Thursday, January 31, 2013

Days 27-31, #InklingsPhoto Challenge

Day 27: Starts with a C
This puzzle was Confusing, and Challenging.

Day 28: Close Up

 Day 29: Far Away

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

5 Easy Tips for a Healthier You

I'm sure more than a few of you made a New Year's Resolution to be more healthy. Here it is, the end of January, and if you are like me, some of that goal has fallen tot he wayside. Get back on track with some easy peasy tips!

Today's post is found over at my column on Parent Society. I'll start it here for y'all, and you can finish it up over there!!

5 Easy Tips for a Healthier You

Each January, millions of people set goals to lose weight or become healthier. We decide, in our perfect-on-paper plan, to start a cardio routine at the same time as a yoga routine, at the same time as switching out all of the junk food in the house for fresh fruit, at the same time as drinking more water, at the same time as cutting all sugar and caffeine from our diets. The result? We go from zero healthy habits during the holidays to four or more brand-new healthy habits now, and for most people, juggling all of these things means something gets dropped. For moms, this possibility is even greater because we are already juggling so many things with the house, family, kids, and more. We hardly ever make time for ourselves.

Instead of overwhelming yourself with a complete body and life makeover in this new year, I suggest implementing small, easy-to-follow healthy habits into your daily routine. Keeping these easy tips in mind will not only help you on your path to becoming healthier, but help you form good habits for the long term.

1. Avoid the Sit-and-Snack.

When people flip on the TV and grab a bag of chips, they end up on autopilot when it comes to eating. They don't even realize that they are eating handful after handful, and before they know it, the entire bag of chips is gone. If you are hungry and want a snack, stand at the kitchen counter while you eat, or walk around outside while you munch on an apple. Cutting out the snacking while you sit reprograms the brain to not have these urges anymore.

If you're a sit-and-snack type, you've probably noticed that you automatically crave snacks while you're watching TV. That's because you've trained your brain to want food when you're in front of the television. Rewiring isn't hard; you just have to stick with it. If Family Movie Night has always come with popcorn, and you want to keep this tradition for yourself as a treat, then section out a small portion of the popcorn into a personal bowl, and tell yourself that when that bowl is empty, you won't get more. Avoiding the sit-and-snack will cut calories from your diet, reprogram your brain away from an unhealthy eating practice to a healthy one, and create a healthier you.

Continue Reading '5 Easy Tips for a Healthier You'...

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The (Useless) Teapot

Men and women are different. There is absolutely no arguing that. Just how different we are can sometimes be summed up in a single story.

Y'all know I love my bargain hunting. My trips to Goodwill usually occur once a week, and I'll (hopefully) find some good deals on things to help decorate my house. On a particularly good shopping day, I walked away with a chair for my living room, a cookbook stand, a slate lazy Susan for my kitchen island, a wooden wine rack, a huge coffee mug to fit all of my random samples of coffee... and a teapot.

This teapot...

I put everything into place, and when Hubby got home from work that afternoon, the following conversation went down about all of my findings:

Hubby: Sweet. I like the wine rack and the cookbook holder, but what is that?
Me: What is what?
Hubby: That (pointing at the teapot). Did we need a teapot? We have a Keurig if you want to heat water quickly for tea.
Me: Yeah, so?
Hubby: (picking the teapot up) Does it even work?
Me: Nope. You can't actually use it.
Hubby: WHAT? You bought a teapot that we can't even use?
Me: Yep.
Hubby: Why?
Me: For decoration. It adds a splash of color to the kitchen, so it ties the two rooms together (our

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Mother's Greatest Fear

For the last few days, I've been trying to figure out whether or not to write about what's recently occurred in my family's lives. It's a very hard subject for me to write about, but if this post can help out just one family, then it was worth it. Please understand that today's post is nothing to joke about, so while many of you look to me to find the humor in certain situations, this isn't one of them. It is, however, a post every parent or future parent should read- especially if you are a single parent.

Good grief, this is difficult.

There are certain things in life that no parent should ever have to go through- the death of the child, a child missing, a child being sexually abused, and so on. When one of these situations arises, worlds are shattered, fear runs rampant, and tears fall. Trust in humanity as a whole is broken, and it takes strength and courage to just open your eyes some days.

For my regular readers, you all know that Hubby and I were separated for 3 years. I dated people, he dated people. I lived with someone, he lived with someone. We remained friends, and a part of each other's lives, and through everything that happened to us as individuals during this time apart, we realized we were meant to be together. During that 3 years apart, I seriously dated 2 people. The second man seemed amazing. I had met him on a dating site (warning #1 for single moms out there), but after finding out that he had sole custody of his daughter (who was 2 months older than my daughter), and googling his name to come up with nothing, I thought I had found a really great guy. He had a hell of a past, but the way he explained it made it all seem like he got the short end of the stick on a few different levels. After a short time, we moved in together. I began raising his daughter, he began helping me with my daughter and my son, and we took on a live-in nanny to help us, since we were still both working.

Things crashed and burned a few short months later. I caught him cheating on me with a woman in her late 40s. After all of my digging was done, I had the names of somewhere around 6 women he had cheated on me with- all older women, some of them were his exes, some new. I packed up my kids and moved 2 states away to where my family was, and left him in the dust.

That was a year and a half ago. I put my life back together, as well as my self esteem (being cheated on really takes a toll on you, emotionally), and after some healing time, Hubby and I worked things out, and the rest was history.

This past Thursday night after the kids were in bed I was surfing the internet, and like I do sometimes, I hit the local news websites from back where I lived. I was looking for an update on a particular story I had been following, when a headline caught my attention: Man Accused of Molesting Young Girls Arrested. Hmmm. I wondered what this sick f*cker looked like, so I clicked on the article.

The mugshot that loaded on my screen was of my ex-boyfriend. His full name, age, local whereabouts, and how he had been arrested for allegedly (gotta love not wanting to get sued for slander or libel) molesting his daughter and one of his ex-girlfriend's daughters popped up, along with how they had pretty convincing evidence against him, and not just verbal reports from the families.

I'll let y'all know now, I have been smoke free since March 9th, 2012, but I found a cigarette to smoke at that moment. I fell onto my knees and cried. I had lived with that man. That man shared a home with my children. Oh my god, what if...

Thoughts no mother should ever have to think.

It took almost an hour before I could bring myself to finish reading the articles. According to statements

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Days 20-26, #InklingsPhoto Challenge

Day 20: Inside
What goes on inside my house: Kitteh on my lap,
Grey's Anatomy on my TV.

Day 21: Outside
The windchimes that hang outside, above our back patio.

Day 22: Something Homemade

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Selling My Soul to the Drama Mama Blog Gods

I seem to have a lot of epiphanies. There was this one, and then this one, and yet another one here. Seriously, I should have figured out the meaning of life by now, with all of these epiphanies. I've made some major life changes because of them, but each one has helped me in a positive way, so I do welcome them.

Like now. Yes, I've had yet another epiphany. It came after some major internal struggling I've been doing and talking it all out with a friend of mine.

I love what I do. I love writing, making people laugh, and handing out my psychotic unique advice on parenting and motherhood. I'm proud to say that I have a voice in the blogosphere, and I'm very happy to share it with whoever ventures onto Inklings.

My internal struggle lately (and yes, this happens a few times a year) comes from how big my voice in the blogosphere truly is. I've been blogging since 2010 and picked up the pace last year. Now that I'm back to being a full-time mom, this is what I do. I write, clean house, cook... rinse and repeat, and honestly, I couldn't be happier. I have the most amazing readers I've ever seen- y'all are loyal, interactive, pick me up when I am down, and make me cry tears of joy when you reach out through email or facebook and want my advice on something. I wouldn't trade you all in for a million readers that only read a post every 6 months and never speak up.

Courtesy of The Coffee Blogs
Over the last 3 years, I've watched other mom blogs rise to the top with a single viral post, then die away just as quickly. I find myself searching for them to see what they are writing now, and they haven't updated their blog in 3 months. The mom blogosphere is a tricky one. You have to have the right balance of humor, advice and freakishness personality to really hold readers' attentions. You have write what you love but what people want to read, as well. You have to constantly reevaluate your blog to make sure you are being true to yourself and true to your readers.

That's where I'm at right now, Inklingers- reevaluating. Why? Because in the last year or so, I've seen the emergence of what I call the Drama Mama blogs. These women have built a readership based on complaining about motherhood to its full extent. Their kids are horrible, their life sucks, they drink constantly to escape their mundane existence, but hey- they'll share every single detail of it with their readers because they are an honest mom blog, or they want to make you feel better about your parenting. These type of blogs are on the uprise, and have tens of thousands of followers... leaving little ol' Inklings in their dust.

When I started Inklings, I wanted a place to vent. I was learning how to become a stay-at-home-mom again, and I wanted to share my ups and downs with anyone who wanted to read. But, more than anything, I wanted to be an honest mom blog. I wanted to share what's worked for me and what hasn't, provide helpful tips and advice, and tell stories that make people laugh. So, when I see these other blogs that pride themselves on being 'honest mom' blogs, yet they complain about everything under the sun, it upsets me. More than that, it upsets me that these blogs are a hell of a lot more popular than mine, and many of them have been blogging for less than a year.

So, I started reevaluating. Maybe I needed to jump on the bandwagon and find things to complain about-

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Organizing (the Skeletons in) My Closet Under the Stairs

For some reason, I love organizing. Making things all neat and orderly, easy to find- sign me up!

It's tackling the mess to get it organized that causes me to procrastinate. I'm not a fan of cleaning or clearing out.

We moved into our house 3 months ago, and while this new place has plenty of storage room, the closet under the stairs seems to be the most frequented dumping ground for all of our crap junk belongings. Now, this closet was supposed to be my craft/stockpile closet (you know, when I buy 5 things of toilet paper because they were on sale and I had coupons for them- that stockpile), but it quickly turned into the we-don't-know-where-to-put-it closet. As a result, I would just open the door, throw the item in, shut the door real quick and run.

At the first of the year, I decided no more. I wanted my closet back. An organized closet meant

  1. I would craft more.
  2. I could keep better tabs on my stockpile so I knew when to buy stuff and when not to.
  3. I no longer had to throw-and-dash.
  4. We wouldn't lose a cat in there.
  5. I had a comfortable place to hide when the children were annoying me.
So, I did it. The final cost of organizing this closet was a mere $20 for the wire 3 shelf rack you see in the corner. I had the big clear bins in the garage, and everything else was just stacked a little nicer. I ended up throwing out 4 empty boxes and a trash bag full of crap we didn't need anymore.

The Before Pictures: 

Yoga mat in the floor, grocery bags full of goodness knows what, mini-stockpile of toilet paper right in front

Monday, January 21, 2013

Fraggle Hats, Poopland and My Happy People

Yesterday was my birthday. The big 32. So far, it suits me. I did my nails and tried to dye my hair brown. It didn't work. The red still shows through. Now I know never to try and change my hair color to anything other than red, as it would be a waste of time and money. Red is me, I am red. Lesson learned.

This weekend was amazing, and made me realize just how happy I am. My life is finally my own, I'm finally figuring out who I am on the inside, and I've surrounded myself with people that make me happy.

For today's post, I've linked up with Meghan over at Crazy Casa K for her Happy Monday segment. This Monday we are talking about Happy People. After you all read about my happy people, you should definitely head over there and read some of the other posts from the link up. The more you indulge in happy, the more it spreads- it's like an amazing rash that you want to have.

Holy crap, how awesome would it be to have the 'Happy Rash'? People walk by you on the street and say, 'Wow, she has the Happy Rash all over her. I wish I had the Happy Rash. Maybe I'll go stand next to her and see if I can catch it.'

Sorry, I digress. Back to Happy People...

Saturday morning I needed to get out of the house. I called up a friend of mine, and she hurried over to take me out and help cure my cabin fever. We had coffee, did some shopping, and laughed- we do that so much when we get together- just laugh. She's one of my Happy People, and when she dropped me back off at home, I felt so much better. I needed to get out, to enjoy myself, to have some girl time and to laugh... and wear a skinned Fraggle, apparently. I seriously almost bought this hat. It was on clearance for $5, and it looked like someone had killed a poor Fraggle and made it wearable. So, I posed with the Fraggle hat... which is why you don't want to go shopping with me. I wear Fraggle hats and ironically do duck lips for pictures. That's cool, right?

Saturday night was spent with my family- my Happy People. We went shopping, had dinner out, grabbed custard and came home. Great ending to a great day.

Sunday I planned to spend the whole day with my family. Y'all should know by now that I'm huge on family. When you spend 3 years separated from your best friend and husband, bouncing around from coast to coast

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Days 13-19, #InklingsPhoto Challenge

Day 13: Hate
Y'all know I hate feet, and my ugly foot tattoo.

Day 14: Artsy
My beautiful Bones, with her arms crossed.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Some Days are Meant for Sleeping

Have you ever had one of those days that you know you should have just stayed in bed? Sure, everyone has.

Have you ever had one of those days and you've only been awake for 21 minutes of it? That's my day today.

Hubby is always home to get the kids up in the morning and make their lunches. So when my alarm clock went off at 6:30 this morning, as usual, and I was quickly reminded how I had insomnia last night and stayed up until goodness knows when watching Grey's Anatomy, I turned the alarm off, thought "Hubby will handle everything" and went right back to sleep.

The Girl, panicking, woke me up at 7 with "Dad's still not home. Can you get up, please?" Good grief, of course his work would pick the day that I'm working on about 4 hours of sleep to hold him over. I laid in bed for a minute, like I do every morning, and thought about the day ahead of me.

Y'all have to understand that generally speaking, I'm an optimist. When I lay and think about my day in the morning, I'm sorting out what I need to do, what I want to do, and getting everything straight in my head so I can make the most of the day. This morning, however, I remembered something...

I have a tattoo to finish this afternoon. Woo hoo, right? WRONG! This tattoo has been a thorn in my side before I ever started it back in September. The guy works with Hubby, and he first wanted a solid black tribal sun with colored Japanese water waves under it, and guess what? He printed a picture off of the internet for me of exactly what he wanted. This guy had 3 strikes against him right then and there.

  1. I don't do tribal. Tribal sucks.
  2. You don't mix tribal with anything, much less traditional Japanese finger waves. That would look stupid.
  3. Something printed off of the internet means 1000 other people have this stupid tattoo. I'm an artist. Let me create art, please.
At the time, we desperately needed the money, so I told Hubby to tell this guy I wasn't doing his idea, but if he wanted to tell me what the tattoo symbolized, I'd draw something custom. Come to find out, this tattoo was to represent how he grew up in California, was a surfer kid and was a lifeguard.

That I can work with. That is a piece of art I can put on this guy's arm. He just didn't think that's how a

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Recycling Kid's Toys

This time of year is perfect for cleaning out the old and bringing in the new... or just cleaning out the old. I started 'recycling' my kids' toys when they were each about 2 years old, and I found it so helpful; something every mom should try!

Today's post is found over at my column at Parent Society (click the logo to the right to see my other articles, as well). As always, I'll start it here and send you over there to finish it.

7 Steps to Getting Rid of (Oops... Recycling) Your Kids' Toys

After the holidays are said and done, most families are left with an abundance of toys — new and old. New Year’s resolutions are made to not only clean out and organize the home, but to also save money and not spend as much in the new year. Recycling your children’s toys helps you meet both of those goals.

I started recycling my kids’ toys when they were around 2 years old. It started after a birthday when one of my kids got entirely too spoiled by family members. While my daughter was occupied with her new noise makers and brain-building birthday gifts, I sneaked into her room with a huge plastic bin and rummaged through the toys I hadn’t seen her play with in a while. I quickly closed the container, shoved it into the top of a closet, and put a sticky note on it marked “March.” It honestly scared me to do this, as I thought she would immediately know some of her toys were missing and we’d have a terrible twos temper tantrum on our hands, but it was exactly the opposite.

She had no idea.

If there was a toy or two she noticed missing, I secretly removed it from the bin and promptly handed it to her, claiming I had found it stuffed under the couch. For the most part, that bin remained untouched in the top of the closet for about three months. That’s when I noticed she had quit playing with the toys she had received for her birthday, so just as I had done previously, I sneaked into her room with the bin, swapped out the toys in the bin for the ones she no longer played with, and put the bin in the top of the closet marked “June.”

Recycling my kid’s toys was officially born.

I kept an eye on which toys she played with out of this batch that had been hidden away for three months, and for the...

Continue Reading '7 Steps to Getting Rid of (Oops... Recycling) Kids' Toys...

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Don't Count Your Chickens... Um, I Mean Coffee Mugs...

It never fails. I get something to brag about, something to savor all my own, and it never lasts long. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the hell out of it while I can, I just wish this stuff would stick around.

  • Amazing dinner. ---> Hubby has gas all night, which he freely shares with everyone.
  • Kids fall asleep early at night. ---> So do I, instead of having special time with Hubby or special time with myself for that matter.
  • Bonus in my writing paycheck. ---> Extra bill comes up.
  • I lose 5 pounds. ---> My period starts, so I get bloated and my clothes still don't fit right.
  • I get nearly free items at the grocery store because of my awesome couponing skills. ---> As soon as I get home from the shopping trip, the online coupon sites have now updated the coupons to where those items are now free.
Never fails.

For Christmas, The Girl got Hubby and I coffee mugs from the little gift shop her school sponsors every year. The cups were cute as hell; insulated to-go cups with 'Awesome Mom' and 'Awesome Dad' written on the outside of them. She did really well with the $10 we gave her.

After one wash in the dishwasher, this occurred...

I laughed so hard. Hubby's 'Awesome Dad' was non-existent, but my 'Awesome Mom' stood strong. Why? Because I'm freaking amazing, that's why. We teased Hubby so bad that day about how I'm definitely the cooler parent and even the coffee mugs and dishwasher knew it. He laughed with us, as it was all in fun.

Then this happened...

Monday, January 14, 2013

Decorating on a Budget Infographic

My friends over at know my love of decorating... and my even bigger love of saving money. They sent me this infographic to share with you all, and it's amazing. I'm a huge advocate for finding things at Good Will and refurbishing them into one-of-a-kind pieces, and while I love decorating, our budget definitely doesn't allow for shopping at the high-end retail stores. This infographic gives some basic tips for getting the most out of your dollar when it comes to decorating. (Click it to make it bigger!)

Courtesy of

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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Hi, My Name is Tatted Mom, and I Don't Play Well With Others

I can be a people person, I swear I can. When I worked in retail and then again in a tattoo shop, I was able to carry on polite conversations with people, laugh when they told a joke (even a suck ass one), and keep a smile on my face. In my personal life, however, it's a different story. I have a few close friends, and I'm perfectly fine with that. The older I get, the more I get set in my ways of having my family and a few close friends in my circle and that's it. Interacting with the outside world is a necessity of life, and it's through this interaction that I am constantly reminded that I don't play well with other people.

I'm the member of several online groups. Back in the day, I started out with Cafe Mom. That site was like crack at first. All of the drama, trolling and stupid answers to stupid questions had me logging in several times a day to get my fix and laugh my ass off. Very quickly, my inability to keep my mouth shut got my responses and posts deleted by the admins, and I was put on probation. Screw them, I never went back.

I made the decision to save my sanity and stay off of those mom forums altogether. Sure, I had amazing advice that might be needed by some, but I figured if they were meant to hear my opinion, they'd find my blog. I'm not sure how many more My 6 week old won't sleep through the night, what do I do? questions I could have handled before trying to employ one of the Anonymous hackers to virtually blow up the site.

In the meantime, my deal-finding side led me to some online yard sale sites and freebie sites for the area I live in. While they were done in a group style, I figured no harm could come of me joining them- there can't be drama and stupid people there, right?

Holy shit, was I wrong. Every single day I have to fight every urge to open up a can of verbal whoop ass on some of these people, and most days I'm successful (surprisingly enough). I've heard the admins of most of these groups are bitches, so I know I'd get banned for speaking my mind. I have to weigh that, and not being banned usually wins. It doesn't mean, though, that it's not a constant reminder of how I don't play well with others.

Scenario 1: 12 K-Cups for sale, $7. Never been used, not even in a box.
What I Wanted to Say: Are you kidding me? $7 for 12 K-Cups is what I pay at the grocery store, AND I'd have a coupon for anywhere from $1-$2 off that $7, making those K-Cups only $5-$6. Oh, and they'd be in a freaking unopened box. Moron.
What I Said: Nothing. It wasn't worth getting banned off of this site to speak my opinion on this one.

Scenario 2: A member wanted recommendations for tattoo shops in town. A string of comments followed

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Love; Day 12, #InklingsPhoto Challenge


This is going to be my last daily post for pictures here on the blog. Each Saturday I will do one post that contains all 7 photos from the week, just to cut down on the photo content posts of the blog. I will still be posting the pictures daily in the new InklingsPhoto Challenge 2013 Facebook Group, on Instagram, Twitter, and on the Inklings' Facebook Page

If you want to participate in the #InklingsPhoto Challenge, it's never too late to enter. Just pick up on whatever day you start. Details here, and in the picture below! Feel free to share with friends! Happy shooting!

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Finding Out You are the Coolest Parents Ever

Guess what happens when you let a sleep deprived Hubby make decisions in the house?

We end up with 3 extra kids for the night. And my sanity is just about gone.

We've lived in our new house since Halloween, and The Ginger found out we moved directly next door to a kid in his class... a kid who turned out to be a major assmunch... with assmunch parents. They knocked on our door one night because their son had told them that The Ginger had stolen a Lego minifigure from him, and they wanted it back. After calling The Ginger to the door to tell his story, which didn't match with their son's story at all, they called their assmunch son to debate The Ginger's story, and he couldn't. He admitted right there in front of Hubby, his dad and The Ginger that he had lied. So, the mom came hauling ass over because her husband wasn't handling the situation correctly, and her son admitted to her that he lied. We gave the kid back his Lego anyway, and this bitch bitch (sorry, I edited myself then decided it was the perfect word) said her son couldn't play with The Ginger anymore because The Ginger lies.

Some people live in their own little worlds and don't deserve to be a part of my family's world. In that instance, the neighbors proved unworthy to exist on our planet. Call me stuck up if you'd like, but when your son lies to you, us, and our son, accusing him of stealing, then you say that your kid can't play with my kid because he's a liar, you have proven to me that my family is much better off not dealing with your crazy family.

So, The Ginger had to find another friend to play with, and thankfully one of the less-aggravating kids in his class lived on the other side of the playground. Last night he asked if they could have their first sleepover. Generally speaking, I don't mind sleepovers. The Girl is always having them, and while I didn't really feel like having any kids stay the night, we didn't want to deny The Ginger his first sleepover. I told Hubby, who had only had about 5 hours of sleep, to make the final decision, thinking in his sleep-deprived state he'd say no (then I wouldn't look like the bad guy- I had a well thought out strategy, thank you), and the effer said yes.

Fine, one kid staying the night.

Then The Girl popped up. She asked if 3 of her friends could stay the night. We laughed in her face. Seriously. It's not like we meant to, but when she asked if she could have not 1, not 2 but 3 friends over,

Friday, January 11, 2013

Soul; Day 11, #InklingsPhoto Challenge


If you want to participate in the #InklingsPhoto Challenge, it's never too late to enter. Just pick up on whatever day you start. Details here, and in the picture below! Feel free to share with friends! Happy shooting!

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Body; Day 10, #InklingsPhoto Challenge


If you want to participate in the #InklingsPhoto Challenge, it's never too late to enter. Just pick up on whatever day you start. Details here, and in the picture below! Feel free to share with friends! Happy shooting!

If you enjoy Inklings, please take a second to just click the banner below. Each click = 1 vote, and you can vote once per 24 hours. I do happy dances when people vote!

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tatted Mom's Experiment in Healthy Eating

Like millions of others around the world, I made new year's resolutions. So far so good, but we're only 9 days into January. I'm still positive, not overwhelmed, and finding that the more that I do, the better I feel, so it motivates me to do more.

One of the biggest challenges for us, I felt, would be healthy eating. Hubby and I decided to eat vegetarian a few nights a week, and I had no idea how the kids would react to this. To be honest, I had no idea how Hubby and I would react to this. Don't get me wrong, I love a salad... smothered in ranch dressing with cheese, croutons and bacon... and beside a baked potato... which is beside a chicken breast covered in bacon and topped with cheese... not the poster meal for healthy eating. The words 'tofu' and 'quinoa' freaked me the hell out.

I asked a friend of mine who is a yoga and healthy eating genius (vegetarian, yes) for some help. She pointed me in the direction of a great website, Mind Body Green, and while the recipes she sent were vegan, I knew what substitutions to make if we didn't want to go full vegan for those few nights. I went to the store, stocked up on beans, lentils and tofu, and the food experimentation began.

So far, in the last 9 days of meals since the new year, we've eaten vegetarian 4 times. I seem to end up cooking a regular meal one day, vegetarian the next. The result? Brace yourselves...

My family LOVES it. I know, I'm shocked, too.

The first night we did a tofu stir fry, and with the exception of mushy tofu (I emailed my friend later to ask if I

Mind; Day 9, #InklingsPhoto Challenge


If you want to participate in the #InklingsPhoto Challenge, it's never too late to enter. Just pick up on whatever day you start. Details here, and in the picture below! Feel free to share with friends! Happy shooting!

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

From Below; Day 8, #InklingsPhoto Challenge

From Below

If you want to participate in the #InklingsPhoto Challenge, it's never too late to enter. Just pick up on whatever day you start. Details here, and in the picture below! Feel free to share with friends! Happy shooting!

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Monday, January 7, 2013

From Above; Day 7, #InklingsPhoto Challenge

From Above
My kids, The Girl and The Ginger
If you want to participate in the #InklingsPhoto Challenge, it's never too late to enter. Just pick up on whatever day you start. Details here, and in the picture below! Feel free to share with friends! Happy shooting!

If you enjoy Inklings, please take a second to just click the banner below. Each click = 1 vote, and you can vote once per 24 hours. I do happy dances when people vote!

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Making the Most of a Few Minutes of Mom Time

At this precise moment, Hubby and The Ginger are still sleeping, The Girl is next door at a sleepover, and I have a completely quiet living room to myself. I can hear the heating unit on, have Kitteh swirling at my feet with an occasional half meow or two, frustrated that the laptop is in my lap and not her, and can hear one of the other cats playing in their food dish. It is right now, in these moments, that I try and concentrate on myself. Some days this lasts 2 minutes before The Ginger comes hauling ass downstairs to play video games, and some days I'm lucky enough to get 15 or 20 minutes. However much time I'm graced with today, I'm using it to free-write my way through what goes on in my head when I finally get some peace and quiet.

Moms are everything. We play every role in a child's life that we possibly can, and when we finally get a few minutes to ourselves, we're planning or sorting out what we have to do next. From the moment the child is born this is the life of a Mom.

(And The Ginger awakens and comes downstairs. Yep, today was a 2 minute day.)

When those few minutes of Mom Time come along, we make a grocery list, or do some laundry, or balance the checkbook, or make a list of what still needs to be done in the house. We hardly ever just sit and be, or take a relaxing bath or watch our favorite TV show.

I'm breaking the cycle this year.

About a month ago I was asked to be a beta tester for an amazing website. It's kind of like if pinterest and facebook had a baby and this baby was trying to better your life with games, tasks, writing, visualization and goals. They haven't launched it yet, but when they do, I'm telling y'all now it's going to be the next biggest thing the internet has seen since facebook. And the reason is simple- this website, unlike facebook which is so full of negativity (you can't tell me right now you don't have at least 5 people on your friends' list who don't post 'Woe is me' statuses or political/religious/societal propaganda every day), promotes happiness and has people take steps to be the happiest they possibly can. This website has researchers and scientists behind it that have been studying the science of being happy and how to encourage people to exercise their happy muscle to make it bigger...

Stop snickering. I know, I know, I just said 'happy muscle', but get your minds out of the gutter... not that happy muscle.

I saw a difference after the first few days. I chose the 'Appreciate What You Have' track to perform the