Sunday, March 24, 2013

Message to my daughter: From a 15 year old Mom who raised a doctor

I stumbled upon this photograph as we prepare for the celebration in honor of your graduation and upcoming surgery residency. I see your fat cheeks and stubborn expression and think some things really don't change. But the 15 year old girl holding you..... I barely recognize. So young....too young, I would say today and mean it. But never afraid and never ashamed. Because I was more concerned with the mighty task at hand.......I had a baby! Oh, boy! (oh, girl....really)

So while trying to figure out the redirection of my own life (and making plenty of mistakes I know now) these are the promises I made to you and hope that I have kept them:

1. I will always tell you the truth. As you get older this will prove more difficult but always necessary. It will put me in a position of being your least favorite person at times and that will make me sad and sometimes angry. But I will do it. Because the world will tell you the truth in one way or another and I think it is best knowing that someone will always be honest with you no matter what the cost.

2. I will make your education my priority. What do I do with a bright and precocious child when I had not seen a really good model in my own young life? The best I could. No baby talk for starters. If it's you and me against the world then we are going to have to talk to each other. Next...become involved. You cannot master a system you don't know about. Lastly, demand your best.....even when your smallest effort was celebrated by so many. Asking you for more or something different wasn't because I didn't think you were good enough............rather, I knew what you were capable of even when you could not see it yourself.

3. I will grow with you. Doing my best I hope has been a model for you. Your light will shine brighter and further than mine for sure but I will always try to learn and grow so that you will know this is not an expectation of you alone. Learning and growing is not something you ever stop doing, and as a Mother, a woman, a share those lessons.

4. I will be your Mother, not your friend. One so smart and beautiful as you will enjoy many friendships and as mother and daughter we will enjoy many friendly moments..........but there will always be a responsibility for me that extends past friendship. The same fire in my belly that kept us both moving forward when I was way to young will be with me until my very last breath. No matter how accomplished you become or grown you proclaim to be.....and no matter what the number is that is associated with your age........I will be your mother and you can count on me. (even when this doesn't interest you at all)

5. I will love you madly! I will be your biggest cheerleader and feel your smallest pain. I will try to keep these promises to you even if you may not understand it at the time. This love will cause me to be unreasonable and smothering and will, I hope someday be a thing you know for sure. Wherever you go, and whatever you do, this love is wrapped around you like a shield of protection.....telling the world to bring it.......that no thing is impossible because you are my daughter......before you were anything else.

And now your path is leading you past anything even the universe could imagine. Doctor, doctor. MD, PhD. A surgeon. Saving may not know it......but mine was the 1st you saved. Real talk.
I love you. Congratulations.
Follow Nicole on Twitter  @realtalknic

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Kitty Cat is a PET not a PART!

Real talk alert......gets no realer than this. Once and for all let's start a movement ending secret whispered names for body parts. Baby girls, 3-4 year olds, teens, hell.....42 year old females have vaginas.......not kitty cats! Not following? Here is the breakdown......
Not sure if it's generational or cultural but the practice of referring to female body parts with silly animal names and head gestures nodding downward aren't just some cases it could be harmful.
I don't mean adults having "grown women" conversation throwing Va-JaJa around. I get it. I am referring to Moms bringing their girls up as if there is a prize if you make it to adulthood never having heard correct verbiage for their anatomy. Grrrrr
Whispered after bath time ......."Did you wash your kitty cat?" Fall down on your bike? "Did you hurt your kitty cat? 1st slumber party? "Nobody touches your kitty cat!" Really? I cannot make this up!

Starting early with secret names and whispered tones sets the stage that there is something to be ashamed of about your body. This focuses so much on mystery and so little on function. Without meaning to it immediately starts the sexualization of the body........the very thing trying to be avoided in most cases. And very confusing and unfair to a little girl. And in the unthinkable instance when something inappropriate occurs we have preprogrammed innocent minds that this is something to whisper about instead of empowering them with adequate language. Vagina.....go ahead and say it out won't go up in flames. Smh

I remember being in my back yard with family swimming in the pool. A pre teen is having a super good time getting her swim on! I hear a gasp and a quick....." Get a t shirt on" "why?" I ask. "girl.......people are gonna look at her, she's developing." Sigh. Here we go again. Yes she is developing. But, ummm, she is in a pool. With her family. Swimming! Nothing fresh or grown about it.......and here we have an adult in 15 seconds causing a shame so unnecessary and biting and not even knowing it. We gotta stop!
The news is full of women making it happen right now.....we rule the world.....women are leaning in........and rightfully so! But before we can grow to be strong women we have to have confident, informed girls. Girls that understand if they are beating the boys during a BMX race and fall down.....screaming my kitty cat is ok is not going to go over well! And that is real talk!

Go ahead and leave a comment.....try not to be too hard on me. Share this post.....start a conversation....... But mostly......shift the conversation we have with our girls.....they deserve it!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Killed it at Kohl's!! Betty the buffet gets styled!!'s Spring forward and sunny and well.....when it's sunny I spend money! A lil bit at least. You should know that anything over $20 for me is considered a major purchase! Plus, since Betty the Buffet was free it's kinda hard to drop big coin on a freebie. So....I pinned and I pined and I looked and I wished.......finally today...I shopped!! Here is a lil of my inspiration....

Threshold™ Medium Metallic Glass Lamp Base (Includes CFL Bulb) Quick Information
This one is from target....ummm $49.99 for the base. Can I get a shade with that?

Of course, Pottery Barn has sent me the Easter, Outdoor, and the "I know you want to, go ahead and do it" catalogs in the last few weeks. This is theirs.....

Clift Glass Table Lamp Base - ClearNow, here you are talking $170 for the base and $54 for the shade. I scoured the catalog pages for CRACK cause someone must be smoking it for this kinda price. Ahhhhh, but.....look how nice they look. Grrrrr. Let me remind you....Betty the buffet was FREE! Ok, focus! Betty is bare and I need to put some Spring into things. So.....I was content to just keep looking and wishing as I popped into Kohls. Killer sale going on and Kohl's cash. (ok, so I know I am actually spending $50 to get that $10...and the $10 is bringing me back but I just love FREE money.....just don't think too hard about it!! LOL
5 washclothes for $2.50....yup. Sounds good. In the cart they go. 2 little onesies for babies that will be here soon? Yup. Throw them in. Walk down the dark back aisle just to see what might be marked down...why not. SCORE! I swear a bell should have started going off......I saw the tag.....spotted 2 after a little moving crap onto the floor and standing on the "for sale" ottoman to get to the top shelf..... and then to the price checker.....oh yeah. 60% off is not enough! Original:$124. My price: $38.....woop woop! and I had a credit from Christmas and I got the Kohl's cash.................I flew outta there with them double bagged like I stole sumthang!! they are!!!
OK, OK......I like it. But it needs a little something. Time to run around the house and see what I have. Here is how she ended up for the night......

Total for the lamps with tax: $80 Minus my $40 credit....$40!!! Plus $10 to spend next week!! Shell: Free.....bought home from vacation. Books: From my library....mostly Garden focused. Doing the happy dance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I think I am love! Kohl's killed it! Now....I need to POP with some color. Let me just hope I can muster up the nerve to spend some more cashola before we have to set our clocks again! Would love to hear what you think? Go ahead....let me know!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Sally the Sassy Sidepiece (cheapy chalkpaint recipe included)

I call her Sally.....because she is just so darn sassy! She makes me smile.....she doesn't take herself too seriously. She is old.....with some kinks.....but young at heart. (hmmmmm, sounds like me) 

It all started with my husband moving my foyer table from the foyer to the library. Now, I am not gonna lie. I was OFFENDED! I loved my Targee Pottery Barn knock off. does have a busted leg and one false move and it could all be O.V.E.R! So what to do what to do? Started looking and realized that it could be a whole lot of change for a little bit of change! oy!

When in doubt...or in debt....CRAIGSLIST to the rescue. Here she is when I first met her......

Oh can't see it huh? Lots of problems with her, right? Yep! LOTS! at 1st sight!
She had a little veneer situation. Ummmm, yeah, that was bad. But nothing my $5 iron from Riteaid couldn't handle. lol So....cleaned her up. Took the veneer off with iron, towels, and LOTS of patience. Filled her holes with a little putty. And she was ready for me to try my craziest experiment......Cheapy Chalkpaint!


So I had been following the chalk/milk paint craze and the results look amazing. But what if I hated it? Was terrible at it? Yikes....$100 bucks in supplies later I would have been HOT! And I don't mean good looking. There are tons of sites doing wonderful things with the name brands but in addition to the price.....the color selection is my own thang! BE AWARE....when you make ready to paint within two days or make small batches. It doesn't last well past that. is the recipe....1 cup paint....1 cup plaster of paris (bought mine with a good ole 40% off coupon at Michael's) Whisk it around and around and around until there are NO lumps......then you are ready to go! is the Crazy part of the experiment.................NO PRIMING. That's right...come on....get off the read it correctly..NO PRIMING! This paint went on like a dream! Woop woop! I did 2 coats.........let her dry.... And then I smacked 2 coats of glossy poly on her! LOVE LOVE LOVE HER!

So......ask yourself what are you waiting for? Is there something you are about to throw away because you don't like it anymore? Something pricey you have had your eye on but have other priorities? Use this spring season to purge and plan! Look at thrift stores, craigslist, heck...your own basement and attic! Cheapy Chalkpaint is the way to go! I would love to see some of your projects here. Please share. And every time I walk by Sally I think.....this is what $35 can get ya! What? Yeppers!!!!!!!!!!!!! Real talk!!!!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Just call me Shaniqua Stewart, cause Martha would know better

Came home after celebrating 20 years married to 2 additional teens in addition to the one belonging to me. Was thinking cereal and milk was gonna have to do but the guilt of being out stopped me in my tracks. Hmmmm, what to do? Pickings were slim and the boys were still sleeping so I got busy! I remember having this delicious french toast casserole at my boss's for a team brunch. So, I started with this pitiful "seen better days" bread.
Now, I know....who still eats white bread.....and.....Martha would just scold, scold, scold. But....who really has multiple varieties of fresh baked french loaves sitting around.....grrrrr. The original recipe calls for prepping this overnight. Huh, in the words of Sweet Brown, Aint Nobody got time for that!!
(  haven't seen Sweet Brown and want to partake in a bit of funny foolishness click the linky..... Ok...OK...stop shaking your head and continue...

I had 1/2 I added 6 eggs a bit of milk, lots of cinnamon, the last bit of a stick of butter, and brown sugar. Poured it all over the bread and stuck it in the oven! Smells good! While it was baking I was feeling a little "Springy" and started daydreaming 'bout my roses. It's March.......almost time!! So I took my egg shells and threw them in the empty coffee container. (egg shells and coffee grounds are the magic trick to strong healthy roses......on this I am sure Martha approves) Used a really professional crushing method....the end of a spoon.....and threw the sealed jar under the sink until the last frost is gone. Whew....that was fun!
And after 20 minutes and 20 turkey sausages cooked, it was time to gather at the table for a family breakfast. Yeah, ummm, what really happened was I put out the plates and screamed "BOYS" at the top of my lungs, grabbed my English Garden and Veranda magazines and ran for cover! heehee. Here's the finished product.....Martha may not approve but the boys sure did! Go 'head......try it out! :-)