28 February 2011

Monday Musing: Religion doesn't make you a good person.

I am not very vocal about the fact that I do not believe in God because I have received negative responses in the past.  Last year a read a book by Dale McGowen called Parenting Beyond Belief.  This past Saturday, I attendied conference by the author sponsored by Center For Inquiry.  I was pleasantly surprised by the sense of community and the dialogue.  There was no bashing of religions or religious people.  Instead, we talked about tools to raise our children ethically and morally without indoctrination.  We were encouraged to teach our children about world religions so that they could make informed decisions on what they want to believe when they get older.  I want my child to decide for herself and to also respect other's beliefs and demand that she have respect for her beliefs.  I wish that religious people would have that respect and unfortunately most of them don't.  If you are a free thinker and have children, I recommended Parenting Beyond Belief by Dale McGowen.  I just purchased Raising Freethinkers: A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief.  It looks like it has great ideas!  I also recommended checking out CFI.  I plan on becoming a paid member now.  It is good to have a community.  I met some great people that I have more in common with me than being a Freethinker and I now consider them friends.



22 February 2011

Seitan Pizza---The Art of Food

I often tell people I do not have any artistic abilities.  I seem to forget about food.  Those of you that know me well know that  I love to cook and rarely use recipes.  Food is my art.  I love to cook and find that when I am stressed, it is an outlet for me.  I love to mix spices and experiment with new flavor combinations.  A couple of years ago I started making homemade seitan.  I often use the Seitan O'Greatness recipe that is floating around the internet as a base and then switch it up.  I have been craving figs lately. So last night I added chopped dried figs to the Seitan O'Greatness Recipe and it is awesome!!  Hubby and I made individual sized pizza's last night for a snack and I put some of the seiten on mine.  Food Art = happiness.

19 February 2011

Day for Me


I woke up this morning with intentions of cleaning, laundry and unpacking.  Even though I slept in I felt cranky and tired.  After snapping at both my husband and daughter, I realized my back pain was getting the better of me and instead of aggravating it further, I needed to take a day for me.  So instead of chores, I just did yoga in front of the fire, meditated, did some deep breathing.   Took medicine for my back pain.  Then I took a long hot bath, worked on breathing more.  With every exhale I sent my negative energy out into the universe and took in deep cleansing breaths of positive energy.

There is much to be said for hydrotherapy.  While I consider myself a conservationist, I have to make arguments for the occasional bath.  I do feel a pang of guilt for using the water, but the positives out way the cons.  For me, water relaxes me and calms my soul.  Whether I am taking a bath or sailing under the blessed sun, I get the same effect.  In the bath, I like to close me eyes and get my head all the way underwater with just with my nose and lips above the surface.  I like to listen to my heartbeat thumping in my ears and the muffled sounds of the mechanical objects in the house.  The drone is soothing as is the sensation of being lighter in the water.  All the weight of the world just floats away.

It is now almost mid-afternoon and I set here looking at the sunshine out the window as I type.  I am so relaxed and feel a quietness to my mind that I didn't have before.  Yet, I still have to keep knocking those murmurs of chores that keep rearing their ugly heads. I picture the game Wac-a-mole and just keep hammering them back down.  This is a day for me and I intend to keep it that way.

Sending calming, positive vibes your way.

17 February 2011

To Disney and Back

I just returned from 5 days 4 nights on the most magical place on earth.  I was surprised at how much fun we had.  We ate like kings (free dining plan), stayed out until almost midnight every night, got up early, and were basically going non-stop the whole time.  There is something to be said for the joy I saw on my daughter's face every time we turned a new corner.  It was a vacation of firsts.  First visit to Disney, first haunted house, first big rollar coaster, first time having someone ask for her autograph (she was dressed up as a princess).  I was very impressed by the whole Disney experience and how friendly the cast members where.  They all seemed to make an extra effort to make Renee feel like a princess.  I am still exhausted even though I went to bed early yesterday and the night before.  But it was worth it.  Hopefully she will remember this for the rest of her life.  The first day there she said to me, "Mommy, this is the best day in my whole life!"  I got all teary.  That made the whole trip worth it.

04 February 2011

Friday Favorites-- i.d. Bare Minerals

I have a friend, Kirsten, who is beautiful.  I have always admired her skin.  One day I was at her house and noticed an i.d. Bare Minerals container on her bathroom counter.  Of course, I had seen the many infomercials, but being skeptical of purchasing anything on TV, I had been afraid to try it.  When Ulta open in Grand Rapids, I discovered they carried it and thought I would give it a shot.  That was about 3 years ago and I will never use another foundation or powder again.  My favorites are: Bisque, Summer Bisque, Faux Tan (awesome bronzer), and of course the original Mineral Veil.  I also like Bare Radiance and some of the other all over colors. 

I use the bisques with the maximum coverage brush as a cover up and it works better then any I have tried.  It doesn't look cakey either.  I do not like their "foundation" as I do find this to be too heavy for me.  But the rest of this line always looks natural and you can even sleep with it on.  I have acne prone skin and this make-up doesn't clog your pores and is actually good for your skin.  Even though it is pricey, it is worth it.  You have to use very little product and I don't think I have even consistently stuck with the same make-up for as long as I have with this. 

I recommend the starter kit.  It is a huge discount compared to purchasing everything separate.  It does come with the foundation but even if you don't like that, it is still a deal.    Ulta even has a small try it kit (pictured above) right now for $20.00! http://www.ulta.com/ulta/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=xlsImpprod2980097