The Red Nightmare

The Red Nightmare

I admit it.  Two years ago I bought into the whole Elf on the Shelf hoopla.  Oh isn’t it cute!  A new family tradition!  My boys loved it.  Casey named him Jingle.  They are anxiously counting down the days until Jingle makes his annual return.  In theory it is a sweet idea, but in practice it’s a real pain in the ass.

First of all, I am busy…and tired.  It may not seem like such a big deal; you just have to put the little red menace in a new location each night before going to bed.  Truthfully though, I always forget.  So come morning I am racing to move Jingle before I get busted by Casey.

Second, a person only has so many practical places to put the damn thing.  The rules are you can’t touch him or he loses all his magical powers.  For little kids this is gospel.  So where ever you set Jingle up, that part of the room becomes off limits.  If you put him in the cookie jar no one is getting cookies that day.  The same goes for the bathtub, the toy chest, or the counter top.

The third reason I am sick of that little Elf is because of all those over achieving moms on Pinterest.  I am an over achieving mom and even I think some of these women are crazy!!

I mean, isn’t there enough mommy stress already?  There is working mom guilt vs. staying at home, tiger parenting vs. helicopter parenting, being an organic green mom vs. being the thrifty coupon mom.  Next comes the homework hell, the dinner debacle (Christ you have to feed them every night!), and the never ending laundry madness.

So with all this daily stress was it really necessary for all these over achieving moms on Pinterest to rub it in out faces how freaking awesome they are by creating a month long staging ritual for a stupid Elf to add on top of the holiday cooking, shopping, wrapping, and cleaning.

cheerio mini donutsI’m sorry but I do not have time to hand decorate individual Cheerios into fake donuts so Elf and Barbie can have a romantic picnic under the mistletoe.  I have no desire to pour flour all over my kitchen counter and get the Elf covered in flour because Jingle felt like making “snow angels.”  Oh, I know, I can use my lipstick to write all over the bathroom mirror a holiday message for the kids from their Elf.  Why are grown women trashing their own houses, making messes that they will have to clean up once the kids go to bed?

elf in flourSo, begrudgingly I will get Jingle out of storage.  I will stick him in the tree and hang him from the chandelier because I created this mess and now I am stuck with it unless I am going to make a little boy cry and take away the magic of Christmas.  I’ll do it, but don’t think I like it.

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Subscription Box Love

Subscription Box Love

I love getting presents, even if I am the purchaser of said present.  That’s why I love getting subscription boxes.  You know they are coming but you don’t know what will be in them!

If you are like me, and concerned about the amount of toxic chemicals that you and you’re your family are exposed to on a daily basis, then there are some truly wonderful subscription companies out there to help you wade through the growing number of healthy and safe products to use.

Most of the items that come in these boxes are already available at Whole Foods and other health store outlets, but there are now so many products that it is hard to know where to even start!  Plus, which ones are being truthful and which ones are just green washing their toxic products?

conscious boxThe first subscription that I absolutely love is Conscious Box.  This is a monthly box filled with organic snack foods as well as other samples for home and hygiene products.  Sometimes you go into Whole Foods and you look at the multitude of products to buy and you are just overwhelmed by the options.  Plus, let’s be truthful, a lot of the high fiber, multigrain, gluten free, nut free, soy free, vegan snack foods taste like crap.  Maybe it does have 12 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber and is filled with all natural B vitamins, but honestly, if eating it feels similar to eating a cardboard box your kids are just going to throw them away or turn their noses up at them.  I know it and you know it.

With Conscious Box you can sample all the new snack products coming out before you commit to purchasing a big, expensive box of them.  If you want to give them a try like them on Facebook and they will put in your newsfeed a promo for one free box.

https://www.facebook.com/consciousbox

True-Beauty-Box-for-JanuaryThe next box that I really adore is my True Beauty Box.  This is a bi-monthly subscription.  Every two months I receive a surprise box filled with the latest in organic all plant based beauty products.

From lip-gloss to eye liner, skin care, and bath scrubs, it is always wonderful to get full size products in the mail and know that you are using products that are free of SLS, parabens, phthalates, fragrance, petrochemicals, DEA, TEA, and PEGs.

(Google any of the chemicals just mentioned and you will find a ton of research documenting how these are building up in our bodies, are known cancer causing agents, and wreak havoc on hormonal and reproductive functions.  Many of these chemicals did not exist when we were children and the FDA has never tested ANY of them for safety.  Also, many of these chemicals have been banned in the European Union and Australia due to their toxicity.)

To get your box of girly goodies delivered to your front door visit the website:   www.lovetruenatural.com/beautybox/

honest co

The last company I subscribe to is The Honest Company.  This one is different in that what comes to your house isn’t a surprise.  You go online and preselect your products before hand, ordering exactly what you need.  You also control the delivery date, so it doesn’t have to be monthly if you don’t currently need anything.

My boys are out of diapers, so I don’t use those and can’t comment on their performance, but I do use just about every other product the company sells and I am thrilled with the performance of all of them.  My children are clean and chemical free, my home is clean and chemical free as is my laundry.

www.honest.com

naturebox2I just purchased a Groupon for three months of Nature Box, another all natural healthy snack food company.  I can’t wait to try their products.  I have read many wonderful reviews on them.

http://naturebox.com/

There are many other subscription companies out there and I wish I had known about them when my boys were still young enough to use the products in them but most of the children’s boxes, like Bluum and Citrus Lane, are for 5 and under.

So if you like receiving surprises in the mail and you want to be able to try new products without long term commitments, give a subscription a chance.  Many of them offer promos for your first box.

 

 

20 Little Things to be Grateful For

Ppumpkins on white background with fall leaves frame

As much as my boys run me ragged, never doubt for a moment that I am grateful for every day that they are in my life.  My hubby may snore all night long but I thank the Lord for bringing such a wonderful man and father into my life.  At this time of year we all reflect on the big things that make our life complete; home, family, friends, love and even the furry four legged family members that makes a home even more complete.  I have been blessed with all the above.

Still, there are some little things in life that make it easier to get through my days.  So this little post is dedicated to those things that make it possible for me to navigate the roller coaster that is life.  The ups, the downs, the sleep deprivation, and lately the raging hormones.  They may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, yet I appreciate them all the same.

  • Kirkland Sleep Aid:  When I am truly exhausted and desperate for some rest you do the trick. Sure, you cause havoc on my sinuses but you allow me to reach a state of REM for which I am truly grateful.
  • Fleece sheets that wrap me in fuzzy coziness.
  • 5 Hour Energy:  How did I ever live without this stuff?
  • Pink girlie pajamas:  There is just something so right about putting on soft jammies and painting my toes.  It reminds me that I’m not just a mom, but a girl too.
  • Wine:  Do I even need too explain this one?
  • Appletinis:  See wine.
  • Chocolate and good cheese:  Both of them go perfectly with a good glass of wine.
  • Change found in the washing machine.  Mom’s no longer get visited by the Tooth Fairy.  We get our quarters from the Laundry Fairy!
  • My lunchtime BFF’s:  These are the girls I can talk about ANYTHING with.  Love you girls!
  • My other BFF’s:  Always there to share the good stuff and the not so good stuff.
  • Kitties:  There is something so peaceful and cozy about having a warm kitty in your lap.  When my cat purrs I can literally feel my heart beat slowing down and relaxing.
  • Good jokes:  I absolutely LOVE laughing until I double over holding my stomach and crying from laughing so hard.
  • The sound of my boys laughing.  Most of the time they are either doing something dangerous or trying to kill each other, but every now and then one of them will do something that completely cracks up the other one. Then suddenly two boys are laughing hysterically and the sound reminds me what is really important.
  • Costco Free Samples:  Shopping with children in tow is super stressful.  Nothing like some free pizza, chocolate cake, chicken tenders, and frozen treats to keep them happy and quiet so I can finish doing what I need.
  • Thirty One Bags:  Keeping me organized in perfect girly style.  I highly recommend the Pink Pop Medallion print!
  • Knit pants:  It’s like wearing pajamas to work, only more fashionable.  Who doesn’t want to go to work in pajamas?
  • Bubble baths:  No better way to say “Ahhhh.”
  • Bubble baths and bath toys for the boys:   When the rug rats get to be more than I can handle just say bath time!  Thirty minutes of play time for my son and thirty minutes of peace for mom.  It’s a win-win.
  • Bedtime:  It’s kind of like wine.  It needs no explanation.
  • My Blog:  It allows me to have a creative outlet, express myself, and meet other awesome moms out there who inspire me and help me to see the humor in the day to day stuff.

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Tired Working Mommy Confessions

Mommy Confessions

I try hard to be a good mom.  I help with homework, prepare healthy meals, buy wholesome foods, read bedtime stories, and maintain a relatively clean home.  However, working full time and having two kids, there just isn’t enough time in the day and some days I just don’t have the energy or desire to be Alpha Mom.  Therefore, there are some things I must confess.  They say confession is good for the soul.  I don’t know about that, but here goes.

*Sometimes when my youngest asks me to play with him I’ll say I have to go poop just so I can read my kindle or a new magazine in peace for a few minutes.

*While hiding in the bathroom I secretly hope he will get distracted and forget that he asked me to play.

*I am guilty of kicking toys under the sofa because I don’t feel like bending over, picking it up, and then putting it away.

*I have named the giant dust bunny behind the entertain unit Clyde.  It is easier to pretend he is part of the family than pull the thing away from the wall and vacuum.  After all, can anything called a bunny really be that bad?

*If a cookie falls on the floor I will pick it up, blow it off, and eat it.  Go ahead, judge me, see if I care.

*I have given up on trying to make my oldest son dress for the weather.  If he wants to wear a hoodie when it is 35 degrees and raining outside then so be it.  Maybe a few days of freezing his butt off while soaking wet will teach him that being warm is better than being cool.

*When I run out of socks I go in my hubby’s drawer and take his.  His are thicker, warmer, and softer than mine anyways.  Sorry, honey.

*I hate most vegetables and will not force my kids to eat them.  We just double up on the fruit.

*When my kids bring home art projects from school I “ooh and ah” and stick them on the wall.  Then when they go to bed I toss it in the trash.  The next morning they don’t even notice it isn’t there anymore.

*I have treats hidden in the house that I don’t share with the kids.

*I hate the fact that my youngest is now reading well enough to know when I am rushing through a bedtime story and calls me out on it.

*My son is supposed to practice his trumpet for a half an hour a day.  Most days he doesn’t do it but I still sign the form that says he did.  I hate listening to him practice the trumpet.

*I have watched episodes of Super Nanny because I feel better about myself afterwards.

*I have actually gone to the hairdresser to get my hair done just because I was too tired to wash and dry my own hair.  Yes, I have actually been that tired as a mom.

*I long to take a child-free vacation.  There is nothing relaxing about vacationing with kids.  It’s still full time parenting, but now you don’t even have the comforts of home.

*If clothing has been worn but doesn’t stink or has no visible stains on it, I put it back in the closet.  I do enough laundry in a week!  (This rule does not apply to underwear.)

*I once deliberately left the new roll of toilet paper on the floor to see how long it would take before someone else would put the new one up.  After 4 days of waiting I finally changed it myself.

*I sometimes dream of pulling my car over to the side of the road and kicking my teenager out of the car when he is acting like a drama queen.  I am afraid that one of these days I may actually do it!

*When there aren’t enough leftovers for everyone I will serve the kids and my husband and eat a bowl of Cheerios for dinner for myself just so I don’t have to cook!

*When I do get a rare night away from the kids, which is like four to five times a year, I don’t miss my kids, not one little bit.  I’m also happy to come home and know they are already asleep and I don’t have to put them to bed.

*I usually say the words “what the fuck” under my breathe about 20-30 times a day.

What guilty, or not so guilty, confessions do you have to share?

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Please Stop Putting Beaver Anal Gland Juice in my Food

 Beaver Pinterest

**WARNING**  THIS POST IS PROBABLY GOING TO GROSS YOU OUT AND MAKE YOU THROW AWAY MUCH OF THE FOOD CURRENTLY IN YOUR PANTRY.

Food gross22I am a very picky eater.  Always have been, always will be.  I am hypersensitive to the gross factor that is in a lot of foods.  I will eat onions that are minced and cooked into my food, but I will not eat onions raw.  I do not eat mushrooms.  Mushrooms are fungus; so is ring worm and green toenails.  Yes, I know they are not the same kind of fungus, but seriously, if it can grow on your toes I‘m not taking any chances.

I love cooking stuffed green peppers.  The flavor the peppers put in the meatballs is divine.  I will scoop out all the yummy meat and rice and then toss that soggy, spongy, green pepper in the trash.  When I eat onion rings, which isn’t every often, but when I do I always pull the slimy onion out of the crunchy ring and then just eat the breading.

My eating habits drive my husband crazy sometimes.  My husband comes from the old school thinking that if it is cooked and on your plate you must eat it.  He is trying to teach that lesson to the boys, but I am forever undermining him because the boys know I will not eat half the shit my husband will, period!

Castoreum_01

That being said, I do not think I am being overly picky when I say to the food manufacturers out there to PLEASE stop putting beaver anal gland secretions into my food!!  Seriously?  WTH?

Not to mention, who was the sick son of a bitch who realized that castoreum (the stuff that is manually squeezed out of a beaver’s ass) tastes like vanilla or raspberry.  I mean, really, how did that moment occur?

Beaver WTF“Hey Ernie, check out this beaver I caught.”

“Wow, Burt, that sure is a fine looking beaver.”

 “Ain’t she?  But watch what happens when I squeeze her ass!”

 “Burt, man, you are one sick s-o-b!  That’s disgusting!”

 “I know, but Ernie you just got to try this.  It tastes like vanilla!”

 “Really?  Wow, I got to have some of that!  Let’s take it home to my wife and have her make some vanilla pudding and cookies with this stuff!”

 “Yah, but check out this beaver here!  This one tastes like raspberries!”

 

What’s even worse is that beaver anal gland secretions are technically a natural product made naturally by beavers.  So the food companies don’t have to list on their ingredients what they are really using.  Oh no, they just call it Natural Flavors.  Yep, that’s right.  Natural Flavors.  Go in your pantry right now and start looking at the ingredients listed on you many packages of food.  Pay particular attention to anything that is a sweet good or snack food.

Practically everything you purchase at the market says it is flavored with natural ingredients.  I’m sorry but I find this TOTALLY unacceptable.  I really think that ingredient lists on packages should say exactly what is in a product, but food companies will NEVER agree to this.  Think about it, which ice cream would you buy?

“Milk, high fructose corn syrup, starch, beaver anal gland secretions.”

Or

“Milk, cane sugar, cream, vanilla bean extract.”

Duh, that one is kind of a no brainer!  Hold the beaver, please.  For more information on this subject feel free to check out the links below or do a Google search for beaver anal glands in food.  Just be warned, you may learn more than you ever wanted to.

http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/10/02/beaver-butts-emit-goo-used-in-vanilla-flavored-foods/

11 Disgusting Ingredients You Eat Every Day That Food Companies Don’t Talk About

Beaver anal secretions a vanilla substitute in some foods

Your Vanilla Ice Cream May Actually Smell Like Beaver Butt

Is “Natural” Vanilla Flavoring Really From Beavers’ Anal Glands?

Warning Signs That You are Becoming a Sleep Deprived Mombie

Mombie Post

Everyone talks about how new parents are sleep deprived because of night time feedings, and that is true.  But just because the baby starts sleeping through the night doesn’t mean your sleep deprivation days are over.

indentify a Mombie

If you are a mom of multiple kids or a mom who is also working a full time job while raising kids and maintaining a home, sleep deprivation is going to be with you for the next several decades!

There will never be enough hours in the day so you stay up longer to get things done, wake up earlier to get a jump on the day, and spend nights tossing and turning because your brain keeps reminding you of all the stuff you forgot to do the day before.

bitten

Here is a list of warning signs that you are rapidly turning into a sleep deprived Mombie!

  1. Caffeine, caffeine, caffeine.  There is no such thing as enough or too much.  Whether is it Starbucks, Earl Grey, Coke, or Redbull, you have found a source that works for you and now consume so much of it that your blood type is now C positive.
  1. In the morning when your alarm clock goes off you experience the five stages of grief, all in under two minutes.
  1. In the car on the way to work you have the radio on full blast to help you avoid nodding off behind the wheel.
  1. When you pull into the parking lot at work you have no memory of actually driving there and wonder how the hell you made it.
  1. At work you realize that getting ready in the morning you put on two different colored socks and just shrug your shoulders.  At this point they should be glad you are even there.
  1. You forget to do the really important stuff, like look at you’re your day planner, your to do list, and the humongous calendar on the fridge that was to remind you that your kids have no school and you needed to arrange for day care.
  1. You lose things you were holding in your hands just five seconds ago.
  1. You are forever putting things in the wrong place; cell phone in the fridge, keys in the mail box, etc.
  1. The refrigerator is full of 5 Hour Energy.
  1. Your purse has several bottles of 5 Hour Energy.
  1. Your desk drawer has several bottles of 5 Hour Energy.
  1. You are moodier than a teenage drama queen who just found out that her BFF slept with her boyfriend.
  1. You no longer call your kids or coworkers by the right name anymore.  You know their name, its right on the tip of your tongue, but you can’t get it out. You finally settle on just saying, “Hey you.”
  1. All your clothes are getting tight because of the extra food you consume to over compensate for your lack of energy.
  1. You walk into a room and immediately forget why you went in there.
  1. Commercials and certain songs suddenly make you bust out into tears.
  1. While cooking dinner or folding laundry you feel so exhausted you start crying.
  1. You have stopped answering your phone because you are in no mood to deal with actual people.  If it is really important they can just text you.
  1. You are tempted to smother your husband with a pillow when he starts snoring in the middle of the night.
  1. You have memorized all the squeaky spots on the floor when you finally give up and go to sleep on the sofa so at least you won’t wake the children.
  1. Your every thought, fantasy, and day dream is about running away to a hotel for a couple of days just to sleep without interruption for as long as you  want.

If you or someone you know are suffering from five or more of these symptoms it is highly advised mass quantities of wine are drunken immediately and the sufferer be allowed to pass out for at least eight solid hours.  This recovery process may need to be repeated for several nights in a row.

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