Archives for October 2013

Sharing My Recipe For Pumpkin Bars

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I said I hadn’t guest posted in forever? Well maybe I’m finally getting lucky enough to be invited to guest post again because I’m doing it today!

I was excited to recently guest post twice at Scary Mommy’s: once sharing my thoughts on being jealous of pregnant women while I was dealing with infertility and a second time sharing a recipe for Lemon Olive Oil Cake. Then I guest posted at Mom It Forward, sharing a recipe for Candy Popcorn – Halloween style.

Well guess what? I’m not here again today! I’m guest posting at my friend Jackie’s place With Just a Bit of Magic. I’m excited to be sharing my recipe for Pumpkin Bars with Chocolate Chips (or cranberries or nuts…or a little of everything!)  Thanks for the invite, Jackie! If these pumpkin bars sound yummy to you, I invite you to head over and check out the recipe and say hello to Jackie if you don’t already know her.


Pumpkin Bars Recipe

The Pumpkin Bars recipe I’m sharing are really easy to make (one bowl is all it takes!) and I bet you have most of the ingredients in your pantry right now. Really.

Also…if you like pumpkin bars and breads and muffins and lattes, and are looking for more pumpkin recipes, I have a round up of recipes from some of my favorite bloggers. Check out my Pumpkin Recipes Roundup because everybody loves pumpkin anything and everything this time of the year!


And if you are visiting from With Just a Bit of Magic, hello! Nice to meet you and I look forward to getting to know you! I hope you look around and find something that will peak your interest. If it’s recipes you are interested in, I’ve got plenty of them. But there’s lots more here too.

Please leave a comment if you are new here so I can stop by your place and say hello!

I Don’t Do Blood

As a mom, there are a lot of things that you normally wouldn’t touch, but do so without thought. I’ve picked boogers picked out of tiny nose holes. I’ve gotten poop on my hands while changing diapers or wiping butts and washed it off without a second thought. Vomit in the middle of the night is a nightmare to deal with, but I do it…and with sick season coming, I’m sure it won’t be too long before I have to do it again.

And when the kids fall and skin knees or cut open fingers, I wipe away blood and quickly put a band-aid on it. This is something I would prefer never to have to do. Because I don’t do blood.


I remember one time my brother fell off his bike and busted open his chin. He was just a kid, I must have been in ninth or tenth grade. Anyways, the neighbor ran out to help, and gave him a big old wad of cotton to stop the bleeding. I called my mom, who came home from work, and together we took him to the doctor.

When the doctor came in the room, he pulled the cotton away from my brother’s chin and I saw this big, gaping wound (okay, probably wasn’t that bad) and I stood up, said “I have to go”, opened the door and promptly passed out. That was when my hate/hate relationship with blood began.

Funny Side Note: I passed out, and was mortified to come to with the doctor holding my legs straight up…my unshaven legs. I was more embarrassed that he was touching my unshaven legs than I was that I had passed out. High school girls, right?

Since then, I get woozy at the thought of blood. If I cut myself shaving, I’m lucky if I can get rid of the blood before I start feeling hot and clammy and hear ringing in my ears.

When Mia was jumping on the bed and hit her head on the headboard, requiring a trip to the emergency room, Jason was home and took care of the blood.

But on Sunday, Jason was at work. I was upstairs and the kids were running around downstairs. Right about the time I was getting ready to yell at them to take it outside, I heard a thump and a scream. I thought the girls slammed Ethan’s finger in a door. He ran upstairs, and was covered in blood.

Downstairs he had been running, and turned around to see how far behind his sisters were. When he turned back around, he slammed his forehead straight into a light switch, and gouged his head open.

It looked bad. Really bad.

first-stitches 10.27.13

I went into mom mode, cleaned off all the blood, and got him into the car to head to urgent care. I was feeling a bit queasy, but was more worried about him at the time.

Once we arrived at urgent care, the doctor looked at it and said he needed stitches. I’m still doing ok – more concerned about how scared Ethan is. But once the doctor started in on the stitches? I had come to the end of my rope.

I got hot, but clammy at the same time. I started hearing a weird sound in my ears. If I didn’t sit down, I was going to pass out. I whispered to the nurse I had to sit down. I must have looked pale because she agreed with me. I kept talking to Ethan, with my head between my knees.

5 stitches later, and he is excited now to have a cool addition to add to his Army Ranger Halloween look. A battle wound.

first-stitches 2 10.27.13

Anybody else hate blood like I do?

Blackfish: Shame On Seaworld


No aquarium, no tank in a marine land, however spacious it may be, can begin to duplicate the conditions of the sea. No dolphins or marine mammals who inhabits one of those aquariums or one of those marine lands parks can be considered normal.

– Jacques Yves Cousteau

Way back when I first started my blog in 2010, one of the first posts I wrote was about the documentary The Cove, which shed light on the atrocious dolphin killings in Taiji, Japan. It’s a movie that still haunts and saddens me. This past week, I started seeing postings on Facebook about another documentary titled Blackfish, which tells the story of the killing in 2010 of experienced SeaWorld trainer Dawn Brancheau by a 12,000-pound orca.

From the Blackfish website:

Blackfish tells the story of Tilikum, a performing killer whale that killed several people while in captivity. Along the way, director-producer Gabriela Cowperthwaite compiles shocking footage and emotional interviews to explore the creature’s extraordinary nature, the species’ cruel treatment in captivity, the lives and losses of the trainers and the pressures brought to bear by the multi-billion dollar sea-park industry.


While Blackfish didn’t have the violence or atrociousness that The Cove did, it was very hard for me to watch and struck a cord with me in the same way.

These whales, kept in captivity, occasionally act out as wild animals will do, and we blame the animal. These whales, like other animals in captivity, are not happy and are not living fulfilled lives. As stated in Blackfish, these whales are used to swimming hundreds of miles a day; the tanks they are kept in while in captivity for no other reason than to entertain are not adequately meeting their needs. Not even close.

What surprised me most about Blackfish was the lack of education needed to become a whale trainer at SeaWorld. I assumed (I know, assuming is bad) that trainers would at the very least need some type of experience working with marine animals as well as a degree in marine biology. Not the case. Trainers featured in Blackfish stated they had no educational background or experience. All that was required was that they be strong swimmers and have a big personality.

Another thing that was surprising was that while there have been cases in captivity where orcas have killed people, there has never been one case in the wild where orcas have killed people.


I’ve been to SeaWorld several times, and we’ve taken the kids to the zoo before too. We all enjoyed both. But every time we go, I’m always saddened by all of the animals living out their lives in cages. It’s not how their lives were intended to be lived, nor the way we are supposed to see them. 

After seeing Blackfish, I doubt I will ever take my kids to SeaWorld again. Maybe not even the zoo, for that matter. This saddens me. Because I want my children to be able to see up close how beautiful animals are, but I also don’t want to contribute to or condone the conditions these animals are kept in.

There are films out there like the Discovery Channel’s Earth series that allow us to see animals in their natural habitats, as they should be. And maybe for my family, that is how we will chose to see animals from now on.

Check out the Blackfish trailer here. And once you’ve seen the movie, make sure to visit the Blackfish website, as well as liking Blackfish on Facebook and following Blackfish on Twitter to show your support.

Did you see Blackfish? What did you think?

Let There Be (Olive Oil) Cake!


Yesterday, I shared a recipe for Olive Oil Cake over at Scary Mommy’s. It’s super easy to make, it’s light and airy, and delicious. And no, it doesn’t taste like olive oil.

So I thought I’d also introduce you to some of my other favorite cake recipes. For those of you who are scared of baking, don’t be. These recipes are so simple that your kids could follow them. I’m not a fan of long, hard to follow recipes, so I don’t share those here!

7-up-cake My 7 Up Cake recipe is a family favorite. It’s made with just 5 ingredients and you can put it together in no time at all. I also included the 7 Up Cupcakes recipe there too.

If you are heading to a potluck or big get together, this recipe for Holy Cow Cake is perfect. Caramel, chocolate, Butterfingers, and whipped cream all together? Yes please!

dump-cake This Dump Cake recipe sounds better than the name suggests. It’s called dump cake because you literally just dump all the ingredients into the pan. No mess!

This one sounds really gross, I know, but kids LOVE it and it actually tastes really good. Check out my Kitty Litter Cake recipe…if you know a cat lover, you must make it for them!

Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner, I’m going to share my Upside Down Pumpkin Cake recipe. You’ll never want pumpkin pie again once you’ve tried it.

And last but not least, my mom’s famous Cake recipe. Head over and check it out…you want to, trust me. After reading the recipe, you will know that I didn’t get my love of cooking from her.

Do you have a favorite cake recipe to share? Please leave a link in the comments section so we can all enjoy it!

Green Living: Where Do You Draw The Line? How About Washable Tampons?


Got your attention, didn’t I? Now let me start by saying this: there’s a line to be drawn when it comes to green living, organic living, all natural living…all the livings…and I think that washable tampons might be it.

Don’t get me wrong, I am all about green living. I’ve got a category on my blog devoted to it, I am big on organic gardening and teach the kids how important it is to grow our own fruits, veggies, and herbs. I even regrow green onions, garlic, and celery!

I used washable diapers when Ethan was a baby (didn’t even attempt that with the twins) and washable breast pads when I was breastfeeding.

We hand-me-down the clothes the kids grow out of and donate all the stuff that we outgrow or no longer want. I buy organically where it makes sense. We reuse and recycle regularly. I make my own cleaning products and compost what we can. We paid a ton of money for the solar panels on top of our roof. It even says on my blog’s “About Me” page that I’m “…trying to live a little more green everyday.”

I’m down with the green.

But then I found these little gems on Facebook yesterday:


Now you want to know more because you read that these are Washable Tampons, right? Weird? Maybe. Smart idea? Kinda, if you are worried about the bleach they use in the cotton they put in the tampons which may lead to cervical cancer. Would I use them? Hell no.

Washable Tampons

I know that like me, you so badly want to click on this to read more because it’s just crazy to think about reusing a tampon. So here you go, the link to Washable Tampons. Go ahead, click over. I’ll wait.


Neopolitian tri-colored washable tampon. This would be my color choice. How long do you really think that white would stay white though, even after washing?

Okay, so now you’re all caught up. What do you think about washable tampons? What color would you chose?

As you can imagine, this led to all sorts of hilarious conversations and shares on Facebook. It also led to me considering purchasing these because I cannot imagine what they must look or feel like. But alas, they were sold out once all the sharing of the post started making the rounds.

Insertion cannot be comfortable. They aren’t smooth and they don’t “glide” like a regular tampon casing does. How do you get them in? Well according to the Etsy post: “They can be inserted with the finger or a disposable lollipop stick available from the craft store, if desired.”

You must also know this: “To stuff the lining you fold the circle in half, over a chopstick, fold in half again, fold in half again and then twist to insert into shell and pull shell down over the insert. Use chopstick to tuck in the loose ends. REMEMBER the tampon is as large as it will get. It will not expand like disposable ones.” Yeah, that whole doesn’t expand thing wouldn’t work for my flow.

And what if you’re out and about? Do you carry a Ziploc to put it in to take home and wash? I just can’t get on board with that.

But I’m not the only one who feels that washable tampons are a bit over the line…just read the Facebook thread. Jokes about “stocking stuffers” and “why aren’t they just done in red.”

One friend in a private Facebook group I’m in said: “My head itches like crazy when I put something knit on it. I can’t imagine how my vagina would feel.”

Another friend said: “The description is killing me. “I finally perfected.” I can’t even begin to think of the vagina irritation and disastrous messes that accompanied the “non perfect” versions. 
Attempt 1 – Fishing twine is NOT absorbant
Attempt 2 – Fibers shredded from Brawny paper towel are NOT soft
Attempt 3 – Vagina too sore to notice what is being inserted. Success!”

While it’s funny to those of us who are like “HELL NO” to that mess/nonsense, she had many favorable reviews of her product. That’s great! For those of you who are thinking “well maybe…” if you try them out, please let me know what you think.

Look, you can buy all-natural, organic tampons. Seventh Generation organic tampons are great and I’ve also heard that Natracare tampons are great as well. If tampons are all natural and biodegradable, that’s good enough for me.

Where do you stand on washable tampons? Would you use them or stick to the good old throw away kind?