The Boys' 11-Step Guide To Building The Perfect Fort #PopSecretForts

You may not have called it a fort or call it a fort now. You certainly don't call it a #PopSecretFort, but you  might after this is all done. You may have called it a tent or an encampment along the river. Either way, it's a temporary home that is made of blankets and stuff that keeps the blankets from falling down. And kids love to make them. My sister and I would make a million of them in one weekend. We were really fond of making these when just my dad was watching us. As long as we were quiet and not fighting, he was happy. So, we would make elaborate tent cities. We'd remodel. We'd put on additions. By the time we were done, you were looking at Tent County. When I suggested that my boys could make one with their two friends that were over, they all literally jumped up and down with excitement. Honestly, they don't make tents nearly enough.
 
 
Before I present to you their very useful "11-STEP GUIDE TO BUILDING THE PERFECT FORT", let me be sure to claim from the fort-top that this post is sponsored by Pop Secret
 
Talk about Pop Secret.
Talk about Pop Secret.
Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop Secret.
 
Shoobie, doobie, do wop.
Let's microwave this.
Pop, pop, shoo wop.
Here, I'll share it.
Everybody talkin' 'bout...Pop Secret.
 
You had the tune of Pop Muzick in your head while reading through that, right? If you don't know the tune that was most pop-pop-pop-popular in 1979, you can find it here. Maybe if that song wasn't so old, Pop Secret would make it into a jingle. Pop Secret, call me if you do. I am really good at that "pop pop pop pop" part.
 
http://ooh.li/ee15ead

The last time I wrote about popcorn on this blog was when I wrote the post, "Should My Mother-In-Law Go To Jail?" She loooooves movie theater popcorn and will go to great lengths to get it. If you like crime shows, you might want to check that post out a little later. Luckily for her, Pop Secret's MOVIE THEATER BUTTER popcorn is able to be made in seconds, doesn't cost a year's salary and can be obtained without standing in line for half the day.

That is the kind of popcorn I made for the boys as they set out on their fort-making journey. They were going to need sustenance that could be eaten quickly and easily to help get them through the hard labor of finding the right blankets and setting the chairs at the perfect angle.

And, now for that 11-step guide to building the perfect fort (according to boys ages 6, 7, 10 and 11):

#1 Go get all the blankets that you own. All of them. Even your mother's comforter, unless she sees you first and says something like, "Really? I think you have enough blankets already. You're good on the blankets."

#2 Go ask the smallest member of the group if he can please find more blankets. If he squawks, sigh heavily and resign yourself to having to make due with the 126 blankets you managed to round up from every corner of the house.
 
 
#3 Take every couch or chair cushion off to reveal crumbs from 1998, a handful of change and a couple of Nerf bullets. Keep the Nerf bullets. These are a necessity for fort-life. And you are going to need those cushions to make walls and doors.

#4 Drag every chair in the house into your fort-making area. Lift the chairs high above your head as you pass them to each other. Make roaring noises to accompany your amazing physical feat.
 
#5 Try not to hit anyone in the head with the chair. They'll cry and then tell your mom, which will pretty much ruin everything.
 
#6 Drape blankets from chair to cushion to cushion to chair to ottoman to table to chair. If you want to use a lamp to anchor the blanket, be prepared for it to start slipping and for your mom to contort her face in a really weird way.
 

 
#7 Turn out the lights. Oh, hold on. The blanket fell. Turn the lights back on. Fix that blanket. Oops. When you fixed that blanket, it messed up this blanket. Fix both blankets. Well, now you knocked over the cushion wall. Okay, fix that. Steady. Steady. Steady. Turn the lights back out.
 
#8 Get inside your fort. Your awesome, fun, cool, private fort.
 
#9 Turn on your flashlight. Well, after you ask mom where the flashlights are and if she has any batteries. (Moms really come in handy sometimes.)

 
#10 Tell scary stories that aren't really that scary because you are making it all up and can't help but laugh as you point the flashlight upwards under your face.
 
#11 *EAT A TON OF POP SECRET.
 
*When the bowl is empty, ask your mom to make more.
 
**When the Movie Theater flavor runs out, ask her to make the caramel kind.
 
Pop Secret is your perfect snack companion on trips into the uncharted reaches of your imagination. Pop Secret knows that fun, like popcorn, is better when it’s shared. Right now, you can hop over to their Facebook page by clicking HERE and submit your pillow fort stories and/or pictures. It is REALLY cute to see all of the forts that kids have created! You can upload the pictures right to the Pop Secret timeline and tag them #PopSecretForts. While you are on their Facebook page, you can also download a $1 off coupon, which is a pretty good chunk of money when the popcorn is reasonably priced already. If you share your fort pictures over there on Facebook, they may just share a little something back!

Like always, I love to hear from you. Do you let your kids build forts? After writing this post, I am seriously inspired to let my kids build them more! Don't you agree that popcorn (especially Pop Secret!) is a great snack to put in the middle of their blanket creation or do you prefer to put really saucy spaghetti in the middle and let them eat it with their hands? Let's talk about it over on Facebook!


The Story Behind Why My Husband Hesitates To Give Me Flowers (i still feel bad!)



We were in college in Austin circa 1996 but we weren't married yet. We had probably only been dating for less than a year. He was smitten but who can blame him, right? I'm kidding. I'm kiddingnotreally. We were about to part ways for the weekend. My then-boyfriend  gave me a bouquet of flowers for me to take back home. They were a great size- not too large and not too big. They were beautiful and I appreciated the thought.

Minutes after he gave me the flowers, we loaded up his car with my bags. I situated the flowers in the back seat. He was taking me to the bus station so I could go back to Houston to see my family.

Have you ever been to the bus station? It's a different sort of place. If you are imagining delightful smells and a really cheerful, safe vibe coming from it, knock that down a notch.

You see, back then I drove a Cutlass Oldsmobile. It was my second one to drive. I was one of those lucky few that had two Cutlass Oldsmobiles in her life. *coughs loudly* I drove my grandmother's old one in high school and then I drove my parents' even older one in the latter part of high school and then college. I have written about this delightful time in my life before.

We loved those Oldsmobiles apparently.

(This is why I go a little Kung Fu on my husband when he calls it a Buick. 

"Remember when you used to drive that really old Buick in college?" 

"IT'S NOT A BUICK AND YOU KNOW IT! HIIIII-YAH!!")

Over this past Thanksgiving break, I did an impersonation of myself driving both of the Cutlassessessessessssseees for all of my family. It involved me yelling at my passengers to hop out fast before the car died. I had to keep it in neutral and bring it to a slow roll at "stops" or it went shudder-shudder-kaput. The other thing it involved was me pretending to drive with a cloth napkin dangling above my head. That, of course, represented my out-of-control headliner that I eventually ripped out while gritting my teeth in an angry Hulk kind of way. 

The Oldsmobile was not to be consistently trusted for the 3-hour trip back home. The bus was better. 

So, there we were in the Greyhound bus station parking lot saying our goodbyes. We would only be apart for two or three days but that was a long time, you know? I don't think we cried or anything. We weren't that far gone.

I reluctantly made my way into the station and did all the necessary pre-bus ride stuff, including putting on my best "I'm tougher than I look, so don't try anything with me, mister" face.

I got on the bus.

I settled in.

I got a phone call.

"You forgot your flowers," he said to me through my PrimeCo phone.

"Oh, no! I did, didn't I? I am so sorry! I loved them, too!" 

He had just given them to me. I'm pretty sure those were the first flowers that he had given me. He probably debated over whether or not to do it, knowing I was about to get on the bus. He decided that it was best and picked out the bouquet he wanted for me to have. Given that these were the first he had given me, he probably went over what he was going to say before he handed them to me. I'm thinking he was pretty proud of what he had picked out, what he had said and the fact that he had given me flowers. It was a marker in our relationship of some sort.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand, I left them on the bus.

And I didn't even realize it at all. I never turned around and said, "Oh, no! I forgot my flowers!" or anything of the sort.

Never crossed my mind.

Ever since then, it has been a running joke with us. He has gotten me many bouquets of flowers since then, but he will often add "don't leave them in the back seat" when he gives them to me.

My favorite bouquet of flowers he ever gave me was soon after the most embarrassing Ferris wheel ride I ever took. You can read about that here.

He likes to tell people that I don't actually really like flowers all that much. I do like them, especially growing in a garden. Some of the cut ones hit me with a smell that reminds me of funerals. They just do. I think I love little rose bushes or little plants with flowers best, but sometimes certain occasions just require a bouquet, youknowwhati'msayin? I'm not too picky on the kind of flower that is in them, just as long as it's not more than 15% carnations.

Speaking of flowers, it seems like some girls always have a favorite kind. I'm always jealous of those girls. I know roses, lilies, daisies, Gerber daisies and, you know, those basic kind. Some girls rattle off the fancy, less common flowers and say those are their favorites. I want to be one of those girls when I grow up.

What about you? Do you like flowers? Do you have any flower stories? I'd love to hear from you over on Facebook! I kicked the comments to the curb a long time ago because of the spammers that were trying to take over my life. It sure has been nice not seeing their faces lately!
 





Pretty Much The Best Cabbage Dish Ever

 

 
 
I won't take too much of your time. I just had to let you know about pretty much the best cabbage dish ever. Don't you say you don't like cabbage. You can't say that if you've never tried this cabbage because it is so, so very good. Usually I eat cabbage steamed/boiled with turkey sausage, carrots, new potatoes, onions, butter, salt and pepper. That way is really good. I'm not kicking that way to the curb. That is just more of a one dish thing. This cabbage dish is more like a side. Although, I must say, I could eat the whole pot of it and make that my meal.
 
All you need are three things. Cabbage, bacon and a bottle of this magical sauce.
 
 

That is the secret right there. I got this from the Texas grocery store H.E.B., but I'm sure you could order it on-line. It is soooooooo good. It's not spicy either. I don't do spicy. Spicy and I are not on good speaking terms. I got this recipe from H.E.B., too. The grocery store often has people showing off their culinary skills in the middle of the store. I pretty much buy anything they are giving samples of in their little kitchen stage area.

"We've got delicious horse meatballs for you right here! Just dump in a pan and simmer for 15 minutes! BOOM! DINNER!"
Me: "I'll take two packs."

The recipe is simple.

First, cut up the cabbage, but not your fingers. The recipe does not call for blood droplets.

Second, fry 8 ounces of bacon in a pan. Remove the bacon, but keep the bacon grease in the bottom of the pan. I make bacon in the microwave on a little special bacon plate. I just poured that grease in the pot when I was ready to cook the cabbage.

Third, combine the cabbage and hot bacon grease. Cook that together for a few minutes.

Fourth, pour about half of the bottle of Robert's Reserve Roasted Habanero and Pineapple Sauce over the top. Don't let it cook together much longer after that. I would serve it right away, because I am not a fan of mushy, wilty-looking cabbage. It starts reminding me of sauerkraut then and sauerkraut and I are not on good speaking terms either.

Oh! How could I forget?? Crumble up the bacon and toss it back in!

As for the calories in it...hmmm... I don't know. You think I'm would because I'm obsessed with tracking everything I eat into My Fitness Pal right now. (Want to find me? I'm kelleyn22! Let's be friends!) I did take a picture of the back of the bottle to help me figure it out the next time I eat it.



 
 
Two tablespoons has 70 calories. Well, dang it, man. Hmmm... I don't know what to tell you, sister. I don't know how much is in a nice little side of it when you serve it. I think you could bet on 140 with bacon grease and everything. I don't think that's a bad deal.
 
The other plus with this sauce is that you can cook meatballs in it and have Hawaiian meatballs. That is what I am doing with the other half of mine. Yum!
 
I tried to make that a fast post, but I didn't do so great. Still friends?

Do you like cabbage? How do you make it? Let's discuss over on Facebook. I'd love to hear from you. You can go to the link below or use the Facebook box at the bottom. Thanks for visiting!!



The Boy Store




Just rows and rows and endless rows of every kind of boy one can imagine sitting in little chairs on extra large shelves is what you would see if you walked into The Boy Store. It's a happy, safe place. A fun place. It's sort of like The North Pole but less cold and more children.

This is the place I tell my boys about every now and then. They have heard the story so often that they usually say "We knoooow" long before I am done.

(They secretly love it.)

"Ummmm...excuse me, sir," I say to the manager of The Boy Store.

"Yes, ma'am. How can I help you?"

"I know you've got a lot of great kids here, but I am looking for something very specific."

"Oh, yeah?"

"Yes. I am actually looking for two boys. One has blonde hair, is 10-years-old, loves football jerseys, is funny, really likes reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, is tall, likes history and likes to eat olives straight from the jar. The other one is 6-years-old and really enjoys games, is also very tall, has a sweet heart, has little freckles on his nose and cheeks, is very competitive, makes people laugh and falls asleep sideways in a recliner as soon as a movie starts."

 "You weren't kidding! That is very specific! Let me see what I can find."

The nice man starts looking through his extensive computer database. He adjusts his reading glasses at the same time he realizes that he may be a while and looks up to say, "Why don't you have a look around? I am going to need a few minutes."

"Sure! I can do that."

As I start walking down the aisle, I am awe-struck by all of these happy, smiling, laughing, polite boys. I am tickled by the funny things they say. They are all so polite and so friendly.

But, I don't see what I am looking for...

I walk down one aisle. Then two. Then fifteen. Then two hundred and fifty. Then 3,567,853. Then 12,537,111.

Searching.

Looking.

Hoping.

With my head hung low and my legs aching, I return to the front desk.

"I'm sorry, sir, but I couldn't find these two specific boys I came in here to find. I have been here for what seems like days but can't spot them anywhere."

"Well, surely you have found some adequate replacements! We have some top-notch boys in this place!"

"No doubt. I was impressed by them all."

"Aisle 8 features boys who will never make a mess!"

"Yes, bu---"

"And aisle 23 has boys who always say they're sorry!"

"I know tha---"

"What about aisle 98? Surely you'd like a boy who never makes a mistake or error in sports! That aisle is full of them!"

"I see. It's ju---"

"You like good grades, don't you? The boys on aisle 11 have never made less than a 100% on anything ever!"

"Wow. That is gre---"

"The aisle 18 boys make their beds without being asked! Aisle 63 boys do all of their chores and then some on a daily basis. The chaps on aisle 33 never, ever start fights with their siblings! The boys on 44 have never said a mean word to their parents!"

"Sir! Sir! That is awesome to hear."

"Aisle 7,899 boys don't fart or burp!"

"Hmmm... Well, still, I---"

"They always flush the toilet and aim properly on aisle 18,555!!!"

"That sounds really awesome bu---"

"They are perfect kids! Perfect!!"

"Sir, I hear you. I agree. Those are all very admirable qualities but I'm afraid I am not persuaded to give up my search for these two other boys. I guess no luck with your earlier research?"

With a heavy sigh and one last glance over the top of his glasses, he looks back down at his files.

"Well, I guess you are in luck. I found them but I am afraid you will have to do a lot of walking to get to them. You will have to walk through the 10 million aisles in this store, then over a few treacherous mountains, through a few dry, dangerous valleys, straight forward for at least a thousand miles and around the corner to the left. There you will see another store just like this one. They are both waiting for you on aisle 67,327."

Before he can look back up from his mound of paper, I have taken off.


Doctors, couldn't you think of a better word than this one?

Okay, people of the internet, I almost kicked this blog to the curb. Right to it. I mean, it's nose was millimeters from the curb. This whole Christmas break I thought, "Blog? Do I even like you even more? Do I even have time for your face anymore?" I'd waffle back and forth. "Yes, I like you, blog. I never want to let you go." "Blog, you're a pain in the rear end. Walk that way. No, the other way. Walk faster." It's just that, well, I've had it for a while now. Sometimes I think it's pathetic, this blog life. Who am I talking to, anyway? I see that people are reading it, but why, you know? I've explored this topic before in my womp-womp post, "What's the point of blogging?"

I don't want this post to be womp-womp.

I guess I just want it to be more honest. If I am going to go forward with this blogging life and if you are going to be reading it, well, I need to come up with a plan. You see, I had always envisioned this blog as a very creative place. I never wanted to write about what my kids did all day and about dirty diapers. If I had named this blog "The Dirty Diaper Diaries" (I bet that blog is out there), well, guess what? That name would be out-of-date because there aren't any of those around here anymore and there won't be any dirty diapers around here until I either babysit my new nephew (he's two months and so, so cuuuuuute!!) or I get really stinkin' old and just let it go. (When that happens, please remind me that I once wrote a post about adult diapers needing decorations. I think that I'll really want my Depends spruced up later.)

As I was saying, I wanted this to be a creative place. I've done some creatin' around here. I've given a lot of my creativity to NickMom, too. You can see all that I've written for them here. One of these days, I'm going to gather all of my favorite, more creative posts and put them under the "favorites" tab up in my navigation bar. I feel like I have become less creative in recent months because I'm giving all of that creativity and energy over to my part-time job as a school speech-language pathologist. (If you are interested in speech and language development and activities to foster that, you might be interested in my "speech therapy stuff" and "Spanish speech therapy ideas" on Pinterest.)

I feel like I've neglected this little ol' Break Room. I've just left dust everywhere in here.

I feel like I can't just let it go.

For one thing, I feel like the blog has sort of become part of me. Isn't that weird? A friend told me that another friend refers to me as "Kelley's Break Room". That's my name. Kelley's Break Room. My Twitter handle is @kelleysbreakrm.. Want to know something? I don't even like that name. I wish I had never put "Kelley" in the title. When I was dreaming up this blog, though, I had no clue. It was between "Kelley's Break Room" and "Kelley's Krazy, Kooky Konnecting Korner". I'm just joking. It was never going to be that. I kouldn't have put up with all of those k's. I kan't tell you how much that would have annoyed me.

When I say that the blog has become part of me, I am taken back to an appointment when a doctor told me the name of something else that had become a part of me. It was a sad, mean old word. One day, for some reason, I reached up to my side and felt around to something on my back. My back has nothing on it. I don't have any moles or freckles or anything. It's just sort of boring really. So, when I felt a little bump on my back, I went ahead and freaked right out. My husband was nearby. I honestly, honestly started bawling. It was zero to tears in no time. It was irrational. I was just so afraid that I had skin cancer. It didn't help that I was working at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center at the time. Cancer was always on my mind. So, of course, I made an appointment right away to see my doctor.

It wasn't cancer.

Thank the Lord.

It was a BARNACLE.

"Oh, it's not cancerous. That's what we call a BARNACLE."

Ohmygoodnessgracious, he said I had a barnacle. I mean, that's just horrific sounding. It's like I'm a big fat rock in the middle of the ocean with a bunch of oyster shells clamped on to me for dear life. I mean, could they not think of a better word than BARNACLE.

Original picture from Wikipedia.


"Hey, Lance, I have an idea. We could tell women they have a Harmless Skin Thing and refer to it as HST OOOOORRRRRRRRRRRRR we could just call it a barnacle. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! BARNACLE!!! Oh, they'll love that!!"

"Lance!! You're a genius!!! Let's definitely call it a barnacle!!! Hahaha!!!"

Thanks, doctors.

I'm not sure what's worse. Barnacle or SKIN TAG. Oh, my goodness. You should see my face right now. I can hardly type because I'm scrunching my face up in all sorts of ways. SKIN TAG. Dang it, that's hard to even type out.

"Ms. Jones, I'm sorry to break this to you, but you've got a barnacle and a skin tag."

Poor Ms. Jones! She's got BOTH!

If she had a plantar wart, too, peace be with her. Not of fan of the PW.

Anyway, back to me, needless to say, I got ol' Barney removed. But, yeah, the Break Room is sort of like Barney was to me. It's sort of attached to me. Kelley's Barnacle Room. That just doesn't have the same ring to it. So, although I gave Barney the ol' heave-ho, I'm not sure I'm quite ready to do that to this blog.

It just needs some brushing off and updating and stuff.

I'm sorry, but that brings me to one other thing. Speaking of brushing off and updating and stuff, over the Christmas break, the sweetest little girl came up to me with big, wide eyes and said to me, "You know what would make you pretty? If you drank a gallon of water a day."

So, Kelley-with-the-barnacles needs more water in her life. Kelley needs some refreshing and so does her Break Room. She needs some new concealer, too. So, that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to put more water tanks around here so I can get in my gallon, buy some more concealer and I may even get a doctor set up in the other corner to do some barnacle inspections, if you feel you are in need of one. I'll tell him to be quiet about it. There won't be any, "LOOKS LIKE WE'VE GOT OURSELVES A NICE BARNACLE HERE, VICKI!" None of that.

But, I'm going to stay.

If you are still reading this, thank you, thank you, thank you for wanting to read what I write here. If this is the first time you've stopped by, I'm glad you are here. If you are a regular reader or somewhat regular browser/skimmer, thank you. I appreciate all of you more than you know!


The 4 Things I'm Going To Do To Lose 15 Pounds In 2015



That's a little bold, right? A little presumptuous? Welllllll, you're right. The thing is, if I SAY it, or if I TYPE it, maybe it will be more likely to come true.

I WILL lose it, friends. I will, I will, I will, I will, I will, I will.

If you have followed this blog that I have been pretty much grossly neglecting lately, you may know that I was on a fitness journey with Sean Millhouse of Fitness 101 last year. I wrote lots of posts about fitness and weight loss and recipes and great stuff like that. You can find them here. I still get lots and lots of hits on the post Funny Stuff Women Say To Their Personal Trainers. They eat it up over on Pinterest. The video of a personal trainer imitating women is hee-hee-hilarious.

The thing is...I've been slacking. I've lost the good stuff I've done and packed on some pounds. I have indulged in the queso and the peppermint ice cream. Something has got to stop or I will get stuck in my doorway soon.

So, what am I going to do?

I wish I could tell you that I was going to get up at 5:30 a.m. and go to the gym. As gyms go, Fitness 101 pretty much rocks. Sean and everyone there is funny, motivating, encouraging and just nice. There is not a thing wrong with the place. There are lots and lots of things right with the place. My hope is that I really make some progress 'round here and get myself back there. Unless I get up really early, though, I just don't see how I am going to get that worked in right now.

One thing that really motivates me to get back there is their ellipticals. I started doing some research on Amazon and Craigslist. I got on some at Academy. I realized that pretty much all I could dish out right now for an elliptical would get me two pieces of wood teeter-tottering on top of tin cans. I want the kind of elliptical I get on at the gym in my house, but that requires a wad of cash that we are not willing to put toward exercise equipment right now.

So, I had to come up with another plan.

I came up with FOUR things to get this thing done. I can't hit 40 in April looking like the marshmallow guy in Ghostbusters. The marshmallow guy with a long brown wig.



THING ONE: Hire this guy.



That would be my 6-year-old son, so hiring him is pretty easy. I already pay him in food, shelter, toys and new batting gloves. He is my motivator. "Mom, are you going to stop exercising now? It says to do it 4 or 5 times and you've done it only 3." He exercises with me. He asks me to wait until his favorite show is over before I exercise so he can do it with me. He keeps me company as I defy gravity and kick my legs out and stuff. If you are looking to do my 4 things this year, too, and need a personal motivotrainer, well, he's not for hire. He's a first grader with books to read every night for school and he is still trying to get his addition facts memorized. I think a friend, a co-worker, a spouse or even people on-line, like on the Kelley's Break Room Facebook page even, can help motivate you. If they are struggling on how to help you, though, you just let me know. Maybe they can be pen pals with my son.

 
THING TWO: Follow this exercise routine at home.

I remember this girl once told me that she has an exercise routine that she does every day at home. She said she even does some of the exercises while she is blow drying her hair or whatever. That has stayed on my mind. The only thing I do while blow drying my hair is accidentally whack myself in the head with the blow dryer. Since I'm not great at getting myself into the gym, I have got to come up with something I can do at home. I have participated in Tae Bo (remember that?) and exercise videos by Denise Austin and Cindy Crawford. I don't want to even do that anymore. If I have to walk over to find a video or something on TV, I probably won't do it. I'm terrible. I'm The World's Greatest Excuse Maker. (I need that on a mug.) Not too long ago, I saw a "At-Home CrossFit" routine on Pinterest. I took a picture of it with my phone and it collected dust in my photo app. I finally brushed it off the other day and wrote it down on a piece of paper. My 6-year-old personal trainer above saw it and asked if he could add some things that he does in his P.E. class to my list. So, now I've got kicks, hops, jogging and arm circles on my list, too, finished off, of course by a good "strach".

It might not look like much on paper, but it's a lot when you are lunging it and squatting it all over the place. I need to up it to 5 times per session rather than 4. My goal is to do these every morning. This, of course, won't happen every single day but I am going to try to make it happen on most. If time allows, I am also going to ride my bike after I am done. It's getting colder now, though, so my timing wasn't so great on making that decision. I also want to incorporate weights into that routine. If I can commit to doing these exercises for 4 weeks straight at least 3-4 times a week, I think I will be motivated to change it up or make it more challenging. Right now, it's plenty challenging all by itself.

THING THREE: Keep my FitBit charged at least, for goodness sakes.


Not too long ago, I impulsively got myself a FitBit. I did it before work. I was so anxious to see how many steps I took during the day. I walk quite a bit at the school where I work, so I logged in 10,000 steps easily on most days. Since we are off on Christmas vacation, it's been getting kind of bored. It's not really bored because of lack of steps, but rather, um...well, as you probably gathered, it's not charged. If I could keep the thing charged, I know that I would refer to it often. I'll admit, though, when I bought it, I was mainly looking at the FitBit to see what I was already doing instead of what I still needed to do to meet my 10,000 steps goal. So, that needs to change. Having the FitBit on also identifies you as a person that is aware of exercise and the importance of it. I think it is slowly reminding me that, hello, exercise already. Another thing that I am reminded of when I look at my FitBit is my husband saying to me the day I bought it, "That is not going to do you a FitBit of good." I am going to prove him so wrong.


THING FOUR: Track my nutrition.


There are a bunch of apps out there, I'm sure, but I am using My Fitness Pal. This is not a sponsored post in any way, so I am not getting anything for mentioning any name or product in this post. I just like My Fitness Pal. I think it is easy to use and has just about everything that I eat in it. One of my favorite features is when it pops up with "If you ate like this every day, you would weigh 1,216,216 pounds in 5 weeks". Tracking what you eat and drink is a pain in the neck and a half, but I know this is also key for me. We went out for an early 2015 celebration last night. I had a Cosmopolitan or two. When I tracked my drinks, HOLY MOLY GUACAMOLE, I drank a lot of calories. That mess needs to stop. And pronto, before I look preggo. (I absolutely despise the word "preggo", but it just went with "pronto" so well. Please overlook it, at least this once?)

So, those are my four things: a) have a person that can motivate you nearby, b) exercise frequently during the week with my at-home aerobics routine, c) use the dingdang FitBit and d) track my calories on the app. I can do that, right? I can do it and, if you wanted, you can do it!

I just must lose 15 pounds this winter/spring. I just must. I can't be having this mess.

Would you add anything to my list??


The Fastest, Funniest Book I've Ever Read

And I've read a lot of books.

I have a lot of books by comedians that go way back. I can read those books fast, but are any of those the fastest book I've ever read? Nope, nope, nope.

It would make sense that the fastest AND funniest book I've ever read would have to do with Twitter, since it is very fast-paced and, if you look in the right spots, funny, too.

 

Oh, Twitter, Twitter, Twitter. I like the Twitter. I honestly sometimes read my Twitter timeline and laugh out loud over and over again. True, true laughs. I arrange some of the people I read on Twitter into different groups- "Funny Favorites", "Favstar Users" (people who specifically use Twitter to write/read jokes), "Bloggers", "Comedians/Media VIPs", etc. Arranging the people I follow on Twitter into groups helps me to find what I want to find on Twitter quickly, which is a good laugh. That is the main reason I go on Twitter at all.

You know who else does that?

Kate Hall of Can I Get Another Bottle of Whine? and Norine Dworkin-McDaniel and Jessica Ziegler of Science of Parenthood. Now, they may also go on Twitter to get a nice soufflĂ© recipe, too, but I KNOW they go on there for laughs. I know because they turned a bunch of those Twitter laughs into a book.

This book.



You can get a paperback of it for $10.32. I would say this book pretty much is the best little gift you can give to a parent now at Christmas, at a baby shower or any time. It is truly funny, it can be read in short segments (bathroom reading!), it is clean humor (makes it easy to give to anyone), a great price and easy to wrap. I love things that are easy to wrap.

When I first received my box of books, I grabbed a copy and sat down to read it. If I hadn't had to go break up my sons' argument over a basketball, I probably could have read the book in one sitting. You just want to keep reading to the next section and, before you know it, you are all out of sections.

And, if I am being completely honest, I actually ripped the book open right away to find my tweets. I have a few in there, like the one below, thanks to Kate, Jessica & Norine asking me to be a part of this project. I was honored! Twitter has been a friend of mine for a while. I actually spoke about it at Blog University this past summer.

 
 

So, what is the point of all of this? I want to give three of you a copy of the book to keep or for you to give as a gift. All you need to do is leave a Facebook comment  by going to the link below. If you share the Facebook update, come back to let me know that in the comments. That will count as an extra entry. I will pick the winners next Friday morning so that I can mail them out on that Friday.


And, you better hurry. The book is flying off the shelves and even appearing in hit TV shows like The Walking Dead. It's only a matter of time before there are no more books left. See Jessica in her cameo appearance below? I'm pretty sure Glenn is running to get a copy he heard about in an abandoned Barnes & Noble in this picture and Jessica is letting him know she's got one, so there's no need for him to worry. That says a lot about Jessica that she's willing to subject herself to zombies for the sake of the book. What a selfless girl.

 


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