Archive for the ‘Inspirations’ Category

Do you have a family dinner tradition? We do now thanks to my really good friend Jenny. Every night during dinner, we share our Roses and Thorns. As you might guess, Roses are for the good things that happened that day, the highs. Thorns are for those not so great or tough moments, the lows. Sunshine introduced the concept of passing on thorns which I love love. Isn’t it so great, he passes because he doesn’t have anything to complain about or feel bad about. When we first started, I would always have a Thorn but lately I’m trying Sunshine’s attitude and I like it.


Roses and Thorns been a great way for to start the dinner conversation and to start sharing as family. It is sometimes surprising what is shared. I hope when Sunshine’s 16, Roses and Thorns will help us bridge those teenage years! I think it is important to eat together as a family. When we have friends over we have been sharing our traditions and everyone (kids and adults) sit together to eat together. It has been fun to do with our extended family.

When writing this post, I didn’t realize that we were in such good company. Did you know that Obama’s have the same tradition. Read about Kathleen’s views on Roses and Thorns.  I love this article in New York Times that talks about the New Family Dinner.

So, what family traditions, do have at the dinner table. Love to hear your ideas!


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Do you love New Year’s Resolutions? I do and don’t. I love the idea of focusing on a few things to work on during the year. Every year, I have thoughts what my resolutions might be and then the year just flies by. I must admit I didn’t quite accomplish last year’s goals. Reading lasted a few months then sizzled away. Treating myself with kindness come in bursts of energy. One goal did stick and that was biking. I even got a new bike (I’ll post on this later). So, this year, I’m trying to keep my resolutions simpler and more manageable.

happy new year 2013 on the beach

Sunshine and I talked about our resolutions and we came up with these. I hope we are both up for the challenge of maintaining our resolutions for 2013. This year, will be different!! Well, at least, we can try.

Sunshine’s New Year Resolutions: During meal time, eat more cleanly. He’s not too excited about this one!

My New Year Resolutions: Travel more and spend more time free playing with Sunshine. I’m dying to go to Mongolia, Yunan, and Korea. And, I want to revisit the cities in France, Vietnam, Philippines, and Hawaii. Anyone up for going with me to any of these place?

So, have you thought your resolutions? Any good ones? I love hearing about people’s new year resolutions.

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So, with 2012 in full swing, I have been mulling over my new year resolutions. I have never been very good about setting and achieving them. I’m hoping this year will be different so I have been taking my time to think through them. In reality, I set goals for myself all the time but keeping them for a whole year has not been something I have really done. So, what have I got in store for myself???

Goal 1) Every 3 weeks, read a new book. I grew up reading and love picking up a good book. There is something  pleasurable about reading the thoughts others have penned. I love how it gets my brain moving and thinking. So, how did I come up with 3 weeks? Well, our public library time limit is 3 weeks 🙂

Goal 2) Bike whenever possible. So, to help achieve my goal, I had baskets installed on my bike because they gave me the flexibility to run errands with the bike. It was a hefty bill but I justified it with the fact that instead of driving, I would bike. We would save on gas, get exercise and cut down on CO2 emissions. I’m proud to say that since we had the baskets, we have gone to the groceries store 3 times, the mall, and downtown. It feels great to get exercise and be more green. This goal is in line with how I’m trying to live my life. And, appropriately, I’m reading The New Frugality by Chris Farrell, who is the economics editor of marketplace money, which talks about is not about being cheap but about being frugal. Spend your money wisely. Don’t buy just because it is on sale. Buy if you need it and it can help you be more frugal and more green.

Our first grocery run!

Goal 3) Treat myself with Kindness. Sounds strange, but I’m pretty tough on myself. I’m pretty critical and always think I could do better. It is harder to achieve since I tend to place Sunshine first. Motherhood did that to me! Well, 2012. I’m hoping this will be year that I change this. Put myself first and think is this what I want to do? If not, don’t. Do something I want everyday even it is just reading a book or listening to music. It is the simple things that go first. Bit by bit, I will learn to put myself first. I have a whole year, right??

I have a millions ideas about what I would love to do but I think those are pretty good ones to start out with. I have to admit, I have a goal for Sunshine. I want to introduce poetry to him and have it be a part of our lives. There seems something quite beautiful in poems that I’m longing for them to be a part of our lives. I didn’t grow up with this love so it isn’t something that I’m familiar with. I’m hoping  our fav librarians have an idea for me. Anyone have any good ideas for me?

Love to hear what you have planned for yourself in 2012. Happy New Year!

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With 2012 right around the corner and Christmas just behind me, I’m taking it slow this holiday season. In the past, I would pack our days with activities and while it was great to see friends and do lots of things, I felt exhausted. For some reason, I felt the need to make sure we had lots going on and the joy of the holiday was sometimes lost due to the holiday pressure. This year, we still have holiday commitments but I kept them to a minimum. So, the ones we did attend were extra special and fun. They were exhausting cuz the schedule was thrown off with late night dinners but they were still worth going to.

A friend asked me what I was doing on the 31st and I said, I don’t know. It was weird but I didn’t really care. I told her that we were going to play it by ear and see how the week turned out. We didn’t have too many commitments and it felt great. It was nice to have the freedom to lounge at home. Today, I ate homemade cookies (a few few too many), listened to holiday music, had our neighbors over for impromptu playdate, and watched Sunshine play with his legos and make Snow (will post about this later!).  Tomorrow, I’m going to take Sunshine to my yoga class and get in some me time. It should be interesting, hopefully it will turn out ok.

Without having anywhere to rush off to, it is easier to take it slow and have some time to enjoy things and reflect. I haven’t had a chance to think deeply about my new year resolutions. But, I have some thoughts brewing … and hopefully before 2012 hits, I have a few good ones. I do have 5 more days!

How are you going to enjoy the last few days of 2011? Any good resolutions?

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With the anniversary of 9/11, there are many images in the media which are hard to explain to a preschooler. Fireboat, which is one of Sunshine’s favorite books on CD, explains what happened to New York on 9/11. Maria Kalman, the author, writes the heroic story about  which saves many lives after the Twin Towers are hit. The book is beautifully illustrated and gives children an easy way to understand the tradegy and heroism of 9/11. If you can’t find at your library, you can find it on Amazon.

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For the longest time, I have struggled with mom’s guilt. In fact, I still do. The feeling of I should do something or this will be good for my child or if I don’t do something, my child will suffer.

After raising him for almost 5 years, my conclusion is my child doesn’t know about any of those things or rules that I have set for myself. Instead, he just wants me to be present. Present to hear him and to play with him. I realize the play does not need to be for hours, half hour is better than being in same room but not being present. Kids are quite sensitive to when you are unhappy or upset. And, they become more needy when you are not mentally present even though you are physically present.

To be mentally present, I need to do what’s good for me. Happy mom, Happy Child. Such a simple motto but at times tough to follow. A wise person once said that if you don’t know what to do, don’t just follow the should rules. Simply just do nothing until you know what you want to do. To me that was eye-opening! Do nothing? I’m such a do-er! It has been freeing but at the same time frightening! I struggle with the fears of not doing what I think should be done.

So, everyday, I try to remind myself to think about what do I want to do not what I should do. Pay attention to how often you do things that you think you should. Start to edit.  Simplify your life by removing the list of shoulds in your life. Make a list of ten things that drain you. Practice graceful truth-telling.

So, do you struggle with mom’s guilt? Wat do you want to do and what have you been doing?

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I never thought much about role models and their importance. But, the idea seems to make sense. Role models are people who can guide us with our life experiences and inspire us to be the people we want to be.

When looking for role models, start with this process:

  • Have a clear vision of what you are looking for? What do you need right now? Where do you want to go?
  • Think of people you admire professionally and personally. To find someone, you can talk to friends, co-workers, boss, and HR department for suggestions. Moreover, you can contact people you have read about and see if they are able to be a role model or look for retired professionals in the field you are interested in.
  • Meet the potential role models and see if there is a good fit.
  • Setup times to meet regularly. It is important to set clear expectations regarding time commitment, confidentiality, expectations, and how to meet i.e. in person or via phone.

If the person you admire is someone famous that you will not have access to. You can still learn about their success, backgrounds, and motivations through articles and books. Some people I’m interested in reading about include: Anita Roddick, Paul Hawken, Diane Sawyer, and JK Rowlings. Who do you admire? I’d love to add to my list!

I wish you luck in finding a role model. Have a great day.


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