Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Reasons My Kid Is Crying

This month's book club came at a perfect time. Little man is starting the emotional roller coaster of toddlerhood. This book was a refreshing reminder that all toddlers go through this phase and no meltdown is unjust.

In spirit of the book, here are a few of my own Reasons My Kid is Crying:
He was told he couldn't run into the street.

He didn't want his nap to be over.

He didn't want his picture taken.

After 20 minutes, I wouldn't hold his book any longer so he could point at cars.

He didn't like that the shark swam away.

I wouldn't let him do his own stunts.

He wanted to wear the "Melmo" shirt.

He didn't want his face wiped.

This post was inspired by the novel Reasons My Kid Is Crying by Greg Pembroke who captures frustrating yet hilarious parenting moments through perfectly captioned photos of unhappy kids. Join From Left to Write on April 15 we discuss Reasons My Kid Is Crying. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Divorce Papers

This month marks the 7 year anniversary of my divorce, so this month's book club is kind of ironic. Luckily, our divorce wasn't ugly, there was no back and forth and it was as painless as a divorce can be.

When I was a child, I swore I'd never get divorced. My parents split when I was 6 months old and my mom divorced 2 other times after my dad. I swore I'd never be like her. I would never be a single mom. When I said I do, it would be forever, no matter what...

I now find it funny how life seems to teach you lessons and put you in your place. Here I am 7 years later, divorced, and for the most part, have been a single mom. Granted, there was no way I could have stayed in my marriage. There was no way I could have tried harder. There was nothing I could have done to make it work. He became an addict and refused help. He pawned most of our stuff and cleared out our bank account, every week. Leaving was my only option. And even though it was complete hell, there was part of me that hated myself for it.

It took me 5 years to truly mourn my marriage and the loss of my best friend. I can now look back and know it was the best decision I could have made, even though it went against all of my beliefs. After 7 years, I can finally say that I would one day like to get married again and try again for my happily ever after.

This post was inspired by the novel The Divorce Papers by Susan Rieger. Young lawyer Sophie unwillingly takes her first divorce case with an entertaining and volatile client in this novel told mostly through letters and legal missives. Join From Left to Write on March 18 we discuss The Divorce Papers. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Prayers for the Stolen

I know I can be a helicopter mom. When E was born, something overcame me and I felt the need to shield her from ALL the bad. I know that's somewhat normal, none of us want our kids to get hurt. Though I know my mom didn't want me to get hurt and I was allowed to roam the neighborhood adult-free at 5. I try not to be a super hoverer and let E be as free as possible, but when it comes to being in a situation where she could be kidnapped, I'm pretty much a chopper.

I know we live in nice neighborhood and I should feel ok about letting my somewhat responsible 7 year old outside without an adult- but it's not happening. We live in a somewhat safe culture, nothing at all like the girls in Mexico or other foreign countries, but reading news stories about girls being taken 2 houses down from their home, taken from a mall, or predators using technology to lure kids in- makes me want to lock her in her room until she's 30. OK, maybe not that drastic ;)

I often wonder if by not allowing her to roam free, if I am hindering her independence or if I'm being smart by not taking that risk? I'm not sure I know what age I should/would start letting her roam stores without being in eyesight, or run at the park without me 30 feet away, or walk to her friends house by herself. I was attacked when I was 12, so I know that is where most of my fear originates. I would never want her to go through what I did. But I know I have to let go at some point- which is terrifying!

This post was inspired by the novel Prayers for the Stolen by Jennifer Clement. Ladydi was grew up in rural Mexico, where being a girl is a dangerous thing. She and other girls were “made ugly” to keep protect them from drug traffickers and criminal groups. Join From Left to Write on February 18 we discuss Prayers for the Stolen. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

ManPans Valentines Heart Set- Plus $10 Off

I am a huge fan of ManPans. I have their pizza line which is amazing! ManPans uses .080 aluminum that is is coated with Gem-X2. Not only are the pans non-toxic, they are manufactured in a eco-friendly way. You can read more about that here. The Gem-X2 release coating is water-based, and is 100% PTFE free and free from any fluoropolymer coatings. The coating will not scratch or flake off into your food. 
If you are looking for something fun to bake for Valentines, check out these adorable Valentines Heart Baking Set!
The set is a quarter sheet pan with 2 heart shaped rings. The batter does not spread out of the rings and makes perfect hearts! 
I decided to use them and bake a pumpkin spice cake and also brownies. I had no issues with the finished item sticking to the heart and they turned out adorable! My 7 year old LOVED them. So I can see us using them all year round. You could even do breads, cookies, or use the heart rings on a skillet for pancakes! 
The set comes with 2 delicious recipes, including a chocolate cheesecake and raspberry cake that would be amazing for Valentines Day! 
The Valentines Heart Baking Set is only $29.99 And you can get $10 off by signing up for their emails! You can find your coupon code on the right side of the ManPans page- look for the red tab! Plus shipping is only $5! 
*I was sent the product to review for free and under no obligation. These are my thoughts, results, and opinions. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happier At Home

"In the spirit of her blockbuster #1 New York Times bestseller The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin embarks on a new project to make home a happier place."
What better way to start the year than with an inspirational book for having a happier home! This book couldn't have come at a better time. I've been struggling with my 2014 resolution. I know that I wanted to make a big change, I just wasn't sure where to start. Then I got inspired and I'm ready for greatness!

When making a resolution, it's important to make sure you are able to track your progress. That's why most resolutions don't get carried out! Happier at Home has 8 focal areas to help make your home a happier place. I took most of the focus areas and applied them to my own resolution. I can't wait to get started!

Here is my breakdown on how I'm going to make it happen- inspired by Happier at Home:
Possessions: Organize my life and priorities. Get rid of unneeded junk- not just physical possessions! If my life becomes cluttered again, I haven't gotten rid of enough stuff. Repeat.
Marriage/relationships: Stop wasting energy on those who won't help themselves. Focus on positive relationships and set the tone with positive words. Say at least 1 positive affirmation a day to my partner.
Parenthood: Change my tone and continue the Yell-free year challenge. Read more here.
Interior Design: Learn how to overcome passive aggression, emit energy instead of consuming it, stop judging others, kick out negative thoughts, focus on the positive and own my destiny.
Time: Focus, stay present. Don't dwell in the past, overthink the future, but live in the now.
Body: Maintain weight, focus on strengthening.

Hope everyone has an amazing 2014!! What are some of your resolutions?

This post for the From Left to Write book club was inspired by Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin. Join us for Book Club January 6 as we discuss Happier at Home! As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes.