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Well Done- November 26, 2015

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

My husband woke up Thanksgiving morning with a sparkle in his eye and some extra swagger. It was swagger fueled by peanut oil and propane. We did no basting, we did no roasting. Greyson was gonna fry the hell out a turkey this year.

I giggled at his enthusiasm and swooned at him in his flannel and denim. I thought he looked particularly fetching out on our driveway, beer in hand, eyes never moving from the blue flame he had so carefully created. He warned me about oil splatters as I took his picture.

Greyson frying turkey

He had researched. He had seasoned. He had massaged and pampered this bird the night before. 40 minutes was the goal. 40 minutes in the fryer to achieve the golden sparkle that would ensure moist poultry. I was in the kitchen when he stuck his head in the door from the garage. “Oh, my God!” I wasn’t prepared for what he plopped on the counter.

burnt turkey 2015

We think the coup de gras for this bird may have been the 42 or 43 minutes in the fryer. We may never know. It actually wasn’t that bad. We salvaged it. After we peeled off the charred skin the meat was okay. A little dry for a fried turkey, but not inedible.


He laughed, but his eyes told the story of a sad defeat. Defeat on a day in late November we’ll remember as a really fun Thanksgiving with our friends. Greyson said the bird looked “like Satan’s butthole.” See, he did cook the hell out of a turkey.


Tweets Between Rock Star Moms- November 24, 2015

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

In all my years on Twitter I never would have expected what happened as I stood in my kitchen early yesterday evening. I was pulling leftovers out of the fridge for my hungry little ones. Their whines were growing loud as I half watched the news and cut broccoli stalks for their plates. How much longer until bedtime? “The Voice” is on tonight. My phone buzzed.

My stomach did a little flip. Surely I wasn’t seeing what I saw.

gwen tweet cropped

My jaw dropped open. Did Gwen Stefani just tweet me? I really wish a camera had been on my face to see the ridiculous grin. All kid whining was blocked out as I went to my original post to see if in fact she had responded. I double checked that little blue check to be sure she was the actual Twitter-verified Gwen. She was. The little “gx” seems to be how she signs her social media posts on Twitter and Instagram. It had to be her. I went to her Twitter page to MAKE SURE I was on there. I was. It was official. She responded to my tweet!

gwen tweet 2

I was just goofing around, being a fan girl when I wrote that. I figured other fans would respond, but Gwen herself? By this point she was getting ready for the live show. I know this because I’m a weirdo fan who thought “Oh! They’re getting ready for ‘The Voice’ live show.” In case you missed it. I wrote a post last week about my crazy, silly love of all things Gwen and Blake.  Let’s be honest, she will likely never read it because she’s super busy with career and kids. I’m not a super star, but I’m a mom. So I understand being too busy for almost everything. I just think she and I could be mom friends and if she wanted to bitch about her ex with me and my girls, she’s welcome. We’d also love to dish about her cute new boyfriend. Just saying.

I loved her performance on the American Music Awards Sunday night and indulged myself by watching her sing “Used To Love You” on my phone a few times Monday after working out, running errands and attending the preschool Thanksgiving feast. Her performance was awesome! Emotional. Beautiful. It makes me cry. Add to that, Blake tweeted about it. Then I got to see Alanis Morrisette perform the 20th anniversary of “You Oughta Know” and the cast of “Clueless” 20 years later? 30-somethings of the Internet….was that awesome, or what?! My 90’s teen heart could take no more happiness.

Until the tweet.

I usually only tweet with others like me, other bloggers, writers, moms and news people. Regular people tweet celebrities all the time. I do. Smack talk to an athlete before a game or encouragement for a guy who plays on my NFL team is just fun. I imagine A-listers get thousands a day. Jimmy Kimmel will round up all the mean tweets for famous people and let the hilarity ensue. But, the odds of a famous person actually replying to you?! The odds of one of my FAVORITES replying is nearly unheard of.

I don’t know why she responded to me, but I’m so glad she did. I just made a very honest, fun statement. I enjoyed her performance. I’m glad she knows it.

After collecting myself I kept grinning and responded.

gwen tweet 3

I showed my 5-year-old daughter and told her that Gwen wrote to me. She knows who Gwen is. We let her watch a little of “The Voice” before bedtime on Mondays and Tuesdays. She’s Team Gwen all the way. She looked at me with her wide eyes and said, “Mommy, are you famous!?” I assured her that I was not. I told her I was just a regular mom.

But…for a moment in my kitchen, I felt like a total rock star.


Just a Girl, Just a Mom- November 17, 2015

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

I remember the first time I saw Gwen Stefani perform. It was sometime in my angsty teens in the mid-90’s. I was likely eating a bowl of cereal after school and watching MTV Spring Break. I saw her sing “Just a Girl” in her halter top and rocker jeans and thought, “Who is that?! She is awesome!” Watching many female artists is wildly intimidating when you’re a young teen, but I never felt this way watching her. She was the lead singer of this band of guys and she was SO COOL! She made me feel like I could do anything. If I ever meet her I’ll tell her that. I’ve been a fan for years. I’ll have to ask my sister what we did with that old “Tragic Kingdom” CD. No doubt, it’s in a Discman in a closet at my mom’s house. (“No doubt.” Ha! See what I did there?)

Fast forward decades to me as an adult who listens to Top 40 and Country music in the car. I first spotted Blake Shelton when we had some music award show on TV at some point. I mentioned to my husband how handsome I thought he was. Tall, curly hair. Hot. I listened to him croon and decided he might be on my celebrity “gimme” list. You know, the hypothetical list of celebrities you and your spouse establish that you could hook up with if you ever met them.

Before last year I had never watched “The Voice.” Like much of America I was kind of over singing reality shows after years of voting by phone for the next “American Idol.” Then I saw that Gwen was going to be a coach and I told my husband, “Oh! Gwen Stefani is a coach?! I’ll have to watch. I love her!” He agreed that she is awesome and we watched because of her. I later had a discussion with some girlfriends about how Gwen could totally bring her kids and come hang with us and mom it up. You know. Coffee, strollers…cliche mom stuff. They were like, “Yeah, she’s the best! Totally!” That being said, let’s think for a moment what that might be like. Super cool rock star in leather and her kid…with me in my tennis shoes and unruly toddler. It might look something like this:

Me and Gwen Stefani hanging out with our kids

Here is where I make a confession. I have a crazy obsession with Gwen and Blake dating. I’m all about it. It’s weird. As an adult I don’t keep up with too much celebrity gossip or tabloid fodder. I have never watched anything with the Kardashians. The last time I read a magazine was when my phone died at the nail salon once. I don’t care if Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are married or whatever. Are they? Wait. Don’t tell me. I don’t care. But, for some reason I REALLY care about Blake and Gwen. You know, “Blen” or “Gwake” or “Shelfani” or whatever they’re being called.

I’ve read some people all like, “What!? They’re dating? That’s weird!” Okay, what’s weird about it? The queen of cool with the hot cowboy, both of whom are coming off highly publicized divorces. Now, they work together on a hit TV show where they giggle and make sexy eyes at each other. That’s awesome! They don’t have to get married. They can just be each other’s hot music industry rebound. More power to them! Plus, think about how brooding and angry Miranda Lambert’s next album is going to be because of all of this. I smell another Grammy!

In all seriousness, I have a problem, ya’ll. I can’t get enough “Blen.” In an extreme moment of idiocy I shared an article from a tabloid on my Facebook page like I have no sense. Yep! I shared the Us Weekly piece about the Stefani/Rossdale split. I may or may not have read wildly sensational articles on websites like E! and Hollywood Life. Please, please do not ever click on the videos on these sites. They are so effing stupid. On top of that, I follow Gwen and Blake on Twitter and Instagram. I’m always reading their tweets and telling them how awesome #TeamBlake and #TeamGwen are on the show, like I don’t have a family/job/responsibilities of my own. I may or may not have ignored my 2-year-old throwing crackers on the ground in the line at Target while I leafed through People Magazine because it promised more on their “Sexy New Romance!”

Monday night my husband laughed at my fan girl ways as I nestled up to the TV promptly at 8:00pm EST to watch the “The Voice” live. My ridiculous swooning over Gwen and Blake’s flirting reached new heights after the whole “Hotline Bling” conversation. I was gushing over how awesome they are and how handsome Blake looked. My husband said, “So he’s at the top of your list now? It’s cool. You could hook up with him if you met him.”

As if nothing else about that statement phased me I said without hesitation, “Oh my God! I would NEVER do that to Gwen!” 


I looked a him. I mean, “I would never do that to you. You know, because you’re my husband and I love you.”

Yep. I’m an excellent fan girl and a mediocre wife.


Review: Chuggington 1,2,3 Track- November 16, 2015

Monday, November 16th, 2015

Henry is a train fanatic. I call him a “choo-choo cuckoo.” He will push trains until he can’t keep his eyes open before his afternoon nap. My sweet 2 year-old snuggles with trains in his bed. It’s all around adorable.

Chuggington 1-2-3 track

I was excited when TOMY sent Henry a set of the the Chuggington 1, 2, 3 Tracks. We recently bought him some wooden train tracks for his birthday. We bought the generic brand tracks from Target because the Thomas and Friends tracks were more than we wanted to spend. Now, after using this new track I wish we had bought all TOMY Chuggington tracks! The good news? The Chuggington 1, 2, 3 Track fits perfectly with most other wooden train track brands. (Thomas, Melissa & Doug etc.)

(Raise your hand if you’re a parent who already has the “Chuggington” theme song in your head after reading this? It’s a catchy tune. Well played, Disney Junior, well played.)

What makes the TOMY tracks different is the connected hinges that flex up and down, and rotate 360 degrees. Parts of the track are already connected and designed so that little kids can make their own layout and play with it right out of the box. Henry got the “Wilson Rides The Rails” set. The track makes an oval, but disconnect in a few places and rotate to make other shapes and connect with other tracks.

Chuggington 1-2-3 track connection

We got a hand-me-down train table without tracks a few years ago when my 5-year-old daughter was little. The Chuggington track fits great. I love the Wilson train that has the same magnets as our other trains. Henry is young and I don’t have the patience to connect more plastic trains together. The wooden trains with magnets are so much better for little hands. Wilson connects with Thomas and other brands of wooden trains.

Chuggington 1-2-3 track kids play

The TOMY Chuggington Wooden Railway sets are available for your little train lover at Toys R Us this holiday season! The The “Wilson Rides The Rails” starter set retails for $29.99 and is recommended for ages 2 and up. Tell me what you like or dislike about your train sets. Have you tried the Chuggington sets? What is your train lover wishing for this year?


I Could Be One Of Those #fitspo Girls (Not really)- November 11, 2015

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

For me, 2015 has become “The Year of Fitness.” I didn’t go into January with that resolution per se, but after a year with Fit4Mom being a Stroller Strides regular I did a session of Body Back early this year. My Fit4Mom franchise offers Stroller Strides, Stroller Barre and Body Back. Read more here. Now I work as a Stroller Strides instructor! Catch all that? It has been really fun. I love my new job coaching some awesome moms with their cute babies

This fall when I wasn’t teaching Stroller Strides I was taking another session of Body Back. That’s a moms-only boot camp style HIIT class focused on changing moms’ health and fitness. I blogged my first Body Back journey here.

bb 25 collage done


Let me say I don’t think I have ever, ever, EVER put a picture of myself in a sports bra and spandex pants on the Internet. The closest I have ever come to that is an old pic from our honeymoon that I put on Instagram one time reminiscing about our trip to Costa Rica. I was on the beach in a bikini. But this? Well, Instagram “models” do it. I can reveal my midriff online. Yeah, but their midriff’s haven’t housed two babies.

The thing I hate the most is seeing the first picture. Ooph! Then I try to show myself a little grace. In the first shot I had just stopped nursing a month or two before and my midsection screams “A Second Baby Was Here!” I also did not put any makeup on and did not photoshop these except to add the graphics, obviously. I just want to show you the results of Fit4Mom for what they are.

Please know, I did all this without supplements, shakes or crazy diets. (Not knocking the shakes. I know there are lots of people who love the shake thing and get really healthy from those. That’s cool.) This was all hard workouts and eating well. Make no mistake, though. I did not deprive myself. I had a cupcake and pizza at my kids’ birthday party. I went out with my husband. Life was good. I just worked on eating well the rest of the time. I lived by the “if you bite it write it” mantra and kept a food journal on My Fitness Pal, did HIIT workouts with Body Back and taught Stroller Strides.

So, there you go. I feel great. I love how many push-ups I can do. I love my stamina. I still hate running for the most part, but I do it anyway. I just feel like this is a time in my life when I can do great things for myself and my family and I want to take advantage of that. I just hope I can inspire someone to do the same. Let me know what you’re up to with workouts post-baby. Consider Fit4Mom. I think it’s amazing. Let me know if you have questions.