≡ Menu

Strawberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

Nothing compares to breakfast. Although Sam might argue (ppphhhttt), it’s easily the best meal of the day. Unfortunately, many breakfast menus are seriously heavy on refined carbs and equally low on other essentials.

Strawberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

This past week I found a higher protein pancake recipe that sounded delicious. I modified for a clean eating lifestyle — increasing whole grains, lowering sugar and fat. Plus, I made it easier due to my laziness and hatred of all things kitchen. It’s definitely not as full of gourmet loveliness, but it still passed the family taste test! Strawberry Lemon Ricotta Pancakes


April Fools’ Day – Can’t You Take a Joke?

In a conversation a few years ago, I used the phrase “It’s not brain surgery.” It was in the same spirit as “It’s not rocket science.”

The woman proceeded to lecture me on the fact that some people really have actual true life brain surgery and that I was being utterly insensitive to those struggling with this trial. I kind of know this, because one of my dear friends died of brain cancer, but never mind that.

I could also point out that some people have been fired from “rocket science” jobs and also might be sensitive to that phrase. So, in the spirit of April Fool’s Day, please refrain from any references to brain surgery and/or rocket science.

April Fools' Day - Can't You Take a Joke?

Earlier today I saw an insensitive prankster post that he was engaged — even though all his friends knew he wasn’t dating anyone at all, let alone seriously. Apparently he is unaware that there are actual, living, breathing people who want to be engaged but aren’t. This gesture probably sucked their guts out.  April Fools’ Day – Can’t You Take a Joke? continued


5 Thinking-Outside-the-Box Goal Setting IdeasIn one day it will be April and I’m sure your New Year’s resolutions are at least one fourth completed! You’re on your way to the best year ever! Woo hoo!

Wait. What? You what? You started strong and dropped out on January 6? You intended to start, but never got out of the gate? You’ve decided to roll your 2014 goals over into 2015 and tape a nap until then? Nooooooooo!

Unfortunately even the best intentions can run out of steam or right off the track very quickly. As much as we dream to great (or even mediocre but at least completed) things, change is hard. It just is. But it’s possible!

A few years ago I wrote about how to do a hurricane kick and noted one of my favorite quotes:

That which we persist in doing becomes easier to do, not that the nature of the thing has changed, but that our power to do has increased.

It’s true that once a habit is established, it’s actually harder to stop than to persist. So how do we create those elusive habits? How do we push through to make our dreams come true? How do we become the person we want to be, living the life we want to live? Amazing Life Hacks: 5 Thinking-Outside-the-Box Goal Setting Ideas continued


Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos

I’m all about easy, healthy food. Because of that, my slow cooker is one of the most used appliances in my house. Prepping the dinner food when the kitchen is already being used for breakfast and possibly packed lunches, means one cleanup. It also means less stress in the evening when we may all be heading out for rehearsals, games, performances, or dates.

Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos

Today I made an enormously simple meal that took less than 10 minutes to make. It consists of dumping some stuff into the slow cooker and turning it on. All that is left to do is gather the condiments and I’ll be making a vegetable (today, butternut squash, which looked to pretty!) to go on the side. Slow Cooker Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos continued


The Obvious Thing About Childhood Accidents

Dear friends: this post is for you. Whenever you are in a conversation (particularly one on a blog or, better yet, on a news site (where anonymity reigns and civility vanishes)) that involves an accident of some kind (particularly accidents involving children) and some brilliant soul feels compelled to point out that someone could have done something to prevent the accident, please point them here. Suffice it to say that accidents occur during normal, everyday life events, by definition. Unless there is gross negligence involved (you know, like putting a toddler’s favorite toys next to the pool, driving drunk, dropping lit cigarettes into a piles of crib bedding, sprinkling thumb tacks in dark well-travelled hallways, or placing open bottles of poison in enticing places, maybe — just maybe — the best responses are to learn from the mistakes (or mishaps) of others and/or show some humanity and compassion. Or whatever.

Obvious Childhood AccidentsLast year when I decided to finally share my horrific shopping cart accident of 2000, I anticipated that a percentage of people would feel a need to point out the obvious. They would need to tell me that the accident wouldn’t have happened if some of the elements were different, that the accident could have been avoided if the circumstances had not been what they were.

In order to ease these minds — and to avoid the incredible desire to scream, “DUH!” — let me tell you that I do understand this. In fact, I even know the definition of the word “accident” which actually includes this very information! Here, let me google that for you:

Accident: an unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance, often with lack of intention or necessity.

So, let me list here a few ways in which this particular accident that risked the life of my son could have been avoided (to save you the trouble). The Obvious Thing About Childhood Accidents continued


Pocket-Sized Safety Device Crowdfunding Discount

TigerLight Peacekeeper MiniI have a blue belt in karate — you’re terrified of me now, I know — and I live in Happy Valley, Utah. So what could I worry about, right? Honestly, I’ve never carried anything more sophisticated than my empty hands (if you know Kenpo, you know what I mean). This week I was asked to review an earlier model of a new self-defense product that is being crowdfunded on Indiegogo.

I was willing but, to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t very enthusiastic. It’s just not my thing. But when I opened up the package, I got a little excited. This is no simple can of mace.

The TigerLight® T100 is a handheld non-lethal defense system. (Read that: protect yourself and your family without killing the bad guy.) It is a substantial chunk of metal that feels like a pistol grip. Forget the other features, you could seriously just use this thing to whack someone on the head and make them see stars, but you won’t have to.

First, I’ll describe how it works and then I’ll tell you about a special offer you can get on the new model.

Pocket-Sized Safety Device Crowdfunding Discount continued


Why I’m Not Really All That Grateful to My Birth Mother

All my life I’ve been asked questions about my adoption. Today I heard a new one.

When I had Jessica (our oldest child) I got a sense, for the first time, of how hard it would be to carry a baby for nine months and then just walk away. A relief, perhaps, and a resolution, too. But I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t be mind-bogglingly difficult for anyone with a heart.

My entire life I’ve been grateful that my birth mother allowed me to grow up in an intact family.

Not Grateful to Birth Mother

But today, as a few people on Facebook discussed the “Burger King Baby” — a 27-year-old adoptee who’s on the hunt to find the birth mother who abandoned her, wrapped in a shirt, in a Burger King bathroom — I was baffled at the curiosity. I know all about lack of DNA history, but there would have to be something pretty darn big going on to make me to want a meet up with the woman who dumped me, for the love of all that is holy, in a public bathroom. Why I’m Not Really All That Grateful to My Birth Mother continued


Parent Delighted by Kids Falling On Ice

Parent Delighted by Kids Falling On Ice

OK, everybody’s been slipping on ice. Let’s see what these ladies do.

After this charming, fatherly intro, a girl proceeds to do a full frontal body plant on the ice. The loving dad chuckles and says:

Oh, there goes one! Oh, that’s funny!

We’ve all seen the slips and trips and pratfalls so popular on YouTube in the style of America’s Funniest Home Videos. And we collectively laugh at the misfortune of the unknown victim. But today a friend of a friend of a friend posted a video on Facebook that took me aback.  Parent Delighted by Kids Falling On Ice continued


Career Inequality No MoreHave you spent years struggling to make ends meet? Are you working at a job you don’t like? Do you work for a boss who doesn’t appreciate your true value?

Are you persecuted by the unjust, discriminatory way CEOs, movie stars, NFL players, and politicians rake in the dough while you slog around in the mud?

Your day of emancipation is here! It is your right to have career equality!

President Obama believes that all Americans (and non-Americans who live within American borders and maybe others, too) should be living the good life…as long as they “work hard.”

Still trying to wrap my head around this. But I’m so excited! Career Inequality No More – Obama Will Pay You to Be a Super Model!!! continued


Top 10 Things More Fun Than Watching SOTU

Top 10 Things More Fun Than Watching SOTU

Plan ahead for Obama’s 2015 State of the Union address by choosing your favorite activities and scheduling in advance.

  1. A root canal
  2. Being audited by the IRS
  3. Falling on scissors
  4. Being boiled in oil
  5. Cleaning a junior high boys’ bathroom
  6. Passing a kidney stone
  7. Swallowing a monkey whole
  8. Having your gums infested with fly larvae
  9. Stitching a six inch gash in your leg with a pocket sewing kit
  10. Signing up for Obamacare

Add your own.


I Hope She’s Pretty – Boys Will Be Boys

I Hope She's Pretty - Boys Will Be BoysLast weekend my daughter, Monica, performed in a musical theater benefit concert. The cast was stellar, the singing and dancing well done, and the production wonderfully entertaining. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening all around.

As I become more aware of problematic elements in our culture (and others), however,  my perception also changes. Last Saturday, the song “Tradition,” from  Fiddler on the Roof  disturbed me in a way it never had before. I Hope She’s Pretty – Boys Will Be Boys continued


70% Off Entertainment Coupon Book + Free Shipping

Sam and I started using coupon books (our local ones were called Happenings Books back in the day) when we were in college a quarter a century ago. Even though we are far away from our starving college days, we are still avid coupon users for our weekly date night. It’s an easy way to save money without spending inordinate amounts of time doing so. And every little bit adds up as long as the opportunity cost isn’t high!

Right now the Entertainment Coupon Book — personalized for almost every area in the US — is on sale for 2014 are 70% off with free shipping until December 30, 2013.

Note: the offer is not good until New Year’s Eve, but until the day before that!

Wondering what kind of deals they offer? Hop over to Entertainment.com and enter your zip code. You’ll see both printed and web offers available in your area.

Here are some examples from businesses I have patronized in the past from the coupon book for Utah:

  • Utah Idaho Map Supply – $5 off $20
  • Wallaby’s – 2 smokehouse meals + dessert for $16
  • Los Hermanos – $5 off $15
  • Arby’s – buy 1 chicken sandwich get 1 free
  • Jiffy Lube – $6 off safety inspection
  • Yogurt Bliss – Buy 1 menu item get 1 free
  • Payless Shoe Source – 20% off
  • Harbor Freight Tools – 20% off
  • JCWs – buy 1 burger get 1 free
  • Color Me Mine – free studio admission
  • Office Depot – $10 off $50
  • Hundreds more!

See if the offers in your area will net you some savings like they do for us.  70% Off Entertainment Coupon Book + Free Shipping continued


I Want My Popcorn

Boca Homeschool Choir (singing): Pinecones and holly berries. Popcorn for you. Apples for me…

Belinda (9): Who would pick apples over popcorn? Why do they get the popcorn?


(Really) Stupid Christmas Jokes

While purging my hard drive, I came across multiple files that had Christmas jokes. I do not know why I saved these. I plead the 5th. But here you are, for your holiday enjoyment. Or something.

Really Stupid Christmas JokesQ: Why does Santa have 3 gardens?
A: So he can ho-ho-ho.

Q: What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?
A: Frostbite.

Q: Why was Santa’s little helper depressed?
A: Because he had low elf esteem.

Q: What do you get when you cross an archer with a gift-wrapper?
A: Ribbon hood.

Q: What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus?
A: Claustrophobic.

Q: What do snowmen eat for breakfast?
A: Snowflakes.

Q: What do you call Santa’s helpers?
A: Subordinate clauses.

Q: What do you get if you cross Father Christmas with a detective?
A: Santa clues!

Q: What do the reindeer sing to Father Christmas on his birthday?
A: Freeze a jolly good fellow!

Q: What do you call a man who claps at Christmas?
A: Santapplause!  (Really) Stupid Christmas Jokes continued

{ 1 comment }

Top 5 Ways to Be Annoying This Christmas

Top 5 Ways to Be Annoying This Christmas

You are the lucky beneficiaries of the purging of my hard drive. I did not write this. And even if I did, I wouldn’t admit it.

  1. Hang a stocking with your roommate’s name on it. Collect coal and sharp objects in it.
  2. Paint your nose red and wear antlers. Constantly complain about how you never get to join in on the reindeer games.
  3. Sing “All I want for Christmas is your two front teeth…”
  4. Make anatomically correct gingerbread.
  5. Smoke mistletoe. Do what comes naturally.

Ethics of Business on ThanksgivingThe holiday season is upon us!

It’s that happy time of year where people complain about “consumerism” and get their dander up about stores opening too early or too late and, of course, engage in the annual rag-on-Walmart-to-gain-progressive-cred moment.

This week the outcry has been against the horrid store owners that have let Black Friday creep into Brown Thursday — unnecessarily interrupting the making of the gravy.

Me? I just don’t care.

To date, I’ve not seen a sound argument for all this angst. And I’ve tried. So here I will present the best arguments I could gather and my responses to them.

Unless you’re too busy celebrating cyber-Monday, let me know what you think in the comments below.  The Ethics of Business on Thanksgiving (and/or Other Holidays You Like) continued


Apple Cranberry Walnut Relish

Apple Cranberry Walnut RelishThanksgiving is a huge deal at our house. All holidays are. Traditions are sacred and all else must accommodate them. But given that I am not a fan of cooking and Thanksgiving revolves around food, this most lovely of holidays has been wonderful mostly in theory and a pain in reality.

A couple of weeks ago, Sam and I were out on a lunch date, when he noticed at flyer at one of our favorite restaurants. It advertised a we-bake-it-you-take-it Thanksgiving feast.

I laughed. We could never do such a thing. It would be sacrilegious. It would be offensive. It would be absurd. Like when the lady in The Blind Side  — one of the best movies of all time, but still —serves up her lovely not-at-all-homemade Thanksgiving dinner and it feels like blasphemy.

But the more I thought about what it would be like to actually enjoy Thanksgiving again — like I did when my  mom was in charge — the more I liked it.

So I went home and asked the kids what they thought, sure they would shun the idea of a change from the usual. And every single one said, “Oh, sure, that would be fine.”

Phhhtttt. Apple Cranberry Walnut Relish continued


Easy Bake Oven Recipes

Easy Bake Oven Recipes

Cleaning up my hard drive, I came across a list of Easy Bake Oven recipes that I had posted years ago on Themestream (an early version of a large group blog that shut down in 2001). I collected them from various listservs in the ’90s. Just before I trashed them, I looked around and found that Easy Bake Ovens still exist!

They are not your grandma’s easy bake oven, to be sure. (Or, er, mine.) But the cooler, hipper, dual-gendered (they come in purple or black) cooking devices are still on the market.

If you have one of these gems — or someone has one on their Christmas list — here are some great mini baking recipes to use with it at a fraction of the cost of the purchased mixes.

If you have any Easy Back Oven recipes of your own, please add them in the comments!  Easy Bake Oven Recipes continued


Don’t Love Like That

[Both home sick from church — along with two other kids.]

Mom: Augh! You’re coughing on me!

Monica (16): Sharing is caring!


Daily Snark: Parenting Blogs

Daily Snark

Do not start a blog with the intent to give parenting advice when you only have a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old. Unless the title of the blog is:

Parenting Advice
from Someone Who Knows Virtually Nothing About Parenting