Archive | August, 2012

What We Can Learn About Life from Ocean Waves

There’s something magical about swimming in the ocean.  Nothing makes me feel so renewed and cleansed on a physical, spiritual and emotional level like emerging from the salty Pacific after hours of trying to master unpredictable waves.

Some girls like to enjoy the ocean from the sand while suntanning and “keeping it sexy”.  But being a Southern-California girl myself, there’s nothing that can keep me from diving in to swim and surf until my muscles grow weak.


This week is our annual family beach house vacation in Carlsbad, just minutes from San Diego, and I realized it  took almost a year for me to start forgetting how much fun this trip is for us.

For one week, Kevin, the kids, my parents and I stay in a beautiful house just steps from the beach, with mornings spent laughing over coffee and days spent building sand castles and swimming in the Pacific waves.


Today was no different.  The kids and I splashed in the waves before I headed out for open water leaving them with “Grandpa” to play in the sand.  And then it came- the one wave that every person encounters while daring to confront the ocean.  It’s the underestimated wave that as it comes closer, you realize it’s going to take you under because it’s too large to ride and too late to retreat from.

After my wave- “the one”- came today and sent me crashing to the sandy ocean floor, I emerged with just a scraped elbow and a nose full of salty sea water before realizing that we can learn most of what we need to know in life from ocean waves.


As in life, if you can make it through the break of the tumultuous ocean waves, minutes (seconds, more like it) of tranquility and beauty are waiting ahead.  Each of us face tough challenges and chaos in life, and it’s only when we make it through do we get to exhale and experience that inner peace that comes from realizing our strength, however brief that moment may be.  And, the more arduous our challenges are, the more joy we get to experience.

So, with board by my side, I take each wave straight on to make my way further out into the ocean.  Some waves are easy to confront and I walk through the break with ease.


A bit more effort is needed with bigger waves and with board overhead, I jump through the break making it triumphantly through.

And then, as in life, there are waves that hit you so hard they send you falling backwards to the beach as if to say, “only the strong can make it past me.”


And at least once during the day (or a lifetime) there’s one wave that knocks you down so hard, you retreat to your beach chair to lick your wounds.  Or, while looking ahead at  peaceful sea awaiting you beyond the breaking tide, you decide to stand up and make your way through the waves again without knowing what will come next.


And then once you do make it through the turbulent waves, what lies ahead is time to float effortlessly on your board while gliding over the rhythmic swells mimics the feeling of floating in the sky.  It’s then that you realize the vast breathtaking open ocean of unlimited possibilities, while  the chaos  of waves crash on the beach long behind you.

For a moment, at least, you feel that connection to your inner strength, wisdom and to what’s larger than- and connects- each of us with limitless potential, love and possibility because you had the courage to make it through.


This post is dedicated to my best friend, Jason Beck.




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Wordless Wednesday: Jasmine’s Art

Am I the only person who knows who Bob Ross is?

Perhaps this will jog your memory: think of “happy clouds“.  I would watch the late Bob Ross on PBS as a kid wanting so much to paint with him.

In an effort to keep the kids busy this summer while escaping the heat, we opted for some creative time with a local Bob Ross painting class for kids.

They created magnificent masterpieces that surprised even them, and that we later framed for home art and gifts for grandparents.

But, the most interesting art of all came when our cat, Jasmine, decided to lend her own creative contribution to our drying artwork.



Jasmine’s contribution to our artwork


Bob Ross Art Class


Bob Ross Art Class


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What’s For Dinner This Week: “Go Team USA”

It’s our Olympic-themed Weekly Meal Plan and recipes from The Organized Cook.  We’ve created simple and delicious family dinners inspired by top competing countries in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

If you’re a subscriber to The Organized Cook, here’s what’s on your family dinner menu this week:


MONDAY:  Our simple version of the Brittish favorite, Bangers and Mash, with Toni’s New Castle Gravy celebrates our host of the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Bangers and Mash Recipe

Day 1: Bangers and Mash with New Castle Gravy


TUESDAY:  This Orange Cashew Rice is paired a Foil-Wrapped Chicken for our Chinese Dinner.

China recipe

Day 2: Chinese Foil-Wrapped Chicken, Orange Cashew Rice & Crisp Asian Cucumber Salad


WEDNESDAY: The top five elements of Russian meals are potatoes, bread, eggs, meat and butter, so we created this simple recipe including Potato Dumplings.

Russia Recipe

Day 3: Sauerkraut Beef Toast with Potato Dumplings


THURSDAY:  Australian Meat Pies are typically made of minced beef, so this is our version of an Aussie pie with chicken.

Australia Recipe

Day 4: Australian Chicken Pie


FRIDAY:  Last, but not least.  Winning 102 gold medals in the 2008 Olympics, we celebrate Team USA with our version of the classic American cheeseburger.

America Recipe

Day 5: Burger Blankets & Sweet Potato Fries


Weekly Meal Planning For Busy Families:

Olympic Recipes meal planning

The Organized Cook Weekly Meal Plan System


Top 10 Gold Medal Winning Countries in 2008 Summer Olympics:

1.  USA with 102 gold medals

2. China with 63 gold medals

3. Russia with 62 gold medals

4. Australia with 49 gold medals

5. Japan with 49 gold medals

6. Germany with 49 gold medals

7. France with 33 gold medals

8. Italy with 32 gold medals

9. South Korea with 30 gold medals

10. Great Brittan with 30 gold medals


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the Lorax Movie Release on DVD

Today’s the day for Universal Studios Home Entertainment to release the  Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax DVD.

To celebrate the release, we’re highlighting our Lorax Pasta Dinner Makeover.  Get the recipe here:

Lorax Pasta Recipe

Lorax Dinner Makeover

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