Monday

PEEPSTER SUNDAES!


Peeps Ala Mode?  Yes. Please.


The good Peeps at Peeps thought they'd challenge an Underachiever to a craft idea with these fun little marshmallow characters.  Maybe they thought it would be good to show frazzled, busy, crazed moms how easy and inexpensive it is to use Peeps for Easter/Spring decorations - they probably thought they'd use a Tag line So Easy Even an Underachiever Can Do It.    If you've seen my Pinterest board then you'll know what kind of hot mess I really am with crafts - I can't even keep my boards straight - I've got my cut out cookies (my only baking talent) with my ecards I made, and my movie quotes mixed in with memes.  I'm a mess.  So - let me be the first to say - if I can do something fun with Peeps - so can you.

OK - - so here's the thing.  Peeps has the cutest little video about 2 brothers - and of course, they remind me of my 2 littlest boys...and they'll remind you of something too...(we'll get to that in a minute).  You know I'm a huge movie buff so if you are too, I bet you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.  So watch this video and then tell me what movie comes to mind - if you're a real movie buff, you won't cheat and scroll past the video...right?




OK so...what movie came to mind when this little guy named off all of the ways to use Peeps?

Yup...you're right.  Forrest Gump....when Bubba told Forrest all the ways to make Shrimp.


Bubba: Anyway, like I was sayin', shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it.
 (Pic source:speakinggump.com)

So I get the challenge from Peeps to come up with a Peeps craft of some sort - or recipe..and I start thinking back to Forrest Gump...and talking like Bubba.

I started to Google/Pinterest Search the following to see if my clever ideas were already out there..
Peeptini? - DONE BEFORE.
Peepkabobs?  DONE.
Centerpeeps?  (Centerpiece made of peeps) DONE.

Shit.  It's all been done.  Now I really have to dig deep.
Peeptini? (Martini w/ Peeps) - done.
Peepsicles? (Frozen Peeps) - done and DONE!
Rice Kripeep Treats?  DONE - WHAT THE HELL AM I GONNA DO??

And then...it hit me.   My girlfriend Heather just opened the magnificent, delicious, mouthwatering YoBite! shop in Chelmsford, Mass and I've been dying to get down there with the boys to try it out.  Yobite has 12 yogurt flavors and more than 50 toppings - so it would be the perfect place for me to make something that has not (not that I know of) been done before - and I wouldn't even have to dirty my kitchen!!! (BONUS!)..ready?  Drumroll...

How much fun will your kids have making these!!!??

Peepster Sundaes!  (Instead of Easter Sundays...get it??)  
SOOO easy, even an Underachiever can make them.  Ok, so I'm not a poster girl for something difficult but whatever - I'll take it!  The COLORS - -ohhh the colors make this so easy and fun..toasted coconut for the nest? Not a fan of coconut, no worries - with your toppings you can do anything  with these little doobies!

These are all made with YOBITE! (SQUEEEEE..IT'S SO GOOD..IF YOU LIVE ANYWHERE NEAR CHELMSFORD - WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???)!



Orange Sorbet with toasted coconut and sprinkles!


                             
                                                Banana frozen yogurt , toasted coconut and sprinkles.







Blueberry Tart frozen yogurt with fresh blueberries and sprinkles!

Original Tart frozen yogurt with blue gummy bears, toasted coconut and sprinkles ! EEEK so stinkin' cute!

It's  Easter - and you have a house full of family and little ones - - you get some frozen yogurt or your favorite ice cream and toppings and line them up on the table to make your own Peepster Sundaes- and everyone is happy!  Hooray!  Who knew being an Underachiever could be so fun!

Whatever you decide to do with your Peeps - have fun - and enjoy!

Cheers and Love,
~DG, Queen of Underachieving

*This post was sponsored by Peeps but the thoughts and opinions are my own...


Thursday

Befriending The Enemy Within



Why is everyone so off these days?

The Economy? War? Natural Disasters? Depressing News? Anxiety? Illness? Stress? Money? Kids?Worry? Fear?  How are any of these things different from anything our parents, grandparents, etc went through?  Are they magnified because of technology - and our instant know-all gadgets that come at us from every direction leaving us little peaceful time in the day? 

Sometimes with a heavy heart, I look around me.  Whether it's while driving, dropping off/picking up kids from school, going to work, meetings, scrolling through Twitter or Facebook, reading blogs, whatever -I see despair -  it's everywhere.  Depression.  Loveless, mechanical, faked interactions.  Cruel words.  Unnecessary roughness, mean spirited comments, anger, quickness to judge.   And though I pride myself in being someone who is constantly looking for the good, seeing the glass half full, looking on the bright side, remaining pleasant - it is hard to stay focused when there is so much poison brewing all around me.  Especially with women - it's like we are all swimming upstream, trying to make our way through Motherhood - and we have other women pushing us under the current, making us gasp for breath and have a harder time than we already do just staying above water.  Why can't women stop doing that to each other and start pulling each other up?

I am starting my deconstruction of this drama by looking within.  I am someone who loves deeply - cares wholeheartedly, gets involved, listens, laughs, spreads cheer - and yet within myself I find a strong sense of being incomplete, discomfort, self-loathing and disappointment. That voice within that won't stay quiet when I go to bed at night.  Why so harsh?  There's the inability, or so it feels, to balance motherhood, work, friendship, homemaking, life, love, living - there is so much pressure to do this gracefully, eloquently, graciously.  Keep weight down, keep bank balance up, keep kids well, keep house clean, volunteer, shuttle, enrich, read, homework - do this- do that go go go.  It's exhausting.  The critics in my head are constantly judging me.  Nice job - your house looks like a cyclone hit it.  You call that dinner?   Your shirt is wrinkled, your throw pillows are stained, your duvet needs washed.  When is the last time you broke a sweat?  Your pants are tight, your closet is unorganized. FAIL FAIL FAIL!

When I walk past a mirror in a store I do a double take..holy crap you've got serious bags under your eyes - you need some blush - you're hair is a mess.  What would it take for me to look in the mirror as I walk past, do a double take and say damn girl you look good!  Do I even have that capability in me?  Do I need a full on spa and makeup/hair session before I'd ever be able to do that? Or even then would I say - too much makeup - not the right color gloss - I look this, I look that.  I guess one thing I am grateful to be able to do is hit the pillow at night knowing I'm a good person - knowing I gave someone a smile that might have needed it - or knowing that I was the best person I could be.  Vanity vs.  Integrity.  I guess I'd rather Integrity win - but I still would like to be healthy - in the whole sense of the word.

So.  Back to the basics.  I can love my family and friends - and life for that matter, as deeply and as passionately as humanly possible - but if I can't love myself - the rest is silly.  It doesn't matter.  It is null and void - meaningless..all for not.  Only when I decide that I am worthy of love, that I am worthy of putting myself on the list of cared for people during the hours I am awake, will anything change with me or around me.  So, as my 40th year approaches, and maybe many feel like this at 40, it's time for me to matter.  It's time for self-love, growth, pride, reflection.  It's time to say - you are not perfect - but you are something pretty special.

I have to ask myself - would I be friends with someone who treated me, or talked to me in the way that I talk to myself?  Would I be friends with someone who constantly told me I wasn't good enough?  What about a friend who told me nothing but lies - whether it's about diet and exercise lies I tell myself - or working harder or being better.  How many promises have I broken to myself? Would I put up with that from a friend?  Why would I be that kind of friend to myself?? Why?

So there it is.  A commitment to being kind and good to myself first.  And then to calmly keep the presence of mind that there is nothing to fear in the world around me as long as I am living each day like it is a gift and giving myself to myself and others around me to the best of my ability.  And living my life as my own best friend - loving and kind - gracious and good - content and conscious of the beauty I've been blessed with.  If we all had this way of life, would we then have the ability to extend that kindness to others effortlessly?  I should hope so.  We have to start somewhere.

So who is the enemy?  Are we our own worst enemy?  Is the fact that we are unkind to ourselves, why we have a tendency to be unkind to others - or less tolerant, or less patient?  How can we get our own insecurities and flaws in check enough to bring out the best in others?

I'm so tired of feeling beaten down with the inhumanity around me.  No matter what political affiliation, religious belief, sexual preference, color, race, region, etc. we come from, we are brothers and sisters in humanity.  When we no longer believe that, we have lost everything good in our world.  We have an obligation to each other as humans to get back to decency and civility...to helping each other...to feeling empathy and passion - not anger and rage at every turn.  What happened to the benefit of the doubt?  To lending a hand without questioning it?  To lifting up others so that we in turn can feel uplifted?  Why has it become so hard to turn the other cheek - or simply walk away - or choose not to get involved in pointless drama?  It's one thing to defend someone or something you know is wrong - but another to stir the pot - or throw gasoline on the fire and watch the flames engulf everyone around you.  If people could find the joy in encouraging others instead of knocking others down - our world would immediately be a better place.

Maybe I'm wrong to feel hopeful that we needed to fall as a human race like this in order to rebuild.  But I can only hope that to be this forlorn and forgone is what it will take to make people refocus on the simple humanity within us all.  We all hurt, we all cry, we all suffer with the battles within - but we all love, laugh, and live in a way that is relatable to each other.  I'm starting with the one person who I know I can change for the better, in hopes that it will enable me to love deeper and show more compassion for others in every aspect of my life.  More than anything, I want to be the change I hope for - and an example to my children and the people around me.
Just random thoughts...until next time,
~DG

Wednesday

Parenting is Like Being on a Reality TV Show



The other day I caught a recap of a reality show that hit me as an all too familiar scene in my life.  When Padma from Top Chef tells one of the contestants to pack their knives and go I started to laugh because I was thinking about my own struggles with my kids and their opinions years of what I make for dinner.

We have three boys - ages 4 to 12, and no matter how well we've brought them up to appreciate what they have, keep the complaining to a minimum, and applied the you'll eat what I made or you'll not eat at all hardball approach, they are still just kids, and therefore entitled to their opinions, right?  So I was thinking that I, too, have some pint-size celebrity judges on my panel every evening and it hit me that being a parent eerily resembles that of several different reality shows.

Let's just start with Top Chef.



Before, during and after dinner, I hear little comments trickling in here and there.  What's that smell? Chicken - ? Again?  Is something burning? I hope that's not broccoli in the pan.    I imagine myself, at the end of the 30 minute-time frame that I have to make dinner (on a good night), exhausted, disheveled, nerves shot and sweaty - standing before a panel of three boys ready to tell me what I've done wrong with the fried chicken.

Boy 1:  It seemed a bit greasy and left my hands feeling oily and disgusting.

Boy 2:  It wasn't as crunchy as KFC's.

Boy 3:  It was too hard to chew.

Overall Consensus:    Please pack your knives, and go.




The Amazing Race

Don't you love when your kids have different sports practices at the same time at 2 different locations across town?  How about different Open Houses at different schools at exactly 5:00 pm?   So you need to rush home early from work, get them ready, fly out the door - show up too early for one, too late for another and no matter how hard you tried or that you just moved heaven and earth to pull it together, you still look like an asshole at both places.  Don't you sometimes feel like you're on an episode of the Amazing Race and you're running like a madwoman against the clock - you're never going to make it! GO GO GOOOOO!  Detour - Roadblock - U-turn - NO ....you forgot something - you'll never make it !  ARRRRRRGH...Someone always ends up crying on the Amazing Race too- but in my life, it's usually me.  How are we supposed to be in 2 places at the same time?  MISSION - IMPOSSIBLE!  I'M JUST DOING THE BEST I CAN DAMMIT!

Consensus:  DG-- sorry to tell you, you are the last parent to arrive...and you have been eliminated from the race.



Pawn Stars - You finally decide to take that expensive high chair that was barely used to a Children's second hand store.  You walk in with confidence that your chair will bring in big money as it retails for triple digits and is in pristine shape.  They offer you $10 cash on the spot.  You ask for $50.  They counteroffer $11 -  you sell and walk out with your pride and $11 in your hand.

Consensus:  This thing is a piece of junk.  Had you left the original seat cushion it would be worth $200.  Take the $11 or get out of our shop.



Survivor - Outwit-Outplay-Outlast We play this one daily don't we?  Isn't parenting a game of outwitting, outlasting and outplaying?  Beware of siblings forging alliances and blindsiding you at Tribal Council or you'll be the one whose torch gets snuffed out at the end of a long day.

Consensus - The tribe has spoken - we are going to Funspot to play arcade games for the day.

Beware of children with strong alliances - they will Outwit you after a long week of working and you'll end up in an arcade and you won't even know how you got there.

The Biggest Loser -   Remember your vow to start eating healthier and exercising?  After a long week of shuffling everyone around every which way, you've not given 100% to your workouts - you've made some bad food choices.  When it comes time to get up on that big ol' scale to see how you did - you can hear almost hear Jillian's loud, disapproving exhale at your number.  YOU'RE NOT DOIN' THE WORK AND I'M TIRED OF YOUR EXCUSES!  Then - Allie's voice in the back of your head as you step off that scale....

Consensus - DG, I'm sorry to tell you, unless you count the fact that all you lost this week are your keys, your grocery list and part of your mind, you are not the Biggest Loser - and it's time for you to go.





Real Housewives of ____________    Umm no. No part of our lives resembles this show.  Next?


The Apprentice - -   Bake Sale items needed by Friday, Pajama day on Thursday, PTO meeting before school Friday morning....? Top it off with the need to play tooth fairy tonight and it sure seems like too many things to remember - and it is.  Imagine a Kindergarten-sized, messed up haired- mini Donald Trump coming home from school and yelling at your for forgetting it was Jammie day and basically telling you that he was the only one who showed up in regular clothes - or even worse, waking up and looking all through his sheets to see if he could find the dollar from the tooth fairy while you scramble to pretend it fell under the bed and save your skin with 2 seconds to spare.

Consensus:  Your organization skills need work, you're a sloppy team leader and you dropped the ball on pajama day which is one of the deadly sins in the eyes of a Kindergartner. You had several  things to remember, you screwed it up - they  have no choice but to tell you -  You're Fired (at least for a few minutes anyways!)

 

The Bachelorette - -

Like I said before, with three boys ages 4 to 12 so it's safe to say that there are only so many activities we can do for so long before someone starts vying for my attention.  One wants to play football outside, one wants me to work on Legos, and one wants me to read a book.  They all want to spend time with me alone.  They all want to get in my bed at night (ok, just the two little ones - the 13 year old not so much ..lol!).  I wish I could say I can balance all three of them like a professional juggler all the time but I can't.  Sometimes it seems I just don't have enough roses to go around and someone ends up in tears.  I try to give them each special attention but it doesn't always work.

Consensus:  Someone is always left without a rose (or in this case,  a Lego?)  I'm left feeling awful and trying to make up for it in another way.  Having three requires lots of time, patience and love - luckily I have lots of all three - and when I don't, I still pretend that I do.



That's the end of my analogy.  No matter how hard this gig is, I am blessed beyond words - I love these kids with everything I have - and love being the star of my very own reality show.  Thank God there are no cameras around though!

What reality show best describes your life??
Love and Hugs -
~DG
PS - - - Have you entered my Easter toy giveaway?  YOU HAVEN'T? What are you waiting for - it's easy - and who doesn't want free toys???  Click here to enter.. Good Luck!

Tuesday

TOY GIVEAWAY! Save the Chocolate Bunnies (And My Diet..Please)



Ok have you seen this adorable little cartoon about saving the Chocolate Bunnies??  Here's the thing - yes, they are tasty - and yes, every Easter basket should have one - but some of us are on a diet,  thank you very much.  I can't have those delicious, long eared, tiny- nosed,  mouthwatering chocolate bunnies all over the house this Easter if I ever hope to get into a bathing suit - or even just last year's capris for crying out loud.  I mean, do you know how many years I've been breaking the ears off of these guys and dipping them in a large jar of peanut butter - but then the ears aren't quite enough and I end up decapitating them and then I think well that's disturbing - I can't just leave a body there like that...so I end up eating the body, too?  It's a problem that I do NOT intend to subject myself to this year!  SO  - I am selfishly going to promote the Save the Bunnies campaign and beg you to just put toys in the Easter Baskets this year !  I mean technically the chocolate bunnies are for my kids - but I mean they usually get more than one from grandparents, etc - so I really do need to put my foot down and follow Mattel's suggestion and just get them some toys. 

So - I am very excited to be partnering with Mattel to give you a shot at winning some fun toys to stuff your Easter baskets with! (Which reminds me,  they never said we couldn't go crazy buying jelly beans - there's no reason we have to give up all of our vices in one year!!)
We have two exciting contests for you to enter!  The first is one designed JUST FOR my fans!!  One lucky winner will get a Hot Wheels 5 Pack and a Barbie Madison! So if that sounds like something you
think would be fun for your kids then be sure to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway here!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The second giveaway is one that is running across multiple blogs but I just know one of you has the best shot of winning,  don't you agree!?  The first prize is a gift basket full of toys and 10 second prizes!  Here is the entry form for that one, too!   Be sure to enter both so you have an even better chance of winning!  All prizes will be packed and shipped to you from the Mattel Store! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you for supporting my totally self-serving public service announcement! For the record,  I know these choco-bunnies are for the kids - but like the buckets of Halloween candy that stare us in the face for weeks, and the countless Valentine's Day boxes of chocolates that are determined to sabotage our New Year's Resolutions, I refuse to be taunted by leftover chocolate bunnies that are just begging to be snapped in half with a tall glass of milk.  I will not be caught off guard when the warm weather approaches!   Just say YES to Easter basket toys - and NO to temptation!

:)   Cheers and love - and thanks for humoring me - - - I very much hope that my friends win all of the prizes!!  (Be sure to let me know if you did, ok!!)  GOOD LUCK - and thanks for saving the bunnies!

~DG

Saturday

Got Laughs? Because We Sure Do..




So the very brilliant and funny Jen from People I Want to Punch in the Throat pulled together a team of over 30 bloggers to put together a humor anthology. Why? Because we want to make fools of ourselves for a laugh. Who can't use some really over-the-top stories about Motherhood?  Is it silly?  Yes.  Is it a little edgy - of course it is.  Will it make you feel a little less alone in this crazy gig we call Parenting ?  Why yes, yes it will. I am so proud to be amongst some very very funny ladies. So whether you have the need for the physical book on your nightstand or want to download it to your high-tech gadget - give I Just Want to Pee Alone a shot - because after all, don't we all need a little more humor in our lives?  I will say this - it is for Mature Audiences...so you decide if you are Mature enough (or in our case, immature enough) to indulge.


Cheers and Love,
DG
Here is a beautiful article that lists all of the contributors and their bios..check it out!
I Just Want to Pee Alone on BABBLE.COM


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Here is the quick hit full list of contributors:People I Want to Punch in the ThroatInsane in the Mom Brain
The Divine Secrets of a Domestic Diva
Baby Sideburns
Rants From MommylandYou Know it Happens at Your House Too
The Underachiever's Guide to Being a Domestic GoddessMy Life and Kids
Bad Parenting Moments
Let Me Start By Saying
Frugalista Blog
Suburban Snapshots
Ninja Mom
Four Plus an Angel
Honest Mom
Binkies and Briefcases
Naps Happen
Kelley's Break Room
Toulouse & Tonic
HouseTalkNHollow Tree Ventures
The Fordeville Diaries
Snarkfest
Mom's New Stage
Nurse Mommy Laughs
The Dose of Reality
The Mom of the Year
Life on Peanut Layne
Momaical
Cloudy, With a Chance of Wine
Confessions of a Cornfed Girl
I Love Them Most When They're Sleeping
Random Handprints
RachRiot
You're My Favorite Today
Funny is Family
My Real Life