Life…What is Important?

Photo of our girls.

This past weekend was emotional. Sunday we heard about three guys who died in an avalanche backcountry skiing at Stevens Pass. My husband and his friends ski back there all the time. As it turns out, my husband went to school with two of the skiers who died. Another one of our good friends, Adam, was there with the skiers when the avalanche hit and he tried to resuscitate one of the men who died. Adam is an awesome man.

It’s always sad when someone dies, but knowing how young these guys were, that they left loved ones behind, and that my husband’s friend was a father of an eight and a ten year old, really hit home hard. You just never know where life will take you so love the ones your with right now.

I saw the below list last week. I think it’s important. More

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Photo from BellaMUMMA.

The kids’ anticipation for summer break is growing. The jubilant energy buzzing through the air is spilling out of the classrooms and halls onto the playground and into our car as we drive away from school. I especially noticed it last Friday. There are still more performances, field trips, celebrations, and graduations to attend, but the kids are starting to ask on a daily basis, “How many days of school are left”…they don’t seem to care that the weather isn’t cooperating quite yet. They are just excited for a break. More

The Best Chocolate Cupcake or Cake Recipe Ever by Liz Nord (Eggless)

Kids and adults love these cupcakes! They are moist and super easy to make!

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups white sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¾ cup vegetable oil

2 tablespoon distilled white vinegar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups cold water

Mix together flour, sugar, salt, soda, and cocoa. Add oil, vinegar, vanilla, and cold water. Mix thoroughly and pour into an ungreased 9 x 13 inch cake pan or 12 cupcake paper liners in pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes for cake and approximately 25 minutes for cupcakes, or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

Frosting: I cheat and use Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy Vanilla Frosting, and no  one can tell the difference.

Decorate with sprinkles or whatever you please.


Please share this recipe with anyone you know who has an egg allergy or who knows someone who does. Thank you!

These cupcakes (without frosting) are great for freezing and pulling out if you need one for a birthday party where your child can’t eat the treats that are served. Just thaw and frost. I’m all for helping other parents who are dealing with kids allergies!

What Are Your Thoughts on Abercrombie Kids Selling Padded Push Up Bikini Tops to 8-Year-Old Girls? Check Out A Better Kids Clothing Option. By Liz Nord


People have told me that my Barbie vs. Bratz post was either too conservative or not conservative enough. I hope we can all agree here, that selling push up padded bikini tops to eight-year-old girls it completely and utterly over the top and wrong. Please tell me you agree.

Abercrombie Kids is marketing to girls and boys between the ages of 7 and 14. There is no logical reason for a seven-year-old girl to have a padded anything. The use of the word “push up” is unbelievably inappropriate for young girls. A push up bikini top is designed to make your bust look bigger and more accessible to the eye. Why would a second or third or fifth or whatever grader want to do that? This is clear sexualization of girls, and it really bugs me. 

Playing sexy is not appropriate for girls.  Kids should be out catching frogs, playing sports, learning an instrument, dancing, playing hopscotch, etc. Let them be kids! Teaching girls that their looks are their primary value is setting them up for future problems with body image, self-esteem, and feelings of self-worth.

Right now, somewhere in the world, a girl is shopping at Abercrombie Kids. She is getting the message that her chest is not good enough; it needs to be bigger and pushed up and out. No, thank you.

There has been such outrage about the bikini top that Abercrombie Kids has removed the word “push-up” from its online catalogue, but not the item. It’s still for sale and being marketed as padded. It’s just wrong. I will never shop at that store.

On a more positive note, check out Pigtail Pals. I love their Redefine Girly t-shirts for ages six months and up. Their t-shirts have empowering positive messages. No, “I’m a princess” or “I’m spoiled” messages here.

Here is their awesome video. It’s a must see. I love it!

Pigtail Pals say, “Instead of ‘parents beware’, let’s work with ‘parents be educated about your options and empowered in how to talk to your kids’. Let’s focus on the companies who are putting good, healthy, inspiring apparel & products out there for girls.”

UPDATE: Abercrombie Kids took the Ashley padded bikini top off their website. But, there is still another bikini there that has “removable padding”.

The Danger of Having Kids Is That You End Up With Pets! By Janell Kaufman

It all started when my daughter was just one year old. We were at a birthday party for one of her little friends and a cute little grey kitten swirled itself around my legs and happily sat on my shoulder for the entire party. “Wouldn’t it be nice for our daughter to have a nice kitten for a pet?” My husband insisted that it was my choice and reminded me that he was going to have nothing to do with any cat I brought home. I decided that we needed a cat in our house. At one year old, our daughter did what all little kids do: called it a dog because that is what she knew and grabbed it around the neck and said “woof, woof!” The name stuck and our first pet as a family became a cute little grey kitten named Woof that actually endured all the “love” that a one year old could give it.

It was only a couple years of bliss with a kitty named Woof before there was some sort of accident. We all have different versions of the story and our daughter insists she did it with her play drum. But somehow, Woof broke her tail and the only thing to do was to remove it or risk having an incontinent cat! It totally changed the personality of our little grey kitty. After that, she wasn’t so sweet, and our love for Woof began to falter. More

Calgon Take Me Away by Liz Nord

Our kids are home sick—AGAIN! It’s my oldest daughter this time. Geez…what’s going on around here!?! I feed them healthy meals, they wash their hands (most of the time), go to bed by 7:30 pm or 8pm, and as far as I know, they aren’t licking the water fountain at school. I feel bad for them for being sick, but come on…I’m tired of this being sick, staying home for days at a time business.

Am I allowed to say that? Am I suppose to feel bad that I actually like having a few hours to myself each day to do whatever it is I do: cook, clean, bake, laundry, run errands, volunteer, exercise, and write. Yes, this is domesticity at its finest. Even though I jest and complain, honestly, there is no other place in the world I would rather be right now…well—It would be nice to live someplace tropical…oh well.

I’m signing off to make creativity collages with the kids. You can bet mine will be covered in pictures of the ocean, sandy beaches, palm trees, exotic flowers, books, and beach houses. I’m self soothing and keeping the kids happy and occupied at the same time. Try it—it feels good.

What’s your favorite stay-at-home while kids are recovering art project?

Hope you have a great day!

Cousins ~ Friends Built Into the Family! by Janell Kaufman


Cousins, I think, are a different relationship than friends or siblings! Even really good friends do not have that family connection that cousins hold without the rivalry that siblings endure. Cousins are special!

When I was growing up, I was between generations. My parents were both the youngest in their families and their siblings had started families young. My dad was almost thirty before he got married, and then I came along almost ten years later, the youngest of the youngest on both sides. All of my cousins were grown and married and having their own families before I was even aware of the world around me. I had no real cousin relationships of my own, and I think that I missed out. More

Identity Crisis by Tracie Stern ~ Who Are You Now That You Have Kids?

I had spent the last ten years of my life traveling the world as a model and only having me to worry about. I knew exactly what to do the minute I was confirmed for the job. Whether it involved international travel, multiple days of work, foreign languages, or just a quick drive down the road. Whatever my agencies threw my way I KNEW I could handle it.

So when I found out I was pregnant with my now six-year old son, I was so excited. I was engaged to my husband when we found out about Ramsee. It was such an exciting moment. Over the next several months, my life took a turn for the unknown. More

Bursting With Love by Liz Nord

Being a parent is life altering and challenging at times; but at the end of the day I know one thing for sure: I love my girls more than anything in the world! I feel so fortunate to have them in my life. I want to be the best mom that I can be every day and sometimes that means loving myself a little more.

There were times when the girls were infants when I felt isolated and stuck at home. I should have made more effort to do things for myself, but I felt guilty. I felt that if I took time out for me, I was being selfish. I’m seeing more now that’s not true. A sitter now and then wouldn’t have been so bad. In fact, it probably would have been really good for everyone.

At times, (like our house flooding) I feel overwhelmed by my domestic duties; I don’t feel like cleaning, cooking, organizing, refereeing, carpooling, and doing laundry non-stop. Sometimes I’m tired or I just need a break—Then I think… I’m really lucky! More


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