Monthly Archives: September 2016

How Failure is an Option

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I have had this idea rolling around in my head for a while, the idea about failure and how it pertains to life.  A month ago I had the opportunity to watch the movie “13 Hours,” where the notion of failure was definitely not an option because it meant lives lost.  Failure is not an option for places like the operating room.  But are there instances where failure can lead to success?  Think about all the inventors of the world who used failure as a way to guide themselves to the end solution.  Had these people never made that initial mistake, perhaps half the gadgets we use on a daily basis would be obsolete!

I may need to back up just a bit here because the idea of “failure” occurred a couple of months ago when two friends of mine, during separate conversations, talked about how they decided to let their child “fail” at something.  They were not going to try and sway decisions on life choices or closely monitor and correct every piece of homework.  They had come to the finality that their kids were old enough to know what to do and how to do it.  “Time to stop hand-holding,” was the mantra they were lamenting to me.  Now, these amazing ladies are great moms and I have taken countless advice from them on parenting myself.  So when I heard these two individuals talk about letting go a little and allowing their child to make a mistake I had to stop and take notice.  I had to stop and think about my own ways of parenting and whether I was willing to let failure be an option.

In a society that focuses on perfectionism and never letting the ball drop, tossing around the idea of actually not losing it over a mistake or mishap seems foreign.  I am a perfectionist myself, more so when it comes to my own being, but I also color code my closet and straighten crooked pictures in public places.  But the more I think about this option of “failure,” the more I can see where our kids could benefit from strong-willed parents stepping back and seeing what kinds of decisions our sons and daughters can make on their own.  Now, of course, there has to be sensibility in this idea.  You are not going to let a toddler walk across the street alone or your “tween” daughter hang out by herself at the mall.  But perhaps you stop doing the school projects.  Perhaps stop stepping in the middle of every little tiff at school that may not be as big a deal 24 hours later.  Let your kids gain a sense of control and independence, even if it means the result is not an A or being the most popular one at school.  That in itself could be the golden ticket for getting through life.  Life is hard and full of ups and downs that younger generations seems to not handle as well.  Why not help our kids discover their inner strength and perseverance to use when they pull all-nighters in college or go for the first job interview.  We, as parents, can’t be there to hold their hand through every major event, but teaching them how to draw upon themselves and learn from past “failures” could be the best form of parenting.

I have been watching an online parenting webinar for the past year by Amy McCready (positiveparentingsolutions.com).  Not every piece of information works for my kids, but she always provides a starting ground or successful path for me to try out.  Ironically, something McCready discusses is stepping back from things that are age appropriate for kids and letting them try it out on their own.  For my Type-A, hates to see a mess kinda personality, that was rocket science.  Could I do it?  Could I be the mom that knew when to guide and step in and when to let go and my children spread their wings of independence?  I would and still do need gentle reminders to calm down and let go a little more so my kids can gain more character.  Baby steps and major feats are helping me to find those opportunities for my kids to do more, learn more, and possibly fail more.  And when it happens, we all get back up, brush off the dust and remember that tomorrow is another day.

 

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The Falling Man-a 9/11 Documentary

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Today marks 15 Septembers since the most tragic day in history I can remember: 9/11. #NeverForget this day in history and all the sacrifices that came with it. #Remember911 for all the heroes that saved lives, lost lives and went above and beyond the call of duty. Be proud of the Flag and the freedom it represents. #freedom, #neverforget, #landofthefree

My Glass to Share

How can you not remember that day? September 11, 2001. I think time stood still for several hours; at least it did for me. Let me back up a bit before I get into this particular piece. So my eldest child has been sick this week with some crazy virus. Therefore my hours have been off and I found myself searching the other night for something to watch on television. Flip on Hulu and search “documentaries,” there you go–9/11 and the “Falling Man” piece popped up. I immediately became obsessed. This date resonates with me, as it probably does with most of my generation. It was a day that will and can never be forgotten by our country. Whatever your stance may be for the actions taken after this day, you can’t ignore the utter despair and loss that was felt on September 11, 2001.

The documentary I watched the…

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“Mylking” it for all its Worth

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This morning I was recovering from a fun and festive Labor Day weekend, flipping through one of my newer cookbooks.  I wasn’t really looking for anything particular to cook or make, just wanted to relax for a few moments and enjoy the beautiful pictures of delicious-looking food.  The cookbook is called “Nourish:  The Fit Woman’s Cookbook” by Lorna Jane Clarkson.  Clarkson is an Australian native and has created a brand of women’s exercise clothing along with an inspiring health philosophy that involves empowering women to feel good from the inside out.  Her cookbook entwines the positive messages she shares with women, and men, all over the world.  You can check her out at MoveNourishBelieve.com, lornajane.com or look her up on Facebook and Instagram.  She has some great inspirational messages I like to save to my iPhone. Today I put my spiralizer away and pulled out my trusty Vitamix blender (these things are amazing, by the way).

Perhaps after the weekend of relaxing with heavier food than I normally eat and lots of yummy cocktails I was feeling “undernourished.”  I grabbed her book after pouring my coffee to see if anything stood out for me to try this week.  One thing I have wanted to do but have not taken the time to master is making my own nut milk.  And in Clarkson’s cookbook, there was a recipe for macadamia nut “mylk,” as she labels all non-dairy versions of the creamy liquid.  With that in mind, I put my spiralizer away (for a bit) and pulled out my trusty Vitamix blender (again, an amazing kitchen appliance).

Nut milk is all the rage now, especially as “clean eating” and dairy allergies have become more prominent for many people.  But sometimes they can be costly or have added ingredients for flavor and preservation (think sugar for the sweetened versions).  There is also coconut milk, but that has such a strong taste for the people in my house, including myself, I tend to stick to a nut milk in my own recipes.  For this particular recipe, all you will need is one cup of some sort of nut.  I decided to stick with macadamia nuts because I discovered last year that I have a sensitivity to almonds and cashews (my two favorites in the world).  But you could use any nut to make this particular recipe, such as almonds, cashews, and even pecans.

Take the macadamia nuts and soak them in three cups of distilled water at room temperature for three hours.  After they are finished soaking, pour everything into your blender and give it a whirl.  This is why I love my Vitamix because it takes mere seconds to completely pulverize anything.  I also added a touch of vanilla extract for a hint of flavor, but you could keep it simple and plain if vanilla isn’t your thing.  Clarkson suggested cinnamon and honey as other additives to make the milk a little tastier, I just haven’t tried these versions yet.

You will need a few glass jars because this recipe yielded about four cups.  The milk will keep for several days in your refrigerator.  You can add it to anything you would use regular cow’s milk in, especially smoothies, oatmeal and breakfast cereals.  If you are looking for another alternative to dairy, perhaps this homemade glass will be a good second fiddle to your normal routine.  My next attempt is to try and find a replacement for my beloved sour cream.   My research has turned up a couple of recipes using coconut cream, so I will let you know how that journey turns out!

Until next time, cheers!

 

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