Archive for April, 2012

April 30, 2012

tina time

If you are looking for a “light” read, checkout Tina Fey’s Bossypants.  Her comedic writing elicits smiles & laughter.


That is the actual cover.


  • the entire chapter entitled “That’s Don Fey” – her father
  • reading about crazy showbiz life & SNL
  • hearing comedic twists (truth?) on motherhood, politics, & life in general
  • realizing how we can all relate on some level

Bossypants makes me want to find the funny in life.

“To say I’m an overrated troll, when you have never even seen me guard a bridge, is patently unfair.”  ~ Tina Fey, Bossypants

April 25, 2012

clean sweep

Kids’ rooms…what a task to maintain!  Typically, no one likes to get them in order…   What works depends on the day.  Over the years, we’ve attempted many strategies:

  • create a checklist, then reward with a prize after everything’s checked (normally not a fan of this tactic, but when everyone loathes the chore a treat motivates)
  • choices:  “Do you want to clean your room today by yourself?  Or clean your room with mommy’s help?”  “You can clean your room this morning OR clean your room AND wash the dishes!”  “Would you like to clean under your bed or pick 5 things to give away?”
  • pay for giveaway items –  “25 cents for each item you pick to donate to the thrift shop.”
  • set a timer & have a pick-up race
  • assign cleaning in a sibling’s room as a consequence  – didn’t to x daily chore = 5 minutes picking up in sibling’s room

Once complete, the benefits are great.

  • seems like there’s more oxygen
  • clean room = play in the rooms more!
  • occasionally, kids conclude they have too much stuff, the mental antidote to stuffitis
  • open space = room for new play

“If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”  ~ Abraham Maslow

April 24, 2012

nummy napa

Call me crazy, but Napa cabbage has a buttery texture.  Dreamy.  Try the following salad with grilled bone-in pork chops.  You won’t be sorry.

  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 T. honey
  • thinly sliced Napa cabbage
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

“The embarrassing thing is that the salad dressing is outgrossing my films.”  ~ Paul Newman

April 23, 2012

sugar free

A thought-provoking book about agendas & politics & how they trickle into education, media, & our culture.

Don't Let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid: Confronting the Left's Assault on Our Families, Faith, and Freedom

Looking to protect traditional values & parental rights, Marybeth Hicks gives notice through example & intellect as to why parents should pay attention.

Interesting points from book:

  • socialism is easily instilled in children due to their limited understanding of justice
  • the public costs of family breakdown among working class & poor communities exceed $112 billion/year (pg. 28)
  • “America’s children are learning an entirely backward interpretation of separation of church & state – not that we are freely religious, but that our nation is meant to be religious-free”
  • political messages in television shows…entertaining, yes…conversation openers, YES
  • “The real cause of bullying is not intolerance for people who are different.  It is a lack of conscience & character in the hearts & souls of our children.”

Additional resources offered:


“Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.”  ~ C.S. Lewis

April 20, 2012

save up

A fun art activity to help kids (or adults) reach savings goals.  Especially good for visual learners.

Supplies:  envelope, printed grid, tape or glue, fine black marker

  1. Each square in the grid represents a dollar amount.
  2. Draw a picture with the black marker.
  3. As savings are stashed in the envelope, color a square.

“Money will buy you a fine dog, but only love can make it wag its tail” ~ Richard Friedman

April 19, 2012

check points

Yesterday, a friend (hi, Deb!) shared an awesome parenting tip regarding activity decision-making.  The reference was to sports, but the concept can be applied across the board for many age groups.

Ask the following three questions:

  1. Is he/she learning?
  2. Is he/she improving?
  3. Is he/she having fun?

Short, sweet, substantial.  Love it!  Do you have any quick parenting tips to share?

“God gives every bird his worm, but He does not throw it into the nest.”  ~ P.D. James

April 17, 2012

inflammation nation

Please read this interesting article by Dr. Dwight Lundell about what really causes heart disease.  Until fairly recently, the medical community has attributed the causes (for most) of heart disease to high cholesterol & saturated fats where one would be prescribed drugs & a low-fat diet.  Dr. Lundell states, in a nut shell, that the main cause is inflammation of the arteries which causes cholesterol to not move freely throughout the body, therefore creating plaque build-up on the artery wall.

Lots of things can cause inflammation – stress, environmental toxins, bodily reactions to internal imbalances due to allergies, injury, bacteria, virus, &/or fungus (oh my), or diet & lifestyle.

Points to remember:

  • cells can only hold a certain amount of sugar
  • extra sugar attaches to certain proteins which then act as “sandpaper” to the blood vessel wall causing…inflammation
  • consuming processed foods with overloads of omega-6 fats (soybean, corn, sunflower oils) create an imbalance with omega-3 fats within cells which create…inflammation
  • excess weight causes overloaded fat cells to secrete pro-inflammatory chemicals

Well.  How about we experiment in reducing inflammation?  Here’s the game plan:

  • return foods to their natural state
  • say no to processed foods, no to stress
  • yes to butter (preferably from grass-fed cows) & olive oil
  • yes to fruits & veggies
  • yes to moderation, healthy body weight, exercise, water

“Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing.”  ~Redd Foxx

April 16, 2012

message wreath

A little welcome greeting…

$3 thrift shop frame, originally stained wood color.  Below, primed with Gliddon’s Gripper:

Next, two coats of Behr’s glossy Cottage White, followed by distressing on some edges.

Thanks to hubbie for cutting 2 1/2 inch chalkboard squares (material left-over from previous projects).  Originally, 5 squares were planned to be used…but they took more space than predicted…  so much for “hello”…

Less is more, right?  Loose leaf rings hold the squares in a dangly row:

A narrow ribbon secures the message within the frame.

Maybe we’ll go with “BOO” in October…”love” in February…or use text lingo any time of year…

April 12, 2012

chicken meatballs

Ever tried ground chicken?  Our first attempt, thanks to the Chicken Meatballs with Peanut Sauce  recipe in Family Circle’s April issue, was a success!

The process is extremely similar to other meatball recipes…imagine that!  Mix the ingredients, form into balls, brown, simmer in sauce.

The tasty meatball flavor compliments the not too heavy or spicy peanut sauce.  Serve with basmati rice & a fresh veggie.

“I always say centered food equals centered behavior.”  ~ Marilu Henner

April 11, 2012

cute caddy

Repurpose a cardboard bottle holder into an art caddy!

Start by reinforcing the bottom with a piece of cardboard.

Next, decide on materials ~ duct tape was fun, easy, & sticky.  Use tape stripes (hint: finish bottom first) for a variety of pattern choices…

Or, make a scene:

Other options include decoupage with scrapbook paper or candy wrappers, painting, or any combination.


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