A Creepy Conversation

Several weeks ago, my husband brought up an uncomfortable topic: What would I do if (Heaven forbid) something happened to him?

Despite being a topic I’d prefer to entirely avoid, it was something that really needed to be discussed.

Of course he has insurance, but not much. But even if he upped the amount, we’d be eating through it in no time!

The kids are 7 years old – six more years until they can legally be home alone. If I worked, I’d have to pay for afterschool care.

I’ve been out of the workforce for so long and would most likely have to start at minimum wage/entry level again. I’d be lucky if I made enough to pay for the kids’ afterschool care!

Going back to my original career as travel agent isn’t really an option. Travel agents are practically obsolete these days. And quite honestly, I’ve always disliked secretarial/file-clerk work whenever I had to temp as such.

Possibly going back to school now might be a good idea.  I could finish my B.A. in English degree that I was halfway done with, maybe switch it over to a teaching certificate, but from what I’ve been hearing lately about the increasing rates of job dissatisfaction among teachers due to the core curriculum, that didn’t sound too appealing.

One thing was clear though, waiting until my kids were of home-alone age (I’d be graduating at age 55 then!) or my husband croaked, was idiotic. I’d be having to contend with grieving, my kids grieving, loss of income – nope. That would not be the best time to start back to school.

So now I’m back in school while the kids are at theirs!  I’ve decided to switch my major over entirely to a B.S.W. – a bachelor’s degree in Social Work.

I’d be able to help people,and the forecasted job growth is pretty huge.  There’s so many people currently in that field that are set to retire in the next few year; there’s not much chance I’d be obsoleted out of another career, and a lot of the classes I’ve already taken can still be applied to my new major.

And here I am, 46, and back in class again! And it’s been pretty interesting so far. I seem to blend in, even though the majority of other students are still in their teens. I’ve gotten several lovely compliments on my purple hair (next season, I’m trying out red), my sci-fi-themed t-shirts, and when I mention that I gave birth to twins, most people’s eyes sorta glaze over in disbelieving awe. :D

It’ll probably take me some time to graduate – I’ve got to fit my classes in around my kids’ schedule, can’t take classes in the summer, unless they’re online (and supposedly the university I’ll be transferring to won’t accept online classes – go figure!), but now’s a good time to start getting things done.

But you can’t wait until it’s crunch time.  So yeah, it may be skin-crawl-inducing to think about such things, but the best time to prepare for worst-case-scenarios is right now.

So have that conversation with your significant other. Get that out of the way while you can make level-headed, well-thought-out decisions. Don’t leave it until the last minute.

Doesn’t matter whether your a stay-at-home caregiver, or a dual-income family. You’ve got to make sure there’s a game-plan to put into play if one of you gets drop-kicked through the pearly gates ahead of schedule.

What’s Better? Real vs Fake – Times when going “Fake” is better than Real


My little girls (age 7) are desperate for a pet. Yet I only have to look at how they treat their plush animals to see how well that would turn out. Kids: 1, Critters: 0.

They wanted to help their plush ducky really fly – so they tied some yarn around its neck, flung the other end over the staircase bannister and voila! One flying fake ducky!

And the girls also have aspirations of becoming fashion designers, so they made all their plushies lovely outfits – and sewed the outfits onto them with one of my child-safe needles.  I’m not too convinced the girls actually really truly understand the difference between plush toys and real live animals, so until I see that proof, they’ll have to be content with those electronic pet gizmos.  At least if things go south with those, no-one’s really been hurt.

Children’s Clothes

Most small kids don’t really understand about designer labels on their clothing. However, it seems that they’re at the age when a lot of their classmates do. Even with my husband’s new job, paying those designer label prices isn’t something I’d like to do for more than special occasions, especially not for items that will end up irreparably stained, torn, frayed, etc., possibly on the first wearing!

So I head down to some local thriftstores and lookie here! Those same designer clothes in like-new condition for a small fraction of the price to buy the same thing at the mall! And when the girls come home with chocolate ice-cream all down their front, it won’t break our hearts or wallets, and anyone checking out our kids’ clothing labels or logos won’t know that we didn’t really lay out enough moola to require taking out a second mortgage!

Covering Up The Gray

Nope, my hair really isn’t the same lustrous brown it used to be 7 years ago (before my kids were born and I still retained some small smidgen of my sanity). But thanks to kindly folks who manufacture a plethora of hair-coloring options, I can still smile with pride during family photos without worrying about lens flare from my shining white/gray locks.  These days, though, I cycle through brown, purple, blue and green. (I always had a thing for Sailor Moon and the Sailor Scouts – especially Mercury!)

Check This Out

Here’s an infographic that lists some other occasions when it may be better to go “fake”, rather than the real McCoy!
24 Times When it was Better to Fake It
Graphic via Treetopia.

Feed Your Snack Attack With Funny Face Cranberries! #Free #Rafflecopter #Giveaway

One of the things I’ve learned in dealing with hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), is that I can’t rely on spur-of-the-moment snacking decisions to keep me healthy.

Really, how many of us start feeling a bit lightheaded because we’ve skipped a meal – hey, we’re busy parents! It’s easy to get distracted by rambunctious small children and let our own need for food go by the wayside.  Or maybe the kiddos actually cleaned their plate for once and the deliberately small portion we chose for ourself won’t be supplemented by our children’s leftovers.

And there we are, in the midst of our busy schedule and we need something FAST!  So we make a grab for whatever is closest – or make a pit stop at a convenience store or fast food joint – and hurriedly stuff our face with junk that’s overloaded with carbs, fat, sugar, chemicals and barely any redeeming nutritional value whatsoever.  The short-term sugar-high may feel good for a few minutes before you inevitably crash and burn, feeling a little ill and regret all the empty calories you ingested.

In my car, my purse, my workbag, my work area and my kitchen, I’ve got a stash of tasty healthy snacks that I can grab on the go. (Sometimes I feel a little like a squirrel hiding its stash in all these places!)

Here’s what I have in my basic Snack-Aid Kit:

  • A bottle of water
  • A mini-can or two of Low Sodium V8 (higher potassium than regular version)
  • A packet of nuts
  • Dried fruit (Currently, my fave is Funny Face Cranberries)
  • Whole grain crackers
  • A nutritional food bar like Clif or Larabar (no relation to me :D)

If my budget allows, I’ll even get those DIY Tuna Salad mini-kits and add that.

You can even combine the nuts and dried fruit in a tasty trail mix!

Try out this recipe for Choo Choo Cherry’s Easy Pumpkin Seed Trail Mix from the Funny Face Cranberries Recipe Page!


Besides being a change-up from same-old same-old raisins, let’s do a nutritional comparison between the two:

famous brand of raisins                   Funny Face Choo-Choo Cherry flavored Cranberries

label_raisins_24oz_can1                         nutrition-product

There’s a heckuva lot more sugar and a lot less fiber in the raisins compared to Funny Face Cranberries!  Wow! Half my daily requirement of fiber in just one serving of the cranberries!  Half the sugar per serving, too!  And that’s with the raisins’ serving being a miserly 1/4 cup, while Funny Face treats me nice and serves me 1/3 cup of tasty goodness! (It means I get to stuff my face with a lot less guilt :D)

Funny Face Cranberries are also a great substitute for any recipe that calls for raisins – bread pudding, muffins, oatmeal, etc.

The little snack-sized boxes are the perfect size to slip into your children’s lunchboxes, too!

And with Thanksgiving coming up, here’s a useful tip: nibble on some of your healthy snacks prior to sitting down for the Big Meal.  You can still enjoy all your favorites, but it’ll be easier to keep to smaller portions if you’re not going into the meal while suffering from hunger pangs!

If you’d like to win a chance to nibble on Funny Face Cranberries for yourself, and receive a nifty reuseable lunchbag and other fun treats, please enter our giveaway below that’s been generously sponsored by Funny Face Cranberries!


And if you enjoy hanging out on social media, you can find Funny Face Cranberries here:

pinlogo youlogo facelogo twit

Happy Holidays!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I received samples of Funny Face Cranberries from the manufacturer to facilitate this review and they have sponsored a giveaway prize for my readers.  The opinions expressed in this review are my own and were not influenced by the sponsor and do not necessarily reflect the sponsor’s point of view.

Changing a Tire in 5 Simple Steps – Yes ladies, you NEED to read this!

The first time I had to pump my own gas, I fumbled my way through fueling up my car, carefully reading all the warning stickers at the pump and near my gas tank, worried that the slightest mishap would result in a fiery explosion.

Not fun.

Phrases such as “Real women don’t pump gas.” were the usual for that time, 25 years ago.  When we ran into trouble, we wrung our hands helplessly and out of self-preservation, flattered whomever deigned to help us in hopes that they’d be a help rather than a danger.

Now jump ahead to 2014 when I’m a mother to two girls and you’d better believe I’m going to make sure that they can not only pump their own gas, but also change their own tires in an emergency, instead of waiting helplessly by the side of the road in hopes that the passerby pulling over to help them isn’t a predator!

Below is a helpful visual guide for changing a car tire.  Personally, I’ve never changed one before and if I’d had to do so before reading this infographic, I’d probably have felt just as awkward and unsure as I did the first time I had to pump my own gas.

Now, I think I’d feel pretty competent about what I’d need to do!

how to change a flat tire
Image via Every Car Listed.


*This was a sponsored post.  Image was provided to me by sponsor, but the written text above is my own opinion and does not necessarily reflect that of the sponsor’s.

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