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The Cult of “Peeps”-onality

It is a Cult of Peeps. Not the 80s rock song, but marshmallow Peeps. Peeps are sweeping the nation. They are everywhere. Not just for Easter either. But this is Easter week, so it’s only fitting to give those little squishy marshmallow guys, a shout-out.

The Peeps company has a campaign called Express Your Peepsonality. Here’s their adorable commercial you can watch on Youtube- go ahead- watch it! 

So I thought I’d take part. How hard can it be? Really hard, apparently.

No, you will not be seeing my clever creations of Dr. Who Peeps, Lord of the Rings Peeps, or even Peeps jousting in a microwave. All of which have been done. Just check on Pinterest– they are all there!

I just went down the ‘less is more’ path and created a few simple Easter decorations that even a monkey could make.

Here are Peep ka-bobs. These would work well for a party favor in a little cellophane bag, a centerpiece grouped together like I did, or as part of another display. It’s truly the easiest thing ever.

Get some wooden skewers from the grocery store, an assortment of Peeps, some bags of jellybeans, (or M&Ms) and pour into any vase or clear glass jar you have. And voila! :

The next project was not as easy, but sort of similar. Basically stabbing Peeps onto toothpicks.

Start with a yellow peep and insert six toothpicks, 5 to the top, 4 to the bottom.

Pick a color of peeps, we used pink, (‘we’ meaning, Emma helped me with this) open up the package and take out the Peeps without pulling them apart. Turn them upside down, since their bottoms look like petals, fan them out in a little half-circle and stick them into the toothpicks that are sticking out of the yellow Peep you first used.

Take the next row of Peeps out of the package, doing the same thing and stick them on to the toothpicks. Take jelly beans and either glue with craft glue, (Don’t use a hot glue gun, it just melts the marshmallow and nothing sticks. Trust me on this- I know.) or you can use toothpicks, which is what Emma did. She cut toothpicks into little pieces, stuck them in the jelly beans and then stuck them in the center Peep. I was really impressed with how it turned out- you can see here: (setting it on some Easter grass really makes it ‘pop’) A whole row of these would be cute in a flower box. But I didn’t get that far!

Have fun and express your PEEPSONALITY!

This post was sponsored by Peeps but the thoughts and opinions are my own.

Reason To Live Friday #27- We survived Christmas

Okay, we did more than survive it. We sucked the life out of it and showed it who’s boss. Well, really, I just ate too much, drank a little too much and have become a vegetative shell of a human.

This is why bears hibernate during the winter. I don’t think mammals are programmed for much activity once the Winter Solstice kicks in. I’ve been sleeping in and so have the children, except Christmas morning- when Owen came in my room, “It’s 6:04 mom. You said we could get up at 6:00.”  Sure kid, Merry Christmas to you too.

I’ve been eating every carb in sight. This might not be new for you either. Cinnamon bread, scones, and coffee. You’d think I’d have more energy with the amount of coffee and sugar I am consuming. Far from it. I seem to just plan my day around which warm, caffeinated beverage I will have next. What creamer or syrup will it be this time? Gingerbread, pumpkin? Hazelnut? Coconut?

My waistline is starting to resemble Augustus Gloop’s mother’s. It’s starting to form into a tire shape with it’s own treads.

But enough complaining. We had a blast. The kids enjoyed their stuff. They were even (gasp) nice to each other and to us. I shall share with you a Christmas photo montage of our fabulous holiday.

Here goes-

 

But wait, there’s more. My best gift, aside from the Lululemon jacket McSweetie got me, or even the spending $$ my MIL got me, Emma wrote me a ‘vignette’. I writing assignment in Language Arts class that pretty much can have any content, no plot line and not even complete sentences. Sounds like my blog doesn’t it? Anyway- it went something like this-

“Mama is proud of me when I am performing, tears trickle down Mama’s face. Salty hot tears of joy swell up in her eyes. Those eyes that are forests. Forests in autumn when the leaves start to change, crisp, yellow. Mama’s eyes are a burst of all those trees changing, changing, changing. Mama is beautiful.”

Okay that’s all I can type until I start with my own hot salty tears again down my face.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

Here’s to the New Year!

Reason To Live Friday #26 – Still trying to find happy

There’s a lot of folks out there that are sad. Sometimes I’m one of them. But my sadness comes and goes. I’ll watch news coverage of a young child’s funeral in Connecticut and burst into tears. I’ll look at my children and think how lucky I am that they are in front of me, and burst into tears. I’m lucky enough to be distracted away from my sadness. Unlike some people’s sadness that’s like a smudge that is stained on their skin. It will need to be washed again and again to start to fade.

I can be gripped with anxiety that makes me think irrational thoughts about my children’s safety. I can start to panic and feel my skin get that cold prickly feeling.

But I can also try to remember that if I don’t get my happy back, I can fall down a rabbit hole of never ending sadness.

When something awful happens to someone else, it brings up our feelings of grief and despair. I know people who have lost a loved one tragically, by their own hand even. I know people missing loved ones from cancer. Little loved ones. I worry about them at times like this. The holidays are bad enough. But to have constant images of grief and tragedy. Motorcades and balloon memorials.

Maybe they feel there is no point for them to go on living. That they too could just leave this earth, and things would go on, and the pain would be over. But that would just cause more pain for others.

Pain and sadness can be contagious. They can be a viscous cycle that doesn’t yield. The dark can keep creeping until the light has been snuffed out permanently.

Don’t let that happen.

We all need to find our happy. We feel guilty laughing. We feel guilty enjoying Christmas movies and cookies and presents. We feel guilty getting to have loved ones to spend these times with.

We need to stop feeling guilty. We deserve to be happy. We deserve to share the happy. Spreading kindness randomly. Sharing joy with others gives them more reason to share it to someone else.

And then it’s okay to be sad again too sometimes. Feelings are good. To feel pain, means that you will feel relief eventually. To feel grief, you will feel joy soon. See the pain as a window, a perspective. Tell yourself, I will look out this window, but only a short time. And then I will close it to open the door of happy once more.

Thankfully, children seem to have the best recipe for finding their happy. If we let them, they seem to flourish in their own lost thoughts. Thank heavens in times like this, their little brains can have the attention span of a flea.

Owen only gets sad if I remind him of sad things. His heart is naturally happy. He has given me plenty to laugh at this week in the area of farts, penis love and boogers. Yes, the Owen trifecta.

At a shop in the mall with all kinds of weird, crazy things like squirrel underpants, and bacon flavored gum, he sees a magnet that reads, I <3 my Penis.  He whispers to me so no one else can hear, “I do love my penis actually. It’s there for me when I’m bored.” Dear heavens son, only in the privacy of your bedroom please. He assures me, only in privacy.

Also this week, in a parking lot, Emma somehow was compelled by the power of song, and decided to belt out at the top of her lungs, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”. I admit, I laughed and tinkled. I had to be careful not to literally pee my pants. She was skipping and singing, and on key too, as a matter of fact. Who says (almost) teenagers are self conscious?

I laughed heartily at the recent Saturday Night Live episode with Martin Short. I’m sure it was a little bit funny, but I seem to laugh harder when I desperately need it.

I’ll leave you the link to my favorite skit and you can check it out for your amusement. You’re a Rat Bastard Charlie Brown.

I heard the song on the radio “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, and thought it was Will Ferrell singing. But it was actually Robert Goulet. Which is funny because Will Ferrell impersonates Robert Goulet singing that song and apparently he does a good job. Or I’m just hard of hearing.

Just remember that there will always be light. We have to focus on that. On the giggles and the belly laughs. The sunshine and the snowflakes. That there is a tomorrow.

Peace to all of you my friends. Be safe. And shine your light.

 

Here we go a wassailing

Let’s drink and be merry, it’s the holidays!

I made wassail for you. Okay, it’s not really wassail, because it isn’t made from cider and it’s not to celebrate the apple harvest. But I digress… I made mulled wine and show you can too in this little video.

Holy crap, the cat video bombs- again! It’s 5 minutes and you can sit with your beverage and watch. I even sing. People, I don’t hold back for your entertainment.

And don’t forget to watch, click and share. I get paid in m&m’s for my videos now and you will save my mom so much trouble trying to accumulate all those views herself.

Behold:

 

 

Peace in Connecticut

I don’t always like to blog about controversial topics. I don’t. But I’m a writer. So I write my feelings. My blog is my voice and I try to use my voice with a purpose.  Here are my thoughts on the horrible event at Sandy Hook elementary in Connecticut.

The fact of the matter is- I hate guns. But before all my NRA readers get hot under the collar at me- give me a chance here. I support the 2nd Amendment. Sure. I don’t like it, but that’s my opinion. You can carry a handgun. You can own hunting rifles. But get those mother fucking automatic assault rifles out of the hands of citizens. I don’t know why we don’t agree on that. The assault ban law expired years ago. Why?

So with that said, yes, I’m sure I’ve pissed some people off, BUT- here is what I know we can agree on. The persons who have committed these atrocities in the last year, and the last 10 years, all were mentally ill. Right? Nobody does this is thinking soundly. Clearly we can use these examples as a learning tool. Can’t we?

Politicians, lobbyists, activists, LISTEN UP- we need to stop reacting in a knee-jerk fashion, pointing fingers, spending millions of dollars on lobbying, blaming parties (this is not a party issue, I assure you.) I have Republican friends who hate guns and Democratic friends who own them. We need to get to the root of the problem and fix those who are mentally unsound.

It isn’t easy. I’m not stupid. But why do all the stories of family members and acquaintances to these criminals start with, “I knew something wasn’t right with them…”

I don’t know how you can argue your right to bear arms of a semi automatic firearm to a mother who’s 5 year old was gunned down while sitting in their Kindergarten class. Or tell the surviving children of that class why their teacher’s son came with so much fire power to kill his own mother and their classmates.

This could have happened anywhere, to anyone. It has. We’ve seen it. From Amish communities, high schools, movie theaters, places of worship… there is no place safe in America. There just isn’t.

So this is why I’m asking those that sound off in the argument on this to be kind, to be respectful, to honor those that are surviving the aftermath. Yes, people kill people. But guns used by people kill people too. Terrible things will continue to happen in our world. This event rips out our hearts because we can’t understand it. The fact is, more children die from auto accidents, bicycle accidents, and childhood cancer than they will from a mass shooting. But why does it always feel like there was something that could’ve been done?

30,000 people have friends and family members who are missing them in just this passed year lost to gun violence. My question is for all of us, what can we do to lower that number? What can we do to protect people’s rights, without threatening people’s safety.

What countries in our world have fewer gun deaths and better mental health provisions? What is their system? This isn’t a socialist or capitalist problem. This is an American problem. We need to honestly and thoroughly look at every single possibility we can do to prevent this, or minimize this from happening again.

The date on the calendar, 11 days until Christmas, makes this more painful. I think about the presents I’ve already wrapped for my children that are under the tree, that are unwrapped hidden around the house in special places. Their advent calendars happily opened each morning. I can’t not break into tears thinking of those advent calendar doors that will go unopened in those houses in Connecticut.

My heart is truly broken.

Peace. Truly, and sincerely- peace.

Happy Holidays. Frugie Style.

I don’t know about you, but the holidays can suck the living poo out of me. The final few days leading up to Christmas Eve are exhausting. If you’ve ever had to build a Playmobil Pirate Ship of 1200 pieces, your sanity will be tested. So will your sobriety. Waiting until those kids are asleep can’t come fast enough on the eve of baby Jesus’ birth.

You slip Benadryl in to their cocoa and tiptoe into the gift hiding area, do the gift thing, stockings, drink the milk, take a few bites of cookie to prove to the kids all that Santa jazz, then crawl into bed to have your youngest be up in your nose by 5 am anxious to peek under the tree.

The next 16 hours will be a blur of gift wrap, those plastic carton things that cut like a shiv, the zip ties that require hedge trimmers to open…the cooking, the drinking, the coping with family. At about 9 pm you can barely keep your eyes open. If the hubs comes anywhere near to your vicinity, you want to cut a bitch. So here’s my solution-

Think of this as my living Christmas card. From me to you.

 

 


 

Finding the Funny Holiday Link Up

Calling all bloggers! Do you have some hilarious holiday stories to share? Something so unbelievable that the blogging gods just handed you this writing gold?

My Life and Kids and Kelley’s Break Room are using their Wednesday Finding the Funny link up to share your hilarious holiday stories.

Here’s one of my favorites from last year. I make no apologies for having a fake tree. I can be hippy dippy and crunchy too, but the argument goes both ways pros and cons, fake or real. SO here’s my tale of why mine is fake. The TREE, that is! Geeze people.

Swearing Under the Christmas Tree

 

Now go LINK UP!

Finding the Funny Holiday Edition

It’s a very special edition of Finding the Funny! Today I’m teaming up with My Life and Kids, Kelley’s Break Room and 14 more bloggers to bring you a special Holiday edition of Finding the Funny!

How to Link Up

Link up as many posts as you want – old or new – as long as they’re related to the holidays and will make us laugh! Your post will show up here and on 16 other blogs!

It’s easy to link up!

  • Click on the “Add Your Link” button at the bottom of the page.
  • URL: copy and paste the URL of your blog post (be sure to use the exact post URL).
  • Name: enter the TITLE of your blog post – this is what will appear below your post picture. (Limited to 30 characters)
  • Enter your email address (don’t worry – this won’t be shared.)
  • Click on NEXT and choose an image that will appear in the link up.
  • Stick around and read the other posts and get ready to laugh!

Meet the Bloggers

All 17 of us will be sharing your posts on our blogs!

My Life and Kids

Kelley’s Break Room

The HillJean: Because My Life is Fascinating

The Fordeville Diaries

Frugalista Blog

Hollow Tree Ventures

Honest Mom

House TalkN

I’m Still Learning

Let Me Start By Saying

The Mom of the Year

Mom’s New Stage

Motherhood WTF

Ninja Mom

There’s More Where That Came From

Random Handprints

Toulouse and Tonic

Link up!



Today I’m over at Bonbon Break- in the bedroom

Well, I’m not actually over there sitting like a miniature person in the computer screen waving at you. That would be very Willy Wonka ish, wouldn’t it?

But click on over to their holiday issue and read about a coming of age story. Yes, Emma has reached a milestone about old St. Nick.

These are those parenting moments that keep you on your toes.

Enjoy the magic while it lasts. And by magic, I mean, the lying facade of trying to be a magical fat man who spies on sleeping children.

Read here- Bonbon Break

will-santa-return

Reason To Live Friday #24

This annoying dang holiday season. Are you wondering if I’m giving you whiplash? Do I spin a 180 turn each and every post? First complain, then gush? I know. I know. Try living with me.

Last year I wrote about how the holidays suck for some of you if you’ve lost a loved one. Holidays are like a trigger of emotions. They make you ponder on Christmases past and when life has changed permanently, it can be hard.

But then I thought of something. Maybe those little reminders are like the loved ones past speaking to us. Bear with me.

When my friend Reshma lost her daughter to Siona from Leukemia, she woke up one morning with a pressure point on her chest over her heart in the shape of a butterfly. You know when you sleep hard and the pillow case leaves an imprint on your face? Like that. I know, weird. But butterflies were a favorite of 6 year old Siona and this silhoutte of one was perfectly formed. It lasted several hours before it just faded. Reshma cherished her little butterfly form she had over her heart for the few hours it was there. Like Siona had given her a kiss.

Now don’t get all weird on me. I’m not saying that there’s messages from beyond. I’m not going into paranormal stuff here. You can think that or not. I’m cool with it.

I’m saying that the holidays hold so much hope and joy. That I’m going to hold on to the parts that are dear to me. I’m thinking about my dear, dear old friends who are living through their first holiday without their mom, sister and daughter after she took her own life in May. Their grief is palpable. Their grief is ripped open anew with each box of ornaments.

So here’s my list of what to do to get through:

Ready? Take a deep breath and go into downward dog yoga pose. Just kidding.

But breathe deeply anyway.

Hug the ones that are with you. Yep, just do it. Even if they piss you off. Stephen Stills was right with his song, “Love the one you’re with”.

When you see a reminder of a loved one gone- smile at it. Close your eyes and hold it to your heart. Say, “I miss you and I love you and I know you’re still here with me.”

Take last year’s coat or boots that don’t fit anymore or are hardly used and bring them to a charity. Someone needs those more than you.

Write down your feelings. If you blog or not, write that stuff down. You don’t ever have to read it again, but getting it on paper is helpful.

And one more time, love the ones you’re with. Dang it. Hug them, smush them and tell them you are happy they are with you.

Well, I’m not Dr. Phil. I’m not a trained professional. I’m just trying to lend a hug, and let you know I’m here for you. We can do this together.

The Frugalista Holiday Survival Guide 101 or 1.0 or 411 or whatever…

You know you want these outfits for yourselves.

I originally published this post last Thanksgiving. But only about 40 people read it. So maybe posting it this year, a whopping 80 of you will read it. It is full of sound advice. My meds must have been working really well that day because it sounds so legitimate.

******

This is more than me telling you to have the eggnog and Xanax ready. Although, those might help.  I’m hoping to provide meaningful advice rather than just tell you to escape and climb under the covers of denial. Yes the holidays are here. No we don’t have Santa’s elves for ourselves, and most of us don’t have second wives, (I’m right about this aren’t I?) so we are gonna have to muddle through.

Think of this as your mom/Oprah’s favorite things/Dr. Oz/best girlfriend advice blog:

I read a lot of magazines, editorials, blogs, online beauty/shopping sites…whatever. I know. So just follow me.

Who am I kidding? Not that I really know what I’m doing. I’m just surviving like the rest of you.  If I don’t have a mental breakdown by the time McSweetie and I are  driving with the kids to his parent’s on Christmas Eve, then I know we have survived. Of course, none of us will know this until practically the holidays are over- so if it comes to blows that day, I’m sorry now.

To start, and this is most important, do not, I repeat DO NOT go to a mall the weekend of Thanksgiving. Fine. Feel free to not listen to this advice. You will be sorry. Is there really something so wonderful at midnight at Walmart?? I will say a big fat, I TOLD YOU SO. These shopping experiences are vial, smelly, sweaty, loud and exhausting. Instead, shop online for anything you can. It will save you YOUR MIND.

Don’t hesitate to use online sites like Amazon Fresh and Soap.com. Soap.com is a new site I found that is like Target online, they deliver to your door the next day for free. Holy pajama jeans Batman! It’s the lazy, homebody’s dream come true!

You are probably not going to like this next bit of advice either- exercise as much as you can. I know. Yuck. It doesn’t have to be 60 minutes of Tae Bo or Jillian Michaels shred. It can be walking the dog, 10 minutes of yoga, shopping briskly at Nordstrom Rack, vacuuming rigorously; whatever to keep your endorphins in check. It’s absolutely necessary to manage the holiday pressures and stress with working out all that anxiety over how to freakin’ afford the million dollar Harry Potter Lego set your child wants that he thinks Santa will bring and it doesn’t matter how much it costs because Santa’s buying it. Oy.

Next, I love Christmas cookies, but I don’t always have time to bake. This is why you make friends with those people that do. I can always rely on a few friends to give me trays of Christmas cookies. Yay me. I get to enjoy and not slave in the kitchen. So tip #4- find a friend that is crazy enough to bake.

My next piece of advice is a little like my first about going to the malls. This item is, don’t go to Whole Foods on Christmas Eve day. The parking lot is a nightmare and the lines are frightening. It’s not worth it. I would rather go to the AM/PM and get a Entenman’s cherry pie and put it on a pretty paper plate than fight for the last Frangiapani tart and peppered brie at Whole Foods.

Do something good for someone else. Here’s the Oprah part- if you do for others, it makes you feel good too. We always sponsor a family through our church. We contribute to their Christmas dinner and buy presents for the kids. It’s anonymous so it’s not awkward. There’s lots of ways to find needy families through Childhaven. I’m also planning on sponsoring an endangered animal in my niece and nephews’ names. We try to keep the gift exchange to a minimum. I’m sure a lot of you already do this. We keep it to the kids only, and when the kids start to get older- we give them cash or donations in their name. Everyone likes cash. Make sure you clear this with the kiddos first if you’re only doing donations. Nothing sucks like getting a donation when you were hoping for cash. OR a knit clown doll when you wanted Space Invaders for your Atari. That sucks too. Right McSweetie?

Think about gifting a membership somewhere, an experience to something. There’s so much stuff all the time, it’s nice to get things to DO and not just HAVE. I know it’s neat to get cute and cheap stuff from dollar stores, and Target and Michaels, but seriously consider avoiding all this. You will end up spending lots of money on crap. There’s only so many notepads, pencils and cute chapsticks a person needs. It’s all Made in China stuff. Probably full of lead or arsenic or something.

I’m trying to buy local too. Another reason to avoid the big retailers on the weekends. Don’t get me wrong- I go to Target like 4 times a week! But I’m going to buy through friends’ businesses, boutiques and companies that have good intentions like Hugh Jackman’s Laughing Man Coffee, or Glassybaby or Tom’s shoes, etc…

My other piece of advice- don’t buy things just to save money. Doorbusters and buy one get one, aren’t always what they’re cracked up to be. Remember, buy one, get one half off- is just another way of saying 25% off for your purchase. If you’re buying the stuff anyway, it’s worth it. Otherwise, stick to what you planned to get only.

Here’s something else you will want to do. Make all your appointments NOW. Hair, nails, waxing, facials, book your sitters, house cleaners, bartenders. You want to maximize your cute party style and not show up with roots showing and ghetto nails. Don’t feel you need to buy a new cocktail dress. If money’s tight, get a cute necklace at Ann Taylor Loft, or the Rack. There’s so much cute stuff out there that’s really quite affordable. You can take last year’s dress and jazz it up with patterned tights or a cute piece of jewelry. No one will remember what you wore last year, except of course, for the Facebook pictures. That’s why you can mix it up with accessories to distract in case anyone does go through last year’s Facebook album. And thank heavens Kate Middleton has made recycling dresses fashionable. It’s frugal (ha!) to reuse an outfit.

Keep on hand plenty of Pellegrino and coconut water for hangovers. With all the parties and drinking, you will be glad you did. Pellegrino while you’re drinking cocktails, and coconut water for the morning after. Trust me on this one.

Most importantly, do what works for you and your family. And don’t try to be perfect. We all think we want to be Martha Stewart. But really, nobody wants to feel outdone and lame. So lower your expectations. It will make everything that much more impressive.