The great Santa debate – do you deliberately lie to your kids?

So today I took my daughter to see Santa at the grocery store, where the middle child works, and the middle child was helping out Santa.  How cool is that?

She wouldn't let me take her picture...can't imagine why not!

She wouldn’t let me take her picture…can’t imagine why not!

Visit With Santa 2

After visiting Santa, the kids get to go to the bakery and make their own cupcakes.

Anyway, I was talking to someone the other day who said that her son asked her not to bring presents from Santa for her granddaughter on Christmas, because she is 5 and no longer believes in him.  He doesn’t want her to think of her grandparents as liars.  He wants his daughter to know the presents are from grandma and grandpa.

I have another friend who has a son in 5th grade that still believes in Santa, as do all of his friends.

I asked my older daughters, and they said that the first year they were on a school bus they were told by other kids that there was no such thing.  Which means they were about 5.

I look at my 4 year old, and she has so much fun thinking of Santa and talking about Santa and reindeer and presents. And I think it’s really sad that next year she may not.  This may be the last Christmas I’m able to bribe her for 2 months about being good so Santa doesn’t put her on the naughty list.  This may be the last year we watch Santa feed the reindeer nightly on and order a video from  (If you’re not doing those, do them.  So cute and free!)  This may also be the last year we see Ana, our Elf on the Shelf.  (Okay, so I really won’t miss her at all – I think she may have an accident on her way back to the North Pole and end up in the back of a garbage truck on Dec. 26.) But since A is my last child, this may be the last Christmas Santa is even thought of in my house.  It makes me want to cry.

edited for blog 2

I don’t think telling your kids about Santa is lying.  I think it’s believing in the magic of Christmas.  My daughter goes to a bible-based preschool, so she knows the meaning behind Christmas, but we tell her that Santa brings presents to children to celebrate Jesus’ birthday because Jesus doesn’t need presents. He doesn’t, so I’m not lying about that part.

I believed in Santa till I was around 7 or 8.  Then it was over.  And that was 30 years ago.  Kids are much smarter at a much younger age now, which is probably why it’s over in Kindergarten.  Some kid on the school bus with a big mouth messes it up for the rest of them.  I remember when my oldest daughter found out, and I threatened her that if she told her sister there was no Santa, she would get nothing.  And her sister believed for 2 more years till she went to Kindergarten.  Then, it was over for her too.

So my question to all of you is this – do you do Santa in your house, or do you feel that it’s lying?

20 Big Hero 6 Gift Ideas

It’s hard not to notice Baymax – to someone my age, he’s like a cross between the marshmallow ghost from Ghostbusters and Frosty the Snowman.  But he’s cute.  I haven’t seen the movie, but thanks to advertising execs, Baymax is on A’s Christmas list.  So I put a little list together for all of you to make your Big Hero 6 (Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD) shopping a little bit easier.

1. Big Hero 6 Armor-Up Baymax Action Figure

2. Big Hero 6 11″ Deluxe Flying Baymax with 4.5″ Hiro Action Figures

3. Big Hero 6 Projection Baymax Vinyl Action Figure with Sound Effects

4. Big Hero 6 Go Go Tomago Action Figure

5. Big Hero 6 Honey Lemon Action Figure

6. Big Hero 6 Fred Action Figure

7. Big Hero 6 10″ Baymax Plush Figure with Sound Effects

8. Big Hero 6 Yokai Action Figure

9. Funko- Disney Big Hero 6 Nurse Baymax, 6 Inch, Glow POP! [Amazon Exclusive]

10. Big Hero 6 Wasabi No-Ginger Action Figure

11. Big Hero 6 Baymax Rocket Fist and Mask Role Play Combo Pack

12. Big Hero 6 3DS – Nintendo 3DS

13. POP! Disney: Big Hero 6-Baymax – 6 inch POP!

14. Funko POP! Disney: Big Hero 6-Hiro Hamada Action Figure

15. Funko POP! Disney: Big Hero 6-Go Go Tomago Action Figure

16. Funko POP! Disney: Big Hero 6-Fred Action Figure

17. Disney Store Official Big Hero 6 Figure Play Set 9 Piece Deluxe

18. Funko POP! Disney: Big Hero 6-Honey Lemon Action Figure

19. Big Hero 6 Hiro Hamada Mask

20. Big Hero 6 Baymax Mask

Note:  These are my Amazon affiliate links, so if you use them, Amazon throws me a few dollars too.  Thanks for your support.

Mike Brown, #Ferguson, Riots, and Other Nonsense

mike brown, ferguson, riots, race


Let’s talk a little about Mike Brown and Ferguson.

In case you live under a rock and don’t understand what’s going on, Mike Brown was an unarmed teenager shot by Darren Wilson.  Wilson claims he punched him several times, and he shot him in a sort of self-defense, though apparently his gun was misfiring or something.  Most of it doesn’t even make sense to me.  The bottom line here is that the grand jury decided not to indict Wilson, and now the country is in an uproar.

Much like Trayvon, no one will really ever know the truth, because there is only one side of the story to be told here.  But because Wilson was white and Brown was black, there is a big deal.  And today, two days after the verdict, there are riots all over the country.  People looting, setting things on fire, fights, and every other thing you can imagine.  They even had a riot planned yesterday outside of a county jail here in NY – halfway across the country from Ferguson.  That’s the stupidest idea ever, in my opinion, but whatever.  There was a big advertisement for it online. Let’s advertise online where we’re going to riot.  And we’ll do it right outside the county jail, where there are lots of people with weapons to stop us.  Bunch of morons.

Now let me just point something out.  And keep in mind that I totally wanted Zimmerman to fry for Trayvon.  I think Zimmerman was a wannabe cop, and he should have minded his own business and went in his house when the 911 operator told him to.  Not followed the kid.  I truly believe that Trayvon probably told Zimmerman in no uncertain terms that he could go F himself, and Zimmerman was on a power trip and then killed him in “self-defense”.  For me it’s not about skin color.  It’s about acting like an a-hole, white or black.  And I believe that if Zimmerman didn’t act like an a-hole first, Trayvon wouldn’t be dead, even if he was an a-hole too.

Back to Mike Brown.  Like I said above, no one will ever know the full story, as every story has two sides and there is only one person here to tell it.  But let’s say that Mike Brown did nothing wrong and that Darren Wilson is a liar.  Do the people rioting think that this is going to make things better?   Because they’re stating that Mike Brown was targeted as a thug because of his skin color.  Okay…let’s say that’s true.  Then why are black people feeding into the stereotype?  There aren’t too many white people protesting.  If you don’t want to be thought of as a thug, don’t act like one.  And that sentence is for everyone.  It doesn’t apply to one skin color.  It’s just common sense.

Stop pointing yourselves out as different if you don’t want to be different.  Most of us (at least where I live) are way past slavery.  Stop bringing it up.  Indians don’t go around burning buildings when they’re shot by white cops.  What the white man did to them is also unforgivable.   We purposely gave them smallpox for God sakes.  There are no riots when a Jewish man is killed by a cop…why is that?  Because all of these people have moved on.  They don’t hold others responsible for things that happened a hundred years ago.  It has nothing to do with now.   Hate me if you want to, because I don’t feel the slightest bit of guilt about my German ancestors being part of the Holocaust.  I don’t feel guilty that black people were held as slaves either.  Because I had nothing to do with that.  I repeat.  I had nothing to do with that.  And neither did 99% of people who are alive today.  Yeah, my ancestors were probably a-holes.  But I’m not, and I’m not going to feel guilty for what someone I don’t even know did.

So get this straight.  If you’re an a-hole, you’re an a-hole.  I don’t care if your skin is green with pink stripes.  If Mike Brown really did nothing wrong, then God will judge Darren Wilson.  Stop the riots and act like civilized Americans.  Because that’s what we are.  Americans.  And we all bleed red.

Now, remember that Thanksgiving is tomorrow and go home and be thankful!

Stores should NOT close on #Thanksgiving

happy thanksgiving day black friday cyber monday background resized


I’m sitting here at 6:21 am on a Sunday morning browsing Black Friday ads, which have become more of a Thanksgiving night tradition than a Friday morning tradition.  On the one hand, people say that Thanksgiving is for families, and that no one should be shopping.  Other people would rather get the deals than lay in the food coma.

But let’s take a look at this.  Are you only thankful for your family one day a year?  Does it really matter what day you have Thanksgiving on?

First, let’s think about the calories you’ll burn.  You easily consume 1000 calories at Thanksgiving dinner.  Walking around shopping for hours after will certainly help burn some of them.  There are plenty of other reasons to shop on Thanksgiving night, but that’s one of my favorites.  You don’t get mashed potato ass.

When I was a single mom, I used to wait tables on Thanksgiving.  I’d make enough money in one day to pay for all of my kids’ Christmas gifts.  Did they care that I worked Thanksgiving?  No.  They knew I had to work, and they appreciated the gifts under the tree.  They went to their dads, or with their grandparents, or to friends houses, whatever the case may be.  There is absolutely no reason in my opinion that we should have to have Thanksgiving dinner on a specific day.  Thursdays are not more thankful than any other day of the week.  It didn’t bother any of us that I had to work that day.

Also, think of the people who have no family to spend Thanksgiving with.  Shouldn’t they have a right to work if they want to?  Why would they want to sit home alone with their TV dinner thinking about how they have no family to spend the day with, rather than going to work, being around people, and making money at the same time?  And if they’re not working, maybe they want to go shopping and get some deals for themselves, or to send to family and friends far away.

Here’s another thought – retail employees are not the only people working on Thanksgiving.  As I said before, someone has to bring the dinner to the table at the restaurant.  Someone has to salt and plow the snowy and icy roads.  Someone has to take care of the sick people in the hospital.  Someone has to drive drunken Thanksgiving people home from family dinners.  Someone has to put the fire out because a moron tried to fry a frozen turkey and burned down their garage.  People are working.  Boycotting shopping on Thanksgiving does not make the world a better place.   You may actually be hindering people’s paychecks.  Retail workers don’t make much to begin with.  So when they’re working on a holiday, they’re probably getting holiday pay.  That may help them have a better Christmas as well.

This year, my older daughters are in 2 different places, and neither one of them live with me.  And since their father and I aren’t together, they want to spend time with both of us.  So my side of the family is having Thanksgiving on Sunday.  Shopping on Thursday night is totally okay with us.  We don’t need to be thankful for each other on Thursday rather than Sunday.  That’s just ridiculous.  We are thankful every day, and on Sunday, we will have dinner together.

Where do you stand in the Thanksgiving shopping debate?

CoSchedule Review

So, I’ve been trying out CoSchedule for a few weeks, and I have to say that I love it.  It’s a great tool that has combined a few things for me.  Because I’m a blogger and a virtual assistant, it lets me schedule posts for my own blogs and social media as well as others, without switching back and forth and logging into a million different things.  I wish I had a dime for all the times I left one thing to log into another and totally lost track of what I was doing because the phone rang or someone knocked on the door or whatever the case may be.  Now since I don’t have to leave the site, I can get right back to work after that phone call is over.  It’s a major time saver for me.


I was using a plugin for my editorial calendar, which CoSchedule has replaced.  Secondly, I was also using another service for any scheduled social media, which CoSchedule is also taking care of for me now.  CoSchedule replaces two things – for the same price as one.  I can also see it all in the same place now, which is cool.  The program integrates with WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Buffer, and even Google+ Pages.  No Pinterest at the moment, but there is no doubt in my mind that the great minds that developed the plugin will figure out how to get that back and running shortly.  


I get distracted easily.  Switching back and forth from my blog to the other service to the other blog…it’s all very time consuming and confusing.  And I’m always afraid that I will post the wrong thing on the wrong page.  CoSchedule lets me color code stuff, so for example, everything related to this blog is purple.   It makes it easy to see what is going on in each place.

It’s drag and drop too…I love anything that’s drag and drop.  All that copying and pasting nonsense leaves too much room for error in my opinion.  One of the best things about CoSchedule is that as you drag a post from one date to another, your social media messages move with it. So you can create a series of messages that promote your blog posts on a rolling schedule.


You can also use CoSchedule for as many blogs as you want, and they all appear on one account.  Great feature for those of us with spoons in many different pots.  And look how simple the dashboard design is!



It’s also great if you have a VA working for you or if you are one for someone else – CoSchedule is set up for everyone to be able to go in there and list tasks for each other and update things.  It keeps everything together all in the same place.

If I had to give CoSchedule a rating based on one to five stars, I’d give it four – only because the monthly price of ten dollars is per blog, instead of per user.  However, there are a few ways to get around that.  One is by writing a review…as I am doing now…so you can cut your bill in half.  Boom.  Two blogs for the price of one.  Secondly, they offer a referral program.  For each person you refer that keeps an active account, they give you 10% off.  So you could actually get it free if you got 10 people.  This is my is my CoSchedule referral link…feel free to click it!  You also get a free trial, and can extend the free trial by sharing with social media.  Bonus:  The people at CoSchedule will find it and share it so you get more traffic!

Watch this video to see how CoSchedule can make it easy for you to post, promote, and schedule!



5 Hydration Tips for Cooler Weather


People tend to not drink as much water in the winter as they do in the summer, mostly because it’s not hot and we don’t get as thirsty.  However, it only takes a one to two percent drop in body fluid for a person to become dehydrated, so by the time you feel thirsty, you’re probably already reaching the point of dehydration.  No matter if you’re raking leaves or running a marathon, you need to stay hydrated.

Bonus – Drinking lots of water is also a huge part of weight loss and fitness.  And if you’re anything like me and counting every single fine line on your face, water is even more important. The more hydrated you are, the less those wrinkles show.

1.  Set a daily water intake goal.  Experts recommend filling an 64 ounce bottle with water at the beginning of your day and making it your goal to finish it by the end of the day.  Probably sooner than the end, since you don’t want to have to get up 5 times to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

2.  Warm it up.  Water is the same if it’s warm or cold, and you can warm it up and add some oranges, tangerines, or cranberries to it for extra flavor.  It also looks really pretty that way.

3.  Know your seasonal sweat rate.  Get our your pencil for this one.  It requires a little math.  Weigh yourself undressed, then exercise for an hour (I know that part sucks), then weigh yourself again.  Now subtract your post exercise weight from your pre-exercise weight and multiply the result by 16.  That is how many ounces of fluid you lost.  You can also make it a little bit simpler and decide that for every 15 minutes of exercise, you should drink 4 ounces of water.  That’s a LOT of water you’re losing in an hour.  Your activity level, the temperature, and what you’re wearing can all make this rate vary.  For example, you’re probably doing a lot less sweating in the little black New Year’s Eve dress than you are in your flannel pajamas.

4.  Check the bowl.  I don’t even like talking about this because we all know about my aversion to bodily fluids, but if your urine is dark, you need more water.

5. Consider drinking an electrolyte-enhanced alkaline water.  The health community believes that disease and infection have a harder time living in an alkaline environment.  Therefore you should drink more alkaline, high-pH water like Essentia to neutralize acid levels and keep your body in top condition to fight off winter colds and flu better.


Essentia water is committed to producing purified and electrolyte enhancing water.  The difference between Essentia and other bottled waters is that Essentia removes the acidic water clusters via ionic separation and increases the alkaline earth minerals, resulting in a pH of 9.5.  If you’re not a scientist, this means that they take out the bad stuff and put in more of the good stuff, so that you’re not drinking just plain water, or water that has been chlorinated by the city or town you live in.  It’s water sourced from the best places on earth, and then purified and enhanced with more good stuff.

Now for my thoughts.  The packaging is awesome.  It’s very attractive, and honestly, when I open my fridge, it looks like I have 6 bottles of Vodka in there.  Which I totally don’t mind.  I received 6 bottles of water to try, and the two largest were a little crushed when I got them.  The tops were bent.  They didn’t leak though, and I just popped them back into shape.  I’m not going to say it’s Essentia’s fault, because it’s the holiday season and everything is getting crushed.  I swear the postal workers have package stomping parties this time of year.


There are different varieties available – 1.5 liter, 1.0 liter, and the 20 oz sport top (which I’m drinking as I type).  It is seriously the best tasting bottled water I have ever had. I’ve lived in places with well water my entire life so bottled water tastes gross to me.  It’s like drinking plastic.  This stuff tastes as good as my well water and it’s better for me.  I’m trying not to go for the second bottle right now or I’ll be up all night in the bathroom. (See #1).


For water that is this good, it’s pretty competitively priced.  The 20 oz sport top is $1.19-$1.59, the 1 liter is $1.79 to $2.29, and the 1.5 liter is $2.29-$2.69.  It’s available in many natural food stores, and at some grocers, including Publix and Safeway.  In my case, none of the stores it’s available in are anywhere near me, so I’ll be getting mine at Amazon.

You can find out more about Essentia water at

I was sent a sample product by Essentia.  Opinions are 100% my own.



The right to die with dignity

Reaaching Up Into The Sky

A few weeks ago, I stated that if I found out I had a terminal illness I wouldn’t tell my kids. I don’t want them to put their lives on hold and suffer along with me.  And a lot of you had a lot to say about that.  Some agreed, and some disagreed.  My children disagreed the most.  But it didn’t change my mind.  I’m not going to let them stop their lives to watch mine end.

A short time after that, the Brittany Maynard story was printed in People magazine.

In case you haven’t heard the story, the recap goes like this:  Brittany Maynard was diagnosed with brain cancer.  She had about 6 months to live, but chose to end her life early and with dignity by ingesting a concoction of drugs that were legally prescribed to her under Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act.

On November 1, 2014, Brittany ended her own life.  She was 29 years old.

Here’s what I think.

A person with a brain tumor will suffer, and suffer greatly.  They will mostly likely lose the ability to walk, talk, and use the bathroom by themselves.  I’m no scientist, but it seems to me that if you’re dying of brain cancer, you’ll lose most of your quality of life. So you should get all the treatments you possibly can, even though there is zero chance that you will survive.  Your lifespan may lengthen, but for what?  So you can suffer more?

I see why Brittany did what she did.  And I applaud her strength.  She didn’t have to live her last days having strangers wipe her after she used the bathroom.  She wasn’t unable to eat and she made sure she was able to tell people she loved them.  She traveled.  She bought gifts for her loved ones for the next year and wrapped them and put them away.  She was able to do all that before the disease beat her.  In her own way, she beat the disease.  And how many people can say that?

I would hope that if I was in her situation, that I’d have the courage and strength to do the same.  She had no chance of living.  She was dying one way or another, and she took control and died on her terms.  Not on cancer’s terms.

A lot of people have a problem with the Death With Dignity Act.  Here’s the sad truth – if you want to end your life badly enough, you will.  Isn’t it more humane to give terminally ill patients a painless and effective way to do it?

I’m not saying that people should just be able to end their lives because their boyfriend broke up with them or something, because in cases like that, it does get better eventually, even though it feels like it never will.  However, brain cancer never gets better.  It only gets worse.

My opinion is that it should not be in the state’s hands whether or not a person has a right to die before enduring extreme emotional and physical suffering.  In this case, I say good for Oregon, and good for Brittany.  She left this Earth with dignity and she left a legacy.

May she rest in peace.


Canon Elph 110 HS Camera Review

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about my camera.  For a point-and-shoot, it takes really nice pictures.  And it wasn’t really all that expensive.  I’ve definitely gotten plenty of use out of it.  It’s the Canon PowerShot Elph 110 HS.

Amazon's stock photo.  I can't take a picture of my own camera.

Amazon’s stock photo. I can’t take a picture of my camera while I’m holding my camera.

Truth be told, I don’t know all that much about cameras, so I’m just going to list the camera specs on here from the Amazon page:

  • 16.1 effective megapixel, 1/2.3-inch high-sensitivity CMOS sensor
  • 3-inch TFT PureColor system LCD with wide-viewing angle
  • DIGIC 5 Image Processor
  • Full 1080p HD video with stereo sound and dedicated movie button
  • 24mm wide-angle lens (5x optical zoom, 4x digital zoom and 20x combined zoom) with optical image stabilizer

Technical Details

  • Brand Name: Canon
  • Model: 6039B001
  • Optical Sensor Resolution: 16.1 MP
  • Optical Sensor Technology: CMOS
  • Optical zoom: 5 x
  • Minimum focal length: 24 millimeters
  • Maximum focal length: 120 mm
  • Display Size: 3 inches
  • Image types: JPEG
  • Viewfinder Type: fixed LCD
  • Width: 6.00 inches
  • Height: 2.00 inches
  • Weight: 0.85 pounds

If all that means something to you, great.  The only thing I knew about when I bought it was that Canon was a good name, 16.1 megapixels was pretty high for that price, and Ashton Kutcher looked especially adorable in the commercials!  I really don’t know much more than that now.  I skimmed through the book and it does a bunch of awesome things, like that trick where one thing is focused in and the rest are out of focus?  Or color accent – where an entire picture is black and white except for one color?  This camera produces those effects.

It also does video…as you regular readers know, the baby is almost 4, and I have had a blast taking videos of her over the years as she’s grown.  I don’t have a good smartphone, so I take all my videos with the camera.  The picture and sound quality are very good for a point-and-shoot camera.

Another really cool feature is face recognition. You can program 12 people into it, and then it will search for those faces when you tell it to look for someone in particular.  Especially convenient if you break up with someone and don’t want to go through all of your pictures one by one to delete his ugly face.

I try not to play with the settings too much.  It worked so good right out of the box with the default settings that I’m afraid I will screw it up if I play with them!  It does have a “reset to default” settings option, though, so I may start playing around a little.

It comes with a rechargeable battery.  I love this feature.  I was always the mom at the school event that has to ask another mom if they have batteries…because my camera’s batteries died.  I bought an extra rechargeable battery when I got the camera and haven’t had that problem since.  The other moms aren’t afraid to sit next to me anymore.

Now, we get to the fun part.  I get to show you some of the pictures this camera takes.  Some of you know that I also do Virtual Assistant work, and I sell images with blog posts, so I take pictures of random things everywhere, because you never know when one will go with an article.  Check these out.  None of them have been edited any more than being resized and cropped so that if any of you are a creepo, you won’t be able to tell where I live.

Nutella Dip my daughter made *Note to self - have her make it again!*

Nutella Dip my daughter made *Note to self – have her make it again!*

Notice that the camera even catches the fingerprints on the cooktop stove.  This was taken in artificial light and wasn’t anything we planned on showing anyone.

Cupcakes I made

Cupcakes I made

The cupcake picture was taken with the flash off – you can see how well it captures shadows and natural light

Shoes that I was selling on eBay

Shoes that I was selling on eBay

I love how well my camera captures the shine in this shoe.

The place I grew up...looks like a scene from Little House On The Prairie, doesn't it?

The place I grew up…looks like a scene from Little House On The Prairie, doesn’t it?

In this one, you can see how well it does with distance.

A random tree stump.

A random tree stump.

Look how detailed the fuzzy dandelions are.

My mom's bleeding heart plant.

My mom’s bleeding heart plant.

I like how the focus is on the flowers and the rest is blurry.

A goat from my daughter's field trip to the farm.  Because, it's a goat.

A goat from my daughter’s field trip to the farm. Because, it’s a goat.

Fall in upstate NY.  So pretty.  Check out how blue the sky is!

Fall in upstate NY. So pretty. Check out how blue the sky is!

What the Ebola Scare Has Taught Me

ebola, scare, death, diseaseEverywhere you turn, people are talking about Ebola. There are so many different opinions, but I figured I’d share my thoughts since everyone else is.

1.  There are 3 people in the US currently diagnosed with it.  There are well over 300 million people in this country.  So calm down.

2.  This crap may or may not be airborne.  The CDC says it’s not, but from what my understanding is (and remember that I have no degree in science), if someone with Ebola happens to sneeze and you happen to get it on you…you can become infected.  So the disease can’t fly through the air unless it is sneezed or vomited.  Then it flies through the air but is not technically considered airborne even though it is carried by air.  Apparently there is a difference.  Maybe to some, but not to me.  Again, I am not a scientist or some sort of infectious disease specialist.  I’m a writer.

3.  If you’re dying, you probably should find a different hospital to go to than the one that sent an Ebola patient home.  Also, the doctors and nurses they hire don’t seem too competent. A patient with Ebola is first discharged, and then the nurses who treated him claim that they were not given the correct protective gear.  Blame the hospital if you want, but if I’m a nurse and I’m not in a spacesuit, I’m not going near the guy whose bodily fluids will kill me if they touch me.  I don’t care how much you pay me or if I get fired.  I’d rather be homeless than dead.  So we now know that they either thought they were invincible or just aren’t too bright.  Either way, if at all possible, don’t go to that hospital.

4.  People are either completely complacent or completely freaked out.  They’re being end-of-world preppers and pulling their kids out of school indefinitely, or saying that they’re not even remotely concerned that Ebola will strike them or someone they love.  Some people are so not bothered that they actually say things like they are more afraid of a nude selfie getting out.  I don’t know about you, but I really don’t find death and disease funny. Are they also less afraid of cancer than nude selfies?

5.  Even Ebola is a conspiracy theorist’s playground.  According to some, Ebola is either a) non-existent, and being used by the government to show everyone the need for Obamacare or a global health care system, b) non-existent and being used by the government to distract the American public from noticing some absurd bill being passed, c) non-existent and a ploy by the government to force people to get vaccinations, or d) it exists and is something the government is doing to either thin out the population or because Obama wants to kill Americans.

6.  No matter why it is here, there is nothing we can do about it.  As much as you’d like to ground all the planes and close the borders forever (maybe that’s just me…), it’s in the hands of other people to make those decisions.  So you can complain all you want about our President appointing a lawyer instead of a doctor to manage a deadly epidemic. You can wonder all day about the hidden agenda of those who insist on allowing travel to and from Ebola-stricken countries. You can even ponder the fact that whether or not you are allowed to fly here from an Ebola-stricken country depends on your answers to questions and whether or not you took ibuprofen to mask your fever before you got to the airport – this one particularly bothers me since I’m sure there is a cheat sheet of some sort out there.  The only real thing you can do is postpone your travel to Liberia (I’m not sure what is so special that people want to go there anyway), wash your hands frequently, and hope and pray for the best.

Try not to panic.  Seriously.  Mass hysteria is almost worse than an Ebola epidemic.  Hell hath no fury like hundreds of millions of people convinced the end of the world is in weeks.  People will start acting like rabid animals rather than civilized humans in order to survive.  Literal survival of the fittest is scary.  Please don’t feed into it.  Even if you’re absolutely terrified.

The good news? Nigeria is now Ebola-free.  If they can get rid of it, the US surely can.  We have much more technology and very smart people that know how to use it.

It’s up to you what you do in the midst of all this.  As for me, I’m going to hug my kids, call my parents and tell them I love them, and spend less time worrying about stupid things and more time remembering and taking care of what and who is important. I’m turning Ebola into something good – a reminder that life is short and that I should  be making the most of it, whether my life ends tomorrow or in 50 years.


25 Incredible Italian Recipes (Roundup)

Italian, Recipes, Roundup

The weather outside is frightful…at 80 degrees. In mid-October. In Upstate NY.
Nonetheless, I have a craving for Italian food. So I did a little roundup of things I plan to make once the weather cools off a bit.
Anyone want to sing “That’s Amore” with me?

1. Super Easy Baked Pasta – Super Easy being the key word here. Yum!
2. Crockpot Baked Ziti
3. Antipasto Sandwich
4. Easy Cheesy Focaccia Bread
5. Hearty Skillet Lasagna
6. Stuffed Zucchini (Bonus: You can omit the rice and make it lower carb!)
7. White Fish Italiano (Cod or Tilapia)
8. Pizza Meatloaf Cupcakes LOVE this idea!
9. Italian Prosciutto Panini
10. Slow Cooker Minestrone
11. Mostaccioli & Sausage Bake
12. 3 Layer Baked Eggplant Parm
13. Italian Prosciutto Panini
14. Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Can’t wait to try this!
15. Chicken Pasta Florentine
16. 3 Ingredient Lasagna
17. Spaghetti Bake
18. Tuna Bruschetta
19. Eggplant Rollatini
20. Italian Sausage & Peppers in the Crockpot
21. Spaghetti with Garlic Butter Sauce   (Already in weekly rotation at Casa Moody)
22. Easy 30 Minute Pasta Bake
23. Cherry Tomato & Mozzarella Balls Caprese Salad (This one will work even though it’s too hot out!)
24. Homemade Meatballs
25. Chocolate Tiramisu Because we can’t forget dessert!

Do you have a favorite Italian recipe? Feel free to share in the comments!