I Ain’t Dead Yet!

I’m participating again in the A to Z Blogging challenge for like the 4th or 5th time.  I tend to do a broad theme but this year a theme jumped right out at me.

I Ain’t Dead Yet!

Lately I have been having a bad cause of Am-I-Too-Old-itis.  Who has time for that nonsense?   I started looking into people who completed their life goals later in life.   Admittedly part of me is sad several of them were in their 30’s but on lists for people who made it later in life.  From my side of the 40 fence, 30’s is still very young.  I’m taking a look at various people mostly authors, artists and actors but throwing in a few unexpected and possibly unheard of accomplished people.  I guess I’m supposed to be writing my blog for my readers but in this case I’m writing next month for me.  I’m reminding myself I’m not dead yet.  I still have plenty of time to write the novels rolling around in my head.  I have a chance to perform on Broadway.  I could walk away with the Oscar I’ve dreamed about since 5th grade when I watched the Oscars from my tiny farm house on the Kansas Prairie.  First I have to write 26 posts in April but afterwards the world is my oyster.  It’s not too late.  I need to pound this into my stubborn head.  How did other people get past their obstacles?  What drove them?  Why did they wait so long?  Did they suffer the same issues of procrastination and self-doubt I do?

There you have it.  My goal and theme for April.  I hope it is as enlightening as I hope to discover.  There tons of people joining in the challenge and it is a terrific way to find new blogs to enjoy.  I’ve included the schedule in case you want to pop in into your online calendar and set alarms.  I would hate for you to miss any of the fun.  A to Z Challenge [Letter Schedule] [2015]

I Am Obsessed With My Sugar Scrub and Flash Giveaway!

Just to be up front and clear.  I am a consultant for Simply Aroma but I’ve only made one sale in one year so I’m not pushy about it.  However, if you click through my links and shop it will benefit me.


I love essential oils.  I’ve become obsessed with experimenting and seeing which ones work best for my family and our different needs.  I started by trying various oils in my diffuser and then I began experimenting with recipes.  One thing led to another and soon I discovered a favorite product – Wild Orange Sugar Scrub.

I love butternut squash.  I swear this is related.  Just hang in there with me for a minute.  I love butternut squash but anyone who has ever cut up a raw butternut squash can tell you it is painful on your hands.  The butternut squash has a natural defense mechanism.  When a squash is cut it will ooze a little substance out which is used to protect the rest of the squash from going bad.  Ideally if the squash is fully aged it shouldn’t happen as much but it almost always happens to me.  As I’m cutting up the squash my hands become dry, sticky and look as if they have been dipped in acid and start to peel.  Normal soap and water does  NOT remove the substance from your hand.  Some might wander why in the heck would a person continue to eat butternut squash?  It is so yummy!  It has a rich nutty flavor and a hardy filling texture.  I use it to replace white potato in almost recipe I use.  Lentil soup – great addition.  Beef stew – awesome replacement for potato.  I wasn’t giving up my squash but I need a solution and I discovered one.

Last Fall I had to chop up several butternut squashes for my daughter’s Thanksgiving dinner at school.  So did one of my best friend’s for her son.  The night I was cutting it up we were texting back and forth about how our hands were dying a slow painful death.  I decided to mix up a quick sugar scrub with Wild Orange.

Wild Orange Sugar Scrub

Wild Orange Sugar Scrub

1 cup of sugar (I like

1/3 cup of coconut oil or sweet almond oil (I use coconut oil since I keep large tubs of it around.)

15-20 drops of Simply Aroma Wild Orange Essential Oil

Rub on your hands or body with light pressure letting the sugar do the scrubbing work.   Then rinse.  Store in a cool dark place.

I threw this recipe together and did two cleanings of my hands with it.  I was butternut squash defense free!!!  My poor friend was still suffering so I put half the recipe together in a jar and dropped it on her porch in the morning.  Soon she was suffering free as well.

If you would like to learn more from my friends we are having a Simply Pampered Facebook Party on Friday, March 27th at 9 pm EST.


Several of my fellow bloggers and essential oil fans have gotten together to share our favorite essential oil uses and to provide a Flash Giveaway!  You can win a 10mL of Peel, the Simply Aroma Citrus Blend, and a bottle of coconut oil.  Peel  includes Grapefruit, Lemon, Lime, Wild Orange, Bergamot, Tangerine, and Vanilla Bean.  I bet it would be an excellent substitute for Wild Orange in my sugar scrub.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you want to check out the other awesome posts with great essential oil tips click over to the Cluttered Genius.

Disclaimer: You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

I’m Raising a Houdini Threenager

IMG_2245This weekend we went on a road trip.  On our way home as I was driving through a construction zone I felt my daughter’s hand on my arm.

Me:  “Honey, how are you touching me?”  I honestly thought it might be one of her dolls she was poking me with but then my husband proceeded to freak out.

Freaked Out Hubby:  “OMG!!!  Pull over!!!  What are you doing out of your seat?  Get in your seat!”

Me:  “I can’t pull over it!  I’m in construction.”

Hubby unbuckles, turns to reach back and put her in her seat.  While he is trying to put her in the seat his leg slips and causes the car to slip into neutral.  I shout and quickly get us back in gear.  He gets her back in her seat and gets back in his seat buckled up.  We couldn’t figure out how she got out.  We knew I had put her in properly.  He said the seat was still buckled when he went to put her back and had to unbuckle everything.  We soon pulled over for gas and I went all Cagney and Lacey on her.

This is how she did it.  First she pushed her chest buckle down.


This gave her enough room to reach down to the mechanism that loosens the straps, pull it and loosen the straps with her body weight.


Next she reached her arms up and pulled herself right on out of the carseat and climbed down.


She tried to do it three more times before we finally made it home.  I’m never going to survive my Houdini Threenager.

IMG_2249I said, “That was kind of impressive.”

Still Freaked Out Hubby said, “And yet she can’t dress herself.  If it was a shirt, she would still be sitting there with one arm in and crying.”



Choosing Happiness in the Midst of Life’s Messiness

ChoosingHappiness-Shannon-KaiserHi Friends! I’m excited to be a Happiness Crusader and joining over 100 women in spreading the message of #ChoosingHappiness to women around the world. In today’s post, I share how I chose happiness in the midst of life’s messiness by answering a few questions from my inspiring friend best-selling Publisher Linda Joy. Today is the official release of her new book Inspiration for a Woman’s Soul: Choosing Happiness featuring the soul-inspiring stories of 27 amazing women who share their intimate stories of transformation. Choosing Happiness also includes Reflection Questions after each story which will empower you to integrate the vital lessons of each woman’s journey into your own life.

For a limited time you can get over 40 transformational gifts with your copy of Choosing Happiness. Grab your copy today> http://bit.ly/Happiness_Book

Q: Was there a pivotal moment in your life when you realized that your happiness was an internal choice that could be made despite your outside circumstances?

About 12 years ago I got to spend some time with an old friend of mine I hadn’t seen much since college.  I noticed she was, for a lack of a better word, happy.  Content.  This sense of peace flowed from her.  I was mesmerized and knew it was exactly the feeling I wanted to feel.

12 years later and I’m still not there but when I got upset with my 3 year old daughter one day and she came over to me, patted my arm and said, “It’s ok, momma.  It’s ok.”  I realized she was right.  Stressing about the day to day minutiae was unnecessary.  All I want for my daughter is for her to be happy in life.  It is my job to demonstrate for her.  It is my job to work hard and find my happiness.

Q: How do you remind yourself that happiness is always within and catch your footing in those whirlwind moments of life that can throw us off balance?

I take a breath and hug my daughter.  Nothing is so important it trumps stepping back and connecting with the people we love.  By connecting with loved ones, I’m reminded of what is truly important.

Q: What is your personal definition of happiness today?


Q. Share three things that bring you happiness.


My daughter’s giggle.


Bonus answer:  Horrible jokes especially if they are puns.  I find them punny!

Thanks to my friend, Publisher Linda Joy, for these inspiring questions! I invite you to share how you choosing happiness moment in the comments below.
Be sure to check out Linda’s new book, Inspiration for a Woman’s Soul: Choosing Happiness and grab your copy today at http://bit.ly/Happiness_Book to receive the bonus gift bundle worth thousands!

When It Rains It Pours

RainI wish I looked this cute when I was standing in the rain.  So many feelings and tears in the world.  I want to hide in my shell like a turtle.

I will be having a small surgery Saturday to remove an abnormal mole and the surrounding area off my face.  Eek!  I know. I’m completely freaked out about it and can’t seem to relax.  I’m ready for it to be over with.  Hopefully by this time next week I won’t be crying because my face is unrecognizable.

Grateful to Vote!

Day 4 of the Gratitude chain I’m doing on Facebook.  I decided to share here today.  I am grateful for the right to vote. June 4, 1920 was when the key vote happened. Interesting to see the way the vote went down. The Ayes included 36 (82%) Republicans and 20 (54%) Democrats. The Nays comprised 8 (18%) Republicans and 17 (46%) Democrats. I enjoyed looking over several of the photos from the suffrage movement. I want to celebrate by blowing a horn like Rose Sanderson in this photo from a suffragists demonstration in February 1913. I am concerned about the woman behind her who looks like she has pantyhose over her whole head. My mind is racing with all sorts of explainations and one includes the Doctor. 1280px-Rose-Sanderson-Votes-for-Women

I see there was something to be said about the starvation method of protesting.



It is hard to read the cartoon.   TITLE: The steadfast suffragette: there was method in her starvation

CAPTIONS: “Come now, lass! Eat a bit, eat a bit!”

“Oh, I say! Eat a bit, eat a bit, lass!”

“What? Not yet? Oh, come, lass! Eat a bit.”

“My word, lass! But this not eating is ‘orrible, you know!”

“One good pull, girls, and I’ll be with you.”

“Oh, I say, you know! That’s no way to act, you know! See what I’ve got for you!”

Basically the cartoon is saying suffragettes starved to be able to escape.


This one cracks me up “Take the beam out of your own eye!”  I’m going to start using that one.  The next time someone cuts me off in traffic I’ll yell, “Take the beam out of your own eye!”  It will be better than the occasional naughty word which slips out into my daughter’s ears.

unnamedEvery year my daughter goes with me to vote.  This year she said she had to potty as soon as we entered the building.  Afterwards, she declared to the entire room “I went potty!”  Everyone congratulates my daughter on something which happened behind closed doors.  Which made me think it was a lot like voting.  Everyone declares they have voted behind a curtain and are congratulated even though no one really wants to know what happened in the voting booth.


The New Switch Witch Tradition

IMG_3983I LOVE Halloween!  I really do!  But I have a child who is sensitive to dyes.  As in after her daddy let her have a few dye filled candies yesterday and I let her have the treats (orange cupcake, cheese balls) that her dance class provided, today she had a screaming meltdown which lasted over an hour.  The whole time in Michael’s, 30 minutes in the parking lot trying to calm her down enough to get her in the car seat, all the way home and 20 minutes at home.  I thought a guy in the parking lot was calling the cops on me because she was screaming so bad as I tried to put her in the car seat. It was awful.  So no more.  I can’t take it. Absolutely no red dye tomorrow.

What is a Halloween loving momma to do for her Halloween loving daughter?  Enter the new Switch Witch tradition.  I went to a couple of the dollar stores and got a cauldron and a handful of toys, hair bows and games.  Before bed I will have her place her trick or treat bag on the kitchen table in the witch’s cauldron.  In the morning all the candy (I’ll let her keep a few pieces of chocolate) will be replaced with the prizes.

I think it will be a fun way to keep the candy out of her hands.  There are several ways to take care of the candy.  Several dentist offices do have programs where you can exchange the candy for dental supplies and/or cash.  I’m sending mine to a friend who is currently deployed.

Full Disclosure:  I didn’t come up this idea on my own.  I read about it somewhere and thought it was a great idea.  A big thank you to the genius behind it.

The Latest Halloween Trend – The Mash Up Costume!

Glee made Mash Up songs into a delightful art, my daughter will be tackling the Mash Up Costume.  Seriously!  I am betting next year Mash Up Costumes will be all the rage.  My toddler is such a trendsetter.

It started so innocently.  She said she wanted to be a bat for Halloween.  I sighed a big sigh of relief because I was positive she was going to want to be Peppa Pig and I thought a bat costume would be so much easier than a pig costume.  Then I found the world’s most adorable pig costume for $8 at a thrift store.  I thought I could convince her to be Peppa Pig but nope.  She still was insisting on being a bat but I had already bought the pig.  So we compromised.  I found this brilliant tutorial on a bat wing shrug over at My Poppet!  A bat wing shrug!  And that is how my daughter has become Peppa Pig dressed as a bat for Halloween.

Pig Bat

Pig Bat


This morning she informed me she now wants to be a mermaid.  I said NO!

What do you think would make a great Mash Up Costume?

In what can only be described as a stroke of genius, my husband decided that for the costume party he will be a pig and I will be a bat.  Get it?  I’m so excited this year.

Halloween Dilemma


Me as a clown who apparently liked to stretch.

My dream and my husband’s idea of hell has come true!!!  We’ve been invited to a costume party as in all three of us has to wear a costume.

Hubby with a voice dripping of disgust and despair, “It is a costume party.”

Me, “YES!!!”  Jumping up and down clapping. “YES!  OMG!!!  I’m so excited!  I know you are Mr. Grumpy Pants right now but I am so excited!!!  I’ve been wanting this for forever.”

Hubby, “A costume party?”

Me, “YES!!!  I live for things like this and you HATE them.”

Now, my friends, the plotting begins.  What shall we be?  I have a Janis Joplin outfit and he would be my Mercedes Benz or my Jimmy Hendrix.  I have witch costume and he could be Jack Nicholson.  I have a hippy outfit and he could be my hippy lover or my conservative lover I have on the side but hide from all my hippy friends so I don’t get kicked out of the commune.  Oh the possibilities and he will hate every single one of them.  Help!!


Our daughter is going to be Peppa Pig dressed as a bat with bumble bee wellies but that is a story for another day.

Eavesdropping on Myself – Car Conversations

Baby Bug “Mom?  What’s that?”

Me “What’s what?”

Baby Bug “That noise.”

Me “Prince!  When Doves Cry.”

Baby Bug very dramatically “I can’t!  I can’t like it!”

Me just as dramatically “I don’t even know who you are anymore.  I’m going to have to process this with my life coach.”

Baby Bug “Hmmmmm.”


On Monday she had big dreams.  “I’m going to hug a dinosaur.  A baby dinosaur.  And I’m going to hug a baby dragon. Awwwww. So cute. I want to hug the sun!”

I guess she believed me when I told her she could do anything she wanted as long as she worked hard enough. Keep dreaming, baby girl. None of those things can come true but I like your style.

There are lots of things I despise about the 3 year old phase such as the massive meltdowns but I LOVE the imagination and the conversations.