Passover and Renewal:

When we think about Passover, many of us become overwhelmed with thoughts of cleaning, preparing, shopping, cooking, etc. But we all know that in life, it is only our perception of things that matters. When I think about Passover, I think about Spring cleaning, and a chance for a new beginning. It is not often that we have a chance to really sort through everything we own. I am inspiring you to take advantage, and be thankful for this opportunity.  With this mindset, I believe that typical Passover dread can be overcome.

That said, I would also like to share an article written by Michelle Haddad, Holistic Health Coach (to view her website go to It is a about renewal and new beginnings, and I think you will enjoy this read. Please comment, and let me know what you think.

Getting Out of Your Own Way: by Michelle Haddad

Get out of your way so the REAL you can shine through! What exactly does that mean? How many times have you made New Years resolutions only to realize about a week later you already broke those private promises you made?  The infamous resolutions to start a diet, begin an exercise program, end a bad relationship, leave a job where you’re not happy at, or get the courage to tell that one person how much you love them. The list can go on and on and on. So what do you do about this? You get out of your own way! You get in touch with the person you know is inside, the person you always long to be but always stop short on the road to achieving.

You are probably saying to yourself, ‘Okay, that sounds good, but where do I begin?’ The first step to any change is awareness; awareness of the changes you want to make in your life; emotionally, spiritually, nutritionally and so on. You can build awareness by using The Circle of Life chart that I have provided below.

When we make changes in our life, we often experience the “trickle effects.” The “trickle effect” is a term used to describe the way in which changes in one or two areas of life, tend to affect many other areas simultaneously. Here is an example: Say you’re in a bad relationship, a relationship that makes you feel insecure and unhappy. Okay. So what happens? You come home from a date; you just had a fight with your boyfriend and now your definitely feeling “less-than.” What to do? Ahh the refrigerator, NO, better yet, the pantry closet. That will make you feel better. Maybe at first that seems like a solution, but a half an hour or even an hour later you seem to feel worse than when you started. You get into bed and you start berating yourself for the poor choices made. What is next? Of course, the next morning is. Ugh, that dreaded next morning when you have to get up for school or work feeling so lousy. You are leaded down, with no energy due to all the sugar you consumed the night before. So you vow to starve, or eat as little as possible that day in order to make up for that horrible, dreadful night that you just want to forget. Perhaps you skip breakfast, grab a coffee, skip lunch, and maybe grab an apple to go with your second cup of Starbucks Venti. Now it’s 5 o’clock and your stomach is starting to grumble, so you have a salad. Can’t be much harm in that, right? Wrong. You just set yourself up for another late night binge, and here you go again.

The trickle effect can also be positive. Here’s another scenario: You have a bad night for whatever reason. You get home late and you’re not feeling so great about what just went down. The pantry idea quickly flashes through your mind, but you disregard it immediately. You know where that path leads. So you go upstairs, take out your journal, and start writing. Or you call a trusted friend. Now you’re beginning to think more clearly, and everything looks different. Not always better, but different. You feel more in control. You get a good night sleep, and wake up to a new day. A new beginning on how you- not your emotions- chose to handle what happened the night before. You then proceed to have a nutritious breakfast, which begins a bright new day.

I’m sure the first scenario resonates with a lot of us. Maybe we tweak the story a little- a bad day at work or school, a fight with your mom, best friend or spouse, or maybe just a crazy day with the kids. Whatever the story , we have all been there. We all want to resolve our issues once and for all. The trick is to start with one step at a time. The Circle of Life chart is the very first step you need to take.

When you look at the chart you will see Primary foods and Secondary foods. The concept  is based on the idea that the foods you eat are secondary to all the other things that feed you. Your Primary foods are your relationships, career/interests, spirituality, and exercise routine- things that make up your emotional self. Your Secondary foods are the actually foods you eat- your diet. Recognize that Primary foods and Secondary foods are very closely related.   When we are in control of our emotions, we can be more in control of our food choices. By choosing fruits, vegetables and whole grains, while avoiding processed foods and refined sugars, we can be more in control of our emotional choices. The choice is yours. Choosing to take care of your mind, body and soul, will allow you to live a more stable, sustainable, and enjoyable lifestyle. A healthy mind, body, and soul, will provide you with increased energy and vitality, a strengthened immune system, healthy weight control, a glowing complexion, a reduction in mood swings, and that “light on your feet, ready to go” feeling.
There is a beautiful you in there waiting to be set free. Life is a journey and it is your choice how to take it. Make your first move NOW to start getting out of your own way, allowing your real self to shine.

Before filling out the chart below, go into a quiet room, do a calming breathing exercise, and introspect. Really think about yourself and try to feel all of those emotions that are holding you back from your dreams- feel the pain, sadness, or anger. When you reach this point begin to fill out the Circle of Life chart as follows:
1. Put a mark close to the perimeter of the circle for the areas in your life that you are satisfied.

2. Put a mark somewhere in between the perimeters for the areas you wish to improve.  (Marks closer to the middle signify less satisfaction in that area).

3. On a separate sheet of paper, write down all of these areas, beginning with the least satisfied and ending with the most satisfied.

Circle of Life:

This exercise will help you to discover which primary foods you are missing the most.
The Circle of Life has 12 sections. Look at each section and place a dot on the line marking how

satisfied you are with each area of your life. A dot placed at the center of the circle or close to the middle

indicates dissatisfaction, while a dot placed on the periphery indicates ultimate happiness.

When you have placed a dot on each of the lines, connect the dots to see your circle of life.

You will have a clear visual of any imbalances in primary food and a starting point for determining where you may wish to spend more time and energy to create balance and joy in your life.






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Check It Out:

My sister-in-law Frieda sent me this from the Daily Candy. (All Cities – DailyCandy). It is an idea for what to do with children’s artwork. We spoke about this a few weeks ago, and this looks really cool.

At a website, they take your children’s artwork and turn it into a photo book with digital images. Check it out here: Plum Print – The simple solution for storing and preserving kids’ artwork. Thanks Frieda!

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Am I in Good Company, or is it just ME…?

It’s that time of year again- everyone needs some fresh new clothing- and so it begins…the vicious cycle of online orders and returns, orders and returns…I have a problem in that I over-order because I don’t want to keep ordering if the size is wrong, or miss out on an item because I ordered the wrong size. So I end up with a big job of trying on and then sorting out returns from stores like Zara, Gap, etc. It gets overwhelming and it needs to stop, but it is sooo much easier then going to the store (especially because most of the items are for my children) ! I am torn…Any opinions?


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My cousin Marjorie alerted me as to a coupon available on Gilt City. $30.00 gets you $50.00 at Check it out. It’s a great website to have a look at anyway…Thanks Marjorie! | Complete Home Organization and Storage

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Recipe: Creamy Vegan Tomato Basil Soup

Creamy Vegan Tomato Soup

I don’t know about you but I am feeling GREAT not shopping for food as I wind my pantry down for Passover! What a great feeling to be using everything I have! Who would have thought that by doing so I would come up with a great new recipe? I had Pomi tomatoes in the box that I have been wanting to use, and I also had 2 cans of unsweetened organic coconut milk that I had bought for a recipe that I never made. Soooo…I googled “tomatoes , coconut soup recipe” and volia!

The recipe is my altered version of one that I found from this website: Natural health news.

I adapted it as follows:

Creamy Vegan Tomato  Soup:


1 box Pomi chopped tomatoes

¼ cup Pomi tomato Puree

1 14.5 oz. can of unsweetened organic coconut milk

1 T organic crushed garlic

1 medium onion, chopped

1 t fresh ground pepper

1 t sea salt

6 frozen basil cubes (you can use about 2 T. chopped, fresh basil as well)


  1. Saute onion and garlic.
  2. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, coconut milk, salt, and pepper, mix well.
  3. Bring soup to a boil for a minute or two, then simmer for about half an hour, adding basil about half way through.
  4. Let soup cool, then puree using an immersion blender.
  5. Reheat and serve. (Garnish with basil if you wish)

I served this soup with toasted whole wheat pita chips. Just drizzle EVOO on the Pitas and bake, turning once,  until they are browned and crispy (about 30 minutes). Break up into pieces to your liking.

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Kitchen Tip

My friends and family really love my banana bread, carrot cake, and pumpkin bread. They are healthy, all-natural, and delicious; some like these as breakfast with a hot cup of coffee, while other fans snack on them. At first I tried them in muffins, but they were coming out too dry, so I transitioned to loaf pans, but this was not time efficient, as each week I would have to make a new batch of cakes so that they would be available all week long. Sooo, I came up with this:

When they are cooled, the mini cakes are stored individually in ziploc bags and sent straight into the freezer for maximum freshness, like so…

Enjoy this tip!

Oh and by the way, thus far this recipe is top-secret; who knows maybe I will sell these one day…


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Follow Me!

Good news! You can now subscribe to follow me via e-mail. See the sidebar on the right where it says Follow/Subscribe, and fill out the information accordingly. Thank you!


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Follow Malfunction

Sorry all, please disregard the instructions to follow me.

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AIM 5: Postponed

In the spirit of keeping true to my minimalist venture, I need to put AIM 5 on hold for the more pressing matter of cleaning for Passover!

In the meantime, a few things I wanted to say:

-One of the goals for this blog is to provide people with a place on the internet that is somewhat free of superficial values. My focus is on enhancing our lives on all levels, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. I focus on AIM’s that help weed out the nonsense in life to make space for enjoying the things that truly make us happy, on a deep level, not only for the moment. This is not to say that the little things do not matter, but this is not my primary focus for this blog.

That said, I invite you to comment more frequently on anything you wish to say with respect to life enhancement etc. I also invite you to send me pieces of writing, poems, articles, etc., that reflect your voice on matters important to you that you would like others to know about. I will post these in my “Views and Voices” category. Pieces can be informal, short and to the point, fun, serious- you name it!

Have a great day!

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AIM 4: Lessons Learned

Wow that felt good! My phone is all cleaned up!

1. OHIO is the way to go with everything!!! Do not delay, take care of it right away, or later you will pay!

I had so many grocery list notes, random notes about my son’s shoe size, expired reminders and so on. After deleting all of the nonsense, I was able to finally SEE the things I needed.

2. I also learned that deadlines work. I knew that I had to finish the project by the time night came, so I MADE time to complete the task. Without that deadline I would have continued putting it aside for “something more important.”

Stay tuned, AIM 5 starts tomorrow!

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