The weekends the week begins…

Ah, enjoy my play on words? No? Maybe so?

So this weekend flew by and we were super busy. Trying to catch up from the week of work and spending much needed down time with Max and Hannah as we wrapped up their winter break. It was awesome having them here and when we returned from dropping them off the house was quiet. Immediately Hubby Dave and I filled the house with as much noise as possible. Music Please!! and an episode of Doctor Who, Thank you AppleTV.

I will now catch you up on what’s going on. Meditation room unfortunately has not been touched, hopefully this weekend Hubby and I can find the time, well I will have the time, Hubby is working 3 12 hour shifts this weekend. If I have not mention it before my Hubby is a Police Officer and he is really good at his job. I come from a family of Police Officers and Military. My youngest half brother Stacen went to Afghanistan for 4 years and came home about 2 years ago. Unfortunately he has been struggling with his return. He is wonderful and loves his country, enough to lay his life down for it, but he came back to nothing. No job, No college and barely a place to live. Stacen and I didn’t meet until 2008 when he graduated from boot camp. He was a baby when I left Florida with my Nana. More on Stacen and I’s relationship later.

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Stacen & Me

Hubby and I are gearing up for our year and planning our events and we are so excited.
We booked the 5k Color Run in Atlanta on 4/6/2013 with the Kiddos!! YAY GO TEAM HELM! I can’t wait to put together my outfit for the run. Wahoo! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EERSfHiqT8

We also just booked our weekend get-a-way, a little B&B in Savannah for the Music Festival in March. It is a much needed weekend away, just the two of us. Man are we taking this Work to Live to heart.

July we have Hubby Dave’s Birthday. Now my dream bday weekend for him, fly out to Colorado to see the Avett Brothers at Red Rocks http://www.redrocksonline.com I mean seriously who would not want to go there for a concert? Not a bad seat in the place. But I will have to come up with some other surprise. Hmmm what to do, what to do? think think think

Now to feed our geek side, Hubby Dave and I will be booking our tickets for Dragon Con and hopefully will have a snazzy get up to rock. Hmmmm I see Unicorn in my future, FINALLY!! or SUPERGIRL. Ok another secret of mine, not only do I want to be a Rockstar, I want to save the world and fly like SUPERGIRL!

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And that is all for tonight my friends. I hope you have a SUPER week!

From my cup of hot tea to yours! Cheers my friend and SUPERGIRLS!

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Learning my lesson

As I was preparing to write my blog tonight, I asked my step daughter Hannah, what should I write about and she answered ME! write about ME, it’s the best thing you can write about. She is right, she is one of the best things I could write about.

I don’t have children of my very own and don’t know what it’s like to physically give birth to a child, but I do know what it feels like to love a child like they are your very own. Now it did take some time for me to feel this way. I like kids, they are fun, give them a pinch of sugar and watch them bounce off the walls! WOW! but having kids of my very own, eh didn’t see it.

When I met my hubby I had to think about what I was about to jump into. I mean, I was getting my soul mate, but two children? Could I do it? Would I completely be a disaster with them? Would they think I was this evil step mother that Disney always put in their movies? Fortunately, I have not messed them up that much and loving them has come naturally due to how much their father they are extensions of him, just more to love. By the way we always do the Darth Vader voice when we say father in this house hold. You say father and someone will say Luke I am your father! We can’t help ourselves. Anyways back to the kiddos.

So over the past year my relationship with the kiddos has grown. Hannah and I are close, in Hannah’s words we are twinnies, brain twinnies meaning we think a lot alike. At first I was like Oh man I have the mind of a 11 year old? oh jeez! She can even keep up with my subtle humor, saying things like Ooooh I see what you did there. Did I mention we share the same birthday? yeah I know right. She is super intelligent, quick, clever and beautiful. A package deal that any parent would be super proud of and man are we ever!

What’s so amazing about Hannah is watching her grow up and become her own person. Making her own decisions, which is one of the things Hubby and I encourage Hannah and Max to do a lot. We want them to make their own decisions and we will guide them where needed. We feed their artistic talents with home art projects and take them to painting classes.

This week with the kiddos I noticed that Hannah was making new decisions, from choosing healthier foods to eat, taking her vitamins, she started writing a book and drawing more. I love it! It’s so inspiring to see her make these decisions. Like I tell my husband, we can only be who we are with the kiddos and hope that what ever they get from us is all good. I would love to say it’s all me, me that influences Hannah to make these choices and grow with so much passion, but the truth is she is teaching me how to be a better person. It is my lesson to learn and she is my teacher.

So I leave the blog tonight with this poem:

Not flesh of my flesh,
Nor bone of my bone,
but still miraculously my own.
Never forget for a single minute;
You didn’t grow under my heart
but in it.

From my cup of hot tea to yours! Cheers my friends and to all the step mothers out there!

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Music feeds my soul

Today my heart and head has been full of music. There have been many mornings I have woken up and a song is stuck in my head. Music is so amazing and passionate it can feed your soul. From the relaxing sounds of waves crashing to Dubstep.

I personally love lyrically clever songs, from Jeff Buckley, Ben Harper, Dave Matthews and Dada. I bet you can tell what music generation I’m from. Yep I’m was a baby in 80’s and a teenager in the 90’s. I remember the first time I heard Ben Harper, it was my senior year in high school hanging out at a friends house. I could not get over how his songs were so lyrically smooth and how much passion came out of his voice. It was like my ears have never heard music before and from there it only got better. I was exposed to Jeff Buckley, by the way EVERY man should own the album GRACE by Jeff Buckley, it will rip at your soul, in a good way. It is beautiful and so sexy.

If your dancing away at some night club, to painting and drawing or if your just relaxing in your bed there is just something freeing about getting lost in music. Opening up your mind and listen to every little beat, lyric of a song fills you like nothing earthly can. I have done some of my best drawings and paintings listening to music. When I step away I am amazed that I created something so beautiful, it’s like it wasn’t me.

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Music impacts us all in so many ways. We feel connected to something when an artist sings about heart break, true love and fun times. I know for me I can hear certain songs and remember where I was, what time of the year it was, what it felt like. It’s so amazing how something you hear can trigger so many senses. The mind and body connection is an amazing thing.

One song I am very connected to is Amazing Grace and it wasn’t a famous person who sang it, but my Aunt. I was 13 and what seemed to be a typical Sunday morning at church turned into a heart opener. My Aunt Cheryl was up on stage singing, like normal and everyone else stepped back except Cheryl. The music started playing and from the first note she sang I could not take my eyes off of her. I could see this amazing light all around her and I knew right then that there was something so much greater than this life, that grace must be amazing. It changed my life and now every time I hear Amazing Grace, I just stop and let the grace flow over me.

Music feeds the soul and clicks in to every part of you. Heart, Mind, Body and Soul.

So go grab your favorite album or pandora station and let the music feed you.

From my cup of hot tea to yours! Cheers my friend!

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Finding and Fighting the Fear

Fear is one of those strong nasty words and “Fear Not” is mention in the Bible at least 365 times, so that would mean you should not fear at anytime. But how do you over come it? Can you channel this fear and remove it for good? I believe you can. I believe it starts with faith, faith in God and faith in yourself. I also believe it’s at the up most importance to have people you love have a lot of faith in you.

One of my deepest fears is standing up for myself when it is needed. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a push over by no means, but when it comes to my job I have a hard time and fear that I will be fired for doing so. I do have a hard time telling people No, I have and always will be a yes, happy to help. For the past 6 months I have been pushed to my limits emotionally and mentally when it comes to my job. My good friend/coworker Karen said to me one day “I work to live, I don’t live to work.” WACK! That statement to me was like a cast iron frying pan to the face. I was shocked that I didn’t think this way. I felt you had to live/work, not separate the two. I thought about that for weeks and started to make changes in my work routine.

First I started taking my lunch breaks and walking during them with Karen. Now, I was scared of what would happen if I actually stepped away from my desk for an hour. Would my supervisor be confused because I wasn’t chained to my desk like normal? Would little evil office gnomes swoop in and steal my pens? Would my computer know what to do without me sitting there? Apparently I was crazy, because my supervisor was to busy being chained to his own desk to ever notice I was at lunch. My pens were still there and my computer clearly is tired and likes to go to sleep while I’m gone. WOW!!

By week 3 I noticed more of my coworkers started to join Karen and I, not only in the break room for lunch but some of the ladies started walking with us. We even gave ourselves a little nickname “The Walkettes” I know AWESOME right? It was a great moment when I realized I had finally started living for me even at work. So one fear tackled.

Now my big work fear came in waves over the past couple of days. I had to stand up for myself to my own supervisor. This was not the first time I have encountered the wrath of his overwhelmed, exhausted, not thinking before reacting, out lashes. Actually I have been dealing with them for 4 years, they have just become even more so lately. And to be completely honest I was hurt more than upset, hurt that someone who I have worked closely with would all of a sudden start lashing out at me this much. Hubby Dave came home on Tuesday to find me crying, not because I was yelled at, because I was ready to get rid of this fear. I sat down and wrote out my complaint. Every word I would feel so sick, but I kept pressing on all while having my wonderful supportive Hubby sitting close by. Probably to make sure I wouldn’t pass out and do a face plant into my desk.

After I wrote it and hit send, something inside me lifted. I thought, whatever happens at least I stood up for myself finally. FINALLY! and if I was a guy this is where I would insert a balls of steel statement of some kind, but I’m not so I want, this time.

That brings us to today and I’m happy to report that I still have a job. I actually had a meeting with my VP and my new supervisor. I got a wonderful outcome from it all and no one was fired or stoned to death. Well in my head a may have thrown a couple of stones.

When I came home tonight, Hubby Dave had straighten up the house and put away the dishes. We made pizza from scratch and the kiddos were super happy I was home at a decent time. Later as I was wrapping up my emails for the work day, my Hubby came in to give me a kiss and to tell me how proud he was of me for facing my fear and dealing with the situation properly. And that my friend felt AMAZING! There is nothing more satisfying than having the one you love proud of you.

So what I have learned through all of this. “Work to Live, Do not Live to Work” and never ever let someone take your power away from you, especially through your fear. Take fear by it’s horns and give it a swift kick to the bottom. I laugh in your face fear!

From my cup of hot tea to yours! Cheers my friend!

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Time to steep

I hope you all had a wonderful day today. The morning started off rainy, dark and cold here, but turned into a beautiful amazing afternoon.

I did my typical morning routine, woke up, did a big stretch, star fished the bed took a deep breath and I was up. Went down stairs to start my kettle for my yummy morning yerba mate green tea. Fixed my kickoff morning drink of warm water, lemon and a dash of cayenne pepper. Once I fished my lemon water, it was time to steep my tea. I sat down at my desk at home, working today and Thursday from home, we have the kiddos for their winter break all week. Ah, remember when we had winter breaks and spring breaks and summer? The corporate world needs to bring back week long breaks, OH and nap times. Oh what I would give to have nap time again. Minus the little mean boy who would always pull my pony tail while I was taking my nap. Jerk Face!

So back to my mornings. The mornings always start with lemon water with cayenne pepper. This little combo is a great way to wake up your system. Get everything moving and grooving. Water helps hydrate you, lemon contains antioxidants called bioflavonoids.They help the body fight infections, aid in digestion and constipation, no one likes to be full of it, improves hair, skin and reduces high blood pressure. Lemon juice also strengthens your immune system and cleanses your stomach. Cayenne pepper is a natural herb and is high in Vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin C, riboflavin, potassium and manganese. It is used to help in the treatment of high blood pressure, increases metabolism, cleanse the body’s arteries, reduces the presence of bad cholesterol and has great effects on your circulatory system. Yes all that power in a one punch, I can’t think of a better way to start a morning. For some it’s hard to get past the lemon taste or the warm water taste, if this is you, start off slow. To be honest the only way to be health is to think health and I’m not talking about an apple a day thinking. You have to mentally prep yourself, telling yourself every day that you are worth saving, you are someone who is loved and it’s time you had the power. Once you get mentally on board everything else just falls into place, I promise. Stop letting nagging nancy in your head take your power away, tell nagging nancy to take a long walk off a short cliff. Boom!

The other part of my routine, is making my favorite green smoothie. Half of an avocado, fist full of kale, one stalk of celery, one cucumber, coconut water, sprinkle some cinnamon and blend away! If it’s to thick I add more coconut water and TAA DAA a smoothie packed with God’s Green Goodness. If I’m feeling extra adventurist I add 2 table spoons of Chia Seeds. What are Chia Seeds you ask? Well they are these tiny little seeds that have loads of omegas 3 fatty acids and expand into a gelatin form that clings to all the nasties in your body as it takes a ride through the intestines. And yes there were your friendly happy plant pet in the 1980s. Yeah the chia sheep you had by your kitchen sink growing up was actually the healthiest thing you could have put in your mouth. Oh on a side note don’t turn shoving a tablespoon of dry chia seeds in your mouth into a challenge. They are natural designed to to absorb liquid in order to expand. Unless you want your youtube video to show up on Tosh.0. That is up to you.

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My daily vitamins. I love the vitamins I take and they are not uber expensive, this family lives on a budget. Now I did go to a Integrated Internist to have a complete vitamin work up last year, that was a pretty penny, but I found out things I would not by just having a basic vitamin work up at my doctors office. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great team of doctors, I owe one my life, twice, but there are some things you have to go outside the doctor box for. My primary care physician was actually impressed that I did. Anyways I found out that I was completely depleted of vitamin D, my adrenals were failing, my liver and kidneys were struggling due to all the caffeine I was consuming and my antioxidant levels were that of a smoker. Ummm I don’t smoke. What was I doing to myself. She put together a list of vitamins that I would need to take on regular basis. Now at first I did buy all of the vitamins at the doctors office but after a little more research and looking at our budget I found vitamins that contain the same stuff for a lot less the price and had good reviews. So I take the following, a multi vitamin for women, liquid calcium magnesium with D3, acidophilus, B12 (because I don’t eat meat) omega 3 and 6 supplement and my favorite 2 table spoons of apple cider vinegar with mother. Now I’m not saying these will work forever, but I do feel great. Non of these vitamins or supplements hurt my stomach of make me feel odd. I go in for my annual physical in March and can’t wait to see what my results are.

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Now, there is a website called, zrtlab.com , I have not tried them, but you can order different types of test from a simple Vitamin D test to adrenal/hormone test. The prices are reasonable and it’s good to know you have alternative resource

So that’s my morning kick off routine for the past month now and I love it.

So from my cup of hot tea to yours! Cheers my friend!

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Mettlesome Monday

Mettlesome Monday and that it has been. Today was full of spirit, from our awesome hike in our own backyard, to riding bikes and playing games with the kiddos outside. Todays weather could have not been more perfect, close to 60, not a cloud in sight and a cool breeze to keep the air smelling fresh. Mmmmm what a great day and No I didn’t play hookie from work, today for some, it’s a national holiday, Presidents Day, though I did work for about 4 hours this morning and eventually said to myself, Self what are you doing, this is insane. So I pushed away from my desk and stomped my butt upstairs to put on hiking gear.

The hike was awesome, we put Layla’s gear on, got the kiddos ready and off we went right into our own backyard. On our hike my Hubby Dave discovered that one of the side creeks was not flowing properly, actually not at all. Hubby with all of his boy scout knowledge found the source of the problem and cleared out the debris. Within seconds the water was back to running smoothly and consistently. Good job Hubby! Also on our walk we found many tracks, mainly deer tracks, which are Layla’s best friends. No really Layla has friended a couple of deer in our neighborhood. During the spring the deer come up to eat pears off our tree in our yard. Layla and the deer actually play with each other through the fence even poking noses through to exchange kisses. It’s amazing to see, two very unlikely animals friends, especially since Layla is a Catahoula Leopard. They are one of the best hunting breeds in the country, they can take down wild boar with no problem. It’s just not in Layla to be unkind or hurt another living creature.

As we were hiking I was watching Layla, how excited she was, how every little thing was so important. Acting just like her ancestors did, using her nose, having her ears tuned to all that was going on, reacting immediately to something in the bushes. Keeping close to us, especially the kids. So as I was watching her something inside clicked, this is what life is, getting back to roots, nature, feeding your internal wild spirit or wild child or magical Unicorn inside you, which ever spirit you have. Embrace this amazing life you have been given by God the Great Creator of all. It really was mind blowing. So if you have a pup, get off your butt and take a walk, BOOM!!

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Layla & Max
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Layla and her hiking gear
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Me & Layla

I can honestly say that today has been a very needed spiritual day and I look forward to many many more of these days.

On that note I will be putting together my meditation room with the help of my Hubby Dave. We will be turning our extra bedroom into a place of relaxation and balance. I will keep you posted on the process and share before and after pictures.

Also, if you have Instagram and IF you would like to share a cup of hot tea with me I have created a hashtag #3oclockteatimeblog. There I have posted some pictures, some you have seen already and some you will not find on my blog. So feel free to hashtag away!

From my cup of hot tea to yours! Cheers my friend!

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Sunday Funday

Sunday Funday, means something completely different now in my 30’s vs my 20’s. Back than Sunday Funday consisted of recovering from my weekend, which started on Thursday nights. Out all night, sleeping half the day away and finding any reason to day drink, Mimosa at noon, but of course. During the summer it was pool time with beer pong, tons of shenanigans and we still found the energy to stay out all night Saturday. Sundays it was a slow recovery and we would always go out for Mexican with the crew. Ah yes those were the days of mass amounts of energy fueled by rockstar mindset.

Now my Sunday Funday’s are still just as exciting and full of energy, but a more positive, calm energy. I now enjoy more than anything waking up early, looking out my dining room window seeing the trees and amazing view of no buildings just an empty field. Driving 10 minutes max down the road for my God time with my amazing Hubby and step kiddos. Taking a spiritual journey with other amazing people looking for the same thing and having the same questions. There is true peace knowing that I am not alone. That I am loved so much. This is the life.

Now lets move to some of the steps we are taking.

Post documentary… Hungry for Change

After seeing the documentary I mentioned that we started making changes, eating more greens, buying a blender and giving up one of the hardest things for me to give up, coffee. I am being completely serious when I say it was hard, because I LOVED my Coffee, it was my legal drug of choice. After watching the documentary I started doing a little research starting with Google, why is coffee so bad? what are the benefits of coffee? Trying to way out the pros and cons of coffee or maybe I was looking for that little ray of, it’s fine to drink coffee no worries, said no one. In fact my research and reading only lead me to, coffee is acidic, dehydrates you killing your PH levels and it turns rancid in your body due to the roasting process of the coffee bean. YUCK, rancid! I don’t know about you, but when I think of rancid I think of The Bog of Eternal Stench from the Labyrinth, insert visual here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG__upqGgRY.
Not only that, but add a pinch of stress into your morning cup of joe and your adrenals really start to hate you. Trust me I know.

How did we do it, how did we get Mariah off her legal drug of choice? With small baby steps and a lot of mental preparation. The first 4 days of our new life style I really cut back, instead of grabbing my favorite huge coffee mug I grabbed my small coffee mug for the mornings. Instead of drinking more coffee when I got to work, I switched to green tea and at 3 o’clock I had more green tea. However I was still having a little trouble getting that kick I needed in the mornings. One night I was reading, Crazy, Sexy Diet about alternatives to coffee and the teas that can help you with your transition. Yerba Mate was one of those teas and it’s sold every where. So the very next day I picked some up, Hubby was so excited about it he tried it before me and while I was at work that day the first text I received from Hubby Dave was this tea is so good. The next morning I tried it and I can say that tea has never tasted so AMAZING, it was like flavor heaven in my mouth and Hubby loving it too was a bonus. So week 1 was down and coffee was no longer my drug of choice. I’m sure if my adrenals, kidneys and PH levels could talk they would say THANK YOU, now we can do what we were designed to do, keep you healthy, give you loads of energy and give you great looking skin. ZING!

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Yerba Mate, tea press, favorite mug & xagave YUM!

Now I am coffee free, my skin looks better, I have amazing energy, no more digestive problems or heart burn and my favorite side effect to no coffee, no more brain fog. I’m actually way smarter than I realized! Taa Daa!

So from my cup of hot tea to yours! Cheers my friend!

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