Author Archives: staff

My Love Affair With Food

I could stand to lose a few pounds….ok, more like 60 pounds. I have a very strong love for food. Everything and anything….I have always enjoyed cooking and baking and am really, really good at it. In my younger years I could graze all day and eat full course meals and never put a pound on, now I just look at food and BAM! Some would say I eat to cope with certain emotions, or stress. I don’t know if I agree with that….maybe occasionally but overall I just LOVE food. Taste, texture, trying new things, different ethnic foods, comfort foods, ALL OF IT.

My father was a farmer’s son and as some of you may or may not realize, it’s no joke when there is a spread at every meal. My mother continued the tradition of large meals. We may have not had a lot but we always had a meal on the table…I even challenge myself now to continually cut my grocery bill and to be creative for a family of 5, not so much out of necessity but out of-where can I save $$? I find it fun and like I said, a challenge-but that is for another time. I cook a lot from scratch, which is good if you are going about it the right way! 🙂 And of course I fail to do it the healthy way….there is always a fruit and veggie but generally the veggie is made with butter and includes some bacon, or generally just anything to make it not taste like a boring. old vegetable. Cheese…OMG CHEESE! Need I say more? And who are we kidding? It’s expensive to eat healthy!

Here’s the problem, I can no longer eat this way without feeling like crud, my knees are starting to ache and I have absolutely no energy at the end of the day. I don’t sleep good at night, for lack of actual exercise, and my cholesterol is out of control!

This is going to be a tough, tough one for me…but it needs to be done! Weight loss! Next week I will begin this journey and hope to keep you updated on the ups and downs.Wish me luck, and anyone that wants to join me, please do. I always find doing tough things are so much easier if you aren’t alone! And I would love to hear from you.

What’s completely ironic about this is that I am typing this as well as drinking a cup of coffee with the greatest peppermint creamer ever made and eating a cosmic brownie.  Told you it was gonna suck!


Love to All-Kim

Obtaining The End Result

New Year’s Resolutions…..everyone has their way of getting to their end result of improving one thing or another. Most people try to turn over a new leaf for something in their life specifically at the beginning of the year.  I personally, am not terribly fond of that. I’ve never had much luck with New year’s resolutions…I have all these ideas of what I would like to do and improve…lose weight, save money, pay off debt, etc….problem was I KNEW what I wanted to fix or improve but never had a game plan! I was just playing the game of New Year’s resolutions…

I still announce my goals for the year on New Year’s Day, but I have also spent the last 30 days writing out and seeking information for me to reach those goals. Breaking them down into smaller goals with the end result being the finish.  I am one who needs instant gratification so breaking down the large goal in to smaller goals is what works for me!

I also choose resolutions that will be obtainable, I try to be a realist in all things. I still set the bar high, or nothing changes, but I don’t set it so high that I end up being disappointed in myself.


Love to All-Kim


The Candy Cane

The Legend of the Candy Cane…

I was raised in a family that practiced religion-rather strictly-which as I began to mature and become a young adult, I found it hard to continue and questioned my Faith repeatedly. I had a pretty crappy childhood and just had issues with why? I have discussed parts of my childhood before and am sure will discuss more at some point but I don’t want this to be about that today. Things have happened, life has happened-actually and I have come full circle in my Faith. I know that it’s not for everyone and I am ok with that. I am not a hardcore “bible thumper” or someone who attends church on a regular basis but I do believe and I do pray and am convinced in the power of prayer. I still have questions and I still get angry on occasions-which too is for a different day.

I have seen this poem referred to as “The Legend of the Candy Cane”-but I just like to call it, The Candy Cane Poem.  Although Snopes has discredited it being a legend, which is why I say poem, I just really enjoy the thought behind it.

Look at the Candy Cane
What do you see?
Stripes that are red
Like the blood shed for me
White is for my Savior
Who’s sinless and pure!
“J” is for Jesus My Lord, that’s for sure!
Turn it around
And a staff you will see
Jesus my shepherd
Was born for Me!

Merry Christmas and Love to All-


What Does One Do When They Don’t Know What To Do?

One of my best friends is going through a rough, long separation. They have 4 very young children, and this has been an ongoing situation. A toxic, damaging, ongoing situation.

She is fighting like hell to get her normal back-not going to happen. Even if the two of them make it out on the other side of this together, stronger. What she refers to her normal, will never be their normal again, EVER.

I want her to leave him in a serious way. I want her to begin working on only her and her children. I see someone in her that I have begun to not even recognize. I have patience, and love for her because I have been there myself, many years ago, and I care so darn deeply for this woman. Where everyone’s situation is different I don’t like to compare my experiences to hers, I see myself in her, those many years ago.  She is a strong, confident, independent, smart, beautiful, funny, loving woman! I say  “is” because it’s all still there but I slowly see her losing everything she is. He has somehow begun to manipulate that perfect, beautiful woman in to something unrecognizable. A few months back I use to see remorse in his actions and words. I don’t see or feel that any more. I also love her husband,her husband and mine were the best of friends, I am not sure what happened to him. I don’t like it and think he is very dangerous.

She needs to find her way back to who she is and begin to mold her new normal in to what is best for her and the kids-what they WANT! Not the chaos, anger, bitterness, stress that this man brings.  I am not sure what to do to help her. I wish I knew. I am not convinced she knows what I can do to help her.

I love her and she doesn’t deserve this.

Love to All-Kim

Doing Good For Others Is Doing Good For Yourself Too

Doing good for others is something everyone does, or should be doing. It doesn’t have to be something HUGE…a smile, or a wave is doing good for others, and it certainly makes you feel great about yourself seeing someone happy by something you have said or done.

Our school did the 12 Days of (insert school’s name)’s Christmas. I LOVED it. It was something new they did this year, and it was highly encouraged for students to participate. Saturday’s and Sunday’s were left off the calendar and the 12 days consisted of 12 days of school.  One day was a food drive-“Bring a can(s) of food for the local food bank”,  “Be an Angel and tell someone how much you are blessed to have them and why”, Wear a Christmas hat for $1 donation to the local food bank”, and so on….There were 12 days of the kids doing good for someone. Some days were simple things, such as wear Christmas bells to jingle in the Holiday cheer(poor faculty with all the kids in my daughter said it was so cool, fun and made everyone happy and in a good mood. She said it was exciting to see the food piling up in the hallways from the can drive, and that all the different hats worn was really neat.  “I wonder why it has to be limited to around the Holidays?” I asked her. She wondered the same thing-she said doing good made her feel good too! I have talked to my children a lot about even the simple, free things for someone else can make a world of difference for that person and yourself. It’s not always about giving something, although if you can, please do! Take a moment and think about when the last time was that you felt good about doing good? Not just an every day chore but something above and beyond the normal of your every day out of the way gesture?



Love to All-Kim

Change Your Life in 10 Minutes!

10 Minutes Per Day; Change your Day, Change your Life

Do you believe you can create your best day today? If you don’t, why do you feel that way? What could possibly lead you to believe today is not worthy of being your best? Are there no incredible exciting events scheduled, fantastic things to do, there must be for the day to be your best right? With that in mind how could we possibly create our best day, especially in about the same amount of time as it takes to make coffee! Just 10 minutes per day really can change your day!

First let’s not get hung up on time, let’s be realistic. Time management is somewhat of a silly concept isn’t it? We cannot manage, make, stop, resist, add to, save, or anything else with time. There are 24 hours in every day, 12 months make up a 365 day year, so the question is what do we do in the time we have? We are going to drill down to 10 minutes to begin (or near the beginning) your day and make it your best!

10 Minutes to Change Your Day

Minute #1

Breathing exercises can nourish your body, cleanse your soul, change your state of mind, and open every cell of your body to be vitalized.

Here is just one breathing technique to do for 1 minute:

Breath deeply and slowly in through your nose for an 8 count, then slowly exhale through the nose for an 8 count. Eyes open wide as you breath in, slowly close as you breath out. Nourish your body with as much oxygen as possible through taking deep breaths. Nourish your mind by letting go of everything before you began breathing, and now creating a new vibrancy for today. Do this for 1 minute.

Minutes # 2-4

Emotionally speaking there are two dominant reactive emotions that can mess with our day, fear, and anger. I am not going to dwell on these, let’s just agree that they linger in the heart of many people and most other “negative” emotions are from these roots.

Minutes 2-4 we focus on gratitude, just gratitude and nothing else. Focus on the simple things we are grateful for, the little things, like the smell of freshly brew coffee, the incredible scent waking the house before anyone every takes the first sip, a sunny morning walk enjoying the warmth of the sun, and a breeze on your face. Focus on these types of thing during this 3 minutes.

Minutes # 5-7

During this 3 minutes think about the people closest to you, give thanks for them, acknowledge them in your thoughts, and say something of thanks to them in a whisper. Give them a blessing over their day, lastly speak a blessing over your day. Give yourself a quiet thoughtful encouragement.

Minutes #8-10

In these last 3 minutes we are creating the state of mind of being thrivers, not survivors. Visualize every problem, issue, or challenge as it is resolved, and as you want it to be, not simply it will be. To thrive is to live the outcome, rather than see the outcome. Once you finish your 10 minutes, your day is ready now for you!

Now enjoy your coffee!

Get Up, Dress Up, Show Up, For How You Want to Be Seen

Good morning! Whether we like to admit it, some times “books are judged by their cover”. Being seen for your appearance, in the work force, is a true reality. But most importantly how you look, is most often a reflection of how you feel that day.

I myself am guilty of seeing someone and making an assumption on how they are feeling that day. I do interviews for both prospective employees as well as meetings with clients. Do I expect those people to show up in a $1,000 suit? Absolutely not! Although,I do have certain expectations because I feel as if you are disheveled more days than not-it is also going to affect your commitment to the job/project, your personality, and how you feel about yourself. Do I understand that people have craptastic days, don’t feel well? I sure do!

Think about it this way…..I am going in for my dream job interview-I am going to dress the part.  I want my future employer to know that I respect the position, I value the time I am being given for the interview, I appreciate the opportunity to do what I have always dreamed to do. I feel great, I feel positive and I want to look and be seen that way too.  I want to make an awesome first impression. I really REALLY want this job. My confidence is high and I am going to NAIL this interview. It matters, it truly does. Wearing sweatpants to a dream job interview doesn’t take away from your personality and skills but it most certainly takes away your commitment to that position. It takes away from how you feel about yourself.

Get Up, Dress Up, Show Up!

Love to All-Kim

Learning,Teaching and Taking Time For Yourself

Whoa!  Time slow down!  I just blogged last week about time going to fast this year and the last few years. But seriously, this month has literally flown by!  We’ve been wrapped up in my brother-in-law’s illness for the last month, trying to catch up on work that we have gotten behind on, school Christmas programs, church programs, parties, basketball games, shopping, gift wrapping, baking and then our normal everyday responsibilities with 2 children who are very involved in a lot of things. Oh, and breathing…we have been trying to find time to breathe 🙂 The flu has already made the rounds at our house twice so far this fall/winter, which only causes to the confusion of catching up! It is complete madness! Every year the holiday season is like this for us and every year it just gets worse and worse with “things to do”.

I am fairly certain as a I talk about everything that goes on and the chaos of it all there may be a bit of a bitter undertone to my voice-and I am sure that during the moment of something going on I may seem irritated, tired, or disinterested.  I am not any of those things, well maybe tired, but I am focused. Focused on getting “this” done, or someone somewhere, and “this” taken care of……I enjoy every moment I get to help or be there for my children, husband, friends, family-I truly do. How does one go about slowing down in a world that is just so committed to going so fast? You just DO IT! I have seen parents that are way busier than us and I am to the point where I feel our plates are too full…I cannot even begin to imagine some of the others. My husband and I have put a “cap” on the amount of activities the kids could be in, financial reasons as well as scheduling reasons. Not because we don’t want the kids to do everything they want to do-because we do-but for ourselves and for them we know that if someone doesn’t have “Me-time”, “down-time” it just makes it all worse.  I have blogged on a previous occasion about the importance of me time, and I am a firm believer that if you are not healthy physically and mentally you are doing NOONE any favors.

Today is an awesome day to revisit that blog post and take some inspiration on ideas for the “Me Time”-

Self-Care On The Daily To Do List

Love to All-Kim


COLOR Me Healthy!

Color Me Healthy…..

Powerful Phytochemicals

Yeah, yeah, yeah, you should eat fruits and vegetables. That’s like telling someone they should breathe clean air and drink pesticide-free water and not sit naked on an ice block; common knowledge stuff.

But despite the universal recommendation to eat fruits and vegetables, few people know why, other than the usual vague generalities. Go ahead, ask someone. Ask your mother. Maybe she took an introductory nutrition class in college so she’ll say, “Because of the riboflavin, honey,” but she’d be only partly right.

The reason fruits and vegetables are good for us isn’t only because of the vitamins and minerals in them (although they’re certainly a plus), but because of the incredibly wide array of phytochemicals they contain.

Whenever you hear someone ascribe some miraculous power to a fruit or vegetable, like avocados cure cancer or that pomegranate gives you hefty, carrot-like erections, it’s because of the biologically active compounds in plants known as phytochemicals.

Some, however, appear to be far more powerful than others and may keep your liver healthy, shore up your heart, give you super night vision, coerce your fat cells into disgorging fat, and preferentially cause nutrients to be stored in muscle. Luckily, the most powerful of these phytochemicals can easily be identified by their color.

The Color That Shouts “Eat Me”

Here’s how the classification system breaks down:

  • Phytochemicals contain major categories like carotenoids and polyphenols.
  • These major categories, in turn, include phenolic acids, flavanoids, and stilbenes/lignans.
  • Flavanoids include the flavones, flavanones, flavanols, isoflavones, and anthyocyanins.

It’s possible to break them down even further and in different directions, but it’s this last subcategory that contains phytochemicals of particular interest, and that’s the anthocyanins.

They’re found in teas, honeys, wines, nuts, olive oils, cocoa, cereals, and certain fruits and vegetables. Some foods, in particular though, are colored red, purple, or indigo (blue), and that means they’re stuffed with anthocyanins. It’s the blue or indigo color that might be the most powerful of all, though.

Why Anthocyanins Are So Dang Cool

Here’s a short list of some of the things anthocyanins do:

  1. Shrinks body fat and grows muscle: Science is always looking for a pill that mimics the effects of exercise. We already have one. It’s called the blueberry. The fruit is rich in a particular anthocyanin called cyanidin 3-glucoside and multiple studies have shown it causes muscles to slurp up carbs from the blood. That way, you give muscles what they need to grow while simultaneously preventing fat cells from expanding.
  2. Fights diabetes: Since anthocyanins, cyanidin 3-glucoside, in particular, help muscles become more insulin sensitive and absorb more sugar, they have the potential to be a functional food against diabetes. In one study they fared better than the anti-diabetic drug acarbose in inhibiting alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase, two enzymes that break down starches to glucose.
  3. Prevents cancer: Various studies have shown anthocyanins to stop metastasis of breast cancer cells; to block tumor cells from forming in cases of prostate cancer; to fight colon cancer; to prevent pre-cancerous mouth tumors from becoming malignant; and to stop cancer metastasis in general.
  4. Boosts brain power: Anthocynanins have been shown to slow the rate of cognitive decline.
  5. Improves vision: Anthocyanins can improve night vision and prevent eye fatigue.
  6. Promotes liver health: Livers fortified by anthocyanins are much less prone to alcohol damage.
  7. Ensures heart health: A study with over 93,600 young and middle-aged women found that anthocyanins reduced risk of heart attack by 32%. The phytochemicals also keep blood pressure low.

What Foods Contain Anthocyanins?

As mentioned, any natural food that’s red, indigo (blue), or purple likely contains a good deal of anthyocyanins, stuff like blueberries, blackberries, cherries, cranberries, eggplant, plums, grape juice, prunes, red wine, apples, red beans, red beets, purple rice, and strawberries.

The only problem is that the bioavailability of anthocyanins is ridiculously low. Studies have shown that after eating plant matter rich in anthocyanins, less than 1% were detectable in plasma and urine, which is all the more reason to eat as many of them on a regular basis as possible (the theory being that the more you eat, the more anthocyanins you jam through).


Angels In Disguise Living Among Us

“I’ve seen & met Angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people, living ordinary lives.”

-Tracy Chapman

We all have those people in our lives that are our Angels-grandmas, grandpas, parents, siblings, friends, children-and not to sell them or their roll short but there is also at least one person everyone can think of that is just so spectacular in everything giving and helpful. Someone whom maybe you talk very little to or not at all. Someone who you wonder can be so kind and forgiving and with no judgement in reguards of what anyone or what they themselves have been through. Take a moment and think about who that person(s) may be to you? Maybe that person is yourself?

I use to sell my children’s outgrown clothing and toys on eBay many years ago when I still had the time to be able to list, pack and mail. I made fairly decent money at it and met a pretty amazing woman while doing so. She was opening a small shop in her area for the less fortunate and was buying items to stock her store with. Good quality, gently used items for children. Infants on up. She did this for little to no profit and we became friends as I always had a lot of what she needed. We would work out “deals” on the items I had and so she could still keep her store up and running. She was super excited when she was able to move her shop into a little larger more affordable location that her husband had remodeled for her….and then I heard nothing more! I would email her through eBay, I would email her through personal email. Eventually she responded and told me that her husband, who was in his early 50’s, had a massive heart attack and it killed him instantly. That was it-no good-bye or I love you’s-just gone. He was her and her daughter’s primary bread winner and had to close up shop and go back to work. We kept a relationship going through Facebook, nothing too much, likes on posts, Happy Birthdays, how are you’s? I could tell you what was currently going on in her life by her Facebook posts and her in mine but nothing personal beyond what was shared on social media. She struggled with the loss of her husband as anyone would. But she kept going and I watched her youngest daughter grow to be a young woman with a social media page of her own, which we also became “friends” as did her and my daughter as they were basically the same age.  One day she shared on Facebook that she had her daughter, who had not been feeling well, at the hospital…a few days later her 15 year old daughter(yes, 15) was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It was one of the hardest things as a mother of a teen daughter has ever witnessed. I cannot begin to imagine the pain she was in and still is. Her daughter lived approximately 3 months from diagnosis-they had a private page for friends and family to keep updated and to journal their experience.

This woman is one of many Angels…she has been through so much, that often I draw strength from her strength. Watching what she has gone through and continues to go through. She started a foundation almost immediately and has pushed through some political BS and some difficult situations because she wants NO ONE to have to experience what her family has. She has brought awareness in places and with people who had no idea that ovarian cancer can also affect young girls. She has a buddy program where she send packages to sick children and she is constantly meeting with other parents of sick children or sick themselves. She has spent many days and nights sitting with those who are dying and holding their hands  She is an Angel living an ordinary life, who has had tremendous losses, while doing extraordinary things, wearing ordinary clothes.


Love to All-Kim