Wednesday, April 29, 2015

dear heather and genelle: part 1

from time to time over the past four years, we get emails or facebook messages with questions about us....who we are....what makes us tick.....and the most popular...."why are you called the third boob?!?" 

we are going to start a monthly q & a series answering all of your questions, so if you have one you would like to ask, feel free to email us, tweet, facebook message, leave a comment at the end of a post or send smoke signals. we will get to your question, we pinkie swear. 

1. why is your blog named "the third boob"?! 

the most popular question by far! it's an amazing, crazy, thank-the-lord-it-didn't-happen-to-me story that is all genelle's to tell. it's a good one and you can read the story in its entirety right here

2. what is your biggest pet peeve?

heather: people that back into parking spaces and dirty ears. truth. i once broke up with a guy because i couldn't get over his dirty ears.

genelle: whining...usually from my own children

3. what is your least favorite word?

heather: moist or cul-de-sac 

genelle: slacks or pantyhose

4. what is your favorite piece of decoration or artwork in your house?

heather: i can't decide, so i am going to show you two of my faves. i love words. they speak to me. both pieces were from etsy (how did i ever live without etsy?!). the first, speaks to me and where we are in our lives right now. i went through a divorce and now the boys and i are finally coming out the other side and are settled into the cutest little cottage. it makes me happy and this artwork speaks to why. the second is just a life philosophy that i hope my boys will learn. it guides me in much of what i do.

genelle: i love this piece that i purchased in bariloche, argentina. it's decoupage (like you did in elementary school) with hundreds of tiny shreds of paper all put together into flowers and stems. i love it and it brings back memories of an amazing trip.

5. where did you grow up?

heather: fabulous, sunny san diego. i'm one of the rare natives. love it here. still live here.....and will probably never leave. 

genelle: beautiful santa rosa, california. for a frame of reference, it is north of san francisco and very near the sonoma and napa valley wine country.

6.  what would you sing at karaoke night?

heather: if i could do something with a friend or two, i am in. otherwise....i am not a fan of being center of attention. i'm not sure what happened, because a lifetime ago i was a theater kid and couldn't get enough of musicals.....but now, i am more comfortable in the background. genelle, myself and some of our college friends went on a cruise and sang "i'm alright" by jo dee messina. that was a karaoke song i would gladly do again. 

genelle: i may or may not have won a cruise ship karaoke competition with "when you say nothing at all" by allison krauss (which i danced to with my hubby at our wedding reception)

7. what is one fashion statement you hope will never come back again?

heather: overalls. for a brief period of time in college genelle and i lived with a house full of girls. it was a fabulous time of life....but what were we thinking with the matching overalls?! oh, and bleached out skunk-stripes in my hair. that was not good.....nor was the short's just all pretty much a bad fashion statement. 

genelle: 80's permed hair with big bangs. don't get me wrong, i rocked it back then. i just don't think i could pull it off now. heather did, too. 

8. where do you most want to travel, but have never been?

heather: the better questions would be where *don't* i want to travel to?! :-) there truly isn't a corner of this big, amazing world i wouldn't want to see...but right now, thailand is up on my list and costa rica....and paris......and.....

genelle: i'm a travel junky so it changes all the time. this week it's eastern europe and scandanavia. next week...who knows? 

9. how did the two of you meet?

genelle: we met one day and hit it off laughing in the back of the class. some of my other friends and i were looking for a roommate so, the day after we met, i asked heather if she wanted to move into a house with us. i like to think that i am a good judge of character.

heather:  i was transferring collages and so i started a summer school class so i would know my way around campus once fall started. i sat next to genelle the first day and we hit is off instantly (i am quite certain one of us said something inappropriate that the other one laughed at), she asked me to move in with her and 3 other girls i also didn't know....and i, like a crazy person, said "yes!"  i am so glad i did. those girls are like my family and genelle and if we hadn't met that summer, we would have never started the blog. 

10. how do you run a blog living on two coasts?

heather: we talk. a *lot*. we have known each other for 20 years and can easily communicate in a short amount of time. we are a team and put our friendship and sanity above the blog at all costs. 

genelle: we just make it work. it helps that we talk on the phone all the time. i lived in south america for five years and my husband knew that the only people who would call me from the united states were my parents and heather. she called me everyday when i lived in a foreign country. across the united states is no big deal!

how to get paid for your opinions

whenever i scroll through the news feed on my facebook, it's filled with my friends and families thoughts on *everything*....... from their favorite new beauty product, awesome new restaurant in town, hilarious commercial or tv show to watch, baby/kid advice.......then a healthy debate springs forward in the comments below, of people that have tried something they like more, or just how much they agree/disagree with the original status update. this also happens with announcements of a new health diagnosis like breast cancer or diabetes. you live long enough, you or someone you know has suffered through/survived something. even if the person in your news feed isn't someone you are close to, we are compelled to help and share insight or advise. we love sharing our opinions. that's a good thing. i do, too. and guess what? there are a lot of companies out there that value your opinions really and want to know what you think from just about on everything from consumer products to new drugs or therapies drugs that have the ability to impact health care and to cure diseases.....and they want to *pay* you for your it.

yes, you heard right. now there finally exists a way to get paid for your opinions on everything from beauty products to health issues that are near and dear to your heart. 

inspired opinions helps connect you to the brands, products and issues that you are passionate about by closely involving you in your choice of interesting and relevant online surveys, telephone interviews or in-person interviews and make sure that you earn rewards (aka money) for your time. (hello, amazon gift cards?!?!)

this is a no-brainer for me. get paid to give my opinions that i am already sharing with the social media world for free?! yep. sign me up.

there is truly something for everyone of all ages and locations. 

your desire and experience put you in a great position to help out causes you care about and brands that you believe in with just a few minutes of your time. 

i invite you to join the inspired opinions online community with me and start earning money for your opinions.

all it takes are a few easy steps:

1. join via this link

2. check the email you registered with and confirm that you indeed did sign up.

3. answer a few basic questions about yourself.

4. start earning money.

the more information you are able to provide about yourself the more surveys that you will qualify for so be sure to check back and update your profile when new surveys are provided.

you will be emailed or called when you may qualify for a survey. if it sounds like something you may be interested in, simply answer a few questions and, if you qualify, participate in a survey to earn money. 

you can participate in 3 ways:

  • in person, at one of their friendly and informal focus group venues.
  • online, from your computer at times that are most convenient to you.
  • on the telephone, at a time you pre-arrange with them.

your information will *never* be shared or sold. all of your details are protected under strict market research codes and data protection laws. 

please join here----it will only take a few minutes of your time. 

(note: this is not an affiliate link and this is not a sponsored post, simply a community i want to share with you that i have been working with in my non-blogging life). 

if you are a health care professional (doctor, nurse, etc.), you can join their specialized online health community devoted to you. your feedback and unique perspective will help drive important decisions that will improve people's lives across the world. 

join me in earning money for your opinions that you are already giving for free and help make a difference in the products that are currently on the market, the products that are in development and in also sharing information about your health so to help find a cure to eradicating diseases that affect you and your family. share this with your friends and family and let's all make our voices heard. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

why i killed my ex-husband

divorce blows. there is just no easy way to put it. i am not sure how most people survive it, let alone go on to trust another person with their heart and get married again. the idea of it baffles me at times. people ask how i have overcome the grief and anger that i had from the divorce..... i tell them it was a choice. i had to choose to kill my ex-husband.

moving past all the ugly stuff that happens at the end of a marriage is difficult. moving past the rolling film loop that was playing constantly in my head of every hurtful thing that was said and done was painful. the abandonment i was confusing. moving past it at times felt impossible. it felt impossible to gain closure because there was nothing he could say to ever make what happened over the last year of our marriage right. he had changed. the man i had made vows to and committed myself to had changed. he was gone and what remained was a man i, and those that knew him well, could barely recognize.

grief had made my then husband change. it's easy to understand why the change happened. he lost his mom suddenly. we all did. it was tragic and painful to everyone. we all grieved. we grieved; he grieved; he changed. he was angry and he punished those close to him with words that cut me to my core. and then he left. if i look at our relationship with any perspective i can see that he had left me months and months before.... but at the time i felt blind-sided.

once it was done...once it was *really* done and i allowed myself to let go, to accept that the person i married was never coming back, i had to figure out what to do. what's done was done so i had to do whatever i had to do to move past it for my children...and for me. i had to find a way to somehow get through it and to be able to piece myself back together again.

and so i mentally killed my husband. i killed the idea that the man i once married still existed. i killed the visions i had for our future together. i killed the dreams we had shared and the life we were building together. i killed that part of my life that was no longer viable. i grieved the person that no longer existed and released him. i accepted the new version of the man i had married as an entirely different person. the old version no longer existed so i had to stop comparing the new version to that one i once knew so well. he was gone. he no longer existed. he had died.

mentally killing him, the person i had loved.... and allowing myself to grieve that loss allowed me to move forward with this stranger that replaced him.

it continues to allow me to keep a smile on my face and keep anger out of my heart.

it allows me to look forward and never look back.

it allows me talk to the boys about their father with respect by envisioning the man i once respected and loved.

by grieving the loss of my husband, killing him off in my mind as a tragic death i can mourn that loss and start a new chapter.

the "wasband" will be woven through every chapter of my life in some way, while the boys are still young, but now i am able to move forward without looking back.

and the future looks good.

and i am better off because of it.

and the next chapter of my life awaits......

Monday, April 27, 2015

mmmmm: gluten free lemon-parmesan tilapia and rosemary-dijon red potatoes

caring for my family:

i am a mother of five kids...and the pet owner of two cats. between the seven small creatures needing my attention, there is sometimes little of me to go around. still, somehow there is enough love in the house for everyone and we are all able to take care of one another. 

my cats have recently switched to rachael ray's new zero grain cat food. for rachael, food equals love - whether she is cooking a meal for friends or working with pet nutrition experts to create delicious recipes for our furry companions. she believes that everyone, even our pets, should be able to enjoy meals made with simple, natural ingredients like real meat and wholesome veggies. changing my pet's cat food has been an easy way for me to care for my animals in a way that i know benefits their health on a daily basis.

this change in their cat food has coincided with my own doctor's advice to eat less gluten in my own diet and the diet of my children. this has led to some creative new recipes in our house. i don't think the kids have figured out most days that there is anything missing from our diet. they just think the food tastes good. that's all that matters to me. 

while i work in the kitchen preparing a meal for my family, my cats usually sit and watch me nearby (or ask for the faucet to be turned on so they can get a drink...seriously.) they get their own amazing meal of their zero grain cat food and my husband and kids get a meal they enjoy as well. happy kids, happy husband and happy cats = one happy mama!

rachael ray knows that mealtime is better when it is shared with someone you love so she has paired some of rachael's favorite recipes with their companion nutrish recipes. you can enter rachael ray's #cheftails sweepstakes where you could win an all-expense paid trip to new york city where you can enjoy a day in the studio audience of the rachael ray show. simply follow the instructions to: cook, share, win!

cook, share, win:

cook: cook one of the delicious recipes provided at (or one of your own) and share a nutrish product with your pet

share: share a picture of you and your pet enjoying mealtime using #cheftails on instagram or twitter for a chance to win

win: win an all-expense paid trip to new york city where you can enjoy a day in the studio audience of the rachael ray show. 

if you are looking for another recipe, this one was a hit with our family this week and it pairs perfectly with nutrish zero grain cat food in white fish and potato. enjoy!

gluten free lemon-parmesan tilapia and rosemary-dijon roasted red potatoes

rosemary-dijon roasted red potatoes

2-3 pounds red potatoes, washed and cut into 1 inch cubes

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup dijon mustard

1/3 cup fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped

salt and pepper

preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

place clean, cut red potatoes in a large mixing bowl. in another bowl, whisk together olive oil, dijon mustard and rosemary. 

pour over potato mixture and stir to coat potatoes well. season potatoes well with sea salt and pepper. place potatoes in a greased 9 x 13 baking pan. 

bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour. 

gluten free lemon-parmesan tilapia

6-8 tilapia filets

3 cups (approximately) rice chex cereal 

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons lemon pepper

2 eggs - beaten

olive oil

salt and pepper

mixed baby lettuce 

lemon juice

place the rice chex in a blender or food processor and blend until they are the consistency of bread crumbs. blend enough for 1 cup of blended rice chex. mix rice chex cereal crumbs, parmesan cheese and lemon pepper in a shallow dish. place the two beaten eggs in a separate dish. heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a pan over medium heat. 

rinse the tilapia filets and season with salt and pepper on each side. dredge the filets in the egg wash to coat each side. move to the chex mixture and coat each side of the filet, pressing in the crumbs where needed. place the filets in the olive oil and cook about 4 minutes each side. 

in a separate bowl, place one handful of mixed greens (i especially like fresh spinach for this recipe). add 1 teaspoon olive oil and one teaspoon lemon juice per handful of greens. season with salt and pepper and stir so greens are coated in the liquids. 

transfer the mixed greens to the plate and top with a tilapia filet. serve with the roasted potatoes.


follow rachael ray: 

Friday, April 24, 2015

five tips for surviving allergy season

this is a sponsored post by the lovely people at cvs minute clinic. as always, the 
thoughts and opinions are all our own.

i love the spring. it is possibly my favorite season of the year. i love the weather, the planting, the blooming flowers, and the hours i get to spend with my kids outside. still, with five kids with allergies, springtime can be rough on my kiddos. the south specifically takes no prisoners when it comes to springtime pollen. it's like a greenish yellow film covers over every inanimate object outdoors and the result is a house full of very sneezy and wheezy children.

allergies, or the body's hypersensitivity to substances in the environment, are suffered by more 35 million americans. (my family helps to push than number into the next million, i believe) and many people suffer from allergies without every getting the proper diagnosis. many people confuse a common cold with allergies and have never received the medicinal help that's available for allergy sufferers. 

at the third boob, we are huge fans of the cvs minute clinic and we love the ease with which we can receive quick and painless allergy care. if you haven't tried minute clinic and are suffering with allergy symptoms, their nurse practitioners and physicians assistants can recommend over-the-counter medications and write allergy prescriptions when medically appropriate.

follow @minuteclinic on twitter and facebook

if you have been diagnosed with allergies or your children have been diagnosed, there are a few tips that can help you avoid the seasonal allergens. i'm no doctor but i can certainly share what has worked for us. 

five tips for surviving allergy season

1) shake it off. 

your kids will love being outside in the spring weather and it is impossible to keep your kids from coming in contact with pollen. before they come back indoors, have your kids give a good shake to help rid their clothes of some of the pollen that has settled while they play.

2) skip the hair gel and wear shades. 

hair get could be a pollen magnet. skip the sticky hair gel during allergy season for a little extra relief. sun glasses can also be an aid in keeping your eyes pollen free. invest in some shades for your allergy sensitive kiddos.

3) avoid window fans and even open windows.

this one kills me because i love having my windows open when the weather is perfect outside. still, i can't deny the film of pollen on my flat surfaces after a day of letting the fresh air into the house. on the worst pollen days, keep the windows closed. i light spring scented candles that give me the illusion of fresh air.

4) go to sleep on clean sheets. 

if your kids are normally morning bathers, switch to night time baths and showers. wash the pollen off of them before they head to bed. this helps to keep their sheets clean as they sleep each night. also make sure their bedding gets washed every two weeks to help give some relief in the night.

5) make sure household surfaces and clothing stay as clean as possible. 

it isn't possible for me to keep my house pollen free. i have to do extra duty during the spring to try to keep my household as pollen free as possible. this means cleaning off surfaces (tables, chairs, countertops, floors) where pollen resides. it also means washing all my kids' clothes regularly. i normally have my kids wear their jeans more than once if they are still clean enough to wear again. that can't happen in the spring. i have to wash their clothes every night. i also have to make sure the sweatshirts and jackets they wear in the cooler mornings get washed regularly as well. have i mentioned how much i love laundry?

get the help you need.

whatever your symptoms or if you are thinking your child might be suffering from allergies, take the time to see a health care provider. cvs minute clinic has been a life saver for us and it could be just what you have been looking for as well. no matter what the season or how much you have suffered in the past, allergies don't have to put a damper on the enjoyment of the spring season for you or your kids. find relief and do what you can for your little peeps. with some help from our favorite health care providers and some tips along the way, we can all make it through allergy season.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

diy: office space makeover using removable wallpaper

when you are a renter, you need to come up with ways to make a place your own. painting may seem like an easy way to do that, but when it comes time to move out and you have to paint over the changes you made, you will be kicking yourself. trust me. 

the boys and i recently moved into the cutest, tiny house. in the main living room area, i needed to figure out how to make one section into an office area, since i work from home and didn't have a spare bedroom to convert into an office. i needed an accent wall. i was all set to paint when i came across these removable vinyl wallpaper options at my local target.

i picked a large striped pattern and within an hour had the entire wall finished and i simply love the finished look.

what do you think? have you tried vinyl wallpaper before?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

someday part 5

there are so many moments of motherhood that are amazing. there are others that, let's be honest, will take some years to look back on and laugh. my youngest is potty training and his older brother forgot to put the toilet seat down when he was finished. yep, my youngest fell right in to a toilet full of pee. there are so many of those moments that i rarely stop to document it all. still, someday i will look back on these moments and laugh. someday i'll miss all of these little catastrophes. someday....



someday part 2

someday part 3

someday part 4

someday part 5

1. someday i will be able to leave the room during coloring time.

2.  someday the food found underneath a car seat won't be able to feel some third world nations.

3.  someday the idea of my child getting his own snack won't be quite so terrifying. (yes, that's peanut butter. no, i didn't know he was into it until it was much too late.)

3.  someday a bowl of cereal won't involve straws, or whole counter clean up, or mopping the floors.

4) someday i won't go searching for items in the refrigerator only to find they have been taken outdoors, in the rain, in the middle of the afternoon, with no meals in sight.

5) someday a dinner with rice anywhere on the plate won't be quite so terrifying.

6) someday i won't feel the need to wrap my children in bubble wrap before family pictures. 

7.  someday, my iPod, my iPhone, my computer, all my electronic devices will be mine when i need them.

8) someday the sound of a chair being moved across the kitchen won't draw me running from other locations in the house. (the sound is currently right up there with the sound of projectile vomiting and breaking glass.)

9) someday i won't be quite so worried about what outfit my daughter has chosen for herself. (for the record, i didn't see her leave the house that morning and got to see her step out of the school bus in this outfit. you can see by the pose that she was very proud of her selection.)

10) someday i won't have to hide all candy and chocolate from creatures great and small in my house. i thought putting it out of reach would be some deterrent. clearly, i was mistaken. (again, the sound of the moving chair should have been my clue.)

*sigh* someday this will all be a distant memory and i will miss these moments, right? in the meantime, i'm trying to enjoy the crazy and dream of my someday.

what about you? if you have a picture to share or a "someday" of your own, we would love to share it. it makes the ride so much more enjoyable when we are able to do this parenting thing together and all dream together of our somedays.

xo - genelle

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

raising good apples with tree top

Tracking Pixel

this is a sponsored post written on behalf of tree top, however the opinions are all my own. 

genelle and i have always been big fans of tree top. our families love their products and we love that tree top is a brand that people have trusted for more than 50 years. they are located in the heart of washington's apple country and deliver top-quality products and premium ingredients such as smoothies, juices and sauces that we feel *good* feeding to our families. 
for myself, as a busy, single mama of two spunky boys, my favorite tree top product is the sauce pouches. we lovingly call them "squirt packets" in our home and they go with us everywhere. they are the perfect addition to school lunches, picnics, on-the-go for hikes, road trips, airplane flights and even in line for a ride at "the happiest place on earth" as shown here this past week:

tree top apple sauce pouches are mess-free, taste amazing and are made with pure fruit. as a super busy mama, i love that i don't need to remember to pack a spoon! the pouches are squeezable and fun, making them perfect for on-the-go snacking.

tree top’s growers are committed to raising top quality fruits to create the best products for families to enjoy together. as part of this commitment, we were thrilled to hear that tree top is joining with to help change the world by growing the next generation—one child, one school, one community at a time. for every purchase of tree top apple sauce pouches, tree top will donate a dollar to to help fund community garden projects and raise good apples across the country. we love tree top’s raising good apples campaign, and hope that you will join us in helping them build gardens for kids and read more here:
there are lots of fun projects on the site. after much debate, the boys and i decided to make the milk carton birdfeeder

we just moved into a new home and there is a tree in the backyard that is perfect for a feeder. 

the site has very easy to follow instructions and it was a fun, age-appropriate activity with just the right amount of parent involvement. 

we look forward to lots of bird watching ahead!
check out for helpful educational resources and then talk to your kids about where food comes from and pick up some tree top applesauce pouches for your next adventure. they are the perfect on-the-go snack for kiddos of all ages. 

we want to share our mad love for tree top apple sauce pouches by giving our awesome readers a chance to win their very own!  giveaway will run from april 7, 2015 to may 15, 2015 at midnight pst and will be sponsored by sway group. forty winners (from all 40 giveaways) will be selected to receive a gardening set valued at $60. sway group will select the winners on or about may 18, 2015 and they will follow up with the prizewinners.  
a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Tree Top.