2/24/17

Our Yellow Front Doors

A few years back I decided that our house needed to say, "Happy," as soon as you saw it.

We live in a builder basic home, which aside from the abundance of chaos and love pouring out the windows, is pretty much your cut and dry boring 90's colonial.

I wanted something that said; we are different, we are EXCITED!, we are happy!

So... we piled the whole crew into the car and went to Lowe's...

Where I grabbed the very first bright yellow that I saw...

I thought, it's yellow, but maybe too bright?

Maybe too happy?

So I turned it over, and there, in black and white font, I had my answer.

This larger than life color wasn't "too happy," it was just, "Happy."

Yes, the first color I picked was named, "Happy," and so we bought a few gallons and the rest is history.

From that day forward we described our home as, "the big white one, with the yellow front doors," or "you know the house with two yellow doors?" or "you know the house with the front doors that look like the smiley face head?"

We said it all, and I was so proud of those front doors... I still am actually.

And you know what is absolutely adorable? You know who else is proud of them?

The kids.

I have received COUNTLESS drawings of our home, all complete with bright yellow doors.


The kids LOVE those doors... they exude their little personalities... there is literally no better color in the world for our front doors.

Unless.. you are selling your house and you have a Nazi Home Stager telling you what to do... and then, the yellow gots to go.

I'm not sure if we will ever have yellow doors again, so this kind of feels like the end of an era to me.

It's silly, but it does.

The kids are DEVASTATED.

We are legitimately taking away every single thing that makes this house unique, and exciting... everything that makes it their home, is gone.



This past weekend, our doors got a boring make over.... the color is called "Colonial Red," so you can just imagine how colonial and cookie cutter and boring it looks.

But true to their nature, these little guys found a way to make me proud even while I was mourning being the "yellow door house..."

First off, they told me why they hated the red doors, which made my heart happy because ... they get me.

They SO GET ME.

They listed off fifty rational reasons that yellow was the right color for our fun and happy home....



While they yammered on, I couldn't help but smile, even though my front doors are now red and stupid...

My kids are cute and smart...

And like the little sponges and students that they are... the yellow doors had taught them exactly what I needed them to.

The kids enjoyed the special feeling of being different, of being a little loud, and a little quirky..

The kids said, "We don't want a front door like everyone else's- we want to be different!!"

SUCCESS!

If my kid's could just continue to look at life through their yellow front door colored glasses, then I know they will be alright...

If they could just continue thinking that being unique is cool, that wearing your emotions on your sleeve, or in this case, your front door... is A-OKAY!

It's more than Okay to be happy, IT'S AWESOME!

And even red doors are just fine, when they open up to cute little nuggets like mine... who have big brains and even bigger hearts.



2/23/17

Valentine's Day At School

What the shit is going on with Valentine's Day?

Did I miss something?

Granted- I will admit, I still have never been on Pinterest... so maybe that's where there is a disconnect- but come on people... what is happening!

My kids came home from school after their Valentine's Day parties and they had HUGE GIFT BAGS... Like the birthday party kind... like 5 or 6 of them each kid.

WHAT?

WHAT!

I thought we had a fucking deal here people- we buy Valentine's at Target- hope that we get there before all the good ones are gone, and call it a day, right?

Well, apparently, I'm wrong... I'm the odd man out here, but damn it I am hoping to change all that.

Consider me a Pioneer for the Make Valentine's Day Mediocre Again movement.

Cause you people sent my kids home with BIG HUGE BOXES OF CHOCOLATE!

First of all.. why?

What is your problem?

Why the fuck would you send a box of chocolates home with a 5 year old?

What did I ever do to you?

Second of all... this.







How sweet of you to send my 7 year old home with a plant, which we will inevitably kill...

Also, he handed it to me and was like, "Here Mom, just what everyone wants on Valentine's Day... a radish."

And he didn't hand me the gift card that it came with, just the "radish."

And I'm turning it over and over in my hand like, what the fuck is happening right now, where did this come from and why is it in my hand?

Also... why do they always think I know what is going on! I have no idea what this is!

And all their eyeballs are looking at me silently like: "HMMM HMMMM? What is it Mom?"

And I'm looking back at them like, "STOP YELLING AT ME! I BARELY PASSED HIGH SCHOOL BIOLOGY!"

So I open my mouth, and no words come out...

And I try again, this time speaking slowly because I have no idea what I am even saying..."You know what Bud, I actually think this is an onion. Orrr... maybe a super old potato that grew eyes?"

I'm thinking to myself, "This is the weirdest shit I have ever seen... who the Hell gives their kid onions to pass out on Valentine's Day?"

Of course, once he produced the little print out, I knew it was a bulb... and I felt like a jackass, because A- I thought it was a potato, and B- what a cute little hippy Mom to go to all this trouble.



But again, but still.... WHY???

They are kids! My own husband didn't give me a bulb, or a radish, or a potato on Valentine's Day!

I got $3 carnations that had probably been dropped and stepped on and pulled out of the reduced produce section.

But that's okay... because it's the thought.

And my thought is: Please, let's all go back to not trying to out do each other on fake school holidays.

Let's just all make a pact to do our best, and by "our best," I mean minimal effort on minimal budget...

Otherwise we are going to find ourselves at bulbs today and BMWs when they turn 16.

Let's get back to our boring, crappy, stickers, tattoos, and glow sticks Valentine's... before it's too late!

2/22/17

You're Doing A Good Job

Let's be honest, parenting is hard work.

And in case no one else told you this today, you're doing a great job.

Whether you have a baby bun in your oven, or a 1 year old, or a teenager, whatever you've got... you're doing a good job.

When I think back to when my kids were 4,2, and just a baby... I can distinctly remember needing to hear those words.

This shit is hard ass work and if I've learned anything at all, it's not to judge people... and that we are all just trying to do the best we can.

Oh, and that no one has any idea what the fuck they are doing.

That is actually a really comforting thought to me some days...

Like today: when my oldest was like, "How old do I have to be to kiss with my mouth open?"

And my daughter who is FIVE was like, "Can I wear a belly shirt to school tomorrow?"

And the baby referred to just about every single thing as, "the damn thing," and for whatever reason only wanted to watch YouTube in Spanish.

So... as you can see... nothing has changed around here and I still have no idea what the fuck I'm doing.

It helps when I think that my parents had no idea what they were doing with us either, and we all turned out pretty okay.

I'm just kinda winging this parenting thing, and it makes me feel better to know that most of you are too.

If you follow us on Instagram, you know that we had a candle light dinner for Valentine's Day.

Well what the photos don't show is that I took the kids to Good Will before dinner to grab those candles... because I didn't want to spend a lot, and I figured it would be quick and easy.

Except that's the funny thing about life, and kids... just when you think, "this will be easy," life throws a curve ball at you that makes you want to duck and run.

Or in this case, put your hood on and hide from your own kids.

So we are walking through, minding our own business, and it's pretty packed but also pretty quiet and my adorable daughter decides this is the perfect time to ask me something slightly inappropriate.

Now here's where I would usually just tell you what she said- but, I actually wrote this blog last week, and originally, I included what she asked...

And then, I sat on this blog for a week and decided that I didn't feel like being attacked by the Internet- so I'm NOT going to tell you what she said.

But it's along the lines of something pretty embarrassing, and she's five, and doesn't know any better.

She doesn't know that her honest to goodness innocent question could be mistaken as rude, or ignorant. She doesn't know this.

But I do... obviously... which is why I'm not going to tell you what she said...

And even though I have hammered home every single lesson that I can about not staring, and not seeing skin color, and not caring who marries who,  and that our differences are what make us great... kids are still gonna be kids.

And they are still going to embarrass the shit out of you.

As someone who was teased, and was chubby, and doesn't see handicaps, and loves people of all colors, backgrounds, and sexual orientations...

 And someone who is insanely emotional about acceptance and anti-bullying... I was mortified, and felt like a total fucking failure.

Also...I had no idea how to handle it. 

Now here is where I should say that I calmly, and sweetly mic dropped a nugget of knowledge on my girl and was totally prepared for this mortifying moment but you guys...

I froze.

Actually, if I'm being honest. I didn't freeze.

I put my hood up. And was juuust about to run out of the aisle and literally leave my kids in the dust, when my oldest spoke up.

Actually, he just totally took charge and hissed at his sister..., "Baker! You don't say things like that! I know you don't know any better, and you're not trying to be mean, but you cant ask things like that in public, it isn't nice... ask Mom at home, or in the car!"

My little guy owned the shit out of that moment and if my mouth hadn't been on the floor.. I would have slow clapped for him.

I was so so proud.

He took over when I couldn't... he knew what was right... and he taught his sister in the same way that I taught him.

And my sweet daughter who loves all people, and accepts everyone, and whose only true wrong doing was being outwardly curious...she was so sad, and embarrassed to have been called out by her brother, and to have said something that could be deemed hurtful.

She really is such a little Mama, she loves everyone and always wants everyone to feel love... she was honestly sad to have voiced her question...

And I was torn, you know?

You want them to ask questions and be curious ... but you just don't know how people will react, and I think that was my big problem...

You just cant trust people to have a good reaction all the time, because this is 2017, and history tells us people are insane.

So right there in Good Will, I got on the floor, and I hugged all three of them close... because when emotions are running high, I have found that a hug from Mom is always the very best cure.

And because when I don't know what else to do... I hug them.

And because when I just need somewhere to put my arms... I hug them.

So... when you can't see past the two year old temper tantrum in front of your face, or the nine month old ear infections, or the teething, and bed wetting, and endless taxi rides to and from events...

If you're stuck in traffic and your kid is screaming bloody murder, or you have to feed them McDonald's or ice cream for dinner once in awhile, if you skip a few pages of the bed time story....

Remember this...

They are watching, they are listening, they are learning.. they are soaking up your energy, and your guidance, and taking their cues from you.

And every so often, they will embarrass you, but that's okay... because every so often they will make you proud too... because that's their job... to make you bipolar... to keep your emotions running hot and cold for the rest of your life.

And one day, they will be old enough to be embarrassed by us too..

And you can bet your ass that I've already got a laundry list of ways to make payback be a bitch... I'm gonna start by pooping in the grass at the Outlet Stores while they have a panic attack.

I mean...

No, you're not supposed to have all the answers, or have a clean house, or folded laundry .... all you need to do for them is be there to hug them when they fall...

And teach them what not to say in public, or at the very least try.

Oh yeh, and love them... fiercely.

But don't forget... to love yourself.

And stop beating yourself up all the time.

You are great, and you're doing great, and you look great, and you have such a nice ass!!

I knew exactly what you needed to hear right now, didn't I?

It's because we are all the same, we all want to love and be loved, and have a nice normal, crazy life.

We all just want to be good people, and raise good people.

There's gonna be ups, and there's gonna be down's... they are not a reflection of the job you are doing... they are just life.

Your job is to keep going and doing the best you can, day in, and day out... embarrassing moments, and happy moments, too.

Wherever you are in your parenting journey, whatever side of the world you're on, whatever time of day it is right now for you... know this...

You are doing an awesome job... you're allowed to have a bad day... and your kids think you're great.






2/17/17

The Baby

My littlest guy, is funny, like the rest of them, but more dead pan.

Very matter of fact funny, like never intentionally.

He also rolls deep.

He 100% prefers to be near his brother and sister, and doesn't actually talk much or act like himself when they aren't around.

For bed time, since he can't be with his siblings, he has acquired his own little tribe of things to bring with him to sleep.

The other kids never did this, they never had something they loved and needed for bed.

My baby though, he has a Pottery Barn blanket that he named, "Taa" - as in "tag" with no "g".

It is super duper well loved.

Somewhere along the line he added a stuffed animal of a Bernese Mountain Dog, whom I quickly named Rosie because I thought she was a short lived thing and would only last a day.

Except "Wosie," soon became part of the team... followed by a tiger, named "Dragon."

Kids are weird, I have no idea why the tiger is named Dragon.

Anyway, bedtime without these three pretty much wouldn't exist.

So one night Husband is juuust about to dip out for the Gym at bed time, which, side note, OF COURSE my husband would go to the Gym at bed time.

How about after bed time dude?

Anyway, right as he is about to leave I cant find Taa... who is like the head Gangster in the crew.

If Taa doesn't sleep, NO ONE SLEEPS.

IN THE WHOLE FUCKING NEIGHBORHOOD.

So Taa is missing and I am PANICKING.

SWEATING.

SHRIEKING!!!

I am tearing the house apart with such speed and determination... if you were to happen to walk into my house at this exact moment you might think I lost my engagement ring.

Or my mind.

But it was just the most important blanket in the world and IT WAS MISSING!

FUUUUCCCCK!

So now Husband is mad that he cant leave for the Gym, and the big kids are mad because it's bedtime and they are in their beds, and Taa is missing so their troll of a little brother is fucking their shit up...

Like pacing back and forth in their rooms just looking for trouble, ya know?

And I am downstairs literally tossing shit around the house like a maniac and I'm like...

"GOD!!!! CAN SOMEONE PLEASE COME HELP ME FIND THIS DAMN THING!"

No sooner were the words out of my mouth that my little guy pops around the corner in his little undies and he's all: "I'll help you find the damn thing, Mom!"

And just like that, I'm smiling and laughing and marveling at my ridiculous life.

I am so lucky to have these insane monsters to keep my head right.

Oh and Taa was found... inside the seat of a fire truck... of course.



2/13/17

The Home Stager

Last we left off I told you that we were re-listing our home, and that we had worked with a Home Stager.

So what happened was, our new realtor hired a Home Stager, who came, walked through our house alone, and then with us, and then alone again.

She was so nice and chatty, and took lots of pictures and had such sweet and positive things to say....

And then she sent us an email with more than 150 things to do, and links, and exclamation points!! And so many things!

I know.

Her list was thorough, and LOOONG, and pretty expensive when you add up all the money that we need to spend to make it a reality.

But, it is what it is at this point... if I'm being honest, she's right about nearly all of it.

Some things I'm like, ehh... about... I mean, it's her job, so she knows best, however... I don't think we need to hide ALLLL of our toys.

I mean, kids live here, ya know?

Thank goodness for our realtor, bless her cute heart, she told us to just look at the stager's list, and pick half or three quarters of things to do- she said that it's not all 100% necessary...

She said this to us before the Home Stager ever even came to our house, so, clearly she knew what she was getting us into.

I feel like a Stager's job is to basically come in, and tell your Husband/Wife to do everything that you've been telling him/her to do for years.

So... we painted. And painted. AND PAINTED. AND PAINTED our fucking hands off.

The Home Stager suggested Benjamin Moore's Manchester Tan, for like, EVERY WALL.

Apparently, this is the color of new construction, and tricks people into thinking that your home is newer than it is.

Let me just note here, in case I am reading this ten years from now, and am considering doing a home renovation of any kind, ever again: DON'T DO IT SELF. DON'T DO IT.

My house was TORN apart for a week, with couches pushed in the middle of every single room, and rollers, and tape, and paint cans, and tool boxes in every direction.

It absolutely sucked.

THEN... add to the total chaos of painting your entire house: SNOW DAYS! LOTS OF THEM.

Ugh, it was a nightmare. Three kids and a construction site house, snowed in...

It's funny 'cause I'm not super religious but last week I heard myself talking to God quite a bit... let's just say I was taking a lot of deep breaths.

They're lucky they are so cute.



Besides painting, we changed a bunch of lights out for oil rubbed bronze versions, we took down all but 4 family photos in the entire house...

Considering we probably had 75 up, it feels pretty naked around here.

Our list is forever forever forever long... we've been to Home Depot and Lowe's 50 times.


We are bleeding money.

Speaking of money... this weekend we got a storage unit, and put a ton of our stuff in there.



We basically de-personalized the entire house.

Which everyone hears about on HGTV but really, when you actually switch out everything fun and exciting you own for neutral, white, and boring... it is sad.

It instantly takes your house from your home to .... not your home.

The Stager told us in a matter of fact manner that the most important thing for us, was paint, and lots of it... because our home looks a little bit like it's been beaten up by three children.

Hmm... not my angels.

She said that emptying out wasn't a huge focus for us, but I got the storage unit anyway... here's why.

Last year, when we got the text about a showing... things went like this:

SHIT FUCK SHIT
THROW ALL THE THINGS IN THE CAR- EVERY FUCKING THING
GRAB YOUR CLOTHES, GRAB YOUR SHOES, GRAB ANYTHING THAT LOOKS LIKE A HUMAN HAS TOUCHED IT AND PUT IT IN THE FUCKING CAR!!!!!

Thank the Lord we weren't selling our cars... cause those shits were full of laundry baskets and five thousand toys.

This year, my hope, my dream, my "in my brain this sounds nice," idea... is that if I get a ton of stuff out of the house ahead of time, then maybe I wont have as much stuff to clean.

Makes sense right?

I mean... it sounds good.

Who the shit knows if it will actually work out... but in the mean time...

We are selling, EVERYTHING... and anything that isn't getting sold is going to Good Will, or the storage unit.

We have an official date for the photographer to come, and so now it's just a matter of how fast can we get things done...

Our list still has some major things on it, like painting my beloved yellow front doors.

And our beach bathroom... waaaah.



But, like my friend's husband said to me the other night... "Complain about it, get if off your chest, and then do it... because you want to move, right?"

Right.

Right.





2/10/17

Cook's Companion Wonder Pot Review (& CAKE TOO!)

Here's a little known fact about my kitchen... I have an entire humongous cabinet designated to just gadgets.

I know what you're thinking... "So does everyone."

Well, you might be right, but mine are special.

You see, my Father in Law used to watch the shopping network at night... do you see where this is going?

So we own every strange, and exciting, and interesting, faster than a speeding bullet, kitchen appliance known to man.

I have one of everything, and something that does everything.

So, as a lover of all things speedy and cooking-y... I was super excited when I was asked to review the Cook's Companion 6 in 1 Wonder Pot.


This little guy does the work of 6 different appliances, in one... hence the 6 in 1 name, of course.

You can use it to bake, stir fry, steam and even make rice, stew or soup.

The Wonder Pot is very "set it and forget it," - kinda like a crock pot, but with more features... and the digital settings make it pretty much fool proof.

I think this little guy would be great to use in the summer months so you're not standing over a hot stove, it is the perfect size (3.2 qt) for side dishes or small meals.

Or at large family gatherings, because it has a small footprint, and wont take up a lot of counter space, but is super easy to clean (take the pot out, soap and water, done).

Plus... if you are ever traveling somewhere that you don't have an oven but you do have electricity... and you are someone that enjoys a daily baked good (ahem, me)... then you need to bring this guy with you because...

HELLO... you can BAKE A CAKE without an oven.

I know, because I did it!

I made a recipe from the Cook's Companion Cook Book and it was super easy.... so easy that it is actually called, "The Easy & Delicious Wonder Pot Cake."



I just followed the instructions, dumped the ingredients all in the pot, and then hit "bake".


In 50 minutes (this time is pre-set when you hit "bake" it automatically cooks for 50 minutes) we had a perfect little cake.


The inside of the Wonder Pot is a ceramic, non-stick pot, so my cake came out super easily, no prying, or hoping the whole thing would come out in one piece...

Just plop! And out it came! Look at how smooth and not crumbly it is!

 It was the perfect snow day treat, that didn't really take any work on my part (win!).

The cake was super moist, totally low maintenance and delicious... for real!

If you're in the market for an affordable, one and done, no fuss kitchen gadget, I give this guy two thumbs up.

Enter below for your chance to win a Cook's Companion Wonder Pot... Good Luck!







Disclaimer: I received a Wonder Pot for review. All opinions are my own, and yours may vary. As always, I ate the calories and am wearing them on my thighs because I wanted to.

2/7/17

The Salad Bar...

Yes- another salad bar post.

Except this one isn't nearly as delicious as the last one.

So I sent Husband into the grocery store to grab us salads at the salad bar.

I know.

Sending him in alone was my first mistake.

But... I did it anyway.

So he comes out of the store with two tins... his, and mine, obviously.

I take one look at his and I'm like, "Well that looks like a beautiful gourmet feast... who was in there, Emeril?!"

My God.. it was a fucking beautiful salad.

It was every color of the rainbow and chock full of all kinds of protein... I had to admit... he did a good freaking job...

On his. HIS.

My poor tin on the other hand...

Had two things in it: spinach, and tomatoes.

That's it.

So I'm like, "So, how come yours looks so amazing and mine... doesn't? Why do you have lobster and chicken and ham and cheese and eggs and I... don't?"

And he's like... ((chomp chomp chomp)) "Oh, I didn't think you'd want any."

I look down at my poor salad again like... hmmm... what?

Seriously, who doesn't want a beautiful Giada at Home salad?

So now I'm looking back and forth from my salad, to his, and back again and I notice something.

"Hey..." I say, as I glance over at him crunch, crunching away...

There's legitimately food falling out of his mouth, he has so much healthy goodness in front of him, he's like a human juice bar.... just all greens, goodness, and false promises...

"How come I have tomatoes and you don't?"

"Oh," he says... "I would never eat those nasty salad bar tomatoes... those things are fucking disgusting."

Welp... Spinach it is.






2/6/17

Is It Just Me Or...

Sometimes I look at kid things and I'm like... who approved this?

Seriously- this is not kid friendly.

Case in point...

I was reading a book to the kids...

I'm not gonna tell you which one because I'm sure someone put their blood, sweat, and tears into getting it published and sold and I'm not trying to be mean here, I'm just... surprised?

Anyway, I'm reading this book to the kids, and I'm just minding my own business when I turn the page and....



You see that dog on her knee.. you see his look of sheer terror and confusion and but WHHHHHYYYY-ness?

That's how I looked too!! I am actually still making that face right this very second as I type this.

HOW, how did this get passed the illustrator, author, publisher??

Plus all their families?

You know someone was like, "Hey Honey, check out my illustrations, and pictures for the old lady book..."

And not ONE person was like, "Ahh... why's she gotta swallow a pole? I thought this was a family book?"

I mean I know, I KNOW that's not what it's supposed to look like, but hello, it does anyway!

Come on. Seriously...

It's not just me, right?

RIGHT!?

Fine, FINE. Whatever. You can pretend that nothing even remotely non-PG would have ever crossed your mind if you were reading that book but guess what?!

I don't believe you.

2/3/17

Ruby Tuesday Garden Bar Review & Giveway

So I hear from companies from time to time about doing Giveaways and Reviews, and sometimes, I feel like their product probably wont be a good fit for us.

But food?

FOOD is always a good fit for me.

So needless to say, I was SO PUMPED when the good looking people at Ruby Tuesday reached out and asked if our whole crew would be interested in trying out their new, humongous Garden Bar.



I was like all the yes's... all of them. Please put the food in my belly.

So before I jump into this, let me just say that while Ruby Tuesday invited us to check out their new salad bar on them, they didn't ask me to talk about anything else outside of the salad bar.

But, come on, hello.. do you know me?

I'm going to give you every last detail... whether you like it or not!!

So I wish I had a photo of this, but the very first thing that happened was two staff members OPENED THE DOORS FOR US while we were walking in.

I know, I know, here is where a photo of two smiling faces holding doors should go, but guys, I was so surprised and so into feeling like someone special, that I totally forgot to grab my camera.

As soon as we were all settled, we ordered the kid's dinners and a family sized Shareable Appetizer (The Trio Sampler).

I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED that there was PICTURES of the dinner options on the Kid's Menu.



Seriously, why doesn't every restaurant do this?!

We were all, "Point to what you want," and then we were done! Genius!

Ruby Tuesday = Leaders of the Kid's Menu pack.

Once the kids were all set, I made a mad dash for the Garden Bar.

The first thing I noticed, was an attendant, who was constantly pulling things out, putting new things in, making sure that no weird drops of things got in the wrong bin, and that every surface was spotless.

Nice touch, RT (can I call you RT?).

Now I have to be honest here, there were so many options at the salad bar (58 total!) that I didn't even know what some of them were!

Guys, it's huge.

There was a whole section of just cheese!

 And there's hummus!

And artichoke hearts!

And even an entire corner dedicated to crunchy things!

Pumpernickel croutons, candied walnuts... chips on top of my salad? Yes please!

Everything was super fresh and CLEAN!

I know I already said that, but if you ask me, it's worth repeating.

I hate when I go to a salad bar that looks like a hundred people have been there before me, ya know?

Anyway, I made my masterpiece and headed back to the table, where everyone was digging in and trading french fries for onion rings.


Husband ordered a side of salmon (an extra $5) and I ordered a side of grilled chicken (an extra $4), which magically appeared at our table as soon as we sat down with our Garden Bar creations.

 We just dumped our extra protein right on top, and we were instantly skinnier!

Well we were, until we went back for seconds!






You see, when the waitress was all, "Enjoy our Garden Bar for $9.99! Endless trips!"

I accidentally thought she was challenging me... so I jumped up and slapped the table like, "GIRL... IT'S ON!"

Needless to say, I left with a FULL belly.

I know this is going to sound weird, but my favorite part was actually the salad dressing.

IT WAS AMAZING.

I am pretty much a blue cheese connoisseur - a restaurant instantly fails my Credibility Test when they hand me a packet of store bought dressing.

All of the salad dressing at Ruby Tuesday on the other hand, was yummy and made fresh, in house, daily!

I know, because I asked. Of course I did.

I also asked if there were any plans to sell their dressing because I would have bought a keg of it.


You can just go ahead and wipe that look off your face, and leave me and my keg of blue cheese dressing alone... mmmkay?

If you're wondering, each of my picky eaters finished off their dinners and then, of course, we went for dessert.


Good Lord, it was amazing, plus... how could you say no to something with seventy five spoons in it??


 As we were leaving, we found out that on Tuesdays kids eat FREE with purchase of an adult entree...sooo if you need us on Tuesdays,  you know where we'll be.

We loved that atmosphere was casual, and not too loud...so we weren't super worried about the kids acting like perfect little angels (like that happens).

Also?

We heard the waitstaff sing Happy Birthday, (twice) and I was kind of wishing it was my birthday.

They did the cutest yelling, clapping, stomping thing... and you guys know I love all of those things!

I give our night out at the Ruby Tuesday's Garden Bar a TEN OUT OF TEN.

See? Here we are, all smiles! 


All that to say... has it been ten years since you've been to Ruby Tuesday? Or ten days? Ten minutes?

However long it's been... if you're interested in checking out Ruby Tuesday FOR FREE... They were kind enough to offer one Our Tiny Place reader a $50 gift card!

How's that for good news?

And, since the good looking people at Ruby Tuesday are just so dag-gone sweet, they want you to have this coupon... for a free kid's meal with purchase of adult entree.

 Good for any night! Not just Tuesday!

((Side note: I loved that when I used that coupon above (click the link), I didn't have to print it out...
I just pulled out my phone, showed the waitress my screen shot, and I was good!))

So what are you waiting for?

Stop Reading! Go!

Fill out the Giveaway!

Good Luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway




***Shout out and big hugs to Ruby Tuesday for working with us, and sponsoring this post... they fed our bellies, but all of the pounds gained and opinions given are my own!






 


2/2/17

Surprise Snow Day

I pulled this crafty little number out of my arse last week when we had a surprise snow day and my monsters were being monsters and needed centering and entertainment.

This is a good one because you will have all the ingredients on hand.

AND... you can trust ME when I say that.

I am not like those other bitches you see on line that are like, "Oh just pop into your pantry, and you'll have all the fixins for this lovely crafting afternoon! All you'll need is 27 glitter eyeballs, a squirrel's ear, 7 penguin feathers, an orchid, and a silver dollar from 1974."

No bitch.

I would bet five bucks that you have all this shit at your house right now.

First... gather your supplies.


Then... gather your monsters.


Then pick up the monsters in one hand, and the supplies in the other, and smash the two together until you have a perfect pinterest crafting afternoon.

Or just dole out the goods and let them go to town.

The abbreviated, you're not stupid, explanation of this craft is this:

Grab some glass plates, the lower the better so you don't waste all your daggone milk...  I used pie plates.

Of which I apparently have three.

I have no clue why... who the heck makes that many pies at once?

Anyway, pour the milk, squeeze in some food coloring, hand the kids a q-tip, and bada bing bada boom... you've got yourself a real life artistic masterpiece.



This little project kept everyone excited, intrigued and involved for almost 20 minutes.


I absolutely call that a win.

Any time I can keep them altogether in one space, I am happy.

Also?

You can't plan crafts like this and then be mad when they make a mess... that's just a part of life, parenting, childhood... the world.

It's just the way it goes, if they are calm and quiet, you will probably have to clean up a mess.

 

In this case, our craft ended with a shower for everyone because my Girlfriend, God love her, can't do ANYTHING without eventually putting whatever it is all over her.

Anyway, put this one in your rolodex of things that you will try when you have tried everything else.

Fair warning: by the end, everything will be a weird shade of dark green brown, and your kids might probably be covered in milk.

But they'll be happy... and you'll get a break, if only for a few minutes, while your kids cover themselves in milk.

Sounds like a fair trade to me... amIright?



2/1/17

A New Phase...


When I first started this blog, I had one child... and I was in a completely different place in my life.

I was trying to figure out how to be everything to everyone, and I was forgetting about number one.... me.

Now that the kids are older and I finally remembered how to breathe (in and out, in case you're wondering)... I am in a new phase of Motherhood, and life.

Just look at me in that photo up there, graduating Law School from YALE.

Second in my class.

Right?! Amazing! I know!

Just kidding .... I haven't been gone THAT LONG.

But I did become a Justice of the Peace, and now, every so often, I get to use my love of writing to work with couples on creating a sweet and funny love story for the biggest day of their lives!

And then I deliver it, like an actual long ceremony... in front of lots of people!

And guys! I don't even fuck up!

I know. I am as surprised as you are.

Because nothing has changed, I still have no idea what I'm doing like, 100% of the time.

You know what else I do! Bartend!

And run the office for my dad's business!

And.... now I blog again.

This isn't supposed to be a list of all my hobbies.... it's supposed to be me telling you, that wouldn't you know it... it's true what they say... it's never to late to do something for yourself!

Or try something new... or FAIL at something new.

It's just never too late. 

There are other phases of Motherhood... you don't just learn about babies and close the book!

There is so much that I DON'T know yet... but upon entering this new chapter, I have learned this:

Even if you got 100% lost in becoming a Mom, which is so great, and something I will never ever ever regret doing... even if you get lost and sucked in and spit out by Motherhood... when you're ready, life will still be there, waiting for you to grab it by the balls!

Yes! Life balls!

Isn't that so fucking great?

I mean come on, if you're a Mom like me then you already have your own cheering squad ready and happy to support you!

You created them! You carried them... THEY OWE YOU. 

I remember when the kids were younger I would look at parents of "older" kids... I'm talking four, five, six, seven year olds... and I would think, aww... how sad, no one is excited to see your kids like they are excited to see little ones.

But you know what?

That's actually not true.

Your kids will still be just as great, in fact, they will be BETTER as they get older.... because YOU are better!

You are remembering YOU!

So that's where I am. I'm entering the, "better" stage.... the "ohhh yeh, I remember you!," stage.

The "Now I wash my face!" stage.

The "I wear jeans, and put on makeup, and there's no barf on my clothes!," stage.

This is the part when your kids get older and start to have their own lives: they get up, they get dressed, they get on the bus, they go to school...

And you have two choices... cry... or go to Target.

I personally like to do both.

I like to cry and mourn every last first that my kids do... the last first day of first grade, the last first time they kiss me goodbye on the 37th day of school...

Listen, I'm still insane... but I'm also... not stupid.

After I'm done crying I'm like... "WOOOT!!! Let's go! Marshall's baby! New shoes! No, No wait... even better! NAP TIME! FOR ME! Not you! ME!!!".... as I take a flying swan dive leap into my bed.
 
I've hit the next chapter... the next BEST chapter.

When everyone still loves you, and wants to be seen with you in public, and everyone still wants to snuggle, and cuddle, and lay with you and hold hands and get kisses and read books... and you are still allowed to lay their clothes out and do their hair in the morning...

I am still so needed... and so loved... but suddenly, I have FREEEEEEDOM!

Guys.. NO BABIES HAVE SUCKED ON MY BOOBS TODAY!

WHAT!

Honestly, for someone that loved nursing... I also love not having to be a food source.

NOT climbing into the back seat during a traffic jam and shoving my boob into a baby's face while I turn myself into a pretzel on top of the car seat, and pray that the person next to me isn't offended by my origami body all folded up and nipples out... is kind of awesome.

That's where I am.

Maybe I'm not number one just yet... but I AM BACK ON THE LIST! 

And you know what?

It's pretty fucking great.

Now listen Internet.... before you get crazy... DON'T GET IT TWISTED.

I am obsessed with my children and I would LITERALLY HAVE ANOTHER BABY RIGHT THIS FREAKING MINUTE... (if my Husband would stop being such a tight ass).

I'm going to let you in on a little secret:

LOVING YOURSELF... does not mean that you don't love your kids.

It doesn't mean you love them any less.

It just means that you have room, and time, and energy for yourself.

And the truth is... for six years, I didn't have ANY of those things for myself. I just didn't.

Maybe sometimes I went through spurts of having the energy for me... but the kids, the house, the family, the husband... they always won in the end.

When you're a Mom, especially a new Mom... and someone holds up two cards, and one card says "YOU" and the other card says, pretty much anything else on Earth... the other card wins, every time.

But then something happens, the house gets quieter and time starts to come back to you a bit, and you remember yourself.

So I'm there now... tentatively treading in these new waters that include me too.

It's not just a bunch of little bobbing bodies in the shallow end anymore... now there's an adult in there too... and maybe she's in a bikini!

Maybe it's a thong!

Just kidding... it's not a thong, but I just wanted to make sure you were still paying attention.

So... if you're in the thick of it, and it feels like you're losing yourself... have faith, there is a new phase on the horizon for you... and it will be awesome.
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