United States of Motherhood: July 2012

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Born To Ride: My Harley Davidson Romance and Giveaway





It's pretty common knowledge that I can be romanced with a good cocktail and a scrumptious bite. Add in, I kid you not, my first trip without husband and kids that was anything, but a funeral, combined with meeting some of my favorite fellow bloggers...and swoon!

That is how Harley-Davidson® lured me to Milwaukee this July.

Packing my biker boots and sparkly floppy floppies for Harley Davidson Summer Camp. So funny to see them side by side!!

I have a confession to make though ... I had never driven a motorcycle, much less a HARLEY! This swim mom was literally shaking in her boots. Feeling intimidated. Inadequate. Not worthy.

Let me back up. I recall my father having a motorcycle growing up in suburban California in the 70s. I have memories of him picking me up from swim lessons -- in my swimsuit, bare feet, without a helmet, and throwing me on back and my toddler sister up front, sitting on the gas tank.

Other memories etched in my mind were of blistering my leg and feet on the hot tail pipe. Yep, regretted those missteps for weeks. Good times!

Regret.

Other than that, my experience was limited. Yes, so technically ONCE and ONCE only I rode a dirt bike when I was a young teen. Rode is a very subjective word. My brother mentioned a few rules. I was on his dirt-bike in minutes and crashed off even sooner.

Yep, I confused the THROTTLE with the brake...

...and not only crashed but continued to spin on my side on the bike in circles. My bare leg in those 80s shorty shorts? Umm hamburger!

Yes, in essence I panicked in a ridiculously girly, squeeze my eyes tight, scream, and just hold on manner. Yep, I was so spectacularly bad at it my big brother never let me touch his bike again ... and honestly, I did not want to anyway.

Let's fast forward a few decades and here I am:

Trying on my new biker glasses and stifling the fear in mah belly

Fear.

That one formative incident was so bad? When I mentioned on Facebook my upcoming trip, even 30 years later, my brother was dumbstruck. Flabbergasted. Why would they want me? He soon came to his only logical solution that I must be going as a crash test dummy.

Ah do you feel the brotherly love? Heh!

Milwaukee Airport: A Metaphor for Time is Fleeting Perhaps?

I felt like this sentiment was echoed when I met another mother of teens on the plane out. She wondered aloud why Harley would be flying out a bunch of women. I hemmed and hawed. Honestly, I truly was not sure either.

I am a swim mom. PTA president. Foodie. But was I a bad ass?

Shaking in my boots
Intimidation.

Back to the camp: I have to admit being surrounded with women with the same lack of experience helped. We were all in this together. We were going to take baby steps, learn about the brand, learn about the powerful beasts called Hogs, and make this a fun and empowering experience.


Camaraderie through bikes, beers, buffets, and baseball: @scoutshonor @sgetgood @kirida @mttsm @mochamomma @The818 @burghbaby @graphicsfairy @jillsgoodthings @missmissea @sugarjones @skinnyjeans


Our first step? We walked into Hal's Harley-Davidson dealership for a Garage Party and oh my, were the sparkly, shiny colors entrancing. Soo shiny!! Garage parties are shindigs geared toward women to introduce us to the brand and break down stereotypes. In fact, they embrace women and novices like me.

Open Doors.

I confess I expected to see some grizzly, bearded bad ass with a cigarette hanging out and leathered up. Instead, we were greeted by a handful of the dealership's 15 female employees. They enlightened us that HD certainly had a core of male riders in their 40s, but they were trying to dispel the myth that their motorcycles were limited to this stereotype.

One way they are doing this is through the Rider's Edge® program which is available in 42 states. It is a way to learn to ride Harley-Davidsons in a safe environment. Surprisingly, 31% of their students are female. Another way to introduce the brand to new niches? Their JUMPSTART TM Rider's Experience!! You get to jump on the back of a bike, feel the power of a Harley underneath you, while safely mounted and then?

Exhilaration.


My friends, that's all it took. I was hooked! I admit I went to Milwaukee out of curiosity. Why would Harley-Davidson want me? By the end of the first night, I was already pricing models. Floor model 8k! Whee! Yes, it was that exhilarating. I drank the Kool-Aid with gusto. I think a lot of my new blogger friends were as well. Such a camaraderie!

The next day, we continued our journey on Juneau Avenue at the Harley-Davidson headquarters where we met Claudia Garber, Harley-Davidson's Women's Outreach Marketing Director. I immediately identified with her story of learning to ride as an adult and crashing during the course. She cried. She was hurt. Just like me so long ago, but her response was to get right back up in that seat. Her message was, "If I can do this, what ELSE can I do?"


Claudia Garber: Women's Outreach. Did you know women have been part of the brand for 80 years? This is not a new thing. Don't be intimidated!

Empowerment.

A-ha grasshopper! This is where I needed to be. Motorcycles, like life, require practice, but also accepting mis-steps...and getting the @#$% back on the road. Harleys are all about the strength of the individual. I was getting it! Harley is not about clothes or a look but a spirit. It's all about taking risks and living life on our terms.

My biker friend Mike took me through the streets of Milwaukee and along the lake and the thrill as a passenger was crazy!

No blistered leg on a tail pipe this time. Thanks for the gear HD!

Ok, now double sold!!

Then, this is where the fun began! A day of learning: Both the difference between that #!@#$ throttle and brake I mixed up so long ago.

Wahoo! Carmen and I did it!!

Unlike the seventies, helmets were involved. Safety first, ladies!

My shiny helmet: Isn't it purty??

We also learned the history of Harley-Davidson. Four brothers with a passion at the turn of the century. Fast forward a century later and there I was at lunch with Bill Davidson, their great-grandson, and Harley's bitching PR team who were our hosts and guidance mavens on all things Harley.
 
Eating lunch at Motor Bar & Restaurant with Bill Davidson!!! Yes as in The D in Harley Davidson Grandson of one of the three founding D's with Amanda (Mgr of PR relations) and Dana (PR team)
So amazing. I totally plan to take a Rider's Edge Course when I get back from BlogHer.

In the end, what stood out for me was one of HD's mantra: "No cages."
 
In the motorcycle world that means no cars -- no metal and glass between you and the road preventing you from the thrill of the wind on your face and the power in your hands. It's such a metaphor for life.


My friends, I turn 40 at BlogHer, and I think somewhere along the line, my fierceness was diminished. 


With kids, responsibilities, stress, I let myself pull back, fear more and risk less. However, I truly am feeling a comeback. 

I feel myself grabbing those handle bars. Revving my engine. Pushing myself out of my comfort zone.  

Throwing caution to the wind. I am super excited to be starting this new decade of my life with BlogHer and Harley-Davidson.

Awakening.

As I walked through the Harley Davidson museum, I happened upon these pictures. Women living freely in the 30s. People racing with abandon. 

If they could do it, I can shake off my mom cape and do the same, right? Let loose? Be free!

HD MUSEUM: 1933. Holy cow those biker chicks were racy: You go, girls!
HD Museum: Oldest Harley in existence--1903! Can you imagine being the first to try it? Such bravery!


Live Your Life.


So my friends? Never thought of yourself as a bad ass? Or living without cages? I truly encourage you to try something new. Even better, find a Garage Party. They are open, free of charge, and are just a first step to getting you back in the saddle. As Harley-Davidson says, "It's like a book club, but only louder." I did this and you can too! I dare you!

Sugar Jones and I on a riding high: We both asked each other
simultaneously, "What color?" We're hooked!
Do you dare?

I double dog dare you to find a Garage party near you!!


Want to hear more about my trip? Search hashtag #hdsc to find it all. Want to hear more about Harley Women? Search for #HarleyWomen or go here.

Need some more encouragement? Watch this:


I'll admit I totally teared up at her frustration and perseverance.

Ok, remember that clock? Still going. Tick, tock. Let's Go!
Tell me what life with "no cages" means to you for a chance to win a Harley-Davidson Women's Pink Label Embellished Nylon Jacket.



Sweepstakes Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the
following unique term in your tweet message: ""#SweepstakesEntry""; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from July 31, 2012 to August 27, 2012

Be sure to visit the Harley-Davidson No Cages brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!



I was compensated and provided free travel for this post.  
The opinions expressed herein are truly my own.

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                       Check out all my options for subscribing here! 


Monday, July 30, 2012

Squeee! I Love You Bob's Red Mill


Looky what the Bob's Red Mill Fairy sent me:

Squee!


Yep, they had me at flour...paleo-ish, gluten FREE flour that I can eat actually eat!

Almond flour....

Hazelnut flour...

Coconut flour...

And blueberries!

My friends, this was like Christmas in July. Now I need to figure out what I should make.

As an aside, after 29 days of grain 99% free, I let loose and ate pizza last night to celebrate the kids' last swim meet of the season.  It was a wheat binge followed by another for breakfast.

By 10 o'clock, my, did I regret it.  Acid reflux of all acid reflux that my prescription Nexium  and chugged Maalox did little to flush away. Swollen throat.  Exhaustion.  Hazy.  Listless. You know...all the usual symptoms were back with a vengeance.   The list goes on.  Okay, universe, I get it. It is and never was mommy brain.

Wheat is truly out.


So back to those awesome flours?  I need suggestions!
 

Banana bread? Muffins? A cake? Suggestions, my foodie friends? Pretty please!


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tears and Tenacity: Swim Like Dory, My Swimmers


Even as a somewhat grumpy almost teen, you can always coax a smile

My baby girl is not a crier.

Never has she cried about swimming. Never.  Not one wet droplet. No matter the humbling race.

No matter if she was disappointed or nervous.

No matter if she screwed up and might have disappointed her loud coach and I weeks ago after forgetting the rules of sharing a lane in the mile--and had to be pulled out by her foot by an official because every length was one almost head on collision after another almost head on collision...all while the crowd gasped.

Her response?  She shrugged her wet shoulders.  Her little wet top knot bounced, as she laughed it off.  She told me she wondered why the officials and lifeguards were cheering.  Yes, her interpretation of their wild gesticulations for her to stay on her side of the lane was....cheering. She even sought out and apologized to her lane partner.  She was chagrined, but no tears.

Ooopsie!

So we get it, right? She is resilient. She is not a crier. None of my kids are.

Today? Today she was.

She ran out of the warm-up for PNS Champs finals--sick.  Sobbing. Dry heaving. We tossed Pepto-Bismal and Tums down her throat.

I wildly recalled the short break at the pool we took a few days ago while they removed someone's lunch from the deck and scooped the net through the pool.  Oh, no please let it not be flu...

I wondered after racing 4400 meters in a humid, hot pool if she was dehydrated.  Water was poured down her gullet.

Could it be the heavy lunch of cheesy sausage stuffed ravioli, greasy sausage dumpling soup, and all-you-can-eat bread sticks that she ill-advisedly and definitely NOT approved by this swim mom ate with her friends less than an hour before warm ups? Ugh!

Yep, "Pinkie" as she is known by coaches had to pull it together

Whatever the reason, the fact was she was struggling.  

Gulping.  

Weeping uncontrollably. 

I helped her into her crazy tight suit while her queasy stomach churned and the other swimmers in the locker room looked on sympathetically.

On deck, she sobbed while the anthem was played.  If she didn't swim her race she would be out of all the finals for the night.  She had to swim in less than two minutes or she forfeited her other individual race and relay.

Still crying, she got on those blocks.  She raced her 200 meters. She gasped for air, pushed down the nauseau and cried in her goggling during those agonizing four lengths in  the olympic meter pool.  

BUT!   She finished.

Just Keep Swimming


She added almost four seconds.  She added four places...

I have never been so proud.  She just kept swimming.

That strength and fortitude astounds me. I've seen other shining examples of this "keep calm and carry on" attitude at this meet.  Another teammate flip turned on a 400 IM and managed to pop up in another lane.  Did she quit?  No, she kept swimming a grueling race, knowing she would be DQ-ed and it would be for nothing.  Luckily, due to her gracious, compassionate competitor and kind officials who researched the rules, she didn't even get DQ-ed!

Yes, just keep swimming. This meet has been revelatory on so many levels. Swimming has helped all of my kiddos in the last decade.  Yes, I have been a swim mom for a decade!

Start 'em young

My son has only cried once his entire ten year swim career.  His goggles leaked on a 200 yard free when he was ten.  He flailed wildly and it appeared he was drowning rather than racing.  His coach from our old team yelled at him for his ten second increase.

Yes, he did cry.  Once and only once.

Rut roh somehow my skinny little 15-year-old got into the top heat of the
800 with the big 18-20 yr old boys eek!!! #swimmom #nerrrrrrrvous

Fast forward to today.  Five years later?  My lanky son?  He swam the mile.  He dropped 22 seconds. The whole time?  His goggles had leaked and had filled with water.  I asked him if he saw me cheering?

Uh nope!

Did he see his coach jumping up and down with glee?

Uhhh no. 


He couldn't see a thing. He just did his job and swam his race. I think these tough swimmers could teach me and really us all a thing or two, don't you?  Our coaches have instilled in our athletes an inner tenacity--more than I ever could ever encourage by word or deed.

My 15 yr old about to kick butt on 400 free. 5 sec.  drop?? We'll take it!!  

 
So today?  Back to baby girl?  I could and am proud she finaled in all eight of her events.

I could laud her 1st place finishes in the 800 free and relays.

Her 2nd place finish in the mile.

Her 3rd place medals in 100 back and 200 back.

But nope.  Of what am I most proud?  Her dead last, 8th place finish in the 200 free "A" finals that she swam sick and teary-eyed.

You did it, baby girl. You raced forty-eight hundred meters in the last four days.  You also swam fourteen days of the last twenty-nine.

You swam.  Dog Tired.  Sick. Weeping.





In fact, I am so proud of both of my swimmers.  You both just kept swimming.

Now this mom is teary eyed...

Day 3 of swim meet: over three miles of racing between the two of them and yet they are still smiling
#resilience #endurance #theyhazit Now me?? I'm so "put a fork on me" because I am done. One more day....

Watch out Phelps, Lochte, and Coughlin.  The reign of Raines is coming!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Switcharoos, Sunscreen, Safety, Sunglasses, and Summer Do's and Don'ts: $50 Venus Gillette Giveaway



Oh my are the tables being turned. My PB gets to ask the questions for once...

Eeek!  What will my preteen ask me?
With glee, I let my daughter do the asking when Venus recently asked my not-so-little anymore PB to interview me.  My 12 year-old took charge and soon we were discussing Summer Do's and Don'ts.  

Don't worry.  As always, I have no filter and she, being my daughter, kept her eye rolls and snickers to an amazing minimum. Heh! I have no idea where she got that attitude from...

PB:  Soooo mom, let's start by you telling me your beauty don'ts, m'kay?

MeWell, sweetie, this will sound very, very familiar.  You know how suddenly you've turned into this tan-crazy preteen?  Yep, my number one don't?  It's tanning!  Soo not a good idea.  Really. You really need to protect your skin.  Unless you want a face like a wrinkled, leathery old baseball mitt?  Be good to your skin. Trust me!  You'll thank me at thirty!


Her:  Uhhh, no, tanning is cool.

Me:  Uhhh can we say fake bake? Can we say silly me and my sisters lying on the roof oiled up with Crisco frying up like tater tots in the hot California sun... and now I have the sun damage to show it?

Her: Can we say pretty?

Me: Can we say oompha loompa? Can we say skin cancer?  Can we say my nose peeled for TWO years straight when I spent a day on the lake one year without any skin protection?  I damaged my lower dermis layers down.  It was soooo not worth it.  We will keep using that sun block--besides with that olive complexion you have been blessed with, you are already naturally tan in coloring.  Lucky you!  Still I haven't always been good about protecting you from the sun.  You never burn so I forget. Remember the picture of just one day without sunblock?  So case in point:

Man I felt like such a bad mom on that day. 
Her: Okaaaay...what else? 

Me: Well this one you learned the hard way and I should have told you this first: Never pluck or shave your eyebrows without help the first time or on a whim.

Her: Heh!

MeYep, I ended up using a razor and cut off 1/3 of my eyebrow on each side when I was your age, young whippersnapper. It was so not cool.  Now you young lady?  You?  You just decided to pluck them in to crazy thin lines.  The good news?  Boys did not notice because they never do.  Your Daddy didn't notice after 10 hours watching you and your brothers.  You'll recall all it took was for me was to walk in the front door,  look upstairs where you were 30 feet away and shriek, "Oh nooo!"    Yep, that was the bad news.  Heh!  I couldn't stop looking away like you were some fantastical alien being--it was a little bizarre...and really what preteen doesn't love her mom constantly unable to look away from her tragically plucked brows? 

Her: Heh!  Awwwkward.  Yep, I remember.

Me:  I always worried when you were little that you would cut your hair...instead you just pluck your eyebrows into this alien-esque line.  You are just lucky they grew back.  Over-plucking sometimes is permanent. Lesson learned?

Her: Lesson definitely learned. Aren't you happy I never cut my hair?  I cut Li'l Man's instead.  Heh! Now what about Do's?

Me: Easy! My best advice for summer is MY THREE S's: Sunglasses, Sunblock, and Super-hydration. 

You can easily stave off a decade of wrinkles just with those alone.  I wish I had worn sunglasses more as a kid and I have the pinguecula show for it.  I may not have worn sunglasses, but as a mom I want to make sure you do. I may have tried to fry myself like a corn dog, but now believe me, I regret it. I may have let myself dehydrate in a hot cars on hot afternoons, but believe me, water is your friend. It's your body's lubricant. I may have used dull men's razors and removed huge portions of my shins and ankles, but I regreat it.  You are my 2.0 . I guess I made the mistakes so you didn't have to, right?

We mothers and daughter need to stick together! Just like we found Venus Embrace razors are the perfect update of the modern razor to  protect first time users-- and even veterans like me--  from nicks and cuts, so will sunglasses, sunblock, and staying hydrated protect that beautiful body you have!

Loving my baby at 5th grade graduation

In the end, PB?  You are beautiful honey. Protect that beauty.  The summer-- when we get it here-- is awesome in Seattle, but too much of anything is never good. Protect yourself from the sun and heat, treat your body right and hold on to that beauty with which you were born will be a cinch. 

Besides, if you think I stared at you with crazy eyebrows, imagine how I will stare at you at thirty if you look like a baseball mitt?

Nope, not what we want to achieve.  Safety first.  So young lady, slap some sunblock on, drink some water, and keep that youthful skin hydrated and protected. Also, keep skin smooth with Venus' Embrace razor with it's Ribbon of Moisture and some Satin Care Passionista Fruit Shave Gel to leave you soft, satiny, and naturally pretty for summer. Embrace you as you are!

Beautiful: You were, from the very first day
 I met you and still are...

 Want more summer beauty tips?  Venus has some  great ones here  on how to talk to your daughter about all their firsts--from shaving to beyond.


In the meantime, let's trade tips as moms:

What's the best beauty tip you have shared with your daughter to prepare her for the summer or share your funniest beauty mishap for the chance to win a $50 gift card!”



Rules:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.


The Official Rules are available hereThis sweepstakes runs from 7/26 - 8/23.


Be sure to visit the Venus brand feature page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!


Have you checked out the Life Well Lived section of BlogHer.com? There are some great tips and expert posts on everything from Looking Your Best to Getting Happy and Getting Organized!





Eighth grade already??  Stay Beautiful!


I was compensated and provided free product for this post. The opinions expressed herein are my own.



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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Revamping the Old Blog & Travel Plans Again


Gotta Get My Geek On...
Yep, it's time.  It's coming.  Well as soon as I find time.

There will probably be some migration to WordPress here. Yep, as in I am not on WordPress after six years of blogging.  Friends, husband, and strangers on the street scold me as soon as they hear I still use Blogger.

I know the blog is cluttered.  It's needs work.  But oh to find the time... Do you still love me?  Sniffle...

I promise I will get there.  In the meantime, what I find singularly lacking in my baby, United States of Motherhood, is rounding up all the bits and pieces that make up my social media life.  You know... the complete picture.

So...

Without further ado, this is a map of where you will find me when I am not here:



Or, my friends?  If you are in the New York area next week, you'll find me.... gulp ....here:




I'm going to BlogHer '12I'll be childfree at BlogHer '12I'll be wearing cute shoes to BlogHer '12

And if you are super organized and have all your parties planned out, you'll find me at the Hasbro, Land's End, and Harley Davidson parties and the StumbleUpon walking tour as well as flitting about tossing back cocktails at the People's Party, Sparklecorn, and Cheeseburger Party.  If you are going to any of those parties, come find me before I get my panties in a knot from the social anxiety, m'kay?  Introverted ol' me would love to hold hands as we cross the expo.


[Insert pleading eyes here]


Ok, now need to unpack from my Harley trip so I can pack for BlogHer.  


Wrinkled is "in" right?  


Monday, July 23, 2012

Warm Summer Salad of Wilted Rainbow Chard, Sauteed Leeks, and Crimini Mushrooms


Warm Summer Salad Anyone?


Ingredients

2 large bunches rainbow chard
2 large leeks (whites and light greens)
1 lb crimini mushrooms
1 green onion
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
Sea Salt
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper


Remove vein from each chard leaf.  Roll each leaf into cigar and slice 1 inch diagonal strips (chiffonade).  Place in bowl of cold water and swish, rinse and dry to remove all soil. Repeat. I like to use a salad spinner to speed up this process. It will seem like a lot of greens, but remember, greens shrink when wilted.

Remove tough darker green ends from leeks. Slice remaining leeks in 1/4 inch rounds of white and light green.  Place in bowl of cold water and swish and dry.

Brush off mushrooms.  Slice mushrooms somewhat thickly.

Thinly slice green onion.

Warm very large, deep pan on medium/medium high heat heat.  Add olive oil and butter.  When butter is melted, add mushroom and green onions.  Sautée for approximately 3-4 minutes or until softened.

Add leeks.  Sautée for another 3-4 minutes. Add  sea salt and cracked pepper to taste.

Add sliced, dry chard and stir occasionally.  Cook only until wilted--do not overcook.  Approximately 3-5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Serve by itself as a warm salad, or on the side or on top of mashed potatoes to accompany a meal.

Makes 5-6 servings.





UPDATE:

We are weeks into this paleo-ish diet. No grains for 30 days was and continues to be a challenge.  We've compromised and let the kids eat wheat, corn, oats, etc. when they are out, but our planned meals are entirely vegetables (especially greens), fruits, lean meats, nuts, seed, coconut and almond milks and flours... and here's where the ish comes in....lots of yogurt and kefir and some potatoes.

It is working.  I feel better.  Weight is coming off.  Kids are still complaining, but less so of late. They realize resistance is futile and instead have made a countdown until after their long course swim championship meets, when I leave for BLOGHER '12, so they can eat pizza, white flour, sugar, and pasta to their guts delight. 

Myself?  I hardly miss it.  The tortellini pasta salad my daughter ate for lunch from the grocery deli?  It looked vile. I am resetting my palate and my appetite.  As always, there are temptations and missteps.  I've eaten some rice and corn on accident, by not reading labels or sticking to my "no more than five ingredient pledge."  And then....well I purposely ate just a few fried, breaded cheese curds once while on my Harley Davidson Summer Camp trip last week since it was a Wisconsin thing...and I paid for it!  I also ate some birthday cake there...and paid again!

Yep, I am pretty sure wheat is the culprit.  So I soldier on...and really am loving the new creativity I must use for whole ingredients.  Yes, it takes longer to prepare most days and it certainly costs more, but I bet it's cheaper than any medical treatments I will need in the long run for an inflamed liver, the extra weight, or memory issues that persist with my grain consumption.

Better yet?  I'm finding all sorts of hilarious food triggers that I never knew my husband had!  Today,  I found out he apparently had an intense belief from his childhood that chard was slimy and disgusting.  Well I am sure anything is slimy and disgusting, if cooked incorrectly, and I seem to recall my mother-in-law once mentioning she PRESSURE-COOKED chard.  Ewww!  I was reminded once again how he also hated pork chops for the same egregious over-cooking when I first met him.  I cured him of that and, I think, he will agree, this chard was not the LEAST bit slimy.

Oh, and I left the best part for last: CG was concerned about his hereditary cholesterol problem, now under control barely with medication.  He worried it would rise with the increased lean meats and eggs we were eating. I posited the dietary fats and chemicals from our prior dietary habits were way worse then the minimal dietary cholesterol we were now eating. 

So guess what?  He had a cholesterol recheck today.   141 baby. Thirty points dropped even with the meats, eggs, and nuts....and tons of kale, chard, and leafy greens.

I'm sold.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

BEST VIDEO EVER


So I went to clean out some space on my phone today to make room for some footage of the kids at their summer league swim champs, and guess what I found?

As my husband dubs it:  THE BEST VIDEO EVER!


Yep.  Two seconds of pure bliss on a bun.  I must have been so overcome, I squeezed my phone so tight that it decided to commemorate it!

You are welcome.

And yes now I have this overwhelming craving and am stuck at a swim meet.  It's a form of self-flagellation. 

You too?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Giveaway: Dove Visiblecare Body Wash "Save Me From My Cracked Heels in Flip Flops" Summer






It's funny being a swim mom. You are on deck constantly. Sun shining above you, flip flops flip-flopping and water splashing around you making the humidity just peachy. And yet?

Your skin is as dry as a desert. Yep, it is a condition of the job called swim mom.  I seem to have embraced that condition well over the years with the sun beating down and my heals cracking by the hour.

Good news?  One of the fun aspects of my other job--you know the one that pays for groceries rather than in surly teenage stares and whiny preteen complaints that she does not want to wake up at 4 AM for 5 AM practice--is I get to constantly try out new products.  And new nice smelling, yummy feeling products to sample in the mail make me happier that Costco samples...and that's saying something! Squee!


Visibly More Beautiful Skin from a Body Wash


The latest?

A new body wash called  Dove® VisibleCare™ Crème Body Wash .  On the bottle the words, "Visible skin improvement in just one week," is emblazoned!

Ummm...ok!  I'll bite.  Dove says it is designed to nourish and replenish skin for softer, smoother skin in one week.  Dove also says:

  • Designed to nourish and replenish skin
  • Rich, pearlescent crème format with luxurious lather and clean rinse 
  • Contains a mild cleanser, glycerin and stearic acid 
  • A fruity floral fragrance that includes a modern combination of pink mimosa and pomegranate 



My thoughts?  It has a nice, luxurious texture as a body wash with a definitely yummy fruity and floral scent.  When I squeezed it out, I checked the bottle to be sure I had body wash and not body lotion:



Moisturizing?  Check!


Luxurious, silky lather?  Check!


Nice floral summery scent? Double check!

This bottle?  It's all mine.  Dove says it takes three weeks for skin to be more visibly beautiful.  I can not wait because my friends?  In that picture of my feet above? That was only one swim meet down as  the last regular season summer league meet of the year..

We only have a FOUR day weekend club meet, followed by THREE days of summer league champs preliminary meets, plus ONE day of A Champs, and topped off with FOUR day club long course meet.

And these toes are already dry:



Yep!! That's 12 days of meets that range from 5-12 hrs on the hot deck, with heels cracking,  in the mere twenty days left of the month. Yep and add preparation for two business/blog conference trips for me...it's that, "Kill me now!" time of summer. Oh did I mention daily 1 hour commute for drivers training and football camp!!!

I have a feeling that: (1) I am going to be lucky to even get time for a shower, and (2) I am going to need every drop of moisture Dove can give me!

You can be sure that with this bottle, I will make the time to for me by lock the bathroom door, grabbing a lemon drop and taking a nice tepid bubble bath.

Guess what?  Yoo hoo!  Did you think Scout was going to forget you guys.  Heck no! First, he's a coupon for you to try it out:

Visit Dove® VisibleCare® to get a coupon for $1 off!

I know y'all need some too, sooo some-lucky-someone is going to get a jackpot.  Tell me what part of you, as a busy mom and/or working woman could really use some spa treatment?  Do you need a good massage?  Do those eyebrows need to be tamed?  A facial? Exfoliation? A entire body wax? What spa treatment do you drool about finding the time and money to have done?

The Rules:

Enter to win one of two $500 Spafinder gift certificates!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. COMMENTS TO THIS POST ARE NOT SWEEPSTAKES ENTRIES. PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR ENTRY METHODS FOR THIS SWEEPSTAKES.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Follow this link, and provide your email address and your response to the Promotion prompt

b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: "#SweepstakesEntry"; and then visit this link to provide your email address and the URL to that Tweet.

c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and then visit this link to provide your email address and the URL to that post.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. Winners will have 72 hours to claim the prize, or an alternative winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available hereThis sweepstakes runs from 7/18/2012 - 8/22/2012

Be sure to visit the Dove® VisibleCare™ Crème Body Wash brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!



So my friends?  Believe me!

  Summer is better with smooth heels, spa treatments,  and tarty drinks!

I was compensated and provided free product for this post. The opinions expressed herein are my own.



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