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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

I want to say something...


I love when my dad shares with me his intimate moments he experiences with my mom. The moments we, who aren't with her all the time, tend to miss. And when he shares these points in time you can sense the severity this disease has on him. He shared how on Sunday her best friend came over with her hubby and niece to sit with her and bring some life into her home; which she so dearly loved. My mother would absolutely love unannounced visitors. They were all visiting in the back room; my mother silent unable to interact, but smiling because she just loves when Popi comes over. In a second of silence my mother spoke in Greek and said very clearly, "I want to say something..." and they all looked at her in love and waited to hear what she wanted to say-but nothing came after those words she muttered. My dad grabbed her hand and held her and her dear friends new exactly what she wanted to say without her saying another word. She was happy to be visiting with her friends and she so wanted to be apart of the conversation, but her body wouldn't let her say something. The story was shared tonight while all sitting in the car with my dad. And although it was a brief story, shared within minutes, it touched my heart how much my father loves my mother and how this brief moment was something that touched my dad's heart as he wishes she wasn't suffering from this. Love Love Love my family and although I do not know the why's and the why not's I love even more.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Magic of Nordstroms


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When I was a little girl my dad would take his girls (mom, my sister, and me) to San Francisco for all of our shopping needs. We'd go for back-to-school shopping, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. He'd always take us to Nordstoms and leave us there for the day! Sometimes he would even go shopping with us, patiently waiting and checking out all the goods we would try on. The Nordstroms in San Fran became a favorite place full of happy memories. My mother loved the escalators during Christmas, all dressed up in reds, greens, and ribbon galore! We would ride up and down these escalators admiring the decor and just feel like a princess. Dad knew how to make his girls feel special. And he continues to do that today with me and my sister and now our little girls as well. I took Athena to the Nordstroms in SF this weekend on our second trip to compete in gymnastics. Papou had given us his Nordstroms card and said buy yourself's a little something...so there we were, a tradition my mom did with me, I was doing with my baby girl. And the magic of the many escalators was still alive. Provided once again by my dad. There's really nothing like that feeling of youth, innocence, and the reassurance of complete love. These memories are held closely  to my heart and fondly remembered. I hope my girls will remember this moment and the man that always likes to spoil his girls, young and old.
XOXO Dad...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Joy

This is my mom. The woman who gave me life, the one who molded my self confidence. The one who showed me how to be a loving wife, a devoted mother, and an inspiring person who loves to create and motivate. The one who taught me that no matter what, life is good and God is great. And although she cannot physically come over to my house on a daily basis to help me clean, point out my flaws, make sure my plants aren't dying (which they have all died), she still teaches me the ups and downs of life and the pure joy of the simplicity of love. She is doing much better than the last time I posted, she actually is holding up her head, feeding herself again, and smiles intensely when I come over. She caresses my face as if she knows me, as if she is looking in the mirror at herself. The warmth of her hand brings comfort to my soul. This is my mother. I am my mother. I will become my mother in every sense and every aspect. I embrace my mother and who I am and will become and today I enjoy the joy of loving and being in this very moment. Joy.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Eating Clean and Organic

So since the New Year I have made it a point to cook and bake a little cleaner-as close from the ground up as possible-and more organic. And I must say it is becoming easier and easier every day! Tonight we have Quinoa, BBQ Chicken, and a Organic Roasted Tomato Soup with all natural ingredients from Trader Joe's. A little store bought help is always appreciated on busy nights! The Quinoa was fast and easy and full of taste! Recipe Here The Chicken was marinated in Olive oil, Greek Seasoning, Lemon, and pepper. Bon Appetite!


Fashion Blurp





Double-cloth metro coat with Thinsulate®
Okay so I would never put myself out there to be a fashion icon for the world to see, but sometimes in a blue moon I like certain things and how they are put together. And here is example A. This is from JCrew, and I just LOVED this look. However, the coat was 325.00 and the cute black and white sweater was 64.00...ouch! Mama doesn't want to do that! So I went on a search to replicate this look for less...and here is what I found!
Found this red coat at Macy's originally 109.00. But it was on sale for 74.90. Then I used my 20%
 off coupon and I purchased this for 65.00!!!! (this is a much brighter red like the original look, camera did not capture it's full glory!)

Top...I really like stripes...and especially black and white...my friends would agree! So I went to Old Navy to find a similar top and this is what I found...
$22.00 for this top, but wait it gets better! It was mis-marked and I mentioned how misleading that was and they gave it to me for $8.00!!!! So I replicated the highly coveted original look that was $390.00+tax and shipping for $87.00 (includes tax!) 
Epic!






Monday, January 14, 2013

"They"

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Mom got a wheelchair today. (long pause) I don't know how to deal with this one, this stage of Alzheimers. "They" say that at this Severe Stage (also known as the 7th or final stage) one cannot hold their heads up, need assistance with feeding, and around the clock care. The "experts" say to play their favorite music, look through old albums together, and hold them because deep inside the person is still in there. "They" say to touch, hug, massage their hands with their favorite scented lotion. "They" say to make them comfortable because although they cannot verbally express themselves they are in there, trapped in their own body that is shutting down on them. But "they" never say how we, the family, are supposed to cope. "They", don't have stages of grief for their children, their spouses, their family. This is so unfair...while I sit here trying to handle this stage the words of my dad ring in my ear..."When I look at your mom I see the women who moved the house on Belmont all by herself with her station wagon. She moved it all, never hired a moving truck, never lifted a finger myself. Your mom did everything. I see that women sitting there at the table unable to feed herself without assistance. This woman did all that. I just miss her." My dad is the bravest man I know who holds my mom and still sees the woman she was. And my mom, well she's the bravest woman I know, battling this disease with dignity and class.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Flaxseed Chicken, Blueberry & Feta Spinach Salad


Photo: #flaxseed #blueberry #chickensalad



I made this salad the other day for lunch and it turned out so yummy that I have been making it all week! So here is what I did:
Kirkland Chicken strips 
Blueberries
Coconut oil
Feta Cheese
Flaxseed
Balsamic Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar
Olive Oil 
Spinach
Greek Seasonings
Pepper

The chicken was already cooked, so I warmed it up in the frying pan with some coconut oil and threw some flaxseeds in there and cooked it all together. Then tossed it in with the spinach, blueberries, and feta.
The dressing was a mixture of 
Balsamic, Apple Cinder Vinegar, Olive Oil, Greek Seasoning, & pepper.

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Weekly Menu

Well on with the New Year means back to being organized...so here is my weekly menu as we go back to school! Tired of eating out and flying on the seat of my pants for dinner ideas. Feels so good to know the plan for dinner. And of course with the New Year I'm trying something new...going to include some Clean Eating recipes as we're all trying to take care of this one body we have for life! So here's off to a good start for this week! A little change can always do us good! I've also included some breakfast items I made for this week for quick and healthy breakfast for the entire family as they run out the door!
Breakfast:
I make these on Sundays and we simply warm it up! Fast...and healthy! What a bonus!
Photo: Cold cereal is a common breakfast choice. However, cold cereals are often filled with sugar and worse–corn syrup. Steel-cut oatmeal is a far better option. These essential grains are inherently full of nutritional value and are high in B-vitamins, calcium, protein and fiber while low in salt and unsaturated fat. One cup of steel-cut oatmeal contains 8 g of insoluble fiber.

According to the USDA, whole grains reduce cholesterol and high blood pressure and even help prevent heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Whole grains also help flush fat and cholesterol out of your system and provide powerful antioxidants that help you stay healthier, look younger, and live longer. Happy 2013 eat your steal oats!
My own picture...makes a lot! And my kids actually liked it!!!
Apple-Cinnamon Steal Cut Oats


Egg Quiche Muffins

Weekly Dinner Menu
Monday:
Clean Eating Slow Cooker Southwestern 2 Bean Chicken
Southewestern 2 Bean Chicken

Tuesday:
Leftovers...I strongly believe in these:)

Wednesday:
Clean Eating Fish Tacos
Fish Tacos (Salmon)

Thursday:
Healthy, Eat Clean Comfort Food - Protein Zucchini Lasagna Recipe #cleaneating #eatclean #heandsheeatclean #recipe
Zuchini Lasagna

Friday:
Niko's Bday Dinner

Enjoy your week!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Prayer Ring



It's January 3rd, I have to take my Christmas cards down...I really hate it when I have to take them down...my cabinets are so bare! I love seeing all my friends and family near and far surround me in my kitchen throughout the month of December! But since it is January I guess they have to come down. But on the bright side it's time for us as a family to pray for them starting tonight! I just finished hole punching each and everyone of them, and those with fancy paper cards-thanks for the workout! It does make me smile to see our ring so full. So if you've sent us a card this year, your family will be prayed for! Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013

Out with the old, and in with the new! It's time to begin our new year, our new us! And yet today I am held down by a nasty cold. I couldn't go work out as I planned to begin the new me. I couldn't go shopping and stock up on all green and clean food items to bring into my kitchen as we start our healthier us! I couldn't even clean out closets and finish laundry because I am achy all over and stuffed up! I only went out for some soup and crackers at Target and back to the couch I headed. So much for a new year! But I did get to do the one thing I always get to do and that is see my mom and dad and celebrate a time honored tradition of cutting the Vacilopita, or as my kids call it the lucky cake. We have done this for years in my house with my family and every year it brings so much joy. Our lucky finder of the coin was Niko this year and he was over the moon excited to be the one to find it and the luck in this New Year...looks like I need it! Happy 2013!