenge was, just after that stress settled a little, I pulled my back out. It definitely felt like a “FML” moment. So my activity level was shot. I couldn’t even walk on the track. This bummed me out more than anything because I was truly hoping to lose at least 10-12lbs on this program. I did take 1 single 200mg Motrin on my worst day of pain.

I found it strange that I always felt so full between the food and water (and maybe supplements) that I had no cravings. There was always a touch of sweetness in a recipe at just the right moment to make it feel ok without sugar. I didn’t seem to care as my husband and kids had dessert after dinner, often.  It seemed like a long road in front of me when I started the 21 days but I kept a count down calendar to see progress. It actually passed by pretty quickly. I only weighed myself 3 times. They say you should only weigh yourself at day one and at day 21. If you really want to check do it after each phase but not everyday. You will make yourself crazy AND this program is really about the cleanse not weight loss.

In the end I lost 8 pounds. I did not measure inches like a lot of people do but my clothes are fitting better and I can see some changes here and there.

I was told that if you ate pretty clean before the program that your weight loss would be lower. So I wasn’t too surprised. I think if I could have kept up my activity level up and not pulled my back out that I would have lost a couple more pounds for sure.

Now for phase out. Or phase in. I’m not sure what its called but they say you are now to do the whole diet in reverse to slowly reintroduce the foods you phased out – grains, nuts, yogurt, meat for the carnivores…lol   According to the literature your body will be more sensitive to foods and stimulants like caffeine so you should take it slow to see if you have any adverse reactions. Not a bad idea. I also read that a lot of people had better weight loss success on the reverse now that their body is running cleaner. It’s worth a try.

That’s pretty much it.

Over all I like this program a ton. For me I have found a new love for my veggies since being introduced to a bunch of new and exciting recipes. You can get bored with the same ole, same ole. After visiting the doc for my bad back he agreed I could really do without wheat in my diet, I kinda already knew that. So I am going to try to continue without it. I have a feeling my morning coffee will be back just not sure when.

*Keep a look out for another related post with pictures of some of the recipes I made.




The Great Shoe Expedition 

So in my mind it played out quite differently. You know those days when you make a plan and you assume it’s going to clip right along and you’ll be in, out and on your way. Ya, not quite.
My daughter let me know after school one day that her toes were squished in her gym shoes and she thought they were too small now. No big deal. I figured with the weekend in front of us that we would have plenty of time to shop for shoes.  

So that didn’t pan out – when we popped into a famous footwear and nordstrom rack there weren’t many options left in her size.

All is not lost I told my worrier child. We have an entire mall down the road from us. I am quite confident they have shoes.

So the big plan: 

Pick the kids up from school ✔️

Run through Children’s Place and grab pants for my son ✔️ (that took 10 minutes)

Drop over to the Nike outlet to grab shoes for the girl….. Go home, eat dinner, walk the dog and relax…. 🚫

Nope! That is NOT how it went down. Nike = no shoes in her size, Famous Footwear Outlet = no shoes in her size, Stride Rite? One pair but not her color. Footlocker…. Wow did you know that if your kids foot is bigger than a size 3 the price goes up $20! Yah, kids shoes for $70 and $85, Well That’s Fantastic ?? seriously? Shoes they will wear for a max of 3 months $85! I almost died. Footlocker for kids=0, Finishline = zippo, Journey for kids – nope but the girl says to me “if she’s wearing a 3 or 3.5 in kids that’s like a 5.5 in woman’s. RECORD SCRATCH!!! Pause, crickets chirping, Wait, what? “Oh yah, she says, totally she could wear small woman’s sizes”. Really?? It took almost 8 stores for someone to actually say something. WOW, my mind is blown that in all the stores we visited the previous 3hours not one salesperson said anything that would lead me to believe I had more options. Some of these people work on commission and nobody knew this gem of knowledge or thought to share it with me?  So onward….Champs Sports, look at all these options, there is this one and that one, by the way,  have you seen a sales person? Hellooooo? And moving on….Sports Authority, dear god let the stars be aligned, size and color match the approval of my daughter and let this be the last store we go to tonight. SCORE!! 3 pairs later we find a winner (a pair of Nikes that were probably in the first store) on sale for $49.99. I quickly signed up for text and emails from the store to get a coupon sent to me yesterday and for $42 out the door we have gym shoes.

It is now after 7pm. All prior plans have been tossed out the window. I’ll be lucky to feed them dinner as they are brushing their teeth with one foot in bed. 

I’m so happy neither kid had homework, school forms, an art project or any kind of sciency thing due the next day. On the plus side I got all my steps in for the century 😝

Keep peeking

I have a system on school mornings at drop off. Due to the crazy insane out of this world busy parking lot at our school has I have resigned myself to drop them off in a timely manner and then parking at the back while waiting for the traffic to clear. We have had many accidents at our exit/entrance so much so that I’ve personally witnessed three of them and even went to court with one mom to testify about how it all went down.  I’ll save that and why they won’t put a traffic light for another day.

So my “system” to avoid the rush also assists me in watching my kids walk into school or on early days watch them line up outside and observe their behavior. I tend to park where I can see just enough, wait for the mass exodus of cars and safely go about my day. Keep in mind all of this takes a max of 15 minutes.

I don’t think my kids know that I drop and stick around.  Not sure how much they care. But I noticed today what I’ve actually seen before, it just didn’t register, that there are the same parents who do something similar: they drop and watch. They will stand at the end of the drive or walkway and wait until their kid has walked into the school. 

I’m not the newest parent but don’t have middle schoolers yet. How long  do we keep peeking and watching? Or does it never quite go away until they actually “go away” to school?


i am still shaking my head in disbelief. It was just July and we were in the middle of gardening, swimming, planning play dates and eating ice cream.

School started yesterday. Like actually started. Backpacks, forms, supplies, pick up lines…..

Sigh.  Not ready for this.