Once again, the hustle and bustle of an American work day was brought to a grinding halt by another tragedy. A day that should be filled with joy and celebration was literally brought to its knees by a senseless act of cowardliness. There are very few traditions left in our culture that bring out the spirit of brotherhood and humanity, The Boston Marathon is one of those traditions.
I think we all knew on September 11, 2001 that our lives were changed forever but I don't think any of us fathomed how deep the penetration of violence would now be embedded in our culture. At first we all banned together. We flew flags. We introduced ourselves to our neighbors. We prayed for strangers. As time went on, however, we locked our doors. We closed our shades. We tuned into CNN.
We drifted farther and farther away from our fellow Americans slowly becoming desensitized to Anthrax scares, heighten security alerts, and images of war. Little did we know the score had just become 2 points Terrorist, 0 America. Americans were oblivious to the fact the terrorists had just turned our living rooms into a battle field without using a gun. We were, however, acutely aware of the media and our quest for justice. We watched the news religiously. We spent money and resources to find whoever was responsible because we thought killing the source of evil would wash America clean and restore normality.
When I was a kid life certainly was not perfect. The country had a long ways to grow in respect and support of equal rights for all Americans. I am proud to say I have seen that change in my lifetime. However, my school was never a war zone. My yard was my utopia. And I spent more time interacting with my neighbors and family than I did a video game. I felt loved by my community. I felt safe. My teachers had the resources and support to nurture my growth. I honestly remember being excited to say the Pledge Of Allegiance every morning. I would jump up and down waving my hand in hopes of the teacher choosing me to lead it. There was support in our community. People were not only willing to help foster the future of the children but when something did happen, it happened to all of us, as Americans.
Now as mass shooting after mass shooting occurs we spend hours debating on television as to where to point the finger. The mother? The teacher? The law? Anything to deflect a sense of responsibility as a community. As more places become unsafe for us to congregate and love one another we deny we are drifting away into a world where we have abandoned our children and each other. We no longer need the terrorist to create terror, the seed was planted and we watered it.
We find ourselves once again looking for one source of evil to pinpoint the violent act on so we can wash ourselves clean and move on with our day. Terrorist 3, America 0.
The Boston Marathon had thousands of charity runner participants. People much like myself who run to raise awareness and money for diseases like Cancer. And a half a million people lined the streets to cheer on all the runners. Many of the participants were complete strangers to the supporters yet they cheered and yelled, "You can do it!" They were selflessly supporting one another to show the younger generation and the world that love is limitless.
Someone or some group tried to destroy that example of community. As we see the injury and casuality reports, I know it seems impossible to overcome the anger and not seek revenge. I want justice like we all do. But if we lose sight of our neighbor I believe we are doing a disservice to every hero involved.
So what do we do? How do we turn such soar lemons into lemonade? It won't be easy but we could start by doing something different to really start fighting back. I say we turn off our TVs and ipads and instead find time to volunteer in our community. If that is not possible, how about we just simply display a random act of kindness to a stranger everyday this week. Introduce yourself to that neighbor you have never met or maybe have avoided because you are "too" busy to talk. Let's promise not to forget, but let's also promise to not be afraid. We can use this tragedy to get motivated to make a difference. What happened won't destroy or shadow one of the greatest traditions in American culture-- the Bostonians are too strong for that... but it could inspire us to make more.
My friend Henri's cousins were among the victims severly injured in this tragedy. The family could use your help and support. Please click on this link to learn more and donate. http://www.gofundme.com/CelesteandSydney
Love and Light to everyone in Boston,
edited by J. Perrone
So there is nothing simple about cancer. Just as there is nothing simple about any unplanned bump in the road of life. When Brian was originally diagnosed two years ago, the initial prognosis was not good.
They believed his cancer was already at a Stage 3b. I know some of our doctors would have preferred for us to accept this... and wait. I am too impatient for that. There was now three of us in this marriage. It was up to me to figure out how we were going to evict our new roommate... "cancer."
At first I complicated things. I was going out of my mind trying to control what was happening. I wanted an overnight cure that would erase this dark cloud looming in our living room. Then I heard a voice whisper, "Take a step back. Take a deep breath. Just start simple."
So, I started with food. It seemed like a logical solution. Everyone needs food. Food was the one thing I could control. Plus, if cancer feeds off sugar... then surely something must combat it??? However, I had no idea what I could or should feed him!
Once I started my research, I had a panic attack. I was overwhelmed by a world riddled with carcinogens, casein, GMO's, pesticides and arsenic!!! AND THE DEVIL MONSANTO SEEDS IS GOING TO KILL US ALL!!!!
I literally stayed up for 48 hours sobbing uncontrollably. There was no way I could save my husband!! There was nowhere to go! Nowhere to hide!!!!!! WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!! WAIT!?! MY CELL PHONE!! IS GOOGLING GOING TO KILL ME TOO???!!
It was about day 3 of no sleep that that little voice inside started chatting again, this time louder, "KK, get a hold of yourself!!!! Stop being so dramatic. Just keep it simple!!!"
So I had glass of wine and took a nap. When I woke up, I began cooking simple lifesaving foods. I am not a devout vegan or nutritionist. I am not a doctor. I am just a wife who did not want to lose her husband. It was that love changed our lives forever. Cancer has taught us not to complicate our lives. You need to embrace and attack each day head on and look for the opportunity for a lesson. My lesson was about living foods.
I now believe in balance. I promote that 70% of your diet should be plant based and organic. BUT it should also taste good. I promise this blog will never fool you- when it comes to taste.
I don't like things that say they are, "Raw Mac N Cheeze" and then you taste it and it is more like nutty gooey stuff. I believe if you keep it simple, you can go out and have a cheeseburger...once and awhile.
So weekly I will post a simple recipe that will introduce some great foods that can help your body fight back whatever it may be battling:)
Since it is a holiday week I will start with a cruciferous vegetable! Brussels are my favorite cancer fighting food! Two major reasons you should eat them; Sulforaphane and Vitamin C. I do them a hundred different ways but my "Mexican Explosion" Brussels are a favorite among my spicy friends:)
The thing about brussels is you do not want to undercook or overcook them. In order to maintain their healing qualities it is best to cook them until you see their color change to a slightly brighter green. For this recipe I chop the ends and halve the brussels. Then I lightly steam them in an organic broth until I see them change color. I strain them and put them to the side. Then I add my Dijon,crushed garlic,jalapeno juice, olive oil, dry mustard,cayenne, salt and Soy-free veganise.
NOTE*** If you cannot handle spicy foods for medical or any other reasons my alternative is to replace the jalapeno juice and cayenne with 1 tablespoon of Raw Organic Blackstrap Molasses. (Click on the link to see why Blackstrap Molasses is a great alternative.)
Once your spicy or sweet aioli is mixed, put your brussels back on the stove on a medium heat and fully coat them with the mixture. Once you can see they have started to soften in the middle, remove and serve.
If you are interested in more information on cancer fighting or healing foods, here is one of my favorite sites!
And remember, this weekend try and keep it simple! xoxox KK
Special thanx to editor Josie Perrone
Survivor is a funny word. It has this ring to it that implies all you need to do is earn the title and suddenly everything is OK.
My husband, Brian, is an easy going guy. Not much fazes him.
I would go as far to say that even when he was diagnosed with cancer he was practical and succumb to the fact that most likely... he had no control of his destiny.
However, all bets were off once Brian became a "survivor". You see, when you have any major hardship happen to you, your life becomes a fish bowl.
At first everyone cheers as you swim in and out of that tiny plastic castle. You feel special. People enjoy nurturing you. They never forget to feed you or change your "water".
Then slowly the novelty wears off...
You wake up one morning to find that the world is no longer cheering. Instead, everyone is just staring. So you feel depressed.
If you had cancer; you might feel judged on your appearance. "Should you be eating that?"
If you were mourning; you might feel people are judging you on your ability to move on. "Is she actually dating?" "
If you were broke; you might feel people judging you when you do something nice for yourself. "Did you buy a new dress?"
As your bowl swirls with everyone's opinions you wake up one morning to find your water cloudy. You are starving because no one has fed you in weeks. And you start to wonder... "Is everyone just waiting for the morning they find me belly up in the bowl???"
So what happened? You overcame insurmountable obstacles to earn the title of survivor. I mean you did the unthinkable; you beat cancer, you clawed your way out of debt, you overcame the loss of a loved one, you got through a divorce, you lost 100 pounds now... YOU'RE looking at a toilet bowl anticipating someone will flush you!?!?!??!?
I would love to say, "People suck that is what happened!" However, then I would have to throw out my whole "Life into Lemonade" stick and hit the bottle.
Instead, lets make lemonade. (you can add vodka later if you wish)
However, when we believe we are defined by what "this life" has put us through instead of who we are inside...moths start eating our clothes. We allow them to poke holes in our truth and our flashlights start to dim.
So what do you do????? Well, first it's time to change the batteries in your flashlight:) You need to take a step back and look at WHO you are asking to clean your fish bowl.
My guess is if they are questioning your candy bar, they just ate two. If they are judging how you spend money, they have a fear of being broke. If they are smack talking your ability to laugh or love, they wish they could do both.
Next eat a twinkie if you feel like it. Then kindly tell them you appreciate their concern but you are a survivor and you know how to do just that.
Finally, ask them, "What is really up your butt?" Something is most likely bugging them and you can shine some light on how they too, can learn to be a survivor:)
Now...speaking of "Asses" and "Survivors" this month is Colon Cancer Awareness month!! WHOOO HOO! So in the spirit of shining lights up butts....we have asked some of our fabulous celebrity friends to support the cause!
We are happy to support our buddies at the Colon Cancer Alliance . We are donating a portion of every Solas bag purchased to raise awareness for this cause! Check out www.solasfashion.com and listen to Stan!!!!!
Now go buy a purse that will light up just like you! www.solasfashion.com
Some important information:
1.) Colorectal Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S.
2.) Although there has been a significant rise in the number of young people diagnoses with this cancer in the last 5 years recommended screenings are not until age 50.
3.)Colorectal Cancer is a slow moving cancer and if caught early has a 90% recovery rate.
4.) You can have colon cancer and feel great. Symptoms are non specific like stomach discomfort,rectal bleeding or slight blood in and around your stool.
4.) Over 9% of MEN AND WOMEN will be effected by colorectal cancer. This is not a man's disease.
Nobody likes a liar. In fact,I have never met a single person who has ever told me, "I enjoy people who lie."
According to Wikipedia; a lie is a known untruth expressed as a truth often with the further intention to maintain a secret or a reputation.
Hmm, well who wants to have a bad reputation? Not I!
So with that in mind some lies aren't as bad as others, right?
I mean there is the Noble Lie; when you lie for the sake of honor, whether it be your own or some else's.
So if someone asks you : "When are you due?" (and the only baby your birthing is all that birthday cake you ate)
and you happen to stutter in a panic, "uhhhh...."5 months".
(Side note: Ladies write your local congress. Questions like that should be punishable by law.)
Another example, as my good friend Kala pointed out, is when you tell a sympathy lie in order to make your friend feel better. Maybe...she happened to gain a few lbs over Xmas and you lost a few. You don't want her to feel bad!
"I totally gained 5 lbs too! Don't worry about it, it's winter."
(Come to think of it maybe skinny samaritans like Kala should be punished as well. Their offense? They have the ability to be skinny samaritans!)
Then there is the ever so popular, White Lie. The "white lie", in the 21st century, has become a right of passage in relationships. Therefore making 80% of people in relationships...absolved of the sin of lying.
Ladies, your man TOTALLY remembered to drop your mother's card in the mail on the way to work.
I mean, why would he lie?
"I have no idea why these jeans don't fit! I have been the same size since high school."
Oh! How about Lying By Omission...commonly used by teenagers and some adults...
Listen, when my best friend Carolyn and I went to our alma mater IOWA for a football game, it was not our fault those boys assumed we were seniors.
...I mean we are seniors...(to them)
Lying Through Your Teeth
I mean who could ever do that? What a horrible person! GROSS!
Yes, we have conveniently categorized lying so that some of us can do it when we deem ABSOLUTELY necessary...and others...well...they are L.I.A.R.S!!!
So why am I babbling on and on about lies? And what does this have to do with your closet?! The way I look at it, in some way shape or form, we are all...liars. (GASP! I KNOW!) And the majority of our lies stem from how we think we look...and how we want to look to the world.
So next time someone is having a hard time telling the truth, don't get mad right away. Think about all the times you have have total a little fib and why. Maybe it is your job to help them feel comfortable in their own skin. So they don't find the need to "lie".
When we are able to light the way for others that is when we are being true to ourselves...that is when we feel fabulous...and the rest my friends just has a way of falling into place.
Have a great weekend,
THE SECRET TO THE SLIT IN YOUR SPANX...
And while I agree the loo should stay, lets say, a "dirty little secret," there are times we need to break protocol for the betterment of women kind.
When I worked on "The Tyra Banks Show" I had heard a rumor from Tyra herself that you can go to the bathroom without pulling your Spanx down. But I have to be honest, she talked about a lot of things I would never try at home so I sort of dismissed the thought. I would just yank, and tug, and pull down...then I would hope that no "overflow" would hit the wad of nylon wrapped around my ankles as I stood hovering over the toilet seat.
Finally, I would pray as I did the "running man" in place, pulling the Spanx back up. I hoped an angel would land them exactly where they had been...so they would not slip and create a fat roll..
...until one day when one of my best girlfriends changed my life.
At a wedding, my friend Carolyn said, "You know the hole is for peeing, right?"
You see, I had been wearing Spanx since the dawn of Spanx, and I never noticed that my new Spanx now had a slit in them.
Terrified, I said , "No way! If I miss, I'm screwed for the rest of the wedding because I will have to ditch the Spanx and reveal the burrito baby I am hiding!".
She fed me a few more cocktails and coaxed me back into the ladies room where she told me to literally sit, spread, and lean forward. I was terrified to say the least, but Carolyn was not letting me at out that stall until I performed. And low and behold... a few rum and cokes and a glass of water later, it worked!
Now ladies, you are going to have to trust me on this one. I know it's scary but I swear it works! I highly suggest the buddy system because it will ease your fears. Carolyn was taught by her friend Emily...and now girls, it is my turn to pass the torch.
But I explained to her she needed to focus on all the free time she will have once her Spanx bathroom trips are reduced from 25 minutes to 5! And I pointed out that I am basically issuing a Public Service Announcement... after a few glasses of wine, she reluctantly agreed to let me show her just how the deed is done.
Step 1: Do not be afraid to sit on the seat . Think of the Spanx as a seat cover.
Step 2: In a seated squat position lean as far forward as you can...
(without falling in of course)
Now take a deep breath... and relax
Step 3: Trust your Spanx will not spill!
Now that wasn't so bad was it? Today, I leave you with one last word of advice. Proceed with caution if you have the newest model of Spanx.
I hear it tends to shift the slit just slightly to the right...which I am sure you can imagine could be...a little messy.
CHEERS TO BLISSFUL BATHROOM BREAKS IN YOUR FUTURE!
Welcome back to the rebirth of my new blog now titled: "Life Into Lemonade". I have missed you all so much! I thought it would be fitting to launch a blog all about how to embrace life's imperfections on the supposed day of impending doom! "Life Into Lemonade" will be a place where you can laugh at life's unexpected BOULDERS in the road and find a way to use those rocks as the foundation for your dreams. I will be sharing fun recipes, tips, mishaps, stories and more! Everyday will be something new to improve your wellness, your work and your ability to laugh at life. Now lets get down to business.
I thought my Armageddon was the day my husband Brian was diagnosed with cancer two years ago. I was trapped in a Hulk Hogan chokehold with no end in sight. I was filled with a secret hate. I hated how my life had changed. I hated I selfishly felt abandoned by my spouse. I hated the people who made it all about them. I felt deflated and lifeless. Everything I knew, everything I loved, and everything I cared about had suddenly vanished. I couldn't write and I couldn't speak. I was just an angry General. I had one job and that was to get my two-man army home safe. In these desperate moments of solitude I found solace in an unexpected place...the kitchen.
It started out as a necessary chore. I believed food could cure Brian. So I looked at his meals as scientific experiments. The kitchen was my lab. Eventually, I realized food was the only thing I had control of in our lives. I would get up at 7am head to the local farmer's market, Whole Foods and health stores. I would study recipes and change them to a more palatable presentation for Brian. This went on for months, I couldn't work but I could cook. Slowly but surely, friends and family started to comment. "You need to share this recipe". "I would love to hire you to cook healthy for me". At first I refused to see the signs. I liked holding on to my anger; clearly these people thought I had lost my creative touch. They no longer saw me as writer or producer. They looked at me and saw someone who had failed, someone they needed to show pity. It took months for me to realize that they were ACTUALLY complimenting my creativity. It took even longer for me to realize the universe had given me an opportunity not a curse. Cooking not only allowed me to be creative but it allowed me to help those around me better their lives. My "Armegeddon" was a big fat present.
We wanted the ceremony be an opportunity for our guests to benefit from what we learned during our journey with cancer. So the theme was all about mother earth and accepting the power of healing and oppurtunity.
We decided to do a handfasting ceremony so we asked our guests to wear white or green. Green represented healing, generosity, and abundance in family. White represented new beginnings and opportunties.
MY LA "ADOPTED SECOND MOM" JOAN, WHO IS AN ASS KICK'IN CANCER SURVIVOR AND MY BEAUTIFUL MOTHER JUDY, ROCKED THE COLOR GREEN!
We wanted everyone to see the power that lies in perceived obsticles.
THEN WE ALL ATE S'MORES THAT REMINDED US ABOUT LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP
See today as a new lease on life! Let it be the end of your old way of thinking and the beginning of a new way of living!
So what is it about us gals? Let's face it, ladies, I don't know who we check out more: ourselves... or other chics!
NO SHE DIDN'T JUST WEAR A DRESS ON CASUAL FRIDAY!
Ain't it funny how our confidence can hinge on little things like...
Does our desk mate have her sneakers or stilettos on today?
"Cuz I am wearing flip flops...not Ferragamo.
I'LL BE DAMNED IF MY NASTY BUSTED TOES ARE NEXT TO THAT BLING!"
Whether it be Dana's dressing down and Dina is dressing up...
Sally washed her hair and Susie waits till Friday...
Or the carnal sin, Karen's got full face and Kara ...
WENT AU NATURAL!
Yep, the minute we see someone done up we feel down trodden.
The last ten days I kept track of how many times I witnessed this phenomenon.
Believe it or not, 10 out of 10 days I saw it happen. And sadly, the 10th day was me.
Sure enough some young sprightly soul named Kelly frolicked into my office on Thursday...
NOTE THE NATURALLY TOUSLED HAIR AND PERFECTLY WHITE TEETH
Funny how that happens...
What is not funny; however, is the fact that Thursday I did not blow dry my hair.
And lipstick... hello? Who does her make-up in the am and forgets to put on lips?
DOUBLE HELLO??? I DO!!!!
So what do we do girls? I mean NONE of us are immune to it.
We could just stab all the pretty bi***es in the eyes and spread nasty rumors about them... just kidding.
But that would not be good karma, cuties!
A cutie will wake up tomorrow and go to her closet with a smile plastered on her face. No matter what she chooses she will stick to her guns all day!
And when her insecurities kick in because Betty lost 10 lbs... and she happened to spend last night baking a "cake", she will force herself to give Betty a hug.
Girlfriends, at the core we are all SISTERS.
So just fill the room with love and light and trust that you are just as amazing as you were when you woke up this morning. I truly believe positive energy can not only change our outlook on life but our bodies, as well.
I promise it will come back ten-fold. Someday you will be in a hurry, in flip flops, and void of make up.
And someone will notice how pretty you are and compliment you on your true beauty. Ask my co-worker Carol. Today it actually happened to her. Unfortunately, she would not let me take a picture to prove it.
Love and Light
There are so many C words that make your heart flutter like...couture, cashmere, or better yet closet! I have to admit that I am a big fan of most C words...especially coffee and cash!
But somehow in my 30's, I had completely forgotten there were other C words-words that make your heart feel like it has stopped. Words like carcinoma, cancer or chemo.
In my 20's I had experienced those words first hand with family and friends and while you never forget the "who" in those lost, over time I had slowly forgotten...the "how".
So at 6:30am on November 4th the only "C" word on my mind was coffee...creme brulee coffee to be exact.
Brian was making me drive to his doctors appointment. I don't drive. So If he didn't let me make a pit stop...this could be grounds for divorce. We made our way through traffic in Beverly Hills. My eyes were definitely on the clock, not the road. As we approached our destination I saw an oasis in the distance-the most beautiful Coffee Bean EVER!
We had 4 minutes till his colonoscopy appointment. We were practically early!
He looked at me and said "Kara, forget about it. I don't want to be late."
I retorted, "You're just getting checked for celiacs stop being so dramatic."
He laughed and said, "Me dramatic? Ok drop me off. I will fill out the paperwork out and you run and get your coffee. You are an addict Lady!"
And with those words I frolicked to the Coffee Bean clueless that in hour our lives were about to be changed forever...by the "C" word I had forgotten.
The rest of the day is pretty much a blur for both Brian and I. Brian was coming off a twilight anesthesia. I was obsessing over the thought, "Why was that damn coffee so important to me?" As if I had NOT stopped somehow things would have been different.
I remember the gastroenterologist was wearing a red tie. It clashed with his shirt. I also remember he would not look me in the eye.
I remember a women in her 60's in the CT scan waiting room. She had a purple bandanna on her head. It was silk. She told me, "You get through it. Don't worry, you do." I wanted to say to her, "Sorry you must be mistaken. You see were in our early 30's we don't belong here." But instead I said, "Thank you that is a beautiful scarf."
The doctor who finally told us Brian had cancer was wearing a blue shirt. It matched his blue eyes. He was the best dressed I had seen all day.
The tumor was the size of an orange. The scan indicated 3 lymph's were most likely infected putting us somewhere around an early stage 3. He had no major symptoms or signs.
I thought about how two days before we had just returned from a football game at my alma mater. He had looked so cute in that black and gold shirt.
In my mind I screamed, "Why is this happening?"
Somehow, we didn't feel very lucky.
I was wearing my gray cashmere sweater with a hood. I pulled the hood over my head as too not let Brian see me cry.
The days that followed were to be the biggest tests of our life. We changed the way we thought, we changed the way we ate and we changed the way we dressed. We eventually started to un-closet our own Karma.
Brian has asked that I share our whole journey with our readers. So I will continue our story in future blogs. His hope is that you will find inspiration in whatever obstacle you come across in the new year and take it on with an open heart and mind.
And to be honest, that is just the type of amazing man I am married to.
Brian and Tess joke around just 80 hours after surgery. Brian's doctors said his release was a record, but I will tell you more about that later. I just dig the xmas pants and the robe.
Love and Light,
And remember the light inside of all of us burns bright even on the darkest of nights. You just have to remember to open the closet doors and let it out:)