Thursday, December 30, 2010

The best present is each moment!

Another year seems like it has just flown by, again! Where do these long days end up turning into such short years? When do we stop and smell the roses and even get another moment to celebrate our other four senses at the same time? Just think of it, stopping to smell the roses only to awaken to the spirit of the soul and tap into what immense joys we have around us, or pains in our back we hadn't realized were there yet..ouch! We're too busy to be in tune with our bodies, especially during the holiday rush. The truth is, being tuned into our bodies has everything to do with being tuned in period! It starts with a very simple old world philosophy about simply being in the now. Being present means, to be in this moment... not in your mind thinking about where you just were or where you must go next. This moment! Take a deep breath and allow yourself, if only for one minute, to reflect back on the holiday rush. See yourself in your minds eye, hustling and bustling... you know the routine. First you're shopping, decorating, then wrapping, baking, cleaning, grooming... all the while the pending deadline of the holidays approaching... then finally, more hustling, more bustling... it's all done. You and everything else look fabulous. Can you see yourself? You're standing next to a glorious Christmas tree, in an immaculate home! All of these things are important that's true, after all they make up the foundation for the family memories that will be shared. When it's all said and done, isn't it the memories that end up making up the moments of our lives? It's all a beautiful picture, but only if, the moments of hustling and bustling were enjoyed equally as much as the moments spent in celebration. Aren't these moments just as valid and just as important? Christmas preparations are not a means to an end. They are meant to be filled with love and cheer. As I used to say to the chicks, "The best dishes are the ones made with love in your heart and a smile on your face." I'm still not sure where I ever heard that, or if I made it up, but that is true of all tasks when I think about it. I am a spiritual being, as are we all, and I believe what the buddhist monks spent years practicing is true... If we can spend our time living in each moment, as it unfolds, truly being present with a heart full of gratitude, we will be serving ourselves and others in the most harmonious way. When we live in a state of present gratitude we live our best life and have our most glorious Christmas's! Now my dear hubby has another saying, "It's easier to be a coach than a player." I too am learning and seeking this delicate balance each and every day, that's true. Slipping back into worry or regret about this or that, I struggle to control my thoughts about things I can't control. I work to nurture myself first so that I can better help others... just like so many others I struggle to find the time to stop and smell the roses, nevermind those other four senses... but like I say, I'm working on it, one single moment at a time! Happy New Year in 2011! May you be blessed with the attitude of gratitude my friends! It will bring you endless pleasures and bonuses in life! If you don't believe me, just Google Wallace D. Wattles, he knew it way back then! monixo

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A fun time was had by all this past weekend as we celebrated our youngest turning 6!
After much discussion of party theme options, along with hours of browsing online and looking through catalogs we decided on a CARNIVAL theme party!
So off I went... eeeerrrrr't.... put on the brakes! My husband asks me to set a budget before I start making plans! A budget? This is always the tough part for me, although I should be used to it by now, I have NEVER planned an event without a budget to date. So, a budget it was, whew. I was going to have to become very resourceful and fast...
I set out to find the best deals, "On the planet, In this town and Known to man." Only to discover that no matter how I tried I could not avoid the biggest cost... the jumpy house. To make this carnival party a hit for a group of 25, 6 year olds, I couldn't have just any jumpy either, I had to go BIG! Fortunately we had the room in our back yard to pull it off, so I ordered the COMBO, with slide and basketball hoop!
I had to convince my husband to go for renting the hot dog cooker, it wasn't cheap, but it was cool and it cooked 56 dogs at once! The snow cone machine was the birthday girls choice. It was the only request she had besides the pinata, which we got for cheap. Since I was ordering multiple items the order came with three tables and 25 chairs for cheap! I was thrilled!
I planned and set up myself, a game booth, with ring toss, football toss, etc... where the kids could win tickets that would be cashed in later for prizes. Letting the child with the most tickets choose first and then down the line and so on.... it worked well. I made a photo board and hung it in a doorway, where the kids could pose for pictures, they had fun with that. I homemade my creamy cheese cupcakes instead of cake to keep it simple and fun. I saved a plate of cupcakes for the birthday girl to frost later when the party was over... unfortunately, I've been eating them all week.
Small touches like the adorable, and I mean adorable little popcorn boxes that I found at the craft store and a candy buffet full of colorful licorice and gummies I put together, really made the party extra special. One of the greatest joys of the day ended up being when the kids decided to make a wish and let a balloon go carrying with it their wish... I got tears in my eyes as I imagined the dreams and wishes I had when I was 6 years old!
I really enjoy this part of being a mom. I have always loved planning parties to make other people feel special and now when it is for my own daughter it's like giving her what I never had. That is every mother's dream for their children. So having a successful party like this is my way of living the dream!
What kind of parties have you dreamed about? What dreams do you have for your life? Ah, that is my question for you, and for myself!
Live your dream, love your life... monixo

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

LIFE'S LESSONS PART ONE by monixo

COULD YOU IMAGINE ALL OF US WORKING TOGETHER AS ONE GIANT TEAM, SUPPORTING AND LOVING EACH OTHER THROUGH EACH STEP WE TAKE IN LIFE, ALWAYS KNOWING SOMEONE IS THERE TO CATCH YOU WHEN YOU FALL... THAT IS THE MEANING OF FAMILY TO ME.
The lessons I learn from my family each day are invaluable, here is a link to a short video I did as a part of my "LIFE LESSONS" VIDEO SERIES, I HOPE YOU ENJOY IT... monixo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enI8QWWLusM

Friday, June 18, 2010

Vote for me THE HUNGRY HAIRSTYLIST on the OWN network

HERE IS THE INFORMATION ABOUT MY AUDITION FOR OPRAH'S OWN NETWORK CONTEST...I'M GETTING HUNGRY... VOTE FOR ME! SIMPLY GO TO MY FACEBOOK PAGE AND CLICK THE LINK FOR THE HUNGRY HAIRSTYLIST! It's simple, I'll make you over, if you will make me your best recipe for lunch! The idea of it brings a whole new meaning to the words, "Let's DO lunch." monixo


http://myown.oprah.com/audition/index.html?request=add_video&entity_id=208224867

Thursday, June 17, 2010

THE SKY'S THE LIMIT... STROMBOLI'S

SCHOOL'S OUT!!!
WHEW HEW!!!
In my house summer time is a big deal. It means it's time for us to wipe off the sweat, of cabin fever and bask in the awaited sunshine all the day! Flip flops and bikini's are accompanied by hats and sunscreen these days! Nevertheless, white legs and all, I will be basking all right, in all the delightful and delicious summer recipes!
So, today I'd like to launch off the summer in style, with an evening appetizer meal that will be a hit with all your family members and guests of any age, plus, it's a super simple and quick meal that won't leave you slaving in the kitchen. To make this recipe a real winner, let your guests create their own dish by setting up a buffet of toppings for all to choose from!
HERE IS ALL YOU NEED FOR AN ABUNDANT ITALIAN FARE BUFFET,
STROMBOLI STYLE!
You will need one Pillsbury Thin Pizza Crust for each two guests... each Stromboli serves two or four if you slice then into appetizers!!!!!
INGREDIENTS:
PILLSBURY THIN PIZZA CRUST
1/4 CUP OF YOUR FAVORITE MARINARA SAUCE
COOKED ITALIAN SAUSAGE(OPTIONAL)
4OZ. OF PHILADELPHIA CREAM CHEESE SOFTENED
1/4 CUP SHREDDED MOZZARELLA CHEESE
1/4 CUP SHREDDED MONTEREY JACK CHEESE
1/4 CUP RICOTTA CHEESE(OPTIONAL)
2TBS OLIVE OIL
1/4 CUP KRAFT PARMESAN CHEESE
1 CUP CHEESY GARLIC CROUTONS
HERE ARE SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR OTHER OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS... REMEMBER THE SKY'S THE LIMIT HERE...
MUSHROOMS, OLIVES, HAM, PINEAPPLE, PEPPERONI, BAKED CHICKEN, GREEN & RED PEPPERS, ONION, BASIL, TOMATOES, GARLIC, SPINACH, ARTICHOKE HEARTS...ETC...

NOW, ROLL OUT YOUR THIN PIZZA CRUST. In a medium bowl combine cheeses, marinara sauce and all toppings of your choice. Now, mix well! Pour your ingredients into center of your pizza crust. Fold both sides in first, like you would roll a burrito, and then do just that, roll and fold edge over so that it looks like a giant burrito. Now brush the top of the Stromboli with olive oil and place oil side down onto a plate of crushed CHEESY GARLIC CROUTONS & PARMESAN CHEESE, brush other side with olive oil and ROLL THE STROMBOLI until it is completely covered in mixture. Place Stromboli onto a lightly greased baking sheet and cook according to the instructions on the thin pizza crust package.
When Stromboli comes out of the oven it should be golden brown and lightly crispy. Serve with your favorite marinara sauce warmed up, on the side or poured over top!

SOUND DELICIOUS? I'M NOT DONE YET... NOW FOR THE COCKTAIL!
HOW DOES A WHITE PEAR MARTINI SOUND TO YOU?

ALL YOU WILL NEED FOR THIS YUMMY COCKTAIL IS AN OPEN MIND!
1 SHOT of your favorite VODKA
1 SHOT OF ABSOLUTE PEAR VODKA
I LG. CAN OF PEARS IN HEAVY SYRUP
2 SHOTS WHITE GRAPE JUICE
THIS MARTINI IS TO BE SHAKEN, NEVER STIRRED!

HERE'S HOW YOU ASSEMBLE THIS INTO THE MARTINI SHAKER...
Put in crushed ice 1/3 way up
ADD BOTH VODKAS and 2 SHOTS OF PEAR JUICE
ADD 2 SHOTS WHITE GRAPE JUICE
ADD 1 Large CHUNK OF PEAR
SHAKE, SHAKE,SHAKE
SERVE IN A CHILLED MARTINI GLASS WITH A SUGARED RIM, GARNISH WITH A CHUNK OF PEAR AND A CHERRY OR FLOAT A THIN SLICE OF PEAR ON TOP! DOUBLE THE RECIPE IN A LARGER SHAKER TO MAKE DOUBLE THE FUN!

SET UP THE STROMBOLI BAR AND MARTINI BAR, THEN JUST SIT BACK AND ENJOY WATCHING YOUR GUESTS GET CREATIVE... THIS HAS THE MAKINGS OF A PARTY YOU WILL ACTUALLY ENJOY WITH YOUR GUESTS INSTEAD OF WORKING YOUR TAIL OFF!
I'm warning you, you just might start rolling video on everyone now that your hands are free! You can document your life and memories so you can look back later and remember how blessed you are! Heck, maybe you will get that $ winning blooper video, you never know!
ENJOY! monixo

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Drink Water, it's what your body is made of....

"REMEMBER..."
monixo
video

Stop and "Smell the teapot."

There are times in life, memories, that you cherish like your finest possessions. Some of life's best moments are spent with family and friends, spending time together, sharing meals. Other little gifts in life are those rare moments when we are alone. When these moments come to me I choose to make the most of them.
Having a family, running a business and maintaining a household, doesn't leave much "me" time. Which is why I try and use these opportunities to replenish my soul. One of the best rejuvenations I can share with you is my tea time... here is my recipe for,
"TEA TIME FOR ONE"
This is a ritual that can be performed anywhere at anytime, only your mind can limit your escape.
Boil 3 cups of water
Steep your favorite tea for 2minutes in water.
TEA SUGGESTIONS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
MORNING: BLACK TEA WITH CREAM OR LEMON AND HONEY
AFTERNOON: ICED GREEN TEA
EVENING: MINT
ANTI-OXIDANT BOOST: BLUEBERRY OR POMEGRANATE
FAT BURNING: When creamer coagulates in hot tea, it is evidence of the natural fat burning affects. Best fat fighter hot or cold is GREEN TEA.

While the tea is steeping, whether it is in your favorite tea pot, like mine at the lake house or if it's a to go cup from your favorite coffee house, "Stop and smell the teapot."
Let your mind escape but not too far... only escape as far as that second in time. That's right, escape to the present moment you are in. Smell the tea in the air? Can you hear the birds chirping or the crickets in the distance? Empty your mind of all of your worries, you can bet they will wait patiently while you take a time out, just breathe.
Now remove the tea bags and add your favorite condiments, if you must, then sit back and enjoy the alone time while you feel the tea warm you all the way down.

Friday, March 26, 2010

No time to spare, with FLARE!

When you have no time to spare, yet you need to show some FLARE, try my favorite quick dinner fix and crowd pleaser, even the kids clean their plates with this one.

TURKEY LETTUCE WRAPS
{They taste just like PF CHANGS recipe}

Cook 2lbs. Ground Turkey, over medium heat
Mash Turkey with a potato masher to get very tiny granules of meat, ADD SALT to taste

In a separate saucepan, heat 2 TBS Oil over medium heat then add the following ingredients in this order...
1/4 cup onion, 1/4 cup chopped carrot, 1/4 cup celery, 1/8 cup water chestnuts
Simmer over low heat until vegetables are golden brown

COMBINE TURKEY WITH VEGETABLES THEN ADD 1/4 cup HOISIN SAUCE
COOK FOR FIVE MINUTES, OVER LOW HEAT, THEN TURN OFF
ADD 1/2 cup FRESHLY CHOPPED BASIL
SERVE IMMEDIATELY WITH FRESH ICEBURG LETTUCE LEAFS

OPEN AN ICE COLD BOTTLE OF YOUR FAVORITE ASTI SPUMANTI OR ASIAN BEER AND YOUR EVENING IS SURE TO BUBBLE WITH DELIGHT...
Have fun and add different vegetables or even Tofu for a VEGAN twist.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Making dinner is a family affair... so is doing the dishes!


When it comes time to fix dinner, I say, it's time to rally the troops and give everyone a job in the kitchen. The lakehouse has been the perfect place to prepare and enjoy meals together as a family. Now that my girls are getting older they are capable of doing more advanced tasks, along side my lead, in the kitchen. Using a peeler and loading the dishwasher are some of the most recent, advanced tasks they have been assigned. It is never too early to start creating a personal responsibility chart for your kids and let them take an active role in family responsibilities.
When a person gets the opportunity to be relied upon in a family they feel like they know their place in the world. Preparing meals together is also a great opportunity to bond as a family even before you sit down together.
Tonight we will all pitch in to make baked chicken, salad and roasted potatoes, I'm about to pour a glass of wine, sit back and watch while the kids do most of the prep work...


TODAY'S RECIPE:BAKED CHICKEN WITH ROASTED POTATOES AND SALAD
TODAY'S COCKTAIL: OPEN A BOTTLE OF YOUR FAVORITE WHITE WINE
Pour yourself a glass while you prepare this simple, delicious dinner...

PREHEAT OVEN TO 375'

IN A LARGE ZIP LOC BAG COMBINE
TWO CUPS OF FLOUR
ONE PACKAGE HIDDEN VALLEY RANCH SALAD DRESSING MIX

ADD 2 LARGE CHOPPED RUSSET POTATOES OR ANY OF YOUR CHOICE,
CLOSE BAG TIGHTLY AND SHAKE UNTIL POTATOES ARE COATED EVENLY. GENTLY REMOVE POTATOES WITH YOUR FINGERS AND PLACE THEM AROUND THE EDGES OF A ROASTING PAN, PRE-COATED WITH OLIVE OIL,
SPRINKLE WITH SEA SALT.

DIP SIX MEDIUM, SKINLESS BONELESS, CHICKEN BREASTS IN MILK AND THEN DROP INTO THE SAME ZIPLOC BAG. BE SURE TO COAT POTATOES FIRST BEFORE DOING CHICKEN!
CLOSE BAG TIGHTLY AND SHAKE UNTIL CHICKEN IS EVENLY COATED.

SPREAD CHICKEN BREASTS INTO THE ROASTING BAN, COATED WITH OLIVE OIL.
BRUSH TOP OF CHICKEN WITH OLIVE OIL SO THAT IT WILL BROWN EVENLY.
COVER ROASTING PAN WITH FOIL AND PLACE INTO PREHEATED OVEN
COOK FOR 45 MINUTES BEFORE REMOVING FOIL AND CONTINUE COOKING
UNCOVERED FOR 15 -20 REMAINING MINUTES.

KEEPING WITH THE 70% RAW FOODS DIET IN 2010, IT IS TIME TO GET THE KIDS BUSY PREPARING A NICE BIG SALAD, CHALKED FULL OF GREENS, NUTS AND AVOCADO.
SERVE CHICKEN WITH SALAD AND WARM BREAD AND BUTTER
NOW, POUR ANOTHER GLASS OF CLOS DU BOIS OR CHARDONNAY AND ENJOY...

NOW BEFORE ALL THE RUG RATS DISAPPEAR AND LEAVE THEIR PLATES ON THE TABLE, ENLIST THE HELP OF ALL WHO ENJOYED THE MEAL IN THE CLEAN- UP. THEN, BEFORE YOU ALL ARE SO FAST TO TURN ON THE T.V HOW ABOUT A GAME OF CONNECT FOUR OR A ROUND OF CRAZY EIGHTS? LOSER HAS TO FEED THE DOGS...