Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Coffee Talk On the Go


Last year I had the opportunity of meeting some fabulous women at Bloggy Bootcamp when it came through Chicago including today's Featured Guest Kate Fineske who I started following shortly before the conference.  With her coming all the way from Ohio, I believe things are meant to happen they way they happen and even though our meeting was brief, it was still beneficial.  I knew right away she was someone I would definitely connect with reading her personal blog I just had to have her over and introduce you - especially after meeting her!  I think you will find her writing fresh and genuine, she doesn't hold back any of the mommy moments we all enjoy.  So glad she came back to coffee!  Welcome Kate!!

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Coffee and Motherhood - two of my favorite things! Their main similarity in my mind being that they both are EXTREMELY good at waking me up in the morning. So when Amy asked me to guest post on her blog, of course I said yes! Thank you Amy for inviting me over to your space!  

I blog personally at On-the-Go Momma and I am also a staff member and contributor to the National Association of Mothers' Centers' blog Mothers Central. I hope you all enjoy my version of "Coffee Talk" (from a self-proclaimed, not-so-perfect, coffee-lovin' mother of three). 




On-the-Go Momma


Have you ever tried to quit your coffee habit? Unfortunately I did. Here's my story…
~

10 Years Earlier
OK. This is it. Done. Over.
(My love affair with coffee that is.)

Because I. Am. Moving on. 
  • Moving on from the exhausting and endless 80-hour work weeks in advertising. 
  • Moving on from late nights out with my friends and my husband.
  • Moving on from all of this, to… 
Motherhood. 
(Little did I know that motherhood would only increase my work week and my late nights!)

I am going to be a perfect parent… and perfect parenting starts with a perfect pregnancy. Which means NO coffee for me. 

(Yes, I know… when my mother had me she wasn't told to stop drinking coffee. And yes, I know... that even my OB told me in moderation I am fine. Yet in my mind, at that time - it was all or nothing.)

So nothing it was.
And just like that - I quit.

I was determined. (And when I make my mind up about something… I stick to it!)

To my excitement and many a coffee-withdrawal headache later I found myself quickly pregnant (and without coffee.)

And I just knew, I KNEW! that I would be the perfect parent.

~

Flash forward to 4 years later. We have moved on to a family of four…
and I am still confidently "coffee-less" - though a tad less confident as a parent.

Parenting (and all the unexpected, crazy things that go along with it) are much harder to master than I initially anticipated. I remember thinking that quitting my excessive coffee habit was one of the hardest things I ever had to do...

And then I became a mother.

And I realized, that quitting my coffee habit - didn't even compare.

Quitting coffee was simple. 
It wasn't fun. It wasn't painless. But it was simple in that I knew how to do it. ---> Just stop.

Perfect parenting was ---> the complete opposite.

Parenting in fact was the furthest thing FROM simple, and in hindsight it is quite laughable that I ever thought I could "perfect it," because in parenting: 
  • Everyone has a "parenting opinion"
  • Everyone has parenting advice
  • And often these opinions and advice differ (if not completely contradict each other)
How could I possibly be a perfect parent if I didn't know or have a source for all the "perfect" answers?

And I was beginning to feel lost (and a bit defeated.)


It is now 9 years later and FINALLY - with 3 kids "under my belt"… I feel as though I've found the answer to perfect parenting.

And I know you are all interested… so here it is:

I didn't find it in a book.
Nor did I find it from my OB.
Or my pediatrician.
Or my friends and family members.

Not one of them. (Yet somehow at the same time all of them!)

Because perfect parenting is all about what's right for you. 
And the key to perfect parenting is:

Moderation and being OK with not being perfect.

So it's back.
Not Perfection. But my "love affair" with coffee.
Yet this time it is not a new love, but a knowing love.

I've learned from my abrupt halt of coffee 10 years ago (and from my not-so-sudden entrance into parenting) that extremes can be, well… extreme. And "black and white" always has shades of cream gray.

I now understand and firmly believe in moderation.

I love my kids (even on the hard days).
I enjoy my life (but every day isn't perfect).
AND I allow myself to appreciate my morning coffee (that I so abruptly took away nearly a decade ago) 

And maybe coffee doesn't work for you… but for me, in moderation - it is a gift to help me start my day.

Long live the not-so-perfect mom, and LONG LIVE coffee.



Caption: Come on folks! You can't "stage" this imperfection... all you can do is love it!

Leave a Comment. Have you ever tried to quit drinking coffee? Why???


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So happy to have you write here Kate, stop back by for coffee anytime!

You can find Kate on twitter at: @KateFineske

On Facebook at: On-the-Go Momma 

And quite possibly at a future conference near you!  
Go stalk her up so you don't miss out!



Friday, February 24, 2012

Shamrock Shakes Made Easy at Home

I don't normally buy ice cream on a regular basis just because I know I will eat it without any recollection of how much I've actually eaten.  You know how that mysteriously happens? No? Just me then?

In any case, it's just safer for me not to have it in the house on more than a special occasion.  We consider St. Patrick's Day a special occasion in our house (for more reasons than one) and with the Shamrock Shakes now being advertised and begged for when we go out, I figured why not bring it in.  It's so simple it only takes 4 ingredients and food coloring to bring a great Shamrock Shake to life.  Here's all you will need:


Shamrock Shake
Ingredients:
6 scoops vanilla ice cream
1 - 2 cups milk
Mint extract
Vanilla extract
Green food coloring
This made three 10oz. servings
(make as many servings as you need with 2 scoops per serving)

Directions:
Put ice cream into blender and cover with milk depending on your preference of thickness.  Add twice as many drops of vanilla extract as you do mint extract so the mint isn't overpowering.
(Honestly I didn't even measure and it still turned out great)


Add approximately 15 drops of green food coloring to get the desired color of green that you want.





Then watch how much the kids love them!


Both kid and husband approved, my husband said they were better than the actual shake he got from McDonald's earlier in the week. The difference is this is an actual milk shake - you'll notice they don't claim any part of milk in any of their shakes. You can also add whipped cream and a cherry on top to make it more like the take-out version - we kept it simple due to a malfunctioning whipped cream can..you can imagine our disappointment.  We got the thumbs up at least!

Enjoy!

Have you made your own version of this?  Please feel free to share!







It's My Party and I'll Leave if I Want to..

Hello and #ThankCoffeeitsFriday!


I haven't posted all week because 2 years ago this week, I didn't exist in this space.  It was empty. Kind of how my brain feels these days...




I know it feels like I've been around bugging you for much longer than that but it's true you can check my Second Post (which was also the day of my first post and half the length, you're welcome).  It's been a great two years - I wouldn't be here if it weren't for you guys! I really have you to thank for all your lovely comments and snarky banter.  Please keep it coming! As long as you keep coming back, so will I! Come and help me celebrate today with your cuppa joe over at Just Jennifer's blog as Coffee Chronicles will be there on location today sharing a great coffee recipe you'll love - it goes great with chocolate cake...but really, what doesn't?




Come party with us!!



Saturday, February 18, 2012

Galway Graffiti

This was the lovely graffiti that we were greeted with on the way into Galway City Ireland.  I mean really, how much nicer can it get?


I hope that when you see me you SMILE!



How can you help yourself really?

This goes out to the ladies with the Girls Lunch Out that I will be meeting and re-visiting with this weekend!  Also for those of you I will be meeting in the near future, I hope that when you see me you smile!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Throat Punch Thursday - Big Man Edition

I planned to have this be about Chris Brown because he's another punk whose crimes are excusable because people think he's talented when in reality it's all about the money that will be squandered away in time. I decided he's not really worth the post, I've said enough.  Instead I want to share with you something that happened at the school that I think people may witness and overlook too many times.  Is being aware enough?


There was an incident my husband shared with me besides the fire drill at the Daddy Daughter Dance this past weekend that has had me thinking about it all week so I decided to share with you the events that were told to me...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

To Multitask or Not to Multitask - there is no question

Now you might already know my Featured Guest this week and friend Leighann because of her laugh provoking blog Multitask Mumma or you may have seen her on World Mom's Blog. Whether she's spreading awareness for Mental Health and PPD, blogging about her family and upcoming nuptuals, or entertaining you with her Fashion Sense, she is a genuinely honest soul who will plain out tell you she likes coffee, flowers and cars as gifts sent to her anonymously. Please make her feel welcome and stalk all her places...you can thank me later.  She will even do a Vlog when she's sick you guys, she's seriously that committed to our entertainment, er hiding out in the bedroom pretending she's asleep!




Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Valentine to Remember

There is something very magical about the Daddy Daughter Dance that captivates my daughter every year.  She gets so excited to be all dressed up and going on her big date with daddy.  This year she kept referring to it as the prom - little does she know about taking daddys to prom..I'm really okay with that and actually wouldn't mind keeping it this way forever..sniff






















Monday, February 13, 2012

tagurit!

From a person who will almost never say no to a game of tag - especially when it doesn't involve running like a chicken with it's head cut off...we play it as a family here sitting on the couch sometimes while watching TV.  Yes, these days it has become an inactive game in this house - especially in the winter months - but still as fun and instead of it being TAG, you're IT, my kids have managed to make it one word - TagurIT.  They have good ideas sometimes as does the bloggy world creating yet another variation of inactive tag.  I was tagged last week by Sarcasm Goddess last week and because of her meaty questions, the juicy answers couldn't be avoided so here we go..

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Happiness Is....Bacon Pancakes


Not even kidding.  These were what I want to call the bomb diggity which couldn't possibly show my age right?

Photo credit: AskDocG

My kids so loved the extras I brought home they want me to start making them. I'm not sure it's best they continue to think I can cook..
Have you ever tried the heaven on a steek that is Bacon Pancakes?


Friday, February 10, 2012

Cappuccino Mocha Brownie Via Recipe


So glad you joined us today for Coffee Chronicles.
There's really never a bad time for a brownie right?
We decided you can never go wrong with a brownie recipe and when it involves coffee, all that much better. Enjoy this one TRM made with VIA that just might be able to keep me awake..


Recipe and picture credit: Starbucks Blog


Cappuccino Mocha Brownies

Bottom layer:
Brownies of choice made from a mix or from scratch
1 packet of Via (I used Colombian)

Middle layer:
6 tbls. butter, softened
2 packets of Via
1 box of powdered sugar

Top layer:
2 tbls butter
1 bag of semi-sweet chocolates

Directions:
Prepare the brownies in a square pan according to the directions on the box, adding the Via with the dry ingredients.  Allow to cool.

Meanwhile, whip butter, powdered sugar, and Via until very smooth and fluffy.  After brownies have completely cooled, smooth powdered sugar mixture over the top of the brownies and refrigerate.

Melt remaining butter and chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl, stirring every 30 seconds until completely melted.  Allow to cool but not to reharden.  Once the chocolate is cool enough, pour it over the brownies and allow to cool completely before serving.

ADD SPRINKLE HEARTS TO THE BATTER BEFORE BAKING TO ENJOY FOR V-Day





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We've now made it even easier for you to ask any coffee related question or make a suggestion about what you would like to see more of here by simply typing it in the box on the sidebar up there where it says Ask Me Anything and clicking submit.  We want to know what you're thinking..tell us what's on your mind.  It's that easy, just like we are for a good brownie!

#ThankCoffeeItsFriday

Java Joe Mamas



Thursday, February 9, 2012

Throat Punch Thursday - Thrill Killer Edition


So yesterday was the sentencing for Alyssa Bustamate, an 18 year old girl who at 15, single handedly murdered a nine year old girl by strangling, stabbing her in the chest and finally slitting her throat before putting her into a shallow grave that was previously dug a few days prior to the murder in the woods behind her house.  She supposedly told the unsuspecting girl she had a surprise for her there.




Obviously a disturbed sociopath who carefully premeditated this unspeakable act, she has had no remorse throughout the court proceedings and had this written in her diary after the murder:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

10 Things - Discovering Estrogen


So I'm not even sure how Lady Estrogen suddenly showed up in my Twitter stream - so NOT your mommy blogger, Stephanie unveils many an incredibly humourous recollection of her sometimes horn doggish past.  I forget she even has any kids, let alone twins, or a husband until she mentions them and it still surprises me every time.  She's done some really awesome work including four children's books (shut.up.) and she recently produced an amazing video - Hangover Square that is based on her own story, only on another time continuum - An Alternate Ending.  This horny chick is really going places! From Pre-School Passion to current date, she is so full of estrogen, I have to ask her if I can borrow some - or start hanging out with her so it can wear off! 
(I know my husband sure would appreciate about 1/10 of that!)
Here she is....Lady E!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Did You Know...

Did you know Doctor Deborah Gilboa is a Certified Family Physician and a mother of four boys who has been empowering parents to utilize their parenting instincts in order to raise kids to be people they respect and admire?


Did you know she has her own signature individualized workshop, “How to Get the Behavior You Want, Without Being the Parent You Hate”?  (which is also in the process of becoming an award winning book. I'm psychic - ask anyone) She speaks with parents on location about four basic principles she follows - Respect, Responsibility, Responsiveness and Resilience which she has agreed to guest post about right here in the near future.


Did you know she offers FREE resources on her site featuring chores, boundaries, tech use and children from toddlers to teens?


Did you know she's also been featured in such publications as Parent's Magazine, USA Today Kids, and the Chicago Tribune just to name a few?


Did you know she is @AskDocG on twitter and even though you already talk to her, did you know she has gone and made her own hash tag over there? Really, it's #AskDocG - you can find her there THIS Wednesday at 9:30pm EST for a fabulous chat about Kids and Community Service at Every Age.

Monday, February 6, 2012

This Cake Is a Lie

Now I have hardly ever met a cake I didn't like - but this...


THIS...



This is the stuff dreams are made of - JUST LOOK AT IT!!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Calling All Robots

Robots keep showing up lately - I can't imagine why that could be...












 




What shows up in your life when you're not looking?
#RobotRad








Friday, February 3, 2012

Ultimate Dump and Stir - Mocha Pudding Cake

With the big game this weekend, you might find yourself looking for a quick and easy dessert idea and the Java Joe Mamas think we found a crowd pleasing goodie!  This is coming from the recommendation of The Robot Mommy who couldn't say enough good things about it when she made it earlier this week.  I can't speak for myself as my oven is still broken here and I am not currently baking, only (kind of) aching to with all the great recipes swirling around here lately.  

Photo and recipe credit: Chow.com
Mocha Pudding Cake

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup strong brewed coffee, at room temperature
INSTRUCTIONS

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