Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday Minute: Too Many Electronics?

If you read my post last Monday, you know that I was GUILTED into going away this weekend with the family to a (gasp!) military event. And while I wasn’t really looking forward to it, and was REALLY pissed at my husband for manipulated the situation to suit him, it was actually kind-of fun. (By the way, if you mention that to my husband, I will cut your hair off in your sleep!)

j0439283 But truth be told, I was more nervous about the drive than the actual event. With stops, it was about 8 hours each way. My kids have never been on a road trip. If it’s more than a few hours away, we fly. We’re just not a driving sort of family. j0305742

Well I have to say, the kids were GREAT! And of course they were great. We had movies, the PSP, my iPod, along with tons of snacks. WOW! Let’s think for a minute about road trips when we were kids. (Of course, I’m assuming that everyone reading this is around my age. If you’re not, keep it to yourself!)

There was the License Plate game. We never did see Alaska or Hawaii, j0436734 so how was anyone supposed to win? And we had a Bingo game, with road signs and such instead of letters and numbers. Then there was listing items in a category (decided by Mom) using the letters A through Z in order.

But the thing I remember most from childhood road trips was “THE LOOK” from Dad. (Jaws music playing here!) I still shudder, just thinking about it. If we got “THE LOOK” we knew we were in REAL trouble. Dad never did threaten to stop the car, he would threaten to smack our knees. But the thing was, he couldn’t really drive and aim for one of us. The backseat contained me and my two sisters, giving him 6 knees to smack. And he did! No matter who was in trouble, we all got smacked knees. So that’s why we dreaded “THE LOOK!”

Hmmmm, I wonder if I’ve ever given “THE LOOK” to my kids. Naw, probably not!


Friday, August 28, 2009


Today is Karen's birthday!!!!!

(The picture to the left is her celebrating my birthday earlier this summer. See how wonderful she is? A girlfriend knows. . . .)

Happy Birthday to you, Karen. You're a wonderful friend, a patient partner and simply a good person. Okay. . . stop giving me "the look" and let's have CAKE! (I don't care if you are on Weight Watchers. I'm having cake. Mandatory Birthday Rule). 

Pictures to follow when we actually get to celebrate it next week, because you know, Karen has been guilted into a Civil War Trip for her birthday weekend (I'm still not okay with that. I SO understand your pain, K!)

We WILL celebrate properly upon your return!


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thursday Thoughts-Free Time

So I've been encountering this, shall we say, phenomenon, lately.  Basking in the thought of my children returning to school, my husband looks at me and says,"So honey, what ARE you going to do with all of that FREE time?"

The same thing happened to a girlfriend of mine. And then to Karen. 

Do any of those Y Chromosome People understand that that is a PERFECT way to get an instant Personal Safety Day?

Because, you know, when the kids aren't around, I just lay about the house, twiddling my thumbs, longing for a nose to wipe, a meal to clean up after, yearning to complete the laundry.
Never mind that I actually have paying jobs. But I guess those don't count because, you know, I'm at home most of the day.

So today, I went to my tiny little office  where I teach. It's a shared office, an  a colleague of mine, whom I simply adore, was already there. We began talking and he looked at me with his mischievous eyes and sly grin and said,"So Melissa, now that the kids are back in school, what are you going to do with all your FREE time?!" 

I just looked at him and said,"Tell me, PLEASE tell me you did not say that to your beautiful wife on the first day of school."

"ARE YA KIDDIN' ME?!" he replied. "Melissa, I turned 50 this summer, and there are a few things I've learned you just don't say to your wife. And THAT is definitely one of them."

Now you know why I adore him. I just hope that I don't have to wait for my darling hubby to turn 50 before he learns that lesson. Otherwise, it might be a long decade with a lot of personal safety days.

Yours, burning all my FREE TIME,


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wednesday Whatever: Yummy Recipe for the Family

I’m going to take a detour from my healthy, dieting life I’m leading lately and give you a really great recipe that your kids will love. (But have you noticed that almost everything I write lately revolves around food? Hmmmm!)

The recipe is for BBQ Beef Pop ‘Ems. They are easy, easy to make and everyone in my family loves them, which is saying A LOT! Before I go on, I must give credit to my sister, Margee, for giving me this recipe. (Okay, I’m really giving her credit only because she yelled at me for not saying that she told me about the Arnold Select Sandwich Thins on my Favorite Diet Foods post. So, are ya happy now, Marg?)

So here it is: BBQ Beef Pop ‘Ems

  • 1 pound ground beef (or turkey, or soy, or whatever fake stuff you use)
  • 1 Cup BBQ Sauce (I actually use a little more than 1 cup)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 10 pack can of buttermilk biscuits
  • 2/3 Cup shredded cheese (any kind)

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Brown ground beef, drain and return to skillet. Add BBQ sauce and brown sugar. Mix well. Coat muffin pan with non-stick spray. Press each biscuit into a cup. Spoon the meat mixture into biscuits and push down firmly. Top with cheese and bake for 10-12 minutes, until cheese is melted and biscuits are done.

That’s all there is to it! It’s exactly the kind of recipe I like: not too many ingredients and no “meanwhile” instructions. (You know, where you have to do something while something else is happening. I can’t multi-task in the kitchen!)



Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tuesday Debate- To spank or not to spank?

So we are working with discipline issues. Who isn't? Here in the B household, we have come to the age where discussion is seemingly having an effect. (Notice the use of the word "seemingly". I'm not completely convinced yet, but willing to give it a try). We use a lot of different tactics, from revoking privileges to extra chores (I LOVE child labor, because I hate scrubbing floors, windows and toilets!). These punishments are usually given for breaking rules.

We have, particularly when they were much younger, used spanking occasionally.  I know- some of you are already horrified. Our method is the "swat method". . .  there is some discussion and then one or two swats, depending on the level of defiance. And yes, this was reserved for absolute defiance.

Case in point: When Z1 was 2, we lived in the city. We always told him,"DO NOT. RUN OUT. INTO THE ALLEY." Those cars would zip by so fast, I knew they would never see his little body in time. So one day, hubby and I got him out of the car and stood him on his little legs. He looked right at me, got that "I'm gonna be a stinker" glimmer in his eye, and ran right for the alley. Hubby ran right after him, promptly told him no and landed a swat right on his bottom. And you know what? He never did it again. I'm not saying that swat was the absolute end all answer for that situation, but for that particular thing, it worked. 

  Have you ever spanked your child? Why or why not? What's the reasoning and the goal behind it? I'd like to hear from a myriad of parents to see what the consensus is. . .

  Yours, considering this whole spanking thing,


Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Minute: GUILT, GUILT, GUILT

So why does GUILT work so well on moms? Is it that we strive for perfection? Is it because we are so afraid of doing something wrong in raising our children and they’ll turn out to be serial killers? Or is it just because we’re afraid of becoming OUR OWN MOTHERS, whom we obviously blame for all of our neurosis?

My DH wants to take the boys to a military event this weekend. MY birthday weekend. Okay, so secretly I’m thinking that this is THE BEST BIRTHDAY GIFT EVER!!! Until he finds out the event is about 6 1/2 hours away, instead of the 4 1/2 hours he thought. Now, he’s trying to guilt me into going with them. Not only do I have ABSOLUTELY NO desire to go, I really don’t want to spend my birthday in a car for 6 1/2 hours or more.

He talked to one of the “wives” who will be there, and she told him all about the things that the wives do together, and how the meals are catered, and how much fun she has, even though she thought it would be boring and stupid. So I pointed out that if I went with him, I’d wouldn’t even be with him and the boys, I’d be spending my time with a bunch of ladies I don’t even know. So why go?bd07263_

This is where the truth comes out: He doesn’t want to drive all that way alone, with the boys, on their first road trip ever. AAAAHHHH! Yes, I see it now. He wants me to take care of the children during the ride and keep them quiet busy for the hours we’ll be in the car.

And here is the worst part: I’ll probably do it. Why? Because he used the best weapon ever invented against moms: GUILT. If I don’t go, he’s not going to go either. He’ll take them someplace closer some day. (Yeah, right!)

So think about me this weekend, sitting in a car, on my birthday, going to an event I don’t want to be at, staying in a yucky hotel, being miserable.

But there is ONE thing you can count on: I’m going to make him feel as guilty as I can. ALL. WEEKEND. LONG!!!


Friday, August 21, 2009

FRIDAY FUNNY- Waterfalls and Baby Belugas

If you happen to be a regular here at Macaroni and Chicken Fingers, then you may remember my first bathroom story. I'm telling you, the bathroom and I just don't get along! 

Here's the next chapter  . . . 

 It’s 7 AM on Memorial Day Morning. My husband had left at 6:30 for his traditional “First Day of Summer” early round of golf. I am lying in bed, half asleep, half awake.  I hear Z2's tiny fingers (she was about 2 1/2 at the time) start to wiggle my door knob.  Within seconds she becomes frantic to get to me and starts calling out “Mommy! Mommy!”  So I get out of bed, look at the clock, thinking,” Wow!  How did I get to sleep in so late?”  (My children are early risers- usually 6:15).  While getting the door open, I notice that I hear water running.  As soon as the door is open, my daughter is disappearing down the hall calling, “Mommy!  Hurry!  Follow me!” Off she toddles. So I walk down the hall to the bathroom.  Yes, the same bathroom I was locked in about a month ago.

    To my absolute dismay, the water is on full blast, and is overflowing EVERYWHERE!  What in the world happened here?  I promptly turned off the water, and just as promptly sent my two year old  daughter to her room. While cleaning up the mess, I figured it out.  A few months ago, I somehow broke the sink stopper.  So to get the water to drain, I unscrewed the top part of it that seals to the basin.  Not thinking anything of it, I set it on the sink counter.  Apparently, my brilliant two year old decided to screw it back on and plug up the sink.  The unfortunate thing is, that sink has no backflow drain.  As ZoĆ« is quite entranced with water, she decided to have a little play time while mommy was still asleep.  I spent a good hour trying to clean it up- I pulled the carpet and the padding back- it was sopping wet! Here’s the kicker.  The hall bathroom sits above the main level family room. About six weeks ago, my husband repaired a spot in the ceiling about the size of a cantaloupe.  This spot happened when Z1, while taking a bath, decided to recreate the waterfalls he saw in Maui.  Up until yesterday morning, the ceiling was pristine.  All day long we watched the ceiling. . . .  

 IT started out as a small spot, then some dripping, a little bubbling, and a lot more growing.  We are now the dumbfounded owners of a 7’ x 2½ watermark (yes, I did measure it in feet). Kinda looks like (and is the size of) a baby Beluga Whale. 

I am fully contemplating simply bricking in the doorway to that bathroom. I think it might be easier to live with that way.

 Have a wonderful weekend,


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thursday Thoughts- I Wondered How Long It Would Take

Photo Two: The first day of school. Ready to go and excited to be there!
Photo One: The second day of school, same time. . . 
'Nuff Said!

Yours, hoping this is NOT an indication of the school year, 

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wednesday Whatever: Random Thoughts

Sometimes I just need to vent some random thoughts.  You know what I mean?  Thoughts that have absolutely nothing to do with one another, except for the fact that they either amuse or annoy me!

So here goes:guinea_pig_cowboy1

  • My sister called me today, laughing hysterically.  She parked next to a car with stickers on it advertising that they are Guinea Pig  Rescuers.  Seriously?  Do Guinea Pigs need rescuing?
  • Why do women wear make-up to the gym?  I have sweat running down my face, among other places, when I work out.  If I had make-up on, it would end up being pooled at the bottom of my chin then globbing off!
  • I eat ice-cream fudge bars from an unnamed company.  (Okay, Schwan’s!)  They are low fat, low calorie and fabulous.  So when I put the information into Weight Watcher’s website to determine the number of points, I noticed that there are 5 grams of fiber, giving them a 0 Point Value.  Fiber?  In ice-cream? brett-favre-si-cover Where?  The stick?
  • There should be a rule in major league sports that if you say you are going to retire, you can’t change your mind.  (Hmmm, who could I be talking about?)
  • Don’t you hate it when skinny people say, “Oh, I just forgot to eat lunch.”  YUCK!  I’ve never forgotten to eat a meal in my life.  (Hence, I’m on Weight Watchers and they are not!)

So those are just a few of the things that I think about during the day.  I guess I’m not a very deep person, having deep, meaningful thoughts.  That’s okay, I can live with being shallow!

What are your random thoughts?


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Tuesday Debate- The Devil Called High Fructose Corn Syrup

I did a very bad thing. I went grocery shopping yesterday and allowed my kids to pick a cereal. I do this about three times a year. Too bad I caved the day before the first day of school. Of COURSE they picked something like Trix Swirls with as much high fructose corn syrup as possible.  So of course, they will want it first thing tomorrow morning. You know me, sugar them up and send them off to school.

So do you REALLY think it's that bad for them? What about in bread? Snacks? Obviously soda has to be limited. But how much is in our food and does it really make a difference? What if your child is diagnosed ADD/ADHD? Is this as bad as red dye #5?

Tell me what you know-


Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday Minute – Summer is ending!

School starts tomorrow. Am I excited? Yes, in some ways. Am I sad? Yes, in other ways. Am I confused? Yes, always!

I’m craving to get my life back, with order and schedules and above all, time alone! I feel like everything has taken a back burner to my kids for frontcover2reducedthe past three months. And while that is not a bad thing at all, I’m way behind on stuff, like closing the books out for my cub scout pack (yes, I’m the treasurer – don’t laugh!), bill paying, coupon clipping, and especially on selling my book. In the retail world, Christmas comes in July, and I haven’t done a thing yet to promote By The Book into Holiday Gift Guides. Oh, and look, IT’S PAST JULY!

Yet, when I think about the fun I’ve had this summer with the kids, I get a bit wistful. Of course, none of us were perfectly behaved over the past 3 months, but all has been forgiven. They tolerated going with me to gym a few days a week, and I tolerated listening to Lego Star Wars on the Wii for an hour a day. We spent a lot of time relaxing at the pool and just hanging out, so all in all, we had a great summer.

And we had a whole list of places to go and things to do this summer, which, of course, we just started on last week. It was a really busy week! (Am I the only one who waits until the last minute to work on that list?)

So today is the last day of summer vacation. I’ll take tomorrow to celebrate/cry, and then life will get back to normal. How about you? Sad? Happy? Please let me know I’m normal!


Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Fun!

The Tooth Fairy has been a busy fairy lately. He/she has earned a ton of frequent flyer miles coming by our house in the last week or so. So much so, that in the beginning, Z1 had to wait three nights in a row before the Tooth Fairy actually made it to the tooth under his pillow.  I can still see it all clearly. On the second morning he comes trudging into my bedroom, looks at me laying in the bed, drops his head to his chest and says,"I. got. NUTHIN'!" 

The Tooth Fairy felt like a huge schmuck. I mean, two nights in a row? Sheesh! Some Tooth Fairy! Finally on the third night, said Tooth Fairy made the stop and has been wearing out the path to our house and back. See how toothless we are?

Enjoy your weekend. We are hanging at the pool all afternoon as it will be one of the very last nice weekdays before school starts on Tuesday. School. . .  I'm sure that will bring much to blog about. 

Happy Friday!


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday Thoughts- The Whole Miley/Stripper Pole of it All

So unless you've been under a rock lately, or have only boys, you may not have heard anything about Miley Cyrus and the MTV Teen Choice Awards. Seems like Miley is growing up. That in itself is not a bad deal. Who can stop anyone from aging? Being a star with an alter ego comes with its own set of challenges, I suppose. Not only does Miley perform as Miley, but she performs as Hannah Montana.

Clearly, this week she was wanting to perform as Miley. Now, if you haven't heard about the whole ice cream cart with the stripper pole, click on her name and see the article. Had this been another pop star, it probably would not have phased me. But since Miley has a tween fan base, and let's face it, a lot of her fans are ages 5-8 as well, I have to say, I was completely underwhelmed, unimpressed, and wondering WHERE THE HECK WAS HER FATHER?!?!?!?! A lot of people are saying that the way she danced was not provocative and she wasn't gyrating or swinging around the pole. And that it wasn't a stripper pole because, well, it was on top of an ice cream cart. (Oh. . . okay then. That just solves the entire mystery of it for me!)

Give me a break. Clearly, it was not an umbrella. And her first dance move with the pole- clearly a nod to the stripping profession. And, granted, that was as far as it went. But any time the media can make that kind of thing okay because, well, it WAS on top of an ice cream cart, I mean, what's wrong with an ice cream cart, how evil could THAT be, we have problems. Regardless of the fact that she is 16 going on 17, if she were my daughter, I certainly wouldn't want her up there doing that. And then let's throw in the fact that she has a young fan base. I think I would nearly keel over if I saw my six year old do something like that because she happened to see it from hannah Montana. Let's face it. The young ones do not differentiate Hannah Montana from Miley Cyrus. They just know they want to be like her.

Which is why my daughter still does not watch Hannah Montana. Go ahead. Tell me I'm holding her back. Yes. Yes. I am. I refuse to let my six year old be anything but six. And if that means that we don't watch TV, then so be it. I'd much rather have her digging in the dirt, riding her bike, playing with her baby dolls, swinging on the swing, shaping play-doh and making s'mores in the backyard at night. And it that makes me a mean parent, then I'm perfectly okay with that.



Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wednesday Whatever… My FAVORITE Diet Foods

Okay, I know that “favorite” and “diet foods” don’t exactly go together, but I have found some foods that keep me filled up longer than others and are very healthy. The key is fiber. I’m not a diet or nutrition expert, so don’t comment and tell me how wrong I am! These are just MY observations during MY diet! (Oops, it’s not a diet, it’s changing my eating habits to be more healthy. Yeah, whatever!)

My first favorite diet food is an Arnold Select Sandwich Thin. Have yousandwichThins ever tried these? They are really yummy! Here are the stats:

  • Calories: 100
  • Total Fat: 1 gram
  • Carbs: 21 grams
  • Fiber: 5 grams
  • WW Points: 1

These make great buns for everything from burgers to chicken salad sandwich. My favorite thing to do with them is cook some Egg Beaters and make an egg sandwich. Only 2 points and it keeps me filled up for hours.

My second favorite diet food is Fiber One Yogurt. Check out the stats on this:fiberoneyogurt_peach_strawberry_lowres

                • Calories: 80
                • Total Fat: 0 grams
                • Carbs: 19 grams
                • Fiber: 5 grams
                • WW Points: 0

Yep, that’s right, ZERO points for this one! And again, because of the fiber, it’s a great snack and keeps me filled up.


Last week, my family and I went to an all inclusive resort in Cancun, where there was an abundance of food wherever we looked. VERY hard to diet under those circumstances. But I did the best I could, even worked out twice, and told myself that if I gained less than 2 pounds, I’d be okay with it. So sure enough, I gained 1.6 pounds!

I’m back on the WW train again this week, so keep checking back as I update my weight loss story and bring you more tips!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesday Debate-Money and Children. . . AGAIN?!

Okay, I know I've been on a rant lately. First-Octomom (HHuuuuwweeeehhhhhh- Yes, that's me retching, again. I can't say her name without the reflex of throwing up.) Then last week it was Debbie Rowe, cutting another deal to stay out of her biological children's lives. 

But this one just had me cracking up. Kate Gosselein was interviewing this morning with Meredith Viera on the TODAY show. She was talking about how her brother, with whom she was so close, was telling his side of the story and using her children to make money. "And believe me," she said,"It's a business. He's making a lot of money."

Uhhhhh. . . and you, Ms. Gosselein, are doing what? 

So the topic of today is:

 Do you think the eight Gosselein Children are being exploited and if so, what do you think the punishment should be? 

I await your creative responses!


Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday Minute – The Best Moment Of Our Vacation

As most of you may know, I vacationed with my family in Cancun last week. And as I mentioned in my last vacation post, being with my family in Mexico is WAY different than my annual vacation there with my sisters. WAY, WAY DIFFERENT! But nonetheless, we had fun.

136 I could go on and on (and believe me, I do!) about how it seems that everyone has their hand out for a tip or about how the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza, one of the seven wonders of the world, are totally overshadowed by the vendors selling their wares all throughout the site. (Seriously, what started out as a pleasant “No, Gracias” became an extremely stern “NO, NO, NO! LEAVE US ALONE!”)

But I would rather tell you about the moment during our vacation that made all of that worth it. We were going snorkeling at Isla Mujeres one day. But as we were jumping out of the boat, with fins, masks and snorkels already on, my son Adam turned to me with the bottom lip quivering and chin shaking and scared eyes and said “I don’t want to do this, Mommy.”

I don’t know about you, but the quivering lip gets to me MUCH more than crying.

So I debated whether or not to stay in the boat with him, or to make him go. Normally, I give in to these because they are so rare, but I was SO SURE that he would like this, I told him he had to snorkel with the rest Mexico 2009 008of the family. So after a bit more coaxing and help from one of the tour guides, we jumped in and swam to join the rest of the group.

At this point, I told him to hold my hand, and to put his face under water. He did this, and I swam a little bit to show him some things. We stopped, he looked at me with the most incredible face, and he said “THAT WAS AWESOME!!!!” We snorkeled the rest of the time holding hands.

This is why I became a mother. And this is why nothing that went wrong during our vacation matters one little bit.


Saturday, August 8, 2009


I know, I am late again. Maybe I should call this Saturday Sass. . . .

I was giving a piano lesson earlier this week. It always amazes me what kids say. They are just so honest. And invariably, we will reach a point where one or two of them would like to try out their newfound spunkiness on a teacher. I understand this, and I can roll with it. On the inside I am rolling on the floor, laughing like a fool. On the outside, I am trying to keep a straight face. I keep the studio a pretty safe place so that the kids know it's perfectly fine to make mistakes- the musical and the personal kind. After all, there is a certain comfort level achieved with each other if you have been working together for some time. And I'd much rather it happen here than out there where someone is going to mercilessly make fun of them or they will encounter consequences far beyond what is necessary. At least here, in the studio, we can work it out and walk away still liking each other (most days, anyway. That IS the goal).

So I'm teaching this lesson to a soon to be fourth grade boy. I don't remember what was happening, what I was saying, but he stopped playing, turned his face toward me and said,"Listen here, Woman!" I know that I must have looked at him like,"No you didn't. I KNOW you did not just say that to me." He flashed me that"heh-heh", nervous grin when I replied quietly,"Sir, I believe we have crossed a line."

He began to ever so slightly scoot away from me on the piano bench. I simply looked ahead and said,"Oh, it's okay. I won't hit you. . . . not hard, anyway."

He was stellar the rest of the lesson.

Yours, keepin' those kiddos in line,


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Thursday Thoughts- Stupidity or Sheer Brilliance?

It's that time of the week- Thursday Thoughts. :-) A dangerous place to be, inside my head, that is.  You just never know what you're gonna get.

This week we went shopping for school supplies. My children are elementary age, and if you have children that age, you know about THE LIST.  Yes, THE LIST. Seems to grow every year. And quite specific, mind you. Why each child needs three packages of markers, and colored pencils, and crayons I will never know . I'm not in the classroom, but I suppose there is a rhyme and reason to it. And make sure those folders are pockets only, please, and that the scissors are blunt or sharp tipped.  By the time you add it all up (their personal supplies and the CLASSROOM supplies. . . paper towels, kleenex and the like) you've spent about $80 on two children. This did, however, include one new backpack and one new lunch box. 

Is you have gone through this before, you will also know that trying to get the list done, with children in tow, in the midst of many other families doing the same, you will know that by the time you get out of the store, you are just a little more than crazy.

Which brings me to my point. I took the kids to a store where I could get everything. It was not a convenience store, but a well-known, national chain.  Going up and down the aisles and in between were school supplies beyond necessity. However, smack dab in the middle was an aisle of all wine and hard liquor. A full aisle of wine and alcohol as far as the eye could see, settled quite in the middle of the school supplies aisles.

I can not decide if this was sheer stupidity or a brilliant marketing ploy to increase alcohol sales. Because heaven knows, after what I spent, and what it took to find everything on that list, I was certainly wishing for something to ease my nerves. 

Yours, thinking it was a brilliant marketing ploy,


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wednesday Whatever-Can I Fry My Chicken In It?

It's time for Wednesday Whatever and I (Melissa) have a review for you!

The kind people at Tropical Traditions sent us a batch of coconut oil to try out and review. Now, before you say,"What the heck would I do with coconut oil? Sunbathe in it?" you would be surprised to learn all of the nutritional facts about it. Didn't know until I went to their website. And all of these facts are interesting, all well and good. But I have to be honest with you, if it doesn't somehow fit into what's already going on, it has a slim to nil chance of getting integrated into the Bishop House. I'm a pretty healthy eater, into exercise/fitness and with two school aged children, I'm a busy woman with no extra time to spare for another thing to negotiate into the sched.

So. . . in addition to the coconut oil itself, they sent a book all about virgin coconut oil, complete with testimonials and tons of recipes. The recipes look fun, and I love to try new things. But being a Midwest Girl at heart, I just had to know, could I fry chicken in it and it be healthy and NOT taste like coconut? So what did you think I did? I didn't breathe a word to my family about it fried (well, sauted would be the "correct" term) some chicken breasts in it. Absolutely delicious and not one of my finicky, picky, and yes they would tell me if they noticed something different eaters said a word except, "Great chicken, Mom."

I mean honestly, what good is it if you can't fry your chicken it in?

BUT if you are looking for an alternative to canola or veg oil, based on flavor and ease of use, I would recommend checking out the coconut oil on the site at Tropical Traditions. Check them out and let us know what you think!


Tropical Traditions has generously offered a free quart jar of Coconut Oil for one lucky winner. The contest will end on Wednesday, September 2, 2009 at midnight CST, when the winner will be picked at random.


Primary Entry: Go to the Tropical Traditions website to check out what they have to offer. While you are there, you'll need to register for their email Newsletter.

*This entry is mandatory to allow additional entries!

Additional Entries (be sure to leave a comment for each entry):

1. Subscribe to my blog via email
2. Join my blog using Google Friend Connect
3. Follow me on Twitter and Tweet about this giveaway (remember to use @karmelpub when tweeting) up to once per day
4. Blog about this giveaway and provide a link back to here
5. Grab our button and place on your blog

(I will send out an email to the winner and you will have 48 hours to respond back to me or I will pick another winner.)

Yours, using up my coconut oil,


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tuesday Debate-Selling Children?

Last Tuesday I posted about Octomom. Yes, I am still wretching over it.  Just when I thought it was safe, we hear about Debbie Rowe and the Jackson children.  

What does it mean when a woman has children, gives their father complete legal custody for a particular sum of money, all the while agreeing to never be in contact with those children again? I'm not her, so I can't speak for what her thought process or experience was. Who knows, she could have gotten shafted in the whole deal- promised one thing and delivered another. 

But then, the father dies and she comes back and gets the SAME DEAL ALL OVER AGAIN. 

What is the deal with money for children these days??????

How is this legal? Isn't it the same thing as selling the kids?

What do you think? Is it just me?


Monday, August 3, 2009

Monday Minute

A different kind of give-away. . . . 

Once in a while, you hear of something and think,"What would I do if that was me?" And it makes you feel really grateful for the life you are living. Even the things that most of us complain about that are really more annoyances than hardships become treasured moments. If you have a minute, go here and read about this family who could use any kind of help- money, time, prayers, whatever. If anything, if it just makes you look at your life a little differently today, then it's worth the minute it takes to read it.

Yours, wishing you a Happy Monday,


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Cancun With The Family – Much Different Than With The Sisters!

First, let me start by saying that when I go to Cancun with my sisters, we CR3 stay in REALLY nice places, and I have just learned how REALLY nice they are! I am incredibly spoiled. The resort is nice enough, but nowhere close to the resorts we’ve stayed. And the water, though warm, is really rough and choppy. (Surprisingly enough, I haven’t been blamed for this, as DH always seems to blame me for things that go wrong with our vacations. Hey, you don’t give me input in the planning process, you shut up when we get there! Sorry, whole other post!) We’re talking BIG waves, which is lovely to look at , but not so relaxing when you’re in it. Every time I get knocked down by a big wave, I lose my swimsuit bottom! (Thank you, Weight Watchers – and I mean that sincerely!) And you can FORGET peeing in the water. I need more calm for that. So we split our time between the beach and the pool today.CR2

Okay, so let’s back up and talk about the morning we left St. Louis. Well, we just barely made our flight this morning. They actually had to hold the plane for us. Now, I don’t want to name names (DH), but somebody (DH) was having trouble turning off the electricity without turning off the alarm system, which apparently must be done so the house doesn’t burn down. (Did I say DH?) Luckily, I got my own seat a few rows back from the rest of them, so the flight was good! So we get here at about 11:00 and of course our room wasn’t ready yet, so we went to have lunch. Except that lunch isn’t served until 11:30, so we had breakfast (again). At this point, I need to ask the questions…diet, what diet, and what are Weight Watcher points? This is going to be BAD!

Some additional points:

Things I Like:

1. Vacationing with my family.

2. I can have beans at EVERY meal. And Guac!

3. We are staying in a “family room” which means there are 2 rooms connected together. But in the boys’ room, there are kid sized robes and slippers, kid shampoo and an X-Box.

4. Free manicure and pedicure (which I got yesterday) and 2 free 25-minute massages (which I will SO upgrade!)

Things I Don’t Like;

1. Vacationing with my family (Ha ha, just kidding…really).

2. The robes are as thin and rough as a piece of matzo.

3. Gray Food. Really. The other night at dinner, DH’s steak was gray, my chicken was not gray, but was really, really dry, and the boys’ chicken nuggets were SO disgustingly gray, I couldn’t even look at them.

5. Unfortunately, bad food doesn’t equal less food, it only means more fattening food. Sigh, I can’t win.

6. No beach view from the room, but we do have a lovely sunset view!

I think that just about covers it for now! Even though the boys got really burned yesterday (Mommy of the year award to me for not reapplying sunscreen), they are both a beautiful brown today.)

Back to the beach!