5 things you didn't ask about

I'm going to tell you five things about me that you didn't even ask.
Because everyone and their mom is doing it on Instagram.
But no one, and I mean not a single person is tagging me.
I felt left out.
Until last night when one of my favorite bloggers took action.
She hadn't been tagged either so she decided to blog her five things instead.
Then open it up for a link up.
That's why I love Bonnie.
She's the poo.
gratuitous selfie where I attempt to look interesting and lovely.
In reality I'm sitting in front of a window ignoring my kids for the perfect shot.
5 things you didn't ask about me but I'm going to tell you anyway.
I'm an only child.
I have my degree in retailing, but I'm a stay at home mom for now.
I still have this desire to go to school for a political science degree.
This only happens during election years.
I love to bake things I can't eat.  Like cupcakes and cakes.
I'm sugar and grain free, so I just bake out my eating fantasies.
four and a half
I have eating fantasies.  Where I eat hamburgers and fries, chocolate cake,
or ice cream.  Since I can't have those things in real life.
I couldn't stand the hubbs when I met him.  Like not at all.
I thought he was a douche.  It lasted a full 36 hours before I realized
it was love at first sight.  Obsessive, passionate, tumultuous love.
If you get the chance go visit Bonnie and link up!  You can read her 5 things and others.
Is there anything you'd like me to elaborate on?
Thanks for the link up Bonnie!

This too shall pass {perspective}

I've been having some rough mommy moments lately.
The ones where I lose my temper.
The ones where I'm not thankful for a thing.
The really horrible ones where I ship the girls off to my mothers and
become one with the couch,
DVR in rotation, or my nose in a book.
Shutting the rest of the world out.
Not letting anyone in.
I've thrown a few tantrums.
I've cried a few tears.
I've yelled more times than I'd like to admit.
Then I took a look at the reasons.
A two year old who won't sleep.
A five year old who hates sight words.
Potty training with a cart full of groceries.
All things that are in my mothering life now.
All things that will be distant memories very soon.
The other day I drove home from Kindergarten pick up
and forgot to harness Mac in her seat.
She was nice enough to tell me about a block from home.
Can I just say thank Jesus we live 3 minutes from school,
and on that day he was definitely on my side?
I freaked!
I had a laugh about it with another mom at Kindergarten the next day.
We laughed because we have all done something like that.
It's easy to forget the most basic things when you are overwhelmed or stressed.
I told her about the time I locked my keys in the car, while running late for Caitlin's doctors appointment.  I was just lucky Caitlin wasn't in the car too!
She shared some of her mommy moments too and then she said something that got me:
This too shall pass.
She's right.
The stress, the harnessed car seats, the cart full of groceries
while your potty training 2 year old announces to the good people in
Von's that she indeed has to "POOP!!!",
it will all pass.
Diapers are already a distant memory in this house. 
Just like the pacifiers before them, and the baby bottles of formula before them.
It will all pass.
I got a dose of much needed perspective from Summer last week too. 
I was stuck in a mood after two sleepless nights with a two year old. 
Summer having similar issues, wrote her own post about a night waking child. 
She mentioned a recent pin on pinterest that said 
no one remembers the nights where they got great sleep
Her post was totally spot on, about enjoying where you are right now.
Enjoying those little ones who will soon be big ones.
The part that got me was what she said about the humility of having
two little people in your life. 
The fact that they are yours,
and you are lucky enough to actually lose sleep over them,
or with them, or because of them. 
Her post was exactly what I needed. 
Not just for my sanity, but as a reminder at how truly blessed I am,
even when it feels like I got hit by the bus that is motherhood.
Diapers and wipes.
Potty chairs and pull ups.
Sight words and tantrums.
Kids in your bed.
Baby feet to kiss.
Toddlers to cuddle.
First giggles.
That new baby smell.
All of it, will pass, and sadly all too soon.
I'll try to keep some perspective the next time I'm sleepless in mommyland.
Don't forget that this giveaway is still open!

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It's that time of the month (no not that one!}

It's that time of the month!
It's time for my January sponsors to give you free shiz.
Your welcome in advance.
As a side note, my ad shop will be changing February 1st.  I'm downsizing y'all because I'll be returning to the workforce sometime in February... Yes... I'm going to work.  I'll be returning to the IRS for my seasonal job.  I have nothing to do with with holdings or tax laws, so don't shoot the messenger.  What I will be doing is entering tax returns so folks can get their money.  What that means for my family is some extra cushion financially. 
To be honest here, we need it.  Like yesterday. 
What that means for the blog is less time to write, feature, set up rafflecopters and the like.  The good news is, this tax gig is seasonal... So I'll be back to blogging full time in a few short months.  The bad news, posts may be few and far between.  My goal is to have three posts a week.  The reality is that it may be just one.  Hang in there.  I'll be back I promise.  And you can always catch me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook
If you miss me.
Now for my ad shop...
1Featured Ads at 5 bucks a pop.
5 "featured" swaps (first come first serve)
2 Medium Ads for 2 bucks!
10 buddy swaps (which are free using FREE4U).
Check out my ad page for details.
Now let's give a hand to my January sponsors for hanging out in my side bar.
They are offering you some sweet swag.
Like $20 to Target?
Say What?
 You know what to do.

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Lazy Toms {why I haven't blogged in days}

I have to keep reminding myself that the blog will be there tomorrow.
Lately I find that I get super stressed or pressured if I don't post Monday through Friday.
Then I have to remind myself that this blog will be there.
Tomorrow, the next day, and the day after that.
And if I continually sit in front of the screen, I'm not going to have much to write about.
I haven't written a word since last Thursday.
Sometimes silence is golden.
Sometimes silence is needed.
Sometimes silence feels pretty damn good.
Me and my lazy Toms yesterday.
I had planned on blogging for most of Sunday.
Then we decided to take a trip to see my in laws in Tulare.
And do a little outlet shopping.
It was a day well spent with family.
We completed two "100 Days" projects.
This one is mine.
Some of my IG friends asked what this was all about.
It's to commemorate the 100th day of school.
Caitlin originally asked for 100 cupcakes, then 100 cake pops.
We settled on 100 lollies.
Got the inspiration here via Pinterest.
This gal is getting to big for her britches.
These are clothes from our cousin Charlie.
Thank the Lord for hand me downs that look brand new!
You want to know who else is too big for their britches?
This girl.
This is her at almost Midnight last Monday night after a late nap.
All sass and duck face.
Let's just say this late nap/late nights snowballed into a sleepless week.
Which means I had quite a week myself: including bad moods, outbursts and tantrums.
Oh, Mac didn't do any of those... I did.
This is me.
Mixing prints and then making sure my gals on IG approved.
I'm so glad I went out on a fashion limb.
Friday we spent a little time in the ER.
Mac fell flat on her face after running on hardwood in socks.
I have to say that she is my kid that falls and goes splat.
This time she wasn't herself as quickly as I would like.
Thankfully we were in and out in an hour.
We shall see if we caught any other diseases from waiting in an ER.
And yes she was fine.
Here's your proof.
She found my heels on Saturday morning.
She's working those heels, am I right?
I'm thinking Sunday is the perfect day for lazy Toms, impromptu trips with the family,
and remembering that the bloggy will always wait for your return.
Your kids and family on the other hand may not...

Meat Cupcakes {Meatloaf Muffins}

This was the ploy to my children.  That it was indeed a cupcake, just of the meat variety.  One tried it, the other not so much.  So this weeks Resolution in Motion is a half success.
I'm really trying to get my kids to eat a variety of foods.  I'm tired of them wanting the old stand by of chicken nuggets and chicken nuggets.  So why not put something in a muffin pan?  I'm convinced that when you put something in a muffin pan or cup cake liner, your kids will agree to try it.  It has to be something about cupcakes and miniatures.  Kids go crazy for both.
I found this meatloaf recipe on Pinterest, and with 4 ingredients I just knew it was a match made in kitchen novice heaven.  I'm not good with bread crumbs (I forget to buy them), or the torn day old bread (what does that even mean).  So when I saw that this was a box of stuffing I was sold on the idea.  Just four ingredients, a muffin tin, and 35 minutes to perfection.
Pinned Image
The original recipe says nothing of a muffin tin.  That was my idea.  I also used turkey as the entire house is on a mission to eat better.  Baby steps right.  Caitlin didn't want to try them at first because I added a sauce to the top.  The sauce I used is from The Gluten-free Gourmet Cooks Fast and Healthy.  It's 1/4 cup ketchup; 2 tsp. brown sugar; 1/2 tsp mustard: mix and pour over the top.  John and I love the glaze.  Caitlin not so much.  No big.  I promised next time I'll leave the sauce on the side.  Also this recipe is NOT GF, just the glaze.  If you are looking for a GF meatloaf, leave me your email in the comments and I'll happily share.
Not a bad dinner when served with Mac and Cheese, steamed broccoli, and slice apples.
Recipes for Resolution in motion are now going to be a Sunday thing.
That way I can link up with my gal Kristine.
Check out her Sunday Funday linkup and link up!

Some crying, The bitch, and my wardrobe {Mommy-Brain Mixer}

Let's talk about these last few days.  They haven't been the best in mommyland for me.  I've been exhausted.  I've had littles that don't want to sleep.  My brain won't shut off.  A nagging feeling that I'm not doing enough.  Also some new year's goals that aren't taking off like I wanted them too.  I have started couch to 5k again, so that's a bright spot.  Bright spot if you mean that I hate running until I'm actually doing it.  This post may seem scattered... But so am I.  It's the lack of sleep.  Currently I write this with yesterday's made up face, 2 day old slept in yoga pants, and hair past it's shampoo date.  It's a glamorous life I lead...
Some Crying
I let Mac scream it out last night in an effort to get her to sleep.  The child is almost three, so the idea that this is insane isn't lost on me.  Let's talk about the fact that she actually can open her own door, so letting her cry it out, is now off the table.  The kid will not nap when she needs too, then on her own accord falls asleep in random places, at random times (say 6:30 pm), then wakes two hours later fully refreshed and ready to tackle the night life.  I'm too old for this kind of crap.  God help me. 
The Bitch
That would be me.  Last night.  I threw a tantrum that trumped Mac's.  I was angry that another night had been manipulated by a 2 year old.  That my night was going to be spent on a now defunct bedtime routine.  That it was another slap to my cheek at how I've failed my child... Ok, that last one is a bit too dramatic even for me.  We did our bath, book, bed routine, but Mac just couldn't abide by it.  After staying up the night before with her until 1 am as a result of a late nap, I was done.  DONE.  So I threw a fit of my own.  Because I wanted to write a post that needed to be written all day (blogger problems, am I right?).  Because I wanted to watch the Mindy Project and Cougar Town.  Because I wanted to have just one conversation with the hubbs.  None of the above happened.  And since I yelled at Mac, the hubbs, and threw a fit, I wrestled with guilt until the wee hours when I could finally relax.  Vicious spiral of guilt.
My Wardrobe
This is what is happening on my fashion front.  I thought I'd throw this in just for fun, and since it's the Mommy-Brain Mixer day, you may be meeting me for the first time.  I don't dress like this everyday.  Most days I'm in yoga pants.  And just to be clear, I steal all my ideas from the fabulous pinners on Pinterest.

New shirt from Target with an obvious crease across the boobs.
This is why this will never be a fashion blog.
And yes that's my bathroom.
Selfie after a 2 am bedtime and 6 am wake up call.
Call me crazy.
I posted this on instagram and my peeps were too kind
in saying I looked great.
It's the sunnies people.
They hide the steam trunks under the eyes.
Me in my playoff game rally shirt.
The Niners were down, and we needed some points.
My dad suggested we turn our shirts inside out.
It's only crazy if it doesn't work, right?
Also not pictured: rally Toms.
Now it's time to meet Jelli and the other mommies joining in the festivities.
Join us and link up your mommy brain posts.
We like the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Especially me, so I know, I'm not the only one fumbling the mothering ball.

mbmixerban Welcome to the Mommy-Brain Mixer! So happy you're here.

One of our favorite things to do is to share stories about motherhood and our littles.

At the Mommy-Brain Mixer, we invite your to share about anything and everything motherhood or little people related.

This is a perfect place to find great blogs to follow, make wonderful new blog friends, and enjoy entertaining reads!
Mommy MUSTS:
  1. Follow our lovely co-hosts: Elise, Megan, and Becky.
  2. Link up your mommy post, not your homepage.
  3. Visit at least the two links ahead of you & leave comment love.
Optional, but appreciated:

  • Follow your hosts, Jelli and Cassie
  • Who said all #mommy blogs are the same? Be inspired & find remarkable reads at the Mommy-Brain Mixer. –>> Tweet this!
  • Link back to the party by adding the button or a text link to your blog post.

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If you are interested in co-hosting a Mommy-Brain Mixer, send an email to Jelli at jellibeanjournals@hotmail.com!
Link on up, Ladies!

Kitchen Success/Kitchen Disaster {In the same week}

I've said that this is not a cooking blog.  Now I know it will never be.  In the span of one week, I had a kitchen success and a kitchen disaster.  What makes the disaster worse is that it was in my grandma's kitchen.  During the Niner game on Sunday.  I guess I was really involved in watching the game and not the oven.  More on that later!
The Kitchen Success:
In keeping with my Resolutions in Motion, I made chili two Sunday's ago.  What makes this a true success is that it's 100% grain free. That means that I made something that I could eat, and somthing the hubby liked as well.  Usually when I cook for me it's bland and borning.  Not this chili.  It was perfect for the wintery weather we were having.  The hubbs topped his with cheese and chips.  I ate mine as it, but in the future will try it over a baked potato. This chili is also gluten free, so if you are looking for something that doesn't require a packaged spice mix, this is your lucky day!
I'm going to type the recipe in it's entirety here, but then I will tell you what I did or didn't do.  Like I didn't cut any onions.  I haven't got over that fear just yet.  Also I didn't let this chili simmer for the designated 2 hours.  One, ain't nobody got time for that, and two, I failed to read the recipe all the way through.  We were hungry.  I'll explain later.
Vickie's Kick-It-Right Chili
Family Circle Magazine 2009
2 TBL olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1 onion peeled and chopped
1 green pepper finely chopped
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 can (15.5oz) red kidney beans drained and rinsed
1 can (15.5 oz) black beans drained and rinsed
1 can (14.5oz) stewed tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup honey
1 TBL chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp hot sauce
In a large Dutch oven, heath the oil over medium high heat.  Add the ground beef and break it up with a spoon.  Cook for 5 minutes or until browned.  Add the onion, green pepper and garlic cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft.  Add the beans, tomatoes, 1 cup water, the tomato paste, honey, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and hot sauce.  Simmer, covered, for 2 hours on medium low heat.  Stir occasionally.  Serve with your favorite chili toppings.
It was totally easy.  I used ground turkey instead of ground beef.  I made it even easier by omitting the chopped green pepper and chopped onion and garlic.  Instead I used dried spices like minced garlic and minced onion by McCormick.  I also omitted the hot sauce all together since I'm not big on hot sauce, and I took the chili powder down to one TEASPOON.  Finally I traded black beans for pintos, because I prefer pintos.  I promise it was totally easy, so easy in fact that I'm going to do it all over again this weekend. 
Now for my recipe disaster:
Pinned Image
The Cheddar Bacon Pull Apart.  It's lovely and fatty and perfect for football watching.  Since the 49ers were in the playoffs and we are and always have been die hard 49er fans, this was perfect.  It was easy to put together, easy as slicing bread.  So I put it together with plans to cook it at my grandma's house.  Cook it being the key words here.  What I did do was BURN the bread and almost BURN her house down.  Embarrassed?  Absolutely.  To say I burned it, it putting it lightly.  I torched it.  The top was black, like charred.  The funny thing is, when the charred part was scrapped off, my family ate every last bite of this bread.  Moral of the story:  Don't broil a fatty, cheesy bread bowl, while watching your team in a playoff game.  I'm planning on making this for Super Bowl.  This time ahead of kick off so I don't burn the house down.
This is the 2nd recipe for Resolutions in Motion.
For more info visit Megan's blog.

Blogger Fail. Mom Fail. Done.

I've been trying to blog all day.
Real life had some other plans.
Usually this is not a problem for me.
I'll just go with the flow.
Today was a different story.
Mac pulled an all nighter last night.
Then decided to take a close to 3 hour nap late this afternoon.
Which means she just went back to bed.
Late nights for Mac mean late nights for mom.
And early mornings for Caitlin mean early mornings for Mom.
A one am bedtime is not ok when you have a six am wake up call.
Plus today was my school volunteer day.
I totally sucked at today.
I was tired.
I was grouchy.
I was bitchy.
I thought I kept it together really well.
I even tried out a new recipe on the family.
I even started the post I was trying to do all day.
Then bed time happened.
And mommy lost herself for a moment.
Because someone didn't want to go to bed.
And mommy wanted to finish her post.
Tantrums were thrown.
By an adult (me) and a child (Mac).
I may or may not have tried a "scream it out" method.
The whole house is asleep now.
Except for me.
Who is not all that inspired to write her original post.
That was supposed to be witty and sharp.
Now, I'm just exhausted.
Physically and emotionally.
And of course I feel guilty.
Instead I think I'll watch the Mindy Project and Cougar Town.
Because I need a really good laugh.
Again I will not go to bed at a decent time.
I can never sleep when I'm in a guilt spiral.
Can you?
You can still win $50 to Shabby Apple.
A winner will be chosen on Thursday.

Living the Dream {Life Lately}

After the week we had last week, I'm so thankful for a day off.  A day with no school, a day with no plans.  But an awesome blogger I just connected with via Instagram, reminded me that today is a day of remembrance too.  Today is Martin Luther King Jr day.  A day off to remember a man with a dream, who's dream was not unlike many of our own.  A dream for making a life for our children greater than our own, a dream for equality, a dream for peace and understanding.  I'm beyond blessed to be living that dream, in my own way.  When I was setting up the pictures to share in this post, it struck me how blessed I really am in the ordinary occurrences in life.  How the moments are not always momentous, but just as important to our hearts.  On a day like today, that calls for remembering a man with a dream, we should all take stock in our own dreams.  They may not have come to fruition as we had planned, but they are our own.  And today, like many days before, and the days that will come next, I'm living the dream.
A happy girl in Daddy's arms.
The bloggy turned two.
Chilly weather brought ice on the car, which the girls coined "sparkles".
Silver linings right?
Target crushed my dreams of a Pinterest Valentine's Day.
Caitlin's teacher used her writing journal as an example to the class.
To say it was a proud mama moment is an understatement.
Caitlin stopping Daddy from blowing out birthday candles before it was time.
Mac killing her ice cream cup.
Volunteering on Friday's at school means lots of time with this girl.
And of course selfies for Instagram.
Bathtub Mohawks are the best.
Mama and baby boots on a random Tuesday just because.
Let's link up!

Not to Shabby {Shabby Apple Giveaway}

Absolute Mommy is 2 today!
I can't believe it, can you believe it?
To celebrate I want to treat you to some Shabby Apple.
Yes, Shabby Apple.

Shabby Apple Fan Favorites

I have admired these dresses from afar for a long time.
Can you blame me?
I even won one in a giveaway from this lovely lass, last year.
But for me the frumpy stay at home mom, what am I going to wear that too?
Does it matter?
Beautiful clothes make beautiful people!!
You may be thinking, I've been to their site.  The dresses are great but just not me.  Well I beg to differ.  As an avid Mad Men fan for seasons, I can't deny that I need some retro stripes in my life.  Are you kidding me, with this cool cat Americana? 
Crisp navy and white stripes and red detailing make this frock perfect for a day at the courts or a summer barbeque.  A mock turtleneck, cap sleeves and pleating at the waist complete the look.  All these details converge with a crisp, woven cotton fabric with a hint of stretch for maximum comfort.
Raquet Club
What about a maxi to live in for spring and summer?  Or something a little casual  to romp around the beach?   Are you playful in a retro skirt?  Are you glamorous in vintage princess seams?  Are you a lady in a vintage lace?  Are you daring in retro tulle?  With a $50 gift card only you can decide.
Don't forget, Shabby Apple isn't just about fantastic retro and vintage dresses.  You may think that you don't need a 50s inspired shirt dress... Because what you may need are platforms that will bring a tear to your eye.  Perhaps boots for this continuously cold winter.  Pumps to vamp it up on Valentine's Day.  Shoes, ladies... Lots and lots of dreamy shoes.  How could you ever look away from a shoe who's name is Charm School?
Still not convinced that this giveaway is for you? 
How about some posh accessories like these necklaces to die for. 
Shabby Apple really has something for everyone.  Even in the chill of this frosty January, I'm thinking I'm going to need some Vintage Swimwear in my life this summer.
So what do you think?  Did I change your mind about Shabby Apple? 
Or have you had a long and sorted love affair with them for awhile now? 
 Either way, it's time to get your hands on something chic.
Up for Grabs:  $50 Shabby Apple Giveaway
To enter we are doing this the Vintage way:
Mandatory Entries:
Visit Shabby Apple and pick a favorite dress, then come back and tell me about it in the comments.
Like Shabby Apple on Facebook leave a comment that you did.
Extra Entries:
Tweet about this giveaway using the link to this post and tag me.
Share on Facebook.
Share on Instagram tagging both me and Shabby Apple, also use the hashtag:
Come back and leave one comment for each extra entry.
Of course if you can't wait, you can go visit Shabby Apple now and get 10% off using the code:

Dear Blog, Happy Birthday {Friday Letters}

Pinned Image
source / pin
Dear Bloggy,
You turn 2 tomorrow!
I know, it's unreal, the time flew by.
I love the way you have evolved.
You make me the happiest I have been in years.
Even if you don't generate a cent, you generate ideas.
Ideas that help me find the greater meaning.
Thank you.
The more time I spend with you the better I am.
Dear Bloggy Friends,
You keep me fashionable.
You keep me grounded in whats important.
You keep me faithful.
You keep me in stitches with #scenesfromyourlife.
You keep me obsessed with things to love, like John Cusak.
You keep me wishing we were neighbors.
There are too many of you to talk about, but just know,
in the last year the bloggy friendships and connections I have made,
are priceless in my eyes.
We may have never met, but with every comment, tweet, and post,
I feel a virtual hug every time.
Thank you for making the last year incredible.
Dear "big" bloggers,
I'm not going to name you, but you know who you are.
I doubt you are even reading this now.
It's ok, I don't expect you too.
I just want you to know that I look to you for inspiration.
I look to you for motivation.
And once I looked to you for acceptance.
I was so concerned with eating at the "cool kids" table.
I'm not anymore.
You see I found a "cool kids" table all of my own.
And it while I still read and follow along daily,
I no longer feel I need to be you, blog like you, or emulate you.
Me and the bloggy are happy just the way we are.
I still love you something fierce, and if we ever met,
I would no doubt fall out in the floor or cry uncontrollably.
Dear BF in real life,
Thank you for understanding my crazy.
For listening to my "blogger problems".
For setting me straight about them,
and reminding me why I started this blog in the first place.
I'm so glad I can call you, watch blockbuster movies adapted
from YA novels with you, and get pedis with you.
Your writing inspires me, your wit motivates me, and your
attention to typos on this blog keep me from embarrassing myself.
Dear girls,
Mommy started this blog because of you.
You gave me the courage to put pen to paper.
You gals gave mommy the push she needed.
You two inspire mommy every day.
You taught me that if I could survive the first year of motherhood,
certainly I could do anything.
Dear Readers,
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Your comments make every day, the best day.
The fact that you "follow" along with the "crazy" amazes me.
I appreciate every page view, tweet, comment.
The best complement you can give a writer, of any kind, is feedback.
It's worth more than I could express.
Dear Self,
Well look at you.
Two years in and still haven't started on the main objective.
What on earth are you waiting for.
Get to a blog conference.
Get to a writing conference.
And for God's sake get those ideas into print.
Nothing is stopping you, but YOU.
Let go, and write.
Be sure to come back tomorrow.
I'm hosting a Shabby Apple Giveaway.
Get your retro on!
linking up here: