Monday, November 19, 2018

A gift giving guide for the terrible gifter

Dear Wives / Girlfriends / Partners;

Share this with the person who keeps asking you what you want this year and just ends up buying you a new scarf!
Hey.  I love you.  And you're a terrible gift giver.  Because I know you care and want to buy the perfect thing for this holiday / birthday / anniversary as a token of your love, I thought I would help you out a little.

No, I’m not going to BUY MY OWN GIFTS.

Here are a few questions for you to answer before you go shopping an hour before stores close on Christmas / birthday / anniversary Eve:

What would make my life easier? There is something I complain about ALL the time. True, there are MANY things I complain about. So go now to your dark place and think of those things…. Those nagging, constant, irritating things. And then fix it, buy it, get rid of it! Whatever complaints I have made over the past few months - Take care of it for me! Broken dish washer? Fix it! No dish washer? BINGO.  Not enough spoons/mugs/dish towels? Buy me a dozen! Always tripping over your shoes? Get rid of them! And by that I mean buy something to take care of the shoes-all-over-the-living-room problem.  Yes.  A shoe organizer. You’re catching on quick! What am I always looking for? My keys? Make a duplicate set.  My cell phone charger? Get me three: work,  car, and  home!

What would make me feel adored?  Something extra. Something I don’t need. Something that I often use/wear/want. You’ve seen me put on a necklace every day before work. Buy me a new one! You’ve seen me work endless hours on my hobby … get me better tools, a fancy thing-a-ma-jig, and a do-hickey to compliment my efforts. (Please … please tell me you know what my hobby is!? If not go look on my pinterest account, eh? It should be loud and clear.) Basically, what do I do every single day to make myself feel pretty, feel sane, or just feel like a human? Buy me more.

Who (or what!) else can do my chores? If I spend all my free time keeping the house clean please buy me a maid! Once a month for the entire year someone to come into our home and spend 2-3 hours cleaning, organizing, SOMETHING! Dear God, give me a BREAK! (Or see "dishwasher" in part 1.)

What would make me speechless? Go ahead. You know you want me to shut up for a minute! Buy me something that would blow me away. A real dream come true! So far out there that it’s virtually unrealistic; A vacation. A car. A weekend away. Yes. That’s it! A weekend away. No guilt. No strings. And by all means NO CHILDREN. And if I’m being honest … no YOU either. Let me relax. Let me manage my own 48 hours. However I want. With my current responsibilities THAT would be an absolutely unrealistic and unexpected dream come true!


The Happiest Woman on Christmas Morning

PS. Don't ASK me if I want _____ for Christmas. Just surprise me! I DON'T WANT TO KNOW AHEAD OF TIME!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Sophisticated No-Bakes

I found this amazing No Bake oatmeal bar recipe just before Thanksgiving and my brain adapted it for me before I pulled a single ingredient from the shelf.  Fun how our brains do that.  ;) (Yeah.  I read the recipe wrong from the start. But what I ended up with was just as amazing and I personally feel like royalty when I eat them.)  So. ..
Here's my adapted recipe. I like to call them SOPHISTICATED NO-BAKES.
Square baking dish
Parchment paper
2 sauce pans
Measuring cups
Something to stir with
Rubber Spatula
1 cup salted butter
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups quick-oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
Let the magic begin!
Line square baking pan with wax or parchment paper, set aside.
Melt butter on medium heat in large sauce pan.
Stir in brown sugar and vanilla.
Stir in oats.
Turn heat to low and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Then take 1/2 of oat mixture and press into bottom of lined baking dish.
In a different saucepan, melt chocolate chips and peanut butter , stirring frequently.
Once fully melted, pour onto oatmeal layer. Gently spread evenly.
Carefully top with remaining oat mixture, then add white chocolate chips and cranberries.  Gently press it all down.
You could save about a 1 tbsp of chocolate mix to drizzle on top, or you could just eat it to celebrate your Sophisticated No-Bake success!
Put the pan in the fridge for about 3 hrs or until someone finds out you made them.  ;)
Slice in small squares, hide a few for later, and serve to your friends and family this holiday!

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Chores and Rewards

It's time for updated systems around here. What was once considered major accomplishments (brushing your teeth) has now become expected and normal. No more special attention for such mundane tasks. Our baby is now 5 years old and while chores have been a regular part of our lives I now see the need to "up the ante".

I learned from my sister-in-law, Paige, and a wise woman of 9 children, Darlene, about the "five finger chores". We've doing those for about a month now and it has helped us reign in my daughter's desire to instantly jump on the computer or turn on the tv in the morning. First she needs to finish her "first fives".

Here's what our (well used!) Five Finger Chore Chart looks like:

1. Turn off your "water sounds" (white noise machine)
2. Turn off your radio
3. Get dressed
4. Drink water
5. Put your laundry in the basket

Humbly drawn at the bottom is a picture of the computer. She can watch a show when she finishes all five. It's perfection.

But I also learned from my years observing Darlene that a great chore system may last a short while before it loses it's appeal. She seemed to have a good handle on when to revamp!

Pockets, Popsicle sticks, stickers, money, threats .... whatever your system, I'm curious what you do; What you've tried; How you've succeeded and how you've failed. Do tell!

Here's my newest plan to use in conjunction with the Five Finger Chart. Feel free to use, share, or delete!

(Compiled with input from the 5 year old)

Take a bath
Get dressed
Clean your room
Clean up after your meals
Put away your books
Put away your toys
Take care of your laundry
Rest time


Clean kitchen surfaces (floor, or cabinet doors, or garbage can)
Organize the clean laundry into piles (child, adult, towels, etc)
Put away all the clean dishes
Vacuum the living room
Vacuum your room
Sweep/rake leaves
Match plastic lids with their containers
Bring in 4 bags of groceries

Each extra chore completed gets a sticker.
When you have three stickers you get a treat.
If you save two treats you can trade them in for a toy at the dollar store.