Thursday, July 31, 2014

10 rules for surviving divorce with young children

1. like nemo...... just keep swimming. some days it might feel as if you are swimming through honey. whatever you do, just keep moving. you will get through this. what is coming next might be crappy or maybe (hopefully) amazing but whatever you do..... just. keep. swimming. dog-paddle, if you must. just don't stop. if you stop, you might drown.

2. figure out who you can talk to...and who you can't. most people in your life will come from a place of love when offering advice. however, even the best intentioned may only help to increase your anger when expressing their own emotions of hurt and anger towards your ex. i don't know about you, but anger was not an emotion i needed more of. depend and rely more on the friends that will listen and offer support and love....and not express as passionately the anger and hurt you may be trying (oh, so hard) to keep at bay.

3. there will be causalities of war. you will lose some mutual friends and family. it will hurt. this, sadly, is inevitable. relationships change, people take sides loudly or in a quiet way by silently slipping away. but at some point, it happens. if you are a person who cares deeply about people (like i do) it is a painful heartache to see relationships change and even disappear. 

4. get a paid best friend (aka a therapist). a paid best friend is someone you can talk to about everything you are feeling and can listen with an unbiased ear and offer advice and support. it will be the best money you ever spent. it doesn't mean that you are weak or something is wrong with you. you are strong and brave....and (bonus): having someone to vent to will keep you from being one of those people that write crazy facebook status updates sharing more than they should.

5. put on your big girl panties and do whatever is best for the kids. it will sometimes go against everything in your nature, just do it. it is not their fault this is all happening. they will be affected by your divorce no matter what. so, try to keep them out of it as much as you can.  take the high road. protect the kids at whatever cost. put a smile on your face, make them feel safe and protected and loved. do not put them in the middle. protect their image of their father or mother. it doesn't matter what happened and how much you hate your ex---he/she is their parent. don't be the one to shatter the illusion they have of their parent's perceived perfection. life moves too fast. the years are flying by and they are growing so quickly. they will, sadly, know the reality at some point in their life. let it not be from you.

6. learn to love yourself again. depending on your situation, divorce can leave you feeling like you don't even know the person you have become. somehow, throughout my marriage i lost myself. it wasn't sudden. it was in small, tiny ways that chopped away at who i was. once the marriage ended, i realized all of those tiny chips equaled some pretty major erosion to who i thought i was. take the time to find out who you are as an individual, not as the couple. it's taken time, but i really, really like the strong, authentic, loving woman i have become. i love her. find the silver lining...

7. be kind. force yourself to find kindness even where you think there is none. at all kids performances, weddings, realize quickly that your ex really is a part of your life forever. you know the for better or for worse part of your vows? the ones that you thought you needed for the marriage? turns out they come in pretty handy for the divorce part too. when all else fails? follow the golden rule and treat people how you want to be treated....even if you are not treated the same in return.

8. embrace schizophrenia - this may sound weird....but, listen up. it helps to think of your spouse as two separate people--- one is the person you married and made a life commitment to..... and the other person is the father/mother of your children. compartmentalizing like this makes it easier to have conversations. find a way to separate 1.  the two of you and the marriage that didn't work out and all of that baggage from 2. the two of you as the co-parents to your children. protect that.

9. think before you speak. we all learned this when we were young and it still applies today. most of the words you wish you could take back will be those said in a moment of extreme emotion when you speak without thinking it through. stop. take a breath. process...think.... and then respond. 

10. really think before you start dating. this may not your time of life. people often ask me why i have chosen not to date, up to this point, even though it has been almost 3 years since my marriage ended. short answer? it is because i choose to put my kids first. i am not saying that you can't date....or that i won't, at some point, if the right person comes along....i am just saying you might want to give yourself time. divorce has a way of chewing you up and leaving you at your lowest. through that pain, you will learn so much about yourself. if you give yourself the time and the space to feel that pain and move through it without looking for someone else to heal it for you, i believe you will be better off for that.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

san diego: come join me at the greatest show on earth®!

i am thrilled that the greatest show on earth®. ringling bros. and barnum & bailey® presents legends will be returning to san diego at the valley view casino center (formerly known as the san diego sports arena) from august 7-10th. i was able to attend last year with my oldest little and we had such an amazing time making memories. this year will be the first time my 4 year old gets to experience the circus with us and i can't wait to see the sparkle in his eyes as he watches the wonder and amazement of the circus come alive. this year, tickets are only $10 on opening night and a legendary $20 on other performances, so it is an affordable memory-making experience for the whole family. come join us!

be sure to arrive early for several exciting interactive elements they have before the show starts! opening 90 minutes prior to each performance, *all* ticket holders are invited to tour the animal open house to get up-close with their amazing animals. as if that isn't enough, one hour before show time, families can step onto the arena floor to meet the circus performers and animals at the interactive all access pre-show, *free* admission to all ticket holders. how wonderful is that?! plan on arriving early, because it was very crowded last year.

this year, iconic ringling bros. stars meet fabled mythological creatures at the place where legends live…the greatest show on earth®! experience unimaginable family fun, as amazing circus athletes perform awe-inspiring feats of daring, spectacles of strength and thrills of wonder in a celebration of the LEGENDS that have captured imaginations for centuries. ringmaster johnathan lee iverson guides paulo the legend seeker on his quest to discover real, living circus legends from around the world…along the way encountering the fantastical pegasus, a unicorn and the remarkable woolly the mammoth!


thursday, august 7th – sunday, august 10th

•thursday, august 7th at 7:00 pm

•friday, august 8th at 11:00 am & 7:00 pm

•saturday, august 9th at 11:00 am, 3:00 pm & 7:00 pm

•sunday, august 10th 1:00 pm & 5:00 pm


valley view casino center (formerly san diego sports arena)

3500 sports arena boulevard, san diego, CA 92110


all ticket prices are $20 with the exception of $40 (vip), $110 (ringmaster zone).

special discounted opening night tickets for only $10 each (select seating only; not valid on vip/premium levels)

all seats are reserved; tickets available for purchase online through, charge by phone at 888-9AXS-TIX or visit the valley view casino center box office.

*tickets may be subject to service charges, facility and handling fees.

hope to see you there! 

Friday, July 11, 2014

mmmmm: teriyaki chicken with brown rice

i am always looking for amazing new recipes to try. when i was given this amazing rachael ray recipe from the fabulous team behind nutrish cat food, i had to try it out. it did not disappoint and each and every one of my kiddos polished their plates. that's nothing short of miraculous. 

the other great thing about this recipe? it has the same ingredients as *rachael ray nutrish for cats*. my two cats love this food made with all natural ingredients. their coats are beautiful and they are such happy little animals. if you would like to make the switch to nutrish, here is a coupon for you to get started on the switch over for your cats: nutrish coupon.

we are so sure you will love it that we are even offering a prize to one winner. simply comment on our blog or our facebook post and you can win a bag of nutish dry food as well as some samples of the wet cat food. you'll have this amazing chicken dinner for two, you and your cat. you'll also be helping animals everywhere. since it launched, proceeds from rachael ray nutrish have raised more than $6 million for rachael's rescue, which helps animals in need. it's a win, win, win. for more information on nutrish, please click here.

here's the recipe! enjoy!

teriyaki chicken with brown rice

for the rice:

2 cups chicken stock

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup brown whole grain rice

for the sauce:

1 cup chicken stock

1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce

3 tablespoons mirin (rice wine)

3 tablespoons dry sherry

2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons sugar

2 thin slices of fresh ginger root (i used dry ginger)

1 large clove garlic, crushed (i used minced)

for the chicken:

2 tablespoons canola oil

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (i used chicken strips)

sea salt and course black pepper

2 medium frying peppers, such as cubanelle, or anaheim, seeded and cut into strips (i used bell peppers because i had them from my garden and they needed to be used.)


in a small pot, bring the stock and butter to a low boil. stir in the rice and cover. reduce heat to low simmer and cook for about ten minutes until rice is tender.

place the sauce ingredients in another small pot and bring to a boil. let the sauce reduce by about half, 15 minutes at medium heat, at a low boil. (be careful it is a low boil! if it boils over, it makes a huge sticky mess...not that i would know.)

add about 2 tablespoons cooking oil to a skillet and heat over medium-high heat. season the chicken with light salt and more aggressively with pepper. cook for about 8-9 minutes, turning occasionally. remove. add the peppers and stir for 2-3 minutes, letting them remain tender-crisp. add the scallions and toss for one minute more. remove from the heat.

slice the chicken breasts into 1/2 inch thick pieces (or just use the strips from the start.) 

arrange the rice on plates or in shallow bowls and top with peppers, scallions and chicken. drizzle the sauce evenly over the chicken and rice, then serve.


Monday, July 7, 2014

someday...part 3

someday. someday i'll wake up to a quiet house and this parenting business will all be in the rear view mirror. for now, i just dream of someday. 

someday part 1 and someday part 2

1. someday i'll be able to go the bathroom without returning to find this.

2. someday my laundry room won't look like this.

3. someday i won't find rocks in the washing machine.

4) someday i'll walk into the living room without finding mysterious spots on my sofa.

5) someday my kids will actually bring their shoes in from outside before a three day batch of rain.

6) someday i won't be forced to retrieve sippy cups thrown under adjacent cars.

7) someday my daughter will know that taking a pair of scissors and stabbing a brand new aerobed not once but twice might not be the best idea.

8) someday i will return from putting clean clothes away without finding a toddler playing in toilet water...all over the entryway.

9) someday my kids clothes won't appear with mysterious stains...all over them.

10) someday my son will eat a cookie without this happening on the one day i forgot to bring baby wipes.

someday...a girl can dream can't she? if you have pictures of your "somedays," send them our way. it's good to know we're not alone.