Archives for March 2013

Thursday Ten: At Least the Sun’s Shining edition

1. I’ve had a rough day pretty much since I woke up – with fifteen minutes to spare to get ready. And on days like today, I’m not entirely fit for public consumption. I’ve had some stuff go wrong that’s left me feeling tender and cranky and emotional. And I hate tender, cranky and emotional. On days like this, I don’t know what I need from people. Do I want people to cheer me up or do I want them to just say, “That REALLY SUCKS!” and let me be down? I dunno. Either way. If you’ve crossed my path today, I’m sorry for getting my feelings on you.

2. So let’s talk about what’s good, shall we? Um… The Princess got straight A’s this term. That pretty much rocks.

3. The sun finally decided to grace us with its presence, and that’s pretty awesome too.

4. I’ve gotten through some pretty crazy obstacles in my life. I’ll keep getting through crazy obstacles. I am one of the strongest women you don’t know that you know. And I have to remind myself of that. Often. That I’m strong. That I’m capable. And that I’m worthy of good things, even if sometimes it seems like life is suggesting otherwise.

5. I was so upset today, I bought a cookie in a coffee shop. A MASS PRODUCED COOKIE. You know I don’t do that…but sometimes you gotta.

6. The girls and I got our pictures taken a few weeks ago, and the prints arrived yesterday. Perhaps if I go frame shopping, it will put a smile on my face to hang one on my wall.

7. The saying goes that you treat people how to treat you – do you think that’s true?

8. This cookie is freaking disgusting. (I’m eating it all.)

9. My dog’s bland food diet is disgusting. I’m feeding him boiled chicken so he won’t get sick but the smell of it makes me sick. It’s a fun trade off. (By fun, I mean: I can’t wait until he can eat his normal food again. Which is funny, because dog food? ALSO SMELLS GROSS.) (Okay. You may have noticed… this isn’t exactly falling into the category of “What’s good”.)

10. Closing this with one of my favorite pictures I’ve taken over the past week. This eventually became part of a yummy dinner, but I love the way these mangoes look together.
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For the love of puppies

The girls started asking for a puppy in the summer of 2010. I say the girls, but it was mostly The Princess running that show. Hell bent on getting a dog, she was. She was so set on getting a dog, that she would cry herself to sleep at night at the thought of not getting one. She would be responsible, she said. Prove it, I said.

There were all kinds of obstacles, the biggest being the fact that I was (and am) allergic to pretty much anything with fur. And so she began to do research. Research that ultimately led to an afternoon in early summer, in a shaded yard not too far from our home, where we sat on one side of a grassy yard, the dogs on the other, and we waited to see which labradoodle would choose us.

This guy did.

And so it came to be that we added a six week old labradoodle puppy to our family. We were fortunate in that he was quick to house train (thank goodness).


Not so fortunate in that after just several weeks in our home, Pumpkin accidentally tripped over the poor little guy, causing a greenstick fracture to his leg.

(All together now: Awwwwwwww…)


Lucky has been a part of our family for nearly three years. Admittedly, though he can be a world class jerkface at times – I adore him. My home feels safer with him in it. In general, he’s a playful and friendly dog. He tolerates the girls using him as a pillow (I’m pretty sure he likes it). He alerts me to people at the door, people walking by, cars within a two mile radius and any and all birds that happen to be flying by.

But sometimes he’s naughty. He likes to eat potholders. Flip flops. Socks. Cloth napkins. Stuffed animals.

Every night before I go to sleep, I do a scan of my counters to make sure that there’s nothing for him to swipe and eat while everyone in the house is sleeping. “Dog, quit eating things that aren’t food!” is a phrase I’ve uttered more times than I can count.

So it should be no surprise that eventually he would eat something that would make him sick.

Monday evening, my poor dog puked excessively and extensively. I have never seen him react like that. At one point, he threw up the plastic nose of a stuffed animal. Was that what set him off? Who knows.

But it went on so long that Lucky earned himself a trip to the after hours veterinary clinic. They did Xrays and kept him overnight and ruled out an obstruction and hours later sent him home with instructions to feed him a bland diet for a few days.

When it comes to my children, I instinctively react in times of stress or emergency.

When it came to my dog, I was clueless. I was glad to have had company at the veterinary clinic, grateful for him, he who could have (should have!) been home sleeping instead of walking me through the maze of animals and emergency (thank you. I am grateful). Do I do the x-rays? Leave him overnight? I didn’t know. When it comes to my kids, I’d have, without question said – Spare no expense, just make her well. Previous work experience in hospitals has given me an understanding of both procedures and what to expect – it makes it easier for me to advocate for their well-being.

When it came to my dog, I felt the same – but didn’t know… What’s necessary? Would they try to upsell me here in the after hours vet clinic? Are these tests necessary or are they just doing them to up my bill?  I kept thinking, “If anything happens to him, my kids will be wrecked.”

And, admittedly, yeah. I was freaking out about the cost of making him well.

Pets are expensive. Dog vomit is expensive.

No obstruction, so no surgery – thank goodness. The vet believes my dog will be fine. Upon hearing the news, a relief washed over me and I knew that despite my fears about spending the money, it was the right thing to do.

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There are other things I could have done with that money, I’m sure. Places I could have gone, lenses I could have bought.

But that’s a dumb game.

I wasn’t going places. I wasn’t buying lenses.

We get a tremendous amount of joy from owning a pet – he’s family. He’s happy to see us. He hovers at our feet in the kitchen when we’re preparing a meal (mooch). He runs to the window when he hears the school bus stopping in front of our house – and then runs to the door to greet my daughters, his people.

And he counts on us to take care of him.

And so we do.

I won’t miss a lens I didn’t have, and we won’t miss a vacation we didn’t know about.

But we’d have missed him. As Pumpkin said this morning, “That other stuff doesn’t matter. He matters.”

And he does.

(But no more stuffed animals for Lucky, because dang… I’d like to go on vacation SOMEDAY.)

Thursday Ten: Not En Route To Dallas Edition

1. Though I left Blissdom early last year because I thought my sister was going to go into labor ANY MINUTE (and then my niece waited TWO MORE WEEKS), it’s still kind of a bummer seeing my friends posting on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook about their travels to Dallas (and a whole ‘nother BioDome). *sniff* The downside to having a lovely group of blogging friends – is that most of us aren’t all in one place and don’t see each other much… so I’m a bit bummed to be missing it.

2. The kids and I had a family portrait done a few weeks ago – the photographer did a lovely job. It’s not her fault that I’m hyper critical of myself. I hate it. I’m trying to look past my perceived flaws and focus on the fact that I’m surrounded by my daughters – and you can see the love and the happy in the photos, despite the fact that I had shoes full of snow. I see all of these things and my eyes lock on them and I can’t unsee them and this is why I do better on the other side of the camera. Because I’m dumb.

3. But on a brighter note, Justin Timberlake’s album came out this week. I haven’t listened to all of it yet, but I love “Mirrors”  – far better than “Suit & Tie.” There’s an ad before this video, but that’s okay, it’s not too obnoxious.

4. Do you Bracket? Y’all know that I’m kind of a BIG FREAKING NERD about my NCAA March Madness Brackets. Don’t make me watch any basketball, but indulge me because I AM COMPETITIVE AS ALL GET OUT and yeah, my bracket is filled out. I, uh, actually have two apps for it on my phone too. (That’s really only because the ESPN Bracket Bound app is just a big old mess and it keeps changing my picks and I can’t have that. Nope. No way.) NERD.

5. Easter is fast approaching and the girls and I have had a chance to check out a few new books. Our favorites for Easter are Easter Bunny on the Loose!: A Seek and Solve Mystery! and Mia: The Easter Egg Chase. Both books are awesome for ages 4 – 8 (Pumpkin loves ’em) and are available on Amazon. Each is under ten bucks (Mia was under $5 – and comes with a fun page of stickers your kiddo can use to decorate the pages of the book.)

6. As the winter weather holds on even though spring is officially “here” – I’m grateful that I remembered about the Nike Training Club app. Tired of my treadmill, my workouts have been boring, lackluster, and frankly? Ineffective. There’s a wide enough variety in NTC workouts to (hopefully) keep me motivated and from getting bored. Goodness knows, I wanna be ready when the weather warms up.

7. So, because I’m a goofball, I’ve started a Flickr set of Other People’s Grocery Lists. You know how sometimes people leave ’em in the cart (lazy litterbugs)? Well, I’mma take pictures and add them to Flickr. And then I’m going to judge them (not really).
Other people's grocery lists, 3.15.13

8. I haven’t made anything from the Kitchen Lens project for quite some time – but! I’m going to! I have all the ingredients. I’m just…too tired when I get home to try something different. But I will.

9. The other day I did the “math” with regards to just how much of the year I spend FREEZING here in Michigan. Damn near half the year it’s cold here. Ugh. Do not like (This is when it’d be awesome to have some weird SEO-friendly relationship with a brand that wanted to send me someplace warm so I could drink umbrella drinks and post pictures on Instagram of my toes in the sand while on some tropical beach. Anyone want to adopt a blogger?).

10. I’m passing on my HGTV fondness to The Princess who particularly gets emotionally involved with trying to guess the outcome of “Love It Or List It.” Man, I remember those days of having to sit through countless hours of Dora the Explorer. Watching HGTV and cupcake shows with my kid? Not bad.

Thursday Ten: Things I Have Learned About Marriage, Life and Myself… While Waiting for the Finalization of My Divorce

Writing a glib, funny, sarcastic Thursday Ten today seemed wrong. Today, my lawyer and I entered a courtroom, I had to take the stand and swear before the court that yes, I wanted my marriage to be over. And now, after waiting. It is. And it’s not something I take lightly. It’s a big deal. For months today was what I’ve been waiting for and now is day one of a new life, and it’s been a weird ride. So, if serious isn’t your thing – step away. I’ll be goofy again next time. I promise.

But for those of you who are sticking around to read…

I’ve learned a lot in this past year. Some of it about marriage, some of it about myself, some just general life stuff (like hey! I’m good at shoveling the driveway). Here are ten things though.

1. We are not, at 30, who we are at 20.

I remember telling my dad and his wife that I was engaged – they weren’t happy. It was 1999, I was 22 (ish?), and I was on my own, had a good job, was paying my own bills – but, I remember them saying they just didn’t believe that anyone under the age of 30 should get married. Of course it made me angry, it seemed unsupportive (well, it WAS unsupportive) but fact of the matter is – they were right. You change a lot between 20 and 30, and you even change in your 30s. Which is fine – that doesn’t mean your marriage is doomed if you marry young, but, it means you have to change with each other. That’s the key. Also? Easier said than done.

2. It’s entirely too easy to get married. Getting divorced, on the other hand…

Over the past six months as I’ve been waiting for my divorce to be finalized, I’ve had the thought several times about those folks who vehemently argue that by enforcing a mandatory waiting period to purchase guns, the government is trying to take their rights away. I’ve not heard a single argument from anyone about the mandatory waiting period to get divorced (in Michigan, if you have kids you’ll be waiting six months). What about my rights to not be married to someone I don’t want to be married to? I’m not seeing any memes on Facebook about THAT (surely we can paste a fake quote over a picture and attribute it to Morgan Freeman, can’t we?). Getting married is a huge deal – it should be more difficult to do. People may disagree with that statement and it’s fine – but that’s my belief. Were it harder to do, maybe some people would be less likely. [I blow my own argument out of the water because I probably still would have gone through with it… but I still think the end process should be less tough with less hoops to jump through.]

3. No matter how big of a pain he might be (or that I might be for that matter) I’m grateful for the time we were together

Because we were together for the time we were together, we have two beautiful and amazing children. Sure, this splitting up part hasn’t been much fun, but I’d go through any of the wretched awful stuff a million times over just to have my children. They’re better than any of the worst stuff. Would I erase my time spent with him? Nope, because without the him and the us, there’d be no them.

4. Things are just things, but…

I really miss my dresser. And I sometimes wish I hadn’t give up this thing or that. I didn’t want to fight over things – I wanted to try to be fair (and he may well argue that I wasn’t, and that’s for him to blog about somewhere else, I suppose). I didn’t want us fighting over the Roy Rogers Wagon Wheel coffee table. But some of that stuff? I miss.

5. Divorce and co-parenting require marriage skills and that’s often why it’s so ugly.

Back in the day, when he and I were in counseling to talk about his son and his son’s troubles and to vent about his son’s mother, our therapist gave us that gem: “Divorce requires marriage skills.” And it does – the compromise and the ability to work together and all that… and if the couple had that, well, would they be divorced (well… yeah – but you get his point, right?). Having to be a team with someone you aren’t really a team with is hard. I get that now in a way I didn’t when we were sitting on that couch.

6. Everything I learned about being an ex-wife I learned by being a stepmom

I’d like to think that for as much as I will drive my ex crazy about any number of things, that in the ways that truly matter, he’ll see a difference in the way I am versus the crazy we dealt with from his son’s mother for all of those years. I have no intention of ever using my children as a pawn to get back at him. I will do my best to keep him informed and involved in their lives. And generally? I’m not an awful person. It’s not in me to be mean JUST TO BE MEAN. And by dealing with her toxicity for 15 years, I know how I don’t want to live my life.

7. Free time is interesting, but there’s still a bit of a void when my kids are away

I like having time to workout, sleep in, pursue hobbies, spend time with people I dig. And when my kids are with their dad, I fill my days with lots of that because being in my house without them and with idle time? It’s really tough. When I’m alone in the house, it doesn’t quite feel like home. It’s important they have time with their dad, and it’s important that I get to be Sarah and not just mom… but there are some moments where their absence is like a gut punch.

8. Like it or not, money is a factor

I really really did not want to be one of those women counting every penny, but as a colleague told me, it takes women about 5 years to financially recover from a divorce. Though I had experienced no lags in my employment and was and am working (though my current work situation is unpredictable and scary), it took a long time to get a child support policy in place (thank you, Michigan, for that delay) and once it was put in place it wasn’t retroacted back to the separation and it wasn’t even extended back as far as when I filed. That means that before an order was even in place, I was doing a good chunk of the financial heavy lifting alone. And eventually that all catches up. And I don’t mean the good way. I’d like to think it won’t take me five years, but yeah, I’m stressed about finances. AND I HATE IT.

9. Lawyers are really expensive

Not a whole lot I can add here. They are really stupid crazy expensive. Ridiculously so. At one point in the process, I paid $200 for a consult. A CONSULT. I didn’t even hire him. As far as ways to earn $200 for an hour of your time that probably won’t get you thrown in jail, having consult meetings has to be a pretty good gig. If I was a lawyer, I would just have consults all day every day. Wouldn’t take any cases, but hey? Wanna meet with me? (And yes number 9 contributes heavily to number 8.)

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10. I still believe in happily ever afters

My stepdad gave me this plaque for Christmas that says, “It’s never too late to live happily ever after” – and there were points along the way, during the marriage and during the divorce process, where I was sure there was no such thing. There were moments of extreme frustration (okay, some of them were recently!) but also moments of “I’ll just be the crazy old lady who lives alone and has a bunch of dogs” or “I’m going to die alone.” I really have no idea what the future holds but I know that I deserve good things and that I am capable of loving and of being loved and I am not so jaded by past experiences that I’m closing myself to whatever comes my way. I so love being happy. And a new happily ever after starts now.

An open letter to the guy who pitched me his SEO services. Three times. In one hour.

Dear SEO “Professional” (See also: maven, guru, champ):

Within a half hour span last night, I received three times your email which basically urged me to consider utilizing your services in order to guarantee more organic search hits to my blog. That I received your email three times doesn’t exactly fill me with a great confidence about your attention to detail, but even if that hadn’t been the case, I have to say:

I think you’re full of garbage.

I spend a lot of my time day-to-day having to know and care about things such as search engine optimization, but my philosophy on it – from several years of web-related marketing experience is that yeah, there’s a time and a place for it, but I sure wouldn’t want to put all my eggs in an SEO basket. While there are certain methodologies I’ll routinely employ to boost the odds in my favor, search wise, I still am a firm believer that content is king.

If you had read my blog you would see that it is free of ads. You’d see that I rarely do reviews. That it’s not often that I align myself with brands.

Perhaps, oh guru, this would have lead you to the realization that maybe my blog is not how I make money but how I feed my creative side. Perhaps you’d have realized that whether I have one person finding my blog through search engines or a million, financially my bottom line stays the same (unless I have to hire you to make it happen. Then I’m out whatever the going rate is for quackery, and for what? Having people read my blog is nice but adoration doesn’t pay my bills).

I started blogging seven years ago when my youngest was an infant – I wrote because I had something to say, because I had time to say it, because I love to write. No one read it for the longest time – partly because I didn’t give the link to anyone I knew for the longest time.

It’s evolved into something that people read and it surprises me when I look at my stats sometimes – I’m definitely not one of the biggest and best – but considering I’d have been happy to have a handful of people reading, I’m totally okay with that.

Would I like to get cool swag and have awesome relationships with brands? Perhaps. If it made sense, if I could do so in an organic way, if it didn’t require me to start publishing crappy cookie cutter blog copy in order to feed the SEO beast.

{You can find the people who write the crappy cookie cutter blog content. Most of them are probably your clients.}

I don’t want to rely on gaming the keyword system for people to come by my blog. That gets them to come by…once? Fact of the matter is, if they don’t like what I have to say and how I say it, they won’t come back. So you can keep YOUR keywords and I’ll keep MY “poison words” and I’ll keep on doing whatever it is that I’m doing.

My way is free and makes me happy.

Your way just annoys me.

Your grammatically incorrect sales pitch states that I might not be getting enough organic or social media traffic – says who? It says I need to update my social media profile regularly (uh, which one and seriously? Bite me).

You might be better off saving your pitch for someone without a love of writing, someone who has no passion for the craft, someone who doesn’t do it for the love of creativity but for the hopes of page views and the misguided vision of blogging dollar signs in his or her eyes.

That someone isn’t me.

But thanks for playing and giving me something to vent about. I guess that counts for something.

Peace, love, and keywords,

Why I Disagree with Marissa Mayer and Why I Think People Are Talking About the Wrong Thing

Sometime in the past few weeks, Marissa Mayer, the current pres of Yahoo decided to  yank the option for Yahoo employees to work from home. Return to the office, she essentially said, or go work for someone else.

I, like many people, thought it was a ludicrous decision and I’ve been inwardly ragey at Marissa Mayer since, even though I do not (nor do I plan to ever) work for Yahoo.

The resulting dialogue of her decision has gotten all feminist-like and working moms like and family values-ish. I guess that is only natural – and Mayer herself probably didn’t help that perception at all by taking that wicked-fast maternity leave (to each their own, but two weeks? I breezed through pregnancy and delivery and even the hardiest women will experience some shifting as the hormones regulate post pregnancy. Trust me when I say that no one needed to be around me two weeks after I had kids. And frankly, two weeks postpartum? My babies needed me more than any office did.)

But I digress (but clearly, with that side rant, you can see how the conversation goes this way).

The arguments I’m hearing keep centering on work-life balance, parenthood, working moms.

That’s legit.

But that’s not why I disagree with Marissa Mayer.

Because you see, I think that the empty nester or the young college graduate who doesn’t have kids yet, they might want to work from home also. And it’s not necessarily about family, but about productivity and about what makes sense for their jobs. It’s about what makes sense for their personality and work style. It’s about what makes sense and what agreements are made between manager and team member.

I worked remotely for six years following the birth of my youngest daughter – and they way it happened was a flukey weird bizarro thing, yes – but for six years, I thrived, working from a home office. Yes, I was able to work around my family. Yes, I could work a big chunk during the days and then pick up to finish my day once children were tucked in at night. I’m an introvert – I didn’t mind that I wasn’t in a bustling office filled with coworkers (in fact, I’m inherently more productive working from home – even with all the distractions that being home affords me).

As a parent, working from home did benefit me. I was able to save money in childcare, I was able to be more present in the day to day events for both of my daughters.

But make no mistake, my employer benefitted too.

A company relocation out of state is what rendered the telecommuting situation necessary – and by keeping me on board rather than hiring someone new at the new location, they didn’t experience any lag in service because I was able to keep doing the work. Given that the job focused around websites and digital communications, it lent itself to a remote work style. My employer didn’t have overhead for me – sure, I used a company provided laptop but that was pretty much it.

For the type of work and for the type of employee I am, it made sense. It was a mutually beneficial agreement that served me well and served my employer well.

It was definitely win-win.

And this is where I think Marissa Mayer screwed up.

This blanket “NO REMOTE WORK” policy changes the work situation for a lot of employees. I’m not sure how many people started work at Yahoo with the condition of working from home, but if I were those people? I’d be peeved.

There are indeed people who would take advantage of a telecommuting job situation – those people shouldn’t be allowed to do so. It’s up to the employee and manager to discuss expectations and it’s up to the management to determine that objectives are being met and that the arrangement remains mutually beneficial. When it comes down to the bottom line, HELL YES, Yahoo (and any other organizations) should want the most bang for their buck – they should want to know that their employees are giving it their all, that they’re not loafing on the couch watching a marathon of Friday Night Lights on Netflix.

But – rather than rule it out for everyone, I believe they should assess each situation on a case-by-case basis. Let each manager work with their telecommuting employee and set goals and objectives. Let that manager gauge each individual situation. Adjust as needed.

As a remote worker, I worked harder than I ever have in my life – because I felt I was battling this stereotype that I was at home being lazy. I worked hard to constantly keep myself visible, present and prove that I was still there and I was pulling my weight, even if I was doing so while wearing pajamas and fuzzy slippers.

Mayer argues that the change is about communication and collaboration. At any given moment, I can think of a handful of methods that can be used to contact me – including but not limited to: Skype, email, text/iMessage, phone, gChat, FaceTime. Documents can be scanned. They can be emailed. I can throw them in Dropbox. There are apps that can be used. Basecamp is also great.

I have had better collaborative work relationships in some cases with people across the country that I’ve never even met than with people I passed in the halls daily. Distance never hampered communication or the ability to collaborate.

I don’t think the focus on working parents belongs here – though I am certain that many work-from-home parents were negatively impacted by the decision at Yahoo. I think the discussion, instead, should center on employee satisfaction and productivity and how people don’t necessarily thrive in cookie cutter situations. Happy employees are more productive, plain and simple. Employers shouldn’t shut those avenues down completely if they can help it.

With any organization, there are jobs that don’t lend themselves to a work-from-home situation. That could well be the case at Yahoo. But by putting the kibosh on all at-home work situations, Marissa Mayer scored a big thumbs down in my book. I imagine she has quite a few unhappy employees, and I realllllly don’t blame them.

Thursday Ten: Happy One Year! edition

1. It’s my niece’s birthday – it’s hard to believe a year ago yesterday, I didn’t know her and a year ago today I was sitting in a hospital room for hours, armed with my camera, waiting for her to make her debut in this world. I remember holding my camera, hands trembling, waiting for the doctor to hold her up. I don’t know how I took any pictures. To this day, I feel so blessed that I was able to be in the delivery room for her birth – that from her very first minute in this world, I was there. Happy birthday, little girl. From this little bit of a thing to a walking, dancing, giggling sweet girl (with eyelashes for MILES).
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2. Along with her first birthday comes… ONE YEAR PORTRAITS! Given that she’s so extremely mobile, I imagine it’s going to be a chaotic (and tiring!) shoot, but I don’t mind. I’m going to count it towards cardio for the day.

3. My office recently underwent some major renovations and… I think I’m allergic to the new carpet. Apparently with new carpets, there’s something called off-gassing, which sounds rather unfortunate, but it IS rather unfortunate: where the new carpet releases a bunch of gross nasty chemicals into the air. Suuuuper. I’ve had a headache every day from the time I sit down until the time I get to my car — add to that the runny nose, the sneezing, and the extreme exhaustion? It’s been tough. Can’t wait until the carpet is done spewing.

4. Who shoots pictures for the photographer? Good question! I recently browsed through a TON of portfolios for Michigan photographers to select someone to take a picture of me and the girls this weekend. Normally, I’d ask my good friend to shoot ’em – she’s an amazing photographer. She’s also quite pregnant and so I figured I’d let her off the hook. Gonna bundle up and go outside and get some pictures. Who knows – the way the weather looks now, we’re gonna have some brown muddy backgrounds. I don’t wish for snow, but… I do. Kind of. Just enough to cover the dead grass.

5. So, I accidentally landed on an episode of All Star Celebrity Apprentice while channel surfing last night. Um. Wow? At one point, Omarosa kept telling Piers Morgan, “Your mama should know. Your mama know know. Your mama should know…” and I was thinking, Just what in the hell is she talking about anyway? Also – there’s a whole lot of plastic surgery going on and some scary stuff going on in high def here. (I wonder if I could name a band Bret Michaels’ Guyliner?)

6. A coworker brought mango salsa in to a work party yesterday and now I am obsessed with mango salsa. I won’t even even tell y’all just how much of it I ate (SO MUCH OF IT) but now I want to make some, and I want to find a recipe for pork tacos that will complement the sweet/savory salsa that I NEED MORE OF.
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7. I know eventually I’m gonna jinx myself but when there’s all this weather talk about snow happening, I’m always so relieved when it doesn’t happen here. SPRING – WHERE ARE YOU?

8. Shipped my broken food processor back to KitchenAid after they sent me a replacement free of charge. I’m, uh, scared to use the new food processor. What if it doesn’t work? I’m so scared to be disappointed. By a food processor.

9. The Princess has been working hard to master a new skill at gymnastics – and yesterday for the first (second, third, fourth…) time she was able to land her cartwheel on the beam. It was and is kind of a crucial milestone for her and I’m so excited for her to have gotten it. She won’t be doing it at the meet this weekend – but soon. Maybe the next one.

10. Sometimes, when I’m schlepping baskets of laundry to and from the laundry room, I get really upset that The Jetsons lead me to believe that this stuff would be folded at the push of the button by the time I was an adult. I kind of thought we’d have progressed further than this. Sure, we’ve got people tweeting pictures of the earth from space but I still have to fold all of my own damn laundry. Clearly, there are brainy people with their priorities out of whack.

Kitchen Through the Lens: Fruit Smoothies

blackberry raspberry strawberry

There are probably a gazillion ways to make a fruit smoothie and most of them are gonna yield some beautiful deliciousness. I cannot remember why I included this on the list except that I like taking pictures of fruit and maybe when I was making the list I realized that there was a whole lot of sweet stuff on my list (Hi, would you like some cookies with your cookies?).

I used some nonfat vanilla yogurt for sweetness, a splash of skim milk and then ALL OF THE FRUIT.

how the hell do you cut a mango anyway


she's got the whole mango in her hands

Pumpkin chose mango and pineapple with a few strawberries tossed in.

all the healthy stuff is pretty

I opted for blackberry, raspberry, and strawberry.


Perhaps I should have run it through a sieve after or something.

But still?

Mango berry pineapple


No. I really have no idea why it made the list. Took five minutes and a blender.

Huh. Oh well.