Thanksgiving turkey in just 1 hour! I can do that!

Thanksgiving should be about family time and not cooking time. I’ve search online for yummy turkey recipes that save time. Here is a recipe that’s delicious and will allow you to spend more precious time with your loved ones.

The trick is to cut the back bone out and lay the turkey flat on the tray. This way it will roast evenly and cook twice as fast. Basic laws of physics save the Thanksgiving dinner! Bon appetit!

Cold Nights Pajama Trick

toddler cashmere sweater cold night pajamasAnna is yet to fall in love with blankets. Until then I am constantly challenged with keeping her warm at nights while keeping our energy bill low.

Ta-da! Introducing the cheapest warm pajamas or wearable blanket which you most likely already have in your closet. YOUR CASHMERE SWEATER! Or any warm sweater in your closet will work.

PROS:

  • Warm and snugly
  • Soft to touch
  • Wearable and not easy to take off
  • Adjustable sleeve length
  • Long to cover most of the tiny body
  • Belonged to Mommy

It will last you several seasons, while your child grows and hopefully falls in love with blankets. And most importantly, your toddler will be proud to wear it because it belonged to YOU!

I’d love to hear your tricks on keeping toddlers warm on cold nights.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

oatmeal raisin cookies toddler cooking and sneaking a cookie

What kid doesn’t like to bake cookies? Not my child! Although many of the cookies never made it to the oven, as my toddler is like her mother, who enjoys eating batter / dough.

“Spontaneous” – best describes our cooking style, since we improvise with ingredients on hand while making our yummy masterpieces. Feel free to modify the recipe to fit your tastes.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies Recipe

Batch: 24-30 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 14 tablespoons of butter softened (1 and ¾ of butter sticks)oatmeal raisin cookies toddler cooking ingredients
  • 1¼ cups of sugar (or ¾ cup of brown sugar and ½ cup of granulated sugar)
  • 1½ cups of all-purpose flour (optional – skip if you want chewy cookies)
  • 3 cups of uncooked oats
  • 1 cup of raisins
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon of salt (optional – skip if you’ve used salted butter)
  • 2 teaspoons of maple syrup (or 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of vanilla)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Bake Time: 15 minutes

Directions: Follow this step-by-step instructions. Allow toddler to measure, pour, mix, and taste all of the ingredients to add some educational value to this already creative process. Don’t worry about any mess; it’s only dirt! But SO much FUN!

oatmeal raisin cookies toddler cooking breaking eggs into dough oatmeal raisin cookies toddler cooking adding maple syrup oatmeal raisin cookies toddler cooking adding baking soda
  1. Preheat oven to 350 °F (180 °C).
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar and softened butter until creamy.
  3. Add eggs and maple syrup (or vanilla and cinnamon).
  4. Add combined flour, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add oats and raisins. Mix well.
  6. Using a spoon, drop dough onto ungreased cookie sheet. Leave plenty of space between drops to avoid cookies sticking to each other.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Cool for 1 minute on a cookie sheet. Then transfer to wire rack or plate and let cool completely. Store lightly covered. Enjoy!
oatmeal raisin cookies toddler cooking adding oats and raisins oatmeal raisin cookies toddler cooking spooning dough to cookie sheet and eating dough oatmeal raisin cookies toddler cooking eating a cookie

My heart is heavy as a rock. My eyes are filled with tears.

red sunset, 5 stages of grief

This week has brought not one but several deaths in my friends’ families. I can’t stop aching for their losses. And as I pull myself together to comfort them and offer a supporting shoulder, I realize how unfamiliar we all are with the process of grief that has swallowed us all.

This post is dedicated to everyone who has experienced a loss of any kind: loss of job or close relationship, learning of a terminal illness, death of a loved one (human or pet), and even sometimes becoming retired or “empty-nested”.

Dealing with grief is something we all go through at some point in our lives. The five stages of grief were first introduced by a Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book On Death and Dying.

Emotions are pretty universal and the following stages of mourning will apply to most. However, don’t judge if others experience grief differently from you. We are all unique and our bereavement will take different lengths in time, as well as have various levels of intensity. Some will wear all emotions on their sleeve, while others will keep everything to themselves. The stages of grief may be experienced out of order, which is mainly given as a guide to help you navigate through the overwhelming emotions.

By acknowledging our grief, taking the time to experience the emotional rollercoaster, and embracing support, we allow ourselves to mourn and eventually heal.

5 Stages of Grief

Denial and Shock

The first reaction to learning of the loss is to deny the reality. This shock is a normal defense mechanism of our body to protect the individual from the intense surge of emotions. This stage may last hours or even weeks. Not to be confused with “lack of caring”, but this shock may be useful for the grieving individual to collect self to take care of the family or make funeral arrangements, for example.

Pain and Anger

As the shock and denial wear off, the overwhelming emotions swallow us whole. The pain may seem unbearable, but it is important to experience it fully, not to hide, avoid or escape it with alcohol or any other substance.

Pain will slowly give way to anger. Anger can be directed at a live or still object. However, it is important to control this anger, as it may cause permanent damage to your relationships with others.

Guilt and Bargaining

At this stage, it is common for the grieving individual to feel guilty of doing or not doing something which could have prevented the loss. It is common to feel helpless, powerless, and abandoned. Asking the question: “Why me?”  Or even bargaining in despair with the higher power or God in attempts to regain control: “If only I had another chance…” or “I will stop drinking, if only I could have him back”. People may get stuck on this stage, but it is important to properly resolve it and not interfere with the healing process.

Depression

Just when others may start thinking it’s time to get back to reality, a feeling of loneliness and depression will overtake the grieving person. Signs of depression include sleep and appetite problems, lack of energy, and crying spells. During this time the person realizes the true magnitude of the loss. It is normal and important stage of grief, despite the opinions of others.

Acceptance and Hope

In time, as the grieving person becomes more functional day by day and begins slowly adjusting to and accepting the new reality after the loss, depression will wear off. Acceptance does not mean happiness, but it gives hope to find your way forward, start planning your life, and experience happiness in the future.

Grief Resolving Resources

  • By yourself: Allow plenty of time to experience all the feelings. Express your feelings to a trusted person, journal, or in a local bereavement groups. Crying is the best natural way to express feelings. Seek professional help if grief becomes too overwhelming.
  • With a group: Find a local GriefShare group near you with people who’ve had similar losses.
  • Read books:
    On Death and Dying: What the Dying Have to Teach Doctors, Nurses, Clergy and Their Own FamiliesHealing After Loss: Daily Meditations For Working Through GriefSilent Grief: Living in the Wake of Suicide

She does 3 magic moves – and all parents are off to the store!

Goodbaby International Holdings Limited (aka GB) has over 25 years of experience bringing most innovative and safe baby products to the world. This year they even made the Guinness World Records by creating the “world’s smallest folding stroller”! In just 3 simple moves, the stroller folds into a manageable square, which will fit perfectly in any size car, overhead compartment on the plane, or even the smallest of the apartments.

The stroller offers a 5-point harness system, sun shade, shopping basket, foot rest, and stability controls. Every toddler and parent will enjoy this stylish and compact stroller.

Three talented moms + 70’s classic = Hysterical Mother’s Day tribute

Three moms throw a fantastic performance at the 2010 Mother’s Day celebration at the Church on the Move of Tulsa, OK.

The song is a parody on the 70’s classic by Queen the “Bohemian Rhapsody”. The words resonate with mothers all around the world. The women sing about all the tasks they perform on a daily basis to take care of the family that usually go unnoticed: from poopy diapers and runny noses, to dealing with sibling rivalry, and managing teenager’s appetite for food, money and freedom. But at the end of the day, as we all know, mothers would not change a single thing. This is a fun tribute to all the mothers out there. Call your mom and tell her how much you appreciate everything she does!

Lyrics:

Is this the real life
Is this just fantasy?
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see

I’m just a mom
I need no sympathy
Because I do it all
On the go
Poopy pants, runny nose
Kitchen, kids and laundry
Everything is dirty
No sleep, no sleep.

Momma, I puked in the van (great!)
Momma, there’s gum stuck in my hair
I just pushed Lucy down the stairs (she’s bleeding)
Momma, where did I come from?
Better ask your daddy that when he gets home

Momma, oooooooh
I don’t wanna die
Well, you should have thought of that before you broke my lamp!

I smell a little bit of poopy in the van
Sarah move, Sarah move
Get your butt in the Durango
Daddy’s coming home late, better fix a hot plate NOW!

Fettuccini
Ravioli
Fettucini
Ravioli
Fettuccine Alfredo
Magnifico!

I’m just a poor boy can I have some money please?
What do I look like? Money doesn’t grow on trees!
Maybe if you ever picked up your things!

Party at Stevie’s house will you let me go?
Joshua, we will not let you go!
Let me go!
Joshua, we will not let you go!
Let me go!
Joshua, we will not let you go!
Let me go!
Will not let you go!
Will not let you go!
Let me go!
No, no, no, no, no!
Oh mamma mia, mamma mia, let me go!
If you ask me one more time I’ll scream!
I’ll scream!
I’ll scream!

So you think I don’t care if you stay up and cry?
So you think I don’t need any sleep tonight?
Oh, baby
Please just go to sleep baby!
Just gotta get out
Just gotta right out of here

In the end it’s worth it
Wouldn’t change a thing
In the end it’s worth it
In the end it’s worth it to me

Gotta wash the kids’ clothes