RSS

Dads and Grads Gift Ideas

 

What a crazy time. I’ve got one graduating college, one graduating high-school, one graduating kindergarten, Father’s Dayand on top of all that, FLAG DAY!

Here are some gift ideas.

1. For the College Grad

When I graduated from Berkeley, my mom gave me a compass to help me navigate through the world. I still have it and will cherish it as a symbol of freedom and exploration. It also came in handy when I got lost on an island in the South China Sea. “Where is that bungalow of mine?”

2. For the High-school Grad

Half boy, half man, going off into the world but still with a foot back home. What could be better than a pet to take to college? A pet that you don’t have to feed, water or walk? Yes, you guessed it: a Pillow Pet! Having a nice snuggly friend waiting for him in his dorm-room after a late lecture will be comforting. Woof Woof.

3. For the Kinder Grad

Since many parents start giving an allowance around this time. Why not take your graduating kindergartner out for a great big banana split, and then to the local bank to set up a savings account?Many banks will set up a free account if you have other accounts at the branch. Kids love counting and saving money. I still remember the day I opened my account, I was seven and it was thrilling. I deposited $7.11.

4. For the Dad

For the baseball fans: my husband requested a book that looked deeply intriguing (to him). So maybe your baseball fan husband or dad will enjoy it too. It’s called “The Greatest Game Ever Pitched: Juan Marichal, Warren Spahn, and the Pitching Duel of the Century”. Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack.

Advertisements
 

Believe in Magic: Whose Saree Now

Yes! It exists! Here’s the true story.

Earlier today I got a babysitter for the girls so I could do some work and take a walk. In the back of my mind and quickly scooting to the front of my mind, was the event I have tonight… my girls’ school auction with an Indian/Bollywood theme. I had planned on putting on a pretty dress and boots to attend and then got word that some moms were renting saris and really going all out.

On my walk I thought, “Hmm. I could go to the thrift store and see if they have anything – but that will take time and I just don’t know if I want to spend my time searching for a needle in a haystack”. As I continued my walk I saw a garage sale sign. I then said to myself, “Deb. Don’t go. You don’t need anymore stuff… you are challenged as it is, getting your stuff organized. There is nothing you need… except… a sari. What are the chances?'” I continued walking toward the sale, now picking up the pace a little bit, wondering about the magic that might be waiting for me.

DidiPop in a saree that's not actually a saree but a three piece Indian pant-suit that she called a saree. Electric blue!

DidiPop in a saree that’s not actually a saree but a three piece Indian pant-suit that she called a saree. Electric blue!

I walked up the driveway to a beautiful two-story mc-Mansion and peeked a the clothes. instead of searching, I asked the woman( and mom) there if she had anything Indian. She thought for a minute and then said, “Well, I do have a sari, upstairs”. I looked at her – about 2 inches shorter than me and about a size smaller. “Really?” I said. And she replied, “Yes, but it’s more expensive. I could go try and find it for you?”. I said, “How much do you think you want for it? I have a school event and I thought I’d try and dress for the occasion”. She said, “How’s $10?”. My eyes popped in excitement on the inside (on the outside I played it cool) “That would be alright”, I said as she went in the house to fetch it. She came back 3 minutes later with a white box. She unwrapped it and pulled out a 3 piece, beaded, electric blue pant-suit saree. I mean this thing is GORGEOUS.

I went inside to her bathroom and tried it on. A teeny bit tight n the waist- a teensy bit short in the the legs. But it all pretty much fit, and with the pants, the beaded tunic and the matching beaded scarf around my neck ~ I was completely transformed.

I picked up these shoes on sale at Nordstroms. They are silver beaded and actually comfy! Bangles on my wrists and dangling earrings

I picked up these shoes on sale at Nordstroms. They are silver beaded and actually comfy! Bangles on my wrists and dangling earrings

My husband really liked my new look as did my daughters. I felt regal and refined - like an Indian Rani.

My husband really liked my new look as did my daughters. I felt regal and refined – like an Indian Rani.

Wait ’til my husband sees me as a regal Indian woman! Next I will dash off to our local Indian restaurant to buy a bindi for my forehead. Later I’ll pull back my hair and study this Indian eye make-up video on youtube. How FUN! Any Dream Is Possible. DP

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Audi Super Bowl Ad Encourages Violence – Mental Illness – Lanza, Audi, Newtown.

Really? Can’t executives see this connection at all?

Normally I keep my content happy, but I need to speak my mind about this utterly offensive ad.. .the Audi ad my girls saw during the Super Bowl game. Yes, there were quite a few disgusting, insulting ads (go daddy, some shirt ad). Most were perverted, over sexual, gross – and maybe that’s football – I don’t really watch football ads too much, but this one really got under my skin – especially as the country is trying to deal with the Newtown tragedy AND trying to discover what is going on in our children’s heads and hearts.

This speaks to the insanity of our American culture. Boy on his own, driving too fast, who has a totally different personality on his own than when he’s with his family, breaking rules, committing inappropriate sexual acts, being part of violence and enjoying it, driving off like a super hero after acting like an irresponsible “disrupter” on all kinds of levels. I am embarrassed. I am appalled that people on twitter like kevin jonas  @kevinjonas who says: “Bravery it’s what defines us! -awesome commercial #audi”. Really? That’s bravery? A wealthy kid driving in his parents Audi to mess things up for everyone? To assault a woman? To me it’s sounds like an adolescent who needs attention and who is mentally disturbed. Why is Audi glorifying this kind of behavior? Why are you Kevin Jonas?

My kids watched this live with me and they were so excited that the boy was going to the prom – it turned ugly. I wonder if this reckless media culture is what helps to create kids like Adam Lanza… alienated, uncomfortable, false sense of power brought on by the mechanics of guns and cars, alone in the night, getting revenge, taking what does not belong to them (parking space), touching on the beginnings of date rape, and parents, having no clue as to what is going on with their own child.

Shame Audi. How can top execs with millions of dollars promote such mentally ill morality for our children. What a waste. Please take it down Audi.
p.s. Parents – please be careful about the media your kids ingest. Main stream media has one thing in mind – to make money and sell goods. They do it with shock and awe and don’t give the ramifications of the messages they put out a second thought. I want my children’s young and open minds protected. This is the reason I make music and videos for kids – to give parents a safe place to bring their children, to create content that fills kids with love, light and positivity.  Don’t trust corporate America to raise your children and help them develop character. If they learn anything “positive” from the media – consider it a lucky one-off…don’t count on it.
Please get involve in the discussion about kids and healthy media at sites like:
– By Deborah Poppink Hirshland (DidiPop)
 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Snot Fun: 9 home treatments that might prevent and treat colds

I’ve recently stumbled upon a great body and soul magazine called “Whole Living”. In the December issue there was a smart article about treating colds. I have been sequestered at home with my 6 year old Hannah, who has missed 4 days of school now, and the snottiest cold I’ve ever seen. Yep, just her, me and the COLD. While her cold isn’t a “scary” illness (I am familiar with those), it has used up 6 boxes of super soft Kleenex and has torn up her nose. The first remedy is one I just learned from my friend Maggie Storm, whose mother used chapstick on her blown-out and chapped nose. It seems to work and is fun for Hannah also. She loves that twisty dispenser thingy.  The middle 7 remedies are the ones  recommended by the magazine. The last one?  Well, duh…(tho it’s one I often forget as a multi-tasking mom)

  1. Thar She Blows –  After each nose blow, apply chapstick under and around the nose. It’s not goopy like Aquafor or vaseline, and it creates a nice barrier and keeps the skin from getting thrashed (and heals the skin if it’s already thrashed).
  2. Echinacea –  At first sign of a cold begin taking it. Hopefully it will cut the time the body needs to heal.
  3. Zinc – Try lozenges every one or two hours after onset, it might shorten the duration of the cold.
  4. Probiotics – Eat yogurt or try supplements. It boosts gut strength and strengthens immune systems.
  5. Meditate – Regularly do so and stress levels come down, again strengthening immune systems.
  6. Exercise – Do cardio 5 days a week when healthy.  Even light exercise during a cold might make people feel better and lift spirits.
  7. Honey – Take a spoonful before bed as a cough medicine. It soothes the throat too. (Not for kids under 1)
  8. Vitamin C – Take it at the beginning of a cold – 1000-3000 mg for grown-ups.
  9. REST! Lie down a lot. Bodies need to rest so that they can recharge and recuperate.

Take with optimism, stay healthy and please let me know your favorite remedies for colds.

p.s. I am not a doctor, so please check with yours about these remedies.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Pumpkin Pie that your family will love! (Ultimate Pumpkin Pie)

My family flipped for this pumpkin pie this Christmas. My step-sons raved and they don’t usually like pumpkin pie . My little 5 year old had refused to try any sort of pumpkin pie until this magical version of “The Ultimate Pumpkin Pie” (Epicurious), popped out of my oven. I made some substitutions and changed some ratios. The preparation took about 5 minutes and the baking, 50 minutes or so.

 

Here’s how to do it…

Ingredients

Premade Crust
Arrowhead Mills premade graham cracker crust (I used the 9 inch from Whole Foods)

Filling
1/2 cup sugar (organic cane sugar)
2/3 tablespoon packed golden brown sugar
2/3 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon (generous) salt
1 16 ounce can solid pack pumpkin
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten to blend

1/4 cup boysenberry preserves

preparation
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Spread preserves over prebaked crust

Using whisk, mix first 6 ingredients in bowl until no lumps remain. Blend in pumpkin, whipping cream, yogurt and eggs. Pour in filling. Bake until center is almost set, about 55 minutes. Cool on rack. Cover; chill until cold. (Can be made 1 day ahead.) Serves 8

We passed the whipped cream can around the table and everyone had seconds. It’s fantastic!

Happy baking!

Let me know how it turns out!

 

4 Holiday Baking Tips for Healthy Moms

Gluten -Free German Chocolate Cake

Gluten -Free German Chocolate Cake

Holiday baking! What a lot of thoughts and images it conjures up for me: time with my mom, fun, family, sharing, sugar!, chocolate, red and green sparkles and cookie cutters, science and cool nesting measuring spoons, nifty gadgets like sifters and beaters and things that plug in, aluminum foil, square shaped pans and cookie racks, tummy aches, angst, worry, over eating, eating secretly while no one is looking, getting fat, feeling gross. What a loaded activity holiday baking is! Or is it just me?

I’ve been meditating on this for a few weeks and I have some thoughts. I have just finished a 12-week transformational health course and have learned a great deal about the importance of what I put into my body (and what I put into my children’s bodies). It’s good that we, as women and mothers, understand the complexities and importance of today’s food situation.

4 Tips Healthy For Holiday Baking

1. Bake and Give

Yes! Bake away with your kids and let them add salt, pour in nuts and beat. Are they old enough to stir the chocolate while it melts in the pot? Go for it. Make a batch or two of your favorite treats and keep ¼ of what you made for your family. You (mom) have some! Have 3 or 4 bites. Enough to taste and get a little kick – but not too much so that you get a tummy ache. Then divide up the rest, wrap in cellophane and a ribbon and hand out to your mail deliverer, your neighbors and your favorite barista at your local coffee place. Share the love (and the calories) and don’t miss out on the fun of baking!

DSCN1502

2. Explore with Healthy Ingredients

Start from scratch (from “nothing”) and don’t be afraid of agave, almond flour, and dark chocolate and organic oatmeal! Ok, maybe your cake just like  Duncan Hines – but do you KNOW what actually goes into that stuff???

Duncan Hines Classic Cake Mix: ­­Sugar, Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour (Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Vegetable Oil Shortening (Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Propylene Glycol Mono- and Diesters Of Fats, Mono and Diglycerides), Leavening (Sodium Bicarbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate). Contains 2% Or Less Of: Wheat Starch, Salt, Dextrose, Poly

glycerol Esters Of Fatty Acids, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Cellulose Gum, Artificial Flavors, Xanthan Gum, Maltodextrin, Modified Cornstarch, Colored with (Yellow 5 Lake, Red 40 Lake).

 I don’t think I need to explain why you might not want to put this stuff into your body. And I don’t know what some of those things are! Just reme

mber this lovely phrase I heard on NRP recently:

“If it’s made by a plant, eat it. If it’s made in a plant, DON’T eat it.” — Anonymous

fozen bananas

Everyday we teach our children. Pretend they’ve never had a chocolate chip cookie and the first one they try is called a “Healthalicious Holiday Cookies” (recipe coming). It has dark chocolate (improves cholesterol and sugar levels), dried cherries (which reduce muscle soreness, help with sleep and are loaded with antioxidants) almond flour (gluten-free, low in carbohydrates, high in fiber and a high source of protein) and grass fed cow butter (It’s got more carotene because it comes from cows that eat fresh vegetation rich in the stuff. It comes from pasture to ruminant to digestive tract to butterfat to butter to you). I think their head might explode in delight!  Let’s reform our baking traditions by stirring up health!

3. No Excuses

I see articles called something like, “How to Not Gain 10 Pounds over the Holidays”. Ok – so here is my latest thinking. It’s a cop out. I know this might sound harsh, but the holidays become an excuse for people to binge and pig out. It’s the holidays – so what! Light the menorah, bring clothes to the homeless, play music, and write cards to friends. That’s “the holidays” too and those things don’t make us put on weight and turn away from our SEVLES and our HEALTH. Let’s focus on this: Here we are! We are lucky to be here now, to have another Christmas, to be healthy and to be around our families, TO BE ALIVE! Let’s celebrate with light and health – not saturated, genetically modified corn oil.

DSCN1506

You may be thinking, how can I avoid it? There are treats everywhere I go! To that I say:  How do you get thru Valentine’s Day? Easter? Halloween? Thanksgiving? 4th of July? Taking the kids for ice cream? There are doughnuts to be had on every other street corner and caramelized, frothy, whip creamed, double cappuccinos on EVERY corner (with artificial flavoring that some people think keeps you thin! HA! – more on that later).Just have ONE bite, or walk away and drink some water… take a breathe and wish yourself love for giving yourself the greatest gift – health and a body that feels great!

And that leads me to my last tip for holiday baking and not binging…

4. How to Eat Holiday Treats in a Healthy Way

DSCN1511

Ok. We are human. I have a weakness for fudge and sometimes it has been hard for me

to stop at one piece.  I admit it. I find that a substitution plan works nicely for me. I think of any white grains (white rice, wheat pasta, white bread, bagels) and even potatoes as straight sugar. I don’t eat the white stuff anymore. Even the brown rice grain turns to sugar eventually.  So let’s say I have a piece of fudge. I tell myself… “yum that was delicious! And tonight, even though I might be making pasta for my family, I will have chicken and veggies – no grains. That will help balance out my carb/sugar intake and will also give me a sense of control around my body and my health. Good plan Deb. Now go drink a glass of water.”

I hope you have a wonderful time baking and creating sweet treats with your little sugarplums. Oh, and when they are not looking, sneak in some pureed beats or spinach – it’s fun to see them devour brownies that you know are loaded with veggies!!! Ha Ha – my children WILL eat well!!!

Now go preheat your oven!

 

Mother Yourself Up!

I am a busy mom (2 girls, 6 and 8), an artist and a teacher. My never-ending goal is to live life in a rich, thoughtful, loving and creative way. I overflow with love for my girls … and I need to make art (sing, write, play music, create smart videos…). My hope for my new two-fold site is to provide you with ideas to help you be a happier, more content mom (and woman) and also share thoughts that might inspire you in the parenting arena. And to provide fun, smart music for kids and families

I work at balance everyday… to balance the energy I give to my husband, family, friends, and to MYSELF…not to mention the house, the cooking, the bills, the pets and our school. I want to share what I learn, as I learn, about being happy and feeing that I am doing my dharma: living my life inline with that which I am actually destined to be doing.

I am  only child and realize that the connection between the child and the mother is magical, powerful, intense, scary, gigantic and mind-bending. My girls pick up on my moods and feelings – they are little psychic sponges. I felt my mom’s feelings DIRECTLY and still do. I believe that to be conscious of these connections as we are mothering will help us be better parents and help us to raise children who can individuate and thrive. The beauty of this philosophy is that, the better we take care of OURSELVES, the more connected and aware mothers we become to our CHILDREN.  Just like on the airplane, fasten your grown-up oxygen masks first, so that you can more effectively help your child.

I know I can live the rich, full life I have always dreamt of…. being an artist, a mother and a teacher. I know you can do it too! Really being who I want to be will support my kids in a positive way. By sharing my journey, I hope to inspire you and your kids. Living in tune with ourselves sets an example by showing, by doing. Actively honoring dreams, the inner world, the delicate balance of love, art and family AND sharing it here is the plan. Oh yeah! Mother yourself up baby!!