Monday, May 20, 2019

End of Semesters

 It's late and I'm tired. My oldest son is graduating from law school this week, so my husband and I drove up to New York to clean out his dorm room. He's the third child I've had to move out of a dorm or an apartment. The end of the semester can be a lot of work!

We'll be going back up as a family for the ceremony, but needed to get everything cleared out so there's room for people in the van.

After graduation, we'll be headed to the beach for a vacation.

Between all the kid-moving and traveling, I've also been finishing up the edits on a new book and preparing a book launch.

Please remind me to pay my electric bill. My poor brain is fried. Just a little.

Speaking of fried minds...

My husband sent this picture to me. I have no idea where it came from, but the accompanying message said the picture is real and has not been photoshopped.

Weird, right?

Here's another weird little tip. While eating lunch outside today, the wind kept being a pain in my buns sweeping my napkin off the table with every gust. I got tired of chasing it. The table we were eating at was metal, so I used a magnet to secure it. Never had to chase it again.

 
Now, back to that picture...

Flip it upside down and it's a reminder that changing how you look at things makes a world of difference. It's all about perspective!



Now, it's time for a nap. 







Monday, May 13, 2019

How to Survive Motherhood


I hope you enjoyed peace, quiet, and adoration on Mother's Day!

But Mothers deserve so much more than just one day off - and probably don't even take the whole day off anyway. A Mother's job is 24-7.

Mothers have the biggest hearts, putting up with sass, cleaning up after messy families, cooking for unappreciative diners, and going above and beyond to make sure the family is happy and healthy, no matter the cost to herself.

So how do we do it? How do Mothers survive motherhood?
  • Stay positive - a million things may go wrong, but experience tells us everything will work out, and the kids latch on to mom looking on the bright side
  • Stay focused - it's easy to get sidetracked with details or things we forgot to get or do on our lengthy chore list. If you prioritize your list, the bigger things will be taken care of, and the rest can be done when there's time (ha ha) or can be moved up in the priority order as needed.
  • Stay flexible - surprises and changes come along all the time--class picnic or baseball game rain-outs, sickness, and forgotten lunches or homework. Expect the unexpected and when it happens, it will be easier to deal with.
  • Stay calm - Freaking out is contagious. When the kids see their mom is calm in a crazy situation, it helps them calm down too: Mom is a Superhero--she can handle ANYTHING!
  • Stay true - Sometimes being a Mom is tough, like when we have to say "No" even when "everyone else is doing it." Stay true to your word, even if you get flack for it, your kids will turn out better and respect you...later!
  • Stay fun - Moms are fun too. Be silly, be unpredictable, tell the kids funny stories about your youth, join them in the fort or for a mom and kids slumber party, let them help you bake...there's a time to be serious and there's a time to play. Enjoy it while it lasts!
  • Stay yourself - we all make mistakes, but we're all awesome anyway. Admit the first, move on, and shine on. You are their idol for life.
It's all worth it!

Wishing you Flowers and Sunshine after a Fresh Spring Rain!

Monday, May 6, 2019

Jo's Roast Beef




Thanks to The Really Real Housewives of America


I like to find easy recipes and then cheat and make them even easier. I found this recipe on Jo's Blog:


Instant Pot Deli-Style Roast Beef
3 1/2 lb eye of round beef roast
1 12 oz bottle beer or red wine (I didn't have beer or wine, so I skipped this step) 
1/2 cup dry English Mustard (I used spicy mustard)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt (I used regular salt)
1 tsp black pepper, coarsely ground (I used whatever was in the shaker)
1 tsp garlic powder (I also added some onion powder)
1 Tbs vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups beef stock (I used a small can)
 1/4 cup Flour 

Now, if you head over to Jo's blog, you can read the steps for what is undoubtedly a better roast, but here's the easier cheater's way:

I cut my beef into chunks and browned in my instant pot seasoning the meat as I browned it with salt and pepper, garlic, and onion. Then I poured the beef broth over it and let cook on one meat cycle in the instant pot without the trivet (I think it was 19 minutes).

When that was done, I used my Pampered Chef Mix and Chop - a handy little kitchen tool that

smashes cooked meat. Once the meat was about the consistency of pulled pork, I added the brown sugar and the spicy brown mustard and cooked for another 10 minutes, adding a quarter cup of water to make sure there was enough broth to allow the pressure cooker to work.

Once that was finished, I mixed in a bit of white flour (about a quarter cup, mixed in water to avoid lumps) setting the pot on saute until the juice was made into a gravy.

I toasted some thick bread and layered it with the meat and it was delicious!









Monday, April 29, 2019

Reuse before you #Recycle Hacks

Spring is another time when many folks hit the Reset button. There's the rebirth of green stuff (no, not money), nature brings new life and animal babies (so cute!), and Lent gives some people the opportunity to give up a vice. It's kind of like New Year's 2.0.

I know there's a great debate about going green, which I will stay out of, but I love finding cool, crafty ways to save money and create stuff. And if it helps save a little of the planet, all the better! This "Blossom" video caught my attention:



Now, I'm here to tell you about a few fails, but also a fun win in my own video...

First, the fails...

So far, the bread fell apart when I tried to clean with it, but I was probably doing it wrong...

The grapefruit cleaning idea is probably better if you use a grapefruit, but I don't like grapefruit, so I used an orange. It worked better than expected, but also fell apart...



The win! Avocados really do make pink. Not as bright as the above, unless you use a ton more avocados and maybe a better process, but... check out how my shirt turned out!


Trying new things is a fun adventure. And getting the most out of items before throwing them away is a win-win!


Monday, April 22, 2019

Living Memories #flowers

Twenty-six years ago, my husband and I bought our first house. We moved in in March and by April, I was ready to get planting. I was shopping with my grandma and went to buy some flower bulbs. She was shocked. You don't buy perennials, my grandmother contended. You get starts  from family and friends. 

That first summer, I got a yucca plant from my mom that she had brought home from the beach. 



Irises from my grandma's farm.



Peonies from my husband's grandma's yard. 



An old fashioned rose bush from my parent's yard that my dad swore was a weed. 


Along with the Tiger Lilies he had me dig up...thinking I'd toss them in the compost pile. 


Almost every flower in my yard tells a story and every spring they poke through the ground and share some memories. 



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