• I can't say that we are 'perfect' bakers, but one of my triplets has taken an interest in cooking and in particular, baking cakes. Once we let him loose on the iPad, he immediately figured out how to access YouTube. Naturally we were concerned about what he might want to watch, but not to fear. We supervise his every move, and lo and behold - he began to obsessively watch, scratch that, study, Betty Crocker cake making videos on the Howdini channel. After re-watching the fire truck cake video for the gazillionth time, he looked up at me and said, "Mom, we have to make this cake". Who was I to refuse?

    Off to the supply store we went the next week, combing aisles of baking molds, frosting and decorative things I never even knew existed, until we had what we needed. But wait, that glosses over my astonishment at how much he absorbed on those videos. As we cruised down aisle four at Michael's, my son earnestly looked at me and said, "Mom, we need three nine-inch baking pans, a

    Read More »from User post: Bake Me a Cake As Fast As You Can . . .
  • My sister-in-law is about to have her first baby, so, I took it upon myself to plan her baby shower. I knew I wanted to do something unique but I was lacking inspiration in the idea department.

    So, I Tweeted my baby shower woes (I was looking for unique centerpiece ideas) when, the High Heeled Mama came to my rescue. She suggested making a "family tree" centerpiece.

    As I read her blog post about this awesome DIY centerpiece, I also clicked over to the Hostess with the Mostess blog. Using the two resources I had, I finally found my inspiration for a centerpiece.

    Here's a little step-by-step "how to" so you can see how my tree came together.

    I purchased all of my crafting supplies at Jo Ann Fabrics. The first thing I did was hot glue (my newest crush is a hot glue gun) the owl ribbon around the top of the planter.

    Then, I shaved the bottom of a Styrofoam cube with a serrated knife (our wedding cake knife, to be specific) so it would fit snugly into the bottom of the planter. I

    Read More »from User Post: How to make a Parenting Wisdom Tree
  • Photo: Stock Xchng/up2uPhoto: Stock Xchng/up2uEveryone knows that SoCal living means lots of driving. We average over 12,000 miles a year in the car. If traffic alone drove us crazy, we'd never survive it. But if you happen to hear 3 female voices belting out "Defying Gravity" from Wicked on the 134, you are most likely near our trusty steed.

    I'm so thrilled that my daughters have inherited my love of Broadway musicals. Because my car's a little older, I burn CDs using iTunes, and we have close to 100 of them within reach. An all-time favorite playlist for the 3 of us would have to include these songs (as well as the aforementioned Wicked anthem):

    "96,000" from In the Heights: a perfect song for daydreaming about winning the lottery. $96,000 is a great amount because it's not quite enough to start a new life, but to have a great adventure. This song always gets all of us going.

    "Turkey Lurkey" from Promises, Promises: This song is so silly, makes no sense whatsoever, but that's what makes it so much fun.

    "I'm Alive" from Next

    Read More »from Getting There via the Great White Way
  • This summer I will be taking a road trip like no other. I will be participating in the RAGBRAI. What is the RAGBRAI? The RAGBRAI (The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) is an annual seven-day bike ride across the state of Iowa. It is the oldest, largest and longest bicycle touring event in the world. And guess what, I'm doing it this year!

    During the third week of July, you'll find me sweating in the sweltering heat and humidity of the Midwest, rockin' my bike shorts and pedaling 450 miles across America's Heartland.

    Why would a California gal bike 50-70 miles each day for a week in Iowa? Well, my dad has been participating in this ride for the past 17 years! You read that correctly SEVENTEEN YEARS!! And every year he has asked my sister and me to join him. And as you may have guessed, every year we have said "no thanks."

    But this year, my dad turned 70 years old and we felt it was high time we said "yes!" Our dad has been patient for too long. So for his birthday we

    Read More »from A Road Trip to Remember--The RAGBRAI
  • Photo credit: Ewan Munro, Wikimedia CommonsPhoto credit: Ewan Munro, Wikimedia Commons

    Summer hit hard and early in North Carolina this year. The heat, after a wet, wintry winter, was at first a welcome friend. We had daydreamed about summer afternoons frolicking in the sprinkler and lazy days reading comic books in the hammock. Those daydreams gave way to humid days with air quality warnings and a yard full of mosquitoes. Yet the heat lingers. The dry days carry on endlessly. And it's awfully hot.

    There is a perfect way to bring back the refreshing parts of winter's chill in the midst of this summer heat. A Pimms Cup.

    Pimms Cup is the quintessential summer drink that is traditionally served at Wimbledon. Its lower alcohol content makes it easy on your sobriety for daytime drinking yet leaves you feeling tingly and refreshed. It requires simple ingredients that most people have on hand (minus the Pimms, of course - that requires a trip to the liquor store). And if there is no Pimms to be found, you can easily substitute gin - preferably Hendrick's. The proportions and

    Read More »from User post: How to Mix the Perfect Summer Cocktail
  • Earlier this year I had the sudden urge to get organized - specifically with our day to day household stuff. I was tired of my kitchen counters becoming a catch-all spot. I wanted a place for homework folders and supplies, all our scheduling mumbo jumbo, and the plethora of papers that kept taking up my counter space. I wanted a spot for phones to charge, mail to be placed, and calendars to reside. I wanted this space to be anywhere but my kitchen counters!!

    Thus the kitchen command center was born! Here's how you can create your own kitchen command center!

    Step One: Decided exactly where and how you want the space to function. My goal was to to take the hutch off the cabinet and use the wall space behind it for a large calendar, some wall files, and a dry erase/cork/magnetic board. I also wanted a charging station for all our electronic gadgets and storage for all the school stuff that comes in daily.

    Step Two: Sort through any junk cluttering the area. Decide what to keep and Read More »from How To Create a Kitchen Command Center
  • ..in 100 words or less!

    "This too shall pass." Abraham Lincoln.

    Some lessons need to be learned and not taught.

    Do As I Say and Not As I do!
    Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, he eats for the rest of his life.
    Do unto others, as you'd have others do unto you.
    If Mom ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!
    No one ever died wishing he'd spent more time at work.

    ....that's the kind of Mom I am! Sam I am!

    Happy Mother's Day!
  • Mother's Day Sunshine PoemMother's Day Sunshine PoemHappy Mother's Day to mothers everywhere! Whether you're celebrating your first mother's day with a tiny newborn, or Skyping with grandchildren around the world, motherhood is a bond we all share, regardless of age, language and culture.

    When I gave birth to my first child nine years ago, I was just anxious to meet her and to hold her safely in my arms. I didn't realize that I would be joining a special club, uniting women around the world with a common bond.

    When a woman becomes a mother, she becomes much more than a mom, she takes on close to a hundred job titles.

    A mom is ...

    • a banisher of bad dreams,
    • a nurse,
    • the perfect cushion for sleepy heads,
    • a short order cook,
    • an expert blanket tucker,
    • a snack machine,
    • an impartial judge,
    • an evil dictator,
    • a wish granter,
    • a lie detector,
    • an inspiration for leaps of faith,
    • a prison guard,
    • a storyteller,
    • a teacher,
    • someone you can trust with your
    Read More »from 100 words or less: Motherhood
  • May is National Photo Month and when I tried to decide what photo I would want to showcase, it was hard for me to choose. I have adorable kids (if I do say so myself) and picking just one favorite was too difficult.

    So, I decided to pick an image that represents a momentous time in my life. The fuzzy photo above is from the day that I found out that I was having twins. Needless to say it was a HUGE surprise!

    On June 27, 2000, I went from being a mother of two children (ages 10 months and 3) to a soon to be mother of four! When I heard the words "You are having twins, " I was filled with a mixture of emotions including excitement, fear, and disbelief--twins do not run in my family.

    What I love about this ultrasound scan, is that ultrasound technician felt it necessary to outline one of the babies and label the other (A), just to convince me that there in fact were two little human beings growing inside of me.

    I'll always treasure this image and all of the memories it brings back for

    Read More »from My Favorite Photo...Actually, It's An Ultrasound Scan

  • Why my kids think I'm the worst mom ever:
    1) I make them kiss unknown relatives, try weird-looking food, and fix messes they didn't make.
    2) I pick them up late from school because I lose track of time.
    3) I nag and yell. A lot.
    4) I won't buy them an iPad or a puppy.
    5) I give them embarrassing nicknames (schatzy, chabo, kick-kick).

    Why my kids think I'm the best mom ever:
    1) They actually love those nicknames (in private).
    2) I love watching cartoons.
    3) I'm generous with ice-cream scoops.
    4) I'm great at planning fun outings and adventures.
    5) We snuggle together each and every night.

    Find more of Bonggamom's takes on parenthood on her personal blog, Finding Bonggamom.

    Read More »from The Good, the Bad, the Embarrassing -- The Kind of Mom I am, in 100 words


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