Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is one of those holidays that if you screw up, you may never be forgiven. So, to aid you in achieving the goal of a successful Mother’s Day, I’m offering a few tips. If you were tuning in for a food post today, sorry. But food is mentioned, so maybe keep reading.

Mothers are not hard people to please. I know this because they wear necklaces made of macaroni noodles as if they were of rarest gold, they exclaim over someone using the potty in the actual potty, and they will snuggle you even when you have the most fierce morning breath and have food stuck in your hair. They have an amazing capacity to make the best out of things and lift you up when you feel like you can’t possibly feel better. And yet, it seems that many mothers are let down on Mother’s Day. It need not be this way.

A small gift and a card

A small gift and a card goes a long way on Mother’s Day. No, a chocolate rose from 7-11 doesn’t count as a small gift. How do you know what Mom might like? Ask yourself, what would Mom do if she didn’t have to be Mom? Would she read a book? Garden? Go to dinner with her girlfriends? Take a walk? Go to the bathroom alone? What kind of gift can you get her that would help her pursue her pleasure? No, not toilet paper, but maybe a lock for the bathroom door and some earplugs. Fling back the shower curtain and sniff the bottles. What bottle smells most like Mom? Buy her more of that.

What she doesn’t want is something the folks on TV are pushing. If you see a commercial telling you how much Mom would love a vacuum, necklace, or deodorant, ask yourself, should I believe everything I see on TV? Unless Mom has asked specifically for the Jane Seymour Open Heart necklace, she probably doesn’t want one.

Mother’s Day doesn’t end at the small gift and card

This is where the wheels fall off the wagon. Picture it: Mom is awakened with breakfast made in her honor. She smiles, cuddles everyone, chokes down the coffee and over-done toast. But then what? Does she walk downstairs to find dishes, coffee grounds, and eggshells everywhere? Let’s hope not. What will make YOUR Mom’s day is this phrase, pay attention, this is the key: YOU DO IT. What?? I do it? What does this mean??? Here’s a decoder chart you can use.

  • At the first noise from kids, cat, or dog, YOU get up and handle it. Soothe the kid, feed the cat, let the dog out. DO NOT WAIT for Mom to roll over and give you the look or the elbow. Just LEAP out of bed at the first moment you notice something’s up.
  • Meals are your gig today too, all three of them! Maybe you can’t cook an extravagant (or even mediocre) meal. Do you have fingers? Can you order a pizza? Can you pick up a bucket of chicken? YES! You CAN! So do it.
  • YOU do the dishes. Yep, we don’t care if it’s paper plates every meal. Just don’t expect Mom to get up and do dishes on Mother’s Day.
  • Let Mom shower in peace while YOU referee a fight between kids, choose Sunday clothes for church, and put Suzie’s hair up. YOU do it. And while you’re at it, no one under four feet tall should be banging on the bathroom door. YOU stop them.
  • Is there vomit or poop between the bedroom and the coffee pot? Don’t step over it as if you don’t see it. YOU clean it up!
  • Suggest Mom go take a nap or read a book in the afternoon. Then YOU play with the kids. No, not while watching the hockey game. YOU go out with them, YOU find the bubbles, YOU keep them from killing themselves on the swing set. And under NO circumstances should someone go and get Mom unless the house is on fire.
  • Kill the Honey-Do list. Remember all the little tasks she’s mentioned? Knock them out. Likely as not, she does your laundry, cooks your meals, cleans your house, totes kids and pets, buys groceries, pays bills, and fights with the cable company on a daily basis. It won’t kill you to clean up the dog poop, fix a squeaky door, or put some windshield washer fluid in her car. Really it won’t.
  • Yes, you MUST get your wife something for Mother’s Day even though she’s not your Mother. She gave birth to your children and hasn’t eaten them yet. She deserves a gift.

A note about single moms

I have spent my fair share of Mother’s Days as a single mother. And sometimes it’s one of the most painful days of the year. I can recall sitting in church listening to other Mom’s tell all about the fun things they were going to do with their families, while all I had to look forward to was a long day alone with a toddler. Many single Moms may have families of their own to visit. But some of them don’t. Some of them would LOVE to be invited to your cookout, or get a card or some flowers when her child is too young to be able to provide something for her. It’s not about the gift, it’s about her being equal to a Mom who has a spouse. Often, single Moms are treated like second-class citizens, as if they are contagious. Remember, it could happen to you in the blink of an eye. Most of us don’t set out to be single with kids. It’s not that it’s twice as hard, it’s exponentially more difficult to do it alone.

Don’t forget other mothers, too

Maybe you’ve got your Mom and Grandma covered, that’s great! Don’t forget that there may be other Mothers that are alone or lonely on Mother’s Day. Daughters who have lost their own Mother may be sad, older Mothers whose kids live far away may be alone. Please make a point to reach out and include these ladies. It could make their day! There may also be other women who mother your child in your absence. A daycare provider, a step-mother, the mother of your child’s friend. You are not in competition with these women. You will always be Mom. But don’t overlook the significance they have in your child’s life. They provide an important influence when you’re not around. Make sure they know how much you appreciate them. No child ever suffered from being loved too much by too many people.

I hope all the Moms out there have a great Mother’s Day. And if all else fails, they’ll go back to school and work Monday, you can go to the bathroom alone then. Happy Mother’s Day!

Sweets For Your Sweetie: Easy Doughnuts

Who doesn’t like doughnuts? Really? Communists. Crazy people. That’s all I can think of. But, making doughnuts at home can be time-consuming. Here’s a quick, easy doughnut that you can whip up quickly, great for a morning treat or afternoon snack for your sweetie.

Heart shaped doughnuts!

Refrigerator Biscuit Doughnuts

I made my doughnuts heart-shaped in honor of Valentine’s Day. But round is fine. If you have letter cookie cutters you could spell out a message or name, any small cookie cutter will work. If you want regular circle doughnuts with a hole in the middle, use a clean pill bottle to cut circles in the middle of the biscuits. Fry the holes and the circles.

Heat your oil

Hot oil is key. I use a candy thermometer to make sure the oil gets to “deep fry” or about 370 degrees. If you put them in when the oil is not hot, they will absorb the oil and become greasy and heavy. Gross.

Prepare your biscuits.

Refrigerator biscuitsCut with a cookie cutter

I laid mine out on a cutting board and cut them with the heart-shaped cookie cutter.

Heart doughnuts

Once the oil comes to temperature, drop the biscuits into the oil. They fry up super quick, so don’t walk away. As soon as they brown on the first side, flip them over with a slotted spoon.

Drop the doughnuts into hot oilBrown on one side and flip

Drain the doughnuts on paper towels.

Drain on paper towels

Immediately dip or sprinkle as desired and serve hot. A cold glass of milk is nice. At least that’s what I want.

So cute!

This is such a quick, easy way to treat your family! What shortcut recipes do you use?

Need more Valentine’s Day ideas? Click here, here, here, or here!

Sweets For Your Sweetie: Peanut Butter Cups

Mr. Bundt is a peanut butter cup junkie. He will consume large bags of them in one sitting and then complain that his stomach hurts. Really? I’m shocked. But, the worst part is, no matter how many peanut butter cups (or anything else!) he eats, he’s still skinny. While he protests that he’s put on 20 pounds since we met, it’s not showing. Meanwhile, mine is, well, er, showing. But since you only see me in your head, just imagine that I’m tall and skinny. Okay? That way we can be friends.

I am not a peanut butter cup junkie, but I did a taste test, I wouldn’t want to feed you something bad, and these are awesome. They will also make you sick if you eat too many. Like more than two in a row. Don’t ask how I know.

These are super simple! Try them for your sweetie or make a few for yourself!

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Recipe from www.tasteofhome.com

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter, divided
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 milk chocolate candy bars (1.55 ounces each), broken up in package

What you'll need

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 c of peanut butter, room temperature butter, powdered sugar, and salt. Stir until smooth, set aside.

Mix the fillingMix until smooth

In the microwave, melt chocolate chips, candy bars, and remaining 1/2 c peanut butter until smooth. Use 30 second bursts and stir in between until mixture is melted. Do not overheat.

Melt the chocolate coating

Drop teaspoonfuls of the chocolate mixture into candy cups or mini muffin cups. I used spoons but I think a squirt bottle would be a much easier (and cleaner) way to do this. Otherwise, there’s lots of licking up of drips. But hey, if that’s your thing, go for it.

Ready to assemblePour teaspoonfuls of chocolate into the cups

Top each with a scant teaspoon of peanut butter mixture. As you drop it you can press it down into the liquid chocolate mixture with the spoon.

Drop in the peanut butter mixture

Then cover these with more chocolate mixture. You can use the spoon to press the mixture to the edges of the paper cup. This smooths the top of the candy cup out.

Cover the peanut butterPress down to smooth out the surface

You may notice from the photos that when I began I was using a tiny muffin tin. This was totally useless. I switched to the countertop which was fine, until I moved them. They they were all wiggly. They turned out fine, but it would have been easier to move them to the fridge had they been on a cookie sheet. So, start with the cups on a cookie sheet and you’ll be set.

Refrigerate for a few hours until set. Store in an airtight container in the fridge, serve at room temperature.

Yummy peanut butter cups!!

These are so yummy! I know you’ll love them! They would be so cute in a tiny candy box or stacked up in a glassine bag.

Are you a peanut butter cup junkie? What’s your FAVORITE candy to get for Valentine’s Day?

Need more Valentine’s ideas? See Monday’s post here. And Tuesday’s post here.

Sweets for Your Sweetie: Felt Flower Scarf

Little Bundts need something sweet for Valentine’s Day too! So, I’ve been working on this felt flower scarf. It’s SO easy, you can complete it in a day, or in a few nights in front of the TV.

I originally made one for a friend, here’s the adult version.

Adult Felt Flower Scarf

I wish I could say I came up with idea myself, but I got it from Amy of Watch Me Daddy. It’s a great new blog and you can find specific and clear directions for making the felt flower scarf here.

I decided I’d make a scaled down version for my daughter for Valentine’s Day. One yard of felt (the wide bolt) will give you more than enough felt for a scarf and should cost less than $10. I had a coupon, so mine ended up being less than $5.

I cut the length of the scarf down to 40 inches. I made the circles 4in, 3in, 2in, and 1in in diameter. It’s not important that the circles be perfect because you’re going to scallop the edges later. The original scarf has five circles to make the flowers, but for a smaller scarf scaling down the fluffiness of the scarf made sense.

The original scarf required 13 flowers, I cut this down to 12. For a smaller person, eliminating the flowers behind the neck (and under the hair) of the person wearing the scarf made sense.

Cut 12 circles of each diameter. You should have 48 circles.

Scarf and circles

Then scallop the edges of the scarf and the circles.

Scalloped scarf and circles

Stack the largest three circles, big to little so the little on is on top. Follow the instructions from Watch Me Daddy here. Here’s a few photos to get you started.

Contour the neckStack the petalsFold over and sewPull tightSew in the final petal folded in quarters

And voilà! You end up with this darling little scarf. Now to keep it a surprise, I photographed the scarf on me. So it’s a little shorter than it will be on little Bundt. You get the idea.

Felt Flower Scarf for Kids

So easy you can make it this weekend! What special things do you do for your little ones for Valentine’s Day? Does your family have any special traditions?

Need more Valentine’s ideas? See yesterday’s post here.