Scorpio Forcast for 2011! This year is gonna ROCK!

Okay, so I used to be an Astrology buff – like 15 years ago and I haven’t paid much attention lately.  Once in awhile I’ll check my horoscope but I don’t generally hold my breath to make sure my horoscope is accurate.  Usually the one’s I read are so generic it could apply to so many different areas in anyone’s life.  I just read the forcast for my sign: Scorpio, for 2011.  I find the description of my sign in relation to my own personality very true so I thought I would post it because it sounds too good to be true but also very hopeful.  I have been unemployed for 18 months and I will be finished with my graduate degree at the end of the summer so this sounds amazing…however, I do believe that you must make your own destiny.  With that said, I must align my actions to make the most of my opportunities.  Check out your sign at if you are interested.

Thursday, December 30, 2010 | Provided by

Scorpio Outlook for 2011

10/23 – 11/21

Year 2011 Overview

Get ready to rock it in 2011, Scorpio! You’ve got so much going for you in nearly every life arena you won’t know where to focus first. For starters, you’ll have more work opportunities than you’ll know what to do with. In fact, with so many alluring offers crossing your desk, the whole picking and choosing fiasco could easily lead to typical Scorpio overkill. Extreme by nature, the idea of having too much to handle sounds like a total joyride until the reality of having zero time for anything (like eating and sleeping) kicks into your stubborn consciousness.

You thrive under intensity, so that aspect of your ridiculously busy life won’t be a problem. It’s just that Saturn bearing down in your sector of sleep, dreams and retreat will feel like an ongoing thorn in your side should you neglect taking enough time out for yourself to re-balance and shut out the demands of the big bad world.

Balance is never easy for a Scorpio. You’re like a moth to a flame when it comes to amping up the drama in your life. By the time your half-birthday arrives in May, you’ll be under the extreme influence of six planets lining up in your work sector in the Cardinal sign of new beginnings: Aries. And yes, that could literally mean you’ll be working on at least six different projects simultaneously. Just watch that your health doesn’t suffer as a result. Double up on the supplements and be sure to get enough rest to see you through this exciting but demanding time.

Post a Week Challenge

I’ve decided to participate in the postaweek2011 challenge.  With the  last two semesters of grad school I’m not sure I can commit to posting every day of 2011 but I can definitely commit to once a week.  I’m sure my posts will be more frequent than once a week so if you follow me please continue. If you are new, I encourage you to follow me.  And if you have an opinion, agreeing or indifferent, I’d like to see your comments.  Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in your own viewpoints and its nice to have a good friendly challenger.  Happy New Year all year!

The parallels of life…toddler years

 Another Ava story.  

Ava’s 1st Car: The Cozy Coupe

Tonight we were playing before bedtime and Ava had eaten an oreo, yes an oreo…, and she had crumbs and the creme filling all over her hands and face.  She wiped a little bit of the  cookie on her Cozy Coupe so I used the baby wipe that I used to clean her face to wipe the cookie off the car.  Ava saw me do this and she began detailing her new car with a different baby wipe.   As she worked I started giggling because it reminded me of when I bought my first crappy car.  I bought a 1984 Chrysler Lebaron and it only ran for 6 weeks after I fixed it.  I should mention I was born in 1981 so that may add some insight.  Anyway, I just remembered how proud I was to own a car and how I made sure to clean every nook and cranny to care for my prized possession.  I kept thinking how similar Ava’s actions in cleaning her little cozy coupe were to my 16 year old self cleaning my crappy car.  Not too bad to get your first car at 17 months!  Im sure hers will be in use much longer than my first car was…

Hyland’s Teething Tablet Recall

Just wanted to announce that Hyland’s Teething Tablets have been recalled.  I bought mine in October and checked the lot number – yup, they were included in the recall.  Too bad my daughter ingested the majority of the bottle.  I found out you can enter your lot number and the product code (listed on front of the label on the top right corner) and they will either send you a coupon for a new purchase once they are available again or you can ask for a refund.  There is also an option to be notified when the product is available again. 

I loved the teething tablets, my daughter seemed to respond well to them except for this last purchase which didnt really seem to soothe her pain.  According to the website the company voluntarily recalled this product and they are working with the FDA to ensure safety and uniformity of dosage.  Apparently there has been some complaints but they were vague as to what the complaints were about.  Check it out for yourself at

Yoga or Pilates?

I found this article on  I like to practice both Yoga and Pilates so I thought this might be interesting.  I tend to do Yoga to relax my mind and body and pilates to strenghten my entire body.  I think both practices are beneficial in strengthening and toning muscles.  For me personally, I tend to get bored very easily with both yoga and pilates.  I try to look at each as a challenge to see if I can make it through the exercise…I have to set goals for each workout to make sure I finish.  I tend to really enjoy high intensity cardio workouts so it really is a difficult for me to move slowly and make sure I follow along with the instructor.  Definately a recommendation for targeting muscle toning.  For a fun mixture I like to workout with the CRUNCH workouts by Ellen Barrett.  She seems very low key and not annoying for the most part.  She has a range of videos from all floor work to all cardio but they encorporate pilates and yoga.  Most of Ellen Barrett’s workouts are pilates and for someone like me the standing pilates offers the cardio I crave and the pilates toning that I desperately need.  Hope this is helpful:

Yoga vs Pilates – Which is better?

From Deborah Harris at

It seems that these days you can hardly turn on a television without hearing someone mention Pilates or Yoga. Articles on Pilates and Yoga fill numerous magazines and it seems “everyone who is anyone” is doing one or the other. Why all the excitement? What is so special about these techniques? What are the similarities and differences between Pilates and Yoga?

Yoga, as we all know it, is aimed to unite the mind, the body, and the spirit. Yogis view that the mind and the body are one, and that if it is given the right tools and taken to the right environment, it can find harmony and heal itself. Yoga therefore is considered therapeutic. It helps you become more aware of your body’s posture, alignment and patterns of movement. It makes the body more flexible and helps you relax even in the midst of a stress stricken environment. This is one of the foremost reasons why people want to start practicing Yoga – to feel more fit, to be more energetic, be happier and peaceful. The Yoga movements are performed, mostly, in a group setting on a special Yoga mat with an aid of a Yoga instructor. The body’s own weight is used for resistance and a great deal of focus is accorded to the flow from one posture into the other. There are many different Yoga styles and they differ in their emphasis. No one style is better than the other. The Style you use is a matter of personal preference or a matter of need.

Yoga Styles and Poses

Vinyasa Yoga, for example, makes use of modified yoga poses that are designed to meet the specific needs of an individual and to enhance healing, flexibility and strength of joints. The poses also intend to promote the feeling of well-being and strength. Practices may also include meditation, reflection, study and other classic elements, but the emphasis of this branch of Yoga practice is on coordinating breath and movement. As you can imagine, given the scope of practice, the inherent therapeutic applications and the heritage of the lineage, the training requirements for teacher certification are extensive.

Pilates seek to reach much the same goals, also via a series of controlled movements. The major difference is that the Pilates technique not only has a full complement of matwork, but it incorporates work on the Pilates machines. The emphasis of the exercises is to strengthen the abdominals, improve posture, stabilize and lengthen the spine, improve balance and overall strength. Pilates gives you a longer, leaner, dancer-like line.

Pilates Works the Whole Body

Unlike many other training programs, Pilates works the whole body, emphasizing control, precision and concentration in both the mind and the body. Movements are not performed rapidly or repeated excessively instead, the focus is on quality not quantity. The abdominal muscles, lower back and buttocks (“powerhouse”) serve as the center of all movement, allowing the rest of the body to move freely. This focus on core stabilization makes one stronger from the inside out and is critical for the advancement of the client. The low impact nature of Pilates makes it ideal for injury prevention and rehabilitation. Its six principles-concentration, control, centering, breathing, flow and precision-train the body to move efficiently with minimal impact on the body. The balance between strength and flexibility creates a healthy, vigorous and symmetrical workout for all muscle groups resulting in a leaner, more balanced, and stronger body.

Working With Yoga and Pilates in Conjunction

If after reading about both techniques you are still left with a question of which of these two fitness techniques is right for you then here is the answer: Do them both in conjunction! The nature of the techniques makes it easy for them to complement each other. Get the stretch from Yoga and keep it from Pilates. Strengthen your abdominals on the reformer and watch your poses improve. Join the breathing techniques of Pilates and meditative aspect of Yoga into your daily routine and see the stress of your everyday life, begin to dissipate. Both techniques are time-proven, established, and with the help of an experienced instructor, you will surely reach the goals you set up for yourself!

Getting Motivated for the New Year

Every year around this time I feel the need to organize and purge.  I’m sure I’m not the only one with all of the New Year’s resolutions floating around.  I personally do not make resolutions for each year because I am the type of person who sets and exceeds goals on a daily basis, for me to remember “the goal” I set for the year would be impossible.  I did come across a really cool 30 day challenge from Chalene Johnson.  She offers a free course on how to achieve success regardless of what your goals are and she provides spreadsheets and goal forms to keep you on track.  She also provides a support network; she is a huge advocate for changing your life and having a support network.  This is why I recommend her products!  Well, one of the reasons.  If you are interested in her 30 day challenge you can sign up with this link  I’m taking the challenge and I hope you do too.  Anything to keep me focused on the important things in life is much appreciated.

Recommended Children’s Books…the one’s without the scary stuff

I’m guessing that I am not the only parent in the world that has noticed how scary most of the children’s books tend to be.   Many of them are full of evil monsters, poor language, damsels in distress, and a lot of dominantly male heroes.  I am always looking for new authors and “nice” stories to read to my 17 month old daughter.   A good friend of mine recommended the “Pretty Little Lilly” books written by Ashley Hornsby.   These are my absolute favorite thus far.  I read to my daughter before nap time and bedtime everyday…and sometimes in between depending on the day.   I believe that children are susceptible to everything we do and say and I prefer to keep it clean as much as possible. 

We have been reading “Pretty Little Lilly and the Magical Night” for about 6 months every single day so I was hoping to change things up a little bit when I purchased
“Pretty Little Lilly and the Land of Sweet Dreams” as a Christmas Gift.  I have to say, I am very pleased.  I also ordered the third book in the series which is “Pretty Little Lilly” but never received it, so that one is on order.

Here is a snippet of “Pretty Little Lilly and the Land of Sweet Dreams”:   “This land was kissed by an early sunrise, And with every little step there was a new surprise.  There were fields of soft flowers dripping with dew, And clouds like cotton candy with a soft pink hue.  This field led to a forest filled with blossoming trees with thousands of flowers and big beautiful trees.  The forest lit up with a twinkling light, It was indeed the most beautiful sight…Far in the distance Lilly heard a faint cry.  It was then all the fairies sang a sweet lullaby.  The words had no reason; the words had no rhyme, But everything grew so peaceful at this point in time.  As the fairies sang sweetly their sparkles shone bright, Then there was a swirling and twirling beautiful light…” 

It just seems so very peaceful and this particular book is about the “dream that went wrong” and the lullabies are making the dream okay.  In the “Magical Night” book, the theme is surrounding a little girl who is afraid of the dark and a little glowing bear appears after she wishes on a shooting star.  The little bear takes Lilly on an adventure to “the Land of Northern Lights” and helps little to not be afraid of the night.  It is so clever and sweet and it is hard to not fall in love with the wording.

Beacon Dental Center “Where our light shines on your smile”

I just started going to Beacon Dental Center and I have to say that I absolutely love it!  I have never really been nervous about going to the dentist and I’m pretty sure it has a lot to do with exposure therapy… to clarify, my mom was training to be a dental assistant when I was about 6 or 7 years old and I was her guinea pig.  I think I was comforted by knowing that the person working on me would never do anything to hurt me.  That whole experience really calmed any anxieties that I have ever had when it comes to dentistry proceedures.  I always went to a dentist where my mom worked and I never really had to have any extensive work done.  I had the regular cleanings, some fillings here and there, and when I was 17 I had 14 hours of surgery to fill in the gaps between my teeth in order to prevent braces.  I never wanted braces and this was my answer.  I believe they are porcelain veneers. 

I think the difference between Beacon and any of the other dental centers that I have been to is the level of attention to personal comfort.  I have been to very nice dental centers in the past where they have the heated blankets, the paraffin wax hand massage, the music in the headphones, and the video screens that show you what the practioner is doing inside your mouth as they work.  I love all of these things but I don’t remember any of the other dental professionals taking the time to gauge my pain level or make any accomodations for mouth comfort during the proceedure.

On my first visit to Beacon, I was given a tour of the entire office and was provided with extensive literature about services and qualifications of Dr. Michael Sullivan.  Again, I dont remember receiving this type of treatment at any other dental office in the past.  After my tour, I had my cleaning as scheduled and the hygenist screened for gingevitis and the dentist did a cancer screen.  They also took new xrays and they took a bunch of pictures of my mouth so that I could see exactly what they were talking about.  They were able to bring these pictures up on the screen and when they told me I had a cavity, they measured it with a laser to determine the damage and showed me the affected tooth.  In my previous experiences, I had been told that I had a cavity and it needed to be filled immediately.  Not at Beacon! Dr. Sullivan and his coworkers were very clear that I was the one making decisions about my dental needs.  They provided me with information and options and made it clear that my actions were up to me without any pressure.  What a world of difference.  Talk about personal empowerment! 

On my second visit, I decided to get the cavity filled.  I was numbed twice with topical medicine because it was the molar farthest back (I dont know the terms…) and apparently difficult to make sure the area is numb.  Dr. Sullivan thought it would be best to also get a shot of numbing medicine and then placed a mouth guard in my mouth to keep my tongue from getting in the way.  This mouth guard was awesome though because it was designed to allow my jaw to rest while work was being done.  Yay! And, the suction tube stayed in the whole time to catch the saliva from running down my throat.  Oh, I forgot to mention that when I was getting the topical medication an absorbant sponge was placed between my teeth and tougue which prevented the medicine from running down my throat and also preventing my throat from becoming numb!  I hate when I feel like Im choking because my throat is parcially numb – Good thinking!  And, when I was getting the shot, Dr. Sullivan had me use hand cues to demonstrate when I felt any sensitivity and he was able to read my signals to back off from using the pressure.  Such great service!  One more thing – the whole proceedure took less than 25 minutes from numbing to finish! Okay, enough about my experience, I wanted to highlight some of their services:

PURPOSE: The ultimate purpose of our business is not, and will not be, simply to make a profit.  Nor is it a system of doing (making) and selling things.  The promise of this business is to increas the general well being of humankind through service, creative invention, and our ethical philosophy.

Services: At Beacon Dental Center we are committed to providing excellent, unparalleled dental care to Northern Michigan.  We take great pride in our work and are dedicated to making your experience with us the best dental experience you have ever had.  Our goal is always to exceed your expectations, no matter how demanding they may be.  For your added comfort we are equipped with flat-screen TV monitors in each treatment room that can be tilted directly over your head during most proceedures along with BOSE noise-canceling headphones.  CEREC – A crown in one visit. ZOOM – in-office teeth whitening. INVISALIGN – invisible braces. VENEERS – Custom created ceramic shells designed to cover the front side of a tooth.  IMPLANTS – permanent natural-looking replacements for missing teeth.  SEDATION – enjoy virutally pain-free dentistry with eithar a small pill or complete IV sedation.

Contact me at for a free “SMILES” Club $50 credit for your initial visit!

Contact information:

Beacon Dental Center

06483 M-66 Hwy, Charlevoix, MI 49720


Tara Nichole Photography

I just realized I forgot to add this gallery when I figured out how to add galleries! I love these photos!

I wanted everyone to know how great my new friend, Tara, is at producing beautiful and one of a kind photographs.  I selected a bunch of beautiful photographs that she took of my daughter, her daughter, and my family over a couple sessions in the past few months.  The process is very laid back, very easy-going and comfortable.  We met at a farmers market for the first photo session, the second was at my house, and the third was at her home.  Tara is flexible and is open to ideas from her clients.  She also does a lot of research to come up with new and interesting ideas so that her photographs are unique to each family she works with.  Please check out her website at to see additional photographs. 

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another link for the  most recent family photos

Discovery Toys Sale!!! December 27th, dont miss out

Discovery Toys After Christmas Sale!!!! Jenny Kruger will be offering up to 20% off regular prices of their very cool toy selection at Discovery toys.  Here are the hours to call:

6:30-8:00am = 20% off

8:01 – 9:00am – 15% off

9:01 – 10:30am – 10% off

Discovery Toys offers products for children of all ages from teethers to books, to music, to interactive toys, to puzzles and so on.  All products are designed to stimulate at least one sensory area of growth for your child.  They provide safe, fun, and educational function…every cautious mother’s dream! Please check out  Jenny’s website to see the  flyers for additional sales from the week of 12/26/10 to 12/31/10.  You can also contact her via email for the flyers.  It’s worth checking out because some of the items are up to 50% off regular prices!!  Happy Shopping!  Remember: this is a phone sale – emails during these times will not be granted the discount.

Contact Info:

Jenny Kruger
Discovery Toys
Area Manager


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