Monthly Archives: April 2012

{Fish Tacos}

I must admit I’m not a big fish person.  But when Scott came up with this twist on fish tacos I knew this was one fish recipe I could enjoy.  (It’s healthy too!)

Fish Tacos

Makes about 6 tacos.

1.) Corn Tortillas – Scott made these from scratch. (Just follow the directions on the back of corn masa flour if you want the more authentic version.)

2.) Fish


Salt fish before dredging in flour.  Saute in olive oil on high heat (about 2 minutes/side) until browned.

  • 2 Tuna steaks (tuna is are our favorite, however, you can use any firm white fish such as talapia or cod)
  • 1/2 c. Curry powder

3.) Greek Yogurt Sauce

  • 1/2 c. Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • 1/4 c. cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • tabasco sauce (optional)

4.) Slaw

  • 1 c. red cabbage shredded
  • 1 c. mango diced
  • 1/4 c. diced jicama or apple (optional)
  • 1/4 c. cilantro
  • 1/3 c. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • jalapeno

Dice your vegetables.

Assemble.

Enjoy!!

:)

Robynn~

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The ReAL ME…

I recently read a facebook post from a college friend. Much like the writers of this blog, she is a “get real” kind of gal. This week she decided to go against the status quo and post the top ten “not so appealing” qualities about herself and her daily life. I know I share many HONEST moments with you, but thought this may be a different and fun way for you to learn more about the “not so appealing” parts of me! So here it goes…

1) I spend most days wearing the same outfit I wore to bed the night before (usually a t-shirt and sweats).

2) Many days I don’t look in the mirror or get around to brushing my teeth until after lunchtime.

3) Even though I was a major neat freak growing up, I go to bed with a messy house and dirty piles of laundry in my bedroom.

4) I have a major sweet tooth and often eat milk and cookies within an hour of going to bed!

5) I yell at my kids when I’m stressed.

6) I am not a very good gift giver. I’m lucky enough if I remember to buy a person a card for a special occasion.

7) I get cold sores when I am stressed and am extremely embarrassed to go out in public when I get them.

8) I eat when I am anxious, bored, upset, sad, happy….you name it!  I even eat after I am already stuffed.

9) I rarely mop the floor, even when I know guests are coming! I find it pointless since the kids will spill something on it within minutes anyway.

10) I don’t wear sunscreen every time I step out the door, even though I already had 4 pre-cancerous moles surgically removed.

11) I let my kids eat leftover homemade cookies for breakfast when I’m too lazy to make them oatmeal.

12) When I am on the phone I allow my kids get into all sorts of things they aren’t supposed to–whatever I can do to keep them distracted.

13) I make mistakes in my business (www.letterblockshop.com).  When I mess up an order I obsess about it for hours and feel like a failure.  No business is perfect.

14) Even as a grown woman, I use to be scared to stay home alone (at night) when Doug was away on business trips.

15) I always feel like I have weight to lose and areas on my body that need toned…yet…I rarely do anything about it (I hate to exercise!)

16) I don’t have a very good memory when it comes to historical facts and things I should remember from all my years of school. The game trivial pursuit terrifies me!

17) I spent 4 1/2 years to be a music teacher.  I only taught one year, haven’t played the piano in over 4 years, I rarely sing, and I am not renewing my teaching certificate.

18) Since I limit my kids to 1 hour of  TV during the day, it is very rare that I watch the news.  I usually never know what is going on!

19) I feel guilty that I don’t spend enough time with my kids, even though I am home all day.

20) I procrastinate when I write these posts. I usually get them done the night before or the morning of!

Despite all of the above, I know that I am NORMAL and that in the grand scheme of things, none of this is a big deal. Hope this list helps reassure you of the same! No one is perfect. No one has their life together as well as it appears.  Take a sigh of relief!

~Lara

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Hooray For Customer Service!

In this day and age you never know what to expect when you have to call a store or company for information.  Automated systems, press the number to reach x, y, and z, endless directories leading to nowhere, give me your mother’s maiden name and the first initial of the best man at your wedding…and that is all BeFoRe speaking to a real live person!  You can easily spend the 10 minutes you set aside in your day to take care of what seemed like a simple task just trying to get through to talk to an actual human being.

Last summer I bought an AdoRaBle pair of Lindsay-Phillips SwitchFlops (flip-flops that have removable straps that can be changed to match any outfit) that wore out in the toe on one shoe.  Since I had invested in the SwitchFlops and a variety of straps to coordinate with different outfits I was upset that the shoes only lasted half a season.  I went onto the website and looked up the phone number for customer service.  I left a message explaining the situation with my shoe and was pleased to receive a call back within a day.  Not only was the woman who I spoke with friendly and helpful, but since the pair of SwitchFlops that I purchased last season was no longer available she let me pick out TwO pairs in place of the pair that I had!  How’s that for customer service?!!!

In this fast paced, high-tech world we live in, it is nice to be reminded that there are still smaller companies out there that DO take the time to put their customer’s satisfaction first.

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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{Your Favorite Name}

Do you know what the all-time FaVoRiTe name is that people like to hear?  If you said, “Their own” you are right.  There is just something about a person’s name.  Remember someone’s name and you will have their instant friendship.  Forget or mispronounce a name and you will have committed a grave offense.

Remembering names in not an easy task.  It takes WoRk.  And because of that we like to justify it by saying, “I’m not good with names.”  The fact of the matter is that there are very few people who are naturally good at remembering names.   So, unless you are one of those people with a knack for remembering you are going to have to work on this if you want to be good at it.

If you read books on PeOpLe skills you see this principle of remembering names appear over and over.  It is that important.  If you want to improve your people skills start practicing remembering names.  How?   The same way you would prepare for a test:  to study.  When you meet someone, try to associate their name with something that you can easily remember.  {For example, you meet a Karen at Pre-school and you associate her with your mom, whose name is Karen}.  Then as soon as you can, write their name down along with where you met them and the thing you associate their name with.   As you read their name over and over, you will be better at remembering.

It may take a little extra time on your part, but the ReWaRd will be well worth it!

:)

Robynn~

Want to learn more about people skills?  Check out Dale Carnegie’s book, “How To Win Friends and Influence People”

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If You Say It, Mean It

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day about how society overuses certain phrases and responses.  For example, when someone asks “How are you doing?” don’t you normally reply with “I’m good”?  Whether or not you truly are GoOd, out of habit, your response is always the same.

Another habitual phrase is “We should get together sometime”.  How often do you say that but never follow through?  Do you really mEaN it or are you just saying it to be nice?  Maybe you have good intentions but life gets in the way before remembering to schedule a specific date.

On the flipside, have you ever tried to follow-up with people who wanted to ‘get together sometime’ and it was almost like they fOrGot they ever suggested it?!  That was a little awkward, wasn’t it? The situation may have even made you question your relationship with that person.

We have all made pRoMiSes that we can’t keep but how often do we consider how it makes the other person feel?   Next time your routine conversation comes into play, stop and ask yourself if the words you speak are siNceRe.  By doing so, following through with your commitments will comfort the other person that you value the relationship.

(*I am writing this post because I need this reminder, not because I am trying to hint around that you have broken a promise with me :) No worries!  And if I haven’t been prompt on following up with you, please forgive me!)

~Lara

(Up for an additional challenge?  Take your relationship one step further and read my other post If You Feel It, Say It.)

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Icing Cupcakes Made Easy!

Whenever I have to bring a dessert anywhere I AlWaYs do cupcakes.  Not just because I love to eat them, but because I have found a FaSt and SiMpLe way to make them look like they were done by a professional!

Use your favorite store-bought icing, disposable cake decorating bags, and a large-sized decorating tip.

Cut the tip off of the disposable decorating bag and slide the decorating tip to the end of the bag.

Fold the plastic decorating bag over the edge of a cup so that your hands are free to scoop the icing into the decorating bag. Once you have filled the bag with icing simply take it out of the cup to use.

Squeeze the icing to the tip of the bag when you are ready to decorate the cupcakes.

Start on the edge of the cupcake and move in a circular or spiral motion ending in the middle of the cupcake.

Add toppings and serve!

Try not to get frustrated on your first few attempts!  After a few tries you’ll be decorating like a professional and your friends and family will be asking you how you make it look so EaSy!

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Filed under At Home, DIY, RANDO•RAMA

{Kids Service Project}

Once a month I teach Sunday School at my church and here is a SeRviCe PrOjEcT we do from time to time:

Make table tents for hospital patients.

We start off with card stock paper or blank cards.  Then DeCoRaTe with foam stickers & bandaids, sign our name, and wish them well.  I deliver them to our town’s hospital where they are placed on patient’s meal trays.  The hospital PR person tells me they especially like to receive them on holidays such as MoThEr’s DaY, FaThEr’S DaY, Christmas, etc.  It’s easy and is a simple way we can give to those less fortunate than us!!

:)

Robynn~

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{Mommy Wars}

Ok, sometimes you just have to SpEaK uP and say, “Hold on a minute!  I thought we (women) were in this thing ToGeThEr!!”

If you’ve been watching the news the last couple of days you undoubtedly heard the comment Democratic strategist Hilary Rosen made about Ann Romney (the Republican candidate, Mitt’s wife) not working a day in her life.  Are you SeRiOuS?  A stay-at-home mom of 5 boys not working a day in her life?   I will have to admit that makes me a bit indignant.  Maybe it’s because I have a DoG in this fight.  I’m a stay-at-home mom.

This attack is not about Democrat or Republican, Conservative or Liberal, but rather it is an attack on womanhood.  Whether you love or hate the Romneys, there is no denying that motherhood is HaRd WoRk.

I’ve been on both sides – I’ve been a professional working mother and now I’m a stay-at-home mom.  And I will have to say I have great ReSpEcT for both.

Let me give you a small sampling of some of the women in my life to whom I tip my hat:

  • My OB/GYN whom I am so grateful my daughters will grow up seeing as not only the woman who brought them into this world, but who is also a caring and giving woman in my community.  Then there is my dental hygienist; my daughters’ teachers; family & friends who are social workers, doctors, nurses, speech pathologists and teachers.  All are excellent RoLe MoDeLs and working moms.
  • A MiLiTaRy young mom of a darling toddler who was recently deployed.
  • Numerous single mom’s who work their tail off to PrOviDe for themselves and their children.  Many of these are former students of mine and my heart goes out to them.
  • Working moms who would stay-at-home in a heart beat if they could, but know for the welfare of their family they must work to keep the BoAt AfLoAt.
  • And of course, I know many StAy-At-HoMe moms like me.

This discussion is not about whose life is harder.  There are pros and cons on both sides. Instead, I think it is about giving GrAcE  Grace to the mother who chooses to WORK outside of the home and grace to the mother who chooses to WORK inside the home.  We can appreciate the contribution each makes to society.  The bottom line is We aRe On The SaMe TeAm!!  Enough of the mommy wars!!

Ok, it’s time to get off the soapbox and take a breath!

What do you think?  Does this discussion hit a nerve for you like it does me?  If so, please share!!

;)

Robynn~

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Filed under Getting Real, Life, Parenthood, Relationships, You

10 Things We Love About Summer!!

WE love summer! We LOVE summer!! We love SUMMER!!! Can you tell we love summer?! And we are already beginning to make plans for all the fun things we want to do. How about you? Do you have a list? Why not make this summer the funnest one yet?

With our commitment to “LiVe-It” we want to spend more time with our kids and less time on our computers so we’re planning on changing our writing schedule a bit. Robynn will be posting on Mondays, Robyn (Jersey Girl) will be posting on Wednesday and Lara will be posting on Fridays. From time to time we may share something extra on the other days, but this will give you an idea of when you can read our individual posts.

If you’re looking for a fun activity, why not make a list of why you love summer? Here’s our lists:

10 things Lara loves about summer:

1-Homemade Ice Cream

2-Planting Season/Corn Rows

3-Pony Tails

4-Putting Flip Flops on for the First Time

5-Inflatable Kiddy Pools

6-Longer Days

7-Watermelon, Lemonade, Burgers and Chips

8-Farmer Tans

9-Family Vacations

10-County Fairs

10 things Robyn loves about summer:

1-The Beach!

2-Building Sand Castles

3-Backyard BBQ’s

4-Patriotic Holidays

5-Flip Flops!!!

6-Gardening

7-Spending weekends with   family and friends

8-Celebrating my kid’s birthdays

9-Warm Weather

10-No Schedule!

10 things Robynn loves about summer:

1-Barefeet babies!!

2-Hanging out on my back porch with friends & family

3-Driving in the country past corn fields

4-Catching lightning bugs with my kids – our version of catching lightning in a bottle!!

5-The smell of fresh cut grass, alfalfa hay, and bbq

6-Family road trips back to South Dakata to see friends & family

7-Regular family biking trips to our town’s pool

8-4th of July Celebrations – family, friends, food, fun, fireworks!!

9-Heat!! And the feel of warm air on your skin!!

10-Early morning walks & jogs

~What do you LOVE about summer?  Go ahead, make your list! ~

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{When To Tell The Truth}

Does your mouth ever get you in trouble?  Are you puzzled as to why some of your relationships are on the rocks or non-existent?  Are you one to “speak your mind”?

If so, you may justify your actions by saying, “I was only telling the truth.”  Telling the truth is good, but telling it all the time without discretion is not.  I once heard someone say, “Always tell the truth, but don’t always be telling it.”  It takes wisdom and self-control to know when to keep your mouth shut.  I can attest that it is not always easy, but the wise King Solomon states over and over in the book of Proverbs how it is the fool who is always talking, but the wise man who can overlook an insult.

Do you use your words to destroy or build?  Encourage or discourage?  If you have relationships that need mended check your words.  Do you need to give more grace?  After all, you do reap what you sow.   And speaking for myself I sure can use grace.

So, keep speaking the truth, but learn when it’s time to keep that truth to yourself.  You will be doing you and all your relationships a favor.

:)

Robynn~

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