Create your balance. Design your life.

Ask Madeleine Vol. 12

Ask Madeleine Vol. 12

Aug 19, 2013

The questions are in and so are the answers!  If you haven’t checked it out before, Madeleine is my just-turned-4-year-old daughter.  She loves answering your questions, and these are her REAL answers in her own words.  Submit your questions on our FB page. Send them in using the “contact” button.  Whatever works! It’s back to school time. For Madeleine and many other kids, that means going for the very first time.  Today, Madeleine shares her tips on not being nervous.  It was her idea to make a video. Back to School with Madeleine Share this:RedditPinterestFacebookLinkedInTumblrTwitterGoogleEmailLike this:Like...

Ask Madeleine Vol.11

Ask Madeleine Vol.11

Aug 12, 2013

The questions are in and so are the answers!  If you haven’t checked it out before, Madeleine is my just-turned-4-year-old daughter.  She loves answering your questions, and these are her REAL answers in her own words.  Submit your questions on our FB page. Send them in using the “contact” button.  Whatever works!     When I am too tired to cook at night, what should I make for dinner? I just need some inspiration. Madeleine: Well, I would like Spaghetti-O’s.  [Is that a healthy choice?].  You could add celery and oranges. Stinky Old Mom:  Works for me!  Honestly, whenever I am at a loss for dinner ideas or just too tired, I make breakfast.  Everyone loves some scrambled eggs and bacon!  When it is dinner breakfast, I get a little more elaborate for the grown-ups.  Try throwing some avocado slices and salsa on the plate (oooooohhhh).  Or you can slice up some tomatoes and mix in some spinach and feta with the eggs (ahhhhhh).  Fancy stuff.  No one ever complains.   Share this:RedditPinterestFacebookLinkedInTumblrTwitterGoogleEmailLike this:Like...

Ask Madeleine Vol. 10

Ask Madeleine Vol. 10

Aug 5, 2013

The questions are in and so are the answers!  If you haven’t checked it out before, Madeleine is my just-turned-4-year-old daughter.  She loves answering your questions, and these are her REAL answers in her own words.  Submit your questions on our FB page. Send them in using the “contact” button.  Whatever works! What makes a happy marriage? Madeleine: Have children!  Even if a kid is still a kid.  Babies are happy. Stinky Old Mom: While children can bring joy into a marriage, a happy couple is one who communicates and cooperates and compromises.  The happiest couples I’ve known are those who continue to support each other interests and growth (which requires that the couple communicates effectively, cooperates, and often makes compromises). I’m not sure what Madeleine means when she says, “Even if a kid is still a kid.” I can say that children do not make a marriage happy if the marriage isn’t already happy.  Our children continue to teach us things about ourselves and new ways to look at each other.   We have to work on our relationship just as we did before we had children–where we focus on one another exclusively for a bit.  It’s also important, where a relationship is concerned, to work on your own internal happiness and well-being.  Who wants to be in a relationship where the other person doesn’t take responsibility for their own state of mind (and I mean all the time, not the occasional down slope)?   You are the only one that can ever, truly, make you happy.   Share this:RedditPinterestFacebookLinkedInTumblrTwitterGoogleEmailLike this:Like...

Ask Madeleine Vol. 9

Ask Madeleine Vol. 9

Jul 29, 2013

The questions are in and so are the answers!  If you haven’t checked it out before, Madeleine is my just-turned-4-year-old daughter.  She loves answering your questions, and these are her REAL answers in her own words.  Submit your questions on our FB page. Send them in using the “contact” button.  Whatever works!   What’s a good way to make extra money? Madeleine: To get money you have to check out stuff at the store. [What do you mean?] At the store, you check out and you give them money. [You mean the cashiers?] YES!  They get money. [laughing.  Yes.  But that money goes to the store, not to the cashier.  The cashier gets a paycheck for working at the store.]  Well, you have to work hard at your BUSINESS.  That’s how I think.  Do I have any money? Stinky Old Mom:  Well, aside from masquerading as a cashier and absconding with stolen money, you can always get a second job?!  Madeleine, in her own way, suggests a strong work ethic.  Here’s a blast from the past that discusses this very topic and ways you can earn on the side. What’s a good way to help keep your office clean? Madeleine: Ugh. *eye roll* To not mess it up! That’s what I prefer. You have to clean up your papers. Stinky Old Mom:  PAPERS!!  It’s always a mess in our office.  There are papers (and craft supplies) everywhere.  The key seems to be organization and having a place for everything.  This site has a ton of suggestions for cute DIY ways to create storage space: Sew Many Ways.  I am in a much more primeval place in my life, so I just need to get papers where they belong, pens back in their cups, trash in the can, and I can worry about making it look cute later!  When in serious need, call in a pro—or at the very least, a great friend who is talented at organization and can be firm about TOSSING OUT THE CLUTTER!  We’ve talked about clutter before.  It’s a constant.  It always needs tending and can sometimes get the best of us when we least expect it.  Breathe and dive in! What’s the...

Ask Madeleine Vol. 8

Ask Madeleine Vol. 8

Jul 22, 2013

The questions are in and so are the answers!  If you haven’t checked it out before, Madeleine is my just-turned-4-year-old daughter.  She loves answering your questions.  Submit them on our FB page. Send them in using the “contact” button.  Whatever works! What do good Moms do? Madeleine: Well, they certainly do laundry. [(laughing) Yes, that’s true. What other kinds of things do Mommies do that makes them good?] They do all the things kids want to do–whatever they want. [What do you want to do?] Go to Ikea!! Stinky Old Mom:  Will the laundry never end?  I can’t even get it all put away before the basket is overflowing.  Apparently, I complain about it constantly as well! To answer the questions though: Good Moms do the best they can.  That’s it.  Good parents are the parents doing everything they can do to be their personal best for their children.  That is all we can expect from ourselves.  We can’t be perfect. We listen, we try, we strive for everything, and accomplish as much as we can.  Side note: Ikea is actually awesome for a little break while the kids play in the play area.  We use it as a reward. Plus, the frozen-yogurt is only 3 Weight Watchers points. It’s a win-win!! If you were a Mom, what kind of work would you do? Madeleine:  This mom is making drinks!  I would do whatever I want. Stinky Old Mom: I have a feeling she’s thinking only about eating candy, not cleaning her toys and drinking juice whenever she wants, but in a certain sense, it is true.  We can all be whatever we set our minds to be.  Sometimes, we make sacrifices or hold off on plans for a better time, but we can always achieve our dreams. Which kinds of school supplies do kids need for the first day of school? Madeleine: A new backpack! Stinky Old Mom:  I’m keeping my eyes out for sales on go-to items like pencils, crayons, and glue. Staples just had crayons for $.25 a box.  I know she’ll need them and we can use them here too.  Teachers can have specific types of notebook or folder requirements, so I hold off on...

Ask Madeleine Vol.7

Ask Madeleine Vol.7

Jul 15, 2013

Questions are in and so are the answers!  If you haven’t checked it out before, Madeleine is my just-turned-4-year-old daughter.  She loves answering your questions.  Submit them on our FB page. Send them in using the “contact” button.  Whatever works! What is love? Madeleine: Your heart is love. Loving is hugging or kissing. [Can you love someone without hugging or kissing?]  No.  Oh yes, yes you can. [How do you know you love someone?] You just love them. I really love Belle-y.* *Belle is our wonderful, and very loving, dog. Stinky Old Mom:  Her answer is as good as mine! I want to have a party, but I don’t have a lot of money. I really don’t have any money at all. Is there a way to have a party and still have fun without money? Madeleine: You can have a party at home.  That’s free.  [What about decorations?] You can just make them. Hearts or stars or moons or anything else.  [Can you have a party without food?] NO!!!  You have to have food.  Cake. You can make a cake or borrow some food. Stinky Old Mom: House parties are great, especially when money is tight.  We all feel it these days.  Having a party at your house is a great way to have fun without spending a bunch (like you would out somewhere).  Make it a pot luck, BYOB, and don’t sweat the small stuff.  Play games.  Invite people that you enjoy.  I use the crock-pot when I want to provide a staple food item for a group. My go-to is a bag of frozen meatballs and spaghetti sauce.  Serve them on their own.  Provide pasta of your choosing sprinkled with a little olive oil (so the pasta won’t clump together).  I also like to provide rolls and provolone cheese (which you can have people bring) and make mini-meatball subs. I was going to write up my recipe, but this lady beat me to it.  As always with crockin’, know your pot’s hot zones and cooking times.  I never use the plastic stuff she recommends and I almost never measure.  Make sure you use enough sauce!  I love this because you can toss it...

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