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Mental Monday: No Resolution

It’s the same story. At the beginning of each new year, we make resolutions to improve ourselves and our lives.

Lose weight, make more money, start or finish that project, be a better wife, husband, partner, parent, and so forth. Come January, gym memberships soar and self-help books fly off the shelves.

But by March, you will easily be able to find an empty treadmill at the gym, those date nights you promised your partner have yet to happen, and the pictures for the scrap-booking project are still in the box.

Why must it take some arbitrary date on the calendar to motivate us to do better?

I resolve to never have resolutions based on a new year. My only resolutions are the ones I have every waking morning: acknowledge my strengths, recognize my sources of inspiration, focus on the positive, and do the best I can. Don’t live for yesterday or tomorrow. You can long for days gone by or strive for a better life tomorrow, but it’s what you do today that counts. Live in the now and be present. If you want to be a better person or have a better life, take control. No one will do it for you. And when you resolve to be responsible for your own happiness, that’s when things will change.

Here’s to a good day.


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Mama’s Year End Review, 2010

Back by popular demand (here you go, Dad), here is my second annual year end review. Want to read my 2009 review? Check it out here.

It’s pretty common for those who work a 9-5 job to get some kind of annual year-end review. For those of us who work the 24/7  job, otherwise known as stay-at-home parents, it’s my belief that we should get a year-end review, too. The only problem is that our bosses typically lack the verbal skills to express a year’s worth of achievements, failures, and everything in between. If my 3 year old boss could actually give me a year-end review, I’m guessing it would go something like this:

Well, Mom, here we are again. Another year is over and it’s safe to say that it’s been an interesting ride. I’ve developed into a fairly typical 3 year old boy.  I am obsessed with trains, planes, cars, and anything else that has wheels. I like splashing in puddles and playing in dirt. I like bugs but hate worms. I could live on peanut butter sandwiches, french fries, and chocolate covered pretzels, if you let me. I’m a little shy, especially around girls, but once I get to know someone I don’t want them to leave. I don’t like to share my toys or leave the playground. And I definitely let you know when I’m pissed. I still treat you like a servant yet you STILL smother me to death with love and kisses. I have to admit that I still love the kisses, hugs, and snuggling and I think I’ll still be OK with all that for at least another year or two. So enjoy it while it lasts. We had a lot of hits and misses this past year in terms of behavioral training. (continues…)

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Goodbye Fall, Hello “Winter”

Winter is almost here.

OK, let’s be honest. It doesn’t actually get *wintry* in my area of SoCal. Sure, many leaves have fallen and some trees will soon be bare. But the palm trees will still sway in all their glory, although they may be lit up with holiday lights. The days will be a lot cooler but the sun will mostly be shining. Some people will even hit the beach on Christmas Day and frozen yogurt shops will still be bustling through the next few months. A winter wonderland, it is not.

I sometimes wish for snow this time of year, although I’m sure people in the Midwest and East Coast are telling me to watch what I wish for right about now. We have to travel to find snow, which is the plan this winter for the Monkey’s first ski trip. The Monkey has only seen snow once, if you count a winter trip to Yosemite at 4 months old. I’m counting down the days until he will play in the snow for the first time, an experience I’m sure he will enjoy. And after a few days of building snowpeople in the brisk cold, trying to ski (that would be me), and numbing of our fingers, noses, and toes, we’ll return to the sunny SoCal *winter* where people put on a coat and scarf when it reaches 60 degrees.

So, goodbye Fall (whatever that means here in SoCal). Here’s one last leaf to remember you by.


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Foodie Friday: Southern CA Whole Foods Markets Deals & Giveaway!

Whole-FoodsAttention Southern California Whole Foods Shoppers!

There is a 3-day sale going on this weekend (Dec. 10-12th) across all Whole Foods Markets in Southern California. With the holidays upon us and festivities in full swing, Whole Foods Markets is offering a variety of ways to make it easy to celebrate.

Need some ideas for a side dish to bring to a holiday party or a hostess gift? Here is a sample of some of the specials going on:

  • Mini Dungeness Crab Cakes are 10 for $10 (regularly $1.59 each)
  • Organic 100% Grass-Fed Ground Beef will be $4.99 per pound (regularly $7.99 per pound). Here’s an easy recipe for Beef and Quinoa Meatballs!
  • Wild Caught, Frozen, King Salmon Filet will be $15.99 per pound (regularly $22.99 per pound). Impress your family and friends with this simple recipe for Grilled Salmon Spread with Fennel and Chives

Everyone brings wine or champagne for the host/hostess. Instead, gift something different and eco-friendly like reusable Sigg Bottles, which will be marked 50% off.

One great feature about Whole Foods Markets is how easy is it to order holiday menu items online. I know, because I order my turkey online from Whole Foods every Thanksgiving! If you’re in Southern California and would like to sample some of their prepared holiday dishes before ordering, all SoCal Whole Foods will be offering a tasting event this Sunday (Dec. 12th) from Noon- 3pm. Don’t miss out!

As a special treat to my readers to help prepare for Whole Foods holiday grocery shopping, Whole Foods Markets has generously offered one of my readers a $10 gift card. To enter the give-away, just leave a comment below and let me know what you enjoy most about the holidays. For additional entries, you may: subscribe to AYMB, tweet this post, or post on your Facebook page.  Please leave an additional comment for each entry.

I will select a winner on Tuesday, December 14th via

Good luck!


FTC Disclaimer: I was not compensated by Whole Foods Markets for this post or give-away.

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All Things Merry! Disney’s Guide to the Holidays

Disney-FamilyHanukkah is now over but Christmas is just around the corner. And for people like me who celebrate Chrismukkah, I’m now putting away the blue and silver and bringing in the red and silver bells!

Some of my favorite holiday decor for kids revolves around Disney, so I was excited to learn that Disney has a new guide for holiday crafts, decor, and treats! Disney introduces All Things Merry: A Guide to the Holidays, which is a comprehensive and budget-friendly source for holiday planning.

On guests can find simple and delicious holiday dinner recipes including Perfect Pie Recipes and 20 Tempting Holiday Treats. Or families can make some holiday magic together in the kitchen, by baking up a batch of sweet Snowman Cookies or festive Candy Cane Cookies. How cute are those Mickey Mouse cookies?!? I know my Monkey is going to love helping me bake (and eat!) them.


For fun and budget-friendly ideas for holiday crafts and decorations, you can find simple instructions for homemade Christmas ornaments on and decorative Christmas crafts at also offers a new series of how-to videos for making adorable Disney-themed holiday crafts, like Mickey Mouse Snowman Cards, and a guide for making other creative Disney Christmas ideas, perfect for Disney fans of all ages!

Kids can make their own homemade Christmas gifts for loved ones, such as an easy-to-construct yarn candy cane ornament or a cute reindeer hand print. Kids can also have some fun with Christmas coloring pages or online Christmas games.

In addition to all their fun and easy holiday ideas, Disney is also offering several holiday contests and sweepstakes for families to enter! Click on the links below for more details:

●      Submit photos of favorite Christmas moments for Disney Family’s Christmas contest for a chance to win a Disney movie prize pack, laptop and TV!

●      Enter FamilyFun’s Christmas sweepstakes for a chance to win $2,500 toward gifts, decorations and more!

●      Showcase creativity on FamilyFun’s holiday craft contest for a chance to win a Disney California Adventure Park experience!

●      Guests can also enter the Babyzone sweepstakes for a chance to win the ultimate nursery this holiday season!

Happy Holidays!

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