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Tag Archives: Women

Got Cookin’… Or At Least Tried To

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I’ve been working on goal # 14 of my Bucket List, which is basically aimed at my feeling more comfortable with my cooking skills.  I have conquered a handful of dishes, although I surely tried many more.  Just in case my friends (who know I am not a kitchen queen) don’t believe me, here’s proof.  Below are some of my tryouts accompanied by a very brief outcome report. You will notice that some of the dishes are very simple; my aim is not to become a gourmet cook, but to be able to create family meals by mastering certain dishes and being able to recreate them time and again with the same quality and flavoring.   Since I am being very picky as to accept any dish into my mastered list,  I am also  giving myself credit for every single dish I conquer, no matter how simple 🙂

    

 

HOW ABOUT YOU; WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN COOKING? 

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What Was I Thinking???

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What Was I Thinking???

 I am Sorry, sorry, sorry; I truly apologize to those of you who have been wondering where I was.  Thanks for letting me know that you missed my posts; I’ve missed you too.  Unfortunately, my internet connection has been acting funny, and most importantly, at home we are going through round #3 of a seriously annoying cold virus.  Ohh, the joys of fall season…

Which brings me to the title question: What was I thinking????  Seriously, what was I thinking when I set my goals for the fall? obviously I was not thinking about all the added responsibilities/demands of this season, just to name some:

  • The kids go back to school
  • They need help with their homework
  • I go back to work
  • I go back to school
  • I have to complete many readings and compose papers for class
  • The kids gather many viruses at school and bring them home
  • We all get sick, very sick; many times
  • Karla’s asthma and allergies kick in
  • There’s tons of doctor appointments to keep
  • There’s also after school classes, practices, games, plays and presentations to attend
  • Both of my kid’s birthdays fall in the fall 🙂
  • After the time change, days get shorter and nights get longer, which pretty much dwindles my motivation to be out and about – winter blues kind of thing I gotta deal with every year.
  • You get the point I’m sure.

Here’s a link to the original list of fall goals I had committed to.  Apparently I was high on summer, and motivated by other life-listers’ achievements, when I created this list.  I’m sure for some fellow life-listers this list would be a breeze to complete.  Thing is I have to be realistic about how much I can do with my time, demands, and resources.  So here’s my updated, Carola-friendly, list of goals for this season.

It’s Impossible to Get a Magic Wand These Days

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It’s Impossible to Get a Magic Wand These Days

Progress Report:

 On # 23 Leading and Organized Life
It is no secret that I am organizationally challenged (That is the politically correct way of saying I am messy, unorganized, and pretty much a space cadet.)  As I have posted before, I know this is the number one obstacle that keeps me from obtaining many other goals, thus I put it on my list and I have been giving it special attention for the past few months.

The absence of organization effects and extends to many areas of my life:

  • Lack of an established household routine – We have been working on, and improving, this one
  • No financial spending plan or budget – Have given a couple of baby steps towards this
  • Punctuality is definitely not one of my strengths – Making progress in this are as well
  • Clutter, clutter, and more clutter – This one particularly overwhelms me and robs me of a much desired peaceful and balanced home environment

We are usually a messy bunch, and the past few weeks we had been extra messy since all of us were sick and in low spirits.  Let me tell you, our apartment was not a happy sight. Since there was no magic wand in sight to make it all go away, this past weekend I dedicated the better part of Saturday and Sunday to decluttering our home.

     Pretty much all over the apartment was a disaster zone.  The worst of it all was the Play Room / TV Room; it was overflowing with toys, tapes, DVDs, and things that did not belong in that room such as kitchen utensils.  Also, the closet inside that room serves as depository for our family’s dirty laundry; opening that closet was literally like a scene taken out of a sitcom, where piles of clothes and stuff just come tumbling down…

Giveaways

Happily, I had a few wonderful friends and family members come to the rescue during both days.  Saturday my stepmom and stepbrother helped me clean – a lot!  Since my daughter is highly allergic to dust and cannot be present during the cleaning; my mom took the kids to her place for the day.  On Sunday my adult nephews and nieces took the kids for a hay ride, and pumpkin picking. My good friend Vanessa came over and helped me wipe clean every single toy in order to put it back in its place.  She also helped me sort out things that we don’t need any longer, in order to give them out; there were also several bags of trash to take out.    After two days of hard work; everyone was pleased with the results. 

Play Room/TV Room

Play Room / TV Room

Closet
 
It was a long cleaning session, but it was also therapeutic, and so worth it.  Sunday night, my kids’ paternal grandma stayed overnight and I  step foot outside,  for the first time in two days, to go have some fun.  Thank God for friends and family.
 
 

In the Hospital, in Jail, and at a Dark Parking Lot…

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There’s a Spanish saying that goes something like “Only in a hospital bed, and in a jail cell, will you know who your true friends are.” Would you not agree?   I would add one more: at a dark parking lot with a dead car battery. 

The other night, around 9:30pm, as I returned to my car after a full day of work, followed by the first day of my fall semester night class, my car greeted me with some bad news.  It would not start. Yes, I had left the headlights on the whole day.  Now, we do have a very friendly and helpful DPS department on campus; the only problem is that the charge box they use to jump cars never works on my van (that’s right this was not the first time I’ve done this).   Luckily, the friend that rescued me last time, gifted me a set of jumper cables.  Now I just needed to find a willing soul.  However, at that time of night on a weekday there is not much traffic on campus, and administrative offices are closed for the day.

After waiting several minutes, a guy who was parked diagonally across from me came by.  I asked for help and he graciously agreed.  Chris, that was his name, was so helpful he even pushed my van forward so the jumper cables would reach his car.  Now, he had no experience doing this, and guess what: neither did I.  Contrary to common sense, all the previous times my van needed a jump, it didn’t occurred to me that I should be watching in order to learn how to do this! Turns out Chris hooked the cables the wrong way and…. the cables got fried.  He was mortified and I felt so bad for him.  He promised to notify DPS of my distress on his way out of campus.

Back to the waiting game, about 20 minutes passed and nothing.  That was strange since we are a small campus and DPS is very prompt to respond.  I started to get nervous to be alone out in the dark, already my cellphone had given me a low battery warning, plus I had a babysitter watching my kids at home, who I was paying by the hour.  I called the DPS office but nobody answered.  I was hesitant to call on my friends since it was passed 10pm and most of them have kids to tend to, plus is a bit of a hike to the university.  Did not want to bother the guy friend who helped me last time either since he is married and I am sure his wife would not appreciate a female friend calling him at night. 

Fortunately, a new coworker of mine who happened to be working late that night, walked my way.  He parked his car as close to mine as he could but his cables were shorter than mine (which were fried.)  As Matt, my coworker,  was reassuring me saying we will find a solution, a DPS officer came to the rescue.  He tried charging my car with the charge box, which of course did not work.  Although, they are not supposed to use jumper cables since it might turn into a liability issue, he offered to do it.  Now both the officer and Matt pushed my car backwards in order to get it to a parking spot that would allow Matt’s cables to reach the officer’s car.  Whoever said that chivalry was dead?  The bad news is that my batteries did not charge, even after several minutes.  At this point I thanked both of them and told Matt it was ok for him to leave; he needed to get home.  The officer asked if there was someone I could call to come help me and I said yes; he then went back to his booth, not without advising me to invest on a AAA membership.

It was close to 11pm now and I began to feel hopeless again.  Wait a minute, there was this single male friend who could probably help!  Too bad he did not answer my call.  Now what? I was so drained and discouraged by this time that I started to cry like a little girl; which I rarely do.  Then I proceeded to wake up the only man who never says no to me; my dad, who promptly came to the rescue; and yes he was able to jump-start my car with his cables and his car.  Dads always know best.  He didn’t even complain, or remind me that he had performed this services for me recently, he didn’t even ask me to be more diligent about shutting off my headlights.  He just gave me a big hug and a kiss.  Thank God for good dads.

How about you; do you know how to jump-start a car?

Special Date: Brunch and Flowers

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I have come up with a very fun way to help me accomplish goal #4 on my bucket list, by scheduling one-on-one time with each of my kids; when we go out for  fun, talk about them and whatever wonderful things are occupying their minds at the moment.  We call these outings Special Dates.  I document some of those dates here, hoping as time goes by, that the memories will be “officially” preserved.  On this occasion, thanks to a Groupon I snatched a couple of months ago, my daughter and I were delighted to indulge our love for breakfast foods, by visiting The Breakfast Place in nearby Attleboro, MA.  Sunday brunch, that’s gotta be my favorite meal ever; and in such good company it just fills me with joy.  This cute little breakfast joint has a 60s air to it, and they play the oldies, which I believe Karla enjoyed.  Their service is great; it seems to be family operated and they really give you the special touch treatment; making you feel very welcomed.  The little lady and I spoke about the new school year and reuniting with friends, over a veggie omelette, with wheat toast for me, and scrambled eggs with a chocolate chip pancake for her.  We also shared an order of french toasts, which by the way, were the best I’ve had in a long time.  The servings were generous and we could not finish our meals so we took our leftovers to go.  Karla liked it so much she plans to ask her dad to bring her back soon. 

We then headed towards Roger Williams Park in Providence in order to cross off the last spot on my list of places to visit within the park, The Botanical Center.  I must say this is a beautiful and serene garden; I think it will be my new favorite spot to sit and relax while reading a book.  My princess also commented on how pretty and peaceful it was; she also enjoyed snapping pictures of the flowers and mom, among other things.

Vote for Me Pretty Please!

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Hilton Garden Inn is giving away 10 grand prizes consisting of:

 3-day/2-night trip, which
includes roundtrip airfare to the destination
of your choice for you and a guest, hotel
accommodations and cash to spend on
your ultimate to-do list activity.

I’ve entered the contest for the chance to win a trip to the Florida Keys and go parasailing there.  And I need your vote!

In order to vote, you will need to “like” their Facebook page and hit vote, then  find my entry by doing a search by destination and selecting Southeast USA.  My entry # is 251 and it’s titled Parasailing in Key West.

Make your own entry as well and let me know so I can vote for your adventure too 🙂

Read This if You Have a Daughter OR if You Like to Run Around the House Naked

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Public Service Announcement:

…On Nakedness
I don’t know about you but I just love taking off my clothes; not in a “sexy stripper” way but in a “liberating my body” kind of way.   After a long day of work, parenting, running errands, and such, one of my favorite things to do is getting home, shutting the door and taking all the layers off – packages, accessories, clothing, shoes, undies, everything! Ahhhh what a sensational feeling of relief. 

Click on this Picture to go to Dove's Self-Esteem Page

 Yes, I love being naked within the privacy and comfort of my home.  Going about my chores and to-do’s without the extra weight and restrain has become part of my daily routine.  As my elementary school age kids grow, their approach to my bare body changes.  Of course, from infancy to their early pre-school years it didn’t even face them. As they grew a little older and became more aware of their own bodies, and of society’s views on nudity, they seemed a bit rattled by my running naked around the house, so for a long while I restricted my being completely bare for when I was home alone, and would wear undies and a tank when they were present.

Recently, I have retaken to wearing my Eve custom while my kids are around.  Why? Karla is much more preoccupied with her physical appearance and the shape of her body.  I’ve always shot for physical appearance not to play a significant role within our family conversations.  Knowing that my children (especially my daughter) would sooner rather than later get bombarded with the narrow views of beauty that our society upholds, I wanted home to be a safe heaven in that sense.  Unfortunately, media, and the opinions of family and friends force our children, girls specially, to second guess their opinion of themselves at every moment.  At her young 8 years my little princess is worried that her belly is not flat enough; that just breaks my heart.  So, as the most important female figure in her life, I’ve decided to model a positive personal image of myself.  My goal is for her to know that although my body does not fit media’s rigid mold of “beautiful” , I think of myself as a Hot Mama, curves & love handles included.  At first my kids did not know what to make of my walking around naked again; so I would just start dancing around happily, or shout out little phrases like “Beautiful Naked Mama Coming Through”; they would laugh and giggle.  Now, little miss Karla walks naked around our home sometimes too, which puts a big smile on my face, seeing that she is more comfortable with her own beautiful body. 

I am including a link to a heartwarming video, which is part of the  Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty.  It’s a shame our young girls do not get more messages like this both on the media and through us, the adults in their lives. 

If you have a young daughter, niece or sister, please model a positive view of female beauty by not stressing topics such as being thin, and dieting while you are around her.  You will do her a huge favor and possibly prevent her from dealing with low self-esteem issues and eating disorders in the future.

Here’s a link to the National Eating Disorders Association’s website: NEDA