Ride the waves

 

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In life we experience ups and downs, rocky and smooth times. People disappoint us or surprise us. New friends come into our lives while others leave. Loved ones pass away and new ones are born.

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All we can do is focus on the positive, appreciate today, enjoy the ones we have and be grateful.

imageAll we can do is live and ride the waves of life.

Expectations

In life we have a lot of expectations. We expect to grow up and find the perfect job. We expect to meet the right person, get married, have children and live happily ever after. We expect to have certain friends in our lives forever. We expect to be able to change people. We expect people to love as we do, to have the same heart as we do. We expect too much.edc7092b092876388276cb81f3fe89d5I’ve learned that expectations lead to disappointments. It’s a heartbreaking experience. Instead of expecting life to go a certain way, it’s better to live in what’s happening. Take every disappointment as a lesson learned. It teaches you something about the person involved or even about yourself. Expect nothing and appreciate everything in life. Sometimes the most difficult lessons to learn are the ones you need to learn the most. It may surprise you and force you to move in the direction that will bring you happiness.

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So be at peace, expect nothing, appreciate everything and live the life that you want. No exceptions!

Girl Power

They are the apple of our eye, our sweet little girls. My child and most of her friends have now reached double digits. They are no longer little girls, soon they will blossom into lovely young ladies.IMG_8228It’s our job to empower them to grow up feeling secure in themselves. Powerful girls learn to take action, making positive choices about their own lives and doing positive things for others. Here are some ways that many parenting experts say will help us raise powerful girls….IMG_8267_peEncourage her to pursue a passion.IMG_8263Let her have a voice in making decisions.IMG_8302Let her solve issues on her own rather than fixing things for her.IMG_8353Encourage her to go beyond her comfort zone, to take physical risksIMG_8374_peEncourage your daughter to participate in team-building activities or join organizations that rely on teamwork.

Be honest with her.IMG_8524 Give her time to just play!

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Having close friends that are like-minded and most importantly kind is an important part of her growing up. Help them foster positive, loving relationships. IMG_8578_peLet her know you love her because of who she is, not because of what she weighs or how she looks.

IMG_8283.Allow her to disagree.IMG_8621_peMake time to listen to her on a regular basis.IMG_8402Listen more, talk less.IMG_8231Limit your daughter’s exposure to the media and popular culture.IMG_8635_peTalk with her about her body and sex in ways appropriate to her age and your values. Yes, it’s really time to do that!IMG_8334_peKeep her active.

Be the person you want her to be. Love yourself so that she can love herself too.IMG_8242Help foster and flourish her relationships with a powerful women in your family, like an aunt or grandmother.IMG_8277_peMost importantly, don’t forget to stop and really enjoy this special time with them. Enjoy them!

Double Digits!

 

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My little girl is has officially entered double digits. I can’t believe she is ten years old! Since I’ve had my daughter I have made the choice of being a stay at home mother. I feel blessed to be able to be there for my child. I am able to be at every important function and witness every phase. I was there for her first word, the first time she took her first step and many other firsts. My husband on the other hand has missed many of her important firsts. That is the sacrifice he has made in order to have a parent always present for our child. I’m beyond grateful for that.

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We live in a beautiful neighborhood in a modest house. We take fewer vacations than we would if we were both working. I miss my career as a journalist but not enough to go back to work. Working full-time would not allow me to be as fully present as I am with my daughter. It’s a choice we are lucky to be able to make. I respect everyone’s choices, be it to stay at home or be a working parent. Whatever brings balance in our lives is what should be done. I have yet to be fully balanced but I’m working on it and this blog is just one way to help bring me balance. I still get to write, express my feelings and share what I have learned. My hopes are that my journey can be of help to someone else going through the ups and downs of life.

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To be a parent is a privilege. We are blessed to have our children. They are given to us by God to care for and raise to hopefully be adults that will contribute positively to the world.

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I know that my husband and I are so grateful to have such a kind, smart, funny, articulate and compassionate little girl. She is creative, artistic and most importantly she has a heart of gold. She is blessed to have a wonderful extended family of grandparents, aunts and uncles who contribute into forming her character and self-esteem.

She has given us a decade of bliss. We live each day, moment by moment taking in all the beauty of her childhood. I hope we can make her as happy as she has made us. We look forward to many more years of growth and learning together.

We love you Sophia. Happy Birthday!

Best Friends

Just a blonde and a brunette, creating memories, having fun and standing by one another as they grow. Life is so much sweeter when you have a best friend to love and be loved by. Here’s hoping my little girl and her bestie will always cherish one another through thick and thin.

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Every Drop Counts!

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Did you ever want to help a cause but you didn’t think you would be able to do enough to make a difference? Well you can. Even when you think you are doing something miniscule, every drop counts. Mother Teresa said, “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop. Real and lasting change only happens in small increments over long periods of time.”

10425135_10153312018176897_6226962147872051310_nThree years ago, Danielle Taylor, a mother of two beautiful boys and a friend decided to compete in a 6 mile civilian military obstacle course. She wanted the challenge to have a purpose. So she and her childhood friend Jeannine decided to raise money for The Morgan Center.

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medalheader2It’s a not for profit charitable organization that provides a safe haven for pre preschool age kids undergoing cancer treatment. These kids can’t attend regular school because chemo compromises their immune system. They can get a serious infection if they go to regular school. The center relies solely on private donations.

The ladies formed team YOLO which stands for You Only Live Once. Today, the team consists of twenty local moms who are all aware of just how fortunate they are to have healthy children.11953109_10101742706993174_9207076420517135135_nOn Sunday, October 4th, team YOLO will be competing in the Bronx at the “Merrell Down and Dirty.” The 6 mile obstacle course will help raise money for the beautiful little children of the Morgan Center.

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You can make a difference by donating whatever you can to help these children who are fighting for their life.

Support Team YOLO by visiting http://www.crowdrise.com/mompower4tmcthemorgancenter/fundraiser/danielletaylor and donating what you can!

Give what you can. Take a step to make a difference in the lives of others.

Source: Preschoolers Shaking Off Cancer

 

Blue Mind

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If you are anything like me being near the ocean probably makes you feel calm and serene. I know that it’s the first place I go to when I feel stressed or melancholy. Being near the water always makes me feel at peace. Both the sight and the sound of it makes me feel happier.

7f3ea28b943b634fb66e5285bb3aa666I recently finished “Blue Mind,” a book written by Wallace J. Nichols. He is a marine biologist and conservationist. His book tries to answer questions about the connection between our brain and bodies of water. It looks into the reasons of why so many of us are drawn to the ocean, and how this scientifically connects to our health and happiness.IMG_6539

Nichols explores the scientific reasons for why we have such a deep connection with water. He says that there are cognitive and emotional benefits that we get every time we spend time by water. He began hosting “blue mind” seminars that are attracting neurologists and psychologists from around the world. He uses the term “Blue Mind” to describe a state of water-associated peace. It’s in contrast to what one neuroscientist calls a “Red Mind,” an edgy high, characterized by stress, anxiety, fear, and despair.

Here are some amazing facts, brain imagining shows that being near water floods the brain with feel-good hormones like dopamine and oxytocin. Levels of the stress hormone cortisol actually drop. Scientists also discovered that the brain prefers the color blue above all others and water increases our ability to focus.

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Our bodies consist of about 60 percent water and our brains, an incredible 75 percent! Nichols says when we see or hear water it triggers a response in our brains that we are in the right place. He says the ocean literally sucks the stress out of our bodies and out of our minds. I have to say, that is true for me. What about you?

The next time you want to relax why not try taking a soothing bath? Maybe you can go fishing, or swimming. How about a walk on the beach? You can also learn to surf, visit an aquarium or maybe place a water fountain in your backyard and just relax there.

Learning how beneficial it is for us to be around water makes a powerful argument for keeping our world’s waters clean, healthy, and free. Now go enjoy a delicious tall glass of water and relax. And while you are doing that be thankful that we have clean water to drink! Nearly two billion people around the world do not.

Think on that, and while you are thinking, here are some great ways to help.

http://www.ilovearc.org

http://www.projecthumanity.org/

http://www.buylifestraw.com/en/

DIY Mosaic Outdoor Table

When we first moved to our home we found some furniture in the attic that was old and we tossed most of it, but some I just liked too much to throw away. This table is one of the pieces that I really liked. The beautiful little girl is my talented apprentice.Cell pictures 3 844The table is too dated and doesn’t fit into my décor but I just love its shape and design. So instead of tossing it, I decided to change it up and turn it into an outdoor table.

I thought it would make a great family project and I was right! My little girl and I had a great time painting the table with a white outdoor paint. The paint brightened it up and protected the table from the outdoor elements. We had a lot of fun painting it, although we did get a lot of paint on each other as well, all apart of the fun!  We let the paint dry for a couple of hours and then applied another coat. We then let the table dry overnight.

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Once the table was dry we used this blue/green tile blend that we found at Home Depot. My husband used pre-mixed adhesive and grout to secure the Mosaic tile onto the table.

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Once the tile was secured on the table, we used a wet sponge to take off the excess grout from the tile surface. We then allowed the grout to dry. Because the table is round the edges were a bit off so we got creative by using some small stones we found in our garden to decorate the edges.

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Here is the final result. I think it turned out pretty great and it was a wonderful little project to do as a family!

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Hope you are inspired to do your own project!