Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Works-For-Me-Wednesday: Coca Cola Sloppy Joes

This is another recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks: The 5:30 Challenge: 5 Ingredients, 30 Minutes, Dinner on the Table. According to the book, "Coca-Cola gives the sauce caramel sweetness and peppery spice. I am a Coca-Cola addict, so this sounds yummy (and easy) to me!

Coca-Cola Sloppy Joes

1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup Coca-Cola
1 cup thick, tomato-based barbecue sauce
6 hamburger buns

In a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, brown the beef or turkey with the onion until onion is soft and meat is no longer pink, about 5-10 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium; stir in cola and barbecue sauce and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened to desired consistency, another 10-15 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toast cut side of buns, if desired, under broiler or in a skillet. Heap mixture onto buns and serve.

Suggestions: If it's not spicy enough for your taste, shake in some hot sauce. Serve with cole slaw (pre-made from the deli or homemade: using bagged slaw mix, add a little mayo, some sugar and a touch of vinegar)

Nutrition info: Per serving: 385 calories, (percent of calories from fat, 35), 27 grams protein, 34 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 15 grams fat, 75 milligrams cholesterol, 645 milligrams sodium.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Random Tuesday Thoughts. . . . .

Daredevil's quote of the day:
Daredevil: "Mom, what's ten times one hundred?"
Me: "One thousand."
Daredevil: "Ok."
Me: "Was that a burning question in your mind?"
Daredevil: "Mom, that's only one of them. I have a lot."

Watched the much-hyped "Jon and Kate Plus Eight" big ANNOUNCEMENT episode. Yes, they are divorcing. Jon, apparently, didn't like being bossed around by Kate all these years, but was too much of a wuss to speak up about it until his simmering anger and resentment were past the point of return. He is "excited to begin a new chapter in his life" since he's "only 32" and "has his whole life ahead of him." Never mind what their EIGHT CHILDREN will go through just because he was a self - admitted "lousy communicator".

Also watched He's Just Not That Into You over the weekend. Love me some Bradley Cooper, even if he played a bad, bad husband. The movie was good, but a little more serious than I thought it would be. I was thinking it would be more of a lighhearted comedy.

We're dealing with a little water problem in the basement after the TONS AND TONS of rain we've been getting. Furniture is up on paint cans, carpet peeled back, fans blowing, Spray-9 sprayed everywhere, and a wall that has got to come down to see what's going on behind it. Will it ever stop raining here? Crossing my fingers that we can fix it all without spending a fortune!

Update to the 5k post: I checked the times online, and Diva and I DID beat our previous 5k time! Turns out we ran it in about 3 minutes faster than our previous time, and under the 15 minute mile mark. Yay!

Friday, June 19, 2009

We Survived Another 5k!

Diva and I ran our 2nd 5k last night. (Our first 5k together was the Girls On The Run 5k in May)

This 5k benefited the Be Positive Foundation, who provides assistance to families fighting cancer, raises funds for pediatric cancer research, and funds student scholarships. This foundation was started by the McDonough family in our area to honor their son Andrew, who tragically died in 2007 from leukemia at the age of 14. Read more about Andrew and the foundation here.

There were about 1700 people there. The weather was horrible. It was pouring rain when we got there. Magically, the rain stopped precisely as the race started. Many said it must have been Andrew that turned the rain off.

Here we are, in the rain, getting ready to start the race. This was my camera phone, so sorry for the poor quality:

We were soaking wet from waiting in line in the rain to check in, so we ran soaking wet. We talked the entire time. I can't remember the last time she and I just talked and talked. We talked about all kinds of stuff, she asked me a million questions about pretty much everything.

The course was hilly, much more so than the Girls on the Run course. We went around a park, through residential areas and behind the zoo, and up a very steep hill near the zoo's monkey house called, fittingly, Monkey Hill. Monkeys smell. Bad. It was quite the eye opener jogging by it.

Our goal was to pass our GOTR 5k time of 47:15. We came close at 48:05. We took some walking breaks on the steep hills. Afterwards we went directly to the free food: pizza, pretzels, fruit, water & juice. Diva was very proud to wear her B+ Foundation race shirt to camp today. This running thing is really helping boost her self esteem - she was very proud of herself at the finish line.

Looking for our next race . . . the goal still trying to beat our best time. I think I may be enjoying this running thing even more than Diva is. Quality time with your child - while burning calories! Can't beat that!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hmmm, this sounds interesting....

FREE teleseminar tonight, June 18th, 5:30 pm PST / 8:30 pm EST:

Emotional Self Defense for Women

In just 60 minutes, you will learn ways to:

  • Transform stress and worry into greater peace of mind
  • Profile people quickly to improve compatibility and reduce conflict
  • Transform communication frustration into high-level efficiency
  • Protect yourself from emotional attack (often self-inflicted)

Click here to register to listen live or get access to audio playback if the time frame is inconvenient.

Presented by:

Dr. Sherrie Bourg Carter, Psy.D., Author, Speaker. Specializes in the dynamics of stress in women. More about Dr. Bourg Carter...

Kelly Rudolph, "Your Personal Safety Trainer," Author, Speaker. Specializes in emotional self-defense strategies. More about Kelly Rudolph...

I've registered but I'm running a 5k tonight and will not be able to listen live. I'll definitely listen to the playback though. If you listen, come back and comment to let me know your thoughts!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

WFMW: Best Window Cleaner Ever


I was alerted to Dirtex by our wonderful house painter, Jesse. He swears by it. I went and got some, and now I swear by it too.

No, it's not cheap (around $4 per can) No, it's not green (I use the aerosol can version). No, it's not easy to find (I get it at my local paint store - try a paint, hardware, or home improvement store).

But, like me, if you have a dog who constantly slobbers all over sliding glass doors, and kids who somehow get toothpaste ALL OVER the bathroom mirror every time teeth are brushed, you, like me, may be a bit less concerned about being cheap and green. Forget my carbon footprint, I want gleaming sliders you can see through and mirrors that don't cast a reflection through smeared toothpaste and spit.

When I bought my first can, the owner of the paint store told me he has 5 cans of Dirtex open at all times in various places in his house. I can see why. Spray, wipe, done. Sparkling, absolutely NO streaks. I now buy multiple cans to keep in the kitchen and bathrooms, just like he does.

See more Works For Me Wednesday tips at We Are That Family.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Not Me! Monday...

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I did not let Diva and Daredevil play at the neighbors all day long yesterday so I could try to get some stuff done around the house.

I did not work my butt off all day, but the house is somehow still a disaster.

I did not lift up the couch cushions and vacuum up enough dog hair to fill a bucket.

I did not turn in Diva's 2007 physical to summer camp this morning and hope they didn't notice it was more than a year old. Darn if I can't find the 2008 physical.

I did not go in the basement to look for said 2008 physical and discover soaking wet carpet in the office. I did not move some stuff out of the danger zone, flip on the dehumidifier, turn off the lights, went back upstairs, and tried not to think about it.

Happy Monday!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Happy 1st Birthday to my Blog

A bit delayed - I just realized the Overwhelmed Working Mom Blog turned 1 on June 2!!

I had no idea I'd been doing this for a year now. And wow, what a year it was. I started this while pregnant with #3, and now she is almost 1 too! The year went by like a flash.

I am by no means a professional blogger - I started this completely cluelessly on June 2, 2008 and have had a great time learning as I go along. I know much more about blogging than I used to, but realize I do need to learn much more to make this site into what I envision in my head. :)

An unexpected benefit of blogging is that I've met many fabulous bloggers while out in the blog world... and I've learned a lot from them too.

To all my new and returning visitors - thank you SO much for your visits over the past year. Please keep visiting and making your comments. I'd love to get to know more of you. Your visits/comments mean so much to me and will help me make this blog an even better place to visit! Thanks again!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Ten Ways to Streamline Life as a Working Mom

This MSNBC article by Laura Coffey says for working moms, it’s crucial to streamline and simplify pretty much every imaginable area of life. I dove into this article, as I can always use help with time management.

Expecting to hear much of what I've already heard (and don't do), the article offers a lot of good tips that I'm considering implementing. I've summarized it below.

In her new book, “Working Mom’s 411: How to Manage Kids, Career & Home,” author Michelle LaRowe notes that many moms with full-time jobs are left with about 40 hours a week to get all of these things accomplished:

  • clean the house;
  • do laundry;
  • shop for groceries;
  • take care of errands, which may include paying bills and handling financial matters;
  • help kids with homework;
  • be present at kids’ activities;
  • spend time with partner;
  • spend time with friends and family members;
  • pursue personal interests of any kind;
  • and “maybe — just maybe — sneak in an hour to go to the gym or to soak in a bubble bath.”

The following may not solve all time management issues, but will get you thinking about ways to manage your own unique schedule and circumstances:

Ten Ways to Streamline Life as a Working Mom

1. Have places and times for key items and tasks. Get bins for stuff such as backpacks, library books, anything your kids are always looking for. This totally works when everything has a home. She also suggests scheduling tasks in advance, i.e. bills on Friday, laundry on Sunday, etc.

2. Smooth out the bumps in your mornings. The suggestions here are: do as much as you can the night before, wake up one full hour before your kids do, and plan to arrive everywhere 30 minutes early. All well and good, but I'd like to add to that.

As part of Works For Me Wednesday, I found this post from BeyondJustMom about checklists for your kids. Awesome. Instead of firing orders at them all morning (Please get dressed. Please comb your hair. Please brush your teeth. Please put socks and shoes on. Please turn off the bathroom light. Please pick up the towel off the floor. Do you have your library book. Please get your backpack/coat/water bottle etc...) you just post a list of tasks and tell your child to "Check the List". This will be implemented soon in our house, with an a.m and p.m list.

3. Feed kids on your terms. Use a crock-pot. Do a simple menu plan for the week. Breakfast for dinner is A-OK. Remember easy options that kids love ....omelets, quesadillas, grilled cheese sandwiches. Get your kids to help in the kitchen. Pack lunches the night before, with kids' help. Keep take-out menus in a sacred spot in your house AND your car.

4. Stockpile important gear in important places. She suggests keeping a bin in your car with the following items: baby wipes (whether you have a baby or not), tissues, paper towels, change of clothes for each kid, diapers if needed, snacks that don't melt or go bad, a big beach towel (it can double as a blanket), band-aids, toys and games.

5. Juggle kids’ after-school activities. While you just can't go to everything, pick the activities and occasions that matter most. When choosing activities, make sure the kid really wants to do it. Where possible, pick activities close to home. Make friends with other parents who may be able to give your kids rides in a pinch. Limit your kids' activities to simplify both your and your kids' schedules.

6. Make sure you’re not slipping at work. Keep your game face on in this economy. Take a personal day every few months to recharge. Use break times and lunch to catch up on personal business - be careful about doing it on work time. Find trustworthy allies at work where you can - perhaps fellow moms. Vent to them about your travails - not your boss.

7. Devise a system for tackling housework. Make sure your kids are pitching in. Sometimes — or, heck, much of the time — it may seem easier to do everything yourself so it will be done the way you want. But it’s good for your kids to have a share in keeping the house clean and neat. It will teach them the importance of teamwork and give them survival skills and beneficial habits that will last a lifetime.

Divvy up tasks with your partner. If you’re both working, you’re both tired — and it’s only fair that you should both share the work that needs to be done around the house. Play to each other’s strengths when deciding who will be responsible for what.

If you can afford it, do some outsourcing. Finally, don't be a perfectionist anymore. Let it go. You can have a spotless house once again after the kids go to college.

8. Carve out time for romance. Make arrangements for a date night, put that night on your calendar — and don’t break the date! Make it far enough in advance so you aren't stressed out about finding a sitter at the last minute. Another idea: Once or twice a year, coordinate personal days or vacation days where the two of you stay home together while the kids head off to school.

9. Maintain at least some semblance of a social life. Like date night, make plans with your good friends and put them on the calendar, well in advance. Give yourself down time to talk, laugh, and preserve important friendships.

10. Remember what matters most. Mother Teresa said it’s not how much you do, but how much love you put into the doing that matters. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and your son or daughter wants to talk, just take a deep breath, settle down and start listening. That pile of laundry can wait.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

WFMW: Easy Brownies From Scratch

What works for me: FROM SCRATCH BROWNIES

Need a quick dessert for an impromptu summer evening gathering with the neighbors from ingredients you most likely already have in your cupboard? Try this recipe for brownies - no 5pm Saturday run to the grocery store needed.


1 stick butter, melted
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 c. flour
1/3 c. cocoa
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. chopped nuts (optional)

Blend butter, sugar and vanilla in large bowl. Add eggs; beat mixture well. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually blend into egg mixture. Stir in nuts. Spread in a greased 9-inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until brownie begins to pull away from edges of pan. Cool, and frost with Creamy Brownie Frosting if desired (recipe below). Cut into squares and serve. Yields: about 16 brownies.


3 tbsp. butter, softened
3 tbsp. cocoa
1 tbsp. light corn syrup or honey
1/2 tsp. vanilla1 c. confectioners' sugar
1 to 2 tbsp. milk

Cream butter, cocoa, corn syrup and vanilla in small mixer bowl. Add confectioners' sugar and milk; beat to spreading consistency.

To see what's working for everybody else today, stop by We Are THAT Family!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Not Me Monday....

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

I did not take Hunter's car to Costco after he had just finished cleaning the interior, and on the way home eat a Snickers bar, leave the wrapper in the console, and stick a sweaty fountain soda in the drink holder. (I got them out later.)

I did not spend a good 3 hours cleaning on Saturday only to get just *1* room finished (Diva's). Yes, it was that messy. 2 full garbage bags of crap. Kid is a pack rat. Apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

I did not watch the movie Mall Cop Friday night, and did not give it a grade of D plus, the plus added for the awesomely cheesy 80's music. I then did not watch it again Saturday, and found it funnier the second time around, and upgraded the rating to "B". It's one of those movies you have to be in a certain mood to find funny. Of course Diva and Daredevil gave it an A++.

I did not *FINALLY* just watch the Sex and the City movie for the first time last night, almost 2 years after it came out. It was excellent and I can't wait for the 2nd one, which I am vowing right now to see in a theater, even if I have to go alone.

I did not start reading the book Queen Bees and Wannabees: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends and Other Realities of Adolescence even though Diva only just turned 9. I did not find that instead of reading this well before I will need it so I will be prepared, some of the stuff is relevant NOW, long before her actual adolescence. Holy crap.

Happy Monday!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Follow Friday: 3 sites I stalk on a regular basis

Here are some blogs I read on a regular basis:

High Achieving Women
This blog is written by Dr. Sheri Bourg-Carter, and I read it for the great info, not because I think I am high-achieving by any means (because I'm not!) Dr. Bourg-Carter posts interesting info on managing stress while balancing work and family. I always feel a little bit more sane after reading her posts.

The RealEstalker
For good, clean fun. This blog is narrated by Your Mama, who provides juicy and hilarious commentary (and fabulous photos) of celebrity real estate comings and going. As celebrity and real estate obsessed as I am, this is the perfect blog for me and I never miss a post!

Work Life Balancing Act
This blog is written by mom and Miami Herald columnist Cindy Krischer-Goodman (read her columns, too, they are great). I was a guest columnist on this blog several years ago, before the OverwhelmedWorkingMom blog was even a glimmer in my eye. Cindy posts comments, interviews, and insights that are always interesting to me.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday: Summer Boredom Edition

This WFMW is themed: How to combat SUMMER BOREDOM. See more tips here

We don't have much summer boredom at my house, because Hunter and I both work all summer, so the kids go to super-active fun summer camps and are usually exhausted when they get home. And on the weekends we try to spend some time out by our pool, so that always keep them busy.

Nonetheless, when I hear the inevitable "Mom, I'm bored," they know what's next: they get assigned a job.

That's right. They are put to work around the house. I'll assign them a task (like vacuuming a room, cleaning a toilet - for some reason they love using the toilet brush- or cleaning out a drawer).

It's a win-win whether they do it or not. Most of the time they'll do it, and it's great to have some unexpected help. Once in a while they refuse, but in doing so, they find something else to do, FAST. Problem solved, they are no longer bored. Pretty simple tip, but it works like magic for us.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Girls on the Run 5k, Dance lessons, Dance rehearsals and recital, Karate lessons, Swim lessons, Softball, Lip-Sync contest, 3rd grade A-Z Animal Project, Kindergarten Ocean Animal project, Kindergarten field trip, T-ball concession stand duty: DONE

T-ball, school: ALMOST DONE

Going straight home after work and school and having nowhere to go on weekends: PRICELESS

We're almost there. After an insane weekend, I'm relaxing at my desk at work. :) Just a few more t-ball games, a week or so of school left, and it's sweet summertime. Besides our vacations and summer camp, we haven't committed the kids to any other activities.

Looking forward to some relaxing times by the pool in the evenings and on the weekends this summer! Bring it on!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Not Me! Monday. . .

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

As for me, I DID NOT put #3 down on the floor to crawl around so I could look at my laptop, and have to be alerted by Diva that #3 had found a dead stinkbug on the carpet and PUT IT IN HER MOUTH. I DID NOT have to stick my fingers in her mouth to pull out various parts of mashed up stinkbug. Ewwwww.....