• Food,  How To,  I've Got Mad Skillz,  Uncategorized

    A Crisis Of Epic Proportions

    I had a crisis of epic proportions the other day. My stomach dropped, my breathing intensified, and I started having heart palpitations. An anxiety attack was on the horizon. You see, I ran out of chocolate chips. I know; I couldn’t believe it either. I have posted on Facebook several times about how I “get nervous” when I run out of chocolate chips, but most people think I’m just trying to be funny. Sadly, I’m not. I truly have a physical reaction to the news that I have zero bags of those little semi-sweet teardrops in my freezer*. Granted, I hardly use them anymore: I don’t make chocolate chip banana…

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    Best Thing Ever,  Food,  How To

    How To Make Portillo’s Chopped Salad At Home (& Dazzle Your Family!)

    I am not–and never will be–a food blogger. (I’m guessing you’re not here for the recipes, anyway. So we’re good.) That said, I do enjoy food, and I am pretty good at making delicious things to eat. Sometimes I will prepare a family favorite for dinner and think, “I should share this on the blog.” Then I think, “But I’m not a food blogger, and the idea of staging the food for the pretty pictures makes me feel a little nauseous,” so I don’t share. Except just this once. I happen to have created a family favorite when I started making Portillo’s chopped salad at home, and I think you…

  • How To,  The Dailey Method,  Working On My Fitness

    Get Moving!

    As everyone knows, January is the month in which people make New Year’s resolutions. I don’t have numbers (and am too lazy to look them up), but the majority of people fail after a short attempt at trying to make changes: that’s why the health clubs are packed to the gills from the first of January until about February fifteenth. On February sixteenth, all of us gym rats get the place to ourselves again, like clockwork. If you have a resolution to work on your fitness this year, I’ve got some suggestions for you. 1. Make small goals. If you’re starting a brand-new exercise program, it would be silly and…

  • How To,  My Kids Have Mad Skillz,  Pretty Pictures

    Displaying Artwork For Geniuses

    When the boys were little, the amount of papers and artwork they used to bring home from school (not to mention what they produced at home) was ridiculous. I bought a plastic storage container for each of them and put select items in them to save for posterity. Every now and then, I’d come across something that I didn’t want to put in a time capsule. Of course, I didn’t want it laying around the house, either. I needed a place where I could look at it whenever I wanted to, but it was out of the way at all other times. Enter my kitchen cabinets. The insides of the…

  • How To,  Jew Stuff

    From The Archives, Because It’s THAT Time Of Year

    With the calendar being flipped to December again (that always seems to happen this time of year!), I thought I’d republish this post from last year, because I’m sure it will be useful…again. This was originally posted here on December 6, 2011. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or something else? I have written about this topic twice before, but alas, it’s that time of year once again, and I always get questions. (Plus, one of my better posts on the topic was a whole three years ago, and many of you weren’t readers back then, so…time for a refresher.) Let me start out with my disclaimer: though I naturally think that…

  • Food,  How To,  I've Got Mad Skillz

    Plate Prop Demo, Or “Evidence of My Crazy”: You Pick.

    I learned this week that Fiestaware knives, when combined with dinner plates that are completely flat (rather than having a deeper part in the middle), don’t cut it (see what I did there?) when it comes to propping my Thanksgiving plate adequately enough so that the gravy stays on the turkey where it belongs. I had to use a spoon instead, bottom-side-up. Backstory here.

  • Blessings,  How To,  Random Thoughts

    It’s Up To You. You Can Quote Me On That.

    Well, hello! Nice to see you again! Since it’s been five days since I last posted (yikes!), I have had to wrestle with a brain on overload. There’s not much to write about, but there’s so much to write about. I know, it doesn’t make sense to me, either. I had a post planned for today but put it on the back burner early this morning when I scrolled through my Facebook news feed and found an inspirational quote, one I have since lost track of but it went something along the lines of “My life is fantastic because I decided that it should be.” I love it (and probably…

  • How To,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    How To Start A Babysitting Co-op

    Although my boys are way-old now, I have many, many friends who still have young ones. A common complaint is that the cost of babysitting can make a kid-free outing financially stressful at best, financially impossible at worst. One of my friends just posted a Facebook thread about this very topic and said that in checking around for a babysitter for her two young boys (five and nine), it would cost ten dollars an hour. If she and her husband decided to go out to an evening movie (including popcorn and drinks), the date would easily cost them in the neighborhood of $60-70. FOR A MOVIE. I have been suggesting…

  • Confessions,  Do I Really Want My Readers To Know This?,  How To,  I've Got Mad Skillz,  Too Funny To Ignore

    The Best AND Creepiest Way To Discourage A Door-To-Door Salesperson. Maybe.

    We have lived in our current home for nearly twelve years. Our neighborhood is on the smallish side, and our elementary school is smack-dab in the middle. Both of my boys attended that school from Kindergarten through fifth grade (D started Kindergarten there when we were living in a rental home in another subdivision nearby). One of the things I love about this neighborhood is that it feels a lot like Mayberry: it’s quaint, neighbors know neighbors (for the most part), and until the last couple of years it was not very transient compared to other areas in my town. I have seen lots of kids grow up here alongside…

  • Family Fun,  How To,  I've Got Mad Skillz,  Jim Has Mad Skillz,  We Are An Awesome Couple

    How To Get Started On A DIY Bathroom Renovation In Thirty Easy Steps

    One of the pros of being a fan of DIY is that you can save lots of money. Another pro is that there is a sense of pride and ownership in what you’re doing: it’s a little like sweat equity (Okay, it’s a lot like sweat equity because it IS sweat equity.). One of the cons is that a DIY bathroom renovation can take lots longer than if you hire a professional. We recently got started on our mostly-DIY bathroom renovation and if you were thinking about doing one in your house, here’s how to get started…in thirty easy steps. 1. Buy a house with which you are completely in…