Monthly Archives: August 2013

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Veggie Grill

Vegan doesn’t have to be boring, and Veggie Grill serves up plant-based comfort food that is both delicious and budget-friendly.  When I was first introduced to this restaurant, a few years ago in Los Angeles, it was love at first bite…

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Honey, I’m HOME!!!  What’s for dinner???

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All Hail Kale Salad with Blackened Tempeh and a side of Mac-n-Cheese, that’s what!!!

Although I have tried other items on Veggie Grill’s extensive menu, the All Hail Kale Salad is my absolute favorite.  I love it so much that I searched far and wide for a recipe, so that I could “bring the party to my house.”  Fortunately for me, I am not alone in my addiction.  I found recipes here, here, and here.  And who couldn’t use another great salad recipe in their arsenal?!?!

The West Hollywood Veggie Grill holds a special place in my heart, so that’s where I get my “fix.”  That said, this casual contemporary eatery continues to expand.  For other locations check here.

Viva Veggie Grill and ALL HAIL KALE!

 

 

 

 

 

The Proposal

On August 16, 1997, my best friend and soul mate asked me to spend the rest of my life with him.  The thought of that alone was overwhelming to me (Miss Independent here!).  But the way that he did it left me completely speechless (which is quite an accomplishment).  It was like a fairytale, and I felt very much like a princess.

Jerel had scheduled a double date with our close friends.  I was told to dress up because we were going out to a nice dinner.  My girlfriend and I were getting ready at my Oakland apartment, when the intercom buzzed and we were called downstairs.  When we reached the lobby, a red carpet was rolled out from the front door to a white limousine parked in front of my building (I could have passed out right then and there, but I didn’t).  The driver greeted us at the door, handed me a tulip, and read me an original poem by Jerel about a “tulip parade.”  When he escorted us to the car and opened the door, there was a HUGE teddy bear from FAO Schwartz sitting in the backseat.  My girlfriend and I maneuvered around him, settled in, and headed to San Francisco to meet the guys.  Having anticipated an engagement for weeks prior to this, I could tell that it was going to be a special evening.  Still, I didn’t want to get my hopes up, in case it didn’t happen (Yeah, I’m guarded like that).

On our way to the Bay Bridge, the driver pulled up to the toll booth.  The attendant greeted me and handed me another tulip (What?!?!).  We crossed the  Bridge, made our way into San Francisco, and stopped at the St. Francis Yacht Club (Um, okay…what are we doing here???)  The driver parked in front of the building, kicked me out let me out of the car, and he and my girlfriend made me instructed me to walk down the path until I reached the water.  LONGEST. WALK. EVER.  It was windy and overcast too (Gotta love San Francisco in the summertime!).  I thought to myself, “This is so surreal!…What’s at the end of the path?…Where’s Jerel?!?…Does my hair look okay???”

When I finally reached the end of the path, my man was standing there waiting for me and smiling.  Jerel had placed two chairs on top of a blanket, and had soft music playing in the background.  He greeted me, then seated me in one of the chairs, and read another original poem entitled “May I.”  The poem chronicles our relationship, and culminates in the marriage proposal.

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I responded, “Yes,” and some of our closest friends emerged from behind the rocks, where they had been hiding and snapping pictures of us the entire time (Sooo sneaky!).

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Afterwards, the limo driver picked all of us up and drove us to Harris’, where Jerel and his mom treated everyone to dinner.  At my seat, there was a framed copy of the poem that Jerel wrote and read to me, along with more tulips.  After our meal, we climbed back into the limo and rode across the Golden Gate Bridge.  It was a magical evening that I’ll never forget!

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For your viewing pleasure, here is the AMAZING poem that changed my life:

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16 years later, I am humbled, grateful, and honored to be married to the man of my dreams!

 

 

World Breastfeeding Week 2013

This year’s World Breastfeeding Week theme is “Breastfeeding Support:  Close to Mothers,” with an emphasis on breastfeeding peer counseling.  As a mom, who nursed two children for a combined total of 4 years, I am so grateful for the support and encouragement that I received from holistic practitioners, mommy-friends, and family.  Here are 4 things that helped me to have a successful, long-term nursing relationship with my little ones:

1.  La Leche League International (LLLI):  I attended my local chapter meetings one month before my daughter’s birth, which helped tremendously.  I met other moms in the group, and learned what to expect postpartum.  These ladies stood by me when a conventional pediatrician called my little girl “failing to thrive,” and insisted that I supplement with formula (Who says that to a new mom?!?!).  They also referred me to our naturopathic pediatrician, who we LOVE.

2.  Lactation Consultant (LC):  After my daughter’s birth, a friend of mine from LLLI referred me to a lactation consultant.  The LC helped me to breastfeed successfully while dealing with sore nipples and thrush.  After home birthing my son, I paid my LC for a home visit to make sure that we got off to a great start.  In both cases, her wisdom was invaluable.

3.  Breastfeeding Support Group:  During my phone consultation, my LC invited me to join her breastfeeding support group.  The group met weekly to discuss nursing-related topics, and to help meet individual needs.  I also picked up some useful baby accessories from one of the mompreneurs. The information and camaraderie were just what I needed.

4.  Tools:  My Brest Friend, Bebe Au Lait’s Hooter Hider, and the Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breastpump were among my favorite items; and I would recommend them to any nursing mom without hesitation.

For more breastfeeding resources and information, check here and here.

 

 

 

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