Life, It’s Complicated

Life, it’s complicated. One moment, I have a desperately important situation I’m dealing with, and the next moment, I’m fussing about being slim! I’m not trying to be a tall, blonde fashion model, or a 22 year old cheerleader, I just want to have my slim, youthful self, and still be going strong. 

I was such a goofball and I previously wrote a post called, ‘What’s Mama’s #1 problem?’

That’s such a ridiculous title, because, basically it relates to no one. In that moment, I was thinking about diets, and how I needed to go one one! It was my #1 problem, in that moment! . 

I am not crazy or obsessed about weight loss. But, I was remembering that after having babies, I had gained an impressive amount of weight. Oh, how I wished that I could be skinny and energetic again, right away! It was hard to be patient and not diet, because my babies needed to be breastfed, and if I didn’t eat, then they weren’t happy either. 

Don’t you get excited to share something new, when you have just discovered it?

The new diet that we were trying, is working and I was wishing that I’d had the Keto Diet after my babies were born. I could have eaten reasonable quantities of food, been full and nourished my baby, all while slimming back to normal.

I just get frustrated when I know there’s something I can do to be slim and healthy, but whatever I’m doing just isn’t working. Hence, the Keto Diet!

So in the moment of writing that post, the #1 problem on this Mama’s mind was how to lose weight and feel good about myself again. 

When you read, Mama’s #1 problem, you probably had many, many other things on your mind. You might be worried about your finances. You might have a sick child, (so stressful), you might be lonely.

My goodness, there’s a myriad of difficulties we Mama’s face! So, Life, it’s complicated.

Life it's complicated. Have a healthy drink

Sometimes, I’m being lighthearted, and silly. I’m wishing to be slim and energetic and have my clothes fit.

Please just stay with me in my silliness, and enjoy learning about some new ways to eat that can be healthier and very delicious.

Even when you’re dealing with life’s difficulties, why not have a yummy, healthy treat. Try this one and tell me if you like it. 

See the recipe and have a drink on me 😉



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What’s Mama’s #1 Problem

Hey There,

So here’s the question of the day! What’s Mama’s #1 Problem?

Is it:  a) Baby’s teething? b) Baby won’t sleep? c) Baby won’t go potty?

Dude! You have to think like me!

The Answer Is:…How am I going to lose the baby fat?  

Am I right or am I right? I had trouble having patience after my babies were born, because I wanted to diet and lose the weight right away.

Usually I talk about babies, children and family, and lots of great tips, but secretly, it’s important to me to keep the weight under control!

I want to feel good about myself, while trying to be a good mom. So, secretly, what’s Mama’s #1 problem? It can actually be weight.

So many lucky, lucky girls say that they lose their baby fat by just eating what they want and nursing their baby. They say the weight just falls off when they’re breastfeeding.

This program did not work for me. Nothing fell off.  It didn’t work with my 1st, baby, my 2nd baby or even my 9th baby.

With my 1st few babies, I waited impatiently until we were finished with breastfeeding, and then I starved myself and managed to go back to my pre-baby weight. It was tough and no fun!

Now I’m cool and modern and I’m on the new, yummy Keto diet, which is not a diet. It’s a style of eating. You actually get to eat all the good stuff!

What's Mama's Number 1 ProblemEverybody has a ‘thing’ with diet, these days. Non fat, lactose unhappy, gluten sadness, low cal, low carb and so on and so on.

Some diets work a bit, but you’re miserable, and some work well but it’s slow and you’re miserable. And some work very well and you’re completely and totally miserable until you quit and gain weight again.

There’s a cool vibe out there with this style of dieting. It’s rapidly gaining in popularity, because it works! There are  recipes. There are help groups. And there is success!

You are going to love it.

Therefore, if you want to lose baby weight, Try it!  If you indulged over Thanksgiving and you might be indulging through the Christmas holiday, Try it!

Here’s your new best diet lifestyle.

What's Mama's Number 1 Problem

Hot Mama! Here you come!


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Families That Eat Together – Stay Healthy Together?

Really? Families that eat together are healthier?

Studies show, that not only do children like to sit down at the dinner table and eat a meal with their parents. They are more likely to eat a well-balanced, nutritious meal when they do! Start a tradition of eating together with your little babies. It’s easier to train them to sit at the table if you start when they’re young. 

Eat together, have healthier children

Eating dinner together most nights was normal life. Many people’s lives are too busy and it’s uncommon to eat dinner anymore.

My husband grew up in an extremely traditional and old fashioned family. His mom stayed home and cared for their 8 children; they ate hot cereal or eggs for breakfast and sat down at a gigantic table together, for dinner each night.

I grew up with one younger brother and a baby sister and we basically did the same thing. We ate dinner together most nights. Even when my parents separated, my mom did a wonderful job keeping the family traditions and we continued to eat dinner together, each night, until each of us moved out to go to college or jobs, etc.

We Grew Up and Kept Our Parents Traditions

When I got married, David and I kept the same traditions, the way we were both raised. It just seemed natural. As each of our 9 children came along, we naturally cooked a lot at home and ate together.

We had a friend and his little girl live with us for 3 months and one night at dinner, he said to us, “You people are like the Brady Bunch” and I said, “But where’s my housekeeper, Alice?” haha. Our friend was raised in a very different environment and he didn’t know that anyone sat down and ate dinner together anymore, except maybe on holidays.

With the hectic lives we all lead these days, getting the family all together in the same place at the same time can be a very difficult chore. Think about all the activities that your kids are involved in each week? You’re on the go all the time. 

We tried to keep our schedules very reasonable. If one boy was in football, we focused on football. When we had 2 girls in gymnastics, that’s what we focused on. We let a girl take violin and another boy take guitar, so music was our thing for a while. The main thing is that we did not allow these extra-curricular activities to overwhelm our family’s life, goals, or our schedules. 

I know that between work schedules, after-school activities, errands, and the like, we all have less and less time.  

It is totally worth it, to implement a few simple ideas, execute some clever planning, and make your family dinners, an enjoyable and treasured family time.

First of all, designate no less than one night per week to have a sit-down meal with your family. 

I know that you can’t completely change everything, but if you’re willing to change it up, one night a week, you’ll see tremendous benefit to your family’s overall well-being. The fact that statistically your children will tend to be healthier, is enough reason for me, right?

Here are 5 great ideas:

– Sunday nights are a great time to plan your family dinners because you have more time to relax. The weekend chores and errands are done, and it’s the lull before the storm of the week’s school and work.

-If your babes are in any way old enough, involve them in the meal planning and preparation. This gives them a strong sense of self and it builds the foundation for a lifetime of healthy meal planning and preparation. Odds are, that if you take the time to plan these dinners, you’re going to make more healthy, homemade items.

-Make sure the TV and phones are off! This sounds like a no-brainer in theory, but it reality, it’s hard to break some of our habits. We have our phones always there, of course, and the TV sometimes just drones on in the background. If you could see how much these distractions take away from your time together with the most important people in your life, you’d be very willing to shut out the noise. 

-Take your time eating, and teach your children how to do the same. I know, it’s hard to tell that to a hungry teenager, who wants to wolf his food down and run off to something more ‘fun’. Eating slowly is a healthy habit. 

-Don’t jump up and start clearing dishes and putting things away until everyone is done eating and talking. Relax! Dinner is not a ‘task’ to check off of your to do list. It is valuable time, spent together, interacting and loving each other. 

What are all the benefits to Families that eat together?

a. Healthier habits are instilled in your children, (and probably yourself).

b. You’ll have healthier and deeper relationships between you and your children and healthier relationships between each of the kids themselves.

c. Start your week in calm and organized way. You’ll be more focused and successful going into work and school.

d. You will have better happiness and satisfaction with your life. This is when you can show each other that it’s important to take time with each other to actually care, in the midst of a crazy and busy life.

Quote: Dexter Yager: People don’t care how much you know, till they know how much you care.

Here’s the deal. If your little precious darlings can sense that you care deeply about them, they will be willing to listen to you and you will have greater influence in their lives for the good. Get my free report for more great ideas with your precious family

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You’re a Great Mom, No Matter How You Started

How Did You Start to Become a Great Mom?

I talk a lot about your dreams and desires to raise your little ones to be successful in life. They’re the most beautiful little people to be born, to anyone, ever, in the history of the world. Those little sweethearts make you want to be a great mom, even if you didn’t plan for your little dear.

You gave birth to them, right? You love them with all of your heart.

You're a Great Mom because of your little dearI’ve learned that setting aside your dreams and desires for a time, to give your best to your little one, is totally worth it. But…I’m talking to you as an experienced mother who’s figured some stuff out. 

Get my Free Report for some great tips and ideas.

Let me be honest with you. I didn’t exactly have a clear plan about giving my life and my time for a child when I was 20 years old, in college and having an unplanned pregnancy. Obviously, my ‘plan’ took a dramatic turn when a little dear was about to arrive.

Many of us come into the mothering job in an unexpected way. Many of us had dreams, goals, and plans to do something with our life and then maybe have some kids later, but then, along came baby. 

For me, the start of the baby thing did not look like this – 

a. studying magazines and searching The Knot, picking out wedding things, getting married in a fairy tale setting 

b. career, where I’d be massively successful 

c. take months to study magazines, search The Nest and decorate a lovely home 

d. study magazines, search The Bump and have the joy of starting to plan for a baby. 

e. have it all end up like a fairy tale with lots of money and a beautiful baby and total freedom to be an amazing mom. 

For me, I was thrown into the firestorm of baby, marriage, no money and trying to figure it out. How many are tracking with me on this scenario? 

What was it like for you? Smooth, easy, no worries? Or was it as crazy wild ride where you had to jump into gear and ‘figure it out’?

Most of all is the fact that no matter what your plan was to become a mom, be proud of yourself that you are a great Mom and you’re doing your best!

Get my Free Report. Simple, easy to read and full of useful ideas if you’re a Great Mom.


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3 Tips You Need To “Make It” Through Your Toddler Day

Here’s an excerpt of a post by my niece, who is a lovely Mom.

Sometimes it’s hard to get through your toddler day!

Does this scenario sound familiar?

3 tips to make it through your Toddler Day“How do Moms with tons of little kids get anything done??!
My afternoon so far, in a nutshell: Finally remember to call to set up an apt. during business hours, the phone is still ringing and I hear water pouring everywhere…

Baby dumped over my glass of water that I forgot I’d left on the coffee table, spilling it all over everything (work, electronics, etc) on the table, pouring onto the floor, other furniture and so on, gleefully splashing with her hands like a big puddle (did I mention it had a lot of lemon in it?

So yes, big sticky mess)… manage to book my apt. while containing the mess and trying to clean it up… hang up, take a minute to wipe everything down and notice Baby is somewhere else. Round the corner to the bathroom and find this. It’s 15 month old Baby in the bathroom, pulling out miles of toilet paper onto the floor.

Pretty much all day has been a never ending cycle of her visiting all the places she can make a mess and get into everything possible, and then go scurrying up the stairs like a little spider as I’m trying to avert disasters, clean the kitchen and prep food. Clearly my work day is going to be: start late tonight and probably go into the wee hours again. Oh nap time, how I long for you to visit Baby.”

I love this, because it sounds like so many of my days. After struggling to accomplish something / anything, while running after baby and trying to keep her happy, when she does take her, nap, I’m so tired, I need a nap too. And accomplishment goes out the window. You need to read my free report to get more great ideas, too.

Here’s 3 great tips to help you keep your cool 😉 

1. Take a nap when baby takes a nap! It is okay; you deserve it because you’ve been working for hours before the nap and physically, mentally and emotionally, and you need a break too.

2. Make a short list, 3-4 things to accomplish before baby gets up, so that you can feel really good about yourself for spending quality time with baby while she is awake.

3. Laugh – It’s okay to just laugh when things screw up. Life is fun if you just let it be fun!

Quote – Erma Bombeck – “When humor goes, there goes civilization.”

Quote – Erma Bombeck – “Youngsters of the age of two and three are endowed with extraordinary strength They can lift a dog twice their own weight and dump him into the bathtub.”
See – My sweet niece didn’t have to clean up wet dog in her house, that day, but if she did, wouldn’t that have been the funniest story to make your day. That would make a glass of spilled lemon water sound like a walk in the park.

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Secret Santa…Guilt!

I have Secret Santa guilt! 

Gifts are on my mind a lot. I don’t live to get presents, but I like them as much as anyone else. It’s worse when I give gifts because it’s so hard for me to choose something great and I agonized over trying to give the very best thing. I need to be smart with the $$, but honestly, if I had all the $$ in the world, then I’d agonized over giving too much. Or I’d worry about sending the wrong message by being too lavish. Yup, I’m not a win-win thinker, I’m a no win thinker.

Some people are amazing at choosing just the right thing…

Secret Santa, not necessary for a thoughtful giftMy site is called The Ribbon on Top. That name just screams, there’s a present involved here otherwise, why would we talk about a ribbon on top? Intangible gifts are the ones with the deepest value. I love to give of myself and I try to notice when others put out on my behalf; a compliment, a thoughtful gesture, a hug, etc.; those are precious gifts. No Secret Santa necessary. 

Decorations are coming out, Christmas music is playing at the mall, I’m planning my dinner and the wish lists are being written. It’s getting exciting.

The craziest thing happened at Christmas a while ago, and I can’t get it out of my mind. Small packages started arriving at my house with the names of each one of my kids on them. Inside each package was a $100 Amazon gift card in a pretty tin snowflake box. The married one’s got $200 gift cards. $100 Gift Card in a Snowflake Tin (Happy Holidays Card Design) (Affiliate)

You’d think I’d jump for joy!

Instead of jumping for joy, I started to panic. ‘What have I done? When did I order gift cards? Here’s the funniest thought that I had. “Did someone hack my account and buy everyone in my family a gift card?” OK, that doesn’t make any sense? Who would hack your Amazon account and buy you a gift card with your money for Christmas?! 

I actually checked my Amazon account, my bank account, and then I called Amazon. They tracked the orders and said that the cards were sent anonymously and it was all legit! No one else knew these gift cards had arrived because if it was a hoax, I didn’t want anyone to be disappointed.

Let the Happy Dance Begin!

When I finally broke the news to everyone, there was a major happy dance. It was like they’d been given a million dollars. That was a pretty fun day. You know, it gets real good when you take the kiddos to Amazon and let them start shopping and dreaming. Oh the excitement of picking out the gift, the anticipation, and then getting the goodies in the mail. The happy dances went on for days.

So, back to my guilt. You forgot that I started this whole story by saying I have Secret Santa Guilt. How could someone know all of my family, be shockingly generous to us and give each of us $100. That’s $1,400.00 and leave us with we o one to thank for it !!!

      14 times!

Honestly, I am so grateful for a mystery giver. I thought about posting our pics on Facebook with a big thanks, but, I was sure that somehow, some way, I’d inadvertently discover this mysterious, kind, thoughtful generous person or people. But I did not!

So this is my Secret Santa guilt…I wanted to say thank you, personally, to our Santa.I love flowers, they're like a ribbon on top

Now I am saying thank you, Mystery Person, from the bottom of my heart, on behalf of my whole family. You gave us fun, a treat, a lesson in generosity and a great memory. God Bless You.

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The Value Of A Gift is More Than Stuff

The value of a gift is more than stuff. It’s never about the stuff.

I love my babies, but when they grow up, there’s no better friend for life than your own grownup little dear. Your little one will become a friend who is priceless! Your precious kiddo is the gift; someone you deeply care about, and hopefully they care about you too  😉   

My Friend Birdie (7 children!) – Quote –  ‘If I’d known how great my kids would be when they grew up, I’d have had more!’

When I met Birdie, her children were grown and she had many grandchildren. I only had 5 children, 9 and younger. Life was crazy and I was swamped and in over my head! Nothing was neat and tidy, and guess what, I had 4 more children and they were boys.

It wasn’t always total chaos at our house, but it was crazy. I appreciated Birdie’s advice to love the kiddos, not the perfectly made bed. Now that many of them are grown, most of the beds are made, but the memories of chaos is fun and I’m extremely proud of them.

I’m serious when I say the value of a gift is not the stuff. The value is in the fact that my dear, precious children were thoughtful enough to make the effort to give me the gift.

The value of a gift is the person, not the stuff

Fast forward a few years from when I met Birdie, and those babies have grown up into thoughtful, generous young people. They give me the best gifts.

This year the girls really decided to treat me for my birthday. Of course the guys went along with their idea. They set me up with top of the line stuff. The works, all to make my nails fabulous. All I had to do was to learn how to do my nails.

I had a nail kit before, but I hadn’t mastered the skill. They researched the best equipment to accomplish the goal and sent me the whole deal for my birthday.

My nails aren’t naturally beautiful. I haven’t cared for them either. I used to go to the salon, but it can be expensive, and its time consuming. Obviously I needed some help, and these thoughtful kids came to my rescue.

The value of a gift is the person, not the stuff

The secret is in the ‘magic oven’. Actually it’s called the Gelish Harmony 18G Pro LED Nail Polish Curing Lamp and Fantastic Four Kit. Sure this is an affiliate link, and I’m telling you about it because you’ll love it, too.

It’s amazing and it’s fast. That’s the one thing that stopped me from having great nail success. Going to the salon took too long, and doing it myself took too long. I love having my own little beauty set up and I’m grateful that these babies cared to get me the best equipment for the job.

You know and I know that love is not stuff. But in this case, the stuff, took a lot of effort and coordination between my sweet kids, that the thoughtfulness and the work that they put into me gift, showed the love.

I was pretty pleased with my first try. Don’t judge me, I’m not a professional, but I had such fun. Practice makes perfect and I will definitely get better.

Our house is a real home, with children, teenagers, and grown up kids coming and going. The ‘new marrieds’ came home for a long weekend. We have some sweet times together.

The problem is that people need to eat and nails can’t be a priority when there’s food to prepare. I wanted the girls to try out my new set up, and I didn’t have time to play:( I started on food and set the girls up with my new gadget, right where I could watch. With a little you tube tutorial, they got real good.

It’s funny, the things that bring us all together. There were kids all over the place, everyone running around, supper being made and nails being worked on. Nicole, my sweet daughter in law, did my son’s girlfriend, Tori’s, nails. I loved the fact that we were altogether. It was spontaneous, and natural and sweet. We worked, we visited and we enjoyed each other. The little things, the unplanned events when we’re together, are some of sweetest memories I have.

The value of a gift is the person, not the stuffThe beauty and sweetness of babies lasts for such a short time. It’s precious, wonderful and exhausting. If you raise your sweethearts right, you’ll glide past the hard work, into the friendship phase and the rewards are more valuable than you can imagine.

Now when I do my nails, I think of them and I am happy that I was able to do the work and have the honor of raising them.

The value of a gift is not the stuff, but the stuff reminds me of the value of a gift of children. I love flowers, they're like a ribbon on top

I‘m so proud of them and grateful to have so many wonderful children, big and small. Like Birdie said, ‘If I’d known how great my kids would be when they grew up, I’d have had more!’

P.S. These are the colors that we chose that day. I know Tori’s hands are lovely, like a hand model’s hands, but other that that, which color is your favorite?

Gelish U V Gel Nail Polish “Glamour Queen” 01407  This color is mine and its a beautiful and definitely classy, neutral color.

Gelish Gel Polish Harmony U V “Red Roses 01343” This color is on Tori’s beautiful hands and its bright, stunning and glamorous.

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