Creativity with your baking

Leftover beets? Make cupcakes, of course!

I’m not really sure why I picked up beets at the grocery–no one in our house really likes them, and I don’t know how to cook them. Makes sense, right?

Naomi had been traumatized by the use of beet juice to color Valentine’s Day cookies many years ago (turns out that’s totally legit, but I didn’t know it then), so I haven’t really tried any recipes with them since them. A few months ago, I started chopping them up and putting them in smoothies, but the smoothie rather tastes a bit like dirt if you’re not careful.

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What Are You Thinking, Target?

Inclusion of a few or exclusion of many?

In an effort to provide inclusion to all members of the human race, the mega retailer Target has decided to make all bathrooms available for use for anyone who feels like using either one. In theory, if a man feels like he is a woman that day, he should saunter on in to the ladies’ restroom.

And on the flip side of the coin, women who feel masculine are free to use the men’s room. I suppose they’ll use female urination devices (look it up) to pee in the urinals. We can only imagine how men will feel about peeing in front of a woman.

“We welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity,” the retailer said in a statement. “Everyone deserves to feel like they belong. And you’ll always be accepted, respected and welcomed at Target.”

A world in which everyone belongs is great. We should all love each other indeed, and of course should never hurt anyone’s feelings.

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Hanging the Clothes Out to Dry

Remembering Granny and Grandfather' house

There was nothing like climbing into bed at Granny and Grandfather’s house with fresh, crisp, folded sheets to snuggle in with.  Granny never owned a dryer. They could afford one, but perhaps she liked the lingering scents from line-dried clothes and peace of hanging out the clothes to dry year around.

For a good part of the year, they would hang outside. Standing on their back porch, there was a clothesline with a roller that enabled you to roll the line in close to you.

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The Curious Case of Identical but not Similar Sisters

Right from the get-go, Ava and Thérèse didn’t want to be the same. We joke that Thérèse was tired of sharing the womb with her sister, so she kicked her out and waited until the next day to be born.

These girls, our identical twins, have separate birthdays, having been born at 11:55 PM and 12:06 AM.

Interestingly, we didn’t find out they were identical until they were about 6 weeks old, and we got the placenta report

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Stitch Fix and “Hot Mom Trends Awards”

How do YOU know if you're spot on?

A few weeks ago I (Mary-Claire) wrote about my freak out just before heading to a business conference where the dress code was supposed to be “business casual”. I mean, what the heck IS that, even? After discovering I had no Pinterest-able outfits, I quickly called one of my stylish sisters, Jessica, for shopping advice.

(Speaking of Pinterest, we now have an official Mary-Claire and Paul Pinterest page with fun suggestions for the family).

How is that that of 5 girls in my adult family, 2 are super stylish, 1 is a “mom” dresser, 1 is a “stretchy” dresser (that would be me) and 1 was nominated for What Not to Wear. For real. Our niece Allie nominated her.

Since I refuse to wear soccer mom hair (as defined by Urban Dictionary),

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How to Improve Your Kids’ Self-Worth Honestly

Tearing them down vs. over praising

Years ago, Zachary played one season of baseball on a YMCA team. Their policy: “everyone is a winner”, a notion nice enough in thought but ridiculous in practice. The Y wanted everyone to have great self-esteem. The kids weren’t told the scores, so in theory, they didn’t know who won.

But they did, and it was painfully obvious in quite a few of the games.

Of course, self-esteem is important, but in reality, everyone is not a winner. It can become a slippery slope when we build up our children so high in their view of themselves that they are shocked as an adult when they find out they’re not as good as they think they are.

Have you seen the highlights of American Idol when the “singer” is completely gobsmacked when Simon et al tell them they’re wretched and need to put an end to the thought of a singing career?

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Admitting You’re Scared & How to Overcome it

My most recent journey

I think that we as parents sometimes like to portray to our kids that we have the answers to most of life’s questions. “Broccoli is good for you.” Or “Exercise makes you get strong.” Perhaps it’s words of sage advice: “Don’t worry about the speech you’re giving–you’ll be fine.”

We share when we’re happy and angry. When there’s disappointment, perhaps, in someone’s behavior or frustration that we can’t get something to work–they know how we feel. Love is an easy one–we tell them, show affection.

But do we share our fears with our kids?

Sometimes, we may share our unreasonable fears, the ones that are likely to never be realized in real life. For instance, shark attacks when we live in Ohio. Perhaps you’re scared of heights, so you won’t look out over the railing on the top of a lighthouse.

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How to not give up and throw in the towel with your kids

It would be easy to do so, right?

As parents, we want what’s best for our kids, right? Then why do they make it so bloody hard to have you try to raise them right? If given their druthers, they’d happily eat Coco Puffs and Tooth Rot Delight for breakfast.

I spend my precious time concocting something that tastes good but is also full of vitamins. What do the ungrateful wretches do?

“Forget” to drink their smoothie. Eye rolls. Or, my personal favorite, “Mom, do you have to make a smoothie AGAIN? I’m going to dieeee.” 

I used to hide the nutrition and try to disguise it as a milkshake. Now, fuhgeddaboutit.

Watch me put the spinach in, my precious. Oh, maybe I should add kale. And a couple of cups of spirulina for good measure. Whoops! Forgot the beets! Drat–I’m out of salamander eyeballs and rat tail. You’ll have to do without today.

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Man Almost Burns Alive – Only 2 Things Survive – What Are They?

Many would say several great things happened on this particular day in light of a major accident and I would agree.  As this automobile accident gives opportunity for people to rise to something bigger than themselves, we see the true nature of MOST people is to help.

Faith, hope and love

This video shows a few things that should give you reason to understand that what you hear about very often in the press is simply untrue.  People of all races will work together for one cause if given the opportunity.  Don’t believe all the garbage you hear too often of how race problems are epidemic.  Don’t buy into it.  Are there stupid people who still discriminate – Yes.  But, they are but a few.  Let’s work on recognizing the many that care enough to help each other when there is nothing to be gained except a handshake and a smile.

This clip (13 seconds into the video) shows the beauty of two men putting their faith into action and praying together.  We may go to different churches and pray or worship differently, but there is but one God.

Check out more footage and family response to the happenings of this day.

So what survived this nasty accident?  I would contend it was mans nature to take care of one another and, obviously, a bible.  Kind of goes hand in hand.

Would you get involved in a potentially fatal situation to help save someone else?  It takes all of us to make this crazy world go round.  How will you contribute?

NOTE:  Be able to help in a situation like this by being prepared with some smart tools.  Every car should have one and this video reminded me that we don’t have one in each of our vehicles.  Well, that was until today when I ordered them.  It is a great idea to be ready for something that may save yours or someone else’s life.

       Oh…Don’t forget…        

your bible.

Strength For Your Children

For those times when you just have to tell it like it is.

Life is filled with great moments and horrible events.  As a parent we need to understand that sometimes the lessons which brought us to a ‘horrible event’ needs to be announced loud and clear so that one can move on the the next ‘great moment’.  It is in this honesty that growth begins again and lessons are etched into our database of experience.

If you have an adult child who has gone through or is currently going through a hard time you know full well how hard it can be to be brutally honest and straight with them as you may fear hurting them more than than they all ready are hurt. However, sometimes the proper medicine is that verbiage which places their train of thought in a different realm of that which it currently occupies.  In short, get them to ‘Snap out of it’.

We all make mistakes and are in need of guidance regardless of our age.  Yet, we need to know that an over soft approach to child rearing can lend itself to much more harm than good.  A child does not need, and should not receive, a verbal or physical lashing every time he/she does something wrong or inappropriate.  But approaching every situation as though you may break your precious little glass child is not sending the message that at times life is tough and we have to pick ourselves up and change or correct what we are having issues with.

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