Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pinterest Porn

Dear Friends and fellow Pinners, 

These ladies, the ones you repeatedly pin in hopes of attaining sculpted abs and thighs, yea, well, here's the thing: you could do 100 burpees, 3,000 crunches, 189 push-ups and hold a plank for an hour a day and you may still never look like this. 

I'm sorry. 

I do not say this to discourage. 

Staying fit and healthy is a lifestyle we should all embrace. 

Exercise more. 

Eat green. 

But honestly, these images make me ill. These women look amazing, yes. But their bodies were built to look amazing. There is some factor of genetics at play here. There is also some amazing self-control when it comes to food. Or, alternatively, an eating disorder or two.

Quite simply: sit-ups alone will never provide six-pack abs.

And images like this only perpetuate our own insecurities. We need to build each other up, not demean and belittle each other by promoting body image issues. 

Even when I weighed 100 pounds {long, long ago} my inner thighs still touched. And I don't mean they occasionally grazed each other. They have simply always touched - full on, thigh on thigh contact. The only way for me to obtain thighs that don't touch is to (1) undergo a surgical procedure or (2) stand with my feet way more than hips distance apart. God made me with thighs touching.  


And amazing abs like those picture?!  Absurd. I'm happy if I don't have to adjust my jeans to cover my flab when I sit down. I'm not there yet, but it's a worthy and possibly attainable goal {note to self: lay off the cookies}.  And I've worked out regularly since I can remember!

For those of you who can and do devote 10-20 hours a week working out and maintaining optimal physical condition: yea! You deserve to walk around in all lycra all day. I do not begrudge you your short dress and form-fitting top. Rock it, girlfriend! 

But the rest of us need to do our best and be happy with it!
All images via Pinterest.
And yes, drinking more water will always help reduce water retention. And who doesn't like a little dandelion tea. But friends, please stop pinning these images. It is bad for our image. It is unrealistic and demeaning to every woman who has ever seriously battled with weight loss. The bodies pictured are unobtainable for 95% of the women looking at them.  

Work your butt off. 

Eat well. 

Encourage each other. 

Inspire each other with your progress and stories. 

Be proud of YOUR progress and YOUR body!

And please {please} only pin images of women who are over 30, have had children, and eat dinner more than once a month.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Freedom is not free.

Memorial Day is a time to reflect upon and honor the brave men and women who lost their lives serving our country and protecting the freedom we often take for granted. 
Thank you for your selflessness.
Thank you for your willingness to serve.
Thank you for protecting our democratic values.
Thank you for your unfathomable sacrifice.   
God Bless America!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Memorial Day Poolside

We live in Texas ya'll; which means Memorial Day is spent poolside 
{with an occasional dip in the pool to avoid heat stroke}. 

And while I love a good burger as much as the next girl, 
I prefer light, refreshing bits and bites when the mercury climbs. 

So here's what's on tap for our Memorial Day celebration.  
Memorial Day Menu


Today I'm joining Daphne and Leigh for their monthly Let's Eat, Ya'll {recipe swap}
Of course, I couldn't choose just one but hope you enjoy the variety!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Texts from Hillary.

We all have those friends -- you know, the one who always knows whether or not J. Lo is currently married, the actual name of the future Mrs. Alec Baldwin {hint: it's not yoga chick}, the exact dance moves to every video ever made, and all the words to Katy Perry's latest hit {I don't even know the name}. She is a wealth of random/useless knowledge and somehow also manages to stay abreast of affairs in the Middle East. I find her a tad annoying for her mental acuity. I also call her one of my very best friends. 

Today over coffee we were chatting about important political matters fingernail polish colors and I asked if she'd seen the Texts from Hillary Tumblr site. I was aghast when she not only replied "no" but then asked what Tumblr was anyway. Finally, may days of toiling away on this computer made me proud. I explained Tumblr and then racked my brain for an example of the witty repartee on Texts from Hillary. 


Finally, sensing my diminished brain capacity and ensuing panic, she quickly came up with her own "text from Hillary" having never even seen the site. 

Thunder stolen. 

I'd blame it on twin-brain {a well-documented medical condition of mother's of twins in which they lose all mental sharpness or recall after suffering through those first three years}, but she has twins too. And another. 

Ha - it was law school that zapped my mental prowess! Yes, she did that too. 

Obviously then, she just has more time to stay on top of current events, pop-culture, and dance moves?! Negative. Her schedule generally makes mine look like a walk in the park. I nap after hearing about her day. 

So suffice to say, today is the day I admit that I am slowing but surely losing the power of what was previously called "the steel trap." 

This is not, however, a pity party or a request for "ohh, no, Amy, you are so smart comments" {truly - the fact that I'm still awesome at Sudoku is reward enough}. 

Instead, I am ready to simply call a spade a spade: 

1.   I am much better at writing than I am at speaking. It's that simple. I need time to think, to Google that which I cannot recall, and to edit and correct. I will never refer to myself as "a writer", but I do think I sound much better in my head than I do in real life. 

2.  My blog is really just a gigantic collection of personal bookmarks so I don't forget the day Little Miss Thang lost her first tooth, how to make my favorite homemade salad dressing, a friendship bracelet, or tie a scarf. All such information is now easily accessible wherever I may be. Because clearly the steel trap can no longer be trusted. 

So, C, four hours after our post-workout coffee, here's that funny bit I was trying to tell you about: 

all via Texts from Hillary


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dinner this week.

Truth be told, this lovely inspiration board does not exactly reflect our dinners this week. It does, however, reflect a few new meals I've prepared over the past couple of weeks and a couple I plan to prepare this week. 

Why do I feel the need to be so forthcoming and honest? 

I have absolutely no idea. 

Regardless, here's my latest inspiration: 
1. Crispy Salmon BLT Sliders - I have a thing for sliders. I just love the little buns. I especially love King's Hawaiian sweet rolls. I'll eat absolutely anything between those sweet little buns. Let's hope the same goes for my kids because they are not big fans of salmon. We'll see how this goes, but I think they look super yummy and would make a fun and easy dish to serve when entertaining friends poolside. Oh, and did I mention the bacon?! Bacon and yummy sweet rolls. Ka-pow!

2. Lemon Dill Chicken Skewers - I made these a couple weeks ago for a casual al fresco dinner with the fam. The kids raved about them. If you know my kids you know they rarely rave about anything that does not involve chocolate {only a slight exaggeration}. I served them with grilled vegetables - corn, zucchini, red onions, and tomatoes. The kids ate a lot of chicken that night. We've now repeated this simple dinner with family in town. Easy, healthy, a crowd pleaser and the cold leftovers are perfect on top of a salad for lunch {in theory, for those people who make and eat salads for lunch}.

3. Chicken Marsala - I made this a couple weeks ago as well. It was also a hit and bears repeating.  I accidentally omitted the cream from the sauce {said cream still sits in our frig}. It certainly didn't need it.  I served it with egg noodles and green beans. Classic family dinner fare. 

4. Avocado Basil Pasta -  This dish is on tap for this week. What I find most curious about this recipe is the title: why in the world does it leave out the most important ingredient -- bacon?! Obviously since I'm buying bacon for the sliders I figured I would need a use for the rest of the package. Because bacon goes to waste in our house all the time {or actually, never}. I'm very curious about this dish. The flavors - bacon, basil, avocado and lemon juice over pasta?! May become a new favorite or it could be {borrowing from the kids} an "epic fail." 

5. Blackened Talapia Baja Tacos - This simple dish has been served numerous times over the past couple weeks - to the family and again with guests. The kids eat it without complaint {though I do not "blacken" their fish} because, after all, it is wrapped in a tortilla. I don't complain either. The true super star here, though, is the sauce: sour cream, cilantro, fresh jalapeno and lime juice. I could eat it by the spoonful. OK, I have eaten it by the spoonful. Fresh and spicy and creamy. What's not to love?! 

Enjoy and happy cooking!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Music break.

Little Miss Thang may be mortified I'm posting this for all to see, but I think she is so amazing that all the world should see.

I cannot carry a tune in a bucket and haven't played a musical instrument since piano at age 12 {though only because my parents sold the piano when it was too expensive to move cross-country. clearly my musical abilities, as they were, did not warrant the expense}.

So indulge me as I brag on my darling girl.

Minuet No. 2 by J.S. Bach as performed by Little Miss Thang.

Amazing, right!?  
{yes, that is indeed a rhetorical question.}

Do your children play a musical instrument? Are you a nervous wreck at recitals like me or do you stay cool as a cucumber? I swear I'm more nervous now when my children take the stage than I ever was during my own performances. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I was a #SeniorHottie: Then and Now

Last summer I participated in #SeniorHottie link-up

I think it was my first time. 

To participate in a blog linky, that is. 

And while it was a tad humiliating, it was also quite amusing and, strangely, one of my most visited posts of the year. Seriously, people, this is what you want from me -- hideous 80s pictures?! 

The tribe has spoken. 


There is a lot to be said about 80s hair. Truly, between hair and techno dance music, there is little else to say about the 80s. But my senior year was 1988-1989. It was the end of the era. And my hair and clothing were beginning the transition from 80s to 90s right before my unsuspecting eyes.

Witness: Straight hair and no shoulder pads. Leading edge at the time. Sadly though, I'm certain that is my {college} boyfriend's shirt I'm wearing. 

Oh, my poor, poor father. 

Clearly, I was progressing away from the crazy 80s hair. My bangs in the picture above are not even noteworthy. Tame, even. But ladies and gents, that was just my day look. I pulled out all the stops {and pink foam rollers} for my evening look. 

Classy. I'm pretty certain I'm implementing a banana clip in this evening photo. Classic 80s hair move to increase maximum volume. 

And yes, we are in a limo. It's the 80s. In Texas. It was nothing if not a time for excess. Besides, if we are willing to spend $100+ on a homecoming mum we are certainly not going to pinch pennies when it comes to transportation to the dance. 

As I said: oh, my poor, poor father.

Contrast those 80s gems with my current day looks.

Cashmere and fur: just another day in the vineyards. 

I may have thrown out the pink foam rollers in favor of a softer look, but truly, getting dressed up and driving around in a limo is something that should not be wasted on our youth. 

Oh, my poor, poor husband.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Memories Captured.

Little Miss Thang and Boy Genius have both had a turn. 

But it seems as if the Hubs gets little attention.

On these pages and, I'm sure he'd say, in real life. 

Which really isn't fair. 

He is incredibly supportive of all of us. 

He toils away day after day. And often night after night. 

While my law degree does little other than gather dust. 

He is a fabulous father, a thoughtful son, and the best husband I can imagine. 

So here's to the Hubs. 

To our marriage. 

Our friendship. 

And our happily ever after. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

When people hear I have twins they generally respond with an audible gasp and then promptly repeat, TWINS!?! Yes, two children born of the same pregnancy. 

It's really not novel anymore, but people are utterly amazed by the thought of having two babies at the same time.

Quite frankly, I'm amazed by those of you who have a two year old and a baby! That seems crazy in my I've-never-known-anything-but-twins world.

Absurd, really.

And much less efficient.

My 1st Mother's Day
{already road-tripping with these bitty babies}
But being a twin mom does not somehow make me more of a mom.

Every mom has an enormous job and feels overwhelmed from time to time.

Twin moms do not have the corner on that market.

And just for the record, I am not more or less impressed with you as a mother based on whether or not you breastfed your toddler {oh, how the media just loves to exploit mothers and pit us against each other!}.

To each her own. 

So whether you have a singleton or sextuplets,

     whether you breastfed or bottle fed, 

     whether you conceived via IVF or after a good bottle of wine, 

     whether you spank your child or only provide natural consequences, 

     whether you are a helicopter parent or free-range parent, 

     whether you co-sleep or have a night nurse,

     whether you home school or send your kids to boarding school, 

my hat is off to YOU!

I'm simply impressed you gave life to another human being. 


And I wish each and every one of you a Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 11, 2012

I can't say that!

In the past few days, my kids have said or we have shared at least three memorable and blog-worthy comments / moments. They were side-splitting. And I instantly thought I should share them.

You would laugh.

You would comment.

You would undoubtedly come back wanting more. 

But here's the thing: they are not my stories. They belong to Boy Genius and Little Miss Thang. And one day {soon} I must also remove "Little" from her alias as I did when I promoted My Little Guy to Boy Genius. They are not, in fact, entirely little any more.

Stories of truly little guys and little thangs can be shared without guilt. I do not think it improper to share baby and toddler stories. It is funny stuff. And they are hard times. We all need a little perspective and humor to get through those years. 

But I'm through those years. We officially entered tweendom. And tweens, I'm learning, grow and change and morph into little people right before your eyes. They don't ask permission. There is no little warning. It just happens.

I swear they were just toddlers - like - yesterday.

Cliché, I know. 

But what I've realized during the past few months when my blogging has painfully dwindled to the point it is hard to say "I blog" without snickering is this: My maternal extinct to protect my children is stronger than my desire to make you laugh.

I do not post tidbits or stories that are truly embarrassing to my children. I have deleted more than one post after realizing it was too personal to share. Nonetheless, they occasionally ask: are you going to post that on your blog? You must imagine a crumpled face when you read that question. "No" is clearly the desired response. Which makes me realize that while it may be an innocuous fact or story; they no longer see it as such.

I never used aliases for my kids because I feared one of you would know their name and somehow use that elusive bit of information to snatch them from me. I simply do not want them to have a Google profile before they reach puberty.

It will all happen soon enough.

Puberty and the Google profile.

So why am I justifying my choices to you? Clearly I blog about whatever suits my fancy. I'm nothing if not inconsistent.

I suppose, as with most I write, I write this more for me than for you.

I needed to put it in writing.

I need to remind myself that I can still share my brand of whimsy: eating, living, laughing, and shopping.

Maybe the living will be more my own antics instead of the kids'.

Of course, I rarely have antics worth sharing let alone laughing about.

So maybe the blog should heretofore be called: Amy eats and shops.

That I most certainly do well and often!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Mother's Day is quickly approaching. And sometimes the hubs and kids need a few gift suggestions. 

Who am I to deny them that. 

And if I don't, I'm pretty sure I'll end up with a ping pong table {for the 400th time - we don't have an appropriate place to store it or keep it covered!}.

Mother's Day 2012

click the thumbnails below for sources

A {not so private} side-note to the Hubs
: No, I do not want everything pictured herein. I was perplexed flattered when you purchased nearly everything from my Christmas idea board {ahem - except the most important part - the trip for two to Paris}. Options, honey. Consider them options, not a shopping list! This is a blog. I make it lavish and pretty for effect. And P.S., I already own the shoes. 

So, what's on your Mother's Day wish list? 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Can a 40+ year old still wear a romper?

I'm going to throw this out there to you, my faithful readers. 

Because I trust you. 

I know you would never lead me astray. 

No pressure, but I'm counting on you. 

Am I too old for a romper? 

Maybe it's the nostalgia?! I remember wearing rompers during the 70s. Yes, I can remember the 70s and if your jaw is now on the floor, you are not qualified to respond to the question posed herein. In fact, I specifically remember a red terry cloth romper with rainbow elastic straps. It was absolutely spectacular. I'm certain I wore it every time it was clean. And possibly a few times it wasn't. 

And yes, I get the irony of trying to recapture my youth when I am {ahem} not quite so youthful. I do not want to look like a creepy old woman with old woman knees wearing a romper. But I assure you, my knees are still fairly normal looking. 


And I'm not considering red terry cloth. Or rainbow straps. 

In fact, when I began the search I narrowed by price {because yes, there are terry cloth rompers available if you are looking}. I assume more expensive = age appropriate. The hubs loves this logic. 

Sadly, though, I don't think I can justify a romper being the most expensive item of clothing in my closet. Even when suffering from a mid-life crisis, my practical side rears it's ugly head. 

I wish I knew how to stop that. 

So, prey tell: If I sport one of these lovely numbers to dinner one night would my 16 year-old self make fun of the lady wearing a romper? 

I promised myself I would not be THAT LADY. 

Sadly, at 41, though, I now think THAT LADY is probably having way more fun than this lady. 

Rompers for the 40+ set.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bye-bye toxins.

I am making conscious attempts to rid our home of toxins. Slowly but surely. Saying bye-bye to bleached coffee filters and parchment paper were obvious choices. Others, however, I had never considered. 

I hope this helps you rid your kitchen of a few unwanted and unnecessary toxins. I'm off to complete a pantry purge.  

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