Day 4: The Gift of Voting #Blogher #NaBloPoMo

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Today’s gift:  VOTING!  Our family has made it a tradition to all vote together in the morning on election day(s).   And so today we all piled into the car (even Rocky) and discussed America’s history, voting, freedom, politics, and so much more.

The gesture feels fun at the time but the impact behind it is serious and time honored.

I’m delighted to be able to educate my children this way!

My #SOMENERVE Challenge: Facing My Fear of #CleanEating

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

Today’s Gift: SOME NERVE!

My brother-in-law and his wife own and run an organic farm a few towns away from us. Every summer and early fall we participate in a weekly “community share” and the beautiful produce is plentiful, delicious, and fresh. I’ve used the word “clean” to describe the taste as well as the process from field to table when explaining the difference between what we buy in the grocery story and the farm to my twins. I’ve explained how the life cycle of the produce from the farm to our table is a pure process: we know exactly where -and how –the beans, tomatoes, melons, and onions grow; we know how the crops are picked (sometimes we do it ourselves!); and we often know the specific location for each crop (especially the pick your own tomatoes and raspberries) all this because we are very fortunate that the farmers are the twins’ aunt and uncle.

I’m consistently surprised by the taste, smell, and feel of the fruit and produce. I’m also overjoyed about the way my family experiences the food – we barely get home before we rip into the bags plus we have to force ourselves not to devour an entire week’s worth of fresh produce on the first night.

From June to October, the effects of this weekly cornucopia can be seen and felt throughout our family in real ways from increased energy to more satisfaction at our meals. We eat every single item in our share and have fun trying to figure out how to prepare celery root or mustard greens. After a month, we look healthier, we don’t crave junk food, our breath is better, our digestion improves, our skin glows. I know the kale and spinach and squash and bok choy and heirloom tomatoes and carrots and beets are gold because they are not processed or artificially colored or sweetened.

The last 2 summers, I saw such a huge difference in our twins when they ate from their beloved Uncle Chumless’ farm (I’m saving the story behind his nickname for another blog post) that I vowed to change our diet.

Predictably, when our summer share ended so did my courage to make a change. The thought of drastically changing the diet and eating habits (not to mention pantry) for 4 family members (me, my husband, and our twins) was unnerving. My daughter has my sweet tooth, my son loves fast food and we all eat junk food, carbs, sugar, dessert, and pizza. I was afraid of the amount of work overhauling our food habits would involve and I was convinced that embracing the “clean eating” movement would be impossible (not to mention would exacerbate my life long aversion/ bordering -on-phobia of grocery shopping).

Fast forward to this September – I’d already begun thinking about the impending “last farm share” and the return of our old food habits when an email arrived on September 10.

My friend and former colleague Patty Chang Anker’s new book SOME NERVE: Lessons Learned While Becoming Brave challenges readers to name and then face a fear — to conquer one thing and in doing so take that big first step toward a bigger and braver life. Dozens of bloggers are facing fears online and writing about their experiences for Patty’s #SOMENERVE challenge and it was the email invitation that energized me and inspired me get up my nerve to make my big change, to face my fear of an eating makeover.

That very day, I began my “clean eating” campaign.

Almost immediately, I knew I needed some coaching and so I reached out to one of the founders of The FWORD Blog – a fantastic fitness and health blog.  The blogging guru Jen met my inquiry with enthusiasm and cheers — she’s now my virtual coach!  Her posts gave me the guidance, real advice, and the concrete “how to” for getting started.  When I reread Jen’s recent blog posts, I felt less intimidated – her written words have helped me create shopping lists, menus, and recipes. So you know, Jen isn’t a nutritionist or certified fitness trainer – she’s a real woman/mom/sister (well except for those abs!) who wants to feed her family and herself well. As Jen recently emailed me “It’s amazing how different you begin to feel after filtering some stuff out. I’m no expert, but I’ve adapted to this lifestyle and it’s made my entire family happier and healthier. I wish you lots of luck on this journey.”

For the last two weeks, I’ve embraced the challenge with my family and I am happy to report we’ve been successfully making the change to “clean eating” and I have conquered my fear and then some.  We are doing both the summer and winter farm share so I’ll get amazing “gifts” of fresh produce all year long.

Today, I have so many reasons I’m personally gratified and proud that I faced my fear. The list includes: improved health for me (and my whole family), weight management, inspiring my husband, helping my daughter become a leader in her school’s healthy eating initiative, an organized refrigerator and pantry, a weekly meal plan, a deeper joy of eating and cooking, and the added bonus of looking forward to grocery shopping for the first time in my life (TRUE!!). This one change has led me to so many others that I am already trying to find a new fear to face.  Get ready for another post Patty!

If this blog post about “clean eating” inspires you, you may like my

“Top 5 Reasons Your Family Should Embrace Clean Eating”–

1. It’s easy!

2. It saves you money (you will use everything you buy when you eat this way).

3. You will look and feel healthier (and if you are concerned about weight this change will help you maintain a healthy one).

4. Real, unprocessed food tastes GREAT (and so much better than processed fake food).

5. Your children will be asking for (and craving!) fruits and vegetables (my two want raw red and orange pepper slices more than candy now).

Today, as I sip my coffee with cinnamon (thanks, Jen!),  I wonder what took me so long and why I was so fearful?

Take it from this Italian girl – the same one who loves pasta, bread, polenta, carbs, chocolate, dessert, and pizza – when you face your fears (whether they are food related, exercise related, career-based, or something else) you embrace living fully.

To learn more about joining the SOME NERVE challenge and Patty’s brave movement, visit her website or blog. If you are interested in Clean Eating, check out this great HuffPost article to get started and also subscribe to Jen’s posts at The FWORD blog and check out some of her recent guest posts at sites like How Does She.

Thank you, Patty!  Thank you, Jen! It takes a village and #SOMENERVE!

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Now it’s your turn to gather your nerve and face your fears. To win a copy of SOME NERVE, send an email with your name and address to me at this email:   my so called sensory life [at] gmail dot com. One winner will be selected on October 3 and notified via email. US ONLY please.  (Thanks to Riverhead Books for providing me with a complimentary review copy and a giveaway copy.  All opinions are my own and were not influenced by the publisher.)

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Farm photo credits: Amy Gropp Forbes

More magazine June 2013 issue features My So-Called Sensory Life!

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Today’s gift:  I’m featured in a terrific piece in MORE magazine! Yes, THE national women’s magazine!  Yes, that MORE magazine!  I’m a huge fan of Lesley Jane Seymour’s gorgeous and smart publication. I’ve read it for years.  And today 3 years after starting my blog, I’m celebrating the miracle of bridging the online and print worlds (My name is in a real magazine on a news stand!! Pinch me!!).

The June 2013 cover story by my friend and gifted writer/author Brian Alexander tells the story behind MSCSL and my blog and my first half MORE/FITNESS marathon (that’s just my slice — the overall article is about the power of habits and the key to change they can represent).  I suggest you all sprint to the store and buy the issue (the one with the gorgeous Debra Messing on the cover) and then jump to page 72 and “Change One Small Habit, Change Your Life” (I’m on pages 77 and 102!).   This is life-changing stuff friends — you can do it, too.

I hope my story and my contribution to Brian’s piece motivates others.  The unexpected gifts of motherhood (the challenges and the joys) were the impetus for my change — and I think my personal story speaks to everyone (Moms, Dads, and more).

If you are new to my blog (welcome!), I invite you to read about all 365 gifts that I blogged for one year (Yes, I did write every single day for 365 consecutive days) so please start with my very first post on March 21, 2010 ( you can also read the About page, too) and then I suggest you read the single gift entries that followed in order and you’ll see how my journey transformed my life in one year (dates:  March 21, 2010 to March 21, 2011).  Please note:  After my one year of gift blogging ended, I decided to keep writing and blogging and so you’ll see a subtle shift in the after March 21, 2011 — these are more varied posts but in keeping with the spirit of celebrating unexpected gifts, I always start my posts with a gift of the day.

Please tell me MORE (couldn’t resist) about your story and your thoughts about the article here or on my facebook page or on Twitter.

Here’s to rebooting YOUR habits and changing YOUR life.

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Happy Mother’s Day 2013! So many gifts!

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Mother’s Day arrived early for me this year and I have the joy of experiencing some incredible (professional/blogger) gifts this week:  it’s been the triple-crown of publicity for me with features on The Huffington Post, iVillage, and allParenting!

My tributes to my own Mom and to my twins are striking a chord online with Moms and families and parents.  And the magic from the Local Listen To Your Mother Show I Co-Directed/Produced has been fueling me all week (including my tv spot).

You can read them here:

The Huffington Post



I’m also still celebrating my first time on (*yes that TODAY).  Read my thoughts about Wonder Woman (fitting for Mother’s Day weekend!) here.

Thankful and grateful for my life — my work life, my family life, my ME-life.

Happy Mother’s Day!


Listen To Your Mother Providence!

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

To cast or not to cast!

My Co-Director/Co-Producer Carla of LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER PROVIDENCE and I are in the process of picking and choosing the cast members for our first show.

Our auditions were inspiring, exciting, humbling, moving, emotional, funny, fierce and so much more than words can impart.

Fortunately for us, the stories that NEED to be told are emerging and through that process our cast is gelling.

I’ve been dreaming about our potential cast and the auditions and can’t wait until we get our final names locked in so that we can announce the first ever Providence LTYM cast.  The show is May 4 (Saturday) at 2pm at The Providence Public Library Auditorium.

Be sure to visit our local blog for the cast announcement (soon) and posts about our awesome and amazing local sponsors.

In keeping with My So-Called Sensory Life’s theme of daily gifts:  the gift of being a Director and Producer for Ann Imig’s show is one I’ll never forget.

Here’s to giving Mother’s Day a mic!   See you on stage!

Your Next Big Thing Blog Hop

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Today’s gift:  My Next Big Thing!

Have you ever woken up in the morning feeling unsure of where your day—or your life—is going? You wonder what else might be out there. You think to yourself: What’s next?

Welcome to YOUR NEXT BIG THING - a new book and a Blog Hop that will hopefully change your life.

Several bloggers committed to join me to write about the new book YOUR NEXT BIG THING By Dr. Ben Michaelis and how they are each making and sustaining real change in 2013.

Commitment is key for making and sustaining real change in your emotional life.

Today I am committing to My Next Big Thing:   writing and blogging regularly again.  In 2010 when I started this blog, I committed to blogging every single day for 365 consecutive days and I did it. I blogged on vacation, on holidays,with sick twins, when traveling.  It felt incredible to hit send on Day #365.   Sadly, since then, I’m blogging and writing less frequently than I want to and so I want to change that TODAY.


Dr. Michaelis writes that a true commitment to personal change requires 3 things:

      • Vision: It’s wonderful if you know exactly what you’d like the New You to look like, but it’s not necessary. All that that you need is to be open to imagining yourself and your life as different than they are now. You can explore the particulars along the way.
      • Promise: When you commit to change you implicitly make a promise. The promise is not to your husband, your sister, or even your kids. The promise you make is to yourself.
      • Energy: Energy and work mean purpose. When you truly believe in something, when you are moving with purpose, you are throwing your energy at something you believe in to make a change and to make it the way you want it to be.

I know I can make this change with Ben’s help and I invite you back to My So-Called Sensory Life weekly to read my new posts.  A Big thank you to Dr. Ben Michaelis for his guidance and inspiration.

Want to read other bloggers writing about their Next Big Thing?  Visit the other talented writers taking part in Your Next Big Thing Blog Hop here:

# # # Day #3 — 42 lives saved and National News

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Today’s gift:  The Huffington Post features our Mission List fundraiser!

Click here to read the post on HuffPost Water.

It’s Day 3 and we have raised $1060 — that means 42 people now have water for life.

Click here to donate — $25 gives a lifetime of water to one person.

#FV FridayVotes and #FR FridayReads

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Today’s gift:  I’ve been nominated on Circle of Moms as one of the Top 2012 Multiples Blogs.

As a Mom of twins, I’m honored and thrilled.  I love Circle of Moms and am a regular contributor to the site.  If you want to support me (pretty please!), then head over and vote for My So-Called Sensory Life.

But wait there’s more — You can vote every day until May 23.   If you vote, please leave a comment here and along with your blog link, I’ll give you a shout out and link in a future post.

Thanks for getting me into the Top 25!

And in case you missed it, my new Huffington Post Parents blog is touching many Moms and Dads and families.  I’ve received some beautiful emails and comments.  I hope you will take The Pledge.  Thank you for celebrating all the unexpected gifts of parenting with me.

Happy Friday!

My Debut on Huffington Post Parents!

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Today’s gift:  It’s official — I’m a Huffington Post Parents blogger!

Please visit me there and read my first post

What to Expect When You’re NOT Expecting The Unexpected

Thank you for reading, commenting, sharing and supporting me on this wonderful parenting journey!


Best Multiples Blog – It’s Voting Time!

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Today’s gift:  I’ve been nominated for Circle of Moms Top 25 Best Multiples Blog.  Woo-hoo! Yeah!

Will you please, please, please vote for me? You can vote DAILY until May 23 by following this link:

Look for My S0-Called Sensory Life (in the low 30’s right now) please and vote.

If you need a quick reminder about why I blog, read this please:

My So-Called Sensory Life celebrates the Unexpected Gifts of Twins & Motherhood. Laura is Mom to boy-girl twins (1 w/special needs). She inspires others with her daily gratitude proving that we CAN find the silver lining everyday even on the tough days.

Each time you vote, send me an email mysocalledsensorylife[at] or post a note on the MSCSL facebook page and I will personally give you a “shout – out” and promote your blog everywhere.  Thank you!

Thank you from J and M!

Cheers from me! And a big thanks too! xoxox