A Mother’s letter to her DIL

A revised excerpt of a beautiful letter from a Mother to her future DIL (Daughter-in-law):

“… I’ve been where you are. I’ve sat in your position wondering how you can make your new family like you a little better, or wondering if they will ever like you at all. I’ve felt the rush of nerves as you prepare to meet your new in-laws. I’ve felt every moment you are experiencing. By writing this I want to help calm your nerves. I want you to know that I’m on your side because you are an important piece to the puzzle.

When you meet me you will clutch to his hand like it is your life support. You will worry and stress about what you wear and how your hair will look. You’ll be afraid to speak up truthfully and you will want to crawl in a hole and hide rather than “meet the ‘in-laws’.” Can I share a little secret with you?
I’m looking forward to meeting you.

Do you know how important you are to my son?
How vital you are to his trajectory in life?
I don’t look at you and see a uterus with a head attached; as if your whole purpose in life is to give me grandbabies.
I look at you as the missing piece to the puzzle.

Other people come into our children’s lives and maybe they rough up some edges, or maybe they soften them. Experiences and people change who our children grow to be.

I pray that you are a woman among women.
I pray that you know the Lord deeply and profoundly.
I pray that you are a good woman in a storm.
I pray that you love yourself and are confident in who you are so that you have a happy, wonderful, and beautiful marriage with my Son.

We might not agree on everything, and I may be too strong with my views, but I will always remember that you are his present and future, and pray that your union is everlasting.

You are a piece in the puzzle. A very important piece.
You will make him a better man.
You will make him stronger.
You will make him feel things he’s never felt before.
You will heighten the urge to protect within him.
You will show him mercy.
You will teach him grace.
You will love him at his worst.
You will love him at his best.
You will give him the gift of children.
You will show him how to be a great father by being a great mother.
You will look after him.
You will move mountains for him.
You will be an immovable rock in a constantly shifting world.
You will be his best friend.
You will hold him.
You will stand behind him.
You will stand beside him.
You will challenge him.
You will push him.
You will pull him.
You will teach him intimacy.
You will love him unconditionally.
You will experience life together.
You will be his partner through it all.
You will be his best friend.

Do not fear me. Do not think that I do not cherish you. I love you. I love what you mean to my son. I love that God brought you into our lives to make him a better man. To do the things I never could as a mother.

I will hope I have done my best by you, raising a man among men. A leader among leaders. And to help him be strong, resilient, brave, loving, and humble. A good man in a storm.

Your future Mother-in-Law”

~ Kelsea, & Jesse – J.A.P Cupcakes


Healthy Ice Cream

have you tried a healthy creamy ice cream that is dairy free, gluten free, sugar free, 100% vegan and is made with just ONE super healthy ingredient…

The magic ingredient ……banana.

Bananas have many health benefits including lowering the risk of strokes, kidney stones, improving blood sugar levels, preserving memory and boosting mood.

Many of us have tasted simple frozen bananas as a healthy cooling treat in the summer. But this goes one step further.

When you think of blending a frozen banana , you perhaps assume it would be icy of flaky. But the small amount of fat in a banana helps turn it into a rich and creamy ice cream.
It is a great way to use up bananas that are getting over-ripe – store them in the freezer for a few days until you are ready to use them.

Have a go at this low calorie healthy and delicious guilt free treat.

• Peel your bananas first.
• Cut them into small pieces.
• Freeze for just 1-2 hours on a plate.
• Blend, blend, blend – scraping down the bowl when they stick.
• Enjoy the magic moment when they turn into ice cream!

Here are a couple of other suggestions for tasty variations:

Hazlenut Chocolate Spread and Banana Ice Cream
2 peeled medium bananas, sliced into coins and frozen until solid
4 tablespoons Nutella or other hazelnut-chocolate spread
Blend bananas in food processor until they are the consistency of soft serve ice cream. Blend in Nutella, and transfer to a freezer container and freeze until solid.

Peanut Butter & Honey Banana Ice Cream
2 peeled medium bananas, sliced into coins and frozen until solid
3 or 4 tablespoons peanut butter
2 teaspoons raw organic honey
Blend bananas in food processor until they are the consistency of soft serve ice cream. Blend in peanut butter and honey, and transfer to a freezer container and freeze until solid.

Cinnamon Banana Ice Cream
2 peeled medium bananas, sliced into coins and frozen until solid
3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground cinnamon
Blend bananas in food processor until they are the consistency of soft serve ice cream. Blend in sweetened condensed milk and cinnamon. Transfer to a freezer container and freeze until solid.

Dark Chocolate Banana Ice Cream
2 peeled medium bananas, sliced into coins and frozen until solid
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Blend bananas in food processor until they are the consistency of soft serve ice cream. Blend in cocoa powder, cream, and vanilla. Transfer to a freezer container and freeze until solid.

Strawberries & Cream Banana Ice Cream
2 peeled medium bananas, sliced into coins and frozen until solid
1/2 cup roughly chopped frozen strawberries
2 tablespoons cream
Blend bananas in food processor until they are the consistency of soft serve ice cream. Blend in strawberries and cream until smooth, and transfer to a freezer container and freeze until solid.

Change your World

If everyone put forth a little effort towards making the world a better place, it would simply become a better place. If everyone smiled a bit more, opened doors for strangers, and helped keep our outdoor spaces clean, we would live in a brighter and friendlier world.

These little things may not seem like much, but collectively they can change the world. Pick two (or more) to do today and see how your perception of the world around you changes.

You help mold your environment.


1. Smile More – It seems as though we live in a time where avoiding eye contact is the norm. For the sake of your mood and others around you, smile. If someone says good morning, smile and say it back. Or better yet, you say good morning first. Simple niceties should never be downplayed as their presence (or absence) can truly change someone’s day.

2. If you see garbage, pick it up – If you see an empty paper cup on the sidewalk, do you walk by it? Pick it up. You may not have been responsible for it, but you can be responsible for helping keep things clean. Truly, litter and clutter can change the attitude of a community. Rather than place blame, do your part to make things more beautiful.

3. Buy someone’s coffee (or tea) – Random acts of kindness are good for everyone involved. Buy the next person in line their beverage.

4. Grow a garden – Whether it’s in your backyard, in containers on your patio, or in a community garden, growing food isn’t only good for your health, it’s good for your soul and the environment. You can even use food scraps to grow various plants.

5. Speak to strangers – Say hello to strangers. When you’re waiting in line, talk about the weather. Small talk used to be more common, but we’ve allowed the concept of “stranger danger” to come in between us, despite crime rates being at historic lows.

6. Conquer fear – Fear can hold you back from experiencing the things in life that are most fulfilling. When you conquer your fear of failure, your fear of emotional intimacy, or your fear of becoming everything you’ve ever dreamed of, you’re free to be fulfilled.

7. Give when you get – Whenever you get a little, give a little. Try donating to a good cause or volunteering for an organization you know is sincere. Support companies that support others and give back based on your purchase. It doesn’t get much better than helping others.

8. Take responsibility for your results – The blame game serves no one. When you take responsibility for your actions and the results they garner, you become an active participant in building the life of your dreams.

9. Visit with your neighbors – Communities are forged on the little conversations had at mailboxes, in driveways, as you take out the garbage or help one another scoop the sidewalk.

10. Apply what you’ve learned – When you know better, you owe it to yourself and everyone around you to do better. Apply the concepts you hold dear in your everyday life.

[c/o E. Renter]

Let Go

There comes a point in every person’s life when he or she parts ways with someone: ex, friend and anyone in between.

Upon first meeting this person, there’s a sweet beginning, but once you come to really know each other and grow comfortable, you suddenly realize that the relationship no longer brings any particular value to your life and is perhaps, even detrimental.

Sometimes, we hold on to people purely based on how long we have known them. Time can tie people together, but if you feel as though there’s nothing substantial keeping you connected, time is not a strong enough reason to hold on to something that’s simply no longer worth holding onto.

We grow complacent with people once we’re comfortable with them. But, hanging onto someone for the pure sake of it and because you don’t know anything else isn’t a good enough reason.

Fear is another reason why we can’t move on. There’s the fear of being alone and not being able to find someone else; fear of someone using our deepest and darkest secrets as blackmail; fear of the hate and tension that will ensue; fear of regret once someone is gone.

Sometimes, things are better left as mere memories. You can try to change things back to how they were or try to create things to be the way you want them, but you’ll never be truly happy because it’ll never be anything like how things once were.

If anything, there’s now too much pressure and expectation in the air to recreate what you both once had. Instead, hold on to and cherish the memories, but move forward. Be thankful for what a friendship or relationship brought you and taught you.

Beyond that, friendships and relationships — whilst they do have their downfalls and can require fixing — should essentially come naturally.

If a person isn’t bringing something significant to your life, not treating you how you’d like or isn’t the type of person you want him or her to be, it’s a clear sign that you need distance.

While it would be selfish of you to not accept a person for whom he or she is, it would be unfair for you to have to endure a friendship or relationship that isn’t cultivating a better you.

Now that we have come to ascertain why you may be holding on, let’s make it clear why you need to let go:

1. Let go because things are not the same anymore.
People simply grow a part, which is perfectly normal. You realize you want different things, no longer share the same interests, no longer understand and no longer connect.

Sometimes, it’s a matter of accepting that it takes time to let go, rather than holding on to something that just can’t be brought back, was lost a long time ago or perhaps, was never really there at all.

It’s difficult to hold on to people in life, but remember that you’re destined to meet different people along your journey who will bring you happiness, sorrow, pain and joy.

2. Let go because the trust and loyalty isn’t there.
If you know in your heart that you can’t trust this person and he or she cannot be loyal, then you need to ask yourself why this person is in your life. Trust and loyalty are the foundation of any friendship and relationship.

If they’re not present, it may only lead to paranoia, frustration, tension and anger that you’re better off without feeling.

Find someone with whom you can share your deepest darkest secrets and you know that after walking away, his or her lips will remain tightly sealed. Find someone whose faithfulness to you will be unquestionable because his or her actions, rather than empty promises, bring you a peace of mind.

3. Let go because you are unclear of where things stand.
Engaging in an undefined friendship or relationship is confusing because you don’t know what you mean to the person, if anything at all. If the person can’t make you feel as though you’re significant, reflect on why you’re allowing someone to treat this way.

Be in the company of someone who is proud to have you in his or her life and will make that known to you and the rest of the world. Be in the company of someone who won’t gamble with your heart and mind simply because he or she knows you’re not going anywhere.

4. Let go if the friendship or relationship is damaging to you.
If the friendship/relationship is making you unhappy or miserable, it’s time to bid the person farewell. We must not allow ourselves to feel trapped and used to being treated far less well than we deserve.

If someone is putting you down, competing with you, not paying attention to you, not caring about you, abusing you, embarrassing you in front of others, making you question yourself, belittling you or simply just not caring about you, remove the negativity from your life as soon as possible. Respect yourself enough to be able to walk away.

5. Let go if you simply don’t see eye to eye.
It is hard to make a relationship work if you can’t ever agree or see each other’s points of view. If the one thing you can agree on is that neither of you can agree, it might be time to walk away.

In many friendships and relationships, people come together through unlikely chances, through their differences and lack of similarities. Therefore, it can work, but if you find that it’s a significant source of many of your disputes and tensions, get out now.

6. Let go if you’re the one fighting to make it work.
If your relationship makes you feel as though you’re the only one putting in effort, time and love, reflect on whether or not it’s worth it. If someone truly loves you, cares for you or wants and needs you, the person will never allow you to invest disproportionate effort.

Find someone who makes you feel worthwhile and worthy. Find someone who fights to have you in his or her life. Find someone who knows how lucky he or she is to have you.

Find someone who acknowledges everything you have done and will do. Don’t waste your time on anything less.

7. Let go if he or she doesn’t encourage you or believe in you.
If you find that your relationship isn’t providing you with support, reflect on what the person is providing. You deserve someone who will be there to encourage you throughout your journey and believe in you maybe even more than you believe in yourself.

8. Let go if the relationship isn’t bringing you what you want and need.
Ask yourself whether you can do without the relationship or whether it’s something you unquestionably want and deserve. Sometimes, there’s this belief that we can be “too fussy” with what we want from others in life, but then again, why should we settle for anything less than happiness?

Don’t ever allow someone to make you feel needy for wanting someone who will love, care and support you, someone who will listen and give you insightful advice, someone who wants the same things, someone you can trust and will be loyal to you, someone who believes so strongly in you and your capabilities. Just someone who makes you feel like you’re someone.

[c/o A. Ho]

Gene Mutation That Makes You Need Less Sleep

Researchers studying 100 pairs of twins have identified a gene mutation that may confer a unique advantage for the carrier: the coveted ability to function normally on less than six hours of sleep a night. The genetic variant also appears to provide resistance to the neurobehavioral effects of sleep deprivation, according to new findings published in the journal Sleep this week.

Most people need seven to eight hours a night, and insufficient sleep is fast becoming a public health epidemic. A previous study looked at a family of short sleepers who only needed six hours a night. A mutation in the DEC2 gene — also known as BHLHE41 for basic helix-loophelix family member e41 — was discovered to be the underlying reason for their superhuman power.

Now, a team led by Renata Pellegrino from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia wanted to see if there were other variants of this gene. They studied 100 twin pairs: 59 were monozygotic (identical twins) and 41 were dizygotic (fraternal twins). All pairs were the same sex and otherwise healthy. The team measured their nightly sleep duration at home for up to eight days using an actigraph unit to measure sleep patterns. In the lab, the team also looked at the twins’ responses to 38 hours of sleep deprivation and the length of recovery sleep they required.

They found one variant of the BHLHE41 gene, called Y362H, in one twin in a fraternal pair that conferred reduced sleep duration. Even after sleep deprivation, he needed less recovery sleep and showed fewer performance lapses than his twin.

This participant slept five hours each night on average — that’s more than one hour shorter than the non-carrier twin, who slept for about six hours and five minutes each night. The twin with the gene mutation also had 40 percent fewer lapses of cognitive performance on average during the 38 hours without sleep; this was measured every two hours using the Psychomotor Vigilance Test. This twin also required less recovery sleep afterward — sleeping only eight hours after the period of extended sleep deprivation. His twin brother slept for 9.5 hours.

“This study emphasizes that our need for sleep is a biological requirement, not a personal preference,” Timothy Morgenthaler of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

[c/o The American Academy of Sleep Medicine]