Sunday, November 24, 2013

Self-Loathing Sunday


Here are some things that are chapping my hide and pulling at my psyche:
  • Not enough time
  • Not enough energy
  • Not enough motivation
  • Insecure about my lack of exercise 
  • Confounded by my perpetual muffin top and saddlebags
  • My house is a messy pit and will remain a messy pit
  • My husband isn't affectionate enough = I'm not lovable
  • My kids are trying to destroy the house and undo my cleaning efforts
  • Cleaning is too hard and boring
  • My life is passing me by
  • I have no talents or gifts
  • I have no close friends
  • I don't have a vision for my future
  • I want to move, but forced to stay
  • Trapped
  • I'm not a good mom
  • I'm not a good wife
On an optimistic note, our Sunday ended up being fairly fun and rewarding.
  • Went to church
  • Had spaghetti for lunch
  • Mopped the floor
  • Cleaned the baseboards in the dining room
  • Played outside with the girls
  • Spent quality time talking to a new neighbor who is really cool
  • Had a delicious dinner cooked by Daddy-O
  • Read some good books to the l'il chicken hawk 
  • Read my own book while bouncing on the trampoline
  • Went to bed at a decent hour
I am my own worst enemy with finding faults and lacking confidence. Plus, Sundays give me anxiety. 


 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ready or Not, It's Christmas Card Time!

Christmas season is just around the corner! I know it's sacrilegious to say before Thanksgiving, but it's a reality. This is the time of year when the real hard core moms start working on their picture-perfect family photo for their picture-perfect Christmas card. So they can WOW you with how they've got it all together and look good doing it. And if they're really driven, they'll include a double-sided, 10 pt. font, family newsletter re-capping their year's activities and children's successes. 

I'm not a total over-achiever, but I do like to send out nice photo Christmas cards each year, while trying to make them funny if at all possible. (See the funny ugly Christmas sweater at the bottom of this post to see what I think would be funny to wear in a family photo). This year, I'm happy to have been introduced to a custom card making company Minted.com. Minted.com has an online community of designers that create awesome cards, stationery, party supplies and other quality custom paper products.They've been in business since 2008 and get thousands of new designs each month.

Minted.com has an extremely user-friendly site design and selection options. It's the premier marketplace for crowd-sourced independent designers from around the world and offers the best materials for the 'celebrations of life's most important events'.

When I was searching for the perfect Christmas card for 2013, I really appreciated how Minted.com made it so simple for me. I like how you can sort through all the selections by number of photos you want to include on the card, the format of the card (flat, folded, mini book) and more economical options like petite size or postcards. You can also select your preferred color and paper quality. For each card, you can specify which holiday you'll want to feature on the card as well: Christmas, New Year or Holiday.  The cards come at different price points, which is helpful for frugal-tastic working moms like me!

It's extremely hard to choose, but here are five of my absolute fave Christmas cards on Minted.com. I've never been one to do a Christmas newsletter, but the mini book option seems like a great way to include extra family details without boring people to tears or provoking anger.

Newsletter alternative: 'Annual Nice List' mini book by Up Up Creative
Whimsical 'Holly Jolly Wishes' card by Griffenbell Paper Co.
'Santa Gram' card by Lori Wemple
'Holiday Map - West Coast' card by Jill Means
'Aquarelle' card by J. Bartyn

If you're a diehard Christmas card sender who loves beautiful designs, I highly recommend checking out Minted.com. You can also interact with them on their social sites: Facebook.com/minted,  Pinterest.com/minted, Twitter.com/minted.

By the way, before I forget to mention, Happy Thanksgiving to you!! I'm thankful that I have readers like you who take the time to listen to me ramble on and let me vent my disgruntlements. 

Disclaimer: I was provided store credit from Minted.com to facilitate this review. All opinions remain my own.

     

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Just Say No to Kidz Bop on Sirius XM Radio

Imagine my surprise and horror when I was flipping through my Sirius/XM Radio channels today and discovered they'd added a new children's radio station - Kidz Bop! All Kidz Bop all the time! GAG CHOKE!

Marlo Thomas in 1972 | Free to Be You and Me
The 35th Year Anniversary!
I hope my children do not discover this channel. It's bad enough that they fell in love with the one Kidz Bop CD that my oldest chickadee received as a gift at her 8th birthday party and proceeded to play it continuously for months. Then she hosted several dance performances for us at home, complete with disco lights, my black knee-high boots, party girl clothes and questionable dance moves. Yes, it's all innocent fun, but YIKES! My husband and I snuck scared glances at each other throughout the dance show.

Kidz Bop is a gateway drug into the more insidious pop culture with bad music, fashion and 'role models'. I'm not ready. Nope. I insist that my kids listen to Kids Place Live as long as possible. Fun lyrics, stories, lessons, laughter and the sound of childhood.

In the car lately, we're back to listening to my all time childhood fave - Free to Be You and Me - 1972. Girl power! Why rush them to grow up to feel objectified with low values and self esteem? It starts with music, I say!

One of my all-time favorite poems/songs on the Free to Be You and Me CD is Housework by Carol Channing. Maybe this song is why I'm such a non-conformist, undomesticated, uninterested housekeeper as a grownup. As a side note, I played this song for my mother-in-law several years ago and she disagreed with it and said that she LOVED doing housework. Sigh.

Housework by Carol Channing:
You know, there are times when we happen to be
Just sitting there, quietly watching TV,
When the program we're watching will stop for a while
And suddenly someone appears with a smile,
And starts to show us how terribly urgent
It is to buy some brand of detergent,
Or soap or cleanser or cleaner or powder or paste or wax or bleach,
To help with the housework.

Now, most of the time it's a lady we see,
Who's doing the housework on TV.
She's cheerfully scouring a skillet or two,
Or she's polishing pots till they gleam like new,
Or she's scrubbing the tub or she's mopping the floors,
Or she's wiping the stains from the walls and the doors,
Or she's washing the windows, the dishes, the clothes,
Or waxing the furniture till it just glows,
Or cleaning the fridge or the stove or the sink,
With a light-hearted smile, and a friendly wink,
And she's doing her best to make us think
The her soap, or detergent or cleanser or cleaner or powder or paste or wax or bleach,
Is the best kind of soap, or detergent or cleanser or cleaner or powder or paste or wax or bleach,
That there is in the whole wide world.
And, maybe it is, and maybe it isn't,
And maybe it does what they say it will do,
But I'll tell you one thing I know is true.
The lady we see when we're watching TV,
The lady who smiles as she scours or scrubs or rubs or washes or wipes or mops or dusts or cleans,
Or whatever she does on our TV screens,
That lady is smiling because she's an actress,
And she's earning money for learning those speeches
That mention those wonderful soaps and detergents and cleansers and cleaners and powders and pastes and waxes and bleaches.

So, the very next time you happen to be
Just sitting there quietly watching TV,
And you see some nice lady who smiles
As she scours or scrubs or rubs or washes or wipes or mops or dusts or cleans,
Remember, nobody smiles doing housework but those ladies you see on TV.
Your mommy hates housework,
Your daddy hates housework,
I hate housework too.
And when you grow up, so will you.
Because even if the soap or cleanser or cleaner or powder or paste or wax or bleach
That you use is the very best one,
Housework is just no fun.

Children, when you have a house of your own,
Make sure, when there's house work to do,
That you don't have to do it alone.
Little boys, little girls, when you're big husbands and wives,
If you want all the days of your lives
To seem sunny as summer weather,
Make sure, when there's housework to do,
That you do it together!

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