My Hypocritical Distaste for Blogs and a Question for You

Hello. I have some statements and questions for you.

Consider this a diary entry regarding my qualms about recently and wholeheartedly diving into blog land.

In general, I dislike blogs. There are a smaaaaall handful that I follow and enjoy. You can consider me a total hypocrite since I’ve been writing on a blog since 2008.

Since then, blogs turned into bloggers, and (many) bloggers turned into some kind of narcissistic subculture of social media.

And now I have this twitch anytime I say I have a blog.

But—aren’t all blogs essentially the same? Travel, fashion, food.

They all consist of the same few things, packaged up slightly differently.

Not unlike: Taco Bell.

It’s just the same handful of ingredients in a variety of shells (chalupas being my favorite).

Haven’t we had enough, America? Aren’t you sick of this stuff?

Nope. America can never have enough. Beans, Crunchwrap Supremes, Mexican pizza, processed nacho cheese, bloggers posting aerial view pictures of themselves drinking coffee in bed with a laptop, all of it. America EATS IT UP.

So, do I have to have the same ingredients to gain traction? Is that the secret to success? My traveling is to Costco, I like fashion BUT, and food I could never photograph before I eat it.

Also, I don’t care. (I would hope to still be considered a chalupa shell, though.)

That leaves one element of “blogging” (twitch)…photos.

My question to you: do I have to have pictures? If so, can I just look down and away in them all?

I’ve nixed all the rest of the blogger secret sauce trifecta (food, fashion, travel), and respectfully disregarded all my paid-for mentoring advice. (An aesthetic for my feed with a color matrix? Who has time for this?) I reminded myself that I’m spending one year out of the nine I’ve “blogged” actually trying, and I won’t let myself shy away from this completely, so I did have my friend Jess take some photos for me today. Thankfully, she knows I’m super embarrassed having a photo shoot of myself, and makes me feel a whole lot less stupid. She even drove twenty minutes away to an undisclosed location, because I would be mortified if anyone I knew saw it all in action.

Wow, yeah. Jessica Cannon, you’re super nice.

Have I emphasized enough how awkward posting photos of myself makes me? I had to remind myself of other uncomfortable situations I’ve been in (albeit less self inflicted).

Liiiiike having my luggage searched on my honeymoon.

Or having Gus give a loud play by play of (and usually applauding) everything going on in my stall when I’m using a public ladies room.

Pursuing goals often tiptoes out of your comfort zone, right?

DID I LEARN NOTHING FROM LALALAND?

If you’re telling me photos make blogs more enjoyable, it’s important to me that you know this: I’m not taking photos because I think I’m awesome and living some fabricated life. I don’t care if YOU think I’m cute, but I would crawl away in shame to an Amish town if you thought *I* thought I was cute. Okay? Like Uncle Jesse says, “Capisce?”

This little chalupa shell will sleep a lot better tonight getting this clarification of her chest.

(Somewhere, an old boyfriend is feeling so relieved that he sidestepped a girl that is making Taco Bell analogies at 11:30 PM.)

Continue Reading

Feb 15: Valentine’s Day Split Personalities Explained

At the risk of offending self proclaimed feminists, I will go ahead and say that February 15 is the day that we girls collectively explain our optimistically erratic Valentine’s Day behavior.

I’ll go first.

This Valentine’s Day, I told Brian I didn’t care what we did to celebrate.

He interpreted that as I didn’t care what we did to celebrate.

Yes, I’ll admit it. I’m THAT girl. The girl that says, “I don’t care!” and genuinely mean it about 80% of the time. The other 20% of the time, it’s up to my husband to decipher what I really mean.

Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, etc are always in that other 20%. By, “I don’t care, whatever!” I mean, “I don’t care butyoubetterreadbetweenthelinesandmakeplansorcomehomewithsomethingbut really, whatever!”

Then, there are other girls, who are fine with their guy surprising them with Trader Joe’s flowers, until they’ve scrolled through social media for seven hours. A bouquet pales in comparison to the Ferrari that babiesburlapandbigamy had in her driveway, and Carolyn35 had her pool drained and filled with her favorite chocolate and a swan floatie. Even Brittany from high school had a gluten free cake served in freezable portions to accommodate her Weight Watcher’s diet!

Suddenly, those Trader Joe’s flowers make you wonder if your man even LIKES you.

Your single friend’s Galentine’s was more elaborately planned than your night, so now, you’re sitting at Outback with your date, nary a bloomin’ onion, furiously unimpressed. “Yeah, no, nothing’s wrong. This is great.”

I know better than to peruse social media on Valentine’s Day, and although I still tossed Brian my usual, suspiciously impartial attitude this year, we had SUCH a fun day.

We began the day with heart pancakes that looked like demented Mickeys. No one ate them, but I took a picture.

Gus went to his darling friend Ivy’s Valentine’s party, and it sounded like he was a little confused about his first ever play date without me. One day, he will be thrilled I left him alone with all these girls, and he will be even happier to know I squirted him with his daddy’s cologne on the way out for good measure. Thanks, Taylor and Ivy!

Brian maneuvered through my “I don’t care!” lies with wisdom of a seasoned (battle scarred?) husband. (For the record, I don’t hope for much, just SOME ACKNOWLEDGEMENT, which was established after my 2009 birthday.) (Ashley Furness was my date that night and let me know husbands don’t know what you want unless you tell them, which was news to me…and has only sunk in 80%.)

We stayed in this Valentine’s Day, and Brian cooked an amazing “adults only” dinner after babies went to bed. If you’ve never had a Brian meal, you’re invited over. I have a hard time eating meat since pregnancies, but Brian’s steaks are ridiculous. He made his own dressing for this pear arugula salad he made but wouldn’t eat, and I almost drank it.

Our dining was momentarily accompanied by background music of overtired Gus’s night terrors. After snuggling him for a while, I returned to my OG Valentine, enjoyed conversation, and went to bed early.

Food and sleep speak to my heart.

So, boys, let this serve more as an explanation than an apology, because history repeats itself, especially so long as your significant other has social media accounts and watches The Bachelor. Sleep well tonight knowing you have another twelve months to either figure out if your lady is a 20%-er like me, or save $75/month to get her Louboutins next year.

Continue Reading

I’d Like to Title Today “L-O-L.”

I would like to title today “L-O-L.”

Even though I was not laughing out loud, I think the universe was. At me.

Because I’ve being up multiple times a night this entire week (and because I don’t have a newborn), I hit the pillow everrrry night with the thought, “This is my night. Tonight. I. Sleep.” The moon says, “LOL! See you in thirty!”

I tried to do my slept-on-it-wet hair this morning, and my hair was like, “LOL!”

I thought Gus’s ear infection issues would be a simple fix…two weeks ago. LOL!

I thought Gus’s ear infection situation would finally be resolved at the doctor today! LOL!

If we have to go to a specialist, odds are good that we will meet our deductible in a month! LOLSIES!

We discovered the price tag on Gus’s third prescription, and my bank account said, “LOL!”

I almost took a nap today, and Roscoe said, “LOL. Mom. LOLOLOL.”

I tried to Google (misspelled) “My 3 year old won’t take medicine” for some new ways to sneak Advil to Gus without him throwing up, and I actually did LOL. By the looks of the suggested search items, looks like 3 year olds are collectively conspiring against the world. Or just real jerks.

Good one, January 19.

What a weird week.

Sidenote: I’ve noticed that when I reach a certain threshold of sleeplessness, really obscure thoughts/memories bubble up to the forefront of my mind. They’re long forgotten mementos from my life that escape confinement when my brain is so tired, it literally can’t even (like me, with my kids today, when I let them watch Mickey over and over and let Roscoe run all over and over).

I couldn’t get Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8er Boi” out of my head last night, and today I suddenly remembered how eager I was to try a Giada brunch recipe I’d seen around Thanksgiving several years ago. So, there I was tonight, standing in front of a blender with a little guy hanging on my leg, making a sage hollandaise sauce.

Brian came home from work, nonchalantly set down the box of tampons he’d been requested to buy (LOL), and swept up the boys’ dinner (and breakfast) from the floor. Bless Brian. I don’t know if he competely disregarded my one-person,Thanksgiving-inspired brunch for dinner because I looked like I was going to crack, or because I looked like I was on crack, but either way, it was much appreciated “LOL” ending to an “LOL” day.

Continue Reading

Brian’s keeping me on my toes.

I’ve been surprised by my husband lately.

Brian, who I always assume is on his phone for something Fantasy sports or ESPN related, was recently scrolling through his phone and musing, “There seem to be a lot of dessert recipes with coconut oil these days.”

He also surprised me by caring deeply about his sunglasses that went…missing. Just between us, I sat on them. I didn’t know they were Brian’s nice pair by the shards of plastic remnants, nor can I be expected to be a dainty sitter in the midst of fudge season. Three months ago, they may have been repairable, or at least not completely obliterated by my mid-holiday bod.

Tonight, he surprised me again. I tend to like to “do stuff,” as opposed to sit through a movie (my mind is an untameable grocery list machine when I know we’re almost out of milk) (and we’re always almost out of milk), so Brian took me and my brother Keaton out to an archery range.

I’d never shot an arrow before, but I’m comfortable with you calling me Katniss now.

Or, you can call me bloated, because I pounded the best cheeseburger at THE best place on the Strip, Bobby’s Burger Palace. (Watch your sunglasses.)


The only other burger I’ve kissed that’s not In n Out, AND I was too full to pick at Brian or Keaton’s food. MILESTONE NIGHT!

Continue Reading

How Far Do You Walk While Preparing Dinner?

Do I know dinner time? Come on. I’m a mom. I’m the queen of this ish.

Studying the food on MY plate, which will always be eaten faster than the exact same food on THEIR plates.
Studying the food on MY plate, which will always be eaten faster than the exact same food on THEIR plates.

I’m only a few years in, but that’s enough for me to laugh hysterically at the thought of dinner being a leisurely meal for any mom with young kids.

Who forgot a spoon? Who spilled ? The sippy cup lid is the wrong color. Someone’s food is too hot and needs a little ice. A hurried potty run for the new man in undies. Why is the fridge door open? I need a knife to cut my baby’s food smaller. Someone needs more water…because it’s being used as a marinade on the spaghetti.

You already know.

So, exactly what would you estimate dinner time mileage to be? Should we require sports bras instead of hair nets? I asked Brian what kind of distance he thought we traveled during meals, but since his unenthused guess work could not qualm my curiosity, I wore a pedometer for five dinners.

Here are my results.

Night one: TACO SALAD
Steps: 399
Flights climbed: 2 floors, looking for what couldn’t possibly be the only clean sippy cup in our house, but was.

Night two: THAI CURRY
Steps:572

My son doesn't love when I get all "international buffet" on him.
My son doesn’t love when I get all “international buffet” on him.

Night three: SPAGHETTI
N/A. I lost track while cleaning up the kitchen bomb detonation spaghetti night inevitably is. I didn’t even get a picture of the upside down bowl on the floor with sauce splattered everywhere. I was crouched under the table waving a white flag.

Night four: BRISKET
Steps: 424

Night five: LETTUCE WRAPS, WITH A SIDE OF FRUITY PEBBLES
Steps: 488
I gave myself props for busting out a quick, light meal, but G only wanted cereal. It turned into Fruity Pebble lettuce wraps. I don’t foresee it being a Food Network feature anytime soon.

img_2141

In conclusion to this very prolific experiment, a total of 1883 steps were walked during dinner alone in four days. It can be assumed that my spaghetti night surrender would have made that at least around 2000 steps.

According to The Walking Site, an average’s person’s stride computes to about 2,000 steps per mile.

That means, I traveled at least one mile during 5 dinners.

Should we dump a cooler of iced Gatorade on the hostess of Thanksgiving dinner? If nothing else, I’m at least pitching Orange Theory a spin-off idea called “Kitchen Theory.”

Feel free to share this with any parent that needs electrolytes for dessert.

Continue Reading

Doughnut-topia Themed Girl’s Trip

I hope you are blessed with friends that you can be completely immature around, make you laugh until it hurts, and make being stuck in traffic beyond entertaining.

I met some college friends in San Francisco for a self-made doughnut crawl. It was my first overnight experience without Gus, and I was a little anxious about it, but I definitely was not left with any time to the about it! I adore these girls, and I love the person I get to be around them.

I was only able to stay for about 24 hours, but Jessand Kim made itineraries to make sure we packed everything in. Best hostesses.
sanfran8sanfran4sanfran6

Night view of the Painted Ladies, complete with Full House audio.
Night view of the Painted Ladies, complete with Full House audio.
Just some not-vegan heterosexuals in San Fran.
Just some not-vegan heterosexuals in San Fran.
sanfran7sanfran2sanfran3sanfran1
Just because they're pretty.
Just because they’re pretty.

Lots of food, laughing, and a little dancing (Janae’sstill got it.) What could be a better girl’s trip?

Continue Reading

The Jury is Still Out on the Existence of Mermaids, but Diet Coke Brownies LIVE!

Actually, they are regular Coca-Cola brownies, but I didn’t want anyone getting the wrong idea with me throwing “Coke brownies” in the title. As a D.A.R.E. graduate of the 90s, I ensure we are a drug free home.

I solemnly made that vow for a D.A.R.E. pencil, because they ran out of shirts.

Have you heard of Diet Coke brownies? All you do is dump brownie mix in with 12 oz (a can, not bottle) of Coke (or Diet Coke). Your home will be filled with the aroma of true love, happiness, and prepackaged chemicals as the magic happens in your oven.
july6
Coke bottles now have “find your name” bottles. It’s a sly joke of CocaCola’s to guarantee every bottle has been handled and shaken enough to cause a mushroom cloud, but you know what? My name doesn’t tend to come up often on generic “name” items, and lo and behold…there it was.
july5

july2

That little face! That little face!

Were they delicious? No. Not at all. They were rubbery with soggy bottoms, and the normal chocolate goodness was polluted with a muddy Coke after taste…but it was a fun baking trick.

Daddy and Gus saved Sunday by whipping up peanut butter banana cookies immediately after.

Continue Reading

When does food NOT solve a problem?

Trick question! It always solves problems!

Last week was one of those that started with me coming home from work with a spoon suctioned onto my dress with crusty peanut butter. I’m glad Brian pointed it out when I came home at 8PM, although I will say I felt betrayed that while at the last stop of the day, the grocery store employees refused to point that out to me (even after I depleted my bank account on their generic cereals and grocery store doughnuts).

That blur is a spoon sliding down my dress like  a glacier.
That blur is a spoon sliding down my dress like a glacier.

I would have questioned where the spoon came from, but I knew—it was from breakfast.

That led to more questions.

Things started looking up again after my friend Sarah brought to my attention the beauty of FREE kid’s quesadillas that are FREE at Café Rio FOR FREE! Seeing as Gus has no teeth, I get it all to myself as an appetizer!
spoon2
I am sure a little rant will be coming later, but…I’m thankful for a new week, and grateful that each day I get to wake up to my little blonde guy, and little bit bigger brunette guy.

Continue Reading

Mom-Swimsuit Apocalypse

Do you know what time it is?
Do you KNOW what time it is?

Beach time. (I wish it were beach time in Cancun, again.)
Beach time. (I wish it were beach time in Cancun, again.)

And you know what that means. No more eating a half dozen Krispy Kremes when the hot light is on, hiding in your car or otherwise.

That’s because pretty soon, this beach will be swarming with bikinis: moms, teens, tech support specialists, all in bikinis.

Like I’ve stated previously, I’m unsure of how to find mom-appropriate swimwear for less than $150 that still says, “Hey, I have a baby but I can still get all Solange Knowles! That’s right, I know what that means!”

One of the stores I cyber-window shop often came to mind the other night, but when I stopped by the website to look for beach wear, this was on the page.

A sign my elderly self shouldn't be shopping here.
A sign my elderly self shouldn’t be shopping here.

But. I had to know. I found myself stumped by question #10, and although I questioned it’s applicability to finding my hip hop hottie, I was determined to see if it was Drake. I’ve always been pretty sure it’s Drake.
photo-1photo.PNG
Like anyone even knows who Iyaz is. Now I feel extra old.

AND, hello? I already said in question #9 that wearing glasses inside was a deal breaker!

I lost momentum on my search after that. All I know now is that I have been shopping at the same websites as 15 year olds, and Brian lets me eat In N Out…in bed…before falling asleep and dreaming of looking like Alessandra. Which is sadder? You decide.

Best husband ever. He served me a burger in bed. Bless you, Brian.  PS I only ate one.
Best husband ever. He served me a burger in bed. Bless you, Brian.
PS I only ate one.

The quest continues.

Continue Reading

Let’s Get Yogurt = Let’s Pay $8 For a Bowl of Candy

I have a thing for ice cream. And doughnuts, and brownies, but today, we will just focus on the ice cream. As a defender of sugar, cream, and hefty caloric goodness, I believe frozen yogurt is a perversion of dessert and a mockery of icy treats. For this reason, I have never in my life, EVER, suggested getting yogurt, although I am a social yogurt-er when girls’ nights arise.

Things changed this weekend. I had a dream about Pinkberry, which skewed my sensibility and everything I stand for. I shocked Brian by insisting on a trip to a yogurt place down the street, which is not, I repeat, NOT Pinkberry.

After we weighed in and paid a thousand dollars for it (I’m sorry, are the bowls weighted?), we sat down and ate before Gus got bored gnawing on straws and plastic spoons. Brian asked what I got. Kit Kats, Reese’s, chocolate sprinkles, Oreos, chocolate fudge, some cherries…I was still rattling off the contents of my bowl when he specified what YOGURT I got. I realized I only plopped a little on the bottom of the cup as a base for the sour gummy worms.

Eyeballing my bowl.
Eyeballing my bowl.
Gus with a quick hand for candy.
Gus with a quick hand for candy.

Time to pull out the Team Ice Cream shirt.

In other weekly news, I hosted a “Vegas, baby!” baby shower at my house. My only regret was not inviting Elvis, but as it turns out, a month’s advance notice is required for the popular Elvi (plural) from here. What a let down.
brittneycake

Being a desert boy, Gus is going to be a devout pool baby. Our families ‘ pools, neighborhood pools, hotel pools…he needed a quick introduction. He had his first “swimming” experience this week with our friends Sarah and Trey. Gus was a little unsure about the water, but maybe it’s because he was distracted trying to eat Trey’s hat and my hair, alternately. gus swimming

Mom needs a tan, so hopefully this pool thing grows on him. He will be sold once I coach him in skinny dipping.

Continue Reading