Birthday Wishes for Myself…

Yesterday was my birthday!

ebb and flow of my birthday

The joy of my day was staying home in Rhode Island with a view of the sea…all day!

We would celebrate quietly…if that is possible with a 5 year old in the house.

My idea of quiet has changed in the last few years and I am enjoying it immensely…the utter joy of having a child around, I simply cannot capture in words.

The clouds rolled in and out along with April showers…some lightening and some thunder.

Nature was singing, “Happy Birthday” to me!

I thought of April 23’s past and paused to remember my beloved brother, who died on my birthday a few short years ago.

He was my hero in many ways…older and wiser.

I miss him.

Birthdays come and go just like the tide…the years too.

I am thankful

I am blessed

I thank God every day and wish to be given many more April 23’s!





How To Prepare Passover Seder Plate

Passover Seder Plate

Passover Seder Plate

This week marks the celebration of Passover. I learned about the celebration of Pesach in my Catholic school religion class many years ago when we were discussing the Last Supper during Holy Week.

Both celebrations were Seders.

What I never learned about was the significance of the Seder plate.

So when a friend of mine brought me a Seder plate from her trip to Israel, I decided to learn how to prepare a Seder plate:

  • Shankbone or neck of poultry, is a reminder of the “mighty arm of G-d” as the Bible describes it. It is also symbolic of the Paschal lamb offered as the Passover sacrifice in Temple days
  • Haroseth  a mixture of apples, nuts, wine and spices, is symbolic of the mortar the Jewish slaves made in their building for the Egyptians
  • Parsley a vegetable (parsley or potato is generally used), is dipped in salt water to represent tears.
  • Horseradish is a bitter vegetable (celery or lettuce can be used). Those who do not put chazeret on their Seder Plate sometimes put a dish of salt water in its place
  • Hard-boiled egg, interpreted this as a symbol of mourning for the loss of the two Temples (the first was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.E., the second by the Romans in 70 C.E.). The egg symbolized this loss and traditionally became the food of mourners.
  • Bitter herbs  represents the bitter life of the Israelites during the time of their enslavement in Egypt.

I find joy in the celebration of both holidays which are full of joy, hope and rebirth.

Happy Passover and Happy Easter to all who celebrate!

How To Prepare a Seder Plate – 

Friday Fun…Chicago my kind of town!

Happy Friday Everyone. from Chicago…


I love Mondays and Fridays…what about you? The beginning and the end…alpha and omega!

Today, it is super sunny here and hopefully Spring will really be making an attempt at revealing herself. Luckily, I will be in Chicago to enjoy some of the gorgeous weather and I will be breathing in the excitement that a city of stature brings to me.

Most Fridays… I am downtown and it has become one of my favorite moments of the week. I am a people watcher and have always made up stories about people that I see along my way through the day. I am judgmental in that way.

This week, I made two trips to Chicago. I met a mom toting three children in Starbucks on Tuesday. She was relaxed and enjoying the moment. She had twin girls, who were 4 years old and a little boy 18 months in her arms. I immediately thought to myself, how cute and calm she was and how awesome that she could negotiate crossing a busy street with three kids. She ordered her coffee and I ordered my Chai…we chatted. I told her of my admiration and that I wished to live in the city again but wasn’t sure how it would be with a 5 year old grandchild. She told me that she was planning a move to the burbs in a year or two…maybe we could swap homes I thought. Then I learned something about Starbucks…they have these little things that look like toothpicks at the the pick-up counter. If you need to plug the opening in your take out lid…pick one up. It prevents you from being scalded as you carry your coffee to your destination…genious!  I love this stuff!

We parted ways and I continued on to my appointment with the plug in the lid of my cup…no more spills for me! I thought about this mom’s calmness and realized that I probably was never quite like her as I only had two kids in tow at any given moment when I was her age. I didn’t live in the city either…I lived in a Florida beach town and then a Chicago suburb.

I love these brief encounters and I really enjoy the ones where I meet friendly folks who share a little of themselves…not too much…just enough to make my day!

What about you?

How do you like your days…do you enjoy chance encounters…do you talk to folks in a line for coffee? Or…do you feel invaded when someone like me speaks to you, when all you want is to get your damn coffee and get out of there.

Thank you “City of Big Shoulders” for being a “friendly” city when it comes to people like myself!

Oh…please visit me at ChicagoNow and my new blog…Today’s Grandmum!




Muppets Most Wanted in Theaters this Weekend

 Hi Everyone…looking for great family fun this weekend?

How about Muppets Most Wanted

muppets most wanted 526ecae2bfbad


Take you kids to see the new Muppet Movie at a theatre near you. See all your old friends and make new ones!

Below please find a link to new activity sheets including how to make a paper bag puppet, a pin the mole on Kermit game, sending a postcard from Miss Piggy and a fun Can You Spot the Differences game all on behalf of Disney’s MUPPETS MOST WANTED, which is currently playing in theatres everywhere!


Autism Awareness Day

Autism Awareness and Children


autism awareness


I met Julie Cole at a blog meeting a few years ago…she was outgoing and welcoming. Since I felt like a “fish out of water” as I was new to blogging and was about 20 years older than the average blogger at the meeting, her smile and friendly hello put me at ease.

I learned about her company Mabel’s Labels and it changed my life as far as labeling goes…you see, I am grandmother and I do a fair amount of the labeling of clothes.

In addition, my granddaughter has food allergies so lunch labels were a great idea even though her school is nut free.

Shoes and especially boots were particularly problematic as many children had the same ones. Mabel’s Labels eliminated all of our lost clothes worries. If they were misplaced the Mabel’s Labels has made it easy to find in the Lost and Found!

Over the past three years, I have followed Julie Cole on Facebook and have become a Mabel’s Labels Affiliate.

Today is Autism Awareness Day, and Julie is writing about it on her blog. She is personally familiar with this syndrome as her son has been diagnosed with it.

Here is an excerpt from her blog:

From the heart, Julie shares some really great information about support for parents with an autistic child


“It has been 10 years since my son was diagnosed with

autism at the age of three.

Back in those days, you got your diagnosis and you were sent on your way to deal with it. Very little information regarding treatment, agencies, education or help of any kind was provided. It was pretty much a “Yes, your son has autism… don’t hit yourself with the door on the way out” kind of an approach.”

via The Mabelhood.


I hope you enjoy Julie as much as I do.




Captain America:The Winter Soldier is coming soon!


opening in theaters this Friday!

captain america picture


Are you a fan of Captain America?

Friday April 4, marks the opening day in theaters around the country!

I am sure it will be great entertainment for you and your family.

As usual, I am able to share some links with you for some fun activities.

The kids will surely enjoy them before or after watching the movie.

I hope you enjoy these Captain America downloads from Disney.

captainamerica2_pdf_5335f0fed6667 Activity Pak 1

Have a great weekend.

See you at the movies.

References: Captain Marvel:The Winter Soldier

Mindful Parenting…Solutions for Parents

Hand in Hand Mindful Parenting

Mindful ParentingAlong about twenty years ago, mindfulness came into my life. At the time, my own children were young and day to day living was anything but mindful.

After learning biofeedback techniques to overcome anxiety due to mitral valve prolapse, Jon Kabat-Zinn came into my life through his book

Full Catastrophe Living.

It was life changing and helped introduce me to yoga, which helped to prepare me for my inevitable open heart surgery 6 years ago.

So when I came across Kristen Race‘s book,

Mindful Parenting

I jumped in to see how I could relate my mindfulness practice with my “work” as a grandmother. Nothing is more important to me than family, children and grandchildren.

Kristen Race has helped me to effectively live the mindful life with my granddaughter in today’s fast paced world.

She explains in clear and simple terms how our brains work and how our stress effects  our own overall well being and that of our family. She goes on to give many helpful techniques to implement in our busy lives. Her tips help you to find the balance that is essential to manage stress. Balance is an integral part of living happier lives through “mindful parenting” and “mindful” grandparenting.

This is a book I will continue to read and dog ear the pages for years to come. It is one I will recommend to friends. As a therapist myself, I will recommend it to parents as a must read to help them parent mindfully!

Disclosure: This was a sponsored post. I was given a copy of “Mindful Parenting” for review.