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Showing posts from November, 2013

Quote of the Day

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Gratitude squared

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I started sending out my holiday cards early this year, however, my son and I (my daughter didn’t think it was fun), decided that we would drive around the neighborhood and drop off a few cards to our nearby friends.My son had a blast!I would pull up to our friends’ driveways and he would jump out of the car, and drop off the card.It was a fun thing to do, just the two of us.We chatted and laughed a lot.As we pulled up to each house, my son would say the name of the dog that lives there, and he would say “I hope Archie bug comes out and gives me lots of kisses, or if Skittles comes to the door, I’m going to run so she doesn’t catch me”. But then, my helper had too many activities the next day to help me finish our small job, so I was left with dropping cards off by myself. I started to find an appreciation for mailmen and women who do this for a living.
Me playing mailwoman set off a lot of appreciation for many other things too, like having anything we need available at stores, and/or…

Quote of the Day

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Quick Potato and Carrot Latkes

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Quick Potato and Carrot Latkes Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray
Prep Time:12 min Cook Time:15 min Level: Easy Serves: 12 latkes, 6 servings
Ingredients 1 (24-ounce) bag shredded potatoes for hash browns 1 large carrot, peeled 1 medium onion, peeled 2 eggs, beaten 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon baking powder 3 tablespoons matzo meal, cracker meal or all-purpose flour Vegetable oil, for frying 2 cups chunky apple sauce 1 cinnamon stick 1 cup sour cream
Directions Heat 1/2-inch oil in a large skillet over medium to medium high heat. To test oil, add a piece of bread to the pan. It should turn golden brown in a ten-count. Adjust heat, as necessary.
Place potatoes in a large bowl. Using a hand grater, grate the carrot and onion into the bowl. Add eggs to the bowl. Add salt and baking powder, then sprinkle in meal or flour. Combine vegetables and meal with a wooden spoon.BestieNote: I set reserved liquid aside for 10 minutes to allow starch to sink to the bottom; carefully pour liquid from the bowl, reserving milky re…

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Allie’s Farewell Boobies Party

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This past weekend, our small group of sister-friends (with kids in tow) bid farewell to Allie’s boobs!  We let the kids run the house while; Heather, Mari and I did a small ceremony for Allie.  The ceremony entailed us reading a few words we wrote for Allie, followed by us taking pictures of her with her boobies’ cupcakes. We then presented her with a picture painted by a talented 14-year old artist from Pasadena, who sold us this beautiful print of Rome with the Vatican in the center of it all.  Allie’s mom, Crystal, was there to watch all of the festivities unfold.  We laughed, we cried, and we shared our fears about the double mastectomy happening in less than 2 weeks!
Allie found out of her Breast Cancer diagnosis the day after Labor Day weekend, it’s been only a little over two months!This whole whirlwind has brought our small group of friends closer than we have ever been.So, as we prepare to support Allie through yet another difficult phase of her treatment, we stand closer than…

Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Where there’s a dream…there’s resistance!

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Where there’s a dream…there’s resistance!
I watched an interview with Stephen Pressfield about Resistance in our daily lives, andhe compared resistance to gravity!  What goes up must come down, just like when you have a dream of achieving something, there will always be resistance that makes the challenge of achieving it, a lot harder.  Whether the resistance comes from the outside or your own thoughts, there’s always something there that makes moving to the next level a challenge.  Here’s a beautiful excerpt from the interview “There'll always be moments of utter panic where things fall apart, the wheels come off. I've found that, usually, those are moments when you're moving to the next level. When you're getting better. Resistance always takes the form of fear. The panic is a form of resistance. Once you recognize it and give it a name, then you can simply confront it. Realize that it's not your thoughts, it's this force of nature that is trying to stop you f…

It's a Thornton Thanksgiving – Home for the Holidays!

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At this time of year, the air is chilly, leaves are falling, and families are starting to make plans for the holidays! Although I love all the holidays, Thanksgiving is probably one of my favorites because it's all about having an attitude of gratitude! This year all of our family's relatives will be here at the Thornton household. I'm so excited!
In order to get ready for our special dinner, I've been going on Pinterest to get great appetizer and dessert ideas so I can spend time preparing great dishes with my children. As they continue maturing, it seems like they've developed an interest in helping their Mom out when she's in the kitchen. Although I'm always grateful for their help and want to spend as much time with them as I can, I have to remember to keep their food tasks as simple as possible. If it gets complex, it gets messy. For this reason, I want to find recipes that can be made easily! And making them has to be fun, too!
In my opinion, tradition…

Chewy Sugar Cookies

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Recipe courtesy Linda McClure (2nd Place) FoodNetwork.com

Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 4 dozen cookies

You can also roll the cookies in the sugar sprinkles before baking.

Ingredients
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup softened butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 tablespoons buttermilk
Sprinkles or colored sugar, for decorating

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in dry ingredients. Add enough of the buttermilk to moisten the dough and make it soft, not wet.

Roll rounded teaspoons of dough into balls and place on a ungreased cookie sheet. With a brush or fingers, moisten the top of each cookie with the remaining buttermilk and slightly flatten the top of each cookie. Sprinkle with raw …

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Letting Creativity in

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When I was a kid, I imagined all of the toys I played with because none of us kids in our neighborhood had any store bought toys.  We all had to use our imaginations when we played, and it was a blast! I created mud cakes and used leaves to make beds, clothes, and frying pans for the meals I would “cook”.  Later, when we moved to the city, I would collect empty matchboxes to make furniture for my “house”.  I would ask my parents to let me crack eggs when they were cooking, so I could ensure that I left the eggshell almost intact.  I would then carefully carve out half of the eggshell and draw pictures inside each half.  Creativity was alive and well back then, and now…it’s been set aside and not tapped into for a long time. 
My daughter who always wants me to help her with art projects or to bake something tasty and fun, is always disappointed by my “I’m not very creative” or“I don’t have time”.What?I kicked butt at building fake homes and bracelets out of sticks, I was the best at i…

Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Rosalind Wiseman's interview on Katie

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I was so happy to have watched the Katie show when Rosalind Wiseman was one of her guests.Rosalind is a parenting expert who wrote “The Guide: For Guys,” in which she talks about issues that boys of all ages face.It’s a rare subject in my world but also in the world of many of my friends.I know that because all my friends who have boys, at one point or another have said, boys fight it out and then it’s over! But not girls, they have to talk about it.I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve said those words many times in the nine years that I’ve been a mom to my boy!I’ve always had the mentality that my son will “shake it off” "doesn't need to talk about issues because he's over them right after it happens" and then he’ll be fine.Reality check!  That's not the case.
Rosalind gave me a reality check that I didn't ever think I needed.  I’m going to implement as many things as I can from her book, and also make my husband read it. Rosalind is giving away a free e-book copy …

To Be or Not To Be...That Is The Question

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Courage…
When I think about the times in my life when I may have displayed some sort of courage, like being in labor for 24 hours without medication, or having the Birds and the Bees “talk” with my daughter and answering all of her questions with honest answers.Is that courage or, there’s no way out but to do it? I can’t honestly pin down one exact action that made me think, Wow!I’m being courageous!
A few months ago, I really started noticing how unappreciative I am towards my own work and efforts, and so in turn, I have taught others to assume that it’s my responsibility to do all, and take care of everyone without any acknowledgement or appreciation. Then it struck me…courage!It took courage for me to stand up and say, I’ve enabled all of you to not appreciate me, but from now on, I need appreciation and acknowledgement for my hard work. A quick thank you for dinner, thank you for dropping off the project at school that I forgot at home, and thank you for driving me around looking…

Life is Full of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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We salute the men and women who courageously served and continue to serve our country. Thank you!

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Deep breathing exercises to relieve your holiday stress

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Here’s a breathing exercise suggested by Mirabai Holland, a Physiologist (the branch of biology that deals with the normal functions of living organisms and their parts):
Go to a place that is a quiet and private as possible, even if it’s a bathroom. Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Let them relax back into their sockets. Breath in deeply while relaxing your abs. Hold about 3 seconds and breathe out while pulling your abs in. Keep breathing. Concentrate on the sound of your breathing. It will help you clear your mind. Relax your shoulders and keep breathing. Let the stress melt. When you’re good and peaceful, open your eyes and, when you’re ready, get up and rejoin your 400-mile an hour day.
I wished for a few seconds of quiet time at the mall parking lot so I could do my breathing exercise while waiting for a parking spot in the super crowded mall parking lot! Here’s what happened….
My fast paced life gets in the way of my deep breathing exercises, so I’m making an…

Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Thanksgiving appetizer

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Mozzarella Stuffed Portobellos Recipe courtesy Michael Chiarello, 2007
Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 16 min Level: Easy Serves: 12 servings
Ingredients 12 large portobello mushrooms, stemmed and gills removed 6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided Sea salt, preferably gray salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 cup fresh bread crumbs 1 cup grated Parmesan 4 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves 4 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves 12 (1/2-inch) slices fresh mozzarella, roughly 1 to 1 1/2-ounces per slice Directions Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Toss the portabellas in the balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup of olive oil, gray salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange the mushrooms on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature.
While the mushrooms are cooling mix together the bread crumbs, Parmesan, herbs and the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil.
Place 1 slice (2 if the mushrooms are large) of mozzarella in the cupp…

Candy is the currency…

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The day after Halloween, my kids started negotiating their candy consumption.They ask to do chores around the house, only if I give them one more piece of candy for the day.My friends and I shared stories of finding candy wrappers hidden under couches, mattresses and closets, and it’s not just the kids eating the candy, it’s the all of us.It’s a struggle to stay out of the Halloween loot.
This morning, I decided to get rid of all of the candy so we’re all not tempted anymore. I told my friend I was going to get rid of the candy, and she said that the kids will be scarred, and all they will remember about Halloween when they’re older, is that their mom would get rid of their candy.Ummm…too bad!I’ve allowed them to eat one piece a day, and I’m sure they have weaseled a piece or two when I’m not looking.
A friend on Facebook is trying to start a movement for next Halloween, she wants to give away $1.00 gift cards to Toys-R-Us instead of candy, and so the kids don’t end up with so much c…