Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Sadly, today is the 19th day of November and I am posting my very first entry for NaBloPoMo. *Insert one. slow. clap.* I will be organized, or at least semi-organized one day! I think one thing that will help me to post more often is to keep track of my daily accomplishments. We'll try that today and see what happens. :-)
In other "homemaker news": One thing I want to talk about is that I have finally learned to love oatmeal raisin cookies (or at least the ones I make). I used to view them as shifty little devils. With the raisins partially camouflaged underneath the oats and flour and brown sugar, they sometimes appear as beautiful dark semi-sweet chocolate morsels. There have been times when someone has actually told me that the cookies were oatmeal chocolate chip - they were sure of it - then I bit into a deceitful raisin, adding to my trust issues. I had been craving homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
for some time and decided it would be a nice little bonding project to do with my kids. Of course, the two little ones tested my patience to the point of no return and ended up getting sent to bed. (It was 9:00 by then anyway.) I mostly made them by myself with a a bit of help from my older son with cracking eggs & a little mixing, then he had to go to bed too. So instead of cookies for desert last night, they will be everyone's after school snack today. Since the hubs loves oatmeal raisin, I split the dough in half & decided to do half raisin, half chocolate chip. As the first pan came out of the oven smelling all cinnamon-y and irresistible, I knew I had to make a sacrifice and try one of the raisin cookies. Somehow, some way, I actually liked it! I even tried more after they cooled off and still liked them! I think I can actually eat oatmeal raisin cookies (that I made) without feeling betrayed!
What is the secret to the raisins' trickery? 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves! The recipe calls it optional, but if you're anything like me and have had a longstanding contempt for raisins in your baked goods, then the cloves are definitely a requirement. Here is a link to the recipe (Although mine came directly from my BHG cookbook that my mom gave me when I moved into my first apartment - Thanks Mom!)

Today's Accomplishments:

  • 2 rows of blanket completed
  • 2 baskets of laundry folded & put away
  • Plants watered/cared for
  • Blog post completed :-)
  • New knitting project started
  • Worked on video editing for hubby's Sunday message

Monday, September 30, 2013

Where Is Thy Sting?

Oh, Death, where is thy sting? For those left behind, it is everywhere. Because of my faith, I know that my loved ones are experiencing a glory that cannot be compared to the sufferings of this present time and for that, I have joy. However, for me, it is as though I own a mansion with many rooms and each time a person is gone, it is like a room gets permanently sealed off. The light will never come back on. The windows are shuttered and we can never go back and experience the joy we felt in that room and no new memories will be made in that room. My house has lost several rooms in the past few months and it keeps getting smaller! I just cried last Monday over the loss I experienced in April and - unexpectedly - and just last Thursday, another light was permanently extinguished, another door sealed off. If I didn't know God, know Christ, this would be too much for me to withstand. I now completely understand why there are hermits, and old recluses. They cut themselves off from everyone so they don't have to experience the pain of caring for, loving, enjoying someone's presence, only to have them gone without notice. It takes a piece of your heart away.
I would love to shield my children from this. I would love to just pack my family up and take them deep into the woods so that we don't have to see anyone, so that we can be distant from them and avoid the sorrow when it comes time to lose another loved one.
To my friends and family, I apologize that sometimes I don't communicate. It's so much easier to hear all the great things about someone at their funeral and think, "I wish I had gotten to know them better," and leave knowing a small nightlight is gone from your hallway, than to truly know and love how great they were and feel a chunk of your heart gone.
I understand that God has a plan for each of us, on Earth as well as in Heaven. I know He calls  people when they have fulfilled their purpose here, or when He can better use them in the spiritual realm, but why can't we still talk to them? Or at least why can't I talk to them? Why can't I send them a text message just to say, "Hey," and get a quick response back?
That's where faith comes in. It is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. Because of my faith, I know that I will see them again and it will feel like we just saw each other yesterday. Because of my faith, I will take time to grieve in order to release these emotions back to God, but I will know that I will get better, that I will go on. I know that my "mansion" will continue to have more rooms sealed off, but that more rooms will also be added, perhaps even another wing or two. :-)
It stings now, but these wounds will heal with the passage of time and for that, I am grateful and will continue to have joy and peace.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Back To My Roots

I wanted to share my first creative writing assignment: "Tell your life story in three incidents involving hair." I was proud of myself 1) for actually completing the assignment and 2) for getting an "A" on it! So hear it is -

Back To My Roots

As a little girl, hearing stories about Rapunzel and seeing television and movie stars with long flowing locks of hair, I wanted nothing more than to someday be on screen with my long, lovely locks. After getting my hair washed I would stand in front of the mirrored shower door with a towel hanging off of my head and a brush, or bottle of shampoo in my hand as a microphone, envisioning my silvery, glittering ball gown and a crowd of adoring fans. Then the towel would inevitably fall off and my actual, tightly curly hair would be standing straight out and up and I was quickly shoved back into reality.
I still had hope, though. Looking at the older women in my family and my favorite actress, Phylicia Rashad, I knew that as soon as I became an adult my hair would magically turn from braided ponytails to flowing curls that would bounce as I moved my head. I didn’t realize that the women I was looking at all had chemically processed, or heat-straightened hair. All was not lost though, once I turned 11, my mother decided to take me to the hair dresser and I was able to get a relaxer. At last, my hair bounced! It was long, light brown with naturally blonde highlights, and I could style it myself! I could comb through it in smooth strokes! That first relaxer was the best thing that could have happened to me!
Unfortunately, with each relaxer, I lost length. I didn’t know how to properly take care of my hair because I thought it was essentially the same as my friend Jenny’s* hair and I should be able to care for it the same way. My mother tried to tell me, but as an eleven year-old, I was sure that I understood way more about taking care of myself than she could possibly know. Instead, I listened to Jenny. After school, we would go up to her room and use her curling iron while listening to Bon Jovi and she would “fix” my bangs. Burning my forehead multiple times, she would curl one layer down, then she would take the top layer and curl it up and back while spraying the strands that were locked around the barrel of the iron. I thought nothing of the smoke, or the odor of fried Aquanet hairspray. I just knew I was getting the latest style bangs and nobody could tell me I wasn’t cute. It all changed when Jenny and I got mad at each other. We stopped talking for a few days, but I still needed my bangs to look “fly” so I decided I would do it myself. Again, nobody knew better than me how to take care of myself. As I searched under my bathroom sink for some suitable tools and sprays, I realized the only hairspray we had was an old bottle of Stay-Sof-Fro and a small barreled curling iron that didn’t compare to Jenny’s. Oh well, I could make it work. I vaguely remembered Jenny saying something about wetting her hair first. Instead of undertaking this mission before bed, I decided I needed my hair to be fresh so I waited until the morning while I was running late getting ready for school. After wetting my hair, I applied the Stay-Sof-Fro then commenced to curl my bangs. I was then on my way out the door to a very foggy morning causing a very long, very moist, fifteen minute walk to school.
I was so confident when I walked into class, until I saw their eyes. The first one to speak was Jenny , who, with one sentence, had gone from being my best friend to my arch nemesis with the words, “Wow, you look like you stuck your finger in a light socket.”  Never being blessed with the gift of witty comebacks, I just went to my desk and sulked and tried to come up with, for the rest of the school year, the perfect insult to hurl at her, but to no avail. That was the last time I attempted the “JennyBang.”
Now, over 20 years later, I have evolved into loving the hair I was born with. After being frustrated with the chemicals I was constantly subjecting my hair to and the damage it was suffering, I realized that I wanted to go back to my roots. I wanted to be able to wear my hair in its natural state without chemically altering it, without constantly straightening it with heat. If other members of cultures are comfortable with wearing their hair the way it grows from their heads, then I should be able to do the same. In 2009, I decided to finally stop getting relaxers and began experimenting with braided and curly styles, on my partially-relaxed, partially-grown-out. Then I got fired.
After dealing with an extremely stressful job and people, my supervisor decided I was no longer worth having around and manipulated things in a manner to justify terminating my employment. I was devastated. Although I was married, we still had 4 children to take care of and my two youngest absolutely adored the company’s childcare center as well as its teachers. After those things were ripped from my grasp, I decided I might as well make a fresh start. I visited my former hairdresser and asked her to cut off all of my relaxed, damaged ends, leaving me with a much shorter, curly afro.
The moment I looked in the mirror and felt the small soft curls of my own one hundred percent natural hair, my whole soul breathed a sigh of relief. No longer was I conforming to what television and movies, and countless other people told me was beautiful. I knew, that with the hair God gave me, I was beautiful, and quite unique. I haven’t looked back since. Although I like being able to change my style and occasionally straighten my hair, I will never put a relaxer in it again, and I will no longer accept that I am not beautiful just the way I am.
I have grown into myself. I have accepted me for who I am and “going natural” was the step I needed to take to reach a new level of maturity. Since that time, I have returned to school full time and I have decided to take full control of my path in life by refusing to be bound to a single employer, instead using my talents and learning new ones in order to make money for myself. My life story is still being written. I’m sure I will probably have more hair endeavors, but I am certainly satisfied with the direction my life, and my hair, is moving.
In this photo, I had flat-ironed my hair and it shows how long my hair had grown 2 years after cutting off all of the relaxer.

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thoughts on Human Compassion

Lesson of the week for me: Never care more passionately than someone else about their own problems.
It seems I have had to keep learning this lesson the hard way. Why? Why do I get so obsessive over someone else's issues when it seems they're just sitting back and relaxing? I guess it's a gift and a curse for me.
This "gift" could be used for good and for advocacy - standing up for those who can't stand up for themselves. It becomes a curse when I'm trying to stand up for someone and, for whatever reason, they get more frustrated and turn around and resent me for causing them stress. That is why I have to learn how to detach and disengage from certain people and/or situations.
On another (sad) note, I just lost a second family member to violence within the past 4 months. I get so depressed sometimes thinking of the level of heartlessness people are capable of. Emotions can be a scary thing. I've certainly been so angry with someone that I wanted to seriously hurt them, but thank God, I had a twinge of common sense and thought of the consequences to me and my family if I were to follow through. Unfortunately, it seems like more and more people are not getting that twinge until after they commit senseless acts. Life goes on for the rest of us while we pick up the pieces. I just pray for people to think before they act and to just have a little love and/or respect for the families - especially children - of those they want to cause harm to. :-(

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Can we move forward after being pushed 1,000 steps backward?

I have always believed that we should teach our children to have hope in humanity, that every person has some good within them, even if it is far below the surface. I have always believed that we should teach them that things will work together for the greater good and that, as time passes, the world will become a better place.  
In my mind, the promise of change seemed like a glowing object that was visible, just on the other side of the bridge. That was until July 13, 2013 when it was announced that George Zimmerman was found "not-guilty" of the murder of Trayvon Martin. I never believed the jury would find him guilty of murder, but knowing that there was a lesser charge on the table, I held out hope for Zimmerman to be found guilty of something. I guess that was just me being an optimist. After the announcement, I was crushed. As I got ready for church the next morning, I stopped and sobbed. The bridge I had been waiting to cross was no longer solid stone, cement, or steel, it had become a flimsy rope bridge across an impossibly wide canyon and the rope had just been hacked. We just fell off the cliff.
Where is my hope in humanity, in unity now? What do I tell my sons now? What do we tell our black boys now?
"Son, be sure not to run out of your 'whiteface' makeup before you leave the house. Also, don't forget your Justin Bieber wig. Always be prepared before walking down the street, my heart would break if you were to get shot. I love you, Son."

Is this what it has come to? When will we (blacks) be safe walking down the street? We've gone from fear of getting caught by the slave masters to fear of being caught by the lynch mob, to fear of walking in our own neighborhoods! Where do we go from here? When and where do we get to act like white people? When will the time come that we can simply wave to any police officer, or walk past the neighborhood watchman without being followed? When will we just look like we belong?
Maybe we need to revisit reparations. Can black folks get reservations like the Native Americans? Isn't there enough soil that contains our blood to at least set aside a state where all of us can live?/ I realize this idea is not politically correct, but I'm thinking about my kids. After all this time, after the end of slavery, the end of Jim Crow, the Civil Rights movement, a black president, shouldn't my sons truly be able to do and be whatever they want without worrying about being able to walk freely in their own neighborhood?
Well, shouldn't they?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Bow Down to Ms. "Humble"?

I remember the first time I read a magazine interview/article about Beyonce years ago (I tried to find it, but then realized how much time I was wasting so I stopped). The writer took great pains to speak about how humble she was and  I believe there was a direct quote from Beyonce herself saying she was "humble." I recall wondering if it was even necessary to tell someone how humble you are, if you are indeed "humble." I was turned off by that and the rest of the article and haven't been a huge fan of her ever since. 
Don't get me wrong, I love SOME of the music, especially the early Destiny's Child stuff, but some of her lyrics are just weird. That's how popular music is anyway, you can talk/sing about almost anything, just put some great beats and music to it and you've got a hit - which is one reason why there are so many females running around referring to themselves and every other female as b__s. 
Which brings me to the my motivation for writing today. Apparently Queen (or King I'm not sure how she's referring to herself at this point) B has decided to drop the humble act and go ahead and let all of us know where we stand in her world: (click here to hear it for yourself)
"I know when you were little girls / You dreamt of being in my world/Don’t forget it / Respect that / Bow down, b—s."
I guess she told us. 
"I heard your boo was talkin' lip, I told my crew to smack that trick."
"I didn't ___ your girl, but your sister was alright."

Call me a hater if you want, but I have no respect for this woman deciding to go backwards - this is something she should have released as a juvenile. As a 30-something new mother, one would expect her judgment to have gotten better. She has always talked about empowering women/girls, etc... Guess what, this is not empowering. This is just like every other raggedy song you hear now that has something negative to say about women. It seems that all she is doing is falling into the trend and following her husband's lead. 
I tried to believe that she was really this great person and maybe the reason why I was annoyed by her was because she seemed to have it all and perhaps I was just jealous. Now she has reaffirmed that my aversion to her was not a simple case of envy, there was something under the surface that was bugging me and I just couldn't pinpoint it. Now, she's brought it right up to the surface. 
I'm not bowing down, I'm just done. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

I May Be Criticized For This, But...

I have an issue with a recent CNN story I read about the parents of a first grader filing a complaint (I don't think it's a lawsuit yet) against a school district alleging gender discrimination.
The article talks about a child who was born with male body parts, but as a toddler started identifying as a female. The parents decided they wanted the child to be happy so they let the child continue to identify as a female. The picture of the child with the article shows what appears to be a little girl with purple hair and wearing a dress. The complaint is based on the fact that the child was previously able to do everything in school as a girl, but recently the parents were told that the child can no longer use the girls restroom. Quote from the parents, "We were very confused because everything was going so well, and they had been so accepting, and all of a sudden it changed and it was very confusing and very upsetting because we knew that, by doing that, she was going to go back to being unhappy" 

I have many thoughts/opinions/possibly judgments (I have to tell you the truth) about this situation - mostly about the parents. First of all, I would not be comfortable with my first grade daughter walking in the girls restroom and accidentally seeing the private parts of a boy. I believe this is a big part of the issue the school is probably dealing with. It's one thing if you have siblings of the opposite sex and you happen to see them naked - it's another thing when it comes to strangers - whether you're a child or an adult. I actually went back and watched the video and felt kind of bad for the parents (because my initial question was if part of the problem was them over-indulging their child - but again, I was being judgmental), but I especially felt bad for the child who was there and had to hear all of this! If your child was depressed at the age of three, wouldn't it make sense to shelter them from situations where they may feel as though an entire school district hates them? Why should this child (and apparently the couple's other kids) be there during the press conference? Reporters always ask crazy questions. This is just exposure to another emotional roller-coaster. 
The last thing I'm going to say about the whole issue is this: I was born black. If I had decided when I was a toddler that I was white, should I have been able to be treated as a white person the rest of my life? Come on, we all know the truth, yes, everyone is supposed to be treated equally, regardless of race, but everyone is not treated equally. I can make a phone call right now to anyone in corporate America and they will have no idea that I am black, but the moment I meet them in person, I will see the flash of surprise/shock cross their face. My point is, being black is a biological fact for me. I can't do any manner of bleaching my skin, straightening my hair, or changing my accent, that will make me white, Asian, or anything else - someone (actually, most people) will see me for who I am. What if my parents had decided to let me identify as a white person? Would I have a better life now? Heck No! I would be all the way confused and jacked up! My life would be absolutely miserable because I would never understand why everybody else does not see me the way I want them to see me. 
I realize these issues are slightly different, but are they really? I'm confused and frustrated. Guess what? This world isn't fair and no matter what we do, it never will be. This is earth, not heaven. Every person in this world looks at someone, or something and wishes their life could be different in some way, but it doesn't work like that.
Please share your opinions with me because I am struggling with my feelings about this issue. I don't want to be "unloving" or hateful, but I truly would like to understand this better. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I'm just being honest

I have hesitated to post because I just feel like complaining.
I realize that I am immensely blessed, but the complaining is not so much about what I don't have, it's more about what I do, or don't do.
I certainly understand now why my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and pretty much any person older than me at the time told me to go straight to college, finish college, then worry about the rest of my life after that. Everybody but me seemed to know what I would end up doing. It's almost as if they were looking at a window above my head that showed a view of my future. Here I am, up past 2:00 a.m., not studying, married with 4 kids, trying to fit everything into my life like it's a 20 year-old pair of (cheap) jeans - bursting at the seams, with holes starting to wear through in unflattering places.
I just want to get something over with. I want to know what my life is supposed to look like.

11For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. Jer. 29:11

Friday, February 15, 2013

Watch Out Boys!

Yesterday was Valentine's Day. My 6 year-old daughter woke up so excited - almost like Christmas  - when I was about to do "This Little Piggy" with her toes, she said, "Do 'this little piggy's daddy is coming to her school!'"
My husband started this tradition with our oldest daughter when she was in kindergarten (maybe even daycare) where he would go to her school in the middle of the day and bring her a ridiculous amount of gifts: roses, tons of candy, stuffed animals, balloons, and whatever else he could think of. (I would say "whatever else he could think of that she could reasonably carry home on the bus," but I think he's forgotten about the bus some years LOL) Me, being the penny-pincher, have always felt he went a bit overboard and when we were expecting our youngest daughter, I warned him that he was going to have to keep up, but that didn't worry him. Eventually, I washed my hands of it and let him do what he does because they love it so much.
Obviously, it's nice to show our kids love and give them nice things for Val-day, but my husband wants to do more than that. His whole motivation is that his girls get so used to getting flowers and nice things for Val-day that, once they get older, they don't just accept any old thing that some little boy decides to get them - these little boys must come correct! LOL Also, it's not just about material things, but about the thought they put into it. My girls are not going to be blown away the first time some guy gives them flowers because they've had that before.
"Too much of a good thing is wonderful."

A prime example: Black Ink. (First let me tell you, I REALLY try not to get into these foolish so-called "reality" shows, but if they happen to be on TV, I'm almost like a moth to a flame - except for those extra-foolish ones like Bad Girls Club that serve no purpose other than attempting to turn men on by displaying ridiculous cat-fights and drunkenness - but that's just my opinion.) Anyway, I happened to get engrossed into an episode of Black Ink Crew - the show about the black-owned tattoo shop in Harlem. I normally wouldn't even watch this show because I don't care anything about tattoos, but the people are interesting. So, one of the artists is getting involved with the owner of the shop and he gives her flowers on their first official date and she gets all teary-eyed and says no guy has ever done something like that for her before. Huh??!!
Now, let me say a few things:
1. How old is she and is this the first guy she's ever dated? (I'm guessing not, b/c after the date she mentions to him what she wants to do and it doesn't seem first-time-ish to me)
2. Come on guys! Flowers? That's too much to ask nowadays? I realize that there are plenty of women who say they don't like and/or care about flowers, but there's nothing wrong with spending a little money to get a woman you care about something beautiful.
3. I've made mistakes, and definitely dated some losers, but I've always known that a guy who doesn't do little things (like flowers, chocolates, or even writing love letters) isn't worth being with and definitely not worth ME giving ANYTHING to him - time to move on.
4. I am thankful that I'll never have to worry about this from my girls. Their dad has set the standard high AND they have seen him demonstrate these things with me on Val-day - I always get a little bit more than they get and I also get flowers and other gifts on non-occasions, just because he wanted to brighten my day. :-) So chivalry ain't dead!
I guess my message is both to dads and women. Dads - if you want your daughters to end up with men who are better than you, or at least as good as you, set the standards high early on. Make sure they see that the man in their life is supposed to make them feel special and valuable, and even make sure that other people (i.e. their friends at school) see this. You don't have to go overboard (like my husband does at times :-) ), but make sure they feel your presence and your love. That makes it more likely that they won't settle for some user/loser.
Women - just because a guy gives you flowers, doesn't mean you have to return the favor (hopefully you get my drift, I try to keep this blog PG).
Tulips - one of my favs!
There ARE men out there who will make you feel special and loved, but sometimes that calls for waiting patiently. You can do it! In the end, you will be glad you decided you weren't going to settle for just anybody. Also, a man who gives you lots of expensive stuff is not necessarily the one either. I've gotten expensive gifts from guys only to find out that he spent more money on his main girlfriend! I like the saying, "Not gonna be the same fool twice!" I did it once for ya'll, now don't make it twice! ;-)
I'm now thankful that my husband goes a little overboard for Val-day and I accept it with open arms - especially while I'm eating chocolate! LOL

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Okay, I'm going to need to hit "Restart"

Since this blog has "honest" in the title, I must be honest with you - I failed my smoothie fast. :-( I did really well the first 2 days, but I forgot that my husband had long ago planned a dinner date for us on Saturday (the 2nd day of the fast). First let me say, if FedEx had not messed up and lost my first(!) blender, I would have been done with the fast by Saturday so they get all the blame! Just kidding :-)
Anyway, I will give you some details about the second day because I already knew it would be the worst after watching "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead." I was actually okay when I woke up, just a little hungry. It wasn't until I had to drop my son off for his ACT at 8:00 a.m. and attempt to study, that I started feeling a little weak. At that point, I went ahead and made a smoothie, which I posted about in my last entry. Yes, it was awesome, just like I said, but I don't know if it was a combination of all the excitement, having to run errands and attempt to study, but I crashed majorly about 2 hours after my smoothie. At that point I was angry with my kids for needing transportation, I was angry with myself for being in school, I was angry with my professors for assigning assignments, and I was angry with my husband for wanting to go on a date with me!
Later that evening, once I overindulged with appetizers, soup, italian food, and chocolate mousse cake, I was Nice Natalie again. Unfortunately, I knew in my heart that I would be eating regular food the next day. I had utterly failed.
Yesterday, I did make a half-hearted attempt at a breakfast smoothie, but with only half a banana, and no love inserted into the recipe, it fell flat. My son came home from school to catch me with peanut butter on my fingers and an empty cereal bowl in front of me - he later posted on my facebook, "YOU HAVE FAILED!! try again tomorrow!" Thank you son, thank you for your encouragement...
So, since I can't go to class with a smoothie migraine, I will definitely try this fast again, but not until Thursday or Friday. I will let you know how it goes. :-)

Saturday, February 9, 2013


I haven't updated in a while because I've had too many things I want to talk about, but not enough time to figure out what to tackle first! LOL However, today, I could no longer stay silent while I was sipping on this:
I know, it doesn't look like it is so special, but this thing made my day! I haven't even had any coffee today and I'm still happy and awake!
So, let me tell you about my "green" smoothie (or "thickie"). Here is what it looked like before I blended it up:
Ingredients listed from the bottom up (I really didn't measure anything, I just eye-balled it:
4-6 oz. water
2 pitted dates (no sugar added)
1/2 banana
2 small-med. cored apples (I used 1 red delicious & 1 golden delicious)
1 kiwi
1/2-3/4 cup frozen berries (mine had blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, & raspberries
1-1.5 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup spring salad greens
1/2-3/4 cup crushed ice
1/4 cup coconut (I accidentally got the bag from the baking aisle that was sweetened and since I'm trying to avoid extra sugar, I just rinsed it before adding it)
To make it a thickie: 1/2-3/4 cup oatmeal
What set it all off: a pinch of grated fresh ginger root 

Okay, I realize that I am super-extra excited about drinking a bunch of blended fruit, spinach and oatmeal, but when you're dreading a self-prescribed days-long fast of consuming only these things, it's refreshing to find something that makes you say "Mmmmmm!" :-) Today's smoothie did that for me. 
Yesterday was my first day and I also did 2 batches of smoothies. The first one was excellent, but I put half an orange in it and did not realize until I was drinking the rest of the pitcher for lunch, that if you make a smoothie with citrus fruit, DO NOT LET IT SIT FOR 30 MINUTES OR MORE!! I had poured what was left from the pitcher into a glass and refrigerated it, thinking I would come back later to enjoy the great tastes I had created before, but it was SO BITTER! You know how when you were a kid and you knew you shouldn't eat the orange peel because everyone had told you not to? Did you try to taste it just one time anyway? I mean, it's such a beautiful color and it tears easily, so you know you can bite it. Well, if you're one of those kids who tried it, you know what my leftover-from-breakfast lunch smoothie tasted like.  :-/ Oh well, lesson learned. I still tried to doctor it up and I did finish it b/c I didn't want to waste all of that stuff. I will definitely put oranges and/or lemons/lemon juice in my smoothies in the future, but I will only do it if I'm making a small batch, or if I have enough people to share it with. :-) 
Well, that's my two cents added to the green smoothie movement. I will definitely add more info, because I think this is something everyone should try. I'm looking forward to having more energy, fitting back into my jeans :-), and developing a greater appreciation for fresh fruits and veggies.

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