My Current Mindworm {A Semi-Regular Series} : Ain’t It Fun (Paramore)

Paramore, Ain' It Fun, living in the real world, the real world, happy music

love this song!

Every time I hear it I get happy. It’s a perfectly catchy pop song with just the right amount of sass. LOVE!

The video is pretty interesting, too. Check out all the ridiculous world records Paramore broke while filming it. Isn’t that hilarious? There’s bonus footage of each record being broken. You have to see it to believe it. Silly! (And you know I love me some silly!)

I am also sharing this right this minute because I am thinking about my friend Sarah (HI SARAH!) who is diving into the (so-called) real world today. GO, mamma! Go!

You got this!

I hope this makes you smile. Then I hope it goes into regular rotation on your Happy Music playlist because it totally is happy music. Right?

I think so!

Do you have a Happy Music playlist?

I definitely have a running list of songs that will always make me smile, giggle, then laugh, burst out into song, and whip up a kitchen dance party like nobody’s business.

Maybe it’s time to add a new tab up there labeled “Happy Music”. What do you think? (Fully aware that music posts don’t bring a lot of traffic. Don’t care. I care to share because I care. If one person is inspired to dance in the kitchen, then yay!)

What’s your mindworm today?

Source

Summer Snack: KISS Edition

white chocolate chocolate dipped strawberries sweet

We just had an awesome and delicious snack and I am not exaggerating one bit when I tell you the kids can make it themselves. I whipped it up this time, but next time they’re on their own. Frankly, it’s just as well. I don’t think I can be trusted all alone with its deliciousness.

Have I piqued your interest? Are you curious? Are you sitting on the edge of your seat?

Well, okay then. I’ll tell you what our scrumptious afternoon snack was today. It was so simple you might just think I am silly for blogging about it. Then again you didn’t think to have this today, did you? Oh ho ho! I’ve got you there, haven’t I?

Okay, okay. Enough with the suspense already!

We had juicy, fresh, local strawberries dipped in white chocolate. Ta daa!

So easy! Right?

Here’s what I did.

Pick or buy fresh local strawberries. Ours were bought, but most definitely local and oh so fresh.

Clean them and remove any that might be iffy or mushy or underripe. Taste test 17 just to be sure.

Get some good quality, white chocolate. Today we used Baker’s, but white chocolate chips, white chocolate melting wafers, white chocolate chunks from your bulk food store, etc., would all work fine.

Break the chocolate into individual squares. Or if using larger blocks chop it up using a serrated edge knife. This will help it melt faster and also will give you a chance to taste test the chocolate to make sure it hasn’t gone bad. It hasn’t. Taste it anyway. You know, just in case.

Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. I used one of my trusty little square dip bowls from President’s Choice. (More on those later. It’s a very short love story.)

Pop the chocolate into the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir gently. You are not trying to whip it up, really, you want smooth, bubble-free, shiny chocolate. Place back in microwave for 10 seconds. Stir. This may be enough time, but if you need more melting time, be sure to use only 10 second intervals because you don’t want the chocolate to seize or burn. That’d be a shame.

Give the chocolate one final gentle stir and place in the centre of a platter.

Fill the platter with your beautiful, clean, fresh, local strawberries and stand back while the wolverines – umm – I mean children dig in!

See?

I bet you’re glad I suggested all that taste testing when you first started this little snack journey, now, aren’t you?

You’re welcome.

Five Fun Facts For Friday February Fifth

writing mother blogger plan SAHM WAHM

Hi!

How are you?

Missed you!

Love you lots!

What’s new?

I have been crazy-busy and I haven’t been managing it very well.

However, I am a smart person and one of my strengths is knowing my limits. That is a very good thing. In the spirit of self preservation I allowed myself to not post here. (I was still posting there, and everywhere else, mind you. What am I crazy?!? Of course I was still posting. You should just go ahead and follow me in all the places that way when stuff happens you will know where to find me. You never know when you might need a little dose of silly and I carry it with me wherever I go. Picture a little jar of glitter or cupcake sprinkles. Yeah. Like that! I am armed and ridiculous. So… find me. We have all the ways to connect. Connect, people!)

December was when my last post went live.

Suddenly that seems very, very, long ago.

Meh.

In the grand scheme of things it’s not.

Anyhoo!

Here I am. Hi! waves

It’s Friday and I am happy and life is good. I have lots to be grateful for and I am really looking forward to the weekend!

This is my Birthday Week and since Monday was kind of a ridiculous day (notice a theme?) we are having a bit of a do-over before next week begins. The plan is to go out for burgers with the Things and then maybe catch a movie. (Ooh! That reminds me. I have to pick up movie admissions at Costco. That is quite the savings, isn’t it? I love Costco.) I know we’ll have fun! Who wouldn’t have fun with M&Ms in the giant bag of popcorn?

All this to say, all’s well. I’ll write more. I will.

I have plans.

So, without further ado, here are Five* Fun Facts For Friday February Fifth!

  1. Once again, for the third (?!?!) time since starting Tempered With Kindness, I have a new blog host. (This, in part, is why I have been reluctant to publish here.)
  2. It is Black History Month and there is a new Heritage Minute featuring none other than Nova Scotia’s own Viola Desmond. You learned all about her here, remember? Check out the new Heritage Minute here.
  3. I still do not have my 2016 Mom CPU! Oy. Not good. I cannot find one anywhere. Someone suggested ordering one online in January and that seemed silly because how long would it take to arrive, blah, blah, blah… it’s just a simple calendar… I’m sure I’ll be able to pick one up. How hard can it be to find a big magnetic Mother Word calendar for my fridge?! Well who’s the silly one now?! Derp. You all must have the exact calendar I want because there are exactly ZERO in my orbit. harumphs
  4. I have once again resurrected my CD collection and this time I am on a mission to keep them in my space. They need a proper storage solution, mind you, and I am accepting suggestions on this front. Do you have a CD collection? How do you keep them? Are they out of sight, out of mind or welcome in your world?
  5. I was featured in a BuzzFeedNews listicle (Great word, Joe!) and I almost died laughing about it. You can check it out here and in 14-16 months you are welcome to come shopping with me at Halifax’s new IKEA and we can BUY ALL THE FLEUFEGNUUGEN! Deal?

Thanks for reading and sharing and engaging. You are all my favourite!

Happy Friday!

Have you read any fun facts lately? Have any to share? Feel free to leave a fun fact in the comments. I will respond to every single one with another fun fact. We will all be so smart by the end of these shenanigans!

*Bonus fun fact: I love Frente! (The exclamation point is part of their name. What’s not to love?) Best Bizarre Love Triangle cover ever.

**Extra bonus fun fact: That first fact up there just will not format properly and I want to throw a tantrum. I am going to hit publish instead. Grr! shakes fist in technology’s general direction

Thankful Thursday: Bloggy Goodness Edition!

time to blog

Oh gee! Is that the time?

Whoopsiedoodle!

Normally, I might ask, “How did this happen?” or wax poetic about the day getting away from me, but you know what? Thursday was a bit kooky and I know exactly how this happened and where my time went.

Today was a very weird day. It felt at once like a Friday (Yay!) and a Monday (Boo!). That is simply not a good feeling for tired parent brains.

We had the day off yesterday for Remembrance Day and tomorrow is an Assessment and Evaluation day for teachers, so for the second time this week the Things don’t have school.

Thursday was just a weird day from beginning to end.

The chaos of the morning took its toll and I decided it was better for my kids to make their buses happily than it would have been to have a couple of cranky curmudgeons, stressed to the max, running late.

This meant, of course, that Mom’s Delivery Service was going to have to hit the road with lunches, etc.

This also meant that my morning was gone in the blink of an eye.

Oy!

Oh well. That’s life as a parent. It’s a constant pull between enabling and teaching.

Is this the right time for natural consequences?

Am I doing them a disservice by bringing them the things they need?

Will they never remember to hand in those assignments that are in their backpacks?

Should I let them squirm a little wondering if they will have lunch today?

Let me save you some (precious) time.

The answer is no.

No. Natural consequences happen naturally all the time. The chaos of the morning was out of the ordinary today and certainly not the fault of anyone in particular. It wouldn’t have helped to assign blame. It would have added to the tension that was already brewing, though, and no one needed that.

No. I am not doing them a disservice by remaining calm and making sure they get to school on time.

No. One day they will remember all the things they need all on their own. (Though, not perfectly and every single time because they are human just like me. Just like you.) Since today was sandwiched between two “no school” days (and because it is a Fake Friday, the last day of the week) it was also the last day of the term and therefore the last day to hand in assignments and have them count towards this term’s grades. No brainer! If you understood executive function, you’d see things (Things!) my way. (Perhaps a post is in order.)

No. No. That’s just mean. I don’t want them to worry that they won’t be fed. Who would want that? No one, right? I hope no one would want that. Life is stressful enough without tossing fear of food security in the mix. No. Just no.

All this to say, I thought maybe I would share some of my favourite parenting blog posts here tonight instead of writing very much myself. (Oops! Too late!) Sometimes the best cure for wondering and worrying about whether or not you are doing the right thing, is to read what other people are doing. Sometimes it makes you think. Sometimes it makes you laugh. Sometimes it makes you cringe. Sometimes it simply takes your mind off of your own private little internal conflicts long enough for you to realize there’s nothing to worry about at all.

So without further ado, I give you 5 blog posts I really appreciate.

First there was this gem from Yummy Mummy Club which made me laugh out loud, lament my own, ever present, Mt. Laundry, and then think, ‘Heeeeyyyy! She’s onto something!’

Next up this touching post from Curtains Are Open that highlights the, seemingly, crazy lengths great Moms will go to for their kids (and everyone else’s, apparently!) and the beautiful outcomes that can happen when you do.

Have you been spending too much time with your iThing and not enough time with your eyes on your Things? Maybe we should all consider this post from Mommy’s Weird a litmus test. We have the power to unplug. We do!

If you feel a sudden and acute lack of confidence about how you are raising your girls, at any time, please read this truly excellent post from Yummy Mummy Club. It’s all about the honesty. You’ve got this.

Finally, I enjoy so much over at Schmutzie.com so often, I would be remiss to not include it here. I especially appreciate Grace In Small Things because well, I really do appreciate grace in small things. Who doesn’t? Go read. You will not regret it.

So there you have it.

I am tired.

It’s so late.

I have so much to get done tomorrow.

Tomorrow will take care of itself, right?

First, this tired Mamma needs some serious zeds.

How was your Thursday?

Source

Three Things I’m Thankful For On This Thankful Thursday

In pictures.

So that’s, let’s see … carry the one … like, 3000 words, right?

Cool!

One and Two.

img_2147

(Well, Two and One, if we are being specific.)

Three.

img_9326

(and me!)

Also, this sunflower.

img_9224

Because sunflowers!

What are you thankful for on this Thankful Thursday?

 

Everyone Needs To Know

Sorry Shania.

It’s been a long time and the whole “no one needs to know” thing worked for nearly 20 years, but the time has come.

The jig is up.

Everyone needs to know what a sweetheart my husband is.

EVERYONE!

We have weathered a number of storms and we even had a few close calls with actual tornadoes when we lived in Austin, Texas (Stay weird, y’all! It’s so beautiful on you.), but we have been together for almost 20 years and even though we both would like to change approximately one million things about each other on a daily basis (as every married couple will NOT tell you – Hah! Hi! Have you met me? We tell the truth ’round here. All you have to do is ask or not ask, as it were.) we wouldn’t change a single thing.

On our first date we went to the movies to see “Twister”. Yup.

I own a copy on Blu-ray. OH YES I DO!

You want proof?

No problem.

Ta daa!

Twister w/ Blue Sky

See? (Also, please look at that gorgeous blue sky! That is happening in real life right now in Bedford, Nova Scotia. I am so thankful. We were beginning to forget what blue sky looked like ’round here. Hopefully this is the start of summer v. 2.0 because v. 1.0 has been a doozie thus far. Time to upgrade!)

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes! First dates. This was ours and though to some people it might seem like a really bad omen to go to a disaster movie about a divorcing couple on a first date – and furthermore to move to a city in a state where actual tornadoes happen – clearly we fear nothing, because it’s been great!

Twister will always have a very special place in my heart.

Consider this song. We did almost nothing in it in the traditional sense of having the “whole darn thing”, but we have a little girl, a little boy, a tall, dark (haired), handsome man and we are all still busy making big plans. We have thus far survived the storms of life – though we almost never go chasing them on purpose – and we are happy.

What more could we possibly want?

Okay. Okay. Maybe, if you are pressing, we would all love a little Benji (or Lassie, or Corky, or WishBone, or Murray) to call LeRoy, but on that point, no one needs to know right now.

 

Fine Tuning Thursday

Happy Thursday!

I have a bunch of blogs to write, find and organize photos for, edit, agonize over, contemplate deleting forever, talk myself down, and post.

I am hitting a few little roadblocks, so I thought I’d pop in here for just a minute and post something super-fast that is enjoyable, makes me happy and has the added benefit of sharing my current mindworm with my tens of readers.

Isn’t that kind of me?

I know. I know.

What can I say?

I’m a giver.

I hope this sticks in your brain as it has stuck in mine.

You get bonus points if you know the words and sing them out loud.

Oh!! It’s better than I expected!

The reason I love this song so much is that it has such an ’80s feel about it and well I was right! It wasn’t my imagination.

It’s SO ’80s**!

Now I love it more!

Forget singing, you guys! Shut up and dance with me!

 

 

*Did you catch that rad homage to Nik Kershaw! Love!

 

 

 

 

Considering Casseroles.

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something … Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity.*

 

Breakfast for dinner casserole.

 

Can a casserole be considered creative?

I say, if it renders everyone a) speechless or b) leaves them only able to mutter “mms” and other yummy sounds, it can be!

 

This is such a casserole.

Simple ingredients, easily thrown together at the end of a long and busy day, that results in yummy noises and a happy, full, family.

Easy-peasy!

 

Here are the things I connected:

EVOO

Frozen Hashbrowns (the little diced ones)(I’m sure the shredded ones would work, too.)

Dehydrated Onion Flakes

S & P

Eggs

Onion Powder

Cream

Grated Cheddar (I used a pre-shredded three cheese blend)

1 Roma tomato (seeded and diced)

1 Red pepper (also seeded and diced)

Sausages (cooked) (I used a Gluten Free brand called Cavicchis’ Meats)

 

Here is how I connected them:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Into a 9 x 13 pan (I use a glass one) add about a table spoon of olive oil and coat the bottom and sides. (I have a teeny silicone brush for this task and it works well.)

Immediately add the frozen hash browns to the pan. (You can use a lot or a little of any of the above ingredients in this recipe, by the way. It’s difficult to get it wrong. Tonight I used an entire 900 g bag because everyone was really hungry.)

Add some freshly ground black pepper and a teensy bit of kosher salt (careful with the salt!).

Sprinkle about a teaspoon of dehydrated onion flakes over the hash browns.

Next, break your eggs (Tonight I used 9, but you can adjust according to your own needs.) and beat them together (with a fork – oh yeah, fancy!) with a bit of pepper and onion powder (trust me..) and cream. You want the consistency you’d be expecting for scrambled eggs, so adjust egg:cream ratio as needed.)

To the beaten eggs, add a cup of cheese (or a handful.. or as much as you’d like.. or need.. or are limited to) and blend.

Add your peppers and tomatoes.

Pour the egg mixture over the hash browns.

Top with the cooked and sliced sausages, spreading the pieces evenly over the casserole.

Don’t be concerned if it seems like the eggs have vanished because they will fluff/rise up nicely while the casserole bakes for the next 30-45 minutes in the middle of your preheated oven.

 

I use my nose and my eyes a lot in my kitchen. When it starts to smell like supper, you’ll know you are almost there.

When the hash browns are browning (Hello! They’re hash browns.) on the bottom of the pan (score one for the see through glass pan!) it’s time to turn the oven off.

The centre should be set. (No jiggly casseroles, please and thank you!)

Allow it to cool a little bit, and while it does, the kids can help set the table, so *everyone* gets to sit down to a scrumptious, simple supper – together.

 

Are you pro casserole or do you prefer your foods stick to their separate quarters on your plate?

Leave a comment and tell me about one of your creations that just works.

Oh, and if you try this let me know what you think of it!

 

 

 

 

*Source: Wired: UK, 2011, Steve Jobs: A Wired Life, reprinted from “The Next Insanely Great Thing” by Gary Wolf, Wired 4.02, February 1996

T.H.U.R.S.D.A.Y. ( Thankfully, Here. Up. Ready. Start Day. Awesome! Yay!)

b178c9bf20eec5b4bb981a019b1b45c6

 

This is day four of a week long challenge to myself to write and post something every single day for a week*. So far, so good!

Following through. Hmm! I think I am onto something here, people!

Yesterday I vowed to sit less and today I sat less. Yay, me!

I thought a surefire way to sit less was to also vow to get on a treadmill and walk a good walk.

I haven’t been exercising regularly at all, all summer, except for the usual summer stuff like playing at the park and swimming and does it ever show. Not just in the way I look (ugh!), but also in the way I feel. I haven’t been very energetic and that doesn’t feel very good.

I am usually a pretty perky Peady. Positive (borderline Pollyanna**) outlook. Cheerful. Happy. Even keeled.

What I notice most about skipping the daily walk or Zumba or Yoga, even, is that I have had that yucky, anxious, feeling a lot more. Not good.

It certainly didn’t help that summer started off with some pretty sad news and that the world went crazy all summer. However, there’s no denying the science that tells me if I move more everything will be better. So, since I am a fan of science, I have decided that the time has come for me to jump back in with both feet (even if they are being especially stOOpid these days) and make myself feel better.

Being a control freak, I enjoy the idea that I am in charge, here. So, I am just going to go with that for now.

About that jumping in with both feet… I may or may not have signed up for a thing*** at a place with the stuff.

Maybe. Who’s to say? It’s a mystery, really.

 

I tied my sneakers (the hardest part of working out.. or so I have heard) and grabbed my water and hit the treadmill. The plan was to walk 20 minutes. No pressure. Just do it.

Well, I felt better than I expected and so I kept speeding up the ‘mill. That’s good because then, of course, I can go further in a shorter period of time and ultimately it will not be getting dark by the time I finish the thing at the place with the stuff. *thumbs up*

The 20 minute mark came and went (W00t!) and I kept going.

Then all of a sudden, just past the 25 minute mark the treadmill stopped. OUCH! What the heck?!?

It could have been really bad. It wasn’t. Thank goodness.

If cameras had been running you could be reading the blog of the next YouTube sensation. Mishaps like this one are the fodder of viral videos!

I am just happy that I am not hurt. I can’t figure out why the silly treadmill stopped, but I took my surviving this ridiculousness as a sign that maybe it was time to stop for today.

Thanks Universe!

I’ll be back!

 

 

*Is a week 7 days or 5? Is this a week week or a work week? I don’t get paid, so is this even work? Oh! So many questions! Tell you what. You tell me if this week is 5 days or 7 days and I will oblige. Yes. This is a limited time offer for you to be the boss of me. Don’t get used to it. Control freak, remember? It may never happen again. Go ahead and leave a comment. I’ll follow through. We both know I can!

**Lies! All lies! I am so far past the borderline I have started my own Pollyanna Parliament!

***A 5k run/walk (WALK!). Crazy? Oh, yes. Yes, I am!

****Find Snoopy here: http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/b1/78/c9/b178c9bf20eec5b4bb981a019b1b45c6.jpg

Thursday Thought Explosion (or Please Excuse Me While I Tidy Up My Brain)

IMG_1757

Achievement unlocked. Thing 2’s very first ride on an actual roller coaster. Pure joy!

Let me start by saying that I know it is no longer Thursday.

My brain was messier than imagined and so Thursday turned into Friday (as it does) and July turned into August, too. Where on Earth is summer going and why must it go so quickly? Can’t it just learn to linger longer? I really wish it would just learn to chill out and laze around, so that we all could follow suit.

Oh well, since that’s not happening anytime soon, I better just keep on moving forward, right? I mean it beats the heck out of the alternative.

Onward, we go!

This summer has been a bit of a roller coaster. We have had a lot of ups and downs and so far, thankfully, the ups are out numbering the downs (Although, to be fair, the downs have been doozies!). Is there an actual roller coaster in the world that ends on an up? I’d like that! Most of them end on downs, don’t they? Is life like that? I am not sure, but I suspect it’s very likely. It seems inevitable to have a down just when you do not want one.

I like this roller coaster as life metaphor, so before I go and ruin it for myself forever with all this waxing philosophical about ending with a down, I’m moving on.

Suffice it to say, life is like a roller coaster. Enjoy the ride or freak out and be paralyzed with fear. It matters not. The ride isn’t over until your time is up, but I can guarantee that you will be a lot happier – and maybe even have some fun – if you at least open yourself up to the concept of sitting back and taking those ups and downs as they come and learning to enjoy the ride. Life is short. So, too, are the ups and downs. We just don’t always see that clearly as we are being flung around the curves in the track.

I have a lot more to say. I have some terrific adventures to share and some wonderful photos from those adventures, but I think for right now, I’ll just leave this here.

I have a big surprise for Thing 1 & Thing 2 this morning. It’s time to go get ourselves a wonderful up!