Thursday, March 23, 2017

Friday Musings: When Did We Become Alright with Referring to Kids as A**holes?


I recently came across an article on ScaryMommy with this title:  Not Being an A**hole Isn’t Good Enough.  We Need to Take It a Step Further, Folks.  Now before this, it never occurred to me to think of a toddler or an small child as an asshole before.  Adults, yes.  Teenagers, uh-huh at times, but they go through moments of hormone induced insanity, so occasionally it isn’t totally their fault.

The first line in said articles says that “Don’t Raise Assholes” is the parenting philosophy du jour.  I had no idea.  (Here is a link to the article if you are curious.  It’s a short read and rather good IMO.

Curious, I googled Kids and Assholes.  Look at this.  786,000 (I guess 786,001 if this one makes it on there 😉). 
Kids Are Assholes, Bad Behavior

So it seems that this really is a thing.  There are articles blaming parents for kids behavior. There are articles with parents proudly calling their kids assholes. There are articles telling you not to raise an asshole, and apparently ones telling you that not raising an asshole simply isn't enough.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

3 Things I figured Out This Week That Made Everyday Life (a Little Bit) Easier

Every Day Life Hacks

It's a good day when you stumble upon a little idea that makes at least one thing in your life easier. These are by no means genius level hacks.  In fact, many of you probably already know these, and maybe they are soooo simple that you have kept them to yourselves.  Just in case there is anyone out there like me who hadn't thought of this before, I'm sharing.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Mimosa Mommas Must-Haves

Oprah has her list of favorite things, so I thought I would do a Mimosa Momma's weekly favorites, but much more affordable.  I have not been paid to promote- this is solely based on personal experience, recommendations, or things that just look cool enough to share. Here are my picks this week.

Algenist Reveal Color Correcting, Anti-Aging, Serum Foundation SPF15 

Best Anti-aging Makeup Foundation

This was recommended to me by a make-up artist, and after years of being completely faithful to Bobbi Brown makeup, I decided to try something different. Usually color correctors are hard to match to my skin, but this product is a perfect match. For reference, I have slightly dry, non-problem skin, and I don't like heavy foundations. This product just enhances what you have- evens out your skin tone perfectly. I do not need to reapply all day, even in this crazy humid Houston weather. The only thing I don't like, is the medicine dropper feature. I think it is an unnecessary gimmick. But this is my new favorite- cannot live without, foundation.

Texas Home Shirt

I wear my Texas home tshirt all the time. It is soft cotton and comfy and you can order it in any state shape you want, but the Texas one looks best 😉. I ordered mine from the "original" home state company, but I know that there are others out there as well that make a similar product.

Kids Sculpture Projects

Easy Kids Art Projects

My kids love to do art projects, and I love that it gets them away from the iPad. This one caught my eye because it is visually appealing and it had a little lesson about cubism. Great rainy day fun! I found it at the museum of fine arts. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Friday Musings: Is Comparing Yourself to Others Always a Bad Thing?

Be Inspired without comparing yourself to them

How to Walk the Line Between Being Inspired by Someone and Comparing Yourself to Them.

This article has been sitting in my “to be posted” pile for a while.  My original idea was going to be the kick off to an life experiment with my blog partner, Monica.  It was going to be titled "Bootcamp to Kick Me Out of My Comfort Zone”.  

The idea was that I would spend a week or so living like she did.  How was this crazy idea born? It was a moment when I was comparing my life to hers, and I was left feeling wanting.  It started with an innocent text exchange about me asking her to co-host with me (which she immediately said 'yes' to, while I took a few months to think it over), and M says, “I had dinner at this restaurant in Houston.  Met the owner, got his card.  The food was great.  It’s my new favorite place." 

Me: Wait, what?? You drove to the city? [Gasp]  On a Wednesday night? For dinner? With whom?

That’s when the tiny little voice of doubt starting asking, "Am I too comfortable?"  Monica is always out doing something, driving somewhere, while I am tucked under the covers reading a good book (Hey, it’s an exciting book!).  Maybe I was dug so far into my comfort zone that I was missing out on some fun and excitement, you know in real life, not in book life.  “Maybe I’ve become boring.”  Wait what, did I actually just text that out loud??? 

M’s response: Life is too short to be sitting still.  I love doing something all the time.  Today was basketball at the gym, lunch with my bff, a few hours in at the office, homework time with the kids, dinner with girlfriends  (My Head voice, in Houston??), then TV time with the hubby.  

In a desperate attempt to regain some peace of mind, and prove that I am not boring, I am not done!  I am still exciting, and can hang with the best of them (whoever “them” is), I throw out there, “I need to start a Friday Girl’s Night Out, once a month” 

M: “Great! Now that the gun club is dissolved, {My head voice: Gun Club, wtf???} I can do Fridays.

Me: Great!

M: …...but not this Friday {To myself: As if I could just drop everything and spontaneously go this Friday.  I have mentally to plan and prepare for it.  I can’t do that in a day or two}.

M:  I am going somewhere {My Head voice: of course…}

So, I thought up this bootcamp plan in an effort to jump start me out of this rut that I wasn’t actively acknowledging until I started getting a peek into M’s everyday life.  Was I living my life to the fullest?  Was I missing out on stuff I should be doing?  Would I have regrets later?  Are there regrets that I should be having, but I do so little that I am not even aware that I should be regretting how little I don’t do? (I tend to overanalyze sometimes).  Basically, your mini midlife crisis.  So far, since turning 40, I have had a couple of mini midlife crisis.  You know (if your 40-ish), 'what am I doing with my life?' kind of mid life crisis.  What legacy am I going to leave? Is my time running out on “fun”, starting a business, writing a book, living what is left of my life to the fullest?  Whatever worry is triggered for you at the realization that time is running out on some of the stuff that you thought you might always want to do. Your mortality has just become more real.   So what was the bootcamp that was going to save me from myself?  The idea was that I was going to live like Monica for a week.  Going to all the places that she goes to planned, spontaneous, everything.  I was going to grab life by horns, get out there and LIVE! 

I ran my proposal by Monica (which she thought would be so much fun), and we were ready to go. That was three weeks ago.  The thing is, right after I put it out there, I got this anxious feeling in my gut.  I was always too busy to make room for it (hey, that closet isn’t going to sort itself by function and color!!).  I mean, I have real responsibilities!!  That is the truth, but the greater truth is that if it were truly important, I would make the time.  The real truth is, I am an introvert, and that is okay. Monica is an extrovert, and that is okay too, but it’s not me.  I can't be her.

So let me take a sec to jump on my soapbox and clear up a few misconceptions about introverts and extroverts.  Introverts are not shy - because that is the first thing everyone says to me when this topic comes up (really, it does come up.  More than you would think). What being introverted means is that you internally process things, by yourself mostly, before sharing with others.  You may (or may not) like being with people, but in small groups, not generally large groups, but after you spending time with said people, you need some time to yourself to re-charge.  This is because introverts walk through the world overstimulated.  Everything is too much, too loud, too many people, etc. Extroverts are always under- stimulated, so they are always looking for excitement.  Both types are essential to the survival of mankind.

Picture this, a group of cavemen and woman in a cave (where else would cave people be?)  They are afraid to leave because stuff tries to eat them, they don’t have a way to defend themselves, they don’t know which plants kill you if you eat them, etc.  It’s a super dangerous world, and they should just stay in their little cave and be safe.   All that was brought to you by the introverted caveman.  This is very valuable advice and all true.  

Meanwhile, the extroverted cave people are getting cabin fever.  They are bored.  They relish some excitement.  Bring on the saber tooth tigers!  If there aren’t these folks, the cave gets overcrowded and we starve.  Introverts realize this and say, okay, if we must go, then take this crudely made spear at least.  Introverts and Extroverts need each other to survive.  So lesson #1…….

Know thyself, and accept and love you for who you are.  I know some of us are hard on ourselves so if it helps, imagine you are your child.  Parent yourself. Would you tell your child (or best friend), "You aren’t good enough as you are.  You need to do x, y, and z." (well maybe we do this sometimes as parents, but I hope it’s not the norm.) 

Know Yourself and Accept and Love you for who you are

You know that anxiousness in my gut?  Lesson 2……

Listen to your body. If you get queasy, or your back hurts or wherever anxiety shows up for you, pay attention to it.  If you don’t listen to the whispers you will soon be hearing the screams.  Body aches and pains often indicate stress.  Your body and mind are not separate entities.  They work together to keep you healthy and happy.  So if this is how you feel inside, then you need to stop and listen.
Anxiety, listen to your body
Anxiety, Listen to Your Body

These two lessons tell me when I am overextending myself all because I am comparing myself to someone who isn’t wired like me, or have the same responsibilities, and life that I do.  

Remember the beginning of this long ass story though.  I was already feeling like I was missing something.  That feeling of missing something can lead you down the path of unhealthy comparisons to others, even our dearest friends, and that my friends is a vicious circle of feeling down, comparing, feeling worse, more comparing, and wallowing in everyone’s great life on Facebook, etc.

Looking to others for inspiration when something needs to change is okay as long as you remember lesson 1, Know thyself and accept and love yourself, and lesson two listen to your body. I, for one am not so creative that I can come up with things on my own typically.  I am always taking some idea, or plan, or idea, or recipe and tinkering with it to make it better for me. I need to look to others for inspiration.  This, along with venturing outside of your comfort zone, is how we learn new things.  It is how we grow as human beings.  However, if you don’t keep lesson 1 and 2 in mind, then you are venturing into the zone of unhealthy comparing, and you need to step away from Pinterest, Facebook, the Supermom, and anything/one else that makes you feel less than okay, until you can pull your shit together.  Indulge in some self-care in the form of things that make me feel good.   A good book, a trashy television series, and my Ugg slippers, usually do the trick for me.  Maybe it's skydiving, rock climbing or roller derby for you.   Bonus lesson: have a list of go to items, guilty pleasures, whatever it is that you know will cheer you up.

When I did this (stepped away), I regrouped, and really thought about what it was that made me feel like I was missing out.  You know, it really came down to two things.  One is very trivial.  I missed dressing up sometimes.  Yoga pants are the bomb.  They can absorb that box of Girl Scout Thin Mints like nothing, but I missed looking pulled together sometimes (not all the time, because Cookies Season only lasts for a short time and I need those pants).  I never justified dressing up because I was never “going anywhere”.  The not so trivial thing, is that I really was too comfortable on my couch, and I was bored going out to the same places with my hubby.  So new plan, go out somewhere fun (that I can dress up a little for) with my girlfriends at least once a month, and shake up the date night scene with the hubs.  Think I can talk him into a painting class that involves adult beverages? I know I am on the right track because I don’t feel like I am about to have an anxiety attack (see our cute monkey friend above). Without taking a peek into my neighbors yard, so to speak, I never would have been inspired to get out of my rut.  Thus, I have successfully managed to walk the thin line between inspiration, leaving the comfort zone, but staying on the same continent, and not honoring who I am (for this week at least).   So, I leave you with this final thought..........

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Easy Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lentil Chili

Happy Saturday!  It's going to be a rainy Sunday tomorrow and that has me thinking about some warm comforting chili.  What I have in mind is minimal effort on top of being comforting which is great for a Sunday.  I just have to throw everything into the slow cooker and you are done.  Sounds awesome, right?  Well read on then.

I have to admit....I struggle with the slow cooker.  Things often don't turn out as flavorful as I would like.  I often forget to put the stuff in the crock pot in the morning, then too late, I realize I am short on time.  Yet, I still try to throw everything in the crockpot, turn it on high and hope for the best.  And another thing, too many recipes call for browning stuff on the stove before it goes into the crock pot. This is something I refuse to do.  I just refuse.  First of all, who has time to cook in the morning? (Morning people, no one asked you.) Who wants garlic or onions stinking up the kitchen that early. Second of all, the whole point of the slow cooker for me is to make my life easier, which translates into one pot cooking and not standing over the stove cooking.  Perhaps if I had one of those brown on the stove crock pots, that would solve some of my issues, but alas, I do not, and the crock pot hasn't proven it's worth to me enough to invest in one of these.  However, if I can find a few more recipes like the one I am about to share with you, I might convert to a believer yet.

I stumbled across this gem of a slow cooker recipe on Pinterest.  It is from Aggie's Kitchen.  I don't know who this chic is, but I will be visiting her site again for more ideas because YUM.  Here is the link to the recipe and her site.  She has far better pictures than me of the finished product.  I had to referee a disagreement between big brother and little sister, so I got distracted and failed to get a finished picture.

So anyway...........


Easy Recipes, Slow Cooker, Vegetarian
Ingredients for Easy Veggie Chili
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves (Okay - I added 4 because I like garlic)
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 2 bell peppers (Might I suggest one red and one green)
  • 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 can of water (Use the can of diced tomatoes)
  • 1 cup of dried lentils
  • 1 15 oz can of Pinto Beans (She recommends Bush Pinto Beans)
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa

1. Place all the ingredients into the slow cooker.  Cook on low heat for 8 hours.

Serve with your favorite fixings: shredded cheese, plain Greek yogurt or sour cream, avocado, green onion, cilantro.  Serves 6-8.

Really - that's it. One step - throw all the shit into the pot and turn it on.  I forgot (per usual) so I just turned it up on high and cooked it for 4(ish) hours and it turned out fine.  

Here is what it looked like (before I got distracted).

Easy Slow cooker Vegetarian Chili, Easy Recipes
Vegetarian Slow Cooker Chili

I typically change things in recipes that I try.  This one, you could leave alone and it would be delicious.  However, things that I would change.  This chili is very mild, so I might add some heat, like say, a jalapeño or maybe swap the chili powder for chipotle chili powder (or half regular and half chipotle).  Also, you may have noticed there is no salt listed.  I have to add salt.  Salt is the spice of life (or something like that).  I add the salt at the end.  In addition to the fixings she suggests, we also added nacho chips (because I told the kids that it was nachos).  If you go the nacho route, then I might suggest slightly reducing the liquid.

So if you like it then by all means, add it to your growing menu collection that we discussed last week when we talked about how to make only one trip to the grocery store a week.  If you need a refresher, you can visit that post by clicking here:

If you are stuck for some menu ideas, here is a picture of our menu last week:

Recipes, Weekly menu
Weekly Menu Ideas

Have an awesome weekend ya'll!