Thursday, September 30, 2010

manifesto on choice

my amazing sister (she's even better in real life) just published a blog post about commitment and it got me thinking. when i hear the word commitment, i think of Wanting something with a capital "W". do you really Want it? then make a choice and go for it.

so often we play the victim. we say:

i can't afford that. i don't have time for that. i wish i had a happy, easy life like her.

when what we don't realize is that so much in life is really a choice. what we really are saying is:

i choose not to spend my money on that so that i won't have debt (or, so that i can buy groceries, rent a cello for my daughter, etc.). i choose to wake up at 5 am to make time for the temple. i choose to read instead of fold laundry or watch t.v. i choose to be happy.

let me repeat that. i CHOOSE to be happy. i choose to make my life what i want.

our life is a series of choices. the choices we make let us know what really matters to us and what we really Want in our life. many things we do not have control over. but the great news is this: we are in control of our own choices. the only true control is self-control.

want to be a stay-at-home mom? live in a small house, plant a garden, cook meals from scratch, spend less and work hard.

want to be fit? prepare your own healthy food and sweat every day. then stop complaining that your body isn't perfect. nobody's is.

want to be a published author? put your bum in your chair and write while your friends meet for lunch and clean their houses and your husband relaxes in front of the t.v.

so many things in life are available to us if we choose them—if we choose to take the fork in the road that will lead us there and then keep on walking, regardless of the opposition that will surely come our way. all it takes is for us to make a commitment, and then remember that we Want it.

we are all powerful. we have the ability to make miracles happen.

what do you Want? stop making excuses and make things happen instead.


Monday, September 27, 2010


i think it's about time for another confessional. don't you?

i am a procrastinator. i started making a list of all the things i have been putting off, but then i decided to wait and do it later. [things like: finish sewing my mother's present for her birthday...which was in august] i have piles in every room of things i started or am waiting to start and never get around to. it's a sickness.

i cried the other day while my piano student was playing für elise because it was so beautiful. does this make me crazy? highly possible.

i am afraid of our renter, who lives in our rental house next door. this is an unfounded fear, but it still stops me from going outside or tending my garden like i should be. possibly it's related to her thin-white-tank-top-no-bra-55-year-old-body, but is that a real reason to be afraid? i don't know.

i am terrified of grasshoppers. i would rather kill a mouse, spider, snake, cockroach, scorpion, ANYTHING.

i cannot master the art of the self portrait. either it's a shot up my nose [see above] or just a corner of my head and all background.

i have lost the desire to read, which used to be the one thing i'd rather do over any thing else.

i just finished watching the complete series of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and i loved it.* i can see why so many people claim it was the greatest television series of all time. i actually was going to write a whole post on it, but changed my mind. i can't think of a single person to recommend it to.

i have joined the general population in the over use of the exclamation mark. comments on facebook and replies to email just seem more friendly sprinkled with a few! don't you think?!

*could possibly be the cause of afore mentioned loss of desire to read

Saturday, September 25, 2010

i read banned books

artwork by hollie chastain

happy banned book week, dear readers, and what great timing. have you been reading the buzz about the book SPEAK by laurie halse anderson being called "soft pornography" by this man?

i rarely rant in public.


does it sicken you as much as me? it's a book about a girl who learns how to speak up for herself. i have to agree with shannon hale on this one:

Let me clarify for those of you who haven't read Speak: it's about rape. A high school girl is raped. Rape, people. Pornography is "designed to stimulate sexual excitement." I am extremely sensitive to depictions of rape. I have turned off movies and put down books that even remotely crossed the line for me. Speak was not one of those. It's not graphic, it is definitely not designed to titillate. It is honest while being respectful. If someone reads that book and is stimulated by it, then they should SEE A THERAPIST.

This might be funny if it weren't so tragic and dangerous. This attitude is precisely what keeps girls silent when they should be speaking up, what makes them afraid of reporting rape, what lets perpetrators get away. Please, please don't confuse the issue. Rape is rape is rape. It is not sex. It is not sexy. It is violence. It is always wrong. Classifying this book as a kind of pornography is so insulting and damaging to survivors of rape. Ee gads. I'm so upset I'm contracting just thinking about it. Deep breaths, Mama.

in celebration of banned book week i would like the world to know how supremely grateful i am to live in a time and a place where i get to decide for myself and my family what content is appropriate (or not) for our house.

also, i think i'll read something on this list. i'm thinking DRACULA (which i've read, but it was a long time ago) or CANDIDE or PILLARS OF THE EARTH (which i haven't read). any suggestions?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


the back story:

i ate "school-lunch style" breakfast, lunch and dinner with my daughter for 3 days when i went to the 5th grade camp with her school.

i got really sick. way too much sugar, preservatives and absolutely nothing healthy (unless you count the mushy, red-delicious apple, which i do not.).

i began packing my kids lunches.

i found this blog.

i obsess.

i blog.

my hope is that this post will open up someone else's eyes to the possibilities. i honestly enjoy my time spent in the morning packing their lunches. it reminds me that mothers who know are nurturers.

and if you don't have kids yet, please remember to nurture yourself. all these lunches came together really fast and a lot of them are just leftovers. it's not as hard as you think it might be.

lunch #1: leftover vegetable soup reheated in a thermos container. slice of homemade bread.

lunch #2: chef salad with ranch dressing and boiled egg. croutons. sliced cheese and homemade granola bars. recipe from here, (click for valuable/hilarious tips) but i substitute 1/4 c. maple syrup for the brown sugar and dried fruit and seeds for the chocolate chips. it's delicious both ways!

lunch #3: whole wheat bagel with cream cheese. orange slices. snap peas with ranch. annie's honey graham bunny crackers.

lunch #4: zucchini bread with cream cheese and cauliflower. pistachios. sliced apple.

lunch #5: grapes. peas (taken right from the freezer). carob raisins (no sweetener added). ham and cheese sandwich.

lunch #6: leftover lentil almond burger. edamame. sweet potato fries with ketchup in the sauce bottle.

lunch #7: blue and white corn tortilla chips and peaches. beans+salsa mix topped with cheese. green salad.

lunch #8: carrot sticks, olives, and boiled egg in a car shape. granola. honey yogurt topped with frozen mixed berries.

lunch #9: leftover southwest quinoa salad. (let me know if you're interested in my recipe.) raspberries and banana.

to reduce waste, we started using containers instead of plastic baggies. i love the new ziploc containers with the 3 divided sections. if you have anything juicy, they do a great job of keeping the rest of your food dry. they are dishwasher safe. there are similar boxes here for a little bit more that are BPA-free here. i'm planning on working them into the budget next.

i also love the sassy on-the-go feeding set. we use the containers that come with it almost every day. (perhaps you noticed the blue or pink containers in the pictures). and they're BPA-free.

both containers are available at target.

for lunch bags, i like the kind that doesn't tip the lunch up on the side. we found both of these at target:

so i hope that gets you started.

what do you do for lunch for yourself or your kids? share your ideas!

sources for things that i have and that i'd still like:
sassy on the go feeding set | target | $6.19
ziploc lunch containers | target | $2.39 for 2
lunch bags | target | $8 to $9
silicone muffin cups | amazon | $9.99 for 12
sauce containers | | $2.99 for 4
food picks | | $2.99 for 10
egg molds | amazon | $1.55 for 2
sauce container | the container store | $1.99
stainless steel lunch box | | $34.95 (maybe for christmas. kind of pricey for our budget)

Monday, September 20, 2010

design worship

have you heard of coralie bickford-smith? two of my loves coming together: design and literature in the most incredibly beautiful way. looking at her work never gets old.

a friend gave me the edition of EMMA by jane austen (shown below), which is my favorite book of austen's and matches my kitchen wall color.

and while it shames me to admit that fitzgerald remains one of those "huh?" authors for me, these might be my favorite of all coralie's designs.

Friday, September 17, 2010


oh dear! i can't believe this is my first post for september. lots of ideas, little follow through. all in good time.

i had the pleasure of reading the ARC (advanced reader's copy) of MATCHED by ally condie last month as part of some "research" for a blog banner design. it can be scary reading something that a friend wrote, for everyone involved. but, i am so happy to tell you that i loved this book. we (the book and i) made an emotional connection and we are going to be besties for life.

it's a new favorite of mine. it's not what you think it's going to be if you've read a lot of the hype surrounding it. it is not heart-thumping, action-packed or throbbingly romantic. it is quiet, gentle—and in its own way—a page-turning novel about a girl who decides to choose a life for herself. it's about poetry and art, love and death, with the perfect combination of sweetness and atrocity. it left me feeling warm and fuzzy and wanting to read the next installment in the series. in short, it is lovely, just like ally herself.

it comes out in november and i can't wait to own a copy of my own. (having a beautiful cover design is just icing on the cake)