Thursday, July 2, 2015

Salmon and Corn with Tomatoes Grill Fest

It's my favorite time of year and I'm using 
my favorite kitchen tool my George Foreman Evolve Grill.

Thursday's treat, Salmon & Sweet Corn with Tomatoes Grill Fest!

Ingredients:
-salmon
-can of sweet corn
-plum tomatoes
-pepper
-basil
-salt
-olive oil
-balsamic vinegar

For apartment living this gadget is an awesome tool. One of my fondest memories of nicer times with my family was watching my mom preparing foods to cook in that metal grill everyone dragged out of their apartment closets in the summertime. The joy in her face, she loved to grill all sorts of stuff. Think of her and those yummy meals bought me to this. 

Mix 1/4 tsp of pepper and 1/4 tsp of salt in a bowl add drained can of corn. Spray Pam on grill plates heat for 5 minutes. Spread corn evenly on plate increase time to 15 minutes at 300 degrees.


While that's on the grill take 1/2 pint of plum tomatoes, wash and cut in halves. In a bowl mix 2 tbsp of olive oil, 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tbsp of basil. Add the tomatoes.

Season your Salmon fillets with 1/4 tsp pepper and 1/4 tsp salt mix place pieces on grill at 300 degrees for 12 minutes.

Place cooked Salmon on a dish spoon the corn and tomatoes on top serve with a green salad on the side I choose Kale delish! 


Happy eats enjoy!

Always stress free xo.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

How costly is the Fourth of July?

What does the Fourth of July really mean to you? What's the first thing that comes to mind...honestly? In the last ten years I am sure that for most of us this meaning has changed quiet often. Perhaps gotten stronger, deeper and rooted with a different purpose or maybe become less clear filled with questions, doubts, uncertainty.

illustration by Tallahasseescene.com 

I am sharing this with you today because I think it's important. Recently I sat down with my thoughts and took another look at this chapter in my life. Personal shares to me are only relevant when we learn or it can help others, exploitation is not my goal.

When I was ten years old my mother remarried, it was a major adjustment for numerous reasons. One of those reasons was he was a military man, USMC. He was stationed out in California and my mom had met him during one of his leaves. They started long distance dating and I guess after some time they felt serious enough that on his next leave he came to meet me and the family. I didn't like him from the start. That set the tone for the years to come but I won't get off topic.

He came over for dinner with this big Cowboy hat, looked like one of those guys in the cigarette commercial. His speech was very stern, his mannerisms very calculated like. It was very different from what our daily life had consisted of. Shortly after that they wed, he returned to California to finish his service he had about another year to go and we stayed in New York. When he would come "home" it felt like my life was being taken over.

I remember a lot of rules, loud voice and a face that always was serious. I remember guns being locked in a box in a closet and packs of beer being bought more often then just on a weekend when friends were coming over. I remember a lot of curse words and a thought process that I had never been exposed to. I saw how his training and military life effected his behavior daily. It was never "off" he was always on "soldier" mode. This was of course before our lives were directly affected in so many ways with recent wars but it was still very telling of what I see today.

I bring this up because his behavior never lightened up, it only got worse when he came home full time then began to work as a Correction's Officer then finally a NYC Police Officer before he retired. My years with him were trying I can only imagine what it truly did to his wife, my mother. I see today some of those results and it saddens me. He really put our family through a mentally exhausting roller coaster for many years. Divorce was the outcome seventeen years later, but the damage had already been done. When I watch some of these military movies I can relate to some of the drama playing out in the homes for sure.

I am not bashing Military life, those that choose to serve, are forced to serve and the in between reasons but I do know what Military life did to me and my family. Yes some feel honored, some feel duty blah blah but what about the after affects? Who is stopping to think about that? Who cares at what cost?

illustration by landeeseelandedo.com

In recent years we have witnessed numerous stories about the after math of serving in our Military. Stories of Soldiers coming home only to commit horrible crimes, feel lost in society, abusive behavior, difficulty in adjusting and this list can go on. I personally have witnessed wonderful, amazing, sweet people leave and angry, mean, hostile, on the edge, defensive people return back.
I ask myself, "were did my friend go"? What on earth can I do? I sat with another friend the other day and as we were in discussion I had the thought...these men and women are trained to kill but never trained to shut it off.

They go away to boot camp to prepare for life as a Soldier but where are we sending them to prepare to come home and be a father, a husband, a son, a daughter, a friend? What is the process they are going through as they are being released from duty? How can we really be thinking that after witnessing things we at home can only imagine this man or woman is ready for a house with running kids, loud neighbors, PTA meetings or nights cuddling up with their partners? After living in uncertainty moment to moment how can we expect them to come home and fix the sink, pay bills, walk the dog?

I am not saying that perhaps there are certain things being done as I speak but I just feel they haven't been and aren't enough. These men and women watch people die or have killed someone themselves. Maybe not all but many have seen horrible things, I had several friends back in H.S. join the service to pay for college but I never heard the stories I am hearing today when they came home on leave.
I have a friend that every time something drops or he hears a loud bang his whole body shacks.

And let's say that many of our Soldiers don't see such horrors, don't get sent to dangerous places that doesn't mean that they need any less decompression time than the other guy. Our loved ones are living a different life away from us. We shouldn't expect them to just blend in with us once they are back. We shouldn't expect them to pick up where they left off.

illustration by howtonestforless.com

People who are trained to be aggressive need to also be taught how to shut it off. They need programs, services, communities, their loved ones and their government to all pitch in and lend a hand. Just like in some places you are required to go to counseling before you get married, you should go to counseling before you come home.

As the Fourth of July draws near I am thinking of how grateful I am to have people who risk their lives to protect me. Who willingly leave their families behind because they believe in a cause. Who I will never be able to thank enough but with this post I hope to shed some light and get people talking.  Who I respect and pray for. I pray that just like you take care of us, we can take care of you.

Veterans...
    The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation. 
 ~President George Washington

What do you think? Am I out of line for thinking this way? Did someone come to mind as you read this post? Can you share your experience? Let's start talking maybe we can help someone in this situation. I included links for added info.

cnn.com


washingtonpost.com

Here are links to sites that offer Veterans and their families help

veteranscrisisline.net

greenvilleonline.com

woundedwarriorhomes.org

Always stress free xo.

Monday, June 29, 2015

End of June Turn it Up Tuesday!

I can't believe I am saying this End of June! Yes it's here, before you know it we will start saying the words "Back to School" so please in the meantime enjoy, come share and let's have some fun.
We had another awesome turnout last week, keep the greatness coming xo!

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Turn It Up Tuesdays is all about being happy, excited, energetic...and having fun! Link up your favorite posts (old or new) and meet some awesome bloggers in return! Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, recipes, mommy moments -- anything at all. We want to laugh, be entertained, be inspired, and have a good time!
Thanks so much to everyone that joins us each week and makes this link party the best that it could be!

SPONSOR OF THE MONTH

Our sponsor for June is Five Star Coffee.

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At FIVE STAR COFFEE, it’s not about us … It is about YOU. Offering you exclusive, healthy products that are sure to provide WORLD CLASS TASTE EXPERIENCES is the first step toward fulfilling OUR MISSION. IT IS ALSO GRATIFYING to know that our environmentally sensitive, coffee farmers, small batch roasters and dedicated producers of artisan grade oats, pancake mixes, maple syrups and chocolates benefit as well.
Are you looking to get your blog or website in front of numerous people per week? Do you enjoy Turn It Up Tuesdays? Interested in having your blog or website featured for an entire month?
Then, sponsor Turn It Up Tuesday for a month by clicking here!

Welcome the lovely ladies of Turn It Up Tuesday!

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(from the top - left to right)
Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures | Stacey from This Momma's Ramblings | Cathy from A Peek Into My Paradise | April from April Noelle | Jillian from Baby Doodah | Tina from The Happy Creations | Tiffany from MrsTeeLoveLifeLaughter | Cindy from Mom Maven | Melissa from The Coupon Chronicles | Kelly from Making-More | Silvie from My Silly Little Gang | Mari from Living in Mommywood | Tenns from Bliss & Faith | Kimberly from Being a Wordsmith | Nancy from Afro-Chic Mompreneur | Kimberly from Keystrokes by Kimberly | Kelly from Mum-bo-Jumbo | Elaine from Ramblings of a Bad Domestic Goddess | Zografia from Bisozozo | Ginger from Does Your Sister Have Normal Hair | Free from Couponin Diva | Kori from Just Another Mom | Minnie from The Country Cooking Queen's Weight loss and healthy eathing blog | Amy from Confessions of a Ninja Mom

And welcome our awesome guest hosts for June!

TUT June 2015 (2)
(from the top - left to right)
Beverly from Eclectic Red Barn | Sofia from Fun with a Message | Dawn from Pretty Shabby UK | Heidi from Heidi's Wanderings

Interested in being a guest host for the month or becoming a permanent co-host?

Complete the form here! Monthly guest hosts will be chosen on a first come first-serve basis.

Here are the Featured posts from last week!

100-calorie-workout

Silvie chose The Diva 100 Calorie Workout from Divas Run for Bling. "I chose this post because I honestly had no idea I could burn 100 calories in just 10 minutes!!! There really is no excuse to be and stay fit. :) Thanks for the awesome post. "

smores-bar

Heidi chose Patriotic S'mores Bar and Caramel Macchiato Spread #LetsMakeSmores from Logan Can... "Who doesn't love S'mores?"

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Heidi chose Blueberry Gelato from Best of Long Island and Central Florida. "I love blueberries!"

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Kori chose Cuban Style Empanadas from A Sprinkle of This and That. "We went to a great Cuban restaurant in Westchester and they had the most amazing empanadas. I've been looking for a recipe to try at home and I think this one may be it!"

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Kori chose Recipe Round-Up for Paleo Newbies from Adventures of a Cavemom. "I've always been interested in trying a Paleo diet so it's nice to have a list of recipes in one place."

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Cindy chose Mickey Mouse String Art from Albion Gould. "I am a Disney-phile and a Disney travel agent so I love all things Disney. I want to make this for my office. I think I'll paint the board red!"

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Cindy chose Things That Bring Back Memories #MondayMemories from Tiger Strypes. "I love reminiscing about and watching old television shows. We watch more TV from the 70s and 80s than we do current stuff because we don't have to worry about offensive content. BJ and the Bear was a great show and let's face it, Greg Evigan was a hottie!"

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Elaine chose Top 25 Essential Oil DIY Recipes & Projects from Painted Teacup. "I have just joined the essential oils bandwagon and was happy to find these great recipes."

GMO-Labeling-Demands

Elaine chose Customers Demand GMO Labeling...And So Should You from Little Blog on the Homestead. "GMO labeling is needed and when the TPP act passes Congress, not only will it not allow GMO labeling it will also deny us the right to know where our food and all goods we purchase are made. The country of origin label will no longer be required. This is an issue that consumers need to understand."

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Bev chose Make the Most of Link Parties from Snippets of Inspiration. "Great ideas for growing your blog with linky parties and how to do it effectively."

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Bev chose Wine Cork Garden Markers from TexMex Crafting. "What a great upcycle! Turn those old mismatch forks into plant makers by adding a wine cork that is labeled."

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Amy chose Dry Erase Road Trip Games + Kids Travel Kit from Simply Designing. "Long road trips can be so tough with little ones. That’s why I love this road trip kit with super cute printables for the kids to enjoy in the back for hours! This will definitely make the trip so much more fun for everyone!"

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Amy chose No Bake Cookies and Cream Slice from Treat Yourself Sweeter. "Dessert, check. No bake, CHECK! I love shortcuts, so this super simple delicious no bake Cookies and Cream Slice recipe is exactly the type of dessert I’m looking for!"

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Mari chose Easy DIY Texture Wall Art Tutorial from My Husband Has Too Many Hobbies. "I loved Laurie's wall art. It was unique, it looked beautiful and stylish and something I would definitely put up on my wall. Very eye catching!"

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Mari chose Roasted Eggplant Fan from All That's Jas. "My love for the many things Eggplant bought me to stop over at Jas's share. Omg looks wonderful and tasty and healthy. Loved it!!!"

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Free chose Why Design Matters | May Blog Review & Feedback from our very own Tenns from Bliss & Faith. "I think that there are things we all can do to improve our site and become more better blogger. Getting a review of my site is very helpful and will help me grow as a blogger."

Easy Home Decorating Tips

Zografia chose Easy Home Decorating Tips from The Organized Dream. "These tips are easy to follow! Makes decorating easier!"

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Zografia chose How to Use Reddit to Increase Traffic from Just Another Mom. "Are you on Reddit? I'll give it a try! Sounds great!"
Natasha also chose this post. "I haven't really used Reddit at all. It will be great to try it out as another tool to increase traffic to my blog."

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Tina chose Painting with Bubbles from Letters in the Sand. "What at a fun way to paint!!!Kids love bubbles and I'm sure they'll love this idea! I'm going to try this! What a fun and creative outdoor activity,thanks for sharing!"

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Tina chose Vaso Decorato from Hobby e Creativita'. "Beautiful upcycling project, love the result! Thanks for sharing this idea with us!"

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The post with the most clicks is Old Factory Candles from Eclectic Red Barn.
Stop by and show some love to our featured bloggers this week! I'm sure they'd all appreciate it!
If you were featured above, feel free to share the badge below with pride on your blog or website!


Epic Mommy Adventures
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And the Best of the Best is...

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Blueberry Gelato from Best of Long Island and Central Florida

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No Bake Cookies and Cream Slice from Treat Yourself Sweeter
Show some love to our Best of the Best bloggers this week!!!!
Best of the Best Bloggers - make sure to showcase the button below on your blog! And you've won free ad space on Epic Mommy Adventures for 30 days - just e-mail Natasha at 1epicmommy@gmail.com for more details!

Epic Mommy Adventures
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This week, we're introducing a great giveaway...celebrating fellow blogger the 4th blogiversary of fellow blogger, Angie from God's Growing Garden. Help celebrate by entering to win the Fun with Four Blogiversary Giveaway.

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Click on the giveaway graphic above or click here to go to the giveaway page!
Four winners will be chosen to win one of the four prize packs!
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So now that you've met our Sponsor for the month, our hosts and guest hosts, our Featured, and the Best of the Best, and our special giveaway,

let's get started!

- Show some love to your hosts and co-hosts simply by following them on social media and leaving a comment so they can follow you back.

- Link up as many posts as you'd like! The more, the merrier!

- Check out some of the other posts and make some new friends!

- Grab the button below and showcase on your sidebar! Invite your fellow bloggers to join the fun!
Epic Mommy Adventures
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Link up your posts, make some friends, and earn the chance to be featured or become the Best of the Best on Turn It Up Tuesday! We will feature the favorite posts each week! **Disclaimer: Adding your link to this link party gives permission to Epic Mommy Adventures, along with co-hosts, guest hosts, and participants of Turn It Up Tuesday, to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features, roundups, etc. with an explicit link back to the original source.**



Interested in reading all of our favorite posts on Turn It Up Tuesdays - past or present? Or do want to know if your post was featured before we go live next week? Follow Natasha Peter's board Featured on Turn It Up Tuesdays! on Pinterest.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

When saying "It's going to be Ok" is not Ok. My lesson in dealing with Anxiety

I was raised not to question what grown ups did but one of my traits is I am very inquisitive. Not the badgering, over the top, nosy just to be in your biz type of asking questions but asking questions to get clearer picture of information presented. Imagine my surprise when the conversations with my daughter at times have bought up things I grew up believing and was still doing or following just because.

For instance the wearing of a hat and gloves in the Winter to not catch a cold when in truth it's more about germs than bundling up. How about the no swimming after you eat or saying bless you after you sneeze? Hang with me a little longer I am building a point.

illustration by ifthedevilhadmenopause.com

Ever stop to think why we use certain phrases in certain situations? Like calm down, when someone seems too irate for our own good or have a drink, it will relax you. You'll get over it or it's no big deal. In time you will forget or as time passes you will feel better. It's not a big deal or it's going to be ok. I want to stop here because now I want you to think about this...

What if the person you are saying that to doesn't see that at the moment or any moment any time soon? What if that person you offered that drink to so they can relax has an addiction? What if those words are hurting someone more than they are helping? Perhaps we would like to think that more than likely we are dealing with rational people all of the time and rational emotions most of the time. We tend to be wrapped in our own bubbles floating around not really listening or truly understanding at times.

illustration by robertfitzpatrick.blogspot.com

This just happened to me. Several days ago a friend of mine and I got to talking. It was a conversation relating to our goals, plans and aspirations. How far we have come, where we were going and the things we were doing to get there. Fast forward to my phone buzzing at 5:30 am this morning. It was a text from same friend saying they were having some issues and needed to talk.

So of course I called back hoping it was just a quick minor thing when in reality the moment I said hello I knew this was going to be something totally different. I'm hearing lots of words, lots of teeth chattering, lots of interrupted breaths but couldn't understand a single thing that was going on. I said please slow down and take a deep breath. I asked several questions, the answers blew me away. Weren't we just talking and everything was fine? Weren't you just looking forward to some great new things coming your way? Don't you have some new things lined up for your life? As it turns out the yes answers to those questions were driving my friend to loss of sleep, nausea, sweating, shacking, light headed, can't focus on anything, I am losing my mind full head on Anxiety attack.

Personally I have never experienced anything this severe, nor have I ever been around anyone going through one. I tried using every positive word, phrase and example I could think of at this time in the morning. I repeated over and over please just breathe. I even said make yourself throw up so you can let go of some of that "weight" and I didn't mean pounds I meant the kind of weight you feel sometimes that makes you sick to your stomach, literally. We spoke for over an hour but it seemed to just get worse not better, my friend finally did throw up but it helped very little. My friend was more concerned about waking me, keeping me up and me having to get to work in a few hours than the situation at hand.

illustration by myptsd.com

We did some breathing exercises I use in my Yoga and Meditation practices and I suggested some music videos on You Tube to help in falling asleep. After what seemed like forever but less than two hours later, we hung up and I just said a peaceful mantra/prayer that my friend would be fine shortly.

Gratefully when I called to follow up my friend did pick up but things weren't sounding any different so as we talked I Googled "How to deal with someone having an Anxiety attack? Guess what? Some of those positive things I had rattled on at 5:30 that morning were totally wrong! You can't believe anything positive is on the other side when you feel as if your drowning. You can't believe things will be ok when you feel the walls closing in. Luckily I did one thing correctly which was suggest breathing and a distraction which was listening to music to fall asleep. As I read other suggestions I kept my friend on the line and suggested one more thing. I commented on You Tube having numerous videos on a particular subject very near and dear to my friend's heart. As we continued to talk I read off some of the videos I had come across and asked to please just give it a try.

Several hours later I received a very excited, positive and grateful text saying Thank You. Expressing how the shared information had bought peace, comfort and a new outlook on things. I was so relieved we had finally made some progress. I was proud of myself for looking for help when I felt my hands were tied. My friend was coming along and found something to help along the way.

What I learned from this was please watch what you say and if you don't know ask or research. Carelessness can do more harm than good. We all want our loved ones to be happy and safe all the time but sometimes life deals us cards we are not prepared for. With support, love and good research we can take the necessary steps to healthy choices and a happy healthy life.

illustration by everythingedrecovery.com

I'm including some links on anxiety to keep in mind for the future or if you yourself know someone or suffer yourself from Anxiety. Remember to breathe and get or ask for help! Anxiety has no age limit also remember that.

webmd
nimh.nih.gov
kidshealth.org
adaa.org

Always stress free xo.