Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday Fun

The weather forcast for here in Chicago this weekend is not so pretty. Lots of cold wet stuff, either snow or slush or slushy rain, so we are making plans at our house to do lots of baking.

One of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes has been handed down from generation to generation. It is an odd recipe, but a good one. My daughter and I will be making some of these up tomorrow. . .

CANDY LASSES (Christmas cookies)

Cream: 2/3 cup butter

¼ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar

Blend: 1 egg
2 tbsp. Molasses

Add: ½ cup peppermint candy canes crushed

Sift: 2 cups flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. ginger

Beat well after blending in egg and molasses—then stir in peppermint candy and dry ingredients—drop by teaspoon onto greased cookie sheets—bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes.
Cool cookies for at least 5 minutes before removing from sheets.
Frost cookies with peppermint frosting.
To make peppermint frosting, add red food coloring, a few drops of peppermint flavoring, and some crushed peppermint candy canes to plain vanilla frosting.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Strike is Over, and I Am Proud as a Peacock

As you may or may not have heard yet, the Stagehand strike that has crippled Broadway for about three weeks ended last night around 10:30 pm. This means that today, the show will go on.

And just why does this make me proud as a peacock? You see, my brother has been working very hard since he was in high school to find his place in the world. He at first, I think, believed he would be a singer or actor. . .and he was good. But over the past few years he has tried his hand at many different things, and seemed to find his niche in being a Company Director. He has continuously worked on his theater degree and dreamed only of Braodway.

Well, my hat is very proudly off to my little brother today, for realizing a dream that he has had for years and followed at deep personal cost! Tonight, my brother has his Broadway debut, and I wish with all my heart that I could be there to see it. Tonight my brother will be the Company Manager of the Broadway musical Curtains with David Hyde Pierce!

It may take years, but following your dream and pursuing it diligently, in almost all cases, does indeed pay off. If you are willing to work tirelessly and give it your all, you will be rewarded. For all of you who are on that long road. . .hang in there! Your own breakthrough may be right around that next corner.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

5 Board Games Everyone Will Enjoy

I don't want to do it, I don't want to add another gift list, but I have to for two reasons. First, I want to record all my good ideas for myself, and second, everyone I talk to these days is looking for gift ideas. Let's face it, it is the most important thing on all our minds right now. So, on to the board games.

My husband hates board games, but the kids and I love them. We also find that especially in the winter months, lots of couples like to come over for game night. . .and the food and fun is magical.

So, for those "gamers" on your holiday gift list, here are a few board games that I will be picking up for my friends this year (just so I can use them when I invite them over).

1. Eat It! Snacks & Sweets Trivia Game was feature in the December issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray. Not only does it get great reviews, and include questions about my favorite food group, chocolate, it comes with coupons also. Who wouldn't enjoy this gift?! ($28)

2. I need to add the Jumbo Sequence game to a list for my family, as we play this all the time with friends. It is a team game, and so the competitiveness in us all comes out, but it usually provides hours of entertainment for anyone who likes card games. ($33)

3. We LOVE Cranium. This is the board game that we go back to time after time, and now there is a new version out. I may even put Cranium Wow on my own Christmas list this year. ($30)

4. Another food related game for the magazine above is one called Celebrity Chef the Game. I'll admit it, there is nothing I like to do better on a Saturday morning than make a cup of coffee, have some eggs, and sit down to an hour or two of the Food Network. This game will at least validate some of my time spent! ($30)

5. And finally, another game we play over and over again at our get togethers is Scene It. If the person you are buying for has an XBox 360, another GREAT game that I can't wait to try is the XBox 360 verion of Scene It. ($60)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

5 Inexpensive Gifts for Kids

I was looking for stocking stuffers for my kids, and some small gifts for nieces and nephews and found some really good ideas both online and the December issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray.

1. My son has had a rough year, and so I have promised his Dad that I will put only coal in his stocking this year, but at least with Christmas Coal, I have found a fun way to do that!

2. I like these little watches for the elementry aged kids on my list. I like that it was designed by a child at St Jude's and I also like the price.

3. These gloves are just too funky. I plan to get a pair for my dauther and all the girls on my list.

4. Ever since Jeff Foxworthy came on and challenged us to be smarter than our 5th graders, the kids in my house have been clamoring to play a game where they can beat the parents. I am putting this game under the tree, friendly competition never hurt anyone, just as long as the parents win! This website is also nice, as there is free shipping, and the option to choose only gifts made in the US.

5. And although the Wobble Deck is made in China, I think this is too fun to pass up. I think my teenagers will like this, and I am sure their dad will be anxious to show just how young he is with this game.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Alternative Suggestions to Black Friday Shopping

I know eveyone is just dying to get out, sit still in traffice, fight for a parking spot, and then fight with all of the other customers in the stores today, but not me. I am looking forward to a very calm day doing some more productive activities.

Here is my list of 5 alternate activities to participating in the Black Friday Craze:

1. First, I will be tuning all of the radios and internet sites to Christmas All the Time buy going to WLIT the Holiday Lite, 93.9FM. Their website also has some great holiday ideas for decorating and some amazing recipes.

2. I will put together a delicious lunch of leftover turkey. I found some great recipes on the Food Network website that I can choose from, yum!

3. I will get out my decorations today and slowly over the next few days decorate the different rooms in my house. Last year I found a great bathroom set that makes me smile every morning at the BedBath Store.

4. While I am enjoying the lights and music of the season, I will also sit down and address a few of those holiday cards that I want to send out. I found my cards this year at Red Stamp, they had dozens of photo cards to choose from.

5. After I have spent at least 15 minutes on the Christmas cards, I will put in a Christmas Classics and cozy up with left over pie and tea!

Whatever you do today relax and enjoy this magical time before Christmas, the season that is most filled with hope, joy, love, and peace on earth.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Career Advice

In a former job, I had college students reporting to me, and I have stayed in touch with many of them, and it distresses me to see so many of them struggling with indecision now that they have their degrees.

I can relate to this, as I too wonder what could have been if I had been forced to think about what I wanted to do with my life more in high school.

I want to encourage parents to help their kids think through this, so I will post some links below that may be helpful. If you have or know someone who will be going to college, or is in college, and they don't know what to do with their lives, please encourage them to really put some time and effort into this and make a plan.

I love the Wall Street Journal's site CareerJournal. It has some really great articles, including some interviews with people about their jobs.

Another great site is MSN's Collage Grad site.

And another good idea for all high school aged students is to look through some current job postings to get a feel for what jobs and skills employers are looking for.

I got my last job through a posting on CareerBuilder, so I recommend that one here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanksgiving Memories

I have such happy memories of Thanksgivings of the past, both in the long ago past and the not distant past. Of these, there are two videos that help me sum up, with a chuckle, those memories and I plan to share these both with my kids this year.

The first is the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special. . .take a look.

The second is less appropriate, but I was a teenager when this first came out and I remember watching this with my brothers and laughing well into the morning! Those are very happy memories.

How about you? What fun memories do you have?

Monday, November 19, 2007

5 Things to Do After Thanksgiving Dinner

Holidays are great. My family and I look forward to family coming for Thanksgiving every year. We plan for weeks what we will cook, when we will clean each room of the house, and what projects must be finished before family from out of town arrives. We just about think of eveything, however, we usually fail to plan what we will actually DO while we wait for dinner to cook.

Now, don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with just sitting around and talking. Some may find, though, that the more restless of their relatives may need some activities to get them talking and sharing and opening up. Here are just 5 simple ideas for having some fun, being productive, or simply working off some of that food.

5 Things to Do After Thanksgiving Dinner:

1. When you invite folks, let them know that you will have a place set aside for them to do some holiday cards, and you will have an address swap. Even if you invite friends instead of family, this could be a very productive activity.

2. Another fun thing to do after dinner is to print out those pictures you took before and during dinner and begin scrapping with your family and friends there. I am thinking that the women in the group may especially enjoy bonding over making a momento to take home.

3. Go for a walk. I know simple, but sometimes we forget the simple things. Is there a child or spouse you have not spent much time with lately in all the flurry of activity? Invite them along and talk about the dinner or the day or even swap Christmas lists or wishes.

4. We don't have many traditions in our family, but one we do have is that every Thanksgiving we pick a movie to go see in the theater. This is a great way to unwind after a long week, and face it, the cook probably needs some time off her/his feet!

5. Another tradition that we have, is touch football. I think this activity is even more fun for those of us who are not usually coordinated or sporty. Anyone can toss a football a couple of feet and run. . .and there is little danger of injury if you stick to the "touch not tackle" rule.

Do you have fun activities planned or have some different traditions? Please share!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Finally Friday Fun

Friday fun for the next few weeks is most likely going to be shopping, and shopping tips. So on this last Friday before Thanksgiving, I am working on THAT shopping list.

Here is my menu for Thursday and some links for the recipes that I will be using.

Thanksgiving Menu:



Mashed Potatoes

Pretzle Salad (am changing all references to Strawberry here to Cranberry)


And for Dessert:

Pumpkin Bars (will cut then top with a mini candy pumpkin for decoration)

How about you?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Cafe Thursday

Another week has practically come and gone, and here we are with only some 39 odd days left to get all of our Christmas preparations done. I don't know about you, but I am already starting to feel the familiar panic setting in. I got even more worried when I realized that Thanksgiving is a week from today.

I am subscribed to the Chicago Edition of Daily Candy, and yesterday they sent this amazing recipe from Moto pastry chef Ben Roche. It has me relaxing and completely looking forward to breakfast with my family next week. Whether you try this recipe or an old family favorite, in the rush of the holidays, don't forget to slow down for special moments with loved ones. Take a long morning break and have breakfast with your Mom, daughter, sister, friend or make cookies and have tea with friends. Just remember to enjoy the people in your life at some point, and for a least one meal here and there . . . just enjoy your food without counting the calories.

Pumpkin Pie Pancakes with Cranberry Maple Syrup

Makes 12 Pancakes

3 slices prebaked 8-inch pumpkin pie (cut into 8 even slices)

2 eggs

¼ c. plus 2 tbsp. milk

½ c. plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1½ tsp. baking powder

¾ tsp. salt

2 tbsp. brown sugar

½ tsp. powdered cinnamon

½ tsp. powdered ginger


¾ c. cranberry sauce

¼ c. maple syrup

1. Roughly chop pumpkin pie, crust and all, into half-inch pieces.
2. Put chopped pie and eggs into blender and blend until smooth.
3. Add milk and dry ingredients and blend until smooth (a little clumpy is okay).
4. Pour batter into buttered pan and cook as you would normal pancakes. When they are a dark caramel color, flip delicately.
5. Blend cranberry sauce and maple syrup.
6. Top pancakes with cranberry maple syrup

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

What the heck is a FLYbaby?

Ok, I will finally admit it outloud . . . I am not organized, and organization does not come to me naturally. Not only I am not natively organized, I have almost no routines and usually avoid them at all cost. So, it comes as no suprise to most that I don't exactly have a perfectly clean home that my family can't wait to get home to. I was not taught how to clean by habit and routine, and therefore, when company is coming, it is usually a several day ordeal that contains much hollering and lots of stress. Last week, I realized that not only was my house disorganized and not clean, but my house really was only a reflection of the chaos I had accepted in all areas of my life. I was also at a loss as to how I was going to encourage my ds (dear son) to care about school and get himself together. So I did what I always do when I am in a crisis and need advice, I used google.

The first sites I happened across were reform schools and places for troubled teens. Knowing that things were bad, but not quite that bad yet, I kept going. I somehow ended up on a funny little page with a woman in purple wings and blue hair at I won't bore you with all the details, but I highly recommmend this site for any woman who may be a perfectionist, works at home or outside somewhere, and is feeling like perhaps things in your life are out of control and you can't organize yourself.

Once I decided to become a FLYbaby, the only natural next step was to organize the second most important thing in my family's life (the house being the first), dinner! I have only begun to use some of the tools posted on the Saving Dinner site. I can't tell you what to do, and I am sure this system is not for everyone, but I think it is no coincidence that I had my first really good idea for a story today . . . one week into the new lifestyle!

Being the Disciplinarian

I think this is the worst part of the Mom gig; being the disciplinarian. I am not all that good at it either, truth be told. I am not scared of my kids or worried that they won't like me, it just isn't much fun having to discipline the kids. But, it seems that letting my high school aged children try to determine their own bedtimes makes for a VERY stressful morning for all.

So, I have decreed a bedtime for both of them (of course this was met with weeping and gnashing of teeth). I don't think 10pm is too early for teenagers that need to get up by 6:30 each morning to make it to school on time. What do you think? Please let me know.

Monday, November 12, 2007

5 Gift Ideas for the Geek on Your List

Do you have any Geeks on your list? You know the ones, they dress in dark colors, and may sit in a cubicle or an office, but come 6pm, they are sitting in their basement in front of at least 2 monitors playing the latest online RPG.

Here are a few fun ideas if you have any of these folks on your list:

1. Have a mobile IT person in the family? Are they often running from system to system or location to location fixing computer issues? If so, they may need an Ironkey. This is a secure way to keep passwords handy and be able to browse the internet safely from any location.

2. When I first got into the IT business, someone got me a Wave, I had it only a month before I noticed dear hubby using it. I have not seen it since, but this is definitely a great stocking stuffer for anyone who likes to tinker.

3. I love this laptop tote. I am adding it to my own list right now.

4. I haven't tried the Sun Jar yet, but with all the attention that green gadgets are getting this year, I will definitely be adding a couple of these to my list for my siblings.

5. And last but certainly not least, if you have been putting off getting yourself or the top receiver on your list an iPod, now is the time. With so many to choose from, you can get one for almost everyone on your list.

ThinkGeek - Cool Stuff for Geeks and Technophiles

Best Kitchen Cleaning Tip EVER

I spent much of this past weekend cleaning my kitchen. I know, I am supposed to clean my house little by little every day, but come on; I don't always have time for that. Besides, I like having a lazy dinner and then catching up with the kids and watching our favorite TV shows together during the week. That leaves the weekend for deep house cleaning, and while I was whitening my stove this weekend, I was thankful once again for the best cleaning tip my mother ever gave me.

It was shortly after I got my brand new shiny white oven. Mom was there on Thanksgiving and I was pouting over my white burners no longer being white. Mom asked if I had any SOS pads and suggested I try those. They worked! My burners looked brand new, and NOTHING cuts through grease on counters, floors and tables like those little SOS pads. They even worked pretty well on my shiny sink.

A follow-up tip: if you have a red wine or red juice stain on anything white, try the Magic Eraser. I am not sure what this thing is made of, but we even got out dark blue dye from a friends antique wood table with this little gem.

I get mine from, inc. It is quick, easy, and usually delivered (for free) in a day or two. I save even more money by not going to the drugstore on my corner and filling my cart with things I had no intention of buying.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Finally Friday Fun

Another new feature and theme day: Finally Friday Fun. I am imagining a list of links and fun for Fridays. For now, I am thinking I will theme it each week with topics that I like, and will go from there.

Today as I commuted in to work, I was listening to Afterglow by Sarah McLachlan and thinking of things that make me happy, and I thought of riding my motorcycle. I am hoping that it will warm up just enough here in Chicago today for me to get a few moments in after work on my bike, if not today, then hopefully sometime this weekend. In honor of my happy thoughts this morning, I figured I would list here some fun motorcycle links, especially those dedicated to women bikers.

Illinois Free Rider Course - This is the absolute best thing I ever did by myself or for myself! Do this if you are even thinking about biking just a little bit! It is worth it. My class was over half women.

Women who Ride - A good starter site with tips and information. - I got my first pair of Harley boots here for a great price, shipping was free and I had the boots the next day. . .Zappos is amazing. Here are the boots I want next (hint, hint).

Harley-Davidson - And of course, this is my next bike, for now anyway (hint, hint). You also have to like the fact that they have an entire section on their site just for women riders.

I am still looking for warm clothing so I can ride a bit longer in the fall and earlier in the spring, so if you have any sites to share please let me know.

The Witch of Blackbird Pond Review

I just finished listening to The Witch of Blackbird Pond. Mary Beth Hurt is the Narrator on my version, and I found her voice to be very easy to listen to.

I LOVE listening to good books on the way to and from work. I find that if I am concentrating on a good story, I am happy, the time flies by, AND it keeps Road Rage from sneaking up on me. All around, a win/win situation.

I was very afraid at the beginning of this book that I was going to have to stop listening, what with all of the male dominance being portrayed. I kept listening though and found that as the story progressed, I got into it and realized that like it or not, it has taken us a long time to realize that all people are created equal.

I need to reflect for a couple more days on the theme and the main points of the book, but overall this is an enjoyable book, and does shed light on just how the witch trials may have gone. More importantly, it gives a very clear picture of why we MUST get to know people before we pass our petty judgements on their character. When we reach out to people, meet them where they are, and share ourselves with them we can find deep and lasting happiness.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Cafe Thursday

Until further notice, Thursdays will be the days that I celebrate my inner chef. Now, I am no Julia Childs, Paula Dean or even a Rachel Ray, but I can occasionally put together a decent meal for the family. I have lots of favorite ways to come up with recipes for dinner, and I will share those here as well as some sites and tips.

Today, I would like to put down in writing for some friends and family a recipe that everyone except my husband seems to enjoy. I found this recipe in a Pillsbury circular at the grocery store and modified it a bit.

Homestyle Chicken Pot Pie

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 1/2 cups of cubed chicken
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper
pinch of chipotle seasoning
1 package of frozen or canned mixed veggies
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 packet of Onion soup mix
Cooking spray
2 pie crusts (Pillsbury is my personal favorite)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Heat Olive Oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken, salt, pepper and seasoning. Drain veggies (steam frozen veggies under HOT water if using them) and put in a seperate bowl. Add cream of chicken soup, 1/2 can of water, and onion soup mix to veggies. Once chicken is browned, lower heat and add veggie mixture until warmed through.

Lightly coat a pie tin with cooking spray and spread one pie crust. Add meat and veggie mixture. Place second pie crust on top of the mixture and tuck in around the sides. Be sure to add at least a couple of slits to the top of the pie, but decorate as you see fit. I often will add someone's initials or a heart.

Put pie plate on a cookie sheet and bake for 35 minutes. Remove pie from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. . .serve and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Happy Hump Day - Shopping Feature

On Wednesday of each week, I am going to post some products that I have discovered or loved, or just want to remember or pass on as hints to those reading my site. So here goes, a Happy Hump Day Shopping List:

1. I have been flying for a couple of months now, and so I do a swish & swipe every morning when I get out of the shower. While I was browsing around, inc. last week I happened upon the Method Glass Cleaner, and I will admit, it was the color that first drew me. I like blue! I then noticed that it was also mint scented and decided to give it a try. Am I ever glad I did. This glass cleaner leaves no streaks, it cleans my counter and potty area also, and the smell is so much nicer than other glass cleaners. It makes me smile every morning.

2. Ok, I'll admit it, I have never paid over $100 for a pair of jeans. I just don't see the point. I am a professional woman, and can realistically only wear jeans two, maybe three days out of the week. I also probably have not purchased jeans in about a year, but have tried a few times. I don't usually like the fit or the look. This weekend a trip to Old Navy changed that. I bought great looking jeans, in a fit that was flattering to me, and was the right length, for $25 dollars! Can you beat that? I was worried before I tried them on that they would be thin or cheap, but the material is nice an thick, and in the surprising cold Chicago weather yesterday, they kept my legs quite cozy. If you haven't tried them, give them a shot. I bought the "flirt" style, but there are two others if you don't like those.

3. Finally, a link to one of my favorite shopping sites. I was looking through my current issue of Lucky Magazine a couple of months ago and happened across an ad for See Jane Work. I will admit that I was intrigued, and did check out their site the next day. As I had been looking for file folders that were attractive for a while, I did purchase some PepperPot File Folders and fell in love. This cool little site is perfect for the professional woman who wants to surround herself with feminine looking office products. I have found few places that carry pink and green polka-dot file folders, but what girl wouldn't like those?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

On Happiness

I am currently reading The Witch of Blackbird Pond, and I am struck by my intense response to it. I find myself very angry with the overbearing men in the book. I find myself once again upset by the forces in my life that have dictated my dull view of Christianity.

So I am questioning how I have portrayed Christianity to my children? Does it seem dull to them? Are they burdened by the rules and regulations? Or have I shown them grace and love and mercy? Have I explained enough that while the Old Testament focused on tasks and laws. . . Jesus showed us that in those tasks we are called to focus on the people and relationships? For when asked the greatest commandment, Jesus reply was:

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the great and first commandment. 39And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 22:37-40

Monday, November 5, 2007


I was sharing this new blog with my mother this weekend. I wanted her opinion on the blog in general. She is a bit skeptical about the whole blogging thing, but aside from that, her other big concern was my inclusion in one of my reading challenges of a book by author Philip Pullman.

As with Harry Potter, it seems that there is a bit of a religious scuffle surrounding both Philip Pullman and his literature. And, as with Harry Potter, I was completely oblivious to all of the conflict. I have read some of the material from and about Pullman, and he is indeed an athiest.

The question for me is, does an authors religious view matter? My answer to this is no. Reading is a hobby for me. It is something I do in my spare time, and at its best, it helps me find God in new ways. At its worst, it helps me realize more the fall of man. I never approach a book and assume the author knows anything. I never put authors on pedistals or pretend that their opinion of things is correct. I read to be entertained at least, and challenged at best.

I think the basis of my opinion is that I doubt very much that Philip Pullman scares God. And I belive that God is much bigger than Pullman, thus freeing me to read about him, and to read his material and form my own opinion. I don't need to run away and hide from Pullman or his ideas or books. If I am regularly doing what I need to grow and mature, I should be ready to engage this culture and the best it has to throw at me. It is like those silly celebraties that come out and encourage us to vote for one candidate or another. I love to watch some of them on the big screen, but in most cases, they are hardly qualified to give advice, let alone persuade me about a political candidate. Philip Pullman may be a literary giant, but that does not qualify him to be my spiritual mentor or guide.

This freedom extends to my children as well. It is indeed my job to shelter them and guide them to a point, but I also MUST equip them with the tools to read books and engage people and ask tough questions and wrestle with God and their faith. Shutting them in a closet and hiding anything that may disagree with my point of view will teach them nothing, and in no way prepare them for the world they will eventually have to enter.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Student of teen culture

I had an intersting conversation last night with my teenagers about, well, lots of things, but mostly about what scares them about school. My daugter had to watch Bowling for Columbine in her Government class over the past couple of days and this left her feeling worried and needing to talk.

We talked about gun control, an issue I am on the fence about, by the way. However, it seems my daugher thinks guns should be ban. Her strongest reasoning is that it is too easy for kids to get ahold of them now, and being as kids/teens are so unstable anyway, they need to be kept out of their reach at all costs. I guess since she only got one side of the argument in school, I will once again have to at least show her the other half of the argument so she can see both sides. Once again I have to step in and un-teach my daughter some crazy teacher's political agenda. Ah well. . .the price of freedom in America. . .I wouldn't trade it for the world!

As we were discussing this issue of gun control and school shootings, an opportunity for some instruction from my children came. It seems that the two boys from Columbine were what my kids would consider "emos." This term, "emo," was new to me. It turns out that this is a common teenage term for what my son called "emotionally disturbed" kids.

This was further solidified with me today when I stumbled upon a great readers blog and saw this video description of an "emo." Very funny stuff!!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Sleep Specialist: 5 Tips for an Insomniac

My daughter is a worrier. She comes by it naturally, as I worry about everything too. The difference between us? Her worrying keeps her up and mine gives me reprieve at night.

We have recently come up with some things that we do that help her sleep easier, at least a bit.

1. Take a shower. I recommend a bathbomb or some bubbles, a good book for teens, and some soothing tea.

2. Have a quick conversation with Mom. Teenage girls need to have some sense of connectedness with the feminine side. . .so a quick conversation on any topic with any female will probably yield the same result.

3. Read your Bible. The Holy Spirit is our comforter, a quick prayer for wisdom and a even reading just one verse will allow our minds to focus on God rather than us and all our problems.

4. Journal about what you have read. I don't personally think it matters what you write, but just writing something for an overthinker seems to help unconfuse the mind and help one to relax a bit.

5. Pray till you fall asleep. My mom once told me that the Devil would rather not bug you and keep you worrying if all you are gonna do about it is pray. I don't know how theologically correct this is, but it has always worked for me. . .I can always fall asleep praying for or thanking God for all the great people in my life!

The Girly Part

I'll admit it, I like to cuddle up in a warm toasty bath with a cup of tea and a good book and soak for entirely too long. I haven't had too much time lately, but I do think it is important that we girls take some time to do this from time to time.

It is now so much better than before. I grew up with Mr. Bubbles, and while the bubble bath you can get at the drugstore or even the grocery store is ok, I have found heaven on earth.

LUSH products are beyond wonderful!! If you need to get any woman in your life a present, I really recommend you buy her this stuff! And I really recommend that if you are feeling stressed out, or anxious, or just need a break try a bomb. I especially recommend the Sex Bomb (pink and pretty with rose petals).