30 September 2008

Take a Moment for Good Health

Good health is essential for too many reasons to cite here, but a few would be well being, strength, longevity, and stamina. The winter months are sneaking upon us as we see the end of September and Indian summer days coming to a close. We've busied ourselves efficiently with tasks at hand for others, but are we taking care of ourselves? To help ourselves function at peek performance for our lives and the lives of those we care for we need to be certain to do good for our health. The flu shot is now readily available and if you are in advanced years, an asthma sufferer or a caregiver to young or old, you would be wise to partake in the flu shot. If you have an aversion to needles there's also the flu mist, virtually undetectable. The flu mist is not recommended for asthma sufferers; you would strictly be a candidate for the injection. You also should not have close contact with someone who has a compromised immune system having received the flu mist. Generally, the injection is the method of choice. Schedule yours today. After that is in order, go through your cabinet and be sure your vitamin supply is well stocked and not out of date. This is something you should keep up with regularly but if you don't while we're talking about health, let's get back on track with the vits. A good multi is essential. Make sure it has the basics and then some. Vitamin E is essential for good heart, colon and breast health, (cystic issues), and good prostate health for men. Vitamin C and B complex should meet the daily requirements. Both can be supplemented as your multi will only contain the USDA recommended dosage. Purchase Vitamin C capsules and puncture with a pin. Smooth on over your skin to help stimulate collagen production while diminishing fine lines and wrinkles! D is necessary, as you may have been reading this summer, to compensate for the lack of sun exposure and risks leading to poor bone health. Cal-Mag supplements are great for those with joint pain to help maintain suppleness and flexibility. Omega 3 supplements with fish oil are vital for women and men alike to help combat heart disease. It is also a contributor to promote healthy blood pressure, joint function, brain health and better vision. Try http://www.shaklee.com/ and http://www.gnc.com/ for a huge selection of vitamin products and supplements. Here's a new tip that has been found to be useful. Cinnamon...just a shake or two have been found to lower blood sugar! Add some to your oatmeal, cereal, breakfast toast or morning cup of Joe. Purchase yourself a seal top container large enough that you can store your vitamin bottles all in one place. (http://www.tupperware.com/ )This way you can keep them within arms' reach. Grab the entire container and place the mornings' capsules in a small dish in your kitchen at bedtime. When you're playing beat the clock to get out the door in the morning you don't shortchange yourself and skip the easiest thing you can do to help yourself have a good start to your day. Be good to you! Thanks for reading! Miriam

23 September 2008

Sorting and Filing

Well, now that the proverbial dust is settling a tad, I'm wondering what everyone else is doing to handle the clutter that comes with the fallout of September. If you are lucky enough to work with an ad/min. you probably have it all tied together neatly with a bow and you can find what you need at a seconds' notice. If you don't you may be wishing you had a little help. It's time to get it together, so, let's help ourselves! Keeping our lives organized is an ongoing trial in persistence and dedication and this is needed in every aspect of our busy days. Whether you have billing statements to stash for future record keeping or are bogged down with paperwork from your childs' school, an organized and orderly filing system is paramount to feeling in control of your own personal clutter. I suggest visiting your nearby superstore or if you are lucky enough to have a great family owned office supply, see them first. We need to continue to support the local businesses. You might pay a tad more but the personal service will balance this out. Purchase a container suited to your needs; whether that is an accordion folder, an upright file bin or hanging folders for a desk. I love the hanging folders but I actually have various systems in place in my home. I have an accordion folder labeled with the days of the month 1-31 to help with items I need at my fingertips for the children and for me. This will include permission slips, notes to teachers, doctors' reminder notes, etc. I also utilize a triple stacking drawer set that rests comfortably nearby in the pantry. We view it daily and know that what we might be scrambling for this morning could be well kept here. Ongoing class expectations and syllabus', reports, vocabulary lists, etc. My children know where to go to find these sorts of items in a pinch. Then there is the hanging file drawer. Mine is located in my desk and relates totally to my life; bank statements, membership and organization materials, items related to my business, warranties for phones and electronics, etc. The children have their own hanging file folder, also stored in the pantry near the stacking drawers. They don't have to look far if they don't uncover what they are digging for there. Here they find the important information from their coaches with rosters, schedules, scouting information and materials for ongoing obligations in their busy lives. Color coding...yes, annoying at times but so visual and useful can also help if you are juggling multiples of the same type of paperwork. I definitely use this approach in my calendar and my filing. Either color coding the files themselves with a distinct color for each activity, subject or child, or simply marking the folders with a marker or sticky. I use a highlighter in my calendar to bring attention to any conflicts I might have with scheduling. No more surprises the morning of. I can see well in advance that I need to make provisions or adjustments to a conflict before we are in the midst of the chaos brought about by a frantic family member who can't get themselves where they need to go because someone else has the audacity to have a need at the same time. Give and take is learned and hysteria avoided each time by organizing yourself and subsequently those around you. If you're lucky it will rub off and your mission accomplished! Good luck getting it all together! Miriam

19 September 2008

Women must be girlfriends...

There is something to be said for girlfriends, hot java and a sunny fall morning. The day lay ahead to do with what I wanted and what I wanted to do was spend it with some of my great girlfriends. We met at 9ish...or 10ish, didn't matter. The teapot steeped and the conversation flowed with the coffee, as one by one we joined in on the chatter of life as it is. We had all placed our newly filled calendars aside once getting the children on their respective school buses to be together. We gathered from different angles, post workout, post business meeting, pre-doctors' appointment and left it there to catch up. What we found we shared in this short time was worth a days' web surfing, for sure. We learned a new recipe, found a great place to shop for an awesome new outfit and even filled a last minute birthday gift request! We reviewed the latest diet and it's success rate, challenged the new political candidates and certainly learned a few new methods for instilling self reliance in the kids. I'm pretty sure we even rallied a new tennis game or two! I know that with this short flash of time in a mishmash of days that seem to flow together in a blur, that these moments are cherished by all of us. They are flickers of our youth, confirmation of our wisdom and a bonding that only we women can share in a 60 minute respite. With all that we do each and every day to make it good at our homes for all that live there, we must continue to bond together, nurture and encourage each other with all that we are and all that we want to become. I know I wouldn't be who I am today without the love, support and constant lifting up I receive from my girl friends and all the amazing women in my life. I just had to take a moment to tell them that! Be sure to do the same. Thanks for reading, XO Miriam

17 September 2008

Get on track at the track

School has been in session for a couple of weeks and the routine is being solidified. I am making my daily treks to the gym religiously and I am seeing others struggling to get committed for themselves and making the gym a part of their routine. I hear the murmur, "I haven't been here in a month", or all summer...why? I hate to ask that question but I am puzzled why someone would not wish to help sustain their own health and well being by taking part in some form of daily fitness. We have all heard the experts tout the many, many benefits of fitness on a daily basis. Let's see, we have the stress busting approach, the healthy heart benefits, the circulation, weight control and social aspect. Weight bearing exercise is imperative for women as we age to guard against osteoporosis. Let's talk about a few things that we can do to slowly add fitness back into our day. It should be as routine as brushing our teeth. We wouldn't dare leave the house in the morning without accomplishing this! I know that people have long and stressful work days. A few extra minutes each day, whether it is at the beginning of your day, the end or someplace in between are all you need. Make this commitment to your health. Starting at the local high school track, take some light weights to be used later. Before getting started make sure you take a few moments to stretch and warm the muscles, especially as the temperatures are dropping into chillier mornings. Start with a buddy so you are accountable to someone other than yourself. We seem to have no problem letting ourselves down but you will surely be more fearful of doing so to a friend. Fear is good! Hit the track and get a brisk pace going. Don't use the weights during your walking routine as injury and elevated BP are at risk. You don't want to begin a routine that has to halt suddenly due to an injury. During this track walking routine you can stop and add "stations" and do some squats, lunges, jumping jacks, gentle jogging, anything that will give you a cardio burst. This is also a good time to add in the weights with bicep curls, tricep kickbacks, overhead shoulder presses and front raises. www.DicksSportingGoods.com Create your own personalized circuit training workout. There are usually tennis courts at your disposal also at a public high school. Take a racket and some tennis balls and hit a few against the wall for another cardio option at the end of your walk. If you are lucky enough to have a great gym or YMCA nearby, join and take advantage of all that they offer. Some hot gym trends lately are Kettle Bell workouts, awesome kettle shaped weights with handles created for interesting cardio and strength workouts. This is an amazing, quick results activity if you'd like to tone up while getting some cardio benefits. http://www.kettlebellx.com/ Zumba class, http://www.zumba.com/ a Latin inspired cardio dance workout, is becoming the rage for those who want to catch the dance fever of reality TV. Pilates has been a constant for the past few years and is showing great results for people looking for a gentle class with good toning and stretch results. http://www.pilates.com/ The cycle classes have evolved into an indoor Tour de France, complete with music and video for inspiration. Many classes are custom tailored to include cardio sprint intervals or 30/30 of cycle and yoga. What great ways to get off the couch! I have always had some form of dance in my adult life and nothing tones like a ballet class. Adult beginner classes are offered at most of your local studios these days. The benefits of dance have been well recognized on many levels for years and it is less threatening, too, because of the reality shows. Give it a try, you only live once! I hope that this inspires you to take action and be sure to do something good for your health and get moving. The benefits will have an enormous trickledown effect. Your family will see the results in your confidence, your energy, and your enthusiasm for your life. You can only be as good to someone else as you are to you. Show them that you value who you are and take care of yourself too. The results are immeasurable. Thanks for reading! Miriam

14 September 2008

Shoppers' Delight

Well, I have to say that the goodies in the stores this season are scrumptious and delectable! I haven't totally felt this way in a few seasons! While I do enjoy indulging in an afternoon at the mall to pick up a few necessities, I totally relish a destination unknown attitude of weaving through the racks, running my hands over the beautiful fabrics creating the trends of the season and revelling in the total sensory experience that it is. The lush silks, velvets and leathers are rich and divine. The ruffles and details of cuffs, buttons, buckles and texture are everywhere. You can pick and choose your weapon as to how detailed and rich a look you want. There are styles that are reminiscent of the 60's and Jackie O. Check out the dress department at Ann Taylor! http://www.anntaylor.com/ I had always admired her simply, elegant styling and the classics that have become a staple in our wardrobes because of her inspiration. If you enjoy adding some of the new ideas...which really aren't so new...maybe a men's suiting ensemble, or at least the vest, would be a flirtatious addition to your wardrobe. The textured hose with the bootie are chic and individual if you have the calves to pull the look off...or maybe I should say the lack of calves...long and lean is a necessity with this fashion statement-not something I can accomplish! Pencil skirts are back and with the high-waisted look, an era of long ago is in the air. Maybe a clean white blouse and fitted cardigan can finish the look. Choose deep jewel tone colors to add depth and richness to the style. A statement piece of jewelry can take a very conservative outfit to the next level should you be so bold. Oh, but don't forget the bags! The totes and cross body messengers are lush in patent and quilting. Kate Spade, http://www.katespade.com/ always does wonderful things with her bags and priced to not break your bank. Marc by Marc Jacobs, http://www.nordstrom.com/ is quickly becoming one of my favs to collect as he offers his signature look at a less than over the top price point. Take your time building your wardrobe, but purchase classic designs as a good foundation then add some trend pieces to create a distinctive look without breaking the bank. If you feel like splurging hit the Chanel counter for the new nail colors...the Facettes D'Or Gold Fiction, http://www.chanel.com/, is nothing but spectacular! At $30 a bottle, maybe share it with a friend! It will flatter most every skin tone! A stunning statement to finish off your look! Enjoy the season! I know I am!

12 September 2008

Please Vote for EDC-Best Website!

Hey friends of EDC, please scroll down my blog and click on the Divine Caroline banner link to the right! I'd love it if you'd vote for my website! Stephanie did an amazing job and I'd like to give her some props! Winner chosen the end of December...so please, please vote! My thanks! Miriam

11 September 2008

A solemn day

Please take a moment today to pause and reflect on the meaning of this date that will never again be just another day. The images of that morning, so puzzling and bizarre are burned into my memory forever. I know exactly where I was on that morning when I saw the first image of devastation occurring. The sheer pain and fear resurface instantly and I am one who's life was not instantly altered by the loss of a loved one. My City was invaded by evil and I take it very personally. Our Country was invaded and I take it very personally. I pray for those who lost their lives and have a swell of pride when I think of Father Michael and the NYFD members who bravely walked into the towers to selflessly save lives. My favorite skyline has been changed forever. Always remember.

08 September 2008

Whilst we Tend...

While we are tending to the details of our very busy lives, especially now that school is back in session we need to take some time to remember to tend to ourselves. Yes, we are getting the lunches packed, the assignment books signed and homework accounted for. The sports uniforms are washed and folded and the pages upon pages of paperwork are filled in and returned to the appropriate party. Have you taken any time during these chaotic back to the grind days for you? Have you remembered to reach down inside, take a deep breath and maybe even pat yourself on the back? Maybe that yoga mat needs to have the dust shaken off. A few moments of quiet solitude each morning before you begin your day would serve you well, and your family residually. If you can manage an early morning walk before the kids rise, what a good thing for you. Clear the mind, breathe in the clear air and sort your thoughts to start your day. You cannot be good to anyone else if you aren't first good to you. I keep a wonderful little book entitled, "Inner Peace" written long ago by Paramahansa Yogananda, at my bedside. It's teachings talk of being actively calm. It helps to read and reread a passage a day to remind us to start from a quiet, calm place with each day and revisit this place frequently. To have an organized mind leads to an organized day. There are many more days ahead where we will feel overwhelmed and sometimes even suffer a failed attempt at doing what we set out to do. This is okay. Start fresh tomorrow and remember that it is all good in the end. Oh, and Friday does roll around 52 times!

04 September 2008

Organizing Your Kids' for School

Well, folks, after learning the hard way with my first I'm getting a second chance to get it right with son No. 2 and thought I'd pass on my knowledge to you. Organizing myself is easy, it's a way of life for me, and even helping you is a breeze if you're open to it. Helping the kids, well, that's a...(pick your own cliche)! My oldest is certainly organizationally challenged and that I blame on his Dad. My 6th grader has been in middle school for 3 days and I'll swear to you he's his brothers mini-me. After No. 1 son lost assignments, syllabus, progress reports, baby teeth...what have you, I smartened up and purchased TWO 3 ring zipper keepers, trappers or lifesaving devices, whatever you choose to call those cumbersome, voluminous suitcases the kids cart back and forth to school in their 25 lb. backpacks. He carried one for morning classes and another for afternoon. The problem then became having time to get to his locker to pick up the other appendage and then actually bringing the correct one home when needed. Enough about him. I'd finally figured it out! Two binders are better than one! Two sets of subject dividers, with durable plastic tabs, preferably with pockets and color coded to save important papers and find them quickly. Writing legibly on the tabs is also a prerequisite. No doctors' scratch allowed! (My son's excuse for his sloppy penmanship! He's destined to fill prescriptions!) After No. 2 son I found the most awesome of awesome zipper binders! It's a 2 in 1..."Z Binder" keeper from Case-It with a three ring binder on the front-now known as AM and the back-subsequently labeled PM. Ta-da! Eureka...I think she's got it! Of course the outside has been labeled by the boy genius because we can't possible be expected to remember blue on black is AM and black on blue is PM. Right? Naaahh..... Add a couple of pencils and pens on each side in an elastic holder, a copy of the schedule in the front pocket-AM and PM sides, well, pretty much a double of everything, including pencil sharpener and you're set. There is no room for error, no excuses, no paperwork left behind...because it's got to be somewhere!! Now, by the time No. 3 son joins his brother in middle school I'm guessing they'll all be using Sony Readers and my job will be pink slipped. Until then, I'm determined to stay ahead of the curve. Nobody gets anything past this organized Mom!

01 September 2008

The last scramble

Well, if you are anything like me you have all your ducks in a row for the big swim upstream which for us is tomorrow. For my kids it's "Dday" and they are scrambling to the point of inducing hysterics! Somehow the last day of summer vacation means we must, and I emphasize the word must...under any conditions and circumstance...squeeze in all the fun left undone. Right now I have two boys salivating for pet turtles? Turtles...as in living and breathing little amphibs? I thought they were banned from the country? I don't know...I had one as a child, of course, creatively named Tommy...hum, but where does one get a pet turtle today? Used to sell them on the streets of NYC but no more. Unless they come with a pair of antibacterial gloves these days. Since the turtle idea will have to wait, how about maybe we head out to buy more jeans...for when it starts to get cold. And do we have any itunes gift cards, I'm gonna need to update my music. I can't possibly ride on the high school bus and talk to anybody! While I'm at it, can I get some apps too? Whatever happened to just sitting on the porch swing, enjoying the sunshine and the subtle breeze and maybe catching a MLB playoff game on the tube, or, if absolutely necessary, a pre-season Eagles game? Can't do this without the beverage of choice in hand, ya know. No, the skate park HAS to be closed today! And I know that your friend is still at the beach so don't bother calling. Why don't you finish reading your assigned reading book, or contribute to your journaling. Forms are filled in to the letter, Epipens renewed, inhalers packed in backpacks...what more do they want from me? I have nothing left to give but a lonely tear in anticipation of the sweet sound of the braking bus at the corner! Bring. It. On. Miriam