Am I Wrong For Expecting Greatness from My Kids?

My husband and I have always believed that it is important that we allow our children the freedom to just be. To observe their environment and to be inspired by it. To live as free as they can even when the world tries to constantly confine them to a box. And even while failing, falling, living, laughing,  I still expect them to put their best foot forward. I still expect greatness. And  I don't think it's wrong.

My mother would say to me when I was younger, "whatever job you do, even if you are a janitor, always do your best." Perhaps this is what comes to mind when I think of "greatness". Success is putting your mind to do something, seeing it through and being able to reach your goals. Everyone measures success differently. But for some reason, I think most people measure success in monetary value or job titles. So in the greater scheme of things, if you have not attained wealth in one of these areas, then you are not successful. This is why the comment, I expect greatness from my kids, can sound a little overbearing and superficial.

I've seen "Tiger Moms" enforce, not encourage rules of what success is. Being the best at "certain" instruments, or being the top of their class, or going to the best schools, because these things ensure a successful life. All this encourages is there's a best and a worst. There is a rich and a poor. This encourages further segregation and division in a world that so desperately needs to unite.

The greatness I expect is not exactly how the world defines it. I want my children to play an instrument, but the one that they have an interest in. The world deserves a mixture of beautiful sounds. I want my kids to understand what they learn in school, not just memorize to pass test. Some kids don't love school because they are not learning, they are being taught to look like they are learning. I want my sons to go to the schools that will teach them how to be the best they can be at what they choose to do, while being themselves. The success I expect comes from within. We are all a piece of the puzzle and our contribution brings us together as a whole.

Once on Facebook, a friend posted a quote by the Dali Lama (which since then, I've seen floating around all over social media).

" The planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kind." 
When I saw this, I was a bit heated by it.  First, the person who posted this, which is really more of an acquaintance, a friend of a friend, is in a corporate position who has eagerly posted her own accomplishments and promotions within her job, so I found it odd, that she would post this. As to say, everyone who want success only wants a superficial life. It reminds me of how some use religion to keep others oppressed, do as I say not as I do. Second, the Dali Lama didn't even say this. I thought, why would he say this. These words are not inspiring but more critical and judgmental. Third, I thought, why can't peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kind be successful? Isn't that the hope? Don't we want them to succeed?

The quote actually comes from the book, Ecological Literacy: Educating Our Children for a Sustainable World, by David Orr. The full quote is:

"The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lover of all kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as we have defined it."
Is it just me or does this make more sense within it's context? In fact, reading this inspires me more than the partial quote being spread as though the Dali Lama said it. The world does not need more people to climb the corporate ladder. The world does not need more people to ignore the rest of the world while their circles become tighter and smaller. The world does not need more people who just go through the motions, like swimming laps in a pool, just going back and forth but never really getting anywhere, just showing off that they know how to swim, or win. We need more people, to jump into the ocean of life and ride the waves that will take them to unique and interesting places where they can spread their knowledge, their peace, and their joy. This is the greatness I expect from my children and I don't think I am wrong for it.


Learning Mindfulness from my Toddlar

When my toddler, my 2 1/2 year old, and I spend time together, he requires 100% of me to be present. He pulls me into the moment and is easily aware when I start to drift or multitask. Sometimes I think I can multitask but every time  I start to disappear into myself, he yanks me out and expects me to be there in the moment with him.

Today, I realized that when I play with my son, I surrender myself completely to him. When I allow myself to be in the moment I find true joy without having to look for it. Recently, when spending time with him, I have found that I want to multi task; be on my phone, do laundry, think about work. But then I'm not 100% there with him enjoying our time together. Now that I have become aware of my doing this, I've also come to observe others who do it, and I realize,  I despise it. It's not that I want someone else's time all of the time, it's just that when we are sharing a moment, we both need to be present in order to truly benefit from it. If not, we are just constantly scattered and never really feel satisfied from our time spent together.

When our playtime began, I so badly wanted to get on my phone and check email, text someone, go on social media. These were things that could easily be done at another time. There was no urgency. I could allow myself to enter the world of my toddler.

No distractions, no mind wandering, or list making, laundry will have to wait, just pure enjoyment of spending this time with my son and exploring where his mind takes us. As I watched him set up our pretend cars, I realized, I didn't want to rush through this moment. I wanted to enjoy it with him. I began to think about mindfulness and  how this very situation was an example of how I could learn to practice it more often in other areas of my life. Honestly, when your doctor starts prescribing mindfulness, perhaps it's time to make some changes.

Does anyone ever truly surrender themselves to a person or a situation? Don't we all allow the many things in our lives to enter our mind as they choose. Considering this all happens in the privacy of our mind, we tend to think we have some sort of control over these thoughts coming and going as they please, but we really don't. The way I see meditation, is similar to this situation with my son. In order to benefit from it, I need to deliver myself completely and an hour of uninterrupted playtime is exactly what the doctor ordered.

My son told me to get into my car,  a red rectangular container, which  I could not fit into of course but that's the point of using your imagination, and then handed me a green cone and said that was my steering wheel.
He got into his red car, the same rectangle container, and said "OK! Let's go!"
"Where are we going?" I asked, while examining my green cone and learning to accept this was my new steering wheel.
"To Nana's!" He shouted with excitement.
"To Nana's!" I shouted back, "You lead us there."
"OK!" He and I both began to make race car sounds. All the thoughts and distractions that made me who I thought I was, was beginning to drown out to the sound of our engines. My phone, which sat on the end of his mattress was appearing smaller and smaller and disappearing in the horizon as we began our journey to Nana's. It was perfect.

Meditation is supposed to help with mindfulness. I've been struggling with the concept of surrendering myself while meditating. Taking a moment to just be and allow everything else to not exist. This 20 minutes..., 15 minutes..., 5 minutes... of not doing, anything, is hard. There's so much that has to get done, who has time to just do nothing? I struggle with this also because letting go means letting go of any control I think I may have.

After a few minutes of driving in our pretend cars, we made our first stop. We needed to eat. Playtime with pretend food is my favorite activity. He made us burgers with cheese and a sauce he made up, not too spicy. We had drinks and shared strawberry and chocolate cookies. We got back in our cars after our satisfying break. I was full from our pretend meal and delighted with how my guide provided for us.

Sometimes it's hard to allow ourselves to just be. If we are not our clothes, our jobs, our finances, our homes, our cars, our stuff, our thoughts, then, who are we? Being in the moment isn't always about whats on the outside.  Sometimes just being is falling into the deep dark silence within and releasing your physical world.

We were back on the road, driving at high speeds. My little guide, being the thoughtful tot he is, realized we should stop and pick up some food to go in case we get hungry on the road again. At this pit stop, we came across a puppy friend who was also hungry and in need of a ride. We ordered our food to go and got back in our cars, this time with a passenger. He drove with our food while I drove with puppy.  Caleb thought I would be best to drive his loving puppy because he had already had to flat tires. We were back on the road and Nana's was finally coming into sight.

My concern is that if I meditate, what if I don't come back. What if I float away? Not literally, more similar to this moment with Caleb. What if the laundry doesn't get done? What if I don't make that super important list of things to do, I may forget something. I may forget an idea. All of these thoughts and concerns have made me realize I am just an anxious mess and maybe, the bigger picture is, I do need to get lost in doing nothing. I do need to take that mental break because in the end, I'll realize a greater benefit.

We finally reached our destination. I sat in my car watching my guide take the food out of his car and begin to set up a picnic at Nana's. He came over to me and said, "OK, we're here. Come on. Come to Nana's." He grabbed puppy and set him up with his meal. He sat down and asked that I sit across from him. We ate our meal and afterwards had a dessert of cookies that looked like lettuce. He remembered that he brought toy cars for us to play with while we ate. As I played with the car he gave me, I pointed out some interesting characteristics about the car. He was so happy to see my interest in something he adored. He then turned to me and put his hand on mine and said, "Mommy, I love playing with you."

I delivered myself as a whole to him. In return, we made a connection that is now hard wired in his brain. This moment, will last forever, even if he doesn't remember the specifics, it will remain in his heart. We've made this connection many times. At such a young age, it amazes me how he is able to to teach me so many lessons.


My New Food Journey- No More Labels

Avocado mash on gluten free toast.

And here we go, again! Time to reinvent my personal cookbook. So far in my life, I've been a vegetarian, gluten free, egg free, dairy free and now this new thing, I have no idea what to call. I don't have a label for what I am now and it doesn't really matter. No more labels-- I just want to eat!

I want to feel good, look good, be healthy while eating food that is delicious and nutritious.Through out my life, food has been this thing that I hyper focus on using it to try to create balance. The balance of fulfilling the desire to eat junk food while at the same time trying to eat nourishing food that's actually good for you. Meanwhile, my 14 year old son has decided he no longer wants to eat meat. He says he wants to be a vegetarian. I know this sounds like a very healthy and wise decision, which it is, but I also understand the stress and the work that goes into being a "healthy" vegetarian. Also, I've heard this story before.

The Vegetarian Years
Those years were a bit hazy. Days and nights filled with so much energy, friends, new jobs, and excitement of being on my own.  I don't remember doing a whole lot of cooking. I didn't have any fascinating recipes that I came up with unfortunately. It involved eating out most of the time at places like, Vegetarian Paradise, their buffalo drumsticks with seitan on a sugar cane stick made to look like a chicken drumstick was to die for. Or going to a cafeteria style restaurant in Chinatown and eating vegetarian duck with skin prickly like duck meat was awesome. Living on my own in NYC made it somewhat tolerable to be a vegetarian. The vegetarian lifestyle came to me as an option when I was a teenager, my mother would make me cook a meal once a week for the family, which I recently started doing with my son. When it came to cooking meat, she was very clear that you had to clean all meat properly, especially chicken, which I made sure to pass on this knowledge to my son as well. This involved chopping up a whole chicken and then removing the veins from the thighs and removing excess fat from all pieces. We were basically murdering them again. Because of her very detailed "technique" for cleaning meat, instead of dealing with the secondary torture of those poor animals, I decided to become a vegetarian, just as my son has.  I didn't enjoy handling the slimy flesh of dead carcasses and then eating them an hour later. Even going out ordering meat was ruined for me. It's so interesting how your relationship with eating meat can change when you have to prepare it yourself. Imagine how many vegetarians there would be if we had to slaughter our own animals. Unfortunately, the experiment ended after 4 years, when being healthy was of more interest than starving myself because I just didn't know what I was doing.

Gluten+ Dairy+ Egg Free= Vegan (Who eats meat)\
These were my weird and awkward years which I am still somewhat living in. Going out to brunch would usually leave me with very limited options. I'd end up eating a tofu scrambler with a side of bacon. I was, that girl. That person who was like, dear lord I won't eat eggs, but please give me a slice of pigs booty. My waitperson would usually tilt there head for a moment, and then I would explain, and I still don't think they understood. This is what made it weird, but eventually I got over it. It took a long time to get over it and boy did I struggle because everything in the world has gluten, wheat, flour, eggs, milk in it. Everything. Now, in only a few years there are way more options at supermarket and at restaurants which really helps. It's nice to know I can eat something other that just a carrot stick. I fought it at first. I started baking gluten free treats like crazy. I don't even love sweets but I was up for the challenge. Cookies, cup cakes, pancakes, biscuits, everything I made tasted like it was made with sand and if you breathed on it would crumble into dust. This is not to say there aren't currently some fabulous gluten free treats out there now, because there are, but none of them are coming out of my kitchen. When I started this diet, I was having health issues and this was suggested to me by a brief encounter with a holistic nutritionist. After being super strict on it for quite some time I have to be honest and say there was a huge change. My eczema went away, so did my nasal allergies, which I had been suffering from most of my life. It didn't happen overnight, but gradually I got to a place where I was no longer taking allergy medication or having flare up on my skin or digestive problems.  It was worth it.

And now...
The new challenge is keeping up with the commitment to eating healthy, not just for myself but for my entire family. Although there has been another addition to list of what we don't eat, at this point, I am done with labeling. Also, I don't need to qualify myself to others. Some meals will be vegetarian some will have meat. All meals will be gluten free. There will be nutritious options for everyone. My new journey, is more about learning about the food I eat and what works for us. For example, not every good food out there makes everyone feel the same. This is the challenge. My kids deserve a normal childhood filled with memories of yumminess. This takes a bit of re-wiring our brains to create new yummy experiences though. Certain things I will be strict about but our taste buds deserve something fabulous as well. A plant based diet is obviously the best option. This doesn't mean we can no longer create new memories filled with yummy treats. So far, my family has been loving the food which is encouraging. However, no more labels, just eat to feel good!


Are Devices Taking Away the Opportunity for Our Children to Discover Their Hidden Talents?

I just had a food for thought moment. I know I've talked about devices and how much is too much for our children, but I can't help but continue to think about how we can make sure to offer that balance to our children today..

When I was a kid and I would spend many afternoons at my grandmothers house, while my parents went to work, I had to find a way to entertain myself. It wasn't easy, but eventually it helped me to find out what I'm good at, what I enjoy, and what I would like to master someday. If I had a device such as a smart phone or tablet, would that have taken precious time away from me making my own personal discoveries about myself?

My grandmother owned an old black and white television set. There were only 6 working channels. There was no Disney channel. There was no MTV. There was definitely no binge watching of anything. I didn't have a smart phone to snap chat the boredom away either. It was just me, my grandmother who pretty much kept silently to herself, and an upright piano and a black and white TV. Do you see where I'm going with this? While in the early minutes of my arrival, when I would need to get settled in and except that I was going to be there for the rest of the day, I took a moment and allowed my imagination to come into full bloom.

It first started with me playing with my toys and exploring with dolls and fashion that I would spread out all over her sofa in the living room. Sometimes I would bang away on her piano. I would always ask permission and as soon as I sat down and cracked my knuckles ready to hit those black and white ivories, my grandmother would disappear into the kitchen and I was left to create masterpieces, as loud as I wanted, without any formal training what so ever.  Then, I moved on to reading books my mother forced me to read and found out they were actually really good. When ever I watched movies that really peaked my interest, the story and images would stay fresh in my mind, leaving me to ponder over characters and alternate endings. And then it happened, I asked, what if I wrote my own stories? It didn't take long before I purchased my first composition notebook for .75 cents and started writing my own stories.

Short stories, plays, what ever I wanted, I was in charge. As I got older and started spending less time at my grandmothers because my mother no longer needed her to watch me, I started showing up at her door asking if I could hang out for a bit.  She still kept to herself, I suppose that was the artist in her that enjoyed her solitude and perhaps her imagination was churning in her own head but either way, she didn't mind me being there with my head buried in a new composition notebook writing away while listening to my Walkman, (yes, I said Walkman). I also taught myself how to draw, to sew and do many other things in those times of insane boredom.

Looking back, sometimes, I felt like I wish I had more of an exciting time but now I realize that was me becoming me. I think about our children and I wonder if we are giving them enough of that balance. What talents would I not have, had I been glued to some screen that really does not offer the opportunity for me to search and dig until I find what's right for me. I watch  my son and how he uses the internet to learn things like playing the ukulele or discover information about what ever questions he may have. It can be an amazing tool but there is something to be said about just sitting in silence and digging deep within your soul to fulfill a need to be entertained or maybe even just content.

I know kids today have other activities going on just as they did yesteryear, but those moments they spend on their devices, does that take away from them having to deal with learning how to be bored, overcome that, and then discover parts of themselves they never even knew existed? I'm not saying that kids can't find their inner voices anymore or do amazing things for that matter, perhaps it just may be done in a different way, I just wonder, if some are not forced to have those moments, what will become of them? Will they find those secret treasures hiding right inside of them or will those things that make us quirky individuals fall to the side and lose the battle to the blue light that holds their gaze forever?


Co-sleeping, We Love It. So What's the Big Deal?

 I love our little family all snuggled up against one another in our bed. I love to hear the sound of my baby sleeping and I love the cuddles he gives me as he rests easy and feels the security of mommy and daddy being with him. He feels loved and I can see it as I watch him peacefully sleep. But I also love that he has now grown some independence and is able to sleep in his own crib and still feel safe and loved.

My little guy is finally sleeping in his own bed. We are a family of co-sleepers and I honestly thought this day would never come. This time around has definitely been a bit different and I know it's not over yet. Co-sleeping seems to be such a divided topic among us parents. Some seem to be totally against it and when you tell them you do it, they look at you like you're cheating on a test or doing something that is a big no no. Some treat it like it's a taboo subject and although they do it, they just don't talk about it or they whisper it like they're saying a dirty word. So what's the big deal?

With our older son, when he was a baby, we co-slept. Some family members raised eyebrows at us and claimed they could never. But we did it and we were fine with it. He would lie there perfectly still and sleep so peacefully. He would sleep in his bed as a toddler and then somewhere in the wee hours of the morning he would end up in our bedroom, standing by my side of the bed in the darkness just staring at me. No matter the fact that he did this pretty much every night it scared the crap out of me and after my mini heart attack I would scoop him up and snuggle him in the center with us. Co-sleeping worked for us. 

When Caleb is asleep in our bed, there is no doubt that he is there.  In fact, somehow his tiny body takes up the entire bed. I end up lying on my side hanging onto the edge of the bed for dear life.  I would sometimes look up to check on my husband because I thought maybe he was taking up more than his fair share, but no, my poor husband was usually in a worse place than I was with half his body hanging off the bed. It was my little munchkin who would be spread out in the middle of our bed. One foot pushing dad and an arm slapping me in the face occasionally. There are times where his little bum ends up right smack in my face. I'm not going to lie, co-sleeping with a toddler can get a little crazy. Our bed becomes a midnight circus with teddy bears flying around, blanky's being kicked off and individuals helping themselves to whatever snacks are around. My nights usually involve the occasional nibble at my nipple. Sometimes I'm so tired that I find myself waking up  with someone attached to my breast. But, we love it and wouldn't have it any other way. 

I am no expert, but what I have learned with situations like this is really to each his own. There is absolutely nothing wrong with these types of sleeping arrangements as long as everyone is on board and baby is safe in bed. Other than that, are we concerned that this will damage our little people and turn them into horrible adults one day who can't sleep alone? Am I worried that my boys will choose cheap and easy women to lie in bed with them because they can never sleep alone? I don't even remember where I heard that from but someone said that years ago to us about our first son, I swear I want to say it was one of our pediatricians but for some reason that just doesn't sound like something that would come out of a doctors mouth. Either way, NO! I'm not concerned.

My first stopped sleeping in our bed around three years old. I have this sneaky suspicion that our second will probably stay in bed with us until around four or five or sixteen, who knows. I love being a co-sleeping family because it brings us closer together. Snuggling is not a bad thing in our household and there is lots of it to go around and I usually get the most of it of course. 

What's interesting though, is that as Ian got older, and no longer slept with us, more and more people have started to open up about it, and it turns out, it's really not the worst thing in the world. In fact, at first, it seemed more of a cultural thing. People in other cultures around the world think co-sleeping is the most normal thing to do with your little ones. The more I started to hear it's normal all over from Japan to Europe to South America, I began to feel like some cool trend setting parent who raises her children in a cultured, worldly manner.

Now, with our second child, I hear even more people talking about co-sleeping with their kids. It seems to be quite popular among the millennials. So what's the big deal? Nothing and everything. As infants, this really helped with nursing. But something changes when they become toddlers. Look, we all have to choose what is comfortable for us as a family. I understand that sometimes things are not smooth sailing, but you made your choices because you know that's what works for you.

I've read different things that are actually in support and positive about co sleeping. Children feel safer and more secure. This helps to create a more gentle way to ease them into sleeping in their own beds. And this worked. Both times. Even though they are totally different children. We are not ones to put our kids in the crib and just let them scream it out. Caleb knows and understands exactly where we are in the house.

I wanted to share this in case there were some people sitting on the fence on whether or not to co-sleep. Remember, they do grow up and it's not forever. For those who are concerned about the safety of the baby in the bed, we used a Baby Delight Snuggle Nest. But there are so many other products out there like the Dock A Tot, which looks pretty cool.


Telling Your Kids to Marry for Money, is it OK?

As parents, we all want the best for our kids. In fact, we want them to have better experiences in life than we may have had. We know life isn't easy, but we sure do want to try to make it as easy for them as we can. We may try to nudge them in a direction that we know is best. In the privacy of our homes, we may share our "real" opinions with our kids, which if we shared in public, may make us sound a certain way. Sometimes, we make them the center of our worlds and not purposely, we teach them it's OK to be just a little "selfish" and to remember it's OK to look out for "#1" because we know this world can swallow you up in one quick gulp so, you have to look out for yourself and do what's best for you. Sometimes, this means being selective of who you spend your time around and where you spend it. This is normal and we do it out of love and they know this. But, in the area of love, is it OK to tell our kids to marry someone who is rich? To choose a mate that has money and wealth?

My concern is that we are teaching our kids to judge individuals based on what they have and not who they are. I get it. If your child can not acquire their own wealth but marries into wealth, this can ease our fears and worries. This morning I was watching the Today show and one of the topics was, "Is it OK to tell your daughter to marry a rich man?"  My first reaction was, "Hell No!" I don't even have daughters but if I did, I would not want them to choose men to date based on their financial situation. Wouldn't that make them gold diggers?

Also, as a woman, I am offended because that is the same thing as telling them they are not intelligent enough or capable of providing for themselves financially. This is showing them that happiness comes in the form of cold, hard plastic or crisp dollar bills.

It disheartens me to think that some day, women will look at my sons and see them for what they have and not who they are. I have a thirteen year old and a twenty month old, so I have no idea where they will be financially when they become adults. But I do know what we plan on teaching them when it comes to finding a spouse. I look at my oldest son and I see a creative, intelligent, talented individual growing into a fine young man. If I am concerned about any women he will be dating, it will not be because of what is in her pocket, but instead,what is in her heart.

Financial stability is a wonderful thing. No worries. The ability to take pay all your bills, live well, eat well, take vacations and come and go as you please. This is what everyone desires, however, teaching our children that only a certain type is good enough and everyone else is at the bottom of the barrel is horrible. This is a problem in our society and why we seem to be stagnant sometimes in so so many social areas. We lack empathy for one another and seem to think one size fits all.

I came across an article, "Why I Regret Telling My Son To Marry a Rich Girl". This was interesting because instead of a girl being told to marry a rich man, here you have a father telling his son to marry a rich woman. Because his son is "such a catch", as he put it, he believes that he needed to aim high in finding a woman to marry.

"You're such a good catch: handsome, athletic, working," I'd tell him, and then jokingly add: "You should aim high and find yourself a rich girl from a good family."
His son does find a rich woman but guess what, he's not good enough for her according to her family. What's interesting to me about this also, is that if you are rich does this automatically mean you come from a "good family"? I'm sorry, but I thought a good family was a family that sticks together no matter what. A family that supports and loves each other.  Does this mean , everyone else who falls below a certain pay scale is just not worthy enough.

I asked my 13 year old his thoughts and he said f he were to come across any woman who was more interested in his bank account than him as a person, then that is not the woman for him. I applaud him for that and truly pray that when he does enter the world as an adult, his values and morals will keep him strong in his decision making. My husband and I have been trying to raise him with the understanding that your job and your material wealth does not make you who you are. Your actions in this world is what makes you a man. The world is sometimes not a comfortable place and sometimes, you have to work hard to survive. Nothing comes easy.

First, everyone's journey is their own personal journey, so we tend to raise our children based on our own personal experiences and we try to prepare them for a world that we know and have experienced, so raise your children the way you want. No judgments, at the end of the day, we are all doing our best and just want our kids to be happy in life.

Let's face it, marriage is hard to begin with. Falling in love is easy. It's beautiful. It's sexy. When you find someone that rocks your world, it's quite magical. You get married and have a family, and then one day, you realize, marriage is work. Staying married, until death do you part, is hard. Like, really hard. It involves team work, it involves, empathy, and it involves paying the bills and living. Money does take the edge off if you've got it. Most couples argue about money and some even get divorced over it. So, wanting to keep your kids safe, I get it but isn't there another way to make sure our kids have some sort of financial safety without teaching them to depend on someone else?

There are young women out there who are entering the adult dating world believing they need to snag themselves a rich man. I can't be the only one out there that thinks this is absolutely disgusting. I have two boys, that my husband and I are trying to raise to be good men and I have to warn them about these women who will judge them and put them in a box based on what their income is. I don't know what their financial situations will be, of course I hope they are able to provide for themselves and hopefully live comfortably one day but I don't know if they will be rich. It's horrible to think that they may come across women who will judge their pockets before even knowing who they are. Honestly, if they are  not rich, I am happy that they won't have to worry about getting into relationships with these types, but I can't help but worry about the future of our society.

There are some serious things that need to change and this whole business of high society and million dollar bank accounts is not the future I pray for when it comes to our world. There are problems out there that are bigger than high society life and comparing and competing for what car you drive, what house you live in, etc. There is some serious soul discovering that needs to happen.This world is already filled with people who judge based on the way you look or what you have. I was hoping we could mover forward in our society by looking a little bit deeper.


Food Blogs, Glorious Food Blogs.

I love having access to awesome, healthy, tasty recipes right at my fingertips. Trying to cook healthy all of the time is sometimes not that easy. Especially when you have little and big bellies to fill. That's why I have to give a shout out to three cooking blogs I have fallen in love with.

Happy Kitchen. Rocks
I heart this blog. No really. I do. The recipes are approachable and can fit many types of diets. It's easy to navigate and there are many recipes to choose from that are different but yet you won't feel like your on a scavenger hunt at the supermarket. The pictures are beautiful and really inspire me. Elena Szeliga likes to make food "look pretty" she says in her about section. I agree, food should be pretty before it goes down. When you're  a mom whose on the go-go-go all of the time and dinner has to be on the table to feed little people who have not mastered patience yet, this is a great site to check out. The Vegan Mexican Chopped Salad with Avocado Dressing was a knock out. I actually did tackle the Ratatouille, which is a dish that takes a little bit more time when I was able to which was a hit at my dinner table.

Yes, More Please!
This blog is as cute as can be. Again, in any cooking blog I follow, I am looking for healthy, ease,and of course delicious. I crave different also because sometimes things get a little boring in the kitchen and my audience of tasters will not judge harshly, to my face that is, but I still aim to please the taste buds of my crew. One person doesn't love sweet potatoes. Another doesn't care for kale. And I believe I heard someone say, "Quinoa what!" But when you put it all together for Sweet Potato Kale and Quinoa Fritters, you've got a whole different story.  I also love this blog because it is run by a husband and wife team. Ian and Mariana McEnroe. How cute! She cooks he photographs. Lovin in the oven. That's awesome!

Living Sweet Moments
This blog is more than just a food blog. While there are great recipes to try, there's also a little bit of everything else. Tiffany is the author and cook of this food blog and also holds a degree in Psychology. She talks about everything under the sun, parenting, household, money, entertainment and travel. The dish that I really liked was the Cauliflower Fried Rice. First of all, I love cauliflower, second, has anyone else noticed the cauliflower craze recently? This dish is a must try and this blog is a must read.

I love skimming through Pinterest for all of the fantastic pictures of yummy foods out there. I follow multiple groups from gluten free, to clean eating, to my fave the avocado. In my opinion, a picture is worth a thousand taste buds when it comes to food. I hope you enjoy these food blogs as much as I have.