Saturday, June 1, 2013

Who's Afraid of GMOs? This Mom.

Disclaimer: If you fed your child Cocoa pebbles or Trix for breakfast I don't judge you. Those cereals are fucking delicious and you are a better mom than me because you are brave. I am just trying to make sense of this world we live in and choose what is right for my own family. All love. No judgement. 

Confession. I have anxiety.

Fact: Most mothers do. Sometimes it's crippling. Sometimes it's manageable. I am someplace in between right now.

Why? Because we are raising our hearts outside our bodies and the world is a very scary place. We have to try and balance out the bad with the good all while holding their little hands to cross the street.

One of my newest deep fears: GMOs ( genetically modified organisms) in food. I am not so much afraid for me. Confession #2, sometimes I eat absolute garbage. Donuts in the teachers lounge. Ice cream sandwiches, gum etc.  My children on the other hand rarely do, and by rarely I mean I sometimes have to leave the room and convince myself that one bite isn't harming them... I digress. GMOs worry me.

 I worry about their foodless futures. I worry that frankenfood will become all that people can have access to or afford.

 I worry that they will get cancer because of what I fed them and what the government says is ok to put in their bellies.

I worry for the kids at daycare that have processed rice crispy treats and artificially flavored yogurts for breakfast and Lunchables for lunch.

I worry about soy.

I worry about too much dairy.

I worry about whether someone mixed up the conventionally grown stickers and the organic ones because they were drunk at the sticker factory.

I worry that my children will glow because of artificial coloring or worse yet, have brain damage.

I worry that the food in the grocery store will one day actually sprout legs and walk away from us.


I know that there is a ton I cannot control ( like the time my oldest had orange cheeze balls, he vividly remembers ) and I am trying to make peace with that. In any case I am also working to educate myself about GMOs and how to try and lessen their ability to creep into my fridge and pantry.

At our local Trader Joe's today I was speaking with our cashier about GMOs and she mentioned that all Trader Joe's labeled products are made without genetically modified ingredients. My jaw dropped and I almost fainted. She smiled and kept ringing. I thanked her profusely and hugged my baby. This really happened. I put our reusable bags in the car while happily humming, jumped in the car and googled. Then I found this and was crushed. I guess I just assumed ( stupidly) I could take the cashier's word for it. We do need to push the government for labeling. It is the only way we as consumers can be sure that our food is pure and not contaminated. I hope, moreover I pray, that something will be done. In the mean time, I am trying to take deep breaths.

Curious about how you can minimize your family's exposure to GMOs? Here are some tips:

Non-GMO Shopping Guide.

Buy Organic whenever possible- I am not a millionaire. I am a teacher. I have to pick and choose what we eat that is organic. Remember the rules about the clean foods and the dirty foods. Organic producers can't intentionally put in GMO ingredients. ( this isn't fool proof as we recently learned with the frankenwheat scare this week)

Use the ShopNoGMO app for the iPhone- While most products ( of companies that give a darn) are labelled you can be doubly sure of your purchases.

Buy organic seeds for your garden- Yeah crazy right? I didn't think of this either. Here is a list for you to read with some wine in hand.

Build a bubble ( rest assured, Pinterest has the DIY) and only eat organic mung beans you grow yourself- I kidSeriously, it's getting out of hand, BUT there are people who care and are fighting. We can each make a difference by waking up and paying attention. Write to your congress people. Call up your mayor. Change happens but slowly, but still can happen.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sick Day, Soup Day.

I am home today with yet another sick child. This year has been filled with illness, thankfully nothing too serious, but still- where is the health? We have tried the natural remedies, but with a change in daycare and first year as a school teacher I think the germs have been just too strong. My husband has used all of his sick days for the year. FOR THE YEAR. It's February. Goodness.

As we have had sickies in the house I decided to make some soup the other day and of course I have to share this amazingly delicious and simple recipe. The red lentils have a lovely coral color and are so versatile and cook very fast. ( no need to soak) I used to purchase them at a special Mediterranean  marketplace but now Goya also carries them.

I also use organic Better Than Bouillon. It is AWESOME and economical. The little jar can make up to 9 quarts of stock. I always like a weaker stock so often it will make more.

I also often double this recipe as it is very difficult to eat just one bowl :)

Lovely Lentil Soup

2 Onions Chopped
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
Olive oil to cook the onions and garlic
4 tbsp of tomato paste ( feel free to omit)
2 Tsp Cumin
2 tsp Cayenne ( omit if you don't like spicy foods)
Salt and Pepper
2 cups ( about a pound) of red lentils
2 quarts of veggie or chicken broth ( I use Better Than Bouillon)
4 cups water
chopped carrots
2 lemons
3 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

Cook up the onions until golden brown. Add garlic. Add tomato paste, cumin, cayenne and S&P, cook for a few mintutes. Add broth, water, lentils and carrots- Cook for 30 minutes on medium heat. Remove from heat and squeeze in lemon juice and fresh cilantro or parsley.

Serve with pita baked with fresh parm and herbs, crusty break or a salad.


Sunday, February 24, 2013


Today my vacation ends officially. I could just cry, but I won't.

It was filled with nothingness thankfully. Nothing eventful happened.

I actually went to the grocery store.... alone. Sigh. I cooked, cleaned and folded copious amounts of laundry. I wrote a large paper paper for my Content Area Literacy class and read some Gatsby.  I even thrifted a little. Ok a lot. Savers, Goodwill and Salvation Army in one day! I had some wine, ate some good food and listened to the radio. I danced in the kitchen and licked the spoon.

My oldest turned four and my littlest now says "this" and " yesh."

I wanted to catch up on lesson planning. I wanted to be ahead, but I don't think it is in my nature. I am not a planner. I get stuff done, but I am not a planner. I am learning to forgive myself for this.
I forgive myself for taking a break. For relinquishing all that I had to do for a few hours and being peaceful and quiet.

I know the next few weeks will be a whirlwind- and I will meet the challenge head on. Bring it. 

Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year and New Projects

Happy New Year to you and yours.

Let's make resolutions shall we?

This year I'd like to get fit, get organized, and get more creative.

I started with today. A few weeks ago I saw a dog bed made from a vintage suitcase. I loved it and said, this. I. can. make. I have this thing where I will never purchase anything I can make. So. I made it. Today. I neglected my motherly duties ( the kids were safe, warm, fed and of course happy)

Here it is:

No tutorial, sorry. The littles won't allow. Get yourself a vintage suitcase. Decorate it. Add legs. Simple as that. There are tons of tutorials out there so really I don't want to reinvent the wheel here. You can do it. Go forth and create a beautiful place for your doggie to nap. 

Do you like it? If so, please consider joining the sweet people to the left.

Have a safe New Year's and see you in 2013! ( I thought we'd be like the Jetsons now!)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

High End Ceramic Owls for $1

I was throwing a Woodland themed shower and needed to find some cute decor. I wanted some modern looking owls and I have seen some beautiful ones at Pottery Barn and West Elm for waaaay too much money. My first place to look for party goods is Dollar Tree. There are so many treasures lurking deep in the store. You can pretty much find anything there for party decor. Really you can! It's important to look broadly. Think in shapes and colors.

I found this oddly colored owl ( seriously does the Dollar Store not consult anyone on colors of anything?!) He has some great little features but is a bit crazy looking..... look deep into his eyes...

A little coat of magical spray paint.... 

Tada! He looks like a million bucks huh? Yup, only 1$.  
They are currently at the Dollar Tree stores now, go get some! 

I'll be posting some more shots from the woodland shower soon. Stay tuned!