Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday's Favs

I have not posted a light hearted blog in a while. So here goes, these are a few of my favorite things (for today. I reserve the right to change my mind...)

*Jo singing all the FROZEN songs. Adorable. Seriously
*Lainey Mae is pretty cute too when she sings them.
*Hash brown casserole that I made tonight. So good. So cheesy
*Gluten free, ready made cookie dough. That I may or may not have eaten with a spoon. For the past two nights. Maybe
*Getting Mary Kay packages in the mail. I don't really keep much of what comes because the point is to sell it, but I still love packages.
*Looking at all the consultant prizes and waiting to pick mine. I think I am gonna go with the cool rug. Or the turquoise purse....
*Cool evenings in June when the kids have to wear hoodies to catch fireflies
*Alone time with one kid.
*Baseball caps.
*OLAF
*Getting rid of junk
*Completing 6 days of school IN A ROW. And the kids did not complain!!
*Working at the shop and knowing they have gluten free strawberry cupcakes
*Planning several mini vacays for the rest of the year. Most with friends or family. They don't know they are travelling with us yet, but they soon will. Watch your inboxes!
*Free samples in the mail. This week I received some free Pink Zebra (thanks Kim) and free Jamberry (thanks Tiffany)
*Anne Bronte'. For real folks. Everyone is all about Emily (WUTHERING HEIGHTS) and Charlotte (JANE EYRE) and I love them too but their sister Anne was one talented woman. She isn't as dark as they are either, but she was true to her stories. If you love Jane Austen, please read her books. And then message me. Because I would love to discuss them.
*Flip flop tan lines
*Primer. MK has foundation primer, eye primer, and lip primer and I adore them all. They make my skin and lips so silky. I use them when I am not even wearing makeup.
*My husband's old police academy sweats. For real, I have been wearing these suckers for 10+ years and they are still holding up. So comfy
*Starting a book club with my besties.
*DRAMA CAMP STARTS NEXT WEEK!! My kids are so excited!
*New neighbors. Well, hopefully they will be my favorites. They have sons my kids'ages. Deuce is THRILLED
*Watching Deuce skateboard. Dude thinks he is Tony Hawk. No really. The girls call him Deuce Hawk
*Little girls with wet hair fresh from a bath
*Moscato
Hmmm, well that is all for now. What are you loving these days?

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Every time you support a small business, an angel gets its wings

The title of this may or may not be true. You can't prove it either way:)

The other day, I saw a post on Facebook from someone complaining about the amount of "selling" going on in her FB feed. She was referring to someone in direct sales. Direct sales is a phrase we use to describe the small businesses many people have chosen to represent. Mary Kay, The Pampered Chef, Thirty- One; these are just a few. The people (mostly women) who sell these products will frequently post on social media about booking parties, buying products, or becoming a representative.


I recently became a Mary Kay consultant, so this particular comment struck a nerve with me. People are probably super annoyed by my feed because I post about my business, my sister's cake shop, my friend's self published books, and anything else I can to promote the little guy. Then again, I understand. Before I got into direct sales, I would think "OKAY. I GET IT. You want me to buy your candles (jewelry, clothes, beauty products, baking mixes....). You do not have to jam it down my throat." I am sure many of you feel the same way. However, let's stop for a minute and consider a few things:

A) No one is forcing you to read the posts. Just move the little cursor down and pass it up. It seriously takes less than half a second.
B) This is a small business's way of advertising. Trying to get a radio or TV spot is ridiculously expensive. Small businesses can't afford that. 
C) It probably makes them nervous knowing many people feel that way. Be supportive and nice.
D) Direct sales have taken the place of many "mom and pop" stores. With the overhead costs and insurance, these types of companies offer people, especially women, a chance to be their own boss and choose their own career path. 

thanks Sofia

There are many reasons to support this cause:
1) It is the easiest way to help boost the economy
2) It is good for the environment
3) It helps people work around their family life. Families in America need all the help they can get.

If someone is selling something you are not interested in, then by all means, pass her product by. But try to find a business you can support. I like to do most of my Christmas shopping like this. Whenever I go to an in-home party, I try to think of the people on my list. For example: My mother-in-law is not a makeup person. She is not into skincare either. She may never purchase something from me and that is fine. But I can help out other people by purchasing from them. She loves to cook and anything from Pampered Chef makes her happy. I have purchased a Grace Adele purse for my mom, a Scentsy warmer for my aunt, and an Origami Owl necklace for a friend. I spent the same amount of money I would have at Amazon or Target, the product was delivered to my door, and all of these companies offer a money back guarantee. It's a winning situation for everyone. 


You can support local businesses this way as well. Did you know a $25 gift card to Starbucks costs the same as a $25 gift certificate to your local coffee house? And yet most of us (myself included) will go for the franchise every time. It's silly really. Starbucks won't miss my money, but Coffee Times would sure love to have it. 

You can eat at local restaurants, buy from your farmer's market, order essential oils from your neighbor, visit a small hair salon, become a member of the neighborhood gym, purchase a book from a self published author, support an area band,  order your business cards from a local agency, and buy your cakes from my sister:) It will not take any extra time. I promise you, nine times out of ten, you will receive much better service. They appreciate your business more than you can imagine. 

I am not suggesting you never shop or eat at a chain establishment. This mama is not giving up her McDonald's Coke. I am asking that you change a few things, make more of an effort, try to spread the word for the little guy. It will make you feel good, I promise. And, of course, an angel will get it's wings.
this happened when I placed my first Mary Kay order. Thanks Mom!




Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sunday's Garden

The garden is coming along nicely. I should be able to make my first lettuce picking any day now. We are swimming in kale. (please send any and all kale recipes to dizzyhappymama@gmail.com)
The broccoli is coming in too.




My problem this time of year is that I start to lose interest. I don't care about the weeds. I am not excited about the canning my husband will be doing. (He does all canning. And gardening, for the most part) It seems like when I am planning the garden and planting things, I am all about it. But now that it is mostly waiting on stuff to come in, I am all " Blah".

So, what are some veggies and fruits you all are planting now? Maybe I'll be inspired to get inspired again:)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

How to throw an inexpensive and successful sleepover

Let me begin this post by saying two things:
1) I consider a sleepover successful when no one cried in the middle of the night begging to go home, no one had an allergic reaction or was severely injured, no one got into a fight, and everyone wanted to come back.
2) The other parents might not consider it so successful because their daughters were probably whiny and crabby all day. I know mine were.

Let's begin with the food shall we?
I do not plan any food that takes too much advance prep. I bought these 2 gallons of "juice" this week at Kroger. They were on sale for $2 a piece.


We had some gluten allergies here last night. I had a loaf of Udi's as well as regular white and wheat bread. I set out peanut butter, mayo, mustard, turkey, and cheese and let the girls make their own sandwiches. I also cut up grapes, strawberries, and pineapple and let them make their own skewers. Let the kids do the work for you. They think it is fun, it takes up time, and you have way less work on your hands. I also set out chips, carrots with ranch dressing, and bananas. Supper at a sleepover needs to be something they can munch on through the night. This whole meal cost me less than $25. It took me less than 20 minutes to put together. 

For breakfast I made pancakes and threw in some chocolate chips. Serve with whipped cream and VOILA, Princess Pancakes. Super easy, super inexpensive, and everyone loves it.


When the girls arrived, we lined every one's stuff up in the hall so we didn't lose anything. The only thing left behind was a hair bow!
Next up were activities. The girls played in K's room a lot. 

Singing along to the Frozen soundtrack while crafting

 I gave everyone a pedicure, complete with foot massage
 We set up this card table with card stock, stickers, stamps, markers, and crayons. I never set out complicated crafts. This way the girls are doing it all and I can just observe. These parties go better with less parental interaction. And it lets me read my book :) These activities cost me less than $15. And the girls LOVED them.
Let's talk about the decor. She wanted a Frozen party (so original). I never buy a bunch of character themed decorations. We buy tablecloths, cups, napkins, plates, and plastic forks in the colors of whatever theme she chooses. I let the cake be the main decoration. 

The decorations cost me less than $5. My children are blessed to have a wonderful aunt who makes custom cakes for a living. This is her present to them every year. How cute is this?? 


jo right before she zonked out
Now onto the sleeping arrangements. I have found that very few kids will freak out at bedtime as long as you do not use the word "bedtime". I always have them get in their jammies and give them popcorn. They sprawl out on their sleeping bags and I turn the lights low and start the movies. Last night we watched Tinkerbell and the Pirate Fairy, Frozen (duh), Ramona and Beezus, and Robots. I do not pick anything remotely scary. I sit with the girl who looks a little nervous. They eventually all fall asleep. And I get to continue reading. 




Like I said, I consider this party a raging success. I am not broke and everyone had a good time. Did I miss out on some sleep? Sure. But this is a once a year thing. I started having slumber parties for my birthday the year I turned 8 and continued to have them through college. Traditions are a good thing to have. 








Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Whole Passel of Friends

Today I was thinking of all the different groups of people I associate with. Old friends and new, college friends and high school friends, police friends, mama friends, church friends......(this could go on for a while. I'm pretty friendly. Unless you are mean to one of my friends. Then I am downright UNFRIENDLY)

Anywho, I decided to write this blog post about this plethora (BEST WORD EVER) of people I am surrounded by. I wanted to think of a term better than groups. That makes me think of a musical group and besides harmonizing to the Dixie Chicks, Point of Grace, or the Cranberries with Beth, Siobhan and Amy, I am not a vocalist. Or a drummer. Or a bass.....never mind.

I googled "synonyms for group". There were 58 terms to choose from. Here are a few:

faction: pretty sure I heard enough of that word in the Divergent books to last me the rest of my life.
gang: yeah, we are not that tough
troop: reminds me of scouts
cartel: drugs anyone?
clique: I already have THE CLIQUE. It was formed in 1993. The members know who they are.
clot: ewwww
posse: I am not cool enough to pull that off

Then I found passel. I like that one. It is a redneck kind of word, as in " That there Sarie has herself a whole passel of younguns"

So I will now refer to my various groups as passels. I have a whole passel of passels. I am blessed that way. Let me explain them to you.

The Core Passel: These are my girls I have met throughout my various walks of life who have been there for most big events in my life. They were in my wedding, helped me through my first breakup, knew me before my husband, grew up with me, talked me through my crazies. Always there, we fight like siblings (in fact, one of them IS my sibling) , we cry together, they are my rock.




The Family Passel: This one should be pretty self explanatory. These are my relatives, both through blood and marriage. We share a special bond. We have all seen Grandma lose her marbles and Uncle Joe falling down drunk. (FYI, I do not have a Grandma or an Uncle Joe) We have been together for holidays and every childhood memory. They are important.


The Homeschooling Passel: I have met some amazing mamas throughout this homeschooling journey. And they offer something my other friends can't. They get why I do this, and they do it too so they really UNDERSTAND. This is not the most fun thing ever. Some days it is awful. Today was pretty bad. But I messaged some of my preschool moms and whined about it. And they prayed for me. Over something trivial to most, but they get how it can snowball and make things bad. It is amazing to know there are people who are available no matter what time of day who get how crazy this homeschooling journey can be.


The Social Media Passel: These are the friends I know strictly from the Internet. Sometimes they are the best group ever. They are there all hours of the night to give advice from everything to a feverish baby to what movie to watch on Netflix. I feel really close to several people like this and I have never met them in person. And that is totally okay. You can have a fun or serious conversation while your kids are screaming and you are eating ice cream in your old pj pants. They are pretty great.

The Police Passel: Ahh, my most diverse group. We are very much like a family. We know one another's kids, we drink together, we cry together, we support one another. When your spouse is in law enforcement, things can get pretty tricky. It is nice to have other spouses who understand. I love my auxiliary sisters. So much.


The Couple Passel: This is the group that the Hubs and I hang out with as a a couple. This group is made up of married folks from all the other groups. We laugh together about the unique challenges marriage can bring. We help one another stick it out. We understand when date night has to turn into family night because the sitter cancelled. We don't care to go out without our kids and both couples spend all night talking about their kids. It's a great passel.

In life, you need different groups of friends. People who understand each path you are walking. I am now a Mary Kay consultant, and I can't wait to make a whole new passel. You should be open to new friendships no matter what your age. You never know when that group will be there for you.

What different passels do you have?


Saturday, April 26, 2014

TAQUITOS

I put the title of this recipe in all caps because I want you to read this like I am yelling. TAQUITOS ARE SO AWESOME AND EASY AND MY WHOLE FAMILY LOVES THEM. (except Babygirl, but she survives on candy, blueberry cereal bars, "paw-corn", and processed meats)
I am going to write this recipe in story form because it has lots of things you could change and some bits of wisdom I would like to impart.

I have made these with both flour tortillas and corn tortillas. I have used ground beef and canned chicken. I bet refried beans would be good. You can really make this however you want. You are in charge. I EMPOWER YOU

First, heat some oil (I used vegetable oil) in an electric skillet. I am sure you can use a deep frying pan or a fryer if you have one. It needs to get really hot. While it is heating up, I make up the taquitos. In a bowl, I add 1 pound beef or chicken (already cooked), 4 ounces cream cheese, 1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, 1 cup salsa, and taco seasoning. I think you could add corn or black beans and any cheese you like.
I mix this well and set to the side. Then, I take the tortillas (either corn to make them gluten free or flour. I have used both as well, just make sure you fry the corn ones first so as too avoid wheat contamination) and put them between two damp paper towels and microwave them 45 seconds to soften them up. You really have to do this with corn tortillas, but I think it helps the flour ones too.

I put one small scoop , about 2 tablespoons, into each tortilla and roll it up. I don't fold in the ends or anything. When the oil is HOT, I place them in with tongs. I turn them after about 3-4 minutes, whenever they are golden on one side. YOU CAN GET BURNED WITH THIS OIL. I have learned this the hard way. What I have started doing is covering the skillet with its lid. Then, right before I flip them or remove them onto a paper towel covered plate, I turn the heat way down, wait about 30 seconds, then open the lid to flip them. This helps immensely. Just do not forget to turn it back up once you have the lid on top.

SO, like I was saying 3-4 minutes each side, put them on a paper towel lined plate to soak up the oil. They are so crunchy and delicious. We dip ours in sour cream (which I had to make home made last night with cream, lemon juice, and salt. I whipped it too long so it was sour WHIPPED cream. Oh well, live and learn) These are good with salsa and queso too. I serve rice on the side. If you have extras, just put them in the fridge. When you are ready to eat them (within 2-3 days) just pop them in a 350 degree oven until hot.

ENJOY