Thursday, June 23, 2011


Menu update:
The kids aren't really into this new menu, but I'm sticking to my theory that if they look at healthy food enough, one of these times they will actually choose to eat it.  I have really enjoyed everything so far.  I am definitely making last nights quinoa salad again, and when I do I will share the recipe along with pictures.  Tonight's spaghetti was a hit!  Finally, something the kids would eat.  No one cried or screamed or threw their food on the floor.  I'm particularly proud of myself because I made my own sauce.  I threw canned tomatoes, zucchini, and peppers in the blender.  Then added garlic, basil, onions, salt, pepper, and I can't remember what else.  Oh, and some olive oil.  I blended it all up because my kids can only tolerate tomatoes without chunks.  I love chunks, but no sacrifice is too small when it comes to getting kids to eat their veggies.

In other news:
I woke up at 3:00 am this morning to clean house.  I tried cleaning last night but it seemed so futile.  While I was cleaning in one room, three kids were making three more messes in three other places.  So, I got up really, really early while they were sleeping.  Usually cleaning isn't on my urgent list, but the townhouse I'm renting is for sale, and someone was coming this afternoon to see it.  Part of me wants to leave it a mess and sabotage the sale, but my landlords did me a huge favor letting me live here, and I'm really grateful.  Plus, I have issues.  My own house was quite a mess the day I left.  And I wasn't able to go back in and clean months later when we put it up for sale.  I wasn't there when the hopeful buyers saw it and put in their offer, but I saw it a few weeks later.  Those messes six months later are really quite rank.  It was quite embarrassing and I don't ever want anyone to think of me what those people must think (there I go again, caring what others think.  I'm working on that.) So, I really care that people see a clean peaceful home when they come through.
I have a funny feeling that these might be the people who will buy it.  These little premonitions of mine turn out to be true about 20% of the time, so I'm thinking it's time for me to learn how to find a good rental in Ogden.  I've done a little looking on KSL classifieds.  What other resources are there?  What do I need to watch out for?
I've been really lucky with this place.  It has plenty of space and good neighbors, and a built in incentive to keep up with the housework.  I hope I'm 80% wrong and we get to finish the summer here.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I'm so excited that I've finally put together a menu that incorporates so many of the new recipes I've found lately.  I work all day and have found that if I don't have a plan we end up eating a lot of McDonald's and Little Cesar's and all the healthy food I have stocked my kitchen with spoils and goes to waste.  So this weekend I took a few minutes to put together a menu.  I've decided to do a two week menu.  Some people prefer to do it just one week at a time, and others do a whole month at once. It really just depends on works for you and your family.
You'll probably notice that I've included a lot of vegetarian dishes.  This is because they are both healthy, economical, and delicious.  This week I've included tofu, black beans, chick peas(garbanzo beans), lentils, and quinoa.  It will probably be a shock to my poor kids who have become accustomed to their fast food diet, so I've decided to do it with gusto and get the shock all over at once. 

Green Bean Pasta Salad with Chick Peas

Cilantro Lime Tofu and Black Beans
This recipe calls for one can of black beans.  I have dry beans so I will soak 1/2 a cup the night before.

Damon's Quinoa Salad
This is a recipe given to me by a friend.  I'm especially exited to try it.  I'll take lots of pictures and let you all know how it turns out.

This is always a favorite for my kids.  I like to cook the noodles with the sauce and add shredded zucchini (the kids don't even know it's there.)

Polenta Pizza

Indian Lentil Sandwich Spread
This will be a very busy, running from place to place kind of day.  So, I'll pack up this spread, some peanut butter and a loaf of bread, and we'll be able to eat when we get hungry wherever we are.

Coconut Chicken Curry

Vegan Bean Burger

Taco Tuesday at Viva Market.

Egg Salad Sandwiches

Stir Fry

Quinoa  Red Lentil Soup
This is a main dish crock pot soup.

Out to eat with a friend..

Friday, June 17, 2011


I was very excited to take my kids to tonight's free concert at the Ogden amphitheater, Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, because I just love introducing my kids to new music.  But the tour bus threw a rod and blew the engine somewhere not near Ogden, and the concert was cancelled :( .  Fortunately Ogden has a hopping music scene, and there are always multiple choices for the music loving Ogdenite.  Check out Indie Ogden's expansive list.  And don't forget my favorite Friday night activity, open mic night at the Borrowed Earth Emporium, and it's not too late to drop in because it lasts until there is no one left to share anything.  My kids even sang a few songs when we went a few weeks ago.  So much fun.
A very fun thing that is happening right now at this very moment as I type, is that it is opening night of Cinderella at Beverly's Terrace Plaza Playhouse
In January my BFF and I went to our very first musical there, Urinetown.  It had a very strange name and an even more unusual plot, and we loved it!  It had all the excitement and energy that comes with community theater, and we were hooked.  We vowed we would never miss another show, and we haven't. 
The next one was Oklahoma!  Cameron Kapetanov played the leading role as Curly McLain.  He sang like the role was written for him.  I still get a little weak in the knees when I think about it.  It was love at first note.  
Annie was fabulous.  I brought my girls and got the thrill of watching them fall in love with live theater.  It is a small theater and we bought center section seats so it felt like we were right on stage with them.  The cast of little girls were absolutely amazing. 
Now Cinderella.  The music has all the charm that Rogers and Hammerstein are so famous for.  I'll be bringing my girls again.  We'll be all dressed up and I'll even let them wear lip stick.  And I will get the thrill of experiencing really good community theater all over again.

A few side notes:

Stick around after any Friday night show to check out Off the Wall Comedy Improv for a night of side-splitting, gut wrenching, foot stomping hilarity (and another chance to see Cameron Kapetanov.  Yes, he sings and he is funny.)  Tonight is OTW Fraudway Presents: Pirates of the Parodean at 10:30.  Oh, how I wish I had a baby sitter.

For anyone that would like an opportunity to be part of community theater, auditions for the next show "Lend Me a Tenor" are tomorrow morning.

And lastly, although the concert is cancelled, Juneteenth is not.  It starts at noon tomorrow and at 1:00 Sunday at the Ogden City amphitheater..  $5/person and kids 10 and under are free.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


My Favorite Quote:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
This inspiring quote by Marianne Williamson is from her book, A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles, Harper Collins, 1992. From Chapter 7, Section 3 (Pg. 190-191).

It is often misattributed to Nelson Mendela, who is quite quotable. 

The topic of overcoming fear is a reoccurring theme in my life as I've dealt with my anxiety disorder and struggled to find my way through situations I thought myself incapable of conquering.

Last September I found myself in a new team at work, and the subject of the "Getting to Know You" board.  Cindy, the fabulous engineer of said board, asked, among other things, for my favorite quote.  I hadn't thought about it for a very long time, but it came up quickly on an Internet search of Nelson Mendela.  I made a copy for her, and a copy for me to put on my cubicle wall.  I read it everyday.  I started to notice how much fear ruled my life.  I was afraid of taking too long to get home from work,  I was deleting all my texts to and from my sister as soon as they were sent, and I was always afraid of taking a wrong step or saying the wrong thing.   Ex wasn't violent, but his barrage of questions and disapproval were relentless. 
One day in November I gave up my fear of talking about myself to other people and began talking about my life and marriage with some coworkers.  Just hearing my stories out loud made me realize the truth of my situation.  I would tell any other woman that she needed to have the self-respect and dignity to leave.  Somehow I found what self-respect I had remaining and I chose to "shine."  I am no longer someone who allows others  to define who I am.  Unfortunately, it required leaving behind those who would not allow this change, but I have found many encouraging people along my way.  I am no longer afraid of who I am.  I am "brilliant, gorgeous, talented, (and) fabulous!"

Here are some more quotes attributed to Nelson Mendela:
I haven't done the research, so I'm just trusting that most of these words are actually his.

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."

"It always seems impossible until it's done."

"There is no passion to be found playing small - in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living."
"I am the captain of my soul."
"As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I'd still be in prison."

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 14-June 19 Calendar

I've added links for Art in the Parks and Science in the Parks.  Be sure to check the links to see when they will be in your neighborhood park.  And check out these other great calendars:
O-Town Mama
Indie Ogden
Ogden City

Activities that are available every day:Library-

Bowling at Sparetime-2 free games everyday

Dinosaur Park-We have a family pass.  Check out the parks fun website

Ogden Nature Center-  we get in free on weekdays with our Dinosaur pass.  A nature center pass would get you into dinosaur park  free on weekdays.  Saturdays are free all summer.

Union Station museums- also free with dinosaur park or Nature Center pass.

Swimming at the Marshall White center- $2 for adults, $1.50 for kids (except Tuesdays when it is ten cents!) 1:00pm to 5:30.

Splash pads-one at the Nature park in South Ogden and the other at Riverdale park.
Summer lunches-free for everyone under 18. This link lists Ogden, Weber, Davis, and Box Elder districts. .  11:30-12:15 for Ogden School District.

Other Activities this week-
Monday June13- Summer reading event at Weber County main library. Every Monday 10:30-11:30.
Tuesday June14- 10 cent swimming at Marshall White Center.  1:00-5:30.

Tuesday June 14-Discovery Time for toddlers and preschoolers Weber County Main library 10:30-11:15 and 11:30-12:15. 

Tuesday June 14 and Wednesday June 15- Summer movie at Tinseltown 10:00 "How to Train Your Dragon"   $1.

Tuesday June 14, Wednesday June 15, and Thursday June 16- Cine Pointe 6 Summer Kids Club movie. "Flushed Away" $1

Arts in the Park- Monday June 13-Friday June 17 12:00-1:00 at Liberty Park.

Science in the Park-Monday June 13-Friday June 17 12:00 at Lorin Farr Park.

Fun weekend activities in Weber county: This is the Weber County Ramp calender with more free Saturday activities than any one family could ever fit in.

Juneteenth Festival at Ogden Amphitheater.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Saturday musings

When you have a three year old, you get to say things like, "My mouse is missing."  I'm sure most people usually find all of their computer attachments right where they left them, with their computers, but mothers of preschoolers can never be sure.  I don't doubt that in the next day or two he will go straight to the lost item and bring it back to me beaming with pride but for now he's not talking.
   This is why today's post is just my ramblings and not a calendar of what's happening next week. 
   This past week my life has been completely consumed by allergies.  The pine tree outside my house has been dropping insane amounts of pollen.  My allergies have been unbearable and combined with my asthma have made me one sick mama.  I think the trees have finally shed their last flecks of pollen, and by this afternoon I felt almost like myself again.  So I mustered my strength and headed downtown for the arts festival with all three kids in tow.  Going out with kids is always a gamble, but today it paid off because they were extremely well behaved(not a usual occurrence.) We had a fun conversation on the way about how if you took away a true artist's paper, she would still find a way to create art.  The kids had some great suggestions such as drawing on boxes, and painting with pollen on the sidewalk, and other fun creative things they have done before (of course no one mentioned rubbing food on the walls.)
  My favorite thing about the arts festival was watching all the vibrant happy people, both the artists and the people who were there to enjoy the art.  It was just the type of environment that stirs the creative soul, and awakens sleeping dreams.  I have a lot of dreams, most of them still sleeping seeds, not allowed to grow out of fear they will die before they bloom and bear fruit.  Well, I took a couple of those seeds today and planted them in a sunny little spot and watered them.  I can't wait to see what happens.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My Curtains

In an ideal world, i would go antique shopping every day, and buy everything I like without ever looking at the price.  Then, I would bring my treasures home to my on staff designer (who also picks out my clothing for me), who would then combine all my fabulous finds with some terrific modern pieces to create the perfect blend of showcase and comfort.  Until that day, I am filling my home with an eclectic mix of old stuff and cheap stuff painted black.  And I am learning to embrace my inner DIY.
   So here is my most recent project!
These are the curtains that were in my room. I have two of these windows.   Note the really ugly curtain rod.
They don't exactly inspire thoughts of luxurious retreat for completely exhausted single momma.
So, I bought this queen size flat sheet at Savers for $2.
Then I went to my mom's and asked her to help me cut it in two pieces.  That is when she kidnapped my project and escaped to her craft room.  She hemmed the cut edges, and picked open the edges at the top.  She emerged fifteen minutes with two completed curtain panels.  I took them home and they fit perfectly over those hideous rods. 
Ignore the wrinkles.
I gathered the bottom with some ribbon I bought in the dollar bin at Michaels.

I also bought these three pillows (the ones in front) that match the curtains for a dollar each at Savers.

It's finally starting to feel less like an empty apartment and more like my home.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Indie Ogden

Nobody knows more about what's happening in Ogden than Indie Ogden.

Check out her blog today.
You can also like her on Face Book.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Summer Reading Program

It is very important for children to continue reading through the summer so that they retain more of what they learned during the school year.  I have one child who can't help reading everything she gets her hands on, but another one who has been very slow and resistant to read.  With the help of a remarkable teacher and wonderful volunteers, she has made a lot of progress this year.  In an attempt to help her keep the momentum and to continue progressing, I searched out some summer reading programs.
Weber County Library Summer Reading Program
This program is for children ages 3-12.  This year's theme is “One World, Many Stories," and runs from June 6 to July 8.  There will be weekly prizes and raffles, and a big final party.  There is also a teen program themed "You Are Here."  Register at your local branch, or call one of these numbers for more information:
                Main Library................ 801-337-2639
                North Branch............... 801-337-2650
                Ogden Valley Branch... 801-337-2660
                Pleasant Valley Branch 801-337-2690
                Southwest Branch........ 801-337-2670

The Governor's 2011 Summer Reading Challenge
This one has the same theme, "One World, Many Stories."  Kids mark a bookmark each time they read 20 minutes.  When they have read 20 hours, mail it in for a certificate.  They also have calendars full of fun literacy activities centered around the theme.  Download bookmarks and calendars here.

Barnes & Noble Summer Reading
This program is as simple as reading eight books and writing it in a journal.  When the journal is full return it to the nearest Barnes & Noble for a free book.  Download the journal and a parents activity kit here.

Scholastic Summer Challenge
Kids will have fun logging their minutes read on this website.  They are entered into a sweepstakes to win free books each day they log their reading time.  If they reach the weekly goal, they get to spin the wheel for a chance to win prizes.  All minutes read are combined in attempt to beat last years totals and set a new world record.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

O-Town Mama

Check this out! If I had found her yesterday I would have saved a ton of time.  And we even have the same background on our blogs.  Don't forget to check out her calendar.
This Mama knows what she's doing.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Summer Survival Kit

So, after all the drama, Ex's reassignment to swing shift came through in the nick of time.  Since I know how hard it is to keep kids happy in the Summer, especially when you are that tired, I'm putting together a summer survival kit.  Included will be books,

coloring books, worksheets, crafts, swim suits, sun screen, emergency numbers, names and phone numbers of friends, and a list of every free and nearly free activity that I can find in Ogden.  I compiled it all in this beauty that I purchased for $3 at my favorite store, Savers.

Here is the list I have compliled so far:

Activities that are available every day:


Bowling at Sparetime-2 free games everyday

Dinosaur Park-We have a season pass that I got when it was the daily deal on Groupon Check out the parks fun website

Ogden Nature Center-  we get in free on weekdays with our Dinosaur pass.  A nature center pass would get you into dinosaur park  free on weekdays.

Union Station museums- also free with dinosaur park or Nature Center pass.

Swimming at the Marshall White center- $2 for adults, $1.50 for kids (except Tuesdays when it is ten cents!) 1:00pm to 5:30.

Splash pads-one at the Nature park in South Ogden and the other at Riverdale park.
Summer lunches-free for everyone under 18. This link lists Ogden, Weber, Davis, and Box Elder districts.

Other Activities this week-
Monday June 6- Summer reading event at Weber County main library. Every monday 10:30-11:30.

Tuesday June 7- 10 cent swimming at Marshall White Center.  1:00-5:30.

Tuesday June 7 and Wednesday June 8- Summer movie at Tinseltown 10:00 "Megamind"   $1.
Thursday June 8- Pink fire trucks will be at the Riverdale RC Willey all day.

Fun weekend activities in Weber county: This is the Weber County Ramp calander with more free Saturday activities than any one family could ever fit in.

Additional Resources:   This is a great website with a weekly newsletter full of fun activities.   

Please share any other activities you know of, and I'll include them in next weeks calander.                     

Thursday, June 2, 2011

child care

I thought I might be able to make a big fancy post today.  But my day ended up being occupied by something that most working moms spend much more time on than they would like.  Finding babysitting.  Summer vacation is here and now I need child care for three children.  My youngest's baby sitter is absolutely awesome, and I love the stability she has given in my child's life.  She, however, is unable to take my school age children.  So I used this resource she gave me
This is a list of licensed child care providers in Weber, Davis and Morgan counties.  The thing that is really cool about it is that it gives options to suite every persons needs.  You can call and have someone help with the search, or you can search the list on-line.  I, of course, used the online option because phones are just plain scary.  I put in my search criteria and it gave me a list of several area providers.  I found one that I think I will absolutely adore.  Plus she is just  a few blocks from my youngest's provider.  The cost of full-time child care for three children is completely daunting.  Once again my beautiful babysitter comes to the rescue and tells me about state child care assistance.  The application is at this sight: .  I'll be working on that this weekend.  There is a whole list of of state provided assistance (unemployment, CHIP, food stamps, child care etc) at this site .  DWS (department of workforce services) in Ogden is at 480 27th St.  There provide so many useful services.
  Insert Wrench: Ex and I are supposed to be working together to create a "parenting plan" that best serves our children's needs.  But we can't agree.  He has decided that he should be watching the kids all summer.  I can't argue with the money it will save, but I have my apprehensions.  First, he has no idea what he's getting himself into. And second, he actually works the same shift I do.  He assures me that he will be able to change his shift at some unknown future date, and wants a relative that I don't trust to watch them in the meantime.  I promise that won't happen.  I'm trying not to be too anxious and am leaving it to the lawyers.  Hopefully I'll be able to sleep tonight. 
  And now a picture of the project I didn't post about today.  This is super exciting because I have never actually put a picture on a blog before.

Well, that was anticlimactic.   

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

a single mom's journey of survival and self-discovery

The end: I spent ten years in a relationship where I was controlled, demeaned and isolated.  I call it verbal and emotional abuse, although it took me years to see it as such, and others still disagree with me. 
   One morning I received the clarity which I had sought for so long.  I knew I should get divorced and I knew I had to do it immediately because I would never have the courage again.  That evening I thold the Ex I wanted a divorce and asked him to leave.  When he refused, the children and I left with just the clothes we were wearing, whatever happened to be in the messy minivan and two bags that my oldest child had scrambled to throw together.
The begining: And that's how my little family ended up homeless on my sister's doorstep.  She welcomed us in with tears of joy.  She found us a place to live, and with the help of her awesome husband and congrigation, began to furnish it.
  I've seen other women in my situation who go straight into survival mode and never quite get it together, while others thrive.  I want to thrive.  I feel as if I've been unleashed and there is a big beautiful world out there to discover.  This blog is an attempt to document my journey.  I hope to be a help to other women who may feel a connection with my story.  I intend to share helpful tips, and new interests.  Most of all, I hope to provide some inspiration.