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Come by and see me at my new diggs!

I’ve been quiet for a long time because I’ve been developing and designing my self-hosted blog. Come visit me at www.eat-pray-grow.com and let me know what you’ve been up to!

Top 3 Things That Terrify Me About Having Children

Crying children make me afraid to become a parentFirst, to answer the question “Where the heck have you been?” I’ll just say – I’ve been trying to get my poop in a group. I even purchased a book about getting organized in a year – which has been great so far, though I’m a few weeks behind. But I digress – there’s something more important to discuss.

  • First, out of 4 women on my husband’s side of the family, I am the only one NOT pregnant.
  • Second, I just found out my second set of in-laws (my sister’s husband’s family) are expecting their first bouncing baby.
  • Third, my baby shower and first birthday party invites are officially outnumbering wedding invites.
  • Fourth, roughly 84.2% of my Facebook friends are, according to their profile pictures, eight months old.
  • Hence, I clearly must resign myself to the fact that this is coming for me soon.

Don’t get be wrong, I’m totally excited for it. In fact, I’ve got an entire Pintrest board for my future children. Heck, I’ve even got a nursery theme picked out.

But, then I remember I’m 23. I haven’t traveled as much as I want to. I haven’t really traveled much at all. Plus, I’m the breadwinner, and I can’t really win bread while filling bottles. Just saying. As badly as that baby bug persists in biting, these are a few of the reasons I’m not attempting to grow a human right now.

Here are 3 others:

1. Toys

I can’t even afford to decorate my house the way I want to. What happens when a child comes along and decorates it for me?

Let me go on the record saying that I understand I may eat the words I’m about to say. my husband and I agree that “less is more” when it comes to children’s toys, and I’ve determined that my house won’t look like a Walmart toy aisle threw up inside it. All you parents are shaking your heads at me, but I believe there has GOT to be a way. For the sake of my sanity, I must find a way.

The Solution:
So I did a little Google search, and found that there are tried and true methods to keep this to a minimum. This article by the Organizing Junkie, for instance, stressed the importance of not giving kids access to ALL toys, ALL the time. I even read that Michelle Duggar rotates the children’s toys, and each time a toy gets pulled out of rotation, it seems new and exciting again. My aunt kept her childrens’ toy number in check by insisting that for every new toy they get (not as a gift), one must be given away to a child in need.

I have hope.

2. Fluids

Mainly, the ones that go in an upward direction.

It’s no secret to my friends and family that I cannot bear the sound of retching. I can’t do it. I’m a grown adult who will curl into fetal position and place my hands over my ears if I hear so much as a gag. All of the reasoning in the world can’t stop me from feeling a true sense of terror when I hear…that. I’ve been this way as long as I can remember. I have no idea how to cope with children who will likely be *almost* as terrified as me when they are sick.

The Solution:
My husband can do puke duty if I’ll do cleanup. I can handle cleanup. The only problem is, there will surely come a time when I’ll be left alone with my…biggest fear. So, for that, I can only hope that by the time they are big enough to do such disgusting things, I will have been slightly broken in by all of the other nastiness they have wrought upon me.

3. McCrack

If I ever take my child to McDonald’s, I will probably regret it for the rest of my life.

We’ve been living happily without cable for nearly 4 years and love being free from the constant bombardment of advertisements (sort of ironic that I’m in Marketing). We’re both pretty sure that those advertisements work pretty well on children, and they’ll be wanting all sorts of things they don’t need – but unlike us, they won’t be able to silence that little voice that says “you need this piece of crap.”

We can keep the TV advertisements at bay, but we can’t keep everything away. We will probably, at some point, drive through the McDonald’s parking lot, and they will be hooked. Hooked! And will only ask for that at mealtimes. It’s a proven scientific fact (maybe) that children are attracted to McEverything inside that building with the golden arches. Can I handle the incessant whining for McCrack?

The Solution:
Option 1: Dont go to McDonald’s, ever. We don’t go often as it is, but isn’t it a bit extreme to shun it entirely? I think I prefer…

Option 2: Teach our children moderation by going very, very, rarely. And hope against all hope that they won’t demand it every day.

Option 2b: Teach out children that for every time they ask for McCrack, they will have to run two laps around the…the…earth.

Will I get over these fears? Or will the desire for little bundles of joy supersede the bundles of toys, vomit, and french fries freakishly preserved in the couch cushions for decades? Perhaps there’s a reason why everyone else is having children, and we’re playing hide and seek at 3am on a Saturday morning.

Natural Peanut Butter….Be Brave…

Natural Peanut Butter….Be Brave…

According to every health food article published in the last 2 years, everything you can’t pronounce in processed food labels either makes you fat or gives you cancer. Or both.

It’s no wonder why so many people, including myself, are so skeptical of every food they purchase. It’s hard to keep straight what kinds of fat are good today, or whether chocolate is a miracle drug or death sentence. In light of all of this doubt, my food philosophy has gradually been shifting to “back to the basics.”

My friend Allison, who was in culinary school at the time, told me several years ago that I don’t want to know what’s really in peanut butter. The additives that relieved us of menial tasks like *gasp* stirring actually take a relatively healthy protein source and put it in the fatty-fat-fatty club. I looked at the label and said “hydrogenated what?” and then put it back and tried not to think about it.

Years later, the “natural” movement has led to an emergence of natural peanut butter in mainstream brands like JIF and Smuckers. I love peanut butter, and haven’t been able to really enjoy it for years now (thanks, Allision), so I decided it was time to try the natural stuff.

Here’s the lowdown on natural peanut butter:

  1. It contains two things: peanuts and salt. That’s it.
  2. The oil separates and forms a welcoming party at the top each time you screw off the lid. You need to stir it.
  3. Because it’s a little runnier than regular PB, it needs to be refrigerated for that thick consistency we all love

My Natural PB Experience

(Sounds dramatic, right?)

While at Target (they’ve recently embraced the natural/organic crowd), I found a selection of natural PB’s. A quick search on my iPhone showed that the Smucker’s variety tested well for the folks at Real Simple. So, I grabbed that one. Here’s the product:

Remember when I said it’s supposed to be refrigerated? Well, I tried it right off the bat, and the texture definitely threw me off a bit. It was pretty runny and a tad oily-tasting, perhaps because I didn’t stir it enough. Even though it was the smooth kind, there were still tiny chunks. I knew there were no sweeteners, but the reduced sweetness took me by surprise—I’m thinking the corn syrup in normal peanut butter has me fooled into expecting unnatural amounts of sweetness.

Anyway, I let it sit in the fridge overnight and tried it again. MUCH better this time, I think the fridge was needed to get that consistency right and it didn’t taste oily this time. It was more like normal peanut butter, just with little chunks and not as sweet. Here’s what it looked like (notice you can see the knife grooves from a sandwich I made, so it clearly holds its shape):


Anyway, overall I was pleased with it and I think after I get used to it, there will be no going back. It’s worth being able to enjoy my peanut butter without hearing the haunting echo of Allison’s voice.

I think my next jar will be the variety of Smucker’s with honey in it, just because I still like my PB a little on the sweet side. So there you have it—the green light to go try peanut butter, knowing the rules (refrigerate, stir, enjoy) to making it a tasty, healthy snack. Or meal, if that’s how you roll.

You found TwentySomething!

I wanted a blog. Don’t ask me why, or what about, because honestly I don’t know. I have enough marketing experience to know that any successful blog needs to have focus…but I’m not focused yet, I’m still feeling my way around what interests me. So you get to hear about the tremendously exciting topics on my list…soapbox rants, recipes, tutorials, reviews…I don’t know that this going to evolve into, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right?