Archives for April 2013

Kitchen Through The Lens: Orange Juice

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There are certain things I put on my list that I’m not entirely sure why I put them on my list. Vegan keylime cheesecake for example (can I get a judge’s ruling on this one? Need it really be vegan?). Mashed potatoes (I’m not so sorry about that one). And orange juice. Freshly squeezed orange juice.

I guess I wanted to try it for the same reason I don’t use boxed cake mix: why ingest a bunch of garbage when it’s just as easy to do it on your own?

Or, almost as easy.

Or kinda sorta easy but not too miserable and not too messy and not too cost prohibitive.

Blah blah blah.


Making your orange juice isn’t that tough. I have a handy dandy little citrus thingamabobber (not a juicer, but a…thing). Anyway.

I picked Valencias because the sign at the grocery store said they were great for juice. They’re ugly. I almost picked a different orange because they’re really ugly, but I picked the ugly oranges – about four bucks for four pounds of oranges.


Four pounds of oranges produced about three cups of orange juice. That… doesn’t seem like much. So it’s not exactly wallet friendly BUT…

It’s so good!

If I was a little more of an over-achiever, perhaps I’d come up with a better method for straining a bit more of the pulp out – I buy pulp-free when I buy orange juice.

With just the juice from the oranges, I have a sweet and drinkable juice. I didn’t have to add anything. I didn’t have to do anything else. It was fine as is.

Oberon and barbecue chips. All I'm missing from the orange food group is crunchy cheetos and life would be most excellent.

And then we made it better. Put a big ol’ splash of juice in your glass. Pour in some Oberon. Yum.

But not for breakfast. Probably.

Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Being


Dear Debbie,

Whenever I hear people talk about friendships from the internet as “imaginary,” I shake my head and think of how far from the truth those people are, and how they are probably missing out on meeting and knowing some incredible people, and how terribly sad their lives must be.

I’m not entirely sure when we met on Twitter, but it’s been years ago, as we’re approaching our fifth Avon Walk for Breast Cancer together. Without even knowing me, you welcomed me onto your walk team, welcomed me to join you and your friends in walking a marathon and a half. You were brave. I could have been a creep. Or boring. (Luckily for you, I’m only mildly creepy and only boring when I’m tired.)

When I reached my hotel in Chicago the night before our first walk, I got to my room and there was a fruit basket waiting for me, and my team t-shirt. Before we had even met, you had made me feel so welcome.

And then the next morning in front of Soldier Field we met, and over the course of 39.3 miles became friends.

I cannot imagine my life without you or Barbara in my world. You are part of my tribe. You keep me level headed when I need levity. You make me laugh when I need to laugh. You send me random texts to let me know I’m thought of, cared about – and it means the world to me.

You are a phenomenal photographer – I love your style and your eye.

You have a kind heart that is open and caring and generous.

You have a wide smile that lights up a room.

And you have an energetic, young spirit that seeks fun, finds fun and makes fun. I can think of no one else that would climb into an abandoned shopping cart on a walk course to be pushed around for awhile – but you’ve done it. Twice! I am envious of your fun-seeking spirit, and often wish I was more like you.

I am happy for you that you’ve found a centeredness with yoga, that you’ve made it a part of your life. Your enthusiasm makes me think I might like it (though…historically? My mind wanders too much for yoga).

My children love you, nearly as much as I do – and you are the fun one who sends them waxed lips and journals to trash. And I am grateful for your kindness because seeing my daughters happy is a huge blessing to me.

This past year has been filled with chaos and times that were difficult, and I don’t think I’d have gotten through it without you and Barbara in my corner cheering me on. I never felt alone, though, because I always knew the both of you were there for me and I can’t even begin to describe how much that meant. How much it still means. How I wish I could repay the both of you for every time I texted because I was angry, or stressed, or feeling some other chaotic thing and how you always responded with love and with kindness and emojis.

The two of you went so far beyond your way this year to make sure that my birthday was a special one – and all you get is some smelly old blog post. But I hope you know how so very much I adore you.

In a month, we’ll be in Chicago. We’ll have our walking shoes laced up and we’ll be logging another 40 miles. Can’t think of anyone else I’d rather get blisters and lose toenails with.

Blessed beyond belief to know you, and so very glad you were born.

Happy birthday. Love you!


Thursday Ten: I’m Mad at a Lens edition

1. For the longest time, my favorite lens was my Canon 24-70mm/2.8 but now? The sharpness is completely gone – well. Not completely. But mostly. And I’m likely going to send it in for repair. What’s worse? This is a common problem with this lens. This L-Series glass, which is supposed to be a high-quality lens apparently does this for a lot of people. Gah. It’s too expensive to be so flawed. And I hate to think of what the repair might cost.

2. Speaking of repair, I came home Sunday to find my house was a freezing iceberg of a house. Turns out…whee!… my furnace had stopped working. (Et tu, furnace?) The girls and I spent the night at my mom’s Sunday evening rather than pay double time for a repair dude to come on a Sunday, and the guy fixed the igniter and now I have heat again. And since Michigan won’t end here, that’s a good thing. However, apparently in the next few months I’ll need to replace the furnace motors OR buy a new furnace. Mother trucker, I hate home ownership.

3. And so. In an effort to hate home ownership a littttttlllllleeee bit less I think I need a home improvement project. Something cheap (because furnace motors, duh) and something that will give me a visual reminder on a regular basis that this is my haven and that I love it and it’s not really the Money Pit. Any ideas? I’ve been digging through HGTV magazine and have some ideas for paint colors – but… what else could I do?

4. Flowers are purrty.
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5. I have had Chicago pizza and I have had New York pizza – and I actually really dig them both, though you’re generally apparently supposed to have strong feelings one way or the other about which one is better… but I actually had amazing pizza in Grand Rapids last week and it may well be some of the best pizza I ever had. And it had jalapenos on it. WHO would have thought to put jalapenos on pizza?! Not me – but it was fabulous. My poor brain can’t stop thinking about it.

6. The gymnastics season is over and The Princess had an excellent end to the season – she would have liked more medals at the State level (she earned one for Bars), but it wasn’t in the cards. I’ve been seriously evaluating the idea of changing her into a different program – but it’s up to her. If she’s still having fun where she is, I don’t want to rock that boat but DANG – the way her gym operates? I’m frustrated. Bad business bothers me.

7. I don’t know if y’all have seen the news but we have a LOT of water here in West Michigan. The constant rain hasn’t helped things – and I’m not sure when the river levels will go down. They’re a bit lower than this as of yesterday – but… still high. It’s really the craziest thing. (Well, there are crazier things than water.)
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8. Leave it to HGTV magazine to make me want to decoupage stuff.

9. Today I’ll go to Pumpkin’s school for breakfast. Muffins with Moms. Only… there won’t be any muffins. Just doughnuts and I hate doughnuts. That’s okay though. It should still be fun. I’m looking forward to it. As I type this, it’s 1:23 a.m. – so… you know, just a few more hours.

10. I guess it should go without saying, since I’m typing this after 1 a.m. that I should probably get better about that whole “going to sleep at a human time” thing. Or that “staying asleep” thing. Or that “not waking up in the middle of the night for no reason” thing. Gah. Sleep. How can I be bad at sleep? I dunno… but I am.

It’s Like Somehow It Knows

buying sunshine

I walked into the office today and almost immediately found myself rooting through my purse, looking for a bottle of ibuprofen and shaking four of the bright orange pills into my palm before chasing them down with a swig of lukewarm tea. I sat at my desk and got to work, waiting for that moment when the ibu would kick in, trying to cross little things off my list so as to start my day feeling productive.

Headache fading, into a meeting. Conference call, sales pitch, snake oil. Off the call, another discussion, one that should have been a relief but only made me frustrated. The headache creeped back in. Another several ibuprofen swallowed down with a gulp of ice water.

My to-do list was full and I was getting things done but I was upset about the meeting – a discussion about when my job would be moving to part time.

Side note: Occasionally I question whether or not to even post about it should my employer decide to read my blog – HI GUYS! – but then again, they know what they’ve said and they know the situation, and as Anne Lamott says, “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better.” And it’s not that I’m writing… not warmly. But to not write about something that is on my mind quite a bit would be to censor my writing even more than I would typically – and frankly, who WOULDN’T be upset at the looming future of no longer having full time work? So, yeah. There you go.

I have been given an extension of full time work – through the end of May now and while I am relieved, I admit that there’s frustration too, that each month has been a guessing game, that while none of us in the workforce in this economy ever have true job security, I’ve wondered each month if THIS is it, if that is the end of the line. I am seeking solutions to the part time work problem – trying to ensure that I’m able to get by. It’s not easy and so I’m frustrated a lot, stressed a lot, a little bit anxious.

And so I keep trying to put one foot in front of the other, and I try to not complain too much and I try (really, I’m trying) to be grateful for what’s good because it could be so much worse, and I know it.

But some days I am overcome by the extent of which I cannot control my life, by the extent of which I really just don’t have a clue right now, and on those days – OH THOSE DAYS – my head aches with the pressure of two very large hands squeezing the side of my head until my skull caves in, my brain compresses, and I consumeall of the ibuprofen.

Some days just aren’t easy.

And when Pumpkin’s school called and said she didn’t feel well, I needed to come get her, it was almost a relief to gather up my projects and bring them home and sit on the sofa, wrapped in blankets, nestled near my girl, cartoons chattering in the background, getting work done on my laptop instead of under the glow of fluorescent light. Without the hum of conversations in nearby cubicles. Without the chill of the constant air conditioning even though the temperature outside didn’t even reach 6o today.

Despite the pounding in my head, I’d have stayed in the office until the end of the day. Despite my discomfort and my own feelings of blah — but my daughter and her blah trumped mine.

Life has a weird way of telling me, sometimes, to step back, to breathe deeply and to just be a little kinder to myself amidst the chaos. Sometimes life has to find more creative ways of telling me, I guess.

This evening, I bought myself a bouquet of tulips and a bottle of wine. The wine is in my fridge – funny, I’m too tired for it now, but some day this week I’m sure I’ll be glad that Tuesday Sarah knew that Future Sarah would want a glass after one of those days. I tucked in my daughters. Now, I settle in with HGTV and I write, talking myself into calm so tomorrow I can get back to life, and keep on getting things done.

Thursday Ten: Can I Be Glad Gymnastics Season Is Nearly Over edition

1. I get a tremendous amount of joy from The Princess’s joy with gymnastics. Having said that – I’m so glad that this weekend is her last meet of the season because I think I need a BREAK from competition season. I didn’t want to spend a whole post complaining, but suffice it to say, it’s been the kind of experience lately that if I had the money, I’d open my own gym and run a better program and offer up some competition to where my daughter now goes. Maybe a few months off from competition will help me cool off.

2. Got a LOT of new music bubbling through my music library. New to me, anyway. Loving Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s.

3. Went to the Titanic exhibit at a museum in Grand Rapids last night – when you enter the exhibit, you receive a boarding pass with a name on it. At the end of the exhibit, you look to see if the person you were assigned lived or died. Yeah, thanks. I mean, I know it’s pretty well known that not everyone survived the sinking – but having your seven year old be assigned the name of someone who dies makes it a lot less fun. THANKS FOR NOTHING. MUSEUMS AND CULTURE ARE STUPID. (Well. Not really.)

4. Know what makes a great guy even more awesome? When he has ideas like NACHOS!
Nacho wine

5. And since I just posted about fooooooood, I guess I’ll also post that I’ve started trying to run more – treadmill for now (because of all the effing rain, OH MY GOD MICHIGAN, STOP WITH THE RAIN ALREADY). I sure do hate running but nothing works quite as effectively for getting all the stuff in shape as running does.

6. I’m pretty excited that I hit my Avon Walk fundraising goal – with just under two months until the walk, I’m relieved to have that part settled – so I can focus on trying to get in shape and stocking up on blister bandaids. Seriously – am so very excited to have raised money for a cause that means so much to me, and now – the part that lies ahead is the fun part!

7. The dog seems to finally be back to normal. Whew. I’m still giving him special dog food for high maintenance dogs with sensitive bellies, but… I think, I hope, that whatever was bugging him is now out of his system.

8. So, I’m finally watching Game of Thrones. Only, I started at episode one…of the third season. To say that I have no clue what’s going on would be an understatement, but I’m trying to figure it out.

9. I read an author’s memoir. And now I’m reading her novel. And hell, I guess she took that whole “Write what you know” thing to heart because I know EXACTLY what is gonna happen because she’s pretty much following her life story. It’s a little annoying and I’m more than a little disappointed.

10. I don’t like to talk much about scary or negative things. I don’t much delve into current events here much either. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the tragedy at the Boston Marathon. I don’t want to focus on on the terrifying and bad things – but rather the ways people have found to come together. It restores a little faith in humanity, this coming together of hearts.

Kitchen Through The Lens: Taco Pasta Shells

Originally, the recipe was for Vegan Taco Pasta Shells. While I’m not at all vegetarian, I don’t eat a whole lotta meat so that didn’t present a problem for me – I’m all for adding meatless meals to my cooking repertoire. And then I read the words: vegan sour cream.

Uh… I’ll go meatless, but, y’know… there are limits.

(I’m not judging – vegan, not vegan, whatever. Whatever you choose to eat is for you to worry about. I just couldn’t do vegan sour cream or cheese. I LIKE DAIRY.)

squished tomatoes

So you get some fire roasted tomatoes.

I admit, I made this a few weeks ago. I don’t remember much about the experience.

I left the tomatoes alone even though I hate tomato chunks (Pureed or smushed tomatoes are fine – it’s not the taste of tomatoes, the taste I dig). Some salt.

never enough

Nearly everything is better with garlic.

realllly big shells

Whoa, big shells. How YOU doin’?

(You know, I love me some pasta. I think I want to start putting more stuff in really big shells.)

corn kernels ruin things

Here’s where this recipe totally lost me.

Despite my blatant ignoring of the vegan sour cream and cheese directives, I went ahead and put in the corn just like the recipe said even though I know I don’t like random bits of corn in stuff.

The corn MESSED. THIS. UP.

I’m pretty sure it doesn’t ever help anything to put corn in it.

taco pasta shells

This could have used less corn and more (non vegan) cheese. The flavor was actually pretty decent.

Damn corn.

Oh, and then I forgot the sour cream.

The end.

Doing the whole mom thing the best I can

Take the StrongMoms Empowerment Pledge
I am a mom.

I opted to become a mom and was fortunate to be blessed with two amazing daughters. My daughters challenge me, they make me grow, they make me laugh, they enrich my life. It was my choice to have children.

Recently, I’ve had people say things like, “I’m so glad I chose not to have children! They’re messier than my dogs!” or the even more offensive implication from another non-mom that her reasoning for not having children is that her hips weren’t wide enough. Admittedly, these statements have stuck with me far longer than they should have. I should be able to brush them off and realize the spirit with which these statements were intended – they weren’t intended to be hurtful. They were probably meant to be amusing.

(Btw? My hips aren’t that wide. I had two kids.
I can also name a slew of tiny actresses and real life people I’ve met in person who somehow managed to have children despite not having “child bearing hips.”
Have children or don’t for whatever reasons – but don’t blame your hips.)

But so goes the world of motherhood (or even parenthood – dads, I don’t mean to exclude y’all). It’s fraught with judgment from other people about damn near everything – from whether or not to have children at all to bottle feeding versus breast feeding to how much (if any) screen time you let your kiddos have to public schools versus private schools versus home schools versus charter schools to… to… to…

It’s really never ending.
Take the StrongMoms Empowerment Pledge

From the moment you decide to have children through whatever course you choose (natural, adoption, fertility, stepparenting) there are a great deal of things to consider. You could read 101 different articles and come up with a laundry list of a ton of things the “experts” say you could or should do or your children will be irreversibly damaged in some way.

It could make you crazy if you let it.

There are few right answers. There are few “musts.”

And generally, we’re all just doing the best we can.

That’s the philosophy I try to keep with me when I find that Judgey McJudgerson side of me sneak up – and it does. Usually, it crops up at times when I’m flipping through channels and I land on “Toddlers and Tiaras” and I see these women giving their six year olds spray tans and fake teeth and painting them up with enough make up to keep Sephora in business.

The instinct to judge comes up because I’m not that kind of mom.

That’s not how I choose to raise my children.

And then I step back and remind myself (sometimes ineffectively):

The way someone else parents their children, the choices they make don’t affect me.

Her kid’s spray tan on my television set has no impact on my life here in my living room.


Case closed. Flip the channel, Sarah. Move on.


Take the StrongMoms Empowerment Pledge

I’ve worked from home. I’ve worked in an office.

I feed my kids healthy food. I allow sugar in moderation (hell, I encourage it – I don’t believe in deprivation).

I breast fed my children. And then I bottle fed when it stopped being the right choice for each daughter and myself.

I swore I’d limit screen time to thirty minutes a day and then my oldest watched so much Nick Jr. that I had chunks of whole episodes of Dora memorized and I mourned when she moved on from The Backyardigans because I thought the music was so fun.

I swore I’d never take my kids to McDonalds, and now I do sometimes.

I know I don’t have the patience to home school so I rely on our public school system for their education.

My children now have to go back and forth between our house and their dad’s.


We make the choices we have to make out of the situations and circumstances we live in. Our focus is on what we value, and what we know. Sometimes it’s a bit of our culture or family experience.

We have musts – my musts are safety and concern for health and well being and that my kids are loved and that they know they are loved.

When it all comes down to it, all the other stuff is just extra.

It’s tough not to judge. We do it sometimes to help us feel more secure in the choices we’re making – if something that other mom is doing makes us think, “At least I’m not doing that. I must be doing okay,” it allows us somehow to feel better about what we’re doing.

Parenting is a terribly insecure endeavor at times. With no performance reviews or evaluations, sometimes we weigh how we’re doing against how others are doing.

Not gonna say I’ve never done it.

Not gonna say I’ll never do it again.

But I will try not to.

It’s not for me to tear down someone else’s parenting to lift myself up. I vow to use my children as a gauge for my parental successes, rather than comparing myself to other parents. Are my kids happy? Yes? Then… that’s all I need to know.

I am participating in a blog campaign with One2One Network. I have not received any payment. All opinions are my own.


Thursday Ten: Mother Nature is on Crack edition

1. Dear Mother Nature: Last year at this time, things were blooming. It’s been another week and there is now snow in the forecast and all I can think of is that you hate everyone. And if it really does snow this weekend, I may really and truly cry. This week has been rainy and I’m choosing to look on the bright side – here’s hoping all that rain means that all of the lawns in the neighborhood quickly turn from brown to green. BUT YOU HAVE TO STOP SNOWING ON THEM FIRST.
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2. We’re coming into the home stretch of competitive gymnastics season and I have to say, the end of this season has left me with a bitter taste in my mouth. From finding out that the gym has been padding meet registration fees (there could be a legit reason – and yes, I’ll be asking them) to being unable to pin down a meet time for an event nearly three hours away, I’m frustrated. I hate when people mess with my money or my time (OR BOTH).

3. Don’t mind me. Just googling crafts to make with empty wine bottles. And more crafts. And I hate making crafts.

4. Michigan made it to the finals and they KILLED my bracket (I’d picked Syracuse to win). It was a bummer to see my team make it that far – and then lose – but it was still pretty awesome that they got that far. And if a team had to kick my bracket in the teeth, I guess it’s okay if it’s MY team.

5. I have been reading the fluffliest books just to FINISH something lately. Don’t ask what.

6. The Avon Walk is in under two months and so while I’m in a rush to get outside and start getting real workouts in soon, I’m also in the frame of mind of “Work out, get in shape but for the love of god, woman, don’t hurt something!” Some days I wake up really feeling my age and I’m slightly more afraid of maiming myself just climbing out of bed than I used to be.

7. Pumpkin has had moments of expressing frustrating with our schedule and I do hope that she adjusts soon. I know the chaos of an ever changing schedule doesn’t do anyone any favors, but it’s been hardest for her and that’s tough for me.

8. Though I haven’t posted a “Kitchen Through The Lens” post in awhile, I haven’t forgotten the project. I’ve got one post pending (Okay, I took the pictures, I have to write it) and frankly, I just need to take the time to get back into my kitchen. I made all the stuff I really wanted to make already. Now it’s the leftovers. Makes it harder to keep moving forward.

9. Due to some spectacularly awful driving on behalf of a school bus driving hauling a bus full of kids (yeah. scary.), my vehicle and I very nearly became the squished up middle of a Lexus/Audi sandwich. Fortunately, we’re all better drivers than the person carrying a bunch of kids so… crisis averted.

10. I’m still thinking about a 40 before 40 list. I guess item number one should be “Finish writing this list.” And then items two through 39 will be things I’ve already done. Item 40 will be something new. Because that’s how I roll. Lazily. Slowly. Downhill.

Thursday Ten: Noise and Vomit Edition

1. First things first – happily – my children are back home. Back home and their belongings are sprawled all over the house and they’re complaining about my cooking again. Back to normal. So glad.

2. Not sure if it’s lingering effects of whatever ailed him last week but last night the dog started puking. AGAIN. Granted, he’d stole a cookie (non chocolate) so it could very well be the effects of too much sugar on an already sensitive dog tummy. Either way? I’m SO SICK OF DOG VOMIT. I’m also sick of preparing bland meals for him. You know there were days last week where his meal was more thoughtfully prepare  than my own?

3. At this time last year, I’m pretty sure spring was in full swing in west Michigan and things were blooming. I’m also pretty sure I wasn’t still WEARING MY WINTER COAT EVERY DAMN DAY. (Michigan, get your shizz together.)

4. I haven’t slept well all week. I AM SO TIRED. Actually, I’ve been sleeping fine until about 4 a.m. And then I wake up. Yuck. Until this morning. Not sure if it was the cumulative exhaustion or that my kiddos are home, but I slept until the alarm went off. Still tired, though.

5. I raised over $500 this week towards my fundraising goal for the Avon Walk. That makes me tremendously happy (so happy that I could very nearly forget about puke). Just under two months until I walk and I’m almost to my goal.

6. HOWEVER, given this extended winter, I’m tremendously out of shape. No long training walks yet because it’s COLD outside. Somehow, I’m going to have to start training soon though of that forty miles is gonna hurt.

7. I don’t really have anything profound to say because sleep deprivation and dog vomit so I suppose I could start typing my grocery list out here. Can someone remind me to buy all purpose flour?

8. Last night, it was nice to be hugged. Pumpkin was especially glad to see me – I can’t say I minded her repeated requests to snuggle.

9. I painted my nails and it took less than 24 hours to chip all the polish off one of my nails in a very noticeable way because of course. Sometimes I fail at girly stuff.

10. You know what would make this post way better? Yeah, like four fewer mentions of puke. Sorry about that. We’ll try this again next week, mmkay?

National Poetry Month – Children’s Poetry Books

From the time we are born, poetry is infused into our lives in many ways – whether we realize it or not. Nursery rhymes, lullabies, silly nicknames. All poetry. From there, maybe your roads lead to Shel Silverstein or Dr. Seuss. And then onward and upward.

Chances are, your kiddos aren’t UNFAMILIAR with poetry. Which is good – because poetry is AWESOME.

I’ve loved – perhaps as much as my daughters have loved – looking at these books we received for review for National Poetry Month. I’ve made no secret of the fact that I love children’s lit – this poetry? It’s FUN. It’s entertaining. And some of the book art is absolutely lovely.

Take for example, Stardines Swim High Across the Sky: and Other Poems. This book of poems by Jack Prelutsky features amazing art by Carin Berger – these images are dioramas, shadow boxes, and cut paper collages. Pictured above are the “Braindeer” (Braindeer are very clever, Braindeer are very wise. Their brains are very wrinkled and of a massive size…). From SLOBsters to Panteaters, this book is entertaining, but the art makes the book. It’s unique and special and really stands apart from most of the books we own

As a tremendous fan of Maurice Sendak and “Where the Wild Things Are,” I was excited to receive a review copy of My Brother’s Book, Sendak’s elegy “for his brother, Jack, his partner of over fifty years, Eugene Glynn, and for himself.” Described as the kind of fairy tale a grieving child tells, this book was moving and quasi-Shakespearean. And my kids hated it. I guess it’s fair to say that Pumpkin also hates “Where the Wild Things Are” and The Princess was disturbed that it says “To hell with you then!” She didn’t find that appropriate. Given how I mourned the death of Sendak, though, I found the book to be a welcome addition to our book collection – and even though the kids don’t love it now, I’ll hang on to it.

Two other volumes of poems by Jack Prelutsky –The New Kid on the Block and A Pizza the Size of the Sun feature a more age appropriate nonsense kind of poem that my children, particularly seven-year-old Pumpkin, seem to enjoy. These poems are short and silly and remind me a bit of Shel Silverstein’s work (though, I’m a big Silverstein fan – and while these are good, Shel’s a tough act to follow!). Because the poems are short and sweet, they make for great bedtime reading – a few at a time, with an easy place to stop for the night.

This probably isn’t even fair to the other books because we are such total Dallas Clayton fans in this house. Make Magic! Do Good! is just as lovely as the other offerings from Clayton we’ve had the pleasure of reviewing. These are the kinds of books that the cynical side of me wants to dislike because they are so FREAKING POSITIVE, but frankly – we all could use a little positive. I find the poems to be calming and they make me smile. My daughters enjoy them as well. Particularly “My Mistake” – a good one for this house full of overachievers:

I made a mistake when I wrote this
then I covered it up with some ink
then my hands got mistaken and made a mistake
and they spilled it all over the sink
so I asked for a rag to help fix it
but they brought me a rug by mistake.
Now the sink and the rug are all covered in ink
and the writing has taken a break.
Now I’m down on my knees
And a scrubbin’ it clean
but the mistake that I made just keeps growin’
and I think
if I had it to do over again
I’d’ve made my mistake and kept goin’.


Disclaimer – I received the books for review but as always, my opinion is my own. Blah blah blah FTC blah blah blah.