Positive Mental Attitude


Its been quite sometime since I've been around these parts. I would say I'm sorry, but honestly I'm not sorry and find myself apologizing for things that I'm not really sorry about. Sorry not sorry, you know? I'll just say that I hope to return to blogging more frequently. In the meantime I have been spending oodles of time with my little girl, who is now 6 months old! Crazy, I know. I'm still trying to strike a nice balance between work and home life, and while no one has it figured out yet, I would like to find more me time to...you know...blog, cook, wine taste, exercise, read, watch movies, etc...etc...etc. I've enjoyed weekly-monthly hikes with my family and hanging out in bed on weekends mornings with them.

So what actually brought me here today, or at least motivated me enough to take the time to write this post is something I've been thinking about lately, Positive Mental Attitude. Will and I have conversed on this philosophy a lot and it is something we are striving for. He's been working on it longer than I, but more recently I have wanted to live my life in this way. If you're not familiar, Positive Mental Attitude is a philosophy introduced by Napoleon Hill. It essentially practices that having an optimistic attitude in every situation attracts positive change and successful outcomes.

For me, this way of living is truly a challenge because I am often a cynic and negative -characteristics I'm not proud of. However, I don't want to continue living this way or set this example for my daughter, Colette. There are common misconceptions about PMA (you can read them here), mainly that positive things just happen to you simply because you think positively, or that situations end up successful purely from positive thought. This myth is simply not true. The way that I like to think of it is that positive mental attitude enacts change, free-thinking and motivation. Instead of stressing or dwelling on a problem, PMA motivates one to create solutions and take action, sort of what brought me to write this post!

I found this to be some great advice for creating PMA. Instead of focusing on my flaws I have started to think about my attributes that I can capitalize on and changing the things about myself I don't like. Even this step has already lead me to be more successful at my job. Next I plan on applying this to my home life as well.

I believe that Positive Mental Attitude helped me cope through birth labor and create the experience I wanted to have. Keeping a positive and motivated attitude helped me push through the pain and focus on the end result of seeing my daughter. Will tells me how moving it was for him to watch me give birth to our little girl and how I kept saying that "I can't wait to meet her," "I'm going to meet her," in between painful pushes. My doula remarked that this is actually pain with purpose so in a way it is not "pain." This statement in itself is PMA and helped me get through labor as I kept thinking, I have a purpose. I can get through this. I will get to meet my daughter.

I challenge you to start having a Positive Mental Attitude. You will find it quite empowering and freeing. Remember that you can be the change in your life and in the world around you.

Guest Posting on [In]Complete Magazine


I'm over at [In]Complete Magazine today guest posting my favorite value wine finds: "Eight Exceptional Reds Under $20." Check it out to read up on some real gems that are easy on the pocket book. Cheers!

Friday Faves


Sacramento River, Castle Crags State Park. Photo from our honeymoon last Fall.

Wahoo! It's Friday! (even though I am working an event tomorrow, so technically not my Friday) Here are my Faves from this week:

This illustration by Emily McDowell of "What's Really In Your Bag?" on A Cup of Jo.

7 Wonders of Oregon. Love these promo videos from Travel Oregon. I'm embarrassed to say that I've lived in Oregon for over ten years and have only visited 3 of the 7. Looks like I have some exploring to do.

Wanting to make several dishes from this round up of Caper friendly dishes. Especially the radicchio salad. I love capers, however I know they're not everyone's cup of tea.

Savannah over at Maiedae actually wrote this post on Postpartum Must-Haves for Mommies a couple weeks ago, but I'm just getting around to sharing it now. I'm saving this valuable information away for when we have our little one this summer. Postpartum isn't easy.

This amazing installation by paper sculpture artist, Li Hongbo, of busts. It's currently on exhibit at Klein Sun Gallery in Manhattan.

 Personal Faves

Feeling Little Lady Laubernds more this week. She's been crazy active, in fact on Tuesday she was moving and kicking non-stop. It's really a joy to feel her moving in my belly.

Taking my first prenatal swim class. I've been pretty good about keeping up with an exercise routine while pregnant. However, lately my routine is starting to take a toll on my body. I feel it especially in my hips and knees at night. The swim class was a good workout, but gentle enough that body felt good the night and day that followed.

Returning to my blog. Rather, I should say returning to my writing and blog. It is such a welcomed return after this long absence and I am pretty proud to start it back up. I just need to be realistic about my limitations. Will is good at reminding me that keeping up my blog is not all or nothing.

Recipe: Who Doesn't Love a Good Mocktail?


Who doesn't love a good mocktail? We all know cocktails can be fun, but so can mocktails just by using the same principles as if there were booze in it. I love making drinks and having them when I go out. I was a little disappointed when I became pregnant and asked for a mocktail at a few restaurants and received a puzzled look, or the response that "we have soda" or "we have lemonade". One server actually responded by telling me they had Camomile tea! That one actually ticked Will off the most. At home I've been having fun experimenting with various syrups and drinking vinegars. I recommend on stocking up on syrups, drinking vinegars/shrubs, or cordials. I used Som drinking vinegars by Pok Pok, as well as Rhubarb syrup by Morris Kitchen for this post. Both of these are readily available in stores or online. Better yet, if you have the time, I recommend making your own. You can find recipes online, as well as the book, Making Wines, by Beshile Grimes.

The three recipes you will find in this post are for Strawberry Rhubarb Shrub, Thai Basil Shrub, and Pineapple and Mint Shrub. Basic tools you will need are a shot glass, bar spoon ( a normal spoon will work if you don't have this), muddler (or handle of a wooden spoon), highball glass and straw for serving.

Strawberry Rhubarb Shrub serves 1

  • 2 strawberries, plus one for garnish
  • 1 oz rhubarb syrup
  • ice
  • soda water
Begin by chopping up the strawberries, then add to a highball glass and lightly muddle to release juice. Add rhubarb syrup, then top with ice and soda water. Swizzle all the ingredients till well incorporated. Garnish with strawberry and enjoy!

Thai Basil Shrub serves 1

  • 3 torn basil leaves, plus sprig for garnish (preferably Thai Basil when in season)
  • 1 1/2 oz Som thai basil drinking vinegar
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • ice
  • soda water
Begin by adding torn basil to a highball glass and lightly muddle basil to release oils. Add drinking vinegar and lime juice and top with ice and soda water. Swizzle all the ingredients until well incorporated. Garnish with basil sprig and enjoy!

Pineapple and Mint Shrub serves 1

Begin by adding torn mint leaves to a highball glass and lightly muddle mint to release oils. Add drinking vinegar and lime juice and top with ice and soda water. Swizzle all the ingredients until well incorporated. Garnish with mint sprig and enjoy!

Awesomely Bad Maternity Fashion


First I want to say that it is a complete joy to be pregnant. Sometimes, a little shocking and amusing to see my body change so drastically. However, I feel pretty lucky that I am experiencing it and try to keep my complaining to a minimum. I'm half way through my pregnancy now, 20 1/2 weeks and definitely not fitting into a lot of my pre-pregnancy clothing. I've bought a few maternity pieces to wear, some of them I can wear post pregnancy. It's been quite entertaining to see what is out there in maternity fashion. Instead of boring you with cute clothes (there's plenty of it) I wanted to share with you some awesomely bad maternity fashions (because there's plenty of it, also it's more fun). So without further ado, my current favorites of awesomely bad maternity fashion:

First up, cutesy or ironic t-shirts. I don't really wear t-shirts to begin with, and most women don't, however for some reason some women do when they're pregnant. Honestly, the less strangers I can attract from touching my belly, the better. These shirts just scream, COME TOUCH ME! 


 I don't even know where to begin with these shorts. Maybe they are trying to cater to rural teen moms? It seems to me that the shorts should be longer than the sash that is holding them up, but what do I know?

Some people may scoff at me for saying that this falls under awesomely bad, but the architecture of this dress just does not work for pregnant women. What is up with the dust ruffle above the bump? Is she trying to catch the food she drops for a snack later? Make it stop.

 Lastly, the article of clothing that inspired this post, as I was shopping for a maternity swimsuit. I cannot even begin.