Thursday, September 27, 2012

embrace the hilarious

let's all be honest...motherhood can get a little crazy. in fact, if someone tells you that parenthood is only marvelous and glorious, you can pretty much question everything else that ever comes out of their mouth as being disingenuous. parenting is hard. we'll find ourselves getting caught up in mommy wars. we have days when we sarcastically feel like the "mother of the year." we'll have days that are wonderful and days where we find that our kids have learned how to finger paint with their own poop. it is wonderful as a whole and filled with some of the most difficult moments we will ever face. 

so, i've decided it's time to bring the funny back. it is already clear that i have a pretty simple and juvenile sense of humor. i find a lot of things funny. it's time we share some of those funny moments. we love to post pictures of our kids when they are amazing...winning a race, accomplishing something wonderful, looking especially lovely. what if we were really honest and took pictures of the things that made us laugh...even if they were less than glowing examples of our children or our parenting? wouldn't it take a little pressure off of all of have the perfect children, to only post the perfect days, to have perfect days at all? here are my favorite stories and photos, used by permission from some fabulous moms...who have learned how to laugh in the middle of this adventure called mommyhood.

so, we've all seen pictures of kids who have cut their own hair. here's one of my favorites. i don't love it because of the original child's version of the cut.

i love it because of what his parents did to him as a result of the hair cut. i'm pretty sure he won't cut his own hair again.

then there are the stories of kids and their mispronunciations of words. i have to say that chach holds the award for the best story in this category. both of her boys have had some difficulty pronouncing the word, "truck." this can be extremely detrimental to a parent's pride because little boys love trucks. they love to play with trucks. they love to shout out "truck" whenever they see one. they generally yell their version of "truck" so everyone can hear. you can imagine my lack of bladder control when i would call chach and in the background i would hear her first born yelling "cock! cock! cock!" this phase seemed to last forever and it brought me to tears laughing each and every time i heard it.

then came her second born....and his pronunciation just about slays me. i have listened to this so many times and it makes me laugh over and over again. listen to the way he pronounces "truck" in this audio clip

seriously, is there anything more funny than that? it gets me every time.

then there is my friend who posted a picture of her son with the candle he had just made her as a gift. i don't know what i would do if my son brought this home. how can you keep a straight face? the most impressive thing about this photo is that she posted it on facebook...for the enjoyment of all of the rest of us.

last but certainly not least are the pictures my good friend sent this last a part of her christmas card. now that is a mom with an amazing sense of humor. i am just glad that i'm fortunate enough to call her my friend. it was, by far, my favorite christmas card of the season. along with her news of the family, she sent two pictures drawn by her daughter. 

the first picture is a drawing of a "happy bat", drawn for her older brother who loves baseball. that is some bat.

the second picture was one that she drew for their family dog, "titus." let's see how long it takes you to laugh at this one. much funny all around us. sometimes we just need to learn to laugh at ourselves...and at our kids. it sure makes things a ton more enjoyable. let's bring the funny back.

what about you? what hilarity have you been waiting to share?

Monday, September 24, 2012

mmmmm, mondays: country potato casserole

yep, you guessed it...i'm still on a breakfast kick. in fact, when i brought a meal over to a friend's house, i brought breakfast. who doesn't like breakfast for dinner, right?

so, here's a dish that can be used for anything. it's great for a breakfast potato side dish or it can be a side dish for any meal, anytime. it is probably one of my favorite recipes that has come from my husband's side of the family. enjoy!

country potato casserole

1/2 cup butter, melted

1 pt. sour cream

1 can cream of chicken soup

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup chopped onion (i use frozen onions)

1 (32 oz.) bag frozen has browns - cubed, not shredded

1 cup crushed corn flakes or bread crumbs

2 tablespoons melted butter

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

melt the 1/2 cup butter and place in a 9 x 13 pan. place 1/2 of the bag of hash browns in the pan. mix soup, sour cream, onions and milk in a bowl. pour half of the mixture over the potatoes. layer with half of the cheese. repeat the layers. spread the crushed corn flakes or bread crumbs over the top and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of melted butter. bake for one hour at 350 degrees. enjoy!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

simple solutions: smelly towels

once upon a time, i used to use a towel one time to dry myself off and then i'd throw it into the laundry pile. crazy, right? now that i have seven people in my household to wash and dry on a daily basis (or at least daily for some of them) i hang up our towels to dry and wash them every few days. i don't know why it happens, but during certain times of the year, the towels i hang up after showers start to smell funky. this is the best solution to that problem...especially for colored towels you can't bleach.
throw all your colored towels into the washer together. put in the laundry detergent like normal and, if you use fabric softener, add that as well.
instead of using bleach, put in about 3/4 cup of vinegar into the bleach section of your washer. i know, it says bleach only. i get it. some of you are rule followers. trust me on this one. it's okay to break this rule.

run your cycle like you normally would. for this cycle, i will run it on hot but it doesn't matter. here is what is important. put on the extra rinse cycle. if your machine doesn't have this, run the load without the fabric softener and then do and extra rinse with the fabric softener at the end.

remove the towels and dry like normal. no more funky smell. works like a charm.
do you have any simple solutions to share? we'd love to hear them!

Friday, September 14, 2012

friday fun finds: the power of the written word.....and a fabulous card

i received a beautiful card in the mail from a dear friend the other day and it made my day. the supportive, loving words that were written were exactly what i needed to hear. and then i got to thinking.....when was the last time i sent a card to someone? i honestly can't remember the last time. i would like to believe that i am a good friend. i often try to reach out by sending an email or a text to someone to let them know i am thinking about them.....but a card? nope. i can't even remember the last time i bought a stamp for pete's sake! truly. so, i am devoting this friday fun finds to the power of the written word and and a beautiful card to contain it. in fact, i am going to challenge myself to send more cards. care to join me? 

here are some of my favorites:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

just breath

a few years ago, i was invited into a new friend's house to see some decorating she had done. we had not spent much time together and i did not know her well but i went through her rooms willingly and complimented her on all she had done to make her home a more personal space for herself. in one of the rooms, she had attempted to create a "zen" atmosphere with calm colors and a soothing ambiance. on the wall in large, dark letters was the word, "breath." i stared at it for a while and then i couldn't help myself. "what does that spell?" i asked. she looked at me like i was the most stupid person on the planet and told me, "breathe." you could hear the "duh" in her exasperated response. knowing that my reply to her frustrated response would be less than polite, i smiled, bit my tongue, and just said, "oh, okay," and moved on. she rolled her eyes at my stupidity and we moved to another room.

as time has gone by, i've become more and more aware that we are a nation of some of the worst spellers on the planet. when i was in high school, our ongoing complaint in English class was that we would never need the vast majority of the vocabulary words we were learning to spell and define. back then, when the internet was just taking off and social media was not in existence, teachers had to scramble to come up with a worthwhile defense of the necessity of learning words like "cotillion." then, very few would see your written words. today, the exact opposite is the case. our collective poor spelling is on display for the world to see and, frankly, it's a little embarrassing.

there are websites dedicated to mocking poor spelling on public signs. there are really too many to count. take this example recently found in charlotte welcoming people to the "democatic" national convention.

i'm embarrassed for them. in new york, they painted the following on the street for school crossing. so, so sad. 

teachers of high school students today can defend the necessity of their work simply by saying, "you don't want to look like a moron on facebook; do you?"

add that with to the horrors of some of the "autocorrect" words punched in with our smart phones and we are in serious trouble. the sites dedicated to this are absolutely hilarious. check out for a good laugh. i could sit on that site for hours...just for a little pick me up.

besides just poor spelling, we also seem to have forgotten how to punctuate. granted, i'm writing on a site that doesn't use capital letters. still, i can appreciate a correctly placed comma and period as much as the next gal. "let's eat grandma." "let's eat, grandma." punctuation saves lives, people!

i am just as culpable as others. somehow we've become too busy to proofread anymore. maybe we should all just slow down a little bit and read through what we are about to post...whether in sign form, post form or tweet. maybe we could stop hitting ourselves over the head once we go back and read what we have just sent out into the universe. let's all take a minute to slow down. just breath, people, just breath.

Monday, September 10, 2012

mmmmm, mondays: tahoe brunch

first of all, let me just say that my sister-in-law is awesome. not only is she an amazing wife for my brother but she's also the best mom ever to her two boys. we are so blessed that my brother found and married her. as an added bonus, she is full of fantastic recipes (and great birthday parties...more on that later!). this is one of hers and it is so delicious. she made it one Christmas morning and i was hooked. since i'm on a hot breakfast kick, i thought it would be a great one to post here. it is also fantastic because you cook it the night before and bake it in the morning. this non-morning person likes the sound of that...a lot!

tahoe brunch

1 loaf of french bread - sliced into one inch cubes

1/2 cup of butter for bread

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (i just used one package)

1/2 medium onion chopped (i used frozen onions - about 3/4 of a bag)

salt and pepper

1 pound ground sausage (i used turkey breakfast sausage)

1 pound shredded cheddar cheese

5 eggs

2 1/2 cups milk

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

1 teaspoon nutmeg

parsley (one bunch fresh, chopped or a couple of tablespoons dried)

chop your bread into 1 inch squares. put in a large mixing bowl. melt the butter. pour the butter over the bread slices and mix well to coat the bread.

saute mushrooms and onions until onions are translucent. season with salt and pepper. set aside.

cook the sausage and break into bite sized pieces. put the sausage onto a paper towel lined plate to absorb any extra grease.

mix 5 eggs, milk, mustard, nutmeg and parsley in a large mixing bowl.

grease a 9 x 13 pan.

layer half of the bread, half of the mushroom mix, half of the sausage and half of the cheese. repeat.

pour the egg mixture over the entire casserole.

cover with foil and chill overnight.

in the morning, bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

perfect for a brunch or any special occasion...or just for dinner one night! enjoy!

Friday, September 7, 2012

friday fun finds: favorite fall pumpkin recipes

it's fall! pumpkin time! here are my favorite pumpkin inspired recipes for you to enjoy! have fun baking!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

simple solutions: getting gum out of clothing

the other day as i was doing one of my usual several loads of laundry, i pulled clothing out of the washing machine to discover that one of my children had put a piece of gum in their pocket and then had thrown it into the wash. fabulous, right? it was totally not how i wanted to spend my morning. the gum was spread all over the front of a shirt and thanks to the running of washer, it had the "just been chewed" consistency.

i tried to think through any past knowledge i might have concerning getting gum out of things. things like peanut butter and ice cubes came to mind but nothing sounded particularly promising.

then i got smart and i called my dad. let me just tell you, when it comes to stains, my dad is the stain master. he will from here on out be called master yoda of the laundry room. the man can get a stain out of anything and he knows every trick in the book.


here is master yoda's trick for getting gum out of clothing. 

that's right. most people have a bottle of wd40 in their garage somewhere. dig that bottle out and spray it all over the fabric and gum combo. i used a sponge and scrubbed the gum off. it took about two seconds. the wd40 dissolves the gum and it can literally be wiped off. so easy it is stupid.

after the gum is removed, rinse the clothing out in a sink well to get the wd40 out of the cloth. you'll want to spot treat where you sprayed you clothing as the wd40 has an oily consistency. rewash the garment in the washing machine like normal. the trick works every time. 

one less bit of drama to my day...thank you, master yoda of the laundry room.

Monday, September 3, 2012

mmmmm, mondays: grandma's banana bread

i love the fall. for some reason, it spurs me on to be more domestic. i will occasionally even cook breakfast items for my family to enjoy. granted, they usually get the breakfast items for dinner but that seems to be fine with them. so, over the next few weeks, we'll post some of our favorite breakfast ideas. these work for a meal any time of the day...don't let the "breakfast" word scare you.

this is one of my all time favorite recipes. i think i love it so much because of its origins. this one came from my amazing grandmother. she doesn't remember me or even know what banana bread is anymore but before she got sick, this was one of her specialties. when it is baking, the smell brings back memories of her and i can't get enough of it. i hope you love it as much as i do and that it creates some loving memories of your own.

grandma's banana bread

2 1/4 cups flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2/3 cup butter - softened

1 1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas (three large bananas usually works)

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs (unbeaten)

1 cup chopped walnuts - optional - i leave these don't like the nuts

cream the butter and sugar. add the eggs and beat at high speed for three minutes. add mashed bananas and vanilla and beat. sift dry ingredients together and add to the creamed mixture until well blended. add nuts. put into a well greased bread pan. bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until bread does not stick to a knife when inserted. enjoy!