Life by Cynthia: March 2013

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Good Mourning: Love & Loss

The past few weeks have been rough.  I lost my grandmother a little over a week ago. Our time in Chicago for her funeral service is such a blur. I'm in a funk that I cannot explain.  I Googled how to cope with losing your grandparent.  I didn't read the articles that I found.  After I realized what I was doing I decided to get off of the Internet.  I sat quietly. No more tears. Nearly numb. Mourning.  For me, I found it good to mourn.

My Lola is the only grandparent that I ever knew.  The only grandparent that I got to love.  The last time that I saw her alive was at our wedding. August 2008.

This next statement may not make much sense.  I am trying to let some of these confusing thoughts and feelings out.  I was MORE sad the last time that I saw her alive than when I saw her at rest.  My final image of my Grandma is a peaceful one.  She looked as beautiful as I remember her to be. She truly looked as if she were sleeping...

When I last saw her alive, it broke my heart. She was restricted to a wheelchair.  She looked tired and sad.  She didn't recognize me.  She didn't know me.  She did not remember that she loved me.  Her memories had been fading well before our wedding day.  I lost my Lola years before she passed away.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Easy Fried Rice Featuring Whole Grain Brown Rice by Minute® Rice

I have recently made the switch from white rice to brown rice.  From what I understand it packs more of a nutritional punch. Whole Grain Brown Rice by Minute Rice can be prepared in 10 minutes.  I can even whip up a quick batch in the microwave at work when in a pinch.  I generally eat it as prepared right out of the box as a side dish.  I also like to make extra so that I can use the rest for fried rice the next day.  There are so many variations to fried rice.  It is such a versatile dish made super easy because you can add whatever ingredients that you have on hand as an add it. It's a simple & kid friendly!  Our son gobbles it up!  I was debating between Crab Fried Rice and Kimchi Fried Rice.  Since my son & my mom aren't fans of Kimchi, I opted for the crab.  It was a hit - I'm bummed that there aren't any leftovers!

Crab Fried Rice
• 3 cups rice, cooked the day before and refrigerated.
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1/4 cup carrots
• 1/4 cup peas
• 1/4 cup green onion, sliced
• 1/2 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 2 tablespoons fish sauce
• 3 tablespoons soy sauce
• 1-1/2 tablespoon lime juice
• 1 teaspoon sugar
• 2 eggs, lightly beaten
• 6 ounces crab meat (I used lump crab).
• salt/pepper to taste

Mix the fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.

Heat 1/4 cup vegetable oil in a wok or frying pan. Add peas, carrots, garlic, green onions and ginger. Add rice, follow with liquid mixture and blend well. Fry for 5 minutes or so. Finish by adding eggs and stir fry until the eggs are cooked and are mixed well with the rice. Remove from heat and crab meat. 

Minute® Rice is so quick and easy to prepare and is great pantry staple. When meal time seems like a hassle, Minute® Rice is a go-to ingredient your whole family will love and allows you to have more quality time doing what your want with your loved ones.

Leftover rotisserie chicken or veggies from a meal earlier in the week? Minute® Rice can easily be paired with some of your leftover ingredients to make a quick, easy and wholesome meal your whole family will love in just a matter of minutes.

Visit to create a great main meal or side dish for your next family get-together or potluck.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Minute® Rice.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Blog Workshop '13 - ONLINE Conference For Bloggers #TBW

The Blog Workshop is an online conference that takes place May 17th - 19th. If you have fallen in love with blogging, as I have, I'm sure that you have at least considered attending a Blog Conference.  I have attended  two blog conferences in the past two years.  I was hoping to make it to at least one conference every year because it really is something that I enjoy doing.  This year will be a tough one.  I honestly didn't think that I would be able to reach my year 3 conference goal.  With conference related costs: registration, travel, lodging, and time away from family and work - it can all add up.  Unless you have secured sponsors, it just not might be feasible.

We do have an option: The Blog Workshop.  The workshop takes place online.  You will not have to make travel arrangements, book a hotel, arrange for childcare, take time off from work, shop for conference attire, or order business cards!  If you are interested in learning more about blogging but feel limited by funds or simply cannot get away to attend a conference because of work or family obligations - this may be the perfect conference for you!  And for my dear blog friends that are not in the U.S. - - - guess what? You can log on from ANYWHERE!  This will be my very first online blogging conference.  I am excited with the opportunity and hope that you will join me!  We can be first-timer's together!

The Blog Workshop Full Admission Registration is $175.  Your registration fee covers you for all 3 days of The Blog Workshop. It includes 6 sessions, resources lists, giveaways, and a conference T-shirt.  10% of your conference ticket purchase will be donated to the following causes: Atlanta Day Shelter For Women & Children, Wellspring Living, and Suicide Prevention.

The line up of speakers is pretty impressive! I am familiar with Izea/Social Spark and Blogfrog.  I am eager to learn more about the others listed here:

The goal of the conference is to help educate bloggers that want to take their blogs to the next level: "Where Blogging Meets Business".  Bloggers will learn to bridge the gap between bloggers, brands, PR professionals and more.

The Blog Workshop is an informational hub for bloggers and vloggers of all ages, niches and levels of experience. Please take a moment to watch this informational video to learn more:

The Blog Workshop has a rewards program where you can earn perks. Learn more by visiting:  The Indiegogo Campaign.

Register HERE: The Blog Workshop

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I have partnered with The Blog Workshop and will receive admission to the conference.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Recycling Is A Beautiful Thing In California

This post is sponsored by Arrowhead Waters. All opinions are my own.

2.8 BILLION plastic bottles ended up in California landfills in 2011.  I want to share this post to do my part and spread the word: recycle MORE!  Recycling saves resources and reduces environmental impact.

Our family recycles. We just do.  It something that we have done since we were kids.  It is something that our child is growing up doing.

I would love to hear about your recycling efforts and to see some of your craftiness with recycled art! I'm hoping that you will share! I'd love some ideas on crafting projects that I can do with our preschool aged son!

I would much rather see plastic bottles transformed into these pretty pieces vs. a landfill full of plastic bottles! I am not crafty (yet - I am a work in progress) but I am inspired by the creativity of these Etsy artists!

Photo source: Arrowhead  ReBorn Bottle on Facebook 

Recycling is one of the easiest and most beneficial ways we can all help the environment. Sadly, only about 30% of PET plastic bottles get recycled. For recycling to work, we all have to do our part.

Photo source: Arrowhead  ReBorn Bottle on Facebook 

To learn a more about Arrowhead's recycling initiatives please visit the Arrowhead Facebook page. I hope that you will help to spread the word and commit to recycling more!  I invite you to take a moment to watch this behind the scenes video.


Many of you are not in California, how does your state fare in regards to recycling?

Bulldozers push around piles of trash at San Diego's Miramar Landfill.
Photo Credit: Katie Orr |

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Dailey Method

Class 1 of The Dailey Method.

As described on the company website: The Dailey Method is a one-hour class combining ballet barre work, core conditioning, stretching, and orthopedic exercises. The classes effectively strengthens, tones, and lengthens the entire body providing quick physical results.  

I had to post this before DOMS sets in and I am unable to lift a finger.  I took my first class at The Dailey Method- Rancho Bernardo/Poway and wanted to share my experience as a newbie.  Please note in the photo above how graceful the ladies look. Me? Not so much. I was like a fish out of water. Nothing graceful about my movements. It was ugly.  I sucked so badly that I am determined to go back and do better!

I met studio owner Stephanie Firenze 15 minutes prior to the start of class, filled out some paperwork, and chatted with staff members. Renee kindly took me on a personal tour of the beautiful studio. I appreciate the on site daycare that is available. Everything necessary for The Dailey Method workout is provided by the studio (weights, mats, balls, etc).  "Grippy" socks are a MUST and are available for purchase.  I wore a standard pair of sport socks and they didn't provide enough traction.

If you are not familiar with The Dailey Method, please take a moment to watch this informational video:

Admittedly, I am out of shape since having completed a Bikram Yoga Challenge in 2012.  I attempted a Boot Camp style workout late last year and that struggle motivated me to reclaim my fitness.  Unfortunately I became very ill towards the tail end of 2012 which sidelined me for a bit.  I had two doctor's visits requiring breathing treatments, a chest x-ray, antibiotics, steroids, and I had to use an inhaler for months. I am more than ready to get back to healthful living!

The Dailey Method is quite possibly the best workout I have ever tried.  The combination of ballet barre work, core conditioning, muscle strengthening, yoga, and orthopedic exercises is exactly what I have been searching for.  I struggle with postural issues, neck, shoulder, back, and hip pain.  My occupation requires the majority of my 8 hour workday confined to a desk.  On top of that I have scoliosis.  A strong core is vital to keep my condition from worsening.  With consistency in practicing The Dailey Method I am confident that I can regain proper alignment.  The exercises are controlled and very focused.  In the one hour session my entire body benefited.  I am an instant fan.

The class that I attended was led by studio owner Stephanie Firenze. She did an excellent job at leading the class.  She was vigilant at ensuring that the movements were done correctly by each student.  The class was comprised of a diverse group of ladies. A wide range of ages and fitness levels, including a pregnant student.  I mention this because if my husband and I are blessed with a second child I would love to be able to safely continue to take classes throughout pregnancy.

THERA°PEARL, Epsom Salt, & Boiron Arnicare Gel
Many of the movements were very new to me since I have not been very active (aside from my jog/walks during my lunch breaks at work).

The muscles that have been neglected complained during this class.  I got a cramp in my left foot and I strained my inner right thigh a bit. I have my soreness kit at the ready!

I found The Dailey Method to be very challenging. I LOVE a good challenge! I enjoyed the experience so much that I want to take all of my girlfriends & sisters with me!

I hope to share more of my personal Dailey Method journey with you all!

Disclosure:  All opinions contained in this post are my own.  I received a complimentary trial class to The Dailey Method- Rancho Bernardo/Poway.

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