When you have kids, the saying is each day is something new.  I've found that to ring true from newborn to teenager.  Right now, our something new is getting used to CyberSchool.

The second minion is adapting a little faster.  His time management isn't great yet, but that's a learned skill and something we'll be working on through this week.  He only has to 'show up' for a few classes each day, and the rest of the time is his, to go at his pace, and accomplish things in whatever order he chooses.  Sometimes he chooses to daydream for an hour or so through history, so school can drag on a long time if he's not careful.

Minion #1 is a whole other scenario.  From what we can tell, he's not had to really work at school.  He's had an aide to do a lot of, as it seems, everything for him.  Right now we're working on thinking for ourselves instead of waiting, sometimes hours, for someone else to prompt him with ideas and thoughts.  I think if he can figure out how to play Skyward Sword and think his way through other video games, he can think his way through school work too.  Probably without someone to do it for him.  I know - shocking, isn't it?

This morning I got out my kitchen timer and dusted it off.  I haven't used it much since the days of potty training, but I figured we'd give it a try.  Granted, it will probably have the side effect of making them both need to run to the potty each time it dings, but they'll have to suffer until they learn to manage their time a bit better.

Normally by this time of the morning, I'm not sitting around with wet hair still, proctoring lessons.  I'm usually happily settled in my office chair, sipping some coffee and getting my day underway.  The last few weeks, I've been dealing with school(s), still working when and where I can and trying to keep up with a renovation, house work, the laundry monster and the usual other things that go on in every day lives.  Adding CyberSchool into an already busy schedule has been hard, I won't lie.  I can also say that's it's really been worth it to see the minions get back to enjoying school and enjoying learning.

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I'm always looking for new recipes that my kids will eat and won't make me sick.  That means it has to be gluten free, soy free, dairy free and free of most nightshades.  This week we tried a Mexican lasagna.  Super simple to make, this only took a few minutes to put together and a few more to bake.

Very, very yummy!

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Things you'll need:

  • A baking dish
  • Tortillas (gf corn, about 10 of them)
  • Enchilada sauce (we used frontera green chile, 1 pouch)
  • Refried beans (fat free to keep them vegan, 1 can)
  • Black beans (low sodium, 1 can)
  • Mexican corn (because it has cute red and green pepper pieces in it, 1 can)
  • Onion (small, diced)
  • Garlic (2 cloves, diced)
  • Cheese (Daiya)
  • Olive oil

Optional goodies
We cubed half an avocado and added it to ours once it was plated

  1. In a pan, heat a small amount of olive oil and add in your garlic and onion.  Cook until they are translucent. Add in your black beans and corn to heat through.  
  2. While you're doing that, open the refried beans and heat them in microwave.  They just need to be warm enough to easily spread.
  3. Add some enchilada cause to the bottom of your baking dish.  If you don't your tortillas will burn and stick to the dish.  
  4. Put a layer of tortillas in the bottom of your dish, cutting them when needed to cover the entire bottom.
  5. Spread a thin layer of refried beans on the tortillas and add a layer of the onion/bean/corn mixture, about half of it.
  6. Top with another layer of tortillas and enchilada sauce, refried beans and the mixture from your pan.
  7. Add the top layer of tortillas and enchilada sauce then top with cheese.
  8. Put the dish in the oven for 20-30 minutes.  All you really need is for the flavors to mingle, everything to heat through and the cheese to melt.

I've been promising to write this post for a long time, but between bouts of being sick and this silly thing called my real job, it's slipped through the cracks.  This week though, I'm going to get around to at least part of it.

I'm ruthless in my closet editing.  I do it twice a year, in the spring and again during pumpkin spice latte season.  The first few times the King saw me do wardrobe edit he was both fascinated and horrified because it is a bit of a process, but a rewarding one.

You will need a few things to do your closet edit.  Get a bin or bag to designate for things you're going to donate, a bag for anything you're going to toss, and a bin for anything needing tailoring or cleaning.

The first thing you need to do is laundry.  Make sure it's all done and put away before you start this process.  Then, pick a section of your closet to start with and pull all of those clothes out of your closet.  Yes, take them all out of your closet.  Once you have them in a pile on your bed, try each piece on.  Have a bit of a fashion show if you want.  Let your significant other (or bff) weigh in on your items.

It gets to go back in the closet if and only if you can answer yes to all of these questions:

  • Do you love it?
  • Have you worn it in the last 6 months to a year?
  • Does it fit?
  • Does the color suit you?
  • Is it comfortable?
  • Is it in perfect condition? (if it needs tailored or cleaned, do that BEFORE sticking it back in the closet)
  • Is it still in style?
  • It is the only one (or two) like it you have?

Once you get though all of the clothing in your closet, don't forget your dresser drawers.  Do the same thing with those, take everything out and don't put it back unless it meets all the criteria.

Don't forget to edit your shoes.  I know this can hard, especially when things are getting pretty worn and you don't have something to replace it with yet.  However, there is no point in wearing shoes that don't fit, are uncomfortable, or looking like you've gone through a war with them.

Once you are satisfied with your edit, be sure you donate, toss or repair/clean the clothes that you've set aside.

I've also put together a list for some basics in your wardrobe.  I know everyone is different with their needs for a wardrobe.  What I need in Pennsyltucky is different than what someone in Florida will need, but that's ok.  These are guideline and suggestions, not rules you must follow or the fashion police will show up.

dark wash jeans
black trouser
dark neutral trouser
tweed trouser
velvet/chiffon/satin pants (something dressy)

cropped pants
linen pants

bold blouse
silk blouse
striped oxford shirt
crisp white shirt
black shirt
sparkly top
black tee (short and long sleeve)
white tee(short and long sleeve)
ruffled shirt
tanks and or camis in neutrals

black suit with skirt - pants too if you're lucky
wool skirt
cocktail skirt
summery skirt

Fitted jacket
pattern jacket
velvet jacket
leather jacket
denim jacket
black jacket (from your suit)

shirt dress
print dress
party dress

trench coat
wool coat

black flats
black heels
neutral flats
neutral heel
dress sandals
boots for casual and dress
winter boots if you need them for snow

Do not forget good bras and undies.  If you can tell you have a bra or underwear on, they're not fitting you properly.  If you've never had a bra fitting, have one done.  Many of the better department stores have specialists on staff to do that.  Don't feel like the 18 yr old at Vickies is your only hope.
They can also recommend foundation garments like spanx if you need them.  Sometimes the industrial strength hose or spanx make all the difference between looking fabulous and looking frumpy so don't rule them out.  Even at a size 2, I own some.

Next week I'll be posting photos of my paired down closet, and how to figure out what what colors are best for your coloring.  I'll also be creating a shopping list of needs of my own as an inspiration for you.  In the mean time, if you'd like a sneak peek of things I want you can check out my pinterest board.
I don't know about all of you, but as Pumpkin Spice Latte season comes into full swing I really enjoy the crisp mornings.  The bit of nip in the air and the way it makes the leaves smell is nearly intoxicating.  This morning I decided on either a skirt or a dress, mostly because I wanted to wear my boots.  We all have a few go to pieces in our closets.  The black boots are one of mine.

I've also been playing around with color a little more of late.  I'm enjoying putting things together I normally wouldn't and stretching the things I already own a little more.  What you aren't going to find me doing is putting patterns together.  Trendy or not, it just looks like a toddler dressed you.  Another trending thing you won't see me in, over sized anything.  I'm small, so it looks like I'm playing dress up.  You also won't see me in pants and jackets in matching prints.  Kind of like the idea on the over sized clothing, I have no desire to look like drapery or a sofa.  

One thing I will embrace is fur.  I feel a little bad wearing the real thing, so I'll stick with genuine chupacabra  (what I call any type of fake fur).  What I will also skip is animal prints in large doses.  A belt here, a scarf there, maybe even a bit on some shoes, fine.  A full blouse, dress and OMG a zebra coat, no.  Just no.

One of the funniest things I've found in the fall trends are peplums, and adding padding to the hips of the models.  Why don't you just use regular ladies for your models?  We all have plenty padded hips, thanks.  We don't need more padding to make your clothes look the way they should.

Chilly Fall Mornings

The above is what I'm wearing today.

What are all of you doing to stretch your closet and are you just as amused at clothing trends as I am?


Friends of ours had their 2nd baby early this morning, so Happy Birthday Ainsley!  I know where there are some cute jeggings and adorable shoes to go with the blinged out onesies that will make you look much more fabulous than the other babies in the nursery.  What?  This is a clothing post after all...

Unlike Ainsley, I won't be as blinged out.  I may wear a hat, but it won't be pink.  What I will be wearing is shown below.

A Day of Errands

My days have become a little less routine now that the boys have started cyber school, and my time at the office is shorter until the schedules are ironed out this week.  While I'm juggling that, I've also been prepping for a craft show this weekend, hence the errand running today.  I'm still in need of a sign for my booth and some round table cloths for my little tables.  I'm also making a few extra pieces of jewelry so I have plenty to show off.  

For any of you living in the area, this weekend the Make a Wish Foundation along with Concerns of Police Survivors are sponsoring Fall Fest at the Latimore Valley Fair Grounds.  Come out and show your support for both causes, and stop by my spot and buy something!  Below are a few of my pieces that will be for sale.

Knotty Love Earrings

Moonlight Sonata Bracelet

Nuts For You Necklace

Unnamed as yet Earrings


I'm very eclectic in my music tastes.  I like a bit of everything, some classical, a lot of old jazz, Patsy Cline, folk music, Matt Nathanson and even some harder stuff from bands like 3 Days Grace, Stone Sour and Godsmack.  There isn't a genre that I really hate so picking out just two songs is challenging for me.
Very challenging.  

What I have noticed is that I tend to really get attached to pieces that are evocative.  Things that have underlying meaning (to me), or a lot of soul to them.  Songs like Stone Sour's Hesitate, Papa Roach's Scars, or Linkin Park's Iridescent are always on my playlists.  One of my favorites and always will be though is Fuel, before they decided on getting a new front man.  Bad idea Fuel, bad, bad idea.

As I was flipping through the rest of my music I came across songs like Tonic's If You Could Only See, Vertical Horizon's Forever, Adele's cover of Lovesong, (The Cure's version is just as good), and Theory of A Deadman's Not Meant To Be.  I should also mention Chrostopher Cross' Sailing here, that song was played when I got married.  My current favorite 'love song' though is Matt Nathanson's Run.

Because it's my blog and I can do what I want, I'm adding one more.  My grandfather was a huge Patsy Cline fan, probably where I got my love for it, but she really does have a lovely voice.  Think Adele only an earlier version.

About this time during Pumpkin Spice Latte Season we are usually starting the hunt for costumes for the minions to trick or treat in.  The older one always choses some cool super hero while the younger one...well, he liked undead or mostly dead things.  This year, however the minions have decided they are a bit too old and are forgoing the experience to hand out goodies to the neighbors minions.  Some of those other minions should probably be given junior valium, but that is a tale for another time.  Today we're talking super heroes.

The king enjoys be likened to Tony Stark, AKA, Iron Man.  I can draw the similarities in a round about way.  He does have titanium in his body, he's nearly been electrocuted a time or two, set a few things on fire and then there was the incident with the dimmer switch... Anyway, when we think about the standard hero, comic book or movie variety they are nearly all created by men.  Granted some of them are pretty awesome.  I'm a fan of Captain Malcolm Reynolds, so thank you Joss.  Minion #1 loves him some Spider Man and Minion #2 is more than happy to watch the green guy Hulk out and smash things.

Did you ever wonder though, what we would get if women were to create super heroes?  Obviously I have, and put some thought into it too.  Think about all the things that we women could get accomplished if we had the help of super heroes to fight off the big bad laundry monsters, stacks of dishes ready to eat us alive and the dust bunnies from Planet X.

First hero I'd want to create is Dinner Dude.  He shows up right before dinner time and makes gourmet meals.  Granted he looks and sounds like a surfer/stoner but his brownies are to die for.  Oh, he even cleans up after himself before he leaves to save someone else from the evil perils of take out.

That's right,
slay those dishes!

I'd also want to see Laundry Guy!  He's down to his last pair of underwear and wearing them, and only them, while he saves you from your piles of dirty laundry that has been multiplying in the dark.

You can fight my laundry monster!

And then there is The Punisher.  Yes, I know there already is a Punisher, but he's just not what a girl needs.  No, we need someone that sniffs out lies and other forms of BS and calls shenanigans on the offending person, publicly.  Then because that's never enough, they say something like "No more BS from you!" and kick the offender down a well, Spartan Style.

I call shenanigans!
What about you?  Any super heroes you'd like to see show up to help you out?

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