Friday, July 31, 2015

Why this isn't a post about Tres Leches cake

I was going to post a tres leches cake recipe today, mostly for my friend Beth.

It's strange really but the care and feeding of a blog post seems to be taking longer than writing it these days.

True story.

Since I don't really have time for the care and feeding of a recipe post, I'm waiting for next week. Sorry Beth.

On the other hand, it's been years. A week one way or the other won't make any difference, really.

In the mean time, though it's a little hard to read in this picture, I did notice "resorts" have been redefined to include something that looks suspiciously like a neighborhood subdivision with a faded sign:

Which should be absolutely NO surprise to anyone, since "luxury" was redefined to include trailer homes years ago.

I have two pieces up on TODAY Show Parenting:

Hair Headaches


A Label by Any Other Name

If it happens that you head over to read, take a little click on the "vote up" button for me if you don't hate it! Because. I mean, why not?!?!?

And of course I have Letting My Children Explore Their Own Paths up on Mom Babble. So...a ton going on for me writing-wise and more than I can gracefully handle. I'm definitely too far over my head to add a recipe into the mix (so to speak).

Instead how about a couple pictures my big girl took of my little girl when we went to visit her at "tamp" (camp)?

Isn't it SO pretty at camp?!?

Doesn't my big girl take beautiful pictures?!?

I'm in love with all of it - my little girl, my big girl, my big girl's photos, "tamp"...

So that's it from here: the burglars have missed their chance at invading our home, since we've already returned from camp, I'm too overwhelmed to post a recipe but promise it will be coming soon, and I found a silly sign. Finally.  Happy weekend all!

Friday, July 24, 2015

I try and keep seriousness to a bare minimum around here...

So I'm over at Mom Babble today talking about all the various ways I've screwed up my kids! JUST KIDDING!  I hope I'm not screwing them up TOO very badly, now...there are kind of a lot of them...

Seriously though, I'm mostly over on Mom Babble talking about the difference in raising kids 17 years apart.  (Now if only I were as good at it as I sound over there.)

In any case,  CLICK HERE to read, or just click the photo!

On a totally different note, a TON of people have asked me about the giant bubble wand from my Wordless Wednesday post this week.

Unfortunately I'm pretty sure my parents bought it for my kids about 15 years ago at a children's museum in Vermont that no longer has a bubble exhibit.

But here's an Amazon Affiliate link to a similar product:

Giant Bubble Wand (affiliate link)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

I'm Not Tired of Everything Being Beautiful, Beautiful

Oh muh DOSH!  Iss donna be SO BEE-YOO-LIH-FULL!!!!!
(Oh my gosh! It's going to be SO BEAUTIFUL!) 
~ The Head of Demolition, on every craft project that has ever existed

To misquote Bob Dylan and the Band (affiliate link - begrudge me if you may, but I'll make like a three cent finder's fee if you click and buy), I'm NOT tired of everything being "bee-yoo'-lih-full, bee-yoo'-lih-full" and I don't think I ever could be.

Three is a nice age, though I'm totally getting where the whole "Threenager" concept comes in.  I do get tired of being ordered around by the little despot. The orders come fast and furious.  Prompts elicit an exasperated "puh-LEEZ!"

And we wait in vain for a bedtime that doesn't involve 753 delay tactics followed by and/or combined with lots and lots of screaming.  But, in general, everything is bee-yoo'-lih-full, bee-yoo'-lih-ful around here.  Who could argue with that smile?

Meanwhile, I received a copy of my own book yesterday! 

The kid is enchanted, and full of "I wanna do dat one and dat one and dat one!" 

Learn With Play: 150+ Activities for kids

The surgeon general has NOT determined that this book will turn a threenager, a terrible two, or an f'ing four or five into pleasant child flitting through fields of educational rainbows, unicorns, and monster trucks.  But still...worth a shot, right?!?

(More affiliate links.  Please do your best not to sue me.  The three cents probably won't cover that.)

Kindle Version - $14.95 (affiliate link)
Print version $29.95 (affiliate link) 

Friday, July 17, 2015

I'm Giving Up Glitter in Favor of Cat Pee (Further adventures in Pretending the Cat Has Ebola)

It’s true, I’m giving up the glitter in favor of cat pee, though it may seem confusing. How could I give up something so sparkly and fun for such an odious liquid? I know, I know. These days it’s much more fashionable to declare one’s love of wine than even beer or liquor, much less cat excrement.

And I do love glitter so. The smile it brings to my three year old’s face is every bit as delightful as the one she reserves for the parachute at Gymboree, except way less expensive. 

I’m a half hearted crafter at best. The projects I make are lopsided and pathetic. But glitter makes even my woeful creations look like something special.

I can’t deny that it’s a pain in the neck to clean up, nor that the guy that first called glitter “the herpes of the crafting world” is genius. But that’s a small price to pay for a little girl who asks, “We hab more ah'dat...sparkle?”

For some reason, though, my 17 year old son recoils as if each stray “glit” were a live hand grenade perfectly poised to detonate his dinner. And my husband rushes to his defense, proclaiming glitter just as dangerous as it is irritating.

For my part, I am always extra, extra careful and clean up well. However, I’m a lousy housekeeper, so my extra efforts only mean a light dusting of glitter coating everything from countertop to light fixtures at the conclusion of each project, rather than ankle deep puddles on each flat surface.

Unfortunately I have to part ways with glitter in favor of cat pee and t
his is why: My 20 year old’s favorite has decided that the world his his oyster. Except, substitute “litter box” for “oyster”. The world is his litter box.

Yes, we’ve taken him to the vet and replaced the carpet and confined him so that he now lives in the bathroom. In fact, he was the catalyst (No pun intended. Or pun intended, whatever…) for our entire kitchen renovation. Once we pulled up and banished the living room carpet, the rest of the kitchen and living room followed. But he continues to wet the carpet and give blank looks, our anger and frustration lost on him.

My husband says he can only live with cat pee OR glitter, but not both. So I’m packing the glitter up and giving it away. Goodbye glitter tutus, rolls of glitter tulle. Goodbye glitter paint. We're over! Through. Kaput. Done for.

My baby girl will miss you, but my husband and son wish you “Bon Voyage!  Don’t coat the door or back hall on your way out!”  The vacuum cleaner and broom will thank me endlessly, although the future homeowners will probably wish it had been the other way around (Does anyone reading this need a house?  It will be for sale in the spring). 

I just hope the pink glitter combat boots are still fair game.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Wordless Wednesday {The Road Goes On Forever...or at least as far as Santa Fe - Part 2)

Why yes I DO realize it's Tuesday!  But...I didn't post last Friday.  Not only that, but I noticed that Wordless Wednesday seems to come earlier and earlier these days.  I'm even getting some notice by Monday, which is super confusing! 

Also? I seem to have put in words again...
El Rey Motor Inn, Route 66, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe buildings
How to occupy a little one in a busy restaurant?  Let her fix the coffee, of course.  The Head of Demolition made coffee in Austin and Abilene and Lubbock on the way there.  She made coffee in Amarillo and Witchita Falls and Dallas on the way back.

We're going to start renting her out at book clubs and luncheons and boring parties.
Fun things to do in restaurants
Also, we decided to rent her out at the old folk's home where my Partner in Crime's mother lives as a therapy baby.  They're battening down the hatches as you read this.
Girl pets fish statue

It happened that we got to Santa Fe just in time for Pride on the Plaza, which just so happened to coincide with the big win.  Why yes, I DID ask around to find out if it was sheer coincidence. Two waiters and everyone I asked on the plaza agreed that it was.

Pride balloons in Santa Fe, New Mexico

This guy looks all serious here, but click to see him dancing up a storm!

Pride on the Plaza, Santa Fe

Love wins in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Flags at Pride on the Plaza in New Mexico

Pride on the plaza Santa Fe

If you have somehow slogged through all this and still want to see more Santa Fe wonderfulness, click here for Part 1.

If you just would like to link your Wordless Wednesday already, here's the link up!

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

(Not very) Wordless Wednesday - {The Road Goes On Forever...or at least as far as Santa Fe - Part 1}

This obviously isn't totally wordless, but since I have not so very much to say and mostly pictures to not say it with...I'm posting for Wordless Wednesday.

We got a dire warnings about driving the 1700 miles to Santa Fe and back with a just turned three year old. My dad was sure the Head of Demolition would be bored out of her mind. The Editor in Chief was afraid we'd end up dead and wanted to know why we couldn't just take cruises like normal people.

The prognosis seemed so dire that I was ready to abandon the car and head toward the nearest airport, despite my fear of flying.

But we armed ourselves with a Kindle from the local pawn shop and hoped for the best.

We got Lubbock on Everything:

The Head of Demolition went on her first "hiking" trip, which mostly involved grabbing handful upon handful of caterpillars and declaring that she would hold them in her hand all the way home to Houston.

Downtown Santa Fe was as beatiful as everyone said it would be.  The Head of Demolition performed well enough at her job that we decided to wait outside while Daddy was inside the shops:

Around the motel:

Since it happens that I'm putting words in my Wordless Wednesday this week anyway, I might as well mention: I'm (a very small part) of a book now!

Available here, here, and here:

Kindle Version - $14.95
 (affiliate link)
Print version $29.95 (affiliate link)

Stay tuned for part 2 of the whole Santa Fe thing, and please link your Wordless (or wordful as it may be) Wednesday post here!

Monday, July 06, 2015

Cupcake Play Dough (Also Known as "Guess what?!?!?! I'm in a BOOK now!")

In addition to me being one of the 94 authors for this book, this post contains affiliate links to the book. See full disclosure here.

Here's my super exciting news for the day: I'm in a book now!  Why yes, I AM just as surprised as you are.  Plus, I had no idea how pretty and full of fun the book would be.

It's is full of over 150 super fun ideas!  With 94 authors, including teachers and moms, there's an unbelievable variety of activities.

Despite the number of activities, the book is easy to navigate.  It is divided by subject matter (such as fine motor, play recipes, DIY toys, color learning, math, literacy, letter recognition, etc.) and even color coded by age:

Clearly it's a great gift too!  Here are the aforementioned affiliate links, also known as "how to buy the book":

Kindle Version - $14.95

And here's an activity RIPPED from the pages of the book!  Sort of. If you count "cut and paste" as "ripping":

Cupcake Play Dough

This recipe is the result of my misunderstanding one of the little girls in my preschool class. She began talking about “Birthday Cake Play Dough” and by the time I realized she was talking about the props she would play with (candles, cupcake tins) and not the type of play dough, this recipe had already been invented in my head.

Cupcake Play Dough is basically made like any other Cream of Tartar/heated on the stove play dough except for one “trick”: despite the fact that I have it listed first on the ingredients list, the cake mix should be added last. Mixing in the cake mix last keeps the sprinkles from mixing into the liquid too much and turning the play dough gray!


1 ½ Cups of sprinkle cake mix, such as Duncan Hines Confetti Cake
1 Cup Flour
¾ Cup Water
3 Teaspoons Cream of Tartar
½ Cup Salt
3 Tablespoons Coconut (or vegetable) Oil


Put all ingredients except cake mix into a saucepan and heat, blending well. Add cake mix and stir until thickened. Knead for a few moments until cooled.

A tip for making play dough with very young children:

Because the cream of tartar will be doing its magical work, you can actually heat all ingredients first, and then turn off the stove to let your child “help.” He or she will still feel the heat of the stove and be able to mix, without such a high risk of burning him or herself. The play dough should still firm up nicely. And if not, play dough is very forgiving in general – add in a little more flour or reheat!

Knead for a few moments until cool enough to give to your child.

Learn with Play: Cupcake Play Dough

Birthday cake play dough smells great and weathers the elements pretty well (it can be left out for longer than many play doughs because it stays so soft. Cutting, kneading, and rolling the play dough into snakes or small balls it are all great ways to gain hand strength and practice fine motor skills!

So that's it folks!  Once again, THREE great ways to get the book with so many more activities!

Kindle Version - $14.95

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Happy Fourth of July Everyone!

Instead of taking nice Independence Day photos this year, I just decided my time would be better spent cleaning up cat pee and ripping up carpet.  So I'm re-posting this from two years ago instead:

You're a Grand Old Flag! You're a high flying flag!

And forever in peace...ummmm...forever in peace...what was I doing with this thing again?

Oh yeah, I remember now. Eating it.

What do you mean proper flag etiquette doesn't include munching on the stars and stripes?!?!?!

Oh well. Back to eating random stuff I find on the ground. Happy Fourth of July People!


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