Vegan – Day 2

by JPW on February 2, 2013

in Vegan

20130202-151036.jpgI’ve managed to survive an entire day w/out eating any animal products…it’s a lot harder than I thought it would be. Checking whether something has any dairy product or animal by-product is sort of a pain. I had some candy popcorn which may have had a smidget of chocolate on it by accident…hopefully the vegan gods will forgive me.

Shopping for only plant based food is an interesting venture as well. Who knew almonds had nipples?!

The food for day two was as follows:





Day 2
– Coffee

– Rice
– Steamed Red/Yellow bell peppers
– Kidney beans
– Mini flour tortilla
– Hummus

– Baby carrots

– Pasta & red sauce
– Salad
– Carrots & hummus



Vegan – Day 1

by JPW on February 1, 2013

in Vegan

20130131-204013.jpgVegan…what kind of ninny doesn’t eat animal products?  For one month, I’m going to give it a shot.  February being the shortest month is the best to give anything a try.

The most common question I get is…why?  Well, there’s not many things that I could stop/start doing that would affect me (wow, that was a Chuck Norris “I’m so awesome” moment).  This is something to give me pause, perspective and respect. Or just a really dumb idea…I’m not sure yet. Challenge is the only way you change.  Well, unless you want to suck at life change, then you can do just about anything else.  I do expect to gain more than just some mushed up yuppy reasoning though.  Since veganism is a strictly plant based eating way of life, I should notice some changes in my body as well (thank you 5th grade sex ed for ruining that sentence for us all).  An initial loss of energy from lack of meat may be the biggest drain I’ve read about.  However, sources of plant protein such as Quinoa (14% by mass) and eating no processes food should increase my energy levels over the course of several weeks.  One of the biggest challenges for me will be  cooking, despite my excellent cooking skills.  We also have cabinets full of free snacks and freezers full of delicious yummy treats that chant my name like Sirens (take that 10th grade Greek Mythology) at 4 o’clock each afternoon.

I’m looking for SuperBowl munchies.  What’s your favorite vegan recipe (healthy snack)?
Day 1
– Banana

– green beans
– carrots

– PB & J
– Apples
– Salad w/ vinegar dressing


A Thanksgiving “How to” Guide

by LCW on November 24, 2011

in Family,Ryann

You’re hosting Thanksgiving for the first time, or not traveling to be with an extended family here is a “how to host your own Thanksgiving” guide.

1. Buy a 12lb  frozen turkey (for two and a half people)  two days before Thanksgiving (because you had plans change last minute), pray it defrosts in time.

2. Drive to three different stores looking for one final ingredient for a recipe, make sure to bring your baby and/or toddler or pet (as it applies) to make the adventure more exciting.

3. Decide to potty train your toddler (or your new puppy!) during the Thanksgiving break.  If you can’t be with your extended family for your dose of holiday drama, why not potty train your kid (or puppy), that’s sure to cause some family drama!

4. Eat all the food in your pyrex (the night before Thanksgiving)  so you have baking and storage containers for the feast you’re preparing.

5. Stay up too late the night before, then toss and turn, and subsequently wake up an hour before your toddler or baby or pet wakes you.

6. Greet toddler (or new pet you’re house training) at your bedroom door to kick off potty training.

7. Sit with potty trainer and read books, cheer on her effort, and check the clock every minute to make sure you’ll get the turkey in the oven in time.

8. Watch twenty minutes go by and urine stream onto your couch.

9. Say an extra prayer as your unwrap your turkey that it defrosted and you won’t be serving salmonella with your dinner.

10. Prepare turkey, and check potty trainer’s whereabouts for wet spots.

11. Clean up pee, again.

12. Make sure your turkey fits in the oven, or remove oven racks as needed.

13. Scare the pee, literally, out of your potty trainer with an obnoxious kitchen timer.

14. Remedy the timer situation.

15. Continue to check for wet spots as your potty trainer moves about freely with no pee or poop catching apparatus.

16. Prepare the excessive amount of food you bought for two and a half people.

17. Check on more wet spots.

18. Lounge, relax and make a mental note to change out of pj’s before dinner is on the table.

19. Argue with your loved one about potty training on their “vacation”.

20. Give thanks and praise and enjoy your feast.


From our family to yours (all two and a half of us), may your turkey be moist, your potatoes be creamy and your blessings be many.  Happy Thanksgiving.



Living on less.

by LCW on November 10, 2011

in Family

What if you had to pack up your fully furnished, decorated home and live without 80% of your belongings for several months, could you do it? And what would you bring?  I’m not talking about OHMYGOODNESSTHEHOUSEISONFIREQUICKTAKEASMUCHASYOUCAN situation or the world is ending in 3 months what will you do/save/treasure situation, I’m talking about a conscious, educated  decision to live on less, not suffer without, but live on the sentimental necessities and practical must haves.

Let’s be real, none of us need a keurig, it’s a luxury. I don’t need 50% of my kitchen or closet, but it’s comforting.  My husband doesn’t need 3 computer monitors, but it’s convenient.   My child doesn’t need baskets of toys, she’s happy with a book and playing outside in the dirt. But we collect and save and treasure and before we know it our lives are over run with stuff and things, stuff and things that are unnecessary, but comfort us in one way or another.

I’m working on my list…

What’s on your list?


Life lessons installment 1

by LCW on October 19, 2011

in Parenting,Ryann

Things I’ve said this week…



don’t put the Q-tip in your bum, we clean our ears with Q-tips”

please take your head out of the bread bag”

don’t sit on the bread!”

please don’t hit me with your carrot”

carrots are for eating and pretend play not for brushing my hair”

do you want to  be hit  on the head with a carrot?” (she laughed and took off, and I wouldn’t have hit her with a carrot, but seriously that play carrot hurt!)

mommy will wipe herself,  thanks for trying to help”

Cali (dog) is trying to go to the bathroom please give her space, back away from her bum”

Reese (dog) doesn’t want to play dress up, he’s sleeping”

that’s Reese’s nipple, please leave his nipples alone”



Top 10 MUST HAVE WordPress Plugins

by JPW on October 11, 2011

in Tech Tuesday

A few weeks back Krista had requested I talk about my favorite wordpress plugins.  This is an excellent topic as these are plugins that I almost always setup on a new site.

  1. Akamai – By far the best spam blocking plugin out there.  You can get it for free on your personal blog, but throw them a few bucks at least for their hard work.
  2. Digg Digg – A cool social plugin that is clean and easy to integrate
  3. WP-DB-Backup – Backup your site automatically on a weekly schedule with this plugin. Always be ready for that asteroid
  4. WPTouch – This adds a sleek/stylish mobile (iOS) looking view to your site when mobile viewers hit your site
  5. Theme Test Drive – If you’ve ever wanted to test a new theme out or setup a new theme without screwing up your current users, this plugin is for you
  6. WP sIFR – Use any font anywhere on your site.  The load time is a little slow, but worth it if you’re going for a certain look with your fonts
  7. Permalink Finder Plugin – An excellent tool for anyone who has recently converted to blogger and may have some strange permalinks that need auto-redirecting to the new wordpress structure to find the post
  8. Search Regex – Allows users to search and replace the entire database or use regular expressions to search on
  9. Broken Link Checker – Monitors your site and warns the admin of any broken links that may occur
  10. Levels2Categories – Great for multi-user setup by site admin to allow only users with a defined level to be able to post on a chosen category
Post any questions you may have for next weeks Tech Tuesday here.  This is a repost from Japster, Inc. 


{ 1 comment }

I read this article on, written by Ron Clark.  I’ll give you a moment to go read it.  I was going to write my own diatribe but basically I COMPLETELY 100% AGREE WITH HIM!!!  No need to rewrite what he so eloquently and respectfully wrote about the teacher-parent relationship.

In my not so eloquent words, don’t be That Parent.  Cooperate with the teacher, join the Team for your student and in the end, don’t be a major Pain in the Ass.






[Image Credit]


Tech Talk Tuesday

by LCW on September 20, 2011

in Tech Talk

Once upon a time, long ago JPW used to write on this site. His posts ranged from funny to serious, lengthy to short and sweet.  I miss his weekly posts.  We’re bringing them back, but in the form of Tech Talk Tuesday.

Join us on Tuesdays to find out what nerdy goodness JPW has to share.  Have a question? Post it in the comment section and we’ll highlight the answer in a post.









[Image Credit]


On having a two year old.

by LCW on September 19, 2011

in Parenting,Ryann

There are countless words, new and old; short, demanding sentences softened with please and thank you. There is a big girl bed, with six pillows protecting the precious 24lb. toddler.  Five pees on the potty,  three poop catches and one obnoxious potty congratulatory dance.  There is blond hair long enough to put in a short pony tail and two growing feet ready to try on a new pair of shoes.  There are eighteen art projects adorning our walls, and six cars racing down the track.  Barney is constantly streaming and the goldfish are a plenty.   There is one sweet  two year old steering clear of bugs and exploring her world.


Technically it started when I shattered a large piece of glass.  I didn’t want to see such a gorgeous, large frame go to waste, so I put my thinking cap on and came up with the idea to make a chalkboard.  I even took it a step farther and decided to go all out with a magnetic chalkboard.  We headed for home depot with measurements in hand.  We left with:

Items recycled for the project:

  • Frame
  • Ook hanger
  • Wire for hanging frame
  • foam roller

I wiped down the MDF to remove any dust.  I applied the Magnetic Primer according to the directions on the can.  Be forewarned, the magnetic primer is very chunky, and sludge like, it must be stirred very well.  I’m actually thinking it would be a good idea to maybe ask the paint department to “mix it up” on their machine.  Either way, I stirred as much of the sludge and chunks around to mix it together.  Applied paint, watched it dry, repeat!  (check for magnetism before applying chalkboard paint)

Then I applied the chalkboard paint according to the directions on the can.  This paint is far easier to mix up and went on smoother than the magnetic primer.  I applied two coats, per the directions…and waited impatiently with each coat.

When the paint was dry I followed the directions on the chalkboard paint can to “condition” the board.  Which basically means rubbing chalk all over it and dusting it off with a dry rag. Easy!

Then I enlisted my husband to help me attach the wood fasteners and reposition the wire hanger.


Voila!  The completed chalkboard. And it’s pretty, we hung it under our (useless) counter space right near her play area and table.  I will say, some of the magnetism is spotty, but Ryann doesn’t seem to mind!

Also, fun for the whole family!

Total cost for supplies: $45 (the paint is pricey)

Total time: a weekend (if paint didn’t need time to dry, I would have had it done in a day)


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