Sharing recipes, crafts and frugal living, the challenges and triumphs of parenting a neurotypical child and a child on the Autism Spectrum. Yoga Instructor said goodbye to her nightly glass of Chardonnay to give up habits that were not serving her purpose in life! The CocktailMom name remains, however with a new focus on healthy and authentic living.


The Best of 2009- Web Tool

Q: Web tool. It came into your work flow this year and now you couldn't live without it. It has simplified or improved your online experience.

A: Delicious, a social bookmarking tool has finally helped me make sense of my crazy bookmarking system or lack there of. I compulsively bookmark websites, craft ideas, interesting tidbits to read when I don't have a small child asking me to zip their jacket/wipe their snotty nose/read Go Dog Go for the 1 thousandth time. The problem is I typically then forget about that clever way to reuse a wine cork, now I can tag it and be done with it. And the best part I can share with my friends the sites I think they will like too. Love that!!


The Best of 2009- Project

Q: Project. What did you start this year that you're proud of?

A: I recently got certified to teach Yoga and within 2 weeks of certification I was starting a new business, Bee Yoga Fusion. Teaching yoga has been one of my dreams for many, many years. I adore teaching, I love showing people how to move and stretch their bodies, seeing their confidence grow within themselves through their practice. I am so excited to start this journey in 2010, I will be teaching yoga to the kids at Greenbelt Co-op Nursery School and at the College Park Community Center (both adult and kid classes). If you know of a school or organization that would like me to come and teach please email me. I'm hoping to add more classes and locations throughout the year.

Picture above is by Lori Portka: Happiness through Art


The Best of 2009- New Person

Q: New person. She came into your life and turned it upside down. He went out of his way to provide incredible customer service. Who is your unsung hero of 2009?

A: This past year I've gotten to know a friend of a friend. It's so funny when the pebble is thrown and the ripples spread out across the lake of your life. My friend Corie, one of my Jitterbugs, has a friend Gia. Through Corie, Gia and I became friends. She's one of those people that you meet, instantly connect with and wonder where she's been your entire life. A long lost sister, you fall into the relationship head first and never look back. We have many similar interests and seem to take on the world with the same fire and spirit. She has started this awesome company called Re:Mix, the fund raising calendar this year is even better than last year.. it is truly remarkable.

We've chatted, we've emailed, we've been updated with each other's lives on facebook and twitter but we've never actually met in person. Isn't she just the cutest lil' thing to boot!?! I think 2010 should be our year, Gia!


The Best of 2009- Shop

Q: Shop. Online or offline, where did you spend most of your mad money this year?

A: I'm not a huge spender. Typically when I'm shopping it's because I actually need it, or the kids do. I spent a lot of money at Nashbar,but I needed a new seat for my bike and new tires. That being said I spend a lot of time "window shopping" on Etsy. Right now I'm searching for the perfect cigarette case. No I'm not a smoker anymore but back in the day when I was I use to put my cigarettes and money/credit cards in this awesome vintage, metal cigarette case that fit perfectly in my back pocket. Lord only knows where that is now, one of the few regrets of a past purge. I'd love to find something like that now because what I have going on is rather quite sad and pathetic, don't you think? I'm totally digging SweetHeartSinner's shop on etsy, I'm just having a hard time picking one. What are your favorites?


The Best of 2009- Word or Phrase

Q: Word or phrase. A word that encapsulates your year. "2009 was _____."

A: 2009 was an Awakening of my spirit.
I took the time this year to really focus on me. To put myself on the to-do list. Now that my kids are getting older and are less dependent on me, I found myself asking "who am I?". Trying to discover what the label "mom" means to me, how I can tap into who I was before kids and who I am now. I'm trying to make a conscious effort to not be one of those moms who lives and breathes her kids. I love my kids, don't get me wrong, but I also believe it's important for them to grow up seeing and knowing a mom who loves herself and cares enough about herself to take time away from the family to follow her passions. I've rediscovered what happiness means. I've laughed more this past year, felt joyous and here I sit taking a deep breath in and knowing in my whole heart I am following my true bliss. It's not easy. There are hard decisions to be made along the way. We all have to do what makes us happy, to not become stagnant, to awaken our core beings. Make the point in 2010 to put yourself on the to-do list. You deserve it!


The Best of 2009- Rush

Q: Rush. When did you get your best rush of the year?
A: Anytime I can go over 20 miles an hour on my bike. A rush like no other.


The Best of 2009- New Food

Q: New food. You're now in love with Lebanese food and you didn't even know what it was in January of this year.

A: I'm pretty flexible about food. I'll try just about anything...once. This year though I discovered that I really enjoy roasted beets. It all started with a hand off of beets from a person's CSA box. They knew that they didn't like them, I wasn't so sure so I found a recipe for roasted beets and gave it a whirl. Next thing I know I'm buying beets at the local farmer's market. Did you know that beet juice can lower blood pressure and since Roman times, beetroot juice has been considered an aphrodisiac. The juice is a rich source of boron, which plays an important role in the production of human sex hormones. Hmmm...makes you want to pick up some beets eh?

Since I don't have a picture of beets I thought I'd spread a little Etsy love and feature someone else's work that I dig. I love the expression on this tree's face. The print is called The Growth.


The Best of 2009- Music

Q: Album of the year. What's rocking your world?

A: I'm in LOVE with Brandi Carlile right now. I could listen to her everyday...well actually I do.

I'm passionate about giving back, finding a way to outstretch your arms and help someone or something. And I love when entertainers do the same thing. Brandi started an organization in 2008 called The Looking Out Foundation, a 501c, in order to provide financial support to various causes that she believes in. The focus of the organization is mostly environmental causes but in an interview in September 2009, Brandi said, "We really work on a community basis and we do everything from helping people pay for funerals to environmental projects. The Looking Out Foundation is a helping hand to any cause we believe in."
Brandi also donates a dollar from every concert ticket sale to The Looking Out Foundation, that's pretty freakin' cool!
I wish more entertainers followed her lead. You rock Brandi!


The Best of 2009- Moment of Peace

Q: Moment of peace. An hour or a day or a week of solitude. What was the quality of your breath? The state of your mind? How did you get there?

A: I meditate and do yoga on a daily basis. I reach a point of "zen" where my body relaxes and I think that I'm feeling what I'm suppose to feel, how it's explained in books and how I've heard that moment described by others. Would I call it peace? No....Yes, maybe. I know that I'm not alone, I can hear the kids breathing in the next room. I know that soon enough they will awaken and that this moment will soon be forgotten. I breathe in and my mind always goes to the feeling I get when I push off the wall in the pool, dolphin kicking my legs, tucking my chin to my chest, hands stacked one on top of the other stretched ahead of me....the silence surrounding me. Being submerged in water has always been my peaceful place. On days when my mind is racing, when I'm feeling overwhelmed I often break away and head to the pool to do laps. There in the depths of the pool I can clear my mind, find my breath, leave feeling rejuvenated and renewed.


The Best of 2009- Blog

Q: Blog find of the year. That gem of a blog you can't believe you didn't know about until this year.
A: Not only am I a blogger but I'm a blog reader. The list is really long, the blogs that I check out on a daily and weekly basis. But if I had to narrow it down here are my top 5...yes that's as narrow as I can make it.
1. Kelly Rae Roberts: loving her art work and her energy written into her blog.
2. Walk Slowly, Live Wildly: a family of four who travels the US in a RV powered by vegetable oil! Need I say more?
3. Shutter Sisters: because pretty pictures are always nice to look at.
4. A Beautiful Mess: Elsie is super cute and I totally want to "know" her, I think we'd be fast friends.
5. Ordinary Courage: Brene` Brown is amazing, her words inspire me to "tune out and tune in".

The photo above is from BlueCocoon, I love how light and airy her pictures are, the story that is created in each frame. She is having a Buy One Get One Free Offer in her etsy shop. In case anyone cares I like this one and this one. :)


Dollar Days at Baltimore Museums

Don't miss dollar days at Baltimore museums this weekend. Yesterday the boys and I checked out the Maryland Science Center,
it was awesome! I love science centers, all the hands on learning, the wide age range that it appeals to....the kid play area!!! Logan loved putting a skeleton together and learning more about the inside of the body, this is a recent new fascination and we are strongly encouraging it. Cancel your plans for the day and head to Baltimore! Come on the roads aren't that bad.


The Best of 2009- Book

Q: Book. What book - fiction or non - touched you? Where were you when you read it? Have you bought and given away multiple copies?
A: I Will Not Die an Unlived Life By Dawna Markova
Yes, I've blogged about this book before, click here. It's the book that I keep coming back to, that I tell so many people that they have to read. I haven't loaned out my copy because it still lives in my car. I pick it up at random moments and read a passage that I've underlined/circled/ still speaks to me in a way no other book has this year.


The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge

I recently discovered Gwen's blog and I am so excited to participate in The Best of 2009 Blog Challenge. Basically the concept is to take a moment and look at the last year and reflect, remember and then share my favorite moments from 2009. There are no hard rules, so I may post everyday or I may not. That's the beauty of it. But to catch up here are the first 2.
Q: Trip. What was your best trip in 2009?
Hands down the best trip I took this year was when my girlfriend Lauren and I went to NY to ride our bikes 100 miles in one day. I am still amazed that we did it. I still get giddy talking about it. After the ride we went to the beach and watched the sun set, I haven't taken the time to do that enough in the past year. To sit and BE and allow life to happen around me and just enjoy it.

Q:Restaurant moment. Share the best restaurant experience you had this year. Who was there? What made it amazing? What taste stands out in your mind?
A: For all you local folks you have to check out Jackie's in Silver Spring, MD. By far the best food I've had this year. The serving sizes are perfect, you don't feel sickly full, you leave feeling completely satisfied. Make sure you call and make a reservation, yes it's that good!


A lot on the fire....

I have a lot going on right now. A lot on the fire, as my Grandmother would say. I'm trying to find a balance but with Christmas fast approaching I'm like a lot of people...feeling a tad overwhelmed and wishing there were more hours in the day. I've paired down my handmade gifts this year and right now it's all I am working on so sadly you won't be seeing many craft posts until after Christmas, as the recipients read the blog.
I'm steadily building my yoga classes for the new year. I'm also in the beginning stages of something new and exciting and I can't wait to tell you all about it!! Really excited!!! Trust me, so worth the wait! :)
I hope all of you take a moment to breathe. Be in your body and allow the emotions you are feeling to have their space and then move them on. Focus on the reason why we share these holidays together. Be there. In that moment. And carry it with you.
be well.


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