Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tri 4 Schools (Isthmus)

If you're not already familiar with Tri 4 Schools, I encourage you to do so! It is an amazing organization, spearheaded by an even more amazing woman, that puts money back into local schools to go towards health and fitness education costs, something that gets put on the back burner much more than it should.

Tri 4 Schools hosts four annual events each spring through fall that are directed at kids ages 3 to 15, including a mud run and the upcoming Middleton Kids Triathlon. Yes, a kids' triathlon!

My oldest has participated in both the Waunakee Kids Triathlon and this year's Verona Mud Run, both put on by Tri 4 Schools. The races were well-run, extremely kid friendly and just plain fun!

Learn more about the organization, its founder and the runs here.

My son completing his first mud run through Tri 4 Schools.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Top Docs Profiles (Madison Magazine)

I know it's been a long, long time, but I did want to get the word out about two articles I recently had published in Madison Magazine. I was privileged to be a part of their bi-annual Top Docs issue and write profiles on two very prestigious, hard-working doctors in the Madison area.

The first profile is on Dr. Azita Hamedani, who has given a complete makeover to the Emergency Medicine program at UW Hospital, creating a strong teaching program in partnership with the university. Read more about her and her work here.

The second profile is on Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, a pediatrician who has put his full dedication into the state's Reach Out and Read program, working tirelessly to ensure children are given early access and exposure to literacy. Read more about his work here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Apple Pie Bites...and they're healthy!

I wouldn't label my kids picky eaters by any means--and for this I feel very fortunate. But, once in a while, I feel like we go through a bit of a "snack rut," where they're regularly asking for Goldfish crackers or some other starchy thing that I think is fine once in a while, but not on a daily basis. So, I'm always on the lookout for healthy snack alternatives.

Here's a snack I created that's healthy, delicious and simple...what more could you ask for?

Apple Pie Bites
1 c. dried apple rings
1 c. dates
½ c. shredded coconut (toasted if you prefer)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla

Place dried apple rings and dates in a bowl of warm water to cover, for up to 15 minutes to soften. Drain. Place fruit, along with all other ingredients, in your food processor and process for about 1-2 minutes, until all ingredients combine and clump together. Roll into 1-inch (or whatever size you prefer) balls and space out on a parchment-lined pan. Refrigerate for about 20-30 minutes and then serve.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Festa Italia (Isthmus)

Are you game for a spaghetti eating contest?

For those of you local to the Madison area, be sure to stop by Festa Italia this weekend at McKee Farms Park in Fitchburg. To learn more about the event, as well as the group behind it (the longest-running Italian Workmen's Club in the nation, I should add), read my article in the Isthmus.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Books for the World in Isthmus

It brings me joy when I hear about charitable organizations whose mission is two-fold. Books for the World not only helps the environment by keeping large quantities of books and educational materials out of the landfill, but they turn around and give those materials a whole new life in Third World countries. What a win-win!!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Brava Magazine: Eating Disorders and Motherhood

I'm proud to share my feature article in April's Brava magazine! I want to thank everyone who contributed to the article and made it what it was. I hope other women can find inspiration in these three women's stories and how hard they have worked to overcome their illness in the face of motherhood.

The Joy of Now

As a parent, it can be so easy to get caught up in the yesterdays and tomorrows: What are we going to do to keep the kids busy this summer? Remember when Johnny was just a baby, and we could cradle him in our arms? 

As a parent in today's world, it's even easier than ever to distract yourself from now. Mobile devices make it possible for a person to distract themselves any second of the day, no matter where they are at that moment. And while we can all make the argument that we are using these devices purposefully ("I'm just shooting off an e-mail for work." or "I'm checking our calendar to see if we're free that weekend."), it's not surprising that research shows that these behaviors are having damaging effects on our children.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Misery of Being a Grown-Up

The realities of being a grown-up!

Those bills need to be paid, today. You need to call somebody about that drip in the basement. You need to go back to the grocery store and tell them your receipt doesn't reflect that awesome BOGO promotion there was so much signage for you'd be blind to miss it--but yet, somehow, their computer system still did. You need to speak to a manager because the service, or the food, or something at this restaurant is truly sub-par and your experience has been awful because of it.

And those are just the little things. What about the big decisions? Should we remodel or move? Lease or own? Family of three, four or more? Stay together or call it quits? Keep working that emotionally-draining job or take a leap of faith that something better is out there?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Eleven Signs You're a Parent

There are some things in our pre-parenting lives that we just didn't appreciate the way we do now, and that really are unavoidable upon entering the parenting realm:

11. You can almost never finish something you've started (not in one go, at least).
10. You realize there truly is a difference between "G," "PG" and "PG-13" rated movies. A BIG difference.
9. Many lyrics in many popular songs don't seem so "cool" any more.
8. You've got to be a lot better about hiding certain things, be it your secret chocolate stash or something else...
7. You no longer think it's gross, but can understand the importance of doing post-bathroom spot checks well into elementary school.
6. Chuck E. Cheese is your new nightmare.
5. Your wardrobe = functional over stylish.
4. You now find the hilarity in the noise of the adult voices on Peanuts movies.
3. You're in by 10, out (as in "lights out") by 10:30.
2. You embrace the minivan as very practical and functional--everything you need in a family ride!
AND...the one you probably really held out on for as long as you could...
1. You do find yourself referring to your spouse as "mom" or "dad"

What perceptions have changed for you with the onset of parenting?

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

UpShift Your Wardrobe

I had the fun experience of checking out UpShift, a clothing exchange store on Madison's east side. For $20, you can bring in up to three bags of clothes and accessories you're ready to part with and walk out with new stuff inside those very same bags.

Check out their special events line-up, too, as the fee is usually reduced to $10 and free boxed wine is included. Sounds like a mom's night out to me...

Learn more in my Isthmus article.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Exceedingly Eleven Most Surprising Things About Parenting

Let's face it--I don't think there's one of us out there that hasn't had something unexpected occur during our parenting journey. As much as we all thought we knew what we were getting into, there were things along the way that we had no idea were going to happen...

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Being Early

"The early bird catches the worm." --William Camden

I have a confession to make: I have a really hard time making it to places on time. Okay, so people who know me already knew that. But, honestly, one of my top New Year's Resolutions for many, many years has been: "to be on time." And, since it has been a resolution for many, many years, that means I have yet to be successful at it. This year, I'm trying a little different tactic.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Exceeding Eleven Grossest Parenting Moments

I was trying to "think outside the box" from the usual "Top Ten" lists. There's always one more worth adding, right?! I hope to make this a weekly round-up, so check back often for new lists.

I feel the need to laugh today; I'm sure you do too. Being cooped up in the longest winter ever starts to get to a person after a while. So, let's kick this weekly list off with a funny one...The Exceedingly Eleven Grossest Parenting Moments:

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Joy of the Sun (or Sun Salutation)

It's a challenge to stay mindful and present during this cold, hard winter. All I can think about lately is when spring will come. I know I'm not alone. But there is one constant with us through every season (even though it may hide behind the clouds some days): the sun. If you're feeling down about the weather or you can't keep yourself in the present moment because you're too busy thinking of spring (or even jumping ahead to summer!), why not try to bring yourself back to the present with an ancient practice known as a sun salutation?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

So you think you can sew...

When I was asked if I had any interest in covering a story on the Sewcial Lounge, I couldn't have said "yes" fast enough. In fact, I already had it written down as one of my possible pitch ideas!

I love anything to do with sewing and fabric, so I was enamored the moment I entered the store. Check out the article in this week's Isthmus. And if you enjoy sewing or want to try your hand at it, check out a class at the Sewcial Lounge. Also, stay tuned for a future post or two that involve some simple sewing projects.
Most of the projects featured in-house were completed by the owner, Sara Myers, so she can expertly answer any questions you have.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The True Meaning of Valentine's Day

So I realize this post is a bit outdated as Valentine's Day was four days ago, but in my Procrastinator's Handbook the section entitled "Better Late than Never" says you can make up for your untimeliness if you have a reasonable argument for why you don't need to do something on the actual date. Here goes...

Monday, February 3, 2014

Easy Parfaits

Having just written a post about how to make your morning routine run more smoothly, I thought this would be the perfect time to introduce a (first!) recipe to the blog. These simple parfaits can be made ahead of time and are really delicious and good for you! All you have to do is pull one out of the refrigerator for a quick, healthy breakfast!

ITM: Morning Routine

Oh, how I long for those days in early September when going to school was novel and fun and the kids jumped out of bed to get ready. Then, as the days got shorter and the darkness got longer, things started to slow down. Throw subzero temps into the mix and an erratic schedule of actual school days and I feel like I should just throw my hands up into the air and give up!

At one point, when I asked my kids why they thought we'd started running behind in the mornings and having to rush, my oldest admitted "Because we were really excited about school at the beginning of the year, and now we're not." You have to appreciate a seven year-old's simple truth.

Friday, January 31, 2014

The Greenhouse Store in the Isthmus

I know I've been a little slow-to-post lately. I have several things in the hopper--stay tuned!!

I did want to shoot a quick link out to my latest article, though. I have once again been published in the Isthmus newspaper, this time with a review of a really cool shop on Willy St. called The Greenhouse Store. All you gardeners out there, this one is for you!

Remember to show your support by commenting, "liking" on FB, +1 on Google, etc. etc. Thanks!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Play's the Thing (Act II)

I'm fortunate in my life to have crossed paths with so many wonderful mentors and friends in the education field. Hands-down, this is one of the most important fields to invest in. It is the foundation of everything our society is currently and is to become.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Joy of the Dentist

I had a not-so-fun dental procedure (forgive my redundancy) done today, and you may be wondering from my choice of post titles if it included any laughing gas. It didn't; however, I'm choosing to view it as a positive experience because of the opportunity it offered me to enrich my mindfulness journey, believe it or not!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Art of the To-Do List

You may remember in my New Year's post I talked about setting goals as opposed to resolutions for the year, and that my primary focus was to work on my time management issues (ahem) challenges. I will be doing a series of posts throughout the year, which will include techniques I am trying and changes I am making on this organizational journey, which will be dubbed "Integrated Time Management" or ITM (you may have heard of "Integrated Pest Management" or IPM--a method used to solve pest problems while still being as forgiving as possible to people and their environment? I'd like to think of this as very similar methodology.)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Mindful Parenting in Isthmus

I am very excited to announce my first article "in print" since my reintroduction into the writing world. Of course, like all things today, you can also access it electronically by clicking here

Isthmus gave me my first big break (and several thereafter) when I started writing years ago, so I am happy to be working with them again. It is a great weekly newspaper that isn't afraid to tackle some big issues. After you check out my article, look around some more.

Happy reading!!