Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Strollers Galore!

Lots has been happening in my business lately. First it's finally been growing out of the slump it's been in since October, though I'm not at the visitor numbers I was at last April - jeez almost a year ago!

But I am coming back slowly but surely and that's all I can ask. It's made me work hard, and that is a good thing! As a matter a fact, I'm now producing my own stroller review videos that I imbed in my webpage reviews. You can see (and subscribe) to my YouTube channel here: BabyGearEnvy on YouTube.

Then earlier in the month I had contacted Joovy about reviewing another of their strollers, and surprisingly it was just delivered to me yesterday. I was surprised at how quick it happened, and quite pleased. Thank you Joovy! I have the new Scooter to review within the next few weeks, so let us keep our fingers crossed that the weather will cooperate for a good video opportunity.

Next, I wrote an article for my friend Tina over at Shopaholic Mommy. She has a fantastic blog that has just been redesigned and it looks incredible. I now write monthly articles for her site and my most recent contribution was just published yesterday on Maclaren Stroller News Updates for 2012. The article talks about the new changes made to one of their models and a new one coming out. You get to see a couple new color schemes as well. If you love Maclaren strollers, you will find this article interesting.

Lastly, I got the opportunity to write for another blog, more of a general lifestyle blog, and this article is about the Top 3 Umbrella Strollers for Every Budget. So no matter if you can spend less than $100 or over $200, you will still get a quality product.

Lots of strollers going on this week! I just love it!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Let the Juicing Begin!

I've been holding out, waiting for the right time to get a new juicer. Not just any juicer, but a Breville, the brand used on the movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. That was the movie that really inspired me to try juicing.

Although I've been making green smoothies for almost a year and a half, the limitations are that I can't use harder vegetables. I blend apples, cucumbers and celery, but certainly not root vegetables like carrots and beets. The juicer, I believe, gives me more variety, but it does not juice greens.

So I finally found a Breville on Craigslist. I'd been waiting patiently because yo can get a pretty good deal - sellers who've used it only a handful of times before discovering they aren't into the juicing lifestyle. I got the one pictured at right, it is the Compact version that I found for only $70. It has a tiny crack in the bowl and is $20 less than retail, though on Amazon it costs more than $150! (So much for cheaper on Amazon!) Luckily the seller lives in the same town, just two blocks away, actually, and she still had the user manual and cleaning brush. Woo hoo!

And it works quite well, though one of the complaints I've read in reviews is that bigger chunks of fruit and veggies pass through into the pulp instead of being juiced. My model does indeed do that a little bit, so what do I do? Scrape it out and run the pulp through once more. I'm able to get a little bit more juice!

So yesterday evening I made a concoction with apple, celery, and carrot with a nub of ginger for a kick. It was so good, I mean incredibly delicious! Unfortunately, Golf and Aidan are not as enthusiastic as I am. They take a sip here and there and don't like it so much.  Amazing how our tastes are so different!

Anyway, I made a bunch of this recipe and put it in the fridge for breakfast. The juicer sounds a bit like a vacuum cleaner and I figured that a sleeping husband and neighbors wouldn't appreciate the sound at 7 AM!  Plus it's a bit of work cleaning it afterward, and since I have to fix Aidan's breakfast and lunch, I just don't have the time.

What I will do this morning, though, is put some of the juice in a blender, then run the rest of my Swiss chard through the blender, then mix that concoction - a combination of juice and green smoothie! Yummers!

Right now I'm just playing around with getting more vegetables and fruit in my diet, but I'd like to go on a juice cleanse at some point, where I don't eat any food or have any coffee/caffeine for a number of days.

Just a few days of incorporating fresh juice into my diet I have markedly increased energy. It's wonderful!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012


Wow, I hadn't realized I've been away for so long.
As I've gone along in my life I've explored many things externally through travel, art, living abroad, hiking, etc. Now the final frontier is my own inner workings.

All the self-improvement literature and success-oriented documents, such as Think and Grow Rich, go on about the commentary running in your mind. Control your mind and you have some control over your life! As Dr. Bill Harris says,

Everyone creates, in the moment, four things:
1. Their feelings and other internal states
2. Their actions and behaviors
3. Which people and situations they attract or become attracted to
4. What meanings they assign to what happens around them

Most people do this automatically without seeing how they do it because they aren't aware enough. Awareness creates choice.

And I'll go further to say that having that choice creates happiness, as was discussed with an interview on Anthony Joh's Tokyo Podcast interview with Eiji Han Shimizu on his movie called Happy.

My personal journey has taken me to the East Bay Meditation Center twice a month to practice mindfulness meditation. I've tried meditation in the past without much success, inspiration or comfort. My feet and legs ALWAYS fall asleep and it's incredibly uncomfortable and distracting. 

Photo courtesy of Boon Decor
So in response I recently scored a meditation bench off of eBay for a great deal. Most new ones cost $45 and higher, a price I wasn't ready to pay. So I found a used one for an excellent price, made with hard wood and has excellent quality. It also has rounded legs to tip forward just the right angle. 

Sit on it as you see in the photo and you don't have the pressure on your legs and feet, enabling you to sit longer with more comfort. I wish I discovered this about 15 years ago!

I've also been listening to lots of podcasts about mindfulness meditation and practice in daily life. And I find I'm not nearly so restless as I was in the recent past. I would be dissatisfied at not pursuing a move back to Thailand or not being able to take a holiday somewhere different. I'm a person who regularly traveled and explored different places when I lived in Thailand and now we rarely can travel like that here in the US because it's much more expensive. So I go on hikes instead! :)

Now I'm alright with whatever happens because my adventures are now inner instead of outer.