Friday’s Guilty Pleasure – Girls’ Night IN!

For this week’s guilty pleasure I thought I would share something I’ve been doing with my girls for a long time. When my oldest was a toddler when would have Girls’ Night Out when Daddy had to work late on Fridays. It usually consisted of chicken nuggets at the food court and a stroll around the mall. When the youngest arrived and money got tighter it became Girls’ Afternoon Out with a snack somewhere. As time went on and I started to run out of energy we started doing Girls Night In.

Girls' Night In always involves nail polish at our house.

Girls’ Night In always involves nail polish at our house.

Girls’ Night In usually happens on nights when my husband (AKA: Daddy) isn’t home. It consists of things like mini pedicures, painting nails, and a special snack (sometimes it’s something already in the house dressed up with sprinkles or chocolate sauce). We keep an eye out for tubes of peel-off face masks (the girls love feeling it dry and peeling it off) to go on sale and we’ll add those.

Pink and green toe nails

The tiniest’s toes after Girl’s Night In.

The girls love it. They feel special and grown up. It’s nice to pamper yourself, and your kids. It’s a great chance to sit and talk to them, give them the attention they want. For them it’s a huge treat and they look forward to the nights the three of us spend together.

One of the best things about Girls’ Night In is that you can make it as guilty as you want. It doesn’t have to take a lot of energy or money.  After the initial investment in nail polish and masks there’s no real cost, just your time. But you can expand the indulgences and the menu as much as you want, which makes it a great guilty pleasure.

What guilty pleasure are you enjoying this week? Share below!


Award Show Shock and Missing Role Models

Every time a new music award show rolls around a performer does something so strange, “sexy”, or over the top that the American public throws up their arms and cries out “What is the world coming to?” and “What kind of role models are these people being to our children?” I’m not sure why. Like I said, it happens every time there’s a music award show…perhaps we should start anticipating these things people! If you don’t want to see something that is intended to be, or at least attempting to be, shocking or inappropriate for children then it might not be the best choice in television viewing for you and your family.

Depeche Mode @ Echo Music Awards 2009

Depeche Mode @ Echo Music Awards 2009 (Photo credit:

In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t usually watch the MTV Music Awards, or the Grammys or the VH1 Awards, or the CMTs, or the Billboard Awards  or most of the other 500 other award show. Not because of the potential for shocking content, just because it usually doesn’t interest me. I watch the Oscars. I watch the Golden Globes. I watch the Emmys. And I try to watch the Tony‘s. But I’ve been a video/movie/theater and music you’re probably not going to hear on the radio kind of person since childhood. That’s just me. I have watched the music awards show, I’ve tuned in to see specific performances and I’ve gone online to checkout performances I just don’t usually tune in the whole night.

That being said, I don’t know what people expect to see. You’re watching a show giving awards to musicians, singers, performers and producers and to watch them do what they do best, perform their latest and greatest hits. And since most musicians, singers, performers and producers are historically known for being….eccentric…there’s good odds someone will make a spectacle of themselves. It’s actually the reason some people tune in!

Good for them. Get crazy with your bad self. If that’s who you are and the image you want to represent to the world, have at it. You want to dress in meat, good for you and I hope it doesn’t spoil before the night is over. You want to smash stuff up on stage, knock yourself out. You want to interrupt someone’s acceptance speech, (in my opinion, to quote a small blonde on Full House, “How rude!”) I guess you’ve got to be true to yourself. But at some point it’s not all the shocking any more. Yeah, yeah, yeah…we know…you’re drying humping someone or something on stage….you’re setting something on fire…your simulating sex acts…just like people have done at every other awards show

I would LOVE to see someone try something truly radical. Something shocking. Something no one has done in a long time. Sing.


No turntable and a microphone (Photo credit: TOM81115)

How crazy would it be to see and hear someone just sing. An empty stage, a simple microphone, a single spotlight, and a voice. No huge backing bands or vocals. No fancy tuning or computer help. No crazy costumes or dancing clowns.

Just pure sound. I want to see a band come out and have the courage to do their performance stripped down, not without clothes (I’m pretty sure that’s been done too), but acoustically so you can appreciate the quality of the sound and the playing and the writing when nothing can be hidden by added production value. Now that would be a performance that would have people talking!

Like I said, the people you’re watching on TV are performers. They’re doing what they’re doing because they’re into music,  because they (at least in theory) have talent and because they dreamed of singing or playing since they were a kid. Not because they grew up dreaming of being a role model to kids everywhere. The same thing goes for actors and athletes – they’re focusing of living their dream and not being role models.

We make them role models, they didn’t ask to become them. We shouldn’t really be shocked when they display un-role model like behavior. That’s not their job, it’s not what got them where they are, and it’s not their focus. The position of role model is thrust upon them, and it would be awesome if they all took it seriously but they don’t. I think very few of us would. Can you say in all honesty that you would hold yourself to the standards we expect of them if we were in their positions? I’m not just talking about the crazy performances, it’s not drinking too much or swearing or getting angry at anyone in public or give an opinion because if you do any of those things you’ll be told you’re letting people down. It’s a lot of responsibility for someone who just wants to write songs and sing isn’t it?

You know, maybe we shouldn’t turn people who get famous into role models because they got famous (unless you’re trying to break into the same industry). Maybe our role models should be people who are a little more prepared for the responsibility.

I don’t know. It’s something I’ve thought about and I’m having trouble putting into words right now. So check back for another post on role models in the future. In the mean time I would love to hear your thoughts. Should performers behave the way the outspoken public believes they should or should they be true to themselves? If we praise someone for their creativity or originality do we have a right to complain when they go over the top for our entertainment?

UPDATE By 1s and 3s

Here’s a brief update on how my next new beginning is going.

  • Day: 3
  • Number of Psychotic Dogs Freaking Out Over Thunder: 1
  • Piles of Poo (PoP) Left in Dark Room by Above Dog: 3
  • Number of Elderly Dogs Walking/Sliding Through PoP: 1
  • Number of People Stepping in Slid Through PoP in the Dark: 1
  • Number of People Woken Up in Dog Induced Chaos: 3
  • Time Chaos Began: Just after 3:30 AM
  • Number of Dishes Washed Because I Was Wide Awake at 3:30 AM: 13
  • Hours of Sleep: 3

We have a few things we do to help the dog(s) when it storms so they don’t freak out, but we were caught off guard overnight. Dogs are back to happy selves this morning.

I’m washing my feet for the 10th time and taking a nap.


She’s fine now, but forced the bedroom door open last at 3:30 AM to save me from the thunder. Or to tell me about all the poop in the living room.

Elderly gray dog sleeping in red bean bag chair.

Taking a nap after a busy night of poo sliding.

1st Day of Our Next New Beginning

School backpacks leaning against a door

We’re as ready as we can be for the start of our next new beginning.

Today is the start of our next new beginning. It’s the first day of school for the girls and the first day of work for my husband. The girls will be starting in new schools in a new state. My husband will working full-time for the first time in nearly 10 years, he’s mostly been a stay-at-home Dad since we moved to Virginia. For the first time I’m going to be the one in charge of getting the kids off to school and making sure homework gets done and everyone gets to where they need to be while I do freelance work from home. It’s a whole new world for all of us.

We’re all trying to act pretty confident, but I think it’s pretty safe to say we’re all a little scared. You know, I think that’s ok. It’s a pretty big change for all of us. New (old) state. New schools. New jobs. It’s a lot for anyone.

For a family that has unique circumstances, like chronic illness and a long stretch of unemployment, that much change seems like a bridge stretching over the Grand Canyon stretching out in front of you. You know all you need to do is take that first step, but it’s a doozy. There’s not a lot of choice but to move forward so you do. You just have to have faith that you’ll make it to the other side.

We’ll see what lies ahead. One way or another, I think we’ll be okay.


Everyone got on their way with on mild panic. The bus forgot to pick up the oldest and we had to get that straightened out. Other than that everything went off without a hitch. Now it’s a matter of convincing myself to do start the ambitious list of things I made.

Teenager waiting with backpack as as car passes

My oldest waiting for the bus that forgot to pick her up. Great way to start the day.

Girl getting on yellow school bus.

This is first time she’ll be taking the bus to school (she used to walk to school), so this is VERY exciting.

Friday’s Guilty Pleasure – Inaugural Edition

Everyone is entitled to a little guilty pleasure. I figure Friday is the perfect day to talk about it, so I’m going to start a weekly post where we can share them! I’m going to pick something every week that’s one of my favorite guilty pleasures to share with you, and I’m going to ask you to do the same. We’re all friends here, and heaven knows we could all use a little distraction now and again, and guilty pleasures are a great way to forget about the world for a few minutes.

I’m going to keep most of my guilty pleasures focused on the no cost/low cost end of things.  Because: 1. That’s about all I can afford right now;  2. I’m not the only one in that boat; and 3. It feels really great to get a pick-me-up for next to nothing.

For the Inaugural Edition of Friday’s Guilty Pleasures I’m sharing, or admitting to, Double Divas.


A t-shirt from the Double Diva’s of LiviRae Lingerie in GA where their motto is “No bust too big or small. We fit them all!”

I’m not big on reality TV. The little of it I watch tends to be more off-beat and Double Divas fits the bill. Double Divas is a docuseries on the Lifetime network about two women who own an intimate apparel store in Atlanta called LiviRae Lingerie, where the motto is: “No bust too big or small. We fit them all!”

There are a lot of reasons I like the show. Cynthia Decker and Molly Hopkins are funny, honest, and are even more supportive than the bras they fit. They do “Fit and Runs” where they basically walk up to women and tell them they’re wearing the wrong bra, what size they should be wearing, and if they have it with them they’ll fit them wherever they are…the parking lot, the coffee shop drive through…or they invite them back to their shop. They also help people with special situations, women who have never been able to be properly fit because of their size or physical differences, or women with special needs (like a holster, appropriate for barrel racing, etc.).  If there isn’t something hanging in the shop that works they will design something, and they won’t give up until it’s perfect.

This is what more reality TV should be. It’s fun. It’s positive. Cynthia and Molly feel like some of the women I’ve known and hung out with over the years and would love sit down and have a beer (and a good laugh) with. It’s a little bit naughty, but the respect and care they show their clients is heartwarming. You won’t find catfights, backstabbing or wine being tossed in anyone’s face here. You will find women helping others be more confident and comfortable in who they are and their bodies. We could use a lot more of that in the world.

It’s not compelling storytelling or educational, but it’s fun. Double Divas is my newest guilty pleasure.

Your turn! What is your guilty pleasure for this week? Share below!

Never Ending Flu

Cheey tissue box

There are some illnesses cheery tissue boxes don’t help

People have asked me what having an auto-immune disorder is like. The best way I can describe it is like having a never-ending flu.

Some days it’s like coming down with the flu. You feel achier and more fatigued as the day goes on. Your brain gets fuzzier and you the only thought you can seem to keep straight in your head is the one about climbing into bed and staying there for a few years. Your body gets heavier, your joints get more painful and each step gets harder to take until you finally fall into bed.

Some days are like the worst days of the flu. Your body feels like it weighs a ton. You’re so tired and sore that even lifting your head takes an incredible effort. Your joints burn and ache. You’re so fatigued that you almost have to remind yourself to breathe, but you feel so incredibly miserable that you can’t sleep. All you can do is lay there and try not to be too annoyed by whatever is on TV because you’re too tired to be bothered to turn the channel. It doesn’t really matter because you can’t think clearly anyway.

Then there are the better day. The days you feel like you’re getting over the flu. When you feel like you’re getting some energy back. Some (not all, but some) of the pain and the inflammation in your joints is gone. You can think a little clearer. You have a bit of pep in your step. You feel a little more like you…a little more normal, whatever that means. These are the best days I get, there are no more “healthy” days for me, just little bit better days.

Maybe it’s a little simplistic, but it’s the best explanation I can come up with.

I’m curious. How do my fellow Spoonies and Chronic Babes describe what it’s like to be sick? We’ve heard the well know explanations and descriptions, but what’s it like in your daily life.