Monday, November 22, 2010


She says “free” when we ask her how old she’s turning in a couple of weeks.  I look at her and say, “thuh-ree.”  She repeats “thuh-ree”.  And the next time we ask, it’s right back to “free!”  Such a loaded mispronunciation.   I love it!

Three little pigs, three French hens, three in our family, three years old on December 4th.  Amazing!

hertwist...It’s been three years of growing up for all of us!  Celebrating this little (“big”) girl on her birthday is going to be fantastic!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Organic Coupons

I must admit that I am probably the farthest thing from a coupon connoisseur.  But as I was enjoying some newly found spare time during this summer vacation, I headed to google and did a search for coupons on stuff I usually buy at Whole Foods.  Here's what I found...

Whole Foods actually has coupons.  I think I knew this, but needed a reminder.  You too?  You can get them in the store or print them out at home.

I also came across a website that links to a number of organic brand sites with manufacturer coupons.  It's called Organic Food Coupons.  Some of the links were stale, but I'm going to be saving 75 cents on Organic Valley eggs this week thanks to this site.

hertwist...Trader Joe's is my go-to, but for the couple of items that I can't find anywhere else, why not save a little?  Yes, it is time consuming to use coupons, but it's nice to save on all the stuff we're consuming.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Then and Now: Blogging and Magnolia Bakery

Then: It’s been nearly an entire year since I last posted something. And while I feel compelled to acknowledge this, I’ll refrain from expounding upon the reasons (excuses!) why and simply say that I’m back – at least for this post.

Now: Magnolia Bakery has opened in Los Angeles. Only a bakery? Perhaps. But, a fabulous one for sure. While I have been waiting eagerly for the bakery to open, others have been dreading a probable parking crisis in a neighborhood already jam packed with delicious eateries. BTW - We had no problem finding a free spot around the corner on opening day.

To me, Magnolia Bakery is a nostalgic trip back to NYC circa 2001. Living life as a grad student, dating my (now) husband, running all over the city with my girlfriends – the whole bit. I haven’t been to the city in six years, and I do miss it, but thanks to Magnolia, I’m so close, I can taste it – for real. It’s almost like I’m back at that little park on Bleeker scarfing the cupcake down with a bunch of friends, only now I’m enjoying one in Brentwood with my littlest girlfriend.  So sweet!

hertwist... For the best icing this summer (or any time of year)… 8389 West 3rd Street Los Angeles, CA 90048 - (323) 951-0636

Monday, August 31, 2009

I.T. Girl

My new classroom houses a wonderfully fantastic piece of technology - a Smartboard. This interactive white board is changing everything!

I just revised my first couple of lesson plans of the year, which, among other more exciting things, have always included some handouts on class rules and procedures – necessary, but not exciting. Instead of handouts this year, my students will be writing on what looks like a regular old whiteboard, but instead, it will be a projection of those old handouts on which we will mark the important parts (Rule #1: Follow directions.). I will then save and send this highlighted version of the rules to them and their parents via email with just a few keystrokes.

Between the Smartboard, the Social Bookmarking websites, and Edmodo (twitter for teachers), I am admittedly a bit overwhelmed by the vastness of what has been out there, unbeknownst to me, all this time. Why haven’t I known about this stuff?

As my eyes and mind have opened to what the internet can do, I mean beyond email and Facebook, I've realized something very important. I’m old. Even the new teachers, who are only five or six years younger than I am, are far better at using RSS Feeds and igoogle.

I have crossed the line. I am on the other side of the generation gap. But it’s okay...sort of. I’m trying, and hopefully my small steps with these new tools will grow into bigger ones. I just keep thinking that if I can do this, my students are going to amaze me this year.


I still like paper and pens, but I think I'm crushing on new technology!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

synthetic happiness

Have you heard of TED? I only just learned about it from my friend this summer. Here's a link to the TED talk she mentioned when we were chatting about happiness. It's a talk by Dan Gilbert who asks: Why are We Happy? I just added the RSS Feed to my igoogle page this week. More on my personal technological advances to come…

her twist...
Wishing everyone happy thoughts.


Early this summer my three best childhood girlfriends and I miraculously coordinated our trips back to Chicago to overlap for about 3 days. It was fabulous! Three out of the four of us now have baby girls, so we spent our days at the park and the pool, and nights catching up on life. As one would imagine, things have gotten a little more complicated since junior high, with work, marriage, grad school, the economy. But coming back to each other reminded me how special it is to have old friends. The four of us have all left the Chicago area and we’ve forged many new, wonderful friendships. Still, getting together with the girls who you’ve known since 6th grade math class and playing dress-up at sleepovers is nothing short of fantastic. And then watching your own little girls play in the backyard together, I mean, c’mon! I think somewhere in my mind I always knew we’d scatter, but I think part of me also imagined that we’d raise our kids on the same block. It’s hard to be so far away, and yet so close at heart.

her twist

Amazed, proud, inspired, grateful for my fabulous friends.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

banana muffins

After college, my mom gifted me with a book of our family recipes – such a great idea for anyone starting out on their own. One of my favorites has always been our Banana Cake. It’s easy and delicious.

1 stick of butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
½ cup sour cream
1 cup banana – mashed (approx. 3 bananas)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 can of chocolate frosting

This can be mixed in a food processor or using a hand mixer.
Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, sour cream, then banana and vanilla. Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add to banana mixture and blend. Pour into greased and floured 9 inch square pan. Bake @ 350° for 25-30 minutes or until center springs back when lightly pressed with finger. Cool in pan or on wire rack. Frost when cool with chocolate frosting.

her twist

I'm kind of amazed at how being a mom has made me considerably more conscientious about buying, making, and eating healthy food than I ever was pre-motherhood. I’m also on a mission to find quick and easy, healthy recipes (please send yours my way). So, I’ve adapted this recipe into a slightly healthier version.

Ingredients & Directions:
Same as above except…

Substitute flour with organic whole wheat flour. (I’ve tried the gluten free baking mix by Arrowhead Mills, which probably tastes fine, but not when you burn it. Warning: the muffins bake faster with this mix.)

Add 2-3 tablespoons of flax seed with flour mixture. Make sure to use ground flax seed for maximum health benefits. (I like Spectrum Essentials Organic Ground Flaxseed. I write down the date that I open it on the front of the bag – I’ve heard it should last about 3 months.)

Add 1/3 cup of steamed spinach after everything is combined. (Our Trader Joes just started carrying frozen chopped organic spinach – hooray for not having to blend it myself.) Be sure to squeeze/drain out the excess water before adding the spinach to the bowl.

Instead of the baking pan, try a muffin tin. The recipe usually makes 12-15 regular sized muffins.

Once they’re cool, stick them in a Ziploc and throw them in the freezer. It takes about 20-25 seconds to thaw in the microwave.