Summer MOM Challenge (#1)

Together MOMS we are going to make 2013 THE summer to remember! Your first weekly challenge MOMS is to make a NEW Girlfriend at the pool. I met my best friend last summer at the pool and she has made every aspect of my life better ūüėČ

Swimming and chatting with your new gal pal is great exercise plus a super stress reliever. When is the last time you swam with someone your own age? Keep a MotherStucker in the loop and let me know how it goes! This post dedicated to my forever best friend Ella Karch!

How to Survive an Extended Stay Hotel (Part II) LAUNDRY EDITION!

Tomorrow marks the first week completed in the Extended Stay Hotel! I’m not going to lie — housekeeping and a hot breakfast are fantastic — but this “homeless” in a hotel experience is not for the faint of heart. Last night I nearly lost my MotherStucker mind in the hotel laundry room. Here are some Laundry Edition tips to ease your experience:
1. Be mindful on the time your washer takes to complete a cycle. My extended stay hotel has 3 washers for guests and one particular guest decided to use all 3 washers at once and then leave her wet clothes for hours after their cycle completed.
2. At this point may I suggest you attempt to use the laundry facilities as early in the day as possible? Many extended stay hotel guests leave during the day for work/errands which is likely to free up the laundry room. Likewise, starting your laundry late in the day may lead to an all night experience if you encounter another guest who happens to be exercising #1 (Above).
3. Be mindful of the time you dryer takes to complete a cycle. My extended stay hotel has 3 dryers for guests and one particular guest decided to use all 3 dryers at once and then leave her wet clothes for hours after their cycle was complete. Yes, OtherStuckers it needs to be stated. After the hours the original dry cycle was completed she actually decided to try another cycle for all 3 dryers. Sigh. Your personal (wet) clothing items held hostage in an extended stay hotel laundry room is entirely uncool.
4. Note folding areas: Counter Space in the laundry or even your own hotel room bed? The hood of the washer or dryer aren’t great places to fold your laundry (especially late at night) (as other MotherStuckers are desperately trying to launder their own garments).
5. Research nearby full service laundry facilities…… ūüėČ

How to Survive an Extended Stay Hotel (Part I)

This summer my Motherstucker crew will be living in an extended stay hotel. My Otherstuckers believe that the hotel staff are helping themselves to our cookies and beer. I’m not convinced but see the need for an extended stay hotel survival guide!

1. Utilize outdoor space. Your extended stay living quarters are likely to be a more petite environment than what you are accustomed. Spend as little time as possible actually in the room and enjoy the patio, Grill, green space and pool area.
2. Sign up for the frequent guest program and start earning free nights for your next adventure!
3. Tip your house cleaning crew. This only makes good sense (cents!). Apparently housekeeping also accepts cookies and beer. See opening above….
4. Turn room fan on while sleeping to avoid air conditioning kick on/off noises and other hotel disturbances.
5. Find out who delivers food to the hotel.
6. Utilize the stairs instead of the elevator for extra exercise.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask for upgrades. Sometimes bigger better rooms and services are available to those who ask!
8. Most extended stay hotels offer free breakfast. Stock up on daily snacks while in the breakfast line.
9. Ask other guests what’s nearby in town? Restaurants, attractions, etc.? If the hotel Guest has been staying at Hotel for a while they will be great resource!
10. Learn how to double duty. Extended stay hotels have kitchen equipment but probably not Everything you need. Cooking pots also make excellent ice buckets!

Go SKUNK Yourself!

I love my dog.  I love my hubby.  However today I almost cut them both loose. 

Before hubby left for work at 5AM he let out the darling pup to do her business.¬†¬† As sweet dog returned from the yard, hubby explains he noticed a slight stench of skunk outside that smelled ‚Äúdistant‚ÄĚ.¬† Exit hubby via work commute.

Enter canine into the master bedroom after her morning potty break.  I honestly have no idea how long she lied next to me while I slumbered.  My best estimate is 60 seconds max before I completely lost my shit.  It should be noted at this point that I am not a morning person.  Let it suffice to say there was an extensive amount of cursing, thrashing, and overall mayhem as I tried to figure out why my nose holes were burning. 

After searching the house for whatever the hell might be ‚Äúsmoldering‚ÄĚ I realized the stench got stronger every time the dog approached.¬† At which time I also noticed said puppy had the same painful expression on her face as I wore on mine.¬†¬† She appeared to be suffering from smelly invasion ‚Äď except that she was even closer to the source (herself!) than I cared to be.

So she got sprayed by a skunk ‚Äď now what?¬†¬†I tried every suggestion I could find on Google including a tomato juice bath and ¬†a homemade baking soda solution, both of which were useless.¬†¬† I gave myself a break from bathing the dog and went grocery shopping where I stumbled upon the solution that saved the dog and my hubby from certain relocation.¬†I am now ‚ÄúPetastic/Skunk Odor Eliminator‚Äôs‚ÄĚ biggest fan!

‚ÄúPetastic/Skunk Odor Eliminator‚ÄĚ contains a powerful enzyme blend that eliminates skunk odors for pets, fabrics, and all water safe surfaces.¬† It is safe, effective, and economical, plus guaranteed to work.¬† http://www.petastic.com, 800-592-1900.

MOTHERSTUCKER SMOTHER CHIX

 Perfect Week Night Dinner OtherStuckers!
FOR THE CREAMED SPINACH:
1 large bag of spinach leaves
4 ounces cream cheese
1/4 C shredded parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 T red onion, minced
2 T olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
FOR THE SAUTEED MUSHROOMS:
8 ounce package of mushrooms, sliced
1/2 stick butter
2 T olive oil
1/2 C white wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
FOR THE CHICKEN:
4-5 boneless chicken breasts
1/4 C shredded Asiago Cheese
1 T garlic powder
1 T seasoned salt, like Lawry’s
1 teaspoon pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Sprinkle the garlic powder, seasoned salt, and pepper on both sides of the chicken.  Bake for 16 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the creamed spinach.¬† Over medium-high heat, melt¬†2 T olive oil in a skillet.¬† Add in the onions and saute 2-3 minutes.¬† Add in the spinach and garlic.¬† It will shrink ridiculously.¬† When it’s cooked through, stir in the cream cheese and parmesan cheese.¬† Continue cooking and stirring until the cream cheese is melted.¬† Remove from heat.
For the mushrooms, melt butter and 2 T olive oil in a skillet.¬† Put the mushrooms in and cook until browned all over.¬† Don’t season with salt until they are browned or they will never brown.¬† Deglaze the pan with the wine.¬† Add in the garlic and season with salt and pepper.¬† Cook until most of the wine is cooked out.
Flip the chicken pieces over.  Divide the spinach and mushrooms over the top of each breast.  Sprinkle chicken and toppings with Asiago cheese.  Cook another 12-14 minutes or until cheese is browned and chicken is done.  DELISH!

Conscious Box!

cbox1Discover the Best Natural Products OtherStuckers! Try new natural products every month delivered to your door! Who doesn’t want pure & healthy¬†products?¬† www.ConsciousBox.com

Thanks to Conscious Box this MotherStucker is able to giveaway a FREE month of Conscious Box!¬† Enter before (midnight) 5/13/13.¬† Here’s how!¬†

1.¬† Head to facebook.com/consciousbox¬†and like¬†the Conscious Box¬†page! Leave a comment about the MotherStucker blog ūüėČ

2.  Create a FREE account on ConsciousBox.com

3.  Subscribe to the MotherStucker blog (look to your top right!).

4.  That is IT!  Winner announced at Noon on 5/14/13.  (U.S only please).

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Welcome Otherstuckers!

 

Jen. T of Versailles KY says:¬† ‚ÄúI need TheMotherStucker‚Äôs help!¬† I didn‚Äôt realize how dirty¬†my house¬†was until I started trying to¬†clean finger prints off everything.¬† MotherStucker, do you¬†have an easy way to clean prints off doors, trim and baseboards?¬† Disposable wipes are not cutting it ‚Äď ¬†I‚Äôm starting to think it ¬†would be easier just to paint again‚Ķ‚ÄĚ

Put the paintbrush away Jen!¬† Instead grab an old toothbrush and a clean rag.¬† This is no sweat!¬† Using any OxyClean¬†type product powder (usually comes in a tub) make a warm water/OxyClean solution in the bottom of a bucket.¬† Saturate the toothbrush and attack the most stubborn fingerprints (hardly any elbow grease necessary).¬† Get the rag damp in the same solution and simply wipe the surface down.¬† Like new¬† ‚Äď XOXOXO!

Garage Sale SELLING – “How To” Tuesday:

 

This weekend is the big garage sale at TheMotherStucker homestead.  Here are some tips to help you prepare to make a little extra $ (beach fund?) and not lose your mind MotherStuckers!

-Clean out that garage, basement, attic, spare room, or shed. A good rule-of-thumb is to get rid of anything you haven’t used in the last year.

-Ask friends & family members to join you. The more stuff you have, the more attractive you are to the garage-salers who drive by.

-Decide how many tables you will need and beg, borrow and steal any extras you might need from family, friends and neighbors. And don’t forget a table for checking out customers.

-If it’s broke or unrepairable, throw it out! If it’s dirty, wash it!

-Start collecting bags and boxes to pack merchandise in, along with newspaper for breakables. You’ll need plenty the day of your sale.

-Think like a shopper!  When pricing your merchandise, think of prices you would like to see if you were shopping at a garage sale. The lower the price, the faster it will sell, the more money you make and the less you will have to pack up at the end of your sale.

-Mark your prices large and clear on each tag with a medium line marker or pen.

-Make sure you have the following items ready for the day of the sale: note pad or paper for figuring and for placing price stickers on after sale, pens, calculator, money box or better yet, a fanny pack (the ONLY acceptable time to wear a fanny pack!) or carpenter’s apron (much better!).

-Decide if you want to accept personal checks before the first person asks you. (personally, I would only take them from people you really know.)

-Put up an ‚ÄúALL SALES FINAL‚ÄĚ sign.

-Save everything til the next sale, donate to charity or offer it all on FreeCycle!!!

Fresh Food Friday: Chive Capellini

 

Last¬†summer I grew chives from seeds in the backyard garden.¬† When Spring 2013 (finally) arrived I was delighted to see the chive¬†plants back in action for a new year!¬† What’s a MotherStucker¬†to with so many yummy, fresh chives?¬† TGIF OtherStuckers!

Chive Capellini

Ingredients:

1/3 cup fresh chives (so easy to grow!)

1 package of capellini (spaghetti or angelhair works too!)

4 cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

Grated Asiago cheese (to taste!)

Instructions:

First, cook capellini according to package.

While the pasta is cooking, peel and chop the garlic.

Then drain the pasta and cover to keep warm.

Next, heat the olive oil and butter in a large pot. Add garlic and garlic salt.  Cook for 2 minutes.

Then add the pasta back to the pot. Stir in the fresh chives.  Delish!

LEGO¬ģ Kids Fest: (Part II of II)

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Here is the deal MotherStuckers:¬† My family and I traveled 100 miles to attend LEGO¬ģ Kids Fest this April.¬† We had a BLAST and would travel twice as far to take in this fantastic event.¬† You simply MUST make the trip to LEGO¬ģ Kids Fest coming soon near you!¬†

 http://www.legokidsfest.com/louisville/tickets.html

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Mothers Day Treat from Shari’s Berries

sherisberriesaprilWhose Mom doesn’t act fruity or nutty on occasion?¬† I shudder to think of the way my daughters will describe their MotherStucker¬†in their adult years… But what MOM wouldn’t love to receive¬†this gorgeous and yummy treat for Mothers Day 2013 (May 12!)?¬† A healthy smorgasboard¬†of treats with¬†an incredible selection of dried fruits and snacks. Dried peaches (my favorite!), pears, plums and apricots perfectly compliment an array of protein rich snacks on pictured wood tray. Great for the health conscious Mom and/or non-chocolate fan.¬† Delicious and good for the soul!¬† Maybe Mom will share?¬† http://products.berries.com/flowers/Gourmet-Fruit-and-Nut-Rose-30050525¬†Even more ideas for Mom here:¬† www.berries.com/mothers-day-gift-baskets-sm5¬†Shari’s Berries site is easy to navigate and who doesn’t love discount coupons?¬† http://www.redenvelope.com/coupon-codes.aspx¬†(15% off order, free shipping on order of $49+, etc/expire 4/18/13.)¬†Tell Shari the MotherStucker¬†sent you!¬†

MotherStucker Disclosure: 

I received a gift code to shop Shari’s Berries and the opinions above are my own.¬†

 

LEGO¬ģ Kids Fest: (Part I of II)

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LEGO¬ģ KidsFest is a three-day show filled with hands-on, interactive and educational activities for the whole family. Get creative in the construction zones, meet LEGO¬ģ Master Builders, help build Creation Nation, experience LEGO¬ģ Games, and see dozens of life-sized models made entirely from LEGO¬ģ bricks.¬† http://www.legokidsfest.com/

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LEGO¬ģ KidsFest coming soon near you:

Louisville KY April 5 – 7

Houston TX May 17 – 19

Phoenix AZ July 12 – 14

San Jose CA August 30 – Sept 1

Portland OR October 11 – 13

Heartford CT December 6 Р8

MotherStucker will be in attending this April at LEGO¬ģ KidsFest!¬† Stay tuned for updates!

Bloggy Conference 2013 or BUST!

This MotherStucker¬†Blogger often¬†feels like a real urban legend (think BigFoot!) or¬†like I’m¬†living in a “Truman Show” world —¬† Are there other¬†Bloggers¬†REALLY out there? — Can we learn from one another and encourage¬†each other?¬†This social media investigation¬†is my official entry to attend Bloggy Con 2013 as a sponsored Building¬†Blog Bridges attendee:¬†

-Who?:¬† Mr. “MotherStucker” and I +¬†our 2 darling daughters (OtherStuckers) have set our sights on Bloggy Con 2013 http://www.bloggyconference.com/!¬† Watch out Cedar Point Amusement Park and Breakers host hotel as we visit (invade?) in approx. 180 days….

-What?¬† Yes, Bloggy¬†Con 2013 starts on Friday 13th – we aren’t scared!¬† I’m excited to soak up all the¬† social media information I can while making new contacts.¬† The fam is pre-planning their itinerary for maximum time at Planet Snoopy and thrill time on the GateKeeper.

-Where?¬†Our 300 mile trek to Sandusky will take us through Cincinnati.¬† This is our “over the river and through the woods” territory which allows for¬†a pit stop at Grandma’s house – Double Bonus!!

-When?¬† Bloggy Con’s 2013 agenda includes a kick off party, keynote speakers as well as break out sessions.¬† Friday Night Lights meets Saturday Night Special meets Sunday Best…

-Why? As a¬†Building¬†Blog Bridges sponsored Bloggy¬†Con attendee, I¬†will have my very first opportunity to meet other successful bloggers and learn strategies for continued improvement.¬† My MotherStucker blog¬†serves as a financial fundraiser to charitable organizations such as BeLoved http://belovedlexington.com/¬†and The Appalachian Children’s Home http://achky.org/.¬† I look forward to doing my best for all involved!¬†

This post is an entry into the Building Blog Bridges giveaway I have entered for a chance to win one Bloggy Conference 2013 ticket.

White Hot Review: Personal Creations & Cherry Moon Farms

pcI‚Äôm looking ahead to ‚ÄúPeep Season‚Ä̬†(a.k.a. Easter) & can‚Äôt wait to shop¬†Personal Creations!¬† Check¬†out these amazing personalized Easter Basket ideas:¬† http://www.personalcreations.com/personalized-easter-baskets-kids-pestbsk¬†And yes, MotherStucker has coupon codes for your Easter gifts here:¬† http://www.personalcreations.com/coupon-codes.aspx¬† (Free shipping on orders of $75 or more before 3/18/13).¬† Enjoy!¬† While I’m browsing I’m enjoying a healthy snackcherrymoonfarms attack!¬† I ordered “One Sweet Mix” from Personal Creations sister site, Cherry Moon Farms.¬† The fruit looks gorgeous enough to be a prop in the Snow White movie and tastes even better!¬† The salty/sweet snacks included were the perfect complement.¬† Navigating the¬†Personal Creations and Cherry Moon Farms¬†website¬†is easy.¬† Check out all that is included in the “One Sweet Mix” box here plus coupon codes!¬†¬†(20% off entire order before 3/18/13)http://www.cherrymoonfarms.com/discounts.¬† http://products.cherrymoonfarms.com//One-Sweet-Mix-30034405.

MotherStucker Maturity ? 5 Reasons Why I’m Feeling Old:

1.  I watch the Sunday Morning NewsMagazine each week and I LOVE it.

2.  What is the Harlem Shake?

3.¬† When did it become all about the beverages?¬† Coffee, water, wine, etc….

4.  Kids who were born in 1996 will graduate from high school this year.

5.  I catch myself acting like my Mother.  MotherStucker ;(

MOTHER TO MOTHER WITH KATHERINE

Katherine Greene-Owens is a native Kentuckian, who blogs with Bluegrass Threads (www.bluegrassthreadsky.com).¬† Blogging and serving as a Writing Mentor and WordPress teacher for the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, keeps this stay-at-home Mom-onista as busy as keeping up with her two-year-old son, Gabriel, and her husband, Andrew, a local architect.¬† Katherine’s friends and family lovingly call her “Martha Stewart” in honor of her love of all things related to entertaining, parties and cooking.

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MotherStucker:¬† How would you describe your “Mom” personal fashion style?

Katherine:¬† As a stay-at-home Mom of a two-year-old, my style has to be simple.¬† I love easy to put together, preppy, polished looks like a crisp colored shirt and a fun pop from colored denim.¬† Throw on a tailored blazer and a fun pair of ballet flats and I’m ready to hit the ground running—-to the playground, of course!

MotherStucker:¬† What is the most interesting job (besides being a Mom) that you’ve held (current or past)? Tell me about it!

Katherine:¬† Before I became a mom, I worked as the Office and Events Coordinator for the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning.¬† I adored my job and have loved having the privilege of continuing to be connected to the organization, as a writing mentor, instructor and Americorps VISTA Advisory Board member.¬† I can’t say enough nice things about their amazing staff!

MotherStucker:  Funny family vacation story Рlet me hear it!

Katherine:¬† This can’t possibly be funny unless you’re a parent, but I believe that every Mom has that one moment when they first understand what being a Mom actually means.¬† Mine came on our very first family vacation with our Son. Gabriel was 8 months old and we were daring (read: naive) enough to drive to Pensacola, FL to the beach in one day.¬† Compounding this questionable choice, our Son had developed an ear infection, which you’d never have known – he was an extremely happy baby! We were in the middle of Alabama when, of a sudden, he began to vomit uncontrollably in the car.¬† We screamed into the nearest rest stop we could find and I bravely “soloed” the clean-up duty in a tiny women’s bathroom stall.¬† We were both filthy!¬† I couldn’t believe that it was the first time that I was doing such a “mom” clean-up task on my own.¬† There were no grandparents to call for help, and my sweet husband was desperately trying to save the carseat—since we had another 3+ hours of travel to go.¬† To this day, I cannot believe that I mustered up the fortitude to handle that mess.¬† (I have a terrible time with smells!)¬† This incident has since become such a badge of honor.¬† From the time we re-loaded the car at that fateful Alabama rest stop, I could proudly proclaim that I had survived “Vomit-Gate.”

MotherStucker:¬† Where do you find your “Mom” inspiration? Who do you admire?

Katherine:¬† I am absolutely inspired by all of the amazing women that have been in my life.¬† My mom, though, truly stands alone, as a source of inspiration.¬† She was a wonderful mother to my brother and she has amiably passed on any of the things that learned during her parenting tenure, without being critical of anything that we are trying to work through with our son.¬† She patiently listens to me worry about all of the “first time mom” things, and reminds me not to sweat the small stuff.¬† She gently advises me that “it’s just a phase” or “typical for a two-year-old.”¬† She has guided me through every step of this amazing, exhilarating and terrifying process of parenthood.¬† She is a confidant and a true friend.¬†

MotherStucker:  What is your guilty pleasure?

Katherine:  I am an absolute sucker with a good bubble bath with any LUSH products!

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Who names a child PERSEPHONE?

 

It is unfortunate that every word of this post is true.¬†¬†The intention for sharing the gory details with¬†you MotherStuckers is to entertain (perhaps even make you giggle).¬† Still too fresh to be funny to me…

Hubby’s scheduled knee surgery began at Noon.¬† With my oldest child still at school for the day, my youngest (now 5) and I kissed Daddy and headed off to the hospital waiting room.¬† I carefully selected 2 seats furthest¬†away from the gentleman talking loudly on his cell phone, the large family reunion and the red-nosed snot slinging gal with used tissues at her feet.

As mini-me and I settled in, the waiting room attendant yelled out, “Mr. Tracy – Do you have your wife’s teeth?”.¬† Apparently Mr. Tracy did, as he retrieved them from his pocket and handed them over¬†(I mean teeth directly into hospital employee’s hand).¬† Shiver.

I am brought back to the present moment by the sound of a screaming child.  A grandmother is attempting to wrangle a pissed off 2-year-old through the door of the waiting room.  Yes, they are entering the waiting room.  For Joy.

As my daughter and I are sitting in close proximity to the kids area of the hospital waiting room, we are shortly joined by PERSEPHONE and grandma.  How do I know the screaming 2 year olds name is PERSEPHONE?  Because Meemaw keeps yelling it Рover and over.

Persephone eventually calms the #$% down when she realizes she has a “friend” to play with in my mini-me.¬† My 5-year-old¬†continues to mind her own business (like an angel) in the play house as Persphone approaches.¬†¬†Thirty seconds of a steely kid-standoff follows and ends peacefully with some giggles from both.

Meanwhile, Meemaw¬†has already informed me that she is PERSEPHONE’s¬†grandma (thanks lady – I got that), that she is 53, that PERSEPHONE’S¬†favorite song is B-I-N-G-O (yes she sang it) and her Daddy (yes Meemaw’s¬†Daddy) has a pontoon boat.¬† Grandma is the best example of Bat Shit Crazy that I have encountered to date.

As I look for an escape strategy, the kids playhouse falls quiet.¬† I can barely make out a growling sound coming from Persephone.¬† My mini me is occupying the opposite corner of the playhouse and looks bewildered.¬† Meemaw¬†jumps up¬†and asks my daughter to leave the playhouse.¬† Meemaw¬†explains to me that PERSEPHONE needs “privacy” to poop – and will growl to achieve solo status.

At this point I’ve mentally cashed out.¬† Mini-me and I decide to read a story.¬†¬†Two stories.¬† On our third story we are nasally assaulted by the smell of fresh poo.¬† Meemaw¬†is ignoring the presence of the restroom (complete with changing table)¬†less than 20 feet away and instead is changing Persephone’s diaper¬†in her lap 2 chairs away from us.¬† Without hesitation my daughter begins to giggle and shouts, “Awkward!” loud enough for all in the room to hear.¬† I’m not going to lie — I laughed – a lot.

Eventually the orthopedic surgeon entered the waiting room to tell me hubby’s surgery was a success.¬† She giddily explained the surgery details including the use of “Fetus Paste”.¬† For real.¬† My mind wanders to protect what little sanity I have left… “What kind of person¬†names a child Persephone?¬† I don’t remember much after that.¬† Thankfully.

White Hot Review: Red Envelope

YUM – Right?¬† I ordered the full dozen sports berries from www.RedEnvelope.com¬†to prepare for the upcoming game day¬†at MotherStucker headquarters.¬† Navigating the Red¬†Envelope site¬†was easy¬†& I was even able to use coupon codes (40% off full dozen berries or $10 off total order – expire 2/20/13) found here:¬†http://www.berries.com/coupon-codes.aspx¬†¬†The¬†hand dipped berries arrived carefully¬†& beautifully packaged¬†& would make a great Valentines gift for any sports fan (hint!).¬† My OtherStuckers devoured our fresh, delicious sports berries & were cheering for more:¬† http://gifts.redenvelope.com/flowers/handdipped-sports-berries-30062758¬†Now I’m looking ahead to “wedding season”¬†& can’t wait to shop Red Envelope for unique MotherStucker marriage gifts!¬† http://www.redenvelope.com/bridal-shower-gifts-rwshw¬†Personalized cameo silhouette¬†pillowcases?¬† Yes please!

MOTHER TO MOTHER WITH COURTNEY

Meet THE gal who broke the mold!¬† There has never been and will never be anyone quite like Courtney ‚Äď I feel extremely fortunate to feature her on The MotherStucker.¬† This former NFL cheerleader and beauty queen is thankful for her 2nd amendment rights and set her 2013 New Year‚Äôs Resolution to make whatever is on the cover of Southern Living Magazine.¬† She loves God, her family, and the Kentucky Wildcats!¬† See what I mean?

MotherStucker:¬† I remember running into Courtney when she was 8 months pregnant at the gym.¬† It appeared that she had swallowed ¬Ĺ a grapefruit ‚Äď ubercute!¬† She always looks effortlessly well ‚Äúput together‚ÄĚ.¬† Courtney, how would you describe your “Mom” personal fashion style?

Courtney:¬† I think maintaining yourself is very important so my fashion goal as a mother is to make strangers say in disbelief, ‚ÄúWait, you have a baby?!‚ÄĚ I‚Äôve always favored the ‚Äúfancy‚ÄĚ side of things and I adore getting dressed up. When I became a mother I was determined not to give into the new mom stereotype of untidy clothes, tangled hair, and no makeup. I still take pride in my appearance and live by the motto to “Do the best with what you‚Äôve been given”.¬†¬† And certainly there have been sleep deprived days where I would love to roll out of bed and just stay in sweat pants, but I try not to give into that (too often).

 

MotherStucker:  Last week while on Twitter (in sweatpants;) I read your tweets: 

1.¬† ‚ÄúThe term¬† – business casual – ¬†has been used like an Amsterdam whore and has lost all meaning to me.‚Ä̬†2.¬† ‚ÄúMy new career goal is to eat a burger on a Hardee’s commercial.”¬†

 I laughed so loud that everyone in Starbucks turned and glared.  Kidding РI would never wear sweatpants to Starbucks.  I Starbucks like it is my job.  What is your day job?

Courtney:¬† I‚Äôm an orthopedic sales rep for an extremity company and I love it!¬† This lands me in a lot of operating rooms and surgeries. I think orthopedic surgery is fascinating. It is truly amazing what can be done to the body to improve a patient‚Äôs quality of life. My job can sometimes have extremely long (and unpredictable) hours, so balancing it with motherhood has been very difficult, but I feel so lucky to be in such a fun and competitive industry. I learn something new every day, and I‚Äôm always in a new place with new people. Plus there‚Äôs added benefit of getting to wear comfy scrubs quite often, although I do tend to ‚Äúdress up‚ÄĚ this look with colorful tennis shoes.

MotherStucker:¬† Extremity.¬† 1 raised MotherStucker eyebrow.¬† Tempted to make my own funny tweet but I dare not.¬† Speaking of ‚ÄúHUMERUS‚ÄĚ, any family vacation stories you would like to share?

Courtney:¬† Anytime we are on a long road trip I make sure to get everyone involved in a make shift ‚Äúwork out session‚ÄĚ.¬† I crank up some tunes and do jabs and¬†upper-cuts to burn a few calories on the road. This usually warrants strange looks from passing vehicles! But hey, fitness is important!

MotherStucker:¬† My guess is they are terrified you let go of the steering wheel?¬† I hope one of the ‚Äútunes‚ÄĚ in the car is ‚ÄúI‚Äôm on a Boat‚ÄĚ.¬† I knew I was a Courtney fan forever¬†when she introduced me to “The Lonely Island” jam.¬† Courtney who inspires you?

Courtney:¬† I admire women who take the initiative to teach their children how to love others unconditionally, how to take personal responsibility for their lives, and who instill a strong sense of morality in their kids. I have been very blessed to have several women in my life who are amazing examples of this – my mother, grandmothers, even friends who are new moms like me! My heart swells with joy to see a mom who gives her child the tools necessary to become a productive, loving, wonderful member of society.¬† Insert the hackneyed ‚Äúchildren are our future‚ÄĚ pageant girl answer here‚Ķ.

MotherStucker:  (back from looking up what hackneyed means and grabbing a glass of chardonnay…) What is your guilty pleasure?

Courtney:  Krispy Kreme Рwithout any shadow of a doubt.  I have a shameful history with these deep-fried pastries. When left alone with a dozen, I have been known to consume them all in a 24-hour period. I am not proud of this, so I try to limit myself to two boxes of Krispy Kreme a year.

MotherStucker:¬† 12 doughnuts in a 24 period = 1 Krispy¬†Kreme every 2 hours¬† or¬† 24 doughnuts¬†/ 365 days per year = 0.066 doughnuts per day.¬† Nothing to be ashamed of!¬† Anything else you want to be sure MotherStucker.com readers should know….?

Courtney:¬† I was the tearful girl who was in the delivery room at 5 centimeters crying ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt want to be a mom! I don‚Äôt want things to change! I‚Äôm NOT going to like this!‚ÄĚ Oh boy was I wrong! I absolutely, positively, unequivocally love being a Mother(Stucker;)¬†and can‚Äôt believe I ever felt otherwise. This is how God works, he smacks us in the face with things that we think we don‚Äôt want or don‚Äôt need‚Ķonly to find it‚Äôs what we were missing all along!

Thrifty Thursday:

ATTENTION MotherStucker & OtherStuckers: 

New subscribers to Green Kid Crafts will receive a set of Colour Blocks, stackable, square eco-crayons, FREE when you use the code BLOCKS at checkout ($16 value)! These handmade, recycled crayons are perfect for small hands and encourage creativity and exploration with their unique shape, vivid color and smooth texture (offer valid while supplies last). 

Order before February’s 3rd to receive the Ocean Discovery Box!¬† Explore the big blue sea as¬†your child¬†makes a Wooden Sailboat, Coral Reef Postcards, and Pin the Tale on the Whale game plus fun bonus activities (appropriate for ages 3 – 9).¬† Click the Green Kids Crafts¬†logo¬†to your¬†right (directly beneath¬†comments¬†and Mailpix) to claim a Thrifty Thursday offer and get started!

Thrifty Thursday:

ATTENTION MotherStuckers & OtherStuckers: 

I’ve got the scoop on 2 great MailPix deals!

1.  50% OFF Valentine Photo Cards (now through 2/28/13).

2.  FREE Shipping & discount pricing on Canvas Prints.  8 x 10 only $20 & 16 x 20 only $40 (Promo Code Рcanvas20).

Click the MailPix link to your right (directly beneath comments and LimeCrime) to claim a Thrifty Thursday offer and get started!

MOTHER TO MOTHER WITH DARBI Z.

This week MotherStucker¬†sat down with THE¬†GAL that lights up the room.¬† Despite having the most fantastic eyelashes (natural or unnatural) I’ve ever seen on a human, somehow Darbi¬†Zuccato¬†manages to keep her head on straight.¬† She is uses all her powers for good, yet still lives a life of passion and intrigue. She has adorned her life with her husband, Chris and her two daughters, Ryleigh¬†and Kayla along with her career as a dental hygienist, writer, researcher and fashionista. Her eyelashes are legit too (HERS MotherStuckers).¬† Keep up if you can!

MotherStucker:¬† How would you describe your “Mom” personal fashion sense?¬†

Darbi¬†Z:¬† My ‚ÄúMom‚ÄĚ personal fashion style is ‚Äúclassy chic‚ÄĚ. I tend to wear items with classic beauty and a touch of sass. For example, a pair of skinny jeans, heels, a knit top (with some ruffles. I love ruffles!) and a simple necklace. Always a good pair of earrings.¬†My ‚Äúbling and foof‚ÄĚ (jewelry and hair) depend on where I‚Äôm headed. If it‚Äôs to the children‚Äôs school or a function of that nature I will tone things down. It makes the other motherstuckers nervous if you look TOO amazing! HA! Now, if I‚Äôm out with the hubby on the weekend its BLING¬†city.¬† Heels make me happy and a pair of jeans that accentuate my assets are essential in the wardrobe. Makeup is a bigger part of fashion than most give it credit for. Splurge on the basics. I promise! It‚Äôs a game changer. You can have a bad hair day but if your face is glowing and flawless, no one sees anything else. Can I add healthy teeth? A pristine smile that is brushed and flossed properly makes a world of difference.

MotherStucker:¬† I say let them be nervous girl!¬† What is the best¬†job (besides being a Mom) that you’ve ever held?

Darbi Z:  The most interesting job I’ve ever held is the current one I hold as a dental hygienist. Working in the human mouth all day long is very, um, let’s say it takes a special (twisted) person to do this for a living. A day does not go by that I don’t have a SUPER weird, awkward or hilarious interaction with someone. People are different individuals when they walk in the doors of the dental office. I’ve even experienced this with my own friends. We are great friends in the real world but when they’re in my dental chair they say and do weird things they wouldn’t normally say and do. It just makes people different. Trust me on this one!

MotherStucker:¬† Sounds like there is more to that story! Speaking of funny, any family vacation stories you’d like to share?

Darbi Z:¬† We went to Yellowstone National Park for a family vacation and stopped at the river for a yummy lunch. Daddy was out in the river fly-fishing while the girls and I made a tent out of all the items we had in the car. We were just finishing up lunch when my husband started waving frantically from the water. When I looked in the direction he was pointing I noticed a herd of buffalo coming to graze in our area. If you‚Äôve ever been to Yellowstone you see signs posted everywhere warning of the dangerous animals the seemingly docile buffalo can be. They didn‚Äôt seem to be moving as fast as they actually were, so I gathered all the chairs and food in a moderate hurry while my husband grabbed his fishing gear and our youngest child (who was toddling around). I told our oldest child to pack her things into her backpack get her shoes on and follow me to the car. I was back at the car before I noticed that my oldest daughter had not followed me. My husband had realized this and went back to pick her up. When I asked why she didn‚Äôt follow me like I had asked her my husband replied that she had thrown everything down and was screaming, ‚ÄúThey‚Äôre gonna eat me!‚ÄĚ when he came to her rescue. It is funny in hindsight because nobody was harmed but I can‚Äôt keep from thinking, ‚ÄúWhat kind of mother doesn‚Äôt hear her child screaming for his or her life?‚ÄĚ I felt like a failure but my husband still assures me I am not and we all laugh about it to this day.

MotherStucker:¬† No harm no foul.¬† However, if you have a camping trip planned, I’m busy that weekend.¬† No seriously.¬† Moving on – What is your guilty pleasure?

Darbi Z:  I would dance my ass off all day every day if I could. I love to dance! I will sometimes go running and a song with a good beat will come on my earphones that will hit me so strong that, even though I know someone may be watching, I have to start moving and dancing to the beat. Yes, mid-run! I can’t help myself.

MotherStucker:  Watch out Jazzercise РStuccato/Zuccato is the new fitness craze!  You GO GIRL!  Anything else you want to be sure MotherStucker.com readers should know?

Darbi Z:¬† ‚ÄúMother Stuckers‚ÄĚ YOU should know is that YOU are one in a million. There is no one like¬†YOU so strive to be no one but YOU. Everyone has good days and bad days. No one is exempt from that. Keep your head up, defy your limits and humble yourself to learn something new each day.

*Darbi’s gorgeous pics by www.staciehawleyphotography.com

MotherStucker’s Banana Experiment:

What to do with those ripe bananas?¬† My go-to banana bread recipe is getting old.¬† This Sunday morning In an effort to further secure my domestic goddess status I embarked on the 2013 Banana Experiment.¬† The plan:¬† WOW¬†my other Stuckers¬†with banana chips and banana pancakes.¬†¬†Homemade banana chips sounds easy enough — think of your oven as a dehydrator — set on low heat 180 degrees.¬† All you need are bananas and a lemon.¬† Line a cookie sheet with parchment¬†paper (waxy side up) and place thinly sliced bananas on top.¬† Sprinkle the sliced bananas with lemon juice and bake for 2 hours.¬† My research explained that even if your bananas are mushy after baking for 2 hours, they should harden upon cooling.¬† I began having visions of my daughters packing these banana chips in healthy school lunches and noshing at afterschool playdates with friends.¬† Tragically, those daydreams weren’t rooted in reality as my attempt at banana chips were an EPIC fail.¬† I’m so grossed out at the outcome that I don’t ever want to try again.¬† Moving on.¬†To be honest, the idea of banana pancakes makes me nervous as my 2012 pumpkin¬†experiment resulted in the world’s¬†best pumpkin pancakes ever.¬† See here:¬† http://themotherstucker.wordpress.com/?s=pumpkin.¬† Couple this with my recent banana chip disaster and I’m fearful of the Mother-Of-All culinary disasters.¬†I decided to keep things simple for my next pancake attempt.¬† Gather 2¬†ripe bananas,¬†1 cup of milk, 2 cups of¬†Bisquick¬†and¬†3 eggs.¬† Combine the bananas and milk and mush, mush, mush.¬† Pour into the baking mix.¬† Add the eggs and beat the mixture¬†until all the lumps disappear.¬† Cook as you would regular¬†pancakes.¬† Makes approx 25 small pancakes.¬† Honestly,the total yield may be closer to 30 pancakes as I lost count in the frenzy of my family gobbling up my newest creation.¬† These are the yummiest¬†pancakes I have ever eaten – MotherStucker’s Super Guarantee.¬† 2013 Banana Experiment complete.¬† Enjoy!

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