Saturday, October 18, 2014

Give Me Five: Reasons I Like Being A Vegetarian!

I have always wanted to give being a Vegetarian a try, I'm not a big meat eater anyway. And with my son's Wedding coming up, we've been trying to slim down a little, so when we had about 6 weeks till the Wedding, I suggested we commit 4 weeks, 1 whole month to being Vegetarian. My Husband (who does love meat) was game & my 17 year old Daughters wanted to give it a try as well. Well, we did our 4 weeks & liked it so much, we're still going strong!

Here are 5 Reasons Why I Like Being A Vegetarian:

1. Being a Vegetarian causes you to be more conscious of what you're eating! No more Mindless Eating! You can't just say it's lunchtime, I'll just pull into this fast food joint & pick something up! You have to think about what you can & cannot eat! And that means Healthier choices!

2. Eating Fresh! Being a Vegetarian, means eating a lot of Fruits & Vegetables, which means eating less processed foods! That has to be better for you!

3. It causes us, and more importantly our kids to try new & different foods! It's been quite an adventure! Some good, some not so good! :) We've even made some up as we go! Some of our favorites have been Homemade Mac N' Cheese stuffed in Bell Peppers, and Grilled Sweet Potato Nachos! You can look on our Vegetarian Pinterest Board for more ideas!

4. Being A Vegetarian makes us Look Hip! :) That's right, you get to hang out out at cool places like Trader Joe's, and at the Hip new Restaurants in town with all the young, cool people! And yes, I am that shallow! :)

5. I've never seen a fat Vegetarian! HaHa!! And I hope I'm not the first! :) But, seriously, It is healthy and you do feel better when you eat better!

Our favorite way of eating is the Mediterranean Diet (the healthiest people in the world live in the Mediterranean!) And being a Vegetarian is very similar. We are also eating fish, but that's our only meat. And I try to make sure my girls are getting enough protein in their diet. The girls and I are seriously considering eating this way indefinitely! So if you got any good Vegetarian Recipes, send them our way! And think before you eat! 

Friday, October 3, 2014

17 Years!!

17 Years of Joy!!
17 Years of Fun!!
17 Years of Love!!
17 Years of Twins!!
17 Years of Beauty!!
17 Years of Laughter!! 
17 Years of Sisterhood!!

Happy 17th Birthday Erica & Lexi! 
What Beautiful, Fun, Loving, Giving, Smart
Young Women You Are!
I'm so Honored & Proud to be your Mom!  

Monday, September 29, 2014

Beauty And Booty!! And What It Means To Be A Feminist!

On a recent award show I watched, it seemed to me that just about every song that was preformed that night were women singing about the size of their behinds (and showing them to us, just in case we didn't believe their song.) And it's really got me thinking . . .

As a Woman, and a Mother of Teenage Daughters, I totally support Women embracing their Beauty, both inside and out. But not the objectifying of women, even if it's done by themselves. We all hate (or should hate) rap songs that minimize women into just their body parts, so why would we do that to ourselves? Or being told by a country singer to "shake it for me" as if that's all a girl is for. If you get the chance look up a song by: Maddie & Tae called Girl In A Country Song. :)

Beyonce is heralded as a feminist. But, let's look at the next picture; does anything about this picture say Equality? (which is what feminism is) Her husband Jay Z, is fully clothed and looking cool, but what does her outfit say? To me it's saying 'whats in my head or coming out of my mouth does not matter, it's all just about the body.' Is that the lesson she wants to teach her daughter? It's not what I want my girls to learn. Beyonce is beautiful. She's also extremely talented and a smart business woman. Like all women, she is so much more than just how she looks. I don't understand why she diminishes herself as she does.

When I gave birth to Twin Girls, immediately people started commenting on their looks. People would constantly tell me (and them) how beautiful they were. I was told they would live a charmed life. That we'd have to beat the boys away when they got older. That they would be heartbreakers, Etc. I knew they were Beautiful, I believe every girl is! But I didn't want it just to be about their looks, so starting when they were newborns, as I was rocking them to sleep I would whisper in their ears things like "You are so smart!", "You are funny!", "You're Sweet!", Etc. Lame I know, but I wanted my girls to know there is more to life than just how you look, you have to be a good person as well!

It reminded me of in The Help, how the Nanny would tell the little girl who was always being told how chubby she was "You is Kind, You is Smart, You is Important." That brings tears to my eyes. And to this day my girls still get stopped by strangers and told "You are so Pretty!", or "I love your hair!", or how beautiful their eyes are. But I think my whispers into their little ears just might have worked as well since they are straight A students, Golden Scholars. They are Caring and Loving young women. And beyond Talented. So much more than just a pretty face, as is every girl! 

Now, I'm all for fun, playful songs, you know I love Katy Perry and the like, and right now "I'm all about that bass! Cause my momma she told me don't worry about your size!" ;) But I guess what I'd really like to say to today's artists like JLo, Nicki Minaj, Iggy Azalea, Beyonce, Rihanna and Ariana Grande is that if the size of your butt is your biggest accomplishment in life, (pun intended) then by all means sing it's praises all day long. But there is so much more to a woman. (both literally and figuratively!)

I wish today's artists would get that. Men don't have to dress in next to nothing to sell records, so why do women? We really need to think about the messages we're sending to young girls. You are beautiful, but you are so much more!

Speaking of Feminism, I want to share with you Emma Watson, the young actress who plays Hermione in the Harry Potter Movies addressing the U.N. Women don't want to identify themselves as a Feminist, because they think that means Man hating, or Man bashing, but that's not at all what it means. Its simply believing Men and Women should have equal rights. If they do the same job, they should be paid the same wage, which even in this day and age, is not happening. I've tried to raise my Daughters (and my Sons for that matter) as Feminists! Please watch.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Readers Challenge!

A friend of mine tagged me on Facebook in a Readers Challenge. You have to come up with a list of 10 Books that have meant something to you. They don't have to be the "right" Books, or works of great literature. They just had to make you feel something! My favorite kind of books! I was very excited to do this, but it was VERY hard to come up with just 10 Books!

So here are the 10 Books I came up with:
1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
2. Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
3. The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman
4. Dancing Naked In Front Of The Fridge; And Other Lessons From Twins by Nancy J. Sipes
5. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
6. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
7. Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik
8. Traveling With Pomegranates by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor
9. The Pilots Wife by Anita Shreve
10. Love Walked In by Marisa De Los Santos

And since I keep all the Books I've read and love, I had to take a picture! :) The only one missing is the Help, I lent it out. Little Women is my all time favorite book! Reading Lolita In Tehran is a book I think all women should read! The Pilot's Wife was my first Oprah Book Club book, and it's still one of the best! Eat, Pray, Love and Traveling With Pomegranates are Travel Memoirs, you learn a lot when you travel, and I guess you can from others' travels as well! I recommend The Five Love Languages to all couples getting Married as well as to parents! Dancing Naked In Front Of The Fridge is about Twins, written by Twins, I learned a lot from it as I was raising my Twins! The Help is funny and it really shows where we've come from with Racism in this country. Love Walked In is the first Book I'd read by Marisa De Los Santos & I just adore the way she writes! And Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons, even though it has a funny name, it's the kind of Book that when it ends, you feel like you're leaving Friends! That's why I picked my 10! What would your 10 be?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Adventures In Interviews!

Before I started the job I have now, you could say I was a full time Job Hunter! I had lost my job in December (though I knew I wanted a new job, so I had actually started looking awhile before that!) I took the time during the Holidays off to be with my family, then soon after the New Year I started the Job Hunt in earnest! I sent out hundreds of Resumes. And from January through May, I went on over 35 Interviews! I am not exaggerating. I've also, being in Management, been the Interviewer, so I've been on both sides of the Interview desk. I'll share my tips on how to find available jobs, writing a Resume, and how to have a successful Job Interview, to land the job of your dreams latter, but now I just wanna share some of the many Adventures I had on all of those Interviews. Some were great, some were bad & some were down right disturbing. 

I've had Phone Interviews, one on ones, Group Interviews where one person interviewed several people at a time, or several people interviewed a group of prospective employees together, and where several people interviewed just me. I've been in a Group Interview, where we had to fill in a worksheet & number the items in importance, and then work together as a team, to decide on the order of items, then turn in our sheets so they could see how we compromised, and what items we thought important enough to go to bat for. When it comes to Job Interviews, I've been there, done that! I went on an Interview for an office job at a chiropractor's office, only to realize when I got there, with over 70 others, they were just trying to drum up new business. "Now obviously, we can't hire all of you, but to thank you for coming out tonight, we want to give you a free examination." How nice of them! Not! I bet they weren't even really hiring! And for an office job in a plumbing office, when I asked about their dress code I was told quote: "As long as you're not showing butt crack, I don't care what you wear. You can come to work in your pajamas if you want to!" Now grant it, they're used to dealing with Plumbers, but really? Come on now! I've been on Interviews where I had to put outfits together for different types of people. I had to merchandise shelves with any thing I could find in their store. And pretend to sell them something I may or may not know anything about.

I've had an Interviewer tell me "I've never met a Blogger before, I can't wait to look it up and read!" I wonder if she's reading this. :) And one, when she found out I liked to read asked me for Book recommendations & we ended up talking about books long after I knew that wasn't a place I wanted to work! For one of my interviews I was told "We just moved into a new office building, and we don't really use the front door, so just come on in through the back." I told my Husband, I would check it out, if it looked fishy in anyway, I wouldn't go in. But when I got there there were people all around, coming & going, so I felt pretty safe going in. I found myself walking through an Industrial Kitchen, saying "Hello?" as I rounded a corner I started seeing offices & found the person I was meeting with. She was dressed how I would dress if I were painting my house, old jeans & a ratty, paint splattered t-shirt. I thought "Did I get the Interview date wrong?" nope. She was expecting me. As with many Interviewers, she was unprepared. You would think if you looked over Resumes, took the time to call perspective employees, and scheduled an Interview, you would prepare for said Interview! I found, more than once that that was not the case. I've had those interviewing me, when they've seen on my Resume that I have a back ground in Management and have been responsible for hiring & firing employees have ask me how they were doing as an Interviewer, or ask for tips in Interviewing. And have even told me, "We should have hired you to come in and do all our Interviews for us!" Yeah, in some cases, they should have! But, back to my Interviewer in the paint spattered shirt, in the middle of our Interview, she leans back in her chair across the desk from me, says "excuse me", proceeds to lift her belly up & zips up her jeans. Oh my gosh! Let that one sink in for a bit.

On my many Interview Adventures, besides all the usual questions you're always asked, I have been asked some really strange questions, Like whether or not I like Led Zeppelin (I married a rocker, I'm not one! Does that mean I can't work here?) I was asked: How many yards in a first down? (Yes, I knew that, 10. But what does that have to do with the job? I have no idea!) I was asked what are my favorite Websites to visit? (Goodreads, Twitter) And believe it or not I have been asked a couple of really great questions, I love it when I'm surprised and am actually asked a question I've never heard before! One great question was "Which, if any, Employers Rules are okay to break?" I even said "That is such a great question!" (then I told about working where we had a rule, you have to throw away all Testers, and old product. But we would use them from time to time as prizes for contests we held for employees. And I once had a customer sharing with me how her house had burned down & she lost everything, and I broke the rules and gave her some products.) Another great question I was asked was "If you could cross one thing off your Bucket List, what would it be?" (Mine is Traveling to Greece! Why, you planning on sending me?!)

It is really a good thing that I, unlike most people, actually really like Job Interviews! I am not kidding! I love meeting new people. And what better subject to talk about than yourself, right?! :) People tell me "I hate interviews, I always feel like I'm bragging!" But the truth is you are there so they can see how you will represent their company. Can you sell them to potential customers? So sell! You have to look at a Job Interview like you are selling a product, the product just happens to be yourself! And hopefully, you have competent people interviewing you! :)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Fathers Day A Month Late!

I had a good idea for my Husband for Father's Day this year. I wanted to get him tickets to go to an Arizona Diamondbacks Baseball Game.

I wasn't sure exactly how to do that. I was on the phone with my son, talking me through it, as I was trying to buy tickets on line! Normally I would just have my husband buy any tickets I wanted, but since they were a surprise for him I couldn't very well do that this time!

I was looking at the games schedule thinking I'd choose a game in June, but then I saw the Detroit Tigers were playing us in July! Score!

Since we lived in Michigan for over 8 years and our Daughters were born there, John's favorite team is the Tigers! He was pretty excited when he opened his gift on Fathers Day, even though he had to wait awhile to use them!

 On the day of the Game, we took the Light Rail down town, and to our surprise it was full of Tiger fans! Since Arizona was late to game of having a professional team & there are a lot of transplanted people in AZ, there tend to be a lot of fans of the opposing team at a lot of our games.

But this day there were probably more people rooting for the Tigers than for the Diamondbacks! But being Arizona natives, we kinda root for both teams! And are happy no matter who wins! :)

Our National Anthem was sung by Broadway's "Jersey Boy", who was here doing the play in Phoenix that week!

We had a great time Celebrating the worlds best Dad! Some people celebrate Christmas in July, so why not have Father's Day in July as well?! And to top it off the Tigers won! 

Going to the game brought back some great memories of when we lived in Michigan. We'd been to the old Tiger Stadium a number of times, and the new one was built & opened just before we moved away, so we were able to take our boys to see one of the coolest stadiums ever! Where we got to ride the Carousel made up of all Tigers! Good Times!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sisterhood Everlasting

I've just finished reading Sisterhood Everlasting by: Ann Brashares. It had been quite awhile since I'd read her Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants Books, so to refresh my memory I watched the Movies made from those Books. The first Movie coincides with the first Book, the second Movie is kinda like the other three Books combined. They are about a group of 4 girls, who's Mothers met in a pregnancy exercise group, and have been best friends their whole lives. The summer before they turn 16 they find a pair of Jeans that miraculously fit and look amazing on all 4 of them, even though they are different shapes & sizes. So since they are spending the summer apart for the first time of their lives, they decide to share the pants, taking turns wearing them for a week & them sending them on to their "sister." The Books take us through the next 4 summers with the girls and their traveling pants. They travel, fall in love, meet people who change their lives, Graduate High School, move, start College, take jobs and start careers, all while sharing the magical Pants. That is until the pants are lost. The girls remain friends through everything life throws at them. And meet all of life's challenges together.

It's now 10 years latter. Lena, Tibby, Carmen & Bridget are on the verge of turning 30 and making life altering decisions, when this Author decided to revisit them. And if, like me, you think you know these girls and how they will turn out, then, like me, you will find out your were wrong! That's right. I'm not wrong often, especially when it comes to Books, but this once I was! :) I love it when a Book surprises me, and this one definitely does that! I didn't see what happens coming at all. And at first I thought I didn't like where it was going, but once again I was surprised. I enjoyed reading Sisterhood Everlasting. It's short easy to read chapters, that tell the story from each of the girls perspectives. And I'll admit it, I'm a sucker when it comes to Books on female Friendships! So, if you liked The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants Books (though I don't think you necessarily have to have read them) or Movies, then pick up Sisterhood Everlasting & let me know what you think of it.

Now, I'm off to answer that most Loved and Hated of all Questions; What Should I Read Next? It's always fun trying to decide, as I have a pretty large To Be Read list!