Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My current shopping wish list

I knew it!! I had secretly thought that my wants are not wants for long if I wait long enough to get them. All of a sudden I don't want them anymore even if I didn't end up getting them.

My first big surprise was that my hubby slowly convinced me to get the Vibram FiveFingers, although I still don't know which ones I want. My kids want some too, and since these little ones grow so fast they will actually need new shoes in a few weeks.

Here is my favorite so far

And the kids' selections are cute as well

Then I have a few wants for beauty tools like a flat iron and a face scrubber

But I expect that if I wait a few months some other stuff will replace them on my list of wants....but I think the flat iron will stay.

The latest thing on my list is this very comfy recliner sofa from ZGallerie. This one may actually make it into my home shortly.

It is a power recliner that fully reclines with zero wall clearance. I can almost see myself falling asleep in it, with my comfy blanket on top. A nice foot rub would be nice too, but I won't hold my breath.

What is on your shopping wish list currently?

Rossana G-A

FTC Disclaimer: I am not compensated to write this post.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Packing in the Magnesium - No-Bake Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

I recently read that many ADHD experts believe ADHD people have a mild Magnesium Deficiency. Some of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency include irritability, decreased attention span, and mental confusion

In one preliminary study of 75 magnesium-deficient children with ADHD, those who received magnesium supplements showed an improvement in behavior compared to those who did not receive the supplements. Too much magnesium can be dangerous and magnesium can interfere with certain medications, including some antibiotics and some high blood pressure medications.

Our doctor gave us the go ahead to add more foods that have a healthy dose of magnesium, but you should always talk to your doctor if you have health concerns.

One way I decided to make this endeavor more fun was with an easy no-bake granola recipe. I added plenty of bran, and magnesium rich nuts like cashews and brazil nuts.

Recipe that yields30 bars goes like this:


½ cup butter

½ cup honey

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 cups old fashioned rolled oats

1 cup crispy rice cereal

1 cup bran flakes

1 cup all-bran

½ cup raisins

¼ cup almonds

¼ cup pine nuts

¼ cup walnuts

¼ cup cashews

¼ cup brazil nuts

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cup mini chocolate chips, semi-sweet


In a large bowl, stir oats, rice cereal, bran flakes, all-bran, raisins, and all the nuts together. Set aside. In a small pot, melt butter, honey and brown sugar together over medium high heat until it comes to a bubble. Reduce the heat and cook 2 minutes. Pour in vanilla and stir. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well to moisten all ingredients. Pour into lightly greased Half Sheet pan {about 18x13x1} and press out to be about 3/4 in or just below the 1 in thickness.

Note: Do not add the chocolate chips before this point as they will melt with the melted butter, sugar, honey mix.

Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and press down lightly.

I am pretty impatient, so I cooled them in the freezer for about 10 minutes before cutting into bars. I left them in the pan in the refrigerator for a one more hour before I packed them up in a few plastic containers. I took one of the containers on an outing with my kiddos and they loved them.

They come home from school and beg for one instead of asking for candy or cookies, and they will even ask for one while they wait for breakfast to be ready. They love them so much that I made my first batch 11 days ago and as of this morning we ran out. I love it that they love it!

What are some of the ways you sneak in healthy foods in your diet?

Rossana G-A

FTC Disclaimer: I am not compensated to write this post.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Organized for Back to School

Every parent wants their children to start the school year off right, but for my crew it is even more of an endeavor. In order for us to start on track, and stay on track we needed some new tools, and to continue using some of our old ones.

We found this cool legal pad looking decal at Bed Bath and Beyond. It is a dry erase board where you can list out chores, or reminders of any sort. We got two; one for the fridge and one for the kids' bedroom mirrored closet door. In the kitchen are their chores. In the bedroom are their daily steps to get ready in the morning and to get ready for bed at night. 

We already had these assorted color magnets, and we are continuing to use them to highlight what chores have been done and which ones still need to be done. We use them on the fridge or on one of our dry erase boards. They don't work on the mirror, for obvious reasons, but I just thought I would clarify in case anyone was wondering.

We also already had this dry erase calendar from Target, and we have continued to use it to mark those special appointments, trips, days off from school, etc. It has been a great tool.

And since we have been doing the 'dry erase" thing for a while we had to stock up on new dry erase markers as well.

Another item I have been using for almost 2 years now are these great Mead Organizher fridge filer. The top bar is magnetized, and it has 3 plastic pockets with tabs which you can index/organize. I have 2, one for each kid. In them I put their school calendar, their classroom schedule, and any special paperwork their particular teacher may give me (like the list of classmates, and their parents). It has helped us enormously!! It is all within reach any time we need it, and even the kids know where to look for their school information.


Another tool in our arsenal is a large cork board. We use this to pin all those things that are a bit further in our schedule, like a flyer for an event at our local park, or the flyer for school picture day. They don't fit on our dry erase calendar yet, and the refrigerator is full enough as well, so these things get pinned in a separate spot to be checked the following month. It could also be a spot to put quick reference school tools, like multiplication tables, or grammar rules - the kids know to run and get them if their homework requires it.

And, of course, some push pins to pin stuff up. The clear ones are for regular stuff to pin, and the color ones are for those items that need special attention (like a birthday party invitation).

Our most recent addition is this lovely hall tree and storage bench. We have a coat hanger already, and we have some other storage around the house, but this one is specially assigned to school stuff. Everyone gets a double hook assigned; one for their backpack and one for their jacket. Larger jackets can be stored inside. Lunch bags are stored on the top shelf, along with other miscellaneous stuff, like swimming goggles (yes, random, but this summer it has helped to keep them handy). 

Our shoe rack is right next to it, so the bench is a good place to sit and put on your shoes, or sit to take them off and hang them back up.

These few and possibly uncommon tools and strategies have worked for us so far, and once school starts in a couple of days, will be tested further. It is up to us to stay constant and keep using them.

What organization tools and strategies do you use?

Rossana G-A

FTC Disclaimer: I am not compensated to write this post.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A better start in the morning - Protein and complex carbs.

Now that the ADHD count has gone up in my home from 2 people to 3 (both kids and hubby), I have been noticing more opportunities for improvement. One major one being good eating habits. I want to make sure they have the best start to their day so they are in a better mood and in a better position to take on what the day throws at them.

This probably should have been my focus all along, but you get complaisant and tired, and all of a sudden you are having them eat cold cereal every morning. So here I go back on the healthy train.

So far this week I have done pretty well, and all campers are happy.  

    Monday morning- Oatmeal:
    • Steel cut oats 
    • Raisins 
    • Cinnamon 
    • Brown sugar 
    • 2% milk 

    Tuesday morning – Bean and Cheese Burritos:
    • 2 whole-wheat tortillas 
    • Refried beans 
    • Shredded part-skimmed mozzarella 

     Wednesday morning – Egg and Cheese Burritos: 
    • 2 whole-wheat tortillas 
    • 2 scrambled eggs 
    • Shredded part-skimmed mozzarella

    Thursday morning – Egg, Spinach, and Cheese Quiche (sans crust) and toast with jam: 
    • 4 tablespoons chopped spinach 
    • 2 eggs 
    • Shredded part-skimmed mozzarella 
    • 1 slice of whole-wheat toast with butter and fruit jam

    I'm thinking tomorrow I may make some whole-wheat pancakes with nuts, but who knows, I'm still getting inspired by food images on the internet.

    What breakfast dishes help you start your morning on the right foot?

    Rossana G-A

    FTC Disclaimer: I am not compensated to write this post.

    Friday, August 3, 2012

    Married to ADHD- Whatever works!!

    I have been married to my lovely ADHD husband over a decade now. We have been together for a bit over 16 years too. It is a lot of time for trial and error, and we will probably have lots more. I even think we will have a lot of this because of the nature of ADHD and how he easily grows tired of certain routines.

    This has affected every aspect of our relationship, from financial to child rearing. We tried joint accounts where one managed expenses, then the other, and then finally separate accounts but shared monthly expenses and savings. We did breakfast duties him and dinner duties me, and switched, and then switched back. 
    He would love to wear this shirt.

    Something I haven’t been able to get rid of is the title of “Queen Nagger”. Surprisingly enough, I let a ton of things go simply because I am not insane and I know it doesn’t work to keep asking for it to get done. It only creates conflict. And yet I am the bad guy for reminding him that the leaves and branches he promised to take rake and take to the trash will not miraculously disappear after 3 months.

    So what is a none ADHD wife to do with an ADHD husband?? Whatever works!!
    My current strategy was to make an overly analyzed work chart, showing what each one usually does around the house and with the kids, how long it takes, and how many hours it adds up to. I finally had facts to reason with him. I could show how he indeed was doing a lot, but how much he wasn’t that he said he would, and who was picking up the slack because they were shared tasks. 

    He refuses to clean toilets, so I do it.

    No.1 thing I eliminated was shared duties. I did not want to be the warden in a jail telling him what to do and when to do it. I also didn’t want to feel annoyed that I was doing more than my share when he promised otherwise. I charted exactly what he was to be solely responsible for and what where mine.

    He gets annoyed with folding clothes, so I do it.

    No, it wasn’t an instant win. He actually argued how unfair it was that they weren’t shared. Why did he have to take out the trash every time?? Because I wash the clothes, clean the toilet, and mop the floors every time!! Wanna trade?? Didn’t think so! It wasn’t easy, and I didn’t give him attitude about it either. I presented the plan. We discussed it a few times, we argued a few others, and after a few more days to let him think about it I think we have come to an agreement. The key word here is “I think”, because he never actually admitted to it, he just started doing the things assigned to him on my chart. But that is all I need, for now. 

    He actually doesn't mind taking out the trash, but he forgets.

    No arguments yet. We have had a good few weeks doing this. We have managed to keep our place looking nice.

    Now, we have to wait for school to start up again for both kids and him (he is in the middle of his Ph.D.), and hopefully we can keep this up. If not, then we switch it up again. Whatever works!!! Had I said that already??

    How do you divide chores and tasks with your significant other?

    Rossana G-A

    FTC Disclaimer: I am not compensated to write this post.