Eskimo Nebula

Eskimo Nebula
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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Two of my favorite things

Hello again,

It's been a while, but I am back in the blogosphere. I have a ton of new ideas and photos to post, but it will take a bit longer. So, for this entry I just wanted to share some of my favorite things with you. For this instance it will be some food items from some companies that I am really proud to support. I am really adamant about conscious eating  vs. unconscious eating. (No, we're not going to talk about people stuffing their faces when they've been knocked unconscious!)

Whenever you buy things; it's important to know how they came to be and everything (and sometimes all the things that aren't in them, as well!) that went into them. There are a lot of good companies producing quality goods that are also conscious in how they effect the environment and also in their involvement with giving back to the community/earth.

One of my absolute favorite companies that produces awesome snacks is the Food Should Taste Good Company. My latest favorite is their Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips:

As a double bonus, if you buy the special pink bag editions of chips from this company; they make an addtional donation to various organizations fighting breast cancer. They also have a facebook campaign for it right now where you can purchase discounted coupons for bags of their chips and 100% of the proceeds go to the various organizations. I love it! =)

These chips are so flavorful and if you love sweet potatoes you will definitely be happy with the flavor profile. Prior to me tasting this variety for the first time; I was a little skeptical that you would really be able to taste any of the sweet potato. Sometimes when you mix things with corn, the flavor can overpower all other ingredients. This was and is not the case for these lovely, delectable, satisfying sweet potato tortilla chips. They are so jam packed with sweet potato-ness and with a softer background of corn. I love to eat them, all by themselves, but imagine them with hummus or tzadziki, guacamole etc. Soooo gooooood! =)

Aside from the sweet potato variety, they also have an awesome chocolate tortilla chip (yes, chocolate!!!) basically any chip variety you get from this brand will be good =)

I assure you I am not getting paid for any of this; I just really love the product and company =)

Another one on my list of favorite things is the Mayan Harvest Bake from Kashi. I do not often buy frozen entrées, but when I took a chance on this lovely; wow. The one major reason I picked this one out of the other varieties is obviously because it was vegetarian/vegan and the other was that it had plantains as one of the main components! I love plantains =)

On top of the fact that the base is the 7 grain Kashi Pilaf mix, they have nutty pepitas, black beans, sweet potatoes and a lovely zesty sauce. I tell you when I have this to eat; I am really satisfied and happy =)
The price for one box of it isn't too bad either, right now it's $3.27 at the local grocery store. Whenever they're on sale, you better believe I stock up on these! If you know me; then you know I usually like to make everything from scratch whenever possible, but I have to say this dish is perfect the way it is. Just don't overcook it. I'd still eat it, but you might appreciate it more when it's cooked for the proper amount of time =)

Kashi, has long been an outstanding company when it comes to naturalness and environmental wellness. They do a lot of good in communities and give back quite a lot. You can see more about that by visiting the aformentioned link to their site.

Those were just 2 things off of my list and I will be sharing more of those items with you as times goes on.

I guess you could say I actually kind of listed 3 (if you notice the photo of the Veggie Heaven shirts), but I will speak more about that lovely restaurant another time. I think it deserves a full entry! =)

Peace and Health to you all.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Memories of September 11th 2001

Every September 11th and the days up until that day I think about what happened and what has happened since that day. I wanted to share with you my experiences from that day. It's one of the ways that I can pay tribute and honor everybody who lost their lives on that day. It is difficult and painful to return to the memories, but it is nothing in comparison to the loss of all those families.

September 11, 2001

There’s no way to escape what that date means for the people of the United State of America. In 2001, we all were ripped from our sense of seeming invincibility. I think that people just never imagined that such a huge tragedy, such a loss would happen here, we could see it happening in everywhere else in the world, but not here. I was waiting for one of my language classes to begin and one of my classmates told me that a plane had just struck one of the towers of the World Trade Center. I don’t think I fully understood that it was a commercial plane. I thought maybe a commuter plane had some issues and hit the building by accident. I wouldn’t understand  the full impact until I was driving home in my car. I had a local radio station on and all they were talking about was what was going on in New York. They were crying and frantic and describing what had happened. There was a second plane that hit the second tower and everything was in flames. They talked about the collapsing building and the people screaming for help. I was crying so hard; trying to drive home. I was shocked to the core and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I was struggling to breath and when I finally got back to my house, I turned on the news and I saw the images for the first time. It felt like I was stabbed in the heart; all the smoke and fire and the people running. I even saw the footage of the people jumping out the towers in desperation. I thought my heart would explode. I don’t remember how long I watched, but I then called my boyfriend at the time. We had just been in New York at the towers  a few weeks prior. We spent a good deal of the day there with one of my friends ; going to the observation levels and taking photos in and all around. I thought of all the people that we met and everybody who worked and lived in those towers. They were gone. We both cried and cried. I think like most people that day throughout the country; it felt like we had been shattered into a million pieces. I was so horrified, angry and grief stricken. It traumatized us. We all wanted everything to be okay again, but we didn’t know when it would happen and when it was right to feel good again. 

I hated it so much that on that same day I had to go fill up my car with stupid gasoline. My Mom kept urging ‘You’d better go get gas now before it gets expensive!’ It was the last thing I wanted to do that day. I remember pulling up to gas station with a huge line of cars. I saw their faces and they were probably just about as red with crying and somber as mine. None of us wanted to be there. 

The next day I had to go to the Secretary of State to renew my license. I certainly didn’t feel like doing that and I remember that while on my way there a stone had gotten kicked up from the road and hit my windshield and it startled me. It left a crack in my windshield and left me even more shaken. When I got to the Secretary of State everybody had the same look; we didn’t want to be there. I went through and did my eye test and took a new photo, managed my way through, but nobody was happy. Everybody was so restless for the weeks after the attack and then months and months later still we all felt helpless. We did our fundraisers and we had ceremonies to honor the people who died, but it was never enough. It will never be enough.   

It was a while before I felt like I could even laugh or smile again . I think the day when I started to feel like we’d be okay is when I realized that life couldn’t continue to feel like that. Terrorism is designed to shake you to your core and hopefully break you down so that you become so wracked with fear that you will submit to anything. Well, I wasn’t going to do that. As much as there is anti-Americanism; there is no denying the  strong and resilient American spirit. When we are wounded we take time to heal, but we will recover. I never take my liberties and rights for granted. I understand how fortunate I am to be able to speak my mind and be who I want to be in this country. 

 We are a huge nation and we have so many resources and  rights. Our way of life  and rights can displease others and create the potential to make enemies. Oh, how I wish that all throughout the world that there was no strife and destructive wars. All I ever want for this world is peace and some people are willing to work towards tranquility while others do not see a point to achieving peace because of all the obstacles that stand in the way. Can you imagine if people stopped being so angry, stopped hating each other, stopped oppressing one another; stopped exploiting one another… Too much energy is wasted on being negative. 

When I think about how much we can achieve together when we focus and pour our energies into something positive it makes me feel really good. I know the goodness that people can give to this world and I know it’s all possible to make everything better. People have to want it; in order to make it happen. 

Tomorrow is the 10th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center. They have rebuilt and made a memorial where the 2 towers once stood. There are now waterfall fountains in the footprints of the two towers. These waterfall fountains are surrounded by the etched names of those who gave/lost their lives that day at the towers, at the pentagon and in Pennsylvania. I was moved that the people who designed and planned the arrangements of the names were able to group them according to relation. The names are not in alphabetical order; rather they are grouped together by relation of friendship or family. That is so meaningful and I know that this a huge part of all the families lives; those who lost their loved ones, but were never able to have full closure because their loved ones were never recovered from the rubble. This is a place where they can come to connect and remember. There are also close to 400 trees in this area and it’s a good thing to see new life where so much was once lost. 

If you’d like to see what this memorial looks like or to donate towards the memorial fund; please visit:

If you have some memories that you’d like to share about your experiences from that day please do.

We all learn from each other’s experiences.

What do you take way from such a dark day? 

The simple truths of life:

Don’t hold onto anger and fear because it’ll end up hurting you even more in the end.

 Never take things or people in your life for granted. When you have a chance to tell them you love them; you should do it because you really never know for certain when you’ll get another chance.

Wishing you all love and peace,


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Lookout for those language traps!

I love language and culture. I've studied a handful of languages over the years including: Spanish, French, German, Hebrew, Kiswahili, Japanese as well as smatterings of many others. As I said in my first post, I grew up bilingual and I guess it was from that moment in Kindergarten where I realized that most other people didn't speak two languages at home. It was probably one of the reasons why I always loved language/culture. I understood that there were many different worlds to explore and that language was the key to gates of the world.

It's definitely intimidating speaking to native speakers sometimes, but you cannot really learn a language until you practice conversing in the language. Whenever I would start learning a new language from scratch I would do my best to have some sort of immersion in the culture. I found literature and movies and music in that language and really listened. I've always felt that once you felt comfortable enough to joke in a language that you have achieved a great success.

It's really funny and sometimes embarrassing when you're learning a new language and your first attempts to converse lead to titters or looks of shock. There are some things that do not translate into other languages word for word or may not even exist at all. Even the most seasoned speakers do make mistakes and it's only fair to point out that to speak a language 'fluently', is a bit misleading because almost everybody makes mistakes in their own mother tongue. If you are a native speaker of English and have ever taken an A.P. English course you know the deadly list of grammatical 'sins.' Here's a link to a wikipedia article about commonly misused English words:

I admit that I am sometimes the 'grammar police' when I read/hear what other people write/say, but I do not have absolutely perfect grammar or punctuation in every situation myself; so I really shouldn't be so up in arms about it. There are still some sentences that I've heard that make me cringe though =p

If you're currently learning a new language or perhaps traveling to a different country; here is some information about 2 language traps that can lead to some interesting blunders.

Two language traps to which everybody falls victim are:

Homophones & Cognates


[hom-uh-fohn, hoh-muh-] Show IPA
1.Phonetics . a word pronounced the same as another but differing in meaning, whether spelled the same way or not, as heir and air.

2. a written element that represents the same spoken unit as another, asks, a homophone of x in English.

I can recall sitting in a middle school Spanish class listening to my teacher talk about her husband making blunders while he was at a restaurant in Mexico. She relished in the fact that he had once ordered jabón instead of jamón. Those are two very different things indeed. Jabón is the word for soap in Spanish. Jamón is the word for ham in Spanish. I know that from that time on, her husband never made that mistake again =)


[kog-neyt] Show IPA
1.related by birth; of the same parentage, descent, etc.
2.Linguistics . descended from the same language or form:such cognate languages as French and Spanish.
3.allied or similar in nature or quality.

You can say some pretty silly things when you are overly confident when using cognates. There may be some words in a language that exist, but they do not mean the same thing. Take for example the time when a few friends in France were at a fairly ritzy restaurant and one of them said apparently being very conscious about their dietary intake and insisting that they wanted bread without any preservatives 'Je voudrais du pain sans préservatifs.'

Their waiter's face had a look of shock and bewilderment because the term for condoms in French is 'préservatifs.' Oops! =o Indeed the patron would have been better off changing their phrase to
 ' Je voudrais du pain sans additifs.'

I don't know whether or not they made the patron leave or the if the waiter might have had some fun, but I'm fairly sure that if this person had some native French speakers sitting at the same table. They probably either hurriedly excused their friend or burst out laughing much to the chagrin of their blundering friend. =)

Despite the facts of high likely-hood that you will make mistakes while speaking your non native language; that should not be a deterrent for you to keep going. You will definitely learn from your mistakes and end up having a funny story to tell somebody someday.

'To have another language is to possess a second soul.'

                                                           - Charlemagne

When we travel or visit with different cultures; they really do appreciate it when you make an effort to speak to them in their own language. You may not say it perfectly, but it will make them smile and who knows you may make a new lifelong friend along the way =)