Icicle Watercolor Painting

  It’s been chilly and snowy lately and I noticed a bunch of icicles hanging from the eaves. The girls desperately wanted to play with them, but I didn’t want them licking them or stabbing each other, so I surveyed my craft area and tried to figure out what we could do with them. WATERCOLORS!!! No water required, because the... read more

Product Review: The Lammily Doll

Oh, Lammily. I wanted to like you so badly. But, unfortunately, you are probably doomed to a life at the bottom of the doll bin since neither I, nor my daughters, want to play with you. If you haven’t heard of Lammily, she is the latest doll to challenge the “Barbie” scene. The Lammily fashion doll has been manufactured using standard human body proportions–an average bust, waist,... read more

Easy Perler Bead Christmas Ornaments

I recently saw this pin for “Perler Ornaments” and knew I had to try them out because I have this ridiculously huge tub of Perler beads from IKEA. This is an ornament craft that is REALLY fast, REALLY easy, and kids enjoy, so I say it’s a win all around. Granted, they may not be as cute as salt dough ornaments, or smell as nice as the applesauce and cinnamon ones, but... read more

I Have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Now What?

It’s been a difficult year for me. I spent the first half of it feeling terrible. Depressed. Crying. Gaining weight despite my best workout efforts. A zombie-like brain fog coated my thoughts and I was so exhausted I had to take a nap mid-day to make it. And then my doctor, after hearing my woes and testing my thyroid (at my insistence, because I have a strong family history of... read more

Sweet Potato Salsa Soup

I got a new cookbook when we went gluten-free. It’s called Against All Grain, by Danielle Walker, and as of now, it has nearly 1,900 5-star reviews on Amazon, so that speaks volumes. I’m so impressed by not only her recipes, but Ms. Walker also took every photo in the book! Anyway, I’ve tried a couple recipes so far and been pleased. This recipe is my adaptation of her... read more

Basic Vegetable Soup

I was craving a simple vegetable soup…something to use up all the potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes that we keep buying because we forget we have a surplus. I stumbled on this recipe from Alton Brown, and despite the lack of spices, decided to adapt it to fit our family’s tastes. I was initially put off by the lack of spices–my favorite soup, Sweet Potato and Lentil, has... read more

Nutty Breakfast Bites (Gluten-, Peanut-, Dairy-Free)

We’ve gone gluten-free in our house. I’m trying to help manage suspected Hashimoto’s by eliminating wheat, barley, rye, and switching to gluten-free oats and tamari (vs soy sauce), and so far it’s made a big difference in how I feel. No more brain fog. No more required mid-day nap. And the shrinking of my waistline (2 inches in just one week) is a bonus too. If... read more

Make a Kid Quote Book Using Shutterfly

A couple years ago, I was excited to find a 50% off sale on a fabulous children’s quote book through a company called Paper Coterie. Part photo album, part journal, the spiral-bound volume was the perfect place to record all those giggle-worthy things my young daughter said. The front cover has thick plastic covering the image and the inner pages are very thick paper. I’ve enjoyed using it to... read more

How Much Do You Move? Plus, Fitbit One Product Review

A couple months ago, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I realize that, in the grand scheme of things and the many debilitating diseases and conditions out there, this is a comparatively minor condition. I have waited to talk about it though, because it’s still not “fixed,” still not resolved, and I quite frankly feel self-conscious and depressed about it. After two months of... read more

Refreshing Summer Bean Salad

I had a ton of canned beans kicking around, so I set about searching the Internet for a good bean salad recipe. Once I did, I adjusted it to fit what I had in my pantry, and this delicious bean salad was the result! We ate this like a salsa, scooping it out of bowls with chips. Even my kids enjoyed it, although they picked out the green peppers. You can’t win em all. I was happy... read more

Where are the female superheroes and action figures?

My daughters, like many kids, are really into superheroes right now. Our dress-up closet is stuffed with Captain America, Batman, Robin, Superman, and Wonder Woman garb. An Aquaman action figure often brandishes his trident at dinosaurs when they play. I love superheroes and the concept of coming into one’s powers and abilities and using them for good. During the past few months, I’ve noticed... read more

40 Reasons I Love Dayton, OH

I tend to gush about the Dayton, OH area. I grew up in the military and then served in the military (and am now back in the Reserves), so I have lived my fair share of places. I still stand by my assertion that you can be happy wherever you live, but the Dayton area (aka the Miami Valley) has been so amazing in so many ways that I am constantly talking about how much I love it. I’ve even begun... read more

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