First Day of School, School Uniforms, and Social Lessons from Kindergarteners

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Today was the first day of school. Yay for them, sad face for mom. Seriously, it was so quiet in here, you'd think I'd be ecstatic, but actually I felt terribly alone. But enough about me. Let's talk about the first day of school and things that hit me like a ton of bricks today, shall we? Well, since we're talking about things that hit me like a ton of bricks, I guess we (really just me) are still talking about me, right? It is what it is. The babies had a great first day, mostly. Bug enjoyed every minute of it and Bubby enjoyed the first half. Apparently the second half was really boring involving sitting on a rug and stuff. Turns out, the "stuff" was music class and it's apparently not his favorite part of the day. He had fun, he's making friends, and I'm incredibly proud of him. Now, on to what "hit" me. My kids are just fine without me. In fact, they flourish. That's a good thing, really, but it's somewhat hurtful in a way. I need them, I know they need me, but they do very well … [Continue]

Anniversaries, Love, and Realizations…I’m Where I’m Supposed to Be.

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Do you remember the minute you fell in love? The minute you knew HE was the one? I do. It was one day in 2003. I'd been in "love" before. But it wasn't real love. It didn't have staying power. It was fleeting and those relationships didn't last. Not even the one that produced 2 beautiful children. It wasn't "real". I met B in 2002 and it was meant to be a fling. He was 11 years my junior. He had his kids, I had mine. We just wanted a companion that didn't want anything lasting. Just a break from reality. I remember the first time he told me he loved me. He wasn't supposed to tell me that. I felt it then, but I didn't admit it. That's not what we were about. But I remember the day I admitted it freely and willingly like it was yesterday. Something in the way the sun shone on him, something in the way his eyes twinkled, something in the way he made me rethink love. It was that day that I felt a forever love, a love that would withstand the troubles and trials in life, the love that … [Continue]

Gluten-Free Potato Chip Crusted Fried Fish

Gluten-Free fried fish recipe, potato chip crusted fried fish, recipes, healthy living, low sodium recipes

I might have mentioned that B's a fisherman. I might have mentioned that we try to eat low sodium. I might have mentioned that healthy eating is pretty important to me. But what I'm sure I haven't mentioned is that I've been attempting to go gluten free for awhile now. Why am I mentioning all of this? Of course I'll elaborate. I'm here to tell you, gluten-free cooking is a pain in the butt. If you've already gone gluten free, you know this. But sometimes overthinking things makes them more difficult. It doesn't have to be as difficult as it seems. So if you find yourself with an abundance of fish in the freezer, and your family loves fried foods (despite your insistence that baked is way better for them), I have a recipe you might want to try. What you'll need: 1 lb of fish fillets 1 cup ground potato chips 1 1/4 cups olive oil (1 cup for frying, 1/4 cup to soak fish) 1 cup rice flour 2 eggs, beaten Potato chips! They're naturally gluten free and they make the … [Continue]

Daddies, don’t tell your daughter she’s pretty. Period.

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Growing up, my dad always introduced me as the pretty one. Period. My sisters were pretty, but they had other attributes he chose to point out when introducing them to friends and business colleagues. Meet my oldest daughter, Cathy. She's so sharp. She'll be an architect, an accountant, or a lawyer some day. Meet Vicki, my middle daughter. She's a natural born leader and very intelligent. She'll be a teacher and make a difference in this world when she grows up. Meet Christy, my baby, she's so pretty. Period. That's all I ever got. Pretty. Period. It stuck with me my whole life and that label, that concept, has probably, in some way, been transferred into the minds of my own girls. Period. My whole life, I've been consumed with "pretty". I was afforded all of my opportunities because I was pretty. Period. There could be no other answer. In high school, I made the cheerleading squad. I was captain in fact. It was obviously because I was pretty. Period. I got good … [Continue]

DIY Orange Sea Salt Scrub

DIY orange sea salt scrub, sea salt scrub, bath salts, orange scented bath salts

This post may contain affiliate links, but all opinions, ideas, and photos are entirely my own. When I was in Arkansas for a recent conference, they had the most amazing sea salt scrub in all of the bathrooms at the hotel. Let's face it folks, I don't get out much, so I'm not overly accustomed to this sort of thing. Then B took us (yes, all of us) out for our 11th anniversary last week, and a sea salt scrub was awaiting me in the restaurant bathroom too. Bug and I washed our hands, used this scrub, and talked about how wonderful it was. Then I saw a post by my friend, Censie from Building Our Story, and she shared how easy it was to make her Lavender Vanilla Scrub at home. I had a plan. You might have guessed by now that it involved sea salt and some super soft hands. You might (OK, you were) have been right. I wanted this stuff in my house. I wanted my guests to feel as special as I do every time I step into a bathroom with this hand-softening magic. She made it look SO easy. … [Continue]

Easy {Low Sodium} Pickled Jalapenos

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This year, I started container gardening. I was brought up on a self-sufficient farm and gardening is kind of in my blood. But I haven't had the room, nor the time, until now to grow my own garden over the past 5 or so years. I was bound and determined to make that change this year and I started with just a few plants on my large back porch. Basically, I'm growing salsa. Tomatoes, cilantro, and jalapenos. I use the cilantro almost daily in my family meals. The tomatoes? Well, those aren't doing as well as I had hoped and they are SO slow to ripen. So I'm left with jalapenos. And lots of them. We chop them (and let me tell you, these jokers are HOT, just like we like them) and top some of our favorite foods, but I've had an abundance. Good and bad. I don't like to waste food and wasting something I've grown is even less acceptable than wasting something I bought. We buy canned jalapenos often, and that seemed silly considering I had a whole baggy full of fresh jalapenos in my … [Continue]