Monday, December 5, 2011

This message brought to you by the world wide web...

We all know that the internet has taken over. It's become the number one way we communicate and is causing us to communicate in ways we never would have dreamt of a mere 5 years ago. In so many ways these changes are amazing and exciting. I, being someone who loves the idea of a time without cellphones, internet, television, etc. am for the most part scared by the promise that this is taking over our lives. The funny thing is, this message is being written and read on a computer, and I pay my bills by performing on television. So modern technology undoubtedly has it's perks.

I could write a hundred thousand word essay on the antithesis of that, and why it drives me crazy. Some ideas are; what it exposes our children to, us becoming an increasingly less social society while we becoming more social through a screen, less outdoor play, the need for instant gratification, the downfall of the english language and on and on and on I could (but won't) go.

This leads me to the reason for writing this scattered note. The US Postal service is going down down down baby down. It scares me because I love getting mail. I hate getting bills, but I love getting mail. It's one of the things thing that I believe simply cannot ever be replaced by the internet. E-cards just don't have the same feeling. You can't touch them, hold them, keep them forever... knowing that someone put the time and love into buying (or making), hand writing and mailing something for you. It didn't take a few minutes through a company that fills in the spaces for you and one click and it's off. It's the unexpected nice surprise that is mixed into your expected bills and junk mail. The birthday or Christmas card you didn't expect. It's the check from your grandma, the magazine you subscribe to, fan mail you sent, letter from your loved one in Iraq, the school photo of your niece, the confetti in the holiday card, the postcard from the Philippines, the smudge marks on the paper, the scent of your loved one, the S.W.A.K (sealed with a kiss) from your best friend.

When I read this article today it made me want to come on here and beg you all to try to send holiday cards this year. Even go buy an old typewriter, some cool paper and have fun with sending vintage-looking notes. Maybe keep an address book with the people you loves' mailing information in it and once in a blue moon, send them a card. Help the post office stay alive for as long as we can. It's up to us to continue on supporting something that our families before us relied on so much, before a time of status updates.

Who knows, you might miss it when it's finally gone.

And I would've mailed this if I knew each and every one of you addresses.

Keep warm in your homes and hearts,

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Umm wow...

Read this first.

I'm sorry but I think this is a little over the top. There is absolutely no proof that co-sleeping is a cause of SIDS. As most of you know, I have two children and with one we went the co-sleeping route and one we didn't. It seems to me that this ad isn't taking many of the important steps in educating people.

***I'm not a professional, this is only MY OWN OPINION, and you can take it or leave it but please make your own choice.***

1. it's been found that the infant mortality rate goes soaring up if someone is a smoker and sleeps beside their baby.
2. if someone has been heavily drinking or is under the influence of drugs this is another reason to put your baby in their own crib. (although if you are doing either of those things and you have a newborn, you have much bigger issues).
3. Don't let your baby sleep in your bed if you have a waterbed or if you are planning on sleeping with your blankets up around your neck... not safe.
4. your baby should not sleep in the middle of you and your partner, or on the edge of the bed so they can fall off.
5. Use your common sense.

Now; let's consider this. In many many countries around the world ( North America excluded), women sleep with their children. They believe it is important in mother-child bonding, and for the infant to feel love and closeness so early in life. I once heard of someone who went to Africa and an African woman said to her "is it true that in America you keep your babies in a jail?" referring to a crib. Now, I'm not saying we do, cause clearly we all know that's a bit severe and not the case. But it is a bit strange that so early in life we put our infants in another room, far from the mother, after spending so long attached in the womb. A gradual transition would be ideal.

Another interesting fact I've read over the past few years is that SIDS rates are higher in New Zealand, Ireland, England and America than anywhere else. Why do we think that is?

Some theories are that a chemical used in fire-retardants cause toxic gases to leak from mattresses and result in SIDS. These chemicals don't show up in autopsies and also are less likely to be deadly when a baby is sleeping on their back, with their nose and mouth breathing in more fresh air. This also could explain why the Back-to-Sleep campaign has cut SIDS more than 50%.

How about the fact that babies are maybe just as at risk if they are sleeping alone and their parents can't hear them if they are distressed? Do we know it's better to have our infant down the hallway, alone at maybe several weeks old? We have double the infant death rate than many countries who do co-sleep with their infants.

Overheating is another theory that has been related to SIDS.

Who really knows. There are dozens of theories out there and we don't really know that cause of this terrifying and tragic syndrome that every new parent fears. My point is; this ad seemed to be very vague and fear-instilling. It may be discouraging something that has been proven to be completely healthy and fine in millions of homes. Or maybe there is a slight increase but do we know it's not due to poor choices on these parent's parts? Smoking and cuddling a baby, sleeping with blankets up high or under the influence of drugs or alcohol?

Either way and whatever the case is, I just found it to be a startling advertisement, and I know that was the point but was it right to make such a claim on something that is so inconclusive?

There's my latest... be safe out there and most of all be smart :)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The best damn lasagna you'll ever have.

I’m pretty proud of myself for this one. I’ve changed the recipe a bit but feel free to do as you wish. My step dad and his family came to Canada straight from Italy (northern Italy) and growing up I would beg her to send us her lasagna (we lived in Vancouver) from Mackenzie (a place in Canada, very cold). She couldn’t, but when she would come she would bring some and we would devour it. I’ve never had more amazing lasagna in my life. This isn’t her recipe, but I have to say it comes pretty close to the real thing and it’s not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. Doing the layers is actually kind of… dare I say it? Fun. Oh and you’ll see in my pic I used fresh mozzarella on the top, which I would use the sliced next time.

Post pics if you make it and tell me how it goes!

1 lb sweet Italian sausage (I actually didn’t add this)
3/4 pound lean ground beef (I used lean ground turkey)
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed (The trader joes ones that are frozen really help)
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce (I used the TJ’s Rustico Pomodoro sauce)
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (I didn’t have these in my pantry so I didn’t use them)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (I used dried and it worked great)
12 lasagna noodles (For this I used the TJ’s no-boil lasagna noodles, made it much easier)
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced (Shredded works too)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In a Dutch oven, (or for me a pot with a good lid) cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned or cooked. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds(if you have them), Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. (I forgot to stir and it wasn’t a problem, they simmered nicely!)
***If using normal lasagna noodles***Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water.
In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C)…
To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. *Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
Bake in preheated oven for *25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional *25 minutes. Cool for *15 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Breath in life.

I can handle problems when they needs to be handled. But there is always one thing that breaks me down each and every time. Suffering. I cannot process suffering. And hearing that a child is suffering is the worst thing I can possibly imagine. It kills me, it rips and tears me apart and I wish I could fix it. There is nothing I can do, and knowing that suffering is happening collapses my heart and soul. Life is so precious. We take for granted the simple things we take pleasure in. The beauty in simplicity. The ability to wake up in the morning and look a loved one in the eye. Simpler yet, the ability to wake up in the morning.
We are so quick to complain. We need to all take half a second each day to be grateful. To feel how lucky we are that we are not suffering and that we are blessed enough to be able to complain about a hole in our sock, or our work schedule or the barista doing our coffee wrong. Live and let live. Enjoy each breath. Relish in each moment. Do one thing each day to put a smile on even one person's face.
I'm heartbroken today. Not because my own child is suffering but because some else's is. It breaks my heart looking at my own babies faces knowing how lucky I am and how much we take for granted every day. I can't heal the broken, but I can help remind each and every one of you to take in every moment and be grateful. Ask yourself, is your problem is really a problem? And find joy in the small things.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011


My sweet friend Natasha sent me this pic of us when we were younger... I'm clearly SO pumped in my leather jacket about to see Janet Jackson perform. Oh, the 90's...
Gotta love Janet though.