Thursday, April 17, 2014


Travel is exhausting, isn't it?  Even though all I had to do was stay awake and steer the van, I'm as tired as if I was doing a lot more!  I feel like I could lie down and sleep for a week!

The children, Jessie, and I really enjoyed making the trip to Ft. Lauderdale to enjoy the Temple Open House there yesterday.  It was a pleasure to make it possible for my children and non-member husband to see more of the temple than just the waiting room and restrooms.

The girls seemed most impressed with the Bride's room and Sealing room.  They were really lovely.  I was most impressed that there are two instruction rooms, so those attending the endowment ceremony will move during the process of it.  I thought that was super cool.

We enjoyed an amazing meal when we stopped in Boca Raton.  I'll share more about that later.  We also went to Miami and got nicely lost.  I was grateful to have a map app then because we did not get lost in a nice part of town.

Life sure is amazing, isn't  it?  Whether we see it as positive or negative, life is amazing!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Meditation Monday #65: Traveling and Returning Home

It is good to leave what is comfortable and venture into the unknown.  It is good to return to what is known.  It is good to change and become more!

These things are only a small sliver of what I've been through lately.  It's been difficult and horrible (some of it) and wonderful and amazing (other parts).  And such is life!  :)

I was not able to maintain my consistent practice of Kundalini Yoga even though I had reduced expectations.  And I'm really quite okay with it.  I experienced so much and did so much... it was a wonderful 12 days (even when it wasn't)!  I'm grateful for the time with my children and extended family and travel... I feel too grateful for all that was to regret what I wasn't able to do!

So, back to work on being consistent in meditating!  I'm pretty sure I'm going to change my routine up a LOT!  I'm going to move Kundalini Yoga practice to 1-3 times each week and develop my own way to meditate upon the Word the other days.  I will still complete at least 12 minutes each day (at least, that's the goal).  I'm excited to try new things!

Have you been meditating?  Experiencing anything special?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Saturday Soliloquy #31: Our Wedding

December 31, 2002 at midnight

Masquerade Ball (reception first), then ceremony, and a little bit of the reception at the end.

In the same hotel, there was a murder mystery dinner going on.  Our wedding was famous there... we kept having visitors from it come to see our cake!  That was a little disconcerting, but also quite cool.

Jessie had long dreamed of dressing up in an orange tux with a friend wearing a blue tux as the "Dumb and Dumber" characters.  So, that's what he and his best man wore.

I wore a blue gown reminiscent of a long-ago time... Renaissance-ish.  I love it still.

The rest of our colors continued the blue and orange theme including orange roses in vases, my bouquet, and other places throughout.  They are still "our" colors.  The children refer to them often, even.

My Dad helped us exchange the vows Jessie wrote.  My Mom was my matron of honor.  My parents were dressed as Santa and Mrs. Clause.

Our favors (decorating the tables and expected to be used by guests) were masks.  All sorts of masks!  We still have some.

The whole thing was really fun and, in many ways, very representative of us.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Meditation Monday #64: Traveling

I changed my expectations of myself in preparation for traveling.  I love to read a chapter in my Bible and Book of Mormon each morning and night, but decided that during our travels, I would be happy with once a day reading.  I also love that I've been able to complete 30 minute meditations for the most part lately.  I reduced my expectations to completing open, 7 minute kirtan kriya, and close for the first half of April.  I'm glad I did.  Because I was reasonable with my plans and goals, I was able to experience success with maintaining my meditations this past week, for the most part.  There really are seasons for all things!

During the rest of our travels, I'm going to continue the decreased expectation for myself and I hope I will continue to be successful!  :)

Are you meditating?  Have you experienced the need to reduce expectations in this way with anything in your life?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Saturday Soliloquy #30: Before We Were Married

Before Jessie and I got married, we were engaged for almost 2 years (by my count).  During that time, Jessie went on a 6-month cruise and I went to Australia as an exchange student.  It was also during that period of time that September 11th happened (while I was in Australia).  You can read a tiny bit about that here.

It's interesting to remember how long it seemed to take to get to our wedding day!  It seemed interminable.  It definitely wasn't, of course, but it sure seemed that way.

We planned everything for our wedding.  I'll tell you all about that next, probably.  We scheduled everything together.  I thought it was a great experience of increasing unity and our ability to work together.  I am very decisive most of the time and some folks don't like that much.  Thankfully Jessie did.

Before we were married, we spend all the time together that we could.  Of course we did.  We believed we were deeply in love.  It's interesting how perspective is altered after 10+ years of marriage.  Very interesting.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Meditation Monday #63: Thinking About Dreams

This past week I missed one day, which I actually feel okay about since it was a really busy and rather rough week.  I'm sad I missed, but basically okay with it.

I have had lots of dreams... which, I think, has added to the feeling of hectic-ness for the week.  Mostly they are all dreams that hang in my mind without real details to remember.  I can remember having many very poignant and memorable dreams, but I can not remember them.

Have you ever had that feeling?

It's like knowing exactly what you want to say, but not being able to because you can't get the word to come out of your mouth.  *sigh*  Maybe I'm the only one...

In addition to all this (maybe because of it?), I feel like I'm on the verge of coming down with the crud my children had.  Not a good time for it as we leave for Utah tomorrow!  Oh, it's going to be so exciting!!!  :)  And nerve wracking.  And long.  It's going to be a very very long drive.  These are the times for which I study scriptures, pray and meditate... to carry me over the difficulties.  And man!  I've had a good deluge of 'em lately!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Saturday Soliloquy #29: When We Said, "I Love You" and Another Big Deal

It was right around two weeks into the relationship that we told each other, "I love you."  It wasn't all that big a deal, I think... but it was Valentine's Day... or maybe the day before.  Anyway... I think that was THE only truly special Valentine's Day ever for me.  Jessie may have done something for one or two Valentine's Days after that, but not really since then.  ahwell

Add another few weeks to get us to two months together... we were talking and somehow ended up in his bathroom.  I was upset about something.  Then we were talking about our relationship and getting married.  He was sitting on the toilet (on top of the lid) and I was sitting on his lap facing the tank of the toilet.  That was some time in March of 2000.

As far as I'm concerned, that March is when we got engaged because we set our wedding date: December 31, 2002.  That's when we gathered all our friends and family together for our wedding.  It was lots of fun.

I didn't get a rink at that time.  He "proposed" with a ring the Christmas after I returned from Australia.  That was nice, I guess... but it felt uncomfy for me because it was with his family and I'd only just met them.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Ozeri Green Earth Textured Ceramic Nonstick Frying Pan

 Have you heard of Ozeri Ceramic Nonstick Frying Pan?  If you have not, you will probably not believe what I'm going to share with you... you'll have to buy one and test it for yourself.  I hope you'll share your experience whether you already have one or you get one!  I definitely want to hear what you think!

Okay, so... I'm married to a Chef.  As a result, I know a little about cooking and kitchen tools.  My husband, the Chef, dislikes non-stick cookware because it cannot tolerate high temps.  The nonstick part of most nonstick cookware is also toxic (especially at high temps).  In our home we have transitioned to either stainless steel (which does have it's own problems, specifically because of the nickel content) and cast iron.  We definitely prefer cast iron.  If you pre-heat it correctly, there is really little sticking, so cleanup is easier than the stainless steel cookware we have.

I may have been expecting a cross between stainless steel and the regular non-stick cookware I have experience with.  I may also have been really shocked when I read that the Ozeri pans require almost no oil for cooking, that they are seasoned, AND that cleanup would consist mostly of wiping out the oil and a few crumb-like bits in the bottom.  Okay, honest, I really didn't believe it could be true.

And then I tried it.  I decided to go with one of my favorite foods that is also quite messy when re-heating.  Cajun enchiladas!  YUM!  They are a mass of gooey tortilla as a result of being coated in delish tomato sauce and those wrap around amazing cheese sauce in the middle and topped with shredded cheddar that melts in the oven.  Yes, I do make them myself, thank you for asking!  Anyway... that is what I put in my Ozeri for my first test.  Melted cheddar, whether melted for the first time or re-heated and, thus, remelted, has always been a bit of a mess in both stainless and cast-iron.  So, I was curious to see what would happen in the Ozeri.

First of all, the heat time IS really fast.  I was very skeptical about that claim when I read the information sheet about my new pan.  It is faster than any of my other pans, regardless of thickness (one of my cast iron pans is significantly less dense, so it heats up faster than the other on).

Second, there was almost no stickage!  Seriously!  The cheese on the outside of my enchiladas picked right up whether it was melty or crunchy!  This pan would be fabulous for making cheese crackers out of fried cheese!  Make sure you check out the picture related to this.  You really do have to try this out for yourself!

I made and/or heated up a few things in my pan and it worked remarkably well with all of them.  I enjoyed using it to make scrambled eggs for yummy egg wraps.  Again, almost nothing left on the bottom or sides of the pan upon completion!  I've never had SUCH great nonstickage from any pan - ever.

The only negative I could come up with... and I really had to stretch on this one because it's not an issue for me, but I guess it *could* be for some people: the raised bottom pattern of the pan (the part that looks like a honeycomb) will leave a sort of imprint on some things (including cheese crackers made out of only cheese). I actually think that's kind of cool, but I can see how someone who is either super finicky or has problems with visual textures (?) may not prefer it.  The textured bottom helps with heat conduction as well as nonstiction (yes, I made that one up, of course).

Now, my only problem is how to get the other Ozeri pans available into my kitchen tools collection!

Disclosure: I was given an Ozeri pan to test so that I could write this post. I get to keep this amazing pan as a form of compensation.  All opinions in this post are completely and totally my own.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Meditation Monday #62: Wave Pendulum and Life

Another week of daily meditation completed.  Doesn't it feel GOOD to regularly do something you've set your mind to do?  It just feels good to me.

Okay... so it's taken me a while to actually get INTO this... I hope you find it worth the wait!

So, if you haven't viewed any of the pendulum's I shared, please make sure to do so before you read more... or go back to view to better understand the connections I'll make.  I hope you will and then tell me if you see what I'm saying AND what connections YOU see/make!

I really like watching the snakey portions of the wave.  I think it's my favorite... it feels really smooth and even and orderly and... well, it just feels RIGHT to me.

The first time I watched any of these videos (recently-ish), I could only see the order in the snakey-like portions of the wave.  In between each formation of the snakeyness, it just felt totally chaotic to me.  Unattractive, uncomfy, messy and definitely not the best part.  I pointed out the easy order of the snakeyness and the uncomfy chaos of the messy parts and he said something like, "I don't see it that way at all.  I see that all the parts have order.  It's just a different kind of order in the parts that aren't snake-like."

Well, that helped to change my perception, for sure.... and in far more than just viewing a Pendulum Wave!  What a gift to me.

I think it's important to point out to myself and you that my discomfort with the parts I saw as chaotic was totally subjective.  It was completely opinion based.  All of it does, of course, have order.  There isn't emotion in the swinging of those balls.  And, really, if we think about it hard enough, we'll recognize that there is perfect order even in the chaos of emotions gone awry.

VW Bug
The snakeynesses are easy for me to enjoy watching because they are smooth and rounded.  My eye likes this sort of thing, generally.  My favorite car is a VW Bug.  I'm relatively sure there is not a single model of that car that has many boxy-sort-of-parts.  My husband, on the other hand, prefers angular trucks and SUVs.  Yes, yes we are quite opposite in very many ways so this difference between our preferences in vehicle shape is very representative.  I think that's also why the parts that are not snakey were so obviously still ordered to and for my husband.  They are more boxy, most of them!

The kind of squareness my husband would sure love!

I've realized, through this tiny seismic experience, a larger paradigm shift.  I can now see how the times in my personal seasons when I'm not able to *make* my schedule what I would prefer... well, I've been able to see more order in the routines than I could before.  I've also realized that *fighting* to get back to what I prefer doesn't help the process or change of seasons.  In fact, the change in my personal seasons feels like it has sped up since I've released the *fight* and am striving to walk toward something better instead of fighting to go back to what I liked.  I wrote about this sort of thing before.... and here.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Saturday Soliloquy #28: Introducing My Mr. to My Family

Exercise was a big part of my life when I met Jessie.  I heard from his roommates that it was not a big part of Jessie's life.  Still, he wanted to hang out with me, I guess, because he agreed to come to the gym with me and my Mom.  So, he met my Mom within the first two days.

Very early on, he also met the rest of my family when I invited Jessie to where I lived in my parents' house.  He had a friend drive him because there was something wrong with his truck.

I saw that Jessie was shy at that point.  I thought it was sorta weird because he hadn't seemed shy at all to me.  He really didn't speak at all.  He answered questions that were directed at him, but he didn't volunteer any information.  I now understand why he does this, but back then I saw it simply as a manifestation of the shyness he'd told me about, but I hadn't experienced when it was just the two of us.

Perhaps it was the second visit to my parents' house when I decided that he was either going to sink or swim among my folks.  My family is pretty important to me.  And we tend to be a bit loud and fun and direct and can sometimes overwhelm others.  So, I left Jessie in the livingroom with some of my family to go do something that I didn't need to do because I wanted to see if he could deal with my family without me.

He didn't real deal with them much.  He continued to only answer questions directed at him, but he also didn't entirely sink, as it were, either.  I'm pretty sure it was after that visit that my Mom said a few things to Jessie.  My Mom was shy when she was young.  She told Jessie, "I like shy people!  No, I really do!  The world needs Toris.  It does.  But the world needs why people, too.  Who would pay attention to Tori if there were no shy people?"  hehehe

I'm pretty sure some who haven't known me very long may find that an odd thing to say.  You just haven't known me long.  I used to be very different than I am now.  Very very different.

Jessie really liked what my Mom said to him.  He told me, "I really like your Mom."  I wasn't surprised.  My Mom is really likeable.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Meditation Monday #63

I don't particularly like yoga, myself. Still, I do believe that yoga, like many other forms of meditation is a tool. The user of the tool determines the result of the tool's use.

Might the practice of yoga influence the practitioner to think in ways that the originators did? Probably. Is that bad an wholly unChristian? I think not. Why? Well, because I believe that ALL truth can and should and will be circumscribed into a whole unit. All truth fits together to reveal an awesome whole.

I know that the beast and his prophet will use this truth as a way of lying to and convincing lots and lots of people and creating the one world religion of humanism (or whatever)... but the: darkness precedes the light precedes the darkness precedes the light... and so forth, well, none of it decreases the truth that the man or woman determines the tool and not the other way around.

Those who believe guns are evil and bad are fooled... the gun is neither good nor bad. The gun is a good. The holder of the gun determines how the gun is used. So, too, with yoga and any other form of meditation. The person who is a righteous (striving to be righteous) follower of Christ will process the energy that is always around us more efficiently into Light by way of their Faith and using the tools available for that processing. Prayer is one of those tools. Meditation is another. Yoga is another.

Can it be used for negative and darkness? Certainly. Just as a gun can be used by a murderer to kill... or by a loving man to protect his family.

The tool does not define the man or woman. The tool may bring the true heart forward, but does not change the person.

jmo, of course... but I do think it is Truth.

One quote from the article (which is a quote of a Yogi explaining what yoga is), "What do we join through yoga? Two eternal beings: God, the Infinite Being, and the individual spirit that is finite being. In essence they are one, and according to yogic philosophy all spirits originally dwelt in consciousness of that oneness."

Doesn't this truth mean the same thing that we can find as we study the Bible? I mean, Jesus taught us that we are part of God. It's quite readily available to most Christians that we were once a thought in God's head. So... if yoga is joining the two who are one anyway... well, seems like it's very Christian because that's what we're meant to be doing with prayer, isn't it? I mean... we're supposed to be submitting our Will to God so that we can fulfill His purposes for us. The only gift we have that He has given, but will never remove from us, but that He wants very much is our agency... our ability to choose Him... or not.

Well, seems like, by the definition I quoted, that the purpose of yoga is to become one with God, with the further explanation that they believe what we do: we were once actually One.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Saturday Soliloquy #27: How I Met My Husband: The In-Real-Life Part

You'll have to read LAST WEEK's post to really follow this one.

I always went early to meet the guys I agreed to meet from  That way I could feel comfy and greet them.  It worked very well for me.  I'm still a bit like that, I think.  I'm pretty sure my time obsession (being on time) is a result of my time in Japan!

 So, I was seated in the waiting area.  I did wander around a bit, too.  He was late.  Not horribly late, but I did wonder if he was going to stand me up, too.  I'm relatively sure my fragile ego couldn't have stood up to that again.

I knew him when I saw him.  He looked very much like his profile picture.  That was a relief.  I'd met a few guys who looked NOTHING like their profile pictures.  Seriously, NOTHING like their picture.

When he came in, I hugged him.  I was very much into hugging back then.  I still like them a lot, but rarely initiate much any more.  I have loads of sort of sensory issues, so hugging can sometimes be a bit painful in a way that's difficult to describe to anyone who doesn't know what I'm talking about by just the way I've already described it.

I told the waitress who seated us to seat us in the smoking section.  I knew Jessie was a smoker and he'd told me how shy he was, so I wanted to make sure he'd be comfy.  He definitely was, as I never felt any indication that he was shy at all.  (I've definitely seen manifestations of that since then!)

As soon as he sat down, I gave him a gift.  He'd turned 21 while underway, so I gave him a birthday present when we first met.  It was Chicken Soup for the Writer's Soul.  I thought we had that in common (he said he liked to write).  I'd already read the book and loved it.  I made a cover for it, decorated with my lettering and some of my poems.  I also wrote in the book (some of my poems, too).  How silly a girl I was... and SO trusting!

He was very touched by the book.  I think I even saw some wetness gather in his eyes.  He told me no one had given him a gift and he couldn't remember if anyone wished him a happy birthday, either.

Yes, I was a thoughtful person.  Still am.

We talked for hours.  I talked a lot, it's true, but he talked a lot, too.

The only reason our date ended was because I decided I must get home so that I could wake up and go for my run.  I was running somewhere around 6 miles each day when I met Jessie.  I was pretty healthy and fit at that time in my life.  The smallest size 10 I've ever been.

I wish I'd continued to care for myself first... to take care of my body temple instead of waiting for him all the time.  Now, I'm a tight size 20 and XLG in my clothes and weigh a good bit more than 200 pounds (and I've shed some excess recently).  If you read my Super Sunday Slimdown, you can find out the exact numbers if you're really curious.

If we did anything before leaving, I think we may have hugged.  No kiss.  Just another hug.  That was very nice.  Definitely soothed my concern over the wrong answer he gave in the multiple choice section!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Prom... I cannot even imagine!

Me eldest daughter is now ten years old.  I cannot even imagine her going to a Prom!  It seems crazy to even think of it!  I'm not exactly sure why, but this step up into double digit numbers for her years on earth has brought with it some contemplation on my part that I've not really had much of before now.  I mean, I'd have a fleeting thought like, "I need to figure out what we're going to do when each of the girls begins to have her monthly visitor." or,  "Jessie (my husband) and I really need to come into agreement about dating rules for these girls," or some such.  But it wasn't a concern, per se.

Now, though... for some reason... with Ria TEN now... it all feel so very imminent!  And since she is SO beautiful, I can only imagine the number of invitations she'll either get or NEVER get for things like dates, dances, PROMS!  gah!!!  I have one sister born of the same parents as me and she is also Beautiful... and she wasn't asked out all that much BECAUSE she is so beautiful... but she did accompany a few guys to various Prom-like dances.

So, these thoughts have got me lookin' around.  If you've been reading here for any length of time, you know I have a few very specific beliefs about modesty and related.  So, I'm thinking about and trying to sort of plan for my girls (the special celebration when Aunt Flo comes the first time and the dreaded dates (PROM!)).

JenJenHouse is a site I've looked at for Prom dresses for my girls.  Obviously, not NOW... but these ten years have flown, I'm sure the next six will seem even faster!  I'm really impressed with the great selection of lovely and modest fancy dresses!  I honestly thought it would be unlikely to find really appealing (to me) Prom-like dresses, but there are quite a few options!  In fact, a large variety of styles AND colors that I think are both lovely and appropriate!

Here are a few, starting with the rainbow and a few extra:

Although I did share quite a few above, these are only the ones I liked.  There are MANY more optiopns.  And if you're not concerned about modesty in the way that I am, there are even more options!  I am very impressed with  I hope they will be in business when it is time for my daughters to find Prom dresses!
 Disclaimer: This post was created in partnership with Mom Buzz Media.  All opinions are truly my own.

Incandescent Light Ban

Did you know that we soon will not have access to incandescent light bulbs?  I'm not very happy about it, myself.  What do you think?

I hope you'll take a minute to watch THIS video and tell me what you think of this potential option to incandescent bulbs.  I'm not sure what I think, so your opinion really does matter to me!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Good Natured Gourmet Giveaway

Do you love cookies? Would you like to win a delicious dessert mix? I sure would. Read the following and enter the giveaway!

Welcome to the Good Natured Gourmet Giveaway!

Sponsored by: Good Natured Gourmet

Hosted by: Dividing by Zero

Giveaway Dates: 3/12/14 to 3/25/14

Open to residents of the U.S. 18+


Founded in 2012 by a baker and a registered nurse, Good Natured Gourmet offers a selection of dessert mixes that are made with natural ingredients and vitamins so that the resulting baked goodness is both delicious AND nutritious! Tara from Dividing by Zero tried out the lactation cookies and was thrilled to discover that they’re both sinfully delicious AND did in fact help increase milk production – almost TOO well! Make sure you check out Tara's full review of Good Natured Gourmet’s Chubby Babies Lactation Cookies!

Good Natured Gourmet’s “Live Collection” offers cookies for pregnant and nursing moms. There are four flavors of lactation cookie mix (double chocolate oatmeal, oatmeal chocolate chip, oatmeal cranberry lactose-free, and peanut butter oatmeal) designed with ingredients like barley flour, brewer’s yeast, flax seed, whole grain rolled oats and calcium to help nursing moms increase milk production ($11.50 per mix). Also available is the Perfect Pregnancy Double Chocolate Mint Vitamin Enhanced Cookie Mix, fortified with prenatal vitamins including folic acid and magnesium and with ginger to help combat nausea ($9.99).

Their “Love Collection mixes include herbs and vitamins designed to help set the mood for romance such as ginseng, Vitamin E, honey, and vanilla. Available cookie flavors are double chocolate mint, chocolate chip, and dark chocolate vanilla chip; there’s also a triple chocolate brownie mix ($9.99 per mix).

You can save 10% off your order with the promo code DVDBYZERO10 through April 30th! While the giveaway is only open to continental U.S. residents due to shipping costs, this promo code is good for anyone, anywhere!

One lucky reader is going to win two Good Natured Gourmet cookie mixes of choice! The giveaway runs from March 12, 2014 to March 25, 2014 at 11:59pm EST and is open to continental U.S. residents ages 18 and older. The winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to respond and claim his/her prize.

Enter using the Giveaway Tools widget below - good luck!

Tara from Dividing by Zero received products from this sponsor to facilitate her review; all opinions remain her own. Participating blogs are not responsible for prize fulfillment; sponsor is solely responsible for prize fulfillment.

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