Saturday, August 31, 2013


High mountain skies...

Chasing the clouds...

... "Kissing clouds"...

and dreamy sunsets...

Thursday, August 29, 2013


Glorious blue skies at the end of August... The summer haze has gone, and the sky is deep blue with sweet white clouds, as is often typical of September or May (two of my most beloved months!).

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

One Hour Of Perfection

Yesterday I wrapped up my old job (barely). Before I could leave I had to draft a motion for partial summary judgment. This was the stipulation for my final farewell. I finally finished it at 6:15pm! It's even pretty good, if I do say so myself. I even went to the effort of bate-stamping my exhibits so I could reference them by page number. Bate-stamped pages make me so happy.

As the evening dragged on, however, I lost steam in the final few minutes. The thought of taking the final effort of tying my arguments up nicely in a conclusion section seemed unbearable. So I kinda skipped it. I hope my boss appreciates this as he is reviewing my draft.

I'm the one that introduced him to the trending phrase "sorry for partying." So I'm sure he'll see it as a final souvenir of my employment with the firm...ha ha, RIGHT....

I also need to mention that on my last day at the firm, my boss sent out an email with the following subject (in all caps, of course): "WHOEVER JAMMED THE BIG STAPLER, PLEASE COME SEE ME!" The e-mail went on to explain the importance of having a jam-free stapler in case there is an "emergency." Ha.


Also, I totally had a nightmare that I filed a motion and used the word "hafta" instead of "have to" and my boss flipped out and I was totally horrified and filled with anxiety. I wonder if the litigation nightmares will stop sometime or if they will be ever present, much like those pesky high school test nightmares.

We are off to Canada tomorrow for the rest of the week/weekend. But today, I have absolutely no plans, obligations, or work-related stress. And it feels amazing! I kind of feel unemployed. It's the best feeling ever. Hmmm, I could get used to this.

This morning, I took the kids to the gym and ran 6 miles. Now the baby is sleeping, the big kid is "resting" on the couch. I'm sitting in my warm bed enjoying the post-run high and the awesome feeling of spent muscles while eating a much-deserved cookie dough Power bar (yes, there IS such as thing...and it is amazing!), listening to Macklemore's The Heist, and doing WHATEVER THE HECK I WANT. (Forgetting for a moment that my house it complete chaos.)

It may be really simple, but this is my idea of perfection. I am in a total state of bliss right now. Life is good!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Hazelnuts have already been ripe for a while... Here some of my harvest, picked in the woods :) 

Do you already have first signs of Autumn showing up where you live?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

All Is Fair...In Mommyhood

I just closed the door to the boys' room after having tucked them snuggly into bed. As the door shut softly behind me, I wanted to just melt into a puddle on the fake wood floors (Wicked Witch of the West style). Today was such a ROUGH day. It shouldn't have been. But for some reason, everything was difficult.

My husband (who is pulling kid duty all day tomorrow) left for an all day long football draft event. So it was just me and the boys. I think Jacob woke up too early because he was on the verge of a meltdown the entire day. Anything could and would set him off. In the late morning we were at the table finishing his birthday invitations. He drew one pretty darn good Ninja Turtle. Then on the second one, he totally threw a tantrum because his turtle WAS TOO UGLY. It looked exactly like the first one, which he adored. Ugh. Then he refused to draw anymore.

Turtle power:

Then, despite his prior protest, he tried to draw a snail. He crumpled up seven pieces of half-drawn snails which much flare and drama. Then he threw his markers, stomped his fist, and had another meltdown. "I'll NEVER get the hang of this! It's no use!" He flung his body dramatically into a pillow on the couch. "I'm never going to draw AGAIN!" He proceeded to huff and puff, to my extreme annoyance, for the next ten minutes.

When I asked him to clean up his markers, he adamantly refused. His whining grew louder. Obviously he was tired and I was in no mood to deal with him. I sent him to his bed and instructed him to take a nap. For the next 47 minutes (precisely), he kicked his wall, threw his stuffed animals and chanted (without a single break!) "I don't wanna take a nap! I'll never take a nap! I'll never play Uno with you ever again! You're a mean mommy! I don't wanna take a nap!" ... I just let him get it out of his system.

He never did nap. I just let him out of his room (47 minutes later) with a very stern warning. The rest of the day was pretty much just like his. It was a complete battle to get him to do anything. Any little thing would set him off and trigger a barrage of pathetic whining. His food is too hot. He's too tired to put his shoes on. He is soooo thirsty. His drink tastes bad. "I don't hafta go potty!" "I don't wanna walk!"

When Ryan woke up from his nap, I had to get out of the house. We went to the gym and I cranked out 5.5 miles while the kids were in childcare. I got sucked into some really sappy romantic comedy on some Christian channel. It was so sappy...but I totally ate it up. At mile 5, on a 3.0 incline, I bawled my sweaty eyes out as a defeated couple rekindled their love in a remote South American village before the statue of some saint who had literally just healed a boy from his crippling condition. It was even worse than a Hallmark movie (which I secretly love and hate all at the same time). But it made my run go by quickly!

After the gym, I made four stops which is way more than my usual two-stop max. After two-stops, I find that buckling and unbuckling the kids and herding them in and out of cars, stores, and parking lots is no longer worth the energy-zapping effort. But these chores HAD to be done today because I promised my boss I would come into the office tomorrow.

Finally, because I'm totally freaking insane, I took both boys to the local county fair. I was tempted to cancel this part of the day due to all the excessive whining and lack of cooperation, but I had just run 5.5 miles dangit and I wanted some fair food!

It turned out to be much better than I thought. The kids were distracted by activities and the whining came with less frequency.

Humongous corndog (that Jacob just HAD to have and then barely ate because...well, for no good reason at all).

Meeting some sheep! Ryan was totally shocked by this sheep. He kept staring at it as if he was trying to figure out what kind of dog it was.

The llamas were just as shocking. Ryan absolutely loved watching all the animals. He finally learned how to "moo" -- hey, it's the little things.

Looking for more animals. This little man basically owns me. He makes me want to have five more babies right away. Those cheeks! That round belly! Those crocs!

Too much cuteness! I have no idea how I got Ryan to cooperate for this one. Act of God? Stars in complete alignment? Bribery of dum-dum suckers? Maybe all three.
In the belly of the dragon. For the first time, Jacob was big enough to ride all the kid rides on his own. He wanted to do it all by himself while we watched from afar. He took his tickets, found the line, and handled it all by himself. OMG. I just realized that someday he's going to grow up and make his own meals, drive himself places, and never ever need me! NOOOO!

I always talk about my love affair with this stroller. But I can't help it. This stroller is so perfect. It's so easy and smooth. I bought it used ($140- brand new they are 400+). And I love it so much that sometimes I want to bring it to bed with me.

Look ma, no hands! Such a goof!

He looks like a natural. We walked by the ponies on the way out of the fair and Jacob looked over so wistfully that I couldn't resist letting him go for a ride. And well.... it's a PONY! Who can pass up a PONY?! When I asked him if he wanted to ride the ponies he literally jumped out of the stroller, pumped his fist in the air, and said so enthusiastically to all the people within a 20 foot radius, "Woo hoo, this is my first time riding a pony!!" As he rode the pony around and around, he kept leaning forward to pet it's mane and it's rump. He was so comfortable and confident. He totally looked like a rancher's son.

My loves.

There were so many rough parts of the day. But for some reason, no matter how much I tend to complain about the rough parts, it's the happy parts that tend to stick in my brain. Now, even though I was so eager to put them to bed, I find myself strangely and uncontrollably wishing they were playing at my feet in the living room. Ryan would be twirling in circles and stopping to give me kisses while Jacob would be jumping off furniture showing me some ninja moves.


Working on new hanpainted pieces... Mediterranean beach pottery and acrylic paints.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


A simple, minimal necklace... Handmade ceramic beads (or Egyptian paste -- not sure, these beads are vintage finds) and cord, closed with a wooden bead.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Nutritionist: Love Your Tree

I had my third session with my nutritionist today. I've found the sessions to be super helpful and we discuss topics and issues that go far beyond my initial issue. We often have really interesting discussions about body image as well.

My nutritionist is like a therapist for food and body issues. She asks prompts and lets me vent and just talk about food issues, body issues, and anything else slightly related. I never thought that just talking about these issues would be helpful and, even if talking doesn't result in any physical changes, it's been a really good experience. Just being able to open up freely without holding back or worrying about judgment has been so immensely freeing.

Today, my nutritionist shared this wonderful youtube video from the lady who wrote the Vagina Monologues. I must have been in a vulnerable and emotional place because as I watched this during my session, I became all teary-eyed at the beauty and message behind the sentiment.

In case the embedded video doesn't work, google "Love Your Tree."

I've really been trying to focus on loving my body for what it can do rather than what it looks like. This is really hard and I continue to struggle every day. But... baby steps.

On top of letting me talk through my issues, my nutritionist gives me good advice about what I should be putting in my body and how to make myself more healthy.

Today she did a test on me involving a machine that sends a pulse of some magic invisible substance through my body and then spits out my results on a little piece of paper. From this paper, my nutritionist was able to determine the health of my cells, my body fat, and my metabolism. This machine was so freaking cool.

So, the results: because I live off of relatively low amount of calories, my cells are not getting the nutrition that I need. As a result, I have the cells of a 40 year old lady. My cells are ten years older than me! My nutritionist encouraged me to eat more essential fats which will make my cells "younger" and healthier.

I only have 11% body fat. This isn't just "stored body fat" that most people measure, this is TOTAL fat and includes the healthy fat that is needed to protect vital organs and important stuff like that. Apparently, a healthy range of body fat for me would be 18-22 percent. Ooops. While this sounds really awesome to me, it is not healthy. This is entirely my problem. Where I want to be body-wise is not necessarily healthy. It's going to be really hard for me to balance being healthy and happy with my body. Right now, these two things are at odds.

Finally, my metabolism is 1600. This means that, if I do nothing, my body will burn 1600 calories per day. This is how many calories I need for my body to function. Apparently this is a little on the low side but not too bad.

One of the other benefits to nutritional therapy is being able to get a good, objective sense of where I am in terms of health and weight. Women are so harsh and critical of ourselves and I am no exception. Getting an educated, honest opinion is so refreshing and helpful. She's so positive and friendly and caring. I wish I had the courage to do this ten years ago.

Happy Hump Day!!

Hello my friends!!!

Are you ready for a great party??? Join us and meet more amazing bloggers and have fun!!!

Happy Hump Day!!
...and rest assured, because its all down hill from here. In a good way!

Welcome Back to a Mid Week Link up where you can link up everything you got, including your giveaways. Make sure they go on the right linkies below.


How does it work? 
Well over the past view months I have randomly emailed people who have linked up on the linky to co-host, but sometimes I get no response. So we are doing something new, each person who fills out the form below will have a chance to be spotlighted.

*Please go to the link above to sign up. Make sure it is an email address that you check often. *

Your Host: 

1. Follow your host  Mommy Only Has Two Hands  and This Week's Spotlight: Ef Zin Creations

2. Tweet This Hop: 
3. It would be nice if you displayed the button in your post or blog sidebar to help spread the word.
And Most of All, have a Happy Hump Day!

This Week's Spotlight:

Ef Zin Creations

Your comments are more than welcome!!! Have a wonderful day!

      mats mouts
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Monday, August 19, 2013


More pics from the mountains... 
Where the light is magical, the air is a dream, the earth meets the sky...

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Be Shocked: Supplement

As if the stuff I already posted about is not enough, I forgot to add some other wonderful conversation bits that I shared with my boss at happy hour the other day.

First, for some reason he started calling me "bro" all through happy hour. Weird much?

Then after our waitress (an elderly Asian woman) came over to drop off our beer and then left to go back to the bar he said to me, "Would you ever let the waitress touch your boobs?" While he said this, he made weird boob-groping hand motions.


"Come on, what if she was dying? Would you let her if she was dying and it was her last wish?"


It was very awkward. I'm not actually offended, more just totally shocked. A teeny tiny part of me is flattered that I've apparently been inducted into the "boys' club." But still... the unprofessionalism is a incredible!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Be Shocked

I kid you not, these things came out of my boss' mouth yesterday. We were at happy hour in a relaxed/casual atmosphere, but still....

Boss: "Do you want to have more kids?"
Me: "Yes."
Boss: "Good thing you're leaving so we don't have to pay your maternity leave. You're the County's problem now!"

"Would you have sex in a trailer?"

"Isn't that chick over there hot?"

Me: "I think I might get a badge at my new job."
Boss: "Really? So you'll go around flashing your badge? Just don't flash your vag."




Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Where's The Mute Button?

This evening I took the kids to the YMCA. I ran (6 miles at 7:30 min pace!) while the kids did classes and hung out in the child care center. Then, still sweaty and greasy, I grabbed them and we headed to the pool. They had such a blast, although Ryan was hesitant at first. We all went around in the lazy river. Jacob had a life jacket on and kept floating way out of our reach...because he's a big boy. Ryan, who looked totally unimpressed, finally mustered up enough excitement to splash the water a couple times.

In the locker room we took incredibly LONG showers, because,'s free (to us)! I will have to write another post on the incredibly awkward ordeal of dealing with a young boy's sudden onset of modesty and conflicting interest in other peoples' bodies (ugh!).

In the locker room, I heard a lady say that some of her personal belongings had been stolen from the locker room. I didn't think much of it until I pulled up to the Dairy Queen Drive-Thru window and could not find my driver's license or my debit card! I had a moment of panic followed by another moment of hysteria (I wasn't sure what was worse, losing my cards or not being able to pay for my Blizzard!). Then I was oddly calm. I parked the car and dialed my bank's number to report the missing card.

An automated "person" answered and asked, "Please tell me the reason for your call."

"Lost my de---."

"AAAAHHHHHHH!!!!" I was interrupted by Ryan shrieking in the back seat.

"I'm sorry. I did not understand that. Please tell me the reason for your call."

"I los--"

"ROAAAAAAR!!!!" Ryan started screaming like a dinosaur.

"I'm sorry. I did not understand that. Please tell me the reason for your call."

"Ilostmydebitcard!" I blurted out as quickly as possible.

"You are calling to report a lost card? If this is correct, say, 'yes.'"



"I'm sorry. I did not understand that. If you are calling to report a lost card, say 'yes.'"


"Are you reporting a lost ATM, debit, or credit card?"



"I'm sorry. I did not understant that. Are you re--"


"I'm sorry. I did not understand that. Are--"


"I'm sorry. I did not understand that. Are you reporting a lost ATM, debit, or credit card?"



"I'm sorry. I did not understant that. Are you reporting a lost ATM, debit, or credit card."


"Would you like to place a temporary hold on your card? Say, 'yes' or 'other options.'"



Ten minutes later, I successfully put a hold on my debit card. But not until I hesitantly whipped out my emergency credit card (yes, this was an emergency) and bought everyone a round of Blizzards to keep the mouths busy.

And then I got home and found both my credit card and driver's license laying on the floor.

So, yay?!


This is an old abandoned hamlet, high up in the mountains, at almost 2,000 m height... I am fascinated with the idea that people used to live, work, eat, love and go about their daily activities in these old houses... The little church is still very well preserved, and you can see the letters "TRA" on a building -- which are the first letters for trattoria, which is an Italian family-run restaurant (for my Greek friends: taverna). So there was even a place where travelers could eat and drink while on their long journeys over the Alps! This route connects Italy to France, and the Mont-Cenis pass and lake are very close.