Easy low-cal chicken cordon bleu + 2 Friday faves

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These days -meaning the 4 weeks since my usual November/December eat-all-the-things period ended haha- I'm really trying to get my focus back on healthy eating. For someone like me who doesn't love to cook (and also has a husband who refuses to eat anything made with tomatoes or onions) it can be tough to come up with a good variety of main courses that don't break the calorie bank. That's why I love this version of chicken cordon bleu! It's under 300 calories per serving and something different from my usual go-to of just throwing some meat on the grill.

What you'll need:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breast
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dijon mustard
  • Italian herb panko bread crumbs (1 Tbsp per breast)
  • Laughing cow light swiss cheese
  • Grated parmesan (1/2 Tbsp per breast)
  • Deli ham (about an ounce per breast)

 




Directions: 


  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and prepare a glass baking dish with a light coating of your favorite cooking spray.  

  • In a separate shallow dish mix panko and grated parmesan and set aside.

  • Halve your chicken breasts if necessary, then use a meat tenderizer to flatten them out, making them easier to roll up. 

  • Place the breasts in a bowl or large ziplock, adding enough dijon mustard to give each breast a light coating (I use about 2.5 Tbsp for 6 breasts.) 





  • Season the breasts with pepper and sea salt, or garlic salt --that stuff is my jam!

  • Spread one triangle of creamy swiss on each breast, then add about an ounce of ham.





  • One at a time, roll your breast/cheese/ham combo and dredge in the bread crumb/parmesan mixture. 

  • Place in glass baking dish and if necessary, secure with a toothpick or some baker's twine. 





  • Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. 


Enjoy!!

*Using a 5-6 ounce chicken breast, each serving should have approximately 270 calories, 40g protein, 7.5g carbs and 6g fat
Since it is Friday, I need to share a couple more favorites with you, both gifts from my bestie:


This illume candle in noble currant smells absolutely amazing! I might need to stock up.





These chocolates are like little bites of heaven! I'm restraining myself from sitting down and devouring the entire bag, because they're not exactly diet friendly. Oh, but they are good!




Happy Friday! If you try the chicken, I would love to hear how it turns out!


*Linking up with  MomfessionalsSincerely, Paula and Stuff, Things, Etc!



Embracing the insecurities

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Can I be real for a second? I came to the blog today intending to write a post about some of my favorite hiking spots, but what's on my mind at the moment is something else entirely. 

Not to get all existential crisis-y but man, coming back to this business of blogging after two years away is harder than I thought it would be! Taylor at The Daily Tay had a good post today about the evolution of blogging, and it got me thinking. She's right, of course: things have changed over the years. I'm not sure I would really notice if I hadn't stepped away for so long (similar to the way I never notice my extra winter fluff until I try to zip up my skinny jeans haha) but it feels like blogging is becoming more of a competition than it used to be. It seems to be a little more difficult to make those connections that are such a great part of belonging to the blogging community. And it's flat out daunting to scroll through sites like Bloglovin and see the quantity of good blogs that are out there and wonder how my own little corner of the internet could ever measure up. 

Probably the hardest thing is to see that I've lost a few followers since I started writing again. My head tells me I shouldn't really care, because no one is holding a gun to my head to be here and I've never paid much attention to stats and "numbers." But I still can't help feeling that moment of  shame, wondering if I've unintentionally offended. 

I absolutely hate giving actual voice to some of my insecurities, especially since I come from a long line of stoic "never air your dirty laundry" types. But I came back to blogging fully intending to be true to myself in this space, and if that's really going to happen then I need to learn to embrace talking about the things that make me uncomfortable. Just like life, blogging is  not all sunshine, rainbows and The Bachelor.  And that's ok.  Maybe somewhere out there other bloggers of little blogs might be able to relate. I hope so! Isn't that what blogging is all about anyway? 

If you're new here -or still with me after all this time- thank you! You rock socks! And I'm sure my next post will be much cheerier :-) xoxo, Jenn





Ben plans the worst dates ever and Olivia makes it all awkward (Bachelor recap episode 4)

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You guys, it pains me to say this, but I did not love this week's episode. I thought Ben's dates were sub-par, and Olivia...well, you'll see. Let's dive into the recap!


This week's episode opens with the girls finding out they'll be meeting Ben in Vegas. They are excited. Actually, that's a severe understatement. The girls collectively freak out on the level that I would reserve for someone telling me I won the powerball or something. 




Maybe I'm just jaded from living an hours flight from Vegas? Either way, when Ben informed the cameras that "Vegas is a place people go to find love, " I was kinda like, huh. I thought Vegas was the place people go to gamble and get their drink on. Or you know, get married (guilty.) But a place to find love? Yeah, I don't know about that Ben.

Side note: I think the twins deserve a shout out this week for their epic treadmill workout. If I could get legs like theirs from strolling leisurely in the gym with my bff, I could take over the world. #KillinIt

JoJo was the first to receive a one on one date this week, where after the very first helicopter ride in Bachelor history (oh, wait) she and Ben got all dressed up for...dinner on the coffee table? Ben, Ben, Ben. No woman wants to get all dolled up just to stay in and try to somehow gracefully consume steak from her lap. 




During the dinner which was eaten by no one, JoJo opened up about her past by mentioning a recent failed relationship. When asked if her ex had cheated she neatly skirted the question by saying she just felt insecure because she "gave that one person everything and didn't get it back in return." Methinks JoJo may have a little undercover psycho girlfriend lurking beneath the "cool girl" surface. Not that I, personally, would know anything about that *cough cough.* They finished the date by taking some time to check out the "view," also known as "making out on the balcony." 

Ben was "nervous" for this week's group date which consisted of the girls putting on a talent show as  the opening act for Terry Fator and a huge crowd at the Mirage. Seriously? Who plans these dates? I realize nothing says soul-mates and romance better than providing a group of your potential-wifeys with a good dose of public humiliation, but come on. I can pretty much guarantee that in that situation I would  crap my pants, pass out and then die from heart failure. (Just to take the heat off the other girls, of course. Not because I'm a complete wuss.) 

Olivia's talent act took the cake (haha). No really, she actually jumped sort of climbed out of a cake and did the most uncomfortably awkward shimmy dance back and forth across the stage in a really ...feathery costume.  





After watching her act  I literally felt like I needed a drink. Unfortunately for me, what I didn't want to do was explain to the husband why I needed to open a bottle of zin before lunch, so I'm still perfectly sober. I kind of feel like my socks are egging me on, though...





Olivia continued her tragic downward spiral with a dramatic panic attack after the show, but totally redeemed herself by playing it cool at the afterparty. Just kidding. Mostly she followed Ben around, interrupting his conversations with the other girls and trying to extort a kiss with some awkward grimaces and finger snapping. Guys dig that, right? 

Ben mused about how shy and innocent Caila is, except when they're alone and she becomes a "sex panther." Rawr. Get some, girl!

Incidentally, Sex Panther is also the name of a cologne you can purchase on Amazon.

Becca received a wedding dress to wear for her one on one date this week. Jokes on you, Becca! You're not really getting married! Ben just wanted a really fancy way to invite you to spend the day officiating other people's weddings at one of those chapels on the strip. 

The twins got an impromptu date -at home- so Ben could kick one of them to the curb. Because it is apparently very, very stressful dating two beautiful women when they look the same. Too bad; they were growing on me! 

Someone named Jennifer (who??) got to Ben first at the cocktail party this week, while Olivia glared daggers for stepping on her turf.  She made sure to rush over and explain to Ben how she's totally not really insecure and how -even though she's never been alone with him for more than 30 seconds- she's definitely falling for him. 




Side note #2: I love a classy little black dress and Jubilee's was spot on this week! She didn't feature much in the episode, but I'm still #TeamJubilee.

At the rose ceremony, Olivia was convinced that she'd get a rose because she "read(s) a lot of romance novels where everything just comes together." Or something. For the second week in a row, she was dead last but only because she's "the best!" Duh!

Jennifer and Leah got roses. Seriously who are these people?

Amber and Rachel The Unemployed made the walk of shame. Nothing surprising there, although I was hoping for a little more goodbye-drama from Amber. 

That's about it you guys! The previews for next week tease Olivia saying "He's falling for amanda! I feel like this is an episode of team mom!" so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for better drama.  





Did you watch this week? What did you think?




My 5 favorite cleaning hacks (and a hair meme)

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  Are you all enjoying the weekend?? Not much of note going on over here at the moment, although I did chop a few inches off my hair yesterday and can I just tell you how good it feels? Liberating, really. Especially when I was able to spritz in some dry shampoo and touch it up with a flatiron this morning for a grand total of <5 min spent dealing with hair. Love it!



And on to what I really want to talk about today, which is cleaning! (Maybe if I talk about it long enough I can avoid actually having to do it? Ha.)  There are a ton of cleaning hacks making the internet rounds these days which is awesome, because the quicker we get that shiz done, the more time we have for the good stuff, right? Below are the 5 hacks I use most often to make cleaning easier. Hopefully they do the same for you!





1. Easy Off Oven Cleaner for a hopeless shower or tub. This is by far my absolute, most favorite cleaning hack of all time. Last year when Madi was about 8 months old we decided to sell our starter home and move to a better school district a little closer to family. If you've ever gone through the hassle of being a "seller," then you know the pressure to get everything as spotlessly clean as possible. Well, the textured fiberglass bottom of the shower in our master bath had some seriously unsightly stains. Gross. Over the time we owned the house I tried everything to get it clean: Magic Erasers, vinegar and lemon, bleach, Bar Keepers Friend and every bathroom cleaner known to man. Nothing worked. Once the pressure was on I took to the internet and eventually happened across a random forum where someone mentioned using Easy Off. My expectations were pretty modest by that point (so unfortunately I didn't bother with any before and after pictures) but trust me when I say, Holy Crap! That stuff worked an absolute miracle and removed Every. Single. Stain! Obviously, this is not an "organic" cleaning solution and the chemical smell is pretty terrible. You don't want to be inhaling those fumes so make sure you ventilate well and avoid the area for the 3-4 hours the Easy Off needs to sit and work it's magic. And it is most definitely magic.


2. Citrus peel for a fresh smelling garbage disposal. I used to buy little scented pearls at Linens and Things to occasionally freshen up the garbage disposal until my father in law let me in on a little trick: any time you eat an orange or use a lemon or lime for cooking, throw the peel in the garbage disposal and run for a couple minutes. It's a quick and easy way to banish the stink while cleaning things out a bit. Since we have a lime tree right in the backyard I just throw in an entire half when things start to get smelly. It's really loud, but works like a charm!




3. Distilled white vinegar for mineral deposits. We have hard water, and no matter how good I am about keeping the bathrooms clean, eventually a mineral crust starts to coat the drain plugs in the sinks and ugly rings forms at the water lines of the toilets. I had zero luck solving this problem with bathroom cleansers, slightly better luck with CLR but the results I had with distilled white vinegar beat everything! For sinks, simply close the drain plug and pour in enough vinegar to cover your problem area. For toilets, use a plunger to push out enough water to expose the mineral ring. Line the ring with toilet toilet paper and saturate with white vinegar. Leave both the sink and toilet overnight and in the morning you should be able to easily rinse away the grime.


4. Pet hair hack. We have two dogs -and a cat that sometimes wanders in- so pet hair can get to be a problem. For narrow spots that the vacuum can't quite reach (like under the edges of the couch in our living room) a rubber-edged squeegee works great! To quickly remove hair from couches and chairs you can also use a rubber glove or a microfiber cloth.


You bought this for me, right?


5. Baby wipes for seriously everything. If you have a little one at home you probably already know how awesomely multi-purpose baby wipes can be. They're great for wiping down dirty hands, faces and feet. I've used them to scrub (washable) marker from our microfiber couch, wooden entertainment center and from the big indoor-outdoor rug in our family room (clearly our little artist is a bit too adventurous at times.) They also remove crayon from walls and glass and in my experience work as well -or better- than Shout wipes or Tide sticks to get stains out of whatever you're wearing before they set. I plan to have these awesome things around far past the end of potty training. 


Do you already use any of these hacks? Next on my list to try are Rain-X for the glass shower door, and vinegar/lemon to clean the microwave. If you have any others I should know about I'd love to hear!


A Fresh Start

Bison pizza & other Friday faves

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**TGIF** I survived my first round of intermediate algebra this week! Unfortunately I was quickly reminded of just how much I hate equations that involve fractions. Was I not listening in 3rd grade when we were supposed to learn that shiz or did I selectively remove the information from my brain at some point along the way? I have no idea, but I guess I'm going to have to figure it out! On a brighter note, here are a few of the things making my heart happy this week:

  • This picture of Madi from our visit to the Children's Museum on Monday. When she's smiling she's usually also moving at maximum toddler speed so it's hard to capture her smiles on camera. I get so excited when I do!




                        
  • This week I finally filled out my application for nursing school, and am just waiting on some transcripts to arrive before I drop off my packet. Students are chosen via lottery and I'm not sure whether I'm more scared of being accepted -having an idea of the major time  commitment/childcare issues/mental stress it's going to entail- or of not being accepted and maybe having to find myself a different path. Either way it feels good to be taking a shot at something I've worked toward for a long time.

  • This pizza from FitMenCook. I was admittedly skeptical about the spinach/ground bison/goat cheese combo, but it was shockingly good. Seriously, I wouldn't joke about something as important as pizza!  And this one is so much healthier than ordering delivery. Find the recipe here.





  • This t-shirt from MoodCatz on Etsy. Pretty much sums up how I feel most days!






  • Save Dat Money! The song is a few months old, but I just heard it for the first time the other day when it came on a Pandora station my husband was listening to. A rap about taking advantage of "free trial memberships" and turning off the lights when you leave a room?  I'm in. The official music video is pretty entertaining, but has some explicit lyrics. Doesn't bother me since I have a mouth like a sailor, but this link  is to the clean version of the song.

  • The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly (book 3 of the Tea Rose trilogy). I totally geeked out last month and went to a book sale at our local library where I found a novel called The Winter Rose. It was one of those books that just sucks you right in and I didn't realize until I'd finished that it was actually the middle book of a trilogy. If you like history, drama and interesting characters with a dash of romance, these books are great! The Tea Rose is the first book of the three, and the one I haven't read yet.

via



         Happy Friday, guys! What are you loving this week?



Math like whoa.

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You guys, you guys, you guuuuuuys. Today I start Intermediate Algebra. In about 30 minutes, in fact.  I have absolutely put this class off as long as I could. I've taken every other GE class I could ever possibly need over the years, and a ton of classes that were completely unnecessary -and totally awesome- like horsemanship, drawing, and intro to dance (that last one is kind of comical if you know me. I basically dance like Elaine from Seinfeld.) 

                           


The thing is, I took beginning algebra 20 years ago. 20 years!! There's a really strong chance I end up with classmates who were born after I took that course (insert the silent scream/horrified face emoji here.)  It was a miserably terrifying, gray hair and wrinkles-inducing experience, clearly. Or it probably wouldn't have taken me two full decades to woman up and get back in the math-saddle.

                             


The sad thing is that I totally realize that I'm not being asked to complete advanced calculus or some kind of crazy mathematical physics. Algebra is basically "dummy" math, right? It's just that I'm not a math person. I'm a words person: reading them, writing them, whatever. Words are my happy place. And in my defense I would just like to note that I have, in fact, made it successfully through 38 years of life without ever, ever needing fancy math for anything. And if I do happen to need fancy math someday? Pretty sure there's an app for that.
                         
                            

Unfortunately, this is the very last class standing between me and an Associate's Degree, and although I don't really need the degree -it's not relevant to my current job or anything- I finally decided that whether or not my nursing school application is accepted this fall, it would be stupid to let 4 evil little units keep me from accomplishing a goal. And it's not all bad, right? As a mostly SAHM any extra adult interaction I can work into my week is a plus. So here I go! Wish me luck!

"Deep down there's a mean girl..." awkward moments from this week's Bachelor.

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At the risk of sounding cynical, am I the only one who watches The Bachelor mostly for the drama and the awkward moments? Don't get me wrong, I root for the happy ending as much as the next  obsessed fangirl, but I'm not exactly expecting a meeting of soul mates on reality TV. I'm always shocked on the rare occasion a #BachelorNation relationship is still going strong by the time the Final Rose airs. Ah well, c'est la vie! Here are my favorite moments from this week:

  • Lauren B's one on one date...oh look, a random hot tub literally in the middle of nowhere! Because that's normal. Is this the same ginormous hot tub Kevin Hart flashed his jiggly bits in last week? Is the show being sponsored by a hot tub company this season? 

  • We made it about a quarter of an hour into the episode before the first breakdown (Caila.) Not bad, but hey it's only week 3 and "It's just so HARD you guys!" Side question: how do these bachelor girls cry so daintily without even a smear of mascara? Am I the only super ugly crier out there? Because I'm usually more like...




  • Lauren H. on the group soccer date let us all know "I have zero ball handling skills!" Wink-wink nudge-nudge. (Good luck with that, Ben!)

  • Olivia made sure she was the first to drag Ben away from the group because, you know, "Theres a mutual understanding that we both need time together!" Totes, Olivia, totes. Waving at the other contestants from Ben's balcony was a nice touch. When Jami clued her in that some of the other ladies had been mean-girling about Olivia's ugly toes behind her back, Olivia responded bravely that it's ok because "perfection is lame. So lame."





You know the whole time she's thinking:




  • At the cocktail party Ben shared the news that some family friends had just been killed in a plane crash. Olivia -as usual- went in like a lion bringing down a gazelle and immediately pulled him aside to  comfort him in his time of grief  complain about how she hated her legs and how people have even written mean things on the internet about her...ermahgerdcankles. Her CANKLES. She actually managed to squeeze out a tear as she confessed how hard it is to "stay strong" in spite of having such a terrible affliction. 





  • Major drama ensued when the girls decided that Jubilee was "secluding herself" from the group after she'd already committed the unpardonable sins of being both awkward and "offensive" and receiving a date rose anyway. Plus she had the nerve to give Ben ohmygodabackmassage. Jubilee's total disregard for going with the program required an immediate confrontation by Amber, obvs. Of course, the drama backfired. Cause bishes be cray. #TeamJubilee

  • Props to Lace for realizing before the rose ceremony that she needed to take herself out of the game. I was shocked to see her reel in the crazy for a moment and leave with a little bit of grace. It's down to Olivia to carry on the psycho-torch for the rest of the season, and if next week's previews are any indication, she won't disappoint.




  • After failing to receive a rose at the end of the night, Jami the bartender closed out the show with some deep reflections on her experience: "My lesson from this is don't ever expect anything from humans. I'm going to start adopting cats now."  You go, girl.










Giving Monday a kick in the pants

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This morning I woke up thinking, poor Monday! It must kind of suck to be the only day of the week that no one -including me- really likes. Now that work is only a part-time deal I don't necessarily have a legitimate reason for Monday-bashing; I think it's just become part of my DNA.


Today I decided that Madi and I should enjoy this little break from the all the constant drizzly rain we've had recently, and kick Monday in the pants by heading to the Children's Museum for some hard core playtime. In order to get out the door by 8:30 with me showered and looking semi-human -and Madi to get the full half hour she needs to consume two tiny pancakes and half an egg- required getting up at 6am. It was totally worth it though! When we pulled into the parking lot and she realized where we were she couldn't get inside fast enough. "C'mon mama! C'mon mama! Walk!!" (Sorry kid! Cut the old lady some slack!)







Incidentally, I feel like "museum" is kind of a misnomer for a place that actually encourages kids to run around screaming like banshees and touch, throw or climb on pretty much everything. Up until a couple weeks ago when a friend of my husbands invited us to the museum for her 2 year old's birthday bash I had avoided the place like the plague. I wrongly assumed that any venue referring to itself as a "museum" was sure to be chock full of "no-no's" and breakable stuff. And if there's one thing I've learned thus far on this parenting journey, its that you just don't go looking for that kind of trouble. Ever.  It was obviously a case of first time mom-ness rearing it's ignorant head, because everyone else in the world seems to know what those places are all about. And hey, I totally get it now!


Happy Monday, guys! Are you doing anything to kick today in the pants?

Toddler files: 10 things (I'm kinda glad) I didn't know last year.

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Toddlers are a strange breed: mind-bogglingly difficult, utterly lovable and just plain....weird.  Or maybe that's just my little rug rat! I'm not gonna lie, as a first time mom I thought the newborn and infant phases were challenging. Man, oh man. Looking back, the first 12 months seem relatively simple and peaceful compared to the chaos of toddlerhood! So, if you currently have one of these little crazies at home -or you think you might some day- let the lessons I've learned this past year remind you that you are not alone in the trenches. :-)


Lesson 1: The days of maintaining a tidy home with minimal effort are behind you (unless, of course, you hire a cleaning service.) Don't get me wrong, you can still keep things clean. You can still get the laundry done. It's just that you'll have a tiny tornado always following in your wake to hurl your freshly folded clothes out of the drawers, smash goldfish crackers into your freshly vacuumed carpet and remove all the garbage you've placed in the bin because it looks better on that floor you just mopped. All in the name of "helping." So yeah, you can still indulge your inner neat freak, but it's going to take twice as long and some days you'll probably just throw up your hands and say fuck it.

Lesson 2: You know how you thought it was tough getting your wiggly 9 month old to stay still for diaper changes? Get ready to master diaper wrangling a stubborn 22 pound ninja with a mean roundhouse kick and professional acrobatic skills. Once you've got this skill down you'll feel like mom level: expert. And if not, give your little Houdini some bare-butt time. It's supposed to be good for them anyway, right?

Lesson 3: Chances are at some point you will crave a few moments peace so much that you will let your toddler watch TV in spite of the AAP's warnings that doing so may cause ADD, obesity, at least 30 forms of cancer and brain death. Hey, your sanity is important too!

Lesson 4: Because of #3, you will randomly wake up in the middle of the night with the theme songs to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse or Miles From Tomorrowland playing in your head on an endless loop. You will actually be able to feel neurons dying. This is the time to bust out your earphones and that death metal from your angsty-er days and play at maximum volume. It's basically Raid for cartoon brainworms.





Lesson 5: You may dream about your toddler taking a poop on the potty and wake up gloriously happy believing that she's now potty trained. In reality she prefers to use her potty chair as either a hat or a toy receptacle depending on the given moment. The disappointment is crushing. Don't let it get you down.

Lesson 6: You will become the kind of person you swore you'd never be. The kind that talks about poop. Accept it. Embrace it. 

Lesson 7: You will kick yourself after realizing that sleeping in on weekends, using the bathroom alone and having a quiet dinner out are actually luxuries you took for granted in a previous life. Look forward to enjoying those again in another decade or so.

Lesson 8: You will wonder what you did to deserve the look of utter disdain and dismay in your toddler's eyes at meal time (answer: you had the nerve to offer offensively "yucky" items such as meats, veggies and eggs.) This will cause you to question how a human being can possibly survive and maintain boundless energy consuming only blueberries, the occasional PB&J and those Annie's fruit snacks shaped like bunnies. It's nature's little miracle. And hey, blueberries are a superfood!


Seriously, mom? No.

Lesson 9: You will learn how to decipher the meaning behind endless variations of tantrums (The "How dare you tell me not to color on the wall" tantrum, the "I hate this pillow and I don't want it on the couch" tantrum, etc.) You will also learn that you can expect the occasional overly-dramatic public tantrum, especially in line at the grocery store over your refusal to give in to demands for a 4 foot tall mylar balloon shaped like a turkey. You will become willing to endure the scathing glares from the non-toddler havers and the havers of oddly and magically well-behaved children because you are not leaving the store without the bottle of wine in your cart.



The "How dare you take a picture of me next to this awful tree." This one's a doozy.


Lesson 10: Speaking of wine, it will no longer be reserved for special occasions. No, I take that back. The calm, quiet and order you've established after putting your toddler to bed is a special occasion and should be celebrated as such. Cheers!

Even more important than all those lessons, you will learn how a heart that you already thought was full grows bigger right along with your toddler. You  will melt at "I luff you, mama!" and at the huge, spontaneous toddler hugs.  You will have a partner in crime who loves exploring and adventures even more than you do, and you'll get the chance to experience all of it through the eyes of someone who looks at the world with wonder and delight. You will glow with pride at each new word and skill she masters because your toddler is nothing short of genius.






Call me crazy, but the toddler stage is my favorite so far, in spite of the endless shenanigans. Of course, we haven't gotten to the 3's and 4's yet so I have plenty of time to eat those words!  Just don't ask my toddler to.



That Friday Blog HopSincerely, Paula

A little reality talk.

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Lets talk reality, ladies. Not real reality. I'm talking reality TV! I can't help it, I'm obsessed. It's a sickness! I may not be able to curl up on the couch for a day-long TV watching bender now, but I still manage to get my fix in bits and pieces. Thank GOD for whatever genius invented the DVR and OnDemand. Seriously, can you imagine how many VHS I'd go through if I still had to "tape" shows like the old days? Anyway...

First off, this week's standout Bachelor folks: although I was totally unimpressed with last season's #princefarming, Ben is a whole 'nother story.  I like Ben. And as a happily married woman, that's all I'll say about that one. As for the girls, well...hooooooly crap, Olivia. All I could think watching her reaction to not receiving the one-on-one date card this week was that she looked like Animal from The Muppet Show.

Isn't the resemblance uncanny?

Yep, halfway through this week's episode I was ready for her to take her cavernous mouth, bitchy attitude and "Ben is my man" crazy-talk home and take Lace The Awkward Stalker with her. Except, except...the quintessential Bachelor cattiness is half the point of watching, amiright?  I would love to see an epic throw down between those two. No one else was really a negative standout this week except Sam, and only because I felt sorry for her during the "love doctor" group date. Imagine your dream guy telling you you smell "sour!!" Ack! I wasn't shocked when he sent her home.

My favorite Bachelor girls this week: Becka (surprising, because I really, really wanted her to go home last season) and Jubilee (total badass and I can see why guys find that intimidating.) I've got my eye on Amanda and Lauren B. And although I don't necessarily think she'll be around long I would love to hear Shoshanna's story! Came to the US with 2 pairs of shoes and 2 bottles of vodka and just decided to stay? I'm intrigued. Do you have any Bachelor love/hates yet this season?

Ok, can we talk Married at First Sight for a minute? Have you seen the show? Seems the "experts" aren't doing so hot in the matchmaking department.  How many of the previous season's couples are still together? Two out of six? And this season, hoo boy. I can't help but wonder if they legitimately try to pick compatible couples or if they're just angling for the drama/fights/ratings. Tres and Vanessa seem like they have the best chance at making their marriage work (and aren't they cute??) but what's with the others? Ashley can't get over the fact that David isn't "tall, dark and handsome" enough to even give hime the time of day (it is so awkward watching them interact) and I swear Samantha is bipolar. I cringe watching her swing between "I see why we were matched" and insulting Neil's manhood. Yikes! Get a grip girl!




Did you see that Shaun T has a reality show now? If you've ever suffered through the gallons of sweat and agonizing pain known as Insanity or T25 then you know who I'm talking about. Abs for daaaaaaays. His new show is a diet competition called My Diet is Better Than Yours. Is that really a thing? Watching people diet? Kind of a weird premise for a TV show, and I admit I'm giving it the side-eye. But I know I'll be checking it out sooner or later because, abs. 


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Last but not least, I was thisclose to signing up for a Hulu subscription in order to indulge in some  late-night binge-watching of Coach Charming (about a divorced, gay -I think- lawyer slash beauty pageant coach.) I'm telling ya, that shiz is right up my alley but I didn't find out about the show until the season was over, and Hulu has apparently never heard of it. Psh. Whatevs, Hulu. Guess I'll have to drown my disappointment in some Vanderpump Rules. 

Tell me I'm not alone, you guys! Tell me you like crap TV too!



Plague, chocolate and man colds.

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Have you ever had one of those colds that came on so gently it kind of tricked you into thinking you were superwoman for a minute? You know, the kind that starts off with maybe just a little mild congestion so its like hey, clearly I'm sick but I'm not even letting it slow me down because that's just how awesome I am! And then just as you're thinking 'I'm totally almost better and I wasn't even hardly sick, ha!' Suddenly you feel like 7 kinds of hell snotting in every possible direction with a cough akin to gargling razor blades (hypothetically, that is. Because, you know, surprisingly I haven't done an actual comparison on that one.) And then you realize that the whole time you thought you were being sick like a boss you were actually just in the eye of the hurricane. Yeah, so that's where I'm at right now (in the hell part, not the eye part just to clarify.) And i can totally imagine myself in a couple days feeling like one of those inept villains at the end of a Scooby Doo cartoon shaking my fist in the air and screaming "I'll get you next time you pesky virus!" 

Am I even making sense at this point? I may or may not have ingested multiple types of cold medicine in an attempt to get myself to some level of functionality this morning. One of the boxes said that taking too much may cause "euphoria." Well, I'm definitely not euphoric but I haven't had to blow my nose in a good 10 minutes either so I guess I'd call that winning! So far the husband hasn't contracted my plague, and Madi has just a mild cough, so I guess I can add those blessing to the winning column as well. There's nothing worse than seeing your baby sick, and we all know how fun it is dealing with the ahem...dreaded "man cold." (Just kidding, my love.) But seriously, this video cracks me up!




In other news, yesterday while I was still unknowingly in the "eye" of my misery, I had a chance to participate in the Hot Chocolate 5k in San Francisco with a few girlfriends. I had to wake up silly early and omg it was cold (by California standards. People in other parts of the country/world would probably beg to differ...) but we were literally greeted by a row of people handing out chocolate as soon as we got off the shuttle. Halfway through the course there were chocolate and water stations    -although I   personally find water to be irrelevant when chocolate is available- and at the end we were handed bowls with melted chocolate and various dippers. The race we did benefitted Ronald McDonald House, which is an awesome charity that helps families stay near their sick kids while they're in the hospital. It would have been worth participating just for that, but the chocolate was the icing on the proverbial cake. This run happens all over the country, so go do one and let me know how awesome it was!!




Stay healthy, my friends!
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