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Showing posts from May, 2014

Quote of the Day

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Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Our Dear Maya Angelou - May You Rest In Peace

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Love...Really Knows No Boundaries

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I was watching CBS Sunday Morning News when I heard Steve Hartman delicately report on a story that immediately tugged at my heartstrings. The story was about a Melvyn Amrine, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 3 years ago, he and his wife, Doris, have been married for 60 years! The day before Mother’s Day, Melvyn went missing, the Little Rock Arkansas police responded and found Melvyn 2 miles away from home. Melvyn was on a mission to buy flowers when police officers found him, he didn’t know his address but he knew he needed to buy flowers for his wife.  You see, Melvyn had given his wife flowers on Mother’s Day ever since their first child was born, and this year was not going to be an exception. So once the officers told dispatch that they were taking Melvyn home, they were kind enough to secretly drive him to a nearby Kroger's and helped him pick out flowers for his wife. When Melvyn was checking out, he was a few bucks short and one of the police officers slipped the cas…

No More Sucker-Punching My Vocal Cords...My Voice Is Just Perfect The Way It Is

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While doing a voiceover for a Mother’s Day video recently, I kept mumbling and sounding like a completely different person. I thought that I sounded phony and a bit nervous, and was definitely not using my normal voice. For the longest time, I’ve thought of my voice as dorky. So while recording the Mother’s Day video, I disliked the way my dorky voice was sounding, so I was trying to change it. But, then I wondered, does it mean that I don’t like my voice every time I talk? Do I talk without hearing myself because I fear the sound of my voice? I wasn’t sure. I suppose I might be tuning myself out most of the time because I don’t like the way my voice sounds. But there lies a huge problem. How do I know when to catch myself when I’m not being authentic or nice, if I don’t hear the words coming out of my mouth? When I was in middle school, someone said that I had a weird and dorky voice, then I heard myself talk on a voice message and that was the end of that! They were right! I agreed …

Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Conscious Parenting

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Oprah interviewed the author of The Conscious Parent, Dr. Shefali Tsabary, they talked about the controversy that her book is causing among parents. Dr. Shefali believes that connection is the gateway to having a great relationship with kids and believes that punishment is never a way to go. Many parents, myself included, know that when a child breaks the rules, they get punished for their bad actions.
Since my kids are not babies anymore, it’s jarring when someone like Dr. Tsabary makes such statements that threaten or undermine the ways I’ve been parenting for 12 years! However, while I disapprovingly listening to the interview, there was something she said that really hit home for me; she said that false promises and creating feelings like kids are under enemy control is what can create defiant teenagers, that’s what I felt while growing up! I felt no connection to my divorced parents, who fought even while divorced and lived their lives so separately from us that I felt dead inside…

Memorial Day Patriotic Berry Trifle

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Total Time: 35 min Prep: 35 min Yield: 8-10 servings Level: Easy
Ingredients 1/4 cup plus 2/3 cup sugar 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon almond extract 1 premade angel food cake, cut into 1-inch slices 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature 2 cups heavy cream, at room temperature 2 pints blueberries 2 pints strawberries, hulled and sliced
Directions Heat 1/4 cup sugar, the lemon juice and 1/4 cup water in a saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and stir in the almond extract.
Brush both sides of each slice of cake with the syrup. Cut the slices into 1-inch cubes.
Beat the remaining 2/3 cup sugar and the cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until smooth and light. Add the cream and beat on medium-high speed until smooth and the consistency of whipped cream.
Arrange half of the cake cubes in the bottom of a 13-cup trifle dish. Sprinkle evenly with a layer of blueberries. Dollop half of the cream mixture over the blueberries and gently spr…

Gray eyebrow hair! Don't Sweat It.

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There’s a dramatic change that I’ve noticed as I get closer to turning 40, I can’t multi-task as much as I used to, I forget things more easily, I feel my hormones changing, and I’ve started to get gray hair in my eyebrows!! Seriously? Gray eyebrows? Yikes!
I can’t tell if I don’t want to multi-task, care enough to get every single thing done on my list, or I just can’t mentally juggle as many things as I used to. I think it might be a combination of all those things. My blemish count has skyrocketed and my facial hair is a lot more noticeable…unstable hormones suck! What happened to the good ole wrinkle free, blemish free days? But on the upside of things, my maturity level and new insight to my wisdom and self-worth are on the up and up.
I’ve also noticed that I have a harder time coping with friends being diagnosed with cancer or other diseases. One of the hardest things to cope with is the elder dying.  My friends’ grandparents and older parents are starting to die and some frien…

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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The Smell of Sweet Success!

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This past Saturday, I proudly attended the college graduation of my dear friend Delia. She and I met in high school when I was just 14 and she was 16, and we have been best friends since then. I graduated high school a year after she graduated, we proudly cheered for one another at our respective graduations. Fast-forward 23 years later, Delia, a divorced mom of a 17 year-old son and a 14 year-old daughter, found a new passion for helping children with disabilities and decided to go back to college to earn her BA in Sociology! 
Delia’s 17 year-old son, Jaymee, has autism on the severe spectrum of the disorder and will never be able to live on his own. He will also never be able to apply for a job or hold down a job without her help. His future is a lot more unpredictable than most kids his age. Delia’s courage to start a new career that she feels passionate about while dealing with her son’s many daily setbacks at school and at home, is truly something admirable that I was reminded of …

Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Ready or Not...Swimsuit Season Is Here!

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Summer is around the corner and once again, it snuck up on me! I hate wearing swimsuits but my kids demand that I get in the pool when they’re in the pool. So it’s time to stop sitting in the puddle of disappointment of not losing the holiday weight and take action. While researching better ways to eat, I ran into this very handy list that Dr. Oz put together for what he’s calling, The May Diet. This year, I don’t have a weight goal in mind or a swimsuit size I want to fit into, as long I’m taking steps to eat better and get in a few hours of exercise a week, I’m good to go. Wish me luck! - Fabiola For more tips on The May Diet visitwww.doctoroz.com

Pita Pizza

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BestieNote: For a kid friendly version use black olives instead of kalamata olives. Get rid of the onion, pepper flakes, and arugula (unless your kids like it - you’re super lucky if they do!) My kids loved this spring/summer dinner.  You can use tomato sauce as a variation for another weekday. Enjoy!
Ingredients 3 medium tomatoes 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing and drizzling Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 3 cups baby arugula 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, roughly chopped 1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch-thick rounds 4 6 -to-8-inch pocketless pitas 1/2 cup ricotta cheese 1/4 pound part-skim mozzarella cheese, diced Pinch of red pepper flakes
Directions Core the tomatoes and halve them crosswise, then squeeze the juices and seeds into a large bowl. Whisk in 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the arugula but don't toss; set aside. Dice the tomatoes and toss in a separate bowl with the olive…

Life Is A Terminal Condition

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Life is a terminal condition. We're all going to die. But how many of us will truly live, and live for ourselves first and foremost? Not for your spouse, not for your parent, not for your career, not for your illness, but live for you. That's the golden ticket. –Kris Carr

While watching the show, Super Soul Sunday, I saw this original short with Kris Carr, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. Kris was told she had 10 years to live! She shared her thoughts of her rare type of cancer on this short video Crazy Sexy Cancer Kris Carr on Finding Joy - Video, as a wake up call to start living her life and not hold her breath for a cancer free diagnosis, because she wasn’t sure if that would ever happen.
When my friend Allie was diagnosed with Stage II Breast Cancer, she and I starred at this piece of paper that listed her diagnosis. Allie and I immediately went into “what if she doesn’t beat the cancer” “what if her daughter doesn’t have a mom a year from now”, “what if, what if…..” …

Meditation-ish?

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When Oprah and Deepak Chopra announced their 21-day Meditation Experience, I decided to give it another try. I have tried doing the 21-day Experience a few other times, but I always ended up forgetting to do it or avoided it. The problem is that I can’t sit still, or quiet my mind enough to be able to successfully meditate, so why try again? Because I really want to be able to slow down and have a few moments in my day when my mind is not racing 100mph.
So, I had a great idea…I’ll meditate while I do my video workout everyday! Which is not really meditating, but I was trying my hardest to listen intently to the messages that Oprah and Deepak were delivering. The problem with this crazy scenario is that I’m trying to do sit-ups while trying to listen to 10 minutes of very powerful messages, followed by 15 minutes of complete silence, where you silently repeat your daily mantra every time a thought comes to mind. Yikes, this was hard! After doing this for 15 days, it was not as hard as I…

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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Cheesecake-Flan

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Ingredients 8 oz cream cheese 1 can sweet condensed milk ½ cup of sugar 4 large eggs 1 c. regular milk or 2%
Directions
Grease a 2 quart pan with non-stick cooking spray.Melt sugar to caramelize and pour into 2 quart pan dish (flan dish).In blender combine all the remaining ingredients just until blended, about 1 minute, and then pour into flan dish.
Prepare a water bath - put your flan dish into a roasting pan, place the pan into the oven, and add enough hot water to reach halfway up the flan pan. Bake at 325 for 50 to 60 minutes.To test, insert a knife, if it comes out clean, the flan is done!
Carefully remove - some of the water in the roasting pan will have evaporated, but some will remain, so be careful not to tip the roasting pan when you take it out of the oven. Once out of the oven, remove flan dish from roasting pan, cool, and serve with whipped cream and strawberries. This flan has a cheesecake consistency that will leave you wanting seconds! It's one of my all time favorite and e…

Beauty, The Ocean, And A Bird!

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On my weekly trip to Santa Monica yesterday morning, I stopped to look at the ocean and take in the beautiful day.  I was staring at the ocean and decided to take a picture, when all of the sudden a bird flew right into my shot! The picture you see is the picture I captured.  I was in awe, what a beautiful picture it turned out to be with the bird flying by! I put my phone away after I snapped the picture and had to run, but a few minutes later I decided to share the picture with a few of my friends. They all replied with, “beautiful, gorgeous, love it!”  I talked to my friend Allie a few minutes later and she said, she couldn’t believe how beautiful the picture was, and my reply was, it’s real! What did that mean? It’s real? I then told Allie that I’m so used to seeing beautiful pictures posted on Facebook or Instagram, that it’s not unusual to see beautiful pictures daily, and that most times, the pictures are so beautiful that they don’t seem real. But here’s the thing, I took tha…

Summer Break, again?

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Only 3 weeks until the kids start their summer break! I’m in shock but also in full panic mode. Who fast-forwarded and why? I just recovered from last years summer break, you mean I have to do this again in 3 weeks? Darn!

My kids don’t attend summer camp, I’m their entertainment coordinator and tour guide. As they have gotten older, they require a lot more activities so it's challenging to keep them busy without breaking the bank. When my kids came home last week and told me that they’re closing up the school year with testing and school parties, I almost cried. I knew it was coming…Mom, what are doing this summer? With a limited budget for summer activities, I told them that we’re going to have a great time! How exactly? I don't know yet. And worry they never do, because they have a million ideas on what we can do during the summer. For example, we can go to Hawaii, Disney World in Florida, New York, or get a passes to Disneyland. All of those vacations and park passes cost …

Life Is Full Of Pleasures: Cyndi's Top 3

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Quote of the Day

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Quote of the Day

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No Idling Cars Around Schools, please!

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Picture this...the bell rings, school's out! Your child walks out of school to a street where 20-30 cars have been idling for 10-15 minutes! Picture the amount of extra pollution you, your friends, and other parents around have created for all of our kids to breathe in as they walk out of school! For years, I have watched parents arrive 10-15 minutes early and park in the front and back of my kid's schools and leave their cars running. My concern has always been the pollution that all of these cars collectively generate, and therefore, everyone in the surrounding areas can smell and breathe in the extra polluted air (especially children because they are shorter and closer to the tailpipes). If you are to be stopped for more than 10 seconds, shut off your car, you will use up less fuel. It's inconvenient to shut off your car all the time but it has a very limited affect on your car, as opposed to the effect the extra pollution you just generated and will have on you and the…

Celebrate Good Times...Come On'

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Last night was our done-with-chemo celebration for my friend Allie. We went to our favorite sushi place and then to a Karaoke bar. Such a fun night! There was definitely a sense of relief as we all chatted at dinner and then butchered two songs at the Karaoke bar, because Allie was finally done with chemo. Allie’s doing radiation for a month but chemo is d-o-n-e! We celebrate all of the treatments she completes, but last night was the happiest celebration since she got diagnosed with Stage II Breast Cancer.
Mari, Jen, Heather and I, have been by Allie’s side throughout her entire battle, what a tough battle it’s been! I can cry just thinking about the day we sat in her living room looking at the diagnosis papers in disbelief, and the times we cried hoping that her body would be strong enough to fight the horrible battle ahead.The time we sat in the waiting room as I watched her hold her 11-year-old daughter in her arms, waiting to go into surgery to remove both of her breasts. Watching…