Friday, January 28, 2011

Fab Friday Find: Minimooh Dresses

Yes, another dress post! There are more fab Friday finds to be shared but its almost Valentine's Day, so I have been on the hunt for dresses for the cherubs!

Its made by minimooh in NY & is so cute, so well made, and just fun! Its one of Charlotte's favorites (she could wear short sleeves in the snow, she starts to hyperventilate if you show her a sweater!). We paired it with black tights & her black knee high patent boots. Dash of color in the headband with a black rose! :)

Love minimooh! Thank you!!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Celebrate: My mom's 65th birthday!

Happy 65th Birthday to my mom!

Its my mom’s birthday - we call her Marmee. We named her that when our first baby was born because she’s too extraordinary for a generic grandparent name. So we named her after the matriarch of “Little Women” (since she's been a city librarian & an elementary librarian before full-time grandparenthood). Today is Marmee’s birthday & here’s a few reasons of why she’s so extraordinary!

1. She never called me by my name.

She always called me Lizzy Lou (My middle name is Elizabeth).

2. She taught me that thank you notes always come a week after receiving.

I am not sure she consulted Peggy Post on this but she taught the act of appreciating those who were thinking of us, handing over stationary & encouraging the flow of thoughtful words! Secretly, she was training a writer...

3. She never let me date a senior when I was a freshman.

I didn’t get it at the time. But I also didn’t really throw a fit about it.

Now, I get it!

4. She never judged me for my homebody ways.

I had a hard time at sleep overs. She kept letting me try.

It never was successful. She understood & comforted me. Never made me feel bad about it & helped me to know it was ok.

And then when I was ready (junior high), she let me go.

5. She let me sleep with my brand new shoes.

I cant believe she didn’t call for some psychiatric evaluation after having her elementary child ask, “Can I sleep with my new shoes?” just so I could sniff that new leather!

My mom didn’t have a lot growing up, so I think she appreciated my LOVE of a “thing.” Cuz that love only grew and...

It’s a bummer that our mutual size was but a quick blink in the 5th grade and then I surpassed her by 2 1/2 sizes....

6. She taught me harmony.

When we would sing happy birthday to a family member, she took the high harmony and would lean her head in like we were a barber shop quartet.

7. She’s a teeny toothpick.

She let me show off my strength by letting me pick her up and carry her around the house. Or did she just enjoy playing Cleopatra?

8. She thinks I’m funny.

She encourages me, she always laughs when no one else does. Its probably not funny, ya ok, its not. But for a moment she laughs like I am Gilda Radner!

9. She does crafts.

My mom is very artistic, but she’s not “crafty”. She knits & sews and is artsy, but... gluing this to that with instructions isn’t her forte but she still does it each year. Why? Because I print out the instructions & give them to her when she spends time with the girls. And she does them & they turn out cute!!! The turkey place cards & the turkey T-shirts were super cute!! But I will start to cut her some slack from here on out...

10. I appreciate that every year that I complained about my birthday being on New Year’s Day, she offered (every year) for me to change my birthday to whenever I would like to celebrate it.

I never took her up on it, but the offer was always there....

Thank you, Mom, for successfully frightening away every boy I ever dated, using walks as talk time & saving the milkshakes for the major talks! (smile) Thank you for being there for each girls birth & that transitional 1st week, always waking up with me during feedings & handling some of the messiest jobs. Thank you for giving each girl their first bath (because I thought they were too fragile). Thank you for doing the twice a year major change of closet season changes with me (all day affairs) but most of all, thank you most of all for being our biggest cheerleader!!

Happy Birthday & may this be a wonderful 65th year!

Love you, Lizzy Lou

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fab Friday Find: FaithWorks4U dresses

Loving handmade dresses from Faith Works 4 U Unique Designs!
I first saw her dress on the little sweeties from the blog A Few Of My Favorite Things.
I contacted Faith because my little sweeties aren't Toddlers & need a bigger size & that's when we started brainstorming.

So when I started talking to Faith about my girls, she sent me pictures of patterns that she had (not even on her website) & we began to create, together!
And when it arrived! OH MY WORD so cute!!! Fab Ellie, Tre Fab!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lesson Learned: Changing the diet

Lessons learned: Revamping our food takes cognoscente effort!

1. The girls & I are going egg, dairy & GF for 3 weeks because we all took food tests & we all tested intolerant for eggs & dairy, on the border for gluten (Ellie a little more on the GF than the rest of us but understanding that gluten butts heads with autoimmune & inflammation, decided to eliminate for all of us). Charlotte will be off the drugs in a year & 1/2 & I would like to retrain her body & help her immune system know what's right & wrong & it can't do that if the gut is inflamed.
2. Going GF, dairy free & egg free is a tricky combination that takes a lot of menu planning, prepping & cooking. Lots more effort into the fuel & energy that goes into our bodies is fine, just, takes effort for sure... (snacks we usually grab & might be healthy for someone else, is not healthy for us).
This week's menu all have substitutions:
1. Thai Chicken
2. Spaghetti Al Limone
3. Tacos
4. Turkey Meatloaf
5. Chicken & Artichoke Cacciatore

3. Whilst I am sure my family will thank me someday in a major speech they will give in their life (hopefully one that includes a microphone & a camera is rolling so I can watch it over & over), right now I get lots of grumbles. Lots of grumbles. Almost at every meal. Almost. Maybe I need to make more sweets :)
Its hard to find some straight forward information about the protein molecules in gluten (wheat, rye, spelt) in simplistic terms or pictures (yes, give me a picture book) and why it fights with so many people. There's a reason that nutritionists talk about going GF for autoimmune diseases, I just need to find that info...

If I can understand gluten’s details & the way it applies to autoimmune issues, theoretically I could get the troops to rally & get behind this evil of non-thinking I have projected onto them (sarcasm). But seriously, the ritual of just having a sandwich takes some thought (there are no GF breads out there made WITHOUT eggs! So I have to make my own & it just isn't sandwich bread).

Here’s what I have found.

From Health & Recovery: If you look at the gluten molecule from a biochemistry standpoint what you see is that the gluten molecule is very similar to the cartilage in joints. So, if someone has an auto-immune problem they could be making it worse by eating gluten. The body is attacking the gluten but then attacking itself too. The biochemistry pathways for anti-inflammation are used when the diet is high in alkaline producing foods such as fruits, vegetables and omega 3′s (fish oils) and the pathways for inflammation are used by the body when the diet is high in processed foods and grains, especially gluten.

And here's Dr. Vicki Peterson (founder of HealthNOW Medical Center in Sunnyvale, CA & co-author of the bestselling "The Gluten Effect") giving a video explanation, this was very helpful!

Hmmm.... Wow. Where's that picture book again? :) ha ha!
Will continue the research & if you have any info to pass along, I would greatly appreciate it!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wednesday Activity

Charlotte has started back up with her swimming (after taking the fall off to focus on routines of home & school balance). Here she is with her sweet teacher/neighbor/our friend, Kim (90 degree water is soooo nice!).
Charlotte feels SOOOOO good in the water, and it makes sense with her knees, ankle & wrist that were all affected by arthritis at age 2.
Her eye appointment today proved that the cell in the right eye is gone. But he just jumped eyes. Now the left eye has one cell. There will be no change in medication, there is no concern for one cell. But its bewildering since she is healthy right now, so why does she have a lingerer? In talking with my BFF arthritis mom's, we said, "Cant we go to appointments without the fear? Ever? When?"

Monday, January 17, 2011

Anti-Inflammatory Recipe

We've been revamping our diet over the years since Charlotte's diagnosis with childhood arthritis.
Every Monday, I would like to share an Anti-Inflammatory Recipe with you, since eating anti-inflammatory foods—and avoiding inflammatory ones— can benefit all of us! It can make weight loss easier, slow down the aging process, and prevent disease. In Charlotte's case... keep it at bay!

We are looking for foods rich in Omega 3 oils, anti-oxidant rich fruits & veggies (think colors blue & red along with pineapple!), utilizing spices with anti-inflammatory qualities like tumeric, ginger, garlic & curry, and healthy fats such as avacados, nuts & olive oil.

This week we are going to try a chicken casserole dish that looks like you could prep it in the AM & pop in the oven at night! It comes from the book: The Anti-Inflammation Diet & Recipe Book by N.D. Jessica K. Black Dr. Black is a local, practicing medicine in the Portland, OR area.

Easy Baked Chicken - Serves 6
1.5 cups organic chicken broth
1t dried thyme
1cup rice wine vinegar
1.5 T miso paste
1T garlic poder
1 large onion slided
1.5lbs yams sliced
5 large carrots, qtrd
6-8 organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 T olive oil
2T dried parsley
dash cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
a) In a small mixing bowl, combine chicken broth, thyme, rice wine vinegar, miso paste, and garlic powder.
b) Place slice veggies in a 13x9 inch baking dish. Arrange chicken breasts on top. Pour broth mixture over the chicken, and sprinkle with olive oil, parsley & cayenne pepper.
c) Bake at 475 degreess F, overed, for 1 hour or until meat is browned. Turn the meat once after about 30 minutes. Serve warm with a green salad or brown rice.

If you try it, let me know how it turns out! I will be trying mine this week. Seems like a warm comfort food, I am looking forward to it!