Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Time To Reflect...


Like the confetti in this picture, blow all of the worries and stresses of 2013 away, my Darlings!

I wish for you nothing but perfect health, prosperity and abundance in all areas of your life in the New Year. 
Thanks for joining me on this crazy ride!

Schmooches~
♥ Jodi

Monday, December 30, 2013

A New Year Tradition For Good Luck!

Hoppin' John Recipe
Eating Hoppin' John on New Year's Day promises a prosperous year.
 
Southern tradition dictates that a bowlful of Hoppin' John, a stew of black-eyed peas and rice, should be the first thing you eat on New Year's Day, guaranteeing a prosperous year (another version of this tradition says you'll have a lucky day for each pea you eat). This recipe can be made in the slow cooker, simmering all night long so it's ready for New Year's Day brunch. Be sure to soak the beans (overnight or using the quick-soak method) before putting them in the slow cooker.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours, 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dried black-eyed peas, soaked
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 smoked ham hock
  • 32 ounces low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 1/2 to 5 cups cooked white rice
  • Hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco Sauce

Preparation:

  1. In a large (6 quart) slow cooker crock, combine the beans, onion, celery, bell pepper, ham hock and garlic. Pour the chicken stock into the slow cooker crock, and stir to combine ingredients. Add the bay leaf, and push it into the liquid until it's submerged.
  2. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 7 to 8 hours, until beans are tender. Discard the bay leaf and the ham hock.
  3. To serve, spoon some white rice into a bowl and ladle Hoppin' John over the rice. Pass hot pepper sauce at the table for everyone to season to their liking.
This recipe for Hoppin' John serves 6 to 8 people
.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

How to Get Unstuck from Your Story



This advice is so valuable...once we get off of the hamster wheel and stop telling the same old story, 
we are able to move forward and live authentically!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Whew! The Hoopla is O-V-E-R!


An After Christmas Poem


"Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house,
Every creature was hurtin' even the mouse.
The toys were all broken, their batteries dead;
Santa passed out, with some ice on his head.

Wrapping and ribbons just covered the floor,
While upstairs the family continued to snore.

And I in my T-shirt, new Reeboks and jeans,
I went into the kitchen and started to clean.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the sink to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the curtains, and threw up the sash.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a little white truck, with an oversized mirror.

The driver was smiling, so lively and grand;
The patch on his jacket said "U.S. POSTMAN."

With a handful of bills, he grinned like a fox.
Then quickly he stuffed them into our mailbox.

Bill after bill, after bill, they still came.
Whistling and shouting he called them by name:
"Now Dillard's, now Broadway's, now Penny's and Sears
Here's Robinson's, Levitz's and Target's and Mervyn's.
To the tip or your limit, every store, every mall,
Now chargeaway-chargeaway-chargeaway all!"

He whooped and he whistled as he finished his work.
He filled up the box, and then turned with a jerk.
He sprang to his truck and he drove down the road,
Driving much faster with just half a load.

Then I heard him exclaim with great holiday cheer,
"ENJOY WHAT YOU BOUGHT.......

YOU'LL BE PAYING ALL YEAR!"

~Unknown

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Save Me A Snowball!

Even though I live in Florida, I still miss the snow! I grew up in New York and winters were magical....loved staring up at the night sky and watching the snow fall, catching some flakes on my tongue and basking in the brisk air. Ahhhhh....for all my snowbirders, enjoy the wonder of winter!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

Turn Up Your Speakers and D-A-N-C-E!

Mmmmmmm! Monday!

                            
Beef Stew

The meat should fall apart if you just look at it. And the thicker, more flavorful the sauce, the better.

PREP TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 2 hours 50 minutes
Serves 8

3 Tbsp olive oil
2 lb cubed beef stew meat (1 1/4")
1 med onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz beer (pale lager)
3 1/2 c beef broth
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp paprika
8 new potatoes (1 1/2"-2" diameter), quartered
4 carrots, sliced diagonally
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
Finely chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Crusty bread (optional)

1. Heat oil in large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season beef. Working in 2 batches, brown meat on all sides, 6 minutes. Remove to plate.

2. Add onion to pot and reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring, until softened, 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

3. Pour in beer. Add broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire, sugar, paprika, 1/2 tsp kosher salt, and pepper to taste.

4. Return beef to pot. Simmer until meat is tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

5. Stir in potatoes and carrots. Simmer until vegetables are tender and meat is very tender, 30 to 40 minutes longer.

6. Remove 1 cup of liquid from pot and slowly whisk in flour. Stir back into pot and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, 10 minutes. Season. Sprinkle with parsley (if using). Serve with bread, if desired.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Polar Express - Behind the Scenes



The Polar Express is one of my favorite Christmas movies...here is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of it! Enjoy!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Watch this movie - find the child within!

This is one of my absolute favorite holiday movies that I shared with my Pre-K classes each year...except for the narration in the beginning, there is no dialogue. Children are forced to watch and use their imaginations while listening to the beautiful music. Take some time to do the same....ENJOY!

Friday, December 20, 2013

YOU'RE NOT ALONE! ♥

Only Five More Days!

To help you forget about all of the last minute things on your To-Do list, I thought I'd share some funny scary Santa pics....ENJOY!

   YIKES!

   EVIL SANTA

   THERE ARE NO WORDS FOR THIS ONE...
               

 
 "I promise, Mommy! I WILL wear these funky pants again...just NO MORE SANTA!

   She is unaware of that skeevy face he is making!

   Whoa, Nelly!

  What kind of weird Santa mask is this???

   Santa needs his "happy pills!"

   He took advantage of Happy Hour!
AND MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE SCARY SANTA???
C-R-E-E-P-Y!!!


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cancer Ends With Me!


CLICK:

Chill Out, Baby!

Try to find somewhere to sit and relax in peaceful solitude today...away from all the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Maybe start a new "Me" tradition...go to your favorite coffee shop to sit and read...soak in a hot bubble bath and listen to some relaxing music....journal...write about your favorite Christmas memories...

It's important to think of this down-time as so vital to your health and well-being. Stress is counter-productive to your healing!
Take care of YOU!
♥ Muaaah!
XOXOXO
Jodi

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

An Excerpt From Living La Vida (Lymphoma)...

Friday, December 16
Mid-Life Christmas Ponderings
He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.
~Roy L. Smith

     Well, this Christmas is going to be the start of new traditions, new dreams and new everything for me. All of my decorating is done, shopping was easy. Christmas cards were sent weeks ago, and now I am left to reflect on Christmases past.
     You see, prior to my divorce, I was the Queen of Christmas. I hosted an annual open house on Christmas Eve complete with Santa, gifts for all the kiddies, a smorgasbord of scrumptious food, plenty of drinks, two Christmas trees, and then after all of the guests would leave in the wee hours, I’d prepare for the Christmas brunch that I served on Christmas morning. I loved every minute of it and hold so many memories dear, but, now that I am divorced, I literally had to make many changes. For one, the cottage that I am renting was built in 1925 and does not have enough room for clothes, let alone the twenty four years’ worth of decorations that I had accumulated.
     Secondly, many of the collections that I had amassed were tied to "him." I felt as if my whole life had been forever changed without my consent. I did not want to bring anything to my new place unless I really loved it. That meant, ornaments, bins and boxes of Christmas decor were set aside, and I scheduled three separate pick-ups from the lovely people at GoodWill. As I watched everything being loaded up onto the truck each time, I was saddened. Mostly because I realized that it was just "stuff" and it was no longer needed. In the end, it was truly cathartic I was starting with a clean slate, like it or not, and I learned that I do not need "stuff" to make me happy.

     Last year was my first official Christmas-After-Divorce and I bought a pre-lit tree and some vintage ornaments that I picked up at a Thrift shop. Some candles and the collection of things that I had brought with me completed the scene and the cottage truly did look cozy and warm. Although I had made the effort to decorate, I found myself looking forward to putting it all away as soon as Christmas was over, and I did. The very next day. It was a painful reminder of what used-to-be. I knew it would be a big adjustment for me, but honestly, I found myself feeling like the fifth wheel at gatherings, and although I knew this was not the case, it was a feeling that I couldn't shake.....

To read more, click here:
Living La Vida (Lymphoma)                                           

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Slow Cooker Easy-Breezy Recipe!

Oxmoor House 

Chinese Pork Tenderloin with Garlic-Sauced Noodles

This slow cooker medley of Chinese flavors is a yummy and healthy alternative to take-out. Serve with lime wedges to add zesty flavor.

  • Yield: 9 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups noodle mixture, 1 teaspoon peanuts, 2 teaspoons cilantro, and 1 lime wedge)

Ingredients

  • 2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup lower-sodium soy sauce, divided
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
  • 8 cups hot cooked Chinese-style noodles (about 16 ounces uncooked)
  • 1 cup matchstick-cut carrots
  • 3/4 cup diagonally sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/3 cup chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
  • 9 lime wedges

Preparation

1. Place tenderloins in a 5-quart electric slow cooker. Combine 1 tablespoon soy sauce and next 5 ingredients (through garlic); drizzle over tenderloins. Cover and cook on LOW for 3 1/2 hours. Remove pork from slow cooker, and place in a large bowl, reserving cooking liquid in slow cooker. Let pork stand 10 minutes.
2. Strain cooking liquid through a sieve into a bowl. Cover and keep warm. Shred pork with 2 forks.
3. Return cooking liquid to slow cooker; stir in remaining 3 tablespoons soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil. Cover and cook on HIGH 10 minutes. Turn slow cooker off. Add pork, noodles, and next 3 ingredients (through cilantro leaves), tossing to coat. Spoon noodle mixture into bowls; sprinkle with peanuts and chopped cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

For You....

  Sending you a little bluebird of happiness today!
 MUUUAAAH!
YOU CAN DO THIS! Have a SUPER day!      

               

Friday, December 13, 2013

CancerCompass: Gene Therapy Shows Promise Against Leukemia, Other Blood Cancers

CancerCompass: Gene Therapy Shows Promise Against Leukemia, Other Blood Cancers

Follow me!!!

My book, Living La Vida (Lymphoma) is being featured Monday at The Fussy Librarian, a new website that offers personalized ebook recommendations. You choose from 40 genres and indicate preferences about content and then the computers work their magic. It's pretty cool -- check it out! 

I Don't Wanna Grow Up!

  


I recently saw a quote that made me laugh and I wanted to share it with you...The first 40 years of childhood are the hardest!
Then when I found this, I had to post it. For most of my adult life, I taught Pre-K. Because of this, I think I have always been a "kid at heart" and I feel that I have a gift of seeing the child in everyone I meet! So, with that in mind, rekindle the child in YOU!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ahhhhh, Tuscany!

One of my dreams has always been to visit Tuscany. I think the movie, Under The Tuscan Sun did it for me! She was a divorced, middle aged writer who took a chance...someday I will be sitting on the balcony of a villa, sipping wine and taking in all this beauty!

                               

Monday, December 9, 2013

Saturday, December 7, 2013

ASH Satellite Symposium

CLICK:


A Beautiful Video That Will Warm Your ♥!


Click here to watch this touching video:
 **********
Whew! This video really got to me! (Tissue alert!) After going through all I went through with my lymphoma journey, I avoided the camera like the plague. I hated how I looked. On the day of our divorce, as we walked out of the courthouse, my ex said, "Whew! I didn't think the judge would grant the divorce." I was puzzled and asked him why he said that...."Because you're sick." (Nice right?!)

I blurted out, "Well, how would she know that?"

"Because you LOOK sick." Talk about a sucker punch! That statement alone really got to me on a soul level and added to my camera avoidance. Four words. Four simple words that stuck with me and added to how poorly I already felt health-wise.

Then last year, when my dear photographer friend, Jackie Kramer and I were having lunch one afternoon, she excused herself from the table (I thought, to go to the bathroom) and returned with her camera equipment from her car. I protested, but she insisted that I needed to see the "inner beauty and sparkle that others see." She snapped non-stop, at times standing on a chair or bench in the restaurant and I am glad she did. Although I still am not as comfortable with how I look, Jackie gave me a gift that day, one that I can never repay.

How often have we looked at others with disabilities of all kinds and not thought about how they feel on a day-to-day-basis? This video is so heart-warming and I hope you will enjoy the message behind it as I have.

To see some of Jackie's work, go to:


One of the photos Jackie took.




















Turn To Nature....


Where do you go in nature to re-group? I have to be near water...a lake...the beach. There is a park close to where I live. I take my dog, Rose there and sit on a bench and just let the day's worries melt away. There are fish that actually come to the surface and jump out of the water...I refer to them as my "happy fish!" So, Rose and I sit, with her watching the squirrels and birds, while I watch the fish!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Beat Cancer...


I saw this on Beat Cancer's Facebook page a while back and had to share. For me, cancer was a "gift." It taught me how to focus on what's important and I am living authentically.

Please check out their website at:

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Latest news from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society...

When I was first was diagnosed with a very rare form of Lymphoma (SPTCL), the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society was there for me from Day One -- their Information Specialists were not only kind and caring, they helped me whenever I needed anything. From research to resources, LLS is there for YOU!

Please check out all the latest, including an informative new video, Advances in Blood Cancers: Making NHL & CLL Treatment Decisions.
CLICK:

My Wish For You...The ♥ is There!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

This, I know for sure!



If you look at every challenge as a chance to grow and gain even more strength than you could ever have imagined, then you will gather the courage to say, "This, too shall pass!"

Monday, December 2, 2013

Slow Cooker Carnitas...Ole!

I ♥ Mexican food, and combine it with the ease of a slow cooker? WOW! Can't get any better than that!

I serve this with a fresh Pico de Gallo, slices of avocado and some lime wedges on the side to squeeze onto the Carnitas....MMMM!

So fresh and easy to make! ENJOY!


Slow Cooker Carnitas
 
recipe image 
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 10 Hours
Ready In: 10 Hours 10 Minutes
Servings: 10
"Pork simmered in broth and seasonings makes a great filling for tamales and tacos in this slow cooker pork carnitas recipe."
INGREDIENTS:
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (4 pound) boneless pork shoulder roast
2 bay leaves
2 cups chicken broth
DIRECTIONS:
1.Mix together salt, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, coriander, and cinnamon in a bowl. Coat pork with the spice mixture. Place the bay leaves in the bottom of a slow cooker and place the pork on top. Pour the chicken broth around the sides of the pork, being careful not to rinse off the spice mixture.
2.Cover and cook on Low until the pork shreds easily with a fork, about 10 hours. Turn the meat after it has cooked for 5 hours. When the pork is tender, remove from slow cooker, and shred with two forks. Use cooking liquid as needed to moisten the meat.