Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Exercise Quickies!

All that time spent on the computer adding inches to your waistline?

Use the computer to your advantage. 

We all love to troll videos on YouTube...why not add a couple of short exercise videos to the line up? 

Here's a few. 
They're quick and free. 

Don't feel like exercising?

Then get out of your chair and have some fun!

Can you think of any other fun dance songs we should add to our get up and boogie list?

Monday, March 28, 2016

Add Some Speed to Your Computer

The Commodore 64. We've come a long way!
We're getting ready for the A-Z here at the RRH blog.

Still not sure what that is?

Well, let me explain. During the month of April, bloggers accept the challenge of posting every single day, but Sunday, on a topic from A-Z.

On the surface, that doesn't sound too hard, but it's a tough,tough challenge. Part of the hard part is that it's good blog etiquette to try and visit other bloggers taking part in the A-Z.

This year, there are over 1500 bloggers taking part. (see the list Here)

That is a lot of visiting.

So, today's tip for Managing Monday is:

Getting your computer up to speed!

Here are a few very simple and easy tips for increasing the speed of your computer.
(These tips are for Windows, since that's what I have and all I know how to do.)

1. Uninstall unnecessary programs. Go to Control Panel. Under programs, uninstall any programs you don't need. *Do be careful, I once delete Steam because I had no clue what it was...seems my children, the avid gamers, need it to make their computer games run. But there is always some garbage on there that is just taking up good memory space that can be eliminated.

2. Delete old pictures, music files, and documents. I always have an excess of junk on my computer...just like my closets. Once the clutter gets so full, it's difficult not only to see what you have, but you can start to run out of space. Delete what you don't need.

3. Empty the recycle bin. After all that deleting, be sure to empty the garbage, or it's still there taking up memory.

4. Run a virus scan. Viruses and malware will slow down your computer speed (if it doesn't jut crash it!)

5. Check your virus software for an optimization feature. I use Webroot and under Utilities there is a program to analyze my computer's functioning with suggestions for improvement and an optimization feature. Most all virus software programs have this feature. Make sure to utilize it.

6. Maintain your computer updates. Our desk top kept crashing (freezing and shutting down) on start up. I thought we were probably going to be shopping for a new computer, but the problem was my son had turned off Window updates because they annoyed him. I turned them back on, allowed the system to catch up, and it's back to normal.

7. Check to see what's coming on at start up. If your computer takes forever to come online, check to make sure there aren't unnecessary programs loading on start up. In the search bar on your home screen (bottom left corner of screen on Windows home page), type in "msconfig". That should show you what all is set up to start running when you turn your computer is on. Just uncheck what you  don't need.

8. Optimize your hard drive. This may be redundant after running your virus optimizer, but I always do it and it always finds a little something more to clean up.

Go to the search bar on the home screen and type in "My Computer".

That allows you open this page- an info page on your computer.

Right click on devices and drivers and another box should pop up.

Right click on Properties and then click on Local Disk.

Then click on Tools and select Optimize.
Hopefully, these quick and easy tips gain you some time by making your computer quicker on the download.

photo credit: IMG_3947 via photopin (license)

Friday, March 25, 2016

Weekend Adventure Power Breakfast!

If you're as lucky as I am and expecting tomorrow to start the most gorgeous weekend of the year, then you might be planning some serious family adventures to celebrate. Whether you're thinking of taking the family hiking, camping, kayaking, or prepping for a massive Easter Egg hunt, here's my favorite energy-packed breakfast to get all the super heroes in your family off to a great start!


Super-Powered Frittata 

You will need:
You'll thank me. I promise!

  • 8 Eggs
  • ~6 Red New Potatoes (Diced into 1/2" Pieces)
  • 1 Large Yellow Onion (Thinly Sliced)
  • 1 Small Bunch Baby Kale (Coarsely Chopped)
  • 3-4 Pieces Chopped Bacon (Or 1/4 Cup Fresh Bacon Bits)
  • 4 Minced Garlic Cloves
  • 6-8 oz Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan
  • 3 TBS chopped Parsley
  • 3 TBS Butter
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 1/8 TSP Cayenne or Chili Pepper

Tool: 10" OVENPROOF Non-stick skillet. Ovenproof skillets are typically labeled as such when you purchase them and will likely say something like "ovenproof to 425 degrees" or "safe for broiling." Seasoned cast iron is an excellent choice, but many stainless or aluminum pans without plastic or wooden handles will do.

  1. In a mid-size bowl, whisk together the eggs, parsley, parmesan, chili/cayenne, then add ~1/2 tsp salt and ~1/4 tsp pepper. Set mixture aside after thoroughly blended and egg starts to froth.
  2. In the Ovenproof Skillet - melt 2 TBS of the butter on med-high heat and brown the chopped potatoes, salt, and cook until just golden on both sides. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside in a bowl.
  3. Add the final TBS of butter and saute the sliced yellow onion for about 4 minutes, then add the garlic baby kale to stir-fry for another 3 minutes. 
  4. Reduce heat to medium low, then add the egg mixture and potatoes, stirring until thoroughly mixed, then add the shredded cheddar cheese and bacon pieces, then stir until well-blended. Continue to cook on med-low heat about 10 minutes, or until the eggs have almost set. The middle may still be fairly liquid, but the sides should be set.
  5. Position the oven rack 6" below the broiler element and set the broiler to High. Move the Frittata to the oven and broil ~2-3 minutes until egg is golden brown. Remove from oven carefully as the pan will be exceedingly hot, and let rest for at least 5 minutes. Once it has rested, you can slide the frittata onto a cutting board and slice into pizza wedges to serve the family. 
Serves 6-8 hungry heroes!


The best part? If you end up with any leftovers, this dish reheats just as yummy as it was freshly cooked! That also means you can make it the night before and warm up in the morning for the family on the run. 

What kind of adventures are you taking your family on this weekend? Happy Easter, everyone!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Carpal Tunnel and Other Wine-Related Injuries

Happy Wellness Wednesday!

With so many of us gearing up for the April A-Z Blog Challenge I thought today's wellness post should get us ready for the hours and hours of typing ahead of us. As much as the idea of injuring myself while I'm sitting on my spreading butt makes me giggle, Repetitive Strain Injuries are actually pretty serious.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, "repetitive strain injuries are the nation's most common and costly occupational health problem, affecting hundreds of thousands of American workers, and costing more than $20 billion a year in workers compensation." In case you're not keeping up, that's a 20 with nine big fat zeroes behind it.

Worse, they are so common and misunderstood that many people end up with carpal tunnel or tendonitis and have no idea that A) they've been causing their own pain, or B) they can put a stop to it.

So to help get us through April without ending up like the spray bottle lady below, check out these 10 Simple Tips from . This list includes:

  • Keyboard/Hand Positions
  • Posture Advice
  • Checklists to Ensure the Comfort of Your Work Area, and
  • When to Call a Doctor.

Now... who wants to talk about what people are starting to call "scrolling thumb?"

Remember - keep those keyboards straight and your wrists flexing! I'd personally suggest lifting as many glasses of wine between now and your next long computer session just to make sure your wrists are in shape ;-)

Monday, March 21, 2016

AtoZ Challenge Theme Reveal!

Is it even possible that both Valentine's Day and St. Patrick's Day have already come and gone? And now that they are, we have a treat for you!

We've been cooking away behind the scenes for months getting ready for this year's AtoZ Blogger Challenge - the yearly challenge in which more than 1,000 bloggers from across the world post every day except Sundays in April beginning with A and ending with Z.

You'd better believe the Housewives are up to the challenge! And you know that we creative and crazy gals would of course put our devious little heads together and come up with an appropriate theme for you guys. Want to know what it is?

Well, get ready!

Drum roll, please?

Yeah, that'll do :-)

This year's theme is....

Around the House from A to Z! We Housewives are bringing you 26 special tips, tricks, how-tos, articles, and fun this month all centered on the way we turn our chaotic homes into well-oiled machines. Or, at least, slightly less squeaky duct-taped contraptions.

Please be sure to join me, Tammy, Elizabeth, and Tara the entire month of April and welcome our special guest poster AG Porter for the letters I, K, and M. We promise it'll be fun, and there might even be wine left if you get to it before Tammy does ;-)

In the meantime, check out all of this year's fabulous participants here.

See you April 1st!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Fun for Kids - a New Game

Remember the old Telephone game? You whispered something to your neighbor and passed it on down the line to see if the last person got the phrase right.

Well, how many of you talk to text? I use it all the time, to the annoyance of my hub... But I love it because I'm so slow typing and usually mess up. The only problem is, many times the words don't come out right. I'm sure you've seen posted funny mistakes.

So here's my game. Tele-text!

Speak a long phrase into your phone and send it to a friend, no corrections. The friend speaks and sends it to another, and so on. The last player speaks/sends it to the original and sees what jumbled mess they end up with!

Anyone up for a game? I suppose email would work as well...

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Versatile Kid-friendly Fish Tacos

Too many cooks spoil the soup is accurate, though if I had girls, I might feel differently about it.

My dinner strategy...
I try to make dinner at least 4 times a week (sports schedules are too crazy so we eat out sometimes...) At least 2 nights I try to make a nice big meal and the other 2 are less fancy, easy favorites - but all include fruit, veg, protein, and filler (carbs) - with 3 teenage boys + the hub, they need filler (I usually don't eat it and they don't know why... oh, boys)

Here's one of my easy day recipes...

Fish - frozen, grilled or breaded, depends on the kids
Tortillas - soft taco flour is what we use
CHIPOTLE MAYO - love this condiment!
Add-ons - lettuce, tomato, cheese?

Cook fish, spread mayo and fill the tortillas. Quick & easy yum!

Suggested Sides - can go inside or outside tacos - spanish rice, refried beans, sour cream, guac, salsa, also good as nachos - we love Mexican night!

VARIATIONS (instead of fish):
Chicken Strips
Popcorn Shrimp
Boneless Wings

Then there's also...
FISH DOGS or BURGERS, et al - use hot dog/hamburger buns instead of tortillas and change up the condiments and sides

Hold on! What about Italian?
Put protein of choice on rolls or garlic bread, spread with marinara, sprinkle with parmesan or mozzarella - BAM! Italian Sliders!

So I really gave you, like 25 recipes! I'm the Mistress of Improv when it comes to dinner! Enjoy!

Monday, March 14, 2016

#TopTen Reasons My #Kids Hide in their Rooms!

And with teenagers, it ain't to play Hide-and-Seek...

Top 10 Reasons my kids hide in their rooms:
  1. obviously to play on their devices - though they don't think watching videos and texting and social media is "playing" it totally IS!
  2. to avoid chores or HW or general nagging
  3. to hide activities I don't want to know about
  4. to pretend they're not around, esp if they might be in trouble for something
  5. to remove themselves from a sibling getting yelled at, don't bring me into this!
  6. to sulk and recoop after a loss
  7. to chill and relax
  8. to watch their own shows on netflix when mom has the remote
  9. to clean up - ha ha ha, just kidding, that never happens
  10. to nap/sleep, this one is okay, teenagers need a lot of sleep!
They do spend a lot of time in their rooms, but we have our together time too - like movie nights, sporting events, most dinners, etc. And as they get bigger, they want more time to themselves. I get it. Sniff.

We were teenagers once too. I remember spending a lot of time in my room. I liked to read books and magazines, listen to music, make puzzles, write notes to my friends, experiment with makeup, daydream about boys, talk on the phone - remember that stuff?...Though the format and speed of things have changed, kids need their alone time to figure themselves out. We also need to monitor and limit their device time, like our parents did - but that's fodder for another post!

Got teenagers? Remember when you were that age? And we survived!

Happy Monday and have a great week!

Friday, March 11, 2016



Geek parents love to imagine their children growing up to be chemists, physicists, astronomers, and mad scientists. We teach them about math, the elements, and wormholes. The best way to grow a love for these things is through fun science experiments. But science isn't cheap.

Have you ever looked at the prices of a chemistry set or a self propelled rocket kit? Yikes!

I love reading experiments geek parents do with their children. But I wonder how they can afford all the materials. I can do the vinegar and baking soda volcano, but after the first couple of times, my little geek is whining that he already knows what will happen.

So in the interest of science, I have found a couple of ways to play and experiment while on a budget.

1. Slime. Whether you're creating a baby for the Blob or some ecoplasm, kids love slime. It's very easy to make too. All you need is some water, glue, borax, and food coloring. You can find borax-free recipes online as well. It's easy and fun to make, and you can make all different kinds.

2. Cloud jars. Learn how clouds hold liquid. All you need is water, a jar, shaving foam, and an eye dropper with colored water. The foam will float on top of the water in the jar like a cloud. As your little geek drops the colored water into the cloud from the dropper, it will eventually become too heavy and rain.

3. Gummy bear torture. Oh yes, they're yummy and can teach us about science! All you need is gummy bears. Put them in various containers of liquid like water, salt water, vinegar, and liquid nitrogen (if you have any around!). You can eat the bears and watch as the candies bloat and explode. Researching this, I didn't realize how popular torturing gummy bears was. There are tons of videos online.

What fun and cheap science experiments have you done with your little geeks?

Christine Rains is a writer and geek mom. She is married to her nerdy best friend, and they have one adorable little geek. All of them are too smart for their own good, even their cat who knows how to flush the toilet. Christine has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood but make her a great Jeopardy player. She has one novel and several short stories and novellas published. You can visit her website here.

It was so wonderful having Christine here this week! These are terrific ideas - and almost all of these activities were done without electronics - it CAN BE DONE! Thanks, my geeky friend - GEEKS RULE!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

GPOB - Family Outings


It's not cheap to take the family out for a day of geeky fun. The admission to comic book conventions, science museums, and zoos are high. And that doesn't even include the price of food and parking. Around here, it costs more than $120 to bring the family for one day at the children's museum in the big city.

My wallet won't even consider opening for that. But I have ways of making the poor thing feel better.

1. National and state parks. We get a park pass every year. It's more than worth it. Take advantage of their nature centers and free programs. We all get to be outside and explore nature. A great opportunity to fill your little geek's head with fairy lore and wilderness survival in case there's a zombie apocalypse.

2. Ask for adventures as gifts instead of items. Every year, my Nana gives my son a yearly pass to our small local children's science museum. We've spent countless hours there having fun learning. They have free programs for people who are members too. Last December, my little geek was on stage with a reindeer. He still talks about it. Zoo and museum memberships usually only cost the price of two or three visits. We go at least twice a month to our local museum.

3. Geo-caching. All you need is a handheld GPS and the determination to find treasure. Another awesome way to have fun outdoors. Go to the geo-caching website and find caches in your area. Punch the coordinates into your GPS and go hunting! Some caches are small like a photo film canister while others are big like old ammo boxes, and they contain items to trade. Old coins, key chains, and toys. Children young and old love the rush of finding treasure.

What budget friendly things do your family like to do together?

Christine Rains is a writer and geek mom. She is married to her nerdy best friend, and they have one adorable little geek. All of them are too smart for their own good, even their cat who knows how to flush the toilet. Christine has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood but make her a great Jeopardy player. She has one novel and several short stories and novellas published. You can visit her website here.

Monday, March 7, 2016

GPOB - Dress-up Time!

So excited to have CHRISTINE RAINS guest post with us this week! She's sharing some economical tips from her cute geeky point of view!


Every kid loves to play dress up and pretend they're someone or something else. As a geek parent, this is one of my favorite things to do with my little geek. We pretend to be superheroes, robots, and talking cats.

Costumes are expensive, though. Never mind all the special props like a sonic screwdriver or Green Lantern's lantern. I'm jealous of those geek parents who can afford to buy the awesome outfits so the whole family can be the crew of Serenity or the Power Rangers. And those clever nerds were are talented enough to make spectacular costumes.

Every time I try to sew something, I end up with bandages on all my fingers. We also live on a budget. There are still tons of ways to have dress up fun. Here are a few tips:

1. Post-Halloween sales. Costumes, make-up, and accessories all on sale for 50%. And if you wait a week, it'll be 75% to 80% off. I stock up on the face paint because my little geek loves to pretend he's different animals. Children's costumes do sell out fast, but no worries. Buy adult ones and cut them to fit the kids.

2. Recyclables are your friend. You might only see trash, but through a child's eyes, an empty tissue box can be turned into a treasure chest and the paper towel roll into a telescope. One of my favorite recyclable-made accessories is a jet pack. Grab two 2 liter plastic bottles and tape them together. Have your little geek decorate them and use construction paper to make straps. Then blast off!

3. Second-hand clothes. Whether you get them at a yard sale, a thrift store, or from the back of your closet, don't underestimate the value of these old duds. Adult size button-up shirts make excellent robes. Black for a Hogwarts student and white for White Mage from Final Fantasy. Big t-shirts can be tied around the waist with ribbon or string to make them tunics for knights in training.

What costumes have you made on a budget?

Christine Rains is a writer and geek mom. She is married to her nerdy best friend, and they have one adorable little geek. All of them are too smart for their own good, even their cat who knows how to flush the toilet. Christine has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood but make her a great Jeopardy player. She has one novel and several short stories and novellas published. You can visit her website here.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Embrace the Sass!

Our goal for the Really Real Housewife blog is to do our best to keep bringing our readers fresh, new content. That's why we love to have guests; why we forced encouraged Jessica to send us her recipe videos; and why we are bringing on our fourth housewife. 

Welcome the electrifying, Tammy Theriault

Tammy is the mother of four, a writer, a professional care-taker, and amateur trouble maker. 

This lady is a ball of energy and fun. There's no such thing as sitting on your heels with this gal. She never has an idea...she has IDEAS. 

Enough from us, here's Tammy to tell you a little about herself!

Well, what can I say? Or tell you? I'm a spunky red-headed Pacific Northwest islander whose co-workers think has a mild case of tourettes. 

But that's to be expected when you hang around me.
My Photo

 I like to have FUN, and sometimes will holler my reaction when I could just be...reading. 

Can you say extrovert? Sagittarius? 

Now if you know me, everything just made sense. My hubs finds me sexy, but goofy. 

My kids think I'm the best thing since chocolate milk. Or so they tell me. They could be lying to get on my good side. The four of them are sneaky like that!

I ride a stinking loud Harley that makes my hubs insanely jealous, which is the BEST feeling ever. Until he starts browsing the web for a new motorcycle so he can be cooler than me. Not gonna happen, honey!! 

I work by day supporting mentally disabled adults in their home and community. Then I take my Superwoman cape out ready to clean, then cook, become a chaperon, and once they're fast asleep, find my hubs for a little late night exercise. Oops! Did I say that?? I meant, I sometimes can be found staying up late working on my newest manuscript that is... Yeah. That.

Every night, I end my day with prayers of gratitude for my perfect soulmate (my Harley! kidding...), and my kids. My family is everything. Whenever there is drama in the world or immediately in my life, I sew my family together, wrap them around me like a warm blanket, and let the chipmunk voices drown out the "noise". 

And then I go play with makeup and post pics on Instagram!

 Love life and live to love.

And now she's not just Tammy...she's the Sassy Housewife

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Mediterranean Snow Peas

I love this video. Jessica is my niece, so when you watch it, you'll see the genetic connection between us. We embrace our awkwardness. I mean, when the pan refuses to stay on the stove and the dog hair finds its way to the skillet, screw's too short for perfection.

Now, about those snow peas...

~If you buy them in a grocery store, you should store them unwashed in the fridge.

~Instead of covering in plastic, cover with a paper towel or dish towel to make them last longer. This works great for leafy greens too. I remove the plastic from my heads of lettuce and wrap them in a dish towel and it stays fresh twice as long.

~Snow peas are an excellent source of Vitamin C and a good source of manganese and iron.

Vitamin C. Though it's ability to cure the common cold is still to be determined, it is believed to lower the risk of some cancers. I'll take that cure over the cold any day! (Harvard Health Publications)

Manganese. It helps form bones and digest carbs. (Harvard Health Publications)

Iron. The nutrient, not the pumping kind, helps with that essential life structure, hemoglobin- AKA blood. (Harvard Health Publications)

Jessica Hartman
Jessica has a degree in nutrition from Marshall University. One of her hobbies is cooking food that is delicious and nutritious. Jessica is also a mad Lindsey Stirling fan, animal lover, and a too-perfect-for-words niece.

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