A Taste of Heaven in a Cup!
I am obsessed with tea! While I have tried a plethora of different teas, I have really fallen in love with both black and green (primarily flavored green) teas. My love affair with tea started many years ago as a young adult. I just could not get into the whole coffee frenzy but still enjoyed a warm cup of something in the morning. I was introduced to Harney & Sons tea when I was 19 years old and on vacation in Boston. It was the beginning of my love affair with tea, but eventually our relationship grew cold. I then fell in love with and have consistently loved Mariage Freres tea. The Mariage family established the principles that subsequently developed into a veritable French Art of Tea. A cup of Mariage’s Yunnan Imperial or French Breakfast was all I needed to kick start a lovely day. But over the years, Mariage Freres tea has become hard and hard to find in the States and unfortunately for me, travel to France by either myself, friends or family is not often enough to maintain a healthy supply of these coveted leafs!
So I began the journey of finding the perfect cup of tea, one that would stand up to (but of course, never replace) my beloved Mariage but was available in the States. I tried dozens of different tea brands, probably more than my bank account allowed at times, but similar to coffee, there is nothing like the perfect cup of tea in the morning to set the tone for my day! I stumbled across DAVIDsTea about 2 months ago and it was LOVE at first sight. For the first time in my life I was willing to put Mariage aside and open my arms to a new, available love!
DAVIDsTea is a Canadian based company that has opened tea stores throughout the USA and lucky me, there are THREE stores in San Francisco, CA. DAVIDsTea features over 150 different types of teas from exclusive blends & flavors to traditional teas and exotic ones. Walking into a DAVIDsTea shop is an experience! It looks like heaven with its white decor and teal accents. The tea is stored in large metal bins that are labeled and organized according to their leaf, style and caffeine. There are so many teas one can become overwhelmed so it is best to walk in there with some idea of what you are looking for and then be prepared to purchase something you never even knew existed. The great thing about DAVIDsTea is that you don’t have to commit to buying a ton of tea…..you can buy a sample bag of 2oz or tins of 4ozs up. I found it really helpful to buy the sample bags, try them at home and then decide which ones I really wanted to commit to.
While it is really hard to narrow down favorites at DAVIDsTea, I have found myself craving a few! My current black tea favorites are: Brazillionaire, Lapsang Souchsong Star, Red Velvet Cake (OMG!), Salted Carmel & Cream of Earl Grey. My favorite green teas are: Toasted Walnut, Movie Night & Sweet Ginger. And to round up the rest, my favorite herbals and rooibos are: Mother’s Little Helper (great for kids too!), Birthday Cake (its out of this world), Creme Caramel & Super Ginger.
If you can’t find a store near you, visit their online store here: DAVIDsTea! I have no doubt you’ll become a tea freak like me!
Happy New Year! 2013!!!
Hey Kitsel Friends! Let’s Kibitz
Happy New Year!
Another year has gone by and as I always seem to do when the holiday dust settles, I am in awe of how fast time has flown by! I began 2012 with a 6 year old son and left it with a 7 year old! Some days I would like to stop the clock and conversely, on others, I would like to hit the fast forward button! I have watched my son evolve from a little kindergartner to a big first-grader, one who even knows how to read & spell! This tidbit was discovered when I was spelling that my son was in a M-O-O-D to my Mother and he turned and said “I am NOT in a MOOD Mommy!”. Wow- that was quiet the development in our home! There have been so many more amazing moments that I have discovered with my now 7 year old! We are playing family board games like Sorry, Life and Monopoly and while it does take a bit of patience at times, it is so fun and really brings us together.
As a working mom, I am still trying to figure out the work-life balance. Managing being a “present” mom has been foremost on my mind as I found that technology has made working & playing from everywhere a bit too convenient! I am reminded constantly of the importance of putting my iPad or iPhone down during conversations and outings with my son! Its the one nagging I can really appreciate from him although he, too, has learned to covet the ‘ole iPad!
One of the questions I am constantly asked during this time of year is what new year resolutions I have made. It’s a question that up until recently I was able to answer with ease….I would whip out a list I inevitably had on my person and read it off! However, I discovered last year, around mid-year, that I did not have to wait until the “new year” to make resolutions. That every day was a new day and a fresh start. So with this in mind, I have embarked on a new tradition and that is to not make resolutions. Instead I am setting out to live my life with the idea of making each day count and on those days I fall short, to not beat myself up, but begin anew the next morning. Not having resolutions does not mean that I don’t have goals, but it means that my goals are a lifestyle as opposed to a new beginning. I am excited to see the progress of my goals and am interested in seeing where I land at this time next year!
Its a Miracle…..Dior Hydra Life BB Crème
I don’t know about you but I have not succumbed to the motherhood doldrums. You know what I am talking about when life gets too overwhelming and you find yourself unshowered, hair matted and in the same clothes you wore the day before or was it the day before that???? While admittedly I do have many days such as this, I try to take care of myself, and at least look presentable when the UPS delivery guy arrives. LOL. In all honesty, it isn’t so bad. I have spent much money on trying to perfect the 5 minute beauty routine with products that work overtime and make me look lovely….well at least a bit less disheveled than I feel inside sometimes.
I came across Dior Hydra Life BB Creme at Sephora last week and immediately went home to do the research. While it is a bit pricey (Sephora sells it for $56) it is worth every penny. If you are not familiar with BB Creme’s in general, read on…. BB Creme’s are inspired by cutting-edge Asian beauty rituals. They are a single-step cream to immediately balance the skin, correct the complexion, and protect its youthful appearance. Developed in collaboration with Dior Makeup Artists, HydraLife BB Crème combines the moisturizing and protective powers of a skincare product with the immediate complexion-enhancing and even-toning properties of a foundation. The complexion is left moisturized, smooth, and velvety soft. This product even boasts SPF 30 which provides active defense against environmental stress and broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection.
This creme is a miracle creme. It has replaced my sunscreen, primer, foundation and even concealer and has saved me significant time and money! The best part of this is it goes on so natural that people will never know you are wearing any makeup at all. And for all you skeptics who need a heavier foundation to “cover” up, don’t hesitate to try this. It works for most skin and all ages.
It comes in one color, which seems to flatter most. If you are interested in the product but aren’t ready to make a commitment, ask your friendly Sephora consultant for a sample, and try it out. I know you will hooked!
A Healthier, Quick Version of Chicken Parmigiano! Kid APPROVED!!!
One of the questions I am asked frequently is how do I balance being a mom, wife and work full-time? In all honesty, I have to say that it is very difficult and I find myself juggling and wishing for more hours each and every day. I have learned to prioritize and compromise but there is one thing that I absolutely have not been able to compromise on and that is dinner as a family. Each night my family strives to eat dinner together. While I would be lying if I said it was easy or that it happened every night, but for the most part, you can find my family sitting down together for a meal. By the time we get there, our goal is to eat as fast as we can so that we can all get in bed and watch our favorite tv shows together (which usually consist of some form of Food Network show….Chopped, Restaurant Impossible, etc….). But while our time at the dinner table is brief, we try our best to make the most of it and really focus on each other. We always discuss the rose and thorn of our day- we discuss the positives (the roses) and the negatives (the thorns) and this helps ground us into the reality that is our little family.
Since we are a health conscious family, who is looking for good, healthy food, FAST, I am always on the look out for new recipes that are healthy, quick and yummy. My family loves comfort food- I have to say that we all share a passion for the same type of foods: pasta, cheesy-gooey foods such as pizza and all the other wonderful comfort foods that warm our heart and soul. But unfortunately, these same comfort foods stick to our ribs, so I am always trying to find new adaptions of old favorites. One of our all-time faves is Grilled Chicken Parmigiano! This recipe was adapted by Rocco DiSpirito in his Now Eat This! book! This book has become one of my faves, and since its release, he has adapted many other comfort food/heavy recipes in subsequent books! The best part? I have his books on my iPad so that I can get my grocery list, recipe and calorie count on ONE device….ahhhh, the joys of technology. I digress….
In any case, I wanted to share one of my family faves with you. Its Grilled Chicken Parmigiano….the healthier, quick version. We pair it with shirataki noodles (the low-carb, low calorie, miracle noodle!). My 6 year old son LOVES it and doesn’t even miss the fat or the regular pasta! Here ya go….enjoy!
Servings: Serves 4
- Nonstick olive oil cooking spray
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4 ounces each) trimmed of all fat, pounded thin
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 cups Rocco’s How Low Can You Go Low-Fat (page 206) Marinara Sauce , or store-bought low-fat marinara sauce
- 1 cup drained canned whole plum tomatoes , roughly chopped
- 1 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese , such as Weight Watchers
- 1 1/2 ounces (about 6 Tbsp.) grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 1/2 cup whole wheat panko breadcrumbs , such as Ian’s All-Natural
post by: SBR
the tooth fairy! guest blog post from a father’s point of view
Over a year ago, when my son was only five years old, he fell down and had to have one of his molar’s extracted because he cracked the tooth to the root. Ouch! I know… At the time, the oral surgeon said,”Don’t worry Dad, we put him out so he won’t remember a thing”. However, I watched the entire procedure, unassisted by any laughing gas or narcotics, and will never forget it! That night our boy got his first visit from the tooth fairy. Because I felt so bad about the experience (that my son did not remember), I convinced the tooth fairy to give him $20. Today my six and a half year old son lost his two front teeth. These two did not go on their own accord either and needed to be pulled at the dentists office, lest he develop a second row of teeth like a shark. I was not there to witness the procedure this time, but at six and half, without being put under, it was no less traumatic for both my son and wife who watched this time. So once again the tooth fairy is paying a visit and our son is raking in the dough!
According to Wikipedia the origin of the tooth fairy dates a long way back to European and Norse roots. “In early Europe, it was a tradition to bury baby teeth that fell out. When a child’s sixth tooth falls out, it is a custom for parents to slip a gift or money from the tooth fairy under the child’s pillow, but to leave the tooth as a reward. Some parents also leave trails of glitter on the floor, representing fairy dust. In northern Europe, there was also a tradition of tann-fé or tooth fee, which was paid when a child lost their first tooth. This tradition is recorded in writings as early as the Eddas, which are the earliest written record of Norse and Northern European traditions. The reward left varies by country, the family’s economic status, amounts the child’s peers report receiving and other factors. A 2011 study found that American children receive $2.60 per tooth on average.”
I guess with the cost of inflation and a parents trauma the tooth fairy has increased her reward nearly tenfold in my house. One thing I can tell you for sure is that my son is proud to be missing his teeth and is smiling from ear to ear and showing off the empty spaces where baby teeth used to dwell. To get your child smiling check out our adorable Made You Smile t-shirt from Toobydoo and our fun Zoochini hooded towels, this is my favorite for a lost tooth. While this milestone is a right of passage for any child it is also a right of passage for any parent.
by david rosenberg
Have You Met Pinterest Yet?
So what is Pinterest? Pinterest is a pinboard-style social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies, and more. Users can browse other pinboards for inspiration, ‘re-pin’ images to their own collections or ‘like’ photos. Pinterest’s mission is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting” via a global platform of inspiration and idea sharing. Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes, and our personal favorite, follow what’s new on Kitsel! . Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.
While Pinterest is by invite only, I suspect that the “invitation” system will fall by the waist-side soon and all will be able to “join” freely. I am not sure why the invitation system is in place, virtually everyone I know who has applied has been accepted and LOVES it!
So check Pinterest out, and make sure you follow Kitsel for all your baby, toddler, kid & all thing Mommy needs! Happy Pinning!
Why Not Making Mistakes Is The Biggest Mistake!
A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. ~ George Bernard Shaw
So many parents vow to not make the same mistakes their parents made. They vow to do “that much better” than their own parents and try to be “better” parents than they had. Even those who grew up with the life of the “Cleavers” promise to do things differently, to do things “their way”. Often times, new parents strive to be “perfect”, to not make mistakes and not “ruin” their children. But really, what is the definition of a “perfect” parent?
I grew up in the 70′s where my mother was a stay at home Mom and my father went to work each day, only to return to a perfect household and a lovely home-cooked meal. I often looked to parents as being superman and superwoman. They never seemed to fight, to falter or to make mistakes. The focus was solely on family, happiness and being perfect. I found myself aghast when I got old enough to realize that my parents were not superman & superwoman but human beings, made up of flesh and blood, just like myself. I seemed to measure myself against my parents and found I never measured up. I struggled with imperfection and they were always so perfect in my eyes! I was flabbergasted to learn of the mistakes, troubles and hardship they went through behind the scenes and wished I knew that they were not “perfect” but human and struggled just like I did at times.
So this brings us to today’s post- why not making mistakes is the biggest mistake! While I understand that my parents did the best they could, I am not trying to do that much better, by showing my child that I am not perfect, but made up of flesh & blood and make mistakes everyday and try to learn from them. I recently read an article on www.purposefairy.com about 7 reasons to make mistakes. I think this will offer tremendous comfort to those parents who are still striving to be that perfect parent…..
1. MISTAKES HELP US DISCOVER WHO WE ARE
With every mistake that we make we discover more and more about ourselves, about who we are, about our limits, about our capabilities, about what we can and cannot do. They help us be more compassionate and more tolerant with ourselves and others.
There is a power inside every human against which no earthly force is of the slightest consequence. ~ Neville Goddard
2. LIFE LESSONS – MISTAKES TEACH US VALUABLE LIFE LESSONS
By making mistakes you will in fact learn valuable life lessons and you will become a happy learner. There is so much we can all learn from our mistakes, and the moment we see them as lessons rather than mistakes, we will no longer have this crazy fear of encountering them along the journey.
Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it’s a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from. ~ Al Franken
3. FORGIVENESS – MISTAKES TEACH US HOW TO FORGIVE
One of the greatest lesson you will learn from making mistakes is forgiveness. With every mistake that you’ll make, you will learn how important it is to forgive yourself and many of the people around you. You will understand that you are not perfect and that perfection doesn’t really exist, only our intentions of doing our best. And who wants to be perfect anyways? Perfection leaves no room for improvement.
The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that that situation is over, you cannot move forward. ~ Steve Maraboli
4. FREE FROM FEAR – MISTAKES HELPS US LET GO OF OUR FEARS
NOT MAKING MISTAKES - isn’t that actually the biggest mistake you could ever make? Life isn’t about avoiding mistakes but rather embracing the idea that mistakes will come your way and being willing to learn from these mistakes. Let go of your fears and allow yourself to really experience life.
There are some people who live 70 years, and there some people who live one year 70 times, repeating what they’re doing over and over in the name of the gold watch or whatever. ~ Wayne Dyer
5. LIVE WITHOUT REGRETS
Believe it or not, if you play it safe you will have more and more regrets about the things you did not do rather than the things you did do, you will regret not making more mistakes. Personally, whenever I hesitate doing something because of the fear of making mistakes, I imagine myself on my death bed ( I know, a bit too crazy but it works ) looking back at my life on what I achieved. By doing so I realize that if i don’t take action NOW, I will have regrets.
I would much rather have regrets about not doing what people said, than regretting not doing what my heart led me to and wondering what life had been like if I’d just been myself. ~ Brittany Renée
6. GROWTH – WITH MISTAKES COMES GROWTH AND PROGRESS
If you don’t make mistakes how can you expect to GROW and to EVOLVE as a human being? How many of us get stuck because they allow the fear of making mistakes to paralyze them? How can we expect to learn anything new if we don’t allow ourselves to make mistakes?
What do you first do when you learn to swim? You make mistakes, do you not? And what happens? You make other mistakes, and when you have made all the mistakes you possibly can without drowning – and some of them many times over – what do you find? That you can swim? Well – life is just the same as learning to swim! Do not be afraid of making mistakes, for there is no other way of learning how to live! ~ Alfred Adler
7. MISTAKES ARE STEPPING STONES TO HAPPINESS
You gain confidence, courage and experience every time you make a new mistake in a very narrow field and in time you will get better and better at the things you love to do. Remember Thomas Edison? He failed more than 10,000 times while working on the light bulb and in the end he succeeded.
When you know exactly what you want and when you are able to see this something in your mind’s eye, nothing can stop you from moving forward, nothing can stop you from achieving your dreams and allowing happiness to enter into your life.
I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed. ~ Michael Jordan
Believe it or not, you will not make all the mistakes you expect to make, and when you do make mistakes, the sky will not fall down and the whole world will not stop from doing whatever it is doing just so it can laugh at you
This entry was posted by danaadmin on July 10, 2012 @ www.purposefairy.com
ChickRX- A New Site For Women
I can’t tell you how many times I have played doctor for myself and for my family. WebMD has become our family friend (and sometimes enemy) and I have been dubbed “Dr. Momma”. If you have an aliment, I can go online and diagnose you within minutes. I know, I know…this all seems very crazy, but admit it, you are one of those that goes straight to WebMD or its like upon the first sign of illness. In any case, I have not found many “diagnoses” for women on WebMD. Many of my “female” cramps amount to a variety of different ailments on WebMD such as Crohns disease, diverticulitis, etc., etc….When all I really was experiencing was a tumultuous monthly “curse”! Recently, my husband (YES, my HUSBAND) introduced me to a new site called ChickRx. ChickRx is a high quality health and wellness community for women. This is a place for you to be informed and entertained by juicy conversations, get answers to your own questions, swap tips or discover products that experts and peers love. ChickRX was started by Stacey and Meghan (Stacey is a Harvard graduate and Meghan is a graduate of Princeton) great friends for years that could not find answers to common “female” issues. So one day they realized that they always seemed to have health and wellness-related questions, whether about birth control, losing weight, skincare, how to handle a douchey guy…the list goes on….their girlfriends seem to have the same issues so they embarked on a solution. Stacey and Meghan and their incredible team built the health and wellness community that they always needed. Ask questions, get answers from top experts and peers, discuss products, swap tips, and browse entertaining, informative content. Use ChickRx to get happier, healthier and hotter–and help some other chicks do so too!
ChickRX is the female answer to WebMD but it is so much more. You can find out the answers to all the embarrassing questions you just don’t feel comfortable asking, read about issues that only a woman would understand, and connect with other people just like yourself who have female questions and need a forum to discuss. ChickRX is a new site that I think will bring women of all ages and backgrounds together to form a powerful community to help and support each other.
Putting on your oxygen mask first….
Yesterday I flew to Southern California. It was a short trip but one that evoked an “aha” moment. While waiting for the plane to take off, Virgin Airlines played a little show on the safety issues. Since I was traveling with my young son, I wanted to set a good example and show him that the safety procedures are important and insisted we actually watch the show. As the show came to a close, my son asked me why they insisted that adults put on their oxygen mask before children. As I explained to him the reason (adults must have oxygen in order to help their little ones), I realized that this was not only a safety procedure but a metaphor for life.
In the hustle & bustle of this crazy thing we call our lives, I think we get so caught up in doing for our families, friends, work and other obligations, that we forget to take care of ourselves. We forget that without placing our oxygen mask on first, we cannot help our little ones. We feel selfish taking a time out for ourselves to get a manicure, or to go on a hike alone or even take a day off work just to “be”. But in reality, if we just stopped and smelled the roses (or coffee or whatever makes you exhale), I think we would submerge better parents and better people in general.
Mother’s, especially, feel a tremendous amount of guilt when they turn the focus from their families to themselves. They insist on being givers, and yet take, only on rare occasions (mother’s day, their birthday’s, etc.). So what would happen if we did put on our oxygen mask first and we took a pause each week for ourselves? Perhaps a load of laundry would not get done that day or that business deadline was pushed up a day, would that be so bad? I think we would all emerge happier, better people and I know we would be more attentive, patient parents.
Top 10 Museums for Children in the USA
Lets face it, school is out, summer is here and the kids need activities. Whether you are a stay at home mom or a mom looking to play hooky with your little one, kids love to go to the museum. So scoop up your little one and check out your local museum. And if you are lucky enough to live in a city that a “best” resides in or visiting a city with a “best”, soak it up and take a tour for us….
1. The Children’s Museum of Denver (Denver, Colorado)
2. Children’s Museum of Houston (Houston, Texas)
3. Please Touch Museum (Philadelphia, PA)
4. Children’s Museum of Phoenix (Phoenix, AZ)
5. Liberty Science Center (Jersey City, NJ)
6. Minnesota Children’s Museum (St. Paul, MN)
7. The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis (Indianapolis, IN)
8. Kohl Children’s Museum (Glenview, IL)
9. Children’s Museum of Manhattan (New York, NY)
10. Boston Children’s Museum (Boston, MA)
Original post by Posted on June 22, 2012 9:32AM by Lisa Horten; http://www.lilsugar.com/Best-Museums-Children-23660453?slide=9