koko and finn

Once upon a time there was a girl who married a very handsome surfer boy.  They have two beautiful daughters and a fish named Fallon.
Wow, haven’t posted for so long that I actually I forgot I had this blog.  I miss writing … so I’ll pick up where I left off. Well, kind of.

Wow, haven’t posted for so long that I actually I forgot I had this blog.  I miss writing … so I’ll pick up where I left off. Well, kind of.

A Simple Way to Save Your Life

Recently Dr. Oz had a show on thyroid cancer, the fastest growing cancer in women. Dr. Oz mentioned that the increase with this particular cancer could possibly be related to the use of dental x-rays and mammograms. He demonstrated by showing that the apron the dental assistants use to lay over you, during dental x-rays, has a little flap that can be lifted up and wrapped around your neck. Most dentist offices don’t bother to use it.

There is also something called a “thyroid guard” which can be used during mammograms. By coincidence, a friend of mine had their yearly mammogram yesterday. She felt a little silly, but asked about the guard and sure enough, the technician had one in a drawer. When asked why it wasn’t routinely used— the answer? “I don’t know. You have to ask for it.”  Well, if she hadn’t seen the show, how would she have known to ask? 

Someone was nice enough to forward this to me. I hope you pass this information onto your friends and family.

The next thing ya know….she’ll be driving!  I love you CeCe Ruth more than you’ll ever be able to know until maybe one day when you have a precious little girl of your own.  You are funny, bright and full of life.  You inspire me to be a better woman so that I will hopefully inspire you to be one as well. You are the sunshine of my life….Happy Birthday Finn!

The next thing ya know….she’ll be driving!  I love you CeCe Ruth more than you’ll ever be able to know until maybe one day when you have a precious little girl of your own.  You are funny, bright and full of life.  You inspire me to be a better woman so that I will hopefully inspire you to be one as well. You are the sunshine of my life….Happy Birthday Finn!

Waking Up

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about who God made my children to be.  It’s a glorious thing to consider how your child is uniquely made.  Discovering who they are, what they are passionate about, how they think, what they love…what makes them thrive.

I never thought about those things for myself growing up.  I wanted to know God’s will for my life so badly that I spent far too much time trying to find it. From what I can see in Scripture now, I know that God has created me to do the same thing He created all of us to do: To be His extended hand to those around us who are in need of His love and help.

If I focus on being that to those whom He places in my path, I will naturally end up doing whatever it is He has created me to do, as He uses me through the unique giftings He has placed within me.  

As I think about my children, I am now inspired to think about myself.  What am I passionate about? What abilities and skills do I have?   Am I using these things for the sake of others?  I don’t want to let the fear of getting older, my education (or lack of), etc. to hold me back from finding what lights the spark that makes me want to get up each day.

Functioning in how we were made to be shouldn’t feel like work, it shouldn’t feel laborious or cumbersome. When we function in our natural abilities, it comes easy to us and it brings great joy and satisfaction.  That’s what I’m looking for….at the end of the day (my life) to know that my real success did not come from how much money or fame I had but what brought me fulfillment in my everyday life.  

A friend recently shared a great quote with me from a movie called, “Where the Heart Is” starring Natalie Portman and Ashley Judd.  Natalie’s character says to Ashley’s: “You tell them we have the ability to change our lives with every breath we take!”.  As long as I am breathing, I can make choices to change.

I feel myself waking up and I’m ready …

Things I Love

Disneyland. My family. Disneyland with my family!

Introducing: Life on a Lily Pad

One of my long time friends has finally tapped into the world of blogging.  I actually could start another blog with stories from our experiences and I probably could write about our adventures until the day I die because it never ceases to amaze me how many funny things happen when we’re together.  She is funny, honest and wise….enjoy! 

http://lifeonalilypad.tumblr.com/   

Tootsie’s

Have you ever just happened upon a place and then wondered why it took you so long to discover it?  I mean really.  Well, I am about to introduce you to one of my favorite Bay Area finds.

A friend of mine took me to lunch yesterday to this little cafe in Palo Alto, which sits in a little old barn right next to California Cafe—a block down from the Stanford Shopping Center.

I’m a little inquisitive, so here’s what I learned over lunch: a young man named Rocco, born and raised in Italy, comes to America bringing with him his childhood recipes, along with experience and knowledge from his travels.  He lands in Palo Alto, (California) meets a dreamy American girl, marries her and together they open a little cafe called Tootsie’s (forgot to ask about their name…as most of us in America would probably associate it with Dustin Hoffman’s movie “Tootsie” but regardless, Tootsie’s it is), lucky for us, they remain in Northern California to feed the hungry public of Palo Alto and all those (me) who will later travel to them because that’s just how good their food is.

I was so impressed by the charm of their tiny cafe, the friendliness of their staff and the big, glorious taste of their food.  Tootsie’s offers some of the best authentic italian food I’ve eaten since….well, the last time I was in Italy.  Go online and read the reviews yourself people…former Tootsie’s patrons want to be heard.

Everything is made with the freshest ingredients and all is homemade…even their potato chips.  I myself recommend their Cavolini di Bruxelles aka broccolini salad, it is truly outstanding!  On your way out, don’t forget to grab a bag of their apricot biscotti, sitting in glass jars next to the register.  A little trivia for you: I learned yesterday that biscotti in italian means “baked twice” and Tootsies’ are only baked once so that they remain softer, so really, I don’t know what they’re called but they look similar to a biscotti and to me, they taste better.  They’re perfectly perfect on their own or married to a lovely cup of tea or coffee.  

I also got to taste their oven roasted Portobello sandwich on homemade foccacia.  If you’re a vegan like me, it’s the best alternative to a juicy hamburger I’ve ever had.

Next time, I’m ordering the Arancini di riso, a saffron risotta ball stuffed with mozzarella cheese and served on wild arugula salad.  I don’t care if I’m a vegan or not, I’m eating the cheese.  I’m not kidding, when my friend opened up one of the crispy risottos, we both gasped at how gorgeous this piece of food looked: perfectly golden on the outside and creamy, cheesiness on the inside.  Call me a foodie but I know what I’m talking about….you won’t be disappointed.

It didn’t hurt that it was a gorgeous, sunny day and we got to sit outside, european cafe style, with our amazing lunch and tall glasses of iced tea (maybe for a moment I even pretended I was back in Italy for a day). I had great company, great food and I loved listening to Rocco speak to his staff in Italian.  This is definitely a romantic date, friends’ lunch, family meal, business meeting, type of eatery.  I cannot wait to bring my husband and daughters for a surprise date in the near future.  They’re gonna love it!

They have a small, but delightful team of help, including a pretty awesome chef named Sam. Thank you Rocco for a stellar lunch, a wonderful experience at your cafe and, I, for one think: if you haven’t been to Italy, go to Tootsie’s so that you can say you’ve eaten the food of Italy.  I am just sure that their amazing recipes were developed over the years in the kitchen of Rocco’s nonna!

Bobby Flay: How about a “Throwdown”???

Personal Trainer

No I am not one but I have one….thank you Lord.  I don’t know why I haven’t done this sooner but I am so very thankful that first, I met his wife Katie and secondly, she introduced me to her husband Tyler, who now is my trainer, and his insane workout program called X (cross) Training.

I have decided that this in non-negotiable and for now, every other day - three days a week, I am lead like a lamb to the slaughter….and I LOVE it!  Well, I love it two hours after I’m done.

Thank you Katie and Tyler….you’re awesome!

Journaling

Someone recently suggested that I keep a journal for one of many reasons. Today I realized that for as much as I “think” about things and have many thoughts, I do not self reflect all that often.

This is probably not good, since it is productive for one to be aware of themselves and to dive under the surface of your own life.  Maybe this is why I don’t know how to journal and tend to write or blog about otherwise random things and probably talk about nothing (is this what Seinfeld’s show was about?).

Regardless of the whys, I am going to try and carry a little notebook around with me, so that when something does crack the surface I can make note of it.  I’ll keep you posted and in the meantime I need to find a notebook and a pen.

I Survived

For every person who understands the necessity for movement and exercise in your life but avoids the subject entirely…be inspired.  I walked out of my X Training class this morning feeling that at any moment I might throw up.  I sat down on the closest machines’ seat just to help my eyes focus and to let my body calm down, when out from a gnarly spinning class came the sweatiest, turtle paced old man (seriously, I’m sure he was in his late 80’s or early 90’s) and he held both hands in the air chanting, “I survived! I survived!”.

Even in my nauseous state I knew this man was right.  Exercising is hard work but as I could see, it has been a life force for this elderly man who looked darn good for being so old.  The joy on his face, for having finished a difficult task, was worth witnessing his moment of victory.

God help me to prevail and conquer every thought that says this is too hard and I can’t do it.  Inspired by my elder, I am going to a spin class on Saturday and I too will survive!