Kill the green monster of envy

Green with envyToday we are going to talk about our ugly green friend and I don’t mean the green monster at Fenway Park. I’m talking about the one who shows up uninvited and we keep hidden from our other friends at all cost.

In all seriousness, envy is a sneaky little fella who can wreak havoc in our life if we choose to entertain him. I know this from experience AND I know the blissful freedom that comes when we are able to kick envy to the curb. I am excited for us to talk about envy and to share some of the things I have learned that have helped me!

From social media interactions to our flesh and blood friend next door, there are endless ways every single day for envy to creep into our life. Envy is as old as time. Think Cain and Abel, Adam and Eve’s children. Yet, our interconnectedness through technology, piping pictures of others, looking their best and completely in love from exotic locations, right to our phones, as we lounge in our pj’s with morning breath, can make envy feel more inescapable than ever. Right?

What exactly is Continue reading

Generosity: giving is the better gift!

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When it comes to your happiness, the old adage that it is better to give than receive, really is true.

It is something that has always provided a huge happiness boost in my life. So much so, that my family always insists any birthday or holiday money I receive from them has to be spent on ME. It’s kind of a running joke for us, but I am telling you, there really IS something to giving being the better gift.

Did you know that studies have shown the act of being generous Continue reading

Amazing Vegan Chili

Vegan Chili

Anything vegan or vegetarian is a hard sell for my carnivorous husband. Dinner just isn’t dinner for him without some sort of meat on the plate. When I was whipping up dinner for a friend recently, who happens to be eating vegan, and offered to make some for our family too, Brance wasn’t so sure. He was especially not excited because he loves chili, it’s one of his favorite foods, and he couldn’t imagine Continue reading

How to have an amazing Valentine’s Day regardless of your relationship status

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Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that can fall on the scale from completely wonderful to absolutely terrible, depending on what is going on with our love life at the time. So, instead of focusing on that (our relationship status), lets talk a bit about love. And yes, there is more to love than romance! We don’t even have to be in a relationship to give and receive love, one of the most beautiful things in this life. And it doesn’t even have to be with someone we know – it can happen with a complete stranger.

Here are some things you need to know about love!

  • Love is not necessarily chocolates, or flowers, or fancy dinners. Although, those things can come from a heart of love.
  • Love is when we help a neighbor or friend in a time of need by dropping off a dinner or offering to watch their pet or child.
  • Love is a smile or a hug or a pat.
  • Love wants others to feel cared for and valued. It doesn’t draw attention unnecessarily to itself.
  • Love is saying a kind word to a stranger we meet. Or offering encouragement to a coworker when they are down.
  • Love is the countless prayers given up by parents with children no longer in their care.
  • Love is being genuinely excited for our friends and others when good things happen to them, instead of wishing that it had happened to us.
  • Love is visiting and sitting with a lonely elderly person or a shut-in. It’s taking interest in helping a needy child or family.
  • Love is not wrapped up in expressing all that it knows, but rather, it is a listening ear and caring heart.
  • Love is waiting without resentment or frustration. It’s finding what we can do to serve others, even when our life isn’t going the way we had hoped.
  • Love is the tireless wiping of noses and cleaning up of messes and the cuddles and kisses and very little free time experienced by those with small children.
  • Love does not easily take offense and causes us to extend forgiveness in our hearts when we are wronged.
  • Love is buying a single friend flowers to brighten their day (a dear couple did this for me on Valentine’s Day back when I was single and it meant so much!).
  • Love IS full of trust and hope and never gives up! Real love will never, ever, ever let us down!

Continue reading

“All that deep, deep, deep snow, all that snow had to go”

South Boston Sidewalk after Blizzard

Sidewalks in South Boston have become more like tunnels. The snow in the picture above is piled up taller than Brance on both sides!

South Boston Snow Pile After Blizzard

There are enormous snow piles on almost every corner. Sometimes they block off the sidewalk entirely, so people are mostly walking in the streets. And to think we are still supposed to get more in the next couple days! All I can think of is the opening lines from the Dr. Seuss book, The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, that the girls love me to read… Continue reading

Always by our side…

IMG_2289They were there to greet us eyes full of love the day we entered this world. They cheered as we took our first steps and held us close to comfort us after each fall.

They made sure we had snacks to eat and that we brushed every day. At night, they tucked us in with our favorite stuffed toy, soothing any fear away.

Then when the time came, they painfully dropped us off at school, but only smiled and said we were going to do great. And they sat many hours in drop-off and pick-up lines and always were so excited to see us, and to hear all about our day, even when they were tired.

So many sacrifices they made Continue reading

We’re getting more…

Snowy Sunset Southie

Snow!!! Yes, I know; shocker, right?

The funny thing is that just a couple of days ago, I was bemoaning the fact that we hadn’t had a real snow yet this winter in Boston. And, well, now we have had a couple VERY real snows folks and one right now that is supposed to leave us with another hefty amount of white fluffy. I don’t want to complain, but this might just be too much of a good thing. Although, I know two sweet little girls who probably would say otherwise :).

Trash Day Southie

Similar to the abundance of snow with nowhere to go, we have another kind of abundance Continue reading

Super Simple “Asian” Dish Recipe

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Meals have gotten complicated at our house. And I know the blame falls largely with me and my dietary restrictions because of Ulcerative Colitis. My gastroenterologist told me that diet plays no role, but I have found that what I eat makes a huge difference. Often I end up fixing a meal for the rest of the family and then something entirely different for myself. I just don’t feel good about restricting Brance and the girl’s diet as much as mine is… no dairy (except butter), no legumes, no tomatoes, no peppers, no potatoes, no oats, really no gluten at all, no nuts etc. (Although, occasionally, I will break from my diet for my favorite Indian dish).

When I  fix something for the rest of the family that I can’t have, I try to make what I fix for myself as simple as possible. Preparing one meal is tough enough, right? There are very few recipes out there that fit all of my dietary restrictions. Like, so few,  it feels like it requires more effort than it is worth to find one. So, because I’m sailing in new waters, I’m kind of making things up as I go. Most of the time my family prefers what is on their own plates, BUT on occasion I really hit it out of the ballpark and they actually prefer what I am eating. Here was one such instance this week… Continue reading

A week off TV, what do you think?

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We’re taking the week off TV. It wasn’t something we planned for, it just kind of happened. For better or worse, I am a wee bit impulsive and often commit to things I haven’t completely thought through. Not a good thing, I know. I realized Sunday afternoon that living in a cold city where getting out in the winter, especially with all the snow, is tough, plus homeschooling thrown into the mix, we had come to rely on TV more than I would like. Not a ridiculous amount, just more than I felt comfortable with.

TV watching history

When Brance was a kid his parents got fed up with the miserable programming on TV (this was the 70’s!). His dad and mom actually Continue reading