Archive for January, 2008

My Personal Trainers

I resolved to lose weight at the beginning of the year. Thanks to my children, I am well on my way.

You may wonder how a few children can help their mother in her pursuit of a svelte figure. Easy! Each time I make a plate or decide to have a snack, three little heads turn in my direction, six hands are held out, and three little mouths eat or drink most of whatever I have in my hand or on my plate.

Not only this, but chasing them through the house does wonders for my exercise routine. I lift, bend, twist and stretch muscles that I never knew existed. My behind is on the path to rival even the tightest muscled fitness guru. Thanks to these little personal trainers, my husband thinks my legs are the sexiest ever.

That’s right. Mommy is becoming the hottie she was before these munchkins caused the pregnancy weight gains.

Lift your laundry baskets in salute of the hottie mommies all over the world, because we might not be able to afford Oprah’s personal trainer, but we have made our own. Viva toddlers!

Posted in Uncategorized, Weight Management, Humor | 1 Comment »

Who wants a cupcake?

I love me some cupcakes.  I’m still mystified why on earth people should bake an enormous cake for any occasion other than a wedding and watch as it slowly shellacs itself onto a plate after the first few bites.  Honestly, who eats this stuff regularly?

The cupcake, in all its glory, got its start in the late 19th century from by the creation of making a cake using measurements (a cup) versus weighing out each ingredient.  This was a huge step in cookery history and we’re celebrating the heck out of it every time a kid has a birthday.  Oh, who am I kidding, I had them at my last one too.  Know as “Fairy Cakes” in the UK and parts of Australia, these diminutive cakes make a perfect craft for birthday parties as the partygoers can go crazy decorating their own.

Tara Burner from Making Cupcake Cakes told me she loves to make Cupcake Cakes in the shapes of snowmen and rainbows among others due to the small cake’s adaptability and ease.  Quick, simple and a snap to decorate, cupcakes are always a hit with the teeny crowd as well as a fabulous quick bite on the road.

Toss that cake mix and try this easy recipe for awesome wee cakes!

1 1/2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. cocoa, sifted
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. baking soda
1 c. water
1/3 c. oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tbsp. vinegar
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1 egg
1/2 c. sugar

Mix all ingredients well. Pour batter into cupcake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

ICING:
Mix cream cheese, 1 egg and 1/2 cup sugar. Mix well. Spread on cupcakes.

From Cooks.com

TIP: Want to pack cupcakes for school but don’t love the mess after their frosted?  Cut them in half and frost the center, then reassemble and pack in a plastic bag to pop in the lunchbox!

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Bedtime Blues

Each night it my children seem to get worked up right before bedtime. I am not sure if this is a last burst of energy, a futile effort to stay up with Mommy and Daddy, or just something that nature designed to test the patience of parents.

A few months ago I had struggled to keep the my three year old asleep at night. She and her sister did not want to go to sleep, but eventually tiredness would win out. The problem was that my littlest girl (Terisa) would wake up at nearly the same time each night. In an effort to keep her sleeping soundly, we moved the girl’s small toddler beds out of the room and gave them a full sized bed to share. With the comfort of being near her older sister, Terisa almost immediately began sleeping without many episodes of waking.

Still, the trouble of having them both fall asleep at a proper time persisted. Amber, my older child, would usually fall asleep before Terisa. Introducing music helped a little with Terisa…but they were still very worked up when we reached their bedroom. I have a routine, so the relaxation was in place and has been for at least two years.

Last night, I think I hit a winning solution. This may not work for some children, but for mine it was a godsend. I just posted about the Secrets Of Happily Married Women book and how it has helped my marriage. Perhaps, just perhaps those tools would work with my children! I know their nature. Part of this nature is being worked up right before bed, so I decided to just let them do their normal jump on the bed deal last night.

They ran to their room and started their bouncing. This time, I surprised them by grabbing my book, leaning against the wall and saying, “Ok guys. You can jump on the bed until I am done reading. When Mommy is finished, it is bedtime.?

Wow! They were so happy they very nearly bumped the ceiling with their little heads. Mommy was letting them jump to their heart’s content. When I had nearly finished the chapter I was on, they had already slowed down and were yawning. Amber, the oldest, has sensory issues, so the bouncing actually helps her body calm down. Terisa just follows suit.

We put their giant stuffed bunnies to bed, complete with baby blankets, then the girls got under their own blankets. It did not take long for their classical CD to lull them to sleep. A half hour or so of good fun instead of crying.

I am a happy mom today.

Posted in Uncategorized, Parenting, Activities | No Comments »

Enough Is Enough

I am angry.

I do not know if all readers have seen some of the disgusting comments left by mentally deficient racists lately, but I am going to have my say.

Racism, no matter what part of the world you live in, is wrong. It is sickening and a sign of small intellect. Hate is nothing but stupidity with a different name. It does not matter whether you are hating someone for their heritage, religion, race, or sexual preference, the hate you display is a lack of intelligence.

I am sure many people will say, “Oh, but I have an education, I am a PhD, I am very intelligent, BUT…?

There lies your problem. In the ‘but’. Why does there need to be a ‘but’? Blacks are as intelligent as whites, with degrees in major departments. If not for amazingly intelligent blacks, there are many inventions we would not have today. Latinos did not depend on whites to drive their civilization or invent the products they use every single day. The heritage of native peoples in South and Central America is one that invented the most accurate calendar in world history.

It goes on and on for every race in the world. I will not even touch the subject of religion, that is even more explosive than racism.

What I will say is this:

Do not come to this blog and leave comments that insult other races, countries, or religions. Your comment will be deleted because the Family Resource Blog will not tolerate hate. If you have something to say that concerns such a topic, send me an email. Hate mail is fine, but I will not allow this sickness to spread from this blog and infect others.

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

The Secrets of Happily Married Women

Recently I was introduced to a very nice representative who works publicizing books. I was in search of a specific book to offer as a prize on another blog I work for, but Lauren, the representative, offered two books that may benefit readers here at Family Resource.

The first book that I am reading is The Secrets of Happily Married Women by Dr. Scott Haltzman. A short exerpt from the press release has this to say about the book:

“Dr. Scott Haltzman is a marriage counselor as well as a professor of psychiatry at Brown University. Drawing on extensive research and clinical experience, Dr. Haltzman claims that women can achieve marital bliss by working on their marriages LESS. “

When it comes to relationship books and gurus, I am a skeptic. No book has ever spoken to me on a personal level or really hit on a specific issue in my marriage. Until now. The Secrets of Happily Married Women grabbed my attention from page one. Each section in this book has something to say to me and the way Dr. Scott handles this subject is amazing. It is like having him in the room, talking to me and revealing the inner workings of his own mind as a male.

The book arrived early this week and from the first chapter I began putting his advice to work for me. There is nothing hard about using the book or its advice. You really do Work Less. I have seen a major improvement in my husband’s communication to me and our general mood. The really interesting part is that I have not spoken one word to my husband about this book or using the tools I have learned.

This book is one that every single woman in a relationship should have. I can promise you that if you read this book and follow the advice within, you will see an amazing change in your attitude towards your mate. No bookshelf should be without it.

Visit the site! http://www.happilymarriedwomen.com/

Posted in Uncategorized, Relationships, Building and Maintaining | 2 Comments »

Crafty mama : Notepad directions

I’m a crafty mama. I admit it though my craft closet is overflowing with odds and ends of unfinished projects. Nubs of wax for candles, stickers and sparkly glue - as the mother of five girls I’m lucky I don’t have sparkly glue running through my veins by now.

Here’s a quick and fun craft that is easy for kids as well as being eco-friendly by recycling your scrap paper. Have fun!

Notepad directions, step 1
1. Open your graphics program (Printmaster, Publisher, etc) and open up the postcard setting (or if in Word, divide your page into four equal sections).

2. Place your graphic within that square where you wish (i.e. at the top in the middle, bottom, watermark, etc).
Notepad directions, step 2

3. Using a paper cutter or in my case scissors, cut the paper equally into fourths. Now, what I do is use blank postcards from Avery, I use them as a guide for cutting, separating them at the perforations and cutting along the edges I need. After I’m finished cutting, I use that postcard as the back of the notepad. As I’m going to make this a large business card notepad, I’ll print off my BC graphics with the contact information onto the postcard (using the same postcard settings on my graphics program) and place it on top. I’ll take another postcard and print off an order form to use as the back of the notepad.
Notepad directions, step 3

4. I use 10 sheets of paper to make a 40 sheet notepad. After cutting, take the 40 sheets (10 sheets cut into quarters) and place them between my postcard blanks. Then, using padding compound from the Crafty PC and their vise (easy to make your own vise and other glue, see below) I make the notepad. Take the sheets, even them up by tapping the top of the pad on the counter. Place the sheets between the visegrips so only the tops poke out. Apply the padding compound to the ends of the paper sheets. Allow to dry and reapply. You can certainly make more than one this way, just stack them on top of each other and peel apart when completely dry.
Notepad directions, step 4

Alternatives to padding compound:
- Aleene’s Tacky Glue
- Hot glue (don’t recommend, very messy)
- Elmer’s

Alternatives to vise:
- phone books
- pencils with rubber bands around the end (hey, when you’re in a pinch…)
- bull clips
*I wrap my vise with plastic wrap so the glue doesn’t stick to vise and ergo to the other side of it, makes for easier clean-up too!

This can easily be adapted to any size paper and backed with chipboard for a more sturdy writing surface.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Resolutions, The Shark, and A New Book

It is time for me to update on my resolutions!!

1. Smoking- Cut down from a full pack a day to 5-10.
2. Weight- It’s coming off, finally. I need to find a before picture! Not a drastic change, but still, change. Clothing fits better and I have more energy!
3. Organization- Well, considering that I have a huge household, things are still going slowly. Too many people in the way, not enough time in the day.

So far, every single item of clothing has been washed, the curtains are next, blankets done…next comes the dusting. Again. I purchased a Euro Pro Shark Steam Bottle to help with this project and I have to say…don’t bother. Mine wouldn’t even spit out steam. The company wants me to ship it back to them, plus pay $9.95 for it to be examined.

Um. No way. If the product is defective, why would anyone pay more money to have it repaired? Forget it, back to the store it goes. Maybe if the good people at Euro Pro sees the review I posted on another site, they’ll send me a new one to make up for my lost money and pay for shipping of the old one back to them before I go back to the original store. In that case, I would definitely try it again. But, no more cash out of my pocket to them.

In other news, I will soon be running a small contest here on Family Resource! If you are in a relationship and want to learn how to make it work better, stay tuned. A new book will be offered soon as a prize!

Are you ready?

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Sweet dreams are made of this : Dream Pillows

child's dream pillowOk, now that I have Annie Lennox firmly stuck in my head, I thought I’d share a great craft to do with the kids.  Dream pillows are an easy, economical and dare I say it, sneaky, way to help your wee ones slip into sleep.  A great craft to do for sleepovers and Girl Scout meetings, the materials are easy to find and the results smell better than glue-infused popsicle sticks.

Fabric: 
Cotton
Flannel

Herbs:
Lavender buds
Chamomile

Equipment needed:
Funnel
Needle and thread
Fabric
Herbs
Their head…

Cut two circles six inches in diameter.  Place the material inside out and sew around the perimeter, leaving a small hole larger enough for your funnel.  Mix the herbs together in a small bowl or plastic baggie (much less mess and you can save the rest for other projects such as potpourri), then using the funnel, scoop the herbs into the pillow until it is mostly full.  Do not overfill, as you’ll have a great lump lodged in your ear the next morning otherwise.  Sew up the wee hole and put in your pillowcase for sweet dreams.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Making a break for it

My toddler just tried to convince me her father told her it was okay to eat two pop-tarts the size of her head.   What’s worse is that she almost had me believing her.  Definitely a sign to get out of the house more, I’m going back to work outside the home.  No more DVDs of princesses outwitting evil animated overlords, no more fishing choking-hazard sized dolls out of the toilet because “they wore a swim suit”; I’m going back to where women wear shoes all day long.  My friends think I’m crazy.

“Give up happy hour?” Marlene asked.  Like sneaking wine in a sippy cup on the cul de sac was such a covert operation that they felt naughty and delicious at the same time.

I’m breaking from the Mom Herd mentality that stalked my days for the last ten years.  Clothed in light brown capris with the mom butt looming in my future, I knew I had to make a run for it.

“I don’t want to,” I half-lied.  I didn’t want to get up and look human before 9am but sacrifices must be made for the sake of my sanity.  “Bryan totally supports this since he’ll be home with the girls while I’m working.”  Yeah.  Working from home for him meant no shaving and…wait, it did me too.  Nevermind.  Years as a freelance writer had me spoiled, good lord, I actually have to wax that unibrow more often now!

“I have two interviews lined up for next week…” I started.

“Have you finished the paper mache state of Virginia yet for 2nd grade?  Mrs. Zimmburton said in the class newsletter that you were in charge of the Piedmont.”  Becky examined her nails while I backed away; I knew what was coming next.  “You know, you really need to check with us first before you go running off.  As Room Mother, you have a responsibility to…”

I can’t wait until next week.

Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Bad Credit? Want To Repair It?

Then you will need to spend time working to pay off debts and make payments on new items or bills on time. Across the internet, Credit Repair sites abound. According to the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC), these schemes are just that, schemes.

There is no legal way to remove items from your credit record if they are accurate and timely. You can and should check your credit report each year to make sure there are no mistakes. If there are mistakes, you do not need a credit repair scam, ahem, company, to remove them for you. Keep good records of your payments and send them as proof to the company collecting the reports with a request to have the item removed or contact the reporting entity and send proof of payments with a request to change their report to the credit report companies.

Do not fall for schemes that sell information on how to substitute a fake Social Security number for your own, making a new credit identity. This is a felony!

How can you identify a credit repair scam? Any company that claims it can repair all of your credit, give you a perfect score, or give you information on how to create a new credit identity is bogus. All the information you need to learn how to repair your credit can be found in the following tips.

Begin to pay off your debts, even a tiny amount at a time. Request that payments be reported to the credit reporting agencies.

Some pre-paid credit cards will issue you a ‘real’ line of credit after you have used their service for a year. Accept the offer and keep current with the bill.

Do not spend more than you earn.

If a debt collection company offers you a ‘deal’, which is becoming popular, take it. Some offer a much lower payment than you actually owe. You can wipe out a debt in small payments as well.

Buy used items and work on paying off your previous debt. Do not buy anything brand new until an item is paid off, then treat yourself. Only one treat per debt closed. The treat should not be more valuable than the bill paid and should be PAID IN FULL.

More tips will be posted soon, as one of my ‘secret’ New Year’s Resolutions was to repair my own credit!

Posted in Credit and Debt | 4 Comments »

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