What Has the Caramel Bella Been Up To?

It’s a New Year!! And it is time for a new look. CaramelBella.com needs a face lift. (Plus, I’m seeing this blog design every where I look. And a girl can’t have that!) So, I’ve been searching and searching for a new design to bring a fresh look for 2009! Expect big changes in 2009 in terms of content, design and interviews. There will be more videos and more photos. And if I don’t chicken out (LOL) – a podcast and video blog or two. 2008 was the big year for change. We will soon have a president (Barack Obama) who ran a platform on (much-needed) change. So, I’ve gotten in the spirit of change — out with the old and in with the new! Here’s to 2009!

More to come.. So stay tuned.


The Caramel Bella

CB’s Green Report: America Recycles on Nov. 15th & Other Green News

Don’t forget to recycle and buy recycled products. Saturday, Nov. 15 is America Recycles Day created by the National Recycling Coalition. The “Recycling” holiday (as I like to call it) is designed to promote the social, environmental and economic benefits of recycling. The National Recycling Coalition is seeking to encourage more people to join the recycling movement to create a better environment. Some of the ways people can get involved by (1) recycling, (2) taking a national pledge and encouraging others to do so, (3) finding out about local events, and (4) learning more about recycling and caring for the environment. Surely, we can all do our part on Saturday and the rest of the days of the year.

Al Gore as Obama’s Climate Czar? Hmmm.. Although it would be a great job if President-elect Obama and his team actually created one (rumor is they are toying around with the idea), Former Vice President Al Gore said he isn’t interested. That’s surprising considering all of his work on global warming such as The Inconvenient Truth movie and the Nobel Peace prize. And who doesn’t think he would be the perfect person to fill that position?

Will it be the power of positive thinking? President-elect Barack Obama has called for the review of the Bush administration’s executive orders, but has not decided to reverse the ones related to stem cell research or environmental issues like offshore oil drilling. However, U.S. conservation groups on Thursday already see victory for reversals on Bush Administration decisions that they say did a lot of damage to the nation’s environmental protections in the past eight years.

Obama’s environmental efforts as president may be slow. Despite President-elect’s statement that he will move quickly to address global warming, the chairman of the Senate Energy Committee predicted Wednesday no Congressional action on a climate change bill until 2010. “Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., said that while every effort should be made to cap greenhouse gases, the economic crisis, the transition to a new administration and the complexity of setting up a nationwide market for carbon pollution permits preclude acting in 2009.”

Score: Navy 1, Whales & Environment 0. Well, no one is exactly keeping score but the Supreme Court definitely sided with the U.S. Navy in its case against the National Resources Defense Council (check out Navy v. Whales post for more info). The environmental group had successfully gotten the California Supreme Court to place judicial restrictions on submarine training exercises off the coast of Southern California because of potential harm to marine animals like whales and dolphins. According to the environmentalists, the submarines give off harmful sonar waves that could change marine animals breeding and migration patterns or cause them physical trauma. The possible lesson learned here is potential animal harm doesn’t quite measure up to possible human harm through jeopardizing national security.

Does smog kill? Yes. According to a recent study, Southern California and San Joaquin Valley’s air causes more deaths than all of the fatal car crashes in the last year. Whoa! And the study shows the region could save more than “$28 billion annually in health care costs, school absences, missed work and lost income potential from premature deaths.” California State University – Fullerton researchers were trying to figure out the potential economic benefits of reducing air pollution to federal standard levels. California needs to clean up its act, I mean air, literally!

Read something new beginning October 1: Daily Om

I discovered a new site that I love. It’s called Daily Om. For those of you unfamiliar with New Age and holistic thinking, this web site is a great place to start. It’s motto of nurturing the mind, body and spirit feels right to me. I find myself pondering several of the daily messages as I venture through my day, week and beyond. Although it may seem like a foreign concept, our minds, bodies and spirits are so interwoven. And this site does a really good job of helping us become mindful of our lives.

Today’s Daily Om is about “Unhindered Movement” and getting out of our own way. You know the saying that we are our own worst enemy. So true!! Check out this post and the site. Here is a little intro to sweeten your palette.

When you find yourself facing obstacles that appear to be blocking you from your goals, it is important to try not to get discouraged. It can be easy to feel “stuck” or that “life” is creating circumstances preventing you from getting what you want. And while it is easy to look at everyone and everything outside of ourselves for the problem, perhaps even wanting to “get rid” of the person, object, or circumstance we may feel is blocking us, sometimes the best course of action to take may be to look inside ourselves first. Read more…

The Caramel Bella

CB Thought: What People Say…

If you are worried about what people say about you, get over yourself. Nobody is thinking about you! Besides, what they think doesn’t matter. Your thoughts on you create your reality. So, love you!

A manifesto worth reading

As I was strolling through my favorite blogs, I happened upon The ZBA Manifesto written by Marc Lessor (the author of Z.B.A., Zen of Business Administration). Thanks Hip Tranquil Chick for alerting me to this creed. I absolutely heart this manifesto. And I don’t think you need to be Buddhist to glean its value. Check it out below.


ZBA Manifesto

ZBA Manifesto

  1. It’s okay not to know. It’s okay to be vulnerable. No one has all the answers. We value and learn from the questions and the asking.
  2. We are learning to appreciate the mystery and sacredness of our lives and the mystery and sacredness of life.
  3. Life is short. There is no escape from old age, sickness, and death. Death is a great teacher. Recognizing the shortness of our lives provides motivation to live fully in each day and in each moment.
  4. We understand the importance of taking regular quiet time for ourselves. Through reflection and by slowing down we develop an appreciation for life and we increase our capacity for understanding.
  5. We are learning to trust our inner wisdom. Our bodies and minds are amazing, unexplainable, and unfathomable.
  6. It’s okay to be uneasy, to be uncomfortable, to grieve, to feel pain. Recognizing when something is off, feeling the depth of loss, experiencing pain, is the first step toward change and growth.
  7. Practice active listening — listening deeply to yourself and to others. Listen to others without formulating your own ideas. Listen to yourself before speaking.
  8. We all seek balance in our lives — balancing work and family, balancing our inner and outer lives, balancing what we want to do and what we must do.
  9. We are learning that we can be fully ourselves in all situations — at work, as parents, as children, as friends, as lovers.
  10. Being ourselves at work is vital to our health and happiness. Our time is too valuable to sell, at any price.
  11. Each moment is precious. In every moment we have an opportunity to discover, to grow, to speak the truth.
  12. Each moment is ordinary. In every moment we can realize we are fine, just as we are. Nothing else is needed.
  13. We appreciate what is paradoxical. What may at first seem contradictory or beyond our understanding may be true. After all, who is it that is breathing? Who is it that dreams? How is it that these hands effortlessly glide along this keyboard?
  14. Age is a state of mind. We have the opportunity to grow to be more like ourselves every day.
  15. Developing intimate relationships is a vital part of our lives and our development. Intimacy requires openness, honesty, and vulnerability.
  16. Real, honest open communication is highly valued — and takes real skill and effort.
  17. When we slow down and learn to trust ourselves, joy arises naturally.
  18. When we slow down and learn to trust ourselves, creativity arises naturally.
  19. Self-knowledge and understanding require persistence and perseverance. Developing awareness and balance is an ongoing, unending process.
  20. Self-knowledge and understanding require discipline. Whatever path we take requires structure, guidelines, and feedback.
  21. Self-knowledge and understanding require courage.
  22. Diversity is essential. Our differences enrich our lives. There is no “other,” just as our right hand is not a stranger to our left hand.
  23. A simple rule to follow is do good, avoid harm. Of course, this is not simple or easy.
  24. There are many paths and many practices toward developing awareness and personal growth.
  25. Our everyday lives and activities provide fertile ground for developing growth and understanding.
  26. We can learn to appreciate the gifts we’ve received from our parents and to forgive them. We understand on a deep level all we have received from the generations that have come before us.
  27. We feel a deep responsibility for our children and for the generations that will come after us.
  28. We can all act as change agents. We can choose to take action in improving and healing our environment and our society. There is no shortage of issues to address, of healing to take place.
  29. We are all change agents on a personal level — we either create healing amongst those we live and work with or we create stress.
  30. We can choose to act as change agents in relation to our communities.
  31. We can choose to act as change agents in relation to our society or on a global level.
  32. Everything we hold as dear will one day change and disappear. Every business that now exists will one day cease. Every person now alive will one day die.
  33. At a deep level, we realize that we are neither in control nor not in control. Our task is to paddle the boat, with awareness and integrity. The flow of the river is outside our doing.
  34. We all have the power to find peace and happiness in the midst of change and impermanence.
  35. We have the power to heal ourselves, our communities, and our planet.


The Caramel Bella



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my luvs

My Maltese puppy; lazy Sunday mornings; a day at the Beach; Yoga; breakfast anytime of the day; my gurls (and you know who you are); my family (I’m a daddy’s girl); making new friends; Los Angeles & Washington, DC; ocean views; Anguilla; healthy foods that don’t taste healthy; politics; "greenie" things; meditating; natural curls and movies.

Things that work my nerves

Bad drivers, cranky and moody people, lack of sleep, crime, filth

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  • profileCARAMEL BELLA: This is my place to write about my adventures and mis-adventures in this thing called life. I discuss my passions: the environment, politics, art & culture, writing as well as yoga, health and spirituality. The one thing you can expect from this blog is that it is not what you expected. Thanks for reading! To reach me email thecaramelbella at gmail.



Words to Live By

Treat the earth well. It was not given to you by your parents, It was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, We borrow it from our Children - Ancient Indian Proverb

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