Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Christmas Tale for Moms

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas…Mom Style

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the abode
Only one creature was stirring & she was cleaning the commode.
The children were finally sleeping, all snug in their beds,
while visions of X-Box & Barbie flipped through their heads.
Yes, and dad was snoring in front of the TV,
with a half constructed bicycle propped on his knee.
So only the mom heard the reindeer hooves clatter,
which made her sigh, “Now what is the matter?”
With toilet bowl brush still clutched in her hand,
She descended the stairs, and saw the old man.
He was covered with ashes & soot, which fell with a shrug,
“Oh great,” muttered the mom, “Now I have to clean the rug.”
“Ho Ho Ho!” cried Santa, I’m glad you’re awake.”
“Your gift was especially difficult to make.”
“Thanks, Santa, but all I want is time alone.”
“Exactly!” he chuckled, “So, I’ve made you a clone.”
“A clone?” she muttered, “What good is that?”
“Run along, Santa, I’ve no time for chit chat.”
Then out walked the clone – The mother’s twin,
Same hair, same eyes, same double chin.
“She’ll cook, she’ll dust, and she’ll mop every mess.
You’ll relax, take it easy, watch TV and rest.
“Fantastic!” the mom cheered. “My dream has come true!”
“I’ll shop, I’ll read, I’ll sleep a night through!
“From the room above, the youngest did fret.
“Mommy?! Come quickly, I’m scared and I’m wet.
“The clone replied, “I’m coming, sweetheart.”
“Hey,” the mom smiled, “She sure knows her part.
“The clone changed the child and hummed her a tune,
as she bundled the small one in a blanket cocoon.
“You’re the best mommy ever. I really love you.
“The clone smiled and sighed, “And I love you too.
“The mom frowned and said, “Sorry, Santa, no deal.
That’s my child’s LOVE she is going to steal.
“Smiling wisely, Santa said: “To me it is clear,
Only one loving mother is needed here.
“The mom kissed her child and tucked her in bed.
“Thank You, Santa, for clearing my head.
Sometimes I forget, it won’t be very long,
before they’ll be too old for my cradle and song.
“The clock on the mantle began to chime.
Santa whispered to the clone, “It works every time.
“With the clone by his side, Santa said: “Goodnight.
Merry Christmas, dear Mom, you’ll be all right.”
As a mom it’s easy to get discouraged and there are days that you want to sit down and throw a temper tantrum. On the days when you wished for a clone, take some time for yourself and remember the joys of being a mom. Please have a happy holiday with friends and family. I wish for you all of the joy and peace of the season. Merry Christmas Moms from mom-stuff.com

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Give Meaningful Gifts of Self this Christmas

Studio 5 contributor and licensed therapist Julie Hanks, LCSW shares meaningful gifts of self to give your spouse this Christmas.

The most meaningful Christmas gifts don’t require much money, but do require thought, time, and awareness. Though it’s fun to shop and wrap gifts, we ultimately all wish for the same emotional gifts from our spouse — things that can’t be purchased – gifts of self. We all long for reassurance that we are loved and cherished, for comfort when we are sad or hurt or scared, and for validation that our experience matters to the person we love the most. Even if your husband doesn’t have the words to express these wishes, he longs for the same emotional gifts too. Here are some ideas to get you started thinking less about gifts you can buy and more about gifts you can offer from your heart.
1. Gift of Emotions
Tell your emotional truth
Too often, in an effort not to hurt your spouse’s feelings, you may have stopped expressing the full range of emotions – your hurts, your fears, your anger and your joys, and dreams. “I don’t want to be a nag” or “I ‘m supposed to be nice and happy all of the time” are common phrases I hear in my therapy office as reasons women stop expressing themselves. It’s helpful to consider that intimacy means “into-me-see” or see into me. True intimacy requires a deep level of emotional honesty and the tender expression of a full range of emotions, not just the good, happy, nice ones. Your thoughts, your feelings, and your expression of them are what make you uniquely you.
Ask for what you really want
Sending clear signals about what you need emotionally from your spouse can be difficult. It requires an internal awareness and a willingness to ask deeper questions that go below the surface. Behind every complaint and criticism you have for your spouse is an emotional plea for closeness. Practice going below the complaint and expressing the emotional need directly. Instead of saying, “You always work so much! Are you going to be working until 8PM forever? I’m sick of eating dinner alone.” try saying, “I want to spend more time with you. I’m afraid that I’m not important to you. Can we plan a date night for this weekend?” Trust me. Being direct with your emotional needs is a gift to him.
More gifts of emotion:
Write a handwritten love letter describing in detail what you love your spouse and what they mean to you.
Write an apology of letter or forgiveness for past hurts.
Share your “Bucket List” with your spouse.
2. Gift of Attention
Push the pause button
When is the last time you really listened to your spouse? Do often find that you’re so busy with children, household chores, or other commitments that you rarely look your spouse in the eye and talk? If your conversations with your hubby are while you’re multitasking – unloading the dishwasher or texting or watching TV, you may want to practice “pushing the pause button”. If you’re focused on other things, you’ll miss the meaning behind what your hubby is trying to tell you. Too often couples I see in my practice are so distracted by other activities or so busy reacting from their own intense emotions that they completely bypass the emotional meaning of their spouse’s expression.
Here’s an example of how this might play out in a therapy session. In an effort to reach out to his wife John says, “I really miss you. You’ve been so preoccupied since our son was born. Let’s spend some alone time together.”
Megan responds defensively, “I’m trying to be a good mother. You know this is all new for me. I’m overwhelmed and I’m trying to be there for you – can’t you see that? Megan, flooded by her own emotions missed John’s main message of, “I miss you. I need you” and she heard some version of “You’re not good enough.”
If Megan had “paused” her emotions response and slowed down her reaction enough to hear his emotional message she might have said something like, “Oh, John, you really miss me and want to spend time together. Thank you for reassuring me of that.” Then once John is heard, Megan can share with John how she is feeling about the transition to motherhood. Putting your emotions temporarily on hold and really hearing your spouse is truly a gift.
Learn to speak his love language
Ask your hubby how he feels most loved and learn to be more proficient in his “language”. Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages, identified distinct categories of how people experience love: physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, and gifts. Couples often give love in their own language instead of in their partner’s language. For example, if your husband’s primary love language is acts of service then make a special home cooked meal, or surprise him by doing all of his household chores. If his language is physical touch, actively approach him for a hug and kiss, hold his hand, sit by him, initiate physical intimacy more often. Offering love in his language will help him feel deeply loved by you.
More gifts of attention:
Ask him about the times he feels most loved and cherished. Take notes and do something from his list every day for a week.
Plan a candlelight dinner, turn off all electronics, and talk.
Plan a playful night of physical intimacy with your spouse.
3. Gift of Memories
Keep track of the good stuff
Do you keep a mental note of your spouse’s failings, or of past hurts or offenses? This year try write your hubby a Christmas letter recounting all of the good times, family milestones, and positive relationship moments. I knew a couple who did this for a few decades now enjoy a beautiful book containing years of personal expressions celebrating their memories of each year, significant family events, and the evolution of their love. To reflect on tender feelings and focus on the positive memories created through the years will validated that your husband is indeed cherished and loved.
Revisit the romance
Often I hear couples complain that they feel more like roommates than lovers.
After the initial infatuation of new relationships has faded, reclaiming and rekindling those romantic feelings takes…effort.
When is the last time you talked with your spouse about early romantic feelings that brought you together, browsed through your wedding photo book, or looked through photos of your favorite vacations? You don’t have to take a trip to the location of your honeymoon or first date to rekindle romance, just take a trip with your hubby down memory lane.
More gifts of memories:
Create a photo book of your favorite memories.
Create a relationship soundtrack CD with a mix of songs that have special meaning to you.
Plan a date to revisit a visiting a romantic location that has special meaning to you as a couple.

Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW, licensed therapist and owner & director of Wasatch Family Therapy specializes in women’s emotional health and couples counseling. Visit www.wasatchfamilytherapy.comfor individual, couple, family, & group counseling and education designed to strengthen you and your family. For additional self-improvement & relationship resources connect with me atwww.juliehanks.com

Monday, December 13, 2010

Entertaining with Ease this Christmas

This holiday season as you have guests drop by make your entertaining easy and fun. Studio 5 Contributor Terri Cook shares simple rules and recipes that will guarantee the guests have a good time…and you do to!

Prepare Ahead

Many delicious and impressive items can easily be prepared ahead of your event, hours or often even days. These bacon wrapped dates can easily be rolled and secured with toothpicks a day or two in advance if you have room in your refrigerator for storage. They can even all be placed in a zipper bag once you have them prepared. About an hour before your event (and before you get dressed in your wicked, knock-out, killer party clothes) bake them and set aside to cool. Recipe below.
Get your guests involved.
Most people arrive at an event and are looking for an opportunity to break the ice or get involved in the action. A good host will be able to identify those early arrivals or individuals that are seeking conversation and pull them into the kitchen and give them a simple but important assignment. Even as easy as “Will you please carry this out to the table for me?” offers that person an opportunity to help out as well as break into the party…They will be very popular when they emerge from the kitchen with delicious treats! This involvement can go as far as asking them to keep an eye on an item in the oven and let you know when the edges get golden brown or even get it out of the oven at a certain point. An example of this could be these VERY easy yet impressive sweet potato fries. (You will want to hide the package in your outdoor trashcan because they are delish and you can just smile and say “Thank you” when they are the hit of the party.)
Sweet Potato Fries
Shhhhh! Buy this bag in the freezer section of your grocery store and bake according to directions on a cookie sheet then sprinkle with sea salt.
A fun way to serve them is in cones made of fun scrapbooking paper or parchment paper tied with a ribbon and secured with hot glue or stapled into an easy hand-held carrier that requires nothing but a napkin.

Have some things on hand.

There are certain things I use in my everyday cooking that have become the “go-to” item for quick help when guest suddenly stop by. One of those items is Good Seasons Italian dressing. This dressing stays good in your refrigerator for a long time so make some up and have it on hand for everything from a great marinade for chicken to traditional dressing for a salad to a dip for a crusty bread with grated parmesan cheese, OR, when entertaining, try these great little items:
(I do have a twist for this. Make it with balsamic vinegar and olive oil rather than the traditional recipe on the box. )

Let People Serve Themselves

Your guests generally don’t expect you to wait on them. They came to visit you, right? I love to have a bag of ice in my outdoor freezer (this time of year that means my deck!). It’s easy to grab a variety of drinks, fill an ice bucket with drinks and ice and set it out for your guests to help themselves. They will feel more at home this way and they can get refills as desired. When beverages are handled this way, cups or glasses are optional but if you are having them I recommend an ice bucket full of ice separate from the drink bucket.
A little secret I’ve learned about arranging drinks in a bucket is to use some crumpled cellophane in the bottom, place the drinks where you want them then add the ice all around the drinks.
Bacon Wrapped Dates
Pitted Dates
Center Cut Bacon
Cut uncooked bacon into strips just long enough to wrap around the center of each date.
Wrap the bacon around the date and hold in place with a toothpick.
Bake at 450 degrees on the center rack of oven turning one time after 5 minutes.
Watch closely so they don’t burn.
Should be nice crispy bacon after 7-10 minutes.
Caprice Appetizer
Short skewers
Fresh Basil Leaves
Fresh Grape Tomatoes
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese in Water
Italian Seasons Salad Dressing (mixed according to directions but substituting balsamic vinegar and olive oil for the vinegar and oil portions.)
Snip basil into strips
Load skewer with alternating tomato basil and cheese until desired amount is achieved then drizzle with balsamic-based Italian Seasons Dressing.
Serve Chilled

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Children Learn From Watching and Listening

Our Children learn their greatest lessons from watching and listen to us every minute of every day. What are you teaching the children who are watching you?
It’s the holidays! Kick off your shoes and relax. This fabulous moment in time brings so many wonderful gifts, the most precious being the time to teach your children all that you can about life. We tend to disregard that we are our youngster’s greatest teachers. In our pursuit of the finest education we pay private schools large amounts of money to educate our children, forgetting that the most significant lessons they will ever learn are from watching and listening to us.
Teaching your children to think critically and make their own decisions is one of the most valuable gifts you will give them. Thinking critically protects them from peer pressure and empowers them to explore all options when problems arise. Ask your pre-teen what she knows about drugs while taking a walk on the beach together. Discuss with her how making an impulsive decision like driving drunk can impact her life forever.
Talk to your 3 year old about his feelings while having a picnic in the garden. Ask him when he feels sad, happy, and  frustrated. Acknowledge his feelings and talk about how the way we behave impacts others, thereby teaching him empathy and increasing his EQ. Role play with your children ways of protecting themselves if tempted by strangers.
Chat to your 9 year old daughter about the physical changes she’s experiencing while enjoying an ice-cream in the park. Empower your children with life saving skills if they get into trouble in water, such as don’t panic, turn around and swim to the edge of the pool.
Seize the opportunities that life presents to not only teach your children interesting facts, while travelling, but morals and values as well, thereby enriching their life. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
By Claire Marketos at http://www.inspiredparenting.co.za

Monday, November 29, 2010

Christmas Gifts for Friends, Family, Coworkers or Neoghbors

It’s time for Christmas, my favorite time of the year. Here are your mom-stuff links to help you get some ideas for friends, family, coworker’s, and neighbor’s gifts.
12 Days of Christmas This was are most popular post, ever. It is twelve great printouts you can put with a simple gift for friends and neighbors. You can use any one by it’s self or you can use all twelve to make someone Christmas extra special.
More fun and easy gifts for friends, family, coworkers or neighbors:
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. As we turn the corner to the Christmas countdown please remember the reason for the season. Make sure you do not get lost in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas shopping and lose your Christmas spirit. Slow the pace down when needed. Say no if the demand cannot be done without love. Do not sacrifice your peace for someone else’s view of happiness. When the Christmas season is over what will you remember? What will your family remember? If it is important to you make time for it, if it is not let it go. The most important thing you can do for your family is for you to be happy.
Thanks for being a part of the mom-stuff community. We believe in Moms helping Moms and we are so glad you are a part of our circle. We want to hear from you. What can we do to help enrich your life? What can you offer to other Moms? If you have any ideas that you would like to share for Christmas please email them to me. dianne@mom-stuff.com

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Dinner

I wanted to share this resource with all of you cooks this Thanksgiving. If you need help with the turkey or menu ideas. This is the place.
Elise Bauer the owner of Simply Recipes has a great titorial on cooking your Thansgiving turkey.  Here is the link http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/moms_roast_turkey/
Simple Recipes is Elise’s personal website, with only a few hundred recipes, all tested by her, her family or her friends. I invite you to visit her site and try the recipes.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family. I am so grateful for all of the moms that are a part of the mom-stuff community. We believe in Moms helping Moms and we are so glad you are a part of our circle. We want to hear from you. What can we do to help enrich your life? What can you offer to other Moms? If you have any ideas that you would like to share for Christmas please email them to me. dianne@mom-stuff.com

Monday, November 22, 2010

Teach Children Gratitude

If you could teach your children a skill that might help them be happier as adults, live longer, and reach goals better, wouldn’t you jump at the chance?  What if there was evidence that this same skill also improved kids’ attitudes towards school and family?  What is this amazing skill? Simply, gratitude.
There is an increasingly large amount of research showing that a grateful attitude can affect many different facets of your life.  Dr. Robert Emmons, at the University of California, Davis, has recognized and published information about the benefits of gratitude for over a decade.  Grateful people tend to be more optimistic, energetic, and empathetic.  There is even evidence that gratitude can improve your physical well-being, helping your cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
How can you help your kids become grateful people?  The possibilities are endless. Here’s a few ideas:
  • At Thanksgiving, take turns announcing something you are thankful for.
  • As part of a bedtime routine, talk about 2-3 things from your child’s day that he/she is grateful for.
  • Use words like “grateful,” “thankful,” “thank-you,” and “appreciate” frequently so your young children can learn them.
  • Draw pictures with your kids of things they’re grateful for. Display these pictures and talk about them.
  • Redirect greedy attitudes toward grateful attitudes. When your children say, “I want…” respond by helping them identify things they have that they are very grateful for.  Help them remember how happy they were when they received different toys or treats or experiences.
  • Young children learn habits easiest that they observe in people they are attached to.Practice being grateful!  Look for things to be grateful about and announce them aloud.  Try “I’m so glad today is warm and sunny!” “I appreciate your smile!”  “Thanks for helping me sweep!”  “What a great parking spot we found,” or perhaps more often, “Isn’t it wonderful that our legs work so well and can carry us all the way to the store!”  You might just reap some of the benefits you’re trying to give to your kids!
original article posted at http://houstonparentsmagazine.com/ I thought this was a perfect subject to think about this week. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family. Adopt the attitude of Gratitude this season and help teach the children around you.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Maple Glazed Donuts

I can’t wait to make these after Thanksgiving. I am going to save some left over mashed potatoes for them. These are not the prettiest donuts but they are the best tasting and the easiest.  These are fun to make with your kids.

Maple Glazed Donuts By:  Erin Mylroie, Blogger at “Prudence Pennywise”

  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 cup mashed potatoes (I use 1 cup boiling water and 1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes or buds)
  • 4 and 1/2 cups flour, DIVIDED
  • 2 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of nutmeg (two quick shakes)
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs until frothy. Add sugar and beat well. Add buttermilk butter, vanilla. Stir in mashed potatoes. Sprinkle exactly 3 and 1/2 cups flour, plus powder, soda, salt and nutmeg over the dough. Stir until just blended. The dough will be extremely sticky. Line a dinner plate with waxed paper. Sprinkle 1/2 cup flour on top of waxed paper. Gather sticky dough up and press onto waxed paper; sprinkle the top with remaining 1/2 cup flour. If you need to pat atop a little more flour to be able to work with the dough, go ahead and sprinkle/pat it on top but DO NOT mix it in. ( You can refrigerate dough for a couple of hours at this point if you want, but not for too long or the dough will turn black from the potatoes.) Let the dough rest on the plate for five minutes. Meanwhile, heat large heavy pot with 1 inch of oil until oil is about 375 degrees. Turn donuts out onto flat floured surface. Pat the dough into a square only slightly larger than the plate. The dough should be about 1/2 inch thick. (Do not knead in the flour that have you sprinkled on the donuts. It will cook away on the outside, promise.) Cut donuts with donut cutter, or use the top of a prescription pill bottle for donut holes. Holes are the best in my opinion. Fry donuts until pale golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper towels. Cool for five minutes before glazing.In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs until frothy. Add sugar and beat well. Add buttermilk butter, vanilla. Stir in mashed potatoes. Sprinkle exactly 3 and 1/2 cups flour, plus powder, soda, salt and nutmeg over the dough. Stir until just blended. The dough will be extremely sticky. Line a dinner plate with waxed paper. Sprinkle 1/2 cup flour on top of waxed paper. Gather sticky dough up and press onto waxed paper; sprinkle the top with remaining 1/2 cup flour. If you need to pat atop a little more flour to be able to work with the dough, go ahead and sprinkle/pat it on top but DO NOT mix it in. ( You can refrigerate dough for a couple of hours at this point if you want, but not for too long or the dough will turn black from the potatoes.) Let the dough rest on the plate for five minutes. Meanwhile, heat large heavy pot with 1 inch of oil until oil is about 375 degrees. Turn donuts out onto flat floured surface. Pat the dough into a square only slightly larger than the plate. The dough should be about 1/2 inch thick. (Do not knead in the flour that have you sprinkled on the donuts. It will cook away on the outside, promise.) Cut donuts with donut cutter, or use the top of a prescription pill bottle for donut holes. Holes are the best in my opinion. Fry donuts until pale golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper towels. Cool for five minutes before glazing.
Maple Glaze
Notes: This makes enough for half a batch of donuts, in case you want to make some powdered sugar donuts or plain sugar.
Combine 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons maple extract and about 4 tablespoons cream (or milk) until smooth.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

New Modern Napkin Folds

Yesterday on my local TV station, KSL Studio 5 had a quest who showed some wonderful ways to fold napkins to make your Thanksgiving table special. I had to share them with you
Megan Sorenson with Temple Square Hospitality, gives traditional napkin folds a modern twist. Wait the video herehttp://studio5.ksl.com/?nid=61&sid=13271178
I love this show I DVR it everyday. Since most of you do not live in the viewing area visit their web site for lots of great  ideashttp://studio5.ksl.com/ for your home.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Give Gratitude to All of Our American Veterans

Today is a very special day brought about after the ending of WWI. It is also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world, falling on November 11, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.)
The U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed an Armistice Day for November 11, 1919. In proclaiming the holiday, he said …
“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with lots of pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”
To our friends throughout the world this is a Remembrance of the cost of freedom to us all. We recognize each person’s love of their country and on this day, as Americans we acknowledge and remember the courage and commitment it takes to be free and to remain free.
Mary Robinson Reynolds [from@MakeADifference.com] ivites you to join Americans everywhere and take a few minutes to enjoy the musical artistry of singer and song writer John Schmidt:www.AmericaHeartandSoulMovie.com an Inspirational Movie for Veteran’s Day, November 11.
We cannot help but see how blessed we are to live in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave! On this Veterans Day may we all take and minute and thank our men and women for their service to our country.
To all of America’s Veterans, we love you and thank you for our freedom!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Only 45 Days Until Christmas

I found this article today on Mom Stuff Facebook page and I have to admit, I was shocked. Really only 45 days and so much to do?
Only 46 Days Until Christmas!
I know it seems early to be in the holiday spirit, but with two preschoolers whose birthday’s sandwich Christmas, the holidays are on their minds a lot this time of year. We had a few big, wet flurries the other day and it was all I could do not to sing, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.” Kora & Logan immediately started asking, “How many days until my birthday?” and “How many days until Christmas?” So I got out the calendar and we started counting. http://networkedblogs.com/ahtqM
I do not like to start the Christmas season this early but with only 45 days left I am giving you some of our most popular links to help plan your gift giving. These links are for fun, creative and  inexpensive gifts.
Christmas Friend Gifts #1 http://www.mom-stuff.com/public/177.cfm
Christmas FRIEND Gifts #2 http://www.mom-stuff.com/public/178.cfm
Christmas FRIEND Gifts #3 http://www.mom-stuff.com/public/179.cfm
Christmas FRIEND Gifts #4 http://www.mom-stuff.com/public/193.cfm

Thursday, November 4, 2010

How Moms Can Create Big Changes

The power of moms. You have to read this article and find out for yourself  the power of moms. I found this article in About Working Moms one of my Linkedin groups. It was shared by Carolyn Parrs.

Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble: 

How Moms Create Their Own Tipping Point 

For Change, by Mary Clare Hunt

Click on the title and read the whole article. If you have kids or grandkids you will be very impressed by the actions these moms took. They put child safety about money. I am so proud of them for taking a stand against promoting dangerous ingredients in a children’s product. Thieir story is inspirational.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mom-Stuff Thanksgiving Pages are Live

Visit for fun ideas to help make your Thanksgiving celebration the best ever.
Glitter up your Thanksgiving table with:
Ideas for family fun:
We will be adding more ideas for you this week so visit often.

Give Thanks Month

As the mood of our country is so affected by the economy I decided I need to lift my spirits. So the month of November I am declaring as my “Give Thanks Month” When we focus on our assets we are feeding ourselves with positive attitude, the attitude of gratitude. Each day this month I am going to post at least one thing I am grateful for.
I want this Thanksgiving season to be filled with more gratitude. There is so much to be grateful for, no matter who we are or what circumstances we are experiencing. Life is constantly filled with both problems and successes. We cannot control this but we can choose what we dwell on.
When we choose to look at life from a perspective of gratitude, we feed the positive rather that the negative. What we focus on the most is what we create more of in our lives. So l am going to make the effort to be grateful. How about you? Will you join me? Let’s focus on what is good about our life and have a happier Thanks giving. I will be posting on Facebook if you want to add your thoughts to mine. http://www.facebook.com/dianne.mom.stuff

Monday, November 1, 2010

Pinecone Hand Turkey

 Ashley has a really fun kids craft to make this month to celebrate Thanksgiving. Go to Ashley's Craft Room. She has all of the materials and instructions http://ashleys-craftroom.blogspot.com/
This month we want everyone to take some time to be grateful for the 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

When Are Kids Too Old to Trick or Treat?

I was visiting the Mom stuff fan page on Facebook and came across this post. By Open Seven Days a Week. Closed Sundays. Original post http://networkedblogs.com/9CbmE
I thought it would be interesting to get everyone’s thoughts on this subject. When are kids too Old for trick or treating?
When I was (almost) 19 years old, I can recall one Halloween evening, some friends proposed that we dress up and go Trick-or-Treating. I had no objections to being able to use the holiday as an excuse to don a costume and score some free candy.

I also vividly remember the reactions from some of the adults around my neighborhood – “You guys are WAY TOO OLD to be Trick-or-Treating!” “You guys look RIDICULOUS!” “Just HOW OLD are you, anyway?” “Go on and get of here! Trick-or-Treating is for KIDS!”
Although some homeowners were highly annoyed with our pursuit of sugary confections, we were certainly not hurting anyone, or breaking any laws.
Nowadays, if you’re a teen and you’re caught Trick-or-Treating in some cities, you could end up in jail!
When it comes to the Halloween holiday, some cities have placed bans on how old a child can be for Trick-or-Treating. That age is 12.
Some lawmakers have decided that kids 13 and up are too old to Trick-or-Treat, and may be subject to fines up to $100 and time behind bars, if caught breaking the law.
In 2008, Mayor Mark Eckert of Belleville, Illinois decided that it would be a good idea to ban Trick-or-Treating by high school-aged teens, because it made some seniors and single women scared to open the door to find “6-foot-tall kids” looking for candy.
City officials are also banning teens from Trick-or-Treating in Meridian, Mississippi; Bishopville, South Carolina; Boonsboro, Maryland; and various cities in Virginia.
Although a big part of Halloween for teenagers in the 19th and early 20th centuries was vandalism and other acts of destruction, in today’s times, many would agree that the holiday is now all about celebrating children.
Should teenagers be banned from Trick-or-Treating?
What do you think?  What are the laws in your state?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

One Lovely Blog Award

I received a blogger awards from Sara at 8 a Planty  Wow, thanks so much, Sara!  It makes me feel great that someone enjoys reading my blog!   Thank you so much Sara for thinking of me!  I certainly appreciate it!  Go check out her blog and happy reading!!

Rules to accepting the awards: 

  1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award  
  2. Share 7 things about yourself  
  3. Pass this on to 15 other great bloggers you recently discovered
  4. Contact the selected bloggers and tell them about their awards.

Okay, so here are 7 things about me. I am always being told to tell more about my self so here I go.
1. I love nuts. Every nut.
2. I am addicted to Criminal Minds
3.I love to decorate.
4. I can't start my day without coffee.
5. I enjoy the beauty of nature.
6. I am afraid of birds
7. I am a workaholic.

Now, to pass on the award to 15 wonderful blogs that I know.  This was really hard, because I have so many wonderful blogs that I follow.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Love, Love, Love these cookies. Perfect fall goodie
1 15oz can Libby’s 100% pure pumpkin
2 tsp baking soda
mix in large bowl, then add:
2 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oleo, softened (we use Imperial)
when this is well blended add:
4 cups flour
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
Blend all well, then add:
12 oz chocolate chips, 2 cups raisins and (optional 2 cups pecans, chopped)
Place spoon sized batter on ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 375* for 10 minutes or until firm on top
don’t overbake

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Come visit and get our ideas to  make this the best Halloween yet. We have some new pages this week and more coming. Thanks to everyone who shared their great ideas.
NEW Fun Halloween Recipes-kids crafts with food
Halloween Trick or Treat Bag re purpose T shirt
Plan your Halloween party complete skeleton theme

What Are You Thankful For?

This sweet note came today in 5 Minutes for Mom Newsletter.  I did not know that Canada celebrates Thanksgiving in Oct. This got me thinking how great it would be to collect notes from Moms about what they are grateful for. Are you in? I will post about this tomorrow on mom-stuff community’s blog. Add your comments or links to your post about it. I think it would be great for all of us to think about what we are grateful for and share it with each other.
Since I became a mother almost six years ago, the question “For What Are You Most Thankful?” has never required a moment’s hesitation.
I am most thankful for my daughters.
My blessings — Julia and Sophia — make me more thankful than I could ever have imagined being.
Today on another Thanksgiving (here in Canada), I cannot stop thanking God for my precious girls.
I spent a quiet and profoundly simple day with them today. We started the morning with snuggles on the couch. We walked to the park, picnicked, baked pie, made Thanksgiving dinner, read stories, and said Thanks to God while we snuggled in bed again at the end of it all.
I am so thankful for my girls and thankful for the beautiful day we had together.
5 Minutes For Mom Author (please let me know the author if you know who wrote this)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How to Scrapbook for Beginners

Scrapbooking has been around for decades. I remember my grandmother had a picture history book that was 4 or 5 inches thick.  People from all walks of life have discovered the joys of creating albums to showcase their treasured photos and keepsakes. But with all the elaborate scrapbooking techniques and myriad embellishments available, getting started can be intimidating.
The truth is, anyone that can use scissors and glue can scrapbook. And you don't have to spend ridiculous amounts of money to create attractive pages. With some basic supplies and a little imagination, you can create lovely scrapbooks that will be adored for years to come. I made my first granddaughter a scrapbook of the first year of her life. She looks through almost every time she comes to my house.
I suggest you start with just the basics to see if you enjoy scrapbooking. If you don't have the time, money or know-how to create elaborate scrapbooks, just start off simple, and learn new techniques as you go.
If you have ever wanted to try your hand at scrapbooking now is your time. There is no wrong way to do it. Just follow these steps and have fun. Click here to let the creation begin!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Redefining Beauty

The 10 Day Challenge

Today on Studio 5, I heard about an awesome beauty challenge.

The purpose of the 10 Day challenge is to offer one exercise each day that will encourage participants to address the way they view themselves and help them develop a greater love and appreciation for who they are as individuals. The exercises presented in the challenge are designed to shift our focus away from the messages of the world and into a place from within; a place where we are completely conscious of what true beauty is. As we continue to practice and develop these types of exercises that focus on discovering beauty from within, we can feel at peace with ourselves and appreciate the blessed gift that our bodies are.

“We want to emphasize outer beauty does matter,” Dr. Valentine said, “but we get way too carried away with it, at the expense of developing our inner strength and sense of worth.”

It’s a message women are connecting with.

“As an advertising major, I see images of women all the time,” said BYU Senior Carrie O’Dell. “I think it’s a great idea to focus on women the way they were meant to be seen, instead of objectifying them as the media often does.”

To help kick off this campaign, last week popular blogger Stephanie Nielson addressed the topic of, not just re-capturing beauty, but re-defining it.

Stephanie was badly burned in a plane crash two years ago.

On Thursday, she spoke to a crowd of more than three thousand women, sharing a powerful message of self-love and acceptance.

“She is burned very badly and yet she radiated beauty,” Dr. Valentine recalls. “I was thinking, ‘why is that?’ and I realized what she was radiating is courage, strength, persistence, gratitude and an amazing sense of humor. That became my definition of beauty.”

Here is the link if you want take the learn more about the challenge

Saturday, October 9, 2010

As the Season Change so do Our Lifes

I found this story on Mamapedia and it expressed my feelings of the season change so well I wanted to share it with you. The picture is the color of Payson, UT last weekend.

Changing Seasons: A Lesson in Letting Go
Donna Scrima-Black of “MommyBest”

Donna Scrima-Black is an author (MommyBest: 13 Inspirational Lessons Derek & Dylan’s Mom (and maybe yours) Never Learned in School) and mom.

Although I feel excited by change, whether it’s the seasons or a different place to vacation, I often struggle with adjusting to the varying conditions that accompany it.

I still remember those “butterflies” in my stomach during the first month of school, when I was a student and after I became a teacher. Family, friends and even strangers often warned me time would be fleeting when my children were born. I never really understood why I heard this comment so much.

Then I realized, until you experience parenting first hand, it’s hard to imagine the brevity of each magical moment. To all new moms and dads, please know baby’s first few years truly are over in what seems to be a mere blink of the eye—so enjoy them as much as you can!

Every year as the weather changes and a new season is upon us, I procrastinate the sorting and storing of my boys’ clothing. “It’s such an arduous task”—-I mumble to myself—-each time I stuff more garments into their already overloaded drawers, all filled with items from last season. Once I finally begin surveying their inventory, my practical side reassures me my children will be able to fit into these outfits for “just one more year,” even though my pragmatic side secretly knows my boys’ growth spurt has been constant, so they will most likely be unable to wear much of their previous year’s wardrobe. For the rest of the story and to leave comments

One more of the 200 pictures I took enjoying the leaves and the wonder of the changing season.

Tags: family, Letting-go, mom-stuff, MommyBest, parenting, Season-change

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Easy Halloween Decoration

Last year I wanted to make some glamour pumpkins. I found some at Roberts Crafts that I loved. They had spray painted pumpkins with a silver paint and added some glitter. The affect was gorgeous. I have just finished re decorating my house so I decided to paint my pumpkins with brown and then glam them up, using the idea I had seen at Roberts. Well I spray painted the pumpkins and loved them so much I did not add anything to them. They look like chocolate covered pumpkins and they look really good with the new decorations.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Public Bathroom Tips with Children

I was traveling this weekend and had some bad experiences with public restrooms so this morning when I found this article at Mamapedia I had to share it with you. I hope you can relate and that it makes you laugh, too.  I was traveling to see the wonderful colors of the autumn leaves. I will post some pictures for you soon.
Never Underestimate the Joys of a Public Bathroom with Two Kidsby Alex Iwashyna
As an avid caffeine drinker and a mother of two young children, I spend an exorbitant amount of time in the bathroom (mostly trying to shirk my parenting duties).
So I’m sharing some public bathroom tips to at least give you the heads up to not touch me or my children post-pee.
Public Bathrooms, Children Edition
Tip #1: If someone can watch your children while you run into the bathroom, ASK. Unless your children are acting up and you tend to take a long time peeing. Then the person will think you jumped out the window. And will catch you halfway out when they come looking for you.
Tip #2: Ask the people in the bathroom if they’re waiting. They may be fixing their hair. Enjoying the free soap. Singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. AND STILL WAITING FOR A STALL. If you cut in front of them, they will hate you forever. (FOREVER you old biddy.)
Tip #3: If the stall doors do not lock, you cannot use it. I REPEAT. DO NOT USE THE BROKENSTALL. You need one hand for wiping, one hand for wrangling the children, one hand for keeping the door closed. Since you presumably only have TWO hands, you are left giving your fellow bathroom mates a full-frontal.
Tip #4: The baby seat provided will not have a working buckle and will be located as far from the toilet as possible. So let go of your germ phobias and put the baby on the ground. The whole ordeal will go much faster if you put the child down. And if they aren’t mobile, balance them on the baby bag. If they are, sing and coo from your porcelain throne. And hope that the kid doesn’t crawl into the stall next to you because this may shock the woman in the other stall. Enough for her to miss. Then you’ve got more than hands to wash.
Tip #5: Post-bathroom crawl you will have to choose whose hands to wash, yours or your babies. And you have five seconds before your oldest child leaves the bathroom with your stall buddy who peed on your kin. Choose the baby. As the adult, you are slightly less likely to put your hands in your mouth. And you can always tell yourself and the strangers around you that you will use hand sanitizer afterward. But you won’t. You’ll forget while the baby cries because her hands are wet and the other kid says: I have to pee NOW, Mama.
You’re welcome. Although after writing this I thought:WHO NEEDS TIPS ON PUBLIC BATHROOMUSE? And then I realized. The answer was me.
This post is written by Alex Iwashyna, a happily married mom with a BA in Political Philosophy and a Medical Degree and the drive to become neither. She blogs at Late Enough mostly about life, parenting, marriage, politics, culture, religion, and her inability to wake up in the morning and not hate everyone. Find her on Twitter or Facebook, too.