Click Here For Free Blog Backgrounds!!!
Blogaholic Designs

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Brides, Beware: (not so) Happily Ever After - David's Bridal Disaster

Disclaimer: This is my story regarding my personal treatment and experiences at David's Bridal. All I can do is comment on my experiences and feelings regarding the company. Feel free to research David's Bridal further via Google. You can read and find several reviews via Facebook, Twitter, and other review pages. Feel free to share my story.

Wedding planning, a time when women experience a wide range of emotions. From happiness, to anger, anxiety, and a little of everything else in between. One of the crowning moments of wedding planning though, is dress shopping. The experience should be magical, emotional, and as stress-free as possible, right?

Well, that is what I thought. You see, my experience had been magical, but that was until I took my dress into David's Bridal to be altered.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Why I Hate Parent-Teacher Conferences & The First Report Card Day of the School Year

You know it is that time of the year when our motherly & fatherly friends are posting about the upcoming parent-teacher conferences at their child's school. Every year, it is nearly the same thing..."Oh, I'm so nervous."


As soon as the nail-biting, nerve-wracking event is over, these same parents clog my Facebook feed with these splendid status updates about how great their conferences were, how wonderful their children are, and lets not forget all of the straight A's that their borderline Einstein child got.

I'm not a hater, really, I am not. But why does this bother me so much then? Why is it that I need to devote an entire blog post to this topic? Well, it's really simple. It's because chances are, I will never be able to post anything of the sort.

My daughter, she is 9 years old. We have had issues since she was little. She has Asperger's, bipolar disorder, ADHD, ODD, and when it comes to school, she just doesn't get it. She honestly does not understand the difference between addition and multiplication, her writing is illegible, she cannot spell no matter how many times you make her write her spelling words over and over or how many times to quiz her. I can give her all of the mnemonic devices in the world, and it still won't help her.

As you sit there, celebrating your child's successes, rewarding them for their straight As, I am looking at a report card that is full of F's and D's.

Do you know what it is like to sit outside of that classroom, where all of the children's artwork or projects are on display, but your child's is hidden, placed where no parent can see them. Only the nicest projects are placed where a parent may walk by and can see them. I still never found my daughter's on the board outside of the classroom during parent-teacher conferences.

I long for the day that I can sit in front of a teacher and hear how wonderful my child is. I mean, I get the standard "start off with a good thing about the child, then start with the negatives, but end with another positive", but my "negatives" are a lot more forthcoming and free-flowing than those positives.

I get shown her work, I hear about how she could do better. I get told that she is not on par with her peers, how her work is messy & sloppy. I hear about her behavior, which truly is no surprise to me as I often get emails or phone calls when the day was a total bust for her anyway.

I've debated posting a status to Facebook along the lines of, "Parent-teacher conferences went as expected. She still doesn't turn in her work and if she does, it is sloppy. It's no surprise that she got all F's & D's."

But then I wonder how many people would think I am some heartless mom, mean and ruthless? If I have to read about how wonderful everyone's children are, why can't I post about my child, who isn't perfect and may never be that straight A student?

I have to deal with the fact that every year is going to be challenge, that every year is going to bring up the same issues, over and over. Every year there will be some "plan" for success, and more than likely, every year she will struggle, have her projects hidden away from the "public" view, and every year I will hope that this will be the year, and things will be different.

Like I said, I really am not upset that you want to share your child's successes on Facebook. But just remember, there are parents out there, like myself, who would love to be able to do the same thing, but cannot, for whatever the reason. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Now Here's An Idea, Parent Your Children!

I fully expect this post to become quite controversial, and probably a bit long as I find myself with a lot to say on this topic If for nobody else, this is for me and quite frankly, if you decide that you would like to argue with me or throw some of the research from the books you read by some cracker jack, please refrain as I will not be humoring your comments.

There is a problem with children and there is a simple solution to it all...Parent your damn children!

Oh wait, that's right, you want to throw in about how special your child is right? About all of the disorders that they have. Well guess what? My daughter has Asperger syndrome, ADHD (or is it ADD nowadays), Bipolar disorder, ODD, and who knows what else. She's a mess, but I will not humor you with the videos of her trashing her bedroom, damaging the walls, scratching her arms, yelling and screaming how much she hates me and everything else in the world and how we all hate
her. Then let me also throw in the other two children in the house that have their own "stuff" as well going on.

I am so tired of the mentality of the children nowadays. I look at the three older ones in this household and cringe. The children here have it made...they don't have chores because they refuse to do them. They won't do anything that you ask them to because they require X,Y,Z in return for doing a simple task that is not even worthy of reward. They expect everything and often compare their own "terrible lives" to that of their friends.

Oh yes, the children have friends that are allowed to do anything they want, whenever they want. They don't have chores, they are allowed to eat and drink what they want, when they want it, they can swear and speak to their parents as they wish, they can run around town when they want, and they are allowed to play video games all day, every day.

I'm not sure who these parents are, but I really would love to punch them in their faces (if they even happen to exist). I can say that the children are the problem, but the truth is, they are but part of the problem is YOU.

Yup, I called you out. What good are you doing by being your child's friend? It's getting you really far isn't it? Oh, your kids feel comfortable talking to you, you say? No, your kids feed into your BS, are calling your bluff, and taking advantage of your "kindness." Thanks for giving your children whatever they want, because what are you teaching them? That's right, that mommy and/or daddy will be there to bail their butts out whenever they need it.

Then we are bombarded with these statements about how kids have no work ethic, or they are lazy, and you have to do everything around the house. On top of that, because you let them run freely, refuse to give them consequences for their actions, they walk all over whomever they want, whenever they want.

Think I am lying? Let me tell you all of the times I am called names, and not nice names, but profane names. Let me tell you about how I get ignored, yelled at, told I am hated, threatened to be killed, a psycho.

And why? All because being your child's friend was more important. Because not instilling respect or any type of work ethic in these children were just not important. Because these children get handed everything they want and then when things change, they rebel. All because YOU have allowed your children to have free roam of your household, of their grandparents household, other family member's households.

You created this mess, a parent, thinking you were doing what was best for your child.

As a child, if I ever threatened to call the police on my parents, I would've gotten my butt spanked. If I was outside and one of the neighbor's saw me doing something that was naughty, I got in trouble by them and then once I got home, I got into trouble by my mother, and if it was really bad, once my dad got home, I was in even more trouble.

I didn't get money freely just because I wanted to get something. I had chores that I was expected to do and I darn well better have had them done. Sit around any play video games all day? I didn't do that either. I had a Nintendo & I had a PS One in my bedroom, at my disposal, 24/7 and you know what? I didn't sit down all day every day and play. In fact, I did my homework and found something else to do, especially when sports wasn't going at school.

I remember one time I called my mom something, it was bad and I don't remember what it was, but she came right after my butt and had me cornered in the bathroom. She went to spank my butt and I ducked and she hit the wall and I took off. Let me tell you, I got it good that time, for both calling her a name and making her hurt her hand.

Now before you get your panties in a twist, listen up, I am not telling you to beat your children or spank them. This is not the point of my message. My point is this, I knew my place as a child, I respected the elders and my parents. I knew what was expected of me and I knew exactly what would happen if I didn't comply with their simple requests (and yes, they were quite simple, such as, do your homework, do your chores, clean your room).

Think about it...and think really hard. What good are you doing your children when you hand them whatever they want. What good are you teaching your children when you allow them to curse at you, call you names, and do as they please. What are you teaching your children when you allow them to treat your spouse, your partner, like a piece of crap, yelling at them in front of you while you sit idly, doing nothing about it.

What are you teaching your children when you give them that cell phone, that video game system, that computer, laptop, ipod, iphone, ipad, and you expect nothing from them in return?

I'll tell you what you are doing, you are setting them up to fail in life. You're preparing yourself to be stuck with them, living in your basement when they are in their 20s, 30s, 40s.

So just think about it.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

[Review] Immaculate Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough


What do you do when your daughter's birthday is coming up and she informs you that one of her fellow classmates cannot have gluten? Freak out, as I did? Well, luckily I knew what to do, only through experience. You see, I made these cookies once before with totally incredible results for a bake sale that benefited my favorite organization, Spay it Forward, NFP

So as my daughter tells me that her classmate gets to eat some cookies from a box as everyone else indulges in delicious cupcake goodness. I decide that I would make a special treat, because if you are going to have cookies, why not have some delicious, ooey, gooey cookies instead of some boxed cookies.

At the store, I head over to the corner, where the gluten free, refrigerated doughs are kept. Initially I purposed making enough cookies for the entire classroom, but the store only had two packages of dough, which would not have been enough (both for the class and for myself to snack on). I pick this brand up instead of the better known brand which is in a tub. You see, I am all for simple, so even just scooping out dough seems tedious to me. The fact that the Immaculate Baking Chocolate Chunk cookie dough is already available and all I need to do is set it on a baking sheet and pop it into the oven is much more appealing!

I am not sure as to why, but as my oven was preheating, I noticed a recommendation on the package to smoosh the cookie dough balls down. The first time that I prepared these cookies, I didn't do that,
so I figured this time, I would try it out. The results? A perfectly baked, but flat cookie, nicely browned. The brown color scared me at first, especially since when you bake cookies normally, the brown colored cookie often equals a hard, crunchy cookie.

Now I don't know about you, but I am not a hard, crunchy cookie fan. I prefer to serve cookies that are soft and gooey. So as the cookies were sitting on the cookie sheet for the 5 minutes as recommended on the package, I felt defeated. I had a diaper change and a hungry baby to tend to, so my cookies ended up sitting a lot longer than five minutes, but as soon as I was done, I scurried over to the cookie sheet and scooped up a cookie for myself and bit into it... The fear, the defeat, it was all negated and left behind, as biting into that cookie led to quite an unexpected surprise. The cookies were soft and oh so gooey. I was dumbfounded, and while I was pleased with my new find, I knew that there was still more testing to be done. 

The final test? The approval of my fiance. He often is not one who enjoys or even appreciates anything green, all-natural, organic, you know, things along those lines. To him, it is all just a fad (although he does understand people need to follow specific diet restrictions due to medical conditions). So he came back home and tried a cookie. So there I sat, staring at him, waiting for his comments, the good, bad, or otherwise.

And the verdict you ask? Well, he had another cookie, and another, and another.

Overall, I would recommend these cookies to anyone, whether it be to address a gluten-free need or just to consume because cookies are delicious. When it comes to gluten free food, I don't know much about it as it is not something that we follow in our home. But I will tell you, these cookies were beyond delicious!!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Ranch Chicken Tenderloin Bites - Crockpot Style

Two days ago, I removed a package of chicken breasts from the storage freezer. Apparently at that point, I had some huge idea that I was going to assume the reigns of the household and prepare some glorious meal in the crockpot that would leave me as the champion of the household.

Now, let us revisit the beginning of the first sentence..."two days ago." 

Yup, that is right, we are now two days into the chicken that has assumed a place on a plate inside of the fridge. Now I know that time is of the utmost importance and that I need to find something to do with said chicken, but what? We've done the crockpot chicken and stuffing, which ended up as a sloppy mess not only in my crockpot, but with the unamused children, so what else was there to do?

I am all about easy. I hate doing extra work, prep work, or anything of the sort. You really need to get me in a great mood to whip out and prepare some elegant meal. Plus, I wasn't about to jump into my car and go down to the grocery store either. It's cold and I hate unloading groceries into my trunk and then bringing them up the stairs only to have to put them away in their appropriate spaces. So instead, I raided the cabinets for things to throw in the crockpot.

So, what did I end up choosing you ask (or maybe you didn't, but whatever, I will tell you anyway).
  • 3lb bag of Tyson all natural chicken breast tenderloin (they are more like little pieces rather than full breast pieces)
  • Container of sour cream (the large one, not sure of ounces, sorry)
  • Small container of cream cheese with chives
  • Two packet of Hidden Valley ranch dips (the kind that you make yourself, the powder)

It's really easy...obviously you are going to set up your crockpot and place your thawed chicken at the bottom (you could use frozen chicken, but I would suggest adjusting cooking time accordingly). I then placed half of my large container of sour cream over the chicken. After I spooned that out over it, I spread it out covering the chicken. I then scooped out 3/4 of my small container of cream cheese with chives and then spread that over the chicken as well. Finally, I sprinkled the two packets of ranch dressing powder over the chicken.

I set my crock pot on high for 4 hours and let it do its job. I checked it at about 3 hours in, and it was perfectly cooked, so for the remaining hour, I set my crockpot over to the warming feature. I do have a newer, digital crockpot that is one of the top picks from Cooks Country, so I would recommend that you check yours sometime during the cooking process. Also, my chicken was smaller pieces (almost chicken strip-like), so if you are using normal sized chicken breasts, you may find yourself cooking it for the entire time! 

Delicious! So maybe the kids didn't think so, although Lexi thought it was fantastic and had three helpings of it. The chicken was perfectly cooked & tender. The "sauce" was perfect and had the best taste. I will absolutely be making this again and if the kids don't like it, then oh well, too bad for them! See, I'm not into the catering to what the kids want and making sure the food is exactly what they like, otherwise we'd be eating pizza, pizza rolls, hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, and other assorted junk food.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Bacon & Egg Toast Cups

So apparently, it is required for you to feed your children when they are hungry and quite frankly I was tired of the cereal binge that seems to occur in this house. I decided that I probably should assume some type of motherly duties and feed the children, which always can go one of two ways...good or bad. Trying to recollect how well it went last time, I decided to make these bacon, egg, and toast cups for the children, as last time they were gobbled up and there was nothing left for me to consume...(oh the the fruits of my labor). I also was unable to get any pictures of said goodies because my camera was dead.

So I decided to do another trial of these goodies for breakfast. My result...this:

I'm not sure if I was more pleased with the outcome of the food or the picture... But alas, it was quite simple to make and I took the wonderful recipe that came from The Noshery, and adapted it to my own the kids' likings. Plus, I haven't quite seen any pictures of scrambled eggs being used, so I thought it would be nice for everyone trying to figure out what it would look like & if it would work.

So first thing ingredients:

  • Muffin pan
  • A glass (that you drink out of)
  • Basting brush
  • Pam cooking spray
  • Bread (I needed 12 slices)
  • Maple Syrup
  • Cheddar jack shredded cheese
  • Eggs (I used 8 eggs)
  • Oscar Meyer Real Bacon Pieces (not the bits)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Welcome Back

It has been a rather long time since I have written and while I had these illusions of grandeur, I realized that trying to complete nursing coursework & maintain this blog throughout was just a silly notion (read: completely stupid idea).

But now, I am done with the semester and I have 3.5 whole months to get to being craftsy (or maybe not so much) and share the awesomeness that is my life. While this all sounded like a fantastic idea as I sat in the garage pondering the wonderful things that I would prepare & indulge, I just do not know where to get started. I am still in this mindset where I feel like I am doing something wrong because I am not at school. (Those scary nursing instructors truly instill the fear of everything in you).

So, I guess that I am going to have to find some sort of craft to do or magnificent dish to prepare. It will come...I hope.