Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mean Girls

Yesterday while I was at Nina's school being a model for her Halloween fashion show Nina pointed out a girl who had taken a picture of her in class without her knowing it, posted it online and made fun of her... of course one of Nina's friends saw it and showed Nina.  Not only that, but the girl's mom even commented on the picture. Nina thinks that the girl's mom is my fb friend although I have no idea who she is.  To that mom and any other moms of "mean girls":  

I am thankful every single day that I have a beautiful, confident, fabulous daughter who loves herself and doesn't care what people think about her. She took a long hard road to get to the place she is now and I'm grateful she's here.  Women often don't gain their full self esteem until they're adults with children of their own and many never do.  A big reason for that is girls are so harsh to one another.

Girls who feel the need to put others down in order to make themselves feel better are lacking true beauty and it shows.  I watched this girl throughout the day yesterday as I sat in the hair and makeup chair.  I saw how she interacted with those around her, how she looked and spoke to other girls.  She may have been very Barbie-like on the outside, but I felt sorry for her.

The confidence and self love that shines through my daughter's eyes can't be faked or bought. She is gorgeous and it radiates from her.  Shaved head, death hawk, bihawk, crazy makeup and all I have an extremely beautiful daughter who is noticed from a block away because she doesn't want to be like everyone else.  She loves herself and wants to stand out and it shows.  Her style isn't one I would choose and I don't always understand it, but I encourage her to express herself through her looks.

Making fun of her style didn't hurt her feelings, it just made her (and I) not like the girl who did it,  but if this had happened to a less confident teenage girl, even to Nina a couple years ago it could have been devastating and had serious results.  The teenage years are a tough time for girls.  They're hard on themselves, they don't need other girls to be hard on them too and with the internet it's a lot easier for girls to be mean to each other in a very public way which makes matters worse.

I have teenager daughters... One is extreme in her looks and one is traditional.  They are both normal girls.  They make fun of other girls.  They can be jerks... BUT when I hear them talking meanly about someone or putting people down I say something.  I tell them to knock it off and quit being brats. I point out the good in others.  I try to help them to see things they may be missing.  As moms it is our job to teach our girls to treat each other with respect.  They might laugh at me when I'm listing good qualities in someone, but at least my words are there as the Jiminy Cricket on their shoulder. 

In school I didn't like the mean girls.  I didn't want to be like them.  I tried to be nice to everyone no matter what their social standing or how they looked.  I danced every dance because the nerdy boys knew I wouldn't say no to them like so many other girls did.  I was still pretty.  I still made the cheerleading squad.  I was still voted drama club president.  I still had friends.  You can be nice AND still have the full high school experience.  In the years since facebook came about I've received messages from people I went to school with thanking me for always being nice to them in high school and I've received messages from people saying they're sorry for being mean in high school.  Eventually we grow up (hopefully), which do you want your daughter to be?

Teach your girls to stand up for the outcasts, the crazies, the nerds, the freaks... They are some of the best people you can ever know who will grow up to do some of the most extraordinary things and beyond that, they are someone's daughter.  My daughter may have been able to shrug off someone making fun of her, but it hurt MY heart to hear about it.  Just like all the most important things our children need to learn, learning to be nice should start at home.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Pumpkin Picking

I love fall so much!  I love everything about it!  I love the look of pumpkins and I definitely love pumpkin flavored everything!   I was looking back at a blog posting from 2008 and the recipes shared are STILL my two favorite pumpkin recipes.  Hop over there are check out how little my kids were.  Crazy!  Alyssa and Caleb were so young!  Now they're teenagers!

This year we grew pumpkins in our garden.  We didn't get a ton of pumpkins, but it was still fun to pick them from our own yard.  My nephews Gabe & Baker joined Caleb & Alyssa and picked them all.  Autumn time is the best!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Butterscotch Fudge

Butterscotch Fudge?  Ummm... yum. This is a two ingredient recipe that whips up really fast!  You can mix and match flavors, so butterscotch isn't even your only option!  Know what those ingredients are?  A can of vanilla frosting and a bag of butterscotch chips.  That's all!  Melt them together and you're done! 

I poured mine into a paper-lined muffin tin, but you can just pour it into a greased pan and cut into squares if you want.  A sprinkling of mini chocolate chips can top them off, but they're good without the chocolate chips too.  Some of my favorite flavor combinations are: 

chocolate chips with vanilla frosting
vanilla chips with strawberry or cherry frosting
peanut butter chips with vanilla frosting
white chips with oreo frosting

It's that easy.  It may not taste fancy and gourmet like "real" fudge, but it's quick, easy and delicious!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Travel Bucket List Journal

I'm kind of a dreamer... especially when it comes to travel.  I haven't traveled much outside the western states, but oh how I want to!  I created this travel bucket list journal to keep track of all the places I want to visit!  It's my goal to visit all 50 states before I die!  I've only been to 11, not counting anywhere I went when I was too young to remember.  Really, you could use any sort of journal you want, but I created one special just for this!

I used a composition notebook, some scrapbook paper and a sheet of stickers... very simple!

Trace around your notebook to figure out what size you need your paper to be.  Then just glue the paper on the front and back of your notebook!  Add stickers as desired.

This was a 100 page notebook, so I went through and wrote the states' names on every other page.  That gives me plenty of room to jot down little notes of places I see on Pinterest or hear about from my facebook friends that I'd like to visit.  I may or may not visit each and every place I want to go, but at least I'm dreaming!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Feelin' Feminine Friday: China Sets

I feel that pretty china is one of the most feminine things in my house!  I love looking at it, displaying it and using it!  I'm borderline totally obsessed with vintage china.  When I find a new-to-me set of china I get so excited!  I do sell china sets and teacups so I don't get too overrun in my home by vintage china, but even if I only get to own it for a minute, that's enough!  I bond with every china piece I come into contact with.  If it's a large set I think of the care it took to keep all the pieces together.  If it's a single piece I wonder where the rest of the set ended up.

Beautiful china depicts a different era and mindset.  It speaks to me of picking your china pattern as part of your engagement, luncheons with the ladies and afternoon teas with a loved one.  I'm always tempted to invite ladies over for herbal tea and maybe some sandwiches or homemade rolls, but it seems like our world is so go-go-go all the time I almost don't want to inconvenience my fellow moms by making them slow down.  Isn't this a silly world we live in?  Perhaps I should start a once a month tea tradition.  It doesn't have to be a huge ordeal, just a couple of friends getting together and enjoying a slice of old fashioned femininity.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Beet It!

These two recipes go together.  I'm a firm believer in using up everything while canning!  When working with beets I chop and cook the greens and freeze them for use in dip later on.  You can use beet greens in place of spinach for dip and it comes out amazing!  A little pink... but amazing.

Beet jelly is made using the beet water drained off of boiling beets for pickled beets.  The jelly is one of our favorites!  Peeling the beets before boiling them is a little bit of a pain, but it makes for a better tasting jelly.

Beet Jelly

4 c. beet water 
1/2 c. lemon juice 
1 package dry pectin 
6 c. sugar 
Mix 4 cups of beet juice, lemon juice and pectin in a large pot. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Stir in sugar all at once and return to a full, rolling boil.  Boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat and ladle into clean hot jars leaving 1/4" headspace.  Process jelly for 10 minutes in a water bath canner.

Pickled Beets

2 c. sugar 
1 c. water 
1 c. vinegar 

beets, washed & peeled

Boil beets in water until tender. Reserve water for jelly.  If beets are small, leave whole, otherwise quarter, half, slice or dice as desired. Place beets in clean pint jars. Bring brine ingredients to a boil and pour over beets in half-pint jars leaving 1/2" headspace.  Process 30 minutes in a water bath canner.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Marinated Yummies

This is so easy it's not even really a recipe.  I'm all for quick and easy appetizers!  

Marinated Yummies

cucumber chunks
cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
cheese cubes
Italian dressing

That's it!  Mix them together ahead of time so the flavors blend, drain if desired before serving and serve with toothpicks!  Serve cold or at room temperate.