Oct 27 2011

Slow Cooker Chili

Throw In The Ingredients and Go

by: Sharon DeVellis

I try to plan meals.  Not always successfully but for the most part we have a flow to our week that makes mealtime making easier. 

Monday I went grocery shopping with the boys after school. Not the best of scenarios because they're both tired and grumpy but sometimes a girl's just gotta do what a girl's gotta do.  List in hand, I was prepared to go all Jersey Shore cast member having a one night stand and get in and out as quickly as possible. There would be no deviating from the list this week. 

Except for the chocolate covered almonds that made their way into my cart but that was more due to Son No. 2 making it the most miserable shopping excursion ever than a deviating from the list impulse buy.

So ya...the shopping trip was a complete gong show with Son No. 2 going on and on and on about how much he hates grocery shopping and generally letting the ENTIRE GROCERY STORE know how furious he was that his mother would FORCE HIM TO SHOP FOR FOOD. This all came to a head in the grocery section where I nearly took him out with a bundle of grapes. 

Fast forward to Tuesday morning and I'm preparing slow cooker chili with the ingredients I picked up the day before. 

A dinner I wasn't even going to eat because I was going out that night, I might add. 

When I cook I like to have everything out and prepared so it's just a matter of putting it all together.  The ground beef was cooking, the celery, onion and garlic were sliced, diced and good to go and all the cans were open. It all only needed to be thrown into the slow cooker and set on low for the next 8 hours.

 Which is when I realized this...

Why yes, I did buy two cans of tomato paste instead of tomato sauce.

And while I hate to throw Son No. 2 under the bus, I totally am.  Because THE CANS LOOK THE SAME AND FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY, THE DRAMA THAT WAS GOING ON.

At any rate, does anyone have any good recipes that require copious amounts of tomato paste? 

Anyone?

Oct 24 2011

When Little Boys Get Blisters

These Things Are Never As Simple As They Seem

by: Sharon DeVellis

Son No. 2 got a blister and god forbid it's as simple as putting on a band-aid and being done with it.  Also, my patience only lasts so long.

Honey, how did you get that blister? Does it hurt?

Don’t touch it mummmmmmmmmmmmy!

I’m just going to look sweetie pie, I promise I won’t touch it.

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!

Honey, I need to put a band-aid on it so it doesn’t get worse.

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo mummmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!! I said nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!

We have Sponge Bob band-aids, let me go get one.

What happens if there are no band-aids mummy?

There are sweetie, they’re in the cupboard downstairs.

But what if there are none?

Sweetie, they're in the cupboard. We used them yesterday. The band-aids are there.

But what if there are none?

*Sigh* then we would go to the store and buy more, honeybunch.

But what if there are none at the store?

There are always some at the store.

But what if they’re out?

We’d go to a different store.

But what if that store is out?

Then we'd go to another different store, snookums.

But what if that store is out?

There will always be a store that has band-aids.

But what if no stores in the world had them?

For crying out.......Then I’d make them.

With what?

What do you mean with what?

What would you make them from?

Stuff

What stuff?

Dead puppies.

Huh?

Exactly.

"

Oct 22 2011

It's Okay To Say No

Seriously. The World Won't Blow Up Or Anything

by: Sharon DeVellis

While at Blissdom Canada last week I had an 'aha' moment. It didn't come from a session or a panel or a key note speaker, it came from a dinner date.

I don't sleep well in hotels. It's a curse.  I get a night or two to myself in a big bed with fluffy pillows and a heavy, warm duvet and I'm up looking at the clock every hour.

1:31 a.m.
2:19 a.m.
3:42 a.m.

It sucks.

So on Friday night I was pretty much exhausted when everyone started to make their dinner plans.  I wanted a bunch of us to go to my room, order pizza and chillax but that was vetoed and it was decided we'd all go out to a restaurant.

Only I didn't want to go out to a restaurant because I was tired. But I said yes anyway.  Because that's what we women do, isn't it?  We say yes even when we want to say no because we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings or have someone mad at us. It's no wonder so many of us are burnt out and exhausted. We'll be running on empty and still say yes, even when it means putting our own feelings aside and even our own physical well-being.

Or maybe it's not all women, maybe it's just me.

At any rate, I said yes and inside I was feeling all resentful because I. was. tired.

Then I did the unthinkable.

As I stood there feeling all internally angry and resentful I said to myself 'screw it' and I changed my mind.  I told the group I was tired and would be heading up to my room to relax instead of going out.

Their response?  Okay.

And of course they said okay.  It was dinner, not reconciling world peace. And even if it was reconciling world peace...can't world peace be figured out in a hotel room wih pizza? 

It was a good lesson to learn. We don't always have to put everyone else's feelings ahead of our own.

So whether it's dinner with friends, or being asked to volunteer at school or taking on Just. One. More. Project., the next time you find yourself outwardly saying yes when inside you're silently screaming NO, take a moment and listen to that voice within and remember...

Your feelings are important too.

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Sharon is a Common Sense Parent which is somewhere in between being free-range and helicopter. She believes in being active as a family and eating well 85% of the time. The other 15% is for the days when she's PMSing and then all bets are off. So far her parenting style has worked wonders for her two boys who astound her on a daily basis but that's not to say she doesn't have time to totally screw it up. She can't teach you how to keep your house clean while balancing a job and motherhood but if you're a mom who's struggling to figure it out, you've found your tribe.

You can follow Sharon on Twitter: @SharonDV

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