Made-a-move #27: better utilizing Pintrest

Pintrest… ohhh the potential!!

Several months ago, I overheard people in the real world and the blog-o-sphere mention Pintrest… and the danger of getting addicted to it.  I decided to try it out, I saw it’s amazing potential, and set up several boards.  But, up until now, haven’t put much time into them – some of them are even still empty.  So my move for this week was to start using them more.



To do this, I used the “Pin It” button that I have attached to my bookmarks bar (Pintrest gives great instructions on how to get it there) to pin pictures from my HoneyTreeBuzz site and my DD’s online picture gallery of her artwork (much in need of updating) to my Pintrest boards.  Maybe I am jumping too far ahead.  For those who don’t know, here’s a basic low-down on Pintrest:  Imagine a big bulletin/ memo board that you pin your favorite recipes, dream home ideas, magazine picture clippings, inspirational quotes, etc to.  Things you don’t want to just lose in a drawer or stack somewhere.  This is great for you, but it can get rather disorganized after a while, so now you divide all of those things you “pinned” up on the board into separate boards for each category.  When friends come over, they see all of the great and inspirational things you have pinned up.  When they see something that you mutually appreciate, it creates a greater connection between you.  But how to share them with more of your friends?  What about sharing them with other people who would love them as well?  What about all of the great inspirational things you find on the internet?

This is where Pintrest comes in.  On one hand, it is an infinitely large memo board that everyone can “pin” things onto for others to see.  On another hand, it can be a not-so-huge memo board that just includes the newly “pinned’  things people with similar interests as you (which you have chosen to “follow”) have posted, and on another hand (didn’t you ask for a 3rd hand?) it is personal, online, memo boards for you to save pictures and links to the things you like – you set your own “board” categories and you choose what to “pin” to your virtual boards.

So when I chose to add a picture of the incredible “fruit cake” my DD made to one of my Pintrest boards, it showed up on 1) the main Pinterest board of “Everything” for everyone in Pinterest to be abe to see,  2) my Pinterest board of just the people I follow and want to see, and 3) on my “Cakes and Desserts” Pintrest board.  The few people who have chosen to “follow” my pins will also see this new “pin” of her cake when they log into Pinterest, too.   Now for the incredible potential part…  when I see a picture on Pinterest of an amazing looking food, I can click on the picture of it and usually be directed to the web site that describes how to make it.  When someone clicks on the picture (or URL link listed with it) of the Foccacia bread I pinned, they are sent to my HoneyTreeBuzz posting for how to make it!  When my DD is ready to sell her painted glassware, people will be able to click on pictures of it they like and be directed to the site that she is (or rather will be) selling them from.  And, for the fun part, whenever you come across something that you really like that someone else posted pinned, you can “re-pin” it, meaning attach that picture to one of your boards for you to refer back to and for you to be able to share with the friends that “follow” you – like these which I put on my “Artsy Creations” board:

Want to get started?  Go to and follow the directions to “request an invitation.”  They give great step-by-step directions to get set up and everything is very versatile to edit/ change your settings at any time.  Two warnings though: 1) Everyone has different interests and tastes, so on the everything section of what people post, there may be images that you don’t want your kids viewing (or maybe not even yourself); and 2) it is easy to get sucked into the “eye candy” of the fun stuff that is posted.  Happy pinning!

Doing instead of ‘Making Do’

Made-a-Move #26:  Made-a-move to move away from “Making Do”

On the wings of last weeks’ accomplishments, I am moving forward to take action.  In my reflections on my mode-of-operation that has made me stall out, I realize that I have been so set on ‘making do with what I have’ in so many ways that I am going in circles, surrounded by old stuff that had past purposes, but not necessarily adequate for the growth I want to make.  Things accumulate, but I don’t get rid of any of them so I can make use of them again for future purposes…   maybe…  Granted, this doesn’t explain why I am also keeping so much of the old dust around too, but that is for a different move :)

Making moves.  My DD who is growing in her baking skills on her way to specializing in culinary arts, including baking these 2 cakes (among 4 others) last week, wanted a cabinet to keep her baking supplies in.   Time to ‘make-a-move’ of all of the baking equipment that is overtaking our kitchen.  At a rummage sale I found this cabinet and my kids helped me clear space and bring it into the house for her – it is going to be great!!

I also picked up, at the same sale, glassware for her to paint… only to find her painting glassware when we got home.  Of course this lead to taking her back to the big rummage sale to get more glassware… and a cabinet and work station desk (with a file drawer to boot) to upgrade my our workshop with.

One good move leads to  more good moves.  As I support my DD in pursuing her dreams and interests, I feel myself being swept up in the motivation and drive to become more organized and pursue mine.

On a Chabad chassidic calendar, today marks a day of celebration of a great leader being freed from imprisonment for standing by his beliefs and values.  It is a day for unity, and supporting each other.  I wish you liberation from the habits and thought process that have imprisoned you from moving forward, strength to stand by what you believe in when it is for good, and the respect and support of the people around you along the way.


A new approach to Time (self) Management

Made-a-move #25:

tell your time

I’ve previously posted some great blogging tips I found at Blogging With Amy.  My move for this week was to read and start to apply her advice from her eBook Tell Your Time.  Yes, I actually started and finished, and started to apply a self-improvement book!  Ok, Amy Lynn Andrews made it doable by keeping her book short, to the point, and practical – all in about 30 pages.

Right from the beginning, she provided a very basic, and yet so profound, statement that made me stop and take notice of how off-track I have been:

How we live our days, of course, is how we live our lives.

- Annie Dillard

What an eye opener!  I live my days running around chasing my tail.  What I want is to be able to say I have/ had a good, happy and purposeful life.  Am I happy?  I have been too busy taking care of the responsibilities and people around me to even think of what that means, let alone, actually make an effort to be happy.  I feel happiness when the people around me are happy (especially my husband and children) and even more so when I have had a hand in doing something that helps them feel happy.  But, would I describe myself as being happy in general?  I pray daily for my children to grow strong and healthy in every way and have happy lives.  Am I really modeling that for them?  To be able to answer these questions the way I want to, I need to make changes!

I went through the first 60% of the book in 1 sitting.  By the next day, I found myself thinking about my approach to life in a very new way.  There has been a big disconnect between my approach to life (living in the here and now, doing the best that I can with what I have) and the dreams I have for what I want to do in my future.  This book shed light on a basic recognition and system for connecting up what I do with where I want to go.

In her book, Amy proposes looking at time similar to looking at finances (something else I have not been very good at).  We have a finite amount of time.  Everything we need to do and want to do has to fit into the limited amount of time we have.  When we “spend” too much time on one thing, or get distracted into “spending” time on something mindless, that leaves less time to do the other things in our day… and our life.  Managing time can be looked at just like people who use an envelop system to budget their finances, dividing up their available money into separate envelopes for their different expenses.  They soon realize that to spend extra $ on one category after the envelop is empty, they have to “take” $ away from something else.  If we don’t “budget” any time for taking steps to reach our dreams, we aren’t going to get there.

As I am presently “spending” part of my time allotment that should be used for sleep, I will end this post with a high recommendation for the Tell Your Time book and an eagerness to finish developing (tomorrow) the schedule it is guiding me to create.

Wishing much success and happiness to you, in your days and life!


PS.  My links to Amy’s site in this posting are now “Affiliate Links” – I did not write this post to get paid for promoting her book, but rather learned how to make an affiliate link (from “Blogging with Amy“) after writing it.  More on that to come…


Made-a-move #24 – Being a catalyst for change with a positive mindset

My sons love Legos.  I amazes me that with the quantity they have they are continually looking to buy more sets.  Few things can bring excitement to their eyes like their grandmother landing a great deal on masses of Legos from a rummage sale.

So, when LegoFest came to our area the same week as DS #1′s Birthday, buying tickets was pretty much a necessity (though I did try to keep it a surprise until he saw the tickets hanging in my bedroom – carefully placed so I wouldn’t forget where I put them).  As the tickets were pricey, I only purchased enough for 1 adult and 2 kids.  Being Father’s Day, I figured it was best making it a father-son outing.  So, my move for this week was sending my husband out with healthy food for the road and healthy advice – to set aside all of the the things that weigh on his mind continuously and, instead, focus on having fun with his sons on Father’s Day.

He took my advice and did.  His reflection on the experience is dominated by the extreme happiness and smiles he observed on his sons’ faces.

From seeing incredible displays… to getting up close to incredible Lego structures… to tromping through calf-high piled Legos… to building and racing vehicles down a ramp… to observing a Lego bridge endurance test… to building Wisconsin-themed creations (beer mug and bowling lane) to include in a floor “map” of the United States… to purchasing Lego sets at a great price (with their own $!), they had a great time.  Together!

My DH was sure to have a picture to show that he took my advice to heart:


Being Father’s Day, I did my part of the day back home – I made home-made pizza to have ready for their return and I told our 4 y/o DS it was Father’s Day – to which news he promptly made gifts for his “Abba” – complete with lots of hearts.

Small actions on my part were a catalyst for such wonderful positive experiences for my family!  The results were topped off by the special hug I got from DS #1 before he went to bed.

How beautiful the flowers grow with a gentle wind to blow away the clouds and let the sun shine through!


Bananas for Yonanas

Made-a-move Monday #23:  Buy food on sale, freeze extras for future

A few months ago we bought a *Great* new kitchen gadget – a Yonanas machine.

We made some up for my oldest DS’s birthday Monday night – a great refreshing treat on a hot day… especially when the A/C is on the fritz.

So what is so great about this treat?

It is all fruit! No sugar added! No dairy.

And it has the consistency of soft served ice cream!  My DH is amazed by the fact that the fruit becomes so much like ice cream that it even melts!   Here’s the scoop on it…

First you peel and freeze bananas after they start to turn brown; Cheetah-spotted Bananas as the Yonanas directions put it.  This is where my “Move” for this past week comes in … I bought a lot of bananas when they were on sale last week and froze all of the extras when they became well spotted.  No over-ripe bananas in the garbage!!

The bananas need to be well frozen as they are what give the finished treat the right texture.  At least overnight is best.

Also have on hand other frozen fruit – either store-bought or frozen yourself (oops, I missed my chance to freeze the extra strawberries in time)

The Yonanas is made by alternatingly putting the frozen bananas (thawed 5 min) and other fruit (thawed approx. 20 min.) into the machine.  The machine grinds the fruit and sends it out a spout as you go.  It only takes a few minutes!  After it comes out, you mix the ingredients together and it is ready to serve.  Clean up is very easy – there are only 5 parts to clean up which are very easy to assemble and disassemble.  The machine came with a recipe book with a variety of dessert ideas we are looking forward to trying out.

Have a great, sweet and successful week!


Family Calendar

Made-a-move #22: Online Family Calendar

As our lives are getting increasingly busy with the conclusion of the school year, my move for this week is to better utilize (and share with you) the online Cozi Calendar that I found out about from The Flylady – last Summer.






So what is a “Cozi Calendar”?  For us, it is an amazing (and free) tool to coordinate schedules of a busy family!  It has all kinds of available tools for sharing information with each other – to-do lists, shopping lists, a family journal…  but the one we mainly use is the calendar!  Just for starters, Cozi allows us to:

  • add calendar items and specify which family members each pertain to
  • select a color dot to represent each person on the calendar to easily see
  • choose to have a reminder sent to each person’s mobile device or email
  • set appointments as repeating or singular
  • access our calendar wherever we are – (rather than only when we are within sight of the one on the fridge)
  • add downloadable internet calendars to include in our calendar – I added a Jewish calendar that even tells us when the Sabbath candle-lighting time is each week

Any one of us in our family can add an appointment to the calendar for all of us to see, set up reminders of events, or have a message sent to the rest of us to our phone or email.

It is a great tool for families and one that I plan to make much better use of for mine as we continue to grow and face new challenges.

Have a great a successful week!

- DebBee

Advance planning and preps

Made-a-move #21: Extra planning and effort early, for more sanity later

Yes, I know – it is Tuesday… but since the move happened before Monday, I’m still counting it as a Made-a-move Monday.  My blog; my rules to bend ;)

Almost half of the first night’s work

Having taken on waaay too much to do last week, I did make the move to, uncharacteristically, make a plan in advance and get things done ahead of time rather than my usual fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants last minute rush.  Yes, after staying up til after 4am Wednesday night/ Thursday morning, I got less than 3 hours of sleep before getting up for getting kids off to school and me to work… followed by another night of less than 3 hours of sleep Thursday night before getting up at 4am for making so much bread (with the help of incredible friends) that took over 100 lbs of flour and about 9 hours to make .,,, followed by carpooling and cooking for the next 5 hours.   My candle burns at both ends now… 

So, in such a seemingly insane schedule, how can I say I made a move of improvement?  First of all, I took the time Thursday afternoon to take a 2 hour nap! (I cannot even remember the last time I have done that when not terribly ill!!)  I planned out my menu for the Friday night – Monday night holidays on Tuesday, did my grocery shopping on Wednesday, and started my cooking on Thursday – wayyyy unheard of for me!  Needing to bake lots of challah breads (over 20) at home, I divided the task into 2 nights rather than trying to do it all at once and did some of the holiday cooking while the breads were rising and baking (with the help of my DD who also shaped the breads for me on the second night).  The end result was: I got nearly all of the cooking done before the 3-day holiday began and, though my body was rather stiff and sore from the rigorous schedule on my feet 3 days in a row, I was able to relax and enjoy the holiday with my family rather than spending so much of it preparing meals.

Old habits and routines don’t break easily.  It is so good to see them transforming into healthier patterns.  More moves to come.   Have a great week!

- DebBee

Getting “it” together

Made-a-move #20.

Divided file foldersTwenty weeks of moving. Hard to believe.  And the direction I am moving is even more surprising.  Years of dreaming of developing my own business have come full circle as the winds of change are bringing me back in the direction of OT (that is ‘occupational therapy’, not ‘overtime’ – I already put in more than enough of the latter ;)   Words I avoided for so long are now sounding exciting to me once again… sensory-motor, visual motor…  And with it I feel brain cells coming out of dormancy.  As I am adding to my juggle of school information for my kids, financial aid applications for next year’s tuition for them, school decisions for my kids who will be moving on to new schools, and now also keeping track of my OT reinstatement requirements and continuing education, I pulled out divided folders, adjusted my hole punch to the right size, and took one small (but big) step towards being more organized.

And, what of my business dreams?  Time will tell. Perhaps they will have an occupational therapist running them some time in the future.  In the mean time, those ideas have helped spark creative juices and launch some of my kids in the direction of developing and working towards their own dreams.

Keep moving.  Keep growing.  Lets enjoy our journey in life together.

- DebBee

Happy Mother’s Day!

Made-a-move #19

My move for this week – with the guidance and help of my family, was connecting to and celebrating “Momness” on Mother’s Day.  Taking a step away from even thinking about the long list of would-should-could to-do’s, to instead focus on my place in my family.

As I went out of my room to wake my daughter for a lesson, I discovered that she was not only up but busy getting ready for surprising me.  I quickly got dressed and came out of my room to the greeting of this:

Which was soon followed by:

Instead of dining in my room I opted to go down to be with my family.

My oldest son cleaned up the living room and dining room and presented me with a hand-made gift of his own to go with the hand made gifts of his brothers.  Such was the start to a beautiful Mother’s day.  After taking my youngest DD to her morning lesson, I came home to a plateful of delicious snickerdoodle cookies and beautiful card from my middle DD:

No to-do’s were going to interrupt this day!

Of course a very important part of ‘Momness‘ is supporting the interests of the kids – which included going to a grand opening of a LEGO store, but with the added bonus of going with MY mom (who kindly hung out with the kids in the store while I went to sit a few minutes with my DH).

Shopping malls are NOT my thing!  One of my teen DDs was very happy for the rare opportunity to go to her favorite stores while the boys were happily surrounded by Legos :)

Next stop, in being immersed in the ‘Momness day‘, was to take my mom to a plant nursery to pick out a fun new flowering plant for her yard while my DH picked out hanging flowering plants for his mom.  After a quick stop to pick up my other 2 DDs and BBQ supplies, we went to my DH’s brother’s house to wish Happy Mother’s Day to his mom and hang out a bit at their house on a lake.  I finished the day off with helping one teen DD feel better from a major sinus attack that was making her miserable and trying to reassure the other teen DD of her ability to complete overwhelming homework. (Not that I actually succeeded in reassuring her, but I tried.)

My “Momness” celebrations carried into the week as I joined my youngest son Monday morning in the Mother’s Day events that his class planned of a bagel snack, personally made gifts, and planting flowers in their play-yard before I jumped into the workday of making lunches for his school.

Beautiful flowers bloom and abound around our Honey Tree!  It is so good to take the time to notice and appreciate them!  Wishing you personal growth as well as much beauty blooming around your efforts… and the ability to take time to notice and appreciate them.  Please feel free to share them in the comments to this blog.

In Honor of Mom

Made-a-Move # 18

Every year there is always the question of ‘What to get Mom for mother’s day?’  Another craft book of things I would love to do if I had time that maybe she could find time for…?… flowers, again…?  Treats that will be enjoyed, but gone as fast as an empty sink gets refilled with dirty dishes ..?..  I know how about I stand up in front of a room full of over a hundred people (most of whom I don’t know) and tell them what a great mom she is :)

Ok, it was a week early and wasn’t really for Mother’s day.  But I did do the speech.  How many people get the opportunity to use a microphone to tell their mom how great she is?!  Moms do so much to contribute to the successes of, and make a positive impact on, so many people’s lives.  Some more visibly than others.  Each in their own, unique, way.  So, in celebration of my mom’s ways, here is most of the speech I said at a luncheon she was being honored at yesterday as a “Woman of Achievement” for her many years of contributions to her Synagogue:

When my mother first told me about the event, in her humble way, she was hoping at least I and a couple of my girls would come.   Like so many others who are here because she is being honored, my whole family is here today.  And, my brother, who lives in Germany and cannot be here today sends his warmest wishes and lots of love.  Who is Honored?  The question is asked and answered by Ben Zoma in Pirkei Avos (4:1) He who honors others.

Everyone who meets my mom sees how respectful she is of others.  She is ready to help others, but always in a quiet, unassuming and supportive way.  Rather than jumping in and taking over, she waits for direction of how and where they want her help.

When our first child was born, my mom came to help us.  As eager as she was to meet her new granddaughter, she waited (on our request) until we came home from the hospital and were settled before she came to St Paul.  Mom was there to help any way we let her, but managed to not step on toes as the nervous new parents insisted on changing all of the diapers and bathing the tiny baby themselves those first few days.

And when my husband reluctantly went back to work when the baby was 5 days old, Mom was there to help her crazy daughter surprise him by bringing the baby to his work so he could show her off to his co-workers.

While my mom keeps herself busy with exercise to take care of herself, activities with friends, working as a substitute (including being a very much loved Morah at her grandson’s preschool) and volunteering at her synagogue in so many ways, she clearly lets us know that she is always here for us when we need her.   Both for sharing life’s challenges and for sharing our accomplishments and simchas [joyous occassions].

She has mastered the balance (that seems to allude me) of taking care of herself, giving of herself, recognizing her limits, and maintaining the ability to help others in their time of need.  From driving across town to take an ill grandchild home from school in the middle of the day, to helping her daughter with a big fundraising event.  Without ridicule, and always with a loving smile.  :)   Albeit sometimes a tired one.

Honoring Parents is such a major mitzvah [Jewish commandment] that it is included in the 10 Commandments.  How can I give honor to my mom?  It says in the Torah that the way to know if a tree is good is by looking at its fruit.  So, I think it is, in part, by leading a life by her examples of how to treat others and making sure the fruits of her labor are sweet.  I think that is what the concept of “nachas” [mixed feeling of pride and joy] is all about.  Tasting the sweet fruits of your labor – seeing the growth and successes that stem from your efforts – be it the success of the Sisterhood activities she takes part in, or of the children and grandchildren she had a hand in bringing into this world and nurturing.

I’ve always been uncomfortable with receiving compliments – except for one.  Over the years, whenever anyone told me I was like my mom in some way, I always took that as a compliment.  She is one of the strongest people I know.  Like everyone, she has her own set of challenges in life – but she has the fortitude to control her reactions to those challenges and go on to enjoy life, greet everyone with kindness, and be there for others.

We love you, Mom, and I am still growing up trying to be more like you.
Mazel tov to you on receiving this much deserved honor, and thank you for inviting me to be a part of this very special event.  May you continue to be blessed with health and strength, love and respect from family and friends, and nachas from your children and grandchildren.