Monthly Archives: October 2013

A Mother’s Prayer by Tina Fey

Oh, Tina Fey. You are so wonderfully funny and already know motherhood so well!

This is “A Mother’s Prayer” by Tina Fey.

First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered,

May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half

And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her

When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the nearby subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock N’ Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance.

Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes

And not have to wear high heels.

What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen.

Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long,

For Childhood is short — a Tiger Flower blooming

Magenta for one day –

And Adulthood is long and Dry-Humping in Cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever,

That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers

And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister,

Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends,

For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord,

That I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 a.m., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back.

“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck.

“My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental note to call me. And she will forget.

But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.

Amen.

_______________

Tina, your humor allows mothers like myself to survive each day with a smile on my face.

You are my HERO.

Coming Up: Ninja Kitchen System!

We will be featuring several Ninja Kitchen System recipes soon!

ninja

Keep an eye out for tutorials on everything from smoothies to soups to cookie dough and whether or not the Ninja has enough power and capability to handle it all. We are super excited and can’t wait to get started!

How about you? Do you own your own Ninja kitchen system? Has the Ninja helped to sneak a few extra fruits and veggies into your little ones? Give us your favorite recipes in the comments below and we just might add it to our list of things to try and review.

If you are thinking of purchasing a Ninja Kitchen System yourself, check out this helpful review from KitchenBlenderSystems Reviews.com. It is a great in-depth article that will definitely help you to decide if a Ninja is right for you.

What Kind of Halloween Candy Parent are You?

candy

My Crock Pot Does What?!

The cold and rainy weather here in Maryland this morning makes me want to yank my crock pot out of hiding and blow the dust off. I just can’t bring myself to use it in the summer, with our BBQ grill right outside our patio door, it just seems wrong! Like wearing gloves to the pool.

So I think today is a perfect day to officially start crock pot season. And I think this year I will take my crock pot uses to a whole new level!

Did you know that a crock pot can…

Make pot roast? Well, duh.

crock pot

It would literally be a crime against nature if I didn’t state the most obvious (and popular) use for crock pots: a tender pot roast that’s been simmering all day, swimming with potatoes and carrots and intensely flavorful broth that can be whipped into heavenly gravy…and biscuits… and… I think I just gained 5 pounds, I better stop.

So while it’s not the most enlightening use for your slow cooker, I thought I’d share a recipe to get your crock pot juices flowing. This pot roast recipe by Sandra Lee from The Food Network is easy to throw together before you head out for the day. You could even throw in cubes of butternut squash if you want to add a touch of sweetness. 

Make baked potatoes?

baked potatos

Sometimes microwaved baked potatoes just won’t do. And sometimes making baked potatoes in the oven is too much of a hassle. Enter: the crock pot baked potato. A simple set of instructions found here at Food.com will get you on your way to perfectly cooked potatoes in no time. The best part? You can let them bake away for up to 4 hours. Just enough time to clean the house… or take a nap.

Use a liner for easy clean-up?

I’ve had great luck with these slow cooker liners made by Reynolds. You can find these and several other brands in your local grocery store, Walmart or Target.

crockpot liners

This is a total game changer in the crock pot world. No longer do you have to wait for the crock to cool down and then use every last arm muscle you own to lift the thing into the sink and pray that you don’t drop it into a million pieces while washing off the 8 hour cooked on pieces of beef. If I could, I would line EVERYTHING.

Make the most delicious brownies you’ve ever tasted?

fudge brownies crock pot

These Fudge Brownies by The Crockin’ Girls are to die for.

Trust me on this. You will be SO glad that you made these. Seriously, just make them. Don’t share if you can get away with it.

Bake bread?

crock pot bread

Yeah, this is probably a dangerous one too, just like it’s sister: the fudge brownie. There just isn’t anything quite like the smell, taste and feel of freshly baked bread. Check out this tutorial on how to make crock pot bread by Busy Mom’s Menu Plan and make sure you have plenty of butter to slather on.

Make breakfast for you?

crock pot breakfast

As a mom, I sometimes think there would be nothing better than to be able to wake up in the morning and drink my coffee in peace. Instead, I usually end up brewing and then neglecting it while I make bowls of cereal or toast waffles or scramble up a pan of eggs. By the time I get back to my once steaming mug o’ joe, it’s lukewarm at best. I tell ya, this breakfast thing is for the birds! Luckily for me (and you!), I stumbled across this gem of a recipe for a crock pot breakfast casserole by Crock-Pot Ladies and haven’t looked back. If you prefer a sweeter breakfast, try these crock pot cinnamon rolls from Just a Pinch.

Make potpourri?

crockpot potpourri

This apple cinnamon crock pot potpourri from Food.com is perfect for the Fall or holiday season. With just a few ingredients, your house will smell like you’ve been baking apple pies all day!

And, finally… Make play-dough?

crock pot playdough

This one is a little off the beaten path from your typical crock pot uses, but your kids will be so happy you decided to try it. This super simple crock pot play-dough from Repeat Crafter Me is sure to bring hours of fun and you could even have the kiddos help you make it. Now that’s my kind of rainy day fun!

Looking for more ways to use your crock pot? Check out these 26 things you can do with a crock pot from GoodenessGracious.com. You may never put away your crock pot again!

Mommyhood from a Child’s Point of View

ilovemom

There are a lot of moms out there who spend most of their day second guessing themselves. We lie in bed at night and think of all the things we should have done differently. The things we wish we could change, especially after the hard days. We wonder what our children must think of us.

Well, it turns out – they give us a lot more credit than we thought.

Every mom needs to watch this video produced by an organization called Elevation Church.

Please, click the link and then pass it on to your fellow moms as well. We all could use a pick-me-up as wonderful as this!

Another Massive Food Recall

yucky

I can’t believe it. Second massive food recall in the past week. Be safe everyone!

Have you been to your local grocery store or deli lately to stock up on some ready made foods? Then you better check your fridge!  Food giant Reser’s has initiated a massive recall of dozens of potato salads, pasta salads, slaws, and other prepared foods sold at retail and food service establishments across the United States and Canada. The foods sold at the likes of Wal-Mart, Safeway, Aldi’s, 7-11, and others may contain the dangerous bacteria Listeria monocytogenes.

Think you have one of these foods in your kitchen? Here’s what you need to know about the recall.

1. The recalled foods were all manufactured by Reser’s Fine Foods at its Topeka, Kansas, plant, however they are sold under a variety of brand names including 7-11, Aldi, Block and Barrell, Casa Solana, Dickeys, Dillons, Famous Daves, Cobblestreet Market, Jewel, King Sooper, Miller, Mrs. Giles, Mrs. Weaver, Orval Kent, Green Hill, Reser’s, Chef’s Choice, Safeway Deli Counter, Sav-A-Lot, Stonemill, Essential Everyday, Sysco, Cross Valley Farms, Wal-Mart, West Creek, Yoder, My Premier, and Yum.

2. The list of recalled products includes salads, slaws, dips, and other refrigerated foods.

3. Lysteria is a bacterium that causes the infection listeriosis which can be fatal. The disease primarily affects older adults, pregnant women, newborns, and adults with weakened immune systems, however the FDA is not aware of anyone sickened by these products.

4. The recalled products have different expiration dates, some as late as December of this year, but the FDA instructs consumers to take the food back to the store for a refund or discard it immediately rather than eating it.

5. The affected packages are marked with a Use-by-Date or Best By Date and followed by a plant identifier code of 20. Products affected by this recall are listed on the FDA website.

7. For more information on what to do with recalled product or what to do if you’ve eaten some, call contact Reser’s Fine Foods Consumer Hotline 1-888-257-7913 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. EST.

Homework Help

Let’s face it, homework time can be a complete nightmare for both child and parent. The two of you probably just spent the entire day sitting at a desk (or taking care of the household for all of you stay-at-home folks), focusing on multiple subjects and using your brain for 6+ hours. And now you have to do it all again, but at home this time, when you’d honestly rather just relax.

You stare across the table at your kid and you can already see that defiant look in their eye. The “I don’t feel like it!” whine that’s just about to cross their lips and for some, the nightly struggle begins.

It’s enough to make a grown man (or woman!) cry. Well, and probably a few kids too.

Obviously the homework dilemma is not going anywhere soon, but you can make it easier on all involved. With these Homework Help tips, you might get a smile or two out of your little one and even a little enjoyment for yourself! Wait.. is that stretching it too far?

Sometimes treats and bribes aren’t necessarily a bad thing

m&ms

In my own personal experience, math seems to be the most trying subject to get through in the evening. Our brains are pretty fried and focusing on numbers is the last thing we want to be doing. But if you make it fun and rewarding, your child just might be willing to do a little work! M&M’s, chocolate chips, grapes, goldfish crackers – any of these are great for counting. For every math problem they finish correctly (and most importantly, without a single whimper or whine) your child gets to eat the counting pieces. You could probably slip a few in for yourself too, and no one would be the wiser. Just saying.

Try breaking down homework time into chunks

Sometimes the “all or nothing” method is just too overwhelming.

So, take a…

take a break

Use a kitchen timer or stop watch on your smartphone and program 10-15 minutes worth of work time. When time is up stop for five minutes and focus on something else like having your child tell you a story about something that happened at school. Grab a light snack. Have them help you with a quick house chore like emptying the dishwasher… just kidding, but a mom can hope can’t she? Just note that it’s probably not wise to let them go off and watch t.v. or start up a video or computer game though. It will most likely be very difficult to pull them away once they are immersed in technology land! Do this start and stop system until the homework is completed.

Find a change of scenery

coffee shop

Sometimes it’s just the routine of sitting down at the table, pencil in hand and a text book in front of them that makes your child automatically find their UN-happy place. Mix it up once or twice a week and set up a small work station at your local coffee shop or ice cream locale. You could even offer to treat them to a hot chocolate or single scoop if your child is extra willing to complete their studies. I’ll leave that completely up to you!

The Library

library

Libraries are one of the most wonderful places on Earth. Truly. And unfortunately most people don’t even realize the resources that are waiting for them there. Most local libraries are full of tables to work at, computers to research with and of course, a plethora of knowledge within shelf after shelf of every type of book you can imagine. Some library branches also offer Homework Help services where volunteers will work with you and your child one-on-one. Seriously! Visit your area library or check them out online to see what services they have to offer. You’ll be so glad you did.

And last, but most importantly…

Routine, Routine, Routine

Routine. It’s one of those things that is such a booger to start and adapt to, but once you get it – life just becomes that much easier. I’ve learned this several times with my own kiddos and am finally reaping some of the rewards from our initial struggles. Creating a routine makes things a little simpler for everyone. So when it comes to homework, create your own routine. You could have the kids begin working as soon as they get home so that they can focus on other things throughout the evening. Or you could give them a specific time, say 30 minutes from when you arrive home, to get started. Whatever you feel most comfortable with and works best for your situation. Believe it or not, eventually your kids will come to do the routine you set forth on their own naturally. You may even start to notice pandemonium when their routine is disrupted! The old saying that children NEED routine couldn’t ring truer. If they know what to expect and what is expected of them, they will honestly feel more secure in their surroundings and daily life.

Check out this homework routine chart from Workshop Classroom that you could print and hang as a reminder. Or better yet, ask your child to help you create one of your very own.

routine chart

I hope that these tips help to ease your homework woes this school year and encourage your child to find the fun in their studies. And if all else fails, you can always just hope for tons of math homework so that you can chow down on “counted” m&m’s without guilt! Yeah… I’m stretching it again, aren’t I?

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