One Simple Change

I have had a revelation. Yes, it is true I have these often and sometimes they do not amount to much or are never completed like my master bathroom (ahem) or my forever incomplete weight loss goals. This time, during my hot vinyasa flow yoga class, the perky and flexible instructor told us to think about something we were grateful for during shavasana.

I am sure many of you would have chosen your children. Not me. They are driving me insane, which is why I actually got my butt to yoga last Friday in the first place.

Instead, I chose ‘health.’

I am grateful for health.

I have been doing a lot to better myself. Working out, TRYING to eat right (dang those potato chips), actually responding to peoples texts (no, it is not just your texts I ignore) and improving my mental health all the while.

Just the other day, I realized that the ‘ding sound’ my phone made when I received a text was causing me anxiety. True that it is not hard to do (cause me anxiety) but now I changed it to ‘chord sound’ and it is so soothing and inviting that I no longer mentally shut down.

Try it.

It’s amazing.

One simple change, makes such a difference.

That is why I finally said yes, to Juice Plus+, and making that one simple change towards healthy living.

What is it (Juice Plus+) you ask? It is fruits and vegetables in a capsule. Despite its name, it is not juicing (it is way cheaper than that), nor is it a vitamin (it is bioavaible unlike vitamins). It is simply vine-ripened NSF certified whole food, in a convenient capsule or chewable.

I am not going to get all technical with you, I just want you to think about it if you are getting 9-13 servings of fruits and vegetables, as recommended for a healthy diet and healthy living. I am talking fist full servings size?

I know, I was not. Even my vegan, clean-eating friends are not.

Now, I am. I have made this one simple change for my family, and now we are all benefiting from the healthy nutrition it offers. Even my super skeptical husband.


Instantly we saw the benefits. We feel less hungry, have been able to ward off sickness, we have more energy, crave healthier foods, and heal at an accelerated rate. Just ask my mom. She has an amazing story to tell.

As do I. We recently went on an amazing family vacation, courtesy of my mom, to Disney World. It started off great, until 7 of the 11 of us came down with the stomach bug. Let’s just say the hotel cleaning staff were very busy in our rooms.

But guess what? The 4 of us who consume Juice Plus did not get the bug.  Everyone was dropping like flies but us four. There is no other explanation and no better proof for me. Or my husband. He was one of the 4 thriving.

That is what is great. All the amazing stories being told by people, like me and you, who take Juice Plus.

I feel selfish if I do not share. Besides, since when do I hold anything in?


Don’t just take my word for it. Check it out for yourself. It took me a year to listen to my dear friend, Lauren telling the the benefits of this amazing whole food product. Now, I just feel silly that I didn’t listen sooner.

Bridge the gap of what we eat everyday, with what we should be eating.

It’s that simple.


Magazine Mom on a mission







Are You Part of the Herd?

Hi. Remember me? The crazy overparenting self proclaimed Magazine Mom who tells you all way too much about life. Well….I’m baack!

Because I live in an affluent, helicopter parent, scholarly town, it is no wonder I am an overparent-er (new comers feel free to look back at some past blog posts to understand my craziness to its fullest).

I really try not to care about the fact that my daughter writes her 3’s backwards more often than not, or that she scored a “2” in the ‘fine-motor skills category’ on her report card, but I do. Why is that? She is only 6 years old!

Well, Julie Lythcott-Haims, the New York Times best selling author of “How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success” says it is a trap that many of us fall into. Are we keeping up the Jones’s and creating ‘stepford’ children in the process?


What happened to the days of playing outside until dinner with no parent supervision and kids ‘actually’ doing their own homework?

I had the pleasure to hear her lecture this evening, because we live in an overparenting community that brings in brilliant parenting speakers for us  overparenting parents. My mom is always telling me that she never read a parenting book, let alone attend parenting lectures like I do at least 7 times a school year because I am contractually obligated to do so being a part of a cooperative preschool. Confession: I will still likely attend parenting lecturers even once I am not obliged to do so because that is just who I am.

Now, I am no book reviewer ( I would have to read to do that), so I will just tell you all to go out and read her book if you are interested. I will, however, give you my take away bullet points.

~She believes in humans
~Have the courage to be who you actually are (and allow your children to do the same)
~The overparenting trend started in the late 90s and she fears for the children of these parents.
~Stop creating a ‘check-listed childhood’ – praising everything, carefully handling your child, orchestrating their lives and activities, etc.
~Foster self efficacy – “I do therefore I am”
~Don’t join the overparenting herd, instead create a community with like-minded people, neighbors, friends, etc, and vow to stop following.
~ Allow for ‘free play’ with no parents – like we all used to do.
~Children need to develop a true sense of purpose and they cannot if we do everything for them.
Stop cutting your 10 year-old’s meat for crying out-loud!
~Read “The Gift of Failure”
~Trust the authorities in your child’s life (teachers, principles, coaches, etc.)
~Insist that children do their own work! Put the glue gun down! Confession: this one will be hard for me.
~Have your children do chores. Lots of them. It is a measure of success later in life.
~ Stop thinking your child is a perfectly shaped bonsai tree that you have to constantly prune and shape. Instead think of them as the wildflowers of unknown genes and species that they are.

Heather Havrilesky summed it up nicely in her book review for the New York Times,

Although loosening that grip on getting kids into the “perfect” school does seem important, it’s somewhat unlikely to end the current plague of controlling, stressed-out parents and helpless, insecure children. In this anxious age, the future will always trump the present. But even if “How to Raise an Adult” gets thrown onto a growing pile of books for worried, upper-­middle-class parents and is summarily forgotten, Lythcott-Haims’s central message remains worthwhile: When parents laugh and enjoy the moment but also teach the satisfaction of hard work, when they listen closely but also give their children space to become who they are, they wind up with kids who know how to work hard, solve problems and savor the moment, too. In other words, get a life, and your child just might do the same someday.

I admit, I am in the front row of the herd. It is hard not to be. Those damn Jones’s! I would like to meet them and their children.

Anyone willing to break free of the herd and join me? If nothing else, have a drink with me to lessen the anxiety of constantly thinking I am doing what’s right for my children but really causing them deep psychological trauma.

You with me?

Bottoms up!

Magazine Mom




Yesterday, I posted on Facebook a picture of my two kiddos sitting ‘close’ together at a park with the caption, “It was a good day.”


I realized after receiving 51 likes and 7 comments (but who’s counting?) I need to celebrate those ‘good’ days, well heck, even ‘good’ moments more often. Lets be honest, sometimes they are far and few between.

Well, unless you are living in the magical make-believe world where your children are the best behaved, angelic little beings who only bring you joy with every waking moment of your life, while prancing along side the unicorns, and flying with the tooth fairy, then you should relish in those moments too.


Part of me started blogging (if you can call it that) to have documented proof that my children are not perfect. If I hear one more time that I never whinned or had a tantrum, I am going to throw myself to the floor and scream.

I love you mom, but I really just find this statement hard to believe. I mean, have you met me? I am a whiner now and I definitely throw my fair share of tantrums. I am pretty sure these traits did not develop when I went away to college.

I know this for certain, because it was there that I perfected my OCD skills. There is no way I had the time or energy to learn  how to whine, throw tantrums, and obsess over the placement of my knick knacks, all while obtaining my cum-laude collegiate education. It’s simply impossible.

All I know, is today, I relished in a few ‘great moments’ with my kiddos that I felt the need to document. After all, it can’t always be bad.

My favorite moment (1 min and 49 seconds to be exact) of everyday happens while listening to the Frozen soundtrack in my car and watching (in my rear view mirror) and listening to BOTH my kids sing and laugh together to the “Frozen Heart” song. ‘The boy’ is hilarious as he very astutely slaps is hands down on his lap as if he too is chiseling and heaving ice blocks, and yells out “Ho” and “Go” every time they say,

Hup! Ho!
Watch your step!
Let it go!

and both of the kiddos giggle after they yell,
stronger than a hundred men! HO!

Really. It makes my whole day.

For that moment, I join the leprechaun’s at the end of the rainbow in the magical world of make-believe.

Then today, a rare occasion where we all got to exercise and relax together (for about 58 seconds) at a free mom/kid yoga class at a local yoga studio here in Davis.

20140625-122852-44932259.jpg 20140625-122851-44931861.jpg 20140625-122851-44931529.jpg

Though chaotic, it was much more relaxing than being in a dressing room (pretty unsuccessfully) trying on 13 swimsuits at TJ Maxx with both children was. Though I did manage to find one that was less offensive than the others.

Thankfully, I did that before yoga.

Although the kids found relaxation in that too.



Magazine Mom







Day 15: behind the black door ~ messages of worth

I feel very fortunate to be a part of parent cooperative school (as I have mentioned several times before), that also requires me to attend parent classes and hear some phenomenal speakers on parent and child related topics. Last night, I got to hear, Ronald Mah, speak about play, and the importance of  being playful in all of your relationships. I have mentioned before that I am not great with playing with my daughter. But Dr. Mah (I will call him) reminded me that it doesn’t have to be structured play, to be playing. It can be as simple as walking in on your child buck-naked in the bathroom wrapped in toilet paper, and instead getting annoyed or angry, you say, “hold on, I am going to go get the camera.” Playful laughing, funny gestures, making silly pancakes for breakfast (this one I have down)

octopus, lady bug, dog, horse
octopus, lady bug, dog, horse

writing notes or drawing pictures on their banana’s, etc., etc., are all forms of play. It made me feel so much better because I already do most of those things (except for the banana art, but I will now). I am more playful than I thought.

His specialties vary tremendously from teacher, to preschool director, to marriage and family therapist, to author, to speaker, etc. He stresses that being playful in ALL of your relationships is the key to success, and has seen it be true across the board. I think he is probably right.

Although, my biggest take away from the night is feeling like you matter. Everyone wants this, right? We want people, especially our loved ones and friends, to know what we like and dislike. Think about us when we are not around, write little notes to us from time to time, etc., etc. These are messages of worth.   It made me think about my relationships, and what messages do I give? What do I need from them?

I often talk to my friends, and hubby about “feeling disconnected” from them (and others) from time-to-time. I never really knew why, or how, I felt that way… until now. If I am not getting or giving messages of worth, I feel lacking. It makes total sense now.

Let me explain. If hubby and I have had meetings in the evenings or he is working late, we are not really communicating much. Simply watching TV together on the couch (which, Dr. Mah, points out is parallel play) isn’t enough for me to feel re-connected. But my how things change with the simple touch of a leg, or an arm round one another. Why? Because those are messages of worth.

We (human beings) want to know that people are paying attention, that they know our likes and dislikes, and that enjoy something we enjoy…

I for sure know, I love giving people messages of worth. The other day, I was at a garage sale (shocker), and I saw an outfit my daughter’s, (our), neighbor friend would love, so I got it for her (which cost me all of .50 cents, btw).  The smile I saw when we gave it to her, and her immediately putting it on, was such a fun message of worth, that I didn’t even realize I was giving to her.  I thought about her when she wasn’t around, I knew she would like it because I take the time to get to know, and I totally enjoyed her enjoying it. The message we gave her, is that she matters. What a great message/gift to give.

The other day, Hubby came home with fancy, schmancy (Oprah rich) jar of gelato. I normally eat gluten, dairy, soy free, but lately I have been indulging in gluten and dairy from time to time, but only in the evenings when I know I won’t have to see anyone in public (I bloat to 3 months pregnant). He knows it is my favorite, and I wasn’t expecting it, so I was thrilled. I gave him a big ‘ol kiss to show him my appreciation, and for that moment, I felt warm and fuzzy. I felt like I mattered.

Yes, I know I SHOULD feel this way all the time, but the reality is, I don’t. We get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and our kids, that we forget to make one another feel special. I know I have definitely let my friends go way to long at times with out a message of worth, and I am sure my family too. No longer.

I am just so happy that I now have the knowledge and the tools to be a better mom, a better friend, a better daughter, better at being silly, and better at making people know they matter, all with simple messages of worth.

There are a lot of smiles behind this black door right about now. Hopefully, they are contagious!

Magazine Mom

circle1this post is part of a 31 day series. To read more, and follow along, click here.

The Power of Four

  Today, I received a text from one of my besties, Kristine.  It read, “The last couple of days have really put things into perspective. You three: caring, creative,beautiful, loyal women are such a blessing. Though, we don’t talk much (I am inserting a sad face here), you all mean the world to me. Sometimes we just need to hear it. Happy Friday, Besties!”

The Fantastic Four-Kristine, Annie, Me and Lauren

Like all great superheroes, you need a team. A team where every member offers something unique, stands out on their own, but wouldn’t function the same without the rest. That is how this group is. I have known these fabulous ladies for twenty plus years (wow, we are old), and there hasn’t been a week that goes by (well maybe one or two) that I have not spoken, texted or emailed with at least one of them. They are my rock. I wanted to ‘blog’ about this because I feel it is imperative that everyone have someone, or some group that they feel this way with. How else would you get through days like I have had lately, or so many of my friends and loved ones suffering the loss of Jacob, an innocent child who lost his battle with the rare genetic disease, Niemann-Pick. It is during times like these, that you need a team. A strong one.

As for mine, I know I have mentioned them throughout my 31-day blog challenge, but I have never told who they really are. Kristine, the first to befriend me, is the caretaker. Not only is she a nurse by profession, even in grade school she would carry around a first aid kit, we should have known, but she is also the one to tell you how it is, when you need to hear it, feel sympathy for everyone, and makes life look easy. She is loving, hilarious, a go getter, and a bestie for life.

Annie, is my emotional clone, and as we get older, are becoming more and more similar in many more ways. She is the one who is as dependant on me, as I am on of her, and this I love. I love her quirkiness (I do need to mention she is kind of a crazy cat lady), her sense of style, her ability to ‘own it’, and her passion for all things good. We just get each other, and I truly don’t know what I would do without her. Muah!

Last, but certainly not least, Lauren. Lauren is one of the most confident gals I have ever met. She always has something positive to say about everything and can always make me smile. A trait, I wish I had. Her spiritual ora is infectious and she truly lights up every room. Radiant. She is the only bestie I have not had the pleasure of calling a roomy, but we got to work together in my former life as a career woman, and it was spectacular. She is a powerhouse, my powerhouse. I love her, dearly.

Truth be told, I could go on and on, but this isn’t my memoire. This is just me, telling you that the power of friendship is fabulous, and needed. Maybe you should tell your friends what they mean to you. Sometimes we just need to hear it.