What Are You Still Doing Here?

Hey!  What are you still doing here?  My blog has moved. So, hop on over to www.bize-mom.com and don’t miss any posts.

Thanks so much,


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Puppies vs. Babies — the ultimate in cuteness face-off

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Puppies vs. Babies for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

Whose cuteness meter is over the top? Will team Puppy or team Baby prevail? It’s hard to resist the “oooh’s” and “awww’s” of a chunky little baby grinning from ear to ear, or a clumsy little puppy with ears dangling to the ground.  The sight of both just swells our little hearts like the Grinch that Stole Christmas!

The ultimate question is: When matched up against each other, which image tugs on the heart strings more – Puppies or Babies?PvB-CuteDar-Green-300x250-Backup.jpg

It’s time for America to weigh in and vote! Puppies vs. Babies online contest

Animal Planet will award one lucky winner $5,000 for the answer to this age-old question. Who’s got what it takes? YOU DECIDE … so vote now!

Before I became a mother myself, I would have easily voted for camp Puppy.  Let’s face it, there are some ugly babies out there!  Have you seen the cone heads?

Through a mother’s eyes, these days, I am not so sure. Have I been blinded by motherhood? I have some pretty darn cute kid photos that I think could sweep the contest and my kids never have that “wet dog smell.” Would my little sunbathing beach babe beat out my tossled-hair teacup Yorkie?  It’s a draw.










Take a minute and vote for Puppies vs. Babies and let America know where you stand. You could make some furry kid or human owner $5,000 richer. There’s even something in it for you. I promise that looking at all the adorable entries will bring a smile to your day.

Let the voting begin!

Visit Sponsor's Site

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To My Subscribers…

I have had some major technical difficulties this week and have a new subscription service.

I hope that those of you who have subscribed in the past will continue to and please sign up (again) to receive my posts.  I really, really, really, hope you do! 

Here is the link to sign up for feeds via email or by reader

Thank you so much!

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Another Hairbrained Idea

With warm weather and swimsuit season just around the corner, I have been a little bit more motivated than usual to get myself into a workout routine. Actually, getting into a routine is not my problem.  Staying in the routine is. I enjoy fitness; it’s just that if there is a more tempting offer on the table, I will choose that offer over my workout. Willpower is not one of my stronger traits. Oh yes, and the other thing holding me back is/are my two children under the age of three that need tending to.  So between my parental responsibilities and my lack of willpower, workouts have been low on the priority list in the last couple of years.

Jane Fonda

So, I’ve been thinking about what could get me out of the house and back into a groove. My idea was …wait for itJazzercise!  Well, actually it wasn’t an idea so much as it was an advertisement that I saw with Cheryl Burke in it — one of the professionals from the TV show, Dancing with the Stars. I think I like Cheryl.  I know I like dancing.  Apparently, Jazzercise is a fusion of jazz dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga, and kickboxing. That’s what the website says, anyway. But, I really am having a hard time overcoming the visual I get in my head when I think of the word Jazzercise.  All I can picture are these women from the 1980s wearing high-cut leotards, sweat bands and leg warmers. As a child, I used to go with my mom to her exercise classes after my little sister circa 1977. I feel like that when I picture myself going to a Jazzercise class. It’s very Jane Fonda.

The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that I should try to suspend my preconceived notions for just one trial class and give it a shot.  If it is more like Dancing with the Stars and less like a Fonda workout, I may even stick with it.

Expect more posts about this as my new research project. Or, it could just end up being one big hilarious mistake. If anyone loves or hates Jazzercise, I would love to know about what I am getting myself into.

Posted in Blogs, Moms, Parenting, Raising children | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Biz e-Friday Countdown 3.25.11

The Biz e-Friday Countdown recaps the highlights of the week in the parenting blogosphere. If you didn’t have time to read them all yourself, you’ve come to the right place!

5. Mint (by Stephanie Taylor Christensen)

One mother, blogger and consumer writer gives new moms the skinny on what to buy, borrow or skip when it comes to the essentials for your baby.

 Read the full blog

4. Mom Bloggers Club (by Jennifer James)

 Being described as a “crab in a barrel” isn’t very flattering, but one mom takes a hard look at her industry and questions whether or not the statement is true.  Do mom bloggers really only rise up by grabbing and pulling another one down?  You decide.

Read the full blog

3. Dooce

“Because a Trip to South Padre Island is Out of the Question,” is a post about spring break, vacations, and childhood memories. It is also a safe haven for those who detest camping. What memories will you create for your children? Heather Armstrong has her own ideas.

 Read the full blog

2. Before the Baby Wakes

The post “Boys will Be” is an ode to mothers who have offspring of the opposite sex. Boys will love you, make you cry, then run off and get married. Now that’s a bond.

Read the full blog

1. Blogher

This week, Blogher hosted a live virtual conference called BET (“Business, Entrepreneurism, Technology”). If you weren’t able to attend, don’t fret.  This blog link will point you in the right direction to get 60-day access to the video conference. Some great female role models and leaders from all walks of life were on the speaker list, be sure to check them out.

Read the full blog

I hope you enjoyed the Biz e-Friday Countdown this first official week in spring. Enjoy your weekend, and sleep until the kids wake you up!

Posted in Biz e-Friday Countdown, Blogs, Family, Humor, Moms, Parenting, Raising children | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

I Can’t Remember the Last Time I Wasn’t at Least Kind of Tired

Remember the days before you had kids?  You would come home from work, change clothes and hit the gym. Or, maybe you got a run in earlier that morning, so you indulged in a little happy hour after work with your friends. Then, you just came home, had a snack or watched TV. The most important thing you had to remember was to set your alarm or pick-up the dry cleaning.

I distinctly remember the moment in time when I realized that my daily priorities had changed forever. My Biz e-Baby1 was about three months old and I was drying her off after a bath.  I was still in my pressed slacks and white oxford that I had worn to work. The shirt had milk stains and blood on it from my nursing bra that I would probably never get out. I was kneeling on the tile floor in my dry-clean only pants next to some yellowish green poop and a totally destroyed white onesie. My kid had just had a major blow-out.  (For all the non-moms reading this, that is not like a Brazilian straightening hair treatment.)

And, that was it.  That was the moment. From that point forward, I realized that no longer would I be toning my thighs on the elliptical after work, nor would I be changing into my comfy clothes and veggin out on the couch with my night all to myself. Since then, I have been kind of tired.

Nickname: " The Sleep Depriver"

But, it was ok, because the beautiful, innocent blue eyes that stared back at me made it worthwhile.  (And, I joined the YMCA with a childcare center.)

Posted in Bedtime, Blogs, Family, Freshly Pressed, Humor, Moms, Parenting, Raising children | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Is This Spring Fever or a Margarita Hangover?


Image via Wikipedia

There is just something about coming off a winter thaw that gets people in the Midwest jazzed up. Mix a little sun, a change in daylight savings time and some flowers blooming together, and all the corn-fed white boys are downright ready to hit the beach! One of the funniest things I find about living in a seasonal climate is that as soon as the thermometer breaks 60 degrees, you’ll see men and women alike busting out their shorts or flip flops. In college, whenever the weather hovered in the 50s for more than two weeks, you’d see guys out on campus throwing Frisbee with their new puppies. (So many puppies are wasted on college men.)

I, on the other hand, (having lived six years in Florida) am still wearing my gloves and parka until at least 75 degrees, and have tan lines where my scarf wraps my neck. Scantily clad clothing isn’t my thing unless I am somewhere near the latitude of the equator.  I get too cold. But, what I do like when spring makes its appearance, is a nice frozen Margarita. It’s my spring fever cure all. Nothing says party like a Margarita – just don’t use the cheap tequila because you’ll have a hangover.

Here’s some great spring recipes for margaritas to get you in the mood. (If you can’t find a babysitter for your spring fiesta, just make a virgin drink for them and bask in the sun out on your porch.) Trust me, you’ll still feel good.

Apricot Margarita

1 1/2 cup fresh apricots, halved and pitted (or 16-oz. can juice-packed, unpeeled apricot halves, drained)
1/2 cup tequila
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup apricot nectar
About 3 cups ice cubes

Combine apricot halves, tequila, sugar, lime juice and apricot nectar in a blender; cover and blend until smooth. With blender running, add ice cubes, blending until slushy. Makes 4 Margaritas.

Creamcicle Margarita

1 oz. margarita mix  
3 oz. orange juice
1 1/2 oz. gold Tequila
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
6 oz. ice

Blend all ingredients until slushy.

Key West Margarita

1 1/2 oz tequila
1 oz melon liqueur
1 oz Pina colada mix
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz orange juice
1 dash grenadine
1/2 cup crushed ice

Mix all in blender. Blend at slow speed until smooth and pour into a glass.

Frozen Margarita

12 oz frozen limeade concentrate, thawed 
1 1/2 cups tequila
1/2 cup Triple Sec
Ice cubes
Lime wedges
Coarse salt
Lime wedges, for garnish

Combine half of each of the first 4 ingredients in container of an electric blender. Process 30 seconds. Gradually add enough ice cubes to bring mixture to 3 1/2 cup level; blend until smooth. If you want to freeze for later use, pour mixture into a large freezer container. Repeat procedure with remaining half of ingredients. Cover tightly and freeze up to 1 month.

To serve, If frozen, thaw 20 minutes or until mixture becomes slushy. Rub rims of cocktail glasses with lime wedge. Place salt in saucer; spin rim of each glass in salt. Pour beverage into prepared glasses. Garnish, if desired. Serve immediately. Yields about 7 cups.

*If you liked these, you can find tons of other cool margarita ideas at http://www.margaritatexas.com

Posted in Family, Humor, Moms, Parenting | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

10 Ways Social Media Has Changed Parenting

Infographic on how Social Media are being used...

Image via Wikipedia

For better or worse, social media has changed the way we parent. You may not have been able to get a conversation out of your teenager at dinner, but if you check their Facebook page, you can find out if they’re in a relationship. Even if you can’t go to school with them, you can follow them on Twitter, and so long as you keep your message under 140 characters they may even answer you. Don’t be surprised if one day you check-in on Foursquare to find out that you are no longer the mayor of your household.  The rules of the game have changed.

Before you go whining about ‘kids these days,’ put down the Crackberry turn the mirror back on yourself mom and dad. Digital communication has changed you as a parent too. Are you always listening to your children? Do you find yourself saying, “Just one second, honey,” so that you can send out a quick email? Parenting with an iPad in your hand may be supervision, but it’s not active parenting.

Here’s 10 Ways Social Media Has Changed Parenting

1.       Relationship building (good)

One of the greatest benefits of social media has been that long lost friends, family and even complete strangers have formed relationships over the Internet. Since the explosion of text messaging years ago, people have complained about the lack of inter-personal contact.  Sure, people will sit in the same room and text or IM each other instead of turning around and speaking to each other.  But, just look at how much our reach and ability to connect with anyone anywhere in the world has been expanded. This takes pen pals to a whole new level.


2.       Full disclosure (bad)

With public and private information so easily accessible, comes more potential danger as well.  Social media users must be smart about what they share and with whom they share it. Stranger danger can occur in-person as easily (if not more so) as over the Internet. 


In addition, exercise a little self-censorship when using social media—because once it’s out there, you can’t ever take it back.  Never share private information such as your address, social security number or even mention plans about when you will be out of town in a social media setting.   Those types of things can invite theft.


Personal information should also be curtailed — TMI (too much information) is more prevalent than ever. Teachers, community figures, and people in authority positions have been fired for Facebook postings and even pictures that compromised their judgment.  Facebook has even been used as evidence in court cases – from child support to insurance fraud.  Don’t be an idiot.  The world is watching you.


3.       Groups (good)

Social media has brought back a sense of community that was lost over the last couple of decades. These days, it is easy to find people that share your interests or dislikes with the click of a ‘Like’ button. Groups of people are organizing and chatting everywhere about world politics, religion, TV shows, and parenting — just to name a few subjects. Single parents, SAHMs, mister-mom’s and military families can connect and share experiences as tight knit as the neighbors they see next door while living thousands of miles away from each other.


4.       Bullying (bad)

Unfortunately, strength in numbers can be used for evil instead of good. It’s important to educate your child on the affects of cyber-bullying and steer them away from the wrong crowd.  It can be tempting not to join in. By the same token, parents need to make sure they have proper cyber safety measures in place for their family, and can recognize some of the signs of cyber bullying before it’s too late. Words can hurt and do enormous damage – even on the computer.


5.       Self Promotion (good)

Businesses, entrepreneurs, bloggers, and thought leaders now all have an open forum to share their ideas and agendas. Social media outlets don’t discriminate. Look at how YouTube has recently turned everyday home videos into overnight sensations. We’d be saying, “Justin Beiber who?” if it weren’t for the viral marketing of social media. Society at large has recognized this exposure is possible and that self-promotion is free to anyone looking to get discovered.


6.       Celebrities unfiltered (good)

Who’d have thought that they’d ever have the chance to chat in live with Ashton Kutcher? Ashton and Demi Moore were Twitter pioneers. This power couple really helped popularize the celebrity following for the social media giant. They let the rest of us into their famous life. Now you (and your kids) can follow a favorite DJ, actress, politician or model and they just may give you a shout out. The beauty of social media and Twitter especially, is that the wall between “us and them” has been removed, and that makes us feel good. (For those that don’t find joy in that, you can sit around and wait until they screw up – see Reason #10)


7.       Time Suck (bad)

It’s clear social media has turned us into kings and queens of multi-tasking, but that’s not always a good thing. Watch your child’s basketball game and get off your Twitter.  Make a rule that your family will keep technology devices off the table at meal time. The next time you are at work complaining about how tired you are, stop to consider if you stayed up until midnight commenting on your friend’s Facebook pictures.  It’s easy, it’s accessible and it’s mildly entertaining.  But, don’t let it take over your life.  You’ll miss the really good stuff.


8.       Fast Info Faster (good/bad)

We are all becoming quasi attention-deficient minded thanks this new social communication age. What we used to consider as fast, has quickly been replaced with faster. Dads of the nineties: remember when you had a pager and it was the coolest thing?  Then, you had to have the cell phone because your boss had to reach you faster. But, then the cell phone wasn’t fast enough so you had to add text-messaging to your plan. Eventually, the texts even took too long and now you just had to install IM on your dashboard.  You are accessible 24/7. Work – life balance is one of the biggest challenges facing parents today. You have to create family time and make it a priority. Schedule it if you have to.


On the flip side, we find out world information and news as it breaks. In real time, civilians and reporters caught footage of the Tsunami in Japan and posted it online seconds after it was shot. We watched Egypt’s political situation unfold every day. We are truly living in a connected world, despite geography, and that’s remarkable.


9.       Collective Coach Potatoes (good/bad)

Long distance loves can have date night sitting on separate couches in different times zones half way across the world thanks to social media.  Skype made that happen.


Twitter traffic increases by 30% when Glee is on. Fans who are complete strangers log in to chat, cheer, and boo for the new episode as it airs. Heck, some couples who live in the same house comment back and forth with each other using social media.


As long as computer-vegging isn’t all you do, a little social media is fine, but don’t get lazy. There are plenty of reasons to keep your usage in check for your family’s health. Make sure you aren’t choosing social media time over going outside for a family walk, or playing in the backyard.  Parents set the example. If you ignore your kid for the computer, they will eventually do the same to you.  If you aren’t active, your kids probably won’t be active either.


10.   Major misinterpretation


Drunk posting, typo-filled tweets and other innocent mistakes are delivered in an instant to the universe of no return. Plenty of high-profile folks have had to come back and explain themselves after a post or tweet was misinterpreted – just ask Sarah Palin. Parents are no different. Before you join the #wineparty on Twitter, spout off about your day at the office, or complain about an annoying parent in Little League, think about your reputation. Just because it’s easy to type a quick thought, doesn’t mean you should. Think about what you will say and how you will say it. Your kids, their friends, and other adults you know, just may get the wrong impression.

Posted in Blogs, Cyber Safety, Dads, Facebook, Family, Freshly Pressed, Humor, Moms, Parenting, Raising children, Social Media, Twitter | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On the anniversary of my dad’s death

A friend left me a message today.  She wanted to let me know that she was thinking of me on the anniversary of my dad’s death. Do you know that I almost had forgotten? I didn’t make mention of it when I saw my mom today and neither did she.  Some things we don’t talk about.

When you lose a parent, it’s never easy.  It doesn’t matter if that parent was sick or died out of the blue.  It doesn’t matter if you were close or if you hadn’t spoken in years.  You still lost the person that brought you into this world. They will never be in this life again.

Like many adults, I was given a new perspective of what parenthood is when I had children of my own. When you become a parent, you may carry on traditions that you cherished as a child. Or, you may swear that you will never make the same mistakes your parents made. Most of all, you realize that the love you can feel for another human being can be so strong that you want give all of yourself for them — for that baby of yours. You’d give your life.

I got online this evening to look for a poem on parenthood.  I wasn’t sure what I was looking for.  I thought a nice poem may serve as my post for this evening. As soon as I landed on the site “Where The Butterflies Go,” I was drawn in. What a beautiful name. The first poem I read When I finally make starlight had to be the poem I chose to share. Thank you to the author, Heather Grace Stewart, for finding the words that few of us have.  And, thank you to my friend for keeping me in her thoughts.

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All You Need Is Love

Sometimes the universe gives you signs.  You may not always notice them, but they are there. This morning, while looking outside my kitchen window, I saw this sign:


When I saw this shadow, it reminded me of a heart. I grabbed my camera and then lifted my children up to show them what I saw. My son, who is only two years old, said, “heart Mommy.”

Exactly, I thought.


As adults, we can go through life too fast sometimes. We can often miss the signs of the world around us. Children notice everything – sometimes for good, sometimes for bad. They are pure and innocent.image

I think this morning, this sign was to remind me that all you need is love. So with that, I am signing off to spend the day with my family (and maybe go listen to the Beatles.)

Posted in Blogs, Family, Freshly Pressed, Moms, Parenting | Tagged , , , , , , , | 6 Comments