This is the end…

Well another challenge year has ended and I’ve had a blast in 2012 investigating Parents magazine contributors ideas, comments and advertisers and would like to say thank you to them all for such a great year!

But where one door closes another window opens and my 2013 challenge to ONLY eat and drink Starbucks (Starbucks & Stripes Forever) is only hours away and I’m already getting nervous for what it might hold?!

Another change to my yearly blogs is that all future years challenges will be held under my new slogan “1 Year Of My Life” with both Facebook and WordPress pages where you can read all about it in one place!

So ends this year’s Parents Tested Mommy Approved challenge.  But here is to finding out what 1 Year Of My Life holds!

-Beautiful Existence

What is your legacy?

I have said things to many people in my life that I wish I could have taken back.  I have said  things that make me sad to think back on them.  But, I also think about all the GOOD THINGS I have said to people in my lifetime and hope that all those good things are the ones they will remember me by… especially my kids!  The article “What I Wish I’d Said” (below) in the December Parents magazine issue brought up all those words again.

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I have had a heightened sense of this reality of “words” since my teens, a heightened sense that some of the most important words that I could say might only come out of my mouth ONCE to my kids (or loved ones) but it might stay with them forever.  I’ve realized this ever since my grandmother died when I was 22.  I loved her so much and even though I remember many fond memories of her… the smell of roses, dancing with her in the living room to the sounds of the Lawrence Welk show, etc. one of the biggest memories I have of her was when she told me that babies would die if they weren’t held or loved.  See my grandmother was a pediatric nurse, and she actually helped birth both my sister and brother and some of my cousins and she LOVED babies!  She was actually quoting a study they did many years ago in orphanages about the effects of no human contact on babies and it’s stayed with me my whole life!  That one conversation I heard has given me more compassion and passion for infants, human touch to them and even still wanting to adopt (if I ever can) one day!

So when I read this article in the December Parents magazine edition it struck a chord because I have written both my boys letters to open when they are 18 in case I die before then.  I wrote these letters a couple of times in my life, many years ago to my oldest in his photo albums and poetry books I made for him and lately when I suffered a double pulmonary embolism after the c-section with my youngest (which is actually a large contributor to sudden deaths of post-pregnancy women in our own country to this day!).  I have both the boys letters and the books, cd’s and art I’ve made them in their hope chests for my legacy.  I even went in and recorded the special songs I made for both of them while they were babies at the 50 year celebration at the Space Needle this summer “Put the Needle on the Record”.  Actually all three of us went in and I sang them to them on the record… it was just another way I felt I could give back to them a sense of me and what I considered important when they are older and I am gone.

Boys and I cutting a record

So what is your legacy to your children?  Are you keeping their school art, their photos, their macaroni creations?  Are you expanding that collection and recording certain moments (both bad and good) so that they know what you were thinking, feeling, doing at that time to help them in their adult lives know how to manuever life in a positive, loving and compassionate way?  It’s never too late!  Never too late to write those letters now while you are healthy, happy or have just lived through a terrible struggle.

It’s NEVER TOO LATE to leave your children your legacy.  I do it still, everyday with every blog post I create.  I say it’s never too late because that one word, that one sentence, that one photo, that one memory might be with them forever… help make it a great one about the good things in life and leave this existence knowing you will be in their hearts forever!

Oh Nuts!

For some reason the holiday months make me crave NUTS like crazy?!  And apparently I’m not the only one because I see huge displays of them in every grocery store, I see gift packs carrying varieties I’ve never heard of or seen before and even Parents magazine had a couple of items about nuts in their December (online) issue.

This first one is about the seriousness of nut allergies and making sure you know what a nut really looks like once it’s shelled.

PTMA Oh Nuts!

This next image is of a Nutella advertisement.  I have not had the pleasure (ever) of eating a Nutella sandwich or on toast but I do enjoy the Whole Foods brands such as Justin’s Nut Butter, especially the Chocolate Hazelnut!

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I might have to give Nutella a try soon but if you love nuts and live by a Whole Foods PLEASE, PLEASE try my absolutely FAVORITE new nut product – Albina City Nuts – that I found before Thanksgiving and have been pleasantly addicted to ever since!  I adore their Sweet & Spicy Hazelnuts… you must try them!!

Growing up

PTMA TREE growThere is something so innocent and beautiful about this photo to me.  A child living the everyday tasks of adults during the holidays.  It reminds me of a time when we actually did go to local tree farms with my parents to cut & carry our holiday tree/bush home.

Just wanted to share this image and this wonderful quote from one of my favorite-faves… Dr. Seuss from the December Parents magazine (online) edition.  Enjoy and may you choose to use those brains and feet for the benefit and blessing of others!

Festival of Lights

To everybody celebrating Chanukah (or Hanukkah) this week the December issue of Parents magazine has some great ideas in case you haven’t yet purchased the 8 nights of presents you need.

PTMA Hanukkah

The LED-lit menorah that you build (above) is super colorful and what a great price!  The scooter is really colorful too!  We did end up buying a scooter for our youngest this holiday over at the wonderful local toy store… White Horse Toys.

PTMA kiddi-o scooter

However you celebrate your holidays we all hope that they are great and that you support those local businesses!

The fresh scent of Pine

Do you remember the slogan from TV commercials talking about the “fresh scent of Pine”? That slogan always reminded me of the holiday smell of christmas trees.

Well we have a fake holiday tree, so every year I miss the smell of real trees like the PNW outdoors gives us so this year I thought I’d try an advertised product from the December Parents magazine for fir-scented ornaments from Scentsicles (there are five different scents to choose from).

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I have them hanging on the tree as we speak and yep, they do smell like a real fir tree! But I would like to mention that the smell fades after 24 hours and is non-existent after 72 hours unless you get right up to the tree (like the logger above is doing). Another thing that I would like the Scentsicles company to consider is that not everybody has extra ornament hangers lying around and their product doesn’t provide any so adding a couple of the hangers into the containers would be a GREAT IMPROVEMENT to me!

We improvised with no extra ornament hangers and used a paperclip which works too!

PTMA Fir Freshner

I’m sure if you have a holiday party or dinner coming up if you fill the tree with multiple Scentsicles that your fresh-tree-smell would linger for longer than 24 hours but it could be so pungent that your guests can’t smell or taste anything but Fir or Pine?! So I would still suggest using these things sparingly and just provide a fresh-fresh scent for the days you need it!