Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Angry Birthday

Today my "baby" turned 6 years old!! I can't believe it's been 6 years and before I know it, he'll be graduating and heading out into the scary world!!
But for now he's still my baby! We don't make a big deal out of birthdays but I did make him cupcakes. I made him transformer cupcakes for school. (Blue frosting, silver sparkles and transformers cupcake toppers) :)

But the best part was I made Angry Birds cupcakes for after school! We enjoyed them with our friend Evan.

The idea is not original, I found it on Pinterest from this blog.
A lot of work but really fun!
Mine were gluten free, I used Pamela's Products Chocolate Cake Mix. Best ever!

They had fun and yummy cupcakes!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Where Has All the Southern Hospitality Gone?

I live in the South. The DEEP south. Not Georgia, Tennessee or some other Southern state but I live in as far down as you can get without actually being in a coastal parish. I live in Southeastern Louisiana. Water is all around. We are shrouded in history, traditions, strange Napoleonic laws that no one quite understands but can't bear to get rid of. We have street names with 16 syllables. We built a city under water for crying out loud. We have Parishes, not Counties. We eat what doesn't eat us first and we fry it before we eat it. Music is in our blood. And we are hospitable.

Or so I thought.
What HAS HAPPENED TO YOU ALL, my fellow Louisianians?? We were more polite and caring to each other in the days following Hurricane Katrina than we are right now, when we should be rejoicing our city being rebuilt, our boys winning a Superbowl and the chance to wake up again each day!
Is it the economy? The murder rate (but really, that's not new people)? The heat? (It's almost fall!)
People are getting MEANER! Maybe it's just me, maybe I'm just noticing it more as my children grow I'm becoming more aware of the world they're coming up in.
Sure, we had bullies when I was a kid, but not at the alarming rate we have now. Yes, we had road rage, but again, not like we do now. There have always been rude people..but are there more now?
For instance, generally speaking, people waiting in grocery stores down here are all in the same setting of sheep being led to slaughter. We wait our turn, flip through rag magazines, and chit chat with our neighbors in line. But TWICE in the past two weeks my best friend told me about several very rude people in line. They made comments while she price matched, or while her baby said "mama" repeatedly, or even while she just had coupons!
Yes, no one wants to wait in line...we all have SUCH VERY IMPORTANT things to do, but really? To comment TO HER FACE in line? Is that REALLY necessary? I mean, obviously she doesn't want to be waiting in line with a talkative toddler either, but do you really think your snide remark will make it at all better?
This morning, I'm on my way to pick up her son to bring him to school with my two boys. I come to a stop and due to the sun visor and the blinding sun, at first I do not see another car at the sto,p so I start to proceed. I see her, hit the brakes and wave apologetically.
Oh no, that was not good enough for her....she had to gesticulate wildly, curse at me (yeah, honey, I could read your lips), and stop IN THE MIDDLE OF THE INTERSECTION to do all this.
It made me angry. It made me want to get out and yell at HER for her stupidity...then I realized...um, Amy, that would drop you down to her level. You would be making an example of the very rudeness you are complaining about right now!
So, I drove on, talked with my boys and said a prayer to God thanking him we didn't actually collide. And asking for continued patience to control my anger.
The best part? Chances are she works at the very school my boys go to because her car looked familiar and that is the time/route teachers take to school. Let's hope she controls that anger in the classroom.
We're all stressed, I get it. Times are hard. Economy sucks. Politics drive you batty. We can't change the very horrible things in life we want to change. We can't promise a better world for our children.
But you know what we can do? Change your attitude. "Be the change you want to see in the world." Ghandi is right. It's that simple. Yes, life can suck. But did you get up and drive your kids to school today and go on your merry way? Then be thankful. Did you forget to start the coffee this morning? Be glad you can swing by McD's and pick one up. Did you OPEN YOUR EYES? Say a prayer, someone didn't.
There are so many in this world who suffer horrendous injustices, even in our own rich, plentiful country. Children who don't eat, people dying of cancer, women being abused. These are all incredibly hard things to imagine. So, if for even a minute, your day is going bad, why don't you consider THOSE people?
Perhaps if you act more hospitable, kind, and loving to others, strangers and family alike, you will see the change Ghandi spoke of.
I'm not preaching to you all, I'm talking to myself too! I have to remind myself of these very things day in and day out. But, maybe, just maybe, if I say it enough...I will remember to be kind to others and they will return the favor.
To quote the very fabulous book, "The Help."

Let us stop disrespecting the blessings God has given us and let's search again for that Southern hospitality I KNOW we have in us.
I grew up in a time where school buses pulled over on the side of the road to let a funeral procession through. You removed your hat if you had one, you bowed your head and you did not utter a single word. The entire road did the same thing. Have you ever seen such a sight? The quiet respect as complete strangers stopped their world for 5 minutes to allow a grieving family to pass on their way to bury their loved one. THAT is southern hospitality and kindness that I know we have deep down. Maybe social networking and the media are making us callous. Maybe it's time to get back to what's real, what's right.
Ask yourself....
What would your MawMaw do??


This is a cross post on Real Housewives of NOLA.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Poppy Chow---Pinterest Inspired

I've been slowly working my way through the awesome things I find on Pinterest! Today I was in a mood. No real reason, just bleh, meh, uninspired, feeling whiny. No real reason, just a case of the meh's.

So I decided to make something yummy for a treat. The recipe came from HERE and someone had pinned it of course. (If only I got paid to use pinterest....)

It was messy but not hard to make, and I just happened to have a giant box of popcorn on hand! Apparently you only need 1-2 bags to make 9 cups of popcorn, so I now have an extra giant bowl of popcorn to let the boys make art with...

I used Kettle Korn because that's what I had on hand. But let me tell you, DELISH!! Totally worth the mess!!
It was awesome! I could eat it til I puke....


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Meanie Mommy Cooking

That's IT. I'm DONE. I'm tired of attempting to please the masses. I think I live with one of the pickiest families on the face of this earth.

The youngest, HAH, I'd do better listing what he DOES eat than what he doesn't.
The oldest, he's slowly learning but still dinner is a battle.
The oldest, who-should-know-better-and-should-be-legally-obligated-to-like-what-I-cook-no-matter-what-because-he-married-me-damnit, is pretty picky himself. As a good friend says, my husband has an "untested palate."

So, perhaps I should not try to appease them anymore. I find tons of great recipes and I don't bother because I know they won't like them.
NO MORE. I am the one buying the groceries, putting them away, planning the menu, cooking, prepping, storing, blah blah blah, it's MY turn to cook what I want. (deju vu again, I feel like I've written this post before...oh well...if I can't remember, surely you can't...)

Since I am addicted to Pinterest, I'm going to continue to try more of those recipes. Now, if you know me, or have read this at all, you realize I am NOT a huge cook. I LOVE to bake, but hate to cook. Like I say, it's way more fun to do it when the end results has chocolate. But, we do need to eat and eat relatively healthy. So, here's the new rules:

*You have two choices:
1. Eat it and be grateful there is food on your plate.

2. Don't eat it and be grateful you were offered food on your plate. Then leave the room without complaint. Kitchen is closed after you leave the room.

That's it. Plain and simple. I may very well just write these rules on a sign in the kitchen.
Now I admit sometimes even the stuff I make, *I* don't like. That's cool. When it's an epic fail we can all eat cereal. But for the most part, it's not half bad.

So eat it, or get out my kitchen and shut up.

Meanie Mommy Menu is ON like donkey kong.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Crocheting A Long

I'm participating in a Crochet a Long with the lovely Scotti from InnerHooker.  You can find the details of the how-to's on her blog OxfordFamily.
The challenge is a full size sunburst granny square afghan. Now, I just started crocheting (or hooking!) about two months ago. I absolutely love it. Why I didn't pick up knit and crochet before sewing, I don't know. For so long I didn't allow myself to learn because my time is stretched thin as is. But, let me tell you, as much as I love fabric and sewing, I think if I'd started yarn work first, I'd never have bought a sewing machine! I mean, a craft you can do sitting on your butt while watching tv??? SOLD!

Anyways, I think another reason I enjoy it, is it's purely for me, for fun, for practice. I'm sure I'll make little cotton face cloths and stuff to send out as freebies on orders, but I have no plans (yet!) to sell the things I crochet. Perhaps one day, but for now, it's just fun, a great way to learn and so fun to buy yarn! And SO Much cheaper than sewing!! Yes, yarn can be expensive, but you can get a lot of projects out of a skein of yarn, especially when compared to fabric, machine, notions, etc.

SO, here is my progress on the crochet a long! First pics are week one. Second batch are week two, and I will hopefully start week three soon!

What are you creating lately?? :)~~Amy

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Why We MUST Remember

This is a difficult weekend for all Americans, no doubt. Ten years have passed since 9/11. Ten years since we all heard the news that our country was under attack and our lives would forever be changed. Ten years since we went to bed truly fearing for our safety and lives...perhaps for the first time. Ten, long years have passed since thousands of families were torn apart. Thousands died that day, some died later one, those who helped try to rescue from illnesses caused by working in the damage and rubble of what was once two, tall, strong towers--symbols of American ingenuity.

It's been ten years.

The footage will no doubt be all over TV, replays, tributes, reading of the names. As it should be. Perhaps this will be too hard for you to watch. I respect that. Perhaps you lost someone in the terrorist attack or even perhaps you survived it. For that, I will continue to pray for you and your family every night.

Perhaps some say we shouldn't inundate ourselves with the footage, we need to move past, we need to carry on. I believe we are doing that, every day that we get up and are thankful for what we have. Every day we get up and give thanks to the soldiers who protect us, the first responders who tried to save their fellow man, and say prayers for those who passed.

But we should not ever hide from this memory, this tribute, the footage. If we hide, try to pretend that 9/11 is not a bitter part of our lives, then we let the terrorists win. If we FORGET the lives lost, the tragedy that shook our nation to it's core...then we have let down the people who's very lives were snuffed out that horrible day.

The mantra soon after 9/11 was "We Will Never Forget" (or various versions of that sentence.) But if we shelter our children from this event, if we do not discuss it, remember the victims, and if we do not continue to be proactive in protecting our country from it happening again, we WILL have FORGOTTEN.

There is nothing wrong with going about your day, playing with your children, going to church, laughing, and just living your life. If anything, we MUST do that....and show appreciation for it EVERY DAY out of respect for those who can longer do that due to their untimely death or due to them being thousands of miles away protecting our freedoms.

But while you do your daily chores and live your life, not just today but EVERY day, say a prayer for others. Pray for those you know and love, and pray for those you don't know. Pray for our enemies. Pray they find peace. Pray that we never have to endure this type of tragedy again, but that if we do, pray that future generations will not forget US and will make sure the memories never die.

I Will Never Forget.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Ten Minute Cleaning Attempt

Hey gang! You know I'm forever trying to streamline my life here! Well, I had been told about the  10 minute cleaning method once before by my dear friend Dee and I am going to give it a go again! In fact, I suspect I've blogged this before..but, eh, it's my blog, right? :)

I'm not 100% sure the true method or where it came from (I'm gonna guess flylady), but here's my take on it:

I am home most days, much of the day except grocery day. So on the at home days (except the Sabbath), I will do 10 minute cleaning every hour throughout the day. It doesn't sound like much but what I figure is if I do it from 9-5 every day, plus a pre-bedtime pickup, that 90 minutes of cleaning a day, but it won't FEEL like that.
Now what can you clean in ten minutes? Glad you asked!
Here are some of the things I'll keep a list of to keep me motivated!

Load and Unload Dishwasher
Wipe down cabinets/counters/tables.
Dust (preferably before the vacuum!)
Sweep and Swiffer (with my handy resuable pads from MicroMops!)
Bathroom Cleaning
Take Out Trashes
Sweep Patio, pick up backyard
Pick up Toys, Straighten sofa, etc.
Wipe down Appliances
Load/Fold/Put Away Laundry
Clean out Car

The list can go on and on. You just basically take the daily chores that need to be done to keep your home tidy and do them in bursts. Set the timer for ten minutes. What doesn't get finished, doesn't get finished until the next session.

I am hoping this will help me because I work from home, so I really do need that structure to get stuff done in a timeframe. I tend to be easily distracted, ok, VERY easily distracted and need something to remind me of the tasks at hand!!

Does anyone else try this method? Have you? Do you have a different method of cleaning and keeping a home? Please feel free to share!!


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