Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas is showing up!

"It's beginning to look a lot like CHRISTmas"
I love bringing Christmas into the house.
It's like the whole house gets
a big cozy hug
Christmas shows up!

Christmas is something you have to make room for.
Heart and Home.
When Christmas comes in,
lots of little things have to move over,
and sometimes OUT.
My whole office had to move so that I could
put a tree ,
a tricycle,
and some vintage cars on display.

I love what that means.
I can work somewhere else.
It's Christmas time.
The tree represents
gathering loved ones,
the joy of gifting
and making others feel cherished,
and the anticipation
The tricycle symbolizes the magic of childhood.
Those days when you get on your bike
and feel so much freedom
if just in your back yard.
You were exercising your independence
with wonder and joy
within the safe boundaries
of a home,
or enormous yard like I had
when I was little.
The same wonder and joy
of Christmas 
resides with the tricycle
so that's why I 
dress it up every

All of these things remind us to embrace
the wonder,
generosity of giving,
and I'm thankful for a season that
my work desk
beauty and Christmas.

I've taken a few pics of some of my favorite things
that come out for Christmas at our house.
Here they are.

This one came from my dad.
It's very precious to me. It's just a simple chachkie cookie jar
without any special story except I loved it.
Now it's mine and I love it even more!

I can't even remember where I got this,
but I'm crazy about it.
I always give it it's own stage.
I usually pick a knob that is eye level and hang him there.
The kids and I have painted water colors of him.
There is no special story
except that I'm crazy
about him.
He's hanging out on my China cabinet pull.

It's like an old fashioned Christmas with these guys under the tree.

What's not to love? The quintessential chachkie!
Bright red glowing balls in the shape of a tree?
Truth is: I love it.
Another thing I loved during Christmas with my dad.
It casts a warm red glow when the lights are 
One of my FAVORITE things to do during the holidays
is to turn out all the 
lights except the ones
on the Christmas tree,
the red glowing balls,
and the ones trimming the outside of the house.
When the kids were little, we'd have a sleep around the tree
night and just bask in the warm glow.

This one's just weird.
And I love it.
You knew I was going to say that, didn't you?
He is a stocking.
He's Santa but he looks like an elf.
He looks a little surprised by his tiny little loot bag.
I hang him on the door that leads from
the living room to the garage.
That is so that every time we enter or exit
it jingles.
You see, to add to the weirdness,
there is a little jingle ball between the two stars,
and it hangs precariously,
I think I understand why the embarrassed expression is on his face.
Needless to say,
there are jingle bells when we open and close the door.

I bought these two years ago and I'm addicted!
I've decorated the tree with them,
hung them from the chandelier,
used them as place markers for Christmas dinner,
and even for their original purpous-
gift tags.
I will buy these again.
It's a tin can with 36 glittered tags.
I saw them just last night at Pottery Barn.
They are so much fun!

the chandelier has not been
decked out.
Apparently the ladder that I was using
to decorate it
has been deemed "unsafe".
Since I'm afraid of heights you know
I'm not touching that with a ten foot pole.
So all I could do was take the tiny lamp shades off
for a new look.
It gives off so much more light now.
It was a no brainer that without
SHADES it would be brighter.
So I'm letting the brightness
of it be the new look
for Christmas.
There is one
hand painted 
bulb hanging from the bottom.
The only one I could reach!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Nursing the Cold

Ib nod geddeeg sig!!!!!
Last night Calli and I felt a soar throat coming on and Jake felt "sduffed uph."
So, we made canned tomato soup,
minced a whole clove of garlic and threw it in there at the end, so it would be raw, potent and contain most of it's healing wonders.
Then, I added some chili flakes to my bowl.
We went to bed early
and woke up feeling like we might 
have an upper hand on this bug.
So today we went straight for the 
ACV Cocktail.
Apple Cider Vinegar that is.
Apple Cider Vinegar flushes out toxins
and I can hardly say this word-
I'll whisper--
mucous and phlegm-
EW! I said it!
So the cocktail is basically
as much apple cider vinegar as you
can choke down. 
See my glass?

I used that much.
Guessing about 3 TBSP.

Mix in as much honey as it takes to
make it palatable,
I go for a big spoonful,
probably 1 1/2 TBSP.

Mix it all up with boiling water.

It's actually super invigorating.
I just pulled this blurb off of their website.

It's so easy to incorporate vinegar into your daily diet. When you wake up in the morning just make a delicious cocktail using 2 teaspoons of raw, organic apple cider vinegar, and if you need a sweetener, use organic honey, 100% maple syrup, or molasses to taste. If you are diabetic, use the sweet substitute stevia. I recommend you use only distilled water. This "Bragg Healthy Cocktail" is designed to flush out wastes that are clogging the organs of elimination, the bowels, lungs, skin, and the kidneys. Take it at least twice a day, and you will start to see changes like increased energy, soft skin, and decreased muscle and joint aches from exercise. Make sure you use raw, organic vinegar, never dead, distilled vinegar because the natural enzymes, minerals, and nutrients are destroyed in the distilling process. Any vinegar that is clear and has no "mother" (the strand-like substance in the bottom of the bottle) has no nutritional value. Natural raw vinegar should be pungent, with a rich, brownish color and a visible "mother." Drinking apple cider vinegar daily, and eating a largely fresh, organic, vegetarian diet, along with following a simple fitness program, will change your life so dramatically you will never go back to your old ways! Get fit, get healthy, and live a long and happy life!

Other things I like are
Oil of Oregano,
Vitamin C in huge doses,
eliminating sugar until the cold is gone,
raw garlic (I know "ewww stinky!" but no one wants to get near you if you have a cold either, so blast that baby),
fresh tomatoes,
soaking in a magnesium/salt bath,
and if you are really stuffed up,
I recommend the saline spray for your nose.
Colds don't linger around here very long.
And drinking lots of water.

So, after my ACV Cocktail,
I wanted to make a smoothy.
Here's what I made.

I love this smoothy because of the childhood memories blended into it. When I was little and we'd spend an afternoon at the mall,
we would get to visit the OrangeJulius stand
and get a smoothy. Our favorite was orange, strawberry and banana.
Loved it!
It was the first smoothy I ever made at home in the blender. For many years, it was the ONLY smoothy in my book.
So I whipped this up today and dressed it up a bit because I thought it might help me feel a wee bit better.
It did!

Here's how you make it:
1/2 C Orange Juice
1/2 C Almond Milk
1 clementine
1 banana
1 1/1 C frozen strawberries
1 scoop of Arbonne protein powder Vanilla
1 TBSP coconut oil

Whirl it all up in the VitaMix.
It will save all of those fresh, healthy enzymes and create a creamy, velvety treat.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Santa Brought Me a Job

Santa's come early to my house.
He brought me a job!
I'm going back to work!

Here is the long story, made short.
Remember all of those smoothy recipes I posted?
The protein powder ingredient that I plugged
in those posts,is one of our favorite things.
We've ordered it 4 times now, because the
whole family loves it
and I find Calli making it for her friends.
For a few months I've been telling everybody about it
because I'm just like that when I find something awesome,
I want everyone to experience it.
Here's a picture of the addiction:

Since that product was so awesome, I thought I'd 
find out if they had anything for Acne because
it has landed on my beautiful daughter's
skin and I couldn't take it.
A five year old told her that she looked funny
with "those freckles on your forehead."
Calli laughed but I decided it was
time to get serious.
Turns out they did have acne fighting products
and since all of their products are
botanical, integral, and vegan
I thought we'd try it.
Turns out, that after a week of Calli
using these products we are watching
the acne disappear.
And we have not fried her skin with
harmful chemicals in the 

So, after getting my hands on a sample pack of
the Anti-Aging products I
found what works for me!
I have (ashamed to say) spent so much time
and money at the health food store
trying to find the healthiest, purest and best
products and not feeling like
I'd ever discovered anything 
better than the other.
My skin was always tired looking and 
the wrinkles seemed to be going deeper and creeping
into new areas of my face and neck.
These products make my skin very happy!
TrueLove told me that my skin "glowed" the other
day and he didn't know that it was the first day I tried
using one of their creams.
A noticeable difference finally!
So far, the products I've tried have all hit the right note.
I've begun to be quite impressed with Arbonne products.
I talk about them all the time.
I've even given some of my "gluten free" friends protein shake samples to try.
So I finally just asked,
"Why don't I just sell them?
I'm practically selling them already."
So that's my story.

Here's a tid bit about the purity of their products
that I have been impressed with since 
I first bought the protein powder.

Also very impressed with this:
These products are made in the United States
and are still affordable
and GREEN.

And I can glam up too!

So I'm committed to keeping this honest and fun.
The honest part is that I will be an Independent Consultant for
a direct sales company/network marketing.
That means that word of mouth is how I will build this business,
which I was already doing,
but also, I will appreciate my friends trying out products 
and talking about them too.
I have been "used and abused" by network marketers in the past
(college and newlywed days),
who tried to hook us into selling things
by using heavy pressure and a lack of boundaries.
They would not take "no" for an answer.
I felt like they saw me as a dollar sign 
and not their friend.
Yuck Yuck Yuck
I am committed to NOT being that person.
That's the "honest" part.
The "fun" part is that no body pressured me into this,
I just found products that sold themselves, 
and I realized I was "selling" them
without really realizing it.
So I decided to do it!

I will be hosting two parties at my house
for my training.
Friday, December 9th at 7:00pm
Saturday, December 10th at 10:00am
This will be for the purpose of my training
(I've not been to a presentation/party yet),
for friends to become acquainted with the company and the products,
and/or to shop for Christmas gifts.
I've hosted parties for friends
who are in similar sales
and as always,
I never want people in my home to
feel pressure or obligation to spend money.
Just your presence shows me support and encouragement.
Twenty percent of sales will go to Okipe.
If you're reading this,
you are invited!
Also, you can see my Olio! facebook page 
for news and updates.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving ReliveIt!

We're back! 
Here is my 
Thanksgiving ReliveIt! post.
I smooshed "relive" and "it"
together to coin the term I have for
combing through my pictures and reliving and processing all of the joy and fun afterwards.
The problem is that I have 380 pictures
to go through.
I'm also trying to make my posts
not so long for those 
of you who
actually enjoy READING them.
So, today I'll go heavy handed with the photos and light on the words.

Long story short:
We had a rockin' time
reconnecting with family.
Precious and fantastic
Our hearts are full.
That's not all that's full.
I feel like this:

Pretty sure we all look like this:
(Grandma "G" collects pigs)
Here's why we are so FULL
and happy!
It's because a lot of this:
The cousins that were able to make the trip.
You can see that the cousins are now multiplying.

and this:

and this:

and this:

and this:

and this:

and this:

and this:

and this:

and this:

and this:

and this:

and this:

and this:

and this:
took apples to the horses across the road
Calli took this awesome picture!

and this:
Grace is Queen of the Silliest Face

and this:
OOps! I cropped out the gynormous bon fire.

and this:

and this:

and this:

and this:
sometimes we get ourselves in a pickle

and this:

and this:

and this:
Way more fun than the scooter I had in high school.

and this:
Brothers and sisters missing Joanna
and definitely not cooperating with the three
photographers with the patience of Job.

and this:

and this:
This is what I got when I asked them if I could take a kissy picture.

and this:

There was also lots of skyping-
We are thankful for Skype enabling us to visit-Joanna, Andrea, Tony, Rocky, Heather, Katy, Breanna, Jo-Jo, James and Rachel-we missed you all terribly.

Don't forget the Marshmallow fight, the bon fire, the $2.50 each for 7 pizzas night, the dance party in the girls trailer, the hours of long boarding, and the boys hideout with the Blue Moon. 
All so much fun!

So you can see why our hearts are sooo full.
This is a place where you can be YOU.
There is no expectation to perform
or dazzle.
It's about letting your hair down with people who love you even when you are obnoxious,
even when you lose a temper (it wasn't me),
a few or all of your marbles, or even a dog (sad but true-and looong story)
even when you try something new and daring,
even when you aren't there,
and even when you take a zillion pictures of them right in their face.
I sure hope I got everybody in this post.
To all the Gilmore Clan,
(it is a clan- there were 35 of us represented in these pics and tons of people were missing.)

I love you so much!
You show me the beauty and richness in simplicity, togetherness, and big family.
It was a wonderful few days of laughter,
love and memories that I will cherish.

Yes, all the gorgeous faces in these pics are immediate family, Grandma and Grandpa "G"s kids, their kids (the cousins) and Haddie represents the third generation (second cousins-so far there are 3 with 2 on the way), and as I said before there were a lot missing.
17 to be accurate!