Monthly Archives: December 2011

Aaannnnd We’re Back. . . With an Ornament

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. To say that things have been pretty nuts around here this week would be an understatement. My husband has  a sinus infection, my daughter is fighting a cold, and we had a death in the family, so we’ve been out of town for the past few days. But we are home now and back to blogging, so without further adieu. . .

One Christmas tradition we have started with our daughter is to give her a new ornament on Christmas Eve to add to the tree. This year, I thought we’d do a DIY ornament, since she’s so little, it’s not like she’s going to remember opening it anyway. I found a cute thumbprint reindeer ornament on Pinterest (from Little Bit Funky) and figured we’d give it a shot. It was surprisingly easy! I found the ornament itself at Michaels for $1.99. The paints were Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic and were $1.99 each, also from Michaels. I decided to add my daughter’s name and the year to the ornament. It will be fun to one day look back and remember just how tiny her little fingers once were!

 


How to Hide a Security System

Having a security system helps me sleep at night—not because I live in a bad area (please, our crime awareness report consists of graffiti in the tot lot) but because I have an overactive imagination and I might be a little bit afraid of the dark. But what I didn’t love was the way the keypad console looked on the blank wall in the middle of my foyer. So I decided to build a gallery wall around the console to help disguise it. What do you think—did I succeed? I think it blends in pretty well!

I made the picture in the upper left corner using a canvas, some wooden letters and a can of spray paint—super easy and cheap. The picture directly under that one is just some framed wrapping paper from the dollar section at Target. I got the idea for the picture in the bottom right corner from YoungHouseLove (love, love, love their hallway gallery! this is my poor man’s version). I grabbed some card stock and a Sharpie and voilà! Instant art. The other three frames hold family pictures. All of the picture frames came from either Target or HomeGoods.  Next up will be painting the wall (I’d love a little more contrast with the white frames)—we aren’t big fans of the creamy yellow shade, but we just haven’t gotten around to painting this part of the house yet.

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FOMO Like a Mo Fo

Until I picked up my December issue of Self magazine, I had never heard of the term FOMO (or “Fear of Missing Out”).  I decided to do a little research and came across this article from The NY Times. The author describes FOMO as the “blend of anxiety, inadequacy and irritation that can flare up while skimming social media.” I don’t know about you, but I suffer from FOMO like a Mo Fo.

It’s what causes me to launch myself cat-like across a room when I see the red light start blinking on my BlackBerry. I’m afraid it’s a work-related e-mail and that someone else might respond a nanosecond faster than I can and they’ll look super smart while I’ll look like a slacker, and my boss will never give me a raise again because I didn’t hit send fast enough. (I have a very love/hate relationship with my BlackBerry.)

But it’s not just with work. When I see my SAHM friends doing adorable things with their kiddos during the day while I’m stuck in the office, it not only makes me feel left out, it makes me feel like a terrible mother. It’s the feeling of inadequacy that often accompanies FOMO that I think is the hardest part for me. I am always wondering if we’re doing okay financially, if I’m doing a good job raising my daughter, if we are making all of the right decisions for our family. The worrying is endless—and I’m a worrier by nature. And with a steady stream of pictures and status updates coming from Facebook, it’s even easier to compare your life with the lives of others.

During my research, I also came across this article about FOMO by John M. Grohol, PSYD, CEO and founder of Psych Central. He says,

“Connected to this fear of missing out on something better that’s going on without you are these fake personas we promote on websites like Facebook. . . instead of us being completely real, many (most?) of us censor what we post to our social media profile these days. The people on Facebook are often simply their idealized selves. . .”

So the next time you log onto Facebook and start feeling sorry for yourself, try to remember this fact: that you’re never seeing the whole picture. Someone is probably reading your status updates and looking at your pictures and thinking what a perfect life you must have.

And I’ll try to start taking my own advice.

Am I alone in this, or are there other people out there just as nutty as me? If so, how do you get past it and focus on the positive?

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Collard Greens (Or Happiness in a Bowl)

One of my favorite comfort foods of all time is collard greens. No matter how crap my mood, one bite and I am suddenly 8 years old again, standing on a step stool at my grandmother’s stove helping her stir the giant pot of greens and asking repeatedly when I can eat them. I was looking forward to introducing my daughter to this cozy dish, not only because of my fond childhood memories but because collard greens are jam packed with nutrients. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I am from the south, which means a) I am certain I overcook my collard greens, which I know lowers the nutritional value, blah, blah, blah, and b) I ALWAYS use pork seasoning (so clearly, I’m not eating these strictly for the health benefits). There are plenty of other recipes for collard greens that involve just water and 15 minutes of boiling, but personally, I think they taste awful. However, if that’s your preference, knock yourself out. If you prefer for your collard greens to be full of salty yumminess, check out my recipe below.

6-8 cups washed and de-stemmed collard greens (you can buy them loose in the produce section or in a bag, pre-washed and ready to go)

1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/2 lb salted pork seasoning (or fat back, as I tend to call it, which provides my coworkers with endless entertainment- you can also use a few chopped up slices of cooked bacon if you’re running short on fat back)

3/4 cup finely chopped onion

Crushed red pepper flakes (0ptional)

Salt

Pepper

 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, adding the vinegar, pork seasoning, crushed red peppers (about 1 tsp for a light kick, more if you like it spicier), dash of salt and dash of pepper to the water while it’s warming to let all the flavors steep. Once you have a rolling boil, add the collards and onion and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on volume.  Strain out any pork seasoning using a slotted spoon before serving. You can also add a dash of Tabasco sauce if you like them really spicy.

 


This Little Piggy. . .

I saw this little guy at West Elm and, despite the fact that I already have an iPod dock, I was so tempted to take him wee wee wee all the way home! How cute!

Ceramic Pig Speaker, West Elm $49.00

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Baby Geek Chic

When I’m not blogging, I have a day job as a marketing writer/editor. I spend a good chunk of my life knee deep in proofreader’s marks, style guides and grammar humor (yes, there is such a thing- check out The Oatmeal, hilarious!) So imagine my excitement when I happened upon these adorable geeky chic baby things on www.cafepress.com! I might have to get one of these for my own little grammar girl!