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I’ll throw this out there, I don’t normally watch The Biggest Loser. At least I haven’t for years. I remember watching the first few seasons and really getting into it. But, seriously, It just makes me want to eat.

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These people lose huge amounts of weight while on “the campus.” Or, maybe it’s “the ranch.” Haha. Whatever it’s called, these people are there to lose weigh. You know at the “Lose Weight by not adding Ranch Campus.” Hell, I’d be able to lose weight if that was my job. You go work out for 12 hours and I’ll make you the only food you can eat. Done. Now, don’t get all mad, I’m not saying this isn’t hard work. Working out for that long on not much food can’t be easy or fun. But, let’s get real, that’s all they’re doing. I’m not trying to totally bash The Biggest Loser, it’s great. These people are getting healthy, losing weight. Awesome.

My problem, right now, is with how mad people are about how skinny the 2014 winner, Rachel Frederickson, was. Read that article here.

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THIS PHOTO IS FROM THE INTERNET.

Hell, if I had $250,000 on the line and I couldn’t see how much the other two contestants were losing, there’s a pretty good probability I’d only be eating the things good for me and working out as much as humanly possible. It would not be healthy. But it’s $250,000. You’ve worked so hard and there’s only one winner at the end. Second and third get zilch. I ain’t gonna be second or third.

So, here’s the thing. You want people to get healthy. You want a competition. Give second and third a chance for a prize too. I think I’d still try really hard for the first place prize, but if I’d still be in the running for $100,000, I’d maybe not go as crazy.

I do like how they now give the people who got kicked out a chance for a prize, that’s cool.

But, if you’re gonna have a competition with that amount of money, which ain’t exactly chump change, then you’re gonna get some pretty drastic results. Drastic results bring ratings. Drastic results win you money. So, I’m all, whatev. It’s a show. At 5’4″, is she healthier at 105 pounds or 260 pounds? I’m not gonna judge her. That’s what the rest of the world is here for. Sheesh people.

Alright, so everyone has a list. You know, that list of things you’re very, very sensitive about. That list of things you never want anyone to mention. Ever. And, sharing that list with people is almost worse than having the list to begin with. Wanna hear mine?

1. My clothes.
Don’t ever talk about my clothes, unless you’re gonna tell me how cute they are. Seriously. Don’t be all, “nice pants” and then walk off. No, no, no. It better be, “I love those pants!” or “Niiiice pants, you look so cute.” Otherwise, I’m all, “Great, now I can’t ever wear these pants again.”

2. My work schedule.
I may not work exactly 40 hours, but I work plenty. I’m sure those over-achiever 60-plus-hour workers, don’t want you talking about how MUCH they work just as much as I don’t want you talking about how little I work. Kapesh? (Full House – Jesse)

3. My ability to be a good mom because I work.
I work, dammit, and I’m okay with that. I love my work. I love the people I work with. And, I also LOVE my kids. It took me six years to say that out loud. Not the loving my kids part. The part about loving my job while also having kids. (:

4. My voice.
I talk loud, I know it. Well, honestly, I don’t know it. When I try to talk quiet, or quieter, it still feels like I’m talking the same as when I’m talking normal. Except, it’s more awkward. I’ve decided that maybe I have some sort of inner ear problem. Like a disease. Inner Ear Disease. That’s probably it. Don’t you feel bad now? I have inner ear disease and you’re making fun of me for talking loud. Sheesh.

I realize unless everyone writes their list out and wears it around their necks, no one will ever know the things you’re insecure about. Giving people free will to say whatever they want about you. Grow up, you say? I say, write that list down. Wear it around your neck (figuratively, not literally). Or, hell, do it literally. Then take that list and throw it in the trash. Wanna know why? Telling someone what you’re insecure about isn’t going to stop you from being insecure about it. I promise.

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PS, I kinda didn’t want to publish this post because of number 5 on my list. Wait, there was no number 5? Ugh, yes there was…

5. My ability to not sound stupid.
Usually when I want to write a blog post, I just write it and hit publish. Like this blog post, totally easy to write, but when it was time to hit publish, I didn’t. Why? Because I was afraid someone would read it and say, “that was the dumbest blog post I’ve ever read. It doesn’t even make sense.” And, usually, blogging is easy for me because I won’t actually see the people at the same time they’re reading my posts. But, public speaking. Totally gonna see those people. That is my number one reason I’m terrible at public speaking. Fear of sounding stupid.

I’ve never actually had anyone tell me I’m stupid. I’m 32. Someone should have told me by now. (; It’s finally making sense why they say insecurities are a waste of time. They’re most likely not even true.

Now I’m gonna go print this list off, wad it up in a ball and eat it.

I’ve written and deleted this blog post about seven times. In my head. I couldn’t quite figure out how to start the post, or even how to write it and then I watched this video. Go watch it.

When I started watching this video, I really wanted some jelly beans. When I finished watching this video, I really wanted some jelly beans. Shortly after, I wondered, “what should I do with my time, minus the time I just spent eating jelly beans?”

So I made a list.

  • Have more fun. Seriously, I’m so boring.
  • Have more fun with my kids. Seriously, they’re sheltered. I’m a worrier.
  • Worry less. Who cares if everyone likes me? I do. I’m gonna stop that.
  • Speak in public. This should be easy after I tackle the “worry less” above.
  • Smile more. Not sure if this is possible. (;
  • Judge less. Theoretic throat punching is still allowed.
  • Get organized. Four junk drawers and a junk closet are three junk drawers and a closet too many.

Now go make yourself a list. Your jelly beans are limited, so don’t let anyone eat them.

PS, 28,835 days = 79 years. You’re welcome. I ate some of my own jelly beans to figure that out for you.

My friend told me about these pretzel rolo pecan bites. You know, like how awesome they were. Like so awesome she couldn’t stop eating them. And she’s not even a candy person. Wait, back up, how can I even have a friend that’s not a candy person? Well, it’s kinda perfect, you see, I get all the candy.

Except for these, she ate ’em all. Kidding, Danielle. (:

Seriously, though, she’s an awesome cook and I always take her advice when it comes to food. Always.

So, here they are.

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And, it only takes three ingredients. Whaaat?

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Rolos, pretzels and pecan halves, just like the name of the candy. Oh and don’t mind my Christmas colored Rolos, they were on sale. A 75% off sale. Boom.

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Now’s the time to make your kids do some work. Sheesh, I made these two kids in my belly, so it’s only fair they help me make these to put back in my belly. Unwrapping 57 Rolos isn’t exactly fun.

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Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then lay down one pretzel for each Rolo. I had 57 Rolos, so I laid down 57 pretzels. See how I did math there. Place one Rolo on top of each pretzel. Then bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 3 minutes. Just enough to melt the caramel. Don’t be forgetting about these or you’ll have a melted chocolately caramel mess and you’ll hate yourself. Hate. Unwrapped Rolos aren’t easy to come by.

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Now’s the time to seize the day, open the gates and… Wait, um. Now’s the time to squish one pecan half on top of each perfectly melted Rolo. Then let these perfect little devils cool completely. Completely, I said.

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Enjoy.

PS, you’ll probably want to make a double batch, because it’s amazing how fast these things disappear.

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I love my kids. And, since their birthdays are 10 days apart (well, 2 years 355 days apart, to be exact), we always have one party for them. Since it’s a joint party, I try to come up with a theme that will fit boy or girl. I saw these awesome sprinkle cakes on Pinterest. Everyone’s all, “oh, it wasn’t that hard to do. Just do this and this.” Hmm, seems unusually easy.

And, to match the colorful sprinkles on the outside of the cake, I decided to make a rainbow cake on the inside. That part actually wasn’t as hard as you’d think, and totally worth the “ohhhs” and “awwws” when I cut into the cake.

Ready to see how I did it?

PS, boxed cake mix is totally your friend. Totally. I used 2 white boxed mixes and followed the directions. I stirred up 1 box at a time. Then I sprayed 3 round cake pans. But, before I poured any cake into the pans I made sure to cut out a piece of waxed paper to fix the bottom of the pan. After the pan was sprayed, I laid that waxed paper in the pan and then put a light coat of spray over that. This allows your cake to fall right out of the pan. Well, pretty much. (:

I divided the cake mix into three bowls and added food coloring to make yellow, purple and pink to the first three bowls. And stir, stir, stir.

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Pour into greased and waxed cake pan and bake as directed on box. Don’t over bake. While these three were baking I stirred up the second cake mix. I divided batter into three separate bowls and then made blue, green and orange. When the cakes are finished baking, place a wired rack over top of pan and turn over. Carefully remove waxed paper. Then place hand over bottom of cake and quickly flip to your hand and back to the wire rack. If you keep the cake upside down on the wire rack, you may get a cracked cake (my pink cracked because of domed cake). Continue with all cakes.

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It’s okay if you have wire marks on the cakes, you’ll be frosting. Now, let these cakes cool completely!

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While cakes are cooling, stir up your favorite buttercream frosting. I’ll add that soon (and by soon, I mean, whenever I get around to it, I have kids and a job and a husband and Facebook). This one’s a good one though. Mmm. Great bakers say, “used boxed cake and your best frosting.” My sister told me that and she’s a great baker. (:

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Cut a round piece of cardboard a little bigger than your cake pan. Then cover with foil. Add a dollop of frosting then start with your first layer of cake. I knew I wanted to go in rainbow order. Roy G Biv. Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple. These are the colors of the rainbow. The V is Violet. (:

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In between each layer add a small amount of frosting. Or a lot, I guess, it’s your call. It’s your cake. I knew we’d have a lot of frosting on the outside so I didn’t do a huge amount on the insides. If my cakes were too domed, I used a serrated knife and sliced it flat, or flat-ish. I used a piece of plastic wrap to push each cake down. My cake was soft and the tops of the cakes were really tacky. This plastic wrap worked awesome. Then I was able to really push down the cakes.

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It’s pretty amazing, isn’t it?

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Now, you’ll be doing what called a crumb coat. This is a thin layer of frosting on the outside of the cake. It basically holds the crumbs in. It’s kinda hard to do, because the cake is soft. But, just do it. It’s a must. You can thin your icing if it’s too thick and the cake is really pulling off.

Then you’ll need to let this coat of frosting dry completely. I made my cake 2 days before the party, so I stuck this in the fridge like this, with the crumb coat. It stayed in there overnight. Pretty much a full day. Then I pulled it out the next day and whipped up another batch of butter cream frosting.

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This doesn’t have to be perfect. But I’d put it on kinda thick.

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Then it’s sprinkle time. You can see I did two different kinds. That’s because it was a boy/girl joint party. And I’m awesome. But really, all those people who say sprinkle cakes aren’t that hard. They are. Okay, they’re not hard like labor, but really, you’ll have sprinkles everywhere. I mean everywhere. I put a sheet of foil under the cake (this is why the cardboard is necessary) and then I just started dumping sprinkles on top. I had to be careful not to over dump since I was doing half girl and half boy sprinkles. Then when it came to the sides I poured sprinkles in my hands and started slapping them on. The sprinkles and swearwords were flying. Son of a. Now I have sprinkles in the air vent. Great.

Cover any vents with a towel. Heck I’d say, don’t use foil, put down a towel and then put your cake on a towel. The foil on a hard countertop is just adding insult to injury here. Did that even make sense? Either way, use a towel. It’ll cushion those bouncy little bitch balls. (;

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Then I added those white bigger sprinkles. One. By. One. Yep. My dad was impressed. I was going to do three rows to really show the difference, but I was tired. And my kids were watching, so I had to put away the swearwords. I placed my cake on a pretty, glass platter and piped frosting around the edges.

Done.

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Looks super cute one color too.

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I’m a sucker for pinks though. I loved it so much more when it was done.

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So worth it watching these two gingers blow out the candles.

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Whoa. You made that? Yes. Yes, I did.

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It’s colorful. It’s a party.

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Now go out there and make a rainbow sprinkle cake for someone you love. You’ll thank me, I promise. Well, after you’re all done.

Some years are rough.

Some years are rebuilding years.

The rebuilding years are the years that make you stronger. The ones that build you back up. The ones that show you just how strong you really are.

2012 wasn’t such a hot year for me. But, without that year, I would have never needed a rebuilding year. And, 2013 turned out to be my rebuilding year. I just didn’t know that’s what it was until today… two days from the year being over.

I’ve never felt so sure I could do anything until this year. I decided I wanted to run a half marathon and so I ran one. Why not go ahead and run a full marathon? So, I did that too. It was awesome.

Everyone needs a year where all they say is: Yes, I can do that. Anything is a possibility, if I just give it a try.

So, I say, if you want to do it, try it. And, when you succeed (because you will succeed) you’ll have that much more confidence to do all of those other things you’ve been telling yourself you couldn’t do.

If 2013 was your year to fall apart, then let 2014 be your rebuilding year. “Never be afraid to fall apart because it is an opportunity to rebuild yourself the way you wish you had been all along.” – Rae Smith

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Don’t worry, I’ve got a lot more rebuilding to do. Blendra can’t be rebuilt in one year, people.

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I never realized how busy Christmastime is until I had kids. I, also, never realized how fun Christmastime is until I had kids. Well, you know, fun after it got done yelling at the kids to take a nap or they wouldn’t get to open a present when they got up. Thems the rules on Christmas eve.

If you take a nap. One present.

If you’re good in church. Two presents.

If you go to bed. Santa brings a megamillion presents.

Merry Christmas Eve!

Ps, almost-3-year-olds don’t care as much about gifts as almost-6-year-olds do.

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Every year we drive our kids to a local Christmas tree farm to take pictures of them crying on Santa’s lap. Crying Santa pictures is our Christmas traditions that makes me a good mom. And, I’m sad this tradition may end next year.

Every year we pull an artificial tree out of a box and decorate that tree. You got it, we don’t actually buy a tree from that tree farm with Santa, we just make the kids sit on Santa’s lap and cry. Decorating that artificial tree is our Christmas tradition and that makes me a good mom.

Every year I bake cookies and yell at my husband for eating the decorated sugar cookies and round monster cookies, when he should know the pretty cookies are for everyone else. Crooked candy canes and oblong monster cookies are the only cookies allowed to touch his lips. Baking during Christmastime stresses me out, but it’s our Christmas tradition and that makes me a good mom.

Every year we get out that damn Elf and every year we forget to hide her. When the kids ask why she didn’t move, we lie and say she was tired. But, really, it’s true. We are tired. That elf is annoying, yet we do it, because it’s our Christmas tradition and that makes me a good mom.

Every year I tell myself I’m going to start some new Christmas traditions. All of those Christmas traditions my family and friends are posting on Facebook and Pinterest. And every year, I forget. But forgetting is my Christmas tradition and that makes me a good mom.

My Christmas traditions are not meant to be your Christmas traditions and yours are not meant to be mine. As moms we do these extra things because we feel like they make us good moms. Christmas traditions don’t make us good a mom. Being a mom is what makes us a good mom. So, stop stressing about your Christmas traditions that don’t seem to stand up to those Facebook and Pinterest Christmas traditions. Eating raw cookie dough by the spoonful when the kids go to bed is an awesome Christmas tradition and that makes me a good mom.

So, Merry Christmas to all you awesome moms (and dads, because you’re awesome, too)! Now go share this with all those awesome moms.

I usually don’t let my microwave get too dirty because it’s so easy to clean. But when I see a dirty microwave, I use it as a way to teach people how to clean a microwave in 2 easy steps. You got that right. It’s only 2 steps and they’re both easy.

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Step 1: Fill a bowl up with water, place in the microwave and turn that dirty thing on for 5 minutes. Note: I put my bowl on a plate, it makes the bowl easier to remove from the microwave. Look, you can do what you want, but after you’ve had scalding water burn your hand because you thought you’d skip putting the bowl on a plate, you’ll put the damn bowl on a plate. Just sayin’

Step 2: Remove bowl and wipe the filthy, no-good, dirty microwave clean with a rag. Or  a paper towel, or a sponge. Or, maybe, use the shirt of the person who forgot to cover their food that splattered all over the microwave you just cleaned two weeks ago. Whatever works here, really. And, I actually like to use the hot water from my bowl to dampen the cloth I’m using. I use a paper towel. I love paper towels.  It’s amazing how no matter what kind of cloth you use, the filth just wipes clean. It’s the condensation from the water. I’m like a scientist here.

Step 3: There is no Step 3. I told you this was 2 steps, so I made it 2 steps.

Step 4: You are welcome. Now go clean a dirty microwave, someone will love you for it.

Today I asked my friend, the friend who got me started blogging, “do you think it’s sad that I’ve had Blendra for almost four years and I haven’t even quite made $100 yet?”

Wanna know what he said?

He looked at me and said, “I’d say it was sad if that’s the only reason you had Blendra.”

I smiled. I smiled because I love Blendra. She’s the me I’d never been. She’s the me I’d always wanted to be. And after almost four years, she’s the me I have become.

So, here’s to four more years.

PS, check out my new header. Now that’s the reason I’m sticking around. It’s my favorite header yet.